Funeral Fails

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So I mentioned almost two weeks ago (the last time I blogged, actually): my grandpa passed away on February 6th. It’s been very difficult to get through it – my grandparents and I have had a very special relationship from Day One.

Fortunately, the funeral events are finally over with. Between my husband’s uncle dying last month and my grandfather passing away on the 6th, we had a total of four funeral days this past week to attend. Are you with me on the overwhelmingness faithful blog followers? The schedule went like this:

Sunday, February 10th 

Scattering of Uncle Stevie’s ashes, breakfast with the family, and memorial luncheon

Tuesday, February 12th

Grandpa’s wake near our home and birthday dinner for my mom

Friday, February 15th

Grandpa’s wake near his retirement home – 250 miles away outside Yosemite area, followed by a military burial, followed by a memorial church service, followed by a reception in the church, followed by photos and flowers by the graveside, followed by scattering bird seed around near their old home (like my grandpa used to do), followed by a family dinner at the casino.

… followed by my husband and I driving home just 24 hours after we had made the trek up

Sunday, February 17th

Grandpa’s memorial and celebration of life locally (they lived around where we live for the majority of their careers, then moved back for the last two years of Grandpa’s life), followed by a reception, followed by another party at our house

To say I am tired of all this shit doesn’t really even cover it.

But in the last week, I have spent an unprecedented number of hours and days with my mom, and quite frankly a lot of people – something that is typically considered a nightmare to misanthropes such as myself. I was talking to my Uncle John yesterday, and said that this is the most time I think I have ever spent with my mother; and his response was that he knew I was ready for some space. That’s putting it nicely, though. It was a fucking nightmare. My worst nightmare, wrapped into a huge ball of anxiety and sadness and missing my grandpa.

And there were a number of funeral fails, or death-related pet peeves that came out of it all.

Funeral Fail #1:

Expecting Everyone To Grieve The Same Way

179783_659293169593_1073053114_nSure, I was sad about the fact that my husband’s uncle died. He was hit by a truck while walking across the street – a tragedy in itself; and his life was very tumultuous as well.

But I also didn’t know him too well, so expecting me to break down crying while we scattered the ashes was a little weird. And still, I was asked by one of my husband’s cousins if I never cry at a funeral, or if it was just them. I understand, people are sensitive with their pain, but my God. I said “I just am glad Stevie is finally at peace in the ocean with the other surfers” and I got a cold shoulder.

I’m sure it didn’t make things any better that I proceeded to then walk back from the edge of the pier to wait for them. I just couldn’t be expected to start sobbing, or be interrogated for not doing so – especially when I was trying to keep myself under control after my grandfather had just passed away a few days beforehand. Nonetheless, it made me think about how many people out there truly do expect people to all grieve the same, exact way.

Funeral Fail #2:

Scheduling Funerals On People’s Birthdays

48119_659676985423_1001985731_nI understand the already-sensitive nature of scheduling a funeral, wake, memorial service, and so on, between the schedules of the churches, parties involved, and funeral homes. But I also think there is something inherently wrong with scheduling funeral events on someone’s birthday.

Two of the dates of my grandfather’s funeral events were scheduled on people’s birthdays. What was particularly frustrating about this was that everyone expected to be able to leave the wake and just chipper up for the birthday celebrations immediately afterwards. To make matters worse, the first was my mom’s. Even in a time of grief and sadness, she still managed to try and micromanage and drama up the entire thing.

First she yelled at me for suggesting that we have a potluck-type thing at my house, since my grandma would no doubt be too exhausted after the wake to go out into a restaurant for dinner. Then she yelled at me for saying it should be potluck, and then told most of the people coming over just to not really bring anything. And in my mother’s typical fashion, when everyone sang her “Happy Birthday,” she just had to call her Hillbilly Husband out in New Mexico, put him on speaker, and involve him in the festivities. She always does that – puts him on speaker, as if this will rectify the fact that the family has either never met him, or only met him for a brief time years ago. This is as if to make OK the lies this guy has told, the fact that they eloped and never really included the family in any kind of celebration afterwards, and all the other egregious offenses that have occurred since this Trailer Park King entered into our lives … but I digress.

None of it would have been necessary had we just been able to schedule the wake the day before.

Funeral Fail #3:

“Do You Remember Me?”

