If the use of profanities offends you, please do not read any further.
As a child I was taught not to swear. These were bad words and mom would threaten us with mouth washings of soap if she ever caught us swearing. I don’t think she ever accomplished it. We were bigger and let’s face it, soap tasted like shit and there was no way I was going to let her near me with that crap. We never dared to swear in front of dad.
When I became older, my mind held the firm belief that this was not appropriate speech. It was naughty. I remember trying the words on my tongue, softly first, a mere whisper, in the safety of my empty back lane. There was no one around to hear me. There was no one around to tattle to mom with a bottle of dish soap in his hand (fuckin brother). I remember trying the words with my friends, blurting them out on a speedy exhale because I wanted to be naughty but it was awkward to do so.
When did all of this change for me? It was defining a moment and I can remember it very clearly…
I held a lot of waitressing jobs when I was younger. It was great – I spent my tips on booze and good times and used my cheques to pay my bills. Initially, these jobs were at family restaurants where I was mindful of my p’s and q’s. If I encountered a difficult patron, I would smile politely, turn around and mutter things like “fuckin prick” underneath my breath. Then I started to work at The Valley – a small truck stop on the outskirts of the city. The owners were fabulous – they didn’t want us taking shit from anybody and the clientele were honest and up front people. They widdled hours away at that restaurant telling jokes and arguing over everything from politics to the weather.
Okay here it is, that moment. Picture this: a quiet, petite, young girl with her brown hair pulled into a ponytail at the base of her neck. She has a polite smile and is hesitant to maintain eye contact. She drops a glass onto the red carpeted floor and it busts into pieces. “Oh shoot.” she says. The lady (Anne) sitting at the table eyes this young girl up for a moment and says “That was definitely an oh shit.” Anne tosses her long red hair back and laughs. The sound begins at the base of her chest and erupts forth; it is whole-hearted, genuine and makes her belly shake. It wraps around that shy and quiet girl and makes her feel… comfortable.
And that`s when I said “Fuck it.” Next thing I know I am slinging out swears like a sailor. ( I have never met a sailor but I assume the phrase has to be true). When Fred tells me that his eggs are not as runny as he would like, I smile and reply “They are fuckin cooked aren’t they?” I am flipping my co-workers the finger and yelling at them to “Hurry the fuck up.” Like I said, the owners of that place were fuckin awesome and The Valley did a lot to boost my confidence.
So come back to present day. Swearing is a part of my everyday vocabulary now. These words are dispersed throughout my conversations like they are my native tongue – similar to a person who knows two languages and interchanges between the two when they speak. Granted, I have a two-year old, so I am back to muttering things like “for fuck sakes” underneath my breath. And when she used mustard to paint the walls and carpet, I couldn’t help but say “what the fuuu….”. I was pretty proud that I stopped there. But piss me off a little and I am back to being a sailor. Just the other day I was giving my goats a two-handed finger salute and yelling “Fuck you, you little fuckers!” Don’t ask, it’s a long story but I assure you they deserved it. I am grateful that my girl is just learning how to talk and lacks the dexterity to mimic me.
Why am I rambling about this bullshit? First, I feel like I have been censoring myself in my posts and I will continue to do so only because of the beliefs my parents instilled in me. Secondly, like a good blogging 101 student, I put the tag ‘chocolate’ into my reader the other night and found this: Chocolate Dreams .It wasn’t just funny, it was fuckin funny. There was something about the way she typed ‘bitches’ that made me feel like I was a hip hop artist wearing baggy jeans and putting my hands in absurd poses.
So I need to ask those of you who have read this far if swearing offends you when you read a post? Do you cringe when you see the ‘f’ word? Or does your brain bypass it like it is nothing?
And I have to leave a special thanks to this girl for getting me rolling on this one.