10 Things I Hate About SkyZone

Skyzone Logo With R

I work in an industrial type area. There’s not a single restaurant within a half a mile, which really sucks for coworkers without cars. Nestled in this industrial area is my company and a Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park. I hate Sky Zone and here’s why.

Holidays

On regular days, the place is a ghost town. There are maybe a half-dozen cars out front. But, every time there’s a holiday, it’s a goddamn zoo. The area becomes lousy with children. This week is spring break for schools, which means all friggin’ week, Sky Zone has been a pooping children onto the street.

All this does is remind me that I don’t have a day off, let alone a whole week.

Screaming

Children scream a lot. Can someone explain why that is? I can’t. Children scream when they’re happy, scared, excited, bored, hurt, etc. Having a Sky Zone within ear shot means that all day long, I get to hear the dulcet tones of screaming children.

Leaf blowers

My company is just across a narrow parking lot from Sky Zone. When there’s no one there, which there usually isn’t, we’re allowed to park on their side of the parking lot.

When I took my car to the dealership a few weeks ago, they washed it for me. I am so entirely unused to having a clean car that, when I do, I like to keep it that way as long as possible.

Two days after it was washed, those assholes at Sky Zone used leaf blowers on the sidewalk. Instead of blowing the dirt to the side, they blew it right at the cars parked there. Being a rather warm day, I left my windows and sunroof cracked. When I came out to my car, not only was there dirt all over the outside, but there was a fine layer of dirt covering the inside as well. Assholes.

Private parking

And, speaking of parking, my company doesn’t have enough. When Sky Zone is busy, not only do their guest take up all the parking on their side of the parking lot, but they take our parking as well.

We have a big sign that says parking for our building only, but these people either can’t read or don’t care. Whenever I come back from lunch on a holiday, it’s pretty much guaranteed that my company-owned parking spot will be filled with a minivan.

One day, a minivan was actually waiting for me to get in my car. I pointed at the no parking sign and she moved along. When I came back from lunch, the same stupid minivan was parked in my spot anyway, because walking is hard and fuck rules.

Willy-nilly parking

Being an industrial area, there are a lot of shipping bays around. The Sky Zone patrons who can’t find a regular parking spot will park anywhere. In shipping bays, private parking spots, sidewalks, sideways… wherever and however.

Sometimes, you can’t even drive through the gauntlet to to the exit since these jackasses will park any old way.

Let’s just stop for no reason

On foot or in their cars, these people just stop. They’ll be crossing the street and just stop moving like their batteries ran out. They’ll be at the head of a line of cars and stop. Why? I don’t know, but they do it all the time.

The other day, at 5 pm when us regular work-a-day schlubs were trying to leave for the day, there was an asshole minivan blocking the exit while its driver conversed with someone on foot like they were having high tea at The Russian Tea Room instead of blocking the only exit. She was totally oblivious to the line of honking horns behind her. GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE WAY, BREEDER. Chat on your own time.

Feral children

You have to be insanely careful driving around the parking lot since children will just run right out in front of you. One of my coworkers nearly hit a child a couple of months ago. Fortunately, she was driving very slowly, but the mother blamed my coworker for nearly flattening her offspring rather than herself for letting it run into traffic like a goddamn wild deer.

Entitled parents

My child wants to go to Sky Zone, so fuck you for having to work around here. I don’t care if this is your parking spot. I don’t care that you’re just trying to get out of the parking lot to go home at 5 pm. My child is special. Nothing is more important than my child, especially not you and your no parking signs. Pshaw.

That seems to be the attitude that a lot of these shitbag parents have.

Trampolines

Trampolines. Really? My sister and I had a trampoline and it was fun for about a day until we realized that, surprisingly, jumping up and down for hours on end isn’t actually the most exciting thing in the world after all. Maybe we just weren’t screaming enough.

Sky Zone’s whole business model is based solely on screaming children jumping up and down. That’s it. That’s all they do there.

I really don’t like children

The older I get, the more I dislike them. They’re snotty, sniveling, oblivious, screaming meatbags. Their idea of fun is screaming while jumping up and down. That’s not my idea of fun.

I also really hate Sky Zone and spring break. Fortunately, those little meatbags will be back in school come Monday.

Babies vs. Animals

images

One of my coworkers has no soul. I am convinced she is a robot because she truly doesn’t understand the human connection with animals.

Another coworker had to put her eighteen year old dog to sleep. She took the day off for the procedure and the next day, too. The next two days were the weekend, and when she came back in on Monday, she was still a teary-eyed blubbery mess. Her heartache made me want to cry, too. I had to put my seventeen year old cat to sleep a few years before, so I totally understood.

When I went out to the parking lot at lunch, I found her leaning against her car sobbing. As she opened her car door, she noticed the seat cover on the back seat that was all of a sudden purposeless since she no longer had a dog. Just noticing it was enough to send her into another round of grieving.

