Definitely, Maybe

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Lately, my back has been acting up. I mean, I’m no Professor X from X-Men or anything, but it’s been super unpleasant.

I can’t do this, if that’s what you’re wondering, but it’s more exciting than a gif of what I’m actually doing (giphy.com, Polar Express)

I feel like my body chooses some moments to be more annoying than others, the Pip of Midsummer’s Night Dream. “Things aren’t great…let’s make them considerably more interesting and dangerous!” This type of shenanginry (no Spellcheck, it’s totes a word. you know NOTHING) goes on until it reaches a breaking point, which is where I’m at today.

This is how my talks with my body go. [Back to the Future II on giphy.com]

I received a confusing letter about my healthcare. It took over 60 days to receive anything from them, and when I got it, the message was something like “You PROBABLY have healthcare, but I can’t tell you definitively the kind you have. I am just a letter!” I don’t know it took 60 days to get something that says, “We could’ve done lots of work, but we think you’ll enjoy interrupting your life to stay on hold.”

Which is what I’m doing right now. My back hurt too badly to go to work today, so I’m on the phone to find out whether I have health insurance, and if so what kind. The auto message estimated 28 minutes, but who’s to say?

In the meantime, I am racing the phone to see if I can find an answer online prior to this. Wish me luck!

Update: Just had an informative and helpful discussion with someone in client services. This is what I needed. *Deep breath*

[The Grinch, giphy.com]

Being a Woman as explained by Jimmy Harper and Mary Lane from Reefer Madness

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I’ve seen pictures on the internet about how a monthly cycle is supposed to go. And I disagree. So here’s my version with as little explanation and as many pictures from Reefer Madness as I can of Kristen Bell. Because I like her. Trying to gloss over the icky parts, so dudes will read this and laugh. Sure, they have the pain of a kick in the crotch, but that pain is ours for several days each month and then again during pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause. So ladies, feel free to relate, and dudes feel the joy of Schadenfreude while reading this. [I wish the chronology was correct, but it’s not, so deal.]

It’s the beginning of the month. And you. Feel. Awesome.

KristenBellRM1

You’re just doing your own thing. Dancing, working, you are in the zone! Nothing can stop you! But you don’t have time for anything extra. No tongue, Jimmy Harper. Just some good ol’ fashioned romance and 4H club.

Reefermadnessdancing

But then something changes. You get a twinge of a cramp. What is that? A period? I haven’t had one in awhile. Maybe it’s a baby. Oh, I do NOT need a baby right now! *cue anxiety*

JimmyHarper-RM

False alarm. Discomfort subsides. And everything is soooo fine that you just break into song.

Everything is going to be OKAY!

Reefermadness-toutlecine

But then you start to feel run down. Very tired. For no apparent reason. Maybe you even get sick. There’s sufficient pajama time going on.

lyricsmania.com

You start to get suspicious again. But then you get some energy back. Nothing out of the ordinary is going on. You’re fine. Resume wearing normal clothes.

giphy.com

Then your body’s chemistry begins to change. You begin to feel funny. I know when this is happening, because I become more matronly towards babies and children. Oh body, I think you tricked me!

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And then for about 2-3 days, you turn into this…

KristenBell-hot

Menfolk are really excited, or very, very scared. Or both.

But the boost in hormone action ends up making you irritable, and after a few days of this, you go from zero to annoyed in less than a second. Okay, I can’t find any pictures of where Jimmy Harper punches Ralph and tries to fight him. So just assume that this picture is here.

[Your imagination!!]

But being mad is exhausting, and it makes your mind depressed. So…major sadness. One time during this phase, I saw a movie which normal people might shed some tears towards the end. But I cried every 10-15 minutes for the entirety of the film. Then I woke up in the middle of the night after a bad dream, and I cried again for about 20 minutes. No one can make it better. You just have to let it out. (I know this picture isn’t of Mary Lane, but I can’t find anywhere in the film where she cries.)

Flixster.com

Flixster.com

Suddenly, it’s gone. The sadness lifts. Unfortunately, your dark cloud has turned a different kind of dark cloud…that of pain. The blood. The feeling of dying. Hold me. Tell me a story of good times past. Of all the great times we’ll have…if…if I make it.

MaryLaneshot

The odds are not looking good. Your lady parts have turned against you, and they are kicking your ass from the inside out. This is what the apocalypse feels like. You know war. You feel it deep in your loins. Ouch.

