Holiday Social Contracts: Landmines for the Socially Awkward

Jake: “What do you wanna watch?”
Me: “We could watch Rudolph’s Shiny New Year.”
Jake: “I thought we were done with Christmas movies.”
Me: “That’s not a Christmas movie. It’s a New Years movie… and in seven months, we can watch Rudolph and Frosty’s Christmas in July.”

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Y’all, I love the holidays. I don’t mean that the way normal people do, either. I mean aggressively so. I love the decorations, the music, the holiday movies and episodes of my favorite TV shows. I watch and sing along to The Worst Witch and Hocus Pocus on repeat, starting in late August. I love the garishly themed jewelry and t-shirts and hats that are suddenly acceptable on October first, but I pull them out in mid-September, regardless.

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One of the major concessions of my marriage involved selling my six foot tall hot pink Christmas tree and decor that looked like it was stolen from the set of Babes in Toyland. No one will ever convince me that red and green M&M’s and Reese’s Bells don’t taste better. I love the holidays so much, that I’ve been a little depressed for the last two weeks, because the season was almost over.

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I will, however, admit that there is one aspect of the holiday season I loathe entirely… 

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… and that is the minefield of social contracts.

In my field, anyone who doesn’t consider themselves to be entirely crippled by their own introversion, is labeled an extrovert. This somewhat skewed view means that many of my coworkers consider me to be quite the social butterfly, due to my comfort level socializing with all eleven of them. They’re not entirely wrong, either. I quite enjoy my job. I spend each day with the same handful of people, whose personal stories and worldviews and interests I’ve come to know and respect. I have numerous casual interactions with customers that rarely go deeper than a reader’s advisory discussion on the abusive relationship dynamics present in Nicholas Sparks’ novels. I see the same teenagers at each program, where we discuss who would win in a battle, Doctor Who or The Hulk. Overall, as someone who always scores on the cusp of extroversion and/or introversion, I get exactly the right amount of stimulation in my position… now.

When I first started at the Cherokee Library, I was completely overwhelmed, socially. I didn’t know my coworkers’ backgrounds, religious views, entertainment interests, political affiliations, or tastes in music. If I mentioned my desire to buy a house near the local Catholic school, so I could send my kids there, would I appear judgemental to the nonbeliever? If I told my coworkers I couldn’t handle the ALA Think Tank Facebook group, because of their political hostility, would they shun me for my less liberal viewpoint? If I casually suggested that Taylor Swift lacked depth, would I devastate her biggest fan by inadvertently calling him shallow? Every night, I went home and turned over literally every interaction in my mind, wondering if I’d said the right thing, left the correct impression, presented myself accurately. It wasn’t just that I wanted to be well liked, but properly understood. It was fine with me if someone didn’t like me, as long as they didn’t like me for reasons that were valid. While taking on the new title of Teen Librarian was daunting, the social implications of starting at a new library again, left me emotionally spent. It’s been five months now and I’m only beginning to relax, to feel like I belong. In short… extrovert my ass.

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So, while I love, love, love the holidays, I think I’ve finally realized that what I truly enjoy is the build up. I love sitting at home, reciting every word to Hocus Pocus, with the cat. I love watching Thanksgiving episodes of How I Met Your Mother, on my tablet, while Jake plays video games. I love listening to Christmas carols on the Google Home, while making peanut brittle in my kitchen. I love showing pictures of my Christmas stockings to my coworkers, and oohing and ahhing over photos of their pets in reindeer antlers. I love driving through Christmas lights with my husband. What I really love is sprinkling the everyday, homebody familiar, with bright colors and lights and glitter and festivity. The grand finale, though? That stresses me the fuck out, primarily due to the aforementioned endless mandatory social contracts, such as…

Bringing a Dish

On December 22, I burst into tears when my three-ingredient peanut butter cookies tasted exactly like three-ingredient peanut butter cookies, and angrily tossed them in the trash.

Jake: “They’re fine. Why don’t you just make another batch and cook them less?”
Me: “Because they aren’t good and all the women in your family will be judging me on what I bring. If I take those after taking Oreo balls to Thanksgiving, they’ll all think I can’t cook.”
Jake: “What was wrong with the Oreo balls?”
Me: “They were a no-bake dessert. They’ll think I’m a just a Pinterest cook and they’ll all hate me, because I can’t make cookies!”

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Of course, in the end, there were plenty of desserts, too many in fact, which I knew would be the case, but social norms required I bring something.

Being in Someone Else’s Home

Why do I have to offer to help my mother-in-law in the kitchen, when we both know there’s nothing for me to do and little space in which for me to do it? Why does she have to stop what she’s doing to pretend I’m useful and let me spoon butter she’s already melted onto biscuits she’s already made? 

Why is there only bar soap in the bathroom? How many people have used this hand towel? How obvious is it that I dried my hands on the bottoms of my jeans? Will I look rude if I get out my antibacterializer?

