My Complete List of (Planned) 2013 Failures

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Do you like setting yourself up for failure? I sure know I do. I used to think that if I never tried at anything, then I would never fail. Then I realized that never trying was in a sense failing too, so I started trying but realized that if I were to succeed then I would never know what to do with myself. So I try but set myself up to fail so that I don’t run the risk of not knowing just what in the hell I do once I do succeed. And then I still never have to fail because by setting myself up to fail, I in a way actually do succeed at something, but not something so terribly successful that I am lost once it’s all over. Technically.

Follow my logic? I know, it’s hard being inside my brain sometimes.

So 2012 may or may not have been a major year of failures for me. It depends on how you look at it. I published a book, that was pretty rad. But it wasn’t the book I wanted it to be – it was a memoir, geared towards the readers of this blog; rather than the Great American Novel (or whatever you want to call it). I really wanted it to be that big novel deal. I planned on reading 50 books, since I had completed my goal of 40 in 2011. That was a big whopper, because I fell into a funk around the spring and read a total of 5 for the year. I tried knitting scarves for all of my family as well. I knitted two.

I know. I’m a total loser.

Moving along to the New Year coming up. I’m not too into New Year’s resolutions – the concept is just so stupid to me. I think that is because the majority of people who make these life-changing “resolutions” are resolving to do things they (a) know they will never do; and (b) should be doing anyway. And the concept reeks of always thinking there is something inherently wrong with ourselves. “I’m going to lose weight.” “I’m going to drink less.” “I’m going to be nicer to my husband.” All those resolutions are nice, sure – but we are who we are, and even if there is something about ourselves that we’d like to change, to call it a “resolution” is like saying we are lesser people because of whatever the circumstance is that we want to change. I really think that we should be comfortable with the life we’ve chosen. Even if we want to change it, we should first make the resolution to accept where we have come from.

As I said: I know, it’s hard being inside my brain sometimes.

Now just because I am not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions, per se (or at least calling them New Year’s resolutions); and even though I do like setting myself up for failure, I still know that it’s important to make a plan for the year to come as the old ball begins to drop towards midnight on December 31st. Without plans and objectives and things to look forward to, what do we have other than a vacuous day-to-day existence?

Thus, I give you: My Complete List of (Planned) 2013 Failures.

1.  Read 40 books. I think I can do this. Maybe. I may cheat and finish the 20 or so books I started and failed to finish in 2012 to get the ball rolling.

2.  Move to Chicago. I’m sure that I will fail miserably on this one, even though everyone seems to be on board with our plan to finally make this happen. After 12 years of trying and failing, I just remain a little skeptical.

282887_649925093293_198650517_n3.  Knit blankets for my cousins Linsay and Clayton to go along with both of their wedding gifts (they are both getting married in the summer); as well as a baby blanket for each of the 11 friends having babies this next year.

4.  Have a baby. Yeah right, like that’s going to happen. Motherhood has already driven me to the nuthouse enough as it is; and that would require my husband and I to come within 5 feet of each other. Still, though, the thought crosses my mind more frequently as my clock ticks, and more friends show up pregnant.

5.  Cook and clean like a slave less.

6.  Take an art class. There was a time when I was an art major; and despite all the times I’ve committed to get back into it over the years, I have still not picked up a drawing pencil or paint brush in over a decade.

7.  Use the Internet less. In fact, Sundays are now going to be Internet-free in our house (let’s see how long that lasts).

8.  Talk on the phone more.

9.  Watch even more of The Simpsons. This is kind of weird. I have a pretty serious obsession with The Simpsons. I have the seasons on DVD and watch them every night before I go to bed. Sometimes I have day-long marathons of the show too – I just think it is one of the wittiest and realistic betrayals of American life. And I always get it when they take jabs at our contemporary American culture.

10.  Let myself go. I don’t mean gain 200 pounds, or let my hair get all gross and stringy. I mean be more comfortable. Wear jeans and sweatshirts more. Take more makeup-free days.

11.  Publish my compilation of short stories. It’s no Great American Novel, but it’ll do for now.

12.  Get a new dog.

13.  Learn to play the ukelele.

14.  Correct the current Pookies idea that babies get into a mother’s stomach by virtue of “the mom eating the baby, where it stays in her colon until the doctor cuts it out.”

15.  Take a mental health trip to a spa or a plateau or somewhere alone. An insane asylum for electroshock therapy will do.

