I swear. Ugh, it feels so good to finally say it out loud. I say bad words. And sometimes, if I let an eff bomb drop and The Beast crawls into the room and his ears get in the way of my sound waves…well then, he hears the rumble of the bomb. You can judge me if you want but this is a deeply ingrained habit. I’ve been addicted to profanities for as long as I can remember. You can’t just expect me to stop all of a sudden. I’d need some sort of rehab to gently wean myself off my dependency.
I’ve always had a rich vocabulary. When I was three I swore at my brother. He told on me and my mom got mad. Not only did she get mad, she got even. She marched my tiny tainted mouth into the bathroom. Brother and I knew exactly what was going to happen next. She was going to wash my soiled mouth out with soap. Again. Brother panicked and tried to retract his tattle, “No Mom! No! She didn’t mean to say it!” I can hear his pathetic attempt to save me now. God love him. Mom sat me up on the counter and stuffed a whole bar of Ivory into my mouth and left it there for HOURS. (Okay, maybe she just touched the bar on the end of my tongue, but whatever). After I finished crying, I started giggling like a crazy person. The tears were fake but the giggles were so very, very real. Swearing was exhilarating in a deranged sort of way.
Nevertheless, I decided to take a few years off from swearing and experiment with kissing boys instead. By grade three I was bored with boys and decided to try my mouth at bad words again. I was obsessed with Ritchie Valens and decided to make my innocent friend re-enact my favourite scene from the movie ‘La Bamba’. She got to be Ritchie so I could be his badass brother, Bob. We got some empty beer bottles out of the closet and went out on my deck to do the scene. My friend said her line. I responded by pretending to take a huge, drunken swig of beer and roared, “This shit tastes like piss!” We giggled our heads off like euphoric school-girl druggies who just finished a hit. Then we heard, “HEY! WATCH YOUR LANGUAGE!” It was my dad. Dad never washed my mouth out with soap before, but he used Irish Spring, so I knew it was going to be bad.
Irish Spring must have tasted alright because by grade four, I was ready to try my mouth at the eff word. I planned my verbal defilement carefully this time. I would do it at school where neither Mom nor Dad could pop out and soap me. A whole bunch of us were skipping rope at recess. Not the lame little singular jump rope all by yourself. Oh no, we were doing the ‘double-dutch, while saying a rhyme, with some ‘red hot pepper’ at the end’ kind of jump rope. It was my turn. I knew I wasn’t going to make it through the speed skipping at the end. I never did. Just as I tripped up, I yelled, “F&*K!” Again I launched into a delirious giggle fit until I heard, “WHO SAID THAT!?” It was the meanest teacher on duty. I knew I was in shit. Just as I was about to point my finger at an innocent bystander, I turned to see everyone pointing at me. She hauled me into the school by the ear (not really by the ear…maybe by the coat) and pointed her rigid granny finger in my face. She proceeded to tell me off using every phrase in the book; however, much to my bewilderment, she did not use one single swear word. When she was done yelling I asked, “What kind of soap do you use?”
So there is a brief history of how my swearing addiction got started. Look, I know The Beast’s language skills began developing the minute he was born. I know I shouldn’t swear in front of him. I can only hope, and possibly pray (if it comes to that), that all the cooing and singing and tongue clicking we’ve done will prevail over the odd curse word. But when I do get the inevitable phone call from his school saying he dropped a vile expression, I’ll be sure to respond with something indecent like, “No shit?! I’ll be sure to kick his arse when he gets home. Don’t you worry. I don’t know where he gets it. I swear.”