The Feelings Booth

I’m not a huge fan of being wrong.  You’re blown away at what a unique person I am, I know.  Most people just positively adore being wrong.  I’m a real one-of-a-kind hero.  Put my face on a coin someday, but make sure it’s front-facing because I’ve never been a fan of my profile.

In the meantime, since minting coins has a rather spendy start-up cost, just go ahead and put coins on my face.  Sacajawea dollar coins or GTFO.  Don’t cheap out – it’s the holidays!

You know what, though?  My skin is super sensitive, and coins are just about the dirtiest thing on Earth besides your weird uncle who likes to hug me way too long and says stuff like, “Wow, you really grew up if you know what I mean,” so you can just go ahead and put the coins directly into my bank account, along with all of the rest of your money, electronics, and jewelry.  This is a stick-up!

I honestly can’t believe you didn’t see that coming from a mile away.  Situational awareness, people!  You should have taken the advice of the, frankly, passive-aggressive victim-blaming posters at the mall parking lot that say, “Don’t make yourself a victim!”

Certainly, nobody likes being wrong, but I feel like I aggressively don’t like being wrong, if that’s a thing?  I’m sure that’s a thing.  It’s probably the “thing” that puts a lot of people in prison.  Or law school.

My typical response to being told that I’m wrong is blind rage.  You would never know it because I keep it tucked safely inside, but just know that when someone points out that I’m wrong about something, mentally this is what I want to happen to everyone in the world right at that second:

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I never act on my blind rage because, obviously, I can’t go to prison.  They make you go to the bathroom in front of other people in prison, which means that I would never be able to go to the bathroom again.  As it is, I can’t go if I suspect another human (or one of those sensitive dogs who looks like he’s really thinking) is within a ten mile radius.  If I were to act on my blind rage, I would go to prison, never go to the bathroom, swell up like a tick, explode, and die.

Nobody wants to die that way in prison.  Everybody wants to die valiantly and poetically in prison, after being shanked in the yard over a stolen pudding cup.  At least that’s how I’d want to go.

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“She died as she lived, fighting over pudding that didn’t belong to her.”

I’ve had to find creative ways to stuff down the blind rage for as long as I can remember, so when someone tells me I’m wrong, I will often turn to a solution like quietly leaving the office and walking to my car, screaming at the top of my lungs and punching the steering wheel, and then quietly walking back into the office.  How else is a person supposed to deal with making a typo and then having someone point it out?

“Hey, Maggie, I think these letters are transposed.”

“Oh, are they?”

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Walk outside, scream, punch, walk back inside, fix the typo.  This is life.

I assume a lot of people do this in the car, at least from time to time, or else more people would be using public transportation.  The entire reason that I own a car is so I have a private place to freak out when needed.  I call it my “Feelings Booth”.  What do you have a car for?  Getting around?

Feelings Booth aside, I think the most creative (and on-brand) way I’ve ever dealt with the whole “being wrong” thing was when I was 8 years old, arguing with my sister Bonnie about what all kids argue about:  Hall and Oates song lyrics.

It seems Bonnie believed the title to the song “Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid” was “Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid”.

That would make her correct, in case you think you’re just seeing things.  No need to re-read that sentence.

I believed the title was a different line in the song and that it was “Some Things Are Better Left Undone”.

This was pre-internet and none of us owned the album, so the only way to settle the matter was through a third party.  That would be my sister Julie.

I went to discuss the matter with her alone and she said, “Actually, I’m pretty sure Bonnie is right.  It’s “Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid”.

I felt the rage swell inside me, took a deep breath and said, “Okay.  If I give you a dollar will you go out there and tell Bonnie that it’s actually “Some Things Are Better Left Undone” and that she’s wrong?”

Julie said, “But she’s actually right.  You’re the one who’s wrong.  You’re willing to pay me to tell her that you’re right, even though we both know you’re wrong?”

I pulled out the dollar bill and said, “One.  Dollar.”

She took it and said, “You’re an idiot,” and then marched into the other room to tell Bonnie she was wrong.

Of course, I just looked up the lyrics now (yay internet) and saw that the line I was wrongly trying to argue “Some Things Are Better Left Undone” is actually “Some Strings Are Better Left Undone”, so I wasn’t even right about the line to begin with, let alone that it was the title of the song.

I’ll excuse myself to my Feelings Booth now.

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Ain’t No Rest for The Petty

I always get a laugh when someone I know says something like, “Come on, Maggie.  You’re not petty like that.” Or, “I know you.  You’re above that.”

I have to pause from those conversations and take a moment to look in the mirror to make sure that I’m actually wearing my own face that day, and not one of those Ronald Reagan rubber masks from Point Break that I like to wear on Thursdays, because I assume a case of mistaken identity must be involved here.

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There’s no way to prove that’s not me on the right.

If you claim to know me but would state that I am above any level of pettiness or immaturity, then we need to get together more often, because you obviously know jack squat about me.

