Sunday, January 16, 2011

One Hundred Things My Mother Taught Me A Million Times – Chapter 62

(Photo is of my dad - probably taken around 1940-ish)
#62– “Never curse or use profanity. It makes you common.”
I woke up this morning in such a foul mood I wasn’t sure I should write about mom’s #62. I dreamed that my husband and I went out to a bar with friends, something we never do now that we’re boring, and the outfit he was wearing looked much better than mine! It was horrifying!!

He had on a fabulous pink plaid Christian Dior blazer, a pink Ralph Lauren Polo Shirt and Jeans, and it was stunning against his tan skin and perfectly white hair. I looked absolutely frumpy next to him in my style-less rags, and that really pissed me off, which brings me back to mom’s #62, "Never curse or use profanity. It makes you common." Oh, and we were all carrying Louis Vuitton diaper bags, but enough about my red meat induced nightmares.

Mom never cursed or used profanity. Well, that is not exactly true, she did say “dee-earn,” which was no doubt a tamed down “damn,” and only pulled out in the direst of situations.

She also said hell, but only when we were playing Hell, a fabulously frenetic and fun card game that required you to shout “Hell!” when you played your last card to win the game. I remember my normally sedate sister Dorothy slamming her last card down in the middle of the table and breaking it in half as she screamed “hellllllll” in victory!

Other then during a game of Hell, we didn’t even say hell when we were referring to hell. We said “Hades” or “the bad place.” I remember sitting in church and snickering like Bevis and Butthead with my friends  every time the preacher threatened “hell and brimstone,” which by the way is an idiomatic expression (my new word for the day – meaning a figurative meaning).

Mom also said fiddlesticks, the derivation of which is curiously cryptic. There’s the obvious violin connection, and fiddles are also a raised ledge that keeps things from sliding around on boats. My hubby says it’s just a substitute for fuck (sorry mom). Click on Read More Below...

OMG (sorry mom)! I just used the curse of curses, the profanity of profanity!!!! Actually my husband said it, but I typed it so we’re both going “you know where,” “down there!”

I refuse to imagine that my mom would even use a substitute for f—k, or even think of that word! But I do remember the first time I used it. It was liberating! I felt so grown up, so bad!!! Then hundreds of f—k’s down the road (the word, not the action), in books, movies, music lyrics, and my mouth, it just became, well, as mom warned, common.

Huey Lewis “needs a new drug” and I need a new curse word - something that expresses the height of anger and depth of depravation. All the old ones, f—k, s—t, OMG, are just so tired, so played out, so common, and being the fence-riding agnostic that I am, I can’t bring myself to overuse GD (just in case). I’ve been reviving dang recently and it feels pretty good, but it just doesn’t have pizzazz.

Once again I have to say that mom was right. I guess if I weren’t such a heathen I’d give up profanity for Lent. It’s all so dee-earn common!


  1. Maybe you could dust of SOB. It makes cursing much more meaningful because it lasts longer when you say it! Happy New Year Sue!

  2. My favorite from my mom, your sister, was "Hells bells!" Somehow it just doesn't sound offensive.