First World Problems – Hypergamy with Destiny

So in case you’re wondering, the word hypergamy means “the action of marrying a person of a superior caste or class.”  Generally, it’s a word used by pick up artists, men going their own way and a wide range of other bitter a-holes who can’t get laid, to explain why they’re still single and why that’s not their fault. As in all the evil women want to trade up and because of that, no man can ever truly be happy in a relationship. I think a lot of the reason that it’s attributed as primarily a female trait is that girls don’t ask guys to marry them.  We know better.

Anyway, that’s not what this post is about. Instead, it’s about an email I got today from a potential agent. During my hiatus from my blog, I was working on my Masters. My thesis for my Masters was a novel and after the program ended, I figured “what the hell, let’s submit it.”

So I dug up a list of five of the fanciest agents I could find. I received four rejections and one request for a partial. I sent it, checked my email every 15 minutes for about two weeks, then got drunk and forgot about it.

Until this morning, about seven months later, when that last agent contacted me and asked me “are you married to this MC?”  They liked the story, liked the world building, liked just about everything but for the main character. I wrote her as a straight woman in her early forties.

They wanted a black, gay man in his early twenties.

That annoyed me. I mean, the story is first person, present tense. Obviously, I’m writing it from a white, middle-aged chick’s point of view because I am currently, a white middle-aged chick. I know next to nothing about being a black gay man that I haven’t seen on Ru Paul’s Drag Race.

Love that show.

But after my initial annoyance, I got annoyed with myself at being annoyed. Who the hell was I to turn down a chance to get published with a Big 5? Fuck, when I started this blog 5 years ago, I was working in insurance litigation and writing articles about penile enhancement for $5 a pop in my off time.

I had this fantasy where I didn’t have to do insurance anymore. I didn’t have to talk to anyone on the phone or go to an office every day. I just got to write. Granted, in the fantasy, I was a bestselling novelist but still, the end goal was the same. No more phone calls. No more negotiations. No more getting yelled at. Just me, writing.

The dream happened, but not the way I expected it would. My first novel floundered and disappeared. Same with the sequel and a short novella. I kept writing but I switched it up to an easier to compete in category. I went with erotica and the sales came in. I hated it. I made enough money but it wasn’t money I wanted to talk about. I was writing fiction for a market I didn’t care about, creating stories that I didn’t want to continue.

Honestly, once you’ve written one sex scene, you’ve written every sex scene.

I went back to tech writing. At least with that, I can still learn something new every day. It was only the other morning I was thinking “What I wanted to happen, it happened.  I make enough money to survive. I don’t have to go into an office.  I don’t get yelled at on the phone or attend pointless meetings. I get to do what I love. So why aren’t I happy?”

The fact is, I’m not happy because we’re never happy. None of us. Humans are hypergamous by nature. Not women, not me, humans. It’s why we can win the lotto one year and file bankruptcy the next. It’s why someone like Harvey Weinstein can have the world at his feet and ruin it all with a nonsense sex addiction. It’s why athletes run through million dollar signing bonuses that should carry them into their golden years, in like four years.

We’re always looking for the next big thing. Every dream that comes true is laying the groundwork to yet another dream.

When I got that email this morning, I said to myself “this could be my big break”.  The story I wrote, that story made me happy.  The one thing I actually looked forward to writing, it could be my big break.

All I needed to do was change everything about it.

And I realized that even if I did, even if it was my big break, I’d still never be satisfied. The story would get published, disappear from the world after a year and then, I’d be in the same damn position I am now, hating myself for trying to trade up when I was perfectly happy where I was.  I’m already living my dream. I just need to realize that.

So, like any professional, I responded “new phone. Who dis?” and moved the fuck on.

 

An open letter to my nice guy

 

I’m so sick of seeing the #niceeguysfinish last posts on Twitter. Yes, I’ve been Twittering. Well, kinda. I drunkenly online bullied some AT&T reps for not getting my service up again fast enough after Irma. But during the time I was Twittering, I came across that nice guys finish last hashtag far too many times.

