Literally all I do (and all I WANT to do, mind you) is hang out with my animals and take Hank on walks. It's the dreamiest, most boring existence ever and I am obsessed with it. I start back to work next week and while I am excited to meet my students soon and see my friends and be back on a schedule, I am so sad that I won't be home all day to snuggle my babies.
This week, while walking Hank, I walked by this creepy old abandoned apartment building and saw this ENORMOUS painted wood panel inside.
IT FREAKED ME OUT SO MUCH. It's super close to my house and I was torn between never wanting to leave my house again and wanting to go stake it out, Scooby Doo style. I've walked by it every day since and NO UPDATE. I am DYING. I envision some weirdo hiding inside, waiting to pounce on whoever enters. IT THRILLS ME.
I've watched too much Law and Order: SVU.
This week when I wasn't walking my dog, I took a quick trip down to San Francisco to have breakfast with my friend Sasha of Trail Mavens fame (if you live near me you should seriously go on one of her trips, they rule). I took BART in because driving in SF is the quickest way for me to have a full on panic attack. BART is always a terrible mix of weirdos and smells but this trip, I was treated to two people with ENORMOUS rolling bags. They were middle-aged and both seemed healthy. Rather than stand quietly and ignore everyone as the rest of the train was doing, they began to loudly comment about how people should give up their seats and how it's like these "selfish young people can't read." Um, no sir, I can read. I just don't give up my seat for passive-aggressive jerks who can't handle a 20-lb rolling backpack when I'm about to be on BART for a long time. SORRY NOT SORRY. Finally, the woman got a seat next to me and started reading all of my text messages. I began typing a long missive to a friend about what jerks were on BART! When I exited, I served up some of my best side-eye to date, and if you know me, YOU KNOW HOW GOOD THAT WAS.
I recognize that this makes me look like a huge jerk, and mkay, that's fine. I would've given up my seat in two seconds for an actual elderly person, or a disabled person, or a pregnant person, or basically anyone who didn't insult an entire train car of people because they are grumpy about going to the airport and expect us all to fall in line. My friend Joy wrote about this in terms of airplane travel, and I love her commentary on being kind to people serving you, and maintaining good boundaries with everyone else because no one should be a jerk in public transportation situations.
I am always seriously surprised when I get emails advertising some sort of surprise item extravaganza purchase. I've done the Birchbox situation, and as a human who is so pale I am almost translucent, the pickiest and craziest hair of all time that needs very specific products applied, and someone who is quite averse to weird smells, getting a box of random crap I will throw out two years from now just doesn't appeal. I'll spend that $15 on something I might actually use, thanks. And the same thing with clothes. A random "Stylish Surprise" of god knows what that is non-refundable? NOPE. If I can send it back, sure, but I refuse to take leftover sale rack crap under the guise of HAPPY MAIL.
One of the things that delights me most about being in my mid-thirties is that suddenly, everyone is okay with their bodies and habits and lifestyles. For example, pooping. After spending most of my life being mortified that anyone knew I pooped, I am so relieved to have entered an age where it can be fodder for conversation, or at the very least, no one acts scandalized when it is brought up. I have a friend in town this weekend, which, sidebar: only true friends come to visit Central California in July when it's at least 100 degrees, and another friend stopped by my house after I'd finished cleaning. She used my bathroom and commented on the considerate placement of a candle and lighter situation, as well as room spray. Her comment was something like, "Wow, you're just inviting people to poop!"
UM YOU BET I AM. My day is downright ruined when I am unable to use the bathroom. If you're staying in this house, I promise a few things: I will clean my hair monsters from the shower, you will have clean towels, and I will create a safe space so that you aren't dying of stomach cramps by the time you leave.
YOU ARE WELCOME.
I've been thinking a lot lately about politics (I mean, who hasn't) and this week has really been a DOOZY. I've watched people I know coping with terrible news and trauma and worry about what is next to come. I've also, thankfully, watched many people I know try to ask good questions and understand issues -- sadly, it hasn't always been met with understanding. I am not advocating leaving people alone who stand in the way of your right to exist and live and all that. But what I am more troubled by is this game of "Who is more woke?" I see brewing in communities of people I love and respect. I enjoyed this article from Autostraddle about social justice and some of the more problematic aspects: "Punishments for saying/doing/believing the wrong thing include shaming, scolding, calling out, isolating, or eviscerating someone’s social standing. Discipline and punishment has been used for all of history to control and destroy people. Why is it being used in movements meant to liberate all of us? We all have made serious mistakes and hurt other people, intentionally or not. We get a chance to learn from them when those around us respond with kindness and patience. Where is our humility when examining the mistakes of others? Why do we position ourselves as morally superior to the un-woke? Who of us came into the world fully awake?" Rather than cut people out or refuse to explain, can we work to be a little kinder? I hear iterations of THEY SHOULD GOOGLE over and over again, and I respect and understand that we all can't be helping explain things all the time but if it's someone you love, help them understand your side. Lovingly. I know that I am endlessly grateful for people who have taken the time to help me understand things more clearly, given a personal experience to something I wasn't sure of, or shown me a direction to go for more information as necessary.