It’s Pride month, and I’m so happy when people within and outside a community support each other… but good heavens. When you say that you accept someone “as they are,” it sounds like you’re buying as-is merchandise at a department store. One’s sexual/gender identity (regardless of what it is and/or its difference from your own!) is not a flaw. It’s not something that you have to either accept or not accept as a part of a whole person. That’s like saying that you accept a person despite the fact that they regularly donate to charity. Can you imagine? ‘Oh, you have eleemosynary leanings? I guess I can accept you as you are… you as-is, display model blender on the shelf at Macy’s.’ Whatever. Accept someone based on how long their fingernails are. It’s exactly as arbitrary.
If you have to be single, don’t ever be alone. Not even for a second. When you’re lonely, your standards for a mate start to fall, and that’s how you find yourself in a terrible long-term relationship with someone who’s not worthy of you. Here is an outline of your descent:
- You just got out of a relationship. Your standards: must be sexy, over 6’2″, have a degree, make decent money, clean-cut…
- It’s been a couple weeks since you’ve been out on a date. Your standards: must be objectively attractive, must be taller than me, must have a job, must be polite and considerate…
- Can’t really remember last date. Your standards: height doesn’t matter, has to be at least looking for a job (really, you’re letting most things slide–just as long as he’s not a bearded ginger…)
- So alone and lonely. Your standards no longer exist. Bearded gingers, home-brewers, voluntary baldies, first-floor apartment dwellers, and guys on probation are now on your radar.
Grab a friend and go to a movie. Go to that mixer you are pretty sure you’re going to hate. Get brunch at that trendy spot. Don’t allow your loneliness to push your standards down to “a breathing human who pays attention to me sometimes.”
If you have to get a haircut, do not get bangs. If you already have bangs, do not have them trimmed. The amount of time between bang-cutting and regret in most US women varies between five minutes and two days. Please see process below:
- Bang-cutting ideation
- Bang-cutting plan
- Actual bang cutting
- Very short period of satisfaction
- Blaming self or others
- Googling “how to grow out bangs” and/or “bang extensions”
- Consumption of excessive amounts of red wine
- Just kidding about the acceptance thing
- Asking friends “Am I still pretty?”
- See #9
- Posting of one Instagram photo showing the cut
- Deletion of photo
- Rage directed at all women without bangs
- General malaise
- Diagnosis of hair dysmorphic disorder
- Hair spray and barrettes
- Long recovery period
- Cycle starts over at #3
You somehow fool yourself into thinking that forehead fringe will solve all of your problems, but the host of issues it brings will be a plague on you, your friends, and your family. Just say no.
If you have to work in an office, you’re going to have to interact with other people at some point during your day, and your first interaction will probably be way earlier than you’d like it to be. Despite keeping earphones in your ears until 9 AM and staring at the floor when you go to grab your coffee in the break room, horrible morning people will invariably break the wall of solitude you’ve attempted to maintain.
You’ll be subjected to one of the following scenarios:
- Women talking – Here’s what you need to know. Conversations involving more than two women always start with a complaint about something: men, kids, the weather, the temperature of the office, any manner of physical ailments (feminine or unisex, real or perceived), or potential injustices in the world. When one woman gloms onto an idea, the rest of the group piles on, and it turns into a rally cry about overcrowding in the shared kitchen refrigerator or some stupid thing like that.
- Men talking – The average man knows a total of seven things about sports. He will try to interject at least two of these nuggets into every man-conversation he has. Therefore, any attempt to follow men’s sports conversation is an exercise in futility because they all talk over each other, and they’re usually not even discussing the same sport. They’ll just keep getting louder and louder.
- Men and women talking – This doesn’t actually happen. A woman will say something about waiting in line to pour herself some coffee, and a man will mumble something about free throw percentages, then another woman will ask what he’s talking about, and then a man will say something about the World Series, and a woman will say something about how NFL players beat women, and then somebody from HR will walk by, and everyone will go silent.
So good luck. Avoid other humans when possible, but when you can’t, get coffee in the HR break room.
If you have to post schmoopy things online about (or to) your significant other, stop. There’s a 100% chance that none of us want to see it.
Single people don’t appreciate you rubbing their noses in it, and people in relationships REALLY don’t like your perceived oneupsmanship. We get it, Amanda. You love John. You LOOOOOOVE John. We know. We KNOOOOOOW.*
And you people with family photos as profile pictures? Ugh. It’s bad enough that you posted ALL 37 LOVELY SHOTS of you, your adoring husband, your sweet children, and your squishy wittle puppy, but now we have to be reminded of how beautiful you all look together in a posed studio shot EVERY SINGLE TIME you post something? Barf.
