This thing called manipulation and abuse

Upon recent events concerning prominent YouTubers engaging in abuse and manipulative behaviors towards vulnerable teenagers (at times were still minors when these events took place), I was not entirely sure how to react nor what to say. I commend the support the Tumblr and YouTube community has given to the victims and continuing discussion concerning sexual assault, rape, emotional and sexual abuse, and consent. This is a conversation that is necessary.

THIS IS A SUPER LONG POST! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED:

Trigger warning: abuse, sexual assault, rape, domestic violence, manipulation.

Continue reading

Black Friday is the bane of all retail employee’s existance

I hold an unhealthy grudge against those who choose to shop on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. In all honesty I only volunteered for the Thanksgiving overnight shift because I would then not have to wake up at some ungodly hour in the morning for Black Friday. The extra holiday pay is really not worth cutting my once guaranteed day off from the corporate. And by day off having the entire 24 hours not being required to go to work like a day off should be.

I’m going to let you in on a not so much a secret about most Black Friday deals you supposedly get for all of those coveted and discounted electronic items y’all are vying for.

  1. It’s glorified clearance because the newer models are soon to be released, so retailers need to clear out room for the new stock.
  2. The “new” items are actually made out of cheaper and/or poorer quality parts, so it’s more likely to fail sooner and therefore forcing you to spend more on repairs or a replacement.

Don’t bitch about all of the sale items being snatched up. That was the point to draw you into the store. It is not my fault that we were only given a small number of the doorbuster items. No, I cannot pull a laptop or tablet out of my bum.

In all honesty I don’t think risking violent trampling, stabbings, mentally unstable people wielding dangerous objects and whatnot are not worth it for an off-brand TV that may possibly explode in a couple weeks. And I would hope that you were at least nice to the retail zombies who were all exhausted from dealing with crazed greedy people. Don’t hold it against them if they were less than enthused. How cheerful would you be if you just worked from 8 PM to 2 AM Thanksgiving night and then 1 PM to 9 PM Black Friday? You would be damn exhausted too.

Meanwhile I’ll take my exhausted retail slave self and safely buy things online in my yoga pants. No need to put on real pants or fight for parking here. I do not fear that the delivery people will not stab me because I got a new shiny toy.

The value of terrible music

As of late I have been reliant on Pandora for my background music needs when I write and do homework.

I have been described by a good friend of mine as a hipster when it comes to my tastes in music and movies. Once I actually said, “Oh it’s a cover of ‘Moon Over Bourbon Street’ by this Korean indie band.” I said that as if it was the most natural and normal thing to say. He responded appropriately by telling me that was the most hipster sentence he’s ever heard. This friend is like my shoulder devil telling me to stop being a hipster and to keep me in check the next time I roll my eyes at someone’s terrible taste in entertainment. I recently told him this tidbit and he’s never felt so honored to be someone’s shoulder devil.

However when I know I need to get shit done I listen to 90′s pop music. I do love 90′s pop but in retrospect, I only really enjoy it for the catchy beat and nostalgia. Most of the lyrics are vapid and lack any sort of meaning, but damn I love me some Backstreet Boys and ‘NSYNC. The occasional bit of “good music” does pop up in my dedicated Backstreet Boys and ‘NSYNC Pandora stations, but most of the stuff that comes up is on a rotational loop. Sometimes you just need catchy, familiar music from childhood to get your bum into pumping out a 10 page paper reiterating information you just learned an hour ago.

Starting to hope again

Without going into too much detail, this year has been rough. I’ve had a string of very terrible things happen to me in succession as soon as  March started. The best way to really describe the whole ordeal is quoting John Green, “the marks humans leave are too often scars.”

On top of personal issues and being re-traumatized by past events, my job hunt was not going well. I knew I needed to get out of retail for the sake of my sanity. And after ze fiance quit the place, I knew there was hope that escaping that God forsaken store was possible. But weeks turned into months and any sort of hope and motivation was dwindling. My soul was being sucked away by the fluorescent lighting as I fought with uncooperative Xerox machines and customers who fail to understand the instructions left on the self-serve copiers. I was not being paid enough to put up with all of the corporate stupidity and customers with questionable intelligence. I stopped caring for myself. I stopped wearing make up and wearing cute clothes. I still showered and wore nail polish, but nearly everything else went to the wayside.

I stopped going to kickboxing because I was so exhausted from dealing with too much stupid people. I was just going through the motions between going to classes and work. Most weeks just blurred into each other.

