Over the past week or so, I’ve seen a lot of things online having to do with “fucks”. With all due respect, I think everyone is going about this all wrong. Let’s look at my Sunday, then I’ll explain in a little more detail.
As we were getting gas Sunday afternoon, there was a ruckus in the parking lot; a middle-aged (older than me; beer gut, pick up truck loaded with tools, just your average dude) latino guy was backing out of a parking spot when a black Mustang whipped through the lot in an attempt to back into a pump. Normal, everyday shit; except for how this guy in the Mustang reacted. He laid on his horn for a couple of minutes, then rolled down the window and started screaming bloody murder at this unsuspecting fellow, yelling about ass whippings and similar things, finally ending with “I’ve got a fucking kid in the car!”
The man in the truck handled it remarkably well, just looking at the driver of this other car like he’s a fucking idiot and slowly pulling off shaking his head. Meanwhile, I’m pumping gas, and I am fucking dying. I can’t stop laughing about the whole situation. The Mustang finally makes it to the pump, and the driver gets out. I’m not real hip to the lingo these days; the best word I can think of to describe him is “bro-billy”. I know it’s not nice, but I’m not nice; I never claimed to be, there are several posts on this blog where I state it, “polite, not nice”. This skinny little fellow has lots of ugly tattoos (not jail tats, I’ve seen some beautiful jail tats. These looked more like “hold my beer” tats), he’s wearing a fitted Yankees cap, a wife-beater, those cheap, colorful sunglasses you often see tourists and young girls wear, basketball shorts, and some busted ass sneakers. I can’t swear that Guns ‘N Roses was playing as he opened the door to his ‘Stang, but it was something similar. I found myself unable to look away, and I continue to stare at him with this huge, dumb-ass smile on my face. Gas pumped, S. and I go into the store, grab a few things, then head back to the car, with me alternating between shaking my head and smiling and laughing out loud the entire time.
Once we’re safely ensconced in the car, S. says “Did you hear that guy ask you what the fuck you were smiling about?” Of course I hadn’t; it would have made my Sunday (hell, my April) if I had. Nothing would have made me happier than to laugh in the face of someone behaving that poorly in front of their child, someone with an obviously over-inflated sense of self-worth. She knows I’m not violent (anymore), but I can’t deny that I still love to run my mouth. It’s not often I get such a deserving target.
Regardless, I have no doubt that someday he’s going to mouth off to the wrong person; and instead of them shaking their head, or laughing it off, they’re gonna beat the bitch out of him. If he’s lucky, it’ll be someone like me, someone who won’t knock him down and kick him repeatedly in his stupid little “life cycle of fucking ignorance” head until he has more trouble spelling and/or walking upright than he does now; it’ll be someone who just desperately wants to knock some sense into him.
Here’s where I begin to circle around the point. I tried to explain it to S.; there’s no guarantees if I’d heard the little guy that anything would have happened. First, violence is always the very last resort. That shit hurts. Second, and most relevant to the topic at hand, it’s not that I didn’t/wouldn’t have given a “fuck” if I’d heard him, it’s that the “fuck” I’d have given would have been infinitesimal; so small, in fact, that I could legitimately say “I don’t give a fuck” about that guy. This is nothing new, I don’t give a fuck about lots of things.
Lots of people seem to confuse “not giving a fuck” with “not caring”. These two phrases are not interchangeable. When I say I don’t care about something, that’s pretty much all there is to it. Other than some horrible people from my old days, I’d be hard pressed to name something that I genuinely don’t care about.
Don’t give a fuck? That’s a completely different story. “Don’t give a fuck” is a range. Not caring is a defined point, “not giving a fuck” is a scale that can range from the tiniest of personal things, to the largest of problems. I will not/have not give(n) a fuck for a large number of reasons. World peace? Too big, never gonna happen, don’t give a fuck about it. Would it be nice? Hell yes. Is it likely? Not with the way the economy and global power dynamics work. Bruce Jenner? Didn’t give a fuck about him in the past, will not give a fuck about her in the future. Plight of transgendered people in general? Fuck yes I give a fuck about it, I grew up knowing a lot of trans folk. I’m a firm believer that as long as you’re not causing undue harm to another person/place/thing, people should be able to do whatever the fuck they want. I reject the notion that we all have a limited number of fucks to give, and instead believe we are equipped with a never-ending supply of fucks that come in a variety of sizes. Your mileage may vary, I don’t give a fuck.
Just take a look at this blog. If you read enough, you can get a pretty clear idea of things I give a fuck about. To this day, I’ve never sat down and planned out a blog post, because I don’t give a fuck about this blog. I’ve written daily for months at a time, and I’ve ignored it for months; I care about it, but I don’t give a fuck about it. Does that make any sense? Do you get it? Here’s a few other, more personal examples:
S. is dealing with a situation at work. She’s one of the leads on a multi-million dollar tech project, and one of the other department heads, day in and day out, does everything he can to derail and fuck up the project like it’s his fucking job.(This whole thing is the inspiration for one of the stories I’m working on, the next part will be up later today/tomorrow) It’s as easy as breathing to him, all he does is not do his job. He literally does not give a fuck about that project. Supervisors and executives have dressed him down and “warned” him, and he’ll straighten out for a few days, but he inevitably goes back to tossing wrenches. This provided S. with all manner of dilemma in the beginning. I tried to explain to her that it was perfectly natural and admirable that she should give a fuck about this situation during work hours, but that she shouldn’t waste her time and peace of mind giving a fuck about it in her off hours.
Then several things happened. The guy threatened to take her, specifically (because she gives ALL the fucks, which means she was the one he most often locked horns with…this time; he has a history of this shit), to Human Resources. The thing is, S. is an amazing employee and she knows it, and she told him, and everyone else assembled, that she’d LOVE to go to Human Resources with him. Then, out of the blue, someone she’s worked with in the past contacted her with an amazing career opportunity. The actual breaking point came when, after a couple of weeks of meetings and bluster and promises, absolutely nothing has changed. What happens? S. ceases to give a fuck. It doesn’t mean she doesn’t care, it means what it means, she does not give a fuck. She does her job, as much as she can as well as she can, and doesn’t concern herself with the fact that the project as a whole is going to shit.
We’ll be moving soon. The landlord has put the property up for sale, and we have no idea whether or not whoever buys it will be interested in keeping the tenants. They may just want to tear the whole thing down and start from scratch. She was pretty concerned about this at first, whereas I didn’t give a fuck. For reasons. Like I told her, I’ve been homeless more than the average person. I’ve been homeless as a helpless little kid, and I’ve been homeless as a fucked up, strung out adult. By the time I was 15, I’d been through about 9 evictions with my family. She has a good job, I’ve got an okay job, we are in absolutely no danger of being homeless. We will be mildly inconvenienced for a short time. I don’t give a fuck about mild inconvenience, it’s mildly inconvenient. To quote Carol (TV Carol, comic Carol has been dead for like ever), “These things are not real problems.”
Let’s end this rant with a list, lists are still “hot” right? Here we go:
Things I Give A Fuck About:
- People, places and things that I care about/am close to
- People, places and things that are either in or are causing others distress
Things I Do Not Give A Fuck About:
- literally everything else
Everyone is giving entirely too many fucks in an attempt to prove how many fucks they don’t give, stop trying so hard.