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It’s ME! {Alternate post-title: “How to Get All Your Summer Reading Requirements Done in One Blog-Reading Session!”}

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Here I am trying to look cool. It's an active pastime of mine!

Well, hello there, mom!  What?  You aren’t my mom and yet you still voluntarily chose to ready my ramblings?  Kudos for you, random friend/sister/husband!  Hopefully you won’t be too disappointed in this blog as it will undoubtedly center around the thing I seem to love to talk and write about most: myself!  Yep.  My helpful therapist was right when she posed her life-changing / call-you-out question of, “Is it really, always all about YOU?!”  Four years ago I answered her without missing a beat and dramatic tears in my eyes, “Yes!”  Back then I was sure that if my husband was having a bad day, friends weren’t calling or if blessings were being withheld, it was always in retaliation to SOMETHING I must I have managed to do, whether on purpose or by a complete self-centered accident.  I have grown a lot since then, and realized that the world does not, indeed, revolve around my actions and whims, but I still relish a good, ‘Let’s talk about me’ time (as my husband would readily attest to).  So today I thought, “Frick!  Why try and squelch this desire to talk about my opinions and feelings all the time and instead, just dump out my thoughts in some sort of blog or something?  Who knows, maybe others will be entertained by it, or even cooler, enlightened by something I have to say?  Perhaps if I dump out all my opinions and questions for others to see, they will stop ruminating over and over in my mind!”  Ahhh…silence from my own inner-voice would be a nice thing every once in a while!  It always talks to me as if it is a writer and my life is the main character (of course!).  It can be very annoying at times.

Anyway, so this is the culmination of those inner ‘while-in-the-shower’ thoughts.  I totally understand if you need to click away from this page and go do something more productive like the dishes or showering, or something.  I, for one, know the incredible ‘suck you in and waste your time’ power of the computer!  Run! And be free, if you can!

For my posts, I’ve decided to dump my thoughts about what seems to be hip and cool today, in relation to what I would have expected as a kid.  No, seriously.  That’s what I’m going to be writing about.  It seems like there are some very odd things that have a ‘coolness’ angle that seem, well…a little undeserved.  Or perhaps ‘unexpected’ may be a kinder way of putting it.  I have zero authority to determine a pastime or trend as ‘cool’ or not, but good gravy, there is some weird stuff out there these days that is considered cool.  Now I know that a few of these things may just be Chico-centered, so if you are reading this and are not somehow connected to Chico-life, hang in there and feel somewhat superior that you would never think that topic was in any way cool.  But know in the back of your mind that in your town, there are probably some really funky things that are cool (Croc sandals?  Scrapbooking?  Tupperware?  Ugh.)  Remember, these are my own little opinions, and I will still like you if you are into anything that I am not.  Trust me.  Many of my pals are into some weirdo things that I may inwardly cringe about whenever I consider delving into them, but that doesn’t mean I don’t admire you for getting into something that I wouldn’t.  Way to go!  As I mentioned, just two sentences ago, MANY of my friends and acquaintances are full-bore INTO some of these things I plan on mentioning and may, at first, get all butt-hurt about me throwing their new passion under the bus of ‘Who the heck would have ever thought THAT was going to be cool!’  Please remember, dear people, I’m not saying these new-fangled things aren’t super-cool things that we shouldn’t be a part of/wear/whatever; I’m just saying I would have never thought they would become so instrumental in our lives, or even brandished in conversation to earn ‘Aren’t I hip and in-the-now because I do this’ points.  (Maybe it’s just me that tries to earn those points from others, but if you do too, it’s ok.  I do keep an inner-compartment of me fully stocked with ‘hip-points’ that I internally pass out to you as I observe your life.  Yep.  I said it.)

 A moment to pause and make a note to you: Yes, I am aware that I do a lot of ‘single quote’ and hyphen-using in my writing style.  When you’re talking about yourself so much, it just seems like the only way to abbreviate it so it’s clear to everyone.  Sorry if you’re not into it.

