Tuesday 25 June 2013

To The Mens: The World is Not Your Personal Singles Bar

This one's for the single mens.

More specifically this is for the City Worker who hit on two young women in a grocery store parking lot yesterday.  This also goes out to the guy working at the pharmacy who gave me the very generous invitation to fly away to the Bahamas with him.  And let's not forget the face police.  The dudes who are trying to make the world a better place by forcing every female face to "Smile, girl!  You're so pretty when you smile!"

I think it's time you had a little perspective from us ladies.  This is to help explain to you some of our mystifying behaviour such as not being overly appreciative of your, er, attention.

Stop it.  We think you're fucking creepy.

"But, I'm just being friendly," you say.  

"Women like to know they are attractive," you say.  "They should feel flattered."

Well aren't you just special

It's almost like we don't have mirrors to tell us exactly what we look like any time we care to look.  Perhaps we are too stupid to interpret the information of mirrors with our eyes and we need a man (a special, special man like you for example) to give us this information.  Because it's so precious coming from you, you special guy!

"But how else am I supposed to meet women?" you ask.

I am so glad you asked!  Because from the looks of things you don't seem to have a fucking clue.

For starters we don't necessarily want to meet men at the same places we buy milk, bread and toilet paper.  When a woman is at the grocery store she is usually there to buy groceries.  I know!  Crazy but it's true!  If I'm at the checkout in the pharmacy where you work I am desperately hoping that you aren't paying too much attention to the tampons, condoms and laxatives in my basket.  And if I'm walking down the street I am hoping I am not about to be sexually assaulted by some rando stranger because it happens in varying degrees all the fucking time.

Here's a fun analogy.

Everybody poops, right?  It is good and healthy and we need to do it.  But we generally do our shitting in the bathroom, more specifically in a toilet.  We don't squat wherever we please, whenever the need should arise.  We don't shit in the middle of the grocery store.  We don't shit on public streets.  We don't shit at our desks or in front of customers at work.  There is a time and place to shit and none of those places are it.

The same goes for potential relationships.  There are places you can go where women will be receptive to your advances like a singles bar, a club or a party.  Women often go to these places in the hopes that they will meet men.  When you approach random women on the street just because you like the way they look you have no idea what is going on in her life.  Some of these women are already married or have boyfriends. Some of these women are gay or are simply just want to walk from point A to point B in relative peace.

"But lots of women respond positively when I act this way.  Many of them smile and blush from the flattery," you say.

I used to be one of those smiling blushing women, and since such is the case I can tell you what is going on in the minds of us smiling, seemingly flattered women.  It goes a little something like this:

A strange man is talking to me and expressing a physical interest in my appearance.  Since I have no idea who he is or where he came from I wonder if he might be crazy or have a criminal record?  I wonder if he's violent?  He sure is bigger than me.  Just smile and placate him and maybe he'll leave you alone.  Maybe he won't follow you and keep talking to you.  Just make him and his ego happy because, if experience has taught me anything it's that this can get real ugly real fast if he feels rejected.  Better get my hand on my pepper spray/car keys or any potential weapon just in case.

And BTW, if she pretends not to hear you by ignoring you or wearing headphones this is not an invitation to take things up a notch and get our attention.  This is just the best way we have come up with so far to reject your advances without being called a "bitch" or worse.

Yes, it's nice to know we are attractive to the opposite sex but I have yet to meet a woman who would think this attention is fun and flattering.  I have yet to meet a woman who would respond by handing out a phone number or just running off with her admirer.  I suppose it's possible they exist, but I'm guessing I have yet to meet them because they are too busy being turned into three-piece suits or having their body parts stuffed into refrigerators.

"But I'm a nice guy," you say.  "I wouldn't hurt any woman."

Well pardon me if we don't take your word for it.  You must excuse women in general from not realizing what a "nice guy" you are just on your say so because we have already met plenty of self-proclaimed "nice guys" and they are the worst.  "Nice guys" are the ones who tend to get super pissed when you don't reward their being nice to you with sex.  

If your idea of being "nice" to us includes making us wonder if we are going to be allowed to walk away from you in one piece if we don't smile at you and pretend to be flattered by your compliments then maybe you need to re-examine the definition of "nice".  Because all of this unsolicited flattery of us based on our physical appearance alone lets us know you are only interested in one thing, and that is not flattering.  It just makes us feel like meat.

