The other night a man hadÂ an “angry white male” meltdown a la Michael Douglas’s characterÂ in “Falling Down”Â on the sidewalk below my bedroom window.Â Now before anyone gets their–meaning, his–boxers in a twist, allow me to explainÂ that in addition to making a perfectly legitimate reference toÂ theÂ not-so-very-good 1993 film starring this otherwise wonderful actor, the individual in question wasÂ also really, really, reallyÂ angry.Â Certifiably…angry, and quite possiblyÂ certifiable–period.Â Or at least that was my readÂ of the situation based on the fists he was jabbing a hairsbreadth away from the startledÂ faces of a trio ofÂ delivery people and yes, the expletives streaming from his mouth like…Well, enuf said.
The meltdown-ee was verbally accosting–as well as air punching–three deliverymen who’d set up a rampÂ across the sidewalkÂ to get the goods, so to speak, from theirÂ truck to the convenience store next to my building.Â They do this every night roughly around 1:00 AM.Â It’sÂ nothing new–really.Â
But apparentlyÂ circumventing the operation byÂ crossing the street, walking down a block, and then re-crossing every nightÂ was blowing this dude’s bliss–big time.
The delivery guys handled the scenario far better than many of us would.Â Rather than playing into the drama, they keptÂ their cool andÂ their hands to their sides–well, except for the guy who used his fingers to plug his ears.Â Anyone of them could have pounded the screamer into the pavement,Â into pulp, only no one did.Â Instead they stood there and took it until the guy finally exhausted himself and stalked away,Â spent but still seething.Â At that point,Â they did break out and laugh and well, I couldn’t really blame them.
Meltdowns aren’t reallyÂ laughing matters, but they doÂ make the rest ofÂ us feel, if not exactly superior, then certainly uber together.Â Meltdowns really aren’t so very bad–so long as they happen to other people.
I like to keepÂ my blog sunny side up.Â Â Ask me if the glass is half empty or half-full, and I’ll not only call it as half full, but I’ll point out that heck, you’ve also got a glass.Â In hand.
And so this week has challenged me–big time.
I had to fire someone today, someone to whom I’ve paid good money, really good money, someone to whom I’ve been loyal, someone from whom I expected not onlyÂ someÂ loyalty but yes, decent service in return.Â When my loyalty was tested beyond its limit, when a lack of professionalism collided with a surfeit of cockiness, causing a mistake of potentially colossal proportions for which I alone would take the hit, when I dared to stop being a good girl, to stop smiling and takingÂ it while signing that big check, this someone–he–had the audacity to call me out for being emotional, for being a woman.
To paraphrase SNL’s Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers’ “Weekend Update” shtick,Â “Really ?Â Really !!!”
To be really clear, I never once raised my voice to this man.Â I used no expletives (not out loud, anyway–there was a thought bubble scenario) nor did I pantomime punching him out, tempting as that might have been.Â And yet pointing out calmly, clearly, and yes firmly what he’d: a) done wrong and b) not done at all somehow made it okay for him to brand me as “emotional.”
Because I’m a woman.
As if being a woman weren’t badÂ enough, I am also a Libra–you know, the scales of justice, the eternal striving for balance, the expectation–demand–that things beÂ fair.Â
And so I did what any respectable Libran woman would do.Â I got my Donald Trump on and I fired him.Â On the spot.Â Termination effective immediately.
Whether it’s that Hillary’s pants suits aren’t svelte enough or that Sarah’s lip gloss is too pink,Â apparently women remain the fifty-percent “minority” it’s still okay to blatantly and publicly degrade.
But what we women are isn’t only resilient.Â As women–because we’re women–we’reÂ downright tough.Â You’d have to be tough to not only survive but thrive in these centuries-upon-centuries following yes, “The Dawn of Man.”
Back in July, I had the great pleasure of hearing Gail Blanke speak at the national Romance Writers of America conference in San Francisco.Â Though I’m just over halfway through, Gail’s latest book, BETWEEN TRAPEZES, is riding high on myÂ must-read-this-book list.Â In it, she urges us all to “step into our power” not just once in a while but every single day.Â Gail’s message isn’t specific to feminism or women but for the purpose of this post, I’m taking it that way.Â Hey, as she points out in her book, we mostly make decisions based on interpretations, not facts, and since according to her we all get to make “It” up, for the few hoursÂ left of today, like the ole fast-food burger commercial, I’m having it my way.
P.S.Â Okay so this wasn’t exactly how I envisioned my launch post from my spiffy newÂ WordPress interfaceÂ but well, life happens.Â Tune in next week and I promise to be back to my glass-half-fullÂ self.