Friday, July 24, 2009

I have a new resolution...starting Monday

Every year, on New Year's Day, I make a resolution to stop swearing. Every year on the 2nd of January I give up on that resolution, until the first day of the following year. This will have been happening for 20 years come January. I know this because the first time I made this resolution was on the January after Rox was born, I didn't want my child growing up around a mother who curses like a bad-tempered sailor.

I swear. I am not proud of this fact. I think swearing is horrible, it's unladylike, it's common, it's stupid. And yet, I swear. Most people are quite surprised to hear this, it seems I don't look the "swearing sort"! I'm matronly and mousey looking and it would seem that matronly, mousey people are more inclined to say things like "Oh my goodness" than "Oh shit". I'm afraid I go with "Oh shit!" every single time.

I have tried to analyse why I feel the need to curse at the drop of a hat, ...or a cell phone, ...or a phone line, or a...... you get the picture? And the theory I have come up with is this: (1) I think in swear words. The sentences that form in my head are littered with graphic, descriptive, techni -coloured swear words. (2) I am an emotional kind of person and I feel things really strongly. I don't just feel tired, or happy, or cross; I feel utterly exhausted (in my head I'm thinking... buggered), ecstatically happy (in my head I'm happy as a pig in shit), or totally fed up (in my head I'm thinking...pissed off) Do you see the problem?

I have learnt to control this "issue" of mine. Basically what I do is censor the words before they come out of my mouth. It goes something like this:

I think "Oh shit, I forgot my bloody shopping list again!"
I say "Ag no, I left my shopping list at home."

I think "Would you look at that ar$ehole, overtaking on a blind rise! idiot!"
I say "Hmmm, these taxi drivers need to go for driving lessons"

It works, but it's exhausting and I have to watch my tongue the whole time. And it also makes the world seem, I don't know, dull? And boring?

In any event, it works. So what's the problem you wonder?

The problem is, that the self-censoring only works most of the time. It does not work when I get a fright, am taken by surprise, or hurt myself...... Problematic.

I once tripped going into church.....enough said.

Or take for example the excrutiating moment, on a boat with our tour group, in the middle of Lake Lucerne, when I thought I had dropped Rox's camera into the flipping lake! Oh dear! What came out of my mouth was loud, it was descriptive and it was not at all lady-like. I froze with my hand clamped firmly over my mouth too late and my family froze, wide-eyed, looking at me in horror. I blush and squirm just thinking about it. Fortunately my girls saw the funny side of it later and we giggled late into the night about my Most Embarrassing Moment. (Rox's camera was fine, it landed on a little ledge and was retrievable....thankfully) But seriously who wants a mother who does stuff like this??

Then there was the moment when I made a complete (uh, insert rude word for breast) of myself by dropping my shoe between the tube and the platform in London and found myself hopping about a tube on one leg (well would you put your foot down on a dirty tube floor?) to the amusement of half of London.

Anyway, the bottom line is that I have realised that it is time to rid myself of this stupid weakness. I am trying to cultivate a more...gracious, ladylike and dignified persona for myself.

We'll see how that works out for me.........


Ness @ Drovers Run said...

Fuck that censorship shit - I say Swear!

Joanne said...

This post is hilarious. I have exactly the same problem, and i cant stop, I have been doing the 1st Jan thing too for years! Most people that know me know I swear, they put up with it and my kids have given up!

Jenny in Durbs said...

Too funny for words ! You do look like the "ladylike type". Sorry just can't stop laughing - be yourself.

Simone said...


good luck.

Simone said...


good luck.

Caz said...

hehe really enjoyed this post. I have a similar problem tho the phrase that I ALWAYS spew out at inopportune moments is "KAK innie bos!" That'll teach me to leave the soutie central of east london and move to the cape. It really is so embarassing - my Band works full time for a church so I really should be a sort who is a tad more ladylike than that!!

PS intention is to try blog a bit in labour but may end up just tweeting so maybe sign up for twitter - it's very quick - can do it through my blog on right hand side xx

Kirsty said...

Too funny! I too,swear. All the time! And I have 3 sets of little flappy ears who then go on and repeat the obscenities at nursery school! Verrrry embarrasing!
I have to disguise the swearing in my blog to farking and shite and bladdy... otherwise I get google freaks and weirdos googling shite like that!
Hope you are over your holiday blues!
Kirsty x

Ordinarylife said...

too - funny, good luck!

geoff said...

very funny

Simply-Mel said...

Yeah, I too am know to utter less than kosher words.

Crap is used very frequently, frankly I think its a perfectly polite way to say something is SHIT.

I do find casual swearing colourful - am not a hardcore eff and c*** swear though....

Andrea said...

I have sooooo missed your way with words lol...felt heartened to know that there is another mother out there with a mouth like a husband is always tsk tsking me.


angel said...

I swear a shite load too... and I work with a bunch of people who do not approve- even though they never say anything!
I have started using other words in place of swear words. Like fork, forkitall, shite, four five six, Christmas, cheez and rice...


Jeanne said...

I'm sorry - I don't drink, I don;t smoke, I have never even tried drugs... but I swear. It's my one vice and you know what? I ENJOY it!! It reminds me that despite my middle-class suburban life I am not 400 years old, and it gets my anger and frustrations right out rater than letting them simmer and drive my blood pressure up. I mean, c'mon - screaming F******************CK! When you whack your thumb with a hammer is just a million times more satisfying than saying "oh dearie me". Better out than in, I always say.

Having said that, I try to steer clear of blasphemy and try hard not to swear in front of people who I think will be offended, or total strangers. Umm... except maybe on a ski slope, when all bets are off. I have tremendously enlarged the English vocabularies of a number of French schoolchildren while on a piste :)

I say fuck 'em - swear away!

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