Be Unspired

Pinterest and Facebook are full of of pictures with inspirational quotes on them. Sentimentality for sentimentality’s sake doesn’t work on me. I have no ill will towards the people it does inspire, it’s just like how broccoli just tastes bitter to some people – you know, because of genetics and shit. So, when I see these rampantly shared images, my gut reaction is a little different from the people who love them. I get unspired, if you will. Here’s some side-by-side comparisons: on the left, inspiring inspirational inspirement and on the right, my brain’s rejection of it.

To the Person Who Left the Helpful Tip on a Napkin Under My Windshield Wiper

Dear Person Who Left the Helpful Tip on a Napkin Under My Windshield Wiper,

First, I am nothing if not fair and honest. I agree – I could have parked better. My parking job was not to my normal standards. My back wheel was on the line, maybe even a half an inch over. If I had known, I assure you, I would have backed up and tried again. I won’t write a public letter to you and not admit that your note wasn’t entirely unjustified. And, since you don’t know me and my nitpick-y parking jobs 99.9% of the time, I understand why you didn’t go for the more accurate “LEARN TO CHECK AND SEE IF YOU DID A GOOD PARKING JOB.” Regardless, I’m sure it made it slightly more difficult for you to back out of your space. So, on the point that I didn’t park perfectly, we are in agreement.

We are also in agreement about how delicious Chick-fil-A is. That was where the napkin on which you composed your corrective prose was written was from. I like to get the number 5 with a sweet tea. That’s two things we can agree on – Chik-fil-A is yummy and I could have parked better.

I see that on both sides, you struggled to make your pen work. I must admit, the thought of you, fuming, standing over my car, napkin on my hood, swirling your pen angrily, trying to get it to do your bidding, amuses me. I’m assuming you wouldn’t risk scratching your own car angrily swirling away at a flimsy napkin. Or, maybe you did it in your car, in the driver’s seat. Maybe you accidentally honked your own horn a little. That’s even better if that was the case.

I have a couple suggestions – if this was truly a call to action, you should have left the contact information to a local parking school (do those exist?). Or, maybe a nice drawing demonstrating the proper way to park, although I do understand that that was probably impossible considering your ink flow problems. “LEARN TO PARK” is a request, but if you really want to empower me to LEARN TO PARK, a little guidance would be appreciated. Luckily, I do know how to park, and this was just a fluke, so your helpful note could simply serve as a reminder to stay vigilant, or face the wrath of future napkin notes.

Finally, I’d like to make one more point. We were both parked in a hospital parking garage. I had just come back from a gastroenterologist appointment. So, unfortunately, if you were hoping that I would read your note and start crying from embarrassment and humiliation, dabbing my tears with the very napkin that held the stinging message, that did not happen. I already reached my daily limit in the embarrassment department at my appointment. But, that’s really not the point I’m trying to make.

The point I want to make is this: you left your note on the car of a healthy sarcastic blogger who parked bad because she was panicked because she was late (also something I rarely do), but it could have been different. You could have left your note on the car of someone who had just found out they had cancer. You could have left the note on the car of someone who rushed to the hospital because their loved one was in an accident. You could have left your note on the car of a couple who had just lost their baby from a miscarriage. You don’t know. And you know what? I don’t know, either. Maybe you were one of the three examples I just gave, and my parking job was the straw that broke the camel’s back. If that’s the case, I’m sorry.

However, I’d just like to say that I don’t leave notes like the one you did because of everything I mentioned in this letter. Do I drive past a double-parker and assume they are a jackass? Yes. And you know what? If they really are a jackass, they don’t give a shit about any notes pointing out their jackassery. And, if they’re not a jackass, they’re probably having a bad day. The chances that you would actually be enlightening someone who honestly doesn’t know they park bad and would be relieved to be told about it are probably less than the chances of winning the lottery.

All of that is to say: if you are the type to leave obnoxious notes for obnoxious parkers, just don’t do it at the hospital.


