Embracing Your Inner Asshole



Despite the fact that I have the mouth of a longshoreman,  I’m actually quite polite.  Pathologically so.


I practically trip over myself in the rush to open doors for people.  I will interrupt my day, make myself physically uncomfortable, even, so as not to inconvenience another person.


It annoys me, but it’s who I am.


Around Christmas, my debit card started acting wonky.  It seemed to hate the card readers from certain banks.  I did most of my Christmas shopping with cash, so it wasn’t usually a big deal.  But then, one night, I went to the Dollar Store.


I just needed a few stocking stuffers.  And if the kids are going to break that shit within the first 5 minutes, I’d rather get it for a dollar than $3.99.  But then, I started finding stuff for the grown-ups.  (Tell me a pregnancy test from the Dollar Store wouldn’t make you laugh your ass off on Christmas morning.)  And pretty soon, I had a full basket with 40 things in it.


I got to the counter.  Within seconds, there were 10 people behind me.  The (possibly) (most likely) stoned teenager behind the cash register threw my things into a bag, swiped my debit card.  And all that came up was a big error message.  I rolled my eyes, said something to the effect of “Oh, not again!”  Stoned Girl senses inconvenience coming her way.  She hisses at me to find some money.  I don’t know why I didn’t tell her to fuck off, but I didn’t.  I went to the nearest cash machine, which hated my card, too.  Then, finally, the indignation kicks in.


It is unfortunate that this girl will have to figure out how to take my items out of the cash register, re-stock them.  It is unfortunate that the people in the line-up will have to wait.  But I promise, I did not wake up this morning wondering how I could mess up Stoned Girl’s day.  And I WILL NOT be hissed at.


I walk back in from the cash machine.


I look her in the eye, and will myself not to do that lopsided-mouth thing I do when I’m feeling apologetic.  “I don’t need the stuff.  Never mind.”


She screwed up her little meth-pocked face, opens her mouth to say…something.  But I didn’t hear it.  I walked away.


And when I caught my reflection, I was grinning.  I was experiencing a weird giddiness.  Because I’d just figured out the answer to one of the rhetorical questions I’d always asked.


“Why do some people have to be such assholes?”


Because it’s FUN, damn it.



The other day, it was my turn to host book club.  I’d thought ahead, booked an area at a local tea house.  I got there 15 minutes early.  To find a couple settling into our couches.


I asked the counter girls what was up.  The manager hadn’t told them about the reservation, but they were happy to help, and they politely explained the situation to the couple.


I felt horrible, awful, wanted to fall right through the floor.


And then the couple started whining.


“I don’t see a sign!  This doesn’t seem right!”


And then they stared at me, pointedly, from their new table. 


And instead of the self-loathing routine I’d usually go through, I meditated on the Dollar Store Incident.


I got all “ohm”-y.


And silently chanted,


“Embrace your inner asshole.  Embrace your inner asshole.”


I sat back and enjoyed the best table in the place.


And it was fun.


16 responses to “Embracing Your Inner Asshole

  1. The best thing someone ever said to me:
    Aggression is saying, ‘Fuck you!’
    Assertion is saying, ‘Fuck you!’ with a smile on your face and a song in you heart.

    Enjoy the ride sistah!

  2. OMG – you’re me! I am so polite it hurts. However since becoming a high school teacher I do tend to take my ‘inner asshole’ out on the kids on occassion. And when other ppl shit me, I give a mean, surreptitious, dirty look 😉

  3. I’m this way too- and perhaps even worse. I have a hard time asking store clerks where stuff is. Actually, I think it’s a combo of being polite and being unassertive.

    And fuck those people on the couches. They’re going to whine about it, seriously? Perhaps it’s the pathological need to be polite, but I would have been all, “Oh, no problem. Hey, you should put a sign up or something.”

  4. All I know is you deserved that that couch. You’ve had your eye on that couch for what, a month? Larger ethical/moral issues aside, you got it. So yay for you.

  5. I was quite disappointed not to have the opportunity to say ‘I do, but it doesn’t mean I’m gay’ that I thought the title would afford me.

