I’m not exactly sure when it happened but at a certain point in my life, I adopted the crass linguistic skills of a sailor. It isn’t that I use profanity in each and every conversation but I tend to let curse words randomly slip in. Okay, fine. I am totally full of shit. I use profanity rather frequently. In fact, it’s so commonplace that half the time I don’t even realize I’ve cursed.
A few months into my relationship with Ex, my swearing was brought to my attention. He properly argued it wasn’t ladylike, leaving me no choice but to seek out alternative expressions. I settled on fark, the closest I could come to, well, you know. I still had the ability to push my teeth down into my lower lip as I hissed the F and and I still could land a hard thud against the K finish. Phonetically speaking, fark felt just as delicious to deliver as the curse word it replaced. Surprisingly this un-curse stuck. Or it at least stuck until the end of that relationship. Right around the time Ex told me I was fat I told him he was a fucking superficial shit-prick. Ladies and gentlemen, the bitch is back.
I realize there is absolutely no allure or appeal to someone who uses profanity. Especially when said someone is a classy (cough) woman. Nonetheless, here I am, Ms. Fuckity-Fuck herself.
Well, the other night, I went out for pizza and beer at a hot spot I had never visited. With my belly full and my beer glass almost empty, I melted back into the booth. I was in the middle of a food coma when the server stopped by to see how things were going. It was at this point I inquired about buying a t-shirt emblazoned with the restaurant’s logo.
“Do I ask you or do I get it up at the front?” I politely inquired, my right hand resting on my bloated belly.
“I can get it for you - which one do you want?” he asked with a gentle smile.
“Shit, I totally wasn’t paying attention when I passed the display on my way in,” I said.
“What?” he genuinely asked.
And since it wasn’t bad enough I’d already cursed unnecessarily once while seated in a sea of families and children, I went and repeated my previous statement word for word. I knew what I was doing, I cringed at the sound of my voice enunciating the curse word and yet it easily flowed from my mouth.
“Go look ‘em over and let me know which one you want,” he calmly said before scooting off to tend to another patron.
I slid out from behind the table and as I walked toward the front of the restaurant, I pondered continuing on my forward path and heading right out the door. I was utterly mortified. I couldn’t believe how easily the curse had fallen from my lips. It was unnecessary, it didn’t enhance my statement one bit and it totally made me sound like trash.
As I worked my way back through the restaurant, I saw the server and informed him of my choice. A few minutes later, the t-shirt and the check were delivered to the table. Listen, I’m a good tipper. Even if you spill my drink and spit in my food, you’ll get twenty percent. Well, this waiter was attentive and polite and quick to please. He also had tolerated my wretched mouth. I tipped thirty percent. And as I signed on the dotted line, I began pondering how to kick my swearing habit once and for all.
Growing up, Leslie got into a terrible routine of incorporating the word like no less than three times in each and every sentence. It drove my father bonkers. So, one night at the dinner table while I chased some chicken around my plate, Leslie told a story about something that had happened at school. And like she was like so shocked that the teacher would like do such a thing. Every time she uttered the word like, my father raised his hand. I just sat there giggling while she got flustered.
In the end, my dad’s efforts worked flawlessly. She immediately dropped like from her vocabulary. Maybe I need to hire someone to shadow me and visibly raise their hand whenever I slip up. Or maybe I need to pretend everyone I’m speaking with is a potential client. Or maybe I just need to really make a good faith effort to think before I speak, thereby providing ample time to swap out words and avoid the f-bomb. Or maybe – oh for the love of God, fark it.