If I don’t get a chance to say it between now and then, I suppose a happy new year to all of you faithful blog followers is in order. To peace. To prosperity. To failing miserably in all our life’s ventures in the year to come.

What Is Wrong With You People?

This afternoon I was cleaning up the various clutter that has taken over my house when I got a message from my friend Raynor.

We had just gotten home from our girl’s lunch. We went to Yama Sushi and had udon and yakisoba – my favorites, especially when it is cold. While there the tragedy in Connecticut was on the news, and I explained what happened and how we pray for those innocent children and educators, and for their families. Pookie told me that she hopes Jesus lets those kids play with our dog Watson, who died a few years ago.

So we were cleaning clutter and Raynor sent me a message with a meme attached. He was upset. He actually said he wished he knew who created the meme, because he would go kick the living shit out of the person. If you knew Raynor, you would know that Raynor doesn’t normally talk like that.

CTAs I looked at the meme I was pretty horrified. And here is where I ask: just what is wrong with you people?

Raynor sent me that message on Facebook, and so I then perused through the updates in my newsfeed. Almost everyone had posted about today’s tragedy, although a few were rambling on about guns not killing people, people killing people, and how there is no resolution to the mental health issues this country has been ignoring for decades. Another said that it’s sad, and she’s glad to know that would never happen in her town. I commented on six of those updates, each of them the same: what is wrong with you people?

Earlier this year when the Dark Knight Tragedy in Aurora, CO happened, I felt physically ill when I watched the news and saw an interview with an average movie-goer in Hollywood who said “that’ll never happen to us.” Then and now, I am just dumbstruck by the attitude with which so many people seem to be carrying on their lives.

What is wrong with you people that you cannot see that we have to change everything about our way of thinking, living, and breathing, or this same bullshit is just going to keep happening? What is wrong with you people that it all comes down to your guns and your freedoms and your tax dollars you don’t want to be spent on things you consider “needless”? What is wrong with you people that you cannot see that this culture of “it’s sad but it will never happen to me” is the biggest part of the problem?

I am not advocating for ridding the country of guns. I am not advocating for keeping them either. I am not saying all our tax dollars should go to mental health services. I am really not saying anything political or ideological, I am just saying that we need to wake up. Something is wrong with the entire way we are living our lives as an American people, and to me it seems that as a nation we are stuck in a hazy somnambulism. Everyone is asleep in the cozy comfort they have wrapped themselves in until something like what happened today happens to them.

What is wrong with you people that you can’t see it is wrong to politicize a tragedy? What is wrong with you people that you truly believe your ideological viewpoints are worth preserving more than the lives of innocent children? As I continued to message back and forth with Raynor about that terribly crass, and ultimately pathetic, meme he was so upset over, I kept perusing through my Facebook feed until I reached a point I could not take it anymore. That point was an update where someone posted: “What is wrong with people that they would take the lives of innocent children like that? No one is safe anymore!”

I signed out of my Facebook and thought about what I believe the real issue is. It isn’t that people are sick, people are demented, and that no one is safe because of them. It is that no one is safe anymore, so long as America is asleep. What is wrong with you people that you can’t see the only way to protect the innocent is to to wake up and make a change?

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.

Everything You Never Wanted To Know About Me

I spent some time last night scoping out new blogs. A couple things led me to do this. First we watched Hachi, and Pookie cried all over the house for an hour about how she wanted a dog. Of course, my husband was absent for the whole thing – having escaped to the bedroom to “look for jobs” – ahem, watch the Dodger’s game. Because of this I agreed to turn on another movie immediately after the crying stopped, but the one selected was some made-for-TV crap about a teenage girl that accidentally publishes her journal in the school newspaper and then goes into some book deal, or other such unrealistic jargon.

So I broke out my computer and started looking for distractions in blog form.

The first thing I do when I check out new blogs is read the About Me. Of course, I don’t want to read a blog that ends up being a total waste of my time. Someone I will not get along with. A person that speaks in grammatical errors and LOLs. Or – worst of all – will get offended if I comment and drop the F bomb.

While I read some About Me’s of the new blogs I had heard of, I thought about my own About Me. It’s pretty boring, more like a Bio. And it in no way, shape, or form represents what my blog is all about. It doesn’t talk about being a mom blogger. It doesn’t outline my truly staunch cynicism. It isn’t even snarky or funny.

