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.

Vacation Report 6: Chicago Food versus California Cuisine

So I’m pretty sure I have mentioned this before, but prior to our vacation to my sweet, home Chicago, I essentially starved myself for the months preceding so that I could eat whatever I wanted without worrying about returning to California in a hefty bag (for lack of any fitting clothing). While here, though, I realized that I actually eat better and weigh less when eating in the Midwest for a few reasons, though: (1) I don’t eat many sweets; and (2) I don’t indulge in emotional eating to make myself feel better about how unhappy I am in California.

While on this trip, I’ve made it a point to ask more about what makes food in the Midwest so much better. And unlike in California – where asking a question of your waiter or cook is a recipe for looks of annoyance and a pithy response like “it’s in the sauce,” many of the people I’ve asked have indulged me in my inquiry.

Chicago Food: Delis

In Chicagoland area, you have a lot more locally owned restaurants or local franchises that you won’t find in other areas. Sure, there are a lot of your run-of-the-mill Subways and Taco Bells, but right next door you almost always have a local and just-as-cheap alternative.

One thing that is amazing about the Chicagoland area is the deli meat. In California, I often notice that the deli meat is sliced thick and often “smothered” in something to make it a thick, meaty experience. In Chicago, though, it’s usually sliced very thin, which bodes for a lighter and more satisfying experience. Jason’s Deli is by far my favorite local spot for a sandwich or wrap.

Chicago Food: Flavorful

Another thing I have realized about Chicago food, is it is often about the flavor. I would argue that a lot of the food we eat in California is flavorful, but often the emphasis is not placed on the synthesis of flavors or enhancing the natural flavor of the food, itself. In particular, meat is not usually enhanced quite in the way that it is done in the Midwest, and I am sure this is in large part due to the fact that so much of the meat you eat in the Midwest is local.

The pizza is more flavorful as well, which is what makes it so popular. In California we use dry milk and bitter sauce. In the Midwest, though, emphasis is placed on the flavor of the crust and the sauce to eliminate those dry and bitter elements.

Now I rarely eat red meat, but when I am visiting home I do indulge in a little. Particularly noteworthy was the meatball sandwich I had a few days after arriving – it was (by far) one of the greatest sandwiches I have ever eaten.

Chicago Food: Fluffy

As I mentioned above about the deli meat, Chicago food is often sliced thin and fluffy-like. It goes beyond just the deli meat, though. The pizza almost never has gobs of cheese on it, which I find is a big problem with food in California – too much cheese. And while I would never recommend actually eating the food at White Castle, the shakes are another great example of the fluffiness of the cuisine in the Midwest. Whereas at In N’ Out on the west coast we have very thick, heavy shakes, the milkshakes at White Castle are so fluffy you can taste the bits of whipped air.

Chicago Food: More Interactive

Something else we don’t realize on the west coast is that our food is not terribly interactive. Oftentimes, you have little input in what goes in your food. You can request something to be “minus this” or “add that,” but then you get a lot of attitude and it is usually done wrong anyway.

In Chicago, though, your food is more interactive. You get to know who is cooking it – whether it be a restaurant owner, a waiter, or a friend or family member. You have more input and more options as well. Just the other day, we went to an Asian fusion place in the city and were able to head to their stir fry bar to select every piece of our meal. There are not many places in California that such an option exists, except (of course) your own home.

As a result of this, I have come to one conclusion – something I knew all along, but that was reiterated on this great trip home:

Chicago Food: Amazing

California Cuisine: Crap

Need I say more?

Vacation Reports 2, 3, 4, 5: I Feel Nice Again

Apparently I am becoming nice again. In fact, as I write this there is a large group of about thirty people in the lobby of our hotel, all making noise and being the biggest pigs humanity has to offer – and I’m not even going to blog about them. Half of them are not fully clothed, with large guts hanging out the bottom of their shirts. They’re eating loads for fried chicken and all of their kids are screaming. A separate group brought down buckets of beer and have begun what appears to be a drunken Magic the Gathering. And some lady just came down having gotten locked out of her room with nothing but a towel to cover her. Well maybe I am blogging about these slovenly members of society by virtue of mentioning them, but the point is it isn’t even annoying me as much as it normally would. I feel nice again.

But I digress.

So I’m a little behind on my vacation reports, mostly because I’ve been so freaking busy that I barely have had enough time to sleep. We still have roughly seven days left of our trip and while it is winding down, there is still a lot coming up. So excuse my lateness of posting, but here are vacation reports 2, 3, 4, and 5.

