Monday Dare: everyone’s got a talent. even me.

Every Monday, I’m picking from the List of Things to Try, Places to Go, Possible Acts that Help and Possible Fun to Have. It’s a list I made before The Project started and I’m still adding to it. If you have suggestions, please, feel free to throw them my way. I’m calling the list my Monday Dares, as I get overwhelmed just looking at the words “challenge” or “goal.”

This week: I will not swear. I am not shitting you. 

It’s a good thing I’m perfect in every other way because swearing is really my only shortcoming. Well, I guess swearing and that nasty shopping habit. Okay, and maybe my driving skills aren’t exactly stellar either. Fine, you beat it out of me, I’m pretty hopeless as a charades partner.

Fuck it. Swearing may be my only talent.

Do you have a Quarter Jar in your home? If I need to explain this concept, you don’t have one, which means you and your well-behaved spouse don’t have a problem with cursing. This probably also means that we couldn’t be friends because I believe in having friends that curse. This puts us both on an even playing field, and no one party can be too “judgey.”

We have a Quarter Jar. It used to be the Dollar Jar, but Harv and I were bleeding so much money into the jar that we hardly had enough left in our wallets for groceries. Just kidding. We had enough for groceries, but no fun date nights. Just kidding. We had enough for date nights, but what fun is a date night if you can’t swear? Cussin’ and wine-in-a-box. Ain’t git better than that.

Here’s where our Quarter Jar went awry. First, our Jar wasn’t an actual jar with actual quarters. Instead, Cal drew a picture of a jar on a sheet of paper and stuck it on the refrigerator. Every time we said a bad word, we were simply supposed to draw a quarter in the jar. Except, Harv and I would draw the quarters exceptionally big, and Cal would try to draw them representative of their real size.

Why were Harv and I drawing them so big (also known as the Quarter Jar Gone Awry Part 2)? We let Cal pick our “punishment” for filling up the jar. Her pick- take a family trip to the bookstore and each of us would get to choose a book. Yes, that’s right folks….I could “shit” and “fuck” my way to a brand new book. Every time we slipped, we drew a big, fat quarter in the jar. One of mine even took up half the page.

(On a related note, I am thinking about writing a book on Parenting with Morals and Values.)

Before you get all judgey, you should know that ALL THREE of us contributed to the Quarter Jar. I caught Cal drawing a quarter in the jar, and I asked her what it was for. She admitted she had said the “B” word. Puzzled, I blurted out, “You said ‘Bitch’?”

“No, Mommy….’Butt’.”

(On a related note, I am still thinking about writing that book on Parenting with Morals and Values.)
Ever let a word slip when you didn’t mean to? How do you handle swearing?

photo via

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  • Debora

    I never swore at all, ever, not even damn or hell, until I was in my thirties. (I married Mr. SO Not Right when I was 27.) I was 39 when we split, and by then I was flinging all manner of profanity around liberally in all directions, because it was that or murder him in his sleep, and profanity seemed like less of a hassle in the long run. I’ve been slowly working it out of my vocabulary ever since then, with pretty good success. I occasionally still drop the F bomb, but rarely in public.

    It’s a habit for sure, and tough to break. Not sure I could do it if my incentive for swearing was a shiny new book. Gotta say, that was some genius on Cal’s part though. :^)

  • TheBabyMammaChronicles

    Ahh! I’m so good about not cussing . . . well except for approximately 20 times a day, every single one of which has to do with one or both of my dogs being assholes.

  • Lara

    Mostly I don’t swear. Except when I do. And then it’s that word that you say not to say in that picture up there.

    My oldest daughter takes bad words VERY seriously. This includes stupid, fart, shut up and hate. I’m glad, but it does lead to funny conversations when she says that someone said the F-word.

  • Tay Talk

    You drink wine-in-a-box too. Oh joy! Is there anything better? I doubt it. Psh, who needs a bottle when you got a box.

    As for swearing. When I moved to L.A. I picked it up like chocolate. Meaning I started swearing and I couldn’t stop. Same thing happens when I eat chocolate, I can’t stop. Anywho, when I moved back home I learned real quick that people didn’t like the mouth of a sailor. Which naturally led me to only swear around my friends. Then as the time passed I decided to stop. Now I don’t. Ok, that’s lie. I do sometimes. But at least I can say it’s hardly ever.

