Rejected Children’s Book Titles

A list of rejected children’s book titles that I feel more closely relate to life and the frustrations thereof:

Pop! Goes the Pirelli 

James and the Giant Cyst

Charlie and the IUD factory

Where the Mildewed Things Are

Charlotte’s Fib

The Phantom Paycheck

Harriet the Guy

The Wind in the Men’s Room

Where the Red Bump Grows

Bill Collector, Bill Collector, What Do You See?

Junk for Sale

The Crook in the Hat

Annoying George

Joseph Had a Little Savings Account

Millions of Bills

The People Could Lie: American Folktales

The Owing Day

The True Story of the Three Little Affairs 

 

The Stores of the Past: Retail Farewells

America is slowly taking away all of the places I like to shop.  Pretty soon, there will be no store at which I can purchase my version of fashion.

Dissolved in 2015, Body Central was one of my favorites. It offered so much – cute costume jewelry, reasonably-priced dress pants, dresses for myriad different occasions, and some of my favorite cardigans, like, ever.

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Another one that closed up shop in 2015, at least in my local mall, was Wet Seal. Not that I shopped there a lot following high school, but I still find it disheartening when stores can’t stay afloat.

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With some stores still in existence, but no longer at my local mall, Charlotte Russe was another store that had inexpensive dress pants and an occasional nice find.  I didn’t shop there a lot, but it was nice to see the store front filled with fashions donned by generic 20-somethings.

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Deb Shops. Sometimes, I’d walk in the store, but would usually become distracted by the filthy carpet and dressing rooms and walk out without having made a purchase. I found that annoyingly over-enthused prom-goers usually congregated in or near the dressing rooms. This store was removed from the Florence, Kentucky mall as well.

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Vanity only opened in my mall in late 2016 and was promptly removed in early 2017. This was quite a disappointment to me, as I enjoyed their wares. It reminded me of Maurice’s, but sometimes less expensive. They carried lovely scarves, cheap, fleece-lined leggings, cute costume jewelry, and unique tops. One day, I saw a “going out of business” sign in front of the store & another note inside said they were selling all of the furniture & fixtures. So short-lived and sad.

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Aerie closed in the Florence, Kentucky mall and possibly other locations. This transpired in early 2017. I saw no warning that they were closing, but saw a dark and empty store one day while visiting the mall. They sometimes had great sales, excellent prices on swimwear, and deals such as panties 7/$27.50. Also, if you purchased something at American Eagle, there was typically a 20% off coupon on the bottom of your receipt that could be used at Aerie.

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Also once taking up space in the Florence, Kentucky mall, but no longer:

  • Pac Sun

Stores once located at the Dry Ridge, Kentucky Outlets, but long gone:

  • Dress Barn
  • Claire’s
  • Rue 21
  • Nike
  • Liz Claiborne
  • Factory Brand Shoes
  • Kitchen Collection

Other Florence, Kentucky stores no longer in business:

  • Family Christian Stores
  • HH Gregg
  • Circuit City
  • Radio Shack
  • K-Mart – now the location of Value City Furniture & Ashley Furniture

I find it frustrating, disappointing, and traumatizing when stores decide to close. The places we’ve frequented for years become our oases, in a sense. If only they had managed more efficiently, hired better people, had more loyal customers, and on and on.  The economy is so wacky and I will never understand why some people insist on ordering everything online as opposed to visiting a brick & mortar store to try things on in person. I am usually not satisfied when I order something from the internet and wind up having to take it to an actual store to exchange it anyway.

If I could pick only two of the above stores to resurrect, I’d go with Vanity & Body Central in a heartbeat!!

 

 

 

Why Me: First World Problems

We consider ourselves unlucky, plagued, forgotten, doomed, hexed, and personally wronged when things don’t go our way. Rather than conveying thanks for the possessions we’ve amassed, the family and friends we’ve acquired, and the talents we’ve been blessed with and honed, we grouse about all the things we’ve not got, never seen or experienced, fail to capture.

Following are some First World grievances I’ve witnessed or experienced personally and I am disheartened at the state of the human race.

  • “My car won’t start.”  Since when did owning a car become a right instead of a privilege, anyway? Shouldn’t we be thankful we have a car, regardless of its ability to start? Should not we give thanks that we have a driver’s license to drive that car, and have the ability to conveniently trek from place to place at our own leisure? In some countries, camels are a person’s primary means of conveyance! I’m pretty confident we’d have thrice the complaints if we had to hop on the back of a camel to travel to the local Kroger Marketplace!
  • “My dog defecated on the floor.”  Not everyone is lucky enough to have a dog. Some people don’t have the money or means to care for a dog. Others live in areas or complexes where dogs aren’t permitted. Furthermore, wouldn’t you rather your dog be able to perform proper bodily functions as opposed to not?  That would be a whole other set of stresses and veterinary bills. Shouldn’t you also be thankful that you still have your dog to defecate on the floor? Many people are, even now, grieving their lost furry companions.
  • “My cell phone is dead.”     Believe it or not, people survived quite nicely before the invention and introduction of cell phones. This is another instance in which people tend to view the ownership of a cell phone as a right instead of a privilege. Shouldn’t you, instead, show appreciation for being able to own a phone and afford a plan? If your phone is dead, that means you have a phone and you probably can afford that phone and monthly plan. Eventually, you will be able to charge your phone, it just might not be as soon as you’d like and you might have to answer to your boyfriend/girlfriend as to why you went four hours without texting him/her.
  • “The food at that restaurant was terrible.”   Not everyone is blessed with being able to patronize eateries. Starving people all over the world would give their elbows just for the crumbs from that restaurant that you wrote a negative review for. Consider yourself lucky to be able to walk into a restaurant knowing that you can order whatever you choose, and that you can pay for whatever you consume. So what if it’s bad! You can choose not to visit it again!
  • “My parents are too strict.”  Some people never knew their parents; some have lost one or both parents; some are estranged from their parents. Be thankful that you have strict parents that care about you. Many parents try to befriend their kids and let them make their own BAD decisions instead of trying to advise or correct them. If parents are strict, that means they are concerned and they want you to make sound choices.  I’m certain the ones who’ve lost parents wish that they could speak with them once more.
  • “My job is too difficult.”  Some people seek employment but cannot obtain it. Some are disabled and couldn’t work even if they so desired. Be appreciative that you have a job, you haven’t been terminated, you aren’t on layoff, and you are getting paid steadily. Absorb all the knowledge that you possibly can and if it’s still too difficult, reach out to someone who can help. Otherwise, find another opportunity that is more suited to you.

