Category Archives: lifestyle

Adventures in Online Dating: Negging


Urban dictionary defines negging as low-grade insults meant to undermine the self-confidence of a woman so she might be more vulnerable to your advances. This can be done in person or online. I believe this can go from both low-grade to pretty damn awful, and I recently heard there was even a scam happening on dating sites to neg women to the point where they end up giving out personal info.

I’d never been negged. Until today.

Okay, so I have a problem not arguing with people. That’s how the Psycho-Child drama unfolded. Luckily, I’m well-practiced at it, and I can make my point without slipping up and giving you any information I don’t want you to know.  This guy. Ha. He must have been new at it, I don’t know, but he tried the door-in-the-face technique first, and when they didn’t work, he moved on to negging. So cute. It’s too bad I’m an argumentative bitch, and if you attempt to neg me, I’ll knock you down even further.

negging

Seriously though? “Let me beat it out the frame?” That’s how you open the conversation? I have a pretty thoroughly written profile, and I indicate several times that I am NOT looking for a random hookup. Please fuck right off if this is your intention. Not. Interested.

I really can’t say much else on this, I believe the exchange speaks for itself. So, for those of you who like to tell me why I’m single, this is why. Because this is what’s out there.

Note: As of December 19, idunkmydick disabled his account.

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Let Your Own Light Shine


Don’t be afraid to stand out.


Racism, movies, the law, life, and self-reflection


So… first things first, I’ve decided not to address the Zimmerman verdict in any thorough manner. There’s a lot I can say about the trial, from a legal and common sense standpoint, but I’ll be as brief as I can. I have a lot of opinions on it, I have a lot of questions. I feel that the prosecution held back. There are a lot of key pieces of evidence that didn’t get brought up. I can accept that legally – legally – based on the way the law is written, Zimmerman is not guilty of murder. I accepted that a long time ago. I also said a long time ago that it wasn’t necessarily a race issue. Zimmerman technically had legitimate reason to call 911. There was a string of break-ins that all witnesses stated were committed by young black men. Mentioning that Martin was black on the 911 call was not racist. I don’t think that he singled him out with the intent of killing him simply because he was black.

But manslaughter? I really think that should have been there, only because I firmly believe he was the aggressor. He started some shit and ended it. Martin had the right to defend himself. Everyone talks about, ‘well why didn’t he just go home?’

Because he was being followed!

First rule of survival, someone’s following you, you don’t let them know where the hell you live! Not only that, but be wasn’t near his father’s house yet. He still had a ways to go. You can argue that Zimmerman wasn’t stalking him, but I’m sure to Martin, he was. And have you seen the picture from his grandmother’s birthday party taken less than two weeks prior? He was not this huge hulking beast that everyone makes him out to be.

Additionally, look at the way his body was found. If Zimmerman was getting slammed into the sidewalk and pulled out his gun, why was Martin’s dead body laying in the grass quite a distance away from the sidewalk? Then to back it up, there was quite some time between Zimmerman losing sight of Martin (per his 911 call) and the time that Martin actually started walking towards the ‘T’ in the sidewalk (per his conversation with his friend while he was walking), which means Martin was walking from the opposite direction Zimmerman says he was (per his walkthrough of the night).

So… as I said. He waited, he started shit. Martin defended himself first. ZImmerman’s self-defense is a fair argument, but it still doesn’t mean that he is innocent. The screams on the 911 tape? Why are you screaming for help if you know you are lethally armed? Full of shit.

But moving on. I feel that, in a way, this ties into something I read yesterday. Movies that really reflect life are some of the most amazing movies ever made, especially if you walk out of them feeling uncomfortable because the movie made you think, or question yourself and your beliefs.  I read an article yesterday that listed the top ten completely overrated movies (Titanic was #1, and I fully agree with that one). Number 8 was Crash.  Anyone that I know who has ever seen Crash, has talked about how it made them feel afterwards. The list said that the reason it was overrated was because it is “just filled with unlikeable characters being racist,” and that while “the world is full of terrible people, hard choices, and bad situations; however, it is also full of plenty of other things.” No. NO. It is filled with identifiable people, some of whom were being racist without even knowing it. That is the point.

