Heart on Sleeve, Foot In Mouth

I am in my thirties. I am capable of change, but not capable of transforming myself into some other person. No one probably really is. A quiet person is not going to become loud most likely, although I’ve never ran any stats on the matter.

I know who I am, but sometimes I wish I were a little different, although then I would probably be dull and boring, or possibly easily satisfied. I will never know.

I am heart on the sleeve, and foot in the mouth. I say what I feel, I show all my cards, and rarely will I play a hand in some crafty way when dealing with people. I wish I had the ability to play it cool, or just be a distant bitch sometimes, but guess what, apparently I am the sensitive romantic type and so that means I am all poetry and passion, rather than strategy and logic.

I recognize that thanks to my lust for life and people, I am a fun person to be around and very loving, but sometimes, when I am feeling particularly vulnerable or afraid, I curse this gift I have.  I wish I could stealthily hide my thoughts and heart, because so many people take advantage of this whether they be female or male, friend or stranger.

It’s a weakness to be nice. It’s a weakness to be passionate or emotional. It must be related to being crazy or female, oh yeah…that whole stereotype that drives me nuts. Don’t even get me on that rant.

I wish it were more valued to be a warm and passionate person. Without people like me, there would be no poetry, no tasteful erotic movies, no music, no art, and pulse.

Yes, I am not a bitch. I remember passing by a book at Barnes and Nobles when I was in my twenties called, “Men love Bitches,” and instead of picking up the book I thought to myself, “I am doomed.”

Sure, I can ream someone out when need be, but I am not a bitch. I am not cold. I am not the one planning your death while shaking your hand. I am the one who wants to be your friend. Who smiles at strangers and offers to help. Who puts her heart out and hopes that it indeed, won’t get smushed, yet so often it is.

I wish sometimes to be that bitchy woman that apparently exists in the universe, but I never will be.

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My identity through the eyes of men: Female Otherness

As a woman who grew up in a predominately female household, I didn’t learn that we were inferior or incapable of doing things that society indicated was otherwise.

But as I left my home and became integrated into society–school,  work, college, etc, I learned differently.

To admit this is maybe weak but, for a long majority of my life I have defined myself by Men. By their standards, judgments, and beliefs about me. Or about my otherness in relation to them. My wanting access to the circle that only men belong to. Forget about the glass ceiling. I didn’t want to be the most successful female. I wanted to be the most successful person, period. I wanted the men to lay in their tears while I threw tissues to them on the ground, walking away in triumph.

One thing I have hated since I was as  young as seven years old, was the feeling that the male circle was impenetrable. I hated when boys gathered to talk and gossip or dominated classroom conversations. I wasn’t considering that these little men might just want to be around other little men, but that because I was female I couldn’t join in. It didn’t matter that I was smarter than most of them or as equal to them, or that the same jokes they liked, I did too. I just had to merely squeak by the circle, and lean in to hear what these XY’s were saying.

Then I got older, and then the circle got even tighter. When I was younger, an occasional boy would let me in, and even let me play sports with the kids on the block. As I got older though, the message was clear: If you don’t have a cock,  keep out. Having good looks occasionally meant entering into the circle, but usually then for other reasons such as, one man or a few men’s sexual needs. Maybe one or two might have found me clever and smart. Most were not considering me beyond what my appearance had to offer.

I imagine my experience is no different than many other women, however the thoughts, rejections, and acceptances from men really whittled me down. For the majority of my  early twenties, I found male attention and approval intoxicating on the level of addicting, and their rejection, painful and harsh.

When I entered stand-up, I found men to be either wonderful and helpful, or absolute toxic creatures who liked to shut me out of conversations with not just looks, but with words. Telling me I wasn’t smart  and wasn’t funny. These were the same men of course, who wanted to sleep with me.

Let’s not let the cute one succeed. Instead, let’s take her for all of her good parts, and throw the rest of her to the wolves.

The one moment of fresh air came when I entered college. While my former educational experiences taught me that the boys are more cherished and nurtured intellectually, college was a bit more fair and egalitarian. I felt like my intellect and potential mattered.

