Remember when you were in junior high school and there was that one awful, mean girl? The one who made a big point to take your usual seat at the lunch table and leave you standing with your stupid lunch bag, too timid to stand up to her and turning bright red when none of your other friends did either? She was the one that told the boy you liked how you wrote his name in your notebook, made fun of your bookbag, helpfully told your teacher about the note you wrote (at her insistence,) and loudly announced that you had your period in a room full of prepubescent boys. Then she asked that boy to the dance for you, bought the same bookbag in a different color, and conspiratorally asked you for a tampon in the bathroom, fooling you once again into thinking she was your friend.
Of course you remember her. She was a fucking menace. All of us remember her. Because at one point in time, we all knew her, or we were her, or wanted to be her friend, depending on which way your hormones were raging that day. Junior high girls are the epitome of bullies; they’re why no woman, ever, recalls with complete happiness the preteen years. There may have been good moments, but they were all tainted by that awful girl. You show me a woman that cannot recall, with alaming accuracy, a traumatizing encounter with that girl at her school and I will show you a woman who is still plotting her revenge.
So what is it, exactly, about social media that makes grown women turn into the adult version of that girl? Under the guise of screen names, we have no problem calling other women fat, ugly, stupid, the list goes on. We have no trouble criticizing a woman’s entire parenting style based on one photograph, her entire wardrobe based on one outfit, her entire personality based on one comment. What the hell, ladies? What about the anonymity of the internet has turned us all into Regina George?
I bet Maria Kang is wondering the same thing. If you haven’t heard – and I’m sure most of you have – Ms. Kang is a fitness blogger who has come under a staggering amount of scrutiny for a photo she posted to her own Facebook page. Here’s the picture.
Looks pretty good, doesn’t she? Three little kids and still puts that much time and energy into her fitness and health? She probably eats healthy and hardly ever uses the cats “bothering her” as a reason not to do her home fitness DVDs. I bet she doesn’t have a recipe called “Spaghetti Monster” that includes cream cheese. And I’d wager she doesn’t eat chicken kiev for breakfast whilst watching the marathon on TV! Kudos to you, Ms. Kang!
This is what went through my head when I saw the picture. Did it make me feel bad about myself? No. Did I feel as though she was chastising me or shaming me? Not so much. Did it propel me off the couch? No, but if I was forced to pick an emotion, it would be “inspired” as opposed to “shamed.” If she can do it with three kids, I certainly could. Then I saw she was a fitness blogger with a huge following, and honestly, I thought, what a fabulous tagline! If I was actively trying to lose weight, I would print this picture out and put it on my fridge. Good for her!
The internets disagreed. While there were certainly people that supported her and agreed with the message, a good portion of the 18,000 comments – yes, you read that right, and I bet you couldn’t find an article about the government shutdown with half as many comments, but that’s another bag of apples entirely – were downright hateful. People called her a liar, (because obviously she couldn’t look THAT good,) a terrible mother, (because clearly a nanny was raising her children; obviously the only thing that is important to her is looking beautiful,) and even went so far as to question her children’s parentage, (“They’re probably not even her kids; they all look different.”) Common denominator in these comments? All women.
What the hell, ladies? Why the hate? Here’s a successful woman – a wife and mother who blogs about what works for her and how she’s been able to maintain a healthy lifestyle and workout routine while managing a busy family. She’s a fitness blogger, which leads me to believe that most people following her are women trying to do what she does, who are looking for advice and inspiration. So why, instead of taking that photo as an inspiration and getting moving, are we sitting behind our computers, trying to find the faults to tear her down? It makes no sense.
While we’re on tearing down – can we all please leave Miley Cyrus the fuck alone? I swore I wasn’t going to chime in on this so as not to add to the fact that WE ARE STILL TALKING ABOUT HER, but I can’t help myself. I saw today that Paul McCartney finally weighed in on what is apparently the debate of the goddamn year. It’s only a matter of time before the President chimes in and then we’re all going to be mad because he has better things to be doing but you know what? We made this happen. We have taken a performance on an awards show and elevated it to a national concern about the youth of today, turning Miley into a cautionary tale about what happens to good little Hannah Montana when she doesn’t listen to her parents. Give me a break. You don’t want your daughter to look up to or emulate her? I bet your mama didn’t want you to act like and dress like Madonna, which only made you like her more. And I bet her parents didn’t want her dating that boy who tried to look like that dirty hippie, Paul McCartney.
