Toxic People That Are Family Are Still Toxic

There. Someone had to say it.

I’ve written about family issues – generally speaking – on this blog before, and I am sure I’ll write about them again. But when I go through the history of my posts on this issue (the family issue), I can see a change in me as I’ve aged. As I have grown, I have come to realize something very important. Almost profound, at least as far as life and family and every day dealings go for me:

Toxic people that are family are still toxic. And there is nothing that requires you to allow toxicity in your life.

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If You Aren’t Someone’s Cup O’ Tea, Oh the Fuck Well

We have a lot of family issues, probably in part to the fact that we live close by to a lot of family (both on my husband’s as well as my side).

The other part I think is that I’m not many people’s cup o’ tea.

I am honest, and I speak out about injustice. I can be a little loud. I don’t say things like “someone has to say it,” or “I’m just telling it like it is” as an excuse to be a bitch, but at the same time I do speak up and out when I see something that I think is wrong.

And in two families full of work-a-day workers, who wear their busy schedules and hard work days like a fucking medal of honor, my lifestyle of writing into the wee hours, sleeping past 10, painting in my pajamas, reading for at least 3/4 of the day, and subscribing to more shows on Netflix and the DVR than any sane person could find the time to watch, has created – shall we say – a bit of tension.

It isn’t only all of that, though; my husband and I just have much different values than a lot of our family members. We believe in holistic care, my husband’s hair is shoulder length and he has a hippy beard, we homeschool the kids, and I can’t remember the last time I wore a bra. To top it all off: we eat gluten free.

I can’t tell you the last time we attended a family event where people weren’t harping on us about our lifestyle choices. Particularly my husband’s facial hair (I mean really, people, it’s just hair…); and then there’s that whole annual intervention where every single person we know within a 50 mile radius makes it their life’s mission to get us to stop homeschooling the kids (this is usually around the end of summer when the new school year is about to begin).

Of course there will always be the grandmother in the family that harps on the way people dress, or the aunt or uncle who have an opinion on everything. But then there is an innocuous old lady set in her ways, and people who legitimately believe that they have a right to tell you how to live your life. In the latter, the only thing to describe them as is: toxic.

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It’s only recently that I’ve realized, though, that you can’t be everyone’s cup o’ tea. And, that I’d rather be true to myself than someone else just to make people happy.

The Worst Comes Out Of People When You Start Saying “No.”

Especially when it’s hell no, but we don’t say it that way very often.

My husband and I only have ourselves to blame on this one: we used to say “yes” to everything. Ev.er.y.thing. Everything. Even when we lived 50 or so miles away from our respective families, we still would say “yes” to every fucking thing that asked us to do. And our health and relationship paid for it.

Finally, our kids started growing older and getting into more sports, which meant our time was limited. And then my husband started working the night shift at his job, making the “no”s a necessity. We didn’t have the luxury of being able to passively do what everyone else always wanted us to do anymore. Finally we had the reasons we had been looking for all those years to have balance in our lives, the balance we had been craving for so long.

We were going to have to say “no” to some things. A fair amount of things.

It is then when the worst comes out of people. After years of pushing us around and getting us to everything our families wanted us to be at, they have gone down kicking and screaming – in their own ways – since the first time we had to say “no” to something. So much so that now even when we say “yes,” what we say it to is never enough.

Go to a party for a few hours, “but why didn’t you stay longer?”

Have other plans the one day a week we have as a family with no sports and no work for my husband, “you should have cleared your plans with us first.”

This is why setting boundaries with people that have never had any boundaries set on them before is so difficult: they don’t like it, and become completely unreasonable and irrational. Because really, what kind of a person sits by the clock keeping time as to how long you stay at a party, or actually has the gaul to suggest people check with their social schedules before making their own plans? For their own lives.

I’ll tell you what kind: a toxic person.

Toxic People That Are Family Are Still Toxic, and Being Family Does Not Mean You Owe Them Anything

A meme went around the Internet the other day, something to that effect. You do not owe anyone anything, especially toxic people and in particular family that is toxic. Blood relation does not mean that a person has an uninhibited license to treat you like shit. Being someone’s cousin’s cousin or sister-in-law’s mother or even a closer relative, like a brother or a mother – be it by blood, marriage, or another association that makes these people call themselves family – does not predicate any obligation what.so.ever.

Let me be clear: the minute you identify a person as toxic to you, any obligations or shit you owe them (for example: owing someone for giving you life, as I often hear my father say) go out the window. Out the window. Out the fucking window. Out the fucking window and miles away.

