I love to swear. I always have. I think it is incredibly fun. No word is off-limits. It makes me happy. It’s a damn shame I can’t swear in the classroom. I think it would be a highly affective tool at getting attention and making a point. However, I think the parents of my students might think poorly of me if I launched into a tirade about how f*cking brilliant Shakespeare was, or how sh*tty it was of Pip’s sister to beat him as frequently as she did. When students tell me they finished their papers early, I wish, I wish, I wish, I could say, “No sh*t?! That‘s f*cking awesome!”
I don’t swear at people in anger. I don’t like to use cursing as a weapon. I use it like salt. To “zip up” every day language, particularly with things I like. I use it in times of gusto. For example, “Oh my God, that movie was G*d-damn amazing.” “Please, as if I gave a sh*t.” “Free tickets? Shut the f*ck up!”
Understandably, my mother isn’t a fan of my sailor talk. She has given up trying to correct me and just sighs and rolls her eyes. At one time, she suggested I go to a sort of finishing school and explained that I was a “diamond in the rough who needed some polishing to really sparkle!” and I think my response was, “I love ya mom, but f*ck that.”
My mother rarely swore, and when she did, she would whisper it. Seriously. She would be doing the dishes in the kitchen, upset with something my dad did, and she would actually say, “I am so (damn) mad at your father…” That maybe happened once a year. Her only really swears were “hell” and “damn.” I don’t consider those swears at all. I consider those everyday casual wear.
My father cursed, but never at us. He usually swore at the television. He would stomp his feet too. There was a TV in my parent’s bedroom, and we would hear him upstairs stomping his feet and swearing at Don Majkowski and the rest of the offensive line.
I think my potty mouth really climaxed when I was in college. I remember waiting in line for a beer, and saying something like, “How long does it f*cking take to get a drink?” and some random guy behind be said, “real lady-like” and without a beat I responded, “I’m so f*cking lady-like, I sh*t roses.” I was pretty proud of myself in that moment.
Since then I have reigned in my profanity, a bit. We have a swear jar in our house, as I have tried to be a better role model for my daughter. However, I approached this within reason. There are only a few words that are swear jar worthy. We were out with friends, and I was explaining something “f*cking awesome” and Emily (my daughter) said “you owe me a dollar.” Our friend Pat asked Emily, “Do you get a whole dollar every time your mother swears?” Em responded, “Nope, only the f-bomb. If I got a dollar every time she swore, I’d be a millionaire.” I love that kid. A week or two ago she actually had to sit me down to have a mom-to-daughter chat about my potty mouth. She asked me to try harder not to swear in front of her friends because some of her friends aren’t used to that kind of talk. I told her I would try really….hard.