And this is how my husband opened the ‘party size’ bag of tortilla chips
There are few careers in which you’re not in service to someone else. A lawyer is in service to their clients; a doctor in service to their patients, a soldier is in service to our country, yet many perceive those professions in higher regard than the waitress who brings you your burger and fries at the nearby shiny sided diner.
It’s thinking in that vein which results in many service professionals at the receiving end of some unnecessary abuse. I want to know where regular God-fearing, taxpaying, childbirthing grown ass adults think it’s okay to speak to another human being with such degrading vitriol? I know a common thought is that many people who are abused go on to abuse themselves, but when can we break the cycle? When can we make it right?
I work in customer service. I absolutely love what I do. I sell a luxury product. You don’t need what I have to offer you, nor can everyone afford it. It enriches your life and if you want it you’ll search it (and probably me) out. Many years ago a woman came into my office to do business with me. She was an adult; showed no signs of mental incapacity; brought her two young children in with her and had a credit card in her own name (a platinum Amex to be exact). We discussed her options, came to the conclusion she signed all the necessary forms to purchase and left the office quite pleased. The next day I got a phone call from an irate gentleman (I’ll use that word ironically). He had seen a charge on his and his wife’s mutual AMEX card and was calling to discuss it. I explained nicely that she had come in gone over the necessary paperwork and purchased a trip (okay…spoiler I work in travel). He replied by telling me that I needed to cancel that trip, that I did not have his authority to purchase it and that how dare I take advantage of his wife (his free thinking ADULT wife with the credit card in her name). I explained that “I’ll gladly cancel the hotel and transfer portion, but that the airline ticket she purchased were (as all generally are) nonrefundable.”
then shit got real
He hit the roof. Swearing at me, calling me every name in the book including a bitch. He told me that if I didn’t find a way to refund the tickets, he would come down to my office and make me eatthem. I was 21 years old, doing my job to the best of my abilities and I was a sobbing, slobbery mess after hanging up the phone that night.
I know (and knew) that I had done everything right, but I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that this man (this man with a wife and a daughter of his own) thought it was okay to speak to another woman that way. My shock still resonates today, 10 years later. When I think of that man, and the way he spoke to me my pulse quickens and my spine turns cold. A decade later and this man still makes recoil. I’m probably not the only one that gets douchechills thinking about him, and that’s sad.
My husband works for a large ‘big box’ store that sells home improvement items. He is a specialist within his department and spends a large portion of his workday alongside general contractors and other construction professionals. He likes what he does and enjoys helping people.
One day not so long ago he called me to relay an upsetting encounter with a customer. This grandmotherly woman (in a soft pink collegiate sweatshirt) wanted to get some hardware replaced on a door. A door she swore she ordered in his store. So J took her phone number to look it up. Nothing. He widened the search to other stores in our state. Nothing.
The woman was incensed. She began ranting about how my husband did not know how to do his job correctly. She leaned in close and told him “I spend more money in here than you’ll see in your lifetime.”
What. The. Fuck.
For the record, J powered through it and it was discovered that the order was under her old phone number, which she had not offered up for the search at all.
I just want to know where people get off thinking they have the right to be so rude to other people. Did they wake up in their sleep number bed one morning, eat a bowl of razor blades and decide that today was the day to humiliate someone else? Did they drown a bunch of kittens in their farmhouse sink and decide that the person who brought their lettuce-free, dressing on the side salad only deserved a ten percent tip and a scowl? What makes seemingly ordinary people act like righteous giant buttholes?
I decided to trend the opposite way. I’m not only going to KILL with genuine kindness, but I am also going to go out of my way to make other people feel good. Not in an HJ on the DL feel good, but in a grinch-heart growing kind of good.
I got a phone call from a store credit card collection center recently. My autodraft for payment turned off and I hadn’t noticed. I was two months behind on the bill and needed to ante up. The person on the phone was just SO lovely and good at their job, I couldn’t let them go without speaking to their supervisor and letting him know what an asset they had. Pretty sure that they seldom hear great feedback!
