I Have a Bone to Pick with Disney

So lately (and by that I mean like within the last five years or so) people have been giving Disney a pretty hard time about setting up kids to have warped views of romance.  You know, the whole thing about how the princesses are too passive and how everybody meets for like 30 seconds before they get married and stuff.  Which, granted, Disney took a stab at fixing in later years.

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Frozen: When Disney responded to the public’s complaints.  Sort of.

But to be honest with you, none of those things have ever seemed like that big of a problem to me.  So Disney has some unrealistic representations of romance.  So what?  Disney, and LITERALLY EVERY OTHER MOVIE EVER MADE.  It’s nothing unique, and with a little counseling we’ll all be fine.

My beef with Disney is a little different.

 

You see, while the rest of the world is crusading against “Someday My Prince Will Come”, I’m just over here like why can’t I clean my house with magic.

But actually though. Every Disney movie I watched as a kid portrayed cleaning as some sort of fun game where all the little animals help you dust things and everyone sings and it’s like a giant party.

 

I mean, look how much fun they’re having!  The dishes are all dancing around and the mops and brooms just do everything themselves and it looks like a grand old time.

BUT NO.  In real life, actual cleaning is the literal worst thing.  Little woodland creatures do not help you, and no matter how many spells I cast, my broom remains stubbornly immobile.

Mary Poppins lied.  A spoonful of sugar does NOT HELP the medicine go down. (Also actual sugar + meds = probably gross).

Also, I think we should take a poll of the number of kids who tried snapping at things to put them away after watching this movie.  What I would give to be able to just snap everything back in place. I even got desperate enough to try it once or twice in college.

I also remain excruciatingly disappointed that Merlin has NEVER ONCE appeared to magically enchant my dirty dishes into washing themselves. This was especially dismaying during the few years I lived in an apartment without a dishwasher.  My kitchen actually looked like the beginning of this video.

 

AND, as many times as I have sung a happy working song, still no animals have appeared to help me.  My cat just stares.  Though, to be fair, at least in Enchanted Disney’s poking fun at themselves.

Or possibly just poking fun at this specific Snow White scene:

 

But anyway, my point is, if you want to get pissed at Disney for misrepresenting things, don’t waste your time with that whole romance thing.  Disney’s real problem is the systemic portrayal of cleaning as a fun, and enjoyable experience.

NEW FLASH, KIDS.  It’s not, cleaning is not fun.  If you want an accurate portrayal of the nightmare of cleaning, there is only one Disney movie that even comes close.

If you want the truth, here it is.  Cleaning is like being chased by an endless supply of unstoppable demon brooms. The end.

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It’s Fine That I’m Afraid of Clowns

I’m not the kind of person that gets legitimately frightened by normal stuff.  Like, I don’t love spiders, but I can pick them up or shoo them away without losing my mind.  You know?  Or heights, or snakes or what have you.  It’s not like they’re my favorite things, but I can deal with them if I have to.

Plus, it’s way more fun to give dark answers when people ask you what your deepest fear is.  Try it sometime.  Especially during like a dumb icebreaker game or something.  Just look ’em straight in the face and say “the emptiness in my soul” and then count the number of seconds it takes them to recover.

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Side note: Christian Bale’s hair in this GIF = prime

However, there is one common subject of fear that I can’t deal with. I do not do clowns.  NO.  They freak me out.  And I know it’s cliché to be afraid of clowns but my fear gives zero craps.   Every joker in a red nose can get the heck away from me.

I think this is partially because when I was a little kid the clown in our yearly July 4th parade always gave me a dumb string instead of a cool balloon.  I may have also caught a glimpse of Stephen King’s IT or something.  Heck, somebody probably told me the plotline to that movie and that would’ve been enough to send me into hysterics for days.

Anyway, the point is, I don’t like clowns.  And I know there’s like a clown union and everything and they’re pissed at the people who portray clowns as horror movie villains, but it’s too late.  The damage is done.  Sorry, clown union.

But for a lot of years I always felt a little silly about my fear.  After all, it’s not like I’d ever really been personally victimized by a clown (unless you count the parade of course).

But then, one day, it turns out I WAS RIGHT ABOUT EVERYTHING, and all my fears are totally justified.  This is what happened.

 

My senior year of college my undergraduate research got accepted for presentation at the National Conference of Undergraduate Research (NCUR), which felt like a really big deal until I got to the conference and realized literally a million and half people were there presenting and also all some kids did was write a paper and that was it. (P.S. Run-on sentences for the win.)  Anyway, it was an excuse for like 20 of us to bus out to a different state for several days and feel like we were smarter than we actually were.

