Relevance

I’ve railed against the side effects of militant feminism several times, but today I’m really feeling it. I’m tired and the truth of the core of my being is fervent, bright, and boiling. I’m just not relevant, and that’s perfectly fine. I have no desire to be. I’m sorry, girlfriends-who-expect-more-of-someone-with-my-personality. I am not special or dynamic, and it’s totally, utterly fine!

So many women are more brave than me. They go into battle daily with trolls, asshats, morons, and other thoughtless grumpy types. They get beat up and give back as good as they get (except with actual rational thought behind it). Me, I’m the diplomat. I try to bring everyone to the table and ask them to sit as long as they’ll be civil. If you’re not civil, you can go to your room.

Which makes me, of course, the mom.

I don’t have kids. I helped raise my sister and to some degree, my brother. As he has Down syndrome, even our little sister helped raise him a bit, too. She is instrumental, I believe, in his behavioural turn around after I left for college. She’s a great kid, and has become an amazing young woman with a bright future in playwriting. I am proud of her.

But I’m…nobody.

It’s ok. I’ve come to terms with this, & in my own brave way, I am perfectly fine with nobodyism. Not everyone needs be a Queen Boudiccea or even a Queen Mum. We should all aspire to be the best that we can be, and what I’ve found is that I am good at making people feel wanted, comfortable, and listened to on occasion. That makes me either a therapist or a wife. We all know what happened to my therapy career (thank God), so that leaves…

‘Cept I’m not married. Meh, minor issue. The fact of the matter is, radical feminism has somehow made women ashamed to be “just a wife” or “just a mom”. We simply have to have it all, or we ain’t nuthin’. Well, as much as I enjoy amusing other people with my writing and tweeting, I find that it’s not necessarily what I want to do as a career. The more people push me to be more relevant, the less fun it becomes, & the less real it feels. It’s not my goal to be relevant (and you’re probably sitting there thinking “Mission accomplished, sister”). It’s my goal to make you happy. That’s it. Just happy.

After a long struggle with the concept of relevance, I now realize I am brave enough to say I don’t care for it. I will support you in your relevance. I will revel in your accomplishments, your accolades, and your influence. I, however, need none of this, and I am not going to be afraid to say it any more. I am not letting down other women by wishing for a quiet life where I support the relevant. There have always been wives, mothers, & friends; the super woman is an artificial construct that some have taken on with magnificence. I’m just, kind of, like, everybody’s wife I ‘spose.

My dear friend once said to me that I seemed to belong to everybody else. I was truly not spending enough time with her, & I didn’t realize it. I also felt I had no time to myself, because it’s important to me to make sure everybody is doing ok. It gets to the point where I get everyone confused, as I’ve taken on quite a few folks in varying levels of psychological need. A person who was honestly very close to me thought I had forgotten about her because I spent so much time making sure everybody got a little piece of me. I’ve since learned that’s an INFJ trait, but it doesn’t excuse the fact that the people close to me deserve my attention as much as complete strangers with seemingly more immediate needs.

Yes, when I’m at work and you are paying me for your undivided attention, the personal life needs to go on hold. But when I’m home, I shouldn’t still be ‘working’ on saving humanity, one lonely, striving soul at a time. However, I’m compelled. So I’ve tried to set aside quality time. Try is the operative word.

This busy silliness is simply a manifestation of my non-wife-itude, I guess. It also generates nothing, earns nothing, except to find out that sometimes, I made someone’s day. That is golden. How much more glorious to be able to start a family’s every day with glowing happiness? How is that silly or irrelevant?

Why is it “less than” to bring peace, comfort, and laughter into people’s lives?

It IS someone’s job to fight the power, and I love the people who take that on. But I’m a caregiver. Bring me your wounds after the fight; I will patch them up. Taking me into battle is like taking a grenade with no pin, though. Who knows where I’ll go off? I’m used to spreading unconditional love; stoke my anger and it’s a hot mess.

