Dear Men of the World: I probably don’t actually want to bang you

I don’t think I’m the only lady this happens to, but I’m supremely sick of it. The story goes, you’re having a conversation with a man–he can be a stranger, someone you’re helping in a service capacity, friend of a friend, enemy–anyone. The conversation is typically light and in no way flirtatious.

You say something like, “I’m going to grab another drink, would you like one?” or “Can I help you with anything else today?” or “You’re pretty drunk, do you have a ride home?” and he responds with “I have a girlfriend/I’m married.”

Men of the world, I’m glad you have a girlfriend or are married, but odds are, I did not want to bang you in the first place.  Is is so necessary to pre-emptively reject me before I had the chance to not make any sexual overtures?

This has happened over and over for as long as I have been having conversations with men, but I was re-reminded of it the other day via another blog of mine: closedstacks.wordpress.com.  I had written a blog commenting on a run-in with a library patron who wanted a book by Glenn Beck.  The encounter struck me as odd, so I wrote about it.

A conservative librarian read my words, took offense, and we had a merry squabble in the comments section culminating in me saying: “Clearly you and I will not be having dinner together anytime soon, John, and I’m sorry you feel I handled this poorly. I wouldn’t change anything that I did, however, and then next time a patron tries to engage me in political debate, I will deflect it in the same way.”

And him responding with: “I would love for my wife and I to have dinner with you. Because everyone has value.”

So, John and I are (at least politically) mortal enemies, but he still feels the need to tell me that he has committed himself on paper to another human being just in case I might be getting the wrong impression.  He also lives 1,058 miles away from me, and I don’t want to have dinner with him at all since just typing back and forth gave me a bit of a headache.

If movies and television have taught me anything, it’s that men actually hate or resent their wives and girlfriends for castrating their freedom to grunt and eat exclusively bacon.  Why then do they constantly inform uninterested parties of these ladies’ existence?  Is it so that they don’t get into trouble for withholding information from other females?  If I were to run into wife or girlfriend somewhere else and mentioned I’d clapped eyes on her mate once and he never told me about her would that relegate him to months on the couch?

It’s a sad state of affairs if one’s relationship is that pathetic, but that may just be the case.

Potential men I may meet someday, I just want you to know: I have a boyfriend.  There, now we can talk about something else.

August 26, 2010 Posted by | by theagirl, Gentleman Callers, seriously? | , , , | 1 Comment

Why do frugality bloggers all love jesus so much?

I’m a thrifty gal, a saver.  You could call me a Recessionista if you were being obnoxious, but mostly I’m just poor but still love to take vacations.  To this end, I’ve been an active reader of frugality blogs for over a year.  The women who write these blogs devote hours to poring over circulars, matching and stacking coupons to get the best deal, linking to printable coupons, posting recipes–it’s really over the top, but it’s really handy.

Except every now and then I’ll be reading a post about how to buy wholesale grains, and someone will throw in a statement like “I’m saving for my family and glorifying god”, or someone will comment with a “your weightloss glorifies god.”  Really? One woman is acquiring hordes of stuff no one needs like 20 bottles of contact solution or pasta-roni and another woman is eating fat-free hotdogs and whining about missing chocolate.  How does that glorify god?  Perhaps it’s because I’m not a big fan of god, but I really don’t see the connection.

I’m fine with people loving their religion–live and let live, but it also seems like there’s a time and a place for everything, and this may not be the place.  I also understand that you’re supposed think about god with everything you do, but doesn’t this seem a bit un-special?  Remember when glorifying god actually meant something?  This is all too easy.  I have to say, even as an avowed atheist, I find this a bit offensive, and think I would find it even more offensive if I was trying to glorify god by doing charity work and/or donating my time or talent to a worthy cause.

Similarly, I play the game Sorority Life on facebook.  I’m not proud of this, but it’s a nice, mindless distraction at times.  In this game, you advance levels by socializing and fighting to gain influence points and destroy anothers’ confidence.  In order to be better at fighting, you have to buy things like stretch hummer limos, dresses and handbags.  This is a game that glorifies everything wrong with consumer culture and vapidity, and yet I got into a huge fight with a woman who insisted on making grandiose faith statements every chance she got.  I removed her from my house without saying anything, and when she asked why, I simply told her that I didn’t think it was an appropriate venue for that, and that I didn’t want to hear it.  She then started yelling scripture at me, and got other friends of hers on board who told me to “check myself.”

