Flikr imaage courtesy of Mike Lynch via Creative CommonsDo you feel like a man/when you push her around?
Do you feel better now/as she falls to the ground?

-Red Jumpsuit Apparatus “Face Down”

I’m not a sports fan, don’t much like them, and rarely ever watch them.  But do you think I don’t know what these folks get paid to do what they do with their ball(s) of choice?

Stupid money.

Now, since you’re getting paid stupid money — why ya gotta hate?  Why ya gotta go and be a punk and act as stupid as the money you’re getting paid to go around and slap other men on the ass and chase a ball around some sort of playing field?

I’ve had it up to here (gesturing to the neck of someone who stands at least a foot taller than me) with professional athletes on the front page of our nation’s newspapers being named in yet another assault story … sexual, physical, or otherwise.

Yesterday, it was Odell Thurman accused of beating up two men in his Georgia hometown (and shockingly enough, he was already suspended from the Bengals due to a drunken driving incident and then failing to show for a drug test).   Prior to that, we had to listen to months on end of the incessant public outrage as Kobe Bryant was accused of rape, and without a doubt guilty of adultery and being an abhorrent role model to his young daughter.  We’ve got thugs running around with weapons, beating their wives and girlfriends, and celebrities racking-up the DUI’s and rehab stays like they’re on a punch card system towards a free year with NetJets.

I make one-tenth of the salary that these folks do on a shitty year, and somehow, I find it possible to not carry a gun, beat-up my flavor-of-the-month, deal coke on the side of my chosen profession, or sexually harass one of my coworkers.  It’s obvious I’m not utilizing my full potential.

This week’s installment of Redheaded Fury focuses on the issue of entitlement.

Now, I’m speaking to everyone out there on this one, as we’re all at one point or another guilty of believing that society and life owes us something … somehow … at some time.

And y’know what?  We’re all full of shit.

Life and society owe us NOTHING.  There is not a single being who walks this planet who is entitled to anything because of who they are, the amount of money they have, or how many people know their name.  Quite frankly, I don’t give a shit if Brittney Spears shaved her head and shot heroin while balancing her dysfunctional ass on the tine of a salad fork in front of Morton’s Steakhouse.  I don’t care if Warren Moon thought his wife was being “lippy” and got caught-up in the moment and lost control stemming from his long battle with unmedicated depression and a raging case of jock itch.  I don’t care if Alan Iverson had deep-rooted problems stemming from lactose intolerance as a child that led him to a quasi-successful career as a basketball player and a more prolific one as an administrator of numerous beatings on various, unsuspecting parties.

I don’t give a FUCK.

I distinctly remember a night in 1996 where my first husband held me up against a wall in the bedroom of our Tennessee home by my throat.


Because I’d called an attorney to file for divorce.  Huh…the nerve of me.

He did it once.  (and now I feel a Joe Piscopo/”Johnny Dangerously” moment coming on…)

It was that day that I lost any sympathy for anyone who ever felt that they had the right to hurt another human being.  It’s also the day I lost sympathy for anyone on life who felt they were entitled to anything.  I have broken blood vessels on the right side of my neck, reminding me daily, that I am entitled to nothing.

We come across those assholes every day, whether it’s a boss, boyfriend, girlfriend, family member, or just some random motherfucker on the street — the people who think that life and society owes them.

Well guess what?

You aren’t owed shit.

No matter who we are, we all walk the same Earth.  The same laws of human decency apply.  Unfortunately, I know several people (and countries) who were in the drive-thru lane at In-N-Out Burger when they handed out Respect for the Common Man, and for those folks, I hope the Double-Double (animal style) gets you everything you want in life.  When we stop approaching everything we’ve achieved in life, whether it’s what we envisioned or not, as truly a function of our own doing … that my friends, is where we go awry.

We all got ourselves to where we’re currently sitting, reading the ramblings of a 34 year-old woman who often says more than she should.  The great news is—who we are right now is a product of who we were.

(ooooooooooooooooo…I feel a “The Secret” reference coming on!)

You don’t like where you’re at?  Change what you’re doing.

Get over it.  You can’t change anything that’s already happened (and that’s not an excuse to go and deliberately be an asshole and then “forgive” yourself after the fact), and it’s not going to do you any good to spend your time worrying and lamenting about it … but you can learn from it.  It’s no one else’s fault that you’re at where you are, so grow a pair, let your balls drop, and stop feeling it’s your station in life to be given anything.

My grandmother always told me that I should never expect a man to buy me anything that I wasn’t prepared (and able) to buy for myself.

By the same token, I shouldn’t expect anyone to give me what I’m not prepared to go out and earn by my own blood, sweat, and tears.  Nothing, at any time, gives anyone else permission to exploit and take from me: take my blood, cause me to sweat, or bring me to tears.

Do you feel like a man when you smack your wife around or refer to every cocktail waitress you see as a “slut”?  Do you feel like a powerhouse of feminine energy when you berate your lowly secretary for getting yellow instead of brown mustard on your Bacon Chicken Ranch wrap from Subway?  Do you feel like “Master Motor Vehicle Operator Extraordinaire” when you cut-off the guy in the ’89 Corrolla going a mere 70 mph in the fast lane with your ’07 Benz?

I mean, for the love of all that is holy, why ya gotta hate?

People pull the “power play” in order to feel better about themselves.  It’s up to each of us, as individuals, to embrace our own strength and self-worth, and only then will those assholes surrounding us no longer be able to push us over and steal our lunch money.  We leave the house each morning intending to buy a juice box, Frito Pie, and a Three Musketeers bar, and there’s no one in this world who can make us feel like we have to starve as we lay curled-up in a fetal position in the schoolyard by the slide.

I just think it’s incredibly sad that there are people who hold the power of being in the public eye and choose (yes, that’s right—they choose) to inflict hurt instead of promote healing.

We all came from somewhere – and no matter how many generations ago it might have been, we were all at sometime



Never forget – you can go back there again.

And if you’re there now, there’s nowhere to go but up.

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