Picture (Card) Prompt: Fiction – Don’t Judge #fiction #amwriting #disrespect #namecalling 


Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for this week’s card prompt, “judgement.” 

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“The Judgement card calls for a period of reflection and self-evaluation. Through meditation or quiet reflection, you may come to a point of deep understanding about the common themes throughout your life and what you can do or change to avoid these situations in the future. Judgement tells you that you are close to reaching a significant stage in your own journey. . .” 

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MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie

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“I’m sorry. I never meant to hurt you,” Jared told his girlfriend Ashlen. The words tasted bitter in his mouth. He hated having to apologize to her; it made him panic. 

“Are you really? I’ve heard that so many times before from you, Jared. Are you sorry because I caught you or sorry for flirting with Sara and leading her on?” 

Jared stared at his feet and scrunched his eyes. He didn’t mean to flirt with Sara. She was one of those girls, the kind who put out easily and hit on every guy she thought attractive. 

“I’m sorry Ashlen. I don’t like Sara that way, she’s just like that you know –a whore; she hits on every guy and probably sleeps with many of them too,” Jared said. 

“Well, why didn’t you brush her off right away?” 

He shrugged, sighing.”She doesn’t mean anything to me. I love you Ashlen and I’ve been with you two-years; I’ve told you — I want to be with you forever.” 

Ashlen blushed, Jared had said exactly the right words. But something he said about Sara earlier, bothered her. 

 “Okay, I forgive you for flirting with Sara, but don’t let it happen again,” she said. “If Sara bothers you too much when we see her, wave to me or text me in the bar — I’ll get rid of her fast. I don’t flirt with random guys, Jared. So, don’t flirt with girls like Sara, is what I’m trying to tell you.” 

“But I will say this:  I think when you and your guy friends pay attention to Sara –her sexually explicit behaviour, her ittybitty clothes, and when you guys all let her touch you —-you’re all leading her on. She thinks she has a chance with one of you –but you all have girlfriends or fiancées.” 

Jared started to get mad. “It is what it is, Ashlen. I can’t control how Sara acts. If you forgive me, let’s not talk about her. I don’t want to spend our night talking about some girl who doesn’t matter to me. I’m grabbing another beer.” 

(10 minutes later)

“Jared, you know you not wanting to talk about Sara, it’s kind of a problem for me at the moment,” Ashlen said. 

“What? Why?” 

“Listen, you and your buddies call Sara a slut and you’re really just being disrespectful to her as a woman. When you openly call her names, especially to her face, you’re encouraging her to act exactly like the names you guys call her.” 

“If you ignored Sara and acted uninterested and normal around her, she’d stop acting how she does.You guys flirt with her and call her names, instead of finding a way to politely tell her to get lost,” Ashlen explained. 

“She’s a skank and isn’t going to change her ways because of how my friends or I treat her,” Jared reasoned. 

Ashley punched him in the shoulder, not too hard, but hard enough. 

“What was that for?” Jared asked. 

“You’re not paying attention to what I’m saying,” Ashlen remarked. “How you treat Sara, your judgement of her, directly correlates to how she acts. Understand ‘College Boy?'”

Jared started to speak and Ashlen cut him off, “She’s not a slut. No woman is, even if she chooses to sleep around. I mean presumably if she is doing it as a career, it’s different. But what I’m saying is, don’t call women degrading names, especially, when you don’t know anything about Sara forsure.” 

“She may talk and flirt a good game, but it doesn’t mean she’s slept with all these guys you think she has. I think most of her bad reputation is nasty rumours. She thinks acting how she does will get her friends and guys –what she believes is the right kind of attention.” 

Ashley studied her nails before continuing to talk: “I don’t like Sara because she hits on guys she knows have girlfriends, namely you. But on the other hand, I can’t judge her entire character because I don’t know her. I wouldn’t want to be a called a whore over rumours about me. And I don’t want to put-down other women just because,” Ashlen said hands on her hips.

Jared listened to Ashlen, he knew she’d be mad if he didn’t. Plus, what she said made sense strangely. He wouldn’t want anyone to judge him, when they didn’t know what circumstances he came from. He probably wouldn’t care, but he knew from having a younger sister, judgement of a girl’s reputation was exceptionally tearful and mean

“Okay fine. I’ll be nicer to Sara and I won’t flirt with her again,” he said carefully, hoping he’d chosen the right phrase for Ashlen. 

