Uniting In Fury: Vol. 4

The fourth installment of Uniting In Fury is upon us, which may have you thinking I just sit around mad all the time. I don’t.

I’m usually standing.

1.
When hair is anywhere but on a head. Healthy hair is a beautiful thing, until it’s on a table—or in your ravioli. It goes from, “Your hair is gorrr-geous; I just want to run my fingers through it!” to “Eww, eww, eww, it’s on my glass! Get it off. GET IT OFFFF!”

In all fairness, I’d feel the same way about an arm or a finger that came loose.

fury-blog_hair

2.
When men call their wives “bride” LONG PAST THEIR WEDDING DAY.

Example: “Taking my bride out for cocktails!” and “Loving beach time with my bride!”

Yes, Reader, I know I’ve mentioned it in a previous post, but it bears repeating—because I’m still catching whiffs of it online. Guys, STOP. Women don’t say “My groom cleaned out the gutters today” or “Holla! It’s date night with the groom!”

What is it about “bride” that makes guys enjoy saying it? It must be something, because I’ve heard some seemingly normal guys say it.

A mom of a 5-year old doesn’t say, “Taking the embryo to Chuck E. Cheese!”

3.
When I’m at a light, admiring the new Jaguar beside me—taking in its sexy lines and sleek curves; dreaming of how one day it will be mine—then it takes off and I see it’s a Hyundai.

fury_blog_dumb2

4.
When I’m riding a bike and I’m close to an edge, then really close, then so close I can’t make myself turn away from it—so I just go off the edge. What is this phenomenon? It’s been happening since I was probably nine. Do I have a defect?

5.
When I take my receipt from a cashier and say, “Thank you” and they say, “No problem.” What? How about, “No, thank YOU” or “Absolutely—thank YOU for shopping with us.” They should thank customers in any way other than, “No problem.” This tactic is picking up speed, which makes me wonder if it’s part of the training. Surely not.

Side Note: While we’re on cashiers and grocery store clerks, let me tell you about a recent experience that was nothing short of delightful. The other day I was feeling especially unfit for human interaction, so I chose the self checkout line. I started scanning and got to the bananas. I was pretty sure the code was 4011, but wanted to check, so I picked them up to peep the sticker, when I heard an impatient, “FORTY ELEVEN” from a gruff, female voice box. I thought, nah, that’s not directed at me, I’m in self checkout … which means I do this by MYSELF. I went back to look at the bananas and she barked, “FORRR-TYYY-EEEE-LEVEN!” Holy cow, it was the self checkout watchdog … “assisting” me. I looked up and she was standing there in her smock, arms crossed, crotchety and know-it-all’y as could be. We made eye contact and she jutted her face forward and said, “FORRRTY EEEE” and I snapped back, “Yeah, Chief, I heard you. The whole store heard you.” She sucked her teeth and looked away, 100% unbothered by my irritation. Crap, she was wearing the pants in this relationship—which I could not abide—so I purposefully picked up the habaneros and waved them in the air, as if to say, “What’cha got for me here, PLU Queen?” She looked from the peppers to me and back to the peppers, cocked her mouth in loathsome defeat and walked away. I said loudly, “3125 … THIRRRRTY ONE TWENTY FIIIIVE!”

Look, I told every one of you I was unfit for human interaction that day. You had fair warning.

6.
When people push the ottoman you’re sharing. Jesus take the wheel. It’s 10x worse when they claim it was you who pushed it.

fury_blog_icecube

7.
When someone uses the “Looking for Recommendations” feature on Facebook, and asks for something—like the best landscaper or the least stuffy cruise line—and ends the request with, “GO!” As in, “Wanting to lay a stone border around garden. Need landscaper recs. GO!”

I’ll go do something—anything—to not “GO!” right away. Polish the silver, clean some grout with a toothbrush, make a labor-intensive risotto recipe that requires me to drive to the store for saffron.

Side Note: The GO! tactic is a second cousin to this nuisance: the person who goes on Facebook to ask for suggestions, but doesn’t really need them, just wants people to know what they’re up to.

Example from an asshat:

fury_blog_facebook

Example from a normal person:

fury2_blog_facebook

8.
When people back into parking spots—for no reason other than to not have to back out. It’s simple math that even I can grasp. You either have to back in (which seems to take exponentially longer and annoy far more onlookers) or you have to back out (which is usually done in one try and seen as very normal behavior.)

Backer-Inners, please explain your rationale to me so I can let this agitation go. I’m assuming—since it’s a 50/50 thing that cannot be rationalized—that maybe you’re trying to show off? You’re highlighting one of your strengths? I haven’t been on a dating site to confirm this, but I’m assuming it’s a box you can check as one of your best attributes?

fury_blog_parking

I mean, it’s a little bit impressive to see someone back a big ol’ Dually into a parking spot (when I’m not the one waiting), but it’s also pretty impressive when someone just, you know, doesn’t do that.

9.
When honey mustard sneaks into my mouth. I love mustard, but you know what honey mustard is? Ruined mustard. Might as well try to sell me on Sweet n’ Low olives. I wish these delicacies could just be their acidic, tart selves—and not get pressured into hanging out with disparate flavors. Some people just aren’t boss enough to appreciate the power of vinegar and tang. To them I say, “Oh hey, Little One, let me show you to the door—to a special room away from me, where you can eat all the foods that are in the throws of an identity crisis. Go on now, figure out if you want dinner or dessert, then we can talk.”

Side Note: Mango salsa, I’m looking at you, too, kiddo.

10.
When people don’t keep their trees trimmed. I have to restrain myself from sneaking over to snip some branches real quick—especially if it’s a place I’ll have to see again.

Since we’ve established that I love chores where I can see a marked before and after difference, you can imagine that mowing, edging and trimming trees are all fulfilling “jobs” for me. That must be why—when I go for walks—I find myself plotting ways to circle back to particular properties to give them a good detail. I want to walk with some long pruners by my side and snip the hanging branches from the trees we walk by.

The “problem” (as Jocelyn puts it), is that it’s not a fleeting thought. I actually plot ways to make it happen—and get lost in planning the caper. I’ll be deep into mentally mapping it out when Jocelyn says, “Hello? What are you thinking about?” I usually say, “Oh, just how good babies smell.” But really, I’m just biding my time until I can hit up Amazon for a sling satchel to carry my pruners in.

