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What is it about the holidays that makes people so pleasant? (Said with the biggest eye roll imaginable.)
Yesterday we went to get a bagel. O was asleep in the car seat, so Michael ran in while I waited in the car. It was still early and I wasn’t really awake yet, so I was just staring out the window. All of the sudden, there was a woman next to the driver’s side window (I was in the passenger seat). She was waving her arms maniacally, pointing and shouting at me.
“This is HANDICAP parking! You’re IN A HANDICAP PARKING SPACE UGGGGGHHHH!”
It took me a minute to register she was talking to me, and my confused face clearly pissed her off because she kept going. I began to gesture that there was no handicap parking sign, and she lost it, shouting “NO! NO!”, rolling her eyes and making disgusted faces at me. She stormed into the building and continued to give me dirty looks through the window, probably expecting me to move the car.
Now look, in her defense, it turns out we were in a handicap parking spot. BUT. There was no sign. And the marking on the pavement was almost completely faded away and oh yeah, covered in snow.
So maybe, just MAYBE, this was an honest mistake?
And maybe if she, I don’t know, came up to me and said, “Excuse me, do you know this is a handicap parking spot?” or something to that effect, I would have apologized and moved the car?
Now don’t hate me for this part, but what put the icing on this lovely cake was that she was forced to park a whole 8 inches further from the door (seriously, RIGHT next to my spot) in her brandy-new Audi, then got out and stormed right over to me no problem. I’m not saying she didn’t have a legitimate reason for needing a handicap spot, who am I to say what qualifies as a handicap? But it certainly had nothing to do with her feet or her mouth! Maybe this was the last straw for her. Maybe she was tired of people parking in handicap spots when they shouldn’t be. But I don’t think that excuses her tirade on me.
This reminds me on an incident that happened a few years ago right around the same time of year.
My friend and I were going somewhere one evening, and she parked on the street outside my house. When we began to hear someone laying on their horn for a really long time, I opened the door to investigate. There was a woman behind my friend’s car honking and honking. I figured she thought someone was in my friend’s car, so I made the “go around” motion from my doorway. She rolled down the window and yelled, “Is this your car????”
No, it isn’t, I told her. And then all hell broke loose.
“It’s illegal to park on this street! (It isn’t) There are SIGNS! (That say no parking during SCHOOL HOURS).”
And then the kicker.
“SOMEONE COULD F–KING DIE!!!!”
At this point, she was beat red and clearly losing.her.shit. As she threatened to call the cops, Michael attempted to go out and talk to her, but she rolled up her window leaving only the tiniest crack, and shouted obscenities at him. Ok, he said. Call the cops.
We went back inside and watched her through the window. The best part was that as she ranted and raved, she caused even more of a traffic problem, forcing people to go around her!
So what does Crazy do next? She backs into our neighbor’s driveway and turns off her headlights (as if we couldn’t see her?) and waits for the cop to arrive.
(At this point, my friend’s mother — who is a local police dispatcher — calls her up to ask what exactly the problem is. Why is her plate being reported for trouble at my house? It was comical.)
When the cop arrives, Michael goes out to talk to her, and the two are actually laughing. I see Michael point to Crazy hiding in the driveway, and the woman — now caught and seemingly embarrassed to be — turns her car back on and rolls down her window to talk to the cop. When she receives the news that nothing will be done, she peels out in a huff.
And then circles the block five minutes later to see if we’ve moved the car.
A clear case of the Christmas Crazies? What IS that?
I read an article recently where the writer basically tore anyone who had been unemployed for a year a new one. Like, really ripped into them. There was accusations about not trying hard enough to find a job, using the “time off” as an opportunity to travel, shop and all around slack off while people who really needed the unemployment insurance weren’t able to receive it.
This writer was not unemployed.
The article made me angry. I mean, here I am, almost 11 months unemployed. Eleven months of job searching, sending out resumes, reaching out to people and all I have to show for it is two interviews and a pile of rejection letters saying thanks, but no thanks, and countless job inquiries left unanswered by HR teams that are buried in resumes from people just like me.
I have a degree, work experience, people skills. I am marketable.
But I am unemployed.
Let me be clear; in the year I have been without a job I have traveled home to visit my family. I have shopped. I have even laid on my couch for hours at a time watching Gilmore Girls marathons.
But I’ve also worked my tail off trying to find a job.
I am lucky, my husband has a job that basically supports our lifestyle. And an extravagant lifestyle it is not. But we’re comfortable and fortunate to own a home and be able to afford our necessities while also being able to have a little fun once in a while.
The small (very small) amount of money I receive each weeks goes directly towards bills, or groceries, or if we’re lucky that week, savings. It’s not going to the mall.
