I'm So Great: The Rantings of a Jaded Youth

When I grow up, I want to be just like me.

And Your Name? May 1, 2011

I work in security. For those of you who haven’t read my rants about it, it’s not as tough as it sounds. I sit in a very hot or cold little shack all day and check passes outside of a gated community. In doing so, I end up working with a lot of different cultures. One of the things that has always struck me as odd (and, in my job of checking lists and turning away accordingly, vaguely annoying) is the way a lot of Asians and Middle-Easterners westernize their names. Samir becomes Sam, Mohammed becomes Max, and Jangwoo becomes Jasmine. I understand the annoyance with outspoken, old white people who can’t pronounce their names or purposely mispronounce them (my dad). I get that fitting in is easier than sticking out. And I can sympathize with all of that in a roundabout way because I’m fat and a woman and I used to be a hardcore anime fan. Obviously I’m not saying that racism is the same as making fun of someone who owns all 26 seasons and 7 OVAs of Whatever-chan, Girl Superhero, but I understand trying to blend in.

The apparent logic falls apart though when I think about going to another country and changing my name to one of their names. If I went to the Middle East and told people my name was Suneetha or lived in Mexico for a year and said I was Estefana, I’d feel like a damn racist. Why don’t I just call everyone there Ahmed and Jose while I’m at it? I’d also feel like I was severely underestimating the national intelligence of my country of choice. If you know your name is hard to pronounce in a foreign tongue or uncommon in your new country, say it slowly, be prepared to spell it, and don’t get too hurt if it’s spelled or pronounced wrong. I’m not stupid. If you tell me your name a few times, I’ll get it no matter what it is. I can only assume the same of everyone else, give or take a few tries and not accounting for old people, who hate change and young people. I respect people more when they’re brave enough to give me their real name. Well, when they’re brave enough to just be themselves. If you’ve got a foreign name or accent or way of dress, don’t try and hide it. Own it. And if aspects of the new culture you’re immersed in are appealing, well own those too. Stupid people will always try and get you down, whatever your perceived flaw is, and the worst part is that, most of the time, they don’t even actually care.

None of these observations are new though. I went to school with Nedas and Bishoys, and a lot of the high-schoolers today feel no shame in telling people their given names are Bahar, Asad, or Ienna. That’s kind of what I love about living in the age we’re in, in the country I’m in. People worry about being singled out when they first move here, and they are regarded warily for a little while because they’re new and different. Then they make friends at work and their kids all go to school together and see that these kids aren’t any different from them, and within a couple generations everyone is accepted as normal. The strange becomes mundane and the world moves on. It’s awesome.

I guess I can’t really blame first generation Middle-Easterners and Asians for wanting to blend in when they first get here. I can’t imagine picking up my life and moving to another country, so I have to give them credit for bravery and for paving the way for their kids to be part of the All-American melting pot. Still though, if you don’t introduce your culture to us, we’ll never be able to accept it as normal. You’re laying the groundwork. The more we hear Parwaiz, Wagdy, Wei Young, Chul Ho, and the phonetic difference between Nguyen and Huynh, the less outlandish it becomes.

Feel free to weigh in if anything I’ve said was offensive or outright wrong. I say all this from the perspective of a white-washed mongrel-American.

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Thanks Doll February 9, 2011

So the other day, I opened up a can of worms that I didn’t even realize I had on the dusty garage shelf of my mind. I mentioned on The Facebook- I know, Facebook fights, but I promise I won’t make a habit of Facebook mud-slinging and this post is no exception. So I mentioned that someone at my work had called me sweetheart and that it seemed, and I quote, “like [he was] just ASKING to be cavity searched. And not in the good way.” Immediately, a male friend responded to say that he calls every woman “darling.” I told him that was as bad as “little lady” and a mtf transgender said that she would burst out laughing if someone called her “little lady.”

