witch slapped

"My mother sent me a whore hat for Halloween," my friend Brigit said.  "You know, a sheer black witch hat with sequins and a fur trim."  Bridget got the harlot hat for the holiday.  I don’t need the hat.  Nope.  Not the harlot, the witch hat.  I know I’ve said this before, quite recently actually, but I feel like the witch.  I want to borrow her witch hat, so long as no one makes me carry a broom or talk about warts.  I have thoughts lately of wanting to cook people in a cauldron.  Ooooh.  The black cauldron.  I want to rent Halloween cartoons.  The music in Halloween the movie scares me more than the word "growth."  I’ve been scary lately, having mean angry thoughts because… I’m angry.  I want to scream and cry and hell, but I feel like I have to be well-behaved.  To play nice.  I don’t feel like it.  I’m upset and hurt and angry.  And I know why but I can’t say it.  I have to just live with it, swallowing poison medicinally.  This can’t be good for my health.  Soon my feet will shrivel up beneath a house. Or my heart will.

From Two Years Ago…
Witches always had a mean black cat that hissed and was too skinny. A cackle. A dark cloak and a straw broom. A pointed hat with a wide brim, a crooked hook nose, and of course a fat wart with long hairs growing out of it. That’s what witches were when I was small… creatures that with their green tinted skin appeared on All Hallow’s Eve, in movies, cartoons, and bedtime stories. Now, they appear to us in our everyday lives, waiting for the bus, sitting beside us in a movie theatre, even in the hospital waiting room. The woman at the bank, in a rush, sighing and squinting behind me on line, tapping her foot as I rummage through my handbag for a pen to sign the withdrawal slip. The mother at the diner, who ground out her cigarette on her teenage daughter’s plate and told her she has, “eaten enough, just look at your thighs spreading as you eat.” We all from time to time posses a bit of witch in us, but thankfully, when we were young we learned of good witches, too. The idea that when everything around us seemed cold and gray, and that when even our favorite blankets weren’t big enough to keep us safe, there was always someone, something, looking after us. It works both ways.



  1. Don't play nice! Playing nice is for saps.

    Let the earth (or at least all manfolk) tremble in awe at the feet of Stephanie awakened!

  2. i was reading again about why you blog, how writing is your "gym." i hope you are writing about why you're angry somewhere. if you feel you can't talk about it here, at least get it out on some good ole fashioned paper – *gasp* – via penned ink. then rip it up and breathe again. don't play nice. don't play mean to people who don't deserve it either, but get it out, girl! if i held too much stuff in, i think i'd explode. don't explode, please. a lot of us would miss you.

  3. I always rooted for the witches in the black hats. The ones in high heels and eye shadow never talked much to me.

  4. Sounds very serious. I wish you could tell us what has you pissed, we're all interested, but since you can't, I hope you let it out somehow, in a positive way. Don't cook anyone, though you're too beautiful to be in the same category as Hannibal the Cannibal Lecter.

  5. Hmm… I had a friend whose mother would constantly call her 'fat', 'ugly' and 'worthless'… My friend was absolutely beautiful. She eventually lost so much weight that it affected her health and went down to 90 lbs at the height of 5'4.

    Verbal abuse is sometimes more painful than physical abuse.

    Steph–we have to move to the south in order to have encounters with 'nice' people. New York is definitely not the breeding ground for it! ;)

  6. Just a witchy recommendation, if I may be so bold. The musical Wicked (or the book it was adapted from, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West). Interesting "play" on what's wicked and what's not.

  7. You need a job. Not one of those bulls–t NYC service type jobs where overdressed people in too-nice offices pass memos (or nowadays E-mails) around and call it work, but something where you are RESPONSIBLE for making something, fixing something or improving someone else's life or a lot of people's lives. Cut off that mop of frizz you call hair and get a simple hairdo that doesn't require anything more than a quick shampoo followed by a good shake. Simplify your life in other ways too. Move out of that hellhole of a city (where I grew up) and get out into a small city, or better yet a town or village and work for a carpenter building houses, or attend a trade school, or learn something that's useful and do it. If those things aren't "feminine" enough, how about nursing, or something else in the health care field. You'll have a job that you can go home from feeling good about yourself because you made something or someone better. You'll find out you'll spend much less effort obsessing about yourself, your childhood, your high school years (you're 30 years old for crissakes – grow up) or your self-created inadequacies. As it is, it seems you are spiraling down in a circle of ever decreasing diameter, and will shortly disappear up your own a–hole. Good luck.

