Growing up in a house where the words shit, hell, goddamn, christ, frig and many combinations of these, such as good goddamn, as in I don’t give a good goddamn or frigging jesus, as in friggin jesus christ what the hell are you doing or holy shit as an alternative to wow were being used daily, I realized at a very young age that these were only words. Words used to express oneself in a particular fashion or situation. So these particular words and more of the same are habitually used in my vocabulary.
I always told people that my mother taught me to swear, which hit home when she first came to visit after I moved in with The Doc. We had his sons (seven and nine) regularly; and on my mother’s first visit to our home, she wasn’t in the door for thirty seconds when something, and I don’t remember what, happened to evoke the use of the word shit. The nine-year-old immediate reacted by saying, I guess that runs in your family. Yes I guess it did. Shit was a word I used a lot.
It surprised people, early in my career, when I used choice words because I didn’t look like I would say shit if I had a mouthful. I looked much younger than my years, like an innocent young girl, someone you would take home to meet your mother. Most mothers hoped I would have a good influence on their daughters or sons. Yes I was quiet and shy and a good student; but that didn’t stop my use of choice words because, like I said, they were only words. Quite often people didn’t believe what they heard whenever I spoke them so I easily got away with it.
My use of choice words, however, is very selective. I use them to vent, as a response and release in certain situations. I am a person who needs to vent. I do not use them as a personal attack and I deliberately choose not to use words that are meant to be demeaning to an individual such as stupid, slut, bastard. I have been on the receiving end of such words and know exactly how that feels. I have seen children on the receiving end of such words. I have seen the hurt in their eyes and the lack of self confidence in their gait. These words are more than just words. They do damage. Please choose your words wisely.
The one word that my mom never dropped was the f-bomb. I picked that one up on my own. It appeared so often in the literature I read over the years that it entered my vocabulary via osmosis. These days it appears so very frequently on popular TV shows that it really has become just a word. But there is something about this word. Saying this word is such a satisfying release. I know this because once, in the past, I tried to substitute something else for this word. But really fluff off just didn’t cut it. It is just too soft and way too fluffy. It lacks the hard exasperated feel of the f u and powerful slam of the c k. A combination that makes fuck my favourite choice word. It was the perfect word last week when I slammed my fingers in the front door. Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! And then the healing process began and I didn’t need to say anything else.
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Image: Jenn Stone