Oh Captain, my captain.

I have been effected by celebrity deaths before: John Ritter, Carol O’Connor, and more recently Glee’s Cory Monteith. Each held a special place in my heart, and I grieved them for different reasons.

However, the death of Robin Williams flooded me with a unique and quite unexpected type of grief.

I was closing up my store that night when I first heard the news. It flickered across my twitter feed like a stoic ticker tape, and I had to do a double take to make sure that I had read it right. After all, it had been a long eight hours and I was drained. Then came the texts and posts from friends, all touting the same somber mantra.

“RIP Robin”

I thought about him the rest of my night and into the next day.

And I’m still thinking of him today.

Robin Williams did more than define a generation, he was much more than the comedic face of some of the most beloved characters in cinematic history.

Robin Williams was like a constant current of happiness and familiarity that coursed through the veins of countless families year after year.

My first memory of his work was watching Mork and Mindy reruns on Nick at Nite on those rare nights when my mom would get to come home early from work. We would sit and watch the comedic genius unfold as we shared ice cream, even though it was late and I had already brushed my teeth. My eyelids would grow heavy as I tried to keep up with Robin’s bouncing energetic character as he flitted across the small screen. Even at that age I knew just how special he was. I still giggle every time I say or hear, “Nanoo Nanoo”. It’s a small memory, but it has remained with me for so long that it has just become a part of me.

Mork is a part of me just as much as Genie. I’m a part of a Disney generation fueled by singing lions, library owning beasts, and wish granting genies. Aladdin was, and is, a personal favorite. As I sang, and acted my way along with the VHS there was Robin once again…my constant companion unknowingly helping me through the trials and tribulations of childhood. His zany antics, and impersonations did more than just send me into peals of laughter…they helped me to realize that being quirky was a-okay. My uniqueness was nothing to keep bottled inside my “itty bitty living space”. I should parade it out, show it off, and be proud.

Of course with Mork and Genie came the enormous faux bosoms of Mrs. Euphegenia Doubtfire. While my parents divorced when I was too young to remember, Robin was there for several of my friends as they held on through the roller coaster ride of their lives drastically changing. For me? Mrs. Doubtfire will always be the jumping point for my love of cinema makeup and impersonations. I’ll still occasionally blurt out, “Layla, get back in your cell! Don’t make me get the hose!”

He comforted us with Mrs. Doubtfire, kept us on our toes with Jumangi, taught us to delight in life’s simple wonders in Jack, and took us back to Neverland with a “Bangarang!” in Hook. Through every tiptoe of my life, when I’ve needed a pick me up and a laugh, when I’ve needed to wonder in amazement at one person’s extraordinary abilities, Robin was there and as I grew I tuned in to Good Will Hunting, The Birdcage, and of course Dead Poets Society…

“be extraordinary, boys.”

In my recent years I have turned more to his standup when I need a laugh. I would listen to his special from Broadway while driving to and from college. Just last night I laughed until I cried at his “Weapons of Self Destruction” special it’s 90 minutes of genius … My genie-loving-younger self would be appalled at the material but my current self finds it fucking genius.

Again, even postmortem, Robin is there.

He is there for us all.

But we have to be there for each other.

The way Robin Williams died is no secret. It’s been the talk of the morning radio shows almost as much, if not more, as his life and career itself. What I find most appalling is the discussion of whether or not depression is a true illness, or if Robin was simply a coward.

Let’s get one thing straight:

Depression is just as much an illness as diabetes or cancer, and just as crippling.

I find it quite sad that in this day and age some of us are still trying to understand that the mind can be just as sick as a lung or a kidney. Yes, our mind emits emotion, it shapes our personality, it seems as if the mind is a creative artistic canvas. But the mind is also quite mechanical and scientific. Your mind is an organ like any other, the most epic and important organ nonetheless, so the notion that it is “invincible” and that depression is just a frame of mind brought on by choosing to be sad is ludicrous.

Imagine, if you will, someone that has battled cancer for years. Perhaps their body is worn, their fight gone from their eyes, and they simply cannot go on. They pray for death and eventually, their prayers are answered and they are at peace.

Would you call them a coward?

Instead of judging those you know for having depression, we should reverse the stigma and band together to increase awareness. We walk for breast cancer, for ALS, for Parkinson’s…but even in 2014 it is still thought of as a shameful thing to be depressed.

It is not shameful to be depressed.

It is shameful to assume it’s due to political affiliation (Hi, Rush Limbaugh..I’m talking to you. I hope you get sand fleas in your underwear), or to refuse to do your research. It is not shameful to be depressed.

And, to my friends who battle depression, know this. You are not your depression. Just as someone is not defined by their endometriosis, cirrhosis, or glaucoma. You are not defined by your depression.

And you are not alone.

“You treat a disease, you win, you lose. You treat a person, I guarantee you, you’ll win, no matter what the outcome.” – Robin Williams in Patch Adams

I’ve battled depression for awhile. For me it comes and goes, almost like waves, but I get it. You feel like you’re alone, like you’re trapped, and that no one else could possibly understand what it’s like to be you.

People may not understand completely, but there are people out there who will listen. They will listen to every single word and they will be there for you. I know that it can feel like you are drowning, but please try to hang on. Someone is coming with the lifeboat.

I think it also important, so very important, to understand that depression does not discriminate. Depression does not care whether you are a funny man or a somber man, whether you are rich or poor, depression does not differentiate.

I believe that Zelda Williams said it best when she said that we would all “just have to work twice as hard” to fill the world up with color and laughter again. She’s right, you know. Robin left us all to continue on the fight….and the fight is for all of us. The fight for laughter, for joy, to be who you are every minute of every day. The darkness that can consume you when you are battling depression can become all encompassing. It can swallow you. But I promise if you fight, if you believe in the color and the laughter of the world, you can shine your way through it.

And you will be lovely, and you will be brave.

Robin Williams was not a coward. He was a bright and shining star, but even stars can be covered by clouds.

Know this, even in your dimmest moments, those most questioning times when you feel that you are most alone, you are not.

Genie is there.
As is Mrs. Doubtfire with her soft lilt.
And Jack, Peter Pan, Mr. Keating, and Mork. Those facades of Robin, those characters filled with light and love, those are all there within us.

And they want you to keep on.

As for you Mr. Williams, my Captain, my Genie…you were extraordinary.
Bangarang, sir.

You’re free.

Until next time.
xoxo,
Jillie
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If you or anyone you know is suffering from depression help is available, 24/7

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline
1-800-273-TALK

The Trevor Project
1-866-488-7386

The Trevor Project as well as http://www.iamalive.org offers online chat and text service in addition to phone help.

And even if we don’t know each other, friend me on Twitter @sillie_jillie I’m usually available and I’ll always listen.

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America the Bullyful: the plight of America’s most misunderstood breed.

Okay guys, this week’s post is serious in tone. To keep up to date with my regular sassy commentary I invite you to look me up on Twitter @sillie_jillie or Instagram under sillie_jillie. Also, the really awesome pictures in this post were taken by my good friend Keri Duckworth. Check out her work at www.keriduckworth.com. She also runs Wildfox Studios over on Facebook. Go check it out!

The more random snapshots were done by me!

Onward, to the posting!
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Ghandi once said, “The greatness of a nation and it’s moral progress can be judged by the way it’s animals are treated.”

Someone needs to do a welfare check on America’s moral progress.

Everyone has their breed of dog.

There are chihuahua people.
Yorkie people.
Aussie people.
Lab & Golden people.

There are cat people, but that’s another post entirely.

But I believe that America’s breed, whether we choose to accept it or not, is the Pit Bull.

And we, as a nation, are destroying our breed.

