Friday, November 15, 2013

Hey lady. You f**king suck at parenting.


 I took my four-year-old twins to our favorite pizza joint for lunch yesterday, and they wanted to sit in the back, at a booth, like we always do.  About six feet away from us, in a semi-private nook, sat five adults and two toddlers.  It was a raucous group, prone to outbursts and potty talk.

I should be clear that the toddlers were fine.  It was the grown-ups who needed to use their inside voices.

The kids and I were focused on our slices, and I'm sure the loud, profanity-laden conversation coming from the next table washed over my girls like ambient street noise.  I, however couldn't help but flinch every time I heard the so-called adults at that table say "shit" and "bitch."

I have already established that I'm a hypocrite, and I'll be the first to admit that, in many social situations, I cuss like a motherfucking sailor.  There are definitely times when swearing is appropriate and effective.  And it's kind of bullshit that there are certain words that make people clutch their pearls when used in an "inappropriate" environment.  They're just words, right?  I mean, there's a lot of classist fucking horeseshit wrapped up in that, as there is with people using certain dialects and speaking ungrammatically.  We instantly judge people's intelligence, values, social position, competence, etc. on how they speak, and that shit is pretty fucked up.

Nonetheless, I almost never swear in front of my kids, or anyone else's kids, as difficult as it may be.  (Actually, it's gotten easier, and I find myself cussing less frequently even in situations where it would be appropriate.)  I also very rarely speak ungrammatically in front of my kids, even when it sounds a little bit formal for kiddie chit-chat.  The reason is simply that I want my kids to speak Standard English, using the kind of diction and tone that will not get them judged negatively by all the fucking judgmental assholes like me in the world.  I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in this thinking.

So the fuckwads at the next booth at the pizza place were yelling and swearing and drinking (illegally--the restaurant doesn't have a liquor license, but turns a blind eye to people who BYOB) their Coors Light (their lowbrow taste in beer was yet another thing about which I judged them), and at one point, one of the moms got up and ran to the bathroom, her toddler in her arms.  But she was thwarted as the one-seater was ocupado. 

"Oh, shit, you guys!"  She yelled.  "Someone is taking a shit in there!  That's not cool!  I have to piss so bad!"  Then she ran over and banged on the bathroom door and yelled, "Hurry up in there!  I'm gonna shit on the floor!"  She giggled and ducked behind a wall in case the person in the bathroom were to come bursting out.

I must have shot her a look, because she covered her mouth guiltily and said, "Hi, pretty girls" to my kids.

So the dipshit mom was eventually able to take care of her business, and then she sat back down at her table full of stupid fuck friends.  One guy worked the word "shit" into every sentence.  Sometimes "shit" was the entirety of his contribution to the conversation.  I continued to feign the same level of obliviousness as my kids to the crass spew of these fucking lowlifes.

As we finished our pizza, the conversation next to us grew louder and more vulgar.  The asshole mom who had threatened to drop a deuce on the floor casually dropped an f-bomb, using it as a modifier to emphasize the extent to which she didn't care about something or other.  I was surprised when the guy whose vocabulary seemed limited to the word "shit" and derivatives thereof, reprimanded the fucking dirtbag mom.

"Hey, c'mon.  Don't use the f-bomb in front of kids," said Shithead.

"Fuck you.  I'll fucking say what I want," replied Mama Fuckface.

"That's not cool.  I never drop f-bombs in front of kids," the righteous Shithead declared.

"What do you want?" Fuckface said, "A fucking Brownie badge?"

This went on for a while and the rest of the crew of shitheels joined in, with the table divided into pro-f-bomb and anti-f-bomb camps.  The potty-mouthed mom argued that she was essentially being a responsible parent by exposing her pre-verbal child to filthy language.  "I don't want him to be confused when he hears people say 'fuck'," she said.

At this point, we were finished with our pizza.  I bussed our table, and, since the trash can was (appropriately) right next to this table teeming with human filth, I leaned in to add some insight to their lively conversation.