Before I get into the whole rant, though, let me explain why it ties to Zimmerman – and frankly, any race-related thing (I’m sure your Facebook news feeds around election time showed you how some of your friends and family feel about black people). First off, non-black people are very quick to accuse black people of ‘playing the race card,’ and while I agree sometimes it comes out early, you have to understand. If you spend a lifetime actually being judged based on skin color, you’re going to see judgement everywhere. I’ve already shared the time I got pulled over in an affluent town and actually had a gun drawn on me before the cop ever even asked for ID. I was 19, dressed for the club, and I lived only five minutes away. The moment the guy saw a brown arm, he reacted. Think about the whole scene in the movie with Officer Hansen (Ryan Phillippe) and Peter (Larenz Tate) in the car. Why did Hansen react the way he did? Because Peter was a black man. How many Zimmerman supporters talked about Martin being some giant, muscle-bound street tough? Or – moreover, the “unbiased” photo of Zimmerman in a suit and some black kid (who wasn’t even Martin) throwing up ‘gang’ signs? Because as a young black man, Martin was automatically a thug.

So… to get into my critique of the critique of Crash… this submission shows that Kim Carleton (if she compiled this list completely alone) didn’t actually watch the movie. Or, considers it overrated because she saw something of herself in one of the characters and doesn’t want to face it.

The whole point of the damn movie was to show that racism is so ingrained that people sometimes behave without even being cognizant of said underlying racist motivation. That even the person who thinks they’re completely innocent of such behavior actually has some pretty intense discriminatory ideas. Once again, Officer Hansen. He requests a transfer from his partner Officer Ryan (Matt Dillon) because of his racial actions, but ultimately behaves in the exact same way with deadly consequences. In the meantime,  Officer Ryan, while he dishes out some verbal abuse to Shaniqua (Loretta Devine) and sexually assaults Christine (Thandie Newton) – though it’s unclear if the assault is a race thing or not – ends up saving Christine from a burning car without thinking twice about her skin color. Which one was actually racist?

Jean Cabot (Sandra Bullock) makes a comment about the locksmith giving keys to his Mexican gang friends, then later realizes that her Latina maid is the only person in her life she can truly depend on.  Detective Waters (Don Cheadle) who is the last person you’d expect to be racist, because he’s black, right, shows his indifference to all Latino/Hispanic cultures, implying that they’re all the same. The conversation between Anthony and Peter (Ludacris and Tate) about tipping, how the server expects them to leave a shitty tip because they’re black, and gives them less than stellar service, which leaves them deserving of a shitty tip – is really one of the most important scenes in the movie, in my opinion. SO many people are guilty of this – from both sides. I’m going to use black and white because that’s what I know. I know a lot of young black men who just assume all white people are going to treat them like ignorant thugs, and so they just act that way. They just meet expectations. Here’s my call to everyone: Expect more. Be more.

But honestly, if you saw that movie and the only thing you took away from it was, “If it is attempting to reflect real life, it went a little too far into the dark side,” then I suggest you watch it again. And again and again and again, until you get it. Until you’ve figured out which character represents you.


Friends Sans Kids (Childfree vs. Childless)


I’m writing from a place of pretty intense emotion, so forgive me in advance when when some things don’t make sense. I have two major points to make: The subtlety of semantics, and the relationship between people with kids and people without.

First let me hit on the word choices: People who choose not to have kids refer to themselves as childfree, however other people (usually those with kids or those who want kids) refer to those people as childless. It’s pretty interesting, when you really stop to think about it, how we choose certain words and phrases and how much power is actually behind them. Someone who uses childfree feels that their life is complete without kids, and in fact, kids might be a burden in their life. But then the person who tells them that they’re childless, is projecting their own beliefs that life is somehow incomplete without kids involved. Until #1 came along, I was childless. My best friend, however, was childfree. And she remains that way to this day.

When we were 29 (no, I am not telling you how many years ago that was), she had to fight her doctor into tying her tubes. The doctor (a woman) gave her all kinds of push-back about how she might change her mind, she’s still young, et cetera. T knew what she wanted, and her then-husband did too (their split had nothing to do with kids, for the record), and she even faced the doctor down with the fact that a tubal ligation is reversible, although she hadn’t actually looked into it because she had no intention of reversing it. The doctor kept throwing out the term childless. T actually had to change doctors and was finally able to get the procedure when she was 30. Why do so many people have a hard time accepting that some women truly do not want kids?

So, that’s that. Childfree and childless, while on the surface mean the same thing, are actually very different. Be careful how you use them.

