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Judge Not… Well, You Know the Drill

I’ve really been trying to control how often I use this blog as a soapbox to wag fingers at others (okay, so I haven’t been trying that hard). When I read this article my annoyance meter kicked on and I knew it was time to dust off the old ‘box’. Oh come on, don’t roll your eyes at me! I have a good reason, this time, I swear.

If you can’t open the link, here’s the gist: A mom was carrying her five-year old daughter in a baby carrier on her back. The manager of the store they were in snapped a photo, posted it on Facebook, and used the social media platform to shame the mom for allowing the kid to be in the carrier. The mom found out and all hell broke loose.

As a mom, here’s my perspective. I’ve been to the mall with my kids and guess what? They get tired. Shocking, I know. So what do you do? There are two options: 1) listen to your kid complaining and throwing mini tantrums because they’re in no mood to walk or 2) keep ‘em quiet by hoisting them up. Both options depend on your own sanity level.

Sometimes a parent is in zero mood to hear the tiny rants coming from their precious child. So we’ll gladly carry them, even up to the age of 5 (if we’re strong enough), just to zip those lips. But sometimes a parent has enough patience in the tank to teach the kid a life lesson about bucking up and getting through the tough times. That’s when we can take the crocodile tears and trembling lips and keep the kid putting one foot in front of the other. There is a third option in which no one wins. You throw in the towel, head to the car, and retreat home trying to convince yourself you didn’t really want to go shopping anyway.

I’m saying this and admittedly I’m old school. Those carrier things like the woman in the article had didn’t even exist when I was a mom to toddlers (not that the kid in the photo was a toddler). I just held them in my arm, pressed against my hip. Having one of those carriers would’ve been a godsend. Of course the mom is going to use that handy-dandy carrier when her kid’s not feeling well or simply to shut the kid up. It seems like a no brainer.

The idea that someone else would publicly humiliate a mom for doing something that benefits both her child’s comfort and her own sanity is beyond me. So what if the kid is older? It’s not like she was in Middle School for god’s sake. Now that would’ve been worrisome. So what if it’s not what you would do as a parent (speaking to the store manager and the complainers here)? That kid isn’t yours. So why do you even care?

And did I miss the memo that it’s no longer super creepy to lurk and take photos of other people, especially children, in public and post them online? Is this okay now? I mean, I understand if you’re trying to out someone for stealing or doing something truly nefarious, but carrying your kid on your back? Or (gasp!) breastfeeding in public? You can go viral from that?!? Sadly, apparently so.

All in all, it’s just sad that our society has stooped to these levels. Just because we can do certain things now thanks to the internet and technology doesn’t mean we should. I think this is a morality line people forget or altogether neglect to consider. Or maybe it’s worse than I think. Maybe people nowadays simply just don’t care about that morality line in the first place.

Yes, They’re Real and They’re Spectactular

As my many loyal readers know, there are quite a few things that really annoy me. The list is possibly endless actually. Not the least of which are idiot drivers, as I’ve said many times. Many, many times.  Hey, I’ve never once claimed that I had any sort of patience whatsoever.

But another thing that annoys me is when people who should stick together…don’t. Instead, they pick on each other, for no other reason, I think, than that putting down others makes them feel better about themselves. I’ve always suspected that people like this are in fact hiding inferiority complexes.

In this specific case, I’m talking about women. Women who pick on other women because of their appearance.  As if women don’t have enough of that from other areas in their lives…like the media, the fashion world, their jobs, pretty much everywhere you look.

And I’m not talking teenage girl stuff here like you’d see in middle school or high school which is bad enough. These were full-fledged adults who should know better.  It just really grated on my nerves. In my view, women need to stand together now more than ever. Or really, always.

So, what’s lit this fire of indignation?

Yesterday, there was a sponsored ad on my Facebook newsfeed for a lingerie/bra shoppe.  The ad was a for a summer sports/racer style bra that wouldn’t show under any type of a blouse or shirt. The bra itself is irrelevant. What pissed me off were the comments.

Turns out that the bra was out of stock for some of the larger sizes. What does that mean? Well, that women with large breasts really liked this bra and ordered it, and the shoppe hadn’t made enough for women in those sizes so some sizes were necessarily on backorder.

Not a big deal, right? Women who needed an out of stock bra size could sign up to be notified by email when it was available again so they could then place their order.  Easy peasy.

But there was this one woman who didn’t understand the concept that the item “was out of stock” and was instead annoyed that the shoppe apparently catered only to “smaller” women. She actually posted that the store should “carry sizes big enough for women with REAL breasts and not mosquito bites.” Yeah, I know, funny, right?  Ha ha.

