I’m Offended. Here’s Why You Should Care.

My birthday is coming up and the craziest thing has been happening: I’ve been telling people I’m turning a year older than I am actually turning. Either it’s the old age, or the fact that my husband just turned that age (he’s a year older than me). But I’ve been doing it.

The fact is: I was born in 1982, which makes me – what I like to call – a late stage millennial. I’m like an older millennial who can see some of the ridiculous shit us millennials are doing, all while doing it. And loving it.

Like avocado toast and blaming the financial problems we millennials face on the crippling behaviors of Baby Boomers. Or using mason jars for drink ware. Spending my time reading labels, and breastfeeding my kids well past two (and in public!).

There are also, though, a lot of millennial things I can’t get on board with.

Millennial men’s haircuts, I can’t stand. Right now my husband is sporting a hairstyle that makes him look less like a Nick-the-film-editor; and more like David, the wanna-be goth who wears black lipstick and works at my local Starbucks as a barista. (It’s awful, and sorry David – I hope you can forgive me.)

I also cannot do the whole MLM candles, essential oils, and workout programs thing. The thought of taking forty-five selfies of myself a day, and posting story after story on Instagram in which I just sit there and talk – all in an effort to sell something – is …undesirable to me. That isn’t to say there’s anything against people who do it (and in fact I find myself envious of the people that can take so many photos and videos of themselves while I have to take 537 shots before finding an angle that suits me).

It’s just not my jam.

The conflict I really have with myself as an older millennial is the being offended thing. It is so typical of me as a millennial to get offended by things to such the degree that I do. (And isn’t that just the mark of our era: to always find a reason to feel offense at something someone else said/did/posted?)

And yet… I completely get it (the being offended).

Yesterday someone’s post on Facebook so severely offended me that I told literally every person I talked to about it for the rest of the day.

Today I was at Target and found myself feeling offended no less than four times.

Then tonight I made the error of going online, and …well…

Basically, it happens a lot.

The thing is: if you spend any time scanning the comments sections of online, you’ll see that it is hot topic now to not only get offended by things, but also – on the flip side – call out anyone that takes anything personally. Honestly, it makes me a little sick (or maybe offended, how meta would that be?) to see how crass people can be about it.

I get it: some people have taken it way too far. Like over the edge of the cliff and halfway down the river in the ravine far.

But also, in other instances, I think a lot of people have missed the point.

Take today, for example. It’s April Fools day, and while there have been a myriad of dad jokes and corporate brands having a good time posting dumb shit on the Internet for us all to enjoy, there have also been some steadfast reminders going around about what is too far.

One of those things that goes beyond clever and turns into just, plain crass is the ever-predictable fake pregnancy announcement. What better way to fool your family and friends then by posting a faux memo for the entire world to see that you have a bun preparing itself to fly out your lady hole. Then on April 2nd you let the truth be known that your womb is, in fact, still childless, and everyone had a good laugh. Right?

No. Just no.

I guess if I’m in my 50s and everyone’s going through menopause, it has the potential to be silly. But I’m 36, almost 38 (scratch that, 37) and a fair number of people in my group of peers has lost a child, miscarried a pregnancy, or had a tremendously difficult time getting pregnant. And while those people may all have a sense of humor, I often wonder if for everyone that thinks it’s silly, there isn’t someone quietly hurting as a result of the insensitivity of the whole prank.

I’ve been saying this for years: fake a marriage, fake a gigantic Amazon delivery. One year we put candy melts on brussel sprouts and fooled my husband into thinking they were cake pops. Awesome!

But don’t fake a pregnancy.

The best equivalent I can think is going up to a friend whose Grandma died on March 31st, and saying “my grandma died – APRIL FOOLS SHE IS ALIVE!”

I’m not one to take life so seriously, but I know when the time for jokes is over and the time for compassion begins. It seems that others are starting to figure it out as well, because this time, I saw an article going around about this very topic: how not funny the April Fools pregnancy announcements can be to some people.

And as usual, the comments proved how awful humanity has become.

The comment that I read on one of the postings that stuck out the most for me summed up perfectly what is wrong with the our culture (or at least one of the things):

“When are people going to understand that it’s not my responsibility to worry about what everyone is offended by?”

Who the fuck said anything about being offended?

