Words, Kids & Drinking: The Best of "Other Pressing Matters"

Words You Can't Call Women
Not those words, you idiot. I'm assuming the class of people that read RMV would never call a woman those words. Rather, we're dealing with the problems of the modern woman. I got called out the other day for saying I was taking a "girl" on a date. While I obviously didn't mean anything negative by it, the person I was speaking to viewed "girl" as derogatory and diminishing, unless used in reference to an 11 year old girl. So, after some terribly mediocre research, here is a list of words you can and can't call women. This list is by no means definitive, so feel free to make corrections or suggestions in the comments!

Words that are out

  • Girl. I got wayyyy too much negative feedback on this one. Even using the slick, "Sup, girl?" like you're Snoop Lion (that's still weird) met with negative reaction. Though, that might have more to do with me being 33 years old and white...
  • Woman. Maybe the most dangerous word, because it's so easy to sound derogatory even if it's not meant to be. Possibly difficult because it's hard to use without saying "my" such as, "My woman and I are going to get tacos." That's bad news. Worse news? "Woman, would you get me a taco?" Just don't use woman. It's not worth it.
  • Broad. Roughly .01% of the female population thinks this is cute. Everyone else will try to kill you.
  • Dame. Unless it's Judy Dench, or you're in the 1940s. Why would you even bring that one up?

Use Caution

  • Ma'am. Especially outside of the South, this gets mixed reviews. Sometimes it's charming, other times it's seen as patronizing. Again, we're assuming the guy is being sincere, because yeah I know - some people use "ma'am" to be patronizing. Those people suck. Now I feel awkward when I say "yes ma'am", even though if I don't I'm pretty sure my mom is going to leap out from behind shrubbery ninja-style and hit me with a stick for not being respectful.
  • Lady. Lady is a tough one. Girls use it to greet each other enthusiastically at the bar. "HEYYY LADDYYYY!!!" This does not work as a greeting if you're a heterosexual guy. Lady is also tough because if you say, "I'm taking this lady out for a taco," at least one of your friends will wonder for at least three seconds if that means you're taking a hooker out. It's just a tough one to pull off.

Safe! Use with abandon!

  • Names. That's it. Even if you're addressing a group of women, it's best to call them all by name individually.

Why Breeding is Bad
Not sure what the deal is here recently, but every time I've gone out with a girl or talked with one for more than five minutes, there's been a discussion about why I don't want children. I understand that in the face of a planet population of 7 billion people, I'm obviously a minority. That's cool, I get that. There's some sort of biological or moral imperative to reproduce. Right on. There's a joy in being hugged by your child that I'll just never understand. Cool. I'm completely in favor of you having babies if that's what you're in to. What I don't understand is how more people don't understand where I'm coming from, even if they want kids themselves. So here, in detail, is my full explanation of why I don't believe in having kids.

1. It's a bad investment.
I mean this both financially and emotionally. Financially it's pretty obvious, between escalating costs of living and college, and the likelihood that the apple of your eye is probably going to be eating cheetos and smoking pot while living in your basement after you spend $200,000 on college. That should be fun. But also, emotionally it's a bad deal, because there's an excellent chance the shitbag won't appreciate that you're providing said education, basement, cheetos and pot. What's worse than doing everything you can for your kid, yet said kid screams about hating you, not respecting you, etc. I plan on taking that money and spending it on vacations, and emotionally investing in a dog who will always think I'm the greatest human being on the planet. But yeah, your way sounds fun too...
2. You WILL mess your kid up.
There's zero doubt. You're going to mess up your child. Even awesome parents screw up their kids. And you? Yeah, you're Definitely going to mess up your kid. I just have to worry about messing up my wood floors. And if I do, it's a $200 fix. If you screw up your kid? Enjoy paying for decades of therapy.
3. Your kid WILL mess you up.
You'll go from a fun loving guy or girl who goes out on Fridays and talks about careers and futures to a beaten, paranoid, worried parent who shares wayyyy to many photos of your kid on Facebook. That's no fun. Also, if you're a woman considering having a baby, just know that what you're about to do to your body may require reconstructive surgery. Yikes.
4. Wiping Ass.
Self explanatory. Bonus: If you have a girl, you have to wipe poo out of a baby vagina. Yay! For YEARS. How can you command respect when at any moment your snot-nosed 13 year old has the ultimate comeback? "You respect me and do what I say you little brat!" "Shut up old man! You used to wipe my ass!!"
I don't have kids. Do you realize what this means? If you want to go to Thailand tomorrow, I have to make a phone call and then I can go with. If you have two toddlers, you need a War Room right out of West Wing to plan a Friday night out three months in advance. If I decide to take a crazy chance in my career and I go bust and have to live out of my car, cool. Even if you're married, you have the option to be poor! If you have a kid? Enjoy that soul-sucking job you hate for another 35 years homes.
6. It's bad for the environment.
You heard me. Overpopulation and waste are two of the biggest problems facing the planet today. So I'm going to do my part. The average American creates 4.5 pounds of waste per day. If I had a child that lived to 75 years old, that would be another 123,187 pounds of waste! Look at how much I care about the environment by not doing that! I could club a baby seal for my yearly vacation for the rest of my life, but it would be totally offset by not breeding. I'm still a positive force for the environment. For the record, I've never wanted to club a baby seal, it's just nice to know I could justify it if I did.

The Art of Drinking Alone at a Bar
Shout out to Kate Bernot (@kbernot) for inspiring this one. As previously mentioned, I just moved to Chicago and don't know anyone in the city. Well, I've obviously met a few people by now, but no one that I regularly hang out with or anything. I'm still looking for that right fit socially. You know, the group of guys and girls that is equally up for going to a baseball game, a beer tasting, or coming over for a Game of Thrones watching party. It's a hard group to find.
There are a lot of ways to address this. You can get involved in a local organization, like a co-op or something. You can hit up Craigslist, if you're braver than I am. Or, if you're like me, you can pick a bar or two that you like and go drink alone and meet people. However!! This is tricky. Drinking alone is an art. Here are some helpful hints.
First, quit being awkward. It's not 1995 anymore, going somewhere by yourself isn't weird, it isn't uncomfortable. It's a sign you're a grown up and secure in your own skin. If you can't stand your own company, why would anyone else? Second, QUIT BEING AWKWARD! There's a balance between being available for conversation and desperate for conversation. Bring a book. Do some work on your laptop. Be interested in whatever game is on TV. Have something to do without depending on the bartender to talk to you or horning in on the conversation next to you. Being available means you're aware - someone says something that you have genuine insight to, so you jump in. You take a break from reading, or working, and provide an easy opening if someone wants to chat. Last, be smart about timing. If you're heading to a hip bar (people still say hip, right? Right??) on a Friday night at 9pm, no one is going to want to talk to you, and reading a book at a crowded bar is just, well...don't do that. Please. Thursday afternoon between 4-6pm? Not bad! Happy hour people! Watch a game, enjoy a drink special, meet a friend. Well done.


Filed under: Other Pressing Matters

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