Small step for me…not that much of a giant leap for anyone else.

But it’s a step! For me! Tis good!

Remember that annoying freshman girl I ranted about a couple of weeks ago?

Weeeel. Let’s just say I got a bit tired of her. To the point that I’ve wanted to just haul off and slap her. I wouldn’t really do it, but oh goodness it would surprise her.

Today we were watching a movie to go along with the book it’s written from. I happen to enjoy this movie and the book, so I wanted to actually watch it. She came in today and immediately popped some gum in her mouth, started chewing away, and turned to her new BFF to run her mouth. Class hadn’t even started so no big, right?

I didn’t want to wait. I made a decision that for me was monumental. I don’t like confrontation, so me getting up and moving away from her to another seat in the class was, to me, the equivalent to really hauling off and slapping her. We had started out okay, right? But there comes a point when I don’t want to “share” notes, listen to incessant meaningless chatter, or hear something roll around in your mouth noisily, for an hour. (Speaking of “sharing” notes, she didn’t ask if she could. She would blah blah blah very disrespectfully to the class and professor and then lean over and copy what I had on my computer if she had noticed I’d written something. Fucking made me MAD, ya’ll.)

It was a big step guys, because instead of wallowing in my indecision or listening to the mean voice in my head that tells me to DEAL WITH IT, I made a conscious decision and followed through. Yay! I gathered up my computer and bag and moved on down the row.

I know she was looking at me going, um wtf? And I’m sure I was a part of their whispering for a while, but honestly, I didn’t feel bad. At all. I didn’t feel like I had done something wrong. I felt AWESOME. I fixed my problem.

And to hell with her if she had a problem with it.

You know when people say they don’t give a fuck? And you think, psh yeah I’m sure you at least give a little bit of a fuck. Well this was my moment in which I literally had no fucks to give. There were none there, and so none were given.

It felt great! Now I don’t have to dread this class anymore.

Victory!

Freshmen: To Condemn or not to condemn….

At the start of this semester I overheard some friends of mine talking about these guys in a truck trying to (playfully?) run down a freshmen crossing the street. When I heard it, I got a bit pissed for a couple of reasons.

First is…that’s fucking rude! Kid could have had a shit day in his first week of college and some jerks go and do this!

Second was the fact that our school, though growing (we just got a football team! Go Runners!), is still largely a commuter school. Myself being one of those commuters (it’s an hour drive ya’ll. Eugh.) So justifying who is and who isn’t a Freshman can get a little sticky. Best just to not even try. I mean, there are those tell-tale signs: glazed eyes, asking for directions or constantly consulting a campus map, and the clothes (yes, you can tell. Senior hs shirts and uggs.). I remember coming over from another school as a sophomore transfer and having to blunder around campus for a while before I got the hang of things. There is also a large population of the older generations going back to school (my creative nonfiction writing professor is a 40 year old grad student who had children early and has worked up to this point. Cool points!). I just don’t think it is wise to torment someone on a loosely based judgement.

Third is…what the fuck is up with terrorizing them in the first place? I get it, you are at the top of the totem pole again (speaking of my Senior friends) and you get to reenact your high school hierarchy. But shouldn’t that just stay in high school? Unless you’re one of those kids that thought high school was the best four years of your life (EUGH again). Now, some freshman are obnoxious and might trigger that need-to-haze line of thinking, but I think it best to just ignore those types. They’ll have to bend over for college at some point and college doesn’t give reach-arounds.

Case in point: A freshman girl in my Texas and Southwest literature class. She initially started chatting me up in the first or second day of class and we are class-buddies now (useful if you don’t already have someone you know in the class). That was great and all…but I’m getting a bit worn down on her obnoxiousness.

I honestly don’t know how this girl ended up in there. I’m genuinely interested in taking this lit class (hello, English major) and like the topic and style of teaching…but she’s a Nursing student set to transfer to a bigger university next semester. She constantly talks and whispers to me and the guy next to her, smacking her gum all the while (don’t EVEN get me started on the irrational violence that triggers in me) and she hardly reads or cares about the material. Every time she comes in and sits next to me she sighs and complains about how tired she is and how she didn’t do the reading. First of all, like I care. And bitch, you’re tired now? Just wait sweetheart. And I don’t know if she’s gotten the memo yet, but stupidity isn’t attractive. Neither is pretending that you’re behind in class and don’t care. You’ll care at some point, because you’ll have to.

For example: Last week (Friday! Remember this for later) she walked up to me in the hallway as we were waiting for the other class to get out. She noticed a slightly heavy black girl standing across from us wearing a white tank top and some blue shorts (think soffe shorts). The first thing she did when she noticed her was to turn to me and mention how horrible she looked! I thought she looked fine, for a hot Friday afternoon in drought weather. I’m guessing this girl was used to condemning larger girls offhand when they don’t cloak themselves in tents to “preserve her gentle eyes”. Being a plus-size girl myself, I got laser-eyes and had to take a few deep breaths before I just let her have it. My views on people who don’t want to see fat on other people (my eyes are burning! is the common excuse) is to just say Let ’em burn, motherfucker! Why should this girl care what she has to wear to a college class on the last day of the school week in 100 degree weather? Girl looked good! This just….PISSED me off. And it tipped the scale on my thoughts of this girl from eh-she’s a freshmen, be nice…to no holds barred-this girl needs a slap in the face. 

