Bride Elect (Evolution of a Bridezilla)
Chapter Thirty-Six—Being a Bride, AND Still Using the F-Word (it’s totally lady-like!)
I have always had a way with words. For this, I like to credit my older siblings, at least in part. When there is a ten year age difference between siblings there is a kind of ‘run with the big dogs’ dynamic at play. By the time I was in grade four, both my siblings were in university. I shared a room with my sister, and in times when I inspired her ire whilst studying—I would hide out in my brother’s room (usually while he was studying).
My sister is what educators call an “auditory”, or “aural” learner. She would study by reading out loud, thinking out loud, and explaining to herself—out loud. I was a little sponge—and lapped up all the data she spoke. Thanks to my sister, not only do I have an impressive vocabulary—I am also something of a Biology sevant. Sometimes she would take me to her summer school Biology lectures.
Now, as an English teacher, I have had people compliment me on my vocabulary and articulation. Some have even expressed intrigue at the thought of my publishing my writing. Apparently, along with my impressive vocabulary, I can also tell a good story.
As long as I don’t get all circus-freak shy, many people meeting me for the first time get the impression that I am a delight. In one case we had a salesperson we had met in our car shopping phoned me one day, months after we first met her, to chat. She had so much fun test driving with us, she just wanted to keep in touch. My chiropractor, and eye doctor also just love chatting with me during my appointments.
Such was often also the case during the few wedding related appointments I had. People comment that I am a happy bride—some even use the word “glowing”. With all our innovative avoidance of “tradition” most people in the wedding industry tend to find me a fairly laid back and interesting bride.
The thing is, that while I can, and do, use words like “prodigious” correctly, I also have a bit of a potty mouth. To be fair, when I use words like “shit” and “fuck”, I also use them with the utmost grammatical correctness. I also am very careful to be context savvy. My dad’s 80 year old, dear, sweet, tea-totalling cousin need not hear me correctly conjugate the verb “to shit”; however, my students—a group of twenty-somethings—gain a whole new respect for a teacher who can coach them on the art of using profanities in the proper verb tense, and with the absence of misplaced modifiers.
During some of these wedding type appointments I got confused. I mixed up my contexts and used both the word “prodigious” and “fuck” in the same sentence. The women at the crystal bouquet boutique just about fell off their trendy Bauhaus stools—they couldn’t believe their ears. Here was this sweet, funny, pretty bride, talking about all kinds of things—including her job—and BAM she drops the f-bomb. It was almost too much for them to take in.
I think sometimes I have a bit of a school marm vibe. People really watch themselves around me. They are cautious of whether or not they are using “good English”, and rarely will I see a tantrum or gratuitous swearing. Imagine how jarring it would be to see someone with a school marm’s vibe saying something like “holy fuck”, or even using a contrived, yet rather brilliant term: “fucktard”. It could totally cause one to rave and sputter split infinitives.
Over the years, I have tried to harness this potential for shock value only. For the most part, I try to keep things lady-like. Therefore, I refrain from using profanities for the purposes of verbal assault. I also refrain from gratuitous usage of profanity. Some people have the wit and delivery to make a sentence where the f-bomb is utilized as every part of speech. I find this impressive, but not a natural fit into my own personal skill set. When I swear it is for the precise purpose of accuracy. Sometimes, there is only one word that will do the job.