Are you a Sweary Mary, or a Mild Martha?!
I had some lovely feedback from my mum on one of my first published pieces. “It’s terribly good darling, but isn’t it a bit… well… sweary?!” Well, yes it is. And it seems I’m in excellent company as research shows that women are more likely to drop the F-bomb than men. The research says that it’s an example of the erosion of the difference between male and female language and behaviour, so it’s another step towards full equality. And the feminist in me says whoop to that.
I bloody love swearing. I have few vices left. I no longer smoke, and I LOVED smoking. It felt naughty, and illicit, and sexy. But there is nothing sexy about bad breath, or lung cancer, so I knocked it on the head. Whilst I’ve had my fair share of hangovers in the last few months, I definitely drink less than I used to, and I’m also more likely to be drinking wine from Waitrose than shots in a bar, and that makes it ok, right?! I eat reasonably well, and have a bit of an avocado habit so expect to have hair glossier than a Labrador’s in no time. Hell, I go to Pilates so often I count the teacher as a friend.
And Brits swear really well. The Americans have a different language of profanity and it’s not nearly as good. (Although there is plenty of use for bad language over there right now). They do pancakes and skyscrapers really well, but we have excellent expletives. And we have done for ages. Shakespeare might have avoided cursing, but he was excellent at insults. But until I’m pithy enough to come up with a modern equivalent to “You scullion! You rampallian! You fustilarian! I’ll tickle your catastrophe!” I’ll stick to the words that work best for me.
So I’ll keep swearing. Let me turn the air blue when something pisses me off. Ok, not in front of the kids (much), because if my kids’ first sentence is, “Bollocks mummy, this teddy is a bit crap” I won’t feel amazing. (That didn’t stop me playing the VERY EXCELLENT Samuel L Jackson reading of the explicit “Go the fuck to sleep” to my bright-eyed, hyper-alert first baby at 3am.) Perhaps mums and dads need to swear more than most, because there is invariably crayon on the walls, a missing shoe and one sibling prodding the other with a fork. And perhaps I need to rein it in on the blog, because some of the brands I’ve spoken to about working with have been hesitant to be associated with lairy language. But don’t make me give it up. Because you’ll find me down the pub, with a double tequila and a packet of fags and some Monster Munch, keeping my language clean but my lifestyle very dirty.