Let me start this final rant off with something nice: I very much appreciated all of the people that came to visit and mourn and pay their respects to my grandfather. He was an amazing guy, who made a lot of friends and treated everyone he knew like family.

To their credit, most of the people that came to any of the three of my grandfather’s funeral days were very understanding of the fact that I might not recognize them. “Of course you wouldn’t recognize me – the last time I saw you, I held you as a little baby!” and so on. Those people were fine.

But then there were those motherfuckers that had to just expect me to know every faceted detail about them, in spite of the fact that I haven’t seen them since I was five. And then there was the lady whose pants fell off while she was looking into my grandfather’s casket (I shouldn’t joke about it, I’m sure it was embarrassing) who kept saying “well, I would expect you to remember me, but I just can’t remember you…”

By contrast were the vast number of people who said the words “oh, I didn’t know your mother had a daughter …” – a statement which speaks volumes, but we will gloss over for the moment.

Yesterday’s was the final straw for me. A woman walked up to me and said “Heather, do you remember me? You used to be my pharmacy technician! Are you still there?” I said that I was not. That I haven’t worked in the goddamned pharmacy since I graduated from college almost six years ago (I left out the expletives). I thanked her for coming to “my grandfather’s memorial,” which is when she said that my grandpa had hired her to work at the church we were in. But then, right as she started to walk away, she turned around again and said “I can’t believe you don’t remember me – I mean, I got a lot of medicine at that pharmacy while you were there…I thought you would have at least taken the time to remember me…”

Really bitch? My grandfather – who, you just explained to me, you wouldn’t have a job here if it weren’t for – just died and you are giving me shit about the fact that I couldn’t necessarily recognize you from a two-bit, part time job I had just to give me some extra cash while I was in college – over half a decade ago? REALLY?!

The moral of the story is that people should really just stop dying. Since that is not going to happen, I suppose the other moral is that when you have multiple funeral events to attend, and are in a position of extreme sadness and grief, you should probably just fix yourself up daily Valium-Wine cocktails. That’s essentially what I did (well, the wine part) this last week. God only knows what I would have done had I not…

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By the way, doesn’t my grandma look amazing for a woman who just lost her husband of 63 years? I think so. While I am absolutely devastated at the loss of my grandfather, I think I can speak for both myself and my grandma when I say that this next phase of life in his honor is pretty exciting. I’m starting it with making a quilt out of his shirts for my grandma, having her come over more to teach me to cook her most famous dishes, and letting my grandpa wrap his arms around me every day as I wear his oldest and most cozy cardigan sweater. I love you, Grandpa.

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My Day With the Local-Yocals

My husband always tells me that I look at the negative side of things. My response is typically “well, what positives can YOU find?!” – but then I invariably go back into the deep caverns of my self-conscious brain and wonder if that’s really true. Am I really a terribly negative person? Or am I what I think I am – painstakingly realistic? Honest? Blunt?

I don’t want any of you to answer any of those questions. What I do want you to answer, though, is whether or not you find anything positive in my day with the local-yocals.

The Photographer

It started with another phone call to the photographer that took our family photos almost a month ago. She was not too terribly impressive: late for everything with a lame excuse, no assistant, and despite the fact that we talked about taking “photojournalism”-style photographs, all we got were crappy portraits. Despite that, though, I decided to buy some prints of the few shots we liked – just so that we could have a couple and move on with a new photographer in a few months. I turned over my check for $305.66 and she promised they would be in no later than two weeks.

This morning – almost four weeks later – I had still not heard from her. After two weeks I started calling, to receive no response. I emailed and that was ignored as well. Today I decided enough is enough and so I called the local branch of the Better Business Bureau, who stated the following: “You should file a complaint with us and a small claims court action as well. I can legally tell you right now as well that the particular business you just mentioned is currently undergoing other legal action.”

So in other words, we are not the first ones to be scammed. Support local photographers my ass – from now on I’m either going to JCPenny or doing it myself (oddly enough, last year I did our family photos myself and they looked a thousand times better than the proofs this clod showed me).

The Dentist

As we went along on our day, little Pookie had to have sealants put on her permanent molars. I knew she would be finicky about it, mainly because she is always finicky about those types of things. We went; she took a stuffed bear; she was a little traumatized but not too bad.

Until we got home and one of the goddamned sealants fell out.

