"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."
Juliet from Romeo and Juliet
I have quit swearing as a New Year's Resolution for 32 years in a row. I am not very good at it...I mean not swearing. I am good at swearing. I am not good at not swearing. I blame the British.You see, as a formative teenage girl, I lived in England. And in England...everyone swears all day long. At least that is what I remember and that is when it started for me. I still admire anyone who can confidently let forth with a good, properly placed expletive...if you must swear...say it with gusto and bravado!
Have you ever bumped into someone accidentally? You didn't mean to...you just found yourself trying to occupy the same spot as the other person at the same moment. I involuntarily apologize...always! Now, granted I am a "serial apologist" but that is another blog post. Recently...I did bump into a young woman and I immediately said "I am so sorry" I tend to do that as well! I am never just sorry...I am so sorry! The young woman replied... (this is good) she replied "WTF" ... she said "What the F&$#!" I smiled because while rude...it was funny. I then said "That would be me, I would be the "What the F&$#!" and as I walked away I could hear her saying "Oh God I am so sorry!"
Not five minutes later standing in line...two woman stood talking. One woman was telling the other a story and as she veered towards the climatic conclusion of her tale the other woman responded with " Are you "$hi&&ing me?" and the other gal said "I $hi&" you not!" For some reason at the time and even now...I think "Wouldn't it be funny to have that in a Shakespearean play?"
When I turned 50, my daughter went with me for me to get a tattoo. She had exactly the one I wanted and where I wanted it. She said that it did not hurt that much...she said something about bee stings. Now, I was having them put an Ichthus, the Christian symbol on my foot. A large man sat behind me getting a very large tattoo on his large bicep. He smiled, further proof this would be easy-peasy! As we started I said such swear words that people thought I had Tourette syndrome. Every time he stopped inking...I would apologize. "I am so sorry!" and when he would begin...I would start swearing, again. I remember my daughter clearly saying "Oh Momma, No!" It was all over in 10 long minutes. The man getting the large tattoo said nothing but his smile said everything. The tattoo artist made some remark about irony and I just got the "HE double hockey sticks" out of there! If it didn't hurt so much...I would get a St Peter's Rooster on my other foot!
Last week my daughter was telling me, over the phone about something that had happened as I rode in the car with my husband. He could only hear my side of the conversation. As I said "Huh!" He started to laugh...and then said "You know when you say Huh...You really mean WTF!" And it was true...I have started using other phrases instead of my go-to swear words. I say "Whhhhyyyy?" instead of "F&$#" and "Pooooooop" instead of "$hi&" and I shake my head and say "Bless your heart!" for "You are an "A$$" It is my hope that my legacy for my grandchildren will not be..."The grandmother who swore like a drunken sailor on shore leave!" but rather a kinder, gentler version of me! I shall keep trying...
It would seem others have a problem with swearing, too. You hear it all the time! It does bother me that others swear but not as much as it should though...I should be shocked, horrified, and so...disappointed. Since, I am giving up swearing ( I am.) I approach swearing much like a person who has given up smoking does second hand smoke...I inhale deeply. I wish there was a group similar to AA. It could be called SA, Swearing Anonymous. And we could admit that we are helpless over our addiction to a properly placed swear word. We would admit that we have harmed others in our use of those words and we would make amends to those we have harmed...Yes...we could.
2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.