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.
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."