Monday, October 08, 2007

Yeah, well, I have a few choice words for you too!

Sometimes, a girl just needs to swear. I'm not talking about smashing your thumb with a hammer or stubbing your toe and falling down in front of Mr. Hottie. I'm not talking about breaking a nail or dripping coffee down your front.

Sometimes, a girl's gotta swear. Like when you're running late to work and end up behind Mr. Slow-as-Molasses on the freeway. Like when you remember that thing you knew you were forgetting. Like when you just put on clean socks and walk onto a puddle on the bathroom floor, a puddle of who-knows-what, so you have to change your socks again.

I swear. I don't swear much anymore, although you might not want to play card games with me. Card games tend to bring out colorful language. I swear appropriately: never in front of coworkers, grandparents, or children. I understand and respect that not everyone wants to hear every word. But, likewise, just about any word can be used effectively at the right time.

I remember my grandmother swearing in front of us. "Damn" this and "scheiße" that. One time, she was driving us somewhere, I forget where exactly, when out of no where she put together four or five dirty words that should never have gone near each other. My sister and I started laughing, knowing both how foul the words were and how not to use them.

Swearing, like alcohol or cigarettes, is one of those things we try on for size as we mature. I didn't know better when I was little... slipping in the occasional word I'd learned from my parents or friends. Mom was not impressed. Dad was less impressed. But as I grew, the level of "potty mouth" increased. "Crap" and "butt" were about the worst we could get away with growing up. I think I slid in a "really pissed off" once in high school without getting in trouble. Anything else, though, was taboo.

Then, I started college. My parents' sweet, innocent, naïve young woman met some very nice sailors, marines, and soldiers. I hate to stereotype, but when it comes to swearing servicemen, well... I learned to swear from the best of the best. And Mom swears, too. So I had a lot of knowledge beforehand. When I moved out, my poor roommates received what became a year-long blue streak. While funny at times, I know they didn't always appreciate my candor.

Those rough-and-tumble days swearin' with the boys didn't do much for my social life, though. Yes, I can swear, but I've learned that guys don't always like a girl with a mouth worse than theirs. I've slowly whittled down the amount of swearing I produce, or at least the volume with which I say it. ;)

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