You’re Lucky the Irish Have a Good Sense of Humor

Do you know where the phrase “Luck of the Irish” originated? It began when Irish immigrants started to do well in the U.S. and work their way out of the ghettos. People started saying that it must be the “luck of the Irish” because the Irish were too lazy and stupid to have actually achieved anything on their own. How’d ole Patrick O’SullivanMcFlanagan get that fancy new hoe? Must be luck. Patrick O’RoukeMcKelly couldn’t possible have been smart enough to earn the money to buy it himself, by Blarney!

The Irish have faced a ton of adversity. I bet that sentence made you snicker. It’s true though. But overall, we’re a pretty jovial people. Perhaps it’s the beer and whiskey. Aw… see what I did there? Implying all Irish people are drunks. Horrible, horrible stereotype. The Irish aren’t drunks. We can handle our alochol.

That leads me perfectly into the mess that is St. Patrick’s Day. I have never gotten especially excited about St. Patrick’s Day. The specials they run on the History Channel about the potato famine are more exciting to me than green beer and kegs and eggs.

I actually kind of abhor St. Patrick’s Day. I lock myself up in my apartment and wait for the droves of idiots in green bowler hats and shamrock glasses to stumble back home and out of my favorite, normally quiet, local bar.

They may say “everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day” but they aren’t. Everyone is a drunken idiot on St. Patrick’s Day (and noooooo, that doesn’t describe a normal person of Irish heritage thank you very much). When you really think about it though, it’s slightly offensive to imply – or outright state – that being “Irish” means drinking until you pass out.

We Irish don’t complain nearly as much as we should or could. Well, I’m complaining, but I don’t represent all Irish people. I mean, could you imagine if we celebrated other holidays just by choosing one giant stereotype of that ethnicity and running around saying that, by doing that one giant stereotype, we are now one of those people? Black History Month? Cinco De Mayo? Chinese New Year? Sounds like a Family Guy episode in the making.

What’s the point that this Snarky Self-Helper is trying to make? You’re not Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. If you want to drink, take a lesson from someone with real Irish heritage, just drink whenever you want to. Everyday is St. Patrick’s Day for us. Wait… I think I just perpetuated the stereotype I was trying to fight. Crap. Oh well. Even if you drink a lot, you’ll never be as pale as me. Take that.

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Unbelievably Tragic and Amazingly Awesome

I have been known to occasionally overexaggerate things. What can I say? I like to use colorful language. I’m a storyteller at heart really, and I must entertain my audience. But there are times when I step back and realize just how silly most of us are in our word usage.

If something truly amazing ever happened to me I would have to make up a new mega-word to accurately describe the experience. Fantabudupertastic or Stupendabulous or something. When you use the word amazing to describe a deal you just got at Target, it takes a little bit of the power out of the word.

Let’s take a closer look at this theory:

“I just had the most AMAZING sandwich.”

a·maz·ing/əˈmāziNG/

Adjective:
  1. Causing great surprise or wonder; astonishing.
  2. Startlingly impressive.

So you’re saying you just had the most startlingly impressive sandwich that caused you great wonder. Holy crap! Did it have pickles?

“Those shoes are awesome.”

awe·some/ˈôsəm/

Adjective:
  1. Extremely impressive or daunting; inspiring great admiration, apprehension, or fear.
  2. Extremely good; excellent.

If I ever see a daunting pair of shoes that gives me great inspiration, I’ll make sure to Instagram that mess for everyone to see.

These words are just a part of our day-to-day language at this point. Which is fine, I suppose it’s not causing anyone any harm. It is kind of sad when you think about it. I mean, are our lives THAT boring? Perhaps they are. Tragic really.

Tragic. Now there’s a funny word.

trag·ic/ˈtrajik/

Adjective:
  1. Causing or characterized by extreme distress or sorrow.
  2. Suffering extreme distress or sorrow.

People don’t technically misuse the word, they’re just idiots. If the death of a drug addicted billionaire who you’ve never met causes you extreme sorrow, you need to check yourself. Psssst! There are children starving to death all over the world without anyone giving a flying crap. A singer who had every resource possible and still chose to “crack” themselves to death isn’t tragic. At the very most it should conjur an “aw, shucks.”

So what’s the point that this Snarky Self-Helper is trying to make? You’re all unbelievably, stunningly, profoundly and intensely overexaggerating everything. Drama queens. I would never do something like that.

Selective Feminism

Well, everyone (mainly ladies and gay men – my two main demographics), tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. An amazing day to celebrate love with your special someone (and then post all about it on Facebook in an attempt to make everyone jealous). AKA a day for single people to loudly declare how much they love their independence while crying into a heart-shaped box of chocolates they bought themselves.  All around, a super fake, all for appearances holiday… that can make or break a relationship.

