Honest Review: My Ex-Boyfriend

IMG_0693I don’t really do product reviews on this blog, but it seems like everybody else does, which makes me feel like I’m missing out.  So I’m starting a new feature:  LBG’s Honest Reviews.  I promise that, whatever I’m reviewing, I will give you my completely unbiased opinion, no matter how many people try to stop me.  I will also make sure I thoroughly try out what I’m reviewing, so I can tell you all about it and you’ll be able to trust my conclusions, or at least understand them.  With that in mind, I thought I would make my first review about something I’ve examined from every angle, something I’ve used multiple times and in multiple ways, something I can truly say I gave my all:  my ex-boyfriend.

I realize that there are tons of different ex-boyfriend models out there, with newer ones coming on the market every year, and not every model will have the same features mine has.  For instance, not everyone will want the cries-when-drunk version, or the optional incipient beer gut, and of course the POS-car attachment can get pretty expensive.  But for those who are tired of constantly upgrading and are ready to make a commitment, here is my honest review of my ex-boyfriend.

Pros:

My ex-boyfriend comes with attractive packaging and initially presents as very appealing.  He has an excellent marketing campaign aimed at the slightly-inebriated thirty-something female:  his introductory approach emphasizes his southern charm, complete with cowboy boots, accent, and pulling the chair out for his date (which I have to admit was completely adorable) and obscures his less appealing qualities with copious amounts of alcohol.  It’s certainly an approach that’s been taken before, but the polish and professionalism that come with experience set my ex-boyfriend apart from the frat boy crowd.

IMG_0696Once you have my ex-boyfriend back in your home and you’ve taken off the wrapper, you’ll find that he comes with several notable upgrades from the standard model.  The one that’s proven the most popular is that he comes with his own guitar, which he can actually play quite well.  Upon further exploration, his repertoire is mainly limited to country music and mullet rock, but his acoustic version of Warrant’s classic “Cherry Pie” will surprise you with its wistful acknowledgment of the fragility of innocence.  Other pre-programmed features include:  the ability to perform eerily good imitations of all the main cast members of Game of Thrones; an extensive familiarity with every film in the Saw franchise; and, for some reason, clogging.

My ex-boyfriend also comes with a self-cleaning feature that is among the most elaborate currently on the market:  he will spend hours in the bathroom with a hand mirror, three different kinds of razors and special beard scissors trying to achieve the perfect beard-to-mustache ratio.  He will then spend three minutes cutting his hair.  He does require a special cleaning formula to keep his designer vintage-look jeans in pristine condition, but while the purchase and storage of a specialty cleaning product can be a nuisance, the actual cleaning requires no effort on your part as he does not trust anyone else to wash his denim, performing the entire task himself by hand.  Note to potential consumers:  please be ready to sacrifice all other use of your clothes drying rack for up to two days at a time, as my ex-boyfriend will begin to glitch if you suggest anything like, I don’t know, using the dryer.

Cons:

Those of you with slow internet connections may want to consider a different model,  as my ex-boyfriend takes up an astonishing amount of bandwidth while interfacing with such programs as Fortnite, Overwatch, and something involving Tom Clancy, who I honestly didn’t even realize did anything other than books.  While my ex-boyfriend is engaged with these programs, you will be unable to do anything requiring an internet connection, the ability to concentrate without someone shouting “SUCK IT!!!” every few minutes, or crossing the living room.  I recommend using the time during his pre-gaming ritual to download the kind of movie he refuses to watch with you (for instance:  anything starring Melissa McCarthy) and then retiring to the kitchen with your laptop and a pair of headphones.

IMG_0694Other things to consider when my ex-boyfriend sits down next to you in a bar include:  he often makes an extremely unpleasant buzzing sound while recharging at night.  It seems to come from his nasal area and resembles a kind of erratic, intermittent jack hammering, or possibly an exceptionally winded Darth Vader.  It can be temporarily alleviated with a flailing slap on his upper arm, but it will almost inevitably start up again within ten minutes.  There does not appear to be an update or patch in the works to remedy this minor but disproportionately annoying design flaw, probably because he will never actually admit it happens (he will also never admit that komodo dragons are real, no matter how many pictures, Wikipedia entries, or actual komodo dragons you show him, but he believes every word of The Da Vinci Code.  Make of that what you will).