MaryLaneRM2

Finally, after days of battling with the devil…the storm lifts. You either got passed over like the doors marked with blood at the end of the plague, or you legit died and now you’re in heaven. Either way, you’re feeling good again. No more period. No more weird emotions. Not for at least another week.

So this is pretty much how it goes. Bye period! See you again next month accompanied by all the usual, unwanted guests.

(Pictures obtained from tumblr.com, moviemusereviews, fanpop.com, toutlecine.com, and Flixster. I did put what sources every individual photo came from originally, but then the pictures didn’t actually show up. So now they all get lumped at the end.)

I’m not really a kitchen person…

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Last week, I set out rolls, because I thought it would be a tasty precursor to Thanksgiving. Parker asked if I was going to make them “the fast way.” I said yes, and left them on the counter.

Parker (a few minutes later): Uh, what are you doing?

Me: Pre-heating the oven. To make rolls.

Parker: That’s not the fast way to make them. They’ll rise at this rate in approximately 4 hours.

I don’t know what I THOUGHT I heard him say, because I was doing other things, but I put them in a bowl of water to thaw (NO) and then put them in the oven for an hour and a half. Then I took them out, emptied the water, put them back in and baked them.

When Parker took them out, he was like, “Something’s wrong with the rolls. They didn’t bake all the way.”

“I put them in boiling water like you said and pre-heated them in the oven.”

“You what? No. Why would you put them in boiling water?”

Me: I don’t know! I thought you said to do that.

Parker: I never said that. I said to put a bowl of boiling water below them so they’ll rise and not lose moisture. Then you bake them after that.

Me: I thought the directions you gave me were weird, but to be fair, putting boiling water on a rack below regular frozen rolls sounds just as crazy. Baking and cooking in general make absolutely no sense to me.

Most of them were still pretty tasty. They were still better than the rolls my grandma had for Thanksgiving.

Tonight, I ran the dishwasher. I put more soap in the dishwasher than necessary, because the top rack has been getting less clean than the bottom one even though we ran a rinse cycle through the dishwasher.

When Parker went in the kitchen a minute ago, he said, casually. “Uh, I don’t know what’s wrong with the dishwasher, but it’s overflowing.”

“WHAT!?” I immediately freaked out.

Parker: Yeah, there are suds everywhere.

Me: Why would–oh, never mind, that was me.

Parker: What was you?

Me: I put extra dish soap in the dishwasher.

Parker: Which soap?

(I point to the liquid soap for washing pots and pans.)

Parker: You can’t use that. It gets too sudsy. There are too many bubbles, and then the dishwasher overflows.

Me: Well, I didn’t KNOW that. They say don’t do it, but they don’t say why. I’ve done it before, and I felt like the dishes got cleaner. But I didn’t use as much before. Did I break it?

Parker: No, you didn’t break it. There were just a lot of suds. It should be fine. Just don’t do that again.

I am definitely one of those people that you have to explain the reason why you cannot do something. Because if you just tell me not to do it, I’ll assume that it’s an arbitrary rule that actually carries no meaning and weight. And then you end up with half baked rolls (yes, I should have been listening) and an overflowing dishwasher.

Game of Thrones wish list chapters

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I started re-reading Game of Thrones, and while most characters I have missed terribly, there are also some that I have not missed. While reading their chapters, I’ve been reminded how weary some of them can be (Catelyn Stark, don’t pretend I’m not talking about you). While talking about how I wished one of the minor characters had some talk time in the book, I came up with a list.

George RR Martin will likely never read this, but if he DOES and at some point they re-release the past books with ADDITIONAL chapters, I thought I’d add some people I’d like to hear more about.

*Warning: Minimal, but possible spoilers*

People’s whose GoT POVs I wish I could hear (or would’ve liked to hear):

Renly Baratheon
Dolorous Ed
Ramsey Snow
Tywin Lannister
Theon’s sister (I’m curious, because her viewpoint would be from living in a whole different place than we get insight)
Arya Stark’s wolf, Nymeria (where the fuck is Nymeria, anyway?)
The Red Woman
Littlefinger
Robin Arryn (‘cuz what random things would he come up with?)
Jon Snow’s mom (why not? They could even hide her identity and just tell us where she WAS unless she’s already been introduced, moving on)
Maester Aemon (coolest old dude ever)
Stannis (he’s SO unlikeable that I want to believe there’s a genuinely interesting reason behind why, even if there isn’t)
Jory (Thanks to a blog commenter for pointing this out!)

