Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sweet Betty*

Exhibit A: Just two of the many cookies I take to work each and every week to share with my co-workers, even the ones I don't really like all that much and who don't deserve any treats at all, much less cookies made by Betty's loving hands.

Sweet???? Oh, I think so.



My good friend Karen and I were riding around in her very cool mini-van, two moms careening around town, sucking down iced teas and listening to classical rock. “Isn’t Connie who runs the bookstore sweet?” I said. Karen nodded in agreement. “She is SO sweet.”

A few minutes passed in which we sang along loudly with the radio “Blaming it all on the nights on Broadway….“

“I saw Diane the other day,” Karen said. “She’s really sweet too.” I said. “Very sweet,” Karen agreed. We both nodded along with the music and in agreement. I thought for a moment and asked, “If you were describing me to someone, would you describe me as sweet?”

Karen was silent as she looked straight ahead at the road and took a long sip of her iced tea.” “Well?” I asked. “Would you?” More silence. Then she said slowly, “Um…you’re nice, but I don’t think you’d qualify as sweet.” I slammed my cup down in the holder and snapped off the radio. “Are you kidding me?’ I screeched. “I am too sweet, damn it! I am!” I said. “Haven’t you seen me do sweet things? Am I not one of the nicest people you know?” I yelled, while looking around her van for things to throw out the window if she decided not to agree with me.

She nodded, “Well, yes, you can be sweet, but you also have, well, an edge sometimes.“

Then she listened to my five-minute rant about how sweet I am while she sped rapidly to my house and squealed to a stop so I could get out after she suddenly remembered an appointment she had to get to.

I went in the house and immediately asked HOB if I was sweet. Before answering, he swore his undying love to me and stepped back several steps before confirming that, while I am a nice person, and can be kind, I would not really be classified as sweet.

I proceeded to rant again.

“That’s a good thing,” he said, putting his hands up in defense and using all of his learned verbal husband skills. “It means you have opinions and aren’t afraid to say them even if people don’t agree with you. It makes you an interesting person.” Then he suddenly remembered an appointment HE was late to.

I was not satisfied and thus I began my quest to find someone who would call me sweet.

I did not succeed.

I was called “nice.” I was called “fun.” I was even called “jolly” by some linguistically challenged friend I had backed into a corner. I was never once called “sweet.”

One person pointed out that sarcasm crept into many of my conversations. Apparently sweetness and sarcasm are not genetically linked in any way. Sweet people are not sarcastic people, this friend pointed out. I thanked him for his assessment and noted in a loud voice that actually I used irony, not sarcasm, as any idiot who knew the English language would be aware.

Amazingly, this clarification of terms did not change this person’s opinion of my personality.


It has taken me quite some time to get over this, but I am nearly ready to accept the fact that others do not see me as sweet. However, it still really burns my bacon. Why?

I think I fought so long and so hard to be classified as sweet because in the era I grew up in and the female culture, sweetness was treasured. The best thing you could be called as a little girl was sweet. The women my parents held in high regard were always considered sweet. Most importantly, as distorted as my view might have been, I’ve always considered myself to be sweet.

Apparently, there is evidence to the contrary.

Alas! Am I destined to be the rottweiler of the social world? Most of my intentions ARE sweet, but apparently my delivery is not. I may not look nor act particularly sweet but I AM, damn it! I AM! And I really don’t want to bite you and if I happen to, it’s only because you provoked me one too many times, by being a little too dull, tedious, or obnoxious.

My biting actions only serve to help you with your social skills, honey.


Hey! You know? That sounded really good! I think I may be getting this sweet thing down after all!


(*Surgeon Betty's Warning: This post contains small amounts of hyperbole, a substance that has been known to be good for you from time to time.)

77 comments:

Rebecca said...

If one were to ask me, I would include sweet in a description of you, but... it just seems soooo very one note to describe all of your super awesome Betty powers. ;)

Susan said...

Betty, you ARE sweet, but you are so much more than that! You are smart, funny, articulate, and one of the kindest people I have ever met. You have changed my life for the better in so many ways I cannot even count, and I know for a fact that Karen and HOB are two of your greatest admirers and love you. I do, too! Sweet? Absolutely, but now if we say your sweet, will you even believe us? I say you are supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! That is better than sweet any day!

blueviolet said...

