Ten Things I Hate About Community Laundry

10. Somebody’s always using the machines. It doesn’t matter if you thought doing your laundry at 4am might “beat the rush”–somebody is ALWAYS using them.

9. I’m pretty sure my clothes are never really clean. I mean, with the number of bachelors living in the building whose mothers never explained how to measure detergent, it’s a safe bet that these things are all gunked up on the inside.

8. $1.50 to wash and $1.50 to dry? Jesus Christos I’m spending a lot of money on this!

7. When you actually do get a free washer, chances are somebody JUST started drying their clothes. Which means get ready to waste a half hour waiting for that to finish and another half hour waiting for Joe Blow to come get his stuff.

6. There are always those impatient people. Or nosy people. You know the ones I mean–who literally cannot wait five minutes after the washer/dryer has finished to drag your clothes out and put them on top. But you never can catch them in the act to call them out…

5. Then there’s you–patient you–who waits a half hour for somebody to get their crap, and when they haven’t come for it, you take it out of the washer/dryer and are just finishing throwing your stuff in when they waltz down to the laundry room and proceed to give you the stink eye because you moved their stuff.

4. The dryers are always littered with cat hair. And I’m allergic. Do the math and you wind up with clothes fresh out of the dryer, me covered in hives, and immensely pissed off. And itchy.

3. Why must somebody always leave a pair of underwear lurking around the laundry room? And nobody ever claims them. Unless you have that one weird guy who lives in the corner studio and [likely] collects stray women’s panties. Eep.

2. Meeting someone in the laundry room is always awkward. It’s as if everyone has agreed that washing and drying clothes is a deplorable chore, and we must not make eye contact when we’re doing it, lest we spontaneously combust from our immense shame.

1. NOBODY EVER CLEANS THE GODFORSAKEN LINT FILTER. WHY? WHY MUST I SCRAPE YOUR FUZZ EVERY TIME I WANT TO DRY MY CLOTHES SO AS TO NOT RISK A DRYER FIRE? WHY???

To the Douchebag Below Me.

Dear Douche-From-Downstairs,

It’s me, your upstairs neighbor. That mousy girl with the short haircut that you only see scuttling in and out of the building when it’s dark outside (be that early in the morning or late at night). Yes, hello. I’m sure you don’t remember my face because you only see me after you’ve smoked two doobs with your room mate, but never fear. Yes, I live upstairs.

We really need to talk about your bass problem. Bass problem. Yeah, your thumping bass problem. You see, it’s really starting to be a drag. You’re really, what do they call it, cramping my style. I think the new phrase would be “you’re fucking up my swag.” Or something.

I get that you’re cool and nineteen and living on your own for the first time, but do you really want to risk losing your hearing by blasting bass for 14 hours a day? We can hear the bass when you’re playing Coldplay, for crying out loud.

 

So consider this a friendly but firm request to KNOCK IT OFF. If I have to try to sleep/eat/watch tv/read/exist through another minute of your constant buzzing–pun intended, my friend–I’m either going to tear your eyeballs out of your face or call the fuzz, depending on how much energy I have after trying to function above and around your unending bass assault.

 

Sincerely,

 

Your [Angry] Upstairs Neighbor

Don’t Sniff Me, Bro!

No, really, please don’t sniff me.

Apparently, I smell amazing.  I don’t wear perfume, but I do wash myself and put on deodorant every single morning.  I even go so far as to buy shampoo and conditioner that smells great.  I buy soap that smells like flowers.  I even like how my acne-reducing face lotion smells.  So, I guess…  You’re welcome, world!

While I am thrilled that I smell so entrancingly amazing, I am not so thrilled that I was sniffed today.  That’s right, a man made creepy eye contact with me as he approached me in the copy room, then as I tried to move away from the fax machine, he paused, looked me up and down, then sniffed me.  Loudly.

Needless to say, it was friggin’ creepy.  I walked into the copy room feeling safe, I walked out of the copy room feeling as if I had been violated – like someone had stuck their face in my personal space and taken a big ass sniff right in my face.  

Why did you sniff me?  Why did you look at me like that?  Why would you want to smell a stranger?  Please don’t eat me!

All the social cues I have learned, unlearned, and re-learned later have taught me that smelling people is a little weird.  You don’t sniff your waiter, your coworkers, your accountant, your professor, etc. because it is a violation of personal space, and it makes you seem like a serial killer.  When this strange-looking stranger smelled me, I felt sure that he was planning to either murder me or sex me up; I’m still not sure what he chose.

This also just felt inappropriate for work.  You shouldn’t be making your coworkers uncomfortable; you should just send your faxes and make your copies without dramatics.  It made me feel like we were dogs, meeting each other for the first time on a public trail.  “Sniff!  Sniff!  Your butt smells new!  Yay!  I’m a dog!”  I am not a dog.  He might have been, though. Ugh!

Please, bro, don’t sniff me.

Flirting Etiquette: Hospitals

Upon reading this title, I’m sure you thought to yourself, “Flirting in a hospital?  That seems normal and productive.  If I was in a working hospital, I would totally enjoy, and not at all be annoyed by someone hitting on me.”  This reaction means you’ve probably watched “Grey’s Anatomy,” or “ER,” which show how great work romances are.  It never gets complicated, and it will definitely improve your job performance. Right?  It would never distract you from saving someone’s life, or make you seem unprofessional.

Now, what if I add the fun element of a non-professional flirting environment?  As in, what if a non-employee and an employee were to flirt?  Remember when Izzie loved Denny?  It’s like that.

BUT IT’S NOT.  Real life is not “Grey’s Anatomy.”  If that was true, every doctor (except for one) would be super hot, and having sex all the time.  Every closet is a sex dungeon on that show.  Unacceptable.

If I’m in a frigging hospital, and I don’t work there (as evidenced by the lack of badge), I’m probably not having the best day.  If it’s 5:00 AM, and I’m sitting alone drinking black coffee and rubbing my eyes, I’m not feeling sexy.  No sexy.  No thank you.  Ever heard the phrase, “Timing is everything?”  Yeah, didn’t think so.

People in the hospital cafeteria without ID badges, without scrubs, or other official looking garb are not employees, and thus are patrons of your employer: the mighty hospital.  The tired, unwashed masses of people nervously waiting for their pagers to buzz with news of their relatives’ well-being are not interested in finding love – not right now.

Also, unless you feel something sudden and special, you should know better than to drop old lines on tired ladies.  Are you stupid, or just lazy?  Do you not get this?  What’s the f’ing deal?

I’m here because someone I love is having surgery.  Dangerous, big-fucking-deal surgery.  So maybe you should reevaluate your tired-ass lines, your baggy pants, your stupid smirk, your crooked hat, your hamburger breath, and your 5:00AM shadow, and get all of that the hell out of my face.  Now-ish, please.

Seriously, I’m in a fucking hospital.  Get away dumb ass.

Have you no shame?

 

Please Don’t Ask Me About Jesus

It happens at least once every year. Somebody asks me something about Jesus.

Have you accepted the LORD Jesus Christ as your personal savior?

Can I pray for/with you?

Do you believe in God?

Do you call yourself a Christian?

These are complicated questions. And they’re really personal questions. Sometimes they are asked of me antagonistically, and, like most other people, I resent those kinds of interactions. More often than not, however, I think they’re asked in order to get me to “come home” to God. Or something.

I think I hate these kinds of questions mostly because I don’t have an easy answer for them. And although I happen to think that that’s just fine, the person/people asking never seem to think it is.

Take today, for example. I was approached by a young blonde woman and her two friends. “Hi!” she said, cheerily. I hesitated. I was in my university’s student union and had already been approached by a guy selling candy bars for some club or camp and a girl who was looking for her backpack she claimed she’d left at the table where I was sitting (and I’m pretty sure she thought I nabbed it). I just didn’t want to deal with anyone; I was busy getting work done.

“Hello.”

“My name’s Heather!” she stuck out her hand, and also introduced her two friends, an Asian girl about my height, and a slightly shorter brunette. I shook her hand. I was still hesitating somewhat. What did they want? I didn’t want to donate to something. I don’t make enough as a grad student teaching assistant to afford to donate to anything right now except the “keep Kate sheltered and fed fund.” “What’s your name?” she prompted.

“I’m Kate,” I answered. “Are you…” I paused and scanned their faces, “advertising for something?”

“Well, actually,” said the blonde, “we’re just telling people about our Bible reading club…”

That was when she lost me. I hear “bible,” “Jesus,” “God,” or “Christian,” and I immediately start panicking and looking for a way to get away from whoever has just begun talking to me. It’s nothing personal; it’s just that every religious person who has ever approached me has tried their darndest (and I mean their DARNDEST) to get me to declare my unabashed love for the big JC, or something. I’m never disrespectful, but I’m firm. I just don’t feel it’s necessary to share my own religious insecurities and ponderings with complete strangers, to be perfectly blunt.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my religious identity and for a long time. I was raised Catholic by a mother who converted when I was five and an Episcopalian-turned-atheist/agnostic father. I’m now dating a Jew, and we’ve talked about conversion. I don’t know exactly what possessed me to stop the blonde midsentence with the words, “Oh, I’m Jewish,” but I did it.

Now the accuracy or inaccuracy of that statement is up for grabs. However, I’m headed to temple tomorrow morning, so I think that at least lends some veracity to it. At any rate, it wasn’t anything these girls had said to me up until that point that made or makes me angry. It’s what they followed my statement with.

