Category Archives: People, Please

The Romper {People, Please}

August 1984

I am not exactly a fashion icon. I’ve made some terribly dreadful choices when it comes to clothing myself. People, please let me help you. I’ve done dumb things, so you don’t have to.

Exhibit A: the romper. In 1984, I not only wore a pink terry cloth romper, I was photographed in this outfit. Nice, huh? I have no idea why I’m wearing a blanket as a pashmina. You can’t see it in this particular photo, but I was also wearing socks and jelly shoes. There is absolutely nothing about this photo any person who cares about her appearance should try to recreate.

And yet… while shopping this weekend, I was horrified. In store after store, the romper was for sale again. Why? Why in the name of all that is couture would the ROMPER come back to haunt me?

The problem with the romper is that it never fits quite right. Maybe it’s just my body is proportioned oddly, but there was just always slightly less fabric than their ought to be. This leads to some highly personal interactions with the shorts. Fine, the romper is a wedgy looking to happen.

The back is crawling up on the model. You are not a model. This will be worse for you. Trust me.

Also, to get the desired look, if you could call this look desirable, the shorts must be quite short. The specs on this one claim the inseam is 1.75 inches long. I’m calling that wishful measuring. I didn’t see a single one for sale with more than a half-inch inseam.

Unfortunately, my warning came too late for one young woman spotted in fashion hell. She walked past my friend and I, her stride clearly impeded by the intimate relationship she was engaged in with her romper. My friend looked a little shell-shocked. She stammered, “I think I just saw her cervix.”

People, please, we don’t all want to be OBGyns. Just say no to the romper.

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Love and Cocktail Parties {People, Please}

In January, I posted a series of rants on what annoys me. I got such a big response, I’ve decided to continue them. From time to time, I will let you know the things you do that annoy others, so you can stop. It’s about improving you, so my life will be better.

Courtesy: WhitneyLoibner.com

If you’re reading this blog, you likely found it through some sort of social media, namely Twitter or Facebook. In a special Valentine’s edition of People, Please, I will help you all fall in and out of love while networked without making the rest of us want to punch you in the throat.

It helps to think of social media as a cocktail party. If you follow the rules of etiquette for those social engagements, things tend to go much smoother.

  1. Dress for the Occasion – When you go to a party, the invitation generally gives instruction on what to wear: formal, casual or my current absurd favorite – snappy casual. While you can wear your pajamas while updating your Facebook status and no one will know, your appearance does matter. Your avatar is how you present yourself. This is why your picture should be of you, not your child, your cat, your favorite cartoon or God forbid, your ultrasound. Really, that 4D business is repulsive. The instructions clearly state, “Your photo here.” Just follow the rules.
  2. Introduce Yourself – At a party, you extend your hand, and give your name. The same should be true for social media. Ladies, if you are married, it’s helpful include your maiden name. Otherwise, I have no idea who you are. This is particularly true if you were born in the mid 70s and are named Jennifer, Heather, Amy or Melissa. I know at least 400 of you.
  3. Status – At any party, some people arrive single and others in couples. Some people who are part of a couple arrive without their partner. All of these arrangements are just fine. We’re smart people and generally figure it out pretty quickly. Please feel free to update us to a change in this status, but you don’t have to keep flashing that shiny diamond, we know you’re engaged. You don’t have to tell us in every.single.tweet. It’s also generally considered poor form to change your status via social media. People, please, proposals and breakups should happen in real life, not on the Internet.
  4. Emotional Outbursts – Remember, we can hear you. Flirting is one thing. The occasional kind moment between a couple is sweet. People, please, anything past that should be taken offline. We’re just going to assume you love the person you pledged your life to, you don’t have to tell us over and over. Really, we get it. It’s just gross to go on about it. I don’t want to watch you make out in the middle of the room, either. Some things are just inappropriate. The same is true for the opposite. If your relationship is not going well, you can keep that to yourself. Under no circumstances should you have an actual fight on Twitter. And sweet Baby Jesus, do NOT beg your wife to come home after a fight through status updates. It’s on our phones and computers, we can’t just go to the bar for another glass of wine to avoid the carnage. When you put it out there, we see it.
  5. Drinking – Always drink from a glass, never a can or bottle. Wait, that’s a sorority rule. Just remember, you are far more likely to say things you’ll regret (or annoy/amuse me, depending on the kind of drunk you are) when you’ve had too much to drink. As my friend Bryan likes to remind people, taking something off the Internet is like trying to get pee out of pool. It just cannot be done. When the drinks come out, it’s best to put the smart phones away.

Now… the truth is, when I fell in love with Baby Daddy, I wouldn’t have listened to any of this. Mostly because I was so smitten I didn’t even know how much I gushed. I was revolting. In fairness, I was also 18, but really, I have no room to give advice. But I do anyway. That’s how I roll.

