Insolence

Lately, I’ve been feeling a lot more angsty and sassy than usual, which is frightening for those of whom I come in contact with on a day-to-day basis because my personality is slathered with both angst and sass, even on a good day.

Anyway, I’m in a creative writing class at my local commuter-university (which I LOATHE, literally a third of my fellow classmates grew up with my PARENTS) and we are currently working on our poetry unit.

I am no poet. I used to be, back in grade school. I spit out a poem about some old tree I could see through the entrapping window by my desk in the third grade, and wound up winning some statewide poetry contest. And 25 bucks, which is practically making it rain for a nine-year-old.

Needless to say, I spent every penny of it at Baskin Robbins. Sigh, those pre-anorexia days were good.

As the years passed, so did my lyrical, poetic writing abilities, as you can gather just by reading a post or two of this lovely blog of mine. My writing style is a direct reflection of my ever-increasing sarcasm and blunt ways of saying what goes on in my never-silent brain. As you can imagine, this makes it rather difficult to get in touch with my inner Poe.

But, for my grade’s sake, I was forced to give it a shot. Our prompt was, “Write a poem in the format of a letter to someone.”

I love how specific writing prompts are.

As per typical me, I put my own spin on this prompt, and decided to write a poetic letter to my alma mater, my high school. The way this creative writing class works is that each student writes his/her poem, submits it online, and the rest of us get to play critic and (both literally and figuratively) tear each others’ works to shreds.

Luckily for me, I have some pretty thick skin, and don’t really give a damn about what other people think about my work.

Here are some of the comments I received on my poem:

“I think that some lines were a bit too harsh and mean-spirited.”

“It’s unfair to say that (insert “unfair” segment of poem here)”

“Maybe you could change it to something softer and less-harsh?”

I am in a class full of sissies.

So now, I present to you the final draft of my poem, and am calling all readers of my blog to give me their honest critique.

Dear High School,

 Now that I’ve had a taste

Of that real world you claimed to have prepared me for,

I hope that you’ll take a moment

Of your bell-dictated time

To accept this, a grammatically proper token of my

Reluctant gratitude

For without you, I may never have known

 

That sitting by myself at the lunch tables with a tray of reheated mystery meat

And a fixed frown is absolutely the most solitary state I will ever be in.

 

That if you can “get with the cool kids”

Life’s problems will pass over you, after all

The lamb’s blood of today is popularity.

 

That looks are everything

And the girl with the blonde hair and size-two waist will always get the guy.

 

That the possibility of getting marked tardy will not

Get me to set my alarm any earlier,

And that Mrs. Teacher keeps a running tally of each one

In Sharpie,

But that’s okay, because “three strikes-you’re out!” Right?

 

That due dates are not do-dates

And that unpleasant assignments can easily be avoided by sluffing a day or two.

 

That the dress code was not a tyrannical act of oppression

Because showing my shoulders will force boys to lose focus on their own work.

 

That if it weren’t for your forcing me to run a mile every Friday during Gym class

I would not have the active lifestyle I lead today.

 

For without you, I may never have known

 

That every test is closed-book, and we all have differing

Answer keys.

-M.

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Irascible

Today, I am bugged.

And I have plenty of legitimate reasons to be. I can count the hours of sleep i’ve gotten in the last two days on one hand. We ran out of my favorite caffeinated drink packets this morning. My Chapstick melted all over my jeans on the way to work. I cut my lip on accident whilst trying to pry open a cup of Greek yogurt at lunch today. Global warming.

So EXCUUUUUSE me for being a little “tender.”

Work went well, though, despite my 10 hour shift and it being Friday.

Not to toot my own horn, but I am becoming quite the efficient little receptionist, if I do so humbly say so myself. I even get my very own pen which i’ve labeled with a note that says, “This has probably been in Maddie’s mouth.”

One of the major tasks of my position as Efficient Receptionist with adorable name tag and special pen is to check in patients and also schedule their next appointments.

Never a dull moment in customer service jobs.

We get a lot of older men coming in to my work, and i’ve suffered more than my fair share of passes from these older dudes. But today was noticeably higher-saturated with passes from older dudes.

Wow, please excuse the atrocious grammar in that last sentence, and then note again the lack of sleep of which I am suffering.

