Shady Bitch Lessons, Part 2
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We are a LITTLE obsessed with Black Friday around here. I’m from the country, ya’ll. Black Friday wasn’t a thing. I can’t lie- I still don’t completely understand it. Are the discounts *that* deep? Are the sales *that* much better in-store? Or is it a tradition in your family, a way to escape football? (That, I DO GET!) If you are physically, like, SHOWING UP somewhere to shop/wait in line/beat people up, YOU MUST TELL ME WHERE AND WHY! Please record a voice note and send to email@example.com, You could be on the Running Life Podcast!
I saw a sign in a shop window that says, “we treat you like family!” and I was like, NO THANKS I WILL FIND IT ON AMAZON
HI, this is Coach MK and THIS is The Morning Mantra
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Hi, my name is MK Fleming. I'm a run coach based in Denver, Colorado. But this isn't a podcast about running, exactly. Don't tell my clients, but *whispers* we're never really talking about the running. When you know a crap-tastic event is coming it helps to have a mantra to keep you centered and focused as you move through it. You don't have to be an athlete to be hashtag #coachedandloved by coach MK. And if you are here, then you are hashtag #winningatlife.
Today’s Mantra Is: Don’t Be Daft, Karen.
I think it’s safe to say that Shady Bitch Lesson #1 was a massive hit! Thank you for all the emails, all the feedback...sounds like there’s a real need for these!
Lesson #2, is, as I hinted in the previous podcast, “Kill them with Details”
conversations are like a game of tennis, and if you wanna win you gotta be Serena Williams and SLAM the ball away from you the second it lands in your court.
You have more power than you think you do. Don’t ever forget it
Let the first rule of improv guide you: Just Go With It.
Here’s what that means: whatever is said, take it LITERALLY. If they say, “I don’t understand….” they mean it- they haven’t taken the time to think about it and never will, there is NOTHING you can say to make them understand, it’s not about you. It’s about them. The subject of the sentence is, “I” for chrissake!
This is verbal tennis- do not stand there and hold the ball. SERVE.
Now, I’m a loudmouthed woman, EVERYTHING I say, and everything I don’t say, has consequences. I’m hyperaware of this. If I say something incendiary, I’m rarely unaware of it. I’ve run the calculations in my head and decided I had nothing to lose.
Here’s the thing: neither do you. When I say, I have nothing to lose, I mean, I’m in the Prisoner’s Dilemma. When I’ve shut a question down politely twice, that’s me being magnanimous- answering that question honestly may require me to divulge deeply personal information that the other person doesn’t want to hear, or information I don’t want to share in that environment in that moment. A person who has never had to think about the consequences of what comes out of their mouth might not realize that I’m avoiding the question, bless their hearts. I can understand it when a man does it...but never when a woman does it. When a woman does it, especially a woman who should know what I’m doing...I’m way less forgiving. I know women are supposed to support women, but when you fail to support me? You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.
Here’s an example: I was sitting with a group of people I didn’t know particularly well, when, in response to me saying that I have 4 kids, one particularly drunk woman asked if we had figured out where babies came from. I said WELL, since you asked, and I”m glad you asked, we’ve ruled out anal, but blowies are still in play, and so far threesomes feel safe as long as they’re all women, but we record them just to be sure and discuss with our friends later, you know, in safe spaces where that sort of thing is acceptable, but YEAH pregnancy is such a mystery, but seriously THANK YOU no one ever asks me about it and I”m really grateful she brought it up, the anal sex phase was really not fun but I did it for Jesus, to preserve my sexuality for my husband and I really think it was worth it, I’ve never liked sitting down...and THAT is why we installed the sex swing, did you know you can fit 3 grown men with nipple clamps in those? Technology has come SUCH A LONG WAY!
I kept talking and talking until everyone around me was like, “ok, ok we get it.” and I was like OREALLY DID I MAKE YOU UNCOMFORTABLE? SO SORRY! MY SOCIAL SKILLZ JUST SUCK I know that was supposed to make me feel embarrassed and that’s what was funny TO YOU, but I am NOT HERE for your entertainment, I’m a humorless bitch. You would be too after all that anal….
