We used to own the book 102 Dalmatians, and it was one of Big A’s favorites. We would read it all the time a few years back, one of those fleeting childhood fixations I had forgotten all about it until Saturday morning, as my stoner hands scrolled absentmindedly through the kid’s section of HBO Go.
“That one!” Little A cried, and navigated my cursor to not 101 Dalmatians, but it’s sequel.
“Are you sure you don’t want to watch the first movie instead,” I asked, and she remained adamant.
So on went 102 Dalmatians, and off to the kitchen I sauntered. I paid the movie only half an inebriated mind as I pottered around the house, but during one particularly evil exchange, I looked at the television and declared my hate for Cruella de Vil. I gasped as the word escaped my lips, and backpedaled. “I shouldn’t have said that,” I told Big A, preemptively, expecting her to call me out.
“You can say the H word,” she said. “Oh… but you used it on a person.”
I could almost hear the wheels turning in her brain as she thought about it more. “Well,” she conceded, “Cruella is trying to kill the puppies.”
“Yeah,” I said, as I picked up some fallen toys, “She’s just a bad person.”
I felt wrong saying it.
There was a time not too long ago when I loathed my boss, when I would listen to Big Sean every single morning on the drive to work.
“You little stupid ass bitch, I ain’t fucking with you,” I’d scream in the car, preparing myself for another day of doing everything in my power to avoid storming into her office, telling her to eat dicks and then quitting in a blaze of glory. I even wrote my own lyrics to the song on the back of a notebook. My favorite line was, “And every day I wake up celebrating shit, why? Cause I got much more talent than a shady bitch, I-” But then I could never figure out a good next sentence. Mr. D ended up sending in that very notebook as part of Big A’s first grade school supplies, and by the grace of God, I realized this potential fiasco before it was discovered by her teacher. (Or at least I hope I caught it in time…).
I didn’t like my boss. When I reflect on this past year, I hear Ms. Mahogany’s voice: You have so many other things to focus on, to give your time and attention to. To be great at. Stop holding on to the hate for her. For the situation. Give it to God to handle and release.
I admire and respect the Duck for many things. She’s funny and can be incredibly kind and is the only one who indulges in my obsession with my high school frenemy-turned-work nemesis. And while the Duck hasn’t always been very nice to me, she has made me better, and I am grateful. In fact, the achievement I am most proud of over the past year has been learning to take the hate out of my heart.
“She’s just a bad person,” I had said of Cruella de Vil, replaying the line over and over in my stoner brain, knowing it was wrong but unable to articulate just why. And then I watched the vilest, most disturbing climax, as dozens of dogs jizzed icing all over her cake-laden body (Fast forward to the 6:18 mark and see for yourself). The scene was filthier than the filthiest porn and more shameful than Cersei Lannister’s walk through King’s Landing. It was awful, and I realized then that no woman deserves to be covered in cake cum, that there is nothing sadder than harboring the kind of hate that finds enjoyment in another person’s suffering.
As the movie ended, I could almost hear Ms. Mahogany’s voice again. “Take the hate out your heart for the Duck and operate with just love. Letting go of all of this is more for your growth and liberation than hers.”