condescending twatbags, music, rock stars, YouTube

Repost: Druscilla Penny…

I originally posted this article on the first OH blog on October 21, 2016. I’m reposting it as/is today, because I have a case of writer’s block and can’t think of anything to post right now. This post actually got some interesting engagement from new commenters when it was fresh content, six years ago. So, for that reason, I’m making it available again for the intrigued. I might be back later with something new, or I might not. This has been a stressful week, and to be honest, I’m kind of tired.

I probably ought to write this post on my music blog, but I figure what I’m about to write has enough in it that isn’t about music that it belongs here on my big blog.  Besides, the only reason anyone reads my music blog is to find out about Richard Carpenter’s daughter, Mindi, who probably gets unfavorably compared to her famous dead aunt Karen more times than she can count.

Yesterday, I took my dog to the vet. Zane (who passed in 2019) has had an ear infection and the vet had given us some meds. I’ve been using the meds, but his ear is still full of gunk. The vet wants to sedate him and flush it out. I’m going to try to have a sebaceous cyst removed from him on the same day. ETA: The “cyst” turned out to be a mast cell tumor, which is linked to canine lymphoma. Both Zane and Arran had mast cell tumors, and both went on to get lymphoma. On the way to the vet’s office, I was listening to music. The old Carpenters’ song “Druscilla Penny” came up on the iPod.

Richard plays a song about a groupie who wears too much makeup.

“Druscilla Penny”

Druscilla Penny, what a name!

Are you sure you didn’t make it up yourself?

You’re very pretty, yes you are

But with all the junk you wear, it’s hard to tell

Man, you must work hard to get your hair to look like that

I don’t need a horoscope to tell me where you’re at

Your family’s probably given up on you

Since you began to follow groups of long-haired rock ‘n rollers

I can hear your mother crying for her daughter

Ah, ah, ah ….

Ah, ah, ah ….

Druscilla Penny, what a girl!

Where’s the purpose to the crazy life you lead?

It doesn’t matter after all

You’re so sure instant love is all you need

I’ve seen your face at least a thousand times

You’re always standing there behind the stages at the concerts

Waiting for an offer to be with someone after

Druscilla Penny, how’s your head?

Do you ever wake up lonely in the night?

It isn’t easy for a girl when she can’t decide

If love is wrong or right

I hope I live to see a change

Could you ever really love?

Ever really care?

Ever really get it together? no no

This is one of a couple of songs on the Carpenters’ 1971 self-titled album that features the metallic voiced Richard Carpenter singing lead.  I read on a message board that this song was kind of a comedy skit, with Richard singing to one of the countless groupies who were waiting around to get with a musician.  I’m sure Richard fielded his share of horny women back in the 70s, though he sounds so uptight and straight on this song that it comes across as funnier than it probably should.

He sings about her crazy life, her love of substances, makeup, and weird hair, and the fact that her family is sick over her departure from respectability.  I’ve heard this song many times, but yesterday was the first time Richard sounded downright disdainful to me.  Like, I could picture him backstage telling off some poor kid, standing over her like an overbearing father.  It just doesn’t seem to mesh with the concept of a famous pop musician.  On the other hand, it does seem to suit Richard’s personality. Case in point…

“Piano Picker”… another song that highlights Richard’s attitude…

“Piano Picker”

Everybody always asks me

How I got to play so fine

And friends, I’m gonna tell ya

It really did take some time

Yes, after years and years of practice

And a case of real bad knees

Whil the other guys were out playin’ with the football

I was home bangin’ on the keys

And it got me

Right were I am, this is me

Playing the piano

I hope ya like what I do

It’s for you, and I’ll try and sing right too

I guess I’m really very lucky

That I’ve got this thing to play

‘Cause it can really make me feel good

Even when it’s cloudy and grey

Yes, after years and years of practice

And awful allergies that made me sneeze

And now the other guys are out playin’ with their girlfriends

And I was still bangin’ on the keys

And it got me

Right where I am, this is me

Playing the piano

I hope ya like what I do

It’s for you

And I’ll try and sing right too

Someone get this guy a glass of chocolate milk and some Claritin.  And maybe something to kill the bug up his ass.

Actually, the whole “Druscilla Penny” story seems kind of funny to me because everyone and their brother seemed to be taking drugs back in the 70s.  I mean, Richard himself spent some time in rehab for being hooked on prescription meds.  As far as I’ve read, he was not a drinker even in those days, but he did take Quaaludes or something like them.  And while Karen was getting some help for her anorexia nervosa, Richard was seeking treatment for his addiction to pills.  So why should he be looking down on a groupie whose head is in the clouds?

I know… it’s just a song and a rather silly one at that.  It might be funny to hear someone do a cover of it.  I bet Pat Boone could turn it into a big band standard, much like he did with Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train”.  On the other hand, maybe it’s time I got a life and started listening to music from the 20s.

Below are the original comments:

AlexisAR

October 23, 2016 at 9:20 AM

I remember both of those songs. “Druscilla Penny” always seemed really condescending to me, as in the one girl who was so low that even Richard wouldn’t take her up on her post-concert offers.

  1. knottyOctober 23, 2016 at 9:50 AMYeah. That is exactly what I thought. Very condescending. As if Richard has room to be picky.

