Category Archives: Rants

I Don’t Know

“I don’t know how you do it!” If I had a dollar for every time I heard those words, I could actually hire someone to help me do it. Or hire someone to do it for me and then I could lay in my bed and read (#goals).  I heard these words again this week and I find them oh-so irritating.  Because let’s be real: A) You aren’t actually impressed with what I’m doing and B) You don’t really want to know how it’s done.

Welcome to my latest rant!

At best “I don’t know how you do it!” is just one of those things that people spit out when they really don’t have anything to say, but feel the need to talk anyway.  As a lifelong introvert, I particularly dislike this kind of happy horse shit and fervently wish that people would stop polluting the air with meaningless words (yes, I’m also a bit of an asshole). It’s much like “You’ve got your hands full!” or “Is it hot enough for you?” or “How about that exciting sportsball whatever?” (not an actual thing, just what sports-talk sounds like to me).  I do understand the need for human connection, so I will try not to act like an asshole when I hear these things in their benign, friendly tones, and will probably just nod vaguely and move on with my life.  You’re welcome.

At worst, “I don’t know how you do it!” has a little snotty tone to it that betrays the not-very-well hidden message of “Your life sounds so shitty to me.  Glad I’m not you!” I’ve received way too much of this in the past 4 years, what with my surprise divorce and years of piloting a hideously ugly minivan, not to mention the constant presence of multiple boychildren, who belong to me and are always wilding nearby.  You’d think I’d be used to it, but much like those situations where people tell you that you “look tired” when they really mean that you look ugly or disheveled to to them, IT GRATES.  I get that “tired” one a lot too, because I’m a single parent in my 40s and hell yes I’m tired.  I usually just respond with, “I AM tired, thanks so much for noticing!” and raise my coffee cup to the asshole who said it, because really? Who doesn’t know they are tired?  Who needs it pointed out?  Nobody, that’s who.

I suppose “I don’t know how you do it!” is a bit better than “You look tired!” because faux admiration is surely better than faux concern.  But honestly they both suck.  Especially when said with a smug smile and little headshake.  Yeah, I saw that.  Thanks!

I guess it’s possible that some people are actually wondering how I accomplish some of the unremarkable things in my life.  Well I have answers to some of the “I don’t know how you…” comments I’ve heard recently.  Here you go:

I don’t know how you do that long-ish and trafficky commute to your job with the very inflexible schedule EVERY weekday!  I sure couldn’t do that!    

Answer:  Oh I bet you could do it, if you had the motivation of it being the only means of your getting health insurance and the paycheck that provides food and a home for you and your children.  And even though I do not love being in the car for 45 minutes in the morning and an hour at night to go 11 damn miles, it’s actually super easy to do.  I just get in the car (no longer a minivan!!) and put on a podcast like My Favorite Murder or a sweet (possibly yacht rock) playlist and then I drive while trying not to hit anything or swear too obviously at the other commuters until I get to work.  Then I do it again at 5.

I don’t know how you ran that half marathon!  Who has time to train?  Plus running is so boring…especially on a treadmill.  And aren’t you worried about your knees?

Answer: Running isn’t for everyone, but I love the way it makes me feel wrung out and happy and way less crazy.  I fit it in to my already packed schedule, because being less crazy is a high priority for me. So I turn down other things or get up really early in order to do it.  Bonus: the effects of running have (so far) kept me from throwing things at annoying people who tell me I look tired or ask me stupid questions while criticizing my choice of hobby.  It’s a win/win for society!  The actual doing it is a deceptively simple process of getting up out of a seated position, putting on running clothes and shoes and moving forward while listening to another awesome playlist that I compiled in my head during my long-ass commute.  My knees seem to be holding up fine.  I am not worried about them.

I don’t know how you handle parenting your three crazy sons!

OK, this one may be legit, because my children are nutsy and loud and they all talk at once and want my personalized attention at all times.  They also never walk when they can roll, flip or climb something and jump off of it and getting anywhere with them is exhausting and probably much like herding cats.

Answer:  I’m not very good at it.  That’s why I look tired.  Having three kids was not the smartest move for my temperament and if I’d known that I’d be alone with them most of the time and that they’d all be energetic boys, I might have rethought the whole endeavor.  But I’m lucky that I didn’t know what my future would hold, because I adore them in all their craziness. They are truly my life’s best reasons.  I may sometimes look like I’m not extra thrilled with it, but that is because I am so damn tired all the damn time.  But it’s good. We’re all doing just fine.