In addition, although initially providing a very satisfying user experience, his performance quality degraded rapidly after a few months.  He would often fail to perform tasks he deemed “stupid” until the third or fourth request, and he developed a tendency to wipe his memory after he put something down, rendering him incapable of picking it back up and putting it away again.  It’s also worth noting that his attractive packaging conceals some frankly below-average hardware and that certain basic boyfriend functions become unavailable after the consumption of alcohol.  Also, it turns out he was sexting his ex-girlfriend the entire time we were together, so f*ck him.

Conclusions:

Overall, I’m afraid I can’t recommend my ex-boyfriend.  While his design is stylistically and aesthetically pleasing, his performance is unsatisfactory and his habit of going into sleep mode at unscheduled intervals can be extremely inconvenient.  His failure to deliver on his initial promises cannot be offset by claims of future upgrades involving “hitting the gym extra hard” and “just focusing on my baby girl and making sure she’s happy.”  In such a crowded market, we can and should demand more.  Especially if he’s still sexting his ex-girlfriend.  F*ck him.  Actually, you know what?  Don’t.

[Disclaimer:  I did not receive any payment or other compensation for this review, and while I did technically receive my ex-boyfriend for free, overall he ended up costing me quite a bit of money, especially since he never paid me back for that wedding present we were supposed to go halfsies on and that was for his friends who I barely knew anyway.  There really ought to be a “My ex stiffed me on a joint wedding present” deduction for tax returns.]

 

[All images are in the public domain courtesy of pixabay.com:  Image 1, Image 2, Image 3.]

Things I’m Afraid My Cats Will Someday Say To Me

IMG_0242I don’t talk to my cats, because I’m not a crazy cat lady.  Okay, I do talk to my cats, but I’m still not a crazy cat lady because they don’t answer me.  In English.  Yet.  I worry that someday they will, though, and here are some of the things I’m afraid they might say to me:

  1. Sometimes I just fake a purr so you’ll stop and I can get some sleep.
  2. I’m not sure the vet got everything down there, if you know what I mean.
  3. Not that I care what you’re wearing, because I’m a cat, and cats only have one outfit, and it’s awesome, but that shirt looks terrible on you.
  4. Why is it okay for you to feed us food you think smells disgusting?
  5. I can’t decide which of my favorite pee-spots to use.  Thoughts?
  6. We’re thinking of getting another human.
  7. So, I’ve memorized all your passwords and I just figured out how to type…
  8. Pass the remote, I want to watch that show about the Kardashians.
  9. Oh, hey, remember that time when you accidentally bashed my head on the doorknob and I couldn’t walk straight for, like, a week but you didn’t take me to the vet because it would mean you wouldn’t have beer money?  I do.
  10. Whatchu talkin bout, Willis?!

I’m a little surprised by number 8; I had them pegged as more “Say Yes To The Dress” types.  And if they ever do actually say number 10 I’ll die laughing, especially since in my head they sound like Zooey Deschanel.  I swear I’m not a crazy cat lady!  Maybe just crazy?

 

[Image in the public domain via pixabay.com]

Happy (Step)Father’s Day!

IMG_0050

The original step-dad

When I was picking out my Father’s Day cards, I found all sorts of possible combinations:  from daughter to father, from father to grandfather, from son-in-law to father-in-law, even one from the dog (I’m not kidding about that).  I did not, however, see any that were geared specifically to a stepdad.  It can be a little tricky, picking out the right card for a stepfather.  It makes me wonder if the card industry has decided that stepfathers aren’t really family, or maybe they’re just hoping someone will make up a separate Stepfather’s Day so they can cash in even more.  In case there’s any question, though, I’d like to lay out the case for why my stepdad is definitely family and should absolutely get a Father’s Day card.  I think that, if you read all of my reasons, you’ll end up agreeing—and if any of you work for card companies, maybe you’ll come up with a few card options for next year.

My Reasons For Why My Stepdad Is Family:

 1.  He went to my school concerts and plays

I took this for granted when I was growing up.  If I had a concert, everybody went.  That’s just how it was.  Now that I’m old enough to have to be fortunate enough to sit through go to children’s concerts myself, I understand just how much that meant, because those concerts are terrible  horrible GODAWFUL.  When I was a child, I thought my choir or band or whatever was usually pretty good, and comparatively speaking, we probably were.  But that’s like saying that sour milk smells comparatively better than rotten eggs.  It may be true, but that’s still really, really bad, and he sat through it over and over and over, knowing how dreadful it was going to be, because he wanted to support me.  That’s family.