To be quite blunt about it: it’s fucking boring.

So I decided I’d share with you guys another About Me. An About Me that is the true Heather. That lets out the real B(itch).

Everything You Never Wanted To Know About Me

1. I wear a 36 or 38C bra. It depends on where I buy the bra from. And no matter what, every night when I take it off I find enough food I’ve dropped in there to feed a starving third world child for a day.

2. I think it’s funny to respond to commercials, no matter where I am. As a result, yesterday when I was at the nail salon and the commercial for the attorney that is trying to hire people with urinary incontinence as a result of a faulty transvaginal mesh came on, I said out loud in front of a roomful of strangers: “can I call for urinary incontinence even if I don’t have a transvaginal mesh?”

3. For the record, I do not suffer from urinary incontinence, although I do have the bladder of a five year old that still has to wear Pull Ups overnight.

4. Oh, who am I kidding … every time I sneeze I piss myself.

5. I have a terribly unhealthy fear of elevators and getting caught in public restrooms. I think this means that I’m claustrophobic. Regardless, a few weeks ago the lock in a public bathroom got jammed and I almost shit myself right then and there before I figured out how to unjam it.

6. When I was little, I really and truly believed that the devil existed. As in a could-possess-people, living amongst us, you’d better do your daily praying devil. I don’t even know if it was my religious upbringing or what, but it wasn’t until after high school that I shook it. Then I reaffirmed that belief when I got married and attributed the title of “satan” to my husband.

7. I have enough memories of listening to New Kids On the Block when I was little that an object-association with one of their songs occurs almost every single day. That means that almost every day I have an NKOTB song stuck in my head.

8. Every time my husband takes his cell phone into the bathroom, I yell “just remember, 90% of cell phones have e coli on them because of pigs like you!” He still does it and I can’t help but feel a little pukey at the thought of him sitting on the toilet.

9.  Once he “liked” a photo on Instagram from his cell phone while in the bathroom and I was so grossed out that I deleted the photo.

10. Almost every conversation with my mother on the phone ends with the sound of the toilet flushing behind her.

11. I’m secretly looking forward to the next Paranormal Activity movie. It isn’t that I enjoy the movies; it’s that I love to watch the reactions of the audience. People screaming and calling the ladies in the film hoes is the height of entertainment for me.

12. My biggest turn on is a philosophical conversation. I don’t mean something that I like, I mean something that makes me hot. Hotter than those Greeks when they got around Socrates and his open-robe policy.

13. While I do cook and bake things from scratch the majority of the time, every once in a while I just stop at my local bakery and buy whatever I’ve promised for a party or get-together. But I can’t let my reputation be tarnished as one of those people that just buys something (I know, it is as stupid as it sounds), so I take the goods out of the store-bought container and put it in my own tupperware. Then I tell everyone I made it. Once with a cake I made a few smudges so that it really looked like I had made it.

14. I just ate french fries from McDonalds last week. This was the first time I had eaten McDonalds food in over a year; and the entire time I read the nutrition facts and reassured myself aloud that it would all be OK.

15. I’m a total hypochondriac. But I’m not your typical hypochondriac that keeps letting their fears get more and more out of control. At some point I let my reason and rationale overcome my irrational fears. And then I hit Google. But I don’t hit Google to continue my fears; I hit Google to find other people that are more irrational than me, just to feel better about myself. Like last night, when I thought our saltine crackers tasted funny. After I forced my husband to eat half a package to decide for himself, I hit Google to find people that were more paranoid with saltine cracker fears than me.

16. I cry over everything. From big things, like when my husband told me it was a fantasy to expect quality time and never taking a day for granted with our family; to little things, like the fact that the chicken I went to prepare last night was ruined by a fickle BBQ.

17. I have always had major self-confidence issues.

18. Somehow my self-confidence issues have paired me with person after person after person, from romantic relationships to casual friendships, who not only has worse self-confidence issues than me, but uses their relationships to put others down to make themselves feel better.

19. I own an old Macbook, a new Macbook Air, and an iPad, and yet I hate the iPhone with every breath in my body.

20. I’m a leaking ball of sneezing and snot. In other words, I’m allergic to everything; worst for my situation in California is my allergy to palm frond. That means I cannot go outside without sneezing. As a result, sometimes I feel like I live in a bubble of closed windows and sterile air conditioning.

21. I have no problem pulling my underwear out of my ass in public, should the occasion arise.

22. I have never worn a thong. I don’t plan on it either.

23. Every pair of underwear I own is black, with the exception of one that is striped pink-blue-and-green. I haven’t worn those in years.

24. I was planning for vacation and buying new underwear earlier this year, and forgot that I had 12 pairs in the dirty laundry, so bought a bunch more and now I own over 45 pairs of black underwear.

25. I always thought worms looked something like a penis, and therefore had no problem eating them when I was in high school and people used to dare each other to “eat worms.”

I assume many of you need to compose yourselves enough to unfollow me now.

300th Post, Ruined By a Jerkface

Well it’s Happy 300th B(itch)es! I had this great post planned. I was going to do a lot of photos. Funny stuff. A list of confessions. And gunk about anniversaries and getting busy.

Then this total jerkface ruined my mood, so we’re sticking to the theme of B(ITCH)LOG for this one. This will probably be more comical than my list of confessions. And you guys didn’t want to know about how infrequently I shave my legs, or about that time in Cabo I always reference anyway…

This weekend whilst I canned pickles and sun-dried tomatoes and shit, the husband broke out the Halloween decorations to keep little hands busy so they weren’t touching my canned goods. It’s a little premature (Halloween being over a month away) but regardless of that, it was a helpful distraction and – anyway – it’s our home so we can do whatever the fuck we want. You don’t see me complaining to anyone because the neighbor has had fake weapons made out of foil with red marker-blood drawn on them hanging from his window since we moved here. No one’s come up dead so I figure he’s into that freaky, gothic crap. I didn’t storm outside screaming when the guy across the way sat on his porch in his tighty-whiteys scratching his balls and smoking for an hour one day last week.

If I want fucking pumpkins and maize and shit around my house, I’ll fucking have pumpkins and maize and shit around my house. What you do in/on your space is your business. As long as it’s legal and nobody gets hurt, of course.

And anyway, our decorations are relatively modest. There is a little fall display on our kitchen table that I made Saturday (pictured above), which sits at the foot of my large Buddha. (This just inspired my uber-Catholic father to ask if I was presenting offerings to Buddha and, thus, going to hell. That was a fun pseudo-Catholic-joke-gone-wrong on his part.) We have a skeleton in the bathroom that laughs when you flush the toilet. There’s a little, glittery mummy on the breakfast table. Some cobwebs and lights on the indoor trees. And my third-string boyfriend “Boney” (for his massive, invisible boner) hanging from my pot and pan rack.

You can imagine then how I felt when this middle-aged nerd in Harry Caray glasses, with a pot belly hanging over his belt and sweat dripping from his brow, knocked on my fucking door to inform me that our fall decor offended him. Motherfucker said it “offended” his “senses.”

#1: It’s September and the last time I checked there is fall shit everywhere. The only things we have outside are a little skeleton thing that he probably did not see, it is so out of the way; and the scarecrow sitting between our two deck chairs.

#2: Even if Halloween were a fucking millennia away, fall is later this week. Therefore, a scarecrow – unambiguously a fall decoration – is totally acceptable.

#3: If I wanted to plaster my entire front porch with lighted signs that say “Happy Halloween Dickweed in the Harry Caray glasses!!!” with neon orange lights blaring until four o’clock in the morning, it’s my right to do so. I pay rent the same way this dillhole does. I pay my share of the community water bills, likely as high as they are because of this dude’s extra need for summer douching. I have just as much a right to display what I want as he does to display any nerd convention shit he may choose to display on his front porch. My. Fucking. Right.

So I told that jerkface to mind his business and get off my porch.

My retaliation to this anally bleached king of the middle-aged nerds is going to begin tomorrow and not end until Valentine’s Day. From now until then, I will be decorating our apartment prematurely for every holiday I can possibly find decorations for. And I’m doing it big. We’re talking blaring lights. We’re talking shit that talks and scares the crap out of you when you walk by it. We’re talking Christmas before Thanksgiving. Valentine’s Day on January 3rd. I want to blow this middle-aged a-hole back to a time when people minded their own fucking business and just shut the fuck up once in a while.

It’s going to be great.

