I Wish I Was Better

Like most people, I fall short in many ways. I wish I was better at managing my time—at turning off my work mind, and turning on my calm mind. I wish I was better at goal-setting, and not allowing mindless iPhone scrolling to replace actually productivity.

I could document a laundry list of things I’d like to get better at; but today, in this very moment, my wishes are not that simple.

I wish I was better at knowing if someone was a good drummer. It doesn’t matter if it’s a pre-teen phenom or Travis Barker—once the solo part hits, it just sounds like a damn free-for-all. All I see are limbs flailing and sticks flying. I can’t find the rhythm in a drum solo to save my life, so I just end up feeling like an idiot. An idiot caught in a scary, chaotic storm of frenetic high hats and snares.

I wish I was better at handling the surprising news that a couple has broken up—especially if the news comes via Facebook. Not as an announcement, but as a clue. It’s so alarming to be scrolling along, then notice something is amiss.

“Oh, there’s Lauren. Seth’s wife. With a bearded guy. A bearded guy that’s not Seth. Looking a bit too chummy for my taste. With “God is good!” as her status update. Wait one cotton-pickin’ minute, Lauren. I don’t think so, you two-timing ninny. Not on my Facebook watch. Then I go to her actual page and scroll through it—noticing the last time I saw a pic of Seth was over four months ago; but that Beard has been making weekly appearances with his stupid, cheating beard.

It’s so upsetting, even though Lauren and Beard look pretty happy. Where is Seth though? Oh no! He’s not on Facebook! I can’t see if he’s happy with a pretty lady with a pixie cut. How will I know if Seth and Pixie are happy? What if I never see them on a ferris wheel saying God is good? Will I be left believing that Seth is at home, unshaven, going through old photos of Lauren, while eating expired Vanilla Wafers? Yes. Yes I will.

JTSad.gif

I wish I was better at policing my online activity. When I know I should be writing, or making headway on a work project, or updating my passwords—but instead, I’m taking a quiz to see what my werewolf name would be, I’m left with the thought, “I am what’s wrong with the world.”

When I spend an hour scrolling through Soulja Boy’s social accounts, looking for clues that he’s finally off the sizzurp—I’m left with the thought, “I don’t deserve 24 hours in a day.”

I wish I was better at not feeling personally affronted by other people’s lack of dignity. When I roll up in the work restroom and am confronted by two co-workers having a deuce-off, I’m nearly incensed.

Side Note: A deuce-off is what sometimes happens when two people go into the restroom close to the same time—with the intent of doing private bowel things in public—only to be left waiting on the other person to start, stop or leave.

Back to the outrage. The silence, the two pair of motionless shoes, the waiting. I will not be a party to this scene. I will not provide them the outside noise they’re undoubtedly counting on. I won’t do it.

I’ll walk in, realize it’s a deuce-off and promptly leave. I’ll go to another restroom in the building (which is precisely where their shameless asses should’ve gone when they realized a number two was on the horizon.) Why wouldn’t they drop their kids off at the pool in merchandising’s wing? Why would they want to do their private biz in the same small space their CMO uses? Where is their pride?

not_amused

I wish I was better at understanding our rogue refrigerator. Some couples have to keep their voices down or spell out words so their pets don’t know they’re leaving for a trip—we have to keep our voices down and spell out words when we’re going to have company … so the fridge doesn’t stop making ice.

Can anyone tell me how it knows people are coming over? Never do we ever have ice issues until the day people are coming over. Then, like clockwork, not one cube of ice is produced. That is, until the final farewell is said—at which point the little spoiled brat promptly gets back to cranking out delicious ice. And she knows we have to take her back—or we won’t have ice. HOW DOES SHE KNOW THIS?

What sensors were added to this LG model to notify her of our plans? Go ahead and make fun of us, but we now discuss our plans for company outside the house—then come back in and try to keep our body language cool. Sometimes I even walk extra languidly, as if to say, “It’s cool. There’s no news here.” We’ve even stopped taking chances with spelling—because we’re pretty sure she knows p-a-r-t-y by now.

I wish I was better at allowing myself to pray with poor grammar and syntax. I can be knee-deep into an earnest ask, but unable to stop myself from rewording sentences that end in a preposition.

“Thank You for all Your abundant blessings I’m so unworthy of … grr … Thank You for Your abundant blessings of which I’m so undeserving … ugh, Lord, please forgive me for sounding pretentious with that proper grammar. Sooo, thank You for all the blessings I don’t deserve. Thank you for Your guidance and protection. Please watch over everyone I love, and protect Jocelyn and I as we … grr … please protect Jocelyn and me as we leave for our trip. Please guide me on if I should go a step further in my efforts to … grr … go farther in my efforts to … grr … further? Farther? Sigh, never mind, just please guide me? And please forgive me for my inability to pray with questionable grammar. I hope that’s not some sin of pride or something. If it is, please show me how to have less pride—like the hosers at work who light up the bathroom I use. Please give me their low level of pride, if that is pleasing to You. No wait, please don’t do that. Please? For real though. Actually, please deal with them. Please lead and guide them … to another restroom. Thank you, Father. I love You, Amen. Wait, do You prefer Ahh-men? Is this one of those things that annoys You—the same way it annoys me when people say a Y instead of an H in words like Houston? They say Youston. Please let me know so I don’t annoy You. For now though, I do love You—Amen.”

I wish I was better at knowing, understanding, or caring about characters or stories not based in reality. When people talk about fairy tales or cartoons, they might as well be talking about quantum physics. Aside from the way they look, I don’t know Batman from Peter Pan. I don’t know what Peter’s superpower is. I also don’t know what a zombie actually is. I truly don’t. I mean, I know they’re not real, and I know they’ve got terrible complexions. I think they might be forest people? Or forest creatures? Pictures I’ve seen of zombies look super foresty.

