I’M BAAAAACK! MISS ME, BITCHES?
It’s been a nutty couple of months. I’ve been doing job searching while also finishing a draft of a Young Adult novel (aka YA for the uninitiated). It may or may not ever see the light of day (aka the shelves of a bookstore), but I’m pretty proud of having finished it. So proud, in fact, that I thought I’d share the wisdom I gained throughout the writing process for all my 17 blog readers. YOU’RE WELCOME.
Step 1: Come up with an original, never-before-imagined idea for your book. HAHAHAHAHA LOL J/K THERE’S NOTHING NEW UNDER THE DYSTOPIAN CHILD-KILLING-GAMES-MY BOYFRIEND-IS-A-VAMPIRE SUN; pick your poison, put your twist on it, and move on.
Step 2: Draft a detailed outline of your book, including key plot developments, character introductions, and emotional arcs. This one is easy: open a word doc and begin with Chapter 1. Then, halfway through outlining Chapter 1, give up and just begin to wing it because who has time for this shit?
Step 3: Write about 5,000 words of your book and feel pretty good about it. You know what? This isn’t half-bad! Teens would like this, right? RIGHT?
Step 4: Re-read your first 5,000 words and realize they are TERRIBLE. Oh my God, my dog could have written this. Why am I even trying? WHY AM I EVEN ALIVE?
Step 5: Cry
Step 6: Remember the E.L. James is a published author of poorly-written plagiarized fan-fiction and get your shit together. YOU CAN DO THIS, YOU WILL DO THIS!
Step 7: Get to 25,000 words and feel pretty good about it. You like your protagonist, and you hate your villain. There’s real conflict here, and some humor. You’re a good writer, you really are!
Step 8: Re-read the 25,000 words and remember that you are the worst writer to ever walk the Earth and also a terrible human being. OH GOD WHY DID I DO THIS? I’m a worthless hack. I’m going to go eat everything now.
Step 9: Cry while curled up into a ball on your bed and devouring a bag of pretzel twists dipped in an ENTIRE TUB of cream cheese while re-watching Star Trek: Voyager on Netflix. To be fair, this is my coping mechanism for all my setbacks in life, not just writing-related fails.
Step 10: Remember that if she could see you now, Captain Janeway* would tell you buck the fuck up, guzzle some black coffee, and get back to work, Ensign! I’m sorry, Kathryn, I was weak. I WILL KEEP WRITING RIGHT AFTER I STOP THAT WARP CORE BREACH AND PREVENT THE BORG FROM ASSIMILATING THE SHIP, CAPTAIN!
Step 11: Read a really good book by an excellent author and come to peace with the fact that you will never be that good but at least you can write grammar real good; and know how to do punctuation and stuff and things.
Step 12: Damn it.
Step 13: Finish your draft! Wow, what an accomplishment! Even if no one reads this, you’ve written a fucking book–how many people can say that?
Step 14: Go on Twitter and realize everyone and their mother has written a YA book just like yours. Fuck.
Step 15: Edit your manuscript which primarily deals with the lives of teens and realize that you have no idea about the lives of teens. I think I made a reference to desktop computers in there…do kids even use computers these days? Or do they operate their smartphones via chips embedded in their brains that allow them to send Snapchats with the firing of a single neuron? HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO FIND OUT ABOUT THIS? I guess I could ask an actual teen, but…ew, amirite?
Step 16: Shake your fist at the sky and curse the day that the first members of Generation C were born. Little bastards expecting their lives to be accurately depicted in literature–don’t they know that you are OLD AF RN?
Step 17: Remember that Generation C will soon supplant your Millennial Generation as the most hated of all time. Steeple your fingers while laughing maniacally at their forthcoming generational pain. NOW GO BUY MY BOOK, KIDDOS!
*I apologize for the obligatory Star Trek reference as I know certain people (ahem, L**) think all I do is talk about “Star Trek, Star Trek, Star Trek,” but I’ve basically just embraced being a ridiculous obsessed nerd so…yeah, get over it.