From there I got sucked down the comment hole, in which I read heinous reply after heinous reply, all from the likes of women named Candy and Monica, with big haired profile pictures and those stupid cause filters laid over the photographs, quite obviously meant to cover up their total and utter lack of humanity. Yeah you are really passionate about lupus, but don’t give a fuck about people’s feelings, Tiphani with a ‘ph.’

That’s when it hit me: it’s super cool to make fun of millennials for always being overly sensitive to people’s sensitivities; and yet a lot of the time, what we are talking about are actual matters of human compassion.

The same woman who says it’s not her responsibility to worry about what others feel (because that’s what that comment is saying) is the same person that will drive by a homeless veteran and call him a drunk. It’s a weak viewpoint, weakened mostly by narcissism.

This is where things get dicey. Because you don’t want to be one of those people who’s just up in arms about everything. But also, you need to be compassionate towards others: even if it doesn’t affect you. And it’s dicey only because there’s a fine line between the two, one that is incumbent on all of us to walk along carefully.

So I’m pretty offended, obviously, about this whole issue. April Fools. Fake pregnancy announcements. Being offended. People saying people are offended too easily. Millennials.

And you should care for the same reason I do: the world of Candys, Monicas, and Tiphanis lacks the thing that makes us who we are. Our humanity.

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Liar Liar, Pants on Fire

I find the amount people in this world that lie without even having to think about it to be absolutely astonishing.  And disturbing.  When I tell a lie – even a little one – I agonize over it for days.  I told a lie a few days ago and still cannot get over it; not becau.se I feel bad for the person or the consequence of the lie, but just that I truly believe lying is an awful thing to do.  There are quite a few ways a person can lie, but in all of them the only thing really going on is that the liar could care less about the person they are lying to.  Here’s why:

The first, most obvious, case of lying, is simply that the person telling the lie is says one thing while thinking something else.  I’m sure a lot of people would argue that a “little white lie” is okay, particularly when they are worried they will hurt the other person’s feelings.  A woman asks her husband:  “does this dress make my ass look like the size of Texas?”  Of course, the husband responds “no, honey … you look beautiful” while thinking it actually looks like Texas and New Mexico combined.  No harm, no foul right?  Except for the fact that the woman may be on her way to a job interview, or out to her ten year high school reunion.  By telling a lie to preserve his wife’s feelings, the husband could be potentially making a fool of his wife.

In this first case of lying as well, there is the malicious lie:  the lie that is told merely for the sake of intentionally deceiving another for the sake of the liar’s personal gain.  No matter how minor the offense (e.g. lying about taking a cookie for the sake of not getting in trouble), or major the issue at hand (e.g. lying about committing a crime), the intentional deceit of another is not to be taken lightly.  In the DSM-IV, this type of lying is listed in a myriad of mental illnesses, from narcissistic personality disorder to psychopathy, to even bipolar disorder.  A person that lies like this on a regular basis is always questionable in character.

The second case of lying is in omission, or rather leaving out information for the purpose of deceiving another.  It seems that so many people live by the adage “what they don’t know won’t hurt them;” however, again we are confronted with the same problem as in the first case of lying.  Who is to judge what information will or will not hurt a person?  As autonomous human beings in an extremely relativistic world, we are really the only ones who can judge for ourselves what is good and bad.

Now while I am sure there are plenty of cases in which information omitted has not harmed anyone, there are probably an equal number of cases where it has.  I can name off the top of my head a whole host of times in my own experiences that information left out has at the very least made life more difficult, at the most ruined entire relationships.

The final case of lying is when someone lies to themselves.  This is probably the most atrocious case of lying, for in lying to oneself you in essence double-lie.  This case of lying is probably the least damnable, for it is more a matter of the liar’s inability to accept reality; nonetheless, it is wrong.

The thing about lying is that if a person proves themselves to do it, and to do it frequently, there is absolutely no basis on which to trust them.  I can tell you that there are a lot of people I know that lie through their teeth, almost easier than they breath (and you know who you are).  Every time I catch one of their repetitive and often nonsensical lies, I trust them less and less.

From my days as a graduate student in philosophy, I am still plagued with the ramblings of Immanuel Kant – an 18th century philosopher who wrote with such verbosity my eyes bleed at the mere thought of ever reading him again.  The one thing I took to heart from Kant was that you should live your moral life according to the maxim (and I am paraphrasing):  act in a way that you would prefer others to act towards you.  In other words, that “do unto others” Golden Rule that seems to work the best when applied to most of life’s moral dilemmas.  To me, I want people to trust me and my word, just as I want to be told the truth at all costs.  So the old joke is “I Kant tell a lie,” or really I just cannot bring myself to lie without moral reserve because I know that if it were me on the other end, I would want to know the truth.

