The Politeness Curse

Recently, Pantene produced a commercial about the compulsion of many women to constantly apologize – for everything. It’s a great ad, so much so that when it depicts a woman starting a conversation with her employer by saying, ‘Good morning,’ rather than, ‘I’m sorry’, my mind was blown because I had literally never even thought of that.

Basically, women are pretty much conditioned to constantly apologize for taking up space. I know this, you know this.

But today, while getting my eyebrows waxed, I had an idea – a musing, if you will – about how I manage to take this compulsion one step further with a little problem I like to call:

The Politeness Curse.

Why do I feel that no matter what anyone does to me, I must not only show gratitude, but make sure they feel wonderful about it?

Some examples:

When I was in college, I got my eyebrows waxed once in a little hole in the wall nail salon. I generally have pretty thick eyebrows, especially then, and I like them that way. However, the salon employee immediately explained to me that my eyebrows were too thick and would look better much thinner. I said, “Oh, I like them thick, I just want them cleaned up a bit,” and she said, “Okay, we make them thin.”

My skin went cold.

Nonetheless, do you think I argued with her? Do you think I said, “Excuse me, but I’m paying for a service and I would like it carried out a certain way, please”?



Who drew those on my face?

Whenever I get my hair cut or colored and it doesn’t go the way I wanted, I will literally sit in disguised horror as the stylist adds pink highlights when I ask for brown (true story) and say nary a word about it. Even when the chick stands back and is all, what do you think? Without fail, I will respond with: “Perfect! I love it. Thank you so much.”

(If you ever give me a gift and I say those words, in that order, I hate everything about it. Sorry.)

If you’re a waiter and you bring me a veggie burger (gross) rather than the steak fajitas I ordered, I will approach the situation like this, “Um, I’m so sorry to do this, but I don’t think this is what I ordered…….”

I will then wait uncomfortably until you come to my aid, hoping you’ll say, “Oh my gosh, you’re right! Let me grab your fajitas.”

If, instead, you say something like, “Nope, you ordered the veggie burger. I’m certain because I never write down orders and just keep track of everything in my mind like a Jedi,” there’s a good chance I’ll say,

“Oh. Of course. So sorry.”

To make matters worse, I should probably mention my tipping compulsion.

To be clear, I spent years in the service industry and think that tipping well for good service is an absolute obligation, not a choice.

My problem is that, if you shave my head bald when I ask for a trim, I will thank you profusely before tipping you 20 percent.

Why?? Why do I do this?

The worse example of my need to please everyone in spite of myself is this:

Before I got married, a good friend came with me to shop for a wedding dress. We went to the trunk show of a designer well out of my price range, at a boutique well out of my price range, just to see different styles.

Within five minutes of being there, my very dear and very pregnant friend dropped the drink she was holding in an opaque travel mug (which the employees, like myself, had probably assumed was water). To our abject horror, the cup was full of a hot pink smoothie, and when the mug hit the ground its contents spewed heavenward like a cartoon geyser with Wile E. Coyote trapped on top.

Smoothie went EVERYWHERE. This is not an exaggeration – thick pink liquid literally seeped into the intricate vintage lace of at least five dresses.

My heart stopped. I considered shoving innocent bystanders out of my way and simply running for my life.

Alas, my 8-months-pregnant friend was in no shape for running, and so we resigned ourselves to whatever consequences the store employees would see fit.

Happily, one of the employees was lovely. She explained that these were sample dresses which couldn’t be sold anyway, that they would simply be sent for cleaning, and that everything was all good.

The other employee?

She wanted us dead. Not just dead, actually – I imagine she wanted to hold our heads down in a bathtub filled with strawberry smoothie until we stopped struggling.

She, of course, was the woman assigned to help me try on dresses.

(You’re probably thinking, why oh why would you stay to try on dresses?? Answer: I felt bad and couldn’t think of a polite way to simply leave. I was kind of just hoping my girlfriend would go into early labor.)

Anyway, I ended up trying on a couple dresses, all the while subjected to the saleswoman’s hateful remarks about my girlfriend (“That’s the worst thing anyone has ever done. She should be embarrassed”) and myself (when I offered to pay for the dresses to be cleaned: “Don’t you think you’ve done enough? You can’t fix this”).

Do you think I said, “Hey lady! Relax! We said we were sorry!”


Do you think I allowed the woman to put me in a $3,000 dress, a $700 sash, and accessories which came to a grand total of well over $5,000?