"You know what?" I started.  "It's entirely up to you how you speak in front of your own kids, but as a courtesy to other parents, it would be nice if you didn't hurl f-bombs at the top of your lungs in a restaurant full of kids."

I didn't really think it was possible to get drunk from Coors Light, but Mama Fuckface must have shotgunned quite a number of them, because when she went off on me, she took a perplexing approach.

"Oh, yeah, right..." she said, contorting her vapid features into a taunting duckface and bobbling her sloshy head from side to side.  "You're so awesome, dude," she mocked, throwing sarcastic shakas with her meaty paws.  "Hang Ten, bro."  This amused some of her companions, and I could hear laughter as I walked away with my kids.

I chuckled, bemused, at the idea that she thought I was some kind of surfer dude.  I was wearing grey Dickies shorts and a black t-shirt that had grout stains on it because I had been tiling a kitchen that morning.  I also wore a green baseball hat with a faded Mountain Hardware logo on it.  I was carrying a nylon across-the-body-strap backpack thing (okay, a murse) and was accompanied by two little girls in sundresses and Hello Kitty shoes.  How did she get "brah" out of that?

I've been tinkering with some theories about how a rebuke in Standard English from a square, if a bit dirty, dad could be mistaken as surfer aggression.  Maybe Mama Fuckface went to high school with a bunch of surfer kids who were rich and entitled and bullied her because she was so fucking stupid?  Or maybe everyone who speaks anything besides Vulgarian sounds so foreign that she can't quite place the accent?

Anyway, I was glad I spoke my piece.  I got it off my chest without making a big deal about it (my kids didn't notice the exchange at all), and those assholes needed to know that not everyone thought their fucking shenanigans were cute.

But--and here I expose myself as a hypocrite again since I generally discourage judging the parenting of others--I wasn't really being honest when I gave the impression that I didn't care how many fucking f-bombs she dropped in front of her kids.  I feel bad for those kids.  When they are in kindergarten (probably at the same school as my kids), yelling about how fucking much they love going on the monkey bars, how much of a disadvantage are they starting out with?  What are you going to say, Mama Fuckface, when the teacher calls to tell you that Junior's show-and-tell presentation was titled "My Fucking Pet Turtle Is the Shit!"?  Are you going to tell the teacher to blow it out her fucking ass?  Or are you going to say, "Oh, heavens!  I don't know where he's hearing that language!  It must be from his classmates!"  Will you then start to do remedial work to get him to unlearn the words that stuck-up people like me have decided must not be used in polite company?  Or will you stick to your guns and let Junior be at the vanguard of a brave new generation that shuns classism and talks how the fuck they want regardless of how they are perceived by their peers, neighbors, teachers, and potential employers?  Why not, right?  How the fuck could anything go wrong with that plan?

      

(Please fucking share this, unless you don't give a shit about kids.)

49 comments:

  1. You go Dad. My mother told us when we were growing up that we were only allowed to use words that were in the dictionary, it was a glorious day when the words shit and fuck were added. :-)

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    1. And how much time did we spend thumbing through the dictionary, trying to see how many of our favorite cuss words were included? It was a literacy event, really.

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  2. When I was working at the jail as a CO, I picked up some pretty bad linguistic habits. The F bomb there is dropped casually, constantly, and universally. It's a WARM-UP word. I realized I had to clean up my language FAST when I got pregnant with Justus at 42, but boy was it a battle. My soldier husband had to try to do the same. The problem with kids is that they immediately pick up on the transgressive. Like, faster than the speed of light. No one ever thinks to say words like "Flowerface" with great emphasis and disdain or we would have legions of children dropping "Flowerface" whenever possible. I personally have enough explaining to do to my son's kindergarten teacher without having to explain a potty mouth too.( My son the anarchist is changing her....slowly. She is developing a tic. She looks on the verge of tears.) I'm totally with you.

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    1. Haha. I love it. Years on construction sites gave me a pretty filthy mouth too. And then I went into teaching and had to find other ways to express myself.

