I Must Confess

A lot of times, I don’t like what—seemingly—everyone else on the planet likes.

Bacon, for instance. I’m not in the “bacon makes everything better” camp. I’m in the bacon-overwhelms-everything-with-bacon-flavor camp.

I can see y’all reacting like this already:

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I know; I’m used to it. That’s the same reaction someone has when they find out I don’t have a dog. I wrote Paws Off aiming to explain this apparent defect in my character.

I also wouldn’t pay $1 to see Johnny Cash or Led Zepplin. All these things consistently get me side-eyed by the masses. Since the head shaking is ramping up, I’m gonna go ahead and fully unburden myself with a few more confessions. I’d rather the truth be out there, than continue having to whisper, “And can you please hold the bacon bits?”

This talk is long overdue.

-ONE-

If a public door has a vertical handle, I pull from the tip-top portion to avoid the bottom—where I know kids’ dirty.ass.paws.go. Make no mistake, I know the middle and top are caked with adult grime, too—I just think kids’ filth goes the extra mile.

CASE IN POINT: You know those little matchbook cars you pull backwards to make the wheels spin, then let go and it catapults the car forward? I had the joy of watching a 4-year old rolling one all over the floor at our favorite mexican-food dive. I watched his parents enjoy their Micheladas while he crawled around their feet, under the table—scooting that car on the floor. And juuust when I thought I couldn’t be more grossed out, he pulled the car back and let the tires spin on his tongue.

I had to silence a scream.

-TWO-

I don’t like it when men walk languidly, with their hands clasped behind their backs. It’s the hands-clasped-behind-their-backs part that rubs me wrong—not the slow walking. A slow walker (though oft-times annoying) is just a guy who’s probably content, or maybe mentally preparing a marriage proposal. A guy slow walking WITH his hands clasped behind his back is either philosophising in a way I find off-putting or he’s plotting a grisly crime. I had a dozen experiences of seeing this—and having a negative reaction—before I realized, “Oh, I just kinda hate this.”

-THREE-

When I drive through small towns, I try to figure out where I’d work. With no corporate options, it’s fun to scope out my next gig. Would I be a checker at a grocery store—taking pride in knowing everyone’s name and remembering to ask about Sharon’s daughter’s wedding? Would I become partial owner of the skating rink—maybe even trying my hand in the DJ booth, mixing today’s hits with yesterday’s Rick James jams? Would I start a lawn service, called The Lawn Ranger? See, we don’t know. And that’s why it’s so fun.

-FOUR-

I don’t love tapas. I know I’m supposed to. I know people adore them. I know they’re sexy. But really, I’m just consistently underwhelmed (and still very hungry). I assumed going to Spain would change my (secret) opinion of them, but it didn’t. Tapas were definitely better there, but the hardcore fact remained: it’s a little bit of good for a lotta bit of money.

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-FIVE-

I see things. When I look at textured ceilings, at marble surfaces, at clouds in the sky—I see vivid images. You know how some people stand in front of a Monet, appearing lost, but actually looking reverently? That’s what I do when I stare at granite.

Is this called Pareidolia?

One time I saw an old 1920s gunsman—his sunken lips indicating he’d left his false teeth bedside. Another time, I saw Barbra Streisand with a scarf on her head, riding an old-timey motorcycle. I didn’t see the motorcycle, but her body language and blowing scarf suggested this activity. A pattern in the carpet at an office showed a couple saying bye at a train station—he on the step, her reaching up to him. I once saw a belly dancer in the clouds. I also laughed audibly once, when I saw in a marble foot rest at a spa, a group of weebles looking up at the Pope.

Remember the famous “blinking guy” GIF?

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Well, I see him every day in my shower:

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-SIX-

I enjoy watching someone walk into a glass door, which might make you think I like witnessing calamity—but I’ll give you evidence to the contrary. I haaate hearing playbacks of real 9-1-1 calls on TV or online. The terror and fear in their voices makes my ears cry. It’s too raw and tangible for me.