As I was learning to accept what has happened during the shitstorm in March and letting go toxic people in my life; things started looking up.

I was no longer in academic limbo as a result of my incomplete. My best friend and love proposed to me as an anniversary surprise. I finally got an interview with a non-profit advocacy agency. Even though it was a phone interview, I wore a raspberry colored lipstick to boost my confidence and make me feel just the right amount of sass. This position will allow me to be able to move out of my parents’ house, pay off my student loans, and save up for the wedding my fiance and I dream of.

There is reason to hope again.

Parking garages scare the crap out of me

This past summer I was forced to use the parking garages downtown due to the scheduled time my class happened. I wanted to avoid having any more parking tickets and I don’t want the city to put a clamp on my tire. Thankfully there was a deal the school had with two of the parking garages to let us park at a discounted rate.

There was still the issue of finding a bloody damn spot in all of downtown. Now one of the parking garages was not actually all that bad. Instead of just being a cement block, the exterior walls were open, so there was less fear of being murdered in broad daylight. Additionally, all of the parking spaces (minus the roof) were angled, which makes for an easy turn into the spot and easy exit.

Unfortunately, there was the day when there was no parking to be had in my preferred, non-murdery garage. No street parking was to be had and I was forced to choose the other garage.

This one did not have the open exterior walls and the only source of light were from ancient and dim overhead lighting. All of the spots were not at an angle and they were all packed tight in what could possibly be the next set for CSI. This made for the most complicated 292817 point turn to exit out of my spot that I had to wiggle myself out of when exiting my car. Combine that with terrible lighting and I’m sure we can all empathize with the terribleness of the situation.

As I return from class into the dank darkness of the parking garage and I manage to find my car again, I notice something disturbing. Actually, I don’t think there are enough words to describe how messed up this left me. I wish I had photographic evidence to prove this, but alas my imagination was having a field day on what nightmares to give me that night.

I parked in front of a spot where on the walls looks like two smeared handprints on the whitewashed cement. The handprints were small and dark as if they had been there for quite some time. What the hell happened? Was someone murdered where my car was parked? WHY ARE THERE TINY HANDPRINTS ON THE WALL?!

I got the hell out of there and never used that parking garage since.

Creepy men, I don’t need your validation

As a young 20-something woman, I had my experiences of being harassed by men while out in public. Despite these experiences, I still have no clear idea of how to effectively react in these situations. My safety has been threatened and I am unsure of what to do that won’t put my personal safety more at risk. Despite the kickboxing and self-defense classes, there is still no way to know how I will react the next time this happens. This accurately describes what I want to tell these guys:

“But I was just trying to compliment you!”

There’s a fine line between a compliment and harassment. If you’re unsure, then it’s best to keep your mouth shut. A compliment is something like: You have really cute boots, you hair looks lovely today, or smile and wish me good morning. Mind you, your mileage will vary in terms of what reaction you will receive. Don’t take it personally if the reaction you get is less than positive. More likely than not, the woman you tried to talk to has had one too many negative experiences with men harassing her and you should let her be. A person’s sense of safety is more important than your hurt feelings.

Then what would constitute as harassment? Comments like: Damn girl, that ass is FINE! Hey, I’m just trying to compliment you and if you can’t take it then fuck you! Pair this along with blocking my path and you will make ANY woman angry and scared.

But, she’s so damn hot and I was just appreciating it!

I would like to assume that you have evolved enough to have self-control. You’re not a damn shark going after the kill when they smell the first hint of blood. You are a person capable of thought and reason, and this gives you no reason to act like an asshole. You’re making all guys look bad by enforcing this macho man stereotype. You make all men look dangerous and untrustworthy to all women, and you should be ashamed.

It also takes on the form of continuing to talk to the woman who just wants to go to the bank to deposit her check and refusing to leave her alone. Following her to her car is also harassment (and fucking terrifying). Just leave her alone if she does not show any signs of engaging in conversation. She has things to do and she will assume that you’re a lazy bum with nothing better to do than being a creeper.

I’ve been propositioned by guys when I was only accompanied by other ladies. I have been hit on by overly zealous, middle-aged male customers in all of my jobs. I was followed on my way back to my car. I was groped by a stranger at my best friend’s bachelorette party. This isn’t going to win you guys any points. In fact you just proved yourselves to be scumbags not worth my time. And in reality, just leave women alone when they are walking out at night. It’s scary enough when everyone has been conditioned to be nervous at night from a young age thanks every horror movie ever.

