“Son of a BI—”
“Are you all right?”
The sound of my wife’s voice cut me off mid-swear, and I looked up at her, a little surprised.
“Uh … yeah, I’m fine. Why?”
She crossed her arms and looked down at me. “Because you’ve been swearing in progressively louder and more vile oaths for about five minutes.”
“Oh,” I said. I paused the game. “Well, there’s this blue shard I need to get, see, and it’s waaaaaayyy over on this other—”
“Wait … you’re swearing at the game?”
I swallowed. “Um … I think so, yeah.”
She huffed an exasperated sigh and dismissed me with a fanning motion. “Forget it. Never mind. Go back to your ‘fun”, I guess.”
As she turned around and walked away, it occurred to me this wasn’t the first time she mistook my frustrated cursing as rage, or legitimate anger. It happened for the first time many, many moons ago, when I first equipped and began to use my garage woodshop.
The blue streak I cursed out of that 2-1/2 car torture chamber came as I became involved in the agony and ecstasy of woodworking. I built furniture – some of it nice, good-looking stuff, if I do say so myself – and along the way, as part of that rite of passage, came the old master’s way of working wood. With much discarded mistakes and cursing.
Of course, with a woodshop, the first concern is I may have injured myself. Make sure you can still count to ten when you come in the house, the old saying goes. We shortened it to “Don’t come in with nine.” Barring that, the next concern is I’ve ruined an expensive piece of equipment, then that I’ve destroyed weeks of labor by messing up an entire piece, losing hundreds of dollars in wood, etc. But really, the craft just can’t be enjoyed to its fullest without the swearing.
“It’s like a roller coaster ride,” I told her. “It’s just not as fun if you’re not screaming your guts out, right?” I hate roller coasters. I left that off.
She understood, took my word for it, and went on, but I don’t know if my wife ever embraced the philosophy. After years of not having to deal with it, she’s hearing me in that agitated, growling bark again, shouting obscenities at the TV screen and waving my arms and leaning my body to provide the proper touch to the Wii controls. Of course it’s futile, but I do it anyway. And cursing the ancestry of my games seldom makes them more cooperative to fat, aged-slowed fingers who’ve lost some of their dexterity with time. Nevertheless, like the woodworking of years past, I curse it loud and long and violently, with a vehemence she can’t match and wouldn’t if she could.
My wife, bless her heart, doesn’t understand the blessing of the cursing.
How ‘bout you? Do you have things where, to an outsider, you’re just torturing yourself, but actually is providing you invaluable, immeasurable entertainment? Do you find you enjoy a particular something more if there’s a little steam in your stride, a little piston-driving anger or venom?
Or am I just nuts?
Don’t answer that last one.
All original content copyright 2010 DarcKnyt
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