You paid your debts to them tenfold just dealing with their toxicity for however long you dealt with it. Even if it was only once and for just a day.

And so for this reason, my husband and I have taken a pledge to our selves and to our kids to cut out all the toxic shit we have dealt with for so long. People want to say nasty things, be nasty people, and act in nasty ways? Well they will be flushed out with all the other nasty toxic shit that gets flushed out of our lives on a daily basis. We don’t owe anyone anything, especially our happiness and senses of self worth. And our kids deserve to be surrounded by good people, or else that cycle of being surrounded by bad ones will just continue.

I’m not saying that everyone in my or my husband’s families are toxic; and honestly this post isn’t about us or them or a particular incident. I’ve only been thinking about this lately because I’m just so tired of being mad at myself for letting people treat us, and me, in ways that I would never treat someone else. And I’m even more tired of seeing and hearing people overlook bad behavior for the sake of the family. What about the sake of the self? Does that not matter anymore?

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What You Should Do The Next Time Someone Calls You A Bad Mom

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The last twenty-four hours have been a little bit surreal for me. I’m not sure why – as my husband said just this evening, weird events mixed with our usual day-to-day at-home nonsense is the norm. We did our homeschooling work. I do folders for each six-day period – yesterday was Day 2 (worksheet day), today was Day 3 (learning project and TAG pen time). As usual, we took our long walk around my father’s neighborhood, in the middle of the day when there aren’t a bunch of people and cars around. Breakfast-lunch-dinner-cleaning the house, working on redoing the kiddie bedroom …it was all pretty much the usual, with miscellaneous hilarity mixed in.

But the weird events were not as fun as they usually are.

First, yesterday afternoon my mother told me that I am a bad mother. She had called to give me the “big news” that another family member is having a baby, and rather than just express excitement she had to use it as another opportunity to cut me down. “…and I’m thrilled because now your grandmother will have another baby in the family, because God knows no one wants you to have any more kids. You aren’t very good at even handling what you have now.”

What the fuck? That’s what you should be thinking. I did too, then I remembered who I was talking to.

Par for the course.

In spite of that being par for the course, this morning I woke up feeling like I had been socked in the gut. And it only got worse as the morning drudged on.

As I was getting out of the shower – around 8:30 – I heard some noise outside and saw that a car was parked in the walkway between the parking lot and the walkway. It had a California Exempt license plate and two business-y-looking people were escorting two, young children from the townhome of one of our neighbors. It didn’t take long for me to figure out that someone had called Child Protective Services, and those children were being taken away from their parents.

It didn’t go as I always thought a visit like that would go. There were no dramatics. No one was screaming or crying. Even the kids seemed a little calm, vaguely as though they expected it. Immediately the neighbors began to congregate in the walkway, as they always do. The gossip began and the term “bad mother” was said so many times, I almost walked out and told them all to shut their filthy, judgmental mouths.

It was in these events of the last twenty-four hours – these unusual, weird, painful events – that I started to think about just who has a right to call someone a bad mom. And the answer I came to is simple:

Not a single goddamned person.

Every time I start to question the parenting of another person, I stop myself right in my tracks. Who am I to judge? Who am I to say what other people should do, in their time with their kids in their situation? What do I know? Nothing.

Sure, there are things that I would love to comment on. Like when friends let their infants watch TV. Or when iPads become the main focus of a child’s education. I have feelings about public school, just like a lot of people have feelings about the fact that we homeschool. And of breastfeeding. And of diet and exercise. And of a lot of things – we all have ideas on what we think is best for our families, as well as everyone (in some instances).

Do any of us have a right to call each other a bad anything for any of it, though?

Even the child support service people don’t call the parents they have the misfortune of interacting with “bad.” At least I don’t think so. Today I heard them give the mother of those two, poor children her card and said she hoped this would be resolved soon. Beyond that, it isn’t their judgment call to make – they are simply enforcing rules and doing their jobs.

But when I turned to Facebook to ask my blog followers if they have ever been called bad parents, or told how to be a parent, I got a resounding YES – to my utter shock and horror.

I don’t have kids. However. I’ve been told on more than one occasion that I shouldn’t because I would be awful at it.

Well, my SIL tells everyone BUT me, LOL!

My son’s donor tells me that all the time.

Oh hell yes I’ve been told I suck as a mom, by my stepmother.

