The Time I Tried to Go Back to Apple

Y’all, I’m gonna be straight with you. I have not been happy with Samsung, lately. Having switched from an iPhone 4 in 2012, I’ve loved every Samsung phone I’ve had, from the S3 to the S5 to the Note 5… until April, when I got my Galaxy S8 Plus, the IT PHONE for Android users. Despite the rave reviews I’ve read online, I hated this phone. While I’ve always liked the slightly larger phones Android offers, the S8 Plus wasn’t just big. It was proportionately awkward. I’d carry it into the stacks to have internet access while helping a customer and it felt like I was roaming the children’s area with a paddle… which is admittedly a dream of mine, some days.

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#notachildrenslibarian

Combine the sheer screen size with the fragility of the absolutely pointless curved screen and I broke my new phone, within a month, on my honeymoon… when it fell three feet from a toilet paper dispenser. After years of throwing my Samsung phones down the stairs without a scratch, I assumed this was a fluke… until Jake broke his S8, despite the Otterbox. Add this to the beta test Bixby software and physical button and I was done. Samsung had finally pissed me off enough to convince me that I should go back to the only other smartphone I’d ever had: iPhone.

Y’all, I was convinced this was the simpler route. I just wanted a phone, without gimmicks. I researched phones that had physical keyboards, attachable projectors and boomboxes, edges that responded to being squeezed, and they were all huge, which was the thing I hated most about the S8 Plus. I desperately wished I’d never handed over my Note 5… but I still had to make a choice. Many of my friends and family have iPhones and other Apple devices and rave about how well they work together. They insisted that they no longer suffered the same restrictions (no Google Maps, third-party music apps, waterproofing, etc.) that I remembered. I was actually willing to forgo the ability to make all my apps look like Christmas ornaments, a bigger deal for me than most, because there must be something to it.

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Folks, if I thought the size of my Galaxy S8 Plus made me look like I was using Zach Morris’s phone, the capabilities of the iPhone 8 made me feel like I was using Zach Morris’s phone. I could overlook the fact that the glass body so closely resembled the iPhone 4, that the LCD screen wasn’t even as nice as the one on my $120 Kindle Fire, that the style itself hadn’t changed since the iPhone 6, and even that it took three times as long to charge.

My first real sign that I couldn’t be an iPhone user, however, came with the photo gallery, which automatically organized my photos into little default albums, like Selfies, People, and Places. The only way to view them by date was through the Camera Roll, which showed every single thing I’d ever done, from selfies to screenshots to videos. I would have to thumb through every catty Facebook screenshot I’d ever taken (and that’s a lot) to find my holiday photos, unless I wanted to go through the trouble of creating an album. While I could download the Google Photos app, it was slow and buggy. A Samsung phone would provide just as user friendly of an experience to search Google Photos as their own gallery, which is also divided into similar screenshot/downloads/camera albums, but I can delete them. I’m not a 22-year-old barista! I don’t want a folder full of fucking selfies! Fine. Fine. I’d ignore the photo gallery and work on something that I knew was a new capability for IOS: free ringtones via the Zedge App… but only if I sync my phone to iTunes. WHAT FUCKING YEAR IS IT, APPLE?!?!?!

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I wasn’t done, though. I was going to give this phone a fair shake. Maybe it was just the appearance. I mean, the iPhone 8 does look substantially more dated than the iPhone 7. There’s something about the glass and aluminum combination, especially with the home button, that looks especially 2012. The fingerprint scanner was honestly really cool and I’d never bothered to use the one on my S8 Plus, since it was enormous. Siri seemed nice and could definitely help me out of any future Gerald’s Game scenarios. I could learn to love this phone… but maybe I’d prefer one that looked a little sleeker… and maybe I’d consider the Plus, since I was so used to a larger screen. Hopefully the proportions just wouldn’t be as wonky. Of course there was no way my husband was right and Apple just fucking sucked and I’d made a terrible decision on a big ticket item again.

revolvingdazzlingeland

So, the iPhone 8 arrived on a Friday and there I found myself on Sunday, driving to the AT&T store to consider another phone, while I still had the 14 day grace period to confess my buyer’s remorse, with that awful feeling in the pit of my stomach that I had once again committed to an $850 phone I regretted. I’d typed the address of the store in Google Maps, thinking at least Apple has Google Maps now and suddenly, on the side of the road, I thought I saw a dog playing… except…

dun-dun-dun-gif-18

The dog wasn’t playing y’all. The dog had been hit by a car and was clearly paralyzed from the waist down and was yelping in agony. I immediately burst into tears.

“Siri, give me the number for Metro Animal Welfare.”
“I found the number for Metro Animal Birth Control Clinic. Will that work?”
“What? No. Give me the number for Metro Animal Welfare.
“I found the number for Metro Animal Birth Control Clinic. Will that work?”
“What the fuck is ‘animal birth control’?!? Give me the number for Metro Animal Welfare!”
“I found the number for Metro Animal Birth Control Clinic. Will that work?”

Fuck Bing. Fuck Apple and Bing. That’s when I nearly ran a stop sign and was almost t-boned, because I was busy Googling (not from the home screen widget Android allows, I’ll note) something that I’d never have to actually Google on an Android phone. It would have been as simple as “Okay, Google. Call Metro Animal Welfare.”

