Thursday, December 15, 2011

Tasteless, Tacky, Tawdry: My Life as a Prude

I used to be such a Prude with a capital P.

What happened?
Once the mere mention of “passing gas” offended me to the core, the word “damn” made me cringe, and if I saw the “f” word on the ladies room wall, I felt slightly dizzy and broke out in hives.
Now I find I excel at double-entendres, bad bathroom puns, and none-too-lightly-veiled sexual innuendo.
By the way, no one writes on the bathroom wall anymore. Is that because we’re too busy talking on the cell, texting, or taking notes for our next blog post? Remember when there was even rhyming poetry on the walls? “If you sprinkle when you tinkle, please be neat and wipe the seat” springs to mind.
See what I mean? In my life as a prude, I would never, ever, have repeated that poem. As a teenager I was completely mortified by needing to ask for a bathroom when traveling with friends. I routinely “held it” long enough it’s a wonder I didn’t burst a kidney.
Now I blab for the world to hear, “Time for a pee break! Anyone else need to go?”
My grandmother would be appalled. I believe I heard her say “damn” maybe twice in her 93 years. She powdered her nose—she certainly didn’t “use the toilet.” I heard nary a curse word from my mother until I was at least 18. 
Purchasing feminine hygiene products used to be torture, but now I can actually say the word tampons out loud without feeling like my tongue may burst into flames. Although not in mixed company. And of course I recently passed the point of needing tampons. I can even say menopause out loud. Well, if it’s just us girls.
I use the “f” word out loud perhaps two dozen times a year, but my long-suffering husband is usually the only one who hears it (not directed at him, but in description of politicians, incompetent drivers, and other assorted dunderheads).
Upon reflection, perhaps I do retain a few taboos and words I refuse to acknowledge: nasal discharge, alternative “poo” words, parts of male and female anatomy below the waist, certain gastric disturbances, and don’t even attempt to talk to me about something you read in the Kama Sutra.
A friend from the Deep South recently revealed that she calls a certain part of the female anatomy one’s “butterbean.” I adore this as a term.
If you’ve never seen a butterbean, they are really very cute. They're shaped like a... oh, dear heavens, stop it! The vegetable, people, I’m talking about the VEGETABLE. Sheesh.
So maybe I am still a bit of a prude after all.
Shall I say it out loud, I’m a prude and I’m proud?
Or shall I write it on the bathroom wall?


  1. Is that prudish or a sign of an excellent upbringing by women who clearly read and understood Emily Post?

    I love Emily Post and yet, my vernacular is peppered with all sorts of words that would send 10-year-old boys into fits of giggles.

    I don't think either of us is a prude. I think, however, one of us is very much a lady (hint: it wouldn't be me).

  2. Now, Jane, calling me a lady is quite a low and tasteless remark. Only if a lady occasionally (frequently?) like to shock those around her out of their high expectations. :-)

    The word that could always be counted on to send my younger brothers into giggles when they were 10 was:

    The world has changed just a smidgen. P.S. Meet me in the ladies room. I have 2 sharpies.

  3. *secret* I keep a (red) sharpie in my purse. You never know when a sharpie will come in handy!

  4. Ooh. Now I want a red one. My black sharpie is boring. The contents of a ladies purse do say a lot, you spicy girl!

  5. I consider both of you "Ladies." So there! :)

    I love this post Melanie, it was funny and "raw!" And I see how much you've come out, since meeting you. I LIKE IT! LOL!

    Always your friend,

  6. Bwahaha! Bathroom graffiti is alive and well where I live, and sometimes it is funny stuff! :-) While I don't have a problem using the clinical words for the bits that reside in our nether regions, they are not nearly as fun as the cutesy words. I loved this post!

  7. Dearest Melanie,
    I have dedicated a post to you ;-)

  8. Wow, Alienbody, perhaps we could apply for grant funding to study the variations in bathroom graffiti in the U.S. Seems like there may be a cover-up that must be exposed before it's too late! With time, dedication, and plenty of $$$ we could get to the bottom of this. Er, flush out the reason behind it. Oops. I need professional help. ;)

  9. Jane,we need to take this show on the road, my dear! The middle school audience awaits us!

  10. Virginia, thank you for the sweet support through all my questionable attempts at humor! If I'm a lady, then you are once, twice, three times a lady... is that Lionel Ritchie? I told him to stop singing outside my window...

  11. Few words make me cringe, but there are a couple. Can't say 'em here, can't say 'em at all. Can't even do the $&*%^#% kind of thing to basically say them without saying them.

    Just two. Not bad.

    Oh, and double meanings and stuff that appeals to the average twelve-year-old boy? Yeah, I'm all over that stuff. :O)

  12. I can't see comedy movies anymore, because there is ALWAYS some over-the-top bathroom-type humor in them. I loved Jim Carrey movies until I watched one that included a scene in an ally that involved monkeys. (Bruce Almighty)

    Swearing? That I don't mind so much.

  13. I don't remember the monkeys, but I seem to recall Jennifer Anniston peeing with the door open in that movie. Just not funny, even for someone who loves a good laugh! Birds, bees, we all do it, but I don't want to pay to see anyone do it (pee) in the movies. There's my prudish side coming out. I guess most of us have a breaking point in our prudity index. :)

  14. Hi, Word Nerd! I can tell by your name we are going to get along just fine. But now you've got me guessing about those words... how many syllables? Does one of them rhyme with orange? :)

  15. Hahahahaha! Oh, man. Yes, I used to cringe and all the same things, in all the same ways. And then I had children and turned into a wine-swilling sailor. Though (mostly) not in front of them! ;)

  16. Seems children and (in my case) aging make a difference in the prudity scale. Being squeamish about too many small things in life just takes too much energy that we need for the bigger tasks, like making hot chocolate and finding the remote.

    Thanks for stopping by and loved your list about the Christmas "Drag!"

  17. Bathroom wall graffiti I saw at a State Park when I was eleven that lives within me still: "On the toilet, do not linger. If no paper, use your finger." My sister and I chanted that for weeks that summer. I'm sure all the adults in our lives wished we had been a little more prudish.

    Re: the naughty humor/double entendre issue. Last night, my sister-in-law, whose 2-year-old is obsessed with Dora and Diego was talking about the crossover "appearances" on the shows and said, "Diego is on Dora all the time, but Dora is never on Diego." It was probably wrong to snicker like a school girl (or as Word Nerd says, boy) at that, right?

  18. Ha-ha! State parks were excellent bathroom wall poetry tutorial grounds! Something about nature, picnics, and rustic architecture brought out the best in bathroom poets. If I remember correctly, some of them carved their lines into wooden stalls, making my threats of Sharpies pale in comparison.

    I love your Dora/Diego story. Snickering just FEELS good, especially during these stressful holiday times.

    What I enjoy most about movies like Shrek is the adult themed double entendres that the kiddies don't "get." Some fun-- almost makes being an adult worthwhile!

  19. Yes! Do a 7 things post :). I'd love to read what you'd say!

  20. The Liebster award is yours if you want it. Don't feel like you have to play along on my account--just consider it unconditional bloggy love.

    You can read about it here:

  21. Hey Jane! I'm working on a 7 things post, even though it is making me surprisingly nervous.

    Masked Mom-- I left a comment on your blog-- I can't believe how many great people I've met through blogging, and you are one, lady. Thank you!