May 31, 2001
How *I* Feel About Everything!


How I Feel About Everything!
A Pointless and Shamelessly Self-Involved Journal Entry
[With Something to Offend Everyone]

~ By SecraTerri ~

  • People who smoke.

    I walked to Sears on my lunch hour yesterday.

    (As part of my new campaign to Save Money/Live Frugally/Stop Unnecessary Spending Between Now & The Wedding, *I* of course saw fit to walk to a department store at noon and buy clothes.)  

    First, however, I had to run the gauntlet of lunch hour smokers, clustered outside every office building between the Totem Pole Company and Sears.

    I held my breath the entire way.

    Here is what I want to say to everybody who smokes  --  and this includes People To Whom I Gave Birth ... People Who Aren't Related to Me In Any Way But Who I Love and Adore (and Hope Will Still Come To My Wedding, Even After They Read This Journal Entry)  ... and People Who Aren't Related to Me In Any Way (But Occasionally Violate My Airspace):

    Stop smoking. Right now. I mean it.

    Here is something else I would like to say to them:

    Smoking makes you stinky. You knew that, right? It makes your hair stink, it makes your clothes stink, it makes your breath stink. It makes the interior of your car stink, and it makes your house -- and everything in it -- stink. YOU may not be aware of how stinky you smell, but the rest of us are. Trust me.

    I would also like to say this to them:

    Smoking makes you look not-completely-smart. I don't care if you graduated third in your high school class, if you run your own bazillion-dollar corporation, if you've got a Ph-fudking-D in Quantum Mechanics: if you smoke, I'm going to look at you standing there, with that cigarette hanging out of your mouth, and I'm going to automatically deduct forty IQ points.

    And here is the last thing I would like say to them:

    Smoking makes you dead. Stop it. Right now.


          *      *      *      *      *      *

  • People with cell phones.

    There is a woman in our office building who regularly brings her cell phone into the ladies room with her.

    That in and of itself is disgusting enough. But she doesn't just stand around next to the sink or in front of the mirror or over next to the tampon machine, discreetly carrying on a quiet emergency business call. She takes the phone into the stall with her, closes the door ...

    ... and proceeds to talk on the fudking cell phone while she pees.

    And while *I* am peeing in the stall right next to her.

    (Or while I'm trying to pee, anyway. I'm one of those 'shy bladder' types who has difficulty urinating when someone else is in the same room with me,  let alone when they're broadcasting my halting attempts at urination over a cell phone.)

    I'm not the only person who has complained about this online. A couple of months ago I read a hilarious journal rant on this very subject. I remember thinking at the time that this had to be fiction: no one would be that clueless and rude.

    Now I know better.

    I tried leaving a polite little hand-lettered sign for this woman on the bathroom mirror -- "Please do not use your fudking cell phone in the ladies room," it said -- but the building maintenance crew frowns on this sort of unauthorized communication, apparently, because the sign was gone the next time I went into the bathroom. And of course I've tried frowning at her in displeasure, and glaring at her in disgust, and slamming the bathroom stall door two or three or forty-seven times in a row, as loud as possible. But so far nothing has worked. The way I see it, anyone oblivious enough to conduct a phone conversation from a toilet seat is NOT going to pick up on subtleties.

    I'm open to suggestions.

          *      *      *      *      *      *

  • Britney Spears vs. Christina Aguilera: What's The Difference?

    Here is the difference, as far as I can tell: one of them is a young, blonde, vaguely slutty/marginally-talented nineteen-or-twentysomething year old who used to dance on the Mickey Mouse Show a bazillion years ago, and who now regularly turns up on awards shows and soda commercials and US Magazine's "Fashion Police" column.

    The other one ...

    (Oh. Wait a minute. There IS no difference.)

          *      *      *      *      *      *

  • Men.

    Men, as a gender, are only slightly less offensive than a big steaming pile of moist pig feces ... or a Bridal Shop Consultant, maybe.

    There are only four exceptions. They are:

    1. My son.
    2. My fiancé.
    3. Matt Lauer.
    4. Roy Orbison (except that he's dead, so I guess his spot is up for grabs).

          *      *      *      *      *      *

  • Overpriced beauty products.

    This whole stoopid Search For The Perfect Waterproof Mascara, a few weeks back -- while frustrating and time-consuming and more expensive than a romantic three-day-weekend in Monterey -- did teach me a couple of semi-valuable lessons.

    Semi-Valuable Lesson #1: Never buy mascara at the grocery store, the convenience store, at a garage sale, or at ANY drugstore that still stocks dusty bottles of Hai Karate on its shelves.

    Semi-Valuable Lesson #2: You get what you pay for. (Read this: the $28 *We Don't Need To Buy Groceries This Month Anyway* Lancôme Mascara wins by a landslide. Thanks, Jessica.)

          *      *      *      *      *      *

  • Perfume.

    While we're on the subject of criminally-overpriced beauty products, let's talk about perfume for a minute.

