“I’m not bitter…I’m just mad as hell”
I am not a fan of Tyler Perry at all. In fact, I think Aaron McGruder was pretty spot-on with his social-commentary on the man. But that one line, in Diary of a Mad Black Women, has stuck with me for years.
Men are so quick to label a woman bitter and she has “bitter black women syndrome”, is a bitch, or just mean if she isn’t smiling all the time, or putting herself out there for men. In fact, she is just sad, disappointed, and hurt. Now, while I agree that these things can manifest themselves into bitterness, I’d say for the most part that women are more angry/mad/sad than anything else with “bitterness” being the residual outcome of those things. Residual doesn’t mean encompassing the whole being or spirit of that person.
I often get accused of being bitter…a bitch…mean…etc. In fact, I’m quite the opposite. I won’t say I am a ray of sunshine 24/7. Things anger me. And when they do, I am quick to express them in my very quick-tempered, Aries kind of way. I won’t apologize for that. But I def won’t accept someone calling me “bitter” when I’m not.
On Facebook I have applications called Honesty Box and Formspring. For fun, people can ask me questions and say things that are on their mind to me…anonymously. Yeah, that’s a pretty dangerous tool for someone to have who dislikes you but for me it was just for fun and kicks and being silly. Well, people took it upon themselves to want to “dispense me some advice” such as these asinine “pearls of wisdom”:
In response to a FB status about disliking my single, bitter friends :
I'm not the one that posted anything, but I'd venture to say that whoever was asking you those questions asked in that manner because you have an abrasive personality and don't take criticism or advice well. You can point out everything wrong with everyone else, but your isht don't stink. You know that status message you posted, then deleted the other day about everyone having a friend that is mean and bitter and single...it's you. Sorry!
Or perhaps I have low self-esteem:
I think that right now you should focus on being a lover of your own self. You've been through a lot, and learning to love yourself will attract someone that will love YOU just as hard as you do.
Or in response to: If you were to take me out on a date...what would it consist of?
If I were a guy, it would be nothing because of her negative attitude towards men. Please watch The Secret. This will add so much to you at this time in your life.
Or my personal favorite when asked “If you could turn my life into a movie, what would the title be?”
I'm not giving power to that! What so funny to me is that most of these responses, as indicated by the applications, have been from women. Women can indeed be mean. And I also deduced that these are women who don’t know me or assume from a few pithy status messages that I am that chick all the time. I guarantee these are women from a certain site I used to belong to. I need psychological help, to read some pope books, and I will end up single and alone. Who the fuck is you? So yeah, needless to say, I snapped. And contrary to popular belief, I don’t snap often.
But when it comes to relationships with a man, that’s the softest place on earth for me. I’m kind, open and honest. I give myself freely and completely if I am in love. I want to love you..Kiss you..Make love on a whole new level. I am “that girlfriend/wife”. I’m a great friend too in non-romantic arenas. It’s only when YOU HURT ME, wrong me in any kind of way, I get angry and mean. What do people expect you to do? Keep a smiling face? Shuck and jive? Skin and grin? No ma’am! No Sir! That isn’t how Mo-Mo operates. We let it out, good or bad, and keep it pushing.
But men can be just as blunt, thinking they are keeping it real when you are just being, well, mean. Saying stuff like “You need to do the work to fix yourself” as if I’m broken and need fixing. Or “Maybe you need to ask your married girls what they doing to keep their men” when I express hurt over being single or divorced. Or “Maybe you need to change your looks, cut your locs, attract a different caliber of man” when I express frustration at men not recognizing my own beauty. Newsflash: I LIKE ME. It took 31 years to get there but I do therefore I don’t need you to try and undo THAT massive amount of work I’ve done for myself. I’ve recognized my faults but it does no good when you “create” other faults for me to handle. If I’ve handled myself and “fixed” my issues and I’m still alone, whose fault is that then?
I had a conversation with someone (a guy) and they asked me “Don’t you think you can be mean?” I said..”Not when unprovoked” and they said “Are you sure?” WHAT! Who goes around being mean for no damn reason unless you are Satan himself, and even then Lucifer has an agenda? Why the fuck did you even ask me the question if you had your own doubts? Get out of here with that bullshit…(Hmpf..Guess that does make me mean).
Calling me “mean”, I can probably deal with. But bitter, I will not accept. Bitter means I’ve given up all hope, and truthfully just having a mustard seed of faith means I have hope. I’m not trying to end up being my over 50 aunt who hasn’t been with a man in well over a decade. I am not trying to spew out things like “I don’t need a man! I got JESUS” or something like that. That’s not me! Men piss me off on a DAILY basis, but I can’t say that I don’t need them. The fact is, as Jill Scott said so beautifully, I need you (men). And despite the lying, cheating and deceit at times, they need us too. I can’t be bitter, because bitter would mean that I am a lost cause. The problem isn’t that I’m bitter, the problem is that I’m tormented with sadness. I’m sad that I’m so hopelessly romantic. I’m sad that men don’t value me. I’m sad that I am THIS FINE (lol) and I’m sleeping alone at night. I’m sad that I eat dinner alone yet I always overcook. I’m sad lingerie and stilettos are going to waste. I’m sad the phone has stopped ringing so much so that I just disconnected it. I’m sad that I want more than just sex but if I wanted sex, I don’t have any real prospects. I’m sad the prospects I did have turned out to be total duds. I’m sad that things should be perfect in my life but it’s not really. Then sadness turns to anger……and anger then to indifference. More than anything, I’m numb and indifferent…for now. I’m not going to stay there. I don't resign myself to a life of "bitter black woman" syndrome. I’d be letting the naysayers win.
I think people should think twice before they call someone “bitter”. You don’t know the whole story. Sadness can only turn to bitterness if nothing sweet comes to quench it.
There’s always hope for sweetness …there has to be. If not, life is just not worth living.
But in the meantime...I'm just mad as hell.