What Are YOU Up To?

bitchface mcbee

what do you do

I graduated over a year ago, and I still don’t have what people would consider a grown-up job that can, say, “pay rent” or “make a difference in the world” or “give my mom something to brag on Facebook about.” Though, the strange thing about this is that I like where I’m at. I just have trouble explaining that to people.

A year ago, I loathed myself for not having a job secured upon graduation, like so many of my non-filmic peers did. I became more and more disappointed in myself every time someone talked about his “big move to Seattle for a full-time job omg look at me I’m successful!!!” I would see Facebook profile updates regarding new jobs, and start sobbing until I found enough cat and marriage proposal videos to soothe my soul. Whenever my friends’ parents would talk about their kids’ thriving careers, I would sit on my hands to repress the urge to stick my fingers in my ears and sing “la la la laaaaaa.”

And then it stopped. After a couple months of therapy. And many talks with my boyfriend about how he thinks I’m good for something other than eating all the salsa in the apartment. And taking the time to figure out that everyone’s at different stages in their lives, and also, fuck Jacoby who works for Google because he’s a tool and I don’t know why I have him as a “friend” on social media anyway.

I’ve sat at a desk for eight hours a day (sometimes more because everyone says to be “the last intern to leave the office” but it’s hard when everyone else has heard the same goddamn thing), and felt the creativity and passion to make things slowly draining out of me as I headed home on the 10 East. I know that if lived like this for a long period of time, I would have money and bitches and good hair, but I wouldn’t be happy. I need to use my hands and mind to make things, and while some people can do this after a day at the office, I don’t have that ability. For this reason, I don’t have a “real job” and I don’t intend on getting one soon, and I’m okay with that.

So, when people ask me what I’m up to, it’s hard to answer. I could say that I’m “in between jobs” or “looking for full-time work,” but that’s a lie. I could say I’m “writing” or “making cards with Troll dolls on them,” but that’s usually followed by questions about who I’m working for and how much I get paid (but really, who wouldn’t buy a card with a Troll on it?). Typically, I just say something like, “I’m doing nothing,” which leads to pats on the back and comments like, “something will happen eventually.” Then they offer to pick up the bill because they feel bad, so hey, free meal!

But if I did get the sense that people really wanted to know about what I’m doing, and didn’t just want to make small talk or use my response to segue into one of their own humble-brags, and we had the time to actually talk before my meter ran out, I’d say this: “I get to wake up every morning, sit at my desk, and devote my time to making things I want to make. I don’t get paid, I don’t have health benefits, and I don’t get donuts in the lobby on Fridays. But I do get to do what I love, and for no reason other than it’s what I want to do.” However, this answer doesn’t get me free food, so I guess I’ll just keep it to myself.

Smile

bitchface mcbee

smile

**This is not a statement about the great goddess Beesus or bunny sweaters or even bus stops, despite what it appears to be. Sorry if I’ve disappointed you already.

Oftentimes, I’ll walk down the street and be greeted by strangers. These strangers, as the doodle suggests, are often older and have an affinity for (the human version of the insect world’s Beegers) the Dodgers. I know, I’m probably “asking for it,” right? By dressing like an old woman who drinks hot chocolate and listens to NPR, while somehow still looking like a teenager who can get carded at R-rated movies? So, it shouldn’t be surprising or disturbing or annoying that I, along with pretty much every lady out there, am almost always “holla’d at” by fine gentlemen like this.

I never know how to respond to comments like this, other than keeping my head down and semi-sprinting away as I pretend I’m talking to my nonexistent UFC champion husband on the phone. No matter what, however, I’ve found that men like this don’t like to be ignored, and will often retaliate with words like, “Well, fuck you, you stuck-up bitch.” Nice. If your sad attempt at charming me didn’t work before, you’ve definitely won my heart now.

As much as I’d like to talk back, I never do– partially out of fear I’ll get stabbed with a prison-made shank, and partially because I don’t want to waste my energy on idiots like this because it won’t make a difference to them. They’ll just brush it off and prey on more ladies. Bitchface isn’t like me, though. She fights back, hoping to make street harassers feel as shitty and uncomfortable as they make us feel. But more importantly, she doesn’t get stabbed for doing so.

In my mind, after she says this, the Beegers fan takes the bus home (his mother’s, obviously) and sulks in his room while he thinks about how he and his friends shouldn’t fling unwarranted comments at women because they hurt and they’re irritating and also, when have these lines even worked on anyone ever? Then he eats dinner and plays Xbox, maybe not a completely changed dude, but at least it got him to think.

Sweater Party

bitchface mcbee

party outfit

I like sweaters. To be more specific, I like oversized sweaters in which I can hide. The sleeves have to be long enough to cover my hands on command. The bottom of the material has to hit somewhere in between my knee and middle-upper thigh. Strange, vaguely-Christmas-themed patterns are preferred, but I’m also fond of large pictures of animals and/or 90’s graphics smack dab in the middle.

Unfortunately, some people don’t have the same affinity for such fashion, especially when “going out” is involved. I’m not a fan of parties begin with, be it the uncertainty of people I’ll know there, the uncertainty of being able to trust that people who are drinking really mean what they’re saying to me, or the uncertainty of whether I’ll get home in time to watch an episode of Twin Peaks (my therapist says uncertainty makes me anxious, if you couldn’t tell). The last thing I want to do is have to worry about what I’m going to wear. Thus, I’ll usually just throw on a big, familiar, purchased-from-Goodwill sweater hanging in my closet. Because I’m certain I’ll at least feel comfortable in that.

Beginnings

bitchface mcbee

bitchface mcbee 0414

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a cartoon character (either that or Agent Mulder from The X-Files). For a significantly shorter amount of time, I’ve been aware that I have a face that makes me look like I hate everybody around me. These two things have shaped who I am.

Because science has not advanced far enough to be able to turn people into cartoons, I decided to take matters into my own hands. Combining those two attributes of mine, I created my alter ego, Bitchface McBee.

She is a bee person (a bee? a person dressed as a bee? no one knows) who is constantly bothered by people around her asking why she looks the way she does. I feel for her. As a human person, I, too, have to answer to things like, “Are you okay?” “Why do you look mad?” or the occasional vomit-inducing, “Smile.”

Bitchface McBee is me, but cooler, because she says what’s on her mind instead of nervously giggling and running away like I tend to do. One day I hope to be just like her.