just call me raegen


Category: Humor

The Bathroom Theory I’m Formulating (Assistance Requested)

Who can say for sure when it began? It’s like trying to determine the exact point at which you fell in love with someone.

English: timeline example

Or when you fell out of it. “I believe it was precisely February 26, 2009, when you began to suck.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And who can say for sure the reasons why? Like many phenomena, causality is hard to pinpoint — often multidimensional in nature.


Dude, when I put on these glasses, it’s like real life, except purpler! (Photo credit: rdenubila)

One fact remains true and indisputable, though: It has been happening with greater frequency the past couple months than I’ve ever witnessed in my 3o+ years on this earth.

In fact, one of my new coworkers has now dubbed it The ::insert my last name here::-ian Theory. (And I should really let the paternal cousin who shares said last name and is also a psychologist be the one to do the hard research and claim credit for the long-yearned-for explanation, whenever that explanation is finally arrived at.)

What is this theory about which I speak? What is this horrific act I’ve been privy to not once, not twice, but often five times a week or more?

lady gaga applause

Nope, not this. Perhaps I should stop complaining now, actually…but I’m not going to. (Photo credit: rodolfomatiano)

Some person — or persons — continues to leave a sh***y and/or bloody mess in the public restroom stall, unflushed, emanating its funk, for all the female world on the second floor of the building I work at to see.

No, the toilet is not broken. Nor is it clogged.

The only conclusion I can arrive at, then, is that this person must derive some strange sort of pleasure from performing this deviant act — must get off from knowing, even without witnessing it with their own two eyes, that they’ve grossed someone out beyond comprehension via their bodily functions, donkey-punching the memory banks of the hapless and now helpless because really, you can’t unsee that.


Which makes me wonder if I’m finally receiving some karmic retribution for posting gnarly photos of unsavory evacuations on this blog. This is my penance. (Photo credit: Totally Severe)

Now, make no mistake: lady I am not. But there are rules, man. And  they’re there for a reason.

You're entering a world of pain

This isn’t ‘Nam. This is bowling. There are rules. Mark it zero. (Photo credit: duncan)

But who — who, I say — could be doing such a thing? And why? And why more often now? Is this like a serial killer who starts “evolving” by changing the calling card on his victims or something? Have I watched too many TV shows with the letters I, S, and C in them?

David Caruso, the lead actor and one of three ...

Have you, Raegen? I would say no. Someone needs to keep my career alive. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am certain I am not alone in this observation — no, victimization. Please, share with me how you’ve coped with this behavior and come out a survivor. Because I’m seriously starting to develop a complex about entering my beloved LSR. And I’m also starting to fantasize about ways that I can catch this freak when I should be editing articles…


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Dear Realtor, What Is It That You Actually Do?

Ah, the joys of property hunting!

It was only a few short years ago that I came to this freak of a city, looking for a place to call home. Granted, I was (and still am) renting, but I knew it couldn’t be an impossible dream to find a cozy little place to settle down for a spell. I still remember the first property that E, my realtor (and, yes, I refuse to cap that allegedly “professional” title) at the time, showed me.

I step out of the car onto well-worn asphalt whose border can’t be deciphered from the gravel known as the complex’s “yard.” A child’s plastic trike sits, faded and long-abandoned, near a staircase leading up to one of the units of the gray two-story building. We walk up the steps, which I swear are bending beneath our every footfall. We get to the door, and wouldn’t you know it? The code to the lockbox wasn’t working! Good thing the door was already kicked in at the bottom; we could practically see the whole place through the gap!

kicked In

It looked like this, but with even less character. (Photo credit: Tattooed JJ)

I had one thought running through my head at the time, and it went something like this: Seriously, E, what made you think in a million years that it would ever be a good idea for Little Ol’ Petite & Very Single Me to live in a place like this? I understand not being biased against certain neighborhoods, but I also understand catering to your client’s taste and not wasting one’s own time.

Fast-forward a little over two years. Having avoided an inevitable shanking at Casa de la Scary by living with my mom, sister, and sister’s bestie instead, it came time to embark on my solo once again. I decide to give E one last chance to redeem himself by showing me some places I might actually feel safe living in. It became clear very quickly, however, that E was not going to be of much help, as it took him nearly a week just to respond to my voicemails. Perhaps he could squeeze me in to view a property once I had all my boxes packed and truck loaded.

English: Category:Ford vehicles

I think I might be ready to see a place or two now! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Enter K. Deciding to do my best to take matters into my own hands, I did what any desperate computer owner does: I started contacting people off the Internet. Finding a place a mile or two down the road from my family’s, I call the number associated with it and meet up with K at the condo.

I realize quickly that the pictures online did not quite capture the overall ambiance of the community, to put it euphemistically. But K is kind, asking me if there’s any way she can help me find someplace I’d feel comfortable coming home to.

K becomes more than a realtor to me; she becomes my friend. She tells me about the different neighborhoods we visit. She tells me about the different property management companies in town — who’s reputable and whom to avoid. She even tells me about the guy she’s dating and gets me a housewarming gift when I do find a great place.

Pepper Spraying Cop vs Snooki

What is a housewarming gift these days without pepper spray? (I seriously couldn’t pass this picture up. Down with Jersey Shore!) (Photo credit: Rabblefish)

Things are good for the time I’m in that condo. I have a good landlord who gives a crap about her place, and I take good care of it for her. The property management official who comes to check in on the unit from time to time, G, even says it looks like a model home. My new boyfriend says it looks like I don’t even really live there; is this my second home — the one I take my secret lovers to — by any chance?

It isn’t, though, and soon my new boyfriend is just my boyfriend, and we decide to move in together. It’s time to go a-huntin’ again. I know the perfect person to call now, though, right? So I give K a ring.

Mysteriously, K seems to think I got my name changed sometime during the past two years we’ve been out of touch. Starting it off with an M instead — and keeping it that way even after my boyfriend corrects her — she gets the news that “Megan” is now looking for a place for two.

Megan Fox.

This is NOT me… but I’m happy to refer her to K whenever she’s looking for a place. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This Megan character, however, is apparently not too particular, because K only sends a list of, like, 10 properties that have to be to both my and my boyfriend’s liking. Needless to say, Raegen asks for a bigger list; we have no problem narrowing it down ourselves.

What we do have a problem with, though, is getting our selections to actually match up with what the pictures have depicted. One unit hasn’t even been cleaned; razors have been left in the shower, and the countertops in the kitchen have a peculiar stickiness to them that none of us dared touch with a bare hand, lest we catch some communicable disease (like the herp).

The majority of properties we see are actually like this, though they daringly call themselves “move-in ready.” For whom — poo-flinging monkeys? And who are these alleged “management” companies — composed of realtors and their minions, mind you — and what were they doing (you know, besides not managing properties)?

