Dear Woman Who Called Me a Fat Bitch Thursday in Traffic:
Hi! How are you? Good, I hope. I hope you got home safely. You were in such a hurry to get wherever you were going that we really didn’t get a chance to have a meaningful conversation. This made me so sad. Then I thought, hey! I’ll write her a nice letter! On my blog! Which has hundreds of readers! I mean, probably she’s not one of those readers, but maybe she is. Maybe somehow, this will find her, and we’ll be able to catch up and reminisce about the good times we had yesterday, with the honking and the shouting!
I’d like to just run what happened Wednesday, from my point of view, past you, WWCMAFBTIT. Whoo! That’s a long acronym. (Although it has “tit” in it which is a little funny.) I think I’ll call you Screamy. How’s that work for you? You were. Screamy, I mean. So it seems apropos. Anyway, since you drove off in such a huff, I didn’t get to explain myself, and I’d like to do that. Also, in explaining what happened to several people, all of whom understood immediately why I did what I did, I’ve decided that maybe you had a vision problem. Do you have a vision problem, Screamy? I’m so sorry about that. That must be such a cross to bear. I’m so sorry for your infirmity. You might want to get that looked into, especially since you’re driving a large motor vehicle and all.
Anyway: here is the scenario.
It was rush-hour traffic. Rush-hour traffic is, by its very definition, busy. I was at the end of a road, waiting to turn right onto another road. You were behind me, in your obnoxiously large SUV. The road I was waiting to turn right onto had two lanes: a left lane and a right lane. I need to be in the left lane, as, not too far on my way, I need to take a left off that road onto another road. I know from experience that people in rush-hour traffic do NOT let you over. If I turn off that road into the right lane, I can’t merge into the left lane. It’s choked with traffic and no one ever ever EVER leaves a spot you can squeeze into. You end up stopped dead in the right lane with your blinker on, praying someone will take pity on you, and holding up the entire right lane while they honk at you. It’s not pretty. So when I turn off the road, I have to get immediately in the left lane, or I’m screwed.
The people on the road I was waiting to turn onto did one of my favorite things in all of traffic: just as the light turned yellow, they clogged the intersection. There were four cars blocking the left lane I needed to turn into as my light turned green. I couldn’t get into the lane I needed to be in. The right lane was clear; I could have turned into that lane, yes, true. But, as mentioned above, if I did, I’d be screwed later on down the line. If the people who had rushed the yellow had followed the rules of traffic, and not blocked the intersection – no, sincerely, it’s actually a law, you can get a ticket for it and everything, although people don’t seem to know that – I’d have been fine. But, no. They had to get to where they were going .00001 second sooner, even if that meant holding up everyone else in traffic.
I could have turned, yes. I could have turned into the right lane, and screwed myself later on down the line. I chose not to. That is my right, and I chose to exercise that right. The people in the wrong were the ones who broke the law by blocking the intersection.
Well! Screamy! This did not sit well with you. No, not at all. First, you honked. I looked up, said “sorry!” into my rearview, indicated the left lane, and went back to silently cursing the people that had blocked the intersection and their offspring and their offspring’s offspring in my mind. I thought that would cover it, as you could see why I was not turning. No. You honked again, not a polite, “Perhaps you don’t see the green light?” honk, but you put some MUSCLE into that honk. Then you started to roll your obnoxious SUV forward. You got so close to my car I moved it up a little, because I was afraid you were going to hit my bumper. I again indicated the left lane, and shook my head no. You started to scream at me. I stopped looking in my rearview because it was all a little offputting. This is why I think you might have a vision problem. You apparently were not able to see WHY I was not turning. I’m so sorry about that. That really must be tough.
I missed the light, because the cars were just that backed up through the intersection. So, thank you, the cars that decided you needed to completely block the intersection; that was so, so nice of you. You also made sure no one could turn left at the light, so thanks for that. I hope you all got home quickly and safely as well.
I waited through another red light. You, Screamy, kept screaming in your car, and moving it closer and closer to my bumper. Did you want me to turn on red into traffic, and get myself killed? Oh, wait, no, don’t answer that, I think I know the answer.
When the light turned green, and (thankfully) the left lane that I needed was clear for a turn, I made the turn. You WHIPPED into the right lane. As you were passing my car, you slowed down, and screamed, “You fat fucking bitch!” at me. You were smoking. Your children in the backseat looked out at me miserably.
For a moment, for one moment, I had the same gut-dropping feeling I used to get in high school when I got catcalled. However, the moment passed quickly. I have a better recovery system than I used to. I’m an adult now. Some of us are, Screamy. Some of us know that you don’t smoke in a car where you have children and you don’t use language like that in front of children and you don’t scream at people in cars in front of children and having rage of that magnitude is really not healthy for anyone involved.
However, my being an adult only goes so far, and I can’t quite control my temper. You see, I had a terrible day at work. Extremely terrible. One of the worst I’ve had since I started there. And then you called me a fat fucking bitch for refusing to do what YOU wanted me to do, which was not in my best interest at all. I wasn’t doing anything wrong. Also, my refusal to turn could not have cost you more than a couple of minutes in your drive time, tops. I know I didn’t get home more than two minutes later than I normally do.
So when we got to the next light and our cars were DIRECTLY PARALLEL TO ONE ANOTHER, I couldn’t help but call over to you, “Do you feel better now?”
