Drama ruled much of my life until my late 20’s. I didn’t possess enough restraint to back down from a fight, even when I was clearly outmatched in wits and/or physical strength. Every situation went down in a fucking blaze because my emotions ruled all of my decisions. And because I never stopped to think about the consequences, I ended up losing every single time. I mean, I didn’t always know that I was the loser right away, but every storm leaves wreckage, and during the emotional and sometimes physical clean-up process, I would find bits and pieces of my loser status in the debris.
I haven’t gotten into a serious physical altercation since a group of four Asian girls jumped me outside of a college pool hall. Now that I think about it, that fight wasn’t my fault at all. Except for the part where I questioned the authenticity of one of the girl’s JNCO jeans earlier in the day. Now that I think about it some more, I probably deserved that ass beating because JNCO is an acronym for Judge None, Choose One, and I clearly didn’t uphold the first part of JNCO’s philosophy.
Most of the verbal exchange during my beatdown is fuzzy because I was covering my head (cuz you only get one face). Their angry words were muffled, but I could identify one word, used repeatedly: Bitch. I will never question the realness of someone’s pants again. My bad.
You’re a bitch. Why are you being such a bitch? What a bitch. I’ve heard it from men and from women. From people I do know and people I don’t know. I’m guilty of saying these things myself.
I can’t remember the first person who said these words to me, but it was around the same time that I uncovered a life-altering truth: It it acceptable to have my own opinions. I don’t have to behave/think/look/speak/live a certain way just to please another person. My opinion may not be correct and it may get my ass kicked, but opinions don’t have to be right or popular or even make sense. Those are called facts, and I only know a handful of them. That’s not really the life I picture myself living, all fact-based and shit.
I always want to ask the people who throw it at me as an insult: Did you call me a bitch because I didn’t agree with all of your opinions? Am I a bitch because you assumed that I would behave in a Certain Way, and I didn’t live up to your expectations? Is it because I stood up for myself?
On multiple occasions, I’ve tried to have people pay me something small and reasonable, like a nickel, every time they call me a bitch. I’m a big believer in passive income. There seem to be a few design flaws with my Bitch to Billionaire scheme. Apparently, people don’t even want to give you five tiny cents when they’re all riled up.
I am guilty of this same crime because I use bitch as a putdown. I also find myself adding or subtracting a few words and changing my inflection, and then something like a crude compliment develops. She’s a boss bitch. You’re one of the baddest bitches I know. That bitch is my ride or die. I’ve used it when I can’t remember someone’s name. Sup, bitch, you’re really working that gingham skort. Ok, I’ll be real with you. I use the term to address not only people, but inanimate objects and ideas and basically anything and everything. It’s been a noun, a verb, an adjective, and an adverb. (Well, probably more roles than that, but those are the only four parts of speech I know.)
Even when I don’t use bitch with the intention of insulting anyone, it can still be offensive. Another life-altering truth I’ve recently discovered: Be mindful of the way your actions and words are received. You can act any goddamn way you want, but not with blatant disregard for others. Only losers behave that way.
I’m making an effort to be more mindful. I acknowledge the derogatory origins. But I also recognize the evolution of the word. And the deep satisfaction I feel as my lips purse together to form the initial sound.
Also, I feel closer to Jesse Pinkman. I love that bitch.
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image via blueq