I challenge you to try it too. Make someone’s day! Let me know what you did to bring a smile to a stranger, or recognize their hard work. Don’t be a giant butthole!
When I was little I never wore jeans. Ever.
“Dungarees”-as my grandfather called them-have long been a staple of childhood wardrobes; yet not mine. From the age of 3 until 12, I exercised a modicum of choice and perhaps an occasional tantrum to keep my inner thighs from the bite-y seams of rough denim. I hated them with the fire of one thousand suns, and since I hated very little at that age (basically just blue jeans and anyone who dated Doogie Howser) my family obliged by allowing me to dress in softer fabrics and keep on dreaming of a future life as the child bride of an adolescent physician.
Finally, in eighth grade I decided it was time for my lady bits to toughen the fuck up and take on a pair of jeans. I had pretty much exhausted my uniform of stretch pants, thermal bodysuit and flannel shirt (worn casually around my waist-Seattle style). I was cognizant at 12 years old that my contemporaries were not wearing the same brand of stirrup pants as their grandmother (culled from either the Spiegel or Fingerhut catalogs) and I knew I needed to update my wardrobe.
The problem was that my parents absolutely REFUSED to buy me clothing that didn’t come from a super uncool department store. Whenever they paid off their snowblower or bedroom set (Sears/JC Penney) my folks would tote me down to the far corners of the mall to try and get me a small wardrobe that would hopefully last longer than our last ‘spree’. Unfortunately, I failed to realize that the reason my parents refused to spend eighty dollars (in 1996, so with inflation we’re probably talking about 120.00 now) on a pair of jeans was because I was growing at such a rapid rate that both my pants and the skin underneath them were tearing (haaaaaaaaay stretch marks) so why bother? While I sat ostracized in my ‘Arizona Jean Company’ flares, I thought my parents were terribly unfair people who were probably squirreling away my jeans money for bottles of White Zinfandel and perms. I vowed that when I made my own money, I would spend it on the clothes I wanted to.
I didn’t have to wait long, because a very
stupid trusting woman asked me to babysit her infant and toddler every Saturday while she went to work at a craft store. After a month of being puked on, pooped on, having a lego mashed into my right eye and making more blue boxes of Kraft macaroni and cheese than my stoner college roommates could consume in their wildest dreams, I had enough money to buy one sale pair of denim at Abercrombie and Fitch. I took a day off from the monster children and went to the mall with my friend Lindsey. I came home with two gorgeous pairs of jeans…and all of my money. Lindsey was a prolific shoplifter.
At around three months pregnant it became pretty clear that my jeans (Old Navy’s ‘Diva’ cut-sheesh, what an embarrassing name!) were not going to make it much longer. The button was popping on its own and my jerry-rigged safety pin and industrial strength elastic band was just not going to hack it anymore.
My mother enthusiastically offered to take me to the maternity store and buy my first pair of pregnancy jeans. She basically had to cajole me into the pair (with a promise of lunch after), but once I slipped that denim up over my hips and extended that stretchy fabric waistband up over my burgeoning belly-I was hooked. I bought three more pairs.
Why the fuck haven’t I been wearing pregnancy jeans all of my goddamned life? Why don’t you?
Let me explain my plight. While my first pair of designer jeans may have been the laughable size 00 (double zero? Why are we encouraging our youth to strive for ‘double nothing’?!), my new size as a 30 year old was what some people might refer to as ‘Apple Bottomed’ (“Boots with the furrrrrrr.”). My thighs are on the slimmer side, but my hips and ass would give Kanye West pause. Jeans are NOT cut for ladies like me, and I very often find my legs swimming in a double-digit sized pair of denim that fits my ass and hips nicely.
With maternity jeans the waistband ensured that there was enough stretchy, glorious room for my bodaciousness. Not only that, but the panel also helped cover that three inch swath of belly/back that always seems to be at risk for exposure due to my looooooong torso.
Immediately after having Rosie I still had a bit of a belly (ok, a LOT of a belly-I had an almost 11 pound child). Slipping on those jeans made me feel put together, even when my hair wasn’t washed and I had baby poop on my sleeve so I didn’t want to give them up. I hung onto them for almost an entire year post-partum and finally just recently resolved myself to buy a bigger pair of regular jeans and retire mine to the Rubbermaid container.
