I’m A Banana

If you’re like me, you have seasons of carefree living and seasons of introspection. I think our soul knows that looking inward and facing hard truths is something we can only endure occasionally. That occasion for me, was last week—on a Tuesday of all days. After taking a short quiz, I found out that if I was a car, I’d be a Volvo Station Wagon.

It’s simply not true. I’m a spirited and reliable Volkswagen Beetle, and I’ve known this since I was a 12. I think the discouraging station wagon result came from my preference to read, rather than watch Hoarders, and to cook, rather than drive through Taco Bell. I guess favoring a clean house and order in my life automatically separates me from my spunky, resilient Beetle persona? Maybe my somewhat abnormal love of spring cleaning catapults me into this sensible, rule-following ride?

I guess buzzfeed—and its ilk—are all-knowing? Everyday I see a new quiz pop up on Facebook, letting me know my 5th grade boyfriend should have been named “Devin” or that my co-worker is “Bulda” from Frozen. And now this: I’m a station wagon?

That’s fine. But before you laugh at me, you should know this: the celebrity I’m supposed to get drunk with is Rihanna. Bang. If I was truly a Volvo wagon, do you think the internet would send me off to get liquored up with Rihanna? No. They’d have picked Bea Arthur or Nick Lachey and they didn’t.

rihanna

It made me wonder what kind of house they think I am. I already know I’m a bungalow. Of this, I am sure. But I bet my answer to, “What would I find you doing at a lively house party?” would result in them telling me I’m a boxy, characterless, 2-story track home in the suburbs, right? Not cool buzzfeed, not cool.

Don’t get me wrong, I found out some lovely things about myself, too—things I will hang on to. Things that will sustain me during those lonely hours cruising in my station wagon.

I, my dear friends, am a beaver. You heard me. I am creative, practical and well-organized. If there is someone in need, I will not hesitate to offer a helping hand.

Side Note: This isn’t entirely true. More than once I’ve skipped right by someone needing help with a jammed printer. I’m actually more willing to help people not be societal jackholes. I think the quiz tagged me as helpful because when I took it, I was an hour away from my favorite meal and I said that I would, indeed, help out a co-worker whose tire was flat. But that was just the promise of good food talking.

As for my spirit animal, (which is wholly different from my regular animal) you’ll be happy to know that I’m a wolf. The internet knows, based on ten questions, that I’m stealth—with a great sense of hearing and smell. When you’re a wolf like I am, family comes first. I form deep connections with close friends and loved ones and they know I’ll protect them at all costs. I’m loyal, devoted and passionate. They say I’m best matched with swans, otters and crows, so I’m assuming everyone I love is one of these three or … uh-oh.

Supposedly, as a wolf, I need to watch out for people who are spiders or foxes. Trust me, I know who these folks are and I definitely watch out for them. I’m pretty sure there’s a fox in our mail room at work—and I know some spiders who bring their cart with them on the greeting card aisle at Target.

You decide.

You decide.

Now that you know I’m a beaver on the outside and a wolf on the inside, I bet you’re wondering what kind of dog I am. I know I was. I’m a great dane. The test specifically asked what my build and frame were like, so I’m not sure how I ended up as a horse-sized dog, but I can’t argue with the description of myself. Being a great dane means I’m so humble that I don’t notice how much I stand out in a crowded room (but it does not mean I’m too humble to tell you how wonderfully humble I am, and how I light up a room.) Also, due to my warm demeanor, I’m extremely smart, but still approachable (translated, I do logarithms for fun but still tolerate you and your fascination with Honey Boo Boo.)

Side Note: I barely know how to spell logarithm and sometimes don’t remember how I got to work.

Occasionally I wonder how I landed in my profession. With a Master’s degree in psychology and years of Division 1 college coaching, I’ve somehow found my place in a creative advertising department, writing and editing copy about boxer briefs and rompers. Naturally, I took a quiz to see what my true career should be.

Because I’m a dedicated team player who values loyalty above all else, my results revealed that I should be an athlete. Supposedly, I intrinsically know that things work best when everyone works together. They claim I am excited by a challenge and love problem solving (interestingly enough, I actually prefer things to be simple and I like it when there aren’t problems that need to be solved.) It also said I should be a life coach—something I’ve known since the time I realized I was a Volkswagen Bug.

But wait, where should I be an athlete? I had to know, so I took the “What State Do You Belong In” quiz and found out I belong in Michigan—because I’m smart, friendly and relaxed. That’s so weird, because Eminem doesn’t seem all that friendly or relaxed. I bet if he took the quiz, he wouldn’t get Michigan. The test raved about how easily I got along with most people and noted that I don’t get involved in others’ business. It’s so funny that buzzfeed doesn’t know about the Facebook stalking or police records I searched the other day.

As soon as I got used to the idea of living in Michigan—which wasn’t that hard, because they have amazing craft beer, unimaginably gorgeous lakes and the Miller’s burger—I figured I should take the test to see exactly what city in Michigan we’d call home. All my plans were quickly derailed when it was brought to my attention that I belonged in Burkina Faso. It’s supposedly a land of honest people, located in the center of Africa. It “faces problems” but the quiz results assured me I’d find peace and beauty “in the simplicity of rural life.”

Burkina Faso.

Burkina Faso.

The only way I could settle myself from the shock of belonging in Central Africa—and not near Kid Rock—was to find out which actress would play me in the movie version of my life. Well, this, I can tell you, was a breath of fresh air.

They said that because I’m “charming, bubbly, stunning” and “light up a room” (being told this twice in one day is a real treat), that Sandra Bullock would play me! They figured that since I can go from cracking a joke to buckling down when a task is at hand, I’d need an actress with range. Enter: Sandy.

Annnd, ACTION!

Annnd, ACTION!

Side Note: If you’re wondering what font I am, wonder no more. I’m Times New Roman. I’m “classic, constant, reliable and secretly sexy.” I resent the “secretly” part.

Last but not least, I want to tell you about all the colors of my vibrant, cheerful, dynamic rainbow. I’m seeing greens and oranges and Turks & Caicos blues. Wait. Nope. My aura is brown.

A bit of a letdown on the surface, but let’s take a closer look. It said I am the color of earth and more grounded and reliable than any other color (in your face, red!) I’m concerned with growth and hard work; I’m a protector of others and often a great builder (they’re right—I build the baddest taco salad this side of I-35.) My secondary color was violet, because I’m a leader who is idealistic, thoughtful and charismatic.

conan-bowing

Initially, the brown aura stung a bit—like I was carpet instead of hardwoods, dirt instead of the Mediterranean sea—but then I realized my aura and my color were two different quizzes! My color was … wait for it … blue! The result was blue because I “give love and friendship unconditionally”; I’m loyal and intuitive and enjoy long, thoughtful conversations rich in philosophy and spirituality.