Also, I’m very busy with social anxiety and I don’t have time to get together with you.

Here’s the facts, folks.  I am probably the most petty and immature person you have ever encountered.  I am not being self-deprecating here.  I saw the “Nanette” special on Netflix.  Don’t tell me to not be so hard on myself.  I should be at least five thousand times harder on myself.

I can assure you that I am not above nearly any level of pettiness.  If anything, I would be willing to go much, much, much lower if the situation were to warrant it.  So low that sometimes I almost want the situation to warrant it so I can once again feel the thrill of vengeful house-egging and the pounding of my heart as I run away, villain-laughing, exclaiming, “That’s the last time you’ll question MY pet rat-naming skills, ho-bag!” into the damp Florida night.

“Chad” is a perfectly good name for a pet rat and I still stand by that to this day.  Take a second and think about every Chad you’ve ever met.  See?  It makes sense.

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You know one or more of these rats is a frat bro turned investment banker.

Pettiness and immaturity are two of those things that when you’re younger you think are just a consequence of youth and inexperience, and that you’ll eventually grow out of them.  That being said, if you’re still petty and immature when you round the big 4-0, that deal is pretty much sealed.  You’re officially, permanently, petty and immature.  You should probably try out for a show on Bravo.  Let’s all get together and petty it up sometime.

Also, I’m very busy with social anxiety and I don’t have time to get together with you.

Like so many things in life, I turn to the film “Moonstruck” to work through this behavior, so anytime someone accuses me of being petty, I just yell, “In time you’ll drop dead and I’ll come to your funeral in a red dress!”

Pretty sure I have to get that Moonstruck quote tattooed somewhere, but that would break my longstanding tradition of having tattoos that don’t mean anything.  It’s too bad, because I reach for that quote often, mostly when I am making an obscene Sicilian gesture at someone who has already left the room.

I am not Sicilian, by the way, as evidenced by my lack of ability to make delicious Sunday gravy, and my complete failure at being able to talk with my hands without looking like Zack Morris trying to talk his way out of detention with Mr. Belding.

I am so Northwestern European that in a recent WASP contest, I came in first place in not knowing what the big deal is about that Despacito song.  I saw Andrew McCarthy on television one time, fanned myself with a slice of Oscar Mayer bologna, and exclaimed, “Well, my my my!  Who is this Grecian gigolo?!”

Get this (and this shit is crazy).  Just last month I sent in a passport application and it got kicked back to me because they claimed they were unable to discern my facial features against the solid white background in the passport photo.  In order to remedy this, I had to go run around a building to put some color in my cheeks and put on some bronzer to re-take the photo because apparently I’m so freaking pale I DON’T SHOW UP ON FILM.

Any Sicilian gestures that I know I just learned by osmosis from having my face pressed against the television while watching re-runs of The Golden Girls for the past 30 years or so.  Television is educational, and I won’t put up with you disparaging it.

And perhaps you would not be receiving this obscene Sicilian gesture to begin with had you NOT looked at my new shoes and instead of complimenting them said, “Wow.  What size shoe do you wear?” implying that my feet are huge.  Also, my feet are actually huge.  You think I don’t know that?

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I refuse to field any questions as to my wardrobe in this photo from 1992, but good lord, look at the size of those feet.  You could power a tugboat with those flippers.

Guess what you’ve done now, Puf’nStuf?  Now you’ve gone and made yourself an enemy.  You couldn’t just compliment the shoes, even if you didn’t mean it?  I compliment people on their shoes all the time and I don’t mean it.  It’s called “being a contributing member of society”.  It’s called being a “team player”, you Juicy Fruit jackwagon.

You thought you could throw your little passive-aggressive stuff at me and I would just lie down with my giant feet in the air and take it, but now I will do everything in my power to make sure you are on the receiving end of my pettiness and immaturity FOREVER.  And, no, I will never forgive you.  Ever!  The die has been cast!  The only difference between you being all frozen in a block of my loathing and Han Solo being all frozen in that giant bar of chocolate is that Han Solo is eventually getting out of his predicament.

Oops!  That was a spoiler.

You have now been cordially drafted into the ranks of several dozens of individuals I have encountered in my life who fall squarely into the “Nemesis” category.  As such, you will now live in the long shadow of my wrath and I will make it my life’s work to end you.

“End you”, by the way, means I will mock your mannerisms behind your back as you walk away, and mentally put snotty air-quotes around your name anytime I think about you, and maybe tell people behind your back that I think your baby looks like Wilford Brimley and that nobody is fooled by that pink satin headband.  I will elaborate by telling them that unless that pink satin headband covers your baby’s entire face, your baby will still look like Wilford Brimley, and that you should invest in a headsuit rather than just a headband.

Quietly.  From a hundred feet away.

It is important to note that I am now at an age where my wrath is exceeded only by my complete and total fear of confrontation.