Bobby Brady knows a bitch when he comes up against one.
Gay men do a damn good job at taking the shit that people throw onto us and sling it back. But sometimes, the hurt cuts a little deeper than we can freely admit, and the cut never really heals. And like they say, hurt people hurt people.
At the last high school reunion I went to, I made a promise to another 50+ year friend that I would find it in my to forgive one of childhood tormentors. A woman named "Benita"*. As a child she was short in stature and in temperament. She was the type of person who, after you raised your hand and giving the right answer, because you had done your homework, would call out "Mr. Hawthorne, Cookie just stole that answer off my homework notes." Never mind that she was writing down what I was saying while I was saying it in pink ink, this was Benita's game. And she was good at it.
Benita would say things that ended in a sneer. She would see a project that you had worked on and just put you and it down. "Is that your paper? I don't need to touch to know that its pure shit."
Mr. Hawthorne, who was a sister in my spirit, pulled me aside and complimented my work. "You really loved writing about this, and it showed. Your sources were excellent. And don't let others tell you that you didn't deserve that grade. Trust me, you did the work and it showed, I gave them what they deserved for the amount work they showed."
I loathed Benita. And had carried that loathing through decades. Kick a dog, and they remember. And shame on you Benita for kicking me.
In my new high school, there was none of that. Yes, there were bitches, but truth be told, I never had to deal with them like I had to deal with Benita, who drifted away and out of mind.
But, my allegiance is to my friend Rachel because, well, after 50 years when you are really friends with someone because they are good people who make you a better person, you know that they are on to something.
So at last reunion I made it a point to speak with Benita. I was about to say I was letting go of my anger when she asked "Where did you go after 8th grade?"
"But why? Why leave Shaker?"
"What do you mean because? Shaker was just the best, ever."
And I stayed silent.
Then I said "We left Benita, because the opportunity came up for something better, and it was. I got to go to high school with great people, I got a great education."
And Benita says, I kid you naught, "But we could never have been friends. I am never mean to anyone, but we had nothing in common. Why I am the nicest person I know..." And she continued "Me, I, Me, blah, blah, blah, Me!"
And there it was - that click with the whole "Who me? Why I am the nicest person I know..."
After Benita got done talking about herself, she left for her table of friends every step thinking she had just made my day, I turned to Rachel, who was standing there and said "I tried."
And Rachel said "I know. I try every day." She gave me a hug.
The lesson that you need to learn yourself, after telling others it for years, is that an honest to God real bitch is clueless about their impact on others.
They don't care.
They don't care to care.
And they will never care enough to care enough to wonder "is it something I said? Something I have done, ever?"
They don't care that you care. In fact, according to them they are wonderful, you are the one with the "problem" because they are the nicest person they know.
Nope, because a bitch like Benita sails through life thinking that they are nothing but the nicest person on earth, and they will shit all over your parade because that is the way they are bolted together. And in her mind, anyone she shits on should be happy.
Surround yourself with Rachel's. Rachel's are worth more, anyways. And Benita? I wish her well. I gave her a chance, and this time she got the answer wrong, all on her own. B-bye Benita.
*And no, her real name isn't Benita.