And I realized ‘hey, that’s probably aimed at me’’ because I haven’t fucked a sad sack halfwit living in his mom’s basement in the past few months.  So, to the dudes I haven’t fucked —

Here’s the thing, sugar tits (I can be rude because I’m not trying to get into anyone’s pants), nice guys do finish last. Because when your title is ‘nice,’ that tells me that’s all you have to offer.

Do you think Porche sells their cars by saying “hey, they’re nice”? Do you think Coach has the audacity to sell a $15,000 purse because Victor Luis is so fucking incredibly nice?

No. They have a little bit more to offer than just being nice. But apparently you being nice, well that makes you special and everyone should love you just because of that.

But here’s the thing. Nice is not a selling point. It’s the bare minimum required for being a civilized human being. Everyone can be nice. Fuck, I’m nice every day and I’m a total asshole! It’s not hard and it doesn’t make you special. It just makes you a regular person.

Until you try to use it as a selling point. Then it makes you yet another asshole trying to cash in on doing the bare minimum.

So to my ‘nice’ dudes –

It’s not that I don’t love you because I’m crazy, (which I am). It’s that the only person who can possibly get me is another human being who is actually crazy. So as much as I love your support, I’m never going to love you because you could never possibly understand what it is to be me. That’s a personal preference that I stick to.

You being nice isn’t going to change that. It’s not going to make us compatible.

But hey, here’s a bunch of ways on how to actually be an appealing person that people want to hang out with from someone who knows nothing about relationships. As you email me every four weeks or so complaining that you can’t get a girlfriend, figured I’d forward them on. Because of as much as you’d like to pretend our relationship was one-sided, it never was. I always gave advice, always offered options.   Always made it very clear I was not one of those options.

So, your annoying emails about how I just need to ‘focus on me’ and ‘reevaluate my priorities’ as you occasionally point out what a nice dude you are have not gone unnoticed. They’ve been intentionally ignored. Let’s admit it. If I wanted to be with you, I’d be with you.

I know me, way better than you do. I’m not nice. Never have been.  I don’t need to use ‘nice’ as a selling point because I’m so much more. Nice is not a quality. It’s a basic requirement for being human.

It’s not my job to fix you. It’s not my job to finish you. It’s not my job to make you feel ok about being you – and I could literally give a fuck how nice you are.

Because right now, you’re kind of being an asshole.

Lessons from Irma

 

irma

I’m back again, having pulled myself out from under a pile of brush and empty Natty Ice cans, to recover from my most recent brush with death. Not talking about Hurricane Irma.

I’m talking about my bender.

I’m fine. Can’t say the same for my liver. If he could talk, he’d use his new-found voice to call Liver Protective Services and get placed with a foster caretaker who would abuse him slightly less.  But he can’t, so much like the toddler of a Florida meth-head mom, he’s stuck with me until they find some conclusive evidence at the hospital.

This was my first major Florida hurricane. I’ve been through a few small ones before, but nothing too scary. A bit like a Tindr date. A shit ton of build-up, a half-hearted blowjob and it’s over with minimal debris. Then came Irma. I learned a lot from Irma. Mainly, I learned that I can drink 47 beers in one night and not die. But I also learned some less important things to include;

#1 – AT&T sucks — but AT&T apologists suck even more

As my livelihood depends on having internet access, I was kind of worried as to when that access would be restored. Decided to check a forum, where a lot of people were bitching AT&T out. Then I got pissed. It wasn’t the not having service that bothered me.

It was the tight-lipped policy of all company representatives who refused to give a straight answer. Reminded me a bit of when they caught all them Catholic priests diddling kids and the Catholic church responded by saying “we’re still investigating what we think is an isolated incident. We’ll respond as soon as we’re possibly able.”

I fucking hate non-answer answers!

But even worse are the non-company affiliated high horse assholes who have to respond to every fucking comment. “Jeez, you’re living in a disaster zone! Try appreciating nature. Take your kid to a playground instead of worrying about streaming Netflix.”

First, most Florida playgrounds were blown North of the Mason-Dixon line. Next,  a hypocrite telling me to get off the internet while he’s using the internet is just irritating. I don’t owe you an explanation as to why I don’t want to go enjoy post-hurricane nature. It’s none of your business if my only end game is to finally binge-watch Season 7 of the Walking Dead (which it totally is). My beef ain’t with some random internet douchebag.

