Things That Make Me Want to Punch a Baby, Volume II

You know what I’ve been meaning to do? Write a list of more things I hate! Obviously, Volume I of Thing That Make Me Want to Punch a Baby was just the tip of the rage-filled iceberg, and thus, I present you with Volume II. You’re welcome.

babypunch (1)

  • Dog hair. Just…all of it…everywhere.
  • Everyone’s aspirations on Pinterest. Spoiler alert: your life will never be that awesome. Ever. Your kids won’t ever fingerpaint your portrait in your super organized and expertly labeled kitchen while you bake organic free-range vegan chicken nuggets out of homemade hemp seeds and your husband chops wood in the backyard to carve into floor to ceiling bookcases lined with black-and-white family portraits you took yourself. I DON’T BELIEVE YOU.
This is not your pantry. THIS WILL NEVER BE YOUR PANTRY. And don't even act like you would bake a cake and then shove it in that drawer. You would not.

This is not your pantry. THIS WILL NEVER BE YOUR PANTRY. And don’t even act like you would bake a cake and then shove it in that drawer. You most certainly would not.

  • People who try to make you prove that you know things. For example, I went to Florida State University. Whenever I say, ‘I love FSU!’ or even so much as root for the teams, there’s always that one guy who’s like, ‘I bet you can’t name the running back on the 1994 football team.’ Um, you’re right, I can’t. Do you know what I can do? Smash this beer bottle over your head and then shank you with it. I’ll let you live if you can spell the name of the sixteenth president’s dog walker. Dick.
  • Weather forecasts. Why is that even a thing? Many a day I’ve stood under a plexiglass train station awning, unsuccessfully trying to shield myself from a torrential Sharknado-style downpour, only to have my iPhone weather app look like this:
You're a fucking liar, iPhone weather app.

You’re a fucking liar, iPhone weather app.

  • Pickles, because I don’t understand them and I think they taste like everything that’s evil. We might not agree on this.
  • College tuition. Like, what exactly am I paying for? I mean, after you pay the professor and, like, heat the classroom, where else is that money going? It’s not funding my textbooks, or my laptop, or, like, getting me a job, so I guess that’s where I’m confused. Do you guys really need $80,000 from me and all my friends? I feel like this is some sort of Ponzi scheme, and at some point I’m going to show up to class only to find the doors boarded up and the word ‘Suckers!’ scrawled across the front.
  • Mondays. They’re the worst. Actually any day that involves work is sort of the worst. Weekends should be 78 days long, and then we should all put in a hard day’s work before the next 78 days of BBQing and sleeping in.
  • People who write TO their babies or pets on Facebook, a la: ‘To my kitty cat, Martin: You’re the best cat ever, and mommy loves you so much! Happy birthday, xoxo.’       Um, if your cat or dog or baby can read your Facebook, you need to send them to work and be making some money off that shit.
  • The fact that there’s an episode of Mtv’s True Life called, “My Boyfriend’s Fed Up With My Weight.” This pretty much sums up my feelings about that:

can't even

  • People who don’t wave at you when you let them in front of you in traffic. Maybe this is a Southern thing, but if I let your ass in, I expect a wave of acknowledgement, a wave that says, “Thank you for this. I can never repay you, but I will never forget you.” And then I will smile and feel pleased with myself for doing such an extraordinarily good deed. (But not before some other asshole tries to jump on the bandwagon and also pull in front of me, as if my generosity of spirit is a free-for-all. Not today, buddy. Back of the line for you!)
  • Stubbing your toe SO HARD that you’re afraid to look down because you’re sure that half your foot is missing and is now a mangled stump in a pool of foot-blood. (And then, like, two seconds later you’re completely fine. Wtf.)
  • When people randomly talk out loud in your vicinity because they clearly want you to comment. For example: you’ll be sitting at work or in class or on the subway and someone is reading the newspaper next to you, let’s say. And you’re both minding your own business, but then that someone says something like, “Wow, that is unbelievable.” Not directly to you – that would be too obvious. No, this is more of a sneak attack, a not-so-subtle subtle plea for acknowledgement. And then you keep not commenting so they become more aggressive and say, ‘I just can’t believe it!’ while giving you the side-eye of desperation. They might add a, “What an interesting story,” or “This is the craziest thing I’ve ever seen,” all the while expecting you to finally leap from your seat and shout, “WHAT IS IT?! WHAT?! TELL ME WHAT YOU KNOW BECAUSE I AM SO CURIOUS BECAUSE I HAPPENED TO OVERHEAR YOUR EXCITED EXCLAMATIONS!”                                                                                                                                                                                                             Well I just won’t do it. I see right through your little game and I refuse to participate.
  • Competition shows. If we follow reality tv to its logical conclusion, the only possible outcome is The Hunger Games: Sing For Your Life.
  • Romantic comedies. They’re, like, awful. Also, I don’t care what romantic comedy you’re going to see – I can tell you how it goes. Dude and chick meet. They don’t like each other at first and just can’t see eye to eye! (Oh, the shenanigans and misunderstandings that ensue.) Eventually they realize they’re madly in love and come so close to living happily ever after, but then one of them (the dude) does something stupid or wrong or awful (but not so awful that we stop liking him!) and someone else (the chick) finds out about it and boy is she mad! And she cries and then they’re apart but – wait! – the guy returns with a grand romantic gesture (think flash mob, heartstopping proposal-even-though-they’ve-been-broken-up-this-whole-time, or something to do with a dog) and everything’s cool! I just saved you $11.50.
Advertisements

