In my expert opinion

And…… nothing.

That’s right, I have nothing to add in my expert opinion, because I am not an expert. Not in anything that I can mention on a blog that my mother reads, anyway.

So, here I am, looking at 40. This is an interesting age, and I think it is especially interesting for me as the youngest in my own family, where hitting 40 is once again just the thing that everyone else got to do first.

Do I feel old? No. Maybe? Just a tad sometimes? But while maybe I can look back on 26 or 31 with fond “oh, to be young again” bemoaning, I also know a few 50, 60, 70+ year olds who think the same of 40. So maybe I should stop mourning the loss of my youth and embrace the fact that I am still, in fact, young.

But as I age, there is one thing that I STOP doing, slowly. And that, my friends, is thinking that I know it all.

I saw a “trending” article on the facepage about a mom named Stephanie Metz, who posted on her blog last month a diatribe aimed at the agents of “modern parenting” and how “the mentality of our society in 2013 is nauseating” to her. Stephanie is a mother of two young boys, and as a mother of two boys myself, you’d think I relate to this lady. And I suppose I probably could. If I could see past her arrogance of presuming to know how the world works for ALL other parents from her perch behind a computer screen somewhere in South Dakota.

I’ll avoid my bitchy instinct to comment on her annoying habit of writing her blog in centered text.

Seriously, this is annoying

as hell to read. Why the hell are you

centering the text. Who taught you this

nonsense? Stop it. Stop it right

this very minute.

But I do want to take just a moment to address the substance of her post from October 25, entitled, Why My Kids Are NOT the Center of My World.

I assumed I would agree with this post, based on that title. Jim and I try really hard not to let the kids think that they are sun around which our world revolves. They have their shining moments, but they have their backstage ones too. We try not to spoil, or to let them have expectations that we’ll just do something for them.

But then I started reading it, and it was downright comical at parts.

A small sample:

In completely selfish terms, bringing my boys into this world was such a great decision – for me.  They bring me so much joy, they fill my heart, they make me happy.  But I often question whether or not it was the right decision for them.  My boys are typical little boys.  They love to play guns.  They love to play good guy versus bad guy.  They love to wrestle and be rowdy.  That’s the nature of little boys, as it has been since the beginning of time.

How long will it be before their typical boy-ish behavior gets them suspended from school?  How long before they get suspended from daycare???  How long will it be before one of them gets upset with a friend, tells that friend to go away and leave them alone, and subsequently gets labeled as a bully?

The mentality of our society in 2013 is nauseating to me, friends.

Do you see what I mean about the center text? That’s annoying.

Once I realized she was starting off on a “let my kids have their guns” stance, I realized maybe we’d have issues. I get it, you want your kids to play with their toy guns. Newsflash, mine have them too. But also, newsflash AGAIN, not all little boys play with fake guns. And newsflash times three, guns in school are an actual documented real threat, and schools have to do SOMETHING. They set anti-gun rules and regulations. If you hate it, home school your kids. But is it really that big of a deal that your kid can’t bring his Nerf gun to school? Is this such a necessary part of his childhood?

I digress.

She carries on about how modern parents are too protective. They answer to their children too quickly, they don’t let them feel agony of defeat. They will not be prepared for society, she notes, because their folks aren’t letting them learn to be disappointed.

While I don’t disagree that parents like this exist, the idea that it is new or modern or the plight of the Mom and Dad of 2013 is downright laughable. There have always been parents who hovered over their children and protected them from the big bad, and there have always been children who received a rude awakening when finally dropped into the real world. Where do you think the term “Mama’s Boy” came from, anyway?

Stephanie goes on about how we overreact to bullying, and how her boys will be prepared for the real world, because SHE is clearly winning at motherhood as she preps them for the fight by letting them know that they can’t always be the most important person in the room.

Take that, modern parents. Schooled!

For the most part, however, I find her post naive and uninformed. At best, she is being disingenuous in parts, although, if she is not, then she is clueless.

At one point, on her anti- anti-bulling rant, she writes: “…if Sally calls Susie a bitch (please excuse my language if that offends you), Susie’s whole world crumbles around her, she contemplates suicide, and this society encourages her to feel like her world truly has ended, and she should feel entitled to a world-wide pity party. And Sally – phew! She should be jailed! She should be thrown in juvenile detention for acting like – gasp – a teenage girl acts.”

