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Friday, March 19, 2010

"You're a shed!" "No, you're a shed!" "I'm telling!"

I swear.

A lot.

I have a really bad mouth. I use swear words in practically every sentence I speak. I think in swear words. I believe that I like them. I like the emphasis they bring to a statement. I like that the word itself shows my listener that I am serious. F-ing serious. I also like the many ways I can use the swear word. It can substitute for so many other words, complete phrases and even sentences. Swear words are extreme shorthand for my vocabulary.

It isn't that I don't know how to speak properly. It isn't even that I do not have a vocabulary big enough to find the word I'm trying to say. It isn't that I don't know how to audibly emphasize a word. It's just that swear words sound so much better. Bigger, better, louder...
I have always liked swearing. When I was little, my best friend and I would call each other “shed”, meaning shit-head. (Oh, how creative we were!) I would test the waters frequently around my parents, just to see what I could get away with. They said these words, too. So, why shouldn't I? Apparently, because I was too young. While my mouth was never washed out with soap, it was certainly corrected and the direct link between myself and punishment many, many times. I soon learned that away from my parents was the best place to use my language. As often as I could, I spoke the big-shot-ese, struttin' around thinking how cool I was.

But then, it wasn't because I was cool. Somehow, at some point, swearing just became part of my lingo. It isn't even swearing anymore. It is just speaking. There isn't much emphasis difference between F-U-C-K and F-O-O-D (my two favorite four-letter words, by the way!) anymore.

Why now? Why must I bring this up now?

Well, since I am writing again (HALLELUIAH!), I am noticing that, as always, I write exactly as I speak, and I speak exactly as I think. So, yes there has been some severe editing involved in prior posts (and a few in this one). I am not interested in my potty-mouth being out there for the masses. I want to write like a real writer, like someone who has actually taken classes in this, like I have. And yes, I want you to have a good opinion of me. Oh, and I do not want to have to put a parental advisory on my blog.

So, I have started small. In text messages, I have started writing “What the crap!” or “What the F!”. When commenting on my friends' facebook posts and in emails, I put the letter F instead of the full four-letter word, and no, I'm not talking about F-O-O-D this time. “Crap” has even made its way out of my mouth a few times.

Sometimes slowly. I will regard all these things as progress. Maybe one day F will not be my favorite letter, and it will only be the first letter in ONE of my favorite words. Until then, if I happen to write that I think someone is a SHED, you now know the secret language.

Oh, and if I do swear in here, it's because I want to.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


When I was in middle school, everyone had glasses and braces. Everyone, that is, except me. I desperately wanted them – both – so desperately, I continually asked to go to the eye doctor and the dentist.

My mom wouldn’t take me to the dentist. I told her my teeth hurt so bad and I thought they were moving. I wanted braces. I wanted the colored rubber bands! Unfortunately, she could see my teeth, see that they weren’t moving, that they were still perfectly straight. Curses!

I imagined that with braces, I would suddenly become a better dresser, more fashionable. I imagined standing in front of my closet, picking out the day’s outfit and the rubber bands to match. This was the late 80s, when fluorescent colors were like, totally in, and fluorescent yellows and greens and blues dominated my wardrobe. How radical would it be to totally have that color in my mouth! The one little detail that I can see now, as I have grown into a (comfortably grayscale) fashion sense, is that less is more. In fact, no fluorescent is more! I also imagined food tasting better. I don’t know why I ever thought metal and rubber in my mouth would make pizza better, but I never claimed to have a normal thought process, now did I?

But she did take me to the eye doctor. I would tell her I couldn’t see the blackboard in school, that I was getting a headache every time I had to try to look at it. Alas, 20/20 vision. Why, god! Why me? Why can’t I just be like everyone else! Foiled again!

I thought all the girls at school that had glasses looked nifty. I thought how amazing it must be to be able to wake up in the morning, get out of the shower, and put something on my face, and see the whole world differently. In my weird little over-active mind, I imagined that with glasses, I could see into people’s souls, see fact from fiction, see all the things my naked brown eyes could not. Glasses, in my head, were the answer to all of life’s problems, and the solution to my limited world.