Both directly and indirectly.  People will use your insecurities as a parent against you and to make themselves feel better about their short comings in their own situations.

My MIL said I was a bad mom and I neglected my child- because I didn’t bathe him 24/7 and I let him out of the house with unbrushed hair. He was 3.

I was a bad mother for homeschooling my son, for allowing him to roam the neighborhood without watching him every second of the day (or even knowing which of 3 possible streets he was actually on at any given time), for not allowing him to get a job while in school so he could focus on his grades, for refusing to medicate him as a kindergartner so he could stay in school…

Someone who was supposed to be my best friend sat and told me my son needed to talk to a psychologist because he was displaying behavior any typical 7-8 year old boy would display.

What the fuck? That’s what you should be thinking. I still am.

Now if Child Protective Services comes knocking on your door, that’s one thing. Maybe then it’s time to start evaluating – with your partner, if you have one; or any close and trusted people – how you are running the show. It still doesn’t mean you are a bad mother, though. It just means you may need more guidance or support, or to change some habits that are not in the best interest of your children.

But if anyone else – mom, dad, grandma, mother in law, sister in law, friends, cousins, strangers – tries to tell you how to be a parent, what you are doing wrong as a parent, or – God help them – that you are a bad parent, there is one thing and one thing only that you should do:

Tell them to shove it up their ass. Sideways. With a pitchfork to get it in their real good.

No seriously. No one has a right to say anything to you about your parenting, just as no one has a right to say anything to me. We are all in this together, whether anyone realizes it or not. But that doesn’t mean we are in this together, like we can tell each other what to do.

It means we are supposed to be supportive of each other. That’s it.

We are all entitled to our opinions, but opinions are like assholes. Just like I don’t want your asshole wide open in my presence, your mouth and the opinions that fly out of it should stay shut too.

To my mother and anyone else that thinks I’m a bad mom: shove it up your ass. Sideways. With a pitchfork to get it in their real good. To the rest of you: you are good mothers. You are good parents. No matter what happens, I know that your intentions are only in the best interest of your children. We may disagree on this or that aspect of parenting, but that we love our kids is the foundation we must look to in reminding ourselves that we are doing at least something right.

Screw Yourself Sideways, Spring Cleaning

I’ve been spring cleaning for about a week.

At first it was as it always is – like a new boyfriend. I was excited. My heart a’fluttered at the thought of trashing some of the crap we have and never use. The first night I couldn’t even get to sleep – the wheels in my brain were just turning and turning and turning over all the things I wanted to do.

Now spring cleaning and I have reached a parting of ways. It’s been a week (so, also much like a new boyfriend). I’m tired of having headaches from all the dust allergens flying around. There’s stuff. Everywhere. And for some reason I can’t get rid of this nagging feeling that I got rid of something I shouldn’t have.

Or is it that I didn’t get rid of enough?

Day 1

My Husband will rue the day he married this de-cluttering queen.

6496_522876140413_4968011_nWhen my husband and I first moved in with each other, I learned how much of a hoarder he really was. Is. Will have to get over.

We were unpacking stuff and he opened this big crate and dumped out a bunch of wires. The first thing I should have picked up on was that we didn’t really need any wires for anything we were doing, he just wanted to sort through his wire collection.

Pause a moment. Wire collection.

I asked what they were for and he said “in case I ever need them.” He thought it was funny. By contrast, I thought it was horrifying so I popped Xanax after Xanax because I was beginning to realize what I had gotten myself into.

We have gotten rid of a total of three of my husband’s things in the entire time I have known him. A bedside fountain that didn’t work. An African-looking knick knack that had rusted and cut me more than twice. And a ripped pair of sheets. A few years ago, my husband was given hundreds and hundreds of dollars worth of clothing by his parents for Christmas. He got rid of two t-shirts to “make room.”

When I started spring cleaning last week, I realized that I just could not take all of his clutter anymore. If he wasn’t going to get rid of it, in fairness he had to find a better place to store it than on the floor next to our bed, or in areas of the closet that should be for me. I am the woman in the house, aren’t I?

Our conversation went like this:

Me: “We have got to start de-cluttering this place, Nick. I have to be here all the time, unlike you – it is making me feel sick and unsettled to have so much crap around all the time. Plus, it’s like some of this stuff is just here for me to clean. I have never actually seen you play those two guitars sitting propped against the wall over there. And the amp and pedal board that sits next to our bed – not a once. Ever.”