The other day I was walking through Target. My basket was an interesting mix; a ruffled baby bikini for my daughter, some crunchy Cheetos (those kind collect the maximum amount of neon orange cheese dust), adorable drinking straws, designer thumbtacks, frozen fake chicken nuggets, tinfoil and nail polish remover. I passed the Liz Lange Maternity section and my breath caught in my throat. There, on the racking was the most perfect pair of dark indigo wash skinny jeans with the stretchiest, most comfortable looking navy elastic panel.
I stood there dumbstruck for a moment, wondering if I could sneak the new pair home and try to convince my husband that they were back from the pregnancy. I may have been staring for what may have been a bit too long, because Rosie had decided to empty an entire ‘GoGo Squeeze’ apple sauce packet in her lap. Snapping into mom-mode, I fished around in my tote bag, and found some wipes. In the middle of the aisle, while I was giving my kiddo a bath with a moist towelette, my eyes drifted to the other side. Right there amongst the novelty printed pantyhose was another beacon of comfort and hope: Motherfucking Jeggings, y’all! I had forgotten all about those jean/cotton hybrids and as I smugly whipped a pair into my cart, the ten year old girl in me did that Arsenio Hall fist-copter thing, because mom jeans are rad.
I find it sort of funny that the current trend in young adult fiction seems to be about young people dying, when only a year or so ago it was all about young people living forever (as glittery, gorgeous vampires!).
There’s also a trend where kids have escape depressing, futuristic mazes and shit, but I digress…
Don’t get me wrong (and don’t tell anyone) but I actually like YA Fiction, and I couldn’t be happier that teens are getting their noses away from cell phones and Facebook long enough to allow a plotline to form. I just think it’s really interesting how it all seems to follow trends, and I feel like my teen self would turn her nose up at anything that reeked of the ‘t’ word, lest I be just like everyone else.
When I was an adolescent, a visit to the book store was both exciting and fraught with anxiety. I was allowed to select one title and the process for deciding could take at least an hour (sometimes this resulted in multiple titles being bought, if my folks were in a hurry). I loved my books, and I read them over and over, returning back to them like good friends. However if there’s one book that I can recall vividly from that time, it was a Judy Blume tome titled ‘Forever’. After having read the more recent offerings for YA fiction, I am absolutely SHOCKED that ‘Forever’ wasn’t wrapped in plastic and kept in a special section of the bookstore. It was so salacious, so shocking (for an eleven year old) that I obviously read it thirty seven times in one summer.
Katherine, in the middle of her senior year in high school, finds herself strongly attracted to Michael, a boy she meets at a New Year’s party. As their relationship unfolds, the issue of sex comes up more as an emotional and health issue than as a moral one. Both of them are aware that physical intimacy is both common and complicated. Michael has been sexually active, while Katherine hasn’t. Their relationship progresses slowly as they begin to go on dates and trips together; they are accompanied on various meetings by Katherine’s friend, Erica, who has known Katherine since the 9th grade and believes that sex is a physical act and not a romantic act. Erica and Katherine are also joined by Michael’s friend Artie, who, with Erica’s help, explores and acknowledges some uncertainty about his own sexuality. Artie is a depressed teenager who feels life is over after high school. He shows his depression when he attempts to hang himself from his shower curtain rod but fails.
When Katherine and Michael do have sex on Michael’s sister’s bedroom floor, they are sure it seals a love that will be “forever.” Michael buys Katherine a necklace for her birthday that says both of their names on it and it also says “Forever”. However, separated for the summer by work that takes them to two different states, Katherine finds herself aware of the limitations of the relationship and is ultimately attracted to a tennis instructor, Theo, who is older and more experienced in life. She takes responsibility for breaking the news to Michael when he comes on a surprise visit and almost catches her and Theo together. Katherine realizes the ‘loss’ of Michael, while painful at first, can be the start of new successful relationships. The book ends with Katherine’s mother giving her a message that Theo called for her.