P.S. Just yesterday, I was lamenting my lack of blogging material, and Tom told me I needed to leave the house more. So I guess I also owe you a “thank you.” If we ever meet at a Chik-fil-A, waffle fries are on me.

Hot dog! and I don’t agree on what “wrong” means.

Tom and I found this old issue of the kid’s magazine “Hot dog!” from 1984 at a thrift store. We paid 25 cents for it because who wouldn’t?

I didn't read the Garfield article.

Inside they had a “figure out what’s wrong in this picture” thingy. According to them, there was seven things wrong. “EASY!” I yelled to myself, and quickly found all seven:

1. The ladybug isn’t seasonally appropriate and doesn’t have a coat on.
2. That guy calls “Inception” “The Inception” and no one will correct him.
3. The signature in the snow isn’t yellow.
4. She’s giving everyone the bird under that mitten.
5. She’s an award-winning ice skater and is only falling to get attention.
6. He’s putting on a brave happy face even though his parents are getting a divorce.
7. Mice don’t wave.

I didn’t get a single one right. I call bullshit. I saw the “No Ice Fiching” sign, but I learned spelling from Super Friends, so I figured it was fine.

Hot Dog and I also don’t agree on what the word “fooled” means:

You are missing a layer of premise, Hot dog!. Stupid Hot dog!. You’d need to do something like steal your friend’s wallet or shank them while they’re busy spelling if you wanted to fool them. This is more a “make your friend think you’re weird” gag.


Dear dogs, peeing in the rain is not illegal, I looked it up.

Dear Jenkins and Ed,

While I certainly understand that a gray, rainy, soggy day sucks (I’ve been in a bad mood for a month partially because of the weather), neither one of you will use a toilet. And, if I were to introduce you to the concept of a litter box, you would consider it more a buffet than a bathroom. So, we are left with sticking with what works most other days of the year – you both need to pee and poop outside.

I’m writing you this letter at noon, which means you have refused to pee for well over twelve hours now. You are both boy dogs, you LOVE to pee on things – if you had eHarmony profiles, it would be one of the first things you listed under “likes.” I KNOW you have to pee, don’t look at me like I’m insane when I force you outside.

I would like to remind you both of the following facts:

Jenkins – you lived your first 8-9 months of your life chained outside in someone’s backyard. I’m sure it rained. Several times. Did you melt? No.

Ed – you lived your first several YEARS most likely a semi-feral country dog who has been shot at with bb guns and were most certainly rained on.  While I have applauded your spirit and willingness to rise above your past and become a couch dog many times, I do feel the need to point out that my asking you to not pee in the house is not akin to your homeless rural beginnings.

This is the deal: if you both suck it up for fifteen damn seconds and go pee on the side of the house for all I care (and I know you can do it because I’ve seen it happen), I will stop shoving you out the door every twenty minutes. Then, you can stop acting like I’m twirling my mustache and planning on taking over the world somehow by forcing two spoiled dogs to get their tootsies wet. Those ASPCA ads were NOT made for dogs in your current situation, as much as you’d like me to believe that.


The Girls Who Wouldn’t Shut Up at a Movie Tattoo

I love going to the movies.

This weekend we went to watch The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (No, I haven’t read the book. We were going to get the audio book for our drive to N.C. over Christmas, but Tom didn’t want to “spoil the movie”).

The movie theater we like to go to is an eat-in theater that serves meals, and drinks in cups without tops (just establishing this for later). When we got there, 15 minutes early, as usual, we got our nice seats in the middle and settled in. Shortly after, two women sat in the row behind us, a little to the left of Tom:

They were chatting at full volume. The movie hadn’t started yet, but there were things on the screen (ads for Justified are the only thing I remember because I love Justified). I usually get a sense for when people are going to be a problem. There are types who talk loudly until the movie starts, and then settle in and behave like proper humans. Then, there are people, who, you can just tell. You can hear it.

