Sexist interactions. The not new normal.

Ah, sexist anecdotes, I can’t hear enough of them. Super please yes yay! And the people who are so generous as to bend your ear with them? Salt of the earth. Nobody enjoys a women vs. dogs comparison more than I do. As humor goes, it’s almost as intellectually-advanced as a good blonde joke.

Damn Machine

It’s not that our washing machine officially turned in its resignation. It’s more that we called it in for its performance review, gave it specific areas for improvement, and realized it wasn’t listening to one word we said but was playing with its instrument panel instead. Damn machine. So we hired a mentor to come in and make some critical tweaks to Sgt. Suds before things became dire, and we murdered it in the wee hours of the morning (when the Sarge sleeps).

The Sexist Washing Machine Mentor

The washing machine mentor (this is a real job title on LinkedIn – don’t quote me on that) arrives and the first brief interaction I have with him is when he calls me Mom which….

Get Out Movie GIF

Listen, sir, I’m wrestling with enough demons trying to figure out who I am these days without you immediately reducing me to a label. And only one label at that. Damn. Also, and yes, this sounds cruel, but to you I should be Daughter. Enjoy your day. I was enjoying mine until you threw me back into a morass of inner turmoil and self-doubt.

Women and Dogs Anecdote

So dude comes in to begin the mentoring, looks at me and then at Matthew and his brain fills with a genius idea.

I’ll paraphrase because my brain has already reached for the bleach to begin the memory wipe.

Mentor, while looking at me: Remember, this is something I was talking to another man about.
Me: …
Matthew: …
Mentor, not reading the room: Why aren’t women as glad to see men as dogs are after a long day? If you locked a woman and a dog in the trunk, which one would be wagging their tail glad to see you when you let them out?
Me, turning and exiting the room: …
Matthew, realizing he’s now stuck with fool supervision: …
Mentor, still not reading the room is pretty entertained with himself: I work hard all day. I asked my wife will you wag your tail for me?

Matthew tried to get him to work more and talk less since talking wasn’t doing him any favors, and I think it’s possible even Matthew’s patience began to fade at the end. He’s super patient, unlike me, so that’s not an easy thing to accomplish.

I will close by recommending this movie I really enjoyed. Don’t expect this to deliver as some sort of treatise but as more of a shallow dive to inspire a greater and more inclusive exploration.

The March of the Ants

Did you know that was the precursor to March of the Penguins? It just wasn’t as compelling so, you know, no green light for that script. Fine. I’m lying. I contend it was actually March of the Giant House Centipede, although the penguins would never have made it to the pitch room in that case. Why, you ask? Because the House Centipede is a creature built for nightmares, people. Those babies are really damn attention-grabbing and would make perfect villains for a horror film. I can tell you from experience because my heart rate still hasn’t returned to normal. From this morning. Which was many, many hours ago. Eeek!!! My skull resident just supplied me with another flashback of that giant fella strolling (strutting!) like he owned the place (which he very nearly did had my son not been home still). There is a pest body size at which any bug, upon gaining entrance into my home and appearing to be at or nearly of this obscene size, is awarded property ownership as far as I’m concerned. Do you want my domicile? You got it, Stanley. The dishwasher was just emptied so you can load it. Also, the clothes in the dryer need to be folded. Oh, also, Lexi (dog) needs to be fed. Wait, nevermind. I’m taking her with me. Since she’s a lab, she’ll certainly consume you, and you’re sure as hell bound to be comprised entirely of poison, you evil beast.

Do you see that guy?!? I was in the kitchen (WHERE PEOPLE ARE MEANT TO PREPARE AND CONSUME FOOD) and that nausea-inducing beast was suddenly just there in my periphery. I registered this giant area of concern, turned to determine whether this thing was a threat, and immediately began simultaneously yelling, hyperventilating and gesturing at my son, who just looked at me completely baffled. Clearly I need to have his peripheral vision checked. Finally I was able to make words. Then I was able to make words start to form sentences. And then the coherent sentences came to me. It was this, “You have to kill that now. It’s your job. You’re a dude.” I’m not proud of myself, you guys. I’m a sexist pig. I’m working on it. But he said he’d kill it as long as I disposed of the body, and a frantic (on my part) verbal agreement was struck. I’m happy to say the carcass is long gone.