I stumbled upon my first pittie when I was around 11 years old. She followed me home on my bicycle, all skin and bones and puppy energy. We weren’t really “looking” for a dog, though that’s all I longed for, we had just built a house and had one chair. A dog was not exactly in the cards. However, with Scout it was love at first sight.

I adored that dog, and she adored me. She was a Staffie (Staffordshire Terrier) with a head like hippo and a tail that could clear a coffee table with a single swipe. We had our bumps along the way, mainly her puppyisms of dragging paint through the house, or eating the ass end of a possum but no dog ever loved a human more than she loved me.

Scout came into my life when I needed her the most, a few years shy of puberty and in need of a constant companion. She stood by my side for thirteen years with unwavering loyalty and unconditional love. Unfortunately, she left this world for the Rainbow Bridge when I was 24 leaving Louk, my current 3 year old pitbull, to tiptoe in her footsteps.

The loyalty continues.

I will now present you with the Top 5 reasons we should stop bullying the bullies.

1. All pitbulls are ruthless….snugglers.It isn’t easy owning a pitbull. America doesn’t make it easy. There are stigmas that come with the breed, nasty lies thought to be true about every individual pittie because humans have made it so. For example: Because a man trained a pitbull to fight, must mean the entire breed is composed of bloodthirsty ruthless killers.

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Obviously.
The truth is that dogs are just like people in the sense that every dog has their own personality. Some people don’t like kids, some dogs don’t like kids. Some people don’t like cats, some dogs don’t like cats. Not every dog is perfect, just like every human has it’s imperfections. The pitbull has had the misfortune of being a target of human error for some time now. The pitbull doesn’t choose to get in the fighting ring, the pitbull only wants to do what it believes it’s master wants them to do. The truth is, Louk has given me more bruises and abrasions from rolling on me than anything. Not every pitbull you will meet is out to kill you. Hate is not in their nature.

However, I’m beginning to believe that it’s in some humans.

2. Pitbulls will kill your children….with kisses “I like pitbulls, but I have kids so I can’t get one.” This mode of thinking could potentially keep you from owning a wonderful family pet. Yes, pitbulls have attacked children before. Yes, some of those attacks could have been unprovoked. However, the media once again blows this way out of proportion. Kids are bitten by dogs, but because the word “pitbull” grabs attention we only hear about those attacks (see the Nancy Grace coverage of a pitbull attack a few months back. Trust me, I let her have it). Kids also get mauled by labradoodles, and cocker spaniels but you never hear those stories.

Truth be told, you should NEVER leave a child alone with a dog. It doesn’t matter if you’ve had a dog forever and they’ve never had an issue. Dogs have bad days. Don’t ever let your child pull ears or tails, don’t let them put their tiny hands in food bowls or take bones from mouths.

Be a smart parent and a smart owner.

I can tell you, though, that a pitbull has more patience with children than I do on some days.

Pitbulls have a lot of patience period.

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Zen dog is chilled out

3. Pitbulls hunt down and murder little dogs.
I don’t even have to explain this one

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4. Only crime lords own pitbulls Stereotypes are horrible. Obviously I’m not a fan (in case you missed last week’s post about gender stereotypes, feel free to go back and read). Saying that only crime lords own pitbulls is like saying only hunters own labs, or heiresses own chihuahuas. It’s not true. If you don’t believe me check out Wallace the Pitbull, Reggie the Deaf Pitbull, Nana the earless pitbull, or Xena the Warrior Dog. All wonderful pitties, none of which are owned by crime lords.

There’s that stigma again. The idea that a breed of dog can be held accountable for the actions humans. Just because a crime lord has owned a pitbull, doesn’t mean that a suburban family of four couldn’t own one.

5. BSL costs way more money, and causes way more harm, than not. If you don’t know what BSL is, it stands for Breed Specific Legislation and it follows the idea that if we ban pitbulls we will get rid of the “problem.”

Wrong.

Laws cost money. Employing more ACO’s to patrol in order to capture illegal pitbulls costs money, holding pitbulls in shelters costs money, euthanizing hundreds of these animals costs money. Making pitbulls illegal does not solve problems, instead it costs money and tears families apart. For example, if a city decides to implement BSL and does not also implement a grandfather clause, a family will be forced to give up a pet that they love and cherish. A pet that will be killed.

Try explaining that to your child.

When it comes down to it, the pitbull represents everything that America should stand for. They are strong, smart, loyal, with a touch of goofiness. And they love. They love with open paws, without judgment, and they love for the sake of loving.

But we jump to conclusions, like we do so very often. We blame the mass for the actions of a few.

And it is not the fault of the dog, but the fault of the human.

The beast is on the other end of the leash.

The truth is, I’m a pitbull person. We are all pitbull people. We have all felt discriminated before for one thing or another, we have all felt like class clowns, we have all felt strong, we have all felt unwavering love.

We have all felt like a pitbull.

So the next time that you go to pick out a pet, don’t just pass them over. They are strong, yes. They are large, of course. But they are filled with the biggest hearts of any dog.

Give them a chance.

They would give you just as much.

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Until next time!
xoxo,
Jillie

Cinnamon rolls vs. Gender roles

This week’s post is brought to you by my friend Jyl, who bullied motivated me into writing this week when I’ve had zero energy to do so.

Actually, I’ve had negative energy if that’s even possible.

Nothing is really wrong per se, mainly Aunt Flo is in town (run for the hills, male readers! ) and the mall has been busier than a free gym on New Year’s Day. So, excuse this post if it has a larger supply of bad words and free flowing sarcasm.

Also, I’m getting used to using a damn Otterbox for the first time. It’s great because I drop my phone more often than congress drops the ball, but the screen protector on it makes it so I kind of have to punch my screen in order to type. I apologize for the typos in this post, but I can assure you that I am unfortunately sober.

In preparation for this post I realized that I wouldn’t be able to fully explain the situation unless I revealed where I work. I’ve tried to avoid it, and I’m not going to actually say the store, but I will reveal that it is a specialty toy store mainly focused on stuffed animals.

Tada! Loophole!

I love my job 96.3 percent of the time. That 96.3% involves making kids happy, playing games, and watching their imaginations take off.

The 3.7% is reserved for when the parents step in.

Again, I had a pretty kick ass childhood. I wasn’t “girly” but I really wasn’t a “tomboy” either (mainly because I lacked the basic coordination necessary to master any sport). I was just “me” and my mom let me pretty much express myself how I saw fit.

“Mom I would like to be Phantom from Phantom of the Opera for Halloween.”

“Not Christine?”

“…..No, she doesn’t have a mask or that good of a solo.”

“Okay.”

There was no end of the world, no rushing me off to be “saved” because obviously I had lost my way. There was just the buying of a cape, and cutting of a plastic mask that I would later bitch about was cutting into my face.

I was okay, and I pretty much grew up to be a normal woman. I even like dresses and makeup!

I mean, I do talk to my dog a lot…but I’m told that’s okay as long as he doesn’t talk back.

* I feel like this post needs a disclaimer: Before you say, “You can’t tell someone how to parent!” let me say that you’re right. I can’t. I can, however, think what I want and blog what I want. I use this space to complain, since I can’t do it in public. In public I have to do things like tolerate crazy parents, and wear a bra. Here I get to let loose.*

My point this week is that I see way too many mental breakdowns in my store every week, and maybe 3/682 of them are the kids. Unfortunately, most of the time it’s mom or dad having the conniption fit. Little Timmy (or Tiuhme as it’s probably spelled nowadays) is just trying to have a fun time in the toy store, mom and dad are far more concerned about “what people might think.”

For example:
Little girl: Oh my god, mom! They have Star Wars clothes!
Mom: No! Girls wear princess dresses
Little girl: I want a light saber!
Mom: Those are for boys! If you don’t pick out a princess dress you aren’t getting anything and I’m going to bust your ass.

