Every once in awhile I get frustrated or angry or irate or peeved. In those instances, I have been known to let loose with a few choice words. In fact, I can curse like a sailor. It's one of my spiritual gifts, a spin-off of speaking in tongues, no doubt. Every once in a while, I'll get angry at a driver in a car talking on a cell-phone and weaving in and out of traffic and I'll let loose with a string of four-letter words which don't spell L-O-V-E or K-I-N-D or N-I-C-E. Often, I'll say to one of my sweet cherubs in the backseat, "cover your ears." Sort of my codeword for, "your step-mama's gonna say somethings that will curl your toes." They usually just giggle. They've learned.
Thankfully, our girls seem not to have suffered from my outbursts. They understand that "bad words" are a cultural construct, thanks to my sociologist husband. They understand that occasionally, one feels really good by being really bad in the way they talk. I have a friend whose children have their mouths washed out with soap for speaking a taboo word. She would argue that if our children speak this way, they'll grow accustomed to it, and they'll start to do it more often, and thus, the slippery slope begins. Pretty soon they'll be snorting cocaine and working for Halliburton. T. & B., though, have turned out pretty good, I'd say. And every once in a while when I hear a grumbled, "Damn dachshund..." come from one of my angel's lips when a tiny pile of teeny dog turdlets is found on the kitchen floor, I simply turn away and smile. It's harmless in my book. They've learned the whole, "there is a time and a place..." thing pretty well.
And so, I started this whole post to warn y'all to cover your ears (especially you sensitive Brethren who always find much kinder [or is it passive aggressive?] ways to express your anguish and anger...like drumming circles or reconciliation "encounters" or growing enormous beards if your whiskers permit).
I have been mumbling many words in the last few days about my @#$% wireless hook-up and the @#$% tech support guys who tell me to do the same @#$% thing each of the seven times I called them with all together different, and often unsuccessful results. You ask, "Contemplative Chaplain, how is it that you can post now?" Because I'm on my husband's @#$% computer which isn't @#$% wireless.
Tomorrow, the comcast dude or dudettes will come to fix the problem (or at least curse trying). And R. will greet them while I'm at work, and I'm pretty confident that they won't have to cover their ears around his more genteel speech. At least one of us is civilized, dammit.