Sweet is overrated. Salty is so much better! ;)

Donna B said...

I say you are anything you want to be...I laughed and enjoyed your post because it sounded like my girlfriend and I driving down the road... the older I get, I agree with blueviolet...

slommler said...

Hrmph!!! Who wants to be "sweet"? Not me! I also agree with blueviolet...salty is better. Having opinions and not being afraid to share them. The ability to stand up for yourself! Not allowing people to run over you and your boundaries. These are all GOOD things!! Be proud...be SALTY!!
Hugs
SueAnn

Old Kitty said...

Maybe you are just bitter-sweet?
Sweet N Sour?
A Sweet-tener?
Sweet N Savoury?

:-) They're all good - especially with a big slice of apple pie and a couple of your fine cookies!

Take care
x

The Chicken's Consigliere said...

I loved this post, Betty, and those cookies look amazing. It is sweet of you to share them with your colleagues, even the undeserving. (see how I did that?)My friend, CB, always says, "I'll take a competent B*tch over a *sweet* incompetent any day". So there you have it, I guess.

Brian said...

I'm not getting into the sweet thing, except I'll bet the cookies smell sweet!

Leah J. Utas said...

I'm really enjoying your blog. It was sweet of you to find me.

faye said...

Betty.. you are too funny and the
Rottwielers of the world welcome you
to join our exclusive club...
We are too sweet !!


oh.. and that cookie... save one
for me !

Leanne said...

HAAAA HAAA ... oh, betty ...
I'd rather be your kind of sweet, than anything else!

Flartus said...

Ever the teacher..."My biting actions only serve to help you with your social skills." LOL!

I think HOB's got it right. Sweetness can equal doormat, and Betty's no doormat.

Betty Manousos @ CUT AND DRY said...

You're right..about that era.
Aww Betty, you're sweet as candy..or cookie.

Have a sweet Sunday!

Betty xx

sherri said...

sweet people make my butt itch. i never thought of myself as sweet, and now after reading the "Apparently sweetness and sarcasm are not genetically linked in any way" part of your post, I finally know why.

sherri said...

p.s. you may not be considered sweet. but you are highly esteemed in my book as awesome.

Out on the prairie said...

I often said I have been hesitant to step into a big downpour because I don't want to melt.Unfortunately when I tested this I am still the same shape.I have a restruant here one gal calls me sweetie, along with everyone else, but I know she is sincere.Like the other lady when she works since I'm darling.I will take a cookie.

Mamma has spoken said...

I agree with the others, sweet is over-rated. Besides if you were truely sweet, those student of yours would walk all over you!

Daisy said...

Well, I think you're very sweet, Betty, (she said while backing away carefully and trying really hard not to be dull, tedious, or obnoxious).

:D

baygirl32 said...

phhhht sweet is over rated. Take sweet with an edge

NENSA MOON said...

I think you're so sweet, Betsy... just like your site...sweet more than candy!!
Love to read your post.

nensa

Nicole said...

Oh Betty - I was never accused of being sweet either. When someone says to me, "You are just sooo sweet." I respond, "Huh. That's a first." lol

Tabor said...

You are what you are! I am sure I would never be called sweet. Honest (brutally) trustworthy (remembering always) but never sweet.

Tracy said...

Friends should not let friends drink and drive, Betty.

Brian Miller said...

if i tell you that you are sweet can i have a cookie?!? smiles.

Writing Without Periods! said...

Okay, next time you are driving around having fun, and listening to rock, I want to go.
Mary

A girl needs 2 Talk said...

Betty, my love, do you have any idea how many people have called me "rude" to my face? Sweet? I've been STRUGGLING to explain how I fit into that darn category too. Cruel people! CRUEL! I am feeling better to be letting off some steam.

p.s. Me thinks, Betty, the Mother is very sweet. Sincerely.

Marlene said...

Well, I think you're sweet!!!! (Of course, I have been called the queen of sarcastic comments, too....just thought I should add that.)

Gigi said...

If I tell you that you're sweet, can I have a cookie? :)

Joyful said...

Once again you make me laugh. I don't think I qualify as sweet either so you are not alone :-) I prefer a little savoury and sweet at the same time. Too much of one is bland.

beloved Mama said...