    I love that your quarter jar is a drawing. Probably the best idea ever. You should have taken a picture of it.

    One last thing, not relative to your post but mine. Why can’t you drink coffee for 9 months? Because I feel bad for you, so you need a really-really legit answer

  • headbang8

    I have yet to meet a word too filthy to drink with.

  • Annie P. – Get the Frump Out of Your Rump

    I held a pretty clean mouth through most of my life. In college, and currently, I most often say oddities. One is “brussel sprouts.” Lately it is, “fiddle sticks and muffins.” The phrase “fudge muffins” got retired when a co-worker told me it kind of grossed her out and made her not want to like fudge anymore. (Which is a tasty holiday treat, by the way). So whenever I do slip a word out, people look at me like they look the stars who leave the Disney Channel and suddenly shed their skin.

  • areyoukiddingme

    I love living where I do, because all the guys at work apologize when they swear. I guess they don’t realize it’s me yelling the F word down the hallway. I don’t have a jar, and my daughter is aware that I only pull out the good words for special (angry) occasions. I should write a chapter in your book.

    However, when my hypocritical husband smacked my arm for swearing, I said I’d be returning the favor. So we were whacking each other 2-3 times a day, until we just gave it up. I just hope he learned his lesson. :)

  • Gina L

    Well, as a former volunteer firefighter, I can cuss with the best of ’em and not even flinch. It’s part of the English language and therefore deserves respect and use, correct? Anyway, I was a friend’s house and screamed “bullshit” at her for some reason. The reason is not important…what is important is that her toddler was sitting right there. Well, really, that’s not important to me, but my friend thought it was. Especially when her kid started screaming out “bullshit” and laughing hysterically. I didn’t help the situation any….I laughed back at her. I believe in teaching them young.

  • Elizabeth-Flourish in Progress

    Debora- lol, i heart you. yes, my friend debora chose swearing over murder. that is why i like her. in the same situation, i do not know that i would have been as rational. the f word is my all time favorite. i am sad to see it go.

    babymamma- HA! oh, i think there should be exception for bad pet behavior swearing. me: “please, dog, pee on the puppy pad. no, that is NOT A toy! dammmmnnnn.”

    lara- your girl and my girl should get together and NOT say words like fart and butt together. seriously, how did our kids get so awesome. =)

  • Elizabeth-Flourish in Progress

    tay- i’m going to suggest that others things come in the form of drawings in our home….like Cal’s christmas gifts. I will let you know how that goes.

    headbang- yes, you are my kind of lady.

    annie- Ha! this reminds me of a friend who was trying to lose weight. Every time she thought of her favorite foods, she then thought of something really nasty and tried to correlate the two somehow. i guess saying “fudge muffin” every time you stub your toe could definitely keep you from wanting one later one.

  • Elizabeth-Flourish in Progress

    areyoukiddingme- collaborative effort? absolutely. and, i like the punching. i will do it to Harv the next time he swears. But, I won’t tell him that’s our new “thing,” so he’ll just think i’m mean. Okay, I’ll take that.

    Gina- Uh, heck yeah! respect and use…that’s what I’m sayin.’ Also, just out of curiosity, how long did it take before your friend got her son to stop saying “bullshit”?


    Fuck. What the hell am I going to do with you, Damnit? Giving up swearing is a pile of shit. I mean, seriously, cuntytwattyvaginaboobnutsack.

    I’m sorry you have to know me. It must be a painful experience.

  • Jennifer Clark

    Some people insist cursing shows a woeful lack of imagination and/or vocabulary. I think that’s fucking horseshit!

  • Staci

    No I never say cuss words. They are unladylike and I am a queen.

    Hahahaha…yeah right! I am a queen though.

  • sophie

    There is BBC show that I purchased on DVD (but havenot yet watched) simply because I heard that they used a swearing consultant on staff. I can only wish for the time in my future when I am wealthy enough to employ a swearing consultant to assist me with creative combinations of curse words. So far the best I have is “rat bastard prick” which I learned from my mother many, many years ago. I will never consider an attempt to stop cursing, but I do try not to say things in front of the children. Thank goodness I have non of my own, so I only have to not say “fuck” in front of others’ children.

