Internet trolls can be so much fun

Internet trolls can be so much fun

The internet is a veritable wealth of keyboard warriors who like to bully people and say things they’d never dare say to someone in person. I have a friend who likes to troll some of these people right on back to their parent’s basement reality. He’s great at it actually. So much so that sometimes I see things on Facebook and am tempted to tag him in them just so I can sit back and watch it all unfold. I have yet to do that, because I firmly believe that those who stir the shit pot should have to lick the spoon, and I want that NOWHERE near my mouth.

Internet trolls are everywhere, and working in customer service or retail means you not only have to deal with them in person, but you get these “fine folks” on the internet as well.  You can either let it get to you, or you can fire back. Sometimes they’re total assholes, and sometimes they just think they’re funnier than they are. You have to check out this link though, because I think whoever is in charge of the Twitter feed over at Samsung is a genius, and had the perfect snarky response to one of those people who think they’re funnier than they really are. Seriously, their emoji insult game is on point, and I want to be best friends with this person.

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On how my kid had “the worst childhood EVER”

On how my kid had “the worst childhood EVER”

The other day in a bit of teenage “life isn’t fair” angst (surprise, surprise) my lovely man-child told me “I wish I lived with my dad for my whole life. You never let me do anything fun. We never did anything when I was little.” Apparently he’s quickly forgotten what a shit show it was living with his dad for 6 months last year, and how the only reason they even had food to eat was because he was working, and even though *someone* owes me over $40,000 in back child support, I was STILL sending them money for food. Nope, I never did anything for him.

Normally, I just don’t speak to him while he’s like that. It does no good. It makes me almost cry, or retreat to the shower and REALLY cry, where nobody can see or hear it. But the other day I wasn’t in the mood to hear how I never did anything for him, and never took him to do anything fun. It’s not like we were taking lavish vacations all the time, but he certainly didn’t have the impoverished childhood he seems to think he did, so he got the rundown of some of the cool stuff he’s been able to do.

  • Disneyland
  • Lagoon more times than I can even remember
  • Hogle Zoo several times
  • 2 trips to Alaska
  • 2 trips to Michigan (ok, so he was too young to even remember these, and my dad is the one who paid for them, but he still got to go, so it counts)
  • multiple football camps that I paid for rather than begging community members in the form of yet another football fundraiser
  • Criss Angel in Vegas
  • a truck to drive when he turned 16
  • a car to replace said truck when it died
  • paid off the title loan on the POS Bronco he was sent home with when it was no longer convenient for daddy dearest to be a parent.
  • Live theater every time he wanted to go (which is more than he’ll ever admit to now. Seriously, he saw Damn Yankees 4 nights in a row because he had a crush on the girl who played Lola)
  • There was never a movie he wanted to see in the theater that he didn’t go to
  • World Cup Soccer Qualifiers
  • More Real Salt Lake games than I can even count (ESPECIALLY when they were playing the LA Galaxy. Hey, mama loves Landon Donovan and David Beckham)

Now let’s talk concerts he’s been to (just to name a few)

  • Feel Never Real (3 times)
  • Hinder
  • Finger Eleven
  • Alice Cooper
  • Shooter Jennings
  • Puddle Of Mudd
  • Fuel
  • Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
  • Redlands
  • Chevelle
  • Sick Puppies
  • Buckcherry

Let’s not forget the ungodly amount of money I spent for hunting and scout camping trips. The small arsenal of weapons and camping, hunting, and survival gear came at an astronomical price. All of the different gaming systems he’s had, oh, and then there’s the matter of a roof over his head, never wondering if there would be food to eat, and the clothes that NEVER came from a second-hand store, or even WalMart. Yep…he had it pretty rough as a kid.

Why did we have to go over this? Why all of the sudden does the man-child think he’s got it sooooooo very bad? Well, that would be because I won’t buy him a $60,000 truck, or a can of chew (if he wants cancer, he can pay for it himself…when he’s old enough to buy it himself), and I asked him to throw away the box from the thin mints he inhaled instead of leaving it on top of the garbage can. (Seriously?! You step on the foot pedal and put the garbage IN the garbage can, and this is a CONSTANT argument!)

Yeah….I can definitely see how wearing clothes from a second-hand store, never really being quite sure if you’ll eat 3 meals today or not, and maybe having somewhere constant to live, maybe not, is FAR superior to the childhood he had.

