Being Supportive Does Not Always Make You A Good Person

I’ve had to do far too much supporting of others lately, and it has taken a toll on me. Keeping my mouth shut and my opinions to myself has pent up so much anger and frustration within me that I literally want to scream the truth in people’s faces sometimes – am I the only one that sees what is really going on here?

Yet still, I hold it in.

It started about 9 months ago when my brother in law and his wife announced that they were having a baby. At our BBQ. (Because our BBQ was totally all about them.)

Since then it’s been one family event after another that I’ve had to be supportive at. Living only 5 miles from my husband’s family (yes, we basically live in Everybody Loves Raymond) this has been weekly. At some points in the last 9 months, it’s even been daily.

All the while, I just wanted to scream in everyone’s faces the truth – that they were just separated a year and a half ago. That I have vivid memories still of my husband’s brother seeming practically unable to go on with life because his then-ex-now-again-and-pregnant-a-few-months-in wife had left him.

And, more importantly, that not everyone decides to have a baby and POOF is just pregnant. That some people struggle for years only to be unsuccessful at it, and that knowing this is going on with more than one family member, yet still flaunting it around ad nauseum, is at a certain point really shitty of them.

Am I the only one that sees what is really going on here? Hold that in, Heather.

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I could go on and on and on about all the things about this situation my husband and I don’t support, but I won’t. We’ve kept our mouths shut, with the exception of one occasion when we tried to have a reasonable and private conversation about it with his mother. We were told we should be more supportive. Since then, we’ve gone out of our way to be overly supportive of them, because we knew it was what his family wanted. (For that we’ve gotten it shoved up our assholes every way possible.)

Still yet, hold it in.

It has been way more than just that, though. It’s been the expectation to continue supporting my husband’s career even though it is very certainly, and undramatically, destroying our lives.

Hold that in, Heather. Don’t talk about the fact that we’ve got no employer-sponsored dependent health insurance, no retirement, and no raises in years at the Christmas party! That would be unsupportive of your man!

It’s been the measles outbreak – which we were actually exposed to, living in Southern California in a county that has one of the highest numbers of confirmed cases paired with some of the lowest pockets of vaccination rates. We sat there with my mother’s family last month, while friends and family talked about their wariness to vaccinate, as though we are all just supposed to stand by and watch irresponsible parenting run amok in society as a whole, in the name of supporting people’s personal choices as parents.

That was the same day we saw photos of my cousin’s wedding that we never received an invitation to, until a week before the wedding. She texted me and said she forgot to invite me. We were invited, but there were no kids welcome. In the photos, there were 12 kids present at the wedding we did not attend.

Hold it in. Hold it in.

As I have sat here for 9 months brooding and deleting my comments and biting my tongue so hard I need a pint of blood to cover the damages, I quietly – in my head – added again and again to the laundry list of all the times that something should have been said to stop this madness once and for all.

Then, a few weeks ago in a public forum I went nuts on anti-vaxxers. Not emotionally, not illogically. But nuts. Scientifically and morally, yet insane.

I cannot begin to describe how much better I felt.

Now, in the aftermath of that, as weeks have gone on and I’ve been more and more honest, and less concerned about what people think of me and how unsupportive I may come across, I just have to say it. Maybe it will be the thing to end the madness:

Being supportive does not always make you a good person.

Somewhere down the line being truthful and honest became pejorative qualities. Sound advice became negativity, and a sensitivity and attention to the realities of the world, no matter how insignificant any one of them may seem, made you a hater. Instead we should all just hold hands and sing Kumbaya and be supportive of each others’ decisions and endeavors, all the while lying about what is universally true and right and real.

So this morning I logged onto Facebook, because naturally that’s where I get my news. As I scrolled through the feed I saw articles, updates, baby photos, and eventually news from fellow writers.

