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It’s been brought to my attention that I have a knack for convincing the good people in my world I’m competent until it’s much too late for them to do anything about it. It was brought to my attention recently when I mentioned to a friend that I was changing jobs and she said she wants to change jobs, too, but she doesn’t feel competent in anything that’s open on the market right now. I laughed at her naiveté and told her that competency has nothing to do with it. I personally am not capable of carrying out the duties of my current job and I failed miserably at my old job…I spread my incompetence around like a STD but I’ve mastered the art of appearing to be quite thoughtful and able to do many tasks. Now you can, too!
• You need to go to LensCrafters or some asshole hobbit eye doctor and get thick rimmed librarian glasses.
• You should put your hair in a bun, no matter your gender.
• In the course of a conversation, pick something you know about (however little) and pretend to have a strong opinion about it. They will wilt in your knowledge because if you are vehement, you clearly know what you’re talking about. For example, when I was 19 or 21 there were elections going on that I knew nothing about but I was in college and wanted to appear knowledgeable. Or simply repeat someone else’s vehemence (is that a word?) as your own conclusion. I listened to a pundit sarcastically say that Pat Buchanan wanted to nuke the borders to keep the illegal immigrants out. I repeated this in political conversations numerous times at my university and got raves for really knowing my stuff.
• Mention research or statistics. Peoples eyes go dead and they bow down to someone who knows research or can read it. Even if you haven’t touched the research. Spout facts and the people will be believe in your ability. TRUST ME! Note: you don’t even have to spout facts if you don’t want to. Most people will not question you. For example, if you start talking about standardized tests, and you say, “statistically speaking, there is no way for everyone to “pass” a test based on a bell curve so “rigor” cannot be determined by an invalid test,” who is really going to challenge you?
• Make bulleted lists when you go into a staff meeting or when you write a bullshit blog. Be sure to have enough bullet points to seem comprehensive and give pointless details to make the bullet points seem especially important. For example, use “for examples” frequently. Note: Titling your lists as “how to” also gives credence to the idea that you actually know how to do something.
• Shake your luminous hair out with a pensive look on your face. You know how to look competent…you’ve made it this far, right?
Guest blog post by Bryan Borland, in MedicatedLady’s absence
I was honored when MedicatedLady asked me to write a guest-post in her absence. Well, not so much honored as burdened. And she didn’t ask me so much as I demanded. Such is our relationship.
MedicatedLady is, at this moment, touring our nation’s capitol. Her trip is unrelated to the House’s recent passing of healthcare legislation, though, even so, a group of teabaggers resolved not to pay for MedicatedLady’s medication through public funding and took to protesting her visit. MedicatedLady did happen to snap a photograph of one of their crudely-drawn signs (Damn those Republicans!):
In other news, MedicatedLady would like for me report that the closest she’s come to an intimate encounter with a man while on this trip was when she entered a taxi to discover the cabbie had recently completed an intimate encounter with himself. To distract MedicatedLady, he then proceeded to blast the news at eardrum-bursting levels and got snippy with MedicatedLady when she couldn’t hear or understand his probing questions (which, no doubt, were meant to fuel future self-gratuity). Being the gracious woman she is, MedicatedLady simply stared straight ahead and shook her luminous hair until she arrived at her destination.
For your further entertainment, I will now provide a sampling of text messages I’ve received from MedicatedLady in the last month or so:
My dog just peed on me.
Say to yourself, herbs! With an audible “h.” This will bring you joy.
OMG severe storms make my ovaries and left knee hurt.
You can expect more of our mutual charm when MedicatedLady and I finally video-blog together the first weekend in April. We’ll be handing out advice to you, Dear Readers, so if there are any problems in your life you would like us to address, now is the time to send in your questions. For example, are you having trouble with the menz? Do you suffer from paraurisis, the disorder that makes urination in public places near impossible? Are you allergic to love and love byproducts? Did your cleaning lady break your vacuum cleaner? Do you have trouble spelling the word vacuum? Do you hate MedicatedLady because she has a cleaning lady? Does your dog shit on the floor and grind it into the tile to spite you? Does your mother hate the purse you carry? Did you lose your virginity to a mode of transportation? Do you constantly get mistaken for a 12-year-old girl? We can help you out with these issues and more, so don’t be shy.
We certainly won’t.
Have I told you* lately how much I like excuses? Especially ones involving elderly parents and work? Have I told you how classy it is for you to invite me to hit you up if I get bored at ***-***-**** without your knowing or asking for my name? I suppose I could call myself “you know, that girl.”
If I haven’t told you, it’s because I love you. I love your excuses, your elderly parent, hitting you up at ***-***-****, and your not knowing my name. I love that you are interested in my being an astronaut, but missing the humor in my saying that. You sound sincere. You like history, though, and you read war stories (although for the life of me I do not know what FAC means in reference to Vietnam}. You might be eternally interesting or boring.
Would you leave me to go live in another country without telling me? Would you tell me you have no affection for me? Or would you come up with something truly original, something that causes me pause and grand crying spells that make people uncomfortable (and that Bryan will gracefully explain away: “MedicatedLady crazy” or “She forgot her medicine” or “ML is in her dark place right now”)?
