From birth until age 10, I wasn't exposed to a lot of cursing in my home. My mom didn't curse, my stepfather didn't curse and aside from that one time at Christmas, I didn't curse. Then my parents split up. My mom had caught my stepfather cheating on her. Something in her changed from the mother I was familiar with, she became a disco dancing, smoking, wild woman.
One night, we came home to find that my stepfather had broken into the house and taken half of everything. Half of the food. Half of the linens. Half of the furniture. Half of the tools. Half of the Christmas decorations. If it could be divided into two, he took half of it, save for my belongings. My mom was livid. She got on the phone and started yelling at him. After about 10 minutes of screaming she yelled, "YOU PRICK!" and hung up.
I didn't think anything of it. So a few days later when some stinky boy stole our ball during a two-square game, I hollered, "You prick!" as I ran after him. My teacher was on yard duty that day and he called me over immediately.
Mr. K: "Michele, What did you call him?"
Me: "A prick?"
Mr. K: "Do you know what that means?"
Me: "It's like a poke with a needle and you can call someone that when they steal stuff."
Mr. K: "Where did you hear that?"
Me: "My mom called my Dad that the other night when he stole her bed."
Mr.K: "Well, that is a grown up word. I don't want you using that anymore, ok?. I am going to call your mom today."
Me: " Ok."
Six months later, my life changed dramatically. And so did my vocabulary.