(Still) Uniting In Fury

Usually, when people get all amped up and fearful over things like Ebola and public breastfeeding, I’m just over here scared to death of sending a text to the wrong person, or accidentally hitting “like” on a Facebook post I hate.

So while you’re searching for the perfect bumper sticker to properly illustrate your feelings about Hillary in 2016, I’m fighting a losing battle with Saran Wrap—and pretty ticked about it.

From the time I tear it off, to the time I place it over a dish, one of two irksome things happen. It either curls up on itself like the melting wicked witch of the West, or it attaches itself around my arms—refusing to let go. Neither is behavior I tolerate well. Maybe it just doesn’t like its lot in life? If it did, it would take pride in its work and pull off effortlessly against the perforated edge, and stay spread out—like a flying sheet—as it approached a dish.

Anyway, here we are, Uniting In Fury like we have a couple of other times, about things that make us madder than they should. Let’s get it.

If there is anything more maddening than a water hose that loses its flow because it kinks, then you better tell me what it is. For some reason, it sends me into a place of near-rage, and I literally have to tell myself I’m being filmed so I don’t act a fool as I drop the nozzle to go untangle the disaster. Sometimes I try to whip it up and down to unravel it from afar.

I’ve found success with this method approximately no times.

I genuinely—as in, really and truly—believe it’s God messing with me to lighten His load. I think He’s up there handling a lot of real serious, real heart-heavy stuff and just needs some comic relief—and picks me to shake-laugh at. He kinks the hose, stops the water flow, watches me try to whip it around before making the walk of shame to the knotted part, then doubles over in His throne snorting. Then I think he taps Jesus on the shoulder and says, “You gotta watch this” as He makes it flip around like a dancing snake and spray me.

Yes, Sir.

Yes, Sir.

Get as fired up as you want about our borders or having to press one for English—I’m saving my wrath for people who double-click links online. When someone who isn’t new to computers does this, I want to fall on a rusty sword. If you’re nodding along with me, then you don’t do this; if your head is cocked like a little Jack Russell Terrier, then maybe you’re guilty. Ssshhh, we don’t even have to talk about it—if you double-click links, instead of single clicking them like the Good Lord intended, just stop, and I won’t make any more trouble for you.

The alternative.

The alternative.

Do you ever think of something you want to Google and when you get the chance later, you can’t remember what it was? So frustrating! It never helps when someone close to you tries to help.

You: Crap. What did I say I was going to Google? Do you remember?
Someone: Weren’t you going to look up Neti pots?
You: No. I already did that—like a week ago.
Someone: Were you going to see if you were eligible for an iPhone upgrade?
You: No. I mentioned it earlier, in the car, when we were passing the new Whole Foods.
Someone: Oh. Hmm. Was it when we were wondering if owls mate for life?
You: No. I already know they do. Well, they get around a little, but only make baby owls with the same owl.
Someone: You’re making that up. I want to Google it. Remind me later.
You: Come onnnnn, what was it? You were there when I brought it up!
Someone: I’m not sure; I just remember you asking about the blood moons.
You: Yeah, but I wasn’t going to Google that. I’ll just ask my parents.
Someone: OK, well I can’t help you. I’m out of ideas.
You: Oh! It was that Taylor Swift song! I wanted to see if the “hella good hair” reference was Harry Styles! *does a little happy jig*
Someone: How do you survive life?

Side Note: Speaking of Google, it’s fun to play the Google game when you have friends or family over. Everyone has to pull out their smart phone and say what they Googled last—no matter how embarrassing (“embarrassing” includes, but is not limited to, things they should already know and things they shouldn’t care to know.)

It’s awesome to watch everyone pull it up and then see heads drop.
Me: OK, quick, we’ll start with Rob and move clockwise—go.
Rob: How tall is Miley Cyrus?
Candace: What’s God’s address?
Brian: Does a watched pot really never boil?
Laura: How do I use my super powers for good?
Leslie: How can I plug a USB cord in the right way the first time?
Jennifer: Are mice just baby rats?
Justin: Why can’t I do a pull up?
Mike: How do you spell bootylicious?
Jocelyn: Do owls get around in the off season?
Promise me you’ll play it next time you have company.

Oh my gosh, I get so mad when I click over to ESPN and they’re showing the World Series of Poker. Are you kidding me with this? HGTV doesn’t show people playing Candy Land. CNBC doesn’t show the World Series of Monopoly. Stop this madness. I’m not saying the World Series of Poker shouldn’t exist, necessarily, I’m just asking that it be on the Game Show Network … or another channel I never go to, so I don’t have to be mad when I’m snacking on Takis and in the mood for SportsCenter.

What is it about individual athletes that makes them think it’s OK to talk about their good performance like a total douche-canoe?  “Well, you know, I played amazing tennis today. And I’ve been playing incredible tennis for a few months now. I’m hitting the ball excellently and reading my opponent like a true master.”

emma

Whoa! Really? I just went from cheering you on to kind of wanting you to lose the next few. When you hear a post-game interview with a star from a team sport, it’s typically more like, “Well, I couldn’t have done what I did without my teammates, man. They got me the ball and also did their thing when I was in that 2nd quarter slump. Our coaches had us ready with an amazing game plan and we worked hard to execute it all week. I gotta give it up to the staff and my teammates, and thank God for this chance.”

Then, a golfer. “I’m just really one-of-a-kind. I’m swinging a great club and my trajectory is unmatched. I’m one of the greats and will remain unchallenged the rest of the year if I just play my game.” Now I’m wishing individual sports would also be shown on the GSN.

Do you know what angers me on the highway more than a forgotten blinker? When I see a motorcycle with those absurdly high handle bars.

Have you seen this tomfoolery?

Have you seen this tomfoolery?

Doesn’t it just make their already rough motorcycle life harder? Who wants to steer above their head? How quick is their reaction time when their hands are completely numb? Which reminds me … if you have this kind of motorcycle and I end up anywhere near you, I better see you shaking some circulation back into your extremities when we get to a red light. Oh, for the love of Lucy. Are you kidding me? The handle bars have a name? APE HANGERS? Excuse me while I go work off this rage.

This should help.

This should help.

Recently I found myself mad at my sister. I was having to take a lot of extra time to text her; because, for some mind-boggling reason, she requires full spelling and grammar accuracy in texts. I was telling her something really important and she wrote back, “Is there a reason why you’ve stopped capitalizing words?” I just stared, open-mouthed before responding, “I haven’t stopped capitalizing—I’m just typing fast!” I waited on a quick “jk!” back, but nope, she responded, “Uh, not true. Lately you’ve been texting like maybe you didn’t pass the language portion of the SAT.”

So now it takes me twice as long to construct texts to her liking. The only thing that will assuage my anger, concerning this rule of hers, is that now I know exactly how to get under her skin. “hey sis, i was wndring if i could take libby 2 a movie tmrw?” Boom, take that, Lady. “Not if you can’t take more pride in your written word.” Bang. Winner: Big Sis.

Moving on.

What. The. Blankety. Blank. is this disaster?

Why have prom mums gotten big enough for a casket?

Why have prom mums gotten big enough for a casket?

Maybe it’s not ideal that something that makes you happy, makes me mad, but we’ll just have to move on. I refuse to spend one more second trying to understand whyyy anyone wants a mum so big it has to be worn like an apron.

A second cousin to the mum fiasco is the sorority girl side-pose and the group shot with a front row of half-squatters.

This is not natural, people. I've gone my whole life without posing this way and it's worked out just fine.

This is not natural, people. I’ve gone my whole life without posing this way and it’s worked out just fine.

Peeing? Need to pee? What is this?!?!

Peeing? Need to pee? WHAT IS THIS?!?!