Unknown

February 27, 2017 at 6:29 PM

Love this song. I’ve always thought of it as “Penny Lane Lite,” though I have to say, I’ve never considered it to be condescending in any way. More of a cautionary tale. Considering the mindset regarding the pills he was taking at the time (they were given to him by his mom, who had a prescription), I can see how he wouldn’t have associated the fact that he was taking pills to help him sleep with the rampant recreational drug use he probably witnessed in the late ’60s/early ’70s. Also, I don’t think he had quite developed an addiction yet when this song was written.

Replies

  1. knottyFebruary 27, 2017 at 6:40 PM Well, you’re right that this was one of their early songs and Richard didn’t get help for his addiction until the late 70s. Which, if you think about it, makes it even funnier. He was what, 24 or 25 years old at the time? I’m not sure exactly when the addiction started, but I did read that it went on for years until he entered the Menninger Clinic in Kansas.

    Anyway… I love listening to the Carpenters. I enjoy a lot of what Richard and Karen did, especially in the early years. This song is a guilty pleasure for me, but I was inspired to write this post because I happened to hear it a different way on that day. And I’ve been listening to it since the late 80s (and probably before then, too).  

Melanie Kyle

January 4, 2019 at 8:22 PM

Hi, I actually know Dru. I met her in the early 90s and we became very good friends. She went to school with Richard told me that she was very hurt by this song. He was judgmental and nasty toward her. Basically, he was clean cut and she was a hippy and he bullied her both at school and by writing and then publishing this mean inaccurate song. 

Replies

  1. knottyJanuary 4, 2019 at 8:56 PM I’m sure knowing the woman behind it makes it seem all the more mean spirited… it doesn’t seem very becoming to the Carpenters. And I am sure Dru was mortified.

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condescending twatbags, Ex, narcissists, scams, social media, Twitter

Twitter twaddle from the number one twatbag…

DISCLAIMER: Today’s post is going to be kind of snarky and personal, and it may cause some readers to think I’m a terrible person. I don’t really care, because I know I’m not a terrible person. I also don’t care if people think I need to “move on”. I write about this shit because I find it entertaining, and it helps me keep a lot of bizarre things in perspective. I also write about this for those who are in similar circumstances and need hope or insight, and those who just find this tale funny or interesting. This is not a post about all ex wives– it’s just about my situation. So please, if you find yourself judging me for writing this, keep in mind that this post isn’t about you, unless you are Ex. And if that’s the case, you deserve to be upset for your years of abusing my husband and not respecting my privacy. If you are not Ex, but are still upset about this post, you can simply move on, too. I’m not crazy, obsessed, or unstable. I’m just completely flabbergasted by her gall.

We had a really lovely afternoon yesterday. I wrote about it on my travel blog. That post could use some hits, so if you’re at all interested, I’d appreciate a click or two. Now that COVID restrictions are less annoying and onerous, I’m hoping Bill and I can squeeze in some more fun before the cold weather hits us. That usually happens sometime in September in Germany, but given our global warming situation, it may happen later than that.

You may be wondering about today’s post title. I wasn’t actually planning to write about Twitter today, but I saw something and just couldn’t help myself. Twitter is very toxic, but it is fertile ground for blog topics. There are also a lot of posters there, wittier, funnier, and hungrier for attention than I am, who post things that make me think. And then there are those who make me laugh uproariously.

I’ve not made it a secret that I enjoy stalking Ex’s public tweets. I do this now, after years of doing all I could to avoid looking her up. In the past, I wanted to ignore her, because I didn’t want to disrupt my peace with anger toward her antics. So why do I read her posts now? Well, it’s mostly because she’s no longer a threat to me, and I find some of her posts interesting, particularly as I study narcissism. I despise my husband’s ex wife for MANY valid reasons. A lot of them are detailed in this blog, although I don’t think I’m quite as venomous in this blog as I was in my original one on Blogspot. In any case, aside from today’s post title that includes the word “twatbag”, I don’t think I will be overly nasty in this post, as it’s about something relatively trivial. It’s about obvious brown nosing and sycophantism.

I have mentioned before that my husband’s ex wife dropped out of high school when she was a teenager. She got a GED (general equivalency diploma), and then made a few half-assed stabs at higher education, which she never managed to finish while she was still a young woman. I think it was mainly because she had her first child when she was 20 years old, and was married to her first husband when she was still technically a teenager. There was no money or time for higher education, although she did apparently tell everyone that she had won scholarships to prestigious schools. She even told Bill she had been accepted at West Point. Somehow, I find that very hard to believe.

Ex’s first marriage didn’t last very long. She and #1 were posted in Germany at the same time Bill was, back in the late 80s. They all knew each other, as they had gone to the same high school. Bill was three years ahead of Ex. One day, #1 ran into Bill on a flight back to the States. He told Ex that he’d seen Bill, and she decided to look him up. Sadly, she was successful in tracking him down, even though the Internet wasn’t a thing back then. I guess she figured Bill, as an officer, would offer her a nicer lifestyle and more prestige. She certainly doesn’t marry for love.

At some point, Ex showed up at Bill’s apartment in Bavaria, her toddler son in tow. Bill lacked experience with women and self confidence back then, so she easily put the moves on him. They hooked up, and she hastily ditched #1. Then she came back to Germany, and she and Bill later got married in Denmark. Over the next ten years, she was a typical Army wife, having kids, working at dead end jobs, getting involved in MLMs and culty religions, and eventually running up huge debts. Not that running up debts is necessarily something an Army spouse automatically does. For instance, I made a point of getting RID of debt when Bill was still on active duty. I was mostly successful.

