i'm still grieving and sad, but i'm forcing myself to get back to my writing. wrote about two sentences yesterday.
hey, it's a start.
awhile back i eavesdropped on a discussion about words and how they can hurt. a woman was complaining to her male friend about his usage of the "C" word. his defense was that he had used it to put down a male, NOT a female, so she shouldn't be that offended. Her response was that the "C" word is vulgar slang for female genitalia, so it was doubly offensive since he seemed to think that would be a fitting insult for a man.
later i told mr. write what i'd overheard.
"it's funny because if someone calls me a 'bitch' or the C-word, it just rolls off my back. being called 'fat' would bother me much more."
to which he laughed.
for me, the words that hurt most are the ones that comment on who i am as a person, or the ones that insult my character. those are the ones i find most offensive.
once i worked for a smoothie company and my manager was a very hard-working girl who pretty much came from nothing. she told me that she wanted to take some computer courses because she felt she needed to know how to work a computer better.
"that's great!" i told her.
"and maybe, if i finish the computer classes, i can take some other classes and get my AA," she replied hopefully.
"absolutely," i agreed, "knowledge is never wasted. plus, once you get your AA you might decide to go on and get your bachelor's."
she talked about signing up for computer classes for the next couple days, but after a visit from our district manager, she changed her mind.
"you know, i've decided against those classes." she told me after i'd asked if she signed up for the next semester. "our district manager is right. i don't NEED those classes here since we don't use computers. so it would just be cutting into my free time. i'm fine here without them."
let me tell you, i was SO pissed!
to me it seemed our district manager was perfectly happy with her little worker bee the way she was and didn't want her to gain any knowledge that could better herself, or learn any new skills she could use in another career.
to me that was the real insult.
even the most innocuous words strung together can hurt.
and i'm hoping the four words i said to the careless woman in the grocery store parking lot are being played on a loop in her head.
i'm hoping she's having trouble sleeping at night because she can't rid herself of my voice.
i'm hoping my four little words creep into her consciousness and knock the wind out of her while she's trying to get on with her day.
what four words could wield such power, you might ask?
you're. a. bad. mom.
these are very powerful words and i only used them because this woman truly deserved them as does any woman who leaves a sleeping baby alone in a car so she can do her shopping undisturbed.
i'm sure she thought her task would only take ten minutes.
i'm sure she thought her baby would be fine.
i'm sure she thought no one would notice.
but someone did notice and someone had to speak up.
i hope my words hurt her. i hope they hurt her so much that she'll never even consider doing that to her baby again. and i'm hoping it's an insult that rocked her to her core.