My Anti-Women #YesAllWomen Post

Okay, so it’s not really “anti-women” per se, but I needed to get your attention. This is important.

The #YesAllWomen campaign is about telling the truth about women’s rights in this country and worldwide. It’s about the fact that yes, in fact, all women have experienced some form of sexual harassment, abuse, or assault at the hands of men. It’s about women and men standing up for other women and telling the world that events like the shooting and stabbing deaths that occurred in Santa Barbara last Friday and the misogyny that provoked them are not uncommon.

Caught up? Awesome.

So anyway, I started checking out the #YesAllWomen campaign on twitter – you should too! It’s interesting, captivating, heartbreaking, and empowering. It’s sometimes eye-opening, and sometimes not.

Here’s some examples of the types of things I was not surprised to see:

https://twitter.com/moedurden/status/472123587684753408

https://twitter.com/Jimmy007_007/status/470944842877779968

Obviously, any time a marginalized group wants to fight back or stand up for their basic rights, the group doing the marginalizing gets all freaked out and fights back. In this case, the marginalized group is us chicks. I want to be clear, however, that the oppressive group is not “all men” but is actually misogynists of any type (which hopefully includes only a small and pathetic subset of “all men”).

As we’ve already discussed, the comments section of anything is where humanity goes to rot and die, and so naturally we’re going to see the ignorant asshole guys who threaten to rape any woman speaking out against rape, or who use the ever-popular “everyone is oppressed” defense.

Par for the course, really.

Here’s what I was surprised to see:

I double-checked each profile just to be certain, but these last few tweets were all composed by women.

Oh, ladies.

Here’s the thing: some men are rapists and abusers and trolls and monsters and misogynists. This is an absolute truth. These men hate women and hate losing control to women and hate women having any power.

And that sucks, and it is absolutely not okay, but we knew that already, and it’s why #YesAllWomen was started in the first place. The whole idea was to get the attention of men and call on them to join us in the fight for equality.

What I didn’t expect was the amount of women-hating women out there. That’s right: to me, if you are a woman, you have certain obligations to other women. You have an absolute responsibility to be a safe haven for women everywhere – for victims of abuse, assault, rape, violence, aggression, hate. You should be the one who takes another woman into your arms and whispers, “I am with you. You’re safe here.”

Every time, every single time, there’s a sexual assault that gets attention in the media, there are women everywhere who condemn the victim for being slutty/stupid/naive/ugly/pretty/fat/skinny/annoying/drunk/high/naked/flirty/popular/lame. There are women everywhere who roll their eyes and shake their heads and exchange knowing glances because she must have been asking for it. What they’re really saying, these women, is, “That would never happen to me. I’m too smart. Too proud. Too cautious. Too sober. I would never let that happen.”

If you’ve ever said any of those things, then it is you, my friend, who ties your best friend’s hands behind her back while her boyfriend punches her in the gut. It is you who holds your sister down while some guy at a party takes advantage of her. It is you who holds open the door to every misogynistic rapist loser looking for a target, because as your voice echoes, “It’s HER FAULT!”, you become another hand clamped over her mouth, silencing her cries.

Yes, I feel pretty strongly about this.

Are you a woman? Then you should too.

Being the “cool girl” or the “non-feminist” or the girl who can take a joke isn’t worth stealing the voice of one more victim.

I promise you, one of your best friends or your cousins or your classmates has been raped. I promise you, the last time you made a joke about some girl “asking for it,” someone close to you felt your knife twist into her back.

