Thursday, April 27, 2017

'X' marks the rot

Are you in touch with an 'ex' despite being in a happy relationship currently? Then, read no further really. You and I are from very different schools of thought.

Think about it. Anything that has the word 'ex' in it, is either dead, dangerous, useless or prone to leaving you with a painful rash. Off the top of my head: Tyrannosaurus Rex, explosives, excrement, Dexter, sexists, exhibitionists, hexobarbital, vortex, sexagenarians, spandex, sexagenarians in spandex….

A mopey face greeted me over a cup of morning coffee. I used my equivalent of the popular millennial ‘wassup’ greeting, which is to say, I said nothing but raised a quizzical brow.

“My ex is getting married.” Heavy sigh.

“And what about your current?” I asked with what I hoped was a sympathetic enough face. The same face I adopt when someone announces they stubbed a toe against a fire extinguisher and yet their request for a medal of valour was brutally quashed.

“My current? I’m married to her.”

“She must be really great if you married her.”

“Well, yeah. But….” The mopey veil cascaded over the face again.

My phone rang. A friend. I picked it up expecting to hear the usual chirpy “Hello!” Instead, I was met with a series of stifled sniffles and sobs. And it isn’t even flu season yet.

The story began with, “So my ex was in town and….”

You get my drift. Exes are bad news any which way you look at them. Some want to get back with you, some want to get their backs on you, you want to get back with some, get your back on some. It’s all very backward.

Sometimes, I feel like I’m stuck in a bad game of Scotland Yard. Everybody’s in pursuit Mr. (or Ms.) X. It makes for a really long, tedious game that really isn’t going to end well for anyone.

If you’re still hung up on your ex, then you’re being extremely disrespectful to your current partner. You aren’t doing the relationship any justice and you’re undeserving of any kind of love and effort they shower on you. Stop being a louse and cut somebody loose.

If that somebody is the ex, first off, get them off your damn Facebook and stop accidentally liking their pictures from 8 months ago on Instagram. There are enough psychopathic stalkers out there without you having to throw your clown hat into the demented ring.

When it comes to exes, the writing is quite clearly on the wall: Life allows you to exhale and exhilarate, if only you would exterminate, extinguish, extricate, excise, expunge, exclude, extirpate….

Mind Your Pees And Chews



The other day, I was in a public restroom at my office building. I was privy to a fascinating conversation. One sided. Simply because the lady in the next stall was busy talking on her cell phone while doing the deed. 

I mean, don't get me wrong. I was deeply happy for her since her son scored in the high 90s in his first grade exam and her aunty's hysterectomy went off without a hitch. However, I really did not need to know about the other son's persistent loose motions ("curry consistency") triggered by mangoes or the details about her father-in-law's prostrate examination.

The cell phone has successfully killed what remained of basic courtesy and simple decency. How often have I found myself seated at a table for a meal, pushing a bunch of potatoes around on my plate for amusement, simply because the three other people at the table are immersed in their phones?

The rot extends even further than the cell phone.

Have you ever opened a door for someone only to have them march through without so much as a nod of thanks as if it was your bounden duty to open doors for all of humanity? I constantly find myself stepping out of the way to avoid someone sauntering past without a thought for personal space. 

And as if adding insult to injury, the other day, this bumpkin not only shoved past me, but added a loud, ripe belch as he waddled past. I figured the belching may be some kind of pre-protozoan mode of communication for as he padded up to his desk one morning - the time people usually greet each other with a "hello" or "good morning", he let out yet another of those trademark belches. The only thing louder than those animalistic belches is his chomping and smacking while devouring lunch. 

The extent to which basic decency has eroded is appalling. 

I recently found myself in the role of a recovery agent - tackling someone who'd spent somebody else's money and then dodged repaying it for well over a year. Yes, my life gets interesting like that.
As it turns out, I am clearly better at pushing a person’s buttons than I am at pushing lift buttons (on account of being a 'germaphobe').  The money was repaid, but not without a whiny note about how difficult it was to have to pay and how "wrong" I was to have asked for it. 

Really? You spend somebody else's money that was not yours to spend in the first place (loosely referred to as "daylight robbery") and then crib about having to pay it back? That's a bit like stealing somebody's peanuts and then grumbling that they give you gas, no?

Shamelessness.

People, just stop it already. Stop with the bad manners, the screen gazing, the crudeness, the opportunistic selfishness. And the public flatulence.

That's all.

Please.

Thank you.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

A Woman's Career Is "Just An Option"



Not to panic, people! Sexism is alive and well. Just ask Trump. Or just call on people in my supposedly progressive neighbourhood.

Today, I was told that having a career is "just an option". Would such a statement have been thrown at a man? Absolutely not. Because, apparently, only men can have real jobs. For women, a job is just "an option". 

Deferring to the speaker's age (and possible signs of senility), I didn’t bother to retort. Sometimes it’s just best to let the half-wits think they’ve had the last word. Their words hold so little weight, it takes a whole lot of idiotic words, tacked clumsily together into barely intelligible ludicrous statements, for them to even become quote-worthy, you know?

Just what would these half-wits advise that us working women do with our lives? Marry men with "real jobs" and support them I suppose? In my case, this half-wit would rather have me spending my time looking after the day-to-day running of the apartment building in which we live. Don't get me wrong: I admire anyone who can take care of that AND keep up with a job that has round-the-clock demands. I am simply not cut out for it. I twirl and twirl and twirl, but Wonder Woman I am not.