And then I saw an update about a blogging anthology, which shall remain unnamed, that is going to be published. It’s a sequel, and to be quite frank I didn’t like most of the first one. The update was lamenting not being included, more a statement on that own person’s insecurities and hopes to make it in the blogging world. I didn’t really get that feeling at the news, but I’m a writer, not a blogger.

So me being tired of always supporting supporting supporting when I know that someone should cry BULLSHIT ON THIS NOISE, and feeling more and more comfortable over the past few weeks doing so again, inspired me to just post my own comment on how I was glad to not be included because I didn’t like the first book and prefer to not be included in that kind of book.

As a side, I know a lot of really gifted writers that cannot even sell 10 copies of the self-published books, while cliche and mediocre stuff is peddled and makes it to the best seller lists – there is nothing right or good about that at all. All I said, though, was that I’d rather not be included, as other talented writers should take that as support that there are other, much better, projects out there.

Now, I know it sounded rude the way I said it, though, and I quickly realized that a few of the essays in the first book were written by friends that I did enjoy. So I deleted my comment within a couple seconds. I did not want to hurt anyone’s feelings at the expense of me feeling better about being more open and honest.

Of course I did not delete it before the organizer of the anthology saw my comment and, apparently, was insulted – perhaps as insulted as I am by her writing, in particular how much of a bully she is to people she doesn’t like.

But that is all neither here nor there to the central point.

After deleting my comment and moving on with my day, I realized that maybe I shouldn’t have deleted it; and not deleted it because of my own feelings of being insulted. Maybe I should have said the entire truth all along, with everything. As much as other people have a right to be insulted by my lack of support, I have a right to be insulted by their flagrantly terrible behavior to begin with. With the opportunistic anthologies; with the BIL and SIL’s baby; with my husband’s job – with all of it.

Keeping silent about what I know to be universally true and right and real feels so much worse than the backlash of speaking up. And in the end, al that is sacrificed by staying silent is me. So speaking up makes me a hater. I’d rather be an honest hater than a loved liar.

In the end, who is really the good person?

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I Don’t Shave My Crotch, and Other Assorted Coffee Time Conversation

I had coffee with a friend yesterday. Coffee is sort of a weird way to say it, though, because I actually don’t drink coffee. So what I had was this blended iced milk with vanilla in it; it was big and full of sugar and something like 600 calories – but who’s counting, because at least it wasn’t coffee – am I right?

(I seriously cannot stand coffee.)

Anyway, so we were talking about I’m not sure what and then we started talking about other stuff, and somewhere in there she said “now don’t blog about this.”

So naturally I had to.

OK, but I won’t give any identifying characteristics (curly hair). Or what we were there for (crafting). Or what she drank (an Italian soda, also a non-coffee drink, which begs the question: why were we meeting for coffee and crafting when neither of us intended on drinking that horrific beverage?).

I will just say that we were having coffee (not really, I basically told you everything and also we weren’t drinking coffee) AND amidst all of that we were talking about how my ten year old is starting to grow boobs and I’m panicking about said boobs.

Because puberty is terrifying. As a mother, that is.

And we were talking about how neither of our mothers taught us much about femininity. Now my friend’s situation I cannot attest to, but my mother moved across the country when I was 10 years old to live 2,000 miles away from her daughter (that would be me) so that she could be available to shack up with a married man whenever he came around. Then when that fell through she stayed and I saw her over the summer and holidays – whenever my dad would force me to go.

When I got my first period, I happened to be visiting her, but she was too busy talking to her married boyfriend on the phone to help me deal. Otherwise, what I learned of femininity came from my wonderful and saintly aunt, and the occasional time that my dad took me with him to work and a female coworker would spend time talking to me.

Somehow that coffee time conversation turned into discussing the West Coast obsession (at least I hear it’s a West Coast thing, stemming from the porn industry) for women to go bald down there.

And somehow that turned me into saying way way WAY too loudly, in the middle of this coffee shop where I most certainly was not drinking coffee: “oh yeah, I don’t shave my crotch…never have, never will. What do I want to look like – a five year old girl?”