Because we didn’t really grow up watching cartoons, I’m not clear on different cartoon characters—and I don’t know any fairy tales. You could offer me $1,000 and I wouldn’t be able to tell you the outcome of The Three Little Bears—or the premise of that one story with the shoe, and the lady, and the prairie dogs, or whatever they were.

It’s a bit odd that I’m extremely imaginative, but wholly uninterested in anything not realistic. Even in my made-up stories or daydreams, my thoughts have to be plausible. Not necessarily likely, but plausible—or I can’t focus.

I see people in restaurants or airports and concoct great tales of why they’re there, or where they’re going (but I can assure you, in my story, they’re not on their way to another planet or going back into the forest to do zombie things.)

Side Note: I need to out myself before someone else does. I did actually read—and enjoy—the Twilight series. Although totally out-of-character, I cannot apologize for that lapse in my everything-needs-to-be-realistic personality. Jacob meant too much to me, and I will not forsake him in that way.

jacob

Team Jacob.

 

I wish I was better at troubleshooting embarrassing death situations. Like honestly, I don’t want to croak and have someone see that the last thing I was listening to was the Richard Marx version of O Holy Night—or that the last thing I googled was, “is a Trapper Keeper an age-appropriate notebook for my career?” Should that keep me listening to it or daydreaming about the day I can once again pick out and carry a Trapper Keeper? Maybe.

I also like to wear two pair of socks. I just do. I have bony, baby-soft feet, and they fancy proper cushioning. Maybe even three pair of socks on occasion. I SAID MAYBE! But, do I want to be—literally—caught dead in three pair of socks? I do not. Should I stop wearing them? Probably. Because even though my feet would be super comfy at the time of my death, and although I’d be in Heaven, and shielded from the embarrassment of it all, my family would not be.

I can hear them now, “I knew she wore two pair of socks sometimes, but three is news to us. This is something she kept hidden from us. We’ll never get over this rogue life she led.”

I wish I was better at not feeling offended by people’s lawn-mowing habits. It rubs me so wrong when people mow, but don’t edge their grass. I have to fight the urge to grab our weed-eater and finish the job for them. The only thing stopping me is Jocelyn—she says it’s not appropriate. I actually think they’d appreciate it—and be keen on me trimming their out-of-control trees while I’m there.

I feel like these non-edgers are the same people who claim their house is clean, when all they do is “pick up.” If you pick up toys and put bills in the junk drawer daily, but only bleach your bathrooms and do your floors every three months, your house is clean exactly four times a year. Stop shouting at me! I don’t make the rules—I just follow them!

I wish I was better at singing Happy Birthday. I do okay until the third “birthday”—then it’s wheels-off. “Happy birthday to you” (not bad) … “Happy birthday to you” (not bad at all) … “Happy BIIIIRTHDAY dear Delilah!” (cue the howling wolves) I’ve learned to just mouth this note … then come blazing back with “and many more!” I feel like that somehow makes up for my lip-syncing.

brit

Britney forgives my lip-syncing. Trust me.

I wish I was better at not honing in on external noises. This issue probably deserves its own blog post, but for now, I’ll just re-iterate my desire to not notice “noises.” I’m fairly certain I have a mild-to-severe case of Misophonia—and I would absolutely love to shed it if there was a way. Okay-okay, not a severe case. People with severe cases want to literally OFF an offender. I’ve wanted to OFF a chip eater, pen tapper, bad water-bottle drinker, inner smacker, loud breather, aggressive typer, bag cruncher—only a dozen times or so. Over the past week.

Seriously though, as bad as it is, and as on-edge as all these sounds make me feel, I’d never want to be medicated for it. Not at all. I’ve told y’all, I barely like taking Ibuprofen. Buuuuut, helped along with a little hypnotherapy or acupuncture? YES. That seems healthier than the physical harm I imagine unleashing on people who attack chips like it’s an MMA fight—or sound like they’re taking a bath when they drink from their water bottle.

Like I said, the issue deserves its own blog post—which brings me to my last desire.

I wish I was better at posting more often. Send money and I’ll do my best. No amount is too small. And don’t pull any of that “in lieu of” crap. Send actual cash. I wish you were better at that.

Let’s link up on Facebook and Twitter!

Share If You Agree

I’m not afraid to say I’m sorry—and some of these apologies are long overdue. Facebook has done all it can do to help us declare our love, devotion and allegiances; but I feel like I’ve not only let them down, but scores of others, due to my unwillingness to share what I’m told to share. Let’s go.

brother

I have this brother, but I couldn’t—in good conscience, hit “share,”—not because I don’t have the best brother in the world, but because it’s one of the most poorly constructed memes my feed has ever seen. Since when did ellipses become two periods? Oh that’s right, just up until the 11th line. They had to warm up, I guess. Where is the apostrophe on the complicated contraction “can’t?” The worst part? It doesn’t even complete the thought it ramped up to. It started out as an if/then, and left us hanging.

It was like saying, “If you like food and love meat and adore spices and can’t wait to eat it and enjoy it and savor it and can’t be without it !!” Don’t even get me started on the space before the two exclamations. Sorry—I can’t share ill-designed memes.

dad

Again with the atrocious sentence structure—but anyway, Daddy, I didn’t post this (like I was ordered to do), even though you fit the criteria stated in the meme. I am truly sorry. I hope you weren’t on Facebook the day it made the rounds, because I’m quite sure its absence on my wall made you second-guess every parenting decision you ever made. Maybe you even looked back with regret, the day you came home from work to hear of a fight Jeni and I had—and proceeded to ask HER if I deserved a spanking. That was a pretty bad misstep—which not surprisingly led to me getting spanked, but I assure you it’s not why I didn’t post this horribly written meme.

