Shit: (Merriam Webster) Nonsense, crap.
(Urban Dictionary) The most functional English word.
My father used to tell me stories about how his older sister would stay up late at night and practice cursing because the kids at school used to pick on her. I can say that the practice worked, because ever since I’ve known my aunt, every other word out of her mouth was a swear. I guess that subconsciously rubbed off on me……
The first time I ever cursed happened in front of my mom when I was about four years old. I will never ever forget this day for as long as I live. I feel like it sums up so many moments in my life perfectly. And funny enough, my first curse word happens to be my favorite curse word to use today.
I was about four years old and my mother was teaching me how to make up my bed. My parents began teaching me how to be independent at a very young age, so learning how to make up my bed was naturally on the list. One side of my bed was pushed up against the wall, while the rest of the edges were easily accessible. My mother made up my bed first to show me how it was done. I watched her as she did it. Then my mother unmade the bed so that I could try it myself. I did everything step by step, just as I had watched her do. I thought I had done a good job until my mother commented, “It’s not neat enough. You still have one side of the comforter sticking up.” I was instantly frustrated. I thought I had done such a good job that I had started celebrating prematurely in my head.
I took a step back, looked at the part of the bed that was messed up and realized that it was the side of the bed that was stuck up against the wall. I knew this was going to be a challenge. I climbed on top of the bed and began trying to push the comforter down between the bed and the wall. The comforter wasn’t moving. I kept forcing the comforter down, but the rest of the bed was becoming a mess. On the third failed attempt of fixing the comforter I screamed out, “Ahhh SHIT!” It just came out with such ease. My mother whipped around towards me and asked, “What did you say?!” I replied, “Ahhh shoot. I said shoot. I can’t fix the comforter.” As my mother stood in the middle of my room in disbelief she scolded me, “You don’t say either one of those words in this house. Do you understand me?!” I couldn’t even reply. I just sat down on the bed and started crying.
Between not being able to fix the comforter, and now being yelled at for saying a word that was “bad”, I thought my life was over. Just like a typical mother, my mom came over to me and comforted me and showed me how to fix my bed. She then explained to me the difference between words that were “good” and words that were “bad”, and then we both went about our day.
To this day I still have no idea where I first heard the word ‘shit’, but I will never forget the first time I used it. That incident made me deathly afraid of cursing around my mother (until I became an official adult) or anyone else for the matter. Sometimes I still use curse words to express how I feel even when I know it’s probably not appropriate. I’m still a work in progress, although I did read an article recently that said people who curse often tend to be more intelligent and creative. To that I say, no shit.