#YesAllWomen deserve support and compassion and loyalty and respect.

From, yes, all women.

Facebook: Late Night Hate-Reading Since 2004

I’m pretty sure when Mark Zuckerberg came up with Facebook (and by “came up with” I mean apparently stole from these two guys who look like one guy), all he really wanted was a way to discreetly look up ex-girlfriends and judge their choices from the comfort of his own dormroom. The whole point of Facebook, clearly, is to stare at pictures of people you hate and get re-pissed-off at them for whatever made you hate them in the first place.

At least, that’s how I use it.

What is it about Facebook that makes us so desperate to know everything there is to know about everyone we hate?

face

Seriously, this can’t be just me, right? I can’t be the only loser who stays up until two in the morning typing the names of my sworn enemies into the search bar, only to see faces that I’m aching to punch. With my car.

It’s like self-inflicted torture, and I don’t know why I do it. I can’t help myself. I probably spend more time on Facebook looking at people I don’t like than people I actually do.

Is this weird?

Probably.

But the thing is, some of the people I hate on Facebook are people that I can’t actually hate in real life. At least, not to their faces, because social convention prohibits it. Like, if you were really mean to me in high school and called me “Ugly Bitch” every.single.time I walked into physics class, but now you’re a husband and father of three and devout Mormon, it would be remiss for me to still hate you for something so petty which happened so long ago. I mean, what am I gonna do, prank call you? Nonsense. We’re all adults now, we all made mistakes, and congratulations on your lovely family!

Just kidding. I still hate you, I hate your whole family, and I’m pretty much hate-reading your Facebook statuses about finger-painting and Jesus.

I think the reason we do the Facebook Hate Read is to confirm our suspicions about enemies from our pasts. Like, if I hate you, I would like validation that you’re a terrible person and I was right about you all this time. Also, I would like to know if you’re fat now.

Did we go on a terrible date six years ago, only to have you tell me three hours in that you think you’re gay? I’m looking your ass up, my friend. Did you make out with my high school boyfriend like five minutes after we broke up? My wine and I will be searching you this evening. Are you an ex-boyfriend, ex-bestie, inexplicably dirty former roommate, or old shitty college hookup? I MUST KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU.

Also, if you could put up some horribly unflattering pictures of yourself, I would really appreciate it.

Things That Make Me Want to Punch A Baby, Volume 1

The other day, a good friend asked me, “Do you ever write anything positive on your blog?”

I mused that over, and realized that I do, in fact, seem to have a penchant for bitter ranting and raving.

Therefor, I decided that now is as good a time as ever to put together a post that’s as cheerful and optimistic as kittens dancing in a bucket of Jell-O. Without further ado, I bring you what’s bound to be the first of many:

Things That Make Me Want to Punch A Baby
Volume 1
babypunch
  • People who don’t tip at restaurants. If you can afford an inexpensive meal, you can afford an inexpensive tip. If you can afford an extravagant meal, you can afford an extravagant tip. It’s simple math, really. There’s a special place in hell for people who don’t tip their waitstaff, and every meal’s a sneezer. (snEEz-er: noun. Food that was sprinkled with bodily fluids because you’re an asshole.)
  • In general, anyone who is rude to waiters, hostesses, dry cleaners, delivery guys – you’re not a nice person if you’re not nice to your waiter, and no amount of bullshitting will make up for that. (Note to my single friends: if you’re on a first date and the dude is a dick to the waiter, he’s pretty much waving that Red Flag right in your face. Act accordingly.)
  • People who stuff their sweatshirts and suitjackets into the overhead compartments on airplanes. Really? Oh okay, I’ll just shove my rolling suitcase under my ass and prop my feet up on it in this fourteen square inches of space so that your sweater can be comfortable. Does your sweater need anything else? Can I get it a drink? (I’m assuming these aforementioned people are also the non-tippers. They just take their beloved sportsjackets out to dinner and the two are so giddy with lust that no one remembers to tip.)
  • Books with movie covers. This is just in case you were thinking about picking up a book, you see Tom Cruise on the cover and think, “Oh, right, I can just watch this book on my television! Silly me, I can’t believe I almost read. Gross.”
  • The Friends episode I was watching earlier in which Joey announced to his new agent, “I’m 25.” It’s a weird phenomenon to grow older than people who were grownups when you were nine.
  • Also, people who are 25 and are actually making a living at a fulfilling job rather than working six part-times/living with their parents/putting themselves through school/day-drinking and crying round the clock. No one likes a showoff – grab a beer a make some self-sabotaging choices like the rest of us did at your age.
  • People that drive the speed limit in the fast lane. If you do this, no one loves you, and you’re going to die alone. If you drive under the speed limit in the fast lane, you’re clearly some sort of sociopathic terrorist sent here to destroy America.
  • Mornings. Every morning. Without fail. Just once I’d like to have my eyes snap open, a smile already on my lips, my feet poised to bound out of bed like people in orange juice commercials. Instead, I literally make a deal with the devil every single time my alarm clock goes off to let me press snooze just one. more. time. I’m not going to tell you the terms, but let’s just say at some point he’s going to collect and A LOT OF SHIT is gonna go down.
  • People who start sentences with “No offense, but…” Say no more. I already hate you.
  • Girls that wear a full face of makeup at the gym. It’s one thing if you’re coming from work and you’re still sporting some eyeliner; it’s quite another when you clearly put on false lashes and cream blush just before your trip to the elliptical. Working out is awful enough without having your perfect ponytail and painted brows bouncing next to me in the mirror while I’m looking like a sweaty monkey wearing the mask from Scream.
  • Duvet covers. There is absolutely no feasible way to actually fill a duvet cover from end to end and corner to corner with your comforter. It’s physically impossible, because science.
  • Facebook. Okay, don’t get me wrong, I have a facebook because I live on earth but here’s the issue: You know how, sometimes, you’re walking around thinking, “Why, my life is pretty okay!” Maybe you have a job, maybe you’re in a fulfilling relationship or you’re happily single, maybe you just mastered a level of Candy Crush that’s been torturing you for weeks. You take a look in the mirror and say, “I. Am. Awesome.”

