Monday, November 29, 2010

Bumper Stickers that Really Should Not Be

So I was driving home this morning and I was behind an old Ford Explorer that had a bumper sticker that reads (I kid you not) "Two's Company, Three's a Fantasy."   And it got me thinking - who puts that on their car?  I mean seriously, is that guy so insecure about his sexual prowess that he needs to announce his threesome fantasies to the world on the back of his old beat up white SUV?
Which leads me to some other bumper-sticker-related thoughts:
  • We just got out of an election cycle so I guess I can forgive the political ads like "Bennet for Colorado" or "Ken Buck Senate 2010" stickers, but even the political ones have gotten a bit out of hand.  Take "It's the $pending, Stupid" - a republican favorite, or "We're Findin More Enemies Faster Than We Can Kill 'Em" with the Iraqi, American and Chinese flags - an idiot favorite. And the "Deport Obama - If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention" presidential criticism style (also idiot favorites, I might add). I would just like to point out, nobody else gives a shit what your personal political views are, and all the bumper stickers in the world aren't going to sway a single person's vote.  Save that $5 (or better yet, send it to help Haiti or some other charitable cause), and get your ass to the ballot box to tell us how you really feel.
  • While no one else on the planet gives a shit if your child is on the honor roll, I guess I can understand the proud parents who sport those "Mile High Scholar" stickers on their cars.  Lame, yes, but not particularly offensive.  But I don't get the "My Child Beat Up Your Honor Student" one.  Hopefully the idiots that deface their own vehicles with that dribble don't actually have kids, but let's assume, for the sake of argument, that at least some of them do.  What's the appropriate reaction to this news?  ...uh...Congratulations?
  • Then there's the "I'm better than you and you're an idiot" variety that also seems to be popular -- the "Hang Up and Drive" style of condescension.  My father-in-law used to have that one, and he lent us his car one summer years back.  Recognizing that beggars and choosers don't go hand in hand, I made no comment at the time, but I always felt like a bit of an asshole driving that car.
Which leads me to my sage advice on the topic -- "Just Say No" to bumper stickers as a whole.  They're stupid, and if you affix them to the back of your car, you probably are too!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Black Friday and Whatnot

I just don't get the whole Black Friday thing.  It's very bizarre.  And I still can't believe that Walmart checker got trampled to death two years ago.  Is there really any item sold at Walmart that's worth rioting over and stampeding the doorway?  And then people kept shopping, even after they heard that a person had died.  GROSS!  It makes me a little sad for the state of humanity, but still we carry on the tradition.
This year Macy's opened at 4AM.  Seriously?  Four in the morning?  I can't help wondering who the f*** goes to Macy's at 4 in the morning, but I know there were lines outside the mall, which means that there were more people than I care to count. 
Which leads me to my conundrum...why am I feeling the pull of the mall this day-after-Black-Friday-afternoon?  What the hell is wrong with me?
And while I didn't succeed in my Walmart Project (I think I was off blogging at the time, but for a brief while this spring and summer I was only buying things at Walmart on the premise that if they don't have it at Walmart, you probably don't need it...which is true, but as I have said to my friend Sue for years -- shopping is not about need!) 
Nonetheless, I am trying not to be an over-consumer this year, but somehow every year Thanksgiving rolls around and Black Friday is right on its tail and I get swept up in all the hoopla that is the "holiday season" in America. Frankly I feel kind of good to have waited until now to get into the shopping frenzy, given that this year my local Sam's Club decided mid-October was a good time to start putting out the garland and getting set up for Christmas.  Next thing you know there will be Christmas stockings lying next to the pencil cases in late July for the back-to-school-get-a-jump-on-your-holiday-shopping-frenzy.
But seriously, every year I imagine that I'll be "better," setting parameters for shopping like just getting one big gift for the kids, or just giving homemade items to friends and neighbors, but invariably I end up filling my carts with a bunch of shit to stuff into stockings or madly wrap on Christmas eve.  I'm not good at this low-key Christmas thing.
My mom is really a good Christmas shopper.  She will actually go to after-Christmas sales with an eye toward the next year and somehow she's able to get thoughtful, well received gifts a year in advance.  When I try to emulate her by getting an early jump on shopping, I just end up buying 10 times more shit than I otherwise would have because I somehow seem to forget that I have 2 closets full of presents just waiting to be wrapped up and placed under the tree.
I think I need a holiday intervention.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday Morning Morals Question - Is it sometimes worse to apologize?