  6. Have I told you lately that you are wonderful? I don’t know really what to say, I just feel obligated to say something.

  7. I know what you mean, I’m terminally polite – comes from being raised in the South – but I get such pleasure out of being a dick when I find the strength to do it.

    Hey Ginny, you should think about doing the interview project that I’m trying to get going – bloggers interviewing other bloggers in a maelstorm of mutual masturbation (OK, maybe not), but nonetheless if you’re keen come over and check it out.

  8. I am not really that polite. I mean to be, but I was raised by socially retarded people. Most of my manners I had to learn in my twenties.

    Still – the inner asshole is such a sublime place. All people, polite or otherwise need to learn how to access this spot of peace.

    You gotta be able to say Fuck Off once in awhile, and not feel bad about it either.

  9. I get the same check-out girl at our Big Lots which is like your Dollar Store and in the end I feel degraded by the whole bungled time-wasting transaction, the whole just being there facing the fact that she and I share 99% of our DNA, which is chimp-surpassing in its scope.

    I recently was able to ask a young lady drugstore clerk for assistance in finding pantyhose and tennis balls, which when properly configured and rubbed against, my physical therapist swears will alleve the muscle tension between my shoulder blades. I don’t think I was able to put her at ease with my purchase or her part in it though. I added jerky and a bottle of scotch to the hand basket and passed through the check-out stand feeling pleased to have found all that I needed. I don’t mean to brag but my debit card performed flawlessly.

    M. Pulsitem

  10. mongoliangirl: That’s deep, yo.

    GYL: If I had to spend half an hour with other people’s teenagers, there’s a good chance I would have no problem unleashing.

    mtnlover: Exactly!

    Tara: I really did, didn’t I?

    mkh: Nope. Just don’t get that vibe from you.

    Xbox: Of all the people who read this, I KNEW you’d be the one. Sorry to let you down, once again. You kinky son of a bitch.

    rassles: You’re never obligated to say something. (But thanks – I blush.)

    cdv: I think you know you had me at “mutual masturbation”. I’m in. I’ll email you, in case you don’t read this.

    vinomom: Sublime. That’s exactly how it felt.

    Mark: Those stores make me weep for humanity. And yet, they keep pulling me back in, damn it.

  11. What a great blog! Too funny.

    “Embrace your inner asshole” or “Om Mani Padme Hum” – same difference? Sometimes you just gotta make people compassionate… It’s almost a public service!

  12. Wow. This post struck a nerve. I had the whole polite/don’t overstay your welcome thing pounded into me for years. It is hard to grow and move beyond it. Looks like you are doing a great job at it. I will continue to read and be inspired!

  13. Good for you!!!

    Just remember this … if the manager had communicated properly with the staff, you wouldn’t have had to embrace your “inner asshole.”

    I’m also convinced that nearly everyone – especially the teenagers – at the Dollar Store are stoned.

  14. Dean: Thanks! And I AM all about the public service, so thanks for framing it like that.

    NATUI: And I’ll keep making a conscious effort to piss people off. (OK, not really.)

    Southern (in)Sanity: Maybe it’s a requirement to work there: “Do you have a Social Security number?”, “Can you work weekends?” “Are you baked, right now?”

  15. I’m usually very polite. My girlfriend commented just last night that “I’m not used to … being so polite; chivalry is very uncommon.” I live in Hawaii, where courtesy is the rule. Have you ever been to a McDonald’s where nobody gets in line, yet everyone approaches the counter in the same order that they entered the restaurant? Pretty amazing.

    I was wondering if you offered to let that couple sit in on your book club meeting…

    Oh, and by the way, I stumbled across this blog via a search for “how to mess with someone that is stoned.” My girlfriend’s college-age son likes to raid the kitchen at night. Today I’m at a loss to discover where the cap for the milk could have gone. I want to be subtle, but I’m tempted to just spin the refrigerator 180 degrees… Any ideas? 😉

    Even polite people have assholes,

    A. H. Polite

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