If I don’t eat these “appetizers”, am I going to hurt someone’s feelings? Can you call a bar full of cheese an appetizer? Literally, I see queso, next to a plate full of cream cheese with cranberry sauce, two cheese balls, and a plate of sliced cheese. If I eat this, I’ll die.

Where do I sit? I like the chair that doesn’t require me to sit next to anyone else, but is there some unspoken familial claim to this chair? Am I in Uncle Buck’s Chair? Okay, I’ll sit on the couch by the arm and Jake can sit next to me. Why doesn’t he ever sit down? He’s been pacing for the last 30 minutes. Wait. Is anyone else sitting down? Should I be standing? But… I don’t want to lose my couch corner.

Gift Giving

Zetus lapetus, y’all, I do not get gift giving. I’m 30 years old. I make $50,000 a year, in one of the cheapest states in the country. If I want something, I can buy it. If I can’t, no one else can, either. So what is the damn point of gift giving? Why do I have to spend $20 to buy a gift for someone that they might like, just so they can spend $20 to buy a gift for me that I, quite frankly, probably won’t like, and pretend that we’ve done some sort of charitable service, when both of us had $20 to spare in the first place? A couple of greedy, materialistic, little bitches trading twenties is, in no way, symbolic of the gifts the wise men brought to baby Jesus. If anything, we should just all donate that $20 to give Christmas to a family down on their luck or buy toys for children with incarcerated parents or purchase a goat for a family in a third world country or literally any better cause. I can sort of understand close family trading gifts, knowing the recipients will enjoy them, but why, oh why do the women in my family draw names for each other’s children, when they could just all spend money on their own children, whose interests and wants they already know?!?!

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Don’t even get me started on Dirty Santa, where I’m supposed to spend $40 on a gift for no one, so I can stress myself out by over-analyzing the social etiquette of stealing home decor from my mother-in-law or leave in frustration when I contribute a gift I kind of like and open a bowl of decorative wicker balls and a diabetic cookbook. If I refuse to play, I’m anti-social and if I bring a gift I’d truly enjoy, I’m the weird one who brought the Spock Bluetooth speaker. If we must all leave with gifts, why can’t we each spend $40 on something for ourselves and open them in a big circle with genuine delight? I don’t understand.

Talking to Children

I’m a woman and a librarian, so it’s just assumed that I like children. I don’t. I don’t like babies. They’re fragile and they’re always leaking and it’s inevitable that they’ll start screaming like a newborn banshee and I won’t be able to find the mother. I don’t like little kids. I don’t have the patience or the sense of humor for them. Why are you still telling me this story that I think is about Spongebob? Why did you choose me to tell? Am I sending off pro-child vibes, because I work very hard to maintain subtle anti-child vibes. Why are you making that face? Was I not supposed to ask that? Fuck, don’t cry and get me in trouble.

Give me tweens and teens any day, but the holidays inevitably mean someone will leave me alone with a small child and I will make them cry or tell them something I shouldn’t have. I’ll refuse to hold someone’s baby and call it “it”. Someone will ask when I’m having children and I’ll either sputter through an awkward, but appropriate, answer or make a wildly inappropriate joke about how I can’t get pregnant the way we do it. The build up to the holidays does not necessarily mean associating with children, but the holidays themselves are crawling with them.

Talking to Adults

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I love my family. I do… but we do not get each other. I don’t mean that in some sort of coming of age drama way, either. We’re just very different people; or rather, they’re all the same people and I’m very different. My aunts, uncles, and cousins love body humor, the occasional racist joke, maybe something about killing a cat and I just don’t get it.

Jake: ::talking about our Christmas tree:: “When we get home, I’ll take it in the back.”
Me: ::giggling uncontrollably::

Jake jokes that I’m randomly an 8th grade boy sometimes, likely because I spend so much time with 8th grade boys, but the humor is all relatively innocent and is very rarely gross or cruel. I don’t understand why poop is funny and I understand even less why comparing our former president to a monkey is funny. I was genuinely horrified to hear my dad’s cousin giggle over the news story of the teenage boys who were just arrested for sexually assaulting their teammate with a pool cue, because apparently rape by instrumentation is funny if it’s done to a boy. Fortunately, my public school administrator uncle was just as appalled and I wasn’t the only one seemingly lacking a sense of humor. My humor is very dry and my family rarely even gets that I’m joking. When it’s not, it’s usually comprised of dorky and innocent puns.

Conversationally, I’m extremely intellectually curious. I like to theorize about the average age of parents who shake their babies, the effect of commonplace Photoshop on the children we’re “fixing” when they become adults, how technology is contributing to pornography addiction in teens and apparently, none of this is Christmas talk. I have one or two cousins who seemingly enjoy these discussions, but we’re not the norm. Even my fashion sense is completely off base. They’re Miranda Lambert to my Zooey Deschanel. They wear National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation t-shirts, while I bite my tongue about how much I hate that movie, in my giant hand-crocheted Christmas tree hat and my Meowy Christmas cat shirt. None of us is wrong. We just don’t really fit.

