mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Pedigree)
Good intentions, am I right?

I have a lot of trouble with one aspect of the current incarnation of the Internet, and that's the tsunami of charitable causes that tends to come crashing to shore every day. I do mean every day. Every day that I'm on the internet I come across dozens of requests for support and money for every cause under the sun, from orphans to wetlands to cancer patients to people with illnesses I've never even heard of and can't even pronounce. These are often accompanied by requests to reblog/retweet/repost in order to spread the word and raise more support.

Here's the thing. I am unlikely to EVER click on one of those Paypal buttons, or even to repost things.

The first reason is that I respond VERY badly to guilt-trips. Having Facebook posts exhorting me to put something up for "just one hour" makes me want to hit things. "You can't spare one hour for the orphans/cancer/dying puppies?!? YOU MONSTER!" Because not posting shit like that on my timeline TOTALLY means I love cancer and want people to die, routinely kick puppies and think people with autism should be locked away (or insert whatever cause of the day you'd like). Sure.

Another good way to make me hit the back button? Exhort me to "give up [my] morning lattes" for a week/month/whatever. Those $3 can go a long way! You know what? I DON'T FUCKING BUY A LATTE EVERY MORNING. Yes, I have a job. Yes, it pays me very, very well for what I do. You know what else? I have a house to pay for, a family to support, and a job in a different city that requires me to have lodgings there (that I also pay for) and for which I buy gas for my car. The only reason we have a second car is because we got help for it. We are extremely careful with our money, because what we have has to go a long way every month, with very little room for slip-ups.

Yes, I also realise that the lattes are a metaphor, and I could easily replace that with "Give up the books/DVDs you occasionally buy/whatever." The idea is that other people are worse off than me, and societal morality dictates that I owe it to them to give up whatever small luxuries I have in the name of charity.

You know what? It's still really fucking patronising, and I hate it. It assumes that it never occurred to me to do that. "Oh," I am supposed to think. "I could simply give up my morning triple-shot mocha frappuccino with whipped cream, and give that money to support this orphaned, homeless kitten that needs a new kidney! WHY DID I NEVER THINK OF THIS BEFORE?"

*eyeroll*

Relatedly, a lot of people who work are barely scraping by. They are crippled by debt, or working minimum wage as the sole income for their family, or (and I am lucky not to be among them), or have other completely legitimate reasons for not giving money to Random Cause X. Or maybe they just don't want to, which is also a perfectly legitimate reason, thank you very much.

So, in conclusion: guilting me and talking down to me are a surefire way to make me not want to have anything to do with the cause you're promoting.

Here's another reason I won't click on your donate button: I am an old-fashioned girl, and I prefer my charitable causes accountable for their donations.

Let's make up a fake example. SickGuy McGee needs $5,000 for his surgery, according to his website. How do I know that McGee exists? Or that he's actually ill? Well, his friends all vouch for him, so it must be fine! Okay, let's pretend he's a legit person, and actually needs the surgery. People flock to his website, and now SickGuy McGee has received an incredibly generous $7,893 for himself. That's $2,893 more than he asked for. An organised charity has systems in place to funnel extra funds, but a private person doesn't. So what's the protocol, here? Does SickGuy McGee get to redistribute those funds as he sees fit, when people donated in good faith specifically for his surgery? The money is his, technically, so he can buy himself a new flatscreen TV just as easily as he can donate the "excess" to another organisation of his choice. What if some of the donors don't agree with his choice of charity for their donation? What if SickGuy McGee decided to donate to an explicitly religious organisation whose values don't align with theirs?

It's a sticky mess, is what it is. It's SO easy to lie on the internet, so easy to take advantage of good, honest people to part them from their money in the name of a "good cause."

Sometimes, the "good causes" are nothing but scams. Lord knows, I heard enough of these stories when I was working my previous job for the RCMP in Montreal. Good people who got conned into sending money to people who lied in order to make a quick buck. I heard the same stories, over and over again, every day. One can argue that those people were stupid or gullible, and sometimes they were succumbing to their own greed (scams often prey on people who are already vulnerable), but overall? The internet is rife with people trying to take advantage of others.