Say, since my career is "just an option" that I can give up, who is going to pay to put food on my table? Since I’m a woman, clearly I should know my place and sponge off my parents perhaps? Or dip into the piggy bank of my brother, what with his real career and all. Or just depend on some random Mr. Money Bags, eh? Or wait... Jesus! He da man! He'll provide if I pray hard enough.

In this day and age, I am aghast that a woman’s career is still taken so lightly. I speak for both single and married women. 

For instance, single women friends have told me how they’ve been taunted for "having no responsibilities". As if marriage and babies are the only real responsibilities for women. How about running a house on your own? Planning your own life so that you’re never going to have to be financially dependent on somebody else? Single women run their own houses, pay rents and maintenance, commute a couple of hours to work each day, work 10 even 15-hour days, take on mortgages, support their parents, put food on their own dining tables, and so on. Those, dear half-wits, are responsibilities too. 

My married women friends, who "choose to continue working", fare no better. When they drag themselves in through the front door of their houses each evening after an exhausting day at work, what do they get? A nice warm cup of coffee is thrust into the hands of their spouse, while they’re dumped with a nice warm baby with a sopping, soiled diaper that needed to be changed three hours ago. Woohoo! Nothing says "Welcome home" better than squelchy poo!

I’ve heard men at a previous workplace tell us, their women counterparts, that they firmly believe men are the primary breadwinners while women are, by design, meant to be caregivers playing a supporting role. This sentiment voiced by men with shiny engineering degrees and fancy Master’s degrees. It just goes to show that education does nothing. Equality? Pfft! 

With such rampant misogynists around and women who continue to perpetuate the notion of this "career optional" mentality, are things really going to change any time soon? 

My boss, a woman I look up to and admire to the core of my being for doing it all and with such strength and poise, including co-founding the company, was recently asked by a business journalist how she supports her co-founder husband’s career. "Supports"? The fact that she co-founded the place is of no consequence – the natural assumption being that the men did the 'real work'. So a woman in a business is just there for what? Aesthetic purposes? To see that the coffee machines are in working order? To chase up on errant housecleaning staff?

Incidentally, in my apartment building, all maintenance responsibilities are carried out by women. Because, you know, the men have 'real jobs'. Yes, even the ones who’ve retired and vegetate in their houses all day. Ass scratching is a real job, you know. I believe the official designation is Chief Ass-ecutive Officer.

Anyway, what would I really know? After all, society says a working woman shouldn’t be taken seriously. Because a career is just an option. Just like a side of fries with your burger. 

I’m pretty sure this post is going to ruffle a lot of patriarchal feathers and raise some chauvinistic hackles. How dare this woman voice her opinion? How dare she speak out? How dare she place it on the internet for all the world to read? While I eagerly await their hate mail, I have one last thing to say to such indignant dunderheads:

Reading this blog post is just like a woman’s career to you – you know, optional.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Thou Shalt Never Say No To Me

(Or The Lost Art of Accepting ‘No’ For An Answer)

My phone beeped. A text message.

“Blah! What plans 2nite?!!!”

“Dinner”, I tapped back.

“Cancel it! We’re meeting XYZ.”

I scowled – you know, my usual 'I smell something really rank and I might have stepped in it' face. This message from someone hardly that familiar to me. I resent being dictated to. Even an "Any chance you could cancel or postpone?" would have been far more polite and I would have reconsidered.

Digging my cloven hooves in, I typed back: "No."

My phone beeped again. "Do it."

I didn't bother further.

Every self-help guru out there seems to be spouting wisdom on how not to take ‘no’ for an answer. It’s about high time they shut their little pie holes, you think?

'Leaning in' is one thing. 'Sitting on and pummelling' - or being a pushy, obnoxious ass - is quite another. Unfortunately, that fat line between the two hasn't just been blurred – it’s been Brazilian waxed into oblivion. Yes, it's a sore point.

This brings me to the lost art of the Invitation. An invitation used to be a polite affair – a cheerful "come on over, this is going to be fun" sort of beckoning. It used to be truly inviting. It used to make you want to go, sometimes in an "I’ll grovel and kiss your stinky toes and clamber over your iron-spiked fence, pretty please, do not revoke this invitation" kind of way.

Somewhere along the line, an invitation has been equated with a commandment. It is the 11th Commandment: "Thou Shalt Not Say No To My Plan Ever, For Whatever Reason." For someone who has quite the reputation for being snarky, I have a surprisingly low tolerance for rudeness and pushiness.

Any time I *gasp* dare to say "no", I'm met with an immediate aggressive "But I've done A, B, C and bought D, E, F" and so forth. When I, oh-so-coldheartedly, stick to my guns, the person usually then resorts to whining and guilt tripping of sorts. "But you did not come for Occasion Z". What's with all the "butting"? That is just irksome.

It’s simple really. If you are issuing an invitation, the expectation is that people can answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ depending. A gentle persuasion when you get a ‘no’ is okay. A spoilt-brat type tantrum is not.

Since when did it become okay to think that your plans must take precedence and override somebody else’s prior appointments?

For everyone out there reading this and thinking about the numerous times you've been pushed over and badgered into ungraciously accepting an ‘invitation’, please take heart. There are a few of us sitting around and smarting about it too.

Now, just dig your heels in as much as you can and say ‘no’ if you want to. And when a spoilt-brat type tantrum is received, simply issue an invitation of your own:

“You may strategically place your wonderful lips upon my posterior and kiss it repeatedly!” (Barnabas Collins in Dark Shadows)

Saturday, May 2, 2015

This Blog Ain't Dead Yet

Just taking some time out until the world stops spinning and I can safely extricate my head from between my knees. :P