Side Note: I do enjoy long, thoughtful conversations about how Harry Connick, Jr. should join The Voice and complete my perfect singing competition portrait.

Last but not least, I wanted to share with you that “my element” is Earth. It’s supposedly Earth because I’m strong and stable—a good leader and role model. This quiz knew I didn’t really like a lot of changes and that I prefer knowing what’s going on so I can prepare. It noted that my adventurous side makes “my animal” a horse or an eagle—but as we’ve already discussed, I’m a beaver and a wolf, so I’m not sure this quiz’s algorithm was cranking on all cylinders.

It said that Earth people dislike people who talk too much. I’ve just realized this is rather lengthy, so I guess I don’t like Earth people. But I do like Sandra Bullock and athletes and Times New Roman, so I’m just as confused about who I am as I was before buzzfeed came into my life.

I think I’ll go take a quiz to see what my best coping skills are. If it says, “Drive around Burkina Faso in a Volvo station wagon with Rihanna until you find some proper moonshine” … I guess that’s what I’ll have to do.

Please join me on Facebook and Twitter!

Patience Cards™

T: West, can you spare a few Patience Cards™?
Me: Sure, what’s up?
T: My mom called and they’re having issues with their router. She asked if I could come help my dad sort it out.
Me: *sympathetic silence* Please take what you need.
T: I wouldn’t ask, but I just loaned my sister my last two PCs™ because our cousin needs help with her resume.
Me: What’s mine is yours. I have nothing in the foreseeable future that necessitates any, so take ‘em. Godspeed.

Patience Cards™ were born out of a desire to be patient with people you love.

Most of us don’t want to set up our own WiFi or tend to our own faulty sprinkler head, let alone someone else’s; but, since we love our family and our close circle, we suck it up and do it. And by suck it up, I mean, we utilize Patience Cards™.

For anyone sitting there thinking, “Huh? I’ve never seen a card like this,” fear not. They’re never seen. But trust me when I say you use one at every family get-together or holiday when Uncle Dwayne says, “What’s this Twitter thing? Why do I care if you’re eatin’ a damn scone?” Or when Aunt Nell says, “I don’t text and I won’t text. I pick up the phone or show up with a bundt cake.”

Oh, you use them. If you care about your sanity and preserving your loving relations, you use them a lot.

I wonder if any of you have had a conversation similar to the one I had recently with my mom:
Moma: I saw that filthy thing you posted about Pink.
Me: Huh?
Moma: That thing you put on Facebook about Pink that was so raunchy?
Me: I have no idea what you’re talking about; I haven’t posted anything in probably two weeks and nothing about P!nk.
Moma: Yeah, what she wrote to her fans after being sick and it had the F-word all through it?
Me: *deep breath, reaches for Patience Card™* OK, first of all, I didn’t “post” that, I “liked” her post. Second of all, it wasn’t even remotely filthy or raunchy—if what you’re referring to is her using the F-word twice, I didn’t even really notice because I just liked what she was saying about a being human.
Moma: Liked it, posted it—what’s the difference?
Me: The difference is huge. It’s like the difference in waving to someone or trying to seduce them with Marvin Gaye. It’s like the difference in saying hello and saying I love you.
Moma: OK, well, it came up on my Facebook page like it was from you.
Me: Moma, it didn’t come up on YOUR Facebook wall, it came up in your newsfeed—they’re totally different things.
Moma: *sigh* I guess I don’t see how they’re very different.
Me: Your Facebook wall is YOURS … it’s where your very own status updates go and things you physically share … it’s all YOUR STUFF. Your newsfeed tells you what OTHERS are posting and liking and sharing. So yes, everything I do on Facebook is going to come across your newsfeed, but that doesn’t mean I’m placing it on YOUR page or even on MY page, necessarily.
Moma: *shakes her head in a too-much-info way* Anyway, what made Pink so mad she had to cuss like that?

This should help.

This should help.

OK, but wait. Before you get too high and mighty about your technology-savvy place in this world, let’s get real. Don’t get it twisted; your parents used Patience Cards™ before they had a name—they used up every card in their arsenal while raising you. They were deep breathing, heavy-sighing, skyward-looking and mentally hashtagging #Jesustakethewheel long before you even had a smartphone or Facebook profile.

You think your mom didn’t go patting herself down for a Patience Card™ when you asked for a snack right after she sat down? Do you think your dad was able to hang on to his PCs™ every time you asked, “Are we there yet?”

How about that stage you went through when you wanted to tell jokes? You sucked up every Patience Card™ the extended family had at their disposal and probably forced them to call up their friends like, “Hey, ssshhh, got any extra PCs™? Olivia’s moved into a joke telling phase. She just took 29 minutes to tell a knock-knock joke—WRONG—and I wanted to fall on a sword. I owe you Dude—thanks, man.”

Side Note: Olivia: OK, I have the funniest story EVER! OK, everyone, OK, y’all have to listen, OK, so like, OK, so we went to the mall, oh my gosh, you’re going to die, this is SO FUNNY. OK, so we go in and like, so there’s like … Mom! Stop! I’m telling this story! So there’s like a gazillion trillion million people and like … Oh-Em-Gee, Mom! Seriously! Let me tell it!

Side Note 2: I just used a PC™ while reliving this story.

Your mom had to stash them away for six months leading up to school clothes and prom dress shopping. Please know this.

So yeah, when you hear, “Honey, we’re having trouble with the DVR and can’t get any of the remotes to control the volume or change the channel,” go ahead and forage for a Patience Card™, but know it was exactly the same for your parents when you wanted to major in Humanities.

The good news: Everyone has a supply of Patience Cards™ to use as they deem appropriate. It’s not a good idea to pull them out willy nilly for minor annoyances or inconveniences, though. You need to save them for the big things, like when your dad says, “We’re trying to book some tickets with our airline miles, but your mother can’t find our password and thinks it’s linked to her old Hotmail account that expired in 2008.” Don’t even deliberate—this is Patience Card™ worthy.

So is, “Sweetie, would you mind helping your Aunt Lou get her Kindle going? Be sweet—she’s still using dial-up, doesn’t have an email account and doesn’t think the rainforest in Brazil should have anything to do with reading a book. Good luck.”

amazon

One of the greatest blessings in all of this is that PCs™ can be given away. If you know your brother is walking into the lion’s den of setting up Apple IDs for a family of six, do the right thing and offer up a stack of Patience Cards™. You’re dang sure going to need him to return the favor when your dad says, “What would you think about helping Uncle Kenny move next weekend? He never missed one of your games growing up—might be nice to lend him a hand.”