Let’s fast-forward to eleventh grade. I had a toothache. For real. I called my mom from school crying because it hurt so bad. She didn’t believe me at first (she has an amazing memory). But I think my crying convinced her that maybe I wasn’t making this up. She took me to the dentist and there was something wrong with my perfectly straight teeth. It was time for my wisdom teeth to come out. But, there was a problem. One of them, the one on the bottom left side, was blocked by a bone and wasn’t coming up and out. That was the source of my pain. Tooth vs Bone. And for the moment, the bone was winning.

The solution? Braces! Suddenly, I wasn’t excited about braces anymore. They had to break the bone and put three brackets of braces on my teeth to pull the tooth up at an accelerated rate. Excuse me? Break the bone? I had never had a broken bone in my life! And, I’m a klutz and a tomboy! You want my first broken bone to be forced and on purpose? No friggin’ way!

But, yes way. I went to the orthodontist and he broke my jaw bone. Then he put braces on. With rubber bands. They hurt. Every day, my mouth hurt. I wanted to rip the off. They hurt at night and I couldn’t sleep. They hurt in the day and they hurt when I tried to eat  (which nearly killed me!). I had to basically stop chewing on the left side of my mouth. Screw this braces shit. About a year later, they came off. The bone healed and about a year later, I had my wisdom teeth pulled out. Finally, my mouth was back to normal (perfect) again.

Then, a few years later, in college, I noticed I was really having trouble seeing the board. I went to the eye doctor and guess what! I needed glasses. I was super excited! Finally, I would be able to see what everyone else could see! But it didn’t happen that way. I hated the glasses. I hated them because I could not remember to put them on. I hated them because I had to put them on. I hated them because they didn’t do what I thought glasses would do for me. I couldn’t see into people’s souls. Glasses did not give me the answer to all of life’s questions.

About three years ago, I got another check up on my eyes. They were bothering me, even though I was trying to wear my glasses every day. Bifocals. WHAT! I felt like I was too young for bifocals. I mean, really, aren’t bifocals for grandmothers? I’m not even a mother!

So I wore them. All the time. Even with bifocals, I couldn’t see into the souls of others. But I still wore them every day.

Then I stopped. I didn’t really make a decision or anything, I just stopped wearing them. About two weeks ago, I got a headache, and it would not go away. I took ibuprofen. I drank more coffee. I could not figure out why I had such a horrible headache all the time.

A couple mornings ago on my way to work, I noticed my glasses. They were lying next to my iPod in the car. I picked them up and put them on. Not suddenly, but within an hour or so, my headache was gone. It was pretty amazing. I’ve been wearing them every day since. This is amazing! I can see! And I don’t have a headache! Wow.

What made me think of all this? I went to see Alice in Wonderland and Avatar on Friday. I took my glasses off because I had to wear the 3D glasses, and why on earth would I need two pair? I commented to Kelly, “Are the commercials in 3D? They are a little fuzzy!” She just laughed, said no, and told me to put on my glasses. Once I did that, the commercials were no longer fuzzy! So we made fun of me for a while that I was going to have to wear both pairs of glasses during the movies – as they were both in 3D. And it turns out, I did. I was pretty self-conscious for a while, until I remembered that it is dark and no one can see that I actually have six eyes, that I’m wearing two pairs of glasses! Then I began to wonder how many other people have had to do this. Plenty, I’m sure. I am not the only person who has glasses. Kelly is such a good friend, she even posed for a couple pictures of my retardation. What a trooper.

We had so much fun, the movies were great. And I could see them with no headache!


It’s been a long time since I have wanted something just because everyone else had it. I do wish for things, but they are for me, because I think I may like them. Not because it would make me something I’m not, give me a super power, or any reason as adolescent. As I have reflected on this, realizing that I have indeed gotten what I once wished for, it makes me wonder, do I have a super power? And if I do, may I give it back, please?