Rather, it started to chip off. I thought to myself for $63 a piece, you’d think the goddamned things would at least last until tomorrow. Apparently my suspicions were correct about this dentist: that they are slightly incompetent and most of what they care about is the bottom line dollar amount you are paying. What did they say when I called? “Oh, we’ll just fix it at her next visit.” So if it could have waited until the next visit, then what the fuck was the rush to get her in now?

I will never forget our first visit there: they wouldn’t allow me to go in the room with Pookie because they wanted to “get her used to it” and they added on over $400 worth of dental stuff in my absence. When I asked if I could pay the majority and then pay the remainder in a second payment within the month (just a little underprepared for such an hefty bill), they said “that isn’t an option.” So I told them the next time that I needed them to let me know exactly what they were doing, and told them “no” to an extra set of x-rays that seemed superfluous. While I was waiting for the dentist in her office a little later to give me the update, I overheard the hygienist I said “no” to saying to another hygienist “if people aren’t going to take care of their children and get them everything they need, they shouldn’t be having children.”

What’s that you say, ma’am?

The Sneezer

So as our day proceeded and I became more and more jaded, I got hungry so decided to say “screw it all” and have Taco Tuesday for lunch instead of dinner. This of course meant dinner was going to become an issue, but at that point I didn’t give two shits about any of it.

We went to my favorite taco place and I ordered the #2: two potato tacos with a side of rice and chips with salsa. As I finished off my tacos and started to work on my rice, a man walked over to near our table to fill his drink. As he neared us, though, he turned to our table, leaned over my plate, and sneezed directly into my remaining food.

I have never ever seen anything like that happen before in my life.

We sat there, completely horrified for a moment; and then I gathered our stuff and we left. On our way out, I noticed a woman leaning over her little bastard kid, who was hanging on one of the banisters that keeps the line in order. She said to the little, hanging shit as we walked by: “now you should stop doing that, because if you fall you might get hurt and that would make me sad because you wouldn’t feel good; and that would make them sad because they’d have to pay us a lot of money.”

Are you fucking kidding me? It was then that I realized this place is full of nothing but local-yocals.

The Light at the End of Today’s Tunnel

At the end of this terrible terrible tunnel, there is a light. While practicing tennis this afternoon, one of my friends texted me and asked if I wanted to dinner tonight with them. Since my husband is going to be pretty late, I jumped at the opportunity to end this horrible day with good food and friends. And, of course, wine.

See? I can find the positive in things…

It’s time to pretend like the local-yocals don’t exist and bury myself in my Chicagoan-made thin crust pizza (entirely from scratch, I will add); the delicious appetizers that will be arriving any minute; a good salad; and, of course, some wine.

Am I just a Negative Nelly, faithful blog followers? Or was my day with the local-yocals just a tad bit stupid?

Wacky Wednesday: Private Posts, Old Man Hit and Run, and a Bank Confrontation

I’ve got a lot to say today, b(itch)es; and I’ve had a lot of tacos and a lot to drink. Let’s get to it before a barf and/or pass out.

Private Posts

While on my vacation home to my sweet, home Chicago in March, I had lunch on my last day there with my childhood friend Taryn. One of the first things she said to me was that she admired how much I put myself out there on my blog. I remember thinking to myself “WOW!” because I thought everyone thought I was some big asshole for being so open, honest, and (quite frankly) real. And it’s true, I don’t believe in lying or hiding or any of that nonsense that people seem to do all the time. I have no problem sharing with the world who I am because I am comfortable with it. And while I share things about my life that others might not, it’s still the truth and that – I believe – is our utmost responsibility as human beings: to always be honest.

In the years that I have been blogging, I feel like I have done a lot. I’ve posted over 230 posts, the majority of them on humorous observations or satirical social commentaries. I put together a compilation of my “best blogs” from the last year and published it to eBook. I was Freshly Pressed even – a feat I never thought would happen because I’m crude and crass and make up my own swear words that are so offensive sometimes even I cringe when I read them. And I have over 500 faithful blog followers – followers who contact me frequently and say they love what I write. To be clear, I fucking love what they write too. In fact, I can’t wait for my actual book-book to be up and running on eBook because I look forward to the comments and suggestions from you wonderful and terribly talented writers/readers.

