Legends of Swearville

I wish there had been swearing tournaments in the 70’s. My parents would have dominated in singles and doubles, at the international level. They were swearing phenomenons. My mother ranked slightly higher than my father, with long prolific phrases like, “goddammit motherfucker cocksucking sonofabitch.”  The two of them could string together profanity so artfully it would have been beneath them to even consider using words like “hell,” “shit,” or “damn.”

As you know, I also swear. Especially when I’m agitated. But it sounds more like I just arrived in America and only know the words “hello” and “fuck.” When I lose my mind, I say stupid things like, “fucking fuck [flustered word search], fuck.” Given my heritage, the lack of creativity is shamefully unimpressive.

My parents’ ability to turn a profane phrase will never be rivaled or duplicated.  Therefore, I don’t even bother swearing in front of Anna (my 8yo for my new WP pals). The most I could ever hope for is third place, and I’m a first place kind of girl.

Another reason I don’t swear in front of her is because I’m a southern mom. We quietly smile through blinding fury if there’s a child or old person within earshot. It takes years of practice, but we’re particularly committed to repressing negative feelings. We take great pride in it, until we go to therapy or it gives us ass cancer.

I envy parents who swear in front of their kids (related articles below). They’re willing to share their true and whole self no matter how messy that might be sometimes.  Transparency in any relationship is a gift.

My parents probably could have dialed it back a tiny bit on the transparency, but I knew who they were as people, and I knew where they stood on everything and everyone.  I imagine it’s similar in the houses of the people in the articles.

It’s not that way in my house.  But I’d like it to be.  Thanks to locking myself out, two days in a row, when it was hotter than hell outside, and humid as fuck, I got some practice.

Being bitter shit-pissed on the inside is easy.  Making a scene outside your own front door yelling every foul word you know while your child is in the car 10 feet away is hard.  Like impossible.  I thought about it, and I really wanted to do it, but I couldn’t.  I maintained my composure and politely whisper-shouted, “fuck” through gritted teeth.

Note:  this does zero to help express or release anger.  Accordingly, I was still silently fuming when I got back into the car.  To make the situation more dysfunctional and neurotic, I transformed my fury into a pleasant smug feeling by congratulating myself on not breaking my eight year track record of not swearing in front of my daughter.  [Except for the time I said, “ASS” on purpose for effect].  That feeling disappeared when I heard this from the back seat…

Anna: “Mommy did you just say the f word?”

It was 98 degrees outside and the humidity was 1,000,000%. My brain collapsed in on itself.

me: “Yep totally just said the f word.”

Anna: “I thought so.”

Here’s what you should know about stifling heat. In addition to converting ordinary frustration into an imaginary DEFCON 1 scenario, heat makes you tell the truth against your will.  The sun systematically melts your brain through your hair, which makes it impossible to think quickly, or to lie properly.  Any temperature above 86 degrees in the south is a no-lie zone. In arid states you can safely lie for another seven or eight degrees.

I stopped moving when I heard my mouth admit to saying the f word, and then I panicked.  No no no!  Say you said “luck!” as in what bad luck about the door and blather blather blather.

Another person in my head said:  lookit jack ass, you‘re honest to a fault with other people, and it’s one of their favorite things about you.  Being your whole self is the cornerstone of every important friendship in your life.  Why the fuck would you hide that from the one person you love more than anything on the planet you idiot repressed dumbshit?

Me:  “The next time I say the f word I’m going to shout it real loud and do a fantastic freak-out dance at the same time.”

Anna:  “Mommy you’re crazy.”

Me:  “Yep totally doing it.  It’s about to get real up in here.”

She smiled and looked out the window.  I think she was relieved.  It must be exhausting to live with someone who hides negative emotions.  It could also cause her to believe any negative feelings she has are weird or wrong.  Not bueno.  I wasn’t thinking about that while I was busy impersonating Mrs. Cleaver.

It wasn’t always comfortable seeing the array of negative emotions in my parents and hearing the swearing that came along with them, but it beats the shit out of feeling like you live on a TV set.

My mom and dad will always be the legends of Swearville in my mind, but now I see they were also the ambassadors of Realville.

I’m headed there now.  And I’m taking Anna with me.

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  1. Miss Molly says:

    Laughing my fucking ass off! While I think a well-timed raging curse can stop traffic when it comes from somebody who doesn’t swear all the time, those of us who grew up when the f-word was the most forbidden of forbiddens hardly remember when it didn’t slip through our lips willy nilly. And after one long, hot summer in North Carolina I know exactly what you mean about the fucking heat. Jesus H. Christ, it’s hot down there!

    • Jesus H. Christ hahaha! So true on a swear rant from someone unexpected stopping traffic. That would never work for me – people are too used to my foul mouth. Dammit!