Jake’s family has been nothing but kind to me, but if I thought I don’t fit with my family, goodness I have no idea how to talk to those people. On the 23rd, at his big family Christmas, he must have pulled me aside three different times to ask if I was okay, because I’d hardly said anything, but it was just so much people and we have nothing in common. I don’t have kids. I don’t understand the appeal of rodeo. I’ve never castrated a bull. I don’t want to look at the dead mountain lion in my brother-in-law’s truck. I don’t fry stuff. What the fuck am I supposed to say?!?! Trust me, baby, you want me to keep my mouth shut, because if pressed, I will randomly start talking about the presence of second wave feminism in the Harry Potter books or why marijuana is not a gateway drug and the benefits of legalization. Just let me be a mystery, dude. Jake, of course, being the most extroverted person on the planet, fits in everywhere.

Me: “I wish I fit in with your family as well as you fit in with my family… actually I wish I fit in with my family and much as you fit in with my family.”

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Elf on the Shelf and Santa Claus

I have always hated Elf on the Shelf. At best, it was a brilliant marketing ploy, by its creator, who has sold over 11 million copies.* For most people, however, it’s a slightly creepy self-imposed chore of a tradition, which many parents regret ever starting. I knew, when it became popular, that I wouldn’t be purchasing an Elf for my own children. I’m even more certain of that fact 12 years later, as I watch my family and friends scramble around to perform for their children nightly, for the duration of a season that’s supposed to already be plenty magical by nature. Speaking of which…

I used to be one of the masses, the people who thought parents who didn’t play Santa were ridiculous and depriving their children of the magic of Christmas, but as time has gone by, I don’t really understand why we do this; though I do know that I’ve already lost this battle and Jake will insist. If you’re a religious person, though, as I am, then why do you need to add magic to the season with a cartoon character? Yes, yes, Saint Nicholas was a real guy, but the modern depiction of Santa Claus no more resembles Saint Nicholas than Disney’s Pocahontas does the historical woman. We’re not honoring a Saint, anymore. We’re revering a caricature, who often overshadows the true Christian value of the season, ironically through the very un-Christ-like means of greed and materialism. If you’re specifically nonreligious, shouldn’t you be opposed to such fairy tales? Isn’t that one of the primary principles of Atheism, that one shouldn’t have faith in what cannot be seen or proven? Doesn’t the modern Santa Claus directly defy both of these belief systems? Isn’t this entirely appropriate conversation for Christmas dinner?!?! Can I please just go home and only talk to my husband now?!?!

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Sources
https://www.today.com/series/holidays-made-easy/elf-shelf-turns-10-secret-history-santa-s-little-scout-t62531

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Textersation Tuesdays

What I’ve been up to since the Internet broke…

… besides crying on the living room floor and talking to the cable guy. True story.

Gail and I talked about our feelings…

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… discussed literature (Rich Dad, Poor Dad)…

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… and shared cooking tips.

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THIS LOOKS NOTHING LIKE WHEN MARILYN MONROE DID IT!

When I was in the 9th grade, during confirmation class, our youth minister told us to anonymously write down the last time we expressed our sexuality. He didn’t give examples. So it was, that, after he had begun to read them aloud, I realized I had completely misunderstood the assignment.

“Brushed my hair.”
“Put on cologne.”
“Did my make-up.”
“Discussed it and all it contains, with my best friend.”

Ugh. It has been twelve years and I’m presently thinking “Zetus lapetus, Belle. You may as well have told them you discussed pubic hair length with Gail… and name five 15-year-olds who talk like that!

In truth, it may not have been that bad, but I’m remembering it through the eyes of my mortified 15-year-old self, who knew just how obvious it was who gave the weirdly suggestive answer, as quiet descended and everyone glanced her way.

Fortunately, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to just accept frequent embarrassment as a part of my existence on this planet. I mean really, you’ve got to develop a thicker skin when you regularly have moments like the time I blurted the following words to a group of new coworkers…

“I adore Woody Harrelson. I can just never decide if I’d want him to be my lover or my dad.”

Unsay it! Unsay it!

I have accidentally referred to the book Fifty Shades Darker as Fifty Shades Deeper multiple times, while speaking to customers. In fact, making that topic as awkward as possible has become a unique skill of mine.

Me: “Have you read Bared to You? If you’re looking for something in the same genre as Fifty Shades, that’s what I would recommend. It still has a lot of the same themes and focus, but it has more… dep-… I don’t want to say depth… it just has more meat to- NO!”

Yes. Bared to You has more meat to it. I bring the poise.

It’s not so bad, though, being me. Sure, there was that time I got tangled up in my own purse and seat belt, accidentally hit the panic button on my car before dropping my keys underneath it, and everyone stared as I tried to disentangle myself…

… and that’s why I don’t sport, folks. I’ll add that Gail just stared at me with a raised brow and called me Jessica Day, from The New Girl, offering nothing in the way of actual assistance.

The main perk to such desensitization to humiliation, though, is that it really just makes everything funnier… which was a godsend when I found myself having a Dreaded Girl Moment on Wednesday.

