Monday, November 2, 2009

Shut the Front Door, and Other Expletives

We were watching "Castle" on TV the other night. If you haven't seen it, it's about a male crime writer who shadows a female detective for inspiration on a new series of crime novels he is writing. It could be boring or predictable, but we think it's pretty funny -- corny, but clever and funny. The best part about it? It's not missing a moral compass, which is more than I can say for a lot of shows these days.

Anyway, Beckett, the woman detective, hears something that surprises her, and she says, "Shut the Front Door." Now, while her lips were forming the words "front door" my eyes boggled out of my head and all I could think of was, "I can't believe she is going to say the 'F' word during prime time TV on ABC." I was so relieved when she said, "Shut the Front Door" that I laughed out loud, and it has now become one of my favorite expressions. It's fun to say, and it is SO not offensive, which is more than I can say for a lot of things I have heard and read lately.

I'm not saying I am a prude when it comes to language. Some would even say I have a mild case of the potty mouth. I have been known to say bad things when large objects are dropped onto my smallish toes, or to let a bad word slip when I am angry/stressed/in a hurry/feel like it *cough.* And I've even been known to use a very bad word after a couple of drinks when talking with girlfriends about something that perturbed me to the extreme. *Those of you who were there, shut it! Yes, I know I have changed your view of me forever, and for that I apologize. But it was bound to happen sooner or later. I am not perfect and not really all that prim and proper, although I know at least one of you thought I was.*

My point is that in most cases and in most places, I can be trusted to use pretty good language -- including very good grammar, if I do say so myself. Or if I do slip, it's not going to be something you find offensive in the extreme. I think there is a time and place for everything and that includes language. I've already told you how I feel about using offensive language in writing, some times it's necessary. Yes, even on this blog it might be necessary to use a word that some find offensive from time to time, although I would give fair warning for anyone who might be offended.

However, I can't say the same for some of the other blogs I have been reading lately. I was clicking through reading some blogs last night that were linked to some of my favorite writers, and I found one that was intriguing. It was about raising children, imagine that. While scrolling along reading her latest post, out of nowhere comes the "F" word. Really? I thought. Was that necessary or appropriate? Hmmm, maybe she was having a bad day. I'll give her the benefit of the doubt. Then I read a few more posts down the page and there it was again. Wow, I'm thinking, you needed to use the "F" word to describe your child's sports practice? But I think the kicker was the fact that she had compared her child to a completely benign inanimate object early in the post and was afraid her readers would judge her for that. I just kept wondering, who are the readers who are offended that you compared your sick child to something like a rock, but aren't offended by the liberal use of the "F" word.

Okay, I get the fact that a lot of bloggers are concerned about honesty. They want you to know they are just "keepin' it real." They want you to see their real lives and not some Stepford version of it. I get that. I really do. I don't want to write about sunshine and puppies and rainbows all the time, either. I think that would be dishonest. I write about my life, which includes the good, the bad and the ugly.

In the spirit of honesty, I am not afraid to tell you that I am a yeller, and I have often yelled at my precious children, especially during that particularly bad week of the month. I have a temper, and I don't like that about myself. Not. One. Bit. So, I am doing something about it. I am praying every day, studying scripture, holding myself accountable with my Bible study friends, and trying desperately with the help of God not to be the mom that yells all the time, forever and ever, AMEN! I know I'm not the only one who struggles with this, so if my telling you that I lose it and yell at my kids can help you realize you aren't the only one and that spurs you on to do something about, then I don't mind being honest. But dropping the "F" bomb liberally throughout my blog, or worse, saying GD this or GD that just to try to make a point, well I don't think that's being honest. I just think that is offensive. So, if that's you "just keepin' it real," I'd rather not read you. Thanks.

Okay, so maybe I should rethink the whole me not "being prim and proper" thing. Maybe I am more of my mother than I realize. Now there's a woman who takes offense to bad language! But, that's a post for another day.


  1. Thanks for your recent "random" visit to my blog! I'm so glad that I got to come over and visit yours as well...a lot of what I've read so far sounds a lot like me!

  2. Just to KID said the bad word, not me! :)