oh word? phrases that i hate

 allow me to get a pass on using this nonsense phrase that i hate…
“it is what it is”
zooey unsure

beg your pardon?

i hate it.
i do.
i hate the pervasiveness of it into our culture.
what it is tattoo

indeed.

I hate the fake-zen role the sayer takes on as they say this thing that
makes no sense.
say,
“i’ve got no answer to the dire conclusion that we have come to so
am instead going to make noises with my face
and pretend it is riveting conversation.”
or
“i’ve got no way to actively fix the conclusion that we have come to
so i’m going to reference the fact that i’ve go no way to actively
fix it by not even actively making sense.”
and most of all, I hate the fact that it makes no sense.
 by definition…
a thing..
IS. what. it. IS.
popeye yam what i yam

indeed.

and of course,
what else could it be? as it is by definition impossible to be what it is not?
the fact that it is doing what it is supposed to
and being what it is supposed to be
shouldn’t even be remarkable. 
it is what it is?
thats like saying
“look at that orange over there being an orange”
orange

completely unremarkable

well,
…yeah. of course.

it’s not pithy or even glib or trite.

it’s collective nonsense turned into slang.
(ok, when isn’t collective nonsense not turned into a thing? i’m looking at YOU-
every meme ever.)

condescending wonka

self-depreciating humor! meta!

why is it even a phrase?
it would be something to remark upon if say,
something is what is wasn’t or shouldn’t be.
for example:
“look at that purple orange.”
purple orange

slightly more remarkable.

or
“look at that orange doing graffiti.”
orange head graffiti

you should see his finger tattoos.

that is all, really.

don’t say it around me.
because i’ll hit you.
and when you complain

then i’ll say it.

do over: I only wore the ugly shoes because you’re short

in my world, there are about three general responses i could have when i run into an Ex in the street.

1.Point and laugh.

2.Vomit.

3.Run.

(sometimes a combo.)

i imagine it is awkward under even the best of circumstances. not that i can really imagine what the best circumstances would be. perhaps:

1. You run into your Ex on the way into the book signing for your best selling novel.

hillary duff booksigning

“oh. hello…who is this made out to? jerkface? how do you spell that?”

2. You run into your Ex in the crowd at the ribbon cutting ceremony your hometown has just put on commemorating the library and park erected in your honor.
giant scissor

“oh. hello. could you hold my giant scissor?”

3.You run into your Ex at the airport baggage claim returning from your honeymoon in the Maldives with your new wife who is a rockstar-slash-underwear model-slash-biochemist. 
hot chemist

“that guy? i bet he knows nothing about the practical importance of a phenomenological theory of particles.” or “oh”

or

4.You run into your Ex in a late model pickup truck or SUV with stolen plates… reverse, and do it again. Then drive off into the night, cackling, vengeance yours.

truck

“boom”

I’m kidding.

Sorta.

but there’s always that one person from your past where the relationship went sour like milk and you wouldn’t even want to run into them in the street without a Nobel Peace Prize in one hand and a can of ‘told-ya-so’ in the other and yet you still effing do.  i know a guy like that.

in the first years and a half since that break-up i ran into that guy five times.
five fingers

FIVE.

(one of the run-ins was a semi-drunken late night exchange in front of a 24-hour McDonald’s walk-up window.  his friend threw a chicken mcnugget at my friend’s head. nothing good can come from french fries at 2am. nothing.)

my mother still occasionally asks
“whatever happened to that guy? he had such nice teeth!”
right. you know who else have perfect teeth, ma?
tom

sociopaths.

at first, i’d practice all the scathing remarks and perfectly arched eyebrows that would speak volumes, specifically “eat shit volumes 1 and 2″– that is, just in case i’m not walking with my rhodes scholar super hot french and cameroonian life partner because she’s off leading a pilates retreat in mexico that week.
or, alternately, pretend i am method acting for the lead in a movie about a blind woman by specifically not seeing him.
(constantly wearing sunglasses aids this method considerably)
or, channel my inner ancient ninja and disappear into a rice paddy or the crowd of hustling rush hour commuters.
but, none of these are the right thing to do. as i’ve said – with me as well as with jennifer aniston— the best response may be to ‘just keep livin’, but the best revenge is to
live well.
 
so even if my future life partner IS really a rockstar and a master yoga instructor teaching a course in mexico… but isn’t here with me at the moment of concern because i don’t actually know her yet– i STILL should act as tho’ oprah is about to endorse my book on the OWN network by next week. because without the drama from that guy in my life i AM living better than well.
double rainbow
ok, ok, ok. all of that best inner life, fully transcendant stuff is all well and good.
but if i WAS to run into that guy again, there’d be ONE snarky thing i would definitely have to say:
“I only wore the ugly shoes because you’re short”
ugly sneakers
that would probably settle that.

a mini conversation: flying time.

flying clock

“it’s a bird! it’s a plane! no! it’s the rest of your life!”

me: …that means its two days before mercury retrograde is over

she:  mercury is forever in retrograde. it seems like there are only 10 days in the year when it’s NOT in retro and they have the nerve to be scattered throughout the calendar.
I blame my life on Mercury retrograding.
Spilled coffee? Mercury retrograding.
Getting a divorce? Mercury retrograding.
National disasters? Mercury retrograding.
me:  basically! every time you turn around its like:
“dont make any plans!”

she: why do the days drag so? like this whole week?

me: right now my day is hovering.

im eating

im waiting

and im thinking

i could do x y z with my day

OR i could let it fall to the wayside

looking up after reading just one more gossip blog entry and somehow that will be the rest of my life.

she: chile

me: and then oh shit its 5pm?
so that means im exhausted from sitting in this chair all day and have burned off my breakfast that i ate 4 hours ago by furioiusly scrolling thru all my bookmarked tumblr pages?

she:  lol

me: how is this my life?

she: Mercury retrograding.

me: foolish question

they’re real and…

last night,
a fairly regular occurrence, well, occurred.

i was walking down the street, minding my own business.
neither looking left or right in particular, but making eye contact with people as i am wont to do because i am admittedly a teeny-tiny bit of a townie (no shade) and i feel like it is good for neighborhood morale if everyone smiles like the non-manhattan-ites we actually are.
(regardless of how many of us would rather be manhattan-ites, but thats another story)

99% of the time – people smile back, and if i we know each other they say hello.

80% of the time they say hello even if we are total strangers and they get the “good neighbor” award for the day.

mr. rodgers

hello, neighbor.

ok,

less frequently they will think i am my sister. or think they know me from some event that happened in the early 90s by in which case again they think i am my sister. i looked like THIS in the early 90s.  it wasn’t me.  i promise.
i’m sorry anyway.

and oftentimes, more often than even i suspect it would happen… i get this.

friendly neighbor:  miss! miss! hello, miss!

me: hello there.

friendly neighbor: can i… can i ask you something?

me: uhm… ok

(this is usually the part where i look for the clipboard where the friendly neighbor would like me to sign something for the Human Rights Campaign)

(it’s not the Human Rights Campaign)

friendly neighbor: is that your real hair?

seriously?

SERIOUSLY?

is this my real hair? is that your real question? you stopped me from a half a block away to come charging at me out of breath to ask me if THE HAIR SITTING  ON THE TOP OF MY HEAD WAS GROWING FROM MY SCALP???

i’ve encountered many, many version of interaction that run from semi-harmless and inquisitive:

“is that your real hair?” “how do you get your hair to do that?” “wow!”

(no, i don’t really think my hair is worth a full-on “WOW” but it happens, and honestly its flattering, i admit it. i do this shit myself. i’ll take an accolade or two.)

but on the flip side, it can also be a beacon for crazy/rudeness:

“what IS that?”
(it’s hair, you idiot. the great tell to figure it out is the fact that its growing out of my head.)

“can you wash your hair like that?”
(why don’t you try to smell me and then find out what happens.)

“is that fabric?”
(you’re an idiot. go swallow something sharp.)

sometimes, this type of exchange is fun and i have a mini lesson on race relations with a stranger, to boot! sometimes i hear about someones jewish or puerto rican friend who also has “super curly” hair but how their hair doesn’t do “THAT” (hardy-har-har). sometimes i have to swat a reaching hand (only once). sometimes i smile awkwardly and move away slowly.

and sometimes, like last night. it annoys me.

i mean, i get it. i truly, truly do. i’ve walked around with some version of  THAT on my head since the dawn of my creation – except for some ill-conceived idea to try to make THAT aka my hair do the opposite, which did not end well.

wild wild hair book

i love this bookcover. not the idea. just the bookcover

very ill-conceived.

anyway, i know that sometimes if i’m in certain places or if  my hair is dyed certain colors certain people will consider THAT aka my hair a spectacle. this one time…
(wait for it) at art camp… in ROME.
i was followed around a department store by two clerks and four shopping women… no, not to see if i was stealing, but because they were taking turns reaching out to try to touch my hair and chickening out and trying again.

kids, the way to say “NO” in italian is “NO”.

anyway, i get it. people are going to stop, stare, look, point, ask, touch (get swatted), take photos unasked (seriously this happend) and generally be inquisitive. i also have a piece of metal thru the center of my face. not unlike this:

janet jackson septum

sorry, mom.

and sometimes…. sometimes my hair is the same color as the above, too.

trust me. i GET it.

but sometimes… sometimes the exchange goes like this:

friendly neighbor: is that you’re real hair?

me: (blank face) …yes. it’s mine.

friendly neighbor: …oh… well it’s GORGEOUS!

THAT
THAT is what makes me sick!

does it matter? really? really? does it matter if its mine by virtue of purchase or by genetics? does it make it any less “gorgeous”?

what if i had said “no, its someone else’s?”

well, if i had said that they probably wouldn’t have understood the joke ’til i was well on my way -if ever -as they are the type of person who chases  a stranger down on the street to ask if they are wearing a hairpiece. it is always as if they are tempering their compliment  on the basis of it being ‘real’ or ‘fake’. and usually they chide me if my  response is incredulous because they are trying to “give me a compliment”

should i ask – “is it real what? obviously its real you can see that it exists.”

i’ve tried asking if it matters if it is real or fake if it is visibly “gorgeous”, and usually it devolves into a “conversation” about how:

“black-women-don’t-ever-have-nice-REAL-hair”

or “black-women-always-got-weaves” or

“black-women-always-be-so-uptight-about-random-strangers-asking-them-personal-questions-about-their-bodies-in-the-street”

or somesuch.

and most times, sadly, i dont give this asshole a dressing down. i just say “yes” and then grit my teeth and move on to write a blog post.

but always, always, i want to say this:

and then i wonder if they are smart enough to get the humor on seinfield.
was that rude?
they started it.

kinky and curly?…well, knot today.

woman with natural hair making a face

hmph.

From Dr.Shonuffs feel it to believe it formula to Grandma Fanny’s KitchenAid to Mystical Magical Exotic Amazon Oil to regular old Dep and do it there’s a shit-ton of natural hair products, supplies remedies, regimens, routines and hairules for keeping hair that is in its natural condition in nice condition.

Shit tons of it. Most of it well documented. Video logged, scientifually broken down by kitchen-titians and aesticitians and supermarket-scalp-scientists.  But the plethora of this information doesn’t make it any easier to get thru than a thin toothed comb through 4B hair.

wild, wild hair book cover

(btw, don't ever do that)

my hair is HOUNGRAY.

me, as a person- i am alway hungry. ALWAYS.

and the only living thing i have ever come across that is hungrier than me – is my hair. i look at the dainty little jars of product that the natural hair care blogs are touting as the next best sliced bread and no split ends type thing and i can literally hear my hair laughing at that bottle. cackling wicked witch of the west style.

feed me, seymour

"i SAID... FEEEED ME"

“don’t make me laugh. that’s an appetizer” my hair says to me.  for $68 bucks a pop? i most certainly will not. (yes. i talk to my hair)

thimble

Now in FAMILY SIZE!

maybe if i melt down the plastic jar, too there will be enough to go around. but i doubt it.

so then what?

i have a bathroom cabinet purged of all sulfates and mineral oils and more hair ‘products’ from the WholeFoods than from SallyBeauty, and it just.. keeps… going…  both the food/hair products in my bathroom and increasing volume-to- hunger ratio of my hair.

i know. i know. i’m lucky.

on the millions of hairblogs that i have in my bookmarks folder one of the most asked and debated questions is how to achieve exactly that. How to Retain Length? (and then alternately: Why Do We WANT to Retain Length?) most of the time i want to pass out half way through trying a new style (or rebraiding, or washing, or the ever infrequent detangling).  and because of it i’m prone to just doing the most simple thing as possible  to it and keep it moving.

woman with paper bag on her head

"ready!"

 

between the mixing of my own home brew and the braiding/twisting/washing/detangling of the back of my own head i imagine its about the same work out that i would get carrying home enough of the popular store brand products to actually cover my head.

 

i still don’t really know what is the next step for my hair is. but at least i’ll never have to buy a shakeweight

shakeweight