You Bet Your A** I've Got A Chip On My Shoulder

by Jennifer Otto
Originally Published: 
A short-haired woman wearing a turquoise blouse in a very happy mood
Henrik Sorensen/Getty

At this point in my adult life, I have gathered that I am not everyone’s cup of tea. Using sarcasm is like a sport to me, and I probably swear a little more than some would consider ladylike.

Today I was described by a former acquaintance as “always having a chip on my shoulder.”

It’s hard to use a personal essay as a platform to dispute this, considering I mainly write to get the pissy out. So, instead, let’s embrace the chip. Let’s get a good old-fashioned cathartic airing of grievances going. I’ve had some pent-up hostility a-brewin’ for years, and it is TIME, ya’ll.

Let The Chips Fall As They May

In third grade, there was a girl – let’s call her Susie. I had just moved to Ohio from Virginia in the middle of the school year. Instead of embracing the new girl and trying to be her friend, Susie talked shit. Yep. Third grade shit-talking Susie: I still think “I’m just sooo cool,” and you’re just jealous because I had a cute southern-ish accent and you didn’t.

My Third Grade Teacher – thanks a lot for making me rewrite an entire autobiography because your instructions weren’t specific enough for a nine-year-old to understand. I cried all night over that paper.

Third grade again – Jesus, what a rough year – some little brat made fun of me for not bringing money to buy ice cream at lunch.

Fourth grade – The Beanie Babies rage began. Susie and many others had hundreds of those dumb things. I had maybe 10. True, I was a tad jealous, but you guys were still braggy bitches about having more. I hope you’re still waiting for those rag dolls to be worth something.

Fifth grade – All the cool girls were getting their nails done at the salon monthly, and I just wanted to be cool too.

My Fifth Grade Teacher – I was not behind on my reading because I was a slacker. I was behind because you gave me shit from 1877 to read.

Sixth grade – You girls sitting on the other side of the basement door giggling while I had my first “real” kiss can suck it.

Middle School – Who the hell said that 7th graders had to sit in the front and 8th graders got the back of the bus? Sitting in the back was WAY cooler.

High School – Let’s talk about all the D-bag jocks I knew in those glorious four years. How about the one that made fun of the gay kid relentlessly until he finally brought a gun to school? Or the one who hit my boyfriend’s car in the parking lot and then tried to kick his ass? Yeah, I’m holding onto a few bad feelings from those years.

One time, my former best friend tried to start a fist fight with me in the hallway. We could have just talked it out!

Oh, and my High School Guidance Counselor can suck it too. That woman insisted I choose a vocational or I would be behind once I got to college. I then spent two years of high school doing a graphic design course that I hated and wasn’t good at, only to move on to college and major in not graphic design.

“I’ve Got A Lot Of Problems With You People, And Now You’re Gonna Hear About It”

Who needs Festivus to air grievances?

Douchebag Who Complained When I Put Onions On Your Sandwich – This was eight years ago, and I still say, there’s no reason you couldn’t just pick them off yourself.

Asshole Who Corrected Me in 2009 – I was working as a hostess. A woman walked in and asked for a table. I cheerfully replied, “just one today?” She then complained to my manager that it could potentially make people feel bad using the phrase, “just one.”

Stylist Who Talked Me Into Bangs, 2010 – There’s a reason you probably still work at Best Cuts.

Saleswoman At Plato’s Closet – Who TF are you to pass judgment on my Aeropostale jeans I have been hoarding for seven years? I only wore them twice, for God’s sake!

Saleswoman At Clothes Mentor – Same question.

Disney Fanatic Who Told Me, “if you can’t afford it, don’t go.” – Thank you, Captain Freaking Obvious, for pointing out the sad truth that I cannot afford a Disney vacay, therefore I … wait for it … just shouldn’t go.

Maternity Store Saleswoman – I know damn well you don’t work on commission, so please stop pushing $30 shirts and bras on me. If I’m pregnant, I’m already worried enough about money.

Manager With Fewer Qualifications Than Anyone Else – It really sucked ass working for someone that couldn’t even write an email.

Walmart Employee Who Argued With Me Over Proper Coupon Usage – You’re supposed to read the coupon, not just look at its picture.

Dairy Queen Down The Street – WTF guys? My large Blizzard never has enough Oreos in it. It’s like I’m paying $4.69 for just vanilla soft serve in a soda cup.

…So I might be holding a few grudges after all.

Who knew?

My former acquaintance who described that chip on my shoulder – I guess that’s who.

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