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i strive to be a positive person,  i do.   there is more than enough sadness, heartache and madness in this world. i think trying to put out a little positivity is a good thing.  i wholeheartedly believe in karma. i believe you get what you put out in the world, so i try to put out good.  that said, some things do rub me the wrong way. i am human.

so here’s a few  (feel free to chime in with yours in the comments)

  • the pink explosion that comes when you have a little girl.  WHY?  why does the little play kitchen have to be pink and lavender?  why do 89% of the clothes have to be pink, fuchsia and leopard or some variation of? can’t there be more primary colors?!   i just don’t see the need for all that pink.  can’t my girl love  green, or black, or red?    and while i am on this topic, the whole princess gig really rubs me wrong.  why is that most little girl clothes are A. PINK and B. say “sweet” “cute” or “princess” on them… in sequins no less, pink sequins! BARF.  i want my girls to be individuals. strong, feisty, kind, spunky & independent. those clothes, and all they stand for, are just not that message. can’t their clothes say smart, funny, and strong instead?  or better yet, “i am awesome.” in black.
  • the saying “love you to death.”  can’t really explain it, but it just makes my skin crawl…
  • when you walk past someone on the street and they will not look at you. BE KIND! LOOK UP! SMILE!  why not?
  • those election signs stuck in every green space imaginable.  it does not make me want to vote for your candidate.  quite the opposite actually.
  • butt crack. not just for plumbers anymore. everywhere you turn these days.  i don’t even particularly like my own, i don’t expect you to want to gaze at it, so cover yours.  please.
  • OB/GYN exam rooms.  seriously,  the fish mobiles?  the painted flower motifs? and the worst of worst,  fuzzy golf club covers on the stirrups.  (yes i have put my feet up in something that should be covering a 9 iron and a driver. ) when i am naked from the waist down and in the most vulnerable position possible, i do NOT want to put my feet up in golf club covers and imagine my doctor on the back nine…  no thank you.
  • weak handshakes.  you know the ones,  their hand feels like a limp dead fish in your hand.  what is that?!?!  grab my hand and shake it!  with feeling!!!!!
  • mean people.  they suck.

i can feel my blood pressure rising just letting my mind wander to the things that irk me,  so i think it’s a good time to stop.  maybe i need to go meditate on happy thoughts like apple pie, kid belly laughter, bubbles, and kittens.

but if we happen to pass one another on the street, please look up, say hi and shake my hand… firmly.

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  1. September 21, 2012

    I loved this post….laughed, nodded my head in agreement… SO many fabulous points.
    The one that gets me the most is the .. “when you walk past someone on the street and they will not look at you. BE KIND! LOOK UP! SMILE! why not?” THANK YOU!! :)

  2. Candice #
    September 21, 2012

    I’m so with you on the pink for girls…more so the princess garb. I myself love the color pink, I just love it but I don’t think that is because I’m a girl, I think it just makes me feel good inside but I know everyone out there is different and so why wouldn’t girls like blue, red, green, brown and the same goes for boys. For some cute shirts for girls, check out… http://www.7wonderlicious.com/shop—usa.html . They are a little pricey but hey, at least they’re trying. I’m off for a walk right now and I will be sure to look up and smile and all that pass me.

    • September 21, 2012

      exactly! pink is cool. i don’t dislike pink, i just don’t like that it seems to be preordained that all girls only wear pink, and are only words like “sweet” “cute” and “princess” argh! :-) i seriously buy casey some boy t shirts just because.

  3. damiec #
    September 21, 2012

    the pink has always driven me crazy, especially since my girl has always hated it. try buying 6 yr old girl sneakers without a trace of pink. or a bathing suit without frills or sequins. and how about the flipside? not all boys are sports hungry and color-blind. some of them, my son included, like the whole rainbow. i end up buying them clothes from over the pond – props especially go to mini boden – that recognize that color preference isn’t in-born and gender-specific. the kicker? my kids both get so many compliments on their clothing. clearly, there’s a market for less gender-defined clothing, why don’t more mainstream manufacturers meet it?

    • September 21, 2012

      yes again! kellen loves the rainbow as well, purple especially. then they risk getting bullied for not being “cool” or “tough” makes my blood boil. why do we box children in like that? dislike!

