Elan Morgan is a writer and web designer who works from Elan.Works, a designer and editor at GenderAvenger, and a speaker who has spoken across North America. They believe in and work to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.

#340: OUT WITH THE NICE, IN WITH THE SNARK *

I am having strong urges to be nice today. This is deeply disconcerting. For the most part, I have a snarky voice in my head that reminds me to stay away from people, but today this voice has been replaced with something much sweeter, something with a great deal more patience and understanding.

I knew something was seriously up with me when I was talking to a friend of mine about someone who makes us crazy. Instead of saying yes, that person does so suck righteously, I found myself saying yes, I do dislike that particular thing, but I think this might be why that person does it, and understanding why people are the way they are does make them so much more tolerable, don't you think? I repeat: THIS IS DEEPLY DISCONCERTING.

Forwhy am I experiencing this new level of tolerance? And right in the middle of some ego-crushing PMS? Where is the comfort of my usual pre-menstrual paranoia, anxiety, and intolerance? For someone who is used to monthly battles between fluctuating hormones and mental stability, this small period of fluffy happiness feels highly unnatural. Usually, I spend one week out of every four stuck in the negative extreme. This round, while I am still weeping at the slightest sign of stress and pained by the merest intimation of criticism, I am finding myself naturally pursuing the humanity in every situation.

Before all this niceness gets out of hand, I am going to attempt to exorcise it through letter-writing. If I expend this incongruous ickiness here, I might free myself to find comfort in snarking offline without the worry that I will start up some sort of impromptu love-in. Here goes:

Dear Lady Over In The Next Cubicle:

I just want to let you know how happy I am to be here in the office this morning. I thought that I should make some noise about how you contribute to my enjoying coming to this place every day. Also, you have not stolen my beloved three-hole punch or my high-end black pen yet. Let's hear it for how much you rock, even if you never share your huge box of gumballs with me. Yay you!

Schmutzie

*****

Dear Mr. Carpenter:

You were the nicest neighbour I ever had over the last thirty-two years. Even though I was a little kid who wouldn't leave you alone and was always trying to get into your house, you only got mad at me once, and that was when I was lying on your lawn and laughing while I choked on cookies. Looking back, I can understand why that was alarming. Your dog, Moose, was the best ever, especially since I always had him to myself because no one else could stand how he smelled like honey. Also, I loved your old-school yellow metal push mower. I so hope that you are still conscious and animated somewhere.

Schmutzie

*****

Dear Weird Guy Who Smells Like A Hospital And Always Looks Like He's Dusted With Fine Powder:

I saw you walking down the street the other day, and I immediately remembered you as a one of the regular customers from my gift shop days. I miss you, because it took you a long time to say more than hello to me, but then you found out that I didn't mind your stutter. You don't know this, but I used to look forward to your buying the paper every afternoon, because that shy smile was the cutest thing. Also, you smell like deodorizing talcum powder.

Schmutzie

*****

Dear Red-Haired Dude Who Is Possibly A Skater:

I must apologize for thinking that you were some creepy stalkerish guy the first time you approached me to bum a cigarette. I realize now that you only live a couple of buildings away and that you honestly thought you recognized me. I advise that, in the future, you do not approach strange women silently in semi-darkness right when they are about to enter their homes alone. It scares the bejeezus out of us, even if you are a gentle bongo player. You seem like you might be a very nice individual, despite your being socially illiterate.

Schmutzie

*****

But wait! The proof of my impending recovery is yet to come. I seem to be returning to my former self with this next one. It holds out hope, as it offers up some really good snark while attaining only the slightest level of positivity. Ah, yes, I can feel that cloud of sunshine receding like an ebbing tide, revealing all the tangly weeds and bitey things I've been expecting. This is much more like it:

Dear Ugly Woman Who Fired Me From My First Job After I Became Employable Again Because I Didn't Suck As Much As She Did:

I probably still don't suck as much as you do, but you probably suck less than you used to, so we both win.

Schmutzie

*****

I am not quite out of the woods yet, but the occasional sparks surrounded by the blanketing calm of fuzzy near-apathy is comforting. I feel almost certain that, by tomorrow, a swelling rage will have overtaken the softer side of Schmutzie. Thank bejeezus.



* I feel that I should mention that on top of PMS having kicked in, I also have not had a cigarette since Saturday night. I am waffling between deep love of the interconnectedness of all things and the visceral desire to tear things apart with my gnashing teeth.