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).

Holler at me on Facebook and Twitter!

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Love Thyself

It seems very trendy lately to “love yourself.” I’ve noticed an influx of headlines, quotes and articles that tout the importance of putting yourself first, and loving who you are—seemingly above most other things. I’ve seen, “Love yourself first and everything else falls in line,” and “If you don’t love yourself, you’ll never be able to love anyone else.”

Yeah, I’m not really into this “movement” at all. First of all, as we’ve discussed, I think it would repulse our forefathers. Second of all, you—above all others—know what a jackass you can be. Even when you have the restraint to keep it to yourself, you still know you’re kind of a tool. You know the wretched things you think about people:

“Ever heard of a little thing called ‘exfoliating’? Let’s get on that.”
“Nice blinker, Turd-Waffle …” (as you speed up to see if they look as fill-in-the-blank as you expect) … “Yep, just what I thought.”
“Blech! Her breath smells like sewer and hot socks.”

Love yourself? I can barely tolerate my thoughts, much less my self sometimes. Do you understand what I’m saying here?

Why is no one saying it’s OK—actually quite normal—to hardly be able to stand yourself? Can’t you be quite selfish? Petty? Hateful? Snide? Shallow? I’ll answer for you—YES. So you’re not actually all that lovable sometimes.

You know it and I know it.

deserve

Deserve? I deserve to be slapped upside the head for the grace I don’t always extend and the hateful thoughts I sometimes have.

“Is that cat pee I’m smelling? I smell cat pee. Why do I smell cat pee? WHO IS ALLOWING CATS TO PEE ON THEM?!”

But as always, the most offensive part about this meme is the design itself. Appalling kerning, leading and spacing.

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It’s a project? Loving myself has been elevated to an actual project? Is it gonna take time away from loving someone else?

“Wow, I’m having so much fun—thank you for a perfect night.”
“Of course! I love spending time with you. Let’s go find dessert and coffee—maybe some bread pudding?”
“Gosh, I’d love to, but I have this project I need to work on. Rain check?”

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OK, maybe eventually. But we needn’t be too hasty in our forgiveness. Sometimes we need to let ourselves sit in the selfish mess we made, and take a hard look at our less-than-honorable motives.

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I’d much rather read an article titled, “50 Easy Ways To Get Rich That Involve Pizza.” But as it is, I did click into this piece—and promptly went on an eye-rolling marathon.

Side Note: I got online to order myself a 26.2 bumber sticker, set in the image of a rolling eye, but sadly, my search came up short.

One of the ways to supposedly love yourself more is to wear red lipstick and heels “just because.” I know I’m only 80% Girl, but that’s the best way to get me to break up with myself.

Another one was, “Put your fork down between bites.” I’m sorry, but are you trying to cause a divorce?

Another, “Buy yourself roses on Valentine’s Day.” Great, now I’m single, pathetic,  broke—and not into myself at all.

Also, “Give yourself a day off.” Well, that pretty much completes it—I was supposed to be loving myself, but have instead found myself fired and in need of couples’ counseling for all my bad choices.

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I’m sorry, what? What does this even mean?

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This meme lists seven ways to love yourself. This list also contains seven pieces of fiction.

1. Some negative thoughts should be accepted. More than likely, you really are a lazy sack—at least some of the time. It’s OK to accept this thought.
2. You should apologize for what you like from time to time. Case in point:

rawpasta
3. It’s a misnomer that you shouldn’t compare yourself to others. Comparison isn’t always the “thief of joy,” as they say. If done maturely, it can be a healthy motivator.

Monkey see; monkey do. Please.

Monkey see; monkey do. Please.

4. No; try to work on them. The shape of your eyes is uniquely you—but, being a guilt-tripping gremlin or a judgmental jerk is just you being a total turd.
5. OK yes, fine—but if you reject the media’s expertise in that arena, please also reject in it in all the other super-suspect ways, too.
6. Perfection is unattainable even with acceptance.
7. Some acceptance happens even quicker than overnight. It took me approximately 30 seconds to accept that I like food and fun more than dieting and deprivation.

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This is abjectly false. Sometimes bad thoughts about yourself come from your subconscious—because your subconscious knows what a petty, self-serving slime you can be.

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No. No I don’t. I think God thinks, “That a girl; way to recognize how deplorable that thought was.” I also know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God would never be so neglectful in His punctuation.

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Be proud of mistakes?? Accept your mistakes and learn from your mistakes—yes. But be proud of them? I’m barely proud of the actual good things I do. And now you think I should be proud of choosing my own comfort over someone else’s need? Or gossiping about someone being off her meds? Or getting into a battle of wits with an unarmed person? And what’s with the unnecessarily awkward slanty lines? I hope you’re not proud of your design skills.

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Eww. I’m beyond tired of this phrase anyway, but now I can’t even tolerate it.

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So now we need an acronym for loving ourselves? How about this one: GOYA (get over yourself already.)

