Category Archives: Judgmentalism

The Happy(?) Hypocrite

I don’t care if you block me or unfriend me on Facebook, or so I like to tell myself.

Each morning I check this blog’s stats—I am, after all, the Stat Slut—to see (1) if my number of followers has changed, and (2) if anyone viewed my pages, clicked Like on a post, or made a comment.

Here’s a little inside scoop about the number of followers you might see on a WordPress site: The second you connect your blog to Facebook, all of your Friends are counted as followers of your blog. It doesn’t matter if they don’t even know you have a blog, or they’ve forgotten who you are, or they’re dead but haven’t gotten around to cancelling their Facebook account. They’re a follower now.

My follower count stands at a lofty 103 today, but about twenty of them actually choose to follow me outside of Facebook. That’s something, right? Not that I care.

So when I checked yesterday morning, I saw that my followers had dropped by one from 104. I shrugged with faux dignity and said, “Oh, well.”

Then I looked at the Still Friends app on my phone. Just out of curiosity to see who dropped me. I still didn’t mind either way.

I found the guy—to respect his privacy, let’s call him “Asshat,” or “AH,” as his friends might call him—and thought, “He’s not interested in staying connected? Whatever. I rarely give him a moment’s thought anyway. That’s fair.”

Then I logged in to Paul’s computer to see if I could find this sinking-ship rat on a different account. AH and Paul weren’t Friends before, so he should be findable, but he had disappeared completely. The logical conclusion is that he opted out of Facebook entirely, and I tried to ignore my relief that it wasn’t just me that he abandoned.

This has happened with several former Friends in the last year, and I say good for them. Social media is not much more than “People curating their lives,” as Tina Fey says. I agree, but I still lurk to watch and judge.

Even those I’ve blocked on Facebook are being stalked without their knowledge. Once a day I get into Paul’s Facebook account to peer into the lives of people with whom I don’t converse, just to be outraged at their various hypocrisies.

Thanks to my blog stats, Still Friends app, and Paul’s Facebook account, I can prove once a day that I’m above the pettiness and narcissism I judge in others on social media.

 

Oh, It’s on, Karl

Recently my neighbor Karl took me to task for being unenthusiastic about decorating for the holidays when I told him how I celebrate fall.

It isn’t my fault. I got my home fashion sense from my mother, whose sole criterion for quality art was “I got it in Tijuana for three dollars.” The bar might be set a tad low for my taste:

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“Tiger Suffering from Ennui”

I’ve never seen the interior of Karl’s place, but I envision that on February 15, the hearts and flowers are tossed because Valentine’s Day is over, dammit, and St. Patrick’s Day will be here in a month.

I doubt that there’s a time in the year when his place is nondecorated, but given how many days there are between major holidays, I offer this calendar to Karl and every other overachieving decorator.

There’s 365 different things to celebrate just to keep it fresh. No Pants Day is one of my favorites given that I work at home:

Holidays for the Deranged

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My all-purpose pumpkin for fall, Halloween, and Thanksgiving. It’s still cheap, but I don’t have to go all the way to Mexico, and it doesn’t cause me to dream of tigers eating me as comfort food because they’re bored.

 

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Karl’s rebuttal

Communicating with Clicks

I’ve wanted to learn a second language for years—besides cursing, which I’ve yet to master, so I keep practicing.

But I just realized I do speak another language, and I understand when others use it. It’s ghosting with clicks. I’m going to call it “Ghostickit.”

When I recently had no idea what to say in an uncomfortable electronic confrontation, I asked Paul for advice. Big mistake. I prefer being straightforward, and he’d rather confront Ebola than interpersonal tension.

Predicto-Paul said, “Just ignore the message.” Click. Offline. Ghosted.

This person had the courage nerve to question why she was being ignored, and despite savoring the sensation of being an asshole, I decided to be candid. I feel better, but I still feel like a jerk, so it’s a win-win, I guess.

But this shit happens to me too. Like with the justifiably overpriced hair salon I used to enjoy.

One day the receptionist, who previously appeared sane, had a monster meltdown at my expense for me. It was the fun kind of moment where you can see yourself being interviewed by a local news crew. “She always seemed so quiet. I never would have imagined she could shoot up an entire lobby full of customers. Good for her that she’s finally expressing herself.” Or something like that.