Nick: [Look of panic] “I don’t know what you are talking about. I also don’t even know why you care that there is clutter all over the place. I let you put away the Lord of the Rings cup that I used to like having displayed. How much more do I have to give up?”

Me: [Ignoring the look of panic, as well as the blatant stupidity] “OK, well if that is how you are going to be, I’m just going to do it myself and you can deal with it…”

Nick: Fine.

Nick is right. He let me put away the Lord of the Rings cup. By “let” of course we are all of the understanding that he had no choice. I love the Lord of the Rings movies; The Hobbit was my favorite book growing up. But there is no room for Frodo Baggins in my home decor.

Day 2

The bedroom and the kitchen. I figured I would start at one end of the apartment and move my way out.

To start, I wanted to pack as much of my husband’s guitar equipment into his side of the closet. Of course to do this, I had to start going through his side of the closet and getting rid of crap. Papers. Wire collection. Pussy Master 3000.

Wait, what?

You heard me right, faithful blog followers. I found the drawer full of gag gifts. Some of them I do remember as gifts – possibly gag, possibly serious (I never know with some of my friends). Lubricants. Handcuffs. Things never used, of course. Then there was something my husband consistently insists was a gag gift, although the details of said gift have never been disclosed.

Pussy Master 3000. Lubricant included. As the packaging goes, it’s for the guy who is sick of just using lotion, but needs an artificial vagina for those lonely nights while the wife is away. Fortunately it was still in the bag.

I moved into the kitchen after the Pussy Master and did a little purging and organizing. Then it was time to call it a day.

Day 3

Can’t deal with this spring cleaning shit. Let’s go to the mall.

Day 4

Can’t deal with this spring cleaning shit. Let’s go to my dad’s and mooch food.

Day 5

Oh shit, how am I going to finish spring cleaning in time for the Super Bowl party?! Super Bowl party … Super Bowl party … Let’s shop all day to get stuff for the Super Bowl party.

Day 6

Got my period. There is shit everywhere in my house now. I haven’t dusted in over a week. There is some gelatenous goo forming on the kitchen floor. I need tampons. Better to go get those and hang out at my dad’s house. It’s nice and tidy there.

Day 7 – Today

Screw yourself sideways, spring cleaning. It’s now just a few days away from the Super Bowl and we’re packing about 16 people into our tiny apartment. There’s a bowl, books, stickers, an open package of graham crackers, and a broken Dora the Explorer talking backpack occasionally splurting out “back pack back pack” on the living room coffee table. On the kitchen table is a pile of cleaning supplies, another book, a party bag full of Super Bowl-themed party stuff, and a package of Puffs tissues. I didn’t even bother to put the boxes of kleenex around the house and the extras away. Better to just pull the kleenex directly out of the package, left half-opened on the table.

9401It’s time to get away from this spring cleaning nonsense. I need to just put away all this crap and move on with my life. I discovered a bruise on my leg this morning while getting ready. It probably got there from the hundreds of times I’ve run into all the shit lying around here over the past week of “spring cleaning;” nonetheless, it reminded me that I’m a princess and don’t like scrapes and bruises showing up on my delicate skin. Pussy Master 3000 and Frodo Baggins will have to be it for now. Until next spring…

48 Hour Technology Strike

Keep track of my strike time at http://countingdownto.com/countdown/223092

I’m going on strike. Not from a job because – I think we all know – I don’t work. I mean I work at the most thankless job on the planet (housewife and SAHM), but there is no monetary compensation for that.

Yet.

No, I’m going on strike from technology. For the next 48 hours I’m ditching my cellphone, laptop, and iPad, and I think you should too. Here’s why:

#1 There Is A World Outside Your Cellphone

I just have had it up to about my eyebrows with sitting at dinner with people that spend the entire time texting and BSing on their cellphones. My husband is notorious for doing this; and the most egregious part is that he’s just scrolling through his apps doing mundane updates that are entirely unnecessary. It’s so rude, and reeks of the implication that the only world that exists to the people committing this etiquette faux pas is within their cellphone and computer. That the world in which I am – sitting across from them at the table – does not exist when the world of technology is around.

There is a world outside your cellphone. And your computer. Not getting Facebook updates is manageable, dare I say – not a big deal.

Just today I read an article about the growing problem of Facebook addiction, in which it was reported that as many as 1/3rd of people that were interviewed admitted to experiencing feelings of envy when viewing photographs and other updates of others on Facebook. This implies a number of things, but as for this point I think this has a lot to do with the fact that some of us think there is no world outside of Facebook.