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OK, sure. Right after I finish throwing up in my mouth. Do people do this? Do people halt—mid-thought or mid-task—to appreciate how awesome they are? If you’re sitting there nodding and thinking, “I do that,” then please make a quick mental note to stay far away from me.

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Michael Masser? Was that Whitney Houston’s pen name? Never mind—loving yourself isn’t the greatest or even second greatest love of all.

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I wish people who don’t care about punctuation would stop making memes. Regardless, is it really the hardest thing you’ve ever done? Have you ever put on your own bracelet? Refrained from replying to a Facebook post that ran counter to every belief you have? Gotten too cocky in a pepper eating contest?

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This isn’t even 1% true.

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How does one do that? I don’t know how I’m supposed to be a hero. The most heroic thing I do on any given day is bite my tongue to keep my uncensored thoughts from spilling into the world.

Side Note: I also feel pretty heroic when the coffee is over—and I don’t cry.

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Is now a good time to puke? Who thinks this thought and documents it in a meme? I’ve eaten by myself in public many times, but I can assure you it wasn’t a date—and I certainly didn’t stroll around a museum falling in love with myself. If anything, I was like, “I’m not sure about your taste.”

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That’s not true. I don’t always listen to myself. “Eat a salad.” Not listening! “Lock down that sarcastic remark.” Not listening! “Stop wishing you could write that co-worker out of your story.” Not listening!

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I am. That’s why I give me tacos. And beer. And permission to love the Biebs.

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An affair? So I’m a side piece? The other woman? Is guilt associated with this affair? Do I hide it? Do I text myself under a different name, like, “Dry Cleaner?”

“Well look at you! You sure are glowing these days! What’s the what, Lady?!”
“Oh nothing” (coy and coquettish)
“Oh come on! Tell me!”
“It’s just … well, I met someone and … oh Becky, it’s going really well!”
“What?! Oh my gosh! Who who who!”
“Me.”

Gross.

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happiness

That’s what happiness means? Hmm, I was unaware. So you’re saying that if I just walk around smitten with myself, I’ll be happy? That seems plausible. Just knowing that even though I screwed up at work—as long as I love myself—it’s all good. What a comfort. I wonder if everyone else knows? This type of sound logic seems like good info to have very early in life.

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Whoever found themselves at a beach—and opted to write this in the sand—is a top level clown. “Guys! Come on, let’s go! Let’s get down there while it’s sunny and beautiful! I want to get profound in the sand! Come on!”

I guess I’m just looking for some balance here. Let’s try to equalize loving ourselves with also being a little disgusted. That’s more realistic, right? Otherwise we’re living pretty inauthentic lives—because we’re all flawed, and sometimes unlovable. I’m not proposing a turn towards sef-loathing—or memes filled with woe-is-me negativity. Please no!

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Let’s start a movement to be this person. One part awful; one part awesome. 100% real.

Let’s link up on Facebook and Twitter!

Well I Never!

I can’t say what’s right for you and your life, but I know for mine, saying “never” is a big no-no. Saying I’ll never do something is the fastest and most certain way of seeing it come to life in full HD.

I’ve touched on it before, but when I first started actually noticing being brought down a notch, was when I piped off that I’d never work retail. Not only was I sporting a Barnes & Noble name tag before long, but I was doing so with a Master’s Degree and a meaningful 7-year career under my belt.

Talk about being humbled.

Talk about being humbled.

I had to learn some serious humility (and quick) because every time a jackhole customer got snippy over an out of stock book—and looked at me like it must be my fault because only uneducated slackers would work retail and have an out of stock book—I had to keep myself from launching into the very logical explanation of what led me to that position.

I wanted to tell them all about my education and previous career. I wanted to say I wasn’t a person without ambition—and this job was temporary. I wanted to show them every single book in the store I’d read and assure them most of the associates were wonderful, well-read people. I also wanted to tell them Amazon might be a better option for them because in the privacy of their mother’s basement, no one could see them in their tighty-whities whining like a little punk because we didn’t keep our Lawmen of the Old West section stocked to his satisfaction.

I did none of these things. God was good. He taught me multiple lessons in one fell swoop.

Self-Reporting: In the year I was there, I only have one moment I look back on with any measure of shame. I was closing on a Saturday night and rushing around shelving abandoned books—in between helping customers. My jurisdiction for that particular evening was the children’s section. There were a few families notorious for letting their herd run wild, never returning a single book to its shelf or replacing a Thomas the Train figure once bored of it.

None. Of. Us. Could. Stand. Them. Not the parents, not the kids, not their ways.

It was approaching 11:00pm and the kids were still having their way with my section. I did a quick scan for the parents, saw they were preoccupied (shocker) and rounded the corner to where the mayhem was in full swing. I glared at the guiltiest of the group until she stopped throwing books off the shelves and looked at me. When she did, I bore a hole through her with narrowed eyes and with my thumb, slow-cut my own neck.