I should have slept last night, but physical misery makes us honest. Me, I’m just a girl. Being just a girl isn’t bad. It never was, not even in the 1960s, but you weren’t progressive, smart, or useful if you admitted it. You know what? It’s 2010. I’m a conservative woman, and I’m therefore free to say what I like about my role in the world. I’m not bound by a pseudo-intellectual agenda. It’s ok for me to say I’m just a care givery type, and it’s ok for you to be the total opposite of that. You are awesome. You are awesome in a way people recognize and award. I am awesome, just…smaller.

You don’t have to recognize that, because it doesn’t fit into your definition of “awesome”. It’s ok. Just know that I am proud of you, & I always will be.

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You Are Not Getting Laid. I Can Help.

Oh, people. How I puzzle over your unfortunate choices.

I mean, of course, your godawful lack of style.

I don’t claim to be a style maven. I leave that distinguished title to the amazing and gorgeous Maeko. However, I seem to have a better grasp of it than some, and since I am too classy to walk up to you in person and point out that you look like you wandered too far away from the buffet at a Star Trek convention in Vegas, I am posting my first style blog. You will thank me.

Truth be told, in person I am too busy enjoying your company to be worried about how you look. Then, later on, I think about it, and I want to tweak your togs. It’s just a thing.

One of the frustrating things about being something of a geek is watching other geeks commit fashion atrocities at an alarming rate. Oddly, they tend to be the same fashion atrocities. It’s gotten so that some geeks seem to have created their own unflattering style. This would be just lovely and culturally sound if A. it weren’t exactly as flattering as the burka and B. geeks weren’t trainable. The most amusing part is that the vast majority of you will read this, laugh, and not care because, unlike me, you are married and perfectly happy being an ubergeek with a wardrobe full of thinkgeek.com t-shirts. You have something to teach me in the marriage department.

However, I fully believe that you people, with your memorization of lines from every episode of Buffy and the ability to recall in exact detail each Okudagram from every Star Trek project Mike has touched, can learn style. I know geeks who perfectly blend into norm society and sometimes even excel the norms at their fashion game (see the aforementioned @Maeko). YOU CAN BE HELPED TO STOP LOOKING DUMPY. I love you. I want to help.

So, suck it up for a second and get ready to seriously analyze yourself in a full length mirror. It’s time to sexify you, so that you can get laid by folk other than what you find yourself under at cons. Unless, you know, that’s your thing. Not all of this will apply to everyone all the time, so take what you think will make you scrummyumptious, or ignore it and giggle.

1. Fit is it!

Your clothing MUST fit. There is nothing sexy about a triple X t-shirt, despite the triple X. And no, I’m not criticizing you for being large. If you actually fit into an triple X, wear it. However, many of you buy the triple X, thinking somehow that cotton shrinks down to nothingness, as though the dryer’s sole purpose is to miniaturize items like so much ray gun. This seems to be a serious problem for girl geeks, who hide their bodies under miles of cotton and iron-on logos.

If anything, a girl should go a size SMALLER. The damn thing WILL stretch. Let it stretch! Hello, it’s called Boob Power. You want a discount on that X-Files script or Superman comic? Bring forth your boobs. Don’t get one that’s boy length, either. You don’t want to erase curves from your body. No t-shirt should hit lower than the high hip. The extra material does not make ladies look thinner. And OMFGBBQ wear a goddamned bra. Better yet, get a hot seamless push up bra. Under any t-shirt, even a boxy graphic one, your whole silhouette is improved.

Wear an equally flattering slim fit hoodie or cardigan over this, no big heavy jackets or sweats. Pull your look together in a sassy, ladylike way.  Don’t wear baggy jeans. Make that shit fit! If you’re gonna insist on wearing a boxy con t-shirt, buy it the right size or a size smaller, wash the crap out of it so it softens and fits correctly, and pair with hot jeans. Look like a girl, not a tubby geek guy. Speaking of…

Guys, do not ever, ever tuck in a con t-shirt. You want to hide your ass. You will never succeed in hiding your gut unless you stop wearing con shirts & start wearing button downs with a sport jacket. So if you’re going to do the t-shirt, get it one size larger and let it hang like you’re in a gang. Also? If you are over 23 and still wearing novelty t-shirts, you will never see a vagina anywhere except on your computer.

2. Smell beautiful!

Bathing is imperative, but after bathing, take care to smell yummy all day. Women of the geekly persuasion do tend to have allergies and get migrainey, but you need not head to CVS to pick up the latest thing Britney Spears sweated during a meth bender. You’re creative and interesting; go to an herb or occult shop and browse the essential oils. Find something that speaks to you and dab a tiny bit on your pulse points. You know pulse points from your last vascular check up: ankles, inner thighs, crook of the elbow, neck. Dab a little in the cleavage if you’re not too sensitive. Dab a little on your tummy if you’d like to create a roadmap to ecstasy. Don’t put any on your wrists as it’s a waste; you will wash it off each time you wash your hands.

Pros of essential oils: A. no added weirdness B. tend to be inexpensive C. mix & match to express yourself D. men go freakin’ crazy. Cons of essential oils: Aww, you don’t smell like Kim Kardashian. How will you live?

Pro-tip: My essential oil combo is jasmine and coconut. I smell like a vacation because I want you to relax.

Men: bathe daily. Soap and water, angels. Also? Wash your clothes. After wearing a set of clothes, put them directly in the hamper to be washed again, then actually wash them. A clean body plus dirty clothes = nobody wants to have sex with you, and vice versa. Everything must be clean. It’s symbiosis. You don’t need cologne. Just use soap and water and wash your clothes, and you will be irresistible to womenfolk. Trust me on this.

If you DO think you need cologne, knock yourself out, except don’t knock US out. Remember, we’re full of allergies and migraines. Do not bathe in the cologne. Dab some on your neck and maybe, if you are that cocksure, dab a tad on your femoral pulse points. That’s it. You need it nowhere else; your job is not to smell like flowers. That’s the job of women.

It also helps, folks, if your homes smell beautiful. You know, for when you convince people you want to have sex with to come home with you. Your home should not smell like garbage, cat box, garlic, hamper, mildew, dog, or other weird stale anti-sex smells. Air out the place. Get everything into a dumpster. All fast food bags, with their lingering fried odours, must be eliminated. The bathroom needs to smell like bleach. Your home can be improved with a good quality incense burned at least once a week or the fresh scent of cleaning fluids. You need not use harsh creepy stuff if you have sensitivities, and if you’re like me, get disposable latex gloves from the pharmacy to clean. I’m a huge fan of Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day; everything smells clean, but not chemical-y, and it doesn’t hurt your skin.

3. Yes, Monty Python is awesome. But please stop saying “Ni.” Also retire “Nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more” and your horrible fake English accent. If you bust out an obscure Pythonian reference in casual conversation WITHOUT drawing attention to it, you may score points with some of us. You may even use that technique as a sly way to suss out lady geeks with whom you might freak nasty. I’ve seen suave, hot geek boys do that and it thrills we geek girls to meet their sneaky challenge. Try this. I swear if I hear anything about a shrubbery ever again, I will castrate you. And not verbally like I normally do.

4. Defending Neelix in any way will automatically turn off any hot Trekette woman in the room. Hot women, you know why.

5. We love Firefly. But you are so not Mal or Jayne (see above re: bad English accent for bad Texan accent). You may, one day, reach Wash status, but first you must stop saying “Ni.”

6. Most of you shouldn’t cosplay publicly. Unless you are built exactly like the actor you are portraying, particularly if spandex is involved, please, please consider saving your money and our eyes and just be you. If you absolutely cannot handle attending any geekly function without a uniform, unitard, or unilateral assault of the ocular sense, knock yourself out. Do not, however, expect to get laid.

7.  That thing you are (not) doing with your hair? Why is that? Girls, if you’re going to insist on dressing like a 14 year old boy (and it can be done cute; see above), do cute hair! Don’t just let it hang lank like you don’t care. Braid it. Do bunches. Do Leia buns for Kenobi’s sake! You’re a geek; show some imagination. Men? Wash it and keep it short. You are not Legolas. Also, your facial hair is scary. The pirate look does it for no one.

8. Geek knowledge will only get you laid by other geeks. If you wish to seduce norms, you will have to forgo impressing them with your encyclopaedic recollection of all things Dr. Who. You might actually have to discuss your real job, your political beliefs, your love of cats, or even better, actually ask them questions rather than regurgitating your life story. The caveat is that the norm might be awfully boring to you. In which case, you will figure out that you don’t want to have sex with them, anyway. Win/Win.

9. Being right is not as important as being a friend. As geeks, we are used to thinking we are the brightest people in the room, and we might actually be. However, the people around you that are taking the time to get to know you do not need for you to browbeat them with facts about anything. Discuss, but don’t get didactic. Nobody is turned on by a know-it-all; everybody is intrigued by a patient listener. So none of this “HAH! I totally saw the Peter Bishop thing coming. You are so p0wned! IN YOUR FACE!” Not sexy.

10. Please stop wearing bad shoes. Flip flops, sandals, sneakers that are 39,000 years old…just toss them. If you don’t do a lot of walking (let’s face it, y’all only walk twice a year), what’s so bad about getting cute shoes? Have a pair of Chucks for cons, but pumps for everywhere else. It is shockingly easy to walk in heels as long as you get the right type for your body. If you feel you need something sturdy, get a wedge or a platform loafer. If you are a teensie thing, try a pointy toed stiletto heel. You may feel odd at first, but heels force you to put a wiggle in your walk. Men cannot stop ogling them. Men will help you in and out of things while you wear them. Heels are a girl’s best friend. Since you spend much of your time sitting on the computer or at Denny’s, they will not kill you. Do this for yourself; you will ache the first couple of days, but you will be smiling.

This does NOT mean you need put up with “breaking in” shoes, blisters, corns, or calluses. You should buy shoes that fit properly. It’s perfectly possible to get gorgeous heels that fit you and don’t hurt, as long as you honour your body type, leg and ankle strength, and don’t use vanity to size your shoes. Those 7.5 sneakers you’ve been infecting with bacteria for years will not fit the same as a heel. Keep going up sizes until you can wiggle your toes for real.

Men: no sandals, ever. Ewww. Nobody wants to see your feet.

It’s not fair of me to send you off into the world without some resources, so aside from the shoe links above, here are some sites with some cute clothes geek chicks can get behind, at any size:

Torrid, for cute alternative culture stuff (including shoes!) at reasonable prices and all kinds of sizes

Modcloth, with very flattering dresses, especially if you embrace the whole Mad Men mystique

DeliA’s, which is not specifically counterculture but has really cute stuff like this tee and this one.

Alloy, again, not specifically nerdy, but they are like DeliA’s with more sizes. And this.  And of course this.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, and I completely forget the name of this company that specializes in naughty Catholic punk girl clothing and boots, so PLEASE add your suggestions in the comments!

I’ve also had a lot of geeks privately confide to me various things that bother them about style-challenged geeks in addition to what I’ve listed, but I don’t rightly recall what they were at this time. Or they were exceedingly cruel. Please note what you feel you must below.

With our powers combined, we can get you laid at will. Well, the will of the other person, of course. Most people are just flattered by a bit of effort. When you’ve mastered a bit of effort, we will work on making it look effortless, ok?

Hint: there is no such thing as “effortless”.

Wherein I Set Down the Kool-Aid and Take Up A Cup of Tea

Last week at theblacksphere.net I confessed to having been a sick and medicated idiot. This week, my allegiance to the Dark Side is complete. You can think of Kevin Jackson as the Emperor from Star Wars. “Give in to your hate!” I am hatin’ right now, and it’s not because my stupid girlfriend died, Darth Whiner. It’s because I paid my taxes.

I’m writing this on June 12. Yes, I filed for an extension, because during my move to Los Angeles from Reno, my 2008 return got irrevocably sucked into a wormhole or something. I hear there are a couple of those on the 5.

Obama told Tea Partiers on Tax Day that they ought to be grateful that he’s lowered taxes. Well, I just paid three times as much tax as I did during each year of the entire Bush administration. So how does that work, Mr. Precedent? Why am I calling him that?

Because it dawned on me I hadn’t paid more than $100 in taxes since Clinton was president! The first black president also screwed me, though not in the way he normally screws tubby white girls.

MIND. OFFICIALLY. BLOWN. I realize I may be a little slower than the rest of you.

Obama let Bush’s tax cuts expire, so while he didn’t exactly raise taxes, he didn’t exactly do anything to keep me from being screwed either. You may think, “Well, white girl, you probably made more money than me last year.”

I doubt it. I am firmly entrenched in lower middle class status, just like most of you. I did not receive a raise last year because my company froze all raises, and I did not earn extra income in any other way. I currently write for free, y’all (but won’t complain if Mr. Jackson wants to kick a little sugar my way for my stuff on theblacksphere.net). I haven’t gone to school for a while, so my tuition credit hasn’t been a factor in years.

I made just as little money as the rest of you good folks, and thanks to our glorious lefty Congress, I paid three times as much in taxes than I ever did during the entire war in the Middle East, and a couple of years before that. Holy crap, that crazy old white dude was right. Obama lied!

When Clinton was president, I made $5.00 an hour as a supervisor at a record store, and I was paying over $200 at tax time. In installments. Because Democrats clearly care about the lower class, I guess?

What is the point of allowing tax breaks to expire on the lower middle class? Well, it certainly helps to drop us down to the level of “poor”. Poor folks of all colours are then eligible for more programs, which guilts the rich white Left into backing more Leftist candidates, whose solemn single wish is to take care of all of us…by raising taxes and creating more programs.

Well, I don’t want any damn programs. I want my damn money!

Don’t you? When you last went to the bank to deposit your check, did you say, “Gee, I sure wish they’d taken out more taxes to pay for nebulous programs I may or may not ever use!” Or did you say “Gee, I’d sure like more damn money to spend as I damn well please”?

Some of you may be pausing over your grande frappuccinos or your bottles of pinot to say “Well, you see my dear, programs help those less fortunate than us, and it’s good for the government to wisely distribute funds and services where they are needed.” Do you hear yourself? When the government decides whom to distribute funds and services to, they have the power. They take the power away from you to decide how to take care of yourself and the folks you care about. You could spend your extra forty dollars a week in tax savings on dinner with your grandma, or beer, or a savings account, or home renovations, or crack, or a carton of smokes, or the tithing plate, or whatever the hell you want. Yes, you could be greedy and hoard it all for yourself, but that’s your choice.

When we let the government decide how to be nice for us, it steals not only the power away from us, but also the responsibility. It’s easier to let the government be nice to your fellow man than actually go out and donate to charity, put in time as a volunteer, or help out family. Yes, Mr. Lefty VonZinfandel, it’s all well and good to sit at dinner with your friends and tut tut over Republican greed, but you make enough money where you don’t seem to notice where your taxes go. You pay the government to be nice for you without the bother of having to meet actual folks and care for them. And you make enough money where it’s no skin off your back.

To me and the Mr. Six Packs of the world, we are so close to the wrong side of town that we see where it goes, and we feel it being taken from us. It goes to some people who do use welfare to pull themselves up by the bootstraps and get ahead in life. It also goes to people who know that they will lose what little income they have if they even make the slightest effort to help themselves. It takes power from them. It removes choice.

What was I going to do with the extra $156 I would not have had to pay under Bush? I was going to start paying my mother back for helping me to move down here. Now the government gets it, and they probably won’t even have it left to give her in five years when she’s old enough for Medicare. I would rather have given it to her now, thanks.

OMG, I hate the government!

I guess that puts me firmly on the damn Right now, doesn’t it? I’m proud to be here! When’s the next Tea Party? I’ll bring my finest damn Target china.

With love, The Angriest Girl in America Right Now.

(Damn!)