English: A drag queen impersonating Cher for a...

Realtor by day, drag queen by night? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So we look. And we look. And we look even more. So many properties were ruled out as soon as we opened the door. Still, I don’t blame K for getting frustrated with me after four weekends of searching. I was tired of the whole thing, too. But I just wasn’t about to get myself into a situation for a year or more with a company that obviously didn’t know what property management was.

But I did, and I did it even though I thought I was making the safest move I could possibly make; I did it by sticking with my current property management company. In a moment of desperation, I called the company I was currently renting a place from. It had a property available that had recently opened up, and it was even willing to cut the rate for me, I’d been such an exemplary tenant. My boyfriend and I saw the place and immediately fell in love with it.

A picture of a candy store.

OK, it didn’t quite look like this, but this is as close as it gets to heaven on Earth for me. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Unfortunately, as you may recall from a blog I wrote earlier this year, it turns out I’m renting from a slumlord. And the property management company, also disgruntled with this difficult client they could’ve easily turned away (but chose to represent instead), refuses to manage the property properly as a means of passive-aggressively getting back at her — only there’s no sidestepping taking things out on us as well in the process. A conversation about it back in May went a little like this:

S (looking at our pictures of the damage from a leak): Wow, I had no idea it was this bad.

Boyfriend: S, why haven’t you come to see it for yourself? I mean, don’t you at least have to take pictures for your records?

S: It’s not my property.

Boyfriend: But it’s your listing.

S: But it’s not my property.

Boyfriend: But it’s your listing.

S: But it’s not my property.

(Insert awkward silence among the three of us.)

Which brings us to our current state of affairs. The boyfriend and I are looking for a new place, which will hopefully be managed by a company that actually knows the definition of property management and which we will lease from someone with a decent sense of pride of ownership. Because being duped into thinking we were working with a good management company by virtue of having a good landlord associated with a previous rental obviously worked out well for us.

7089 Lego Dark Helmet Force-choking Me

“Fooled you!” (Photo credit: kbaird)

So here we are, starting from scratch… but not quite. Armed with Dr. Gunther VonStractenburg (my computer) and the Interwebs, I contact at least 20 realtors on Zillow (kick-tush site for those in search of homes to buy or rent). I’m feeling pretty good about being able to finally take matters into my own hands, at least to a degree.

But what do I get from reaching out to people myself? 5 responses, people. 5.

At first, this rate seems pretty decent, though, right? But it’s not just quantity, folks — which, by the way, I haven’t really gotten, either, if only a quarter of 20 replied back.

The first reply does seem promising enough, though. We go to check out the property, and it’s doable, but we’re not ready to commit quite yet, since it’s the first property we’ve seen this round. I ask F, the realtor, if he shows properties besides those his company manages. He tells me yes, but then goes on to say that it really isn’t worth his while to take the time and help us out by doing so, because he only makes $250 in commission off the rental of someone else’s property.

Pause. Let me just break that down for you, for those who might’ve missed it: He gets $250 just to open a door and show someone a place he doesn’t even have to manage, then he gets to claim credit and collect cash for referring that person to the company that is managing it. But it’s not worth his time.

English: Douche available to use.

I am fairly certain that if a surgeon were to cut open a realtor, this is what would be found inside. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another, W, calls me, too… but I’m pretty sure he’s completely wasted every time he does — which is a lot, actually, because he can’t seem to decide whether or not he’s available the days he says he is. We’re allegedly going to see one of his company’s properties this Sunday after 10. That’s the most I could get him to commit to — probably because he’s not sure how hungover he’ll be that morning yet.

One tells me the property isn’t available anymore. Doesn’t even sign a name. Almost as classy as F and W.

One tells me to contact the office. I do and never hear back.

One is actually a Zillow inquiry about whether I ever got a response from a real person regarding a property. I reply no, thinking I just busted someone out, so I’ll definitely hear back from someone at that office regarding the rental now. I still hear nothing.

Red phone

You have a better chance of reaching Batman than a realtor using this. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Granted, I don’t stop at that, because I still need to find a place. I reach out to someone who’s been recommended to me (since this whole Zillow thing doesn’t seem to be something most realtors can handle) and get that person lined up for some viewings, but there’s a lesson to be learned here, folks.

After living 4+ years here in this Battleborn state, I’ve gleaned something very important: 99% of realtors (who typically also have or work for property management companies) do nothing. As in zip. Nada. Niente. Well, except perhaps stand there with an open, outstretched hand, waiting for you to put money in it for no reason. They may very well be slot machines in human form — except slot machines are way more fun.

Slot machine.

Just looking at one is more fun than dealing with a realtor. Come on, sevens! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And I apparently got into the wrong line of work.

“But what about No. 5?” you may ask. The last one — the generous 1% that has crossed my path recently — finally does the right thing. Realtor M, whom I contacted via Zillow, wrote back, “This property has been leased out. Would you like me to help you look for something else?”

Why, yes, M, yes, I do. Let’s get to work this weekend.

The Magical Bathroom Stall?

OK, so you guys are going to think I’m a freak — what else is new? — but things have happened this past week-ish that are simply too weird to be coincidental.

Things in a bathroom. But not-related-to-going-to-the-bathroom things. That’s why it’s weird.

I already love the bathroom, as you know. I have a deep appreciation for the Land of Sweet Release (LSR). And just when I thought it couldn’t get any more special, BAM! I go into my favorite stall, and what’s there on the floor?

English: Dog feces

No, not that — though that would’ve been hilarious! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Money. Moolah. Cold hard cash. The mean green. Dough. Scrilla.

On the floor. Just sitting there. Folded up exactly how I fold my money. Waiting just for me.

I quickly closed the door behind me, lest someone else see the treasure. I immediately felt guilty, trying to hoard someone’s loss, feeling some karmic retribution for this small trespass might befall me. I decided that, depending on the amount of said folded-up bill, I would report it to the property management company, who could subsequently blast a notification out to the tenants, only one of which would know the amount and last known whereabouts of said bill.

English: Statue of Sherlock Holmes in Edinburgh

It’s elementary, my dear Watson. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“It’s all good, Raegen. You’ll do the right thing,” I thought to myself. (Obviously — my name’s in there.)

Could the woman in the stall next to me see the treasure on the ground? I couldn’t tell. I waited until that door clicked opened. I heard her wash her hands and leave. I then bent down to claim my prize, which, in the end, was a small bill.


Still, in spite of its modest amount, I couldn’t help but feel that this was some weird stroke of luck. The amount wasn’t something anyone was going to cry over, so maybe certain tides were starting to turn for me that it was now mine, no harm, no foul.