Ex did not have a college degree when she and Bill were married. She reportedly used to complain about that a lot. She supposedly told Bill that she was the smarter one of the two of them, and she should be the one with a fancy college degree. You can imagine what I think about that self-evaluation on Ex’s part… (eyeroll)

From late 1999 until mid 2000, Ex was deep in the process of discarding Bill. She didn’t know that Bill and I were online friends. She had moved #3 into the house Bill was still paying mortgage on, and was trying to get Bill’s daughters to forget about their real dad and attach to her latest husband. Around that time, Ex was working at an institution of higher learning, where one of the benefits was free or reduced tuition. She worked there for several years, but it wasn’t until 2006 or so that she finally decided it was time to get EDUCATED. Why? Well, it was probably because of me.

I could be wrong, of course. She might have decided entirely on her own that 2006 was going to be her year to finally get cracking on that college degree. But that decision coincided with an angry email I sent to her in the spring of that year, after then 18 year old former stepson called Bill to tell him he was moving out of his mother’s house and wanted to make sure he would be getting his child support directly. Ex, by contrast, wanted Bill to STOP paying former stepson, because she didn’t want him moving out of her control. Ex was the one who had set up the support agreement in the first fucking place. She literally wrote up their divorce decree, and quite handily screwed herself in the process. 😉

During that exchange, things got heated, and Ex sent Bill an email that was full of angry vitriol. In that email, she blamed ME for the fact that things were so terrible between them, and she had felt compelled to alienate the children. A few years earlier, circa 2003 or so, she trashed me to Bill, even though I had then only been married to him for a few months, and she had not then, nor has she ever since, so much as met me in person. I had told Bill a few years prior that if she ever did that again, I would be responding to her. In the 2006 email, she told Bill not to share with me her comments about me, because she hoped to “spare my feelings”. Indeed, I’m sure that was first and foremost in her mind. She also accused Bill of being a sexual deviant, which I can assure you he is not. I decided that she deserved a less measured response than the one Bill would send.

When I wrote to Ex, I pointed out that she had no expertise in diagnosing mental health issues and was not educated in those matters. I, on the other hand, finished my education. Pointing that out to her obviously caused a huge narcissistic wound, as her lack of a college degree had clearly been a thorn in her side for years at that point. I’m sure it bugged the shit out of her that Bill’s #2 wife has THREE degrees, is five years younger than she is… and also has no crotch trophies by other men for Bill to support.

Next thing we knew, she was back in college, and talking about eventually earning a PhD. It was even written about in a local newspaper where she was living at the time. Much to my chagrin, I stumbled across that article by accident. I had been looking for information about traffic stops in their town, because former stepson was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia (this was public record). I happened to be looking at the time Ex was featured for going back to college. The story, which is included in the previous link, included a lot of bullshit about how she had arrived in that state with nothing but a dream and a few thousand bucks. There was no mention of the huge amount of child support she was faithfully getting from Bill every month for three kids, only two of whom were actually his legal responsibility. Meanwhile, she was telling everyone what an abusive bastard Bill supposedly was, and how he had abandoned her with three kids… even though she was the one who had demanded a divorce!

Ex did earn her degree, and evidently, she supposedly also earned a master’s degree. She went into more debt to achieve this, although she is not using her degree(s) for earning money. Neither am I, of course, but at least we’ve paid off my debts. According to her latest crowdfunding scam, Ex is in a single paycheck household, earned by #3. Apparently, she also still thinks she’s better than she probably is. Because today, I spotted this tweet from Ex to some CEO guy who looks like he’s on a mission to change the world, and the workplace. That has always been a very appealing goal for Ex. Have a look.

Bwahahahahhaa… No Ex. No, you are not anyone’s “girl”. You are a lying, brown nosing disaster with a brown thumb. Everything you touch turns to shit. Also, I’m sure you wouldn’t dare mention that you reportedly lost that job in “higher education” because you allegedly mishandled funds.

I also had a titter at Ex’s next tweet… Her comment is above SiggyRose’s post.

Ex advising anyone to be truthful is especially rich. She is one of the biggest liars and scammers, ever!

I know there are people who would say I shouldn’t care about what Ex tweets. If things had continued the way they were, before Bill got back in touch with his younger daughter, I probably would be trying much harder to ignore her. But, as we found out over the spring, Ex never really lets anyone go. She is not above trying to horn her way back into my husband’s family and trying to take advantage of Bill’s older relatives. It’s worth keeping an eye on her for that reason alone. And again, if you know anything at all about her, watching her antics is quite interesting– both in a funny and horrifying way. She is delusional, manipulative, and completely lacking in any shame whatsoever. I’d probably find her fascinating, even if she wasn’t my husband’s first wife.

But at least today’s topic is more amusing than horrifying. She’s always looking for inroads, trying to claw her way into a sweet situation that might offer fame and fortune, without actually doing the work to achieve it. She wants to win the lottery, but if she ever did, she would squander her winnings in a matter of months. She talks a good game, but the reality is, she’s brimming with shit. And I just feel like I have to keep it all straight before I get completely overcome by the stench of it.