Profile of a Douche

By douche, I of course mean a member of the male persuasion who has a natural propensity to being an asshole.  I do not mean that thing you irrigate parts of your body with, like that Summers Eve bottle I once got caught hiding under my bed, after stealing it from my mom to see what it was and to show to my friends when I was only six.  I’m sure there are plenty of women out there that could be referred to as douches, but I will (of course) be keeping this in the context of men for a few reasons:  (1) I myself am a woman who has never come across douches other than male ones; (2) I would argue that a woman that matches these descriptions could more appropriately be coined that thing which starts with a “c” and rhymes with hunt.

A douche pays an unnecessary amount of time on his physical appearance

I have known douches that spend more time getting ready than I do – a task that is difficult, for I have no where to be and nothing other than my hair and make up to do.  A douche will not only spend a lot of time making his hair look just right, or brushing his teeth then flossing then scraping his tongue then applying hydrogen whitener then smiling at himself before finally finishing it all off with a little mouth wash and a stick of gum, he’ll also do completely asinine things like pluck his own eyebrows and wax his arm hair.  You can always tell a douche by the amount of body hair he has – the less there can be found, the douchier he is.  I fully expect that dick-rag The Situation to have not a lick of hair on his entire body.

A douche uses retarded buzz words and doubles them up

You can always tell a douche is in the room when you hear someone repeating all of the words he says.  “Cool cool” is a good example, another is “ay-ight ay-ight.”  A douche always uses buzz words that are retarded and make no sense too.  As much as I loved Swingers, “money” is a buzz word I still have yet to grasp.  So is “tight,” as well as “brah.”  Any combination or repetition is walking a fine line into complete douche territory.

A douche always has super-douchey bumper stickers

Douches invariably have the most tasteless, hillbilly-esque, bumper stickers on the back of their Hummers/pick up trucks.  The one I like to steer clear of the most is the image of innocent, little Calvin (from Calvin and Hobbes) pissing on something that the douche bag doesn’t like.  Sometimes it’s another car logo, other times it’s something really inflammatory like a cross – in any event, douches always have these types of bumper stickers on their cars.  The others usually involve guns, red meat, and Ford products.

A douche will always blame his problems on someone else

This is one of the most douchiest things a douche can do, and they do it all the time.  Unable to admit he has any faults of his own, the douche will always look for other people to blame for every, single, cotton-picking thing wrong in his life.  It’s so obnoxious to hear a douche go off on a rail about everyone else’s part in his shortcomings.  The ones I like the best are when there is literally no way that someone else could be to blame, like in the case of the size of a douche’s member.  Douches will blame their impotency on the women in their life too – this is possibly the most classic symptom of being a douche.  I read on a blog a while ago “if a guy can’t get his dick up it’s because their’s something wrong with his dick, not with you.”  Truer words were never spoken – but a douche won’t be able to accept that and will always try to blame someone else.

A douche will be only focused on himself

Have you ever gone on Facebook and seen douches and cunext-times commenting on another person’s joyous status, only talking all about themselves?  God that really pisses me off.  “Hey Ken, congrats on the new job!  You know I have been working in my new job for about a month now, doing really well and just got promoted!”  “OMG LOL I was just saying that everyone is having babies like we did!  Good for you!”  If you can’t congratulate people without turning into being all about you, shut the fuck up douche!  It goes beyond that, though, because a douche will always prioritize his own priorities way above you, even though (in a lot of cases) you should be his priority.  Particularly relevant in relationships, a douche will constantly remind you of the things that are far more important to him than anything you have to say – it is the proverbial talking at a wall.

A douche will almost always have some sort of overblown thing, like muscles or cars

Typically, this is because the douche is compensating for the fact that his penis is way too small to even be seen with a microscope, or because his balls are still located in the purse of his ex-girlfriend.  A douche will typically be seen with big obsessions which are maxed out as much as possible, be it in working out (big muscles, obsessed with his muscles, kisses his muscles), cars (lots of cars, works on cars all the time, reads about nothing but cars), etc.  I dated a guy in high school once that hit up GNC every Tuesday for their muscle milk and creatine specials, and whenever he put his arms around me it was clear that he was trying to flex me to death so I wouldn’t notice the unreasonably tiny twig-like thing poking into my back.  And in the end like the most of them, he was most certainly a douche.