 

Now… during all my childbearing years, T and I were always thick as thieves. I always had time for her, and she always – ALWAYS – had time for me. When I hear women with children bitching that their ‘childless’ friends have ditched them, how they never invite them to do anything, I always wonder if it’s really the other way around. You’ve all seen the pictures that go around facebook, about how ‘My idea of fun is no longer leaving the bar at 2am, dancing all night, etc, now it’s pillow forts in the living room, snuggling at 9pm with a cartoon’ or some other holier-than-thou thing. You know what? Yeah, it’s true, there were a few years where I really wasn’t able to do much of anything other unless it involved my kids, but there comes a point when all you want to do is have a night for you, and the people that you have always depended on to remind you exactly who you are.

So when T would invite me out to catch a new band, I would leave the kids with my husband and go out. I might not have been able to stay until closing time with her, but I was able to get some face time with her. When she would organize girls night out, I was there – and for those, I sometimes made it a point to stay out late. Let hubster do the heavy lifting. Now, I know there are single mothers out there, but you know what, there are babysitters. Not all of them are expensive. If you have cousins, nieces, nephews, etc, particularly if you babysat them back in the day, put them to work. Make it a point to get to know the younger people in your neighborhood. Be a little nosy and figure out who doesn’t go out a lot, because those are the kids who are going to be available when you need them. Expose your children to them so they’re not strangers.  Befriend them early, let them know your situation, they’ll be willing to sit for less than the “going rate” if they’re not total douchebags. I’ve done it for free on occasion. If your baby sitting money cuts into your night out money, big whoop. Meet at a friend’s first and pre-game, if you’re worried about being able to afford drinking money. If your friends are truly your friends, they’ll understand that you don’t want to bar-hop, that you just want to go to one bar because that’s all you can afford.

On the flip side, a third friend, R, never accepted any invitation to do anything that began after 7 pm. Not even to go to a movie. A movie? You can’t leave your child at home for two, maybe three hours max to come and sit on your ass with us in a theater?  Every time she wanted to get together, it was always with kids in mind. She’s say, hey let’s take the kids to this place on Saturday, maybe T can bring her nieces. Yes, T adores her twin nieces, but why should she have to procure some kids to be allowed to hang out? Oh, and T always felt like this was a dig at her worthiness. You are only allowed to join us if you have kids with you, you can’t come by yourself. Sort of the opposite of an adult-only party.

The thing is, maybe your childfree friends aren’t ditching you, maybe they’re just tired of always being turned down. What’s that line about insanity? Doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome? (Which isn’t the actual definition, but whatever) T stopped inviting R to anything, eventually, and then R always got pissed off that “her childless friends never ask her to do anything anymore.”

My fellow parents: Your friends without kids can only take being turned down so many times before they just stop bothering. But pay attention: They attend every single birthday party you throw for your kids. They might spoil your kids as if they were their own. They celebrate every milestone with you. They’re there when you want a night out. Your childfree friend’s idea of fun isn’t sitting around with an Elmo party hat on watching a bunch of short humans pin the tail on everything but the donkey, but she does it because YOU asked her to be there. She does it because it’s what YOU want. But you’re the one who passes the subtle message that your life is more important than hers when you can’t be bothered to take part in anything she’s interested in. Compromising and doing things like meeting for dinner or lunch are one thing, because that’s something both parties have a mutual interest in. But when you are only inviting her to things that involve your kids (and then getting upset at the times she declines) and then declining all of her invites that involve just being yourself, an adult who is still her own person and not just a mother, the relationship becomes one-sided.

So like I said, yes, there were a couple years when I did fall a bit off the grid. #1 and #2 were born way too close together and I got a bit overwhelmed. I turned down pretty much everything T asked me to do, mostly because every moment the girls weren’t in my sight, I promptly fell asleep. We did a lot of lunches with babies in tow, we did a lot of hanging around her apartment for an hour at a time (many of which I’m guilty of being half-asleep though), but we tried. It wasn’t until #2 was nearly three years old that I realized T’s invites were coming less and less. I did get angry at first, but then I thought about it, and I realized there would be no point to her asking. It’s like when you have a Tupperware party or something along those lines. You know who to invite and who not to waste your breath on.

Once the girls were old enough to be less of a drain on my mental health, I was able to re-establish a lot of the fun times that T and I had enjoyed over the years. As I said, I’d suck it up and get dressed up for the club, even if I had to call it a night less than two hours in. But that was more about being a responsible adult than anything else. I knew I’d have to be up at 7am, so I knew I had to get to bed by midnight. It didn’t matter that I had to be up at 7 because of the kids. I’d made similar decisions years back when I had to get up for work early.