I’m sorry, what? You can bet your butt that when Star Wars first came BACK to the big screen circa 15 years ago I had a light saber. It was green and made wirry noises and I thought I was a total badass. Girl power!!

Teaching your little girl that you can’t like Star Wars, or have a light saber because only boys get to wield cool science fiction weapons and like nerdy things isn’t just ridiculous, it’s actually limiting her realm of self reflection. Imaginary play has been connected with higher grades, higher test scores, and higher self confidence.*

*side note: it took me about 5 minutes to remember the word “confidence”. This has nothing to do with my imagination, or the fact that my mom didn’t make me stick to a strict Barbie regimen when I was little.*

It’s not going to turn your little princess into a lumberjack if they choose to make a superhero stuffed animal. They aren’t going to grow their underarm hair and worship Melissa Etheridge…and if they do it wasn’t because of the one time they decided to make a Captain America dinosaur.

Besides, Melissa Etheridge has good music and shaving is overrated.

And dinosaurs are cool.

It seems that almost every parent would like their daughter to play the pretty princess damsel in distress.

Princesses can wield light sabers and fight crime. Princesses can roar or bark.

If they can imagine it, let them have it! Life is too short, and sometimes too scary and real not too imagine stories.

The same goes for boys.

I’ve had moms and dads almost pass out because their little boy wants a rainbow bear.

Newsflash! Do you know what little kids like? Bright colors. Do you know what’s brightly colored? Rainbows. It doesn’t mean your son will suddenly not be a macho boy. It doesn’t mean that he’ll suddenly not like army men or superheroes or be rough and tumble. It simply means he likes a color other than black.

Also, maybe by making his stuffed animal into a “girl” he’s just practicing being a dad. Maybe he sees how dad is with little sister and wants to be just like him.

It’ll be okay.

Whatever they choose, it’ll be okay.

Little boy: I can’t have a princess bear.
Me: Oh?
Parent: And why is that?
Little boy very well rehearsed: Because only girls like princesses and I’m a boy and can’t like girl things. That’s just wrong.

There’s a reason I am over the age of 21 and in my position. I can buy alcohol.

Elsa the damn snow queen from Frozen is phenom. I had a little boy several months ago throw a massive happy fit because he and I spent forty five minutes turning his bear into “Elsa”.

He squealed like a pardoned pig on Christmas.

Elsa has awesome songs, amazing outfits, and the power to freeze stuff with her hands. Who wouldn’t want that power?

Don’t squash a child’s creativity because they’re a “boy” or a “girl” and therefore must do boy or girl things. Don’t crush their imagination because you’re trying to keep up appearances.

Don’t be that mom or dad.

If they pick a princess dress over monster truck it’ll be okay.

No parent has any idea what they’re doing.

And that’s okay, too.

What is also okay is that if your kid is 1000% princess or 1000% superhero rough and tumble army boy.

That’s okay, too.

Don’t make them grow up too fast. Don’t stifle them either. Let them play, let them learn, let them imagine every little scenario that could creep into their head.

Because it’s okay. Let them be little.

Just, for the love of Kenny Loggins, teach them some damn manners.

I leave you with this picture of my dog who likes both girl and boy toys. He is doing his best impression of a frog.

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Until next time! Which will not be in two weeks.
xoxo,
Jillie

Negativity is poisoning our world (almost as much as my dog’s gas)

I should be asleep, but my dog has gas so sleep isn’t happening anytime soon. I’ve started feeding him three times a day because, since we’ve moved into a house with a yard, he runs a good 75 miles a day and therefore burns more energy.

More food = more gas.

But he cares not, just snores right on through, until a particularly loud episode wakes him up. Serves you right gassy McGee!

Okay, I’ve used a paragraph to talk about my dog’s flatulence. This post is going to be a good one.

Random fact about me- I hate the word “flatulence” but not as much as I hate the word “fart”. I have zero problems with swear words (sorry Mom), actually there’s a quote somewhere that says people who swear more tend to be more intellectual, but “fart” gets me.

I swear I’m going somewhere with this post.

I was going to use this week to talk about gender roles, and maybe I’ll post twice this week because I am passionate about that subject, but work tonight made me want to rip my hair out so I think I’d rather talk about the effects of that.

Ps – Louk just woke himself up, sniffed his own hind end and flopped onto his back. Anyone remember Pumba from Lion King? My dog is a warthog.

Okay, onward to the point…

People are so damn negative that it makes me want to quit being an adult. Like, can I give my two weeks notice for adulthood? Is that possible? Maybe negative isn’t the right word, maybe bitter is better? People are so bitter that our world is going to look like a lemon soaked in vinegar before too long.

I understand money is tight, but when I hear a parent say,

“I don’t know why I’m spending this much damn money on a toy for you, you better appreciate that hideous thing!” I have an issue.

I have an issue with toys to begin with, but that’s probably because I was entertained by reams of paper and outside when I was little. That’s another post entirely.

When parents scream at the their children about money and purchases they’re putting financial stress on said child. When they call their child’s choices of toy ugly, they are unknowingly squashing their creativity. What’s ugly to us, could be beautiful to the child. These negative tones set the foundation for the child’s adult mindset, and by fostering an early tone of disapproval and stress they are being set up for failure.

Things cost money, you must have had an idea of what you would spend when you first walked in. It always makes me laugh when parents get up to my register and scream “Why?!” when I tell them their total.

Because math. Math is why, ma’am. Now will that be cash or credit?

It’s important to teach children about money, yes. Teach them to budget, teach them to save, but when you take them out as a treat with your money don’t act like they’re the burden. There is such a thing as “no”.

Let them be little.

I feel as if too many things today have negative connotations. “That’s too expensive.” “That’s hideous.” “They’re an idiot.” “You shouldn’t do that.” “Do that instead.” “That’s disgusting.” “That’s wrong.” And so on.

We don’t watch the news in my house. For one, we don’t have enough DVR space to do so. Secondly, I haven’t seen a positive news story in months. Recently, it’s been all about how Meth-head Marry and Barbiturate Bobby decided it’d be a good idea to leave their baby in the car while they ran into the liquor store.

I can do without the news, if the sky is falling I have a window and will catch the action just in time to tweet about it.

Thank you very much.

Why are we so hooked on negativity?

It’s kind of freaky when you think about it. We’re alive for only a short period of time, we all end up the exact same brand of worm food in the end, yet we spend a lot of our time on the earth reading stories about death.

Or watching the horror stories on the 6 o’clock news.

Or Nancy Grace’s newest kidnap victim. (Can someone kidnap her, please?)

Or this week’s reason behind why Obama is the antichrist.

We focus so much on the negative that we forget about the positive.

And not even just in the news, we forget about the positive in our own lives because we become so hellbent on the negativity of everything, and begin to micromanage everyone’s lives.

And scarily enough, most of the time people do it without even meaning to.

I see it all the time. Parents micromanage every second of their child’s life, down to the choices they make in their toys. I’ve seen moms have full on mental breakdowns because their kid’s toy they picked didn’t match their outfit.

And it’s because they worry, however subconsciously, that this fashion faux pas will have a negative impact on their child’s life down the road. Because they weren’t color coordinated they are going to fail the SAT’s, and spend the rest of their lives doing slam poetry under the overpass for spare change.

Trust me, they’ll be okay.

I’m not just talking about children being exposed, either. I think we as adults need to take one massive chill pill as well.

I hear “What’s good about it?” a lot when I tell people, “Good morning.”

And that makes me sad.

It’s good that you’re alive and breathing, and have enough independence that you somehow made it to the mall. So, that’s good.

Yay! Positivity!

I’m wildly different, I have my sad moments, but I still tend to try and see things optimistically. I march to the beat of my own kazoo, and sometimes that seems to piss people off.