There have been many times in my life pre-30’s in which I let men decide where I would be allowed to go both personally, and professionally. I cowed to their toxic comments. I backed away at times when I wanted to be treated as an intellectual and artistic equal, yet I always had a bit of a fight in me, like a scrappy dog who refuses to get beaten down by a shinier, larger full-breed.  The same girl who wanted to beat every boy competitively, not physically, in elementary school has always been alive and well.

After spending a long time–years–working on my memoir, I realize that claiming my identity and refusing to let it be defined by anyone, especially men was my big hurdle to cross.

After six years departing from comedy, I went back last night. I went back because I will not let men tell me what I can do or who I can be. I am not 25 anymore. I am not someone’s plaything or some stupid blonde.

I am me, and after taking the time to do other important things–reproduce, finish college, get my head together–I decided I wanted to share my story in more than just the printed word again, and I won’t shut up until someone enjoys me. Until someone figures out that my story is much like many other women and people.

And if anyone doesn’t like it, F-off.

I am woman. Hear me roar.

Now? The 30’s have told me

Thanks to the Age of the Pinterest and DIY Mom, we average wives are in danger..

I check out numerous pages, blogs, and social media sites to see mommies and wives who cook everything from scratch. Every toy is hand-built. Nothing is made in China.

While I strive to avoid unhealthy food and junk ( I’m insane about avoiding processed stuff and juice –only for a treat), I am not a DIY mommy truly. I try to DIY and love/insist on keeping the television off and expanding on pretend play, but I am not a Pinterest Mommy. I am not  DIY mommy.

Some of the most mouth-watering foods and recipes are posted by the best mom cooks and chefs.

I’m starting to feel envious.

I would love one of these moms to be my wife.

All I need is for you to cook and never complain. Be sure to clean up after your cooking projects. Don’t leave any dirty dishes in the sink. When you’re done doing the cooking, might you make a bunch of toys and play objects for my kid to play with? Because you’re my Pinterest Wife, and that’s what wives do.

I will sit here and do what I do best. Educate, Enact a billion character voices. Teach my kid how to sing. Read to her. Teach her how to count in French and what the words cavort, cajole, and charm mean.

The Pinterest Wives of the World are making the regular wives and moms look bad. It’s like the PTA mother of the year on steroids:

The PTA mom brought cupcakes, stayed home, and never yelled.

The Pinterest DIY mom caters full events, makes all toys, keeps a clean house, never yells, never picks her nose when anyone is looking or flirts with younger men, and always darns her husband’s socks.

The Pinterest DIY mom can afford to stay home and buy everything organic, including organic band-aids. Hell, the DIY mom makes her own damn band-aids. Her husband goes to work daily with a homemade meal, and for every holiday event at work, he brings a full-spread, courtesy of DIY mom.

When I make dinner every night, I clap for myself.

When I have taught my daughter how to draw Charlie Brown, I cheer.

These moms and wives are making the regular folks like me, an endangered species. Pretty soon, no one is going to want to befriend us on the playground, and our husbands will leave us for more crafty types who make their own clothes, paint their nails with homemade nailpolish, and even furnish and decorate the house like a professional.

The average woman will be home in fear that she will be ridiculed for her store-bought polish, average home, and half-assed crock pot dishes.

Instead of being alone on the swings and divorced because I can’t make homemade pie crust, I’ve decided to enlist one of you DIY moms for my very own.

I promise to water you, but I will never feed you.

You can make your own damn food.

Signed,

A mom who likes to make brownies from the package, and flirt with the young guys at the pizza place, in no particular order.

Princess Coma: How to survive as a feminist when your day is dictated by Disney Princesses

My name is Laura and I am a feminist.

That could mean anything.

What it doesn’t mean is that I am a man hater, because I don’t hate men. You people piss me off sometimes, but I love men. Seriously. A member of the I love men club.

Feminism is a broad movement with many little subdivisions.

