What’s Bred in the Bone

What separates me from other parents? What makes me unique, special, individual, memorable to my children? If I die, Heaven forbid, what part of me will be left in my children’s memories and hearts? I know what I hope it will be–my tenderness, my thoughtfulness, my joyousness, my epic love for them.  In reality, it’ll probably be my bloody, horrid, foul trucker-mouth. And friends, that memory will be well earned: my cursing vocabulary is immense–think one-eyed, drunken sailor on shore-leave at last call in a whore house–and that’s before my morning coffee. When I really get warmed up I take swearing to heights entirely unequaled. I am, though I say it myself, a bloody prodigy.

It’s shameful. I know. I should hang my head, wash my mouth with soap, be a better role model. My poor, poor husband, who wouldn’t say shit if he had a mouthful, is often aghast and horrified, yet at the same time salaciously intrigued. My trouble is simple, and here I am admitting it–“Hi my name is Danielle and I’m a swearaholic”–I love to swear. I love the explosive use of language. I love the reaction, the jaw-drop or the ever-so-slight-eye-narrow or the shocked guffaw, (and here’s the truth, ugly as it is) I am what I am, and I love being crass.

It’s a horrible affliction of having grown up on the wrong side of the wrong side of the tracks–I struggled to make good, make nice, fit in and climb the social ladder, then having mastered the art of social elegance and been granted the secret handshake to the Mid-to-Upper Echelon Club, I find my mouth overflowing with profane obscenities. What can I say? “What’s bred in the bone, will come out in the flesh,” and man, when it comes out, it comes out in spades.

“But what about your sweet innocent children?! How dare you expose them to bad language! For shame,” you say.

What can I say, except your right. It’s all around indecent parenting. I know it is. And, for what it’s worth, I curb my vicious tongue when I’m volunteering at the school tea party.  But….well….frankly….for the rest of it, I simply say, “Fuck yes, I want a hamburger.”

Every parent has to leave a legacy, right? I mean some of you might leave your kids distinguished blood lines. Some of you might leave them a rich tapestry of faith and traditions. Some of you might even leave the family hardware store. Me, I’m leaving my kids a dying language. The fine, well honed, and underused art of swearing.

I mean, what the cuss, it could be worse. I could swear like a drunken sailor and smell like the back seat of a taxi. At least I wash my armpits, if not my mouth, with soap, and, well, it is still the mouth I kiss them goodnight with. And so far, the little shits still kiss me back.

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