Which is also sad. People (usually customers or mall walkers) seem to think that there’s only one “right” way to be happy, and then they get jealous or infuriated of your ability to be happy just because.

“Well, you have it easy you play with kids all day.”

Yes, I play/work for eight hours a day five days a week. Not every kid is a golden ray of sunshine, especially when they use YOUR sleeve to wipe their nose, or go over and pee in corner because their parents weren’t listening the first 769 times they said they had to go potty.

Then there was that kid the screamed bloody murder NON-STOP for two whole hours. Seriously, if we ever need to cut funding for the storm sirens I know what we can use as a back up.

Yes, the three year old banshee was a hoot.

It’s not always a cakewalk, tone down the bitterness a bit Ms. Negative Nancy.

Yeah, life can suck. Trust me, I had a mini meltdown tonight because I’m just down right tired.

It’s okay.

It’s okay to have meltdowns, and bad days, and Chicken Little moments but don’t let it fester like an infected mosquito bite.

It’s a bad moment, not a bad life.

Take a second, breathe, and let it go.

We can’t control every aspect of our lives, so I think that we tend to over compensate with the things that are in our hands. The main goal in life isn’t to be the richest financially, nor the prettiest, or to have the most things.

The main goal in life is to be, at this very moment, the happiest you can be. In this moment you are both the youngest, and the oldest you will ever be. You are the smartest, yet the most naive you will ever be.

Be you.

Whoever that may be.

Your journey is yours. If we all walked the same beaten path there would be no new discoveries.

Don’t worry too much about being conventional, don’t dwell on the what ifs or the tomorrow. When tomorrow’s moment comes you can worry, but while you are in this moment you should beam like the sun.

Be extraordinary, because you owe that to yourself.

Negativity does nothing.

And it causes wrinkles.

You can be sad that it’s raining, or be happy that the flowers will bloom because of it.

The choice is yours. Make it in this moment.

Who are you living for?

Let it go

Ps- I’m trying this new “share a song every week” thing. What do you guys think?

Pps- Remember it could always be worse. You could have a cat and a dog laying on your bed, licking their butts at the same time. That’s my current moment.

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Here’s to trying to sleep without dreaming of cat butts, and gas powered mutts.

Until next time!
xoxo,
Jillie

Feminism: or the radical idea that women are people

Before I begin, let me extend a huge thank you to my friends who have shared my blog in the past week. I am eternally in your debt! To my newest readers, welcome. The easiest way to catch candid moments of me between postings is via the Twitter @sillie_jillie.
Enjoy!
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I used to like Hobby Lobby. There is a small portion of me that goes into an all out fit over scrap booking supplies, and Halloween decorations (especially when said items are at 40% off). I overlooked their unnecessarily large section of bronze/wooden/clay/straw/glass crosses, and the fact that they were closed on Sundays.

They had sparkly Jackolanters and owls out the wazoo, I could overlook the obvious.

But the fact that they have now set women back a good 100 years is something I can no longer support.

Take your decoupage letters and shove them up your tight, conservative ass Hobby Lobby!

If you happen to have been living under a rock (lucky) for the past month here’s the short version of what’s happened:

A store that sells hot glue and rubber stamps has taken it upon themselves to tell their female employees what they can and cannot do with their bodies.

I don’t have a business degree, but common sense tells me that you don’t want to alienate the gender that, I’m certain, makes up a good 96.4% of your customer base. The fact that it’s 2014 and we are still having to fight for this shit is appalling.

But what do I know? I’m just a woman.

Hahahahahahahaha……I know a lot, don’t try me.

The thing is Hobby Lobby, and others like it, think that this is a huge win for women and babies. It’s not! It’s a huge punch in the gut for us! You aren’t helping women by taking away our right to affordable and safe contraception. You aren’t saving anyone, in fact you’re endangering an entire generation. What I do, what my female friends do, what my mother or aunts etc., choose to do with their bodies is up to them. To deny us access to certain health care benefits based on religious ideas should have been a huge red flag for our government.

Instead, our Supreme Court decided to pass it right on through.

And this decision was completely based off of the religious beliefs of a company.

Wrong! Nope! Shouldn’t have happened!

What if the reverse had happened? What if a company, ran by atheists, denied it’s employees the right to go to church on Sundays? Then what would’ve the SCOTUS had to say? The thing that kills me is that Hobby Lobby states that it’s an Equal Opportunity Employer. Bull! Obviously it’s not, since it’s denying health access to it’s female employees.

“Birth control causes abortion.”

Are you stupid? You know what causes abortion? Abortion. And if a girl wants to get an abortion their EMPLOYER should have nothing to do with that decision. My employers decides when I work, what hours I work, and what job I do, it does not say what I do with my body. The biggest bodily control my employer has is what I wear to work. That’s it. End of story.

“You’re just mad because you don’t want the consequences of having sex.” News flash! Not every woman wants to have a baby! Personally, I want the complete opposite of birth control. I would love a baby right now, but I still 145% support the women who don’t. We shouldn’t be punished for having sex. Maybe the person we have sex with isn’t the person you want to settle down and have children with, maybe you don’t want a baby at all! That’s fine. Your employer should still have nothing to do with it.

And another thing, contraceptives are used for other things besides preventing birth. They are used to help with Endometriosis, PCOS, acne, uterine fibroids, PMDD, and a range of other things. I would bet my healthcare paying ass that if there was suddenly a pill/device available for men that prevented any type of pain they felt in their man-parts, plus prevented them from having babies employers would triple cover that shit.

“Well condoms aren’t covered by employers.” Last time I checked condoms didn’t cost hundreds of dollars. Last time I checked you couldn’t pick up an IUD when you were paying for your gas and fountain drink at the 7-eleven.

I live in America, dammit. I should be able to have birth control and equal pay. Do these big wig male politicians forget that it was a woman who pushed their sorry asses out of their hoo-has? Do they not get that by denying women rights to affordable healthcare that they are denying their own mothers and daughters rights? They are indirectly saying that the life of a man is more valuable than the life of a woman.

Just because we take away their access to birth control doesn’t mean that people are going to stop having sex, this just mean you are endangering not only the lives of women but the lives of those children you are trying so hard to protect. It’s like raising the drinking age, young kids aren’t going to quit drinking. It just makes it more dangerous. If we deny access to birth control that means an increase in unwanted pregnancies, it means more women on welfare, it means more ruined lives for women and children.

But let’s deny rights based on an old book written by men. That makes sense.

Jesus doesn’t pay my insurance, God won’t be there to pay my salary if I miss work because of the effects of PCOS that could have been subdued if I had contraception. It doesn’t work that way.

Government and religion shouldn’t mix. And a bunch of old men shouldn’t have any say over what I choose to use my hard earned insurance for.

By denying medical rights to women the government is teaching their future sons that gender discrimination is okay. That your wife is not your equal, but your subordinate.

Let that sink in.

The fact that Hobby Lobby got away with it means that any company could decide to deny rights based on religion.

It’s wrong.

I’m a human, I’m not a thing, I should have more rights than a corporation.

But god forbid I speak my mind.

Liberty and Justice for All*

*as long as you’re a white, conservative, heterosexual, Christian male, in the upper tax bracket*

Hobby Lobby you have lost a customer. My glitter loving, decoration needing, insurance having, female self will be shopping at Joann’s from now on.

They have better fabric to wrap my sinful ass in as I burn my bras anyway.

::gasp::

Until next time when I’ll either discuss gender roles vs. cinnamon rolls, or the squirrel-pocalypse in our backyard.

xoxo,
Jillie.