Wrong. Facebook is here to remind you that literally every single person you have ever known is doing much better than you are. Haven’t made it to Italy? Everyone you know is studying abroad! Feeling okay about waiting a few years before you walk down the aisle? Sorry, loser, but all your friends have four kids already and they’re loving it. Wondering whether you should have leftover pizza and fistfuls of peanut butter for lunch? All the girls you went to school with are busy shucking their own pesticide-free organic corn to make homemade fiber bars for the homeless. Loving the way you look in that new bathing suit? Come on, fatty, everyone else is doing crossfit and living on chia seeds alone.

Facebook is like the world’s snooty, suck-up coworker who exists to prove that you actually suck way more than you thought you did, and that all of your accomplishments are like seven years later than everyone else’s. Nice try, failure.

Dear Lady Gaga: You’re Hurting Women. Please Stop.

Dear Lady Gaga,

I know a lot of people are talking about you right now, and calling you names, and tweeting about how #gross your show was the other night. That’s exactly the result you must have been hoping for, and so, most likely, you’re probably just counting your money and congratulating yourself on having been the freakshow flavor of the week. (For now.)

I hope, though, that you’ll take a second to actually hear what people are saying to and about you, and allow yourself to listen, and to learn from your colossal mistake.

I used to really like you and a lot of the things you stood for. You’ve spoken out in favor of gay marriage and anti-bullying campaigns. You’ve broken barriers in fashion and music and sales. You’re kind of funny and quirky and different and you got really popular really fast. Also, your voice is pretty awesome and your songs were really great.

Here’s the thing, though. After the stunt you pulled at your show Thursday night, I think it’s time you heard the truth.

You’re hurting women.

Not just adult women, either. Teenagers. Little girls. Women of all shapes and sizes and backgrounds and with hopes and dreams similar to yours.

vomit

Last Thursday, you decided that it would be edgy or cool to have a skinny young woman hold back her hair, stick her fingers down her own throat, and force herself to vomit over your body as you sang for an audience in Austin, Texas. You shouted, “Fuck you pop music!” into the crowd in the midst of the charade, even though, without pop music, I’m pretty certain you wouldn’t be the millionaire you are. You probably thought this was all very unexpected or hoped it would make you stand out from other cookie-cutter pop stars.

You were wrong.

Look, I get that there’s some sort of desperation to hold on to fame. I mean hey, Ozzy Osbourne used to bite the heads off of bats during his shows. God forbid the world isn’t talking about you for sixteen seconds, right? Maybe you’re pissed that everyone’s been tweeting about Amanda Bynes for going crazy or Justin Beiber for getting arrested and you wanted to grab the headlines. Better to have people laughing at you or hating you than not talking about you at all, I guess.

But here are just a few of the reasons why your publicity stunt was damaging to your millions and millions of female fans:

For one, romanticizing the act of a woman, any woman, sticking her fingers down her throat and forcing herself to throw up hurts every single woman who is suffering from a very real eating disorder.

