The Universe Signs I Ignore, Cause I’m A Dick

THERE ARE NO PICTURES OR VIDEO HERE….JUST WORDS. IF YOU ACCIDENTALLY LANDED HERE BUT WANT TO LEAVE, PLEASE DO. ALSO, I KNOW BLOGS ARE DEAD SO DON’T SEND ME MESSAGES ABOUT IT………..KAREN.

My friend Amy (whom I introduce in conversation EXACTLY that way…as if people assume she isn’t my friend but instead a kangaroo stuffy that I knitted) has been on my ass to write something for about 11.5 months. When I told her recently that I had an idea for a blog, she said “Just promise me you won’t start by apologizing for not writing. No one wants to hear that shit.”

*I put that in quotations without knowing exactly what she said, but it’s close and I think I made it sound better*

So I’m not apologizing.

My mom has also been hounding me in the way stay-at-home, inspirational calendar moms have a tendency to do. It goes a little bit like this…”When I listen to some of these books on tape, I really hope that you will do the voice for your book. I think it would be much better than having someone else do it.”

I don’t want to break the heart of the woman who I shamed at Christmas when I was an asshole 14-year-old, but I haven’t written that book and I currently don’t know anyone who will publish my 2.4 amazing ideas. But that’s a mom for you. She sees qualities in me that I would need 1200 microscopes to see in myself.

While having a mental health day last week, a dear friend whom (I LOVE THE WORD WHOM, FIGHT ME) I haven’t been in contact with for far too long, sent me a random text. I was in the midst of a mental/emotional/Netflix spiral while consuming the series The Keepers.

*SIDE-NOTE: PLEASE DON’T WATCH THIS SERIES WHILE SAD…BUT PLEASE WATCH THIS SERIES*

Her text read as follows (minus some personal parts I took out because I’m a grown up and I can):

“My beautiful friend,

I woke up with the strongest feeling to tell you it’s time to write your story. Your story of ______________________. The battle of _____________________.

The world has gone crazy and I believe we need to share our stories. It’s the only way to change things. Your words are perfection. You can take us to the brink of heartache and then flip us on our asses with your wit, sass, and humor.

When you choose to write, I will be the first in line ready to love, support, and purchase!

I love you. I honor the woman you are. The incredible mother you are. The wicked talented writer you are.”

(Yeah…she’s a writer, too. And BOMB AF.)

And then I cried and sent back a text about how broken I was. And then I cried some more.

For the last 3 months, every time I look at my phone or a clock I see 11:11. It feels like an STD that  refuses to crawl out of my vagina, so I finally Googled it. The number thing, not the STD.

Then I told my mom and she was mucho better than Google, because she always has been.

Mom:  “The Universe is supporting you. You are okay. You are loved.”

*You don’t have crabs*

Here we are, my friends. 3:08 AM on a Saturday. I have a math test in 4 hours. I’m exhausted and frazzled and not nearly the person I was when I came to this writing place last year. As I said to my dear friend who sent me that EVERYTHING text “I am not the best version of myself right now.” And I’m not. And maybe you are not. You may not know what the fuck you are doing with your life….me, too. Maybe you ignore the Universe when it’s screaming at you….SAME THOUGH.

The Universe: Write.

Me: Okay, but I haven’t and I have work and I’m in school and I’m a little bit wrecked.

The Universe: Write. I’m not leaving this alone, hooker.

I have been ignoring the Universe’s signs for a hot ass second. Partly because I’m a dick and partly because I don’t know exactly what to do with them. Maybe I can live in a van down by the river? (I won’t tell you how appealing that sounds right now.)

Here’s what I’m telling myself until I can find my way…..

It’s okay….no one gave me a manual.

And I’m guessing no one gave you one either.

If You Think Customer Service Is The Problem

I’ve seen many a rant lately about the lack of customer service skills people are receiving from their local grocery stores and coffee shops. The bagger who puts the canned organic bean sprouts on top of the cage free eggs or the barista who spells your name wrong and then has the audacity to give you a full packet of Splenda instead of the 3/4 packet you requested. While I feel the despair of yee forlorn customers, I have news for you…customers aren’t as amazing as they use to be either. They are actually a bunch of entitled dicks who find joy in demeaning other humans beings. Shocked? Then you probably haven’t worked in customer service in the last decade.

While I enjoy portraying myself as a savage ass bitch online, I’m actually not able to be that person at work. 99.999% of my work day is spent fake smiling and saying things like

“No problem, let me fix that for you.”

“Steam it to 178.4 degrees? Of course.”

“Thank you for spelling your name for me, Sue.”

“Would you like me to bring that to your table?”

I know how to count change, how to spell, how to give customers the kind of attention they rightly deserve, however they now feel entitled to a level of service usually reserved for the fucking Queen of England. And they aren’t shy about letting you know that they respect a fresh dog turd more than they respect you.

Yesterday, I had a woman in the passenger seat of a vehicle demanding that I explain gluten to her. Because I was clearly hired by this company as a professional dietitian.

“Are those egg things gluten free? Because it says on your sign they are.”

“We offer a gluten-free sandwich, but I cannot guarantee the other item is gluten-free.”

“Well, how is it made?”

Let’s pause here for a moment, shall we. Do you go to the grocery store and ask the checker how the tomatoes you are buying are grown? No. That would be silly because she doesn’t grow the tomatoes, she rings you up for them and prays that you will leave without making a god damn fuss about them. I don’t make the food at my work. There is no hidden bakery in the back or a basement filled with chickens laying eggs for a sandwich. It comes in a box, we put it in a fridge, and then we warm it up in a shitty oven before handing it to you.

