Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Open Mouth, Insert Foot

I have come to the conclusion that I have a language disorder. Now, it's not your typical language disorder where I have a lisp or a stutter. No, my language disorder is far more subtle, and I'm not entirely sure it's something that can be fixed.

You see, I have the tendency to say wildly inappropriate things without realizing they are inappropriate until after I've said them. When the thought forms in my head, it's merely an innocent commentary on the existing topic of conversation. As soon as the words leave my mouth, however, it metamorphoses into a flagrant innuendo that can only be interpreted one way. Perhaps it's the timing of the comment, or maybe it's because I pause after I conclude the statement suddenly realizing how suggestive it truly sounds, or maybe it's because my heart is two sizes too small...oh, wait, no, that's the Grinch. Never mind. Whatever the reason, it's never really been a problem. Until recently...

Typically my unintentionally suggestive comments fall on the ears of friends and family. Like the time I was sitting in a car full of male friends and I blurted out frustratedly, "Man! I always choke on the last two balls!" (I was talking about the game of pool, people, get your minds out of the gutter!) Or the time when I told everyone at a house party, "Cooper (my dog) has a heck of a cock!" Again, it's not what you think! He cocks his leg up really high when he pees...thus having a higher than normal ("heck of a") leg lift ("cock").

The resounding silence following my comments allowed me the time to pause, think back on what I'd just said, and, when necessary, clarify what I meant by balls and cock.

But like I said, this hasn't been a problem until recently. What, you might ask, has been the recent problem? My language disorder has been bubbling forth in job interviews.

In my most recent interview everything felt like it was going exceptionally well. I had made it through the pre-screening phone call to the in-person interview, and had completed the first of three one-on-one interviews. The second "higher-up" came in and sat down. He was exceptionally nice, and we were having a lovely conversation. We had danced quickly through his professional questions, and were talking about odd quirks that people have. I'm not quite sure how we built up to it, but he jokingly alluded to the fact that I squeezed the toothpaste in the middle of the tube, rather than from the bottom, "...and she squeezes the tooth paste tube in the middle!" We laughed, but I felt the need to correct him, after all, I'm not a neanderthal, and am, in fact, quite finicky about squeezing the tube from the bottom.

"Oh, I'm a bottom squeezer, through and through!" I proudly announced. As I said it, I saw his eyebrows rise higher and higher on his forehead, and then I paused as the echo of my words faded in the resounding silence. Did I really just say that? Frantically trying to backtrack, I then proceeded to do the worst possible thing in an interview - draw attention to the fact that I just said something that could be misconstrued as inappropriate. "I...I...don't think that came out quite like I meant for it to," I stuttered.

He grinned, knowingly at me, and said, "Yes, I don't think it did. Would you like to back up?"

Recognizing a life line when I see one, I launched into some of my pre-prepared questions about the company. Thank goodness this guy was gallant enough and intelligent enough not to make any other comment than suggesting I may want to start again.

Apparently, he was impressed by my bottom squeezing, however, because I got the job!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Testicle Envy...It Happens

My roommate just adopted a new dog. He's stubborn, exceptional at breaking into and out of things, an expert "counter surfer" (he gets on the counters and steals any food we leave out), and is really, quite an adorable character. I like him, and he has my vote of approval to stay.

That being said, Goose, my roommate's dog, has what I can only describe as testicle envy. If he meets a dog who is not fixed, he attacks. Every time. Without question.

It's always dangerous, and always embarrassing. But here's the weird thing - people...(and let me go ahead and say "guys" instead of people because I've only encountered male owners who don't have their male dogs fixed) are generally pretty cool about the fact that Goose just went after their dog like a rabid...well a rabid goose, if you will.

So while it may not look like a huge problem because the owners don't get upset, I'm a little worried because the guys who don't get their dogs fixed generally own dogs that weigh 60+ pounds, have massive jaws, and are breeds or mixed-breeds known for being excellent guard dogs or fighting dogs.

Goose, on the other hand, is 45 pounds, frolics in the tall grasses, and has been known to bark like a girl (though we don't tell him that his bark can be girly). All that to say, that if Goose were to go after the wrong dog his...goose would be cooked (please don't stop reading, no more puns, I promise).

Here's the thing, if your dog isn't fixed, you shouldn't be taking it to the dog park anyway, because other dogs that don't have testicles get testicle envy. Just like it's said that the guys who drive big trucks are compensating, Goose tries to compensate for his missing juevos by trying to "rabid goose" the other dog into submission. And, to this day, his efforts have not been successful.