I called Jake, crying hysterically, and told him about the dog. He promised he’d take care of it. I continued on my way to the AT&T store and walked into the store red-faced and teary-eyed and explained my dilemma to the sales clerk.

“I’m sorry. I saw a dog get hit by a car on the way over here. I’m not crying because of a phone.”

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Ultimately, despite talking to sales people and browsing the other phones, I couldn’t decide on a course I was sure I wouldn’t regret and left, just as frustrated as before, without replacing the iPhone. On the way home, though, I decided I had 12 more days to change my mind and this was my day off and I needed to just get it done. There was another AT&T store in a nearby city.

“Siri, give me directions to AT&T.”
– a screen pops up asking me if I want to download Apple Maps again, after I deleted it for sending me to the wrong place earlier –
“Siri, use Google Maps to give me directions to AT&T.”
– a screen pops up asking if I want to download Apple Maps –

… and that was was it.

“Hi, welcome to AT&T. How can I help you?”
“I just got the iPhone 8 and it’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to me. I need to pay the $45 restocking fee and get something else, because this is the worst decision of my life.”

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It all worked out in the end, when I bought the S8 Active and gave it to Jake for his broken S8. Because AT&T had a promotion going that said I could bring in any old phone for a $300 credit, we got three times the worth of Jake’s cracked S6 he’d been trying to sell since March, which covered the insurance claim to repair the S8. Jake got a heartier phone out of the deal and I got a smaller phone, the week Samsung released an update that allowed me to disable Bixby and finally found a wet application screen protector that clings to the edges and works with an Otterbox. I sold my S8 Plus to Amazon Trade-In and plan to use the credit to buy a new tablet, specifically not an iPad.

I’ve shared my story with my Apple Fanboy friends, much to their dismay.

“Why don’t you just scroll through the pictures?”
“But you can download ringtones from third party apps. You just have to sync your phone.”
“Why don’t you just type in the address in Google Maps before you leave?”

Why don’t I use 35mm film? Why don’t I roll out a paper map and write out my directions by hand? Why don’t I just type up my blog posts on a fucking typewriter? Because I’m used to the technology of this century! Yeah, I just wanted a phone that works, but my definition seems to drastically differ from that of Apple owners. When you’re used to verbally asking for directions, you realize how incredibly dangerous it is to type in a request for them while driving and/or how inconvenient it is to have to do so while in park. This technology not only exists, but it’s a staple of Android phones. We’re talking bare bones phone capabilities, but it’s not present on an iPhone. After some of their latest inconveniences, I won’t claim to be a Samsung loyalist, but I will claim to be an adroid loyalist after three days with IOS. Who knows, maybe there’s something to it I missed.

ydmkq

I’ll risk it and enjoy my Christmas ornament icons, hassle-free Zedge ringtones, headphone jack, fast charging, voice activated Google maps, and the plethora of uncomplicated, yet necessary, capabilities of an Android phone.

As for the dog…

Me: “Did you take care of the dog?”
Jake: “Yes. I couldn’t get a hold of anyone, but I drove over there.”
Me: “So, he’s not in pain anymore?”
Jake: “No.”
Me: “Do I wanna know why?”
Jake: “Nope.”

yep

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“KARMA IS NOT A THING!”: The biggest lie they told us in high school.

So, I know that I am not supposed to take joy in another’s misery. I get that. I also know that I am flawed, as are all human beings.

When I was a kid, I was bullied a lot. I’ve told you before, but I was just an easy mark. My parents weren’t giving me any guidance on how to treat people, or dress, or even wash myself there for awhile… so school pretty much sucked. While I was, indeed, a target for many, three bullies stuck out, in particular. Starting in the fourth grade, there was Sal. Sal was the boy who threw chunks of brick at my dog and I, while screaming obscenities daily, as I walked by his house. When he had friends over, they were extra sets of hands. If they took up for me, he accused them of having a crush on me, so they’d hurl a rock extra hard to prove him wrong. Ah, childhood.

Along with Sal, there was Chuck, who joined him on the roof several times, once middle school started. You know that bully that just doesn’t quite fit? He’s short and goofy looking, but still a mountain of dicks? That was Chuck.

bullies a christmas storyIn general, after the 9th grade, the bullying tapered off. My friends and I had our very own lunch table in front of the auditorium and none of the cool kids wanted to join our spinning contests or learn how to knit, so they mostly let us be. I’m telling you, if we’d just been born five years later, after being weird was cool…

hipster with camera
Ugh! I have an exact fucking copy of this picture from when I was 16. Only I looked a lot less hot and the black framed glasses and that film camera I carried everywhere were just “nerdy.” Suck my dick, pop culture.

Anyhoo…

There were still a few scattered moments, but I don’t even think Sal bothered me come 9th grade. He sort of just faded away. Chuck, though? Chuck was quite the persistent little shit, and decided to go free agent, as he spent our entire 10th grade year taking things from under my desk and hurling them at my head, in Geometry class. Every. Single. Day. Even in our senior year, it was not unheard of for Chuck to continue his antics. It wasn’t just me, either. Six years after Gertie Lake wet herself in our 6th grade reading class, Chuck still called her Gertie Leaky Lake. That’s not even clever for an eleven-year-old, and I’d be willing to bet money he calls her that at the 10 year reunion.

