The above are some of the most infuriating phrases in the English language. I’ve been on the receiving end of them many a time, and they never fail to make me more upset, stressed, angry, or agitated than I was to begin with because of their disingenuousness. People say these things not to ease your mind or soothe you, but to help themselves, particularly when you are a woman. “Calm down, upsetting yourself isn’t going to help,” is really just code for, “Your blatant display of emotion is making me uncomfortable, and I’d like you to accommodate me by being quiet so I don’t have to help or address your concerns.”
We all occasionally get upset over nothing. It’s part of being human, and sometimes a blatant display of emotion isn’t helpful. When you getting worked up over a minor typo in an office email, or when a waiter gets your order wrong, or you can’t get cell reception, or you spill tomato soup on your brand-new white shirt, “calm down” is an appropriate, if ineffective, sentiment.
Now is not one of those times.
Over the next several weeks and months, Senators, Congresspeople, media pundits, men (and women) on the street, newspaper columnists, elite “thinkers,” people on Twitter and Facebook, and pretty much anyone in any position of power are all going to be beaming the same message out to the people of color, women, LGBTQIA+, indigenous and native peoples, and anyone else who dares to be angry, agitated, stressed, sad, or otherwise non-accepting of the tragically corrupt confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to SCOTUS: “Calm down!”
“You’re being unreasonable,” they’ll say from their podiums and pulpits. “What’s done is done; there’s no use being upset about it,” they’ll sneer to protesting crowds. “What a dangerous time for our sons!” they’ll lament from verified Twitter accounts followed by dozens of Neo-Nazis and white supremacists and PUAs. “Things aren’t that bad; they’ve been worse before,” they’ll write condescendingly in their Medium columns catering to Bernie Bros. “So just calm down.”
No. I will not. My anger, and the anger of so many of my fellow citizens, is warranted and righteous. My fear and stress are reasonable. My wariness of a president and a party who confirmed a partisan hack to the Supreme Court while mocking sexual assault victims and complaining that freedom of speech and to protest, the concept upon which this nation was founded, is “embarrassing” is more than justified. I will not be gaslit. I am a grown-ass woman, and I’ve seen enough to know that we are going in the wrong direction much more quickly than anyone would have thought possible twenty-four months ago. If my rage and fear at our slide into fascism make you uncomfortable, well, that’s just too bad, because I’m not going to back down from expressing them. I’m not going to let anyone tell me or any other woman or survivor or marginalized community member that we’re being unreasonable.
This post is a reminder that I’ll come back to when I’m doubting myself, or when a pundit or a neighbor or the guy on the bus implore me to just chill out. Remember: they’re protecting themselves, not you, from guilt or laziness or facing their own privilege. And that’s their problem, not yours. And if they don’t like it, they can calm down.
God, how long has it been since I’ve blogged? Since the election? Since I started my new job? I’d have to check, and it’s taking enough effort for me to even write this thing, so, I’m going to say it’s been at least seven months or so.
I’m going to try to get back into blogging at least 1x per week from now on. After the election, the plan was to wait until the rage-and-despair-fueled fire burning in the pit of my soul subsided before trying my hand at this blog again, but then things got even worse, so, like, fuck it, whatever. I like to be funny in this space, y’all, and not much has seemed funny for the last six months, but I’m just gonna have to make some lemonade out of the shitty, moldering, Russian-grown lemons Cheetolini has given us in lieu of a future for Americans’ health care and, you know, the planet. First, though, an update on my life.
I started a new job eight days before the election. The job is great, but twice since 11/8/16 I’ve dipped into suicidal-ideation-level depressions. Twice. In six months. That’s not good. I’ve just come out of one of these troughs, so now’s a good a time as any to make this thing work.
That’s…kind of the whole update. I got a new job, been working, been depressed, been trying to make it through each day without bursting into tears and/or making a papier-mâché Trump and burning it in effigy in front of my apartment. Also been eating way too much and not working out enough/at all. WOOHOO ISN’T THIS UPLIFTING AF?
