I'm back from "the ledge," but we'll see if my blood pressure thinks so. I get it checked again tomorrow after registering 186 last week. A little chainsaw therapy helped this weekend. I was apparently really into what I was doing as I had no idea that Dear Husband took several pictures of me in the act.
As I've described in the past, I like to run the chainsaw and the big ass lawnmower. I also like to drive my Grandpa's 1967 Chevy pickup around our property. It is in its original condition and it has a standard transmission and groans and whines and lurches as we go. Recently, the entire family crammed into the cab--Dear Husband, the two wee ones, and I took the wheel. The kids and I giggled ourselves into tears as we lurched the entire drive to the edge of the woods. Dear Husband was not amused, so I remind him that it was his idea to let me drive.
It turns out that I'm not a very refined person. Yes, I have an advanced degree. Yes, I work a in a very skilled profession. Furthermore I consider myself to be a Christian, but I refuse to be pious. I hate to be stereotyped or shoved in a box, and this may contribute to why I am the way I am.
While I am not one to cuss, I apparently use a few words and phrases that tend to offend some. Personally, I am amused that the things I say would offend given that the "f word" is not a part of my routine vernacular, and other than that the most colorful I get would be an occasional "damn" or "shit" if I'm really tweaked about something. It certainly isn't every day and prolly not even once a month that one of those words slips my tongue. However, I have been known to utter words like "ass" (which I didn't even know was a cuss word) or "crap," or phrases like "pissed off!" which I also didn't know some people loosely categorize as cussing.
I learned that some consider "ass" as a cuss word when I was teaching freshman / sophomore psychology at the local Christian University as an adjunct professor several years ago. A student complained on their evaluation form at the end of the term that I cussed in class. I was thoroughly puzzled until I finally remembered a particular lecture that included a real life example of a child I was seeing for therapy whose father was a pedophile and who had sexually abused this child. I made some comment regarding the formal questioning of this creep in determining if he were guilty or not of the crime. I think the comment was something like, "What I really wanted to do was nail his ass to the wall!" What's the big deal? He's a pedophile! I think "ass" is a pretty mild reference to make! Nonetheless, I took the initiative to discuss the incident with my department chair, who never questioned me at all and who simply suggested that some would consider "ass" crude vernacular but that is also dependent on which part of the country you live in (he is a social psychologist). I was never chastised for it, and I continued to be asked back to teach. I also continued casual use of the word "ass"--just not in my classes anymore.
A couple weeks ago I had two teachers in my daughter's homeschool co-op class report to me that my darling daughter had gotten angry with the boys in her class that would not share toys with her and said something like, "These boys are just really pissing me off!" Yes, it's a Christian co-op, but I honestly didn't think this was such a big deal. I guess I don't think saying or even being "pissed off" is "un-Christian," and if it is, you better just count me out now. Don't forget how Jesus threw over the tables of the moneychangers in the synagogue. I think it is fair to say He was a little pissed off!
At any rate, my daughter was asked to use better words to express her feelings, and she rephrased it as, "I'm am feeling really frustrated with these boys!" Okay, I agree, the second option is a bit more classy and mature. Whatever.
I dare say that I also don't find "crap" that offensive. My casual use of this word was also reflected the other day when I was excited over my idea to teach my children to make paper hats. I thought this would be fun, and so I looked up a quick how-to online and found instructions complete with step by step photos. Dear Daughter couldn't wait to see the pics I pulled up on the computer, so I left her to study them while I headed to the wood pile to gather some fuel to stoke up the fire before we got started on the hat project. Dear Daughter met me at the back door where I was heading back in with my arms full of wood. Her face was a bit long as she stated that these hats were not what she was expecting. I asked her what she was expecting, and she replied, "Well, it's just that these hats are going to look like crap!" Apparently I should have asked her to rephrase how she felt about this, but instead I just busted up laughing.
In summary, I've been really pissed off at how the election went, and I think we're in for a heap of crap the next four years. However, dwelling on this concept while trying to deal with numerous other stressors in my life right now is only raising my blood pressure. So I decided to work my ass off today to vent some steam.