I Don't Try To Keep My Swearing In Check In Front Of My Kids

by Colleen Dilthey Thomas
Originally Published: 
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Here’s the deal, I curse. A lot. Fuck is one of my favorite words. It’s happy. It’s sad. It’s angry. As far as I’m concerned, it’s almost always appropriate. Shit, love it. Goddamn, a favorite. Asshole, a term of endearment. I’m a big girl, I can say what I want. And I really don’t give a fuck what you think.

Most days start easy: “Oh, shit! We better get moving or we’re going to be late.” I may follow that up with a quick, “Don’t forget that damn water bottle again.” I try not to let the f bombs fly first thing. You know, so the kids can start the day off on the right foot and all. But once my little darlings are out of the car, their real mother comes out, and let’s just say, she’s got a bit of a potty mouth.

I don’t know about you, but I am an excellent driver. I know all of the rules and the laws and stuff, but clearly not everyone else on the road is as great as me. And I feel like it’s my job to let them know. But I’m no dummy. I refrain from hand signals because people might see those and get angry. I prefer to just yell about these idiots to myself. Because, as you know, every dumb motherfucker comes out of their house in a rainstorm and decides to hit the highway during the deluge. Holy shit! Don’t even get me started with the “sunshine slowdown.” These assholes just need to hand over their keys and get a fucking bus pass. And, hey, did you just honk at me at a red light? Fuck off, speed racer, it just turned green! Geez.

I don’t always yell “fuck,” though. There are other words that are just as much fun. I really like the word shit. It’s so versatile. For example, “I don’t understand this shit.” “Clean up your shit, now.” “I don’t give a shit what he said, I said no.” My favorite is probably, “Holy shit!” That covers so much ground, like a surprise or deep sadness. It also pairs nicely with Jesus, Mary, and St. Joseph! That’s when I tie in 16 years of Catholic education and go for a more PG curse. It always makes my mother so proud of her tuition investment.

Don’t you ever just have the urge to call someone an asshole? I do. And I like to use that word a lot. Now, you can be an asshole. You can act like an asshole. You can spot that guy “who is such an asshole.” Again, this one has got a lot of great uses. My husband is very familiar with asshole. For a while, I think that he thought it was his real name. But we won’t get into that here.

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Speaking of my husband, I am not the only curser in my house. If I tallied the daily “Motherfuckers!” screamed at a computer screen, my husband would definitely win. But when dealing with technology, I am more of a son-of-bitch kind of girl. You know, “This son-of-bitchin’ WiFi never works in this goddamn house. I swear to God, we’re switching after this billing cycle!” That just flows off the tongue so nicely, don’t you think? There is one word that I don’t say. I won’t even type it. I’ll give you a clue. It starts with c and ends with three other letters. That one just gives me the chills. It’s so dirty. Even if I think that you are the most vile human being on the planet, I won’t call you that. My husband doesn’t say it either. In a home where we let it all fly, that one stays in its corner. I mean, we do have our standards.

You think that I need a swear jar, don’t you? You know, to keep it in check in front of my kids? Uh, do they take debit? Because I don’t carry that kind of cash on me. And my kids understand that this is how I talk, and that in our house, it is totally a “do as I say, not as I do” kind of thing. They know that such a flowery vocabulary is reserved for the more mature. You have to earn the opportunity to call someone a stupid motherfucking asshole when they piss you off. That’s reserved for the most proficient cursers, and they simply are not ready for that kind of responsibility. And, if they did curse, they would make me look bad and I don’t want anything to mar my perfect parenting track record.

Some days I don’t curse that much. I may only tell my husband that he is acting like an ass, but not actually call him an asshole. I mean, not every word that comes out of my mouth is crass. I have lots of other pleasantries that I share. “I love your new haircut.” “Oh my gosh! Your daughter is darling.” “I am so proud of you and your hard work.” “Shoot! I just cut my finger.” “Darn, I thought you’d like this shirt.” I am a nice person; I just like to spice things up a bit with a fuck here and there. Is that so bad?

Besides, I am not some demure little flower who likes to sit back and be quiet and sweet. If that’s what you’re looking for, keep walking. But if you want to exchange expletives, grab a chair. It is so nice to fucking meet you.

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