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celebrities, communication, condescending twatbags, music, overly helpful people, social media

An innocent birthday greeting goes horribly awry…

Yesterday, as I was enjoying the fact that it was Friday, I ran across a post by famed singer-songwriter Janis Ian. I recently started following her Facebook page again after an incident in 2019, in which an overbearing twit shamed me for a rather innocuous comment I made. Okay, so on the surface, it was kind of a violent comment, but it was in response to someone else’s comment, and was pretty obviously not meant to be taken literally. This guy chose to come at me, instead of the person before me. I got annoyed and responded to him, and Janis Ian, herself, left me a response, which I decided not to read, because I was irritated and didn’t want to be compelled to respond further. I think it happened during one of Bill’s TDYs, which always cause me stress and aggravation. You can read about that incident here, not that it’s all that exciting. Actually, that post is a bit nostalgic, since it was posted before the plague.

After that minor spat, I decided to take a break from Janis Ian’s page, because, even though I enjoy her music, I find her a little bit hypocritical at times. Some of her followers are also a little too rabidly “woke” for my taste, too. I don’t like aggressively obnoxious people on either side of the spectrum, who insist that their opinions are the only “correct” ones. Life is stressful enough as it is. I probably comment once or twice a day on pages that aren’t my own or a friend’s, mainly because I don’t like arguing with strangers. During the pandemic, I have noticed that more and more people want to fight with others. It’s as if many of us have lost all concept of basic civility and decorum. I think that may be one major reason why so many people are freaking out in public.

So lately, I’ve been following Janis again. I enjoy most of her memes. I think she has a good sense of humor. A lot of her songs are beautiful. But every once in awhile, she reveals a part of her personality that, I think if I knew her personally, I wouldn’t like very much. I ran into that yesterday, when I saw that she had posted a sweet birthday greeting to Roberta Flack, who turned 85 yesterday. Yesterday was also my eldest sister’s birthday, so that’s probably why I noticed.

I’m sure Janis Ian was being very sincere when she wished Roberta Flack a happy birthday. It should not have been a controversial post at all. But, when Janis wrote her greeting, she commented that Roberta is now “85 years young.” One of her, probably ex followers by now, took her to task for writing “85 years young” instead of “85 years old”. The follower wrote that she found the use of “young” instead of “old” very condescending and made some other comments that were a bit chastising in their tone and, no doubt, offensive. I do remember the woman’s parting shot was something along the lines of, “There’s nothing bad about getting old. It’s better than the alternative.” There was more to the post, but I didn’t bother to get a screenshot, nor did I leave any comments myself. I was just observing.

Allow me to state two things from the upshot. First off, I kind of agree with the poster that substituting the word “young” for “old” is potentially condescending and ageist. I remember a wonderful and wise rant by the late George Carlin that addressed that very thing (see the video below if you’re curious). He was talking about how many Americans have a tendency to substitute soft, flabby euphemisms for things that are potentially offensive or unpleasant. And one of his examples was substituting the word “young” for “old” when mentioning someone’s age. The poster who took on Janis Ian yesterday was echoing George Carlin, and as far as I’m concerned, George was often right about a lot of things. Or, even if he wasn’t right, he often stated things that invited more consideration.

I tend to agree with George on a lot of things, including using the word “young” instead of “old” when describing a person’s age.

And secondly, I agree with Janis Ian that it’s annoying when you try to post something on your very own Facebook page or blog or whatever, and some rando comes along and criticizes you for how you express yourself, your opinions, and whatever else. A lot of times, they completely misconstrue, miss the point, or project their own shit on a situation and turn it into something it shouldn’t be. As a blogger with authority issues, I run into that situation myself all the time!

My whole life, people have told me that I’m inappropriate, rude, obnoxious, offensive, or any manner of other adjectives, often for just speaking my mind or stating the truth as I see it. As a woman growing up in small town southern Virginia, as the youngest sibling of four, and as the daughter of a mentally damaged alcoholic with PTSD, I have been on the receiving end of a lot of negativity regarding my looks and personality. Many people have criticized me for being myself. Even my own grandmother found me annoying, and she even made a crack about how Bill’s “charm” was rubbing off on me. Both she and my dad (her son), hated things about me that I can’t control, like my laugh. Too many people have tried to silence me and squelch my natural personality, instead of just scrolling by or considering for a moment why I am the way I am. I used to let it depress me, but now I tend to speak up… and if I’m honest, it also gets me down, too. Can’t lie about that. By the way, who I am isn’t actually all that bad… if you get to know me. But I know I turn off a lot of people, so… 😉 Most of the time, I don’t bother anymore. I am what I am, and if you don’t like it, you can keep scrolling.

Anyway, part of me felt for Janis, because I’m sure that it’s especially irritating for her when people try to tell her what she can and can’t say or do. She’s an artist, and has made her living expressing herself beautifully through words and music. And she’s a person, first and foremost, so she should be allowed to post what she wants on her space without being taken to task by a random person. That part, I don’t disagree with at all. It was what happened next that caused me to pause for a moment.

In the wake of receiving the chastising response about using a potentially ageist euphemism, Janis issued a sharp retort to the person who commented, sarcastically “thanking” her for telling her how to express herself on her page. She added a bit more snark, which I thought was unnecessary, especially since Janis insists that people be respectful and civilized on her page. Being snarky and sarcastic, while certainly understandable, is not respectful. People don’t like hypocrisy or double standards.