I also hate watching someone screw up the National Anthem. My skin crawls with cringe. In fact, I’m a ball of tension when I’m watching the anthem live, because I’m so scared the artist is going to mess up the words or get pitchy on us. I’m actually surprised anyone ever accepts the invitation to sing it—because there’s really no winning. If they nail it, the oh-so-judgmental public reacts with a *shrug*, claiming they’re supposed to kill it because they’re a millionaire who’s paid to sing. But if they mess it up AT ALL—oh man, watch OUT—they are the dirge of the earth and unfit to live in this perfect society.

Side Note: Some of y’alls best talent is typing with two thumbs, but until you’ve had to do that in front of millions—and not make any typos—just ssshhh and delete that judgy tweet. Go’head, I’ll save your spot.

-SEVEN-

When I’m truly chillin’ and have free time on my hands, I can go down a serious rabbit hole with social media—and it happens before I even realize it.

CASE IN POINT: Not long ago, I remembered that Kellie Rasberry, from the Kidd Kraddick Show, was talking about a protein drink she liked; but I couldn’t remember what it was. I wasn’t even sure where to look online, because I heard her verbally mention on the radio one morning. I did remember though, that she told listeners she’d post about it. I started with Facebook, and immediately remembered she said Instagram, so I was going to hop over there to locate it—but then I saw a friend’s vacation pics on Facebook and went through them one-by-one.

I regained my focus and went to Instagram, but got sidetracked when I noticed I had a lot of “likes.” I’d forgotten what I even posted—so I clicked over to see. Ohhh, the sushi pic! I looked at the photo again, congratulated myself on the composition, and decided I’d scroll through my Instagram posts. I spent 20 minutes reveling in my good taste.

Then I returned to the task of finding Kellie’s post, but came across several memes that I wanted my friends to see—so I spent some time (just how long is confidential information) tagging them … hoping they’d laugh, too, but also hoping it served as a hello-thinking-of-you-but-haven’t-texted today gesture.

Back to finding the protein drink post. Scroll, scroll, scroll—there it is! Once I found it, I considered buying it, but due diligence prevailed, and I decided to first read a bunch of comments from Kellie’s followers. Their comments and opinions (both for and against this particular brand) were intriguing enough to send me to Amazon.

I located the drink and saw there were TONS of comments and reviews:

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I dove in head first. I saw that Lacy wanted “a damn answer!” Sheesh, what was up her ass? I’ll tell ya—carrageenan. She was fit-to-be-tied over the ingredient, carrageenan (or, what I now call “Nancy Carrigan” because it’s easier and I can preserve brain power for reading about this “vile, vile, menacing family of linear sulfated polysaccharides that are extracted from red edible seaweeds.”) Lacy demanded to know if there were even trace amounts of Nancy Carrigan.

I’m thinking, is Lacy playing with a full deck? Do these Nancy Carrigans warrant such vitriol? On Amazon? She takes issue with the fact that they have no nutritional value, but are used in a lot of organic, natural products to bulk it up—and she’s pisssssed about it.

SIDE NOTE: Wouldn’t she be fun to spend a day with?

I just started staring off into space, thinking of all the no-nutritional-value things I eat, and wondered if I should be as mad as Lacy was.

A good 90 minutes had passed at this point.

I scolded myself for going down the rabbit hole, but I guess I didn’t listen because a week or so later, I saw multiple headlines for some artist named 6ix9ine. I thought, “Who is 6ix9ine? Why is he trending?”

Cut to me watching nearly two hours of videos on him. The longest was his interview on Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club. I’d never heard of him, seen him, or heard a single song he’d ever recorded; yet there I was, watching him like I was a super fan (though I was decidedly not).

During the Breakfast Club interview, I noticed a weird vibe between him and one of the hosts, Charlamagne. I had to know that was all about, so I found a few articles dissecting their tension.