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Mind Your Manners {People, Please}

Other blogs use the new year to make you thinner, healthier, richer or smarter. Every Tuesday in January, my blog will let you know the things you do that annoy others, so you can stop. It’s about improving you, so my life will be better.

In 1988, Robert Fulghum, made a bazillion dollars reminding everyone of basic manners. You don’t have to be Emily Post to understand the appropriate way to interact with other people. And yet, every day I am confronted by people who obviously have neither home training or a Kindergarten education.

We’re well into the second semester of school, and yet the same three cars are unable to master the line at carpool. (I’m looking at you, Blue Durango.) If you are that desperate to pick up your child FIRST everyday, arrive.earlier. I’m rolling up in there at least five minutes late, so if you’re trying to manuever around me, you are not making this a priority. So stop changing lanes every two seconds to inch ahead! Also, is there GOLD in your soy, non-fat latte? Because otherwise, there is no reason to be pushing people in the Starbucks.

Worse than the line cutters are the litter bugs. Really, when was the last time you looked around a conference room after a meeting? It’s like a carnival came through: paper on the floor, cups sitting around, if there was food, it’s just flat disgusting. People, please. Pick up after yourselves. Your mamma doesn’t work with you, go to meetings with you or volunteer with you.

The most repulsive group of all, are those who lack basic hygiene. All I’m gonna write is this: wash your hands.

Now for the quick refresher course:

All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten

All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sand pile at school.

These are the things I learned:

  • Share everything.
  • Play fair.
  • Don’t hit people.
  • Put things back where you found them.
  • Clean up your own mess.
  • Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
  • Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
  • Wash your hands before you eat.
  • Flush.
  • Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
  • Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
  • Take a nap every afternoon.
  • When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together.
  • Be aware of wonder.
  • Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: the roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
  • Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup – they all die. So do we.
  • And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned – the biggest word of all – LOOK.

Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and equality and sane living.

Take any one of those items and extrapolate it into sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your family life or your work or government or your world and it holds true and clear and firm. Think what a better world it would be if we all – the whole world – had cookies and milk at about 3 o’clock in the afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments had as a basic policy to always put things back where they found them and to clean up their own mess.

And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out in the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.

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Why do you ask? {People Please}

Other blogs use the new year to make you thinner, healthier, richer or smarter. Every Tuesday in January, my blog will let you know the things you do that annoy others, so you can stop. It’s about improving you, so my life will be better.

Donna Reed Show

The Donna Reed Show - the perfect family

No matter where you are in your life, no one is ever satisfied. Baby Daddy and I had been married mere days, hours really, when people began to ask when we would have a child. Really? We said, “I do” 15 minutes ago. Monkey Boy had been in our home for all of 6 hours when questions about a sibling began.

I know successful, amazing women who are regularly asked why they aren’t married; happily married couples who are constantly asked to defend their decision to remain childless; and parents of singletons who are berated by strangers for not producing multiple heirs. Of course, my friends who go over the socially-prescribed-2-child limit are constantly berated for not understanding proper birth control methods.

People, please. The stage of a person’s life is simply none of your business. There are only two possibilities: choice or circumstance. If circumstance, you’ve essentially called them a failure because the planets didn’t align in a particular way for them. If choice, then you’ve told them you disapprove. Both are just rude.

Beyond that, all of these questions imply there is a singular, appropriate road to an acceptable life: heterosexual marriage with 2 kids, one of each gender, a home in the right neighborhood and a dog. Any life besides that one is just wrong. It’s time to get past 1958. Families come in many forms: straight, gay, married, single, kids, no kids, adopted, mixed race, pets, hairless.

And it’s none. of. your. business.

The technology part of this rant is done much better than I could possibly attempt to by Louis CK:

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I wish I had time to… {People, Please}

Other blogs use the new year to make you thinner, healthier, richer or smarter. Every Tuesday in January, my blog will let you know the things you do that annoy others, so you can stop. It’s about improving you, so my life will be better.

Prague Astronomical Clock by Petr Kratochvil

Prague Astronomical Clock by Petr Kratochvil

I can think of few phrases ever uttered that are more condescending than, “I wish I had time to…” This is almost always spoken after someone has just announced a new hobby, interest, book or project. The person hearing this news will say, “Wow, I wish I had time to do that.”

There is one and only one reason to say that: to be sure that everyone knows what you do is more important than what they do. See, everyone has the same amount of time. We all get 24 hours in a day and 365 days in a year, except in leap years when we get that extra day. How we chose to spend that time is about priorities.

Perhaps your priority is paying your mortgage and providing health insurance for your children, so you spend 8 of your 24 hours at a job. There’s nothing wrong with that. It does cut into your time available for other things, such as crafting, reading, baking, sewing, rock climbing, napping and watching reality television. But say you spend 8 hours sleeping (it’s just hypothetical, stop laughing), you still have 8 other hours to spend how you choose.

