Aretha Franklin sang about it, Rodney Dangerfield never got any, and we all want it — respect. And lately I feel like there's not much of it to be found.
I'll be honest here — I'm an easy target. Apart from being a klutz and particularly neurotic, I have the tendency to shoot my mouth off and then instantly having to shove my dirty Converse in my mouth. And I realize that some people find this funny, especially when my face turns the color of a roma tomato. Most of the time I do, too.
But it's not funny when I completely humiliate someone or cut them down to size. It's not funny when I've talked about someone or given them a nickname and everyone else starts calling them that, too. And it's really not funny when I see that what I say is powerful — powerful enough to shake a person's confidence or really cut at them.
So here's what I'm advocating: have respect for yourself and for other people. Be straight up and sincere, especially if you're in a relationship with somebody.
Guys, if you talk about a girl like she's a piece of meat, then, as Handsome Rob told the "Napster" in The Italian Job, "It's such a mystery why you don't have a girlfriend." And girls, if you think this is his way of showing his love for you, then Frank Sinatra was dead on when he sang that he "must have been kissing a fool."
And you're fooling yourself if you think that respect applies just to romantic relationships. I've never felt worse than when someone discriminated against me because of my race or prejudged me because of the way I look — and I'm not an ethnic minority.
Aretha Franklin said it best when she said, "I ain't gonna do you wrong." How many times have I been in the wrong when I think I'm being funny or just saying what everybody else is supposedly thinking?
How many times have I blown someone off because I feel like they're not worth my time or that they're so annoying that I can't stand to be around them? Am I really that prideful? I would hope that I'm not.
So I guess what I'm saying, to beat the Aretha horse dead, is that I need to find out what respect means to me. And I hope I can figure it out soon.