Speaking of which, what are Sal and Chuck up to, today? Because I research for a living and I’m an epic Facebook stalker, I can say that Sal and Chuck are living the lives that all of those teen movies swore to me Sal and Chuck would live. Sal is a felon, who does little beyond recreational drugs and Chuck is working as a cook with no plans to move forward, if the last eight years are any indication. I don’t know that they’re miserable, but I certainly don’t envy them. Now, Carl, the guy who used to fool around with Malik on the weekends, then call him a fag and toss his CD’s all over the school parking lot? He’s a registered sex offender who’s lucky to have finally been transferred out of that Texas prison. Indeed, Rachael Leigh Cook would be proud.

she's all that
Do not even get me fucking started.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I understand that we all had our bullying moments. I know I sure did. I don’t care if you were sweet as pie, there was at least one time when you made someone else feel less about themselves, even if it was just for not being sweet as pie. You know what, though? We grew up. I am fully willing to admit that the girl who had a screaming match with me in Algebra class is an adult now. She’s a Facebook friend and I like seeing her happy. The friend who turned on me in the eighth grade and intentionally made my life hell? He’s close with his family now and has a full time job, which he enjoys. The girl who mocked me for dressing as 2020 on decade day? The last I heard, she was a dance major. The girl who threatened to cut me at the seventh grade dance? Okay. Maybe I’ll just stop there. 

My point is, I don’t wish bad things on every single person who ever said something mean to me. I’m happy that they’re happy. I’m also making a disclaimer, because I’m about to Dramatic Rant… about Nate.

Nate was… hmm… how shall I put this?

pet cemetary
Nate: age 2.

Sal and Chuck, while walking penises, clearly didn’t have the best of home lives. I get that now. I mean, really, what parent lets their son sit on the roof with his friends and hurl rocks at passerby? At the very least, these people didn’t play an active role in their children’s lives. Neglectful parents, or parents who reward meanness with laughter, create bullies. It sucks, but that’s the way of the world. Nate, though? Nate was a child of privilege. He was cute and funny and made good grades. Everyone loved Nate.

Except me. For the last two years of elementary school, just as Sal was working up a sweat, Nate just hit the ground running. Living on the outskirts of town, I was the third to last stop on the bus route, meaning I spent about an hour a day on it. Through some misfortune, though I never recalled seeing Nate live nearby, he was the very last stop, so he spent that entire hour with me… calling me fat… and ugly… and stupid. The kid would sing songs about my weight. He’d get the kids who lived near me, who’d known me my whole life and played with me when we were little, to sing along. It was epic. One day, after overhearing me confide in a neighbor about my parents’ pending divorce, Nate acted concerned and asked “Your parents are getting a divorce?” When I sadly told him yes, he got right in my face and laughed hysterically. 

I kid you not. The truly disturbing part of all of this was that no one believed meI told friends about the bullying, even the guidance counselor, and they all swore that he was just the nicest guy. It was bizarre. Looking back, the idea that this kid could go from All American Boy to the fucking Chucky doll… it’s really kind of creepy. Like, “Honey, where’s the kitten and why are you covered in blood?” creepy. My kid would be in therapy. Maybe he should’ve been. Maybe he was going through something.Who knows?

So, the other day, just out of curiosity, I decided to look up Nate. I knew he’d come from fairly wealthy and supportive (apparently blindly so) parents, so I doubted his fate would be teen movie worthy. I assumed he’d be dating someone seriously, probably just beginning his career, maybe married… you know… normal.

But no. Facebook done me wrong, y’all. “I HATE SOCIAL NETWORKING!!!!!” screamed the blogger… in a restaurant with Gaily.

Me: “I want you to guess what his wife does. Just guess.”
Gail: “I don’t know.”
Me: “She’s a fucking model. The boy who tormented me, for two years, is not supposed to marry someone whose Facebook profile has the words ‘Ended work with Miss America’ on her profile! Freddie Prinze Jr. fucking lied!!!!”
Gail: “So he married a hot chick. Who cares? What does she actually do for a living?”
Me: “I just told you! She’s a model!”
Gail: “I thought you were kidding.”
Me: “NO. She was seriously in the top five for the state. Her profile actually said ‘Ended work with Miss America Company.’ KARMA IS NOT A THING!!!!! Ugh. At least he grew up weird looking.”
Gail: ::looking at picture:: “He looks totally normal to me.”
Me: “It says he’s a builder. Maybe he’ll fall through a roof or something. No. That’s terrible. I don’t actually wish harm on him.”
Gail: “You do know that a builder isn’t the guy who builds the houses right? My uncle’s a builder and…”
Me: “Shut up! You’re such a bitch! I need more supportive friends!”
Gail: ::laughing:: “I mean, he does dry wall and he’s really unattractive.”
Me: “He does too look weird. See?”
Gail: ::looking at new picture:: “Yeah, okay. He looks weird there.”
Me: “So, how much does a builder make?”
Gail: “You don’t want me to answer that question.”
Me: “NO. He is supposed to be making mid-range wages, bitching about his wife, and longing for the glory days from high school. Your elementary school bully is not supposed to be fucking Christian fucking Grey and married to Miss America!!!!”
Gail: :laughing:: “Calm down. Is that all she does, though? She doesn’t have another job?
Me: “I don’t know. Let me check. … It says she works at a retail shop.”
Gail: ::looking at phone:: “Huh. The good news is, this dress is half off. The bad news is, it’s still $542.”