I’m a pretty laid-back, bubbly person. It takes a lot to offend me. What offends me in even small doses, though, is people assuming that I’m worth less than they are. I see that a lot in my job. Being a security guard means being the person everyone can shit on. I’m an idiot and a rent-a-cop, but I’m the one trusted to stop people’s family and friends and check to see if they’re on a list, then hold them up to give them a pass if they are and call the resident if they aren’t. The residents don’t understand why I’m calling for their mom or their bff when it’s SO obvious I should just let that person in. The guests don’t understand why I have to give them a pass and check it every time they come in. All-around, people feel like my job is a waste of time. Of course I agree, and you bet your ass I’d never move into a gated community, but as long as someone is paranoid enough to want someone outside their house shaking down their friends and family, I get a pretty sweet, steady paycheck. The problem lies in the fact that everyone feels like their time is worth more than mine. If I were a man, this would result in shouting and name-calling. It still does occasionally, but I generally get the Sweetheart Treatment. “Oh hi, sweetie!” *Wave and smile while rolling up window and driving toward the closed gate without slowing down. Realize the gate is closed, slam on breaks, look back at me and point at the gate angrily.*

I understand that I am a woman, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a job to do and, while it’s not much to brag about, I am damn good at my job. People may not see the harm in calling a woman in uniform “sweetie” or “darling,” and if you’re past middle age, I can forgive you for treating the younger world like they’re all your grandchildren, but if you’re middle-aged or younger, you can shove your demeaning “sweetheart”s up your ass. You don’t call a black man “boy” or “negro” because it says, “You are less of a person than I am.” Just because women might not kick your ass for being sexist or racist doesn’t make it okay. And I’m not stupid, no matter how many rich ass holes assume I am. I can tell the difference between “You have a great day, sweetie!” and “It’s been precious talking to you, but I’ve got important male things to attend to so open the damn gate, sweetheart.” I understand that there are differences in tone and inflection and underlying meaning, and I respond differently to differences in each. When it all comes down to it, I probably would have seethed about it for a few minutes and then let it go if I hadn’t gotten what were essentially two male point-of-view responses telling me I was being an over-emotional woman about it. No, I’m not. I’m being a human being about being treated like a lesser person.

As an epilogue to this post, I would like to note that I’m not using my blog to blast my friends, whom I love and had talked to at length about this when it happened. It’s mostly that I don’t get angry very often and when I do, it helps me to explore why certain things make me mad when most other things don’t. Thoughts?

 

Hey, you look fat! Buy this! October 21, 2010

Filed under: Half-Assed Product Reviews,My Job,Things I've Done — Stephanie Fantastic @ 6:04 pm
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So I have to vent about the dumbest thing that happened to me yesterday. I was trundling along, doing my boring security job. The rain had stopped so I was feeling a little better because there would be a standstill in the continuing frizziness and curliness of my hair, and I figured at least people would roll their windows down to deal with my ass. Nothing doing with the latter. This guy drives up past me and up to the arm without looking over, his car nearly in the hedges that line my little shack. I stare at the side of his face through his closed window for a second before walking up to him. Without rolling down his window, he jabs a finger at his dashboard. Okay, he has a pass. The trick was in inserting myself between his car and the hedges to read the number and date off of it, since this guy was clearly too lazy to pick it up and show it to me. I get the number, timestamp his shit, half-heartedly wave him on, and get back to whatever I was doing.

About an hour later, he pulls up again, again so far up so that he has to look back at me. He rolls down his window, makes a show of looking me up and down, and says, “You know anyone who’s looking to lose weight?” in the conspiratorial whisper of the guy trying to sell you fake Rolexes in movies.

“Is it some kind of creepy scam?”

“No, of course not.” He hands me his card.

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At this point, I was skeptical and aggravated. This guy didn’t give me the time of day an hour ago- couldn’t even roll down his window or lift a card up– but now he’s got a quota to fill and my fat ass is looking like a sweet payout. Fuck that guy. And fuck the chubby-looking guy in the tiny picture on the card. Worst salesman ever. Also, can you read that sentence on the bottom of the back? What does that even mean?

 

New Post Blues September 22, 2010

Filed under: My Job — Stephanie Fantastic @ 8:07 pm
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Dangit, I always get wicked acne whenever I start a new job/post. It’s inevitable. It’s like my face anticipates the move and slowly builds up acne unseen on me even in my worst days of high school. Covertly, the pores gather their gunk and save it all up until my first day, when I will have no way to deal with them except grinning and bearing it, self-conscious, friendless, and displaced. My body’s own private joke. I’m starting to consider just throwing some glitter on my boils so they’ll at least be funny. A conversation starter! It’s hard to feel like an “authority figure” (I’m the one with the clipboard AND YOU WILL LISTEN TO EVERY GODDAMN WORD I HAVE TO SAY!) with pimples OR glitter on my face, really.

