Asian American woman drinking beer

“Don’t be a little bitch” and other New Year’s Resolutions

There are a couple of military grunts living above my mom’s apartment. Late one night, one of them said as they stomped up the stairs, “I’m gonna stop drinking. I gotta quit drinking.”

His roommate followed him up the stairs behind him and replied, “Don’t be a little bitch.”

I laughed when I heard this and suggested to my boyfriend that we create signs that said, “Don’t be a little bitch” and place them on the lawn in front of them.

But we’re lame. We didn’t.

There are, of course, a few things that bothered me about his roommate/friend’s statement. One of which makes me think of the “bro code” and the ways in which men teach each other to be tough. The other is my aversion and distain for the word “bitch”. Even in its so-called empowering use, I still find the word offensive, but that’s because I dated a man who referred to women as “bitches”, including me when he was angry, and his birth mother.

Although, even this sentence used in jest has something beautifully stupid behind it. I can’t wait to use it on my boyfriend when he least expects it. Heck, I can’t wait to use it on myself to remind me of the absurdity of life, my decisions and fears.

It seems perfect though, at this time of New Year’s resolutions, intentions and goal-setting to hear this. If I was at a different time in my life, I’d probably shrug this off as something guys say to each other.

If I was at a more stable time in my life, I’d probably be reflecting quietly, pen in hand, poised, making scratches, drinking coffee and dreaming big dreams. But since I’m in a rocking boat on route to what feels like nowhere, I’m feeling a wee bit cynical, a wee bit like I’m crawling through the jungle on my elbows.

Almost every day the direction of my life has taken a new turn. I’m too exhausted and busy to even have a good cry. Skyping with my friends has been my therapy and living my life out of order is becoming the new normal. I have never missed having a routine more than ever. But I’m trying to be grateful. When I can, I sit there and think of nothing. I don’t even have to try. It goes on shutdown mode. It’s a welcome break.

The BF seems to think we will look back at this time and count ourselves lucky. I’m not there yet.

This is the problem when you write about your life. I’m too close to the mess. I write for relief, but my world is part-time hostile and part-time hospitable right now. When you’re in the clothes dryer with a hornet’s nest, you just want to go fetal.

“Fucking shit,” one of the guys upstairs says.

I mutter back, “I hear ya, dude. I hear ya.”

Ever notice when you are waiting at the dentist or traveling that time slows down? Yeah, life has s l o w e d down. I keep waiting for a break, that flicker of light. I can’t really settle down and even read anything these days. I know I’m supposed to “lean into the discomfort” ala Brené Brown, but man, is that ever an easy thing to say and not do.

I know, I know. Don’t be a little bitch.

 

P.S. To the person who searched on my blog, “What is it when a white person tans and goes white very fast”, I don’t know.

28 thoughts on ““Don’t be a little bitch” and other New Year’s Resolutions

  1. Just moved back a little over a month ago as well. Necessary, but not under the easiest circumstances. I feel ya.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s funny. I know a number of former expats who’ve returned home recently. We’ve been commiserating until manical giggles.

      I wish though, that was my only problem right about now. Although, that is a big fat one.

      Thanks, and good luck to you.

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    2. By the way, I originally wanted to ask you why you left, but decided not to – and now, I still want to know. Shoot me an email if you feel like unloading. Cheers.

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  2. I hate “bitch,” too, but mainly I hate it when women use it on each other. I hear it used most often to denigrate strong women who don’t take crap from anyone. And I admire those women, even when I’m at odds with them, and it really bothers me when other women go after them.

    On the other hand, I use “bitch” as a verb all the time. Maybe I need to work on that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good point. I hate it as well when I hear women cut other women down. I have a friend who refers to himself as a ‘bitch’ (yes, he’s gay) and I always found it strange because it’s not a nice word. But this is where my “Americanism” comes in – we’re much more prudish with swear words than other cultures like the Brits and the Ozzies.

      Interestingly, I never use the word even as complaining, but ‘fuck’, ‘shit’ and other colorful words are always on the table 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  3. We stayed abroad too long, more than twenty years–which is really too long when you’re an expat wife (a trailing spouse) without a job. So when we moved back home, I was happy enough to be back where I had lots of options, even though I wasn’t sure where I was headed, that it wasn’t too bad for me.

