Can someone please send me an email, oh, next November? Something like this?:
"Nancy, remember, life is short: DO NOT BUY THAT SILK VELVET FABRIC. I know, I know: That Ebay seller is practically giving it away and nothing is more gorgeous than silk velvet, but, really, let it go. Go. There. Let it go...just let. it. go...."
Just like clockwork, I usually fall into the trap about this time of year when I think about my girl's holiday outfit. I love silk velvet. Mmmmm....Nothing is silkier and velvety-er than silk velvet. Like warm cocoa for the skin. And then there's the way the light plays off the nap like Christmas Eve starlight. And the way it moves and swishes like misty breath on cold winter's night. I love the way it gathers and folds, like a cuddly sharpei puppy...
Working with this sharpei-puppy stuff is like sewing pudding or wet lasagna noodles or something else squishy and squirmy. I don't have a straight seam in this thing. And ripping out the seams is not much of an option when the needle leaves a visible track like moose tracks in the snow.
Happens every year. I never learn.
I was this close--this close--to just saying, "F--k it." Now, hold on: I didn't say it. I barely even wrote it. I was raised better than than that. A lot better than that. For example, my mother would not even say "rock 'n roll" and would throw a raised eyebrow my way if I ever said it, because she grew up knowing that the name of that type of music was also meant, um, referred to, um, you know, when two people, um, "get busy". (Although she would tell me often to "get busy"...). But did I think "f--k it"? Remember when President Jimmy Carter admitted in a Rolling Stone interview to having "lust in his heart"? So sure, I thought it. I'll admit to having a bit of cussing in my heart. Since my last incident of public dysphemism, however, I have controlled myself, because it was a doozey (Cell phone not turned off and the thing bleep-bleeps during Sunday church and--yep, you already know what's coming--*bleep* slipping from my mouth in the Lord's house). Well, didn't our current born-again president drop an s-bomb in front of Prime Minister Tony Blair with mikes switched on? He sure as heck did.
Supposedly, researchers in linguistics believe that cuss words have been around as long as human speech. I can imagine some Cromagnum s-bombs and f-bombs happening along the path to discovering fire and inventing the axel and wheel and the needle and thread (the needle and thread is considered a huge leap in human development, by the way). You can hurt yourself making fire for the first time. And become pretty frustrated with Wheel Prototypes A through G, the rolling triangle on an axel, the rolling square on an axel, the rolling tetrahedron and so forth. With trying something new comes failing and with failing come the cuss words. The more failing, jiminey crickets, the more cuss words.
I can even imagine that cuss words, because of the circumstances, are popular, if unfortunate, last words while on this Earth. I mean, what is the last thing a person utters when noticing the four ton truck barreling toward him at full speed or steps onto the 20th floor elevator which isn't there? Do you really think it is "I am grateful for the time I have had in the world and for the opportunity to love and be loved"?
Jiminey Crickets! Now that was foul, foul, foul language, as it was (is?) a euphemism for Jesus Christ, having the same initials. Some of these words were created during the Renaissance, when curse words on the stage were forbidden by law. In another 300 years, in the 19th Century, the powers that be would even frown upon these euphemistic dysphemisms. "Shoot", "shucks", "gee", "drat", "jeepers" and, for crying out loud, especially "for crying out loud" were big no-nos, doggone it. "Doggone" too. "Heavens to Betsy" was off the charts. By the 20th Century, Jiminey Crickets was animated to be the morning-suit-wearing, when-you-wish-upon-a-star-singing anthropodic conscience, the "Lord High Keeper of the Knowledge of Right and Wrong, Counselor in Moments of Temptation, and Guide along the Straight and Narrow Path", no less, in Disney's Pinocchio. Go check out the link. Think Disney made the connection?
I have no reason to take the Lord's name in vain. As far as that goes, however, there are names I would certainly like to take in vain, for example, Ken Lewis, the CEO of Bank of America, or Bob Steel, CEO of Wachovia, or Rick Wagoner, CEO of GM, coming hat in had (but not in private jets this time, no, no, in hybrid cars) to beg YOU AND ME for billions of dollars for their slothful, greedy, shortsighted ways. $739 billion for the credit industry bailout? That's about half the entire GDP of Russia. Twice the GDP of Belgium. 500 times of the GDP of Namibia. For what? To loosen the credit markets? It hasn't happened. And it won't. There's no oversight. Who here wouldn't like all the money in the world and no one looking over your shoulder? Ken Lewis!
Is using comic strip cussing an option? "Ampersand asterix glyph section pilcrow!" (That would be ampersand &, asterix *, glyph #, section § and pilcrow ¶). "Glyph you, asterix driver! What part of "Stop sign" don't you ampersand understand?". And I'm punctuating like a drunken sailor.
And sewing like a drunken sailor. You know that you can learn just about anything on the Internet, including some tips on sewing silk velvet. This site recommends that if a person should actually find a silk velvet that sews well to go back and buy the entire bolt, such a rarity is a silk velvet that sews well.
I finished the dress. I used bad language to get there. I'm trying. I'm failing. I'm cussing. But I might be learning something.
Bob Steel! This hem is all wrong. I swear: Silk ampersand velvet. Ken Lewis!
The dress turned out rather nicely, actually. I hadn't slipped the dress over Anna's head for one second and I was already thinking of searching for more "silk velvet fabric" on Ebay. Not one second later. Was this dress worth the fight? I don't know. This is not a rational decision.
So, am I going to reveal the dress? Heck, no. And I have a hellava good reason. So insert your own dysphemism here_______________.