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There was also a cosplay event of some kind being held at our hotel, and so people in costumes were coming and going and some of us were curious.  I mean, I’m not a cosplayer but I like costumes and sci-fi characters and I thought it would be cool to check out the event from a distance before we left the hotel to go home.  (SIDE NOTE: The rest of this story is not a slam to cosplayers.  Just so we’re clear.)

Anyway, this turned out to be a terrible idea.  Several of us were exploring the table displays and talking to people dressed up like elves and video game characters when suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, there appeared a clown.

And not just any clown. This guy had done his makeup to look horrifying.  I’m talking exposed brains, fake dried blood running down his face, blacked out teeth, the works.  Which, you know, if that’s your deal, then that’s whatever.  But then the dude had to go and make it our problem.  Apparently this guy was in it for the screech bait.

One of my friends, (unfortunately), made eye contact with Circus Chainsaw Massacre Part 2, and that was enough for him.  He started coming towards us and my friends came UNGLUED.  Which was exactly the wrong thing to do.  He started laughing this terrible, freaky laugh (obviously enjoying her terror), and wouldn’t go away.  He got close enough that I thought he actually might reach out and grab her.

There have only been a few instances in my life where I’ve thought I might have to fight someone.  This was one of them.

We started walking away, but couldn’t control our fear enough to shed Freddy Kreuger Clown Edition.  It was like some weird sci-fi horror film where the villain gains strength from the fear of others.  (Okay, or he was just an absolute creep.)  He kept following us to the edge of the gallery, still making that weird laughing sound.

Fortunately, one of the guys in our group had come looking for us, and as soon as there was another dude on the scene, Nightmare on Elm Street was out of there.

We were all definitely traumatized.  I managed to not freak out in the moment, but come on – it’s not every day you get terrorized by a demon clown in very close proximity.

Which just goes to show.  I WAS RIGHT ALL ALONG.  And now I have a very legitimate reason to fear clowns.

So there.

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Kids Can’t Handle My Leg Stubble

Whoever decided that women should shave their legs is the legitimate worst.

 

I mean, seriously.  God gave us leg hair, why can’t we keep it?  It takes a solid extra five minutes in the shower to deal with that crap.  That’s five minutes I could be sleeping or eating or something way better.  And if you’re me (translation: clumsy), every time you touch a razor you risk absentmindedly gashing yourself.

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^^whoever made this meme is my spirit animal

Which is why my legs generally have about three days of stubble on them at any given time.  And let’s be honest, three days is actually not that bad.  Like, I know plenty of people that go weeks, okay?

 

But you know who doesn’t appreciate my dedication to sort of keeping my leg hair under control?

 

CHILDREN.   Kids give zero craps about the hell that is shaving.  If your legs are prickly, they will for darn sure tell everyone within a ten mile radius.

 

I know this because I worked at a daycare for kids 0-5 years old and made the mistake of wearing shorts to work and letting kids sit in my lap.  “Hey, why are your legs so scratchy?” is a really fun question to answer during storytime in front of all your coworkers.

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I know you can’t tell kids to shut up but…I mean COME ON

I once was monitoring kids at recess and looked down to find one of my pre-K kids absentmindedly petting my legs.  “What? It’s pokey!”

Even the littlest kids, the ones that can’t say actual words didn’t give me a break.  I was holding one of my littles on my lap, he legit knew like three words at the time so I thought I’d be safe, BUT NO.

I kid you not, he touched my leg, frowned, touched it again and said “uh oh”.  He then continued to rub my stubble and loudly proclaim “UH OH” to everyone else in the classroom.

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My coworkers died laughing, and thus it was proven that children of any age can and will mercilessly attack when you’re at your most vulnerable.

 

I shaved much more frequently after that.  Which, I’m happy to say, had the desired effect.  It has now been some time since my legs have been unceremoniously thrust into the spotlight.

 

And luckily, winter is coming.  Which will release all of female-dom from the chains of shaving for a few short, frigid months.

 

Or maybe we’ll just embrace our stubble.  You can yell about it all you want, kids.

Drug Test From Hell

So, one time for school I had to go volunteer at a hospital for a semester.  Which was awesome because that’s what I wanted to do with my life.

However, since it’s a hospital and people there have lots of diseases and fun stuff going on you have to prove that:

a) you can’t get sick

b) you can’t get other people sick

c) you aren’t a psychopath or on hella drugs

(i.e. not this guy):

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**RIP Heath Ledger

 

All this background-check-safety-measure stuff means that there’s a bunch of paperwork that has to happen before the actual volunteering and making people’s lives better part can begin.