During her absence, the soulless robot coworker asked where the grieving coworker was. When she was told the situation, she actually said aloud, “She took the day off for that?” We looked at her aghast, and instead of shutting her stupid mouth, some part of her robot programming decided to continue, “I’ll never understand why people grieve for animals. I mean, if it were a person, I could see taking time off, but a dog? They’re just animals.

I wanted to punch her in the face. The only things that saved her from facepunch were that a) she didn’t say those words to the woman who just lost her dog and b) she truly did not understand. Obviously, she’s never had a pet. People who’ve never had pets couldn’t possibly understand.

That same sentiment has been said to me in regards to babies. “Once you have your own kids, you’ll understand,” as if it’s required that all humans procreate and that I couldn’t possibly understand that kind of love without popping a baby out of my privates. I find that sentiment presumptive and a little insulting to be perfectly honest.

Humans with babies get all sorts of advantages that non-baby-having-humans don’t get. Baby-humans get to take time off of work at a moment’s notice. Baby-humans get tax breaks and discounted health insurance. Baby-humans get to take their impossibly ill-behaved babies to restaurants where they cry, poop themselves and throw things, while I don’t get to take my well-behaved dog.

I’m alright with that I suppose. I appreciate the fact that there is a big difference between human babies and animals. I don’t call my dog and cat “my children.” I don’t buy them clothes or strollers or have a college fund for them. They are not my flesh and blood. I would never equate babies and animals as the same. That said, I prefer animals over babies.

Someone needs to reproduce, but it won’t be me. Besides the fact that I just generally don’t like children, there are many reasons I won’t have babies. First, I’m nowhere near a level of financial stability that I would deem necessary to have kids. Children are expensive, even more expensive than animals. Second, I’m not in a committed relationship. Not that I feel it’s necessary to be married to have kids, but if I were to have children, I would want a partner. I don’t want to be a single mom. Third, I have some genetic concerns that I would be afraid to pass along to another generation, like Major Depressive Disorder, susceptibility to cancer and addiction issues. Last and most importantly, I do not have a snowy white past. I was abused as a child and abused children are far more likely to become abusers themselves. I would rather not have children at all than risk turning into an abuser.

So, when people say, “you won’t understand until you have kids of your own,” I find it presumptive and a little offensive. I don’t want children. My biological clock just never started ticking. I really don’t like babies. I don’t gush over them; I’m typically repelled by them. When people show me baby pictures, it takes all of my will not to grimace. Once they start walking, talking and not pooping their pants constantly, they’re not nearly as bad. You can kind of see that there’s a little human there.

That said, don’t demean my animals because I will key your car. If you’re going to tell someone without babies that they don’t understand because they don’t have their own spawn, please, use less concrete terms, e.g. you can’t (not won’t) understand unless (not until) you have kids of your own. I am aware that I can’t fully understand the relationship between mother and child, and until I win the lottery without ever buying a ticket, I probably never will.

I’m not using my pets as a substitute for babies. They just are my babies. My life seems to revolve around my pets and I’m alright with that.

Offsprings

5584_10151431245697407_1341818103_n

I haven’t talked much about children, because I don’t have any and I’m not fond of them in general. They poop in their pants and cry a lot. They can’t even speak in full sentences. Whenever I’m out in public, for whatever reason, they always stare at me. Always. It’s a little creepy.

I am nearing the age where I need to decide once and for all whether there will be any pitter-pattery feet, and I’m very much leaning towards hell fucking no.

I always said I would consider having children if I could afford the team of fifteen nannies they would need. That is obviously hyperbole, but it does have a nugget of truth to it.

I am not financially stable. I live from paycheck to paycheck and there’s no extra money for diapers. I have no savings. I have no health insurance. I have nothing of value. Lots of people manage to have children with even less than I have, but I am not one of those people. If I were to have kids, I would want them to have a stable home and not worry about having food on the table. I am not there, and honestly, I’m not sure I ever will be.

But, that’s really just a convenient excuse. If I really wanted children, I would find a way to make it work, so I guess I don’t really want children.

Male and I have talked about what kind of kids we’d have. They’d be tall, pale, smart, funny, have absolutely gorgeous eyes, and suffer from major depressive disorder, substance abuse issues, borderline personality or avoidant personality disorder, body or anxiety disorders. And, for shits and giggles, they might have color blindness, photophobia, migraines, diverticulitis or bad backs. We are not great genetic stock.

But, that’s really just a convenient excuse. If I really wanted children, I would find a way to make it work, so I guess I don’t really want children.

The real reason why neither Male nor I want kids is we’re afraid. Male comes from a broken home in two different states with a revolving door of stepmothers. “This year’s model” is the joke about his father’s house. Nobody ever stuck around long enough for him to get attached. I seriously cannot keep track of how many stepbrothers, stepsisters, half-brothers and half-sisters he has. It was like a demented game of musical chairs and he never had a chair of his own. Male has a tendency to be emotionally distant and he would not want to raise children that way.

