Home » Creative writing » Finally, A List of the Rules

Finally, A List of the Rules

wood-721871_1280Writing these rules down won’t change the mind of anyone who believes in them and holds them close to the vest, like Reince Priebus, but for a moment, it felt good to think that it could.

1. “It’s your job to make me feel very comfortable while I listen to you, as if upsetting me is the farthest thing from your mind. Only then might I consider your points. But remember, don’t say or do anything I might view as weakness. That brings out my dark side and it’s hard to hold it back.

2. “Smile. This is important. I don’t have to smile, but sometimes I smile at you to be dismissive because it can be very effective and its meaning can be hard to prove if you want to build some sort of case against me. You have to smile, but make sure you never smile like that.

3. “Groom yourself in a way I consider acceptable. Don’t pretend you don’t know what I mean — I assume that you bathe and launder your clothes, but we are both aware of popular culture. You know the ideal you should be aiming for.

4. “Be careful when you try to change a thing. I may find your passion unbecoming, and the thing you want to change could just be a tradition. We have those for a reason.

“If you ignore any rule listed above, it will only cloud your point if I disagree with something you say. Then I’ll have to respond by explaining, in great detail, why I refuse to listen to you. Or, if I don’t want to take so much time, I may respond with a disapproving quip, or that dismissive sort of smile. Remember though, that I may disagree with your point no matter what, because it will probably be wrong. I am amazed at how often that happens.

“Lastly, remember I don’t respect people when I’m aware of them following rules, like sheep. It’s up to you to figure out how to follow these rules so I don’t notice. How I love watching you try. For some reason, you always seem to get it wrong.”


3 thoughts on “Finally, A List of the Rules

  1. LadySparks! I loved this when I read it (um… like a week ago). The inner geek in me did laugh, out loud. I tried explaining it to someone who doesn’t appreciate language quite the way I do (didn’t go over very well, tsk tsk) Didn’t realize I didn’t click or comment at the time.

    You’re one of my favorite writers, you know that?

    Ahhh, Preibus! If only we’d learn the damn rules, already, right? How dare we cause offense, us misbehaving women?! They’re lucky that’s all she called them. “Deplorable” is a euphemism for the basket of folks who find themselves, all of a sudden, offended. Deplorable lacks the levels and layers of nuance that characterize their anger, resentment, and vitriol. Turns out there’s no right way to “insult” folk after all. Oh, the irony!

    • Thanks, Avril. I really appreciate you reading this and coming back to comment.

      After I wrote this post, I realized how these ridiculous ‘rules’ have been applied to anyone who is considered ‘other’ by many of those who enjoy the most privilege in any society. How can anyone be against Black Lives Matter without employing one or more of the ‘rules’? Number 3 especially can be applied to women by men (and by other women who have drunk the Kool-aid, so to speak) but it’s also been applied to black people in ‘the business world’, and the other ‘rules’ have been used against those of us who have the audacity to be angry about the ‘rules’ in public.

      Bullying might be the only thing that actually trickles down in society. It’s been doing that for centuries, hasn’t it?

      • … absolutely! Common sense, fairness, decency and empathy, rarely does. You see what playing by the rules gets us. Another day in the life of a life artist attempting to speak life. I will not be broken, hard they might try. Sending a bit a love and light your way this morning, LadySparks!

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