The blank look on his face at the end of that followed by “Well, my dad never made me clean” was enough to make me want to strangle him, so instead I left to run off that frustration, but not before telling him “That first step off your high horse is going to be a real bitch. Tuck and roll sweetheart.”

Shower yoga for the win

Shower yoga for the win

Last night, when I finally managed to get home for the day, my back was KILLING me. I’m no medical professional, but if I had to guess, I’d say it’s from the gigantic, stress related, “you can see them from space” sized knots that have taken up permanent residence in several places on my back. They’ve been there for so long, I’m not even sure what it’s like to not have them. I need a massage something fierce, but free time and disposable income are issues that are as constant as those knots in my back, so I deal with them.

Last night also happened to be the night that it was time to admit defeat and wash my hair. Ok, not so much defeat as it still wasn’t the least bit greasy, but it’s also totally gross to think I hadn’t washed my hair in 9 days, so in to the scalding hot shower I went. That reminds me of a joke. Do you know why women take such hot showers? Because it reminds them of Hell, where they’re from.

Anyway, back to the story. Scalding hot water on my ridiculously sore back felt amazing, but it wasn’t quite enough, so I channeled my insanely bendy friend DJ Yogi G (actually she’s Queen Bee Yoga on Instagram, and you should follow her because she’s a bad ass mama!) and did some shower yoga. I don’t mean shower yoga like how you contort in the shower to shave your legs and make sure you didn’t miss anything. I’m talking actual yoga in the shower, kinda like hot yoga, only so much better, since instead of stifling hot air, you get water straight from the depths of Hell pouring over the same muscles you are stretching. I’m telling you, downward dog, child’s pose, pigeon pose, and forward fold are so much more effective for pain relief this way than they are when you’re fully dressed in a yoga class. I mean, I still need a massage, and should get one on the regular, and those knots are still there, although not quite visible from space anymore, but there is a definite improvement. Shower yoga will be repeated, and hopefully more often than once every 9 days or so.

Another brick in the…triple steel reinforced, electrified razor wire topped, surrounded by a 12′ wide, hungry piranha filled moat, times 2…wall.

Another brick in the…triple steel reinforced, electrified razor wire topped, surrounded by a 12′ wide, hungry piranha filled moat, times 2…wall.

avoided
I always took pride in my strength. I was a 19-year-old single parent. My kid wasn’t the easiest, and I’m not about to say having a child was the biggest blessing in my life, or the most rewarding thing I had ever accomplished. Raising a child as a 19 year old single parent was hard, and at times, pure unadulterated hell.

I compounded things by trying to die after child-birth and waking up from hours of emergency surgery to find out that in order to save my life, my doctor had to remove any chance I had at having more children. Try being in your early 20s (or any age younger than 45 or so really) in Utah and trying to find someone who wanted to help you raise someone else’s kid and never have one of their own. It’s no fun. Sure, I had a relationship or 2 here and there, but they all ended the same way, either with a vocal or silently understood “I want to have kids of my own,” so I built walls our current President could only dream of to protect myself from ever feeling hurt like that again, because seriously, that sucks, and not in the fun way either.

It had been well over a decade of feeling completely invisible to the outside world, and by that, I mean those single male members of the outside world who might actually want to hold my hand and occasionally be seen in public with me. It had been a ridiculously long, boring, mind dulling, self-esteem crushing dry spell.

Life as a single parent of an incredibly difficult boy had definitely taken its toll on me. It was harder than I ever imagined as he decided he was moving out and I found myself empty nesting and completely alone, at 36 years old. I wasn’t about to sit around for the next 50 years with only myself to keep me company, so I decided I should probably put some sort of effort in to dating. The only problem was everyone I knew in the small town I live in was married, in a serious relationship, a decade my junior, or two or more my senior. What I’m saying is there was literally NOBODY that I knew who fit my pathetically low standards: single, age appropriate, employed, non-smoker. I mean, it really shouldn’t be too hard to find someone who fits the bill should it? But it was, because I had been looking off and on for a decade.

I half heartedly played around on Tinder, and what a joke that was! It was entertaining though, so I still perused the offerings every time I was out-of-town, swiping (mostly left) until I was bored. Then we matched. You know what I mean. I swiped right, he swiped right, and neither one of us was simply collecting a gallery of Tinder matches. We seemed to have an uncanny chemistry, but I lived 3 hours away from him, and as such, it took weeks of back and forth frustration and missed opportunities before we connected.

