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'You heard me.' by Kate Ruppert

I’m a very well-behaved girl.  I always have been.  Prudent, really (except that I use unreasonably foul language, could smoke Marley under the table and drive my car like I’m fleeing the scene, but otherwise…).  I never felt pained or burdened by obeying my parents, the law or my bosses.  It’s just something you do in life—play by the rules.  But there is one area of my life where I’m a loose cannon:  Mama loves her some tattoos.  Do I ever.  Don’t even get me started on how I feel about a tattooed Man….  For as long as I can remember, I’d wanted one.  A star on the top of my left foot—told you, prudent.  Nothing cray.  Nothing trampy (no offense to all you stamped bitches), nothing obvious.  Understated rebel.  But rebellious enough.  In fact, it reached such a maximum level of concern for my parents that they told me they’d stop paying for college if I got one.  And I dunno if you’ve met the Captain and the Mrs, but they don’t fuck around when it comes to higher education.  Those fools woulda stopped writing tuition checks before the ink set in.  So I decided not to call their bluff.  After I graduated NYU, I moved out to this great land, and along the way, I stopped in Austin, Texas.  Take my word on this one:  Go to Austin before you die.  Anyway, while there, I got a tattoo.  Rolled to 6th Street, took a few flaming Dr. Pepper shots, saw some dueling pianos, escaped a near-death experience with bats (did you know Austin has a bizarre bat thing?) and I got a tattoo.  A star on my left foot—super cute.  Cut to present day adulthood, and there is nothing I hate more than the fucking tattoo of a “super-cute” star on the top of my left foot.  I look at it every day and shake my head.  Really, Kate, a purple star with green dots at each point?  Really?  Really?  I don’t regret it, that’s such a negative burden to carry around (a different lesson for a different time; regret will drag you down.), but I most certainly and absolutely do not like this permanent feature on the landscape of my favorite body part.  All this brings me to my main point:  If you don’t listen to those who attempt to advise, or learn from your mistakes quickly and actively, you’ll end up a hot mess of a Lady.  I may be a handful, but I’m not a hot mess.  I have seven tattoos now, and I’m obsessed with all but the one, because from that point forward, I decided I needed to make my choice on the matter a bit differently and carefully than I had in the past.  No matter the choice, the outcome or consequence will be irreversible, so it behooves you to remember how it went down the first time, and vow not to repeat it a second time. 

This past week, a friend of mine came and asked me for advice as y’all are wont to do.  And I gave her my opinion.  First of all, you Ladys come find me, not the other way around.  I don’t give my opinion unless I’m asked, as I don’t assume anyone gives a shit.  But what’s more, if you’re gonna ask, I’ll be candid—there is absolutely no point otherwise and it’s the least I can do.  So, she asked what I thought.  And I told her.  Honestly and directly.  Unfortunately, she didn’t like my answer, insisted I wasn’t understanding the question-slash-situation and stormed off.  Le sigh….  As we all do, we compare others’ situations to our own in order to better relate.  It’s never a direct comparison, but an alignment.  I come to you every week, and I relate on a level of similarity that’s loosely based on an experience we loosely share.  I’m not one-upping, I’m not judging and I’m never trying to be right.  I’m just bringing it to a common ground.  I have made several massive mistakes in my life.  But of those mistakes, I’ve only ever made them once. 

I have not had a credit card in 5 years, and I won’t ever again, because in my youth I fucked up with eleven different ones—ELEVEN—and I’m tired of spending—and hate trying to afford—almost as much as my rent every month paying them off.  Your money woes?  I get you.  Since the day I moved into the state lines of California, my parents stopped listening to a word I had to say.  Nothing that happens here is to be taken seriously, and by default, they tend not to take me seriously pretty much ever.  It’s okay, they don’t read this, I can talk about it all I want.  Your parent woes?  I get you.  I was the biggest of all my girlfriends as far back as memory serves.  At my heaviest, I was 180 pounds and a size 16, give or take an elastic waistband.  A family member once told me a guy would have to think outside the box to date me.  Body, self-esteem and insecurity issues?  Don’t even; I get you.  When I was 24, I thought it was a brilly idea to get myself all tangled up in a horseshit filled clusterfuck of a relationship with a guy too-old for me, and it went on for 3 years too long.  When you end up—willingly—in a mess like I did, you check off a great many life experience boxes that it generally takes you Ladys multiple relationships to accomplish.  Do I know exactly what you’re going through?  Nope.  But you have no idea what I put myself through and how royally it fucked me up for a long time and how I wish I hadn’t done most of what I did and how I’ll never have the chance to take back or undo any of it.  You feel me?  And that’s why you come to me now.  Your relationship woes?  I fucking get you.  You don’t have to listen to me, ever, actually.  But if you decide to ask me for advice, do yourself a favor and heed it.  I’m trying really hard to keep you from the pitfalls of life which so many people have tried to keep me—and about which I decided it was in my best interest not to listen.  Making mistakes is inevitable, but making them again is avoidable.  Every single time; enough with the excuses and justifications.

Okay, that’s it.  Short and sweet.  Mama’s gotta jet.  I’ve taken the day off to get some shit done.  First up, I have a date with the ball machine on Court 2; if my tennis partner wants to prioritize other activities, whatever, I’ll just up my game while she’s away.  And then I’m getting a manicure because I haven’t had one since January and I’ve got somewhat of a situation tomorrow night and I need to be ready. Speaking of situations, please don’t get yourself wrapped up in one you wish you hadn’t by doing something you know you shouldn’t.  Make good choices, and for the sake of baby Jesus in a manger, learn from the ones that weren’t.  And if you can’t manage that, I’ll for sure love you anyway; I’d not have any reason to come here otherwise.  See you beauties in a couple weeks.

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