Sunday was a pretty good day. My parents and Jamie came over for a softball game, and Sammi met us, and the weather was nice and sunny and we all just relaxed in the grass and the sun and watched a doubleheader and it was good.

At some point, one of my sisters asked me if I’d told Dad about the Diet Cock incident, although she used some kind of code because none of us is comfortable saying “cock” around our dad. It’s not a word I say out loud all that often anyway. I said I hadn’t told him, because it would be awkward, but if they wanted him told then Mom had to tell him because I’d called her in Atlanta and told her the story already. And Dad’s like, “What, the concession stand thing? Yeah, I already heard about that.” And Mom says she didn’t tell him, and everyone wants to know how he found out, and he says, “I think I read it on your website.”


It’s certainly no secret in my family that I keep this website. In fact, I often threaten to write embarrassing things about my family here when they’re pissing me off. I’m very careful about what I write about, not only because of the possibility that my parents will read it, but also because of the possibility that ANYONE IN THE UNIVERSE could read it. So it’s weird. I’m not like “oh snap, Dad found my website,” but I’m just kind of – I don’t know – stranged out by it (which is my new way of saying weirded out that I just made up this very second, in case you were wondering). But not in a bad way.

My parents don’t read it regularly, and they’re pretty open about that. In fact, Dad says he ran across it last week while looking in the bookmarks or history bar for another website, and that’s cool. I don’t care if they read it every day, or if they don’t read it at all.

So, here’s the thing. It turns out that, of all the things about this website that might upset my parents, the thing that bothers them the most is that I choose to use profanity in my writing. I actually think that they’re ashamed that I have this website because of my language, and that they hope no one they know finds out about it. And, I don’t know, I’m just kind of bemused about that.

Because, see, for one thing, both of my parents curse – Mom more than Dad, but they both do – and the over-18 daughters in the family occasionally (or sometimes frequently) curse in their presence, and as long as no one goes overboard, uses any variation of the f-word, or uses God in the cursing, it generally slips by. Mom in particular is pretty fond of saying “shit,” and might say it a hundred and fifty times on a good day. I point this out, and mention that maybe Mom isn’t the most shining example of using clean language, and her response is, “Well, it’s different because I don’t write it on the INTERNET FOR EVERYONE IN THE WORLD TO READ.”

Aha! But I just did.

My dad doesn’t get it. He thinks it cheapens people, and women in particular, to use such language, and he’s never understood its appeal. I ask how it is exactly that women are more cheapened than men by using profanity and he’s all “whatever, I’m old-fashioned, it just does,” and I point out that profanity – particularly in my writing – is a conscious language choice just like every other word I write. I’m far more likely to slip and speak a curse word when I didn’t intend to than I am to write one when I didn’t intend to. In any case, I sometimes think a profane word is the most satisfying choice, and I think I’ve probably gotten too old to let my parents shame me into not cursing anymore.

And then I came back home and I thought about it some more, and I began to worry that maybe the cursing was getting out of control. Because sometimes I curse a lot a lot a lot (usually when stressed), and sometimes it’s not so bad. Stupid parents.

So I read back through the posts from the last month or so, and I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t find nearly as many curse words as I feared I’d find, especially in proportion to all the other words I wrote in the last month. Here’s the list (not counting today):

  • crackwhore (possibly not even a curse word, depending on your upbringing)
  • cock (twice, and necessary to the story being told)
  • shat
  • ass (twice, once in relation to kissing and once in relation to laughing)
  • damn (twice)
  • bullshit
  • clusterfuck (this and “bullshit” are with regards to Liberty University, and my personal philosophy on all things related to Liberty University is that CURSING IS ALWAYS OKAY. THE DIRTIER, THE BETTER.)
  • dammit (three times, about the cat)
  • bitch

Anyway. That’s not nearly as bad as I thought it might be.

I think part of it is the whole idea of when and where it’s appropriate to use profane language. My parents thinks it’s okay to use profanity sparingly, at home or around close friends and family. They wouldn’t curse in public, they wouldn’t curse at work, and for them, it seems that cursing on a website is the equivalent of screaming profanity in the middle of the town square.

