Writers like words, especially perfect words that describe less-than-perfect situations. I have found such a word. My word perfectly describes the shit I recently had to deal with. Literally, shit. I'm telling you this because if the s-word bothers you, you'd better stop reading now. If you have a better word that describes the brown stuff that comes out of the back end of a dog - then be my guest and mentally place that word as a substitute for the s-word when you read it in this post. For me, I am playing the literary card here and standing by my perfect word.
Monday, October 5, 2009
A load of you-know-what
While I'm appreciating the qualities of one lovely word, I'm also faced with the unfortunate situation of lacking the right word for something else. You see, I've discovered a new emotion and I don't know what to call it. This emotion occurs when you don't know whether to cry or throw up. Your throat closes up, tears well up in your eyes, and your stomach convulses into retching spasms. Yet you can't puck, because waves of hopelessness and despair are pressing down on you. A name for this new emotion escapes me. I'm open to suggestions.
My son was playing at the park, and as nine-year-olds tend to do, he was rolling around on the field in major combat with invisible enemies. Before leaving the park, he asked what was on his shirt. There was a big mashed pile of dog shit sticking to the back of his shirt. We took the shirt off and if IT WAS UP TO ME, the shirt would have been tossed into the trash. But no. My husband carried the shirt home and left it on the front porch. LEFT IT THERE. Even after I told him that if he wanted to save the shirt, HE needed to hose it off completely on the lawn before bringing it in the house.
SIDE NOTE: I'm sure some of you can identify with the concept of "marital standoff." I can't be the only one who leaves a single crusty frying pan on the stove, unwashed, for weeks, desperately hoping that the person who actually used the pan, would actually clean the pan and complete the full cycle of helpfulness. These things never end well, do they? Eventually you end up scrubbing the stupid pan or throwing it away - depending on how much you like or need that particular frying pan.
I, personally, wasn't overly fond of this particular shirt. The shirt stayed on my porch for a week and then disappeared. Good, right? NO. Bad. Bad. Bad. Unbeknownst to me, my husband had (I'm going to assume this was an absentminded moment for him and not intentional) tossed the shirt into the laundry hamper where it was then accidentally washed with the rest of our clothes. I had a pile of dog shit in MY WASHING MACHINE WITH THE REST OF MY CLOTHES.
I tried to have a rational conversation about this incident with my husband. But, seriously, can anyone REALLY have a productive conversation about having a load of dog shit in their washing machine? -And I know for a fact that there is no good ending to such a conversation. I've just had to let it go.
And now - while I don't have an actual word for it - I do have a new emotion to add to my repertoire. I don't think I'll ever find a use for this emotion in one of the books I'm writing. Nope, no character comes to mind. No situation I can think of at the moment. Though, the phrase "that's a load of shit" does carry a depth of new meaning.