A douche likes to get into fights

There is nothing about a fight that makes anything about you bigger.  This includes (but is not limited to):  your muscles, your ego, your pride, your head, your penis, your balls, or any other thing the douche may think gets bigger as a result of getting into a fight.  And yet, douches do it all the time.  Those whack ass guidos on Jersey Shore are constantly getting into fights – it’s as though they cannot even stop themselves.  There is always a more peaceful way to stand up for your girl, get back at that loser that is hitting on your woman, or defend the honor of your schwanz.

If you, or anyone you know, fits into more than a few of these qualities, doucheness may be what we have at hand.  Reassess the situation and (if it is you) possibly consider a career as a cast member of Jersey Shore.

 

 

The World Does Not Stop…

I’m not quite sure why this has happened, but more and more it seems that people have this weird idea that the world stops just because [fill in the blank] has happened to them.  To be honest (and I’m sure this will annoy some of you closest to me), it really makes me pause and question just where our heads are.  Sad to say, I think they are on (ahem, in) the wrong end.

So to help us all get those proverbial heads out of our real-life asses, I’ve decided to make a list of things that the world does not stop for.  The point is not only to advocate for a healthier, less egocentric viewpoint (typical of the misanthropic vein of this blog); but more importantly to harken back to the idea of happy and healthy balance that we discussed yesterday.  There is hope for everyone, and there is no room for “well everyone has different priorities…”  So with that in mind:

The world does not stop … because you are having a baby.  Remember that first blog on this new site about the tendency people have now to act like they are the first people on the planet to have a baby?  Well, you aren’t … and the world does not stop for that very reason.

The world does not stop … because you have a big project going on at work.  This one hits really close to home for me.  While I know that in a trying economy, employees want to bend over backwards to please their employers or open new career paths, there still must be a balance to make sure you do not hurt your entire life in the process.  If you cannot have that balance, you either need to find a new job or consider whether it is the best time in your life to take on that extra level of responsibility.  Just because you are working 24/7 does not mean that bills can go unpaid, kids can go uncared for, prior commitments can be canceled, and relationships outside of work can just set to autopilot.  That just isn’t the case.

The world does not stop … because you are planning a big event.  It could be a wedding; it could be a baby shower.  In any event, as important as that big event seems to you, a lot of people around you don’t care.  Remember with friends, family, and coworkers to talk about things they are interested in; and give them a chance to talk about their big things too.

The world does not stop … because your girlfriend/boyfriend dumped you.  Get over it:  there are plenty of fish in the sea, right?  Just because your girlfriend/boyfriend couldn’t take your snoring/feet/body hair anymore, doesn’t mean life around you ceases to continue.  Marriage is a much different story, but as for kiddie-type relationships that probably never went further than first base, try and move on.

The world does not stop … because your favorite TV show/sporting event is on.  God is there nothing more annoying than someone who will blow off an important phone call because of Dancing With the Stars; or someone that spends an entire dinner watching the baseball game showing on the big screen behind them.  Invest in a DVR if it’s that important to you.

The world does not stop … because you walked in the room.  More accurately, I should probably say “… because you got on the freeway.”  These people that act like they own the road (when the rules of it generally mandate that we should all be sharing …) really have gotten bad.  It starts with those people that do not realize they are supposed to yield to traffic when they are entering the freeway; and is capped off with those that change lanes without even looking.

The world does not stop … because you are on the rag.  Yep, I did just say that.  What a terribly sexist thing for me to say; but I’m a woman and I can say with absolute certainty that the worst thing ever is a woman that thinks the world is supposed to bow to her because she has cramps and a foul attitude.  It goes for men too (because they do, in fact, go through monthly hormonal fluctuations just like women); so perhaps I could soften it to “… because you are in a bad mood.”  However it’s phrased, take note.

 

The list could go on, but you, faithful blog followers, get the point.  Head-in-ass-syndrome could very well be substituted for “egocentric” or “narcissistic personality disorder.”  There is a healthier, balanced way to live life than you are.  Wise up and realize that the world does not stop for anything.