1313897240072_6858395Do you faithful blog followers actually believe that life is as wonderful and exciting as it appears to be for some people on Facebook? Every photo is from a party; therefore life is a party? Every update is positive, fun, and full of excitement; therefore nothing bad ever happens to the people on your Facebook page? Nonsense! The only reason why people post on the social networks great and wonderful and awe-inspiring news is because it’s looked down upon to report anything real that happens. People call reality “bad” and “negative” – two words that have been demonized by our terribly childish social network culture.

There is a world outside of your computer. A real world. A world where you are not alone.

#2 Capturing Photographs Is Not the Point

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Recently I realized that I spend more time capturing some moments than actually experiencing them. A blogger, I’m constantly trying to shoot things that can be used for my blogs; but now it’s leaked into every aspect of my life. Yesterday I snapped over twenty photographs of my car being towed. The experience from beginning to end was captured on photograph, and yet when it came time to recall the tow truck driver’s name today when AAA called to survey the experience, I had no idea. The guy really went the extra mile in taking care of us and I was so focused on my own photographic evidence that I couldn’t even take the time to learn his name.

The point of having a good meal is not to capture a photograph of the food. The reason for going on a hike is to get exercise, fresh air, and experience the outdoors. I have friends that have so many photographs of their experiences that I wonder if they even would remember what happened if it weren’t for the photographs, much like I can’t recall the tow truck driver’s name.

And is a memory not sufficient anymore to prove that something happened? Take a picture of your kid at this park, then that park, then this other park, then another. We get it! You take your kid to the park. We would have believed you if you just said it once. 7,000 shots a day of the kid running in the grass gets old. Really old. This isn’t to say that the kid isn’t cute, or the food doesn’t look as tasty as you describe it.

It’s just that technology is replacing even our most intimate moments and experiences.

#3 Technology Really Makes Me Hate People

And lose respect for them. This person didn’t respond to an email I sent in due time. A text message got ignored. People didn’t “like” or comment on my blog.

How many times have you Tweeted someone for them to never respond? How many times have you followed a blogger only for them to ignore you, as if they are too “big” to follow back?

The list of Internet etiquette grievances is a long one – not just mine, but the conglomerate list of all the billions of people using the Internet regularly. Sometimes it makes you hate people to be connected all the time. It makes you hate how not everyone operates by the same standards you do. And it makes you loathe the ways in which they think and act – from political posters on Facebook, to people that use their cellphones and computers as a way to bully; technology has just made it easier for the whole of humanity to act like assholes.

While I am definitely a fan of general misanthropy, I get too angry when I’m online too much.

#4 I Need a Break From Web MD

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I need a break from Web MD. And the news. And Google flu trends. And Sickweather.com. I’m such a hypochondriac, with a glaringly unhealthy level of OCD, that I am obsessed with what’s going on around, who has which diseases, and whether or not I have [insert obscure, unlikely disease here].

I need a break from all that nonsense – I wash my hands; cover my cough; and avoid sick people. How exactly does checking up on where people are sick in my area every day make us any more safe? Am I going to avoid running errands because a few people Tweeted that they had the stomach flu in my area? No. No – we still need milk, eggs, and bread.

But it’s also a matter of not just health, but of the news. This is another thing my husband is horrible with – he is obsessed with the news, and occasionally I am too. It isn’t just one article on something that happened, or a study that was done; it’s all of them that show up in the Google News Aggregate. While I don’t think it’s good to stick our heads in the sand, sometimes shutting it all off is for the best. There is nothing I can do about the fact that North Korea issued another threat to the United States. The fact that emergency room visits from energy drinks have increased by 47% bears absolutely no effect on me.

Obsessing over all of these things is just another way that technology has a hold of our lives, just as in the case of cellphones leading us to believe there is no world outside, and photography applications robbing us of having actual experiences.

Realistically, 48 hours off technology is nothing. I still remember a day when I never used a cellphone or a computer. When I never used a computer – oh what I would give to say I still did that now. What I would give to be able to say that any of us could be successful at anything without all the advances computer and cellular technology can offer. Sure, my Klout score may go down about a point from being offline for 48 hours. I may offend someone much in the way I have been offended by not responding soon enough to an email or a text message. But think of all the things that can come of unbinding myself to the chains of my technology. I don’t even know what the next 48 hours holds. It’s kind of exciting to know that they won’t involve a cellphone or computer.