Happy 300, faithful blog followers! You can see my psychosis and foul-mouthed antics still reign supreme after all this time. I suppose it’s best that I was in true form anyway for this blessed post. Maybe one day in the future I’ll finally do that confessions blog and tell about the scandal in Cabo…

What, Exactly, Are Big Girl Panties?

Sometimes when I’m out to lunch with my dad, he’ll say something along the lines of: “yeez, Heather … you should probably stop woofing down those french fries like there’s no tomorrow, or you’ll have to upgrade to big girl panties.” The oddity that is our father-daughter repertoire aside, I always think of this when I hear someone say “time to put on your big girl panties.”

Of course when people say that, they don’t mean you’re getting a little hefty around the backside. Well maybe they do, but for all intents and purposes we’ll assume that what they really mean is: it’s time to act like a big kid. They mean that it’s time for you to grow up. For you to make a decision you don’t want to make. Follow through with an action you don’t want to do. It means that you need to make a sacrifice, be an adult, and act your age.

And it means the big R. Responsibility.

I can think of  a few examples in recent memory that I wore my big girl panties.

Yesterday,

in the grocery store parking lot

Yesterday, in the grocery store parking lot, a skirmish unfolded and I was confronted with the need to hitch up my big girl panties and move along quietly. A woman parked next to us as we were getting out to walk into the store, and she therefore was walking in about the same general area as us from car-to-grocery. As we all crossed the lot to the store, a car pulled up very quickly and started honking, the driver yelling “hurry up!!” Rude, I know, but having the Pookies in tow meant I needed to keep it down to set a good example.

“Some people are in such a hurry,” I said calmly as we finished walking into the store, but then the woman that had parked next to us turned around and started screaming at the car. “Bite me you son of a bitch!” she screamed, causing everyone in the parking lot to turn and look. Inside she was my personal hero; outside she really needed to pull up her big girl panties and move on.

Last Friday, over text message with my Trailer Trash Mom

I invited my mother over for dinner over the weekend and she accepted. I know what you all are thinking: I was being too kind. I was, but then I really wanted to get more dirt on what is going on with her Hillbilly Husband/New Mexico trailer-drama. What can I say, I like a good story. So she told me she’d let me know which day worked better with my grandparents’ schedule and then I didn’t hear from her for a few days.

Friday I texted her and said: “Hey, I just went and got all the food for dinner. Do you know whether Saturday or Sunday will work best yet?” and she responded that they were invited to a family tailgate party for the UCLA-Nebraska game, and had decided to (a) extend it into a whole-weekend-family-affair, that I was (b) excluded from on account of the fact that I don’t like either team. This is how that family usually rolls, so I wasn’t the least bit surprised.

I’ve mentioned before that I don’t really like my mom, so it really wasn’t that big of a deal. It was still rude that she handled it like that, though, and if I were to let it get to me I probably would have said something nasty. But did I get upset, and scream and cry about it? No. I pulled up my big girl panties and put the extra food in the freezer for us to eat later next week; then waited to smile when Nebraska got creamed.

But what if you don’t want to put on your big girl panties?

This morning when I woke up, I was immediately smacked in the face with my very real “big girl panties” problem: our rent is being increased significantly. The problem is very complex. We’re trying to move to the Midwest – something I have been waiting to do for about 12 years now. Signing a 10 or 12 month lease (the two options we were given besides month-to-month) will lock us in here for another full year. A lot can happen in a year, and as I said I have been patiently waiting and working towards this for 12 years. It will also increase our rent even at that. Another option is that we pay the month-to-month rate and starve to death. There’s also the fact that this place isn’t even worth what we pay now – we had an attempted break-in a few months ago, my outdoor vase was stolen just last week, and a child of one of the neighbors was kidnapped on the 4th of July. But moving to another place while we buy some more time to figure out the whole Midwest move thing will cost a lot of money and lock us into another lease.

Ugh, I know.

You can see why I don’t want to pull up my big girl panties on this one. We’re stuck between a rock and a hard place and in the end the only one that will really be suffering, acting like a big girl, and sacrificing for it is me. I’ll have to stretch the budget to make it work. I’ll have to go another year waiting. It’s very frustrating, to say the least.

So while I do believe that there are a lot of instances when we need to let ourselves upgrade to big girl panties, figuratively speaking of course; I also believe that there may be a time to say “enough is enough.” Is there ever a time when we shouldn’t have to put on our big girl panties? What, exactly, are big girl panties, anyway? I always thought they meant adulthood. Sacrifice. Responsibility. Stuff you do but don’t want to.