Oh, yeah… I went there… in a public restroom… while substituting at the high school.

There I was, pulling my dress over my head in a bathroom stall, hoping for no visible signs of the gunshot wound between my legs and, because this crap is routine for me, my only thought was that I just did not have time for this. You see, while I have enjoyed the single life, its main source of stress is that, literally, everything is my responsibility. That means I work two jobs to pay the bills and feed myself, the latter of which only happens if I can find a time to go grocery shopping. Wednesday was one of those exhausting days in which I substitute teach from 8:30 to 3:35, only to have 45 minutes remaining before I head to the library. Fortunately, I’d been granted with a combination lunch break and planning period, meaning I had an entire hour and a half off, in the middle of the day. I could’ve gone home, put my pj’s back on and watched Big Bang Theory on the DVR, as I regularly do, but I desperately needed food, y’all. There just was not enough time in the day for a damned Judy Blume moment.

So, I said a quiet prayer thanking Jesus for the fact that my dress remained presentable, because he totally concerns himself with these things, and weighed the options. I considered texting Gail, because I can’t make decisions by myself…

… and finally admitted that there was just no alternative. I had to go commando… in a dress that was not designed for such style choices… in freezing weather. Fortunately, I did not have to continue teaching while risking some kind of bizarre entry on the sex offenders website, because my hour and a half had begun. One dilemma remained, though: did I go home to get underwear, only to realize I didn’t have time to run my errands… or did I prance around town hoping for a windless day?

Hmmm….

Oh, come now. We all know that I chose productivity over sensibility and I’ve got to tell you, commando grocery shopping is pretty low on my list of recommended activities. Outside of a first date, I am not an exceptionally self-conscious gal. I’d like to lose a few pounds, but overall, I’m comfortable with myself… until I’m wearing a clingy dress and no panties in an Aldi. This is, in part, because I tend to wear pretty unflattering briefs.

Me: “Ugh. If I get into a serious relationship, I’m going to have to buy so much underwear.”
Gail: “Why?”
Me: “Because I don’t wear cute stuff, since no one sees it. I mean, can you imagine? We’re making out, he starts to slide his hand up my dress, pulls away and asks ‘Are you wearing a… one-piece bathing suit?

At least I thought they were unflattering, until I realized what I looked like without them.

I look like a sack of oranges. Are all women this lumpy? Oh, em jingles, I’m going to have to be naked in front of a man one day. Actually, I’m pretty sure I look more attractive naked. I am so not buying candy.

There is no way people can’t tell I’m not wearing underwear. I mean, where’s the pantiline? Wait. People try to hide the pantiline, don’t they? 

Why is that man staring at me? How clearly can he see the outline of my individual ass cheeks? 

I never realized how breezy dresses are. This is going to be the worst frostbite ever. 

WIND! NOOOO! THIS LOOKS NOTHING LIKE WHEN MARILYN MONROE DID IT!

I think I’m pretty unique in my ability to get myself into these situations, y’all. I mean, at that moment, how many people were accidentally grocery shopping with a breeze on their lady bits? I feel like the answer was just the one. It’s like every now and then I have some sort of Freaky Friday moment with a quirky sitcom character, only that woman’s life is controlled by censors and there is no genuine danger of flashing her babymaker to a group of elderly women picking up their prescriptions. Ideally, I’d just make the one quick trip, grab what I needed and run home to my cheap cotton sanctuary, but Walmart was right next door. If I was going to go through the discomfort of grocery shopping with trembling lips (you’re welcome for that), I was damned well going to finish.

Finally, though, after my naked dash through Narnia, I made it home just in time to put away the groceries and veil the goods. I will say, however, that after running around town with a Donald Duck style naked bottom half, I have a new appreciation for the warmth of Hanes. It was a transformation, the likes of fucking Cinderella, y’all. I, of course, told Gail my story and got little in the way of a response at the time. No worries. She was apparently just busy and waiting for the perfect moment.

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She thinks she’s the sweet one.

That Time I Died Alone: Screenshots That Were Worth Saving

With Christmas break coming up and a good chunk of my income coming from substitute teaching (all I want for Christmas is a full time librarian position, yo), I’ve had to work a lot lately. Fortunately for me, my jobs are pretty pathetically first world. Don’t get me wrong. It takes a lot of energy to not cry after giving a technology class to a dozen elderly people, when you expected maybe half that.

The effort required however, is all cerebral and emotional. I’m patiently (and awkwardly) waiting for this woman to stop yelling at her husband for touching her iPad, not hauling oats. You see that, there? Hauling oats. That’s the first example of physical labor that came to mind, because the majority of my jobs involve sitting. This is good news, of course. My daddy climbs poles for a living and like all southern men, my brother works on oil sites. They spend all day in the freezing cold. I went outside for three minutes the other day and I felt like I was being peeled. 

Everything hurts and I’m going to die.