  • Elaine-

    oh gosh you made me laugh, hahahaaha, a paragraph into the post yer all ‘fuck it’ lololol i used to swear like a pissed off trucker, now it’s really only when i get annoyed or need particular verbal emphasis, and nobody swears on my photoblog coz it’s rated ‘ok for kiddies’ but thanks for the good laugh, it was a great way to start my fucking day :)

  • Elizabeth-Flourish in Progress

    Noa- It’s actual a f^&%* joy to know you. See how I avoiding messing up right there? It must be a JOY for you to know me, lady.

    Jennifer- If you dont’t leave your invaluable and imaginative two cents, I really feel like something is missing from my post. I’m not s&%&# you.

  • Elizabeth-Flourish in Progress

    Staci- h#$% yeah, you’re a queen! A queen with the most streamlined scrap stash i have EVER laid eyes on and you’re still boggling my mind with how you get such amazing LO’s. So, you’re a MAGIC queen in my book.

    Also, can i just say that I didn’t scroll down far enough when I was reading your comment and I only got to the part where you said you didn’t swear at all and my heart sank. Then I saw the rest of it.

  • Elizabeth-Flourish in Progress

    sophie- did you intentionally leave out the title to torture me?! lol, when you are rich and you get a swearing consultant, can i borrow him for a day?

    elaine- pissed off truckers have a particularly fine sense of swear art. it’s kind of amazing. i will be especially careful on the photog blog. i will not even use the word “butt”

  • sophie

    Elizabeth–I promise to find the title for you. I was too fucking lazy to get off my ass and look for it when I was posting my damn comment earlier.

  • Dasol

    That swear jar policy is the cutest and the most brilliant idea I’ve ever heard. Thumbs up Liz! When I look back at my childhood, those quirky little family activities are what I remember not necessarily expensive vacations or shopping sprees. One of my fondest memories are how my mother used to take me to the monthly book readings at a small book store in Korea and let me pick out two books afterwards.

  • MOV

    Am loving your blog. Very entertaining. Totally worth clicking over here, just to find my new favorite word: “judgey”. I will probably write my entire blog tomorrow about my new word. Thank you in advance.

  • Amanda

    I enjoy cursing. My feeling is that if you’re going to curse, you should do it with style, panache. And yes, my children are the ones teaching all of the other kids on the playground those words that their parents don’t want them saying.I figure those parents are a litte too uptight for their own good.

  • JoNell

    Al and his coworkers have a jar at work. Well not really a jar but a big ass Bitburger glass that I think should be full of beer but whatever. :p

    I went in there one day and expected to see a lot of quarters. Nope, dollar bills. It was a bad week I guess. :p

    The kicker is if there is someone in the office that isn’t normally in there and one of the people that works in the office swears, they have to pay double.

    Of course the bastards got some of my money on that day too. Shouldn’t guests get a free pass? Damnit.

  • Theresa

    oh god, seriously seriously good luck!

    i’ve tried substituting — saying feezy or eff or shize — because i’ve got a three year old who’s a sponge and even my husband scolds me for my potty mouth, but my old habit of saying actual curse words has been coming back with a vengeance.

    but every time i use a bad word i have to say, “that was a bad word, mommy shouldn’t have said it and i don’t want you to say it either.” so it turns into a three minute speech. the holidays are stressful!

    but good luck! i am on your MFing side!

  • Karen

    When I was growing up, my mom only used “hell” or “damn” in front of me or my brothers — until my bros were teenagers. Then I got to hear the really good stuff. My dad never cursed in front of me until I was about 17 or 18.

    So what happened to me?

    My friend recently said on Facebook that I could make a truck driver blush. I took that as a compliment, but I’m not sure I should have. Hahaha

    My poor kids…

  • Sara Bentley @ Purses Pastries Etc…

    Hi! So happy to “meet” you and thanks for your sweet comment! I can’t believe how brave you’re being — well, actually the main reason I created my Cassandra illustrations was to curb my own shopaholic tendancies :) I guess we’re quite similar, huh? Have a great day!