Ok, back to me in non-italicized font:

Today I put together my list of items that I am surprised about.  At first I thought I would share them with you now, but then I remembered that a blog is used for writing multiple opinions, and not just one big brain-dump, so I’ve decided to keep my list a secret and hope that it compels you to come back and read more later.  Mwah ha ha!  (There’s probably some marketing term that is associated with that decision to encourage readership that I should know, but since I only worked in marketing and never studied it, the term is unknown to me.)

The first item on my list is: COUPONING.

Who the heck would have ever thought there would be people out there saving $500 a month on household things because of their avid couponing skills, and that there would be droves of people responding to that by saying, ‘Wow!  I wish I could do that!  Or, ‘That is so cool!’? The other day I heard morning DJs on the radio discussing the previous night’s TV episodes (You know, to reach out to the public and build a sort of connection between them and the audience that would in turn grow into loyalty between the listener and the DJ/show/radio station and increase the ratings, which would, in turn, increase the cost of advertising on the station?  See?  I guess I do a little about marketing.  BOOM!)  Anyway, one of the popular shows they were mentioning was all about COUPONING!  Now, I could delve off into a side topic about how it is a strange reflection of our American times that obsessive frugality is now a necessity and to be praised, but that wouldn’t focus on me, so I shall abstain.

Now, have I seen the show?  No.  It is on TLC, which is usually off-limits to me as I share my TV time with two small children, who are very into SpongeBob and Phineas and Ferb, and a husband who is more into Spike-oriented programming and of course, the normal primetime dribble that I have forced upon him already.  (But he told me that he actually DOES like ABC’s Modern Family.  I have passed out many internal ‘hip-points’ to that show.  I freakin’ love it.)  Yes, we have a DVR, and yes, it’s top contents are man-ish things involving Dana White and shows involving a secret agent platypus.  But enough about my home’s TV history and back to my coupon observances.

I have friends that are super-into couponing.  They ask each other for old copies of newspapers or freebie mailers that could contain a particular juicy savings offer on sour cream or diapers.  They subscribe to blogs containing the words ‘frugalista’ or ‘moms who save’ or ‘I’m a mom and I’m better than you because I know how to maximize my family’s food budget so we can have more time together’.  Awhhh.  That’s awesome!  Seriously, though: I am not anti-saving money, or anti-stay-at-home-moms-who-value-spending-time-with-their-kids.  Pshhhh.  Please.  Being unemployed since February 2010 has opened my eyes to a number of crazy-mom things!  Similar to the way that annoying game Perfection pops all the pieces you had sorted out neatly, into the air, while simultaneously POPPING so darn loud that it makes your internal organs cramp so hard you can’t breathe for 2 minutes and break out into a cold sweat every time you hear the timer being set in the future.  Yep.  Kinda like that feeling.  I GET the need to save money.  I have even followed suit and subscribed to a cutesy couponing-mom blog to see what all the fuss was about!  I have discovered that I have only spent MORE money and random stuff that I really didn’t need, simply because there was a stinkin’ coupon or special offer that I HAD to take advantage of!  I know, I know…I have lost all marketing-cred by being one of the non-thinking boobs that falls for the old ‘special-offer’ trap of getting me to try a product, then get addicted to it / feel good about saving money so that I actually spend more.  Sigh…money has always been a sore-spot with me and I have a history of poor spending decisions that makes talking about / admiring saving money, a difficult thing for me!

Now that last sentence was a big deal for me, if you happen to be taking notes about when I do a big-deal type of thing.  You see, I am very aware that the ol’ Good Book says that none of us are perfect, and that only Jesus had that on his resume, but whenever I hear that Truth, I immediately think to myself, ‘Well then, gosh darn it, I want to be the closest to perfection that I can be!’  As if there is a list going out there of ‘Who’s Who Regarding Perfectionism?’  I wish it would read:  #1: Jesus.  #2: Jenny. (It’s not an accurate list by any means, nor a particularly helpful list for mankind, but you see what I’m getting at.)  Sure, I may tell everyone else around me that it’s ok they aren’t a picture of perfection and that God’s got a huge load of grace to dump on them when they are ready to admit their failings and receive it, but I would rather jump in the deep end of the pool and open my eyes underwater to see it’s overwhelming enormity and cause myself to hyperventilate, than let myself in on that Truth!  It’s a constant battle to present myself as the ever-aware and considerate plate-spinner of activities and relationships that I strive to be, and the actual tepid-mess that I am for the majority of my time on earth!   (I wish I could have written ‘HOT-mess’ here, but I am working on being transparent.)

