Get Yer Insults Here

photo caricature of a cute little business woman selling lemonade with a smile on her face


Some days you tread with quiet, assured footsteps. Other days, you decorate your grill with five toes. Today’s of the latter variety. Sigh.

                        ~The Tart on Twitter, 8:10 PST, May 6, 2010

It’s the height of arrogance to quote yourself — in third person-speak, no less — but some things deserve a date and time stamp. How else can one know when to celebrate an anniversary?

The occasion? A new personal record on a message board, when I managed to annoy at least five people in rapid succession. I say “at least,” because while five individuals spoke up, there were likely several more who seethed in silence.   

I realize that’s not much of an accomplishment. It certainly does not stand up to comparison with, say, capping a spewing oil well, or putting dinner on the table on time — both feats that appear beyond me most days of the week. Then again, perhaps I should feed you context.

In fiction, pretty much the worst descriptor a woman can earn from another is “nice.” That’s code for as exciting as beige and as imposing as a marshmallow. Guess who’s been on the receiving end of that label for as long as she’s been alive? Yes, me. Moi. The Tart, the woman no one in their right mind would ever have called the Janinator.

In part that’s due to my belief in the Golden Rule. Also, between my family of origin and time as a family doc, I got pretty good at reading other people’s body language, and knowing when I approached uncomfortable territory. The ability to appear objective has served me well. Apparently we’re in a new era. 😉 

Studio shot of mid-adult woman

Excellent, I say. Bring it. See, I need practice at pissing off people and recovering when they get mad. After all, it’s impossible to write anything of significance and not eventually butt heads with people who hold the opposite point of view, some of whom will be vocal in their dissent.

Do I want to spend my life as a colorless mom, a pastel blogger, an innocuous romance writer? *fist pump* Hell to the no. I want gritty, bold. I want a life filled with zest.

So beware, one and all. Unless you are in a masochistic mood, do not try to persuade me to resume my career as a diplomat. I will cut you down to size.

For instance, if one of you were to clothe yourself in a sexy camisole, like the woman to the right; if you were to put on some stripper-appropriate music, and begin your pole routine in front of a grade two class in the gymnasium, the new improved Tart would do the following:

She would march over to the audio system and cut the sound with a visible glare. She would take determined steps to you and extend a stern hand. (To help you rise. There’s no point in your spraining an ankle while you take your sorry ass out of the building in your four-inch-high Lucite heels.) 

You may use the hairbrush taken from her purse — so you can see to drive your erring self away in your automobile-of-sin — but the Tart would spritz the pole with Windex in brisk motions as you restore order to your tresses. She would talk soothingly to the children while rubbing your fingerprints from the metal, as if to erase your very existence from their impressionable minds. What’s more? If you cried enough to have your nose made raw from her Kleenex, she would not care. She would not arrange an appointment with a career counsellor when it’s convenient for your schedule. More than once.

That’s what you’re up against if you want to be a douchebag 9000 in my hood, ya feel me? *dusts hands* And yes, I might have read a few pages of an urban fantasy where everybody talks like they live in a ghetto. *works her cobra head* Wanna make something of it?

Now, if I haven’t intimidated you to the point where your fingers can no longer keyboard, and IF you are up to the challenge, name me a time when you tapped into a deep well of feistiness, and when it felt good.

Or not. I’m cool with that too.

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20 thoughts on “Get Yer Insults Here

  1. lol! Go Tart, go!

    I was raised to always be the nice one too. but the older I get, the more convinced I am that being nice is one of the worst things you can be. Polite – yes. Friendly – yes. Nice – hell no.

  2. Er, what’s this about?

    I had a bit of a freakout on a male friend when he said he “kind of agrees with Larry Summers about the science thing, to be honest.”

    Turns out the guy was just messing with me.

    1. “What’s this about?”

      Some secrets I’ll take with me to my grave. 😉 In other words, yeah, 99% of the perceived offence likely took place in my own grey matter, but since the hurt parties don’t host this blog, we’ll never know.

      This is about me understanding I have to shed an old skin. That’s good, because it itched.

  3. I used to be a nice child but I lost that quality on the road to adulthood, when stronger personality traits took over. I am not nice. Hence the screen name.

  4. I love it! Being nice has its place, but it is too often misinterpreted as “I’m a doormat. Wipe your feet on me while you go do and say all the fun things I want to.” LOL I applaud you. It’s not easy to shake the mantle of nice-ness, but you seem to be doing it, and with PANACHE!

  5. I am a new Tart indeed. 😉

    Tracey, LOL, I like how you’ve neatly sorted those character attributes into piles.

    Kellion, call me dense, but I had never figured out the roots of your username until now. Doh.

    Donna Cummings, can I have my panache smothered in ganache?

    1. As long as the waiter who serves it doesn’t have a moustache, I don’t care what you call it. 😉 (I’m still not quite over the Daniel Craig as elderly uncle image.)

  6. Ha! I heartily join the round of applause! 🙂
    My own moment of feistiness: Last year, there were rumours circulating about me having an affair with a man 18 years older than me. Well, I wasn’t, but virtually everyone had heard about it and quite many believed it. The thing was: they all thought I didn’t have a clue; and I played along with that just for fun.
    Anyway, one day right before the summer break, our maths teacher — she rocks the world of feisty, btw — suggested we celebrate the end of term a little and grab some ice-cream on the town square. We went and at some point my dad came along on his way from lunch break at home back to work. Only two people in the class and the teacher actually knew this was my father, but the others all knew this definitely wasn’t the guy I was rumoured to have a fling with; so when I came back from saying hello to him, I had an idea. I arrived back at our table(s), seeing somewhat expectant faces looking up at me, and happily announced: “Well, that was my aging paramour!”
    You should have seen them, they were so embarassed. And I really had a field day.

  7. A few years ago I got rid of some toxic people, mainly of the parasite variety, and it was wonderful telling them through email or to their face to leave me alone. I was raised to be nice, but now I equate being nice to being uncomfortable. Nowadays I’d rather say no or give people the cold shoulder to have peace in my life.

  8. grummelmaedchen, oh, you wicked young lady! LOL, you made me laugh with that story. Did your teacher play along? Did you take pity on them after a short while?

    Medeia, I’m glad you’re taking care of yourself. The neat thing is, speaking for myself, some people who sap my energy seem to actually fill other people’s reservoirs. Better to release them, as kindly as possible, to let them do just that. Win-win, as it were. 😉

    1. Jan, glad I could provide some amusement! 😉 And yes, she did play along!
      Teacher, completely deadpan: “Ah, so you’re letting him keep you.” — Me: “Of course… and I’m expensive.” (By that time, the others had started to look slightly ill & the four of us who were in the know proceeded to crack up. We didn’t explain it to them, though.)
      And, no, no pity. Usually, I’m not one to so flatly refuse to call it water under the bridge, but I was too fed up with it to care. Also, it worked: the rumours died more quickly than they normally would have done.

  9. *snickersnort* The people in MY neighborhood who can get annoying are the uber moms, so I should probably just keep my mouth shut, as when I am neglecting my children, I might need one them them to step up and call 9-1-1.

    (funny that I’ve always been ‘nice’ too… and yet here we sit… Tarts.)

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