From one sarcastic, opinionated woman to another- We can't all be sweet... some of us have to let our opinions be known LOL! I"m liking you already! Thanks for visiting my blog.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

What's wrong with being both sweet and saucy?
And can I have a cookie?

Joe Cap said...

Well, ya know, how does one classify 'sweet'? You are compassionate..recall the hummingbird incident.
You are creative, I see all your photos...
You are funny, that comes out in all your blogs.
And best of all, you have great taste in the blogs that follow!

Nat said...

I think you have just the right balance of sweet and sarky to make your blog funny, arty, interesting and thought provoking to read!

Aging Mommy said...

Sweet to me is a way to describe someone who is veru nice but also somehow lacking anything going on beneath the surface, vapid in other words :-) So I think it is a far greater complement to not be described as generally sweet. At work my nickname was Pit Bull so sweet is not something people ever consider describing me as either. But then I never took wonderful cookies to work either and those cookies look divine.

Jennifer said...

Sweet is over-rated, nice AND FUNNY as heck is so much better!

SquirrelQueen said...

Looks like most of us agree that sweet is overrated. How about sweet & spicy?

Lourie said...

I have been called sweet by many, but those many do not live with me. Hahaha. Sweet is good....but you don't want too much sweet. So yeah, it's a good thing.

Patti Lacy said...

A couple of trips to your blog told me you were not just bossy but a delightful blend of just the right traits.

Cookies go a long way in my book.

Patti

Nicole MacDonald said...

Well you make sweet biscuits! And really that is faarrr more important than being considered sweet - which is a nice way of saying 'doormat' in my book ;p

http://damselinadirtydress.blogspot.com

Jingle said...

be yourself,
we love you the way you are.
love the cookie!

Jingle said...

Awards 4 u


please feel free to take awards there, share each award with 1 to 10 friends,

take your time doing a few at a time.
have fun!

Lin said...

See, I think "sweet" isn't a good thing, Betty. Sweet people are usually pleasers--those that agree with whomever they are with and do everything so that they are accepted by others. They don't have opinions on anything and they would never, ever say anything the least bit snarky or fun.

I like who YOU are, Betty, because you remind me of me. And I like me. And if that takes us to hell, well, so be it. All the fun people are gonna be in hell anyway. All the sweet people go to boring 'ol heaven.

Happy Homemaker said...

You're sweet n salty...the best combination around!!!

McGillicutty said...

Hmmm i don't know if a bossy can be a sweet too... just sayin'. no one's ever called me sweet either.. sour maybe but never sweet.
who gives a shit.. you're you and that's enough!!!

Sarah said...

Um, you are very sweet (backing away slowly) and those cookies look wonderful. Honestly! (running away from Betty)

liz said...

Oh no, BB!! I think you can sweet AND "interesting!"

Although, I think if you aren't sweet than I mustn't be, either.

I loved HOB's learned verbal skills!

Ann said...

Sweet people annoy me. You don't annoy me so even though I would like to tell you that you are sweet, I just can't do it. I like you too much to call you sweet :)

Baby Sister said...

I personally think you're very sweet. But you're also very witty, and funny, and sarcastic...there are a lot of things that describe you. :D

RawknRobynsGoneBlogWild said...

Can I remain silent on the matter and still get a cookie??
xoRobyn

Michelle Faith said...

This makes me very sad. I to, have never been called "Sweet", out spoken, funny, kind, but never sweet. Think you might say I'm a little bitter, now that you made me think about it...Thanks for that!
BTW...you may not be sweet...but your dam awesome!

A Tale of Two Cities said...

Oh my! What a perfect way to end my weekend--with a laugh and a giggle thanks to you, my friend. I think anyone who brings cookies to her co-workers as you do, definitely ranks high on the sweetness factor.

Debi

Sandra said...

You kind of remind me of Jen Lancaster. And although I wouldn't consider her sweet, I think she's awesome..how's awesome..will settle for awesome?

BECKY said...

OMG! I laughed out loud many times reading this! Hilarious! I especially loved this part: "Then she listened to my five-minute rant about how sweet I am while she sped rapidly to my house and squealed to a stop so I could get out after she suddenly remembered an appointment she had to get to." Great stuff!! AND, I consider myself to be very sweet, although, I too can be vey sarcastic at times! Kindred Spirits, Betty!