One of the things you have to do is get a drug test done, which, you know, makes total sense.  The only problem was I’d never had to take a drug test before, and, as a drug test rookie I forgot one important piece of information: drug tests are urine tests.  URINE TESTS.

And I, genius that I am, went to go get mine done on a day that I’d drunk maybe one glass of water all day. Maybe.

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So I filled out all the paperwork and paid for it and everything and then went into the restroom to get the job done.

…Nothing.

It was a terrible realization.  Like, a please-God-no-this-isn’t-happening-I-already-feel-so-strange-about-all-of-this-please-no realization.

Let me tell you, there are few things weirder than going out into a waiting room and explaining to an office worker that you can’t get yourself to pee.  (“I’m sorry ma’am, I just, you see, I can’t pee on command…”)

I decided to see if I could wait it out (because that’s not super weird), and chugged a bottle of Mountain Dew to try to speed along the process.  I may or may not have been legitimately praying for pee at this point.

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Then everyone working in the lab figured out what was happening and (strangely) got emotionally invested in my plight.  I spent the next hour and a half sitting in that waiting room, going to the restroom and trying to pee about every fifteen minutes.

Yes.  This really happened.

Every time I emerged from the bathroom one of the lab workers would call “Any luck yet?”

Finally, the lab was CLOSING, and I still hadn’t peed.

I had to come back THE NEXT DAY all because I couldn’t get myself to pee in a stupid cup.  But this wasn’t enough for the vindictive pee gods. No, of course not.

Five minutes after I pulled out of the lab parking lot, I felt it. I had to pee.

Like, I really had to pee.

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The next day I hydrated like nobody’s business the whole morning, and peed in that cup like it was my job.

Good news: I wasn’t on drugs.

 

The Jimmy Kimmel Halloween Prank – (Why, Parents – WHY?!?)

Yes, I am writing about the Jimmy Kimmel Halloween Candy Prank, also known as That One Time A Year When Apparently It’s Ok To Lie To Your Kids Because A Talk Show Host Said To.  The second title was too long, that’s why they don’t use it on the show.   Just, you know, if you were wondering.

You see, I don’t like the Halloween Prank.  It was funny-ish the first time it happened, mostly because of that one gem on the end (you sneaky Mom!).  But really, that was it.  The rest was just screaming kids, and who really wants to watch five minutes of temper tantrums?  Nobody, that’s who.  So, as incentive to not have children, I guess the prank works.  It also works as incentive to never trust parents.

 

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But really, here is why it’s a problem:

1)  I’m sorry, but these kids are too young to take that kind of joke.  You get kids that are 12, 13 and up then yeah, they are capable of understanding the humor.  But children younger than that (children of trick-or-treat age) are not developmentally ABLE to understand the complexity of this joke.  They live in a black and white world people, concrete operations period, or didn’t you study your Piaget?  All they know is a) my parents took my things without asking, something I am not supposed to do because it’s bad  (is it any wonder they’re upset?) and then later b) my parents lied to me, another thing I am not supposed to do because it’s bad.

Is it just me or are there some mixed messages happening here?  And no, saying “I was just kidding” does not make it all better.  Do your kids still have consequences when they lie to you and then say “just kidding”?  You bet they do.  The logical conclusion of this experience, if you are a child is a) my parents cannot be trusted and b) my parents do things that they say I am not allowed to do because they are bad.  News flash: neither of these is a good conclusion if you’re looking for a harmonious household.

2) Let’s examine the reactions of these kids.  Yikes.  I mean, alright, a couple of them are pretty sweet and forgiving, but GEEZ the overall stunts are um, terrifying.

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However, how are the parents supposed to address these angry outbursts?  Can you discipline a kid for having a tantrum because you lied to them?  But are you just supposed to let the words “I hate you, Mom” slide under the table?  It seems the general consensus is to videotape it and then move on.  But one wonders, what seeds of dysfunction are being sown by this “good-natured practical joke”?  And why create such a parenting paradox in the first place?

3) Why on earth do people watch these?  It’s just children screaming and calling their parents names.  No thanks, I’ll pass.  Also, I’m very concerned about a generation of parents that has no problem having a laugh at the expense of their child.  It’s one thing to involuntarily catch something cute or weird or hilarious on film, and quite another to manipulate your kid so that you can have three seconds of youtube fame.

In conclusion – please never do this to your kids.

Thanks.