Oh, but when we did! He took away 2 decades of insecurity by simply not turning around and walking out the door when he saw me…saw the real me. It wasn’t uncomfortable in the least. From one extreme to the other, conversation flowed. The kind of conversations you would expect both from old friends reconnecting, and those of just getting to know someone who was a complete stranger a short time ago. It was comfortable, like our souls had been the best of friends in a previous life and just now reconnected, and it was like “Oh there you are! I’ve been searching for you.”

And then he kissed me, and my mind exploded. What unfolded next seemed impossibly surreal. The conversations. The hurried and urgent need to melt together. The pause for food delivery and more conversation. The much more slowed and deliberate lovemaking. More conversation as if we were old friends, full of laughter, comfort and safe spaces. It went on like that for hours before he left to return home, and I stayed in that room basking in the glow of someone FINALLY giving a damn. Someone FINALLY seeing me.

He smoked, and I didn’t care. Although both he and his ex agreed their relationship was over, the one thing they could agree on, and rekindling that was absolutely not a possibility, he wasn’t exactly single, and I didn’t care. Truthfully, the only pathetically low standards of mine that remained in tact after that encounter were age appropriate and employed, yet still, I didn’t care.

A relationship was out of the question, but over the next year, what we had seemed more and more like a relationship, even if neither one of us wanted to admit it. I found myself making up excuses to travel to his city just so we could meet up, as if simply wanting to see him, to be with him wasn’t enough of a reason. But no, I couldn’t travel just to be with him. I couldn’t let him know that I was driving for hours just to see him, couldn’t let him know that from time to time, I tripped and fell in to feelings, and had to frantically brush them off, at the risk of completely falling for him. I couldn’t let that information out, because this wasn’t a “relationship” at all. It wasn’t a relationship, because he told me he wasn’t in a place for one of those, and I agreed. My head wasn’t in a place for a relationship either, but that message didn’t make its way to my heart, which seemed to fall for him more and more with every encounter.

He felt broken, and I knew it. I tried to fix him, to help him at every chance I had, and I succeeded. I took his problems and made them my own. His sorrows became mine. I felt joy in his triumphs no matter how small they may have seemed. I was his support in every sense of the word, and he knew it, accepted it, and gave me credit for it.

I never pushed him for more than he was able to give, even though the vast majority of the time my stupid heart ached for it. Behind closed doors we were the most compatible of lovers. To the world, we were simply friends, except for a few rare instances when a little bit of that affection escaped for anybody who may have been looking to see.

I was never under the illusion that we were exclusive. I mean, on my end of things we were, but that was merely because even though he could see me, I was still invisible to the rest of mankind. Never once did I think we were in an actual relationship; it was COMPLETELY impractical after all. I mean, his entire world was 3 hours away from where I had built my entire life. Still, at times every single thing he did screamed relationship, and at times it confused the hell out of me.  Then it happened.

Disaster struck. He desperately needed help, and I couldn’t do it all myself. It was an emergency, and I needed the help of his family, family I had never before met. They helped me come to his rescue, and I loved them for the brief time I spent with them. The relationship vibe was strong as he sobbed on my chest in the room we shared with his sister and her boyfriend through the night. The following day was intoxicating. The next time we met was even more so. This felt almost overwhelmingly intimate,  but not in a sexual way, as I would soon find out that part of our “relationship” was over.

At his very lowest point, I was there for him. Built him up. Reassured him. Sacrificed myself, my financial security, and my sanity so he could exist. Not once was this something that he took for granted. He acknowledged it on more than one occasion. I was the reason his life didn’t combust. I was the reason he was available for her.

It happened unexpectedly. The weather was horrible. I couldn’t go to him. Coming to me isn’t something that crossed his mind. I missed my friend something fierce, but things were changing. I don’t blame him. She’s prettier. She’s skinnier. She has children the same age as his own. She lives in the same town as him. I wouldn’t choose me either. And I don’t blame him for choosing her. I don’t blame him, because this is the way things work. Someone always emerges as the wiser choice. I couldn’t go to him, and he couldn’t come to me. There was no middle ground, so he chose her.

