Monday, July 26, 2010

Vulgar Habits

Barbara: As I’ve said before, I wasn’t brought up religious. My dad worked in the music industry and my mother is an abstract artist. I mean the kind of parents who are inherently pretty cool and progressive by most standards. But for some reason, I grew up with a low threshold for being vulgar.

I like vulgarity. I respect people who can lob off a good fuck (er ... you know what I mean). I’ve always been attracted to people who tell it like it is, warts and all, no precious attachment to propriety. But I’m embarrassed to admit that I’m a wimp when it comes to letting my own mouth run off. Soap would never have been needed to wash this mouth. Not for a long time anyway. And when I finally did allow a healthy little “shit” or “fuck” to pass my lips, the only one who was shocked was me.

One of my most vivid childhood memories is walking down the street with a friend as she was telling me some scandalous story of betrayal. We were maybe 11. I suddenly realized her outrage deserved a good, wanton, and commiserative blurt. My cheeks burned in anticipation of what would be my first verbal vulgarity. I opened my mouth and let loose the most scandalous words I could manage: “Oh god.” Not capital G, God –– he was pretty much a storybook character to me. But the swear word, the curse, the cuss: “god”. It was scary. And not in a delicious, wanton way. But in a spine-tingling, hair-on-end kind of way.

After my first foray, I had to work hard to keep up a healthy flow of this new-found vocabulary. It was almost a chore knowing how to properly insert that perfect swear-word like it was just another "and" or "the". But the floodgate had opened (if creakily) and I could finally be part of the in-crowd ... even if it made my stomach turn. It was sort of like getting used to the taste of beer. No part of first drinking beer was good for me. It tasted awful, I didn’t like the rush, and I burped a lot. Then I started to enjoy the rush. Then I liked the taste. Then the burping became superfluous.

Now, I’m an old-hand at swearing. But it still isn’t pretty. Fuck.

Deb: For fucking out loud, Barb, you are sooooooo not vulgar. Honestly, people, she wouldn’t say shit if her mouth was full of it. Damn it all, I try my best to be a lady, but sometimes the bastards get you down and you have to let out with a good &*%#&%**^*^*#$%F@#!


  1. I try not to curse very much but there are times when I do let out a good swear word here and there. I am actually very bad at it when I am driving and someone cuts me off. I am also bad for fliping people the bird. I think that is my worst thing. Like I said I try not to swear,but sometimes you just have to let it out and go on about your day. I always feel gulity after I swear because I am always thinking that there is a better way of handling things,but what the hell,oh well.

  2. LOL. You should hear my fiance!!!! In Greek and English! hehe

  3. Swear words are such a great release of pent up emotion. Dang just doesn't cut it. And swear words are so handy! The word Fuck is beautifully versatile. What other word can be used as a verb, a noun AND an adjective all in one sentence?
    "That fucking lame ass fuck really fucked up good."
    See how I did that?
    Like fucking poetry.

  4. I, too, love a good fuck.

    And using it as a swear word.

  5. Ha ha! Thanks for the laughs, ladies. See, now I wish I could do that without blushing!!!!

  6. I curse like a sailor. Mr Nag often asks me if I eat with that mouth.

  7. These comments are making me laugh out loud. Gae, I hear ya. Absofuckinglutely!

  8. Barb I was like you, Jack and my sister use to discuss how bad I was at cussing. They said it just didn't sound right when I said it. They got a big laugh about it.
    Then I started having to fill out paper work and deal with the government. Unfucking believable.
    Now Jack's telling me maybe I should try to cut back a little.

  9. When my daughter was in Kindergarten, I was hauled down to the office to talk about her use of the word "bugger." I assured them that I was very strict about her vocabulary and if she ever, ever, ever said, "with who" instead of "with whom," I woiuld wash her mouth out with soap.

    It is a shame but swear words have lost moost of their potency!

  10. Yeah, TJL, I hear you! And hvonp -- that is CLASSIC! Well played, my dear.

  11. Cussing in multiple languages.
    Consider it a mental exercise in linguistics. ;)

    I try not to cuss. I never did cuss growing up, but when I started hanging around paramedics in my early 20's, I, unfortunately, picked it up. Now, I pretty much only let it really fly when I'm very tired and very angry. That's a dangerous combination for me. Strangely, I cuss more in my writing than I do with my mouth. *shrugs*

    Still, for sheer awesomeness, I'll take Yiddish curses anyday! :)

  12. Frickin funny both of you!!!!


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