“I’m tired of playing the brat.” ~ Casey Affleck

brat:

noun

a child, especially an annoying, spoiled, or impolite child (usually used in contempt or irritation).

I’ve had many, many years of training when it comes to being a brat.  That’s why I’m so good at being a bitch.  It’s like the training wheels came off and my inner diva bloomed.  Plus, I’m an extremely vengeful person: I believe in karma and all, but sometimes she moves sooo slowly…and I like to see the pain/awe/discomfort/shock on people’s faces when my plan comes together.  With Jen, I didn’t really have a plan, but I had the worst of intentions every time I showed up to work.  And that was a good thing.  In fact, several memories from my childhood popped into my head – times when I was a real brat…

  1. When I was 9 years old, my parents got divorced and my mother sent my sister and I to live with our great grandparents and great-aunt in Chicago.  Having lived with them in my early, early years (birth to 5 yrs old), I was quite excited.  New places, new opportunities.  Our next door neighbor was my little playmate when we were younger and we seemed to pick up right where we left off.  Things were cool until we were walking to school one morning, along with her little brother DJ.
  2. I was so excited because I had a brand new box of Crayola crayons (the 64 pack, watch out now!).  DJ wanted to hold them.  No, I said.  My friend, Simone kept telling me…let him see the crayons, $%^&*.  Dang!  I didn’t want his fat fingers to touch my crayons – he might break them.  No.  We stopped in the middle of the sidewalk, Simone yelling at me.  She was a year older than me and quite hefty – and tall.  She towered over me.  Barking.  I stood strong.  No.  She slapped the box of crayons out of my hands (I was carrying them because, heaven forbid, they might shift and break in my book bag).  They hit the ground, going everywhere.  Simone grabbed me by my throat, almost lifting me off the ground.  I couldn’t breathe, so the only thing I could do was grab her face, which I did.  And dug my nails into her temple, gouging her face.  She dropped me and I ran like no one’s business.
    I ran and ran.  I couldn’t believe all of this over some crayons!  I deserved it.  I was being a brat.  I ran to my post as crossing guard, relaying the incident to my good friend, Yasmine, who offered her unwavering support.  Even when the entire 6th grade marched toward my post, Simone bellowing in the front of the pack, Yasmine jumped in front while I ran toward the school.  Leave her alone, Simone!  But the pack didn’t stop.  They followed me as I ran.  Finally, I had to take a stand.
    I stopped and turned around, bracing for the impact.  Simone shoved me to the ground.  And then an angel from the heavens: Simone, get off that girl! Y’all get in here!  Mrs. Washington, the librarian was yelling from the window.  She saved me from what was sure to be a beating to remember.We were suspended for the day, friends again two days later and I earned a chuckle from my great-aunt, who lamented that from the looks of her face, I won.  I still got a spanking, but the compliment made it worth it.  WINNING!
  3. When I was about 12 or 13 years old, my parents (stepfather #2) would make decisions that I didn’t always agree with.  Like, if I could wear makeup or not or having to clean the entire kitchen every day for my entire teen life…the list goes on.  Now, I couldn’t pick a fight with my parents and hope to win so I would do other little things to annoy the hell out of them.  I used to sprinkle salt or sugar all over their bed sheets so when they laid down, it was gritty.  Or I would make the floor beside the bed sopping wet.  For a while they swore that the roof had a leak – they never figured it out.  WINNING!
  4. When I was in high school, there were times when I wasn’t very good at controlling my emotions.  Particularly, around one young lady – let’s call her Mandy.  Mandy was a transfer student that year from California, I think.  And I found her cute.  I couldn’t quite fathom what I was feeling.  So I’d hit her.  Playfully, but then it would coalesce into a boxing match.  We’d start at lunch, then up four flights of stairs to class.  Then, the next period we were in Yearbook together, so it was a very creative, freestyle type atmosphere.
    We had deadlines, but were left to our own time management for the most part.  Our yearbook advisor would actually kick the two editors out of the editing bay so that Mandy and I could continue our arguments.  Over what, I had no idea.  But it was a chance for us to be alone.  Nothing happen except more hitting, lots of yelling (mostly by me) and eventually laughter.  That time, me being a brat was actually to my benefit and I didn’t even get into trouble.  WINNING!
  5. In college, I really wanted a few extra minutes alone with my girlfriend.  So I kicked my roommate out of our room.  I didn’t care that she was studying for a test or that she was exhausted and needed some sleep.  It was all about me and what I wanted.  All her banging on the door didn’t stop me.  Not one bit.  winning?

Being a brat this time would more than likely get me fired.  But I felt like my ego was at stake: how could I continue to work for her?  Wasn’t I a traitor to myself?  My self that was laid out in the neighboring lot several months back?  Being fired didn’t seem so bad the more I thought about it.  I was prepared to go out in a blaze of glory.  Sigh.  Pride can be the root of all evil…

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