    But I know lots of people have trouble with reverse culture shock and returning home. Sebastian Junger, in his book Tribe, on Homecoming and Belonging, compares it to PTSD. This blog post I wrote in 2016 has a link to an interview with Junger. http://nickichenwrites.com/wordpress/culture/reverse-culture-shock-ptsd/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I re-read the post and my comment 😀

      Yeah, I might touch upon what it’s like to be back and I don’t know if I’m experiencing any culture shock so much as ‘sticker shock’ over the prices of things here in Hawaii.

      The biggest hurdle right now is my mother, believe it or not. That’s another story, one that I’ve been thinking of calling “The Unspoken Competiton of Asian Daughters” and “The Problem with Creative People”.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Once you’re old enough to leave your mother’s house, it’s hard to go back. I always got along well with my mother, except when I was an adult staying for an extended time in her house. There were some days I couldn’t wait to get away.

        Seattle is another place with sticker shock. Rent and house prices have exploded this past year. My nephew and his family had to move from Seattle to a Portland suburb.

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  4. My best friend’s favorite piece of advice (usually given when she is stressed and overwhelmed herself) is to “suck it up and put your big girl panties on”. I warned her that, one day at some point in the future, the person to whom she tendered this terse bit of wisdom was going to whip out their big girl panties……and strangle her with them, lol! They’d probably be muttering “Shut up bitch” as they did it.

    Tie a knot on the end of your rope and just hang on a little while longer. Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OMG. You’re too funny. “Strangle her with them” – that reminds me of a Thai saying, “Jai yen yen” which basically translates to “calm down” and which ususally has the reverse effect on foreigners.

      I don’t know! Something about being told to calm down or putting your big girl pants on makes me want to yell back something childhish and primal. Hahahahaha.

      Here’s to hanging on 😉 Thanks!

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      1. So…..if someone says to me “Jai yen yen” then I’ll know to scream something childish at them or go ahead and strangle them with my big girl panties? Lol!

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  5. I’m on the fence about the word ‘bitch’. Definitely can say that I don’t like being called a bitch by a man or woman, and dislike the stereotypical connotations that come with it. That said, some of my very close friends do call me that and these are usually moments when we are kidding around a bit but also trying to make a point with each other. Maybe it is a generational thing or some of us just see the word as just another casual word to mock each other.

    Hope all gets better at some point, Lani. Big hugs to you ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you’re right, it’s probably generational. But as I mentioned to Autumn, it’s also cultural. You Ozzies are WAY more comfortable tossing what we Americans consider ‘strong language’ around casually.

      I’ve been shocked on several occassions when I worked in an international setting. But it’s good to be challenged from time to time 😉

      Which reminds me of another Ozzie, a former coworker who called me ‘slut’ jokeningly – I think we were talking about crushes and dating, so it was a bit of a stretch and out of context for me, but for her probably just good-humor.

      Thanks for the hugs Mabel Lee 😛

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      1. I also think Aussies are more casual when it comes to speaking. We can call each other insults a lot of the time and be fine with it. Mabel Lee, lol. That’s a first 😂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m not a fan of tossing about “bitch” casually. Yea, I’m a bit older than most of you out there and I’m a little annoyed with the “bar” being lowered on so much these days. Do I use the word “bitch” on occasion? Sure, but I damned well mean it when I say it, and I’m not referring to some guy either. Back in the day, we didn’t toss around a lot of words that are totally acceptable today, even on TV. It bothers me sometimes that so much disrespect is acceptable and even revered it seems to me nowadays. My dad taught me that all women should be placed on a pedestal until they prove undeserving and maybe not even then. I once made a guy back out of my drive way and come back and start over again after he pulled up and blew the horn for my daughter to come out. I told him (yes, with a few choice words) that no one was going to come calling on MY daughter without coming to the door and asking “politely” to see her. Yea, it embarrassed her a little bit, but he never pulled that stunt again and showed us all the utmost respect after that. The only time I really found “bitch” to be a bit amusing in real life was when Julie was talking with our neighbor a few years ago. The 60 year old neighbor (we barely knew at the time) was outside waiting in a wheelchair for someone to pick her up to go grocery shopping. During the conversation Julie told her that she was moving away to Hawaii soon. The lady said “You bitch!” Now that was funny 🙂 We became fast friends after that until the day she died not long after we came to Thailand.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Funny that you mentioned the honking in the driveway. I had a friend from h.s days do this until I told her I found it rude. She never did it again.