Then there is Cooper (my dog), who, I have concluded, must be gay. He's a mounter, through and through. Only thing is, Cooper only mounts pure-bred male dogs, and if they have testicles it only exacerbates his mounting efforts. Oddly enough, people who have paid thousands of dollars for their dogs get as offended by Cooper humping their dog as they would if I were to walk up to their BMW and "establish my dominance" on their car.

Designer dog or not, people need to realize that dogs from the pound to the most expensive breeder still run, bark, scratch, and sniff - and sometimes, mounting happens. For my dog, he happens to think the dog park is a brothel.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Argument Evasion Tactics

This goes without saying, but I'm female. Though I may not be representative of the entire female population, I feel like, because I'm female, I am qualified to make some generalizations about women. Now, while I realize this may not apply to every woman out there, in my experience it applies to most. It is the simple assertion that a hungry woman is an unstable woman.

You're probably wondering what I mean by "unstable," so allow me to explain with a simple story about my friend Missy. At a certain point of hunger, Missy becomes entirely irrational. For example, on a family road trip during her teens she announced to her family that she was hungry.  Her parents, being dedicated and loving individuals, decided to stop at a near by grocery store to pick up some food for their hungry offspring. Upon hearing their decision, Missy burst into tears and said, "I JUST WANT REAL FOOD!" Except for her sobs, the car went silent, and her family members looked at each other with baffled expressions, while Missy sobbed and babbled incoherently in the back seat about real food.

Now, I'm sure many of you are thinking that Missy's case is extreme, but it's not really. Think about the number of arguments you've had with a woman that seemed completely irrational, and you couldn't figure out why she was picking a fight. She was probably just hungry.

There is something about women and hunger that makes us irrational - whether it's irrationally moody, irrationally tearful, or just flat out irrational. Think about it. Have you ever seen a man burst into tears because  he was hungry and he didn't like the available restaurant options? Have you ever seen a man lose it entirely because you picked up some food for him on the way home and got his order wrong?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying men don't get grumpy when they get hungry; however, they rarely get irrational over it. I tried to find some studies that explained why women have such severe and absurd reactions to hunger, but I wasn't able to find anything. Thus, I have created three steps to facilitate living with a hungry woman.

Tactic 1: Always have a granola bar on hand. If things seem to be escalating, and you can't really figure out why she's getting so uppity over something mundane, give her a granola bar, and find some excuse to vacate the area for the next 5-10 minutes. Upon your return, you'll find a much more rational human being.

Tactic 2: Never argue with a hungry woman. She is not in any emotional state to be having an argument with you. Everything you say will be taken negatively, and anything that could be interpreted positively will be flagrantly ignored. Change the subject, and get her some food. Revisit the argument later on a full belly.

Tactic 3: Read the warning signs. Most women will make their needs known. It may be as obvious as, "I need food," (Translated: you have 15-30 min to get some food in my stomach or I'm going to be a basket case) or as subtle as, "What time would you like to eat?" (Translated: I'm starting to get hungry, if we prolong this activity for another two hours I'm going to be saying, "I need food.")

A smart man is  a prepared man, and a prepared man has snacks readily available.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Why I Don't Watch Scary Movies

I did not sleep well last night. I tossed and turned trying to get to sleep, and when I finally drifted off I had vivid and unsettling dreams about demons and exorcism. Now, I'm not overly religious; however, I do try to keep my mind free of negative, scary, and creepy things. No need to provide fodder for an over active imagination.

Unfortunately, I dated a guy over the summer who loved scary movies, and he wouldn't rest until I agreed to watch at least one. I made the mistake of letting him pick the movie we were going to watch, and, of course, he showed up with The Exorcist. Lovely. We sat down to watch it, and aside from some truly twisted and horrific scenes, the movie as a whole wasn't nearly as terrifying as I thought it was going to be.

Well, let me rephrase that,  it wasn't terrifying until that night when every whisper of a sound had me convinced that there were demons in the attic.

For the next two months, there wasn't a night I didn't go to bed without thinking about The Exorcist before forcefully wrenching my mind onto more pleasant topics (who knew the Disney princess movies would come in so handy?).

This practice worked tolerably well until late in the summer, when I was staying at my parents house. I had gone to bed about an hour after my parents, and had just hunkered down under my sheets when I heard the slightest thump in the hallway. Satan is in the hallway, my imagination said. Instantly, my logic began an argument with my imagination, and I began trying to convince myself that it was just the family cat. It's just the cat. It's just the cat. It's just the cat.

What if it's Satan? my imagination suggested.

It's just the cat. It's just the cat. It's just the cat, my logic countered with even more fervor and intensity.

I took a deep breath, and tried to shift my thoughts to something more positive when I heard the slight shuffle of something moving across the carpet in my room. Whatever it was that made the noise was obviously much larger than the cat. I gulped and forced myself to roll over and look only to find a huge shadow looming over my bed. I screamed.