Now, maybe I don’t do that because I grew up with my dad, and was lucky to get out knowing how to put on pantyhose. Shaving anything was unchartered territory for me until my early 20s, and quite frankly shaving my pits and my legs is a miracle at this point.

But it also stems from my belief that only little girls have hairless netherworlds. Sorry, but it’s true. Ladies, you were born to have hair on your vaginas. There, I said it. But you all should accept it.

Before I wax too philosophical, though, let me stay on track. So I announced loudly to my local Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf (there I go with more details again) that I, in fact, do not shave my shit. I mean I was loud, and realized I had made an err when some young, clearly crotch-shaven, women at the table next to us looked over and snickered.

They were on Facebook on their computers, so I’m sure there’s a video or some shit of me yelling it for the world to hear just waiting to go viral right now.

Upon noticing this, I took a look around, as my friend and I continued to chat about all things not crotch-related (because we had already covered that territory). I took in the full scene at my local coffee shop and realized something:

People are really self-absorbed.

Each table contained someone or someones that all seemed self-absorbed. Someone came in trying to get her son in a wheelchair through the door, not a single person jumped up to help. Every which way you looked there were teenagers with headphone earbuds in, guys playing video games, and twenty-somethings checking their Facebook accounts excessively while ignoring each other talk.

The girls that clearly overheard my crotch hair proclamation took no less than 45 selfies.

All the while, it was loud and people were there, so you never would have known it was a room full of people that literally care about no one but themselves.

Now I’m not saying that when you go out for coffee on a Sunday, you’re supposed to engage the entire world and spend all your time meeting new people and helping out strangers.

But if the only thing that snaps you out of your self-awareness coma is some psychotic lady in yoga pants, drinking something other than coffee in a coffee shop, shouting as loudly as she can to her friend that she doesn’t shave off all her crotch hairs in the interest of not looking like a five year old …well maybe if that’s the only thing that makes you realize that others are out there, others exist, and others have things to say (clearly)…

…well maybe you need a reality check.

It’s a big world out there, people.

A lot of hairless and hairy crotches.

Put down your phones and your computers, take out your headphone earbuds, and look outside your bubble for something like twenty minutes the next time you’re at your local coffee shop.

Who knows what’ll happen. Moreover, who knows what you’ll hear.

 

My Christmas Wish List This Year

I wonder if I just became as obnoxious as Home Depot putting out their fucking Christmas decorations in July; or Target playing Christmas music in October. You know that Black Friday actually begins for many stores at 7 pm on Thanksgiving DAY, now, too. Retailers are literally ramming Christmas up our asses.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should go ahead and admit that I do all of my Christmas shopping in the months of August and September. That means that as of this day – October 10th – I have actually been done with Christmas shopping. For 10 days. That’s everyone in our families, for the Pookies, my husband… everyone. It’s just so much more tolerable than standing in long lines, and fighting with people over bargains.

This means that while I was shopping, I officially scoped out all of the things I really really want for Christmas.

Before going into my wish list, though, let me tell you a little story about the Sodastream. A few years ago, my husband got me that for Christmas. It was well-intentioned, sure. I drink Diet Coke by the bucket-load, which means obviously getting me a machine that would let me make my own bucket-loads of my aspartame and caffeine-filled beverage of sheer delight would be a win, right?

Wrong. I can totally taste the difference. What I like about Diet Coke is actually the exact ingredients and exact composition and exact carbonation of the Coca-Cola brand Diet Coke. Maybe it’s all mental (it’s probably all mental); nonetheless, I never use the Sodastream.

Quickly after I opened the gift that year, though, it became vaguely reminiscent of that episode of The Simpsons when Homer buys Marge a bowling ball (with his name engraved on it), in spite of the fact that Marge had no idea how to get the ball down the lane. Within a day, my husband was experimenting with flavors on the Sodastream. He even drank directly out of the bottles. He still does.