    There is only one perfume that matters: Tabu.

    Everything else is just Avon in a fancy bottle.

          *      *      *      *      *      *

  • AOL's price increase.

    So AOL is bumping up the price of its "Unlimited" service, from $21.95 to $23.95 per month, effective July 1st?

    Why ... I think that's just wonderful!

    I couldn't be happier!

    It's about time, don't you think??

    Of course, I assume that this means we're ALSO going to be receiving a comparable increase in quality and service ... right? No more mandatory five-minute "file upgrades" when we're trying to sign off in a hurry? No more stoopid pop-up advertisements? Access numbers that connect the first time, every time? "Customer Service Representatives" who have actually signed on to America Online themselves, once or twice in their lifetimes (and can therefore speak with some degree of knowledgeability about "spam" and "Message Board Hosts" and "TOS Violations")?

    This is going to be great.

    I'm so excited about all of this, I'm thinking about upgrading ALL THREE of our AOL accounts to Unlimited Access!

    (Right after I take out that bank loan.)

          *      *      *      *      *      *

  • Bacon.

    Every weekend morning since I began dieting in earnest, five months ago, I've woken up with an overpowering craving for bacon.

    Ask David. He'll verify this. While he lays there on his side of the bed on Saturday morning, tenderly whispering "Good morning! I love you!" ... I'm looking back at him, saying "Bacon and eggs."

    So this past weekend we walked down the street and had breakfast at the local Mom-and-Pop café, where I finally had a chance to order my bacon and eggs. Actually I ordered the Mini-Breakfast: one egg over-easy, whole wheat toast, a haystack-sized helping of hash browns ... and two strips of crispy, smoky, perfectly-cooked bacon.

    The whole time I was eating, I was thinking This is pig. I'm eating pig. I've got chewed-up dead pig in my mouth.

    I do believe that eventually I'm going to wind up a vegetarian.

          *      *      *      *      *      *

  • Finding true love on the Internet.

    In forty-nine days, I will be marrying a man I met in an AOL chat room.

    Most of you know this already. Most of you are sick to death of hearing about this already. Most of you could probably tell the story yourselves already:

    "... So there they were, both hanging out in The Baby Boomer Chat Room, back in the summer of 1995 ... chatting about music and AOL profiles and government cheese ... both of them married, both of them practicing alcoholics, both of them wildly dysfunctional ... neither one of them interested in the other romantically, mainly because they were too busy having stoopid illicit dalliances with OTHER wildly dysfunctional people from the Baby Boomer Chat Room ...

    " ...  until her marriage ended, a couple of years later, and she ran off to Oregon, of all godforsaken places, and eventually wound up living alone in a crappy little third-story apartment, drinking herself to sleep every night ...

    " ... and until *he* heard via the cyber grapevine that she wasn't doing so well, and he started to i.m. her once in awhile just to see if she was OK, and to talk about music, and to discuss recovery issues, because by that point he'd been through rehab and had a year or two of sobriety under his belt ...

    " ...  until eventually their online friendship evolved into this spontaneous, long-distance, two-person online *recovery support system* -- still very innocent, still very platonic, even though neither one of them was married anymore and were both, for all intents and purposes, available -- mainly because they were both afraid that if it turned into something beyond friendship and then it didn't work out, it might endanger their sobriety ...

    ('This isn't a romance,' they reassured each other)

    ... until *he* invited her to fly from Oregon to the Bay Area, for a weekend of sightseeing and platonic fun, and she agreed, saying that no of course she wouldn't mind sleeping on the sofa ...

    "...  and until the instant they set eyes on each other for the first time, in the middle of Oakland International, and they both *knew* that this was The Person they were destined to share their lives and their hearts and their toothbrush holders with ... "

    For those of you who DON'T know the story: remind me to tell you the story sometime.

    In the meantime, let's just say that I feel very strongly that finding love online is not only possible ... but that it's often preferable to finding it elsewhere.

    Like in a flaming car wreck, for example.

    Or in a bar.

          *      *      *      *      *      *

  • The death penalty.

    I have some moral difficulty with the idea of punishing murderers by murdering them.

    My hope, of course, is that I never find myself in a position to feel otherwise.

          *      *      *      *      *      *

  • Prime-Time TV.

    With the exception of "Survivor" (which I love and miss and am experiencing major withdrawal pains over), the only good prime-time TV shows are all on the FOX network.

    They are: "That 70's Show," "Titus," "Grounded For Life," "Futurama," "Malcolm in the Middle," "King of the Hill," and -- of course -- "The Simpsons" (which, incidentally, is Executive-Produced by one of David's buddies from high school).

    Everything else on prime-time is either crap that pretends to be better than it is ("Everybody Loves Raymond," "Providence," "My Wife and Kids") ... crap that used to be good but is now slowly devolving into crap ("Frasier," "Friends," "Drew Carey") ... or outright, never-been-anything-but crap ("Three Sisters," "Who Wants To Be The Weakest Link on Boot Camp Island?" and ANY televised sports.)

