So, I would guess that the unflattering term that is most applied to me by those among whom the ranks of my fans do not swell, is “bitch.”
(I’m sure that’s not the only unflattering term that has been been bandied about, only the most common.)
And I can live with that, actually.
I have always felt as though being called a bitch means I won.
And I can be. A royal bitch on wheels. I expect people to do their best, to at least put forth effort. I can hold feet to the fire, and I am capable of spite. I’ve learned, I think, as I have aged that spite usually brings on regret for the action, so I have learned to do it rarely, but be assured, I consider it often. I just choose to be an adult about it.
Don’t you hate that, when you have to be an adult? You work yourself up into a good hissyfit (and isn’t that one of the English languages best words ever?), pledging revenge and dire consequences for the foolish sap who has crossed or annoyed you, and then someone reminds you, gently or not, that you really CAN’T do this wonderful thing you have thought up because it’s really not fair, it’s not that bad, it would be unkind, etc., and you have to go, oh, all right, dammit, I won’t do it…
So, I think the qualities most people would ascribe to bitchiness is a certain unkindness of spirit. I often say my friend Ms Kendra is kinder than I, and it is true. I can be kind, and often am, more than I am unkind, but I am less likely to let poor behavior pass.
It’s also, I suspect, about making sure that the losing party recognizes the loss, to, perhaps, rub their noses in it a bit, and that is another impulse I have. I control it, mostly, but it’s there.
Someone once called me “Miss Perfect,” and meant it as a genuine insult, though I thought it was rather a weak one. I do think I’m Miss Perfect, on some level. I know, on a more profound and meaningful level that I am not, to be clear. So, another quality might be superiority. I claim that one, too.
One of the changes in the world that disturbs me most is the celebration of mediocrity. You’ve seen it. Every single child who enters the race “wins,” because “no one is a loser.” Because we believe it is unkind to point out that someone did poorly, it also makes it impossible to acknowledge the exceptional as well.
No one can do especially well because that would mean that the others did poorly and that might make someone feel badly.
I am not suggesting that we point fingers at children and tell them they are losers, but I think saying, it takes work and effort and practice to excel delivers an important message, one probably more effectively and kindly delivered when learned during a foot race at seven as opposed to on their first job at 25 when an employer expects them to work and work hard in order to advance.
So, I think that we don’t do anyone a service by telling them that half-assed is just fine and dandy.
Or, perhaps I use that as justification. That’s also possible.
So, am I a bitch, or am I merely demanding?
I suppose the answer lies in where my focus is turned and whether or not you like me.