No, GUILTY PARTIES, it’s actually not necessary. I was in group pics for a few decades, where not one single solitary person pulled this crap—AND WE WERE ALL ACCOUNTED FOR. When I see these pics, my jaw tightens and I immediately imagine our forefathers seeing one and becoming awash in confusion, and then I feel sad about their confusion and extra mad at the girls who confused them.

I’m also not happy about the frequency with which I’m still seeing memes, status updates and tweets that end in “said no one ever.” It was semi-partially-a-tiny-bit OK for about four weeks. That time has come and gone, Folks. I feel the same about “at the end of the day.” I fully understand how easy it is to use this phrase, I just ask people to mix it up with, “when it’s all said and done” or maybe, I don’t know … silence. While we’re on this topic, I’ll go ahead and tell you that “just sayin’” is going to get its own blog post some day. Until then, please try to pull back on this one, as well.

Side Note: I got a text from my mom awhile back:
Promise me here and now that you’ll never use the “said no one ever” line.
Oh, don’t worry—I promise.
Thank you Sweetie. Sleep good. Ily

Now I can’t stop venting my anger.

Bad perfume angers me on its own; but, the fact that bad perfume is always worn too heavily—like she dunked herself in it and then re-applied it to each pulse point every hour—makes me want to twist up a wet towel and pop her with it. I don’t care if she’s 30 or 90, I’ll snap her good. It’s not maddening just because it’s not my kind of scent, it’s that the worst perfumes (and the ones worn like a cloak) actually make my stomach hurt like I’m sitting in traffic behind a diesel truck.

gag

I love Pinterest dearly, but I lose it when I’m trudging through a healthy eating week, and then happen upon some cheddar drop biscuits. Are you serious with this? Do you know what someone like me does to biscuits? Probably what someone like you does to warm cookies. It’s not for innocent eyes. I wish Pinterest would implement something similar to child safety settings, but for people trying to eat well. Then I don’t have to obliterate a healthy-eating run just because I scroll past some buffalo mac and cheese. We could also turn on the safe settings when we get back from vacation, and don’t want to see all the new places we have to wait another year to visit.

Last thing (for today) … there is something people say that makes me mad enough to tackle them—and lead with my helmet.

“I’m bored.”

Even typing it makes me see red. This response is not my own, but I wish it was because I love it so much. Someone once said, “You have seen none percent of this world—boredom is inconceivable.” And it truly is impossible for me, thus far in my life, to be bored. I’m never, ever bored. As long as I’ve got ears to hear, eyes to see and a voice to converse—and as long as there are books and food and loved ones—there isn’t a way in the world to be bored. I think I’d punish my child more for saying she’s bored than for using the F-word.

Just sayin’.

OK, let’s hear it. Y’all always have such funny things that get you worked up and mad. I want to hear them!

Please join me on Facebook and Twitter!

Nip Tuck

Cosmetic surgery is overrated. While smaller noses and bigger boobs have their place in society, neither contribute directly to the mission of creating a harmonious, cooperative world. A co-worker with calf implants won’t make the work day easier, but you know what will? A co-worker with common sense implants. Enter: Character Surgery.

Imagine the possibilities.

A little nip here for tempering those passive-aggressive tendencies; a little tuck there for improving a woeful sense of humor.

Doctor: What brings you in?
Girl: Oh Doc, it’s my level of self-importance. It’s reached an all-time high.
Doctor: I see. Tell me what you’ve noticed.
Girl: Well, for starters, my selfies have become a real problem. I used to come up with clever ways of getting a selfie posted—under the faux self-deprecating guise of ‘this is what 3 hours of sleep looks like,’—but now I just post them without shame. I’ve even started hashtagging this fact.
Doctor: What do you mean?
Girl: Like I’ll hashtag #shamelessselfie or #overgrammer or #selfiesaturday, when I know it’s Friday.
Doctor: I see. We can fix that.
Girl: Good. I knew I needed help when I was making fun of someone’s selfies the other day and people were looking back at me in total silence and with big eyes. It was a real turning point for me. I even took a selfie to commemorate the moment—and because I love how blue my eyes get when I’m about to make tears—and posted it on Instagram right away.
Doctor: Did you post an explanation of the image you shared?
Girl: Just a simple hashtag #thesebabybluestho
Doctor: I see. Well, I believe we’re looking at a pretty minor procedure with no overnight stay.
Girl: Really? Even though I’ve noticed that things in my life no longer mean anything to me if I don’t post them?
Doctor: Oh. Well, now we’re looking at a moderately invasive procedure—requiring a full week of at-home recovery and drainage bags.

Wouldn’t it be cool if Botox could fix little nagging things that sometimes hinder good relationships? You’d make an appointment (hopefully with a Groupon) and 30 minutes and one syringe later, you’d be a much better listener.

Oh, I'm sorry—did the middle of my sentence interrupt the beginning of yours?

Or we just don’t listen at all, because, you know, the game is on and the Twitter feed is fast.

What if a few cc’s of Juvederm could curb your woe-is-me outlook? Botox parties would take on a whole meaning. You could invite that one friend who is late to everything and talk her into an injection for punctuality. You and all your lady friends would roll up to that party and sip a little Pinot while perusing the menu. Each party-goer would simply figure out which characteristics applied to her (with a little constructive wine-induced nudge from a true friend), and check the corresponding box to indicate “help wanted.” The menu might look like this:

botoxparty1

And one for the fellas:

botoxparty

I used to tell all my friends, “Hey, if you’re ever with me when there’s an accident and I have to quickly go under the knife, tell the doctor to fix my nose!”

Side Note: My nose has had a few major collisions with spherical objects—the best/worst happened when I played college basketball and was defending a very tall, super mean Jamaican girl (I tell you her nationality only so you can picture her accent when imagining all the means things she yelled at me for no good reason.) Anyway, I was guarding her and she was looking to get the ball up the court. She enjoyed expending the least amount of energy possible, so she cocked her arm back—Payton Manning style—for a full court pass. The timing of my jump was so immaculately perfect that I full-on intercepted the pass WITH MY FACE. Actually, it was less face and more nose. A direct hit. Please take a moment to note the velocity necessary to pass the ball full court.

But if Character Surgery was an option, I’d tell my friends that if I’m in an accident—and need surgery and can’t speak for myself—to tell the doctor he is under strict orders to also fix my sensitivity to external noises. I’d come out of surgery with repaired ribs, a new nose, and blissfully unaware of nearby chip eaters, loud breathers, change jinglers and pen-tappers. I’d never notice anyone’s bracelet scraping the desk back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, as she used her mouse for eight hours in the cube next to me. Thank you, Character Surgery!

If Character Surgery was a real thing, I could imagine this conversation and similar:

Girl 1: I feel like Abby is never at work.
Girl 2: What? Why? I see her all the time.
Girl 1: Well, she’s always posting pics from places other than her house.
Girl 2: You mean like … restaurants … on the weekend?
Girl 1: Yeah, and other places, too.
Girl 2: Like concerts at night … or something after work?
Girl 1: Whatever, she’s always … at … places. And I can’t believe she doesn’t get fat. She’s always eating … food. And like, posting it.
Girl 2: That’s not even true—I follow her and she just posts once in a while!
Girl 1: Yeah, but it’s ALWAYS this great food.
Girl 2: Right, but it’s like 1-2 meals out of probably 21 meals a week!
Girl 1: Right, but she’s not a whale like I’d be.
Girl 2: But how do you know the other 15 meals aren’t apples and salads or something? Should she post a picture of her oatmeal or cottage cheese? Do you want an Instagram of her workouts? A pic of all the donuts she passed on?
Girl 1: Whatever, it just makes me feel bad and hate my life. She’s always eating and on vacation.
Girl 2: Girrrrrl, you gotta get something for that. You should try that procedure Lisa got last month. She said she was back at work the next day with no swelling and couldn’t believe she suffered so long with these ludicrous thoughts.

zd

Doctor: Well, Kacie, everything looks good. If you don’t have any questions or concerns, we’ll see you back here in one year.
Kacie: Great. But actually, I was wondering if I could get a referral to the Character Surgery Clinic on Westchester Ave.?
Doctor: What’s going on?
Kacie: I came across a quote from Betty White recently and it said, “I don’t know how people can get so anti-something. Mind your own business, take care of your affairs, and don’t worry about other people so much.” It hit me pretty hard. I’m so exhausted from my anti-everything ways that I can’t keep my outrage straight. Is it Chick-fil-A I’m disappointed in? Am I for or against them? Can I have a chicken biscuit or not? Is it Target or Walmart whose policies worked me up into a frenzy last month? Which NFL team didn’t even request the video surveillance of Rice knocking his fiance out cold and then dragging her body off the elevator? Anyway, I want that procedure they’re offering because I just need to take care of my own affairs like Betty suggested.

