If everyone is bullied then who are the bullies? Answer: Us. I guess?

This week Hailey went to a bullying workshop at her martial arts school and I sat through it and agreed with most of what was said, except that it was missing the one thing that all bullying talks seem to miss.

They get that most people will be bullied in their lives but you almost never see them point out that almost all of us will bully others ourselves.  We talk about it like bullies are these horrible hobgoblins creeping around in corners because it’s easy to forget that we are the bullies.  We all have the capacity to be cruel and horrible.  Sometimes it’s because we’re young and stupid and scared.  Sometimes it’s because we think we’re doing something noble or brave.  Sometimes we’re screaming terrible things at people, but really we’re screaming those things at the ghosts that haunt us.  And those people scream back.  At us, and at their own invisible ghosts standing in front of us.  Sometimes it’s done inadvertently.  So much so that we don’t even recognize it.  We don’t see that we step on the small tender pieces of others.  We don’t recognize how unaware others are that they are stepping on us.  We fight back because we have to stand up for ourselves and for others.  We fight back at others because others are fighting back at us.

When Hailey comes home from school she sometimes tells me awful stories about kids being horrible and I try to help her.  I tell her middle schoolers are a bunch of assholes.  I tell her it’s good practice to ignore them because people are assholes all over.  I help her with the ones she can’t handle on her own.  But I do one thing that I hope other parents do as well.  I remind her how easy it is be horrible ourselves.  I tell her to be mindful of others.  I tell her to be kind.  And that is not always easy, as evidenced by the fact that my first response is to call middle schoolers “a bunch of assholes.”

Hailey found the bully seminar helpful though and was telling Victor about a few of the things she’d learned, like when you see a kid just about to get pummeled you can go up to that kid and say, “Hey, the principal told me to come get you.”  That way you remove the kid from the situation and you have a reason to leave too.  And they taught about how to protect your head in a fight, or how to deescalate it.  And Victor said that all sounded good but if someone was pushing him around in middle school he’d just say, “Hey.  You ever see a donkey-faced person get kicked in the mouth?” and I was like, “THAT’S TOTALLY NOT WHAT YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO DO” and Victor was like, “I didn’t say you should actually kick them in the face.  Just…you know...ask the question.  It’s not illegal to ask questions.”  And Hailey was like, “Yeah.  That sounds like a good way to get sent to the principal’s office,” but Victor was all, “Well, if your principal calls me in I’ll say, ‘Hey.  You ever see a donkey-faced principal get kicked in the mouth?'” and then I yelled, “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?  YOU ARE A TERRIBLE EXAMPLE,” and he shrugged and said, “I’m just asking an innocent question.  I really want to know‘.”  And then we had to leave Red Lobster because I was yelling too loudly and Hailey couldn’t stop laughing.

I sort of lost track of this blog post but I think the main point is that you should be kind.  And tell your kids to not be assholes.  And don’t have loud disagreements at Red Lobster because they’re really sensitive about that shit.

I don’t have a good image for this post so here’s an angry otter:

UPDATED: I have become what I have sneered at.

Remember last month when I wrote about Amazon recommending a ridiculous astronaut baby carrier to take your cats for walk in and they were like, “YOU SHOULD TOTALLY HAVE THIS, WIERDO” and I was a little offended?

And then I looked at it again and was like, “Fuck.  I TOTALLY SHOULD HAVE THIS.”  And so I bought it because that’s what happens when I have insomnia at 3am.

And today I’m reviewing it for you in case you also bookmarked it during a moment of weakness.

First cat, Ferris Mewler:

me: DO YOU LOVE IT? Ferris: This is mortifying for both of us.   Don’t put this on the internet.  me: Just give it time.  We can go look for squirrels!  Ferris:  I’m fashioning a shank.

Video 1. First cat in space.

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Verdict:  Somewhat perturbed.  Slightly fascinated.  Last time I tried to take him for a walk I used a cat halter and he just flopped over and pretended to be dead even when I dragged him so this was a small improvement.

