Dear Mr. A$$hole

When I got dressed this morning I was looking forward to a day of special people. A day of smiles, and some tears. A day of children, friends, hellos and goodbyes.

I did not think of you at all.

When I got dressed in my black skirt and white top under a turquoise jacket the fog was still thick and the air was chilly. But it would burn off. I could feel it. The sun was going to shine from a bay blue sky and the promise of a brightly beautiful day swirled in the still-cool mist.

I did not think of you at all.

Black, white, turquoise. I love the combination of those colors together. Good bar mitzvah colors I mused. Don’t forget to use that new eye concealer. Purple mascara. Where’s that lipstick I just bought? Are the kids ready? I hope I haven’t lost it. Put on your shoes and brush your teeth and get your brother. Oh, here’s the lipstick.

I did not think of you at all.

We have known each other for years, but we are not friends. You are not one of the special people I was hoping to connect with today. We greet each other, wave in recognition as our cars pass, but you know very little about me, and I know even less about you. I do not think of you at all. Ever.

And even though we are not friends – or perhaps it’s because we are not friends – you have something to say about my appearance every time you see me. But not directly to me. To whoever is standing with you at the time – my husband, a mutual friend, even someone I’ve never met.

Something inappropriate. Irrelevant and dangerously close to offensive. Something that elicits uncomfortable laughter. Or a deliberate turn in the conversation.

He thinks he’s being funny, we all think. Even me. Benefit of the doubt. He’s trying to be complimentary. To engage. No harm done. And the conversation continues as before, swirls around me like that gentle mist, cools my flushed red cheeks, slows my suddenly racing heart, squelches the little flare of anger before it bursts into red-hot flames of fury.

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel,” said that goddess of words, Maya Angelou.

No harm done. Until today.

It wasn’t that you said anything any more inappropriate than all those other times. It wasn’t that the setting was changed, or the conversation was different. It wasn’t that the friend between us was someone I hadn’t seen in a while.

It was that I’d had enough.

We are not friends. I do not think of you at all.

And now I am thinking of you.

When I got dressed this morning, it was for me. Just like it is every morning, and for all people everywhere. And unless I invite your opinion – either with actual words, or by the nature of our relationship or circumstance – you may not, not ever, comment on the way I look. Whether in jest or in earnest, to insult or to compliment, to bond with the men you happen to be standing with or for no reason at all, just keep that damn irrelevant opinion of yours to yourself, preferably for always but at least until I am not around to hear it.

Because it’s not dangerously close to offensive – it is offensive. And insulting. Completely inappropriate. Degrading. Dehumanizing. Objectifying. And when I hear it, I feel angry, indignant, insulted, appalled, embarrassed… and then worthless. And how dare you – you who I do not think of at all – have the power to make me feel that way?

I will forget what you said. Maybe not tomorrow. Or even next week. But over time. I will forget exactly what you said. How you said it. I will forget that I was so angry I almost poured hot coffee on your arm. That you actually backed away from me as sharp silver darts flashed from my eyes. I will forget the details.

But I will never forget how you have made me feel, every time those filthy words spilled from the trashcan of your mouth. Humiliated. Worthless. May your own beautiful daughters never feel that way.

And I will never forget how I felt today, after years of politely turning away from your smelly, offensive, recycled garbage: not just angry – FURIOUS! Not embarrassed – OUTRAGED. And definitely not humiliated. You are worthless.

I. Do. Not. Think. Of. You. At. All.

17 thoughts on “Dear Mr. A$$hole

    • Angela, I’m sorry this post made you think of RA but I so appreciate your comment! Next door sounds a lot more challenging than what I have to deal with – sending extra-special WonderForce to you.

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  1. You are the best!!! I love it. One more thing we share in common – the complete A$$whole ! And, you wrote this just for me. Much much love, B.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s pathetic that a man finds it in any way acceptable to bully a woman! My prayers are with you my friend, stand tall and be who and what you are. I am sorry you had to experience such a person. God bless you stay strong!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. And if you ever do encounter this a-h again, and he just opens his mouth to speak, say “Will you just shut the f**k up. Now and forever”. I have done that and promise you, you will never think of him again, and if you do, the look of shock on his face will bring a smile to your dial.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ooooohhhhhhh….I don’t like this. I got your back. Maybe I need to go to Mulberry’s with you and accidentally hit your coffee cup…..or give my mean glare. ooohhhh

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow. So many people ran through my head when you said “I do not think of you at all.” In fact, it made me really really sad, about all of the assholes I do not think of at all, and who I have let say something, and mean something, when THEY are the damaged jerks. Sigh to being around the damaged jerks, and YAY for you for getting pissed off, and YAY for you for writing this amazing piece of strength and beauty. You are beautiful. Eff the haters.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kristi, thank you for sharing how much this resonated with you… and I’m sorry you have been subjected to this too :(. But yes, eff the assholes and yay for beautiful, wonderful friends! xo

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  6. Hi Nicki Gilbert, this reply will be over two years after this post of your, but I do feel that my reply is timeless and in that said I wish to share here not just for you Nicki but for all whom have come and felt of the negative resonance of mean and evil people. These timeless quotes I hope are comforting to you and you commenting lady friends.

    (~ Assholes are a cancer and we must “Never, ever allow cancer its existence…” Brock B.

    (~ A Positive Attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. Herm Albright (1876 – 1944))

    (~ Although the World is full of suffering, it is also full of overcoming of it. – Helen Keller)

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