A document was shared with me today that warmed my heart and then promptly shredded it into a thousand little pieces. It was a high school term paper written more than 40 years ago by a man with a severe mental illness. He had written it as an assignment for a high school class – long before his mental illness crept into and took up permanent residence in the dark recesses of his mind. In it he talked about many aspects of his life – his family, his dating life, his athletic prowess, his shortcomings, his hope for the future. This paper was so poignant and insightful, so funny and and honest – all I can say is that I loved it. We would have all been lucky to be so wise at the age of 17.
There were so many things to love about this paper, but in the midst of the paper, there was a line that really caught my attention. It read:
“I cannot satisfy my frustration with a term such as “Oh fiddlesticks.”
I read this and I literally laughed out loud. I was in a roomful of co-workers, and I read it aloud to them – a couple of times. And then I exclaimed, “Yes, yes….a thousand times, yes!” Truer words have never been spoken, my friends. Fiddlesticks is some serious bullshit.
There are a handful of words in the English language that I cannot tolerate. I am not a big fan of the C-word and the N-word is so offensive to me I would never use it nor would I allow anyone in my presence to use it. But the F-word? Please. The F-word (and just to be clear, I don’t mean “fiddlesticks”) is sometimes the only word that fits. There is something so lovely, so cathartic, so right about this word that there are moments it is actually not just preferred – it is downright necessary. In moments of rage, frustration, disbelief or outright despair, a properly placed F-word has the capacity to relieve the pressure valve. Really, I am telling you – it is more healing than a hug from Grandma. (No offense, Grandma.)
It’s been a long time since anyone has accused me of being a lady, and I doubt anyone is going to start soon. Lest there be any doubt, this girl is smart, capable and dignified. But in the right set of circumstances I can have a mouth like a sailor. Am I proud of that? Not really. Do I feel bad about it? Fuck no.