I revel in cynicism and snarkiness, so deep – it makes people laugh, so much – and then of course, I just feel bad about myself, so bad. I worked for a really long time to work out my mean girl – One of my first blog posts ever was about just that. By blog post, I mean MySpace – seriously – yah thatspace. Pardon me while I dig through the way-back machine.
. . . And while I was telling my kids later in the day about how hateful some of their speech had become, and how disappointed I was, I suddenly felt like the biggest hypocrite. Because, I too remembered the day I was a mean girl.
Okay the day… ha. I think mean girl festers under my skin. I think the capability of it is so possible and so vivid… It’s as I have to fight off the craving to be nasty, to cause bad feelings to other people. I keep the beast in check though, like a recovering addict keeps his cravings hidden.
These days, people rarely believe that I was a mean girl, that I helped played friend against friend in high school. But I gave as good as I got. Well, I gave to others, while I got from still others, and got it good I might add. It was freakin’ cyclical.
I recovered from the addiction sometime in ’97 or ’98 – After a particularly nasty bout where I bad mouthed a girl to most of my entire dorm floor, and then played sweet, but got caught out anyhow. I felt so rotten, so sorry for myself. I felt like such an ass. And it hurt my heart. I could talk a good game about kindness and love, like a hippie in 1967, but I couldn’t live it.
And so, I tried to get off the sauce. And, thought it’s rare, I still relapse. . .
Lately, it’s easier to be snarky than I would like to admit. The relapse has become a habit. But I have been recently reminded, that I don’t actually like the feeling that sits there later. The one that wonders if a room full of people will laugh at your last one-liner, what prevents them from laughing at the next one that’s about you?
Look, I’m no Pollyanna, and maybe I’ve been in too much therapy lately, but I think part of being a grown up, is letting go of that seventeen year-old mean girl. And laughter at the expense of others just feels too easy. There has to be a better way to get a laugh.