• I’m just…not that kind of girl.

    18

    I’m sure plenty of you have read NTKOG’s blog. Last year, she challenged herself to do 250 things that were completely uncharacteristic, just to grow as a person and push herself out of her comfort zone. I have a lot of respect for her and I really love the project. I’m linking to it because, well, I’m going to talk about being “not that kind of girl.” I’m not, however, going to challenge myself to BE that kind of girl. Today. Actually, I will never challenge myself to be THIS kind of girl. But I may, in the future, take on a NTKOG-style challenge.

    NTKOG who: likes to participate in cliches and pleasantries, who asks “how was your day?” and says, “I miss you” and tells you to “have a good day” everyday.

    Instead, I abhor cliche. I’m not a huge fan of small talk or pleasantries. Not because I’m a cold-hearted bitch who doesn’t give a shit (although that may be part of it), but because those things don’t really mean anything any more.

    To me, “have a good day” (particularly when said everyday) means no more than asking “How are you?” and hearing the answer “Fine.” What has anyone accomplished there? Someone asked a question, probably without expecting a real answer and probably without even listening for an answer, and someone else answered it without saying anything at all. So now we’ve just wasted our time, because we’ve accomplished nothing.

    I don’t like to do things simply because they are “the things we do.” I prefer to think for myself. I prefer to ask questions to which I want to know the answers. I prefer to answer questions that have been asked with some actual curiosity.

    This is not to say that I don’t care how your day was. I’d just rather find out by other means. Asking other, more interesting questions. Obviously, sometimes I’m going to ask “how are you?” or “how was your day?” It happens. But I don’t like feeling forced into it. If someone says it to me all the time, I feel kind of bitchy for not saying it back. I recognize this is my problem, but I’ve faced the argument that I’m rude for not asking. It’s not fun.

    For instance, I don’t say “bless you” when someone sneezes. Not because I’m a rude and terrible and uncaring human being, but because I don’t actually think that part of your soul is escaping through your nose when you sneeze. Moreover, I’m an atheist, so I’m not sure whom I’m would be calling upon to bless you anyway. So I just don’t say it. Some people will sneeze and then look at me. I will smile back. They will say, “Uh, don’t you want to say ‘bless you’?”

    Why no, no I don’t. And I will nicely tell them so and the reasons why. Which is usually followed by an eye-roll from the sneezer.

    I just don’t participate in many things simply because “I’m supposed to” or “that’s the way it is.”

    In relationships, particularly, I find these pleasantries trying. Can we just stipulate that I care about you and you care about me and that pretty much everyday we both want the other person to have a good day? I’d rather say something meaningful than “have a good day” as a habit.

    Generally, I’m not much of a morning person. The last thing I want in the morning is to have a pointless conversation of pleasantries. It just makes me grumpy.

    I’m not saying all of this to accuse anyone else of saying things they don’t mean. I’m sure that every single time you say “have a good day” or “how are you?” or “fine” that’s exactly what you mean. Instead, I’m merely trying to suggest that those phrases have lost almost all meaning because we don’t think before we say them. We say them out of habit. That doesn’t mean we don’t mean “have a good day,” it means that it’s a habit to say it and a habit to hear it and that, as such, it doesn’t really mean anything any more.

    An example: My Nana is a very conservative, Christian woman. She doesn’t even like the word “crap.” If I were to call her tomorrow morning and say, “Fuck,” she would probably feel very offended and shocked. If I did that every morning for a month, though? She would probably still be offended, let’s face it. But it would no longer hold it’s shock value. She would be expecting it. In all likelihood, she probably wouldn’t even hear it any more.

    So why say things over and over until they lose their value? Why not express your love and care and such with a meaningful expression. “I love the way you eat potatoes” or “I smile when you do that thing where you lick your lips in a very specific fashion” or “I hope you make it to work without losing your shoes again.” Those things are special, because they’re about a specific person.

    Just something to ponder.

  • Just kidding.

