Is Resting Satan Face a Thing?

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I’m not in any way a religious person. I was baptised in the Catholic church, and attended a Catholic school (and I had no say in either of those things), but I eschewed all gods years ago, and am quite content living as a heathen. Whilst I do understand why some people need religion, it’s not something that appeals to or resonates with me, for a myriad of reasons. A lot of my experience with organised religion, and indeed, those who follow “God” has been negative. I remember distinctly, being screamed at in public by an elderly woman, who took my holding hands with a female friend as a reason to tell us that we were going to “burn in hell for our sins”. I was sixteen at the time.

I was approached at my counter a few weeks ago by an older gentleman in a wheelchair. He didn’t want or need anything from my shop, but rather wanted to give me something. As it turns out, what he wanted to give me was a A4 framed piece of paper, on which he had painstakingly written out and decorated an entire, page long prayer. He told me that when he saw me, he couldn’t walk past without giving me this gift, and he told me that he hoped I would put it somewhere in my house, so that God would bless my home and myself. He was very kind, and I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I am the possibly the least religious person he could have chosen to bestow his prayer upon. I found out shortly after, that he had gone to a few shops in the centre, handing out these same prayers, but it didn’t lessen the irony.

I didn’t think any more of the encounter until a couple of days ago, when I was approached by a young woman. She walked past me at first, and smiled. I smiled back and continued writing at the counter. Moments later she returned. “I’m sorry, I know this is probably a little random, but I wonder if I could have a moment of your time, so that I can draw you something?” she asked. Another customer approached my counter at that moment, and she shied away a little. For a fleeting, egotistical second, I wondered if perhaps she was going to write down her number for me. It would have been a pleasant change from the guys who occasionally try to pick me up at work, and don’t take no for an answer. But, alas, the pretty girl wasn’t coming to my counter to ask me out.

When the other customer had been served, the young woman took a pen and a piece of paper, and began to draw me a diagram. She drew as she talked about sin, and filling emptiness with more emptiness, and how God created the world with love. She prefaced this by saying “I saw you, and I felt compelled to come and talk to you. I should tell you that I am a follower of Jesus, and I just couldn’t walk past without talking to you.” Here it was again. Another religious person, who felt compelled to come and have a chat to me, possibly the least religious person on the planet. Once again, she was perfectly lovely, and nothing about her demeanour or speech gave me the sense that she was trying to save my soul or convert me to a life of loving God. To be honest, all she wanted to do was talk about Jesus for a little bit, her relationship with him, and how finding him had ‘filled an emptiness’ she had felt. She told me about how she used to be filled with anxiety, and how once she would have been terrified about talking to a stranger. She told me how finding Jesus had given her a kind of peace that she had been missing before. As encounters with religious people go, it was definitely one of the better ones. We had a bit of a chat, and then she wished me a good day and went on her merry way.

I don’t know really what I should be taking from this. I mean, it’s not like I suddenly want to go out and confess my sins, or start attending mass every Sunday. Hell, I’d probably go up in flames if I set foot in a church these days. It’s possible I’m just reading too much into it, and perhaps they were just two kind people who wanted to talk to someone about their faith? Or it could be that I just look like I need saving. You’ve heard of resting bitch face, maybe I have Resting Satan Face? Who knows!

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Angry Amy and the Rotten Bin Thief

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I have a new neighbour. The previous one moved out about a month ago. I spoke to him once, otherwise I never really saw or heard from him. The perfect kind of neighbour, in my opinion. But then he moved out, the house went up for lease and then since the weekend I’ve had a new neighbour next door. She has been there a week, I’ve seen her twice, never spoken to her and already I’m having issues with her.

Let me explain why. Today, when I went to work, my bins were in their normal spot out the front of my house. When I returned on my lunch break, they were still there. When I got home after work, the recycle bin from next door, which had previously been on the road outside that house, was now on my front yard, next to the letter box. At first, I thought someone had mistakenly put it there, thinking it was mine. But then I noticed that only one bin was in front of my house. Either someone had moved my bin down to the letterbox, or it had been replaced.

