In my mission to honor the wonder of other fantastic female creatures in this world, I’m beginning a monthly series called Betty of the Month I will highlight women who put the B in Badass, those who sustain and inspire me, and those whose stories are much like ours. We must remember that we are so much more alike than different, and our lives can be blessed by each other’s stories.
So, raise your supple hands to give snaps and hootie hoo’s for our inaugural Betty of the Month: Carolyn Linden. At first glance she was the chick I would go out of my way to stay away from. White, slender in a hard earned pilates carpooling kind of way, piercing eyes, and eyebrows I was certain were judging me. Of course, I was projecting all of my shit on to her. And as always, God puts the most perfect, most extravagant expressions of His wisdom in our paths. And now? Well now, Carolyn is my people.
She comes from hard working very well educated parents, and a wealth of opportunity, privilege, and support. A product of an all girls’ Catholic school, Carolyn took a delicious turn when she cussed out Sister Suzanne Cooke in front of a group of her peers, and became a bit of a “behavioral problem.” And the saga began to unfold. Carolyn is a Betty because:
1. She owns her journey, whether it aligns with others or not. She graduated from high school early and was determined to go into the Coast Guard derailing her parents’ wishes for a traditional educational trajectory. However, she failed the physical exams. Unshaken in her choice to put college off, Carolyn worked 3 jobs and rented a room. The juicy twist is revealed when I learn the landlord is her now husband. Gasp and swoon, people…I love a little naughty in my middle class mom.
2. Carolyn has the greatest way of paraphrasing curt and ugly assessments. For example, you hear: “She’ll be ok…or she won’t. And that’s perfectly fine.” What she’s really saying: “I could give two shits whether she has a problem or not. I shall not be moved.”
3. She embraces and expects the messiness of humanity. And she sees it as heavenly and beautiful.
4. The way she says the word asshole. She seems to save it for those who are a particular affront to civilization. There is a particular emphasis on the “hole” portion, as if she is expelling a special brand of venom in honor of the jackass in question.
5. She’s raising a daughter who stands up to bullies by threatening to eat their eyeballs. Is there anything more precious?
Other fun tidbits:
Motto/Mantra: Leave it better than you found it; don’t complain without offering a solution, and don’t be asshole
Biggest, most infuriating pet peeve: Bad manners, ignorant grammar fails
What drives you crazy about yourself: perfectionist with procrastinator complex
Guilty pleasures: oversize glass of cabernet and literotica.com
When Carolyn ran down Ani DiFranco’s “Letter to a John” as one of her jams, I dug her even more. If you see Carolyn around the 253, give her a head nod or a fist bump, or better yet buy this hard working chick a drink (she loves a vodka gimlet, or anything that is deemed “refreshing”).
For Carolyn, In Honor of Ani
You were never the condition.
You were the symptom.
The evidence of my ailment,
grating and chronic
my cross wrapped in heart strings
neck and shoulders bloody raw
My temples pulsing, primed to submit.
Your slick words living in my mouth,
sweet everythings kept in
hat boxes full of hatred and hope
stacked in my sore chest.
A pocket full of transfers,
my underwear rolled up in
my coat pocket,
day in and day out of dumb.
The lights went out and
I woke up to whatever,
cruel, vague wondering
round and round til
you jumped off the ride
and left me with a clammy
fistful of tickets.
You were a sinister beauty
and I collected your lies
in every one of my pocketbooks.
I’m the lucky girl you left behind
for the world to swallow whole.
Send me your ideas for Betty of the Month, as I know there’s no shortage of fascinating women in our community.