I was sexually abused as a child. I lived my entire childhood with a grandmother who was verbally abusive and emotionally manipulative, and a mother who mimicked her. I have more issues than I can list. We are both so very broken. We’re working on it, but we are not capable of taking care of anyone else. We can barely take care of each other.

A few days ago, I wrote a post about Motivation Blindness at Behind The Mask of Abuse. In it, I said:

Some victims aren’t even trying to sort themselves out. They’re living in denial. They might even go on to become abusers themselves. I cannot abide that thought, so I have chosen not to have children. I would rather not have children at all than risk turning into an abuser myself. As irrational as that may be, it’s a choice I have made to protect the children I will never have.

That’s the real reason I won’t have kids. There is a very high possibility that I could turn into an abuser myself, whether I want to or not. That possibility is enough to keep me from even seriously considering it. I cannot bear the thought of bringing another generation of kids into the world who will suffer what we did or worse.

When he sexually abused me, Monster #1 stole my childhood, my innocence, my sense of trust, my self-esteem and any sense of who I am without abuse, my sexual development, and my ability to see red flags, but he also stole my motherhood. He made it so that I relate more to the little girl who was me, than the little girl that I might have. I seriously hate him for that, but who’s to say whether I would have wanted kids anyway.

I look at pictures of me as a kid and it’s right there on my face. It’s so clear. I see it instantly because that was me. I don’t want to be blind to that pain. I wouldn’t want to cause that pain or sweep it under a rug afterwards, like my family did to me, but I wouldn’t want a child to live with my pain either. I would be afraid that they could see it in my eyes. I don’t want to have that conversation. I don’t want to have to explain what happened to me. I don’t want to be a mother because of it.

If I was financially stable, if I was emotionally stable, if a lot of things, I might consider adopting, but I don’t want to have kids of my own. I don’t want my twisted bloodline to continue after me. I don’t want to risk it. I would rather not have children at all than end up like my mother, grandmother or Monster. It is the price I pay for not having to worry about it. It is the price I pay for peace of mind. It is a fair trade to me.

5584_10151431245697407_1341818103_n

Won’t Somebody Please Think Of The Children!?

From The Simpsons. You should be ashamed if you didn't know that already.

This week’s DPchallenge is about children. Specifically, they asked how I feel about children all up in adult-oriented places.

From The Simpsons. You should be ashamed (or not American) if you didn’t know that already.

I don’t have children. I don’t want children. I don’t even particularly like children. They’re loud, messy and they can’t even tie their shoes. For some reason, they always stare at me; I always lose staring contests with children. They seem to like me. I’m not sure why since the feeling isn’t really mutual.

I especially don’t like babies. Babies are jerks. They’re fat, ugly fleshblobs that don’t do anything besides cry and poop. They add nothing to the economy and they are totally helpless without us. They would die if we didn’t shove boobs in their mouths. It seems a very inefficient way of creating the next generation to me. We should probably grow them in crèches and hand them out to deserving parents once they’re old enough to use the bathroom by themselves. If you handed me a baby, I would hold it at arm’s length as if you just handed me a stinking bag of turd bombs and vomit, which is basically what they are. I wouldn’t recommend handing me a baby.

To make doubly sure that the answers to this week’s challenge are especially contentious, The Daily Post attached an argumentative poll:

As much as I just described how I think human offspring under the age of however-old-they-are-when-they-use-the-toilet-on-their-own should be sequestered away from proper society, I’m not answering that poll because I don’t agree with either answer.

First, let’s take the second. “Kids are people too.” No, they are not. They are not people; they are kids. There’s a very valid reason that minors can’t vote, hold a job, own a firearm, drink, drive or drink and drive: they can’t handle it because they are children. There’s no way that you can trust a baby to behave in an expensive restaurant when its entire job is screaming, napping, pooping, crying, eating 1/74th of the food that it’s given while vomiting, throwing or smearing the rest of it all over themselves and everything close at hand. It’s just not going to happen. Kids are jerks. Without adults telling them what to do, they’d run feral in the streets crapping on lawns and chewing on everything, because that’s what they do without adult intervention. They’re like puppies; everything goes in the mouth.

“Yo, Mom, I’m dyin’ over here.”

When I was a baby, they nicknamed me paint palette because I cried all the time and my mouth formed the shape of a, you guessed it, paint palette. My parents were so very clever. Tee hee. Anyway, I was an asshole and could not be taken out in public. It turns out that I had pneumococcal meningitis and my brain and spinal cord were being attacked by an infection. I was literally dying, which is why I would not shut the fuck up, like, ever.  After however many months in intensive care, I was sprung from the hospital and able to rejoin polite society. My point is, I was a noisy jerk and my parents didn’t take me out to dinner.

Pffft. Her look isn’t as good as mom’s.
Medusa, Gianlorenzo Bernini, c. 1640.

