Just Because You Can…

You know, I truly do believe that we are blessed to live in a country with freedom. We are free to say what we want, free to move about as we please, we can sing and dance when the moment strikes us and don’t need to worry about being told it’s wrong. Our clothing is generally dictated by the weather, unless you’re a teenage boy in winter climates, and then rumor has it all bets are off, but that’s a different story.

But just because you can do things, doesn’t mean you should do things. I mean really, have a little pride, for God’s sake. I don’t need to see the crack of your butt pouring out of your jeans. Do you not realize that’s an image now burned into my brain that I can NEVER unsee? And when it’s 30 degrees out in Minnesota, should flip flops be your footwear of choice? I actually saw a woman in her late 30’s going into Target two weeks ago with them. Slushy snow in the parking lot, and she’s wearing flip flops. (Full disclosure, my first edit had the typo of ‘flip slops’ which was wrong but probably not inappropriate for the conditions. What can I say, I thought it was funny.) It’s a little like a certain nameless politician in the news of late…yes, you can say what you want, do what you want. That’s what freedom is about, and it might be popular. But it also defines you, and helps me formulate my opinion about you. And right now my opinion is that your judgement is seriously flawed and that maybe, just maybe you’re a bit of an idiot. No really.

I actually had an employee once who thought that she was owed a paycheck for showing up. Not for doing any real work of course,  but that we had an obligation to her, a contract if you will, to pay her for the sheer privilege of having her on payroll. She also saw no need to be productive throughout the day, or to spell words correctly in spite of the fact that she had gone beyond a college education. What she had going for her was an attitude of entitlement, and she thought the world owed her everything. The other day I saw an interesting article posted from the Today Show on January 25, 2016, about the Life Skills Every 18-Year Old Should Have. Number 6 was my favorite, learning that things won’t always go your way. I thought about that former employee, and wished she’d have known that.

I was out tonight running errands, and saw another example of “just because you can” in action. Is there a guideline somewhere that makes stop signs when leaving parking lots optional? Is it the same one for right turn on red? I don’t mean the right turn on red that’s allowed after coming to a complete stop. This was the just roll around the corner turn. I was driving in a fairly populated suburb tonight (mistake #1) around dinner time (mistake #2, and before I’d eaten, mistake #3) when some idjit comes flying out of a Dairy Queen parking lot onto the road. What, no coppie, no stoppie? For real?  Then less than a minute later, someone else decided they wanted to just move into the turn lane by cutting over the solid white line. Apparently those are optional now as well. What is the matter with people? Now the whole mess of cars behind him slams on their brakes because he’s brainless and impatient. Here’s a novel idea to try. If you miss your turn, go to the next one, turn around and COME BACK! I know, I know, I can hear my friend Kelly now: “there you go, using logic again.”. Did I mention I HATE traffic? Oh yeah, that was a few blogs ago…

My absolute favorite though is clothing. Tight, tight, tight clothing. You know the kind I’m talking about. Not the sexy, maybe a bit much but almost flattering kind. I’m taking about the “two animals fighting in a burlap sack” kind, the “public nudity isn’t legal so I have my privates legal covered – sort of” kind. The kind that you SHOULD be embarrassed to be wearing in public and WHY DIDN’T YOUR MAMA TEACH YOU BETTER THAN THAT? I know, there are all kinds of variations in taste, culture, ethnic etc. I ain’t talkin’ ’bout that, don’t go there. I’m referring to the getup on someone – usually a female but could be a guy too, I’ll be fair – that is so bad even at the nastiest bar in town, the skank won’t talk to them. The perfect example of just because you can does NOT mean you should, really means you shouldn’t, and please, I’m begging you, quit it. Blech.

Time for me to ponder my list of should and should nots, hopefully make some good choices today!

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Well holy smokes, it’s finally winter in Minnesota. We had Christmas this year touched with a hint of white, followed by the revenge of Old Man Winter. I’ve resigned myself to being cold for at least another 70 or so days, if I’m lucky. I hope to thaw in March sometime. Thank heavens for down booties, down comforters, electric mattress pads, electric foot warmers, spa booties that go in the microwave until they are toasty and all sorts of other accessories I require to make it safely through to “the other side”. I’m not complaining, not really. Because if I WERE, someone would be sure to remind me that I shouldn’t for the following reasons, blah, blah, blah. So I’m not, and you can hold yourself back.

We also made it through Christmas, or as I like to call it, the annual holiday obligatory gift card exchange. You know, you give a gift card because a) you don’t know what to get someone and b) they already have everything and c) god forbid we would forgo a time honored tradition. So I buy you a card as you buy me one. Silliness, pure, unadulterated silliness as near as I can tell.

Next up was amateur night also called New Year’s Eve. When  people all over the world go out, get together with 1000 of the closest friends they’ve never met before, and through the magic of alcohol by the end of the night are best friends! You stay up late for that magical second and suddenly it’s over, and now you have to drive home amidst thousands of other drunken revelers, hoping everyone knows how to stay between the right white lines. When you wake up it’s a new year, you’re hung over and wonder “what happened?”  “where are my underwear?” “why do I have a tattoo on my butt cheek that isn’t from a magic marker?” and “oh dear Lord, those had better not be my boobs on FB!” (Full disclosure, I’ve only heard about these things, and haven’t really experienced personally. I mean really, do you think I’d seriously put that stuff out here where my mother could see if I had? I might be a bit slow on the uptake about some things, but not THAT!)

No, I’d much rather do New Year’s the new, fuddy duddy way. Stay home, hang with the neighbors, stumble home 20 or 30 feet unless I was lucky enough to convince them to let US host, then it’s hang with the neighbors and kick em out, maybe we make it to midnight, maybe not. If we don’t, then we celebrate at the top of the hour with whatever time zone just rolled into the new year. Oh look, it’s 6 pm here and midnight in London? “Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind, should auld acquaintance be forgot, in days of auld lang syne” which translates to “times gone by” in case you were unaware. Cue the noisemakers and funny hats.

This year it was just us, for a variety of excuses…oops, I mean reasons. “I’m sick”, “too tired”, “like some people better than you and already made plans with them”, you know, you’ve probably heard them too. So we watched a movie, laughed a lot, and turned off the light at 12:01 am, January 1, 2016. I’m waking up without a hangover or regrets and laughing at all my friends who aren’t. I can hear husband noises from upstairs, which means the promised gift of waffles and bacon aren’t very far away. He doesn’t cook a lot, but what he does is wonderful! (Probably best he doesn’t cook often if it’s bacon and waffles!)

A friend shared a quote with me yesterday that I’ll leave you with:

“Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.”

…Brad Paisley

I hope you all had a safe and fun celebration, don’t have too many regrets, and have wonderful things ahead in the coming year.

Angel