That’s fine and all, except that there’s nothing accurate about it.

Girls call each other bitches all the time in school. Still happens. And they really do still just deal with it, just like we all did when we were younger.

Stephanie is equating every instance of name calling with every instance of true bullying. The latest incident of a girl who killed herself in relation to being bullied, it wasn’t because of one little comment, and no one was jailed for just acting like a teenager. It was documented systematic abuse of a girl who was subsequently failed by everyone, from her school to her own parents. It was far more serious than a single instance of name calling.

I felt my skin crawl a little reading Stephanie’s rant, as she cheapened the true struggles of those who ARE bullied, by suggesting that it’s all in their heads. It’s not. That’s great when so many of us can look back and say, meh, it wasn’t so bad, I dealt with it. But to suggest that our experience then MUST be the one everyone else feels, that’s just ignorant. Did you know that suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people aged 15-24. It’s not a punchline. Should we really brush these people off like they just weren’t tough enough to take it?

I say this to Stephanie and those who nod their heads along with her:  My world does not revolve around my children completely either. That said, I can teach them to function in society while simultaneously protecting them from the truly bad things of the world, just like my own mother and father did for us. I can teach them not to put up with being crapped on by others, without telling them that it’s just a part of life, and toughen up.

Because it’s not.

Most people aren’t shoved into lockers by their employers. Co-workers actually are NOT allowed to walk around calling each other bitches. It’s okay to teach them that they don’t have to accept being pushed around, figuratively and literally. It doesn’t mean I am tuning them into losers with no critical thinking skills. Quite the opposite, I am trying to teach them conflict resolution. Who knows if it will stick. But it’s my job to try.

I can also teach them to come to me with their problems, big and small, and, lacking the ability to reach a solution on their own, I will come to their aid. Not because they are the center of my world, but because I am their mother, and that is my job.

They don’t have to just sit and take it. Sometimes they can come to me. Sometimes they can come to their father. Sometimes they can go to each other. And other times, yes, they will be told to figure it out. But I won’t teach them that figuring out solutions to all their problems MUST be done on their own. That dealing with problems in the silence of their own thoughts will somehow magically make them better adults.

And I won’t assume that their experiences will mirror my own. That’s just, well, dense.

Stephanie does not seem to understand that there are more than two kinds of parents out there. It’s not just her kind, and the wrong kind.

But it was her end notes that really got me: “I know of two gentlemen that are going to be able to accept failure and move on having learned something from it…  I know of two gentleman who will be hurt emotionally, but who will be able to work through the hurt and carry on with life.”

I find this hilarious.

Try not to break your arm patting yourself on the back there, lady. No one knows exactly how their children will turn out as adults. Especially in light of the fact that the two gentlemen who Stephanie is raising are pretty much still babies.

Stephanie is not an idiot, and I suspect she is not at all ignorant or dense or naive. But she certainly is presumptuous. Stephanie clearly thinks she knows that which she cannot possibly know. I imagine, as I wind my way through understanding junior high, my brother and sisters with grown children are laughing at the things I have yet to figure out.

My mother is enjoying this the most.

You can’t possibly be an expert on what other parents do, or how they do it, or how your brand of parenting teens is the right way to parent teens, when your children are more than a decade away from that milestone.

Stephanie mentions she is 29.

I’m 39.

Talk to me in ten years, honey. You’re not quite the expert on raising hormone-filled boys and navigating middle and high school behavior that you seem to think you are. Nor are you all that knowledgeable on how to navigate the world of bullying just because you once faced a bully or two yourself.

This isn’t your story. It’s theirs. And you have yet to see a glimpse.

In my expert opinion, I say, you’ll learn.

And you’ll realize how ridiculous you sound.

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Excuses, excuses

So this skinny bitch was all over the place over the past week.

00aa

Okay, that’s not really fair.

I certainly don’t know Maria Kang, right? So basically, her story was, she posted this picture on her Facebook page. And I guess she posted it quite some time ago. But for some “mysterious” reason, it suddenly was gaining attention.

