I’m not much of a cusser. I know people who it seems every third word out of their mouths makes me want to pull a bar of Octagon soap out of the purse and give them a good tongue scrubbing.
I do, however, have a short list of commonly used “socially unacceptable” (tho, these days they’re far more acceptable than when I was a kid) words that are employed in circumstances involving frustration or…well, frustration.
When something breaks,whether it’s a coffee cup or my left littlest toe, out comes “SHIT!”. Depending on the level of egregiousness of said event, the volume and repetition of “SHIT!” varies. A coffee cup, particularly one of a set purchased from Target for $1.50 each usually garners “well shit.” A little toe, slammed against a door frame at 2 am that included an audible CRUNCH and was accompanied by a muffled (briefly) wail, results in “OH SHIT SHITTY SHIT SHIT!” along with a little bit of hopping and followed by a prolonged lean against the bathroom sink whilst attempting to recover enough to not throw up in the sink. I think I deserve a cookie for that one, particularly since I did the exact same thing 2 weeks later,and believe you me, breaking a toe the second time DEFINITELY hurts worse than the first time. I think I get a pass on the language, much of it blasphemous, that erupted that second time.
A while back, I was having a conversation with Peaches, the preacher’s wife. She asked me if I ever cussed.
“yes,” I replied, “but all I ever really say is ‘shit’ or ‘asshole’.”
She was appalled. “That’s TERRIBLE!” she replied. “SO RUDE!”
“Well,” I asked her, “Do you ever cuss?”
“Yes, I sometimes say ‘damn’ or ‘hell’.”
I was appalled, that a preacher’s wife would say such things. And I told her that too. At least all I say are things that smell bad!
She conceded that I had a point there.
And, I don’t let my kids cuss until they’re 16. At least not around me. I have no illusions about what they said as they were smoking cigarettes Robbie stole from his Dad whilst sitting behind Big Rock 2pm on Saturday afternoons and looking at Alfie’s father’s stolen Penthouse magazines.
I remember as a child, certain words that are in common usage now that were oooooooh naughty, and the little frisson of delight that would go down our backs when we said them. I remember being fussed at by teachers for saying them. Even today I still have that little “oooo” deep inside when I say them, like I know shouldn’t be, but do anyway. And my kids? They don’t think twice about them.
Boobies (or variations such as boobs, hooters and ta-tas)
There are words I do NOT use, because I will taste Octagon Soap if I do. It doesn’t particularly bother me if someone else uses them, because…well…because it doesn’t, tho I admit to a certain disturbance in my Southern Sensibility that time we went to Manhattan and I heard a well dressed businesslike woman talking on her cellphone and her conversation was this nonstop harsh clanging of curse words, and I thought that was so unnecessary. She wasn’t even angry, it was as if that was how she always talked, and that was a little shocking to my Coconut Cake and Brunswick Stew self.
I’m not even going to use those words here. Because it’s almost Sunday and I am out of Octagon Soap.