Monday, June 6, 2011

I swear....

I think I was about 16 the first time I really swore (like s**t or f**k), mostly as an experiment, just to see how it felt. Of course, I never swore in front of my father, or other adults. I couldn't swear at school, and I didn't really bother at work because though my coworkers wouldn't care, there were customers.

The end result? I don't really swear much. It happens now and again - usually when I am really angry or really flabbergasted by something. If I swear, it's for emphasis or to make a point. You'll rarely see it in my writing. Mostly, it happens in traffic.

...unless they do it right.
Want to know where I learned the words? You'll laugh - my grandmother (Nanny, we called her). She was something else; smart, funny and sharp. Nanny didn't take, er, crap from anybody and she was most definitely in charge.

But in her day, a lady didn't swear. Really, women didn't speak out of turn at all - but like I said, Nanny was sharp. She was a little ahead of her peers. Sure, her role was very traditional, and she did all the cooking and cleaning and pretty much all the child-raising for my dad and uncles. But she was also the only female in my family allowed at the poker table during family reunions.

So, at her 75th birthday, Nanny stood up and announced that, from then on, she was going to say whatever words she wanted. She was 75, and felt she'd earned that right.

Still, Nanny used the words sparingly (especially the f-word). When she did swear, Nanny would get this look in her eye that said, "I know I'm doing something wrong, but I'm so excited be getting away with it." That look made it impossible to do anything other than giggle.

So, while I guess I learned the words from Nanny - I also learned that a real lady doesn't use them unless she really needs them.

When did you start using "those" words?


  1. Probably when I was in college was when I really started swearing. Most of them picked up from my father who would typically break them out when working on something around the house and have it go awry. A swearing grandparent story would be when visiting my grandparents in England my granddad was throwing around the word bitch.. when talking about a female dog... I was shocked as a 7 year old, until I found out how common it was there.

    I don't swear very often though, it's just not classy.

  2. I think culture plays a huge part in this whole thing.

    My dad was always careful not to let the swear words fly, even when a project went terribly wrong. So, I knew the words - but I didn't hear them enough to care, or want to use them, I suppose.

  3. I think it's an admirable quality in you and shows a lot of class. It's probably one of my biggest character flaws and I am disappointed in myself that I can't kick the habit. I try, and my goodness I have gotten a lot better. 10 years in the restaurant industry is what fueled that spark into a flame for me. Tsk, tsk.... someday maybe I will kick that nasty habit.

  4. I cannot swear!! I mean I just stutter and it just comes out rather awkward if I even try when I am alone, just to see how it feels!! :D