I have been flipped off several times this week…not counting my husband. He doesn’t count because it’s usually me flipping him off first. Those are love flip-offs. No, I’m talking about serious flip-offs from complete strangers. My reaction is always the same. I laugh nervously, and then try to figure out if we’re gonna tussle.
That is basically what that gesture is, an invitation to the fist party. Of course, the only fist parties I can remember with clarity involved an elementary school me, and a giant girl named Breezie. Yes, my name is Wendy and my elementary school bully’s name was Breezie. We had several chuckles over it while she was sitting on my back shoveling dirt into my mouth. I should thank her.
I hear dirt is good for you.
While I may not have enjoyed ingesting handfuls of dirt from a playground that I’m sure countless stray dogs and cats used as a toilet, I can respect her creativity. I bring her up because she’s the first person I can remember flipping me off. Invariably fists would start to fly after I said something sarcastic or made a face that said, “bitch is you talking to me”?
Of course, they were her fists and my tiny body, but it taught me an important lesson:
you don’t flip someone off unless you’re prepared to eat dirt.
I ate enough dirt from grades first until third to last a lifetime, so I’m not about the dirt eating. It took me quite a few punches and dirt before I realized that my reactions were part of the problem. Yes, we could argue all day about how her actions were the problem, but I’m not her. I could not control her actions. I could only control my own. A bland face and NO sarcastic or pithy remarks kept me bruise and dirt free. I kept them to myself, and while it would have been more fun to share them, I preferred the scenarios where she didn’t step on me and try to make me eat grass.
So, I can’t help but wonder about all of these people letting their fingers fly to a complete stranger. I mean, she’s out there somewhere. You flip- off a grown up Breezie, and I imagine you’re getting a whole lot more than a mouthful of dirt or grass. Why aren’t more people afraid of that possiblity? I’m sure statistically there are a lot of people like Breezie running around all balls-crazy. A lot of you finger flippers are playing Russian roulette with a mouthful of dirt. WHY? Don’t you know how bad it tastes? Full of minerals, yes, but it’s also full of animal pee. ANIMAL PEE.
When I met Breezie, I was very polite and mentioned how hilarious it was that we both had wind related names. Stating that hers being a slightly stupid version was probably my first mistake. I would like to blame this social faux-pas on the fact that I was in the first grade, but that would be a lie. I’ve never been very good at keeping what is in my mind to myself. So, we’ll just say our whole dichotomy was a joint effort. Partially my fault for my mouth and facial expressions that said “you’re stupid” and her for being a giant with a bad attitude. We never recovered from that first mistake.
I try much harder as an adult to mind what I say and do. It’s one of my mottos.
“You don’t flip someone off unless you’re prepared to eat dirt”.
There are a few times when I’ve forgotten, and said the wrong thing to someone that was balls-crazy, but thankfully I never ended up with a mouthful of dirt. Though, I did come close a few times.
I’ve come up with a few simple ways to diffuse a flip-off invitation to a fist party.
- Smile without sarcasm. This is harder for me than you can imagine. My face just doesn’t really work that way.
- Don’t give a thumbs up like they’re the dumbest person on earth. This will land you in fist city faster than a thousand sarcastic smiles. Add in a sarcastic smile and you just might get murdered.
- Don’t throw both hands up in the air. I was unaware this was the universal sign for: “eat shit, and then come get some”.
- The only real way to avoid fist city is to ignore the offending finger. I know, a flip-off seems to need some kind of reaction, but I learned the hard way that it doesn’t end well for anyone whose name isn’t Breezie.
For all those people running around flipping strangers off like maniacs. You should probably stop. I’m serious. Breezie is huge, and there is no telling where she is right now, and I’m sure she’s got a handful of dirt with your name all over it.