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Turn around… (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This was two Fridays ago.

This past Tuesday, my theory was confirmed. I entered the LSR again, returning to my choice stall, as is my habit when it’s free. There on the floor, in nearly the same place as the money was, was a face-down business card.

This time I was alone. I closed the door and picked it up straightaway.

It was a man’s card, though I didn’t think that too strange, even though I was in the women’s restroom. It was what the card had on it — what this person did for a living — that made me think that I’d again received some sort of sign that my luck was changing, and for the better.

Greatest Hits (Ace of Base album)

I saw the sign, and it opened up my eyes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As I was thinking about how I’d found these items now just a few short days apart from each other when I’d been visiting this stall regularly for over a year and 10 months with nothing more to speak of except the occasional stray piece of TP or a streak on the side of the bowl, it occurred to me that perhaps, as Superman used a phone booth (look it up, Millennials) to change into his superhero garb and prepare to save the world, I was being given signs that this particular bathroom stall would serve some broader function, might be the place where the mystical forces of the world would bestow knowledge upon me, give me clues as to my higher purpose in life — at least for the time being.

The Ajax Port-o-potty

Hey, don’t knock it, man; it could’ve been a port-o-potty. (Photo credit: Aaron Gustafson)

I then recalled how, as a child, if I was having a nightmare, I would find a dream LSR, lock myself in it, and wake myself up out of my bad dream by focusing on doing so in the privacy and protection of my own stall.

Yeah. I know. It’s weird. (Whatever. You’re weird. Jerk.)

Even in my unconscious state, even at as early an age as I can remember — which would probably be around 3 — the LSR has been my safe haven.

And now, one particular stall of a real-life LSR is giving me magical signs.

Am I the only one?

Five More Things You Would Never Say to a Man

This is a continuation of last week’s blog. It was getting a little long even for me, if you know what I mean.

(That’s what she said.)

OK, here’s new stuff for you to contemplate — five more things you would never say to a man.

1. “Honey, you look a little tired. I think you need some under-eye concealer to hide those rings.” Sometimes men look rough. You know what they have to do during those dark, desperate times? Deal with it — maybe go home and get a decent night’s sleep. Women, on the other hand, are treated as if a long night is some deep effin’ cause of concern, as if she’s caught some freaky infectious disease and needs treatment — STAT. Women get a whole line of expensive products to cover up the fact that they’re human too. Good times.

daily makeup

And you too can have all this for the low, low price of an entire paycheck, ladies! (Photo credit: haagenjerrys)

2. “Go pick up my dry cleaning.” Your spouse may say it, but your boss? Unlikely. Unless you’re a woman, that is. I think it’s funny how some people think it’s completely acceptable to treat a female employee as if, somewhere in her job description, there’s this little bulleted item listed in 8-point font somewhere that she missed which details her “surrogate wife functions and responsibilities” or something. Unless you’re really someone’s personal assistant — like, that’s the job title you hold and put on your resume — there is never any reason an employee should handle her boss’s laundry, period.

On another note, if on a regular basis — not as a once-in-a-while favor — you must ask your significant other, male or female, to do something as simple as completing a chore you’ve already passed off to someone else you’re paying to do it, I hope your partner has enough sense to tell you the same thing I would: “You’re an adult; go get it yourself.” I mean, it’s dry cleaning. It doesn’t get easier than that.

dry cleaning

It’s like my life wasn’t worth living before they invented this thing where I don’t even have to do my own laundry! (Photo credit: zoomar)

3. “Be a woman,” “Woman up,” or “Stop being such a man.” Statements like this — reversing the gender pronouns of all-too-common phrases — really illustrate how much we value the character traits we mistakenly attribute solely to one gender. I wouldn’t want to be a woman either, for example, if women weren’t strong, courageous or rational.

Good thing we are.

We Can Do It poster for Westinghouse, closely ...

Welcome to the gun show, bwotches! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

4. “I can’t believe you slept with ten different people in one weekend! What’s wrong with you?” It’s no shocker that the thing women are condemned for is the same thing men are lauded for. Call me conservative, but I think if you’ve done the above or something similar, it’s a good indication that, regardless of gender, you’ve got some pretty serious psychological issues going on. And I don’t think arguments like “That’s just how guys are” or “Women can be players too” justify an obvious dysfunction, either. So pardon me if I spare you the high-fives, “manly-men” and “liberated women,” in favor of handing you a referral to a mental health professional.

The Fainting Couch

On the couch — with your clothes on, please! (Photo credit: PhotoAtelier (Glen))

And now… the capper. Drum roll, please… Prepare yourselves, for this may very well shatter the foundations of all you can believe in and trust in this world…

5. Fight Club sucked.” I’m not afraid to tell you this truth, dudes. This movie was sheer ridiculousness. Along with confused ideologies, one-dimensional characters (including the multiple-personality one, which is a feat unto itself), and a cop-out ending that made me aware that I’d just wasted 139 minutes of my life that I could never get back, the idea that a man has to beat another man senseless to feel empowered in life is insulting to you. And if you don’t realize that, well, go form a fight club with someone strong enough to snap your neck in the first round and put us all out of the misery of your existence.

Fight Club (film)

The first rule of Fight Club really is: You do not talk about how dumb Fight Club actually is. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The female equivalent of this movie in my mind is Sex and the City. Touching on what I mentioned earlier in No. 4, the idea that women are somehow “liberated” by being promiscuous and careless with their bodies, minds, and spirits is just insulting to one’s intelligence. Add to that “subliminal” messaging about what “sexy” women wear, and it’s enough to make this girl want to go burn down the set while everyone’s still there rolling footage.

Sex and the City (film)

Oh, I’ll get “Carried away,” all right — but I was thinking more along the lines of the Stephen King-esque, light-that-pink-nightmare-on-fire sort of carried away…  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I send my personal thanks to whoever finally made this show die. Now if that person would only promise me an end to the movie franchise as well…

So now that I’ve gotten all this out of the way, what’s my point, you may wonder. Here’s the thing — and it should be obvious, but even Corky from Life Goes On seems smarter than most people I meet these days, so I’ll ‘splain it for those folks: If you’d never say these things to a man, what makes people think it’s appropriate to say these things to anyone, let alone women? It’s remarkable — but ultimately unjustifiable — that even the smallest of verbal interactions change so drastically based on what’s in a person’s panties.

After all, let us not forget that some of you gents out there do, in fact, wear panties.

Which is fine by me, as long as they’re not mine.

Women's panties or knickers

I’ve never seen these before, so consider them fair game, boys! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Five Things You Would Never Say to a Man

I currently work in an office of women. All women. Well, there’s one man, but he’s gay and a temp, so his brief influence upon the office dynamics will be negligible.

