We're All Damaged

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Watch Your F*cking Mouth Please

I borrowed my parents’ car this weekend to drive to a wedding. I’m the sort of person who gets lost a lot, and so I took advantage of the car’s built-in navigation system. For reasons I can’t quite explain, I named the device’s female voice Tina.

“Make a legal u-turn,” Tina told me. I was somewhere in North Carolina, and I’d pulled off her route in search of Diet Dr. Pepper. She told me again, a bit more impatiently, five seconds later.

“Shut up, Tina, you ignorant slut,” I said. That’s when it dawned on me that perhaps I swear more than I should.

Most people swear when they’re angry, like my wife, for example. She used the eff-word twice in one sentence in front of my mother a few months ago when our local grocery store screwed up our turkey order at Thanksgiving. Me though; I’ve always been a more matter-of-fact swearer. “Hey grandma, could you pass the f*cking potatoes?” “Wow, this car smells like a monkey’s a$$.” “Is Lost new tonight? F*ck yeah, Lost is new tonight.” That sort of thing.

As charming as all this may sound—poetic even—it’s all going to have to come to an abrupt f*cking stop in October when I officially become a father. Oddly, this is perhaps the one thing I’m going to miss most about the carefree, filth-laden days of my youth. I’ve happily said goodbye to cruising the bars for girls. I’m too old for all that, and, frankly, I was never very good at it anyway. Apparently girls in bars don’t like being awkwardly leered at from a distance. And I doubt if sleep deprivation will be all that bad. I’m not much of a sleeper anyway nowadays, what with all my charity work and my many public appearances in support of The Norman Nation, an internationally famous blog with a worldwide followership of nearly 77 people.

But swearing . . . holy f&cking $hit, I’m going to miss the hell out of it. In fact, I have to admit, I’m a little nervous. I don’t even know if I have the goddamn vocabulary needed to communicate effectively without obscenities. For example, how would you even go about saying something like “Hey, look at that douche bag over there in those stupid f*cking shorts” without using swear words? I mean, how would the listener know my opinion on the shorts? Without leveraging the words “stupid” and “f*cking” to articulate my point, there really could be all sorts of confusion.

“Wait, do you like the shorts, or do you not like the shorts, Matt Norman? I don’t understand what you’re trying to say, you f*cking idiot.”

$hit. Fatherhood’s going to be harder than I thought. I wonder what else I'm going to have to give up. Hmmm, does anyone know what the parenting books say about drinking an entire box of wine by yourself and watching Cinemax?


  1. Michelle Young OestmannJune 9, 2009 at 4:00 AM

    Ohhhhhhhhh trust. You have plenty of time to ween yourself off swearing. Babies are cool with it as long as you swear in a sing song voice. For example: "If you don't stop crYYYYing I'm gonna throw myself off the f*cking bAL-conYYYYYYY!" And don't forget to smile.

    I haven't actually figured out how to stop my matter of fact swearing. My kids are five. I'll get it one of these days!

  2. Hey, don't sweat it man. Just look forward to the days your kids are finally in their teens and you can while away the endless evenings of maudlin post-teen angst smoking the pot you found in their rooms. Hey, they're not going about to ask for it back...