There were other women on the thread who were pissed off (rightfully so) at this vulgar and offensive comment.  I mean, come on.  Women whose breasts are C cup or below (which is to whom the woman was referring) do have REAL breasts.  Actually, women with breasts have real breasts.  Doesn’t really matter what size they are, they’re real.

But this woman must have been having a really bad day, or else was just enjoying herself, and decided to vent her spleen on the internet – anonymously, the way all cowards do these days.

She went on to mock those offended women through a variety of downright vulgar comments that you routinely find in such threads and ultimately said,  well she was really just commenting on the fact that the store catered to smaller breasted women by only having smaller sizes available.

In other words, she just couldn’t grasp the concept that the reason why there were no large size bras available was not because the shoppe hadn’t made any for that demographic…but because that demographic was buying the bra like wildfire! Or, she just wanted to stir the pot.

Because she peppered her comments with such things as “apparently those with smaller breasts never grew a larger sense of humor past high school just like they never grew larger breasts past high school.”  Of course she used much more vulgar terminology throughout most of her rants which I’m not going to repeat here.  You get the idea I’m sure.

I kept reading this woman’s posts as if I were watching a train wreck.  It was gruesome, but I just couldn’t look away.

Women are faced with needless comments such as this that tear them down every day – without having it done to them by other women in such a senseless an idiotic manner.

And why? Did this woman walk away from her computer feeling better about herself?  Did it somehow make her day brighter in some way to insult a group of strangers who were only trying to buy some undergarments? People say “oh, grow a thicker skin,” or “don’t let what people say bother you.” But you know what? You should let it bother you. Oh, not in the way you might think. Don’t take it to heart and let it hurt your self-esteem because, it’s true, what people say is meaningless in that regard. Never let someone else bring you down. However, you should never let offensive comments just skate by without being addressed. Despite the popular opinion that is so common on those types of bullying threads – the people taking offense are NOT the ones in the wrong for being offended by cheap shots and insults.

And as for women who pull this crap on other women, just stop it. We’re all in this together, ladies. Let’s pull together as a team!

 shirt for ad

Dog Gone Stupid

If you’ve known me for more than five minutes, you’ll know that I love dogs. Let me try that again. I LOVE dogs. Of course I think mine is the best in the world, but in general just about every dog is worthy of belly rubs and behind the ear scratches. Naturally, I often miss my dog when he’s not able to be with me. Like when I have to go the doctor, to the library, to a work meeting, or go grocery shopping. But, hey, those are the rules. Even though it pains me, I follow the rules and I know I’m going to see him again soon, so it’s not like it’s really that bad. I mean, really, what kind of person can’t be separated from their dog for even an hour while they have brunch with their friends?

I’m so glad you asked! THIS kind of person can’t do that. Watch the video if you have the time — it’s about an article called “Me and My Fake Service Dog.” It’s mainly infuriating, but often it also veers into delusional with a couple of quick pit stops into utter nonsensical.

It should be noted that the author of the article I’m discussing, Anna Jane Grossman, quickly deleted her original article from medium.com due to the severe, and immediate, backlash it received upon its publication. Strangely enough, even the Google cache link has since been removed. However, a very industrious YouTube person has posted a video showing screenshots of the original article, which is the link above.

In case you don’t have the time to make it through the video, let me sum it up for you. This woman, Ms. Grossman, has taken it upon herself to give the laws of the state of New York the middle finger and intentionally go through great lengths to lie so that her dog can go with her everywhere. She pretends he’s a Service Dog which means everyone who encounters her and her dog assumes she has a disability that requires the help of the canine.

She doesn’t lie about whether or not she has a disability (because by law no-one’s allowed to ask what her disability is, she just lets everyone assume). She just lies about her dog and his alleged “job.” And she’s very aware of what she’s doing. It’s a very purposeful thing.

A few stellar quotes from the blog that jumped out at me due to their sheer audacity are:

“But it’s true that often people in shops and restaurants are assuaged to see some kind of “proof,” even if it’s meaningless. (For this reason, a friend used Photoshop to make Amos a “Service Dog” card, which has indeed helped mollify shopkeepers)” 

“I might lie for my own benefit, but I can’t condone someone else’s dishonesty”

And my favorite:

“Of course, I’d rather not lie at all!”

Oh, you’d rather not lie at all? Here’s an idea: don’t. Just don’t. Follow the laws like other people. No one is making you put yourself above the law. No one is making you print out fake registration cards (she even puts a picture of the card on her blog). From what I’ve read, there’s no reason that this dog is in mortal danger if it is left alone. There are simply no external forces making her lie as she tries to make it sound like (this is when the delusion comes in). She just wants to be with her dog all the time. So lie she must! What a crock of crap.

