STFU Fridays: All Hail Herr Nietzsche

For those of you that haven’t caught on yet, I went to graduate school in philosophy. Yes, I am one of those people. I think a lot. By a lot I mean all the time. I took a little too much to heart the lesson in humility from Socrates, though, so I really do believe I’m a dumbass (thanks a lot, jerk). But I also believe that my education was far superior to anyone else’s, even though it hasn’t gotten me anywhere. (The old philosophy student’s joke was: What is the first thing a Ph.D. in Philosophy asks on the job? Would you like fries with that?) And for five years or so, I’ve been in a perpetual existential crisis. What does it all mean and all that high-fallutin crap.

So I’ve been thinking a lot about Nietzsche lately. For those of you that have no idea who I am referring to: (1) you for real need to wake the fuck up; and (2) he was a German philologist, one of the fathers of modern philosophy, and the dude had a whack mustache. Your Movember ‘staches and wanna-be Fu Manchu hipster shit has all got nothing on Nietzsche’s facial hair.

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I will be providing further tutorial on Herr Nietzsche after we discuss this week’s Shut the Fuck Up. For now, let’s leave it at: the dude was pretty rad.

Now I’m getting ready for my kid’s birthday party. It’s in about a week (seriously guys, if it weren’t for Shut the Fuck Up Fridays, I would have no concept of day or time). All I know right now is that it’s turned into the event of the goddamned century.

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There are going to be four little girls and a ton of adults there. It’s a tea party. Everyone is getting really dressed up. There will be crumpets. There will be doilies and tule. We will have three cakes and a cake table: a standing princess cake, a Cinderella’s carriage cake, and cupcakes.

And then yesterday we realized that the kids needed games to play. Duh, it’s a kid’s party. It isn’t just eat and go to them. So now we’re making games: pin the shoe on Cinderella, learn your tea party etiquette, and the coupe de grace of the event – the Cinderella pumpkin carriage piñata. (Which I am making.)

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So Herr Nietzsche.

Yesterday I had to get the rest of the supplies I needed to make the games, finish the piñata, and so on. My mom called and said that she had a coupon for 40% off the entire purchase at Michael’s, and while I did want to avoid my mother yesterday, I couldn’t pass up on the deal. As we walked around the store, though, picking out the things that I needed, looking at the Christmas stuff, navigating the holiday shoppers, and grabbing impulse buys along the way, my mom went into this little tirade about how the birthday party was “too nice.”

“You’re going to make people feel weird with everyone dressing up,” she said.

“What, a simple Vons cake isn’t enough for you people?” she whined.

“I think you guys are acting a little pretentious with all the decorating,” she griped.

After some hearty thinking, I realized that her problem is she is jealous. She isn’t in charge of the party. She isn’t even throwing it – it’s being held at my mother-in-law’s. My mother has nothing to wear. My mother would have just gotten a Vons cake – to hear that I am baking the carriage cake, a family friend is baking the standing princess cake, and my mother-in-law is baking the cupcakes was just the icing on her own cake of inadequacy.

Now let’s not get all “oh, you are leaving her out…” because you faithful blog followers know that my Trailer Trash Mom is unreliable, a drama queen, and a total flake. Up until yesterday she said she didn’t even think she would be coming to the party – and this was before she heard about all the pomp and circumstance that would be going on.

Nietzsche had this idea that people deemed what was right and wrong in the world by whether they were a master or a slave. Without getting into too much verbiage here, the people that get angry and resentful when something is nice, that find fault in things they cannot do, are the slaves. They see those that can as masters; as their oppressors. Nietzsche says that they have to cut down the masters so as to feel better about their own slave inadequacies. My mother’s slave mentality spews from her constantly. If she can’t afford a nice gift, well then gifts are over the top. If she doesn’t have time to throw the party, well then the party is pretentious and shouldn’t be done.

Basically, it’s about cutting people down so that you feel better about yourself. To this, I say: shut the fuck up.

Shut the fuck up with your bullshit that the cakes should be Vons cakes. Shut the fuck up with this “if I’m not in charge, it shouldn’t be happening.” Shut the fuck up with your underlying resentment over the fact that you squandered away all your money and can’t afford a nice gift. Shut the fuck up with all of it.

I’m sure you faithful blog followers all have a slave in your life; perhaps you just haven’t realized that their bullshit, narcissistic, weakling viewpoints were really just a matter of being jealous that they feel inadequate in one way or another. I think a lot of people call it “those that want people to be as miserable as them.” They are the people that need to make sure everyone knows how much they disapprove of things being nice. They are the people that need to make sure everyone understands that they think nice is wrong for some reason or another (excess, gluttony, whatever). They are the people that would rather not show up for a party because they think it is “too pretentious,” when in actuality they just need to cut others down to size to feel better about the fact that they – themselves – did not throw such a party.

They all need to take a lesson from Nietzsche and shut it right the fuck up.

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Now for those of you that not only need to shut the fuck up, but need to wake the fuck up, here’s a nice little documentary on Nietzsche. It’s shorter than an episode of Dancing With the Stars. And while I know that you are going to be very busy right now pinning photos of cute DIY projects to your Pinterest, and uploading 7,000 photographs of your celebrity crush to your Facebook page, methinks you would all benefit from turning that shit off, shutting the fuck up, and watching this video right now.

All hail Herr Nietzsche!

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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.