Not to be a traitor to my own gender, and not even to complain, but I am not a “girly-girl.” Which to me simply means I’ve questioned and continue to question most of the brainwashing — er, socialization — specific to gender in America (though, of course, we know the problem is global, though it comes in different flavors) and adhere to it mostly just when it is required of me for business purposes (e.g., attending trade shows in women’s business attire, which thankfully includes pantsuit options). And there are times when I feel an ethical dilemma coming on even about that — but hey, at least no one’s asked me to strip for my paycheck… yet.

Author: Duy Le UCLA made stripper pole

I’m highly offended that this stripper pole is being objectified. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I tend not to talk about the things my cohort does. Heck, I tend not to care about the things my cohort does — latest fashion trends, Desperate Housewives, weddings, having kids, yadda, yadda.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with caring about these things. People care about what they care about, and they’re entitled to that. It just so happens I could give a crap about any of it. And sometimes I wish that, like me, people would question why they care about what they do.

10 Things I Hate About You (soundtrack)

“I know you can be overwhelmed, and I know you can be underwhelmed, but can you ever just be whelmed?” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But that’s not up to me, so anyway…

There are many things that occur in my workplace that I have the sneaking suspicion would never happen if there was — for lack of a better description — some sort of balance to the force, for better or worse. Sometimes I wonder how different it might be if there were more men — or less “girly-girl” types, at least — in this environment.

Hence the subject of this blog. The fact that I’m even thinking about this, along with the things I’ve witnessed up to this point in my life, have made me realize just how different the standards women are held to are from the standards men are held to — and even scarier, how sometimes it’s women themselves holding (or trying to hold) each other to these. And I’m not saying the standards men are held to are any less oppressive and ridiculous in their own ways, or that men don’t perpetuate them amongst themselves either. I’m just saying…

You’d never say this to a man. (Well, at least not a heterosexual one, which brings up the whole issue of why anyone in their right mind would adopt the behaviors of the oppressed — but that’s another topic for another blog.)

1. “You seem upset. Is it that time of the month?” This is what I consider to be a classic societal blunder. The assumption that the most likely cause for a woman’s anger, sadness, etc., is because of her hormones is one of the biggest insults anyone using this “logic” can levy against a woman. Men may not have blood we can blame their emotions on — and oh, they are emotional just like the rest of us — so I guess in their case, we actually have to use our heads and try to get down to a genuine cause for distress as opposed to some unruly bodily force that allegedly renders an entire population irrational.

Margaret Atwood

Man, if only Margaret Atwood would stop having her period already, I bet she’d make much more sense! (Photo credit: ejmc)

This is not to say hormones don’t affect moods. That’s a scientific fact. But guess what? Men have hormones too — which cycle on a daily basis as well as a monthly one. So if we were going to use logic to blame hormones for mood swings, who logically would be the better choice: men or women?

2. “That outfit makes you look fat.” I would be tickled to see someone say this to a man. Actually, I’d just be curious to see the response. I could imagine someone getting clocked for a statement like that to a man. But first off, men are never fat; they’re stocky or have big builds. And admittedly, when women ask other women if an outfit makes them look fat, they’re never fat either; the person questioned will respond something like, “It doesn’t flatter your fill-in-the blank.” But do not be fooled: This is simply the female translation of, “Yes, that outfit makes you look fat.”

And what does that woman in the “unflattering outfit” go and do? Feel bad about herself and change. Now, don’t get me wrong — I’m all in favor of people not wearing styles that don’t fit their body types, which is again why no one should wear skinny jeans ever. But most clothing will look decent on anyone if they’re just bought in the right size — as opposed to, you know, trying to rock two sizes too small. That would make even Kate Moss look fat.

baby clothes

These would definitely make Kate Moss look like a heifer. (Photo credit: carrie-ann-nelson)

3. “I’m so jealous — Bobby’s way hotter than us.” Along the lines of objectifying oneself through clothing and makeup instead of gaining attention and respect through intelligence and hard work, there seems to be this constant comparison of hotness among women. Some of it, of course, is perpetuated by media, society, and men as well. But I’m pretty sure guys don’t sit around secretly begrudging their friends or gossiping about them for being “hotter” than they are, and I’m also pretty sure they don’t think their friends’ success in life has much to do with appearance. And guys, if you do believe your appearance ultimately determines your relationship success, for instance, I have two words for you: Pete Doherty.

Everyone has something to offer, and beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. But I hope for everyone’s sake that the perceived “beauty” of a person will truly be assessed deeper than the layers of one’s skin as our society evolves.

4. “Your wedding planning will exhaust you.” I’m pretty sure — though men, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong — that guys don’t sit around dreaming of their perfect wedding. “It has to be on the beach in Jamaica. I have to wear a white dress, but it has to have pale pink accents, but only around the waist. It has to have a tropical paradise theme. My bridesmaids will be my sisters, my best friend from high school, but definitely not the best friend from college, though she’s invited. I want to have lilies in my bouquet, but they can’t have a fragrance, because I want the fragrance of the roses to be predominant. I want to have an outdoor reception, but I also want hanging lights in case the sky is cloudy so it still feels like there are stars. I have to have filet — no other cut of beef — for the dinner. And I simply won’t be satisfied unless my wedding cake is white, milk, and dark chocolate in descending order.”

Are you feeling queasy yet? Yeah, me too.

Bridezilla will kick your ass and look lovely ...

I said “descending order”! Now you’re going to have to die! (Photo credit: laura47)

I think guys have it right when it comes to this sort of stuff. “Did I find a great girl? Check. Is she at the altar? Check. Am I up there too? Check. Are the people we love here to celebrate with us? Check. OK, I think we’re all good.”

I mean, I get that there’s planning involved to make that come together, but if you’re blathering about all these other inane details on the daily that in the end won’t make a bit of difference if the truly important components aren’t there, then I think you’ve seriously lost sight of the whole point of a wedding in the first place. Just sayin’…

5. “Can you baby-sit my kids this weekend?” We don’t expect men to be willing or — dare I say it? — entirely capable of being able to handle the responsibility of caring for children — especially if said children aren’t their own — alone. It’s the stuff that many cheesy movie plots are made of. But on top of this, we expect that men will already have far more important and “manlier” things to take care of on the weekend, since their responsibilities take precedence over all. Neither, of course, is true.

I don’t blame those men who don’t want this responsibility for not wanting it, though. I don’t want it either — and no, that’s not a comment on my abilities or lack of “maternal instinct.” I just have other things I’d like to devote my time to, thank you very much.

