Crap, I Think I Might Be Sexist

Crap, I Think I Might Be Sexist

I consider myself a bit of an armchair feminist. I tut-tut news stories about Hijabs, the glass ceiling and systemic limitations of women’s ambitions. I am not the protesting and bra burning sort, however I stand strong when faced with overt sexism wherever I see it. I do something about it with ferocity, even if I wouldn’t march in a topless gathering of angry women. Having one of each gender as children, I am raising them in an equitable manner. I tell them both that they can be whatever they want, but they can count on dealing with assholes of both sexes their whole lives. I explain that they are best not to participate in the monkey games, don’t put up with any crap and just treat everybody decently, full stop. As for my own private thoughts, I do like men, truly. They are fun and differently smart and mostly reliable, the good ones anyway. Through my career I have encountered great mentors and colleagues who encouraged me. I have also dealt with malicious schemers who would undermine me at every opportunity. Both types have come in both genders so it isn’t that. Really, I would like to think that I view the sexes equally. Or at least I thought I did until I peeked in to my mental box of biases and had an honest look at them. It dawned on me that I might be a hypocrite. I hate when I figure out some aspect of myself is an asshole…. dammit. I started to have a clue during recent vacations and business travel. When flying, I would board the plane, and as you do (or at least I do) I check the cockpit to see if the pilots look like they know what they are doing. I started to notice that I would have a subconscious calming of my nerves if there was a female pilot. Seriously, a palpable sense of relief would wash over me to see a woman at the helm. Then I noticed, when driving through border crossings between countries, if I had an option to, I would try to pick the line by the gender of the border guard. My thundering bias that the women were tougher and might call for a search of my car suddenly struck me and I would try for the more potentially amenable dude. I feel the same way about police officers, and I have no idea why. When lining up for a customer service agent, I pick the women if I can. Are they going to try harder to help me than a dude would? Probably not, but apparently my secret sexist has the illusion that she will...
My Hair Dresser Thinks I Am Cantankerous Old Doll

My Hair Dresser Thinks I Am Cantankerous Old Doll

Everybody under the age of 30 looks 12 to me. Honestly, are there even any actual adults working in banks or stores anymore? Even the dude selling me a car doesn’t look old enough to vote. Being on the cusp of the jaunty decade that will be my fifties, I understand, at least theoretically, that I look my age. It’s not like I have any horse anesthetic injected in my forehead crinkles, nor is there any bit of me worth tattooing. (I understand you need at least a few square inches of taught skin for the artist not to produce a Salvador Dali creation that jiggles when you walk.) So really, I get it that the under 30 set views me as practically a geriatric. I don’t have any real issue with being viewed as old and harmless. There are advantages to being a stealth 30 year old in a 50 year old costume. For instance, when I ask for help carrying a heavy purchase from some young buck at the hardware store just so I can look at his ass, he has no idea of my ploy. Dirty old ladies are real, just ask my friends. Where the friction point between generations is for me, a late Gen Ex, and my Millennial hairdresser (or is it stylist, I am never sure) is my haircuts. When my usual hair artist went on maternity leave, I kind of bounced around trying to find a new home for my locks. Apparently, there is nobody over 40 doing hair, so I went with a series of young people to see what new style I could rock the world with. I mean these youngsters set the standard for music, social media, fashion and coffee shops… can they not help one grouchy old girl with her hair? I started with an appointment at a local trendy salon. I was assigned to this diminutive hottie from the Philippines.  He had funky hair and was not afraid of multi coloured spikes. He had promise. As he stepped on his stool and put the cape over my head, it felt like Edward Scissorhands was grooving through my hair. This was going to be the one… I knew it. Alas, it was a mediocre haircut and I waddled out of the salon with no spikes of my own. Apparently I am not spike worthy. The next three young women disregarded my requests for interesting colour combinations and a modern cut. Nope, I left all of their salons looking like Mama from the Carol Burnett Show. I used some decidedly unladylike language each time I grumbled my way into the car. Have I gotten to the point where I...
The 12 Weeks of Christmas for Underachievers

