Profanity shot out of my mouth for the first time at the age of eleven. It came to me as I learned to sew. You see, the damn thread got all tangled up in that fucking bobbin thing and then I had to pull the whole son of a bitch outta there, tear it apart and rip out the stupid zipper. It was a Sunday afternoon. I had unfinished, well, not even started homework and Walt Disney and Ed Sullivan were lurking. Time was ticking and I didn’t have ticking time to waste. And that is precisely when the word darn just didn’t cut it.
I looked around nervously. But I was the only soul in the basement so I got away with, SWEARING. After that moment I don’t believe I ever used the word darn again, unless, of course, in the accompaniment of an adult or if I was trying to be funny in front of my friends saying things like, “Well, wouldn’t you know it, that golly, gosh, darn dog, peed on my leg.”
As I progressed into my teens, the use of profanity grew with great strides and the F-bomb came in real handy. I loved to tell stories and when I started to throw in, fucking, to describe how I really felt about something, there was just no turning back. In my defense, I use profanity as a necessary adjective, not the way kids use it today like it’s supposed to be tossed into every sentence without any relevance.
Then I one day I woke up and I was an adult. And then I became a mother. I figured I wouldn’t swear in front of my kids, but that turned out not to be true. My own offspring set out a swear jar in the living room. It used to cost me a nickel every time I opened my mouth.
One morning in the wee hours, we were heading to the babysitter. We’d stopped at the gas station for treats. We got back in the car and I stuck the Styrofoam cup of coffee between my legs. The dip going from the parking lot to the road caused the cup of Joe to jostle and apparently the lid hadn’t been secured tightly, which meant that hot lava poured between my legs and straight into my hoo-ha, scalding everything in its path. I quickly pulled over to the side of the road to save my vagina from melting like candle wax into the front seat. That is when every naughty word, I’d picked up throughout my entire life shot out of my mouth like the gun had just gone off for a fifty yard dash.
After the tears were wiped from my eyes, the awkward silence in the back seat was broken by my youngest.
“That’ll be forty-five cents, Mom.”
He always was good at math.
So that night I divvied up the cash, gave it to the kids and threw away the jar.
Luckily the f-bomb technically is not a swear word, so technically, I didn’t swear.
I was lying on my stomach trying to figure out how to get up. My knee was screaming. I was wearing Sven’s large, clunky winter boots and I felt like I was in one of those not so pretty downhill ski twisted knotty predicaments where you aren’t exactly sure what to do.
Hunter was looking at me sheepishly. His frozen solid dead friend was hanging out of his mouth, and when I say friend, I am using the term loosely and when I say dead, I am not. It was truly a one sided relationship between my dog and a robin. Hunter found it under a big old pine tree earlier that morning on our first walk. It had been in perfect shape, other than the fact that its bright orange breast wasn’t pulsing with a heartbeat and its eyes were stuck wide open. I tried to convince him to drop the damn thing, but he was not in a convincing mood. Instead the popsicle-like bird came along with us on our walk. When we got back to the house I had to draw the line.