I know I’ve been giving my man a lot of crap. I believe very strongly that planning Valentine’s Day is a man’s job. And he better do it right, damn it. You may be asking: If Valentine’s Day is so important, couldn’t you plan it yourself? Shut your filthy mouth, that’s crazy feminist talk! Wait a second… I am a feminist. Or am I?

I think women should have all the same rights as men, but still be  allowed on the lifeboat first when the ship is sinking. That’s just common courtesy, damn it.

I was leaving a Piada the other day (side note: how freaking delicious is Piada?) as some guy was walking in. I was only a couple steps from the door, when the guy walked in. You hear me? He walked IN. And the door closed behind him. Excuse me? I was like three steps away. Why I do declare!

Now I don’t know if I expected him to hold the door for me because that’s basic manners, or if I expected him to hold the door because I’m a woman. I did have to stop and wonder if a man in the same situation would have thought twice about it. I, on the other hand, was greatly offended. “I bet that dude never gets laid” may have been a thought that crossed through my mind.I mean, obviously he has zero social skills and is just a pathetic loser for not holding the door for me. Evil little troll man.

I expect men to dispose of scary bugs, carry heavy things and hold doors open for me. However, I don’t think women should be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen. So am I still a feminist? Or am I some sort of selective feminist? A feminist when it’s convenient for me? I’m not sure.

There are times when it feels like a lose/lose situation. Saying you’re a feminist scares the crap out of people. I mean, I like wearing a bra and shaving. But those of us who consider ourselves “strong, independent women” (dare I say… feminists) also feel really pathetic when we expect men to do things like open doors. Makes me feel like I’m going to lose my “strong woman” card and have to start carrying a chihuahua around in a bag* and change my name to something that ends in an “i”.

What’s the point that this snarky self-helper is trying to make? Women shouldn’t be afraid to be honest with themselves. You know the idea of a man paying for dinner AND the movie, opening your car door and then killing a big-ass spider sounds like the perfect night. It’s okay. Even if you’ve thought this, you still deserve equal pay for equal work and the right to vote. And you can love pink and sparkles and still be a bad-ass feminist. Deal with it dudes.

* Turns out you cannot be a feminist and carry a small dog around in a bag. Goes completely against nature.

New Year, Same You

Well people, it’s almost the start of another new year. That means most of you will have failed your New Year’s resolution by this time next week. Don’t feel bad, your resolution is completely unrealistic anyway. Failing at a resolution is really just succeeding at knowing yourself. And most self-help gurus will tell you that knowing yourself is the first step to self-improvement. So make “know myself better” a resolution and BAM. You’ve got one. That’s 100% more than most people.

When you think about it, the New Year is just setting us up to fail. Keeping a New Year’s resolution would be like keeping Christmas cheer all year long, dressing as a slutty vampire everyday or continuously being drunk on green beer and whiskey… well… the first two are ridiculous at least.

And excuuuuuuuuse me, Baby New Year, but I don’t think you have any business telling me to lose weight. I’ve seen you in a diaper and you’re not exactly rocking a six pack.

If people really wanted to exercise more and quit smoking they’d do it when the days are longer and they aren’t already wallowing in the haze of seasonal affect disorder. Vitamin D supplements my butt. No pill is going to make you feel better about it being pitch black at 5pm.

So what’s the point that this snarky self-helper is trying to make? If you want to improve yourself, do it in a few months. It’s too cold outside to train for a marathon or spend more time with your kids now anyway.

Bitch Theory

The biggest bitches I’ve ever met all have one thing in common. They’ve called me a bitch. To my face.

They usually try to mask it as a joke. “OMG you are such a bitch!” Well, guess what? You just out bitched a bitch. Congrats.

Obviously I know I’m a bitch. But I like to think of myself as a funny bitch. A bitch that is bitchy for amusement purposes. A recreational bitch, if you will.  I was raised right. I talk about people behind their backs.

Mean bitches are the ones who make people feel bad on purpose or just don’t care how they make you feel. The ones whose mere mention makes people roll their eyes and regale you with stories about their bitchiness. I, on the other hand, accidentally hurt people’s feelings while attempting to be funny. Then I feel bad about it. That’s right. Bitches have feelings too. Well, the funny bitches do anyway. I can only assume that making people feel bad is where the mean bitches get their evil bitch powers.

Nice people tell me I’m bitchy, but they use code words. They tell me I’m funny, witty, sassy, sarcastic and – dare I say – snarky. Because a nice person would never call someone a bitch to their face. They may think it, but then they smile, suppress their feelings and develop an ulcer.