My beef is with a company that I pay to provide a service not being able to provide said service, while not providing answers on when that service will be restored. That puts the onus on me to decide whether I want to give them the benefit of the doubt and wait, or whether I want to sign on with a company whose cell towers aren’t made of balsawood.

So shut the fuck up and let them answer the questions. No one needs to hear from you. Why don’t you take some time off the internet and go appreciate nature instead? I hear there’s a lovely sewer overflow in Neptune you just have to see.

#2 The aftermath is worse than the storm

The aftermath is always worse than the storm because natural disasters are smart and people are complete idiots. That’s likely why so many tornados strike trailer parks.

Right now, Seminole county is rough. It’s hot, half the population doesn’t have electricity and people are morons who don’t know how to drive without traffic signals. It’s like they forgot everything they ever learned in driver’s ed. Just an FYI, if you’re ever at a Florida intersection and the lights are out due to a storm, there’s a simple way to determine the right of way.

It’s based on whoever is waving the largest gun.

#3 Reporters are idiots

Newscasters apparently have no sense of self-preservation. Through the storm, every channel was the same. Some windswept, soaking wet reporter shouting into a microphone “the police say it’s incredibly dangerous out here and no one should be on the road. That’s why they’ve barricaded it, but we managed to slip the News 17 van in to —” mike cuts out, fade to black.

How much you want to bet those same reporters, who apparently thought they were above the law, will complain about the lack of response time from first responders in some news special a week from now?

The only thing about them that annoyed me more was their aftermath interviews.

Picture it. A trailer park in Altamonte, waist-deep water, a sad man watching as all his possessions float down the street in a stagnant pool and out to the Atlantic. Some chick shoves a camera in his face.

“Sir, I see the aftermath is really bad. Tell me, how do you feel?”

Just once, I want someone to answer “How the fuck do you think I feel, you stupid bitch?”

# 4 Tethering is awesome

For me, one positive to come out of this storm is that I learned about tethering. I used to think my cell phone was only for playing Bubble Witch or texting randos pictures of my tits. Turns out, if you jailbreak it (rooting for Android users) you can turn it into a hot spot where you can use all that delightful unlimited cell phone data on your laptop, smart tv, whatever. It’s free!

I’m pretty sure it’s illegal but I don’t give a fuck. I’m living in a disaster zone, people. This is an emergency. Season 6 ended on a cliffhanger.

 

 

 

Essa’s Guide to Hurricane Preparedness

 

Since I was a kid, I’ve had this recurring dream. There’s a monster but it isn’t under my bed. Instead, it’s huge and it’s on a rampage. So I hide. Where I hide, that always changes. Under the bed, behind the refrigerator, in the floorboards, regardless of where I manage to cram my fat ass, I always get found. And at the end of that dream, I always die.

From that dream, I’ve learned two things. Number one, that myth where you die in a dream and that makes you die in real life? Total bullshit.   I guess I could have just used logic on that one. After all, if someone dies in a dream and dies in real life because of that dream – doesn’t that mean they died in their sleep? Then how did they tell anyone how they died?

Number two, preparation doesn’t stop a disaster.

So you know what I bought today at the store when everyone else was fighting over water and propane?

Candy and beer.

Yup, I bought those two items because worse comes to worse, I won’t be able to buy them for awhile. They’re luxury items. So I bought them. Everything else, I figured out way before.  So today, this is what I did;

  • I made bread –   Not just regular bread, but banana bread, beer bread, apple bread. Pretty much if I can make bread out of it, I’m turning it into bread.   Bread is portable, nutritious and when made right, can last weeks. In the worst of conditions, one slice of bread can be a meal.
  • I stored water – The stores around me are out of bottled water, have been for days. Honestly, I wouldn’t have bought it in the first place. I’ve filled all my plastic containers, from old juice bottles to old milk gallons, with water. I’ve frozen them. This creates a way to keep my perishable food cold and an eventual source of water. In the event that the storms get severe, I will block up all my drains using plastic bags or stoppers. That allows me to fill my tubs, sinks and toilets with as much water as possible.
  • I bought duct tape – Duct tape is endlessly usable.  You can use it to fix a broken window, develop a filtration system, splint a broken arm and minimize wind pressure with a few garbage bags. Never underestimate the power of duct tape.