Think ahead and use them sparingly. With a little planning, you’ll never be without. Pause before you blow a Patience Card on driving your sister to the airport. You need to hoard them for the times when your sister-in-law says your niece needs help organizing over 10,000 digital photos, because she’s had her camera set to start the photo numbers back at zero after each download, creating thousands of duplicates … spanning five years.

The hurt is real.

The hurt is real.

Ever been on a trip with your family, and all your plans for a particular day, revolve around a big, fun dinner at a place you’re all excited about? What do you do when certain members, who shun the gift of forethought, get hungry and want to eat an in-between meal at an hour that threatens to wreck their appetites for the feature meal?

That’s right—you grab a Patience Card™ and you hold on for dear life.

Is your son’s wife a vegan? Do you love her convictions? Sure you do; but don’t let that cloud your good judgment when it comes to bringing along a healthy stash of PCs™ to cope with her order.

“I’d really like to start off with your sweet and spicy chickpeas, but is your cane sugar filtered through bone char?” *Patience Card™ #1

“If so, I’ll just have the red pepper hummus—providing you don’t adulterate your hummus with yogurt.” *Patience Card™ #2

“For my salad, I’d like to try the spring corn asparagus one with golden balsamic, as long as you leave out the anchovy-laden Worcestershire.” *Patience Card™ #3

“For my entrée, I think I’ll go with the veggie burrito, if your tortillas aren’t cooked with lard and your rice isn’t cooked in chicken stock and you have a cheese alternative that doesn’t contain casein and the veggies aren’t near any Kafir or clarified butter. *Patience Cards™ #4, #5, #6 and #7

“To drink? I’d like a beer, but does your bartender know if your beers include isinglass, which as you all know comes from the dead skin bladders of fish?”
*Patience Card #8

“For dessert, I’ve heard your s’mores are fabulous, but I also know marshmellows contain gelatin, so I’ll just have a glass of coconut milk.” *Patience Card #9

So whether your mom is yelling over the phone while using her new car’s bluetooth feature or your aunt is FaceTiming with her device held at just the perfect angle to see nothing but nostrils—just breathe in, breathe out and reach for a fresh a PC™.

Final Sidenote: I want to go on record as saying relatively few of these are examples of my own wonderful parents. They are the BEST when it comes to staying current with ways to stay connected, in touch and a huge part of their kids and grandkids lives. I’m thankful daily for their willingness to text, email, send pics/videos and engage with us on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter—oh, and in person!

Please join me on Facebook and Twitter!

I Peel Bananas Wrong

The internet recently brought to my attention that I peel bananas wrong. I watched the video intently, as some guy demonstrated the right way to do it (i.e. the way a monkey does it.) I made a mental note to try this method ASAP, as I’m not in the business of purposefully doing things wrong.

Side Note: Actually, sometimes I am. I really do know that when someone asks how I’m doing, I should say, “I’m doing well” … but I just can’t. I’m a, “Doing good!” kind of chick. So the other day, an unmistakably pretentious woman rang up my bill and asked how I was doing, and when I responded, “Doing good, how about you?” she made a big point of saying, “I’m doing very well, thank you.” I couldn’t stop myself from saying, “Good, good—glad you’re good. That’s good.” I could literally see how repelled she was—and it delighted me.

Anyway, before I had a chance to test run the new (right) way to peel a banana, the internet told me I also fold fitted sheets wrong.

You don’t say? So, good intentions, plus a half-hearted attempt at a 90-degree corner, followed by frustrated, hapless rolling isn’t right? I had no idea.

sheets

Just as I was mumbling to myself, “Martha Stewart doesn’t live here,” a new article popped up and informed me that I wash my hair wrong.

I do?! If it’s because I don’t wash, rinse, repeat, then I reject that. What a racket.

That’s not all. I breathe wrong. I eat chicken wings wrong. I shower wrong. I open Tic Tacs wrong. I eat pomegranates wrong. And just to add insult to injury, I pack my suitcase wrong and I boil eggs wrong.

Getting called out hurt. And since misery loves company, I think I need to call some of you out. I’ll try to be gentle, but sometimes the truth is a little painful. Let’s dive in.

You use Facebook wrong.

If you don’t see a striking distinction between Facebook and Google, then I’m talking to you.

Example #1:
Status Update: Hey Facebook Family! Do suppositories help nausea?

Google actually welcomes this inquiry.

Google actually welcomes this inquiry.

Example #3 (I didn’t label this one #2 because that’s too easy)
Status Update: Crazy Mom concern … Tanner’s deuce nuggets are green. #momprobs #help

Oh, look who has answers!

Oh, look who has answers!

Example #4:
What time do The Oscars start?

Wow, who knew Google was so all-knowing?

Wow, who knew Google was so all-knowing?

You use your imagination wrong.

You let your imagination run wild with the calamity that will “surely” ensue if you chase your dream job. You imagine failure and ridicule. You see all your naysayers patronize you with condescending head shakes. You rehearse an exit plan before you even take one step.

Yet.

There you are, walking out of a public restroom—that other disgusting humans have used—without washing your hands. I’m convinced that people who don’t wash their hands after using the restroom, simply are not using their imaginations properly.

The sooner you accept that human beings are disgusting, the better off you’ll be. If you think each person who used the public restroom before you, walked in with pristine hygiene, didn’t touch anything, hovered carefully, then made a crisp, clean exit, you are not using your imagination right. PEOPLE ARE GROSS. Know this. Accept this. Use this information to make yourself less gross.

You also give your imagination sole jurisdiction over your love life. You’re in love with someone but too scared to confess your feelings, because you imagine losing the friendship or being rejected. You go to all the terrible places in your mind where humiliation and abandonment live.

Yet.

There you are, angrily tailgating a car at 70 mph. Where is that over-active imagination now? Why isn’t it reminding you that a single wrong move by one of the other 20 drivers—also speeding down the freeway—could end it all?

You exercise wrong.

You might not realize it, but all those kettle bell and crossfit workouts you do in the gym aren’t properly preparing your body for the rigors of real life.

If you have ever said or heard one of these statements, then you already know that you’re as wrong as a hairless cat.

  • I made the mistake of bowling at my son’s birthday party and was then unable to feed myself the next day.
  • We picked weeds on Saturday and I feel like I should be in a full body cast.
  • I sanded and refinished a dresser this weekend and I’m sore in places I didn’t know existed.
  • My daughter wanted to practice pitching after school, so I played catcher and my lower body is so sore I can’t sit down without a cane.