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    2. Fuck! That blog was totally the shit. My wife forwarded it to me, and I feel your pain.

      I have come to speak Infantry and Cavalry fluently, and I can carry a conversation in Artillery and Supply. That means that words like "fucktard" and "goat-fucking Haji" have pretty much become standard. The fact that I suffer from PTSD doesn't help either. I'm easily startled and aggressive, not a good combo. I have outbursts of roadrage while the carseat is occupied. "That cocksucking cunt!!! I'll stomp a fucking mudhole in his ass the size of motherfucking Texas." At that point the wife would try to soothe me by saying, "relax Honey."

      I have a problem, and I try to cope, but it is not easy. I can't seem to get all the way to realizing that the majority of people are just incredibly stupid. They clusterfuck a situation not out of malice, but because the are just fucking wasted sperm. What I perceive instantly as a threat, is just another moron without any goddamn situational awareness.

      The best part is that I don't even have to be awake. I've been known to scream out some choice fucking epithets while in the midst of a nightmare. My boy picks up on it. I wish I could do better.

      And that's about all I have to say about that shit.

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  3. There's a tool for every job. Well, except for her.

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  4. So, there's an exception to every rule, and I'm going to tell you mine, even though I agree with your point. My kid has apraxia (childhood apraxia of speech, which is similar to adult forms of apraxia but comes from a neuro screw-up, not an injury). When he was first diagnosed, almost two years ago, he couldn't manage initial consonant production. "Book" was "ook," "cat" was "at," (not even, because he didn't have his final consonants much either--anyway, you get my point). Facing that diagnosis (which is a lifelong one, because it is often accompanied by learning disorders like dyslexia later in life), I told everyone that I would praise the day he could say "fuck," because that would mean he had jumped a major speech production hurdle.

    There's video of him saying fuck for the first time. It's not clear, but he did it. And he has since gotten very, very good at it.

    Now he's almost five, and if you heard him, you'd probably understand him about 50% of the time (he's at 50-70% intelligibility out of context, 90% in context---for a kid with apraxia, this is pretty good).

    However, he is also a genius when it comes to fuck, and not too long ago, in speech therapy, he said, "That's fucked up." So, here we are. The praise-worthy moment has become a cringe.

    Part of me regrets the decision, because obviously this is now a problem we've got to deal with. It's not acceptable in polite society in general, and especially not in the professional-heavy circles in which we sometimes run.

    But on the other hand: I've got a kid with a severe food allergy who also "talks funny." My point, in teaching him to swear the world upside down, was to give him power and control over aspects of language other kids his age don't have. Sure, he might sound weird to you, but does your mom let you say "motherfucker?" Yeah, I didn't think so. I wanted him to have power over a language that it has taken him years and years to not quite master, language that kids in social classes lower than his have no trouble mastering, because in the end, it wasn't about class at all, but about the wiring of his particular brain.

    So, that's where we are. An exception to the rule. A 4.5 who says "fucking hell." With a mom who never quite got over her childhood love of _The Tempest_. Like I said, I totally agree with you. A little kid saying "fuck" sounds awful. But do I still want that power for my kid? Sort of, yes, I think I do. (So long as his therapist doesn't hear it, though even she was happy with the clarity of the word itself.)

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    1. Your reasoning is much stronger than that of the mom in my story.

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    2. I don't know. My daughter also has apraxia. At two, she had no language. We had to start out with ASL (and my high school counselor said that class would never do me any good! :P).

      I still would never see her saying "fuck" as praise-worthy. There are other words that demonstrate that mastery. Fish was a big one for us. Once she was five, though, she had gotten to the point that her real challenge was the glottal sounds. So, maybe your kid's goals are just different than ours.

      I was rather happy that, for awhile, when she let a curse slip, no one but us could understand it! Ha!

