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!

Judge Not Lest Ye Be… Messy

SCSSA crumpled Wendy’s bag on the floor of the front passenger’s side, a coffee-soaked napkin in the cup holder resting innocently atop sticky, stray coins mingled with toothpicks and straw wrappers and a Starbucks pastry wrapper pinned beneath the snow brush on the floor of the backseat told me all that I needed to know.

As someone who thrives on neatness and order, I used to be quite judgmental of people with messy cars. And let me be a bit more specific by stating that when I say “used to be” I mean like… a month ago.

But climbing into my driver’s seat yesterday morning to the aforementioned scene caused me to realize that I am, indeed, one of THOSE people. That’s right. I, myself, am hereby (or at least for the time being) a Messy Car Person.

In my past life, I wondered how on earth it was possible for people to ride around in vehicles with muddy floor mats, cluttered backseats, unidentifiable schmutz on the interior and random cheerios strewn haphazardly about or ground deeply into the carpet.

I marveled at others’ abilities to travel from A to B all the while overlooking such sins as dirty clothes, fast food wrappers, wrinkled bits of note paper and empty beverage cups. I mean, it’s a CAR… not a closet or a kitchen or a GARBAGE CAN! Thus, it is with great humiliation and shame that I admit… I now stand among them.

HOW did this happen? You might ask. Someone once so fussy has now just given up!? Am I merely a modern version of Sarah Cynthia Silvia Stout who would not take the garbage out? Well. It’s not quite that simple. Or maybe it is. I’m not sure. What I DO know is that I got busy. VERY busy.

I know I’ve already touched on this but I started a new job that occupies me greatly with its lengthy commute and wicked learning curve. (Not that I’m complaining… because I honestly LOVE IT!) And I started taking a class. That has actual homework. So apparently I went from having oodles of time for the luxury of tossing out the trash… to not… having that luxury.

That’s it. That’s all I got. It’s the only excuse I can come up with. Busyness. I don’t want to admit that I’m lazy or dirty or slovenly. I think I’m just busy at the moment. At least I hope that’s all it is. Hopefully it is a fleeting thing and one day, when life begins to flatten out, I’ll be Little Miss Clean Car again — looking down my perfect little nose with great disgust in heavy judgment of the Messy Car People once more.

And all will be right with the world.

Domain Thing

It wasn’t that long ago I didn’t even know what a domain name was. I avoided the whole technology thing for awhile… Or at least longer than many of my peers. I put off getting a cell phone for a LONG time until it became necessary. I told people it was because I quote: “Did not want to be that accessible.”

Amazing how time changes things. It’s almost impossible to remember life before email or the internet, isn’t it? Then a few years ago it was Facebook. Sometimes I literally sit and hurt my head trying to recall what life was like Pre-FB. What in the hell did I do with all of that extra time? I don’t think I read more books. I don’t think I exercised more. I certainly didn’t bake, crochet, cook or clean. Maybe I just watched more CSI and Survivor.

So now I find it extremely curious that 2 days ago I broke down and bought and registered my own domain name: womaninthrisis.com. That’s right. I’ve become one of “those people” that I swore I thought I’d never become. I own a website. I am a blogger. And it’s a little unsettling.

Back in the CSI and Survivor days, bloggers and people with their own websites were (to me) nerds who never saw the light of day. They were spindly with translucent skin and bloodshot eyes. They slept all day and stayed up all night in their dark little caves, stabbing away at the keyboard with great gusto illuminated by the other-worldly glow of the monitor. They wrote about conspiracy theories, dark matter, worm holes and absolute zero.

While I, with my expensive, fake tan, french manicure and well-toned muscles did “normal” things like sit on my ass all day at Starbucks drinking iced-caramel machiattos and people-watching… Or perfecting my downward-facing dog, warrior and sun salutation in the mornings and paying $50 a month to literally get the crap beat out of me by my kickboxing instructor every other night.