Ps- check out King of Anything by Sara Bareillis. It’s probably about a bad boyfriend, but it seems to fit. Clickity click

The straight answer on gay marriage

As I sit here on the eve of Independence Day, watching my dog run around the backyard like he’s recreating the Revolutionary War (because I live in the Midwest and fireworks pretty much last from the 1st – 23rd of July), I can’t help but think of how far our country has come…

…and how painfully far we have to go.

It was difficult to pick a topic for this week’s blog. I didn’t know whether to write about gay rights (or as I like to call them human rights… since, unbeknownst to some, gay people are actually human), or the whole “Craft Store takes over the Supreme Court” debacle. Since Pride Month just ended, and I have not yet calmed down from this past week’s installment of “Betty Bible takes over The Government”, I thought I’d go with gay rights to life, liberty, and their pursuit of the-exact-same-rights-as-everyone-else.

I love Cocoa-Cola
I don’t love Pepsi
Therefore if you order a Pepsi to drink I will not be able to enjoy my diet coke.

I sound like an idiot, don’t I?

If you oppose gay rights, you sound just as idiotic.

If not more so, because Pepsi really is gross.

Sometimes I think that maybe I’m not seeing it from every point of view. Maybe that’s why I can’t wrap my brain around the hatred and opposition against a demographic. My mother did a great job of raising me as an open minded individual. I was a hippie child of the nineties without a hateful bone in my body. I did theatre for years, and therefore was introduced to gay people before I even knew what gay was. I don’t even remember questioning why my play directors held hands and lived together. I just assumed they loved each other and that was okay.

That’s just it. I’ve always seen it as okay.

So I tried to see it from other points of view….and I failed miserably.

I don’t like a lot of people, but I wouldn’t dare in a million years dream of preventing them from having the same rights as I do simply based on the fact that I don’t like them.

“God says no homo.” It’s fine if you want to believe that the big guy upstairs disapproves of the gays. Personally, I don’t think god ever directly mentioned homosexuality being a sin (go ahead and throw Leviticus at me…I’ll catch it and toss it right back.). Know what God said was a big no-no? Hating people. So apparently we’re just going to ignore all the other rules in the bible because some people think two boys kissing is icky.

If we followed other rules in The Bible there’d be no shrimp at the buffet you so love to inhale after church. Remember that next time you’re sitting next to your third husband, preaching hate in your polyester-blend Sunday Best…

Sinful heathen.

Another thing that baffles me is that everyone who seems to oppose gay rights seems to throw the bible into it. Human rights should have nothing to do with the bible since that pesky little thing called The First Amendment and The Separation of Church and State. The government shall make no law “respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” You have the right to exercise your religion, but you can’t make laws based on that. You can preach your religion in your house and house of worship, but to deny rights on a government level based on hatred and using the bible to cover up that hatred doesn’t make you anything but a bigoted coward.

“If gays can get married then what’s next? People marrying sheep?” On what planet is that the next logical step?! Humans marrying humans hasn’t led to an escalation of human to llama marriage, has it? Just because interracial couples can now marry doesn’t mean I’m going to suddenly want to marry a coconut tree. Marriage involves two people, of legal age, who possess the ability to make their own decisions coming together. It doesn’t involve Sally getting a wild hair up her ass and marrying a kumquat.

And what is this gay agenda I keep hearing about? Know what the gay agenda is? Working 40 hours a week, remembering to put the trash out on Tuesdays, and clearing up enough space on the DVR to support The Walking Dead when it comes back in October. There’s no hidden agenda to convert straight people.

Because that would be wrong.

Wouldn’t it?

Converting people to be just like you wouldn’t be right.

And are people missing the positive effect gay marriage would have on our economy? Obviously our dollar is doing so well right now, perhaps you just can’t see the rampant poverty running wild in our streets. I think a recent census said that there were about 71,000 same-sex couples in the US…(don’t quote me on that, it’s midnight and my brain is fried from hillbillies shooting off fireworks for the past 96 hours straight)….the average wedding is AROUND $28,000 (and people wonder why I’m single). So let’s say half of those couples get married…that’s a shit load of money. I say shit load because my calculator just told me “1.08EEEEE” so apparently gay marriage broke math.

That’s how awesome it would be.

And that’s just one day.

It’s estimated that legalizing same-sex marriage would bring in anywhere from $20 million to $40 million more a year in taxes alone.

More people getting married creates more jobs which helps boost the economy.

It will also help cut government welfare spending.

Boom. Gay marriage can help save the economy.

But because people like Anne Coulter decide that homosexuality is “unnatural” we can’t move forward as a society.

Someone needs to break it to her that her hair color is unnatural. Maybe then she’ll take the stick out.

And then there are the people that say “I just don’t want to see it.” I understand you might be uncomfortable with seeing two men or two women kissing. I’m uncomfortable seeing people with a combined total of 3.5 teeth gumming it up in the mall, but I run into it more often than I like to admit. Do I go marching on against their rights? No. Go on with your bad selves, go on and have your camo and possum wedding. I’m not going to stop you. It’s okay if you don’t like gay people, I don’t like white trash-esque people who waddle into my store smelling like a wet towel used to mop up Rush Limbaugh’s back sweat…but I don’t tell them to get out. I don’t tell them they shouldn’t exist.

There’s no rule anywhere that says you have to like people, but you should at least tolerate them. That’s the only way we’re going to advance as a society. We have to tolerate each other.

Hate is the giant wrench in the forward moving machine that is the human race. More specifically our country. We have heterosexual, white men in our government who are more concerned about how two men living together and wanting to marry is effecting the well being of radical religious fanatics in the Bible Belt, than they are with our crumbling school systems.

You know, young people learning? The future of our country?

Might want to work on that.

“Why is there a pride month? Ridiculous.”

Pride is necessary. Pride month is necessary. Because pride is about love, it’s about acceptance, and it’s about the idea that straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, pan, whatever you identify as…is right. Just be you 100% even if you don’t know what your “label” is. Pride month is not just for LGBT pride, it’s for human pride. It’s this radical idea of celebrating the human spirit.

And it’s about the idea that the realization of equality is long overdue. That there should be no asterisks in “Liberty and Justice for All*”. America is built on being a melting pot, that’s what makes us so damn awesome. Every one of us being different doesn’t hinder us, it enhances us as a society.

And family is family. No matter how you spin it. If you can find someone in this world to love you, and help you grow, and make you laugh in this dismal world then don’t let go of them. And don’t let go of who you are as an individual. Not for one second.

Don’t let some old person with a Bible scare you away from being proud.

And to those of you who oppose gay marriage, if you are so against gays wouldn’t you want them to get married? Wouldn’t you want them to be a miserable as you are?

Gay marriage was legal in Indiana for about 47 hours. The Ohio river didn’t turn red with blood, whores of Babylon didn’t run rampant in the street. Do you know what happened? Some people got married and probably ate cake.

You want to deny people the right to eat cake?

And you say gays are tearing apart the moral fabric of society.

I could go on for hours, but I’m tired and need to go decide whether or not I’m going to call the cops on my neighbors for exploding things in the name of America at 1 am.

In conclusion, the next time you want to stand on your soap box and preach that the definition of marriage should remain between a man and a woman remember this: marriage used to be a simple exchange of a woman for some livestock.

Your narrow mindedness is worth about 2 sheep.

Happy 4th everyone!
Until next time when I’m sure I’ll tackle Hobby Lobby then make a scrapbook about it with crafts I purchased at Joann’s.

xoxo,
Jillie

#YesAllWomen

Allow me to preface this post by saying that I am so sorry it has taken me this long to update. I hit a snafu in inspiration, then was inspired to start writing a new book, then went through a depressed spell, then zoned out for a bit…and now I’m here! I won’t let this happen again.

On a happier note: Congrats to my state, Indiana on finally getting with the times and legalizing gay marriage! I can’t wait to attend some weddings.

