I was watching clips from “Mommie Dearest” the other day when I realized I was silently rooting for Joan. I don’t think that was the original intent of the director, but there it is. Her children are so revolting they don’t evoke empathy.  I caught myself smiling when she lets loose with the slaps.

It is curious how revolting behavior is sometimes seen not as noxious but as hilarious. Sometimes when I have a patient who is being beastly to their spouse I ask them point blank would they pull that rubbish on their best friend. “Certainly not” is the usual response. So why do that crap to your mate. Bottom line: because they can get away with it. I seldom evoke shame in a patient but sometimes it is just what the doctor ordered.

I recently heard a report questioning the supposition the rich are more rude than the poor. I doubt it. Thanks to Hair Furor being arrogant and pushy is now lauded rather than seen as something shameful. If I had pulled any of his shenanigans in my youth  Father would have given me a sensible shaking and told me to knock it off right now.

Miss Manner advises we should never return rudeness with rudeness for this is stooping. My mother said similar about setting a good example. The women in my family were fine ladies all but they all had a bit of Joan’s don’t f-ck with me fellows temperament. I could be cheeky with my uncles but never with my aunts. I am now at the age I can successfully use “The Voice”, a severe tone of chastisement they all pulled out from beneath their lady-like demeanors whenever rudeness was at hand.  The Bene Gesserit could have learned a few things from the Spo-matrons.  “You stop that! That’s ugly!”  I learned if you add a ‘because’ to the ‘that’s ugly’ the power of the Voice magnifies.  Alas, if I use the feminine version of The Voice I sound like a snippy queen, but if I use the masculine (think Humphrey Bogart in ‘Casablanca’) it works better for me. I seldom have to wave around any wire hangers.

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