A friend has pointed out that she was not aware of certain sides of me until she started reading here. I admit that not everyone knows every side of me; a queen would explain it as one’s being a many-faceted precious jewel, with each unique facet having a chance to reflect light. The clown says, it’s just like kibble. There are crunchy bits and chewy bits.
I’ve long been a hater of the Christmas letter, sent to Aunt Sophie and one’s best friend alike. It’s a boring amalgam of bragging and stuff that won’t offend, the birthday spent in Athens, the new promotion, little Carl competed in the All State Music Competition, Woodwinds category, and he placed second! In the whole state! The second best oboist in the seventh grade in the entire state of Maryland! The lord has blessed us richly indeed.
The Christmas letter is like taking all your aspects and putting them in a blender with some melted vanilla ice cream. When you pour it into the envelope and mail it it’s very sweet and thick and it has some color but that color is indefinable: a little gray, a little mauve. Nothing for my eyes only, just a slurry of G rated blah.
I have explained to the prince that what you express and how you express it is up to the context. It’s perfectly acceptable to use curse words with your friends. Not so with your teachers. The prince’s grandmother happens to be a world-class user of the F bomb (her cat’s nickname is “little fucker”), so despite my careful editing he has been exposed to it his whole life (I’ve always hated the hilarity following a two-year-old’s saying “fuck” from having heard the parents use it so much, but that’s me running desperately from my white trash roots and fodder for another post another time). He refers to curse words with me (discussing an Eminem song, for instance) as “the s h word,” ‘the F-bomb,” etc. And now that he’s older we all curse in front of him, not flagrantly but no longer editing carefully either. Yesterday for example I was telling his grandmother, in front of the prince, about a brilliant and funny post over at McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and I said, I apologize, I’m going to curse, it’s called “It’s Decorative Gourd Season, Motherfuckers.” The curse word is necessary to get the title correct, but it’s also what makes the whole piece funny.
I have friends that are bored, eyes glazing over, to hear me or anyone talk about children, babies, report cards, sports leagues, PTO meetings. I have friends who don’t curse, would never curse, who go to church and are proper. I have friends, and a mother-in-law, who can’t get through a clause of language without saying “fuck.” There are people uninterested in politics, or very conservative, or who find discussing food and cooking tedious, for whom some of these blurbs are offensive or stupid. And they can read elsewhere or stay to comment and argue with me. This tiny spot on the internet is not for all audiences.
None of us is just one thing. We’re not hiding anything, we’re just presenting an edited self. Writing in public exposes more edited selves but you’ll still only ever see what I put up here– there’s a lot more kibble in the bowl.