2.  He helped me move

Not just once.  Not just when there were elevators.  Twice a summer every summer while I was in college, and about a half-dozen times since then, almost always when it was either sweltering or freezing cold with icy rain just to keep things fun.  It’s not just help moving furniture, either, it’s cleaning up the apartment (including bathrooms) and fixing leaks and figuring out why that light fixture isn’t working and I don’t even know what else, because he does it all while I’m off doing something easy, and he does it without being asked, which is good because I’d never have the nerve to ask him to do half the things he does.  That’s family.

3.  He puts up with my pets

I once had a seven-week gap between apartment leases, and I had to ask my mom and stepdad to take the cats in while I rented a room for those seven weeks.  I don’t know that I would ever describe my stepdad as a cat person.  I think he’s the kind of guy that, if he had to have pets, he would pick a dog, but he’d just as soon not have anything else to have to clean up after.  He took the cats in without a murmur, though, and let them have their catty way with his house.  I even heard stories of him letting “that brown cat” (my siamese) curl up on his head at night, but I’m not sure I can believe that one without pictures (oh please, Mom, tell me there are pictures!).  Subjecting his wall-to-wall carpeting to creatures whose favorite pastime is horking up most of the food they just ate was really testing the limits, but he did it because I needed him to and never once complained.  That’s family.

4.  I can’t stand the thought of disappointing him

I love my dad.  A lot of the things I do, I do because I want him to be proud of me.  A lot of the things that keep me up at night are things that would disappoint him.  Most of the time, these things motivate me to make good choices (saving for retirement! yay!).  Sometimes, not so much (don’t follow that dream! it’s not sensible!).  But that’s on me because those are my choices.  At the heart of every one of those things that my dad wants for me, and that I want to do to make him proud, is his wish for me to be happy.  That’s how you know that someone is family.  Underneath all of the fighting and nagging and drama and stress, you all truly want each other to be happy.  So I make good choices because I don’t want to disappoint my father, who wants me to be happy, or my stepfather, who wants the same thing.  I want to make them both proud because they’re both family.

I defy you to hear those reasons and then tell me that my stepdad doesn’t need a Father’s Day card.  As an adopted child with stepparents, I can tell you categorically that blood is neither the beginning nor the end of family.  Hallmark and the other greeting card companies just need to get with it.  Although, I did find a pretty good card for my stepdad this year.  On the front, it asked “Where would I be without you?”, and on the inside it said “Yes, but which prison?”  Really, I think that sums it all up, don’t you?

[All images are in the public domain via pixabay.com]

 

If These Intestinal Walls Could Talk

anatomy-160524_640Like with many people, my digestion has gotten a lot more talkative as I’ve gotten older.  We don’t usually have extensive discussions unless I go to the seafood buffet, but I’ve become fluent enough to carry on a basic conversation in Gurglish (that’s what I’ve named the language of my alimentary canal).  My small intestine, which is the chattiest of the bunch, likes to wait until I’m out in public and then tell me long stories about how much better things used to be in my gastrointestinal tract, with the other organs chiming in for emphasis.  Here’s how the major players in my digestive system tell me it used to be in their salad days:

Infancy

Mouth:  Milk!  Oh, boy!  This is the best thing ever!

Stomach:  Look, I’m not saying it’s not awesome, I’m just saying, we’ve had milk for the last two hundred and seventy three meals.  Couldn’t we change it up a little?  Maybe some juice, a little cereal?

Small Intestine:  We could try spitting up again.  I think we’re really getting the hang of it.

Large Intestine:  Wake me up when there’s something for me to do.

Childhood

Large Intestine:  What on earth is she eating this time?

Stomach:  I’ve stopped asking.

Mouth:  Yesterday she ate what was in the dog’s bowl, and I’m not sure all of it was food.

Small Intestine:  I’m debating throwing up just on principle.  Thoughts?

Stomach:  Let’s do it.

Adolescence

Mouth:  Pizza!

Stomach:  Pizza!

Small Intestine:  Pizza!

Large Intestine:  I hate you.

College years

Mouth:  Chug!  Chug!  Chug!  Chug!

Stomach:  I’s were not shurr no food izzz good idea, now— oh, escussse me.

Large Intestine:  How come no one ever invites me to the party?

Small Intestine:  Everybody stop everything, I think we’re gonna hurl!

Young Adulthood

Mouth:  Ow ow ow!  She didn’t let the coffee cool down again!

Stomach:  Now, that’s just careless.  And I see we’re having Pop-Tarts for breakfast again.  One of these days, Metabolism is going to go on strike.