The real question isn’t “why should I do it?” though. It’s “can I do it?” Can you?

4 Reasons Political Season Needs To Be Over, and Now

For the last few weeks, whenever I look on Facebook, scan the trending topics on Twitter, scroll through the TV, read the news aggregate, or just have any communication with other human beings whatsoever, I find myself pulling at my hair and resisting the temptation to chug whisky until I black out, sprawled on the ground with my legs spread and my cooter in the air. Like that one time I smuggled a fifth into the Yo Gabba Gabba concert. The urge to embark in my own personal debauchery is especially bad right now on account of political season.

As I see it, there are four very compelling reasons why political season needs to be over, and now.

#1 The political memes have gotten old

The political memes have all gotten old at this point. There were a few that were pretty catchy at first. Obama drinking in an Irish pub with various captions. Mitt Romney laughing with Big Bird’s bird shit all over his head. But around the 294,532,197th meme depicting the same fucking message, the memes got old. Really, really old.

As I said to someone recently about memes in general: there is nothing wrong with being clever and making people think through the humor of an Internet meme. There is, however, something wrong with the same thing being done over and over and over and over and over again until it has lost all its meaning and become nothing but a cliche.

#2 The hype over single issues has become a little frightening

I think the Sesame Street-Big Bird thing is what really killed it for me. Within minutes of that stupid comment Romney made about shutting down Sesame Street and PBS, everyone jumped on the bandwagon. The memes started. The ads started. The Save Big Bird Twitter accounts began and all of a sudden the Huffington Post was passing up publishing me in favor of Big Bird pictures yet again.

These elections seem to move from issue to issue in terms of popularity and public awareness, now, and I see so many people change their allegiance accordingly. It scares the shit out of me to see how many people I know that don’t sum up all the issues anymore, but rather make impulsive decisions based on what is in the news right now. Romney is anti-abortion, I’ll vote for Obama! Obama didn’t create as many jobs as we wanted, I’ll vote for Romney! Romney wants to kill off Big Bird, I’ll vote for Obama! Obama wants to crack down on gun control, I’ll vote for Romney!

Voting for the issues is definitely the right way to vote. Voting for the issues in the limelight right now (rather than all of them, together as a well-thought out whole) is not.

#3 All the things neither candidate will do a goddamned thing about being shoved down our fucking throats to try and make us angry enough to vote

Democrat or Republican, neither candidate is going to be able to snap their fingers and undo the damage of all the years of misappropriation and poor leadership this country had. Obama or Romney, gas companies will still get kick backs, health insurance companies will still be pulling their usual bullshit, this country will still be unrelentingly divided. This is the beauty of living in a country that is both staunchly capitalistic and stuck with just two parties for us to choose from come election time.

Some things will not change for a long time, no matter who is elected. It’s the reality of running a country.

So it makes me feel like shipping myself off to the planet Neptune for the rest of my life every time I hear about things that neither Democrats nor Republicans will ever be able to change instantly. The other day I saw a picture on Facebook about how much gas prices cost and how much Exxon got away with not paying in taxes last year. This did nothing but upset me. It doesn’t make my vote sway either way because no matter how many candidates have promised to eliminate corporate welfare for oil companies, none have been successful in doing so. It didn’t compel me to vote for change, in fact in sort of compelled me to sit at home on voting day eating donuts and wallowing in the depression that comes with getting the gas card bill every month.

#4 Campaign signs junking up my town

Is it just me, or are campaign signs getting uglier and uglier these days? Whatever happened to the old red-white-and-blue act? The traditional font and a simple logo? Now I’m being blinded with neon orange and pink. Candidates want to stand out from the crowd, so they use purple and photographs of themselves.

I’m going to tell you all this right now: I will never vote for some dumb motherfucker that uses Chalkboard for their font on their campaign sign, which I saw the other day while driving to the grocery store.

It could just be that I live in a place where local politics are a complete and utter joke in the grand scheme of things. Or it could be that politicians are appealing more to the common people than just the elitists that used to be the only voters. In any event, it’s fucking ugly and doing nothing but junking up my town.

I am so ready for political season to be over with. I really, really am. I am sure you all are too, or maybe your only reason is that you are tired of hearing me bitch about it. Whatever the case may be, I would love for us all to be magically transported to the second week in November. Then we’ll all know what the fate of our country is. We’ll all be ready to return to our traditionally apathetic selves until the next campaign season comes along. And we’ll have a few years to seal the wounds our previous political diatribes may have caused in our interpersonal relationships. That last one is something I know I’m really looking forward to.

