Well, Scotty did a spot about the most functional English word right after Jeanie asked the question "What does your family say 'when the wheels begin to wobble'?" I'd like to say that, as a good God fearing Christian woman who goes to church every Sunday (out of choice, not obligation), that when I am annoyed, 'when the wheels begin to wobble', I say, "Drat." or "Oh, bother!" or maybe "Phooey." The sad truth of the matter is I come from a long line of cussing people. If I'm really pissed, I tend to say that. In those words. I'm better than I was pre-God, better than I was when I was in the Army surrounded by men, where I discovered that the best defense was being just one of the guys, better than I was when I was in my very angry family, and yelling was the best way to be sure that your point was made. Still, I imagine that God is not going to be happy with some of my exclamations during times of duress, and I imagine that I'll be wriggling with embarrassment when I stand before Him. I do try to watch my mouth, but, forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. More than usual lately, what with work and all.
I guess I don't guard my tongue nearly as much as I used to, when my kidlets were small. I was pretty good back then. Let me tell you why. One day, when Cara was, oh, say, between 2 and 3, a cute curly headed little blonde haired moppet who looked like an angel, I was driving my Honda Accord to pick up her brother from pre-school. We lived out in the country in Midland, Michigan, and I was driving into the town. I came to an intersection, and even though the light was green, I slowed down. I don't know why, to this very day, but I'm sure glad that I did, because a car ran that red light at a very high speed. If I had not slowed, he'd have broadsided me. It was close, one of those heart stopping moments, where you're aware of the child strapped in her little car seat, and how close you all came to serious, serious damage/injury, but there is no excuse at all for what popped out of my mouth. None. "Stupid m------f-----!" Understand, this is one of those phrases which is so vulgar that no mother would dream of popping out with it. It certainly was not a phrase I used. AT ALL. I had however grown up with that sort of language. I'd been in the Army, and heard it, plenty. I just didn't talk like that. Seriously. Anyhow, I went on about my business, and forgot the whole incident.
Fast forward. The following Sunday, we are headed to church. I'm a licensed Lay Minister, and the priest was not going to be there. I was doing the service, and nervous about it, trying to go over all the things in my head, afraid I'd forget something. My ex-husband was driving, and he was angry about something -who knows what?- and ranting. "Please," I said, "Can't this wait until after church? I'm nervous, and I need some quiet time." and "Brian, please, quit yelling. I am asking you please, please stop." and "I really can't do this now." He was really mad though, about whatever it was, and by the time that we got into town, he was screaming. Three children sat quietly in the backseat. Until Cara spoke up. In her piping little angelic voice, she said, "Mommy? Is Daddy a stupid m------f------?" I got my quiet time. Oh gees. The man of wrath was shocked speechless. When he did get words to speak again, the rant was taken to a whole new level, because now he was in the car with a hypocrite and a liar and he was quite sure that I should not be in a church at all, deceiving the people there, and he began threatening to turn around and take us all home, afraid as he was that I would embarrass him in front of God and God's people. It was not a glorious moment to hear your ugliest words burst from the lips of your sweet baby. I might go to hell for my language, but hopefully God will see how hard I tried. When Cara asked her question, I did not, as was my first impulse, turn to her and say, "Yes, darling. Why, yes, he is." Seems like God should factor that in, don't you think?