Monday, June 23, 2014

Stop F***ing Cussing!

Scott Avett literally has the most beautiful voice ever. Everything he sings I immediately have to agree with. This is one of those lyrics to which I found myself nodding I agreement...

"Ever since I learned how to curse,
I've been using those sorry old words.
But I'm talking to these children and I'm keeping it clean.
I don't need those words to say what I mean.
No, I don't need those words to say what I mean."

(From Tear Down the House by the Avett Brothers.)

Amen to that. 

You see, I have an addiction. To cursing. Never in my life did I envision a time when it would cease to be cool. Why did any of us ever start cursing? Because our parents did? Because it wasn't allowed? Because it made our friends laugh? Because it made us rebellious and edgy?

For me it was all of this and more. I think it came mostly from a yearning to be noticed. My friends in elementary school thought I was so grown-up. People were in awe of me and it felt good. That was all the reinforcement I needed, and then I got to go home and hear the endless and ingenious string of curse words and insults otherwise known as the normal speech of an Italian immigrant, aka my dad. (p.s. Love you Pappa!) (p.p.s. I only get to even mention this because I know he will never read this in a million years.)

Now, just because he used that language did not mean we were allowed to do the same. A phrase I remember hearing more than once was for us to "Stop f***ing cussing!" My holy and beautiful mother surely taught us by her example to guard our speech. But the allure and the habit of using bad language is hard to escape, especially if you don't even want to. I had absolutely no desire to stop cursing. I mean, the F-word is one of the most descriptive and versatile words in the English language. It can be used to express pain, anger, sadness, fear, surprise, and more, as well as being a stand-in adjective whenever other words fail you. You can cut someone down in seconds by adding the F-word to whatever snarky comment you're making, and make your joke 1000x more funny with just one or two strategically placed F-bombs. Why would anyone want to give up such a treasure?

Well... it's just this little bitty thing about kids, and their extremely functional ability to instantly memorize a curse word, even if you just say it once, under your breath, in the other room, while they're sleeping, in a foreign language, just spelling the letters, backwards... you get the point. KIDS COPY EVERYTHING YOU DO. I know I was told this before having kids but, my Lord, it is so true. Not only do I not need Lenny copying the swear words I use, I don't need him to see and absorb the attitude that comes with it. It's just a really bad habit for me and I am doing my best to stop. Over the past few years I have gotten better but it is a long and hard road.

Now, all you cursing-and-proud-of-it people out there, listen up. Pleeeeaaaaase stop cursing in front of me! You might as well be smoking a pipe in front of a crack head. Yep, that's me. The F-word crack head. All y'all are making it real hard on me. Especially certain people who I look to as an example on how to live my faith. I see other Catholics striving to grow happy and holy families, to develop a deep and personal relationship with God, and to make an impact on their community by reflecting Christ's love for all people. These people work hard to grow in their faith and to be a good example. They go to daily mass. They study the Bible. They pray constantly. They curse.

Hold up?!?

Yes, many of these people curse just in casual conversation. I know I am the last person on Earth to judge, and I am not condemning anyone. But when people I look up to are swearing like sailors, it's hard to convince myself that it's not OK. The Bible makes many many references to using profane language, one of which is from Colossians 3:8- "But now you must put them all away: anger, fury, malice, slander, and obscene language out of your mouths." So ya know, its whatevs. I'm just saying, when you're with me, for my sake, just STOP F***ING CUSSING.

Thanks. :)

Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!

Psalm 141:3
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