I’ve also made a lot of enemies, it would seem. I’ve made an unprecedented number of people mad with my comments about parents that do not vaccinate their kids. One guy emailed me sometime last year and said that he believes me to clearly be a “whore.” And I’ve apparently angered some of my husband’s family and friends for being so honest in my observations and experiences with them as well. Regularly I hear about how so-and-so didn’t like it when I said that my husband did nothing for my birthday, or when I am honest about the fact that he lies to me a lot. Interestingly enough, my husband reads every one of my blogs. Every night he comes home and we talk about them. We talk about it when I say our marriage is a “shit hole” or when I blog about how he lied to me yet again. What’s great about it is that he knows like I know – we are both human. We aren’t perfect, we don’t have delusions about that. It is what it is and that we can talk about it is a lot more than people who hide behind false smiles and “oh, it’ll be fine as long as we have love” and other such bull shit.

But I’ve become increasingly wary of some of the trolling that goes on around my blogsite too. My mother in law is a blog follower, which was very sweet of her; although now it appears that some of the hostility my father in law expresses over his messages might be fueled by some of what I say in my blogs. And today, one of our friends was having a comment thread-conversation on her Facebook about their new system of grocery shopping and cooking, and I commented very nicely commending them for their great compromise and system; and how lucky she is to have a husband who cooks because mine – like most women – never really does anymore. Her husband (my husband’s “friend”) replied quite angrily, though:

…my husband was horrified that someone he thought was his friend would say such a thing. He actually suggested what I did, which is that the guy is off his rocker and nothing but a bully and a troll. And terribly misinformed – we don’t even know where he got some of this, since my husband works one job and sitting on my ass couldn’t be any further than what I do. We have not even spoken with Señor Douchecanoe in years (he isn’t even connected to either of us via Facebook, blog, etc. anymore; we only remain connected to his wife) … so it goes without saying that he was a little out of line.

This incident made me realize, though, that some of my posts have got to go private. I have no problem sharing any of them with my blog family, my friends, or anyone really that requests to read them. Not all my posts will go private; just ones that hit a little too close to home for those with minimal intellectual capacity and ability to understand that not everyone operates the same way they do.

If you are a faithful blog follower, and would like the passcode to the privated posts, email this b(itch) at hchristenas@gmail.com or just request one when you happen to hit on a post that is marked as “private.” I promise I will share; unless of course your name is Hello Kitty Toaster or Señor Douchecanoe.

Old Man Hit and Run

So I almost engaged in an Hit and Run today with an Old Man. We were pulling out of the parking lot at the bank and my phone rang. It was the sheriff’s department, so I thought it appropriate to answer. I was also driving around in a parking lot, really – going from one to another – so I thought it would be OK to do. (PS the sheriff’s department was calling to let me know that the attempted break-in at our apartment this morning – one in a series of attempts at our complex – was not ’emergency’ enough for them to write a report or care.)

So I was pulling from the bank lot into the pizza place lot and this old man about the age of one hundred and ninety four walked in front of my car, leaned on the front hood and started yelling at me to get off the phone.

(1) That guy is not the phone police. Regardless of whether anyone believes it is right or wrong to talk on the phone while driving, it’s my fucking business and I did not hurt a soul. Normally I don’t drive on the phone – but this was in regards to an emergency situation (well, to me … not to the sheriffs); and I was in a fucking empty parking lot.

(2) By contrast, I see people driving around like jack asses on their phones all the time. Again, their and the police department’s business.

(3) Old fucking wrinkle ass leaning on my hood and refusing to move while he screamed at me, quite frankly scared the shit out of me. The guy was nuts! And Pookie started crying hysterically because he scared her too.

(4) I told the sheriff what was going on and he said “… back up and run the guy down … no wait, that was a joke I shouldn’t have made. Are you okay ma’am – do we need to come help?” By then the old wrinkle man had left, us traumatized although forgiving of the cop for not coming to take a report for the attempted break in of our apartment, given his sardonic sense of humor.

 Bank Confrontation

So then we parked our car by the pizza place to have lunch and there happens to be another bank (not mine) in the same lot. We got out of the car, a little shaky from the confrontation with the hundred and ninety four year old man, and all of a sudden a woman came running and literally screaming out of the bank.

Crazy hoe bag : “You can’t park here!!”

B(itch): “I’m sorry …?”

Crazy hoe bag: “This is for bank customers only.”

B(itch): “This is right in front of the restaurant door. The only thing closer is the handicapped spot.”

Crazy hoe bag: “No … this is for bank customers only.”

Pizza joint employee intervening on my behalf: “We OWN this entire lot … you can park wherever you want ma’am.”

