10 Reasons Why Mondays are the Work of Satan

Mondays Suck

1. You wake up with a hangover even though you had nothing to drink the night before.

It’s a fascinating biological phenomenon. Your head hurts, your mouth is dry and there’s a weird bruise in a surprising place. It takes all the strength you have just to reach over and slap the alarm clock against the wall, repeatedly, until you finally throw back the covers and stagger out of bed, weeping quietly. You completely ignore the person lying on the other side of the mattress, because you can’t remember their name right now. It’ll come to you later.

2. Despite your best intentions, you never got around to doing any laundry over the weekend.

So now your wardrobe options are completely uninspiring, consisting mostly of things you haven’t worn since Clinton was in office, faded t-shirts with exclamatory slogans that could lead to your dismissal at work, and a certain leather outfit you bought during a lusty moment coming home from the wine festival in Grapevine. (The sad little price tag is still on it.)

My personal clothing dilemma this morning led to the donning of a questionable pair of slacks that technically no longer fit me. I did not let this stop the show, sucking in my gut as I struggled valiantly to conquer the demon fabric. Fastening the top button resulted in the pleats at the front committing suicide in a frenzy of ripped thread, and a firm tug on the zipper led to my instant sterilization. But I got the damn pants on.

Of course, walking became a challenge after that point, as I hobbled from room to room, taking tiny baby steps while the sounds of structural stress filled the air. And actually sitting down was out of the question. Once I got to work, I just leaned against my chair and used a plastic fork to reach the keyboard.

 3. You also forgot to fill the gas tank, which means you’ll have to stop on the way to work, along with everybody else that didn’t remember this little task.

I never have a good time at the gas pump anyway, but I especially don’t enjoy it when I’m trussed up like a Thanksgiving turkey and I can’t breathe. First, you have to deal with all those short-attention span people that don’t pull through to the first pump, forcing you to circle around and back in. Then you basically have to re-program the pump because the loser before you was trying to use a stolen credit card and just drove away in the middle of the transaction.

And finally, no matter what you do, carefully handling the gas nozzle with tenderness, there’s going to be that last squirt of gasoline that splashes on your pants. Great. I already have enough friction going on down there, and now I’ve just doused myself with liquid accelerant.

4. The knowledge base of other drivers on the roadways has always been questionable, but during the course of a weekend these folks will forget even the minimal skills they possessed. Monday is clearly a brand new day in their lives.

I don’t think I need to go into this much further. Some people should never be allowed out of the house. I’ve overcome too many obstacles in my life to be taken down by some fool swerving all over the road because they don’t grasp the concept that they are behind the wheel of a moving vehicle.

 5. The knowledge base of your co-workers has always been questionable, but during the course of a weekend these folks will forget everything they have ever known. Ever.

They will ask you how to do everything, especially the critical things you covered in detail just three days ago using slide shows and hand puppets. They will be confused about how to turn on their computer, they will no longer remember passwords that they use every day, and they’ll even be a little unclear on where their cube might be located. You might as well buy a roll of toilet paper when you stop for gas on the way in, because they’re apparently going to need help with personal hygiene as well.

 6. Everyone wants to talk to you, despite your prominently-displayed company badge where you have clearly scribbled “I don’t like people” in black crayon.

They bounce around and jabber away, gushing with endless anecdotes that mean nothing to you and never will. You will be unable to stop them. Turning your back and acting very busy doesn’t work. Phrases like “I think the Boss needs to speak with you” or “Is that your phone ringing?” or “Do you realize I could have you arrested for harassment?” don’t sink in. Just let them ramble on and pray for daylight.

7. The very first work email you read will cruelly announce that the massive project you’ve worked on for the last six months is no longer funded.

You have been assigned to another functional team. Your new manager will be meeting with you shortly. His name is Damian. Don’t stare at the triple-6 tattoo on his skull. It’s rude and, more importantly, he is now in control of your fate. This is why you went to college on nights and weekends for 10 years, so some 12-year-old who is related to a high-level executive officer can waltz in here and destroy all concepts of professionalism and common sense. Yay.

