I hesitate typing the word f*ck.
I have to put an asterisk where the ‘u’ should be so that I won’t offend you.
I really like the word f*ck though. I use it whenever I can, which is usually when I shouldn’t on account that I have small children.
I grew up believing that f*ck was a terrible, no good, very bad word. Saying f*ck would (at the very least) get you grounded. Depending on who you were saying it to, and how much vitriol was behind it, you might even get whipped.
Naturally, it’s my favorite word of all time.
But today is a different time. Now you are never but two clicks away from even more terrible, no good, very bad things to see, and read, and yet, I cannot stop censoring myself with that f*cking asterisk. (It’s also now frowned upon to whip your kids. FYI.)
Two mornings ago my toddler daughter came to wake me up an hour earlier than usual. That same night, my infant son woke up more times than usual, and the combination of those events prompted, and warranted, a groggy, drawn-out “f****ck” from me.
It was the first time she repeated it and in that instant, I think I fell in love with the word even more.
The sound of the word f*ck coming from a three-year old is, quite frankly, hilarious. It’s like a cat dressed up in a costume. It’s unnatural, inappropriate, and so, so wrong and still, you can’t help but giggle in the face of a miserable, helpless and humiliated animal.
After sufficiently stifling my laughter at hearing her tiny voice say such a big word, I was kinda sad. Okay, really sad. I realized that a moment I have been dreading, was finally here.
It was time to retire f*ck from my vocabulary.
(Que the solitary tear sliding down my cheek.)
So that got me thinking.
How do you properly memorialize the word f*ck from your foul language repertoire? I mean, I couldn’t just let it go without marking the occasion, could I? I couldn’t just pretend that what we had wasn’t special and that our years together weren’t some of the best, most irresponsible and wonderful years of my life. Haven’t you ever heard of closure for f*ck’s sake?
Because F*ck would care.
Because F*ck is like a close friend, a warm blanket, a go-to, cuss word for all of life’s big moments.
I thought maybe I would finally give it its due. I would type it boldly, correctly, with all the letters proudly intact. But oh. The Internet leaves such a permanent digital trail. I might never live that one down. Besides, think of all those misguided Google searches. Those poor, twisted souls would happen upon this silly blog entry when they are obviously looking for better f*ck-worthy material.
Story of my life, really.
And let’s be frank, somewhere deep down, I’m still afraid I might get in “very big trouble.” <bites fingernails> I know, it’s very Pavlovian of me, but some whippings last a lifetime.
Then I thought, maybe I was just being silly. This is no big deal, really. I would just move on; pretend nothing happened. Afterall, wouldn’t that be best for, you know, the children? I would simply replace it coldly, irreverently, with a limp, wholly unsatisfying, yet kid-friendly… “fudge.”
Oh no. No, no, no, no, no. I could never do that to F*ck. I mean. Oh, just never ever.
Maybe I’ll just hoard it and use it only on special occasions like my best perfume, oh, I mean, eua de parfum. This would bestow upon it an air of sophistication and complete, revelatory satisfaction. I would wait until I’m in possession of an elegant, vintage cigarette holder. And even though I don’t smoke anymore, I will just for this occassion. I will pinch the holder delicately between my thumb and forefinger while looking vacantly into the distance and letting out a petulent, breathy f******ck as I release whisps of white smoke from between my lips.
I’m totally going to do that.
But honestly, I’m tempted to just proclaim myself a “progressive” parent. I could then use the word nonchalantly everyday making the claim that by doing so I will remove any negative connotation, and therefore, my children will not be tempted to use it at all. When my daughter busts out the f-bomb on our next playdate, I’ll just look at the other moms smuggly and say, “Dr. Sears totally indorses exploratory language play. By prohibiting cuss words we only serve to alienate and discriminate certain common English language expressions. This type of sensoring leads to the inhibition of important neurological pathways of enhanced thought, expression and emotional security in children’s developing brains, and therefore I say f*ck fifteen times a day.”
No? Too much?
On second thought, I think I’ll keep every opportunity to say something to my kid that I’ve been dying to say since the day she was born, and that is, “You’re in very big trouble young lady.”
To which I hope she doesn’t hesistate to say, “Oh Sh!t.”