Am I Really Buying This Belly Chain/Dolphin Pencil/Burn Your Face Off BBQ Sauce When I Know I’ll Never Use It?

I’m having a yard sale this weekend. Please come and buy all my crap-ola.  I don’t know how I accrue all this shizzaz. It’s as if I wake up one day and realize I will be on the next episode of Hoarders.

I don’t get it. Why, why, why do I purchase items that I know down deep will only collect dust, or rot in the back of the refrigerator?  My purchases are like those stupid captcha words you have to type in when buying concert tickets to the House of Blues. The font is a cross between a three-year-old’s scrawl and realvirtue (Who the hell uses that font? Probably the same three people who eat at Arby’s.).  Unnecessary is my point here.

I think the answer has less to do with frivolous spending, and more so with, “Oh cool! I want to be that person who wears a Roman Goddess-style belt.”

I’m not though. I look at the belt and then I put on my pants with a hole in the pocket. But I want to be that person. That person seems cool, and hip, and healthy. That chick is going to parties with bottle service and laughing about silly lame women stuck in the carpool line. She probably also owns a Jeep. Bitch.

Sometimes I want to buy a new something something and be the cool person I think  would wear/eat/use that item.

Below are some items which I have purchased (some more than once) in my vain attempt to be that person:

  • The book The Secret and a couple other warm and fuzzy how to succeed in life books. I usually read at the first chapter, realize I have to make some type of collage to get my dream home by the sea, and then find I am out of glue. Spiritual Self Help Books = masking themselves as craft books.
  • An extra, extra long striped scarf. This was my attempt to go Bohemian. I saw the scarf and thought, “Oh, I will wear this and my glasses while writing in a dirty coffee house that smells like Arabica beans and poor hipsters.” Unfortunately for the scarf I am super short, creating a Swiffer mop scenario for the too-cool-for-school scarf. Trendy Scarf = HoarHcrammed in the back of the closet.
  • Fresh kale. I still have no idea how to cook this damn plant, but a magazine boasted of all its vitamins, anti-aging properties, and the possibility of balancing my check book. So there it sat in my crisper until it turned yellow. Super Healthy food = someone else needs to cook this sh*t.
  • Yet another journal. Many a tree has died for the sole purpose of me buying the decorative covered notebook and writing on one page: Pay Electric Bill, Out of Peanut Butter, and Children with Animal Faces. Then I dutifully misplace said notebook, only to buy another one a couple of months later. Yes, I eventually use these paper books, but it seems like a waste. Sassy Journal = a felled redwood and forgotten story idea.

Bottom line – I like being me. So should you. It’s fun to try on different styles and personas, just don’t forget what you’re all about.

This weekend, as I watch strangers buy my un-wanted shirts, old baby gear, and those stupid candle holders I never used, I will feel clean. A new beginning to carve out a new piece of myself so I can go out and get new stuff to match the new and improved me.

And maybe remember to buy that damn peanut butter.

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Am I Really Turning into Statler and Waldorf from The Muppets?

I like to read. A lot. I tend to choose fiction, with the occasional OK! Magazine; which is basically the same thing as fiction. When a book is good, it is goo-oood. When it is bad, it’s like a five day-old scone: crusty and dry, leaving you with a bad taste in your mouth and slight indigestion.

Now, I am all for books taking the reader to a magical land, far, far from reality.  However, the books of late make me snort and say things like, “What? A thirty-four hundred dollar bottle of champagne just ‘cuz it’s Tuesday, and you are only twenty-four years old?? That’s some BS.” I am an optimist/romantic, but come on people – a helicopter ride on the second date? Gag.

My hat truly tips off to all novelists. That is A LOT of work to write three hundred plus pages, and if you are lucky, get it published.  The amount of re-writing done to create characters the reader roots for, or wants to slap, or wants to hug, or wants to twirl around on the beach with then make sweet sweet lov- oh nevermind, TMI – anyway, it’s a lot of blood, sweat, and Starbuck’s runs.

But I’m getting old and cynical.  So when the actions of a character seem ridiculous, I go into Statler mode and say things like, “Of course she left you! There has been no mention of you showering since the beginning of the book, and I’m on chapter thirty-two! Baaa haa haaa.”

To illustrate where I’m coming from, below is a comparison of the enchanted world of fiction, versus the, “Oh crap, where did that zit come from?” reality. This is based upon books I have recently read (no names mentioned):

Unrealistic Situation #1

Guy meets girl for the first time and says (I’m paraphrasing here), “We obviously have an intense sexual connection, but I don’t date. So, how do we do this?” And it works. Really?

What Happens to Real People

Guy hangs with bros at dive bar. He is sweaty from all the ingested Jaeger shots and Your Ass is on Fire flavored chicken wings. He sees/beer goggles girl across the bar. Does another shot. Stumbles over to girl and says, “He I zzzlluuou, you, shhhhouuuuld, cccuommmm overrrrr and hhhhanng ouuut.” Luckily girl is from the Netherlands, so it works.

Unrealistic Situation #2

Woman’s husband “disappears” after five years of marriage. She goes on the hunt after she learns he took all her money, has a different name, stole someone else’s identity, and killed a bunch of mobster people with his fists of fury.

What Happens to Real People

After five years of marriage you roll over one morning and say to your spouse, “Oh, you’re still here.” Then get out of bed before he passes wind…again.

Unrealistic Situation #3

Guy lives as loner in the woods. Oddly enough, he is super hot even though he has not shaved or cut his hair in years. He kidnaps the female reporter (also smokin’) who destroyed his career, in order to save her life because some seedy characters want her dead. Cabin man and ornery reporter have a lot of boom boom in the woods, they expose the bad guys, and cabin man get his job back. Oh, and shaves.

What Happens to Real People

At work, you screw up an Excel budget spread sheet. Your boss yells at you. You go and cry in the bathroom. You wish you could run away to the woods. There is no boom boom involved.

Even though I poke fun at the above books, I couldn’t put them down. They were all well written and fun to read. Yet even with the best books my eye-rolling Muppet tries to argue with the optimist in me.  Usually the optimist wins out.

I guess that’s why we read. To be transported away from the real, to believe in the un-real, and to stay up until 2:00 a.m. doing so.  Let’s face it, wouldn’t you rather read about running away with some mysterious stranger than fix your child’s pencil sharpener?

Especially if you can get some boom boom in the woods.