Friday, August 30, 2013

Agitation


I don't know what to believe anymore.
Won't we save our planet and the landfills and our children’s future if we don't consume so much? I thought less is more and downsizing is better than supersizing.
Are you as confused as I am?

Procter and Gamble have a new commercial which promises that “caring for your clothes just got easier”. All you have to do is buy Tide detergent plus Downey fabric softener plus Bounce softener sheets and use all three for every load of clothes you wash.
I’m no math genius, but it looks to me like that should increase sales revenue for Procter and Gamble by fifty per cent.  And goober up your clothes with one hundred per cent more chemicals than necessary, leaving an oily film on your undies and preventing towels from absorbing water. And won’t all those empty Downey bottles and Bounce boxes make the landfills fill up with . . . less land?
That’s not the worst of it.
My firefighter husband told me loads of laundry ago that I should go easy on the liquid fabric softener because it makes clothes more flammable.  I may or may not have taken his advice. But I did look it up today, and what do you know? He’s a pretty good firefighter.
Using fabric softeners makes our clothes softer by bonding a chemical finish to the fibers, and that makes the fibers work like a wick when they get too close to a flame. Experts recommend using dryer sheets only, and only on every third wash.
On the other hand, Procter and Gamble wants us to double the amount of softeners in every load of laundry. And the kicker to their ad is this—they say if we follow their advice, it will make our clothes last longer. “Tide, Bounce and Downey together keeps our clothes looking newer 50% longer – they’re greater together,” the ad promises. Using both Downey and Bounce will save you money, they gush.
Unless you stand too close to a flame. Or spend twice as much money on fabric softeners as normal.
That’s the way advertising works, though. Remember the directions on shampoo bottles? Honestly, who needs directions to wash their hair? Lather, rinse, repeat.  That last little word doubled the sales of shampoo and secured the need for hair conditioners for all our dried out locks forever.
I wish I could think of one word to write that would double my income.
The whole thing gives me heartburn, to tell you the truth. Thank goodness I’ve got Alka Seltzer in the medicine cabinet.  A little “plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh, what a relief it is!” should take care of all this stomach acid. Except the truth is you only need one tablet, not two. They doubled our pleasure and doubled their fun in the 1960’s with that little jingle and their pre-packaged packets of two tablets.
Maybe they’re just too smart for the rest of us. Every mom on earth knows you’ve got to tell your kids something two or three times before they’ll listen to you. So if a little fabric softener is good, twice as much is better. If one heartburn tablet is good, two is fabulous.  If it says Libby's, Libby's, Libby's, on the label, label, label, I will like it, like it, like it, on the table, table, table. And every time she Meow, meow, meow, meow, Meow, meow, meow, meow, Meow, meow, meow, meow, Meow, meow, meow, meows, it hits me like a ton of bricks—even my cat is a sucker for ads.
Okay, I don’t have a cat. That was just a bunch of baloney, and if my baloney had a first name it’d be O-S-C-A-R. Like my dog. Cuz my dog’s better than your dog, my dog’s better than yours. Okay. Actually my dog’s name is Sydney.
What can I say. Sometimes I feel like a nut.
Sometimes I don’t.








Photo courtesy of p.Gordon's photostream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/pgordon/8640808497/sizes/m/in/photolist-eaypjR-7SkJnt-7zBCf3-7zRGFv-dgsKqm-e1Xycy-bBWUYJ-bBWUYd-eeNFNy-fmwfgu-9RxEbA-7FsVXh-dXXHTy-9svY4W-dgt4Fs-fgF4H6-b499RX-9svY4U-9qKY4Y-7NRzEn-7Kxu43-bgYXD2-9XWmBA-bALfVT-dwRTCg-bddVD8-7SuyfD-8cudgp-7K6aZ9-bKjM9D/

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Profiles


Profiling.
It’s a nasty term today. Racial profiling. Sexual profiling. Religious Profiling. It’s all about prejudging someone. The Duck Dynasty brothers have been the victims of what they term ‘facial profiling’. Just this month, Jase Robertson, a man with a net worth of $10 million dollars, was escorted out of the Trump Plaza Hotel by a security guard who mistook him for a homeless man. Because he wears a beard.
Profiling, prejudging, jumping to conclusions because of someone’s appearance happens to all of us at least once in our lives. It has happened to me a lot. It happens to a lot of women a lot. We’re incapable of competing with airbrushed Hollywood icons and spend our lives hearing and reading in the faces of others that we don’t measure up and it’s all our fault.
Though all of us have weaknesses, some people assume that because I carry my personal struggle around in plain sight via excess pounds that I am ignorant of what to do about my size. I am not. They assume I overeat. I do not. They assume I am unfamiliar with exercise. I am not.
I have read more books on nutrition and diet options than people who are addicted to housewife porn. I can pronounce glucagon, can describe a medium chain fatty acid, have strong opinions about the safety and questions regarding HCG, and know that ketosis is a risk when you follow an Atkins plan. I have counted Weight Watcher points, gone cold turkey from sugar and wheat and caffeine and still kept my mind, and am not addicted to either alcohol or Starbucks, no matter what anyone says about me. I have never smoked or taken illegal drugs.
I am overweight. I struggle with it. I am embarrassed by it. But I do not require the advice or opinion of anyone who has never been in my shoes, nor will I offer unsolicited advice to others when I have not walked in theirs.  Not unless their name is Doctor and I’ve paid them for that opinion.
I’m smarter than I look, better read than some think, invested in my health, and tired of being profiled for my size.
I’m fat.  I’m not stupid. And I will conquer this eventually. But just for the record, shaming people so they will try again to fit our profile preference is never effective, regardless of the motives we insist are behind our words of ‘concern.’
You have your struggle, I have mine. Can we change the subject now?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Dictionary Fail