8. You will have 47 voice mails.

Only one of them will be of any importance. It will be the very last one in the sequence, so you will be drifting off long before you get to that one. Sadly, when the tone of this voice mail causes you to snort awake, you will only catch half of it. It’s somebody in Payroll. In your fogged state, you will accidentally erase the message and not get the all-important callback number. When you desperately call the main Payroll line, they will have no idea who you are. They hang up on you.

 9. Everybody on the entire planet had a better weekend than you did.

Fascinating parties. Great nights at the club. Wonderful dining experiences. Travel to exotic places. Visits with family members that are not rude and stifling. Marriage proposals, sex changes and an Oprah sighting. All kinds of fun stuff. Your weekend? You cleaned the toilets, trimmed the cat’s claws, and watched a Discovery Channel documentary about warthogs.

10. The Mamas and The Papas warned us forty years ago that Mondays will find us crying all of the time.

And I’ve always firmly believed in the prophetic wisdom of colorful hippies who sing in four-part harmony…

 

(Originally published in “The Sound and the Fury” on 03/29/10. Revised and updated with extra flair for this post.)

10 Things That Your Significant Other Shouldn’t Do If They Really Want to Remain Your Significant Other

Sig Other

 

1. Do not tell people that you are my beloved until this has been fully discussed between us and official documents have been signed.

Likewise, do not update your relationship status on any social media app without the proper coordination. This is something that we should do together, whilst sipping wine and staring into each other’s shiny, happy eyes as we point and click. This is not something you do while I am away for the weekend attending a Fish Fry in a rural village that does not have Internet access.

2. Do not speak of past relationships for any measurable length of time or give any indication that it was an enjoyable experience.

Acceptable Example: “Chris and I once went to the Irish Festival and it rained the whole time.”

Death-Wish Example: “Chris and I spent an entire month in Tuscany and it was the best time I’ve ever had in my entire life and we made love every night in an ancient vineyard where Michelangelo used to sit and sketch grapes. And I still have a bottle of wine that we made out of those grapes and I drink from it every year and think of that wonderful summer.”

3. Do not leave undergarments in unauthorized locations for any noticeable period.

A pair of briefs thrown into the ceiling fan during a rousing game of slap and tickle is fine. Those same briefs circling around the ceiling fan in a holding pattern for an entire week can lead to a psychotic break. Put your damn panties in the basket we bought just so you would have somewhere to put your panties.

 4. Do not ask me to suggest a dining or entertainment option and then completely ignore my answer.

If there is something specific that you want to do, just say what it is and let’s go on with life. Don’t ask me what we should do for dinner, forcing me to review in my head the various restaurants where we can both get something we like and I proffer up a compromise location, only for you to pretend like I haven’t said anything and then steer us toward where you wanted to go in the first place. Why must it be a patience-testing game? Tell me up front where you want to go and we’ll go there. God.

5. We do not have to do every single thing in life as a unit.

There will be times when I want to go off and do something for a few hours that you have no desire to do. And since you don’t like the activity, I don’t want you coming along and sighing out of apparent life-depleting boredom. My desire to spend a little time pursuing a personal interest does not mean that our relationship is on a train wreck to hell, that you should start looking for change-of-address cards, or that I am having rounds of orgiastic sex with a different Chris in a different vineyard in your beloved Italy. I just need some downtime weaving simple baskets in a convent where all the nuns have taken a vow of silence, that’s all.

6. Even if you don’t understand my mystifying side interests, you should still respect those pursuits without the use of sarcasm or eye-rolling.

Suppose I like to collect pretty rocks. People do that. It’s not a sign of mental deficiency or conversion to a satan-based way of life. It’s just something to do, even if it means you are tripping over boxes of rocks that I haven’t touched since 1992. After all, I’ve never said a word about your endless crates of vintage 8-Track tapes that are testing the structural support of this house, despite the fact that we don’t even own an 8-Track tape player.

7. You cannot make fun of more members of my family than I make fun of your family members.

It’s a very mentally-healthy thing for two people in love to have a chuckle or three over the indiscretions or outright stupidity of certain members of the interconnected clans. This is a supportive way for each of us to relieve familial stress without directly affecting the contents of any last will and testaments. But you don’t want to go too far. If one family tree starts getting more chops than the other, it’s inevitable that there will be a power shift in the relationship and suddenly people are going to bed without speaking.