This is probably NOT the appropriate Judy Blume novel for your average 11 year old. In fact, ‘Forever’ reads more like a bumbling ’50 Shades of Grey’ (less S&M, more descriptions of ejaculation) and less like a chaste loss of innocence. While my friends were reading Blume’s ‘Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret’* I was devouring every page devoted to Katherine and Michael banging their uglies together.
I also was a bit uncomfortable because Blume makes Katherine seem like a stone fox while she describes Michael as ‘skinny’ with a ‘mess of reddish blonde hair and a mole on the center of his cheek’. He also wore glasses, so in my mind, I’m picturing this suave nerd just lucking out with the ladies (I kept seeing Anthony Michael Hall in ‘The Breakfast Club’). I’m not sure why he was so amazing, because Blume didn’t really say that his wang was anything special-in fact, she sort of describes it as pretty average. I was really turned OFF by Michael. In fact, ‘Forever’ made me decide that when I finally did give it up to some dude, it WASN’T going to be on some multicolored rug in his sister’s house and certainly not to some ginger string bean with a mole-y face and a penchant for twee personalized jewelry (Michael gives Katherine a gold necklace with both of their names and the word ‘Forever’ emblazoned on it). Barf.
I will say that ‘Forever’ did leave me with a very real view on what a relationship is like and how easily they can end. Katherine takes control of her sexuality; she goes to Planned Parenthood and gets the pill; she takes control with that nerd; and when homeboy starts acting like a controlling fool she upgrades to the hunky Theo. She didn’t meet Michael and get married in high school; he didn’t glitter in the sun or die shortly after they consummated their relationship on that Technicolor dream rug. She wasn’t overly wistful or wise beyond her years. Katherine was a normal girl, with a best friend (the quite promiscuous Erica), a nice family and a wicked backhand. Despite some dated elements, this tome is as relevant today as when it was originally penned in 1975, and for that reason this YA novel will be one of my very favorites… Forever.
*’Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret’ is another Judy Blume novel about a girl really excited (and anxious) to get her first period. I say this is dated, because I don’t know anyone that looks forward to this ‘milestone’. I, for one, refused to take off my rollerskates and come inside from the driveway on the day that mine occurred. Also, AYTGIMM confused the FUCK out of me, because before there was adhesive backing on maxi pads, people clipped them onto specially made belts. YIKES.
Today Sanrio announced that despite our assumptions for the last 30+ years, ‘Hello Kitty’ is NOT a cat.
No, they say. She is a perpetual third grade girl named Kitty White who lives just outside of London. She is a Scorpio who likes apple pie, and she has a twin sister.
To make us all feel completely absurd Sanrio went on to say that Kitty White is obviously not a cat herself because she keeps one as a pet. It’s name is Charmmy Kitty and I presume it also lives in London and doesn’t age either.
Does it matter? Does Sanrio really need to stand up for Hello Kitty (er, Kitty White) and let us know her real backstory? Can’t children just play with her and use their imaginations? Does the girl who buys the HK decal for her Honda Accord really care that she likes apple pie or has a twin?
And what a random bunch of facts they chose to release about this long beloved character! You know that somewhere in the world a bunch of executives got together and debated those characteristics.
“Should she like apple or cherry pie? Is she more of a tart girl or does she err more towards savories? Should she have an annoying younger brother or an identical twin??”
So, because I thought it might be interesting, I decided to make up a shit ton of facts and backstories for some of my other Childhood favorites. Please enjoy and feel free to add your own.
G.I. Joe ‘Crazylegs’
This GI Joe figure from the 80’s was nicknamed ‘ Crazylegs’, but his real name is Warren Smalls. He is from just outside of Tuscaloosa, Alabama and he really likes ‘Radar Love’ by Golden Earring. When he was 17 he won a poetry contest sponsored by the junior league. The prize was a basket of cleaning products. Warren likes curly fries from Arby’s dipped in the red ranch sauce off the Beef n’ Cheddar sandwich, but not the sandwich itself. He worries about the cholesterol in eggs and considers himself ‘into’ reptiles (yet hasn’t yet owned one). He has a small tattoo of Yosemite Sam pissing on the outline of Russia. He wishes ‘Red Dawn’ really happened.
