condescending twatbags, overly helpful people

It’s my money, dammit…

Yesterday, after Bill worked for a few hours, he came home and installed our new robotic lawnmower. I wrote a post about it on my travel blog, and am in the process of making a video of our dogs’ reactions to the new toy. Zane, in particular, was a bit freaked out by the robot. I was surprised Arran wasn’t more upset, since he used to go crazy whenever hot air balloons would land near our old house in Jettingen. But Arran actually got used to the new intruder quickly. Zane was still barking at it two hours after it started mowing.

I shared some raw video of the dogs on Facebook. Most of my friends were intrigued by the mower and asked questions. One person asked me what we paid for the robot. I knew that when I told him, he would make some comment about how much the robot cost. Sure enough, that’s exactly what happened.

Our new toy wasn’t cheap. I paid 599 euros for it. I know very well that I could have gotten a push mower much cheaper. It might have been the better thing to do, too, since a push mower would take less time to accomplish that much hated task of cutting the grass. But the new robot is extremely quiet, runs on clean energy, and does a pretty good job. I hate cutting grass, so spending the money was worth it to me. Still, this guy felt he need to point out that for that price, he could cut my grass all summer long. But he lives in Texas and I am in Germany, so no, he couldn’t cut my grass for me. That job is mine, entirely.

I guess I can understand why some people might think a robotic lawnmower is a waste of money… however, it’s “our” money, dammit. If I want to spend a lot of cash on a lawnmower, why is it anyone else’s business? And why do people feel the need to make such comments, anyway?

This is a recurrent theme in my life. People question certain personal decisions I make, like when I buy new computers, cars, or lawnmowers. On my old blog, I used to write about a woman I referred to as Ms. Overly Helpful. Those were the days when I didn’t have a lot of readers and felt pretty safe in venting as I pleased on Blogger. Ms. Overly Helpful got on my last nerve, because she’d often offer unsolicited advice or opinions on things. And she’d do so in a way that implied that I needed or wanted her help, even though I’d already made my decision.

For instance, when I bought my very first iMac, she gave me a ration of shit about it, asking me if I’d done all I could to salvage the computer I was replacing. When we bought my Mini Cooper back in 2009, she asked if I’d considered buying a used car, because “they’re so much cheaper”. Duh. By the way, I still drive the Mini and it’s been paid off for years. Same thing with our Toyota RAV 4, which we bought brand new in 2006. I remember getting a shitty comment about that, too, because we had a high car payment. But we refinanced and paid that car off early, just as we did with the Mini.

Personally, I think it’s kind of rude to make comments about what other people spend their money on, particularly if you don’t know the other person offline. I’ve never met Ms. Overly Helpful offline, and never will, because she pissed me off so much a few years ago that I blocked her. The guy that made the comment today, likewise, is someone I don’t know offline. I ran into him on RfM. If I knew either of these people in the flesh, maybe I’d be more interested in their opinions on my buying choices. But I don’t know them, so their opinions about my purchases are meaningless.

I know at least one of my regular readers, someone I have met offline, would tell me to just ignore these folks. That’s easier to say than do. I think, thanks to having been raised by a control freak, overbearing, alcoholic father, I tend to have a “psychological sunburn” (to use a Dr. Phil-ism) about people who meddle in my affairs. In fact, another person’s meddling is one of the main reasons I moved my blog.

I am feeling a little bit bolder about directly telling people to mind their own business. I’m getting older and crankier and a lot less interested in what other people think. I suppose I could go all gangster and say this…

Some people probably would have thought this would have been a great answer. But I notice that people tend to get butthurt when you return their rudeness…

I totally admit that a robotic lawnmower is a ridiculously extravagant purchase. But if it’s not your money paying for it, then why not just say “Awesome” and be done with it? I don’t need to consult anyone about my money decisions. If I did, I’d pay someone who knows what they’re talking about. I don’t tell you what to spend your money on, so you should respect my choices on where to spend my money. I think of it as my way of stimulating the economy. Besides, the mower is paid for, anyway.

If I point this out, even if I do so politely, people get all shitty. It seems that in my case, I attract these folks who feel compelled to offer commentary on my choices. I used to have one “friend” who loved to pipe up on any thread about college. He didn’t go to college and managed to have a good career; therefore, he thinks college is a scam. And every time that topic came up on my Facebook page, he’d offer his thoughts on how college is a scam. He also made comments about buying cars and how he never buys them new. Obviously, that’s what everyone else should do, too. Finally, he got to the point of even annoying Bill with his “overly helpful” comments. Bill finally and pointedly told him to mind his own business. I had told him that many times myself, but it took a comment from laidback Bill to get him to read and heed.