I happen to be the type of feminist who was raised knowing women can do it all, but I’m not against hiring someone for manual labor, as I couldn’t put my arm back on if it were attached with velcro. If I were good at manual labor, I wouldn’t, but I’m not. I will say that in the past few months I have attempted gardening and landscaping, which hasn’t gotten too awful or too great, so I’m not lazy.

I’m the type of feminist who believes in owning our own sexuality–and not being subjugated by it. I believe that the sex industry perpetuates our dilemmas, but I also believe women have the right to choose their own destiny both sexually and as a person.

I am both Madonna and whore, and yet neither.

However, once I realized I was having a girl, I made sure to tell everyone: don’t indoctrinate my child with Disney princesses.

News Flash: There is no Prince Charming. There is just Prince “okay for you.” He may be Prince Charming for a little while, but no one can stand up to that type of idealization.  There is  also no need to stand like an idiot trapped in a castle, hoping someone will climb up your hair weave, a la Rapunzel, and save your skinny ass. If your stepmother hates you and poisons you with an apple, you will probably end up suffering. The chances of some guy riding up on a horse and saying, “Look at that–some cute chick is in a coma because she was poisoned. I better kiss her and make her better,” is about 0 in five billion.

I didn’t mind my kid reading fairy tales as it’s nice to enjoy the world and be altruistic as little kids often are, but I didn’t want her to get wrapped up in the romantic notion that women need to be saved by a more capable individual, i.e, a man, and that once you meet someone and fall in love, paradise awaits you.

Mother in-laws exist to banish that sort of fable anyway.

I digress.

I always liked the animals in Cinderella, and Snow White, but I was more of a Dorothy, Alice, or Laura Ingalls type of girl. That’s who I imagined I would be until Madonna came around, and then I wanted to prance around in lace outfits and crucifixes (who cares that I was raised Jewish. Have you seen how pretty those prayer beads are? Serious stuff man. I begged my Catholic friend to let me wear her rosaries. She said no. Party Pooper. Would have gone awesome with my denim jumper, huge clip-on hair bow, wigwam socks, and purple mascara.) Of course, let’s not even delve into the fact that Madonna was not exactly the most proper role model for me.

Who do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to hump a dog and go on a gondola in Italy with a lion, while I’m half-dressed.

Don’t worry, there were plenty of good influences in my life–I did want to be Pee-Wee Herman for most of my childhood–not that it helped, but damnit, I did not want to indoctrinate my kid into Disney.

Nope. Minnie Mouse? Sure–just don’t make me listen to Mickey for more than five minutes. That creature has the most annoying voice on the planet. Sadly, I do a good Mickey.  Going to Disneyland and seeing some of the classic movies? Sure. I’m not a totally nazi over the topic. I can imitate a Disney character and sing the songs with the best of them, but I just didn’t want my kid to idolize dimwitted princesses who probably were barefoot, pregnant, and living over a stove once the fairy tale lights were out.

Guess what? It doesn’t matter. Everyone else has introduced her to princesses as she’s a girl, so they think she’ll love them, and golly gee, would you know what?

She loves them.

She doesn’t think to herself that Cinderella probably prostituted herself out that night to get in to the upper echelons of society. She just loves the songs, mice, and dress.

And damnit, all day long in my head is the song, ‘We can Do it, We can do it, gonna help our Cinder-elle–ee, there’s really nothing to it. We’ll tie a sash around it. Put some ribbon to it.”

I eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner with Sleeping Beauty, Tiana, Snow White, Ariel, Rapunzel, Cinderella, and Belle. I give them their vitamins, brush their teeth, and make sure they’re in the proper spot at meal time (to the left of my daughter’s high chair tray on our dining table.)

They join us in the potty.

They join us in the car.

I even have the dolls with the magic clip-on dresses.

My mom bought her a Cinderella Barbie, which I have yet to give to her.

When any other kid goes near the princesses, fire and brimstone erupt. I swear my child plots the death of these poor kids.

Note, she’s two and doesn’t want to share yet. Totally normal, but not as funny as she wails while trying to holding every damn doll in her hands.