      Great to see your name pop up Miss Molly : ). Thanks for stopping by!

  2. You grew up in the University of Swearville. You have recieved a fine education. When you kid gets older, you will be ready. Your kid will think they can best you because they learned how to say shit in a sentence. You will then unload on them crushing their motivation with every sylable. you will talk to them in a way that they will fear discussing with their friends the next day. Hopefully none of this will be necessary but if it is you will be prepeared

    Great post LOL Thanks for the ping pack

  3. Our parents sound similar! I used to just assume that Fuck was one of the vowels I heard it so much. We, especially I, swear in front of the kids from time to time. Who cares? So far they don’t repeat it to be dicks or anything, and they’ll not be the kids on the playground who don’t know what words mean or how to use them, so that’s good.

    Oh, and this story was fucking hilarious and made me want to hug you and then laugh at you in a lawn chair with a cold beer from across the street.

    • Hahaha fuck IS a vowel. I’m sure of it! And you’re totally right about not wanting them to be naive jackasses on the playground. Sigh. Anna asked me yesterday if she was allowed to say crap. That’s the degree of lock-down over here. So crazy bc when she’s not around, not all hell breaks loose, but a good portion of it does. Balance. I know it when I swing past it (Grant Henry gets the credit for that one).

      You’re the only person that can make laughing at me from across the street funny and charming. Thanks for chiming in – your comments always make me laugh out loud. It’s like getting a personal Don mini-post every time. Thanks you’re the best!

      • Don’t be too strict with her. There’s a reason that preachers’ and cops’ kids all grow up to be fucking crack addicted whores. Mommy and daddy wouldn’t let them say tinkle in the house without flipping out! Lol.

      • I’m not strict at all I swear! I just behave really well in front of her. But it’s kind of a lie haha!

  4. After 10 years married to a plumber, I could probably go the distance with your mom. My kids have heard it all to my everlasting shame. It might be healthy for them to see that we feel rage too, but maybe not so much rage.

    • I’m so glad you said that! It’s really just not that serious, is it? I have gone overboard trying to be the perfect parent, and it’s perfectly boring and stressful as fuck…I don’t plan on becoming a legend of swearville, but I do plan on relaxing enough to be my whole self. Thanks for your comments Vanessa, you’re awesome!

  5. I try to be as bitter as I can while not swearing. I think that is my talent.

  6. Steven Beliveau says:

    You need to get up and do some standup or something! So much incredible material! So beautiful… I love your sassy ass! lol Keep it up… keep it up!

  7. So that’s why I have ass cancer…..

  8. Welcome to Swearville. It’s fucking awesome here.

  9. This was hilarious!! I guess I am a messy momma, because I cuss like a sailor in front of my kid! Fuck is my favorite word! 🙂

  10. Was it the pope allowing swearing now, that made us think alike? On the 8th I wrote a blog entry about swearing, And I agree (and my sis does, too), as long as you don’t overdo it or insult somebody else with the swear-word you will do fine. And @ Amy: fucking awesome – well let’s be honest, when done properly, fucking IS awesome. 😉

  11. I started my blog for and about my kids, thus my first attempts were pure and clean, virgin writing. It grew into something different and now I am pimping my own shit with f-bombs all over. Keeping it real, ok maybe moderately real.

  12. Sweet baby Jesus. If a clean mouth and pleasant demeanor is paramount to raising good kids, we’re screwed. I don’t purposefully swear in front of my kids but if an f-bomb goes flying, I don’t sweat it either. If I use profanity in a sentence that’s addressed to them, they know their ship is sunk. But mine are a little bit older.. (not that it justifies my potty mouth… )

    • Yes! People like you give me hope that it’s all going to be alright.

      No matter what happens, I’m sure I’ll be blamed for some crazy shit, couches will be laid on, invoices will be mailed, it will all be my fault, and it will be specific. Here’s the great news. That can’t go on forever because a) I’m not paying for it and b) I’ll lose interest after 13 minutes. Is that bad?

      Oh well, I hope it all that works out for her. I’ll be lounging in the Caribbean somewhere with a cool drink, and a hot dude, decidedly not worrying about shit. Or fuck either haha. Word.

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  14. My Mom would always swear once in a while. Just a shit or damn, now and then. Then I went to a maritime academy, where my fellow cadets were vocabularily challenged. Fuck this and that and everything inbetween. Even when I was working on ship, I toned the swears way down. Since I had my son (10 yrs.), I’d say I swear like my Mom: a shit, fuck, or damn just once in a while. Does my son swear? Yup. Once in a while. But he also knows it’s not ok when he’s at school or at a friend’s house. He gets it, that those are definitely not preferred words; but they’re not going to send him to hell or anything.

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