I normally write these weekly posts focused around a real word, not a sound. So many slang words have made their way into our culture, dialect and even Webster’s, but not ah-h-h.
I did Google it (seriously is there anything you can’t Google) and I found a few definitions. The Dictionary of interjections, defines it as understanding (Ah-h, yes I understand). Urban Dictionary defines it as “the sound made after receiving sex/food.” Another example is the sound you make when the doctor tells you to — “Open up and say ah-h-h,” whilst shining a tiny flashlight in there.
My meaning is the feel-good one (surprise, surprise) the sound you make, the feeling you have when all is right with the world. At that time, in that moment, it’s so right and so wonderful, you emit a soul-satisfying Ah-h-h.
Things That Make You Go Ah-h-h
Ah-h-h, it’s involuntary most of the time.
Sometimes it is great food or sex as Urban Dictionary defines. Or a fine wine. Being published for the first time. Sitting on a beach and looking at a clear blue ocean while listening to some tropical-sounding music that made me feel as if time was standing still. Our trip to Nantucket. Marrying hubby.
Then again sometimes, it’s the simplest things. When I was on my own for a few years, I was intent on having my own stuff. Things that were just me. School, traveling and buying my own place were at the top of my list. Each accomplishment brought me closer to discovering who I was, what I wanted out of this life.
When I bought my home, I was thrilled. That was during a time when I was so busy going to school and working, I barely had time to stay home but it was a big a-h-h moment for me when I signed those papers — when I had something that was solely me, mine.
I’d scour flea markets buying second-hand furniture and refurbish or repaint it and just delight in making my house a home. Two sawhorses and a door became a desk. A rickety bench, tightened, then scraped and painted a bright blue would become a sitting place near the front door. I’d unscrewed the seat and recovered the worn material in a funky fabric.
I’d continue to pick up things here and there when I could. One day I spotted a cast-iron tub — the real deal — the heavy, hundred-pound kind with lion’s claw feet. I haggled with the seller and got a great deal and with the help of the friend who’d come with me, loaded it into a truck and brought it home. Where it sat in my garage. I vowed one day I was going to redo my bathroom and put it in there. I never did. It sat in my garage and each time I’d go out to my garage to pull my car out, there it would be. I’d sigh imagining how wonderful it would look and feel inside my home.
After finding out just how much it would cost to redo a bathroom, I knew I wouldn’t be able to swing it anytime soon. My garage had four windows, across the top of it. I made curtains for the garage door, secured a rod over the top of them and hung them up so that when the garage door was closed, there was no way any one could peer in. A backdoor led out to the backyard — I curtained it too. I bought a rubber bathtub stopper.
I heated water on my stovetop and pot by pot, splashed water into that tub until it was full, putting bubble bath in so that I could do it up right. I plugged in a portable stereo (this was the 90s before iPods), brought a glass of wine out to the garage. I had a little table, within arm’s reach, next to the tub. The wine, books and candles lined the surface of the table.
The first time I did this, it was truly an ah-h-h experience. I know what you’re thinking, but seriously — don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. It felt old-fashioned, glamourous, kind of artsy. Ah-h-h. And yeah, okay, I took a few more baths in my garage. Don’t judge me.
I eventually sold my home and the tub. But to this day, that memory makes me smile and I loved that me then, that woman who took risks and if she couldn’t do something one way, she’d figure out another way. It was fun. Bold. Adventurous. All kinds of ah-h-h.
That’s what I’m working on now. Determined to experience as many ah-h-h moments as I can because seriously that’s what makes life worth living, don’t you think?
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When’s the last time you had a nice ah-h-h? (Be nice :) ) Was it a place? A person? An event? An accomplishment? Becoming a mother/father? A job? A puppy? A thing? A sunset? Think about it and please share.