Category Archives: Uncategorized

All the -isms

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.

We Like Sportz

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.

I Won’t Bake Chocolate Chip Cookies

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.

Pizza Entitlement

If you have to make fun of a class of people, please make sure you’re right about every single one of them.

As an example, let’s take a look at a recent incident in which, on a popular social media platform, an individual derided those who had never ordered a pizza… He commented something along the lines of that he couldn’t believe an actual adult human had never picked up a phone and ordered delivery… because obviously not having ever ordered pizza is the lament of the social pariah.

Okay, folks. As you may have already guessed, I have never ordered a pizza. I may have eaten pizza, but it did not arrive in my mouth due to my ordering of it from a restaurant. My reasons are threefold:

  • I was allergic to milk (and therefore, cheese) until I was 24 years old. (I’ll give you a moment to let that sink in…) Therefore, I would have had no reason to order a pizza for well over half my life, but even so…
  • I suffered a traumatic room service incident when I was 23. I was on my first honeymoon (shut up), and I wanted to order the conch chowder. That was all well and good, but as soon as the order-taking person answered the phone, I realized that I didn’t know how to pronounce the word conch. What was I to do? Should I say I want the chowder, and hope they realize I don’t want the clam chowder? Do I cough as I’m trying to say the word, and hope they say the word, and I can just say, “yeah, that’s it”? Nope. I hung up the phone and told my ex that he’d better order me my soup and a few more bottles of the resort-standard champagne. Which brings me to my next point…
  • Boys are supposed to order the pizza. And the wine. And the everything. To be clear, I’m not a feminist. I’m a strong, iron-willed woman. I’ve been fiercely independent and self-reliant for most of my adult life. However, I need to be with a man who is strong enough and who knows me well enough to tell me what I want and who also has the wherewithal to give it to me. And that includes ordering the damn pizza. Just as long as it’s not (yuck) pepperoni.

Does this make sense? No. Should I be able to order a pizza? Yes.* What am I scared of, really? Okay, what if they ask me what kind of cheese I want on the pizza? I mean, what am I supposed to say? Pizza cheese… normal pizza cheese? What the hell is pizza cheese? What if they ask about what kind of sausage I want? I don’t know. The good kind? WHAT IF THEY ASK IF I WANT THE BLACK OLIVES ON THE RIGHT HALF OR THE LEFT HALF OF THE PIZZA? HOW IS THIS SUPPOSED TO GO?

In conclusion, and I’m not ashamed to admit it… I probably could order a pizza, but my silly, entitled ass feels like I shouldn’t have to do it myself.

* Disclaimer:  I can “order” a pizza at Little Caesar’s by grunting and pointing at a box right behind Randy’s** head.

** All Little Caesar’s employees are named Randy.

Disruptive Lifehacks

Your technology isn’t “disruptive,” your little life workarounds aren’t “hacks,” and–holy shit–you aren’t coming up with “disruptive hacks.”

It’s not a breakfast hack to mix sausage and eggs together. It doesn’t matter if you put the mixture in a muffin pan. That ain’t new, it ain’t particularly innovative, and my grandma has been making breakfast casserole for years. YEARS. And don’t make a three minute video of you putting strawberries and kiwi on top of some cream cheese and act like your ass has just managed to solve the problem we all seem to have when we can’t figure out how the hell we can shove more sugar and calories down our throats.

The mere fact that you’ve cut the bottom off of a 20 oz. water bottle and are now using it as a funnel does not mean that you’ve done a “LIFE HACK ZOMG WATER BOTTLE!!!!1!” and we should all watch your video on YouTube. (The only thing you’ve hacked, you simpleton, is your finger while trying to use a pocketknife to cut the damn bottle.)

“#disruptoutlook” is an inappropriate hashtag to use when you’ve made the SHOCKING discovery that you can use rules to direct emails that contain the subject line “Girl Scout cookies” directly into your Trash folder. …Congratulations. You’ve just pointed out something the rest of humankind has been doing for hundreds of thousands of years.

Somebody else has already come up with the idea to put a plastic bag around the E. coli-covered remote control in the hotel room, so just relax–and maybe Google your amazing revelations before proclaiming yourself a genius. 

Vegantitlement

If you have to be vegan, well… there’s really no excuse for it. Just stfu about it. We (and I’m speaking for the entire world here) do not care. Quit trying to sell us your bullshit vegan propaganda.

You can call it vegan leather all you want to, but it’s plastic. And that vegan burger? Honey, that’s a black bean patty. And since we’re being honest, that whole “vegan” thing you’re clinging to so desperately? Yeah, you’re just a vegetarian with weird entitlement issues. And we all know you’re quietly hoping someone will give you some ground chuck in place of that slimy bean situation you’ve got going on over there.

Girlbrain

If you have to deal with women, know that there are varying levels of what I’ll call #girlbrain.

