Sep 5, 2011

On Being the Example

Being the upstanding Mormon woman that I am, I do not swear. I do, however, have bad manners. Bad manners have been defined for me by a former bishop. Those are farm words. If you need a definition of swearing, email me. But I have bad manners on very rare occasions. Daily. Fortunately, my children have been educated on bad manners and swearing. They don't say either although one of my children must have watched too much television for awhile because he would suddenly exclaim, "Oh my G**!" That's swearing I don't do. Television or daycare. I've accused the daycare ladies when he let out a bout of bad manners, too. They had the decency to look guilty then would admit letting out a "d" word two weeks ago. I would give them a stern warning and giggle inside.

My oldest daughter lives and breathes band. She is not alone. Most band people take more art credit than is required and have to take core classes someplace else. That someplace else happens to be at the alternative high school where I work. To save on gas, I took another girl with the same love of band and dropped them off. When they were finished, I returned and made the mistake of going inside and ended up having an impromptu counselor meeting.

Eventually, the girls got bored and stole my car keys. We finished our meeting and I stepped outside. The car was missing. I yelled, "I can't believe this!" I had an audience. A few teenagers heard my authoritarian voice and jumped. "My car is missing!" One long haired boy walked warily towards me. I looked like a crazy middle aged woman yelling nonsense into the air. I waved the poor boy away. He looked frightened.

There was mad texting between the thief and myself. I demanded she come back. Right. Now. She gave vague answers. After volleying texts back and forth, I called to actually talk to her just as I saw the car slide into a parking spot. "Hello?" I heard.

"You little sh**," I answered. Then I heard a gasp and saw my daughter reach for the phone.

"Was I just talking to Emily?" I asked, panicking.

"Well, yeah. I'm driving." Duh.

"I just called her a little sh**."

"What?! Mom! I can't believe you said that! Now what is she going to think of you?"

That faux pas cost me a trip to the frozen yogurt shop in hopes that Emily would remember the cool treat instead of my bad manners when she recounts her day for her parents.

Later that night I recounted the story to my husband who laughed at my awkward social graces. He never swears and rarely exhibits bad manners. It was at this moment my 16 year old daughter pointed out the obvious. "How is it acceptable to call ME that word and not Emily?"

Right. Then there's that.

Way to kick me while I'm down, kid.


Lisa Page Rosenberg said...

Emily is, by default, a little s*** adjacent.

June Freaking Cleaver said...

In some families, little sh** is a term of endearment.

If that's the worst thing anyone calls a child, they've led a charmed life.

I always liked a little potty mouth among friends.

angie said...

I absolutely loved this story!