Sidebar – does anyone really think it was mysterious? Really? She was just all, how did THAT happen? Really? She didn’t spread it around at all, pushing for some publicity? For her website? And her product? Really? Okay then…

Maria Kang. She has her own website. Never heard of her before. Have you? I mean, before THIS? Probably not. And had this photo not “mysteriously” gained some sort of attention that prompted people respond to her public Facebook page, which prompted her to write kind of a bitchy response, which prompted her to get her very own trend on the old Google, which prompted her to do the morning talk show circuit, which prompted her to get MORE hits on her website, well, you get the point.

So anyway, Maria here said that she wasn’t being rude when she wrote “What’s your excuse?” She wasn’t shaming people for not looking like her. She was just nicely suggesting, while mostly naked, that maybe people try their best to get in a workout most days! That’s all! I mean, sure, ten, 15 years from now, that photo will be stroke material for her sons’ friends. But she’s just trying to SUPPORT and INSPIRE the rest of us. YOU. This is SUPPORT for YOU. Her near NUDITY is all for YOU!

I say good for her. I think it’s a positive message. I think we could ALL learn a lesson this way.

If only pediatric oncologists would post photos of themselves tending to dying children with the graphic “What’s your excuse?” overhead, Maria would be a pediatric oncologist.

If only Rhodes Scholars would post photos of themselves with their books and stuff with the graphic “What’s your excuse?” overhead, Maria would be a Rhodes Scholar.

If only Tom Brady would put “What’s your excuse?” on a poster, I’m sure Maria would be an insufferable douchebag (come to think of it, she may have a Tom Brady poster).

Well, I’m inspired.

I’ve created some posters of my own, with the hopes of paying it forward:

0c

 

0e

 

0b

 

0f

 

0d

 

0h

I hope I return the favor that Maria Kang has so graciously bestowed upon me, and inspire her right back!

 

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UB40, Jimmy, UB40

That’s right. He be 40.

Y’all, I am married to an OLD MAN!

You know how every once in a while, you start a story with “20 years ago…” Well, when Jim does that,  HE’S TALKING ABOUT HIS 20’s!!!!!!!!!!!

ahhh

I couldn’t come up with any new or crafty 40-year-old sayings.

Over the hill? Lame.

Good Lordy, Jim’s 40? That just reminds me of the couple down the street growing up, and he put a giant sign reading that in the yard, expecting to surprise her with the best birthday ever, and she handed him divorce papers. No.

Life begins at 40? Okay, thanks for spitting on our past time together, sorry it wasn’t really “living.”

The 40-Year-Old Virgin? Dude. No. We have kids. Don’t mean to spoil the illusion, but we totally have done it.

See what I mean?

Now, y’all know I have been known, once or twice, to poke a little fun at the man. The reason I do it is because he is a good sport. He poses for pictures knowing I am going to share them here or with SOme other online location. He does it, because he’s awesome.

Let’s take a look:

Young awesome Jim

Young awesome Jim

I love 'Merica Jim

I love ‘Merica Jim

Fashion forward Jim

Fashion forward Jim

Fatherly, teach the boys how to use this iPhone so they stop bothering us with all their talking Jim

Fatherly, teach the boys how to use this iPhone so they stop bothering us with all their talking Jim

Athletic Jim

Athletic Jim

Musical Jim

Musical Jim

I believe I can fly Jim

I believe I can fly Jim

Pink eye Jim

Pink eye Jim

White Sox fan Jim

White Sox fan Jim

Dark Side Jim

Dark Side Jim

Susie Homemaker Jim

Susie Homemaker Jim

Check out my hose Jim

Check out my hose Jim

Blackhawks win the Cup Jim (and Lucky Banana)

Blackhawks win the Cup Jim (and Lucky Banana)

40 year old Jim

40-year-old Jim

See? What’s not to love, yo?

But in the interest of embarrassing my husband further, can I just say, I’m the luckiest damn girl alive.

This man. This man who puts up with my endless arguing. This man who has never once even considered using the word “stepson.” This man who works his ass off to give us what we need. This man who spoils us because he likes to. This man who puts others first. This man who tells me he loves me every day.

This man chose me.

To quote Jimmy, “Suck it, Bitches.”

He’s 40. He’s pretty awesome. And he’s mine.

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Happy Birthday, Pookie Bear. Here’s to 40 more, and then some!

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Fashion bugged

So, it’s been a mere three and a half months since I started my new job.

To be perfectly accurate, it was 105 days.

