Essay on the Fine Art of Being Mean

I like to think that I am, by nature, a fairly cheerful individual. Mel says, “What do you say to that, Miss Optimist?” in jest when he is trying to manifest a dark cloud to emphasize a point of negativity on occasion. I see this as a nickname in support of my overall, well, “nice-i-tude” for lack of a better term. As one may surmise, I really do have trouble being mean, snarky, evil, cantankerous and foul.

I’m not quite certain from whence came this tendency to be cordial and kind. I am beginning to think that in these times I should probably strive to be heinous on occasion. I mean people outburst all the time and then they have a video up on youtube and make the news if it’s particularly colorful, right?

Perhaps when I’m shopping I could, for no particular reason, really rip that debit card through the card reader while casting dark looks at the cashier. It would strike fear into the hearts of….shoot, nobody. They would probably think I was having a seizure or ask me questions because they received the latest e-mail detailing the symptoms of a stroke. Not a single person would be nonplussed let alone offended. Or I could lob an overripe avocado at an unsuspecting but dour-looking individual. I suspect what would follow would be most unpleasant and result in my apologizing profusely and buying their groceries for them. If I did both in combination someone might ring the police and accuse me of behaving like a deranged individual. I’ll gain a reputation in the community as a meth addict or crackhead and my legal clients will suddenly jump ship.

Actually, what I should do is gain inspiration from the less-than-civil campaign ads being bandied about by both parties in the US. “How dare you accuse me of being wealthy!” Ha, yeah, so can’t exactly go there either. Can’t kick a dog, cat, or goat (yes, I said goat). Can’t throw a cup or other kitchenwares at the wall or the back of Mel’s head….sigh. What good am I as a newbie snark when I can’t even blast the dog for digging in the trash? I merely look at him, point, and say in a solemn but serious tone, “Cave o’shame, Mackie. Cave o’shame.” His tail tucks under and off he goes into the bedroom to curl up in between our bed and the wall.

I live in the wild, wild west here. People are mean all the time. And God knows I grew up in New York City where meanness and the state of being an ass is a seriously fine art. Surliness is looked upon with admiration. I could try surly for a day or two. Call it being in training for actually being mean. But where? I mean Chadron, Nebraska is super small. And there’s no potential for jostling the unwary on the subway or bus – there is no subway or bus and nobody ever walks down the street. “Watch where you’re goin’, man! Yeah, I’m talking to you!” won’t go over to well en route to the bathroom at the local franchise restaurant. It will only fuel the fire that I must be on drugs.

Yeah, I’m definitely out of touch with the meaner side of life. We’ve been dirt-ass poor, don’t get me wrong. I mean the literally meaner side of life. Mel can freak out and look intimidating and people don’t think he’s on drugs. But I go south of nice and man, look out, I’ll have all kinds of people “concerned” about me. Is it because I’m a woman? Nah – I’ve met some right bitches in my day, so no.

I think it all traces back to when mom gave me a pooh bear stuffed toy when I was a child and I read picture books with all kinds of nice little animals in them. Life wasn’t ever easy but I always had that love around me, so I never really was inspired to be awful to someone else or animals. We didn’t have a lot of money, but I was always happy. I do occasionally harbor dark thoughts toward people, but I am about as able to be convincingly horrible toward them face-to-face as a politician is of saying anything that makes sense (which brings about the query: can a country actually be led by a silent president? Food for thought).

That said, what the hell are you readin’ this for ya mope!?! Hahahahahaha, yeah, see what I mean-SO totally NOT convincing, right? Yeah….hmmmmm… and pooh shall have to consult on the issue in the 100-acre wood. Perhaps piglet and eeyore can provide some good counsel.

Me and Gina, Mackie’s cohort who has earned the nickname, “Badger.” Not sure where my neck went.

About authorlisaadams

Love to write and read books. Became an attorney - not sure why. Surfer, world traveler, vague bohemian and a general outside the box individual...and I like it that way. Makes life interesting and also makes for some good stories.
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2 Responses to Essay on the Fine Art of Being Mean

  1. Oh lovely Lisa,

    The truth is, being mean is easy. You know this is so or there would not be so many mean spirited people in the world.

    I am fortunate in that there are very few mean people inhabiting my odd, little universe. My mother-in-law behaves in ugly, mean and shallow ways (bless her bitter little heart) but she doesn’t come ’round anymore. Roger dis-invited her to our home; he told her her negativity was bad for his health. My sister’s husband treats her quite poorly. He is mean to her in unexplainable, unbelievable and unacceptable ways. I tell him this frequently and that probably is mean of me. There are politicians who would deny health care, education and food to kids. That’s just plain mean.

    Lisa you haven’t a mean bone in your body so it would appear to you that meanness is a difficult state to achieve. You just don’t know how and that is a blessing.

    Teena K.

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