Sexualizing that is inexcusable.

Using it as fodder for your act shows how out of touch you really are, and how little you care for your fans (especially the female ones). I realize that every time a celebrity makes a terrible decision, they start whining about how they don’t want to be a role model, but you lost that luxury the second you started putting on wire-rimmed glasses and advocating for human rights. Not only did you choose to be a role model, but you relished the title.

Before the performance, you appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live in a dress (made of coffee filters, #youresoedgy) which covered you from head to toe. You said of the dress: “I just really wanted to be comfortable for the interview, that’s why I wore it, because I’m really fat right now.”

So first, we have the oh-so-overdone body shaming (“omg you guys, I’m sooo fat right now, but I’m totes gonna take off all my clothes tonight at my show!”), and hours later, we have a women vomiting all over you, on purpose. Good one.

You have admittedly suffered from your own eating disorder, and said in an interview with Harper’s Bazaar just last February,

“I don’t have an eating disorder anymore.  I’m also better at not letting people take advantage of me….I should be around people who cherish my talents, my health, my time.”

I’m sorry, I guess I’m confused. How, exactly, do you expect people to applaud your talents when you seem to be so insecure about your ability as a singer and songwriter that you feel compelled to punctuate your performances with actual vomit just to be noticed?

The craziest thing of all is that you actually are a mega-talented musician who’s earned incredible success all over the world. Remember?

So anyway, after the vomiting, you and the apparent-bulemia-sufferer gyrated all over each other in your underwear, because God only knows that a female entertainer is only relevant when she’s pretending to be sexually aroused by another woman.

So, besides making a mockery of eating disorders and society’s strangle-hold on women’s body image, you also used your (disingenuous) sexuality to sell tickets. Wow, how shocking and bold. That’s never been done before.

Apparently, you then rode on a mechanical pig while the same woman pretended to hump you and continued vomiting on you. Since this was immediately following a song that you claimed was “about rape and rage”, Rolling Stone inferred that this charade was supposedly positioning you “as a metaphorical survivor of rape.”

If someone has to explain to you why getting paid millions of dollars to gyrate on stage and generate tweets by having a woman throw up on you on purpose is not like rape, then this situation is much worse than I thought.

You want to be edgy? You want to be different from all the other pop stars? What if, instead of parading around in fishnets and rubbing another person’s vomit all over your breasts, you came out onstage in, like, a pair of jeans, and like…a shirt. And, oh, I dunno, sang songs and played piano. And…this is nuts, but…what if you just performed your music and relied on your talent and ability rather than your ass and midriff.

That would be shocking. That would be radical.

Maybe then you’d stand out from the rest of them, instead of telling the world that even you don’t think you’re worth anything fully-dressed and clean of bodily fluids. And what’s worse: that maybe no woman is.

You don’t have to fill your mouth with bat-heads when you actually have something to say.

Stop hurting women. Please.

Sincerely,

A fan. Of women.

If You Don’t Want Your Vagina on Facebook, Don’t Bring it to Work With You

You know, just yesterday I was whining about how my mind was empty of things to write about and worrying that I’d reached my blogging peak after just five little posts.

And then, this morning, I woke up to this: Massachusetts court says “upskirt” photos are legal.

Honestly, it’s like the universe swaddled me in a blanket of puppies and whispered, “Here you go. This is just for you.”

In case you missed it, this is pretty much what happened:

A few years ago, a creepy dude was caught taking creepy pictures with his cell phone on a subway train. He wasn’t documenting his dinner for Instagram or finding the perfect selfie angle for his mom (like, you know, a normal person). Instead, he was secretly taking pictures up the skirts of women with whom he was not acquainted.

In other words, he was trying to get shots of strange chicks’ vaginas, or underwear, or butts, or whatever. Without their knowledge.

You know, because it’s super tough to just find pornography online or on television or in a store or in your imagination, and everyone knows it’s way better to make your own. With people who don’t know they’re involved in it. Surprise Porn, as I like to call it (patent pending).

Anyway, so this guy got caught and went to court, as creepy Surprise Porn directors tend to do.

So far, you’re probably nodding along, thinking, “Yes…yes…this all seems to make sense…I, for one, would rather not have my vagina on your iCloud…” because you are a Human Woman and you brazenly assume that the only people who are allowed to enjoy your underwear and what’s beneath it are those who are expressly invited. (I know, I know, we women have gotten so uppity.)

