I’m not sure why this has been so hard to write.
Maybe I am not sure if the bluntness in which I want to write this will come off as, well, bitchy.
Maybe I am not sure if you will read this and wonder, am I the victim? Or am I the villain?
Neither are what I wish to portray.
Maybe I am afraid of receiving criticism of my opinion.
Maybe I am afraid that this will be so underwhelming I’ll receive none.
So here it goes.
(You can’t see it but I am taking a deep breath)
Ladies of the funeral industry. What. The. Heck. Is. Up. With. You?
There. I said it.
I think there is something bubbling in our industry. And not the good kind of bubbles like in a delicious champagne or in an ironic witchy cauldron pic for an Instagram post.
I mean a senseless, petty, lash out, kind of crappy-yeah I said crappy-behavior kind of way.
And here’s my beef. When you act like this. You just prove everybody right. And I call shenanigans. I say. We don’t have to be this way.
The problem is I don’t know how to objectively prove that this bad behavior exists. I mean, it’s just my word against theirs isn’t it?
So where do I start?
What do I say to you?
If I write you a piece that is just me whining about how mean the girls at Forest Lawn were to me, are you really going to care?
Are you really going to believe that they gas-lit me? Or will you simply think I am a whiner?
If I tell you how the same thing has happened to almost nearly all of my girl friends. Will you say that we are just “overly sensitive”?
Will you tell me what my friends told me? That there are mean girls everywhere and that I just have to “deal with it”?
But here’s the thing…
If that is true. Well, then that means I don’t have to sell my stories to you, do I? Because it has happened to you too.
And so this is the part where I ask you to close your eyes. And I say, “Raise your hand if another girl has ever bullied you or called you a bitch.”
Are all of your hands up?
Maybe the best way to talk about this is for me to ask you. Has it happened to you too?
Has another girl bullied you at work? Were you told to deal with it? Did you get a “Girls will be girls?”
Why do we accept a world where-pardon my language-shitty and cutting behavior is ok?
I don’t accept it.
And I quit Forest Lawn because of it. One cruel girl ruined what I had worked so incredibly hard for.
She effectively stopped me from getting my embalmers license.
She also was the catalyst for me and Caitlin to end up coming together, so “Hey Girl HEEEEEY! Thanks for that!”
But not everyone is as lucky as me. And quite frankly. Not every girl is probably as stupid or brash to stick their middle fingers up and be like “F**& you. F*&%k you. F*&%k you. You’re cool!! F*&% you I’m out”
Ok I didn’t actually say that but I dream that I did. The principle is the same though, I was in a position to quit and go back to waiting tables and I straight up quit on the spot. I didn’t have to stay. I wouldn’t stay another day. And I know not everyone has that luxury.
And here’s the thing. I don’t think I should have to go to work everyday and just “deal with it”. I don’t think that I should learn to be ok being ostracized. This is symptomatic of our entire cultural response to all problems.
Don’t want to get raped?
Don’t wear a short skirt.
Don’t go out at night.
Don’t be flirty.
Why does our culture not say, “Don’t rape!!!!!!!”
My boss didn’t reprimand the girls who bullied me. Her advice was for me to not give them anymore arsenal.
I had to work around death everyday. Completely isolated. And afraid to share or open up to my coworkers because correcting their bad behavior was apparently not an option.
Again, I call, shenanigans.
And so the years have gone by since then. And I met and now work with an amazing girl. And I was able to let go of a lot of the trauma that I experienced there.
I run an all female mortuary and I get to prove that we can nurture and encourage one another. That we can talk to one another like adults and be open. That we don’t have to live in a world where the only way to succeed is to take out a knee cap.
And, then just like the ending to the actual movie “Mean Girls”, little newbie mean girls stepped into the light.
Except this isn’t a movie. This is my life.
And I was furious.
In fact, I maybe just stopped being furious a few days ago?
Also, when I say furious, I mean I was borderline out for blood. And I am not proud. But I won’t lie to you either.
The thing is. I know that these girls weren’t after me. They were after my partner, and they took it out on my new employee. And they caused her heart wrenching pain.
Hell they caused me and my partner heart wrenching pain too.
Numerous calls and texts were exchanged between us about how to love and hug and tell our employee she was the bestest.
Not once did we tell her to buck-up and accept that people suck.
And the thing is, I know why they did it. But it is not a popular thing to print. But I know you know why too.
As humans, we are not so great at dealing with “the other”. As a vegan I am quite familiar with this. When I say, “I’m vegan”. The usual response is scorn. Or laughter. Or being called stupid. Yup that is for real, a guy 100% called me stupid.
Is it because these people don’t love animals? Is it because they secretly wish for the murder of every sweet doe eyed dopey soul on the planet?
No. Because I believe humans are actually good.
The problem is that saying I am vegan represents the self-doubt within others that maybe, just maybe, eating animals is inhumane.
So why would girls lash out at other girls?
Because we have struggled since the beginning of time to be valued as even vaguely human.
Like please please please can I not be property?
Like please please please if you murder me will someone like totally care?
Like please please please if a man rapes me will you fight for my dignity and say that the most precious thing I have to give matters?
Because we have struggled in agony to take care of our children. Our aging parents. Our siblings.
And then, as a funeral director, almost quite literally everyone in our city.
And that is a crap ton of responsibility.
And it is a lot to take on.
And humans are fragile.
And humans are fallible.
And are egos. Our egos are so so sensitive.
And we have been taught to be grateful for scraps. That we should fight for crumbs rather than ask why we can’t have more of the pie.
And so we have gone savage.
Savage on those who could be our greatest allies.
And so I write this to you.
To my friends.
To the girls that have wronged me, even though I know you won’t see it.
I ask you why?
Why do you accept this?
And why, to the girls in the funeral industry especially, because you know better than anybody how this is all going to end.
I simply ask you why?
So I am here.
I am here to say that I’m willing to share my bomb ass vegan pie with you.
I refuse to give up on you.
And when you are ready.
You know where to find me.