Florida Vacation Christie
Christie was a short-lived friend of Barbie whom the latter met on spring break vacation in Florida. Christie was on top of the bar at a local club dancing and Barbie just couldn’t take her eyes off of her. Barbie knew that she had to befriend this beautiful girl, they had so much in common!
TAKE HER DOWN
Christie lives in Ybor City and goes to the local community college when she can remember to wake up on time. She has an extremely fast metabolism and a penchant for Boston Cream Donuts and buttered hard rolls. Christie grew up Jewish (she had a Bat Mitzvah party at Cinderella’s Castle!) but she puts up a tree every Christmas because she likes ‘another chance at gifts’ as well as ‘multicolored lights’. She once bought an entire outfit from Spencer’s Gifts and only listens to Bon Jovi in her car (because she thinks it brings her good luck). She takes medication for severe acid reflux, but simply cannot start the day without a glass of Orange Juice. Sometimes she goes to strip clubs and tips the chubbier girls because she feels bad. Every time she goes to the grocery store she steals something (small).
Theodore Charles Ruxpin went to M.I.T and hails from North Conway, NH. He showed his neighbors Holstein Cows in the 4H Fair for six consecutive years (from 7-13 years of age) earning blue ribbons each time. ‘Teddy’ as he became known, got involved with Jam bands at a young age, and during a gap year between high school and college even followed the Greatful Dead around the country. He’s allergic to stone fruits and finds himself attracted to both women and men. He likes onions caramelized, but not raw. He knows the names of every Apollo astronaut and one day dreams of visiting Mexico. He’s actually about a half inch taller, but compressed a vertebrae while trying to execute a trick on snowler blades.
Kid Sister goes by the name ‘Allison Carver’ in real life. She’s actually the oldest of three and everyone agrees she’s a complete bitch. Kid Sister was the rap name she chose for herself growing up on the outskirts of Detroit. She once ate an entire stick of sidewalk chalk and thinks often about doing it again. She’s doesn’t like bees. Kid Sister was once forgotten on a church carnival Ferris Wheel. Once her whereabouts were discovered, they anticipate that she was on there between three to six hours. She likes the idea of blacksmithing, but refuses the notion of protective eyewear. She enjoys going to the gas station and has a dog with one eye named Wink.
For me, the symptoms set in pretty much right away. Some were evident even prior to the first positive test result…
The mood swings that were akin to emotional whiplash really threw my poor husband for a loop. Oftentimes they would come on so fast and be so exhausting that I would give up halfway through and ask him to forget what I was saying. I’d find a bottle of Mountain Dew in the refrigerator and then ugly-cry about how he knows I “don’t drink that shit.” I’d go off on a ten minute diatribe about how “selfish he was and how thirsty I was and how I always thought about him when I did the grocery shopping and…can we stop fighting now? I’m over it.” J would stand there stunned, not having said a word and unsure of what just happened to his wife and why was she now crawling into his lap like a bitchy housecat and falling asleep.
Sleep. I couldn’t get enough of it. I’m normally the sort of person who wills themselves awake so as not to miss anything of importance on television, including info-mercials. That has resulted in my purchase of several failed workout programs and a Ninja blender (which is amazing). However in the first trimester, I wanted to sleep all the time, anywhere, like a grumpy narcoleptic (or, ironically, like a baby).
Then…the boobs. Owwwwwuuuch, the boobs. For weeks at a time it felt like they were filled with gravel, and everything from a nudge to a stern glance could get them fun bags aching. Pretty soon I noticed another drastic change, this time right in the center of my chest. Now ordinarily, my dermatologist would advise me to be very wary of any drastic changes in color to the spots on my body, however in pregnancy you can fully expect your nips to change color faster than a mood ring. It’s normal. Towards the end, they’ll be such a deep shade of mahogany that you’ll have to resist the urge to Pledge them.