My, my, my how things have changed. See, the thing is… I love to write. I have ALWAYS loved to write. Except that now I have discovered there is this amazing community of people all over the world just like me who enjoy sitting down at the computer, basking in it’s other-worldly glow and pecking away at the keyboard sharing thoughts, ideas, observations and inspirations about day-to-day life… And anything and everything from conspiracy theories to the perfect french manicure. And I have found it to be fascinating and fun.

Though, I do have just one question…

Do my eyes look bloodshot to you? Maybe it’s time to drag out the yoga mat… Or hit the gym. UGH. As the proud, sole owner and proprietor of  Woman In Thrisis, who has time for all of that now anyway? Soooo… make my caramel mach a double, please. And where’s the number for that tanning salon?

The Septuagenarians in Starbucks

So there I am, on my lunch hour waiting at the Starbuck’s counter inside Barnes & Noble, 2 bargain books in hand for purchase along with my Iced, Venti, fat-free, half-caff, extra-caramel, caramel macchiato.

One of the books perched precariously on my arm was about a Southern Belle who seemingly gets away with killing her high-school sweetheart (for awhile) until it catches up with her years later in modern-day Chicago. And the other is a parodied, How-To sex book chosen as a gag gift for my best friend’s upcoming bachelorette party.

I am almost giddy about my cheap and decadent literary purchases as I anticipate the rush I’m about to feel from all the sugar and caffeine I’ll soon be consuming in my coffee confection.

As I hand my books to the cashier and eloquently—if not poetically—place my order, I become aware of two grey-haired gentlemen approaching from behind. One man, who I’d guess to be about 75, is speaking very loudly to the other about how he has to take his pill very soon. They are eye-balling the menu and scratching their heads when I hear them mumble to one another the ultimate question: How in the HELL do you just order a “regular cup of coffee” in this place?!

While I am paying for my purchase, the cute little green-apron-clad barista asks the gentlemen what they would like. One of the men says very clearly to her: “I would like a REGULAR coffee please. None of that special stuff will be necessary. I just want your plain Starbucks coffee.”

The girl in the green apron hesitates slightly and says to the man in a slightly raised voice: “Sir, we have SEVERAL varieties of Starbucks coffee here.” And then she launches into a sermon about light and medium roast blends versus richer, darker blends.

The man tries again, this time attempting to be a bit more adventurous, and trying to meet her in the middle with attempted “coffee-house speak” by ordering a Starbucks “House Blend.”

The barista, exasperated by this man’s total inability to relate to the extensive foreign-language menu hanging ominously on the wall, practically shouts: “Sir!?! We have many, MANY HOUSE blends. Which ONE can I get for you?!?”

He leans across the counter to meet her gaze, agitated, and now aware of the “stir” (pun intended) this exchange is causing and replies: “You know, all I want is a basic coffee, just a BASIC coffee. I don’t know how to read that DAMN menu!” Then unintelligible and frustrated grumbles and mumbles come from both of these poor men.

By this time, the cute little barista in the green apron has transformed into a wild-eyed, cup-wielding, crazed, green-aproned MONSTER as she throws the cups around, heaves heavy sighs, rolls her eyes and begins to fill his cup with something hot and brown… presumably and Lord willing, some type of “basic” coffee.

As I take my receipt and fold it into my purse… concealing my grin the entire time, biting my lip and trying desperately not to laugh at the scene I’ve just witnessed… I see a 70-ish woman behind the men in line say to them in a soothing tone: “Come on guys… just accept it… we’re living in the 20-something century now.”

And I walk away.

Looking back on what that lady said to her fellow septuagenarians was actually quite profound. At first I thought she was referring to the 21st century in which we now live… but she couldn’t remember whether it was the 20th or 21st. However, with our culture’s exponentially-increasing pace, it could ALSO be called “the 20-something century”… because I’m sure that to the 70-somethings, it is the youth—the “20-somethings”— to whom THIS century now belongs.