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A Letter from My Self-Confidence

13 May

Dear Self:

We don’t speak very often, in part because if we did, it might be considered symptomatic of a multiple personality disorder. I am your self-confidence. I am the version of you inside your head who thinks you are awesome, competent, and capable. Mostly, you keep me under lock and key out of some bizarre Puritanical sense of self-denial, or possibly modesty gone horribly awry. (You do realize that taking me out for a stroll around the block doesn’t automatically render you an arrogant c*ck, right?) However, you’re in a rough spot. You have a lot to do, and you won’t be able to do it if you’re curled up on the floor, weeping and mewling and cursing whatever gods come to mind for gifting you with more sentience than a soft-boiled egg. That’s where I come in. I am here to give you a pep talk.

  1. You don’t suck. Let me repeat: you don’t suck. If you make a joke about straws, I swear by the Forge of Lemnos I will slap you.
  2. You can do this. If you couldn’t, you wouldn’t have found your way into this mess.
  3. No, seriously, you would not have found your way into this mess. Whatever you tell yourself (and everyone else you know, frequently and at length), in jest or in seriousness, about being a moron simply is not true.
  4. Regarding point 2, how bad is the mess, really? Does it deserve the name “mess”? Let’s call it a challenge. Challenge sounds good. Remember how it feels to be competitive? Right. Let’s do that.
  5. You like to win. I want you to shut the hell up about fair play and “everyone should enjoy him- or herself!” or whatever self-sacrificing for-the-good-of-the-team bullsh*t you’ve taken to spouting today. Win.
  6. Stop forcing me to use abusive language. I like you. I don’t want to slap you. We’re on the same side. I have a vested interest in you getting sh*t done, because that means that you might let me out of the Tartarus of your subconscious from time to time. Do you know what kinds of things live in here? Freud would frakking love you. Okay, see? Quit that. Stop using me to beat yourself down.
  7. You’re great. You can do this.

If that doesn’t give you a boost, I’ll try again later. For now, know that I’m in here, rooting for you 127.5%. It would be more, but you capped me.


Okay, seriously, Rubbermaid. What is the deal?

6 May

This is a follow-up to Speaking of Pink Elephants. The delightful @RobMuhlig sent me a tweet alerting me to the presence of . . . this.

There is a Sturdy Station 2, and someone has thoughtfully defaced it to create . . . wait for it . . . the Turd Station 2.

I know I had nothing to do with this, but I feel proud. I also feel absolutely no impulse to deconstruct it. Awesome.

Speaking of Pink Elephants

1 May

It’s possible I read too much into things that I encounter in my everyday life. It’s possible that I, good lit grad student I am, see texts everywhere. In everything. And I feel the need to interpret way too much of it.

The women’s bathroom in the coffee shop at which I spent my afternoon has a very curious object indeed. I think it’s supposed to be a changing table. Let’s take a look, shall we?

Where babies apparently go to be carried off by elephants.

Behold: The Sturdy Station

Okay, so, that’s a little weird. Let’s take a closer look.

The Sturdy Station, featuring Rubbermaid's very own imaginary elephant brigade!

This changing table approved by Dumbo. And his mom. And your mom.

If you’re like me, you will be wondering why this changing table has an empty liner dispenser, but mostly why there are elephants involved. Presumably, I’m supposed to understand that the Sturdy Station is so sturdy it can handle elephant babies, which I see as being pretty unlikely, given how elephant babies tend not to wear diapers. Also, elephant moms? No thumbs. Couldn’t change their babies’ diapers, even if their babies had diapers. I don’t care how magical and flexible a trunk is. There is a logical disconnect here. Also, these elephants we’re marketing to (because at this point, I have decided that it’s actually for elephants and not for humans-but-so-sturdy-an-elephant-could-use-it) appear to be multilingual. They must be circus elephants. Disreputable pink circus elephants. I am now deeply suspicious.

How to ride two-dimension elephants in three steps or fewer.

You are breaking up the between-strip closure with more goddamn elephants.

What. The. Hell.

Okay, let’s break this sh*t down:
1. Pull on one of the (missing) liners. You will receive a pink elephant.
2. Strap your baby to the elephant. Make sure the baby is secure.
3. Ride the elephant to the garbage can and dispose of your infant’s diapers.
4. Ride the elephant back to the Sturdy Station and fold it away to become elephant-free once more.

It’s only logical.

Edit: It has been pointed out to me that the “let’s break this sh*t down” moment was an entirely unnecessary one. “No. You could have stopped before that. You could have stopped before that and written none of this.”

Could I have done, imaginary interlocutor? Could I really?