A warning: This post will deal with things that a lot of people don’t want to hear about or deal with, but the truth is…they need to be heard and dealt with. Enough is enough.

Rape culture is real no matter how much we, as a society, would like to sweep it under the rug. By ignoring what is happening in our society, we are teaching women that they have zero value outside of what men tell them they should be/act/look like.
============================
I feel as if this post may be more effective in a list format, so here are my top five talking points of the #YesAllWomen movement.

1.Dress Code

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This is a bra strap.

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These are leggings

Both are clothing options typically selected by females.

Neither are a reason a girl should be kicked out of school, or sexually assaulted by a boy.

I don’t enjoy seeing girls strutting down the mall in crop tops and way too short shorts, but then again I wouldn’t like to see boys strut down the mall in them either. The point isn’t whether or not I find their outfits visually appealing, the point is that I still support their right to wear whatever they, or their parents, seem fit for them to wear.

And they should do so without fear of assault by a man.

No one that is ever sexually assaulted deserves it. I don’t give a hot wet monkey’s ass whether the girl was wearing the most revealing outfit ever constructed in the history of forever; she does not deserve to be sexually assaulted.

By telling a girl that she was “asking for it” we are taking a huge step back as a culture. If a boy/man cannot keep it together while a pretty girl in a short dress walks by, the issue lies with them and not with the girl.

Newsflash boys: 9 times out of 10 we are wearing dresses because it’s hot as Satan’s bathroom after a Taco Bell binge and we don’t feel like wearing pants. You’d wear dresses too if society didn’t tell you it’d turn you into a girl or make you gay. Dresses are freeing, you’re really missing out.

It’s been a few years since I’ve been in high school, so let’s take a look at rules now a days:

Girls
Don’t show your bra strap
Don’t wear shorts
Don’t wear tight pants
Don’t show any skin
Make sure your dress is fingertip length
Don’t wear leggings
Don’t wear yoga pants

Boys
Pull your pants up.

Girls are now being sent home for wearing leggings to school.

BEING. SENT. HOME.

Why?

BECAUSE it’s distracting to boys.

Last time I checked, schools don’t stop the whole teaching and learning cycle while Sally takes the time to drive home and change. So now Sally is losing out on learning time because Timmy was distracted by her chevron covered legs.

That right there is saying loud and clear that we value Timmy’s education above Sally’s.

Apparently it’d be just too difficult to tell Timmy to ignore the leggings and pay attention to class. We’d rather humiliate Sally, tell her that she’s the problem and she’s to blame for anything that boys do.

And bra straps? I’m sorry that I ruined the illusion that my boobs are eternally perky and stationary by revealing that I *gasp* wear a bra!

If bra straps are causing boys to fail their tests, we have a bigger problem with our education system than I previously thought.

Girls are being humiliated everyday for what they wear, and how they look. Not just in school but outside of school as well. I’ve had to pull my girls away from the front of my store before because boys will keep cat calling or making comments.

Yet boys can wear a shirt that says, “Cool story babe, now make me a sandwich.” And it’s seen as funny.

Boys can wear a shirt called a “wife beater” and that’s perfectly okay that it exists and we call it that.

But “boys will be boys”.

2. Boys will be boys This is no way to excuse lude behavior. We are teaching boys from an early age that they’re going to get away with pulling girl’s hair, pushing them down on the playground… or as they get older, slapping someone’s ass or making sexual comments is going to be okay because “boys will be boys.”

I challenge any straight man to accept that excuse when a gay man hits on them the same exact way they hit on girls.

Being aggressive and degrading is NOT okay. Even if you are a boy being a boy. We need to start holding people accountable for their actions. You aren’t being a dick because you’re a boy, you’re being a dick because you’ve been led to believe that that’s okay.

It’s not.

3. We are more focused on teaching girls how not to get raped instead of teaching boys to not rape

Don’t get me wrong, self defense is important. However, I don’t feel I should be concerned about WHEN I’m going to be attacked instead of IF.

“Don’t leave your drink unattended.” Instead of “Don’t spike a drink.”

“Look over your shoulder when you’re walking in the dark, but don’t look suspicious when you’re doing so or someone might think you’re weak.”

“Don’t drink too much at a party.” Instead of “Don’t take advantage of someone who has had too much.”

“If you’re being attacked it’s more effective to yell ‘Fire!’ than ‘Rape!'” Instead if “Don’t rape and if someone is yelling ‘Rape!’ Go help them!”

“Don’t wear that or someone will get the wrong idea.” Instead of “Don’t assume every woman is out to sleep with you.”

If we taught boys that respect doesn’t make them seem weak, then we’d be able to help eliminate this rampant problem.

4. “It’s okay, she was drunk.” “It’s okay, I was drunk.”
As I said above in #3, alcohol is NEVER an excuse. Alcohol is an excuse for dancing poorly and thinking you’re a prima ballerina, it’s not an excuse for taking advantage of a woman. No means no. End of story. It’s not No means no unless you buy me a drink, or no means no unless you keep trying.

No means no.

Respect that.

5. “She was asking for it.”
In no point during my life have I “asked” to be sexually assaulted. Whenever someone is being tried for murder is it ever asked if the victim was “asking” for it?

Rape is a form of murder.

When you take advantage of a girl you’re murdering her trust in men.

You’re murdering a part of her self worth.

You’re making her feel disgusting.

A part of her has died because of something YOU did. There is no one else to blame.

No woman is ever asking for it.

So can we all just stop ignoring it? Stop acting like this isn’t an issue?

A girl should be free to dress how she pleases, she should be able to feel free and smart and wonderful…

Without living in constant fear that she’s going to be humiliated, or worse, assaulted.

#YesAllWomen

Because we all have a voice.
And we should be free to use it.

Until next time,
xoxo
Jillie

Adventures in retail: Why, “The customer is always right.” is actually very wrong.

I believe people should be required to hold two types of jobs before entering whatever workforce they may be destined for. 1) Restaurant worker 2) Retail slave. These jobs, though occasionally viewed as mundane, (THEY’RE NOT I HAVE WORKED BOTH) will teach you the importance of being kind to one another. That being said, I will now dive head first into my views on why “The customer is usually wrong.”

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THIS. This is how my day usually starts. After I’ve had a pretty good morning of pre-work, music filled, serenity I am greeted once again by the upturned noses of the American public.

Newsflash: Y’not special!

I feel that, for whatever reason, we as a society have somehow had it engrained into our psyche that we deserve to be waited on hand and foot. Why? Have we suffered so greatly as a species? Is there some unwritten code that I’m unaware of? Was that in the indecipherable section of the Rosetta Stone? The 13th Commandment? “Thou shalt get everything thou desires if a big enough hissy fit is thrown…eth.”

Seriously. Why is this the attitude of almost every person that shops anywhere? Stop me if I’m wrong, (actually, don’t stop me. I’m on a roll.) if this is just a “Midwest” thing let me know.

I think it’s the typical attitude because companies have let it become the typical attitude. Before you get all up in arms let me explain; people thrive on being “right”, it’s a euphoric feeling when you come out on top and you believe you have bested your opponent. Humans thrive on “winning”.

Unless you’re me, in which case you never win at anything and have thus given up buying scratch off tickets and playing HORSE with the garage door down, (because your family is generally concerned about the well-being of the garage door).

But yes, people get off on being right. Even when it means that you’ve “bested” a 16 year old who is only trying to do her job that she has somehow secured in a less than ideal job market. Being right makes pompous people happy, and happy pompous people shop more. Companies make more money when people get their way, however how much is this costing them in turnover rates from employees? The Sasha Corporation (a company out of Cincinnati specializing in customer service and employee retention see here) discovered that the average cost to replace an $8 an hour employee ranged between $5,505 – $9,444.