And then, when she said, “So are you going to buy something after all this or not?” do you think I said, “No thank you, Rude Saleslady.”

If you imagine that’s what I said, you haven’t fully grasped my politeness compulsion.

I took out my credit card (which was not intended to pay for my dress) and agreed to spend over $5,000 on a wedding dress I didn’t really want because I felt bad.


This is not normal.

If you’re balking at how ridiculous I am and what a terrible decision that was, have no fear: my dear smoothie-loving friend saw the terror in my eyes, pulled me aside, and said, “Do you even want this dress?” To which I responded:

“I don’t know.”

(Seems like a reasonable way to feel about a $5,000 purchase, right?)

My friend immediately informed the saleswomen that we would not be making the purchase while I stood cowering in my own fear, barely holding myself back from screaming, “Like me! Like me Rude Saleslady!!”

So my question is this:

Is this another generally female habit? Do you do this? Am I a lunatic? Why must I not only apologize for other people’s issues, but then fall all over myself to make sure that the other people feel good about them?

That’s it for today. If you don’t like this post…I’m really sorry.


You Thought She Was Just Taking a Bath. What She Did Next Will Amaze You.

Well kids, it’s about time for another inspirational song installment here at LiterallyNuts. Last time, we responded to Jason Derulo’s questions about our butts and our jeans, and we kindly asked Snoop Dogg not to “take it out” and “wipe it off” around us.

Today, I heard a brand new, ever-progressive song on the radio. The artist is a woman named Tove Lo. I have never heard of this person, because I’m old now. (I hit 28, and suddenly every major recording artist and Oscar winner is like 12 years younger than me.)

If you, too, are 28 and no longer know what the cool kids are listening to, here’s a picture of Ms. Lo for reference:

She's sad because you don't know who she is.

She’s sad because you don’t know who she is.

You may have noticed by now that I super love it when the media portrays women as strong, independent individuals rather than sex objects and idiots, and so of course I knew I loved this song the moment I heard the words “I threw up in the tub.”

Without further ado, I present to you the lyrics to Tove Lo’s “Habits” (with my constructive comments and suggestions, of course!).

“I eat my dinner in my bathtub
Then I go to sexclubs
Watching freaky people gettin’ it on
It doesn’t make me nervous
If anything I’m restless
Yeah, I’ve been around and I’ve seen it all”

Honestly there’s so much goodness going on here that I’m going to have to do this bit by bit.

“I eat my dinner in my bathtub”

No one does this. No, seriously, literally no one does this. It’s unsanitary and really just an accident waiting to happen. Also it’s weird.

“Then I go to sexclubs”

Okay…people probably do that.

“Watching freaky people gettin’ it on”

Is that what you do at sex clubs? Isn’t it quicker just to download porn?

“It doesn’t make me nervous”

That would make me nervous, for a number of reasons. I would probably be like, “Am I bothering these freaky people? I wonder if I’m making them uncomfortable. Should I ask them? No, they’re pretty busy. I don’t think I should touch anything. This is yucky. Where’s the buffet?”

“If anything I’m restless”

Have you tried knitting?

“Yeah, I’ve been around and I’ve seen it all”

Oh, so you have tried knitting. Fair enough.

“I get home, I got the munchies
Binge on all my Twinkies”

Do they still make Twinkies?

“Throw up in the tub”

Why are you BACK in the tub? Do you have anything else in your house besides a tub? Do you have a bed?

“Then I go to sleep”

In the tub, I’m assuming.

“And I drank up all my money
Tasted kinda lonely”

Maybe you should try drinking beverages instead of money.

“You’re gone and I gotta stay
High all the time
To keep you off my mind
Ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh
High all the time
To keep you off my mind
Ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh
Spend my days locked in a haze
Trying to forget you babe
I fall back down
Gotta stay high all my life
To forget I’m missing you
Ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh”

Ohhhhhh so you’re high. You definitely should have said that earlier. This all makes so much more sense now. Especially the Twinkies.

“Pick up daddies at the playground
How I spend my daytime”

Soooo, like, are these actual daddies? Of children? Are they at the playground with their kids? Because then I think they should probably stay with their kids. If they’re at the playground without their kids, then you 100% should not talk to them.

“Loosen up the frown,
Make them feel alive
I’ll make it fast and greasy
I know my way too easy”

This is a terrible idea. Stop doing this. Also where are their kids during this time?

“Staying in my play pretend”

By “my play pretend” you mean the tub again right?