“Oh, hereditary or practicing?” asked the Asian girl. My brain scrambled. “Both,” I lied. Only about the first half. But really, what kind of question is that? It seems a little personal for a stranger to be asking me what ethnicity and religion, simultaneously, I lay a claim to. What right does she have to even ask? She should have left it at whatever I said and moved on to greener pastures.

But then came the real kicker. “Well, thanks for telling us the truth! Have a nice day!” The blonde was bubbly as ever. I wished them good luck and turned back to my work. It didn’t dawn on me until a few minutes had passed that she was implying I was a liar. So maybe I kind of was. No one I’m blood related to professes Judaism. But I am actively thinking about conversion and I am going to temple tomorrow. So maybe it’s a trade off. Besides, the question caught me utterly off-guard.

BUT STILL. How dare you passively-aggressively imply that I’m a liar?

This isn’t the worst interaction I’ve had with evangelicals. Not even close (one time I ran into a guy who literally would not take no for an answer and followed me down the block. Then he wanted to add me on Facebook. I gave him a fake name: Kate Johnson. He had the audacity to ask whether I was telling him the truth.)

Christians who are forward about their faith don’t have some sort of monopoly on truth-telling. Why imply that everything I say is a lie? And furthermore, even if it is, did it ever occur to y’all to quit asking me incredibly personal questions? Yeah. That’s what I thought.

SOPA / PIPA

As if you haven’t heard about this (but in case you didn’t)–go and sign the Google petition to stop SOPA / PIPA, the bills that are about to go to a vote in Congress that will enable the federal government to censor the internet.

Sign Google’s Petition Against SOPA / PIPA

And while you’re at it, visit Wikipedia’s blackout page to get easy access to your representatives’ contact information. Send them a quick email or a tweet!

Contact Your Representatives

Today’s rant: trying to censor the internet is stupid. And it makes us mad. We’re willing to bet it makes you mad, too.

But at least there’s something we can do about it!

I can hear you masticating.

I hate loud masticators. And people who generally chew with their mouths open. But if there’s one place you ought to really watch your mouth, it’s the library (enjoy that pun). Where I can hear nothing BUT your smacking and chewing when we’re in a quiet room and you’re sitting at the same damn table as me. Good lord! Yes, jerkface, I’m giving you the stink eye right now because I’m sure even everyone on the other side of the room can hear you chew!

There’s something especially gross about hearing someone chew their food. In fact, messy eaters are very similar. I just don’t want to see or hear your eating process. There’s nothing attractive about that. It is, in fact, revolting. It’s just something I don’t want to share with you.

Keep your cookies to yourself.

10 Things I Hate About Getting My Car Fixed

  1. The mechanic won’t explain anything unless I demand it over and over again.  Oh, you mean there is something else wrong that you didn’t have time to fix?  Why wouldn’t you tell me that?  That will make you more money!
  2. I will never understand the bill… because it’s illegible.
  3. I will never understand the mechanic… because he won’t actually open his mouth.
  4. I will never understand why it’s still shaking.  Why?
  5. I’m not always sure if they actually fixed everything.
  6. I can sense them judging me on my bumper stickers.  Am I a gay, democratic, hippy-dippy, anti-war, pro-choice, freedom of religion, republican bashing immigrant?  Maybe.  Maybe I’m just a super-liberal loud-mouth.  Don’t worry about that, just fix it.
  7. Because I am a woman (shocking, I know), I have to be a little suspicious of everything the mechanic say, do, and claim.  It’s exhausting.
  8. When will it be done?  Well, can I pick it up today?  Well, I have to find a ride, so I can get there.  Well, ’cause you have my car…  I can’t drive myself.
  9. My car is so, so, so dirty.  I don’t want them to see it.
  10. The thing I most dislike?  MY CAR KEEPS BREAKING!  It’s annoying and expensive.

“Ethnic”

I got an email from a clothing company in my inbox the other day, and upon my perusal of said email, saw the following:

What the hell does “ethnic-embroidered” mean, and why is it a compound word? Why is the term “ethnic,” which is vague and non-specific (but is basically code for any “non-Western” aesthetic), applied to clothes, art, etc.? Especially when that clothing and/or art is mass-manufactured and is anything but “ethnic,” as in being a product of a specific community of people that share ancestry, culture, language, etc.? Why is it okay to use it as a blanket term for brightly colored, zig-zag looking elements? There are plenty of terms to describe a bag like the one above. Zig-zag bag. Geometric bag. Red and black bag. What about just “embroidered handbag”? I just don’t understand the loose use of ethnic to describe something that has an aesthetic that is not at once apparently Western or modern. By calling it ethnic, it seems to mark it as othered, abnormal, and as such, sets up a hierarchy that places more value on a western, modern aesthetic. Yeah?