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Yesterday a pretty conservative buddy of mine shared with me that he shared my Mother Cusser TV segments and blog with his even more conservative Mother. He did this because my work is very pro-school – I often defend the schools and yell at the parents because the schools can’t (I don't know if anyone realizes that. They are legally bound to keep it quiet. When that stuff gets out, it's because of the parents. But that is for my next blog) – and his Mother has worked in education her whole life. He wanted her to see someone sticking up for the schools. He knew she would appreciate this.
He said when she showed it to her – her mouth became a thin line and that she looked away from him. She wasn’t happy about the name Mother Cusser. “Who IS Mother Cusser?” she asked him, likely annoyed that she just said the words, “mother cusser.” And he tried to explain to me his answer but then ended up saying, “I don’t know. Who are you?”
Good question, I said. But I didn’t answer him. Because I wasn’t quite sure of how to sum it all up.
So here goes:
Mother Cusser is a name that was given to me by a dear friend of mine who has known me since I was 18 and who was my roommate through most of my college career and beyond. I asked her for a name for this little blog I was going to start and Mother Cusser was her first suggestion. It was perfect. But why?
I’ll tell you why. Because it sounds like a bad word but it isn’t. It dances dangerously close to the edge of inappropriate, but it’s not. It is an attention getter. It makes people take a second glance. It brings in people who might otherwise not listen to me and it also brings in people who gladly do. It is informal and formal. It demands respect and is also your happy hour buddy. It is gentle and tough at the same time.
This is me. I am Mother Cusser.
And I bet I’m not so different from my friend’s conservative Mother. You know after she got past the name – she agreed with me completely. She was glad to see someone sticking up for the schools. And calling parents to the carpet that needed to be called. This woman is not the first person who publicly rebuffs the name but secretly smiles about it. And I hope she won’t be the last.
I hear all of the time from people that say, “I may not agree with EVERYTHING you say, but…” And I always chuckle quietly to myself because I’m here doing this because I don’t agree with everything I hear other people say either.
It’s not always easy. And if you think that when I get people yelling at me that I just relax, sit back and say, “Oh you kids! Hush up now,” you’re wrong. The internet sets the stage for sneaky aggressiveness. Being brave to tell someone they suck – because you’re safe behind a screen and keyboard.
To do what I do I have to have a thick skin – but I am still human. It still shakes me up. It still makes me doubt.
But then someone who I generally keep my blog away from will discover it. It's usually people that I would never think would be supportive - people who I mistakenly think won't be in on the joke with me - or will be offended just because it seems like it's the right thing to do. It blows my mind to think that some of these people are in my corner. But it gives me strength all the same.
So this person will call me and say, “Hey I like your work. I shared it with my ultra conservative Mother and she loved it. Good job.”
And I think to myself @#!$!@#%!@ YEAH.
Mother Cusser has spoken.
And she says, it is good to be me. I say it is good to be Mother Cusser.