“Where the fun ain’t got no end
Can’t go home alone again
Need someone to numb the pain

But your tub is at home! You love the tub.

“You’re gone and I gotta stay
High all the time
To keep you off my mind
Ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh
High all the time
To keep you off my mind
Ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh
Spend my days locked in a haze
Trying to forget you babe
I fall back down
Gotta stay high all my life
To forget I’m missing you
Ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh”


So, like…is this what music is now? Seriously? Just words that don’t really go together and don’t make any sense and we’ve all just decided to sort of accept it?

I’m gonna go throw up in my tub.

How to Tell if You’re a Grown-Up

So I keep wondering when that grown-up switch is going to flip. You know, the one that will up my maturity quotient and make me suddenly think and behave like an adult.

I’ll go to bed a 28-year-old child and, overnight – flip! – I’ll wake up a 28-year-old mature adult ready and able to do mature adult things.

I’ll know it happened because instead of waking up and thinking of all the possible excuses I could give to call in sick to work (let’s see…did I already say my dog died? What about my grandma? Who else can I kill off…) and hating my alarm for existing, I’ll be a morning-loving work-ready woman of the world. I’ll eat something like a bran muffin for breakfast (to stay regular) and go for a quick run to stretch my glutes. (I don’t know what glutes are.)

I’ll jet off to work calm and rested, not hungover and pissed off. I’ll seamlessly balance being a team-player with being assertive and confidant, and all will applaud my work ethic and my many living family members and pets. (Because I’ll have stopped killing them off…you get it.)

When I get home I’ll clean the beautiful house I was able to buy after learning how to save money (and also how “mortgage” works and how one can buy a house and not actually own it for like forty years and why that makes any sense at all). And when I clean, I’ll actually clean, like with solutions and chemicals and rubber gloves, not the way I do it now, which involves a lot of pushing things under my bed and sweeping up a bunch of dog hair and then kicking it under the couch.

I’ll do laundry more than twice a month and wash my sheets more than…um…


Listen, I really don’t wash my sheets a lot. I won’t bore you with facts and data.


I’ll suddenly be able to invest money and do my taxes and know the meaning of terms like “money market account” and “disposable income” (I mean, isn’t that, like, all income? If I dispose of it all on shoes and can’t pay rent it is). I’ll do things like eat balanced meals, even on weekends, and my husband and I will eat dinner at the table instead of on the couch watching Bar Rescue.


I’ll recycle and give money to charity. (And I won’t take “charity” to mean “the liquor store” like I do now.)

I’ll respond to inquiries about jury duty rather than just ignoring them and hoping the FBI has more important things to do than arrest me.

I’ll join a co-ed kickball team and we’ll spend weekends enjoying good-natured tournaments. I will not become overly competitive until everyone refuses to play with me.

I’ll stop wearing flip-flops that are impractical and I’ll start wearing sneakers everywhere, because they’re just better for you.

Obviously, my maternal instinct will kick in (it’s gotta be in there somewhere, right?) and I’ll not only be desperate for children, but have total faith in my ability to raise them to be protective members of society and not serial killers and sociopaths. I won’t think about all the drinking and traveling I can afford to do if I just avoid buying things like diapers or baby food.

I’ll stop watching things like Catfish: The TV Show and start watching things like CNN and The View.

I’ll stop sleeping in until 1:30 on weekends and instead will get up at 7am to get the most out of my day! I’ll go to bed at a reasonable hour every night, but before I do, I’ll always brush my teeth. I’ll even floss them! (That’s gonna hurt like a bitch at first, though. It’s been a while.) I’ll lotion myself up every time I get out of the shower and I’ll use eye cream under my foundation. I’ll never go to bed with a full face of makeup and false eyelashes because I’m too drunk to find a sink.

I’ll put gas in my car before the light’s been on for 27 miles.

I’ll stop using credit cards as my secret unlimited savings account.

I’ll have plans for the future that are more defined than, “Let’s figure out what we need to give up to pay rent this month.”

I’ll stop pouting. I’m a big pouter. Also, I’ll be able to kill bugs myself instead of making my husband do it while I scream in the corner.

I’ll keep up with dentist appointments and eye appointments and always get my yearly checkup. (Full disclosure: I probably haven’t been to the eye doctor in ten years, and haven’t been to the dentist in like three. Luckily I’m probably going to go blind soon, so having no teeth in my head won’t even bother me.)