I’m tempted to ask who you are all voting for. But then again I don’t want a debate on my page to erupt. I’m also tempted to suggest we all grab a fifth of whisky and go to the polls wasted, then we can all write me in – sprawled out on the floor with my cooter hanging out, and all. As compared to the other candidates, my stance is pretty clear: abortions for some, miniature American flags for others. And fuck yeah, ‘merica!

My Conversation With Non-Hottie Maintenance Man

Big sigh full of bullshit, faithful blog followers. Big sigh of bullshit.

So a few days ago we received a note on our front door. It read that the apartment complex is happy to announce they are participating in some energy efficiency program, and were therefore planning to come and install new lighting fixtures in all the units. I’m sure for all the go-green-love-the-Earth-hippies out there, you are patting your self-gratifying-selves on the backs right now in honor of another win for reducing humanity’s carbon footprint. Hip-hip-motherfucking-hooray for you guys.

Okay that was a little mean and I really and truly have no problem with being environmentally friendly. I just resent how much it costs to do right by the world. Obviously, my only response to this note from the apartment complex management was not a jump for joy in honor of saving the world, but rather the simple question: how much is this going to cost me?

I’m a little done with unforeseen costs from this place. Between raising our rents, which I am still not comfortable agreeing to (despite how many times my husband says he’s tired of moving), and our ever-rising utility bills, I was already annoyed. Then my shit started getting stolen off the front porch. So I called the management, and they in fact said that the electric bill would probably go up a little from this new lighting fixture, but these lights are saving the planet.

Doesn’t make a damn bit of sense to me, either.

So the guy came over this morning to install the new fixture. Let me lay out the scenario.

It was morning(ish). I was tired. I have PMS. I still have a cold. And my allergies are totally off the hook too. I was also super depressed this morning, and by super depressed I don’t just mean “down” I mean I had a problem getting out of bed (but that’s another story and I’m not getting into that because this is a funny blog).

So when I got out of the shower, I was kind of lagging and I put on my robe because I knew this guy was coming over to put in the new light fixture between the hours of 9:00 am and 5:00 pm. I knew it was not going to be Hottie Maintenance Man because the note said they were independent contractors coming to do this work. So I didn’t much give a shit how I looked.

I have three different robes. One is pink and short, and my lady parts can be seen if I bend over too far.If Hottie Maintenance Man were coming over, I’d wear that one. One is red and I’ve had it forever, so long I don’t even remember when or where I got it. It’s also from my smaller-chested days, so sometimes the girls will arbitrarily flop out of them for no apparent reason. Then there is my purple one that fits properly and goes all the way to my feet. A full body robe.

This is the one I chose to wear while I finished getting ready and waited for the guy to come.

While putting on my makeup, the doorbell rang and after only a few seconds of not having answered it, the guy started fucking pounding on the door with his fist. I can’t stand it when people do this; as if I’m supposed to just be standing behind the door all day waiting for you to grace me with your presence.

I answered the door and he was a gargoyle.

I don’t mean to be a dick. I mean, it’s National No-Bullying Month and I do not, under any circumstance, want to judge others for the way that they look.

But allow me to anyway, simply because he offended me. This guy clearly hadn’t even showered today, which was evident by how badly he smelled and the green in his teeth. Standing at my door was this dude, his belly hanging out of the bottom of his stained polo shirt that was just about as green as his teeth. He was standing there with a ladder and a shitty look on his face.

He looked me up and down – up and down – as he breathed heavily through his rotten teeth and hairy nose.

Then he said it.

“Ma’am I’m here to install your new lighting fixture. Do you think you could cover up and compose yourself before I come in?”

Are you fucking kidding me, dillhole?

No … seriously. Who says something like that? Cover up? I was more covered than I would have been had I been wearing clothes. And compose myself? I’m sorry. I am not screaming and crying. My hair looks fine. And I’m almost completely made up. COMPOSE MYSELF MOTHERFUCKER?!

That’s not what I said, though. No … this special breed of dillhole, douchesausage gargoyle needs a special response. Fortunately, my whit was sharp as a tack today, so I knew exactly how such a prude would easily be offended.

And I can’t say for sure, but I’m pretty sure he was. He didn’t say much more to me the rest of the time, except that it would in fact be raising our electric bill.