Once I recovered from death, they could take me out in public. If I acted up and was still too young to appreciate the consequences, my mom would take me outside until I got over whatever little bitchfest I was having. When I got a little older, I knew what was expected of me before we set foot inside a restaurant. There would be no screaming, arguing, punching my sister, throwing food, terrorizing the customers or generally doing anything mom didn’t like. If we did any of these things, mom would shoot us a Medusa look that would turn us to stone and we knew we were in for it when we got home. My sister and I always behaved in restaurants. My mom understood that she was ultimately responsible for our behavior. We understood that if mom was unhappy with our behavior, we would be unhappy, because unhappiness rolls downhill. There were consequences.

“They should be welcome where an adult is welcome.” No, they shouldn’t. It’s not a restaurant, movie theater or strip club’s job to decide what and where is appropriate for children. As a parent, it’s your job to decide what is appropriate for your child. If your child is well-behaved like my sister, then by all means, take them to a restaurant. I might even smile at it and comment on how well-behaved your child is. If your child is suffering from a not-yet-diagnosed semi-fatal disease like me, or is a little psychopath that insists on crawling around under tables and grabbing people’s hair (that has actually happened to me in a restaurant and a movie theater before), I might suggest you get take-out food until such time as you can develop a look like my mom’s and the child understands the doom that it portends.

Moving on to the second poll answer: “Part of why I go to a nice restaurant is for the ambiance and to spend time with other adults.” No. Adults are assholes, too. When children act up in restaurants, I don’t blame them; I blame the parents. Children don’t know any better. Their entire purpose is to push boundaries. That’s how they learn. So, when a child is crawling around on the floor of a restaurant and the mom acts as if she didn’t spew forth that child from her lady parts, it makes me angry. You decided to have the child, it is your job to teach it the way of the world. The way of the world involves consequences and not being an asshole.

However, that applies to a lot of adults, too. I’ve gone out to eat and have been disturbed by fully grown adult humans who talk loudly on cell phones, act rudely to waitstaff or pretend no one else is around them. Excuse me, Mr. Entitled Jerkwad, how about you learn not to be an insensitive twat and shut the hell up for once? Obviously, Mr. Entitled Jerkwad’s mother didn’t have “the look.”

I don’t go to nice restaurants for ambiance or to spend time with adults. I go to restaurants to eat, because I’m hungry and too lazy to cook. I am basically a reclusive misanthrope, so all of you are ruining my experience. All of you. The only difference between Mr. Entitled Jerkwad and a misbehaving child is that Mr. Entitled Jerkwad is slightly less likely to crawl around on the floor and pull my hair, but I wouldn’t put it past him.

“Get a baby-sitter.” No. That’s not right either. Babysitters are expensive and sometimes unreliable. I was a babysitter as a teenager. After reading this, would you trust me with your child? Exactly. It’s not fair to parents to expect them to get a babysitter every time they want to eat and not have to cook. If they want an hour to themselves to eat without peas being flicked into their hair, a babysitter is great, but you cannot expect all parents to hire babysitters all the time. That is exactly why family restaurants exist. If I see a restaurant named “Mama Mamie’s Family Restaurant,” I know that place isn’t for me unless I’m alright with children present while I eat. If I see a restaurant called “Monsieur Swank’s Restaurant de Fancé Pants,” I’m going to assume that there aren’t any children in there. If there are, and they are well-behaved, I don’t have a problem with that. I will, however, try to get a table as far as possible from yours just on the off chance that you haven’t perfected “the look.”

Neither answer to that poll is correct. The fact is, parents should know their children better than anyone. You know how well-behaved they are and how long they can reasonably be expected to stay that way. It all boils down to judgment and using the best of yours. Good luck!

On Children

Image from slodive.com.

I’ve never been a fan. I don’t like their squealing, whining, quizzling (a word I made up in the post Furious Spurious Lexis) and inability to comport themselves in a non-screechy manner. Even when I was a child, I wasn’t really a big fan of children. The kids I hung out with tended to be older than me. My sister was, and still is I suppose, four and a half years older than I am. When she was ten, I was five and a half.  No ten-year old in their right mind wants a five-year old hanging around, but I always did anyway. So, my natural leaning was towards things and people older than my years.

Fast forward to last month when some very dear friends were slated to stay at my house with their four-year old child. I was a little reticent about the offspring. I don’t enjoy the company of children probably because I am not around a lot of children. It’s a vicious circle of anti-children. I’m never quite sure how to talk to them. I can never seem to gauge their intelligence level, and most importantly, I swear a lot. I don’t mean to, but I, quite literally, am required to swear at my job and it has pervaded all other aspects of my life. I was a little worried that I would break out with a “cock-sucking, motherfucking cunts!” while the boy was in my presence and there would be a four-year old repeating my filthy, potty-mouth words. The child would forever be scarred, unable to make it through a job interview without yelling “cunts!”, and his career prospects would be ruined forever because I am unable refrain from swearing for five measly minutes.

