Monday, November 28, 2011

Not My Finest Moment, But Maybe

Let's just get this out of the way up front: I yelled the F-word at a 13-year-old girl. As in, "Eff you!" except I said the whole word, and I yelled it at her in a public place.

In my defense, she called me a bitch first. In her defense, it was because I didn't move out of the way of her and her stupid friends, so my shopping bags nailed them as they shoved past me. In my defense, I think I won.

Let me explain a little bit about my nature. It's my belief that enough bitching will get you just about anything. A lot of people would disagree with me and say that kindness and taking the high road are the keys to getting what you want, but in my experience, the high road is extremely overrated and not nearly as satisfying as taking the low road.

I've thought about starting a side business that would let people hire me to resolve their conflicts for them. More than one friend has called upon me to deal with situations that they themselves don't want to handle. Your neighbor is a loud-mouth lady with five different baby daddies and kids who throw chicken bones and used maxi pads into your yard and you don't like confrontation? No problem, I'll call the landlord and complain for you. You're not happy with the crappy racing stripe stickers installed by the dealership? Don't worry, I'll bitch and moan until you get those stripes customized and painted on. For free. Did the windshield of your Mustang get cracked because a big ass rock flew off a big ass truck while you were driving through construction and everyone told you it was a waste of time to complain because the big ass construction company will never accept responsibility and replace your windshield? Leave it to Bone, because you will get a new windshield. Free. And I did.

For most people, life is easier when you don't kick and scream your way through it. For me, I like to have the last word. In everything. Keep in mind, I spent Halloween arguing with my four-year-old nephew over why my Batman costume was better than his. (The correct answer is because my mask had angry eyebrows, and his just had shapely eyebrows.)

It's not like I go through life looking for a fight. Granted, there are days when I need to blow off some steam and I'm just waiting for someone to do something that I don't like. I glare at people, daring them to cut me off or steal my parking spot, just so I can feel justified in yelling and shaking my fist. Is it mature? No, but it feels good.

Black Friday was one of "those" days. Technically it was Black Friday, but actually it all started late Thursday night when I was standing in line at Best Buy, hoping against all odds to score one of the cheap televisions. When the employees started bringing vouchers around for the big ticket items, I tried to bring levity to the situation by asking them all, "Is this a ticket for the donut maker? That's why I'm standing in line for hours in the rain - because I really want that donut maker." In case you're wondering, they never did bring around tickets for the donut maker, and also, I didn't get a tv.

So we headed to the mall at midnight to brave the crowds there. I've never been to the mall at midnight on Black Friday, so I was looking forward to a new experience. I was prepared for crowds and long lines, but what I was not prepared for was the sheer number of unsupervised, unkempt, rude, snotty, scantily clad prostitots.

Prostitots are tween girls dressed like prostitutes, and they. Are. Everywhere. Growing up, we were never allowed to "hang out" at the mall, and now I understand why: because the barely-teenage kids who aimlessly wander around the mall look like trash; plain and simple. They serve no purpose except to congregate in gaggles, get in my way, and piss me off. These kids were not there to shop, they weren't there for the killer deals and midnight specials. They were there to hang out with their friends, wearing gobs of makeup and jeans with so many holes that they may as well have been wearing no pants at all.

My annoyance had reached its breaking point after standing in line at Victoria's Secret, surrounded by dozens of said prostitots. I wanted to shout at them, "You are twelve years old! What are you doing at Victoria's Secret! Stand up straight, wash that whore makeup off and go eat something!" Because another thing - they all look like freaking swizzle sticks. They are the poster children for body image issues and eating disorders.

Maybe I'm just getting more crabby in my old age, but these kids were making my blood pressure rise. But you're not allowed to yell at them, because even though they're wearing a whore's uniform, they're still just kids and an angry mob will chase you out of the mall if you yell at a kid. So I bit my tongue, and when they pushed me, I silently pushed them back. When they stepped on my toes, I swung my bags extra wide as I turned around and "accidentally" hit them.

I started to realize that when I reacted in turn, no one said anything, no one pushed back - the group of girls continued on their blissfully ignorant way. They weren't even phased...which kind of pissed me off more. I wanted them to understand that I was taking a stand against their generation; and they weren't giving me any satisfaction.

I gave up trying to get out of their way and avoid them when blocked a doorway or took up the entire aisle. I started pushing my way through without saying "Excuse me", and I made sure to glare at them. Really hard. If I couldn't yell at them, I'd let my slitty eyes do the talking for me. This was about the point when the soon-to-be benefactor of my wrath came prancing along, leading her gaggle of prostitots like the pied piper. I saw them coming, I knew they weren't going to move out of my way, I knew I could have moved out of their way, but I just didn't want to.

So I barreled my way through them, my shopping bags knocked into them, and I felt smugly satisfied as I heard their pissy gasps of annoyance. Then their fearless leader yelled, "Bitch!" and my annoyance got the better of me. Oh hell no, this little snot did not just call me that. My first thought was to go back and swing my bags at her head, but I showed restraint - and we know how the rest of the story goes.

Am I proud of stooping to the maturity level of a tween? Not really, but it felt really good...and I got the last word. I may have lost at getting a TV, but I consider this a win at life.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sorry That I Have An Awesome Sense of Humor and No One Else Does

I realized today that I am cursed. Cursed to work in an industry absolutely full of dirty innuendos (in YOUR endo! snicker snicker) that absolutely no one else thinks are funny. Ever.

I am cursed to sit through boring meetings full of men over 40, most of whom are engineers, and all of whom have absolutely no sense of humor whatsoever; otherwise they'd probably re-think their vocabulary. Because just about everything sounds either menstrual or dirty: illicit discharge, flow, wetlands, monthly discharge rate, generating sites of illicit get the idea. There's lots of talk about discharge, and it still makes me giggle every. Single. Time.

Today I was in one such meeting, when the presenter announced that the EPA has come up with a new slogan to describe the basic idea behind stormwater management. With fervor and enthusiasm, he proclaimed, "Slow it down! Spread it out! Soak it in!"

Blink. Blink.

Did I just hear him right? And if I did, why is no one else laughing? I squinted at his power point slide, and then at my handout of the slide, again at the slide...yep, I was right. Slow it down, spread it out, soak it in.

That's about the point when I burst out laughing, and I looked around incredulously. Seriously, how is no one else even cracking a smile at this? Do they not realize what he just said? Nothing? Sigh. I really am cursed.

I got back to the office and was giving my boss a rundown of the meeting. I started telling it like I was doing a stand-up routine. "And then! Are you ready for this? The slogan is slow it down, spread it out, soak it in! Can you believe that!"

Blink. Blink. Chirp. Chirp. I think a tumble weed may have even blown past.

"Are you kidding me? How can you not find that the least bit amusing!" I shouted at him.

"Probably because not everyone has the sense of humor of a twelve-year-old boy," he replied dryly.

So then I asked him if I could make bumper stickers with the new slogan and pass them out to residents, which was met with an immediate veto. So then I asked him if I could make a tshirt that said "Stormwater Managers Slow It Down". Also no.

I stood up, undeterred, and declared, "Your life is completely void of humor and joy. I weep for you." Then I marched out. I don't think it really had the dramatic effect I was hoping for.

My sense of humor is completely lost and unappreciated at work.