This may come as a surprise, but I have a teeny problem with controlling my temper. On occasion. If provoked.
Yoga and deep breathing are fairly effective for anger management as well as socially acceptable. But nothing soothes the nerves like unleashing a colorful stream of profanity, with a reddened face and a stamped foot. I learned this from my mother, an upstanding Irish Catholic lady who isn't afraid to use the f word if the situation calls for it. Frigging was a favorite of hers, as well. Also, she would call my brother "The Prick of Noon" when he emerged midday from his closet-sized room reeking of alcohol. (Teenage drinking, while not exactly encouraged in our house, was viewed as normal, unlike my desire to become a writer.)
My father was more circumspect. He mostly confined himself to "bloody" although he was not British. Also, if my brother pushed the limits Dad would mutter, while cracking open a can of Schaeffer's: "You have some set on you." For years I puzzled over that expression, and I never heard anyone else use it. It wasn't until I was working at Sassy that my friend and co-worker Mike Flaherty explained that it meant that my brother had a set of brass balls. Which is quite a thing to say to a 12-year-old.
When I got pregnant for the first time, my husband started a crusade to make me stop cursing so I would not corrupt our child. What a pain in the ass. I had already given up coffee and wine for our precious bundle; now this. What had Dalton given up? The S.O.B. put a jar in the kitchen and I was supposed to pay a quarter each time I swore. I told him to fuck off.
But once the baby was born, I realized that it would be embarrassing to have a toddler exclaiming "shit" when he fell down in the playground. I agreed to cease saying the worst curses, so as to set a good example.
Ten years later, we're still working out the kinks. I refuse to classify "crap" as a curse. Dalton refuses to make it neutral. If he chastises me for saying "crap" in front of the kids (as in, "You kids better clean up all this crap"), I am likely to lose my tenuous hold on my temper. I let him have fuck, frigging, shit, ass, etc; I think I deserve crap. Crap crap crappity crap crap.
Dalton, if you are reading this, I have a confession to make. I said "fucking" in front of the kids this morning. This was at 8:15 when you were inside blow drying the frozen pipes. I was standing in the 2 degree cold wearing my coat over yoga pants and a pajama top, about to drive the kids to school because the bus had never come. Our daughter wouldn't put on her gloves because they are "fat." Our son said he thought we had missed the bus when we went inside to get my car keys. That's when I said it. "Are you fucking kidding me?"
I apologize to you, my Brownie troop, our minister, and the kids. And also the lady who was walking her dog by our house when I said it.