Many of you know that this past year I was working hard at improving myself body, soul and mind. The body part had its challenges and on a few occasions making me think the end was truly near. The mind part wasn’t too bad. I read a few books, watched a few documentaries. However, the soul part is where I was surprised to have found the greatest challenge.
When speaking of my soul I’m speaking directly of being a better person. I truly believe I have room for improvement. We all do. But the particular area I wanted to work on was my cursing.
Reducing my use of expletives has been an ongoing project for the past few years. I think I became motivated the day my father refused to ever drive with me for year because of the ‘performance’ I put on after a car cut me off on the highway had left him embarrassed and with ‘bleeding ears’. This I must say was quite a statement coming from a man whose talents in this department would impress the most hardened of gangsters.
Well, ever since that day I consciously made a decision not curse without warrant. I had criteria that had to be met. I had developed standards to elevate my behaviour from the gutter to something more dignified. For instance, if someone stole a parking space they – and everyone in the parking lot for that matter – knew I was waiting for, well I’d simply let the offense slide. Okay, I’d let it slide with the simple utterance of the word “jackass”. Why ‘jackass’? Well, it’s listed in the dictionary and is nothing more than a reference for an idiotic animal.
Over the years, the number of jackasses I came across in various situations seems to be on the decline. Perhaps it was due to maturity that I no longer felt the need to curse as much. Who knows?! Then about six weeks before my 40th birthday I LOST IT!!!
The ‘incident’ as I’ll always refer to it happened on a clear sunny July afternoon as I went to meet a friend. The weather was perfect. Driving conditions were perfect. Then it happened: a jackass reversed into the front right bumper of my car. I’m not going to bother to go into details. This isn’t a court, people. But, long-story-short, the jackass was at fault for not looking and had plenty of room to not have hit my car, whereas I had no means of escape.
After the initial shock passed, I flew out of my car demanding the jackass explain precisely what sort of donkey he was. You think this man would have retaliated or called me a name too. Nope. Instead he stood there shaking his head like a bobble-head toy with a smirk plastered on his face. In hindsight I realize his reaction may have been the result of nerves. But, that was the same moment two things happened: I felt myself ‘leave’ my body as I uttered the ‘f-word’ at this man and my friend showed up out of nowhere to help sort the situation out.
As I was ‘out’ of my body I could see my friend patiently trying to get the jackass to provide his registration and insurance details. I also saw myself in a new light: there I was a grown-assed woman, nearly forty with a great vocabulary cursing like a fish monger’s wife on market day in a parking lot full of people (Before any of you gets upset and in arms I’m referring to fish monger’s wives from the Dickensian era. So, relax!). Then it happened: I rejoined my body, took a breath and apologized to the jackass for swearing at him. Yes, I apologized to the man who damaged my car for no other reason than his own stupid carelessness. Then it was my friend’s turn to call me a jackass, but not in such direct terms.
A day or two later I was replaying the scene from the ‘incident’ in my head as I was waiting for the rental car while my own was being repaired. I was already an hour late for work and the owner of the shop still hadn’t arrived to assess my car (or whatever he needed to do) and arrange for the rental to come collect me.
“Soon come,” was what his receptionist kept telling me every 15 minutes. Then after the fourth “soon come” I realized that there might indeed be a time and place for cursing as I blurted out, “Oh, eff-it!” as I sat down to accept the cup of coffee she offered.
Now you know what comes next…
Laters & G’night,