Friday, June 15, 2012

Comfort (and maybe joy?)




Have I ever told you how much I love Newfoundland? No? Well, I do, my arms can't stretch out wide enough to show you. Over the past eight years more and more treasures have been revealed to me. Not just the scenery, that is a class unto itself. But so are the people. And the words.

Holy Hannah - the words. Comfort is an ordinary word you'd think. Not so in Newfoundland.

It's used both as a noun and verb here. Meaningfully. You get an old fellah and an old gal, both widowed. And they hook up. They mightn't shack up as Revenue Canada would immediately start shaving away at their single status Canada Pension and Old Age Security - fellah and gal now being coupled and domiciled at one address. No, they maintain separate addresses, usually.

Now how would you describe such a relationship?

Well, they are each other's "comfort". Oh, Eddie up the road? Oh, his comfort is Annie, lives down by the church. And vice versa.

No one thinks twice about it. I was delighted to see it formalized in an obit in the paper recently and shared it with my daughter.

John Smith (pseudonyym) survived by his comfort Shirley Murphy.

My neighbour Gracie (5 years older than me) is currently in the enviable position of having two comforts and she shares her time equally with them both, one is 87, the other is a spry young fellow of 62. She has tremendous difficulty wiping the smile off her face and tells me she looks forward to going to her own home for a night or two for a rest.

I've no idea how to get a bit of comfort for myself. Perhaps I should hang out a shingle?

"Comfort both offered and received. No strings attached."

And now I can't pass a Comfort Inn without an internal giggle overtaking me.

28 comments:

  1. Hang out a shingle? - be warned, you'll have a queue down to the gate.

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  2. Lots of that around here. But giving a name to it is quite nice.

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  3. An excellent new meaning for an old word. Though I guess Revenue Canada have stumbled on the new meaning by now. Better not use it too freely!

    Yes, Comfort Inn takes on a whole new meaning as well....

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  4. Comfort is great, but I think your neighbour Gracie should "share". OMG, hogging the comfort!

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  5. RJA:
    I am so taken with your rather high estimation of my attraction!!
    XO
    WWW

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  6. Hattie:
    Lots of it everywhere but "formalizing" it is rather satisfying.
    XO
    WWW

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  7. Nick:
    Maintaining the two residences is the key to keeping CRA away.

    XO
    WWW

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  8. Annie:
    I've asked her to but she tells me to go find my own. I ask her where and she says "they're loads of 'em around". It's true. Men seem to outlive women here. At least in my outport.

    Maybe I'm far too fussy.

    XO
    WWW

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  9. I don't think I could handle one of them, let alone two. I think I could stand one for a few hours in the afternoon maybe, but that's it. xox

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  10. I love that! Perhaps I'll start calling my spousal equivalent my "comfort" instead of "my sweetheart."

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  11. Irene:
    Oh you'd be in charge, you determine the level of comfort afforded by you. :)
    XO
    WWW

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  12. GGF:

    It is a lovely word, isn't it?

    XO
    WWW

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  13. Now that you mention it, a little comfort would warm the cockles of my heart!

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  14. LOL! Way to go y'all in Newfoundland!

    It gives those "tidings of comfort and joy" a whole new meaning!
    :-)

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  15. Ah, sure GM cockles wouldn't be the only thing that'd be warmed surely? :)
    XO
    WWW

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  16. T:

    Could use me some tidings alright!

    XO
    WWW

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  17. Ha ha, I love it. Perfect word. I could use some "comfort" myself but only in small doses. But not exactly sure how to go about finding me some LOL and no, I don't want to hang out a shingle ... :)))
    C

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  18. I agree with you, that is a delightful way of describing the state of non-but yes-coupledom. Comfort is what it is, after all, yet none of the sock and underwear washing that goes with co-habitation, I take it? Surely thats the only reason Gracie's smile is as broad as it is?

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  19. Carol:
    I don't either. I fear it would be in the style of the single marriage proposal I've had out here and it went along the lines of:

    "I'm very clean and take of myself."

    Seriously. Someone had to translate it for me.

    XO
    WWW

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  20. Friko:
    You nailed it. Yes. There would be smiles everywhere if we limited ourselves to comforts.
    XO
    WWW

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  21. If you hang out the shingle, will you let me jump the queue when I land up?

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  22. Now now Ramana, deferred gratification is a sign of maturity how about I save the best for last?
    XO
    WWW

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  23. Fascinating. I never know what I'll find here.

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  24. I never gave much thought to Newfoundland other than as a distant northern country from the USA until I became quite enraptured by The Shipping News years ago. I am left with a sense there is an attractive fierceness about the country.

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  25. I hadn't read all your post about the "comfort" terminology before making my previous comment -- which is still true. However, I think these "comfort" relationships exist in the U.S., too, but they haven't yet adopted that term as far as I know. Wonderful, it's now been officially used in written publication. Come to think of it, I believe the term I've seen used here is "companion." Perhaps they should be combined.

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  26. BWT ~ keeps you on your toes, doesn't.

    From anchors to sewing needles as we say here...

    XO
    WWW

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  27. BWT:
    I serve at your pleasure, sir!
    XO
    WWW

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  28. Joared:

    I don't think someone's comfort needs any qualification. it stands sturdily all by its little old self. :)

    XO
    WWW

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