I think I’m becoming Americanized. (See, I even spelt it with a zee?)
Don’t worry, I haven’t gone and bought me a gun. I haven’t switched to iced tea instead of PG Tips (a much more horrifying scenario). I haven’t even started saying tomAYto instead of tomAHto. What I did was complain about someone swearing in front of my kids.
I’ll explain. There’s a different attitude to cursing here in Texas. It’s just not done as much. In the British Isles, we like to casually drop swear-words for emphasis into otherwise normal sentences. It’s not unusual to hear absolutely foul language in the middle of the supermarket or walking down the high street. Over breakfast in a family-run café in Ireland I once overheard a conversation between two older gentlemen in which the only word I could make out through their thick Kildare accents was the f-bomb. I swear. It’s the fucking truth.
Anyway, no-one bats an eyelid. So today, when the guy fixing my mosquito system told me something I was disputing with him was "bullshit", I surprised myself by being actually quite shocked. Maybe it was his tone of voice (confrontational) and the fact that my kids, age four and six, were standing right there, but it suddenly seemed very inappropriate.
I actually phoned the company – who, I should point out, have been otherwise great – and asked them never to send that workman to my house again. They agreed immediately and apologised. And now I’m wondering what I’ve turned into, because, hello? I thought I was British. We’ll put up with all kinds of bullshit, but what we don’t do is bloody well complain.