I have something to tell you and you’re not gonna like it. (This is the line I’ve been using to break-up with boyfriends since the 7th grade when poor Matt G. gave me gladiolas instead of tulips for Valentine’s Day—a fatal mistake in any relationship. It’s not very poetic, but it speaks truth and cuts to the chase, which are two things I’m obviously now trying to avoid by blathering on about break-up lines and old boyfriends.)
No, I’m not breaking up with you. I’m making a confession, revealing something dark and ugly about myself, bringing to light the hideous blight upon my soul at the risk of being shunned from upper-middle class, American housewife society like some rebellious Amish kid on TLC begging to return to piety and barn-raising after a glorious year in the back alley of a Pittsburgh strip club.
I’m risking it all, sacrificing myself on the altar of public opinion, giving up my socially acceptable, soccer-kit-toting existence so that you, my faithful readers, might live. Ok… enough stalling… Here goes.
I use the n-word. I use the n-word A LOT.
Like every day, all the time, in all kinds of situations. I use it with my husband. I use it with my kids. I use it with my parents, with other people’s parents, with coaches and teachers, baristas and preachers. I use it with cheerleaders and girl scouts and junior varsity fire-breathing clubs peddling baked goods outside my grocery store to raise funds for pom-poms, vests, and fire extinguishers. I’m the Sam-I-Am of the n-word. I’m Jimmy Buffett’s blender with the lid off spewing the n-word all over Margaritaville. (Quietly of course. Politely. I’m not one to make a scene.) But on any given day, in any situation, I’ll just whip it out and spray the n-word all over the nearest person and without any guilty aftertaste. I’m shameless. I admit it.
In fact, I’m going to use it now. Ready? (If you have a heart condition, you may want to close your eyes.)
NO, I won’t volunteer to make 400 pounds of gluten-free orange play-doh for your Halloween party. NO, you may not install a zip-line from your bed to the bathtub. NO, I’m not going to join the amateur tackle Mah-Jongg charity league. NO, I won’t reschedule my root canal for 6 AM, so you can make your tee time. NO, you may not build your own harp in the garage. NO, we’re not getting a Narwhal for your fish tank or a Kimodo dragon for the back yard. And NO, you may not have any pet that requires live food. No, No, and once more with feeling… NO!
My name is Christen Fisher and I’m an upper-middle class American housewife who says NO on a regular basis.
Are you shocked?
Are you horrified?
Are you renouncing our friendship?
Tearing up the virtual contract between writer and reader, blogger and commenter?
Are you titillated? Tempted?
…maybe just a little?
It’s September and this post is obscenely late. You want to know why? Can your heart take it? It’s because I didn’t say the n-word enough. Well, NO more.
Attention fellow Carpool Mavens, Basketball Betties, Soccer-Mom She-Ras with autumn calendars that make the president’s schedule look a little sparse: I implore you to give it a try. Let go of the guilt. You know you want to. Do it tonight. Do it all night. Let’s start a revolution!
****Unless of course, it’s cocktail hour, in which case I’d like to revise my answer please.(And now back to your regularly scheduled blog posts.)
Christen Fisher was a teenage beauty queen who ran away to college with only a sash across her chest and a tiara on her head. After four years, she traded in her small-town spoils for a B.A. in English and a ring from a big city guy who loved her more for what lay under her tiara than her sash.