Jesus

Jesus, I wasn’t ashamed of You; I didn’t ignore You; and I do love You. I just wasn’t too keen on the rendering of your beautiful face—the eye shadow seemed excessive, and far too much time was spent on the chisel of your already perfect cheek and jaw. The red border around the green background also threw me off, as did the out-of-character exclamation point. That’s all—that’s why I didn’t share. Because I do totally love You. I’m sorry for possibly seeming like a heathen when I didn’t share this.

lies

I almost agree. The thing is, sometimes we need to fib out of kindness. There is just no way to always tell the truth, if you have a considerate bone in your body. You don’t agree?

“Your new baby isn’t very cute. She almost is, but those thin lips and that scaly skin are super off-putting.”

“I’m gonna pass on meeting you for dinner this weekend. It’s monumentally more important to me to get this bra off and eat cereal while standing up.”

“Sometimes I wonder if you’re responsible for the low-life deviant your son has become.”

Sorry I didn’t share what was intended to be a character-proving meme, but was actually a short-sighted, inconsiderate theory.

pets

I don’t own a pet, so this wasn’t directed at me. However, even if I did have a boxer named Rookie or a bulldog named Shakes, I’d never be able to share this meme—I’m sorry. It’s in need of some punctuation and some grounding in facts. Dogs ARE pets—and that’s OK, because pets are certainly family. We needn’t split hairs here. While we’re on it, “Like” and “Share” have incorrect punctuation around them—and there are two exclamation points in a 3×3 space. Again, I’m sorry, but no.

prison

I’m sorry I didn’t share this gem. I totally should have, because if I believe anything with fervor, it’s that declaring my own personal, possibly divisive and inciting opinions on Facebook is a wonderful idea and an excellent use of time.

proud parent

I’m mostly interested in why this meme came to pass. I want the back story. And not unlike so many of these head-shaking calls to action, the punctuation and “your” usage is dreadful, so I’m gonna scroll on by without apology here.

gym

Sorry I didn’t share this riveting sentiment. I was lost, broken and lonely—and doing some lunges at the g.y.m. And now I’m s.o.r.e. And still quite lost trying to find the nearest Chipotle.

daughter

I don’t have a daughter, but it’s such a relief to know how I’d hold her in my heart for a lifetime—just by sharing this meme on my Facebook page. This mom seems to have a particularly large heart area. No need to do things with my beloved daughter when it’s so much more efficient and lasting to post about my undying love on social media. I’m sorry I don’t have a daughter so I could circumvent all the bond-building with a simple share.

daughter 2

Again, I don’t have a daughter, but you know who I just realized does? MY MOTHER. What the hell, Moma?

Heaven

I love someone in Heaven, but I couldn’t share this because I didn’t connect with the chosen image. Heaven is everything good and perfect, so I know it doesn’t have hard benches. If the designer had gone with a big leather chair from Restoration Hardware or maybe a polar fleece beanbag, I’d have hit “share” immediately. I’m sorry your choice of imagery kept me from sharing.

family

The sentiment is probably fairly accurate, but again, I couldn’t share this because of the sheer number of design and punctuation flaws. “No family is perfect we argue, we fight.” Really? Even people who hate all things composition know that’s a pitiful attempt at a sentence, right? And what happened to the poor “will” towards the end? The previous serif fonts were like, “You’re not one of us! You’re san serif, so just get away from our family, you freak!”

Pure love

Pure Love doesn’t pay the AT&T bill. Being a mother is the most important position in the world—agreed—but let’s work on our word choice here and maybe more “likes” will follow. First of all, let’s aim to be less cheesy than a crock of queso. Second of all, let’s bring home some bacon so we can feed the children. Do those two things and I’ll share with abandon.

sizes

I agree, but I didn’t share, sorry. The image chosen was too limiting for the sentiment. I’d have shared if they’d chosen four beautiful things—all varying sizes—like they purport to believe. Preferably—this lady, a Jaguar XJR, a quarter-pounder with cheese, and an itty bitty jungle frog.

lady friends

I didn’t tag my lady loves like the meme recommended because of one simple reason. I’m not seeking confirmation of their devotion. I’m not unsure of their loyalty. Except Ellen—I’m not all that confident she’d repost and tag back. Or Maya Rudolph. If history is any indicator, I’d be waiting on that validation for quite some time. Better to just go on not knowing. Ignorance is bliss when you’re forcing the hands of true friends you’ve never met. Sorry.

sister

Sorry I didn’t share this, but I had a good reason—and it wasn’t because I don’t love my sister. It was because I’d just told her I loved her in a text. It was also because I knew she saw this in her Facebook feed and didn’t share it for me. I’m the little sister, and little sisters can be kinda bratty—sorry.

children

I should’ve shared this, because I agree, but I didn’t and I’m sorry. It just seemed too remedial—like saying, “Cold beer should be sipped and enjoyed, not used to wash the dishes.” It was the captain-obviousness of it that kept me scrolling right through.

arms

Yeahhh, the day I share a fear-mongering political post like this is the day I renounce my love of guacamole. Not. Gonna. Happen. It should’ve said, “Unfollow me if you don’t agree” because that’s what I did.

I hop on Facebook to see cute babies, unlikely friendships between animals and killer sushi spreads. I also pop in to see what interesting things my friends are up to. I’ve never once thought, “I just can’t make my mind up about immigration—let me log on to Facebook and see what my high school friends think.”