So what's a nice, special fella like yourself to do?  

Here's a thought.  Treat us like people.  Talk to us in social settings where we are more likely to be receptive to your responses.  Perhaps express an interest in getting to know us as human beings.  Don't assume we are going to want to talk to you but respectfully ask first.  Don't do that shitty "negging" thing or use other pick-up artist formulas to "get" us.  Work on your personality.  Have something intelligent to talk about.  Make us laugh.

And if none of that works, move on.  Just because a woman is in a social setting when you hit on her does not mean she wants you.  It just means she is more understanding of you approaching her.  She doesn't owe you anything.

Don't get me wrong.  You don't need to make every interaction with a girl about long term relationships.  Not all of us are looking to get married.  We have physical needs, too.  We would just like those needs to be met by someone a little less....rapey.

And if any of this advice isn't really your bag you are probably wasting your time talking to radnom women to get what you want.  Perhaps you need to explore the seedy underbelly of Craig's List instead.

Tuesday 11 June 2013

Rice Krispie Treats = Satan's Snack Bar

It was about seven years ago that Frick started his first season of soccer.  He looked so cute in his little uniform and I was so proud of him. 

I remember being very nervous about the first time it was my turn to bring snacks.  This is one of those social obligations that can wreak havoc on the mind of the anxiety ridden.   What kind of snacks do I bring?  Will the kids like the snacks?  What will the parents think of the snacks?  Will there be enough snacks?

One thing I was damn sure about:  I would not be bringing oranges.

Look, I love healthy snacks for my kids as much as the next Mom but my husband let me know that when he was a kid there were only oranges and it sucked.  He said it was like getting apples or boxes of raisins at Halloween.  I didn't want to be the Mom who ended up pissing off a bunch of five year-olds and going home with most of her oranges.  Nobody wants to be that Mom.

But I noticed that the other parents were just bringing run of the mill popsicles and everyone was happy with them.  The most popular Mom was the one who brought a bunch of those giant-ass Kisko freezies.  Seeing these kinds of treats put me at ease.  These are treats I know.  These are treats I understand.

And for seven years I have been bringing my very uncontroversial popsicles as soccer snacks and everyone was happy about it.

Until now.

The game has changed now, ladies and gentlemen.  There are new rules to be learned.

This year it's Frack's turn to start soccer.  Frack has been watching his big brother play soccer, gazing longingly from the sidelines, waiting patiently for the day when he would be old enough to wear his own uniform.  He is so excited.

As for me I felt confident.  Now I'm an old-pro when it comes to being a Soccer Mom.  For example, I know to hunt down the snack sign up sheet ASAP so I could sign up for the earliest possible opportunity.  The best thing to do is to get your turn out of the way so you don't have a snack obligation hanging over your head all summer.  It makes it difficult to plan any vacations you might want to take because you don't want to neglect your responsibility.

I was quick enough to get the second available spot.  Yes!

The first soccer night was on a hot sunny day and so there were lots of popsicles.  Sure, they were the expensive kind made out of real fruit but this didn't faze me.  I had learned years ago that it didn't really matter what kind of popsicles you bought so long as they were cold and sweet.  I thought nothing of saving a couple of bucks and buying generic.  This way I could afford to buy extras for the little brothers or sisters of the players.  Also, and more importantly, I am poor.  Fortunately most Kindergarteners don't really know the  difference yet.

So last night was my night for snacks.  It was cold and lightly raining which pretty much put the kibosh on my popsicle plans.  Who the hell wants a popsicle after running around in the cold rain?  Nobody.  But then I remembered a few years back one of the coaches brought Rice Krispie treats on a colder night and the kids went apeshit for them.  Perfect!  Rice Krispie treats are cheap, right?

No.  No they are not.  I did not know this because, in my opinion, buying pre-made, individually wrapped Rice Krispie treats was for suckers.  They're so cheap and easy to make why wouldn't you just do it yourself?  But for Soccer Night I was okay with spending a few extra bucks on convenience.  Also, home made goodies are just an invitation for trouble.  I would gladly pay extra money to avoid having to reassure everyone that I wasn't slipping razor blades in there.