Well, after spending some time with him, I am now a fan of one child. This child is quite possibly the most awesome child ever. He ingratiated himself to me from the first moment we met. He didn’t yell for no reason, bite me, destroy anything, demand unreasonable amounts of attention, and most importantly, he had manners. If I gave him something, he said thank you. If he asked something, he said please. He realized that the entire world did not revolve entirely around him, which is far more than a lot of adults can say.

He is the kind of child that makes you want to do things for him because he didn’t demand anything. His expectations were realistic. He had an amazing imagination and was perfectly capable of entertaining himself.  We went out to breakfast and he didn’t crawl around on the floor, throw food or start squealing like he was on fire.

He was never bored. When they first arrived at my house, we were all sitting outside in my yard. While the adults were catching up, the child walked around my yard hunting for snides. He was the self-declared snide king and my dog was the snide queen. She followed him everywhere he went. It was, quite possibly, the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. He was perfectly content searching the yard for snides with his queen.

I was sad to see him go. I miss him and his parents now that they’ve all gone back up north. I never thought that was possible. Before they arrived, I assumed that the child would be something I tolerated while they were here. I never suspected that the kid would worm his way into my cold wizened heart and stay there, but he did. This morning, I got a message from his mom that said, “This evening, while drawing he said to me ‘I think Goldfish is my favorite lady that I’ve met.’ High praise from a boy who LOVES the ladies…” I responded with, “Well, he is my favorite kid.” I meant it. I may have to rethink this whole not liking children thing.

10 Things I Hate Part 13

10thingshate

1. Drunk people. I was the designated driver at a party a week or two ago. I had two drinks all night from 9pm to 6am when I finally dragged my friends home. I was as far from drunk as the rest of the party was from sober. It was fine until the wee small hours when everyone had reached peak drunkenness and felt the need to get all huggy and tell each other how awesome they are. Once the crying started, I knew it was too late. I enjoy a cocktail as much as the next guy and I’ve even done the drunken, hugging, crying, “you’re awesome!” thing myself on occasion, I just wish we had left before the crying started. New rule: when everyone starts hugging, it’s time to go.

2. Regional accents. I am from Detroit, Michigan, Midwest, USofA. Some Midwesterners have accents. Watch the movie Fargo or go to the Upper Peninsula in Michigan and you will see exactly what a Midwestern accent sounds like. I don’t have an accent. When I was young, I might have had an accent on certain words, but I purposely tried to get rid of it. Yes, it’s all a matter of perspective, e.g. someone from England would say I have an American accent and they’d be right, but I’m talking about regional American accents. I don’t have one. I feel sorry for anyone who does unless they’re in their own region. If you’re in Boston and you talk like a Bostonian, that’s fine, but if you get anywhere outside of New England, that accent just sounds idiotic. “Park the car in Harvard Yard” should not sound like “pahk the cah in Hahvad Yahd.”

3. Tea Partiers. Every time I hear this term, my eyes involuntarily roll to the back of my head. It’s not that I’m against fiscal responsibility, in fact, I’m all for it. That’s the only topic on which Republicans and I can remotely see eye to eye. It’s everything else they stand for and want to push through that makes me want to throw them off the boat.  These people need to go away. The only good thing about them is that they’re creating a small rift in the Republican party. Giving tax breaks to the rich does not give more money to the poor, the government does not have a right to tell me what to do with my uterus or my words, and theocracy is a shitty form of government.

4. Anti-vaccine parents. What are you even thinking? Your child should be immunized against things like small pox or leprosy. If you don’t want to vaccinate your child, your child should not be in school. It’s that simple. I really don’t get this thinking that vaccines are all of a sudden bad. Vaccinate your children, people, if not for the safety of your child, at least for all those that your patient-zero spawn comes into contact with. The same goes for people who force their children to be vegan. I don’t really care what you do to yourselves, but take care of your children.

5. Irresponsible pet owners. I took my dog to the dog park the other day where she was attacked by the same pit bull three times. Fortunately, the pit was just being a bully and my dog was fine. The owner leisurely sauntered over and pulled her dog off of mine as if I was the one in the wrong for daring to bring my non-aggressive dog to the dog park.  She never once apologized or even asked after the welfare of my dog. I was the one who ended up putting a leash on my dog and leaving. If I hadn’t been so concerned about my dog, I would have punched her right in the face. People like that are the reason pit bulls have a bad reputation. It’s not the dog; it’s the owner.

6. People who treat their pets like children or fashion accessories. Some people act as if their little five-pound dog is a doll. They dress them up in stupid outfits and buy them little boots. No matter how small or cute, a dog is a dog. They are not children, people or dolls. They have legs, four of them, and they can walk themselves. They are living animals and should be treated as such. If I ever buy a little dress for my dog, someone please shoot me in the head because I’ve clearly lost my mind.