      But I wasn’t trying to be a princess about it or anything, but yeah, we’ve definitely gotten less classy. I think of appearances and how we dress as a huge indicator. Gone are the days where men wore hats and suits to the office and women really dressed themselves up!

      I almost never use the b-word. Even in jest. I might say, “Son of a …” and I’ll leave it without having to say the word, because it’s a hell of a lot funnier.

      But now? I have that phrase stuck in my head from the guy upstairs and it makes me giggle.

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      1. It’s funny about the honking in the driveway thing….is it generational? I don’t think so….or at least not in all cases. Having been born and raised in the deep South, I think sometimes it’s s cultural thing. I don’t remember it ever being acceptable. Good manners dictated that you get down and go to the door, pass a few pleasantries with the members of the household before you and whomever it was you were picking up left. Phone calls required a similar etiquette. If I called Sue Brown and her mama answered the phone it went like this ” Miss Betty? This is Jane. How are you today? ********* Yes ma’am, we’re all fine*******Yes ma’am, I’ll tell Mama that you asked after her****** If Sue is not busy, may I speak her, please?*****Thank you ma’am.” The first time my daughter got a phone call that started with “Hey, lemme talk to Jean” ….well, the young man and I had an etiquette lesson. I only had to hang up on him three or four times before he got it, lol! The grapevine buzzed and thereafter I answered the phone to incredibly polite young people asking to speak to my children! My daughter and son-in-law are raising a girlchild and I can’t imagine either of them thinking that the honking​ in the driveway thing will be acceptable! The only exception would be someone with a young child, numerous children, a very elderly or infirm person in the car with them. In which case, good manners would dictate that I be ready and waiting so to be ready to walk out the door as soon as they pull in the driveway.

        And having read what I just wrote…. I sound like Emily Post…..lol!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Readjusting to returning to America was tough for me after a few years in Korea. It took time to fit back in, but found that the friends we related to were those who had lived abroad or were from another country. I guess I still feel that way as its easier to relate to people who feel like they fit in and don’t fit in, anywhere, completely.

    My wife came from Thailand a few years ago and we’ve traveled back each year an will be going there in a couple of days. It was funny to see how much she’d become Americanized, at least from the perspective of driving. To keep the story simple, she was frustrated by the way people driving in Thailand the last time we went back. She’d acclimated to the American way of driving.

    Each time we go back and return, our feelings adjust. Our feelings are like dust settling, with a gentle wind of culture and experience blowing back and forth. It’s interesting to land in the country and discover how your feelings and perspective have changed.

    As for how people behave around us, we take the calm, Buddhist approach. We prefer peace and quiet. Sometimes it’s straight out avoidance of other people, preferring to stay at home in our solitude.

    Sometimes we need to take a deep breath in turbulent, transitory times when things are beyond our control. It’s not easy. Emotions can spike, we stress, we sometimes act as we normally don’t act. We just try to keep in mind that these moments pass and things get better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeahhhh, it’s not the readjustment that’s the tough part. I mean, we haven’t been back long enough to feel any adverse effects! And at this point, I don’t think we will.

      But I appreciate what you are trying to say, and it’s so funny how ‘Americanized’ you’re wife has become – driving, too! We want structure and rules, it helps us be a civilized society 🙂

      Cheers!

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  8. Contestant for number one best title ever! I laughed out loud when I read it. It’s so good. And yeah, I’m totally with you – I don’t particularly like the word when it’s used seriously, but I’ve said it to myself a lot just for the impact.

    I’m sorry to hear you’re in fetal mode. “in a clothes’ dryer with a hornet’s nest”….what a good explanation. I know you’re too close to your situation, but I hope even sharing has been helpful. Maybe it will be a good season when you look back from a distance. Or maybe it won’t, and you will be glad to shut this chapter down and move on. Either way, I’m sending you as many prayers and good energy from my heart to yours.

    Love you dear! Let’s fight together and pull through!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sooooooo glad you laughed. It was meant to be funny. Dang girl, you get me.

      I owe you an email. I’m emailing you today! Thanks for all the good wishes, I’m running into it like perfume and fairy dust.

      xxoo

      Like

  9. Ok, I liked this aphorism you invented:
    “When you’re in the clothes dryer with a hornet’s nest, you just want to go fetal.” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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