yeah, i’m hip. i’m with it.

 

I received a wrong number text today and had a series of reactions. In order:

1) This person should not be using drugs (because I’m judgey like that).
2) Wow, not making sure the number is correct was a dumb move.
3) Hey, I know what “molly” is! I’m like, 90 percent sure I know. I’m hip (do kids still say “hip?”). I understand how kids talk!

It seemed pretty certain that reactions one and three would not be appreciated, so a gentler version of reaction 2 seemed an appropriate response.

 

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I do not understand how kids talk.

talk. faster.

Beau: There’s a mouse!

Me: WHAT?!?!?!?! *has heart attack*

Beau: In a cape!

He was looking at a copy of Jenny Lawson‘s “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened” on our coffee table. It looks like this:

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Lesson: When exclaiming about a picture of taxidermied mouse in a cape on a book cover, say it really fast: “Ataxidermiedmouseinacapeonthatbookcover!”

Or learn CPR.

 

 

check your privilege

There’s a lot of focus on privilege these days, and too often, it’s focused on other people’s privilege. There’s an expression: Check your privilege. It means (I think): “Consider how good you’ve got it.”

At least, that’s what it means in the best of intention. Most of the time it sounds like “Shut up, you’ve had your turn, take a seat.” Frankly, it is among my least favorite expressions. I find it rude and counterproductive.

And not because I disagree that there are plenty of people, myself included, who need to be more aware of advantages they haven’t earned, but because in an instance where a phrase like “check your privilege” is being used, “privilege” is being thrown like a weapon. I don’t find that useful.

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And what really gets my goat, burns my biscuits, twists my knickers, takes the jam out of my doughnut, is how often I see the “privilege” grenade being thrown by people who are very privileged.

A few years back, I found myself embroiled in an abortion debate with a group of college friends. A theme of the argument was that the men in the room needed to recognize their privilege and hold their tongues. Understandable, yes, that the women should want the floor on that particular matter. But as the discussion moved to tangential subjects, I couldn’t help but point out the obvious:

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We were all, men and women alike, very privileged. We had the standard ones that are always cited: White, cisgender, heterosexual. But we were also all American citizens, able-bodied, college educated (some of us with advanced degrees), employed, mentally capable, etc. etc. people in our early 30’s.

As I see it, many of us have our privilege and we have our disadvantages. I am very privileged in many ways, and less so in others. There are ways in which some people might perceive me as lacking privilege, whereas I can see certain advantages. And it’s good to recognize our own privilege, to recognize when we can use it to serve others, rather than ourselves. And yes, absolutely, many of us need to improve our sense of perspective.

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But what is not good is when we start being the privilege police, often based on surface information only. What’s not good is telling someone “what you think is wrong, and you think what you think because of what you are,” rather than asking “why do you think what you do?” or “look at how we’re different”rather than “where can we find commonality?” That abortion debate I mentioned? We all agreed on 95 percent of the points. It was the five percent that escalated things into an ugly argument.

That happens. It happens a lot. And it seems to happen often when we focus our energy on what someone else’s privilege is, and on how that person is misusing or abusing said privilege. It happens when we use someone else’s privilege as a weapon against them, and when we presume the root of someone’s perspective, and say things like “check your privilege,” while overlooking our own, and shut down the opportunity for open discussion.

As this very insightful young lady says, worry about yourself. 

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pink! (not the singer)

I have made the decision to change my background color to pink because I think being offended by pink is bullshit.

I like pink. It’s pretty. I like pretty things, damn it. And that does not make me any less intelligent, strong, fierce, worthy, etc. etc. than any other man, woman, other or undecided. There are plenty of reasons why I am less than any of the aforementioned, but my appreciation of pink is one of them.

Seriously, does anyone else, ladies especially, feel like you’re waging some rebellion against hyperactive feminism by liking pink. Or buying things that are pink?