People whose GoT POVs I would not care to hear:
Rob Stark (who cares? Sorry Rob Stark fans)
Rob Stark’s wife
Rob Stark’s dead offspring (sorry, I was on a roll, and this just seemed like the natural progression)
Rickon
Hodor (ONLY because Hodor’s hodoring would be out of control)
Roose Bolton (it would be like the boring version of a mix between Tywin Lannister and Ramsey)
Maester Pycelle (we get just the right amount of his tangents..maybe a little too much)
Lysa Arryn (I thought about it, and she’s TOO cray cray…it would be like reading Catelyn’s stuff if she was legitimately insane…also, does anyone else feel like she MIGHT have the version of parental Munchhausens?)
Craster (We’d probably have to hear about all of the Craster sex)
The Hound (too one-sided)
The Mountain (too evil)
Jeyne Poole
Barristan Selmy (I think he might be in here…)
Jorah Mormont (no one cares, Friend Zone)

“And miles to go before I sleep”

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Source: Giphy.com

My husband and I went to the beach earlier this year to celebrate several different anniversaries, and I picked up a mug boasting a coffee on it called Insomnia. Every morning after a particularly rough night of wrestling with my circadian rhythm and insufficient amount of REM, I drink coffee out of the mug. It’s significant for a couple of reasons.

The first is to signal to the universe my surrender, to say that I know there are some things I have no control over. In admitting this, I remember that I cannot fault myself if I am not to blame. It’s an action along the lines of the Serenity Prayer where we ask “to accept the things [we] cannot change, the courage to change the things [we] can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” I can’t make myself fall asleep. All I can do is spend my time wisely until sleep comes and practice healthy sleep when possible.

The second is to wipe the slate clean. Some facilities keep track of how many days have passed since an accident, and when I drink from the cup, I am trying ritualistically to wipe the slate clean. Does it work? I hope so, but I never follow up the next day by yelling “YOU PROMISED!” at it as it glistens in the dishwasher. I may be ridiculous, but I’m not that extreme. Also, I’m forgetful.

As evidenced by my 7:15am crying in the car. (Source: giphy.com)

It’s been a long, hard week with lots of concepts to grasp, many lessons to learn, and much cold weather to battle. Upon regaining consciousness, I was only able to get out of bed this morning by saying, “Rise and shine campers, and don’t forget your booties, because it’s cold out there today.” My husband laughed and said, “I have been thinking of that movie all week.”

Thanks Harold Ramis and Groundhog Day. You made getting up this morning possible.

Insomnia does win for the least useful (or tie for first) part of my life. Got about 3 hours of sleep last night. I’m that kind of exhausted tonight where sitting up is too tiring, but my body STILL can’t manage to pass out. Several of my old friends used to say “I’ll sleep when I’m dead,” but that is because their bodies are able to fully participate in the entirety of the sleep cycle.

Okay, now I’m going to lie down and pretend that this is easy.

“A rose by any other name…”

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The day after my husband and I got married, he told me he thought his mom and dad would like it if I called them Mom and Dad.

I know a lot of people who call their spouse’s parents Mom and Dad, and in general, it is something I find endearing. It always warms my heart when I hear step-parents say “these are my children” without differentiating at all.

Parker and I have been married for four years, and I love his parents. They are extremely generous and caring individuals whose love knows no bounds. In some ways, they treat me better than some of my own family treats me. I know this sounds like slander, but family can be a precarious and tricky thing, so I’m not going to specify which family members I’m indicating. It’s more than one of them.

I am very lucky to have them as in-laws, but I still struggle with this every time I have to refer to one of them by name.

Here’s a little history as to why:

Growing up, all my grandparents were divorced and remarried. Regardless of how you feel about divorced families, this is fantastic news for grandchildren if it’s done correctly. It means that you get more people to love you, more presents, and more events to go to around the holidays.

My maternal grandmother baby-sat me frequently. When I was about three years old, we went to my paternal grandfather’s house. Since “we’re going to Grandma and Grandpa’s” was ambiguous, when we showed up, I just EXPECTED everybody to be there. It still makes sense in my head.

“Where’s Grandma?” I asked, looking around for my maternal grandmother.

“I’m right here, Sweetie,” my paternal step-grandmother said.

I frowned and looked at my mom. “No,” I said a little quieter. “Where’s my REAL grandma?”

Source: giphy via televisionwithoutpity.tumblr.com

To this day, I feel incredibly bad for hurting my grandmother’s feelings, but it was a lesson to everyone to be more explanatory. From that point forward, my mom began to explain titles to me so I’d know my relationship to everyone. Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle, Aunt were all followed by the person’s actual name. While my cousins called my dad by his first name, this always felt weird to me. They didn’t call their parents by their first name.