    4

    I posted something I found in my drafts folder earlier. I have been informed, though, that it’s pretty likely that someone might take that personally or get hurt feelings about it, when I don’t even remember what I wrote it about. So we’ll save that for another day.

    I don’t have much in the way of an update, because I’m trying to work on a Seriously Shiny post and a Shiny Sports post.

  • Oh, the stupidity.

    5

    If ever I wanted an answer to a question, it is this one: How can some people get through life while being SO FUCKING STUPID?

    Cases in point:

    Yesterday morning, I received an email from a woman who did some part-time, temporary work for my company. She sent me her timesheet and expense report about two weeks ago. I made out the check and put it in the mail last Monday afternoon. On the following FRIDAY, she sent me an email asking how I was planning to pay her, because oh by the way, her address had changed and here’s the new one.

    Why, in the name of all that is pretty, would you not have sent me a new address when you sent in your timesheet? Do you not want to get paid?

    You’re an idiot.

    Then I went to the grocery store to get something to drink with my cheese and cracker lunch. True to form, the line I picked (which had two people in front of me and was the express line) took four times as long as the only other line (which had three people in it, each with a cart full of groceries, including one grandma in a nightgown and bathrobe who was surely going to pay with a check).

    What happened, you ask?

    Well, it seems that the Safeway turkeys were on sale for “39 cent a pound, not 99 cent a pound” and they were ringing up wrong, “which is what she try to tell you while you was ringing her up, but you don’t care.”

    “I tell you it’s wrong. They ringing up wrong. They a big sign that say they on sale for 39 cent a pound.”

    The poor cashier said, “You can go to customer service and they’ll take care of it, or you’ll have to wait until I’ve helped these other customers.”

    Cue the lady who doesn’t know how to use her EBT card. Just for reference, it’s not a debit card.

    “Come on, he don’t care. He ain’t even listenin’ to you. He don’t care shit.”

    “But I put in my PIN number, I don’t want no cash back. This here’s an EBT card.” Rinse. Repeat.

    My brain? Exploded.

    THEN, I went to McDonald’s to get my boss a small decaf coffee and another coworker a large un-sweetened iced tea.

    “Welcome to McDonald’s, can I take your order?”

    “I need a small decaf coffee and a large UN-sweetened iced tea, please.”

    “Small medium coffee and a sweet tea.”

    “No, a SMALL DECAF coffee and a LARGE UN-sweetened iced tea.”

    “Did you say medium coffee? And a large sweet tea?”

    “NO. A SMALL DECAF COFFEE AND A LARGE UN- NON- NOT- SWEETENED ICED TEA.”

    “Okay, ma’am. That was a medium decaf and a large sweet tea.”

    “NOOOOO. I need a SMALL. DECAFFEINATED. COFFEE. And a LARGE. NOT EVEN THE TINIEST BIT SWEETENED. UN-SWEETENED. NO SUGAR. ICED TEA.”

    “Oh, okay. A small decaf coffee and a large unsweetened iced tea.”

    “YES.”

    I paid and picked up my drinks at the window. The woman handed me the tea and I said, “This is an UN-sweetened iced tea, right? No sugar?”

    “Yes, ma’am. Un-sweetened.”

    As I’m sure you can guess, it was sweet tea.

  • In which I almost set my apartment on fire.

    6

    The Friday before Halloween, I was supposed to go to HWLTFA’s ‘hood with my friend Elljay and watch some really terrible Halloween movies. Well, and The Great Pumpkin, which isn’t terrible. I had a plan. The plan was to come home, walk Cooper, play with Cooper for about an hour, get in the bathtub, relax.

    Everything was right on schedule until the whole “get in the bathtub thing.”

    I decided to light a couple of scented candles, for maximum relaxation. I started my bathwater and then realized it was high time to clean my hair. I left the water running and went to measure out my baking soda and apple cider vinegar.

    When I came back and got in the tub, I noticed that one of my scented candles looked like this:

    You’ll notice that the now bonfire-esque fire is completely contained within the candle tin. I noticed that, too. I thought to myself, “Self, that shit looks like a tiny bonfire! Should you put it out? I mean, what harm could it do in the bathtub in a candle tin, really? Just a little warmer than usual. No big deal.”