My focus has been on surviving in my home when possible and the ability to leave it at the drop of a dime. It’s been on the ability to survive on scraps while fighting off the scavengers. It’s been on surviving another day with one goal in mind.

Get more candy and beer.

As much as I joke, I’m ready. I’m not hiding from the monster. I’m facing it head on. I can’t guarantee I’ll win, but I can guarantee I’ll put up one hell of a fight.

See y’all after Irma. Later gators.

The Handmaid’s Tale Was Wrong – Essa’s Guide To Creating A Dictatorship

 

So I watched The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu. I also read all the reviews. I’m obsessive like that. When Atwood wrote the book, she pointed out she only used situations that had occurred in the past, in other societies. She wanted to make it clear how easy it would be that something like this could happen in our society. It was a powerful political message.

I tried to do the same thing in this guide because I think as well meaning as Atwood was, her story was limited and blinded by discrimination. Reverse discrimination is still discrimination. All people are victims of it. Whenever there is a dictatorship, the dictator always seeks a group to hate. Stop hating that group on their behalf.

If you really want to be a dictator, the best bet is to just start hating everyone who isn’t you. Atwood’s story wasn’t one that entirely translates to anyone who hopes to create a dictatorship in today’s capitalist society. So, let me go over what they did wrong, in the hope that you can do it right.

#1. They fucked up the finances.

My mother convinced me to watch the show by pointing out how realistic the first episode was. She said to me, ‘They made it so all they had to do was shut down every bank account where a woman was the owner. That could happen!”

No mom, it couldn’t. Also, for the thirty-fifth time, all you have to do to send an attachment via email is fucking click on the paperclip!

Sorry, off topic. But no, in 2017 you can’t just shut down any bank account with ‘female’ in the gender field. I don’t know much about finance in Atwood’s 1985, when debit cards didn’t exist and your money didn’t have to go through a clearing house while moving from your pocket to a vendor’s. But I can tell you this of finance in 2017.

There’s no giant switch in some building somewhere that will allow you to essentially turn off all the bank accounts of a specific gender immediately – or even within a few weeks. Banking is segmented. That means that your $8 Starbucks, that you put on your debit card, doesn’t come directly out of your bank account, even though it looks like it does. It goes to a clearing house. That clearing house turns that money into data and sends that data to another clearing house. That will happen at least 6 times during your average financial transaction before finally hitting your bank account, at which point your financial institution will be charged.

Different banks use different clearing houses. Many banks use overseas clearing houses. There is no one switch you can use to turn off a bulk group of bank accounts based on gender. That would require the cooperation of thousands of companies.

No, if I was smart dictator, I’d target my financial attacks. I’d get creative.

I’d use a government institution to focus my attention on those who may be a threat to me. I’d create a law that allowed me to collect all their money if said money came from an alleged commission of an illegal act. I’d also make sure to smear that person in the news, so the public wouldn’t care when I took all their assets without providing proof. I wouldn’t target a gender or demographic. I’d target high-value people with no political allies. That way, I wouldn’t have to worry about discrimination claims. I could use government entities to seize all their assets and no one would care. Best part is, I’d never have to prove a thing. The accusation would be enough. I’d be able to freeze all their assets just by getting one government entity involved and never filing criminal charges where their constitutional rights actually applied.

I think I’d call it civil asset forfeiture – but I’m just spit balling names here.

#2.  They managed the angry people wrong

I watched the Handmaid’s Tale episode where they showed the protesters getting fired on by police and running away, with my drug dealer. During that, my drug dealer turned to me, utterly lost and said “why didn’t they fire back?”

Like any normal person, I said, “They didn’t have guns, maybe?”

My drug dealer, who is a normally chill dude, responded. “Bitch, I haven’t walked out of my house without a gun since 1998 and I’m from Connecticut. This shit is supposed to be in New York. NY motherfuckers are hard.” He pointed to the TV. “I once saw a NY dude shoot a guy for stealing his parking space. You think a mother fucker like that would be afraid to start blowing people away when he thought he had nothing left to lose?”

