Two truths: 1) Don't mess with Emily 2) Ritz crackers are delicious
About the Author: Repeat guest-blogger Emily has newly been released from her Intern ranks of old and is navigating life with a sweet new job to her name. She continues to enjoy alcohol-infused baked goods (don’t ask us about the New Years’ bourbon ice cream cake), exploring the thrifty goodness to be found in the D.C. area, and blogging about it all on her tumblr. Oh, and sometimes she likes crushing the souls of those who get in her way. But don’t take my word for it–read more about her icy ways below.
Last fall, I was out for dinner with a guy I had been seeing. After dinner, he insisted on driving me back to where I had parked earlier (admirable), and the following conversation occurred while we were in his car (not so admirable):
(idle discussion of current pop culture; focus on TV shows)
Boy: It’s funny, sometimes my friends compare me to House.
Girl: Because you’re old and bitter…?
Boy: No, I’m just sarcastic, sometimes kind of caustic I guess.
Girl: That’s interesting, because sometimes my friends joke that I’m an ice queen.
Boy: [silence]… that’s not the same. And that’s not a good thing.
Girl: No, you don’t understand. That’s like… a status you have to work yourself up to. It’s a good thing.
Boy: No, that just means you’re a bitch.
Girl: (becoming tense) Actually, it means that I have high expectations of others and don’t put up with a lot of crap from people.
Boy: [longer silence]
Exit girl from car.
The first time I was ever called a bitch was in 7th grade home economics class (how appropriate, right?). Fed up with my [clearly superior] ability to cross-stitch and use a sewing machine more adeptly than him, one of my soft* male classmates lashed out as I kindly re-threaded his machine…while passive-aggressively commenting on his neediness and inability to perform simple tasks. Rude? Yes, I’ll be the first one to admit that I was rude. But first I’ll tell you that I was right, and I shouldn’t have to apologize for being better than him.
Welcome to my life as Ice Queen. However, as the lovely ladies of this blog have shown time and again – labels aren’t always accurate, and they don’t have to define you 100% of the time. In fact, I haven’t always identified with the label of Ice Queen, nor do I strive to uphold this label 24/7. That would just be whack.* So, before you read this and think that my heart is colder than that of the Huns battling Mulan, please be mindful of the following disclaimer: I (like to think that I) am really a nice person. Seriously – I don’t kick puppies, I don’t spit, and I rarely show up to a social event without some type of baked good to share. I love my grammy, I’m obsessed with adorable animal videos on Youtube (thanks for that one Denise), and I tell my sister that I love her whenever we talk. Sometimes, if I’m feeling really generous, I’ll even let someone else have the last bit of wine in the bottle. Now, with that being said…
Ice Queen originates from the summer before my final year at U.Va. I spent the summer working Charlottesville, surrounded by other student leaders for three fun – but often stressful – months. While my experience lent itself to the idea that the University is ultimately a place for collaboration, personal growth, and leadership development, navigating the nuances of University politics and personal relationships proved to an ongoing lesson for me. My close friend was in a similar position, and over the summer we looked to one another for advice and support in balancing professional and personal relationships with other student leaders and administrators. One of my biggest take-aways from that time was that leadership requires you to know yourself and to know what you (or a group that you represent) need – a bit cliché, but also a hard lesson to put into practice realistically. As some point, a joke was made about “queens” (female leaders) and the icy nature and authority in which we learned to deal with certain situations… and a nickname was born. Over the past two years, I have inserted the term – both in jest and seriousness – into many conversations and musings.
Now, as I said before, I am in no way encouraging someone to live their life according to the doctrine of an all-out Ice Queen. As I have come to discover, Ice Queens need balance – an appropriately-timed maneuver has much more “icy” impact than constantly coming off as a bitch. So, in the stylings of my OCD-intern self, I will present you with two lists:
When it is appropriate to be an Ice Queen:
1. If it concerns your future. I spent three months earlier this year searching for a job. After passing by several mediocre offers, I found an amazing fit in development and alumni relations at a university in D.C. If I hadn’t maintained my standards and pushed past the initial opportunities, it would have been much harder to attain the end goal. This intern queen already paid her dues, thank you very much.
2. If you are dealing with men. My friend Kelly provided me with the Bible of Ice Queendom this past Christmas: Why Men Love Bitches.
Sherry Argov shows that it’s not about being a crazy bitch, but rather about being a strong woman and respecting yourself. As I tried to explain to that poor guy in the car – bring an ice queen isn’t a bad, thing – it’s an aspiration. Know your standards, stick to them, and don’t be a doormat. Ice queens only walk on red carpets.
3. If you are Tina Fey. As you can see, U.Va breeds excellent women, and we aren’t afraid to tell you that.
I'm reading her book, "Bossypants", now, and it is excellent.
When it is inappropriate to be an Ice Queen:
1. If you are dealing with children. One time I tried to practice tactics of “Why Men Love Bitches” on a 6 year old child I was babysitting. She cried, and I still had to make her a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch.
2. If it has anything to do with THIS:
One time I googled “ice queen” and this was among the top returns. I (obviously) vowed to never let myself go that far (and for good reason – nightmares, anyone?)
3. If it involves alcohol. Most ice queens need to unwind with a glass of wine every now and again (or nightly, take your pick) – sometimes while discussing the soft men and bitches* that surround their lives. But future ice queens, take note – drinking in excess with the pre-existing condition of confidence and sass can result in aggression. Again, ice queens aren’t bitches. They ARE better at holding their alcohol than bitches.
When in doubt, always adhere to the first rule of Ice Queendom: “Do it right, don’t talk about it.”**
* Basic Ice Queen Vocabulary:
- Soft: lacking mental or physical aptitude; also, any boy with a body inferior to that of Brad Pitt
- Bitch: a girl who has not yet discovered her inner ice queen and still runs around without a spine, in need of an ice queen mentor to get her on track
- Whack: just not right.
- Tool/Politico: anyone an ice queen has to work with. Often, ice queens themselves inadvertently find themselves in this category – the only difference is that they recognize it.
- Womp womp: pity-remark or criticism for soft bitches. E.g. “Tommy got fired from his job because he sucks, womp womp.”
**Yes, I just broke my own rule and talked about “doing it right”. Womp womp, haters.