Mission Impossible, Part 3
Lorna’s reputation was hanging in the air after the church fart incident. Could she recover it? Did she want to? Let’s see…
I was beginning to see that my Mission of becoming a Perfect Child was kind of like chewing Jello—the more I tried, the more it just slid away. In impeccably anti-Perfect Child fashion, I got frustrated.
The Perfect thing to do would’ve been to grin and bear my frustrations. Being only human, stress would build. It was only a matter of time until I would either ker-splat or ka-boom from the internal pressure. Most of the time, I swallowed up my feelings with a chaser of something sweet. But there were times when I just had to let things out of my system. Trouble always followed.
Enter cuss words. Some adults and Bad Children could swear with aplomb. I stayed away from them, living a wholesome, G-rated life.
About the dirtiest words that came from my mouth were darn it, gosh, and (if the circumstances were truly ugly) stupid-head. I knew some words were Bad just by their emphatic delivery. Their precise meaning was lost to me and I was fine with that.
I heard the widest variety of cuss words on the school bus. I believe those yellow monstrosities to be the portal through which Satan traverses between Earth and the Underworld. Innocence is lost and crime bosses are trained on school buses. I first heard the “F-word” on my school bus and knew it was Bad just by the way it hung in the air–like my fart in church, only way worse because it kept getting repeated.
There came a time in my 13th year that I was furious with my older sister for some reason. She stormed out of the trailer in her typical I’m-having-the-last-word style. This time I was determined that I was going to have the last word and it was going to be a doozy.
I took a deep breath and formulated the Grand-Pooh-Bah of all cuss words in my head. F…F…Fu…Fu…F…” That’s all that came out. I was convinced I had developed a stutter.
Another deep breath. Another try. Success!
I said the most evil of Bad Words. No one heard me—not even my sister. Well, I suppose God heard. If I could have hit “rewind” then “erase,” I would have. I felt as dirty as the word—I lost my linguistic virginity and there was no going back. Saying it brought no satisfaction. If I tipped from grace by farting during the Stations of the Cross, saying the F-word catapulted me to Hell. I was a goner before I ever got to be an up-and-comer.
I swore off of swearing, hoping I stopped my path toward corruption before the Devil and I got engaged.
Then something dawned on me. I was 13 years old. I had options. Mom had fewer worries about my sisters. My Mission needed rethinking.
There must be a way to keep a Good Girl image AND live a little. As Mom always said, “Lorna, you’re such a smart girl…”
What scheme was teenaged Lorna cooking up? Stay tuned…