Excuse me?

Maybe it’s because I think $5 is a lot of money, but those numbers just sound INSANE. I am completely baffled by those results, yet many companies aren’t changing the age old mantra of “The customer is always right.”

Now, I’m not saying that shitty customers are the sole cause of employee turnover, but you have to realize that it is probably a rather large contributor. I’ve wanted to leave many a job because people are assholes, and most human beings have some semblance of a breaking point.

The majority of companies seem to concentrate on one side of satisfaction: the customer. They think if the customer is happy, then the whole operation will run smoothly.

Wrong.

If a car’s wheels turn, it doesn’t mean the entire car will function to today’s standards now does it?

All pieces must work together in order to succeed, or everything will come crashing down. I believe the changes should begin with how customers are treated. If we treated customers more like humans and friends and less like ethereal beings and gods, then maybe the economy would benefit as well as everyone’s brains and hearts.

(I should’ve put this post into list format, but I’m trying to veer away from my OCD tendencies)

Let me tell you, I love any establishment I walk into where one of the first things I see is a big ‘ol sign that says: “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone*.” Translation: “If you feel the need to be an asshole, there is the door.”

I put an asterisk because this can be taken too far, like the instance not too long ago where someone was refused service at a restaurant because of their sexuality. That teeters on the very line between discrimination (because it was), and the fact that it was a privately owned business so they technically could refuse service….but it was still wrong because there are laws against discriminatory behavior based on race, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, etc. and those laws are there for a reason.

There is, however, no law to protect you if you are an asshole.

You can help being an asshole. You can’t help being African American, gay (don’t even start with me), or from New Zealand.

Anyway, back to my point. I wish every establishment displayed that sign. I think the public needs to be knocked down a couple of pegs. Just because you come to shop in my store, doesn’t mean that you are better than I

Bottom line: I. Do. Not. Work. For. You.

The days of slavery in our country are gone. There’s a reason: it doesn’t work, and it’s morally absurd.

You don’t “deserve” anything. You work hard for what you get, and you treat others with respect. Just because you wear a three piece suit to work doesn’t make you any better than the homeless man you pass on your way into your office building. We’re all just ash in the end, don’t waste your time being a jerk.

Which brings me back to my first picture on this post. For god sake where has every form of social courtesy gone?! Attention everyone: I did not physically drag you to the mall and make you shop. You did it all on your own so don’t give me that look when I say, “Good Morning!”

It’s not that hard.
This is how it should go:

Me: Good Morning!
You: Good Morning!
Me: How are you?
You: Just swell, how about you?
Me: I’m great, thank you! How can I be of assistance?

However, you the customer seem to make it hard and it ends up going more like this…

Me: Good Morning!
You:

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Settle down, Satan.

Would it physically kill you to just converse with the worker you happen upon? We aren’t all aggressive workers just fishing for a sale.

Also, when did “just looking” become an emotion? Does that rank up with “melancholy” or “happy” because I must have missed that one when I was in school.

Me: Hey guys, how are ya?
You: JUST LOOKING!!!!!!!
Me:

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Just answer. I know that from a personal perspective, I use a lot of energy to converse with customers on a daily basis. I’m introverted by nature and tend to enjoy lagging back and observing opposed to being on the front lines. Therefore, I would like a little conversation or just basic respect in return.

Sadly, I’ve given up on expecting it.

Sadly, I’m actually shocked whenever someone stops to talk with me.

This is what our society has come to. A bunch of consumers who are solely focused on one thing: More.

More products, more being right, more stuff.

That’s fine, just give me a little more respect.

And pick up after yourselves!

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Then, once we’ve passed the actual barrier of human conversation, the complaints start.

Oh, you’ve ignored me this entire time but now you have something to bitch about so suddenly I’m REAL and can be SEEN.

Let me preface this by saying: We do not control the amount of product. That is basic supply and demand.

“Your employee says you’re out of this.”
“That’s because we are.”
“Why?”
“Because we sold them all.”

Our jobs are to sell stuff. If we are out of something that means we are doing our job.

Yay us.

Just because you didn’t come and get something fast enough doesn’t mean it’s my fault. Again, I don’t control when you do or do not shop.

“Well I’ve been working!”

Shocker. Me too.

Also: We do not control the price of products. The end.

“This is too expensive!”
Yeah, too bad that just taking it is called theft which is just a no-no.

So we’ve gone through getting to know each other, gone through your anger at us for various things that are usually out of our control, now that you’ve huffed and puffed it’s time for you to pay.

And here come the coupons.

I don’t really mind coupons, I use them when I can, who doesn’t like to save a dollar on dish soap or buy a McMuffin and get one for free? When you come at me with expired coupons, or tell me you left them at home, is when I actually have an issue.

If your coupon is expired, it is no longer good.

“This coupon expired in February but I couldn’t get in here.”
“Ma’am it’s May…”
“Well it’s not my fault it expired!!!!”

It’s also not mine. Blame the progression of time, I really have no idea how you would like me to deal with this.

If you use an expired coupon it is the equivalent of hand drawing “$10 off” with crayons on the back of a cheeseburger wrapper and trying to pass it off as a valid coupon. It’s also as if you brought me a coupon to Victoria’s Secret and tried to use it in my store.

It’s not going to work.

“I’ve been shopping here for years!”

Then you should know our rules by now.

Oh you’re going to scream and fume because the stars didn’t align perfectly for you? You didn’t get your way?

Damn shame.

Also, “I left my coupon at home, do you have anymore?” Is pretty much like saying, “I left my money at home, do you have any?”

…..Out.

When I get down to it, I guess what I’m trying to say is that we as consumers could benefit from a little swift kick in the rear. Products aren’t entitlements, the workers aren’t little errand boys and girls, they’re just people trying to make it in the world like everyone else. Our dollars would go further, and our lives would be a little happier, if everyone would just calm down a bit.

And humans make mistakes. Honestly.

“If people don’t shop you won’t have a job!” Thank you, Captain Obvious. I know that. I’m glad people shop, I’m thankful that they do, I just think there are better ways to go about it.

“Where do you work?” I’m not answering because I like the anonymity of it all. You know I work at a children’s store and that’s all you need to know. It really is wonderful, though.

“Why don’t you just get another job?” Because I do really love my job, and this is where I feel I should be. I do love the people. And no, not everyone acts like the scenarios described above. People are nice, kind, fun…I just think on average that people need to be a little kinder to each other.

Because what if that was your kid?

What if the worker you’re screaming at about something that is totally out of their control was your kid?

I bet you’d be mad.

That’s just it. A lot of retail workers are kids. Kids trying to get by, to get through school, to become doctors or lawyers. You wouldn’t walk into a doctor’s office and demand a lower copayment, would you? Or yell at your lawyer because you didn’t like a law? Then don’t do it to the people working in malls and other stores.

Because one day they might be your doctor or lawyer.

And it’d really suck if they held a grudge.

Until next time!
xoxo,
Jillie

Why donuts are more faithful than men

Warning: This post is mainly serious in tone with a side of my usual sarcasm and humor. If Love makes you run screaming from the room you may want to avoid this post read it a few times over.

P.S. – My future personal assistant, Banana came up with the title for this piece. I’ll have to remember to give her a raise sometime in the next 15 years.

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I’ve been toying with this post for a week and a half. Ever since M said I needed to get to the nitty gritty on here. I agreed, but first I had to write about over ruffled children and selfie moms. After that, I’d let my heart run around on the page.

No matter how painful it would be.

So I stewed a few days on how to leap into this. I became frustrated on my last day off and ignored blogging altogether, choosing instead to make a dress with C.

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If anyone was wondering what my dog Louk looks like that’s him. He hopped up on a chair then promptly gave me that “I don’t know why I’m here.” face.

