There are four ffffffffabulous classifications of people that I have come to recognize post divorce. Divorcees that swear. Divorcees that swear less. Marrieds that swear. Marrieds that don’t swear.
Now just so that there is no confusion at all, Divorced Gal (DG) fits into category ONE – ‘Divorcees that swear’. You will know if you are part of this special group of specials because you will at this stage be saying ‘F*# yeah – that’s me!!’. My group of gal pals (both divorced and married) are all swearers (this is because if they didn’t swear, I would not be a wise choice of company). Some of my friends never really used to use any expletives at all but I have welcomed them over to this side. ‘This’ side being the ‘trained by a NY taxi driver side’. And I have to say that I am probably (ok admittedly) the ring leader / bad influence a lot of (or all of) the time.
It’s an interesting thing, this incurable (and worsening by the day), seemingly contagious Swear-flu that I have ( the medical term is ‘Swearafackabiatch-alistic-expletive-upurass-is’ because when I was married, I was never really much of a swearer. I mean sure, I had my moments of cussing in the car to myself at bad drivers or the odd WTF (and by WTF, I literally just said WTF) – but since becoming single and in the age group of twenty one plus a few years (and maybe just a few more for luck), I joyfully pepper (and I’m known to be generous with spice) a large part of my dialogue with words that would make any sailor, biker or gangster blush. If you are wondering why I sound so proud about this, I guess it’s because there is an interesting sense of control that comes with this kind of coarse talk. It’s for sure accessing a more tough and perhaps masculine side.
My granny’s generation and many of my moms (excluding my mom who can hold her own with any seasoned swearer and has brought tears of extreme joy and delight to many with her unique word combinations) simply did not swear. It was not the ‘ladylike’ or ‘done’ thing. It was not ‘allowed’ or ‘condoned’ and if you swore, you had no ‘class’. So it is not really pride that I feel for my verbal talent, but a sense of freedom because I used to be so concerned with what others may think. Now I am hyper aware, that the way people look, the words they say and the things that they profess are often in stark contrast to their actions. And it’s our actions that count! Every time!
I think for many that feel powerless or controlled in any way, including in the realms of marriage, there may be no safe place for self expression and swearing (out loud anyway). Divorce can bring many emotions to the surface – loss of control, bitterness, anger, fragility, fear, release and relief – to name but a few. It is bizarrely empowering to describe a feeling or an experience (or a person) with the F word ( or a few other creative and colorful choices) rather than just ‘Gosh darn I’m feeling awful’ or ‘her actions were rather inappropriate’.
Even with my Swear -flu, I do not allow my children to swear and I do not swear in front of them. I was in a blissfully naive bubble at one point, where I liked to believe that they had no knowledge of the FBC’s, because I am so careful of my language in their company. I have had a reality check however and I have discussed with them that while they know the words and hear them in some songs, from mates, on YouTube etc, that if I hear them, there will be a heavy technology fine (mom will take electronic devices)!!! So yes, there is a firm boundary between my parenting and my need to express myself with my friends.
I have to say that I love it when a swear word escapes from the lips of someone (much older usually )who seems that they would never dare say anything of the sort. It’s like there’s this little mischievous twinkle that appears in their eyes as they use a previously ‘not allowed’ word. I mean let’s face it – sometimes only F*# will do!!
Some of my best and happiest laughs have been with the wonderful friends that I have connected with post marriage and have for sure been enhanced by the inclusion of swearing. There is a magnificent sense of letting go when I am able to be just as verbally expressive as I need to be in the the safe and warm company of the adults that I cherish. My Fokabulary gives me a needed sense of being able to to be ‘me’ and a fresh and simplistic awareness that I am able to have control over over my new life and that includes the words that I choose to use.