Side Note: No offense, high school friends. Y’all are the best. Go Bulldogs!

creepy eyes

I’m sorry I didn’t share this, but quite frankly, I found the eyes just a wee bit crazed and creepy. I didn’t think it painted an accurate portrayal of my deep and abiding love for my mom. I’ll try to snag and share the next one I see that has kinder, more childlike eyes. I love you, Moma—which means I love you enough to not creep you out with eerie-eyed smiley faces in your Facebook feed.

stray

Happiness is feeding a stray if you want that stray to be YOUR stray. And many of you do! More power to you and God bless you (sorry, God, I’m not bossing You around—You totally don’t have to do that … only if it was in Your plans and You want to … I mean, I think it would be swell of You, but that’s Your call. Next time I’ll say, “May God bless you.”)

Maybe the meme should say, “KINDNESS is feeding a stray.” Because, like, I’m sure it makes you happy to do it—I know how happy it makes me to give homeless people food—but are you going to stay happy when you’ve got a new member in your family and your 4-year old wants to name him Tooter? Anyway, that’s why I didn’t share. I thought the word choice was suspect.

bitching

I didn’t share because I already know bitching burns calories. So does complaining and so does whining. These are facts. We wouldn’t do them so often if they didn’t help us work off french fries. #sorrynotsorry

idiot

With all of my being, I hope I don’t need to explain why I didn’t share this handmade sign. I have four reasons, but I’ll be happy if you just know the main one. Are cyber-friendship depends on it.

one eye

I’m sorry to be so picky, but I couldn’t share this since I actually have two eyes. It felt wrong to act like I only had one—like I was fishing for sympathy. I also could really use some past tense on “love” … “because I LOVED my mom.” Combine those two dilemmas and that’s one big non-share here. I also vividly recall my first thought upon opening my eye(s), and it was more along the lines of, “Feed me, Womb Lady!”

Anyway, you know how, when you check out at Target or Banana Republic, they say, “Do you want to save 15% on your purchase today? And you feel so dumb saying no? It’s that whole “Yeah, but” thing. Yeah, but I don’t want a credit card.

It’s the same with all these incriminating memes on Facebook. Do you love your mom? Yeah, but I don’t want to share something where “your” and “you’re” are treated as the same word. Do you believe that guns don’t kill people—that people living in a culture of glorified violence with unfettered access to firearms kill people—with guns? Yeah, but I don’t do politics on social media.

I can’t help but think I’m not alone, so if you want to get more likes and shares, proofread your work, put thought into your imagery, and … you know what, scrap that. Stop posting things and asking for shares and likes. It’s obnoxious and it ruins Facebook for people who want to see this:

friendship

and this:

sushi

and this:

tinyfrog

Let’s link up on Facebook and Twitter!

 

Say What?

I make every attempt possible to never say never. I even outlined my reasoning behind this ongoing personal goal here.

But this is different. Even though I don’t say things like, “I’ll never get a bad tattoo” or “I’ll never leave the oven on” (for fear of eating my words), I’m relatively certain you’ll never hear me say any of the following.

“No, thanks—I’m not really in the mood to hold your baby.”

At one time, I wanted to be a Rockin’ Mama so bad, I was calling around to all the hospitals, trying to get information on the process. It’s a program where hospital baby wards put you in rotation to hold babies who don’t have anyone—so the newborns can get love, warmth and human contact.

I just have an endless capacity to hold babies, and I get geeked when friends tell me they’re pregnant. I’m less geeked when they tell me we can’t actually share the baby. That’s pretty selfish; but I’ll take what I can get. Sometimes they’re all, “Oh, let’s lay him down so he doesn’t get used to being held while he sleeps” and I’m all, “Shut your dumb mouth.” The feeling of that warm little nugget on my chest is an unmatched delight for which my longing never ends.

“I’d really like to see him in a jock.”

I don’t care if you’re Roger Federer or Magic Mike, I don’t want to see you in a jock. No day is made better by seeing a man in a jock.

“No, thank you—I’m full.”

You might hear me say no to food, but it won’t be because I’m full. If it’s food I love (and not dessert), I’ve got the restraint of a pack of raccoons who’ve just found campfire leftovers. On special occasions (i.e. weekends and vacation), I like to eat until I’m full up to my collarbones. Some days—especially when traveling—my lone goal is to get hungry again after a meal. And I’m not ashamed to admit that when I’m greeted by that first hunger pang, it feels like such sweet victory—like precious hope in a dark, dark world.

“I don’t really care who wins the game.”

I have to root for someone. Even if I’m not following the teams or the series or the sport—if it’s on—I have to root for someone. I can’t be ambivalent. If nothing else, I just need a good human interest story on one of the players, and I’m set.

Me: Who are you for?
Jocelyn: Oh, no one really—I don’t really care about this one.
Me: No, come on—help. If it’s gonna be on, I need to root for someone.

The following are the types of things I’m looking for at this point—to tip me to one team or the other:

Jocelyn: Their coach is that one who made it to his 14th conference championship, but still got fired.
Jocelyn: A Utes win would help the Zags.
Jocelyn: Their running back got arrested for domestic violence.
Jocelyn: #4 has the little sister who can’t walk and he carries her everywhere.
Jocelyn: Their shooting guard wasn’t expected to ever play again after his compound fracture.

“There’s no hope for that situation.”

I believe there is hope for everything. Hope is what gives life color. Prayer—and a basic understanding that we don’t know a fraction of what we think we do—tells me that there is always hope.

“Here, take a picture of me drinking out of this straw!”

