Thirteen years ago, someone said about me, "You have a penchant for cruelty." It's stuck with me as one of the truer things that's ever been said about me.
We were in the break room at work. One of my co-workers had just gotten a haircut, and I said, "Hey, David Bowie called, and he wants his hair style back." At that point, I wouldn't even have been able to identify David Bowie in a line-up of two, but I thought the line sounded funny so I used it. The poor guy with the bad haircut stormed out of the room, and this woman whom I totally admired left me with that thought to ponder for the rest of my days.
One of my old lovers just sent me a story that she had written about me. "Don't let it inflate your MF ego," she said before she sent it. Her love, this undying love that she harbored for me when I, to put it bluntly, had no interest and had moved on could have inflated my MF ego (and maybe it has to a certain degree), but what I am more moved by is how well she captured my penchant for cruelty.
It's not something I mean to have, and it's something that people who don't know me well rarely ever recognize. They don't see it because I am so fucking, painfully nice to strangers and my friends. I love my friends, but to my lovers and my husband and sometimes my children, I am horrible.
You know how psychos abuse animals when they're children and you know how I am completely fucking indifferent to pets of all types. Well, I think that's linked.
I've gotten to know my aunt fairly well recently (the relationship has been predominantly online, but she's always been my favorite since I was little), and I am continually struck by how similar I am to her and to that side of the family in general. We spent much more time with my mom's family when I was growing up, but my entire make-up mirrors my dad's side. My sense of humor, my intelligence, my looks, it's all them.
She, my aunt, was told that she was fundamentally mean by her then soon-to-be ex-husband so she went to the mall and had it printed on a sweatshirt. FUNDAMENTALLY MEAN.
Maybe, it's that, maybe it's a genetic thing. (I think that sweatshirt is bloody hilarious by the way.)
But then, I never can take the blame for anything. Remember yesterday when I lost my son. Instead of thinking, "Hey, Minger, you're a giant d-bag who should have remembered to remind your son to wait at all major intersections and not get too far ahead", I just went off on a long-winded tangent about free-range kids and how much some of the neighbors suck.
The Man worked six days in a row, had one day off, and then returned to work. He filled his day off with a morning at work and an afternoon at the dentist for a tooth extraction, and I spent the whole day reminding myself to be nice to him. He said later that he can actually see my inner struggle to be nice on days like that, and it's a struggle that I often lose.
Tonight when my son was puking, instead of thinking, "Oh, poor sick, baby," while I held his head, I thought, "Jesus, we need to have a serious talk about mastication. Your chewing abilities suck. I hope you go back to sleep soon."
That's it. I'm just not that nice, and well, what does one do about it?