What did I say faithful blog followers when this special gentleman asked me to “cover up and compose” myself?

“Hah! Sorry, I thought you were the regular building maintenance man, here for my weekly schticking. If you see him on your way out, let him know I’m ready for some of his Italian stallion.” 

And then I walked back to finish putting on my make up while he installed the new lighting.

Is it just me, or are people taking themselves too seriously these days?

We went to Target today. I had to get some of those Clorox bleach wipe things, some of those toilet flusher things, and deodorant. Don’t want my pits to smell bad.

So we went to the “fancy” Target. It isn’t really fancy, actually. It’s in the ghetto-est town in our county, probably the ghetto-est town in the state. I feared for my life the entire time we were there too because I realized I was wearing my White Sox shirt, which happens to be what all the local gang members wear to represent their South-Oxnard drug and killing hood. It’s the “fancy” Target, though, because it has a parking garage and is brand new.

I don’t really know why I call it fancy.

Anyway, we were at the fancy Target and got our items, plus a couple of impulse buys. I spent a buck on an ICEE, which prevented any requests for toys. It was pretty in-and-out. As we left, though, we got in the car; I started the car; and, I went to back up, when a woman walked behind my car with a cart. Okay, no big deal. I didn’t even start to move because I was looking and I waited.

But that bitch stopped her cart behind my car, took her things out, got in her car, and pulled out in a hurry; her cart still sitting behind my car.

Clearly she was taking herself so seriously that she thought she was the only person in the parking lot – or the world for that matter – that was important.

Maybe it’s because I live in California. The land of dramatics. The land of the fruits and nuts and people that think everything they are doing was a part of some sort of predestined-I-am-the-center-of-the-universe plan. But really, it seems like people are taking themselves too seriously these days.

On the Internet

Take Freshly Pressed – WordPress’s daily list of blogs they deemed “cream of the crop”. Every time I scroll through it, it’s filled with all sorts of blogs on dramatics about cross-cultural issues and pithy commentaries on finding inner-peace. Or recipes. Or Blog a Day, which is assigned by WordPress and always particularly pretentious. Earlier this week they assigned people to post photo blogs depicting the word “solitary.” If you look at them now, there are thousands of posts where people have taken these terribly narcissistic photographs of themselves looking longingly into the unknown ahead.

Give me a break. Life is not that afflictive.

Or what about whenever people post things on Facebook these days? They always seem to be about women’s issues or cancer fundraising. Don’t get me wrong, those things are important, but can anyone feel lighthearted at all anymore? Someone once shamed me because everything I posted on Facebook was not about a serious, political issue. Really? Has everyone lost their ability to look at things humorously? Everyone seems to be so busy out saving the world – either by running a marathon, working at Starbucks, or creating political memes – that they seem to have lost any idea of what it means to relax and enjoy life once in a while.

In Person

Look at people we all know, in our daily lives. We all have that one person that never smiles. We all have that one person that never watches funny movies, or never laughs when you tell a joke.

My husband is one I can point to that takes himself way too seriously. When he talks at home, or on the phone to me, he sounds normal. He sounds relaxed. But whenever he talks to someone at work he takes an air of serious superiority. Everything is life or death.

Did I mention he works in video editing? There is nothing life or death about it. They do fucking music videos, baby shows, and Disney-type promos. iCarly is not and never will save the world. Snoop Dogg’s story may be interesting, but it most certainly is not do-or-die.

Even When Serious Is the Last Thing We Should Be

I was thinking of this the other day when I saw the Facebook update of the brother of a friend I used to work with. He had posted some photos from his birthday weekend and when I scrolled through them, in every single one of them he was in, he had this dry, I’ve-got-deep-thoughts-going-on look on his face. Did he really have deep thoughts going on? Do any of us? It was his birthday, for Christ’s sakes. Enjoy it!

Maybe if we stopped taking everything we did so seriously, we’d have to face some cold, hard facts. One of them is that we cannot save the world. Another is that we are not enjoying life if we never laugh. The most important is that we aren’t the only people in the world.

It isn’t immature to relax and have fun. And perhaps it is the people that have thought the deepest that know there is not much of a point to being so serious anyway. The lady at the fancy Target that left her cart behind my car was so rude. But she also was just taking herself too seriously. She really thinks her life is so important that she can’t have even the most basic sense of common courtesy. I feel bad for a person like that who cannot take even a moment to look around and laugh.