Well stop nodding and lock up your crotches, because here’s the kicker:

Today, Massachusetts’ highest court ruled that the Secret Subway Crotch Photographer was, in fact, engaging in a perfectly legal activity. (Like you, I’m assuming that “highest court” is referring to the amount of pot smoked by these esteemed individuals in order to make such a ruling.)

Here’s why:

According to Chapter 272, Section 105(b) of Massachusetts General Laws,

“Whoever willfully photographs, videotapes or electronically surveils another person who is nude or partially nude, with the intent to secretly conduct or hide such activity, when the other person in such place and circumstance would have a reasonable expectation of privacy in not being so photographed, videotaped or electronically surveilled, and without that person’s knowledge and consent, shall be…punished.” (Emphasis mine.)

According to CNN.com, the high court ruled that the practice of attempting to photograph up a woman’s skirt on the subway did not violate said law because the women who were photographed while riding Boston public transportation were not nude or partially nude.

Basically, because the women were wearing clothing to cover their sweet-smelling lady-bits, they were not assuming the expectation of the privacy of said lady-bits. Even though…you know…they covered them…for privacy. I know, it’s a brain teaser.

So, since I’m a glass-half-full kind of girl, I’m going to choose to see the silver lining here. The good news is this: for those of you who generally ride the subway butt-ass naked, you’re fully protected under the law! NO ONE has a right to take a picture of your bare undercarriage as long as it’s totally exposed to the world! Thank goodness the law is finally catching up with the times, and I can rub my delicate vaginal skin right on a warm, vomit-stained train seat without fear of someone exploiting my body by taking a photo.

really feel like women and the constant objectification of our bodies is being taken seriously.

There is a downside, however. (I know, I’m really reaching.) The ruling states that the women photographed supposedly were not allowed the expectation of privacy for another reason: They had willingly entered into a public setting.

I mean, if they had just stayed home instead of having the audacity to pay for and ride public transportation (with their vaginas with them, no less!), no one would have bothered with their hoo-has at all! It’s so simple, really: don’t go in public, and the public won’t exploit you! Duh. I mean, it’s sort of like how us ladies should just stop getting raped all the time, rather than assuming that other human beings might not rape us!

I’m really getting so sick of all these women thinking they can just go gallivanting around, vagina in tow, and just expect that no one is going to reach up underneath their clothing and try to snap a secret photo to jerk off to later.

But, for those of you “progressive-type” girls who don’t want to find your vagina getting photobombed on Tumblr, I offer this advice:

Go everywhere naked to legally protect yourself from unwanted photographers.

If you must wear clothing, then stay inside your house. Once you’re out in the world, all bets are off. Your vag is fair game. Do you really need to work and go to school and socialize and shop and pick up your kids, anyway? I mean, at that point, aren’t you really just asking for it? 

Honestly, if you’re taking your vagina outside, you might wanna slap some lipstick on the ol’ girl. Her fifteen minutes of fame could be right around the corner. Of the subway. Where that creepy guy is sitting.

If You Can’t Say Something Nice, Maybe You’re An Asshole

So here’s something I really don’t understand about the internet: When did it become so socially acceptable to be a complete assface online while pretending to be a human in real life?

One of the (many) things that made me hesitant to start a blog is the sheer volume of venom that spews through the giant invisible wires of the World Wide Web. (It’s powered by giant invisible wires, right?)

I mean, by now we’ve all learned that people who lurk in the comments section of literally anything on the internet are a collection of evildoers so foul that even their mothers don’t love them, but that doesn’t prevent their ignorant/racist/sexist/ageist/hateful/prejudiced/cowardly/petty/dumbass opinions from being hurtful. Before I started this blog, I read many other blogs, and often I would read the vitriol in the comments section and think, “Seriously, I just can’t do it.”

Here’s why: I know that I am not thick-skinned. In fact, I am quite thin-skinned, like a delicate, sweet-smelling tomato. And I have no doubt that the moment someone writes something on my blog like, “Omg you suck you should go die,” I will, in fact, go die. My supple tomato-skin will be unable to protect me.

If you think I’m overreacting, go open literally anything written by anyone on the internet. Read the article, smile or frown or laugh or think along with the words and facts and opinions put forth there, and then scroll on down past the ads for hemorrhoid cream and take a gander at the comments section.

An example:

Let’s say you have a blog about fashion. It’s gotten kind of popular, and it’s been featured on some other fashiony website, and your life is pretty great. And let’s say one day you write a little post about the various ways to tie scarves. And you’re feeling pretty good about yourself because you’ve come up with scarf-knots suitable for every occasion, from work to day-drinking to the walk of shame. When it comes to tying scarves, you are professor and chair.