    • lifeineden #
      September 21, 2012

      Exactly! Nothing highlights the extreme color bias toward gender like having boy/girl twins! It is horrible! Although my girl is into pink and princesses — I’m proud to say that today she wore a shirt I’d intended for her brother (that never fit) — it says “kiss me I’m Irish” without a drop of pink (okay her pants were pink, but hey, pink and green was COOL in the 80s!).

      You all would enjoy Peggy Orenstein’s book — Cinderella Ate My Daughter. It is frightening and disturbing and such an important read. Now I’m reading a book she wrote 10 yrs ago about our generation of women called Flux. I really feel like I never want to expose my daughter to shopping and what marketing brings ever. Online shopping forever.

      My BIGGEST thing that makes me scream — seeing kids in the front seat that are clearly too young and not in an appropriate booster. What makes it worse is when I see it in my educated college town and they are riding in a car that is clearly from and advantaged family. What are people thinking!

      • September 21, 2012

        Amy yes! you see that ALL the time up here. families picking up their kids at school, no car seats, no boosters, and NO seat belts either! oh it hurts my head.

      • elizabethlehman #
        September 21, 2012

        yes, boy/girl twins accentuate some of this. luckily, my now 9 year old twins are completely their own brand of kid – each with their own eccentricities. they really seem to have disdain for all things “popular” which has always helped. they despise anything that “most” kids do or wear! limiting what they watch or play has contributed to this a bit, i’m sure. i remember reading “branded” and other books about marketing directly to kids and i’ve always told me kids what companies are trying to do and how they try to work at kids for brand loyalty. it’s never too early to have those conversations.

        and a weak handshake? why bother?!

        in a college town my pet peeve is texting while driving (or walking). on any given street in our town more people than not have a phone in their hand while driving.

      • September 21, 2012

        oh yes texting and driving makes my blood boil. i worry for my kids playing on our street. for all of us when we are out on the roads. so so incredibly senseless and self centered that is.
        xo

    • Kelly #
      September 21, 2012

      just had to throw in that my son’s Kindergarten class had rainbow day yesterday. He was one of the the only boys with anything truly multi-colored that wasn’t sports related. And it was thanks to a Boden shirt: rainbow colored parachuting birds :) I love how they offer clothing for boys with a sense of humor, b/c not all boys are sports obsessed. And I can’t. stand. anything. with the word princess on it. And I cringe when I hear parents use that term to refer to their daughters.

      enjoyed the post Kristin – I’m with you on so many of them!

  4. September 21, 2012

    Definitely with you on the pink, but having gone through extreme shyness as well as depression myself and having watched my loved ones go through this, I’m standing up for people who are unable to look up and smile on the street. Sometimes just getting outside is enough for one day.

    • September 21, 2012

      good point d. xo
      i just feel like the world is often so plugged into their devices and not the ones right there in front of them. i just feel so happy when someone looks up and says hello.

  5. September 21, 2012

    we could totally be best friends. i’m always trying to be a positive person, b/c i do believe if your positive, life is more enjoyable. but like you (and all human beings) i have my pet peeves, and i think you named them all here, haha. the main reason my sister is not telling people the sex of the baby before the shower is, if it’s a girl, she doesn’t want a pink overload (she actually hates pink)…or even if it’s a boy, no blue or sports overload. why is it that people have to put genders in a box like that…so irritating! my sister grew up playing with and collecting hotwheels and kids play powertools.

    on another note…i loved Casey’s black “I am Awesome” shirt. she is awesome.

    and if i ever see you on the street i will definitely ‘look up, say hi and shake your hand… firmly.’ with a big smile. :)
    -Tina

    • September 21, 2012

      good for her! it is SO true. such tiny boxes. ugh… and if we were to meet on the street i think it would be smiles and squeals and BIG firm hugs! no handshakes. ;)

  6. September 21, 2012

    Don’t have to worry about the pink overload with my boys but I am irked beyond belief by the designers who slap a skull and crossbones on clothing to make it “boy”. Really, people – do I want my kid going to school with a dead mans head on it. Not unless it is a picture of Bob Marley that says B is for Bob…classic t from when my boys were 2…I loved that shirt and then it went to my nieces.

