You just got a text from your baby saying “my boss is such an a**!” But by the time you see it and call him up to get the scoop, he’s in the break-room sitting right next to Mr. Anus himself. He answers anyway, of course, because it’s you but starts to act all weird and uncomfy when you grill him for the details. You don’t get the hint, and you keep badgering him for details while he deflects each time. You’re thinking, what the fudge, didn’t he want to vent? He’s thinking doesn’t she get that the guy’s obviously in ear shot? Sound familiar? If it does, you two are badly in need of what The Man and I playfully like to refer to as “the code word”. What is it? A completely random, totally inconsequential, and very inconspicuous word that’s code for “I can’t talk about this right now because the person I want to talk about is close by.” It can’t be something that’s a dead giveaway like “later” or “shutdown” – no those are transparent enough for even a five-year-old to catch on to. It needs to be a word so insignificant and easy to roll of the tongue that the person you’re trying to avoid won’t even realize you’ve dropped it. Clearly, I’m not going to tell you what ours is, just in case we ever need to drop it on you, but I can tell you that if you pick the right word it will work every single time, promise!
Full Disclaimer: My oldest and best friend (who shall remain nameless) and I, being the gossiping besties we were back in middle school, originally developed this concept at the tender age of 10. We needed to be able to bring a hot topic to a quick halt with a single word and we for some crazy reason chose the word “pope”. Why pope? Well, I wish I had some super witty answer for you, but the truth is it just fit all three mandatory Operation Code Word rules: It was as random as random gets (especially for two non-Catholics to just blurt out mid-conversation), it was short enough to just drop into the middle of a sentence and go almost completely undetected by others who weren’t listening carefully, and not nearly juicy enough to spark someone else’s interest even if they did hear you say it. We tried it once, it worked like a charm, and from then on it became a regular part of our vocabularies.
Then one day we broke the one rule you that comes with using Operation Code Word, and all the fun ended. That rule is, never, ever, ever, share your code word with anyone else! This is because each person you tell becomes one more person you can’t use the word in front of and one less person you can trust to keep your secret. Once you spill the beans the jig is up. You’ll be tempted to share this super slick secret method with someone else so you can avoid sticky situations with them, but in that case you must create a new word that you and that person share, never use the word you created with someone else.
Still following? If you’re going to try this trick as a couple it’s imperative that you follow these guidelines to a tee if you want the trick to work. Once we ruined “pope” I forgot all about Operation Code Word until The Man and I got super serious and close and started having way too many of those awkward scenarios like the one I mentioned earlier. So I introduced the concept to him, schooled him on the rules, and we did a little brainstorming until we found our official code word. Again, I can’t reveal it, because that would be breaking the rules. BUT, I can tell you that every couple needs one of their own. I bet you’re already thinking about a few awkward moments from your past where having a code word might have come in handy, aren’t you? I know, it’s kinda genius. (My BFF and I proudly take full credit for the concept!) But anyway, in closing, let’s recap! Here are your notes:
Operation Code Word for Couples
Your Code Word Must Fit These Three Criteria
1. Be totally random.
2. Be short and easily inconspicuous when dropped into a sentence.
3. Lame, boring, or almost always irrelevant to most typical conversations.
The Only Rules You Need to Follow To Make It Work
Rule 1: Never ever share a code word with anyone but the person you created with.
Rule 2: Create a separate code word for each person you’re close with. (This means, parents, best friends, co-workers, whoever!)
Rule 3: Never drop the code word more than twice in the same sentence. (If you need to do this, then your partner isn’t catching on quick enough, or you’re just not slick enough. Either way, you’re gonna get caught keeping secrets.)
Rule 4: Practice makes perfect. It may sound silly at first, but you really can just throw your code word into regular conversation in a way that your partner can catch on to but the person near you cannot. Don’t believe me? I made the below SHORT instructional video to show you how to slide it in there. (Forgive the bags though, it’s seriously 1AM right now and I should be in bed.)
Okay, class is over. Have fun with it kids!