08 July 2010

SHADDAP! Want some cheese with that whine?

(Photograph copyright 2010, all rights reserved.)

For those that are interested, the cat on the far left of this photo (Charlie) is only a seven month old kitten. The girls are two years old. Charlie has a lot of growing to do. This DOES make me nervous, because he's over ten pounds right now.

Right. To work.

I want to start with a whine of my own. Here's me, whining: I have a hideous head cold that has me wishing my eyes would just pop out to relieve the pressure. The fever that I had all day yesterday is finally gone. I think my brain is melting, though. I'm so clogged that the drugs are barely making a dent. I lost my voice three times yesterday. Woe is me. Woe! Woe! Woe!

How's that? Actually, I DO feel better today, but I was overcome with guilt because when The Boy had this cold, I wasn't as sympathetic as I should have been. When I told my beloved that I was sick, the answer I got was... let's just say pretty sarcastic and leave it at that, shall we? I figure we're even now.

Ok, off to the letters! Find them here .

1. Oh, you poor darling! I bet you're wishing you'd had that brain upgrade in high school instead of that shoe shopping spree! Oh. You don't get how stupid you were?

Let's review. On the very first day of your dream internship, you got sloppy, disgusting drunk, thought going to your boss's home was somehow a good idea, you barfed all over his living room and you're wondering if you should punish HIM for trying to kiss you?

You have problems, little girl, and sexual harassment is NOT one of them.

SHADDAP! No more wine for you!

When are you going to realize that you acted like a pinheaded moron from the sticks whose social skills include embroidery and pegging rocks at frogs in the woods? How stupid are you, anyway?

You got drunk. Very, very drunk. Sloppy, disgusting, vomiting drunk.

You got into a strange man's car (you only knew the guy for one day, even if he IS your boss) and went home with him and you think HE behaved badly? What did you expect? (For those of you who are going to get on my case about how no one deserves to be smooched against their will, you're right. She still acted like a complete ass.)

However, you are a very, very lucky little girl, aren't you? Granted, you're too much of a thick headed dolt to understand this, but your boss is TERRIFIED right now. Of course he doesn't want you to quit, moron, he's terrified of a lawsuit! You think he doesn't know the implications of sexually harassing an infant intern?

Are you underage? He could get in some serious trouble just because he let you go to that party at all! Oh, and in case you missed it? HE WAS DRUNK, TOO. Otherwise he would NEVER have let you in his car in the first place. Everything that happened after, including letting you sleep it off on his couch, was motivated by pure, unadulterated fear.

Take this as a lesson learned, cookie. You don't get to drink on the job - and ANY company-sponsored interaction, even if it's at a bar, IS on the job. A company get-together is NOT a goddamned frat party! A large part of being an intern is so that you can learn to behave like a professional with something to contribute. Wastebaskets full of vomit are not the contribution I'm referring to here.

You do realize that you will never work for these people again, right? Even though you'll be able to work there this summer, they've taken your measure and you came up lacking. Everything you did the first day on the job was so unprofessional, so childish, and so stupid that no one is going to want to risk being around you any more. If you complain about the "harassment", you're guaranteeing that you will never work in that industry again.

It ain't fair, but where is it written that life should be fair?

Pray that no one took pictures of your drunken revelling, kid. Because if they did, the vision of you acting like a jackass at work is going to follow you for the rest of your working life and might even keep you from working at the local Pup'n'Taco in whatever Podunk town you grew up in. Where you apparently belong.

2. Hoo boy! Lady, you got issues. Somehow you managed to raise a smart, pennywise young man who is considerate of others AND manages to keep his eye on the bottom line. Any five-year-old that manages to save half the price of a $250.00 gaming system by himself is bloody brilliant. Reselling to get an upgrade is even smarter.

Ah, but you aren't happy with that, are you. No, his uncle missed a payment and MUST be punished, right?

SHADDAP! Have a drink and chill!