Now, for a day or two, your comment section will consist of a handful of regulars applauding your efforts and thanking you for your scarf-tying proficiency. You will pat yourself on the back and bask in your own scarf-knotting glory.

And then, as suddenly as a refreshing drink of water that goes down the wrong pipe and momentarily convinces you that you’re drowning, a strange thing will happen. (This is assuming that your blog, unlike mine, is read by more than six people.)

Someone, somewhere, will write some form of the following:

Evildoer 1: “so i love ur blog but this is a miss! that scarf looks sso gross lol”

Okay, well, that’s alright. You’re a brilliant writer and fashionista and obviously not everyone is going to share your style and anyway a lot of people like it and also she wrote “lol” so it’s totally just friendly criticism! You’re super secure, lol.

Inevitably, someone who likes you will follow that first comment with:

Friendly Participant: “That’s so mean! This blog is amazing and your scarves all look AWESOME – don’t worry about the haters!”

And this will feel good. This will act as a salve healing the burn of the first comment, and the sting will disappear. And you’ll think to yourself, “I have many supporters and I am well loved.”

However, just as you’re congratulating yourself on reacting so maturely to adversity, something unexpected will happen. That supportive comment will, confusingly, rile up Evildoer 1 and a million of her internet-lurking friends.

Evildoer 1: “wow lol its not mean its a opinion! ew ur like in luv with scarfs ur like the scarf police lol”

Evildoer 2: “LOL sCaRF pOLicE tHatS sO tRUe!!”

Evildoer 3: “Seriously, this blog used to be a place where different people could share their opinions openly, but now people get shut down just for not agreeing with your scarf-tying? Way to alienate your fans. You’ve definitely lost a reader.”

Evildoer 4: “yeh u suck so bad now, also ur ugly ttyl bye”

Evildoer 5: “STOP PUSHING YOUR POLITICAL AGENDA DOWN OUR THROATS!!! I SERIOUSLY DONT HAVE A PROBLEM WITH SCARVES BUT CANT YOU JUST TIE THEM IN THE PRIVACY OF YOUR OWN HOME AND LEAVE THE REST OF US OUT OF IT!!! MY KIDS COULD SEE THIS!!!”

Evildoer 6: “No one cares about your scarves. You should kill yourself.”

Evildoer 7: “This post is the most elitist garbage I’ve ever seen. Some people don’t even have scarves. Think about that while you’re walking around with all your scarves. Our society’s obsession with consumerism makes me sick to my stomach.”

Evildoer 8: “that blue scarf make u look like a slut”

Evildoer 9: “Hi! I’ve never commented but I’m a longtime reader, and I just felt really compelled to speak up about this – aren’t you a mother? It just seems to me that your time would really be better spent building an environmentally friendly whole fruit and herb garden with your kids rather than worrying about trivial things like fashion. I’m not saying you’re a bad mom and I’m totally not judging you, I promise! I just feel really bad for your children.”

Evildoer 10: “Yeah what is this teaching your daughter, like oh you have to wear scarves so men will like you, seriously why dont you just buy her a stripper pole”

Evildoer 11: “u just wear scarves cuzz u have a fat neck, u need to werkout! im soso sick of lazy peeple, its called BEING HEALTHHY”

Evildoer 12: “fake”

Evildoer 13: “Those scarves are really fucking racist.”

You probably won’t even get to Evildoer 13, though, because by that point you’re too busy crafting a noose out of the scarves you once loved.

Basically, the moral of the story is this: If you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, don’t say it on the internet. And if you would say it to someone’s face, there’s a pretty strong possibility that you’re just a terrible person.

But I’m totally not judging you. I promise. 

Putting My English Degree to Good Use, or: Does This Mean I’m a Published Writer?

So here it is, world. My blog.

I’m not gonna lie, the word “blog” really freaks me out. There are several reasons for this, not the least of which is that I used to want to be a writer, and by “writer” I mean of books, and by “books,” I mean those things that we used to buy and share and feel and smell and occasionally read before reading stopped being a thing. As much lighter as it would make my purse, I just cannot bring myself to buy a Kindle because A) I’m poor and I hear they’re literally giving out books for free at the library, and B) I love the physical experience of turning pages, and of that specific kind of anxiety you feel when you start running out of pages to turn and you know that it just can’t end like this.

You don’t really get that from a blog, am I right?