Since that year, I have made it a point to make an explicit wish list for Christmas. Last year I really wanted a deer head for our bedroom. I made it explicitly clear; I got a deer head. This year, though, I’m going for quantity… I want to feel the excitement of opening lots of gifts on Christmas morning, like I did when I was a kid again.

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1. A Day of the Dead wine bottle opener/corkscrew from Paper Source. We were shopping a few weeks ago and saw them, and I fell in love. (Note to my husband: Day of the Dead is like two days into November. So…time is of the essence….)

2. Removable plastic sheets for my iPad!!!!! This is an infuriating request for me, because it’s super cheap and available online as well as at Sur La Table as well as at Bed Bath Beyond, and fuck it’s even around $10 for 100 at Target…and I asked for these for Mother’s Day – it’s all I wanted, I didn’t even mind cooking on Mother’s Day, as long as I could have those stupid plastic sheets so that I stop getting food all over my iPad when I cook. It was a REQUEST DENIED, though, so I’d really like some for Christmas.

3. Lots of good smelling stuff from Bath and Body Works, especially the winter scents (like Winter Candy Apple). I have an addiction to purchasing Bath and Body Works products, but lately haven’t gotten that many to try and pare down my stockpile. Around Christmas I will be totally out, though, so it would be totally awesome if someone in my family would replenish my stock – especially since I love the winter line all year long. I really love all their scents, though. Except that Japanese Blossom one, because that stuff smells like a cow’s ass.

4. A “People Mom Would Have An Affair With” personalized 2014 calendar. I would like the months to be as follows:

January: Wolf Blitzer. Duh, I have a huge s(he)hard-on for him.

February: Jay Cutler from the Chicago Bears, but he needs to be in the middle of one of those weird neck/shoulder twitch things he does before a play or during an interview.

March: Jim Cantore doing push ups while reporting from a hurricane.

April: Vladimir Putin. It would be totally rad if he were wearing some kind of a fur headpiece too…

May: Albert Camus. Yes, he is dead. Yes, I would totally cheat on my husband and jump his dead, old bones. Gross, but not sorry.

June: Hulk Hogan. Preferably in tight spandex, in the middle of administering a pile drive (the wrestling kind).

July: Bill Clinton. I would be in a binder of women delivered to his desk any day.

August: Chris Sale from the Chicago White Sox (hopefully at this time in the year he will still be with and playing regularly for the White Sox… and hopefully the White Sox won’t have blown it at this point like they had in 2013… and every other year…………)

September: Any random guy with long hair pulled back in a pony tale, a nerdy “I play MAGIC the Gathering every Sunday” kind of look to him; but with no acne and definitely well-presented enough for it to be clear he doesn’t live in his mother’s basement… in the middle of a LARP. Don’t ask me why, but sometimes that Lord of the Rings shit gets me going.

October: As many members of the NBA that will fit onto one page. (Don’t ask.)

November: No photo, just my mantra in large lettering: “No car, no job, no service.”

December: Fuck it: Gandolf.

The way I see it, this is sort of like the people that do those sexy photos for their spouses, only instead of looking at photographs of my husband on a pillowy bed with feather boas all around him and shit, I’ll be looking at the meaty men that I salivate over regularly, in a totally creepy and mental-infidelity kind of way.

5.A gift card to The Cheesecake Factory. You guys may be thinking that I just threw this one in there because I had nothing else for a #5, but I’m totally serious. I never eat there unless I have a gift card. It isn’t the cost, it’s just the place never comes to mind when thinking of where to go. And if there is one thing I need more of in my life, it’s motherfuckin’ cheesecake.

I still think it’s awful that Christmas season starts earlier and earlier every year; mainly because it gets old after a predetermined period of time, and it would be really awesome if that time weren’t before… oh, I don’t know… Christmas. Nonetheless, it was important to share my Christmas wish list early. You know, to give my husband enough time to make up some excuses why he got me another Sodastream instead.