“The items we serve are pre-made, but it is a poached egg with peppers that is vacuum sealed and heated when ordered.”

HUGE SIGH FROM THE CAR.

“Fine, I’ll take that but with no cheese.”

Ever tried to take cheese out of a poached egg? No. That’s cause it’s not a thing.

“I’m sorry, but there is no way we can take anything out of that particular item.”

“Well, what is in the gluten-free sandwich?”

Keep in mind, this is all happening in a drive thru with cars piling up like god damn rush hour in LA.

“It has a gluten-free bun, egg, Canadian bacon, and cheese.”

Driver responds this time, laughing while she does. “Ummm, sweetheart, cheese isn’t gluten-free.”

You don’t get to call me sweetheart and laugh at me in the same breath. Before I can tell her that I wasn’t aware she was looking for a vegan sandwich, her passenger whispers. “You are thinking of dairy.”

I’m a magician, that’s how.

Five minutes of my life wasted to have someone try to shame me about not knowing what is gluten and what isn’t. If i ever had enough time in my life to sit in a fucking drive thru and treat another human being like that, I hope someone would saran wrap me inside a cooler and leave me to die.

That’s not even the worst part of my day.

When I mention this small interaction to another customer, after he asks why I look so overwhelmed, he takes it upon himself to be a disgusting mouth breather.

“You should have told her that the only way that cheese had gluten in it was if the cow had a wheat filled dildo shoved somewhere.”

Customer service is bad? I have to smile and listen to this shit so I can take my kids to the doctor. Think about that for a minute. While you get butt hurt over not getting enough napkins, your server is being groped or yelled at or talked to in the most inappropriate ways. And we fake laugh, fake smile, and then cringe when we finally clock out.

The next time you feel put out by a barista, your checker looks like she’s going to cry, or your waiter forgets a lemon, remember that this is their lively hood. And just like you, they aren’t perfect. You don’t always hit your deadline or make the best presentation at work. You slack and hide in your cubicle watching YouTube videos or making an outhouse out of paper clips. We have off days, too. We also have to laugh at wheat dildo jokes, so be grateful the worst thing that happened to on your Thursday was getting too much foam on your latte.

Let us thank the always witty Amy Sherman for the great pics. Find her @krankykitty

No Pool Today: A Short Story About My Summer

Sometimes I wonder what my parents did with us during the summer and then it comes back to me…they took us camping for a week and then told us to go outside for the rest of the 3 months. Just go outside and find something or someone interesting. There were no water parks or daily picnics. Once in awhile there were long walks to 7-11 for Slurpees, but no one drove us and we never asked. My mom didn’t take pictures of us kicking rocks at each other or putting playing cards in the spokes of our bike tires. She was probably sewing or making dinner or relishing in using the bathroom alone. Those days of 80’s parenting are long gone, but I’m bringing them back.

I really do love the 80’s and it’s mostly because of leg warmers.

I’m not taking pictures of everything my kids do this summer. Partly because they refuse and partly because I’m not convinced everyone in my social media circuit needs to know that we played a raucous round of Kings of Tokyo and then ate Klondike bars. Or that my kids watched YouTube videos for the afternoon while I paid bills and installed a new closet rod. I just don’t think the pictures would do our exciting life justice.

I’m also not going to the pool everyday. I’m just not. I have to shave a lot of body hair and find a swimsuit top and bottom that match. Once there, only one person out of 3 of us wants to swim so I’ve basically donated my money to the pool director for the privilege of sitting on a broken sun chair. There may be one picture at the pool, but that’s only happening because of a little thing new to moms of this generation…social media mom guilt. Everyone else is having the perfect summer and so will we, dammit. So stand in front of that diving board and smile or I’m eating this whole bag of Doritos by myself. Then I come to my senses. Most days there is no pool and when someone asks, I suggest they take a cold bath or go jump in the lake, which brings on eye rolls and a muffled groan. Fine by me, I’m bringing back 80’s parenting so I’m cool with not being cool.

Most of 80’s parenting, that is. I’m not giving up the internet and I would never ask that of my children. Mostly because I’m too lazy to do 600 science projects a day or teach them how to knit their own winter jacket. I’m a one project and done kinda gal. We made lemon bars together? Great. Now you are on your own, grasshopper. One hour of UNO? Hope you enjoyed because now I need to shower. Enter…internet entertainment. Yes, I know that makes me a bad parent but I’ve accepted that. I’m okay with being judged for not going to every library event or summer star party. I have a job and a house to clean and kids who are capable of finding a YouTube channel that will teach them how to make slime out of baking soda and lighter fluid. Have at it kids, I’ll be on the deck if you need me.

An actual photo of my kid camping. #fakenews

I’m not even sure what to share on social media regarding our summer. Perhaps a photo of my clean garage or the new mulch I put out front. A snapshot of my teenager napping on the couch or my youngest using a Little Tykes slide to do leg lifts while watching Netflix. The options seem endless, but I’m not convinced everyone needs to see all of our things. Had my mom been able to post all of my teenage summer photos on FB, I would probably be unemployable and living in a van down by the river. My kids need privacy and I need to stop feeling guilty. No one needs me to post 1,500 pictures to prove that we went to the arts festival and ate at the Pie and laughed so hard on the car ride home that there were tears in my eyes. My kids will remember that and I will remember that and one day we can all reminisce about that one summer when we took them camping for a week and then told them that the rest of summer fun was to find their own Slurpee. Or to get on the internet.