Then I watched a video of him describing all his tattoos. He has hundreds, so the article was kind of long.

I finally decided I should find some of his music, since he’s the self-proclaimed “King of New York City” (something Charlamange refutes). Oh no, no, no—it was super yelly and aggressive. Not soothing in any way. I doubt his little girl appreciates his rap style as much as the rest of NYC supposedly does. I bet she prefers Shawn Mendes and his velvety-sweet voice and gorgeous smile—but who knows?

SIDE NOTE: Please don’t tell 6ix9ine I said that—he’s easily riled and I don’t need that in my life.

–EIGHT–

Fisheye effects make me nauseous.

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It’s bizarre; I used to love all things spinny. I’d shake my judgy head at anyone who got car sick or couldn’t get on the Tilt-A-Whirl. That is, until I starting getting motion sickness so easily that I couldn’t even scroll too fast on a website.

I never throw up or get super sick, I just get a bit queasy. I’m convinced it started several year back, when we were snorkeling in Hawaii in some really deep water. I was taking really deep breaths (because I was a wee bit spooked by the depth and by all the swordfish that looked at me like I was dinner.) I think the combination of the slow-wave water and too-deep breaths made me nauseous. I remember popping up out of the water, feeling like I was going to toss my cookies and wondering, “Crap, how will this work? How do I throw up in the ocean, upright, and around other snorkelers?!”

Fortunately, I held it together, and all that shrimp cocktail stayed in my stomach.

The nausea lasted for a few hours after we got out of the water—then kicked back in the very next day when I was riding in our Jeep. True, it was the Road to Hana (which can cause it), but up to that point in my life, I’d have been FINE. And I swear, I’ve never been the same. Since that day, I’m just super susceptible to motion sickness, and I very much dislike any and all fisheye lenses. So can y’all please stop using them? And can you please stop offering me bacon?

On the second thought, give me the bacon—and keep your no-nutrional-value Nancy Carrigan far away from me (and Lacy).

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Sometimes I Want Funyuns

My eating habits aren’t too bad. They’d need to be better if I cared more about six-pack abs than general happiness, but I do not—so for what I value most, I do pretty well. For me, the quickest way to make life less lovely, is to wake up day after day with food restrictions.

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I opt for a more doable solution, which is simply … moderation. I eat really well more meals of the week than I don’t. If there are 21 meals in a week, I go wheels off for probably 6-7 of them. That’s really all there is to it.

When it comes to the other 14-15 food decisions, I’m usually pretty good.

Although.

Sometimes I eat good and stay mindful of what I’m putting in my body—doing quick calculations of my veggie and protein intake, ensuring I have a well-balanced eating day in the works … but sometimes, I just want Funyuns.

Sometimes I want to take a short plunge into clean eating—really go all-out whole foods from the earth—and truly experience feeling light and good and full of energy. I want to blog about whole food recipes that I’ve tweaked for full flavor; I want to post on Facebook about a new spaghetti squash recipe that hit the spot … but sometimes I just want two dozen donut holes and a quart of chocolate milk from the “spudnut shop” where I grew up.

Sometimes I count calories and do my best to stay away from empty ones (or ones that are a total waste simply because they’re not shared with someone who’s fun to eat with) … but sometimes I count how many Takis I can eat in a single sitting without a drink of water.

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Sometimes I want to go home after work and make baked Dijon chicken, cauliflower mashed “potatoes”, grilled asparagus from the garden and a spinach and edamame salad with Meyer-lemon balsamic vinaigrette … but sometimes I just want to whip up some Kraft Mac ‘n Cheese. From the box. And not share.

It’s really not much different in other aspects of my life. My intentions are usually good and I typically end the day feeling pretty happy with my decisions and follow-through.

Except.

Sometimes while driving, I’m deep in thought, pondering the gift of life and love, the importance of forgiveness, the beauty of hope and the depth of my gratitude for having all of them … but sometimes I’m just thinking about all the ways Stephen Curry lights up an often dark world.