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    3. Well, I'm not certain I see it as praise-worthy either, to be honest, but it has been a useful parenting lesson, learned in a relatively low-stakes situation (i.e. what kind of behavior am I modeling, and am I pleased or mortified when I see my words/actions/emotions mirrored in my kiddo?)

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  5. MAN you crack me up. I agree with you. My 3-year-old has a startling grasp on when and how to use certain words ("fuck!" being one of them, for short, and half-amusing/half-horrifying time). Since we convinced her it wasn't worth her time (still not sure how we managed to do that) I now find myself saying the word "fark" and otherwise censoring myself even when she's not around.

    Also, she has my road rage impersonation down, stat, although it sounds like someone reading angrily from the OED: "You are such a terrible driver, SIR! WHAT ARE YOU THINKING? Do you not have EYE BALLS in your SKULL to SEE WITH? I cannot believe that you were given a license to operate that MOTOR VEHICLE. Fark!" I blame drivers here in SD, and also all the GODDAMN rental cars.

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    1. I'm with you there. Before kids, my vocabulary was so salty. Now, I try to minimize the number of phone calls from teachers and in-laws. A well-placed "sir" or "chief" works as well as "asshat" ever did. And while not perfect (meaning the scandalized in-laws still call my husband to tattle) I have found that "BALLS" is a good swap for the f-bomb. At least that one can sound semi-innocent coming outof a 5-year old.

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  6. When my kid was 4, I was hyper-conscious of the language that swirled around her. Now she's in 7th grade, and SHE'S teaching ME all the really good swear words.

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  7. The power of a singular, well-place f-bomb is undeniable. On another note, I once overheard a conversation in which "dude" was used wherever punctuation would fall. "I'm like dude you know what I mean dude when I went to the store dude the dude there dude like this old dude dude looked at me dude and was like dude what are you doing in my store dude." The overuse of any word makes the user of said word sound stupid.

    You were right to say something. Part of me thinks part of the lesson makes it through the fucking thick heads of stupid motherfuckers. And that's fucking good.

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  8. Maybe Mama Fuckface went to high school with a bunch of surfer kids who were rich and entitled and bullied her because she was so fucking stupid? Or maybe everyone who speaks anything besides Vulgarian sounds so foreign that she can't quite place the accent?

    I shared this piece with my husband. It made me LOL :) Will probably make him LOL as well.
    thanks for the LOLS
    As usual:)

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  9. In typical fashion, when stupid people are caught without a ready retort, they immediately resort to the lowest form of comeback, criticising that which is readily 'apparent' to their small brains- usually on the basis of poorly formed stereotypes. Or they just say whatever stupid shit bubbles to the top of the cesspool first.

    Both my tweenaged girls can swear almost as well as I can but I still get irritated at the 'lady' in the grocery store punctuating her cellphone conversation at every opportunity with a loud *FUCK!* alternating with *SHIT!*.

    Glad you said something.

    BTW- everyone knows that surfers spend most of their non-surfing time grouting tile and taking strange little hello-kitty-shoe-wearing girls out for pizza. :)

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  10. Speaking Vulgarian. Hahahaha. Great post.

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  11. First of all, "My Fucking Pet Turtle is The Shit" starts out with at least a B+ in my classroom. Second, while my kids are familiar with many, many swear words, I think what would irk me is that we've worked hard to drive home the point about when those words are appropriate, and people like that blow that shit up.

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  12. Some people are fucking stupid. It's a shame that they sometimes reproduce, but it's an even bigger shame when they raise their own kids without trying to become a better person after becoming a parent (like most of us did).

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  13. Is this serious? I'm sorry, but you're hover parenting. Off all the areas to focus your energy and attention..you chose this? Give your kids, and theirs, some credit. In this modern world kids are exposed to vulgarity in more ways than you can even wrap your beta-male head around. In more cases than not, you will find that children are keenly aware of the innate vulgarity of such situations and words, and they will NOT repeat them. I grew up in house with a strong-willed matriarch who spoke like a sailor, but at the same time imbued her children's lives with more class, worldliness and etiquette than any of her fellow mom friend. In return she had a daughter who never repeated a single swear word in her prestigious all-girls catholic college prep academy, but at the same time, knew how to hold her own in verbal brawls with touchy frat boys and jocks. Your daughters will be having sex and taking birth control before you know it. In my opinion, you're better off shaking this newfound afraid-of-the-world-chastity-dad identity you've adopted since becoming a father, and instead focus your energy on helping your daughters digest the fucked up world around them in a healthy, functional way. That is, being entirely aware-AND above- it.