Here’s a quick rundown of some of the most common types of bitches:

Mean Bitches: They’ve got that bitch face. You know the one. You meet them for the first time and they greet you with a disapproving snort. They stand in the corner and talk about you where you can see them. All the while constantly glancing at you as they’re doing it.

Funny Bitches: They’re sarcastic smart-asses, but they never just turn to you and tell you why you suck. They don’t pretend to love things that they don’t and they will crush everything you love, but they don’t attack you personally. And that counts for something, right?

Dumb Bitches: This is probably the most common form of bitch. They’re the Kim Kardashians and Paris Hiltons of the world. They’re mean, but too stupid to actually form a real insult. Generally speaking they’re super skinny with really rich daddies. You could almost name them the “default bitch” cause they were never given a chance to be any other way. This type of bitch will only make you feel bad when you stop and think about how their lives disprove any chance of karma being a thing.

Secret Bitches: Watch out for these. They seem perky and peppy. They are usually petite little things that love cute kitten videos and babies. They have high voices and small chests. But listen closely. Did you hear what that bitch just said? If she weren’t so upbeat I would think she was serious! Here’s the thing. She is serious. That bitch just gets away with it because she’s so damn bubbly.*

So what’s the point that this snarky self-helper is trying to make? Don’t lump all bitches together. Some of us are just trying to be funny and can’t hide our hatred for the show Glee. We don’t all want to make you cry into your pillow at night.

* Dumb Bitches and Secret Bitches are often one and the same. An especially lethal combination and mortal enemy of the Funny Bitch.

Why Black Friday is Scarier Than The Walking Dead

We all know the familiar scene. Bloodthirsty, heartless, brain-dead drones attacking helpless victims en masse.  Little did that victim know that he would soon be slashed – price slashed – and consumed by a violent mob. That poor, innocent Xbox never saw it coming.

But, seriously. Have you ever watched a zombie movie or TV show and wondered just how they really took over EVERYTHING. I can see a zombie virus taking out a hospital staff quickly or running through a little town in Podunkville, USA, but the entire Military? That slow walking corpse took out the whole police force? Even the less common and ridiculous marathon runner zombies seen in movies like 28 Days Later should be defeatable be a whole police squad, right? Those men are trained to stay cool and calm and handle these kinds of situations. Oh… wait…

And before you Walking Dead fans say anything, yes, I call them zombies. You know why? Because they’re zombies. The fact that they refuse to ever use the word “zombie” is the least realistic part of the whole show. Are we to believe these people never saw a zombie movie in their entire lives? Come on! The dead coming back to eat the living? Yeah, sure. But a world without the word zombie? Homey don’t buy that.

Just get a few hundred people together for a mediocre deal and you can easily see why we will all eventually die in a zombie apocalypse. After hearing some of the stories of Black Friday 2011 I’m not totally convinced that there aren’t a few of the infected already out there.

Police pepper spraying shoppers, shoppers pepper spraying shoppers, pepper spray policing shoppers, dogs hugging kittens; it’s all a sign that we’re going down.

If a cop can’t even handle some housewives with too much time and not enough money, there is no way they’re going to calmly obliterate a zombie hoard.

And there is always that one character in the group of survivors that starts out okay, but has the crazy eye. You know the one. You see him and think “that boy ain’t right” (or “something is amiss with that young man” – individual thoughts depend on your level of hillbilly). But then that guy goes totally nuts and kills a bunch of people. Well, it would seem, based on Black Friday, that it should really be everyone just running around shooting each other in the neck.

People on TV calmly band together and find antibiotics for their friends. People in real life face palm their grandmother to get $100 off an HDTV. Which is scarier?

So what’s the point that this snarky self-helper is trying to make? If the world gets taken over by zombies, we’re all screwed. I’m talking I Am Legend even-the-dog-gets-it kind of screwed. Not Night of the Living Dead One-bad-night-and-then-we’re-playing-hit-the-zombie-with-a-rock-in-the-backyard style screwed.

What’s that? You didn’t need me to tell you that? You better hope I don’t become a zombie or I’m gonna crazy zombie bite you so hard…

Facebook Doesn’t Annoy People, People Annoy People: Part 2

Holy *&%#! Facebook changed! *jumps out window*

Now, I will admit, I think the new Facebook is a stupid, convoluted mess that thinks it knows me better than it really does (sounds like some people I know), but at least I gave it a week or so before passing judgment. I had to laugh a little – well, a lot – at the people who logged in the day of the change and immediately posted about how much they hate it. Amazingly enough, they’re the exact same people who had absolutely “had it” with Facebook after the last change. Now they’re back to happily updating us about their treacherous bake-sale activities and fascinating coffee addiction.