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Sometimes I’m listening to books and learning more about things like Aspergers or organic gardening or slavery, through the magnificent characters in the stories I choose … but sometimes I’m listening to my iTunes library on shuffle, which means—for reasons I can no longer recall—I’m listening to Barry Manilow singing Even Now, live at Madison Square Garden.

Sometimes I wonder what it will be like to be in God’s presence. I think about the depth of His grace and mercy and play out all the ways I imagine Heaven to be—full of everything good and happy, from love and peace to music and feasts … but sometimes I just wonder what it would feel like to drive a riding lawnmower.

Sometimes I want to extend grace to the driver who rushed past everyone on the shoulder, and now demands entrance in front of me … but sometimes I want to get out of the car, assume an athletic stance—with my knees shoulder width apart—and fully extend my arms in front of me to flip them a double bird. For a full 5 Mississippi count.

Sometimes I want to dive into the gazillion pictures I have on multiple hard drives, and take time to go through them and delete near-duplicates and ones I’ll never need again … but sometimes I end up watching YouTube videos of animals who became unlikely friends.

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Sometimes I want to stop wishing for it, and talking about it, and wanting it, and just get online and register for Rosetta Stone and learn Spanish … but sometimes I end up on curious.com trying to learn how to start a fire in the wild.

Sometimes I want to be really patient with people who aren’t keeping up, (like when I’m deep into a great story, and building to the ending, and then I reach the crescendo and someone says, “Now who was this about?” voiding out the entire narrative.) I want to be kind and understanding and give them the benefit of the doubt that I wasn’t clear who the main character was (even though I know I’m not that inept) … but sometimes I actually just want to forbid them from being in my presence until they’ve taken some classes on keeping up.

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Sometimes I sit down to hand-write a couple of notes or letters … but sometimes I end up just practicing my autograph instead.

Sometimes I want to be more limber and get my muscles stretched out. I’ll read about an ideal stretching routine and all its benefits … but sometimes I just squat like a catcher for 6-7 seconds, then pour myself a cold beer and take pictures of the garden.

Sometimes I become resolute in my intentions to kick my Chapstick habit addiction … but sometimes I tell myself to calm down and remember that there are worse compulsions— then I reward my enlightenment by replenishing my stash in every spot I might spend more than 10 minutes.

Sometimes I’m good at dealing with difficult people at work and at Costco. I employ tactics like imagining them as a 6-yr old child, or telling myself everyone is fighting some kind of battle … but sometimes I watch them being their stupid, controlling, infuriating self and I want them to burst into flames.

Sometimes I want to finally go through old boxes and throw away some things I’ve hung on to, and no longer care about … but sometimes I end up reading my middle school report cards and college basketball stat sheets—and posting them on Instagram. #baller #3pointsforme #notalwaysanAstudent #basketballb4boys

Sometimes I have the patience of Job and enjoy the journey … but sometimes I have the patience of an itch and just want all of the guacamole in my belly.

Sometimes I want us to keep saving as much money as we do now—even more—so we can spend our retirement very comfortably and happily, traveling the world and decorating a second home bungalow … but sometimes I think surely all these blood moons mean something, and the end is near, and maybe we should just head out now.

Sometimes I get really antsy wanting to go back to Italy and spend two weeks looking at the Mediterranean, enjoying the Tuscan countryside, eating fresh pasta, eating fresh bread, drinking local wine, getting away from work, getting away from traffic and construction, getting away from a schedule … but sometimes I … no wait, I always want that. Those intentions are solidly in place.

Where do your good intentions take a sharp left turn?

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Pinterest Lies Sometimes

Between Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook, we have no shortage of life nuggets, quotes and sentiments crossing our paths everyday. Some are good; some are funny. Some of them make us feel understood and validated. But a lot of them are just … lies.