If your son can manage to set up a payment plan so his uncle can have his old gaming system, then he can figure out that his uncle can't afford to finish paying right now. If the kid is upset - and I don't think he is - tell him that Uncle Gamer hasn't got a job, is one step away from ending up on the street, and sonny-boy will have to wait for his twenty bucks. Easy.

But no. You aren't happy with that, are you? You want that money, dammit and to HELL with Uncle Gamer!

What were you planning on doing? Catch your son's uncle in an alley and beat him with a Nerf bat until he antes up? Put a dead squirrel in his bed? Tell his Mommy? Steal his Teddy bear? Tell all the girls he has cooties? Spread a rumor that he still wears tightie whities?

Grow the fuck up, lady and stay out of this. Your kid is smarter than you are. Hell, my kitten is smarter than you and he's only got about three brain cells right now! Or do you WANT your son to learn from Mommy how to be a bullying whiner?

Leave the kid alone.

3. Gotcha. Gay exec, good job, fun people to work with..... It's all good. Are you sure you aren't a certain relative of mine? You SOUND like you're in an identical situation...but then he doesn't waste his time whining!

To recap, you went out with a group from work, the conversation turned to a same-sex smooch on TV and one of the women you THOUGHT you knew threw a fit and burst out with a homophobic rant that shocked the crap out of you. I get it. It's upsetting to find out just what some people are like, and this was especially shocking. She apologized, you accepted it, but you aren't comfortable with her any more.

I get this. I really do. I wouldn't want to be buddies with someone who pulled something like that either. So why are you having so much trouble with her now?

SHADDAP! No drinking with the staff!

How the heck do you succeed in your job and not know how to handle this? I'm guessing that a lot of what you do is manage people, and that requires the ability to be objective and just a tad cold-blooded when it comes to managing their expectations, too.

I'm certain that this women is sincerely embarrassed by the (possibly) booze-induced loosening of the tongue and subsequent rant. No doubt she's heard about it from other people who were there that night. She may be a genuinely nice person who likes puppies and kittens and gives money to orphans, even. It's not wrong for you to find her bigotry towards gays disturbing, though.

You DO have to talk to her. It's only fair. She's going to keep bothering you about this unless you set her straight anyway, so bite the bullet, pull off that Band-aid, um..... whatever cliche you can think of about getting your shit together.... and TELL HER. Make an appointment with her, sit down in your office, and tell her exactly what you told Prudie.

Prudie's advice on this sucks, by the way. You should NOT just put up with this nonsense, and you do NOT have to listen to some idiot rant nastily about your sexual orientation. What this woman said was reprehensible to you and the fact that she apologized does not mean that her attitude has changed.

Try this:

"I understand that you're uncomfortable about the comments you made. You should be, they were very upsetting to me. I accept your apology, but I feel that our friendship should be strictly professional and limited to the office."

That should do it. Oh, and take a lesson from this. Work friends and personal friends are different creatures. Keeping those two arenas separate from each other is sometimes necessary. Don't be afraid to say this.

4. Ooooh! I LOVE these. Bridezillas, Momzillas, Knocked-up-baby-sisterzillas....

I have to say that weddings, parties and babies are probably the most revealing events in the world. Want to find out a friend's REAL character? Pay attention to the way she acts when she's planning on of these events. THIS is where you separate the women from the girls and the girls from the assholes!

This one is a doozy, too! I agree with you. Four goddamned baby showers is three too many. Registering at TWO stores for the entire contents of each is tacky and greedy beyond all measure. Your sister either has balls the size of coconuts or is dumb as a bucket of rocks for allowing this to happen.

But that's not what you asked. You want to know how to tell her how cheesy this all is. I'm going to have to tell you to

SHADDAP! Drink her booze and let it go.

I can't believe your sister's friends are falling for all this bullshit, but that's their problem.

Yes, it's a shameless, tacky and manipulative grab for presents, and since she's registered for things like cribs, strollers and beds, then I have to wonder if she and her husband are perhaps too broke to be having a child anyway. Did they register for a minivan, too?

The etiquette on this says that parents are responsible for the necessities of a baby's life. Furniture is their responsibility, and if someone is going to buy it as a gift, it should be a close family member that does it with no fanfare at all. Simply put, you don't hit up friends for the big stuff.