You glared over at me, smoke pouring from your nose and mouth like an angry dragon. One of your children coughed. That cough sounded like my great-aunt’s, right before she died of lung cancer. Your child is probably 6. You might want to cut him back to half a pack a day or something. Or maybe switch him to menthols. Or get him a lozenge.
“After yelling at me in front of your children, I mean. Did that make you feel better? I hope so. I hope you have a great day,” I said. You gave me a look that would probably kill, were I a lesser being, but I am not. I am BULLETPROOF. Then you ROLLED UP YOUR WINDOWS, effectively turning your car into a hotbox of death, and stared straight ahead until the light turned green. Then you gunned it so hard you almost rear-ended the car in front of you in an attempt to escape from the insane fat fucking bitch who dared respond to your insult.
Was it small and petty, responding to you in such a fashion? Yes. Did it ultimately probably end up just hurting your children more? Yes, and for that reason, and that reason alone, I feel sorry for having done it. Thing is, I spent a whole shitload of years staying silent when people insulted me, and I’ve got a lot of bottled rage, lady.
Here’s the thing. You weren’t wrong.
Let’s take your comment and break it down a little.
Fat. Well, I’m not thin. I prefer zaftig, or voluptuous, but, sure, if you want to be hurtful, you can use fat. I own it. I’m a big girl. I come from hefty peasant stock, the kind of women who worked the fields and had many babies and took care of their homes and their families. None of us ended up models. None of us would be accused of being waifs. Years ago, I would have taken to my fainting couch with cookies and tears over such a remark. You know what? It doesn’t hurt if it’s the truth. I’m a big girl.
I have big appetites and a big heart and a big sense of humor and something I’d be willing to bet you don’t have – a big intellect. So, yeah. I’ll give you fat. You can have it. Can I just say, though, it would have carried a little more weight (hee!) if you hadn’t been a voluptuous woman yourself? If you’d been Kate-Moss-esque, I might have thought, oh, ok, well, she gets to judge me. (It wouldn’t have been RIGHT, but it would have crossed my mind.) But you were about my size, and you also had a super-nice blonde poodle perm bowl cut? But, see, the difference between us is that I wasn’t yelling “you poodle-perm-bowl-cut-fat-fucking-smoking-child-abusing-bitch” out MY window. Because I’m a fucking LADY, for fuck’s sake.
Fucking. Well, I’m actually currently not, much to my chagrin. Were you offering? I’m not overly interested. I think you’d probably taste terrible, and who would babysit your children while we were in flagrante delicto? Plus I’m thinking sex with you would be so ANGRY. Your partner would no doubt end up all bruised. No, thanks. Oh, also, I’m not overly interested in women that way. I mean, if you were Archie Panjabi, maybe. But you weren’t. It’s really so nice of you to think of me, though. Thanks for that.
Bitch. Well! Here’s the thing. Some people think bitch is an insult. I’m of the other camp. I take bitch as a compliment. You’ve heard of Tina Fey? What? No? You’ve heard of Sarah Palin? I don’t know, your bumper stickers made me think you might be a Tea Partier, what with the “Barack HUSSAIN Obama” and all. OK, Tina Fey’s the bitch who helped lose y’all the last election. Heard of her now? Great. Tina Fey had a rant on the Saturday Night Live news a while ago about the word bitch. And she said something I’ve taken as my personal mantra. “Bitches get stuff done.”
Now, before you’re all “BUT BITCH IS A BAD THING” – nope, not always. Usually, when someone’s bitch-shouting someone, it’s because that person stood up for themselves, asserted themselves, did something typically male, or otherwise did something you didn’t like. Sure, sometimes it’s for other reasons – sometimes I’m a TOTAL bitch, and it’s all due to my mood, and I try to apologize afterward – but refusing to turn because it was going to put me in the wrong lane and therefore throw all of the traffic off in about 2 minutes, when you were long gone? Not a bitch move. You screaming at me out your car window with your children in the backseat? Also (perhaps surprisingly) not a bitch move. Nope, that was BEYOND a bitch move. It was a (pardon my language that I don’t usually use, but at least I’m not saying it in front of children – unless children are reading this, and if so, COVER YOUR EYES, KIDDOS! EYEMUFFS!) cunt move. So! Yes. I’m a bitch. I own bitch. I own bitch hardcore. Because bitches get stuff done.
So I own fat and I own bitch and I’d love to own fucking, just not with you personally, but again, thanks for the offer, it’s one more offer than I’ve gotten from anyone else recently, so that’s nice. Also, really, if you think about it, you were just shouting out descriptors, not insults. It was like you’d screamed out “You tall brunette!” or “You glasses-wearing Artistic Director!” You really need to step up your game. You might be doing this wrong.
So! Screamy. I hope you got home safely, and (for everyone’s sake) quickly, and made your children a nice balanced dinner, and smoked many cigarettes in a well-ventilated area and took a few deep breaths. I’m so sorry I ruined 3 minutes of your day. Guess what? There are 1,437 more in a day. Those three minutes are just a drop in the bucket, day-wise.
Have a wonderful remainder of your week, Screamy. I hope no one else gets in your way. Or, if they do, I hope you have a number of other insults on reserve. I suggest “asshole,” or, if you want to get really creative, “douchenozzle.” Just don’t leave out the “fucking,” as it adds a certain je ne sais quoi, you know?
Love and other junk,
The Fat Fucking Bitch Who (so, SO sorry about that) Ruined 3 WHOLE MINUTES of Your Commute Home Wednesday