I know that this was supposed to be about the ants. I remember. Barely. So, about that. I was fighting an ant parade this morning. It was kind of festive, really. Until I put out some temporary housing for them (picture follows) which was less festive for them. It was a bit like a pick a favorite and see how long that one holds out before entering one of the traps game for me. But that House Centipede, you guys. Once he made his cameo, my brain pretty much began drooling and searching for crayons, a coloring book and a stuffed animal for comfort.

Yes. There are four of them. But look. They were everywhere! I didn’t want them to feel crowded or have to break out into mini ant wars over who got the spoils. “Fellas, there’s room for all of you. Make yourselves at home and don’t forget to bring some of the special poison food back to your buddies back home.”

ICYMI: Just in time for flu season, I got to travel in a germ-tube. So stoked, you guys!

So, look, I’m freelancing and very delighted to be doing so. Don’t get the wrong idea, people. That post title is between me and the germ-tube, and me and the germ-tube ONLY. Hey, germ-tube, “Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!” Anyway, as I made my way through the germ-tube of derision that stood between me and my place of glorious biz (come on, you know that germ-tube is so totally mocking us as it makes us mince ever so slowly through to the other side), I realized it was a splendid time to revisit this post. And here we are.

You won the first round, but it’s not over, revolving security door. OK, you are a machine, and I’m merely a human. So, I guess it’s probably over.

Published on October 15, 2013

The revolving security door at my office rejected me last Friday. It flashed green when I swiped my badge tricking me into entering its little tube of contained crap-air, and then halfway through my journey to the other side, it stopped completely, trapping me with nowhere to go, and started belting out an alarming noise to alert people from miles away that I was unwanted. AND THEN IT REVERSED DIRECTION AND EJECTED ME. In front of a line of 10 waiting people. That dastardly machine lured me into its embrace, then deemed me unworthy and booted me in front of my colleagues. I stumbled dejectedly to the back of the line to wait my next turn, afraid to meet anyone’s eyes while clamping my lips tight against my rebellious mouth that kept wanting to loudly assure everyone that I had indeed bathed today and was most definitely not afflicted with some frightening virus that would soon bring them all to their knees. Then the little shit let me in again the next time I swiped my card and ushered me all the way through when there was no line of people left to witness my exoneration. I got in after it gave me the green light giving it the stink eye during the entirety of my slow shuffle-walk because, you know, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. Anyway, that time I was escorted all the way to the other side. Technology likes to mess with me, I guess. It’s just like Google Maps punking me.
So, to the creator of the revolving security door*, I know what you were up to when you created your little spinning torture chamber. You wanted to mess with certain types of people, didn’t you? My suspicion is that you hate germophobes, claustrophobes and those likely to make stupid mistakes. I am all three of those people, so thank you sir/madam.

  • For example, the germophobes. I happen to be one of those, though I fight it with all my might. And one time I had to follow a coughing and sneezing man into one of those tubes of germy air. I counted the line of people in front of me and guess who got to enjoy his tube when he exited after having his coughing and sneezing fit inside? That’s right, me. It’s not the poor man’s fault. Dude’s sick. He was just trying to get through his work day while dealing with the nasty flu or cold. But before he could start his work day, he got to enjoy a little rotation in his private tube which he filled with sneezes and coughs. I bet he was pretty glad to exit his tube on the other side. And then I got to get in there. I tried to surreptitiously hold my breath. But you would not BELIEVE how slow those damn revolving doors move, and I have the lung capacity of a gnat. My breath ran out about halfway through, and I was forced to choose between presenting the security guard my dead carcass which she would have to drag out of the way so that others could pass, or to just suck it up and suck up the germy air. I chose option B because I love my family, and it seemed like a pretty shitty way for the security guard to start her day. So you’re going to call me a liar, but I got sick a few days later. I’ll give you a moment to call me a liar now. Feel better? But yeah, I really did get sick. Am I sure it was the same virus? Yes. No. Yes! At the very least, it seems a bit suspicious, don’t you think? I shouldn’t have asked you. You aren’t a germophobe. Moving on.
  • Next example, claustrophobes. Clearly I was lucky to be ejected from the revolving security door because it’s obvious that its underlying malicious intent (yes, I’ve now included the door in the conspiracy) is to mess with people who are claustrophobic by trapping them mid-cycle and letting them panic in their little see-through tube while bystanders point and stare. I suppose you, sir or madam creator, described the reason for trapping an unauthorized person in mid-spin was so that they could be interrogated by security personnel as to their nefarious plans. Ah, but then why did your little trickster door flash green and admit them entry in the first place? If they are an unauthorized person, shouldn’t your little invention have stopped them? Huh? Huh? You’ve got no answer to explain that one, do you? I’ve exposed your vicious purpose.
  • And finally. The last group of people. Those likely to make stupid mistakes. That’s me. Those little tubes are of course meant to be single occupancy. Yes, I know this. But my attention can wander. Particularly when I’m talking to someone, and we are having an entertaining conversation. And maybe that person has a bit of a wicked streak. I don’t blame that person. I have a bit of a wicked streak, too. And let’s say I’m talking to that person, and I wander into a tube with a gentleman and things get a bit awkward as the tube is quite overloaded with the two of us. And I find myself spooning him. And if I was that other person with whom I was conversing, would I try and stop my friend from entering the tube? I most certainly would not. You do not interfere with a situation such as this when the result is going to provide you with side-splitting laughter for years. I’m laughing so hard I’m tearing up as I type this, and the embarrassment I experienced as a result of it was off the charts. Anyway. I’ve blocked some of this incident out, but I’m certain that the doors blared their alarms, and the poor man and I were forced to exit. Still sorry, sir! And I’m certain we were able to make our way through again successfully the next time. I also feel certain that the man gave me a wide berth every time he saw me after. I know I would have. But I would imagine that sir or madam designer of the revolving security door may have foreseen some of these types of situations and thought, “I cannot WAIT to visit this kind of misery on people.”

So, now here I am. Dueling with this revolving security door. Who do you think is going to win this battle? Exactly. I have no chance. That stupid door is going to mess with me, and there’s nothing I can do about it, because now it has my badge code.

*Yes, I know I can google it. I did a little sleuthing, and I found it all started with a German man who invented the revolving door and got no glory. Then, some Philadelphia dude did it because he hated holding doors because he’s lazy as all hell. But the security part came later of course, and I think that is the key component to all this madness. Then, I lost steam and here we are with sir/madam.

Yowza, people. It’s been all kinds of real around here lately.

So the past month has been fairly interesting around these parts. To put it mildly. I’m not going to go into details, because privacy, yo!, but all that MONTH-OF-CRAY explains why posting has been light. Or nonexistent. Those are synonyms, right? So, anyway, this is going to be one of those random posts that is impossible to follow. Good luck to you, and may the odds be ever in your favor.

  • Spiders: OK, I’ve been tweeting about these little fuckers for a couple of weeks now. The webs. So many webs. And I don one of them daily, despite my evasive maneuvers, which means that I’ll begin the search for the artisan that created my new layer while trying not to appear as panicked as I am on the inside. I detest spiders. And, look, I know I’ve talked about my hair. You’re sick of it. You’ve been sick of it. Hell, I’m sick of it. But this mass of mane means that any arachnid that makes its way up there is getting a free ride around town for a long while because I’m never finding that bastard. It’s going to have to get washed out in the shower.
  • I tried to sneak in my first f-bomb up there. I’m guessing I made a couple of you unhappy, and I’m sorry about that. Let’s address profanity right here and now, shall we? I’ve been thinking about some personal stuff over the past month, and I realized that I’m not being as authentic as I need to be here. I use a lot of profanity up in my headspace. My brain….well, in addition to being wildly strange, unorganized, and extremely hard to predict, she’s got a mouth on her. And I don’t really care one way or the other because they’re just words to me. I have a whole post about words, and the banning of certain words, and blah blah blah….shut up already, woman. Words are important. Really, really important. But the intent behind the words is the key. So, when you see an f-bomb sneak in from time to time and you’re offended, please do me a favor. Just move your glance on to the next word. Know that my intent is not to offend. It’s just a word to me. A seasoning. That I use playfully. And I’m not judging you for being offended by it because there are plenty of words that I don’t like that might seem ridiculous to you. Ladies. Mancave. Playdate. The phrase: make love. I’m weird. Extremely weird. So, you do you. I’ll do me. And I promise to keep the profanity to a minimum.
  • My brother played in a band called Hoax Hunters. Their latest release is called Clickbait. You need to listen to it.
  • I’m getting extremely anxious for some of my favorite shows to just start already. House of Cards. Better Call Saul. It’s Always Sunny. Broad City. The Americans. Homeland is not enough. And The Affair is not good. I’m spending the entire show waiting for Joshua Jackson to appear. That’s not a good sign.