Suffice to say, when I opened the lid, the bin in my yard was full to the brim…with recycling that wasn’t mine. On top was a paper bank statement, addressed to a Georgia Sawyer of 103. Not surprisingly, this recycling belonged to my new neighbour. My suspicions were confirmed. The inconsiderate, assuming, intolerably rude woman had gone freely on to my property, taken my bin and replaced it with her full one. Now I realise this may seem like a petty thing to get angry about, but it’s the principle of the thing. You don’t just casually stroll into someone else’s yard without permission or invitation. And you especially don’t steal from them. The fact that it was a council owned bin, and that she exchanged rather than outright stole is not the point. It’s the brazen cheek of the woman that I find offensive.

I’ve been in the house seven months, and I am the only house on my side of the street without a proper garage, or a fence. But up until today, I have never had cause to be concerned by that. And now I don’t know how to tackle it. I have half a mind to go over there tomorrow and demand my bin back, or tell her I will be dumping my recycling in her (my) bin for the next two weeks, until they get emptied again. Because there is certainly no room to empty my own rubbish in her overstuffed bin. Maybe leave a friendly note telling her to stay the fuck away from my house. Or perhaps I will just be really passive aggressive and play the heaviest music I have on full noise, with the windows open on the direction of her house. You know, mess with the bull and get the (metal) horns kind of deal.

Even now, hours after I noticed, I’m still stewing on it. I was absolutely livid when I got home, now it’s just a slow simmering anger. I am going to run away from all rotten bin stealing civilisation and become a recluse. Like I’ve said before, shotgun, typewriter, dog, solitude. Fuck the neighbours, I quit.

Awkward Affection

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Look, I’ll be honest. I’m not very good at consoling people, or being a shoulder to cry on. When people cry, I just kinda of flap my hands helplessly and ramble senselessly, or pat them on the back awkwardly whilst keeping as far away from them as possible. I won’t even try to explain my own bewilderment when I cry. Trying to pat yourself on the back is an exercise in futility. Suffice to say, I suck at emotions and affection.

My friend sent me a message yesterday, to ask if I wanted to hang because the guy she likes kind of pulled the plug on their budding relationship for personal reasons. Now, my friend is very good at pretending to be ok when she isn’t, so when she openly told me she was upset, I knew she was feeling pretty shit. Of course, I didn’t hesitate to tell her I’d be over. I hung up my sewing for the day, had a shower and brushed my teeth and off I went.

I arrived at her house with chocolate, beer, and a creepy stuffed toy that I knew she would love because I hated it. (our relationship is based almost exclusively on opposites) I pretty much just crawled into her blanket fort – because yes, it is perfectly acceptable to make, and hang out in, a blanket fort at the age of 23 – gave her the pink gift bag and sat awkwardly while she cried quietly and told me she felt like an idiot. I did my best to console her but it was less words of comfort and encouragement, and more acting the fool to get her to laugh while we continued our Harry Potter marathon from the previous week. I think it worked, for a while anyway.

The thing is, I’ve never really been comfortable with affection. I have a tendency to apologise after I say nice things to be best friend because I always feel like I’ve made it too saccharine, and get subsequently embarrassed. My other best pal and I deal almost entirely in insults, just so neither one of us has to be nice! I just…find it difficult to express affection verbally. I am much more comfortable giving someone flowers, or chocolate, or some obscure gift to make them feel better. Yes, I would rather spend money on various useless or edible items than say ‘I love you’ or ‘are you ok?’. And when I do, I rush through it to get it over with quickly.

It’s not that I don’t feel it, I just get uncomfortable saying it. Maybe there’s classes that I can go to, teach me how to be nice. Then again, my approach works in all circumstances. Boyfriend just broke up with you? Here’s some alcohol to drown your sorrows. Just got a promotion? Have some flowers! A loved one has just passed? Have an awkward hug and botched attempts at consolation. Ok, so maybe not appropriate for all things but you can’t win them all. As Tony Soprano would say, whaddya gonna do?

Amy and The 40c Gas Bill

I’ve always made a bit of a joke about not cooking. My dad and my brother, and my best friends all make that same joke. But it wasn’t until I received a gas bill for 40c that I realised exactly how slack I am in the kitchen.

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It’s not that I can’t cook. I can. I just prefer not to. This is partly to do with the fact that, despite my creativity with a pen or a sewing machine, I am completely lacking in the ability to decide on something to cook. The other part of the reason is that I am, to my detriment, ridiculously lazy. I know, it’s a terrible trait. But I get home, after spending my entire day in a noisy shopping centre, surrounded by screaming children and dealing with jerk customers, and the last thing I want to do is stress myself out in the kitchen.

