As some of you know, I gave up cursing for Lent.  I am now 4 days in.

I have a few questions:

  1. If I curse in the car, with the windows rolled up and radio on, does it count?
  2. What if I curse in my head, but don’t say the words out loud?
  3. If I swear in the middle of the woods, is it like that falling tree that nobody hears?

My kids are keeping track.

I said, “Shoot,” today and Tess accused me of using the other “S” word.

“No Tess, I said, ‘Shoot.’”

“I heard you say, you know…” she said.

“You’re wrong.”

She gave me the kind of look that I give her when I ask if she’s brushed her teeth.  But I know I was telling the truth because it’d taken me a lot of effort to use the right word.

Last week a friend of mine asked Tess, while they jacuzzied together at the tennis club, if she liked the movie Rango.

“Yes,” Tess said, “But they used the D word and the H word.”

It took my friend several minutes to figure out which bad words begin with an H or a D.  He then asked her if I was a nice mother.  (Not sure how I feel about that!)

“Yes, but sometimes she uses bad words.”

“I’m sorry I use bad words,” I’ve said to my kids. “I know it’s wrong.  But I’m from Brooklyn.”   Lame excuse, I know, but honestly, I can’t think of any other reason why the words roll so easily off my tongue.

Yesterday Tess asked if she could sing the line in Pink’s song, Raise Your Glass:  Bam bam oh hot damn.” I have explained to my kids that artists are allowed a certain amount of leeway with their language because they are using it for color, voice, or character.  (Clearly in anticipation of them ever reading something of mine!)

“Ok,” I said.

So she proceeded to sing only that one verse, several times in a row.

Here is what I have to ask myself as I notice how very hard it is for me not to call the driver of the white Toyota stopping at an intersection without a stop sign, a “*#$@ing idiot, who can’t #@#ing drive:”  Does it make me feel better, burning off steam?  Would I be a better person if I stopped?  Is it really just a case of not taking the Brooklyn out of the girl?

I told another friend of mine, who is also Catholic, that I was giving up cursing for Lent.

“No.  Don’t,” she said, “If you do that, I’ll have no one to talk to.”

About Lindsay Jamieson

Author of Beautiful Girl, mother of 2, wife of cinematographer, former dancer, snowboarder -- recovered bulimic.
This entry was posted in Lent, parentling, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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