I just see so many benefits of Character Surgery. Do you know someone who turns everything into a political discussion and creates a negative divide any time possible? That person is a real gem and delight, huh? Wouldn’t it be nice to send ‘em in for a little day surgery?

opinion

Have you ever wondered if you’re a bad judge of character? Have you noticed that you fall hard and fast for people (platonic or romantic) you’ve just met or that you love-love-love a person/friend/co-worker, but then aren’t even speaking in six months? Do your relationships and friendships start out super intense and exciting, only to end poorly?

Then you, my sweets, might be a bad judge of character. But that’s OK in my perfect world—where Character Surgery exists—because you’d be able to fix that little flaw with a local anesthetic and a few stitches.

Perhaps not the best judge of character.

Maybe since we all have so many character flaws and such fluctuations in moods and circumstances, there could be a rule. The rule could be that once you’ve been told something three times, by three different people, you have to get a Character Surgery procedure.

August 2012: “You drive like you own the road, Dan.”
October 2013: “Danny! You don’t own the road, you know.”
May 2014: “Daniel, there are other drivers out here—stop acting like you own the road!”

Boom. Bang. Character Surgery. You did it to yourself.

See how quickly we could shape this place up, with just a few well-placed rules? A harmonious, cooperative world, People … are you with me?

Please join me on Facebook and Twitter!

80% Girl

I’m beginning to wonder if I’m really a girl.

Every week I tilt my head at something I hear or read. Last week it was, “Every girl needs a pair of killer heels.” Uh-­oh. Not only do I not have or want any, I don’t actually “need” them—because I have Sperry’s. Even with my vivid imagination, I can’t fathom how killer heels would enhance my life. (All the things you’re yelling at the screen are things I don’t want.) If I could come up with even one benefit that made sense to me, then maybe I’d hit up DSW; but, as it stands, if every girl needs killer heels—and I don’t—then I guess I’m not a girl?

But wait, wait, wait. I enjoy loofahs and talking things out and doodling hearts in the margins. I also like reading into conversations, taking things out of context and perusing every aisle at Target—except the pet one—so I AM a girl, right?

Thank you, Oprah.

Thank you, Oprah.

I also heard this one recently: “Every girl deserves to go to a ball.” First of all, that’s just not true. I know a lot of girls who deserve to be grounded and strictly forbidden from going to balls. Second of all, I have to assume that ball attire requires killer heels, so thankfully, I’m out. Going to a ball appeals to me none percent. It requires shoes I oppose and a pretentiousness that pricks my baby skin. I’m also assuming the football game won’t be on anywhere at the ball, right? Do people who host balls serve anything in the buffalo-blue-cheese-slider family? I’d need to know this before I decided if I really and truly deserved to go to a ball like every girl supposedly does.

This one you’ve all heard, and I could write a dissertation on it, but I won’t. “Every girl wants to be a princess.” People, not only has that never crossed my mind—or taken up even momentary residence in the chamber of my heart where dreams reside—but I want to be a princess about as much as I want to be a lobster, in a pot of boiling water, being prepared for the main course, at a ball I don’t want to attend.

What is the appeal of being a princess? I’m asking because I genuinely want to know and understand this breed.

I can list 5 really quick things that make me not want to be a princess.
1. Their voices are annoying.
2. They wear gowns and killer heels.
3. The have to eat politely … and in small quantities.
4. Their hair is long and they wear it down. All the time.
5. Most of them are dainty, demure and seemingly helpless.

6. Some of them have flippers and act like this.

6. Some have flippers and act like this.

I don’t even want to be friends with anyone over the age of seven who wants to be a princess. I’m sorry—that’s just not a thing. In my mind, that’s just not even a thing. Wanting to be a princess is like wanting to be a figurine. That’s something every girl wants? Like, when they’re stone-cold sober? Ladies, is that true? To the readers who are out of footed pajamas and who don’t still have baby teeth, do you dream of being a princess?

I’m not asking if you want to make babies with Prince Harry. I’m for-real asking, do you really dream of being a princess? I mean, if you do, that’s fine, I guess … I dream of us going on an African safari with Roger Federer and his wife and two sets of twins, and capturing phenomenal shots of giraffes while the sun is setting, but it’s not like I go around saying and tweeting and posting, “Every girl wants to go on an African Safari with Roger Federer and his wife and two set of twins and capture phenomenal shots of giraffes while the sun is setting!”

Nope—no, I don't.

Nope—no, I don’t.

It’s no secret that I like the smell of Home Depot as much as the smell of Sephora. The ambiance of both stores makes my whole body happy. And most of my people know I’d rather watch the NFL Draft than the Oscars.

Side Note: I know something I dream of. I dream of being on the red carpet at the Oscars one day, simply so that when Mario Lopez asks me “who I’m wearing” I can clutch my locket and sigh, “Aunt Norney … I miss her so much.”

But I know I’m still a girl because I have boxes full of old cards, letters, pictures and diaries, and I’d put someone in a full nelson and snap his collarbone if he tried to throw them out. Uh-oh. Only guys do full nelsons and bone-breaking things, huh? Whatever. Still, the high sentimental factor makes me a girl—admit it.

“Every girl dreams of and plans her wedding day from the time she is five.” Really? Like, really­ really? I fully understand dreaming of and planning your marriage, but the wedding? So you’re saying, for 20 years straight, every girl plans those few hours of her life? Every girl? All of us? Dang it—there I go, not being a girl again. But it doesn’t add up, because I love to take long baths and daydream about Britney and Justin getting back together … and in time to have a baby. This is in the girl category, right?

Bang.

Bang.

“Every girl knows where to get the best brunch.” Sigh. Don’t get me started on brunch. It’s NOT “the best of both worlds—breakfast and lunch combined.” It’s HALF of both worlds, without being as good as either. If I have to “do brunch” to be a girl, then I’ll pass, because there are too many good places for afternoon craft beer, hot wings and Neapolitan pizza—none of which will include an egg or Hollandaise sauce.

“Every girl deserves to be treated like a princess.” Again I say, “Not true.” Have you met every girl? This is patently false, because a lot of girls deserve to be treated like the wicked witch of the West. And besides, gross. Why is this so gross to me? I’m fully down with being treated well and being respected and even waited on—for special occasions—but the notion of being treated like a princess gives me the shakes.

I saw a pin on Pinterest the other day and it was an image of a dress and shoes and accessories laying on a bed … with a note on top of it all that said, “Wear this and be ready at 7:00.” Then the caption on the pin said, “Every guy should do this for his girl at least once in his life.”

gag1

I’m not on the market, but if I was, and a guy did that, I would fracture my eyeballs rolling them. Please don’t dress me. The “be ready at 7:00″ part is kind of sexy and bossy, but please leave the clothes and accessories purchase out of the mix. That’s not cute.

