This is the trouble with growing up polite. When I am angry, really angry, I swear like a child. A small, pigtailed, pink-dress-wearing child. Below is an actual example from last night when I accidentally put myself on the wrong side of the Potomac for my choir practice, and my friend who gives me a ride from the Metro station texted me:
Now, when I’m playing around or having fun, I swear using normal American (and occasionally British) cusswords, grown-up cusswords. If my work computer had telepathy, particularly when she fails to connect to the server, she would know a good many of them as I hiss them at her silently. My home computer knows them, particularly lately since Skype has deigned to take up up to 60% of my CPU usage, making uploading the photo above during my call with Matthew an ugly chore.
But when I’m angry? It’s all “Sugar!” and “Darn!” and “Fudge!” and “Son of a Basket!” and “Goshdarnit!”
I remember being the only 3rd grader who wouldn’t swear, when swears were new and exciting and important to sounding like an adult.
Around that time, an adult friend told me to keep my swearing to a minimum so that when I dropped an anvil on my foot, I had sufficiently big words to encapsulate the feeling.
But a few weeks ago, when I was running down the back alley trying to catch someone who’d just left the office? And I didn’t see her down the block? And this was a huge deal?
I jumped up and down, my dress shirt rutching askew.
I shook my fist and glared at where I wanted her to reappear.
And I said:
“Sugar! Goshdarnit–fudge, fudge, fudge!”
“You’ve got a lot of choices. If getting out of bed in the morning is a chore and you’re not smiling on a regular basis, try another choice.”–Steven D. Woodhull (U.S. geologist, 1976 – )