I recently began to wonder if I should work on being less profane. It would be a true and utter struggle for someone who drops the F-word as casually and often as I seem to.
Apparently when I was three or four, my grandmother - my dad's mom - was telling my mother about how Catholic they were, and how they never swore, and basically, how all around holy they were.
And to Betty's complete and utter horror, I, sitting under the table, said, "Oh Jesus Christ." In the same tone exasperated tone Betty would use when, oh, the back floor of the car fell out, or something.
At least I had a better mouth in English than I did in Hindi.
But back to today's profanity situation.
It started with a random article in a magazine someone left in the lobby of my building. I think it was Self. This woman used the F-word at a company picnic, and her husband criticized her, saying it made her sound crass. She chronicled her path to eliminating profanity from her vocabulary.
I didn't find it all that interesting, I must admit, so I can't remember if she was entirely successful or just mostly. She had tips like coming up with substitute words - Fudge! - in lieu of swear words. Say them out loud. Even if people think you're a little nutty!
So I must admit that while I was reading the article I was all, "Ohferfuckssake, like I'm really going to be all 'Ding dang!' in lieu of 'Damn!'"
And then, days later, I was at the San Diego zoo. Which, if you've never been, and even if you generally avoid zoos like the plague because they make you so sad, is actually really, really cool.
While there I got an incredibly irritating email from a colleague. I made the mistake of reading it on my new BlackBerry.
"God fucking dammit! She's such a see you next Tuesday!"
The C-word is one I almost never say. Really, probably only Nick hears me say it. And it's only when I'm really, really furious with someone. In which case I am prone to referring to the loathed person as a "bitch-faced see you next Tuesday," which makes him laugh. He'd like to know what bitch-faced looks like.
Also, I don't use motherf***er. I will say "em-er eff-er" when necessary. But I simply can't say the whole word.
So. The fucking dammits. And the zoo. Where, one of my companions later pointed out, there are many, many children.
She thought about pointing that out while we were there, but then just left it. She has a foul mouth, but she's a mom, so she censors around kids. I hadn't given it a drop of thought since last summer, clearly.
This, coupled with the "just say fudge!" article really made me wonder if I should clean up my act.
I asked Nick if he thought I should cut down on the profanity, and he said, "Years ago I got set up with this beautiful woman. She was gorgeous and really nice. I was excited. And then, on our first date, she was telling me about something that made her really angry. She said she was 'mad as heckfire!' about it."
"Yes. And I never asked her out again. Because I just couldn't be with someone who said 'heckfire.' Who the fuck is 'mad as heckfire' when they're really mad?"
"People in Alabama?"