The other complicating factor was that in elementary school, we had room moms*, and my teacher had a speech about how all grown ups should be addressed as “Mr. or Mrs.” So-and-So.

When my mom arrived though, she changed the rules slightly.

“The Weird Button’s father and I are divorced, so please don’t refer to me as Mrs. Button. That is not my name. My last name is long and hard to pronounce. Please call me by my first name. Now I understand that your teacher wants you to refer to adults as Mr. or Mrs. This is out of respect. However, I have heard people call each other Mr. or Mrs. without respect in their voices. Please use my first name, but when you address me, please do so with respect. It is important, regardless of whoever’s name, that you speak to them with respect in mind.”

Fellow room moms followed suit.

By the time I got to high school, I’d learned that you should ask most people how they want to be addressed. At one point, I had a crush on one of my classmates and met his mother for the first time.

“It’s such a pleasure to finally meet you!” I gushed. Big fan of your work, I wanted to add. “Would you prefer that I call you by your first name or–“

She visibly straightened her posture. “It’s Mrs. ____,” she said.

“Oh,” I said, thrown off. “Well it’s nice to meet you, Mrs. _____.” Then I slunk away, silently added to myself, Guess I won’t be marrying YOUR son.

Source: Giphy.com

However, when I had a crush on a different classmate, his mother told me, “Oh Sweetie, you can just call me by my first name.”

These two interactions became the two groups mothers would fall into. I always preferred mothers of the latter. Women who loved their sons but wouldn’t make their son’s girlfriends work to unprecedented heights to obtain approval. Occasionally some still did, but it was still always a relief that it was not related to her preferred title.

Then after years of insisting they were “Mister, Missus, Ms., or Miss,” my college professors completely changed the rules, and some of them allowed us to call them by their first name. It still unnerves me when I wear a name tag, and a customer says “Okay, Weird Button” or “Thank you, Weird Button,” when we’ve just met. Of course, I realize that I am guilty of this as well.

For some, there is a rule of familiarity. You graduate to certain names by your closeness and length of time known. One of my preferred names to refer to my bosses as is “Boss,” but only the ones I’ve worked with awhile for whom I feel are more work family than merely business overlord. When I used to work in a clinic, my favorite thing to say was, “Well, you’re the doc, Doc,” followed by “What’s up, Doc?”

I have also never wanted to refer to anyone new by a title that could easily be taken away by law or falling out of favor. Once you are promoted to a certain title, it’s distressing to think that a demotion could remove it. As if the circumstance itself wouldn’t be hard enough.

So while I adore my mother and father-in-law, I’m still getting used to calling adults, college professors, and bosses by their first names. I hope they know how much they mean to me regardless of title.

*I say Room Moms, because I don’t remember anybody’s dad volunteering. My maternal grandmother that I mentioned earlier was also a Room Mom.

The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, but without any of those things

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You know how occasionally you run out of a grocery item, and you tell yourself that you’ll go to the store later? Then you end up improvising for days or weeks or eating out so you don’t have to go to the store and try to convince yourself that you don’t actually need something you really do need?

I do that with clothes.

Giphy.com

It’s not that I don’t like being warm or looking cute or having a safety net between me and the food that I spill, but I don’t enjoy the process. I also try to subscribe to “don’t spend money you don’t have,” which really elongates the time spent between needing an item of clothing and getting said item. If I had to compare myself to other women in my age group, I would have to say that I enjoy and perform clothes shopping less than they do by a wide percentage. This is just a guess since I don’t have a lot of same-sex friends, but based on how often I see them in shirts and dresses not previously viewed, I’d say this is a decent assumption.

It doesn’t become inevitable to ME that hunting will be necessary until it’s extremely obvious.

Last year, I realized that I own 4 bras. Here are the stats since it seems like a lot of bras when I say it out loud:

  • The newest one is at least a year old, probably more like two, and since it’s the newest, I wear it the most. To the extent that the multiple washes have given it those little raised bumps from going through the washing machine all over making it less comfy. So when I wear it, my nipples feel crazy uncomfortable, like bugs are crawling on them.
  • One bra is a strapless that I bought for my Junior prom (two sizes small). I even have another I could consider a “strapless bra” in emergency situations. This is actually a bathing suit top I lost the straps to a few years back, but I did wear it to work once last year when I was in too much of a hurry to look through the laundry. Also I was wearing a lot of layers at the time, so if you count it, that’s 5 “bras.”
  • Not unlike Prom bra, the oldest regular bra was from when I was 1-2 sizes smaller, so it brings a whole new meaning to SUPER padded. It could double as a flotation device or a moon sickness napkin. Or a diaper to protect against diarrhea. Also, it’s lumpy as hell from going through the washing machine so many times, so I basically only wear it in the winter months when socially awkward people are less likely to yell “Hey what’s up with your boobs? Are you hiding mashed potatoes in there?” I wish.