    Also – My son loved the little pet shop and had the playhouse and all the little animals when he was younger but why did they have to make the house in pink, the vet in pink, the store in pink. Come on marketers – you can do better…I know you can. My son didn’t care but they totally looked like “girl” toys when they could have just been toys.

    Learning how to shake hands firmly – is taught in our house with the lessons of please and thank you. No one likes a weak dead fish handshake…no one.

    Now you have me all fired up…I need to go for a walk and smile at someone on the street.

    • September 21, 2012

      we had a my little pony candy land game at our house that the kids loved to play… kellen took it to school one day of kindergarten and got ridiculed by other boys for bringing a GIRL TOY to school. he was heart broken and i was SO sad it never occurred to me that he would get picked on so badly. it is the exact same game as candy land, just with pony pieces.. grrrrr.. it is maddening and so very sad all at the same time.

  7. kate #
    September 21, 2012

    Yup, with you on the pink/princess culture. It irks me. And I know, I can choose to put my daughter in what I perceive to be gender neutral clothes. What really irks the shit out of me is that, because she’s not in pink, she is called “he” daily. So not only do I have to buy carefully to avoid the princess/pink pitfalls, I then have to be on high alert to role model how to deal with people assuming you’re the other gender. To teach her that being called a boy isn’t an insult, but that you need to assert who you are to people. Oy. I see it starting to sink in a little, she hears it and notices it every time now (she’s two and a half). Today, for example we were on a uni campus, she’s wearing a green shirt with a rocket ship on it, khaki shorts, rainbow socks, and yes, pink sneakers. And got “he” from three different people. People are idiots. Oh yes, the the dead fish grip? What is that about? Are they afraid to grip firmly? Are they afraid to touch my hand? What is the deal?

  8. mary #
    September 21, 2012

    i second your sentiments entirely! can you hear my AMEN SISTAH?

  9. Mountain Mama #
    September 21, 2012

    Of all the things you mentioned, nothing bugs me more than a weak handshake, Especially from a man. I work in a very malecentric industry and I meet with hundreds of vendors a year. I am usually the only woman in a sea of men and very often I have the firmest handshake of them all. I don’t really get it. Are they afraid they will hurt little old me with their manly grip? Or, are they intimidated by the powerful energy I exude and become temporarily paralyzed? I like to think of it as the latter. But regardless of the reason, my first impression is often that they are douch bags that have no back bone and are about to give me a sleezy sales pitch. It is probably a harsh reaction, but I am sure they think of me as a cold hearted bitch since I don’t buy into their schmoozery.

    In regards to putting out the positive to reap the positive, I have an excellent reading recommendation for you. The Fred Factor by Mark Sanborn is a very inspirational book about the transition Sanborn goes through after his interation with his mailman Fred. It is a business book, but ultimatly it is more focused on how we live our lives and treat our fellow man. That the energy we put out comes back to us and it is up to us to decide if we want to reap positive or negative energy. That every day we have the opportunity to decide what our attitude will be and that we often forget to bring compasion into our hearts when interacting with others. It has really changed the way I approach life, work, my community, etc. I strive to be a “Fred”. And because of this new found approach I meet everyone’s gaze whose path I cross and always give a smile. Or at the very least, I try!

    • September 21, 2012

      i like the sound of that book. i am guessing i am a fred, or strive to be. i will look that up at the library for sure.

  10. Ani #
    September 21, 2012

    We recently went to get my daughter’s hair cut and the stylist was, shall we say, of a different generation. She kept saying things like “Oh, I bet you want to look like a pretty princess.” Hello! My daughter is a strong, smart, capable eight year old with no leanings toward princessy-ness. Ugh! Needless to say, we won’t be returning to that hair joint.

    • September 21, 2012

      ugh!!! that must have been nauseating.