That statement brought up two valid points to me. One, New York is terrifying. Two, he’s right. I know a lot of gun owners and a lot of very angry people who are just looking for a reason. If you think any one of them couldn’t take down some idealistic senator, when said Senator had literally no experience with hands-on violence, you’d be out of your mind. I don’t care how smart you think you are. The stupid and violent will always win when the contest is brute force.So yeah, they did the whole protest scene wrong.

In my dictatorship, there would have never been a violent protest in the first place.

First, I’d just give people what they wanted. Food, drugs and a place to sleep. I wouldn’t give them more than what they need. Too much, and they’d start getting political. Too little and they’d want to rise up. Nope. I’d give them just enough. I’d give them just enough so that they were afraid of losing it. Possibly through a government program.

At the same time, I’d find a way to drug them on a mass scale. Maybe convince some pharmaceutical companies to get on board. Get them to convince people they had a lot of illnesses they didn’t have and get them to take mind altering drugs for those illnesses. I’d give the companies who provided those drugs massive government grants and a wide berth when it came to FDA approval.

Fuck religion being the opiate of the masses. Just opiate the damn masses and cut out the middleman!

The outliers, the ones that stayed angry? Well, I could handle them with misdirection.  I’d create imaginary problems with no solution that led to constant infighting. Both sides would have ridiculous opinions that no one would ever really get behind. While they were fighting with extremism. I’d rule the world with benevolence.

#3 They had a cliched end game

Every dictator wants to better the world, recreate it in their own image. But that’s just more misdirection. Part of the Handmaid’s Tale is that everything is justified through declining birthrates. If birth rates had declined that much – according to the show, the declination rate is well over 1000%, I’d take that as a sign. Not a sign that I need to change things. No, I’d take it as a sign that my species was done.

And I’d embrace that end by enjoying what little time I had left.

Too many people think the end of the world will come in a bang. Zombie Apocalypse, fire, brimstone. Really, it’s probably going to come as a whisper. A slow, steady reduction of our population. Those reductions will come first in the advanced societies, where individuals capable of solving high mortality rates in less advanced populations stop having children. Less advanced societies, where birth rates are high and mortality rates are higher will die off as a result. Slow and steady ends the race.

That’s Armageddon.

Now me, I’m not a doomsday prepper. I’m a girl who can take a hint. I see the end of the world coming, I don’t try to stop it. Life, any kind of life, whether it’s a cell, or a human being, or an entire society, will always end. It will eventually become something else. If my only other option is the Handmaid’s Tale – I’m going with a “balls to the walls, nothing left to lose” apocalypse.

And I promise you get on my side, you will like my dictatorship so much better. Want in? Bring beer and rock on until there’s nothing left to rock for.

Kids these days

 

 

I find it ironic that the people who claim to hate labels the most are also the ones who demand them the most. I’m talking about all the polyamorous, gender fluid, asexual, aromatic cis gendered white people who are so desperate to be unique, they need to give you their entire sexual history on their FB ‘about me’ page.

Because having to choose between male and female is too “in the box.” They’re not going to let you put your labels on them. Instead, they’re going to put a bunch of labels on themselves and demand you adhere to their labels. I guess that’s supposed to be better?

You know what the problem is? Kids these days don’t have enough real problems. When my mom was a kid, she had to worry about polio, asbestos and choking to death on the wig powder from the wigs that all those people wore back then. When I was a kid, it was AIDS. Yes, AIDS used to kill you. There was no cocktail. It was just a death sentence.

Now, as my kid heads into adulthood, I worry. I worry because maybe I didn’t give him enough to worry about.

Fear is a gift. It’s something we’re given to help us overcome adversity. Whether we’re worried that we might not be able to pay the rent, or that we might catch a contagious illness, it’s something that forces us to react. When I fear I might not be able to pay the rent, I work more. When I fear I might catch a serious, contagious illness, I make every effort to prevent being exposed.

But what do you do when your biggest fear is someone not respecting your chosen pronoun? Do you hold a massive protest or tweet to an echo chamber of your friends? Because here’s the deal. When you take a stance like gender is fluid, two things will happen. Everyone who agrees will agree with you. Everyone who disagrees will not. You will not change minds and as a result, you will not change anything.