I decided to include this since Moonsickness is not the common phrase used (although it should be). Found on Imgur.com

Notice that none of these is a sports bra. Every month for the last two years, I’ve been telling myself that I need to go out and get one. The reasons I don’t include…

  • I don’t even exercise
  • It’s not that hard to wear a regular bra when you leave the house
  • I don’t want to spend money on a type of bra for an activity I don’t even participate in
  • It’ll just shrink and then I’ll have to donate it
  • I’ll have to sift through like a MILLION bras (even though I know full well that I am not that dedicated to the cause)
  • Standing in line at Ross is the worst

Obviously, I have a problem.

Giphy.com

Especially now. Today, I went searching for them, and I could only locate the itchy bra, the white Junior prom strapless bra, and “The Emergency Bra.” In terms of heightened problems, I went from having a code yellow to an orange.

I have somewhere I have to be tomorrow, and it requires that I wear the appropriate undergarments. This was not an official notice sent out, but there is a dress code. I’m pretty sure it does not involve walking to the chorus of “Free Falling” by Tom Petty.

It also requires other garments I don’t have.

Giphy.com

This means that today I am leaving the house and looking for booby traps, leg coverings, shirts, and possibly boots. I’m going by myself. Wish me luck.

Giphy.com

Does anyone else hate doing these things? Or is it just me? Please don’t tell me I’m alone in this.

The waiting is the hardest part, especially when you’re waiting for cheese

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http://www.cadadiacheese.com Cheese farm in Prineville. Doesn’t it look good?

Today, my mom convinced me (as she does most weeks) to come down to the bar/restaurant she frequents and have lunch with her.

I’ve been home sick for an extraordinarily long period of time, but Mondays have been my normal day off for awhile. I needed to go run some errands, however, my mom is hard to say no to mainly because she gets kind of snappy when you tell her no. The restaurant also has soup, and she hadn’t seen me for my birthday yet (because I’ve been sick), so I agreed to meet her.

Normally, I have a whole bowl of soup, but I didn’t want to take advantage of my mother’s kindness. The cup was smaller than I remembered, so I decided to supplement it with a grilled cheese sandwich.

Approximately ten minutes passed. Usually whatever I order is out by that time, so I found it a little odd. I was trying to be patient, so I decided I would wait a little longer before I inquired about the food. In the meantime, I was re-introduced to my mom’s friend who recently been dumped by her boyfriend. She was pretty sad and more than a little tipsy. She kept asking me when my husband and I were going to have kids, and if we were going to have kids, and whether we had talked about it. Nope, on a whim we decided to get married in Vegas after being introduced that day. NO TIME FOR CONVERSATION! Before I started to foam at the mouth between the crossed emotions of fear and annoyance, my mom leaned over and said, “Okay, GIVE IT A REST. I have a grand dog, THAT’S ENOUGH. Now where are the pictures of her?”

Five minutes passed, and the bartender informed me that they hadn’t made the grilled cheese sandwich yet, because they had run out of cheese. So the chef or one of the owners ran to the store.

“I would’ve ordered something else if I knew they didn’t have any,” I told the bartender. This is true, I would’ve. Normally, she’d offer me something else, but she was already on the other side of the bar, because they were pretty busy. I couldn’t even ask for something else, because I was so confused about the fact that they just left without mentioning they were out of cheese.

“Ugh, this is so typical. This kind of thing happens all the time,” my mom complained to me in a whisper. “Stupid management. What are they doing?”

I whispered back to her, “It’s not even real cheese. They use Kraft. It’s not like it goes bad.”

We giggled.

Ten more minutes went by, and they still weren’t back from the store. I don’t know what happens to you when you’re hungry, but I go from feeling peckish to completely unhinged in a short unraveling of time. I was already on edge from being asked all the children questions, so I knew that I had to get out of there.

“Ma, I really need to go to the library. Otherwise, I will have to be put in the queue and wait behind lots of other people to print off the materials I need.”

My mom scoffed, “I know, what are they doing? What else did they need to get while they were there? I have things to do today too. I need to go home and putz in my yard.”