My point? She isn’t really doing anything different – it’s just that every single word, thought, and action is immediately visible and public now. And at this point, it doesn’t matter what she does or says – she could be saving orphans and kittens in her spare time and people are still going to be all, from behind their computers, “Yeah, but did you see those shorts she was wearing?” Which is how I hope she sees it - something along the lines of “Well, they’re not going to be happy anyway, might as well get naked on a wrecking ball!”
Maybe next time instead of automatically assuming the worst, we think for a second of whether we would say out loud to one person what we’re about to publish silently to hundreds? Don’t turn into that junior high bully. You remember how awful that felt – I bet women like Maria and Miley do, too.
We recently moved – yes, again – to a new apartment and are in the process of decorating, putting up pictures, and generally making the place feel like home. That is, in between rounds of me loading the dishwasher. I have a dishwasher for the first time in my adult life and the love I have for said dishwasher knows no bounds. All of a sudden, I am that person who is grabbing plates out of unsuspecting hands mid-bite and then using every pot, pan, and fork in the place just so I can fill up the dishwasher and run it. I look up product reviews on dishwasher tabs and research how to remove water spots, nodding sagely along with advice because now I, too, have a dishwasher and can commiserate with the difficulties of getting my cutlery squeaky clean. My husband, who lived through the past seven years consistently repeating the phrase, “Letting it soak, my ass. It’s been soaking for three days,” is bewildered by this crazy person who can no longer abide by a dirty dish in the sink, this person who empties out leftovers to wash the bowl, who starts emptying said dishwasher at 8AM on Saturday morning. (On that note – the quieter you try to be is directly related to the number of forks you accidentally send clattering to the floor when the cat tries to help be jumping into the sink next to you.) Anyhow – I am loving the new place. We are still deciding on exactly what pictures/posters/memorabilia to put up on the walls. I thought we had it mostly figured out, until two weeks ago when Tony went for a walk in the morning and came clambering up the stairs an hour later, exclaiming, “I found art!!!” Which brings me to this, which is currently propped up against my living room wall, unsure of its place in the world.
At first, I was all, sweet, you found a graffiti covered canvas! But the more I looked at it, the more I was intrigued. It’s actually pretty cool and definitely different. However, I’m still vacillating between, Hey, that’s totally creepy and Hey, this is really cool and you should ask me about my edgy, artistic side. (Heh. I can’t even type that without laughing.) But my biggest hang up with it is I DON’T KNOW WHO IT IS. Or who it’s supposed to be. Or if it even is supposed to be someone? A few people I’ve shown the picture to think it may be a rendering of Mayor Daley. Which would make sense, and like a friend said, I could build some cool Chicago décor around it. But what if it’s the artist’s creepy uncle Fred or something? And then I have a dinner party or something and some fancy guest is all, “Why do you have a painting of that dirty old man?” (I’m not sure what about the painting or apartment makes me think that I’m all of a sudden going to start hosting dinner parties, but I want to be prepared.)
So I’m turning to you, friends. What do you think? Do you know who it is? Does it matter? Help me get this either onto the porch or onto a wall or into the garbage.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a dishwasher to unload.
It’s true. Somehow, against all rhyme, reason, and gravity, yours truly has been commuting via bicycle for nearly six weeks. To date, I haven’t fallen, (other than that one time while standing still in my driveway,) gotten flipped off, (other than that one cabbie but he was a dick anyway,) hit a pedestrian, (close call with a stupid girl in high heels holding an umbrella, ipod, and cell phone in the middle of the street but she was a dick too,) or caused an accident, (that I know of.) SUCCESS!!