I’m justifying my annoyance with her now not because she’s a freshman (though that certainly contributes) but because she’s a little priss narrow-minded bitch. The other day she pointed out a girl’s neon pink hair (literally, she pointed…as the girl was walking toward us) and mildly freaked out about it.

Maybe her “crazy college days” will come soon…but for now I am not looking forward to a semester of smack-and-talk freshman girl trying to ride my effort and notes through the class.

And now I leave you with some of my favorite college freshman memes.

it's always the profs fault. didn't you know?

fucking north face. ugh.

don't get me started on college alcohol stereotypes

I didn’t mean to make them look like a pyramid, I swear.

 

Apparently, I don’t know what nonsense is coming out of my mouth!

Educated? God forbid! How insulting that I should be a senior in college majoring in English (of all things!) and still curse!

I realized a long time ago that it doesn’t matter who says it’s wrong to curse and what their reasonings are, because they too will curse and not give a damn about the situation they’re in.

I learned this when my dad, all throughout my childhood, would tell me not to say things like “crud” or “crap” because they were crude. Heavens, no! Crap? Please, think of the children! I soon stopped really listening to him when I overheard a heated conversation between my mom and him in which he thought it appropriate to use the dreaded F-word several times over a disagreement on dinner and my mother’s “place”. It’s not totally a mystery as to why I am the way I am now, which is heavily critical about gender issues (though I’m not as educated on this) and how we use language to perpetuate certain ideas.

But really, I made this post because I wanted to post my encounter (more like sly international-spy-worthy sneak, sort of) with an elderly couple in a bookstore a couple of weeks ago. I was rounding out my search for some sci-fi paperbacks when I overheard a woman say, kind of loudly I may add, that “they don’t know what they are saying when they curse”. Nevermind who this mysterious “they” was, I wanted to know what it is that makes this woman think that cursing is apparently just a primal outburst within a conversation. I stuck around them in the pretense of looking at biographies (which were on clearance, and they were there for a reason, believe me) when I saw the older woman (about mid 60’s) going on about it with more context, and then trailing behind her was presumably her husband. He had a very defeated look, and didn’t say a word on the matter (at least while I was within earshot).

Now, I get it. Yeah it sounds kind of nasty when people curse. I always used to think, hey people, widen your vocab!, when they cursed. But honestly, as I find myself cursing more often, I feel like it adds flavor. I’m not necessarily angry at the moment, but my curse word-choice will help in delivering the punch I need to get my idea across. Either this woman had a gender/racial/social stigma about people who cursed, which allowed her to form the opinion that those who cursed are just ignorant, or she was talking about someone with turrets syndrome.

I just chuckled at what she said and had a little made-up conversation with this woman in my head (stable, I know)…and sidled on down to paranormal romance.

Not your typical TSA rant (Even though it really is)

The TSA guy at the Houston, TX airport.

THIS GUY.

THIS FUCKING GUY.

Ok, so I’ll preface this with some background info. For the past two weeks I was on semi-vacation visiting some family. We met my sister halfway to Houston and stayed there with in laws before flying out to West Virginia. We had to be in Houston because we were essentially helping my sister fly with her two sons.

I’ve never been in the Houston airport, and I can’t say it was too bad, but they need to SERIOUSLY reconsider their security lines. And seriously reconsider who they are putting in charge in TSA. (If they are supposedly trained to read social cues and profile, then they need to get some big-time psychological testing before being put in charge…just my opinion.)

Picture this: my sister has a 5 month old strapped to her chest, he’s good and all smiley and stuff; my mother is walking with a cane from a bad knee and helping me wrangle a two year old that wants to touch and climb on everything. We’re walking towards the security and it’s a huuuuuge line backed up to the hallway we just came from.

And then let me make this clear: there is a line for regular passengers, and then a separate line for first class, executive poobah, big muckity muck people.

We’re semi-okay with this because, hey, these lines usually move at an orderly pace. We’re good, we’re chillin’. But the baby timer is running down and things could get hairy. Imagine our surprise (sarcasm) when the line literally crawwwllss.

As we move like molasses up towards the ONE FUCKING TSA guy they have checking I.D., we notice the problem. They’re letting the “preferred” first class customers go first as soon as they get up to the front. If there’s a constant stream of first class-ers then how are we ever to get through security? This is only to check I.D.! There are 4 or 5 lanes open to de-shoe and de-bag ourselves then flash somebody in a big box…but they have the bright idea to put ONE person in charge of letting people into those lanes…?

The baby spit up, and we just said well whatever, and watched people behind us step in it (whoops, sorry folks. It matched the tile!), the two year old is flirting majorly and about to get some sort of disease with all the touching and climbing. We finally get up to the front and watch as the TSA asshole lets about 20-30 people in front of us before he thinks, oh yeah, there are OTHER FUCKING PEOPLE waiting in the regular line, who have been waiting for 45 minutes, I think it’s their turn. (And note, here: I think if you pay for first class, it starts and ends on the airplane. That’s where all your perks are anyway. It’s idiotic to have a setup like that within the security area).

