Sharing, and not.

Once upon a time, I was a little girl. No, it’s true. And this little girl, before it became apparent that I would spend my days speaking as though I was having a screen-test for a role on The Sopranos, asked my mother if I could use a curse word in a story I was writing.

She asked me which one. I whispered damn, feeling as though I might be swallowed up by the earth for saying such a thing to my mother. She said I could, but just once.

I remember writing the word in my precious notebook, and feeling powerful and horrified at once. No one saw those early stories, kept in spiral deals that I stashed under my bed and in various other hiding spots, but the word was there. I WROTE DAMN.

Years later, the summer I turned fourteen, I wrote my first bit of smut. It was nothing very risque, but given my strange paranoia that someone knew what I was doing, I was horrified with myself. In fact, to a degree, I still am. Note to self: find that notebook stashed at my parents’ house and burn it.

I’ve largely gotten over these worries. I curse like a sailor, and tend to forget my audience on a regular basis when telling a story in mixed company. I am terrible at realizing ratings are on movies and shows for a reason, and find myself realizing I probably shouldn’t have shown my kids this or that movie. They’re doing okay, promise. We’re saving money for the therapy.

Despite this, there is still a sliver of me that is absolutely terrified of my mother.

Now, an aside: my mother is awesome. She is a former teacher, and I learned at her knee how to curse, and how to smoke a cigarette and hold my liquor. Lest you think she’s a lush, she’s also well-read, bright, bitingly funny, with an encyclopedic knowledge of art history that still astounds me to this day. She is fun, and kind, and the biggest cheerleader I’ve ever had.

That said? Good Lord, there are things I write that she should not read.

I am not ashamed of what I write, or what’s in my head. But where I can watch True Blood with her, I do not want to share some of my more… wanton writings. There is a line, and I don’t think I’m a prude for having one, or sparing my mother some of the details, about my life, and about my work. Where I won’t tell my mother about my sex life, I don’t really relish her reading some of the erotica submissions that have come out of my computer. If/when these pieces are published, I do hope she will be excited for me, will toast me with a glass of wine, and will solemnly swear to never, ever find a copy to read.

I love you, Mom. You’re amazing. But, really, some things will just remain known and not seen, a little like the Easter Bunny. You still get the chocolate.



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12 responses to “Sharing, and not.”

  1. crisveijk says :

    Just like to make sure you’re aware that this post contains my three favorite things – awkwardness, smut, and chocolate. 😀

  2. Jeannie says :

    I like your writing, you are really awesome.

  3. rossmurray1 says :

    The greatest censor is the mother in our heads. It’s really not such a bad thing. This made me chuckle.

  4. mrsdeboots says :

    I use the F word as much as the average person uses it, was, etc.

    But in front of my mother?? Never. On purpose. Under the influence of versed (best drug ever) from an upper endoscopy, I apparently told my mom to go F herself because she wouldn’t let me smoke in her car.

    I have no recollection of this event, but it has been held over my head a zillion times, the way only a true southern baptist wonan can do, by using it as a bargaining tool in public via guilt.

    So, in a wordy way, I agree with you. Some lines mustn’t be crossed with mom.

  5. Lee-Ann says :

    The image of a small girl asking her mom for permission to use the word ‘damn’ was so sweet…

    Mom is always going to give you pause when it comes to borderline material, but I’m sure she recognized the warning signs early on — if not, she has definitely caught on by now!

    Regardless, I bet mom is proud of your boldness 😀

  6. VivBlogs says :

    I remember the first time I wrote damn. It was in high school. It felt like an act of bravery. I am holding out on my next big act, reading my teenage nascent sexuality erotica. Clearly I read way too much Clan of the Cane Bear. It is truly horrifying.

  7. caliwow says :

    Hahahahaha I laughed so much when I read this post; not b/c it was true for my mother and I (she curses about as much as I do), but b/c it WASN’T true. Of course, I had my moment of stepping across that “no-no” zone and wrote/said my first cuss word, but when you have a mother who called her neighbor a bitch in front of seven-yr-old you, the feeling of doing something forbidden passes quickly. Really liked the way you wrote this post tho 🙂

  8. moodsnmoments says :

    you have mentioned writing like its cake walk and for people like me…it isnt that simple….though i aspire to get there someday
    ive had similar experiences when i’ve written something, i so hope that some people never ever read what i write…its a hope and i like to dwell on it…
    look forward to more of your writings!!!

  9. Parking Space Bagel says :

    My side hurts from laughing so hard. We may be kindred spirits.

  10. tracycembor says :

    Gosh, the last kissing scene I wrote took me two days and I blushed the entire time. Just the thought of my mother reading that makes me want to flee the country, nevermind that she reads way more romance novels than I do. I agree there are some things I want my mom to be proud of, but I don’t really want her to know about them.

  11. feygrrl says :

    Reading this was a breath of fresh air! This is coming from a mother of 2 who cusses, loves her beer, enjoys smut of all kinds, and lets her kids watch stuff they probably shouldn’t.

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