Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Bad Fairy

The other day, my uncle Harlequin told me about a concept he likes to call “The Bad Fairy.” I’m not certain from whence the expression originates, as my own search gave me images from the popular clothing line of the same name, like this one. The picture has nothing to do with my story, but, I like looking at it. If it helps put a smile on your face, (as it does mine), imagine your bad fairy looks just like that. Or heck, imagine two of ‘em making out. Even better. Anyway…

The bad fairy is anyone who imposes a negative influence on your life. (This is somewhat of a lead-in to the blog entry I keep postponing, and will enter another day.) Typically, the bad fairy is someone in a position of trust, someone who gets you to lower your defenses and confide in them. It could be a friend, or a mother, or a teacher. And when you let down your guard they attack your self-esteem. They feed you negative energy while pretending to be in your friend. They’ll say things like, “I’m just telling it like it is.”

Never let anyone have the arrogance to tell you they “know it like it is.” Anyone who tells you they everything there is to tell about you is a liar, and frankly, is not trying to help you.

Harlequin told me of a writer’s workshop where a female instructor had been flirting with him throughout the workshop. She talked about “the bad fairy” and how she always let her mother discourage her from being a ballerina, telling her “your thighs are too big.” Now, years later, it is far too late, but she still resents her mother for crushing her dream, which is now apparent in this teacher’s writings.

“You have to rise above this,” she said. “The bad fairy is nothing more than an obstacle in your life. If it helps, turn them into a despicable, contemptible character in your writing. You are in control now, and you must allow yourself to grow beyond them.” Okay, maybe I’m paraphrasing a little, but she said something like that.

During the break, as the teacher flirted with Harlequin, my aunt, in a combination of shifty cleverness and total lack of mercy, approached for the kill.

“Show me your thighs.”


“Your thighs. You said yourself you need to get over that fear. Let’s see them, they can’t be that bad.”

The instructor reluctantly pulled up her thick heavy skirt, revealing her thighs.

“Oh my, they are big,” my aunt quickly remarked, faking surprise.

My aunt’s a real stinker, isn’t she? But that’s what uncle Harlequin loves about her. She tells it like it is.

Years later, in another book by this instructor, this exact conversation takes place, except my aunt it older, and obese. And that’s the tale of the bad fairy.


Inkpot said...

Mmm, I've met a few bad fairies in my time but none of them ever looked like that picture you posted! :)

the worst fairy of them all said...

I think I'm the opposite of a bad fairy. I encourage people when they really shouldn't be encouraged in the pursuit of something or other. And in fact, they really should be strongly discouraged, but I don't have the heart to tell it like it is.
"He's so emotionally hurtful to me, I really want to leave him but I'm afraid I won't find anyone else... What should I do?"

"Get married? Then he'll know how much you love him and he'll change for you. Because that's what true love is."

"Alright, yes. That's what I wanted to do but I wasn't sure. I know I can change him. I love him too much"

ema nymtom said...

There are times where I'm sure I come across as a "bad fairy", but I like to think that in certain situations it's acceptable. For example, when a friend of mine is about to make a big mistake. A situation like this came up recently - my friend told me he was considering giving it another go with his most recent ex, who shat all over his heart by sleeping around on him. I told him, flat out, that if he did that he was a total fucking moron, and he'd get no sympathy from me when she broke his heart. This may seem harsh, but trust me when I say it was necessary to lay it out like I did. Was I the bad fairy? Personally, I hope my friends have the stones enough to smack me when I'm about to do something abundantly stupid. Friends are there for support, but they're also there to keep you from getting your dumb ass into deep trouble. And that's my rant about that.

Malice Blackheart said...

You’re lucky, Inkpot, the sexier they are, the tougher they are to resist. And the more you don’t mind when they break your heart.

Al, we won’t say you’re a bad fairy. We’ll say you’re a crafty little devil. A crafty, naughty, sexy little Filipino-American he-devil. Wait a minute, that’s not what you did to mima is it?

Ema, the way I understand it, telling your friend to stay away from the psycho hose beast does not make you a bad fairy. His cheating girlfriend is the bad fairy. She’s the one destroying his ego. You’re just doing damage control. He needs friends like you to keep him away from the fire. Telling a child not to stick his hand in the fire does not make you a bad fairy. Telling him that he’s worthless, that he’ll never amount to anything, and that no one will ever love him, on the other hand, is. Furthermore, you’re right to tell him you’ll have no sympathy if he goes for it again, because now he should know better, and if he’s not prepared to help himself, why should you be expected to?

Akv said...

Great! You've outted me, now no one will take my advice.

My advice to Mima was my generic response to most inquiries: "Take the money and run!"

I'm just a devil's advocate, I'll argue any side so long as it leads to debauchery.

spookygreentea said...

BAHAHAHA. Fat and obese...

Oh man... That's a wonderful story, Mal.

Hm. I think I must be my own Bad Fairy. :/ I can't seem to quit the self-defeatist attitude - and how do you get rid of that? I suppose I would have to split off my personalities, or something... Do you think there is such a thing as an Inverse Bad Fairy? Take the function and flip it - I'll be as encouraging as all hell to others, but give me the same problem and I will tell myself there's no way I can do it.

No way, no way. I'm just too stupid.