LANGUAGE ADVISORY: This excerpt contains language some might find offensive.
To all of you, a cheerful and warm "Good Morning!" I am nobody special, particularly in the eyes of other drivers and some of the clients of my husband, Larry — I am just the Cursing Mommy, your neighbor and friend. Sitting with my morning coffee here at the kitchen table after children and husband have been safely dispatched to school and the work he complains so bitterly about, I take a quiet moment for myself, and you. Wrap your hands around your coffee cup, close your eyes, and share this moment with me.
The goddamn fucking kitchen ceiling needs to be repaired. Excuse me, I did not mean to curse right then, but that is what I get for disregarding my own advice for as much as a second and opening my eyes. Accidentally I glanced up at the mess the kitchen ceiling has become, plaster sagging in two places and a couple of pieces even breaking off and falling down, and I let out some curse words inadvertently. Well, that happens sometimes! Also, I won't think about that horrible night when the toilet in the bathroom above the kitchen overflowed, leading to the problem with the plaster. Apparently Larry had never heard of such a thing as a shutoff valve.
Now my eyes are closed again, my fingers laced comfortably around the cup, and the Cursing Mommy is with you in her mind. The wonderful philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin — in French his last name sounds something like "of the garden," isn't that lovely? — once wrote, "My son is probably trying not to faint at school right now, I should have kept him home, and that awful assistant principal will probably be a jerk to me about it again." I am sorry — no. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin did not write anything of the kind. Rather, he wrote, "We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience."
SPIRITUAL beings having a HUMAN experience — doesn't that sound so perfectly right? As spirit, we are at once infinitely more and infinitely less than the steam rising off our coffee cups. Spirits on a human journey, we tread our common path through time. Isn't it glorious, when you think about it, that we're all on this human journey together? Each morning like this forms another stepping-stone along our way.
Today, at this exact quiet moment at the kitchen table, the Cursing Mommy begins the journey of another year. To all my fellow spirits out there, who have followed the Cursing Mommy through her columns and other products, I extend a friendly invitation to come along. Please join the Cursing Mommy on my year's journey, day by day, as our spirits grow.
J A N U A RY
TUESDAY, JANUARY 4
And so, we set out. Ideally, this daybook would have started on Saturday morning, January 1, but Larry and I had to be in Encino. A client of Larry's invites the whole office out there to stay over in his gigantic house for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day every year. This client brings in a huge amount of business and Larry says we might be sleeping in the car if it weren't for him, so of course we have to go. And I do mean we, because the client is a big believer in wives attending, though they don't have much to do. Husbands, on the other hand, the client isn't so crazy about. That's another story.
As a result, we weren't here for New Year's Day. We flew back on the second, and on the third I drove to the assisted living to see my fucking father.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 4
I feel that I must start this day, month, and year over again. Just thinking about that weekend and then the trip to the goddamn horrible assisted living makes me want to put that nonsense far, far behind. I will clear my head, get a refill on my coffee, and go back to the kitchen table where I began.
We must always remember to be grateful for what we have. On this winter morning, with the temperature in the twenties and snow covering the ground outside, I am grateful just to be sitting here sheltered and indoors. My eight-year-old, Kyle, breaks out in hives and faints if you look at him cross- eyed, and he's probably doing exactly that right now in gym class, and any minute the phone will ring and it will be the snotty assistant principal, and I will have to go out and hope the car will start so I can pick up my swooning son. But that hasn't happened yet. Who was it who called worry "negative prayer"? I will keep my hopes and prayers positive on this first day (fourth, technically, as I already explained) of our journey year.
The children had such fun in the snow yesterday. I was at the fucking assisted living, Larry was down in the basement doing something or other with his boxes of capacitors, and the kids had an absolute ball outside, he said. God knows he probably wasn't paying much attention. From where I sit in my favorite kitchen chair I can see the snowman they made. I am grateful for my children's happiness and the small monument to it remaining on our front lawn.
Actually, as I look more closely at it, it's not so small. Moving to the front window I wonder how they ever built a snowman that high! In fact, it doesn't really resemble a snowman ...
The reason it does not resemble a snowman, I now see, is that it is not a snowman, it is a snow penis. A giant snow penis on my front lawn. How could I not have noticed it before? I got back from the fucking assisted living after dark, that's why. They did quite an inventive job of it, with large snow testicles, as well. This must have been Trevor's idea. He is going on twelve, going on whatever age you can be sent to prison. He got poor Kyle to go along.
Those of you who keep up with my regular Cursing Mommy columns know that at some point in almost every one of them — okay, every one of them — the Cursing Mommy regrettably becomes frustrated with some aspect of daily life, and she flips out, screams curses, breaks things, gives people the finger, etc. Today, on the first or fourth day of our journey year, the Cursing Mommy is not going to do any of that. Serenity is the new watchword. I am now simply going to pull on Larry's boots, put my coat on over my bathrobe, go out in the front yard, and knock the revolting snow penis down.
Now I am in the yard and I smack the snow penis — why did I forget my mittens? — and ouch! Shit! The thing is solid ice! It has frozen solid overnight, I see. So I am giving the snow penis a good swift kick and GODDAMN FUCKING STUPID SNOW PENIS! FUCKING GODDAMN THING IS LIKE — OUCH!! — FUCKING CEMENT! I'LL KICK YOU DOWN IF IT'S THE FUCKING LAST THING ... AHHH! SHIT! I SLIPPED ON THIS FUCKING SLIPPERY ICE AND I'VE FALLEN IN THE SNOW!! LYING IN MY FUCKING FRONT YARD IN MY FUCKING BATHROBE! FUCKING GODDAMN LARRY! FUCK GEORGE BUSH! FUCKING GODDAMN JOHN BOEHNER, THAT FUCKING ASSHOLE!! ...
In just a minute I will get up and go inside. Let fucking Larry knock the fucking thing down when he gets home. It will melt eventually anyway.
Oh, what a fucking horrible day this is going to be.
From The Cursing Mommy's Book of Days by Ian Frazier. Copyright 2012 by Ian Frazier. Excerpted by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux.