Dear Friends and Family, I Apologize For My Crap Cooking

1795567_724115684753_1794814265_nYou guys remember last week I was whining and bitching about how hardly anyone ate my appetizers, which I stated on more than one occasion I would be making and bringing to put in my homemade football stadium appetizer tray that all the kiddies (and my husband) had requested? And after Christmas I was heartbroken because I baked cupcakes and only two of them were eaten, the rest sent with the grandparents to BINGO later in the week to give away to strangers?

…and you remember that time we had everyone over to our house to celebrate my daughter’s birthday and no one touched any of my pasta dishes I had spent about nine hours preparing by hand?

Or what about the time that my mom’s family had me prepare this big Mother’s Day meal for everyone, only for my cousins to bring in their own fucking food? Of course I use the phrase “their own fucking food” pretty loosely. They brought in Spaghetti-O’s and donuts.

Well, we’ve had another incident. I didn’t think there was going to be one, I mean I didn’t realize – after all of that – that the people hated my cooking so much. I mean to say that I didn’t accept it. Anyone else would have caught on a long time ago, but you know I’m a Stay At Home Mom. We don’t have much intelligence to work with (or so these people that don’t eat my cooking often tell me, or imply).

To the incident. In just about a month we’re going on a mandatory three-week vacation to Texas (mandatory because it’s to take my daughter to visit her biological father), so I’m trying to start weeding out some of the food items in the house. It’s also getting close to spring cleaning time, so when I saw I had a couple boxes of lasagna noodles, a gaggle of miscellaneous cheese, and a shit-ton of vegetables, I figured: why not, I’ll ask my mother-in-law to make some sauce and I’ll make everyone a nice, vegetarian lasagna.

Seemed nice enough, right?

We got there yesterday and I prepared the lasagna. It took about two hours to get together. Chopping, mixing, layering… Then I put it in the refrigerator and watched the rest of the Bulls game with my husband, while everyone took the dogs for a walk.

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Flash forward quite a few hours – pass over the dinner, which I thought was tasty; and the watching of figure skating on the Olympics – and we were getting in the car to head home. The minute the car door shut, my ten year old blurted out: “oh my gosh, Mommy… I want to tell you something, but I know it’s going to hurt your feelings. But I am supposed to not keep secrets, so here goes: while we were walking the dogs, Nick’s dad” [… that is my husband’s father she is referring to, my father-in-law …] “asked if you were using their sauce, then he said ‘well, at least that part will be good.'”

My husband looked like a deer in the headlights. I felt like I had been socked in the gut. That was a pretty mean thing to say, especially in front of little ears. Especially after I stood in their kitchen for two hours putting that crap lasagna together. And to say that the timing is bad is an understatement: this food-related insecurity, and “I can never do anything right by anyone,” has been building and building for some time, now. Remember the examples I started off with? That’s a microcosm of the incidences in which it seems as though everyone in our lives disapproves or dislikes literally everything that I do.

As I felt extremely hurt through the evening, and this morning; and realized how much I try to do these kinds of things so that people will like me, I decided that it’s time to issue everyone a formal letter of apology. And a promise.

Oh, I’m issuing a promise.

Here goes…

Dear Friends and Family,

I apologize for my crap cooking.

That appetizer you asked me to bring, only for it to be thrown in the trash. That time you came over to my house for dinner and drinks, only later admitted that you ate before you came. The fact that you flagrantly say – in front of us, regularly – that Chicagoans can’t cook, that I make certain things wrong, that you just prefer me to bring nothing…

I get it. My cooking sucks. My baking is probably awful, I wouldn’t know – I rarely eat it, for fear I’ll gain too much weight and that’ll give you all another thing to judge me for.

Obviously the people I live with have been having to choke down their three, square meals a day with a smile; all-the-while lamenting their unfortunate positions of having to swallow such tripe in the first place.

Quite clearly I don’t have taste buds either, because of the things I make that I do eat, I’ve always thought it tasted perfectly fine.

But, like I said: I get it. Just as I cannot get the majority of you to read my writing, I can’t get you to eat my deviled eggs or my caprese salads. When I suggested starting a cottage bakery, under the California Cottage Goods law, I saw you all cringe. Every, single one of you. I heard the pause as you said “…yeeah…” like you did when I asked if you read my blog. Or the surprised look on your faces when you hear I’ve written and published three books.

I get it so much that from now on, when you ask me to bring something I just won’t. Nope, I won’t be bringing an appetizer, or even a bag of potato chips. Nor a dessert. None of you will be invited into my home for meals anymore, either. You may be invited, but meals will not be served.

You may be thinking we could just order take-out when you grace us with your sophisticated palettes (what with all of your own cooking, most of which is akin to injecting myself with a syringe full of saturated fats and a hefty dose of Ex-Lax); but then I’d have to shell out more money that I’m still trying to recoup from all the thrown-away dishes of get-togethers-past. Nope, not a single cookie, cupcake, trifle, or apple pie will enter your doorway. No BLT bites will be offered, and certainly no BBQ with my homemade Chicago Steak and Chop sauce.

Consider this my whole-hearted apology. I can’t even imagine how insufferable this situation has been for all of you up until this point. Rest assured, you will all never have to tolerate such agony again.

This cook is hanging up her hat. The kitchen is closed.

STFU Fridays: And the award goes to …

GO FUCK YOURSELF!!

The other night we watched this movie called Goats. It was actually a pretty good flick, although the mother of the main character was into this New Age free-spirit thing. She did mental cleansing. She’d talk about her inner energy – very annoying.

That said, there was one scene towards the end where she was just screaming out all her anger and hostility and stress. She just screamed and screamed until she felt better.

Imagine me doing that now – standing outside in a hippy, New Age outfit. Screaming GO FUCK YOURSELF. This is called the B(itch)Log for a reason, right? Guh…

And the award for biggest a-hole of a husband goes to …

Is this the first time I’ve talked shit about my husband on this blog? No. Will this be the last? Probably not.

My husband started carpooling just under a month ago, and since he began the carpool has been … turbulent. By turbulent I mean that at least once a week (of the four days out of the week that they carpool), the woman is late. Her track record at present is extreme lateness 25% of this past 3 weeks. I have the text messages to prove it.

The most egregious has been when she showed up at 7:30 pm (instead of 6) to pick him up a few weeks ago; and, worse, yesterday when she asked him to wait from 6 until a whopping 8 o’clock at night to pick her up.

The reason why this makes him the a-hole, though, is that if it were something we did he would be all over my ass about it. He’d be yelling at me and arguing that I’ve done whatever it was I did wrong. If I had even requested him to go out of his way for me – it would be an offense worthy of divorce. But this bitch gets to just ride. I just don’t understand the complicated nature of being an editor. The demands on her – I should be sympathetic. She really is trying to get into a better situation at work!! He is just trying to save some money!! The Pookies should just accept the fact that he is never home.

Fuck. That. And shut the fuck up, husband. If people are not in a position at work to abide by some basic carpooling etiquette (the biggest one being the “five minutes or find your own ride” rule), then they shouldn’t be in a carpool. I understand wanting to save money, but that is only one part of life. If you cannot manage everything – you have no balance and your life is about as meaningful as the fly that has no reason for existing other than to die 15 minutes after it was born.

My life does not need to be dictated by a complete stranger’s career.

And the award for rude people who thinks their shit smells like daisies goes to …

People that do not have the common courtesy to graciously decline an invitation.

I mentioned in my blog the other day that we are having a birthday party for my dad – a surprise party. I was stressing the other day because quite a few people canceled their RSVPs, but then in the last few days quite a few more have said they are coming. It’s all evening out, but what isn’t evening out are the people that cannot even give the common courtesy of a “thanks for the invite, but we can’t make it.”

My mother in law told me a few weeks ago that common practice now is that if you say nothing it means no. That is SO FUCKING RUDE. What in the hell happened to a basic commonality of respect? We all know you opened the invite. You open mail when you get it, don’t you? You opened the email – Evite and Facebook told me so! Is this to say that your lack of response really means that you think you are too fucking busy, in your all important life, to just hit “reply” and say “sorry, can’t make it?!”

I’ve got news for you: rude, two-bit motherfuckers that think your shit smells like daisies. You ain’t all that. That’s right, I said ain’t! And that you ain’t it!! Get the fuck over yourselves! You are just as important as the rest of us (which, sadly, is pretty unimportant). Shut the fuck up with your pompous arrogance, and send a regret.

And the award for breeding stupidity goes to …

Apple! WHAT THE FUCK, Apple.

Imagine my brain this morning when I opened Safari to see they had launched their new “funness” campaign. That’s right, motherfuckers – you read that right. FUNNESS. As in a lot of fun, only in a stupid fucking word that doesn’t exist.

This reminded me of Gain’s Gooder campaign. Remember that bullshit? I contacted Gain and those fucking assholes responded that their customers liked the word Gooder. I bet they did, motherfuckers. I bet they did. Then the other day I saw a McDonald’s billboard that said their McFish bites are “epic-er.” While I’m sure the diarrhea those nasty little fish fuckers produce is epic, my eyes went crossed when I saw the word and I almost veered off the road.

Shut the fuck up, Apple! Stop making people stupid, advertisers! It is possible to be grammatically correct and still have a catchy ad. Dumbfucks.

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Clearly I’m in a mood today. Everything is pissing me off, we’re going to be watching the Academies on Sunday (which always makes me angry with that gratuitous back-patting), and as I said before – I really am ready to go postal. I gotta’ get out of here. Get some air that isn’t filled with California smog and narcissistic tendencies. For now it’ll be a Valium. And some wine. I’m going to go have a Merlo-lium cocktail and shut the fuck up. You should too.

People I Am Currently Mad At

I’m in the midst of a little pity party. I do this sometimes (probably a lot of times, actually) – my life leaves much to be desired at times and can be pretty humdrum. With a husband I rarely see, a continued lack of interest in anything going on around me, and feeling somewhat purposeless in the grand scheme of things, right now it is especially that way. So like all people that refuse to medicate their way through life, I’m in a bit of a slump at the present time. You faithful blog followers may have even noticed that my posts have been a little mundane as of late.

I realize, though, that it has a lot to do with the fact that I am currently mad at a few people, or possibly groups of people, for various and probably stupid reasons. If you are one of these people, I don’t actually expect you to care – in some cases because you are a part of a group that can best be described ‘narcissistic assholes;’ in the rest because my reasons are pretty stupid and bitchy.

The Catholics

I’m not really mad at the Catholics in the sense that I’m mad at all Catholics, I’m mad at the Catholics that are shoving their abortion and birth control agendas down everyone’s throats. I’m Catholic. My family is Catholic. I don’t believe in abortion as birth control. But I also don’t believe in shoving my beliefs down other people’s throats. If someone else isn’t Catholic and does believe in abortion there is absolutely no reason why I have a right to tell them what to do. I’m what they call a ‘Catholic for Choice’ – for which there are many. I also have enough of an understanding of this fucked up world to know that every circumstance is different. While I don’t believe in abortion as birth control, if I were raped by a complete stranger and wound up pregnant I would be swallowing the RU486 before the doctor could say “take this with food.”

Further, I’m tired of the Catholics shoving their bull shit agendas down everyone’s throats. If someone needs to take birth control – whether it be painful menstrual cramps, hormonal imbalances, irregular menstrual bleeding, prevention of ovarian cancer due to high family risk, or to avoid more fucking ugly and annoying babies from littering the planet with their ugliness, that is their business and their business alone.

Hello Kitty Toaster and the Whole In-law Brain Drain

That’s right, I’m mad at the in-laws. Every single one of them. They don’t care, really – in fact, they are probably just chalking this up to being another reason why I’m a big asshole they wish would get run over by a 6 ton bus. But I’m mad. My anger towards them actually started years ago when my husband and I were still dating and we moved in together. Momma Bear was unhappy about this choice and so suggested to my to-be husband that we would move in together only for him to find out that I was cheating on him. I’d have to say it all went down hill there. I usually don’t spend too much time being mad at those people, though, because they very rarely enter my thoughts. Nonetheless, I’m still mad in a general ‘I’ll probably always harbor some sort of upsettedness’-way because they do continue to affect my life in a negative way, even if it is just in the terribly narcissistic influence they have had on my husband (see opening comment on never seeing him…).

But I’m mad at Hello Kitty Toaster too because I’m resentful that her life is so perfect and mine is so … well, humdrum. My husband says this is jealousy but I maintain it is something different. There are definitely people I am jealous of – most notably my former grad school cohorts that have all now gone on to PhD programs and law school, while I went promptly to a life of cooking, cleaning, and writing things that may never be read. I’m definitely jealous of them because I want what they have. But I don’t want what Hello Kitty Toaster has, per se … I’m just angry that she isn’t aware of how difficult life can be like me. Her canned “I love life and shit rainbows and eat Hello Kitty toast every fucking day” attitude makes me want to puke my guts out, simply because it is so unrealistic and childish.

People for whom I have been supportive and have failed to return said support

I am not supportive of others just to get some sort of return. Not in the least. But when people don’t scratch my back in return time and time again, it starts to beg the question: are these people in this just for their own self-interest? Relationships of any kind – romantic, business, friendship, familial – are all dependent on a give and a take. If people just take-take-take, and never give, then there is something wrong with the picture.

What is wrong with this picture, you ask? For one, writers that I am friends with that I support by purchasing their books, talking about their writing, and sharing their work with others, flat out refusing to purchase my stupid $2.99 book on Kindle; saying publicly that they don’t buy “that kind of stuff.” What kind of stuff is that, oh pompous ones? I get that I can be a pretty rancid cup of tea to choke down at times, and I do say ‘dick’ and ‘balls’ more than any well-respected lady rocking an apron and pearls ever should, but come on. The least these people could do is say they’re going to buy my book and then just never actually buy it. Or say nothing.

Assholes.

Bloggers

I’m not mad at all bloggers, I’m mad at these bloggers that are destroying the Internet with their pornography and mundane bullshit. I don’t mean mundane like my mundane, I mean mundane like posting another goddamned recipe for chipotle mayonnaise. These asshats that post picture blogs of their latest adventure in making fucking macaroni and cheese with a hint of some obscure spice to make it sound “original.” I’m talking about bloggers that give us a rundown of their stupid ass day that involved nothing of interest beyond “I went to work.”

I’m also talking about bloggers that steal each others’ ideas. I know what you are thinking – are there any original ideas anymore? No. No there are not. That said, if I post a blog about people I am currently mad at, it is going to do nothing but piss me off if I see that you ‘liked’ my blog post and then promptly posted the same goddamn fucking post with your own set of people like five minutes later. I’m not talking about similar posts here that happen to go up coincidentally at the same general time frame. I’m talking straight out intellectual property theft. You know what else is going to make me mad? The fact that your stupid fucking blog – which will no doubt be written with much less decorum and proper syntax as mine – will be the one that goes viral. It will be the one that gets Freshly Pressed and all sorts of fanfare; that will get you a fucking book contract whilst I continue to stew in my being mad at the world, writing shit my writers group calls ‘cute.’

My Writers Group

That is actually all writers groups, actually. Quite a few months ago, I took a seminar about getting published (which hasn’t done me one bit of good, I might add) and the leader of the seminar warned emphatically against waisting time in writers groups. I should have listened to that bitch. Boy was she right.

One writers group I am in is run by the flyest lady over 40 I have ever met. No jokes, she is awesome. But the rest of the people are sort of annoying. One laughs at me constantly and makes jokes out of critiquing me; calls me ‘cute.’ One owes me money for setting up her website. One has never actually written comments of critique on my work.

Writers either love you or hate you. They love you if your work genuinely blows. They hate you if your work is genuinely good. Hemingway, Sartre, Steinbeck, Faulkner, and Fitz all said this in different words. Any writer that cannot admit to this is probably one of those asshats that refused to buy my book publicly, or shows up at people’s Oscar Parties to shovel all their food and use a private party as a book promotion event.

All those jerk faces that claim social networking is profitable

It isn’t. I have spent so much time trying to market myself on the Internet. They said “make a Facebook ‘like’ page,” so I did. They said “make a Twitter page and Tweet,” so I did. They said to do Tumblr and blog 3 – 5 times a week, so I joined the masses and did. But for all the time it has taken, it hasn’t profited to such a degree that it made it worth while. And now it’s moving to new venues – Google+, LinkedIN, and this stupid new shit Pinterest. Everyone is migrating over to Pinterest, it seems, and I’m sitting here wondering how this is any different than every other two-bit, cheap shit social network out there. What I really think the problem is with all these sites and why it is not as profitable as the experts claim is that there are just too many people out there trying to do the same, exact thing.

But on the note of social networks and Pinterest, what is the deal with this? Pinterest is the fastest growing website ever in the history of the entire Internet. People don’t seem to get how huge that is, especially for a website that is basically the same thing as 2 or 3 hundred other websites already in existence. All I see on it are women posting outfits they like and fatty recipes that look good but sound horrible. And now Facebook posts are all about Pinterest – here is the project I did because of my Pinterest inspiration; look at the meal I made because of Pinterest! If one more person says “I am Pinterest obsessed” I think I’m going to cancel my Internet altogether and go hide in a cave with nothing but nuts, berries, my books, and a flashlight.

Okay, so maybe I’m just mad at everyone. Maybe I’m just being my usual misanthropic self. Maybe (definitely) I have P.M.S. Or could I be on to something? Is this world full of assholes – with the few good ones trying desperately to wade through the mire and not get slogged down by all the opportunistic bull shit? Really, I think I’m just being my usual self – a bitch against the world.

Pop Quiz: Do I Need Anger Management?

The other day, while waiting in line at the Disney store to make a gift purchase, I realized that for about ten minutes I had been quietly planning in my head every snarky response I would offer to the prescripted questions the cashier had for me.  I was purchasing only a $4.50 toy cell phone, so the possibilities were going to be great.  When she asked how I was doing, I would say “great now that I’m out of that twenty minute line.  Geez, I felt like I was at Disneyland.”  When she asked if I wanted to buy a reusable beach bag, I would respond “for a cell phone?”  And when she asked if I wanted to open an a credit account, I would reply sneeringly “I don’t typically shop here.”  It would be a series of ultimate burns, in my book at least.  And while I genuinely did not plan on saying any of those things to the poor cashier, who was nothing more than a victim of bad corporate policies to suggestively sell and be as annoyingly perky as possible, I nonetheless amused myself while standing in line between a family of four obnoxious children and a man who had clearly eaten one too many dishes smothered in garlic.

While I would not consider my misanthropic tendencies to be in need of anger management, others might view my tendencies to bite with words – even when I don’t actually do it – to be suspect.  Thus, to resolve this issue, I went in search of a online quiz.  You know those quizzes:  anyone that has ever read just about any magazine in popular culture, be it Seventeen, Cosmopolitan, Maxim, or US, knows that the best part is always the quiz.  The “Does [He/She] Like Me?” quiz gives us hope.  The “Would I Look Good With Short Hair?” quiz gives us ideas.  The “Am I In The Right Career?” quiz gives us ideas.  Quizzes are not only fun, but give us an outsider’s view on things in our lives that we might otherwise not be able to get an objective take on.

I did find a few quizzes on anger management, but they weren’t of your garden-variety Vogue magazine-type quizzes.  They were on websites of psychologists, and some court-related sites.  In other words, they were professionals who want to diagnose and alleviate anger issues, rather than justify them.  Snooze.

So, my lovely blog followers, I have designed this quiz to help us all distinguish whether we are quiet misanthropes or menaces to society.  Enjoy!

Do I Need Anger Management?

And if the response is “yes,” I will reply with my fist served neatly between two pieces of bread, with a smackeral of mustard.

Answer the following five questions and award yourself the number of points next to each, given answer.  At the end of the quiz, tally your points and proceed to your professional diagnosis.  Please note, while this quiz is in no way a reflection of an actual, professional opinion, your result should be taken as absolute authority.

Oh, and if the Disney chick could stop saying “I know, right?” to every polite customer comment at the cash register, this could all have been avoided.  Just saying.

(1) When you wake up in the morning, do you typically:

  • (0 points) Shower, sing “It’s a Beautiful Morning,” have a well-rounded breakfast, then stop on your way to work to pick up coffee for your co-workers because your in a great mood!
  • (5 points) Hit the snooze alarm once or twice before showering and getting ready for work.  On the way, you grab a bagel and because they messed up your order you got some free food, which you’ll give to your co-workers because you’re full.
  • (10 points) When your alarm rings, you throw it across the room and sleep for an extra hour.  You skip a shower and breakfast, but still arrive late to work muttering “they’re lucky I showed up anyway.  I am SO not paid enough to deal with this shit.”  Around break time, you steal someone’s lunch from the breakroom – HELLO!  you didn’t have time for breakfast.

(2) You stop at the grocery store to pick up a Lean Cuisine for dinner.  Compared to your one item, an elderly woman with a basket full of enough groceries for two weeks cuts in front of you in line.  You:

  • (0 points) Smile and say “go ahead, ma’am.”  After a moment of watching her struggle to get the items onto the conveyer belt, you offer to help.
  • (5 points) Sigh, mutter loud enough for the woman to hear something about how rude people are these days, and head to the self-check out aisle, even though you can never seem to figure out how to use it.
  • (10 points) Push your way in front of the woman and say “hey lady!  clearly your age has affected your eyesight because I was here first!”

(3) Apologies are for:

  • (0 points) Acknowledging that you are human and mending relationships.
  • (5 points) Making a situation better, even when you know you were in the right.
  • (10 points) Pansies.

(4) Have you ever punched another person?

  • (0 points) No.  I believe violence is not the healthiest way to resolve conflict.
  • (5 points) Yeah, I got in a few fist fights in high school, but I’m over that now.
  • (10 points) I punch people regularly.  And when I don’t, I’m punching my fist through a wall and pretending its someone’s face.

(5)  At Thanksgiving dinner, your immediate and extended family typically gets together at your parent’s home to have dinner, watch football, and catch up on family goings-on.  This year, for whatever reason, it is being held at your Aunt Hilda’s home, instead, and you were not invited.  You:

  • (0 points) Figure that Aunt Hilda probably just thought you had other plans and hope that sometime in the future you will be able to reconnect with family members you don’t see often.
  • (5 points) Express your disappointment to your immediate family (maybe your parents, or your siblings), but in the end you weren’t going to go anyway because Aunt Hilda lives in 500 miles away.
  • (10 points) Show up at the dinner anyway, slightly intoxicated, and tell everyone in your immediate and extended family just what you really think of them.  When they ask you to leave, you hit your brother and get in your car to drive over Aunt Hilda’s prize begonias.

Results

0 – 15 points Could you be any more of a push-over?  Grow a pair and start standing up for yourself, for God’s sakes!  Chances are you’re repressing a lot of anger that will come out in an unhealthy way later on down the line anyway.  There is a huge difference between being tolerant and being a complete push-over, and you my friend are a push-over.

16 – 32 points You are more of a realist, but also prefer not to get into too much conflict.  You voice your opinion, but then avoid the consequences.  While this can be a good thing in the sense that it keeps you out of trouble, it can be a bad thing because it will set you up for an avoidance complex.  Next time Aunt Hilda doesn’t invite you to Thanksgiving dinner, you should consider calling her and asking why.

33 – 50 points You definitely need anger management.   You don’t take anyone’s crap and while you wish the world (and the people in it) were a better place, you know it’s really not.  You are a realist who prefers to keep the wool off his eyes.  Rock on!

Now, here’s the caveat:  hitting people, being verbally abrasive, and driving over your Aunt’s begonias may be cathartic, but it is also not the healthiest way to function in society.  A lot of it will get you fired, arrested, or sent to a mental institution.  But to repress your true feelings is also probably one of the most unhealthy habits we carry around with us today.  Remember that episode of The Simpsons where the family went to therapy and everyone hit each other with soft bats?  That kind of therapy exists, because anger repression is just as damaging as anger actuation.

But you’re in luck:  for the low price of having made it this far through the posting, I offer you the cheapest (free) and best (seriously) anger management advice you will ever get:  do what I do.  Amuse yourself with the thoughts of all the wonderfully angry things you could do in whatever situation makes you angry.  Hell, you could even write a self-purported witty blog about it.  The key, though, is to not actually do it.  When the Disney employee annoys you beyond all belief with her happy comments, stupid questions, and dancing to “The Circle of Life” playing over the intercom, imagine smashing her face into the cash register and yelling “you are what is wrong with our society!”  But after chuckling to yourself about this thing you will never do, pay and be on your way conflict-free.  And just because you are managing your outbursts doesn’t mean you have to respond to the canned good-bye with a reciprocal “have a nice day!”