Second pet. Hunter S. Thomcat:

me: YOU LOVE IT. Hunter: I hate you with the heat of 10,000 suns. me: You sat in the box it came in for an hour. How is this any different? Hunter: So are the holes on the bottom to let my explosive diarrhea out?

Hailey: I don’t think he likes it. me: He’s yawning. Hailey: He’s yawning extremely loudly. me: THESE CATS ARE SO UNGRATEFUL.

Video 2. Second cat. Actively displeased.

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Verdict:  Hunter does not like confined spaces.  Or backpacks.  Or me.

3rd pet, Rolly.

NOT PICTURED

Verdict:  Rolly is our smartest cat and after living with me for ten years she has a sixth sense about when to hide.  I suspect she’ll turn up as soon as I put the backpack away.  We respect her wishes.  But I bet she would have loved it.

4th pet:  Dorothy Barker.

me: So how- Dorothy Barker: I LOVE YOU AND GRASS AND THE WORLD AND EVERYTHING IS MAGICAL ALL THE TIME. me: We don’t deserve dogs.

Video 3. The only person happy about the cat backpack.

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Verdict: Totally cool with it.  Which seem like a waste because I can already put Dorothy on a leash and walk her around, but she super freaks out in the car and this enclosed space seemed to weirdly comfort her so at least someone appreciates it.

Conclusion:  This bag will make your neurotic cats more neurotic.  Will make your neurotic dog less neurotic.  Will make your neighbors avoid you.  I say that’s a win.

UPDATED:  The outtakes, as requested:

Video 4. "But how do you get the cat out?" Pretty easily compared to getting the cat in. See video 5.

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Video 5. "How did you get your cat in there?" Not. Easily.

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I think I’m being stalked.

Email from company I’ve never heard of before:  DEAR JEMMY, DON’T MISS OUT ON TODAY’S EXCLUSIVE SPECIALS!

me:  ::Clicks unsubscribe button::

Their website:  To unsubscribe you must go to this webpage to update your email preference.

me:  ::Unchecks the EIGHTEEN types of email notifications that I never signed up for::

Their website: OH NO, JEMMY!  YOU HAVE UNSELECTED ALL EMAILS FROM US!  YOU WILL MISS OUR AMAZEBALLS EXCLUSIVE DEALS!  ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THAT?  PLEASE CONFIRM.

me:  “Miss” is not the word I’d use here.  Or “amazeballs” non-ironically.  ::Clicks the confirm button::

Their website:  We are sure this is a mistake on your part.  We are sending you an email asking you to confirm that you want to unsubscribe.

me: wtf.

Their new email: Jemmy, we don’t want to alarm you but we believe some scoundrel may have hacked into your account to take away your access to our great daily offers.  If this was not you, please ignore.  Your notifications will continue uninterrupted   If it was you please click here to unsubscribe.

me:  ::clicks::

Their website again:  Hello again!   You aren’t attempting to leave us, are you?  We want you to be happy.  Please use the comment box to tell us why you are considering unsubscribing so we can fix these issues and keep you as a customer.

me:  BITCH, ARE YOU EVEN SERIOUS RIGHT NOW?

Their website:  You entered : “BITCH ARE YOU EVEN SERIOUS RIGHT NOW?”  Thank you for your feedback!  One of our customer service representatives will be contacting you as soon as possible to help!  

me: Is this hell?

Their newest email:  Hello, Jemmy!  This is an automated response confirming your concern of “BITCH ARE YOU EVEN SERIOUS RIGHT NOW“.  Please do not reply to this automated email.  A representative will be contacting you by email in the next 48 hours for follow-up.  While you’re waiting, be sure to check out today’s exclusive specials!  If you would like to opt out of these emails click UNSUBSCRIBE here.

me: ::Stares at the screen for a full minute.  Clicks “UNSUBSCRIBE”::

Their website:  This account has been locked due to suspicious activity of TRIED TO UNSUBSCRIBE AFTER ALREADY UNSUBSCRIBED.  The original setting of RECEIVE ALL EXCLUSIVE EMAIL OFFERS will be reinstated on this account.  If you believe this is an error please click this link for help.

me: ::Clicks link.  With hammer::

Their website:  Thank you for being a valued customer!  Please check your email for further instructions!  Don’t forget to check out today’s exclusive offers!