So, there it is. That’s the biggest lie they ever told us in high school. All those movies where the wealthy popular guys become losers? Horseshit. They take the charisma and charm that convinces elementary school guidance counselors that they can do no wrong, and they rule the fucking world with it.

* Disclaimer: I wish this guy no actual harm. Freddie Prince Jr. and Rachael Leigh Cook, however…

I just need a friggin’ paper towel!

I’m substitute teaching and a kiddo spills orange juice on the floor. The entire box of tissues is a soggy mess of yellow and there are streaks all over the tile.

I’m at Librarian Job #2, in the steel and glass building worthy of a Dystopian young adult novel, rubbing away at the coffee on my dress as clumps of toilet paper pill on the hot pink cotton. The entire front of my dress is now wet, the stain is still there, and I’m adorned with what looks like September snow.

I’m in the bathroom of a fancy restaurant, throwing wads of toilet paper into the trashcan to cover the evidence of my period. Who wants to see that? No one.

A little boy is covering his ears and crying in the bathroom of the Springfield Target, where it’s not enough that they blast one’s hands with germs, but it must be done with jet engines that actually make your skin ripple.

I’m drying my hands on the bottom of my dress pants, because of that episode of Big Bang Theory, where Sheldon explains that air dryers are far less hygienic. I recall reading an article declaring a similar point and figure no one will notice my damp and disease-free shins.

I’m stuffing paper towels into my jeans pockets, because I might need them later and they are apparently more valuable than cigarettes in prison.

We’ve really just picked up the earth-friendly movement here in the Midwest. There are recycling bins in the Shetland Community Center today, though there weren’t when I worked there just two years ago. There are a lot more vegetarian choices on the menus and a lot more people posting nasty videos on Facebook about what was done to the poor little chicken on my plate. They don’t stop eating meat, but they sure do enjoy being Internet Activists.

eating at computer
“Ugh! Do you have any idea what’s in those McNuggets?!?!”

Wind turbines dot the countryside while angry townspeople complain about them destroying the view. More people than ever are paying $50 for rubber-soled socks, because they’ll provide African children with their very own pair.

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… and without fail, the times I most need a friggin’ paper towel, I’m faced with one of these…

dirty rag

Oops… wrong picture… too accurate, though possibly far more useful than…

hand dryer
… this.

Now, don’t get me wrong. We may have just discovered Twitter in the Midwest, but we have had hand dryers for the entirety of my life. We just used to have paper towel dispensers next to them. That way, by the time I hit my teen years and decided that hand dryers were obnoxiously slow or my twenties and learned that they’re absolutely disgusting*, I had another choice. Today, we’re too busy “Going Green” in the fucking oil capital of America to offer the option. It’s great we’re being more environmentally conscious. It is. But how’s about you leave me with my paper towels and concentrate on some less hypocritical way to save the planet, because of you know…

oil rig
THIS?!?!

You know what else? I can’t dry a puddle by blowing on it. I can’t clean up a stain or cover up the evidence of my vaginal shotgun wound with hot air or half-ply industrial toilet paper. The sound of scouring my skin with pestilence-filled wind currents could wake a hibernating bear and I’m sick of walking around with paper towels hidden in my pockets because they’re as precious as the Dead Sea Scrolls! Sometimes, I just need a friggin’ paper towel and I’m not sorry for it!!!!!!

Sidenote: you should probably never let me hold the Dead Sea Scrolls.

http://www.europeantissue.com/pdfs/090402-2008%20WUS%20Westminster%20University%20hygiene%20study,%20nov2008.pdf

The Worst Pep Talk of All Time

Dear teacher for whom I substituted for one hour,

While you were out, I overanalyzed your décor.

framed crap

This nugget of wisdom was framed on the desk of a coach. Part of my critique is due to the fact that I occasionally channel my best friend, Rosie the Fucking Riveter. I don’t appreciate gender stereotypes (regardless of how often I bait Gail with them) and that includes the idea that it’s only sexism if it’s aimed at women. Unfairness is unfairness. An equal part of this analysis, however, is that I grew up in the Midwest, where the only acceptable excuse for missing a football game is church. Wait. Maybe the only acceptable excuse for missing church is a football game. I forget. I wasn’t a real joiner in high school.

I enjoy football, particularly when played by my alma mater. I have bling dedicated to my team and my guest bathroom is all decked out in their logo. The other one is just pink as fuck, because girls can like football and pink. I think it builds sportsmanship and teaches the value of teammwork to put your kids in sports… if they want to be there. I also think it builds confidence… if they don’t suck. I believe in first, second, and third place with receding awards for each. I actually adore the fact that my step-brothers used to take their participation trophies and ceremoniously smash them.

Despite all of that, I don’t believe in forcing your kids to play a game they don’t want to play or in bullying them when they lose. Sometimes, you play your very best and the other team still wins. In that case, be proud of your best. I hope you still managed to have a good time. It’s not a wasted day/season/high school career if you didn’t bring home the biggest trophy. You got some exercise (unlike all of the other kids at school), made some friends, and had fun. Way to go. Just like in real life, it’s likely someone else will always have more. That doesn’t negate the value of what you have, though.