And that’s the point of my rant.  My life, while not everyone’s cup of tea, is very good and I’m fairly happy.  Nobody really needs to know how I do it.  I just do it, because it’s what needs to be done and who cares? It all works for me.  Everybody has things in their life that they don’t particularly enjoy and that other people would find distasteful or downright horrifying.  But they get them done because that’s what they need to do to make their lives work.  If you haven’t had to make the best of some shitty situations recently, that’s great!  But don’t get too smug, because life is unpredictable.

If you think that someone’s life looks unpleasant, you do not need to let them know.  If you must say something, you could try to be helpful with “This seems hard, is it?  Can I help in some way?”  Or if you are truly impressed with the way someone is handling the challenges in their life you could give them some encouragement like “You are doing a great job!” or “I admire the way you did that.” Those are nice things to hear.  Or you could send them a lovely Starbucks gift card! Tired people love those.

Thank you for reading my rant.

 

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Don’t Say It!

While watching April the giraffe give birth on Saturday morning, I had the almost irresistible urge to post, “So glad I had c-sections! I feel like I got away with something!” as my Facebook status. I admit, that even six years after my last c-section, I get the urge to say shitty things like this, probably because there were multiple people with internet medical degrees who had unsolicited opinions about me having c-sections due to my not knowing better and not watching Ricki Lake’s documentary carefully enough. Who cared if my uterus was riddled with tumors, possibly from a childhood of drinking tap water in a factory town? Obviously I was just caving in to what my doctor wanted, because I didn’t do enough googling.  Anyway, I didn’t post it, because it was dumb and shitty and it’s been six years and who cares? But still, I am a little proud of my restraint.

Is it just me or does this happen to everyone? Many times a day something that I DEFINITELY SHOULD NOT SAY will pop into my head at the most inopportune times and I have to spend a great amount of energy stifling it until I am in no longer in danger of saying the unwise or offensive or hugely awkward statement. The problem is, when I think about saying the thing I should not say, it makes me laugh. There is a very bad part of me that thinks that saying the inappropriate thing would be totally hilarious. It’s like having a cartoon angel and devil on my shoulder saying “Shhhh…don’t say that!” and “Oh my God, say it right now, I’m dying!” So far I’m not bad at stifling. Unless there’s alcohol involved…

In job interviews when they ask the question about your biggest challenges or weaknesses at work? Every time, I want to say “Hire me and find out!” But I never have. Instead like everyone else, I’m a “perfectionist” who just loves to get everything so perfectly perfect that sometimes it’s hard when things can’t be as perfect as I prefer. I can almost say that without laughing. It’s my favorite interview lie next to “I’m a people person.” If the people are quiet and give me enough space and never bother me when I’m reading, then yes, I’m totally a “people person.”

At funerals, I always want to say that the deceased looks like the “picture of health” because at my dad’s funeral my sister and I overheard a senile great aunt saying it about him and it may have been the most darkly comic moment of my life. And to be fair, my dad would have thought it was really funny. Now my sister and I say “Picture of health!” any time someone dies (but quietly, because we aren’t total assholes). It would be comedy gold if she and I were to meet Steve Bannon, so that one of us could tell him he was looking well and was “the picture of health” and then we could both pee our pants while we tried not to laugh at him openly.

I say some inappropriate things with women, but it is much worse with men, particularly in “getting to know you” situations. My stifling mechanism doesn’t seem to work as well. Maybe because interactions of that kind are inherently awkward and comical and I usually try to smooth the edges with a cocktail or two. But I say some nutty stuff. It’s truly amazing that I tricked two suckers into marrying me. Don’t tell them I said that. I once briefly dated a long haired man who wore his tresses in a ponytail on our first date, but had it all long and loose and kept flicking it around like a sexy Jesus on the second date. It was very distracting, mainly because I was trying not to say the words “sexy Jesus” in his presence. I managed to hold that in, but later he brought up something about his long hair and I said “I usually find long hair on men really feminine…uh…but not yours…though it’s really pretty, er manly? It looks really healthy!” Things pretty much devolved from there and it was not a love connection.

Once a guy told me his son’s name and it sounded like some magical, made up Game of Thrones-style horror (I didn’t say that aloud. Yay, me!) and the thing that popped into my head was, “I could never love you.” Awful. I am an awful person. I stifled it, of course. But I couldn’t ever love him. That is a fact. Besides the GoT-named child, he had smoker’s breath and was a very close talker. Like a sexy Game of Thrones-style dragon? Eh, I just couldn’t make that work for me.