Vacation Report 2: Heather has changed a lot in the 10 years away

All of you faithful blog followers may not believe it, but I wasn’t always the snarky, misanthropic bitch I am now. I mean, I’ve always been blunt and no-nonsense, but I also didn’t have such a virulent hatred of humanity. I wasn’t such a diva either, which I clearly am now after living in California for over a decade.

On the first night I got into town, my closest friends gathered at the local bowling alley for bowling and drinks, and immediately it was reported how much of a California girl I have become. I talk like a Californian, I have mannerisms like a Californian, and as my cousin Clayton informed me today, I’ve become a little posh.

I don’t like this.

After a few days of being back in my city, I felt like myself a little more. I could hear more of my accent returning, I felt calmer and less high-strung (like I do in California), and more than anything, I felt comfortable being myself. In California, we are very concerned about what everyone around us thinks. We gossip. We  judge. And we are fake. In the Midwest, I am sure there is still a lot of that, but people seem to care a lot less about what others think.

What hasn’t changed much, though, was the house I grew up in. It looks the same, which I documented with about a hundred photographs from different angles.

Vacation Report 3: My family reads my blog

So I just assumed that no one read my blog. Seriously, I know that I have a pretty good following of faithful blog followers – many of whom I have never met; but I never actually thought my family read it.

The first weekend we were in town, though, at least four of my family members said the words “… yeah, I read about that on your blog.” Then today, my cousin Scott told me that every time he read my blog I seemed pretty “liberal.” Whether or not I am liberal put to the side (to be honest, I don’t know if I am or not), I now feel this new pressure put on me when I blog. I even, for a moment, entertained the thought of cleaning up my content. Of course, that would mean no more donkey dicks, f-bombs, use of the term cunt, or talk of hooking and blow jobs. Clearly this is not an option, but you get the point – from now on the thoughts “what will my family think?” will be stuck in the back of my mind as I write.

But then I hearken back to Vacation Report 2 about being myself, and I realize that if they are reading my blog and able to tolerate such ridiculous, foul-mouthed verbal debauchery as has been my writing up to this point, then I say fair game.

The real Vacation Report 3 is that I love my family so much, which this trip has reiterated for me ten-fold. I don’t know how I will go back to daily life without them after these last few weeks.

Vacation Report 4: the Korean Hooker situation is a California thing

Holy mother of God, I went to a nail salon in the suburbs of Chicago with one of my long time friends last week after a great lunch and did I ever realize just how much the Korean Hooker situation is an isolated incident. I know, I know – it probably goes on in other nail salons around the country, but my nail salon in California is a total crack house compared to the place we went to this past week.

The real dilemma I have now, as well, is that I have a new standard by which I judge my nail salon experience. The place we went to had amazing chairs, more foot treatments for the same price, and they even gave me a bottle of water. Not only is my nail salon with all the slut-bag behavior and questionable customers a crack house, but the experience (by comparison) seems trashier than the lady that deep-throated the banana that one time after doing my nails.

 Vacation Report 5: I don’t want to go home

I know, I know – the grass is always greener on the other side, right? I’m not an idiot, though. I lived in Chicago for 18 years: I know that it’s fucking freezing in the winter, much harder to find work, and tornado alley in the summer. I know that what I’m seeing of friends and family now are the happy times, not the “everyone is mad at each other” times.

But there is something to be said for the fact that I know just how miserable I am in California, more so now that I am out of the situation than ever before. I always said I would not stay there longer than five years. Five turned into ten, though, and now I am about to turn 30 and wondering just why in God’s name I’m still on the west coast. Maybe it’s because there is nothing for me in California – after graduate school, I seem to have lost all semblance of order or purpose. Or maybe it’s because my family is all in the Midwest. After my mom left us when I was only 8, my family (aunts, uncles, cousins) became the most important thing in my life. Possibly it’s because my friends are more down to earth and available in Chicago – we have shared experiences and a history.

Or really it’s probably just that I’m a Midwestern girl. I was born and raised here. Since we got here over a week ago, I have been happier than in the entire time I have been in California. Whether that be just because vacation is fun, or something else, I am sure I will never know.

Vacation Report One: Misanthrope Does Not Stop at Los Angeles

I really and truly thought I was just a misanthropic, foul-mouthed bitch because of my surroundings. As much as I knew (and people told me) that the underside of humanity exists everywhere – not just L.A. – I hoped that as soon as I broke free from the western waters I would find myself less annoyed by people around me.

