Balloon Etiquette and other confusions of polite society

I am just sick of everyone being so sanctimonious all of the time.

I know that I am a little rough around the edges.

I don’t necessarily follow the rules.

I know all of this because I am a smart woman.  I also know it because people love to tell me aloud that I am doing or saying something wrong regularly.

This week a close friend of mine accidentally let go of a balloon, purposely let go of a balloon threw a shitload of golden balloons into the sky in a parking lot of a restaurant.  The balloons apparently went into the power lines in just the right fashion that they made a huge explosion and made all of the power go out at said restaurant.

Now clearly nobody could ever know that such a thing was possible.

But now we learned an important lesson – This…

balloons1 (1)

Equals this…

wirefireAnd apparently bad things happen after that…

When I was relaying this story to my book club of six women they all just stared blankly at me.

“So everyone knows that proper balloon etiquette is that when you are in the out-of-doors and you don’t want a bunch of balloons any more, then the obvious choice is to just let go of the strings and let them go into the sky – right?” I said as I finished the story.

Crickets chirped while the women politely sipped their wine.

“Hello? So you all let balloons go into the sky right?” I demanded.

“No…I would never do that,” someone offered.

“What?” I asked incredulously. “Should she have grabbed a pair of tweezers from her purse and popped all of the balloons and thrown them into a recycle bin somewhere?” I demanded.

“Yes…” they all agreed.

What the fuck?

“No!! Proper unwanted balloon protocol is to let said balloon loose into the sky,” I argued.

“Well it’s not good for the environment…” they countered.

“The balloons could get into trees,” someone said.

“Who cares?!” I screeched.

I can’t believe that everyone is so high and mighty about these kind of issues.   Balloons going into the sky can be ceremonial – I know a mother who sends pacifiers into the sky on balloon strings for pacifier fairies.  I mean there are just a million reasons to send a balloon into the sky.

And this is one of many actions that people feel the need to announce are wrong….

Here are some others:

#1 Spitting out Gum

Once I was on a playdate with a woman for the first time.  We went to the library in our town center with the kids and when we were walking to lunch I casually spit my gum into a bush. She screeched her stroller to a halt and stared at me in horror.

This is where we were....just so we are clear...
This is where we were….just so we are clear…

“A duck could step in that gum!” she yelled at me.

“Oookay… well I don’t think there are any ducks here.” I answered sheepishly.

I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I don’t really give two fucks about ducks that are strolling around at Barnes and Noble like fucking assholes.  If ducks are at Barnes and Noble then they might have bigger troubles than a sticky toe.

“You cannot spit gum out like that!” she lectured while we walked to lunch.

“Oh…okay – I didn’t know.” I answered quietly.

“SHUT THE FUCK UP!” I screamed quietly in my head.

I told a friend this story and she said a guy she was dating said the same thing.

Is there a gummed foot duck epidemic I am not aware of??

There are not always garbage cans readily available when I want to spit out my gum – sorry folks.

#2 Movies your kids watch…

During a series of snow storms/ice/sub-zero temperatures this season in Connecticut I found myself listlessly wandering around my home thinking of ways to get through the day.

We ran out of movies that the kids wanted to watch so we resorted to our trusty list of 80’s movies that Mr. Gaga and I enjoyed as children.

I picked one and texted a friend that I was at the end of my rope and letting the kids watch “Footloose.”

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I am sorry – all of the 80’s movies are rated PG and we all watched them when we were 5, so why is it that today’s children can only watch Frozen and Lion King until they are 15?
That day I was guilted into pressing stop and choosing another movie.

After weeding through all of the online reviews and censors we settled on “Mrs. Doubtfire.”

The next day while talking to my best friend reviewing how we survived the snow day I mentioned our cinematic choice.

There was silence on the other end.

“You chose a movie about a cross dresser for your boys to watch?” she asked incredulously.

“Well it’s a family movie and he only cross-dressed so he could see his kids!” I defended myself.

“I would never choose that for my sons to watch…” she countered.

Will they turn out to be cross-dressing transsexuals?  If we had watched Footloose would they have danced in a barn and then made out with someone? If we watch Adventures in Babysitting will they say “Don’t Fuck with the babysitter?” If we watch Karate Kid will they karate chop people at a Halloween party?  If we watch Ferris Bueller will they make a fake body and skip fourth grade?

I mean where do the concerns end??

Shut up everybody.

#3 – Don’t let your kids leave their car seat

I have huge male children.