One particularly disturbing incident was when I was leaving the bank and a guy blocked my path out the door to give me the once over and then licked his lips. Yes, ew. I don’t know about the rest of y’all, but I don’t like it when people look at me like I’m a fine cut of steak. Or maybe he’s a zombie and sizing me up as possible noms. Either situation does not bode well, although in the latter it would be more acceptable to fend for myself at all costs ’cause… zombies.

And not that it should matter, but it didn’t matter what the hell I wore whenever I was harassed. Ugly work polo shirt and khaki pants, jeans and t-shirt, dresses with various hemlines, cleavage, no cleavage, baggy or fitted. Day or night. IT DIDN’T FUCKING MATTER!

The fact that these men who cannot take a simple “no” to something as simple as a date or phone number this is a scary thought. What if they refuse to take “no” for an answer for other situations? At what point does “no” actually mean NO to these men?

Brace yourselves, racist Halloween costumes are coming

Halloween is in a few weeks and along with sugar-high induced merriment and the masochistic enjoyment of having the shit scared out of us; there is also my least favorite aspect (besides douchenozzles destroying jack-o-lanterns) of terrible Halloween costumes.

I’m not talking about the limited options women have to masquerade in nothing more than sexualized versions of everything and anything. Hey, if you are confident in dressing sexy then go for it! Just try not to catch pneumonia if you happen to live in a place that actually has autumn weather. I strictly advise against getting sick for the sake of looking hot for Halloween. I’m not here to body shame or slut shame anyone.

I will however shame you for wearing racist as shit costumes and partake in cultural appropriation. For example, there’s this stupidity:

Screen Shot 2013-10-11 at 7.36.18 PM Screen Shot 2013-10-11 at 7.40.09 PMScreen Shot 2013-10-11 at 7.42.41 PM

Continue reading

Embarrassing stories are the best one – part 2

In my next installment of my weird teenage years which is a gold mine of all things embarrassing in my life thus far. I think it’s time to tell the story of the first guy to ever ask me out and the creepy, stalker-y aftermath. I think this was also the beginning of my awkwardness around any potential romantic relationships. I blame this guy for that.

PSA: You owe your stalker nothing but firm boundaries. If he/she cannot respect that, then get a restraining order.

I will not censor his name since I have not seen him since high school graduation and I am not in contact with anyone who is connected to him in any way. I think it’ll be safe to use his first name.

It started in study hall and I’m not sure how but Charlie and I struck up a small conversation about anime. During this time I was going through an anime and manga fangirl stage in my life. In my head, I thought it was nothing more than a friendly conversation that did not imply anything. And even for me being a clueless 14 year old, I could tell that he had Yellow Fever.

Additionally, this was the peak of my awkward looking adolescent phase with my glasses with frames that did not suit my face and braces that made it difficult to speak at times. If my looks were not off-putting enough, then my inability to form coherent sentences would have deterred any romantic interest.

The next morning while I was at my locker, Charlie was hanging around while I was fighting with my locker. Of course, the school had to give me the one with the top locker compartment. After narrowly avoiding the falling textbooks and thus another concussion, Charlie’s awkwardly swaggered to me and then began and even more awkward conversation:

Charlie: “Hi.”

me: “Hi.”

Charlie: “Ummm… I was wondering if we could… uh — hang out this weekend?”

me: “…” [INTERNAL PANIC! RED ALERT! AHHHHH!!!!!!! Wait, you have to go to the eye doctor this weekend! SCORE!] “…I can’t. I already have plans.”

Charlie: “Oh. Maybe some other time then?”

me: “…” [Pretend you didn't hear him and run away! (note: Yeah, I was immature and stupid, but that was the best I could come up with.)]

As you can see I didn’t handle being asked out for the first time ever very well. Mind you, I have been sheltered and lacked much social interaction with boys outside of family. I did not know how to act around them and there’s no instruction manual on what to do when a guy with questionable hygiene asks you out.

HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH BOYS?! I don’t know. I still think it’s pure luck I even ended up with ze fiancé.

I would have thought that after my rejection would have ended things there. I was wrong.

This was before the friend zone even became a thing. The fact is that the friend zone isn’t a thing. It’s really just a construct made up by guys who cannot handle rejection and think they’re owed a woman’s affection because they were nice to her. I never put Charlie in the so-called friend zone. In fact, he never had a chance because having Yellow Fever automatically puts you on the Guys to Never Interact with Ever list. My rejection gave him the idea that it was okay to continue asking me out every morning before the first bell and every afternoon when school ended. This was even more nerve wrecking when his locker was only a little ways down from mine.

