by Lindsay Gallagher on 01/5/2013
I know, you’ve heard it before, but if at first you can’t succeed, try try again and again and again. My New Year’s resolution is to quit cursing — again. Truly, I can’t explain my inability to stop. Perhaps it’s the cuss-ers texting while the light changes, or maybe it’s the cuss-heads who left a bag of broken rotten eggs on my stoop. (We learned this “cuss” trick from Fantastic Mr. Fox. ”You should use ‘cuss’ instead of the word, like Mr. Fox does, Mom.”) Because when something breaks or crashes or smells, or when someone is too slow or too fast or too rude (I can handle a little rude, just not too rude), the expletives fly. When I read the text Tess sent to Joe from her new metallic purple slide phone which she got from Santa but has no data plan (because Santa’s helper isn’t a cuss-ing idiot), I realized that I really should try harder to change my ways:
While I’m certain that Tess was indeed correct in her assessment of the situation and was impressed by both her brevity and the use of “an” versus “a,” that word simply does not become my child (though it obviously reflects upon her mother). The only choice I have is to incorporate some less foul descriptions into my own vocabulary, like “total jerk,” or my father’s favorite: “cretin.” The trouble is that both of those words imply stupidity, which would work for the imbecile texting driver or that dolt riding into traffic on a bicycle at night without a helmet, but not the pig with the two giant pit bulls who leaves steaming piles of dog poop on my parkway. I want to use a foul word just thinking about that guy. “Mean” is the closest I can think of for the older-brother treatment Tess was referring to, but I also infer a hint of obnoxious and lazy and probably selfish, too. Does a worthy synonym for Tess’s word exist?? If you have ideas, please share. It’s going to take a village.