Do I know that there is free grace out there for me and that I don’t need to be awesome at all things to receive it?  Yes.  Am I happy about that truth?  Honestly, no.  Not always.  I wish my drive for perfection was a healthy one, and I that could actually earn someone else’s ‘hip points’ and be the winner, the best, the funniest, the most considerate, the prettiest, the mommiest, the creative-est, etc.  But even if I HAD all those titles and awards, God would still see me the same way He sees the dopey meth-head who twitched nervously next to me at the DMV this week.  We’re all His dearly loved little humans, no matter how many stars I may have on the fridge to say I’m better than some of them.  Ooohhh…deep stuff.  Oh, but trust me, though, I am super-glad for God’s seemingly blind and misguided approach to how He passes out His ‘Cool/I love you’ points as soon as I do something stupid!  You should see how fast I run with my tail (no, I do not really have a tail) between my legs, begging His forgiveness and basking in the Truth that His love for me didn’t change because I {insert a yucky sin here, such as when I: Yelled nastily at my kids/told my husband to ‘f*cking shut up’ when he was talking to me about the DirecTV account number in a snappy way/nearly hit a car while I was busy checking my cell phone to see if anyone commented on my latest Facebook post}.  Oh man, do I screw up.  And big too!  I’m sure my mom could have her own blog about all those things!  “The Tomfoolery of My First Born” or “Jenny’s Hijinxes and How We’ve Needed to Step in and Save Her From Them!”  It would probably be very well-written.

So yeah, ‘couponing being cool’ is weird to me.  (How’d you like that transition, English majors?)  Probably because I am not very good at couponing, and it has since been determined that I naturally shy away from any and all things in which I do not excel.  I remember being embarrassed when I was little (who am I kidding, even now) if someone I knew saw me shopping at Wal-Mart instead of Target.  Target = hip.  Wal-Mart = white trash.  I know, I know.  That’s harsh, but that’s kind of how it was/is.  Do I shop at Wal-Mart?  Sometimes.  Do I internally dislike myself while I do it?  Kind of.

But now, saving money is cool.  You know, that’s not a bad thing.  Saving money should be a good thing!  It’s just that other sensible ‘good things’ have a long way to go in earning their cool points with the masses (or at least the masses of Chico, California.)  Getting your teeth cleaned regularly, drinking a lot of water during the day, being known as a driver who obeys the speed limit, having a regular bowel movement schedule: these are also ‘good things’ for us and our families, but they have a long way to go to actually earn you some ‘cool points’.  Who knows?  Perhaps I will get to add one of them to my future blogs…

Thanks all, for reading my ramblings.  You rock.


About Jenny Z

I love to overuse italics, misplaced hyphens and internal dialogue when I write about my usual favorite topic, myself.

8 responses »

  1. Hi Jenny. You have a great writing style and a fun/interesting way of expressing yourself. I read every word until you started on couponing. I think you will understand my views or lack therein knowing I’m a 70 year-old male. I will continue to check in and read until I don’t. Have a great Easter with Dave and the kids. Stan

  2. Super funny. And deep too. Well, if my hip points matter to you, I did think you were the grammarest until until I saw that you said “creative-ist” instead of the proper “creative-est.” And then you misspelled bowel, so I guess maybe you “super-cool writing style” points can make up for the ones you lost on grammar.

  3. Stan Hankins

    Just read your latest egg rant and really enjoyed it. Two things: My uncle had a chicken ranch/farm? The have a (spinning) brush that cleans the chickin shit off the shells. I know because that was my task when visiting my cousins. Also, I really don’t think you could tell the difference in the taste of a brown egg if you didn’t know it was brown. Our next door neighbors raises chickins and ducks and I love the sounds. So far no bad odors. Keep up the the fun writing. Stan the Fan (who does’nt care about spelling and typos (obviously).

  4. Thanks, Stan! I am glad they have a poo-process for those eggs! I sure you were wonderful at it : )

  5. Thanks, Jenny. Poignant:)

  6. Pingback: Odd Man Out « jennysblogorama

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