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Pinterest is a well-oiled, fine-tuned, lie-spreading machine.

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Thank you Dwight. Did Kate Moss start this lie? The only way this quote is true is if you replace the word “nothing” with hot wings, guacamole or ravioli. Being fit feels good—there’s no doubt about that—but you know what else feels good? Seeing the waiter walking up with your enchiladas.

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This is terrible advice. Just really bad. At least 19 times out of 20 it is. I can think of several things that feel right when I’m mad, but a pair of lips on mine isn’t one of them.

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Wrong. Coffee is pretty plentiful in these parts. So is Tex-Mex. What about growing herbs like rosemary? That’s pretty easy. The all-or-nothing language in so many quotes makes me combative.

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First of all, I don’t care for your tone. You sound like a bully—and you don’t know me. Secondly, I actually am hungry. I’ve been drinking water all day, and I don’t get bored, so stop trying to be the boss of me, and go get me a corn dog.

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I wish someone other than C. S. Lewis had said this, because I feel bad saying he’s wrong. But, of all the reasons I read, this isn’t one of them. Sometimes I just wish quoters would preface their quote with, “I believe that” so I’m not enticed to poke holes in their genius.

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Did Oscar really say this? I do like his quote, “Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go,” but I’m not down with the one above. I read a LOT, and have done so most of my life, but I’m just not into re-reading books—even ones that changed my life. So for this quote to be true, Oscar the Grouch just thinks I shouldn’t read at all? I reject this!

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This quote is in the, “Love is hard” and “Relationships are hard” camp and they all make me want to scream. Not all relationships go through hell. Some do; a lot don’t.

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Oh boy. I triple love the bottom half of this. It’s the first line that gives me pause.

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What about a Bugatti? How about the BMW i8 I see at work everyday?

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Are we absolutely sure about this? I mean, I love the sentiment SO MUCH, but are we positive? How are we coming by our facts here? I’m pretty sure there’s a healthy competition within some bushes and bouquets.

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How about if it just fits? Like, let’s just buy one that fits.

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There’s no way that large pizza is my best teacher.

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My love for Tina Fey knows no bounds, but I can only hope this isn’t fully true. I actually pulled an ab muscle laughing at the food poisoning scene in Bridesmaids. I didn’t have a stitch in my side—I pulled a muscle. So if Tina is right, this does not bode well for my intellect.

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I have no problem with these ethics (well, except for the first one—many people believe AFTER they pray.) But two hyphens are ill-spaced and there are around 5 inconsistencies in capitalization. And then there is the lone period at the end, like maybe the whole thing was a sentence. These things trouble me.

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There; that’s better.

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I’m not sure this is sound advice. Helping friends move doesn’t feel all that fabulous. Buying a new water heater doesn’t feel great either—and neither does keeping a black outfit for funerals, but we should still probably do all three.

Now we need to get into some house-related pins. Y’all know I love Pinterest, but I do believe it encourages and lifts up bad behavior.

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What?! Someone took time to design this! I think people who aren’t tidy believe that tidy people spend all their time cleaning—and doing so instead of having fun and living. This couldn’t be further from the truth. When you pick up after yourself, you save yourself exponentially more time later. The math of that should be pretty easy to figure out; but honestly, it’s so much more than that for me. Tidiness brings me peace and clarity. I have a clean house and a very much not wasted life.

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I actually love this pin.

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Here is another one I come across a LOT. Every time I see it, I just want to hide my face in my clean pillows and pretend most moms don’t actually believe these two things go hand-in-hand. I hope they don’t chalk up an unhappy kid to sanitized counters and vacuumed floors. Has a child ever yelled, “Why can’t we have spoiled food and filthy floors like Eric’s house?!?!!” before storming away and slamming his door? (no.)

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Gross. I mean fine, of course let’s make a huge mess with the kiddos. Who cares about messes while making memories—get dirty and envelop yourselves in chaos. I think it’s wonderful! But please clean up afterwards. The memories have been made, so we’re solid there and should just go ahead and clean up now.