There's not a bloody thing you can do about this, though. You know your sister won't listen. The way you describe her, she'd probably have a screaming fit if you even suggested she's acting like a greedy three-year-old. So do nothing.

Go to ONE shower. Don't get anything on the registry. Get something useful and pretty or whatever, and skip the list. I suspect a lot of people are going to do that anyway. Say NOTHING if your sister whines about your gift and don't cave and obey her when she embarks on a tantrum about it.

Oh, and relax. You aren't the only one that's noticed your sister's grabby behavior. She may end up with a few nasty surprises when she opens the presents at the baby showers. Not everyone is going to fall for this bullshit.


Practical suggestions for prosaic shower gifts:

1. A dozen onesies or tiny t-shirts. Seriously. Babies, as cute as they are, are also grubby little critters that need to be washed and tidied up on a regular basis. Having clean things on hand is important.

2. A dozen bibs. Babies drool. A LOT. Many clean bibs are good to have.

3. The monster pack of newborn diapers. Did I mention that babies are grubby? They need to be changed a zillion times a day, too. Diapers are not only expensive, running out is a tragedy of epic proportions.

4. A Costco-sized package of baby wipes. Again, grubby.

5. A couple of dozen white terry-cloth hand towels or restaurant side towels. These are to be used for general clean-up, burping and whatever else one needs them for. No matter how ghastly they get and no matter what manner of goo and grossness gets on them, you can bleach them and they will always look nice and white.

6. Baby bath gels, shampoos, etc. Running out of that stuff is really annoying.

7. A gift certificate to a spa for Mom that includes hair, facial, and a massage. She's going to need it.

8. An IOU for a couple of nights of babysitting. Weirdly, babies are not so entrancing 24/7 as you might think. Even if the parents need a break to walk around the block three or four times so they can use their adult voices, that's important, too.

9. A stack of trashy, no-brain-involved novels for parents that aren't going to sleep even when the baby IS sleeping. Magazine subscriptions are good, too. Distractions are necessary.

10. A card that's good for ten phone calls where the new parent is specifically allowed to vent with no comments unless they ask a question. Trust me. This is another necessity.


That's it for this week! Have a good weekend and remember, when in doubt, SHADDAP!


  1. I have seen the future of your kitten. He's a tabby named Lincoln who belongs to a friend of mine. He's huge - not fat, but just really long and tall, even bigger than a Maine Coon. He's about the size of a... well, I don't know what animal to compare him to... I guess one that's bigger than a cat and smaller than a pony. Your not-so-little guy is beautiful, though.

  2. Welcome, Amy! Glad you stopped by.

    Charlie is going to be a bruiser, I know it. We used to have a monster tabby named Louis, who weighed about 28 pounds in his prime. He was just a big, massive, muscly guy and definitely at least half Maine Coon. You could tell by his face and paws - he had masses of fur between his pads and inside his ears.

    Charlie is going to be different. I think you're right. I suspect Charlie will be tall and long with lots of muscle and I don't see him weighing as much as Louis did. I'm guessing there's a little bit of Abyssinian in his gene pool too, because he took a swim in the tub yesterday and enjoyed it greatly.

    Sigh. Cats are weird. ALL cats are weird.

  3. Wow, Aunt Messy, you nailed them all.
    What is LW2 thinking?? I don't suppose the kid has forgotten the twenty bucks, but if he's hurting for it, Mom, advance it already.
    More important, it sounds like he understands that it may be better for his great uncle to, say, buy gas for his car or pay rent, than worry about this. God bless him.

    I feel about those silly smooches the way I felt about Janet Jackson's nipple--a ten year old kid has seen about fifty thousand clothed pairs of breasts, what's one bare one more or less? If Al and Tipper didn't gross him out for life, why would a couple of cute ladies? Move on, nothing to see here folks.
    But yeah, he can't say he accepts the apology and still freeze her out--better to say, 'you don't really get why I mind what you said.'

