friday faves - jesus mary joseph

I'm not really a religious person, but since Calvin was born I find myself using a lot of names from the pages of the Good Book.

I mean no disrespect to the devout; I simply wish to underscore, as I look both introspectively and retrospectively, how vital it has been for me to release a certain amount of pressure from my cooker from time to time. So, on occasion when vexed, exasperated or irked, or even excited, I have been known to shout—and I don't think I am alone here—the names of whom believers call The Father and The Son and including The Son's parents.

This characteristic of quoting names from the Bible must be genetic as I clearly remember my mother, when she was very frustrated, shouting, "Jehoshaphat!"

My favorite expletive, though—and the one I seem to opt for most frequently—may not exist in the gilt, leather-bound pages of Scripture. This profanity happens to be the oft-despised, yet renown, F-bomb. There's nothing quite like the word for it can be used with such nuance so as to suit seemingly limitless application! I must not fail to mention how mellifluous it sounds—though my adored mother-in-law would beg to differ—whether whispered or mumbled, drawn out, sharply punctuated, screamed excitedly or very plainly stated.

And though I try as I might to refrain from dropping this bomb excessively, whether due to enthusiasm or exasperation, it is my preferred mode of expression over kicking cabinet doors or throwing a shoe. In any case, and lucky for me, if my beloveds are around they usually just laugh.

This post was originally published in November 2010.


  1. Growing up, the "JM&J" expletive was heard at the height of maternal exasperation, also. Usually from another room, where we had been told to GO.... NOW!! Often, it was the final, desperate (I choose to believe) prayer that followed milder expletives such as "As I LIVE and BREATH", "Hell's Bells!" or (my favorite) "DO YOU HAVE a brain cell working??!!". Ah, yes.... good memories! :)

  2. Hello Calvin's mom,
    I so enjoy reading your blog. Thank goodness for talented, articulate writers like yourself that give a voice to the rest of us tounge tied mamas. My daughter is almost 1 year, with intractable epilepsy due to a genetic condition. We are so happy she will be home with us for Christmas:)
    I am trying to find a quote I remember reading here. It was short- possibly 2 or 3 lines, and was about only being able to see the stars after a storm? Or only seeing stars during dark times? Does it ring a bell?
    I wanted to engrave this on a keychain for my husband- he is an avid astronomer and it was just perfect after our rough first year. Thank you! Kateahintz@hotmail.com

  3. dear kate,

    the one that comes to mind first is this one:

    Everything before your eyes—the paper and the ink, these words, and your eyes themselves—was made in stars: in stars that explode when they die.

    - Martin Amis -

    i'll email you.