During my defiant formative years, my exasperated British mother would often turn to me and say, “Do not speak unless you are spoken to.”
After all, proper young women were polite. They were quiet. They didn’t talk back, and they certainly did not steal $20 from their mother’s purse when she wasn’t looking.
Proper young women knew their place. Keep your elbows off the table and sit up straight. Say your prayers. Never tell a lie. Don’t stay out too late.
And use your god damned manners. Please and thank you.
REBEL WITH A CAUSE
It doesn’t take a psychology major to connect the dots as to why I spent the better part of my twenties rebelling against the Crown.
Part of this involved playing the part of a glib, intolerable dickhead conveniently hidden behind a screen. See, I wasn’t brave enough to actually be the confrontational, obstinate and “woke” young lady I clearly believed that I was, so I did the next best thing: I faked it online.
Think of me as a former social justice warrior, except that instead of fake crying for social justice I bragged about being hungover at work, adopted a Bill Maher-esque hate-on for religion, and mocked new parents whose only crime was proudly sharing photos of their new baby on Facebook.
I’m actually not a terrible person guys — I just played one on the internet.
Look, hating things in my twenties was so fetch, and if it also helped me form a protective layer of crust so I didn’t have to address my own feelings of grief and anger — even better.
Shortly before the birth of my first baby, I wrote a piece in one of my many failed blogs entitled, “5 embarrassing social media statuses that no longer apply to my life.”
These statuses included gems such as, “How much tequila is too much tequila to put in your breakfast cereal?”, a retweet of a generic children-are-the-worst joke, and a photo of my fridge full of terrible tasting beer.
I consider this piece the advent of my dipshit awakening.
My dipshittening, if you will.
I was beginning to recognize that despite thinking I was the greatest thing to happen to the internet since the guy who compiles stupid questions into a video, I was actually the complete opposite.
Most of the time.
Sometimes I was right on the money, though.
WAS IT SOMETHING I SAID?
Five years ago, I got so drunk at a friend’s wedding that I fell into a giant decorative plant.
In my defence, that plant had it coming.
That year was also probably the worst year of my life, and one time I allowed a boy to call me “Becky Foreskin” for the duration of the ninth grade because I had a crush on him.
Recently, the groom whose plant I accosted confessed that he misses my virtual alter ego, and that several other followers of my nonsense have been noticing a gradual paradigm shift.
I could read between the lines: I was losing fans at a rapid pace.
Was it something I said?
But I get it.
I became significantly less of a drunken disaster. My news feed is likely not as amusing without pictures of me sucking face with a bottle of rum.
I get it.
I became more tolerant (or maybe I no longer have time to argue about things that don’t really matter). Either way, I do not feel the urge to wage war in the comments section with friends who hold opposing views anymore.
I get it.
I became more self-aware. Yes, 90% of my newsfeed now is just photos of my children. Yes, I realize that this makes me a gigantic hypocrite. No, I’m not really sorry for any of it.
I GET IT, OKAY? I BECAME BORING
I realize not many people on my friends list are interested in reading about the status of my vagina, or care to scroll through 143 photos of my toddler’s Thomas & Friends-themed birthday party (that shit was off the chain though — you’re missing out if you passed over my bomb ass cupcake train).
But I’m a parent now — for better or for worse. And the farther I wade into this magnificent, terrifying, and vastly uncharted territory, the more I realize that if I don’t want to raise a couple of giant assholes, I need to stop being one — both on, and offline.
I hope that’s okay.
I hope I’m still funny to some of you.
And if I’m not, at least my baby thinks I’m cool.