But is always sacrificing, never taking risks, and settling for less really living?

The Joys of Apartment Living

Every once in a while, one of my friends or family asks just why we are still living in an apartment. “Why not buy, do the right thing?” they ask, when I then have to remind them that we don’t plan on staying in this palatial California community forever. I don’t want to the run the risk of being stuck. Beyond that, we actually like apartment living to a certain degree. Every time something goes wrong, it’s as easy and free as a maintenance request. There isn’t that notion of being stuck; and if we want to up and leave, we have the luxury of doing so with little hassle.

But then there are the downsides.

Sunday we came home to see that notices had been tacked on the doors, giving a final warning about people that had things stored in their carport spaces (which is forbidden by terms of the lease). This has been going on for some time, which is why I call it a “final warning.” And to be clear, I have no problem with this rule. They outlined it quite clearly in the lease; I’m happy to oblige.

What I take a little offense to, though, is the fact that they go on and on about how much “pride” they take in “the appearance and cleanliness of our community.” You don’t say.

After getting the notice, we went out to do some errands. Grocery store. Toys R Us. Stuff like that. When we got back, I got a few immediate reminders that the appearance and cleanliness of our community isn’t actually something the apartment complex takes pride in. This carport storage thing seems to just be about proving a point.

Exhibit A: Sexy Time at the Toyota truck in carport B. What the hell is this nonsense all over this guy’s car? I get a simple practical joke, but this guy’s car has been like this for ages. Every day, children ride up and down this driveway on their bikes and scooters to see this message of sexy time and dick licking at the Toyota truck in carport B.

“Family friendly community” indeed! In the last few months, this place has become less family friendly and more cesspool quality, with hillbilly brawls, beer cans all over the place, and parties going until 4 o’clock in the morning.

Exhibit B: The un-policing of neighbor infiltrations. Some time ago, I saw that the large gate between our apartment complex and the one next to us had been halfway torn down. To begin with that, it’s an eyesore – much more offensive than people storing things in front of their cars in the carports.

Then one day I was in the laundry room and some people from the unit next to us (they were talking about how nice it is to have a complex close by with more machines, since their complex only had a few) – they took up all the washing machines and dryers, leaving us actual residents to have to do our laundry another time. When I told the complex about it, they said it was not their problem.

Not your problem? Well those neighbor infiltrators have trashed the laundry facility, as well as the swimming pool – to the point that many of us don’t use either anymore.

Exhibit C: Cats and dogs. So I would really love to have a dog. For those of you faithful blog followers that are relatively new, I used to have a dog – his name was Watson. He was only about one when he died; it has been a year and a half since and I’m still not over it.

The apartment complex we live in now does not allow dogs; although, they do allow cats. Almost every unit has a small dog anyway and the complex does absolutely nothing about it. Worse, they do nothing to police the fact that these cats are supposed to be indoor cats for safety, healthy, and sanitary reasons, and yet they allow the cats to roam, constantly with no notices or threats, such as in the case of the carport storage. Being allergic, I take serious offense to other people’s cats hanging out on my porch. They also use our jasmine plant as a jumping toy and shit on our ledge frequently.

Exhibit D: The Carolina Trees. I think Carolina trees are beautiful if – and only if – you keep up with their mess. For two months this summer, the Carolina trees in the apartment complex parking lot were shedding their flowers. Everywhere. Fucking everywhere. And for two months, the maintenance and gardening staff (that work seven days a week – working hard, driving around in their golf carts, talking on the phone, and taking smoke breaks) didn’t do a damn thing.

This meant that every single time someone walked into our apartment during those two months, they were traipsing those flowers in with them. The flowers are sticky and turn black and gross in a matter of minutes. We usually remove our shoes when we come home, but I think it’s sort of rude to ask a guest to take off their shoes all the time. Now that the mess has finally been cleared, it’s time to clean the carpets, which are awful as a result of the Carolina trees.

So you see, there are definitely downfalls to living in an apartment. The noise of other units is a definite drawback as well; although, I still consider these petty annoyances to be minor compared to being permanently stuck as a homeowner in California. And anyway, I’m snarky enough to just take things into my own hands, which I’ve done by responding to their little notice, dropping it into the rent box just this morning:

What joys of apartment living do you encounter, faithful blog followers?