Imagine a good little girl who always kept her head buried in a book. Throw in frameless glasses and plastic braces, and you’ve pretty much got a picture of what I looked like in high school. Along with that pious image came a pretty strict Christian upbringing and a rule that was ingrained into me from a young age: I was never allowed to swear.
In my house, F-bombs were off limits and an ass was the donkey that Jesus rode into the city of Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. For the longest time, I thought that ‘stupid’ was a terribly offensive word, and gasped when my favourite author released a novel titled Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus.
This mentality, believe it or not, lasted up to my senior year of high school, the period in which teenagers are some of the most foul-mouthed creatures out there as they hate everyone and everything. Despite the fact that I was surrounded by kids who gave out curses like candy, my Christian upbringing prevailed. I was determined to do well in school and make my parents proud.
All that changed when I took a creative writing class in high school, and met one of the sassiest and wittiest teachers I would ever come to know. Along with her sharp humour and blunt criticism of our work came a precise usage of profanity that was utilized to get her point across. Suddenly, swearing didn’t seem evil anymore, but an alternative means of playing with words in my writing. Profanity became the forbidden fruit that I just had to taste.
I was walking home from school one day and stubbed my toe on a rock in my path. “Ouch!” I exclaimed, hopping on one foot like a flamingo. As the pain passed, I felt an inexplicable curiosity flow through me, and I felt like I had to try saying it.
“Fuck,” I whispered in amazement, as I couldn’t believe I was really saying that word. It rolled easily off my tongue, as if it had been waiting to come off it for the longest time. I said it again. . . and again. . . and again. “Fuckfuckfuckfuckfuck!” I guess I had to make up for all of those lost years of not swearing somehow. It was in this moment that I, frankly, stopped giving a fuck about swearing (or rather, gave several fucks away freely).
The rest of the words came out naturally, as all I had to do was take in the atmosphere of high school like a sponge. I eventually learned how to curse like a sailor with the rest of them, as any high school student should.
Well, I’ve spent far too long talking about this fucking shit. Peace out, motherfuckers.