If she’s entitled to her opinion, why am I not entitled to mine?  This is remarkably similar to the school of though that says if something offends them, that something should cease to exist.  What happened to reason, respect and rational argument?

July 1, 2010 Posted by | by theagirl, frugality, seriously? | , , , , | Leave a comment

Shoeology: The Next College Major

Just when I thought television couldn’t get worse, I saw a self-proclaimed “shoeologist” on The Tyra Banks Show.  You might be wondering what a shoeologist does. No, it isn’t something involving the health of your feet, but instead it is a highly scientific way to figure out what type of man you are dating…or want to date.

If this sounds like something you need to know, you can actually read all about it in this book: Never Trust a Man in Alligator Loafers.

According to the author (she was a guest on TTBS), this is what you should look for if you see a man wearing the following types of shoes:

White Tennis Shoes – If the man you are eyeing is wearing these, this means that he can’t communicate. Why? Because if you wear white shoes, you can’t get them dirty. Can’t get your shoes dirty=can’t let loose. 

Black Vinyl Loafers with “Man Jewelry” – If a guy can wear a little man jewelry on his shoes, he is sensitive and loving.

Brown Cowboy Boots with Rounded Toes – Don’t be fooled, ladies. If your guy wears cowboy boots with a ROUNDED toe, he is a “Wall Street” cowboy.  He is strong and has a good job.

I would love to meet someone in this life who actually takes this to heart and believes it.

My husband wears tennis shoes, sometimes even white ones. He has no problem communicating. Am I disappointed there wasn’t a thorough analyzation of a pair of black soccer Adidas’? Probably not.

July 19, 2008 Posted by | by lacecomplex | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

So I guess I’ll unplug the TV next?

A while ago, I was having a lot of electrical issues at my apartment. The lights would flicker constantly and went completely off several times, for several minutes at a time. When watching TV the screen image would dance around, and the set would shut itself off. The battery on my laptop died completely, just would not hold a charge, after there was huge power surge that popped my circuit breaker and left my apartment reeking of ozone.

I started unplugging my laptop before going to work, and told my landlady that we needed an electrician very soon. When the electrician came and fixed everything, he informed landlady that my meter must be broken as it was hardly moving. She told me this, and told me that I should probably report it, but when I thought about it, I wondered “why would my meter be moving much? The only things that were running in my apartment at that time were the fridge and my alarm clock– certainly they can’t use that much power.

So I’ve continued to unplug my computer both when I’m at work and when I go to sleep resulting in a $5 decrease in my monthly bill. I’ve started subbing in energy efficient lightbulbs whenever the others burn out, I turn off all of my fans when I leave the house, and read by daylight when I’m at home. Now that National Grid announced a 22% rate hike, I’ve started unplugging the TV and DVD player whenever I’m not using them. Frankly, there’s not much else I can shut off/unplug and I just got my electric bill yesterday, which was shocking.

For a girl who’s meter moves so slowly someone thought it was broken– my monthly charge for just electric was $53.85– an increase of almost $20. I can’t imagine what’s going to happen this winter when I can’t afford the natural gas to heat my place and rely instead on space heaters. I guess I’ll just limit myself to only one room.

July 18, 2008 Posted by | by theagirl, frugality | , , , , | 3 Comments

The Rich Keep Geeting Richer…

Car being towed

Car being towed

This morning I woke up and they were towing cars on my street, again. In Providence, parking on city streets overnight is illegal. We are the only municipality nationwide with such a ban, and it is a major issue for many (most!) residents. Now, I am fortunate enough to have a parking spot but a very large number of my neighbors simply have nowhere to park. The (ridiculous, unnecessary, cruel) on-street parking ban forces many residents with nowhere else to park to just risk it. Usually, cops are understanding and give people parking on a Providence street in front of their own house about four tickets a month max.

Now, lately, National Grid has been doing construction on our street at about 7am on some mornings. This construction is an awfully sore point with me: National Grid just passed a huge rate increase, they will be charging Rhode Islanders about 21% more monthly for electric now. Poor senior citizens will inevitably freeze to death and die in Winter, as utility prices average easily 30 dollars more a month. The day after their big windfall, they started ruining my mornings. They are putting in more power lines or something, merely to taunt me.