Small Intestine:  Come on, guys!  We’re not that fussy little GI tract we used to be; we’re in our prime!  We can handle anything she throws at us!  Let’s get those digestive juices flowing!  Who’s with me?

Large Intestine:  Whatever.  I think it’s all crap.

Small Intestine:  That’s the spirit!

Now

Mouth:  Did that Number 7 meal seem off to anyone else?

Stomach:  Don’t ask me.  I’ve been empty for hours, and now suddenly I’m dodging half-chewed chunks of Big Mac and a side of fries I think she swallowed whole!

Large Intestine:  Were the fries at least hot?

Mouth:  Lukewarm.

Stomach:  At best.

Small Intestine:  That’s it!  HUMAN!  HEY!  YEAH, YOU!  LEARN TO CHEW!  AND TRY EATING SOMEWHERE WITHOUT A TAKOUT WINDOW, WHY DON’T YOU?  AND WHILE YOU’RE AT IT, EAT SOME FREAKING LETTUCE ONCE IN A WHILE!  IT’S CALLED “ROUGHAGE,” MORON!

Large Intestine:  Amen.

It’s a tough job, being an alimentary canal.  Twenty-somethings, learn from my example and start eating better before your small intestine starts yelling at you.  Oh, and my stomach was right:  Metabolism did go on strike.  Negotiations are ongoing.  That one may take a while.

Incidentally, major kudos to anyone who got my truly awful digestion joke in the beginning.  If you didn’t get it, honestly, don’t try.  It was really bad.

 

Image, as usual, in the public domain via pixabay.com.

Quiz! How Rude Is That?

The current presidential campaigns sometimes make me wonder if my standards of rudeness are overly strict.  For instance, when speaking of soldiers who have risked their lives to protect me and have ended up with post-traumatic stress disorder as a result, I generally don’t refer to them as weak.  I would consider that rude.  I would also consider it wildly inaccurate and monumentally stupid, but then, I’m not in politics.  If I were, I’d consider those to be selling points.

costume-15847_640All right, all right, I’ll stop with the political diatribe (even though I’m right).  What I really want to say is, when this many people strike me as being this rude, the devil’s advocate in me has begun to wonder if the one who’s really out of line is me.  Are manners now meaningless?  Are precepts of politeness simply passé?  Do I demand too much decorum and thus doom myself to deportmental disappointment?  Okay, okay, I’ll stop with the alliteration (and the made-up words).  All I ask in return is that you take this quiz designed by experts (me) to tell if I’m unduly uppity (sorry) or if people just really are that rude.

1. Public (Restroom) Interrogation

I walked into the ladies’ room of a department store the other day, and a woman who was at the sink looked up and started talking to me.  I made a polite reply and went into a stall, at which point the woman not only didn’t stop talking, but actually continued to talk to me the entire time I was in the stall.  As a matter of fact, she asked several questions.  I wasn’t sure if it would be worse to say nothing or to answer (I said nothing).  Seriously!  How rude was that?

A.  That’s pretty rude.  I mean, what if you had a bashful bladder?
B.  Cut her some slack.  Maybe her boundaries were off, but she was just trying to be friendly.
C.  Was it number one or number two?
D.  You mean how rude was it for you to say nothing?  Yep, that was pretty rude, all right.  And mean.  That poor lady.
E.  Depends.  Are you a dude?

2.  Fuming Amid the Fumes

I was stuck in traffic with a friend, and by traffic I mean a seemingly endless line of cars moving at an approximate rate of five feet per hour.  After about twenty minutes (or 1.67 feet), and I’m surprised it took that long, some complete asshole came barreling down the shoulder because, you see, he really needed to be somewhere.  Just as he was about to leave my field of vision, which admittedly isn’t hard to do, some other complete asshole let. him. back. in.  Come on!  How rude was that?

A.  OMG, I know, right?  Who does he think he is, passing on the shoulder like that?  Wait in traffic like everyone else; you’re not that important.
B.  OMG, I know, right?  Why did he let that car back in the lane?  It’s the most sacred rule of the road:  thou shalt not let the asshole back in.
C.  Did you know that more people think it’s always wrong to cut in line than think it’s always wrong to commit murder?  I wonder if that means that offing someone who cuts in line is justified….
D.  The only possible excuse:  was the first asshole on the way to the hospital with a woman who was in the process of giving birth?  (By the way, if that was the case then I’m really, really sorry for calling you an asshole.  Also, congratulations!)
E.  You’re just ticked because you know you couldn’t get away with it!

