expletives

Apparently Fridays Can Suck Too

It’s possible I might be in an especially raw phase. I cried at least 5 times this week. I just finished crying in fact. And I might cry more. The jury is out although it would be nice if they would give me a heads up.

I blame Mercury Retrograde. Yes. We are in that lovely period in which Mercury likes to fuck with us. I have an entire post planned on it if I can get past this week because I have a lot of Mercury in my natal chart, so I am essentially fucked.

I hope you don’t mind expletives. I am quite fluent with them these days. I always liked them and used them before, but now, it’s like my native tongue. Makes me think of when I returned home from college the first few times. My aunts and my mom looked at each other knowingly as the expletives rolled off my tongue. A look I learned to decipher as, “oh, so cute! College girl thinks she has grown up!”

I don’t like to feel that anything is overwhelming for me. At all. But I’m also human and apparently have pesky things called feelings, and they can be hurt and trampled on too. That really destroys my vibe as someone who is above that sort of thing, but here we are.

And 12-year-olds are especially good…exquisitely good…at picking out your weaknesses and trampling all over them gleefully.

He’s apologized. I’m sulking and trying not to cry again. It’s fine. It’s fine. It’s all fine. I am both 15 and 44 and that’s a weird place to be.

It’s just…one minute you are going along thinking – not that you have it together – fuck no. Never that. But that you are managing things. You are getting by (that is a bar set very low). And then, something emotionally sideswipes you and you realize you have nothing together, your life is shit, and it’s like a bucket of ice-cold water has been dropped over your head. Everything you believed is a joke. You know shit. This week has been an entire week of this. And believe me, my expectations are very low. And somehow that hurts even more.

And when you try so hard to look like you have it together, that you are keeping everything together, it’s like an extra low blow. Especially when you are trying to look towards the future and try to make plans – you know “be optimistic”: the universe guffaws (maybe in a nicotine-deadened croaky voice), “ha ha ha. Why did you ever think you could do anything like that? Achieve anything like that? You are FUCKED!”

Like I said. Expletives are my lingua franca these days.

Just think of me as a crab: hard exoskeleton, soft underbelly. That’s what I feel like.

***

But it’s not all doom and gloom. Today is Manufacturing Day. I’ve posted about this day for many years, but please think of the manufacturers in your area and thank them, support them, vote for legislation friendly to them. Manufacturing is so important to our economy and, frankly, fascinating! Someone said on a call today, “manufacturing has changed!” And that is so true. It is very different than what it used to be, and I want us to get to a point where we can visit plants again (damn COVID) so people can see what it is like now. I could think of a zillion types of tours to plan to showcase the various products made in NC, and I know my colleagues across the nation could do the same. I love Manufacturing Day. It inspires me, and I love trying to figure out best how to highlight what all we make. And the truth is that if we as a nation no longer make things, we are doomed. If I, a prissy English major who had never been exposed to manufacturing prior to 2000, can find it fascinating, I guarantee that you can too.

***

And welcome October. It’s time to get out my Halloween villages and set up a few things. I love October. I love the leaves changing. I love knowing we are getting to the end of the year and the shortest day of the year. It appeals to something primal in me. I have 20 pairs of Halloween socks. I love it. Today, October 1, also marks the 11th month since Jimmy died. I am stunned it is month 11 already.

Life and feelings ebb and flow. Flow and ebb. Emotions come and go. Go and come. You do your best. It’s all you can do.

And, well, fuck it, right? You knew I couldn’t end without an expletive 🙂

Someone Get Me a Swear Jar

We need a swear jar.  I know I wrote a few months ago about how we might need a swear jar when some of Daniel’s words starting sounding like expletives, but I think we really need one now.

It’s been a stressful time in my house, which you might have gathered.  One night a few weeks ago, I uttered a very loud, expressive “Jesus Christ” when Jimmy and I were recounting our days.  It probably sounded more like “JEEZUS K-RIST!”  About two seconds later, Daniel mimicked me with an utterly adorable and enthusiastic “Jesus Christ.”  We laughed, and I muttered something about being more careful.

A few days later, MIL and I were chatting, and she mentioned Daniel’s new phrase.  And that it sounded more like swearing than a sweet call to our Lord and Savior.  Sheepishly, I admitted that Daniel might have heard the phrase at home and that said phrase might have been used as an expletive.  Ha ha ha.

Cue to the church.

Last Friday was Mum’s funeral mass.  Daniel behaved beautifully despite the mass being during nap time (he’s fascinated with music, so the many songs helped).  After the mass, we proceeded outside for the internment of Mum’s ashes.  It was a tiny space, and Daniel, Jimmy and I were very close to the priest.  The priest began to speak.  I can’t remember what he said except that it contained a lot of “Praise Jesus.”  During that sacred time when I should have been focusing on Mum, I had a horrible thought.  What if my toddler, hearing the many “Praise Jesuses,” decided to add a boisterous “Jesus Christ” of his own which the priest would have heard easily?  I would have been mortified.

I steeled myself for it, but thankfully, that moment never came.  Daniel can exclaim “Jesus Christ” every day if he likes (ok, so no he can’t) because I am SO RELIEVED that he did not do it at his great-grandmother’s funeral mass.

So yeah, I need a swear jar.

And why was everyone so quick to assume he learned it from me?

Counting Expletives

Daniel is fascinated with the alphabet and numbers right now and loves saying the letters and counting out loud. While his overall pronunciation is good, he has a little trouble pronouncing some letters and numbers correctly. Some of his mispronunciation is adorable, such as the way he says seven “heh heh” and X “eck eck.” One mispronunciation verges on profane. MIL pointed out yesterday that the way he says six sounds like “shit.” Today I listened closely, and sure enough, she’s right. Right now, it’s adorable, but I wonder what reactions we will get the first time he says it at preschool or in public!?!?

I’m rather fond of expletives, and they slip out of my mouth fairly easily. I like to explain this by noting that I have a degree in English and that naturally I’m a fan of all of the language and its uses, including its bad words. Yeah, that’s pretentious. The truth is that I really like the punch an expletive gives a sentence. Sometimes nothing conveys your meaning better than a profanity. Daniel is saying new words constantly and is entering that mimic stage, so J and I have talked about how we need to tone down any salty language. We might even put a fine system in place. A quarter a bad word perhaps? Or maybe I can take this opportunity to come up with substitutes that provide the same punch as the real word. The “Frak” used in Battlestar Galactica might work.

When I was little, my younger cousin and I taught his little sister how to cuss. Nothing cuter than a toddler saying bad words, right? We thought it was hysterical, but looking back with mommy eyes, I’m appalled!

***

J and I have birthdays roughly two weeks apart in September and we celebrated them at The Angus Barn on Friday night. Daniel stayed with MIL, and we had a very rare night alone. It was great being able to sleep in, but we both kept commenting on how quiet the house was without Daniel (though our three cats tried very hard to make up for it). When J returned from picking up Daniel on Saturday, Daniel’s pitter patter on the floor and his excited “Mommy” were the sweetest sounds. Within a few minutes, we were watching cartoons, listening to him roll his trains across the floor and talk to them. Noise. Perfect.

Cuddling Daddy after coming home