While the library certainly requires a significant amount of mental exertion and emotional control, I can’t really say the same for substitute teaching. Sure, the administration tells us our job is important, but at the high school level, I am a glorified babysitter. Like with any babysitting job, boundaries have to be set and many, many people don’t make it that far, but I’ve been doing this for five years. Those kids know me. They know what they can and cannot get away with, so it is a really bad day when I have to do anything beyond sit there… and that is dull. So it was, that I decided to delete some photos on my phone yesterday, starting with the screenshots folder. That’s when I realized what wonderful online dating gems I’ve screen capped over the last several months, to send to Gail and Catherine. Now, I share these with my dear (somewhat neglected, lately [promise to remedy that]) readers. While I try to be direct in my online dating encounters, I generally avoid straight rudeness unless the comment is offensive or sexual in nature. After that, it’s fair game.

ladybugs

He’s either got a great sense of humor… or a dungeon. Who wants to roll the dice?!?!

ian

Awww. He came with a sermon on the dangers of… technology?

jeremy

gaston

“How can you read this? There’s no pictures!”

deer head

“You wanna come home with my friend and I? He’s really into ladybugs and we share a dung-… I mean… studio.”

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He had sent me a copy and pasted message of this a week or two earlier. Instead of being direct, I’d just encouraged conversation, because I thought it would be funny to waste his time, since he didn’t even bother to read my very short profile, which answered his question. When I clarified that, no, I would not be letting him lick my lady bits, he told me I was confused and should be on Christian Mingle.

sexy legs

The response for when “inappropriate and weird” doesn’t cut it.

proposal

“Who wants to get shankraped?!?! Anyone?”

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SOMEONE had to tell him… clearly… and I felt I was really quite nice in doing so.

ew 2

I… um. No.

dog

Dude. That actually is pretty clever. I totally felt guilty for rejecting that dog. Also, if she stops responding on one dating site, it’s probably best not to track her down on another and ask why.

open minded

“You’ve made your values and deal breakers clear. I don’t think any of those things are important, but if you want to take the bait when I imply you’re close-minded for meaning them, I wouldn’t mind seeing you naked while you prove me wrong. Oh, yeah… thus.”

married

“I’m cheating. You up for that?”

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No, really. There’s a character limit on Tinder profiles. It’s not that long and specifically mentions Jesus and love and no hookups. Also, the cut off for using the phrase “fwb” was two years ago… for me.

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Dude. Fucking marry me.

Textersation Tuesday

08-21-14

This one requires a disclaimer. Gail and I are both extremely pro-breastfeeding. That’s their friggin’ purpose. I don’t even care if I catch a glimpse of your nipple in public, as long as it’s because you’re feeding your baby and not using him as a prop to make a point, which seems to be a prevalent attitude these days. Gail knows this, so I didn’t have to qualify my whopping exaggeration of “most women” to her.

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08-25-14

08-27-14

Textersation Tuesday

Gail has discovered that she still has the phone numbers for all of the douche bags she’s dated…

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I love her to death, but that girl will argue about the silliest things.

During our Netflix binge…

Me: “I still say that, in that town, the sex trafficking cop wasn’t all bad.”
Gail: “I think you’re speaking in word salad.”
I actually thought she didn’t realize what I meant.
Me: “The whole town is corrupt. He’s just your average Joe at this point… only he’s hot and he has power.”
Gail: “I really don’t think you’re saying the words you mean to say.”
Me: “So it’s a wee bit of sex trafficking. There were worse options. Everyone has flaws. I think I could overlook it.”
Gail: No really… you’re not saying the words you mean to say.”

You try and think out of the box for one villain…

Me: “I know you’re not caught up on The Walking Dead yet, but when you get there, just consider this. The Governor? He got shit done.

Textersation Tuesdays

Gail and I are hilarious. I know I’m biased, but judging from the response I get when I post a screenshot of one of our text message conversations on Facebook, I’m also correct.  Like this one, with the caption “All a girl needs is one friend who truly believes in her.”

June 10, 2014

Gail: My parents know I suggested you prostitute yourself. Could you please check with me before posting stuff about me online?

Me: I’m sorry. It was just a silly funny text. You suggested that was the way to get into the mob, not just like a good life decision. I’ll take it down, though.
Me: It’s no longer up, but it’s not like I said “What’s should I have for dinner?” and you said “Dick… but charge for it.”
Me: Bee tea double ewe, that was a popular post. People think you’re funny. Preen.
Me: Don’t be mad at me?
Me: That time I sent your dad a picture of my nipple was waaaaaay worse, Gail. Have some perspective.
* I forgot that he was reading her text messages during our inappropriate photo war.
Me: Not to mention the time I accidentally told his boss to fuck off.
* I made a sarcastic remark about how his Facebook post was cheesy, thinking I was teasing him, and only later realized it was his boss’s post and she was really offended.
Me: Or when I “accidentally” kept calling you Megan in front of your mom.
* The Musician once called Gail “Megan”, during sex. 

Gail: Oh, I’m not angry, just would rather it not be up and have an idea of what IS before I hear about it from my fam. Lol. Sorry. I didn’t see your texts.