I’ve found that the types of people who offer commentary on people’s purchases are also the type of people who “chime in” on topics without reading or understanding context. I really don’t like to unfriend people, but some folks make me so twitchy that I have to drop them for the sake of my own sanity. I did that a few years ago with this one clueless woman who kept offering her unsolicited advice and opinions on everything. This chick was especially irritating to me, because she’d often invoke her profession as a social worker– claiming to be my “friend”, but not realizing that I also have social work background. In fact, I got my MSW years before she got hers. Or she’d pipe up about military issues as if I’m ignorant about them, not realizing that I am the wife and daughter of military veterans. People like that aren’t really friends, are they? Real friends actually know something about their pals.

A nice way to cut the grass.

Anyway, the new robot is pretty cool. Our robot got started at about 5:00pm yesterday and the lawn was pretty high, so it wasn’t quite finished two hours later. Bill finished the last of the mowing with a weedwhacker. However, now that the lawn has been cut to a reasonable length, the robot can mow for a much shorter time a few times a week, thereby shortening the time needed to get the job done. It will probably get to the point at which keeping the grass cut will be something I don’t have to think about. Or… maybe I’ll get fed up with the time required by the robot and buy a push mower. They’re pretty cheap. The point is, it’s my choice and my money. Your input about my extravagant purchases isn’t necessarily valued or needed.

Here’s a video I made of our adventure putting in the mower. Arran was lovebombing Bill as he was laying down the boundary wire. Zane was freaked out by the robot and later seemed to want to play with it.


Persistent spammers…

Boy, are they barking up the wrong tree…

This morning, I found two pages of lesbian porn spam in my Google mail account. I’m kind of amused by this, because I’m definitely not into women. I kind of wonder what causes this phenomenon. Does this spammer have a glitch that causes him or her to send out dozens of lesbian porn spam emails? Or are they just really enthusiastic about getting people to sign up?

Something tells me that this method must be, to some extent, relatively effective. Why else would they do it? There must be lesbians out there in Internet land who want to view this shit. Or maybe there are horny and curious males who want to see it. I don’t want to see it because lesbians aren’t my thing. I mean, I have lesbian friends, but I am myself straight.

Ah well… this is a problem easily dealt with with a push of a button. I won’t be viewing any lesbian porn today.

What I do hope to do is cut the grass. We have nice sunny weather this morning and my new lawnmower and weedwhacker are here. The only issue is, it’s a robotic mower, and although it will save me a lot of tedious time cutting the grass, the set up is going to require some work. We have to lay down wires around the yard that will tell the mower where to go. We have to fill in potholes and remove obstacles. We have to wait for the grass to dry. What’s really funny is that my new mower is made by a British company, but they didn’t send us any manuals in English. We have them in Spanish, French, Dutch, and German. Fortunately, I found a very helpful video made by McCulloch, the manufacturer of our mower. We watched it last night and it gave us more of an idea of what needs to be done.

Bill is working this morning. Hopefully, he’ll be finished by noon so we can get this project going. Despite my hatred of housework and substandard skills, I do like a neat yard. I probably should have just bought a plain old lawnmower, since our yard is so small. At our first German house, we had a non-motorized push mower. It did the job. We could have opted for another one at this house, but I don’t really want to hassle with it. It wasn’t very easy to use, although it was quiet, clean, and needed no fuel other than my muscles.

At our last house, our landlady insisted on doing the yard work. She did a good job, but frequently let the grass grow too high for my liking– especially during our last year in her house. More than once, I wanted to cut the grass myself, but knew it would cause her to freak. We never did complain about it, but I have a sense that she knew she was shirking her duties, since she showed up to mow the day Bill asked to stop by to speak with her. I think she assumed we were going to complain about the lawn, but actually, Bill served her notice that we were leaving. I was oddly happy to hear that we’d be doing our own lawn work at this house. It means more privacy and less bad juju coming from a resentful person.

So far, I’ve spent the morning mopping the kitchen floor, doing laundry, and cleaning one of the bathrooms. For such a filthy person, I sure do a lot of chores. I probably should do more of them, so my house will be sparkling clean… only to get dirty again.

March has been a pretty crappy month. I spent most of it by myself, watching too much TV and not reading enough. I also got hooked on Sims 4 again. It’s kind of fun, although my favorite of the Sims franchise was Sims 2. It had more quirky humor and more interesting gameplay. The original Sims was fun, too. I didn’t like Sims 3 and never even bought any of the expansions.

Hopefully, April will be more fun. I’m ready to go see some more stuff and remember why we left Texas.

Dress codes, slut shamers

Pulling ’em off…

Yesterday’s post about leggings turned into quite the Facebook debate. My Italian friend says he thinks women wear leggings to turn on men. This was his comment.