I guess I just don’t see it that way. I think I have a pretty solid idea of when and where it’s okay to curse, and my personal website seems like a perfectly appropriate space for whatever language I choose to use.

14 Replies to “Pottyfingers”

  1. It always get annoyed when people trot out that old line that swearing indicates a lack of intelligence or vocabulary. Fuck them. (Not your parents, mind you, because they didn’t trot out that line. Did they?)

  2. “stranged out” – I think this might start to become popular. It seems to mean weirded out, just on a higher level.

    I used to curse from time to time, and still do every once in awhile. For me it was really just a cheap way to blow off steam or a lazy way to communicate displeasure. Or a cheap way to draw attention. IMO there are better choices for words, thoughts, or actions in all of those situations.

    Yes, it’s sexist to think that it cheapens women and not men, but tell that to the kind of man you might want for a husband who might be turned off by it. Is it fair? Can’t say, but people do have a right to their own opinion on either side of this discussion.

    And “Stupid parents” was a cheap shot that doesn’t seem to communicate what you’ve told us you felt about them in the past. At least my perception of what you were telling us.

    If I sound judgemental today, it’s because it’s been a rough day on two major fronts, so my critical thinking cap is stuck on.

  3. “Stupid parents” was a joke. I don’t think they’re stupid, and if they’re reading this, they know I don’t think they’re stupid. It was mainly a play on me being all “you can’t change my mind, parents!” and then going back home and finding myself thinking seriously about it anyway. A better line would have been “stupid parents and their stupid all-knowing wisdom” or something.

    The kind of man I want for a husband is not the kind of man who’d be so turned off by my occasional cursing that he’d decide he didn’t want to marry me. If it’s that big of an issue, then we have problems beyond my word choices.

  4. snippity snap!

    cock is so not a swear word. though, i remember my mom getting mad at me for using the word “sucks.”

    also, swearing vs. cursing vs. cussing is the new pop vs. soda vs. coke.

    i have learned to stop telling people to fuck off when i actually mean it. a lot of people–a LOT–get much more offended than they should at that. ah well.

  5. you know… even with mom being the “shit girl” she does get on us for saying random non-curse words like Poop… i mean…. wtf mom? What’s the standard? ya know?

  6. I think part of that’s because she gets grossed out by all poo-related euphemisms with the exception of “shit.”

  7. Maybe it’s a visualization thing, where she simply filters her word. Imagine her reaction to “You’re in deeeeeep doodoo now!…”

  8. We weren’t allowed to say “sucks” or “shut up” growing up, although now I say both in the presence of my parents. At times, I can get away with “damn” or “shit” in front of the pops. However, if either of parents heard me drop the f*bomb, (which I do on very regular basis), I am fairly certain I’d be disowned. It seems, in their eyes, it makes me sound “cheap, uneducated, and just foul.” Eh. Eff ’em :) (Not really. I’d never say that around them. They kick my ass).

  9. i disrespect my parents now, i guess….cause i say fuck in front of them now. and now they reciprocate by saying fuck in front of me. i guess i ‘started it.’

    i could definitely stand to lose the cussing, i suppose (swearing, i do believe is actually using oaths, as in god damn and jesus christ. if i said those in front of my parents, i’d be slapped and killed.). i have a book called ‘cuss control’ that i have never read because it was given to me or something and i know if i read it, i will probably be shamed into swearing less.

    if my parents find my website, i am screwed. i purposely do not mention blogging in any context. first, because i’d have to explain it, and secondly, because they’d think it’s something they should be proud of or something and something they definitely should read when it is something they definitely SHOULD not.

    we weren’t allowed to say sucks growing up, either, but i had no idea why even up until a few years ago when it was pointed out to me that “sucks” is really short for “sucks dick.” oh!!

    anyway…. i’m probably going to plagarize this whole comment and use it for a blog post. do you hate me?

  10. My father discoverd my site the day he discovered Google. He has since told my uncle about it, but he thinks it’s funny.

    My mother’s siter knows about it and calls me out about shit I’ve written, whenever she sees fit. Due to the amount of swearing that I do, she seems to think that I also need prayer.

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