OK. That’s enough for now. Happy Halloween, people.

I should probably stop texting people. Or maybe interacting with them, period.

When you get a bad review from one person, you know enough to discount it. Maybe a second person echoes the sentiment. You think, “Hmmm, I’ve heard that before. Thanks for your input. I’ll take it under advisement.” But when you hear similar statements from more than two people? It’s a bit hard to dismiss what they’re saying. Therefore, it appears that I’m not so good with the texting. Which is odd. Everything’s fine by me. Sure, I appear to be having an entirely different conversation than the person on the other end. But at least it’s a sociable event. And I think it’s nice to have that quality time. Maybe no progress is being made, if there’s progress to be made. But whatever. I don’t often have an agenda when I’m texting people. It’s more of a “Hello.” Or as verbose, random and rambling as I tend to be, it’s more of a “Hello. How are you doing today? I’m fine. I saw a turtle on my walk today. It was walking. The turtle, that is. Slowly. The turtle was walking slowly. I was walking fast. I think I’ll have some watermelon. Did you see Focus? I love Will Smith. That man is all kinds of hot. It’s probably time for a browser cleanse since I can’t find that juicing article I bookmarked anywhere. Do you find cheese to be a weird food? What I mean is that sometimes you feel fine after eating it, and sometimes you just feel like you want to launch a grenade at your stomach and be done with the whole thing?” Yeah. That’s a mess for anyone to attempt to untangle. And that’s about what it’s like. It’s actually worse, if I’m honest. Matthew says that I’m famous for starting a conversation in mid-stream leaving him completely in the dark as to what I’m talking about. For example, when we received our tickets to the DMB concert, I texted Matthew to let him know that we were all set. Except it was more like I texted him to tell him this long story about my interaction with the FedEx guy and his opinions about DMB and concerts in general. And the text conversation started like this: “Knock on the door. When I opened the door, I couldn’t help myself and I said, “Yay, our DMB tickets.” And he said, “Yeah, you never hear about them anymore. They’re not popular anymore.” Somebody’s a sourpuss, huh? 😏” Matthew was like, “Whuh?” Because, context, and end result = DMB tickets? But I was more interested in telling my story about the conversation that the FedEx fellow and I shared than in actually sharing any useful information. And I know this to be true in other interactions as well, since I’ve heard this from other people, too. I have no idea why I do this, but I’m helpless to stop it. I do it on the phone as well. People call me. I answer the phone with some sort of sentence that NEVER begins with the polite and customary Hello that people expect. It’s typically an enthusiastic launch into a topic of my choosing which is unfortunate for the person who has called me with their own topic already in mind. And they can’t really derail me to address the topic they’ve already picked for discussion as I’m almost manic with purpose. It’s bound to feel rude to squelch that kind of enthusiasm. I think I’m already an eccentric old person. And I’m not old enough to be eccentric. Wait. When does eccentricity hit anyway?

It’s another rambler. I won’t say verbal vomit again. Merde!

The last post with no real purpose served me well because I wanted to get some junk out of my head that was taking up real estate, so I’m doing it again. But this isn’t going to be a habit. I’m reasonably certain. You, however, should be pretty certain I’m lying.

Here come the bulleted items, people! Yay.

  • Federer is out of the French. However, Nadal is also out of the French. So, I’m going to call this even because Nadal is still holding at 14. Why do I care anymore…..?<sigh>
  • The French Open has prompted me to curse in French. Blame all the French tweets that I’d sit and try to decipher while standing in line for something over the course of the tournament. I have no idea why I was compelled to use Twitter as my source for updates. I think I was enjoying the chance to test my French again, and so many of the tweets were in French. Of course it just reminded me of how little I remember.
  • Topamax is still having fun with me. It, in cahoots with my brain (that evil, gelatinous monster), substituted taciturn for succinct. They embarrassed me with a clear misuse of laying/lying. Then, there was the incident where Cheerios became Cheerycane. That was a head scratcher because at least it’s usually a word. A real word. And not like the words I use on this blog that I’m clearly creating on the fly and taking ridiculous liberties with because that’s how I roll. Anyway, they made me drop about 8 gabillion f-bombs at St. Vincent last night, which wouldn’t be a problem (It’s a concert!) but there were teen fans everywhere. I should be above the f-bomb when the kiddos are around. I’m not going to pretend for a minute they weren’t dropping their own, but theirs aren’t as exuberant as mine. Plus, every time the artist uses one during concert commentary, and you hear their astonishment followed inevitably by cries of WOOHOO!!, you know you need to tone your bombs down for the new ears. I mean, come on, you don’t learn to drive a manual on the NASCAR circuit. Did I make that one work? Probably not. I don’t have any NASCAR knowledge. I’m not a very good southerner. However, I do love the SC Lowcountry and grits. And I’m still trying to ascertain whether or not I retain that ridiculous twang that I appear to have sported during my childhood if you believe those cranberry-pancake-serving Nantucket snots in this post.
  • I’m 98% certain my dog is broken in that she is not a dog. She appears to be an amalgam of the following animals:
    • Cat – She is constantly grooming. It’s a very specific grooming, sure, but still! She spends a great deal of the day grooming her paws. And it’s all very feline in nature. It’s not like, “I can smell the grass. I was outside running. Frisbee.” I can’t even really talk about it. It’s faintly grotesque how she goes about it. And I feel like I need to sit down with her and chat about how very gross feet are, but I guess that foot issue is mine. I shouldn’t pass it down to my kids.
    • Sloth – She sleeps about 98% of the day. OK, I’m exaggerating. 80% of the day. Like yellow dog from Funny Farm. But yellow dog was a dog actor playing against type. I mean, really. The dog tried to burn his own damn tail in the pursuit of sweet slumber. I can relate. As I was saying. Lexi is pretty solitary about the whole thing, too. She won’t sleep near her humans. Unless it’s Matthew. I think I hate her. Wait. I think she’s coming. I don’t want her to know I typed that. I love her. But I don’t like her. There. That’s better.
    • Cheetah + Dingo = Cheeto…. Well that name is certainly not going to work. I have no money, Cheeto people. Don’t come after me for that combo. I’ll try again. Cheetah + Dingo = Dingah – She’s really fast. She’ll get into a “mood” and it’s time to scatter. For real. The kids and I will see the hair on her back and tail start to creep up, and know it’s time to seek shelter. Immediately. Drop anything and everything. Let dinner burn and throw it out. Because she’s starting to run, and she’s locking on targets while running. And you can see her crazy eyes. If she sees you, well, you’re just toast. Meditate and reach acceptance. You will find out your fight or flight response has completely stalled, leaving you standing there looking at your new dingah, and you’re not really sure what that animal is capable of. Dingahs can jump very high, by the way. Also, they don’t do things that are scary in the actual sense of injury. It’s just the mental and emotional anguish. The kids and I usually hold little therapy healing events with each other after these “sessions” and we give Lexi a very wide berth for at least a couple of hours lest she unleash a second round. It’s happened, people. Oh, the carnage!

I feel immensely better. My brain hurts ever so much less with that junk ousted.