I feel guilty.
If guilt trips required luggage, I could be my own travel agent. Why do I do this to myself? Am I less worthy of the un-mangled fork than Buttercup or The Yankee? And for that matter, why do I still have the mangled fork? Everyone is at risk for feeling guilty, but I think women are more likely to go through with it. Have you ever seen a man eating the last piece of pie with the un-mangled fork and he’s got the chagrined look of a knotted stomach on his face? Me neither. From my experience, men look guilty when they’ve been caught doing something to actually feel guilty about. Can you imagine a pro-athlete sulking about the practice field because he used the last of the “good” hand crème? Absolutely not! He might manage a slightly guilty expression when he’s caught paying off prostitutes not to tell how many crack rocks he hid in his duffel bag. He may conjure a guilty sigh when he presents his jilted wife with a diamond ring and a yacht named after her. But you will never see him looking ashamed that he parked in the good lot at church.
Do women have a guilt gene? Is it a part of our DNA that we must take every action, every slight, every perceived misstep as a personal responsibility? I can’t answer that. All I know is that I have felt guilty for the last time. I am tired of this feeling. I am tired of worrying what other people think, how other people feel about me, what other people will believe if I eat another slice, buy the name brand perfume, chug the last of the milk, find something better to do that attend a birthday party for a dozen shrieking 2-year-olds. I am sick of the gnawing feeling in my gut when I am torn between the decision to take a bubble bath for my aching shoulders or vacuum the carpet one more time.
I am striking a vote for freedom! “No More” is the ensuing battle cry!
No more will I feel sick when I skip the generic peanut butter and go straight for the good stuff.
No more will I order greasy, loathsome sausage on my pizza just because he likes it.
No more will I say, “Oh, that chair wobbles? Here, I’ll sit in it.”
No more will I say, “I’ll be OK with no haircut for 6 months. You really need another tool in your tool box.
No more will I sit through military shows and tool exhibitions just because he likes them.
I have struck a chord on the resounding harp of my inner woman’s soul and I loudly, proudly proclaim that from this day forward, I am no longer giving in to feelings of guilt! Guilty or Not Guilty … how do you plead? Not Guilty, thank you! I am not heeding the muffled sighs of people who must write their own papers, wrap their own gifts, and cook their own snacks! It is a fabulous feeling. I’m free! I am unfettered, unchained, unencumbered by these shackles and … what? Buttercup can’t sleep because her blankets are crooked? The Yankee needs me to help him cook popcorn? Where did that cobweb come from? Great.
Now I feel guilty.
© Bertha Grizzly 2011. All Rights Reserved. No duplication or distribution.