Slecht Papier, Dutch for “Bad Paper”, pronounced slekt pah-peer rolling the “r”.
I’d never heard of this term until I moved here to Belgium. Bad paper as in paper you’ve written on, or “ridden on” in this case. It’s slang for, essentially, a bad lay. The kind of lay you want to forget about, that was most likely and very heavily alcohol-induced. Not just a one-night stand or a random hook-up but the kind of sex you have with someone you never want to be reminded you had sex with, ever again.
I’m not quite sure if it’s regional slang or if it’s slang used on a national level here in Belgium, but it’s new to me and it’s often used in my house. Most recently today, at the supermarket, by my husband Davy.
We were standing at the check-out line, me and Davy and our little Noah in his stroller, at the supermarket. I had no idea yet that we’d be rung up for nearly $200 in groceries for our relatively small grocery run. And only on our way out to the car did Davy lean over to me with a “Ahhhh, one of my bad papers is here,” to which I responded by giving myself whiplash in an attempt to lay my eyes on someone my husband of two years had slept with twice as many years ago.
Davy, a smart and particularly delicious cookie, had waited until we were out of earshot of the store to tell me his bad paper had been standing right behind us quietly with her head down the whole time I was bent over baby-talking with Noah. But I’ve been in her shoes before and I’m happy to have a husband who spared her of awkward conversation and stares. And I’m happy I was dressed to impress as I usually am when out in the public eye, because really the point here is that you should always look as delicious as possible, in case of just these kinds of unexpected “sightings”.
But the more important thing is that Davy and I share with each other all sorts of paper stories. We have all had our share of writing paper, some more than others, whether as old as papyrus or as new as “All The News That’s Fit To Print” fresh in this morning’s New York Times . And it’s all that paper adding up as experiences in our lives, that ultimately make us appreciate or discard the next piece of paper that comes our way.
I can say with surety that once you find the one piece of paper that you want to write all over and on the back of, and do origami with, any paper that came before you is not a threat. No paper-cuts to fear, because I know we all fear the deadly paper cut…