7. “I could care less.” Um, I hate to break it to you, but that actually means you care. If you are able to care less, that means that you care in the first place. The phrase is “I couldn’t care less,” which means that there’s no possible way that you could care any less than you do now. If you’re still confused by this, just say “I don’t care.”

8. Gum. Just what is the point of it? Most gum retains flavor for about ten seconds before it turns into just a piece of tasteless rubber that you can’t even blow a bubble with. Even worse than chewing gum myself is watching other people do it. Trying to understand what someone is saying while they’re chewing their cud like a cow is very disagreeable, not to mention the popping and chewing noises they make. The problem with gum, besides the fact that it loses its flavor immediately, is that you have to get rid of it somehow. You either have to spit it out, wrap it up in something or stick it somewhere. I really hate stepping on someone’s gum. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. I prefer breath mints.

9. Parking lots. I hate when people take up two parking spots so their precious vehicle doesn’t get scratched. I hate when one asshole who parks over the line forces a whole bunch of people to park like assholes. I hate motorcycles that take up a whole parking space; it tricks me into thinking there is a parking space there and you could have parked that bike anywhere. I hate when giant SUVs and trucks park in “compact only” spaces. I hate people who wait for parking spots by the door. I hate when people don’t notice that someone is waiting for their spot and they put on makeup, balance their checkbook or whatever else it is they’re doing while sitting there. I hate seeing someone get out of a car parked in a handicapped space with a handicapped placard when they are clearly not handicapped in a way that impedes their locomotion. I hate that the laws of driving somehow break down in a parking lot.

10. I hate waiting in line behind the unprepared. For example, there’s a big line at the grocery store and the person in front of you didn’t notice that they forgot their wallet until they fumble around in their bag for five minutes after everything is already rung up as if it’s a complete surprise that they might have to actually pay for their purchases. When I’m in line to pay for something, my check card and any related paraphernalia that is necessary to the transaction is already out and in my hand. By not being ready for your transaction, you are holding up everyone else in line. Be prepared. It’s just common courtesy.

More Things I Hate.

Secrets

6a00e54ef2e21b8833016302e99371970d

Write about one thing you’ve never told anyone and explain why.

Hm. I’m pretty forthcoming as a writer. There are lots of deep, dark secrets scattered throughout this blog. I don’t really hold anything back, so the only thing that comes to mind when you ask for something I’ve never told anyone are the embarrassing moments, the moments that make me cringe.

I have lots of those. I was a misfit child and I’m a misfit adult. The difference is that, as an adult, I’m much better equipped to handle my oddballism. I don’t care what people think of me, except for those that I know and love, but in general, people can eat it. I don’t care what you, out there, think of me. I exist not for you, but for me. So, whether you love or hate me, I continue to exist in my own eccentric way anyhow. Your opinion doesn’t mean that much to me, unless you’d like to lavish compliments upon me, of course.

As a child, though, I did care. I cared all too much what people thought. I tried to blend in as much as I could. I tried to hide the fact that I didn’t fit in. I was painfully shy. I wouldn’t talk to anyone unless they talked to me first. If asked for my opinion of something, I would give whatever opinion was held by the majority. I never really spoke my mind. Sadly, this persisted all through elementary school and junior high. It wasn’t until I got into high school that I started not to care.

Junior high school was absolutely the worst for me. Every day was drama and trauma and embarrassment. I had bullies. Other than my total social ineptitude, I didn’t stand out much. I didn’t have many of the qualities that most bullies seek out. I was pretty, thin, and of average height (until I sprouted 4-5″ practically overnight in high school), I had no obvious deformities and I didn’t go exalting my dorkery even though it was there, yet I was a target. I’m not quite sure why that is, other than the fact that I was so mealy-mouthed and meek. Perhaps that’s all it took. Anyway, I had bullies. There was this one girl, Desiree, who made gym class an absolute horror for me. Every day, she harassed me. One day, she pushed me down while the teacher wasn’t looking and I hurt my wrist. I spent the rest of the day in pain, but I didn’t tattle.

I lived walking distance from the school. Every day on my way home, this kid John, who lived the next street over from me, followed me, taunting me. I tried taking the long way home and he followed me there, too. There was nothing I could do about it. During lunch one day, right after I had just gotten a sweet, new suede jacket that was actually “in,” he purposely spilled chocolate pudding all over the front of it. When the teacher caught wind of it, John claimed it was an accident, but he and I knew the truth. My brand new, awesome suede jacket had pudding stains on it that never quite came clean. I wore that coat for another year or two with that constant reminder of my failure as a human being.

There were others, too, like Mark who spent much of History class shooting spitballs at the back of my head, or Kim who left nasty messages written on my locker for all to see. I’m not sure if they all knew each other and had formed some surreptitious Bully Union with meetings and dues where they determined who would be the targets, or if they were all working individually. Either way, they all targeted me, among others, and made our lives a living hell. I hope, wherever they are now, they’ve all experienced their fair share of natural disasters.