He was a horrible boyfriend. He couldn’t see that as I was so intently focused on being strong for him, I was falling apart myself. He didn’t realize that while I was attending to his every need, I was silently wishing he would see that I needed him to take care of me. I don’t mean in a monetary way; I’ve always worked incredibly hard to be able to take care of myself, and others. I didn’t need things. I needed him to hold me and help me fight my own demons. I needed him to help me calm the battle in my soul.  I needed him to rescue me from the loneliness of my mind. I was afraid to need him. I was afraid to surrender control of myself to anybody. That personal strength I had always been so proud of was my worst enemy at this point, because my mind would not let me do what my heart was screaming for. He had no idea that I needed him, so he chose her.

He was a horrible boyfriend, and I was an emotionally unavailable and detached girlfriend who wasn’t even capable of telling him how much he meant to me. How my entire world changed the moment I met him. How he finally made me feel like I was worthy of someone’s time and affection. How my mind felt like it just might finally be capable of surrendering to the whim of my heart.

He was a horrible boyfriend, but he wasn’t my boyfriend; he never was, and as deeply as I cared for him, I never did dare be vulnerable enough to show him that I wasn’t strong. I was the furthest thing from strong. He was the only person in my life for years that made me feel alive, wanted, desired, and worth anything. He made me feel beautiful, confident, and successful.

It occasionally crosses my mind that I perhaps I should be a little bit sad about the way things worked out, but I’m not. I suppose if I didn’t have those carefully constructed walls, the ones some people manage to sneak through only to find out that there’s yet another layer of walls to work through, and it’s just not worth the effort, I might be sad. I could be devastated if I wanted to, but I don’t have a single tear to shed over him choosing her. I’m not sad at all because he was a horrible boyfriend, but he IS the best friend I could have ever found.

I could have easily avoided him, but somehow I knew he was a collision worth having.

That time people thought I was knocked up 

That time people thought I was knocked up 

The economy in my little energy driven sector of the world has been hit pretty hard. There’s a whole lot of empty commercial property right now, one of those being our Kmart. This poses a problem for me since we are in the middle of nowhere with limited options for children’s shopping. It’s even more of a problem for me because I hate WalMart. I don’t mean I publicly say I hate it but secretly shop there 3 times a week. No, I mean I hate it so much that I can count on my fingers how many times I’ve been there out of sheer desperation in the last 5 years. When I have to buy things last minute, which is all the freaking time because I’m horrible at planning ahead, I always found myself at Kmart taking care of whatever needed to be purchased. This is especially true of baby shower gifts. I’ve purchased so many baby gifts over the last few years at Kmart that I’m back to getting baby samples in the mail. It’s a bit ridiculous.

Today, I had a baby shower to go to, and as I was standing in the zoo that is the local WalMart, I posted the following status on facebook. “WalMart…because everyone needs to feel instantly more attractive once in a while…and because I’ve really got to start planning ahead and give myself time to order from Buy Buy Baby now that our Kmart is closed and we’re in the middle of nowhere without a Target in sight. #ihatethisplace” Then I put my phone in my pocket and headed to the baby shower.

About an hour later, I opened my phone to, no joke, 25 messages and texts wishing me congratulations and asking if there was anything I needed. That was fun. Time to clarify the facebook status to add “for baby showers, I’m not knocked up!” right after that planning ahead bit. This one post got more of a reaction than the one time I was out of town lobbying at the Capitol and my dear friends at the radio explained my absence as a bout of morning sickness and a visit with the doctor. Good times…

What I did learn today though, is that even my friendly acquaintances are the best of the best. Seriously, there was so much love and support being thrown out there, it’s almost sad to disappoint everyone and say it isn’t so. But if it was, 1- it’d be ectopic. 2- I’d be rich, and featured in some medical journals. And 3- that’d be a longer gestation period than April the Giraffe. No, I’m not knocked up. That belly is all tacos and no baby, and is nothing a little CrossFit and clean eating won’t fix.

Retail therapy for the common cold

Retail therapy for the common cold

I’m independent to a fault. Somehow, I manage to keep my emotions at bay. Well….except for when people annoy the ever loving hell out of me. It’s pretty obvious when I’m irritated…or happy. I guess what I mean by “I manage to keep my emotions at bay” is that it takes a hell of a lot to make me cry….probably because I’m a little dead inside, but whatever. The last time I remember crying, not like tearing up at something absolutely adorable, or meaningful, or a hurt animal, I’m talking tears on cheeks, this was a waste of mascara crying, was on October 30th, 2016. Yes, there’s a reason, and yes there’s another post about this one at some point in the future.