The construction workers leave large, loud, bulldozer type things running idly outside my window around 7am for an hour, while they sit and smoke cigarettes and try to see my boobs as I get out of bed, laughing about how it is “only going to get worse.” (They really said that!) A cop is there to protect them as they try to see my boobs, and to tow all of the cars of my hardworking and unfortunate neighbors. The real problem with this situation is we get absolutely no notice. We park our cars on the streets at night, and then in the morning they put out NO PARKING TOW ZONE signs on our street about 20 minutes before they tow our cars away. Sometimes they knock on doors, sometimes they don’t. The signs have no dates or times on them in the spaces clearly intended for such things. So this morning I decided I would do something about it. First I went outside and asked the construction workers to please not leave their large trucks running loudly and empty outside my window. I am paying for that wasted gas, I should not also have to be woken up by them, flaunting their wastefulness. Next, I approached the tow cop. I explained to him my roommate had been towed after parking outside her own house. I explained we were given no notice at all before the towing began. We were parked on our own street, and they took our cars away with no notice or explanation. He said “well aren’t these signs notice” and I replied “Sir these signs went up this morning, and there is no date or time frame on them… what do you expect us to do, guess?” The cop, I could tell, felt bad. He is a working man too, and he said “well, that is a valid argument, if they can take the time to put up these signs, they can certainly take an extra minute to fill them out properly” and proceeded to tow my neighbors cars. Regardless of whether they start doing things the right way, I felt vindicated that I at least got the cop to admit wrong doing. I got on my bike, glaring at the wasteful construction men, and rode downtown to catch the bus, which was overfull with similarly frustrated citizens.

The gap between the rich and the poor is the largest it has been since the Gilded Age. My neighbors are not wealthy people, and the million dollars, and wasted emotional energy it takes to get your car out of hock I can see as being the breaking point for some of them. I was trying, in my little rant to my buddy, the copper, to simply bring a little fairness to a system that seems to be working against other West Enders at every stop. The rate increase happened, we can’t change that. They will soon be reducing bus service on RIPTA, truly forcing many of us who work or go to school past seven P.M. to drive. That is if we still have jobs, considering the R.I. state budget cut millions and millions of dollars from the student budget at URI (where I work, and I am writing this from a selfish perspective). And the rich keep getting richer. The same fell swoop that took away URI art galleries, student budgets, and library services, gave a tax cut to people making over a quarter million dollars a year. Why has there not been more backlash? What twisted, corrupt, evil logic, was Carcieri employing there? How much more can they squeeze us before we just pop like sad little worker balloons?

July 16, 2008 Posted by | by jennatalia, news, seriously? | , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Why I Can’t Participate in Ride Your Bike to Work Week

This month can celebrate National Ride Your Bike to Work Week. While I appreciate the effort of people to cut down on gas usage and trying to make the world a better place to be, I am awfully tired of the snide comments and odd stares when people find out that no, I did not participate.

I would love to ride my bike to work, but the first obstacle presented is the fact that I do not have a bike. It was stolen by hooligans when I was in college. And no, I can’t walk. Or afford to buy a bike.

The big thing is, my work is 30 miles away. That is 60 miles round trip (yes, you can add, but the dramatics don’t really carry without stating the obvious). I imagine myself arriving to work all sweaty and tired from my 30 mile bike ride, carrying twenty pounds of the textbooks and papers I need for class. YES, I could handle this bike ride, but how long would it take? If class is at noon and it already takes 40 minutes to drive, I would probably need at least 3 hours to bike, just in case. When you are obsessive compulsive about time the way I am, it would need to be a huge window of time. Then there is the danger factor. Me, riding my bike alongside the interstate next to 80+ mph traffic doesn’t sound like a safe move. Pretty sure a helmet would not protect my head from damage in case of an accident.

This conversation eventually leads to the question of why I don’t use public transportation. I live in the Midwest, the land of wide open spaces. Public transportation is not available nor efficient in the 7 mile radius of my life outside of work.

So please, I beg you, do not judge my “non-efforts” to conserve gasoline. Just be happy that on the days I don’t work, I don’t leave the house.

