Airing of Grievances

FestivusSo here we are again. It is that special time of year to gather with those we hold dear. A time to look back—another year older and hopefully wiser—and take stock. Yes once again, Festivus is upon us and we pause to reflect on the people near us and inform them of all of the ways they have disappointed us in the past year.

That’s right. You read correctly. Let the annual Airing of Grievances commence. I realize that some may think ill of me for keeping track of all of the ways I’ve been wronged in the previous 365 days… but honestly it is thanks to a cool app on my phone that I was able to keep track. Thank you technology!

It is simply called Grievance and it is a thing of beauty for those who enjoy fostering and nurturing a healthy grudge. All year long I can open it and enter said wrong-doings and then, on THIS day, December 23, Grievance lets me see the year in review. So in the spirit of the season, I thought I’d share with you the Top 10 types of grievances I filed in 2013.

  1. Line Holder-Uppers. You know… People in line at the pharmacy, the post office, the retail checkout, Subway, or the grocery store… having scripts or postage or coupon codes explained to them in great detail by the store associate.
  2. The Media. For being SO obsessed with being the FIRST to break a story, that the information being disseminated is purely and entirely false.
  3. People who paint their ring fingers a different color… Because… why?
  4. Stick Figure Families. And the suburbanites who insist upon putting them in the lower left corner of the back window on their ginormous, consumptive SUV’s.
  5. Daylight Savings Time. For screwing with my sleep patterns and making me gruff, tired and totally intellectually annihilated for 2 whole weeks following the change.
  6.  The Starbucks Barista. For screwing up my order. ANY Starbucks Barista for screwing up my order… Ever. Because anything equivalent to caffeinated gold should be flawless. Every. Single. Time.
  7. My Doctor. For insisting upon insisting that I arrive 15 minutes ahead of my scheduled appointment time for supposed “paperwork” even though it’s already been filled out — but who isn’t even there yet himself.
  8. The Aflac Lady. For being a pusher by coming to my office to sell me additional insurance coverage and attempting to put the fear of God into me by casually tossing about words and phrases like “accidental death” and “dismemberment” and “unforeseen illness” or “unexpected tragic events”.
  9. The insurance company. For trying to use my migraines as a “preexisting condition” so as not pay my claims simply because I MENTION that I take medication for migraine when asked by ANY doctor what type of medications I am currently on.
  10. Fashion. For elevating “skinny jeans” to the level of MUST WEAR apparel so much so that boot cut is nearly impossible to find.

Happy Festivus everyone! I hope you’ve had a great one and please feel free to air your own grievances in the comments section to keep this blessed tradition alive!


A Festivus for the Rest of Us

It’s that time of year again! But I’m not talking about Christmas. For most people, this time of year is all about Christmas. But for a dedicated (and perhaps obsessed) few, is also a time for celebrating the lesser-known holiday that is Festivus.

I, along with most of you, became aware of Festivus from Seinfeld, but it did actually exist before George’s father Frank Costanza (Jerry Stiller) made it famous in 1997. It was originally created by writer Dan O’Keefe back in 1966, who was the father of one of the writers for the show. So in this case, art really did imitate life.

I find 2011 a particularly good year to make note of Festivus because of the holiday’s emphasis on anti-commercialism. At a time when many people are having to “downscale” Christmas due to financial strain, perhaps it is even more important than ever to find “alternative” ways of celebrating.

One of the aspects of the Festivus tradition (besides setting up the aluminum pole and carrying out the Feats Of Strength) is my personal fave: The Airing of Grievances. Therefore, I have taken the time to compile a list of some of my own grievances. Truthfully, they are more like annoyances, but nevertheless, it was entertaining as well as cathartic to create this list. And I encourage all of you to do the same!

Here they are, in no particular order… My own personal Festivus Airing of Grievances:

  1. “I-see-London-I-see-France” extremely low-rise jeans
  2. The “Muffin Top” created by aforementioned “I-see-London-I-see-France” extremely low-rise jeans
  3. Twilight hysteria
  4. People on the road between 7 and 9 a.m. who aren’t going to work
  5. Bad grammar
  6. Low water pressure
  7. Bullies
  8. Celebrity “Baby Bumps”
  9. Anyone who calls a baby bump a “bump”
  10. People taking up the entire aisle at the grocery store and NOT budging even though they KNOW you are there and that you cannot pass
  11. Passive Aggressiveness
  12. Men who think women are second-class citizens
  13. Closed-mindedness
  14. Finding a garment that I absolutely love, only to discover that they are out of my size or color choice
  15. The one hundred million “talent shows” that are currently on TV. I mean seriously… enough with the singing and dancing already
  16. Michigan
  17. Dropped calls
  18. DVDs that skip or get stuck right at critical moments in the plot
  19. Claymation, stop-animation, nutcrackers, marionettes, ventriloquist dummies, puppets and clowns
  20. People who do not respect the importance (and necessity) of a good 12-hour sleep stretch
  21. Jell-o with fruit in it
  22. Internet pop-ups 
telling me I’ve won something when all they really want to do is give me a virus
  23. People continuing to call me Joann, after I’ve corrected them or they already know my name is Joanna
  24. Computer crashes
  25. Sarah Palin 
  26. Michele Bachmann (with ONE “L” in Michele and TWO “N’s” in Bachmann)
  27. Donald Trump and his little hair pet
  28. Newt Gingrich mentioning his wife Callista by name 3,000 times in one sentence
  29. ALL of the Republican Party / Tea Party candidates AND the ones who refuse to admit they are going to run but hang around constantly (i.e. Sarah Palin and The Donald)
  30. The Duggar Family (sorry, I know they just experienced a very real and legitimate loss but why must we know every single detail of these people’s reproductive lives?) Why isn’t 19 enough? After all, eight was enough to entertain us in the 80s (If you don’t get the aforementioned 80s pop-culture reference… add yourself to this list)
  31. Drivers who don’t signal
  32. Products that don’t do what they say they’ll do
  33. Drivers who are slow
  34. The fact that ALL of the best TV programs are on at the same time on Thursdays
  35. Pre-existing conditions
  36. Magazines that are full of both airbrushed, anorexic models AND articles about why you should love yourself just the way you are
  37. Hidden fees
  38. People who don’t believe in birth control, but then bitch when… SURPRISE!!… They have another kid
  39. Radio stations that claim to play a lot of music and nothing BUT music, but in actuality have a 5 to 1, commercial to song ratio
  40. People who don’t understand or appreciate the cultural beauty and timelessness that is Seinfeld

Happy Festivus everybody! May you discover the joy and fulfillment of airing your own grievances this holiday season and all year long.