I’m better now, though. I swear. I hope. Please, God, let me be better. I mean, I feel better today, but that might be the rosé wine and Carly Rae Jepsen combo I’m jiving to right now. Also, I bought new cleaning supplies for my apartment and that always makes me feel awesome (I’m not kidding. I love cleaning supplies.). I walked 10K steps each of the last three days. I ate, like, a salad yesterday, with minimal cheese in it*. These are all good signs, right? Honestly, I feel like I accomplished a lot more this week than Donald Trump did in Europe. Like, at least I didn’t insult and alienate the United States’ closest allies and follow the rest of the G7 leaders around on a golf cart like a toddler who’s overdue for a nap! See, lemonade!
Depression is pretty funny though, I have to say. Like, last week I broke down and collapsed in a ball on the floor because I dropped a towel on the floor when I meant to hang it up on the hook on the back of my bathroom door. This was apparently more than my sick mind could bear. I just lost it, and sobbed uncontrollably as I stared at it for a moment before bending over, picking it up again, and finally managing to hang it on the hook. I was convinced that I was a terrible, disgusting, evil person because I had a moment of clumsiness and accidentally dropped a towel, which, in case you’ve never encountered one, is a soft, unbreakable object which is not spoiled from resting on a moderately clean hardwood floor for 3.5 seconds. Honestly, I should have been celebrating instead of crying– in getting that towel on the hook in only two tries, I still accomplished more for the good of our nation in one day than the President has in 130 days, so I’m just going to go ahead and pat myself on the back for that one.
Maybe I’ve been looking at this “our president and his entire posse are traitors” thing the wrong way – really, this guy just gives all of us a pass to be our most incompetent selves at all times. I mean, my dog puts more effort into shitting on the lawn than Trump puts into leading a nation of 330 million people, so let’s give that (literal) bitch a gold fucking medal, right? RIGHT!
Huh, I feel even BETTER now. More rosé! More Carly Rae Jepsen! Depression, go fuck yourself.
Till next week!
*minimal cheese means a lot of fucking cheese but whatever
This is a quick heads-up that I will cease to care about anything or anyone else on the planet this Friday except for the four-part revival of “Gilmore Girls” on Netflix. Here are just a few things the existence of which I will forget about for six full hours:
My failed high-protein diet(s)
My unkempt eyebrows
Neo-nazis (see above)
Deep dish pizza vs. regular pizza
Daylight Savings Time
Zucchini noodles aka “zoodles”
The oceans (all)
The continents (all)
1066 (I know stuff happened but I forget most of it anyways blah blah England)
Most of History
Whatever generation I am
Non-fat Greek yogurt
Your racist uncle
Birth control methods (all)
Indiana (included in above “red states” but I want to forget it twice)
The New York Times
Sort-of-real-maybe news, but it was retweeted by Joss Whedon so who knows?
All birds, really
Whether or not there is a God(s)
Whether my direct deposit for work will kick in soon
The fact that we are all, as Dickens said, fellow passengers to the grave
Why? Because after this year, I deserve this ONE THING, OKAY? WE ALL DO! JUST THIS ONE THING! SIX HOURS! FOUR NINETY-MINUTE EPISODES! PLEASE JUST LET US HAVE THIS, UNIVERSE!
Look, there have been a gazillion pieces on how even if someone voted for Trump for “non-racist” reasons, they still voted for racism. If you don’t buy it after folks like Scalzi break it all down for you in the easiest-to-understand terms, you’re not going to buy it from me, so I’m not going to write another one here.
There have also been a gazillion pieces written on the Electoral College (google it). I fucking hate the Electoral College, since it basically means my California vote is worth less than, say, a Wyoming vote because something something rural Real America(TM) slave state history blah blah blah. So I’m not gonna write one here, either.
Don’t even get me started on the gazillion pieces about how the left needs to understand Trump voters more because blah blah blah. I get it; many of them are losing traditional jobs that aren’t coming back because #robots and they’re mad, but many of them are also assholes who hate that they had to see a black dude on TV for 8 years and sure as fuck weren’t gonna look at an old lady for that long even if she’s white. You can guess where I come down on that argument so I’m not gonna write my own take here either.
So here’s what I have to say: ughhhhhhhh foreverrrrrrrrrrrrrr fuck everything. The next four years are going to be apocalyptic. I’m especially excited for the inevitable Pence presidency, because, let’s get real, our Cheeto-Elect is not gonna last more than a year, tops. He’s never had to do any actual work in his life, and he’s just now realizing that the Presidency involves reading and sitting still and receiving criticism and not staying in Trump Tower among his gold-plated accessories unless he ventures out to grab him some fresh pussy. He’s going to resign, and if not he will be impeached, because the GOP would vastly prefer working with Pence (ugh) and, let’s face it, Mr. Cheeto has already committed about a zillion impeachable offenses and will accumulate more in his first five days in office than Nixon managed in five years. Pence hates gay people and women especially and is going to do his fucking utmost to take away our rights, so that’s gonna be GREAT.
And then there’s the worst part: the violence and harassment against minorities. This violence has existed for centuries, duh, but now it’s been validated in the mainstream by the dude who’s gonna be president. People are fucking scared. Hundreds of incidents a day have been reported since Nov. 8: women randomly getting grabbed walking down the street, Muslim women having their hijabs ripped off, black people called n****** who should “go back to Africa” (because it’s not like our white ancestors dragged their black ancestors from Africa against their will in chains, but okay, sure), anyone who looks vaguely Hispanic threatened with deportation (not that anyone should be threatened with deportation, but I’m almost tickled by racists who can’t tell the difference between someone of Asian descent or Mexican descent).
Also the environment is over and maybe there will be a nuclear war and Marie Le Pen will be elected and I can’t shop at Macy’s anymore and I’m a privileged-yet-depressed white bitch and I hate myself.
Ughhhhhhhh foreverrrrrrrrrrrrrr fuck everything.
Ughhhhhhhh foreverrrrrrrrrrrrrr fuck everything.
Ughhhhhhhh foreverrrrrrrrrrrrrr fuck everything. Also something about safety pins?
Okay. Thanks for listening. Now let’s do some shit.
I haven’t written in a long time because I was job-hunting. I have a new job now. So yeah, I’m back.
And this is my election post for the day (also found on FB).
Last night I was despondent. For a few moments, my depression reared its head in the ugliest way. I barely slept.
This morning, I realized a few things:
I am white
I am well-educated
I have an amazing job with amazing benefits
I have an amazing support system
I am cis-het
I live in California
Barring a national overturning of Roe v. Wade or an uptick in assault on women in general nationwide, my rights and I are ok for the foreseeable future. Which is why it is now my job to fight for others.
For people of color, ESPECIALLY women of color
For those who don’t have the chance to go to college
For the unemployed, under-employed, and disabled
For the uninsured or those soon to be uninsured
For the poor
For the LGBT community
For people in places like Flint (STILL NO CLEAN WATER Y’ALL) and Ferguson and Standing Rock.
If you are like me and you enjoy many tremendous privileges, it is also your time to fight.
In municipal politics
In state politics
In national politics
In our communities
In our homes
I’m scared tbh. But I know I’m not nearly as scared as those in the marginalized groups above. So it’s on me. It’s on us (that mostly means you, white people).
I start by setting up a monthly donation to Planned Parenthood, which will be crucial to the well-being of women and girls and even men in the coming months and years if the ACA goes down. And then I research my next steps.
Here are ten faces Paul Ryan* makes (to himself for now, but I’m sure increasingly to others as the election continues, especially if Trump continues to publicly accept congratulations on being “right” when 50 people are murdered in a gay club by an asshole) when he is just going about his day and then suddenly remembers that he has publicly endorsed Donald Trump for President and has committed himself to voting for him in November.
*Also applies to Mitch McConnell.
And, of course…
Oh, Paul. I’d say I feel sorry for you, but you brought this on yourself. If it makes you feel any better, at least people forgot about this for a moment!
So let’s get this out of the way: nobody likes pants*. NOBODY. Not real pants, anyways, with zippers and hooks and buttons and belts. I suppose that if you’re a guy they’re okay (guys generally have narrow hips and smaller butts relative to the rest of their bodies, and hips and butts are no friends to pants), but I’m sure most dudes still prefer joggers and sweatpants. if you’re a woman? Pfft, FOGEDDABOUTIT!
Pants are the worst thing to ever happen to the world, besides, like, Hitler and polio and war and stuff. If you’re not pulling them up, you’re tugging them down. They’re either falling off your butt or the button is pressing into your belly and leaving a mark. They’re made in every conceivable style and shape and length and crotch ratio (that’s what I call the “rise” of jeans–let’s not kid ourselves, “rise” just means “how much room do you want for your crotch?”), and yet there’s always SOMETHING wrong with them. Don’t lie–especially if you’re a woman, what’s the first thing you do when you come home after work? If you answered, “I take off my bra,” you are CORRECT! But this post isn’t about bras, it’s about pants, because it’s “P” day on the blogging challenge. So what’s the second thing you do? THAT’S RIGHT, YOU TAKE OFF YOUR PANTS! Why? Because you don’t hate yourself and it’s easier to eat cheetos when you don’t have to worry about getting orange dust all over your fucking pants.
No variation on pants for women are at all okay. Shorts are just even shittier-fitting pants that don’t cover your legs, which is the entire purpose of pants, so fuck them. Khakis are for park rangers. Slacks are just needlessly expensive pants that make your thighs and the part of your legs under your knees sweat. Bootcut pants are just bell bottoms that are too lazy to commit. Palazzo pants are only appropriate on palazzos, and, let’s be real, you’ve never been on (at?) a palazzo, so don’t get fresh. Culottes are some sort of invention by the devil. Hot pants are underwear. Jumpsuits are just torture, because it’s pants with a pre-attached top and HOW DO YOU PEE? Jeans are ubiquitous but if they were good people wouldn’t cry when they went shopping for them.
There are (and this is according to Science™, I checked) the only four pants-like items that don’t make you want to die when you wear them:
That’s it. That’s all we got. Anything else is an unnecessary sacrifice of comfort and sanity.
So my question is, WHY ARE WE WEARING ANYTHING ELSE? Is it because of SOCIETY?
Well, FUCK society, man! If we can give the middle finger up at the political establishment and throw the electoral process into chaos, we can CERTAINLY figure out how to eschew pants for the rest of the course of human civilization. I know, you’re probably thinking–but what about work? I’m a lawyer, I have to look professional! Or, I’m a news anchor, I have to appear put together! I’m a writer, I have to…well, okay, you’re probably fine. Resume eating nachos in your PJs.
I’ve given this a lot of thought, and so I’m proposing a two-tiered new System of Fashion™. One WITHOUT REAL PANTS! Interested? Well, here are the rules–they’re very simple:
In any situation where you are doing routine shit and do not have to impress a client, family member, world leader, or judgmental child, wear yoga pants, leggings, pjs, or sweatpants, and whatever top-half covering or footwear is appropriate for your climate or workspace.
In all other situations where you want to impress anyone–work conference, first date, meeting your prospective in-laws, presidential debate–wear an elaborate ballgown.
That’s it. Those are the rules–for both men and women, may I add.
Can you see the beauty of this? Let’s be real, the only point of wearing Real Pants is to impress your date, coworker, acquaintance or dog and show them that you own something other than stained GapBody leggings and care enough about that person to don them. Right now, between Not Real Pants and ballgowns there is a vast range of choices, from capris to slacks, to show varying degrees of Giving A Shit about how you look and what people think of you. Why not reduce the system to its logical extremes–one look for Giving A Shit, and one look for Not Giving a Shit? And if you really Give A Shit, why not go all out with a backless number with a tulle skirt?