The 12 Weeks of Christmas for Underachievers

You read it right, there are actually 12 weeks of jingle, plinky, sparkly, ring-a-ding holidays. Don’t believe me? Okay, I get it, but we need to stop denying Christmas creep. It starts early in Fall and builds its nefarious and stealthy steam for 12 whole weeks. Week 1 through 3: Sneaks up on us every darned time. These start in October, when Christmas people are digging out strings of lights waiting for the Halloween people to be done with it. This is also the period when large retailers start the subterfuge of small sections of shimmery crap that harks of herald angels. They think they are being subtle. except Costco, they sold out of shiny balls in August. Weeks 4 through 6: While veterans are being remembered and the weather is starting to turn, Christmas creep is happening full on. The stores unapologetically roll out row after row of chocolates in shiny packages, fully decorated fake trees and spinning snowmen dancers on little wind up stands. Neighbors hang endless sparkling strings of those hideous icicle lights and compete to see who can have the most inflatable happy Santas on their front lawns. Weeks 7 and 8: Are deadly. You think you still have time, but you don’t. Every store is playing an endless loop of “Come All Ye Faithful” by Gloria Gaynor (I don’t care if she didn’t do that song, you get the point). Parking spots at the mall are getting scarce and nice little old ladies are clobbering each other over the last wonk-wheeled cart. All the chocolate you bought in week five for “presents” is gone, and now you have to shop for replacement gifts and new pants. Then weeks 9 and 10 come crashing in like a tsunami of underachiever eggnog. Friends have their trees up, and you can’t even find the damned wrapping paper. It doesn’t really matter, because you don’t have much to wrap anyway. Your shopping list is on scraps of paper mixed in with candy wrappers scattered around bins of holiday decorations still dusty from the attic. The bins are just sitting there… judging you. Christmas party invitations long ago accepted now require clothing that fits. Your choices are: go to the party looking like you crammed yourself into a sausage casing, or stay home swearing a blue streak while putting up your Christmas tree. Both options end in alcohol and bad food choices. In comes week 11 in a blur of grumpy store clerks, flyers in the mailbox insisting that the after Christmas deals will be AMAZING and trips to stores that have nothing. This is the week when you take the basic decorations out of those damned bins, and...
I Lost My Fitness Tracker in a Chip Bag

I Lost My Fitness Tracker in a Chip Bag

You know those digital bracelet fitness thingies that everybody wears? The ones that are connected to social media like an umbilical cord? I can’t find mine. I have a feeling it might be at the bottom of a chip bag, covered in shame crumbs. It is unfortunate that I wasn’t wearing it today though, because it was a banner day for exercise, yet sadly I have no proof. My tracker overlord of exercise measurement was not on me to bear witness on the internet. My day of fitness started early this morning. I executed a leaping sprint to the toilet that would have registered as 467 steps on my tracker as I waited for the bathroom doing the pee pee dance. Then, I completed the equivalent of a 200 meter hurdle race to the coffee machine. Gracefully jumping clear of school bags, laundry piles and dogs, I was first to the machine today. I earned another few dance steps toward my total as I celebrated in front of the fridge. I got the last of the milk bitches! Later in the morning, when I paced furiously in front of my wardrobe for a good ten minutes, I would have registered a maxed out heart rate on my tracker, as well as 270 footsteps and stretches trying on clothes that had shrunk in the dryer. Screw you dryer. Later on, I had a doctor’s appointment so off I went, excited for coffee shop at the hospital where they had plenty of milk for my giant cup of brew. Then I spent 20 minutes driving around trying to find a parking spot, thus getting my optimum heart rate back into the zone again. My tracker would have credited me for a god damned 5k run considering the vein that was bulging out of my temple as I screamed in my head. Then, if you can picture the fact that parking spots numbered 1 through 300 are pretty freakin’ close to the main doors, also picture my car not anywhere near those spots. No, I ended up driving to the outer limits of the known universe before I found the Holy Grail:  the last parking spot in ten acres of stalls. It was number 919, three lots over and up the hill. I spotted it, but so did the little old dude in a hat in his cream Caddy. We made hostile eye contact. I revved my engine, he flapped his gums in shock for a quick second and revved his. His hesitation cost him. I hammered onto the gas pedal, flew up to his bumper in a game of parking lot chicken and screeched into my spot. More heart rate points...
Bond, James Bond – The Good The Bad and the Sexy