3.  I’m Sorry, I Don’t Have To Take This

I went up to a sales associate and started asking about a product.  In the middle of my question, the phone rang at her counter.  She held up a finger and answered the call, which judging from the content was neither pre-arranged nor from a supervisor, either of which I would have understood.  The entire time she was on the phone and I was standing there, she kept her finger raised.  Eventually, I raised a finger of my own (I actually did!  I’m so proud!) and walked away.  But really, I mean, I was standing right there.  How rude was that?

Survey of actual responses:

A.  Rude!  I get so mad when that happens to me.
B.  So rude!  Not to mention terrible customer service.
C.  So very rude!  And completely awesome on your part, by the way.
D.  Incredibly rude!  I’m amazed all you did was flip her off.
E.  So very, incredibly rude!  I’ll bet the person on the other end of the line was that asshole who passed everyone on the shoulder.

Results:

Mostly A’s, B’s, C’s, D’s, or E’s— I have no idea what it means if you got one letter more than the others.  That you think I’m overreacting?  That statistics are less meaningful than you think they are?  This really isn’t that kind of quiz.  If it makes you feel better, you can make up a reason that you got mostly B’s.  I’ll totally back you.

So leave a comment to tell me if my standards of seemliness are laughably lofty, or if these people were as devoid of propriety as a presidential candidate.  Am I being unreasonable or are they being rude?  Or is it a little (or a lot) of both?  You tell me!

[Image in public domain via pixabay.com]

The Ballad Of Yes

Give me your shouldn’ts, your wouldn’ts and won’ts,
I’m buying up couldn’ts and didn’ts and don’ts;
I’ll take each ‘if only’ and ‘what might have been’
and I’ll stack them in boxes and lock them all in.

I’ll load them all onto a boat on the sea
that’s got just enough room for the boxes and me,
I’ll sail through the waves and the currents and tide,
then I’ll throw every single box over the side.

I’ll toss every ‘not now,’ ‘maybe later,’ and ‘no,’
every ‘what were you thinking’ and ‘I told you so,’
I’ll watch as they sink through the brine and the foam,
then I’ll turn back to shore and I’ll set sail for home.

And I’ll sing to myself as I sail on the sea
a song about how good it is to be free,
about all the adventures waiting for me,
all the things I can do, all the things I can be.

– The Little Blind Girl

 

 

Positive Affirmations For People Who Like Steak

meditation-303260_640Positive affirmations used to annoy the crap out of me.  “Tomorrow is bringing good things my way”?  How do you know?  I want proof.  I want bar graphs and pie charts.  (I may just want pie; I’m a little hungry.)  I’ve finally learned the secret of positive affirmations, though— it’s totally okay to just make them up.  They’re like lullabies:  no one actually expects to get all the pretty little ponies.  You just go with it because it’s less likely to give you nightmares than singing about getting all the nasty little tax bills.

That said, I think positive affirmations represent a real missed opportunity.  If you’re just saying things that may or may not be true, why go in for all that vague, flowery stuff?   I deserve better affirmations than “Tomorrow is bringing good things my way.”  I deserve an affirmation like “Tomorrow is bringing a free Prada handbag my way,” or “Tomorrow is bringing the perfect ribeye steak, cooked rare and very lightly seasoned with salt and pepper, my way.”  Here’s a list of some of my positive affirmations:

  1.  I give myself permission to love pie.
  2. Today I will replace my anger and frustration with unicorns.
  3. The perfect outfit will come to me easily and effortlessly.
  4. I trust the universe to bring Ryan Gosling into my life at the right time.
  5. I am open and receptive to experiencing beer in multiple ways.
  6. Today I will keep my mind ON the lottery numbers that DO win, and OFF the lottery numbers that DON’T win.
  7. Good hair days happen to me all the time.
  8. I choose to surround myself with delicious cheeseburgers.
  9. I am in charge of my minions.  My minions are not in charge of me.
  10. Every day, in every way, my blog is getting better and better.

The truly genius part is that, if anyone criticizes my affirmations (like, for instance, my therapist), I can reply that I accept and love my affirmations the way they are and choose to believe in them despite the negative words of others.  Of course, if I keep this up, I’ll probably start craving cheeseburgers and pie at odd times, but I kind of already do, and now I’ve got a reason that no one’s allowed to argue with.  I don’t know why I’ve been resisting this all my life.  Positive affirmations are awesome!  I just gave myself permission to believe it.  That makes it true, right?

 

[Image in the public domain via pixabay.com]