Every year I give up cussing for Lent. Yep, cussing. For Lent. Strange to blend cussing with Lent, isn’t it? I use those forty days and nights to force myself to forge new habits. Sometimes I get lazy and lean on less than acceptable language, so I need an incentive to tap into the dormant part of my brain and summon some less colorful, but more intelligent vocabulary. Oddly, giving up cussing isn’t that hard, at least not after the first week or so, except for one word: the F-word. God, how I miss the big F. I’m almost embarrassed to type that, but it’s true.
It feels so good to say it, all those hard consonants packed into a 4-letter word.
To me, the F-word is like a rite of adult passage. Heck, I’ve earned it. I mean, I have survived being the invisible fifth out of six siblings, the music business, 25 years of marriage, childbirth…. twice, small town Texas, and cancer. I F-ing own the F word. I am powerful and righteous. It’s my delicious vice, and I make no apologies for it. It feels so good to say it, all those hard consonants packed into a 4-letter word.
“The Mutha of All Curse Words”
And it’s a chameleon-like word. It takes on meaning from the words that accompany it, the tone used to utter it, and, perhaps, whether you’re naked or not. Seriously though, tell a joke. Now tell it again and throw the F-word in there a couple of times. I don’t care what my Mom says, it’s funnier. Growing up, the word “butt” was a no-no in our house. I never imagined that one day I would have the guts to green light the F word.
It’s like the older I get, the braver I get. (Some say odder. I prefer braver.) Besides, I’ve always had a rather weak editor in my head anyway; things that pop in my brain have a way of popping back out in public. But now that I’ve hit 52 like a freight train, I feel like I have nothing to lose by being myself wherever and whenever I please. And sometimes myself wants to say the F-word. A lot.
Growing up, the word “butt” was a no-no in our house. I never imagined that one day I would have the guts to green light the F word.
And why shouldn’t I? I’m no longer hosting playdates for my kids with women I hardly know but still want to make like me. Like most moms, when my kids were young, I swore off swearing, but they rode the bus and their neighborhood buddies did too. One day my 5-year-old son was sitting at the table playing with Legos when out of nowhere he spells the F-word and asks me what it means. Apparently the neighbor kids taught him the name game and suggested he rhyme Chuck. I bit through my tongue to stifle my laughter and said, “Well, it’s the mutha of all curse words.” I then added that it would be inappropriate for him to use going forward. But now my kids are teenagers—and who am I kidding—they know more profanity than I do. WTF! It’s time to lean into my age and be comfortable in my ever-wrinkling skin. Yep, the F-word is my friend. My B-F-ing-F.
I’m a Cussing Fan, but It’s Not for Everyone
Talk about cathartic! Possibly better than F-ing sex, but now I’m being redundant.
Look, I realize that the F-word isn’t for everyone. I mean what is? And I try to be sensitive, respectful and careful when I use it, but I use it nonetheless. Frankly, there are times in a descriptive moment that no other word can quite express my feelings. F it! My goodness just typing it in code feels F-ing fantastic. Talk about cathartic! Possibly better than F-ing sex, but now I’m being redundant.
So right now some of you might be offended, appalled, and perhaps embarrassed (Mom) and are about to go find a different article on Nexttribe.com, and that’s fine. But some of you kindred spirits are coyly smiling because you know you feel the same F-ing way. You may not even say the word out loud, but you’re thinking it. Aren’t you? Good for you!
You are not alone. I F-ing feel you, and I’m with you—at least I am until the next Lent rolls around.