I got this new job, remember, because I am a human bucket of awesome. Remember? I started working as a writer and “social media manager” for a company that makes dresses. Cool huh? Someone was actually going to pay me MONEY to post on Facebook and write descriptions of clothes.

Cool.

Yep. Well, 105 days later, and that bridge was burned in such a way that you’d think that raging inferno was caused by some old Irish woman’s cow. Burned that sucker to the ground, I did. Then salted the earth so nothing could grow again.

This is not a very easy post for me to write, because I want so badly to be snide and funny and quippy and silly. I want to joke about the trashy little office with perpetual stains on the floors and walls. I want to talk about the crazy attitudes and bemoaning and whining. I want to joke about the fact that so many people think feathers are a good embellishment, or the utterly terrible writing that I fixed on the website. I want to talk about the girl who mispronounced her own name (seriously, it was not a name with alternate pronunciations) or the girl who inexplicably seemed to form all of her sentences into questions.

We make clothes here?

Why are you asking me, you’ve been here for years, dumbass.

But I can’t really make too many jokes, really. And not just because I don’t want to trash my former employer and get sued all to hell, which I certainly do not.

Let me just tell the story.

The day that I interviewed, I had that cat-sees-a-ghost moment. You know what I am talking about, if you’ve ever had a cat (or a dog, probably). When you’re sitting there, minding your own business, watching old episodes of One Tree Hill on DVD reading the classics, when suddenly your cat is staring at the wall. He’s pissed, too. Whatever is there is dangerous, and scary. You can’t see it, but you can feel it. You should flee. But that’s ridiculous. You go back to Lucas and Nathan and that damn Dan Scott Miss Havisham and Pip and try to shake it off, but danger is there, somewhere. You know it.

This happened when the Beast rolled into the room to interview me. She poured into her seat as if her skin was stuffed with play-doh instead of bones and muscle. When she opened her mouth, she barked.

I wanted to scram out of there. But this job seemed great, and I thought I was resisting for the wrong reasons.

I was offered. I accepted. I started. I enjoyed.

I paddled forward and wrote and posted and learned. Some people made me cock my head to the side, others made me smile. I was new to an office, new to a 40-hour-week a job, I hadn’t held a 9-5 gig…. ever. All my full-time jobs in my whole adult life had always been off hours and always included weekends. This was new.

I was having a blast.

It lasted 65 days. Exactly 65 days in, and 40 days before I lost it, this ship turned, and it turned on a dime.

I feel pretty certain that describing it in full detail would be boring as complete and utter hell. It would also be impossible, as I am not really sure what all happened. But I know the date. And on that day, out of nowhere, the screaming started. And it never. stopped. On that day, the Beast opened her massive jowls and uttered a robust roar of anger, over an error so minor that at the time, her howl literally made me jump because I was not expecting it. To say it was disproportionate to the situation at hand isn’t just an understatement, it’s a false statement. It wasn’t disproportionate, it was absurd.

It was more absurd in light of the fact that I actually had not made any mistake, and in fact, the person who HAD made an error tried in vain to accept the blame. The Beast would have none of it. I swear, she glanced around the room to make sure all eyes were upon her before unleashing a bellow of insults at me, then walking away as swiftly as a woman that vast could possibly go.

I was left with my mouth hanging wide.

I was livid.

I tried the rest of the day to calm myself down. We were in the middle of a project, and everyone was getting yelled at sooner or later. Maybe it was just my turn.

The next day, the roar was ten times as loud at two other poor souls, and I thought, sweet relief, I’m out of the line of fire. That lasted roughly five hours.

Then I was wrong, and awful, and terrible. Y’all. I cried in front of my immediate supervisor. I told him I wasn’t going to make it through this nonsense. I told Jim I wasn’t going to make it through this nonsense.

But I did. For 40 more days.

And in those 40 days, what happened was hard to explain. The snide looks. The comments. The “what are you doing?” I got assigned to a project I wasn’t qualified to work on. I stayed late while others clocked out at 5 p.m. on the dot. I was dismissed. I was sneered at. I carried on, thinking, huh…

My intention was to just push through, get some experience, and move on. I mean, wasn’t that my intention from the start? To take the experience from this job and move it into a new career opportunity.

Then, the ghost that the cat saw finally made itself known.

