On Being a Shitty Person

The reason why people lose their minds while relegated to solitary confinement, trapped on desert islands, and left emotionally abandoned in an apartment full of cats is quite obvious.  The man in solitary confinement may “go crazy” because he’s concerned about his future, leaving jail and finding a job, or about losing the in-depth discussion on modern economic policy he’s having with a wall. The poor oceangoer trapped on a desolate beach may “go off the deep end” because he’s concerned about finding enough fresh water to just wet his lips, the medical issues associated with the slow onset of scurvy, or his stressful first date with a volleyball. Cat lady might “go bonkers” because she’s concerned that Snickers ate Peanut’s food, Lucy ate Marbles’ thyroid medication, or that Whiskers is eating her from the feet up. While all these people show slight differences, they are generally tied together by one overarching theme:

THEY DON’T TALK TO OTHER PEOPLE.

Or more specifically, they lack any sort of meaningful human interaction (besides maybe the cat lady, who probably has to talk to her vet/cat food vendor once a month). People like this “lose their marbles” most importantly because they have nobody to call them on their shit, so their occasional crazy behavior starts to become the norm until suddenly your serious girlfriend and your sports equipment become one in the same. Yeah sure, they probably started off a bit tweaked in the head, but who doesn’t realistically. Everyone is a bit fucked up and if you can’t admit it then all I have to say is I hope you enjoy living the rest of your life in denial.

Human interaction gives us a reference of how we stand on the sanity scale compared to others in the bumbling mass. Sure, one can talk about how we’re all different we shouldn’t compare ourselves to anyone just-be-yourself-and-the-world-will-love-you-just-the-way-you-are bullshit. Then you have to wake up, slap your yogi and realize you’re forced to live in society where you have to be at least semi-conscious of the fact that you can’t run down the street screaming “PEANUT BUTTER-FUCKING-PANCAKES” wearing nothing but a Metallica t-shirt. Frankly, nothing would get done in that world.

People around you help cull (read: suppress forcefully) the weird shit you do. Friends let you get away with bits and pieces, but will help reel you back from the edge so you don’t end up running out of the conference room screaming “PEANUT BUTTER-MOTHER-FUCKER-PANCAKES,” which would likely embarrass you in front of colleagues. A conversation with a good, caring friend would go something like this:

Friend: “Yo man, screaming shit about pancakes is like, what? Your thing?”

Pancake Lover: “Yeah, I guess you could say that.”

Friend: “I mean it’s chill because you’re my homie and I want you to do you, but could you at least do it past 11:30 PM on Saturdays when I’m drunk enough to think its funny and not totally psychopathic?”

Pancake Lover: “Yeah, thanks for keeping my shit in check.”

Friend: “No worries. Also put some fucking pants on man, your dick is not particularly good looking and its touching my Metallica shirt.”

This is why we have friends, because once in a while we have to let the freak flag fly and have someone around to just laugh about it.

Obviously this is an exaggerated case, let’s tone it back a bit and talk more directly about real issues real people tend to have (not to say there aren’t some people that are way too into pancakes) in the real world. Like, for example, just being generally disagreeable, shitty humans. A lot of people tend to have this issue, probably more than scream about pancakes with their dong out, but its also harder to address for the reason that people react to shittiness in a variety of ways.

First there’s the fellow shitty person (probably a friend of yours) who mostly agrees with you on your bitterness and facilitates your continuing shitty attitude. You’ll probably complain about the shitty service at the restaurant and how you hope the cook’s wife leaves him because of his destructive alcoholism (or something along those lines) and they’ll laugh. I mean you’re just hangry right?? This is not constructive, but it’s nice to have a compatriot in shittiness.

Then there is the stranger, who, shitty attitude or not, fucking hates your bullshit and subsequently hates you for your shittiness-inspired bullshit. These people are also not constructive because you probably find it amusing how much they hate your shitty attitude, which subsequently drives you to continue nonrepentant and obligates you to tell them to go _________________ themselves, or maybe go eat ________________ and ____________ rot in some _______________ hole (hopefully somewhere desolate, but one can see why this isn’t exactly fixing the problem).

Then finally there is the friend who calls you on your shit(iness) and tells you to shut the hell up even though they still care about you. This type of person is likely to be someone you have sex with, and who make you afraid the sex will disappear if you keep up the attitude. Unfortunately, both sex and bitching feel so damn good that you can’t decide which one to give up, and you’re left at a crossroads of shittiness/banging-confusion/stress.  This is the only relationship that can be constructive in slightly taming the disagreeable tendencies of shittiness, but they’re also the most jarring. Why?

Because they force you to face the fact that you’re a shitty person who can be generally unenjoyable to be around and has the power to ruin another person’s day, that’s why.

We can all be that shitty person. I’ll cranky and whiny and bitchy and just willingly conjure a batch of distastefulness at random. A lot of people (friends) laugh with me about it, but a cynical attitude can be suffocating and at a certain point most people at least TRY to give me the business. What I’ve realized is that I also can at least TRY to sometimes tone it down and shut the fuck up and tell the shitty person yelling from inside me to do the same. I’m realizing this only as I age, because damn if I wasn’t an unsavory teenager telling my father to shut his face  when he told me to “lighten up.” Bravo parents, that must’ve been insufferable.

So whether you’re hungry, or tired, or just generally having a record bad day it can be refreshing to not constantly scowl and snap and spit hate at those around you. It doesn’t help, and in the end it makes people think you suck even though it feels so damn good. If you don’t have people to tell you to shut the fuck up once in a while you will probably end up stuck on a cat-populated desert island arguing economics with a palm tree and randomly stripping down to scream something incoherent about breakfast food.

Here’s to one less day of having to say, “yo sorry for being a shitty person last night, it’s not my fault.” Nope, just who I am. Cue new catchphrase.

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