I like to say I’m not a nice person, but I really am, and I will try my best to own that. I like to think I’m mean to others in an effort to put myself first, but telling someone they have a really cute kid that I really can’t see because my contact lenses are misbehaving doesn’t make the cruelty cut, does it? It presents itself as a kindness because in reality, it could have been an ugly kid and I would have lied if it really was an ugly kid. It’s not a stretch to imagine I would have been lying.
I’m not a fan of the way newborns look. They look like they have been beaten up by a uterus for a day and swimming in their own pee for several months. They’re swollen and wrinkled and boring, except when they cry. Give them a few weeks and they start to look kinda cute, but there’s a good chance that the features you had to grow into will be a curse on your children too. They are to mine. They are cute only because they are little and new and there’s something magical about the innocence and purity of never having committed any offense (except the cries of a miniature dictator that can’t wait for you to wake up on your own).
I haven’t been on a date with anyone other than my sons in months. I can’t tell you when my last date was because it wasn’t worth remembering. I stopped dating when I deleted my dating profiles. I’ve had other offers but I wasn’t interested. I shared lunch with someone at work, but spent the time talking about my ex, and later realized I was trying to sabotage the date because I haven’t talked about him as much before or since that lunch date.
Dating means I often get frustrated and feel angry because I’m more than a body with a smile. There is usually a man that isn’t ugly, though he’s rarely beautiful, and he wants to get to know me. It’s about the third response from him that suggests he wants to get me to his place, half naked, and drinks involved. It’s a pool or jacuzzi I just have to see. It’s a movie where we sit in silence and he wants to see how far his hands can roam. It’s a home cooked meal I should taste. It’s a bar around the corner from his house and a safe place to crash if I can’t drive. It’s a back rub that would melt away my stress. There’s a knowing excitement when I say I don’t really drink. They tease out that I do drink on occasion but can’t handle my liquor and it means I’m a cheap date and it won’t be too expensive to loosen me up. So I go out alone or with my sons and find peace in solitude because I’d rather be alone than on defense all night. I’d rather listen to the thoughts in my mind than be irritated with the crap that most men see as insightful banter.
I realized today that I really am a nice person, even if I don’t want to be at times. Well, it was when a woman told me that blocking stupid men is what any woman would do that I realized I’m nicer than I think I am. When someone treats me like I’m desperate and lonely, I want to tell them they aren’t beautiful enough to be a jerk, but I don’t. I just block them. When the guitarist / skater kept reminding me of Beavis and Butthead, I didn’t tell him I couldn’t date an idiot, I just told him we weren’t a good fit, and later I told him I wanted more than he was willing to offer, even though I knew I didn’t want any of what he had. I almost gave him a pity date but realized I owed more to myself than I did to him.
What it comes down to is that I will take a lot before I ever dish it out because I know what it means to hurt and I don’t enjoy hurting others. Even when I attacked the ex, I wasn’t happy that I hurt him. I was excited that I finally defended myself. I later felt pity because he had never had my abuse and I wasn’t sure he could handle it. (Emasculating him was always unintentional, even just now.) I may have wanted to throat punch him for the times I was expected to cook for him, clean up after him, then be his groupie, but I never expressed anything but love for him and irritation at the housework. I never directed my rage at him when he made me angry. It often looked like taking it out on the kids or animals. It looked like hiding in books. Now it looks like I need a timeout and I sit alone and focus on breathing and slow movements until I calm down enough because I can usually remember that I want to be the mom my kids deserve which is not the mom I usually feel like being.
I say I want to be fierce and angry and I want to direct my rage outside of myself, but I rarely do. When I do attack, I aim to hurt and dig intentionally. It’s a surgical strike and I won’t waste words. I won’t call names without aiming at weaknesses, and I will have spent long enough taking insults to observe weaknesses and I will use what was left at my disposal. When I’m done, I will replay the situation in my mind, and hope that the guilt will be drowned out by the exhilaration of defending myself. For the most part, it’s far easier to let it go.
I call on that baby duck. A momma duck is insane. She will go after you if you approach her babies. A baby duck is so busy learning to swim, they don’t care about the water sliding off of their back. I’m a baby duck.
I can listen and it might bother me for a few hours, or even a day, but I melt into the peace that comes when I realize I don’t have to live in the hate that was thrown at me. I’m not drowning in anger and trying to bail it out on others. I can choose my reaction and to be able to love openly and freely and unconditionally, in spite of the microaggressions and assaults at my expense is a gift. I might want to be mean but at my core I know being nice and having that be who I am and what I express daily is a gift.
I’m snarky, and I have moments I’m not proud of, but I can be proud of being nice in spite of the mean that looks like funny to me. Inside my head is all kinds of fun.