Wednesday, March 09, 2022

S. Pellegrino: Wherever You Are (what about alone in bed? HUH?!?!?)

I like to watch escapist youtube videos while I’m eating. In bed. Alone. To pretend I am on a vacation, for example. And because I find TV shows and movies with plots and conflict highly stressful and too much to pay attention to when I’m trying to relax. So I watch videos about TRAVEL: trips that I will never go on, but I like the *idea* of the food that is served and the mode of transportation (cruise ships, trains, luxury VIP flight capsule-suites, Las Vegas buffet reviews, etc.). I will never go on them because I’m a bitch, of course, so the idea of being around people — stuck on a ship or plane or train or in a casino with them, half with their noses sticking out their masks or no masks at all — is a dealbreaker (on top of the lack of money, so it’s a moot point kind of but I’m enough of a bitch that I enjoy resenting people while I am taking IMAGINARY trips, so not *entirely* moot).

ANYHOO, I’ve been watching quite a few European cruise videos and this one short ad keeps popping up: an ad for S. Pellegrino (San Pellegrino sparkling water). It’s really short, but somehow after watching it half a dozen times it began to grate on my nerves. Not just because I have now seen it so many times, but also because this ad specifically represents a couple of elements that only a bonafide bitch would be in the HABIT of sneering at with irritable insecurity …

The ad has some kind of high-class Italian restaurant kind of music playing (like … a gently-strummed spanish guitar along with grapes falling from above onto another guitars strings making a festive-yet-sophisticatedly-muted plunky rhythm). The camera displays happy attractive people sitting around a big table, smiling and nodding at one another. Then this one actor I kind of recognize as being one of those elegant slender judgmental spies who thinks he can get away with espionage and embezzlement and eventually murder but isn’t young or muscular enough to play a heroic lead so he does NOT get away with murder instead even Phillip Seymour Hoffman nodding off at his fattest can put a stop to this snooty international maths-and-classical-languages-professor-turned-THEEEEEF enters the frame. You don’t know his name — god knows *I* don’t know his name even though I tried to figure out for the sake of this bitch rant — but you would recognize the thin but still elegantly salt-and-pepper hair-swoops and the know-it-all look of polite half-smirking disdain that is the guy’s signature LOOK.

He’s wearing a striped blouse with the top two buttons undone like they’ve just strolled through snootiest parts of the vineyard and are ready to dine on multisyllabic Mediterranean fare or tapas or whatever (is tapas Spain-ish or Mediterranean or is Espana part of the Mediterranean or ???) because they’ve worked up an appetite but not to a glistening sweat-level of ravenous sloppiness; his blouse is still CRISP, but not in a starchy way … in a high-quality-threads-have-stood-up-to-washing-so-as-now-to-be-quite-soft way. With the rakishly loosened collar imparting casual vineyard-strolling. I know men’s button-up shirts are not called “blouses” but fuck it man, the way the guy wears it so shapelessly, just lining his high-class privileged un-muscled healthy-svelte educated-and-wealthy-man privilege … anyway. When the camera pans away from the people at the table, this fucker is in the foreground in the lower right corner of your screen LOOKING at you, telling you how drinking this fizzy water is going to make your get-together CLASSY and upscale and exclusive and refined. He knows you don’t qualify to run in these circles, but since he is a soft-collar crook and he needs you to keep his secret yet still bow to his superior class … well, he’ll impart some wisdom to you on how to fit in: make the occasion feel rich and elegant with some of this S. Pellegrino bubble-water shit.

I don’t remember exactly what he says (even though I’ve watched it a bunch of times, all that sticks with me is the VIBE of this son-of-a-bitch), but it really rubs me the wrong way. It reminds me how much I *detested* the last part of Call Me By Your Name. Part 3: The San Clemente Syndrome. Ugh. And it all is really about not only feeling outclassed, but being an introvert which is part of why I am such a tremendous bitch (and why I am ill-suited to go on any of the vacations reported on by my favorite travel youtubers). Like … I just do not understand people prioritizing and celebrating traveling and dining together, and talking about literature and the people they know and remember that vintage and whatever-the-fuck.

