I’m sure that title sounds terrible to most people. I mean I’m a wife and mother for crying out loud. But since I am saying that I miss it, it must mean I don’t use it very often so hold off the calls to CPS. You see, I grew up in a “clean language home.” We all spoke our minds, but we were not allowed to use bad words. (Maybe that’s where my love of words began- in a home that cherished them and treated them with respect… hmmm? To be explored in another post perhaps?”) “Sucks” was a word that my mother despised, she thought it was crass. And once when my brother said, “I betcha!” I responded with, “I don’t bet garbage I burn it.” Needless to say, my mother was NOT pleased. “Words hold the power to encourage as well as hurt others so choose them wisely,” she often said. Pretty smart lady, huh?
So you bet your boots that I was shocked when I began to slip them in conversations when I got older. Once I left for college my parents did a wonderful job letting me find my way and myself while always keeping me rooted. So I guess the subtle use of “crap” probably wasn’t something they were too concerned with. But I was elated! In fact, I remember the first time I used it- sad, but true. Their response… nothing. So, like the child that I was, I began to introduce other words in our everyday conversations. An occasional “s$#t” or “bi*#h” properly inserted seemed to make stories better. And still no gasp or crooked eyebrow from my mom.
And then, I discovered the mother of all words… The “F word”. And a relationship was born. Now I was not one of those people who carelessly threw it in every sentence. We all know those people. It wasn’t something I just threw around and definitely did not throw it at people. Come on now, I grew up in a house that respected words, remember? But I certainly learned the power of the “F word.” It just seemed to hold such power and life. It conveyed so many emotions with just 4 little letters. Weaving an occasional “F bomb” in an angry rant just made my frustration so much clearer. Snarky comments were just a tad funnier with the “big F” deposited in just the right place. And nothing relieves the pain of stubbing your toe quite like a guttural scream of “Ow! F*%#!” Again, let me say, I did not use them all the time, only where appropriate.
However, college and grad school came and went and it was time to enter the “real world” and using the “F word” as a middle school teacher is pretty inappropriate. And, to be honest, I grew up a bit, realized that it certainly wasn’t a word that added any value to the world and it wasn’t very attractive either. And so I bid a sad farewell to my old friend and found other words to replace it. I am now known for my use of “super”, “awesome”, “man!”, and “shoot!” All good words, but they certainly don’t carry the weight of a good “F bomb.”
Well, recently I’ve been reading… well, I won’t tell you what because that’s an admission for another post. But one of the characters in my current literary addiction uses the “F word”- a lot. Like me, he doesn’t use it willy-nilly or simply a place holder between words. It is inserted when necessary and since this character has a lot of issues, it’s pretty necessary. But as I have read these past few nights, I felt a nostalgic pull in my chest for my old friend. And I realized, I just plain miss him. I’m a wife and mother and grown up in society so I know better than to reintroduce it to my everyday vernacular; but I have enjoyed feeling the angst, grief and elation of said character through his use of it.
And so, I wanted to use this post to give a shout out to my old friend the “F Word.” Although we rarely see each other anymore and the distance continues to grow between us, you will always hold a place in my heart and I know we’ll see each other occasionally in the dark as I crash into my bed.
That’s just my normal…