    (If it's on past 10 p.m., if it's on one of those funky stations with a number higher than "9" so it doesn't come in worth a shidt on our TV, OR if it's on cable ... I've probably never seen it. So it doesn't count.)

          *      *      *      *      *      *

  • Sex.

    Thirteen-year-old Secra thought sex was a sin.

    Fifteen-year-old Secra thought sex was the best way to keep a boyfriend ... even if it was messy, embarrassing and hurt like hell.

    Twenty-year-old Secra thought sex was something she was supposed to like, and was supposed to be good at, and was supposed to look forward to.  But she didn't, and she wasn't, and she didn't.

    Twenty-five-year-old Secra thought sex was the best way to ensure that "Huggies" and "Enfamil" would always be on the grocery shopping list.

    Thirty-year-old Secra thought sex was, by turn, either a chore, a punishment or a bargaining tool.

    Forty-three-year-old Secra thinks it's a sin she wasted the last thirty years of her life.

          *      *      *      *      *      *

  • Small children.

    Small children are like dogs: if you have them, and you like them, and you don't mind how they smell  --  and if they don't make you sneeze or gag or run screaming in terror  --  then you're probably going to be happy to see them, wherever/whenever you may encounter them.

    If, on the other hand, you feel that small children, like dogs, should be quiet, obedient, thoroughly disinfected and fully toilet-trained before they're ever allowed to leave their own backyard .... then it's probably best to avoid them, as much as possible.

          *      *      *      *      *      *

  • Ben Affleck.

    Ben Affleck looks far too much like Andrew D., our resident neighborhood bully when I was growing up, for me to EVER consider him hot or sexy or compelling as an actor. Andrew D. was one of those twisted, fudked-up Psycho Kids who tormented small animals and set fire to stuff in his basement all the time. One afternoon he knocked me off my bike and stuck my right leg through the spokes of my bicycle tire. I still have the scar.

    I look at Ben Affleck and I automatically think Twisted, Fudked-Up Psycho Kid.

    (Plus, the first thing I ever saw Ben Affleck in was "Dazed and Confused," wherein which he plays a twisted, fudked-up Psycho High School Kid.)

    On the other hand, Joaquin Phoenix looks like another bully I went to school with,  the dangerous and dark-hearted Ron DeB., who snuck up behind me and pulled off my woolen snow cap every day after school for six years ... and yet I would *do* Joaquin Phoenix in a hot minute.

    If I wasn't engaged to be married, that is.

    And if I was into *doing* famous movie stars.

    And if I wasn't old enough to be Joaquin Phoenix' mother aunt incredibly vibrant and attractive older SISTER, that is.

          *      *      *      *      *      *

  • Other Internet journals (and the people who write them).

    I've had occasion this week (see: Slow Work Days) to read a whole bunch of other Internet journals. Rather than sticking to the tried-and-true journals on my own person favorites list, though, I sort of forced myself to branch out and try some of the newer, younger, edgier journals I've heard so much about.

    These are some of the conclusions I've reached:

    • Everybody else's journal is better than mine. I should quit right now.
    • Everybody else's journal is worse than mine. They should quit right now.
    • I have no clue what a "Clix Button" is, but I'm reasonably certain that *FootNotes* is getting along fine without one.

    I will say this, though: angst and bitterness haven't changed much since I was a teenager. It's just more poetically -- and globally -- expressed.

    In addition, I will say that reading all of these other journals has made me realize that my life is probably a whole bunch happier and healthier and saner and funnier and better than even *I* give it credit for, sometimes.

          *      *      *      *      *      *

  • Getting married again.

    There are moments -- usually in the middle of the night, when the world is hushed and dark, and I am laying there in bed, wide awake, and my brain is going a bazillion miles an hour -- when I ask myself if I'm doing a smart thing, getting married again.

    What if we screw it up?

    What if David hasn't had enough *down time* (between the end of the first marriage and the beginning of this one) ... and eventually he realizes it, and misses it, and resents me for depriving him of it?

    What if we were right in the first place: this ISN'T a romance?

    And the answer, when it comes, is invariably the same.

    "Jesus H. Christ on a Pointless and Shamelessly Self-Involved Journal Entry," says The Answer. "Could you possibly find something more useless and inane to worry about?!? Worry about looking for a new job after the wedding!  Worry about credit card bills, or rolling black-outs, or how many fat grams are in that piece of chicken skin you just snuck out of the fridge!  Worry about Daughter #2!  Worry about that mole in the middle of David's back!  Worry about whether or not Survivor III is going to live up to its predecessors!  But don't waste valuable *worry molecules* worrying about the BEST and the SMARTEST and the HAPPIEST thing that's ever happened to you!"

    And that's pretty much how I feel about everything at the moment.

TOMORROW: Sputtering indignant rebuttals from offended readers!

one year ago: repositioned in the orbit of life. [temporarily.]

throw a rock