You save time wrong.

If you believe in your heart of hearts that typing “ur” instead of “your” is buying you precious minutes, then you don’t understand clocks.

Also, to the married guys, replying to a thoughtfully written out text with “k” saves a second or two in the moment, but later costs you dearly when you’re sleeping on the couch.

If you take your clothes out of the dryer and throw them into a laundry basket or the “clean clothes pile” (because it takes too long to fold and put them away), then you have an unsound comprehension of time. Yes, it takes only three seconds to toss them in a basket, but then it takes a million frustrating minutes each morning to find what you’re looking for and make it presentable to wear. I know you can grasp simple cause and effect!

math

You ask for attention wrong.

I’ve talked about Vaguebooking before, but have yet to see a reduction in these blatant cries for attention on my Facebook newsfeed:

Status Update: What else could go wrong?
Status Update: I have to stay strong; it’s the only choice I’ve got.
Status Update: One more week!

Side Note: Sometimes I see “Unspoken prayer request, please” but I don’t consider that vaguebooking, because it’s relatively overt. People needing privacy for certain matters doesn’t negate their belief in the power of prayer. But I’ll be honest, until fairly recently, I was pretty inept at handling these vague prayer requests—that is, until I realized a prayer doesn’t have to be perfect to be blessed.

But before I honed my generic praying skills, I pretty much sounded like, “Dear Lord, please help Lacy to … no wait, please keep Lacy from … ugh, please show Lacy the … crap, please don’t let Lacy … dang it, please reveal to Lacy … OH, FOR THE LOVE OF YOU, PLEASE FREAKIN’ HELP LACY!”

I think most of us know that what happens in Vegas doesn’t really stay in Vegas. Probably the only place that slogan is true is here, “What happens online stays online.” So go on an attention-seeking voyage across the interwebs by telling the world everything you do and think (highlighted by how much you drank, how stupid your boss is, and who all was involved), but just remember that the internet is not a diary you can toss into a bonfire when you grow up, wise up and sober up.

OK, last Facebook thing (for today). Changing your profile pic back and forth between two pics is like telling the same joke again so you can re-hear the laughter. To the friends of the frequent-profile-pic-swapper-fishing-for-likes-with-an-undisguised-lure, please don’t take the bait. It’s up to us to end the attention-seeking cycle!

Side Note: I have such an aversion to attention seekers that I’ve crowned myself “Attention Seeker Destroyer.” I felt pretty good about my abilities until last year when one of my younger nephews taught me a lesson.

He’s extremely bright and a very early reader. I talked him into reading me a book, but when I curled up with him, he proceeded to change nearly every word in the precious story to some form of bodily function. And this is tough for me, because I don’t like or say the p-word, but allow me to give you an example:

“Dexter rode his poopy bike to the poop store so he could buy some poop for his poopy family. He pooped all the way there and had a wonderful poopy day making poop sandwiches to feed his poopy brother.”

After the third p-word, I realized what was going on, so I pretended to love his rendition, nodding in affirmation and encouraging him audibly. I figured I’d stop that little rascal in his tracks. Nope. He elevated his game by bringing in every other form of bodily grotesqueness known to man, and combined them in such a way that I was nauseous and had to call our reading session off a bit early.

I guess I aunt wrong.

What do you do wrong?

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Fear Factor

I think of myself as pretty courageous. I mean, I’m not an adrenaline junkie, but I’m also not afraid to take some risks or speak up when it’s difficult. I’ve lived all over the country and never hesitated to venture out on my own and explore new places.

Side Note: There was that one time, years ago, when I was driving from Indiana to Rochester, Michigan and my low fuel light came on. No problem, I’ll just pull into this convenience store and gas up. WRONG. The clerk came out and told me to keep moving. I guess being 24 and irresistible in Detroit after dark isn’t a great combination. What’s that you say? I am resistible? Noted.

But back to the point. I’d say I’m pretty brave as a whole. There are, however, some things that scare the living daylights out of me. I should say tornadoes and death row, but I’m actually more scared at work when I pull open the restroom door to leave and someone’s coming in at the exact same time. Full. on. fright. with scary jazz hands and heart palps.

It’s also no secret that my sympathy pains are second-to-none, which frightens me a great deal during the Winter Olympics. For this reason, I’ve had to take breaks during both the moguls and Bob Costas’ commentary. I simply cannot abide a torn ACL or pink eye right now.

Sympathy conjunctivitis kills.

Sympathy conjunctivitis kills.

Another thing that scares me lifeless is turning on my iPhone camera, and being met unexpectedly by a grotesque person I’ve never seen before: me. Why is my camera in front-facing mode and when did I become a sullen grumpy gus who super-sized one too many #3′s at Mickie D’s? What the WHAT is up with that view? Do we really look like that to the world at large? It’s so discouraging when your worst face shows up with an extra chin … unannounced. I go from epic confusion to pitiful self-loathing, in under five seconds. But then that sweet old friend named Denial kicks in and I grab a bag of Takis.

Speaking of photos, I’m legit scared that I’ll be involved in something that lands me on the news and they’ll use a hideous picture of me. I feel like I should handpick one now and make sure everyone in my family has it, just in case. I could send them a file labeled CNNanna.jpg. I should send two actually—one where I look happy and loving, in case I get framed for some terrible crime and people need to see me in a better light. The second one could be me looking humble, modest and unassuming, in case I’ve done something heroic and need to temper the flames of admiration.

My mom and I are scared to death of water treatment plants (and some dams). We’re good with massive oceans or lakes; they’re part of nature and less menacing. And I can’t speak for her—nor can I put my finger on it—but I feel like some unsavory activity is going on in these facilities. We’ve braved the sight of a few dams together (though not comfortably), but a water treatment plant shuts us up and renders us speechless until it’s well in our rear-view mirror.

I can't.

I can’t.

Every time I get a new car, I’m scared I’ll be assigned a license plate that’s got unfortunate letter combinations, like KGB or NIP or FRT. I absolutely hate the F-word (no, not that one, the other one.) Even when it’s used like “artsy-f***sy” or “brain f***.” UGH. I don’t even want to type it, so of course I worry that I’ll get it as my license plate—and God will be on His throne, shake laughing and thinking He’s pretty funny. I think the DMV would show some mercy if I got the sign of the beast, but would those same good folks care that I’m put off by the F-word? What about this one?:

Well that's unlucky.

Well that’s unlucky.

