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!

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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!

 

(Still) Uniting In Fury

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yes, Sir.

Yes, Sir.

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

The alternative.

The alternative.

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

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

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

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

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

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

emma

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

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

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

Have you seen this tomfoolery?

Have you seen this tomfoolery?

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

This should help.

This should help.

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

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

Moving on.

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

Why have prom mums gotten big enough for a casket?

Why have prom mums gotten big enough for a casket?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now I can’t stop venting my anger.

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

gag

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

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

“I’m bored.”

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

Just sayin’.

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

Please join me on Facebook and Twitter!

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.