Recently I met a man who was telling me all about how he has his pilot’s license and how he flies so many places and it is all so exciting and fun and I should come with him some time…and all I kept thinking was “I know how you’re gonna die. Fiery crash!” Is that not the most horrible thing, ever? What the fuck is wrong with me? Granted I was not feeling positively toward him, mainly because before he got on the piloting subject he seemed to be hitting on me by mansplaining three subjects I had no interest in, in the fifteen minutes we were talking. That has to be some kind of record. But oh my God, that was a terrible thing that I stifled! It’s not like I even know what I’m talking about. From the way he was going to town on his fried mushrooms and other pub food, he’s probably going to die of a heart attack like most Americans. I didn’t say that either, by the way. I just excused myself and hid in the bathroom.

I feel like as I get older I’m may just stop stifling as much and embrace the devil on my shoulder. I’ll be one of those old bitches who says something awful, then cackles into her whiskey. I’ll find a tribe of other asshole people and say, “If you don’t have something nice to say, sit by me!” and we’ll pass my flask around and say every inappropriate thing that pops into our heads. It will be entertaining, to say the least.

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Cats are Assholes

Look, I’m just going to say it: I think most cats are assholes. I hate to admit that I feel this way, as I tend to be open minded about most things. I’m not into newer country music, most sports, many theme parks, carrot cake or that guy who plays Sherlock, but I can definitely see why people like these things. I recognize that we all find different things appealing and that is good. It’s what makes the world interesting! And I am usually able to get along with just about anybody, even people who seem to have no sense of humor, other than the laughter that comes at other people’s expense. Do you know the type of person I’m talking about? Is it my imagination or are there more of them lately? They are not fun or funny, but they *think * they are. Ugh. I’ve had to deal with more than a few of those folks in my life and they are extremely tiring to endure for long periods and only barely manageable in small doses. I generally just nod and smile and make affirmative sounds near them, until I can get away. Much like I do with cats. Which was the subject I was on, before I digressed. I often digress. I have no illusions about my endurability to others, but thankfully I like my own company. But cats? They suck. There, I just threw that down. Boom!

I know that some people admire the “don’t give a fuck” attitude that cats seem to have, but not me. That attitude doesn’t make me want to win them over, it convinces me even more that they are assholes. It’s not that they aren’t cute assholes. They are adorable! I love pictures of cats, especially in clothing, but even uncostumed, they are pretty damn cute. I don’t love that they will walk on your counters and tables and not even give a shit that you don’t like it and think it’s probably unsanitary. I don’t love that they poop and pee in a box that you have to clean frequently so that your home doesn’t smell like an indoor zoo exhibit. But I could deal with those issues.

Here’s what I can’t deal with: I hate that cats ALWAYS approach me. Always. They meow at me and look irresistably sweet. They rub up against my leg as if to say, “I reeaaally like you. Pay attention to me. Give me pats.” And I always acquiesce even though I know how it’s going to end. I pat them for a while, they purr and seem oh-so happy, they snuggle up to me and relax. And then, out of nowhere, those cute little motherfuckers will bite me. Almost every time! If they don’t bite me at this point, it just means that this is a long con, where they are going to bite me six months or a year from now when I trust them more. Hmm….this is sounding scarily similar to my history with men. Given this, you would think that I’d be all, “Cats just seem right to me for some reason. I don’t know why, but I just love them so much.” But no. My heart belongs to doggies.

Dogs are just as cute as cats, but they are unabashed in their adoration. They will wag and jump and seem absolutely crazed to see you, even if you’ve just re-entered a room you walked out of five minutes ago. Dogs will go on a walk with you and make you slow down (while they sniff and pee on stuff, it’s true) so that you actually see all the pretty trees, flowers, yard art and other people in your neighborhood. But you won’t have to talk to them, because dogs try to protect you. My crazy ten pound Josie will get in front of me and bark and growl ferociously at anyone who dares approach me when we are out walking. While I doubt that she has saved my life in this way, she has almost certainly saved me from countless uninteresting conversations. Dogs will happily play fetch with you or wade in a creek, but they are also happy to sit next to you and watch a Netflix marathon. And dogs look even better than cats in clothes. If they love you, they will totally let you dress them and take photos to send your friends and post on instagram. Dogs are not sneaky at all about wanting your food. They are never subtle. All I’m saying is that dogs are sweeter, snugglier, more helpful, more loyal and just generally better than cats.

