I have not always been proud to be who I am. Considering that an understanding of self is developed with maturity, I would wager that most people could say the same about themselves. But, with age, I have learned that I am who I am and I’m proud of that woman. I suspect that my sub header at the top of this page is indicative of how much I embrace what makes me, well, me. Especially that quip at the end, just up there to the right… that’s it… “a sailor-esque vocabulary”. I do enjoy a good, verbally colorful rant. Sometimes, the best adjective is indeed four-letters and purple… sometimes black… others, yellow. But, the point is, that no matter how much I enjoy cursing like a pirate on a quest for some rum and a bow-legged woman, the quickness of my tongue has been deadened to a tortoise-like pace. What could do such damage to my very being?… Living with children.
Eight short years ago, I had to learn to watch my tongue with the increasing age of my eldest niece. Watching a tongue is tricky business when it’s your own. But, I did my best, with the occasional mishap, followed by a firm, chastising look from my sister-in-law. When I would leave the presence of the child, I would curse and listen to naughty music in my car to feel myself again. Then, nearly one year ago exactly, I moved in with my brother and family. The transition was painful and I got myself into trouble with their mother more often than the nieces did. A tough task when in the company of a precocious 8-year-old and a whimsical 7-year-old. Oh, but I did get in trouble, – and even was chastised by my very own nieces! The audacity of children these days… I digress… given that I had just moved back from England, where the F-bomb flies with breakfast and c-u-next-tuesday is used in place of “the” in most sentences, my tongue really wasn’t all that bad. They didn’t care, I had to change my ways.
Being strong-willed since the day I was born – yes, some may say “stubborn” – I fought this forced change to my lifestyle. However, knowing that I was within their abode, I needed to be respectful, and was. However, my insides were in knots and when alone, I would let ’em fly from my lips like there was no tomorrow! But, with time, as most things do, I became accustomed to these new ways. I started to note the cursing in some songs so my nieces couldn’t listen along. I began noticing how many f-doozies flew in movies, and when poop wasn’t poop, and even when someone wasn’t going for a wee, but a … you get my drift. Then, I realized that I was realizing all of this… what has happened to me? I’ve become cautious of what my nieces hear and see in ways I never imagined. But worse – not only has my tongue become censored – so have my thoughts!
Possibly, “censored” is harsh. I still think all these words, I just try not to say them in the company of children. What is truly frightening is when I squelch the desire to say them in front of adults – this is where I draw the line. I am a single woman, non-parent, creative type – we’re expected to by nutters of the very best variety, which includes drinking, smoking and cursing. I’m failing at the latter, which used to be one of my strongest attributes. Alas, I do still slip on occasion, for which I’m promptly corrected. But, perhaps my abilities towards poor behavior are still inside of me. Possibly, they simply await for me to be renewed, to once again be on the path of less-righteousness, sinking to new lows… or, worse… I just don’t care anymore.
No, I am absolutely not going to launch into some spiel about maturity – that’s ridonkulous! What I will convey however, is that sometimes, it’s not about how you say it, rather, what is said. Usually, one hears that the other way around. I find it’s better this direction, especially for the current purpose. I could perform a rendition to song of why this direction is the best direction for said adage, however, I shall spare the discomfort. But, I will state, for the record, that when appropriate, my sailors’ tongue can fly with the wind and it shall be so. Other times, it’s ok to sit back and think of silly words to replace those more colorful words with. “Sunny Beaches”… that’s a favorite and imbues delightful, pleasant images…. or, “Uckfay Emay” in the famous pig latin… a myriad of connotations await, and if nothing more, this new-found cleanliness of mouth offers up some entertaining creativity in wordsmithery.