Someone from another department had picked up one of my responsibilities, without my knowledge. They started posting to one of our social media sites. I know that when I started, I was excited about what seemed like this unreal opportunity to get paid to post on Facebook. But as it turned out, there was legitimate marketing strategy behind the postings. Nothing was done just to be done, like when you punch up a picture of the scone you’re about to devour and type in “YUM SCONES!!” When you implement a social media marketing strategy, everything from the post itself to the language to the time of day you post to how long your sentences are to your tags are part of a plan. Willy nilly is not allowed.

For whatever reason, someone else was posting. And they weren’t following any of the protocols.

I sent out an e-mail.

There was only one way that someone else was posting, and that was if they had obtained passwords from the Beast. And I certainly didn’t want to mess with that, so my e-mail was professional. Hey, here’s a heads up, here is our marketing plan. Here are some tips to make sure what you post is following the plan we’ve been implementing for the past few months.

Yeah, the cat jumped all over that ghost.

The Beast took the opportunity to let me know that I do a terrible job (not true) and I post terrible boring things (not true) that no one likes (not accurate at all) and so she told someone else to post. I pointed out that we’d actually made a fair amount of gains in the social media realm, gains that could be counted in the forms of likes and follows and average views. Her reply? “Matter of opinion.” Keep in mind that telling me that was borderline stupid, it was a matter of math. One plus one is two, that makes more people following you on social media. That’s not an opinion.

But…

She made a point to make that reply go to all. She made it a point to write all of this — this belittling nonsense about my terrible performance that was not at all terrible — in a reply all to everyone who had seen my original e-mail about how we are working to best utilize social media as a marketing tool. In short, I reached out to collaborate with co-workers. She reached out to tell me I’m a damn idiot.

Shake it off. Shake it off.

I shook it off for three more days.

Until I woke up on a Monday morning, and a woman with zero supervisory powers whatsoever over me had sent me a similar e-mail, on the same string that I had originally started. “If you can’t handle this job, we’ll do it for you,” she wrote. “You can’t even keep up, your work is mediocre at best.”

Until that moment, I had not even had a full conversation with this woman. She was not my superior. We weren’t in the same department. We didn’t even cross paths.

I lost it.

I almost broke the bathroom door down trying to get in to tell Jim I was quitting on the spot. Then I sat my ass down at the computer, and very nicely responded to the e-mail, by telling this young woman to kindly kiss my ass, and this job can suck a nutsack. I quit.

Reply all.

That’s an awful lot of story packed into a short space, and I realize it’s just mine. But you know what? It’s true. I have no idea what happened. I don’t know what happened from days 1 through 65, and then 66 to 105, that made it end this way.

And I have been sufficiently bummed all to hell ever since.

This morning, while I was whining a bit about it on the facepage, my friend Jill mentioned that workplace bullying is a real thing. And until she wrote that, I had never once considered that was what was happening to me.

So I looked into it.

Did you know female to female workplace bullying is more common than any other kind? And a sign that you’re being bullied is that you’re given an impossible task of doing a new job without training or time to learn new skills, but that work is never good enough for the boss.

Just like the project I was handed, when I wasn’t really qualified to do it, and doing it meant that I had to ignore the rest of my job.

Others signs of workplace bullying:

  • You are constantly feeling agitated and anxious, experiencing a sense of doom, waiting for bad things to happen
  • No matter what you do, you are never left alone to do your job without interference
  • People feel justified screaming or yelling at you in front of others, but you are punished if you scream back
  • You are shocked when accused of incompetence, despite a history of objective excellence, typically by someone who cannot do your job
  • Everyone — co-workers, senior bosses, HR — agrees (in person and orally) that your tormentor is a jerk, but there is nothing they will do about it

I mean. Honestly. How did I not see that coming?

“Targets are more technically skilled than their bullies. They are the “go-to” veteran workers to whom new employees turn for guidance. Insecure bosses and co-workers can’t stand to share credit for the recognition of talent. Bully bosses steal credit from skilled targets.”

The Beast took credit for the increased social media traffic while denying that it had happened under my tenure. She told flat out lies about her involvement in my daily work, and she lied about my contributions.

“Targets are better liked, they have more social skills, and quite likely possess greater emotional intelligence. They have empathy (even for their bullies). Colleagues, customers, and management (with exception to the bullies and their sponsors) appreciate the warmth that the targets bring to the workplace.”