If you live in Chicago, you are likely firmly in one camp; pro-bike or anti – bike. As someone who started strong on one side and migrated to the other, I find myself in the unenviable position of playing devil’s advocate on both sides of an argument. Which, incidentally, is the fastest way to lose credibility. I always end up apologizing for the way I ride a bike AND drive a car and kind of lose momentum.
So, Chicago, I’ve come up with a list of rules for all of us that should make everyone’s commute safer and less anxiety-ridden in the hopes we can all make it to work safely in one piece and not shouting obscenities at each other. Let me know what you think.
For The Bikers
*Follow the rules of the road. I’m not saying you can’t ever coast through a stop sign at an empty intersection, but stop at red lights. Look both ways.
*Yelling “bike lane, mother fucker!” at unsuspecting motorists garners you no favorable points, nor does it help your cause.
*If you are a hipster on a skinny bike wearing an ironic t-shirt, understand you are already a target. Listening to your ipod whilst cutting off traffic makes you more of one.
*If you are a seasoned bicyclist and notice a chubby girl struggling up a hill, there is no need to ring your little bell and yell in your best booming outside voice, “LEFT LEFT LEFT!!” as you literally zoom by. She is moving at the literal pace of a turtle and loud noises shall only serve to frighten and startle her into turning the handlebars left. A simple “on your left” at a reasonable decibel will suffice. (This one may or may not be personal.)
*Right or wrong, a bus is always more powerful than your bicycle, regardless of how much of a dick the driver is. You can be as self – righteous and pissed off as you want, but it is still going to hurt when you are plastered to the windshield of the number 66.
For The Drivers
I do understand. You hate the bicyclists. They get in your way, block the street, ignore the signs, and are usually going a lot faster than you are. That being said, here’s a few tips from those of us law – abiding riders.
*Please, please, for the love of baby Jesus and everything holy, glance in your rear view mirror before opening your door on a busy street. Just a glance. No biggie. If there is someone careening towards you close enough you can see the whites of their terrified eyes, just hold off a sec, wouldja?
*Same goes for pulling into traffic. A quick look over your shoulder will tell you if you are going to completely ruin someone’s day by forcing them to split second decide whether it will hurt less to hit your car, swerve into oncoming traffic, or flip over their handlebars when they grab the brakes. My heart is already pounding from struggling up that fucking hill, it can’t handle surprises.
*Honking your horn at an unsuspecting bicyclist apropos of nothing as you pull up right next them is simply being a jackass.
*Same goes with cat calling out your window. Look, I’ve seen what I look like wearing my bike helmet. I realize you are mocking me and it simply makes me want to “accidentally” scrape against your car.
*Those aforementioned bike lanes? Actually are there for the bike riders and not for you to park for a quick thirty minutes. Know that by blocking it, you are forcing an unsuspecting rider directly into traffic where one of your fellow drivers is waiting for a reasonable excuse to hit them.
For The Pedestrians
*Much in the same way the bus is always more powerful than a bicycle, a moving bicycle will always do more damage to you than your flip flops will do to it. Fair or not, if a rider is heading right towards you, simply step aside. Sometimes, the rider is me and may have lost control.
*Next time you are out walking with your ear buds in while talking on the phone and sipping your latte, pay attention to how much you walk like a drunk trying to walk a straight line. I bet you think you walk straight. You don’t. I promise.
*If you are crossing the street against the light whilst staring directly into space, I might say I’m sorry after I crash into you, but I won’t mean it.
*There is a reason every mother, teacher, and babysitter always drilled “Look both ways before crossing the street,” in your head. It’s because of bicycles. Look right then left then right. I promise, you won’t be able to miss me heading towards you. My helmet is purple.
All of that being said, the bike riders have the most responsibility to be super aware of their surroundings. My hope is that these rules, written by a law – abiding, if somewhat clumsy, bike rider, will give some perspective.
Can’t we all just get along?
How the fuck is it July?? Somehow I blinked and it’s been a month and a half. Apparently this is some sort of adult phenomenon, but as I have no children and thus no busy t-ball / summer camp/birthday parties/insert your own exhausting activity here, I’m just blaming it on the fact that I’m sort of a spaz and just today flipped my calendar from May. (what? It was a pretty picture.)