**J/K, L, you know I love you.
I haven’t posted in a while, and I love Star Trek as usual, so here are five random characters from the franchise who would make better presidents than Donald Trump.
*Mild SPOILER ALERT for plot elements of DS9, Voyager, TNG.*
5. Any Redshirt
Series: Star Trek, The Original Series
About: A redshirt was a random crewman in a (duh) red shirt who beamed down to a planet just to die immediately, usually beginning an investigation by Kirk, Spock, and McCoy into a new alien threat or phenomenon.
Why a better president than Trump? Unlike Trump, Redshirts actually sacrificed something for their people/crew. Granted, they weren’t super bright–you’d think eventually they’d ask if some of those blue-shirted mofos could go on an away mission for once instead of them–but at least they actually did their jobs and shit. And probably paid taxes on their Starfleet salaries.
What they would say about/to Trump: “I can’t believe that guy would insult the family of a fallen sold–OH GOD, WHAT IS THAT THING? IT’S COMING FOR ME, CAPTAIN, PLEASE–” *dies*
4. Lon Suder
Series: Star Trek: Voyager
About: Lon Suder is a violent sociopath who murders a fellow crewman in Season 2 because he “didn’t like the way he looked at him.” With the help of Tuvok (aka Black Spock), he regains some measure of control over his violent impulses to try to repay his debt to the crew. But he still likes killing people and never really stops liking it, up until his own demise.
Why a better president than Trump? Unlike Trump, he actually tries to not be a sociopath and ultimately works with the Doctor to take back Voyager from the Kazon (aka Lame Klingons with Weed Hair) while the rest of the crew is marooned on some random planet. He gives his life to save them. So, once again, actual heroic sacrifice. From a SOCIOPATH.
What they would say about/to Trump: “He said what about Mexicans? Look, I know I killed a guy in cold blood for no reason, but I’m no racist. Excuse me, I have to go die now in order to complete my redemption arc, nice talking to you!”
3. The Borg Collective
Series: Star Trek: The Next Generation; Star Trek: Voyager; Star Trek: First Contact (film)
About: The Borg collective is a cybernetically-enhanced species that assimilates and consumes all technology and civilizations it encounters with the goal of galactic domination and “perfection.” They operate as a collective consciousness and purge the individuality of all people they assimilate. They’re like evil space zombie-locusts and are terrifying.
Why a better president than Trump? Despite being pure fucking evil, at least the Borg are efficient, organized, and have a plan. They have a solid anti-discrimination policy and are willing to absorb all cultures regardless of stereotypes. Also, they have transwarp drive capacity, which would definitely be a boon to the US economy!
What they would say about/to Trump: “We are the Borg. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile. Your biological and technological distinctiveness will be added to our–oh, wait? It’s you again, isn’t it? The Trump human? You know what, I think we’re good on biological and technological distinctiveness for right now. We’ll just be on our way to fight Janeway again. Sorry to bother you.”
2. The Wormhole Aliens
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
About: The Wormhole Aliens, aka the Prophets, are beings who live outside of time in a stable wormhole that connects the Alpha and Gamma Quadrants of the galaxy (a 70K light year distance). Deep Space Nine basically guards its entrance in the Alpha Quadrant. The aliens are also seen as the gods of Bajor, a nearby planet where people have weird noses and wear one earring. There’s also some space Jesus stuff going on, but I don’t want to spoil the arc of the show.
Why a better president than Trump? While Trump does seem to think he is God, these beings are actually gods, so BOO-YAH. Also, they built a passage that makes it possible for humans to make a 70-year journey in, like, ten seconds, so they could really attack the problem of our crumbling infrastructure head-on.