What’s worse is that she also encourages others to do this. She has a dog training school. I will repeat. She has a dog training school. She is a dog trainer. She trains dogs. For clients. Presumably for money. And she believes it’s okay to not only lie about her dog being a Service Dog, but to encourage others to do the same. Shouldn’t someone who is in the business of training dogs for a living have more respect for the real jobs of Service Dogs and those who need them?

Look, it’s bad enough that people who are disabled have the drawbacks of their disability affecting their daily lives. But they also usually have to jump thru bureaucratic hoops just to get a Service Dog or get their own dog (or animal) certified legally. Yes, they have it hard enough already without this woman threatening their credibility just because she gets lonely without her dog around.

She seems to think that the behavior of the dog is the determining factor in this whole issue. If the dog acts well-behaved then it should be able to go anywhere. She’s missing the point that it’s not about the dog’s behavior; it’s an issue of what’s legal and what’s not, period. An issue she’s decided to skirt around for her own selfish desires.

My favorite delusional line (when talking about NYC changing their policies about dogs allowed on outdoor patios) is:

“Perhaps this is the beginning of a movement to stop segregating dogs based on their owners’ disabilities, and instead look at the dogs’ abilities.”

Yes folks, dog segregation is obviously a HUGE problem in this country in case you didn’t know. Now I’m all for animal welfare, which you guys well know…but seriously, she’s going to claim her lies are to protest dog segregation!?

Now Ms. Grossman, at one point, put a statement on her company page to the effect that she was simply trying expose the regulations involving Service Dogs, though I have no idea how exactly she might have been doing that.

Her following statement sort of contradicts that intention anyway and is much more telling:

“There are various reasons why Faux-disableds may bring dogs with them to places like restaurants. It might be because it’s convenient, or it could be for the well-being of the dog who, for example, might have anxiety when left alone. Many, like myself, just are happier when they have their dog around. I’ve suffered depression for years; if Amos is with me, I’m less likely to drift into the dark recesses of my brain. But is my depression so crippling that I’d diagnose myself as disabled? Maybe one day a year.”

When it comes down to it, this self-centered, self-absorbed woman sure doesn’t seem to care one iota for Service Dogs in general or their behavior or worse yet, the people who truly need them. She just wants to make sure her dog can be by her side 24 hours a day and she doesn’t care who gets hurt in the process. In the end, isn’t that just sort of sad, too?

Upside Down World

I’m a little behind. Okay, way behind.  This article about the Senate voting on human involvement in climate change is from January but I just saw it a couple of days ago and have to say something about it. You know me.  Never one to keep my mouth shut on things like this. I’m not here to change anyone’s mind on the issue, but I have my viewpoints and one of them was so strongly challenged from a place I least expected it that it sort of took my breath away.

Per the article:

The Chairman of the Environment Committee, Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., is an enthusiastic denier of climate change, saying it is the “biggest hoax” perpetrated against mankind.

“The hoax is there are some people so arrogant to think they are so powerful they can change the climate,” Inhofe said Wednesday on the Senate floor. “Man can’t change the climate.”

Please keep in mind people, this is the CHAIRMAN OF THE ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE saying this. That’s like the Executive Director of General Motors saying that cars aren’t actually faster than walking. It’s all been a hoax. You’ve just been fooled this whole time into purchasing these wildly expensive newfangled contraptions that you never really needed.

I’m sorry but isn’t there a little something called scientific evidence that supports the fact that the climate has gone through a more radical change than Jekyll and Hyde over the past century or so.  Has Inhofe never heard of that somewhat monumental historical event known as the Industrial Revolution? Heck, the impact of that period sure enough changed the course of evolution, just ask the peppered moth.  I’m pretty sure pumping out loads and loads of contaminants into the atmosphere for decades on end has had the power to make some alterations to the weather patterns.

Only five Republicans joined the Dems in the belief that humans have contributed to climate change and that’s fine. Republicans have their beliefs and I do my best to respect them. I try not to ask for too much from my government (cause seriously, it’s the government after all), but it’d be really, really nice if the Head of the Environment Committee could actually believe in science or at the very least just listen to other people with scientific degrees who might perhaps know a bit more about the whole issue than he does…you know, those people with tons of letters after their names who work for little known firms like NASA and NOAA, among others.  Just saying.

