Can You Repeat the Word?

Then and there, Ralph made a silent pledge to come back next year and know how to spell fedora.

Then and there, Ralph made a silent pledge to come back next year and know how to spell fedora.

Morning Readers,

Who wants to hear a formative childhood story?

Ok, I just counted one hand out of the five of you reading this, so I’ll continue.

Long ago, in a faraway land – or possibly the exact same town I live in right now – there lived a young home schooled girl who was entered in a spelling bee. It was the very first spelling be she’d ever set foot in, so she donned her very best stretchy pants, matching top, and just a dash of scrunched up socks over Keds. Her middle name might as well have been “Pizzazz.”

She just hoped no one asked her to spell it. That’s like four z’s.

At any rate, the young girl took her seat on the stage and prepared to make a long distance call to genetics. For, you see, the child really couldn’t spell that well, but her mother had been the state spelling bee champion, so, with arms raised to the sky, she cried out…

“Dear Lord, divine providence has seen fit to bear me of a parent who knows that i comes before e, except after c, and in words that say “a,” like “neighbor” and “weigh.” Please let me draw on some of this inherent ability. Amen.”

She was the second in the line. The first competitor had correctly spelled his word. It’d been something like, “lemon.”

Surely, they’d start her off with something simple. “Come on, “pot,” she chanted over and over again to herself.


The girl retired from her reverie of stupidity. “What?”

“Your word is “laborious.”

Panic set in. “Definition, please.”

“Wah wah wah wa waah.”

“That doesn’t help.”

“The word is “laborious.”

“You’re sure you don’t want me to spell, “pot” or “dog?”


With hope, she meticulously spelled the word the way she thought it should be spelled.

Apparently, she thought it should be spelled wrong.

The good news is, to this day, I know how to spell laborious. The bad news is I still misspell things fairly frequently. I’m not the worst in the world, but I’m sure you’ve all had your moments where you’ve stared at your screen and thought, “Um, Paige. Do you mean “bear”? Because if you meant “bare,” I don’t think I can follow you anymore.”

But I do try. So, if you ever get a message and I call you, “deer,” know it’s because I mean you’re a dear, and that I mean well.

And also don’t ask me to spell “pizzazz.” That definitely had to be run through the old spell check.

Paige Kellerman blogs about marriage, babies and gin at www.paigekellerman.com, and is the author of At Least My Belly Hides My Cankles: Mostly-True Tales of An Impending Miracle. You can reach her at paigekellerman@gmail.com.

She also hides out on Twitter and Facebook.

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