I’m super scared of pirates and beheadings. Please don’t tell me they go hand in hand, because I could maaaaybe handle a couple of weeks with pirates, but only if it didn’t automatically end in a beheading. As much as I hate paper cuts and stubbed toes, I can’t imagine how much worse a beheading would be. But now that I think about it, if all the pirates could just see what I look like on my front-facing iPhone camera, they’d have little use for me. WAIT—unless what they’re after is a breakdancer with nunchuck skills, in which case, we’d have a big problem.

I’m scared of the savage thoughts I think when I hear someone scuffing their feet when they walk. I wouldn’t be frighted of just thinking, “Oh my gosh, pick up your feet,” but the places my vocabulary goes is appalling—not to mention the ways I imagine giving that person a reason to shuffle. I KNOW! I said it scares me! I usually come in peace, but that lazy-scuff-walk makes me go to dishonorable places in my heart.

ladysailor

I’m afraid of how I’ll react when I finally meet some of my favorite celebrities. There is a decent chance I’ll mess it up. I say this for two reasons. Back in the day, when Dr. Phil was just blowin’ up and hadn’t yet become a fixture on Oprah’s show, I ran into him at a bookstore. Someone already had his attention so I hung around, perusing the Western section, until he was free. This is when I blurted out, “I think you’re awesome!”

Not “Hello.” Not “What are you, 6’4?” Nope.

Then there was the time when we’d just hired a lady at work who, for all intents and purposes, was a pretty big deal. I’d seen her speak at a couple of events and was extremely impressed. One day I saw—well ahead of time—that we were going to cross paths. As with the Dr. Phil situation, I had time to think; but couldn’t decide between “Hey” and “How are you?” Things took a sharp left turn when she spoke first, saying, “Gorgeous day out,” to which I replied, “Heee-howwww.”

Hey came out sounding like Hee and How came out sounding like Howwww; which meant, combined, it sounded like an offensive half donkey, half Native American impersonation. And just when I wanted to vanish into thin air, I felt my hands coming together in prayer as I bowed towards her.

So yeah—I’m scared.

I’d like to leave you with one last fear of mine, and that is the very real terror of autocorrect finally winning. I’m not talking about the occasional “her” instead of “get” or “coco” instead of “xoxo.” I’m talking more along the lines of these disasters:

These are MILD examples of my fear.

These are MILD examples of my fear.

It would make me feel better if I could hear some of your irrational fears. Even if you’re just secretly scared that the snow in Sochi is going to melt before the games are over—we’re friends here—and I’d like to know.

Please join me on Facebook and Twitter!

A Better Love

Happy New Year! Oh, come on—it’s still January—there’s no way you’re already crying Uncle. You are, huh? Well, alright then … that means you have plenty of room for a new resolution. It doesn’t require a yoga mat or a Ninja Blender, but it does involve removing the focus from yourself for a bit.

(I just mentally saw some of you backing away. I won’t name names.)

Um, no thank you, please.

Um, no thank you, please.

This resolution is simple: Love (the people you love) better.

Don’t cringe—you love these people! I’m not even talking about co-workers or the table full of unreasonably loud chip-eaters next to you. I’m just suggesting you start with the people you truly love and value.

Side Note: If it’s actually your family eating chips too raucously, then that is something we’ll address another day.

By no means do I want this new resolution to take the place of your original resolution to post fewer selfies—please, PLEASE do us all (and yourself) a favor and stay.the.course.

Also, go ahead and organize your pantry and back up your photos to yet another external hard drive. Give coconut oil a try and see if cauliflower really can serve as passable pizza crust; but, in and around and between all those lofty Pinterest goals, I want to encourage you to just treat your people better. Make an intentional effort to be a better spouse, daughter, mom, sibling, son, uncle, grandparent, grandchild, aunt, dad and friend.

If your head is cocked in confusion, then you’re not using your imagination. The very best way to figure out how you can do better is to ask yourself what you would regret if that loved one was no longer in the world or in your life. It might sound slightly morbid, but that’s OK, because it’s eternally important.

Here goes. What would you regret if _______ was gone?

I have a feeling you’ll say things like:
Why did I fixate on the little things? Why didn’t I encourage her more? Why didn’t I thank him for the invaluable life lessons? Why didn’t I make sure she knew how much joy she brought me? Why didn’t I take a day off work and spend it with her? Why did I let our yesterday cloud our today? Why did I tell everyone but him how amazing he was? How could I have ever been too busy to hug her?

And on a smaller, but equally important note, you might ask yourself:
Why did I continue to leave clothes in the washer when I knew it drove her nuts? Why didn’t I rub his shoulders more often? Why didn’t I put my dirty clothes where she asked me to? Why didn’t I surprise her with more dates? Why did I stop leaving him love notes? Why did I play on my phone when I could have been reading to her? Why did I always let my car get below half a tank when I knew it was his pet peeve? Why did I try to temper her spontaneity? Why did I miss his games for meaningless work meetings? Why did we stop talking for hours and replace it with texts? Why didn’t I write him letters when he was serving our country overseas?

When your loved one is gone, the smallest thing is going to send you into a downward spiral of unspeakable sadness. Yes, things like moving a load of laundry into the dryer and remembering how happy that would make her. Yes, things like seeing The Pokey Little Puppy at Barnes & Noble and remembering how she’d curl into you and giggle when you read to her.

A loss is going to be devastating no matter what, but if you can lessen the number of unnecessary regrets AND make your loved one happy, isn’t it worth the effort now? The only thing that will make paralyzing sadness worse is to stack on top of it a profound remorse for which you are now helpless to fix.

I thought we might need a smile break.

I thought we might need a smile break.

So let’s crawl out now, while we can, and resolve to do better by our loved ones. Whether it’s your relationship with your spouse or your mother or your adult child—if you search your mind—you know where you can extend more grace, be more patient and give more effort.

Does your husband do something that gets on your nerves? Like, does he always want to know the plan? “Hey, what’s the plan when your family comes in town next week?” Do you reply with exasperation because it’s a week away and you haven’t even thought about it? Does it annoy you that he continues to ask?

Here’s a tip … he’s probably a hard-wired planner and not likely to change. The quicker you accept this, the better. Just meet him halfway and get some plans going. He’s not asking you to re-shingle the roof or move cross-country. He’s just asking for something that meets his predisposed needs. All relationships are give and take, so just think what you might gain by meeting him in the middle here—this could open up a whole new world of him asking for directions and clipping his toenails in private.

Do we all agree that the majority of arguments start over extremely stupid things—sometimes so little and ridiculous that you don’t even want to tell your friends why your morning is off to a bad start?