It is a pointless discussion. Wearing leggings is part of an evolving mating ritual. If there were no men, there would be no leggings. It is just a strategy to attract the attention of men. In an era of increasing sexual availability and stimulation, clearly strategies must evolve and become more extreme, hence the dismay of an older woman who used older, milder strategies. In parts of the world, the sight of a bare female foot is sexually arousing, while here in Germany a pretty woman sunbathing naked in the park might just go unnoticed. Same with men: if you can afford a red Ferrari, you might say you do it for the love of cars, but you know it is part of a mating ritual. Approaches vary, same old story. The only observation I can make is that perhaps one woman in 1000 looks good in bare leggings. All the others, who believe that revealing more of their mediocre body might increase their mating chances, are sadly deluded. A woman of class, who has more to offer than just attractive anatomy, migh wear leggings, but only under a skirt.

Many of my female friends chimed in that attracting men is not the reason they wear leggings. I was the first to tell my Italian friend that a lot of women wear them because they’re comfortable. Quite a lot of my friends agreed with me that they like leggings because they are easy to wear. So my Italian friend came back with this comment.

But you all miss the point: the article was about young women wearing tight leggings with nothing on top, basically something like a pantyhose, therefore very revealing, not comfy. At that age, EVERYTHING is about the opposite sex, both for boys and girls, as it is understandle due to the hormone levels mother nature burdens us with for reproductive purposes. Or it’s been such a long time you have all forgotten?

More debate ensued after I wrote this.

Leggings are comfortable whether you wear a skimpy top or a long one. They’re stretchy. I will grant that not everyone can pull off wearing leggings and looking good in them, but that kind of thing is in the eye of the beholder. I’ve never seen leggings that are like “pantyhose”, either.

Another friend wrote this.

I disagree about not everyone being able to pull off leggings. If you think you can pull off leggings, you can. Doesn’t matter what size or shape you are. Wear them with gusto!

To which I replied:

Well, that is a matter of opinion. You’re welcome to yours.

Let me reiterate. I basically think people should wear whatever they want. I may not like what a person is wearing. I may not think what they’re wearing is flattering or attractive. But I will absolutely defend their right to dress their bodies in the way they wish. My viewpoint is my own and it’s one of many opinions. I don’t claim to be right or wrong.

Here are a few pictures I found on the Internet that make me think that not everyone can “pull off” wearing leggings. Again, just my opinion.

That looks painful. Image: Pinterest
Actually, those look like tights. Image: Pinterest
An oldie but a goodie. These just blow my mind. Image: Facebook
Bet she does. Image: Pinterest

Just because I don’t think these leggings look so great on the women who are wearing them, that doesn’t mean I don’t think they have the “right” to wear them. I don’t think wearing them in public is wise, but certainly a person should be able to wear what they want to wear “with gusto”, as long as they aren’t at school, church, or work, where there might be a dress code of some sort… or perhaps not.

Some people think dress codes are stupid. But uniforms are a form of identification. Police officers wear uniforms so that citizens can identify them when there’s trouble. Medical personnel are easy to spot by the way they dress in a medical setting. Hell, I wore a dirndl at Busch Gardens because that identified me as an employee. The dirndl added to the ambiance of the fake Germany, where I was working at the time. I have heard that the costumes have been phased out, but people who work at Busch Gardens still wear uniforms so they can be identified as employees.

I also think that dress codes aren’t a bad idea in a school setting, as long as they are equally enforced. It is distracting when a person comes to school wearing a t-shirt with swear words all over it. It is disruptive when someone dresses in a way that is impractical or unsafe. Moreover, school is preparation for the work world. I would hope a person wouldn’t go to a job interview wearing leggings that reveal the message that he or she “gets around”. Maybe you are able to do your job while wearing purple leggings that announce that you “get around”. But it’s not very professional or appropriate to wear that attire at work if you’re dealing with the public. If you want to walk around town with those leggings on, I guess it’s not such a big deal… except you might end up being made fun of on social media. But I can always avert my eyes, right?

Bottom line… wear what you want to on your time. Leggings aren’t always about trying to pick up men. Some people do find them very comfortable. I would hope most people who find them comfortable would select them in the right size and made with fabric that adequately covers the subject. But I suppose even that is in the eye of the beholder… and nobody really cares about my opinions, anyway. Bwahahaha…

In other news: Yesterday, I ordered us a lawnmower. It’s a robot, which means I might not have to mow. I can sit on my ass and watch the mower cut the grass while I drink beer. I tried using a robot vacuum. It was hard to get used to. Hopefully, this will work out alright. I’ll take a video.