When my mom says this, she means she wants to stand outside and admire how she can’t see her neighbors despite being able to hear their hillbilly sounds. While she does this, her German Shepherd mix runs the enclosed area with his megaphone bark which lasts approximately 3/4 as long as the “The Song That Never Ends.” You know in Jumanji how Robin Williams, Bonnie Hunt, and the kids end up heading away from the house, because that pelican runs off with the game? They return several hours later, and the house has become completely eclipsed by the overgrown plant life that has submerged the house to an almost indistinguishable nature? That’s what my mom’s yard looks like, and come to think of it, that’s kind of why she leaves the house from time to time.

The bartender said, “If you want, they can hold off until you come back.”

No, this is NOT what I wanted. I wanted melted cheese in my mouth now.

My mom added, “Yeah, you should go to the library, and they can just make it for you when you come back.”

This was not these people’s faults. They were just trying to help the hangry, so when I spoke, I did so slowly as if I was considering doing this. Was I considering doing this? I did really want to eat any other kind of food, but I didn’t want to wait or come back either. “Well, I didn’t want to make two trips. I wanted to go home after.”

“Yeah, of course,” she said, but my mom’s wheels were turning. “What if you go to the library, and I just bring the sandwich over after they’re done?”

My mom is less patient than me, so I’m picturing her calling me up at the library and saying, “What is taking so long? I am outside your place with your sandwich,” and then leaving when I don’t show up immediately. Or worse, showing up at the library with a sandwich. This idea doesn’t sound so bad, but she spends a lot of time with her friends, so by the time I wanted the sandwich, it would probably be several hours later and cold.

“Now you’re the one making an extra trip. I don’t want you to have to do that.”

“I can just take the sandwich home, and you can get it tomorrow.”

I couldn’t tell if this was my least favorite idea, or if the ideas were just getting more out of hand by the moment.

“No. I can’t even go home and have any, because we don’t even have any cheese.”

My mom’s tipsy friend at the end of the bar added, “I have to go to the store anyway. I can pick up some cheese for you.” She had just shared her list with me and had giggled after saying kitty litter adding, “This is such a silly list.”

Nope, that was my least favorite idea. The only idea I liked less than the ones mentioned are the one where I’m semi-responsible for a drunk lady getting ticketed, because her friend’s daughter had a hankering for some cheese.

“You are sweet, but you don’t have to do that. I appreciate it.” I turned to my mom. “Okay, I’m leaving.”

I’m still craving some grilled cheese, but I’m still pretty glad I didn’t go with any of those options. Especially, the last option.

Why Livejournal is Better Than Other Social Media, and Why I Miss it

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Warning: I may have gone a little crazy with the gifs. Please forgive me. They’re really fun.

As a generation, mine is creepily sentimental about things we probably shouldn’t be. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the ’90’s, but there are a lot of things I don’t miss about my youth. Some ex-classmates from my elementary school were getting super sappy and unrealistically melancholy about junior high the other night, and I wanted to go all witch from The Princess Bride where I start screaming “BOO! BOO!” at them.

I mean, I miss goofing off at recess the same as anyone else, but I think all the girls in my class forgot about all the arguments and tears that came down over boys, competition, and a number of other pressures.

What I do miss from my past, is Livejournal.

Livejournal was *kind of* a social media website from the ’00’s, but the thing that made it different was that it also wasn’t. Sure, you had friends on it, but it was still a journal. While it wasn’t a diary, it wasn’t far off, and you probably just called it that because your friends made fun of you if you called it a diary.

THE PROS OF LIVEJOURNAL

Acquaintances Became Friends Fast 
Whether you found their name because they gave it to you or because you were friends with someone they were friends with, when you went to somebody’s journal, it was easy to become part of someone’s life quickly. Sometimes, it was a circle of trust, and when it wasn’t, it felt more like a hostage situation.

Sometimes the posts were about going to see the musical Rent before it became a movie, but more than likely it was about how awesome or terrible their day was which was made up of a lot of little minute information that really spelled out who they were and what they were going through.

The Heart of the Matter 
In real life, it could take someone forever to figure out what their friend was going through. If you had Livejournal, it didn’t usually take that long.

I just saved myself 8 hours of asking “What’s Wrong?” over and over. This time in my pocket is priceless!

24/7/365
Livejournal friends were possibly unlike other social media friends, because you read their personal thoughts daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. There weren’t status updates or tweets, so there were no limits as to how long or detailed your posts could be. And damn, could they be detailed.