OK, back to the reason we’re here.

I also used to recoil when I heard people talk about coffee like it was the ruler of their tiny world. I’d hear, “Everyone knows not to talk to me before I’ve had my coffee!” and, “Let me get properly caffeinated and then we can meet.” I’d audibly groan in disgust. And the worst of the worst? Someone being so addicted to coffee that she purchased and PLACED this bumper sticker on her expensive car: No Coffee, No Workee.

I’d sit at a red light behind her and think, “Really? Two e’s on workee? Coffee is so delicious and necessary that you tattooed your car with a baby-talking edict? Grow up. Drink some water.”

Cut to two years later when my Keurig Platinum is one of my more prized possessions and making its way on the list of things I’d grab if there was a fire.

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See? Haughtiness leads to dependency. Let this be a lesson.

I’ve become so convinced that saying I’ll never do something or never be a certain way is so wrong for me that I feel the need to shut it down in others, too. In the same way I cringe when old people still use racial slurs, I want to physically jump up and shield people who make “never” proclamations like it’s no big deal.

I was having lunch with a friend one time and through a mouthful of buffalo chicken tenders he said, “I mean can you believe that? I can’t. I’d never die in a fire—I mean gimme a break.”

I mentally hurled myself across the table to cover his mouth and wail to the sky, “Forgive him! He knows not what he says!”

I said, “Don’t even say that! No one thinks they’ll die in a fire, you ding dong!”

“No, I’m serious. No way I’m dying in a fire, no way. Or drowning … never gonna happen.”

Now he’d gone too far and my brain flashed forward to his obituary and some awful apartment fire with his arrogant charred remains.

It’s not like I think God says, “Oh really? You’ll never fall overboard on a Carnival cruise line? Hide and watch, my lady—HIDE AND WATCH.” I don’t think that at all (although you’ll never hear me saying I’ll never fall overboard on a cruise. Wait … I mean, I hope I’m never dumb enough to say I’ll never fall overboard on a cruise … see, still working on it).

I just think for me, the bottom line is that I’m not supposed to be high and mighty or know-it-all’y. It probably all comes down to judging. I try not to judge and in a lot of ways, using the phrase “I’ll never” is a form of judgment.

Think of all the definitive statements people so carelessly make without knowing or having been in the situation:

1. I’ll never put my mother in a nursing home.
2. I’ll never get blindsided like that because I get my mammograms on time.
3. My kid will never post obscene garbage on the internet.
4. You’ll never see me getting fast food for my family.
5. I’ll never grow cilantro that begins to suspiciously look like marijuana, then be convinced the DEA is hovering over my house in a helicopter one night.

Follow-up to #5:
Anna: Moma! Where did y’all get the cilantro seeds you gave us?
Moma: I think (name not disclosed) brought them back from Mexico with some antibiotics, why?

My point is, it’s not only short-sited, but extremely presumptuous and egotistical to think you know everything for all of time, present and future. Situations change, finances change, hearts change—life happens. One day you’re making salsa with homegrown vegetables and the next thing you know, you’re high as a kite from some suspect cilantro.

motherslove

For some odd reason, three different people in my office building had some kind of foot injury that necessitated those knee scooters … one knee was on the scooter and the other foot would push off and they’d have their notebooks and peanut butter sandwiches in a little basket as they traversed the halls.

I’d watch them, shaking my head and thinking, “I’d rather open up a wrist than have to use one of those things at work.” I started thinking it so often that I became worried it would soon be my fate. So, I changed my thought pattern when I peeped someone scootin’ my way: “Oh please Lord, if I must fracture my foot or have some random heel surgery, please please please let a boot or crutches suffice.”

scooter

Because as much as I knew I’d do everything in my power to not be on a knee scooter at work, I also recognized that maybe they didn’t want to be either—maybe it was the only choice—so I shouldn’t be judgmental.

Of course, I shared this thought with a friend and she said, “Oh please, he’s a lazy #@$%. He wanted that scooter.”

Fair enough.

“Never” has a cousin. His name is “not.”

Example: Cocky head-twirl with a sassy finger-point, “I am NOT working into my 60’s.”

If anyone hears me say this, please run at me full speed and tackle me so I land face first and can’t say another ill-advised word (because I really, reallllly don’t want to be putting 40 hours into anything but travel by then … but if I get all insistent, I might be in a cube ’til I’m 80).

A better proclamation: “I really hope to plan well enough to not work into my 60’s.”

Whew, that’s better. That shouldn’t get me schooled.

And for those of you who pompously declare you’ll “never associate” with (pick one) a liberal/a Bible thumper/a hunter/a gay guy/an evangelical/an atheist/a tea partier/a drug addict/anyone in the Palin family … please wait while I get a huge bag of popcorn, because for once, I want to see what evaporating superiority looks like from afar.

Jfpopcorn

I’d love for you to join me on Facebook … it’s good for your health.