WHAT IT TAKES TO BE NUMBER ONE
– Spoiler Alert**** A penis. –

Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all the time thing. You don’t win once in a while; you don’t do things right once in a while; you do them right all the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.
– “Winning is a habit… so is losing” is actually great advice. Too bad it’s preceeded by such verbal diarrhea. Newsflash: winning is a sometime thing, especially in sports. You’re only one part of a team and sometimes your kicker’s dog just died or your fullback has a migraine. Sometimes bad calls are made or your quarterback gets hurt. Even if you defy all the odds ever and bring your A-game every time, there are still other people involved and you cannot control that. By definition, teamwork means you don’t get to be an asshole for it, either.  –

There is no room for second place. There is only one place in my game, and that’s first place. I have finished second twice in my time at Green Bay, and I don’t ever want to finish second again. There is a second place bowl game, but it is a game for losers played by losers. It is and always has been an American zeal to be first in anything we do, and to win, and to win, and to win.
– I’m gonna interrupt with a little anecdote of my own here. I adore my daddy and have said as much, but when I was in grade school, he used to look at my report card and tell me to get that 93% up before it dipped down to a B. No fucking joke. I throw this in his face every time he tells me I’m being ridiculous for crying over a 98.5%. The thing is, when I get upset because I’m 1.5% shy of perfect, I’m the only one suffering (the people who have to listen to me whine about this don’t count). When your team gets to a freaking bowl game and you go in all “Whatev, man. My grandma’s knitting bee was more exciting than this” you sound like a bag of dicks, because knitting is hard. Maybe you feel like you didn’t work hard enough, but all your buddies are at a bowl game and they’re totally allowed to be proud of that.

Every time a football player goes to ply his trade he’s got to play from the ground up – from the soles of his feet right up to his head.
– Yes, it does say “ply”. As we’re about to learn, winning intellectually is secondary to winning physically. –

Every inch of him has to play.
– Particularly the penis. Just wait for it. –

Some guys play with their heads. That’s O.K. you’ve got to be smart to be number one in any business. But more importantly, you’ve got to play with your heart, with every fiber of your body. If you’re lucky enough to find a guy with a lot of head and a lot of heart, he’s never going to come off the field second.
– You hear that? It’s “okay” to be smart. It’s not so much encouraged, but it is allowed if you love and excell at football. Also “never going to come off the field second”? Until he does… because everybody loses sometimes. In that case, is he stupid or does he just not care? –

Running a football team is no different than running any other kind of organization – an army, a political party or a business. The principles are the same. The object is to win – to beat the other guy. Maybe that sounds hard or cruel. I don’t think it is.

cradling football soldier holding kid
They’re the same, you see.

It is a reality of life that men are competitive and the most competitive games draw the most competitive men. That’s why they are there – to compete. To know the rules and objectives when they get in the game. The object is to win fairly, squarely, by the rules – but to win.
– Theeeeere it is. The reality of life is that men, specifically, are competitive. This is not the human condition, but the penile condition. Men strong. Men fierce. Golly. No wonder they rule business and the home. Silly ol’ me. I thought that competition was just a drive in some people and that I could hope for success in my career one day. I’m glad I had some testosterone to set me straight. Don’t worry. I am, indeed, typing this from the kitchen. –

And in truth, I’ve never known a man worth his salt who in the long run, deep down in his heart, didn’t appreciate the grind, the discipline.
– If no part of him is competitive… if he’s content where he is in life and doesn’t want to move up to the top, despite the expectation in our society that he should always want more… if he has fun during the football game, regardless of the loss… then he’s no man at all. He’s not “worth his salt”. He’s just a big ol’ walking vagina.

There is something in good men that really yearns for discipline and the harsh reality of head to head combat.

football player runningsoldier running
Uncanny.

I don’t say these things because I believe in the “brute” nature of man or that men must be brutalized to be combative.
– Yeah. I’m not convinced. This is like ending a sentence with “no offense.” It doesn’t undo everything he just said. –

I believe in God, and I believe in human decency. But I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour – his greatest fulfillment to all he holds dear – is that moment when he has to work his heart out in a good cause and he’s exhausted on the field of battle – victorious.
– Did you catch that? He’s saying that men are supposed to love competition… and that any kind of competition, be it football, drag racing, grabbing the last banana before your coworker gets it, is akin to battle. I just want to make sure you’re pickin’ up what he’s puttin’ down here. –

female football player

man knitting

female soldier

man in apron
Total mindfuck.

Divorce is not an option… you know… until it is.

Ah, Facebook trends. Guess who’s about to go on another No-One’s-Divorce-Is-Any-Of-Your-Fucking-Business Rant?

…as I did in Toasters, Marriage, and the Good Ol’ Days and Your ONLY marriage? Why didn’t I think of that?

no divorce again

The Facebook status update I made much later was:
“The wedding pictures you posted last month are a lot cuter than the judgemental little sayings you’ve been posting about divorce ever since. You don’t know anyone else’s pain.”

What I wanted to say in direct response to the above, was:
“Oh, suck my big fat furry dick, you’ve been married for eleven damned days, you twit.”

Once again, this shit implies that the rest of us went into our marriages considering divorce an option, because we just don’t value the sanctity of marriage as much as you do. It’s nice that you’re an adorable couple and you get along. I’m truly happy for you. Now fuck off.

divorce cake

You mad? Take your ass in the other room and calm down, cause we gone work this shit out.

Yeah. That’s why we all got divorced… because we got mad that one time. Not to mention, if that’s how he talks to me, no wonder I’m mad.

Grammatical errors aside, that is not the solution to real divorce-inducing problems.

