There is a popular, yet dangerous, new quote-turned-mantra going around, particularly among women. “If you can't handle me at my worst, you don't deserve me at my best.”
This might be the stupidest thing I have ever heard anyone say.
People (again, primarily women, who for some reason are prone to using fleeting and trendy quotes as a life mission statement) are actually using this quote as an excuse to always be on their worst behavior. I wonder how many people know they are actually quoting Marilyn Monroe? Sure, she was talented, but is she really a good role model? Are you sure you want to pattern your life using her mantra considering the path she took and misery she brought on herself and endured?
Personally, I have never understood the concept of picking a mantra just because is fits on a bumper sticker, or got popular on Pinterest. I prefer my mantras, objectives, and mission statements to come from a higher authority, or at the very least, a credible source.
Let's break it down, shall we?
First of all, no one will ever want to handle you at your worst, if they aren't already deeply acquainted with your best. If all anyone ever gets to know about you is your worst, they will never want to handle any other part of you. Your “worst” should be an exception to the rule, an unfortunate, one-time experience, that everyone regrets was unavoidable.
Women, there is no excuse to always be bitter, angry, snappish, or in an otherwise described foul mood. It doesn't matter how tired you are, how hard you have had to work, how many children you have, and/or how many balls you think you are juggling at once. If your life is so difficult that you must always be “at your worst,” you need to stop, assess, and make some changes.
Everyone, male, female, married, unmarried, young, and old, should be striving to put their “best foot forward” every day. Always be at your best, whether at home, work, church, or on a date.
If you are using Ms. Monroe's quote as a defense and excuse to always be telling people off, always be angry, and always defiant, no one will ever want to be friends with you. And I say this in all seriousness, if you truly believe that everyone should always handle you at your worst, you need to consider the possibility that you have an abusive personality.
We all have bad days. We all make mistakes. We all have short-comings. And yes, we absolutely should be forgiven for them. It is natural to not be perfect. But the only real purpose and objective we should have in life is to overcome the natural man. We should work to rise above the “natural” inclination to be angry at people who don't do everything exactly the way we wanted them to, without instruction, the first time.
Every day of your life should be about trying to be your best. Every day should include the desire to understand and exercise charity. There is no room for the “pure love of Christ” in “at my worst.”
Since this is a singles column, let me add this: if you think anyone will ever want to date you when all they have ever seen is “your worst,” you are wrong. In dating there is only room for your best.
After you know someone well enough that they are familiar with your best, and know that you are always striving to be the best you can be, when you have a bad day, and are caught at your worst, the other person should forgive you and recognize it as your worst. If they don't, that is their problem, not yours. Your job is to hold your head high, and know that next time you will only be caught at your best. We are all entitled to an off day on occasion, but only because we have had so many good days first.
Go out there and be better than Marilyn Monroe. Go find a great mantra that makes you strive to be a better person. And please, do not find it on a bumper sticker, cross-stitch, or Pinterest.
Erin Ann McBride is a writer, dreamer, and blogger. Check out her new novella, The Agency, on Amazon and Barnes and Noble for just 99 cents! You can find her daily at The Story of a Nice Mormon Girl and at SwingStateVoter.com.