All day long, my mind whirs of “Feed child, walk dog, where’s Cinderella did I lose her again?, wash dishes, write, apply for jobs, wipe kid’s butt, was Sleeping Beauty a narcoleptic or drug addict?, eat a snack, wash my hands, wash her hands, and don’t forget to wash Snow White’s too.”

Our day ends and begins with these little dolls, in which my child reenacts the most intricate and sometimes rather imaginative conversations with these dolls.

The other day, desperate for my kid to chill out, stop chatting, and start eating, I made Cinderella tell her, “Less Talking, More Eating.”

I knew having the ability to switch my voice would work to my advantage one day.

As “Cinderella” disciplined my daughter, she wanted nothing of it.

She turned to the Cinderella doll and said, “No Cinderella. I don’t like you anymore. Go back to your video. I’m not gonna to be your friend.”

Freaking 2 and she’s already pulling that “not gonna be your friend” business.

I told her that wasn’t very nice…and later on I heard her tell Cinderella:

“Let me give you a hug. I’m sorry I made a bad choice. I’m sorry I said I won’t be your friend.”

And then, to prove the apple is part of my tree, she dons a Cinderella voice and says, “I was disappointed in you. You made a bad choice.”

The “two” hug and make up.

When my daughter sees princess bikes, towels, shirts, toys, or dolls, she hovers over these items whether they belong to her or not, and is entranced.

I guess whether I want them or not, I am stuck with these princesses, and hell, I’ve even started to sing her some of the songs from my childhood.

Why not? Hopefully I won’t get my feminist card revoked.

What I really fear, more than being forced to watch Snow White or Cinderella twenty times, is the fear that my daughter will make men count more than herself.

That she will want so badly to matter to the opposite sex, that she will forget who she is. That she might end up bowing down to someone thinking, “he knows better.”

These fears are all from me. She’s only two. She is still smart enough to boss boys around and know that it works.

And being subjugated or bowing down to a man doesn’t just require a female with a bad self-image, but a male with a poor view of himself.

We need to be conscious of how we socialize both young men and young women. The conversation is not one-sided. It’s multifaceted and starts at home, continues at school, plays out in the media, and is then enacted in society.

My role as her mom is to expose her to many different goals, activities, people, and viewpoints, with the reassurance that who she is is wonderful, no matter what, as long as she respects herself and others.

This means that for now, I get to wear tiaras, and watch her reenact fairy tales that while they may hold no real bounds in life, they are wonderful, fanciful, and simple for her and her world.

If only we could capture that joy in the simple that children have, we would all be much happier.

Excuse me now…one of the princesses needs a bath and the other, a dress repair.

All in the day of the Queen.

The Joys of One: The Awesome Benefits of Being an Only Child

I know that many only children say how they wished for siblings or felt lonely growing up. I know people that say only children are brats and selfish. Too socially awkward. Too independent.

Screw that. Let’s talk about the awesome benefits of being an only kid. I myself, am raising an only. I happen to be the youngest of four girls, so these benefits are from my perspective, and not my kid’s, who is only two and too young to blog, but hell, she’s not too young to work. That kid needs to find some legitimate employment.

In any case, let me enlighten those that scorn the life of an only.

#1-Only Kids never get hand-me-downs.

As a kid, the dress I wore in my 1,2, and probably 3rd grade class photos are all hand-me-downs. I used to open my sister’s closets and say, “That’ll be mine soon.” While that was all sweet and dandy especially if I loved an item, I hated getting the hand-me downs. I wanted my own stuff, probably a bit greedy of me, but whatever.

When you get an ice cream cone, you don’t want it pre-licked do you?

Me neither. Three cheers for having your own clothes!

#2- Investment.

As a kid, I had asked to join a township activity but my parents didn’t have the money at the time. My sisters hadn’t had  that misfortune to miss out on activities, but guess what, I came at the wrong time apparently.

An only child is the only kid reaping the dividends, and that’s not so bad, especially when it comes time to  go to college.

Remember when Brandon and Brenda from 90210 fought over who got to go to private college or state school?

Not an only. They get whatever is available, whether it’s awesome or crappy, but at least there’s no one else having it better than you did!