This Whole Cat Thing Is Getting a Bit Tiring…

So when I first started blogging, I posted a blog called “Hello, Mr. Biglesworth…” It was a long time ago when I wrote it, and still one of my proudest pieces. In a nutshell, I was outlining – in a really silly open letter to cats – why I hate them.

I guess I just didn’t have many blog fans then. Not many people responded to the post negatively. Some agreed to disagree. We all walked away chuckling.

983697_579422125435615_1137414111_nFlash forward to now and this huge controversy started with a picture I posted on Facebook, originally found on Epicfail.com. Again, I found it on the Internet and just thought it was funny. I did not take the photograph myself. The cat didn’t look particularly bothered by the makeup. It definitely looked healthy and unabused. I ended up having to follow that up with a blog post, though, after someone wished me to be “mauled by a herd of cats” for posting the photograph.

That was two weeks ago.

Things have not been going so well since then. I have received death threats – yes, “I’m going to send my cat to kill you” threats. I have been given the lesser form of a death threat, the death wish: “I hope you die in a tragic accident involving cats and you burn in hell.” People have suggested I need mental help. They have offered me online mental health counseling. I have been told that my statement “I hate cats” is aggressive, hostile, abusive, psychotic, and illogical. I have lost multiple Facebook fans, and even one Facebook friend.

To say that this whole cat thing is getting a bit tiring is probably an understatement. It’s getting pretty goddamned old, people. I think it’s time we clear a few things up here, once and for all. See if you can pry yourselves away from your daily task of pampering your forty felines for a few minutes to hear me out.

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It Is A Fact That Not All People Like Cats

… and those people that do not like cats are actually – in some cases – clinically sane. Or clinically insane for reasons other than their dislike of cats.

There are a lot of reasons that people don’t like cats. It could be because they had a bad experience with one. Or maybe they are allergic: my reasoning for disliking them. There are all sorts of reasons why people don’t like cats, just like there are all sorts of reasons why others do. And why people like or dislike dogs. Like or dislike bubblegum ice cream or red furniture or high heels or the Chicago Blackhawks.

Having an emotional attachment to an animal does not make it wrong for others to not feel the same way you do. It’s called an opinion based on feelings and personal preferences. We are all entitled to them.

It Is A Fact That All Cats Are Gross

I’m going to go out on a limb here and offer a piece of universal criteria for gross. By “universal” I mean that it applies to all things, and is the case for everyone and everything. It doesn’t matter if you are a cat, a dog, a mouse, a person, a plant, a ghost… if you meet the criteria, you are gross.

Anything that shits in a box and licks its own asshole clean is gross.

So cats are definitely gross, because I have never seen a cat shit in a toilet, and I further have seen every cat I have ever seen – in my entire life – lick its own asshole clean. It’s natural! Of course it does it. Still gross.

This isn’t to say that cat owners are gross. This isn’t to say that cat owners shit in a box and lick their own assholes clean (although, you never know…). It just means that cats are gross, and that is a fact by the criteria I outlined above.

It Is A Case In Point Fact That Cats Are Not Humans

I know that a lot of people consider their cats to be family. And human. I myself consider our fish and guinea pig to be a part of our household unit.

But the fact remains that a pet is a pet. Not a human being. An animal. Not all people like them, and more over: not all people can be around them. A lot of people out there have very serious allergies to animals. I am one of them – when I get around cats I wheeze, my throat gets tight, and I even have had asthma attacks from being too close.

The problem with a lot of the cat owners I have encountered, though, is that they actually believe their cats are human beings, and members of their families whose lives are worth more than actual human beings. A lot of them refuse – under all circumstances – to be sensitive to their guests. Now I would never go into another person’s home and demand that they remove their animal, or start bitching and griping about how much a really despise those balls of allergens. But if someone invites me over, it tells me they care about and respect me enough to not let their little box-shitter climb all over me and my things, causing me to have an asthma attack. I mean, if I say nicely that I’m very seriously allergic… would it kill them to put the cat into the other room?

