It never rains but it pours
Posted by ESC on November 20, 2003
In Reply to: 2 problems - Jack Robinson posted by James Briggs on November 20, 2003
: : hi all I was wondering if somebody could help me out,I need to know who came up with the phrases "Before you can say jack robinson" and "it never rains but it pours" all help much appreciated
: : thanks wez
: Before you can say "Jack Robinson" is a way of expressing immediacy; something will be done straight away. There is one suggested origin involving the habit of an eccentric gentleman who was renowned for his constant change of mind. He often abandoned a social call and you had to be quick to catch Jack Robinson. This is the origin given in 1811.
: The French have an even less likely version. In the old days Robinson (from Robinson Crusoe) was a popular name for an umbrella. When these umbrellas were first introduced they were highly fashionable. The story goes that the gentry, at the first sign of rain, would call their servant, inevitably named Jacques, to raise the umbrella. The call was, of course, one of "Jacques, Robinson!"
: The reader may take or leave these offerings as they please.
: There is a third possibility, one which I find the most acceptable. Between 1660 and 1679 the Officer Commanding the Tower of London was one Sir John Robinson. It may be that the speed of beheading with an axe, something regularly done in the Tower at that time, may be the basis, Jack being a well known form of John.
I don't have much to add about Jack. One reference -- "Hog on Ice & Other Curious Expressions" (1948, Harper & Row) by Charles Earle Funk -- says the expression "arose during the latter part of the eighteenth century" and nobody knows who Jack Robinson was.
IT NEVER RAINS BUT IT POURS - "One stroke of good (or ill) fortune is often followed by many other instances of luck (or misfortune) when you least expect them. The proverb dates back to the eighteenth century. In 1726, English physician John Arbuthnot (1667-1735), published a book entitled 'It Cannot Rain But It Pours.' Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) and Alexander Pope (1688-1744) collaborated on an essay entitled 'It Cannot Rain But It Pours.' The saying has been use ever since." From "Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings" by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996). The saying, in a slightly different form, is the slogan for Morton Salt: ".The company developed a salt that would be free-running even in damp weather. In 1911, a little girl with an umbrella and her now-famous slogan, 'When It Rains It Pours,' were created to promote this new product in a national consumer advertising campaign. The Morton Umbrella Girl and slogan first appeared on the blue package of table salt in 1914. Throughout the years the ageless girl has changed dresses and hairstyles to stay fashionable. She was updated in 1921, 1933, 1941, 1956 and 1968. Together they have symbolized the growth and progress of the company through the years." From http://www.mortonsalt.com/consumer/about_us/history/index.htm
My husband of 48 years died in early December. He had been ill for some time and though there was an expectation that he would die, it was still was and is a blow, a shock, a kick. During the summer, I began experiencing a great deal of back pain and by the fall I was having great difficulty walking. I finally had an MRI and the neurosurgeon said I needed immediate surgery. I had the surgery and Steve died while I was in the hospital. The icing on the cake was that after the surgery, I still could not walk and discovered that I needed a hip replacement.
The transition from being part of a couple to widow, the transition from being someone in excellent health to someone who was temporarily unable to walk, seemed impossible to deal with. How could I even begin to think of a blog about coping? And then it hit me, why not look at the ways one might cope with multiple transitions? Is there something to be learned from my experience that could help others?
We can probably all think of a time when life was overwhelming. The critical question is what can you do? How can you cope with multiple transitions?
• Take a moratorium from reading and TV. Sometimes when you can't deal with the reality of what is going on, you should step back and take a breather (if you can) from thinking. I spent hours just resting and listening to music.
• Delegate—the most immediate issue was to have a proper end of life experience for my husband. My adult children filled in for me during the time I was in the hospital. They were with Steve every minute and after the surgery brought me home from the rehab facility for a few hours at a time to be with him.
• Separate the issues—focus on what you can control. I could not control death but I could control my reaction to my physical problems and do as much physical therapy as possible so that I could get better. I consulted with a number of doctors to find out the best course of action for me to follow.
• Be Patient—grieve for what has been lost and know that there will be time to start regrouping and finding a life without Steve. Don't rush it. Just believe that it will happen.
Nancy K. Schlossberg
Author, Overwhelmed: Coping with Life's Ups and Downs