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Let’s talk about how Pinterest makes people extra cocky.

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Offending people isn’t a lofty, worthwhile goal. Neither in our head, nor on social media should our ability to offend be celebrated.

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What are you doing in your life to upset everyone? This is a question worth pondering after you boldly pin this to your “Imma Do Me” board.

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No. Nope. This isn’t actually the meaning. Being a bitch (or bitty as my mom calls it) doesn’t have much to do with this pin—proven by this conversation that has never taken place in the history of the world:

Tina: I have this friend who stands up for her beliefs and her loved ones.
Danette: What a bitch.

real people

When you pin this, it makes you look like you don’t understand life or basic vocabulary. Every “real” person I know gives a shit. A more accurate pin would be, “Fake people have an image to maintain. Arrogant people don’t give a shit.”

Great, now this is a profanity-laden post—and that’s gonna put me on my mom’s shit list. I believe there’s a pin for that.

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See what I did there?

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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.”

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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.

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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 creative advertising. 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.

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Enlightenment Is Overrated

The world seems to be changing before our very eyes. All the subtle and not-so-subtle shifts got me thinking about some of my long-held beliefs.

I intended to go about all this high-level thinking at my own pace, but my quiet introspection was shockingly interrupted when, on the walking trails, I saw a poodle roll to its back in the grass. And there it was—all his gentleman business—assaulting my baby eyes.

It shook me to my core. I thought all poodles were girls. They should be girls—you know it and I know it. Was I out of the country when boy poodles became a thing? Stunned, I stared without blinking and my heart just went out to him immediately—the cruelty of his perm, the indignity of his pom-pom legs. The duplicity of what I saw had me questioning everything.

Next you’re going tell me snakes can be girls. Please don’t insult my intelligence; I wasn’t born yesterday.

Another long-standing belief I have—that I will stick to until I’m six feet under—is what I call “The Tribe Factor.” When I worry for a child that I’m not directly responsible for (because of poor sleep habits, a dreadful diet and shoddy oral hygiene), I self-soothe by repeating this mantra in my head, “Tribes do okay, tribes do okay, tribes do okay.”

I believe most tribes have it a lot harder than the children I know, but they still manage to survive. So yeah, maybe a kid does watch too much Disney—with their haughty girls and swaggy boys—but there are tribes in Tanzania that spit on their babies and those little ones seem no worse for wear. I don’t want children to be allowed to play video games every waking moment, but if a Brazilian tribe routinely eats the crushed bones of deceased family members, then maybe it’s okay if one of my little loved ones occasionally sneaks outside to disrobe and potty.

Side Note: Conversing with a friend over The Tribe Factor yielded this gem, “Sometimes I worry about a potential problematic pregnancy or being sick and it feels so dire, but then I remember people used to give birth and get ill IN CAVES. Their survival comforts me.”

They seem to be pretty happy, right?

They seem to be pretty happy, right?

I’ve also always felt like goldfish got a bad rap just because their memory span tops out at three seconds. What we should be questioning is trees—I don’t think they’re the brightest crayon in the box. They’re lovely and I hold them close to my heart, but savvy, they are not. They strip naked in winter and bundle up in summer. Hello, beautiful oak tree, it’s 22 degrees, why did you undress for winter? How do you expect to protect yourself from the elements? On the flip-side, why would a silver leaf maple want all those extra layers when it’s 99 degrees? Maybe trees are dyslexic. Oh great, now I’m insensitive for simply asking the question.

But I have some special needs of my own. I can’t taste anything when I have sunglasses on. In fact, they dull all my senses. They hinder my ability to hear well or make good decisions. I recognized my limitations when wearing sunglasses several years ago and now only wear them when absolutely necessary—like when hearing, tasting and thinking aren’t on the docket.