Many cat owners I have encountered don’t give a fuck, though. They just cannot seem to grasp the fact that people are all different. They have different experiences. They have different situations. I have been in a cat owner’s home before, using my inhaler because I cannot breath, and the owner has actually set the cat down on my lap and said “ohhhhh… Pickles wants you to hold her!!!” I don’t dare eat dinner at a cat owner’s home anymore, because I’m allergic to shellfish too and know that even though I nicely say I’m allergic they will likely feed me shrimp.

It is a case in point fact that cats are not humans. If you want to have a relationship with actual people, then you may want to consider putting the pets away for a while. Or else you’ll wind up one of those crazy cat people that has no friends and fifty felines.

Please stop with the angry comments and the death threats and the Facebook fighting and the deletions, people. This whole cat thing is getting a bit tiring. A girl’s allowed to her opinions, just like you’re all allowed to ignore them and walk away.

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STFU Fridays: Rude Comments

Ugh.

That is a new thing in our house. Everything that is disliked, annoying, arduous- just about anything distasteful – begins with a big, long “UGH.” It started when Pookies didn’t want to do chores and just started flopping around the floor going “ugh, why do I have to do that?!” From there, the trend began, and it seems now it’s every other word out of all our mouths. “I have to put away the dishes.” Ugh. “The laundry needs to be folded.” Ugh. “What’s for dinner?” Ugh.

I’m sure you faithful blog followers can imagine that rude comments, on all fronts, are met with the unhappy groan in a big way. This week’s STFU Fridays is devoted to them.

Rude Comments on the Blog … Ugh

Being a blogger is the most bullshit job there is, I think. Sure, it’s cool to have a place to vent in a no-holds-barred way. Yeah, the community of bloggers is awesome. Will I ever stop doing it because it’s bullshit? No way.

But man are there a lot of dicks on the Internet.

At least once a week, I get a comment on an old post or my About Me page. I have come to emit the “UGH” right off the bat when I see it in my email, simply because it always means one thing and one thing only: someone is attempting (in an anonymous, chicken shit way) to call me an ugly, nasty, dirty, miserable whore. Some beat around the bush and say I’m childish because I stand up for something I believe in. Others go below the belt and tell me I’m a slut. There is also the group of comments that I just know are from my husband’s family and friends (most of whom very much dislike this bitter cup of tea).

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To all of them: shut the fuck up. Shut the fuck up, or at least grow some balls. I have never had a rude blog comment come with an actual identity. You know, someone that has the guts to actually say their name and real email address? Because with a real email address, we may actually be able to talk it out. Sometimes people just got offended by something I said, or misunderstood me – that would be remediable if only we had a real identity other than “UraCunt@fuckyou.com”. But then I’m sure anyone that calls me something like that, or says that I “look like someone gang-banged your face and left you for dead to put you out of your ugly, slutly misery” may not be in the mood to smooth things over.

Rude Comments on Facebook … Ugh

Have you seen anyone post rude comments on Facebook? I see it all the time. In fact, I see it so often, it’s a wonder I haven’t bled to death from biting my tongue in an attempt to preserve friendships with people I am slowly, but surely, losing respect for.

MjAxMy1iOWQ5MGMzNWIxNzczYzNlOne such rude comment is this eCard that goes around regularly about how Facebook is not your diary. That is the rudest fucking comment anyone could make – be it directly or indirectly. Facebook is whatever-the-fuck people want it to be. If someone wants to blather their shit all over about their drama and their life and their various issues, just who the fuck is anyone else to tell them that they are using the social network wrong? If you don’t like it, don’t look at it! And shut the fuck up!

Ugh.