THIS GUY. Okay this guy. Big old white guy. I’m behind my sister, who has her two sons with her. One strapped to her chest and one holding her hand. He checks her I.D., says “state your name” (which I’ve never heard before, what’s the point of that?). She complies, then says this is my son, Ryan and here’s his ticket, and then this is my other son, Brant, who is strapped to me and he is an infant so his ticket is on mine. Apparently we had given this guy a serious mindfuck because he could not understand who was who. He kept asking my sister to “state her name”, and she stated the only “her” that was present. At least three times. He didn’t get it because he thought the baby was a girl (who, I must add, is bald and wearing all blue!). I could see it happening as I was standing behind my sister and I thought to myself, why is this guy being so ornery about stating names and all that shit? He has three tickets in front of him and three people in front of him. What is the difficulty here?

He finally let us through, and after I had to state my name to him (which has a lot of “L’s” and kinda rolls off the tongue easily), even then he asked in a gruff voice, “Do you have a middle name?”. YEAH DUMBSHIT. I JUST SAID IT. LEIGH. FUCKING SOUNDS LIKE LEE. IT’S ON MY ID. CAN YOU READ?

I wanted to pull this guys arms off and beat him with them. Seriously. Can you fucking let us through, asshole? I don’t think we pose THAT MUCH of a fucking threat, we’ve already got our hands full with two small children. THEY ARE ENOUGH TO HANDLE, BELIEVE ME.

I mean, the only reason I could think of that would explain this guys attitude and idiocy was that he was clearly on a power trip. All of them are, anyway. Why not this guy? And maybe he was mad he wasn’t stationed at the body scan. Jerk.

Opinionated Bumper Stickers: Let’s get even more angry!

As a rule, I try not to have so much of any one opinion that I feel the need to slap it on my car.

Right now I just have my university’s name on the back windshield…aaaand that’s enough.

So I’m pondering what it is that makes people want to state their opinions on their car. I’ve heard that shit’s hard to get off! Why? Just..why? 

My thoughts were sparked, very negatively I must say, by a woman cutting me off while I was trying to move into the exit lane. She had about 3 lines of writing on the back windshield, but the middle line was the biggest (and most emphatic, of course). It read something along the lines of, “…if babies have to die because…”. I assume it’s about abortion. That’s all I could read, or wanted to read really, because I knew from that point I would get mad.

My own opinions aside, this pissed me off. Like, instantly. And I can’t imagine how many people she’s pissed off with the sticker she has affixed to her Yukon (it had to be a Yukon, too, didn’t it!). I got to thinking…why do people want to broadcast their views so publicly…and especially on the road!

Hello, road rage. I certainly don’t want to piss off the wrong people who could potentially put me in danger because they’re miffed about my bumper sticker!

Did ya’ll know the homicide rate goes up with the temperature? People are already mad! Don’t do something stupid on the road and then not expect whomever you pissed off not to be pushed over the edge because of your political views.

I drive an hour to work and back on one of the most used highways in my area. And let me tell you, people are fucking crazy. And rude. And they’re in the cars, which means they have an ‘anonymous-buffer’ to the outside world. They will not be considerate.

Why push it?

‘Oh free speech, I can say what I want, I shouldn’t have to censor myself!’

Oh yes, you’re absolutely right. But let’s do it in more clever ways, okay? How about instead of relying on catchy one liners to represent your, I’m sure more than one line, opinions, we form coherent and organized thoughts! How about that!

At least TRY.

Ya’ll stop bitchin, ya hear?

Texas. Ah Texas.

I love you, really I do! Despite the horrendous stereotypes that accompany your name, I love living here.

(I really shouldn’t have to list the stereotypes…)

Yet there’s one thing I don’t particularly like. And it’s the heat.

South Texas (where I reside) is hot. Seriously, very hot (and humid, as many will hurriedly inform you).

It doesn’t bode well for someone like me, who has to drive an hour on the sunny side (both ways!) to work and then trek across a campus to get to my office. It makes wearing my cardigans a little itchy and sweaty. But all that aside, it can make for great evening weather sitting outside with a beer or a glass of wine and chatting.

The heat. It is what it is. Every summer we have to deal with this. EVERY SUMMER. And yet STILL, people find the need to express how HOT it is outside, like we didn’t know this important factoid.

And now I’m rounding out to what really bothers me. It’s not the heat, it’s those who choose to complain INCESSANTLY about it. Yes, I know, it’s great small talk and generates that ‘in’ to get to talking with someone. But it has come to the point that if you choose to pick weather, the most obvious and annoying thing to talk about, to start a conversation with me….I will not participate.

I think it comes from my annoyance at small talk. It’s ‘small’ for a reason! Really, talking about the weather and stating the obvious is akin to speaking “HERPDERKASHERPPERPADERPDERP” to me.

Give me something to chew on, people! Say something with meaning.

So. To the meat of the heat!

STOP TELLING US HOW HOT IT IS OUTSIDE.

WE KNOW. WE REALLY DO.