I know that people will disagree and may try to change my mind, but ironically, my personality is more like a cat’s than a dog’s and I will not care at all. Maybe this attitude is why so many cats approach me. They know I’m a kindred spirit. An asshole who deserves a good chomp every once in a while. They probably aren’t wrong.

 

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Holiday Soundtrack

There is a local radio station that plays Christmas songs continuously for the entire month of December. As soon as I found it, I decided to tell my kids that we could no longer listen to anything else until Christmas is over, so that we can ensure that we are ALWAYS in the holiday spirit. I was lying, of course…it’s really because they drive me crazy with their constant arguing about what song to listen to while I’m trying to drive. You’d think they would realize I’m not actually Ms. Holly Jolly if they looked at some of the contextual clues in our life. Our main Christmas decoration is a tiny fake tree, with pre attached lights, decorated with little plastic dragons and candy. We eat and replace the candy weekly. I also keep it festive (and classy) with a reindeer that sits on our mantle and poops out jelly beans. I own exactly ONE Christmas album and it is the only one I’ll ever need: John Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas Together. I have been listening to that glorious album every holiday season since I was a kid and I will never stop loving it. I would just play it on repeat all month, but the CD player in my van is broken and the stereo system is so old that using newer musical technology is impossible. So the All-Christmas station it is! Unfortunately, there are a lot of hits and misses with the holiday tunes. I had no idea that there were so many that are just…insane!

Let’s start with the obvious: Baby It’s Cold Outside. Surely everyone recognizes the creep factor of this song, right? It’s a sexy holiday song about coercive tactics to bed someone who seems less than thrilled at the prospect, with a possible spiked drink thrown in just for laughs? Oh hell no! I mean seriously dude, she’d rather freeze her ta-tas off then spend another moment by the fire with you. Clearly you are the worst!  When you read the recently reworked lyrics that emphasize consent, it only highlights the creepiness of this song. If you are on a date with some who says that this is his/her favorite Christmas tune, I highly recommend that you go into the bathroom and immediately summon a car with the rideshare app of your choice. And for God’s sake, DON’T finish that eggnog!

All I Want For Christmas is You is another stalker anthem, albeit a peppy one.  Who obsessively wants a person for Christmas, when there are so many great gift card and liquor options? A psycho, that’s who. If you are dating someone who loves this song, I personally think you should dump them before the holidays so that you don’t end up spending your Christmas chained in their sex dungeon, sporting a latex elf suit.

How about Holly Jolly Christmas? This song seems all rollicking good fun, until that part where he says “Ho Ho, the mistletoe, hung where you can see.  Somebody waits for you. Kiss her once for me!” Uh, what? I have to admit, that song kind of makes me want to run up to someone and give them a great big surprise kiss, like “MWAH! This is for Burl Ives, baby!” Would anyone get it and laugh before I got deservedly punched and/or arrested?

Then there is Santa Baby. Who came up with this song? It’s awful! I mean, am I misinterpreting or is this a grown woman singing in a baby voice about sexing Santa up so that he’ll give her furs and diamonds? Gross!

We Wish You a Merry Christmas starts out with good intentions: just some happy carolers at your door, singing a merry tune and wishing you good tidings. Then it turns dark when they DEMAND pudding and suddenly it becomes a full blown stand-off! Horrifying.

I personally hate The Little Drummer Boy, because I loathe nonsense lyrics like Pa-rup-a-pum-pum. Gah, just typing that upset me. I know I may be on my own with that one as many people just adore that sort of thing. I once got screamed at by a fellow Girl Scout when I refused to join in the singing for a horrible song called Dum-Dum Da-Da. That song’s title represents its only lyrics. Even as a child, I simply could not. It’s the same with Pa-rup-a-pum-pum. No can do. (Strangely, I’m totally fine with sayings like “no can do.”)

And just to throw in more sacrilege I hate both Paul McCartney’s Wonderful Christmastime and John Lennon’s Happy Xmas. Those titles are ironic, right? The former is surely on the soundtrack to at least one Christmas-themed horror movie and all of my Christmas-themed nightmares. It gets stuck in your brain and won’t let go. And the latter starts out really judgey, “So this is Christmas and what have you done?” Well I don’t know.  Jeez.  Now I feel like an asshole. Then the chorus punishes you for your inaction with a shrill “A VERRRY Merry ChristMAAAASSSS….” Oh my God, please stop hurting my ears. I’ll do better next year, I swear.