I won’t even want to watch seven hours of Law and Order: SVU in one sitting while eating pints of ice cream in my pajamas. I’ll be like, “Ew, seven hours of Law and Order: SVU in one sitting while eating pints of ice cream in my pajamas? Gross. Let’s go get mammograms and colonoscopies together instead. Because we’re grown-ups and you can’t be too careful.”


As of today, though, I’m still just a giant adult-sized infant, whining when I’m hungry and occasionally peeing myself. I’ll let you know when the switch flips.

Pizza Is Better Than Exercise

I keep wondering if I’m ever going to like working out.

Or, at the very least, to stop hating it so much.

You know those people who bounce around in $124 lululemon stretchy shorts and say things like, “I love working out!” or “I have to exercise every day or I feel totally gross!,” or “I ran an extra four miles this morning just for fun!”

I hate those people. Also, I think they might be liars.

If you happen to be one of these liars: Shut up already. We get it. You shudder at the idea of binge-watching tv for seventeen hours straight and the thought of gluten makes your skin crawl.

No problem. More pizza for me.

You love breaking a sweat and probably do it without a single hair falling out of place. In fact, your sweat is probably more of a “glisten,” adding a bright, healthy glow, while mine is like someone hung me by the ankles and dipped me into a vat of liquid funk.

(Disclaimer: I don’t mean “funk” like the good kind, like the “bring in da noise, bring in da funk” funk. Just to be clear.)

Basically, while you and your perfect, non-sweaty hair look like this at the gym:

mind-my-gap-7I look more like this:


I mean, working out is awful, right? Can’t we all just agree on that? Mr. Literallynuts and I have been exercising regularly for about two months now, and I’ve been waiting for that moment while I’ll be in the middle of a particularly gruesome workout and suddenly – BAM! – like magic, all my homicidal visions of burning down the gym will fade away and will be replaced by images of toned kittens and puppies. I’ll think, “Man, I love when sweat covers my eyeballs and I can’t see!” or “Feeling like I’m going to pass out in a pile of my own vomit is the BEST!”

Alas, this hasn’t happened. Instead, I continue to hate working out for literally every moment that it’s occurring. I hate the idea of it, I hate driving to it, I hate completing it, and I even hate that moment afterwards when my husband’s like, “Great job!”

Don’t talk to me. Don’t even look at me, actually, until the gym and the horror that happens there is behind us and I’m safely on my couch. I’m sore and I plan to watch at least fourteen hours of uninterrupted S.V.U.

I worked out for, like, twenty minutes. If that doesn’t earn me sixteen donuts and a week of television in bed, I don’t know what will.

A Naked Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes

So I had a dream last night that I went back to graduate school.


In the dream, I was heading to one of my favorite classes taught by one of my favorite teachers. I was running late and freaking out about it (punctuality is much more important to Dream Me than it is to Real Me – Real Me would’ve just been like “Meh, I’m late…may as well just head home”), and when I finally found the classroom (you know how you can never find anything in dreams), the door was locked.

I knocked on the door, and my professor came out into the hallway to talk with me about being so late.

At this point, I realized I had forgotten to put clothes on. Like, any clothes at all. Like, bare-ass newborn baby nekkid.

Since this is obviously inappropriate, I tried to cover myself up with my hands, but I have less hands than I do lady-parts so it was a struggle.

So anyway, my professor comes out into the hallway and says,

“I can’t let you come in without clothes on. I already let it slide the first time.”


Apparently, Dream Me has had this problem more than once? And that first time, everyone just “let it slide”? How did Dream Me get to class that way? Did I drive, or take the subway? I can sort of understand being naked on the subway because once you’re on it, you’re pretty much stuck there. But if I drove to class, then couldn’t I have stopped at TJMaxx and bought myself some pants?

These are questions which have no answers.

So back to the dream:

I get really upset that my prof won’t let me into the classroom and I start crying. (What this means about feminism and female sexuality and the human anatomy, I’m not altogether sure.) My professor feels bad for me (I mean, I am Crying While Naked, which we all know is the worst and most humiliating type of crying) and kisses me on the forehead. Now, this seems like a huge invasion of personal space considering my ass is out, and I’m pretty sure Dream Me could sue him and the school for this, but whatever.

The weird thing is, I actually am going back to grad school, and tomorrow I have a meeting with my favorite professor to discuss the logistics.

I’m a little concerned now that this dream was actually a premonition and I’m destined to ride the subway bareback tomorrow. If you could be a doll and shoot me a text in the morning reminding me to cover my hoo-ha before I leave the house, that would be swell.