One thing that makes me feel A-OK about my supposed partial-girl status is The Bachelor. I can’t watch it or even listen to people discuss it, because of the way the girls act on the show. It makes me happy to separate myself from their ilk. I’d rather watch a 10-part A&E series on Houdini’s cousin than two minutes of The Bachelor. But bear in mind, I can watch HGTV until my legs go numb. So who’s the girl now?

I wish society would just stop trying to convince me I’m not a girl, because minus the brunching and killer heels and dressy galas and pukey princess and Bachelor stuff, I’m 100% girl. Or at least 75%—maybe 80% if my obsession with wanting Beyonce and Jay-Z to stay together counts.

Please join me on Facebook and Twitter!

 

Next Level Lazy

I follow some Pinterest boards dedicated to cool gadgets and interesting technology. Lately, a few of them have become overrun with devices marketed as time-savers, but actually, they’re just, “Things you’d buy if you were too lazy to deserve life.” I ask myself time and time again, “Are we that lazy?!” And when I say we, I mean you.

Let’s jump off with some food prep. I don’t go a week without seeing one of these gems pop up somewhere. Never once have I thought, “Now there’s a utensil I can get behind.” First of all—and this is a hard truth we’ll circle back to—you don’t have room for another outlandish gadget. You don’t. I know you don’t.

Why, world, why?

Why, world, why?

When did slicing a banana become so cumbersome that you tried to think of a workaround? Bananas are soft; you could cut them with the wrong side of a butter knife. You don’t need this task to be easier.

Knives make these same suer-unique cuts.

Knives make these same super-unique cuts.

Interestingly enough, an avocado’s consistency is similar to a banana. Who dices a soft avocado and thinks, “My life is hard enough without having to carve all these lines. Why does guacamole require so much elbow grease?”

Side Note: Introduce me to something that preps a pineapple or spaghetti squash in one motion, and I’m in.

The most unnecessary kitchen item ever.

The most unnecessary kitchen item ever.

Anyone who buys—or even wants—a gadget to crack eggs, needs to consider which life decisions led to this downward spiral. The only thing hard about cracking an egg is nothing. Save your money and enroll in a camp to toughen up.

Lazy x10.

Lazy x10.

When is the last time you thought, “The world would be pretty drama-free if we just didn’t have to slice butter”? Does anyone watch an injustice and nod to themselves thinking, “Oh, karma’s gonna get you, kiddo, and I hope you rot in sewer while slicing sticks of butter ALLLLL day.” The answer is no—no one has these thoughts.

Please don't let me see you doing this.

Please don’t let me see you doing this.

Do you honestly need to sit down to peel potatoes? The only possible time I could imagine this need is if you were peeling potatoes for the city of Los Angeles. And remember, you don’t have room for another gadget—especially this one.

My eyes can't unsee this.

My eyes can’t un-see this.

Don’t ever let me walk in and catch you doing this. I’d rather walk in on anything—yes anything—else. You could dedicate your life to training service dogs and teaching sign language to toddlers, and if I walk in on you using one of these, you are dead to me.

I'll not stand for this.

I’ll not stand for this.

Look at me. LOOK at me. We do not give forethought to how we want to sit at the beach, and make purchases based on its inherent discomforts. If you need help sitting this way—because it’s simply too demanding—then don’t sit this way. We’re not debating this.

Ages 5 and under. YOU HEARD ME.

Ages 5 and under. YOU HEARD ME.

If you’re not wearing Underoos or getting tucked in at night, you can’t use this fork (even if it’s available in solid colors). You’re going to have to actually move your wrist and manually twist the spaghetti on a big girl fork. Please don’t succumb to this level of laziness or tell yourself it’s neat-o.

Capital L Lazy.

Capital L Lazy.

I don’t care if you grill out seven nights a week—this grate-scrubbing gadget is unacceptable. You also have no room for it. Don’t fool yourself into thinking it makes you an even cooler grill master; it actually negates your BBQing coolness. The only people who will tell you otherwise probably use the banana slicer. Be wary.

It's a kitchen, not a wood-working shop.

It’s a kitchen, not a wood-working shop.

No, Ma’am. If you’re prone to tears when chopping onions, a tool already exists for that—it’s called coping. We do not wear goggles to prep onions.

Nothing could possibly go wrong here.

Nothing could possibly go wrong here.

You will never convince me this is a good idea. The first reason has been established—you don’t have room for it. Beyond that, the list of issues inherent to this gadget is lengthy. Please just go with tradition and lift the milk out like a normal, non-lazy, not-crazy human. Oh good grief, I just saw what it’s called. Help.

I guess showers are just too taxing.

I guess showers are just too taxing.

A human washing machine, huh? There is a time and place for getting bathed by someone else—it’s called infancy. Obviously no one could afford this monstrosity (and you don’t have room for it, anyway.) But even if you could swing it financially, if I ever find out you looked at it longingly and did mental budgeting, we’ll be parting ways. Some call it tough love, I call it tough shit. I don’t roll with people who want to lay in a washing machine because they think showers take a toll on their energy level.

Technology gone wrong.

Created by a wayward engineer.

I can’t imagine any issues with this at all. Chicago O’Hare, no problem. DFW, what could go wrong? For goodness sake, bags already roll—is that not enough for you slackers?

Where do I start?

Where do I start?

A portable, inflatable bench? How often are you really in need of a place to sit, and it’s so dire that you can’t just sit on the surface that covers the planet—OR STAND? Is it enough to warrant shopping for, purchasing, owning and traveling with an “emergency inflator bench?” Agree that the answer is NO and we’ll all get out of here in one piece.

I'm furious.

I’m furious.

This is what it says: With the easy pull-on sock aid, you no longer have to bend down and struggle to put your socks on. All you need to do is to stretch the sock over the support, slowly slide your foot in and pull handles.

Raise your hand if this sounds 3x harder than PULLING ON YOUR SOCKS. Can you imagine how much our forefathers hate us? Well, I can.

#parentingfail

#parentingfail

Let me get this straight. You slather your child in anti-bacterial hand sanitizer—between organic snacks and range-free eggs—but you let him do your floors? You might as well slap a mop on his face, too, because he’s probably going to try to lick the tiles while he’s at it. Welcome to a world of crime—where your baby is now an accomplice to your laziness.

Side Note: Don’t let that sweet baby’s willing expression fool you. He doesn’t even know his name … you think he has a clue about the pound of dust mites he’s housing?

I’ll close with this ill-conceived idea, and hope I’ve caught you before you click “purchase scooter bag.”

You won't be smiling like this in the face of dirty looks.

You won’t be smiling like this in the face of dirty looks.

This idea is deceptive. You might think it’s slightly genius; however, trust me when I say you won’t feel good about yourself dork-gliding to the tarmac this way.

If you’re not scared of (and scarred by) the lengths people go to, to demonstrate their laziness, you should be. I am. We’re just not going to conquer life this way. When butter and bananas are causing us grief, we’re in capital T trouble.

Good news! I just got an email that my Pizza Slicer Fork shipped! I’m sure I’ve got room for it somewhere.

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My Untimely Demise

If any of the following incidents serve as foreshadowing, I might be in for an unfortunate, untimely demise. I’d rather die when I’m around 90, from a battle of wits gone awry, but it’s out of my hands.

Here are a few reasons why I could probably die in a mortifying way.

The bounce house incident. My sister and I were fully grown and her daughter was around six. Our neighborhood was having a party in the park, complete with hot dogs, sno-cones and bounce houses, so we invited Jeni and Libby to come out for it. I can’t even remember if my niece wanted any part of the big bounce house—but Jeni and I sure did—so I tossed Libby up in it and we trailed behind.