I do like some Christmas songs – I’m not a total Grinch (probably). Elvis’ Blue Christmas always makes me happy and anything Christmasy at all by Neil Diamond fills me with joy. But my absolute favorite is Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas from my favorite (only) Christmas album, the aforementioned John Denver and the Muppets masterpiece. Rowlf the dog, with his low, growly voice is perfection. He sounds like he’s had a couple of drinks and he’s feeling sentimental. He and John Denver, whose voice is clear and true, sound like real friends, just hanging out at the piano. They’re saying that times are tough, but we have each other, our faithful friends and loved ones, and that’s what’s important during the holidays and always. I could think of no better sentiment with which to end 2016.

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I h8 the way u text

On the first iteration of Gorgeous and Sassy we had a section called “Rants” where we’d post our complaints and pet peeves for the whole internet to read and then correct itself accordingly.  I believe I wrote a rant about a similar subject in the early aughts, and things have become exponentially more horrible, so clearly nobody listened. At that point I was mainly complaining about creative spelling and grammar in email. But I loved email as a form of communication. People thought about things before they spouted them off and wrote in actual sentences that mostly made sense. They punctuated! It was like letters, but faster. Bad spelling in email was pure laziness, because of spell check. It was a glorious time. Possibly a golden era of communication for me. I still have a few sexy/romantic emails that old boyfriends wrote to me and it is fun to go back and reminisce about the more literate men of my past. And I’m totally going to publish that shit if any one of them gets famous or runs for political office. Now that many people do the bulk of their communicating by text, creative spelling is eye-burningly common and laziness is OUT OF CONTROL.

At first I hated the whole concept of texting, because I’m an introvert and texting felt like somebody was rudely interrupting me and demanding my immediate attention, then coercing me into a usually uninteresting and unsatisfying conversation, riddled with weird abbreviations. Hateful. And frankly, it still can feel like that. But I came around when I realized that it would practically excuse me from ever having to talk on the phone, which I often hate and try to avoid whenever possible. These days I don’t enjoy it when people call me on the damn phone when that they should know that thing is for texting. Don’t call me, I’ll call you. Spoiler alert: It is unlikely that I will call.

The point of this rant is that I HATE the abbreviations/funny spelling that people tend to use when they text.  For example “u” for  you.  U should never, ever do this. U are not the real Prince. He is dead and u are an asshole. Or how about “k” for OK? I mean, sweet Jesus, are you the laziest person in the world? It’s just one more fucking letter. And it’s a nice round one. Use it.

I don’t like creative spellings like “tonite” for tonight or “wat” for what, because really? How much time did that save you? Was it worth making me vomit in my mouth? Also, when you add 50 emojis to the text, it defeats the purpose of all of your stupid abbreviations.  I don’t even hate emojis, I just hate too many of them. Unless it’s the poop emoji, then by all means add 50 of them. I get it. Or all of the cocktails. Totally understandable. I will never complain about the cocktails, as I too want them all.

I used to hate LOL. I’m still not wild about it, because it’s disingenuous. You are not laughing out loud. You may have chuckled, but come on. You didn’t really LOL. You didn’t. And if you are ROFL(Y)AO, I am going to call a medic. Because I think that’s called a seizure, my friend.

Now that I’m single, I’ve made a mental note to never get into a drunken make-out session with a bad texter. Once you send me a bad text, you’re in the no make-out zone. And that is truly your loss, because I am an excellent drunken make-out partner. I never lead with the tongue and I always carry Altoids. Just saying. And I’m sure you’re not just losing the super sexy chance of making out with me, bad texters (although it may be the most tragic consequence). Your stupid texts are probably causing you to miss out on all kinds of other great things, because your text is like a smack to the eyeballs and that is very unappealing. Or maybe it’s just me. That isn’t impossible. I’m twice divorced, so clearly I am difficult.  But you know what? I’m glad I said it and I stand by it! Down with horrible texting language! At least in your texts to me.  Can we just agree to that?  Please?

On a positive (and hypocritical) note I absolutely adore Bitmojis. I know I probably shouldn’t admit to it after all of the bitching I just did, but they are delightful!  Some of my dearest friends (like Shakira) and I communicate almost exclusively through Bitmojis and they are always a whimsical joy.  Especially the unicorn that farts a rainbow. Honestly, that one says it all for me.  I may never need to send anything else.

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