Today is my blog’s 5th anniversary. No, I did not say “blogoversary”, a portmanteau that makes my left eye twitch.
I thought about writing a cheerful happy post as a shout-out to the milestone, but it’s Thursday, and I’m surly, and you all come here to listen to me snark, anyway.
So… drumroll please… SURLY THURSDAY, THE GROUCHENING.
In no particular order, we have:
My washing machine, which broke yesterday, and in a house with five people this is so very very bad. It’s likely a $300 fix, and the part needs to be ordered, so I’m without a washing machine until next week. It’s baseball season. Everything is dirty and covered in grass stains, sunscreen, and bug spray. Also, the fucking thing broke as I was starting to catch up on all the regular laundry that got missed over the weekend because I was too busy doing stomach virus laundry.
Which leads me to the stomach virus. Charlie was patient zero – his dad and brother were sick, and his mom insisted it was food poisoning. News flash, universe: it is almost never food poisoning. I have this theory about childhood illnesses, actually. Families with two working parents do miss a lot of work for their kids’ various contagious diseases. All daycares and most dayhomes have exclusion rules for communicable bugs, and so parents tell themselves that the vomiting is food poisoning, the goopy eyes are from a cold not pinkeye, the rash is dermatitis… then they bring their little petri dishes to daycare, and wham, they take out a dozen people. In the end, all five of us as well as Louis, Arthur, and Arthur’s parents all went down. Food poisoning, my ass.
Today I heard of Tove Lo for the first time, and now I need to bleach my brain. Apparently her song Talking Body is popular right now, and on the radio the lyric is if you love me right / we love for life / on and on and on which is actually kind of sweet, in a way. Then you find out that in the original version, that second “love” is replaced with “fuck” and oh, that’s a different tone altogether. I blame EL James.
And speaking of that wanker, she’s got another book coming out because let’s milk this hideous cash cow some more, lord knows she hasn’t got enough money yet. This time it’s the execrable 50 Shades story told from Christian Grey’s point of view. Essentially, we’re going to get 300 pages of an abuser mansplaining why everything he did to Ana Steele was totes OK, ya’ll, stop telling me I’m glorifying partner abuse.
It’s all part of the troubling misogyny that is either on the rise or finally getting dragged out into the light where it belongs. Witness Tim Hunt, the Nobel laureate who said this week that research labs should be sex-segregated because three things happen when women are in labs: you fall in love with them, they fall in love with you, and when you criticize them, they cry. Then when the entire scientific community jumped on his shriveled ass, he issued a “sorry you were offended” apology, which included the line “I was just trying to be honest, actually”.
It made me think about apologies, and how we are all so quick to offer totally insincere apologies as a band-aid for any and all hurts, slights, and insults. I think it starts in childhood, when well-meaning adults demand children apologize to each other. “You hit him? APOLOGIZE!” a scandalized parent says, and the kid whines “sor-RY” in That Tone, without actually considering how their actions have hurt another person. By the time those kids are Nobel laureates, athletes, politicians, or Duggars, they can spew out an “I’m sorry if I offended anyone” without even breaking a sweat.
My final grouch is about pre-packaged snack food marketed at children. I have grumbled about this before, I think, but it’s been a while, and lately it’s been a real issue with the dayhome kids so it bears repeating. On a daily basis, these kids have yogurt tubes, chocolate-dipped granola bars, mandarin orange pieces packed in syrup, sweetened applesauce, and those squeeze-pouches of pureed baby food (and as a reminder, my dayhome kids are aged 5, 3, and 2 – I should not be seeing baby food at all). There are several problems with this, in my humble opinion as a human person. 1) SO MUCH SUGAR HOLY SHIT. Ever read the nutritional information on a flavoured yogurt tube? Seven grams of sugar. Eighteen grams of sugar in one of those single-serving cups of mandarin oranges. Dammit, people, read labels. 2) SO MUCH GARBAGE. I do my very best to send my kids with litterless lunches, or very close to it. I have kids who come here and every single thing in their lunch comes in a single-serving non-recyclable plastic package. 3) Preschoolers and toddlers who are constantly fed pureed food where the primary flavour profile is “sweet” become the kids who won’t order anything in a restaurant except chicken fingers & fries. Parents who feed their kids bland processed junk as a default are creating picky, texture-sensitive children who will struggle to be adventurous eaters later in life.
I didn’t even grouch about baseball or how teachers are totally ineffectual at dealing with serious bullying, and those are really my biggest stress point right now. Guess those will have to wait until next week.