It's all fun and games until Disney suffocates you.

It’s all fun and games until Disney suffocates you.

After getting her footing, she started to really enjoy it—jumping wildly and giggling heartily. I thought I’d crank up our good times by showing her some cool flips I had in my arsenal. My sister bounded off to the side, giving me ample room to impress. Once I got the tricks out of my system, I hopped off to the side to join Jeni and give Libby more room. On my final hop over, the bounce house shifted on its axis a bit, and instead of landing next to her, I slipped into the side seam (imagine a 1970s water-bed and the part between the “bladder” and the side frame.)

We were laughing really hard as I tried repeatedly to leap, catapult and fling my way out; but then Jeni realized that—based on the size of the blow up and the amount of strength I lost from laughing—I wasn’t going to be able to dig myself out of the crevice of death. She reached down to pull me out, but this caused a full tilt, and she quickly joined me, head first, in the valley of doom.

Now the “super fun” bounce house was 75% on its side and kids started tumbling towards us—not intentionally—and an unfortunate 10:00 news story flashed through my mind of solemn newscasters reporting injuries to several small children and two 30-somethings in a Disney Princess Bounce House.

Somehow, we acted quickly and propelled our way out, with Libby in tow. Little Doodlebop seemed unfazed, but Jeni and I were emotional wrecks on the inside. We race-walked up to Jocelyn across the park—wild-eyed and out of breath. She looked at us suspiciously before tossing some Cheetos in her mouth and saying, “I told you they’re built for kids.”

The escalator incident. Before I begin, two factions of people exist. People who think this story is funny and people who actually love me the way love was intended. I’ll go ahead and tell you that it’s a “true colors” kind of story and I remember each person who laughed before making sure I was okay.

I’d flown back home from a trip up North. I retrieved my luggage and headed to the down escalator to catch a tram to my car. It was one of those escalators with the see-through cover over it … like a tube. The genius traveler 10 steps below me had his big rolling suitcase IN FRONT of him (rookie) and when he got to the bottom, the bag didn’t make it over the lip—and it caused him to fall backwards. He was down, but of course the escalator kept moving. Since the exit was blocked by a body and luggage, the next man behind him fell backwards also. Within one second, several people in front of me had fallen and were trapped among moving metal and several tangled bags—while the sharp teeth of the escalator continued on its merry way.

It was a small pile-up and I was going to be next in the heap. I could have turned and run up the escalator to escape that outcome, but it was packed with people and bags. I stepped backwards, trying to gain even a step before I joined the mess, but an escalator full of people facing forward, going down, and trying to step UP and BACKWARDS on a relentless DOWN-MOVING escalator was causing complete mayhem. As soon as I could, I literally jumped over the four fallen men in front of me to get away from those incessant steel steps.

Women with children, still coming down and seeing the chaos, but unable to stop it or escape it, were screaming. It was awful—so scary. I was at the bottom at this point, and looking up, but also scared of what I was going to see in the melee (I was imagining fingers and hair getting stuck in the rotating linked steps.) Someone was finally able to hit the emergency stop button and people peeled themselves up and away. Bags were everywhere; kids were crying.

I headed to the (wrong) tram really shaken up and hurting, but not sure what was injured. I had blood all over the side of my jeans, by my knee, and my palms were bleeding like I’d fallen on gravel. Once I got home and surveyed the damage, I had grotesque bruises where the steel teeth of the steps had scraped down my thighs and calves. I also had some awesome bruises on my lower back and upper butt. I mean, these bruises were colossal. I felt like I’d been beat up.

escalatorcard

Side Note: I’m actually glad Instagram wasn’t around then, because I’d surely have my bruised ass on the internet—there is not one doubt in my mind.

The bug-killing incident. Last summer, we had quite a wasp/yellow jacket/hornet issue. By some people’s estimation, we didn’t actually have a situation, but because I see all of them as flying grim reapers, I took to Amazon for an answer to the nuisance. Enter The Executioner.

Battery-operated butchery.

Battery-operated butchery.

With the acquisition of The Executioner, I became a lean, mean anything-flying-with-a-stinger-killing-machine. For those of you new to this wonderment, the “strings” of the racket are actually wires with an electrical current running through them. A mobile bug zapper.

Side Note: I’m a major nature and animal lover (think more owls and bobcats, and less cat litter and dog hair) … and I really do go out of my way to take bugs outside and generally relocate all unwanted critters, as opposed to ending them. Just a couple of weeks ago, a huge tarantula stopped by unannounced. We were sitting by the pool when he let himself in the yard. We went the extra mile to gently coax him into the pool net and I ran a 1/4 mile to introduce him to a more fitting oasis, where he could mingle with his own kind. But, I’m telling you, when it comes to aggressive things with stingers (wasps, scorpions, etc.) … they’ve got to go. I don’t mess around with that crew. In fact, I’ve considered displaying their dead, ratfink body on a stake in the yard, with a sign that reads, “Anyone who thinks this was a good guy is NEXT.”

Back to the point. I’d had a fair amount of luck with The Executioner connecting with random stinging insects—not an elite performance, but nothing to be ashamed of. Enter the Cicada Killer. They’re like a honey badger with wings. They sound like a helicopter and THEY HAVE THE WORD KILLER IN THEIR NAME. Have you seen them?

They're up to 2" long and called a "ground dwelling predator wasp."

They’re up to 2″ long and called a “ground dwelling predator wasp.”

Have you been dive bombed by one for absolutely no reason? Well, I was tired of it. One evening, I decided it was time to show the little jerk what happens to evil trespassers. I heard him coming around (how could I not?) and I grabbed The Executioner and positioned my thumb over the on button. I walked out onto a wider span of grass and said, “You wanna go, son? Let’s do this” as I spun the murder racket in my hand like Roger Federer. I stopped just short of pounding my chest to signify the size of my heart.

In he zoomed, all hateful and aggressive, like my clothes were made out of cicadas. I was in a good crouched position with my racket poised, so I swung hard and, shockingly, made good contact on the first try. Down he went. I bounced like a boxer, saying, “Yeah, Punk—what now, Homie?!”

What I did not account for was his wherewithal.

He had been zapped square on his despicable face with electricity and he got up. HE GOT  UP. I hoped he’d be stunned and clumsy, but he was reinvigorated and irate. He came at me so hard that I almost zapped myself with The Executioner. I was swinging and tripping and ducking and swatting like a lunatic who’d lost control of every limb.

Fortunately, the Cicada Killer ended it by flying away; otherwise, I’m almost certain it would have ended poorly for me. Feel free to Google “cicada killer stings” to see what torment befalls a sting victim.

The entire brawl probably lasted all of 25 seconds, but you’d be surprised how many times your life can flash before your eyes in only a few seconds.

After the trauma of nearly nuking myself with my Amazon purchase, I headed back to the patio and was ill-prepared for what I saw—Jocelyn, virtually immobile as she fought for a breath in between noiseless convulsing laughter.

All I saw was the headline, “Woman underestimates tenacity of giant predator wasp; turns weapon on self. Expected to plead guilty to personal assault and battery.” But apparently  Jocelyn saw the best comedy show of her life—from the front row.

I’m doing my best to live a long and productive life—to die with dignity and without a headline. But it sure is hard when there are predators to eliminate and bounce houses to capsize.

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I’m Not That Picky

It’s not a secret that quite a few things in this life bug, bother and baffle me. We’ve united in furytwice. But the other day, I was chopping up pickles for tuna sandwiches—and making absolutely certain to keep the butts (where the stem had been) out of the mix, for people who are particular about such things—when I realized that it really all balances out. Meaning, there are lots of things I don’t mind at all, that others simply cannot abide. I noted this fact as I popped the butts of about 15 baby dills in my mouth, while doing a happy food dance.