I will take my S. Pellegrino in bed with my meal, where I can hear the fizzing of its bottle-green backwash fading out on my nightstand as I drift off to dreamland.

Tuesday, March 08, 2022

Bitch-Ass Bowl-Suction

That raging feeling when you're already pissed off that you have to do the dishes (by hand ... all the dishes I do are by hand, because I have never lived in a house with a dishwasher in my almost fifty years of life in the United States of America) ... and one of your plastic bowls gets STUCK inside another matching plastic bowl!

It would be funny to watch someone ELSE wrestling with and cursing at the obstinate thin plastic perfectly form-fitted to one of its siblings, trying to get it unstuck ... finally getting it unstuck and having soapy dishwater FLY THROUGH THE AIR and all over your shirt-front. But when it's you (okay, when it is ME, myself) it is not so fucking funny.

This is one of those menial fine-motor skill laborious tasks that do not require enough physical energy to RELIEVE some of your STEAM as it builds up pressure and more pressure and more pressure until you think you're going to blow. So you just ... BLOW. And it's all splashy and wet like some big bully in a swimming pool who won't stop "pretending" to drown you FOR FUNSIES. You are helpless. You just have to take it.

It's the kind of bullshit that makes you feel like inanimate objects are conspiring against you, fucking with you with such precision that the bowls MUST have wicked minds, or are imbued with some kind of justice engine to teach high-strung assholes LESSONS in PATIENCE (that we will never ever seem to learn, proving of course that we have seriously defective characters and are loose cannons who should never be trusted with anything breakable, let alone other human beings).

I think one of the problems is how often we underestimate household chores. We underestimate their complexity and how long they will take. We underestimate the variety of skills and strengths required to do these mundane repetitive tasks that are seriously devalued by the patriarchy. So we try to -- HAVE to -- squeeze them in between "important" work, viewing them as obstacles to completing the supposedly-more valuable work ... obstacles to being able to relax after that work is done, etc. They are these endless-feeling time-sucks that we fail to experience as intrinsically rewarding. Housework is supposed to be easy AND simple -- even a MACHINE can do it! But you know most machine dishwasher actually suck ass in my experience (albeit limited). We approach the dishes with resentment and disdain, failing to have gratitude, failing to find ways to accept the practice of cleaning up as opportunities to savor our resources, failing to acknowledge how much energy and intelligence actually is required to do a good job of keeping a clean, healthy, tidy, useful, reliable home and kitchen.


I would like to wrap this up in a more polished manner, perhaps with some kind of wisdomful solution that puts my bitchiness to rest, but instead I have to just accept that doing SOME of the dishes is better than none of them. That no matter how much effort and anger I put into housework I, personally, am always going to have more shit lined up on the counter to grapple with, more crumbs on the floor, more dishwater-sopped and water-spot-stained shirts to try to patiently go through ... one. Dish. At. A time.

Pulling on the bowls when they're stuck inside each other makes it worse. You have to fucking FINESSE those bitches with a gentle side-to-side push-and-pull.

Wednesday, March 02, 2022

Ring-a-Ding-DING, Motherfuckers

 I think it’s fabulous – I really do – cutting down on traffic and carbon emissions and being ACTIVE and whatever-the-fuck-else by riding bicycles. I wish that the majority of people in America would stop viewing cyclists with contempt and mockery.

But come on … help us out a little. As a PEDESTRIAN we have good reason to fucking hate you two-wheeled assholes. I fucking hate you fuckers shooshing violently along on the sidewalk, for one thing, and even MORE so when you don’t even fucking bother to alert those of us that the sidewalks were MADE FOR by giving us the consideration of an audible warning that you’re zooming up behind us. DING-DING! It's JOLLY! Ring the bell! Did you not watch Mr. Fucking Rogers and learn some manners?!? It's cute, that bell! Why are you all so opposed to ringing it? I would ring one just for the pure fun of it without even needed an excuse like PROTECTING SOMEONE I'M VERY CLOSE TO CRASHING INTO FROM BODILY HARM (or even just the unpleasant feeling of being STARTLED). Do you think it makes you cool not to warn us? Like, is this supposed to impress people like you're one of those shitty waiters who refuses to write orders down because you want to demonstrate your supposedly-superior remembery-making skills?!?