She smiled and hugged him around the waist, her head resting on his chest. “Yeah, in fact, if she tries again, lets tell her she doesn’t have to act how she does to have friends or a boyfriend –in a nice way.”

“Sara may not care, but then again, it might help her and us.” Ashlen mused. “She can actually find a guy who’s single and likes her, and leave my and my friends’ boyfriend’s and fiancé’s alone.” 

Jared nodded subtly, taking a swig of his second beer.”We could try. Maybe it’s better coming from you, than me?” he said.

“I think those words coming from a guy might be more effective actually. We’ll see how it goes.” 

“Okay babe. Sounds like a good plan for next time we run into Sara. Do you want to go home now?” Jared asked, draining his beer. 

“Yeah,” Ashlen said. “2:00 am is a long night with work in the afternoon tomorrow. I’ll drive don’t worry.” 

The couple headed home, satisfied with how they would handle Sara in the future. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

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It’s Okay to be an Introvert 


 

introvert comic
Introvert Comic http://www.softwarehamilton.com

 

In second year University, I caught the eye of a certain basketball player. He was in an English class with me. He was tall, loud, and had the most beautiful blue eyes. I thought he’d be fun to be with. But it was difficult for me to talk to him. He caused me to feel anxious. I knew I had to only become used to his loudness to be comfortable around him, but I never felt relaxed. He didn’t attempt to get to know me better, to make me feel comfortable around him, despite my shyness.

At first, I was so shy I would ignore him, unless I absolutely ran right into him. I only felt this knot in my stomach and I stuttered when I talked to him. I was extremely frustrated with the entire situation by third year university. I finally told the basketball player I liked him. I told him truthfully, I often didn’t talk to him because I was busy taking five courses and working half-time. I tried to get across to him that when I was busy, I was off in my own world. I was attempting to get him to make an effort and ask me out.

I received a funny look from the basketball player for saying ‘I was in my own world,’ even though he rubbed my back to make me feel better. That was the end. I wasn’t a fun girl to him because I wasn’t outgoing and he didn’t understand how busy my life was.

During the years I had this ‘thing’ with the basketball player, I grew used to other girls I didn’t know talking behind my back, calling me names, and being critical of me. I went to a small university and it often felt like high school because young woman became easily jealous over the smaller guy population.

It took me years to get over the preconceived notion that I was shy — a wrong attribute to have. I learned a guy maybe hot and seem fun, but if he didn’t make the effort for you, you shouldn’t waste your time on him. Sometimes I would build a guy I liked up in my mind, as if they were perfect and not a flawed person. I would have been more comfortable being me if I realized I shouldn’t have to try so hard to please a man I liked. Even someone you are attracted to, and makes you nervous, is approachable if you remember they are only human like you.

Also, I learned when I started working, because a person makes you nervous is no reason to ignore them if they haven’t given you a decent reason to avoid them. The exception to this was catty and gossipy women. I learned some woman are going to be touchy even as adults when they should know better than to spread gossip or call names. These women are people whose mean words you should ignore. Better yet, ask them to repeat what they said so you can hear it clearly this time. Embarrass them.

Most significantly, I learned I was not a shy person but a woman who was often an introvert. It didn’t mean I wasn’t social and fun to be with. But I required time alone to ‘recharge my batteries’ while others ‘recharged their batteries’ off the energy of a crowd.  I liked small groups better than large noisy functions. I felt and still feel a few trustworthy friends is all a girl needs, even though it is fun to meet new people. I also enjoy working independently, or one on one with people. I am extremely talkative in this kind of situation and I feel a more meaningful connections with others in small group settings.

In my opinion, we have a society which is often centred around extroversion. It’s not an acceptable value because it causes people who identify with introversion to feel that if we are shy and not outgoing, there is something wrong with us. There is nothing about a person that is deficient because they are introverted. Certain people are skilled at hiding their insecurities and may appear outgoing but at heart, they are introverts. Some introverts such as myself are more clearly introverted.

I don’t identify with being a shy girl anymore. I’m a listener, a loyal friend, and an observer. I have no problem stating my opinion or saying no. I am happy to be me in the ‘background’ and not taking center stage. This doesn’t mean I never get noticed. It means the right people notice me and take me as I am. I want to be around people who see introversion as a vital part of society, not a hindrance.

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©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.