Maybe I’m not as picky as I once thought. Let’s swan dive into some examples.

I don’t panic over banana strings, because I’m too busy eating them. They’re called phloem bundles—but I just call them “part of the banana”—and they help carry nutrients to the entire fruit. So while you’re delicately removing them with grouchy, pursed lips, my fully nourished body has moved on.

bstrings

I also don’t mind extreme heat. I was born and raised where it’s routinely over 100 degrees in the summer—and I like it. In fact, I like it to be so hot it’s hard to breathe. Bring it. I prefer dry heat, but I’m not that picky. I also love the deliciously crippling heat of saunas and steam rooms.

Side Note: My mom loves steam rooms, too. One time we were at a spa in Arizona and decided it was time for a good steam. The room was rather large and looked a lot like this:
steam room
Ours was brighter and appeared welcoming. Other women were already in the middle of their terrifying experience steam, so we found a spot and sat near each other. Our moods were good as we anxiously awaited purification. We were quietly carrying on about something—more than likely the location of our next meal—when all of a sudden, the loudest, eeriest, most horrifying sound came surging out from below the benches. I’d liken it to Darth Vader’s breathing, but about three minutes longer and maybe how he’d breathe if he had fingernails and someone was pulling them off, one by one, with needle-nose pliers. Right when the sound started, I jumped out of my skin and held both palms up high to show I wasn’t armed, then turned to look at my mother—who I thought would always protect me—but I couldn’t see her. I couldn’t even see my own body. WHERE WAS MY BODY?! It was like a thousand angry cumulus clouds had filled the room. The sound, plus the absolute blindness—and truly not knowing if something had gone awry in the bowels of the generator—had me disoriented and confused. Just when I was about to assume the fetal position and re-invite Jesus into my heart, the steam stopped. I could sort of see the door, and soon, a few faces even came into view. I looked to my left and my mom was sitting straight up, bug-eyed, with both hands on her heart. Once we made eye contact and blinked hard a few times, we died out laughing. Then we held each other and promised to never let go. Then we remembered food was next on the itinerary, and the joy was back.

We needed comfort.

We needed comfort.

I’m guessing this isn’t common, but I like to listen to songs on repeat. If I fully and completely love a song, I can literally have it on repeat for several days. However, I never re-read books—ever—even ones I dearly love. I have zero desire to re-read a story I’ve already fictitiously experienced. I’m sure these two things don’t jive, but it’s my reality. I also never re-watch movies. Wait—that’s not true. I forgot about Dumb & Dumber. And Tommy Boy. And Knotting Hill. Oh, never mind; I was younger then. These days it would feel like such a waste of precious time to re-watch a movie.

And now I’m probably going to make some of you mad. So if you have a short fuse or feel defensive over your slothful ways, you might want to go stand by that sink of dirty dishes and count to ten. Here goes.

I enjoy cleaning. The house, the garage, the porch, the car. I love trimming trees and pruning hedges. I like putting away clean laundry. I like taking out the trash. I like sweeping off the patio. Certain tasks are more rewarding than others, and I especially delight in the ones where I can see marked improvement and revel in the visual appeal of orderliness. A cluttered space is a cluttered mind, so I love making—and keeping—things neat.

Order creates harmony and happiness in my brain synapses, so cleaning doesn’t feel like a chore to me.

Side Note: This is one of the many reasons I’d find driving a tractor or running a lawn service more fulfilling than wordsmithing Hello Kitty dresses. Plowing a field, mowing, landscaping—something where I can see progress—satisfies my being on a cellular level.

Side Note For The Side Note: My friend text the other morning and said she stopped to fill up on her way to work and saw a bunch of lawn guys jump out of a truck. She found herself looking at them longingly, like TAKE ME WITH YOU. She also has a good job—the kind we’re supposed to want—but there she was, looking dreamily at the crew and wanting to jump in the back of the pick-up with her own bag of Takis. She thought I’d think she was crazy, but I told her, “Shut. Up.” the way I do when she texts me pics of good food, because, I. KNOW. AND. I. WANTS.

This plus this equals YES PLEASE.

This plus this equals YES PLEASE.

Hand in hand with cleaning is this: organization soothes my soul. I love the satisfaction I get from changing a light bulb, putting new batteries in a flashlight, charging my Fitbit and cleaning out a junk drawer (I’m almost totally positive I don’t need the gas bill from 2012 or those tiny, random screws or 2-year old lip balm I never liked to begin with.) I love adding new passwords to my master file and feeling like I have my affairs in order. Disorder weighs on me—I can feel it physically. I have approximately umpteen thousand trillion photos and videos saved across 3 hard drives and the Backblaze cloud—and they’re mostly organized by date and event—but I also have lots of duplicates because of edits and photo albums. It soothes me that they’re safe, but weighs heavily on me that they’re not fully organized the way my brain wants them to be.

Side Note: At any given time, if someone thinks I look off my game and asks what’s wrong, it’s probably just that I need to organize the pantry or pack for a trip. Nothing is wrong, I’m just mentally tidying up—which often times presents itself as a serious face.

Please don’t get physical with me, but I also love waking up early on weekends. I know that’s not popular, but for me, it just means I have more time to do things I love. An extra hour or two allows me to make the most of every minute not spent at my work computer. If I’m asleep, I’m just dreaming of life, but if I’m awake, I’m actually living it—and that makes me happy.

I drive 40-45 minutes to work each day—each way—and I don’t mind it at all. I listen to a lot of audiobooks. Reading is fuel to my soul and my commute allows me to get through exponentially more books than I would if I just read before bed. I actually look forward to getting in my car each day, so I can get back to my story.

audible

I know many people who just hate certain words. I have to say that, while I completely and irrationally despise the word “tasty” … I’m not as passionately disgusted by “moist” as a lot of people I know and love. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like it or use it, but I don’t run away plugging my ears either.

Side Note: One time, my sister and I were discussing words we dislike and most of the usual suspects came up (ointment, panties, goiter), and then she said, “I HATE the word duvet.” I just laughed like, “Duvet? You hate duvet? You actually have an opinion about duvet?” She got more and more worked up the more she considered this “obnoxious” word. I was becoming weak from laughter when my niece—just as serious as her mom—chimed in, “I can’t stand the word “elsewhere.” I decided they were two peas in a pod—just two peas hating-random-words-they’d-have-a-hard-time-escaping-in-this-life in a pod. Just two ointment-hating peas in a moist, tasty pod.

Sorry, I’ll go now. But not before I share the greatest comment section of all time—please enjoy all 2,800 and thank me later.

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Meant To Be

Have you ever thought you were destined for something? Do you possess unconfirmed, yet irrefutable knowledge that a certain existence is meant for you?

Me, too.

Through all the iterations of life, I’ve never shaken the idea that I’m meant to be BFF’s with a celebrity. And when it happens, it’ll be so organic—and that’s why it’ll work.

I’m not positive how it’ll go down, but I have a pretty good idea. I’ll be using the restroom at a random Starbucks or Vitamin Shoppe and just as I’m wrapping up and about to flush, I’ll hear, “Ouch! Oh no!” coming from a few stalls down. Then I’ll hear whimpering and some pretty ambitious swearing.

cubedoubletake

I’ll be able to tell no one’s around but me and I’ll contemplate asking if she’s OK or just slipping out without washing my hands—ever mindful that wiping my hands on my jeans doesn’t actually kill germs—but knowing it might be worth the risk, since I just can’t be sure what I’m walking into. Is there some sort of embarrassing pain going on in there that I’ll never be able to un-see?

Then the swearing will become so impressive—in both creativity and delivery—that I’ll have to know more.