“And make sure to snap it when my eyebrows are raised mid-drink!” I just hate those posed drinking-out-of-the-straw pics. I can’t explain it. And the recent “Slurpie Day” was just an excuse for everyone to post one and dampen my day.

“Just sayin’.”

Unless you were raised by a honey badger (an animal who truly does.not.give.a.$%#@), then I challenge you to start taking steps to break this fall-back phrase habit. I understand how tempting it is to say what you want—no matter how hurtful or bossy or judgmental—and then smooth it over with a shrugging “jus’sayin’; but please stop.

It’s now so prevalent that people are ending posts and comments with “JS.”

“Well he sure is dumber than a box of hair. JS.”
“The sound of her voice alone makes me wish she’d burst into flames. Just sayin’.”
“My day would improve if she’d go play in traffic—jussayin.”

“Just sayin'” and “Bless her heart” are not get-out-of-being-a-jerk passes.

“I’m not reading anything at the moment.”

Lord-willing, you’ll never hear me say this. I read a lot and can’t imagine my life without books, stories, characters—and the joy they bring.

“Oh here, let me just throw this bloody Band-Aid down for the next person to see.”

I hope this is self-explanatory. Pretty much any awesome day can be wrecked by one sullied Band-Aid sighting.

“Nah, Mexican food just doesn’t sound that good today.”

This nonsensical statement is akin to, “I’m actually pretty ambivalent about oxygen today” or “I’ve never really bought into the wisdom of needing all 10 fingers.”

There is not a day on earth when I couldn’t get down with some tacos. Or burritos. Or chips and salsa. Or all of the above.

“Traveling is a hassle. I think I’ll just stay home.”

Nope. Hassles always arise when traveling—always. But the trade-off isn’t even in the same ballpark for me. A little airport or luggage nuisance in exchange for exploring the world and seeing new things? I’ll “endure” that any day, any time, anywhere. Almost anywhere.

“You relax—I’ll tie those balloons for you.”

I don’t want to blow them up either. I go too fast and too hard and end up hallucinating that Rue McClanahan has come back to cross stitch with me.

“I don’t care what kind of grocery carts they have.”

FALSE. Target’s new, chunkier carts have ruined me for all other carts. I’m obsessed. It feels like I’m pushing around a weightless hover craft. They make me want to sing and skip and do good deeds.

Additionally, there are no words for the sheer and utter joy those smaller half-carts bring me. They’re like little speedy athletes with the agility of a gymnast, the focus of a goalie and the eagerness of a Wimbledon ball boy.

If anyone ever combined the two carts, I’m not sure I’d make it out alive.

“You’ll never hear me refer to the universe as a living thing.”

“The universe has a way of …”, “The universe lets us know we should …”, “This is what the universe has told us …”, “This is what the universe asks of us …”

Never. Like, ever.

“Hmm, I haven’t heard from Whatsherface in a while; I think I’ll poke her on Facebook.”

“Why aren’t you breastfeeding?” or “Why are you breastfeeding?”

Why won’t you ever hear me ask this? Because it’s none of my business, and I assume a mother has a very good reason for her choices. Oh, and I’m not the breastfeeding police. Oh, and that’s right—it’s none of my business. Or did I already say that?

“I’m not a crier.”

I’ve been able to say that truthfully most of my life. But I’ve now come to accept that I can’t see a soldier’s reunion with a loved one or a marriage proposal, and not cry. I’m not a weepy, soppy mess—and I don’t cry over much else—but these two things start the waterworks. I also cry sometimes when I hear the song, O Holy Night. Not so much the David Archuleta version, as the Celine Dion one. And sometimes I cry when the food is over.

“Tush”, “Tushy” or “Bum.”

It’s butt, bottom, ass—or nothing. I remember once, a long time ago, I read a quote from Freddie Prinze, Jr., and he said someone was looking at his “tushy.” No. No, no, no. FPJ was instantly dead to me. He was a grown damn man calling his own butt a tushy. Maybe, maaaaybe if he’d been talking about his baby’s bottom, I could have let it go. But he wasn’t. And I no longer had a place for him in my life.

Do you have things you’ll never say?

Please join me on Facebook and Twitter 🙂

 

Patience Cards™

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

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

I Peel Bananas Wrong

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

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

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

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

sheets

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

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

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

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

You use Facebook wrong.

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

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

Google actually welcomes this inquiry.

Google actually welcomes this inquiry.

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

Oh, look who has answers!

Oh, look who has answers!

Example #4:
What time do The Oscars start?

Wow, who knew Google was so all-knowing?

Wow, who knew Google was so all-knowing?

You use your imagination wrong.

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

Yet.

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

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

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

Yet.

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

You exercise wrong.

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

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

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

You save time wrong.

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

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

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

math

You ask for attention wrong.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I guess I aunt wrong.

What do you do wrong?

Please join me on Facebook and Twitter!

Uniting In Fury (Again)

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

Yet. Here we are.

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

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

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

This must stop.

This must stop.

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

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

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

At least 10 knuckleheads I'm mad at.

At least 10 knuckleheads I’m mad at.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Like this, but not remotely as nice.

Like this, but not remotely as nice.

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

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

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

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

You get the idea.

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

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

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

oops-heels

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We get it, Justin—you're starving.

We get it, Justin—you’re starving.

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

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

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

Only Kristin Wiig can accurately portray my anger.

Only Kristin Wiig can accurately portray my anger.

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

Unexpected Joy

So many things make me happy. Little things like finding $5 in my coat pocket, and big things like finding $20 in my dad’s wallet.

