Friday, August 15, 2014

The Cussing Talk

I often get messages that discuss my salty language.  Some are aggressive, others are offended, and the rest are just plain curious.  Why do you talk the way you do?  Can't you stop using those words?  Don't you know how people perceive you when you speak like that?  Most of those people get short, perfunctory answers.  However, someone rather close to me decided to say something, and I had to take some time to think of a reply.  It wasn't because I was upset or angry, it was because this person is important enough to me that I believed they deserved not only an answer, but an explanation.  It was time to write one, and why not write one that would be available to anyone who asked?  Instead of writing a monthly Facebook post stating what I think, now I can just send them a link to this post.

So for anyone who questions me hereafter, this is why I use the words I do.

I grew up in a rural town, where the phrase "she wouldn't say shit if she had a mouthful" was a compliment.  Ladies always did this, ladies never did that, blah blah.  I decided at a young age, not this kid.  As an adult, I realized I am a lady, and if I cuss and speak openly, then ladies do in fact cuss and speak openly.  I get to define lady, because I am one.  The day I realized that was one of the most liberating moments of my life.

It took me a lot of years to figure out who I am, to myself and to other people.  To some I'm the worst person to ever exist.  Other people find me delightful, and frankly I agree with those guys.  But for better or worse, I do finally know myself, like myself and understand myself.  I am not going to be shamed or socially coerced into talking a certain way, and I am not going to be forced through pointless social hoops to make someone else feel better about something that never mattered in the first place.  I am who I am, without apologies or remorse.  If my salty language or other personality traits close some doors in life, they will open others.  And those are the doors I was ultimately meant to pass through.  If reader feedback is any indication, I get ten "thank you for saying what you think without filter" emails for each one asking me to tone down my choice of wording.  If there's one thing with which both my critics and champions can agree, it's that I'm honest.  I mean what I say and I say what I mean. Agree or disagree, one never has to wonder if I'm dodging a bullet or taking the easy way out.

In traditional Bonnie phrasing, I only have so many shits to give about things, and I choose to spend them on the ideas that do matter to me and leave the trivial ones to take care of themselves.

Life is a game you only get to play once.  Win or lose, I am going to play by my terms.  I realize my words are a reflection of my personality.  They are intended to be.  Some will understand, some will not.  I can't help that, and I wouldn't if I could. You either get me or you don't.  But I'm not changing anytime soon, so those who find my writing and ideas to be an acquired taste still have plenty of time.