Sunday, February 24, 2013

Could it have been something I said?


More commonly translated in prime time as: “Blankety-blank-blank ….bleeeeeeeeeeeeeeep!!!!”

Evidently, I had children … then became a truck driver.

That's what my husband likes to tell people, anyway.

It's true.

I could make a better effort to bury the unmentionable words in my vocabulary.

But I don't. Stubbing my toe. ... Stepping on a pointy building block in my bare feet. … Finding the bathroom toilet overflowing after a roll's worth of paper had been stuffed inside. … All of these occurrences seem appropriate reasons for inappropriate words.

I may not be able to knit yarn into a scarf, but I can knit together a stream of expletives that could make a teenager's hair curl.

It hadn't always been this way, although, over the years, it has ebbed and flowed.

There was a time in my life when I just didn't like the sound of swear words.

I blanched upon hearing them; wanted to crawl under the floorboards and disappear.

I was probably seven.

Of course, I outgrew it.

By the time I graduated from college I had not only earned a degree in Fine Art, I had gained mastery level skills in profanity.

Still, it was just another phase that would be sloughed off for self preservation (also known as trying to impress potential employers) as I was trying to feign adulthood.

By the time I got married I was almost tame, with only the most intentioned of lapses. Why, I'd even taken to flipping friends “The Wrong Finger” (index) for comic effect.

But then kids came along and somehow my nose must have grown so immense that I could no longer even see my mouth let alone watch it.


“You said a bad a word,” my kids sing in that accusatory tone no one (and I mean NO ONE) likes. Children are such goody-two-shoes. It's disgusting.

“There are no 'bad' words,” I insist. “There are just words that are inappropriate to use at certain times and under certain conditions.”

Such as when grandma is visiting.

Or during math class.

When you're at a play date at a friend's house. ... or just generally when any adult is potentially listening.

“You don't want to be that kid. … You know, the kind of kid who outs their parents as uncultured swine.”

“Or the kid no one invites back,” my daughter quips.

She's so smart.

Yet here we find ourselves, often in public, looking pink in the cheeks, wondering if we actually heard what we think we heard coming out of our cherubic kindergartener's mouth.

“What did you say?” I'll ask incredulously then quickly add “we don't use words like that” so the lady to behind us in line knows how perfectly I parent.

To which he'll laugh,“Yeah, right. Remember when you burned your hand this morning on the frying
pan? What did you say?”

“Fudge puddles? I believe I said 'Fudge puddles.”

“Might have been Cheez-its?

“Oh, oh, wait … I know … It was Smothers Brothers!!!”

He just shook his head.

The lady behind us changed lines.

I'm sure it couldn't have been anything I said.

No comments: