Taking Offense

 A friend of mine from high school has posted a couple of thought provoking questions on his Facebook page this weekend. I’ll allow you a moment to swallow your disbelief that

A. Finding one’s high school friends on FB is ever a good thing &

B. That anyone posts thought provoking questions and they do not lead to nasty arguments.

I swear both are possible.

Anyhow, miracles aside (I do happen to befriend awesome people fo lyfe), I was forced to admit something to myself this morning that was honestly unrelated in any way to his questions. But the provocation of thoughts sometimes draws out other thoughts. Thoughts are fun like that; they multiply.

I am capable of taking offense.

“So?” you ask. “Who ain’t?” But, I protest, I so frequently tell people I’m never offended by anything. Yet the truth, if I’m super honest with myself, is that I’m actually offended by a ton of things, but I handle it differently. I will enumerate the process so people who cling to their offendedness can understand:

1. A statement is made that offends me, or I see something that offends me (a strapless wedding gown, a Toyota Corolla, a sweeping generalization meme, etc)

2. I choose not to react to it or dwell on it.

That’s it.

Were you expecting more? Offense is now a cottage industry. Nay, it seems a sprawling corporate industry where some genteel lamb of a creature reads a thing that seems sort of mean or whatever & then makes it his/her mission in life to

A. Have a really horrible day requiring endless analysis of the offense

B. Attempt to destroy the offender & everything he/she has ever loved.

 

This would be a real reason to freak out.

 
No effort is made to clarify the objectives of the alleged offender because it’s assumed the person is evil, a half breed, or a full breed, whichever is the opposite of the offended flower. No effort is made to calm down & get on with one’s life because that would end the wild & rollicking roller coaster of exciting offense emotions such as indignation, righteousness, having a mission outside of binging on Netflix, & having excuses to make poor food choices. Or whatever. I have no idea because being perpetually offended seems like a horrible time to me.

Yet I am, truly, not jokingly, offended by a great many things. I get offended by things that aren’t even leveled at me, because I find the level of intellectual dishonesty offensive. I am offended by how I see people I don’t know treat other people I don’t know. I am offended by the zeitgeist. I am offended by my well meaning friends. I am offended by the casual way people don’t care about each other or aren’t concerned about tragedies in other countries. Deeply, passionately offended. All the time. Every day. By the way people smell & make sounds with their mouths. By the way they drive. By how they talk to the bag boy. Everyone. Sometimes a few times an hour, if I’m online.

But I let it go. So many things are not worth fighting about. So many things can be addressed by modeling kind behaviour. So many people are utterly stuck in their behaviour patterns & are so sensitive about them that it’s not worth offending them back.

I used to say things. “That’s not true, though. Here, I found an article for you.” Or “Why do you think that?” That does actually yield results…1 out of 10 times. And that’s still pretty good. But now we’re all on social media, talking to each other passively or otherwise many times a day, & God never wired us to engage on such a level. I don’t even think Satan could have imagined the political meme, or the anonymous troll.

So sure, get offended. With so many anonymous opinions, we are bound to encounter something that makes us insane with rage online & in our increasingly less genteel world. But let it go. Unless someone’s behaviour is literally preventing you from getting on with your life, get on with your life. It’s more fun!

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SURPRISE!!! God!

We all have crises of faith. We beat ourselves up, because He’s done so much good in our lives, but we’re human and we have whingy, needy moments brought on by Daddy/abandonment issues. Don’t be cross with yourself! Jesus was always having to tell the disciples “Oh ye of little faith!” As he was a Jew, I imagine this was said with a bit of world weary exasperation, possibly accompanied with a smack upside the back of the head. He probably also said, “What, I heal the sick in front of you, I turn water into wine, I raise a guy from the fricken dead, and you people are worried about what’s gonna happen tomorrow? Oy!” But that part was not transcribed.

We don’t have the pleasure of the physical presence of Christ in our lives any more, but He’s with us all the same. He’s just on speed dial. Check it:

I describe God’s mysterious work to my clients thusly: you tell your friend your birthday is coming in two months. Your friend gradually becomes more & more secretive. He doesn’t invite you over any more, he doesn’t really talk about what he’s up to, & you think he doesn’t like you any more. Two months later he calls you & asks you to come over. You can be pissy & refuse the call, certainly.

But if you answer it, you’ll find he’s been transforming his home over the past two months into a giant birthday surprise party for you. There’s a bouncy castle IN THE LIVING ROOM. He knocked out walls to accommodate it! He built a waterslide of champagne down his own stairwell. And he made your favourite cake, 50 ft high, so you can literally walk into it & eat it. He invited all your friends & somehow got Kanye to play. In this scenario, pretend you like Kanye.

It was an even better birthday than you imagined, huh?

That’s God.

My Ongoing War With That Fucking Guy From “The Mentalist”

If you follow me on Twitter you’ve already seen me have bursts of righteous ire any time I catch even a millisecond of The Mentalist. Aside from the fact that it is a typical American procedural with utterly no regard whatsoever for actual police procedure & a penchant to hyperdramatize nonsense, it is a show entirely designed to make twits fall in impossible stupid girl love with a floppy haired blond boy bimbo (who is probably a very nice bloke in real life).

Women, TV thinks you’re stupid. A bunch of executives hopped up on vegan cruelty free triple shot skinny lattes got together in a room one day & said, “What do middle aged women want?” After pitching a show where Gary Sinise & David Caruso strut around shirtless & oiled carrying babies & healing people w/ lupus, they said “Lets have really sensitive Robert Redford solve crimes with sensitivity & feelings.” And all their eyes lit up & they high fived each other & started taking lunches with central casting and every blond blue eyed guy on the planet. Then they came up with simperingly cute That Guy From The Show. I have such disdain for this show I’m not even gonna IMDB that for you. He’s Australian & my middle aged friend is in untempered uberlust with him.

In a fit of unbridled pandering, they devised the following characters: Patrick Jane, a tough broad who will never love him that female viewers can hate, a beefy cop guy, & a token Asian. They made Jane have the ability to read body language & neuro linguistic cues, as far as I can tell, so it seems like he can read women’s minds. Sigh. Then they made him a widower so he’d appear difficult to reach but unencumbered by some bitch exwife & bratty step kids because that is the personal hell of half of middle America.

YOU’RE ALL SUPPOSED TO SIGH NOW. ISN’T HE DREAMY!

What set me off today was a horse episode that came on while I was peeling a great deal of Trader Joe’s sweet potatoes exactly the size & shape of the average male penis. I heard horse sounds, & I love horses, so I peeked out of the kitchen to see what was on. Lo, the manufactured dreamboat Patrick Jane leaned forward toward a horse’s face, kissed its muzzle, and whispered to it. Fucking whispered.

For the sake of fuck are you assholes kidding me?! This was the pitch session: “Broads like horses. Tomatoes get fuckin’ wet for guys who are good with horses. Let’s make Jane a good body language expert of fuckin’ horses.” Cos we all learn that in psychology courses, by the way. Fucking horse body language. Then they all high fived each other, banged out an insulting script (where he also saves a young girl SIGH), did an 8 ball, & jerked each other off. I don’t know. I assume. It was probably for sweeps.

They think you are stupid, women. Stop watching this fucking garbage.

I’m a writer, as you might have guessed from the few decent pieces in my foul mouthed rants. When I write a male character, I want him to earn your love. I started a book with the male romantic lead shooting a woman in the face with a shotgun. He is a selfish dick workaholic with a stupid hat. And by the end of this book you will beg him to impregnate you with his mind babies. Is this because I think you harbor fantasies of being hurt? No. It’s because I think you’re smart & you can handle a flawed character who screws up sometimes. Like a real goddamned man.

I hate you, TV. I hate you so hard.

I Know Ya Planned It; Imma Set It Straight

A couple of weeks ago, I vowed to live a no-excuses life. I had endeavored to do this before, but not vowed. I’ve been engaged twice, so it’s like me to skip out on the vow part.

Not so now, because God made & kept promises to me. He showed me how to view His personal signs to me in a way that only makes sense to me & that I couldn’t use for my clients unless I knew their musical taste very well, but that’s beside the point. The point is, God saw me out of a very unsure & yucky period by saying in no uncertain terms “See, ya dumbass? Don’t say I never gave ya nuthin’.” Cos God talks kind of like Adam Horrowitz. Some of my friends would be pleased to know that God sounds like a New York Jew who converted to Buddhism & could also tear up “Sabotage” if He so chose.

God has in fact been so very clear and direct in His direction & fulfillment that it would be asinine to question or gift horse Him. Now, when He tells me something will happen, I just pretend to look surprised when it does. He is under no obligation to reinforce my faith, but He has, because I was suffering & I asked Him to fix it.

In doing so, several pleasant but distracting things fell away. This was a little sad, but it made room for way awesomer stuff. God specializes in Way Awesomer.

God has given me a lot of tools to discern His will & purpose for other folks, but for me I always questioned. He got a tad sick of that, so He was all “Ya know what, you little asshat? Here’s the deal. You will reckon with the real world, & watch Me collide with it. Bust with the whip-its!” Ok, He didn’t say that last bit.

At first, I understood very little of His messages. Then I perceived my angel (finally, cos I’m dumb), & my angel sounds like Mel Brooks. He said, “Look, we’ve asked so much of her. Would it kill Ya to give the kid a little hint, a preview of coming attractions?” And God was all “[sigh] Well, whatever.”

And lo, I kept hearing Bowie’s “Let’s Dance”.

Ok, that still technically hasn’t helped me yet. But so many other things have. And it makes no sense to any of y’all, but I see pretty clearly now. God answers questions, whatever questions you ask of Him. It’s up to you to bother to do something with the answers. He’s your Father, not your magic genie of fun, nor an ATM.

He is, however, all powerful, all knowing, and all loving. He knows you hurt, or are confused, or terrified. Asking Him to deal with it, in the same way a child might say “Daddy, upsies!” is the fastest way to fix any of that stupid existential shit we first-world ourselves into. It’s also good for the more tangible stuff, like “I need to pay my phone bill. Please help me find a way to do that.”

It’s important to remember that yourself and God are a team. I remember that now, finally. Also, God reserves the right to change the terms of service. He may sometimes give you stuff not in the warranty (the Bible), & that might cause some angst. DON’T LET IT. What comes from God is pure, even if it seems messy &/or too good to be true. Trust that He knows better than you.

Really, I’m powerless & not overly talented at anything. The only way I’m blessed to do anything y’all admire me for is by giving my life over completely to Him. In turn, he’s equipped me to do very interesting things, & He expects results. He also rewards my faith from time to time.

He’s pretty awesome.

You Got Pwnz0red

I don’t want to hear anybody bitch about an “ownership class” in this country & I just can’t be nice about this any more.  If you live in America & you think there are classes, you have clearly never lived anywhere else. Yes, there are substrata of the overall society, but the fact is, anybody can go from anywhere to anything. Jay Z can go from selling keys to selling CDs. Kanye can go from the buffet at KFC to Louis Vuitton Don Night. A stupid clueless white girl can quote any number of hip hop records.

Ooh, some of you are bristling. I got Twitterload of what basically amounts to “You’re mean” from a couple of buddies over the last couple of days, because I refuse to acknowledge something as absurd as the “ownership class”, so I am expecting a little bristle cone whine. Look. As I told one person (& this was of course ignored), if someone in America has survived what I’ve survived, yet is not a heroin addled whore or dead, anybody can do anything in this country, period. Don’t give me nonsense about someone without legs never being a runner because physical stuff is just that. That same person has as much chance of being a billionaire stock broker or the world’s best cook. Hell, he can become a woman if he wants. This country is loaded with the ability to become anything.

You just. Have. To bother.

One friend made the argument that we all have different obstacles. That is correct. How an obstacle denies you opportunity is beyond me. It makes trying to achieve success with that opportunity more exciting and certainly unique to your experience, but it does not take that opportunity away. “I don’t have any money,” “I’m the wrong race,” “I’m the wrong gender,” “I wasn’t born into the right family” are not excuses in this country for not doing all you can to do to be what you want. Not having talent is one thing. Not having legs would make it extremely difficult to be a runner. But if you want to be a tenured professor of calculus at MIT, if you want Simon Cowell’s job, if you want to be the number one baker in your town, if you want to be the best wife & mother that ever lived, seriously, nothing is stopping you but you. Get on that! If you have the mental capacity to make choices, make them.

I can tell you from long experience that the only thing preventing you from achieving anything in a free society is yourself. I came from a…well, let’s say my background was not ideal. I went through several dark periods and for all intents & purposes should be dead or committed. Really. I don’t owe you details, but I do owe you honesty, and the fact is that I was very self defeating for a long time. It’s expected of someone with my psychological make-up, and I don’t dishonour the pain of my previous existence by being mad at the girl I was. I do, however, get annoyed with her for not realizing sooner that the second she was 18, she became the author of her destiny, & should have done everything in her power to be who she wanted to be, not what others demanded of her. She should not have so easily been turned away from any of her callings. She should not have so easily accepted mediocrity.

She’s done with that now. And done with referring to herself in the third person. I am done being your bitch. I am done being your error in judgment and your excuse. I am done being your whipping girl, your punching bag, your horrible secret. I am being me now. I belong to God and my purpose is clear. Your purpose, apparently, was to make me strong enough to handle that purpose. You were a trial to overcome, a fear to master.

I have friends whose lives were in many ways decidedly worse than mine. They too overcame insurmountable odds, insurmountabler odds, I would argue, to be where they are. They are disabled, or the wrong colour, or the wrong gender, grew up in the wrong countries under the wrong governments, and they have overcome these “obstacles” to do what it is they want to do. They were broke, uneducated, sick, beaten down, imprisoned, abused, addicted, afflicted. Now they thrive because they chose to thrive. No, it wasn’t easy. No, it didn’t seem like things would go well for these folks a lot of the time. Yes, they wanted to pack it all in, railed at God, thought they would die or tried to kill themselves. Yet they survived, and thrived. Choice. You make a decision to stop letting life happen at you.

They saw what they wanted from life and, taking care not to deprive anyone else of their opportunities, took it.

You want to whine about your life? Several years ago, a guy with ALS completed an Ironman Triathlon. You want to bitch about how you can’t get fit, are getting older, can’t raise the money to do whatever? Screw you. A guy with ALS finished a fricken’ Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii. I dare you to whine to him. I dare you to whine to the wounded warriors who complete the Ride to Recovery. I dare you to unload to the cancer patients at my office.

Conversely, if you hear me whining, remind me of all these folks, ok? Sometimes, I forget.  Like ya do.

What has this to do with an ownership class? Well, jeez, if you haven’t sorted out now that money & possessions are the least of our problems in life, you are beyond my reach at this time. But let’s talk about money & possessions for a little bit, since people are kinda obsessed with them.

First of all, if you have the hypocrisy to be angry at a so-called ownership class, you best turn in everything you own right now to Goodwill and move to China. You own stuff. You may not own a home (I don’t), you may not own a car (I don’t), you may only own the clothes on your back and a toothbrush, but you like owning stuff, don’t you? You like having your own crap.

What you don’t like is that other people have more crap than you. Why? How does other people having more crap than you hurt you? If you really want more crap, work to get it. Then, angry hypocrites can loathe you for having more crap than them. There is always someone who has less crap than you, whose life is worse than yours, who wishes they were as lucky as you. Yes, as lucky. Look outside this country for several seconds and you will see people who wish they had the opportunities you have here. People break the law to get into this country just to have a snippet of what you have. Don’t tell me you have no opportunity.

Something I’ve noticed about the “Everybody should be equal” crowd (please note that this is not the same as “everybody has the same opportunities”): they want the unconditional love of the mother state (walk into anywhere & get everything for free, like  a celebrity or a dignitary or a child), but they don’t want everyone’s talent to be the same. If you’re a better artist, you want to be acknowledged, do you not? Well, in the free market that means people buy your work. Art is tricky because it has to do as much with the zeitgeist & other people’s taste as it does your talent, but the fact is you want to be compensated for your work because A. you want to eat B. You want to thrive and C. you need a way to sort out how good you are. Critical praise is lovely, but doesn’t get you a VIP table with bottle service at the club.

And really, that’s what everyone thinks should be equal. Why can’t we all have bottle service? Well, we can, but if everyone gets the same things in equal distribution with no thought to talent, hard work, and tenacity, then the bottle service we will get comes with a rubber nipple. Yeah, it’s nice to be babied & have parents who pay for everything & take care of it all, but they can also ground you, take your toys away, arbitrarily decide it’s your bed time. Allow me to butcher Jefferson for a second, but the government who gives you your lotion can also take it away. That same government can scream at you “It puts the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again!” Do you really want to put this country at the bottom of a basement well so you can have free crap?

If we can blame Red Eye Robot Theatre for anything, it’s for making lotion even creepier than Silence of the Lambs managed.

Sigh. I know some of you are going to think I’m mean. Instead, I wish you would see me as the person giving you the keys to the castle. Here, take them! Don’t stand there waiting for me to take you inside & make you a sandwich. I only have gluten free bread. Wouldn’t you rather take the keys and get a sandwich you actually want, with bread that doesn’t taste like drywall?

It’s your castle, babe. I’m showing you that it’s yours. How is that mean? I is teh cuddly conservative, ‘member? You go play in there now, kid. Yes, I did just smack your arse and wink at you. And do the cutesy voice. ‘Cos I wubzes you. No, I do! Don’t you unbelieve that for one second. I want you to do well, but you won’t until you try. Blaming some nefarious, nebulous Other is not going to get you there. Personal responsibility really is as much fun as a day at Six Flags. Yes, there are scary moments, but when you are done with the ride, you regret nothing. NOTHING. Get up on it.

xoxo

You Have a Penis, & That’s Totally Ok!

Originally posted to Posterous on January 19, 2010

God’s balls, Batman, what happened?!

Yes, this is going to be one of THOSE blog posts, where I swear a lot. Like the good old days! Because someone intelligent reassured me that Jesus actually doesn’t care about my liberal use of perfectly good Anglo-Saxon words (it’s the French that made them dirty in the first place. What don’t the French ruin? Ok, souffles. And my friend Bruno is lovely. BUT SERIOUSLY. THE FRENCH).

Um, I’ve had a very generous glass of wine.

Remember when women got offended because they were called girls & girl stuff was attributed to them, like crying & being hormonal & our feet are always cold? And see how we’re fucking over that because it’s ALL TRUE?

So…when did men get sensitive about being, er, men?

It’s an alarming trend I’ve noticed. More than one guy, lately, has resented being called a guy. These are intelligent, cool blokes whom I enjoy as friends. However, they are more sensitive about being referred to as guys than I was when someone called me a choice piece of tail. I in fact enjoy being called a choice piece of tail. It’s better than being called a fugly bitch, yes? So seriously…

What’s wrong with being a guy?

Guys are great! They don’t burst into tears during nearly every episode of season 2 of Buffy. They didn’t cry all through that “Worst Christmas Evar for the Scully Family” episode of X-Files, & then for hours afterward, & then every single time they see a child in a sandbox. Their butts don’t get ludicrously cold for no reason. They don’t whine incessantly about it being too hot or too cold…at the same time! They don’t obsess over knitting. They don’t throw things at the TV during football. They don’t spend much of their day in the office talking about how so & so did such & such. Guys are just peachy fricken’ keen!

So why do they get offended when I call them guys?

They call me a chick, a broad, a female (rhymes with ‘tamale’), sweetie, kid, and tail. For reasons I will never understand, they rarely ever call me kitten, which is just not fair, as I am SO a kitten! I’ve gotten “Simmer down, tiger” a few times (once from a wicked hot law school student) which perplexes me. I am perfectly fine with all this stuff. I’ve been recently accused of being a bat shit crazy bitch, which I thought was funny, and a silly girl, which I am. I don’t care. These are all acceptable terms to a girl who knows that words are just words. We can use them however we wish and we can ignore them. We can choose to get all uppity about the terms or we can bother to register the context.

So I say to my guys…why don’t you want to be guys?

Here’s a fact some people just do not dig. We’re machines. God made us so that we could run efficiently via a system of neurochemicals & other junk. You don’t have to have gotten an A in neuropsychology to understand this simple concept. You run on electricity & hormones. There’s also a sodium potassium pump in there somewhere, but I’d sooner stick a septic tank pump in my eye than describe it ever again. Countless exams are enough, thanks. If you have any kind of metabolic disease or immune disease, like me, you know for a fact you are electricity & hormones, because when they are out of whack, the whole world knows it. Your body screams at you “HEY! DIPSHIT! Did you eat gluten? You MORON! Now I’m going to have to spike you with sharp stabbing pains, aching, multiple trips to the loo, & constant, unending pissiness. Why do you suck? I hate you!” At least this is how my body treats me if I so much as inhale a crumb of wheat.

Yes, you have a soul, and yes, God loves you, but God made you so that He doesn’t have to futz with you every ten seconds. What good is a creation if you have to tend to it constantly? It has to be able to run independent of the attention of the Creator. If you ask, He will tune your shit up & give you instructions, but if you don’t, you are running entirely on electricity & hormones.

Men & women have the same electricity, but different hormones. If we didn’t, it’d be really hard to make more of us. God could do it, of course, but then who would make nachos for Andrew Klavan? Well, I’m sure ther e’s an Arch Angel of Nachos, or St. Jalapeño or something, but that’s beside the point. God is smart & made his Creations self replicating, & part of that is a delicate, ingenious balance of hormones. Some more of this for men, some more of that for women.

This delicious hormone balance makes us want to giggle too loudly & makes our brains go blank when we talk to each other & makes us do dumb things like cry by the phone or not want to call because we don’t want to seem too eager. It makes us think that snuzzling nosies is awesome & kissing is heavenly & that being naked & rolling around a ton would be aces. God did that for you! And all that acne when you’re stressed or right before a date? God did that too, but the inability to control your stress is, admittedly, my fault.

When we’re not using hormones in the complex, non-direct, non-Seven-of-Nine mating ritual we’ve devised for ourselves (God did NOT come up with the Cosmo “80 Ways To Make Him Crave You” thingy), those hormones are being used to keep us our genders. It’s very important that women respond to children a certain way. It’s very important that men respond to boobs a certain way. This is all to keep each other safe. Yes, boob lust keeps women safe, & by default, the children of the one with the boobs, too.

It’s ingenious, isn’t it? There are just a few chemicals & some electrical impulses & by jove, we’re humming. Er. And mating.

Now you want to piss all over that? It’s GLORIOUS. Look, I noticed you staring at my boobs, I called you on it, I thought it was funny, and you were mortally offended that I “accused” you of wolfish behaviour. GET OVER YOURSELF. You’re a freakin’ guy. Obviously it’s not an issue or I wouldn’t be hanging out with your dumb ass. If I say that you didn’t cry at something that I cried at because you’re a guy, that’s better than what I would say to another girl, which is “You have no soul.” You’re a guy; you’re not programmed to weep when Angel goes weird or the little girl gets leukemia on the stupid Lifetime show*. It’s ok! The alternative to you being a guy & not weeping is You Have No Soul. Accept the guy part, because I don’t talk to people who have no soul. They’re creepy.

*Though I have to admit, the guy who cries for the little girl with leukemia is probably going to get laid. When men cry, I get soppy & lose my brain & I have to pat them & fuss. Well, it depends. If he’s one of those guys that cries when his World of Warcraft character dies, fuck no.

I think guys are tops! A guy is going to keep a relatively level head while I sob for a full half hour after The Colour Purple. A certain type of guy is going to do nearly anything I ask based on the depth of my neckline. Some guys respond simply to a tilt of the head that I don’t even realize I’m doing, apparently, & subsequently I will be treated more nicely. Because of my hormones, a guy who treats me more nicely is more inclined to receive masses of lovingly prepared food & I might, over time, even consent to give birth to one of his children. Hormones grease the wheel, so to speak.

So why do we keep wanting to act like we’re above them? Oh, that whole equality thing. Look. Having different hormones doesn’t make anybody more stupid or mean or crazy or worthless. I don’t like the dumbing down of the American dad on TV over the past couple of decades any more than you like it when women are offered less money than a man for the same job. I don’t like when a man is excused from simple chores because he’s too “stupid” to notice the garbage is about to tip any more than you like when a woman is considered a wiggy menopausal bitch. We do a disservice to each other & to hormones when we use them to excuse boorish behaviour from either gender. And being all politically correct about it is boorish behaviour.

Whuh??

You heard me. “Be nice to your coworker-of-a-certain-age; she’s all crabby today because of her period/hot flashes/pregnancy.We have to honour her womanhood.” Oh HELL no. Yeah, you may have a five alarm fire going off in your head thanks to ovarian dipshittery but you do NOT get to be an asshole at work. Save your murderous rage for someone who is having sex with you & therefore has good reason to put up with it. If you can’t be decent at work, you don’t GET to work. Go home, cook, & clean, little woman. People who can’t be arsed to comport themselves like gentlemen in public, & this includes ladies, should not get to be in public.

Another scenario: “You haven’t got your man trained yet? My husband’s been taking out the rubbish like clockwork for the past 20 years.” Really? Congratulations for marrying a music box monkey. Does he dance on command, too? What a weird thing to be proud of…does he also, like, I dunno, have a career of which he is particularly proud? Ambitions, life goals? Granted, I would be stoked if I met a man who remembered to do anything, really I would. That’s sexy. But I am more interested in who the man is. Also I refuse to clean in lieu of a man cleaning if we make the same money and I utterly refuse if I make more than him.

“Oh you shallow bitch!” I hear the moaning now. “Money isn’t a gauge of love or chores.” Um, yes it is. If my job is more stressful than yours, I don’t have to clean up after you. You’re a big boy; bus your own couch. If you made enough where I could stay home & be a writer & lovingly raise our children, I would gladly give you a spotless home & a martini as you walked in the door. In heels, no less. Until you supercede me in the providing for our home, you can suck it. Hell YES you will vacuum, mister!

Our reverse sexism has allowed us to become infantile & whiny, using our politically correct excuses for our equally annoying behaviour. There is actually a book called Her Blood is Gold. No, her blood is gross. You want to be equal but you want to exalt menstruation? Like we have a say in that or something, or can control it? Really? And now you want men to take us seriously. Right. When we’re writing essays about menstrual blood. Good luck with that. If you want men to honour menstrual blood, learn to honour Letters to Penthouse. OH, we don’t like it both ways? Bah.

In pretending to ignore our differences, we’ve called even more attention to them. I don’t understand those parents who try to raise their kids unisex, with trucks & dolls, only to be shocked & dismayed when the girls start picking dolls more often & the boys trucks more often. By all means, provide both types of toys. I played Army with my Barbies, for example, & they had a Jeep. And guns. And I took them in the mud. But they cleaned up & wore evening gowns & married bears. I also ganked my brother’s wicked water machine gun (pre all the goofy safety modifications; this was the first Reagan term, baby!), brought it for forest wars, belly crawled through the bracken in my freakin’ skirt & patent leather black maryjanes, and loaded it with Kool-Aid knowing full well how badly it stained & how pissed off their mothers were going to be. I was a devious goddamned little girl; it’s why chicks make the best assassins. Deadly & smart!

But eventually, as our hormones kick in, we will differentiate on toys, clothes, everything. This is not your failing as a parent. This is what God set up so that eventually, your kids will be happy adults. You may end up with a weird adult daughter, who hates chick flicks but did cry at the end of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, but she’ll be totally a girl, & you will eventually get that big stupid wedding you want to throw. In theory. She is getting old, you know.

Oh God, & she’s SO tired…

I had more of a point, but I think we’ll stop it there. I am sure I will get some horrified comments I can respond to at a later date, & then I can clarify points that you may find callous, meaningless, offensive, etc. Look, I don’t deal in lady feelings, ok? I deal in facts. If you don’t like the facts, I don’t know what to tell you. You’re a creature of your gonads. Whatever they’re pumping out, no matter what you look like, that’s what’s going to inform your initial response to everything.

Which brings us to cognition. Your initial hormonal response to many things is probably inappropriate to give full voice to in a public setting, so your brain tempers it. This is fine. This is civilization. But don’t kid yourself. If you are lucky enough to have a spiritual connection to the divine, however you define it, this may also overlay all your brain & hormone action. How we relate to God, however, is still going to be dictated by hormones, because God wants us to make more of us. You might want to serve God by defending your country, or feeding the hungry, or simply by raising some decent human beings & being a decent person yourself. Male or female, you are still going to approach it differently. That’s why the Bible addresses us differently, as do the various sutras & other religious texts. The male & female ways are not superior to each other, just different. Yeah, we’re gonna mix it up sometimes. We each have a little bit of the other’s set of hormones, after all, and we also have the same basic brains. But we are different. You’re a guy. I’m a chick.

Thank God.

An Open Letter To Teh Mens

It’s not you; it’s me.

I apologize in advance for my abject fear. While your kind attention does not go unappreciated by me, it is also admittedly met with trepidation & a measure of suspicion. This is not your fault. Previous representatives of your gender were either ill prepared to deal with this model or grew tired if it’s many bugs. Rather than be returned, this model simply quit working. It’s built into the code.

Wait.

I just realized this is not an open letter to MEN. It’s an open letter to boys. In which case…

Holy crap, I am over you goddamn people. Seriously. If the sole content of your conversation, in person, on the phone, or tweeting is your brilliant mastery of the word “dude”, how you’re a sensitive modern guy or how ‘Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’ was life changing, move on. I will listen politely & giggle at your jokes on rare occassion, but I will never sleep with you. Unless you are screamingly hot. But I’ve found that doesn’t matter & simply leads to “What was I thinking?!” moments later in the evening when I realize I’m just as bored looking at your pretty face as I am hearing you talk about anything. And that I, a finely tuned responsiveness machine, have failed to come. So get out of my house.

I have historically complained that the feminist movement failed women because instead of obtaining equal regard for what women naturally do quite well, we are scorned for it more than ever before. If you have the audacity to be a stay-at-home mom, pretty & delightful, or even the slightest bit (unintentionally) seductive, you’re just nowhere near as much of a woman as the gal in the surgical mask, the judge’s robe, the pantsuit. If you’re “just a girl”, you are somehow betraying your gender. Rather than being celebrating for being a girl how men were once celebrated for being men, you are denigrated as a race traitor & also a crazy person.

No? You’d never do that to someone? Hah! What would you say to a woman who says “I make no purchase without his permission. It’s his money, afterall”? Oh, are you about to claim pity for that poor misguided creature? Then suck on this: I was the primary wage earner for the past eight years and I STILL asked him if I could get something. That’s how deeply ingrained my respect for his earnings were to me, because we shared a bank account.

I feel begrimed by your pity. Now I’m going to have to shower again. Knock it off.

Yes, feminism denigrated women by trying to force us all into male positions, robbed us of the choice of being stay-at-home moms (since so many are now dependent on dual incomes), and then attempt to elevate us over men by making us superproducers. Instead, we are more tired, angry, & dependent on the insipid “Does he want me?” quizzes in Cosmo than ever before. Because now that men feel they can’t communicate their desires to us any more, we have no. Fricken’. Clue.

Feminism turned men into idiots, and by idiots I mean you boy types. Many of my generation were latchkey boys who were raised by The Great Space Coaster (psychedlic inculcation of retro t-shirt admiration forevermore) and Super Mario Brothers. Admit it, you sniveling man-child; you hear the music RIGHT NOW. I know because I hear it too. But I have an excuse; I AM a 14 year old boy. Ish.

You, in your 30s, think Jack in the Box is acceptable adult cuisine because you had more pizza nights than kids of the prior generation. When I cook you something gourmet or damn close, you have utterly no appreciation because your mom took most of your meals out of the microwave or a crockpot. Newsflash: lasagna does not traditionally come out of a box; salad dressing does not come from a squeeze bottle.

Holy crap, I had no idea I was this angry.

You are woefully unequipped to handle someone whose simplest wish is to make you happy, so her every attempt is met with confused scorn. If she stops cooking, cleaning, and doing THAT for you because you don’t seem to notice either way on the first two & have been poisoned by porn acting on the last, you may develop a mild resentment or you may just stay the same. The first is unfair since you never rewarded her with affection & protectiveness, instead insisting on still calling her by her name like a business associate (because baby, kid, kitten & honey are sexist) & letting bolder male friends harass her because you figure she can handle herself OR your apathy is like daggers through the heart because her sweet attention has gone unnoticed.

She is effing sick of you and your ilk. And your ilk are everywhere.

You’re a whiny, bloated series of stains on the fabric of this nation. Sort of like that Spiderman t-shirt you insist on wearing out to DINNER for Christ’s sake. What are you, three?! And it’s your big boy Spiderman birthday?!! PUT ON A JACKET. Wear clean TROUSERS, not shorts. You are not going to the sandlot to play whiffle ball, you retard.

Holy crap, I’m angry!

Oh also? When I’m angry, don’t get huffy back like my 13 year old daughter. I am guaranteed not to have sex with you if I start thinking of you as my 13 year old daughter. Instead, fix it like a man. If for some reason you feel you have a right to dress like a toddler for a party, explain it to me like a man. Once you realize how stupid you sound, you’ll change into a sport coat & jeans at the VERY least.

Learn to grill. Stop insisting that Halo somehow made you a man. Initiate sex like a grown up. I’m not 15; you don’t have to “trick” me into it. Fix things when they break, or hire someone. Tell me what wine goes well with that. Talk to me about politics. Be man enough to say grace. Tell me there’s no way in hell you’ll sleep under that bedspread. Understand tools better than me! How hard is that?! I only took one semester of woodshop for Chrissakes!

What’s a man? Someone who’s taken responsibility for his existence & is willing to take on the responsibility for his family’s existence. No, really. That’s it. When I’m ready to date again, I will only entertain offers from men. In the meantime, flirt with me only if you think you deserve my undying devotion. If you have the slightest doubt you can’t handle it, move on to some cynical faux feminist who will play Xbox live with you & who agrees the government should take care of both your carefree, adorable arses. I want no part in your prolonged adolescence.

Why now? Why this now? I was going to write something like this (less, er, pointed) before my trip, but being out here alone & among my friends I’ve chosen has shown me my preferred lifestyle is not what I’ve been living & it sure as hell is not worth forsaking in the interest of not being alone. I thrive best in a service environment, but I don’t want to service a table full of frat guys who don’t tip. If you’re gonna slap my ass after I put a plate in front of you, you better offer to buy me a Sapphire tonic & be able to extend your discourse past the point of the last SNL Digital Short. If not, I will stop that hand before it reaches my behind and break that wrist. I am over cheap admiration.

Figuratively, figuratively. I’m not offended by such things, just don’t expect it to lead to anything, dingus. I mean, look at you. When did your mom last wash that sweatshirt?!

Gonna be single for a good long while, I’m thinkin…