But it isn’t just a comment in a card like that. It’s everywhere. The other day I saw someone post that a girl with no money is made even uglier than her taste in clothes. What the hell? Yesterday one of my friends felt it necessary to qualify her complaint over her Facebook status with an entire paragraph about how she doesn’t usually like to complain on Facebook. In the comments, someone made some rude comment about how she’s “become one of those.” I could go on with these anecdotes for days.

It is as if all of our social barriers have gone away, and rudeness is the status quo. Shut the fuck up.

Rude Comments in Person … Double Ugh

I deal with a lot of rude comments in person. For those faithful blog followers that work in customer service, deal with assholes on a regular basis, or are surrounded by people that feel it their duty to let you know on a regular basis all the reasons why your existence in this world is wrong (I fall into this latter category), then you will really get this one.

Lately I have felt very criticized. Everyone in my family seems to be having a really hard time not telling me why every step I make is wrong. “This needs more…” “You did this wrong…” “Way to screw up…” “You aren’t cleaning this right…” “You folded that wrong…” “Why did you do that the wrong way…” and so on.

In the last week alone, my husband has implied I am a bad mother, told me I really am a bitch; and my father has questioned and argued with my decisions as a parent no less than eight times. Don’t even get me started on my Trailer Trash Mom – UGH, I know.

A few weeks ago, we had guests over for dinner and I was told that I went to college and graduate school to “do nothing.” That apparently spread around the family, and on New Years Eve I was reminded of the rude comment. These types of things occur in our house (directed at me) every, single day.

People that make rude comments like this in person need a big punch in the gut with a shut the fuck up fist. Life is hard enough without some trollish a’hole making things more contentious and miserable.

So, faithful blog followers – I implore you to ruminate on this one a while. Because as I wrote, I realized a few times in recent history that I too could have been construed as having made a rude comment. I mean, I’m called The B(itch) for a reason, right? If you are a rude commenter, please join me in shutting the fuck up. And for Christ’s sakes, stop calling me a cunt on my About Me page. This Friday’s STFU will be meaningless if we don’t.

 

All the Things I Should Have Said Today, But Didn’t

So who’s going to sign up for the “drag Heather back to California kicking and screaming” team? Because the way things are going, I don’t feel like it’s going to be easy to come home from our vacation, which begins in T-minus two days. The only saving grace is that my husband and all my things are here. Otherwise I would be so disillusioned with California culture at this point that you’d have to put me in a  straight jacket and mouthguard to force me back.

Today I went to a kid’s party. Seems normal, although I went on my own for once since we have been getting over a cold and the last thing I want is for everyone to get worse just before we leave for my sweet, home:  Chicago. It was the third birthday party of the daughter of one of my long-time California friends. She and I have known each other since I worked on her mother’s campaign for United States Congress – I was at her wedding, at the hospital three years ago when her daughter was born, and managed to keep in contact with her even though we haven’t seen much of each other in the past few years. Since we moved out of Los Angeles and back into the ‘burbs recently, though, it seemed only natural I would go to her daughter’s party.

Let me start this by saying, though, that I don’t like some of their friends. She and her husband are awesome, their families are equally as wonderful of people; but some of their friends leave me scratching my head. I’m sure by the end of these “things I said” and their companion “things I should have said,” you will be scratching yours too. Or drinking heavily, which is what I did when I got home.

Things I said:

When I walked up, they had one of those Jolly Jumper things set up in the front and kids were jumping and screaming in it with a few adults standing outside of it. I recognized all of them immediately – some of whom were these friends. One of the women I will never forget because (1) she squirted breast milk on me accidentally one time during a UFC party while she breastfed her infant; and, (2) they recently moved down the block from my father and I see them while driving all the time. I kindly said “hello” and she didn’t recognize me. Then she sort of did, then she didn’t, then it got awkward and she said “you must be who I am thinking of, but your hair is different.” I smiled and said “yes.”