I was terribly terribly wrong. So wrong that I now realize this vacation is going to teach me a lot – mainly about myself and what has happened to my conceptions of the world since living in California.

Thus far, I have experienced the following “characters” during our 44 hour scenic train travel (that’s right, I’ve been on a train for 44 hours … no shower, plenty of sleep in our sleeping car, lot of sights):

(1) Most annoying lady on the planet

That’s right, I have found the most annoying woman on the planet. Maybe she’s just representative of annoying, middle-aged women everywhere; nonetheless, she was on the trip. Her annoyances included: talking so loudly during dinner the first night that we decided to take our meals in our sleeper cars lest we be forced to sit near her again; bitching in the middle of the night about the fact that the train was running about an hour late; and the icing on the cake, banging on the bathroom door while my 8 year old Pookie was (as she calls) “taking a whiz.”

(2) Kid who was lucky he got off when he did, because I was about to punch him

You know, in movies you see people traveling and there is always some annoying kid running around screaming like a maniac and hitting people. You think “haha, funny stuff – glad that doesn’t happen when I travel.” Well, somewhere around Albuquerque, that little asshole got on the train and was placed in the sleeping car next to us. The highlight was when the kid loudly sang a song in the Pee Wee Herman voice about his recent bowel movement.

(3) The Amish belcher

In the sleeper cab behind us, a man and his wife got on the train around Fullerton (California) and have been there the entire time. One thing to note is that they are Amish. Not like the colloquial application of the term and just out of date with their clothes and 1990s cell phones; these people are for real Amish. The husband apparently had some sort of intestinal issues, though, for I have never heard someone blow things out of the various orifices of their body as this guy did.

So we have about four more hours on this train, and while the experience of traveling across the country in it was amazing, I will probably never do it again. It’s just so long, and this bitch needs her shower time. Nonetheless, I have spaced out for the last two days and feel totally relaxed. Next stop, home sweet homecoming.

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

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

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

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

Things I said:

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

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

Things I said:

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

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

Things I said (or rather did):

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

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

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

Things I said:

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

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

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

Planes, Trains, and B(itch)Mobiles

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles was such a great movie. Goddamn it was. It might be my secret love of Steve Martin – ever since Saturday Night Live and LA Story, I have always had an affinity for him. More likely, it’s the fact that seeing that movie over and over again has made me realize that no matter how awful my travel experiences have been, they could always be worse.

Today we had a major pre-vacation debacle, so I’m settling in for the night to watch the film yet another time in hopes it will make me feel better. For those that didn’t read my post a few days ago about our trip to FedEx, we had to ship the majority of our clothing because the train portion of our trip has no checked bag service. Since we’ll be gone for three weeks, this obviously made shipping our clothing a necessity. Well today, we received a call from FedEx informing us that the one box with all of my clothes was damaged and won’t be returned until well after our trip is over. Add in the fact that I just gave a huge portion of my clothing away to the rescue mission and it’s looking like I’ll be wearing potato sacks and hotel bathrobes for the majority of the trip.

So what else am I doing to make myself feel a little better this evening you ask? I’m scheduling our transportation to downtown Los Angeles where we will embark on this epic adventure of complexity,  cross-country sightseeing, and our own series of planes, trains, and automobiles. This brings up another set of my idiosyncratic biases, though, for I find something wrong with shuttle-type transportation in almost every way possible.

Heather’s Bias #1: Roadrunner-style shuttles are driven by people with issues

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but when I was in college I worked at a pharmacy as a Pharmacy Technician to pay the tuition bills and keep me on some form of health insurance. While there, I can remember helping a great number of people that drove Roadrunner and Roadrunner-type airport transportation shuttles. They all had issues. I don’t mean that they were all getting psych meds or anything (well, some were), but they all just were weird. One woman told me all about her boyfriend problems every single time she came in. On one occasion she asked if we could get coffee after my shift and talk more. Another time there was a couple that both drove those shuttles and there was some problem with their insurance that I handled, so they brought me a “Thank You” card. But after they signed it, they asked if I could ring it up for them on the cash register because they had found it in the store and hadn’t bought it yet. Then, after buying it, they asked if they could have it back with some White Out because they wanted to reuse it.

And I won’t even get into the last airport shuttle I actually rode in, where the driver had a sign displayed by his dashboard that read “accident-free for 8 days.” Just what happened 9 days ago? There will be no vanpool-style airport shuttles in this lady’s future.

