Sometimes You Just Have to Use the F Word

Last week I crossed the invisible fence of foul language in front of my sister. She came over to check on me unexpectedly after work (because my mom asked her to after I sounded like death on a cracker over the telephone). “I HAVE EFFING PNEUMONIA!” Yes, I believe those were my exact words. None of the typical sugarcoating I put on for my family. Now the word, THAT word, wasn’t directed toward her. I was just plain frust-ur-rated as Caitlin would say.

The F word was never, EVER used in my house as a kid. I knew my mother was angry if she said “shoot.” On the rarest of rare occasions she would let a polite “dammit” slip. When I was 12 I thought the heavens would open and swallow up the eighth grade girl who said “crap” as we walked to the bus stop. I know. I was sheltered. And also I had no cable TV and only one Judy Blume book. So between myself and my best friend, who was a preacher’s kid, we were pretty well sequestered in good girls’ world.

I was raised in a little country Baptist church where the same sweet little old lady would press a clammy silver half dollar into my hand on Sunday mornings, although Mama went somewhat evangelical on me in junior high. One of her dearest friends invited us to her church where people were vocal in their worship and praise. So vocal that occasionally someone would actually start speaking in tongues. We quit going because frankly it freaked me out and I felt like a hypocrite not listening to the sermon or enjoying the music because someone was having convulsions in aisle three. I mean how can you truly worship God if all you can think is, “These people are NUTS. Wait, I’m in church. God knows I am thinking these people are NUTS. Wait, was that lightning? Wait, these people probably can HEAR MY EVIL THOUGHTS.” In high school I even attended youth fellowship on Sunday nights at the big United Methodist Church in town because I was seeking spiritual knowledge. Or it may have been because my best friend went to that church and I had a crush on a cute boy who went there, too.

Any way, stereotypical Southern ladies do not use the “F” word. They do not forget to say please and thank you. They do not drink beer from a can (but a bottle is okay, particularly if you have a cute monogrammed koozie.)

I have sugarcoated everything my whole life. “I’m just fine!” is my typical response. I need to realize it’s OK to not sugarcoat everything, especially to my family. I definitely got better about admitting things aren’t always sunshine, rainbows, and cute cuddly puppies after I had both my girls because everyone needs help with a newborn and I knew we would starve without a couple of good casseroles in the freezer.

As Scarlett O’Hara said, and I believe this is a direct quote, “As God is my witness I’ll never have pneumonia again!” She also said, “Mammy, bring me an ice cold Budweiser from the spring-fed creek, will ya sugah?” Actually, she’d probably take a swig of whiskey straight from Rhett’s bottle.

17 comments

  1. Renee says:

    I must not be a true Southern girl, because I let the ‘F’ word go all too often.
    NEVER when I was growing up though. I came into my own with that word in my 20s. I know my mom is so proud. ;^)

  2. Blonde Mom says:

    Renee:

    I definitely let the F word fly, but never in front of my family or the girls. (just my husband or in the car solo if I’m behind a sh*tty driver…LOL) 🙂

    Jamie

  3. Anne says:

    oh my gawd, i really think everyone who knows me would think something was wrong if I stopped using the eff word. and sugar coating was never a part of my upbringing either but then I didn’t become a southern girl until i got married. I remember using the eff word as a small child when it is not very charming, and how the neighbors would waggle their heads at me. My poor parents. oh well, gentility ROCKS! I don’t, however, like overused eff wording. Overindulging is just lame.

  4. Pattie says:

    Hi Jamie:
    I didn’t grow up a good Southern girl, but I did grow up in the WASPY North….does that count? I swear I had the same expectations placed upon me as a “lady”. I remember one time in the 7th grade, my teacher would use these flashcards with everyone’s name on them. If she “chose” your name, you would have to read a paragraph outloud for the class. There was a short story we were reading, and my name came up…so I started to read the paragraph that contained the word “damn” in it…At first I skipped right over it. Then she told me to read it again..so I substituted the word “darn” instead. I would not say it. The class laughed at me and it was really humiliating. Funny though…as I got older, I don’t seem to have a problem saying certain swear words, but still NOT in front of my parents 🙂

  5. Sarah says:

    Your welcome for the link.

    I am new to blogging and my first real experience has been through clubmom. I am not that familiar with many of the blogs out there but I found your blog a couple of days ago and I just love your style of writing. I am hooked.

    Oh, and I am from NH and grew up in a very rural farming community. And we never used the “f” word but when you stepped in cow “shit”, you said, “Oh, hell I just went and stepped in cow shit!” That is far as I have ever dared swearing in front of my parents. Swearing at my husband now that is a different story. I use words that I never knew existed. Most of the time they don’t exist I just throw together a couple of swear words to make it sound really bad.

  6. Bluegrass Mama says:

    Trust me–if you use the word in front of some people, it will eventually slip out in front of the girls.

    Trust me on this one. I am literallly the voice of experience.

  7. mothergoosemouse says:

    Isn’t it true that “bless your heart” is really a Southern lady’s way of saying “f$%& you”?

    Someday Jamie, when you are feeling better, please do an audio post. Renee, you too. I would just love to hear your Southern drawls. Especially if you happen to drop an f-bomb in your audio post.

  8. Sarah says:

    Your welcome for the link. I am very new to blogging and I don’t have much experience with all the blogs out there. I was searching through the other day on blogline and came across yours. I love your style of writing and think that I am officially hooked.

    As far as the “f” word goes I don’t say it. I know this because my three-year-old hasn’t repeated it. She has however said; “Damnit” and “Dumbass”, I know I am a very bad mommy but “Damnit” is for when things fall and “Dumbass” is for the stupid drivers out there who pay no attention to what they are doing.

    Hence, her foul vocabulary.

  9. Sarah says:

    Obviously, new to blogging and I am a “Dumbass” I made a comment at 1pm but I didn’t think it went through because I had tons of error messages. So I came back to try again. After posting low and beyond there is my previous comment.

    OOOOOhhhh, damnit! LOL, take care!

  10. Blonde Mom says:

    Hey Sarah! Well for some reason your comment went into the “Spam” bucket but I just fished your comment out and approved it. So that’s why it has now magically appeared. I’ll definitely continue to check your blog out. I’m always looking for a bargain!

    Jamie

  11. Liz says:

    I hate being “effing” sick, and isn’t about time you started feeling better, dammit!?!

    I’d curse a blue streak, if it meant it would help ;o)

  12. Charla says:

    My big problem is my middle finger…that’s my “quiet” F-you to my hubby when he’s being a jerk. I’m afraid my very alert 4 year old will pick up on that one…lol

  13. Mrs. Flinger says:

    Southern women don’t drop the F bomb in front of their mother and grandma? Eff. I knew I was an outcast.

  14. Blonde Mom says:

    Liz:

    Thank you! Effing sick in particular is no fun.

    Charla:

    I like to do the “middle finger head scratch” to the hubby. That’s subtle ya know! 😉

    Mrs. F:

    You will never be an outcast in my book! 🙂

    Jamie

  15. deb says:

    At 47 years old, I find using the “F” word wickedly liberating. It’s my favorite word now but I’m picky about where and when I say it. And with whom. But my favorite phrase of all is “those f*ing f*ers!”. I believe I’ve used that phrase at least a hundred times recently when referring to Charter Communications, oil companies, slow drivers and my insurance company ;~)

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