I’m not sure if my anxiety screwed with my immune system, but later that week I developed a fever and other plague-like symptoms. It was bad enough that my mother let me stay home from school. This is the same Asian mom who refused to let me miss school unless there were direct orders from the doctor. Never in my life have I ever been so grateful for getting the flu days before Christmas break. I didn’t care that I felt like I was going to die as long as I didn’t have to deal with Charlie asking me out twice a day.

After break ended, he stopped pursuing me much to my relief. I kept my distance from my stalker all through high school without incident.

Those boots ain’t made for walkin’

I am not entirely sure why I seem to have a difficult time shopping for clothes and shoes for myself, but I am thoroughly convinced that the shoe industry is run by a bunch of idiots when it comes to their marketing attempts in the North when we get attacked by Canada. This is in regards to my experience whenever I enter shoe stores. I know I can order the boots to fit my needs online, but I’m wary of ordering shoes online. I don’t want to go through the hassle of online browsing for hours, spending my money, and then have to deal with the hassle of returning them while I wait for the company to refund my money.

Boots that are made of suede are not practical. They will get destroyed from the moisture and rock salt, and even if they were waterproofed that spray doesn’t last against rock salt. Any boots without traction are also useless because I am certain that women do not want to slip on the ice and bruise their tailbone. Uggs combine both suede and no traction. I went to college in a school with a lot of naive women from Long Island who never experienced a true winter before, and they assumed that these boots that made their feet huge would cut it. Hehe. They didn’t last long and were usually destroyed and misshapen a week after the first blizzard hit.

There is also the issue that a majority of the boots I see geared towards women do not have a flat heel. I am not graceful enough to wear high heel boots while walking on an icy sidewalk. The most coordinated woman would find it difficult trying to do any snow trekking when there’s a foot of heavy Nor’easter snow outside in flat shoes. There is no practicality to market these boots when winter exists in the area. It’s fine for the South and California, but I’m going to need something that won’t have me eating pavement when it’s February.

Get yo’ shit together, shoe industry. I want cute, flat heeled boots with traction for winter that isn’t made out of suede. Apparently, that is too much to ask. And I’m looking at your shoe stores for only putting these damn impractical shoes on display during the peak of winter.

How I managed to intimidate a man twice my size

I would like to apologize for my absence as I was dealing with a Macbook reaching the end of its life after nearly 6 years of faithful service. I have finally obtained a Macbook Air as of last night to fulfill my writing and general internet surfing time wasting purposes (better known as Tumblr).

I do not look like a physically intimidating person. When I tell people I was taking kickboxing back when I had time and could afford the classes, they were bewildered that someone like me could possibly kick their ass. In order to clearly understand, I am a 5′ 3″ curvy, Asian woman with a baby face.  I have been frequently told by friends that I look like a sweet, adorable person. That is until they manage to do something to irritate me and I give them what has been deemed as my Soul Piercing Death Glare.

Now onto the actual point of the story here, I woke up one morning at ze boyfriend’s (now ze fiancé) place this past April. My first thought every morning is that I must consume the sweet nectar of caffeinated goodness otherwise I will remain a cranky zombie who cannot string words into simple sentences. I make my way into the kitchen to the coffee only to find out that there were no more k-cups and no one bothered to toss out the box. After my soul was done dying, I figured I should make myself look as human as possible and venture to the store. I am a cranky and sleepy panda.

Thankfully Target was relatively empty and very few people had to witness the sleep-deprived grad student zombie wandering the aisles. I find the coffee and then I get distracted by nail polish (my second weakness). As I was fighting the temptation to buy more Essie nail polishes, I overhear this middle aged man talk to the pharmacist. It’s very difficult to ignore him because he is over six feet tall and he could squish me like a bug with his foot. He was also a very loud man. I understand what everyone else says about Americans being loud people after observing this man. This giant man then decided to become a racist dickbag:

“With Obamacare I got this South Korean doctor. She doesn’t speak English, but that’s okay because she’ll treat me with barks and leaves ’cause that’s what they do.”

At this moment he chooses to turn around to see me use my Soul Piercing Death Glare. Yes, feel the guilt and shame for your ignorant and stupid words! Don’t you think I’m going to have you insult Asians without any repercussions (however passive-aggressive my methods my be).

I think I struck enough fear for him to find the quickest exit out of the store.

Archives

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 154 other followers