I realized this week that a few other things make me abundantly and irrationally happy. I’d like to share my joy with you now.

1. My Mom’s Unintentional Hilarity:
Here is the deal. My mom Cracks. Me. Up. Most of the time, it’s just these very inadvertent one liners that make me hit the floor. Let me reiterate—she’s not trying to be funny, she just is—so it usually comes out of nowhere and knocks me out.

Me: I was surprised how much I enjoyed the judges on American Idol this year. I mean, Mariah was a bit long-winded, but …
My Mom: Oh, Mariah didn’t offer a flippin’ thing other than her big dumb boobs and a dress so tight she couldn’t give a standing ovation when she knew dang good and well they deserved one.

"Dahhhlings, please enjoy this mental standing ovation."

“Dahhhlings, please enjoy this mental standing ovation.”

The other night she sent me a text about a big tomato worm who’d taken up residence—and begun to binge—on one of her beloved plants.

Pic #1: A fat freeloader attached to a lush green stem
Her caption: Uninvited blubber gut.

Pic #2: The aforementioned blubber gut, now in pieces on the ground (his remains looked like a crime scene)
Her caption: Dad’s a pretty good bouncer.

We also have this ongoing joke about inflatable holiday yard decor. We find it endlessly funny when various “characters” lose air and end up with deflated parts—unable to fulfill their role as a pumpkin or a turkey or one of the three wise men. When we see them limp and lying on the ground, we like to fashion stories about their wild night of drunken debauchery.

We often call them ne’er-do-wells and somberly characterize them as individuals “struggling with the bottle.” I’ve lost count of the times we’ve had to accept that the Michelin Man or Rudolph needed a 12-step program.

One December night, on my way home, I saw Santa at my neighbor’s house—out cold and belly up. I snapped a pic for my mom, to let her know she wasn’t the only one living in a neighborhood of boozehounds. She called me about ten seconds later.

Moma: Do you have a second?
Me: Yeah, what’s up?
Moma: You’re never going to guess who was face down as I left the house this morning. JOSEPH. Anna, he was OUT. He was face down, but had just enough air in his head that it looked like he was giving it some effort, as if to say, “I got this!”

2. Booty In A Brawl
You know when you see a booty that—if not corralled by sufficient denim—looks like two water balloons fighting each other? I’ll give you a second to visualize.

I feel utter jubilation over the fact that I’ve witnessed this more in the past year than usual. If I see someone in front of me with this particular issue, this dialogue runs through my head as I watch the two cheeks battle it out:

Left cheek: Pow.
Right cheek: Pow-pow.
Left cheek: Pow-pow-pow.
Right cheek: Whatchu lookin’ at?
Left cheek: WhatCHU looking at?!
Right cheek: You lookin’ at me?
Left cheek: You lookin’ at ME?!
Right cheek: Pow.
Left cheek: Pow-pow.
Right cheek: Pow-pow-pow.

I mean, their sparring is rather benign, as they both seem to understand the space they occupy will never change too drastically. I just think in certain clothes—like sundresses and yoga pants—they find it easier to antagonize one another.

3. Disdain That Takes On A Life Of Its Own
Isn’t it an awful place to be in when you simply do not like someone at all and everything becomes amplified to a point where they can do no right—and even the way they walk or breathe darkens your day? For me, that situation is very rare, but it has happened and I do not like it. However, I don’t mind it as much if I’m observing it as a third party and we’re not blood relatives.

loathing

Anyway, this phenomenon came into full funny view this week in an unexpected way. Our neighborhood is having a little issue with a developer who bought the plot of land connected to our small, quaint subdivision. What’s problematic is that he’s asking for some variances to the current zoning and tree ordinances (variances that do not set well with our discerning crew, who—thanks to our fearless leader at 2209—has us poised to pounce).

It’s turned into quite a situation, where we’re all uniting in objection and writing opposition letters, going to meetings, signing petitions. For a group of adults beyond school sports or paint ball age, the team work is nothing short of impressive.

tina amy hi5

The other night, I was sitting in a meeting being held by the Planning and Zoning committee. Its purpose was to officially hear the developer’s plans—and our formal, verbal opposition.

It was already quite Parks & Rec’esque and I found myself searching for Amy Poehler’s character. I was awash in merriment at the promise of free and imminent entertainment.

Sitting in the back, I had a really great view of the room and all the players. The developer journeyed to the podium and my normally professional, mature neighbors eyed him with such visible disgust that I bit my lip to keep from laughing. I had to make myself think of Geraldo Rivera’s recent shirtless selfie to quell the giggles.

Side Note: Have you ever rolled on the floor laughing IN YOUR HEAD? It’s a real treat.

As if it wasn’t amusing enough—watching grown-ups abhor a perfectly nice stranger—the fun escalated when the developer started explaining his plans. Not because of any nuances of the proposal, but because he SLIGHTLY mispronounced one of our street names.

People were looking at each other, mouths cockily agape, tisking and nudging their neighbor, as if to say, “Can you believe this joker? He can’t even pronounce McLemma—he calls it McLeeeema! What a joke! Is this a joke? How are we supposed to take this guy seriously?! He’s a millionaire who never learned phonics or the alphabet! We’re supposed to let this imbecile cut our trees down?! Are we on candid camera?!”

So yeah, it’s not fun to dislike someone with a fervor that affects the quality of your life, but it sure is fun to watch from a distance.

4. Witnessing People Getting (Safely) Knocked Off Their High Horse
I’ve written about poor grammar and the seemingly constant misuse of words like there/their, so it’s not news that I’m Judging You. I also admitted that I make mistakes and understand that we all do—of course we do. But I ran across this in my Facebook newsfeed not long ago and feel it’s worth sharing.