Today this happened to me on a park road. I was walking doot-do-doot merrily along through the trees … kind of weaving around looking at the cedars and firs and madronas. Weaving because there were hardly any people around and I’m not paying attention to where I’m going on the smooth wide pavement so why the fuck not?

OH. Because some fucking jackasses are careening down the hill on their skinny-tired fancy-ass bikes towards me.

Fortunately my hearing is good enough that I could hear the sound of their wheels on the pavement in time, but WHY DON’T YOU FUCKING ASSHOLES SHOW SOME FUCKING CONSIDERATION FOR SOMEONE BESIDES YOURSELVES?!? LIke … a lot of people are hearing impaired. The onus of being hypervigilant should not be on people walking, it should be on YOU with the deadly hurtling meat-bags-full-of-bones on fast-as-hell fancy metal machines, you fucking skinny stringy-muscled motherfuckers. RING A FUCKING BELL to let a fucker know you’re close to mowing us down.

I wouldn’t be so mad about this particular duo of goggle-faced mofos if it weren’t such a common occurrence. So even though there was quite a bit of room today on the path (okay, really basically a bonafide road of like … a car-and-a-half wide) THIS TIME, my anger is cumulative AND I have experienced this enough to know these self-centered speed-freaks wouldn’t have let me know even if the path were 1/10 the size of today. They don’t care. They don’t care about people walking or have any concept of the extra care that should be given to people with hearing impairments, mobility issues, dizziness … whatever. Give people a wide berth and give them some fucking NOTICE before you’re whizzing by our elbows. I swear to god I fantasize about having a spike strip for bicycles specifically for teaching these cunts a lesson.

It grated on me even worse today when I had to endure these privileged shitholes headache-and-nausea-triggering flashing red tail lights as I walked behind them. It’s the middle of the fucking day and you need those on? You can afford every fucking bell and whistle for your cycling *except* the actual BELLS? It’s such a blatant show of them only caring about their OWN safety, and not the pedestrians they could knock down and cause gross bodily harm to.

And don't even get me started about skateboarders. Or even worse: BICYCLE COPS.

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Accepting Help as an Introvert - TOO COSTLY PT II

Follow-up to this post / another example about how introversion makes accepting help too costly.

Or let's say your mom offers to come all the way from one city to drive you all the way to another city for a doctor appointment because she would "do ANYTHING to help". But riding the bus alone even if you get coronavirus for it is more helpful because the COST of your energy being drained for a stressful ride where you have to TALK and LISTEN and FEEL THE ENERGY of another loved one and BE VIGILANT of them getting stressed out and needing reciprocity etc (when you're already a bad passenger and car crash PTSD is triggered by the mere unavoidable sight of brake lights any distance ahead).

Even just having to text back and pretend you're grateful for the offer instead of fatigued by having to read and figure out how to respond to anything unnecessary and fueled by emotional needs is distinctly UNhelpful. It costs too much to accept these offers of "help" that require so much and many types of fuel. I don't know why people cannot appreciate how much easier it is to pick from a limited number of departure times, get on the bus with strangers, put on headphones, and just RIDE. Next bus. RIDE. Ferry. RIDE. Get off. Walk. Walk. Walk. I would rather have those four hours of relative silence and knowing exactly what to do next with drivers who are trained to do what they do where I am only one passenger of many. Than alll of the communication and updates and back and forthing for 24 hours then fucking Jesus Christ how many hours? 6 hours minimum of the travel and how can I thank you enough and now I'm worried about you getting home safely too and do we want to go out to eat together too and all of that bananas.

When you spend time with people, you want it to be high-quality. Not squandered on this stress where you will no doubt snap and, intentionally or not, behave in a manner your mom doesn't like or approve of or that hurts her feelings IT IS TOO MUCH. No fucking thank you!!! All of that energy squandered just stifling the screaming is too costly.

It is a logistical nightmare that ruins even fun shit just making sure everybody pees and poops when and where they need to and feel comfortable. Constant fucking compromise, people "helping" each other out. I have to poop and now you have to pee and oh wait now we have to stand in line for freshening up makeup and now we missed the ferry and have to wait here in the car together for another hour and you won't just let me read you have to talk or listen to your talk radio.