“Hey, uh—you OK in there?”
“I … don’t really think so.”
“How can I, I mean, do you want help?”
“Uh. Yeah? Could you maybe crawl under the stall door? I’m a little … I’m stuck.”

I’ll look around, trying to glean to the best of my knowledge, if I’m on the Ellen-Cam. I’ll see nothing but a fragrance shooter and decide I’m going in.

Once I complete my acrobatic entrance, I’ll see that this woman is stuck in the only way someone could get stuck if it was her worst day on Earth. She’ll be facing the back wall, left foot firmly on the ground, with her right leg submerged and her 4” heel fully wedged in the base of the bowl—toilet water up to her calf. Her purse will be draped embarrassingly tight around her neck—though safely suspended above the water.

I’ll laugh to myself because I do the same thing when there is no hook.

Her head will be down as she tries to avoid eye contact.

I’ll press my lips together to stifle a laugh, while deciding the best way to extract her.

She’ll begin to speak without looking up, “I always knew that karate kicking the flusher would bite me in the ass one day. Please, please—I’m begging you not to tweet this.”

Her request will interrupt the tweet I’m constructing in my head. I’ll reply quickly, “I’m only mind-tweeting. Why would I actually tweet this?!”

And she’ll look up … and it’ll be Tina Fey.

tinafeyyep

I’ll actually jump backwards a bit, hit the stall door and automatically say, “Blurgh!” Then I’ll spring into action and never stop talking while I attempt to loosen her from the grips of humiliation. I’ll no longer feel the need to laugh because I’ll have gone into protection mode.

That is, until we hear someone come in, making us keenly aware of our scene behind the stall door. We’ll both realize the utter absurdity of it all and know we’re going to explode with laughter (hers from stress hysteria, mine from regular hysteria), so we’ll cover our mouths, silent shake laughing until we have tears running down our cheeks.

Once we’re alone, I’ll finally get her loose by breaking the strap on her heel.

And this is how it’ll start. I’ll find out she’s filming a movie in town and on an afternoon break. I’ll offer to run her to my house or the mall … and for reasons we’ll later laugh about, she’ll accept.

I’ll joke about my Ford Escape—telling her to get ready for a pretty sweet ride and let her know we’ll be rollin’ on 16’s. I’ll ask her to keep her envy levels locked down when she sees bird droppings all over my windshield.

I won’t even have the chance to pretend I’m anything but super average, because as soon as we get in the car, I’ll remember my gas light is on. Yes, QuickTrip will be the first stop with my A-lister. Fantastic. I’ll pop my head in as I pump gas and ask if I can get her a Slim Jim or some pretzels. She’ll say she’s good and I’ll offer to get us Lotto numbers, impressing upon her the importance of getting in on the 14 million dollar jackpot—before I remember she’s worth 45 million. I’ll then ask her to get me Lotto numbers. And some Funyuns.

Once we’re gassed up and ready to rock, I’ll ask her how I can help.

“What size of shoes do you wear?” I’ll say, “7.5” and she’ll start clapping and light-squealing with the knowledge and relief that we share a shoe size.

“Uh, tap the brake there Liz Lemon. I don’t own any Louboutins.”

“Oh please,” she’ll wave, “Any heels will do!”

I’ll stare at her in an “we’re at an impasse” kind of way.

“I’m serious! Any shoes will do, promise!”

“If you say so. I hope you like Sperry and Nike. I also hope you’re good at living with regret—because I’m probably the only chick who won’t have something you like!”

“Um, Anna? You rescued me from public toilet water. My regret level is none percent. Besides, if I had my choice, I’d live in Chucks, so I’m sure we’ll be fine!”

She’ll let me know she doesn’t have to be back to the set for three hours, so we’ll fish around for something she can wear and spend the rest of the time talking over cold beers. One of the things we’ll recall down the road, that solidified us as friends, will be me reaching for wine (assuming it’s her poison) and her asking, “Actually, do you have any beer?”

I’ll take her to the garage to show her our beer fridge.

Yes, we have beer.

Yes, we have beer.

We’ll talk and sip for a couple of hours and what will touch me the most is how equally interested she is in my very average life as I am in hers.

We’ll bemoan having to get her back to the set, but we’ll also just “know” we’re friends now. We’ll have clicked and it’ll be as natural as anything—the connection, the tenor of our conversations, the ebb and flow, the similarities in our likes and dislikes. She’ll ask if I like to travel and if I’d be up for somewhat short-notice trips to various things. I’ll say, “I don’t know. Let me check with my secretary.” Then I’ll say, “Yep!”

We’ll carry on a decades-long friendship of her coming out my way for fuss-free time off and me meeting up with her for occasional premieres and annual get-aways with our families. I’ll teach her how to cook and she’ll teach me how to pose for photographers. I’ll show her what a beautifully normal life looks like and she’ll give me peeks into the fascinating, yet a-little-goes-a-long-way, Hollywood scene. She’ll even use some of my lines in her movies, then remind me of it when I don’t want to let her pay for my airfare.

I’ll get to meet Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph. I’ll tell them about a movie idea I’ve been sorting out for years and they’ll exchange a bona fide look of genuine intrigue (Amy with her chin-down-head-tilted look and Maya with her chin-up-looking-down-the-bridge-of-her-nose look) and I’ll know I’m onto something. Little Alice will take a shine to Jocelyn and begin mimicking her every move and calling her Aunt LaLa—for reasons we’ll never know.

Tina's Mini.  photo cred: INFDaily

Alice—Tina’s Mini.
photo cred: INFDaily

I’ll always marvel at—and appreciate that—she’ll seem just as interested in the new content management system we’re rolling out at work, as I am in her stories about Jason Batemen’s practical jokes on set. She’ll say things like, “Some of those gaffes are his buddies from his Silver Spoons days and he just torments them in every way imaginable. Like the other morning, he …” and I’ll say, “Shut. UP. That’s freakin’ hysterical. It reminds me in no way of the conversation I had with an assistant buyer today, where she wanted us to add inseam measurements to 4,000 pairs of jeans by Friday.” I’ll be teasing, but then she’ll ask, “What’s up Katie’s ass?” and I’ll smile at her remembering her name.

Since we text a lot and I’m her number one get-away-from-it-all friend, I’ll put her in my phone as “Granny” … so as to not shout my good fortune or blow her cover. She’ll tell me repeatedly that she doesn’t even care anymore; but, I’ll be so into the game by then that I refuse to change. I’ll love getting a spectacularly funny text from her when I’m at a baby shower with co-workers, because they’ll be curious and I’ll just say, “Oh, it’s just Granny. She’s a hoot.”

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Dr. Noticer, PhD

I’m very visual. I need to put a face to a person. Whether someone is telling me about their crush, their nephew or the grown woman wearing NASCAR pajamas at Kroger, I almost always ask for a physical description.

Side Note: Loosely, what I’m looking for here is height, frame, hair color/style and a general consensus of appeal. (example: 6′, athletic build, wavy brown hair, a little above average) See? Nice and concise, but you get a very workable visual of this character. You may wonder why “appeal” is in the mix. It’s in there because typically, if someone says a guy is 6-feet, with wavy brown hair and an athletic build, you’d say, “Oh—so attractive, right?” Too often, that’s followed with, “No, not at all. His teeth were kinda jacked and his complexion had seen better days. He also had three tears tattooed down his cheekbone.”

The weird thing about my need for a visual is that I tend to be more curious when the situation is negative. Like at work, if I’m exchanging emails with someone I don’t know—and I don’t care for her tone (or grammar)—I immediately go into our associate database to see who I’m dealing with. More often than not, as soon as the picture pops up, I just nod in victory like, “Yep. No surprises there.”