Side Note: On the outside chance the culprit is reading today’s post, I’d just like to say, “Hey You! We sure had some fun times growing up and jumping on the trampoline, huh? So … talk to ya later!”

Her Facebook post (verbatim):
“Wanna know one of my biggest pet peaves…..peoples misspelled words on facebook…oooohhh it kills me7!!”
My comment:
“You mean like misspelling “peeve?”

Seriously, I expend an enormous amount of energy not commenting on Facebook when I know it can’t go anywhere good. I’m like an Olympic-level Facebook Walk-Awayer. But I just couldn’t stop my fingers from typing. And then I couldn’t stop them from hitting enter.

I’m counting three solid errors in that one post and four strong potentials. Walking away would have been illegally painful.

Too many things make me happy, so I see a Part 2 in our future. Tune in next time when we’ll discuss the shocking but have-to-laugh phenomenon of when parents start forgetting to tell you important stuff and you get this text:

Don’t forget, your daddy and I have that meeting to finalize our will tomorrow, so we won’t be home until around 3:00. Oh and PS. say a prayer for his eye surgery … you know he doesn’t do well with general anesthesia. Ily.

What brings you unexpected joy?

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

I’m Judging You

I’m judging you and really do feel a little bad about it.

I think we’ve all read articles, blog posts, status updates and tweets with commentary on the misuse of words like “your” and “you’re.” Some people say it’s their #1 pet peeve.

youhadme

My feelings are a bit different. I’ll paint you a picture:
When I’m reading along, imagine I’m actually strolling down a beautiful tree-lined street, joy in my heart, gratitude in the air. Then I come across, “Your not going to believe there response to my request”, and it’s like Demarcus Ware blind-siding me with a form tackle after he’s reached his maximum 40-yard dash speed—and he’s got his helmet on.

It’s more than a pet peeve or annoyance. I feel assaulted.

To the offenders: I’m judging you. I’d like to say, “I’m judging you and I’m NOT SORRY!”, but I am sorry. I know it’s unkind to wish you’d go play in traffic until you learn simple contractions. It’s not right or OK that I want your entire Facebook page to burst into flames when you can’t figure out the difference between “to” and “too”. So, I’m sorry.

If you write as your status update:
“You guys, I saw the most awful thing today. This sweet old lady offered to help this rough-looking guy pay for his groceries because he’d forgotten his wallet and then that son of a biscuit tried to jump her out in the parking lot and take her purse! Luckily some other guys took him down and everything was OK. What is this world coming too?!”

I’m out. You lost me. Consider yourself mentally roundhouse kicked into next week. I’m sorry.

You could save a precious litter of puppies (even shar peis) from being swept down a rushing river, but if you write about it by saying, “There precious wrinkly bodies were just being whisked away so quickly!” … I’m out. I’m now picturing you being the one swept away by the rapids. I said I’m sorry!

comeon

Without the basic understanding of simple contractions like your/you’re, their/they’re and its/it’s, you become Public Enemy Number One in my grammar world—and all kinds of things happen to you in my mind. Sshh, there-their, I’m not killing you, but you are absolutely the recipient of some bad luck. Some faves:

  • your child sleep-kicking you in your unprotected face at 3:00am
  • tripping with your arms full (and not on carpet)
  • not being able to pull the baskets apart at Target (with people watching and waiting)
  • hang nails (that you make worse because you can’t leave them alone)
  • dirt in your eyes (and under your contacts)
  • stubbed toes (that are so swift and forceful, you can’t even get oxygen to cuss)

I’m not finished. If you say “anyways”, we can’t be friends. I’m hesitant about this announcement because I’m fairly positive I have current friends who use “anyway” in its non-existent plural form, but it’s out of my hands and I have to cut you loose.

Uh oh. Light bulb. You’re also gone if you haven’t figured out lose vs. loose. This one takes years off my life.

Facebook status:
“Dear Cop Who Pulled Me Over, your sunglasses and night stick don’t make you that cool—you can loose the attitude.”

Nope. I’m now firmly Team Cool Cop and feel very good about your citation. I’m sorry. I wish I was a better person—but I’m not and you made me this way.

One Facebooker wanted to know why Fitbit hadn’t released their new Flex band, so she posted, “Seriously Fitbit, I’m loosing patients with you!” I’m sorry, are you a doctor? NO. And now I’m not only losing my patience with YOU, but I feel 9x the exasperation because 9 home skillets just “liked” your comment. Even if you’re equally upset with Fitbit, do you really want to be an accomplice to such offensive grammar indiscretions and incriminate yourself by “liking” the status update? Because that’s what you just did—you just endorsed a grammar catastrophe.

Self-Reporting 1:
I used the phrase “fixin’ to” until I was about 28. I was, for the most part, unaware that it was regional slang. Someone from another part of the country asked what it meant and I just stared—confused—thinking, “What do you mean what does it mean? How can you be an adult and not know the definition of ‘fixin’ to?”

I eventually tried to describe it by explaining that it’s akin to “preparing to” … I’m fixin’ to take a shower … I’m preparing to take a shower … and you prepare food and fix food … and the more I talked the more I realized it’s just really not a word, and I stopped using it. Not an easy task after 20-something years.

Self-Reporting 1.5:
Once in awhile it’ll fly out of my mouth when I’m excited during a conversation. It’s more slang than anything and I definitely do slang—which means I just unnecessarily self-reported.

