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@#!