Monday, May 29, 2006

I Swear

Actually, I try very hard not to. Swear, that is, but it's hard. Freakin' HARD.

Ok, anyone who's read this blog has read some swear words, but that's different: my two-year-old can't read yet and I'm doing my best to create a cranky persona here. But in the real world, I work very hard not to swear in front of my kid and it only really works if I don't swear in general because it tends to be hard to remember when it's ok or not.

True story, on one of our adult evenings out, on the way to the restaurant Hubby and I spent most of the ride swearing as profanely as possible. "Fuck you, you fuckin fuck!" was a big favorite.

But the truth of the matter is that as I attempt to be a more patient person, (to wit, a better mother) I'm finding that the urge to swear becomes less prevalent. I used to swear at other drivers pretty routinely but now, since I'm like as not to have the child in theh carseat, I've had to knock it off. The result has been that I'm better about not getting quite so pissed off at all the other drivers on the road, no matter how dangerous or idiotic.

A side note: thank you Dave Barry, for pointing out that every other driver on the road is either an idiot or a maniac. And we all believe that we're a better-than-average driver, which is of course impossible. In my heart of hearts, I know that I'm a below-average driver because I drive distracted 90% of the time. When not distracted, of course: above average.

And there's swearing and there's swearing: there's the vulgar language of biology--shit, piss, fuck--and the language of sacrelige--goddammit, Jesus Fucking Christ. I avoid the latter. (Oddly, my father-in-law engages freely in the sacreligious but attempts to limit the vulgar--though he's learning to limit both around his granddaughter, which I appreciate.) I think I'm still too much a Church of Christ girl to not feel prickly if I resort to the sacreligious.

There's also the difference between swearing in general vexation and swearing AT someone, the latter of which I am doing my best to eliminate forever because it's aggressive and kind of nasty. (I'm going to insist here that "Fuck you, you fucking fuck!" is an endearment. In the right context.)

But I've also found that if I can say "rats" or "crap" when I'm annoyed instead of "shit" that I seem to be less annoyed. I remember driving with my mom one time when I was getting increasingly peeved at another driver (an idiot) and finally said, Oh For Crying Out Loud and then my mother visibly relaxed--I think she knew that I wasn't going to go into full-on road rage if I could resist swearing in that moment.

I also remember an episode of CSI when two of the female CSIs were discussing an altercation and one said, he probably used THAT word and the other said, I hate THAT word. They meant "cunt," a word that seems to carry with it such a load of hatred against women that it's one of the last true Fighting Words. I've asked a male friend not to use it in my presence. And the attempt in the Vagina Monologues to defang it didn't work for me--I even have trouble typing it.

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