October 18, 2004 Bitch
Bitch! It can be a noun—as in a female dog. It is often used to describe “A malicious, spiteful, domineering woman,” or as Elizabeth Wurtzle puts it, “A difficult woman.” It can also be an exclamation or interjection as in, “Son of a bitch!” It can also be used in the sense of wining or complaining—as in “All you do is bitch!” It can also be used in the sense that “Life is a bitch and then you die.”
That last usage is perhaps the most fitting for my life right now…As usual, when things start running smoothly in one or more areas of my life, something goes wrong. In this case, finances. There is always stress but the only real problem right now is the lack of money. To add insult to injury, we just bounced a number of checks…..
So, today I went to the bank to bitch about the fees they slapped us with. Well, I politely asked if they could refund some of our money. I explained the situation and they were able to give us $60 back. That is enough to pay couple of overdue bills with at least.
Things aren’t all bad though. I’ve really enjoyed teaching the Creative Writing class in Columbus. My students recommended the movie Donnie Darko, so I rented it this weekend from Hollywood Video. It was messed up! It was a dark movie that was, at times, comical. It was philosophical and metaphysical. It reminded me of The Butterfly Effect a little. Both of the main characters sacrificed their own lives for the lives of those they loved. Ultimately, Time Travel becomes about the repercussions of the choices we make.
Memory Erasure is sort of like Time Travel now that I think of it. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind was also about how we learn from our mistakes and repercussion of our actions—intended and unintended. Both Time Travel and Memory Erasure are interesting ideas, but impractical. The ideas allow us to explore all possibilities and learn from them. They serve to help us explore the themes of love, death, and responsibility. If we could travel through time or erase our memories, we would not grow as we were meant to. People who repress memories only have to end up dealing with those issues later in life anyway. And if all time is happening at once, then we must understand that everything is part of our path, our blueprint—our own creation. God, the universe and our souls had a reason for choosing the particular events in our life. We can only accept what we perceive as the past and work to change was we perceive as the future. Regret, guilt and sorrow are what make us human. It was what allows us change and grow. If we lived a perfect life we would be immortals. By are very nature, humans are mortal and meant to make mistakes. Time Travel and Memory Erasure merely allow us to add an extra dimension of learning by saying “What if?” Because we need to know evil to know good and dark to know light, we need to know what wasn’t to know what is.
Bell Hooks book Communion: The Female Search for Love and Elizabeth Wurtzle’s books Bitch: In Praise of Difficult Women, are both good books to help us define womanhood. Hooks speaks of casting off the patriarchal created roles in favor of creating our own roles for ourselves. Hooks is sympathetic, gentle and wise. She is a good role model. I identified with her ideas of self-esteem, self-love and sharing. Nurturing, she explains, is not ingrained. It is learned.
Wurtzle takes a slightly different approach. Younger and writing from a much different generation, she embraces the Bitch-Goddess persona. Women, she feels, have the right to be strong. If that gets us labeled a bitch, then so be it. She feels for the lost, confused and troubled women—having been misunderstood and mislabeled herself. Hurray for the woman who breaks out the mold and expresses her discontent for the way things are in society.
So, life may be a bitch, but I embrace life and I embrace being a strong woman—mistakes and all.