This one time at band camp…
I tried to quit cursing. Sadly, I have been cursing almost since I could talk. I remember my first curse word being somewhere around the age of 5. (We didn’t have all these good parenting guidelines in the 80’s. There was still smoking in the car with children, riding on the back of trucks with no regard to safety or a kid bouncing completely the f off. If you grew up like that, you understand.) My first time cursing someone out was around 7 or so. . It was normal in my household. My daddy cursed like a sailor. My mom cursed. My siblings cursed. My grandparents cursed. (Sparingly but still) Sounds like I didn’t have a chance. Lol
I knew who to do it around & when to play innocent. For years, I remember having a full explanation of why cursing was imperative to the English language & my use of it specifically. Something about adjectives and adverbs, expressive additives that made nouns sound alive! It was a damn shame.
Then one year, I decided to give it up. I wanted to see if I could give it up. To try speaking “like a lady”. To express my thoughts without expletives. It was hard at first. I mean…haaaard. So many words. So many stupid people. I mean, you could create new curse words out of the old ones or just make up anything. For example, fucktard, son of a sap sucker, ass-monkey…I could go on & on. Through this journey, I discovered the reason behind my potty mouth. Not only an inherited, learned behavior, I learned curse words are derived from anger.
Internal anger communicated outwardly through speech. Of course, they are also used for colorful descriptives but for me personally, it was more than that. I challenged myself to locate the anger and its origins. I challenged myself to stop. To find other words and extend my vocabulary. Find another way period. It was so fucking peaceful. (Sorry I had to) F you became you bless you. M-fer became mamma jamma. It was humorous to some but very freeing. I could vocalize my feelings without cursing and express myself clearly. “I’m upset with you for blah blah blah…” instead of: “You *%^$#, I’m so $%$#^ mad at you..ugh $&!#.” I was surprised & proud of myself for making it a whole two years. I learned to not let people get me to the point of cursing them the H-E-double hockey sticks out.
And then…my dating antichrist (shoutout to the Bert Show @ Q100 for the term) called me one day & I decided to answer thinking I was mature enough to have a meaningful, calm conversation with him. His particular, unexplainable level of absolute bouchery reached under my skin, stroking my epidermis & sent those familiar words flying out of my mouth. (Think Scott Disick.) I thought I was good. (I should have ignored the calls a couple more years. Cheers to trying to adult. )
That ruined my non-cursing streak to say the least & I’ve been off and on the train ever since. Totally fine with it. Now I know I’m capable of quitting anytime! I’m older and have slightly more cTontrol over my emotions & mouth. Slightly. I just don’t want to right now. Like any diet, moderation is key. I’ll keep it to a few words here and there & if absolutely necessary, drop some bombs. Ladies can curse and I’m still a f’ing lady.
*Written in response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt, Happy Endings.