Conversations with chickens are always revealing. It’s usually me gleaning information and spouting advice. Table turning isn’t always fun. Chickens of the female variety have a rare night off and spend it talking books, writing, science and failure with their mother. Somehow I end up on the receiving end of a lecture from a nineteen and twenty-three-year-old on embracing my badassery and being the bitch they’ve known all their lives. Whaaa? Yep, right to my face, one pipes up, “Mom, you have to stop giving a shit what other people think and be the badass bitch you have been my whole life. No one is a bigger bitch than you. Don’t hide that.” And the other one seconds her prompt. Why thank you girls. I think.
Somehow between a life of giving to charity, volunteering to help the needy and working for non profits I fooled myself into thinking I may actually be a nice person. Fantasy over. Do all women suffer from this dichotomy or am I really the only multi-faceted chick alternately picking flowers from a lovely field wearing a beautiful dress then stabbing the eyes of a kewpie doll imagining it’s the person standing in the way of my success.
Writers spend inordinate amounts of time waiting for things to happen. Waiting for ideas to pop into our heads, waiting for agents to make decisions, waiting for publishers to pick up the damn book already. We develop hides which can withstand more rejection than compliment, more failure than success and constant judgement of what we put to paper. When the rewards are sweet, they are decadent and when they are sour, they are positively rancid. There are reasons so many writers are drug addicts, alcoholics and plain old fashioned grumps.
So when I moan to my girls about how much longer I must wait, how long I must stay at the job that pays the bills and not write full time before I grab hold of a life just beyond my grasp, they basically follow up with everything I’ve taught them. They tell me to get off my dead butt, put on my big girl panties, wear my bitch face and get some shit done. Bested by my own words. I hate when that happens. So, the subject becomes, how does one harness her inner bitch without actually becoming one. I feel a list coming on.
Tip One: When a co-worker in close proximity is snapping gum, cracking her knuckles or wearing pants, the response is not to ask what exactly is her mastication problem; why she feels a need to expand her man knuckles or sit like a five-year-old boy. It is, instead, to smile at her short comings and request she move her desk further away–for her own comfort and peace of mind, of course, and your sanity.
Tip Two: When your boss rejects your budget for the eighth time and wants proof as to how many customers exactly will be brought in by this media plan, resist the urge to call him a cheap, little short-sighted mongrel with no vision and instead tell him you’ll do your best to find those figures. In the end, make your best guess and get on your knees each night praying to the Big Guy that you hit your numbers or that your book sells before you’re proven wrong.
Tip Three: When you find out the bitches are talking about you again and then one of them emails you for a favor, resist the urge to call her an ignorant slut and instead tell her you’ll leave what she’s looking for on the bench by the door knowing full well that a bird has built a nest in the potted plant and will attack anyone approaching said front door.
Tip Four: When life gives you lemons, mix that shit with some vodka and sit by the pool.
Tip Five: When one more person asks if you’re ready to date, punch that bitch in the face and tell her to mind her own god damn business. If you never want to let another man into your life because you loved your dead husband so much the thought of someone else’s hands on you makes you retch–ahem, sorry. There’s the inner bitch thing again. Simply tell the person you aren’t “there” yet.
Tip Six: When waiting for a response to a proposal, although you may daydream all you like about calling the decision maker and asking him if he does a god damn thing for all the millions he makes dangling people’s lives by his puppet strings, it may actually be counterproductive in eventually having to work with that person. A better idea is to wait the usual response time and then send a super polite email inquiring as to whether you can send anything else to make his decision easier. Asshat.
Tip Seven: When having to spend ten hours a day behind a desk chock full of OCD and bad dietary habits creates a widening of your ass and tightening of your sheath dresses, it won’t work to apply for disability claiming the workplace made you ill. It will make you feel better to simply buy more pumps. They don’t care how fat your ass is and they always fit. Pair them with pearls and people will either glance up or down not noticing your enormous ass until they get to know your charming personality.
Tip Eight: When the IRS won’t get off your ass for taxes from a business that no longer exists run by a dead man that shared your last name and feels you have an extra fifty or sixty thousand laying around, resist the urge to blow up one of their buildings. Instead, hope they are plagued by a scandal of such enormous proportion that picking on widows will seem not such a good idea. Bonus! And pray the current administration’s search of all things doesn’t include bitchy blogs about the IRS or you’ll be visiting this doll in the slammer.
Tip Nine: When young women remind you of your inner bitch and the productivity of harnessing that power and making things happen, listen up!