Someone, anyone … please elucidate for me just what the hell happened today. It was like a day of wackos … Wacky Wednesday, I’d say. Everyone was out to police others, cut each other down to size, and assert their control over the world – even in the stupidest and most illogical ways. Never a dull moment, faithful blog followers. Never a dull moment.

This B(itch) is giving away something free…

That’s right, I’m having a giveaway … not a big one, but one nonetheless.

Share this and my blog with your friends for a chance to win a $25 iTunes gift card. It’s really easy to enter and no purchases are required.

Giveaway ends June 30th, 2012 … and all you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post!

But it can’t be that simple, can it?

No, it isn’t.

1. You must comment on this post. Commenting on a post other than this one will result in no entry.

2. You must comment on the post by June 30th, 2012 at 11:59 pm.

3. Your comment must answer the following question: “what is your favorite thing to b(itch) about?” Those comments not addressing that question will be disqualified.

3. Each individual only gets one entry, so you need not comment multiple times.

4. Anyone can enter, but the only way for you to win is if you include your email address.

5. Winners will be chosen on July 1st, 2012 via Randomizer.com.

GET COMMENTING!!

Now for some completely unrelated crazy bitch:

5 (More) Pet Peeves: Home Edition

We live in an apartment complex of some couple hundred places. There are town homes, condos, and apartments of all sizes. When we moved here – just in November of last year – we really liked it. The rent was affordable. The area was almost too quiet. There are pools, a work out room, and the complex is relatively close to a lot of local stuff.

And now, as my husband feared, I fucking hate it.

Don’t get me wrong, I prefer to live in apartments. For a while we considered buying a condominium, but the thought of being permanently tied to southern California would no doubt upgrade my difficulty finding reason to get out of bed in the morning to an utter inability to do so. I also like the idea of being able to get up and go without having to worry about too much, the sense of community, and some of the amenities as well as the ability to call maintenance for problems without having to deal with the cost and maintenance ourselves.

And still, as my husband feared, I fucking hate it.

I still like the affordable rent and all the stuff we have available to us. And I love the fact that we have had a lot of repairs that would have cost us an arm and a leg; yet, in reality cost us absolutely nothing since maintenance is included in our rent (unless we intentionally break shit). But some other things have happened since November that I don’t like. For one, no one abides by the pet policy (so it would seem), except for us. People are supposed to be allowed indoor cats only, and yet there are cats fucking everywhere. I hate cats with every breath in my body – I’m allergic and their dander and hair dropped on my front porch makes me sneeze and wheeze on a daily basis. Why the hell should I have to deal with that? Worse, as I have mentioned to you faithful blog followers before – one of those cats has completely destroyed my Midnight Jasmine. And don’t even get me started on the fact that they do not allow dogs of any kind and yet every other cotton-picking unit has a dog.

But it goes beyond the pets. Some hillbillies recent moved across the walkway. I can only assume these people are hillbillies because of the fact that I heard one of them say he lost his teeth. I see them come home with KFC and Taco Bell bags on a daily basis. It appears that none of them works, or at least works very little. By my count, there are 8 people living in the two bedroom apartment, with an additional 10 or so constantly coming in and out. They have parties every single fucking night. Every fucking night. They are loud. They are crude. Without a doubt they are hillbillies, and it is obvious that a lot of the neighbors don’t want to take it anymore (six other units have moved out since these people moved in).

Then this morning, we received a notice on our door that there have been recent burglaries in the area. So now our quiet and safe neighborhood is louder than shit until all hours of the night, and to make matters worse: unsafe.

SO I’m in a shitty mood (when am I NOT?). To blow off a little steam, I thought I would share five more of my pet peeves – home style ones. Now that I’ve gotten the neighborly ones off my chest already, my list focuses on my own house.

#5 Leaving recycling trash on the counter

I’m all for saving the planet, but sometimes it annoys the shit out of me. Not only do we produce very little recyclable waste, but we waste so much more in electronic waste as well as the enormous carbon footprint my husband’s car leaves behind. It thus seems almost a little childish to be making such a big deal about one ginger ale can once in a while. Not saying we shouldn’t recycle, just saying let’s keep things in perspective here.

