[wine bottle label — assuming that they mean gentlemen and gentlewomen]
I gave up cursing for Lent. It’s gotten really bad with me: that long lead in to the 2016 Presidential elections and then the actual election followed by a year of political fall-out and just about the worst time I can ever remember in our country for a social fabric, a moral compass, a bit of compassion for one’s fellow man. Face it. It’s a sucky time to be an American. People are looking for countries to emigrate to (don’t lie — you know you kicked around on the New Zealand website, and Canada is looking better every second, even with the extreme cold).
The only release I have is through language, writing, and yes, thank you, cursing. But when I’m dropping f-bombs every other sentence, sometimes twice in a sentence, then things have gotten entirely out of hand, just like American politics. My father used to say he had a daughter with a mouth like a longshoremen — he was no Puritan when it came to language, believe me — but I fear the level and intensity of my epithets would make even him blush.
For me, cursing is both fun and emotive, a pressure relief valve when the insanity of the world gets to be too much. A well-chosen curse word can release mounds of anxiety, keeping me from exploding — a distinct possibility in this life and these times. When I told my daughter of my plan, she yielded to paroxysms of laughter and then snap chatted all her friends with the news. As if! I know. There’s no way, right? So instead, I’ve instituted a penalty system in an effort to curb my overzealous utterances.
Let’s be realistic. Unless our elected representatives all retire en masse or lose at midterm elections and are replaced by people who are actually in possession of a heart, then my cursing is not going to end any time soon. So I’m charging myself $0.25 cents every time I curse. Lest you think that’s cheap, Lent started Wednesday and by midday Saturday, the jar had more than $8 in it. It’s going to be an expensive forty days, but at the end of that time, I’m donating the money to Union of Concerned Scientists because, well, science. Maybe my money will help them do something about the climate change deniers in D.C. Maybe they’ll find a way to keep the planet from running out of water in 30 years as it’s projected to do. Or maybe they’ll find a solution to any one of the myriad problems threatening our way of life with extinction.
Now that I think about it, maybe I need to start cursing more.