But it affects you in that I’ll probably be updating a little less now because the aforesaid new post is extra busy, which is the reason I was asked to be there. My superiors came down on me like hologram Leia triplets crying, “Help us, Stephanie. You’re our only hope.” AND WHO WAS I TO DENY THEM? As a result, my comfortable, schoolwork-and-etsy-conducive job has turned into actual work and I’m trying to decide if it’s worth the money. Wish me luck, you three valiant readers out there in the vast expanse of the internet. I’ll need it.

 

The Great Pregnancy Scare of Oh-Ten September 10, 2010

So I’ve been missing since September 4th because I have been literally terrified about the possibility of being pregnant. SPOILER ALERT: I usually don’t talk about periods, but as they are an intregal part of the story, I will be talking about them. If you don’t like hearing about them, you’d be better off skipping this one. Those of you who are still here, let me tell you a tale.

It all started when I came in to work last week. Well, actually, it sort of all started when I first started working at this new post. My boss is an alpha female and my period therefore immediately synched with hers. I was seriously two weeks early my first month here. Thanks a lot, Denise. So since then (and since I don’t keep very good track of my periods), I’ve had a pretty good indicator of when I’d need to start packing precautionary supplies and wearing my giant, stretchy, stain-annihilating, Lane Bryant underwear by when she’s angry about her period. So back to the fakey beginning, even though you probably know where this is going by now. I walked in to work a little over a week ago and Denise mentioned her period in the midst of an Everyone-Is-Dumb tirade, the kind which I have given often in this job.

I didn’t think much about it at the time, but a few days later, I still hadn’t started my period and the idea of being late wiggled its way into my head. Don’t panic, I thought to myself. Wait a week and then take a pregnancy test. It’s probably nothing. Then my stomach started acting up. I thought about asking someone who’d had a baby before what it was like the first month, but I didn’t want to make anyone freak out before I was sure. I needed a drink desperately…fuck!

What the hell am I going to do with a baby? I couldn’t stop thinking about how we would pay for it. I’ve never liked the idea of carrying a baby with me for nine months and then giving it up, but I don’t think I could kill it either. It wasn’t until I was faced with the idea of actually having a baby that my position on aborting a baby came clear. This will probably piss some people off, but even that young, that is a child and to abort it is definitely killing a child. I don’t care if other people do it. To each her own. I know couldn’t live with myself if I had killed that baby though. Abortion was out of the question then and giving it up after all the time and effort of living with and birthing it would tear me apart, so, for me, prevention and raising a baby are the only options and I may have fucked up the prevention.

A couple days after I had resolved to wait a week and get a test, I still had no period, so I told my boyfriend about my concerns and he gave me hugs and told me we’d figure it out no matter what happened.

Have you ever looked into prices of pregnancy tests? Seriously, if you’re not paying for birth control or condoms, you’re probably not going to pay $20 for a pregnancy test either. I shopped around though and I ended up on EarlyPregnancyTests.com, a site whose main purpose is to help people conceive. Their pregnancy tests were only $2.25 each and they’re supposed to tell you if you’re pregnant before you even miss your first period. I didn’t do much research because I was incredibly worried and in a bit of a fog, but I bought them and they were going to come in about when my “No Panicking Week” was up. After I’d already placed the order, I remembered that this site wanted people to get pregnant. Uh oh… I could just see my gay (as in homosexual) dad going out to get the mail and picking up a baby blue package with “GOOD LUCK ON HAVING YOUR BABY!!!!!! :DDD” emblazoned on it. I hoped they would be more discreet.

So for two more days, I wandered around in various states of panic and righteous zeal about how I would raise my own kid. I was a wreck some hours and completely cool and calm others.

Then Wednesday, while me and Ernie were doin’ it, WHAM. Period.

Stephanie: Hah! This calls for a drink!

Ernie: Finish first, THEN drinks.

Stephanie: I like your style!

So I had an incredibly strong rum and coke at three in the morning and went out the next day to buy a gigantic steak (which is going on three days feeding us) for an incredibly relieved I’m Not Pregnant Celebratory Dinner.

I probably could have raised a kid, but I’m not sure I’m ready to give up spending my money irresponsibly and having sex whenever I feel like it, which is why I’m getting an IUD implanted as soon as humanly possible and not taking it out until me and Ernie can feed ourselves comfortably (giant celebratory steaks aside). And yes, Ernie, you have every right to be just a bit disappointed that there is no baby coming, but you know there’s plenty of time for that later. I’m not going anywhere.

