Read by Bhavini Ravel
People always think it’s so cool that I had fairy Godmothers at my christening, and for a while I did too, but really it’s turned out to be a pain in the abdomen. And if you’re wondering why I’m being so coy about using a certain three-letter word, you can blame my third fairy Godmother, Beata, and her double-edged blessing.
The first two Godmothers I have nothing against. Beneficia made me “fair of face and clear of eye,” so I’ve never had acne or needed glasses. Benevola gave me “fleet of foot and sharp of mind,” which meant I was one of those kids who was sporty as well as academic. But don’t hate me yet, because Beata made me “sweet of voice and sweet of tongue,” and that was the kicker: while I can sing like an angel, I can never, ever swear. Not a single curse word can pass my lips.
I know, I know, you can hear the world’s tiniest violin playing for the pretty, athletic, clever girl with the great voice, right? Oh boo hoo hoo, she can’t say f- f- fudge (see what I mean?). So what? Who gives a shoot? But you underestimate the centrality of swearing to human social interaction; its function as the glue of camaraderie, the marker of informality and friendship. Sure, nobody swears in the office. But at drinks afterward, who wants to talk to the prude with the stick up her abdomen who talks like she’s teaching primary school?