So this post requires a little back story, which I will get to, but first allow me to reintroduce myself to the cyber-world.  I know, you've all missed my rants terribly and I am sure you've been starved for my witty banter and cheeky commentary, but for at least today...I'm back!
And, I also know that it's Monday night, not morning, but the fact that I'm here on a Monday at all is, frankly, one step in the right direction -- and I went to yoga today, so that should count as another step in the right direction -- so I'm celebrating my small victories in this ongoing battle between my good intentions and inertia.
So here's the moral it sometimes better to forgo an apology for events in the distant past and simply let things be, or should we seek out those we may have wronged and apologize for transgressions from long ago?
I have my superhero cyber-vision on and I can tell that you're all wondering - what the hell is she talking about and why would I care?  So allow me to explain.
This evening Alex and I were talking as I tucked him in, and he made a comment about a kid at school who eats his boogers (yes - I, too, gagged when he mentioned it), but then he went on to say how all the kids at school were afraid of "Jace Germs" and were frantically running around shrieking "Watch out for Jace germs" and the like. (Jace is apparently the kid's name...I've never heard that name before either??)  But I was taken aback by the comment, and I remembered something from when I was a kid that I am really not proud of...
There was a girl at my school named Leah.  For whatever reason that I can't even remember now, she was kind of an outcast kid.  She was always a bit different, and to be fair, she wasn't very nice herself, but when we were in elementary school, kids were just plain mean to her. -- 1970s  throw rocks at each other politically incorrect MEAN kind of mean.
They'd call her "Leah Pee-ah Diarrhea" and run away from her on the playground shouting "SPRAY YOURSELF WITH LYSOL."  There'd be comments about her mom and her intelligence and anything else you can think of.  Mean, mean, mean, mean, mean!
And while I was never the instigator, (and I don't specifically remember calling her names myself), I know for sure I never stood up for her, I never said stop, nor did I even just quietly say I was sorry when no one else was looking.  I didn't do anything, which as far as she was concerned, was probably just the same as me having done everything.
So I told Alex this and related it back to Jace, and then I told him that I felt bad that I had never apologized to her.  I said "I don't want you to be 40 looking back at your life wishing you hadn't been mean to this kid or some other.  Live your life in a way that ensures that you will never regret what you have done."
And then I told him that I was going to apologize to Leah via Facebook tomorrow, which he seemed to think was a good idea.
But after I left his room, I started thinking about it -- who is this supposed apology for? Leah? or ME?  If an apology isn't going to make the wronged person more "whole" (or at least make them feel a little better), what's the point?  When it comes down to it, really the only person who might feel better from an apology is ME, and how selfish is that, really?
Let's face it, even I'm not so self absorbed as to think that 25 years later, Leah is still nursing hurt feelings over what I did (or didn't) do to her on the playground in elementary school.  Realistically, she probably doesn't even remember...and if she does, she's probably just as well off thinking we were just a bunch of assholes rather than letting us off the hook now.  She doesn't need to be reminded of it all by me in my self-serving desire for catharsis. She probably just wants to move on -- and who could blame her, really?
So I've decided that I'm NOT going to apologize.  I'm just letting bygones be bygones - water under the bridge and whatnot. And I'm not giving myself the satisfaction of feeling like I made some big magnanimous gesture to set things right from the past.
But at the same time, I'm also denying her the opportunity to know that someone (i.e. me) actually did care about how she was treated.
So it's a double-edged sword, but I'm sticking with this plan for now.  Is that wrong??
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