Sunday, May 18, 2014

No offense, but... it's just a word...

I recently followed a board on Pinterest that had a rather colorful cover page and by colorful I mean it used the F word prominently.  In neon.  This showed up on Facebook and was immediately leapt upon by a dear sweet friend of mine from church and my mother.  My mother came to my rescue by saying she was sure I didn’t know it would show up on my page for the whole world to see, and she’s partially right.  I didn’t know that people could see that on their news feeds from me, but I did know it was going to show up in that little section on the bottom left of my own page.  And I didn’t care.  The owner of the board has collected some of the most amazing quotes and sayings and I had so much fun reading them and I wasn’t the least bit offended when I saw what her cover photo was. 

But other people are offended by things like swear words, and I do apologize for having it featured prominently on your news feeds – that was never my intent and now that I know better, I will be more careful.

And the little scolding I got made me think about being offended. 

I’m seldom offended by anyone’s language for a lot of reasons. 

  1. I love language, all the words strange and beautiful, passive and strong. I love the history of languages, I love dictionaries and books and magazines and quotes and song lyrics and I read everything I can get my hands on.  Adore words.  All of them. 
  2. I know from experience that a person’s language can sometimes give you clues as to their upbringing, their family life, their education level or the job they do but it really can’t ever tell you what’s in their heart.  Some of the kindest people I’ve ever known swear all the time.  Sometimes very educated language comes from a cold, judgmental… meanie.  See, you wanted me to use a B word there. 
  3. I’m too busy being offended by other things.

Oh, yes – it is possible to offend me.

 I’m offended by the fears of 300 little African girls and their families; and by the fears of all the girls who are home safe tonight but fear for tomorrow because of what has happened.

 I’m offended by the knowledge that people are “training” for dog fights this weekend.

I’m offended by reality television shows, quite frankly.  Can’t stand them.  I do like to watch Jeremy Wade’s River Monsters, but with the sound off.  He’s yummy. And also Kitchen Nightmares.  Hilarious and scary. But most of the shows are just dumb.

 I’m offended by the idea that somewhere a pedophile is grooming his next victim with flattering text messages and emails.

 I’m offended that people I know and love had some very un-Christian thoughts about homosexuals today.

 I’m offended that a woman who probably had to make the hardest decision of her life today will have to walk through a picket line of hate-filled strangers to carry out that decision tomorrow.

 I’m offended by anyone who uses a child as a weapon in a relationship conflict.   

I’m offended that oil companies are still – STILL!!! – making huge profits. 

I’m offended by the pitch people who do school fundraiser pep talks and get my kids all riled up about trinkets and stuff they will never get.  I’m sorry, but selling ridiculously priced wrapping paper and candy to people who struggle financially so they can earn a plastic monkey key chain is NOT teaching them to set a goal and work for it.  NO, IT ISN’T. 

And I’m pretty defensive about how dirty my house is.  I know I’m not a great housekeeper.  Do not point it out to me.  I get bristly.  If you don’t want me to bristle, don’t come over.  Invite me to your house but do not, in your immaculate house that smells like apple pie instead of wet dog and teenage boy, apologize for two dirty cups in the sink and the pile of bills on the table.  I will tell you to shut up and mean it because I will be thinking about the roasting pan I finally just threw away and the gigantic stain on the carpet where the dog likes to sleep after swimming in the pond.

But this is about me being offended, not slovenly, so back to the list. 

Actually that about covers it.  I’m offended by hate, cruelty, injustice… and Honey Boo Boo.

 I would never presume to tell you that you cannot be offended by the use of language, and I certainly will apologize in the event that I inadvertently offend  anyone with my own language or the language in anything that is or appears to be connected to me. 

That was your disclaimer, by the way.

No, I’m far from being offended by swear words and a lot of other things that offend others, because  I recognize that sometimes you just have to throw your hands up in the air, release the strong person inside of you and refuse to accept personal responsibility for the self-induced drama of others. 

Of course it’s more fun to say fuck it, my inner bitch is out and your shit is not my problem. 

Made you smile.

Next up?  An etymology lesson.  Yep – this shit just got real.