8. It’s okay if we don’t agree on the same TV programs.

Seriously, it’s not that big of a deal. If you want to watch The Adventures of the Runaway Crockpot and I don’t, it’s not an invalidation of your cultural choices or your status as a human being. It’s alright to like different things. You watch your little show and enjoy the hell out of it. I’ll head over to the convent and make some woven baskets with Sister Jedidiah and Sister Never-Touched. (We’re preparing for the Annual Jesus and Jute Craft Fair.) We can watch Survivor later and laugh at stupid people making bad choices.

9. If I make a fairly insipid mistake concerning a life decision or a trivia question, and this will happen, probably often, it will be discussed once, briefly, and then it will never be addressed again.

I am aware that you have a tendency to gloat and feel superior when proven right. You are aware that I share the same trait. This is probably why we got together in the first place, a shared need for validation that was nurtured by questionable childhoods and/or a genetic misfire of some sort. As such, it’s not a good idea for either of us to push the issue. You can have your five-minute victory dance and a limit of two smart-ass comments. After that, the situation is wrapped up, thrown in one of the boxes of rocks, and will never again see the light of day. Unless I need to use it as an example of spousal abuse in divorce court.

10. I must always be a beacon of beauty to you, regardless of how wrinkled or flabby I get, what I’m wearing, degree of hangover, or how I smell.

I never want to see that look leave your eyes. Even if my current appearance has shattered the bathroom mirror, terrified our pets, severely traumatized neighborhood children who stupidly chose to look in the front window, and caused the startled mailman to immediately seek therapy. The spark in your gaze must always burn bright.

Now, sign on the dotted line below and get somebody to notarize this thing. I’ve got some baskets to make and the Sisters have been texting me…

 

(Originally published in “The Sound and the Fury” on 05/11/12. Revised and updated with extra flair for this post.)

10 Things I Learned While Sucking Down Margaritas at Ojeda’s

 

Margarita

 

1. It’s hard to make a grand entrance at the restaurant when obnoxious people are blocking your way.

Okay, Mr. Speed Bump, I understand that the 47 pounds of spicy, fried lard that you just ate might slow you down a bit. Got it. But seriously, why are you finding it necessary to come to a complete halt in the tiny lobby? This is a certified transit area, not a campground. I can’t even open the door all the way because you have claimed squatter’s rights at the cashier’s desk, telling your life story while the rest of your amazingly-extensive family is just standing there, wiping grease off their chins and belching.

Quit talking to that cashier. She is not your friend and she doesn’t care. She is only being nice to you because you just handed her money. “Did you enjoy your meal?” is not an invitation for you to start babbling about how your gout is acting up or you might have to have something removed. Grab a complimentary toothpick and GO.

2. I am apparently not as fond of screaming, hyperactive children as the rest of the world.

Dear Hostess Person: No, I’m not going to follow you to that table which you are indicating. Why? Do you see what’s going on at the next table? The one where something has apparently exploded, causing small humans to lose their minds and start throwing food while howling at a decibel level that can bring down a plane? There’s queso on the ceiling, for God’s sake. I don’t want to be anywhere near that.

And don’t look at me in confusion, wondering why I don’t find the howlers to be adorable little tykes that make me want to hug and kiss them. These are not the good kind of children, who quietly sit there and do nothing but count as a deduction on income tax returns. These are Satanic minions hell-bent on destroying civilization. I don’t even want to be in the same room with the Children of the Corn Tortilla. Please adjust your GPS and let’s find a more subdued area of this establishment.

3. It is a law of nature that you must order margaritas in a Mexican restaurant.

I don’t care what time of day it is, tequila just sets the appropriate tone, and somehow biologically prepares your body for the impending influx of food items that your doctor has warned you to never touch again. (He’s not here right now, so screw him.) And don’t ask me lame little questions like whether I want a large or small margarita. Can you not tell by the pinched expression on my face that I have no desire for an alcoholic beverage served in a teacup? I want BIG. I want people to be frightened by the size of my beverage-ware, that kind of big.

