Good morning ladies (and gentlemen – apparently some are reading – Merci beaucoup!)!
A friend of mine had many nice things to say about my last blog post on manners and had some really wonderful insight which I hope will share with us someday. They also were concerned over my use of expletives. As in, way too many. I really appreciated that this was brought up and I feeI that I should address it. This is not the first time my use of “colorful” words has been mentioned. Let me ‘splain (if you don’t get this joke, see “The Princess Bride”).
You see, when I shopped my book around (that is a long, long story), one twentysomething assistant said that she was concerned over my use of the F-word. The book was about my life as a single gal in the crazy town of L.A. so the fact that I used the F-word a lot should not be surprising. I said to her “Have you read “Sex and the City” or Chelsea Handler’s books?” Was she from the children’s book department?
My point is that I live in the here and now and while it may not always be pretty or sweet, it is the world I live in. And sometimes I will say “Shit” or “damn.” Does this make me a bad person? I don’t know. My friend brings up valid points of etiquette and decorum. And it is a sticky wicket to be sure. I have thought about this dilemma of how to say things and how far do I go. I can be brazen. I can be harsh. But I also can be kind and old-school. I believe in yin and yang. I write thank you notes but I also make sarcastic jokes. I remember people’s birthdays but I also ONCE IN A BLUE MOON won’t pick up my dog’s poop. Nobody’s perfect and I am not trying to be, or sell a perfect me to you.
I do feel the blog must be in my voice. I am not Emily Post or Charlotte Bronte. They are amazing and inspiring women. But I am me. I am not trying to push people into refraining from profanity. I don’t have a problem with the fact that one of the top songs on the charts right now is “F*ck You.” The song actually has a great message about a superficial girl who only wanted a rich boyfriend and Cee-Lo Green says he doesn’t need that kind of person. I do, however, take offense to Ricky Martin’s new song with the lyrics “Tonight I’m f*cking you” because it sounds like rape to me. It is all about sex, that’s it. He is singing about doing something TO somebody not WITH somebody. He’s not asking “Voulez vous couches avec moi?”
So there is the sticky wicket again. When is using profanity appropriate? Is it appropriate at all? I do know there is a time and place for everything. I would never use profanity around children, for example. Seems obvious right? Well, I have been with my niece when others have said whatever the hell they wanted in front of her with no filter. This is ghastly. My sister will tell you I am HYPER-conscious what is said and done around my niece. I have my “go to” word around her when I want to swear and that is “Fudgsicle!” All she knows is that it is an icy treat and, for some reason, the word I say when I am mad. My blog is meant for adults and God Forbid some kid is reading it.
Some people swear. Some don’t. You know my father is upset when he says “Jesus Christ!!” and we all gasp. Because we know he is mad. I don’t consider those words to be a swear but don’t tell a religious person that. I think it all pertains to the meaning of the swear. Swearing AT someone is wrong. But swearing ABOUT something I don’t think is that bad, as long as it is being used effectively. Saying “Damn you Kid!” is hurtful but complaining to a friend that “those damn kids were loud” is simply sharing your frustration.
Decorum is also a subject that is again, a sticky wicket. Toilet humor, bad jokes, etc. can be fun and harmless but they also can offend and get people worked up. I don’t think “Dumb & Dumber” was funny at all. Well, maybe a little. I think “Jackass” is disgusting and appropriately named. As I was reading “Bossypants” by Tina Fey (it is awesome), I wondered how her daughter will feel when she grows up reading her mother’s stories about her vagina and Piss Jars. It is stuff that makes me go “Oh dear!” but then, that is her choice and she is a ballsy woman.
Speaking of decorum, I recently went to my cousin’s birthday extravaganza in Hawaii and here was the welcome gift:
Is this appropriate? Is it offensive? I personally found it hilarious! And what harm does it do? And yes, I ate those Donkey Balls.
I was thrilled when “Sex and the City” came out (as most women were) because FINALLY someone could talk about the taboo subjects and outrageous thoughts that most of us have had or done or thinking but could not talk about because it is not PC and would mark us as a tramp or evil. Candace Bushnell gave us a voice and that is admirable. Did they overstep the line sometimes? Hell yes. Many of Samantha’s scenes were downright unappetizing. But again, that is their choice.
I promise you, oh ladies, that I shall take into account my use of expletives and omit the ones that are purely gratuitous. I hope to hear your thoughts on this subject because I think it is a big one and merits some attention. I shall continue to write in my voice. If Rhett Butler can say “Damn,” well then so can I.