I just want to look over there out the window and not look at anyone else's face for a month. Not have to try to summon up a response designed to be loving from the one billion muscles in the face that if I don't twitch them correctly will break your heart and what's wrong what's wrong are you okay what's wrong. I understand I do that too but I can't give a shit RN please understand. Just leave me alone.

Of course, I am trying to (and I do, naturally, which is part of what makes it such a struggle to just make the healthy decisions and try to respond -- or resist responding -- in a way that reflects love and reduces the suffering for all of us) temper these feelings with empathy for people wanting to know how they can help and just offering anything that comes to mind and is in their power. Your mom knows the journey is hard, and she is not trying to make it harder; she genuinely (thinks she) is attempting to make it easier (even though I've explained this to her multiple times, and when I do she says she understands, but somehow it just must not stick in there and I should not take it personally she is just doing her best and has competing motivations, etc.). We all often forget though how much of a burden COMMUNICATING is. Especially for introverts. Especially when it is unnecessary and fraught with emotions: the need to reassure, to be grateful, to be loving. I don't have any of that right now. I am busy. Please don't drain my fuel tank. Please I am begging you.

It just never feels right to say "the best way you can help us right now is to leave us alone and not bother us and not ask us for attention or communication or responses." Because when you do that, you are telling them: you are bothering me. You are being needy. You are asking for our help when you do that, not actually offering help to us. Unfortunately that is the truth, though. Figuring out how to respond that does not increase the suffering is a dilemma, and extroverts constantly gore you on those horns. Life force just shooting out in blood-red pulses splashing all over everybody. What the fuck are you supposed to? It's like you have no choice but to expend the energy on this job that they forced you to accept when you are already working triple-time trying to just survive and get through the crisis. How is that helpful?

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Accepting Help as an Introvert - TOO COSTLY PT I

Introversion often comes across as bitchiness. Being "aloof", a "stuck up snob". When usually it is that we are fucking tired and can't afford the eye contact. This is extra true for femmes with big tits on their chests. Especially if they also have some ASD or other non-neurotypical ways of processing information (like I didn't hear you or know your words were meant for me to put together / was looking at something bright and shiny / am trying to just move my body through a doorway without shoulder-tackling the jam).

It sucks when you are, say, painfully sleep-deprived while, say, trying to help your loved one through a health crisis exacerbated by them being even MORE sleep-deprived than you are, and extroverts offer to help or advise you to seek help from "a friend", but the help would cost more energy (leaving you even more exhausted and fatigued) than it is worth.

Let's say you have a sleep deficit of 35. I don't actually know what numbers you use to represent a sleep deficit but let's just say 20 is bad 50 is terrible 90 is you're going to die from sleep deprivation). A helping professional asks if you have a friend or someone you trust nearby that could give you a place to sleep if it is impossible to sleep in your one-room apartment with your loved one who *definitely* cannot sleep & will keep you awake all night with her. But you are introverts so you while you know people and they would probably do their best to help if you asked, you haven't cultivated friendships with other introverts that are that close and familiar where you'd be comfortable and natural and truly wanted in that situation. Because introverts tend to have just one or three close friends. You and your loved one are married to each other, so that's what you've got: comfort and love and closeness of that kind just with each other. So while you could try one of your other friendly contacts, the oddness of asking for the place to sleep and explaining the stressful private reasons why you need it and the necessity to interact and also demonstrate gratitude and submission to their (usually extroverted) home & ways and figure out the logistics with that person of getting to and fro (plus the energy and expense of to and fro-ing) actually requires so much energy (that you don't even have) that it would add between an 8 and a 12 to your sleep deficit in exchange for at best a reduction of 6. It's not fucking worth it. It would be more helpful to try to get a nap on a bus or in a public library or on a bench at the train station or in a piss-dripping doorway outside. Nothing against your friends; they are great which is part of why inflicting yourself on them would be extra stressful. You'd just have a better chance of reducing your sleep deficit on a park bench or down on the waterfront while one of the piers is breaking off and sinking and construction goes on all around you than if you have to do phone calls and smiles and all of the stuff.