We have no room in our place at all for a recycle can, so it sits out in our covered carport. The only job my husband has around the house is to take out the trash, which would of course include moving any of the recyclable things to the recycle can out by the cars. Annoying as all shit is when that recycling stuff, which my husband makes a federal case over “doing his part” for, is left on the kitchen counter – where I cook food. Trash, human garbage – often covered in bacteria and bits of food – left on the counter. Seriously – one fucking job.

#4 Wasting money “trying new things” that turn out to be crap

Last night we wasted an entire bottle of the crappiest wine I have ever had. Just as with saving the planet, I’m all for trying new things. But at some point, and with certain things, I really think we should stick with our “go-to”s, unless we have money to flush down the toilet.

Or down the drain, in this instance.

My husband convinced me to buy a new bottle of wine at World Market the other day. I was going to get one of my regulars but instead we got this Radio Buzz crap from Spain. When we opened it last night, you could actually smell the alcohol – it was that shitty. A couple sips and I couldn’t take it. Just a few more for my husband and the whole thing was dumped down the drain. I’m so tired of wasting money on stuff like that.

#3 Continuing to pretend like we are horticulturists

Speaking of wasting money, it has become my pet peeve that we must continue this little charade that we are horticulturists. As long as I have known my husband, and as long as we have been living together, we have been unable to keep plants alive. If our own lives depended on it, we would have been dead a long time ago.

I’ve done research, I’ve tried all kinds of different things – I just can’t keep them alive. Had a cat not killed my Midnight Jasmine, here, I would have (eventually). I have no idea at this point how much money we have wasted on this little project over the years, but at the very least the most recent destruction of foliage comes to $115 wasted. We bought those in February.

Maybe #4 and #3 would really be combined into one main pet peeve: wasting money stupidly.

#2 Leaving hairs in the sink

This really hacks me off. While laying in bed this morning, I could hear my husband trimming his beard and my blood pressure immediately began to rise because I knew that when I got to the sink it would be full of those little, annoying hairs.

They wouldn’t be so goddamned annoying if they didn’t clog the drain. I know they clog the drain and that my husband hasn’t told the maintenance people yet we need the drain unclogged. I also know that every time the maintenance people come they tell me to stop allowing my husband to try and fix things himself, because it usually makes the problems worse (this last time they said the management will start charging us for repairs because his attempt at fixing the shower door made it more difficult for them to fix, and they can always tell … how embarrassing that was).

So immediately after my husband leaves, I have to get up and wipe all of those disgusting fucking hairs out of the sink so that it doesn’t clog even more. Big annoyance.

#1 Not wiping crumbs off the counter/table

Oh my God faithful blog followers, this is the tip of the iceberg for me. I’m not sure why it makes me so crazy, but whenever anyone in this place leaves crumbs or smudges of shit on the counters or the kitchen table, I go absolutely bonkers. Maybe it’s because I have usually just cleaned only to see that a mess has been made. Maybe it’s because sometimes it’s in the form of leaving a knife with peanut butter on it sitting in the sink – the sink that was cleaned and will now have to be cleaned again. I don’t know, but I usually go ballistic about it. Like I did this morning.

There they are. My five (more) pet peeves. The home edition. Maybe the marriage edition. Maybe I’m just on the rag and pissed off at the world. Or just those hillbillies across the walkway.

People I Do Not Like In My Community

I’m tempted to make this post just one word. Imagine it, you’d open it up and all it would read would be:

Everyone.

But that wouldn’t be entirely true. I like my father, he’s kind of cool when he’s not getting all preachy on me about how I’m going to hell and need to stop saying the words ‘fuck’ and ‘shit’ so much in my blog. I like most of the people in my book clubs. A few of them annoy me because they can be a little off-putting, or there is that one lady that doesn’t talk to me anymore because I offended her by talking about how Sartre was a plagiarist (he was); but by and large, I like those people.

Then there are all the people I do not like in my community. I’m not really talking about specific people, though, I’m talking about groups of them.

With every word I utter to qualify this, I feel like more and more of a misanthropic asshole, so I’ll just get to it:

Laker fans

It’s playoff season, and as such I am again reminded of how much I hate Laker fans. I was wearing my Bulls sweatshirt the other day in the library, and went to the restroom briefly only for some bitch to tell me that most people would “cut” me if they saw me wearing my Bulls gear. I felt like telling her that her sparkled tank top fitted snuggly over her bigger-than-a-muffin-top, as well as her Courtney Love crack whore make up, made her look like an eye-offending dogfish, but I just smiled and went on my merry way. This isn’t the first time someone has said something like this to me either – Laker fans are the most hateful and viscous people out there.