A bunch of followers piled on, praising Janis for her thorny response. Some followers added more abuse to the poster who had chastised Janis for substituting the word “young” for “old”. It became very negative in a hurry. And then, Janis wrote an insulting second post that basically invited the first poster to have a look at Janis’s latest album cover and compare it to the poster’s profile, and then see who was aging better… (or something along those lines. Again, no screenshots, just memory). I thought that second post was completely hypocritical and unnecessary, even if I understood the irritation behind it. Janis Ian is human, as we all are. However, she is also a public figure, which gives her a certain power and platform that regular people don’t have. And if she’s going to insist on civility, she really ought to practice what she preaches. Otherwise, there’s a double standard.

I noticed a few posters were sticking up for the woman who had expressed her opinions to Janis. It was only two or three– one was a man, who made perfect sense to me, but was immediately accused of “mansplaining”. He wasn’t mansplaining, in my opinion. He made the valid point that Janis Ian, as a famous person, has more power than the average commenter has. The first woman had just made a random comment that might have been ill considered, but was basically harmless. Janis responded with venom, in spite of her policy that people be civil on her page. Then the few people who stuck up for the rando were piled upon by some of Janis Ian’s more rabid fans. That compounded the problem, and of course, was not civilized at all.

It was getting pretty nasty, and I was getting a bad feeling about it. I could see Janis’s point, but I could also understand the first woman’s comment. Yes, she probably should have just kept scrolling, but it’s Facebook, and people chime in with inappropriate stuff all the time. It’s usually best to take a breath and respond with kindness before snark and defensiveness. I’m not saying I always do that myself, but I’m not a public figure (in spite of what some of my blog commenters seem to think– this is NOT a popular blog). And I do usually try to be civilized, even if I fail sometimes.

I quit paying attention to the drama after a few minutes. What can I say? Dr. Phil circa 2014 was calling… So I clicked off of Janis Ian’s page, but had a brief discussion about what happened on my own page. One of my friends, who is in the music business, wrote that she had actually met Roberta Flack and found her to be a delightful lady. We bonded a bit about that, since I have some fond memories of Roberta’s music from my childhood. That’s one of my fond memories about my dad. He used to play her 1973 album Killing Me Softly, when I was really little. The songs stuck in my head until many years later, when I purchased it myself.

This song, especially… stuck in my head since about 1975 or so…

This morning, I woke up to find this post by Janis Ian. I guess I missed out on even more drama, because she ended up deleting the post that had prompted the post I saw this morning.

I hear you, Janis… but the other lady also had a point, though it was stated in a rather abrasive way. And when you responded with snark and sarcasm, you violated your own policy.

I commend Janis for asking her followers not to chime in with comments about how “great” she is, telling her she’s “right”, or personally attacking the other person or anyone who defends the other party. That doesn’t help. I appreciate that she took a moment to consider what happened and address it rationally with her followers. I think she’s sincere when she writes that she wants to encourage civility. She’s usually assertive when she insists that people “keep it clean”, but I notice that when you prick her, she bleeds, too. That just makes her human, as we all are. But there is no reason why that thread should have gotten as ugly as it did. It was a birthday wish, for God’s sake.

I think it probably would not have escalated if Janis had simply thanked the woman for following and commenting, and then, in an assertive way, explained that using “young” instead of “old” was not meant to be offensive to the elderly (if it really wasn’t, that is, which I am sure is the case). It was a simple birthday greeting to a legendary musician who has reached a grand age. And then Janis could have politely reminded the woman that it’s her page, and she would appreciate it people would allow her to express herself without unnecessary criticism. On the other hand, I completely understand why she was irritated. Nobody likes to have their words picked apart, especially by a perfect stranger. At the same time, it appears that both of these women were triggered for different reasons. I can relate to both of them. It happens to me all the time.

Anyway… it’s Saturday, and already past noon, so I think I will close this post and get on with the day. It can’t be easy to be famous, especially if you have an artistic personality. No wonder a lot of famous people have people to run their social media for them. I don’t envy that part of being well-known and successful at all. On the other hand, one thing I’ve learned is that you should never ask of others what you are, yourself, unwilling to do. That will only lead to trouble.

Standard
complaints, condescending twatbags, rants

Repost: Thanks for your opinion, now feel free to…

Here’s a repost from December 30, 2014. I remembered it this morning as I was reading through my Facebook memories… back in the days when things like this would get me riled up. Actually, as I was reading the original comments, I was feeling annoyed anew. It does irritate me when people tell me what should or should not irritate me. Youngest child syndrome at work again, I guess… I’m still trying to decide what else to write about today, as 2021 winds down.

Edited to add– it’s eerie that I reposted this two days before Betty White died! And people are sharing that misattributed quote as a way of honoring her.

go take a flying leap!

As Dr. Phil would say, I have a “psychological sunburn” about some things.  Folks, I am well aware of my “thin-skinned” nature.  I am neurotic and I know it.  Little things that “shouldn’t” annoy me often do.  I know I should work on it.  I know that if I were less easily irritated, my life might be better.  Here’s one thing that doesn’t help me get over it, though…  Don’t tell me what should or should not offend or annoy me.

Yes, this came up on Facebook yesterday…  it’s kind of a rerun of my many issues, I suppose.  Someone on SingSnap— apparently much younger than I am and from Alabama– left me a generic comment, called me “sweetie”, and invited me to go listen to one of her recordings, which already had lots of hits, comments, and likes.  I ignored the comment, but decided to vent about it on my Facebook page.  I knew full well that someone would come along to tell me that homespun terms of endearment is a “southern” thing and I shouldn’t be offended by it.  Naturally, I wasn’t disappointed.