Almost all women operate in 100% girlbrain mode, so you need to be really damn careful with what you say to them. Allow me to provide examples to elucidate my point…

  • Guy says:  “You look pretty today.”  Girl thinks:  If he’s saying I ‘look’ pretty, he must think I’m not actually pretty; I just appear pretty at the moment. And why do I only look pretty TODAY? Do I normally look bad? And wtf is ‘pretty’ anyway? I’m not sexy? I’m not hot? I’m just pretty??
  • Guy texts:  “Luv u”  Girl thinks:  Why didn’t he say ‘I love you’?? Can he not commit to owning his ‘luv’ by adding an ‘I’ to the beginning of that? Does he not actually LOVE me? Was he typing in a hurry BECAUSE THERE’S ANOTHER GIRL THERE?!?!?!!!
  • Guy says:  “[Female celebrity name] is attractive.” Girl thinks:  He’s obsessed with Sandra Bullock. Why the fuck is he obsessed with Sandra Bullock? She’s brunette. I’m blonde! She has brown eyes. Mine are blue! She never shows her teeth when she smiles. I grin and show my teeth! Oh no! He thinks I’m ugly!
  • Guy texts:  “You’re fun.” Girl thinks:  I’m fun?? Does he not take me seriously? Do I need to be more serious? Oh no… he thinks I’m stupid. No guy wants to be with a girl long-term who’s just ‘fun’ and nothing else. He thinks I don’t have any depth. OH NO! He caught me watching ‘Keeping Up With the Kardashians’! How can I recover from this?!?!

Gentlemen, let me tell you… Girls will give themselves complexes about this shit. Want to give a girl a compliment? You have to be unambiguous. More than that, you have to be insanely, specifically, ridiculously clear. Don’t mistake brevity for clarity, but at the same time, you have to know your girl.

A select few ladies can take things as they were obviously intended, like, 97.2% of the time… but sometimes… even the best of us slip. We hear that we’re “fun,” and we go into full-on girlbrain, drawing spurious conclusions and mildly flipping the fuck out for no reason whatsoever.

For the love of all things holy, gents, have a bit of patience. Tell her something she can’t misinterpret. I’m going to stop short of telling you exactly what to say–because every woman is a special snowflake (*eye roll*) and responds differently to certain words.

Oh yeah, and watch out for those 100% girlbrain broads. They cray (and they’re also 99.4% of the women out there, so good luck, I guess).

Highway to the Friendzone

If you have to talk about how you got “friendzoned” by a girl, realize that you’re speaking about something that doesn’t exist–and it makes you sound like a desperate, sad whiner who has probably never been with a girl anyway.

Gents, I hate to break it to you, but girls have made the irrevocable decision of whether or not they would EVER EVEN CONSIDER sleeping with you within approximately 32 seconds of meeting you for the first time. Literally. Introduce yourself, wait a minute, and then ask her if she’d ever even possibly think about sleeping with you.* She’ll either say “hell no” or she’ll blush. There’s your answer. You’re welcome.

If you claim there’s such a thing as the “friendzone,” then you’re assuming that thing is an aberration from the norm… namely, you are assuming that most girls want to sleep with you.

Allow me to offer the dissenting and most likely uncomfortable opinion: almost no girls want you. If you happen to find one who does, THAT’S the aberration. When this rare occurrence happens, say you’ve been “bangzoned.” Makes a lot more sense, and I bet you’ll find more people will want to celebrate with you about that compared with the low attendance you’ll find at your little friendzone pity party.

* Omg, please let me know if you try this. I want to know every detail about what happens, including how much you cried when she kicked you in the balls.

Sourcing Credibility

If you have to get advice, get it from a credible source. Want to know about the weather? Ask a meteorologist. Want advice on meat? Don’t get it from a vegan. 

I was just watching a presentation on tv in which an impeccably dressed woman in heels used the term “marathon gaming sessions” to describe some aspect of some computer. I don’t buy it. That chick has never been on an energy drink and Twizzler-fueled bender, playing some MMORPG until 5 AM and passing out in a pile of Corn Nuts. It’s just not believable. Get some fat guy named Kevin whose Star Wars t-shirt is just a little too tight and who speaks in internet slang to tell me about the gaming-ness of this computer, and I’ll believe whatever he has to say. He comes off as a credible source.

Want to know why I’ve never read/seen Fifty Shades of Grey? …Well, first of all, I’m not a sad, desperate yoga mom. But also, have you seen how gosh darn fugly the author is?! She is not a source for sexy, credible, plausible-sounding banging stories! Want a good story? I guarantee that a hot person will have better quality (and more believable) sex stories.

In summation… talk to a plumber about your pipes, see a doctor about your medical issues, and don’t read sex books by ugly women.

Too Hot for… You?

If you have to complain about your relationship, make sure you’re complaining about something that makes sense. (This is gonna get hella metaphorical, so strap in, kids.)

Imagine that you have fantasized for years about owning a Lamborghini (or a Lotus, or a Tesla, or a damned Prius–if that’s the type of thing that tickles your fancy). All of the sudden, you are given the car of your DREAMS.

However… now you are the owner of a Lamborghini. You have to step up your game. You can’t bum around in sweatpants anymore. You need to look and act the part of Lamborghini Owner. It’s a lot of work. In addition to making yourself a fitting owner for that fine automobile, you need to wash it, park it further out in the parking lot than you used to park your Taurus, and go to the luxury car dealership when it needs work.

Does that sound like too much work for you, Sweatpants Man?? Don’t be mad at the Lamborghini for being fabulous. THAT’S WHAT YOU WANTED, REMEMBER?!

Lost on that one? Try this:  If you buy a candle, you should light it and experience it with all your senses. Enjoy its heat, its glow, its scent, and its spark. (Maybe don’t lick it, but you know what I mean.) Don’t buy it and stick it in a cabinet just to be able to say that you have a candle. Who cares if you have a candle if it’s just shoved in the back of your sock drawer?

Still not with me? Okay. Don’t be mad at your hot significant other because they’re hot. You wanted a hot person, you somehow managed to score one, and now you’re all pissy because they haven’t fallen into the same pit of self-loathing and sloth that you swim in? Hmm… maybe lower your expectations… for next time. 🙂