The “your business is my business” people

A couple of weeks ago, we were heading out to lunch with my parents and someone saw us and said “what, no school today?” Obviously, being a weekday with what is clearly a school-aged child, this type of a question seems somewhat tolerable (if I weren’t constantly asked it). I smiled and spewed forth my usual response “oh, we homeschool and find afternoons are the best time for us.” This time, though, the old battalax questioning me didn’t smile in response and go about her own business – she responded “how can you live with yourself not putting your child in a regular school?”

Seeing how ignorant the public school system made you, ma’am: easily.

People that work in the film industry

I have some friends in the film industry that are really nice people. My husband is in the film industry and he’s not always one of those on the nicer side, but he’s my husband and I’ve learned to tune out some of his more pompous film-industry goings on. But then there are all these pompous assholes that act as though their jobs sweeping the floors over at Warner Bros means they are next in line for a Golden Globe. This is really specific to my area, and I think one of the things that really makes me dislike California. Somehow, the film industry has made itself out to be this glamorous thing, when really it is nothing more than a bunch of divorced people working 80+ hours a week, and talking a bunch of shit about a ton of stuff they don’t know about, just to live job to job.

Passive-Aggressive Thieves

This seems to happen a lot out here, and is what actually prompted this post. Today I went to Wetzel’s Pretzels while shopping for a bedspread for our new bed in the spare bedroom. I was standing in line, getting a crack out of the puny, little geeks ordering their pretzels (“…haha, it’s like Slytherin’ house up in this mall…”), when I noticed this little girl (about 12 years old) sort of leaning against me, or at the very least standing almost on top of me. When I got up to my turn in line, I ordered my plain pretzel and Diet Coke and the cashier went to get my items. The little girl was then physically leaning on me, making me overtly uncomfortable and a little annoyed. When the cashier returned, before giving me my total, the little girl said “can I get a cinnamon pretzel please?” The cashier looked at me and said “are you together?” I stepped over and said “I’ve never seen this girl before in my life, can I get my pretzel and soda?”

That little girl was a passive-aggresive thief. These people don’t outright steal things, but they prey on people they think don’t know any better. I’m sure on a number of occasions, that little girl has swindled a lot of free shit.

Since these general groups of people seem to make up the majority of the community in which I live, I should probably have just gone ahead and said “everyone.” But like I said, I like my book club people and some other miscellaneous people, like friends and family and the ladies at the local BINGO hall. Those ladies are cool as shit.

Vacation Wrap Up: Back to Reality

Of course by “back to reality” I mean that I am a rampant bitch again. Like I said in my blogged vacation reports, I felt super nice again when I went to my sweet, home Chicago for a close-to-three-week vacation. It was wonderful. I saw friends. I visited with family. I ate and ate and ate some more (although I lost three pounds on the trip…). And more than anything, I felt good and happy – two things I do not often feel in my daily, misanthropic California life.

I realize now that I attach a lot of my unhappiness to my physical location, and this is mainly because my unhappiness in California stems from things about the area that I just don’t jive with. I’m not fake, high strung, and narcissistic – qualities that I find to be more than I can take at times in my southwestern coastal community. This isn’t to say there are no nice people here (because there are), it’s just a little overwhelming for this tried and true Midwest Girl to be confronted with such a different life perspective that can seem (at times) to be a little shallow and short-sighted.

It also has to do with a lot of other factors. Like the fact that I am a philosopher and there is little intellectualism going on in our community. Leaving graduate school was in that sense probably the worst thing I could have done, for I lost the only community of thinkers in the program that I left behind. And the fact that I am allergic to a lot of California pollens, so am miserable at least three days a week with a stuffy nose and sinus migraines. Lastly, there is that simple fact that my family is so far away from the west coast. I miss them every day and no matter how many things we try to fill my life with to replace them, it just doesn’t change a thing.

So my vacation home was really a vacation to my roots – my own roots, that is. It has been years since I have been able to look at my life and say what I really feel; years since I have been able to acknowledge what is really going on, rather than distracting myself to make peace with an unhealthy situation. Now that I have a little more clarity, I can move to make some positive changes in my own life. Don’t you worry, though, faithful blog followers – I will still be just as misanthropic and bitchy as always. I just won’t have high blood pressure, anxiety, and insomnia to go along with it.

