Part 1: How My Wife Began to Curse

September 8, 2008



By the time the future Mrs. Random proposed to me [demanded we get married before I got any fresher] and we became engaged to be married, my father was already dead. A few weeks before the wedding, my mother spoke with me privately. “Are you sure WTB [wife to be] isn’t perhaps a little too dainty for you?” she asked me with a concerned look on her face.
I was confused by what she meant by dainty and confused over her concern. I thought maybe she was suggesting that my wife to be was too prissy and good-goody to enjoy sex. Perhaps this concern reflected my mother’s state when she got married, though as my mother had grown up on a farm in Indiana with cows and bulls and hens and roosters, she must have known the “facts of life” before her marriage, even if her wedding took place in the late 1930s or early 1940s.
On another hand, my aunt Henriette told me that in the early years of my parents’ marriage, my father engaged in several affairs. Perhaps she had been too dainty, or perhaps my father, growing up with three bohemian sisters, was already corrupted by modern life (such as it was around 1940) and expected sex to be more adventurous and daring than he found it in his marital bed.

My parents’ early life is shrouded in mystery to me and I have very little impulse or opportunity to disturb the shroud at this late date.

In any case, when I first met my wife (we were both teenagers, though as an older man I was in junior college while she was still in a high school sharing a drama class with Sally Field—this is true), she was indeed a very prissy goody-goody young woman.
The first time I said a “bad word” in her presence, she firmly told me not to talk that way.

However, she shortly began to rebel against her mother. She wore black slacks, which her mother interpreted as “beatnik” rebellion. The situation escalated until a big fight about my teaching my WTB to drive caused my WTB to throw herself out of her house (a story I will tell at another time).

As a person of strong opinions and strong feelings, my wife gradually discovered that at times she needs strong words to express her feelings. In public, at work (when she had a job) and now as a volunteer at the farmer’s market, she maintains an air of discretion and good taste that fools everyone around her.

At home, Mrs. Goody-Goody has been heard to say, “Oh, shit!” as a project goes astray and “Fuck it!” as the universe refuses to comply with her wishes.

This caused some interesting complications as our daughter prepared to enter kindergarten…








6 Responses to “Part 1: How My Wife Began to Curse”

  1. I think it’s very heartwarming that you taught your wife to swear. No wonder you’ve stayed together, with that deep bond of frustrated profanity.

  2. pandemonic Says:

    Are you sure you taught her? Maybe she already knew the words but wanted to make sure she HAD you before unleashing the torrent?

    Swearing is weird. I remember the first time I swore in public. I was 16, and it didn’t feel good. In fact, it got the opposite result of what I was looking for. Maybe I should post about it…

    Anyway, your wife sounds like a most perfect woman to me.

  3. modestypress Says:

    I didn’t “teach my wife to swear.” Pan is correct; I just made it apparent to her that one could do so in private with another consenting adult. She still does not swear in public; for the most part, neither do I. In fact, at 64, I am just starting to curse on my blog, and only with David and Pan present.

  4. pandemonic Says:

    Let loose. You have to be able to say you did…


  5. David Says:

    Well — I mean that you taught her to be more at ease with swearing. I’m sure she knew all the right words. 🙂

  6. modestypress Says:

    At ease, everyone. Now, form ranks, and curse.

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