general rules for living


I’m so irritated thinking about Suicide Girls (see below) and such that I am just going to run with it. In truth I am irritated, in general, far more often than I should be considering how many lovely things do exist out there on this sweet earth.

But I’m a very productive, highly focused, motivated person, and when you’re productive and focused and motivated the world is just going to annoy the shit out of you because it’s so broken down and inefficient and stupid most of the time. Should I move to Scandinavia or some place where life just seems to work better? Sleeker lines, working health care, all that?

Until then, for no reason whatsoever other than the very real and quite bearable lightness of being that results from airing grievances and pushing them out into the world and further from oneself, here are a few current qualms (plus two nice things tucked all the way at the end):

-Never, ever, under any circumstances, say “dub dub dub” instead of “www” when giving out a web address. Just don’t. The few seconds it saves are not worth sounding so douchey.

-Don’t ask me if I go to SUNY New Paltz. I’m fucking thirty. After I get irritated at you for asking, don’t say it’s a compliment because I look young. I’m not irritated because you thought I look young, I’m a snob who doesn’t want people to think I went to SUNY New Paltz. Not because it’s a public school, just because it wouldn’t be the school I would have gone to (and it wasn’t). I mean, I don’t even believe in college – I’m just saying. Just don’t assume.

-Hells bells, unless you want to incur a wrath the likes of which you have never before witnessed: if you happen to see a grouchy vegan chef-looking lady hauling tons of broccoli or whatever up to the cash register at your local health food store because she forgot to order cases that week and thus has to do all of her shopping in retail stores: don’t make some idiotic crack about how “that sure is a lot of broccoli” or something equally insipid. Said grouchy vegan chef will already be extra grouchy because she forgot to order her cases, don’t make it worse by making her turn on her professional cheffy voice and give you a sales pitch about her meal delivery service.

-Kind, underpaid waiters and busboys of the universe: I sympathize with your plight, really, I do. But I can’t always think about class inequities while dining out. Sometimes I just want to eat a nice meal. And when you try to take my plate away from me before I’m finished, I forget about your long hours and aching feet and just want to scream at you about how rude you are being.

-When meeting someone with a hard-to-pronounce name, it’s perfectly fine to ask multiple times how to pronounce it. Really. But when you keep mispronouncing it again and again and again with utter sanguinity, we will want to kick you in the balls. (Here’s a little tip: it has a “gus” in the middle, not a “goo.”)

-Before calling up a rad-looking small business whose website you have been perusing, check the clock: if it’s a small business and it’s 3 AM, chances are that you will be calling someone’s house. In my case 3 AM is usually fine and 11 AM is not fine, but that’s my fault and I recognize that. In truth, I never answer my phone anyway, so there!

-Real estate developers: just quit your jobs. You’re lifeless soulless losers making the rest of us curse your mama’s cervixes for giving birth to such trash every time we have to pass your horrid ticky-tacky creations. Get another job.

-While I recognize that the American education system leaves much to be desired in the way of teaching basic English, if I get one more unintentionally extremely impolite email, I’m going to write back with a form letter all about how idiotic most people sound over email and how it’s giving those of us who do care ulcers. Here’s a little tip: if we’re in a volunteer group together, don’t act like I’m working for you. Don’t make me resend you vital emails just because you know I’m more organized and don’t act like I should be happy about doing so. We’re equals. Pull your weight and be nice. Say “hello” and “thanks!” just like your mama taught you.

-Speaking of volunteer groups. I could write a whole etiquette manual about how to be a good volunteer, but for now: don’t start talking about useless personal drivel in the middle of a meeting. By definition, it is useless personal drivel if it’s not directly related to the damn meeting, so shut up about it.

-If you don’t want people to spread stereotypes about people from New Jersey, kindly learn to drive and stop going to your trashy little New Jersey malls. I promise you that we will stop talking trash about you.

-I don’t know why 90% of Orthodox Jews are so incredibly rude, but they make the rest of us good old atheist liberal Jews (a.k.a. the good ones) look really bad. Could you kindly stop being so rude? Also – stop being so misogynist, having so many children, and not caring about anything besides Orthodox Judaism. It’s really embarrassing to the rest of us. We Jews like to feel superior to everyone, and it’s hard with you dudes around fucking things up.

-If you don’t like my outfit, just say so. I do like my outfit, and will not be hurt by your criticism. I can tell you don’t like it anyway by the look on your face, so just tell me how legwarmers are so over or whatever, and I’ll tell you that your GAPpy wardrobe makes me want to vom, and life will be nice.

-Don’t assume that I will not find your children cute just because I am on the record as not wanting to have children. Even worse, don’t assume that your children are cute. Chances are that they are terrifying-looking to us childfree adults, but once in a while a cute kid comes along, and I have no problem admitting that.

-Don’t instantly tell me all about how you used to be vegan when you find out I’m vegan. This is only hurting our brand-new friendship. If you are currently vegan, however, let’s totally geek out about it in a BFF way!

-I do a lot of freecycling. Might I make a few suggestions to the entire freecycling world, for which I have great affection?

First of all, if you say you will pick something up from me, PICK UP THE DAMN THING. Don’t just forget about it because it’s free. It’s super rude, and freecycling is supposed to be all hippie happiness. Don’t ruin it.

Second of all, when I give my address, don’t write back asking for directions. If you know how to get on a Freecycle group, you know how to Mapquest. Do it.

After you get the item, write a one-sentence thank-you note, especially if we never met because I just put the bag of Christmas ornaments or food magazines or 1,001 twist ties or whatever in a bag on the doorknob because I wasn’t around. It’s just polite.

OK, I feel so much better!

Enough negativity for a while. Two quick nice bits:

In some lights, Tilda Swinton looks kind of like Thom Yorke, and I am madly in love with both of them to the point where just thinking about them makes me glow.

If it is slowly becoming springy in your part of the world, I cannot recommend Belle & Sebastian’s “My Girl’s Got Miraculous Technique” more highly as the song to properly usher your mind into this most glorious new season.

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