Friday, August 31, 2012

Brotherly Love

People always ask me what growing up with three brothers was like.  The best way I can describe it?  A mutual feeling of terror toward each other: I was scared of them because there are a lot of them and they are big, and they were scared of me because I had the ability to get them in trouble with our parents with one well-timed fake tear or blood-curdling scream of fake pain.  But fear is the foundation for any functional family, right?

Anyway, aside from living in a madhouse for the first 14 years of my life until they moved away, I came out with relatively few facial scars and a lot of great stories.  Here are a few lies I was force-fed.

The Truth About Crabs
I was about five when my brother told me how crabs attack you.  I had just gotten comfortable with the ocean and had managed to wade past my knees.  In other words, I was hot shit and I looked really good in my one-piece that year.  Anyway, I think I must have provoked my brother Matt by telling him confidently that I was not afraid of crabs pinching my feet, so he decided to tell me this:  When crabs brush by you in the ocean, they mark you with a scent so that they can track you later.  You don't know they've found you until you wake up and your legs have been gnawed off up to the knees.  I think this has contributed to my recurring nightmare of small animals crawling over me in my sleep.

Backpacking Bathroom Blues
My brothers invited me to go backpacking with them for the first time when I was still in high school.  Now, I'm pretty familiar with the outdoors, but the backcountry was new terrain for me.  As you may be aware, you have to poop in the woods when you are backpacking.  What you may not be aware of is that proper etiquette (and risk reduction of bear and sasquatch encounters) suggests you dig a six inch hole that contains that digested beef jerky and toilet paper, and then you cover it up.  WELL my brother Russell told me you had to carry your used toilet paper with you for the duration of the trip.  It was only for the sake of his nostrils he finally told me the truth.

Toothbrush Techniques
One time Matt told me your teeth were supposed to feel fuzzy.  Then I didn't brush my teeth for awhile.  I had two cavities the same year.

There were other instances, like when Tom told me it was okay to smash a cabinet to pieces with a baseball bat, or when Russell and Matt put me on the bottom of our human tower at age four, or when they told me I couldn't play Zelda on the N64 because I wasn't tall enough.  But I suppose all of these instances helped shape me into the down-to-earth woman I am today, and accounts for my distorted sense of reality.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Message to iPhone Users

Dear iPhone Users a.k.a. Douches of the World,

I'm going to be upfront here: I hate you.  I hate you all, not because I actually think you are douches (most of you), but because I'm jealous, and when I'm jealous I make rude generalities and blanket statements.  I'm jealous that you have Google Maps on your phone and have never had to reverse in traffic on a Richmond highway because you don't know where you are.  I'm jealous that you have infinite glitter phone case options.  I'm jealous that it's okay for you to take pictures of your self on your phone because there is a setting especially for that purpose.  I'm jealous that you can play Scramble with your friends.  I'm jealous that when you look at your phone you're actually doing something, not just looking at pictures of your cat. 

Why do I have a dumb phone?  Because I'm an idiot, that's why.  I'm not capable of owning nice things because I invariably leave them in toilets, around parking lots, or in puddles of drink condensation at the bar.  My phone has gone careening through the air too many times in the presence of my dad to make it unlikely that I'll ever get a smart phone.  In fact, I'm not getting an upgrade this year, I'm getting a beeper.

You hate to see that.

But the thing I hate more than anything about iPhone users is that they think everyone has them.  And yes, while more than half of cell phone users own smart phones, that doesn't mean they shouldn't conform to my needs.  Here are a few things iPhonians need to keep in mind when interacting with the plebeian sector of society.

1. Don't double text me.  This isn't iMessage.  It's a big deal when I get a text: my phone vibrates at about a seven on the Richter scale, not once but thrice, and it takes a solid five seconds to open up the text.  Don't text-on-text me.  Let me savor your first message, and I will respond in a timely manner, consolidating everything I need to in a concise, 160-character sext.

2. I don't get mass texts from iPhones.  It shows up blank, so you can imagine that after going through the aforementioned process of receiving a text it is a huge letdown.  It's like getting a toy with batteries not included, or getting to McDonald's three minutes after breakfast ended.  How about iNo.

3. When you tweet those little emoticons from your iPhone I can't tell what they are.  Do you know what it feels like to be left out?  A lot like when your best friend is on homecoming court in high school and you're not (or so my best friend tells me).  

4. This last one goes for everyone.  If we're hanging out, you need to be listening to my problems, not paying attention to your phone.  I understand that Facebook is like a suction on your mind and probably more interesting than me, but all you need to do is make eye contact and throw in a "yeah" at the appropriate times.  Manners go a long way, assholes.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go convince myself that phones that do anything other than send texts and receive calls are stupid.

Sorry Karen, you're breaking up.  I'm going to have to call you back once I get to the office.
This bad boy hasn't let me down since '93.
Sent from my flip phone.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Why I Would Never Date Me

I've always thought having the ability to make fun of yourself and self-deprecation were effective humor techniques.  Take the time when I joke-ran the mile in middle school: it was better to end up second to last because I wanted to run backwards rather than because I actually tried and was just gravely non-athletic.  Hilarious, yeah? ...But I'm not here to talk about my adolescent insecurities for that is a post in itself.  I'm here to talk about how I am a 100 percent un-dateable, certifiably crazy girlfriend.  I say this not in jest.  This is serious.

If I were a boy encountering me, I might think, "Hey, that girl's really hot, funny, poised, down-to-earth, and she smells like fresh, feminine dew drops on rose petals."  It's not purposeful, but this is just the effect I have on people.  Say Boy Sallie started dating me; it might be fun and spontaneous for a couple weeks, or a month, or maybe even three whole months!  But soon enough I let my true colors fly, as certain as puking follows eating one too many bites of pancakes.

I am moody.  My mom said this would pass after puberty, and maybe I'm still going through it, but I am still at the complete whim of my hormones.  One minute we can be cuddling, lovingly stroking each other's forearms whilst watching a movie, and the next minute Raging Bitch Mode has been activated and I won't speak to you for the rest of the night.  Why, you ask?

More often than not the truth is I don't know why, but you better either a) shut up right now and stop apologizing for whatever imaginary crime you've committed or b) profusely apologize for whatever imaginary crime you've committed.  It's up to you to decide which one, because I sure as hell don't know, but if you guess wrong then that's another day of the cold shoulder for you, mister.

I am not a girl.  Society (Cosmo) tells me that guys like girls who can be "one of the dudes," while still being feminine and sexy, a.k.a. girls who comprise 1 percent of the population.  Well, guess what?  I can do one of those things, which means I can fart in my sleep and be overly competitive.  I burp for at least three hours after I eat and I update everyone around me on my pooping habits daily.

I wear the pants.  And if you try to take them from me, I'll kill you.  I decide what happens in this relationship.  If you say you can't hang out with me on Friday like we'd planned, I'll say, "No problem, I totally understand!" but you'll be paying the consequences for weeks.

I talk non-stop. About things you don't care about: drama between my friends, what I ate for lunch, how smoothly I digested it, why my shower that morning was sub-par.  On and on and on. You'd think having a blog and Twitter account would be enough of an outlet for my every mundane thought, but what are boyfriends if not a captive audience?

In addition to my outright negative qualities, I also lack all the redeeming qualities a girlfriend should possess.  I can't cook, I can't tie ties, and I absolutely do not take criticism of my driving well.  However, I'm always down for fun dates, like baseball games and going to the shooting range (if you're paying).