Then…your nose. Your nose is going to go from an attractively pert place to perch your reading glasses and smell lovely scents with-to a freakishly bionic organ that picks up horrific inhalants from seemingly miles away (my coonhound and I had plenty in common here). For me, what became overwhelming was the smells of other people. I went to see a play shortly after my first positive test result and couldn’t focus on the action onstage when the man next to me obviously had fish and chips fried in old oil for lunch. The lady in front of me didn’t wash her hair that morning (I could tell) and someone behind me decided to assault me with some Axe body spray. All those scents mixing ultimately led to…
…vomiting. And ALOT of it. It got to the point where I was behaving like a frat boy, puking and rallying all day long. I began to get so used to up-chucking on the regular that I started to eat based on what wouldn’t taste as bad coming back up. I ended up eating lots of bananas and strawberry yogurt. For what it’s worth, stay the fuck away from baby carrots. Those things are like nature’ little razorblades. The vomiting was how I revealed to my employees that my uterus had taken on a boarder. I was in the middle of a meeting when I leaned in behind my desk and prolapsed my stomach contents into my rubbish bin. I barely gave it a thought, but their horrified expressions told me I had to say something. I briefly thought about blaming salmonella, but I do not eat meat or handle reptiles.
“I’m not sick,” I promised. “I’m just pregnant.”
Ordinarily a Saturday afternoon confined to my couch due to a headache meant that I had a pretty awesome Friday night. First trimester felt like one ginormous hangover without the fun prior. I’ll never forget one afternoon in particular; I had decided to queue up a series on Netflix and have a marathon. I thought I’d give ‘Raising Hope’ a try, but the combination of headache and mood swing resulted in me getting really fucking agitated that someone as strange looking as Martha Plimpton was getting work in Hollywood and I was not yet famous. Completely irrational, but I did have somewhat of a point.
Tune in next time, when I cover cravings; why I love maternity jeans forever (foreva-eva); more mood swings and birthing classes.
What was your strangest (or strongest) symptom of pregnancy?
So I’d like to preface this by saying that I haven’t always hated Wal-Mart. When I was nine and living down south, I loved the store! We had a ‘Super Wal-Mart’ and it’s even where my parents bought their groceries, got my hair cut and rented movies. It was 24 hours a day, and sometimes my night-shift working father would roll in there at 3am. He’d come home with cat food, Charlotte Hornets Ice Cream (vanilla with turquoise and purple chips), frozen waffles and motor oil. He claimed his was never the strangest cart he’d seen.
Hell, Wal-Mart even sponsored a coloring contest through their pharmacy WHICH I WON at the tender age of nine. The day I picked up my 20.00 gift card I spent it: on arts and crafts, a ‘Woman’s Day’ magazine for my mom and Flintstones vitamins. The latter were kept under lock and key by my paranoid mother thanks to a scary incident concerning a three year old me, an emptied bottle of consumed smurf vitamins and a call to poison control.
So when I moved back to New England in 8th grade I actually missed Wal-Mart (or maybe I just missed breakfasts consisting of Charlotte Hornets ice cream atop frozen waffles with chocolate syrup?). After about a decade, the Walton family expanded their empire to include us cold, northern brethren and they began popping up.
But it wasn’t the same.
In Virginia (where we had lived), everyone had shopped at Wal-Mart. On Sundays after church the aisles were full of families buying steaks and tires; Doritos and a fish tank (and fish!); 40lb bags of ‘Ol Roy dog food and an Easter Lily. I could go on.
In New England, Wal-Mart seemed to bring out the
redneck worst in everyone. At the opening of a local one, people rushed the entrance and a woman got trampled (not to death, but still…). On Thanksgiving Day, a former coworker camped out with a turkey sandwich at 1pm, so she could get a plasma screen TV for 99.99 when they opened their doors ELEVEN HOURS LATER. On another Black Friday someone fired shots in the air out of frustration. Like this was the Wild West (or that scene with Keanu Reeves in Point Break)!
When a brand new construction site unveiled their red bullseye logo a few years later it was like a beacon of hope and civility. I vowed to never enter another big blue box (unless I needed a bumper sticker of Calvin peeing on something or a Joel Osteen book).
“Where did you send it?” I asked the front desk lady at Rosie’s doctor amid her banshee shrieks.