Some people are starting to form an abusive relationship with Facebook. Facebook hits them with a new update and they say they’re done with it for good, but the next week they’ve come crawling back. They’ve been with Facebook so long, they can’t throw all of that away! After all, it was really their own fault, they shouldn’t have made Facebook mad. If you knew Facebook, you’d understand.

Because I hate the new Facebook, I had to re-think my stance that Facebook doesn’t annoy people, people annoy people. But then I scrolled through my news feed for five seconds and decided I was right to begin with. The people complaining about the new Facebook, and those of us complaining about the people complaining about the new Facebook, were way more annoying than any of the actual changes Facebook had made.

No one asked and Facebook listened! One of the grand new features we’ve gotten is the addition of “Top Stories”. I’d like to see whatever algorithm or other computer mumbo-jumbo they use to determine those “Top Stories” because Facebook seems to think I care an awful lot about people that I’ve never once interacted with on Facebook. Maybe they think the only thing keeping me from commenting on these people’s statuses is that they weren’t constantly at the top of my news feed.

However, I’m starting to think this was a deliberate prank on the part of Facebook. “Let’s constantly highlight people she could care less about, and make her wonder why she’s even friends with these people to begin with,” Facebook says sitting in its dark lair, petting its white cat and rubbing its hands together ominously. Yes, Facebook has more than two hands. How else could it do all those “likes”?

In Facebook Doesn’t Annoy People, People Annoy People: Part 1 I took a stance saying that I generally prefer to just hide people instead of unfriending them. The more I think about that, the more I realize that’s due to my own issues with confrontation. I’d much rather passive-aggressively hide someone than unfriend them and have them find out. Makes my life easier. And let’s be serious, the most important thing here is what makes me happy.

Does that make me a hypocrite of sorts? Yes, yes it does. I whine and moan about certain people and how obnoxious they are, but I’m still their “friend.” Well… I’m still most of their friends.

So now  you know I don’t unfriend often, and you’re still reading this, so you’re probably wondering what it takes to make me actually hunt someone down and unfriend him. Well, here’s the dish…

I had a hard time thinking of occasions when I actually unfriended people. I still can’t think of that many instances, but I know I’ve done it a lot. It’s apparently so traumatic for me that I block it from my memory. Sorry, I mean I “unsubscribe” it from my memory.

One instance was with a genuinely miserable person who I honest to goodness can’t stand even in person. Why was I their “friend”? Because they asked me and I knew I’d have to see them once and a while and it would have been awkward to ignore them. However, this person really loved aggressively pushing their beliefs on others and berating anyone who disagreed. The surprising part? I actually shared a lot of the same beliefs, I just didn’t like the way this person presented them. They were just so angry and bitter all the time. I’ve got enough anger and bitterness of my own, I don’t need yours Mr. Bitter McGrumpyPants.

If there is one thing I’ve learned from Facebook it’s that I don’t really care if people have different beliefs than I do. I don’t even really care if they post about their beliefs a lot. The people who tick me off are the ones who shove their beliefs on others and can’t take feedback from anyone with a differing opinion. Granted, the line here is blurred and subjective, but I do think there is a difference between “sharing” and “shoving”. If you don’t believe me, try to apply this to an everyday situation in your own life. Offer to share your dessert with someone and then shove pie up their nose. Then note how they react to “sharing vs. shoving.”

Another time I can actually remember unfriending someone it was due to me posting too much. Yeah, you read that right. I like this person just fine and had no problem with their Facebook activity, but they apparently had a problem with mine. Every time I saw this person the first thing they said to me was “well, I know what’s going on with you because you’re ALWAYS on Facebook.” I didn’t unfriend them the first time this happened… it was about the 10th time I ran into this acquaintance and had them rub my Facebook addiction in my face. I’ll choose to ignore the fact that if someone knows I’m on Facebook a lot, they must be on Facebook just a smidge as well.

I also unfriend anyone who comes up in my feed whose name I don’t recognize. I’m not too proud to admit that this has happened to me more than once.

The birthday reminders are an extremely useful tool. Not so much for sending birthday wishes, but for weeding out your friends list. When a “friend” has a birthday and the mere act of seeing their name makes me go “ew,” “ugh,” “puke,” or “huh?” then it’s time to unfriend.

So what’s the point that this snarky self-helper is trying to make? Sometimes you pretend you’re doing something to spare someone else’s feelings when you’re really just making things easier for yourself. I unfriend people when I know I will either A: likely never have to see them again or B: dislike them enough that I’d prefer they avoid me in public.

Since I am openly a Facebook addict, I’m going to declare it now: Stay tuned for Facebook Doesn’t Annoy People, People Annoy People Part 3: Facebook: Making You Feel Bad About Your Life Since 2004.