BONUS FURY:
When I find out someone I thought I loved enjoys stuffed bell peppers.

fury_blog_cate

Not ready to stop Uniting In Fury? Great—here you go:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Holler at me on Facebook and Twitter!

I Must Confess

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

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

I can see y’all reacting like this already:

confession_blog_1

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

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

This talk is long overdue.

-ONE-

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

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

I had to silence a scream.

-TWO-

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

-THREE-

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

-FOUR-

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

confession_blog_tapas

-FIVE-

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

Is this called Pareidolia?

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

Remember the famous “blinking guy” GIF?

confession_blinking-guy

Well, I see him every day in my shower:

confession_blog_seeing-things

-SIX-

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

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

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

-SEVEN-

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

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

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

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

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

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

confession_blog_amazon

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

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

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

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

A good 90 minutes had passed at this point.

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

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

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

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

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

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

–EIGHT–

Fisheye effects make me nauseous.

confession_blog_fisheye

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

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

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

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

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

Holler at me on Facebook and Twitter!

I Am Not Fit For Calamity

I Am Not Fit For Calamity.

How do I know this? The power in our house went out for two hours (in broad daylight) and I reexamined my whole life.

calamity_blog

I like to fancy myself a resilient and resourceful go-getter; but that assertion got tested and destroyed just a few minutes into this misadventure.

For starters, I had trouble figuring out why WiFi wasn’t working. Since it’s just in the air, it being off made no sense. Did our WiFi air go off, too? Was the ever-mysterious Cloud involved in this?

Once I reconciled the WiFi situation, I roamed around for several minutes, noticing how dark it seemed.

“Jocelyn, does it seem super dark to you?”

“Not really, it’s 10:30 in the morning—it’s not dark in the classic sense of the word, just darker than usual.”

“Hmm, well it seems debilitatingly dark to me,” I said, and proceeded to walk with extra caution, holding my hands out to tap things so I wouldn’t run into them.

I’d already had my coffee for the morning, but thought I’d throw caution to the wind and make some more. If we were stuck with no lights, I might as well sip some java and ponder life on the back porch, where there was sunshine to light my way.

Crap. No power for the Keurig. Like, really? That, too? So let me get this straight—in the absence of electricity, we just can’t have anything hot? That’s ridiculous. Do you know how many things I prefer hot? I’ll tell you three: coffee, showers and breakfast.

And why was the power out anyway? It wasn’t even storming. Is that even a thing? To lose power from, just, nothing?

I guess I was stuck with stupid water. I carefully felt my way into the pantry for a bottle of water—and to scope out the canned food situation, should this go another full hour. Then I remembered I had a cold bottle in the fridge. Yes!

No.

“JOCELYN! The light’s out in the fridge! Do we even have those little replacement bulbs?”

“Anna. The power is out. That means the fridge is out—it’s not the bulb.”

“I know the fridge is out, but it’s also dark, so that’s a faulty-ass bulb we’re dealing with.”

<audibly exhalation> “I’m going for a run,” she said.

“How can you run when the power is out?”

calamity_reaction-gif_blog

“I’m just saying, isn’t this sort of perilous? Am I safe here alone?”

<door shuts>

I decided to get on my iPhone, since 4G is apparently far superior to WiFi and doesn’t bolt at the first sign of the rapture. Then I noticed my battery was at 51%. Ugh, it must not have charged right last night. I made a note to send my new charging cords back to Amazon. I didn’t like that 3-pack anyway. They were too long and too stiff. How’d they get all those good reviews?

What if my phone gets to 49% What then? I cannot abide a phone under 50%. I can barely tolerate one in the 70s. I started wracking my brain for charging options. Could I plug it into my MacBook? I knew the MacBook wouldn’t be plugged in, but it had a full charge—could it transfer power? I’d need my phone more than my laptop—so maybe it was worth a try?

This complicated line of thinking zapped too much mental energy—energy I needed to reserve, if life as I knew it was over.

I gathered up all our candles, which was no easy task in a dim house (all alone, I remind you). I spread them throughout the kitchen and living room, wanting to make the house as welcoming as possibly when Jocelyn got back. I didn’t want a cavernous house to ruin her runner’s high.

I got all the candles lit, surveyed my work, and applauded my resourcefulness.

calamity_hero_blog

Jocelyn came through the door and looked less appreciative than I expected.

“It’s noon,” she said. “It’s noon on a Saturday—not a cloud in the sky. Let’s blow these out and get ourselves together.”

Well hello Passive Aggressive, you old friend.

But I let it go, because I knew it was just the fear talking. She was no more ready to face a life of scarcity than I was.

I simply blew half of the candles out, left 12 flickering, and headed to the shower before the powerless water got below freezing.

I paused before rounding the corner, “Please take a little time while I’m showering to formulate a plan and decide how we want to move forward with so little.” I didn’t look at her, but felt sure she was nodding lovingly.

As I showered, I prayed, “Dear Lord, thank you for such a good run. Thank you for so many years of abundance and light and nourishment. I’m sorry I didn’t spend more time learning how to survive in the wilderness. I should’ve been studying survival techniques instead of watching Matt Steffanina’s dance tutorials. I should’ve been stocking up on canned beans instead of beer. Lord? Can all that beer sustain us through the dark days? Or should I believe the saying, ‘man cannot live on beer alone?’ What’s that? Did You say something about bread? Lord, I can’t hear You through all the chatter in my brain—and with this cold water pelting me. Just please know that I trust You to get us through this. They say if you’re going through hell, to keep going—and that’s what I plan to do. What’s that? Did You say something? Lord, is that You? Are You a lady?!”

Then I realized I was hearing Joanna Gaines’ voice.

The TV was on. HOW WAS THE TV ON WITHOUT ELECTRICITY? Was this actually the end times? Holy moly, I had to get some clothes on. I couldn’t meet God like this.

I dressed quickly and hurried to find Jocelyn, who was standing behind the couch, folding towels and watching Fixer Upper.

I put my hands out to the side and did a little head whip like, “What’s going on?”

“Power’s back on,” she said, barely looking away from the most perfect industrial farmhouse I’d ever laid my eyes on. “Let’s go out for lunch after I fold these.”

I took a second to feel the rush of relief. Oh, sweet deliverance, thou art mine.

“OK. Let’s run in Costco, too. I want to get some beans.”
“Sure.”
“And batteries.”
“Yep.”
“And an industrial-sized bag of tealight candles.”
“Sounds … uh, good.”
“And let’s swing by Half Priced Books. They’ve got a section on survival.”

She nodded slowly—probably taking time to appreciate how thoughtful and proactive I was, and said, “Ooookie-dokie.”

Later, when we were driving, I silently prayed, “Lord, thank You for knowing I am not fit for calamity. And please don’t be upset that Jocelyn ran at the first hint of catastrophe, she just … what’s that, Lord? Did You say something about exercise? These potholes are loud, sorry. Anyway, next time we lose everything, I’ll do better. I’ll be ready. I’d prefer it if You just spared me the whole ordeal, and maybe let more competent folks lose their home, but if You see fit to taketh away, I’ll make You proud. I won’t be able to make You coffee, but I’ll make You proud! What’s that, Lord? Did you say something about a day job? I can’t hear You when I’m laughing at my own funny jokes. Anyway, I do love You—Amen.”

 

Let’s link up on Facebook and Twitter!

I Still Talk To Fruit

We’ve been down this road. I previously confessed my tendency to consider the feelings of inanimate objects. There was no fallout from that disclosure, and I have no regrets for divulging what weighs on my heart.

I Still Talk To Fruit

Since that post, things haven’t necessarily escalated, but this tendency hasn’t diminished, either. Does this make me a little crazy—or just irresistibly caring? I’ll let you decide.

I won’t leave for work in the morning without opening all the shutters in the whole house. Is it because I love the morning sun pouring into the space I love? Kiiiiinda. Is it because, as we’ve discussed, I’m a morning person and the idea of a new day, with new opportunities, starts coming to life as soon as I welcome in the new day’s rays? Sorrrrta.

Is it that I feel like the house wants to see outside?

It is.

I feel the house exhale a satisfied “ahhh” as I begin opening the shutters—and I feel it escalate with every new window I open.

I sometimes think it’s a shame the A/C unit is outside the house, working its butt off for a home it can’t even see into. That’s why I love opening the laundry room shutters the most. The unit is right outside that window, and I feel like I’m giving him a peek inside the house he’s grinding it out for.

Side Note: I do not think the A/C unit says, “Mornin’ Miss Anna” every time I open those shutters—and whoever told you that (or insinuated it), is a slanderous lying liar trying to tarnish my good name. Seriously, that would be so tilted if I thought Marvin the air conditioner greeted me each day.

umm

Is it really that weird? Asking for a friend.

A lot of my angst around non-human things centers around guilt I feel about the things I choose for my day (a towel, a banana, a shirt), or for a recipe (a bunch of cilantro, a package of mushrooms), or for groceries (lemons, a roasted chicken, avocados). I never want what I choose to cause the ones not chosen any grief.

I Still Talk To Fruit

Not knowing (if things want to get picked or want to stay with their family) is what weighs on me.

Enter paper towels.

Most of you already know, we shop at Costco. One of the things we buy in bulk is paper towels, and they go up in the laundry room utility closet. Every time I go in to get a new roll, I’m momentarily paralyzed by the uncertainty of their desires. Do the rolls want me to choose them, or are their fingers crossed that they get to stay? Is getting chosen like getting OFF death row, or is it like heading TO the electric chair? Is it like being pulled up from the minor league to the big league or is it like being yanked from the big leagues and sent to coach junior high? Do they consider this closet a place to hang with their crew—and do crew things—or do they think they’re stranded on an island, where most of their days are spent waiting to get rescued?

I’ve convinced myself that, like people, they want to do what they were created to do. They want to clean up spills and get your count tops spotless. I have to believe that. For instance, if I was put on this Earth to break dance (and I’m almost positive I was), and I never got to shock and lock, then I’d never fulfill my role and my existence would feel incomplete. Yeah, hanging out with other break dancers would be cool for a while, but what I’d really want is to get out and execute a real smooth b-boy sway into a flawless windmill. Then I’d be whole.

So I tell myself that as soon as I grab a new roll, the other rolls are chanting and cheering it on. “Eddie! Get it boy! Show’em how it’s done son!” Sure, there’d be one hater not chiming in (there’s a hater in every bulk pack of Bounty—trust me on this.)

I usually just grab the roll, take his jacket plastic off and place him on the paper towel holder. I let him know we’ll be spending a couple of weeks together, doing big things. I’m more and more convinced my choosing him made him proud.

I also experience a fair amount of guilt over tossing a product before I’ve used the last bit of it. Liquid soap, bar soap, mustard.

Side Note: That’s not why I drink pickle juice from the jar before I toss it.

I Still Talk To Fruit

Can we just go ahead and agree that the last bit of any product is like, “Wait! Don’t go! No fair!” Here they are, surely knowing they’re in their twilight days, but wholly unprepared for a sudden death—not when they still had life left.

Don’t you feel bad now that I’ve shed light on this unfairness? WELCOME TO MY WORLD.

I’m consistent, if nothing else—I continue to apologize to things I run into. I can’t stop; the apology is out before I know it. And it’s a double sorry, because I’m sorry for the object—and the body part involved. My body is counting on me to execute the most basic function of protecting it. It probably knows that some things—like car wrecks, falling shelves at Kroger and spooning too-hot soup into my mouth—are accidents, with no ill-intent whatsoever. But I’d bet good money my body expects me to protect it from slamming into a door facing I’ve successfully avoided for 10 years. I bet it absolutely does not give me the benefit of the doubt when I smack the hair dryer into my head, when I’ve escaped this errant motion the last 490 days. How could I NOT apologize?

I feel bad for things that annoy me just by doing their job—like our chirping fire alarm. The ONLY other way I’d know about its dead battery could end in my own death. Also doing its job? My alarm clock. I wake up about three minutes before my alarm goes off around 90% of the time. But when it does get to obnoxiously buzz me awake, I feel aggravated and bitter—but then I feel bad because it’s doing the job I actually asked it to do.

And I’m not about to hit snooze. Snoozing holds no appeal for me. All it does is provide a new layer of annoyance. Why would I want to relive the shock of the alarm, over and over, for nine-minute bouts of semi-sleep? I liken it to snacking. I’m not a snacker because I want the real deal—a meal. And when nighttime comes, I want the real deal—sleep. That’s probably why I’m not a napper either. I want the whole shebang.

Side Note: Obviously I snack sometimes and nap on occasion. Please—I’m not THAT weird.

I Still Talk To Fruit

Maybe I’m a little weird; whatever.

As bad as I feel for all these things, you’d think personality tests results would show extremely high empathy levels, but surprisingly, they do not. I know why. It’s because those online tests are trying to discern if you are empathetic to the human race—which I’m probably not. I’d like to be, but mostly, I have too many issues with humans and their …  ways.

I do, however, have an abundance of potentially misplaced empathy for animals. Not house pets—they’ve got more than enough crazies caring for them. Sorrrrrry, I shouldn’t say things like that; I know I’m the minority and I know it’s now societally acceptable to call a dog your child, to let your hairy canine sleep in your bed, and to let his butt-licking mouth touch your pillow.

I’m talking about wilder animals. I find myself feeling kinda sad for animals who didn’t have a choice in who they’d be in our world. Take crows, for instance. The stiff ones that skulk around restaurant patios with their beaks half open, squawking loudly for a french fry. They’re not pretty, they don’t move gracefully, their voice isn’t melodic and they get a lot of dirty looks—what a crappy life.

That brings us to vultures. How would you like to come into this beautiful world … as a turkey vulture?

I Talk To Fruit

Imagine sort of looking like an eagle, but having an unattractive head that’s a little bit dinosaur’ish. Then imagine that you weren’t designed to hunt; but strictly to be nature’s sanitation service. What a fate.

– Daddy, why am I bald?
– Oh, sweetie—your fleshy head makes being in carcasses more sanitary. You don’t want those pesky intestines sticking to your pretty feathers, now do you?

– Babe, what sounds good for dinner?
– I could really go for some road kill.
– Mmm, raccoon innards—that’s what up. You plan the best dates!

– Aye Dude, what’chu you wanna do today?
– Oh I don’t know, maybe just sit on this telephone pole, look down menacingly at all these passers-by and wait for some juicy roadkill to waft up into our prehistoric nostrils?
– A’ight, cool.

– Hey Dad, I’m heading out with the crew—I’ll see ya later.
– Son, you’re not a crew, you’re a kettle. A crew works at a construction site, or is in charge of flying a plane. When you hang with your kind, you’re a kettle. Remember that.

Side Note: Vultures can sniff out a dead critter from a mile away. That’s how I feel about some of my coworkers feet. But that’s another story.

Another Side Note: Speaking of being born this way. I feel so bad for vegan vultures.
– Mom, what’s for dinner?

Probably possum.
MOTHER, I’m vegan!
Fine, rattle snake?
Mom!  
Well Heavens, can you have armadillo?
Mom! I can have leaves, sticks and dirt that’s never had an animal walk on it. That’s it.
Can you have frogs?
-<flies away really hard>

Yet Another Side Note While We’re On The Topic: Wanna know which non-human I don’t feel especially sorry for? Siri.

She’s extremely helpful, and I often wonder how I survived without her—but she also makes me shake my fist at the sky. Why is it that she always says “left” and “right” EXCEPT when I need it most—when I’m just getting started out of a parking lot. “Go northwest on Mulberry.” NORTHWEST? Sooo, up and sideways? Come ON, Siri. Are you here to help me or hurt me?

She’s also super repetitive and naggy—UNTIL I need it most. “In 2 miles, turn right on Bishop Hills Drive. In 1.5 miles, turn right on Bishop Hills Drive. In 1 mile, turn right on Bishop Hills Drive. In half a mile, turn right on Bishop Hills Drive.” Then when I’m going through the light, “Turn right on to Bishop Hills Drive.” That’s too late, Siri Michelle Gellar!

And how about her favorite non-directive, “Proceed to the route.” I’d love to … IF I KNEW THE ROUTE!

Oh well, she makes us laugh though. Recently, she kept calling Chicon Street “Chicken Street” and it got funnier every. single. time.”Continue on Chicken Street. Arrived at destination—1171 Chicken Street.”

Go home Siri, you’re drunk.

I’d like to say that this time next year, I won’t be attaching human emotions to inanimate objects, but I think we both know that’s unlikely. I, in fact, just had a little pep talk with our shy peonies. It was less of a pep talk and more of a guilt trip. We got them from my Grandma’s garden after she passed away, and although they’re further along than last year, they’re not really rep’ing her the way I’d like (and the way I know my Grandma would like!) I got down real close to the new, but flowerless growth, and used the sandwich method … told them I was excited for what they would become (then slid in how disappointed Grandma would be if they didn’t step up to the plate) then said I knew they’d come through with flying colors.

I’ll let y’all know if they respond the way the sago palms did.

I Still Talk To Fruit

Do you talk to fruit?

Let’s link up on Facebook and Twitter!

Love Thyself

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

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

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

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

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

You know it and I know it.

deserve

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

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

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

loveyourself6

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

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

loveyourself5

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

love thy self 9

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

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

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

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

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

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

love thy self 7

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

love thy self 6

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

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

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

Monkey see; monkey do. Please.

Monkey see; monkey do. Please.

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

love thy self 5

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

Ilove thy self 4

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

love thy self 11

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

love thy self 12

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

love thy self 13

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

love thy self 14

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

love thy self 15

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

love thy self 16

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

love thy self 3

This isn’t even 1% true.

love thy self 2

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

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

love thy self 1

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

becareful

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

bekind

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

affair

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

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

Gross.

gag

happiness

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

loveyourself-beach

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

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

balance

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

Let’s link up on Facebook and Twitter!

She Made Me Do It

I’m a relatively private person, but have decided it’s time to share some text exchanges between me and a certain someone I’ve known—and disliked—for years.

My disdain for her centers around the unequivocal thoughtlessness at play—but her controlling, bullying ways are equally problematic.

She’s a phenomenal fun-ruiner, and a perpetually unwanted third wheel. She loves weekends and traveling—and bullishly inserts herself where, and when, she’s least wanted … and even knows she’s not wanted.

Doesn’t stop her. Doesn’t deter her one iota.

She’s hateful, catty and short-fused—demanding we get fast food, making me cry over an All-State commercial, planting seeds of doubt in my mind, pressing me to think super-mean (not-fit-for-repeating) things about people I encounter throughout the day.

Her name is Flo.

Some call her Aunt Flo. Some call her Cousin Red. Gross. She’s just Flo to me—or sometimes #$%&*@! Flo.

It’s time I put her reprehensible conduct on blast.

text1

She even ADMITS to premeditated timing. Can you imagine being so ill-thought of and still coming around again and again and again?

text22

Gee, thanks for the heads-up. Some months I feel her all around me—know she’s made her displeasing descent—but have no proof, because she’s yet to show her dumb, stupid face.

text3

scully2

Great. Thanks. I love running into door facings, dropping things, and feeling generally swimmy in the head. You’re a real treat, Flo.

text4

text25

So she’s Flo Angelou now? Ugh. Silver lining? She’s actually here, which means the clock has started and she’ll be gone soon. Ish.

text7

For reasons unknown, this heifer LOVES McDonalds. Is it the grease? The salt? I’ve basically accepted that when she’s here, I’ll be in a McDonald’s drive-thru at some point—hating myself and loving life, all at once.

eatingcontest

text8

crybaby1

Oh my gosh—they look so sad! They just sit there kinda humped over and dejected-looking, usually with their back to the camera. Why? Why are they so sad? Why have they turned away? WWHHHYYYY????!

text9

As if I needed any extra help being annoyed by people and their noises. She will NOT let me ignore anything. I try to buckle down and forge ahead, and she’s just there, nudging me, poking me, “Listen. I know you hear him chewing. I know you do. It will make you feel better if you get annoyed. There you go—feel that undiluted agitation? That’a girl.”

text10

text11

Uncommon sleepiness, abnormal hunger and astronomical agitation. Every month. Of every year. For decades. What’s not to love?

text6

rihanna

Grrrrr. Where did you go?? You were gone! ANSWER ME!

text26

Women + Ibuprofen = BFFs 4ever.

text17

text18

bbad

text12

text13

butch-jones-is-pissed

Ohhh, Bubba and I are mad-mad-mad. How you gon’ roll up in here and wreak havoc and then stay extra days when I have fun plans?

text19

Cut to me with orange fingers, crumbs down my shirt and an empty bag of Takis—looking lost in a haze of regret.

text20

The name-calling is especially pleasant; but at least she’s gone and I can get back to a normal routine—and normal behavior—for 28 days.

text16

britcry5

No problem, Florence. Come on back. Disrupt everything I do, boss me around and call me names. Nothing would please me more than getting another day with your rotten face.

Several years ago, one of my guy-friends said it was weird to him that girls faced her every single month, of every year—but hadn’t figured out how to deal with her. As in surely at some point, we just go, “Oh, hey, ‘sup old friend—make yourself at home!”

dexter

This was my response.

Sorry. Flo made me do it.

Let’s link up on Facebook and Twitter!

 

Safety Is No Accident

Some time ago, we unwrapped the many ways I felt blessed to still be alive—despite my parents’ lackluster effort on that front. Yes, they loved us and fed us and didn’t allow us to drink arsenic, but I think we can all agree there was some iffy judgment on their parts when it came to trampolines, nunchucks and furnace safety.

floorfurnace

We had a floor furnace similar to this. We three kids would sit around the firey-hot metal grates to warm up. It was so hot that if you stood on it, grate lines would melt into the soles of your shoes. So let me repeat, we’d sit around it in our non-flame retardant pajamas to get warm. Didn’t my parents ever worry that “warming up” would escalate into “catching fire?”

furnacefire

My imagination is overly vivid at times, but this is actually how I remember it.

Side Note: When the blazing fire pilot light would go out, I’d watch—in absolute horror—as my dad descended into the bowels of hell to re-ignite it. I was forever certain he would get blown up, and we’d be left with no Daddy and no heat.

As an adult, I can get around my parents “letting some things go,” but it’s harder to understand why our very schools and city parks were so negligent.

Times have changed in a major way. What use to pass muster—playgrounds, p.e. activities, safety measures—is somewhat mind-blowing.

Shall we head down that road?

Remember these scary-go-rounds?

merrygo

If not, let me tell you how these worked. A few kids would hop on, while a few other kids grabbed a led-poisoned pole, and ran in a circle until they reached top speeds. Once maximum speeds were attained, the runners could do one of two things.

They could either let go and watch the ensuing melee, or they could hoist themselves up to enjoy the ride. Unfortunately, a third option sometimes presented itself. Once in a while, a runner wouldn’t be able to let go, and he’d end up losing his footing and getting drug through gravel—and if he was extremely unlucky, a limb or two would get stuck under the death trap.

As for the gullible crew riding the giant sit-n-spin—well, their outcomes also ran the gamut. Generally, one or more kids would lose their grip and fly off (and I mean FLY.) The ones who were able to successfully battle inertia were either throwing up or getting pelted with other kids’ saliva and tears.

Thanks City.

Remember climbing ropes in p.e. class?

ropes

Well aren’t those images just adorable. A spotter? A mat? Assistance knots? A harness? Not one depiction in these lying images rings a bell in my mind.

I remember hardwood floors, a 40-foot rope and a lot of yelling. I do not remember being told what to do if I did made it to the top of the building to ring the bell. I do not remember any warnings about the ensuing rope burn caused by descending it like a fire pole. I do remember logging the memory in the category, “The moment I realized my childhood was over.”

Does this red rubber ball bring back memories? This was the kind of weapon we used in dodge ball.

dodge6

Cut to today’s cozy foam ones. You can pinch off pieces of these. The red rubber ones pinched off pieces of you.

Are you kidding me? I'd use that for a pillow.

Are you kidding me? I’d use that for a pillow.

This is how the boys looked when they took aim at you. In all fairness, it’s how I looked, too. I flat-out loved dodge ball and lived for days we got to play.

dodgeballthrowing

I’m not even sure it’s played in school anymore. If it is, I’d bet the farm the rules have changed. I’m quite certain there’s a heavy penalty for throwing today’s soft foam balls at an opponent’s face. You know what happened when you hit someone in the face when I was young?

They were out.

metalslide3

Some of you may be looking at this like it’s a photoshopped joke—saying, “I’ve never seen a slide that’s not red or yellow chunky plastic.”

When I was young, the slides did one thing all day—roasted themselves in the baking hot sun.

They were dangerously hot. They were also not regularly inspected. Some of them would have a split in the hand rails, which meant that if you were a nervous newbie—who slid down holding the sides—you could very easily end up with a laceration between your thumb and forefinger.

Yeah, too bad for you—they were painted with a color called “Tetanus Grey.”

You also had a pretty big decision to make, once at the top—and once you verified the surface temps of 150. If you pulled your knees up to your chin—to keep your calves and hammies from suffering second degree burns—you would descend at rates a 4th grader can’t successfully negotiate. Your landing would range from heroic, to one where your friends assessed your dislocated bone situation.

These teeter-totters—or see-saws, depending on where you grew up—look fairly harmless, right?

teetertotter

Well they are, if two well-intentioned, equally weighted kids play on them. Anything short of that left one or more participants nursing an injury. We used to add people to one end, if the other end had a “sturdy” occupant. I’m sure that would be grounds for juvie these days.

“She, she, she said she needed to add at least a first grader to her end so our weight would be even! She basically called me fat! Suspend her!”

Back then, evening out the ends was just basic street smarts. No harm, no foul.

We’d ride up and down forever—talking and laughing. These were good times with good teeter-totter friends. There were also some bad times, with bad teeter-totter friends-turned-foes.

About the meanest thing you could do to a partner was get to the bottom and jump off. It would send the high person crashing dramatically to the ground.

Juvie for that, too? Please. It wasn’t even worth mentioning to a parent, much less a teacher. It would be like saying, “Sara said she doesn’t like my shirt!” … “Yeah? And? Get back to your desk, you little snitch.”

scooter

Anyone remember these little gems? Was there anything better on God’s green earth than scooter-relay day?

Yes. Three things.

  1. Days when you didn’t get your baby fingers run over by Angie Brown’s scooter.
  2. Days when you didn’t get overzealous in your attempt to swim your arms faster, faster, faster—and catapult yourself chin-first into the germ-laden gym floor.
  3. Days when you didn’t get kicked in the teeth by Rodney Wheeless, who always took wide and wild left turns.

scooterracescooter2

How about tetherball? We spent countless hours on this fun, yet ill-conceived game. The chances of it going well were next to nil. You’d literally spike the ball, with all your might, directly toward your close opponent. Yes, the intent was to pass her head and wrap the ball around the pole—but more times than not, her timing had yet to develop, and she’d end up getting tattooed with the unnaturally hard tetherball.

tether_ball

Did any school officials ever consider that some little nugget might actually get the rope wrapped around his nugget head and choke to death? Doubtful.

Did you ever play on these guys? We did “cherry drops” from them.

monkeybars

We’d hang from our knees and start a swinging motion. We’d work back and forth until we were swinging high enough to let go and stick our landing. There was a 50% chance we’d land on our feet. There was a 100% chance our bars weren’t on a grassy playground—but on a concrete floor in the gym.

We were never once told to stop doing cherry drops.

grrr

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I’m so thankful I grew up when I did. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Despite the “dangers” and “life-threatening situations” and “abject negligence,” I feel like one of the blessed ones.

I love that back then, we were allowed to play, explore and simply figure things out. I also love that it was permissible to nail people in the face with red rubber balls. I could use more of that.

Let’s link up on Facebook and Twitter!

 

Girl Fight

I am neither proud nor ashamed to tell you that I almost got my ass kicked at Chick fil-A last week.

I’d made, what was supposed to be, a quick Target run at lunch—but 45 minutes and $100 later (I’d gone in for a green Sharpie), I needed to grab a bite and get back to work. For the most part, I can take or leave Chick fil-A, but considering how close it was, and how their spicy chicken sandwich is actually kinda spicy, I headed that way.

I joined the drive-through line, and that’s where the trouble began. It’s one of those poorly planned lots, where the drive-through line prohibits the cars parked there, to exit easily. If drivers aren’t consistently aware of people needing to pull out, it can get dicey.

It got dicey.

But not for the reasons it should have. There I was, sitting contentedly in line, listening to Jason DeRulo, and looking forward to some unhealthy, spicy goodness—when I spotted a car, in one of the bad slots, with its reverse lights on. I saw their intent and delighted in patiently awaiting their exit—happy to make it simple and undramatic for them. I was in a cocoon of happy and wanted to spread good cheer. They were sitting in their car, reverse lights on, waiting on the car in front of me to move up in the line so they could squeeze through us.

CFA lot0

Just as that was about to happen, a new car pulled up to the right of me and aggressively angled in at my front, right bumper—as if to say, “That spot is MINE”—to which I thought aloud in my car, “What are you DOING? I don’t want that spot and you need to let her out before you can take over, you greedy, impatient nit-wit.”

Then, she inched even CLOSER to me, like centimeters from my car. In hindsight, I wish my car had a nice, friendly warning horn, but like every other car on the planet, it only has the loud, yelling kind. Regardless, I had no other recourse, so I honked.

Side Note: If horns could speak, mine would have said, “Hey pretty lady, that spot is ALL yours, but you’re about to get hit, because she’s backing up—so save yourself!”

CFA lot1

In much the same way she maneuvered her car in for her anticipated lunch, things took a sharp left turn.

She swiveled her head to me and threw her hands up—while her mouth made reptilian yelling motions. Because I was still on a Target high, and within minutes of my sandwich, I stayed calm and pointed to the car wanting to come out—and made a motion that I thought said, A: I come in peace. B: In your haste to dine, you must not have seen the Corolla’s reverse lights.

It was instantly apparent that she mistook my friendly warning as something far more hostile, because her neck veins and eyebrows joined her mouth in the yelling motions. Then she rolled down her window to, I assumed, tell me a thing or two. I Penelope’d her and rolled mine down faster.

Side Note: An angry confrontation with a Looney Toon—in a fast food parking lot—is not my idea of a good time, but I felt it was important to meet her aggressiveness step for step. I’ve also never been afraid to do a little time.

She barked out something about me honking and demanded to know what my problem was. I refrained from telling her my only problem was Chick fil-A’s decision to sell waffle fries instead of real ones. I calmly said I was trying to give her a heads-up about the car that was about to back in to her—and pointed out that they were still waiting to get on with their day.

She started to yell something else, then stopped and looked towards the Chick fil-A door. I turned to look the same direction and was met by the visual of Big Bubba, waddling out the door and also demanding to know what the funk I was honking at.

Side Note: 2 things. Funk is replacing its real-deal cousin in this story. Also, these two clowns probably have y’all thinking I laid on the horn like an instigator, and kept at it. No. It was the quickest beep a car can execute.

CFA lot2

Dang, was my quick horn that antagonistic? You’d have thought I blew a bullhorn in their ears.

Because I have good manners and cockpit-level skills, I rolled down my window for my discussion with Big Bubba—while simultaneously rolling up my window to shut out his little lady. I’ve watched enough crime shows to know not to leave an opening for a sneak attack by a woman who’s hangry. He stayed on the Chick fil-A entrance step, so he was far enough away from me that I had no fear of getting snatched out of my car by my hair—like I have no doubt he wanted to do.

So again, he insisted on knowing what the funk I was honking at—with animated arms. I said, “Are you being serious?” I asked this in reference to the surprising escalation of anger over something so inconsequential.

He said, “You damn right I’m serious! What the funk are you honking at my wife for?!”

I said, “First of all, it’s ‘you’re’ damn right, not ‘you’ damn right, and you need to chill out a degree or two. Secondly, I was only trying to let her know that Corolla was about to back into her. That was clearly not welcome—my bad—you can go rejoin your chicken nuggets.”

“Well don’t funking honk at her again. You need to move the funk on. Get funking moving.”

It actually was my turn to inch up, so I did, and said, “Chivalry really isn’t dead. You should be so proud.”

He said, “Oh I am! I am funking proud!”

At that point, I’d moved up probably two car lengths and I was two cars away from actually getting to place my order. Then I saw wifey walking toward me. I rolled down the window and she said, “WHY you were honking at me, and why you were flailing your arms like this and why you weren’t getting out of the way?” (She started doing some kind of wild-arm dance that was wholly unflattering and not at all representative of my simple pointing motion.)

“That doesn’t look like anything I’ve ever done with my arms … and out of the way? Where did you want me to go?! I already told you, I honked to let you know that car was about to back into you—it wasn’t appreciated—noted. Move on and get back to your hot date with that knight in shining armor.”

“Yeah, you move on. And funk you. And GOD BLESS!

She said it, y’all. She really said God Bless. It’s like for a fraction of a second, as she was wheeling around, she spied the Chick fil-A sign and wished to remain in good standing.

I laughed and said, “Classy. You and your husband are a delight.”

She flipped me the bird and stomped in. I’m sure they had a super romantic lunch.

The truth is, I have absolutely zero doubt that if I hadn’t been in my car, she’d have wanted to actually fight. Like, with fists. Or hair-pulling. Whatever it is that people who get mad enough to fight do. I just don’t get that level of mad.

Side Note: Years ago, Jocelyn, my sister, my sister-in-law and I took a boxing class. We mostly did it for exercise, but we also thought it was kind of cool to do something different from aerobics or kick-boxing. We learned all kinds of techniques and punching series—and got in decent shape.

One night at class, the instructor talked to me about competing. I wanted to hit the floor laughing. I knew I was pretty good at the technical stuff and picked things up quickly, but compete? As in, go into a ring and try to win a fight with another living person? No way, no how—I didn’t have the gene required to want to hurt someone or beat them, just for the sake of fitness. I just didn’t.

But someone did—my sister-in-law. We got to the point in class where it was time to spar. He paired us up and told us to get gloved. We were spread out around the mat and told we’d spar for three minutes. I was thinking, “Well this should be fun—dancing around, avoiding contact for 180 seconds.”

The bell rang and we bobbed around for no more than four seconds, before she punched me square in my mouth. Hard.

emoji

Here is my point, I’m probably never going to want to physically fight someone. I think I could hold my own in a lot of circumstances, but it’s just comical to even think about it. But this Chick fil-A dope wanted to fight me over a horn! A horn that was intended for good!

I got back to work and was a little amped up. One of my co-workers was like, “Good lunch?” I said, “Yeah, considering I just avoided a beat down.”

I’ll now take this time to answer some FAQs that I’ve conjured up in my head.

Q: You know that could have gone terribly wrong, right?
A: I do.

Q: You know people get shot over stupid stuff like this, right?
A: I do.

Q: You know it makes people 10x madder when you greet their anger calmly—and with jokes, right?
A: I do.

Q: You know a lot of people actually love waffle fries, right?
A: I do.

The whole scene lasted about a minute and a half, and it ended with all of us getting our sought-after lunch. So all-in-all, it wasn’t such a bad outing.

chickfila

If either of you whiners are reading this, don’t bother looking for me. I now live in a remote corner of Alaska, where I have become a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I live near my uncles—Big Paulie, Fat Tony and Joe the Ice-Man Barber.

Honk-honk.

Let’s link up on Facebook and Twitter!

Dear Diary, I Get Around

Last week I had a conversation with a co-worker about why some people seem to have no self-awareness. We questioned why some people don’t pick up on social cues; why they can’t tell when they’ve intruded on a conversation; why they don’t read the faces of those who are negatively receiving the words they’re delivering. We puzzled over some people’s inability to read the unfavorable reactions of others.

But also not funny.

But also not funny.

We both confessed to hoping our self-awareness was on point and felt like—as a rule—it was. We ended the conversation feeling pretty darn good about our ability to read social cues and self-regulate.

My self-awareness confidence took a mighty blow later that night when—for reasons I can’t remember—I peeked into the first journal I ever owned and saw something wholly mortifying.

Unbeknownst to me, I was a first-rate floozy.

Let’s unpack these shameful years.

diary

This was my first diary, and it was given to me by my sister. Many months ago, we discussed a few of the entries in this journal, related to the rigorous crush I had on one of my middle school teachers, Coach McCahon.

That was but the tip of the iceberg.

diary1

You’ll see that this is the first of many professions of love. Apparently, I had a lot of it to give as a kid. Also, please note—I am nine. This will be an important detail as we move along.

diary2

I wonder what good things happened to me? Was it the fact that we had company? That my autograph was coming along? Time will tell.

I’m not sure what’s more shocking—that I felt Groundhog Day was worth two mentions or that I love a boy “very much” when I’m still drinking milk with my supper.

diary4

Here we are. And because this simply cannot be said enough—I’M NINE. Okay, I kind of understand how I could think I love him; but it’s shocking to me that I’m eager to kiss him. It’s more shocking that I want it to be “for a long time.” It’s jaw-dropping that I’m going to take the bull by the horns, when I don’t even have enough years under my belt to spell lips correctly.

diary5

Great. I’m ready for marriage. I’m simple-minded enough to think a definition of spring is warranted, yet I’m contemplating the rightness of nuptials and monogamy.

diary6

Still hoping he pops the question. I wonder where I thought it would happen? I have vivid memories of playing inside the big tractor tires on our elementary playground with him—I bet that’s where I hoped he’d drop to one scabbed knee. Oh, and if the suspension is killing you, I did get Mrs. DeShields—so my appalling punctuation was her gift that year.

diary7

WHAT?! What the hell is, “well, you know?!” No, I don’t know! WHERE ARE MY PARENTS?! So again, I think it’s worth pointing out—I’m ready to get serious, but I only manage to get the first and last letters right.