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    1. No, thanks. I'm just gonna protect from them from swear words and hope the rest will fall into place. But thanks for the advice. You seem like you've got this parenting stuff all figured out.

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    2. I second Stephany's comment. Kids hear swear words wherever they go, you can't control it and you're a fool for thinking you can censor other people. Your job, as the parent, is to lean over and say to your child, 'Don't they sound really unintelligent and inappropriate?' to drive the lesson home that people do in fact swear, it's okay, but at the same time they themselves should talk properly or risk sounding ridiculous and uneducated. I don't remember my own parents swearing like the above mentioned family, but they did swear. And while the rest of my classmates were using swear words at a young age, I didn't really officially start until I was at least 12 or so, entering into my teenage years.

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  14. Wow. I teach college English, and I believe in the power of language and the value of teaching kids SE and in the value of using profanity. And you do it BRILLIANTLY! Don't take this the wrong way -- I am happily married to my husband of 14 years, and we have 4 kids -- but I love you, Betadad.

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  15. I'm totally with you on this (while also agreeing that a lot of our hangups about words are silly and rooted in class bias). If you're going to let your kids use language like that, just go ahead and get them the neck tattoo before their first day of school. And swearing around other people's kids is just douchebaggery of a high degree.

    You reminded me of a time when my son was 8, I was dropping him off at school and a podcaster I was listening to in the car dropped an F-bomb. My son said "Papa you might want to turn that off - if the teacher hears that she'll think you're a bad parent."

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  16. I am soon to be a dad to a little girl and I will not want mine hearing those.

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  17. Great post! I agree, although my own mother cursed like a sailor. She was a New Yorker born and raised (is that your kids in the photo? Bronx pizza?) What do you expect kid.....in NY? :) I grew up there and could curse in 17 languages by the time I was 11. Just sayin'........

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    1. Actually we're in SoCal--the place is run by displaced New Yorkers. Best pizza in town!

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  18. I had a coworker, at a now-out-of-business-bookstore, who was studying to be a teacher, and he started replacing swear words with board game titles.
    When he pinched his pinkie in a calendar rack, he screamed "CHUTES AND LADDERS!" at the top of his lungs!
    When the swinging door smacked him in the face he yelled "OTHELLO! STRATEGO!"
    And when a book-laden cart was rolled over his toe, "FARKLE! FARKLE! FARKLE!" came streaming out.

    Effective and hilarious.

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  19. I have swapped out my cusswords for things like "Son of a Biscuit lickin' duck!" or "FRAKNAR", though stepping on the rather sharp back side of a die-cast Car (I think it was Dj or Wingo....) at 2am while carrying my 3.5 year old back to bed one night did warrant a whispered but still fully audible "Fuck" which he did repeat in his half sleep as I laid him back in his own bed after a stint in mine (during which I was kicked in the face about 17 times) but we have not heard him utter Fuck during normal daylight hours. He use to say "Oh My God" but once we switched to "Oh my gosh" he stopped, and now that his baby speech/lisp thinggie is done, "Mama, look at that dump truck" no longer gets me a funny look from the other moms like it did when it sounded like "Mama, look at that dumb fuck", "I has a big dick" is now just "I have a big stick" thankfully.
    I have not yet run into the issue of other people cussing when I take my kids out. Probably because I take them places that are frequented by sweet old ladies who just give me a knowing smile when my 3.5 year old and 16 month old are loud and shrieking. But if some foul mouthed Asashamster wanted to cuss like a sailor, I imagine I would politely remind her that while her language would be appropriate at a frat party or onboard the S.S. Douchebag, it is not appropriate to use in a public place where children are eating.

