Opinionated

Today’s post is inspired by a feature in B*tch Magazine called Love It/Shove It.  It’s a quickie round up of what the editors are particularly digging or hating on at the moment. I haven’t thought of a better title for this feature than the delightful rhyme of the original, so I’m taking their titles this time around, until inspiration strikes. If any of you have any amazing ideas, leave ’em in the comments! I am, however, going to flip the order and tell you what’s irking me first – I’d rather end on a note of positivity. Here we go!

SHOVE IT

rain+on+parade1292539657

Raining On Other People’s Parades: I couldn’t think of a pithy, one-word phrase for this, unfortunately. What I mean by it is bashing the things that other people like, often on social media. (Yes, I’m aware of the irony of putting this on a list of things I dislike, but we’ll work through the cognitive dissonance, I promise!) Examples include but aren’t limited to: making snarky comments about sports when everyone is cheering their team, making fun of bands, movies, or comics that everyone else you know likes,  most grumping about pop culture. It bugs me because it’s a basically negative mindset, moving from what someone loves to what the person doing it dislikes. Additionally, it seems to be the way of centering attention back on yourself – if everyone’s talking about The Sports, and you don’t like The Sports, this is your way of jumping into the conversation anyway. It’s important to have your opinion, of course – this is more about timing. In preschool it’s called “yucking someone’s yum;” basically, it’s not cool to shout “ew, disgusting” just as someone is tucking into their metaphorical lunch.

Sexism Apologists: (Also applies to racism, homophobia, transphobia, etc.) – this person is always out there. You know the ones – they’re not making the rape joke, or designing the creepy pillow, or hitting on ladies at conferences. They’re the ones who come in after the fact and say things like “You really just need to know the context of that joke,” or “what did you expect, dressing up in that costume?” or “what are you complaining about, there are bigger problems in the world?” At their worst, these are the guys and gals are more insidious than the actual sexists, because they make you doubt the things you know in your heart are wrong. They tell you that you just need to lighten up, to stop seeing things in those terms, that with how women are treated in other countries you are just being petty for being upset that some dude hit on you. Don’t listen to them! Micro-aggressions matter, too, and it’s okay to call ’em like you see ’em.

“No Offense”: Why does this phrase even exist? If you feel the need to follow up a statement with one telling me I shouldn’t be offended, that means you know damn well that I will be. So why did you say it? Simply asking me to ignore my rational reaction to your bad manners doesn’t negate them. Either keep it to yourself or fully own your statement – and then be prepared to deal with the consequences of my offense!

The Ladies Night Out Run: Oh man, this makes me crazy. Why should a woman want to run a 5K more because wine, flowers, chocolate and a theoretically handsome man are involved? Have ladies “everywhere” been waiting for this, not running races because they didn’t offer these things? I mean, I like all of them well enough, but they sure aren’t motivating me to run. Flowers give me asthma attacks, wine and chocolate after a race would make me throw up, and I have a perfectly handsome man at home. I’m not really into gender-separated races, period  – and I especially don’t like the idea of separation based on some weird 1950’s idea of what women want. (I love the Tufts 10K for Women, but men are still allowed to race that and they have a really inspiring slogan.) Ladies, like fellas, run races to challenge themselves, to be fit, because they love it. If you’re into this idea I don’t mean to rain on your parade, as it were, but it seems unnecessarily silly to me.

And now the fun part – things that increase my joy lately, and that I want everyone to know about so that they can make you happy too!

LOVE IT

Cult Nails:

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Fun with French manicures!

I’ll admit, I’m a little obsessed with this polish, and I’ve drawn all of the other Ladies into my madness. The colors are just too good, and they have great staying power. Lately, they’ve been putting out these wax-finish colors 0 not shiny but not quite matte – that are just stunning. The company is pretty cool, too – it’s mostly just one woman, Maria, living her dream and making great nail polish, although her whole family seems to be part of the act. They have great sales and promotions and really promote a feeling of community. Besides, how can you not love that this perfect Tardis blue is called “Time Traveler?”

Sriracha Popcorn: I made this for the first time just this past weekend, for a very impromptu gathering. I am ashamed and delighted to admit that I probably ate most of the bowl. It was fast, easy, and at least for me, involved ingredients that I always have on hand. Spicy, garlicky, and a tiny bit sweet, it’s pretty addictive and would be appropriate at all but the most formal occasions. Or, you know, if you were in a room full of people who hate popcorn or spicy things. But when would that ever happen?

The Mystic Valley Parkway/Minuteman Park:

Untitled

Absolutely gigantic swans live in the Mystic River. They’re so pretty – from afar.

Even though these two places aren’t that close together, I’ve been running a lot on both of them lately and so they’re linked in my mind. They’re a nice change in routine – I’ve been running seriously for seven years and had been stuck in a rut on my routes – the Minuteman Bike Path, the Charles River, Fresh Pond – I’ve done them all so many times that they’ve become dull. What’s nice about the Mystic Valley Parkway (besides being right behind my house – I have lived in the area for 6 years and never run it!) is that it provides a bit of nature without being too woodsy – there’s only a few tree roots to keep an eye on. Minuteman, in Lexington, has more curated, sandy paths -it’s designed more with the history of the area in mind – but the fields and woods it winds through are gorgeous. Both paths are a truly lovely way to find the more contemplative side to running.

My Friends: Oh, sure, it’s a little sappy, but I really have just been appreciating the amazing community of people I’m surrounded by. I know folks through so many different hobbies and activities in my life, from running to work to Comicazi to college to high school and more, but they all feel like part of one huge, wonderful network. They support my crazy projects, like this blog, donate money to my causes, share my outrages & delights, and are always up for an adventure. In just the past week, I’ve trekked to visit Bigfoot, run track in the pouring rain, painted sailboats, had crazy phone messages, and watched cartoons with some of the best people on the planet. It’s a lot easier to focus on the love it side of things with a community like this one.

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Just a sampling of the marvelous people I know, doing crazy things.

So now you tell me, what are you shoving/loving lately?

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8 comments

  1. tinydoom

    Awwwww. So much of this resonates with me…I’ll start with the Shoving. I too don’t get that wine and chocolate for ladies race, I think the I don’t like gender stereotyped events. All women don’t like chocolate fountains and red carpets. Just like all men don’t like The Sports, or cars or whatever. But you know, follow your bliss.
    That said, let me also love all your love things! Cult nails is such a love. The nails I did on Saturday still look great and I am tough on my nails! I can also second the popcorn, running path and friends!

  2. A Foodmaster

    Love this – sending sunshine on your parade and will make conscious effort to 1. not yuck someone’s yum especially about The Boston Sports 2. come over to eat sriracha popcorn and 3. find a race for women that ends with said popcorn.

    • The Red Menace

      Thanks FoodMaster! I will so make you some sriracha popcorn. Perhaps we can plan a FoodMaster game night or some such. I would definitely prefer a race that ends in popcorn than one that ends with chocolate and champagne. It’s just my way.

  3. smalerie

    My nails are like teflon to cult, but their colors are sooooooo amazing that I still buy it all up for nail art and top coats. And I am going to make that popcorn this weekend!

  4. Pingback: Currently making Tiny Doom’s world spin…. | The Ladies of Comicazi

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