 

This spider is mocking me with its presence August 16, 2010

Filed under: Melodrama,My Job — Stephanie Fantastic @ 7:57 am
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I sat here last night in my guard shack writing about karaoke, blissfully unaware of a spider constructing its web directly over the back door. I was momentarily sickened to the point of almost vomiting when I realized that I could have very easily walked outside to take out the trash and had a gigantic spider on my fucking face. Look at this thing!

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It’s the size of a quarter and it’s just sitting there in thin air making it impossible for me to feel safe opening up the top half our hilarious doors. I seriously hate spiders. They’re always trying to get all up in my business. I JUST DON’T WANT TO BE FRIENDS.

I felt really dumb the other day because I noticed a tiny little spider crawling on my legs. One of those ones that looks like a speck of dust until it starts moving. I was seized with panic. It’s on me! I don’t want to touch it with my hands! What do I do?! Quick! Find something to smash it with. SWEET JESUS, STEPHANIE, DON’T TAKE YOUR EYES OFF OF IT! Nothing is close enough for me to grab and smash thing with!

Then I realized it was an ant and, without any hesitation, smashed it with my finger.

I don’t get it. How come even the tiniest of spiders turns me into a squealing little kid? No other bug has the ability to do that to me. I work right next to a lake so there’s a constant stream of flying, jumping, and crawling bugs around, but I don’t even flinch when I see them. I’ll even take them outside the shack in my hand if they’re annoying me enough (Notice how I resisted the temptation to say “if they’re bugging me enough.” At least I can take consolation in the fact that I’m not like my dad in that respect.) Something in my brain completely shuts down when I am anywhere near a spider though. All I can do is walk over to the window three times a minute and glare at that damn spider.

Fuck you, Spider! What do you even want from me?! I know your web is right next to a light, which is like a spider buffet once the sun sets, but I don’t want to look at you! At least it’s my Friday and hopefully someone will have walked into that web face first or, hopefully for them, taken the web down with a broom and brutally beaten the spider to death before I get back in three days. I hope it’s not the type of spider that explodes in a maelstrom of spider guts when you smash it.

Edit: Holy shit, that spider is already sending assassins in after me not three seconds after I finished this post. I got up and almost put my face into another spider coming down from the ceiling fan. Luckily I have catlike reflexes and I disposed of it in midair. I jokingly put in the tags “Is the spider on my head?” Looks like I’m a fucking psychic! Well played, spiders, but you’ll have to be craftier than that to take me out. (Please don’t send any more spiders in.)

Edit 2: Oh sweet Jesus, the UPS guy walked right through that horrifying spiderweb on his way in to use the bathroom and now that spider is going to get me on the toilet or make him crash his UPS truck. R.I.P. UPS guy.

 

Fearless June 20, 2010

As I was standing in front of a teenager’s car last night at work trying to prevent what would inevitably be a shitstorm for me later, I realized a couple things. First of all, I’ve grown a pretty massive pair of balls working security. I have never stood in front of a car in my life, but that’s what needed to be done. Before I worked this job, I used to need a good five minutes to compose myself after people yelled at me. Barely keeping it together, I’d tell them whatever needed to be said, make sure it happened, and then rush off to the bathroom to get presentable again. I’ve always been like this. When teachers used to yell at the whole class (my pregnant, and therefore crazy, 5th grade teacher most memorably) or my mom was screaming at the whole car, something in my brain became five years old again and unable to cope. Now I can pretty much tell people to fuck off with ease. It’s liberating.

Which brings me to my next realization. My boobs are on the internet. I have laid myself out for everyone to see and I no longer care if people don’t like me. If I did, I’d be wallowing in self-pity and doubt every waking moment. So who gives a shit if some teenage girl is pissed at me for ruining her Daddy’s Away Gang Bang? Not me! I’ve got more personal things to not worry about!

So if you ever doubt how awesome you are, make yourself up, put on something cute, and get a good, sexy picture of yourself to bring you back on track. It’s always helped me. I used to tape my camera up to my mirror so I could see how I looked and take my own pictures with the timer. Don’t be afraid to take as many as you need to get a great one, and forget about the bad ones. Just delete them as soon as you decide they’re no good. Just seeing that one good picture makes me wonder how I ever could have gotten a bad one.

Well, that’s my bit for today. Have a happy Father’s Day, folks, and now back to your regularly scheduled comedy and boobs.