Okay, first of all, I am from the southern United States, so I am well aware that cutesy pet names are a “thing” there.  Having been born and raised in Virginia and spent lots of time in Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, I know very well that southern people, in particular, can be casual about using a pet name in lieu of a person’s real name.  And if the terms of endearment come from someone I know, or an older lady who is waiting on me in a diner, or something, they usually don’t upset me.  

It’s when I get them from total strangers who are young enough to have crawled out of my uterus that I get especially irritated.  Why?  Because names like “honey”, “sweetie”, and “darling” from a total stranger imply a familiarity that doesn’t exist.  They also suggest laziness, since in the case of the SingSnap commenter, all she had to do was go to my profile page and see that my real name is provided there.  She could have called me “knotty”, or she could have called me “Jenny”, but apparently, it was easier just to call me “sweetie” and pimp her song.  Sadly, her efforts to woo me to her page failed. 

Secondly, while I understand that getting annoyed by a stranger calling me “sweetie” is pointless, so is telling me that I shouldn’t get annoyed.  Because I am already annoyed.  Your telling me that I’m being too sensitive and need to get over it is not going to make things better, because that will also annoy me.  It’s not nice to discount or diminish other people’s feelings, especially if they are adults.  Besides, I think I should be the one who determines what I find irritating and what I don’t, especially if I’m posting about it on my personal blog or Facebook page.  Trust me, I wish little things didn’t piss me off.  They do, though.  I can’t help it.  And if I want to vent about it, that’s my business.  If it bothers you, you can choose to hang out elsewhere.

My “friend” who chastised me for getting annoyed pointed out that she’s been called worse than “sweetie”.  She said, “At least they didn’t call you a bitch.”  Being a card carrying southerner, I will tell you that sometimes, when a southerner calls you “sweetie”, they really are calling you a bitch.  It’s a passive aggressive thing that terminally “nice” southerners do when they really want to let ‘er rip on someone, but don’t want to stoop to cussing them out. 

Recently, I was watching old episodes of America’s Next Top Model cycle 14.  Contestant Anslee Payne-Franklin of Dacula, Georgia, got into an argument with fellow Georgian Alasia over the fact that Alasia left some raw chicken on the counter.  Did Anslee flat out call Alasia a bitch?  Well no, not at first.  She said, in a rather acid tone of voice, that Alasia needed to put the chicken away, but then sarcastically added the term of endearment “sweetheart” to her statement.  Do you think that made things better?  Well, no, actually it didn’t.  Because Alasia, who instantly caught on to Anslee’s condescending tone of voice, immediately escalated things by attacking Anslee’s mothering skills.  The rest is television cat fight history.

I happen to be one of those people who is sensitive to a lot of things.  It would make my life so much easier if I were a really laid back person who didn’t notice the things that regularly get on my nerves.  But if I were like that, I wouldn’t be myself.  A lot of people love me for who I am.  Bill is one of those people.  He loves it when I get wound up over dumb things because it usually results in an entertaining rant.  Believe it or not, Bill actually likes listening to me go off.  He says my rants are often funny and usually make perfect sense.  I also tend to say the things he’s thinking, but lacks the temerity to say out loud.  The world would be a very boring place if everyone were low key and laid back, don’t you think?  We need a few folks around who provide excitement by raising a little hell.

The person on SingSnap who inspired this rant wasn’t calling me a bitch when she addressed me as “sweetie”.  She was just treating me like a little bitch by pimping her song to me on SingSnap. Apparently, she thought that calling me “hon” or “sweetie” would flatter me and make me more interested in hearing her recording.  Instead, I found it off-putting, the same way I find the picture below off-putting…

Someone posted this yesterday…  interestingly enough, it was a woman.

Have a look at that photo.  Notice that it basically says that if you have “hurt feelings” you are thin skinned, a woman, or gay.  I find it also interesting that the form says that people who have hurt feelings are “pussies”.  As a comedian other than Betty White famously quipped,

People often attribute this to Betty White, but actually Sheng Wang said it…  I suppose it’s funnier if it seems to have come from Betty White, but she has publicly said she didn’t say this.
And Sheng Wang supposedly got his routine from one by Hal Sparks, who also notes that vaginas are much tougher than dicks and balls are…

The reality is, folks, vaginas tend to be tougher all the way around than balls are.  So calling someone a “pussy” is kind of counterintuitive.  Moreover, I have some homosexual friends who are among the strongest people I know.  Same goes for some women I know, though a lot of them are just as equally annoying as they are strong.

So, there you have it… yet another rant on cutesy pet names and the people who think I have no right to be pissed off by them.  I have a perfect right to think and feel whatever I wish and express myself accordingly, fuck you very much.  Likewise, you have the right to respond, but don’t be surprised if your advice falls on deaf ears and makes the situation worse.  Of course, sometimes, I think that’s the whole idea.  Remember, people like it when someone raises a little hell.  It gives them something to talk about.

And, in case you were wondering, yes, it is still snowing. (Alas, in 2021, all we have is RAIN. That was an epic snowstorm, though… very pretty! I saw the pictures from the storm on today’s Facebook memories, too.)

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condescending twatbags, housekeeping tips, money, politics, sex, silliness, technology, transportation, travel, YouTube

Lime scale, lobsters, lectures, and lost causes…

Today’s featured photo is of the Boothbay Harbor blue lobster. Bill and I visited there for my birthday in June 2011, and I got a picture.