Me: How’s your day so far?
Friend: Sigh, just so-so. Brett and I left the house kinda “off” today.
Me: I’m sorry, is everything OK?
Friend: Yeah, it’s fine, it’s just got me off on the wrong foot. It’ll be fine as soon as we text or talk.
Me: OK good. Wanna talk about it?
Friend: Sure, if you’re up for learning how CEREAL can actually cause a fight.

Sometimes you have to sit back and acknowledge that life is short—and grasp that being upset over trivial things OR needlessly contributing to someone’s fury, is a waste of precious time.

You: Hey, what’s the deal? You and Kirk seem like you’re in a fight.
Friend: Ugh, we’re not in a fight, I’m just so mad at him I could spit.
You: Oh no, what happened?
Friend: Grrr. He won’t use exclamation points or smileys when he texts me.
You: *stifles a laugh* Is this something you two can get past?
Friend: Who knows?! I’ve told him a hundred times that I can’t read his tone without them, but he still refuses—it’s infuriating.

I can't live like this.

I can’t live like this.

To the one who feels slighted: Is it possible that you should just always assume his tone is normal and loving, unless there is reason to believe otherwise?
To the one who refuses to text properly: Could you tap the stubborn brake and do what you can to ensure your tone is reflective of how you’re feeling? Could you reply with more than one word, so she gets the reassurance she needs?

I’ll answer these questions for you both: YES, IT IS POSSIBLE and now is your chance to compromise. I can assure you that when he or she is gone, you’re going to wish you weren’t so unyielding.

Another way you can be better to people you love is to tell them how you feel.

I think it’s potentially a big mistake to assume that everyone you love knows you love them—and to what degree. Yes, perhaps your partner (perhaps) … but what about the rest of your family? “Oh sure! I say ‘I love you’ all the time!”

Not so fast. I’ve had instances where people told me something nice or extremely loving another family member said about me and I was stunned. Like, I knew we loved each other, but the details were such news to me. Good news. Life-enriching news.

So, consider that not everyone in your close circle really knows how you feel, and by all means, tell them! It can be a conversation, a letter, a card. Don’t recoil and say it’s too hard. Fighting in Iraq is hard; watching someone suffer with a disease is hard; seeing Sherman scare the daylights out of Erin Andrews is hard … but sitting down with a pen and paper and telling someone you love them—and why—is not hard.

Even if it’s slightly awkward, it takes about 20 seconds to say, “Hey, you know I love you, but I also want you to know that having you in my life means the world to me … and I didn’t want another day to go by without telling you that you’re wonderful and one of the best parts of my life.”

Again, all you have to do is imagine what you WISHED you’d said if you were no longer able to … and say it while you can.

When you’re in your final moments, which of these statements do you think will play through your mind and heart?

A. I wish I had more Facebook likes. B. I wish I had shown people how much I liked them.

A. I regret putting the care of my aging parents first. B. I regret putting the state of my bank account first.

A. I regret spending time with loved ones. B. I regret spending time being angry.

A. I wish I’d made more time for myself. B. I wish I’d made more time for them.

A. I wish I’d spent more time on my diet. B. I wish I’d spent more time enjoying a feast with her.

A. I wish I’d kept up with the Joneses. B. I wish I’d kept up with my old friends.

A. I wish I’d worked harder to get promoted to the corner office. B. I wish I’d made more reservations for us in a corner booth.

See, you didn’t even have to study and you aced it. In our bones, we all know these things. And we’re never going to be perfect. We’re never going to give every person everything they ever wanted—but we can do better. We can be more aware. We can try harder. We can be more selfless. We can and we should.

Let’s make this the one resolution we keep.

Please join me on Facebook and Twitter!

My Lyrical Life

Music is my second language. My sister nailed it over Christmas when she said I was bi-singual. She lit up and repeated it, “Bi-singual!” Then she bowed and strutted away like a boss.

I can’t sing well, but I’ve got a song in my head from the moment I wake up until the moment I go to sleep. You’re probably thinking, “Oh, that’s so sweet! A song in her sweet, precious heart.” WRONG.

Here is a glimpse of the brain I’m dealing with:
Do what you want, what you want with my body
Do what you want, what you want with my body
Do what you want, what you want with my body
Do what you want, what you want with my body

kristenbell

I didn’t say I was proud. That’s why I shake off Lady Gaga with five verses of “Our God Is An Awesome God” … my Christian version of five Hail Marys.

I mean, why can’t the loop in my head be the more acceptable chorus?:
You can’t have my heart and
You won’t use my mind
You can’t stop my voice cause
You don’t own my life

Nope, only the sketchiest for me, thanks.

Because of my tendency to get lines stuck in my head, and because I don’t want my brain in a non-stop loop of:
Have a drink, clink, found the Bud Light
Bad bitches like me, is hard to come by

… I often just change lyrics to align with my beliefs. Simply put, I dislike both her grammar and her choice of beer.

I use to really like the song Closer, by Ne-Yo, but I had to change this line:
She’s the sweetest taste of sin to She’s the sweetest taste of cinnamon, so I could fully enjoy it. (Yeah, I know cinnamon isn’t sweet, but neither is sin, and my hands were tied.)

Remember the song “Breakeven” by The Script?:
I’m still alive but I’m barely breathing
Just pray to a God that I don’t believe in
Cause I got time out, she got freedom
Cause when a heart breaks, it don’t breakeven

I didn’t want to miss out on a pretty good song when I could just as easily sing over them:
Just pray to a God that I do believe in
I win, Script—I win.

Similarly, Five For Fighting says in Superman:
Man, Heaven is overrated
That’s an easy fix:
Man Heaven ain’t overrated
Sure, I could say “isn’t” … but I like to match the syllables when possible, leaving the integrity of the song intact.

And it’s not even like I bought these songs on iTunes. I just knew they’d be on the radio every hour, on the hour, and I’d be sunk.

Those are all child’s play compared to “Imagine” by John Lennon.

I’m fully aware that what I’m about to say will cause some of you to back away, shaking your head side to side slowly at first, then faster, as you turn and sprint into the direction of the first loving arms you find. But you know what? You can get over it the same way I got over this:

Well this is certainly disappointing.

Well this is certainly disappointing.

It’s true—I don’t like the song “Imagine.” I don’t like the lyrics and can’t find any way to change them, because the entire song—while melodically beautiful—is built around an unappealing portrait, in my opinion.

When a song starts off with, what is likely the writer’s favorite line, and that line is, “Imagine there’s no Heaven. It’s easy if you try,” I’m pretty much out. I wouldn’t stick around if a song jumped off with, “Imagine there’s no salsa,” so I’m certainly not cheering on the idea that there’s no Heaven.

But that’s just me! Everyone has his or her own parameters and sticking points. I’m no saint just because sacrilegious lyrics are a no-go for me.