When they were technically supposed to still be in booster seats I think I threw them in the garbage in a fit of despair.

Maybe the cut off was 80 pounds and they were 70 – I don’t remember.

Shortly after that we would go to baseball practice with Michael and all of his friends were arriving in the front passenger seat and he begged to be allowed to sit in the front seat.

We decided it would be fine.

Now when we arrive places many parents are horrified.

A mom who has a child in the same grade as Michael recently said “Well my daughter is still in her booster.”

Okay – well I hope everyone knows that their daughters will have their full periods and be seated in a booster seat.

I find this ridiculous and embarrassing. Why should I tote around my humongous child that has body odor and a foot the size of my couch in a booster seat?

I won’t do it.

Judge all you want.

carst
Right now this child is having a wet dream in his booster seat…

#4 – Don’t swear around kids…

The ship has sailed for that around here.

I understand it is not appropriate.

I understand it is frowned upon to curse.

But I cannot help myself.

And let’s face it.  This is not the 1950’s.  Most people that I know swear.

Most people I know occasionally swear around their kids.

Personally, I am completely desensitized to swearing.  I mean what does the word “fuck” even mean?

Why is it bad?

I think it’s a perfect and delightful way to get my message across.

But somehow – I inevitably will be chatting with a mother within earshot of our children and I will say something like “Oh I hate that guy – he’s a huge fucking dickhead,” and the mother will run to cover her children’s ears and then faint.

Really?

I always apologize to the children that are present!

What more should I do?

Should I put myself on the cross? Should I be burned at the stake?

FUCK.

THAT.

#5 – Saying I am fat.

At a playdate this week (apparently I have too many playdates…duly noted) I declined a snack and announced “Oh no – I can’t eat that – I’m fat.”

The other mother looked shocked. “Don’t say that around your kids!” she said in a hushed tone.

“Why not?” I whispered back leaning towards her.

“They can’t know that I am overweight?”

“No! Don’t say that! You are not fat! It will create poor body image for the children!” she answered knowingly.

“But I have a fat stomach…and if I continue to make poor choices I will get fatter and fatter…it’s a true health hazard…why is this top-secret information?” I questioned.

“You shouldn’t say that in front of the kids!” she laughed.

But why? Why can’t I announce the truth?

Why can’t I say that consuming large amounts of wine and cheese results in a very plump body that is prone to diabetes and high cholesterol and a propensity for wearing yoga pants?

Should we not warn young children to not go down this road?

I don’t understand the problem.

Should we just let these children balloon up into diabetic proportions and never mention anything?

Wake up America!!
Wake up America!!

In closing – everyone needs to just calm down.

When I see you giving your children huge Gatorades filled with dyes and poison do I tell you to stop?  When you hand your babies your phones to play with – do I tell you that they are radiating into their bodies and causing brain cancer?  When you allow your children to play Call of Duty do I tell you that one day he will be a violent drug addict?

When I saw this father at the local Target did I tell him that this was not an appropriate mode of transportation for his child?

target

No.

I didn’t.

I do what any normal person would do.

I took a picture with my iphone and silently judged.

That’s what you are supposed to do.

You think all of your superior thoughts and you scold the person and tell them they are a huge douchebag…

IN YOUR HEAD.

You silently judge.

Please learn to silently judge people.

And shut the fuck up.

We will all be better for it.

THINK WHAT YOU WANT ABOUT MY GUM SPITTING AND MY MOVIE SELECTION BUT PLEASE CLICK THE BANNER BELOW BECAUSE I AM FUCKING FUNNY….XO, LADY GOO GOO GAGA

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9 thoughts on “Balloon Etiquette and other confusions of polite society

  1. Love this post! People really do need to calm down. Particularly about movies. I was watching The Rocky Horror Picture Show at age 8 and that happened to most everybody else I know. I of course did not understand many scenes until I was much older, I just liked the music lol.

  2. You ARE fucking funny! I agree with you on EVERY one of these points; except maybe the balloon-thing (sorry – I was raised by tree-huggers) but especially the Target daddy. Too hilarious. Did you hear that story about a woman who was arrested for SWEARING at the supermarket because another mom made a big stink about it? (or something to that effect – maybe she was just fined & not arrested) There is actually a town somewhere which has a ban on profanity. You can’t even wear a t-shirt that says “damn” on it for fear of being tossed out of stores & fined. I would SOOO need a lawyer there… !

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