(Yes, this is two posts in a row about profanity. I swear I won't do another one for a while. I know - poor choice of words.)
After work I was heading by the bank, and then home - about a 20 minute round trip. Often I use that time to call the eldest FOML, my daughter at the Lord's University. I put on my headset, because I am responsible, and called her. She didn't pick up, so I decided to leave her a brief message to say "hello".
The second that her voicemail message ended with a beep, a really large car with Alberta plates, driven by a very old man, cut in front of me, almost taking out my front end. I slammed on my brakes, barely avoiding the collision. Unnerved I shouted:
"Geez, you geriatric reject!"
I know, I know. Who says that? It wasn't particularly creative, it definitely wasn't profane, and only the first word would even qualify as a substitute swear word. (More on SSWs here)
Yeah, I am not proud of that outburst (both the fact that I did lash out, and the ridiculous word choice) - nor am I proud that I brought the man's senior citizen status into question. I am sure he was a lovely man, distracted by the big old cigar he was smoking. He never even heard me - my windows were up, and so were his.
Nevertheless, that is what came out of my mouth in my moment of fury. Go figure.
Then I looked over at my phone and realized that I had left my explicative as my voicemail to my daughter. I quickly reached for the phone. In so doing, I accidentally hit the button, ending the call. Now my daughter would have a message that consisted solely of her father yelling "Geez you geriatric reject!", and then hanging up. I'm sure that will make her feel loved.
So, I called her back and explained myself with yet another message. Later that night, she called and told me the first message containing my outburst wasn't recorded, but that she did enjoy hearing me try to explain the message she never heard.
I told her that I was really relieved that I hadn't said anything worse. She replied by telling me something that surprised me:
"Dad, I don't think I have ever heard you swear."
I was so proudly humble to hear that. As I have thought about it, I have since decided there are actually three ways I could interpret what she said:
A) I have really done a good job learning to control my language. And my family notices. That makes me happy.
B) My daughter does not listen to what I say.
C) She is suffering from profound hearing loss.
I think I will cling to "A", until I am a geriatric reject.