For just about as long as I can remember, my biggest fear in life has been that I might grow up to be …
wait for it…
Gasp! Shudder!! Faint!
This is obviously a fate worse than death, and therefore to be avoided at all costs. In the interests of complete bitch immunity, one must never even entertain the idea of so much as flirting with the line. One must be as nice as possible at all times and to all people. Older and wiser women have even advised me that terrible behavior from other people is some sort of divine gift, because it forces us to learn to be nice even under difficult circumstances, thus distancing us further from our potential inner bitch.
Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Jesus, and I do believe in the whole ‘turn the other cheek bit’. But I don’t think he meant it to be a repetitive action spanning the entire life of a relationship.
I’m tired. I don’t think I’ve ever been so tired. It’s the weirdest thing, because I hate it and yet it is fascinating. There are so many things I have always done without ever stopping to question whether it was actually okay with me, and all of a sudden, now that I’m tired, I have to stop the energy leaks, and it turns out I’m finding a hundred tiny places in life where I just can’t even bother anymore.
Being nice is one of them.
“Nice” is exhausting. I am done with nice.
I didn’t actually decide this so much as notice it. I love it when I go into some spontaneous change without any advance notice to myself. I find out at random along with everyone else standing around scratching their heads and asking, “When did Audrey get to be such a bitch?” and I’m all, “No kidding. What is up with that?”
Last night the Kid and I went to church. Church is delightful. We love it. The place is just crawling with fabulous, generous, brilliant people. And then there are a couple who don’t quite fit that description. Luckily, they’ve decided to love us. Groan.
I. Can’t. Even.
There is a gal who I can only suppose is on some incredible combination of drugs, because she is not just over the top, she is orbiting the planet. You can barely even see her from the top, she is so far gone. It’s fine when people are happy. I don’t mind. I’ve been accused of walking a little too far on the chipper side myself (not today, obviously, but historically this has been a thing) so who am I to judge a person who is really getting the best possible use out of their anti-depressants?
She adores the Kid. I guess he is of an age to match her grandkids who she doesn’t often see or something. Blah, blah. Whatever. He tolerates her well enough, but as time goes on she has become more and more affectionate and demonstrative toward him and less and less aware of his level of discomfort. Can you say “awkward”?
Whenever she sees us, she wants us all to sit together.
Neato. That will be super fun.
She flits around the auditorium and talks wildly to everyone she can fling her arms around, and the Kid and I go find ourselves a couple of chairs.
She finally makes her way over to us and informs me that we have chosen our seats in the wrong spot and we all need to move up.
Bitch, I have planted my arse exactly here, and that is the end of it.
I didn’t say that. We were in church. Even a bitch has to draw the line somewhere.
I did however say, “You’re the one who wanted to sit with us. This is where we are sitting. If you want to sit somewhere else, go for it.”
The Kid sat there gaping. You’d have thought by the look on his face I had just pulled a pistol out of my purse and shot her in the face. He is very image-conscious, (I never knew such an image-conscious ten year old) deathly afraid of being a dick (correction: not actually of being a dick, just of being too obvious about being a dick and getting called out on it) (gotta love an image-conscious ten year old, God bless him), and has not yet learned how to stand up to people while holding personal peace. Hell, who has? I was about as surprised as he was.
Anyway, she opted to sit too-far-back with us, and then the evening was over and we ran away as fast as we could.
This week she pulls the same crap. Comes and finds us, walks up to me and leans over me to observe that ‘maybe Kid would like to sit on the other side,’ closer to her. I thought, he’s not an infant in a car seat. He has fully functional legs. If he wanted to sit there, he’d be sitting there. I can’t help but notice you also have legs. If you wanted to sit next to him, you should have walked up on the other side of him!!! But what I actually said was, “That sounds a little manipulative. How about if you want something, you ask for it?”
What exactly is this?? You’re going to walk up to me and tell me that you love me so much that I should do all the things your way, and you think I’m actually going to buy this?? YOUR PLAN IS FLAWED, LADY. I DON’T EVEN LIKE YOU.
The Kid tells me after church that he is “incredibly impressed” with the way I handle her. Good. I’d like him to learn that you can stand your ground with people without having to get angry or lose your shit.
Then there is the dude who has not gotten the memo that his life is not fascinating. OMG, WHEN WILL YOU EVER SHUT UP??? We barely know each other, but he constantly overshares and goes on and on and is terribly condescending and not even a little bit interested in conversation, he just wants an audience for his monologue.
I can’t even.
Last night we did everything we could to avoid him, but to no avail. He came straight over and launched in to one of his rambling reflections on his own intelligence, clumsily disguised as musings on the state of the world, and do you know what I did??? I STOOD UP AND WALKED AWAY.
I do NOT do that!! I mean sure, I’ve been known to grab a man by the throat and throw him backwards into the wall when he crossed the line, but that was at a bar. (And it really was just the one time) (Probably was called for more than once, but I actually only did it the one time) At church you’re supposed to be nice!
Nope. Not this bitch.
Apparently I am done with that.
It was like an out of body experience. I was watching myself in total surprise – and considerable amusement – wondering where the heck that came from, and what the heck would be next!
In my defense, after church was over, I gave out some sincere hugs to marvelous people I genuinely adore. So I haven’t achieved hater-of-all-humanity bitch levels, I’m just hanging out at the tolerator-of-no-bullshit level.
And why shouldn’t I?
Do you know that many of my favorite people are ‘tolerator-of-no-bullshit’ level bitches? AND THEY ARE FANTASTIC!!!
And here’s another thing, “nice” doesn’t always look much like love to me.
The Kid is a hoot and adorable and brilliant and he can be a real dick. And sometimes I tell him, ‘Listen, you need to pay attention to me on this shit, because when you grow up, people aren’t going to tell you exactly what they don’t like about your behavior, they are just going to stop being your friend.’
And you know what? That makes me a little ashamed for all of us ‘grown-ups’. How is that helpful? Sure, it’s a little uncomfortable when the ‘tolerator-of-no-bullshit’ level bitch calls out the ‘clueless-af’ level moron in a public setting, but in the end isn’t that kinder than everyone just stepping away and poor old Clueless having no idea why he has no friends??
Plus, if I’m so scared of being a bitch that I tolerate other people’s inappropriate or unappreciated behavior, THEY WILL THINK I LIKE IT AND COME BACK WITH MORE. Let me tell you a story about how that guy I grabbed by the throat was pretty clear on why he got thrown across the bar AND HE NEVER HIT ON ME AGAIN. (Neither did anyone else, but that’s probably unrelated…) (jk, jk) (sorta…)
So, getting back to the original question… Can I just be a bitch for a minute?
The answer is yes.