These are the things proper humans tend to talk about before a movie starts, even if it’s a little louder than I would talk:

Person A: Hey! How’s it going? Did you find the theater ok?
Person B: Yeah, it was fine. How are you?
A: I’m good. I’ve read good things about this movie.
B: Yeah, Sally saw it and said it was great.
A: How’s Sally? I haven’t talked to her in a while.
B: She’s good (PREVIEWS START) (now whispering) I’ll tell you after the movie.

These are the kinds of things I hear “problems” talking about at full volume before the movie starts:

Person A: Do you want to get some popcorn?
Person B: I don’t know, the last time I had popcorn I got terrible gas.
A: Well we could have something else, maybe some nachos.
B: Yeah, that sounds good. What size?
Five minute conversation about size of nachos.
B: My hemorrhoids are killing me.
A: How do we tell someone what we want to eat?
Five minute conversation about that.
Five minute conversation with the waiter about the size of nachos.

Basically, nothing can be thought inside the brain, everything has to be said out loud. And, I know people who would have these types of conversations for all to hear, but would still shut up for a movie, so these movie talkers are very special kinds of people.

Here are a couple of hints to let you know if you are perhaps the type of person I’m talking about:

–    If, once the previews start (meaning the lights have gone down), you in no way speak any quieter than you were when the lights were on and nothing was on the screen. Or, you continue to speak as if your friend, who is inches away from you, is in another movie theater.
–    If you were watching The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked instead, and the 4 year olds in that movie would have shushed you because you were distracting them.
–    If you are talking so loudly and constantly after the movie starts, that when Tom turns around and asks you to be quiet, you don’t hear him.

Yes, Tom asked them to be quiet and they didn’t hear him. The reason we know this is because when Tom asked them the second time, loud enough for everyone to hear, and during a moment they both miraculously had stopped making noise to inhale oxygen, they shut the fuck up.

There are people who talk loud and don’t care – those are assholes who enjoy being asshole-y and get off on the fact that they are making other people miserable. Those people, at least, I “get.” Then, there are the oblivious types. As Tom put it, “I understand serial killers better than I do these types of people.” They are like toddlers who don’t understand the concept that if they close their eyes, other people can still see them. They don’t get that other people also have ears that can hear their voices. They treat the movie theater like it’s their living room. These people were like that.

How? How do people become 40+ years old and not understand the idea that a. people go to the movies to hear and watch the movies and b. not everyone gives a shit about what you think is happening in the movie, particularly when you are WRONG. “There’s a gun missing!” No, there’s not. “That’s her!” No, it’s not.

We were once stuck behind an old couple who took turns reading the opening credits. One time, when my sister and I went to see “Chicago,” at a sold out show, a lady (who had come late and asked her grown son to explain the movie up to that point) answered her phone and proceeded to chat at full volume, then left early, like some sort of shitty angel sent to “touch” everyone’s lives.

These are people who very well may be delightful people under any other circumstance, but they are not people who were made to sit through a movie in a public movie theater. Perhaps they do know what they’re doing, and they just think no one will call them on it, but I think that’s giving them too much credit. Often times, when I lament others’ lack of courtesy, it’s pointed out to me that perhaps it’s not that people do it on purpose, it’s that they just didn’t “notice.” To me, when it comes to certain kinds of movie talkers, I’m basically having to give them the benefit of the doubt that they’re morons.

They did completely shut up when Tom loudly and sternly asked them to be quiet. So, luckily, we didn’t have to hear constant commentary of everything that happened in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – and if you know anything about it, you know that the content is uncomfortable enough to watch without two idiots behaving as if nothing happens unless they repeat it verbally in their own words.

Once the movie was over, and it was time for everyone to leave, the two ladies stood up, and one of them knocked over their cup full of ice and beverage, and it spilled all over the carpet. Because, it just makes perfect sense that she would do that.