1 min read

Bitch School

I was doing my 'be a bitch homework' tonight: writing down common boundary-crossing phrases and the self-respecting responses I want to respond with (so I can remember them next time I need them). And I realized I haven't told you about my 2024 concept of 'bitch school'.

One day I heard the phrase, "You can't truly be kind unless you have teeth." It scared me because I knew it was true, and I knew that I had no teeth, and I had no idea how to even begin to get them.

So at the beginning of this month, my youngest sister and I agreed to set a daily goal on our phones that each day pops up and says, "Be a bitch." And if we've done something to respect ourselves that makes us a little uncomfortable, we get to check it as done.

That was the beginning of bitch school. Every day this month, I've tried to stand up for myself in a way that makes me squirm. For me, that's surprisingly small stuff, like today I was considering buying a candle.

"I bought that exact one," the sales associate leaned in, speaking like she's sharing a secret with a friend. "I love the purity of the vanilla scent, it's so hard to find."

It's chocolate scented, I thought. But because she'd smiled and 'confided' in me that my candle was in great taste, some part of me felt obligated to buy it, so I wouldn't 'betray' her or something.

I didn't buy the candle. She watched me not buy the candle. I disappointed this woman who I never knew and will never know, and I still felt so uncozy.

And I got to cross the bitch check off.

It's something that's starting to embed in every small thing. I'm noticing more those twinges of, "Oh, do I trust that person enough?" or "I don't want to give that, why not say no?" or "I can't afford that in my schedule, I need to decline."

It's all little stuff. But if I stand up for myself in something tiny every single day for a whole year, it's gonna make for a big change.