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  20. I have swapped out my cusswords for things like "Son of a Biscuit lickin' duck!" or "FRAKNAR", though stepping on the rather sharp back side of a die-cast Car (I think it was Dj or Wingo....) at 2am while carrying my 3.5 year old back to bed one night did warrant a whispered but still fully audible "Fuck" which he did repeat in his half sleep as I laid him back in his own bed after a stint in mine (during which I was kicked in the face about 17 times) but we have not heard him utter Fuck during normal daylight hours. He use to say "Oh My God" but once we switched to "Oh my gosh" he stopped, and now that his baby speech/lisp thinggie is done, "Mama, look at that dump truck" no longer gets me a funny look from the other moms like it did when it sounded like "Mama, look at that dumb fuck", "I has a big dick" is now just "I have a big stick" thankfully.
    I have not yet run into the issue of other people cussing when I take my kids out. Probably because I take them places that are frequented by sweet old ladies who just give me a knowing smile when my 3.5 year old and 16 month old are loud and shrieking. But if some foul mouthed Asashamster wanted to cuss like a sailor, I imagine I would politely remind her that while her language would be appropriate at a frat party or onboard the S.S. Douchebag, it is not appropriate to use in a public place where children are eating.

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  21. I once yelled at a 12 year old who was screaming the f-word across the toddler play area at the park to his friends across the street. I said "Hey kid. Stop talking like that in front of all these little kids," and he got confrontational with me and called me a "Fucking bitch" in front of my three year old. I'm pretty sure he had some parents like ol' Fuckface at the pizza joint...

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  22. I know I curse, and sometimes we curse with out stopping to think about it. Shouting fuck, or shit when we hurt ourselves or something goes wrong in an epic way. The amount of swearing done in my car alone when I am on the road is scary. Case in point almost getting run off the road, and calling the other drive a "Cunt" to the dismay of the five year old in my back seat, and my shame. My solution to the problem when I became a stepmother at the age of 18 to a 4 year old was to address the problem head on. "Cussing happens." I told my daughter. "You will hear other people swear, sometimes you will hear me swear. But people use swear words, when they are not smart enough to think of something else to say." thus taking the cool naughty factor out of it for her, and making it something she didn't wish to do. Because all kids want to be seen as smart. 10 years later, to this day, if I swear or cuss in front of her I apologize to her for not being smart enough to think of something else to say. No issues with her and cussing to date.

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  23. Pretty cool post, and spot on. I've got to admit I'm pretty much a connoisseur of the curse words, but like a lot of other parents I tried to take the novelty away from them using them at a younger age. Don't get me wrong, I don't curse in front of other people's children (knowingly) and if I accidentally do, I apologize profusely.

    With that said, the easiest way I found to stop them from saying anything was to tell them that I didn't care if they used it around the house, sparingly... but to keep in mind, the reason they call them "bad words" was because other people will think you're a bad person if they hear you saying them. Considering my kids care a lot about what other people think, that pretty much hit home and took care of the issue. It's not like I want them to curse, but with kids being on xbox live, psn and school where it's almost a competition of vibrant cursery, it's cool to desensitize them a bit so they don't think they've got to say them to fit in and be cool.... but know when to use them as well.

    In an emergency, Break glass, use "fuck".

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  24. As a college student and a musician I got into the unfortunate habit of talking like every other musician around, for which "gutter-speak" would be an upgrade. I soon realized that I was actually making myself sound dumber than I was. I had learned to "talk down" because a four-letter-word came easier than four syllable words. So I immediately put a stop to it. I decided to start talking my way, as an avid reader, not as someone with a wind-tunnel for a brain: whatever howls in blows right out. Now as a Dad I am thankful I broke that habit, because little-ones have brains like sponges and they pick up more than we know, and so I want to set as good of an example for my little ones as I can.