    Ahem.

    I was already in the tub and I didn’t want to get out. HOW BAD COULD IT BE?

    Cue smoke detectors. Shit.

    I leaped up out of the tub, ran into the living room with a towel and started fanning the thing. Once it stopped, I went back to the bathroom to put out the candle. But…uh, how? Cue smoke detectors.

    Shit.

    Back to the living room, still fully naked and dripping bath water, to fan the smoke detector again.

    While I was doing that, I realized that the candles have lids, so I could probably just put the lid back on and smother the fire. Back to the bathroom.

    The lid to the candle was pretty much the exact same size as the candle. And attempt to put it on either involved burning myself or tossing it like a horseshoe and hoping it would magically land perfectly and seal the flames.

    I’ll let you guess how that went. Cue smoke detectors.

    Shit.

    Back to the living room to fan the thing. By this time I was ready to murder it. I stood up on this oak chest my father made me when I was a kid, trying desperately to get the battery out. I mean, I KNEW there was a fire, right? It’s not like I still needed this fucking thing to alert me. I’m good.

    That’s about the time I realized that my apartment was rapidly filling with thick(ish) black smoke, from the candle.

    I got the battery out, but…yeah, that didn’t stop the thing. I felt like Phoebe in that one episode of friends where she ends up putting the smoke detector down the garbage shoot wrapped in a wool blanket, because it won’t stop chirping. You know the one I mean, right?

    I had to find a way to get the smoke out of my apartment, or I was never going to get the evil smoke detectors to shut up. So I flung open the balcony door and then raced to my room to pry open the windows.

    Yes, I was still naked. The dripping of the bathwater had subsided.

    Cue smoke detectors.

    Now I was waving the towel at the thing in an effort to knock it off the ceiling. I had closed the bathroom door, so at least all the smoke was in there. The smoke detector hit the floor and I raced back to the bathroom…now thick with black not-so-pretty-smelling smoke.

    A pot lid from the kitchen worked nicely to smother my bonfire:

    And I finally got to relax in the tub.

  • It’s Friday, we should break up – The “People Have it Worse” Argument.

    10

    Yes, yes. I know. I’m a terrible human for not caring more about people who are suffering all over the world, right? But I do care. I promise.

    Here’s the thing: Using “But there are people suffering all over the world!” as an argument for why people shouldn’t complain/own things/be sad about something/get angry about something/whatever? It will never work.

    First of all, it’s the Hail Mary pass of arguments. All you’re doing is hoping that you’ll make the person you’re debating feel like a jackass and so guilty that he or she just shuts down.

    Second of all, if all of that stuff is so important, why on earth are you standing around HAVING a debate about something that is likely far less important? Shouldn’t you be, I don’t know, out there solving the problems of the world instead having some pointless argument?

    If those two things don’t make you think twice before using such an argument, how about this: There will be suffering in the world, pretty much no matter what. Children are going to be starving in Africa whether I eat my vegetables or not. Women are going to be abused in the Sudan whether I say that we shouldn’t be hateful to each other or not. There’s nothing I can realistically DO about those things. But I can speak up when I see people being hateful, and let’s face it, hate is where all of this begins.

    Perspective is always a good thing. Knowing that your life is not over because your boyfriend or girlfriend broke up with you is a good thing. Realizing that there’s almost always someone out there who has it worse than you is a good thing. Smugly acting like those things mean that no one else should be affected by anything? Is ignorant and unproductive.

    So yes, it’s a bummer that some soccer mom is driving around in a fancy (and possibly gas-guzzling) car, while there are people in the world who have almost nothing. Yes, it may be silly that I can find fault with some frat boys for promoting rape on a college campus or a bully for being hateful to fat people, while there are people getting blown to bits in the Middle East. Yes, you may find it ridiculous that people were complaining about salmonella-ridden eggs, while there was an earthquake in Pakistan.

    That’s life. It doesn’t make my car breaking down suck any less.

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