“You have been on that couch for four damned years!”
You mad? Take your ass in the other room and calm down, cause we gone work this shit out.

“I had the rent money right here. What did you fucking do?”
You mad? Take your ass in the other room and calm down, cause we gone work this shit out.

“You shook our baby?!?!”
You mad? Take your ass in the other room and calm down, cause we gone work this shit out.

“Look at these bruises!”
You mad? Take your ass in the other room and calm down, cause we gone work this shit out.

“You killed the dog on purpose?”
You mad? Take your ass in the other room and calm down, cause we gone work this shit out.

“Kiddie porn?!?!”
You mad? Take your ass in the other room and calm down, cause we gone work this shit out.

“You molested our daughter!!!!”
You mad? Take your ass in the other room and calm down, cause we gone work this shit out.

Divorce is not an option… you know… until it is. On that day, I hope people are more understanding of your pain. I’ll even withold my “I told you so”, because I know it hurts that fucking much.

Not so sure these thoughts are worth your penny…

Scene: a dressing room. Insert intermittent laughter.
Me: “What size are these bras?”
Gail: “36 D’s and DD’s.”
Me: “You have enormous areolas.”
Gail: “That might make me self-conscious if I hadn’t had hundreds of men compliment them.”
Me: “Oh, yeah. I forgot about that.”
Gail: “‘Ooooh, look. It’s a full moon.'”
Me: “Did any of them actually say that?”
Gail: “No. But who do you think would?”
Me: “Cam. Definitely Cam.”
Gail: uncontrollable agreeing laughter
Me: “Do you ever lick your own nipples during sex?”
Gail: “No. I can’t reach them.”
Me: “Seriously? How?”

Only now do I realize that there were probably other people in the dressing room to hear that exchange. We tend to overshare.

I once sat quietly at the vet with tears endlessly rolling down my face. I lost three pets in a day years ago and blame myself (though the ex-husband with the matches might be a better target) and that day my Judybug was hurting and I couldn’t fix it. Gail rubbed her hand over my back as I tearfully joked about how we definitely looked like lovers. We decided we could pull off sisters, both being white and brunette, so we said it like 11 times when no one had asked. It was super convincing. We should be spies. Codenames: Flamingo and Whore.

sexy flamingo whore costume

When I was 5 years old, my grandpa died of lung cancer. I thought it would be a nice idea if we just propped his body up and pretended he was still alive. I think I suggested it, because someone told me it was illegal. I decided I’d hide him in the hamper, because that’s where I hid during hide-and-go-seek. Gail hears super-human skills for denial at a young age in this story. I hear the tale of a selfless child who would break the law and give up her favorite hiding place to keep her grandpa near.

I have three different customers who look astoundingly like Levar Burton, Vincent Van Gogh, and a chihuahua. I want to tell them so, terribly. I don’t. None of those are compliments. I kind of want to hum the Reading Rainbow theme song just to see if he joins in enthusiastically. I get told I look like Velma from Scooby Doo all the time. I’d be thrilled to hear someone randomly exclaim “JINKIES!”

A coworker once yanked my Kindle from in front of me (THE HORROR!!!!!) to look at the print, exclaiming “Wow, I wish I could read print that small!” I don’t. I had an explicit sex scene on the screen at that very moment. We’re talking key terms like “errection” and “tight sheath.” I once tried to show the same coworker a picture on my phone, only to have forgotten about the picture of Black lesbian sex I’d sent one of the guys as a joke. Let’s hope she couldn’t see a thumbnail picture that small either.

A woman recently declared that her son did not have a library card, though it was in her name and had the correct birthdate. I tried to suggest a situation in which someone may have used her name.

Me: “I really don’t know. It may have been an aunt or maybe dad’s girlfriend or something.”
Customer: defensively “Okay. I am dad’s girlfriend.”

She was clarifying that she was indeed with the father of her children. I understand that I work in a lower income, highly diverse area, but this was not a sterotype. I suggested two random situations we’ve had repeatedly. I did not say “I don’t know. Why don’t you axe yo’ baby daddy?”, though the look on her face said differently. I can try with all my might to be P.C., but people have really got to try and meet in the middle by not taking everything so damned personally.

When I was married, I would ask my ex-husband to clean, since he wouldn’t work. He wouldn’t do it no matter the methods I used (leaving him alone, nagging him, screaming at him, encouraging him) so I’d do it myself. Then, he’d grab the trashbags from my hands yelling that I never gave him the chance and was just manipulating him. I just wanted a clean fucking house. For the longest time, after the divorce, my house was spotless. Today it’s clean enough, but clothes are scattered everywhere. I think it’s a sign that I’m healing. Then again, I went to sleep cradling my gun in its sock like a stuffed animal a week ago. Maybe not. LOL my pain!

Coworker C was trying to be friendly last night as I read a paranormal romance book. I’ve shared this interest with a couple of the female employees, but that’s all. I’d just finished another and he asked:

Cowork C: “What’s the name of that one?”
Me: “I don’t even know.” I did fucking, too. It was Pleasures of a Dark Prince and I was not saying that.
Coworker C: gestures for me to turn it over. I do and there’s a receipt taped to the front so no one can see the cover art.
Me: “I just… uh… it’s part of of… um… it’s just some series… the uh… dark immortals… or immortals dark… or uh something… um Immortals After Dark. Yeah that’s it. It’s paranormal romance. Not something you’d be interested in.”