“Wal-Mart,” she said flatly. She must’ve noticed my recoil so she
shamed explained, “I didn’t think you’d want to take your sick baby three towns over when we’ve got a perfectly good pharmacy less than a mile away.”
“Fine.” I grumbled. It wasn’t like Rosie had the plague; she had thrush (which is just about as gross-it’s a yeast infection… In your mouth!). Still, my baby was uncomfortable, and this was my first outing alone since having her via csection 3 weeks earlier.
I took my time on that mile long drive, hoping that when I waddled up to the pharmacy counter I could get the drugs and leave.
What I encountered upon arrival was anything but ease. Senior citizens in varying degrees of mobility milled about. Some were shopping, others sipped paper cups of coffee from the in-store Subway. One lady was arguing with a surly pharmacy technician about the cost of her medications. A large sign above the desk boasted ‘Free Generic Refills’ and this walking drugstore herself wanted to know why she couldn’t get her scrips gratis.
“Because they’re not generics,” the tech growled.
“Then just give me something that is,” the junkie bargained.
And so it went. About ten minutes into their interlude Rosie woke up and realized we weren’t in the safe confines of home and began to scrrrrreeeeeeaaaaam. I shushed and I rocked her, but soon she became inconsolable. I heard the word ‘next’ and i advanced to the counter.
I was blessed to get the surly tech, now even more angry after her interaction with her previous customer. I repeated my name and she checked her pile of pickups. Nothing. I asked for her to look again at the orders not yet filled while I called the doctors office. She returned with her hands up and the machine at their practice announced that they were on lunch.
“I’m sorry ma’am. I’m going to have to help the next person in line.”
By this point I am almost in tears (hormones). As I am wheeling away, this old broad with grim reaper hands reaches in the cart and into the carrier to stroke Rosie’s red cheek.
“She’s too young to be out like this,” the woman scolded in a sweet, grandmotherly voice. It took all I had not to push her down.
It was then I discovered that if I pushed the cart really fast Rosie quieted down. On my many trips around the store, I found myself encountering some strange sights;
Panties that look like daisy dukes
Patriotic silly shirts for men
(He went back to buy this)
And such great rollbacks! Go easy Wal-Mart, don’t give it away!!!
After nearly an hour of speed walking I got ahold of my doctor and the scrip was ready fifteen minutes later. As I left the store, exhausted and sore a greeter politely wished for me to come back soon. Just as politely and without much thought I replied,
“No thank you.” Which we all know means:
Yesterday I was standing at my local corner deli. Tuesdays are my day off and we generally get together with a couple other moms with toddlers for a little group (where we usually have wine-I’ll talk more about those awesome ladies another day).
Rosie and I had ordered our sandwiches when a deluge of high school boys descended on the tiny shop. They must’ve just gotten out of some sort of pre-school year sports practice. Probably NOT football, because we live New England. Kids here play soccer and lacrosse (sports which have never professionally caught on in the US; why not have a fucking Cricket team?!). They scratched themselves through gym shorts and wore socks with Adidas sandals because they don’t yet have wives to tell them that they look like dumbasses.
Before you know it, the floppy haired jocks are shouting orders at the freckly Ecuadorean woman behind the counter. I frequent the store a lot and I am intensely and strangely protective of the employees despite not even sharing a common language. These sweet women saw me through some strange pregnancy cravings (pickle and cheese sandwiches and cups of Friendly’s Birthday Cake Sundae-could I BE more of a stereotype!). It takes all that I have in me not to tell them to pipe the fuck down, but I decide not to get all street with my daughter in my arms and I move to the cashier to pay.
The girl in front of me is wearing black stretch pants. The kind I wear under large tunics when the seams of my jeans feel a little bitey. The kind I bought when I SWORE I was going to start running, which never happened. I’ve come to terms that I’m probably only going to ever run if chased.
The girl is also wearing a tank top with the armpits cut down almost to the bottom of the hem. It is almost not an article of clothing. If anything, I would refer to it as the nuance of a tank top. Thank GOD she wore a sports bra underneath to protect her modesty.