    Your gift list is a total clip-and-save; it might be slightly more a salve to the lw's feelings, perhaps, to come up with a small gift card, instead, and wail, "I just couldn't deCIDE! there were too many great CHOIces!" Little sister shouldn't whine about that, she should grab it and run, but she's not listening here, I guess.

    I hope your woe is much better--I'm in awe of your doing such clear thinking with a head full of goo.

  4. Cantahamster - I had just taken a couple of decongestants, so the goo wasn't so bad. It's the headache that's getting me with this thing. Yuck. I don't like taking anything like Tylenol, but I finally broke down and took something. Now I'm still glogged up but I don't care because I can't feel it!

    I would have thought the gift list was a no-brainer, but I guess not. All you have to do is remember that when babies are tiny, all you really have to do is keep them well fed and dry at both ends. Often. It's pretty basic, but it's constant and trying to do a ton of laundry in between is a pain. That's why everyone should have multiples.

  5. Aunt Messy, I love all your responses (as usual) but I especially love your response to LW4. The gift suggestions are priceless! One tiny tweak might be to get a size bigger diaper than newborn since a lot of babies never even wear the really tiny diapers anymore.

    I hope your cold feels better soon. I know what you mean about the empathy thing---I recently pulled a muscle in my back and actually thought I was dying. I investigated all about kidney disease and liver cancer and...I had my funeral planned and everything. Man, I never realized a little old pulled muscle could hurt like that! Let's just say this was something I needed to feel myself to believe, and I have known a few people to have the same pulled muscle and I was less than completely sympathetic! Karma is a bitch!

    Anyway, I hope you feel better soon! I gotta kick out of the troll who attacked you on the Fray the other day, BTW. It just shows how attractive a personality you are that they are drawn to you like that! ;}

  6. Messy, sorry about your cold --hope it gets better soon (I usually drink lots of carrot juice in those cases, but I'm weird and I actually like it...)

    Love the cats' pix --what do you suppose they're looking at?

    The letter about the 5 year old kid and his uncle blew my mind. If he's the kid's uncle, then he must be either the mother's brother or her brother in law? No hint that the guy is a living person and what her relationship with him is.

    I do agree it's good to teach a kid to save money, but shouldn't we also teach her to share? How many time do you hear at a playground "share your toys"? And suddenly the kid is not supposed to share anything when his uncle is out of work? And what kind of an uncle is he anyways? Uncles and Aunties usually buy toys for their nephews, not buy them from them, well on second thought I can see how this could happen, but it still strikes me as weird....

  7. Kati! Sorry it took so long to get back here... It's a long story, and one that you will be able to read (hopefully) by the end of the day.

    I know EXACTLY what those bratty felines are looking at. There had been a thunderstorm the night before, and when the sun came out, so did the bees. They're watching bumblebees in the flower boxes on the rail of the deck.

    This year I went all screaming pink and put in geraniums, mandevilla, dianthus, nasturtiums and some deep purple morning glory vines for contrast. At this time of year, it's bee heaven out there, especially in the mornings. I'm fairly sure that if les chatons ever actually CAUGHT a bee, they would freak.

    Although.....Charlie The Great Orange Hunter DID eat a fly last week. After it had been disabled by a magazine, but still.

  8. Messy, if your cats are anything like mine, "freak" is a pretty good description. When my little girl cat caught a wasp on one of her supervised excursions in the yard, she screamed like Janet Leigh in Psycho, hissed at me (for not warning her?), and ran into the house to sulk under the couch. She's a drama queen, though, so yours might handle it with a little more dignity.

  9. hbc - If only it were so. In Charlie's case we're talking about a cat that chases his tale by trying to jump over his own back. Think about that for a minute and it will make sense.

    Sarah (all orange) gets into "prowl" mode and slinks around the house silently, enjoying scaring the bejeesus out of Charlie. Her feelings are hurt if you don't pretend to be terrified of her.

    Nini pouts. Certain guests that have been over in the past don't even know we HAVE Nini. They think she's fictional.

  10. D'Oh! "...chases his TAIL..."