4. Everything on the menu at Ojeda’s is the best thing ever.

You can’t go wrong. Close your eyes, stab at the menu, and try it. You’ll squeal with a level of satisfaction that is nearly orgasmic. (Not that anybody will hear you due to the maelstrom of noise coming from the other room, with that table of unregulated offspring ripping apart the foundations of society whilst their parents do nothing to stop the madness.) Even the tortilla chips are delicious, but you don’t want to have too many of them, because they will take up valuable real estate in your tummy and you may not be able to finish your actual meal, a failure that will haunt you for days.

5. Puffed Tacos are a gift from Jesus.

I’d never even heard of these things before we started going to Ojeda’s years ago, but now I can’t get enough of them. They’re like little tiny taco salads in a fried Christmas ornament. We should have a national holiday for the saintly person who invented these. I can gnaw my way through several of them before my bulging stomach starts to raise the table off the floor and we have stability issues, with utensils and cellphones and vats of salsa sliding precariously about.

6. Tequila makes me talk.

Before I even finished the first beverage, I was rambling away about anything that popped into my head. Anything. This is a change of pace for my partner and me, because he’s usually the one to share his thoughts with any person, place or thing that will listen, while I just sit there and nod from time to time. But dump some tequila down my throat and I will share every single thought that enters my alcohol-drenched brain. This is probably why my friendship stats fluctuate so wildly on Facebook.

7. Tequila and some people don’t mix.

I’m talking about YOU, Miss Bellow-Guffaw three tables over. Why the hell are you yelling everything that you say? What’s up with that? Your equally-soused tablemate is right there. He can hear you just fine. There’s no need for this “raising the dead” business. You don’t need to be at that decibel level unless you’re parting the Red Sea or you’re in labor. Inside voice, please.

And while we’re on the topic, Mr. Thump-Bang in the booth behind me, what can you possibly be doing that makes it sound and feel like you tried to hog-tie something at a rodeo and failed miserably? Perhaps the laws of physics are beyond your grasp, so let me break it down for you: We are sharing the same seatback, which means that your rambunctiousness has a negative effect on me. Could you possibly sit still for twenty seconds so I can successfully get this guacamole-laden chip into my mouth instead of inadvertently smashing it into the side of my head?

8. Music sung in a foreign language is pleasing when you’re buzzed.

Typically, mariachi music is not my favorite. It’s just too insistent. But with a bit of inebriation, I’m transported to another world. It was truly divine and beautiful. I actually shed a few tears over this one song, where Yolanda did something something with some huevos, and the people of the village were offended by this and she was shunned forever, forced to wear used clothing and get her own water from the well. It was so sad. I asked our server if there was a place I could send money. He brought me another margarita instead, and said I could just give the money to him.

9. Your plate does not have to be empty before rude people want to take it.

No, I am not ready for you to whisk this away. Look, there’s a little bit of rice over here, and at least two bites of refried beans, and part of a puffed taco. This is a feast. There is no reason for you to be inquiring about the relocation of my tableware at this point. Yes, I understand that lately my focus has been on the straw in my margarita, but there’s no need for you to get demanding about my consumption process. When it’s time, I’ll ring a bell, okay? We’re going to tip you. Relax.

10. It’s much more fun when you aren’t the one who has to drive home after the margarita fest.

Terry has to pay attention and not kill people. All I have to do is sing and tell everybody what I think about unrelated topics like bratwurst and why Angelina Jolie’s lips are so big. So I did. All the way home. At one point, Terry was eyeing nearby cliffs with a desperate yearning in his eyes. I really wasn’t ready for a plunge into eternal darkness, so I eventually had to talk about things that might interest him as well, even though it pained me and ruined my conversational rhythm.

Finally, we made it home, where I joyously switched from margaritas to beer. Because mixing types of alcohol is such a good idea. The next morning, my uvula was swollen to the size of a Buick, I had no concept of what my name might be, and I quietly begged for Death to take me now. But all in all, it was a great birthday.

And I sure do love those puffed tacos…

 

(Originally published in “The Sound and the Fury” on 01/27/11. Revised and updated with extra flair for this post.)