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

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

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

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

new respect for ants

I feel like when I was a kid, it was constantly impressed upon me how awesome ants are. I don’t know if it came from teachers, parents or what, but it was always stuff like “ants can carry 10x their body weight, hummingbirds can flap their wings 15-80 times per second (depending upon the species), or turtles carry their houses on their backs” etc. It was the wonder of nature conversation that happened quite frequently in state parks, science classes, or just “did you know?” kind of situations.

I would test the ant knowledge, by trying to give ants delicious bits of my lunch whenever I ate outside, just so I could see their amazing strength up close and personal. My grandmother had a hummingbird feeder, so that part of the lesson was covered, but the ants– the most amazing thing I ever saw them do was scurry when I knocked down their home (which my dad showed me how to do with almost perfect results). When I gave the ants delicious marshmallows or bits of candy, they would shun it and chose instead to just wander frantically in circles like they were late for something, but didn’t know how to get there.

I soured on the wonder of the ant.

Until this morning when I saw my cat staring intently at his food bowl. My cat staring intently at his water bowl is nothing new as he is fascinated by the way that water moves and can be manipulated, but rarely is his food ever anything to be impressed by. What he was looking at, I soon realized, was an ant carrying practically an entire chunk of catfood out of the food bowl. This piece of food was easily three times the size of the ant and it was walking on a vertical surface. It slipped occasionally, but persevered, and made a lot of progress. My cat didn’t seem angry at this thieving, he was just as fascinated as I was.

So I took it all in, years after so many people tried to convince me that ants were amazing, I finally got the proof. Unfortunately, all I could think after the amazement had passed, was that this creature had no business in my home. I interrupted his brave and harrowing journey with a quick pinch of paper towel, but that doesn’t make it any less impressive.

May 9, 2008 Posted by | by theagirl, seriously? | , , , , , | Leave a comment

why I hate hipsters

SETTING: House party

AT RISE: Tall man is shoved in a corner because of a lack of chairs.


You look like you’re hiding from monsters


I’m not


Yeah, I know


I see you’re drinking from one of those POM glasses


Oh am I?

(look at glass)

Guess so, it’s nice.


Yeah, like every house I’ve ever been to has at least one of those mumblemumblemumblemumble



May 4, 2008 Posted by | by theagirl, seriously? | , , , | 1 Comment

Mommy, what ripe, full breasts you have

I suppose I shouldn’t be completely surprised by this.

If you’re a Beverly Hills mommy who wants to maintain a youthful appearance well past the age at which it is appropriate, how to you explain to your children why you sometimes go away, come back with bandages on, have to say “please don’t snap my healing girdle”, or “Mommy can’t hold you for a while, her chest is a bit tender?” Well, now there’s a book that can tell you how to handle all of these potentially awkward queries, and give your kids valid information with which to discuss your procedures on the playground. Instead of them telling their friends “she got bigger, but smaller… she doesn’t look like my Mommy!” They can say “Her skin was stretched causing it to pucker and while she was at the doctor, they just shaved off that unsightly bump.”

I’m reminded of the book Beauty Junkies by Alex Kuczynski (which I highly recommend), where the author chronicles (with delightful honesty and humility) her own experiences with plastic surgery. Initially limiting her experiences to assorted injections, the author eventually decides to go under the knife and have liposuction. Post-surgery she is feeling fit, lean, and fabulous in her bikini when a little boy approaches her and says something to the affect of “You had fat sucked out of your legs with a vacuum.” She denies this vehemently, after all, what’s the point of having work done if people, even ten-year-olds, know you have.

“No,” the boy insists, “You have those dimples in the side of your leg just like my mommy, and she says they’re from having fat sucked out with a vacuum.”

So there is one mom out there who didn’t need this manual to get through it. Unlike the mother in the article who says that she and her son have read it half a dozen times. Is the kid requesting this? It doesn’t seem like a particularly compelling read to me, but I’m no 4 to 7-year-old.

Also, the doctor who wrote the book, Michael Salzhaur, got the idea after many mommies came into his office with their children who were often frightened and confused. Really? you can afford plastic surgery, but you can’t afford a babysitter for three hours? “Parents generally tend to go into this denial thing. They just try to ignore the kids’ questions completely.” But, he adds, children “fill in the blanks in their imagination” and then feel worse when they see “mommy with bandages,” he says. “With the tummy tucks, [the mothers] can’t lift anything. They’re in bed. The kids have questions.”

The text doesn’t mention the breast augmentation, but the illustrations intentionally show Mom’s breasts to be fuller and higher. “I tried to skirt that issue in the text itself,” says Salzhauer. “The tummy lends itself to an easy explanation to the children: extra skin and can’t fit into your clothes. The breasts might be a stretch for a six-year-old.”

The book doesn’t explain exactly why the mother is redoing her nose post-pregnancy. Nonetheless, Mom reassures her little girl that the new nose won’t just look “different, my dear—prettier!”

April 24, 2008 Posted by | by theagirl, oh my | , , , , | 1 Comment

The Clash!

JERUSALEM – Dozens of Greek and Armenian priests and worshippers exchanged blows at one of Christianity’s holiest shrines on Orthodox Palm Sunday, and used palm fronds to pummel police who tried to break up the brawl.  From Chicago Tribune.

So this is rather old news, but I want to keep talking about nothing else. It’s rare that true stories are so completely hilarious, and I almost never hear about people beating off police with palm fronds– so it’s worth mentioning again, and again.

I realize that religious strife is a centuries-old tradition, but can people not bury their animosities on this the holiest of days? I really just can’t say any more about it because, oh man.

Ok, I have to, What Would Jesus Do?

April 23, 2008 Posted by | by theagirl, news | Leave a comment

Dear Red-Headed Man

I have to say, I had more fun with you this weekend that I have had with anyone in years. When first faced with the idea of spending a long weekend at this conference, I was daunted, to say the least. Thanks to you, it flew by. And once you and I found a common enemy to savage– it was magical. Do you remember, I know you do, when the awful woman from Phoenix want on a rant about proper funding for something-or-other, and you said, “I don’t know how you can call it proper funding for such an improper idea.” Hilarious. It was a magical moment.

You are one of the wittiest, sharpest people I’ve ever met, and you make me laugh hysterically, and we have more interests in common than I do with even my best friends, but I’m sorry to say, I could never date you. You have red hair, and with that comes the pink “constantly sunburned” looking skin. I find this odd and creepy. Maybe I could get over it. The real reason I can never date you is because you don’t look enough like me. I have brown hair, and you have red hair. Even if I chose to dye my hair, or if you dyed yours (which most guys have been unwilling to do), we would still never look enough alike to satisfy me.

I need to be in a couple where people see the two of us walking down the street and say “are they brother and sister, or sleeping together… or are they both?!” I need to create intrigue without doing a thing. I thrive on it. You may be the man of my dreams in every other way, but unless we do nothing but talk on the phone, we can’t have a real relationship.

I know that a lot of people these days say personal standards have become impossible, I agree with that, that why this is my only real criteria for a significant relationship. I want to stare longingly into a face so like my own that it scares me a little. I want to have children who make people puzzle as to which of us they look like, and in old age, I want us to look like identical shriveled peanuts with brown hair.  This is what I need, and I’m sorry to say, you cannot give it to me.

Good luck with everything in the future

February 3, 2008 Posted by | by theagirl, false, letters | , | Leave a comment