Anyhow, this isn’t a real post because I’ve been away so long my brain short circuited trying to decide what topic to start with.
Here’s my top contenders.
*How to Plan a Surprise Party for Your Incredibly Nosy Parents
*Bike Riding in Chicago for Dummies: The Helmet Diaries
*Courtney’s Culinary Adventures – possible alternate title – WTF Mama Why WOULDNT I put Cream Cheese in Baked Spaghetti? – other alternate title – How Not to Lose Weight Whilst Cycling Six Miles a Day.
*Why We Suck at the 4th of July
*The Summer Jungle Bugs of the Ukrainian Village
*Why Sometimes My Family Simply Kicks Ass
*Air Conditioning? Who Needs Air Conditioning? (Special Response from my Husband Entitled, “I’m Fucking Melting.”)
*Why I Am Awesome at the Neighborhood Watch.
*Being 83 in a 34 Year Old Body and Why Apparently it IS Important to Not Wear Flip Flops from Walgreens – Alternate title, Why No One Wants to Go Anywhere With Me Unless it is Less than a Block Away.
*Beach Bag Packing for the Insane
So that’s what’s been happening here…..
I’ve been hearing quite a bit lately about this show, “My Cat from Hell.” Well-meaning friends and family trying to tell me about this man who is an expert on cats and will come into your home to diagnose whatever emotional problems your cat apparently picked up somewhere between the litter box and the water dish. Sure, they act like they’re just mentioning it in passing, but the intention is clear: Your cats are assholes and all of you obviously need professional help and possibly some strong narcotics. While I appreciate the thought, I’ve seen this guy, and there is no way on God’s green earth or Satan’s hell that I am letting someone named Jackson Galaxy in my home. I don’t care WHAT he promises.
However, part of me wants to challenge him. Because I firmly believe that while dogs are trainable, cats are not. A dog, no matter how stupid, will eventually learn that sit = treat. A dog will learn that “NO!” is often followed by something undesirable, whether it be a lack of treat or a swat on the rear. A dog will hear his leash jangle and immediately associate it with “Walk.” A dog will almost always accept her fate when it’s time to go in a cage for the night, or in the tub for a bath, or in the car for a vet trip. This is why dogs are man’s best friend. Even the ones that are dumb as fuck will eventually learn basic commands.
Cats will do none of these things. Cats think that they are smarter than you, and will spend every minute of their ten-pound existence trying to prove it to you. I’m pretty sure if my cats could talk, their stream of consciousness would go something like this.
- “Hurry, she looks comfortable. Start barfing or something.”
- “OH MY GOD THERE’S A SHADOW ON THE CEILING AND MY ENTIRE EXISTENCE DEPENDS ON CATCHING IT!!!”
- “What do you mean, what am I doing on the counter? I’m clearly licking the plates you left out. Are you blind? Do you need a doctor?”
- “Oooh, oooh, ooh!!! Clean laundry! Ima curl up on it and molt like a snake!”
- “It’s three in the morning? Shit, where did I hide that golf ball? I need to start pouncing it across the wood floors. It’s funny to watch the blonde one wake up in a panic.”
- “Stop bringing people in the house, I’ll stop biting them. Problem solved.”
- “Go ahead and keep buying discount food. I can throw up like literally anywhere. It’s a lot harder for you to get underneath the dresser than me.”
- “Excuse me. EXCUSE ME. I was sleeping on this pillow and there’s no room for your giant head. If you insist on trying, I’ll have to keep pawing you in the face. And since I won’t sit still long enough for anyone to clip my nails, it’s probably going to be more uncomfortable for you than me.”
- “You think you were worried when that stupid small cat took off? Watch me streak out onto the porch and nearly fall out the third story window. You don’t even know panic, lady.”
- “You need to go to the bathroom? We’ll come hang out!”
- “Are you seriously telling me to stop meowing? I’m a cat, dumbass. You’d be just as successful reasoning with your toothbrush.”