#3-Your Own Freaking Name

By the time I went to school, every teacher called me by one of my sister’s names. I used to think they should just have called me, “Kid #4” or “DenaDebbieLIsa,” which are my sisters’ names.

As an only, there will be no one else to mistake you for, and no one to compare you to. You’re the one, the only, the golden child. You get to be the funny, cute, and smart one. You don’t have to live your life under some superlative that compares you both directly and indirectly to your siblings.

Sweet!

#4 Time.

As your parent, I get to have time for you. I don’t have to divide it up with some other child. You get all my time. In my house, that small bit of attention was divided by four. I can’t see how having your parent’s attention and time is all that bad, unless of course your parents happen to be psychos, in which case, you’re screwed anyway.

#5 Annoyances be gone!

I love my siblings. Everyone talks about how much kids love their siblings. Guess what? A good amount also hate their siblings. A good amount of people were decent kids and then bam–their parents decided to have another kid, and you know what? That kid sucked. Not all siblings are great. Not everyone is close to his or her siblings.

Yes, as an only kid my child will never be someone’s aunt, but she also won’t have to deal with any crazy siblings either.

The moral of the story?

Only children are not prone to a life of misery because they don’t have some other sibling to play with and break their toys or possibly screw their boyfriends. Siblings are great and people should reproduce as they feel fit and feel they can care for their kids, but don’t knock onlies.

Onlies get time, attention, and independence. They learn to be self-reliant and have a good amount of resources to help them succeed in life.

Really, it’s not the end of the world. In fact, do your research those who admonish families with onlies: Only kids are often happier.

Missing Our Fathers: A Generation of people long for the men they never had. Father’s Day Discussions

As I peruse Facebook today, I started to notice all the highly emotional content of my friends’ statuses. While I am sure there are a zillion deadbeat mothers, when it comes to social media and Mother’s Day, I don’t notice the same emptiness and longing, unless it is for a mother who has passed away. This isn’t to say that mothers are inherently better than fathers, but that there are a generation of people, notably female, who are longing for the fathers they never had.

Some people were completely abandoned by their dads, and others weren’t abandoned, but neglected–some notably so, and others in a more hidden, behind closed doors fashion.

Post after post, women–maybe because I am female I heard more “female” voices–cried out for the father they wish they had, or wish they knew. Some had other men step in to do the job, and others did not. Some women mourn for their children; their children suffer the lack of a father, which hurts the mom and kids.

Our generation–my generation, was home to a lot of fathers who felt that paying the bills and coming home were good measures of strong parenting. While clearly many of my friends and acquaintances could have only wished for a man to show up and pay those damn bills, a lot of women and men from my generation lacked play, compassion, and nurturing from the person they called Dad, Pops, Father, Daddy-o, or what have you.  Mothers filled the other needs, and fathers were financial providers and head of the house.

With the advent of women in the working world, these roles have altered, and while some argue that woman working has brought on higher divorce rates, etc, the coming generations, such as my daughter’s are truly blessed to have a whole new breed of Fathers.

Fathers today are more active and involved with their children—on the whole. Yes, there were good dads back in the day, and there are shit dads currently out there sharing their sperm, but in general, our culture has formed a different role and expectations for fathers in this day and age.

It isn’t enough to pay the bills and come home Dads and Husbands: we want you emotionally involved and invested. We want you to cook, clean, play, put on some makeup during dress up, and wipe a few dirty asses.

I would love to see what type of Father’s Day posts will crop up on the walls of my daughters’ future 20-40 year old female friends. I suspect that the dialogue on fatherhood will be much better.

Men get a bad rap in many ways. You never hear people dishing the dirt on crappy mothers on their day, but with fathers, we as a culture–both female and male, really seem to be hurting. The good fathers and men I suspect, feel a bit cheated by the reputation that is held against them. The single mothers and children who have been abandoned by these men, have left a hole,  insurmountable at times, that these mothers have to fill.

I know wonderful single fathers, and some of these men struggle, while the women lack clearly in every sense of the word, but our culture doesn’t have much of a dialogue for these single men. There is no narrative or culture of empathy for men who parent alone, without a present mother. I feel for these men highly, but I also know that the dialogue and culture of empathy written out for single mothers, is based on a myriad of factors.