37 seconds.
Great. Well done. Now we wait.
No. We breathe. We pulse. We regenerate. Our hearts beat. Our minds create. Our souls ingest. 37 seconds, well used, is a lifetime.
~Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium

We make our choices. We live the consequences. Use your time for something useful. Or don’t. That’s up to you. But People, please don’t tell people your time is better spent than theirs. Not when I know you’ve watch Tori and Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood. Or read my blog.

The following is just because I can:


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Worst Case Scenario {People, Please}

Since we’re starting a new year, it seems like a good time to help the general public be a little… better. Some blogs promise to make you thinner, healthier, prettier or richer. I’ll make you less offensive at parties. Think of this as me helping you with Life Resolutions, rather than just New Year’s ones. Every Tuesday in January, I’ll be covering a topic that proper home training should have taught you, but based on my interactions with people on a daily basis, didn’t.

baby shower onesies

My friend Amy & I with onesies for our brand new babies

There is something in human nature obsessed with the Worst Case Scenario. I’m not sure if this is some primitive survival instinct or where it comes from, but it’s absolutely there. If Baby Daddy is 20 minutes late home from work, in my head, he’s dead in a ditch and I’m calculating the interest on his life insurance, hoping I can really live on it. Monkey Boy leaves my sight for two seconds in a store, and immediately I’m freaked out he’s been kidnapped. I used to think this was just my own personal neurosis, but it’s become clear to me in the past few years, many other people have the same problem. The reason I know: they tell others. out loud. I see it most often when a couple decides it’s time for a child. I’m not sure what it is about procuring a baby, but people will seek.you.out. to tell you the most awful stories you can imagine.

They following are paraphrased from actual conversations I have had:

International Adoption

Acquaintance: I am so glad you are getting an American baby. My boss had this friend and she and her husband went to Russia to get a baby and they were there for weeks. I don’t know exactly what happened, but they never could get one. They were so upset. The agency gave them their money back, but they didn’t want it.

Me: Wow. That’s quite a story. It must have been terrible for them.

Acquaintance: Oh, yes. They ended up getting divorced and now she lives alone with 38 cats. It’s very sad.

Domestic Adoption

Acquaintance at cocktail party: So how does this work exactly? Do you just sign up and wait and then they mail you a baby or something?

Me: Well, it’s a little more involved than that. We say what we’ll accept as far as lifestyle and background, drug use etc. The birth mom says what her preferences are for placement. The agency tries to make the best match.

Acquaintance: I would just be so nervous. I mean what if something goes wrong during the birth and the kid has all kinds of problems. Do you still have to take it? I mean, do you want a messed up kid?

(This is obviously the conversation I want to have with a virtual stranger while drinking a glass of wine and eating a spinach dip in a party dress.) Me: I suppose the possibility of something going wrong at birth is always a worry, even if it’s a biological child.

Acquaintance: Yeah, but you’re paying for this baby. You should get a healthy one. So how long does she have to change her mind? I mean, could they come snatch this baby back later?

Me: I need some more wine. Will you excuse me?

For some time I thought people just told me these terrible stories because we were adopting and not everyone is familiar or comfortable with how that works. But then I started noticing as my friends gave birth, previous birthers were determined to scare the bejezus out of them before they went into labor and delivery.

Childbirth

Acquaintance to my very pregnant friend: Which hospital are you delivering at?

Friend: {names hospital}

Acquaintance: Oh, I hope you have a better experience there than my sister’s friends’s cousin. She was in labor for like 8 weeks. They would totally not believe her. When they finally admitted her, it was too late for her epidural. I mean that baby was halfway out. Then they couldn’t get the baby the rest of the way out and had to do an emergency C-section but something went wrong with all the numbing stuff and she felt every bit of it. If that wasn’t bad enough, she was allergic to the meds they gave her afterward and she like almost died or something. It was awful. The worst part is, the doctor messed up all her stitches so bad, she and her husband couldn’t have sex for almost five years. I felt so bad for them. It’s no wonder they got divorced. That baby was never quite right either. But she wouldn’t sue because she believed that was against something in the Bible, I don’t know. Anyway, she had to go on public assistance and last I heard, she was living in those apartments downtown and selling drugs or something… very sad. Anyway, enough with that awful stuff. You’re gonna be great. And don’t worry about that baby weight, once you pop that kid out and start working out again, it’ll just slide right off. OK then, see you soon.

Friend: {mouths agape in stunned silence}

Me: Um, wow. OK, then.

So let’s start a new trend in 2011, shall we? If you know a story like that, shut up. I don’t care if it’s true, if it’s believed to be true, if it’s just fun to scare first time moms: shut up! No one want to hear it. Trust me, no halfway decent future mother hasn’t already gone through every terrible scenario in her mind already. People, please. You don’t have to verbalize it. Really.

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