Why do I hate this so much? …Honestly? I hate to admit it, but it’s because that will never be my life. I’ve come to accept that no one will ever post lovey-dovey things about me online, that I’ll never be in a significant other’s profile picture, and that I will never be on the receiving end of any sort of public declaration of love via social media. No one will ever do the modern-day equivalent of shouting my name from a mountaintop. I get it! BUT JENNY WILL JUST KEEP ON POSTING THAT SHE AND MATT ARE LIKE TOTES HAPPY OMG 4EVAR LOVE BARF BARF LITERAL VOMIT.
*and also I’m kind of looking forward to what’s going to happen when Amanda finds out that John is gay
If you have to go to Back to School Night, be prepared to be sized up, looked up and down, scrutinized, and otherwise compared to all the other people there. And by “other people,” I mean moms. There are some serious mom-comparisons (or momparisons, if you will) that will be happening. And I’m the one who will be doing it. And I’m not sorry.
As all the parents filed into the cafeteria (cafetorium? there’s, like, a stage in here), I realized that each and every mom fit cleanly into one or two or three pretty distinct categories:
- Yoga moms – ugh. We see you, lady whose husband makes all the money while you sit around drinking champagne the entire day and then go off to screw the pool boy. Side note: she has never done yoga, but the yoga pants she wears everywhere cost $500. *eye roll*
- Career moms – because not everyone can just wear yoga pants all day, you freaks. And not everyone has a husband who makes enough to support himself, let alone a family.
- Young moms – like, omg, is that the kid’s sister?
- Old moms – and I mean like GRANDMA-old moms. Grandma moms make everyone uncomfortable. Including themselves. They always look uncomfortable. Probably because they’re old. And they probably just broke a hip trying to sit on the tiny elementary school chairs.
- Moms who are trying to recapture their youth – nice pink hair, Sandra. Really.
- Moms who’ve had work done – and I don’t just mean Botox®. We’re talking poison in the face, plastic in the lips, silicone in the chest, tummies tucked, and probably some other gross stuff I super-duper don’t want to think about.
- Tired moms – did you literally just roll out of bed? Those are some great, uh, leggings you’re wearing with that faded Disney sweatshirt.
- Moms who’ve given up – some of them are just really tired (see above), probably, but they aren’t trying to even look like they care.
- Moms whose career is momming (a.k.a. SUPERMOMS) – and they’re serious about it. Not just homeschool moms. These ladies are the ones who invite you to a Mary Kay LuLa Pampered Jewelry Candle Sex Toy party, all in the name of losing money they don’t have on products that everyone already has. Because momming. They mom, like, hella hard. And they spam the hell out of their own Facebook pages in an effort to get you to buy Pyramid Scheme™ brand makeup that is made from, like, ground unicorn horns or something.
- Single moms who are trying way too hard to find a man – um, Debbie, you’re making everyone uncomfortable. I mean, really uncomfortable. Like, stop. SERIOUSLY DEBBIE STOP HITTING ON THE PRINCIPAL HOLY SHIT
In conclusion, if you find yourself at one of these things, and you see the lady in the dress who is squinting at everyone and laughing uncontrollably… that’s me, trying to maintain my sanity by sorting you into some tidy little buckets.
If you have to ask for a woman’s opinion because you need a “female perspective,” know that the only thing that’s different from my standpoint is that I can look down and see my tits whenever I feel like it.
When compared with John’s view of the world, what makes my position more interesting/special/important than Charles’s?* Nothing. Sure, I’ve birthed humans, and yeah, I’ve been forced by society to wear makeup every day, cross my legs when I sit, wear a bra no matter what, deal with subtle and blatant sexism, wear pantyhose, thank men for holding doors open (even though they only did it so they could check out my rack as well as my ass), curb my sexual appetite so as not to appear unladylike, and be heartily accepting of the “boys will be boys” mentality…
Hold on. If I had a penis, I wouldn’t have to deal with all of that? People wouldn’t tell me that I was good at something for a girl? Maybe there IS something that separates my life experiences from those of men. …Maybe.
But I can stare at my tits all day if I want to. 🙂
Your move, gents.
* Yes, it’s Charles’s (with an apostrophe followed by an s). Don’t try to cross me on this.
If you have to have an opinion about something, be cognizant of the fact that your thoughts and your perspective are not shared by everyone.
I’ve figured out the -isms: racism, sexism, ageism, etc. Ready for this? It has to do with heuristics, bias, education, and mental flexibility. In fact, I would like to posit that avoidance of the discomforts of cognitive dissonance is why some Christians can justify hate and intolerance.
When a person grows up in a black-and-white world (and by this, I mean an environment in which there is only right and wrong–there is no gray area), he or she (or they or them–it’s 2017) consciously and subconsciously “sorts” things, ideas, and stimuli into either the “good” bucket or the “bad” bucket.