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  25. This kind of loud swearing was disrespectful to every customer in the joint who probably just wanted to enjoy their meal in peace. It's not just about the children.

    And what about the poor person in the toilet.

    Most importantly you have a group of people getting drunk while looking after small children. And were they driving home? Makes you wonder how they behave the rest of the time with their kids.

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  26. Bad news is kids DO pick up all these conversations and whereabouts around them, even if they seem very oblivious to you. I have the experience. So I wouldn't stand such a long situation with my girl, I would have stand up waaaay before finishing the pizza and moved to another table or straight home (I don't think I would have even arrived to the pizza in the table!), and possibly said something to the dirty bunch (I use to get myself in problems for telling out loud what I think about other people's attitudes). It might be cultural because I come from Latin American countries and that kind of language, generally speaking, is socially banned. It makes me giggle that North Americans in general make a big deal about the F-word but not about others, while in my country it's the general conversation tone that is "banned". I have had (and will have, for sure) hard times because I'm now living in Spain and boy, they have a "dirty mouth" for our taste. Not only the language in general drops many bombs, they even use words for some normal and correct things that are gross in our country. I'm still trying to figure out how to explain my family when my 3-year old starts talking about "shitting with her ass" in front of them ;)

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  27. My 11year old son has to ask permission to cuss. It works great for us. He learns that there are appropriate and inappropriate times to drop an F bomb, and I can still be myself around him.

    We do have off limits language at our house. Racial slurs or anything meant to hurt someone's feelings.

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  28. The amount of judgemental idiocy that courses this post and all of the comments is like a fucking infection. Get off of your high horses and stop looking down your nose at other people for the most miniscule bullshit.

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  29. Here's the problem. You are trying to control other people outside of your own home for the 'benefit' of your children. This teaches them that it's okay to force other people to accommodate you and your tastes instead of you taking charge of your own feelings and emotions and dealing with the problem without being a self-entitled, overgrown child yourself. Because that's what this world needs, right? More self-victimizing assholes with a mutated sense of entitlement that spreads like a fucking infection throughout society until there is nobody left with decent character capable of taking care of themselves, because they expect the world to bend to their needs, likes, dislikes, and disapprovals.

    I hope you got your superiority boner for the day from this. If it was me, I would have told you to get your morally superior ass out of my face because you weren't going to be using me as a way to impress your family with your bullshit.

    My kids are exposed to cursing. I don't hide things like that from them. No, instead, they are exposed to cursing and taught that just because other people choose to do it does not mean that they can do it. This gives them a firm lesson in self-control and independence. I highly, highly fucking doubt that they are going to grow up to be the scum of the earth. I refuse to put my kid in a bubble and have her shielded from the 'bad' things of the world. I'll put money down that the presence of 'curse' words in her life has a total effect of absolutely fucking nil on her intellect and capability to succeed in life.

    I feel bad for you. It must suck being the only person in the world who can stand above the rest of us, with our 'lowbrow taste in beer' (seriously, who gives a shit? I enjoy Bud Light as much as I enjoy Stone's Ruination IPA, fuck off with your beer snob crap, you can not judge someone by something as stupid as that) and to have to save your poor, poor kids from all the evil people that use bad words and drink bad beer and listen to anything less sophisticated than Swedish jazz fusion.

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    1. Ok, lemme see if I got this straight. I'm an entitled, self-victimizing asshole without "decent character" and presumably "unable to take care of [my]self", because I discreetly asked the drunks in the family restaurant to be considerate of their fellow diners and parents, by, you know, conforming to the generally accepted standards of public behavior? A person of "good character," would just silently accept the imposition of inappropriate language and conduct into his children's space? Got it. I'll stop being such a fucking snob. I hope you got your defender-of-obnoxious-drunks boner for the day.