Allow me to elaborate:

Old Dude #1: Thank you, missy, you are too sweet.

Me: …..

Old Dude #1: Uh, umm, (stammers, ad lib.) That wasn’t sexual harassment. (Turns and bolts toward the exit, but stops suddenly upon grabbing the door handle and shouts behind him, “have a great day, my dear!”)

Why in the actual hell would you even say the words, “sexual harassment” in this situation?! We could have easily both ignored your forward and borderline inappropriate comment about the sweetness of which I was exhibiting.

Scenario Dos:

Old dude #2: Hey, gorgeous! Sorry I’m late!

Me: ….

Old Dude #2: Oh, no, I was talking to him. (Nods to my coworker, who is a male.) Otherwise, that’d be sexual harassment.

“Sexual harassment.” Can we just delete that phrase from our vernacular? It gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Scenario Tres:

Me: Okay, Old Dude #3, are we scheduling you for 2 appointments next week or three?

Old Dude #3: two, unless the third one is me and you for dinner.

Me: *slams head against keyboard just hard enough to escape consciousness for the remainder of the work day.*

So that had me in a pretty sour mood for the majority of my shift, but it was my very last patient of the day that about made me lose my marbles.

Before you call me a man-hater and start throwing tomatoes at me, please return to your designated seat, make sure you’re caught up on your meds, have a sip of water, and continue reading.

Last patient walks in, and I go about my routine of getting her checked in and ready to go.

Last Patient: It’s so nice to see young girls like you being so efficient!

Me: *looks up from what i’m doing, eyebrows knit together in confusion and disgust*

I was unaware that “young girls” had a track record for being non-efficient.

What’s so surprising about my abilities to accomplish office and admin tasks at work? Is it that i’m a girl AND that i’m efficient? Is it that i’m young and efficient? Does she not know any girls who are efficient? And when can people finally start referring to me as a woman rather than a girl gosh dang it I am almost two decades old.

Maybe I just read into these things way too much because of my constant, ever-waxing feminist attitude. Maybe I should have just taken her comment as a compliment and not thought anything more of it. But WHY is it nice to see young girls being so efficient?! Would it still be nice if I were a young boy and being efficient?! Would she even say anything?! WHY AM I YELLING?!

I’m pissed off. I’m pissed off and tired. And now i’m going to angrily slump on my couch and efficiently eat Nutella from the jar with a miniature spoon.

M.

The Acceptional* Feminist

Last night, a fairly new crony and I went on an excursion to “the ruins,” an old, torn up structure that rests on the side of a hill not out of walking distance, and not too steep to climb up to in sandals.

We sat down side-by-side and took in the city view and had deep discussions about life. Naturally, the topic of feminism, and my firm belief in human equality, was a major topic of discussion.

“I’m a feminist,” I mentioned, as casually as you would say, “I’m a sophomore,” or “i’m a dog person.”

He hesitated for just a fraction of a second, just noticeable enough for me to know that I wasn’t going to like what I was about to hear out of his pie hole.

You wanna know what he said? Okay here goes:

“Oh, but you’re a GOOD feminist,” he said.

It kind of reminded me of the way I repeatedly pat my dog on the head after she pees outside rather than on the carpet.

I blinked away any possibility of a stupor of thought before clarifying for him that Feminism is inherently a GOOD and all-around beneficial movement for society as a whole, and had to differentiate between a feminist and a man-hater.

Now what, you may ask, qualifies me as a “good feminist” to this young man?

Is it the fact that I like wearing skirts and shave my armpits (and legs, all 3 months of summer, anyway) and wear mascara on a daily basis? Is it that i’m straight and let guys take me on dates and don’t make a scene if someone opens a door for me?

Is it that the way I present myself JUST SO HAPPENS to conform to a lot of society’s list of acceptable ways to present yourself?

Because if that’s what makes me a “good feminist,” then I don’t want to be a “good feminist.” That’s the whole point, right? To show that women DON’T NEED the acceptance or approval of men and are human people who, gee, I dunno, do things because they make them happy?

Trust me, I don’t do any altering of my own appearance in pursuit of the approval of men. I wear skirts because dang it sometimes it gets really hot here in Utah and I just so happen to despise pants. I wear mascara because it makes me feel more alert, awake, and ready for my day. I shave my legs because I think it feels really disgusting when you brush your legs against each other and can feel the hair follicles moving.