Me: Well, I took it down, but it really didn’t strike me as bad. It was your suggestion for how to join the mob, not how to spend a Tuesday. But I’ll let you know in the future and not post anything you don’t want.

So, since Gaily’s taken to censoring me on Facebook, I will now be posting my favorite textersation screenshots on Tuesdays… possibly sporadically. They may not always be from Gail, though that’s likeliest, since we coined the phrase “textersation”, simply because we can send each other any random message at any time, without the forced awkwardness of opening a conversation.

So begins, Textersation Tuesdays.

Why I would make a better mobster than Tony Soprano.

Me: I want to buy a motorcycle and shoot my guns from it!
Gail: Turn off Sons of Anarchy. 

Me: I just found a Shake and Bake Meth Recipe on Google! All I need are the batteries.
Gail: Ugh. You’re going to blow yourself up. How many episodes have you watched?
Me: Like one. Breaking Bad isn’t really doing it for me.
Gail: Your search history is going to get you on some kind of list. 

You know, good friends support each other, GAIL. Just this last week, you were appallingly negative about my attending a simple party.

Gail: “Well, for one, judging by how often you leave your drink unattended, I would say you definitely should not go to a frat party. Two, while I’m sure you could pass for 21, no one’s going to talk to you when you excitedly open with ‘Hi! I’m Belle and I’m 21!'”

Ugh. What am I going to do with you?

Recently, I’ve decided to break up my Gossip Girl marathon with The Sopranos. I had actually planned to watch the latter first, but I couldn’t find it to rent and I’m too cheap to purchase anything I haven’t seen. Because libraries are the coolest, I was able to get it from work, through Interlibrary Loan. After two episodes, Gail, once again, decided to crush my dreams.

Gail: Surely you’re not the first person to think ‘I’m a librarian.That’s practically Al Capone.’
Me: Was Al Capone technically the mob? Hmm… I’ll need to catch up on my trivia.

I can’t wait until you have kids, Gaily. They’ll run in and joyfully share their desire to be an explorer…

“Oh, honey, that’s not practical. Everything’s been discovered already and you’d probably just be bitten by some kind of exotic bug and die. Also, keep the desire to leave the country under wraps. The president can hear you right now.” 

conspiracy theory

So, despite obvious Mean Girl Sabotage, I plead my case for exactly why I would not only make a good mobster, but in fact, a better mobster than Tony Soprano.

I could carry out a vendetta, without getting caught, at a very young age.
When I was in the second grade, I got a cool new kind of glue, with a sponge applicator. Everyone thought it was the neatest… until it went missing. A few days later, as I was walking by Sammy’s desk, I noticed a suspiciously similar brand of glue. Of course, I promptly declared that she stole it and told the teacher. Ultimately, Sammy confessed, Mrs. Green  made her apologize and return the glue, and likely issued a reasonable punishment… as I seethed. An apology and some missed recess, when the little bitch wronged me?!?!?

Naturally, in a lawless society, I took matters into my own hands and meted out justice like Batman. I waited two weeks, to throw off suspicion, and graffiti’d the bathroom stall with Sammy’s name during recess… first and last, so no one would be mistaken. Mrs. Green was livid and all Sammy’s friends thought she was lying when she said she didn’t do it. Not only did she have to scrub the wall clean, but she missed a lot more recess, as well. I actually managed to earn her a greater punishment, and also completely discredit her as a person, exactly as the little thief deserved. 


Lord help me when I have children, because that was just plain awful.

I can cuss better.
No, really. Isn’t the seventh “fuck”, in a sentence, a little superfluous, Tony? I mean, there are a lot of things I could suffer from while being held at gunpoint: rape, robbery, blackmail, torture. Do we really need to add redundancy to the list? I’m not offended by your usage of the word “fuck”, but it’s a little tired, what with the 13-year-old in the corner using it. The key to swearing with impact is to mix it up a little. Not everything has to be HBO-worthy. “Mountain of dicks” is totally prime time appropriate and still gets the point across. It doesn’t even have to be that adult. You throw in a “zetus lapetus” or an “oh em jingles” and those f-bombs really pop.

tony soprano strangling
“I’m gonna drape your intestines over the trees like Christmas garland!” See. I win.

I know where feelings belong.
Say it with me now: “With the last fucking Horcrux.” Now, I’m not too far into this show, but I feel it’s in poor judgement for Tony to see a therapist. So some ducks flew away? Bee eff dee. You don’t talk about your feelings. This is an HBO crime drama, not a sitcom about a recently widowed father raising his three young girls. Get your fucking genre right, dude. I mean, were I a therapist treating the mob boss of Jersey, I’d shut my cakehole and all, sure. The thing is, all it takes is one time for this chick to talk. Yeah, you’ll cut off her arm and rape her with it, or whatever mob bosses do, but the FBI will still have proof that you’re the guy laundering money, selling coke, moving stolen DVD players, and cutting off people’s arms and raping them with them. The therapist will be dead. It will have hurt. It will still be all Tony’s fault for being such a vagina. Need to vent, but find you’re a crime lord? DON’T. That’s part of the fucking gig. Just hide in fiction until the problems go away. 