It was the verbal equivalent of tripping over a chair and I rocked it.

Get your porn off my smut!

As I’ve previously declared, paranormal romance is my guilty pleasure. I don’t really watch T.V., so I read book after book after book of what I affectionately and privately call Werewolf Porn or Warlock Smut.

In the last week, I have read 6 books, or 1,800 pages (give or take a few) of my very favorite genre. The thing is, my  title of Werewolf Porn is meant to be ironic, because these books often aren’t even that adult. Don’t get me wrong. They’re dubbed paranormal romance for a reason. I wouldn’t read them to my 9th graders. But LibraryThing, which is far superior to Good Reads, doesn’t even tag many of the series as erotica. On average, I’d declare them a medium on the number of sex scenes. The plots are always incredibly invovled, with an in-depth backstory in addition to the main storyline, which does involve a shapeshifter falling in love with an empath. What can I say? I loved Halloweentown when I was eight and never grew out of that.

Example:

There are three species that control the world: The Changelings, the Psy, and humans. Changelings are shapeshifters. The Psy are beings connected by a neural Internet (not quite a hivemind) and have mental powers, such as telekinesis. They can’t break free of the Net or they die. The Psy shut off all emotions around 100 years ago becaue violence was ripping apart their species. They’re cold and powerful and want to keep it that way by destroying any Psy who are showing a tendency toward power because they can feel. The DarkRiver and SnowDancer Changelings, however, are encouraging the rebellion and a war is a brewin’.

See? That’s no less complex than the latest Janet Evonovich book. It’s more complex than any Nicholas Sparks novel I’ve read. It’s sure as hell more complex than 50 Shades of Grey. Those are still fine options, though, because reading is entertainment. I’m not saying my Warlock Smut is great reading, just that it is reading and it’s pretty much equal to any contemporary literature. So the problem?

slave to sensation

The problem is that that’s the cover of the first in the Psy-Changeling series. The problem is that I’ve been careful not to have that picture show as I’m typing this, because I’m on my computer at work. The problem is that it’s a huge pain in the butt to read about the battle of the Lore, or all supernatural species, while I’m substitute teaching, because I have to make sure that none of my kids get a glimpse of:

no rest for the wicked

There were several sex scenes in that book and they weren’t exactly fade-to-black moments either. But they’re no worse than many contemporary fiction novels. There’s plenty of plot, because I can’t read just plain old erotica without getting bored. I read Bared to You, by Sylvia Day, because I’d read that it was like if 50 Shades of Grey had been written with any level of skill. It was an enjoyable read, for erotica, but I haven’t read any since then, because there’s just not enough going on outside the relationship. I love paranormal storylines and always have, so paranormal romance is great. Sometimes, it is just erotica with claws, and in that case, I stop reading, because it’s dull.

Personally, I often find the covers more offensive than what’s beneath them, because actual pornography is a bigger moral issue for me than literature. As I’ve said before, it’s pretend when you’re reading it. No one is being pushed around (a big theme in most romance) or degraded, because they aren’t real. That naked lady on the screen, though? She had a 3rd birthday party. There was likely a princess cake. That freaks me out.

So, in short:

Get your porn off my smut, because it’s not even kind of subtle to read something with a peice of paper taped to the front. E.L. James can put a classy cover on “I had no idea giving pleasure could be such a turn-on, watching him writhe subtly with carnal longing. My inner goddess is doing the merengue with some salsa moves.”

50 cover

Surely we can get something classier on my Warlock Smut.

“Student is not a profession!!!!” and other online dating exclamations.

W

“Student” is not a profession!!!! How do you pay your bills?

Just FYI, your girlfriend is in your profile picture.

Starting your profile by insulting everyone who dates online is the least effective way to get responses.

Every woman has felt fat at some point, whether she’s 94 pounds or 294 pounds. Your “no fat chicks” paragraph doesn’t even make me want to be in front of you in a parka, let alone naked.

What’s with the mustache? Are you in porn?

You’re 28? Isn’t that about 7 years over the “flat billed hat” limit?

Your = possesive, You’re = You are

“Swag”?!?! Do your parents know you’re online?

You are not athletic… not even kind of… and that’s fine… as long as you’re self-aware.

Why would you post a picture of yourself with your much more attractive friend? As Gail once said “I’m the Conan O’Brien looking one next to the Brad Pitt looking one.”

Spell out the word “you.” It is three fucking letters.

The caption “friend’s boat” totally just ruined the only redeeming quality of this picture, which was that you appear to have the level of responsibility that comes with money. You should not be shirtless… pretty much ever, in time. Also, you were a douche at the cowboy bar that one time, so I’m fine with being bitchy.

What is with the beret? I didn’t even know they actually made those.

“Isn’t seeking a relationship or any kind of committment”? OH! You just want me to know what you taste like. Gotcha.

Where is your shirt? It’s January.

Haha. Yeah, I’m not reading all of that.

I live at home. That’s what home is. You live at your parent’s home.

I hope you’re lying about your profession if you can’t even spell it.

Ugh. Even if I were looking for an “intimate encounter,” it would not be with a man who uses the word “pussy”.

You were 26 on the day I was born.

You’re 19 and I’m not Demi Moore.