Books behind the bed

Ahh… that’s more like it! (Photo credit: zimpenfish)

But there is the issue of trusting men with certain tasks too — especially considering all the rightful attention being given to child sexual abuse. This is not to say women don’t ever abuse children, but according to this study, “more than 90% of the perpetrators of sexual offenses against minors were male.” In light of highly publicized and despicable offenses like Jerry Sandusky’s, it should be overwhelmingly clear that there is a need for some sort of societal shift that would make this behavior so unacceptable that someone even thinking about perpetrating such crimes would kill themselves before inflicting such abuse upon children.

Stay tuned for five more things you would never say to a man, which I’ll post next week.

Oh, you’re in a public restroom? Then GET OFF THE PHONE!

This week, it came to my attention that there may be some confusion over what a bathroom is for. As always, I’m more than happy to educate everyone out there who may be confused about this rarely discussed but often taken-for-granted space.

English: Bathroom (toilet and bath)

This is a bathroom. Any questions? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Let’s start by detailing the purpose a bathroom serves — for it is indeed designed to be a functional space. Unless you happen to find yourself in a mansion, you’ve probably noticed how the bathroom area of a house or building is often not terribly formal. No one’s thinking about how to make a bathroom — and more specifically the toilet portion of it — a piece of conceptual art (except for maybe this guy) as much as how to hide the things that take place in it via a curtain or mottled glass door on the shower and a lid — sometimes decked out in a chic, shag-carpet-like cover — on the toilet.

But the bathroom is so much more than this. Where do you turn when you feel sick and your mom’s no longer there to clean up the cookies you could get away with tossing in your bed when you were young? The bathroom. What cool, refreshing surface do you press your hot, clammy skin against after a long night having too much fun at the bar? The beloved toilet in that bathroom. And when you ate some funky chicken, where is the sanctuary that provides relief? It ain’t no church, temple or mosque; it’s the porcelain God.

English: This is used to pee in the bathroom.

Bow down, bwotches! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many of you already know this. Your love and appreciation for the restroom is deep and abiding. Who knows where this respect came from? Perhaps your parents potty-trained you with a sense of toilety morals. Or maybe like me, you’ve had intestinal issues pretty much your whole life that have led you to recognize that sometimes, all that stands between you and chaos, you and the literal, unescapable stench of humanity, is that bathroom — private or public.

But this week, I witnessed firsthand the severest form of disrespect ever levied against a restroom and the people in it. No, it wasn’t a renegade trickle of urine down the side of the toilet that its maker didn’t wipe away. It wasn’t even “Nicky is a creamy, garlicy vag flap” etched into a stall door (which, yes, I’ve seen inscribed in a school bathroom almost verbatim).

No, my friends, it was some bumb ditch huddling in a corner, almost leaning against the closed door of the stall she was nearest to, talking on her cell phone while some poor stranger suffered inside, trying to drop her deuce in peace.

English: Lady talking to a pay phone in Tallin...

FYI: This is the only stall in which or near which it is appropriate to talk on a phone. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many things ran through my mind, witnessing this crime against humanity and my sanctuary. I could say something to the ditch like, “Look, you bumb ditch, can’t you see people are trying to do the dew in here? Take it outside!” But she probably wouldn’t hear me over her inane blathering — the volume of which was amplified by the humble tile flooring found in most bathrooms.

I could start making flatulence noises with my hands and mouth so loud that the person on the other end of the phone would say, “Are you in the bathroom while you’re talking to me?” thereby shaming the bumb ditch into a) leaving or b) ending the call. But knowing that like typically draws like, the person the bumb ditch was talking to was probably a rude bumb ditch herself — and equally inconsiderate.

I could try to be the hero, snatching the phone out of the ditch’s hand and throwing it into the toilet. But no — I didn’t feel like getting arrested that day, especially when I wasn’t really the party at fault.

Whoops… And by “whoops,” I mean, “Go eff yourself.”

In the end, I decided to start laughing audibly while shaking my head and expressing condemnation with my eyes — which, surprisingly enough, is extremely effective with those who know me IRL.

But I have to admit, the ditch kept on talking without pause, so I had to accept that this effort to defend my innocent restroom comrade was just plain ineffective.

This led me to brainstorm about what can be done against the plague of morons that believe their shiz — the metaphorical type, of course, since we can garner that they have no respect for the literal kind based on their behavior — is so epic, so effin’ important, that it simply cannot wait until they’re anyplace but a restroom.


Why, yes, I do live on Planet Look-at-Me! (Photo credit: mike r baker)

But let me first say three things directly to these bathroom heathens:

1) There is never any reason for you to be on the phone in a public restroom. No, really — NEVER. If it’s your child’s school or your significant other’s boss calling, you have the number programmed into your phone and would be halfway to your car by the time you answered it anyway, right? You understand that there’s a sense of importance with such calls that sidesteps any urge you may have had to go to the bathroom in the first place, let alone answer the call from there. This means that any call you’re willing to take in the bathroom is trivial in nature. Yet you’re still willing to put your asinine social time above other people’s necessary bodily functions, which have been acknowledged by humankind as critical enough to dictate the creation of entire rooms specifically for the carrying out of such acts? Congrats: You’ve just won my Completely Narcissistic Butt Clown Award! People like you are the reason this country is going down the crapper and organizations like this must be founded.

Unless you’re the leader of a country or the like, your life is just as stupid and meaningless as the rest of ours (see here), so spare everyone who doesn’t give a shiv the details of yours. And if you were the leader of a country, you would know better than to even think about talking on the phone in a bathroom. Can you imagine if one of our presidents was caught talking to, like, Hu Jintao while taking a leak? World War III, suckas!

English: President Barack Obama talks with Isr...

Mind if I put you on hold a sec and transfer this call to my “private” private office? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2) When you were potty-trained, you may recall that there was no phone involved. Please consider this to be deliberate, as a phone is unnecessary in a bathroom environment and, in fact, is in direct conflict with it and all it represents.

If you can’t recall your potty-training experience, feel free to go ask your parents how it went. Hopefully they’ll reiterate how stupid you are for talking on your phone in the bathroom while recalling the many pairs of shorts you stained back then not getting to the bowl in time.

3) It’s high time you were educated about a syndrome known as “poo anxiety.” Poo anxiety is a real disorder, characterized by a person’s inability to release fecal matter in the presence — however guarded against by stall walls and doors — of others. If a poo-anxiety sufferer sees or hears other sentient life forms in the same restroom he or she is in, that person will clench the sphincter closed until such time as a) other people leave, b) the No. 2 feeling has passed — at least for the time being, and/or c) he or she can escape to some other — and hopefully unoccupied — restroom and achieve the sweet release.