jennifer melfi

Overall, I would be a lot more discreet. 
Okay, seriously dude, I know you’re like a household name in this world, but maybe, just maybe, you wouldn’t be if you didn’t wear that mobster costume every day. You’re a chubby Italian man with a thick accent, obvious anger problems, and an income level that’s completely incongruent with your claimed profession? Wow. Your Etsy store must be doing great! I, however, have pink guns, denim dresses, pearls I actually wear, and country music blaring from my car. The only indicator I might give of my mob involvement, would be that I’m Catholic. Granted, this is a bit more brow-raising in the Midwest than it is in Jersey, but I assure you, the flowered dress, peep-toes, and usage of the word “y’all” will more than conceal my secret station and crime ring.

southern belle
“Hello, there, Sir. I’m here for my gats.”

Dysfunctional relationship cards: #What is wrong with us?

During the winter, Gail and I have limited time to spend together. It’s not that we don’t consider each other a priority, by any means. She’s just got the worst job in the whole world and she’s been brainwashed to think she loves it.

No, really. I want you think about this movie, before reading the following. It’ll make us seem far more normal in comparison.

Gail’s ecstatic about her job as a mailman. She loves it nearly as much as I love being a librarian, but it means she works around the clock during the Christmas season. So, unless I get up at 4:30 in the morning to meet her at IHOP, our face time is limited. Instead, we keep in touch through our textersation. I text her when I’m able and she responds when she’s able. There is no context or “where did that come from?” I can send her anything from:


I’m going to die alone!

to…

I hate the question “What are you reading?”
“Well, you see, it’s about the Four Horsemen, but they’re SEXY.”

Similarly, she regularly sends me appallingly offensive quotes from Christian radio and quizzes me on Catholicism. We’ve got a sweet deal going. So, it was hardly out of the ordinary when I started the following discussion last night while marathoning Supernatural, like the closeted fangirl I am.

Dysfunctional relationship cards:
“Some days, you’re as good as your brother.”
Your turn.

—– “You know, sometimes you’re pretty.” Your turn.
My Gramma actually said this to my mother once, when I was 15, because she’d dressed up. Gail was referencing that.

“I wouldn’t marry you a second time, but sometimes I don’t regret the first.”

—– “You’re just like your father.”

“If I enjoyed sex, you’d be in my top five.”

—– “I think I’m gay, but you’re close enough.”

“Thank you for helping me recapture the asexual nature of my childhood.”

—– “I thought you might professionally overcompensate for your sexual issues by choosing defense law.”

“That wasn’t my gynecologist.”

—– “Happy Valentine’s Day, Meagan.”
Gail’s musician once called her Meagan during foreplay. She went ahead and had sex with him.

“Don’t be mad at your sister. It wasn’t consensual.”

—– “Happy Birthday! I framed your ‘Missing’ poster!”

“Happy VD! It doesn’t stand for Valentine’s Day.”

—– “That wasn’t really the last of my student loans… or the other loans. Surprise!”

Bahahaha. You would compare financial problems to sister rape.

—– I thought we were just doing any unhealthy relationship issues? Lying about thousands of dollars is a real relationship issue!

“I didn’t flush the cocaine, but we have more in common now!”

—– “Your dog didn’t really run away.”

“Your daughter didn’t really run away.”

—– “I don’t actually mind your porn addiction. I’m just worried that you’ll find out I’m not really using my accounting degree at the office.”

“I don’t actually mind your porn addiction. I’m just worried that you’ll find out the kids aren’t really at daycare.”

—– “I hoard a hundred dollars every time we have sex.”

“The casket was empty.”

—– “Thanks for ignoring the basement screams.”

“I’m not really a mortician… or at least not a licensed one.”

—– “Open your legs like it’s optional.”

“She’s not my mistress. She’s my daughter. Well… I suppose she’s both.”

What do you mean I “think too much”?!?!?

Every now and then, I Facebook stalk myself. It’s not that I just think I’m brilliant and must have had something hilarious to say over the past few weeks or anything. No, no. I re-read my own blog for that. You see, though I keep my Facebook private, I’m still pretty conscious of the things I post, because I work in a very public field. I can’t risk an influential person seeing something inappropriate. There’s a reason this blog is anonymous and there’s a reason I say nothing but glorious things about my jobs, regardless. So, just in case, every few weeks, I read back over my old Facebook posts and delete anything that could be misunderstood or maybe had some kind of political tone to it, as the library is a very liberal place and my head is not. It is during this chore I made a discovery: a good 80% of my posts are media critiques and humorous self-analysis. I’m not exaggerating. I am either a delightful and entertaining Facebook friend, or those who felt obligated to keep me on their feeds hid my exhausting updates months ago. I’d wondered why I’ve gotten the comment “you think too much” more than once. Perhaps it’s because of the following status updates I’ve made in just the last few months.

gaston

“NO ONE says no to Gaston!” Sounds a little rapey, Disney.