  8. If you're looking for someone to cook, my vote is for Mean Gean.^^^^ Look on the bright side at least you're not sad enough to surf blogs and hate on people….now thats what I call inadequencies!!!
    A loyal reader,

  9. Steph,
    Are you OK? You've been so angry lately that I'm worried about you! Your blog entries are getting vaguer and angrier–LET IT ALL OUT! Don't let someone steal your voice! I have been inspired by your blog from the beginning which led me to start my own blog. My boyfriend once tried to censor something that I wrote and I shut him down! I told him that if he doesn't want to see anything, then don't read it! Good luck on getting out of your funk! GIVE UP THE GOODS!!!

  10. Stephanie, what would Walt Whitman say?

    I too am not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable,

    I sound my barbaric YAWP over the roofs of the world.

    – Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

  11. dear stephanie,
    please. sit back. reflect. reconsider. edit. are you a "blogger", or a "writer"? you have just totally lost me. "angst" is one thing, but "tiresome" is another. all best wishes for your eventual recovery, artistic and otherwise.

  12. If their are people that make you that angry, they sooo aren't worth it. When I get all tangled in the spiderweb of other people's evils I say the words "Let Go" in my head over and over… Sometimes it works other times I still want to witch slap 'em.. You are a class act.


    verbal is MUCH, MUCH more painful than physical abuse, you can hit the shit out of me, but when you call me a "worthless peice of shit" OR "fat lip" (thanks, dad) because I could not find the flyswateer, now THAT hurts!!!!

  14. witches are now hot. charmed. bewitched. etc.

    as for metaphorical witches, yeah, there are some real bitch mothers out there. i was in nyc the other day and overheard this woman telling her daughter to "forget it, none of the designer dresses are going to fit you anyway." verbal abuses can cut so much deeper than physical.

    i've been reading your blog for a few months and you've come a long way. it's horrible but true that women who had eating disorder/body image issues in the pass never fully move on despite whatever counseling or treatment they've gotten. just like a broken heart, i don't think we really recover completely, i think we just get better at not obsessing over it.

  15. As for anger, I used to keep a "piss me off" journal. I wrote down everything that bothered me. It was a no-holds-barred, ANYTHING goes effort. Didn't matter if it was petty or juvenile stuff. I allowed myself to purge all of my nasty thoughts and to give voice to my fears. The more I wrote, the better I felt–physically, too. I was having constant back pains–"my back 'went out' again!"–until I realized I was bottling up emotions and letting stress and anger get me. Writing it down makes it stop clanging around inside the noggin. Best therapy I know.

  16. Wow. Isn't is amazing what you overhear parents telling their children? The spreading thighs comment makes me ill–it's wrong on so many levels.

    I wish I could go back to myself as a child and tell myself to ignore all the cruel comments I endured. Maybe then I wouldn't have put up with the physical and verbal abuse later on (or have such serious self-confidence issues…) Sadly that stuff can linger for your entire life.

    Some people just suck and that's that.

  17. Stephanie, you need some release. Go jump out of a perfectly good airplane(don't take that the wrong way-I need some too, and I am looking for someplace to do it here), get on a horse and go really fast, or go fishing-either way, you need to take it down a few notches. I know pent up-I get that way all of the time, and I know that when I get that way, I gotta do something intense. Even bucking the bales of hay for the month helps, just something!

    Body image issues are something that most men have never had to deal with, but I will tell you from personal experience, I know the way that it works. And being a "big" guy in High School and even now that I have lost a lot of weight, I still don't see myself as a smaller person or really that I have really changed. It is a struggle, and I empathise with anybody who has this cross to bare.

    Good luck Steph! BTW-I hear Kickboxing helps! But please be merciful to Phil….:) I have a friend who was learning to rope cows off of her horse(and it's a pretty physical thing), and she used to browbeat her boyfriend into being a calf for practice. Mean Girl she is and was!

  18. I read about your blog in a German magazine "P.M. Fragen&Antworten". I have an own weblog but I doubt it is as successful as yours. :D I love Halloween, about to go to a party in an irish pub ;)

  19. Quote
    "The music in Halloween the movie scares me more than the word 'growth'."
    "I'm upset and hurt and angry. And I know why but I can't say it. I have to just live with it, swallowing poison medicinally."

    I don't know why, but I read that as "cancer".
    I hope I'm wrong.

  20. Tisk Tisk Stephanie. I'm sorry to hear about your anger, I don't like to hear that you're not happy, but you are preaching to the choir. Whatever frustrations you are having right now, just know that "this too shall pass." Be well.

  21. Love your blog, no matter what the subject, Steph. I too am a blogger and am struggling with putting on a happy face through my interal bad feelings. Anyone who's not a writer would never understand that some things are too hard to put on display for the public. I'd like to see a**holes like Gene confront their own inner demons instead of ripping on others to make themselves feel good. Talk about issues! Writing IS a public service. It just takes someone with a small amount of intelligence to understand that.

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