So one afternoon last month, I was texting back and forth with my 25-year-old son. As is my wont, I was providing unsolicited motherly advice on a variety of mundane topics. Bagel bargains, watch cleaning tips, that kind of thing. Then the unthinkable happened.
My phone vibrated. A text message from my son appeared. It contained a curse word. A significant one.
I’m not going to repeat the word here. Let’s just say: it had four letters. While it can be a verb, it functioned as a direct object in this instance. It was not used in a particularly pejorative way. English majors should be able to figure it out.
As for the rest of you: I bet you wish you majored in English right now.
Anyway, I was fairly certain the text wasn’t intended for me. Long story short: it wasn’t.
“Whoops!” said the message that popped up a half-second later. “Disregard that text!
Disregard that text? This particular son prefers for me to respond to every text message he sends within five seconds, and he suddenly wants me to disregard THAT text?
Are you #$@&%*! kidding me?
But alack and alas, the job of a mother is to be at all times understanding.
Whoop, I replied.
I know. I should have written Whoops. I’m not very good at texting.
Awkward silence ensued.
“Hahahahaha,” read the nervous response that arrived several minutes later.
He was so embarrassed. It was so adorable.
The truth is, my son grew up in a relatively expletive-free home. I’m not saying no one here cusses. I, personally, utter the phrase “Dang It!” at least 11 times a day.
When others here swear, televised sporting events are usually involved. And the curse words are generally of the PG-13 variety. Not to brag, but I’ve never once had to wash out anybody’s mouth with soap following a Liverpool soccer team loss.
Again, I’m not suggesting no one here has never used any of the REALLY bad words. They just know better than to use them in front of me.
Call me nostalgic, but I enjoy a good old family-friendly expletive. I’m referring to curious phraseology like “heavens to Betsy” and “geez Louise.” I miss the days when people took the time to string together creative language in an attempt to avoid mortal sin-level cursing. Things like: For cripe’s sake, why in tarnation is that dagnabit son of mine texting that kind of foul language?
Not that I’m a total prude. I mean, I watch Parks and Recreation reruns. That time Leslie Knope called someone a buttface was pretty racy. Not as racy as everything that comes out of Susie Greene’s mouth on Curb Your Enthusiasm. But still.
Yes, people just don’t swear like they used to. Gosh-darn-the-luck.