My hipster nephew (then a teenager, now an adult) once said to me, “Aunt Ruth, you’re such a dork.” Then realizing that might have hurt my feelings, he quickly added, “But in the best possible way.”
What had I done to elicit this remark? Well being the verbavour/vocabulary-nut that I am, I had just made the comment, “Aglets are so helpful with feaslings or we’d never get our laces through the grommets.” *
Around our house, “But in the best possible way,” has become a phrase we all use when we realize that something that just slipped through our lips might hurt those who are listening. It’s a wonderful way to bring everyone’s feelings back into the realm of OK. It’s sending a 2 part message: “Oops, I shouldn’t have said that; please know that I love you.”
Here’s some examples:
“This corn on the cob is burnt . . . but in the best possible way.”
“Man! Do your feet stink . . . but in the best possible way.”
It’s nice to have a tool at your disposal, to help you take back something which was probably better left unsaid.
Smile. Be Happy.
* An aglet is the plastic or metal tip at the end of a shoelace. Feaslings are the fuzzy, frizzies at the end of an unraveling lace that the aglet so nicely controls. A grommet is the reinforcing ring on the fabric of your shoe through which you thread the feasling free, agletted lace.
An admission: I heard the word feasling on NPR’s show ‘Says You!’ When double checking spelling today, I was not able to find feasling in the dictionary. That just makes me think N.P.R. trumps O.E.D..