Even as the words left my mouth, I knew I'd broken the rules, that I'd brought something ugly and forbidden into the argument with my mother. I'll never forget the hurt and the shock on her face, and I have never felt so ashamed. Never. This likely won't be our last argument, but one thing's for sure: I will never call my mother a f**king bitch again.

After this coming weekend, I mean. I'm going to be visiting my folks for a couple of days, and it's always really stressful. I certainly have no plans to call my mother a f**king bitch, but I feel like I should at least retain the option. Again, it's the last thing on my mind, but I also think it's a little unfair to handcuff myself. In fact, knowing that I'm giving myself permission to call my mother a f**king bitch will probably relax me a bit and make actually doing it far less likely. But come next week, regardless of whether I've called my mother a f**king bitch or not, I can bury those horrible words forever.

Now that I'm peeking at my calendar, though, I feel like this might be the wrong time of year to arbitrarily ban myself from calling my mother a f**king bitch. The last few months of 2012 have the holidays, of course—always potentially explosive—and this December will also be my 40th birthday, which will surely bring hurtful questions about what I'm doing with my love life and my career. I feel guilty even thinking about it, and not that I'll definitely do it or anything, but just to know that I could scowl at my mom and say, "Who are you to judge me, you f**king bitch?" removes a lot of the anxiety. But come 2013, it's a fresh start, and I'm the son I'm supposed to be.

But since when does a new year really change anything? My relationship with my mother has always been contentious, so why shouldn't I be able to shut her up with two simple words any time she takes it too far? I mean, up until she's on her deathbed, that is. Could you imagine being called a f**king bitch by your own son in the waning moments of your life? Who would do such a thing?

Of course, I have to allow for the likelihood that my mother's going to push my buttons right up until the very end. If the last thing she hears in this world is me calling her a f**king bitch, it wouldn't be my fault—not entirely anyway. But you know what I won't do? Scream "You f**king bitch! You detestable, miserable f**king bitch!" at her coffin as it is lowered into the ground and I pelt it with clumps of dirt and grass and maybe one of my shoes. Hey, go ahead and cross that line yourself if you want, but I've got a conscience to think about.

Look, when I dig up her bones in six months, I'll try to go easy on them. But I can't promise anything.

F**king f**king f**king f**king f**king bitch.