Okay. Let me start by saying this post may be deemed as offensive by some due to language used by me or the butt-hurt feelings experienced in realizing you can relate on either end of the subject matter. I apologize for neither. Get the fuck over it!
Furthermore, some people ain’t shit BUT we LOVE to keep an ain’t shit motherfucker in our presence, don’t we?
That said… Roll with me.
A bodega is the northeastern United States jargon term commonly used to refer to a small convenience store. Nothing special or fancy, just a term. In the South it would be a “corner store” and in South Florida (NOT the South) it may be called an Arab due to the melding of ignorance and the common idea that these shops are usually owned and operated by persons of Middle-Eastern origin.
These little stores are EVERYWHERE and have one thing in common. They all have WAY more shit than is necessary or sensible for the owner to carve out a niche. The design is to have as many items and be as convenient as possible.
You never travel to these stores. You only stop in because they are the convenient option. They are close and probably open. They are there to serve your whims.
Lottery, milk, beer, quick tee, or shitty booty? They’ve got you covered and are praying that proximity will be their selling point. They just want you to want and need them so they go out of their fucking way to offer EVERYTHING and even miss their own lives in hopes of being convenient enough for you to stop by. Even on the holidays.
A lot of you motherfuckers are a living, breathing bodega. A regular fucking 7/11 of sorts… The convenient option for someone that will never go out of their way for you.
Pause right here and evaluate your dealings with the people around you. Now, admit to yourself what people treat you as in their life. Are you always the reliable one they can go to when they need a fix or favor but never anything else for real?
It’s not even limited to romantic dealings. Look at so-called friendships, kin ships, and whatever other ties there are in your life.
Those people that know they can call on you for whatever whim they may have and it’ll be handled… THEM! That’s your bodega customer. —- WELL, customer implies an exchange of equitable expectations and this is rarely that— You’re convenient and not much more. Think sideline booty call. Your silly ass better know better than to call them when you want or need anything and if there is ever a time where you can’t or simply won’t deliver… THE UNMITIGATED BACKLASH… They don’t respect you or your life and never will. Accept the facts for what they are.
Shit hurts now that you think about it, huh? I know. I’ve been the bodega so many times I could write about… Wait! That’s what this is!
Bottle them shitty feelings right quick and get up off of your ass. It hurts but you’ll be better after this. Ride with me.
Me, as a bodega, I’ve been many things. Shit! Let’s see…
I was the one-way bank. I’ve been the free rental car service. I played the rent-free landlord. Even did my own free ass meals on MY wheels among other things… There were a few workout plans I never got that cash for too.Then there has been the luxury taxi service. All lessons learned…
The common factor in all of these situations was the fact that I was there and convenient. Whatever these beaters needed, they came to me and my silly ass gave it. It’s okay to admit that you were or are silly BUT that’s when you have to change the direction of the story.
In order to change any situation we must first face and examine the situation to see it in its entirety. We must see reality for what it truly is at that very moment. Like planning a trip, you can’t figure out how to get somewhere if you don’t know (won’t admit) where you are currently. Face the full reality of your situation and then we can move on.
Now that you’ve realized and accepted that you’re the resident bodega, we can work. It’s up to you to decide if you want to make the changes or keep things static.I say fuck keeping things static! That’s just a weak ass attempt at “keeping the peace” and ain’t no damned peace if you’re being used like a public toilet at a Taco Hell fest.
It’s been long enough that you’ve served as their personal genie. I know there are those times when they “act right” and give a little glimpse of reciprocity. DUH! You ever seen a skilled predator NOT give the prey just a little to reel them in for their desires? That’s how it works. When you get ready to quit they give you just enough to make you think they truly appreciate you and will be something more than a user in your life. They won’t! Let them and that feeble dream go back to the west end of whatever hell they emerged from.
How did we even get here?
The longing for belonging and the desire to have a purpose in life are natural and very human things. They even appear on Maslow’s Hierarchy. The sad thing is the fact that people we know and trust know this too and will exploit this to get what they need from us. They play on humanity to manipulate people into giving them what they want and need even if it is less than moral or ethical to do such. Why the hell would they care?
We all have an innate desire to be needed. We want to be wanted. The costs for fulfilling this desire can look crazy to bystanders but you may not know you’re out here looking crazy when it has become the norm to be used. Toilet tissue doesn’t know it’s not normal to be in such a shitty situation. How could it?
The same is true of people. We get so used to being the reliable one and the problem dump that we forget we are meant to be more in life. We may even forget to live our own lives for our own purposes.
We look up and we are broke and broken. Goals are still miles away while the bastards we thought we were being good to, we thought gave half a damn or two quarters of a fuck about us, are gone on to the next convenient thing. On to the next poor bodega with there goals in tote…
If you’re not careful, you’ll find yourself looking for the next twisted motherfucker to serve.
You deserve better. You’re not some genie trapped in a lamp waiting for the next asshole to serve. You’re a whole person with your very own list of goals and aspirations and it’s likely situated next to a list of bills and responsibilities. Handle these things.
You owe no one more allegiance than yourself. Hell… The first law of nature is preservation of the self! Learn to handle yourself first and foremost. Then, if and only if it is realistic, equitable, and not too taxing, you can help others.
If you cannot continue to help someone while preserving your self, do not feel bad. If there is no appreciation or reciprocity, cut them off! They will either sink or swim and neither will be your fault.
I’ll never tell you not to help others. There are some that genuinely need your help. There are genuinely good people that would help you in any manner they could if circumstances permitted. Help those if you choose. Even then, don’t expect it to be a 50/50 deal. This will keep you from a lot of head and heart aches.
Just remember to keep your personal aspirations and wellness at the forefront. These are yours to handle and if you put them down to take care of someone else, I can guarantee it’ll sit and rot until you get wiser and handle your own.
Do not let people treat you like some ordinary, run-of-the-mill, convenience store. You’re more. Much more…
To the beaters… Yes, you! Fuck you, fuck what you stand for, and fuck them that stand for you. FCUK Yo Bodega! We’re closed for business! FOREVER!