I’m a Professional Offender
By Bri Clark
Have you ever written a blog post, cracked a joke, shared a status update and received a message later that “they” were offended?
Yeah me too! I hate they.
Only I’m a professional offender. And there is nothing that raises my hackles more than someone becoming offended and making a fuss about it in a public format. Especially if I hadn’t planned it.
Wait?! You can actually plan to offend someone?
Yes…yes you can. Remember I’m a professional.
How does one become a professional offender? Well it’s not like there are any workshops or college courses that I’m aware of. So I can only share how I honed my art. Raised by my grandparents in the south, I was hanging out at the church functions, women’s clubs and VFW halls from infancy. In these establishments gossips, scandal, and offense are as plentiful as sweet tea and twangy accents.
And since I was with the older matriarchs of society I learned the subtle “Bless your heart method.” This is where your intended victim doesn’t even realize they’ve been offended until well after the job had been executed. The Bless Your Heart method is a true art. In order to properly use it the professional offender either has to have a plan plotted and wait for the chance. Or is so confident and witty that they can use it at a moment’s notice.
I can do both.
In fact, it’s almost like a natural reaction to use the Bless Your Heart Method. Over the years, I’ve become so good at it I don’t even have to use the phrase. But tend to just for kicks.
For me personally there are key elements that provoke my internal offense system.
• Anyone messing with my children. From schoolteacher, principal, peer, or clergy. Yes I have Bless Your Hearted a Sunday school teacher before. Crazy, southern mother here.
• Sluts as a whole. If I could overcome so can you.
• Anyone disrespecting any military service individual, spouse or child. Or the services as a whole. Army brat here!
• Ninny hammers that persecute someone because of their religion. Mormon here!
• Anyone using the term bastard instead of in its proper use. Bastard here!
For these reasons and many more, I will not join PTA or volunteer at any things my children are doing. Someone somewhere will piss me off and once the system is ignited, it does not detour.
Now I’ll try to create for you an example of The Bless Your Heart method in action.
Imagine a group of women is hanging out after school waiting for their children at the bus stop. The newest mother in the neighborhood, Gina, is approaching. Over the last few weeks, she comes to the bus stop dressed in extremely immodest clothing. Clothing that would make the dancers in a rap video blush immodest. Lately she’s been complaining that her significant other doesn’t trust her. And of course I’m one of the mothers in the group. Now watch.
“Hey what’s youse doing?” Gina says, popping her bubble gum then using her acrylic nail to scrape it off her lip. Bri and the other mom, Lisa, share a look.
“Just waiting for the bus,” Bri replies. Lisa’s eyes bulge as Gina pulls her tube top up over her gravity-attracted bosom.
“Well youse remember how I told you that Don went through my text messages.” Gina doesn’t wait for an answer. “Well the bastard activated the family map tracker on my iPhone. I’ve never done anything to make him not trust me. All I ever do is eat, sleep, shop, and pick up his kids at the bus stop. I mean yea, I hang out at the sports bar but they only open the dance floor up on Friday and Saturdays. It’s sports not a club.” She rolls her eyes and tries to dig something out of her three-inch nails.
Bri’s always wondered how any woman keeps her nails that long, wipe themselves, and manages cleanliness. Lisa is once again bug eyed from Gina’s comments. It’s a common facial expression for her around Gina.
Bri shakes her head and catches Gina’s eye. She can feel the thickness of her southern accent actually coating her throat from what she’s about to say. “Bless your heart, you poor dear.” Lisa now turns her frogeyes on Bri. “I can’t imagine how you put up with so much.” Gina nods her head and tries to look innocent, forcing her bottom lip in a pout. “I mean, you really don’t do anything at all, do ya. And I bet he buys those clothes for you just to add to his case,” Bri finishes. Gina quits nodding her head and replays Bri’s words. Lisa’s eyes go normal; she covers her mouth and turns her back. The bus comes with their children, ending all conversation. Gina never comes back to the bus stop in a tube top.
That’s just one example. And it’s so much sweeter when you really experience it. Anyways, the rant I needed to get out. If I’m going to offend you believe me I’ll know it. You just won’t…until later.
So tell me, dear readers, do you have any particular methods for getting your point across?
Bri Clark is a real example of redemption and renewal. Growing penniless in the South, Bri learned street smarts while caring for her brother in a broken home. She watched her mother work several jobs to care for their small family. Once her brother could fend for himself, Bri moved on to a series of bad choices including leaving school and living on her own.
Rebelliousness was a strong understatement to describe those formative years. As a teenager, her wakeup call came from a fight with brass knuckles and a judge that gave her a choice of shaping up or spending time in jail. She took that opportunity and found a way to moved up from the streets. She ended up co-owning an extremely successful construction business. She lived the high life until the real estate crash when she lost everything.
She moved west and found herself living with her husband and 4 kids in a 900 square foot apartment. She now fills her time, writing, blogging, leading a group of frugal shoppers and sharing her southern culture. Her unique background gives her writing a raw sensibility. She understands what it takes to overcome life’s obstacles. She often tells friends, “I can do poor. I’m good at poor. It’s prosperity that I’m not used to.”
Bri and her husband Chris live in Boise. Bri is known as the Belle of Boise for her true southern accent, bold demeanor and hospitable nature.
Bri boasts several positions in the publishing industry. An author, professional reviewer, blogger, and literary strategist she enjoys all aspects of her career from the creation of story to the branding and marketing needed to make her books successful.