Notice how none of my reasons for my feminine hygiene regimen have anything to do with men? Yes, me, too.

I guess some people really will never understand that NOT ALL FEMINISTS are bra-burning, man-hating, vengeful women.

Some are.

Some feminists are just your average-joe college girls who love bows and slug bugs and bleaching their hair and dates with preppy boys who wear Jake by Hollister cologne who simply refuse to be treated as second-class citizens because their anatomy differs from that of their male peers.

But conveniently, and luckily, for me, I have been deemed a “good feminist,” by a man.

Hooray for wanting equal rights in a manner that suits dudes!

M.

*Note: I am completely aware that “acceptional” is not a real word… yet. But this is MY blog, MY rules, and MY vocabulary. For your convenience, I have provided a reference guide.

Acceptional: (adj) containing qualities/behaviors that are both acceptable and favorable. 

The Most Vexatious

Have you ever wondered, “How can I effectively piss off (insert acquaintance/friend/co-worker, what have you) for the rest of his/her day?” Well pull out a pen and paper, because I’m about to lay out some extremely effective methods. 

1. Be A Snowflake: I’ve coined this term as a “combination of both a flake and a cold-shoulder giver.” (clever, eh?) In order to execute this method effectively, commit to plans with your victim. Make sure you’re the one who sets it up for maximum results. I’d recommend about a week and a half in advance. Then, as time draws nearer, just cut off all communication with said victim. Don’t respond to text messages/phone calls/snapchats/facetimes/whatever else you kids use to communicate nowadays. And certainly don’t initiate a conversation with your victim, either. Don’t offer excuses as to why you will no longer be able to attend these plans, don’t apologize. This way, your victim will be left waiting by his/her cellular device all day, waiting for the cue to meet up with you for those plans that you made that you’re no longer going to participate in because you’re a snowflake. 

2. Be A Debby Downer: be the raincloud that travels to everyone’s parade and unleashes a downpour of negativity as it travels through. Best friend got your crush’s number? Remind her of her cankles, and assure her that he has no interest in girls with cankles. Co-worker got the promotion you wanted? Make sure he knows he only got the gig because he’s the boss’s distant cousin. Just pour out the negativity. You’ll feel better about not getting what you wanted, and your victim will wish he/she never got it, too. 

3. Be A Pinhead Pilot: Make sure that when your SUV hits the highway, it’s in the way. Take your time turning right. If some punk teenager is trying to pass you on the freeway, just stay right in front of that traffic-law violator. It’s a public service, you interfering with them breaching the speed limit. And that turn signal? Forget about it. You wouldn’t want someone to follow you home, would you? 

4. Be A Solutionist: Come home to see your daughter bawling on the floor? Make her realize that whatever is wrong is a consequence of her behavior, and immediately offer your all-knowing wisdom and provide her with ways she can solve her own problems. That’s what she wants from you, right? To show her how to fix everything? Kids don’t just want to talk about their feelings to a good listener, anyway. Plus, sympathy doesn’t solve anything.

5. Be A Morning Person: There is a time for hyper-happiness. And that time is 6:30 in the morning, at the breakfast table, when your family is slumped in a daze of sleepiness and most sensitive to loud noises and smiling faces. Emerge from your sleeping chambers in song. Give each family member an ear-to-ear grin and make sure you wish them a fantastic day, in your best “Disneyland employee” voice. They’ll be longing to punch you in the jugular region for the remainder of their morning. 

6. Be a Narcissistic Patron: You’ve been waiting at IHOP for 32 minutes, and the family that arrived ten minutes after you gets seated first. Who cares that they have a crying newborn and a set of toddler-aged twins? Your party was there first, and you deserve to be seated in the order in which you arrived. Make a scene. Give that hostess a piece of your mind. Make sure she knows that you won’t ever be consuming IHOP’s stuffed french toast again, and that her manager will be hearing from you shortly. Add a snarky comment about how she’s the worst hostess in the history of hostesses. She might shed some tears then and there, if not, she’ll wait till the car ride home. 

I hope some of my ideas helped, or at least generated some other ideas in your little brains of how to piss off the people in your life. Now go forth and conquer, my friends. 

M.