Friday, January 15, 2010

Words of mouth...

I am doing my best to stop cussing. My wife Teri scolded me the day after coming home from the hospital, saying it wasn't right to use the Lord's name like that after receiving the gift of life I was just given. Who could argue with that logic? I didn't go down like a whipped puppy however, I dragged her right along with me, and said she could remove a few words from her vocabulary too. We now have an agreement.

We started a cuss jar. Every time a cuss word is spoken, a quarter is put into the jar. We couldn't afford more than that amount at this time in our life, as was quickly indicated the first few days when we both put fists fulls of shinny silver quarters in a large mouth half gallon jar, that we just left the lid off of to reduce the effort. A week later they still trickle in. We're donating the money to the mission here in town.

Mom and dad were not much on profanity. When dad died, mom later married a part time minister. I feel so guilty when a word slips out in a conversation, and have apologized for my language many times. I was raised in the inner city of Chicago, and I picked up most of my bad language habits from the street, to be cool or fit in with my peers. You would have thought a college education and 25 years in a management position would have all but erased the use of these unclean words, but not so much. As a grumpy retired man, the words seemed to have found new uses to describe my intolerance to irritating people, ideas, and events. Looking it up, I am still confused whether it is called cussing or cursing. Even though most of these words are nouns, they seem to be always used as adjectives to describe persons, events, and especially feelings.

As a loaned executive with my company, I was assigned an urban community internship in a Catholic church in Chicago. The priest was a dynamic individual, running an orphanage, a school for boys with social skill issues, a soup kitchen, and several community social programs. This man could pick up the phone and talk to the mayor, police chief, or corporate executives, and pretty much get what he needed immediately. He also cussed more than any other person I have ever met! Both men and women participated in these assignments, and his reputation was notorious with both sexes. The second worst was my X mother in law. I'll not say more about this, other than to say I am thankful that her daughter did not inherit the trait.

I will get better about controlling my words, gimmicks like the money jar keep me focused on the goal. My daughter in law Melissa came down to spend a few days during my recuperation yesterday. Our relationship, one of sarcastic humor and put downs, should help the mission in town reap vast rewards from the visit. We're both going straight to hell, I know it.


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