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A Little Slice of Humble Pie

A natural tendency of mine is to take up for the  underdog. I can’t HELP it. I naturally root for David even though Goliath is the clear favorite. And I mean, it runs DEEP, this need. If my favorite local restaurant is closing down, I rally behind them and don’t barrage readers with “Gah, they totally sucked anyway” nonsense, because you know? THEY’RE ALREADY CLOSING. DON’T KICK SOMEONE WHILE THEY’RE DOWN.

So when I went to get my eye/lip waxed on Saturday, I had a chance.

Everyone rags on Vietnamese nail salons. They do. It’s easy because you know their name is not Julia, although they go by that. They don’t speak the language (well), they gossip about you in a language YOU don’t speak, and whatever. But you can rag on them all you want – you know you still GO there to have your ablutions.

I was quietly waiting in line behind two women who were being waxed at the same time – maybe a mother/daughter? Either way, the lady worked swiftly between them, and they were both out of the chair in a matter of five (maybe ten) minutes. Then they started complaining because the daughter was really, really red.

PER MY STUPID USUAL, I couldn’t keep my mouth shut. The waxer (?) just stood there, blank expression and nodding, and it was clear that she either didn’t understand what was happening or didn’t know how to handle it. And I couldn’t take it, the idea that it was two against one, and I said something.

“Um, ma’am? You’re paying TWELVE WHOLE DOLLARS for a procedure in a NAIL SALON that involves APPLYING SCALDING WAX TO YOUR FLESH. I imagine it would leave you a little red, no? C’mon, now, you can’t blame her for the laws of physics.”

After they huffed off, I sat down in the chair, with my Mother Teresa glow.

And proceeded to get the worst wax OF MY LIFE.

She really WAS awful.

Large chunks of skin missing, pretty sure it was old wax (as my skin has scaled over where it was used), no calming creams offered later, and bits of wax in my hairline and eyebrows.

Sometimes, Goliath TOTALLY has the right to win. And David needs to just shut the hell up.

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Real(ish) People I Don’t Like.

I wish I was one of those people who can just float through life, unfazed by anyone around them. If people are awful, they can just scoff about it and move on.

I wish I am one of those people, but I am not.

I often lose sleep over people I don’t like, and I’ll try and create scenarios in which I could make them see how awful they truly are. Because, let’s face it, I am slightly petty. Also, I watch too much trash tv.

People that I Don’t Like:

Teresa Guidice – Real Housewives of New Jersey

Man, she drives me BONKERS. Look, I don’t demand that everyone who walks the earth be intelligent, but her stupidity is matched only by her evil. She is SO self-centered, and obviously stages so much for the show, and it’s sad to a point but mostly irritating. She just seriously has no idea how terribly she comes across, and she seems to delight in further digging the hole. Most agitating of all is that she has A HOARD of people who love her. WHO CAN LOVE HER?

Robyn – Sister Wives

Robyn rubbed me the wrong way from the get-go. There is something about her that feels deceptive and conniving, and her wide-eyed innocent act only irritates me more. From her childish behavior about her situation (“I think the other wives had trouble looking at my bed I share with Cody” .. um, I didn’t get that at all, crazy lady), to her forced sensitivity to Meri about her pregnancy in the face of Meri’s struggle with infertility, I just plain ole don’t like her.

Ben – American Horror Story

I know that we’re supposed to hate Ben, but JEBUS. Ben, could you wise up? Even just a little? Or – I don’t know – MOVE YOUR FAMILY OUT OF THE HAUNTED HOUSE? Who would STAY in that house? Who? Ben, look. I’m going to need more of you naked if we’re to continue down this path. Also, be nicer to the burned guy, cause he cracks my shit up.

Kyle – Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

Kyle has been quite the awful lady this season. I didn’t mind her last season, although I thought she takes herself fairly silly as the leader of the Mean Girls. This season, we’re watching her regress to 7th grade lunchroom behavior, and I don’t like it. She had a problem with a 4 year old boy peeing on the grass at a pool party, and she WILL NOT LET IT GO. Kyle, honey, your youngest daughter is naked most of the time. GLASS HOUSES, DEAR.

Nick Lachey – The Sing-Off

I love the Sing-Off, but Nick makes me not to want watch it anymore.  While the judges’ table is admirably staffed with people well-qualified to participate, Nick is .. well. I don’t know why Nick is there, frankly. His badly-scripted jokes come off flat and he waffles between looking stoned and terrified when it’s his turn to talk. It’s uncomfortable, as it was last season, and I don’t know why we’re still letting it happen. Brian Dunkleman would’ve been a good fit.

Alright, I know I’ve missed someone. Shall we dish on the list above, or do you have someone new to add?

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A Personal Gripe

So I mentioned how, last week, I was in an accident. I didn’t talk much about it, because of pending yadda yadda, but BASICALLY, it amounts to the other driver driving erratically and not using a signal.

I’ve noticed this A LOT lately. Look, I understand that if you’re alone on a deserted road in the middle of the night, maybe a turn signal isn’t warranted. But you know? If you’re in a heavily populated area with tons of cars around, is it so much trouble to move your left hand six inches?

I think it stems to a greater problem with our generation as a whole: this sense of entitlement. I’m going to go there, and I shouldn’t HAVE to tell you about it. Because it’s my god-given right. But see, it’s NOT. That’s why turn signals aren’t options on cars. They’re REQUIRED BY LAW.

So if you decide to make ANY resolutions on being a better person in the near future, maybe this isn’t such a bad place to start: use your turn signal.

(If for no other reason than it covers your ass in an accident.)

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I Wish I Could Turn It Off.

Swistle wrote an amazing piece about the Grocery Store Guessing Game, about how some of us – either consciously or unconsciously – gaze into a stranger’s cart at the grocery store and try to assume their life by the contents of the buggy.  And it’s amazing, what we all assume by a buggy or by other circumstances – school drop-offs, bus stops, coffee houses – and how often we never know the whole story.  How could we, right?

Man, I am horrible about this.  A lot of it is Mommy Guilt associated, because I naturally assume that no one has it as hard as Working Mom/ME.  Especially Perfectionist Working Mom.  Geez, she is quite the stickler and it is NOT an easy road for her.  So you ladies who lunch are CLEARLY shirking your duties.

(But you’re not.  PEOPLE HAVE TO EAT.  I could eat too, if I really really wanted to.)

See?  I judge.  I judge, usually with a SNAP!, and BOOM! it’s solidified.

I work on it, I really, really do.  But I’m not always successful.  And I’ve been on the receiving end of it.

I’ve been assumed the mother of children who aren’t mine.  Before I was even a stepmom, I often took care of a friend’s little boy.  He had light hair and he was youngish, and people ALWAYS assumed he was mine. 

I’ve been assumed to be a master chef.  Sure, I like to cook.  That does not – as my family will hurriedly assure you – guarantee that everything I make will be a masterpiece.  Or even edible. 

I’ve been assumed to be a diva.  Um, I am a perfectionist.  With OCD.  But I am not rude and I am not dishonest and I am not unwilling to work for the perfection.  Also, I’m a lot of fun.  Divas are the opposite of all this.

I’ve been assumed to be skinnier. An ex-coworker of mine, who had moved across the country with his job, keeps up with the blog and we got to chatting online one night and he saw a recent picture of me.  “You used to be way skinnier,” he said.  “The way you talk about exercise and nutrition, I assumed ..” Thanks, man.  Back atcha.

But as much as these happened, I still can’t not judge.  I WISH I COULD TURN IT OFF, but I can’t.  And when I hear a SAHM talk about how she has no time.. and her only child is in school, you know, for 7 periods a day .. my head explodes.  EXPLODES.  Especially when 1) what a gift! to be able to stay at home! WOULD LOVE THAT GIFT! and 2) MAYBE LAY OFF OF THE FACEBOOK.  Look, I’ll admit that I’d probably be a lousy SAHM – not that I wouldn’t love the opportunity to prove that theory – but I know (KNOW!) that I’d be rocking the time-management aspect.

Anyway.  I had no point to this.  Go visit Swistle and talk about snap judgements you’ve made based on circumstances, or if you’ve had one made about you.

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Sweet Home.

I have written and rewritten this post time and time again.  I’ve debated not writing it.  I’ve debated writing it and closing comments.  I’ve debated about every way from Sunday and I think the best way to approach it is .. well, honestly, and without reservation and the disclaimer that:

I swear to all that’s holy, if you leave a comment on this post that’s inflammatory or awful or non-value-added or I just plain don’t like, I’m deleting it.  Straight up, no bones about it.  Welcome to the glory of my blog.

Recently, there was some discussion about a cake at a blogger’s conference being racist.  Go ahead; read that sentence again.  Read it twice.  You won’t find any deeper meaning or any hidden agenda in there; it was literally about a baked good being considered racist.  A cake featuring two unicorns – one black and one white – rearing up to eachother.  Yep, that was the basis of the conversation.

In my typical fashion, I laughed at the kerfluffle for a little bit, but SIX HOURS LATER, the internet (at least my little knothole in it) were STILL talking about it.  So I took my usual stance – let’s point out how incredibly STUPID all of this is.  I’m going to patent this, I think, but my recommendation during these types of things is to turn to your significant other – one who is, presumably, not as entrenched as you are – and explain what you’re mad about.  Dude, you will feel SO STUPID as the words leave your mouth.  Let’s take this as an example, shall we?

Bryan: Why are you huffing over there?
Me: They’re arguing about a racist cake!
Bryan: .. say what?
Me: A .. ca.. a racist cake.  But I want them to stop – the Bachelorette is on!  We must discuss THAT!

A tweet of mine was retweeted.  Since I was in a locked account at the time, only approved users can see my tweets, so she asked my permission to retweet it and I agreed.  My tweet said, and I quote, “IT’S AN EFFING CAKE.  LET THAT SHIT GO.”  I still stand behind this.

The next morning, I woke up to a response from a user I didn’t know and doesn’t follow me.

 

I .. what?  You see the Alabama coming out in me?  What?

I didn’t understand – honestly, I didn’t – so I went back to see if I used “y’all” or something.  I use Y’ALL a lot, so I figured maybe ..? .. that was the Alabama coming out?  That I was southern?  But that wasn’t it.  I went back and read the rest of her timeline and saw how she was going off about southerners.  And racism.  OVER A CAKE, MIND YOU.

So here’s my plight.  I’ve just been accused of being racist because I’m 1) white and 2) live in Alabama. (And, apparently, don’t like arguing about cake.) This .. doesn’t seem fair.  Like, at all.  I don’t know this person, but she’s apparently a well-read blogger.   One who just named me racist over a 140-character sentiment.  ABOUT CAKE.

As a white girl who lives in Alabama, I am allowed no valid argument against this accusation.  I have none.  I learned this back when I wrote a post for MamaPop about Christopher Reeve being named in a tell-all expose as having had an affair with a gay porn star.  “Ewww,” my post surmised, “a porn star, Christopher?  But you’re supposed to be MY boyfriend!”  And I was slandered every way from Sunday as a homophobe. 

But that wasn’t what I said, I countered.
You’re straight, they argued, you clearly hate gay people.  It’s in your TONE.
I don’t hate gay people!,
I stammered. I know LOTS of gay people. Do you want their phone numbers?
That’s like saying you have black friends,
they argued. It doesn’t mean you’re not racist.

Well, SHORT OF ME BEING A LESBIAN, WHAT CREDENTIALS DO YOU REQUIRE OF ME?

Is that just how it is?  That because I’m different than you, I must be in attack mode?  That I must be the enemy?  Do you think that everyone advocating your cause is EXACTLY like you?  Or is it possible.. maybe just possible.. that someone different than you doesn’t think you’re wrong because of your difference?  Or more likely, hasn’t even noticed or given weight to your difference?

It’s the same argument in race.  I cannot help the fact that I was born white.  And I choose to live in Alabama.  The Alabama I choose to live in is NOT what you see in The Help, by the by.  We are integrated, and we have an incredibly diverse population.  I’ve traveled, and I’ve SEEN racism.  By the way, it’s always been north of here that I’ve seen blatant and ugly racism.

But because I am white, I am not allowed to defend myself.  It doesn’t matter that my father lived in the projects of Montgomery and marched for the end of segregation.  It doesn’t matter that I work and live in a community that is a colorful tapestry – not even just black and white – and that we have a lot to be proud of.  It doesn’t matter that I don’t see color.  Because those are just words, right?  BUT THAT’S ALL I HAVE.

In her defense, I was offered an apology for that.  As if, you know, calling someone a RACIST in ALABAMA can just be erased with a fleeting apology.  Which – IF I MAY JUST SAY – is a comment that insinuates more racism and ignorance than any comment I made to deserve it. 

The question comes out any time something like this surfaces online Why can’t we just talk about race? and the answer is THISTHIS IS THE ANSWER.  Because slander is thrown, assumptions are made, and people like me?  People like me who are – assumably, I guess, because of my color and locale – most in NEED of an education for tolerance and acceptance and race relations?  ARE IMMEDIATELY CORNERED AND LABELED.  Because if I say ANYTHING .. ANYTHING AT ALL .. I am immediately slammed against a wall and told that I am the racist one.  Because my Alabama is showing.

My Alabama?  Was showing after the April tornadoes.

My Alabama? Is nationally recognized for intelligence.

My Alabama? Is recommended for raising families.

These, of course, are just words.  You’d have to come here for yourself to see it and deem it true.

But y’all, we’d love to have you.  Doesn’t matter your color or your economic bracket or your religion or any of that.  We’d love to have you here.  We’ve got a glass of iced tea waiting for you .. we’ll even let you choose sweet or unsweet .. and we’d love to sit with you and watch the sunset.  Because we are still the small-town heart, but we have big open arms.

It is NOT 1960 here.  My Alabama is showing daily, and you know what?  I’m damn proud of it.

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