May 23, 2008 Posted by | by lacecomplex | , , , , , | 2 Comments

When the Guests Attempt Overthrow

This weekend I attended the most fun wedding I’ve ever been to, besides my own. The ceremony was beautiful, the bride was beautiful, the whole day was beautiful. But then the guests got ugly!

The Expected Order of Other People’s Wedding Days According to Me:

Attend wedding in the middle of the afternoon, after being unsure of what to do for the rest of the day. (This weekend I was involved with the wedding party, so this did not happen. But normally it does as a regular guest.)

Go to wedding, cry, hug couple, take some pictures.

Leave wedding, go back to hotel or out to the bar. Get buzzed or more before reception.

Go to reception at scheduled time as announced in the invitation.

Dance and have a merry time.

A pretty normal day, right? This wedding had an odd glitch in the dinner plans. Since my husband was the best man and I did a reading in the wedding, we went out with the wedding party to a brewery after the wedding and before the reception. As we were having a good ol’ time, the maid of honor received a phone call stating that the guests were at the reception already and wanted to start dinner at 4:30 instead of 5:30.

We were all surprised and unwilling to leave, as it should be, but I remained shocked. Since when did wedding guests get so ballsy? They can’t sit for an hour and wait for the wedding party to get there?

When all was said and done, everything stayed on schedule and the dinner was not moved to an hour earlier. This is a new scenario that most certainly belongs in Emily Post.

May 19, 2008 Posted by | by lacecomplex | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Seriously, knock it off, Mac users

I use a PC, I’ve always used a PC. When I bought a new computer recently, one of my good friends (who uses a Mac), said “why don’t you get a Mac?”

I said, “I don’t like Macs”

She said, “They’re really better because of blah blah blah…”

I don’t like Macs; I don’t have to buy one. I don’t like shrimp either– do you want to try to make me buy that next: “it really is a delicious treat from the sea…” bah.

It seems like the Mac using community want to feel equally persecuted and superior. Yes, everyone has an Ipod, but that’s where it stops for most of us. Mac users walk around a world that is set up for PCs, complain when they can’t do homework assignments as easily or they have to use a PC in the lab, and they say things like “I don’t understand, it really is a superior machine…Life is harder for me, but I love my Mac so much…” It’s always “my Mac” rather than “my computer”, or “my laptop.” Just in case you didn’t already know that they were a Mac user.

I can usually ignore this, but then there’s the sense of community. When one Mac user meets another, they bond immediately. They talk about their machines, whether they’re running Tiger or Leopard and how excited they are for the next big thing named after an animal that’s coming their way. They say things like “Why doesn’t everyone just use Macs?” and “I agree.”

This furthers my greater theory that people only want to talk to people that they already know, or that they are exactly like.

This morning I was reading one of my guilty pleasure blogs, Main Pratap Hoon (I know), and someone actually bothered to write a blog about how Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan uses a Mac– just like her (and millions of others)!


Maybe they are a better machine, but I will stick with my PC because I don’t like Macs, I don’t want to “get used to it”, and I have plenty of other good things in my life that I can talk about besides my computer.

May 13, 2008 Posted by | by theagirl, seriously? | , , , , | 6 Comments

Political Correctness and the Rude Handicapped

This has been bothering me for years. The backstory: While shopping at Maurices (one of two clothing stores in the Copper Country Mall) a clerk was incredibly rude to me and very slow. As she mistakenly rang up my order wrong, she proceeded to blame me with words that actually made me blush and also made my ears ring. It’s true my temper is not a difficult one to induce, but she had no right to treat me like that.

After she was through giving me the total, she held up her hand.  Only it wasn’t the hand we are used to, it was terribly misshapen and had three small and odd-shaped fingers. Upon seeing the hand, I immediately felt sorry about the curse words running through my head and the scowls I threw at my husband (at the time, he was my boyfriend). The rude clerk gave me my bag and my change, and we exited the store.

Safely out of ear shot, Hubs (aka Alan) and I launched into this dialogue:

Me: Now I feel bad. Did you see her hand?

Alan: Why? She was rude to you.

Me: So what, she probably has people staring at her hand all the time.

Alan: That gives her no right to be rude to you. She was rude long before you saw her hand.

Me: That’s true, I don’t even care about her hand. It was her personality that was mean to me.