  • Elizabeth-Flourish in Progress

    Dasol- Every time I see your mom, I am reminded of what an amazing woman and mother she is. She sets the bar high and I’m glad to know her and to know and love you!

    MOV- Ha! You’re welcome! Thank you for not being too judgey about my “problem.” =)

    Amanda- Then I say your children are the LEADERS of the pack…as they should be with their advanced knowledge of the English language. Good going, mama!

  • Elizabeth-Flourish in Progress

    JoNell- LoL. You ALWAYS make me laugh. Also…”they have to pay double”….so your husband works at a genius factory? That is super brilliant. I bet they cut you a break because you’re hot, but if someone annoying came in, they’d TRIPLE that s%$^

    Theresa- and one day, in front of your MIL, she will say, “F$#& it, Mommy, that’s okay. We all mess up!” and give you a big hug. I’m speaking from experience. I can’t make this s%#$ up.

  • Elizabeth – Flourish in Progress

    Karen- this sounds like the beginning of a promising friendship. Forget sailor mouth, I love me some make-a-trucker-blush mouth! To that, I say, so motherf%$#$& awesome! Also, yes, I would take that as a compliment.

    Sara- good to know another shopoholic. we shall support each other through the sample sales and the new collections. god help us.

  • City Mom

    Oh wow! I am so glad to have found you and your blog! This is a fantastic idea and I love the project. I’m looking forward to following along. :)

  • GlamorousArmy

    In my house, it is almost impossible to NOT swear. My kids, raised mostly in Georgia, refer to it as “cussing”, which drives me nuts. But if you spend any length of time around military soldiers, you find that any attempts to sound civilized go out the door quickly. I stress to my kids that it’s about knowing what is appropriate to say and who it’s appropriate to say it in front of. I guess there could be worse things than my potty mouth!

  • Alex

    I’m one of those that started cursing less when I had the baby the beginning. Now, as long as my son is not around its fair game. great post

  • Gina L

    Ummm….I think it took my buddy about two weeks before her little one stopped saying “bullshit” and waiting for the laugh. She was really mad at me. It didn’t help that I still think it’s funny. Thanks for the love on my blog, by the way…I never tire of being fawned over, unless your drool ruins my shoes.

  • Elizabeth – Flourish in Progress

    City mom- welcome!

    glamorous- ahhh….bringin back my days livin in Atlanta. i did enjoy some cussin. also, very wise view on it all…=)

  • Elizabeth – Flourish in Progress

    alex- i deem any reduction in swearing for any length of time a great success. =)

    gina- you think it’s funny because IT IS FUNNY! i’m laughing with you on that one. also, yes, i will be extra careful around your shoes when i fawn.

  • Cinderita

    OMG. I laughed my head off at your bleeping post. hee hee…I only don’t swear in my writing You should hear me in 3D. Whoa. Potty mouth! And no. I don’t have a quarter jar. I figure it’s my house. If I wanna swear. I’m gonna. Love love love your post. I’ll be sure to come back again!

  • Elizabeth – Flourish in Progress

    Cinderita- welcome! also, i like the way you think. heck yeah, it’s your house, your rules.=)

  • Tabitha Bird

    Write that book :) I’d buy it.
    “Shit and Fuck your way tot he book store.” Love it.

  • Audubon Ron

    Laughing my head off. You started funny and stayed funny. What a riot.


  • Penelope

    I should try this for a week! I bet I would not fare as well as hoped…

  • Elizabeth-Flourish in Progress

    tabitha- first, welcome! and, yes, i will write it and send you a copy so that you can parent as responsibly and morally as i do. =)

    audubon ron- HA! thanks for the video. also, did kismet send you over here? i have a TERRIBLE fear of bird mites and you might be just the man to talk to.

    penelope- mama, you would fare much better than i am this week. =)

  • H.

    Omg. I didn’t know other people used the quarter jar concept (not sure where I picked up the idea). I tried and failed miserably to use it, several years ago my then young twin daughters were horrified by my predilection to swearing. It didn’t work for me, mainly because I’d swear up a blue streak and effing fail to pony up the dough. Sheesh! Some people. Much blog love to you~*

  • Elizabeth-Flourish in Progress

    H- LOL..We also have a slight problem with fulfillment in our home. And to that I say- thank god i’m not alone.