Why would I begrudge her idea of fun. She gets to do whatever the hell she wants because she can. And if she wants me to be a part of it, then I’m going to do what I can to be there. I know she absolutely hates the whole gift-opening part of kids’ birthday parties, all the kids screaming about what they got and how cool it is, or some other kid yelling about how much he wants it too (at least she’s stopped conveniently getting a phone call right when it starts, for which she has to go outside) but she’s there with the giant garbage bag grabbing the wrapping paper, because she knows how much I hate cleaning that shit up.  She manages a band, whose music she knows I don’t particularly like, but I still go to their showcases and important events because I know how much it means to her.

I’m probably rambling, but I just saw a rant on facebook from a parent friend pissed at her single, childfree friend over this. This parent friend is also one of those moms who’s entire facebook page is all her kids. Honestly, it’s so much about the kids that one of them could probably take the account over as their own when they get older and no one would notice. This woman clearly has no idea how much she’s lost herself in her kids. When you become a mother, motherhood should enhance your womanhood, not replace it. You’re still an individual, with you own interests, your own desires. Your idea of fun isn’t really a Dora marathon; it’s simply seeing your child happy. But your child isn’t going to be happy if you’re not happy, and I don’t see how you can be happy if you don’t have some semblance of a life of your own.

Maybe that makes me sound like a sanctimommy, but at least this sanctimommy has friends that aren’t my kids. And my facebook page has pictures of me.


Ridiculous Inventions: Infomercials


I hate infomercials as much as the next guy. It’s no secret that I watch way to much TV, particularly at night. And these infomercial people aren’t stupid, they know what people are watching at night. Shows geared at young adults are full of commercials for checking out college online. You know the ones, with that stupid song, education connection. Market data shows single men watch a lot of comedy central at night. Therefore: all those awful chatline commercials. My favorite is the new one, We Are 18.com. Seriously? We’re at that point where we don’t even bother coming up with cutesy names? I forgot which one I saw the other night, of the chick sitting on her stairs in her underwear, with sex hair. They really amped up the imagery on that one.

I’m waiting for the day when I see the infomercial on Lifetime, with a half-naked man washing dishes and cleaning the floor, telling me he’s waiting for my call. I’m waiting for your call, jackass. Be proactive!

So… I’ve been laughing at some of these, and I just have to wonder what kind of success these products have. Does anybody REALLY have the problems that the people in these commercials have?

Does anyone really have that hard of a time finding the right lid to a container? If you do, then you need to get your shit together and stop being a sloppy mess, not go spend 20 bucks on 18 more containers. Anyone with an ounce of organizational skills already stacks their containers the way these are set up at 0:54. If your cupboards look the way they do at 0:57, you have bigger problems.

This is a product for someone who has apparently never owned any kind of baking tin. You know, something that serves more than one purpose and will therefore be used more often, instead of just taking up space.

Tortilla guy again! This one takes all of 10 seconds to make me laugh. Anyone who has made it past the age of five and has developed fine motor skills will not have the issues shown in the first 5 seconds. Who flings a pancake over the side of the pan. Why are you using such a small pan and not a griddle or skillet anyway? And who the fuck is using all that butter? I don’t use any butter on the skillet! Also, those “messy” pancakes shown at 0:05 look pretty damn amazing. Also, why call now and make 4 perfect pancakes when I can already make 8 or even 10 when I make them smaller on the skillet? One more example of putting on a band-aid. If you can’t flip a pancake, it’s because no one taught you how to cook one.

If I wanted to put on sunblock with a makeup brush, I would just use the SPF 30 makeup that already exists. Also, many major sunblock brands already come in a stick (like a glue stick) for easy face application. Thanks for the extra inconvenience.

Once again, stop being such a slob. Does anyone really have that many k-cups flying around? Get organized and think outside the box. Everything around you is multipurpose. I keep my nail polish in one of these silverware containers for drawers. Those mini Rubbermaid drawers that most people use as desk organizers? That’s on my dresser, full of makeup, with my brushes in a pen cup that attaches to the side.

This is not any cuter than a regular sweater or hoodie tied around your waist, and the second you stick anything in that pocket that has any shape other than flat, it’s no more attractive than a regular fanny pack. There is no added convenience here. Move on.