I get it. Shit is gendered. It’s bad. Listen, I liked blocks and sports and tree climbing as a kid. I was often more comfortable hanging with the boys than with the girls. BUT NO ONE IS TELLING MEN TO CAST OUT BLUE! I don’t need to demonstrate my feminism or my lady strength* by eschewing pink.

Listen, if you don’t like pink, god bless you. That’s your right. I’m not a particular fan of beige. But not liking it because it’s associated with girls is just dumb.

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*”lady strength” sounds a little like it’s related to ping pong balls.**It isn’t.

**If you don’t get the reference to ping pong balls, I can’t help you.

what i think vs. what i say

This notice was forwarded to me:

 U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is continuing its efforts to take back unused, unwanted and expired prescription medications.  The DEA invites the public to bring their potentially dangerous, unwanted medicines to one of over 5,000 collection sites around the country that are manned by more than 3,800 of DEA’s tribal and local law enforcement partners this Saturday, April 30th, from 10 am-2 pm local time.  This service is free of charge, with no questions asked.

 The public can find a nearby collection site by visiting www.dea.gov, clicking on the “Got Drugs?” icon, and entering their zip code into the search window, or they can call 800-882-9539.  Only pills and other solids, like patches, will be accepted—the public should not bring liquids, needles or other sharps to take back sites.

How I wanted to reply:

I sell all my leftover prescription drugs to law students or give them friends with teenagers/who don’t have insurance. It’s a good way to make a little extra cash without the tedium of uploading photos of old clothes on to eBay*. 

How I actually replied:

Thanks. 

Because some people just don’t appreciate sarcasm. More’s the pity for them.

*CMA: Obviously, I don’t actually do that. It would be A) Illegal, B) Stupid and C) Doubly Stupid (in title case) to blog about it. But that needs to be stated for absolute clarification because see comment about people who don’t appreciate sarcasm. I might be a snarky bitch, but I’m an intelligent and law-abiding** snarky bitch. 

**I always wear my seatbelt. Even in cabs.

well, i could’ve told you that

Therapist: Life is too short.

Me: Actually, I disagree. Life is not too short. Life expectancy has increased, what, 20 years in a generation? And none of it is particularly good for any of us. People are taking longer to get their shit together — 50 years ago, having no kids, being unmarried and not owning a home at 36 would have made me a bonafide spinster. People are having to work more years in order to be able to afford this increased lifespan, and I’m sure the reason why only, what is it, 20 percent of executive offices are held by women is because the 80-year-old men who should have retired 15 years ago are still working, so there’s no room for growth. People are raising teenagers and caring for their elderly parents at the same time, and those 10-20 years we’re tacking on at the end, for the most, are filled with dementia, false teeth and adult diapers. So really, life is not too short. It’s too long, and that’s a problem.

Therapist (writing): Whacktart… nutbar… crackpot…

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small talk

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Yes. Small talk is horrible. Especially in DC, where small talk always begins with “What do you do?” Which translates either to: “Let me make sure I am superior to you” or “How can you help me to become superior to you?” It’s far less entertaining than the Southern standby, “What church do you go to?”And let’s be honest:

And let’s be honest: What percent of the time do we actually care what a near-stranger does? But then we’re stuck saying things like, “Oh, how did you get into that line of work?” Which 96.7 percent of the time translates to: “Wow, that sounds incredibly boring.” Or perhaps, “Huh. So you’re one of those assholes.”

Let’s cut the small talk. Instead, here are 10 questions I would enjoy discussing with a brand new acquaintance. The ‘why’ is implied in all questions:

  1. If you could punch any public figure in the face, who would it be?
  2. When you were 8 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?
  3. What’s your dream vacation?
  4. If you could go back to any period in history, when and where would you go?
  5. What is your greatest source of personal shame?
  6. What crime would you be most likely to get arrested for (and don’t say something self-serving like civil disobedience)?
  7. So… what’s really pissing you off today?
  8. What are your three favorite things to do?
  9. What do you wish you had the ability to create?
  10. If you had to pick a different name for yourself, what name would you choose?