Unpopular Opinions: The Slap Heard ‘Round the World

I’ve only been at my company for just over a year, so I’m in the unfortunate situation of having the least amount of vacation time possible for a salaried employee. Or maybe it just feels unfortunate because I work in an office mostly filled with old biddies close to retirement. Compared to their eight weeks a year, my ten days feels like nothing.

Still, though, I’ve managed to schedule the first half of the year wisely. After using up the last of 2013’s days in late December, I worked for almost all of January and took the last weekday off. Now I’m working all of February. I’ve got some vacation days planned in early March, then I work all of April, and I have more vacation scheduled for early May. It’s a lot easier to continue going to work every day when you can look at the year in blocks of work punctuated with time off, rather than the way I did it last year when I just…worked. Solid, without breaks, for probably eight months in a row, at least.

I have ten working days left until my March vacation time starts (only two days but it’s scheduled just before the weekend so haaaayyyyy free time!), which means I also have ten working days left until STEPHANIE AND JUSTIN GET TO SEATTLE!

I’m so excited to see my friends (duh), but also to be able to show them around a city I love. There are a couple of obvious touristy things on the agenda (the view from the Space Needle is actually very nice and only an idiot would refuse to go to Pike Place Market), but overall, it’s just…hanging out? Coffee, parks, film and television landmarks.

Oh, right.

See, our neighborhood is right next to the one where the house from “Harry and the Hendersons” is located, plus our house is only a few blocks away from the Fremont Troll everyone remembers from “10 Things I Hate About You,” plus Stephanie wants to see where Stephen slapped Irene in MTV’s “The Real World.” And I wasn’t asked to, but I also found the apartment complex from “Singles.” You know, if anyone ever cared about leaning over to unlock the car door for someone.

When I was researching the address for the Real World slap (I googled “where did Stephen slap Irene”), I started thinking about that event and how scandalized I was when it happened. Like all idiots who thought MTV was cool once, I thought it was so significant and awful, and I absolutely thought Stephen should get kicked out of the house for it. And while I don’t condone slapping a woman in the face (really, slapping anyone in the face, but I don’t think I’m being unfair by being especially skeeved out when a dude does it to a lady), as an adult, I can look back at that slap and think “You know, Irene really had that one coming.”

Because Irene was an asshole. She was a whiny, pretentious, mean asshole. I don’t give a shit about the Lyme Disease part, either, so that sympathy train can roll right on by as far as I’m concerned. Want an example of how Irene was an asshole? Okay, so she’s leaving the house because this little experiment wasn’t “art” enough for her (because she expected it to be?), and she turns to Stephen – someone she doesn’t even like and since she’s not going to live there anymore she can just ignore from this point forward – and calls him a homosexual.

As an insult.

Nevermind that Stephen is out as gay now. He wasn’t out in 1998, though, and while he did make some homophobic comments at the time, it was nothing particularly vitriolic and we all know about how closeted individuals can be extremely self-loathing, etc. etc. The point is that Irene probably didn’t know Stephen was gay but still called him a homosexual because a) she thought it would piss him off and b) she considered it insulting. And when it’s said like that, the four extra syllables don’t make it any more refined than spitting “fag” at someone.

Today’s Irene claims to feel remorse about the comment, and yes, I do understand that we say and do really stupid shit when we’re younger. But she’s still kind of a bratty shit, and it was still a hateful thing to say, and really, Irene, I’m more concerned with the continued degradation of gay people than I am about a single show on MTV making you look confused and tired, thus (according to you) persecuting people with Lyme Disease.

Anyway, Pier 70 has since been renovated, and the Internet tells me it’s nearly unrecognizable now. Which is fine. We’ll go, anyway. And the only reason I’ll slap anybody is if they gay slur someone I love or if they ask me to.

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About erineph

I'm Erin. I have tattoos and more than one cat. I am an office drone, a music writer, and an erstwhile bartender. I am a cook in the bedroom and a whore in the kitchen. Things I enjoy include but are not limited to zombies, burritos, Cthulhu, Kurt Vonnegut, Keith Richards, accordions, perfumery, and wearing fat pants in the privacy of my own home.
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