What they would say about/to Trump: “Where is the Sisko? Who are you? Why do you exist here?” *Listens to Trump ramble for five minutes incoherently* “We thought we were incomprehensible and cryptic, but we have nothing on you. The Trump is aggressive. The Trump is a moron. We must destroy the Trump.” *Uses wormhole energy to completely evaporate Trump as if he is a Dominion warship*
1. Porthos the Dog
Series: Star Trek: Enterprise
About: Porthos is a Beagle that belongs to Captain Archer, who is (sorry, Scott Bakula) objectively the lamest Captain. He goes on the Enterprise with Archer and a couple times almost dies. His almost-death is a plot point of some significance in one particular episode. There is a reason Enterprise was canceled after only four seasons.
Why a better president than Trump? He’s a pretty cute, nice dog. Likes everyone. Does well in new situations. Good listener. Not the color of a Cheeto.
What they would say about/to Trump: *Is transported down to Earth, takes a huge dump on Trump’s shoes, is transported back to the Enterprise immediately*
It’s Memorial Day, which means wedding season has officially begun! I adore going to the beautiful weddings of people I love (luckily for me, because I have four to attend before the year is out!), but I gotta be honest: I’m pretty iffy the #millennial trend of #weddinghashtags. Practically, I get that it’s helpful to aggregate social media photos of the wedding, but also…isn’t that what the professional photog’s getting paid $150 an hour to do? I do think hashtags would be more fun if, instead of some cute pun on the future spouses’ names, they revealed key truths about the couple in question. However, it’s probably not gonna happen, so I’ve compiled a list of accurate wedding hashtags you won’t see on insta this summer for your entertainment:
Cheers to happy couples everywhere! 😉
*Disclaimer to everyone whose weddings I am attending this summer: lol this is not you. Except maybe the mason jars one, because come on, who DOESN’T love mason jars? My wedding is gonna take place in a fucking mason jar, people!
Hey guys, I wrote a humor thing on The Establishment (no, not the political establishment, but a women’s website lol – one person already made that mistake.
Please, please, please head over there and check it out! And if you’re not reading The Establishment, please start because it is GREAT! I hope you like it 🙂
Also, any woman freelancers out there, The Establishment is GREAT! I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU PITCH THEM!
I’m a BIG fan of uteri. I spent nine months in one, as did nearly all of us (no judgment to those of you who were grown in a Borg maturation chamber; I do NOT discriminate–some of my best friends are cybernetic life forms!). I’m even usually okay with my own uterus, with the exception of about six days each month. But uteri are complicated. They do a lot of shit, and if you’re a man, or even a young girl, you probably don’t understand the workings an implications of uteri in general, or in having one in particular. As a uterus-haver for over three decades now, I thought I’d share my wisdom. Prepare to be enlightened.
How it works: Despite hundreds of years of Science(TM), the uterus remains an icky mystery that no one should learn about in school, ever. Allow me to provide some clarity:
The uterus is an internal organ that is attached to a woman’s (EW!) vagina by a Service; I’m not sure what kind of Service, like if it’s an app like Uber or what, but that’s how they’re connected. *SCIENCE SHRUG* Until puberty, the uterus is filled with a divine pure light, which dissipates the moment a young girl has her first period and becomes a disgustingly tempting sexual being who’d better keep her legs SHUT. Every month, a tiny baby is released from the ovary, which is like a baby dispensary, and floats down a straw into the uterus, which is nice and comfy for it with a bed and an open bar and a designer wardrobe and everything. Sadly, this baby is soulless until and unless a sperm comes in through the vagina (EW!) and the Service and makes it alive. If this happens, the baby is now the Unborn(TM) and is the most precious form of life you will ever see, at least until it is born, after which time it is ON ITS FUCKING OWN. If there is no sperm, however, the baby is just flushed out through the Service and vagina with some blood (EW!) until a new baby comes down the straw the next month; this is called a Period, or, if you’re polite, “Aunt Flo’s visit, *wink*!” Periods happen until a woman hits menopause, which is when her baby dispensary ovaries are out of babies, and the woman becomes a useless shell and must leave public life and hide her unsightly, wrinkled body from the light of day and the eyes of men and fertile women.
How to care for it: Ladies: except for this blog post, it’s best to not think at all about caring your uterus, because thinking is hard and we’d rather you just go make some babies, thanks! If you’re a man, you’re the one who should be doing the thinking about uteruses for women, because, you know, reasons, but not TOO much thinking, because it’s gross.
So, gentlemen, here are the things you should know about caring for uteruses in some detail but no too much detail because EWWWWWW (Ladies, go bake something or scrub a dish, okay?):
-Women may complain of cramps when they get their periods (that’s the thing where the baby is flushed out through the Service, remember?), but they are lying and it’s all in their heads. Make sure you dismiss any complaints of discomfort, excessive bleeding or pain, dizziness, depression or other symptoms with verbal disparagement, or, if you’re pressed for time, an elegant eyeroll. How else are you going to get us to stop whining about made-up shit? Of course, even though we women are making up these symptoms, we are always bitchy and emotional on our periods, so you should make sure you take that into account when deciding whether or not we get that new corner office or pay raise!
-Uteruses are magic–they always work perfectly, especially during pregnancy, so women definitely don’t need accessible, affordable healthcare to stay healthy before, during, or after gestation, and any time off from work is just laughable! You may hear some rumors that uteruses sometimes “miscarry,” which is a fancy term for murdering the Unborn(TM) because the uterus-haver (aka “mother”) offended her god or didn’t cover her mouth when she coughed or looked at a fish or something. This does happen, and when it does you should make sure to shame the uterus-haver for not having seen this coming or made better choices or prayed harder! Uteruses also never allow babies of rape to be conceived, so don’t worry–if your teenage daughter comes to you sobbing saying her teacher forced himself on her and now she’s pregnant, you know that she was ACTUALLY asking for it, because if it was REALLY rape her body would have shut that whole thing down.
-Women cannot make decisions about their own uteruses, guys. We just can’t be trusted to figure this stuff out, so please, make sure you pass laws at every opportunity limiting our access to services that could help us make decisions about our uteruses, from pregnancy to birth control options, while also cutting benefits for families and children who are disadvantaged. Really, it’s all you can do to prevent us from running amok and just uterus-ing all over the place with our period blood (EW!) and independent thoughts! Thanks 🙂
What it all means: Okay, ladies, you can come back out of the kitchen and join us again! Here’s the crux of it–a uterus is the most important thing a woman can have, with the possible exception of BOOBS (TEEHEE!). The uterus is the core of a woman’s being, and if you don’t use it to procreate, well, you best not be having any sort of sex (TEEHEE!) because sex is only so that the sperm can come through the Service and give souls to the Unborn(TM). If you are having sex (TEEHEE!) and not getting pregnant, you’re basically a murderer. If you are a lesbian, well, that’s just a phase, and you’re a murderer by omission. If you are celibate, well, why are you such a frigid bitch?, and also you’re a murderer. If you want to get pregnant and can’t because of medical issues, well, what did you do in a past life to deserve this, and why are you such a poor excuse for a woman? Stop whining and wasting so much money on IVF! Why don’t you just adopt!? Oh, and also, you’re a murderer.
Next steps: Now that you’ve learned everything there is to know about uteri (yes, the above text contains all the information you’ll ever need to know), first things first: you’re welcome. Secondly, go use this info, guys and gals! If you’re a guy, make sure to spend all your time and energy legislating uteri for their own good, and if you’re a girl, well–is your baby coming down the straw yet? If so, time to get gestating!
Shameful uterus-haver who has not had a baby, this post is all a lie, WHY AM I EVEN ALIVE,
Please leave your comments below, unless you are a GOP legislator or the ghost of Antonin Scalia. And if you have a spare five bucks, in all seriousness, Planned Parenthood is a wonderful organization.
Dear Higher Power,
I know you haven’t heard from me in a while, but I try not to bother you unless it’s, ya know, serious. Thanks for being a sport, and…prepare yourself.
I’ve been grappling with something big recently; a spiritual struggle that transcends any I’ve known before. I’ve been asking myself a question, and no matter how I plumb the depths of my soul and mind, I cannot answer it. Do you know, Higher Power?
Do you know what happens to my tote bags when I die?
For years, I didn’t give the presence of tote bags in my life a thought. Before college, they weren’t even a factor. If you went to the grocery store, your purchased items went into a bag (“paper or plastic?”), and you took the bag and brought it to your car and then your house and then the paper bags became recycling bags and the plastic bags became liners for your tiny bathroom waste basket. It wasn’t uncommon to have a drawer chock full of plastic Stop-N-Shop bags, just waiting to be filled with tissues and tampon wrappers, or to be vomited into after a really bad night at the dive bar.
And then, overnight, or so it seemed, things changed. “Would you like to purchase an eco-friendly tote bag for $1.95?” the cashier asked one day, her cheerful gaze barely masking contempt at my obvious hesitation. Why would I buy a canvas tote bag when the plastic one provided by the store was free, I wondered? But then I looked into her eyes, and knew that $1.95 plus tax was a small price to pay to avoid the shame of being publicly labeled as against the environment by Cheryl at the organic Co-op in the Financial District in NYC. “Yes, please!” I said, handing over my debit card and grasping the hefty canvas tote–to the cashier’s obvious approval and relief.
Suddenly, the cheerful offer to purchase a tote bag with every grocery trip became more sinister: “Do you need a bag today, or did you bring your own?” I was horrified to discover that it was now expected that I bring my own tote bags to the grocery store, so as to save the environment. If I didn’t, I was irresponsible, callous, even discourteous. Unplanned stops at the grocery store caused extreme shame as I babbled my excuses to the unimpressed baggers: “Oh, I was just out for a run, and then I realized I needed some milk. Usually I bring my own bags! I have tons of them at home, I promise, it’s just this once!”
It was never just this once, and the baggers knew it–and they showed their disappointment in their scowls.
But the truth was, I did have tons of tote bags at home! The drawer that once contained crumpled masses of plastic was now brimming with yards of canvas covered with the logos of every grocery store in NYC. And yet, I could never remember to bring an empty tote with me at all times in case I needed to make an unscheduled purchase–earning me the wrath not only of grocery employees but of my fellow customers at well. “Someone forgot their bags, hmm?” the lady in the fur coat would ask, apparently unaware of the existence of the word “irony.”
Then, after a move back to San Francisco, my tote bag shame became codified into law: California taxes 10 cents per a paper bag at the grocery store, which you can of course avoid if you bring your own. My tote bag collection, which had diminished during the packing process, was sorely lacking, so I slowly built it back up again, with totes from every establishment in the city gracing the floor of my coat closet: Whole Foods. Trader Joe’s. Burger Urge. That Store With The Fifty Dollar White T-Shirts. Even Walgreens, for Christ’s sake.
And here is where my spiritual crisis began to arise. What the FUCK, I asked myself as I selected two of my favorite tote bags, so chosen for their wide, sturdy handles, for a trip to the local market, is going to happen to all these damned tote bags when I die?
The purpose of these multi-purpose bags is to save the environment, but when I die, whether it’s six years from now or sixty, won’t my friends/family/children/pets/landlords just want to throw these things the fuck out? Should I provide for their distribution in my will? Will a crafty friend have them made into a really uncomfortable and ugly commemorative quilt? Will my great-great-grandchildren be showing my tote bags to their kids in a far distant future where they all live on the starship Enterprise? Behold, these are the tote bags of your ancestor, who lived before the advent of warp speed and universal health care; treasure them always! If they are thrown out, do they compost? Or will they just add to a giant landfill somewhere? And if they are thrown out, then what was the point of anything?
What was the point of anything?
WHAT WAS THE POINT OF ANYTHING?
Is it all a lie, Higher Power? Am I really helping the environment? Or is it all a conspiracy funded by Big Tote, and are all my canvas bags destined to choke poor, innocent dolphins in the ocean? What is the answer, HP? WHAT HAPPENS TO MY TOTE BAGS WHEN I DIE?
As always, thanks for your consideration, Higher Power. I’d like to hear back on this before Tuesday, when I’m planning on going to the grocery store. Whole Foods is offering a 2-for-1 deal on Spring-themed canvas tote bags with every purchase, and I’d like to know ahead of time whether I’ll be wasting my money or damning my soul and the fate of the human race for all eternity.
Peace, love, and tote bags,
Please leave your thoughts in the comments, like and share if you enjoyed, and if you need a tote bag, just come by my place and I can probably hook you up.
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:
- Yoga pants/shorts
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.
I am feeling tired and achy from some ill-advised yoga and a healing foot–much like any normal human feels after a trip to Ikea, and I is for Ikea, so…here we are.
Wow, this A-Z challenge gets harder each day because the ALPHABET IS SUPER LONG, APPARENTLY. I guess that’s why they call it a challenge, huh?
In any case, here are my elevent steps for shopping at that most holy and yet despised of all big box stores, Ikea.
Step 1: Get super fed up with whatever stained area rug/chipped coffee table/disintegrating bookshelf you have been contemplating replacing for six months and prepare to go to Ikea. This is, in some ways, the hardest part of the entire process, because you are voluntarily deciding to go to Ikea. It’s like saying, “Hey, why not visit Hell and/or an all-you-can-eat Vegas buffet today?” You have to book your zipcar, which is inevitably a forty-five minute walk away from your apartment because you waited until the last minute, beg a strong-ish friend to come with you to help wheel those giant shopping carts and load unwieldy boxes into the trunk, and pledge not to eat seventy swedish meatballs or a pound of Ikea fro-yo while you’re there. This step is greatly improved (at least before you GET to Ikea) if you have a strong family member (parent–probably dad, usually a male sibling or cousin) with a free car who can drive you there and do all the heavy lifting.
Step 2: Drive to Emeryville, the Land of Opportunity. This is probably the best part of the process because Emeryville is like the Emerald City of the Bay Area. Not only does it have an Ikea, Target, Best Buy, and every large big box store you can imagine, it also has a Panera (broccoli cheddar soup FTW), PF Changs, and some other Cheesecake-factory knockoffs where you can eat your feelings after the inevitable breakdown that you will experience at Ikea. The hardest part of this step, however, is the drive itself: you have to cross the Bay Bridge, and if it’s not 10:45 am on a Thursday this will be a complete fucking disaster. Bonus points if you somehow manage to take that weird exit onto Treasure Island on the way there and end up driving in circles around the most pointless island of all time trying to get back on the bridge.
Step 3: Enter Ikea and feel a sense of momentary awe followed by dread and cold sweats. The first moment of entering Ikea is great. The vastness of the building seems like a wonderland, a place where anything can happen. Will you find a Bjorkendfjord armchair for fifty dollars? A green plastic Odinthor spatula for fifty cents? WILL YOU BUY SOME GENERIC YET APPEALING CANVAS PRINTS OF MAJOR US CITIES FOR YOUR LIVING ROOM WALLS? Then, as you enter the labyrinth of pristine faux kitchens and lofted bed-and-desk combos, the dread sets in: will you ever find the one thing that you need? What if it’s out of stock? What if you spill your meatballs all over your yoga pants in the cafeteria? What if you find Satan in a frozen wasteland chewing Judas, Brutus, and Cassius for eternity behind the dining room sets? WHAT IF YOU CAN NEVER LEAVE?
Step 4: Cry.
Step 5: Choose your items, mark their Swedish names and numbers on the miniature golf score card thing they give you, and go to…THE MARKETPLACE/WAREHOUSE. The Marketplace/Warehouse is the tenth layer of hell Dante never wrote about. Suddenly your four chosen items from above turn into thirty. Who knew that you suddenly needed five new dish towels in various geometric prints? And of COURSE your bedroom needs string filament lights, and a breakfast in bed tray looks nice, and OMG WHAT I HAVE DONE?
Step 6: Have the inevitable tearful argument (or full-on screaming blow-out) with the friend, relative, or romantic partner you brought with you. Please note that the timing on this step is flexible; some people begin their quarreling in the car when they’re lost on Treasure Island, others while choosing their items, and even a few during the loading procedure. No matter when you have the fight, however, be aware that it WILL HAPPEN. IT IS YOUR DESTINY, AND YOU CANNOT ESCAPE DESTINY. If you are alone, substitute a solo mental breakdown during which you are silently derided by the underpaid employees in the bathroom section who augment their meager earnings by feeding off the deep desperation behind your tears.
Step 7: Roll your giant-ass cart to checkout and wait for thirty minutes while screaming four-year-olds run circles around you. Make it forty-five minutes if it’s a weekend.
Step 8: Loading. At this point, you’re thinking, “My God, my God, what have I done? Have I lost my mind? Why didn’t I park closer to the exit? And why has this douchebag with the Uhaul been taking up half the loading zone for forty minutes? WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH HIM! ARE YOU EVEN HUMAN? WHY, JESUS, WHY?”
Step 9: Return trip of mute exhaustion. Knowing that your lives will never be the same, you and your Ikea shopping partner sit in silence on the ride home, each perhaps clutching a paper bowl of Ikea fro-yo as if your lives depended on it, contemplating the final steps in your journey with a horror that is impossible to express. You remember that not only did you purchase three items that require assembly, but realize that you will probably kill yourself dragging those fucking flat boxes up four flights of stairs to your apartment, so you’ll probably never have a chance to put them together anyways. You accept your coming demise and consider calling your loved ones to say goodbye, but you’re too tired, and how will you explain to them that you were killed by a shopping trip to Ikea?
Step 10: Somehow make it home, drag your purchases upstairs, and assemble them. At the end of this process you will stand, triumphant and sweaty, amidst a sea of cardboard fragments and styrofoam confetti and survey your handiwork. You may never speak with your Ikea shopping partner again, but you did successfully assemble your bookshelf. The green spatula accents your faux-granite countertops nicely, and that really is a nicely photoshopped picture of NYC hanging above your fireplace. You did it. YOU DID IT. And now you never have to go to Ikea again. YOU HAVE WON, AND IKEA HAS LOST. YOU ARE A CHAMPION.
Step 11: Two years later, your Tjekfjordbjorgen nightstand collapses while you attempt to place a glass of water on it. You yell, “FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!” into the void, and, after a few minutes of internal conflict, call the same friend or family member who helped you purchase the nightstand years earlier and ask, “Hey, so you interested in coming with me to Ikea?”
Please tell your own Ikea horror stories in the comments below. It really helps to talk about it, I promise. We can get through this together, guys.
Dear LadyWomen Friends of the Moon Cycle,
It’s 2016, and I, like all women in the US, know that sexism and misogyny are over, thanks to the generations of women (AND MEN, DON’T FORGET THE MEN!) who sacrificed so much to ensure that we are treated equally at school, home, work, and da club. It’s just wonderful to live in such an enlightened age.
Sometimes, though, I wonder–what would it have been like to live in a time when women still suffered from actual discrimination? For instance, did you know that many women in the 19th century were often diagnosed with “female hysteria” in order to prevent them from fully participating in modern life outside the home? Just try to imagine what it would have been like for someone to, say, doubt your qualifications or competency for a job just because you’re a woman! I know it sounds like an impossibility, but it used to happen all the time.
If, like me, you’re interested in taking a walk in the shoes of our ancestors, I have good news for you: even today, certain sexist reactions can be elicited from others if we carefully and intentionally provoke them by engaging in certain outrageous, hysterical female behaviors, listed below. Try them out, and at the end of this experiment you’ll be able to say that you, like generations of women before you, have been called a “hysterical woman.”
