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Friday, November 13, 2009

Affiliate Friday On Profanity: Where'd You Learn to Talk Like THAT?

For me, it's been pretty rare to happen upon a mommy blog, read it for the first time, and think "Wow, that is one clear, strong voice." But that's what I thought the first time I read Cristin of Tiptoeing through the Tulips. Cristin is a mom of a CDH kid, a potentially life-threatening condition that my dear friend Karen faced when her daughter was born with CDH 4 years ago, and if you want to see mama strength in action, check in on Cristin any day of the week. She does NOT beat around the bush, she never holds back, and sometimes you get more than you bargained for during your cruise around the blogosphere. To me, she is so damn refreshing and I am thrilled to have her straight-talking ways grace these pages on this Affiliate Friday.


I considered the different approaches I could take to this subject; historical, linguistic, sociological, discarded them all and decided on personal.

My personal journey through the world of cursing.

When you are a child, you think that every family is just like your own. Everyone has a Dad who works too much and a Mom who stays at home. Everyone has a dog and a yard and lots of siblings and neighborhood playmates. Everyone wears hand me downs and has to share a room.

Everyone swears.

Swearing was something that all grown-ups did. They drink wine with dinner, they know how to write checks, they watch the news, and they swear.

Sh*t, A**hole, B***h, were probably the ones I heard most of. Not all the time. But when the situation seemed to call for those words, out they came. I heard the more colorful ones from older siblings and friends. I listened and learned.

Throughout my childhood, I fine tuned my potty mouth in the confines of my room, friends' houses, whispers on the school bus. Always striving to find that golden cuss combination that would elicit squeals of laughter from my friends. We especially enjoyed the F-bomb, having no clue what it actually meant, we knew that it was the mother of all swears and delighted in its use. Always careful not to slip when an adult was present.

I noticed my older siblings throwing around the milder sh*t, and a** hole when they were in high school, with no consequences from Mom and Dad. I waited patiently for this rite of passage, and around my junior year in high school, tried them out. It thrilled me to reach this milestone of being allowed out into the swearing world. Sweet freedom!

Having been very aware of the unspoken rules of profanity, I knew to keep it clean around certain company, to hold back the F-bomb until I knew a person could handle it. I grew into quite a discriminating expletive user.

After college, out in the real world with a real job, around real grown ups, I was realized that what I thought as a child had some truth to it; that most people do swear, at least a little. Adults do not have the luxury of throwing themselves on the floor like a toddler and having a nice screaming fit when something upsets them. Instead we have swears.

You are trying to find a parking space at the grocery store, you have to pee so bad it hurts, the kids are fighting, someone is crying, someone pooped their pants, you see the perfect parking space, turn on your directional just as another car swoops in and steals your spot.

What is that person? A meanie? A jerk? No. They are a G**D*** M*****F*****. Even if you mutter it quietly enough so the kids don't hear (a skill I have yet to perfect), you still feel so much better.

I've known prolific potty mouths of all ages, professions, and faiths; all kindred spirits.

My son's surgeon is obviously highly educated, well respected in his field, famous even in the world of fetal surgery, a professor at Harvard if you weren't impressed enough. We've had an easy, comfortable relationship since the day we met.

Before a major surgery, my husband and I were waiting and waiting to get the party started, wondering where his surgeon was as he was never this late. He finally came barging through the door, clearly angry, apologizing profusely about the delay; there was a mix up in reserving the surgery suite because;

"Someone doesn't know what the f*** they are doing."

I was taken aback by the F-bomb. Not offended in any way. I was flattered. That he thought enough of me, knew me well enough, trusted me enough to show this side of himself. It warmed my heart and made me love him that much more.

I understand that swearing is not for everyone, I do try to watch my mouth around the kids, especially the one that can hear.

I will confess though, that I look forward to my kids reaching the cursing milestone, to welcome them into the fold. There will come a day when Graham has his heart broken by a girl (or a guy, who knows?), he'll need to tell me what a f****** d*****bag they are, and I'll need to agree.

"F***** right they are Sweetie, f****** right."


  1. Awesome post.

    I, for one, am trying to clear my f******* language up, d***it.

  2. I adore this post!
    My parents very rarely swore, and I don't think I've ever heard my mother say F or GD. I had a friend who was allowed to swear freely throughout the house from an early age. I was incredulous! and jealous. oddly (or maybe not) she swore far less than any of the rest of us at school and grew up to be quite conservative.
    I love to swear. I hold back around the kids, but everywhere else is fair game.
    oh, and our ped swore in front of me once, and i had the same reaction

  3. While I have never heard my parents use the f-bomb, I have heard plenty of the more "accepted" words. Shit is my all time favorite and my kids have definitely mastered using it in context, though I have broken them of saying it. For now.