Please know that while I’m not proud of my ways, my conscience is mostly clear because I accept that it goes both ways. I don’t pretend that someone looks me up and goes, “Oh! I’m a fool! She’s delightful!” Actually, I don’t pretend that anyone else even looks people up to satisfy their curiosity and justify their irritation.

Just last week, I had a somewhat pointed email exchange with someone from another department. I couldn’t see her head shot fast enough. Sure as the sun rises in the East, her image popped up and I immediately thought, “Yep, a bitty, just like I thought.”

Side Note: My mom had a few off-shoot cuss words when I was little. Bitty was a favorite, as was ninny … “What a little ninny!” I used to secretly love it when she’d accidentally say “shit” and immediately turn it into, “shitawahoo,” like any of us kids thought that was a legitimate word or place.

Did you mean Shine Yahoo, Moma?

Did you mean Shine Yahoo, Moma?

When I’m mad at another driver, I just have to see him or her so I can put a face to my rage. I can’t enjoy my ride until I see.that.face. And so often I’m like, “Ugh, that’s what I THOUGHT.” Rarely do I back down from my disapproval based on the visual. There is something satisfying about being irked by a careless driver, then seeing his dumb, selfish face as a reward.

When I make the grave error of reading comment sections online, I have to imagine what each and every troll looks like, in order to even halfway assuage my disgust with their ignorance and recklessness. Imagining they are greasy, fat men in ambitiously over-sized tighty-whities, living in their Grandmother’s dank basement, eating a chili dog with one hand and typing with the other, is the only way I can self-soothe. I simply cannot believe that the vast majority of people I know, or come across on this planet, would ever write the things these dopes write in comment sections. If you tell me otherwise, I’ll have no option but to remove myself from society.

Peace out.

Peace out.

Lastly, when I read novels, I have to associate a character with an actor or singer if the author doesn’t provide me with a clear visual. I just have to know who I’m working with or my brain bounces around trying to place people.

But then, there is this.

I, in turn, am the worst at describing people on the fly. I’m a BIG TIME noticer in so many ways, but I often struggle to describe a person when asked. This just happened yesterday:
Clerk: Thanks for calling. This is Lindsey, how may I help you?
Me: Hi—I was just in there and I’m wondering if you could hold an item for me?
Clerk: Sure, who was it that helped you?
Me: Uhhh, a girl—a lady?
Clerk: Ooo-kaaay. Did she have blonde hair?
Me: Uhh, I’m not sure. It might’ve been longish though.
Clerk: Tell ya what, just let me know what item you need and I’ll go track it down.

The problem is that the only things that popped into my head, when she asked who helped me, were wholly inappropriate.
The Worst Me: Hi—I was just in there and I’m wondering if you could hold an item for me?
Clerk: Sure, who was it that helped you?
The Worst Me: A short, sturdy lady with nondescript hair, large gums and sausage fingers.

I know! But I can’t be the only one who has had to stop herself from describing someone in an unflattering way—even if that way would actually pinpoint the person quite efficiently.

Me: There’s a lady I pass by a lot on the 3rd floor—over by the big conference room—who is so sweet.
Co-worker: Which wing?
Me: Ours.
Co-Worker: How is she sweet?
Me: She just always smiles like we know each other and says hello without fail, even when I see her more than once in a given day.
Co-worker: Hmm, what does she look like?
Me: Oh, she’s about 5’5” and really homely. She has no shoulders, wears Little House on the Prairie dresses and needs about 6 inches off her hair.
Co-worker: Oh! Her! She’s nice to me, too!

back roads

But the truth is, my failure to properly describe someone has been pointed out to me more than once. (“He was a male, with hair and he had a voice” hasn’t garnered a lot of praise.)

It’s bizarre, because I can tell you about someone’s personality, tendencies and quirks, but I rarely remember the color of her hair. I can mimic and impersonate the finest nuances of certain people quite well (for an amateur), but I don’t always notice what they’re wearing.

Side Note: I grew up around some smokers and I used to watch my aunt obsessively, because I was fascinated with the process of it all—the technique and routine it required. I got so good at imitating her that I took to picking opportune moments (i.e. moments when it was least expected and most mortifying for my parents) to reach for a pack of smokes, tap them on my palm, pull one out, place it between my lips, and through squinted eyes, fake light it with my thumb. Then I’d take a long, deep pull—before removing it with my scissored index and middle finger—and blow pretend smoke out of the side of my mouth, in an effort to keep the make-believe smoke away from the guests. If there was enough time before my mom or dad snatched the cig away from me, I’d delight in pretending someone said something funny and I’d laugh-blow smoke out like a seasoned toker. Everyone agreed that I truly looked like I’d smoked for years, even though I was only nine. (I still do it today, when the opportunity presents itself.) I used to like to put the unlit cigarette between my lips and let it kind of hang loosely from my mouth as I pretended to fix something that required both hands. I’d squint as the fictitious smoke assaulted my eyes—then I’d pull the ciggy out, exhale dramatically and place it back between my lips to work some more.

Side Note Addendum: I never said I was normal. Remember, when I was little, I liked to face backwards in the backseat of the car and—if there was a trailing driver looking at me—pretend to be having a heated argument with my parents. I have no idea why that lie appealed into me. Was it the nicotine?

A recent conversation:
Me: Hey, one of the neighbors came by when you were running and asked where we got our rose bushes.
Jocelyn: Guy or girl?
Me: A guy. He had a dog with him.
Jocelyn: A chocolate lab with a yellow plaid leash?
Me: *stare* I don’t know. The dog was big and brown.
Jocelyn: Oh, that’s the neighbor who works at a dealership—the one who drinks IPA and whose brother visits all the time.
Me: *stare* How do you know this?
Jocelyn: Because I pay attention! Haven’t you noticed that he has a different Mercedes every month? And sometimes when I run, he’s washing one of them and drinking a Stone IPA. Oh, and his brother looks just like him!

Hello! We're not saving lives here!

Hello! We’re not saving lives here!

So here is my take-away.

  • I need to practice noticing clothes and hairstyles as much as I notice idiosyncrasies.
  • If I notice someone has a wonky eye, I need to make sure I also notice something I can actually speak out loud to describe them.
  • I need to come to terms with the fact that “brown hair, medium build and two eyes” are not sufficient descriptors.
  • I can’t describe someone by saying, “She’s a nervous-laugher whose two crutch phrases are ‘Does that make sense?’ and ‘At the end of the day'” … because most people will say, “Huh? But what does she LOOK LIKE, you nut job?!”

I like to believe that being a Behavioral Noticer is more prestigious than a Physical Noticer, but it actually gets me in hot water from time to time. I’ll say to someone, “Have you ever noticed how Rick says ‘when that’ when he actually just means ‘when?'” And two weeks later, she’ll grab my elbow and pull me off to the side and whisper-growl, “Hey thanks a whole shit ton for pointing that out about Rick—now I can’t even concentrate in meetings because it’s all I notice!”

I’ll quietly remove her clenched hand from my elbow and say, “It’s ‘shitawahoo ton’, thank you very much … and you’re welcome.”

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Voluntary Torture

Last week I woke up with a crick in my neck. Or maybe it was in my shoulder or trapezii. I’m not sure—but it was something in my upper third. I couldn’t pinpoint the origin of my suffering; I just knew it kept me from break dancing or rolling my neck when I told someone off. I tried to regain mobility by stretching and pulling and complaining—but, to no avail. It was time for Happy Feet.

Happy Feet is a massage place we like to visit when we fancy a proper mauling. Its name is deceptive, as they specialize in total body massage—not just feet. You can opt for hour-long packages that divide time between your feet and body in a number of ways. I always do the 30/30, because, while I do enjoy a good foot and lower leg rub, enough is enough.
… keep reading

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? … keep reading