“Hey sweetheart! Why aren’t you smiling?”
I snapped out of the zone I was in, my zone, and made eye contact with a man sitting outside of my office building. He was in his late fifties, balding, and was staring directly at me with a teasing smile on his lips.
I glanced around. Was he talking to me? I could feel my usual bitch face settled snugly in the creases of my forehead and the scowl of my mouth. Before this man so rudely interrupted my haven’t-had-coffee-yet thoughts, I was mentally getting my shit together. I was reminding myself to print out the boarding pass for my flight tomorrow afternoon. I was figuring out what laundry I needed to get done. I was thinking about the girl I hate, and how I hoped I wouldn’t see her on my trip home. I was thinking about my boyfriend, my flight snacks, and whether or not I would splurge on a glass of wine to feel classy as I flew coach.
So yeah. I was dealing with a lot. Basic shit, but still.
As all of these thoughts escaped from my head (as well as the reminder to pack my brown wedges, which I never remembered and went the entire trip regretting), I stared at this man. How dare he demand that I smile? He didn’t know me. And even if he did, what fucking right did he have to tell me to flash my teeth at him. What’s next? Flash my tits? No. NO. I knew that I had two choices. Tell him to fuck off, or give in and smile.
And because I’m not the bold bitch that I like to think I am, I gave in.
As I shyly giggled (I know. I hate myself for it too) and plastered a fake grin on my face, I felt an immediate resentment for this man. It wasn’t because he was lurking outside of our office building smoking cancer sticks and leering at twenty-something women. It wasn’t because he made me forget my wedges. And it wasn’t because I hate small talk and most social exchanges.
It’s because he made me do something I didn’t want to do. And worse? I did it immediately.
As I sat at my desk and started my work day (read: drinking coffee and angrily stalking girls I hate), I thought over the exchange. As I ate my lunch and texted my mom asking why she gave me such shitty hair, I thought about it. And I thought about it that night, when I vented to my boyfriend while he longed to play video games and wished he would have picked a less emotional girlfriend.
I laid in bed that night, playing over the situation in my head. What if I would have said this instead? What if I was mean to him? What if he was having a bad day? What if I was having a bad day? I kid you not. It fucking plagued me. I couldn’t sleep that night. And as I lay awake, I kept wondering why it irked me so much.
I thought about it again as I drove to work the next morning. My heart sped up as I pulled into my usual spot and grabbed my bag from the passenger seat. And I thought about it a final time as I approached the office building and saw him sitting outside, smoking his cig and being creepy as usual.
I hesitated. Should I walk around? Should I act like I’m on my phone? Should I just smile because honestly smiling is good for your face and who cares, it’s not a big deal right?
I took a deep breath and walked right past him. As if on cue, he spoke out to me.
“Good morning! Where’s that pretty smile?”
I felt my blood boil as I once again considered my options. Smile, give in, be a little bitch. Or stand up for myself, my facial muscles, and my hatred of most people and be the boss ass bitch I always dreamed of being? It would be so easy to just smile, but I knew that I couldn’t. Not again. Not this time. I squared my shoulders, looked him dead in the face, and said something I wish I had been saying my entire life.
And sure, it wasn’t exactly a direct response to his question. But at the time, it’s all my little lady-balls could handle. And I felt like a champion. All I said was that one word, but in a second I felt like I had developed a superpower. The man looked taken aback and mumbled some sort of incoherent apology. I tried to stand my ground and keep the smile that threatened to take over off of my face.
Ironic isn’t it? This old creep wanted me to smile, and it wasn’t until I told him to fuck off that I truly wanted to.
After what felt like moments, but in reality was only a second, I continued walking into my building without looking back. And I haven’t looked back. Since then, I’ve decided to become a bitch. And it is, without a doubt, the best decision I have ever made.
Sure, some people thinking being called a “bitch” is negative. But not me. To me, it means I’m standing up for something. For myself. It means I’m living my life in a way I’m proud of, no matter what other people think. It means I’m being true to my own personal values and telling people who don’t respect that to go fuck themselves. Usually I’ll tell them that in a more polite way, but I’m not making any promises.
So whether you think I’m right or wrong, I’m going to be the bitch I’ve always dreamed of being. And do you know what else? I don’t give a shit if you agree with me or not. But I promise, if you give it a try, you won’t regret it. Sometimes life warrants you to stand up for yourself. To not bend over backwards. To not give a shit what other people want and to do what’s right for you. In this crazy world of trying to be the perfect woman, I’ve found my superpower. I’ve found a way to become who I want to be. I’ve found a way to be proud of myself. There’s only one person’s approval I need. One person I need to smile for. One person I need to be true to. And that’s me. And it’s time you realize that that’s you, too..