Bond, James Bond – The Good The Bad and the Sexy

Ok ok, put down your pitchforks, you don’t even know what I am going to say about this fictional character and his 26 movies. You either love James Bond or hate his flagrant womanizing, either way, hear me out. There are two aspects that I think need to be discussed about James Bond movies. First, we all have to admit that this franchise has lasted for over 54 years by being consistently entertaining and cleverly done. We all know what will come on the screen while we munch our popcorn, and we like it. However, we should also talk about how the premise of all of the films are also crashingly sexist. I mean profoundly, epically and many other adverbs level sexist. They are so flagrantly chauvinist that it is almost comical. All the James Bonds have been sexy and unapologetic playboys and we seem to love them for it. I would not want to play a female lead in these movies though, who wants to be called Pussy Galore anyway? At least Bond always had a strong female boss. He didn’t cross “M” for any reason, and I suspect Miss Moneypenny had him by the balls as well. On the overall though, they would not be movies I would show at my daughter’s sweet 16 party as an example of strong women in film. The pressing topic on my brain is far more critical than any impertinent on screen groping done by 007. I need the film makers to bloody well decide who will play the next Bond for shit’s sake! This is important people…. why are we not rising up in protest, burning our DVDs in the streets!?! (Except for Skyfall because Adele). The first 007 flick was Dr. No in 1962. Arguably one of the best 007 played by Sean Connery, I mean the man could have done bare chested action sequences well into his 60’s. He is dead sexy, but that is just my personal opinion. There have also been some truly unremarkable Bonds, like who the frig thought Timothy Dalton could play the same bad ass spy as Roger Moore? Pierce Brosnan was ok, but I think he only got the role because he had a porn star name. The most recent Bond has been Daniel Craig. I have to give it to him, he is a pretty cool customer and tough as shit. I mean he was repeatedly smashed in the ‘nads with a knotted thick rope, and yet he was still up for a roll in the sheets under 24 hours later. Damn bro’ you are the king of bang. A selection for the next movie must be made. The Hollywood rags say that Daniel...
Who Would Be On Your Island?

Who Would Be On Your Island?

Have you ever played the game where you have to decide who you might want with you if you were stranded on a deserted island?  The other night I was asked the question at a party. I didn’t give a good answer because I was busy trying to get alcohol soaked fruit bits from the bottom of my sangria glass and grunted something about Gilbert Godfrey. The next day, the question popped into my head again, and I ruminated on it, probably for too long. In any case, I started to imagine this island and who I might want there with me. I pictured a spot with palm trees, white sand ocean beaches and fresh water streams trickling through the forest. It occurred to me that I would be some pissed off if the actual island I was marooned on was in the North Sea with all craggy rocks and shit, because that is not how these fantasies work. Back to my beach island…. I would want somebody with me who knew how to build stuff. You know, shelters and such. The person would also need to have expertise in the architecture of palm frond layering to keep the rain out at night. But it would be warm nourishing rain, so it would make my skin and hair fabulous (clearly, in my head, this is a Dove commercial.) My island person would also have to be able to find food and cook delicious meals over the skillfully built fire pit. If you have to eat squirrel or seagull it might as well come with a berry reduction sauce. I would also like artfully carved toothpicks to get leftover rodent bits out of my teeth. Being that I am a sanitary kind of chick, there would need to be an outhouse, with a supply of leafy greens that can be used for wiping, and are for sure not poison ivy. Somebody would need to be able to build it, dig the hole and find the right plant to use for harvesting bum leaves. While we are supplying for the more delicate parts of the human body, I am hoping there is something soft growing on the island that can be woven into a useful item for shark week. A girl should’t free bleed, not even on an island. It would be super awesome if the person happened to have been shipwrecked along with something helpful. I am thinking radio transmitter, tool box or even a still to make hooch. If for some reason there is no way of making shipwreck martinis, at the very least we should be able to find mushrooms or something that produces the same effect as...