I REFUSE to be the butt of that joke. I get that this particular joke is common and on the surface harmless, but most who know me would think twice before making commentary about my intellect and my sexuality in one fell swoop in front of people I DO know well much less people I do not know well. What are you trying to say about me? About my kids? Who the eff are you to comment on my vagina, coz that’s what you did. Don’t EVER insinuate that my kids were the results of accidental interactions and somehow less worthy in this world.
The real reason I was mad though? The friend I was with that night, the one who brought me to that dinner, cannot have children. The notion that I could have produced 4 out of sheer irresponsibility, ignores her existence, and these were HER friends, not mine. They definitely know this about her. We don’t talk enough about fertility, we are focused on vaginas. I wanted to make that woman every bit as uncomfortable as my friend felt in that moment, I wanted to make a bigger point. I’m sure all they heard was WOMP WOMP WOMP because once a person is uncomfortable they stop listening, but I don’t care. I don’t need you to listen, and you don’t need to know about my vagina.
That’s one example, here’s another: I don’t look disabled, but I’m deaf in my left ear. Asking me how that happened, probing for details instead of pivoting when I say, “ah, college stupidity”, means you’re going to hear about the blow to my skull, just above my left ear, that knocked me to the ground right before I was raped. See? AWK-WARD!!!! You don’t want the truth, and I don’t want to tell it, and that’s obvious, so you push thinking there's gonna be an interesting story there. If I lie you’re gonna push, and if I tell the truth you’re going to be embarrassed because that information is deeply personal. Am I really the one lacking social skills?
When you put me in a position where I can’t win, congratulations. That means you are here for MY entertainment. And Imma reach for whatever makes you the most uncomfortable, I’m going to make you sorry you asked. And if anyone tries to school me about it afterwards, I’m going to ask where the FUCK they were when I was being hurt, when I was being pushed, and why the FUCK aren’t you having this conversation with the person who pushed me, not me for responding the way I did? I'm sorry you didn't control your dinner party, that has nothing to do with me.
When you realize you weren’t in a friendly place, it becomes really easy to leave. Any situation where you are uncomfortable, is likely not one you asked for or invented. The discomfort is rarely a result of YOUR lack of social skills.
This is the lesson I learned the hard way when I was raped: you can do everything right, and still not get justice. So what incentive now do I have to do anything right? If I can’t win, I do what works best for ME. And what works best for me….probably won’t work for you. So I’m SO SORRY you’re just now learning the lesson I learned as a kid, and need to think about what comes out of your mouth before you open it, the world is changing and we don’t have to play by rules that never did work for us.
And neither do you. This is your power- don’t play their game. Slam the ball into their court, slam unnecessary details into their brains. Scar their souls with the fiery heat of your truth. Just answer their question, they clearly won’t rest until you do. Keep talking until you find that place where they finally get the message and change the subject. Again, this isn’t about you.
And….it’s FUN. OMG it’s fun. Hell yeah, I’m a loose cannon. But I have FUN when I fire. It doesn’t hurt me anymore. People who don’t know me, who call me volatile, are people who don’t belong anywhere near me because what they are really saying is that I cannot be counted on to be quiet when I’m being treated like shit. I own my power. And I AM to be feared. Not because I’m powerful, it’s because I know how powerless and I actually am...and THAT is why I’m SHAMELESS.
SO, the mantra: the next time someone asks you a question that is painful, one that would require you to disclose really personal details they do NOT want to hear and you do not want to share, look that person in the face and say, “Don’t be Daft, Karen.” that’s you being kind, that’s a warning. Don’t ask. Don’t plead. SERVE.
PS: if ever we meet in person, you may want to think twice before asking me if any of those uncomfortable details about my sex life are true. NO matter what I say or where I say it, it will NEVER BE any of your business. And yours will never be anyone else’s, you don’t owe anyone anything that makes you uncomfortable, or unnecessarily vulnerable. You are not here for their entertainment, no matter how entertaining, or how OPEN you may be.