Cheeseboy said...

I'm with your husband, I don't think being "sweet" is a good thing most of the time. I love that my wife is a little rough around the edges.

citymouse said...

Isn't calling a girl "sweet" the equivalent of calling a blind date "nice"?

I'd rather be spunky... which I think you are.

Catherine said...

LOL ~ perhaps being 'sweet' is over rated. It makes for a very boring person ~ don't you think? ;)

xo Catherine

Madi and Mom said...

Oh BB we are so late chekcing in...Happy Labor Day and....do you have any job openings at your work?
Mom would love to apply she loves cookies....
Madi ps I have not been a very good hostess this weekend....more tomorrow.

Joey @ Big Teeth and Clouds said...

I love it! Whether or not you're sweet I can't tell, but this post is really funny!

Shan said...

LOL, nobody calls me sweet either. The most common word I've heard? *Determined* Really? That's it?

Hilary said...

I know of a rottweiler who was the sweetest dog known to man. If that breed could qualify as sweet.. why not Betty? You are too so sweet. You make me laugh with most every post you write. What could be sweeter than that?

Poetic Shutterbug said...

Okay, let's look at reality here. No one in this world is completely sweet. They may act sweet but trust me, they are not. It's the so called "sweet ones" that lie, cheat and steal behind your back. I'd much rather have the honest and take me as I am person around then the sweet one. Besides, cookies are sweet enough :D

Theresa Milstein said...

I love your caption under your photo.

Your blog is called "Bossy Betty" and you're asking if you're sweet?! You don't want to be too sweet or you could be boring. Since I'm attracted to sarcastic people, I guess I'm not too sweet either!

Jennifer Shirk said...

I bet you have a real sweetness inside covered by that "edgy" shell of your. Like an M&M. LOL!

scrapwordsmom said...

Ok, first of all...great song you were listening to!! And second of all...I get this very thing, too. I think I'm being so sweet but them my kids will say..."Geez, mom you were like so mean to that lady."

Really, I was?! Because I thought i was being pretty darn sweet...

Dreamfarm Girl said...

sweetness is highly overrated!

Kazzy said...

"I am sweet, DAMN IT!" I love it. :)

Joanna Jenkins said...

I'm with Blueviolet. Sweet is overrated :-)
Cheers, jj

BigSis said...

Blue Violet got it right - sweet is overrated. Much better to be a bit spicy!

Pat said...

Oh, you're sweet all right. With a little bit of tang.

We love you, Betty!

Pat Tillett said...

BB, it's the "edge" that makes you who you are. It's the "edge" that I love about you. It doesn't mean that you aren't also "sweet" at times.

Say, would you be a sweetie and hand me one of those cookies?

Gigi said...

How did I miss this one?! I loved this.

If you want to be known as "sweet" you have to pour a little bit of southern charm on with you sarcasm (or irony) and be sure to throw in a "bless your heart" after the bite.

That's how we do it down here! ;-)

Miriam in KS said...

We could manufacture a sugar coating just for Bossy Betty to apply each day so she might be construed as sweet.

Might be a bit sticky.

LittleSilkDress said...

BB, you ARE sweet. Whenever I actually post to my blog, your comments mean so much. You always say what I need to hear and in such a wonderful and positive way.

LittleSilkDress said...

BB, you ARE sweet. Whenever I actually post to my blog, your comments mean so much. You always say what I need to hear and in such a wonderful and positive way.

Mellisa Rock said...

I love the way that you look at the world - and being sweet is way over rated - it's the salty ones everyone remembers!

Jami said...

I doubt anyone who knew me would call me "sweet" either. I'll have to consider whether or not this bothers me. I mean, don't the "sweet" get run over alot? If so, I'll pass. :)

I have heard women described as "She's nice, but I wouldn't cross her". These days, I'm striving more towards this description, for better or worse.

Theres just life said...

I was concidered sweet when I was in high school. You know what I hated it. Sweet meant I didn't stand up for myself. I was a push over with no opinions of her own. I didn't want to hurt anyones feelings.
Thank goodness I out grew sweet. I would hate to think I was still that dull and boring.