Heather’s Bias #2: Taxis are loaded with STDs

Have any of you faithful blog followers ever watched Taxicab Confessions? Holy mother of God that show is awful. I remember one episode, actually many episodes, where people did it right in the back seat. That’s right, they had sexy times right there – with the camera on them and everything! And then at the end, the cab driver always asked if it’d be cool that they sign a form to be on the show and the people could never wait to sign the shit! Who knows what people with such low levels of inhibition have got going on down there!

This is why I don’t drink too much (when I’m out of the house, that is). Having to call a cab makes me feel like spraying Lysol all over my ass and praying to God I don’t catch a venereal disease just from sitting on the seats.

Heather’s Bias #3: People that ask for rides to the airport annoy me

Why would I want to be annoying in return? I used to not mind when people asked me for a ride to or from the airport. We used to live about three miles away from LAX and it was very convenient – until someone asked me to drive 45 miles to pick him up to drive him to that airport that was just three miles away from my apartment. Yeah sure, I have a never-ending gas budget to waste on driving you around. Shall I wear my chauffeur hat as well?

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind doing favors for my friends. But as with all things, there is a line where things go too far. I know that if I asked someone for a ride I would have to ask someone to go out of their way for me in such a way that some (often me) might consider annoying. I don’t want to be that person.

So what’s left? Airport-type parking for three weeks would be absurd in cost. After hemming and hawing for some time, now, I have come to the one conclusion that seems both affordable and the logical consequence to my terribly narrow-minded biases: a B(itch)mobile. That’s right, we’re taking a limousine. The most high maintenance, pretentious thing a person could ride in on their way to a lavish three week vacation. But a three week vacation can be considered by some to be a pretty pretentious thing too.

And let’s be realistic here: I’m the most high maintenance thing next to that expensive Jaguar parked down the street. I’m a diva too. A misanthropic diva with a foul mouth. It almost seems wrong not to ride in a limo. So it’ll be all champagne and rims in the back of a stretch b(itch)mobile for the automobile portion of our trip. Just a few days to go and I can already taste the champagne bubbling in the back of my high maintenance throat.

Apparently I’ve Become One of Those People…

I mean, I knew that I had become “one of those people” – you know, someone in a general group that does something other people look at and say “oh, you are one of those people.” I do it all the time, so I’m not surprised that others would do it to me; although, it wasn’t until I began to pack for our upcoming vacation that I realized I have become one of those on a number of levels.

One of those people that wear pajamas way more than they should

When I started packing, I realized I have quite the dearth of actual clothing one would wear out of the house. I dress pretty nicely when I do go out, but I guess as a housewife with very little meaning behind her existence, I wear yoga pants and pajamas a lot. When I started paying attention, I realized that I get into pajamas pretty early in the day as well. Today, I was in them by 2:00 pm.

One of those people that is a total germaphobe

Maybe it has to do with the fact that we get sick constantly with the grimy shit germs that kids generally carry with them, but I realize now that I have become a total germaphobe. When I was packing the carry on bag of snacks, wipes, and other miscellaneous kid-friendly necessities, I went out and purchased a new bottle of hand soap “just in case the public restrooms are out.” I know, I am hanging my head in shame as I type this.

One of those people that makes homemade travel snacks

Again, hanging my head in shame. I know how to find healthy snacks when I travel – I’ve done it a ton of times. And yet something has changed because now I insist on making my own snacks. I suppose it has something to do with my new psychosis that every meal we have must be homemade. This isn’t to say we don’t eat out – actually we eat out all the time. But when I cook, it’s always from scratch. That’s how mom would have done it (if she wasn’t a dead beat, or could still cook that is).

One of those people that falls for happy-pappy “it was meant to be” bull shit

Okay, I’m not really one of those people, but I must admit that today while eating my orange chicken and chow mein lunch at Panda Express, I felt a tinge of this “it was meant to be” when I opened my fortune cookie. It read: “A much needed vacation will bring a great deal of enjoyment.” Could it be that the gods of buffet-style Chinese food knew that I would be there?

So I’ve become one of those people, or maybe I am in the process. The ones that wear pajamas all the time. That are germaphobes and insist on making their own food from scratch, all the time. Next thing you know I’ll be drinking Coors Light like those people do; shopping at Home Depot every Saturday for home goods and projects to take my mind over how mundane my life is. Maybe one day I’ll even become like the ones that watch Dancing with the Stars and post ad nauseum on Facebook about what happened on American Idol.

No that’s wrong – I will never become one of those people.