Behavior #1: Ask for a raise at work. I know, I know, you would never do this, but it’s worth it for the result. Once your manager explains that you don’t yet deserve a raise despite working twelve hour shifts six days a week for three years, make sure to press the issue, explaining your commitment to the job and the fact that your colleague James makes 30% more than you do in the same position, and he’s only been here for eight months. This should definitely trigger the desired reaction! Your manager will begin by telling you “not to get so upset,” and will express disappointment that you’re not the “hard-working team player” he thought you were. You will then be fired, and that’s when your manager will exhort you to “not get hysterical” as you sob while packing your family photos in a cardboard box with security hovering nearby.
Behavior #2: Discuss your field of study, area of expertise, or job with a man. This one is tricky, because you have to engage with the man and push back to tease out the correct response. Here’s an example conversation–hopefully you’ll be able to figure out exactly when the woman’s behavior becomes hysterical enough to warrant reproach.
Joe: Hi, nice to meet you. I’m Joe, I’m an accountant!
Laura: I’m Laura, I’m a–
Joe: Accounting is really fascinating; I do tax accounting. Do you need your taxes done? I could show you how!
Joe: Oh, a doctor, huh? Let me guess, you’re one of those “ladyparts” doctors, right?
Laura: Actually, I specialize in nephrology, which is–
Joe: Oh, yeah, I know all about that. My uncle is a doctor. He told me I would have made a great doctor. So you check for skin cancer and stuff, right?
Laura: No, that’s a derm–
Joe: See, if I were going to be a doctor, I’d go for something really hardcore, like kidney transplants or something. Or–
Laura (annoyed): I do specialize in kidney transplants! A Nephrologist is a kidney specialist!
Joe (throws up hands, backs away, defensive): WOAH WOAH WOAH! NO NEED TO GET HYSTERICAL, HONEY!
Behavior #3: Express a genuine emotion. This one is great because it applies anywhere–at work, school, and even in relationships! For instance, when your partner stays out until 2 a.m. drinking without answering his phone or telling you where he is and you think he’s dead, tell him with tears in your eyes how worried you were, and you’ll be a “hysterical bitch” within minutes! If you’re walking down the street to yoga class, show genuine anger when a man tells you he’d like to lick whipped cream off your tits, and you’ll be “a hysterical crazy whore” instantly! And at work, if you intimate any irritation that James from marketing stole your new sales pitch, he’ll immediately tell your boss how “oversensitive” and “pushy” you are, which easily leads to being “hysterical.” Try expressing emotions all over the place and make note of the results in between your horrified sobs.
Behavior #4: Seek medical treatment, especially if you are poor, fat, disabled, or a woman of color. This one works best if your patience has already been pushed to its absolute limit by having your symptoms dismissed by multiple practitioners over a period of several months. If you’re already at your wits’ end, you’ll probably cry when the LATEST doctor dismisses your PMDD and chronic migraines while telling you that you’d probably feel better if you just lost ten pounds–and as you know by this point in the experiment, crying always brings on the “H” word.
Behavior #5: Say things on the internet. There are SO many ways to try this behavior–Facebook, Twitter, even WordPress blogs. Just set up your account, and then type a status message or post, and watch the accusations of hysteria crowd your mentions! If you’re short on time and want to accelerate the process, make sure to comment on one of these topics right off the bat: politics, video games, dating, rape, abortion, food, women’s rights, lgbt rights, discrimination, body positivity, black lives matter, racism, Obama, Jezebel.com, comic books, comic book adaptations, geek culture, trees, clouds, birds, bees, soup, band aids, transgender people peeing.
Behavior #6: Complain that someone called you hysterical. This behavior is best saved until the end of your experiment as a kind of “hysterical-squared” out-of-body rage-inducing experiment. Tell anyone–your mom, your best friend, your coworker, your dog–about being called “hysterical” in any of the situations above, and prepare for the cherry on top of the sexist flashback sundae: “Well, are you sure you weren’t acting just a little hysterical?”
I hope you enjoy the experiment! Just don’t try to write a paper on it, okay? This topic will most likely be denounced as a frivolous exercise and waste of resources, and you don’t want your peers to think you’re being hysterical.
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments, but please, don’t get hysterical.