A few days ago, I was asking my 17 year old son a series of have-you-gotten-blank-and-blank-done-college-application questions. To which he replied with a series of exasperated yeahs until he reached his manly limit, I guess, and said, “Mom, would you just stop nagging me?” I think I heard my husband murmur, “Uh-oh.” I started to say, “WHAT?!!?” when he interrupted to quickly say, “I just mean, mom, that I have it under control! You don’t need to worry about it. Really….it’s all good.” Even better, I’m sure, after a little speech about motherhood, worrying, and a reminder of how to speak to his mom.
I’m hoping that this “teachable moment” convinced my son that the word “nag” in all its forms should be banished from his vocabulary. In future relationships with women, it will get him nowhere….fast. In fact, I think it’s worse than using the “bitch” moniker because at least bitch comes with attitude and backbone. (“I’m sorry honey, you have that wrong, I’m not a nag, I’m a bitch!” A lady could strut away from that. But “I’m a nag!”? Hardly strut-able.)
Not to say that the “nag” name doesn’t have power. Oh yes, it does. In fact, I think it’s a power eater. It’s dismissive, condescending, and ugly. In one fell swoop, you can say to someone: what you’re asking/telling me is insignificant, I’m above you and what you say, and you’re unattractive when you say it. All of that just by saying: “Quit nagging me.” Or “Don’t be such a nag.” Or “Nag. Nag. Nag. It’s all you do!” You get the idea.
But, how can one little word have so much power? Well, we all know evil-power words exist: bitch, of course, is one. Most of the others have 4 letters in them. And I think Nag is like that. It should be categorized as a four letter word. Don’t you agree, ladies, that its use should be off limits? Or at least have restricted usage like that of swear words?
This is why I teach my son that he just should not use the word. Period.
And I really thank my mother-in-law for not allowing it in her house either.
This concludes another view from my married life.