It’s a rainy day and my funny bone is acting up again.
I had a mile long list of errands to run, and chores screaming my name, but hey—it’s not my fault the sky clouded up and I landed in my favorite chair instead of my favorite Lube Shop. Wait. I don’t have a favorite Lube Shop.  And that’s why I’m sitting in my favorite chair.
I’ve been so critical of misspellings and mispronunciations lately, I’ve decided it’s easier to join them than beat them. Even though it’s very very tempting to beat them. Especially if some of them are from New Jersey.
Now, wait. Don’t send your cousin Vinny over to teach me a lesson. I got nothin’ against New Jersey. Except maybe a little mispronunciation.  And grammatical mis-cues.
Remember “The Situation” from TV’s Jersey Shore? Some of his best lines included, “You’re the worst argument person ever.”  And, “I’m like, a pretty deep dude.”
Or from his buddy, Ronnie, “I’ve drunken a lot more than I’ve drunken tonight.” 
I’d have given you a few more quotes, but these were the only ones that weren’t profane or full of innuendos. And anyway, who on earth nicknames himself, “The Situation”?  You don’t put a “The” in front of a noun and call it your name. That’s just The Stupid.
Sheesh. I wasn’t even watching Jersey Shore today.
I was watching I Found The Gown—from my favorite chair—when a confident bride from New Jersey burst onto my sense of humor.  She and her whole entourage lit up the screen with great dialects and accents and not a little bit of overconfidence.
“This is sooo meeee!” the bride radiated. “Ooh, I cain’t even haindle it!”  Then she discreetly spoke into the camera, “I consider myself to be a bit of a fastoneesha on the budget.”  That one sent my Spell Check into heart failure while Grammar Check just rolled over and died.
“The most . . . impinionate person today would be Christina,” she said of a bridesmaid. “She’s just always opinionated.”  I had to guess how to even spell impinionate. I have so much more respect now for court reporters.
It’s not all wedding gowns and gym, tan, laundry on cable today, though. I watch classy shows, too, ya know. Stuff like Storage Wars, where a respectable bid was dehydrated into the phrase, “Yuuup!”  
I’m tellin’ ya, the English language is evaporating Right.Before.Our.Ears.
Hostile rivalry between Dave Hester and Darryl Sheets is what keeps this show on the air. Well, that and Darryl’s grasp of his own importance.  The other night I heard him say, “That old lady looks like she’s gonna keel over!  I don’t know PCR!”
Yeah, there’s a lot you don’t know, Darryl.
I guess I could blame the downfall of America’s spelling and grammar empire on the media, but I’m beginning to think the evil genius behind it all is sitting on the table right next to me—my Smart Phone. With that text guessing thing it has, I’ve sent more ridiculous comments out than Snookie has ever even dreamed of saying.  (“That's why I don't eat freaking lobster or anything like that, because they’re alive when you kill it. That's disgusting.”).
It’s always trying to read my mind and get me into trouble. And since I hardly ever wear my glasses when I’m writing a text, that makes me a pretty easy target.  My daughter responded to a text once by telling me to put on my spectacles and read what I sent her.  I couldn’t.  It was written in Chinese.
Just now I tried to tell my husband to have a great day. Instead, I encouraged him to “have a good frau, baby.”  If he’s smart, he’ll tell me to put on my spectacles and confirm that message.
Oh, it doesn’t matter anymore. Our communication skills today are like a runaway train wreck. It’s all downhill from up there, if you ask me. And if you ask The Situation, he’ll just tell you,
They have defied the law of intelligence.”
Yeah.  What he said.



Photo courtesy of ellajphillips' photostream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/25752111@N08/3794248248

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Control

I don't know how it happened. I just . . . lost control.
Maybe I should have seen it coming, but it was like that time I got t-boned while I was driving—one minute I’m minding my own business looking for a Wendy’s and the next thing you know I’m shopping for a new car. Who knew somebody else’s agenda could wreak such havoc on mine?
So I took matters into my own hands this morning—I cleaned out the pantry. 
I have control over the pantry.
I threw out things from the pantry. That felt good. Taking out my aggressions on innocent potato chip bags feels good.
“See that?” I announced to the stale crackers.  “Don’t cross me or you’ll be next!”
Then I turned down the air conditioner one degree. I could have turned it down two degrees, but I chose only one degree because I am in control of the air conditioner. It doesn’t manipulate me with creative ways to cool me off unless the power company gets involved with stupid summer savings plans. And, so far, Obama hasn’t been able to force me to buy electricity his way so that ain’t gonna happen.
I.Control.The.Air.Conditioning.
Rob said I could.
And when hot flashes hit and the air conditioner is too slow, I have my own back-up plan—the ceiling fan. With the speed of a deadly gunfighter, I can whip out that remote lying nonchalantly next to me, aim it at the ceiling fan faster than you can say, “Take that, menopause!”, and turn my circle of influence into a category three hurricane in under three seconds.
I.Control.The.Ceiling.Fan.
Rob said I could.
So I don’t care that someone else tried to sabotage my genius. I can roll with the punches. Ride out the storm. Roll over and play dead.  The pantry is mine. The air conditioner is mine. The fan remote is mine. Rob is mine.
I still have some control.
Rob said I could.




Photo of warp speed ceiling fan courtesy of . . . me. I took this picture. With my camera phone. 'Cause I was in control. Ta-dah.