One of my biggest pet peeves are commercials dedicated to scaring people. It’s very rare that someone breaks into your house this way. Or the ADT commerical where the man kicks the door in while the woman and her daughter are standing right there in the kitchen. It doesn’t happen. It just doesn’t freaking happen that way.

Oh Trendy Top and Cami Secret. Once again, instead of fixing a problem…  Idea! Buy clothes that fit.  If I want to make sure to avoid plumber’s crack, I wear pants that fit and cover my ass. I layer every single day regardless with camis and regular tank tops. They don’t ride up, they don’t shift around, and they look much better than either one of these products. The Cami Secret? If it attaches to your bra straps and that’s it, then guess what? As you move around during the that, that little scrap that you think is “securely” placed under your shirt is going to work itself up and out. Have fun adjusting that all day long.

As someone who has dealt with a lack of power on multiple occasions, the couple fumbling around trying to make dinner just crack me up. According to this ad, Brooklyn Lantern it will stay lit for 11 years and 151 days. I’m honestly curious enough to buy this and put it in a time capsule just to test this out.

Any person who has ever purchased any one of these things is already banned from my zombie apocalypse survival group. Lack or coordination? Inability to dress? Can’t figure out how to use your surroundings to your benefit? Yeah, you’re gonna get us all killed.  Just go out and save yourself until someone creates an easy fix for your life.


Flic your Bic!


Time for me to talk about the Bic “for her” pens. I don’t think it’s really necessary to be a controversy, but at the same time, come on. You can call it being sensitive, but I think this year, women should be sensitive, and we should be immediately defensive anytime we hear any female pronoun.

If there is controversy, it’s based on the fact that they’re explicitly labeled “for her,” thereby implying that all of the other pens, no matter how pretty you might think they are, are not for her, but for him. Especially the whole, “specially designed for women’s hands” thing. Really? What if I had man hands? Are guys with feminine hands allowed to use these? Are our hands really that different that we need to use different writing tools?

Pink, purple, and even sparkly pens have been around for decades without having to be labeled as girl-specific. You remember the plain ones, they’re that hexagonal-shaped cylinder, clear? I pissed my teachers off frequently in grade school with the aqua-blue, pink, purple, and lime-green versions of that. Some of the pens that they’re hawking now are exactly these pens (just in different shades). Later, I would have pink and purple sparkly versions of the other “classic” Bic pen (the white ones).

The pens in the photo above just made me sad… The pens on the right are really for girls simply because the buttons are purple and pink? That brings me to the flip side… Are you saying that a boy can’t use these?

rings classicpopperblueLet’s take it a step further than pens. A friend of mine reminded me of how many classic children’s toys are now in shades of pink and purple. She mentioned the stackable rings. You remember. You all had Fisher Price stackable rings. And poppers. If you have kids, your kids have/had them. You know these toys. In recent years there have been a few changes to the rings, the red ring becoming clear on one side and containing small colorful balls; and to the popper, getting some geometric design to to the handle.  All the better to visually stimulate a baby and teach primary colors – which is one of the main points of this toy.

rings pinkpopperpinkThen… they made  ‘girl’ versions. And while they are adorable and I’m sure little girls love them (even though I’m sure they love the regular ones just as much), you have completely lost the exposure to the educational purpose of the toy. Your kid may know four different shades of pink, but she won’t know the basic colors of the light spectrum.

And then there are the pink versions of sports team jerseys. I can’t explain to you how much I despise these. If you like a team, support them by wearing the jersey in their team colors. The pink jerseys say to me, “I don’t want anything to do with sports unless there’s some pink because I’m a girl!” I just hate them.

But to bring it all back to where I started… these pens. I love sarcastic Amazon reviews for any product, but these take the cake. The fact that even men felt the need to step in is so vindicating.

What I’m saying is that it’s not like we never had access to cute pens before. I have drawers full of them. Basically, since they’ve been making cutesy pens for as long as I can remember, all they had to do was keep making them. Just put them in the store the way you have been since DAy One of business. Watch girls who like cute pens buy them. Count your profits. Done.

If you want to buy these, I’m not stopping you. As long as you’re buying them because you like the way they look, not because you think they’re really specially made for you. Particularly since they look like every pen they’ve made for the last… who knows how long.

There was just no need for a huge marketing campaign for pens for girls, especially at a time when women are being treated like second class citizens and morons incapable of making their own choices. Now we’re being told what pens to use… What’s next?

Edit to add:  A month and a half later, Ellen has jumped on the wavelength with me on this:


The Difference…


 


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