I don’t like talking about school much, just like I hated attending it then. School was a horror for me, but I outgrew it; I survived it. I would never let someone get away with that kind of behavior now. In fact, I’ve even stopped the neighborhood kids from bullying others when I chanced to see it on the street. I know, in the long run, I didn’t save that kid any hardship, and I probably only made the next day’s taunting worse for him, but at least that kid had one day’s respite and he knew he wasn’t alone. Eventually, bullies grow up, just like their targets. We all have to face the harsh realities of the real world someday. The difference is that the kids who are bullied, I think, are better equipped to handle it. If they can survive it, bullying only makes the victims stronger while it makes the bullies weak.

Am I A Good Neighbor?

What would Mr. Rogers say?
What would Mr. Rogers say?
What would Mr. Rogers say?

I live in a city. I live in a gigantic city. I live in the biggest city on the west coast of the United States. This city is so big that the entire state of Rhode Island fits inside of it with room to spare. The population of this city is larger than several small countries put together. There are more people in this small section of the planet than one could ever possibly get to know in a whole lifetime. It’s constantly changing. It’s constantly on the move. It’s constantly growing and shifting its boundaries farther north, south and east. It can’t go west yet because of a pesky thing called the Pacific ocean, but I’m sure they’ll think of a way to do that eventually.

That being said, the fact that I even know my next door neighbor’s first name is a proud achievement. That my neighbors and I occasionally share a “hello” or a nod when we pass each other on the street is about as neighborly as it gets in this megalopolis.

Am I a good neighbor? I try to be. I don’t invite them over for tea and cookies. I don’t even know half of their names. I let them go about their business without intruding into their lives, just as they do for me.

The lawn is mowed, the trees are trimmed, there’s no car up on blocks in the front yard, and when we do have a party, we don’t play music at ear-splitting levels like the rest of my neighbors do. If I had children, which I don’t, I wouldn’t allow them to roam freely about the neighborhood unsupervised, climbing on rooftops and throwing rocks into neighbor’s yards like they do. We seem to have a problem with feral children and cats in these parts.

But, even with the loud music, featured most prominently on Saturday nights, and the feral children, there’s always an end to it. At the stroke of midnight, even on Saturday nights, this area becomes as quiet as the mountains. The only sounds to be heard are chirping crickets, the occasional dog bark and the tranquil hum from the freeway a mile away.

We keep to ourselves, we handle our business, and with the exception of their children, so do they. We don’t question each other. We don’t pry into each others business. That’s about as neighborly as it gets.

Powered by Plinky

A Book Everyone Should Flip Through

slide1aopt

Name a children’s book every child should read.

Alright, so maybe the dictionary isn’t a children’s book. There are some pretty adult words and themes in there. And, other than the few insane people like my grandmother and I who used to read the dictionary together from time to time until she died, most people don’t read the dictionary per se. The plot is incomprehensible, the narrative is too prolix and discursive, there are too many vignette characters and it doesn’t have a happy ending. People might skim through it or use it to look up a particular word, but most people don’t actually read it.

Then there’s the fact that I don’t have children nor do I spend a great deal of time around them, like, ever, if at all possible, so I have absolutely no idea what the kids are into these days. I could tell you a story about some books that made an impression on me as a wee lass, but they’d just be trifling and soporific anecdotes, and the world certainly does not need more trifling and soporific anecdotes.

Because I spend so little time with children, I haven’t the slightest idea what makes them tick. I haven’t the foggiest as to what book might inspire a young miss or master towards illustrious, future deeds. I am completely out of touch with modern children’s literature. The last children’s book that I leafed through was Everyone Poops, and while that book certainly does have some important lessons to impart, I wouldn’t exactly designate it as something that inspires imagination in the mind of a child. I am not qualified to recommend a children’s book to anyone, let alone to a child, so I chose the book with which everyone should be acquainted: the dictionary.

At the very least, children should familiarize themselves with this mighty and potent book. It took countless people many generations of research and refinement to bring you this awesome compendium that is the sum total of the English Language. Contained within its bindings (or website, if you prefer) is the entirety of the English experience, from archaic to modern lexicon. Starting with Noah Webster, many people gave their lives (or at least sacrificed untold hours), toiling late at night by candlelight (or desk lamp), poring over countless articles, nouns, verbs, adverbs and the like, so that future generations might have a better vocabulary. Their work is for the benefit all mankind (or at least those members of mankind that speak the English language). Their great sacrifice should not go unnoticed. I can think of no more important work of English nonfiction than the dictionary. ¡Viva el diccionario!