I was liked immediately. I even had empathy, right up until they lost their minds at me. I once offered to help out on a busy project, all the way up to fetching coffee. And you know what else? When it came to what I was doing, the writing, the learning, the posting… I was only getting better every day.

I was bullied.

My reaction was textbook. I was anxious. I cried. I just didn’t want to go to work. But I never thought about it in those terms. Because I’m not 16. I’m 39. I’m a 39-year-old woman who let a Beast and her toadies bully me right out of a perfectly good job that I was good at, and burn a bridge so far to the ground that the mythical phoenix itself ain’t ever rising out of that shit.

There were good things. My immediate supervisor was a good ear, and I found, hidden among the assholes, the uncool kids, a group of women who can’t seem to get on the Beast’s good side no matter what they do. They’re stuck, for one reason or another. And they’re being bullied.

I guess I figured that the whole bully thing was a good 25 years behind me, and that at this point in life, knowing who I am and how I am, I don’t seem — the type — to be bullied. But damn, y’all. People are dicks.

Now, for obvious reasons, I’m not going to actually SAY the name of my former employer. And for those of you who know it, how about you do me a favor and not get me sued, okay? It’s not really about them anyway. It’s about this nonsense. These assholes who wander the world as perfectly grown people who still decide to crap all over other people.

I didn’t really know it existed past a certain point in life. I can’t even pinpoint what triggered it, just that once it started, there was no stopping it. They were going to break me.

When I quit, the woman who had sent me the final e-mails replied, “Good. We need to get rid of dead weight.”

I don’t think she even knew my name.

I worked in news where I wrote stories about drug addicts who had stolen from their loved ones, and drunk drivers who had run over innocent people in the road. I’ve met men and women so petty that they’ll spend every last dime suing their former employers or their city leaders just to mess with them. I’ve been yelled at by strangers for standing in the wrong place. And once, when I lived in New Orleans, a complete stranger pushed me, with both hands, because I was in the way of where he wanted to walk.

I’ve always known people could be cold.

But I never realized they could be this openly, enthusiastically ugly.

Guess you’re never too old to learn.

http://www.workplacebullying.org/

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In the sweet, summertime, summertime…

Sing it, Bob Seager.

OH MY GOD HOW IS IT ALREADY THE LAST DAY OF AUGUST?

You know what that means, right yo?

Jimmy turns 4o next month.

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This sweet face!

But it also means my favorite time of year is about to come to one sharp startling cold musty conclusion (save for what will likely be a glorious three-day, 90-degree spit of time at some point in October, when all the Facebookers of the world will whine with epic sadness and post photos of their in-dash thermometers reading 91 and text saying “WTF MOTHER NATURE” followed weeks later with a -21 and “WTF MOTHER NATURE” because no one is happy and Facebook makes us think that you and only you know how to read AND feel the temperature).

I don’t hate fall. I just love summer.

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Seriously. How do you not love a season that you spend like this? Or, in my younger days, like this:

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Could I BE any cuter? The cigarette is a nice touch. My friend Mannino calls fall “fat guy weather,” and I’ll give him that. Because I’ll also give him that no one is really comfortable with that drip of sweat rolling down your back, clearly headed for your crack and beyond, and you are powerless to stop it.

But I do get positively ragey over the oozy glee of the fall lovers. People who say things like “ooohhh I just LUURRVEEE my new COAT! I *TOTES LOVE* being able to put on my LEATHER BOOTS and WOOL SWEATERS!”

Who the hell loves a coat and boots and sweaters? Paraphiliacs, that’s who. Just call it a fetish and be done with it, don’t blame it on autumn, you freaks.

That’s right, I put a link there. You clicked it, didn’t you.

Freak.

Anyway, summer has come to a hot, sweaty, swift conclusion, and everyone is pleased with themselves for the time being, even though they’ll be complaining about the cold and snow soon enough.

I did have a productive summer. I hung out with a few friends:

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We totes fit in the frame.

I passed my new expertise of fine fashion on to James:

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There was Lucky Banana’s visit to the Cup.

stanley1

And of course, time with the boys.

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This summer, I learned several things.

I learned that I can be in a room in several naked women, all who have fake boobs, and I can put my hands all over these women, and in the end, it was not even the slightest bit exciting.

I learned that there is a lot of ugly behind the pretty. I cannot stress that hard enough.