Things I should have said: “Yeah, I do look a lot different now. You don’t though. You’re still a borderline obese cow in sweatpants squirting her breast milk at everyone – could never forget that! Don’t worry, I’d forget me too.”

Things I said:

I tried to walk into the actual house to see my friend, drop off the gift, and converse with the sane family members I knew would be there. As I made my way in, though, someone else saw me and this time I was recognized. The woman was sitting down breastfeeding at the time and flagged me over; when I walked over she talked a little and then said “don’t you look cute today! A little overdressed for a kid’s party, but to each his own!” I was wearing a short black spring dress, a white and black striped shirt underneath, a sweater, a pair of leggings, and my black Uggs. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t overdressed – I wear this outfit at least once every few weeks. Nonetheless, I defended myself with an “oh, you know … I never have an excuse to get out of yoga pants most of the time, so I thought I’d at least look nice!”

Things I should have said: “Oh, you think I’m overdressed? That’s funny because even though it’s a kid’s party, I’m fairly certain cheap Kmart sweat pants and an oversized t-shirt is inappropriate. You should probably go change, now.”

Things I said (or rather did):

I walked in the door, but was again accosted, this time by a man. He and I had a great conversation a few years ago at a birthday party. He was engaged to this girl my age that dressed something like my mother. She was there today, wearing a knitted vest with a snowman on it. Anyway, so he and I had a great conversation at a birthday party a while ago. I was dressed down, looking sort of crappy, and just talking to him about philosophy because he asked what I did and I was in school at the time. Apparently afterwards, the squirting cow from earlier started a huge rumor about how “Heather the whore” was always flirting with all of their men. Some big rumor drama started and the guy’s fiancé was just horrified by the whole ordeal. I learned this shortly afterwards because we were at another party and the guy and his sweater vest-wearing-woman didn’t even come, which I guess was because she was afraid he’d flirt with me “back.”

So they were there today and the guy said “hello” and started talking to me. In the three years since I’ve last seen him, he’s aged about thirty. His fiancé is now his wife and while I spoke with him, she walked by staring. She just paced back and forth, glaring; and a minute later when I said “hello” to her as well, she turned around and walked off. Politely, I concluded the conversation and said it was nice to see him, and went about my way.

Things I should have said (or should have done): After the second or third time that bitch paced back and forth, glaring at me, I should have shouted “I’ve been wanting to do this for years!!” and then planted one on him, not forgetting to grab his balls briefly at the end.

Things I said:

Finally, I made it in. I was greeted briefly by my friend and her husband. I spoke with her mother, his father, and got some food. I didn’t want to eat much so had a chicken leg and some crackers. While getting myself a Diet Coke from their drink stash, someone else came up to me. This woman really roasts my ass. At my friend’s wedding, her husband referred to my father as “the help” and yelled at him – that’s the kind of person we’re talking about, here. Anyway, so she is something like 60, acts 150, and she walked up to me, grabbed my unequivocally not-baby-filled-gut and started screaming “ooooooooooohhhhhhhhh, you’re preeeeeegggggnanttttttttt!!!!!!!” Now I can admit that I could shed a few pounds here and there, but I most certainly did not look pregnant. I laughed, said “no… I’m not pregnant … so how are you doing?” Then excused myself quietly as people still stared, about five minutes later.

Things I should have said: “Yeah, you know I am. Hope they don’t mind but I just peed on the couch inside – the baby was pressing on my bladder. So I guess the rest of these breast milk squirting cows are all carrying, like, quintuplets or something, huh? And you’ve got a baby under that senior discounted Walmart moo moo too I see! You’re preeeeeeeeggggnantttttttttt!!!!!”

Shortly after, I left the party. Said my goodbyes, hugs and such. Then I went to my car with my head held high, only to feel completely demoralized by the time I got home. Wine and cheese made everything better, as well as the reminder that in just a couple days now I will be on my way home for the first time in over a decade. California will be lucky if I return.