  11. September 21, 2012

    I’m with you on the people who won’t look up, especially when I’m out for a run and the runner approaching me won’t even look me in the eye, wth? I always greet them with a winded Good morning or some kind of greeting whether they respond or not. How lucky are we to be in good enough shape to run and be outdoors enjoying the fresh air? And as far as the hand shake goes mine is so weak right now due to tennis elbow. It kills me every time I have to shake someone’s hand but to refuse to shake would be even ruder than a wimpy handshake.

    • October 1, 2012

      This is the one where I don’t agree (I disagreed with Kristin, too). Beyond shyness/depression, which I mentioned above, it is an autistic trait not to be able to look someone in the eye. We have varying levels of high-functioning austism/asperger’s in my family, and there is very little eye-looking going on. I feel like a relatively social person next to many in my family, and I have a really hard time looking people directly in the eye. I also feel very shy about acknowledging strangers — maybe it’s growing up in NYC, where everyone gives everyone their space and no-one says hello, and you want to be careful anyway, because there are plenty of crazy people out there? Maybe it’s the NYer in me, too, that means I’m often off in my own world walking down the street and not paying that much attention to the people around me except not to step on their toes. Saying hi to strangers is just not something I initiate. If I notice a relatively normal-looking stranger saying hi to me, I will gladly say hi back, but they have to initiate and catch my attention.

  12. September 22, 2012

    Late to the gate here, but I so appreciate this article! I have one girl who loves pink and purple and frills and dressup but she’s just as likely to try and do “tricks” on her bicycle and end up crashing and gashing up her knees. My other girl, she’s totally anti- girl anything. We shop in the boys’ dept (she’s 8 so we can get the fit she needs without problem most of the time) for all her clothes, except plain denim jeans. Even gets her swim suits in the boys style with the longer shorts and a swim top. She gets called a boy all the time. Sometimes she gets looks when she enters the ladies’ room. Thankfully, we have female friends who have the same things happen and it has been so good for her to have someone who gets it and shares her experiences. I don’t see why clothing, toys, or anything have to be genderized. In fact, I’ve had to have discussions with my girl about the fact that toys are toys and don’t have a gender because she’ll be interested in something but then someone will call it a “girl” toy and she is then, No Way! Not for me! Even though she really was interested. It’s like the gender stereotyping has had a huge backlash for her and she rebels against it flat out opposite. I’m happy to let her be who she is. I wish the world was more willing to do the same! To their credit, her school has been great. She has been harassed by older girls on the playground telling her she needs to wear “girls’ clothes” and the school counselor and teachers have taken that attitude on, having discussions about acceptance and directly working with the bullies to put and end to it.

    As for the kids in the front seat – arrrggghhh! I’ve seen them in the school pick up line putting little kids in the front seat with not boosters. Around here, I think the law is 13 years old before being in the front. I told my oldest that she could move into the front seat when she was learning to drive. There’s just no need, as I can see it. And I drive a compact car, so there isn’t much room in the back seat but the front isn’t much bigger.

    My oldest daughter had the hardest time learning to shake hands. She is a bit awkward and very shy, though she doesn’t always appear to be. She would always take someone’s hand in the kind of sports handshake, thumb to thumb and wrap the fingers around into a two handed fist (not sure that is very clear description, but I hope you can see what I mean.) Adults would always be taken aback by that. We’ve worked really hard on it, though, because I think it is important like you’re saying here. She’s come a long ways.

    I often do an experiment with people when I’m out and about. I’ll just send smiling energy to them, whether they are looking at me or not, and then see if it makes them smile. It’s pretty amazing how often it does. And I notice the appreciation of eye contact with people who are in service positions. So many people pass by the guy who is vacuuming the postal office lobby and the person emptying the trash bins as though they are simply not even there. Spread the love, I say. It DOES come back to you.

  13. September 24, 2012

    Some little girls want to wear pink. I did not. I liked red. I work for an elected official and we have signs out… but I don’t like them either. In fact, I am quite sick to death of politics in general.

    • September 24, 2012

      yes i am not anti pink, i am just PRO colors. all colors and i feel they should make little girl clothes and boy clothes ALL the colors of the rainbow. i feel choice is limited in most big name shopping places. we hit goodwill this weekend and scored a lot of great clothes for both my boy and girl. my girl choosing an oscar the grouch tee and beatles tee and a green corduroy jumper dress. score!

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