You just don’t have a big enough vocabulary to express what you want to say … let’s see if we can fix that.
That’s something I used to constantly share with kids whenever I heard them use profanity to describe someone or something.
It’s no surprise that in middle school I said this at least once a day. You see, back in the day when I was going to grad school and working, one of my jobs was substitute teaching. Middle school.
Sixth. Seventh. And eighth grades
I know. I know.
Best job for writing material ever.
Anyhow, I recently thought about this quote when I encountered a problem with someone. I could feel the anger rising to the surface and the need to just release all kinds of profanity. The anger about the incident, about their massive inconsiderate behavior, about the level of hypocrisy just enraged me. I was ready to let loose the large range of inappropriate vocabulary I had stored in my vault. Both in English and Spanish.
However … the decent person inside me took a moment.
The need not to escalate the situation appeared to surface somewhere in my brain. I thought about being the “bigger person” … again. I feel like my whole life I’ve always had to be the “bigger person” just to have some sense of peace in my existence. So I refrained from letting loose.
But there are times, and I strongly feel like this was one of them, that letting the explicit language rain d0wn was a necessity. Not only for the informative purposes of the jackass who caused these feelings, but just for the mental sanity of the injured — myself.
I look at this situation and all the anger and frustration that I have, builds up, ready to explode, and I just think …
MAN! My vocabulary is just not big enough to handle this person or situation right now.
I mean I try not to have too many moments like that … little things like traffic, bad drivers, bad service at a restaurant, someone cutting in line, people at the DMV, or someone taking my parking space, get me all crazy. Stuff that isn’t going to matter five days, five months, or five years from now doesn’t seem like it’s worth all that heat.
But if it does meet that five day, five month, five year requirement … I believe profanity should rain down freely. I mean I should be all right, but usually a thing like respect and being a decent person make me change my mind. And the whole conversation just drains me. I feel emotionally exhausted and defeated because apparently sometimes they don’t share the same ideals on decency as me. They begin with low blows, at which point I just have to walk away because at that point I know … I know that my vocabulary just isn’t big enough to deal with certain people.
But once I hang up the phone, or walk away from the encounter, and I’m alone with the punching bag and gloves, the conversations I have with myself are not PG-13. And I forget that I have a limited vocabulary when it comes to certain people or certain situations.
And I’m O.K. with that. I mean for my own sanity I’m O.K. with that.