Sometimes, the "good causes" are worse than that. One man posted a picture last year of his "missing" wife and daughter, wringing his hands about how worried he was since they'd disappeared, and why, oh why would the police not help him? It was terrible! So the internet dutifully reposted the picture and spread the word for him and lo, they were found! The problem? They weren't missing. They had run away and changed their names because he was an abusive bastard, and he tracked them down and killed them both.

What a heartwarming ending to this beautiful story of families separated and reunited, right?

The road to Hell is paved with good intentions, don't you know. This is why I don't reblog pictures of missing people/kids unless a) I know the family personally, b) the picture was issued by a police department. I never, ever want to be even inadvertently responsible for something like this.

If you've made it to the end of this post, I am very impressed. I am not trying to say that people who do contribute to individual causes on the internet are bad, or stupid, or gullible, or whatever. I simply wanted to state my case for my own actions and what motivates them.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Bugger)
So for some reason, I am still subscribed to FlyLady. Though now that I've found Unfuck Your Habitat, I was considering dropping FlyLady. It's the same principle of cleaning in small increments, but with less God and more foul language. More my style. ;)

Then one of today's "testimonials" from FlyLady proved the last straw.

Dear FlyLady )
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Make it so)
The newbies at work are complaining that there's nothing to do. I am flummoxed. Granted, we're not exactly riding the rollercoaster of excitement, here, but damn. That is a hell of a lack of motivation, considering just how much we're being paid to do around here.

Maybe it's a generational thing. I am highly tempted to get myself a cane so I can brandish it and yell at them damn kids to get the hell off my lawn! Back in my day we had something called a work ethic, after all!

Ahem.

No, seriously, what the hell? There is always something to do around here. Procedures to be revised, calls to take, online training to do. There isn't enough time to get it all done. Sure, a lot of it is boring admin stuff, but the boring admin stuff needs to get done the same as everything else. These are the same people who whine that they don't have the tiiiiiime to do their online training sessions. Well, guess what? If you're bored at work, do your online training. The older people here have put in a crapload of time and effort to get this place to where it is today, and it almost feels like they're pissing on all that by implying the job isn't worth putting in their 100%.

I don't know. I'm as guilty of the occasional slacking as the next person, but claiming that there's nothing to do around here smacks either of laziness, bad faith, idiocy, or all three.

Feh. Grumpy cat is grumpy.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (We are the Universe)
Contrary to what the title may lead you to believe, this is going to be a short post, in bullet-point form. These are thoughts that are rattling around in my head, and I want to put some of them down before I forget.

1- Have you noticed how we're in a society that teaches us we ought to be dissatisfied with our lives, no matter what? "Success" stories are all about individuals (individuals, mind you, not communities or groups or anything) who realize that their lives are empty and meaningless, and they go on to make a huge difference in the world. You can't start out by being okay with who and where you are, you *have* to change first before it counts.

2- Success must originate in suffering. I wonder why that is? If we don't suffer, does that make our success less successful? Or maybe it just means it's not the right kind of success and we have to realize how empty and meaningless our lives are before we achieve "real" success.

3- a)What is it about the sudden need for people to publicize illness, especially chronic conditions? (N.B. For the love of God, don't take this personally if you're on my flist and have a chronic illness. Shockingly, this post is not about you.) Does constantly being in pain/discomfort somehow make all their accomplishments more noteworthy? Or, conversely, make everyone else's accomplishments mean nothing because they didn't accomplish it while having no arms or legs and suffering from a crippling neural disorder?
b) The flip side being that if you don't accomplish anything noteworthy (by some weird outside standard), it's only okay if you have some sort of crippling condition or another. As though the only thing that makes your life important is if you become one of those "inspirational" people they make movies about.

4- If so many books have *the* answer to being a balanced and happy person, then why are there so many damned books on the subject at all? A cynical person might wonder if it wasn't all about the money rather than happiness...

5- Have you noticed how, even though we're supposed to strive for happiness, we're not really supposed to talk about it if we have it? Other people are *suffering* after all, and it would be rude to shove it in their faces. Unless, of course, you have a multi-million dollar book deal on how you got to be happy.

Okay, this post turned cranky very quickly, and I have to go to work.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (To Be)
I hate being shushed. I don't know why people think it's okay or appropriate to tell another adult to shush.

Don't get me wrong. A simple, polite: "Would you mind lowering your voice?" or "Excuse me, I can't hear the person talking/show/whatever" is just fine.

What I hate is being treated like a four-year-old or a misbehaving dog.

Pet peeve over. Carry on.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Out Of Our Galaxy)
Okay, if you're one of the benighted people who thinks that women have third trimester abortions because they are frivolous idiots who suddenly have an attack of vanity, please for the love of God go educate yourself.


I'm leaving comments turned off. Either you get it, or you don't, and if you don't, I cannot be bothered to explain it to you today. I have read too many comments by supposedly well-meaning people (sadly, mostly men) who magnanimously approve of abortion so long as it's not late-term, because clearly women who make that sort of medical decision cannot possibly be informed and should therefore be forced to die in childbirth or watch their child be stillborn or die in infancy. I am not replying to any of these comments, because right now all that would come out of my mouth would be vitriol.

So to everyone who has said something like that (no matter how you couch it in caveats and disclaimers): fuck you, you don't know what you're talking about. Go read up on the subject, find out what a third-trimester abortion really is, and try listening to the women who've had to make this sort of horrifically painful choice.

Go on, I dare you.

ARGH!

Feb. 24th, 2009 11:13 pm
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Girlfolk)
Dear 24,

Way to reinforce the notion that women say "no" only because they really mean "yes," and want men to pursue them. Persistence is a virtue, after all, and not at all creepy. If a woman says she doesn't want a relationship with you, then clearly what she really wants is for you to grab her and force her to kiss you —especially if you're her immediate boss. That really doesn't foster any kind of power inequalities, noooo. All it will do is make her melt into your arms and declare her undying love.

Sadly, because your writers SUCK, that last scenario is exactly what happened. You've set back the equality movement by about fifteen years. Congratulations.

No love,

Me
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Revelation)
Have I mentioned that I loathe Twitter?

It's almost as bad as the "status" thing on Facebook, except that it might possibly be worse, as you're supposed to update it all the &$#% time!

I cannot imagine anything more hateful to me, than to constantly have to tell people whatever random thing I'm doing precisely at this moment.

Maybe I'm just grumpy.

I'd rather get one thoughtful post every few days from a friend, rather than have a bunch of unrelated sentences and fragments dumped on me at the end of the day.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (I Place All Heaven)
[livejournal.com profile] iconsbycurtana is at it again. I love Madeleine L'Engle with much love, and so I snagged it. I appear to have misplaced my copy of Many Waters, and it turns out there's a fifth book in the series (featuring Meg's daughter, I believe), which means I may have to pick them up. Unfortunately, they have once again changed the look of the books, which means my shelves won't match. Again.

Have I mentioned how much I hate it when publishing houses change the look of their books? Especially when they do it mid-series (not the case this time, but still). There is a special place in hell, too, for the publishing houses that not only change the look of their books, but also change the size by a few millimetres (sometimes up to half a centimetre), because then the books no longer fit on the same shelf, damn them!

*pant pant*

So yes. Special hell.

In random news, I appear to have done something weird to my finger. The middle joint is stiff, and feels tight when I try to bend it too far. It doesn't hurt or anything, but it's uncomfortable.

The weekend was lovely, if far too short. Slept a bit on Saturday, got to see [livejournal.com profile] ashforestwalker briefly, and watched Persepolis with BorderCrossing. It's a really interesting film, about a girl growing up in Iran during the war, and the effect it had on her and her family. Interesting graphics, all hand-drawn animation ([livejournal.com profile] shenlo, [livejournal.com profile] rowen26 and [livejournal.com profile] karine, you might find it interesting, technique-wise), and a profoundly moving storyline. It's autobiographical, but the animation (based on the graphic novel) gives it a dreamlike quality which is quite mesmerizing.

In the evening I went to see [livejournal.com profile] owldaughter's concert, and sat with [livejournal.com profile] pasley and Devon, [livejournal.com profile] ashforestwalker and Liam, and had a very nice time indeed. The LCO has gained a lot in quality of sound with their new conductor, so all in all it was quite enjoyable.

On Sunday there was some mad scrambling to get out the door in time for Meeting, and I ended up being too late to attend, which sucked. I got some other stuff done, but not all my errands got run, and thus the morning was hectic and felt a bit wasted.

