Tuesday, May 16, 2017

9 Reasons I Don’t Want to Be Your Friend

All the friend I need.

It may not surprise you to learn that I don’t have a lot of friends. Here’s why:

9) You Have Offended Me in Some Small Way

I can hold a grudge like no other, even if it’s over some stupid, petty shit you did in passing two years ago that no one remembers but me. No, I don’t want to talk about it. Go away.

8) You Hang Around with Assholes

I have a lot of flaws. For example, I'm a terrible judge of character. But I've learned that if somebody's friends are assholes, they're probably an asshole too. Quit bringing your asshole friends around, asshole.

7) You’re a Bigot

I run into this a lot more often than you might think, and these people never seem to realize what’s wrong with them. I’ll meet someone and they’ll seem perfectly normal, and then they’ll say, “Say what you will about Donald Trump but at least he speaks his mind,” and just like that, all bets are off.

6) I Already Have Enough Friends

The older I get the more curmudgeonly I get, and I was never a social butterfly to begin with. What I’m trying to say here is that I already have, like, three friends. That’s at least four more than I need. All friend positions have been filled, but there are still some openings for casual acquaintances. Please write a letter no more than two pages in length detailing all the reasons why you think you should be my acquaintance, then throw it away and buy me a beer.

5) Don’t Take This Personally, but You Exhaust Me

No really, don’t take it personally. Everyone exhausts me; I'm an introvert. 

I know most people seem to desperately need to be engaged with others ALL THE FREAKING TIME EVEN WHEN THEY’RE ASLEEP, but I socialize the way some people exercise. That is to say I often don’t want to, and sometimes I hate every minute of it, but I do it anyway because I know I will get sick and die if I don’t. When I invite you to get a coffee that means I want to get a coffee. It does not mean I also want to then get lunch, see a movie, go for a hike, get dinner, accompany you grocery shopping, and then go back to yours to watch another movie.

4) You Won’t Shut Up About Your Political or Personal Beliefs

Unless they happen to be the same as mine, of course, in which case I will happily listen to you talk about them till the end of time.

3) You’re Judgmental

It’s probably judgmental of me to say so, but stop being so judgmental. Surely you can think of something better to talk about than how all the other people in the restaurant are clearly living their lives wrong because they need a haircut, or are fat, or dared to bring a child out in public, or are wearing mismatched socks. Have a little fucking compassion, why don’t you.

Also, I am fat, and probably wearing mismatched socks.

2) You Don’t Laugh at My Jokes

Tbf, most of my jokes are stupid, but when someone tells a joke – especially someone with whom you claim to want to be friends – you do one of two things: you laugh, because you found it funny, or you pretend to laugh, because you are polite. What you don't do is heave a big, put-upon sigh and say, “Ohhhhhkaaaaay." 

1) You Offer Your Condolences When You Find Out I Lived Abroad

Okay, so I’ll admit not everyone is a big enough douchenozzle to say “I’m sorry” when I tell them I lived in France, but it’s happened more than once, most notably at my grandmother’s wake, when an old school friend of my mother’s offered his condolences for ENTIRELY THE WRONG THING. I mean, seriously, if you’re going to offer someone some fake-ass jokey condolences for doing something awesome, DO NOT DO IT AT THE FUNERAL OF THAT PERSON’S BELOVED RELATIVE. That’s solid life advice, kids – take it.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

I Marched Because My Vote Didn't Count


I went to the Women's March on Washington this weekend with some friends from my grad program at WVU. Here I am decked out in all my finery:

 I had known before I went to the march that I wasn't the only American dismayed by the outcome of the 2016 election -- far from it. Hillary won the popular vote by 2.9 million, but because our electoral system is jacked, my own vote and that of three million other Americans just didn't count. Hillary Clinton got more than 65.8 million votes. That means there's a good chance that any person you might meet voted for Hillary, and that's not even counting the 40 percent of eligible voters that didn't bother to participate in the democratic process. I think it's safe to assume that some percentage of those people don't support Trump, even if they might be somewhat apathetic in their dislike. But you know what they say -- if you don't vote, you're not allowed to complain when they take you to the camps.

But even though I knew that many people oppose Trump's rhetoric and policies, it was still pretty awesome to see them all in one place, with my own eyes. Conservative estimates place the Women's March turnout at half a million. I would not be surprised if there were 700,000 or more. There were so many people at the March that we couldn't even march. We just kind of shuffled on Washington. We also stood still on Washington quite a lot. Several renditions of "We Shall Overcome" were sung, along with "This Land Is Your Land," "This Little Light of Mine," and a peppy one that was, ironically, about marching. There was also the requisite chanting. My favorite chant was "We want a leader, not a creepy tweeter," although "Fuck you Trump" also had a certain ring to it.

There were many creative signs.
After we had our fill of shuffling, singing, and chanting, we went back to the place where we were staying and the lovely people who welcomed us into their home for the weekend, where we found out that others were marching in cities all over the country -- and the world. Three quarters of a million people turned out in Los Angeles alone. They were even marching in Antarctica. With 673 marches worldwide, some are calling the Women's March on Washington the largest protest in history. 

We all want President Tinyhands to do a good job, myself included, but it doesn't seem likely. I didn't like Dubya, but it would be great if we could give Twitler back and get Dubya instead. I'd settle for giving Trumplethinskin back and getting Reagan's disintegrating corpse instead. Compared to Trump, Reagan's disintegrating corpse would make a FINE president.

I didn't post about the election, even though I wanted to. I kept trying to put my thoughts and feelings into words, but what could I say? I've always been fascinated by the Many Worlds theory, and I've believed, deep down, that there must be an alternate universe out there, or perhaps many alternate universes. But now I realize that this is the alternate universe, and the normal, sane universe, where the President paid attention in kindergarten and therefore knows how to be nice and share, is chilling out somewhere else, separated from us by a skin as thin as a soap bubble's, so close we can almost touch it. Maybe, together, we can make it to that place.

But in the meantime, #ReagansCorpse2020.