Recently, one of my really close friends expressed concerns about the people around me (that may or may not be in our ‘inner circle’) and how they “don’t exactly” have my “best interests at heart”; alluding to the fact that these ‘friends’ may not really be ‘friends’ to me at all.
Ok. You have my attention.
This really close friend talked in circles about how I have to “stop being so trusting” because (as previously stated) these ‘friends’ don’t always have my “best interests at heart” (yes, this really close friend of mine was drunk through this lecture and just kept repeating themselves). Eventually my patience wore thin and I (mildly) snapped.
“Really Close Friend!” I yelled, “Who or WHAT the fuck are you talking about?”
“That thing you write!”, Really Close Friend replied. “The one you put on Facebook where you talk about your dating life!”
“My BLOG?!?!” I screeched (in a voice only dogs could hear).
“Yes! The fucking blog!”, as if Really Close Friend had just bent down far enough for a great big weight to fall off their shoulders.
“I don’t understand, Really Close Friend. What has my goddamn blog have to do with anything??”
“People… Just…. I mean…” (I could tell Really Close Friend was quite tortured over this conversation) “Just… Just STOP WRITING.”
My whole world stopped. I felt like a bullet had just slipped through my stomach and exploded out of my back. A very soft and unstable “…..what…?” was all I could muster.
“Yeah!”, continued Really Close Friend; suddenly incensed by their own words. As if all they needed to do was say those words and permission to unleash on me would be granted.
“Yeah! Stop writing it! GET RID OF IT! You don’t need it.”, Really Close Friend was on a roll. All I could do was stand there in shock, awe, amazement, disappointment, and horror (amongst many other things) as they continued to berate me with words. “You don’t need to write!” Really Close Friend was yelling now, “We know! We ALL know! EVERYBODY KNOWS!!”
That’s when I realised where Really Close Friend was going with this. I could see it all unravelling like a sepia-tinted memory, right before my eyes. And by that point, I was mad. I was defensive. I was hurt.
“Know WHAT, Really Close Friend?” I said evenly, crossing my arms over my chest in angst. “What does ‘everybody know’?”.
Really Close Friend was quiet now; searching for words of comfort; searching for a way to NOT be mean (anymore); searching for a way to not say what they really wanted to say. I watched Really Close Friend’s internal struggle with what to say next. They just couldn’t bring themselves to answer my question with ‘those tragic words we both knew were coming; “…that you’re a slut.”
Instead Really Close Friend said (softer now), “You just don’t need to tell everyone about it. You don’t need to publicise it, that’s all.”
This entire interaction told me two things:
- The person/s Really Close Friend was referring to must be VERY close to either them or me (or both) and they had a really tough time trying to defend me when said person/s was/were dragging my name through the mud and
- Really Close Friend is ashamed of me.
But here’s the thing about being someone like me:
I . Do not. Care.
Let’s consider my facts for a second:
- I knew that this blog was going to be controversial. I went into it knowing that it wasn’t for everyone and that I could potentially lose friends over it. But this begs the question, were they ever really my friends?
- The events of my dating life took place whether I write about them or not. Whether I speak to my ‘really close friends’ about them privately or share them with the world, they happened and I MADE THE CHOICE to write about them. Publicly. Taking me back to point one; I knew what I was getting into.
- I detest the word ‘slut’. It is a word invented by men aimed only at women. Go on, look it up. CBF? Don’t worry, I’ll save you the trouble:
SLUT (noun); Disparaging and offensive; a sexually promiscuous woman who behaves or dresses in an overtly sexual way; a prostitute or harlot; an immoral or dissolute woman; a dirty, slovenly woman.
- Let’s stop here and think about that for a minute. “A sexually promiscuous woman”. “An immoral or dissolute woman“. “A dirty, slovenly woman“. The dictionary itself teaches us that only women can be sluts and sluts are always “sexually promiscuous” in one way, shape, or form. This infuriates me. So, not only can a man not be a “slut” (by definition) but if I choose a life of stringless sex and casual encounters I AM a slut? Fuck you. The men (or the amount of) I sleep/slept with do not define me. And you can go fuck your mother with that word. You are a loathsome, vile cretin.
- This is who I am – who I’ve always been; a foul-mouthed, open-minded, freedom-seeking, adventurer who likes to live life to its extreme. Just because I don’t base jump or skydive doesn’t mean I’m any less of an adventurist. Just because I choose to be the ‘party girl’ doesn’t mean I’m suppressing my ‘inner demons’ by getting blind every weekend (night..every night) and publicly sharing my adventures with the world. You don’t get to put me in a box.
- I will always be outspoken and controversial. Your choice is to accept me as I am or deal with it (or, if you must, delete me from your life – others have and I’m no worse off; pretty sure I’ll be fine without you too).
- I am surrounded by an army of friends and family – not to mention an incredible boyfriend that advertises this blog to his friends – who are actually proud of the person I am and the things that I do; regardless of how “immoral” or “dissolute” they are.
So here is my (sober) message to Really Close Friend and the ‘friends’ that feel the need to talk shit about me: get over it.
Don’t like the blog? Don’t read it. Don’t like my Facebook posts, Snapchat stories, or Instagram pictures? Don’t look at them. Delete me if you are so ashamed of what I am. I am not afraid of you. And your attempts to stifle my spirit will not defeat me. You are small, narrow-minded, spineless people who will spend your lives living in a fairytale of your own creation (oh, I’m sorry…did my back hurt your knife?), and that’s ok. Who am I to judge? I’m just a “dirty, slovenly woman”.
And with that, I will close out this ‘issue’ with these final words; words I happen to live by:
“And my motto is still the same as ever:
‘I believe in the kindness of strangers. And when I’m at war with myself I ride, I just ride.’
Who are you?
Are you in touch with your darkest fantasies?
Have you created a life for yourself where you can experience them?
I AM fucking crazy.
But I am free.”
-Lana Del Rey, Ride