But I don’t really. Swear, that is.
I wasn’t always like that. There were times when a few well-placed expletives found their way into conversations once in a while. It was mostly when I was much younger and trying to fit in. Then, when I was older, it was to make a point. I tried to use them well. Like, there’s a part in the movie Failure To Launch where Matthew McConaughey’s character tells Sarah Jessica Parker’s to “get the f*** out” of his car and, I’m sorry, but it seemed appropriate.
Then I met The Husband and I noticed how he never cursed. EVER. (Except that he doesn’t think b*st*rd is a bad word, and I do. But I also have used the word pr*ck and not thought anything of it, then I said it in front of my mom one time and thought she was going to put me over her knee right then and there even though I was 27-years-old.) But anyway, The Husband didn’t curse. And I’ve seen the man in some serious pain, where you’d think a good cuss would actually make you feel better.
He didn’t curse, he didn’t find cursing attractive, so I deleted the choice words from my vocabulary.
That was seven years ago. Seven years of making it a point to not curse plus two children equals a woman who will spell out the word c-r-a-p among adults. (I do type it though. That doesn’t seem as bad. Or carp, because holy carp is still funny to me.) And watch this… I type OMGosh, because I want it to be clear that I’m not saying God. Or WTHeck. You get the idea. (Oh, but I do still find monkey fighting and motivators funny. Is that wrong? That might just contradict this whole post. Oh well.)
So I don’t swear, and now when people do swear in front of me, I get all uncomfortable. It doesn’t happen a lot, because I’m in a bubble. My People are The Husband, and we’ve established what his thoughts on it are, The Girls, and the older one corrects me if she hears me say c-r-a-p, and The Friends, who are mostly friends from church and you don’t often hear them swearing either.
But, in a couple of months the older daughter will be starting school — public school. (Cue the scary music! Not really, because I’m not skeered.) I want to be an involved parent, and that means I will be around other involved parents. And as I learned from going to a couple of birthday parties this past year, some of them sprinkle a few expletives into their dialogue occasionally without batting an eye. And I need to practice not looking completely horrified when it happens.
Because truly, it’s not like I’m thinking less of someone who says a dirty word now and then. I may wonder why they choose to say it, but I don’t expect everyone to be as Pollyannish or goody-two-shoeish as me — especially because I’m not as Pollyannaish or goody-two-shoeish as it seems. But I think my facial expression may tell a different story. My expression may convey the message, “Someone needs their mouth washed out with soap!”
But I really do wonder why the words are used. Because even if you aren’t a Pollyanna goody-two-shoes, curse words are curse words. Kids get in trouble for saying them at school, it’s not considered professional if you use them in the business world (hear that, former realtor?), and movie ratings are still affected by how many and/or which ones are used.
So why say them? What’s the benefit? No one sounds more educated saying them, and it sure doesn’t add class to the conversation. I’m not talking about if you stub your toe and you need something stronger than sugar or darnit. I’m talking about in your day-to-day tête-à-tête (hahah, pardon my French). I’m genuinely curious here. Maybe if I understand it, I won’t wince or wrinkle my nose when I hear them when I’m beyond the bubble.
Unless you say them in front of The Girls, in which case I will wash your mouth out with soap. You’ve been warned.