curse words, swearing, asterisked

The beauty of ‘Oh, bother it!’

Have you been watching The Great British Bake Off? Well, I’m neither a fan nor a naysayer but I switched on the other night and it was ‘Gingerbread construction’ night and bloody hell it was a shit-show. I mean, you need an MA in Engineering to get your head round the architecture. Actually one bloke had exactly that and made a gingerbread rendition of punting on the river at Cambridge post-finals and it wasn’t even c**ty. Normally I wouldn’t asterisk my swearing. Normally I would just let rip because it is part of who I am and why would I be so bourgeois as to censor it? I swear in meetings to shock, test or get a cheap laugh. I swear in texts and at dinners and at the telly and absolutely in the car.

But then this nice Bake Off lady called Kate almost fucked her entire gingerbread Brownie Promise creation and it toppled and she said… brace yourselves… ‘Oh, bother it!’ At a moment of complete crisis that was her expletive.

And I aspired. I did. I had a kind of pathetic revelation about how teenage it was to think that swearing gives me edge. I want to be Oh Bother It girl. Not F*** It girl. Woman. Whatever. And maybe Oh my Goodness girl. Whoopsydaisy woman.

And here’s some therapeutic thinking: If you regulate your language, you regulate the emotion. In other words you don’t fan the flames of irritation and turn it into mini-tragedy. You don’t repress, you just regulate. And that, my Midults, is mental health.

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