A package of 30 Rice Krispie bars costs $10.  Are you kidding me?  Sitting right next to the Rice Krispie treats are the generic equivalent which cost $5.  What the hell is Kellogg's putting in their bars to justify a 100% markup?  Gold flakes?  Truffles?  Orphan tears?  Are Snap, Crackle and Pop feeding a coke habit?

Oh.  Apparently you can write your kid's name on the package.  And it has 6 more bars in it than the no-name one.  Yeah, I'm buying the no-name one.

When I got home from the grocery store and the boys saw the treats they started jumping up and down, begging me for one.  This reassured me that I had made the right choice.  I gave them each one and off we went to the soccer park.

Throughout the practice Frack asked me about every ten minutes if soccer was finished yet.  Partly because it was raining and miserable but mostly, I think, because he wanted to get his hands on another Krispie treat.  Excellent.  I knew the kids were going to be happy with my treats.  I only hoped there would be a few left over because I told Frick I would save him one.

At the end the parents gathered together and laid out the snacks.  Since the weather sucked only about 25 of the usual 90 or so kids showed up.  This meant the kids pretty much had a little snack buffet to choose from.  I was bringing out my Krispie treats when another Mom set up beside me with orange and watermelon slices.  I felt kind of bad she chose this spot.  It would be hard to tempt kids with fruit while standing right next to Rice Krispie treats.  Poor Orange Slice Mom.  She's really nice, too.

There were also granola bars, popsicles and...what's this?  Cool Mom across from me had little plastic cups filled with Gummi worms.  Wish I'd thought of that.

When the kids were finished their little cheer they came running over.  Snack time is their favourite part of soccer so far.  Of course the kids made a bee-line for the Gummi worms, except for Frack who couldn't wait to get his hands on the Krispie treats.  Two or three more kids grabbed a few of my treats and then things got....weird.

One little girl took a Krispie treat and her mother told her to put it down and redirected the girl to Orange Slice Mom.  It seemed kinda weird (rude, to be perfectly honest) but I understand, I guess.  Fruit is healthier.  Still, it kind of stung me.

Then a little boy took one and his Dad snatched it from him muttering something about ingredients and allergies.  Okay, I respect allergy concerns.  Maybe I'm just ignorant because my kids don't have allergies.  I thought the fact that they were peanut free and made out of rice made them pretty safe, but what do I know?  Allergy Dad put the treat back.

Then came Muslim Mom and before she even spoke to her son I was mentally slapping myself.  Gelatin!  Of course!  Now I really felt ignorant.  There is also a fairly Orthodox Jewish community in my neighbourhood and I've seen their children at soccer practices, too.  How could I be so thoughtless!  I felt like such an asshole.  Meanwhile, Orange Slice Mom next to me was getting cleaned out.  Kids were grabbing second and third helpings.

And right when I started to wonder if I was just being overly sensitive about my snacks, this happened:

A little girl grabbed one of my treats with a big smile on her face as she chowed down on it.  A wave of relief rushed over me.  I am being too sensitive.  There are plenty of other treats for the kids with food restrictions, and plenty of kids who will still eat the treats I brought.  Get a grip, woman!

Orange Slice Mom was offering the little girl one of the last few pieces of fruit left but she shook her head.  Then her Mom piped up.

"Oh, she loves watermelon!  Don't you, Sweetie?  Oranges, too!  Usually she adores all kinds of fruit but if there's Rice Krispie treats around..." and then, did I imagine that or did she give me the side-eye?

What, Lady?  Am I not playing fair?  Did I just ruin her dinner?  Don't you think you're working a little overtime to convince us that your daughter has the world's most healthy eating habits?  So much so that you have to throw shade on my Krispie treats?

Who knew Rice Krispie treats were so fucking controversial?  All they told me was to make sure they were peanut-free and I did.  Apparently that wasn't enough.  Not even Cool Gummi Mom had a problem.  She was happily collecting up all her empty little plastic cups while I was looking down at my mostly full box of Rice Krispie treats.  And now all the kids were leaving.

What in the hell just happened here?

Oh well, because you know what?  More Rice Krispie treats for me, that's what.  I love me some Rice Krispie treats!  And now that my snack providing obligations have been met I am going to take them home to those who appreciate them.  

Totally going oranges next year.  FML.