Self-Reporting 2:
I’m also forever tripped up by past vs. passed. Try as I might to differentiate them by considering “time” vs. “distance” I still become disoriented and often opt for bypassing the word entirely. Inner Dialogue: A lot of time has past us by? A lot of time has passed us by? Hmm, I’m talking about time so I bet it’s past, but I’m also talking about distance so maybe it’s passed? It is past or passed? Why is this so hard? It’s like harder than math. I think it’s passed. Passed sounds right. But what if? Oh never mind, I’ll just say the years have flown by or something.

Then I walk away, beaten and defeated. I cheer myself up by remembering how good I am with were vs. we’re.

I self-report to say that I make mistakes all the time—most people do. But there is a difference in occasional misspellings or accidental grammar mishaps here and there and the consistent misuse of words that shouldn’t be problematic. If you can figure out Black Ops and know every word to every song in your iTunes library, you can get a handle on their, there and they’re.

embarrassed

My prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for the rain and the delicious recipes I find on Pinterest. Please bless this day and shield my eyes from improper punctuation and spelling. Please protect me from poor grammar online—especially when I get left-jabbed and uppercut by something like, “I should of known better.” Keep me from commenting that “should of” should be “should have.” Help me walk away from the travesty of “your so hot” comments on Justin Bieber’s Instagram pictures without swooping in with a lesson on contractions. But more than anything—if I do, in a weak moment, step in to make corrections—please help me to not misspell anything. Amen.”

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

We Need To Talk

There is a particular type of behavior that rubs me wrong. I’m sorry if the following describes you; but if it does, rather than get mad at me, go ahead and take this opportunity to change your ways. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only person you’re bothering.

The truth is, I probably like you on the whole—and value the respect you have for your parents. Your work ethic is admirable and you make a killer casserole. However, I do not enjoy your attempts at getting a reaction.

Calling me and saying, “Heyyy, we need to talk” is a surefire way to be the least endearing person on the face of the planet. Wanna take a stab at being even less adorable? Then send me this text, “Hey, when are we going to discuss the elephant in the room?”

My eyes will glaze over with the desire for you to go play in traffic. I’m sorry—I know that’s harsh and I don’t really want you to do that (unless you promise to wear a blindfold). No, wait! I’m sorry—I don’t mean it! You’ve just trounced on my last nerve and now I’m lashing out. Come back, let’s discuss this like adults.

I promise you, it’s better to just be upfront. Drop the dramatics and just come out with it. Take a deep breath and say “Hey, here’s the deal—your salsa is too spicy for me.” I will LOVE you for this. There is no need to make me cringe from here to eternity as you set up a talk. Just step up to the plate and say what you have to say and I’ll use jalapenos instead of habaneros next time we get together.

Same rules apply for tougher issues. If you say to me, “There is something a bit touchy that we need to discuss and I know it’s going to upset you.” Please, for the love of all that is good in this world, just say, “I know we planned on taking a vacation together, but I need to spend my extra money on LASIK.” Boom, done, accepted. You have to know I want your vision to be 20/20. I mean, I love you—of course I loathe your near-sightedness as much as you do.

fbbslap

I’m not finished. There is a worse offender of trying to get a reaction—and this one is harder to forgive. It’s the Facebook post devised to get a reaction and draw inquiring responses. You know the status updates I speak of and you know who you are. Here we go.

“I guess hindsight IS 20/20.”

What?! Really?! That’s your update? Are you that starved for reactions? How do you expect people to reply? Is it actually satisfying to see people who care about you flood your wall with:
“Honey what happened?!”
“Oh no, what?”
“Bro, what’s up man—you alright?”

Is that gratifying?

When you post, “Well … I guess not everyone learned manners!”, does it do your heart good to see how many people rally around you with:
“Who hurt you?!”
“What in the world happened?!”
“Oh no, not what I think, right?!”

Are you just sitting back, nodding and grinning at how you’ve worked people up?

You post, “It was bound to happen someday”, and all your poor friends are responding with:
“Please tell us now!”
“Praying for you during this difficult time.”

But guess what? All I’m doing to reeling off these mock possibilities:
The batteries on your fire alarm went out during daylight hours?
You had a piece of rogue lettuce in your Taco Bueno burrito?
You got approached to be in a Cialis commercial with Al Gore?

I feel so very, very certain that if you just came on out with it, you’d get the same number of responses but save everyone the (relative) stress of wondering if everything is OK.

I think we should band together to stop this particular Facebook behavior (we’ll join forces again later to stop people from over-sharing personal information). We should all commit to replying in kind to these posts.

When you happen upon, “I never expected this”, I implore you to reply as quickly as possible, “Sorry for your lack of planning, but you’ll never in a million years guess what happened on the cheese aisle at Costco today.”

If you log in and read, “I’ve never been more sorry about anything”, please reply, “I could say the same thing after what I just did in front of Aunt Delores.”

I know two wrongs don’t make a right, but I’m also a strong believer in flipping the script on folks who impede the peaceful progress of the human race. We are a team—those of us with opposable thumbs—and when we encounter people who derail us from getting where we need to go, we have to put a mirror to their behavior.

So let’s recap. If someone calls you and says, “We have a problem and we need to talk,” keep your cool and say, “I like you and I’m going to give you the opportunity to try this again. I’m hanging up and I want you to call me back and tell me sometimes my fourth spritz of perfume is too much.”

And when you log into your Facebook account later and see that your college roommate has updated her status to, “I guess it’s time to turn the other cheek,” please reply within seconds, “Yeah, but after what I just did, I’m praying an ‘eye for an eye’ is just a metaphor.”

Last, but not least, if any of you ever see the Facebook status update, “Upset,” I trust you know what to do. Unfriend.

It’s our duty. Will you join me?

I’d love for you to join me on Facebook!