Let’s go deeper. Growing up in this type of environment means that good/bad (and right/wrong and heaven/hell) decisions are made on a very regular basis. As a child develops, he or she begins to automate many of these “sorting” decisions. In the absence of excellent (or even somewhat decent) education, these heuristics become engrained.
Follow this chain of logic: crimes are bad things –> committing crimes is bad –> people who commit crimes are bad –> [turns on tv] that guy who committed a crime is bad –> people who look like that guy are bad –> black people are bad.
Even in the face of empirical evidence that what they believe is “right” is so very, very wrong, they will insist that they are correct in their belief, as their “beliefs” have become immutable facts in their minds.
When one blindly supports a political party and then, therefore, a particular politician, simply because that party’s ideals broadly correspond to their religious upbringing, any questionable act or outright travesty of justice calls into question the trajectory of their entire lives, and therefore, the deity they worship.
Because it is fundamentally uncomfortable to question one’s own ingrained beliefs, the least psychologically stressful option is to continue to defend one’s original right/wrong bucket.
Consider these quotes:
- “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” -Aristotle
- “Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.” -Robert Frost
Why talk about this now? At no time in my life have I found this to be more relevant. It hurts me to see people praise or decry a particular governmental action (or a general political leaning) without a rational reason to do so. I also can’t stand to see a person claim a particular Bible verse to defend or denounce someone or something–and completely ignore not only the context of the passage, but the totality of the contents of the Good Book.
Simply consider another perspective, as I have here. I recognize that many haven’t been afforded the educational opportunities I’ve had in my life, and I recognize that my life experiences have demanded that I be receptive to (and respectful of) opinions diametrically opposed to my own. Recognize that objective truth and subjective truth are one and the same for the vast majority of the populace.
Can we all be so open-minded? No, but we can try. We can explore cultures other than our own. We can talk to people with whom we wouldn’t normally converse. We can push our boundaries and expand our comfort zones. We can listen. We can read [something other than mainstream media]. We can question. We can learn. We can try.
If you have to refer to yourself as an athlete, you’d better make for damn sure that your sport of choice is actually a sport. (Sorry, skee ball “champions.”)
What is a sport? According to the dictionary in my head, a sport is any type of competitive physical activity that requires some amount of skill and/or expertise. Need examples? Of course you do:
- Football = sport
- Basketball = sport
- Tennis = sport (even though it is often played while wearing a skirt)
- Golf = not a sport (because driving a golf cart and drinking are not sports)
- Baseball = sport (even though there are only 32.7 combined seconds of actual action in the entirety of a baseball game, it takes some skill to hit and/or throw a ball)
- Competitive eating = sport (it takes training and is very physically demanding)
- Spelling bees = not a sport (that’s mental activity, not physical, and it should not be on ESPN)
- Running = not a sport (because unless you’re actually running against other people, you’re just some dude who likes sweating and wearing spandex)
- Race car driving = not a sport (because being a little dude in a hot car and turning left all the time doesn’t qualify)
- Cheerleading = sport (but I’m only talking about what they do during the games, ifyouknowwhatimean)
- Darts = not a sport (because no one in the history of the world has ever done it sober)
- Soccer = sport (even though it mostly just involves kicking other people in the shins)
- Poker = not a sport (and if you think it is, I will throatpunch you)
- Pool = sport (arguably more mental than physical, but I’ve had to contort myself into some odd yoga-like poses to get the balls where they need to go, so it totally counts)
- Video games = not a sport (the only physical activity is moving the Doritos from bag to face)
- Bowling = sometimes a sport (let’s be honest; it depends on who’s doing it)
So go out there and be an athlete, instead of just an athletic supporter.
If you have to be good at something, be a big fish in a small pond. Instead of trying to create a large impact, make a unique impact.
What’s the best kind of beer?
Basic garbage humans will sing the praises of Bud Light, 30-somethings get nostalgic when they see a Corona, poor and/or ugly people claim to like Coors Light, Europhiles are into Guinness, and every man on the brink of a midlife crisis is in love with one craft beer or another. Oh, and my mother drinks O’Doul’s because she says she enjoys the taste.
The point here is that people have different preferences, whether they’re weird (Corona), gross (Bud Light), or wrong (O’Doul’s). The same holds true for chocolate chip cookies. People prefer different types of chocolate chip cookies: weird (with pecans), gross (with dark chocolate chips), or wrong (crunchy cookies).
Trying to make a universally loved chocolate chip cookie is an exercise in futility. The mere fact that people have all of these silly preferences means that you can’t make everyone happy all the time.
You want a cookie? I’ll bake you a batch of soft, melt-in-your-mouth, sea salt caramel cookies. I’ll create some blueberry white chocolate oatmeal cookies. I’ll make some butterscotch cookies you’ll never forget.
I’m not saying that unique = awesome, but I will say that giving people something unexpected rather than just giving them your version of the “best” of something ordinary may just pay big dividends in the long run.