Side Note: I actually remember writing this. I was listening to the Top 9 at 9 on KQTY. I hate to tell you this, but it was when, back-to-back, they played Endless Love by Lionel Richie and Feels So Right by Alabama. This is not cute, y’all—it’s capital T Troubling.

diary8

Still love Billy. Still can’t spell for shit.

Side Note: This kind of enduring love shouldn’t be plausible when I’m young enough to still enjoy puppet shows.

diary9

Hmm, wonder when this happened—a new dude. You will see that this is the beginning of my downward spiral into tramp-ville. I’m 10 now—apparently approaching womanhood—and want some skating rink lip-locking.

Side Note: I remember this entry too, and he was there. We couple-skated to Hard To Say I’m Sorry by Chicago, and the song was especially meaningful to me because, while Brandon was a “hunk and a half,” I felt like I owed him an apology for coveting his speed skates.

diary10

More love in the air. I love God and I love a new boy, Kevin. I found my watch a week later in a pair of shoes—so I’m sure I double-loved God that day, but just didn’t get it documented.

diary11

Still love Kevin.

diary12

I’m going with Daxton, but I’m not sensing much love. Maybe it’s because I’m in love with a man 18 years my senior. No big deal. Oh, and I’m still struggling with basic spelling.

dairy13

I guess Coach McCahon was a gateway drug to Paul McCartney. Let’s see, I was 11 and he was, what, 70? Seems natural that I would love him and write about him in my diary, along with my grades, my Christmas gifts and an unforgivable spelling of the complicated word, “for.”

Side Note: The super clever initials are, Anna Christie BFFs … I love Paul McCartney (because one mention wasn’t enough) … I love Daxton Patterson (guess I did love him after all) … I love Scott McCahon (so, two men whose combined age was approximately 100) … I love my family … and Heaven only knows what BMOA stands for. I shutter to think.

diary14

And we’re back. Yes, these entries are in order.

diary15

In case anyone forgot.

diary16

Whoa. Daxton is out of the rotation.

diary17

Enter: Donny Griffin. Sure doesn’t seem like I’m very judicious with my love. If I spent half as much time on learning to spell as I did on acknowledging my love for anyone with a Y chromosome, we’d be in good shape.

diary18

There’s a lot going on here. Apparently I enjoyed learning about Anne Frank. I also worried a lot about our income tax return. I thought my TV debut—for something related to basketball and a telethon—would catapult me to stardom. I still loved Coach McCahon, and his body—despite his snotty behavior—but it wasn’t reciprocal. Spelling is still out of my wheelhouse.

diary19

Spoiler alert: I still love Coach McCahon, and Christi and I did not remain best friends for all of eternity, as I predicted—but hey, my grades were on point and I spelled some words right.

diary20

So much love to be had here. I’m still in love with a fully grown man, and Donnie (a new Donnie) is romantic. HOW? How is a 12-year old romantic? I have to know. Can someone remind me what pre-teens do to be romantic? Seems as if all that romance is fleeting, since I’m still with Donny G, but would also be down for some Donnie W, or Scott or Mike lovin’ on the side. Well, at least I also love my family and God—so some morsel of me remains honorable.

diary21

Sheesh, what’s with this income tax return? And why was I on TV again? I didn’t profess any love in this entry, but I can tell you that I wholeheartedly loved DQ. And it’s almost worrisome that I was so attached to my diary that I thought it could join me in prayer.

diary22

A new player: Mike Hammonds. I see no mention of love, so I must be taking things slow this time around.

diary23

Aww, poor Mike—I still don’t love him. I guess I’m just passing time until Coach McCahon and his “good body” get with the program.

diary24

I loved IZODS. I wonder if that’s why I was so obsessed with our income tax return?

diary25

I love God. I also love Coach McCahon, Mike Hammonds (although I question my sincerity on this one), God again, my family—and as a bonus, the w/w/w (whole wide world). That’s you—you’re welcome.

diary26

No love here, but I include it to tell you that my friends and I tried out for the talent show by dancing a choreographed number to MJ’s Billie Jean. On the opening beat, our backs were to the judges—as we stood with our feet shoulder-width apart—and one by one, we spun around and pointed out across the auditorium dramatically. We wore white tennis shorts, IZODs and Gilligan hats. I can’t make this up—nor would I want to.

Side Note: We didn’t make it.

diary29

I was single? How did I survive? Oh I know—on the “total” love I had for Scott Frederic.

diary30

Really diggin’ this Scott fellow. Let’s not allow the misspelling of his name to negate the obvious depths of my love.

diary31

But for now, Layne Moffitt will do.

diary32

I’m now going with Steven Moore, but love Ricky Schroder. Where’d Layne go? That was fast. I can say with confidence that I was more devoted to The Ricker than Steven, as I had approximately 104 pictures of him wallpapering my bedroom.

diary33

My love for Brad (yes, this is a new guy) is making me question my feelings for Steven.

dairy34

Annnd I’m back with Daxton. Enough time has passed that we’re now making out at dances. The first time around, we probably just played in the sandbox.

diary35

Oh hey, Travis. When did you get here? Have you met, Ricky?

diary36

I think kids who call people and chomp ice as their prank are totally mature enough to juggle a dozen loves in a few years.

I hope my diary was a way for me to work out all this angst and longing in a safe place—and that away from this time of reflection each night, I was out having fun and not drooling nonstop over these dudes. I have exponentially more memories of friends and laughter, than yearning and solitude, so I guess it was just an outlet I enjoyed. I must have, because I have stacks of journals from most of my life.

You should look back at your old stuff. Hopefully you’ll get some good news about your past ways, and not be confronted by the surprise news that the journal of your youth was actually a little black book housing enough names to field a pee wee football team.

The bad news? I only shared a fraction of the journal—and professions of love. The good news? Spelling is no longer my undoing.

Please join me 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 🙂