Swearing was not allowed in the house. But then again, swearing was on the cable TV and in the rooms and behind the words of everyone in the house. I remember the first time I swore in front of my mother. I must have been about 15 years old. We were in the garage, getting ready to get into the car. Iโ€™m sure it was the grey Isuzu Impulse, later to be mine. I donโ€™t know what happened exactly, perhaps I had scraped myself with the car door, but I said, โ€œShit.โ€

My younger brother was silent. My mother looked at me with her dirtiest of looks, but that was it. I couldnโ€™t believe I got away with it! My insides were popping with excitement and joy. Yes, joy. Why joy? Because I had gotten away with something bad, and I had done it right in front of my mother.

My mother swore, but you know when folks speak in their second language, how the swearing sounds funny? Yeah, couldnโ€™t really take her seriously. Bad words lost all of their vitality and virility under my momโ€™s tongue. I think she might have given up because her Americanized children laughed at her poor pronunciation.

I liked swearing. It seemed the perfect way to rebel without really being horribly bad. The height of my swearing career occurred when I was in the 6th grade. Janet Craig and I were in a competition over who could swear the most. And she was really fucking good.

But when I was in junior high, my mom decided to stick my younger brother and I in a Christian school and I knew that my swearing days had come to a hasty end.ย  Although there was this one time I decided to rebel again.

The 7th and 8th graders were in the same small classroom, and there were a couple of Mexican boys who enjoyed teasing and taunting me. Looking back, I think they were crushing on me, but looking then, I thought they just enjoyed giving me a hard time. It was always harmless. Sometimes their sexual and lewd gestures in the back of the classroom, when our teacher wasnโ€™t looking, were confusing. I knew it was dirty, but I didnโ€™t know what they were doing.

One day, out on the basketball courts, I think I might have had enough. But I donโ€™t really remember what was said. All I recall were the โ€œOooohhhs,โ€ you know, the โ€œOoohsโ€ when a kid says something really insulting and youโ€™re left there in the middle of playground-land to defend yourself. I decided to be dramatic. I like to be dramatic sometimes.

So I walked right up to Antonio and put myself inches from his face. This got the crowd really excited. And I said, โ€œFuck you.โ€ The students went wild. And I felt pretty damn full of myself โ€“ until I saw how crestfallen he looked and later when I got in trouble and had to apologize.

Do you swear? What’s the biggest you got in trouble for swearing?

6 replies on “Swearing.

  1. Do you think us Brits swear the most. I remember swearing at some ‘red neck’ when I was in Louisiana and he nearly had heart failure. Fucking brilliant!

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    1. Good question. I don’t know who swears the most…perhaps Brits are more offensive ๐Ÿ™‚ I think Americans and Brits swear differently…further study is needed ๐Ÿ˜›

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      1. Do you find Thai’s swear much? My partner and her mates love kee! Kee nee-o is a big favourite, bur apart from that not heard much.

        Ps: love the blog

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  2. I had a swearing contest with someone in Sixth Grade too! It must be pedagogical…

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