Friday, January 23, 2009

The Bitch Mystique

Had an interesting conversation with two of my best friends the other night and we talked about the 'art of being a true bitch'. They both claimed they were masters of this art but that I wasn't. I was a little offended.Me? Incapable of being a bitch? Really? They even did a little 'exercise' to test the theory of whether or not I could be truly mean.

I'm not quite sure but I think I failed miserably.

I've always been a fairly sunny person, ca
pable of extreme gentleness, sensitive to things around me, and motivated to "fix things" for the people I love. I'm a peacemaker who wants to make everything all right for others but in being this way, does it mean I am incapable of standing up for myself? Probably. Does it make me vulnerable? Maybe. Do I care? Not really. I am who I am.

Now I don't know if we're born with th
e bitch gene. Or is does it evolve through our environment. Yeah, I know. Old argument.Most of the time I'm jealous of those who can come out with just exactly the PERFECT word or phrase that can put a mean, hateful, bad person in their place. I'm one of those who, when I'm hurt or upset, walks away, gets quiet and thinks of the million things I SHOULD have said. I think...GOD...wish I'd said so and so or this and that. Want to kick myself because in my upset the words didn't come quickly to my tongue. In the end, I just feel dumb because I wasn't quick witted enough to tear the offender to shreds with brilliant, snappy words.

So I've been thinking about all of this and wondering if I am somehow lacking. No, I don't want to be thought of as "that bitch". I really don't. A true bitch, one blessed with that mysterious bitchlike quality that seems inborn, doesn't care what others think. They are tough and impossible to push around. Now, I'm a southern girl and I tend to think we have a 'softer' way of dealing with enemies. A slow smile accompanied by the occasional cutting truth. A sly, almost invisible turn of t
he knife when it's least expected, and I've employed those tactics on a few occasions. My kids know my LOOK. They know when I'm on a slow burn that I get quiet...scary quiet. They run for cover or say things like...dang, mom, you scare the hell out of me sometimes.

With me, sometimes is the operative word. Maybe we're all born with just a little "bitch" in us. A safety mechanism. A protective device. I suspect I was born with some of it too. I just don't feel the need all that often. I'm slow to anger. Quick to forgive. And I'm me. All the experiments in the world will only prove to me that I am basically a pretty nice person and that's okay.


Connie Northrop said...

LOL I'm very much like you. I can do bitch if I really have to but it's not who I am. My little sister was born with the 'Bitch' gene. She loves it, has worked hard to perfect and proudly advertises it. Can she be nice, yes she can if she has to.

I'm no longer the walking doormat I was and I learned to stand up for myself but it wasn't easy and it took a lot to get me there.

I like who I am (for the most part) and will happily leave being the bitch to others, unless they mess with my family and friends. Then they learn the true meaning of bitch. EWG

Regina Carlysle said...

SNICKER. I hear you, Connie. Lordy! Was I EVER a doormat when I was younger. No longer, thank GOD. And I only pull out the "big bad bitch" personna when I'm extremely ticked.

Anne Rainey said...

Oooh, a sore topic for me. Okay, here goes.

I've been told I'm too nice, a pushover even. But the truth is I don't give a damn. I used to worry about what others thought of me. It would bother me a LOT if someone sent me a bitchy email or yelled at me. These days if you treat me like shit, I'm moving on and you no longer exist. I'm not going to get up in your face, but I'm also not going to put up with your ugly attitude. I DON'T deserve it. Treat others as you want to be treated, that's a good thing to remember!

I like being a nice person. I like that I can make a person laugh even if they're having a crappy day. I like ending my sentences with a smiley face. When my brother calls I'm all chipper, he pokes fun at me, but the truth is, I think he likes that I brighten his day a little.

I don't expect people to change who they are, so don't expect me to change to suit you. I'm just me, that's all I'll ever be.

I say if you don't like it, keep walking.

See, told you it was a sore subject for me! LOL

Anne Rainey said...

Connie--I'm with you about the kids. Make my girls cry or hurt them in some way, and you're going to wish you were never born. That's the one time I'll happily go psycho on your a**.

Anny Cook said...

Hmmmm. Generally, I walk away because it's not worth the fight.

Of course, if it is... well that's another story.

Kelley Nyrae said...

I'm a total peacemaker. I hate fighting. If pushed too far I will defend myself but most of the time I'm just like, "whatever, you aren't worth my time"

Regina Carlysle said...

Ah, I'm glad to hear you guys are like me in this.I'm teased all the time for being 'sunny' but I have LOTS of friends and people seem to like being with me.

As to my kids? Oh yeah. I will gladly rip off heads and shove up asses if someone messes with them. The 'bitch gene' is alive and well at those times.

Anonymous said...

I beleive we were all born with the Bitch Mystique. It just doesn't appear until men come into our lives. Manic, Menopause, menstruate and so on..LOL! No, I think its ok to be a bitch because it simply means the following:
Control of

Rock on!

Mia Watts said...

Being soft may be the result of caring what the person who hurt you thinks, or hoping to resolve a misundertanding in the future.

Bitches who are bitches for bitchiness sake aren't worth the effort of a repair. Worrying what they think now or later is pointless.

For my money, I don't care if I hurt a bitch's feelings.

R. Ellen Ferare said...

I live in a small town with a really high percentage of nasty, self-centered people. Or maybe all towns have become that way? I'm old enough to remember when common courtesy really was common.

At any rate, when people turn nasty for the stupidest reasons, I just shrug and move on. The way I look at it is this: one of the most loved and respected people in history told us to turn the other cheek. That advice can't be all bad.

But yeah, we all keep that inner bitch on call for when it's needed :).

Regina Carlysle said...

I always think there is a fine line between being a total bitch and standing up for yourself. Must practice that. Most of the time I'm a "honey" person and rather than a 'vinegar' person. That tends to work for me. Doesn't mean I'm not steaming mad but it always feels like the right way to handle things. Is it my southern upbringing? Maybe.

Regina Carlysle said...

Nope Ellen. Small towns are pretty much all alike that way! lol I tend to think they'll never change.

Genella deGrey said...

Regina - But doesn't being south of the bitch line make it easier to observe and write villains?

I always thought so.

Regina Carlysle said...

LOL. Without a DOUBT, Genella!

Linda LaRoque said...

I'm very much like you. Never want to hurt someone's feelings but wear mine on my sleeve. However, I'm getting over it. I think for me it's an age thing. I'm becoming a tough old broad.