Saturday, March 19, 2011

Inhaling the sweet smell of confrontation

I've decided I'm going to make an effort to become more offended about things.

I let things slide way too often. Why should I let people get away with directly insulting me (whether they mean to or not) without making sure they bear the brunt of my iron fist?

And maybe I'll get good at it. I'll become one of those people who can come up with a witty retort to an insult right there on the spot. It will eliminate all those times when I think to myself "oh, I should have said..." or "dammit, why didn't I think to say..."

It's going to be awesome.

I'll be the person people walk on eggshells around. I'll be the person everyone looks at, worriedly, when another person makes a questionable remark.

Like, when I was pregnant with Bug and the office manager told me how big I was getting. When I looked sad about gaining so much weight, she added on that I probably wasn't ready to have a baby if getting big with pregnancy was bothering me.

And I let it slide.

But honestly? I should have reamed her a new one. In fact, I can probably think back to quite a few examples of times when I should have bit her passive-aggressive, condescending, self-important head off.

I think I'm even going to get offended for other people. Confrontation is going to be my new stance on life.

Like yesterday when I was shopping at a Goodwill. This poor woman was there with her two boys, probably around the same ages as Bug and Goober (11 and 7). She was attempting to find clothes for them and for herself. Her boys (out of school for Spring Break), were giggling a lot and pushing each other a bit and generally behaving just like boys their age behave. Several times she told them to knock it off, stop, behave themselves.

This other woman, probably in her 70s, loudly muttered to herself that people who couldn't control their children shouldn't bring them out in public. She made a few comments, loud enough for everyone around to hear, and I wish I would have said something.

The mother didn't say anything. She looked hurt, she tried to calm her boys down, and eventually she gave up and left. Then Queen Blue Hair made some more comments about children and unruliness and how her children would have never behaved like that.

And honestly, those kids weren't all that bad. Sure, they were making some noise and bumping into clothes, but if anyone should have been irritated with them it was their own mother. They weren't bumping into Queen Blue Hair or me or any other customers, they weren't running around, and the giggling and noise they were making was no more intrusive than the other woman in the store who was talking on her cell phone.

So I wish I had said something to Queen Blue Hair. I wish I had asked her if she felt better that her comments had driven the woman out of the store before she had a chance to purchase the clothing she needed for her family. I wish I had said something that would have shut her mouth up and made her consider someone other than herself.

But I guess if Queen Blue Hair hasn't learned to be a decent human being in her 70+ years, one smart ass comment from me isn't going to change anything. But maybe it would have made that mother feel better to know someone was on her side.

Sometimes I don't realize I should be offended until later. Those instances are going to be tricky. Like when I was in 6th grade and I got all As & Bs on my report card and my history teacher said "Oh Beth! Congratulations! I didn't think you could do it! Good job!"

It was like an insult sandwich and I was distracted by the complimentary bread. But later, when I bit into it, I tasted the rotten insult.

Okay, maybe I took that analogy a little too far.

But the point is, by the time I realized I had been insulted, it was too late for me to do anything about it. Stuff like that happens all the time... and I'm going to have to keep my noggin sharp in order to catch them while I still have a chance to let the insulter know how much they suck.

I'm a Pisces, and all the astrologers say that it's in my nature to be passive. But I'm going to fight it, internetz. I'm going to take a stand for all the nasty insulting injustice in the world. A fight against douchebaggery!


the_happy_hausfrau said...[Reply to comment]

Oh Beth. I've been trying to do this same thing myself. It's harder than it should be.

The Virtuous Girl said...[Reply to comment]

Wow Beth -- I'm so proud of you for standing your ground -- I didn't think you had it in you -- Congratulations!



d e v a n said...[Reply to comment]

A fight against douchebaggery!

Love it!