I’ll be honest – prior to becoming pregnant with my first child, over four years ago, I could swear up a blue streak. It didn’t matter at who – friends, ignorant drivers, the television. I was always of the opinion that the word “f*ck” was able to express any emotion on the spectrum: elation, excitement, anger, disappointment … the list really goes on and on.
However, when I became pregnant with my daughter those many years ago, something in my gut told me that it was extremely classless to walk around uttering words “appropriate only for a beer garden,” as my late grandmother would say. (Maybe my late grandmother took up residence in my gut after she passed, I don’t know.) I began choosing my words very carefully, and in the event that an opportunity presented itself to use colorful language, I substituted the swearing with a ridiculous phrase in its own right – things like “Crap on a crayon,” “Crapbag,” and the like, when phrases like “Sh*tbag ballsucker” used to be more appropriate.
After my daughter was born, I kept the habit up of avoiding poor choices in slang, and aside from select written pieces both here and on other sites I write for, most swear words were no longer part of my vocabulary. It seemed I’d trained myself away from using such language.
A few months after my daughter turned three, we all went out to a nearby diner for dinner on a random, faceless Friday night. A woman, two children I’m assuming were hers, and a female companion were seated at a nearby table. The children were climbing all over the booth like little monkeys, and through it all, the mother’s conversation with her friend never wavered once. She was a rather loud speaker (no judgement there; I am too. I was once told that my volume settings were broken), but after awhile, I kept catching snippets of “c*nt,” “coc*sucker,” and “f*ck.” (Sorry for all of the asterisks, but we have advertisers these days, friends.) I was horrified. Embarrassed. Didn’t know …