Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sometimes I Use Bad Words

Hi. My name is Tina and I am addicted to bad words. There will be some minor profanity present in this post. Also, I may not be coherent; I am very tired.

I said my first curse word before the age of ten. I got that word from my mother, who occasionally exclaimed "shit" when she would see the messy state of my room. Other words soon followed.

Curse words were fun to say around your friends, fun to write on desks and walls, fun to mumble when the teacher reprimanded you. Everyone was doing it!! Behind that feeling of fun was the danger of being caught speaking or writing curse words. That made it even MORE fun to use those words.

In college, I let loose and cursed only as much as the other women I hung out with did. It was like smoking a cigarette for me--say a few curse words and release that tension. Much better than nicotine. In grad school, I cursed because everyone else in the bar did that. That's sort of the secret language of bartenders, especially when nobody's tipping. At that point, I was mainlining those curse words every chance I got.

And then it all had to change. I started working for a school district. I started trying to clean up my language. I had to go cold turkey, otherwise I was afraid that I would slip up. I was successful, for the most part. I have also been pretty good at watching my sporadic cursing around Zane, using colorful 'alternative' words. It is somewhat ironic/annoying to me that my husband is the one who chastises me for my occasional use of bad words in front of our son. Larry cusses like a lonely sailor on shore leave--he just doesn't do it around Zane. But this is about me. I had to admit I had an addiction to cursing after this particular event.

It was seven thirty in the morning a few years ago. I was at my elementary campus, waiting in the conference room for a meeting to start. All was quiet; the only ones nearby were the secretaries.

I was still sleepy, because my circadian wake up time is ten in the morning. Because I was still sleepy, I had one of those gigantor cups of coffee. I had it sitting next to me while I typed on my laptop. My cell phone rang and in the general melee which occurs whenever I have to answer a phone, I knocked over that gigantor cup of coffee.

On my laptop.

Under the circumstances, I did what any normal person would do: I yelled 'Fuck!' word at the top of my lungs. (okay, maybe a normal person wouldn't yell the 'F' word, but they would definitely yell a word.)

The second the word left my mouth, I wanted it back.

I wasn't at home.

I wasn't with friends.

I was at work.

At an elementary school.

I didn't want to talk to that caller anyway, I decided. It was probably some parent with a complaint about a report.

I was mortified, suddenly more concerned about what I said than about my laptop. What if a kid had been out in the office with their parents? What if it was an impressionable child, with autism, who liked words to stim by? I had visions of a little blonde boy flapping his hands and saying "fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck" for two hours. If anyone had heard me, I was going to be pilloried.

Luckily, the secretaries were the most wonderful people in the world. Either that, or they were used to people screaming obscenities, but let's think positively in this case.

I've come to realize that sometimes, a bad word is the only word that fits the situation. I'm not going to tell anyone which situations might apply; everyone has their individual tipping point, and I don't want to cast aspersions on anyone. Those who occasionally cuss know what I am talking about.

And let's get it out there: sometimes it feels VERY good to say a bad word. It releases from your mouth and carries with it something that might have been bothering you. A good curse word sometimes acts like a pressure valve, releasing the frustration within you that is about to blow up in your face.

I don't mind if other people curse, in fact I sometimes stand close to them just so I can inhale the smoke of their profanity and gain some vicarious enjoyment.

If that's not an addict, I don't know what is. I wonder if anyone will come up with a patch for cursing. You could wear it over your mouth to keep you from cursing. Or it could give you an electric shock when you do curse. I would wear one!


  1. I too have to stifle myself at work and around my son. On those occasions when I just cannot hold back, I'll let it fly in Italian. I still get the satisfaction of cursing, but no one has any idea what I'm saying.

  2. I have had to curve my "bad word usage" since my daughter was born. It is hard becasue sometimes a good "bad word" gets the point across and meaning behind it needs no explanation. I agree it is a great release and I too am not easly offended...I am trying to work on curving this...but ever now and then the "F" words slips out..and well...I don't take it back..LOL. Great Post!!

  3. LOL! My friend Sylvia says that God doesn't understand German, so she will use those curse words in the office. I'm the only one that understands her, and I giggle.


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