Powered by Plinky

10 Things I Hate Part 2

10thingshate

Because there’s never enough hatred in the world, I’m continuing with 10 Things I Hate

1. I hate that the public library no longer puts the little due date cards inside library books.  Once upon a time, you could just open the front cover of a library book, pull out a card and know exactly when a library book was due. Nowadays, you get a printed receipt very much like one you would receive if you bought a soda. It’s hard to distinguish which is a stupid, useless, soda receipt and which is the one that tells you important information, like, say, WHEN YOUR LIBRARY BOOKS ARE DUE. I know it is a far better system for them and it also means we don’t have to deal with the dreaded card catalog anymore, but it really sucks for me since I can’t remember these things and I seem to collect a lot of receipts.

2. I hate it when people start a sentence with “Guess…” For example, guess what I did last night. Guess who called me the other day.  Guess how much I weigh.  Do I look like a fortune teller?  Am I at a carnival and I’ll win a teddy bear if I guess correctly?  No, stop it.  Just tell me whatever it is that you’re dying to tell me without all the guessing, please, because inevitably, I’ll guess wrong and accidentally say something that hurts your feelings anyway.  “Guess how old I am.”  “I dunno, 54?”  “I just turned 30,” says the insecure idiot who ridiculously asked me to guess her age for no reason at all as she runs away crying.  I’ll never win the teddy bear.

3. I hate how parents these days seem to be afraid of their own children.  More likely, they’re afraid of having child protective services called on them if they so much as raise their voice to their child in public.  If I see one more child crawling under a table in a restaurant while its owners sit idly by, I’m going to lose it.  It’s alright to discipline your children if they’re out of control. Really, it is.

4. I hate when people pull up in front of a house and honk the horn.  Most of the time, they don’t honk the horn just once, but constantly at three-second intervals until whomever they’re waiting on takes their sweet time getting out to the car. If you are really that impatient, might I suggest you get your fat ass out of the damn car and go knock on the door?  Or, if that’s too much of a bother, there are these new things called cell phones where you can call them right from the comfort of your vehicle instead of driving me to want to murder you.  Plus, the entire time you’re wailing on your car horn, you’re probably double parked, which brings me to #5…

5. I hate when people double park on a street right in front of an open spot a mile long.  What is that?  You don’t even have to do the whole forward, backward thing.  The spot is so big you could pull a semi-truck in there straight on, but no.  That’s not for you. Your inconsiderate ass won’t pull over.  Instead, you’ll make the rest of us go around you into oncoming traffic while you blast your damn car horn at someone inside.

6. I hate trying to get useful information from government websites/automated phone systems.  The websites are slightly less dreary and dismal than their brick and mortar counterparts, but not by much.  At least if you call them or go in person, you know that, after the interminably long wait, you will get a person to talk to at the end, if you’re lucky. Not so with websites.  The people who wrote the copy must get a good laugh out of confusing you while not providing any information of benefit at all.  You’ll just wind up in a twisted Möbius strip of pages that become increasingly incoherent with every pass.  In the end, you’ll probably end up calling the phone number anyway where you will be treated to a thousand prompts and recorded messages that don’t pertain to you. Then, it will unceremoniously hang up on you because it can’t recognize the numbers you type in on your smart phone as numbers. “Is your telephone number QWZ-FAP-TRKL?  If this is correct, press 1…”  And don’t even get me started on the web design…

7. I hate that some people still refuse to use spell check.  It’s everywhere these days. I even have it on my phone so that when I type “Sup?”, it will ask if I meant “Supper?”  I’m alright with the obtrusive nature of spell check because, if I did mean supper, it will fix it.  Although, I can’t imagine why I’d ever use the word supper in a text message… Anyway, spell check is omnipresent now.  We never have to misspell a word again, especially in something considered to be “writing” which is posted on the internets, like this here thing I’m ranting now. Use it, please.

8. I hate websites that don’t list prices.  This is not some exclusive French dining establishment where, if you have to ask how much the Chateaubriand is, you can’t afford it.  This is the internets.  We are consumers.  Consumers need things like prices to make informed decisions about buying things.  If you don’t put the price on there, there are a thousand other websites that sell your junk or similar junk who will.  Put the price up.

9. I hate that people seem to have no manners anymore.  If someone holds the door for you, please, say thank you. It’s not hard.  It’s amazing that anyone would actually hold a door open for someone else in this day and age, so when they do, they deserve some sort of recognition. This kind of rare behavior towards our fellow humans should be encouraged. A simple “thanks” would do nicely.

10. I hate the inevitable awkward conversation about whatever TV show people are watching these days. It’s awkward for me since I don’t have cable and I have never seen it. This always happens in a group of three or more people. Obviously, if someone is just talking to me, I’ll say I’ve never seen it and that’s the end of the conversation. But, in a group of three or more people, there always seems to be two who have every episode committed to memory and a half-hour conversation on something I have no idea about nor interest in will ensue. This also applies to conversations about people I don’t know. “Oh, you know John Doe, too?  We went to high school together!”  This is usually the part in the conversation when I groan and excuse myself, hoping that John isn’t all that interesting and they won’t still be talking about him when I return.

 

More Things I Hate.