Anyway, this girl looks at the choad load of boys and gives me a conspiratorial eyeroll.
“I can’t even.” She says.
Like I’m supposed to fill in the blanks? Are kids talking in Mad-Libs these days?!
“Excuse me?” I say, swinging my daughter to my other hip and dipping my ear closer to her.
“I can’t even.” She repeated, jutting her chin towards the boys (I can’t keep calling them names. They ARE minors, after all).
“You can’t what?” I asked, genuinely confused. The cashier called ‘next’ and she shot me a glance like I’d just asked if she wanted to try on a pair of my flared jeans (they WILL come back-my old hip/thigh/ass circumference, maybe notsomuch).
This whole interaction lasted all of seven seconds, but left me feeling like I was finally old. I wondered what else ‘the kids were saying these days’, so when I got home that afternoon, I did a little research.
I put on MTV (remember when they played music on Music TeleVision?), but MTV was playing a marathon of ‘The Hills’. The latter was absolutely my gateway drug to Real Housewives and it was very obviously dated. After I lost about a half hour to the Audrina/Justin Bobby saga, I got back to the task at hand.
I’ve been off Facebook for almost three years now. My only social media outlet is Instagram, so I pulled it up while my daughter napped and went to the search function. I was stumped.
How do I find kids on here? All my friends are 30-somethings and above. I have a few young relatives, but creeping on them seemed wrong. Besides, they’re mostly all intelligent and use proper punctuation. I needed the morons who barely spoke anything but slang: 4 Realz.
Then a brilliant lightbulb.
Bae: Bae is the new ‘Boo’. I’m certain the word is rooted in the words ‘babe’ or ‘baby’. I’m almost positive Beyoncé is somehow responsible for it.
Come Correct: Apparently it means to do right by someone the first time. I’m going to insist my husband ‘comes correct’ with all future birthday and anniversary gifts.
Turnt: looking at the word on its own, I would think it stood for ‘turned out’ which I’ve always understood referred to a pimp turning someone into a prostitute (I saw Hustle & Flow and watched a few HBO documentaries). Apparently not. Urban dictionary told me that it was slang for having a really good time. The sad thing was my #classof2015 pic which featured #turnt also could’ve referred to prostitution. I’m glad she’s just going to get hopped up on sugar like a normal teenager (this is where I want to insert a winkyfaced emoji-get on that shit WordPress!).
Dat Ass Doe: =That Ass Though. I saw a lot of ‘Dat’ and ‘Doe’ in ordinary speech which is hilarious. It’s like 14-19 year olds took ‘Pootie Tang’ instead of Spanish as an elective.
KK: This is a cutesy way of saying okay. It’s also one matchy-matchy consonant short of a racist organization, so I’m not feeling it.
ish: this is in place of ‘shit’. To be honest, I’d rather have my child say ‘shit’ clearly than sound like she was lisping it. If you’re going to curse, let’s just come correct about it.
Turn Up/Down: Now this one wasn’t completely foreign to me. My husband has pretty broad musical tastes, and he always keeps an ear out for the kind of shit I might like. By shit, he usually refers to bass heavy hip hop. If it could be featured at a Pep Rally; good. If it has already been remixed; Great. If there are reggae horns; I’m probably going to play it forever. Anyway, a few months ago J came to me with a Lil’Jon song, ‘Turn Down For What.’ I don’t generally concern myself with a deeper meaning behind song lyrics, and so I just simply thought that Mr.Jon (Mr.Lil?) was stating that he was not going to turn anything down (let’s face it. It had been a while between hits for LJ).
In fact, ‘Turn Up’ is not a promise to be somewhere, but referring to getting drunk and/or rowdy. Conversely, ‘Turn Down’ is the act of sobering down. Lil’ Jon was actually telling the world that nothing is worth being sober for. Sometimes I can relate to that.
So that was it. The result of a twenty minute (okay, two hour) search. It was chock full of young baes getting turnt and snapping #selfies. I’m fine with getting older, because I think the new slang is as stupid as a box of hair. I’ll go right on cursing like a sailor (not in front of children or elderly religious types), just be certain I always come correct with etiquette.