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May 10, 2008 / Brittany Hendrick

Items of ire

To be irate is to be funny.  Well, I try to be funny anyway.  I don’t really get all that mad very often.  You’d have to do something really, really bad for me to get mad.  But I do enjoy pointing out injustices and having a go at them, to show how silly people are.  Plus, there is always a greater, universal theme worth discussing around the problem at-hand.  You know, in case I’m not funny and need something to fall back on.

In recent weeks:

1) I had to attend a bridal shower for someone I barely know.
“Had” to?  Yeah, my name was tacked on to my mother’s invitation– she’s the one that knows the girl’s family well.  I wouldn’t invite this chick to my bridal shower!  Doesn’t mean I dislike her– I do like her– but I don’t know her well enough to share merriment for her marriage that happened over a year ago (I’m not kidding).

Bridal showers aren’t my kind of thing.  Presents, just for getting married?!  You’re two incomes now– now you can buy whatever you need!    Let’s check back in five years, see if you’re still together in wedded bliss– then you might deserve a present.  Single people deserve presents (congratulatory or sympathetic, depending on your view).   I have to be getting married in order for someone to give me a nice set of cookware?!  All bridal showers do is reinforce “good behavior” for the Christian code: a reward for “doing the right thing.”  There’s my universal theme.  Yet I digress at the same time.

Then there is the “bunch of females together in one room” issue.  That may be a joyous thing at a men’s strip club, but it’s disaster at a bridal shower.  There is a very high Bitch Vibe.  I learned, the hard way.  For example: it was time to play “games”, so I had to find a seat.  The chairs were arranged in a big circle.  I found an empty one and asked the girl sitting next to it if it was taken.  Because I’m polite and was raised properly by my parents.  Just as she said “yes”, the occupant returned and said to me, “Sor-ry.”  Her tone was unfriendly, like she was so put-out.  I didn’t even TOUCH her chair.  Did I suddenly enter a teen movie?  Are we in the school cafeteria?  Are we 15 years old?  Did this really happen?  To irk the insecure girl, I took the empty seat on the other side of her, which was a barstool.  As I sat perched above, in my peripheral vision below, I saw her relentlessly staring at me.  I just ignored her, unfazed, as my existence continued to vex her.  I don’t know what I did to bother her in the first place.

And what do a “bunch of females together in one room” like to drink?  Mimosas.  Blech-phooey!  I don’t drink that sissy-priss shit.  There was no beer or liquor to help get me through this shower.  The estrogen explosion was torturous.  Holy crap, that’s a lot of ire on Item 1.

2) The employees at the auto parts store insulted me.
A long time ago, I’d hit a deer crossing the road (like any self-respecting truck owner, as I say).  It cracked the encasement that held one of my headlights.  But the lights still worked, so I got by on not mending it for a while.  Alas, the day finally arrived when I had to pull out the entire headlamp, leaving the passenger side with a hole that put me on the wrong side of the law.  I arranged for my older brother to do the hard part and install the replacement headlamp for me, and I had to buy new lightbulbs.

Now, I’ve replaced windshield wipers on my own.  I’ve even taken off the dashboard myself (funny story involving my CD player and a straw off those cans that blow air [ahem].).  And I’ve certainly replaced lightbulbs.  It’s very easy to find out what kind of bulbs you need: you can a) refer to the owner’s manual or b) look at the parts number on the bulbs you’re replacing.  Oh, you knew that already?  Was I being condescending?  That’s how I was treated at the auto parts store.  Apparently, the employees thought I wouldn’t know that.

I walked into the store and was greeted by three men standing together at the register.

“Whatcha lookin’ fer?”
“Yer two aisles short.”

OK, that’s not the bad part.  He was being helpful.  The bad part happened as I continued on the path I was already following towards the lightbulbs, after I passed one aisle.

“One more,” the man said in a tone you’d take on if you were talking to a toddler learning to pee in the toilet.


Was that necessary of him?  Last time I checked, I was able to count to “two.”  I was mildly annoyed.  I searched for my lightbulbs (did you know that they are merchandised by parts number in numerical order?!?!  Holy.  Shit!)

“You’re missing something!” quipped the guy, referring to my truck which was visible through the storefront.  This dude still thinks he’s funny?

“Yeah.  I’m getting it fixed,” I said flatly.  Back to my lightbulbs.

“Do you even know what you’re looking for?” he asked.  The other two guys had goofy grins on their faces and never said a word.

Let’s investigate.  I know I need lightbulbs.  I know I need a certain kind.  I know I can’t just peruse lightbulbs and take a guess at what I think would fit.  I know what I’m looking for, because I didn’t ask anyone for help.  Because I wrote down what I needed.

“Yeah.  I have a list,” I said dryly, as I sharply flashed the paper next to my head.  Sahara winds blew in, sand dunes formed.  Scorpions roamed.

The guy still didn’t believe me.  He came from around the counter and walked over to me.  Even though I found my bulbs and had them in my hand.  They didn’t have this particular bulb in stock, so I was poring over all of them to make sure I didn’t miss it.  I recited to the guy what I was missing, obscuring my list on purpose.  The guy STILL didn’t believe me, and he craned his neck to look at what I’d written down!

“613…” (or whatever number) he read to himself, going down my list.
“Yeah.  I have that one already.”


Sure enough, I was correct in what I had in my hand and correct in what I determined was out of stock.  As I checked out at the register, the guy offered to order the out-of-stock bulb for me.  Oh, now he wants to kiss my ass.  Why would you order a lightbulb that is normally in stock, that would probably arrive in Monday’s shipment anyway.  I declined.  The sexism was enough, thanks.

3) Whole Foods doesn’t carry dried lemon/orange peel granules in bulk anymore.
I use it every day to wash my face.  Sound weird?  Not really.  I once used this Burt’s Bees orange peel face scrub, which did wonders for my skin.  However, it left behind a weird film even after thorough rinsing.  And that little jar is expensive.  So I cut out the middle man.  $2.29 of plain dried orange peel goes a long way.  Now I’ll have to spend $7.00 for a spicejar-sized amount.  I’m blaming the price of oil for this, all of this.

4) Part of the sole on my Rod Lavers crumbled off.
The very day I’d dragged them out of the closet after a long hiatus.  I thought, “How the hell did Play-Doh get here?  Was that there before?”  I didn’t realize it was the sole until I took the shoes off before going to bed.  I’m blaming oil for this, too.  Maybe if we had quality oil, we’d have quality soles.


5) I can’t get WUOG on my stereo anymore.
Either WUOG reduced their wattage or that goddamn Christian station increased theirs.


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