Today, in the United States, we observe Festivus, the fake winter holiday of choice for many of my nonreligious, childless peers. Though I’ve never gone in for feats of strength (because what a farce that would be), I do think the traditional airing of grievances is worthy of consideration.
I occasionally write about terrible things here, but I try to limit them to the truly important, not the merely annoying (unless we are talking about grammar). But I’ve been thinking a lot lately about emotional overload — how so many little things can accumulate in a person’s brain until an explosion becomes inevitable. I’m not big into whining, which may be part of the problem. I am, however, somebody whom others often whine to, which also seems like a contributing factor.
Last night, my awesome former intern called me up from Los Angeles. I hadn’t spoken to her for many months, not since her move west, which preceded mine by a few months. I took the opportunity to unload on her. (Thank you, and sorry.) The physical relief that I felt afterward was amazing. It was like I had been cut free after spending two weeks trapped in unattractive, binding underwear from the 1800s. I don’t remember the last time I let loose in that way, but I think it may have been years.
The value of a periodic brain spew cannot be underestimated, something the creator of Festivus obviously understood.
I have about half a dozen things on my mind that are of real importance (don’t worry, I won’t go into them here). But then there are all those other things — the niggling, inconsequential, stupid bullshit that gives you pause and makes you raise an eyebrow and fantasize about kicking somebody in the face.
These are just a few of my most irritating (and petty!) things.
- I have come nowhere near meeting my goal of posting here every day in December. Grr!
- I hate how every time I order an eggnog latte with nonfat milk at Starbucks, the cashier makes a point of telling me that the latte will still contain fat because of how eggnog is very high in fat. Yep!
- The holidays are a time of rampant apostrophe misuse, eg, “Merry Festivus from the Smith’s.” NO. You don’t pluralize your family — or anything else — by adding an apostrophe. You do it by adding a plain, unadorned S, something we all learned in second grade at the latest.
- I don’t give a shit whether you wish me Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Blessed Solstice, Hooray for Chanukah, etc, etc. I will take your cheer in good faith. What gets me is the politicization of the greeting. Like, you’re making some huge important statement by choosing one over the other? Get off your religious/secular soapbox and try this: “Thanks, you too!” Everybody wins.
- Those gigantic plastic toy trucks/shopping carts they have in grocery stores. Why.
- Like towels, there is only one correct way to fold the paper bags that coffee comes in.
- Jacqueline Winspear, a person who is very bad at writing mystery novels but who is somehow extremely popular. The covers of her books say she is British, but I don’t believe it for a second.
- My vision is getting noticeably worse and one of my wisdom teeth finally came in. I have neither the cash nor the insurance to deal with either of these things.
- Closet cases.
- Members of Congress who are closet cases.
- HBO canceled Bored to Death, a hilarious and witty show about mysteries, Brooklyn, marijuana and comic books. It’s a massive travesty.
- Every person who has ever commented on this photo of mine, despite the fact that I renamed the photo to prevent them from commenting. Check out how many of them have posted their personal information in public. These people should not be allowed on the Internet; they are why scammers persist in what they do.
That should be about sufficient to carry me through to next December 23. What a relief! Merry Festivus everyone.