- “Hey, asshole. I’m stuck to the window screen. Would you prefer I yowl like someone’s pulling my teeth out or tear a giant hole in it?”
- “What? I can only throw up properly when I’m walking around the bed while you’re sleeping in it. Stop acting all crazy.”
- “I wasn’t trying to trip you. I just like to hang out under your feet.”
- “Good morning! I’m going to stand on your head now.”
- “Please. Stop threatening to ‘Set me free.’ You don’t have the balls and you know it. You’re really just embarrassing us all here.”
Your move, Cat Whisperer. I’m sure as hell out of them.
I have to start by saying I was completely unaware that Abercrombie and Fitch was still considered the store for the cool kids. I was also unaware that teenagers still use the terms “cool,” and ” the in crowd,” when referencing the popular kids being that the last I checked, teenagers today are not characters from ”Grease,” and use a whole slew of words that most of us born before 1990 don’t even understand. But if the backlash surrounding this article highlighting their CEO’s comments is any indication, the war between the popular kids and the geeks is still going strong. Only now there’s the added stipulation that you can’t be one of the cool girls if your pants size is in the double digits.
CEO Mike Jeffries made this comment in an interview with Salon (several years ago, to my understanding, if we’re all being fair,) ““In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids,” he told the site. “Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely. Those companies that are in trouble are trying to target everybody: young, old, fat, skinny. But then you become totally vanilla. You don’t alienate anybody, but you don’t excite anybody, either,” he told Salon.”
So let me get this straight. Essentially, the CEO of a clothing line known for their overtly sexual advertisements showcasing standard-sized fashion models – which is somewhere around a size 2 -stated that they make their clothes with their target demographic in mind. Their target demographic is teenagers who fit the common perception of beauty. And the common perception of beauty for a female is not a size 16. It’s just not.
Is that fair? Fuck no it’s not fair. Is it right? Of course it’s not. Does it need to change? Of course it does. But bear with me a minute. When I was a teenager, there was a store in Woodfield Mall – I’m not sure if they were a chain or not - called 5-7-9. Why were they called that? You guessed it – those were the sizes they carried. Of course, they also carried sizes 0-4, but they didn’t carry anything above a size 9. When I was a teenager, I would have sold my goddamn soul to have bought my dresses from 5-7-9. That’s where everyone who was ANYONE bought their clothes. However, Jesus blessed me with early puberty and a set of knockers that required underwire at the tender age of 12; juniors clothing was out of the question way before I was a junior. Was I overweight? No. Not at all. At 16, I was a solid size eight. (And yeah, it has to be said that OF COURSE I want to go back in time and bitch slap teenage me and tell her that that Mountain Dew addiction was going to catch up in a major way and manifest itself in a lifelong affair with sugar and fast food that she will never, ever shake.) But my point is that I was a very healthy 5’4, between 130-145 pounds, and a I felt like a GIANT compared to my girlfriends. And not being able to fit into clothes from 5-7-9 was kind of heartbreaking. I couldn’t understand. Why did all of their clothes look terrible on me? How did their size 9 jeans not pull over my hips? I wanted their dresses, I wanted their clothes, I wanted to fit in. I didn’t want to buy my damn dress in the Misses section of fucking Penneys, no matter that it looked a thousand times better on me. It wasn’t from the POPULAR store.
Fortunately, my mother has a low capacity for unwarranted histrionics and finally – likely after a hissyfit of giant proportions on my part – put her foot down and said something along the lines of, “Their. Clothes. Don’t. Fit. It doesn’t matter how mad you get about it, they’re still not going to fit. I’m not sitting here anymore.” And while at the time I was probably apoplectic with the anger only a teenage girl can muster, she was so right. And I am so, so damn glad she didn’t let me buy an ill-fitting dress just because it would have made me happy in the short term. Christ knows I have enough pictures of me with a mullet and with a tuba and braces and glasses and perms; I certainly didn’t need to add a too-tight, fuschia-feathered nightmare to the mix.
