Saturday, June 30, 2012

Shuts Don't Go Up

When I was in high school, we took Driver's Ed from Coach Blue.  He was an old, wizened man who did not take any stuff from anyone.  On the first day of stick shift, I found myself behind the wheel without a clue what I was doing.  Biting my bottom lip, I attempted to change gears, but to no avail.  Coach Blue, however, thought that facial expression was the beginnings of the "F" word, and promptly removed me from the car.  I have never driven stick again.

So, as you can imagine, driving has always been a hot button for me.  And I live in a big city, so when I am in traffic, sometimes things are said that should not be.  I think one of my daughter's first words was "gasshole."

I worked for a Methodist Church for several years after I had my second child. If you have never worked for a religious organization, please don't assume that it is cherubs and jelly beans. Those people were cray-cray. And while I do consider myself a spiritual person, I don't observe every single Christian event. So, when my boss, the Senior Pastor Of The Church, stopped by my office and asked me what I was giving up for Lent, I panicked and hastily said, "Cussing." He thought that was the funniest thing anyone had ever said, thanks to my straight-laced persona, and that story followed me for the rest of my career there.

But the truth is, I did NOT give up cussing for Lent.  I cuss prolifically and quite beautifully.  My children scold me and cry, my husband acts mortified and rolls his eyes --- but you can't change a tiger's stripes. 

Being inappropriate comes up a lot at our house.  

For instance, my daughter just got back from lacrosse sleep-away camp at a college, where apparently, her roommate's language could rival that of a sailor. My sweet princess was shocked and dismayed at the words that were uttered in her presence. And then she proceeded to tell me about the prank calls, noise disturbance warnings, and broken beds that all occurred by her hand.

For another instance, my son was at a neighbor boy's house yesterday. They were playing baseball and my son started singing a song about how the pitcher is a belly-itcher and a farter. He was immediately told by his friend that "fart" was not said in that house. Ten minutes later, the friend's little brother dropped trou in the back yard and peed on a bush.

So my question to you is, do we live in a world of double-standards?  Is some cussing OK, as long as it is properly placed and approved by the head of household?  Are you still a virtuous person if you don't cuss but engage in public nudity and vandalism?  Which sins are socially acceptable?  Which make you far more interesting?

I told my son that he needed to observe the rules of the house in which he was playing, but that when he Skyped his cousin later that night, they could talk about farts to their hearts' content.  (They did.)  And I told my daughter that while Mama struggles with bad words, it does not make you look pretty, and should not become a habit.  And then I gave her the keys to the car and told her not to get caught with that beer in the front seat.   

I kid. She's only 12.  Of course, she thinks she is all grown up now, but that's another blog. 

Just remember, we all mess up.  Some of us do it in more entertaining ways than others, but regardless, we should always assume that when Mama cusses, it is for a VERY good reason.

Until next time, keep crowin' and keep it clean!

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