Back when I was a good little Catholic girl, I used to sacrifice eating candy or watching “I Dream of Jeannie” or listening to Shaun Cassidy during the 40 days of Lent.
I’ve long since lapsed as a follower of that religion, so I no longer observe the practice. But some of my friends do, so I get to watch (and hear!) them suffer through 40 caffeine-free or wine-free or iPod-free days.
However, if I were called upon to give something up for Lent, I know just what it would be.
Something distinctly delicious.
Something unimaginably unavoidable.
Something truly tempting.
And that something would be…swearing.
But could I really give it up? For more than a month?
No f*ckin‘ way.
I could yell ,”Shoot!” or “Fudge!” or even “Darn!”
All day long for the next seven years,
And my kids would ignore these words by the score
As if falling on sound-proofed ears.
But the moment a terse and forbidden curse
From my mouth (accidentally) slips,
I’m in quite a jam, ‘cause then nothing but “damn!”
Flows on forth from their sweet little lips.
Time after time, and over and over,
They’ll shout out this oath that they’ve heard;
Pronouncing it proudly and very out-loudly
Like a flock of foul-mouthed mynah birds.
I can try as I might to scold them, or threaten,
Or simply attempt to ignore –
But now that they know that it bothers me so,
They’re compelled to utter it more.
So I’ve just got to hope that soon they will tire
Of these words that they’ve mastered so well,
And from now on I’ll try my best to get by
Merely saying,”Aw jeez, what the – heck.”
© 2009 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz