A Few Random Things That Piss Me Off

Yes, it's all about ME

I’ve decided that it’s “Get to know Dr. Pretzel Week” on the Dr. Pretzel blog.  I hope you enjoy it.

Today’s blog lacks any sort of philosophical depth.  I’m just here to rant.

I had a tough time figuring out what to write today.  So I decided to share a few opinions.  No links needed.  All from my brain (braaaaiiinzzzz… Okay, we’ll leave the zombie discussions for another time).

Anyhow, this is the post where you get to learn a little more about me. It might make you like me; it might make you realize that I’m not quite normal; it might make you question my sanity and suggest professional help.  What ever this post does, I hope you get a few laughs before you decide to avoid Dr. Pretzel entirely (why the hell am I referring to myself in the third person?).

Right.  Moving on now.

Tidbit #1.  I don’t like weddings. Before you send me an invite, remember this

Rawr! Raging Selfishness!

(unless I’m your sister or best friend, because I might make an exception…but I will still be judgmental).

Now you might think that this could have something to do with the fact that I’ve never had one and am secretly jealous.  You’re wrong.  I’ve considered that idea already and ruled it out.  Ha!

I married The Starter Husband (a.k.a., my ex) in a courthouse, but if I’d married him in a beautiful garden surrounded by amazing flowers and butterflies the relationship still would have ended the same way.  Being a single mother is not a good reason to get married.  Neither is fear.

So, I’ve thought about this a lot.  Say that I found “The Guy” and said yes (the “yes” is unlikely anyhow because marriage is another thing on my list that I don’t like or understand).   I’d sooner go on vacation or buy new furniture or just leave my money in savings before I blew it on a day spent with a handful of loved-ones and a shit-ton of people who are just there for the food and free drinks.  I mean, crap…if I’m going to spend over $100 on a dress, you can be damn sure I’m going to be able to wear it more than once.

Weddings are such a waste selfish waste.  On the off chance that I decide to spend the rest of my life with someone, I’ll throw a party after being with that person for ten or fifteen years, when we actually have something to celebrate.  Until then, don’t harass me about getting hitched.  Cohabiting for a year or two does not indicate that a man should have to buy me an overpriced rock and promise me his soul for eternity (wow, that sounds just as evil as I think it is!).

Fifty years of marriage...they deserve another party!

There are a tiny, tiny handful of exceptions.  Couples who have been together for 40 or 50 years, who tied the knot after knowing one another for five minutes, will always get a pass with me.  At this moment in time, there is just one young couple I can think of who makes the exception list.  K and M are the most perfectly suited couple ever.  I’ve known them both since high school.  They were high school sweethearts who married on the tenth anniversary of the day they met (sounds a lot like the ten-year celebration party plan, hmmm?).  Their lovely wedding was most appropriate and the exact opposite of the moronic extravaganzas of ego and selfishness I hate.  I’ll happily go to weddings like theirs.

K and M will know who they are upon reading this…and should know that I am green with envy of their happiness (can we all say awwwwww?).

Tidbit #2.  I also don’t like baby showers. Whenever I go to a baby shower (or a

Gap and Pottery Barn? How about Walmart or Target? Jeez!

wedding shower, or any other “gift giving event”), a thought surfaces:  Did a bunch of women get together and say “Hey, how can we make people feel obligated to give us free stuff?  Ooooh, we’ll send them invitations to a party along with information about a “registry” of crap we want!  The registry will make them feel obligated to purchase a gift, even if they can’t afford it!  And when they come, we’ll feed them awful hors d’oeuvres and play terribly tasteless and humiliating games!  Won’t it be such fun!?”

How about no.

Here’s a thought:  The economy really sucks right now.  People are unemployed and do not have enough money to buy food, let alone a gift for you and your fetus.  If you’d like to celebrate your impending bundle, invite friends over for a party/get-together/potluck, and break the news to them collectively.  Enjoy the excitement that ensues, and let them know that you won’t be doing a shower because it’s freaking selfish.  Later on, if they feel compelled to send you a gift out of the kindness of their heart it will be up to them…no pressure.  It would be a real gift because it’s not a requirement to avoid guilt.

Kid bribes that will fall apart or end up in the trash

Tidbit #3.  Corporate and PTO-Run School Fundraisers. Oh, how I hate them.  Every school year, several times a year, my kids come home with these packets. In the packet are catalogs of overpriced crap that the school wants my kid to sell to make the school some extra cash.

School fundraisers are a racket, pure and simple.  A company approaches the school with a program which guilts children into selling a product by using a “prize chart.”  The school gets a small percentage of the sales, and the fund-raising company pockets the rest.  Some company is using MY child to make money during school hours when they ought to be learning.

I can’t begin to describe the level of disgust I feel for school fundraisers and the disregard these companies have for the fact that my child is at school to learn, not make money.  I pay property taxes, income taxes and sales taxes.  I am aware that the economy sucks, but perhaps it’s time to start properly allocating and prioritizing funds.  We don’t need new sidewalks or traffic circles when our schools don’t have enough money to buy books.

I do not understand how they can think this is a good idea.  For goodness’ sake, if they want money, instead of sending this crap home the school should just ask us to write a check.  The school would get ALL the money, and I wouldn’t have to buy any worthless junk.

I think that is is perfectly disgusting to support a company which is taking advantage of my

These companies tell the kids that they'll get a ride in a limo and a pizza party if EVERYONE sells a certain number in a class. What if a child's family is poor? Will they be ostracized?

child by using peer pressure, guilt, prizes, and parties.  This is the stuff I am trying to teach my child to avoid and ignore…yet schools are willingly thrusting it upon them in order to make money.  It needs to stop.

So, I’ve told you some things that really tick me off.  Perhaps next time we’ll talk about what makes me happy.

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About DrPretzel

Student of philosophy and medicine, mother of 2 Creatures of Mass Destruction (a.k.a. "boys"), Soldier, sister, daughter, friend, cat person, social inept, INTJ, blah, blah, blah...are you even reading this?
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23 Responses to A Few Random Things That Piss Me Off

  1. Brian Gillum says:

    Being trainable doesn’t mean YOU have to invest more time into the venture…it means that I can learn from my mistakes and hopefully NOT repeat them in the quest to add to the happiness of someone special to me.

    But as I noted, unless we are both still free in 5 more years, while distance is never an issue for me, it’s not usually conducive to relationships of the more intimate (note that intimate and sexual while usually coexistent are not one and the same, and I said intimate). Alack and alas, several chapters of my life…SIGH!

  2. Charisse says:

    I found several interesting lists, this seemed the most complete:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rights_and_responsibilities_of_marriages_in_the_United_States

    Stepparent rights, citizenship, social security benefits, educational loans…

    Most of the rights transferred through marriage have to do with property and money. But that makes sense. The way you deal with property and money is the biggest thing that changes when you choose to share your life with someone. That and kids. Whether or not all of these could be adjusted for people who cohabit, I don’t know. It would make sense, though, that when you’ve chosen to share your life with someone for a good amount of time, that there be maybe just ONE piece of paperwork that lets you adjust all these things at once? And then if you decide not to share anymore… another piece of paperwork to undo all or most of it?

    😉

    • drpretzel says:

      Perhaps, but it seems that the whole things is just about fulfilling the expectations of others.

      It looks like everything on that list is something which could be obtained independent of marriage. I guess I see marriage as a coming-together of spirits which does not require a contract.

      While I might consider marriage upon the unlikely event that I find someone who wants to put up with my shit for life, and they’ve already put up with my shit for a significant amount of time, the whole wedding thing is still a no-go for me.

      I understand why some folks want it, but barring some amazing change of circumstance, I’m good with just sticking around because I choose to do so. The legal part is not really all that important to me as I’ve already got my affairs in order.

      • Brian Gillum says:

        Wish you weren’t so far away. I’d like to try putting up with your stuff. Of course while I am trainable I have shit that requires putting up with. I do cook And clean tho and not just hamburgers and one load of laundry regardless of whats in it.

      • drpretzel says:

        Awe, Bri…you’re too sweet!