I was supposed to spend the afternoon cooking with [livejournal.com profile] luvenditti and [livejournal.com profile] toughlovemuse, but the latter was felled by a migraine right before, and had to cancel at the last minute, much to everyone's disappointment (including hers, I'm thinking). So [livejournal.com profile] luvenditti and I made soup, and cabbage rolls, and spaghetti sauce, and meatballs, and sausages, and homemade pasta.

I am SO psyched about the homemade pasta! I have my own pasta maker now (courtesy of one of my coworkers, who very generously gave me his old one when he got a new electronic one), and I can hardly wait to start making my own! The recipe for pasta we used was not a difficult one, so it should be pretty easy to remember.

I got to bed really late, and as a result I am a bit twitchy this morning.

It also turns out that the Alouettes lost. Boo.

*bitch*

Nov. 2nd, 2008 03:31 pm
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Jayne your mouth is talking)
I am feeling cynical and annoyed with people today. Doubtless this will be remedied by sleep, and maybe alcohol.

Does anyone, when asked the question, actually answer: "Why, I would absolutely rather be surrounded by a hundred poseurs instead of a handful of good friends!"

I don't think anyone actively wants that. I really don't. The same way I don't think CEOs of huge corporations get up in the morning and say to themselves as they shave: "What a great day to go and screw over the world! I wonder what new and inventive ways I can find to exploit the poor, deplete the earth's natural resources, and create loads of pollution at the same time!"

(That's part of the reason why I never could bring myself to quite take Captain Planet seriously: I was old enough to know that pollution wasn't caused by supervillains)

I am annoyed by people's capacity for self-delusion today.

I'm also disabling comments on this because it's a highly negative post without swearing in French Canadian to act as a humorous counterbalance. I'm not seeking to perpetuate negativity, I'm just venting.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Canadian Borg)
Je suis d'une méchante mauvaise humeur aujourd'hui. C'est peut-être pour ça que j'ai décidé d'écrire en Français, pour la première fois depuis plusieurs années au moins. D'habitude je m'exprime beaucoup mieux en Anglais: je me sens plus à l'aise dans cette langue pour ce qui a trait aux affaires de mon quotidien.

Or, aujourd'hui je suis en beau calisse avec le monde au complet. Va chercher pourquoi. Par contre, il n'y a rien comme la langue québécoise qui permet de sacrer avec panache, hostie! ;)

Tout le monde me tape sur les nerfs, en particulier les gens qui sont à fleur de peau pour rien (crisse), les gens qui se démontrent capable de s'illusionner sur leurs propres motivations (tabarnac), et l'hostie de calisse de tabarnac de saint-ciboire de système radio à MARDE qui ne marche qu'à moitié et qui rend ma job dix fois plus difficile qu'elle ne devrait l'être, calvaire!

Voilà, c'est tout ce que j'avais à dire. Merci pour votre attention.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Politics)
John Scalzi hits it out of the park.

Also, lest I be guilty of talking more about the American election than the election taking place in my own country, I really hope I'm not the only one scandalized by the fact that Elizabeth May has once again been denied a voice in the national debate because the damn Tories are too chickenshit to face up to the fact that their environmental policies suck like a Hoover on overdrive.

In fact, all THREE major parties are too chickenshit to debate her, it would seem. The Conservatives and the NDP are all saying that, really, the Green Party supports the Liberals, so why bother? Uh, hello? They have their own party! That indicates to me, and correct me if I'm wrong, that they might actually have different views on how to run the country. But clearly, that's just me.

The Liberals are being even bigger wusses, by hiding behind Tory skirts. Have you ever seen such bullshit?

Mr. Dion said yesterday his priority is to face off against his Conservative counterpart ahead of the Oct. 14 election.

"I would like her to be there, but I will not participate if Stephen Harper is not there," he said.


Give me a fucking break. This is a small party. They garner about 3% of the vote, if memory serves. Our stupid first-past-the-post system all but guarantees they'll never have a strong voice because they're not one of the Big Two (and occasionally the NDP) and they're not regionally based.

So what gives? Have our political leaders become such damned lame ducks that they cower before a fourth voice in debate?

As [livejournal.com profile] forthright said: for shame!
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Terror)
Working in the field of security/law enforcement has, in the past two-odd years, thrown me smack dab against a huge freaking pile of Those Guys.

I was reminded of this forcefully last night when talking to Excitable!Puppy, and had it pointed out to me by the ever-vigilant and eloquent [livejournal.com profile] aislingtheach. I was also reminded forcefully of how ill-equipped I am to argue with a Guy Like That.

Let me state for the record, before I continue down the road where this train of thought is taking me, that I am pissed off at the thought that I constantly feel guilty when I don't call guys (and occasionally girls) who spew misogynistic bullshit on their bullshit every single time they do it. It makes me fucking angry that I feel as though I'm betraying all three billion women who share this planet with me every time I think "I don't have the energy to deal with this today." The old if-you're-not-part-of-the-solution-you're-part-of-the-problem song and dance is old and patently fucking unfair. Why is it that women are OBLIGATED to rise to the defense of their gender (lest they be-part-of-the-problem) but all men have to do is remain silent in order to be considered neutral at the very least, or a silent ally at best? A woman who doesn't immediately speak up is betraying her entire gender, simply by ducking her head as a means of self-defense.

FUCK THAT.

*pant pant*

Okay, that being said, I would like to move back to my original problem. Since I *do* feel that it's important for me to argue with the jackasses at work, who genuinely don't consider themselves jackasses, I need help. Often enough I have no rational argument to come back with for these people. I just feel, instinctively, that what they are saying is fallacious in the extreme. Hell, even my mother occasionally spews misogynistic garbage that she genuinely believes is Right and True (and my mother is a hell of a force of nature: she worked in advertising for forty cut-throat years, and would eviscerate anyone who tried to take away her right to vote). What I want to know is: where can I go to find the people who have rational arguments that will help me?

Let me provide examples, to illustrate my problem.

1- "The balance of power has shifted. Women are more powerful than men now: look at all the TV commercials in which men are presented as idiots and women have to come to their rescue."

Me: AUGH! You understand that commercials aren't real, right? The same goes for television/movies in general. It's just a cheap ploy of the advertising agencies to pat women on the head, make them think they're clever/powerful, and encourage them to buy crap.

2- "Women want it all: they want to be treated like men in the workplace, but they still expect men to buy them dinner and hold doors for them."

Me: AUGH! Why is it that if you open a door for me, it automatically invalidates ALL MY OTHER RIGHTS AS A FUCKING HUMAN BEING? I don't expect people to buy me dinner, but god damn it, why does holding open a door/otherwise being "chivalrous" somehow constitute my immediate capitulation and acceptance of a role as a lesser being?

3- "All the men I know are afraid of their wives. Everyone knows women hold the true power. Haven't they always said that behind every great man stands a strong woman?"

Me: AUGH! I can't even begin to tell you how much that statement is made of WRONG and FAIL. Have you ever noticed that the woman in that saying is never allowed to hold her own goddamn seat of power? The man's rightful place is in the seat of power, whereas the woman, regardless of intelligence or merit, must be content to lurk in the shadows, where she fucking well belongs.


The list goes on and on and on.

My mother's favourite argument is that women brought all their troubles on themselves. She likes to use construction as her metaphor: "If women want to use jackhammers and act like men, it's their own fault if men treat them badly afterward." My mother's logic is not earth-logic. I'm usually able to point out that it's not *just* construction that women want to do: how about science? How about medicine? (My mother doesn't like going to male doctors, but doesn't see the irony there)

Every week (sometimes every day), I am subjected to comments about women being on the rag, women being bitches, women being airheads, women "oppressing" men with their feminism. "Feminist" is a dirty word where I work: it means you're a lesbian man-hater. I have been coming out slowly at work, when the opportunity presents itself, and you should SEE the damned shock on people's faces: "You're a lesbian?!? But... but you're nice! You wear makeup and skirts! You haven't tried to castrate me with a ballpoint pen!" It makes me SICK.

Random tangent about heterosexism and heterosexual privilege )


I'm tired of being the Bastion of Feminism at work, but since that's my role, I want to damned well be better-equipped to tell people (in particular the men, but also some of the women) why their sexist assumptions are wrong. Or at least make them think twice about their position of privilege.

To a certain extent, I'd like to be able to do this wrt to race as well, but I am well aware that in that area I, too, speak from a position of privilege. I am leery of getting too involved in an elaborate discussion in an area in which I probably have any number of blind spots due to said privilege.

I would just like to find a way to make an impact with these people. To make them stop and reconsider, and think "You know, it never occurred to me to look at it that way before." I don't think I'll ever change them completely —some of these guys are nearly sixty and have never thought differently in their lives— but I'd like at the very least to be able to stand up for myself in an argument with them.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Reason is a Flawed Tool)
Why oh why do I get into arguments with pro-gun people? WHY?

I am not anti-gun. I am pro-reasonable legislation. I think guns are useful tools for hunting and fun toys for target practice. They are also (regrettably) tools for professionals like soldiers and law enforcement officers.

Whenever I try to point out that guns are not a basic human right (I'm sorry, but they're not!), I am suddenly the Antichrist.

At least this time they're being polite about it. The last time I practically got accused of being anti-all civil rights.

*sigh*

I should know better. Apparently being shrill is the only way to be in this debate, no matter what side you're on. Heaven forfend anyone should take a middle-of-the-road approach.

Fuck this.

Also, this is NOT an invitation for a gun debate in my LJ. If anyone so much as fucking breathes in the direction of a debate (pro- or anti-), I will lock down the comments faster than you can say Bob's-your-uncle. Got it?
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (God sent me)
I have a very lengthy post percolating in my head about this. The problem is that every time I try to write it down, my entire psyche goes into rabid, psychotic, rage-filled meltdown.

So... I have no idea if I'll be able to post it. I have thoughts on the politics of consent, the social dynamics of conventions, and male privilege that doesn't seem to understand why women wouldn't find it healing and liberating to be groped by random strangers in public. All those coherent, rational thoughts, however, quickly degenerate into incoherent snarling.

*shrug*

For anyone who has no idea what I'm talking about, here's the original post, edited by the author to add seven thousand caveats and "that's-not-how-I-meant-it"s. Right now, I don't care what he meant, I only care that he just doesn't understand why people are angry about what he actually said.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Vengeance for the butt!)
There's a girl on my shift at work, with whom I get along quite well. I get along with everyone on my shift, actually. (Can we see the "but" coming a mile away? I know I can.)


WARNING: I'm not cutting this post. It contains a rant about weight, weight-loss, and generally triggery weight-related things. Caveat emptor.



She's applying to be an RCMP officer. This is great, and we're all very happy for her. She's been training very very hard and watching what she eats and studying like mad so she'll pass the entrance examination and the very grueling physical part of the application process.

Tonight one of the night-shift girls brought in a bag of two-bite brownies, and offered them around. RCMP girl, paying attention to her diet/whatever, declined. Her physical is next Thursday, so no one batted an eye. I, on the other hand, am fond of two-bite brownies, and had one. Her reaction?

"Oh my God, Daphné! Do you know how many calories that's got? Don't eat that!"

I ate the brownie. (For the record, I checked the label, it has 180 calories in it) For whatever reason, she's been harping at me all week about what I eat.

"Another frozen dinner, Daphné? Don't you know those things are bad for you? I gained twelve pounds eating those!"

"You shouldn't eat those yogurts. You should eat the fat-free ones with low sugar!"

Etc.


The thing is, she doesn't do this with anyone else in the office. I think that, like many well-meaning health nuts, she has decided that Something Must Be Done about the fact that I'm fat. I think that, somewhere in her head, she has decided that I must somehow not know that I'm fat, and that I must be helped to see the light. I also think she has a slightly skewed vision of what being fat is. She is about 5'5" and probably in the neighbourhood of 140lbs, but she describes herself as "big." She's in excellent physical condition and in pretty good health, apart from some back problems, but she's obsessing about losing an extra five pounds. She works out five days a week at her gym, for two to three hours at a stretch.


You know what? I am not blind, nor am I stupid. I own a mirror, and I know what size I buy when I go clothes shopping. It is not news to me that I am fat. I have known this ever since I started being fat sixteen years ago. Since adolescence, I have never not been fat. I was a skinny kid, a fat teenager, and now I'm a fat adult.

What I don't need is for some skinny chick who knows nothing about me or my life to tell me what I should and shouldn't be doing (or eating!) based solely on the way I look. What's worse is that she appears to be contagious, since another of the night shift girls is now asking me every day if I've been to the gym or not (she, too, not entirely coincidentally, is trying out for the RCMP).

ARGH!

It has taken me a good ten years to get to the point where I am comfortable with who I am. I spent years and years and years feeling awkward and ugly, and listening to whispers and sniggers and outright jeers and insults, not to mention the kindly-meant but patronizing advice which was sometimes not-so-kindly-meant from thin people who thought they were superior just because they were thin. I am at a point now where I can look in the mirror and not see an ugly fat girl, but where I see myself, with all my good points as well as my flaws. I still have days when I'm more insecure than others, but on the whole I like who I am and how I look.

I have had enough of being patronized by people who think they know me better than I know myself. Here are a couple of phrases for which I wish I had a nickel for every time someone said them to me:

"You'd be so pretty if only you lost all that weight!"

"You'd feel so much better/healthier if you lost weight!"

"All it takes is a little willpower. If you want it enough, you can lose weight."

"Oh, looks don't really matter, as long as you have a great personality!"

(For the record, I have a lousy personality. I'm sarcastic and nasty, and I kick and I bite. So there. :P)



Now that I've got this out of my system, I feel the need to add a disclaimer. I do NOT dislike thin people. I like people of all sizes. What I dislike is people who presume to know what's best for me based simply on my looks.

I long ago got out of the habit of retorting "you're too skinny" to people, regardless of whether or not it might be true. I understand that skinny people have just as many problems as fat people, although I highly doubt that they face the same degree of everyday prejudice that fat people do. The worst that will come out of my mouth these days to an overly thin friend will be along the lines of "You look like you've lost some weight. Is everything ok?"

By the same token, I am NOT advocating being fat. I am not advocating ANY type of weight or body type. For the love of God, is it that hard to just let people be healthy on their own terms?


Gah.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Indiana Jones)
So Sympatico received two angry phone calls from me. One last night, because I *still* hadn't received my damn power cord. I spoke with a supervisor, who very quickly got put on my Shit List. I have never, ever had anyone be as impolite to me over the phone (as a client, that is: as a customer service rep I've had plenty of rude customers). I was shocked, to say the least. He basically implied that Sympatico's incompetence was somehow my fault, that it was somehow my problem that no fewer than three people had misunderstood my problem and given me contradictory information.

He then proceeded to tell me that he couldn't, nay wouldn't, solve my problem. I remained polite, but got a little testy at that point, and insisted that, at the very least, I be credited for the two weeks' worth of internet that I hadn't had. He told me it wasn't his problem, that I'd have to speak to the billing department in the morning, and that it was up to me to find my own replacement power cord.

[insert swearing here]

I did not swear at the little man. However, I called the billing department this morning, and explained the situation to the nice girl who answered the phone. For one, she spoke French fluently, which was a step up from the people I'd had to deal with before.

She apologized profusely for the inconvenience and for all the contradictory information I had been given. She immediately credited my account, gave me the ticket number (which the rude supervisor *refused* to give me last night), as well as her full name and employee number, and offered to send me a new power cord within five business days. I refused the latter offer, since I was planning to go to FutureShop and get one myself today.

So I'm going to write a nice email to her supervisor, explaining the rudeness and incompetence of the others, and thanking the girl for her good service. She is the only one who delivered consistently good professional service, not to mentione basic courtesy. I wish to reinforce this among the customer service reps at Sympatico.

So I went out today and bought a new power cable. I don't know yet if I got the right universal adaptor, but we shall see. With any luck, I shall be connected once more come tonight. Wish me luck!
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Vengeance for the butt!)
It's SANDWICH, people!

S-A-N-D-W-I-C-H


There is no such thing as a "sammich." That is NOT a WORD!

Argh!

...

That is all. Thank you for your understanding and have a nice day.

ARGH!

Jan. 4th, 2007 05:02 pm
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Lightning)
I am going to have a moment of whining.

I HATE BEING CUT OFF!

It's not even withdrawal. It's that I'm trying to coordinate two important events and I can't. talk. to. ANYONE. while my computer won't work.

If I was home in the early evenings, I don't think this would be as much of an issue. With my current schedule, this is hellishly, stupidly complicated.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Woe. And darkness. And teh sad.)
I. give. right. the fuck. up.

*cries*


There seems to be some kind of major fucking law in the universe that states "Phnee's life shall never go smoothly. There must always be a source of stress of some kind."

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