Their email:  Dear Jemmy.  You are very persistent!  Just like our desire to give you great exclusive daily deals!  We have so much in common.  We belong together.

me:  ::crying::  Why are you doing this?

Their email:  Dear Jemmy:  Perhaps we weren’t clear.  You can never leave.  We love you.  Check out our exclusive daily offers!  As a valued customer today only we’re offering free shipping  if you click here to authorize access to all of your contacts and social media accounts. 

me:  WHAT IS EVEN HAPPENING?  NO.  MY NAME ISN’T EVEN JEMMY.  IT’S JENNY.  

Their email:    Your name has been updated in our system.  Thank you for being a team player, Jelly!  Enclosed is your coupon code for free shipping.  Offer is only valid last year on chainsaws that have been recalled for safety reasons.  Be sure to check out our exclusive daily deals!  Please note that your access to email and social media accounts has been locked for 24 hours as there seems to be someone masquerading as you trying to unsubscribe to your account.  Your safety is our priority.

My Facebook status: CLICK THIS LINK TO CHECK OUT THE FANTASTIC OFFERINGS FROM THIS AWESOME SHOP!  YOU WON’T TOTALLY PROBABLY WON’T REGRET IT!  BE SURE TO SIGN UP FOR EMAILS BECAUSE THEIR EXCLUSIVE DAILY DEALS ARE AMAZEBALLS!   LOVE, JELLY.

*end scene*

PS.  It is shocking how little of this is hyperbole.

Hello. Dog here.

Victor told me to look at the drive-thru window of our local burger joint and I didn’t get why until I suddenly saw it and then I couldn’t stop laughing.

And I said in a deep doggie voice, “Hello!  I would like ten orders of NO NO BUCKLEY DROP IT RIGHT NOW THAT IS NOT YOURS DO NOT HIDE THAT UNDER THE BED AGAIN BUCKLEY WHAT THE FUCK BUCKLEY YOU ARE THE WORST.  No onions.”

And Victor was like, “Wait, what?” and I explained that that’s how dogs would order hamburgers because they don’t know the real words for them and Victor was like, “But why are they hiding under the bed?” and I explained that the best place to hide food is under the bed because your angry owner can’t reach you while you’re desperately scarfing it down and also because if you want animal crackers in the middle of the night you can just reach under the mattress and not disturb anyone and then Victor was like, “Wait, is that why I keep finding cookies under the bed?  WE’RE GOING TO GET ANTS” and I sort of see his point but also ants would never live under our bed because they’d be continually disturbed by our pets guiltily lurking under there with all of the burgers they’ve stolen off our plates.

 

What’s my name again?

I consider myself very lucky that my brand of crazy is recognized so universally that my books have been translated into lots of different languages, and that means I have a whole shelf full of books that I wrote but can’t read a single word of.  It’s a weird mix of feeling very accomplished and also completely stupid at the same time.

I just got this copy, which I think is Ukranian (or Bulgarian, maybe?) and the cover is awesome but which of those words is my name?  It’s a riddle I cannot solve.  If you speak Ukrania (or Bulgarian?) can you help me out?

Help?

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*******

And now…time for the weekly wrap-up!

Shit I made in my shop (Named “EIGHT POUNDS OF UNCUT COCAINE” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):

Shit-you-may-or-may-not-want-to-see:

This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by Myawesomebeauty.com. A little bit about them: My Awesome Beauty is a website run by beauty addicts that have real experience in the beauty business (formulator, esthetician, beauty advisor etc.) where you will learn how to choose the cosmetics or beauty devices worth your money following specific criteria. The guides and reviews really help because they explain what to look for and what to check, such as the guide about the facial steamers or the guide on microdermabrasion machines for home use.” You should check them out here.