Bathroom Phone

This is ONLY for when you’ve fallen and can’t get up. (Photo credit: netmonkey)

Given that I entered the bathroom when the innocent stall victim was already there, I baked my own brownies, I witnessed the bumb ditch’s criminal behavior, I washed my hands, and I exited the bathroom all while my innocent comrade remained silent, I think it’s safe to assume that this stall victim suffers from poo anxiety. Add to this the fact that the innocent comrade chose one of the end stalls — practically a poo-anxiety-sufferer dead giveaway — to attempt to relieve herself, and I believe my argument would be indisputable in a court of law.

As for me, you may have guessed from what I mentioned above that I am not a sufferer of poo anxiety disorder. I’ve found that people like me who have intestinal issues are generally forced to get over this type of fear at an early age by virtue of their colon’s untamed power and take-no-prisoners mentality.

And me even more specifically — I’ll crap right into your hand if you want. You don’t even have to dare me. You just have to wait until I get the special tingle.

Heck — maybe that’s the solution to this dilemma! Maybe the poo-flinging monkeys had it right all along!

Monkey Mountain

Aim for the open mouth, brah! (Photo credit: pnoeric)

Can I be arrested for flinging poo? Someone in my posse must know…

Still, even if it weren’t illegal, why should I have to suffer with a smelly hand for days because of some bumb ditch’s poor life choice?

No, my friends — I’ve found an even better solution for dealing with these idiots.

Two words: air horn. Not only can you blare this blessed little treasure from the privacy of a restroom stall, thereby keeping you relatively anonymous, but you will render perps too temporarily deaf to continue a conversation with anyone, let alone the accessory to the crime — the person on the other end of the phone with which a bumb ditch is conspiring.

English: Italian Air Horn

Forget children — THIS is a real gift from God. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And heck, you might even literally scare the crap right out of a poo-anxiety sufferer, curing him or her of that fear in a single blow (pun intended).

For the low, low price of $4.50, you too can wield the long arm of justice. It’s an investment well worth making — for the preservation of your sanity and a safe, special place I consider my second home but most of us call, quite simply, the bathroom.

When You Can’t Unknow Something

I had an epiphany this week. Not a general understanding that’d been lost to me, nor a new perspective on a familiar situation.

Well, maybe it was those things as well, but it was beyond them, too.

English: Artificial boundaries for an atom.

The atom is like the honey badger; it knows no bounds. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What’s the difference between a clearer understanding and an epiphany? Well, I can only speak for myself here, but here goes…

There’s been something that’s been bugging me for quite some time — at least a year, if not longer. (I don’t mean to be cryptic here by being nonspecific, but it’s necessary.) I’ll wake up in the morning with my mind on my tasks, what I have and want to accomplish in my day. Somewhere along the line, though, something will happen that will trigger my brooding about this particular annoying thing; it’s the proverbial wound that someone keeps pouring salt in, if you will. Nearly every day, I put ointment on the wound and bandage it, and nearly every day, I’ll find by the time I’m getting into bed that the bandage is all gray and fuzzy and icky, having separated from my skin and collected lint, and there’s that salt that worked its way under my raw skin again.

English: sticking plaster Français : Pansement...

“I try not to think about what might’ve been…” Anyone? Anyone? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s been incredibly frustrating, and I know I’m not the only one to have experienced something like this. It could be anything to any of us, really, and most of us have at least one of these annoying things we just can’t seem to shake at any given point in our life. I can think back to my 20s and recall, for example, drama over a roommate’s boyfriend. I can recall even earlier drama over the cheerleading squad. (Stop laughing, you jerks!)

Cover of "Bring It On (Widescreen Collect...

Admittedly, I’ve never seen this, but I imagine my drama was similar — an as epic, of course — regardless. Ha! (Cover: Amazon)

The poor people nearest to us at these points in time — in this current case, that would be my boyfriend — have to listen to us drone on and on and on about how tragic and terrible our lives are even though 1) they’re not — not by a long shot — and 2) they very clearly see the problem and usually its remedy as well, having the necessary distance from and lack of emotional investment in it. Most of us have been on both sides of this coin — the bearer of the cross as well as the person who points out the cross is actually a pebble in our shoe that can be picked out quite easily — so I’m guessing you can relate to both sides here.

And like my boyfriend — putting you in the Captain Obvious role here for a moment — you probably wouldn’t have been able to figure out why I just had not figured this thing out yet. Am I stupid? (Don’t answer that.)

And so it has gone with poor Jesus, who’s been grinning and bearing it, reiterating what the real problem has always been since a few months after I started having it. I may come to him with, yes, a different complaint, but inevitably, it’s still one that can be filed under the category of “Main Issue I’ve Been Complaining About for X Months.” He gets it. So what’s my problem?

Clueless (film)

‘Nuff said. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I guess it just boils down to time: time I needed to snap out of my own denial about — yet again — another case of genuine disregard and lack of investment on the part of another. In other words — like some people, although I’m not sure I can qualify it as “most people” anymore — I have a very difficult time understanding how someone else could carry on not considering the consequences of the things they’re planning to do during the decision-making process as I would. Or, as Jess would say, I have a hard time accepting that other people just don’t think like me.

True story.

But it goes beyond that. I actually don’t expect that others will think like me (although, admittedly, I’d like them to). I’m an overanalyzer to the Nth degree, so I know that my kind of thought process is not likely occurring among the majority of people. However, I do expect that others will consider those around them when making their decisions to some degree — you know, giving others a little courtesy and empathy. It’s the humane thing to do, right?

Maybe. But that doesn’t make it any more likely to happen.

Don’t get me wrong. If we’re talking about kitties stranded in trees or little old ladies crossing streets, sure, we can expect that at least one person passing by will use their heart and help the helpless out. But people truly considering the impact of their actions on the lives of others on a daily basis? Turns out that’s idealistic.

English: A cat on the tree. Italiano: Gatto su...

U do knowz Ill claw ur eyez out aftur u reskewz me, rite? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I guess some people need the impact of their decisions on others’ lives to be so blatantly apparent to them in the moment (i.e., have kitties and old ladies in their faces) just to even trigger the thought that hey, maybe they should, you know, perhaps consider the implications of their actions (or lack thereof) on other people’s lives. Some need to be spoon-fed an extremely obvious case of “your help is required in this situation” to even spark the notion that their decisions affect the lives of others positively or negatively… or even, in some cases, both.

Nurses and nursing

Open up for this airplane now, Billy. It’s called “compassion.” Vroom! Yum-yum-yummy! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And sometimes even then, they don’t care. (Ever tried to reason with practicing addicts about the impacts of their decisions on others? Anyone? Anyone?)

Don’t get me wrong. I understand how difficult it would be to consider all the ramifications of each and every decision one makes. I’m sure I’m plenty ignorant of the full breadth of consequences of the choices I make in my own life; I’m American, after all, and that’s the American way.