In-Flight Service

We all know that airlines treat us like crap and don’t actually care about our comfort or making sure we have a cozy trip. First they took away the free in-flight meals. Then they took away being able to check two bags free. Then they took away being able to check one bag free. Now, I hear they’re even charging for water and the little bags of pretzels. On many flights they don’t even have an in-flight service at all. They’re just loading us into a flying metal pen, shooting us into the sky, taking as much money as possible, and giving us a swift kick in the rear when we leave just knowing we have to come back eventually.

That all said, this latest news story takes the cruelty of airline hospitality to unbelievable heights (bad pun, I know, I apologize). If you can, read this news item here. If you don’t have the time, the title sums it up pretty well (take heed before clicking the link): Family Forced to Sit in Vomit on United Flight. Yes, you read that correctly.

All I can say is YUCK.

A family boards a plane, finds their seats, then realizes (as they put their bags in it and then running their hands through it…because placing their bags in it wasn’t gross enough) that there was someone else’s vomit already occupying their space. How much did the airline care? Whatever the smallest amount possible is, that’s how much they cared.

To make matters worse, the wife suffers from mysophobia, which is a fear of germs.  Can you imagine!? I’m sure she wasn’t expecting the plane to be pristine when she boarded, but I’m sure she had a very reasonable expectation of a clean seating area for her and her family…one that was at the least vomit-free.

Instead of, oh I don’t know, cleaning the seat or maybe bumping the family to first class or offering to reimburse them for their tickets or somehow fixing the situation in a manner that was proportional to the gross violation they stuck the family with, here’s what United did:

“United offered the family two unsatisfactory alternatives—fly out the next day or stay in their seats. Since Shirley’s wife, who works at the Food and Drug Administration, had to be at work that Monday, the family opted to stay put and were given trash bags with which to wrap their soiled luggage.”

DOUBLE YUCK. Which of course doesn’t even begin to describe it. Add a few colorful expletives in the middle there and you get the picture of what my face looked like when I was reading this article.

As bad as it was to READ about this experience, can you imagine LIVING it!?  Forced to sit in the wet spot of someone else’s throw-up!?  To have that smell in one’s nostrils for the entire flight. To have one’s bag marinating in this puddle of bile.  If this story were about me, I can guarantee you there would’ve been a hell of a lot more “stuff” there than they originally found.

In the end United’s “gesture of goodwill” to the family amounted to a $150 flight voucher for each family member. Oh great, barely any real discount for the same airline so I can maybe have a repeat experience.

Good job, United!  You truly do win the “we simply don’t care about you” award. It was a disgusting situation but an even more disgusting display of customer service.

Memorial Day Reminder

What with all of the sales flyers that have filled my mail box this past week and the celebratory posts and invites that have been floating through my Facebook feed nonstop, it seems like many people in this country have forgotten what this day means. The photo below truly captures what Memorial Day symbolizes.

Despite what the car dealers or Macy’s or the party planners would have you believe, it’s not about the excellent deal on that gas guzzling SUV or the 50% off sale on shoes you don’t need or that rowdy beer infused bbq party you won’t half remember on Tuesday at work.

Memorial Day is about giving thanks to our nation’s true heroes as we honor those who have fallen in their service to our great country.  So enjoy your day, most definitely, in whatever way you decide to do so. But let’s just remember those who made it possible.

memorial day 2

Once Upon a Time There Were Rhinos

Hang your heads in shame, patriots. The hunt is on. Remember my previous post about Corey Knowlton, America’s poster boy for wildlife conservation? Well, he’s finally gotten approval from the US Fish and Wildlife Service to bring back—as a trophy—the critically endangered black rhino he paid the Namibian government $350,000 to wipe off the face of the earth. It’s basically the US government giving him the thumbs up for helping to annihilate a species.

Of course Mr. Knowlton (so tough to type out his name, my fingers start to ball up into fists when I get halfway through) isn’t going to prance around in a black mask and black cape and tell you he’s a horrible, rotten, no-good villain. He’s still trying to desperately spin his bloodlust into some positive PR routine so that people will believe he’s actually helping the conservation efforts of the rhino. Uh huh. Killing to save lives, you say? Who would fall for such a ridiculously hypocritical stance? Oh, our government. I kid, I kid. Truth is our government wasn’t fooled by Knowlton at all, they were simply bought. Apparently hundreds of thousands of dollars can buy just about anything these days.  As if we didn’t know that already.

I know Knowlton says that the money he paid for the hunt is for aiding the anti-poaching and conservation efforts, but my original question still stands:  Why not just donate the money? I wish someone would slap him up side the head tap him on the shoulder and tell him his money is still good, even if he doesn’t kill something critically endangered just for the chance to hang its head on his wall.

click photo for info

click photo for some actual facts on the whole mess