But alas, the world is changing without me, blogs are the new books and the internet is the new coffee shop, so here I am.

Anyway, I decided to start a blog because I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things, and while the world may have absolutely no use for those opinions, that hasn’t stopped TMZ, has it? For a long time I have been unburdening myself by means of Facebook statuses and long-winded text messages to friends, and very often the response I’ve received has been positive. That said, it’s always been painstakingly obvious to me that I was taking the easy way out, that these positive responses are due to the fact that my audience is comprised of people who generally agree with me and my views (hi, Mom). Not always, but most of the time. And so it’s been sort of like asking your husband over and over and over if he really and truly loves you, knowing full well that each and every time he’s going to say “Yes, of course, you’re lovely,” because if he says anything else you both know you’ll choke him out. Or so I hear.

While it’s definitely ego-pumping to receive positive comments from your friends and family, it’s not really helping anyone grow or expand in the long run. It doesn’t make me mature as a writer or force me to re-evaluate my views, and I imagine it hasn’t done the same for anyone else, either. Which is why I’ve decided to take my thoughts to the streets. (And by “the streets” I mean the wires and satellites which magically make the letters appear on this screen as I type them, and then supernaturally fly those letters into your home by way of what I can only assume is fairy dust and hamsters in wheels.)

So anyway, back to My Feelings.

I’m a person who’s burdened by a lot of concerns. Lots of things worry me. You may be thinking, “Oh, Lauren, everyone has worries, duh,” as I would if I were reading this, and then I would think, “You must be SO full of yourself to have started a blog just to talk about your concerns!” (I’m pretty judgmental, obviously.)

But, to give you a better idea of what it’s like to be In My Brain, here’s a laughably tiny list of the things I’m concerned about at this very moment:

That my boss will notice that I’m using her computer to write my first blog entry, even though I’m writing it in a gmail window (on top of being judgmental, I’m also very sneaky).

That I’m hungry. Duh. And speaking of food:

donuts, and their merciless hold over me.

That terrible things are happening in Russia, which goes hand-in-hand with:

gay rights.

Animal rights.

Women’s rights, paying special attention to the subcategory of:

women’s reproductive rights, which leads me to:

public health care.

Private health care.

My privates. (I’m sure most women can attest that it’s pretty much a full-time job to keep up with what goes on down there.)

My dog.

My dog’s privates. (This actually is not a joke – at all times she is either A) licking her butt, B) itching her butt, or C) doing something to her no-no place that you’re really not supposed to do in mixed company.)

My dog becomingly increasingly obese and my role in this. Also, the fact that she’s a total bitch. (Figurative or literal? You decide.)

That my dog is home alone right now, and what if that makes her sad? And what if that sadness is also contributing to her growing belly? And what if she’s picked up on my bad happens and she, too, is a stress-eater? Which reminds me:

Stress-eating.

The snow outside and the fact that I refuse to do any shoveling and the potential this has to do real damage to my marriage.

My marriage. Not because anything is wrong with it – quite the opposite, in fact. It’s lovely. Unless I’m missing something important. Maybe we’re on a downward spiral because I’m subconsciously ignoring some real problem that’s slowly driving a wedge between us. Like my refusal to shovel. Perhaps we should talk about it. I’m going to go home tonight and talk to him about it, because obviously he resents me but is keeping his feelings locked up inside to avoid confronting our issues. What a dick.

Speaking of the snow outside and my refusal to shovel it: Seasonal Affective Disorder. (Which, by the way, I totally didn’t believe was a real thing until I moved to Boston and realized that New England weather is America’s way of weeding out the weak.)

Poverty, sadness, illness, depression, hopelessness, worldwide despair. Also,

national disasters, global warming, killer bees, dying coral reefs, and sad, fuzzy polar bears clinging desperately to glaciers the size of whiskey rocks.

Money/taxes/paychecks, or: Things That Fall Under the General Umbrella of “Not Enough.”

The mysterious creature known as the “401k.” Because I am almost 30 and genuinely have no idea what that is.

Self-control. This is probably a skill worth looking into.

The pros and cons of spending five years on an English degree and half of a Communications degree. If only they gave out halves.

The fact that the amount of money in my savings isn’t enough to even warrant being called “a savings,” but would really be more appropriately titled, “a measlings.”

And in the “What a Surprise! Said No One Ever” category:

How to make a blog.

And that’s just the stuff I’m worried about right now.

So if you’re looking for a candid exploration of any of the hard-hitting issues mentioned above, look no further. We may even go into my privates. (That one’s figurative.)

You’re welcome.