Once upon a time I was one of those kids; the goody two-shoes that followed all of the rules and didn’t curse. I must confess that even then I said “Damn”. It was never seen as a curse word in our house. Probably, because it was one of the few my mother allowed herself to use. I’ve had discussions with my brood on the topic of curse words, vulgar language, and impolite language. What falls into each category differs depending on whom you ask.
Definitions of cursing aside, my non-cursing little self ventured off to the crazy world of college. It wasn’t the frat parties I didn’t attend or the drunk suite-mate on the floor, or the torture of eight a.m. classes which broke my resolve. It was the R word: a relationship. For a handful of years, in that rocky boat I cursed with abandon, and then I became a mother. In preparation for when Mr. Smarty-pants could actually understand what I was saying, I gave up cursing for Lent a few months after he was born. I figured it was good practice and the Almighty would approve. Fear of divine retribution in the form of a cursing toddler kept me on the straight and narrow. (Unfortunately, Cloudy, my ex, did not comprehend the need to clean up his language.)I suppose the reward for my Lenten reformation was a toddler that watched mommy’s behavior more than dad’s.
Needless to say, even though my kids have passed the age where I need to strictly censor every word I say, I still try to set an example. I let them know I’m not a cursing Nazi, but rather I feel cursing should be kept to those moments of extreme emotion. (I.e. dropping a hammer on your toe or receiving an unexpected bill for an ungodly sum of money that you don’t have.) I’ve also been adamant in my belief that there are situations and locations where cursing is never acceptable. (ex: school, church, in front of my mother)
Keeping this in mind, picture me running late, driving at a not quite legal speed, and having to hit the brakes because someone cuts me off or has decided to drive twenty miles per hour below the interstate speed limit despite everyone else going twenty over. Hearing yourself saying things like:
“Will you move your (pause) car butt!” vs. my internal “Move your ASS!”
“Well thank you for being a (pause) slow-poke.” vs. “Well thank you for being a moron, asshole!”
“Hello, I’m right here [as car attempts to merge INTO me], you- you-you TWERP!” I think you can fill in the list of less than PG rated names for that one.
Somehow these censored comments at other motorists steal my thunder. My road rage fizzles to road frustration and then to simply, “*sigh* whatever“. I mean, would you be intimidated by a woman telling you to move your car butt? Yeah, I didn’t think so.