 

Of which one or ones of these are you culpable?

Of which ones am I?  I can tell you that I’ve voiced my complaints regarding at least 5 of these!

Often, we become so spoiled and expectant that we devolve into ungrateful brats who need a reality check and a mud pie to the face!

 

Just Say “No” to Hugs

People say hugs are good. Hugs are not good.

You might ask, “Christy, why in the world would hugs NOT be good?” To which I’d reply, “read the below list.”

 

  • If someone has head lice and hugs you, that’s cross-contamination and you are going to get lice!!!! No doubts regarding it, you’re getting lice! head-lice-coastal-urgent-care

Head to your local Rite-Aid and have your debit card ready, because your butt is buying Rid!

 

  • If a person has body odor, and they give you a hug, you are also going to smell like an overweight hobo carrying around a rotten pumpkin!

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  • The people you like the LEAST are the ones that want to hug you the MOST! It’s like they gravitate to you like a fish to bait!

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  • If someone has a nasty head cold, and they hug you, guess what??? You’re about to be coughing up ten shades of phlegm and you have the hugger to thank!

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There are a plethora of other reasons, but I grow tired of looking up appropriate clip art!

You get the picture (no pun meant)!

Hugs are bad; don’t hug; stay away from people. But hug animals. Animals are fantastic. This list does not, in any way, apply to animals.

Asphalt Romance

I creep around as if I’m going to wake a baby or, worse, its tyrant father.

I’ve very little freedom as I muster enough energy to complete another day.

My freedom comes when I drive, for those brief cessations when I must answer to no one.  It’s nearly as though I disappear, becoming just another moving steel object, unnoticed, unbothered, spoken to by no one.

You would think that owning (nay, making payments on) a bright orange Jeep would mean never blending in. People have told me that they’ve passed me on the interstate, waving, honking, only to have me blatantly ignore them. Perhaps I’m just trying to become fewer atoms, to be so ordinary that I am simply and wonderfully ignored.

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I crave those moments when I can act out my own reality, just being. Most times, I don’t even have the radio on. I’ve always quite relished the bland and uniform melody of tires meeting pavement. I’ve become quite attuned to the nuances of my vehicles in time. Where others would detect nothing, I can hear the beginnings of potential problems. But I’m no mechanic. And even they look and listen to me as if I have a condiment on my face.

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The Bug Martyrs

 

 

I am curious about the bugs whose innards end up on my windshield.

Are they insect martyrs?  If yes, what cause have they rebelled against? What are they being punished for?

I envision a bug community, where there is a tyrannical leader. More realistic, still, a leader of each bug phylum.

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The reason I’m convinced that there is much more to bugs than just existing to annoy people is that their guts, without fail, regardless of season or locale, cover my windshield.

I believe that the unfortunate bugs that get smeared across my glass wanted to commence living, but through some radical means, have been exorcised from their bug community by their squirmy, tentacled, carapaced leaders.

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If this is not the case, then I think bugs have a grudge against Jeep Wranglers.  Never have I had so many bug entrails on the windshields of my other vehicles. I am forced to carry with me paper towels and a bottle of generic window cleaner just so I can see to drive.

These bugs don’t realize, or don’t care, that I am a bad enough driver as it is. I do not need them spreading their enzymes and bile across my line of vision.  This stuff is like persimmon jelly – sticky, thick, and impossible to remove by wiper fluid alone.

I could clean my windshield daily and it wouldn’t be enough.

If I wreck, no matter the cause, I am going to blame the bug martyrs! I also might begin invoicing their bug leaders for pain and suffering on my part. Also for cleaning products!

Keep your innards to yourselves, bugs!

Why Do Umbrellas Hate Me?

The umbrella, existing for nearly 4,000 years, hates me.

Every umbrella I’ve ever employed has failed me. The defiance has come in various ways, the most frequent being turning upside-down in my hand while I am scrambling through a torrential downpour.

The more expensive the umbrella, the more flabbergasted I become when the upside-downness commences.  The only thing I can do is hold my head proudly as if I had every intention of walking around with a broken, spindly, soggy, lightning-beckoning wreck on a stick.

In a world where cars have the capacity to warn drivers when they’re about to reverse into an object, where vending machines can crank out your choice of milkshakes and pizza, where human ears can be grown upon the backs of lab mice, you’d think a more durable parasol could be designed.

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Perhaps most infuriating is that I seem to be the only person with this particular problem. The umbrellas of everyone else are reliable, stoic, perfectly intact.

Why me?  Why does the umbrella have a lifelong personal vendetta against me?