I’ve got next to no discretion when it comes to hip-hop and R&B. We’ve already discussed, my inexcusable—yet gifted—ability to rap about a wide range of obscene topics. It’s despicable.

Side Note: Please don’t blasphemy my Lord and Savior while I’m polishing my glock on the way to the club.

Songs, hooks, choruses … it’s a part of every hour of every day. Some people can’t quiet their minds of to-do lists and itineraries; I can’t quiet my mind of lyrics—and I’m not even picky or discerning.

It seems logical that a current hit would be on my brain, but no. A lot of times it’s just the Napa Know-How commercial: Na-na-na-na Napa know how!

When that commercial comes on and I’m in earshot, Jocelyn knows how the next hour will unfold. That is, unless a Mattress Firm commercial takes its place.

Mattress Firm, where it’s easy … to get a great night’s sleep.

O-O-O-Oreillyyyyyyyyy!!!!! Auto Parts.

OK, I’ll stop. They’re all so catchy.

So just know that if we’re talking and you make the grave error of accidentally using a line from a song, I will hear nothing from that point on, except the song you got stuck in my head.

You: Oh hey Anna—how’s it going?
Me: Good, good. Looking forward to the weekend.
You: Right? The story of my life.
Me: The story of my life, I take her home, I drive all night, to keep her warm and ti-i-ime, is fro-o-o-o-o-zen.

Meeting Leader: Good morning! First things first …
Me: I Poppa freaks all the honeys, dummies, playboy bunnies, those wantin’ money …

Side Note: Our God is an awesome God 5x.

When I hear someone in a nearby cube answer her phone, “Hello?” I’m just over at my desk finishing it off, “Is it me you’re looking for? ‘Cause I wonder where you are, and I wonder what you do. Are you somewhere feeling lonely, or is someone loving you?”

I usually don’t even know I’m doing it. I’ll be chopping veggies, singing quietly, when Jocelyn will stop and tilt her head:
J: Is that Foreigner?!
Me: Is what Foreigner?
J: That song you keep singing.
Me: What song? I don’t think so.
J: Yeah. It is. That’s the second time I’ve heard you singing Cold As Ice. You know it’s 2014, right? Why?
Me: *hangs head* Because my hand got really cold when I was trying to break up the ice in the dispenser.

JT

At this point, my family pretty much knows not to say someone’s a “good ol’ boy” unless they’re up for some Waylon Jennings. I don’t hold back either. I’ve stopped many a conversation in its tracks by belting that song out, on the heels of my dad talking about a good guy.

And here is the thing—when it comes to music, my filter is pretty faulty. Whatever fits, fits. From Kenny Rogers (usually Lady, but The Gambler is a close second) to Jay-Z … they’re all fair game if you say anything that makes me think of a song or sentiment.

My mom was having a bad day awhile back and it wasn’t anything I could really help with, so I did the next best thing. I left her a message singing, “Tyrone” by Erykah Badu. Why? Because have you heard it? Are you telling me that getting a voice mail of your daughter crooning, “I’m gettin’ tired of YO SHIT, you don’t never buy me nothin,” wouldn’t brighten your mood considerably? Well. Then you are not my mother.

Be glad. Be very, very glad.

Come join the harmony on Facebook and Twitter!

Uniting In Fury (Again)

Remember when we United In Fury a while ago? I shared with you some things that made me a LOT madder than they should (misbehaving clothes hanger, I’m looking at YOU.) I found out that we truly did unite, because many of you expressed getting unduly upset by things way less serious than a canceled flight or your favorite team losing. It’s true, anger towards bad weather on your vacation is entirely warranted; however, fury aimed at your phone for using initial caps against your will, is ludicrous.

Yet. Here we are.

1. Go ahead and tell me I can change the settings. I know. But, how about when you fill out a medical history form online or sign up for a jibjab account—what then? Where is the logarithm or other techie rule, so that when you fill in your email address, it doesn’t assault you with an initial caps? I want to venture a guess here and say that maybe 2% of the population chooses an initial caps for their email, so let’s please not cater to that misguided bunch.

I don’t mean to be judgmental towards this potentially marginalized group—I know they’re just living their lives and bleeding the same blood as the other 98%—but I don’t agree with their choices and I don’t want to be inconvenienced by them.

2. I am vehemently opposed to football players getting water squirted in their mouths when they come off the field. It’s so embarrassing to see the trainers nurse them that way. They might think it gives off an air of importance—like the little people are there to cater to their every need—but I think it gives off an air of you-just-lost-your-man-card.

This must stop.

This must stop.

How can they pile drive a 240-lb running back, who is sprinting full speed ahead, and then run off the field and open up like a baby bird? It’s one of the dopiest things I’ve ever seen. Professional athletes’ eye-hand coordination is second-to-none, but somehow they can’t negotiate their own drink of water?

Side Note: If we’re not going to demand an end to this insanity, can I at least get someone to swing by my cube and hydrate me, while my precious hands type mind-blowing copy?

3. While we’re on a sports wave, let’s unpack some more nonsense. It infuriates me when football players don’t dress for the weather. The edge they gain from being a Mr. Tough Guy in short sleeves, when it’s 0 degrees is, oh I don’t know, nothing. None. Not one guy out there thinks, “Dude, Jason Witten doesn’t have sleeves on … like, his arms are just … out in the elements … uncovered … I can’t compete with that kind of toughness. I’m going back to the locker room.”

At least 10 knuckleheads I'm mad at.

At least 10 knuckleheads I’m mad at.

All they do, when they hit the blizzardous conditions in short sleeves, is make the rest of us extremely uncomfortable—to the point of anger. I get mad and so do my friends.

A text I got last week: I’m uncomfortable with the temperature of this game and displeased with the short sleeves I’m seeing.

We are incensed with their blatant disregard for our comfort. Do they know what happens when they get hit and slapped at and punched by a corner trying to strip the ball from them? WE FEEL GENUINE PAIN BECAUSE WE KNOW THEIR SKIN HURTS. We’re cheering our hearts out for them—the least they could do is meet us halfway.

Please don’t tell me the players’ adrenaline warms them up, because the coaches do it, too.

Another text from last week: Anna, can you and Jocelyn please unite in refusal with me? It’s 15 degrees and UM’s coach is wearing a short-sleeve shirt and no coat. Literally, a polo and khakis. 15 degrees with blustery wind—please help.

Side Note: I’m actually mad at anyone who doesn’t dress for the weather. Shorts at the mall in December? Get outta my face. Short sleeves in any restaurant, at any time of the year, in Texas and not shivering? Off with your head!