Which meant that when you became friends with someone on LJ, you really had to commit. They were sharing their personal stories and intimate lives with you. This didn’t always mean it was mutual or you guys were bffs, but there was a big level of “accept or go elsewhere.” You couldn’t just be friends with someone and NOT follow them.

“Love Will Keep Us Together”
Because of how much sharing was going on (a LOT), this meant that you were close to your Livejournal friends in ways that other social media, and sometimes not even your real life friends, could even touch. Not unlike Instant Messenger friends, you could end up listening for hours.

Which meant that when they were in for tough times, and it’s LJ so this was most of the time, you had their backs. Just today, one of my old LJ friends mentioned that people had said some rude things to her, and my reaction was, “Who are they? I’ll cut them!” Just like that.

If you knew each other IRL, you were often featured in their entries
A friend of mine once posted, “I don’t really update this very often, because the main friend who reads this is with me most of the time. And she knows what happens, because she was there.”

It also meant that if you were lived in different cities or went to different schools, you automatically felt closer when you were apart.

You LJ Friends Were There for You…well, most of them were 
Because you had secrets on each other, when you were freaking out or breaking down, they were there.

I have a friendship I put a lot of miles into, and even though I could have wrung her neck a few hundred times, and her mine, we are somehow still on speaking terms. Because every time I was having an emotional patch of hell in my yard, she was never far to chime in that she was there for me. Of course, this site almost ruined our friendship over the years as well, but we also let each other see posts we probably never would have said aloud to one another.

Really There for You

But not too much.

Not Everyone You Know was on it 
Only a small subset of the population was there. Which meant you guys knew stuff everyone else didn’t about each other.

So instead of singing the beige song you knew all your friends, co-workers, and family members would find acceptable, you could be honest. In depth. Real.

And no baby pictures!

Icons 
There’s something magical and tragic about a picture that can only be 100×100.

I belonged to 1,000 different icon makers. It became my life. It even temporarily became my hobby.

Mood Icons 
You could make your own, and they could be gifs. There was a competitive aspect, but 1) it was about the quirkiest shit and 2) it was passive aggressive as hell.

I Don’t Have to F^@&ing Impress You
Plus, you didn’t have to worry as much since the people that were on it either followed you or didn’t. Who cares what “the masses” think? You only have 12 friends on here!

The Collective Day
Since there are a limited number of moods on Livejournal (actual moods, not mood icons), sometimes everyone was having THE SAME DAY.

You Could Procrastinate TOGETHER

 

THE CONS OF LIVEJOURNAL 

Debbie Downers Galore
Sometimes, you had a rough day, and you just wanted to feel better. Then you got on and started reading someone’s crappy entry, and you just…ARGH!

Toilet Flush
And sometimes even when they weren’t being mopey zoo animals or you got past those entries, it was just too late.

I just wanted to talk about ponies!

Epic Fail
Because of all the information all the time, when you got into a fight, mis-communicated with someone, or they got angry at what you said, things went down the drain, like WHOA. As fast as things on dial-up and DSL can go.

I once had a fight with someone on that website that lasted so many weeks that I actually had to end our friendship, because I was beginning to become exhausted all the time from the anger and disappointment the fight was taking out of me. All I did was think about it and respond to their comments. That fight changed my life, and not in the positive way that people normally use when they say the word “change” in past tense.

Interpretation 
On the other hand, sometimes your friends posted very briefly and ambiguously. Or not at all. Or they DID post, but the entries were private. According to a LJ friend, there’s a way to figure out when your friends are posting but are limiting who can see the posts.

This meant when their posts dwindled, you weren’t sure if they were mad at you or if they weren’t on LJ anymore. What was that last post supposed to mean anyway? Was that about you??

Let Me Count the Ways
Like I said, one could spend a lot of time sifting through friends’ LJ posts. You had to read through paragraphs and paragraphs of shit your friends wrote. Or if you were me, you had to read through the dozens of poems your one friend posted each day.

Do I Know You? 
If you had Livejournal friends you also saw regularly, there was only a limited number of skimming you could do. Because they would figure out pretty fast if you weren’t reading their entries.

This could be a good thing if your friendship was on the line and you had to read through too many of their plentiful and Guy Pierce in Memento ramblings. Sometimes life is about more than making the same jokes over and over again.

TMI 
With all the information and feelings flying around, it only made sense that sometimes you heard too much.

Pete and Repeat 
And you had to read the same types of entries from your friends ad nauseam. It can get old.

In the words of T-Rex from Dinosaur Comics, “Feelings are boring, kissing is awesome” But Livejournal didn’t really have a kissing option. Meaning you got a lot of this…

I do miss the congregating at that site. You knew who your friends were.