        Of course one of my rules is that I refuse to train anyone!

  3. Brian Gillum says:

    I am OK with two and three.

    One is obviously your opinion and you are entitled to it. But while I can agree with your statements that the extravagance can be utterly ridiculous and celebration of a life commitment is better celebrated at later milestones, that making a commitment that has legal obligations and allows for specific benefits that don’t come with cohabitation is such a bad thing.

    Do people rush it? Yes. Is the fact that marriage is about love and not a means of property, status or sealing a deal such as it was oh so not long ago does make it seem more arbitration and fickle and subject to the vagaries of love (whatever that may be) a reason to not try? I know I didn’t get married so I could get divorced. But it did happen. For all of the heartache and pain I hope that someday I might marry again. But if the right womb comes along and the best I can get from her is cohabitation in exchange for sharing our lives together….I guess I can accept that so long as there are ways to ensure that this lady will not be denied being with me or I with her at certain times because we didn’t get a piece of paper from the government.

    • drpretzel says:

      My, My, Bri…

      I hope that you find just who will make you most happy. I understand and respect your view.

      I don’t necessarily agree that there should be any benefits (via tax breaks or anything else) for being married. Legal-wise, I can choose as a financial beneficiary whomever I like, so that’s not a good reason to me. I can put whomever I choose as “the decider” of any medical decisions on an Advanced Directive. I can leave my stuff to whomever I like in my will. What else is there? As long as those documents are written exactly as I’d like, which should happen regardless of marital status, I really don’t see any point to the legal marriage contract. What other specific benefits are there? How would this person be denied being with me?

      I personally think that just sticking it out together (really engaged with one another) over the long run is what really matters. Wanting to be with one another, while knowing that the other could leave at any moment if they so chose, makes it a conscious choice to work at the relationship and appreciate one another. You don’t “settle” or get to that point of “I’ve arrived and I don’t have to try anymore” like those in so many marriages do. Clearly you know as well as I that many marriages end in divorce, so the act of getting married is not what keeps a relationship cohesive, nor does that piece of paper stop one person from flipping the other the bird and going on their merry way.

      No, if I stick around it’s going to be because I chose to do so. Because I chose not to be complacent in a relationship, but to work and grow with another person in order to make them a better person. In so doing, I make myself better. My choice says a lot more about my being there than does being obligated by a legal and binding contract. Far more trust is involved, and far more awareness is required.

      All in my humble opinion, of course.

      • Brian Gillum says:

        In some respects I agree with you. The concept of marriage That many have is far too antiquated to meet the actual reality of today. Women are not property. Women are not any less or any more ( as a whole, obviously there are exceptions) intelligent than men in financial or estate matters and don’t “require” a man to inherit or will property.

        And like you I don’t think the paper from the state and/or the church (for those who need that validation) are any security to the long term commitment’s survival. But there are benefits and there are detriments to that legally binding contract. Can most of the issues be covered by the legal docs you mention sure. But there is that disease called a lawyer that needs to be involved more than is necessary in a personal relationship.

        I don’t know if I NEED to get married again to fully enjoy a long term ( hopefully life long) committed relationship, but because I actually enjoyed being married even if it sucked the last couple years I have no issue with doing it again. Now as for weddings…..I agreed with you. I wont say that the romantic in me doesn’t appreciate them, but the realist in me doesn’t care for the extravagance just as you do.

      • drpretzel says:

        “But there is that disease called a lawyer that needs to be involved more than is necessary in a personal relationship.”

        Hehe! Hilarious!

  4. drpretzel says:

    The toothbrush story is fabulous! I think it’s great that the girl told the truth and wish more people would!

    • Charisse says:

      lol me too. especially to my m-i-l! ha ha!

      And yeah, that photographer is great, he did my parent’s wedding too.
      Don’t worry, you’re awesome. That hard part is finding someone who can deal with that level of awesomeness AND deserves it. 😉

  5. Riley Carson says:

    Yes, yes, and YES! My God! I couldn’t agree more.