I learned that women who are 6 feet tall, even when they are slender, are still 200 pounds, because they are 6 feet tall, and a 200 pound woman will crush the hell out of your toe when she steps on it.

I learned that Atlanta is in fierce competition with Baton Rouge for the actual portal to hell. But not to worry, I will make a kick ass zombie:

zombie marney

I learned that giving me a stimulant will in fact make me drop 23 pounds (just say YES!).

I learned that models are my besties.

I learned that stitches between brothers are a competitive sport.

I learned that I have to keep the a/c on, because my sons have allergies simply too bad to cope with the great outdoors.

I learned that I am a legit fashion blogger.

I learned that I can still make new friends.

Alight, already. I’m ready for September. Technically, we still have a few more weeks of summer. So sorry, fat guys, let’s have a few more sweaty days. You can celebrate your fetish momentarily!

Happy last few weeks of summer, y’all!

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A stitch in time…

We’ll just say this:

If summertime fun is measured in how many stitches two little boys can get…

stitches

Then the Summer of 2013 is freaking awesome.

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You are so full of your-selfie

So Jim and I were having a conversation. It went something like this:

Jim – “I’m sick of supporting you and all your filthy habits!”

Me – “But I have to spend money to look this good for you!” *waves arms in sexy motion around bod*

Jim – “Tough! Pay your way or get out!”

Me – “You are a killer of dreams.”

And just like that, my days of being a small town newspaper reporter were over.

Okay, it wasn’t quite like that, but I mean, it was kind of close. Let’s just say the times, they are a-changing. And in a move that I can only describe as good for the soul, the mind, the creative spirit, and the pocketbook, we decided to shop around to see if there were any other opportunities out there for me.

The assumption was that it would take months and months. No problem, I thought, I’ll send out some of my fancy resumes that I made with the fancy resume-maker that I found on the google, and then I’ll sit back and enjoy the summer. Hooray!

*ring*

Hello? Yes, this is Marney… An interview? Sure.

Y’all, I GOT A JOB. Like, lightning fast. I mean, it’s not that unusual seeing as I am a human bucket of awesome, but still. It was kind of cool.

So what does the writer who thinks that Sears is high class and TJ Maxx is legitimately swanky (dude, I bought a dress there with SEQUINS, hello!!) do when she leaves her writing job?

She gets a job as a writer. In high end fashion. Of course.

No really.

Technically, my title is “Social Media Manager” which means that I am in charge of all sorts of stuff that gets out to the public. You know, info and stuff. But I think what I really am, still, is a writer. It’s my job to write all about this kinda cool fashion and these fairly spectacular dresses that are all part of this line. They are like, cool.

See, my writing skills are coming in handy already!

Anyway, when you get a job in a place that creates fashion, you feel compelled to dress reasonably nice, even though they are clearly not turning to YOU for fashion advice seeing as they’ve been doing this a whole lot longer and oh yeah, there’s that whole Sears and TJ Maxx thing you got going on, as previously mentioned.

So this means I have become a girl who can not walk out of the house without getting approval from others on what goes on my bod. Via the selfie.

A “selfie” is hip cool youngfolk talk for “self portrait with your cell phone.” There are several types of selfies:

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The demure “look how sweet I am, my hand is just naturally resting on my lip, showing off my wildly big ring and come hither expression, I wonder if anyone will ever know I had to take this photo 100 times to get it right for my Facebook profile photo” selfie.

24-Absolute Best Selfies Of All

The “hey maybe if I drop syrup on myself no one will notice how incredibly freaking skinny I am” selfie.

duckface

The “idiot duck face” selfie.

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The “Amanda Bynes has lost her friggin’ mind” selfie.

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The “watch me go from buff hottie to total douchebag simply by virtue of taking this photo” selfie.

selfportrait

And most important, the “check out what I am wearing” selfie. As you can see, it’s not just for the ladies who want to know if these flowered pants make their butt pop out (they do). It’s also for the gents who care about their self styling, like this fool and his bitchin’ 3/4 length tee.

It’s the last one here that I have officially fallen prey to. Apparently, I need to know how I look, and a glimpse at myself is just not enough.

This really happened:

selfies

If you are color blind, you cannot even tell that I am wearing something different everyday.

Apparently what has really changed isn’t my job. It’s my ability to leave the house without approval.

Lord help the fashion industry.

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