So yesterday’s “boring” post about water and limescale actually generated a lot of comments– for my blog, anyway. I know there are a lot of mommy bloggers out there who go viral and get hundreds of comments on their posts. But they tend to be sunny people who write things like “totes amazeballs”. I’m not like that. But since everybody poops, everybody needs water, and most normal people like to poop in clean bathrooms, I guess yesterday’s potty post resonated! Good for me! And thanks to everyone who read and commented! I probably ought to take a look/see at the bathroom in the basement. I almost never use it, but it also has some lime build up.

There’s still a little buildup, but it looks a lot better than it did yesterday.

And I just looked, and sure enough, that toilet has pretty terrible limescale build up, too. So I treated it with vinegar, and then tried the sink and the water is barely flowing. I have a feeling the pipes have lime in them. I treated it with baking soda and vinegar, but it may need a professional’s attention. This house has pretty terrible lime issues. When we first moved in, the buildup was so bad that we literally couldn’t turn on one of the faucets in the shower. It was completely stilled by calcium. The basement bathroom rarely sees any action, so I guess this is a reminder that it pays to stop in on occasion. Curiously, the toilet on the main floor doesn’t have much buildup at all.

I have a few things on my mind today, so this post is probably going to be multi-faceted. Now that I’ve written more about lime scale, and the payoff from yesterday’s project, it’s time to move on to the next topic. And the next topic is lobster.

A couple of days ago, Bill and I watched some random videos on YouTube. I ran across one about a guy who rescued a live lobster from the grocery store and kept it as a pet. I don’t know what made me decide to watch that video, but I found it absolutely fascinating. It also kind of made me a little ashamed of how much I enjoy eating lobster. This guy brought the lobster home, cut the rubber bands that rendered him helpless, and dropped him in a saltwater aquarium, where he gave him the name Leon and observed his behavior.

This was an unexpectedly fascinating and somewhat sad video… I might not ever be able to enjoy eating lobster rolls again.

I’m sure on one level, Leon is happy enough not to be someone’s dinner. On the other hand, Leon escaped death, but now lives in an aquarium, where he depends on the kindness of the guy who “adopted” him. He can’t really hunt, and he has no lobster friends to hang out with or have sex with… I guess lobsters have sex, and I’m sure Google would tell me if I cared to research further… It might be too early for me to explore the potential joys of lobster fucking, though.

Okay, I have to admit, my curiosity got the better of me. I Googled, and sure enough, lobsters enjoy a rather “kinky” sex life. Apparently, female lobsters attract mates by repeatedly peeing on their faces. And lobsters have urethras under their eyes that evidently make this possible. The female lobster pees on the male, then runs away. Female lobster pee evidently has the magical essence of an aphrodisiac, and after a few days of golden showers, the male lobster gets romantic and loves the lady lobster enough to cause reproduction. Wow… the things you learn on the Internet! And this was all inspired by a YouTube video about Leon, the lobster, who was rescued from the grocery store and now has a job teaching humans more about crustaceans. Leon should be proud. Not everyone has the chops to make it as a YouTube star.

I highly recommend watching the above video, if you’re interested. I legitimately found it informative and entertaining, and it reminded me that the animals we eat are still sentient beings with personality. Sigh… I really should be a vegetarian. Maybe someday I’ll give up my carnivorous ways… live on wine and beer, instead. Which brings me to the last two topics, lectures and lost causes.

Seriously… I don’t like the idea of promoting drinking, but this COVID-19 lifestyle is a real fucking drag. Last night, I had a mild meltdown after reading an article about how Dr. Fauci thinks we’ll be forced to wear masks on airplanes from now on. I have said it before, and I’ll say it again. I have a feeling that this prediction of his– while entirely possible– probably isn’t going to happen. Why? Because the world is a big place, and there are parts of it that are still pretty undeveloped. I remember being in Armenia in the mid 90s and seeing that most people there still weren’t wearing seatbelts, even though they have been “required” in most modern places for many years. And I simply doubt that people all over the world are going to embrace being forced to wear masks forever. They are uncomfortable, impractical, and annoying, and while they may save lives, a lot of people are inherently selfish.

Moreover, even in so-called “civilized” places, people are still losing their shit over masks. And they are deeply polarizing, with a lot of smug, self-righteous, left leaning all knowers discounting and insulting those who are legitimately terrified of government overreach and tyranny. Look at how many people are freaking out on airplanes. There are a lot more people wigging out in the “friendly skies” these days. Obviously, the masks are causing stress. And don’t tell me they aren’t. In 2019, there weren’t nearly as many people misbehaving on planes. What’s changed? People have to wear masks. THEY ARE AN OBVIOUS PROBLEM for a lot of people, even if some people don’t think so.

The fact is, you may not mind wearing a mask at all, but that doesn’t mean your neighbor agrees, nor should they have to agree if we’re living in a free society. Disagreeing with masks doesn’t give someone the right to be unruly on an airplane, of course. All I’m saying is that telling someone that masks are “no big deal” is disingenuous. To some people, they ARE a big deal. If they weren’t, there wouldn’t be so much bad behavior, violence, and legal morass surrounding their enforced use. And I think that not respectfully listening and trying to understand why some people aren’t embracing face masks is going to help prolong this situation we’re in.