So here are a few of my changes that I am immediately implementing as I get back to reality:

I will no longer be Internet buddies with dysfunctional fuckfaces

That’s right – I dropped the f-faces word. What I’m saying is that I will no longer be Facebook friends, Twitter followers, or LinkedIN connections with people that are assholes. To begin, I’ve deleted all of the people that are in my husband’s circle that have been outright dicks to me. That doesn’t mean that if he wants to go to a family reunion (please, God … NO!) I won’t go – it just means I won’t be letting them into my own personal life when all they do is use that to hurt me. Too many of his friends and/or family have told me I’m “ugly” (yes, one of his friends told me that) or that there was an entire cadre of other things about me they did not like for me to feel OK with having extended relationships with them.

Sadly, this means that Facebook fights with Hello Kitty Toaster will be coming to an end. There is still the possibility I will be running into her and my prick of a brother-in-law in public, but I just cannot allow her to impact me in my personal life anymore. On the day we were leaving Chicago to embark on our cross-country return, she sent me a bitchy Facebook comment and then posted some bullshit on her own Facebook a minute later about how much people like me piss her off. Well good, Hello Kitty Toaster – you piss me off too, so how’s about we stop being Friends?

I will be doing things I enjoy from now on…

…rather than doing things that others tell me I should be enjoying. I am who I am. I like to talk. I like to watch movies. I like to go to museums. I enjoy shopping. I feel empty when not in the city. I like going for drives for no reason other than to look around. And like most Chicagoans, I like to bitch about everything under the sun. This is who I am and anyone that doesn’t like it can go jump.

While I was on vacation, I was so happy to have the opportunity to do some of the things I really enjoy. On one of the last nights in the city in particular, we took a drive into the heart of Chicago to flash some photographs and soak in the place that is so important to who I am. The following day, I visited the Hemingway Museum and the home in which he was born (something that would bore most people I know, but fascinated me beyond belief). In these two things – my nighttime drive through the city and my visit to the museum of my favorite writer – I felt more happy and alive than in as long as I could remember.

I will no longer let others put me down when it comes to my personal character.

Obviously this California versus Chicago issue is a bone of major contention between my husband and myself. Without getting into all the uglier details of our marital discord, I can say without regret that my husband is adamantly opposed to living anywhere other than California, and doing anything other than cultivating his own career in film. Oftentimes, it feels as though I am demonized for wanting something other than the unhappiness we both have for the sake of some vague hope that one day his career will take off. Beyond that, and as is the case with most women, usually I am gaslighted for having feelings.

Because I am the way I am, I regularly feel subjected to a rejection of who I am simply because I am not like most people around me (at my home in California, that is). As an example, today I was driving home from the grocery store and there was a momma duck walking across the street with eight little baby ducks. The street was right outside of our apartment complex, and we live nowhere near any lakes so I have no idea where they came from. Sadly, California is so covered in concrete and developments, finding random wildlife struggling to find a home is common. There were three cars in front of me when I noticed the ducks crossing. The first driver honked, the second driver swerved, and the third driver started screaming at the ducks to get out of the road. This is typical behavior for the area.

Although I didn’t do any of those things. I pulled over when I saw that the baby ducks were having a problem getting onto the sidewalk. I got out of my car and I walked over to help lead them up the ramp portion of the sidewalk. Right as I got back in my car – which was legally parked, I might mention – a fourth car pulled up behind me and screamed out the window “you fucking asshole, you should have let those ducks get creamed.” Really, California? Yes, really.

I know that helping those ducks was the right thing to do. I know that a lot of things I do are the right things to do. I’m not trying to say I’m some moral standard by which others should judge their behavior, I’m just saying that I try to be a good person and I know that when I make choices in that vein I am doing the right thing.

Upon my return from vacation, though, it seems as though a concerted effort has been made by others to make me feel like I am bad or wrong for wanting to be who I am and live life in accordance with what I know is right. I’m not going to tolerate this anymore, though. I will no longer let others put me down when it comes to my personal character.

So I feel like something of an hypocrite. Around New Years I talked shit up and down people’s New Years Resolutions, and these three things feel like resolutions to me. Really they are changes, though – changes that I intend to keep that are matters of personal growth (rather than things I should have been doing all along anyway) and there will be more to come. I’m back to reality, and while that does mean that I am back to being a rampant bitch, it also means I am back to the reality of who I am.