Anyway, after completely ignoring the giant elephant in the room that was my WordPress app glowing at me from my phone I decided that I needed to write something. I knew I wanted to write about love, but beginning this post was harder than others.

Because it meant totally opening myself up.

I had my reservations, but then I had my headphones on while opening my store yesterday (because I try to have a little break from the Kidz Bop version of every popular song ever so I don’t end up bleeding from the ears) when Kina’s “Girl from the Gutter” followed by Pink’s “Heartbreaker” came on one after the other and I just kind of went…

“Oh, okay.”

So here goes nothing.

People will try to tell you that you will eventually get over your first love and someday you won’t even remember their name.

Bullshit.

You’ll remember their name, their birthdate, their cologne/perfume, pant size, and every agonizing detail about them. If you don’t, you were never in love to begin with.

I did warn you, this post isn’t all marshmallows and fruit snacks.

I fell head over heels in love at the ripe old age of 16/17. Everything about our early relationship was pretty much a romantic comedy that made people puke. I mean, we met in a coffee shop for the love of Nicholas Sparks. I loved him, my family loved him, his family loved me, we thought we were endgame.

Until life decided to interfere.

Unfortunately in life, you’re going to meet people that you’re going to take a chance on and they are, in turn, going to destroy you and take advantage of every niceness you possess. You are human, you are going to make mistakes.

I made a big one.

At 22 I accepted a lovely marriage proposal from the man I had loved for the previous five years. The ring was beautiful, the story behind the proposal was beautiful.I was blissfully happy after what felt like a really rough few years.

*a quick sidenote: My early college years weren’t kind to me. Many deaths, accidents, and topsy turvy events went down. I’m sure I’ll open up about those later, but how about we go one wound at a time?*

Fast forward a bit, because the set up for this story isn’t nearly as important as the story itself. Where was I? Oh yes, blissfully happy and engaged.

Not long after we returned home
I met a “friend” who ended up being nothing but a snake in the grass. At first, it was innocent. They were going through a bad breakup and I just wanted to help, because I was happy and felt everyone else should be as well. Then it all went south when I began dedicating all my time to this person I was convinced needed saving, and they were doing nothing but dragging me down. I tried to help them, but I ended up getting manipulated into doubting my own happiness.

Don’t ever doubt your own happiness. If you are blissfully happy at 22, then you are blissfully happy at 22. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise just because they might be miserable.

And that’s pretty much where my fairy tale ending quickly turned into an Earth shattering reality.

I don’t remember much. I think a lot of it is a vodka soaked blur of screaming fits and a constant mantra of, “I don’t even know who you are anymore!”

And we didn’t.

He knew who he was, I didn’t know who I was and somehow we had lost the willingness to help each other figure it all out. I was hellbent on this new mission of “finding myself” because I was 22 and had essentially never been wild and single. Maybe I wanted to be single, maybe I wanted to date girls. I just didn’t know and instead of sticking around and getting through it together I gave up. I threw up my hands and ran away to a college up north where I thought maybe I could clear my head for awhile.

I eventually ended up broken, single, and several hours from home.

And I had no one to blame but myself.

There’s nothing quite like a breakup, I think that’s the thing that’s most terrifying about any relationship and maybe why I’m so reluctant to jump into one. You’re either going to end up with that person for the rest of your life, or you’re going to break up. I remember not being able to breathe, not being able to think. It felt like I had been dunked into an ice bath and held down until the bubbles stopped. I curled into myself and didn’t move for what felt like days. I wanted to die.

But I didn’t.

I got up, I cleaned myself up, and decided to make something of myself.

On the subject of love, and life in general, I honestly think it’s important to follow the sage wisdom of female impersonator, RuPaul:

“If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love anybody else?”

Love isn’t just about the other person, it’s about you. You have to be okay with yourself before you open up to letting someone else love you. Maybe my mistake was loving too hard too young. Now, now, I’m not saying young relationships are doomed. As I said above, if you’ve decided on forever at 22 and you are content go for it. If you can wage any war, any storm, and do it together without giving up any of the love you have for yourself you go for it.

But don’t settle. God, don’t ever settle. I’m not talking about looks wise, or income wise, I’m talking about heart. Don’t settle for anyone that’s going to make you feel like you are less than 100% amazing, and certainly don’t ever settle for anyone who is going to play games with your heart or your head. Find someone who will hold your hand, and keep you tethered while you find yourself.

Because finding yourself is an eternal process. You’re always going to be learning new things about yourself, the key is finding that person who will always love finding out those things with you.

Notice I said to find someone who keeps you tethered. All this crap I’m seeing online lately is about being anchored. The hell? You want to be anchored? You want a giant hunk of iron to keep you stationary in this big dock of life? No. Hell no. Don’t you let anyone drag you to a halt. Find your tether, because tethers allow you to keep on flying without losing yourself.

And don’t you dare ever let anyone tell you anything about your heart. It’s okay to ask for advice, but don’t just let anyone come into your space and tell you how you should live your life and who you should be living it with. What seems like paradise for them could be hell for you, or vice versa. There are times I want to “help” my girls at work with their relationships, but I have to bite my tongue…because their love is their love not mine. If their hearts flutter and they smile that’s all I can ask for.

When it comes to my own luck in love I learned a couple of things. A) A bottle of wine fits in just about any travel mug B) Sara Bareillis writes damn good breakup songs. But above all else is this: Be kind. Be kind to each other and be kind to yourself. Don’t stay just because you don’t think you can “do better”. It’s not about doing better, it’s not a competition, it’s two people coming together and deciding to share that time in their lives. On the other side don’t leave just because you experience a little stormy weather. Fights are good for the blood, good for the soul (and, let’s face it, can lead to awesome make up sex). If you fight with each other it usually means you’re willing to fight for each other. That’s key. Hash it out, calm down, and get through it. Don’t just break up because “Bae didn’t answer his phone.”

Who is Bae?

Nothing about love is easy, and nothing after you’ve lost love is easy, either. But both are equally as worth it. It’s hard, especially after a bitter breakup, to be kind. Trust me, the whole breakup was my fault and I wanted to be mean. It’s a coping mechanism. No matter what, you’re going to feel a pang of hurt when they start dating again. You’re going to be pissed that they’re with someone else. Then, you’re going to get pissed that you’re pissed because you know you’re better than that.

Which is probably why I’ve been a rather bitter See You Next Tuesday the past couple of weeks.

But it’ll be okay.

Don’t ever regret any second of any relationship no matter how fleeting. Try to remember that you are supposed to do exactly what you did while you had that time. Because you can never get that time back. Oh, I have my moments of wishing I would have fought harder. I wish I would have packed up my stuff and marched back home, but then I wouldn’t have anything that I have now. Not even my dog. Don’t regret doing or not doing; you might “hate their guts” but I bet you learned something. I bet you learned something and for that you should be grateful.

And girls, have some respect.

And show some respect.

And don’t let anyone tell you that you have to be with someone. It’s also perfectly okay to be single. All girls seem hell bent on this “Princess dream”. Stop it. Stop. Don’t focus so much on getting a guy or girl and lose focus on living for you. If you don’t live what are you going to have to talk about once you do find someone?

I guess what I’m really trying to get at is to just be happy, never say never, and don’t be afraid.

Oh trust me, love is scary as shit and it will rip you apart and attempt to piece you back together.

But a little fear never hurt anyone.

You’re human, you will make mistakes, you will fall and bleed, but any choice you make in regards to your heart is yours. Own it.

If you find that you are more content just loving you and being on your own, then you go.

And if things get tough remember: Donuts are more faithful than men.
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If any of you were wondering about my current relationship status, here is a picture of my Bae:

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Until next time when I’ll be discussing why you should be kind to retail workers.
xoxo,
Jillie