What’s my point? That was damn near twenty years ago. The stores and the trends might have changed, but the perception is the same. Mr. Jeffries certainly surprised people by coming outright and saying it, but to me, the backlash is misplaced. Saying that Abercrombie hates fat people because they don’t make sizes above a ten for women is like saying that Lane Bryant is discriminating against the single-digit ladies. Boiled down to semantics, it IS the same thing. They’re both making clothes to fit their target audience, to flatter and fit their customers. And Abercrombie isn’t the ones making their audience the cool kids – there’s about a million other societal factors that make the “cool” kids synonymous with the “beautiful” kids. Abercrombie is simply cashing in on it.
There’s no easy answer or quick fix. But I think my mama had it right: this doesn’t work for you, here’s something that DOES, go kick ass in that instead. Who the fuck cares where it’s from, who cares what the label says, who cares what size it is, look at how great you look. Concentrate on that, drill it into your daughter’s head every day. You look beautiful, you ARE beautiful, I love you. No clothing line is ever going to do that. no matter how popular it is.
And if your kids are part of Abercrombie’s “cool” standard and you don’t want them to shop there? Tell them why. They may not get it now, and they might not agree with you because, hey, they’re teenagers. But explain yourself. So many of the comments I’ve seen in response to Jeffries’ statement have been contradictory to what their point should have been, “Well, he obviously wants to try and be around the cool kids now because, look at him, he clearly wasn’t when he was in high school.” What is that proving? It’s okay to make fun of someone’s looks if they did it first? It’s okay to call someone ugly if they call you fat? What does that teach anyone?
No wonder kids are confused. I am too.
Like so many others yesterday, I watched the tragedy in Boston unfold on the news – standing with co-workers in the lunchroom, mouths covered in horror, heads shaking in disgust, eyes tearing up in sadness at yet more lives lost and damaged beyond repair. The act of one person ruining the lives and hopes and dreams of so many. What was supposed to be a triumphant celebration of achievement, a joyous occasion of accomplishment shattered by unspeakable violence. More questions of what can we do, more fear of where we can go, and more disgust at the actions of cowards. Our country mourns yet again; this time with another city, with another demographic, over another type of violence.
I think any writer with a modicum of a platform, no matter how small it may be, would be remiss in not addressing this attack on some level. The part I need to address is hope. Yes, hope. Since the advent of social media, anyone with access to the internet can voice their opinion publicly, can share their thoughts and feelings and words. And so very much of what I saw on Facebook and Twitter yesterday was, for the first time in a long time, simply support. From tweets simply reading, “My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved in the tragedy in Boston,” to statuses sharing from all over the world, “NY Loves Boston,” “Dublin’s Heart is With Boston,” to pictures of the Boston skyline, to entire articles depicting the emergency personnel and civilians alike running toward the injured instead of away from the chaos.
The helpers. The picture and words I saw the most yesterday were that of the beloved Mr. Rogers, who said this, “Always look for the helpers.” What phenomenal advice. Look for the helpers. Look for the ones who are doing what they can to make a horrible event bearable. There were so many yesterday. The exhausted runners who should have been celebrating the culmination of years of hard work with an ice bath and a chair continuing to move, to push wheelchairs and help people up and give blood. The people of the city of Boston opening their homes and hearts to those stranded in a strange city that had just been attacked, no questions asked. The restaurant owners giving out free meals without regard to their bottom line. Google setting up a site to help frantic family members find their loved ones. The emergency personnel; the doctors and nurses and fireman and police and EMT’s and servicemen who have dedicated their lives to helping being put to the ultimate test and stepping up once again. The list goes on and on.
Smartphones make it almost frighteningly easy to immediately share pictures and videos without censure; many of us saw some raw video footage of people with limbs blown off, puddles of blood, and tearful horror within minutes of the explosions. But so much of what I saw yesterday gave me hope. These videos were unscripted; this was real life and real reactions, and so much of it showed helpers. These are real people. This is the real world we live in. In the midst of explosions and terror and unknown, these were real people that did everything they could to help. And that is what our country is made up of. Helpers. We’ve shown it over and over and over again, in New York and Pennsylvania on that dark day in 2001, in Newtown just before Christmas, in Boston yesterday, and countless other times; there has always been more helpers than evil. There has always been more love than hate. We just need to remember it.