Why haven’t I “sucked it up” and gotten a part-time retail job? Why aren’t I waiting tables or folding sweaters?
Because I didn’t have to. Not yet. Because the whole point of unemployment benefits is to sustain you while you try and find a job that will support you. And taking a part-time job that pays less per week than I’m receiving on unemployment makes no sense whatsoever.
Unless a new proposed bill passes in the next few weeks, come mid-November my “income” stops. And when that happens, I will do what I need to do to contribute to our family. My nose isn’t in the air. I don’t think I’m better than anyone else. And if the bill passes, allowing the unemployed of Rhode Island — the state with the third highest unemployment rate in the country — 13 additional weeks of unemployment benefits, you bet I’ll be taking it.
Because that’s 13 more weeks to find a full-time job.
A year ago, I might have felt the same way as that writer, because unless you’re in these (old, because you really shouldn’t be buying new ones) shoes, you really don’t know the pain, frustration and self-doubt that surrounds you each time you have to answer “no” when the automated unemployment system asks you if you have returned to full-time work this week.
You just don’t know.
Back in March I wrote a post about comments and this blog. You can read it here. In short, there is one woman who likes to anonymously harass me with stupid comments. She tries to be insulting, but they just end up sounding ridiculous and juvenile. She uses fake names and email addresses so she can hide behind her idiocy. Her comments are blocked and go directly to spam so they don’t post here.
Yesterday, after writing about my struggles with unemployment and the emotions that go along with it, she decided to pop up and say hi again, calling me a piece of sh*t. Oh, ouch.
Except this time, instead of her usual fakeness, she decided to take it to another level. She decided to impersonate my real friend and former blogger, Clink. She used her email address, her blog link…and her real name. Not “Clink”. Clink had never revealed her real name on her blog.
Which means, not only has this person been reading for awhile, but she has crossed the invisible blog line enough to know us either through emails or Facebook or something of the like. So at some point, she had to be nice to either me, or Clink, or both, to get Clink’s real name.
Which means this person is a big asshole.
I know there’s one in every bunch. That for every 50 of you wonderful readers, there’s one bad apple who gets their jollys from pissing all over the place. I’ll never understand it, but I accept it.
I just want you to know, Big Asshole, that you’re not getting me down and despite what you say about me, I’m not going away.
And when you start your blog, please do send me the address. I’m storing up my piss in preparation.
I lost my job today. Just about two hours ago, actually.
I’m currently sitting on my couch with a glass of wine going through what I assume are the stages you go through when one gets laid off.
Wine. More wine. Would like some more wine.
OK, I haven’t reached acceptance yet. As a matter of fact I’m in pretty bad shape. I’m faced with finding a job in the worst economy our country as seen in a very long time.
And that scares the crap out of me.
But maybe this is an opportunity to do something I really love to do. Or at least something I really like to do.
In the meantime, I’ll take a week, drink some wine, have a good cry fest, revamp my resume and hope to God someone wants to hire me.
Any of you looking for a freelancer? I can write my ass off.
I’m going to get some more wine in the meantime.
It’s just a terrible word, isn’t it? It’s one of those words that you spit out like gritty sand from an unwashed piece of celery. Or one that you only refer to in hushed whispers. “He’s got cancer.” It becomes tangible. Something you can touch, scrape, throw with force against a wall and kick.
I hate the word cancer.
And I’m tired of it bothering the people I love.
First my grandmother.
Then my other grandmother.
Then my mom.
Then Michael’s dad.
Now the father of my oldest friend.
Every time I hear about it affecting someone else I get enraged. Why? Why them? Why now?
I hate that people die from it.
I hate that people lose pieces of themselves to it.
I hate that it’s a reality that we cannot escape.
My sister and I will have to begin getting mammograms in our early 30s.
Michael will have to be screened at a young age too.
And my friend will have to sit by her father as he goes through chemotherapy.
At least Cancer doesn’t try to hide behind it’s name. It’s not going around as “Pillow” or “Kitten” and trying to fool us all.
Cancer is out there. Loud and clear.
And I’m really pissed off about that.
I’m not an arguer. Not usually. Often when rude/racist/closed-minded/etc. comments are said around me I tend to ignore them. Not because I don’t care, but because if people really think those things, nothing I’m going to say is going to change them. I don’t agree with them and I certainly don’t condone their comments, but I don’t feel like having a debate that will just go in circles.
But sometimes I can’t keep my mouth shut. Sometimes a comment will get my heart racing and debate or no debate, I can’t stay quiet.
