Sticks and Stones

So until right now, I totally thought that saying was “Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me.” Which never made sense. And is totally stupid. So, a few minutes ago, I googled it to find out that the poem actually says, “Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can also hurt me.” Well fuck me. I learned that a little too late.

I came into this world as a total bitch. I was born on Thanksgiving in 1976. My mother loves to tell the story of how I ruined her Thanksgiving dinner. Her favorite meal. My grandmother, God rest her soul, use to love to tell the story of how right after I was born the nurses were weighing me and what not, and I flipped over on my stomach (clearly also an over achiever at birth) and gave everyone in the room a go-to-hell look.

Around third grade I broke and I became a Republican and a people pleaser. I was eight, let’s not pass judgement, okay? I people-pleased my way into my 30’s. And then I stopped. Sort of. One of my friends had really pissed me off, and I had just had it. I’d never stood up to this girl. I called her, and I say, “Look, I’m sure we are not going to be friends after this conversation, but I have about 487 problems with you and we are going to start with one and I am going to work my way through.” To her great credit, she listened to all 842 reasons (I thought of more reasons as I bawled her out). I mean, I guess she could have put the phone down and gone shopping, but I’m going to go with the fact that she actually listened.

After my tirade she admitted her flaws and we actually became much much closer. I love that girl.

That, however, was not a great lesson for me. Basically I learned that if I told someone to go fuck themselves, they’d like me better. That plus the ‘sticks and stones’ poem to back me up… And I was fearless.

I lost my shit in the Denver airport when an older gentleman aggressively rolled his suitcase over my foot to cut in line. I told him he was a piece of shit and that he would NOT be getting on the airplane in front of me. Naturally he was sitting in the seat next to me. And naturally I immediately put my arm on his arm rest and even if my arm went numb from gripping that arm rest, so help me God, I was not moving my arm. My stubborn gene is actually my strongest gene. Which explains Luke, my seven year old. My mom could not stop laughing and I’m pretty sure she peed in her pants. Actually… I moved my arm 30 minutes into the plane ride when he apologized and offered to buy me a drink. I ordered four and smiled sweetly at him.

Another time we were checking out in Napa and yet another male idiot pissed me off. There was a HUGE line to check out. My BFF and I were standing in said line while her husband and my then husband talked (probably about how they had had too much together time with their wives) and this dumbass walks in front of all of us to the “Express Checkout for Preferred Guest” and I was all, “Oh HELL NO.”

I walked up and tapped him on the back and said, “Um, excuse me, did you see this huge line? Or are you just blind and stupid?”

He replied by saying he was a Preferred Guest. I shook my head.

“You are a fucking moron. We’re all Preferred Guest. That’s why they gave us that stupid speech when we walked in and a bottle of wine. I’m sure you were too drunk or just stupid to remember that, but get to the back of the line JackAss.”

Seven months later my friends, God bless their souls, and I, were planning a baby shower for my BFF because she got wasted and had sex with her husband in Napa. Their were five of us throwing the shower and we had divided into two groups. Three against two. And one of the ones I was against was, like, one of my best friends. unfortunately she just mentioned having a shower some place I didn’t agree with and I said something along the lines of… I’m sorry, but no one wants to eat salmon and egg salad at 10:30 on a Saturday morning. And for the love of God, we’re having alcohol. It’s a BABY shower. You have to have alcohol at a baby shower. For one, everyone is either A) Hungover B) Had an abortion and we are making them feel guilty C) Desperately wants a baby and can’t get pregnant or D) Have NO desire to EVER have a baby and need alcohol to get through the event. Except I was way harsher in my dissertation. I also said that only a fucking moron would spend $5 A PIECE for a “gift” to give people who came. The gift is alcohol. DUH.

The girl, my good friend, and I, didn’t really speak for two years after that shower. She emailed me and said that no one had ever spoken to her like that, much less a friend, and she went on to make more valid points… I would like to report she and I are also friends now, and I love her to death. She is hilarious. And the best mom. And thin and gorgeous of course. Even though her sister does have better hair… That Becky…

But, while I have you on the subject of showers, may I purpose something? Never, ever, EVER open gifts at the event. No one cares. And that one person that does care, can go fuck themselves and walk around Buy Buy Baby. You’ll get the gist. You’re probably part of Group C anyway, and no one needs to see you cry while the girl that shouldn’t have alcohol opens pacifiers.

After all of that, I still never googled the poem. I just thought, if you can’t handle some mamby pamby words, you are a fucking pussy.

Then on Friday, my beloved nanny’s last day, when I was already quite emotional and into my Champs, my fiance and I had a fight. He said things, and then he got to hear a real diatribe. I woke up Saturday still licking my wounds and just started attacking again.

Turns out, there are some things you cannot take back. Words are extremely hurtful. And I must learn to use mine better. And not out of anger. Gee, I’m almost 40. Glad I’m picking up that kindergarten lesson now. Wonder what else I will learn this year? Endless possibilities.

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