American flag

And I’m proud to be an American! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But if you find yourself in a certain position in life — like a leadership position at a school, a church, or a company, for example — guess what? Considering the impacts of your choices on other people — students, parishioners, stockholders, employees, etc. — is actually what you were hired to do. You get paid to do it. It’s, like, your job. No one should have to tell you to do it, and no one should have to tell you how to do it, either. And we’ve seen plenty of examples of what’s happened to leaders who didn’t do their jobs. And while in some extreme cases, such charlatans have lost their very freedom, those who still walk free, those who haven’t been caught, and even those whose “crimes” are really more just indiscretions (impactful but not criminal) have lost one major thing that they can likely never get back: the respect of others.

Playing in cage

Who cares about respect? Do you know what happens when I drop the soap in here? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Anyway, circling back to what I started talking about eons ago at the beginning of this blog…

It was June 7 — this Thursday. I texted Jess when I noticed that my adorable little bandage with unicorns on it had come unpeeled again. I’m sure he was expecting me to come home from the gym and give him another earful of my broken-record-esque complaints.

But something happened on the way to Anytime.

Something Happened on the Way to Heaven

No, Phil, on the way to Anytime. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

All the pieces finally started clicking in my head. I’d been looking at this thing for so long under a microscope, I never fully acknowledged the person who’d been slipping the slide under my lens all along — smoke-and-mirroring shiz and throwing me off the scent. Going back to my 20s example, for instance, I really didn’t have beef with my roommate’s boyfriend, who I was picking apart on the stage; I had beef with her. Again, I’d been taking for granted that a person close to me in my life had my interests in mind, at least to some degree.

And I was wrong.

(Yes, certain family members — you know who you are — I do admit I’m wrong sometimes. There’s your proof.)

And I realize that 99% of this was probably obvious to you, gentle reader, but it wasn’t to me, so jump off my balls.

This person’s actions — and this lack of consideration when it comes to me — are not personal. They’re extended to others as well, and I have plenty of examples of this. This whole thing boils down to the fact that some people just won’t or don’t care enough to consider deeper ramifications of their choices. I haven’t determined whether or not this is a conscious choice yet.

A Night at the Roxbury

— “You can’t take away our dreams!”     — “Yeah, because we’re, like, sleeping when we have them!” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But it doesn’t matter. I came home from the gym laughing to myself. When Jess came to meet me at the door, he knew right away that it’d finally clicked, and he started laughing, too. Because real epiphanies, though sometimes they have sad elements to them, ultimately make you smile, because they set you free — free from your brooding thoughts, free from yourself, and eventually, even free from the situation that sparked all this drama in the first place.

English: one of many knots

“Maybe I’m supposed to undo these outer knots so that my inner knots will come undone, too!” Anyone? Anyone? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Which brings us to the “downside” of epiphanies — which I clearly use loosely here (I mean, what else are those quotation marks for, right?). You can’t fall back into denial once you’ve had a true epiphany. You can’t unknow what you learned in you heart. So now you have to deal with it. Now you have choices to make.

Such choices weren’t there when you were in denial. But now they are, and you know you have no choice but to proceed forward with one of them, because you know you can’t unknow the thing that would’ve kept you from even knowing there were all these other choices available to you out there, let alone making one of them. (Confused yet? Okay, good.)

But these choices don’t have to be daunting. They don’t even have to be hard work. They can and should be viewed as opportunities. And that’s what I’ll be trying to keep in mind now as I proceed forward with this new little awareness of mine. Wish me luck!

How to Stop Dating Douchebags

During a recent chat with some of the ladies in my life, a single one in the bunch started detailing some of the lesser dates she’s had recently. (I know, I know — shock of the world: a crappy date.) Anyway, she wrapped up this portion of the conversation with a statement that’s been on my mind (obviously, or I wouldn’t be here writing about it) since: “I’m going to start trying some new things because I don’t like the type of person I’m attracting.”

Jay Cutler (bodybuilder) in 2008

If he looked like this, I don’t blame her. (No offense, Jay Cutler.) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

First off, let me just say, by all means, try new things in life. I’m proud of this particular friend because she is fearless when it comes to putting herself out there and trying new things (and no, I don’t mean S&M… although now that I’m thinking about it, perhaps I’ll have to ask her).

And, admittedly, I used to be a big believer in this whole “I’m attracting this into my life” thing myself. And in a lot of ways, I still am. But there’s one fundamental difference between me two years ago and me today (well, one I’m legally permitted to disclose, anyway): I acknowledge the level of douchebaggery in the world, I reject it, and I subsequently refuse to blame myself for it.

Allow me to elaborate.

I’m a huge fan of 28 Days to a More Magnetic Life. I have watched movies like The Matrix, The Secret, What the Bleep Do We Know? — even the likes of Being John Malkovich and I Heart Huckabees — and I believe there is much truth to them. I have had proof in my own life of the dynamic, manipulable nature of this plane of existence or whatever you want to call it, and this is the foundation of my faith in God.

But here’s the deal: I don’t think people attract a particular type of person (usually crappy, by the way, because no one ever complains about the opposite, right?) because there’s some mystical, freaky mojo that draws those people to them. It ain’t no mysterious aura surrounding you that douchebags’ eyes are trained to see, like how insects see ultraviolet and we don’t or whatever.

It’s you. That’s right, I said it. You. Your negative, self-destructive belief that you attract these types of people is the fundamental root of the problem, because you’re telling yourself through this statement — albeit indirectly — that you don’t deserve any better when you actually do. And even worse: when you believe that, you at the same time create your very own Get Out of Jail Free card for getting involved with said douchebags — because, after all, that’s whom you attract, right?

An original Get Out of Jail Free Chance card.

This Get Out of Jail Free card entitles me to unlimited reinforcement of my own self-loathing. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hey, I speak from experience here, so don’t think I’m busting anyone out through some tough love without acknowledging my own unacceptable behavior. P.O.T.C. is all I have to say, for all y’all who knew me back in that day and get the reference.

Still, allow me to further translate what I’ve learned from my own mistakes — which were of fantastically magnificent proportions, I might add — and make my point crystal clear, because there are a lot of people in my life who are having this same issue. Let’s use some basic math and those English degrees I have to decipher this problem, shall we?

“I attract douchebags” = “Douchebags hit on me” + “I accept their come-ons”

See, that last portion of the equation is the silent, pseudo-attraction factor that few people even recognize, let alone realize is the part of their lives that they actually control — and by “control,” of course, I mean “can change,” because that’s not some mysterious attraction; it’s choice.

And let’s look at the equation when you do take control and make a better choice, shall we?