There’s many who will say I’m being naive, that I’m trying to find the rose-colored lenses for a pair of broken glasses. I’m okay with that. Because I’m right. I may not always remember it, but we’re surrounded by helpers. Try using my rose-colored glasses – you’ll see it too. Instead of the sadness of the homeless person on the corner, you’ll see the helper who drops a quarter in his cup. Instead of the frustration of a crowded bus, you’ll see the helper give up his seat for a tired mom. Instead of anger at being stuck in a long line, you’ll see the helper patiently counting out change for the elderly person at the front. And instead of pure evil in a time of terror, you’ll see the helper in not only the people in Boston that physically risked themselves, but in the millions of us around the world who did what little we could to show our support. To help.
Mr. Rogers was a smart man. Always, always look for the helpers. They’ll be there.
I’m not sure about all of you, but this whole rainy/wet/dreary/no sunshine all week weather we’re having is kind of making me want to take a hostage and make them fly me to anywhere that’s dry and bright. As I’m a fan of self-diagnosing disorders – every time I hurt, I’m pretty sure I have fibromyalgia – I’ve decided I have Seasonal Affective Disorder and require sunshine at least every 72 hours. Otherwise, normal, everyday irritations take on giant proportions. You know that feeling? You’re slightly irritated, then something else minor happens like your pen running out of ink and all of a sudden you’re like the fucking Hulk, wanting to smash everything in sight.
That being said, I decided a Friday Blast Off of things that made me crazy this week would probably be a little self serving and more than likely be an incoherent, profanity filled rant. Instead, I put together a small list of things I’ve learned this week. They’re nothing life-changing, but hopefully my experience will help to serve you well in the future.
- Don’t go to Sephora in a hoodie and jeans. The salespeople will either think you’re trying to rob the place or descend on you like vultures, assuming you are there for a life-changing makeover and your desperate ass will be grateful for their helpful tips. (Yes, I know I could use an eyebrow wax, thank you, Skyie. Is that seriously your name?? How do you say it?)
- Rain gear is never where you need it. I have boots, I have a raincoat, and I have an umbrella. (Well, I had a raincoat. My stupid Potato cat decided to take out his frustration with me buying cheap cat food by pissing on it, so now I’m down one piece of rain gear.) But Tuesday, I did have a raincoat. However, all of these things were snug and dry in my office, while I walked through a torrential downpour Wednesday morning in gym shoes and a cotton cardigan because it was the only thing I had with a hood. Lesson? Keep two sets of rain gear. One at work, one at home. When they both end up in the same place, BRING ONE SET HOME.
- The floors at any CTA facility will be permanently wet and slippery as soon as the first raindrop falls. Proceed with caution. Very few things incite a panic attack than that split second when you slip atop the stairs, an image of your smiling face on the front page of the newspaper under the headline, “CLUMSY GIRL WIPES OUT COMMUTERS DURING FALL DOWN STAIRS,” flashing before your eyes.
- Speaking of the CTA, you’d be wise to remember that the bus drivers don’t care that you’re wet and trying to stay dry in the shelter. They will cruise through that puddle, splashing you head to toe with dirty, filthy water before they stop the bus. That’s why the busses smell so bad. Another note? The bus floors are also slippery. Grab hold of something immediately upon entering said bus if you’d like to keep your pants clean.
- Last but not least, if you make the copycat recipe of Red Lobster’s Cheddar Biscuits, keep in mind two things. 1) There’s a reason people go to Red Lobster. It’s the fucking biscuits. They’re amazing. If you are the type of person with little self control, having twelve of them within grabbin’ distance is probably a bad idea. 2) They have a lot of garlic. Your co-workers probably don’t want you to eat them for breakfast.
Happy Friday!! Everyone have a great weekend!!!