Ever heard the phrase “Put on your Big Girl panties and deal with it”?
The other day, I was sitting on the porch in my rocking chair when I saw an old no-longer-friend-but-still-awkward-neighbor and his wife taking a leisurely evening stroll down the street. To avoid a weird moment of awkwardness I jumped out of my rocking chair like my butt was on fire and made a mad dash into the house. I literally left the rocking chair rocking.
Not my finest moment.
What’s ironic is that this artful dodging came immediately after a long chat with my roommate (on the same afternoon, SAME PORCH!!) about how important it is to meet confrontation head on. What’s more ironic is that a day or so before this I’d rather snippily told a whiny co-worker to hitch up her own underpants and get it together. It’s only fitting that I be reminded of my self-righteous words while running into the house like a bat out of hell.
I am such a wuss when it comes to confrontation. Why is the thought of it so scary? Part of me thinks it’s because I don’t like disappointing people or letting them down. There’s also the OCD part of me that has a fear of losing control and screaming like a shrew until a vein pops in my forehead and I’ll turn into the incredible hulk, shredding both my dignity and any big girl panties I might have been wearing at the time.
Part of it too is that I feel the need to distance myself from the Big Angry Black Woman Stereotype. So I pay more attention than the average person to make sure I bottle up my frustrations. Everybody gets mad sometimes… why do Black Women have this persona associated with being mad? I was in Ross the other day (don’t judge) and this little old lady bumped into me while perusing the racks… before I could utter a word she jumped back and apologized to me profusely and was literally shaking as she scurried away, glancing back at me. I barely had a moment to acknowledge her presence, certainly not enough time to deliver the pimp-slap the she seemed to expect from me.
Hmph. Maybe I should’ve have yelled “bitch betta check herself!” at her retreating backside. I’m sure it didn’t help matters any. LOL
These days I tend to weigh arguments in terms of whether it’s worth the stress or bother, if I can live with it or not. I can’t remember a time when people didn’t tell me that I get worked up over nothing and should learn to “let stuff go”. Between feelings of self-doubt and repeatedly hearing the criticism so much, I think it prevents me from fighting the battles worth fighting… like when a jerk cuts in front of me in line at the Staples (really? a grown ass man? is buying a pack of pens THAT important? didn’t your momma teach you better?). Or when a tourist runs over my ankle with a double stroller while getting on the boat to the Magic Kingdom, and tells ME to watch where I’M stepping…
In my mind there’s an Ally McBeal-like flashback going on in the Staples, where I grab Mr. Line Jumper and go Angry Black Woman/Towanda on him. After snapping all of his pens in half, I punch him in the throat.
In reality I just sigh quietly and roll my eyes and hope that the clerk notices.
Either way, it looks like I need to buy a new pair of big girl pants. I saw some from the Delta Burke line on sale at the Ross. 🙂