  4. OH man, this had me laughing out loud. I love it. Refreshing, to say the least. I grew up with shits and damns; and of course with five sisters sharing a house there were plenty of bitches to go around.

    As a mother myself, I got much better with my potty mouth for a while there, but am afraid I'm digressing again. I know my 6 year old notices, but instead of having the whole 'bad word' conversation, I try to explain it that there are some words that are just kind of rude so we try to not to use them often, and not in front of certain people. So far, he seems to get it. :)

    Although I'm sure it's going to come back to bite me in the ass one of these days. ;)

  5. Standing ovation Creepy.

    Somehow, I've acquired peoples in my life that turn their noses up at cursing and nod their heads indisapproval. They are worthy of the most creative string of curse words in my book. But I do it in my head...

  6. Well done, sister. You F-ing rocked it.
    Also, at my last job, I knew I would LOVE teaching at that school because the administrator swore during the interview. Also a highly respected super educated professional. It was an honor for him to swear around me.
    A slightly messed up barometer, but there you go... :-)

  7. Yay Potty Mouths!!

    I wasn't sure how this would be recieved, Thanks everyone! And thanks to Lee for the sweet intro!

    I whispered to Dennis the other day that Graham was being an ass hole, I thought I'd done it quietly enough, apparently not as Dottie whispered "ass hole" for the rest of the day. I just ignored it and it went away. But toddlers swearing? Cuteset. Thing. Ever.

  8. I love to swear but I don't get to nearly enough! The hubs doesn't swear. At. All. He spells "sucks" when the boys are around. It's hard to drop the f bomb when he won't even say sucks and crap. Fucking boyscouts.
    Ah, I feel better now. Thanks Cristin!

  9. Cristin..... I just love you!

  10. Swearing is a natural part of my life ...I really have to restrain my f***ing urges to use bad words.

    there is nothing my children haven't heard - and I mean nothing!

    so Fuck Off if it bothers you!

  11. What is it about swearing that helps us to relax?

    Sometimes it just feels so damn good!

  12. effin perfectly said!

  13. yeah. You had me there...I agreed with nearly most of it...was sure it was going to take me to a place where you realize it just isn't the classiest way to express yourself....I thought you were gonna have some Revelation... See how times have changed and see how it can really paint a negative picture of you to outsiders...I thought you were going THERE.

    But instead you ended with a wish to hear your children CUSS.

    Yeah. I am just gonna say I agree to disagree.

  14. Now I'm totally pissed that I didn't read this until now - I so could've used this excellent laugh earlier in the day I'm so with you - nothing like a well-placed f-bomb to rock a room.

    And nothing cuter than my 3 1/2 year old mumbling "beeeyoch" - yeah, but Daddy isn't allowed to choose what goes on the iPod any longer.

  15. Ok this made me laugh. I will say though that I do not find it amuzing when I hear toddlers curse and the parents think it is funny.

  16. I'm not sure I can type this...I'm still laughing way too hard! What a fun post this was, Cristin!

    We did not swear AT ALL in my house growing up. We couldn't even say "fart". We had to say "let air go". How dorky.

    I do remember one time, though, that a woman cut my dad off while driving in the car. He called her a bi***. In an Irish brogue, no less. It was so cute!!

  17. I must have a lot of repressed tantrums. Maybe I should just try flinging myself to the floor and screaming some time.

  18. I am cussing under my breathe right now at my 5 year old who is already pushing my buttons at 6 AM. It feels so f-ing good!!!! Love this post as I used to have a terrible "trucker's mouth" as my Dad would call it.

  19. Thanks Cristin - funny post - I love Kath's "let air go" comment! Anyway, we don't swear around the house much, but sometimes there are moments that it is REALLY difficult to find any other words...
    I'll leave it at that.
    My 4 yr old used to pronounce "bench" as "bitch" for the LONGEST time - and we have a prominent bench in our house that gets daily use, AND everywhere we went there were benches - the park, the schools, the hospital, the pediatrician's office, every restaurant.... so you can imagine the interesting, laughable times around Utah with my little princess...

  20. As a potty mouth queen, I loved this post! My Utah friends politely told me that "Oh my God" was offensive -- which I say all the time! Luckily, I reserve the f-bomb for those who love me! lol


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