We Mothers embody a generation of children. The expectations are always that we will be nurturing, present, and active. Now we also have the expectation to provide financially. For a single mother, she not only has to fulfill the maternal roles, but now she has to be the financial provider. She has to pay the bills, show up, and be super woman, which is what society expects of all mothers usually anyway. I am not stating that we should empathize more for single mothers than fathers, but that to remember how much we automatically expect from mothers is significantly different from what we expect from fathers. When a dad changes a diaper, we all applaud him for being such an awesome guy. When a mother works full-time and raises kids, we nod and say,”That’s what she’s supposed to do. She’s a mother.”

Additionally, women make less than men, so now you’ve got a single woman trying to raise kids on her own on less income than what a present father would have provided.

Now don’t think I am pitying single moms–it’s the toughest job out there, to be a single parent, but most people I know don’t want pity–just empathy. I know amazing single moms that are so strong, and don’t feel a lick of sadness that Pops never shows up to be a dad, but it is reality that a single mom has some work cut out for her that a single dad may not have.

Please remember I am generalizing to some extent, and that obviously, a single mother who is a lawyer, is faring better than a single dad who is a grocer.

I think the Facebook and social media walls are all a “twitter” over fathers because it is also socially acceptable to speak of negligent dads. For my friends whose mothers have been disgustingly absent, it is a quiet topic. We expect mothers to be there. A negligent mother is horrifying, and crushes society’s hopes in so many ways. Think of all the horrific moms in the news in the past 10 years that we have absolutely hated without even knowing them because they were murderers, child abusers, and more. While we hated male/father absuers, killers, etc, we really felt our blood boil when as females and mothers, we saw abusive murdering moms on the news.

Our culture is invested in Mothers. We don’t shine a significant enough of a spotlight on them to really discuss the pains of those who didn’t have a mom to hug, or lean on.

It’s time to really evaluate what we ascribe to parents of both genders, and to reconceptualize what it means to parent. Men are weighed down by social mores as much as women; we just may feel it more because of the financial and societal sexism that still exists. I think we are getting closer to doing this on so many levels.

For all of you who are missing a father, loving your father, or appropriating a different man to call “daddy,” enjoy your day today. To all dads, whether you struggle to parent or find it the easiest and best job ever, enjoy today and keep on showing up and trying your best.

We need you. Today’s women and girls want you more than ever.

The Definition of Mother: a reality check.

Everyone has his or her own ideas about what it means to be a mother, or what it feels like to be a mother.

Some think it means being at home, making cookies, cleaning the house, and making blanket forts.

Others think it means teaching at home, working somewhere else, and doing laundry in between chasing a naughty toddler around.

Some thinks it means doing what you can to pay the bills, while lovingly squeezing up minutes of her child’s time.

Whatever the location, the definition and job description embodies guilt.

Guilt you’re not making money at home. Guilt you’re not at home, and you’re making money.

Some mother alone, others with a partner, and others alone, yet with a partner…and some mother with another mother…and some Mother with an extended family.

Mothering can be amazing, awful, anxiety-producing, awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping, boring, loving, irritating, tiring, and impatient.

We think it will be one way and we will behave in a particular manner up until the time a baby is in our arms, and then we realize that all our armchair parenting was a load of crap. That we know nothing, and that we still know nothing.

That we love our child/children, yet he or she perplexes us to the same degree. That we want them to be like us, yet we also hope they won’t be.

We have idealized images in our mind, and then when we fall short, we are victim to our own guilt.

Society has ideas about how we should be of how we are supposed to be and what we are supposed to do, and when we aren’t that way, we feel helpless, worthless, and unsure.

When we are how we think we should be, we feel amazing, unstoppable, and a bit too proud. We sometimes forget when we see another mother screwing up, how we did too…just the other day–hour–or minute.

We champion other mothers, yet we inspect them and hold them, deciding if they mother the way we do–if it’s good enough, forgetting that we fall short all the time.