I almost cried 3 times this week. Why? Well because after managing to stay healthy all Winter long, Monday night I started getting sick. Tuesday when I felt as if I had been hit by a truck, and all I wanted to do was go home and take a nap, I had to power through it because I’m an adult and that’s what we do. When the room started spinning, laying on the cold tile floor of the employee bathroom at work seemed to be the only logical thing to do. That’s the first time I almost cried this week.

The second time I almost cried was Wednesday night in the parking lot of Smiths. I needed 2 things after leaving a 15 hour day of work before I could go home: milk and NyQuil. I spent $70 on groceries and forgot the damn NyQuil. I realized this in the car. I could have gone back in, but at this point my rational brain shut off. I almost cried in the car and decided instead to just go home, and take a daytime cold medicine with a Bloody Mary. It did the trick AND added some vitamin C.

Today, not feeling any better at all, and knowing I really shouldn’t be working on quarterly taxes the way I was feeling, I called it a day at 2. Sounds like a short day unless you realize that I go to work at 530, so really, I had already worked a full day anyway. I had every intention of going home to sleep, but I opened my email as I was walking to my car and saw Maurice’s was having a 75% off sale. Well….retail therapy is ALWAYS a good thing. It was especially good today as I managed to score 2 pairs of my favorite brand of jeans, and 2 adorable shirts for $53. Yeah…that’s less than I would have spent on one pair of jeans. I saved $128!

Retail therapy is great for the soul, but it doesn’t do a damn thing for whatever virus has invaded my body along with the pollen currently attacking my system. In the 8 minutes it takes to drive home from town, I went from heat, to air conditioning, and back to heat again. As it turns out, a nice little 100 degree fever was to blame for that. Cue the 3rd time I ALMOST cried this week. Apparently I’m a damn baby when I don’t feel well. Why was I on the verge of tears today? Well that would be because all I wanted was some bone broth phô and a back massage until I fell asleep. Bone broth phô is a 3 hour drive away, so that wasn’t an option, and good hell, it’s been well over 25 years since anyone has taken care of me when I’m sick. So that’s why I was curled up in fetal position, under a pile of blankets, avoiding the annoying teenager who came home and trashed my house, and fortunately fell asleep before “I almost cried for the 3rd time this week” became “I cried like a baby for the first time since October.”

When I woke up 2 hours later with a little better perspective on the situation, I realized that for $5, some hot and sour soup from the Chinese place in town was a much better option than wishing there was a high speed train from good ole V-town to Pho Hoa in West Valley. After I managed to summon the willpower to get out of bed and drive to town and back, pouring scalding hot soup on my hand was a minor setback, but not grounds for “I almost cried for a 4th time this week.” Best of all, thanks to the retail therapy excursion, I can skip doing laundry for one more day and still not have to resort to wearing a skirt to work tomorrow.

Adventures in Tinderland, part deux

Adventures in Tinderland, part deux

As a general rule, I don’t typically have public WTF moments including dudes I’ve seen on Tinder while swiping in my hometown. This guy though…he’s 83 miles away, so that makes him fair game. First of all, there are NO pictures of the guy, and well…I’ll let his bio speak for itself. This is why people hate dating, and why there are so many social media accounts dedicated to making fun of people like this. Enjoy.

Screenshot_2017-04-11-18-02-21-1

Among the other Tinder offenses in this episode:

  • The guy who uses pictures of his kids as his Tinder photos. No, they aren’t just included with him, the photos are ONLY pictures of his kids. Don’t be that person. People like this douche in the picture above are the ones seeing your children.
  • The guy who uses that blue and white silhouette from Facebook and then has no bio at all. Seriously….what kind of people are swiping right on this?!
  • Mr. Inspirational Quote collector: Ok, I get it. The quotes are cool. I actually like one of them a lot, but again, how does this get you swipes at all?! Like what do you actually look like? Because I’m pretty sure it’s there’s not a black box with words on it where your face should be.
  • Dude that uses 5 different pictures of Shrek…I’m going to expect you to be Mike Myers when we match, and you won’t be, so I’ll be disappointed.

 

Finally, major props to the one token guy who can do the funny tinder bio well with “I’m tired of spending time outdoors snowboarding, biking, hunting, fishing, backpacking, snowmobiling, and dirt biking so I’m practicing changing diapers for my future with you!” You should get lots of swipes from girls who want that kind of thing.