4. Now my anger is escalating and it’s about to get gross up in here, so consider yourselves warned.

I have a really strong stomach. I don’t puke when others puke (I’m too busy laughing for some very weird reason.) I don’t lose it when I see blood. I can watch surgeries on TV without covering my eyes. But I cannot, under any circumstances, abide a nose picker. I’m ALREADY queasy just typing it. I will turn my head like a damn owl, risking injury to my sternocleidomastoid, to escape the sight of a nose picker.

And make no mistake, I’m crazy coo-coo for babies and kids, but when I see a child picking his or her nose, I full-on abhor that child. Sorry. I will change their rancid diaper and accept their throw-up on my person, but I cannot tolerate a nose-digging brat (sorry, that’s the anger talking.)

Side Note: If pinned down, I think I know the origin of this contempt. My college team played a couple of games in LA one year and our coach drove us down to Hollywood Boulevard and the Rodeo Drive area. He wanted to drive by as many sites as possible before letting us loose to explore on foot. For reasons that are now a blur, one of our rental cars was a minivan, with a rear-facing back seat.

Like this, but not remotely as nice.

Like this, but not remotely as nice.

I jumped back there with a couple of teammates and a kid who was with us on the trip. Seeing the sites was awesome, but the more we drove—with me riding backwards—the more semi-motion sick I became. And then I turned to point out the Hollywood sign to the child and she was digging for gold like it was her J.O.B. But wait! My timing was so immaculate that I not only caught the tail end of the digging, but also the front end of the consumption. Bang. I’ve been haunted ever since. Now I live in fear that every picker will have the same follow-through and the quality of my life will implode.

5. I feel actual anger when I read blogs or Facebook status updates where a girl calls her husband “Hubby” or “The Hubs.” I realize it’s simply a matter of taste and lots of people don’t feel similar anger, but it actually taints my opinion of that person. I don’t truly believe her husband would think it’s cute, either. I bet he’s never said, “Babe! I saw that you called me ‘The Hubs’ today—aww! You’re the freakin’ best, Babe!”

What’s wrong with “My husband” or, I don’t know, “John?” Is it just simply not cute enough for you?

A Facebook status update that makes me want to roundhouse kick your hands away from the keyboard:
The Hubs and I are heading out for a fun weekend get-away!
An Instagram that makes me want to comment with a throw-up emoji:
Hubby and I are heading out for a fun weekend get-away!
A better Facebook status update:
John and I are heading out for a fun weekend get-away!
A perfectly acceptable Instagram:
My husband and I are heading out for a fun weekend get-away!

You get the idea.

Stop—I know. Now you’re mad that I’m mad. I get it. But channel that anger into something positive, like calling your husband by a name that’s not going to injure my eyes as they roll.

Side Note: I’d be remiss if I didn’t call attention to the guys’ equivalent. Nope, not “Wifey” … that’s minor, comparatively. I’m talking about the use of, “My Bride” when it’s not YOUR WEDDING DAY. She was once your bride, but now she’s your wife. You don’t hear her calling you her Groom. Or wait, do you? Hurry, someone help me … if I see that on Facebook, I’ll need to be restrained.

6. Ladies. I say this with loving tenderness … but I know you’re still going to be mad (join the club.) If you can’t walk in heels, then YOU CAN’T WEAR HEELS. Sorry to yell, but it’s that important—ssshhh—it’s also non-negotiable. I’m not saying you have to be able to walk exactly the same as you do in flip-flops or running shoes; but, if you feel yourself walking like an inebriated Clydesdale, then you’re canceling out efforts to lift your butt. Please believe me on this. If a guy sees you walking with the grace of toddler who got into Mommy’s liquor cabinet, he’s probably not even going to notice your butt. I feel super solid about this assertion.

oops-heels

I guess it’s wrong to say this makes me mad. I’m more disappointed than mad. Truthfully, I’m disappointed in you for making me mad. The fact that you think it’s sexier to be a one-woman stampede in heels, than to walk like a fully developed human, with some measure of graceful agility, angers me.

Side Note: As distressing as it may be, we all have to give up things that don’t work for us. Take me and my fivehead for example. Would I like to grow my hair out so I could just pull it into an easy ponytail? Every once in a while, yes, but I can’t, because my fivehead would make you mad. It’s called being thoughtful. Would it be an easy hairstyle? For sure—but it’s not worth making you mad every time you have to look at the unabridged version of my forehead.

7. When I pull up to a car wash and the attendant asks which wash I want, and I say, “Just the basic $5 one, please” and he says, “You don’t want your wheels done?!” … am I just completely out of my mind and expecting too much, in thinking my tires are very much a part of my car and that yes, of-freaking-course I want my tires washed?

If you go to a hairdresser and say, “Just a trim, please” … they don’t reply with, “You don’t want your bangs trimmed?!”

8. I know this shouldn’t make me mad, but when I’m at work and someone nearby pops open a Coke, I’m suddenly incapable of thinking about anything beyond how much I want a Dr. Pepper—right. here. and. right. now.—and I hardly ever even drink them! Is it too much to ask people to open their super fresh delight somewhere out of earshot? You don’t pipe in dreamy island sounds around me or waft spa scents through my cube, so why would you tempt and tease with a can of Dr. Pepper? Your thoughtlessness enrages me.

9. This one should make everyone mad—but if it’s new to you, hopefully you’ll be mad after you read it. I feel irrational anger towards celebrities—and especially a celebrity’s offspring, when they Instagram or Facebook a picture at work (or working out) and caption it, “Just tryna put food on the table” or “Out here grindin’, tryna feed the fam.”

WHAT? You’re Sean Combs’ son. Your dad is Diddy, and worth over 500 million dollars. Food is not, and never will be, a problem, Son.

We get it, Justin—you're starving.

We get it, Justin—you’re starving.

By all means, Instagram a photo of yourself in the studio or at the gym, but please be honest and tell us you’re out there “grindin’ for a Lamborghini Aventador,” not Top Ramen.

In no way am I suggesting living off your dad’s money, but you do know Taco Bell and McDonalds have dollar menus, right? You play for UCLA and your dad is a mogul—you and your family will be eating just fine, well into your 90s, whether you’re “out there grindin’ to feed the fam” or not.

10. I’d like to close with something that I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, will have you nodding your head ferociously up and down, in united fury. I practically forget.my.own.name. when I go to pull a paper towel or Kleenex and only the part I’m pinching breaks free.

Only Kristin Wiig can accurately portray my anger.

Only Kristin Wiig can accurately portray my anger.

Please join me on Facebook and Twitter … then we’ll all be happy!