“Douchebags hit on me” — “I accept their come-ons” = “Lame douchebags move on” + “I’m happy over here, far away from douchebaggery”

Now, like I said, there are a great many douchebag in the world. This website here proves it, and even goes so far as to provide statistical evidence as to how many there are in fabulous Las Vegas alone. And these douchebags won’t stop reveling in their douchebaggery just because you’ve grown up, said no, seen the light, or what have you. They will still enter your life and may even attempt to destroy it. But… if you’ve learned anything from your own (or my) experiences, you’ll know better than to think it’s something about you that drew them near.

English: Magnetic field of an ideal cylindrica...

This diagram representing “a magnetic field of an ideal cylindrical magnet with its axis of symmetry inside the image plane” makes no sense to me, but it looks pretty cool, right? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And now you know exactly what to do — what part of the equation is in your power to exercise — to minimize your experiences with them. You don’t have to do new things (although again, there’s nothing wrong with that). In fact, you can do new things until you’re blue in the face, but until you just say no to douchebags — the only essential here — nothing will change.

Official portrait of First Lady Nancy Reagan, ...

A fellow Reagan just said no. Will you? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But the funny thing is is that the more you practice your part of the equation — rejecting the douchebags who come on to you — the better you’ll become at spotting the douchebags before they even have a chance to approach you. And suddenly, you will realize you’re no longer “attracting” those types of unsavory characters that seemed to find you no matter where you tried to hide, because it was never really a matter of that anyway, but of your own choices (including ignoring the many warning signs of douchebags’ behavior).

On top of this, because you’re now rejecting douchebags, you’ve made some room in your life for quality people and true love to enter it. After all, if your fridge is full of Two-Buck Chuck, you’re going to have nowhere for that Dom Perignon to chill, now, will you? Love and self-respect are the basic lessons here, and that’s really what your higher self’s attempting to attract to you. Help it out by saying no to douchebags and let it already!

Before I close, let it be known that douchebags come in all shapes, sizes and forms. In other words, this is not a man-hating blog. (I’m a feminist; I don’t hate men; there is a difference between the two.) But just to further build my case for this, my next blog will be about some of our New-Age “guru” types, perhaps the most dangerous form of douchebag currently walking the Earth — or buying the yoga mat — whatever. Stay tuned…

Your Moral Compass Is Pointing in the Suckwesternly Direction

My sister — bless her heart — is a salesperson. A good one. Better still, she’s a natural-born salesperson, the kind total strangers just walk up and tell their life stories to. And I have to admit, I’ve oft admired her way with people. Whereas I judge and alienate those around me, my sister relates and befriends nearly everyone she meets.

Myers-Briggs typology for women

I’m an INFJ, which does in fact mean I’ll go ballistic on that azz. (Photo credit: Peter Forret)

Even looking at this bizarre Myers-Briggs chart, I find it interesting to note that I’ve been labeled as a protector at heart. Ultimately, I hope this blog will be a reflection of that, which is my — dare I say it? — maternal instinct I don’t ever actually plan to practice on offspring of my own kicking in from my vacant uterus. So I guess I have to practice it on my loved ones instead, whether they like it or not. (And for the record, they usually don’t.)

But first, to the heart of the matter.

Wait — where was I?

Vector image of the Las Vegas sign. Português:...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Oh, right.

So I was thinking about the times I’ve wished my personality was more like my sister’s while having a conversation about business with her and one of our best friends from childhood this past weekend. Someone in the industry I currently write for was informing me that I was actually a salesperson but didn’t know it — one of those weird types of comments like, “You must master your rage, or it will master you” — true story — and I was telling them that I somewhat understood what the guy who said that to me meant with respect to being a writer, but I could never see myself selling _____, and for very legitimate reasons which I’m not at liberty to list here, as they would identify _____, but just assume for the sake of argument that there is no reasonable or even partially justifiable counterargument to my argument about _____.

An American judge talking to a lawyer.

In other words, don’t ever question me. Dismissed.         (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Both listened to my diatribe, which concluded with an “I couldn’t sleep at night knowing I lied to someone to sell something I am aware has either no value or significantly less value than my client was paying to receive.”

My sister immediately jumped in and tried to manage my perception — and yes, I did learn that term from her. She tried to convince me that I was looking at it all wrong. In other words, she tried to sell me. And not because there was actually any reasonable or justifiable argument one could present, like I said. And there really was nothing to be gained in this effort to persuade me, either… except maybe the sheer joy of mental domination, which I must admit I also find exhilarating.

Family Guy: Stewie's Guide to World Domination

If I was a cartoon, I’m fairly certain I’d be something like Stewie. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s ridiculous! It’s preposterous! It’s ludicrous! By god, it’s impetuous! Indeed, it’s always “on” with my sister. This argument was pure reflex, her hand touching my hot stove and instantaneously leaping back. She is always in selling mode now. She has become a master of her craft.

I was awestruck — humbled, even. And horrified.

“Why?” you may not be wondering at all right now. But I’m going to tell you anyway. (Stop staring at Stewie’s football-esque head and come back to this already.)

People who’ve mastered the art of sales — the art of spinning, or “professional lying,” as I like to call it — are usually also listed among the most unscrupulous people I’ve ever met. Somewhere along the path of learning how to “manage perceptions” and “overcome objections,” salespeople — probably much like actors — can lose their grip on reality and start applying the role they play on the sales floor to their private lives.

Cruise jumps on the couch during the taping of...

Or, in this case, the couch. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some of them can spin literally everything. I’ve seen it happen before my very eyes in my own office. And again, it’s humbling and horrifying. He who can in the span of a minute think of a way to convince another person she wants to buy a banana shake instead of a strawberry shake, for example, simply because he doesn’t have strawberries that day and doesn’t plan on telling her that (fairly harmless) is the same person who can convince himself that, say, embezzling is okay (pretty harmful).

Icon of U.S. currency.

“I’m convinced that embezzlement isn’t called stealing because it’s actually okay to do.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m a very different person from my sister, and we certainly disagree with many of each other’s life decisions, as I’m sure many siblings find is the case for themselves. There’s nothing wrong with this.

So what am I wiggin’ about, then? Before I tell you, dear readers, let me first qualify my forthcoming statement by saying I don’t blame sales as a profession for the path some salespeople choose to travel. And I know I’m not describing all salespeople in this blog. But I do wonder, at what point do certain personality types become so good at sales that they actually obliterate any sort of moral/ethical center they may have had and sell themselves the managed perception they’ve weaved that lets them sleep at night thinking no matter what they’ve done, how they might be hurting themselves, and how they might be damaging the lives of others in the process, everything’s still cool?

Skinny Jeans + High Heels Español: Pantalón pi...

Skinny jeans and hideous heels? Epically uncool!             (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Just sayin’…