Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What Eminem and I have in common

I try not to swear around the house too much. You know kids, and how they learn this stuff and then say it in front of their entire preschool class and then you get a lecture from the teacher at conference time. (Although I stand by my daughter's right to sing "shake shake shake, shake your booty" and her teacher can suck it.)

But I would lose my mind if I didn't have something appropriately emphatic to yell at Ikea furniture or mutter under my breath at whining children. So I make stuff up. I substitute. Like my mom did. My mother could put so much vehemence into the word Fiddlesticks (with a very hard F) that I used to think it was a really bad word. 

For example? Eric's dad, who lives in England, recently told me that there Fanny = Cunt.

Yay! Fanny! Fanny! Fanny!

But sometimes you get a foul word-image in your head and it just tumbles out of your mouth unbidden during moments of passion or rage. Lately? Ball Sack. And even though the average 5-year-old doesn't know which sack of balls you're referring to, you don't want that repeated at school. So I, being all literate and stuff, classed it up a bit. Honore' de Ball Sack.

But then I started to feel guilty. I mean, I'm a lover of the written word, and I felt bad going around defiling a classic French novelist's name without knowing anything about him. So I did a little research.

Do you see this guy? This guy's name should definitely be invoked when one steps on a dead mouse in the kitchen. And yet? Still that twinge of guilt. So I dug a little deeper. Here are a few choice Balzac quotes:

A husband who submits to his wife's yoke is justly held an object of ridicule. A woman's influence ought to be entirely concealed. 

Children, dear and loving children, can alone console a woman for the loss of her beauty. 

Old maids, having never bent their temper or their lives to other lives and other tempers, as woman's destiny requires, have for the most part a mania for making everything about them bend to them.
No man should marry until he has studied anatomy and dissected at least one woman.

Yeah, sure he lived in France in the first half of the 19th century, so a little poncey chauvinism is to be expected. But dissection? That's just creepy. 

And so, it would not be unusual to hear this on any given morning at my house, "Honore de Balzac, kid, stop being such an asprin and get the fiddlesticks out of bed and get dressed, or I swear to Gump I will come in there and kick you in the fanny."

Cause me? I like to set a good example.


  1. Sean was recently reading a Balzac book and I never missed an opportunity to make bad ballsack jokes. He was not amused. I'll have to show him this.

  2. "If in the search for his life's love a man should find a woman with the freedom of spirit to utter 'balls!' with impunity, he should grab her tightly lest she slip away. Well not too tightly. Sort of cradle her lightly and juggle just a bit if you like." -Lego de Pacage

  3. Beth,
    As a barely reconstructed Luddite it pushes me to a ludicrous inconsistency when I have to admit how much I treasure having gotten to know the stunning sense of humor of my barely-known niece all because of the internet, facebook and blogs. When other people of my generation bitch about electronic communication and social networking as a piss poor substitute, I am always dragging you metaphorically into the conversation saying, "But, but, I have this niece, my older brother's child, whom I would not otherwise know and she CRACKS me up." One day we must spend some time together to make this a non-issue.

  4. Isn't there some function of Facebook that it will automatically detect new posts and announce them to me?

  5. I think I've done a pretty good job of impressing upon Clara that the things Daddy yells at home would cause her Difficulties if she repeated them in school.


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