If I had any room left on my credit cards I would just get a room. Which is why I do not have any room left on my credit cards. Because regardless of mafia-level interest rates, as an introvert it is still far far cheaper to get help from the plastic than negotiate and pay for getting help from friends and loved ones. So that is what I have been doing when I have needed help since I was eighteen. You don't have to tell anyone why or what for, you just slide it or give the security numbers. Much. More. Efficient. Leaves more room for resting and sleep.

Monday, February 14, 2022

It Hurts Me Too

When I bitch, it's not just unpleasant for other people; it is unpleasant for me too. This is especially true when I bitch people out directly -- confrontationally. Especially in real life.

Like yesterday.

I confronted a stranger in a members-only space who was not a member. Part of a group of people who flouted numerous rules (in place to keep members and our assets safe), but she wound up getting the brunt of my frustration.

The stress (felt in my body and mind) and bad feelings I got from it were much worse AFTER I said something than before. You could measure the consequences of those folks actions on me against the consequences of me saying something and it is measurably objectively true that yesterday my bitching hurt me much more than what I was bitching about hurt me (yesterday, anyway; it is unknown what pain I will experience in the future because of my bitching, or may have averted by doing the bitching).

I wasn't a bitch in the classic sense of the term; I did not go on and on in a shrill voice lecturing. I was direct and to the point. I showed absolutely no empathetic or emotional response to her (probably[?] fake ass) apologies and excuses. But still. My heart rate went up, I couldn't concentrate on my work, my hands were shaking. And afterwards -- for many many hours -- I kept returning to thoughts about it. Adding in worries that I had been too harsh. That I should have been kinder. That the member who brought them in was the person I should be confronting, not this young woman who may not even be aware of the guidelines.

When I do these righteous confrontational bitch-ass things, I often think shit like I am not the asshole by saying something, THEY are the assholes for doing the bullshit they did. I am not the asshole for saying words in an unkind-sounding way, THEY are the assholes for behaving in a way that clearly demonstrates they are unkind and don't care about anybody but themselves and are untrustworthy and don't think rules apply to them and clearly don't value me or the space we're sharing or any of the other people who come here. But the truth is we can all be assholes. There can (and usually are) assholes on both sides of a conflict.

If you would just follow the rules that are posted and emailed to us and you agreed to then I wouldn't have to act this way.

Wiser people might point out ... I do not actually *have to* act this way. They didn't force me to react in this manner. I do not actually have to react at all. And I would be happier if I didn't.

More peaceful people would point out that maybe there are not two opposing sides to these conflicts. That we are all part of the same body; if I focus on how I am connected to these people I fearfully perceive myself in conflict with, I can feel we are not on different sides. Being a bitch is always going to cause me more pain.

In hindsight I was able to envision how confusing and hurtful my smackdown may have been to this person so much younger than I am who is doing their best (as we all are; I truly believe that and want that belief to guide my actions more than fear/anger/ego). And since I am more than just an asshole -- I actually do care about people and do not want anyone to experience pain, let alone be the cause of it -- that just led to more suffering for me.

I want to work more on this blog focusing on alternatives and solutions to bitching, healing for assholes and bitches, and tools to work through why we do this. I want to examine and reflect on the efficacy of bitching and ranting, and recognize when it's counterproductive.

Because I didn't start this blog to create a proud poison-slimed barbed rainbow of bitching; I started this blog to try to channel that shit and keep it from infecting how I express myself everywhere else. I started this blog to be less of a bitch, not more of one. Because ultimately I am the one who suffers the most from my habit of being a bitch.

Friday, February 11, 2022

But I Have More Than Fifteen Items!!

 Don't do me any "favors", cashier, inviting me into your express lane when I have a basket full of 59 items. Especially if I tell you ONLY IF YOU DEFEND ME AGAINST ITEM-COUNTERS WHO MAY FOLLOW! Like you better tell them it was YOUR decision to put me in your express line, not mine. I know my place in this world, and I had no intention of expressing myself inappropriately.

Of course she did not say anything to the grumpy old man with his ONE silver-wrapped baggette-length hot sandwich. I know how grumpy your mouth looks under your mask. And I am so fucking sorry. I really am. SHE MADE ME DO IT!