We long to mother, and then fear we are no good.

We become a mother, and then long for the days sometimes when we were just ourselves. Just our name, and not “someone else’s mommy.”

All those Facebook memes about how we are all so happy to give up sleeping in and wearing ponytails, seem like a load of shit to us silently, because we certainly are sick of wearing our hair in a ponytail sometimes, and we want to sleep in. We love our children, but we miss our non-mothering self at times.

We try to remember what that was like, yet we can’t fully. We have photos, flashbacks, and videos to remind us…certainly we can envision that non-child person, yet we can never be her again fully. We have to be a different version of ourselves. Better. Smarter. More Patient.

We enter into new sexual territory. Some of us could care less about sex, others long for it…and miss the days when we didn’t fit as neatly into the box labeled Madonna or whore. Some of us wish it would go away at times, and others don’t want to be the soccer mom that young men say, “Yes maam,” to on a daily basis.

Some of us are still heavy from pregnancy, others are fit, and yet our bodies whether sightly or unsightly to ourselves, are somewhat different. It has done something it never did before.

We have done something we have never done before.

Every day is a learning process. Parenting is learning on the job. Prepare to fail, and plan to succeed.

Be a Good Girl

Women are told from the time we pop out of our mother’s uterus and become the keeper of our own that we should be “good.”

Be a “good girl.”

Be nice. Nice girls don’t do that.

Little girls are polite. Be polite.

Be nice.

Be nice.

Be nice.

Maybe I don’t want to be nice. Maybe I don’t want to be good either. Did anyone else get the memo that being good kind of sucks? That being nice all the time makes one a doormat? That taking shit from everyone and smiling and saying, “It’s okay,” makes you one miserable good girl. Plus, no one looks cute with a shit-stained smile.

I feel like sometimes I’m just compelled to say the nice thing or right thing because I know that if I don’t, I will be seen in a negative manner. I really hate that about myself.

I also hate that I am brought up in a world that tells me women aren’t funny, that we’re undersexed (such a bunch of BS folks), and that we’re all supposed to be nice and polite.

Don’t rock the boat darling.

There are so many times in my life that I just let people be their douchey selves while I laid down and said, “Sure, walk all over me. Go ahead. I hope you enjoy the walk.”

I should have handed these individuals a complementary water bottle and chocolate, sunglasses, map, and towel while they enjoyed taking a walk all over me.

That was what I got for being a “good girl” and being nice.

Sometimes, I was a bad girl in society’s eyes, yet to the person begging me to be bad, I was being submissive: translation: a good girl to an even bigger asshole. A good girl is submissive.

A good girl forgets who she is and what she wants so that others can be happy.

A bad girl does what she wants and shapes her life in ways that are meaningful to her.

I’ve let negative comments, conversations, and interactions ruin my day either because I was being too nice or polite to walk away…or too “good” to say what I wanted to, or even worse, I said exactly what I wanted to and was now reaping the guilt that my assertiveness had spun on me.

I’ve had men tell me I am stupid or that I’m not funny…or that my writing is stupid. I even had one guy tell me I couldn’t graduate college…that I was that dumb.

Apparently, he hasn’t seen my degree from Columbia, but I digress.

I have silenced myself with women too when they have hurt my feelings, by not saying what I wanted to say.

Sometimes, I said too much or just enough to feel like an ass for being so direct.

I just wish I never felt that conflict between who I am and who I should be according to the unspoken rules of society.

I am sometimes good, sometimes bad, but never awful.

To those that took a walk down the length of my heart and soul at my expense, you are all filthy animals, but I will never lie down in the mud with you, and you never stole my true self completely. Even in my darkest times I have always had an energy, a spring in my step, and an inner desire to move forward. No one will squelch that.

Let every day in my 30’s be a testament to living my life fully as who I truly am at all points and times, as along as I am not hurtful to others.

Let my daily activities show the things that matter to me, and reap work that matters to me.

I cannot worry about being good when there is so much time to be spent on making my mark on this world lest I be forgotten.

If we’re not here to be remembered for something that impacts others in a positive way, then why bother?