My best friend loves to cook. He often tells me how he finds it calming. I’m the exact opposite. The minute I set foot in my kitchen, I get overwhelmed and stressed out and then nothing goes the way I planned. And, without word of a lie, I’ve cooked a whole bunch of times in the new house and not once have I managed to do so without setting off the smoke alarm. I guarantee my neighbours are always fully aware of every time I cook.

Still, my unwillingness to cook, and lack of any great ability in the kitchen does have a few merits. Firstly, I go around to my dad’s house most nights a week for dinner and that means I still get to chill and watch movies with him. Secondly, don’t make a lot of dishes! And then there’s that 40c gas bill. (honestly, how the hell does one get a gas bill that small?!)

I would make a terrible housewife. Sure, I can clean like a boss and I bake pretty well but when it comes to cooking? Sorry, future partner (pffft!), but you’re shit out of luck!

Little Big Brother and the Breakfast Agreement

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What do you do when your normally lovable little big brother calls you at nearly three in the morning, waking you up in the process, and asks for a lift home? Well, you blog about it, of course.

I have three siblings; an older sister and two younger brothers. Of the three, only my middle brother is also a friend, though that never used to be the case. Basically we were normal fighty siblings until my mum left, and then it was just down to Jackson and myself (my sister moved out years earlier and mum took my youngest brother with her). When you have three siblings to fight with and end up with one, the fighting sort of stops, in favour of a tentative unspoken agreement to be nice to each other. Sometimes easier said than done, especially when we were both teenagers living under the same roof. But over the years, we developed a close bond and he has become of one my favourite people…most of the time, anyway.

So tonight, my long working week finally over, I went out for dinner with my best pal, came home and surfed the net a little bit, got into bed and promptly fell asleep mid masturbation. Now normally missing out on a good orgasm would annoy me but, as someone who rarely sleeps well, in this case sleep wasn’t at all a bad option. I was sleeping soundly and dreaming of bizarre things (as per) when I was yanked out of my own head by Alexisonfire. My phone, ringing and buzzing on my bedside table, and Jackson’s face staring at me from the screen. I allowed myself a groan before answering and the conversation went something like this;

“hey bro, you awake?”
“well I fucking am now! What do you want?”
“uh, can I please get a lift?”
“where?”
“home? From town? Via Chris’ house?”
“ugh. Let me get dressed. I’ll be there in ten”
“thank y-” *Amy angrily hangs up*

So I kicked off my covers, found pants on the floordrobe that has accumulated over the last two days and put on my biggest, baggiest jumper to disguise the fact that I wasn’t going to put on a bra,hunted down my keys and drove into town. I picked up my brother and his friends, dropped the aforementioned Chris off and then drove Jackson and his housemate home. He had just assumed I’d be awake and didn’t even bother to ring a taxi, which made me even more irritable. We’ve been in this exact situation countless times before and I never ask for payment so I thought, this time the cheeky sonofabitch owes me. And so tomorrow morning, it’s broski’s shout for breakfast.

He’s a great big lovable dork most of the time. And even tonight, he thawed my icy mood with his unfailingly cheerful disposition and silly humour. But sometimes, I just wanna kick his big stupid face. Problem is, he’s about two feet taller than me, and well, I’m just not that flexible.

Unlucky in Life

My life is chaotic. Partly because I’m pretty much always busy, but mostly because I am a combination of clumsy and unlucky. My constant misfortune is a veritable fountain of amusement for my friends, who I often regale with my tales of woe. I have fallen down steps and accidentally flashed my panties to strangers. I have walked into and tripped over everything under the sun. I have said stupid things. I have slapped complete strangers on the bum, mistaking them for friends. I often tell my best friend that my life is like a bad comedy. You know those movies where the protagonist is always getting themselves into sticky, tricky, awkward situations? Yeah, that’s my life.