When I told my stylist—let’s call her Avoidy Girl (AG for short) because she’s great at addressing issues—she was unsurprised and offered a heartfelt shrug, which made me feel special and appreciated.

When I expressed my fear appreciation to the manager—let’s call her Fluffy because I take her seriously—she took a generous bite out of my ass for being so unkind about a woman whose husband had died two months before. I agreed that it was appalling and inconsiderate of me, not using my telepathic powers to figure out why this woman was losing her religion all over me.

Still, I didn’t want the honor of being Among the Many Dead the next time I wanted a trim, so Fluffy told me, “Come see AG again. We’ll make sure you don’t have to deal with the front desk.” When I questioned how she could manage to make that happen, she said, “No problem. I’m fantastic at my job as long as nothing is going wrong.” Or something like that.

So the next time I was foolish wise enough to go in, there’s Batty Betty, greeting me with a smile as she hid an Uzi behind her (I reasonably suspected). AG rushed to me and apologized for not greeting me first, then said, “Oh, I should have told you I’m at a totally different location once a week. You didn’t even need to come here to have your hair done.”

At this point, despite my gratitude for being charged more for one visit than my weekly grocery bill, I decided to move on. That was a couple years ago, and I’ve calmed down. Mostly.

So I decided that because I don’t go to the salon often, I’d give the outfit another chance—as long as I don’t have to deal with Mercurial Mona and Fair-Weather Fluffy. I figured that’s pretty magnanimous of me, and there would be truckloads of gratitude.

So I contacted AG on social media, and you guessed it. I got ghosted, which is chickenshit but fair. I get it because I speak Ghostickit. So I wished her well—and surprised myself by mostly meaning it. Then I blocked her. Click. Ghosted.

So it turns out I do speak another language, and I certainly understand it. Good for me.

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“AG is ready to see you now.”

Bonus feature:

Me explaining why sticks, grass, and total isolation are better than people.

The Homophobic Bisexual?

Label

Just over two decades ago, I was fortunate to work with Stephanie, an outspoken lesbian who decided to coach me out of my foolhardy bisexuality. One day she declared, “You need to pick a side.” For about thirty minutes, she chewed me out gently educated me, concluding with “You’re really a lesbian who’s too afraid to admit it.”

This was a revelation to me. I had no idea I’d been living a life of such hypocrisy. She also pointed out that my boyfriend was just cover for my lie and that I needed to dump him.

He’s my husband now — regular readers will recognize him as the long-suffering St. Paul — and we’ve been hanging out since 1995. Most days I like him a lot, so I’ve decided to stick around and live the lie.

My mother’s also a lesbian. She gamely tried wearing dresses, high heels, and bouffant hairdos in the 1960s, but she always seemed more comfortable in men’s clothes. She could drive a big-rig truck, fix the garbage disposal, and run an offset printer at our family’s business. She was part-mother, part-handyman, which was cool because my father was usually asleep or having affairs or something. He was a busy guy, and we respected that.

A long time ago I had to let my mother know that I needed to say a fond farewell to her and my father so that I could reluctantly give up the thrilling suicidal ideations I was experiencing because of their violent exciting marriage.

Mom always had great empathy and insight, and I appreciated that. When I told her what I needed to do, she sensibly asked, “I’m too butch for you, aren’t I?” I mean, she could get right to the heart of something every time, and she had a knack for seeing another person’s point of view.

When I reminded her that I’m bisexual, and butch/femme concepts don’t matter to me, she was spot on with her understanding words: “Yep. I thought so. I’m too butch for you.”

These two women taught me a valuable lesson about labels. Probably.

 

Hypocrisy, Self-Delusion’s BFF

For years I’ve chastised Paul for being careless with gloves and hats. I’ve been so certain that he’s lost and repurchased every item that I once threatened to sew his gloves to his jacket.

At this moment, I can’t remember a time when he misplaced any of these things, but in the last twelve months, I’ve lost two pairs of gloves and a hat. I think I can be a real asshole sometimes.

It’s like when I shriek in protest at the idea of Paul climbing onto the roof to fix something…because of my acrophobia.

Just one of many moments of self-awareness. Why don’t these ever happen in my favor?

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Me on the left, scolding Paul. Collectively me on the right, confessing that I’m the moron who can’t track her accessories.