 

It’s late.

It’s late, but that’s not a surprise.

It’s always late when this happens.  The business and sunlight and work drive away any time you have to feel too strongly, but eventually the sun goes down and everyone is tucked into bed and you are alone and the only sound is your terrible voice in your head.  And you try to drown it out with the world but the world isn’t enough.

Or it’s too much.

I’m not sure, and somehow that makes it worse.

It would be better if there was a reason.  I check the internet.  Mercury is not in retrograde.  I’m on my meds.  My life is good and I am lucky.  I step outside and see that it’s a full moon and I find some small comfort in this.  I know people say the moon doesn’t affect people, but on nights like these when you want to crawl out of your own skin it’s a comfort to cling to the idea that it’s not really you…that it’s the moon.  Maybe it’s both.

Tomorrow I will feel better.  I will wonder who wrote this strange note.  I will find it silly and feel ridiculous.

But tonight my head is the moon – too full.  Tonight I will lay in my bed wondering if the promise of morning is real.  If I’m stuck in this night forever.

I will wonder, does everyone feel this lost?  Am I the only one who becomes invisible in the night?  A desperate ghost in my own house.  In my own skin.

Tonight is hard, but tomorrow will be better.

I’ll keep telling you that if you keep telling me.

Why I love twitter, part 80 billion

It’s sort of a happy birthday to all of us.

I just found out that you can design your own leggings, so of course I was like, “You know what these pants need?  A motherfucking happy raccoon.”

AND GUESS WHAT?  I WAS TOTALLY RIGHT AND THEY ARE GLORIOUS.

“HELLO FROM PANTS.” ~ Rory

The hand placement is unfortunate. Or perfect. Depends on how you feel about being high-fived on the butt by an over excited raccoon.

The best part is that not only is an insane raccoon staring down people on the subway, but also his fur makes it look like you have luxuriously long leg hair with glitter stuck in it.  Like a werewolf who just came from a party.   The only thing better to put on leggings would be a really unflattering picture of your ex on them and then walked around their neighborhood like a mobile billboard they can’t untag themselves in.

Just a suggestion.

PS. Today is Victor’s birthday.  Happy birthday, sweetie.  I love you.  For your birthday I am not buying these tights.  For you, I mean.  I might buy some for me.  BECAUSE LOOK AT THEM, VICTOR.

PPS.  They’re in my shop (along with this pair as well) if you want a pair yourself because today all their clothes are 40% off.  If you’re not reading this when the sale is on, just wait until it is again because $60 for leggings seems insane.  Almost as insane as wearing a raccoon on your butt.

I love this so hard.

A lot of high school kids do monologues or speeches or interpretive scripts based on my books but I almost never get to see the finished products.  This one was online though and I just watched it and it made me (cough) furiously happy.  It’s based on Let’s Pretend This Never Happened.  Thought I would share:

(PS. Skip to the 2 minute mark if it doesn’t do that for you automatically.)

Ow. My heart.

Today is Hailey’s birthday.  She’s now officially a teenager, which seems wrong because this was her yesterday:

Seven years ago today. Happy birthday, sweet girl.

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Or maybe it was seven years ago. Feels like yesterday.

Except yesterday she was still a pre-teen and two days ago I tucked her in like I did when she was still little and I pulled out a book to read her a story. And Hailey thought I was crazy but she went along with it. And I cried a little. And then she asked me to read her another one. And then she cried a little.

And then I kissed her on the head and she said I could still read her bedtime stories, sometimes…if I really wanted to.

It was a nice present. For both of us.

Happy birthday, Hailey. You may be a teenager, but to me you will always be my little girl.

And then I blinked, and suddenly she was a teenager.

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