When AIDS was a problem, we raised awareness to create a cure. We made it clear that AIDS was something that impacted everyone and we asked for solutions. But then again, AIDS was a problem that did impact everyone. As a result, it got attention.

You getting pissed because someone refuses to say “they’ when referring to you because after 18 years on this earth, you can’t decide what your gender is yet, is not. Look, no one really cares what you do. In any given day, other people will spend about .00001% of their time thinking about you.  The people that disagree with you will continue to disagree. The people that agree with you will continue to agree. But neither side will make you feel better about being you.

You want to be a dude even though you were born with a vag? Cool, ain’t no skin off my tits. You want to do the opposite? Again, I don’t give a fuck. I don’t care who you fuck, your political views or if you sexually identify as an apache attack helicopter. Literally, no one cares.

Yes, I just said literally unironically. Because no joke, people do not think about you as much as you wish they would.

Kids these days, their big fear is terrorism. Problem is, terrorism is as invisible as the boogie man.  It only impacts a world outside of themselves. Some kids, smart kids, they react the way they should. They get into STEM fields to protect our cyber boarders. They join the military to protect the real ones.

But most of the time, it feels like they’re doing neither while demanding free college where they can explore their gender fluidity while protesting the use of ‘he’ as a pronoun in a fucking form letter. To all those gender fluid, pansexual, ‘it’s complicated’ individuals, I say this.

No one gives a fuck.

Let’s talk about this white privilege I’ve heard so much about

 

One time, back in high school, two of my friends gave me the ‘friends test’. Like most high school girls, both wanted to make sure I was their true BFF – probably for the purpose of manipulating me later. So like sneaky high school girls had a tendency to do back in the 90s, both called me at once. One spoke, the other listened on speaker phone.

I suppose I wasn’t supposed to know this at the time but also – I knew.  You know, on account of not being retarded and teenage girls don’t know how to control their breathing while trying to silently listen to something. So when Girl One asked me “If there was an accident, and me and Girl Two got thrown out of the car and you were the only survivor and you were holding my hand, but also Girl Two’s hand, who would you drop if we were both dangling off a cliff”

Now, I knew that I was supposed to say I’d hold onto Girl One’s hand. At the very least. I could have given an excuse to hold onto Girl Two’s hand. But instead, I answered “Neither. I would have let you both drop.”

“Why?” Girl One asked.

“Because there’s no right answer to the question and holding both your fat asses up would seriously damage my shoulders.” Then, I hung up the phone and went back to watching Friends.

That, aside from being the story of how I lost my first best friend, also encompasses my philosophy of life. It’s all about me.  Here’s a Tupac song to underline the statement.

The whole ‘white privilege” category is that dumb assed, mean girl phone call on a mass scale. There’s no right answer and it’s designed to make you feel guilty for just being you. There is no answer you can give that will satisfy everyone. You’re the villain, just for being who you are.

Your only response, if you make one at all, can be apathy.

Know why I’ve never been to a protest? I don’t have time. When I’m not working, I’m recovering from working and waiting to go to work again. I don’t protest because I don’t have time for frivolous, nonsense gibberish. I don’t protest because I know better. I know the only way to change the world is with cold hard cash.

But I still have children telling me I’m ‘privileged’. Let’s be honest. Most of the kids spitting out the whole ‘white privilege’ thing are children who’ve never had to deal with adversity in their lives.

I have. I’m not particularly pretty. I’m not particularly smart. Just regular, but for the fact that I’m socially awkward. I have yet to have someone approach me and promise to take care of me and all my problems for nothing. I have yet to be given something that I didn’t work my ass off for.

I’ve spent most of my life working, specifically because I’m not particularly pretty and I’m not smart. I’m no one special. But still, I’ve managed to accomplish a lot of things. You don’t get to write off everything good I’ve done as ‘white privilege’ for the same reason you don’t get to write off everything wrong you’ve done because of ‘minority disillusionment’. Otherwise, we’d both be McDonald’s managers.

So no, white privilege is not a thing. I don’t know what it is to be you, but at the same time, you don’t get to tell me what it’s like to be me. That’s the tradeoff.

That’s why the whole ‘white privilege’ thing is a mean girl’s question. There’s no right answer you can give.

So you don’t need to answer the question. You just need to hang up the phone.