I have another (admittedly morbid) assumption that I’ll hang onto until it fails me. In order to keep tragic things from happening to my loved ones, I preemptively imagine calamities, in an effort to stop them in their tracks. I have this weird theory that if I CONSIDER it, it’s less likely to happen.

I’m sure we all have loved ones who seem to be the most likely candidates for misfortune; but, how often is the player actually the one you least expect? And for me personally, I can’t think of too many things that derail me like being blindsided. So in the interest of self-preservation, I make sure to consider all potentials and not just the most reckless of the group. Now, instead of telling me how abnormal this is, how about telling me how much you appreciate my selfless efforts to keep everyone safe, huh?

Rehearsing disaster saves lives. Sometimes.

Rehearsing disaster saves lives. Sometimes.

Hey, I never said my assumptions were scientifically sound. I don’t even understand non-rhyming poetry, you think I’m going to understand the arc of a tragedy?

Come to think of it, I believe I’ve slighted myself in one particular area. I’ve always been really scared to pass out because I assumed I’d be terrible at it. I was sure I’d be the kind of fainter to go face-first into the asphalt, but then I thought, “Wait. I’m athletic. I’m not clumsy or spastic. I’m selling myself short.”

I now believe I’d nimbly pass out with the grace of a dancer—barely grazing each section of my body until I’m lying on my side with my face resting comfortably on my outstretched arm—dare I say—almost sexy even. After it dawned on me how good I’d be at fainting, I realized what a relief it was to have one less thing to worry about.

Reconciling long-held beliefs is hard work.

One of my favorite things to see is a bird riding on a cow.

lostlunch blog

He has no idea.

You know those white birds that post up on a steer’s back? It brings me unmitigated joy when I happen upon this sight, not only because it’s funny, but because of the community of it all. Two seemingly disparate creatures coexisting without regard to one another’s political affiliation or athletic allegiance—it does a heart good.

But then one day it dawned on me that the likelihood of that simple-minded cow even knowing it has a passenger is next to nil. Even if he is a docile bovine, he’d probably not take too kindly to a freeloader who deceitfully positions himself in his blind spot. I had to face the facts—that wasn’t harmony they were living in—it was a den of deception.

It made me sad and cast a dark cloud over my day, so I rejected that notion and said, “Nah, that cow totally knows. They’re friends splitting rent!” It made me happy to write their story. If you tell me otherwise, I’ll out you for the lying liar you are.

All this new awareness has me re-thinking something else I’ve believed. We built a house on a beautiful golf course lot a couple of years ago. After a few months, it became very clear how I’d die.

Our house sits alongside the fairway of the course’s signature 13th hole. It’s absolutely gorgeous, but approximately 200 yards from the tee box, which means we get more than our fair share of golf balls gifted to us through the ever-popular slice.

Proof of the 900 times I've narrowly escaped death.

Proof of the 900 times I’ve narrowly escaped death.

I became convinced I’d die by a Titleist to the temple (otherwise known as T4). Honestly, it was comforting to finally know how I’d meet my Maker, so I could stop worrying about car accidents and e coli. But then the other day, while floating in the pool—wondering if Kim and Kanye have unintentionally roped themselves into directional names for all the kids—I had an epiphany. I bet a golf ball is actually just going to hit my shin.

Crap.

Why is this bad? Because I’ll endure the worst tibial pain known to humankind—but with zero fanfare. Deep bone bruises don’t kill. They also don’t get you sympathy or time off work—and I’ll still have to worry about the west nile virus. It’ll be such a non-heroic injury.

Someone at work will say, “Hey Beautiful, why you limpin’?” I’ll light up, “Oh, thanks for asking! Get this! I got tagged with a golf ball Saturday—on my shin!” They’ll say, “Oh. Did you know the Xerox color printer is down today?”

Enlightenment is overrated. Some long-held beliefs should be challenged—simply so we’re not all stuck in the dark ages—but others should be clung to, remaining unfettered ’til death do us part.

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