Like the other day, I started my training for zips on shoes, a particularly difficult and fiddly job that requires patience (which I have very little of) and concentration (which I can, oooh, shiny!). So I attempted to attach the new zip to the shoe. I placed the zip, lined it up and stitched it in, but unfortunately missed half the lining. So I went back and did it again, taking extra care this time to stitch ALL the lining. When I was finished, I was so happy with myself…until I realised I had been so concerned with the lining, that I had forgotten the pertinent step of actually putting the zip in. I couldn’t help but laugh at my foolishness, though I don’t think my boss was as amused. And thus began my third attempt.

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Today was weird. I was in a bizarrely good mood, happily engaging customers in friendly conversation. The multitudes of screaming children didn’t even seem to bother me…quite as much. The strange part is that today was incredibly unlucky. I banged my knee twice on my bed. I tripped down my front steps. I took the lid off my hot chocolate and spilled it everywhere. I dropped my keys countless times. A customer took something the wrong way and got offended, and when I proceeded to explain what I had meant, she intentionally insulted and embarrassed me out of spite. And then, to top it all off, on the way back from the post office, some an idiot drove into my lane, forced me to swerve and nearly caused an accident. And naturally, while I sat in my car near the tree I almost hit, hyperventilating in shock, the bastard just drove away. Suffice to say, today was not my day.

And yet, strangely unperturbed, I carried on. This is not always the case. More often than not, a bad day will send me to bed in angry frustration, where I will hide under my covers in sullen fury, cursing the universe and everyone in it. But sometimes, you just have to laugh at yourself and move on. I mean, when you’re as unlucky as I am, you can’t take yourself too seriously. So now, with the bad day well and truly behind me, and still in surprisingly high spirits, I am going to curl up on the couch with a blanket and some TV. I can’t possibly do any harm by sitting down! (at least I hope I can’t…)

Doing Relaxation Wrong

Do you ever just want to turn your brain off? There are times when I wish I could take my brain out, lock it away in a case and shut it away in the cupboard for a few days. Which is kind of a strange image, now that I think about it. But still!

There are a lot of things going on in my head. Good things, bad things, mad things. Always, things. And sometimes, it gets tiring. I’m constantly on the go, forever getting distracted by things I’ve remembered I have do. I need to think of something for tea and plan my time and clean my house and run my errands (and probably everyone else’s while I’m at it) and write and sew and practice guitar and…ALL the things! If I sleep in on the weekend, I feel like I haven’t been productive and I start to feel angry at myself for wasting time in bed that I could have spent doing something else. Yeah, I’m that guy.

My problem is that I don’t know how to relax, and I’m in an almost constant state of restlessness. Even now, I’m writing this blog only because I quickly lost interest in the movie I was watching and I haven’t posted in a couple of days. Since it’s too cold to move from the heater to sew and I’m not inspired to write properly, I have two options. I could fall asleep on the couch or I could blog. Obviously, the latter won out.

My best friend is constantly on me about having a bath. Unlike his house, mine actually has a bath and he is outraged by the fact that I haven’t used it in the entire month I’ve been in my house. Why? Well, partly because the back of my house is creepy at night and the door doesn’t close and I’m paranoid about axe murderers bursting in through my back door and butchering me to death while I’m nude. If I’m gonna die, I wanna go out with some dignity, y’know? But also, I have this weird rule about not having a bath if I have to get up and go to work in the morning. Like my relaxation period is timed and limited, so I can’t really enjoy it. Amy logic, at it’s finest.

And it’s not just the bath thing, or my refusal to sleep in. It’s even rare for me to just chill on the couch. Despite often proclaiming my inability to multitask (not a real woman, you understand), I’m actually kind of awesome at it. Watch a movie and paint my nails. Bake cupcakes and cookies at the same time. Read and drink tea…oh, hey maybe I can do relaxing things after all!

Perhaps there is something inherently wrong with me, that I would rather burn myself out doing stuff than take a few hours and do nothing…at least nothing that requires effort anyway. Maybe I just spent too long living with my dad, and developed his inability to sit and chill. Either way, as a perfectly timed text message just confirmed, I think I need to learn the art of relaxing. If I can just calm the constant hurricane of thoughts in my head, I might be less inclined to want to remove my pesky brain. In any case, relaxing would be the less painful (and bloody) option.

With that in mind, I’m going to go and make a cup of tea and determinedly finish this film…without painting my nails or updating my Facebook page or anything else resembling productive multitasking. I can do this…I think!

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My memoir.