The shadow screamed, "AAAAHHHH!!!"

"Good lord, mom! What are you doing?!"

"I'm looking for my dog!" She said as though it was the most normal thing for her to be doing at 10 at night an hour after she'd already gone to bed.

She left shortly after, and in the silence I could still hear my heart pounding in my ears. Apparently, Satan doesn't live in the hallway in my parents' house.But with an imagination like mine, it's best not to add fuel to the fire.

Monday, October 17, 2011

News Flash, Your Child Did Not Hang the Moon

I'm officially convinced we're in the midst of an epidemic - one where people are obsessed with their children. Now, I get that most new parents are obsessed with their children, and that's normal. However, when I get on my Facebook account and see my friends posting status updates every day that say things like, "Tommy rolled over today!" or "Mary Jane started holding her own head up!" it takes all my will power not to let them know that no one cares (aside from maybe the grandparents).

People seem to think that their child is unique, that their child is the first child to ever go through the normal stages of development. Somehow it has slipped their mind that every single functioning person on the planet has gone through the exact same stages of development. The whole thing is akin to me posting a status update that says, "Oh my! The sun came up today!" Of course it came up, that's what it's supposed to do.

When your kid can name the presidents at the age of 1, beat box like Justin Timberlake at the age of 5, or do complicated math problems in his head at 3, THEN you have a reason to post about your child. Until then, I hate to break it to you, but no one cares that your kid ate peas for the first time today, even though it may be the most important thing that's happened to you since yesterday, which was the first day he slept through the night.

Unfortunately, I'm seeing the result of this child-centered egocentricism spreading outside of Facebook. I was in a restaurant where someone handed their child a napkin to shred. The child promptly and happily tore the napkin into tiny little pieces, which she then threw on the floor. Did the parents clean it up? No, they got up, and left their table surrounded in little napkin bits. They were probably too busy posting a Facebook status about how little Nancy is so cute when she destroys napkins and tosses the little bits into the air like confetti.

I have to ask, when did it become someone else's job to clean up after your kid? It brings to mind watching a very close friend of mine do a stand up comedy act for our high school talent show. Her smart, quirky, and spot-on commentary of societal peculiarities touched on a lot of different subjects, one of which was how people allow their children to misbehave in restaurants. My friend's solution to the matter was simple, "If you don't hit your kids, we'll hit them for you."

Though part of me wonders if it's the kids or the parents that need to be disciplined. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Consider My Thunder Stolen

Red Rocks Amphitheater - a gorgeous venue for attending concerts, a magnificent place for hiking, and a delightfully diabolical method of self-torture for those who choose to workout there. I happen to be one of those masochistic individuals. One of the crazies who feels the need to sprint and/or jump up flight after flight of stairs, until my lungs are screaming, my legs feel like they've been filled with hot lead, and I'm so fatigued that I can literally feel my abs compensating for my exhausted legs. Who even knew that your abs could compensate for your legs?

Yet, the sense of accomplishment I feel when I've completed my workout at Red Rocks is beyond compare. And that's why I do it. It's worth the brief spell of nausea I feel on the fourth, fifth, and sixth sets. It's worth the wobbly, oh-my-god-my-legs-have-been-replaced-with-jello feeling. And it's worth the horrible sense of despair that I feel on reaching the top at the end of the first set and realizing that I have nine more agonizing sets ready and waiting to make me feel like a pathetic human being. It's all worth it. Because when I get done, I feel like a god...or at least, how I think a god would feel.

Today was no different. I finished my workout, glad it was over, and privately elated when I made it to my car at the bottom of the hill without falling flat on my face. I got home excited to be done with my workout, and happy that it was lunch time, and turned on my computer only to have my awesome I'm-kind-of-a-big-deal-ness torn away by one little email.

You see, I've been waiting to hear back on a job that I really wanted for about a month now. After my interview they were pretty excited about hiring me, and were working diligently to create a position for me. It seemed like a match made in heaven. There was only one small hiccup in this equation - I'd like to be paid, and apparently, that makes this whole thing a bit of a no-go. Thus I didn't get the job - well, more accurately, they couldn't create the job for me.

So, in the midst of my post-workout euphoria, everything came to a screeching halt. The wind died in my sails, my thunder was stolen, and I sat there feeling a little like I'd been punched in the stomach. All because of one little, 2-line, email.

It's funny how bad news can emit such a physical response. It's also weird how news like that spurs action rather than complacency. Clearly, this wasn't the right job or the right time for this job. Who knows, perhaps I'm destined to become a world-renowned author, and this is just part of the process in getting there.