Gifs brought to you by the Reaction Gif page! (Except “boo” which I just found through Google and Matt Smith the 11th Doctor icon which is from Fanpop.com) This post is in no way affiliated with Livejournal, I’ve just been using the site a long time and believe it deserves more attention than it gets these days.

Why I’m Not Friending You on Facebook

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I’ve been getting a lot of Facebook requests lately that just sit in my request section. I haven’t deleted them, because I feel like if they sit there then I’m not outright rejecting those who have reached out to me. Which is silly, because it’s not like they’re ringing me up to hang out. They just want to look at my page which happens to be private.

When I was in college, I would friend just about anyone I knew. I’d also get requests from people I didn’t know, and to avoid being a complete bitch, I’d email them “Sorry, I don’t remember meeting you. How do we know each other?” Then when they’d say “we don’t, you just HAWT,” I could feel better about the dialogue I’d started about why I wasn’t going to friend them.

But now I don’t friend people that I do know. So why do I do that? What’s my reason behind it? How can I explain this to them without inciting some long dramatic back and forth?

Below are some of the reasons I’m not friending you under the categories of how we know each other.

We Went to School Together a Million Years Ago

You and I had nothing in common when we were 12 and went to the same school. But you drudged up that old Throwback Thursday picture, and now you’re reminiscing about all the good times.

Remind me what good times those were? When I threw a piece of cheese in your eye during a food fight that YOU started, and you got pissed off and called me a bitch? Or when you told me to wear a bra during gym class in front of everyone? What about the time we never talked to each other except during that group project where you angrily argued about why everyone should go with your idea? We have never actually hung out one-on-one, but we did once have desks that faced each other.

These are not good reasons to friend me.

One of my friends and I were recently talking, and she told me she un-friended someone we attended school with when we were kids.

“I thought he was my friend, but then I tried to remember the last time we hung out. I couldn’t. He’s not my friend…he’s just someone I went to elementary school with. He’s never been there for me. There’s no point in having him on my list.”

We Worked Together

Sure, we both hated that job. Maybe we even hung out a couple of times outside the office. We were blowing off steam. I wanted to watch the Blazers game, and you wanted to rant about all the clients I’m trying to forget.

Of course, you were the first one to assume I was faking it when I was legitimately sick. Maybe you were even partially to blame for why I got fired. You got promoted, I didn’t. But you’re right, we were basically inseparable when we were forced to share a cubicle. None of this is compelling me to believe that you should be allowed to judge my new life.

We Dated

After months of mutual flirting, we finally went out on that date. It got intense. A little weird. Okay, a LOT weird. I said I wanted to be friends, and you kind of freaked out. Understandably so. Because we aren’t actually friends, so we weren’t stepping back to a comfortable place we were before this night. So please stop saving my pictures to your computer.

We Lived Together

Freshman dorms brought us together, and a storm of failed communication plus close quarters tore us apart. You wanted your tv in our dorm, not mine. I wanted to go to bed without the radio on. You wanted to have lots of sex in your bed with my boyfriend. Living together is hard. But let’s not pretend that the Facebook request is going to suffice for an actual apology when you literally shit on my comforter. It’s still not funny.

We Are Family or Friends of Family

Okay, this one is really hard. I still haven’t actually figured out the best way to handle this situation. You really do want to stay in touch. Or you just want some hot gossip to report to the rest of the family or my parents. Maybe you are parents. Awkward, perhaps we should discuss IRL?

This is Really About You Wanting…

  • …social admittance. Perhaps you are legitimately cool, but you didn’t used to be. Now I need to realize that by being your social media buddy. (Which plays into…)
  • …for me to realize that you have something I don’t (kids, marriage, a FANTASTIC job, gobs of money you burn on a regular basis just because you like the smell and how evil your laughter sounds). In order to do this, you need to friend me.
  • …to rekindle something from your past that you miss.
  • …laughter. I’m pretty funny.
  • …for all of us to be friends, because we have the same friends.
  • …to preach to me about all the things you care about that I do not. I care about the opposite things you do. Like minding my own business.
  • …to raise money or awareness for that thing you’re passionate about.
  • …to feel close to someone you’re not.
  • …to feel more important than you are.
  • …to know what is on my damn wall.

I don’t want to hurt your feelings. In some of these cases, we did have some fun together. We did work together, we did date, we did go to school together. I don’t want you to feel like you’re less popular or smart or funny than you think you are.

But we’re not legitimate friends. So I’m not going to friend you.

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