I have this stuffed bear…

Me: “Okay.. so you’re poised over your ex-husband’s sleeping form…”
Gail: Interrupts with choking laughter

We have this thing, where we can’t deal with adult emotions on the things that hurt too much, so we giggle instead. It’s really pretty awful if anyone overhears a good rape joke… in a Target… with their seven-year-old… at 9:45 on a weeknight? Sir, I really think you should be more concerned about your child’s sleep schedule than my quiet discussion with my best friend about her vaginal trauma (he hadn’t actually heard the joking portion).  Fortunately the above was just a phone conversation.

Gail’s answer was that she’d do nothing.

Mine was that I’d be so threatened by his presence that I could kill him.

I think hers was healthier.

Me: “Every time I see this kind of thing on the news, I worry I’m going to see my ex-husband’s picture. How fucked up is that and how broken am I?”
Gail: “Yeah, I could see him doing something like that.”

I have this stuffed bear. It’s in a box in my storage closet.  I kept it out of spite after all of the things he stole from me, literally and figuratively. It’s covered in soot from a fire I can’t bring myself to discuss. I’m not sure why I keep it. I’m too afraid to contact him to send it back. It feels hateful to throw it out. So it’s just there… in a Wal-Mart sack to keep the soot off of things.

I haven’t woken up with my wallet and keys in my pillowcase since I moved to this apartment. I don’t lock the bedroom door and can usually get through the night without getting up to check the patio and front door locks more than once. I rarely sleep with my gun anymore.

I still can’t sleep without my purse and wallet next to me.

I still have nightmares.

They’re not usually violent. Sometimes he’s texting… counting down the minutes until he breaks down the door. Usually, I’m just still with him. I never did it. I never left. My life never turned upside down to right itself in a completely different universe. I’m still fat and alone and hateful. I lie in bed and can’t breathe. Sometimes I wake up crying. I cuddle the dog and promise him I’ll never let anyone hurt him again. I kiss his paws, even though they’re dirty dog feet, because I’m so happy they aren’t caked with blood. I think the dog has nightmares, too. He’s yipping in his sleep right now.

jude in chair

Maybe I’ll set the bear on fire.

Why am I writing this instead of my final? I suppose I get a nice divorce rant every now and then.

Your ONLY marriage? Why didn’t I think of that?

marriage 2

Everyone I graduated high school with is doing one of two things according to Facebook: getting divorced or getting married.

The ones getting divorced aren’t talking about it. They’re changing their last names and you’re to draw your own conclusions. Either that or they’ve accidentally posted “… is no longer listed as married” long before telling their family that he’s moved out and the paperwork has been filed. Oops. Color me sheepish.

Then there’s my amalgum of a Facebook Friend who is getting married and more and more frequently posting the above photo and its ilk. Yeah. I said ilk. Fucking deal with it, Gail.

I’m not a wedding person, Facebook Friend. I never have been. I didn’t care about my wedding, so I really don’t give a crap about other people’s weddings. They’re extravagant and no one knows anyone else there and I have to shave my legs and buy a gift. If you’re old enough and financially stable enough to get married, why the hell am I buying you a toaster? My wedding advice for stressed out crying brides:

“Just remember. No matter what happens… it’s just a stupid wedding.”

However, Facebook friend, my qualm is not with weddings. You want to spend thousands of dollars on a party and months talking about it on social networking sites? Fine. It’s your thousands and I can hide you from my newsfeed. I may not like weddings…

… but I hate the above photo.

Show me one blushing bride who didn’t think it was going to last forever. I dare you.

We all want our first marriage to be our only marriage. None of us walk down that aisle to Pearl Jam’s Better Man. We all have a picture of the future with the person standing next to us and every single one of those visions is happy.

You know what, though? It takes two people to make a marriage… and sometimes one of those people is batshit fucking crazy.

Sometimes you come home to a suspicious house fire and all of your pets dead on the lawn.

Sometimes your husband tells you he’s sexually attracted to little girls.

Sometimes he shakes your baby.

Sometimes he hits you.

Sometimes you wake up with a pillow over your face.

Sometimes he rapes you.

Sometimes he steals from you and your family.

Sometimes he develops a drug problem.

Sometimes he abuses your pets.

Sometimes he won’t work.

Sometimes he cheats…

… and there’s nothing you can do about it, because you can’t control another person. Every one of those references is from me or someone I graduated with that’s confided in me. We didn’t get divorced because we didn’t want it badly enough. We didn’t get divorced because we didn’t try. I was willing to stay with a man I didn’t believe had a soul, because I made a committment until the boys who will forever own a piece of my heart helped me realize how bad it had gotten. When I filed for divorce, I fucking broke.

So, my dear Facebook Friend, it’s nice that you’ve never been hurt that much. I hope you never are… because it will tear you apart in ways that will never heal. I wouldn’t wish my marriage on anyone. I’m glad you’re looking forward to the future and I am truly thrilled you’re happy. Perhaps, you could manage such happiness without shitting on the rest of us, though? Because, to suggest that you’re a regular trailblazer for wanting your first marriage to be your only marriage (and that’s what this photo is doing or it wouldn’t be significant) implies that a lack of determination or respect for the union ended all of those other marriages. In which case, fuck you.

It takes two people to make a marriage… and until you’re one of them, you don’t know what heartaches haven’t been posted on Facebook.

Come to think of it… yeah. You’re right, Facebook friend. Maybe I do want my first marriage to be my only marriage.