Sunday, January 31, 2016

bitterSWEET. ☾

A common archetype that we see in Black movies and television is the bitter Black female. She's constantly angry, frustrated, and resentful towards anyone who appears to have the happiness that she wishes she had. There are certain traumatic experiences--infidelity in a relationship, loss of a child, sexual abuse (as a child), rejection--that are promoted as the causes for how this typical bitter woman acts. In many films, she somehow comes to terms with those particular causes and finds peace finally. In other movies maybe the outcome isn't so positive. However, no matter the ending of the story, this overarching archetype of the bitter, Black woman lives with us. It lingers with us. It lingers with us because for some women it rings true.

Over the weekend, I had an opportunity to attend a school event with fellow classmates and faculty. I'm a true introvert but I actually enjoyed socializing for once. Talking and interacting with people is fun sometimes. In fact, I ended up being a volunteer at the front door of the building so I was able to greet everyone in attendance as they arrived. After a few "good mornings" and chipper "How are you?'s" I was pretty warmed up to the whole talking-to-people thing. I was having a great time.

Well in walks this lady.

She's probably in her mid-forties, African-American, tall, and attractive. You can tell she's healthy and takes care of herself. Just by the way she was dressed and presented herself, I'm sure she'd be the type of person you would want to get to know. From afar.

As she walked up to the table I was posted near, I proceeded to hand her a note card, pen, and some other information while giving her a warm smile and greeting--just as I had done for every other person that morning. I couldn't even finish. She snatched the papers out of my hand and just walked away as if I had said nothing to her.

Where I'm from, that's called

What makes this all so interesting is that this isn't my first encounter with this lady. She's been in attendance to a few other school-related events I've been to and each time, her attitude is just the same. Disgusting. She doesn't have a warm presence about her. She doesn't invite people in; in fact, she shuts them out. She evokes this attitude of arrogance that is just downright repulsive. And it's all extremely pitiful because she's topping fifty soon! As Black women we are already vied against one another from birth. Who's the prettiest? Who has the best body? Best booty? Best boobies? The longest hair? The straightest hair? The best boyfriend... The list goes on. Women in general are vied against one another constantly but the competition is even grimier as a Black woman because society already puts us at the bottom of the social ladder. 1. We are Black.  2. We are women. We have double strikes against us. Which is why I am a strong supporter of movements that promote unity of Black women-no matter the age, skin tone, body weight, etc. We all have things in common. I feel like I should be able to look up to an older Black woman and have a sister, a role model, someone who understands where I am because she was once there. But since meeting this particular woman I have never gotten that vibe.

Because this wasn't my first rude experience with this lady, I was a bit aggravated on Saturday as she walked away nonchalantly. I was ticked. But I quickly reminded myself that whatever it is she has going on psychologically or mentally has nothing to do with me. It would be selfish of me to even think that. I can't take it personal. There obviously have been some things happening in her life that have molded her into the person she is with the personality and mannerisms she possesses. I cannot fault her for that because I too am human. My own experiences have crafted me into the individual that I am today.  I know that she couldn't have just simply been born with a spiteful, bitter attitude. We don't live life in a vacuum. Things happen. And because of these things we have women that become angry and resentful towards everyone around them. I believe that in many cases these women don't realize the connect between past hurt and present hurt. They are so afraid of even dealing with the pain of it that they'd rather continue living in oblivion and playing the victim role. 

I don't like to make excuses for people's bitchy-ness. However,  I do attempt to unravel situations and understand what's lying beneath the surface. I've discovered that when I do this I'm less inclined to become angry and bitter myself because I understand why people act and react in the manners that they do. And oftentimes it has absolutely nothing to do with me. Maybe it has something to do with bullying in the third grade. Sexual abuse at sixteen. Being lied to. Being deceived. Losing trust in everyone around. The list could go on and on and on... The possibilities are endless. There are millions of things that can happen to a person and leave them with a bitter, resentful heart. It is frustrating to deal with but the least that we can do is just be good to one another regardless.

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