This happened recently, when someone made a comment about the new gay marriage law in California. I didn’t agree with what she was saying, as a matter of fact it was making my blood boil. She went on and on about the law and said, “I just don’t understand why “they” want to get married. Can’t they just stay how they are?”
I was about to say something, but thought better of it because I’ve been in circles with her before. I knew it wasn’t worth it.
But then she went ahead and opened the flood gates: “what do you think?”
What did I think?
“Why do they want to get married? Because they LOVE each other. They love each other and they want to express that in front of their family and friends.”
My heart was racing. You know me, I’m nothing if not passionate about love. I love love. I’d sing a song about it while twirling in a circle if I could.
“No, they want to get married to destroy the family unit.”
I think my head my have exploded. I took a deep breath and said I refuse to get into an argument with her, but let me just say that gay, straight, man, woman — whatever — people do not marry maliciously.
What could I say? I was done. Luckily a distraction lead us away from the conversation, but I was irritated about it for hours after. Still am.
Here I am, on the verge of getting married to someone I love, entering into the institution of marriage because I can’t imagine spending the rest of my life with anyone else. Because I love him. Because I want to continue our lives together and build a family.
Just like any one else.
Out of love.
I started thinking about this conversation again because yesterday marked 150 days till my wedding day. 150 days until I stand in front of the people closest to me and declare my love forever to one man. Love. Marriage. Love. Marriage.
Seems simple enough to me.
I realize that not everyone reading will agree with me on this topic, and that’s OK. However, any malicious, mean-spirited or bigoted comments will be deleted immediately.
Remember when I wrote about lacking confidence? It doesn’t help that a lot of you have seemed to disappear lately. Where did you go? I miss you! Truly, this blog would not be what it is without you guys. I heart you lots. I think what’s missing is the opportunity to get you talking.
That being said, I’m going to take a step away from the lighthearted moments to talk about an article in the Yale Daily News that really fired me up yesterday. I’d love to know your opinions on it too.
“Art major Aliza Shvarts ’08 wants to make a statement.
Beginning next Tuesday, Shvarts will be displaying her senior art project, a documentation of a nine-month process during which she artificially inseminated herself “as often as possible” while periodically taking abortifacient drugs to induce miscarriages. Her exhibition will feature video recordings of these forced miscarriages as well as preserved collections of the blood from the process.
The goal in creating the art exhibition, Shvarts said, was to spark conversation and debate on the relationship between art and the human body.” (Read the full article here.)
This gets under my skin. Let me make it clear that I am decidedly pro-choice and also pro-art (can you be anti-art?), but this is taking things too far. Purposely getting pregnant while taking drugs to miscarry? On purpose? For art?
Not only is this physically disgusting, it’s a slap in the face to every single woman who wanted to bring a baby into the world and miscarried. For the millions of women that want to conceive and can’t. It also discredits the severity of abortion and miscarriages. They’re not a joke!
“I believe strongly that art should be a medium for politics and ideologies, not just a commodity,” Shvarts said. “I think that I’m creating a project that lives up to the standard of what art is supposed to be.”
Fine, but what exactly is her message here? The story goes on to describe her project:
“The display of Schvarts’ project will feature a large cube suspended from the ceiling of a room in the gallery of Green Hall. Schvarts will wrap hundreds of feet of plastic sheeting around this cube; lined between layers of the sheeting will be the blood from Schvarts’ self-induced miscarriages mixed with Vaseline in order to prevent the blood from drying and to extend the blood throughout the plastic sheeting.
Schvarts will then project recorded videos onto the four sides of the cube. These videos, captured on a VHS camcorder, will show her experiencing miscarriages in her bathroom tub, she said. Similar videos will be projected onto the walls of the room.”
With our current administration the way it is and the future of our country unknown, I feel a project like this is very dangerous to women. The possibility of Roe v. Wade getting overturned is always there. Right now, women have the right to choose what they do with their body. I don’t think choosing this is what women who came before us had in mind.
So…what are your thoughts? For or against? Why? I’d really love to hear all sides.
UPDATE: After all that, Yale is now claiming that the whole thing was STAGED, but Schvarts won’t give a clear answer saying:
“No one can say with 100-percent certainty that anything in the piece did or did not happen,” Shvarts said, adding that she does not know whether she was ever pregnant. “The nature of the piece is that it did not consist of certainties.”
Accompanying article here.
(Steps off soap box. Puts it back in closet.)
…don’t leave me a bitchy comment. OK? Thanks.
For the record, I know my forehead looks like a wrinkly mess in the pictures below. When I raise my eyebrows I get Grinch forehead. What of it? My mom and I even joked about how bad the picture was.
But if you want to make fun of me, anonymously at that, that’s your priority.
Just do it somewhere else.