Now… before anybody comes at me, let me state that I realize that masks are necessary for now. I’m not saying that people shouldn’t wear them. What I am saying is that this talk of forcing people to “mask up” (ugh, hate that expression) forevermore, and dismissing their concerns about the depressing prospect of that, as you tell them it’s “no big deal”, is part of what is driving all of this stubborn rebellion. Nobody likes to be condescended to or lectured– at least not when they haven’t paid tuition and specifically asked for a lesson. Telling someone to “get over it” is rude and disrespectful, and it’s not likely to inspire cooperation. And while you may think they’re rude for non-compliance, there are always other perspectives in any situation. I just think the wise person will take a minute to try to understand the other perspectives, even if they seem ridiculous. At this point in time, even ridiculous people can still vote, right?

When I venture into comment sections and someone raises a concern about masking– even when it’s done in a respectful way– there’s almost always a slew of comments from people who lecture, insult, condescend, or outright dismiss those concerns. Those who are anti-mask, or simply have concerns, then get pissed off and more stubborn, and some of them get pissed off enough to vote in politicians who don’t support mask mandates or vaccines. Unfortunately, a lot of those politicians also don’t support other policies that are community oriented or family friendly. So maybe you don’t have a vaccine mandate or mask requirement, but you also have some white, Southern, conservative yahoo who wants to make guns easier to buy and abortions harder to get.

As for Fauci’s predictions about masks on planes… I will state that I think money will be the deciding factor on this. I think there are people who are already looking for innovations that make it harder to contract illnesses in buildings. There’s a lot of money to be made with a solution like that. You can bet someone out there is looking for a way to filter air so that people stay healthy and productive. It’s not necessarily a trend that arises for the public good, either. It’s because there’s money to be made, and money drives a lot of people into action. Healthy people can work longer and generate more money.

Some people don’t want to travel if they have to wear a mask. Just yesterday, I mentioned a dream I had about moving to New Zealand– probably been watching too many Mama Doctor Jones videos. She is moving to New Zealand. Someone on Facebook mentioned that that sounded nice. I said I don’t want to sit on a plane that long in a mask. Flying sucked enough before the masks. The seats are uncomfortable, the fares are high, the food is inedible, and there are a lot of rules to follow. Now, many people have this dystopian “hall monitor” mentality, where everybody is watching and judging everybody else. Personally, I think I’d rather stay home or drive somewhere, than sit on an already uncomfortable flight for hours with a mask on my face. At least in a car, I don’t have someone watching my every move.

Same goes for cruising. Some people don’t mind wearing masks on ships, but others won’t like it. I think of the ships Bill and I tend to frequent, where booze flows freely. A person could sit and drink all day, if they wanted to. I have also personally witnessed people on ships getting drunk and belligerent. I remember hearing about v-loggers who were on SeaDream last year, documenting the trip, which was supposed to be “maskless”. People got COVID on that trip, and the v-loggers mentioned it, causing SeaDream to force passengers into masks again. The v-loggers were on the receiving end of a lot of anger, mainly because SeaDream cruises are very expensive and people were wanting to escape the COVID rules for a bit. No such luck. I know I don’t want to drop ten thousand bucks on cruise fare for an experience like that. There ain’t enough free flowing Prosecco in the world.

I think about how Royal Caribbean just built several HUGE ships in the last ten years or so, and now they’re in the news because 48 people tested positive for COVID on a recent cruise. Having such huge ships is bound to become a liability, especially if people are turned off of traveling due to draconian rules. Cruising will be probably less popular if people have to wear masks as a general rule. One of the things that makes cruising fun is socializing, and a big part of socializing is seeing people’s faces and non-verbal communication. Masks make it hard to forget the troubles of the world. They are a visual reminder of how fucked up things are. One of the reasons cruises are appealing are that they allow people to forget things that are stressful. So I think forced masking from now on will probably not fly in the long run.

It may not be a bad thing, though, if people travel less. It will be better for the environment. But it will also force some people to find new ways to make their livings. Again, I think money will be what drives this trend. If enough people decide to stay home, the policies will be amended… and/or someone will come up with a way to make traveling maskless safer.

Either way, I think people should try to be more understanding, patient, and willing to listen to other viewpoints without turning shitty. We’re in an unprecedented era for most people who are living, but don’t forget, this is NOT the first deadly pandemic of humankind. One hundred years ago, Spanish Flu killed lots of people. Masks were a thing back then, and I’m sure the thinking was eerily similar that things weren’t ever going to be normal again. But they eventually did go back to “normal”, although we came away with more knowledge.

To take it a step further, think of all of the crazy stuff that’s happened in the last hundred years. I wonder how people felt during World War II. Did they think the war would go on forever? Did they think the world was going to end? Some people probably did… but as you can see, they were wrong. There will be life beyond COVID-19 for those who don’t die from the disease. And I think it will more like it used to be, which may or may not be a good thing. Some of the COVID changes haven’t been bad, after all.

And finally… I think it’s inevitable that most everyone will end up with COVID at some point. But it will eventually be less deadly, because it’s not in the virus’s best interest to kill everyone. I still think getting vaccinated and staying away from other people is the best way to go. And if you have to be in a crowd, masks make sense. But I don’t think they should be something we strive to normalize forever, and I don’t think they’re the end all be all of fixing this problem. They’re just one facet of the solution. This is a problem that needs to be solved, not “lived with”. Fortunately, history shows that some human beings are very good at finding solutions. So that’s what keeps me going, for now…

But, I will admit, sometimes I envy those who have already peaced out of this life. As extraordinarily fortunate as Bill and I are, I find today’s world frightening and depressing, and I wonder what the point of it all is…

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