These questions will have to wait as I feel fat. I don’t want to lose you, but I feel that meeting up is eminent or imminent and of course, that is not an option when one is fat. Or maybe I’ll convince myself it is an option as I enjoy self-injurious behavior and your judgment would be no less than what I deserve.
Love always, so long as you make it hurt**,
*You as in the composite of a couple menfolk. You as in plural menfolk. Understand?
**”Make it hurt” is a Bryan-patented phrase that I use daily because it’s a great line. Understand? This post is password-protected but I still encourage you go to poeticgrin.com for your own enjoyment.
I wonder if you suffer, too
writer’s guilt and all of that.
To see gray-blue as a feeling
never a hue.
I think the bastards should die. And I think the bastards should live. Those are my comprehensive thoughts about war and the Other Side.
Listen. Let’s say you and I were driving somewhere, maybe to see my mother or camp or go shopping. You are driving. We are in a sharp curve, and a dog runs out in the middle of the road. I scream, “look out,” and you do and then you swerve to avoid hitting it. We crash into a tree. I die, you and the dog live. You are banged up. The dog is fine. The dog is not cute. The dog trots off, unphased. You were in a situation in which you had to react immediately, and you did what most people would do. Or what I/we would hope most people would do. What happens is I die and then you start second-guessing yourself. Not only that, but you’re overcome by the guilt that you and the ugly dog lived while a nice person (me) died. But you go beyond that because you are in such pain. You blame yourself, but then you begin to criticize all the people who ever liked dogs to begin with. All the fanatics who ever placed any value on dogs’ lives or expect others to. All those people are, in part, responsible for this tragedy and how you reacted.
End scene. Now listen. People are scarred by grief. Torture comes in many forms, and I’m most familiar with the self-inflicted kind. The selfish kind. Still, swerving to avoid the dog was the noble thing, no matter what the results were, no matter what the rules of war were, no matter what the “liberal” media says or does.
So, anyway, what I’m saying is this. We should die, and the dogs should live. But also, the dogs should die and we should live. We’re just all trying to live with what we can live with.
So I suppose I’m back to being a bleeding heart.
Even if you question yourself, my death, and the version of me that values the life of dogs.
I don’t question you. I know.
You did the right thing.
I dreamt of you
though I didn’t see your face
it was you
the number was seven
and it was bright yellow
this is not a poem
just thoughts broken by lines
and no punctuation
for good measure
this is not a coherent whole
poem and prose
welded and molded
Let me tell you. Thursday marks our one-year anniversary. We met at Julie’s, after my class (it was Theories of Technical Communication). I was so nervous, literally shaking in my brown boots, and when I saw him, I thought he was gorgeous. I thought he would surely not be interested in me.
We were together 5.5 months. We’ve been apart now for longer. 6.5 months. And Thursday marks our one-year anniversary.
Consequently, it is also trash day.
In their voices
A sad, fierce look in their eyes
The problem with my hobby of suffering through heartache is that I remind others of their own past relationship traumas (a saving grace is most of them are in good, healthy relationships now). I’ve finally realized when they tell me not to beat myself up, they speak from experience, not from indifference.
I see a light in their eyes, aware and remembering and I feel kinship and guilt. They know and I think they’d just as well forget.
It’s never as easy as I’m sorry.
I had an epiphany. Again. It occurred to me as I was listening to the ends and outs of a loan forgiveness program where teachers who are employed in high-need areas have their student loans repaid (forgiven). What every single woman and gay man needs to do is establish a Man-Forgiveness Policy for which each potential man is evaluated and granted a full or partial forgiveness to his inevitably stupid-ass actions and comments. I haven’t worked out all the kinks and there are clear differences between loans and relationships. But essentially, so long as the man is meeting certain requirements, he gets forgiven.
We probably all have these policies in place so take a moment to assess your own.
My standing policy. If he’s cute, give him another chance…no matter how many times you’ve given him chances. If he’s over 6’0 and cute, he should be given exceptional leeway and any bone he throws, you should chase after it. If he’s cute, over 6’0, AND has dark hair, he should always, automatically, unconditionally, be forgiven.
My eligibility requirements. Must not play with food. Must be jackass. Must be cute.
My restrictions. If he becomes un-cute or stooped or plays with food, he is subject to immediate non-forgiveness and dismissal.
I realize, though, that my requirements were pretty low (although admittedly, they were too high for the men I chose). Recent experiences have prompted me to issue special regulations:
Must not leave country without prior approval/notification. Must have affection to give. Must make me feel pretty/wanted. Must follow through on at least 25% of what he says he will do.
So there you have it. By no means is this the only policy out there. Feel free to share your own policies.
A reassurance: I promise to the broken-hearted friends of his Shake site, Poeticgrin will be back. Actually, he’s not going anywhere. He’s still writing and will continue to share his work with all of us in the future. I am quite happy Bryan is receiving the accolades he deserves. Also, there are so many talented writers who blog regularly that maybe we should take his lead and light fires under our own asses to get published, too.