Looking all svelte and polished in her lemon yellow fitted gown doesn’t alter the fact Kathy Griffin’s got one of the trashiest mouths around…Nor does Chris Rock’s debonair flair minimize his potty-mouth status…Why don’t they bother ME more? Or has all the fouled-up air just desensitized me (and America)? Is it because they lace their repertoire with jokes (hence, it takes the sting out?)
I’m afraid I’m a hyprocrite.”Why d’ya say that?” you ask. Because I’m offended by swearing but only when ‘some’ do it. In other words, I give certain individuals a ‘Pass’ on the behavior.
I include myself in that category.
You see, when I swear, I never think it sounds bad–at least to my own ears. And believe me, I’ve given this issue serious consideration. I even think I know why. The words don’t have the same ‘sting’ because I don’t say them when I’m enraged or out of control (OK, maybe that’s happened a couple of times.)
In other words, I don’t find my swearing offensive, and that’s just plain crazy.
I recall when I was 12 years of age (on the cusp of the teen years), when my 16-year-old brother drove me to a friend’s house. My classmate and I were to work on a project for school. While we rode along, I peppered the daylights out of the air with swears. As an almost-teenager, I believed this descent into that nether region was my right of passage.
Now, my older brother said very little for he tended to be reserved, while I ranted: “I hate doing this damn homework over the weekend.” “Why the Hell do teachers have to wreck our damn weekends with all this damn work?” (verbal variety wasn’t my strong suit, in the day).
I ended with the my top-flight, all-time worst, meant to convey my utter contempt: “Sh_t…Don’t they think we have anything else to do?” (no one used the F-word then.)
It was then that he said: “You know…you think you’re sounding grown-up when you swear, but really, you just sound stupid.” Now, in my family, being called ‘stupid’ was akin to being told you were adopted…or an inferior species…or the carrier of a deadly disease, like Typhoid Mary.
His words stopped me in my tracks, and I modified my developmental journey from that point on–at least within earshot of the family.
Now, flash forward to my university years when I remember–EXACTLY–where and when I unleashed the BIG ONE, the F-bomb (Does everyone of my generation remember this, similar to how we recall “Where were you when you heard JFK died?”)
Yes, my first time was in my senior year of college (you heard that right), on a Saturday morning when a girlfriend tried to awaken me for class. Half-asleep, I smacked her hard, in the mouth. She was understandably furious, but I added vinegar to the wounds by blaming her for my assault: “Yes, I hit you…But you yelled at me to get up!”
She stormed off and I let it rip, releasing into the air the word most of my generation (especially women) NEVER…EVER said. The moment is emblazoned in my memory for in saying it, I’d performed a heretic act.
Now, here’s where I get really confused. I hate swearing but I really like comedian Chris Rock. I mean, that guy gets me laughing so hard I can’t stand it. And the fact is: He F-bombs every other word out of his (you know what) mouth! So, go figure.
Kathy Griffin is another who can make me laugh, even while she makes me squirm, for she’s pretty darned trashy.
So, here’s my question: Why is it that when some people swear, they don’t offend? Does swearing just seem so-damn-normal (sorry!) for them that we release them from that code of minimal expectation?
In fact, why does my own swearing sound so inoffensive (to me)? Is it like that childhood thing where I could criticize my parents but you’d better not? Help me out here…please. Comment section is below…But be forewarned: You’re not allowed to let it rip with the big ones (meaning I’ll have to bleep those out, for Biddy’s constrained to use polite patter.) However, use first initials of the big guns (of swears) and we’ll figure it out.