That day has lingered in my mind for the past four years, and I was reminded of it again this weekend while shopping for (ironically) a golf glove. Alan was with me again, and we were at Target. He was ahead of me, rushing to get to a checkout line. He seemed to be having some weird reaction to florescent lights and the other customers swirling around the store, because normally we are not people that rush to get in line. We are patient and kind shoppers, unlike the next person in my story.

Most people are familiar with the whirring sound of an electric wheelchair or scooter- so imagine the sound getting closer, closer, closer….until your toe is literally an inch away from the wheels running by and there is NOT a small person riding on it. She was on the heavier side, not obese, but big enough to make the possible toe-crunching that much more excruciating.

So yes, I almost got my toes crushed by a woman riding an electric scooter. She wasn’t a regular woman by any means. She was eccentric, and breathing like a dragon. The straw on her head was like porcupine needles, and they jutted out of a black visor with blurred red lettering. Her eyes were frantic and wide, and a little on the bloodshot side. Her clothes were all black, and she barked orders about the merchandise in her scooter basket to a man I assumed was her husband. She was not only rude to me by nearly running over my foot, she was inches from crashing her scooter into Alan’s back and also rude to her husband.

And here come the questions. What is the proper way to deal with these situations? Yes, it is sad the girl at Maurices was born with a defect, and it is unfortunate the woman in Target has to rely on an electric scooter to get around, but why should I be pushed around by these people? If I ever decided to stand up for myself, I would be seen as someone who picks fights with handicapped people.  It’s not their handicaps I am against. It’s their attitudes. And although I am not someone that would ever speak up and point out when someone is being rude, it would still be nice to know how to not be the bad guy in situations like these.

May 12, 2008 Posted by | by lacecomplex | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

I’m appalled at the number of appalled mothers there are out there

Now there is a mother out there who recently realized Urban Outfitters sells racy books. This must have been her first visit to the store because I’ve seen racy books, dolls, clothing etc., in that place, ummmm, always.

“On one end of the spectrum was “Porn for Women,” a photo book showing men doing housework. On the other was “Pornogami: A Guide to the Ancient Art of Paper-Folding for Adults,” a guide for making anatomically correct artwork.

‘When I saw it, I was shocked,” Milfs said.'”

Yes, you read right, her name is Milfs. That’s the only reason that this story is worth reading. Take a moment and ponder how it is that appalled mother number 123,467,936,457,623,984,762 is named Milfs.

Every day, every damn day, I wake up and read another story about another outraged mother. I actually got into a bit of a discussion with someone at work the other day about whether or not a rather boring, PG-13 rated, horror movie is appropriate for teens. “How old are you?” she asked. “You don’t know what will scare 13-year-olds and give them nightmares.”

The obvious solution seems to be to shield them from anything potentially scary and let them grow up stunted and doomed to be completely shell-shocked when the real world doesn’t shelter them the way their parents did. I had nightmares as a kid, I have nightmares as an adult. I recently had a nightmare about Oprah– what’s my recourse on that one?

Since when is it a kid’s right to avoid nightmares?

“Milfs was so appalled that she is preparing to file a complaint with the city of Lynnwood, and has already aired her frustrations to State Rep. Norma Smith, R-Clinton, and organizations including Morality in Media, Concerned Women of America and the American Family Association.

She also called Urban Outfitters’ corporate office in Philadelphia.

‘They said they are not sex books or pornography books, but that they are art books and their goals are to support artists,’ Milfs said.

Urban Outfitters declined to comment on Milfs’ concerns.”

On a personal note, I don’t really shop at Urban Outfitters. Their clothes are designed for people who are not shaped like me, and I don’t need a lot of home kitch. I respect what they do, and admire how their clothes look on others. If I was appalled by what was in the stores– I would stop going.

If I was a mother concerned with morality and raising my kids right, I would look at the manequins in the windows and see that they are usually dressed a little bit slutty, then take my teenage daughter to Old Navy. I wouldn’t blame the store because it isn’t what I want it to be.

The logic employed by Milfs seems to that something offensive should either stop being offensive or cease to exist. I’m offended by her and people like her, but I’m probably wrong because I don’t have her kids’ best interests at heart, or maybe I do more than she does. The pornogami was anatomically correct, what the hell is wrong with that? I’m sure the Ken Doll’s smooth area confused more kids than anatomically correct paper figures ever could.

May 10, 2008 Posted by | by theagirl, news, seriously? | , , , | 1 Comment