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  30. It boggles my mind that you realize that you're being a judgmental hypocrite, yet you continue this behavior and feel good about it. This excuse that people only swear when they can't think of anything better to say is wrong. For example, if I were to call someone a cunt, its because I want to convey a stronger distaste for that person than the words debaucherous vagabond would get across. Swearing only makes you seem dumb to people who feel they're superior in some way, and I wouldn't take those opinions too seriously. Not swearing could end up with someone judging you as a prude. The point is, people will judge you no matter what. You have to decide for yourself how you will act, learn to shrug off petty judgments, and accept ones that might be true.

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    1. I'll bet a lot of stuff boggles your mind.

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  31. george of the jungleJanuary 3, 2014 at 2:14 PM

    I like your post. Since we're all adults, here, I'll speak my mind in colorful terms:

    Personally, I don't give a shit about people's feelings. Inarticulate, stupid, manipulative mother fuckers talk sbout their "feelings" all the time. As if they are unable to contain or control themselves because their "feelings" compell them to act without conscience or conport in public. That being said, I care tremendously about "manners". "Manners" are your basic gift to the world--not anything fir which you deserve a medal or an accolade. Not acting like an uncouth, worthless, contemptible piece of human garbage in front me is what you owe me. What do you get in return? You don't get the ever-living stuffing beaten out of you and/or a tongue lashing that will destroy your self esteem for years to come. It's a good trade. And if someone with kids calls me down for behaving too boisteroudly--well that's an exception to my not giving a shit rule. The one time it has ever happened to me, I apologized for my lack of manners and switched to German...

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  32. This is actually something I try to work on myself. There was a time while I was in the Corps that I could care less who was around, and I (now) could tell that my friends were embarrassed of me often. But as I grew older, my mouth stayed as dirty, but my morals strengthened and I took a personal stance to try to be a role model for smaller kids. I ALWYS slip up, but I feel if I continue to make this conscious effort then when I have my kid, it'll be that much easier to control my mouth.

    Good on your for saying something, because she may had blown you off then, but at SOME moment in her life, that stranger who walked up to her, will be her Jiminy Cricket.

    I'm starting to write a blog too called The Scared Dad, and this is definitely something I've thought about often and have on my mind to write about. You should check me out! www.thescareddad.com.

    Take Care,
    Robert

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  33. Ok, I hate when people lace their blog posts with curse words...but I could not stop laughing! I do sometimes curse in front of my child, usually when I get hurt, but she knows she's not allowed to say these words. Why not say these words? I'm amazed, just as you are, at parents who think they are doing their kids a favor by letting them not only hear a constant stream of curse words but also let them say them. If most people, in general, are offended by curse words, why train a child up to use them? Who says to themselves, "I'm going to parent my child to be offensive." Because, essentially, that is what you are doing when you don't teach your child the difference between respectful polite behavior and offensive disrespectful behavior.

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  34. My family is pretty profane in a not-shitheaded kind of way, and despite actively policing ourselves in front of the kids, my eldest dropped his first F Bomb before he turned two. He's in first grade now and fully understands that "bathroom words" are something he'll be allowed to say after he turns 30. Which isn't really what I wanted to say.

    I used to live across the street from a foul mouthed and verbally abusive family who occasionally had two small children in their care. Since none of us had air conditioning and all of us spent a lot of time in our front yards in the evening (Yeah, I didn't have cable either.) I got an earful from them a lot of the time. One night, the woman (Grandma? Aunt? Other relative? I still have no idea what her relationship was to these kids) was hollering at the kid and sent him to his room. I could see the man say something to her, which must have been in defense of the kid, because she yelled back "I don't care! We don't fucking talk like that around here!" and I turned to my husband and said, "poor kid must have said something nice."

    There's a line between using "blue" words and using them as a weapon meant to hurt other people. Once you cross the line to shouting them at strangers and inflicting them on other patrons on purpose, then it doesn't matter which word you are using to give offense. In other words, you're not a hypocrite, because your objection wasn't really about the f-bomb. It was about the right you have, as a parent, not to have other people co-opt your parenting decisions.

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  35. Dude, you are fucking hysterical.

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Don't hold back.

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