Can you imagine how much more interesting this will make life? Can’t you see how many decisions would just be made for you by instituting this system?Let’s say you walk into your performance review with your boss wearing your “I’m trying, here!” canary-yellow ballgown with a beaded bodice, and your boss is wearing the footie onesie he slept in last night. Well, now you know it’s time to fucking get a new job, don’t you? Or say you’re at your anniversary dinner, and your husband is decked out to the nines in his midnight blue velvet sheath and you realize you couldn’t even muster up the enthusiasm to change your leggings with the hole in the crotch for your other leggings with a hole at the knee. Maybe it’s time to call up your divorce lawyer, isn’t it? And can you imagine Trump and Hillary debating this Fall, both in elaborate Marchesa (Hillary) and Ivanka Trump (Trump, and obviously it will be in gold satin with the MOST LUXURIOUS TRIMMINGS EVER, YOU WON’T EVEN BELIEVE IT) gowns?
I can sense you through the network of tubes which is the Internet–you’re feeling me! YOU GET IT. Of course, I’m not blind to the difficulties of putting this into practice. Ballgowns are expensive, and we need EVERYONE to at least have 2. So we’d need to institute a Ballgown Tax For the Provision of Ballgowns to All Citizens, which I would propose (because I’m a damned dirty socialist) be levied only against the top 1%, who already have enough ballgowns to make this work. Honestly, they should thank me, because I’m really saving them money–they can get rid of all their non-ballgown designer palazzo pants and $300 Lucky jeans and just pick up some yoga joggers from Old Navy and they’re set. Everyone wins, especially my butt.
Wow, I’m feeling really good about my proposal, so I think I’m going to go take off my pants and write some emails to Hillary, Bernie, and Obama to see if we can get this thing going. I think this is the issue that’s really going to bring the BernieBros and HillaryBots together! YOU’RE WELCOME, AMERICA.
*Yes, I am aware that people in the UK say “pants” when they mean “underwear,” and “trousers” when they mean “pants” and that this may be confusing for them. I don’t care. This is why you guys lost the Revolutionary War. Get with it.
Please let me know your thoughts on my proposal in the comments, and do share and like this post to get the No Pants Movement going.
Prior to this past weekend I was a thirty-year-old Human Woman. Over the weekend I died and became a ghost. Behold a picture of me as I appear today:
Basically what happened is I went to a birthday party Saturday night and had many, many drinks. I also danced for more than three consecutive minutes (I “Got Low” and “Jumped Around,” among other life errors), and topped it all off by going to sleep after 2 a.m.
This behavior, while apparently not a problem in my twenties, was sufficient, at age thirty, to kill me and transform me into a ghost. A ghost with an aching right foot, perpetual exhaustion, a scratchy throat, and a neck with a severely reduced turning radius that is somehow exacerbated by sleep. My new identity as a ghost was confirmed earlier today when a man almost walked into me on the sidewalk even though he clearly should have been able to see me coming. Also, a few minutes afterwards a small child looked RIGHT AT ME with frightened eyes and gave me a wide berth. Everyone knows that children are the only ones who can see ghosts, so I took this as final confirmation of my new plasma-tastic state. I tried to reassure the child that I was a friendly ghost, like Casper, by giving her a huge grin, but this only seemed to frighten her more as she wailed and ran to catch up with her mother. So I guess this means I’m not a friendly ghost and should start haunting the crap out of everyone who ever pissed me off before this weekend. I’m compiling a list and am open to suggestions on this now (haunted) blog. The first person on the list is currently Donald Trump. TRY KEEPING THAT COMBOVER STRAIGHT WHILE YOU’RE SCREAMING IN TERROR AT MY GHOSTLY VISAGE, JACKASS!
Soooo…I guess my main message here is to avoid ghost-hood by just staying in and never drinking alcohol once you hit thirty, and also that if people could just all agree to haunt horrible politicians once they become ghosts our country would be a lot better off, policy-wise.