10 November 2011

Things I'm thankful for, and a few I wish would disappear

by Nia

YAY:

1. The blogosphere. Here you can find people who like anything you like, discussing it in an articulate, meaningful way even if it's as niche and irrelevant to the fate of the universe as 1930s toasters or velour tracksuits or the topic that hooked me: perfume. I secretly suspect that blogging's reputation as pathetic and sad was started by professional writers who stumbled online and found that lots of people who do not write for a living are perfectly good at it. It put a perspective on their widdle talents that they just can't handle-wandle.

2. My apartment's plumbing. Whoever decided to install institutional-strength toilets in this crumbling edifice was a saint. It makes the loo look like a federal facility, and flushes like an F-14 taking off, but in ten years the toilet has not backed up once, which happens to be a phobia of mine.

3. TV on DVD.
Remember when TV was a joke? When it was considered career death for a movie actor to appear on TV? Now you can sort through decades of dross and find the good stuff and watch it whenever you want and as long as you want without a single word from our sponsor.

4. Wheels on suitcases. I for one have never taken this for granted. Years of lugging my family's vinyl behemoths through airports scarred me permanently. Every time I get my little rolling backpack out, I send a prayer of thanks to the luggage gods.

5. Sign language for toddlers. Small people in the pre-language phase tend to blame you for your failure to understand their babbling, screeching, and eyebrow waggling. I was on the receiving end of a lot of soul-destroying "You are an amateur" looks until I finally mastered the signs my younger relatives were learning in nursery school. It turned out they were just hitting me up for food.

GO AWAY:

1. The blogosphere. The legions of mouth-breathing blogging cretins out there can be divided into three camps: juvenile/offensive, arrogant/ignorant, and mind-numbingly-boring/smiley-face-super-positive. The latter is over-represented on women's networking sites, where 99% of the members have that Hi!!!!! tone that makes it impossible to tell them apart. Shouldn't these people be regulated? Or at least required to register in a central database somewhere?

2. Four- and five-inch heels in everyday, mid-priced shoe collections.
Remember when only designer labels or Frederick's of Hollywood sold the super-high heels? Now you can't get away from them. Even TV and movie actresses have developed a lurching, pitched-forward walk to accommodate them. And as other commentators have observed about high heels in general, why would you willingly hobble yourself? When archaeologists dig them up in 2,000 years they'll figure they were some sort of livestock restraint.

3. TV characters who have a new outfit every day. (FYI: women continue to catalog other females' wardrobes long after we leave high school.) The girl on "Veronica Mars" lived in a converted motel but had at least three leather jackets. Compare "I Love Lucy," in which Mrs. Ricardo wore the same 15 ensembles for five years.