You know, Rapunzel really could’ve fashioned a rope out of that much hair, all by herself. Prince not necessary.

I was always sad when Binx turned into a stupid boy, instead of an immortal talking cat.

When you watch American Beauty, pretend it’s the sequel to Hocus Pocus.

thora birch

Daisy, you suck. If you didn’t want to be with Gatsby, maybe you should’ve kept your dress down.

I never finished A Child Called It, so I’m pretending Harry Potter was the ending.

Rereading Harry Potter has me seriously doubting the child protection system of the U.K.

“Only a person who wanted to find the stone… find it, but not use it, would be able to get it.”
So, what you’re saying Dumbledore, is that Harry isn’t a hero at all, because the Sorcerer’s Stone was never in danger. Amiright?

You see that, J.K. Rowling? That thing between Ron and Hermione? That’s called “build-up.” It’s what you completely skipped with the convenience of Harry and Ginny.

I don’t care if Snape WAS “protecting” Harry. He broke a cardinal rule of teaching by mistreating an abused child, based solely on misdemeanors committed by his parents twenty years prior. What are the requirements for a degree in wizard education, anyway?!?!?

Sometimes, I feel like artists today KNOW that they’re releasing an offensive and morally objectionable product and must be making a statement about the values of society today. Wouldn’t it be cool to find out that Miley Cyrus is just involved in a complex case study?!?!?

I’ve gotta admire the killer from You’re Next. The man knows his contractions. That’s really more than I can say for MOST Americans.

you're next

L’oreal uses “my skin looks airbrushed” as a positive testimonial. I do not consider this a plus.

I agree with Buddy the Elf’s dad. The nun DID miss the payments. She shouldn’t have bought the books if she couldn’t pay. That’s akin to stealing. That’s why the Church isn’t in favor of buying on credit. I resent the implication that Santa was a socialist, who would’ve expected a business to give non-essential items free of charge, just because he chooses to do so.

nun from elf

I’m not buying it, American Horror Story. I totally would’ve mentioned my elderly maid’s age to my husband, if only in concern for her health. How self-absorbed ARE these people?!?!? I call BS.

Sometimes, I realize what a good cover it could be to be a librarian. Like, WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND blames the librarian for all that vigilantism that’s cropped up in the city?

I probably come off less threatening when I yell at traffic with a sucker in my mouth.
“The light is GREEN! GO! I’m not even running late. You’re just annoying! Cinnamon is DELICIOUS!”

Wait. How is dancing to blame for a car wreck? 80’s movies are so stupid. Five minutes. That’s how far I made it into Footloose.

Who are these snobs in the commercial who’ve never eaten a Wal-Mart steak?!?! I’m pretty sure that 80% of the steak I’ve eaten IN MY LIFE came from Wal-Mart, Princess.

“Ladies: buying a new vehicle isn’t just for men.” Well, I didn’t think you were being sexist until you said that, Car Salesman.

Game of Thrones: There are seven kingdoms. Why can’t there be seven thrones and they just SHARE the world? I’d prefer a ruby throne to an iron one ANYWAY.

throne

So I’m in this abandoned cabin in the woods, right? Then I find this chained-up book in a room full of dead animals. I figure, I’ll totally open this sucker and read aloud from it. It’s gotta be good if it’s banned, right? No. No, I do not, because that’s STUPID.

You don’t have to stay with an angry, abusive man, just for his library, Belle. I can recommend several good Master of Library and Information Studies schools that are accredited by the American Library Association.

If you watch 7th Heaven after a Sons of Anarchy marathon, you will become convinced that all of those girls Matt dated disappeared into a pit of fire and that’s why you never saw them again.

If Barbie is making your daughter insecure, you’re not spending enough time with your daughter.

The true villain in Hansel in Gretel was not the witch, who was just an innocent victim of vandalism and had a right to protect her home. The true villain was the totally whipped dad who’s all “Yeah, honey. I’ll just go abandon the kids in the woods, right quick.” How has everyone missed this?!?!

Every time I watch the movie Twister, I think ‘What former storm chaser has liability only?!?’

twister

I would not even care about the zombies in The Walking Dead. Those people have no electricity. EVER.

When I was little, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory really freaked me out, because I thought all the kids died in the end. I’m still not sure.

I like to pretend Sin City is a spin-off of Gilmore Girls.

Lorelei Gilmore does not budget AT ALL.

In all these suspense novels someone asks “license plate number, make, and model?” I would be so screwed, because my only answer would be “blue… or black… maybe green.”

The night I watched the latest Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie:

That girl was not 38. She’d have to be since the original was filmed in 1976 and they had iPhones. I suppose I could’ve missed the futuristic element of the first one.

What brand of chainsaw does this guy use?!?! Does it have a uranium core or run on magic? I haven’t seen him put gas in it even once and it cuts through like EVERYTHING.

Puh-leez. That guy has neither the dexterity nor the medical know-how to cleanly cut off a person’s face.

texas chainsaw massacre