    I decided not to have a wedding because I wanted to just ahve my immediate family and NO ONE ELSE! We had dinner, we had beautiful photographs taken and that was it. It was low-key. It was fun. And we all had so much more fun without the pressure and the hurt on the bank account.

    I never understood baby showers… or… the other fundraisers for that matter.

    • drpretzel says:

      Exactly! And now you can move forward into your new life without a bunch of debt or a load or weird gifts you’ll never use. 🙂

  6. drpretzel says:

    I’m laughing…imagining Charisse stomping around like Godzilla in a dress….

    • Charisse says:

      😛 I didn’t stomp. lol
      I glared. and if the camera hadn’t been zoomed in on my face, only my mother would have known. 😛

  7. Charisse says:

    btw, one reason the video was so worth it -two groomsmen fainted! lol

  8. Charisse says:

    I am SO with you on #3. I’d much rather send a check. But I don’t, because I’m too broke to do either. I did buy a book at the school book fair -after I got home and double checked the price on Amazon. The price was the same and at the school got around 50% of the money I’d have spent for the book anyway.

    Weddings, I understand where you are coming from, the focus is often on the wrong stuff. I do not and will never regret mine, though. 🙂 I had hoped to have a 5 year party last year and wear the dress again, but the timing and cash flow didn’t time out well, so I’m putting it off for the 10 year, I suppose. But I will be wearing that dress again, it was beautiful! and I’m hoping my daughter or someone else will want to wear it in the future… or find a way to make use of it somehow. Out of all the money that was spent on our wedding, the best was the videographer. by FAR. It inspired me to do some videography as well, but the business didn’t take as well as I would have liked. Maybe in the future I will try again.
    I dont have any problems with weddings in themselves -or baby showers, their roots I think are far less evil than they seem now- but instead I dislike the push on people to get married and have babies. Isn’t 7billion people in this world enough? And for goodness sakes, it is not selfish to not get married or to get married and not have children! What is wrong with simply enjoying YOUR life? In fact, I think having children is often done for far more selfish reasons than anyone who doesn’t! But this is a completely separate discussion. 😉

    • drpretzel says:

      I’m pretty much against anything that guilts people into feeling obligated to spending money they don’t have on something someone else likely doesn’t really need.

      • Charisse says:

        yeah, me too.
        Ryan is similar, even as a kid he felt REALLY guilty if someone got him something he knew he wasn’t going to use.

        Which makes me think of a story I HAVE to share, now.

        Okay, so my mother-in-law has taken in a foreign exchange student from Thailand recently (she’s a secretary at a HS and the girls first ‘home’ wasn’t working out… long story)
        But anyway, they are going though their stockings christmas morning (with some other family members) and Lynn (the exchange student) pulls out a electric toothbrush my mother-in-law had given her.
        “I don’t want this.” She says bluntly.
        “What?” My mother-in-law replies in surprise.
        “I. Don’t. Want. This.” She says a bit louder, holding it out to be clear.
        “Umm… well, we’ll talk about it later, just move on.” My m-i-l responds.

        A bit later that evening she sits down with Lynn to explain (she had heard there was a similar incident at the first home over a bday gift),
        “You see, here… when you get a gift, even if you dislike it, you just politely say thank you, and deal with it later.”
        “Okay…” she says with a sigh and eye-roll (she is a teenager, after all.)
        “Now, why don’t you want this?” My m-i-l pulls out the brush. (now my m-i-l has had an electric tooth brush for as long as I can remember, and she has given us and our kids multiple brushes as well. She’s very into health and hygiene type stuff.)
        “Well, you see… in Thailand, these are not for people like me.” she starts to explain…
        “What do you mean?”
        “Well in Thailand, these are for people who…” she makes the brushing motion… “are too weak or tired to do this.”
        My m-i-l begins to blush… “I see, these in Thailand are for old people?”
        “Umm… yes. That’s right.”

        LOL Cracked me UP!
        And my m-i-l. I think she was slightly offended, she couldn’t get the girl to keep the brush, no matter how she explained how it was here. Apparently the brush kinda creeped the young girl out! lol Too funny…

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