March 31, 2009 at 1:15 pm 10 comments

Back in my misty, water-colored high school years in the early-mid 1990s, I took a lot of Spanish. Like, a LOT. The equivalent of six years’ worth, to be exact. My high school was extremely math-and-science heavy, which did not line up too well with my arts-and-language-y brain, so I tended to gravitate more towards the subjects in which I didn’t – how you say? – suck a big donkey dick.

barbieI had all the sub-par math skills of Barbie, with none of the boobs. Great.

Fun fact! I had two – TWO! – tutors who attempted to guide me through a semester-long trigonometry course, and I only barely managed to make a D. A stinkin’ D! Granted, a D meant I passed, but for a nerd like me? For shaaaaaaaaaame.

D: The Jim Belushi of passing grades.

So, I totally blew at any kind of math beyond algebra. When it came to science, I fared a little better. I was good at biology (mostly because it involved memorization), and I kicked some serious ass at anatomy (because it was visual AND involved memorization AND we got to dissect a fetal pig, and I’m sorry, but that little fucker was really cute. Until we had to bisect his brain.). But when it came to chemistry, I sucked once again because it was a little too close to numbers and math for my brain to handle. In fact, I still feel guilty for my poor, burdened lab parter Justin, who had to watch me flip out on a daily basis in that class because I simply DID NOT GET IT. Incidentally, Justin is a big fancy news anchor now. How cool is that?

ron“Up next at 5: My high school lab partner was a total fucking idiot.”

So I obviously focused my energy into the classes that came easier to me, like art, English, and my beloved Spanish. I really regret that I didn’t continue to take Spanish throughout college, because by now I could probably remember more than how to say “I need toilet paper!”

toilet_paper1Necesito el papel higiénico!

But it is amazing how much of it has stuck with me, even after nearly 15 years. What especially sticks in my mind are the words/verbs/phrases that were my favorites, like old papel higiénico, or lechuga (lettuce), or my favorite verb of all time: quejarse – to complain.

It’s not so much that I like complaining (although I absolutely do), it’s more the memories surrounding that word that endear it to me. My friend Lucia (I’m using her Spanish-class name to protect her identidad) – who ended up studying in Spain for a year, if you replace “studying” with “drinking” – used to be my main sounding board in my later years of high school, and she understood the power of a good quejarse session. It wasn’t so much about complaining as it was about having someone else listen to the shitty little things that piss you off throughout the day and justify that YES! THAT TOTALLY SUCKS! and to never, ever utter such phrases as “Look on the bright side…” or the detestable “You should be thankful it wasn’t X.”

Basically, quejarse was meant as an outlet for the small stuff. It wasn’t for legitimate problems like sick relatives or divorcing parents or anything of that ilk – it was for craving a goddamn rice krispie treat all day long only to get to the vending machine to discover they raised the price to 80 cents, and you only have three quarters to your name.

ORL07170217GOODEATINGAlthough considering how good those motherfuckers are, this may need to be moved to the “legitimately serious” file.

Lucia and I aren’t as close now as we were in high school, but I still heartily embrace the power of quejarse.  Sometimes you KNOW your complaints are petty and superficial, but you just have to get them OUT, right? So that’s the point of this post today: LET’S ALL BITCH ABOUT ANNOYING SHIT AND THEN FEEL BETTER AND MAYBE GET A RICE KRISPIE TREAT IF WE HAVE EXACT CHANGE AND THE SITUATION PRESENTS ITSELF (AND I RECOMMEND YOU DO ALL YOU CAN TO MAKE THAT HAPPEN.)

I’ll go first:

  1. People who do not read or respond to their work email, rendering their email accounts basically useless and forcing everyone around them to have to physically track them down and ask them everything in person.
  2. People who swing their cars WAY OUT before turning (i.e., swinging the car to the right before turning left, in the style of a fucking Mack truck driver, AS IF their damn Prius needs that wide of a berth to turn onto a fucking city street).
  3. Indigestion. My digestive system has one job: TO DIGEST. Just do it already! Jesus!
  4. Wal-Mart, and pretty much everything and everyone therein, and the fact that I KEEP FINDING MYSELF THERE despite my best efforts to avoid the place.

OK, your turn. Use the comments, have at it! Nothing is too small or too petty! Just this morning I found myself complaining about someone because they were complaining. And then the universe turned in on itself and imploded like a dying star.

dying_starMillions of rice krispie treats tragically lost their lives.

[Post-script! I just wanted to give a big hello to all you wonderful lurkers coming out of the woodwork – and also to the daughter of 4th reader! Sham-Wow! We have, like, generations, here at Jive Turkey. Pretty cool, considering my own mother would not stop clutching her chest and gasping for air if she were ever to find this site!]


Entry filed under: Taste my Backhand.

OH HAI. I published this post without a title and didn’t notice for THREE HOURS. I’m Not Coming Out; You Can’t Make Me

10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. hillary  |  March 31, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    I would like to complain about the fact that I’m really fucking sick but I still had to come to work today. I would also like to complain about my complete lack of balls because really, if anyone’s boss deserves to be told to eat a dick, it’s mine. Gah!

  • 2. kristin  |  March 31, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    I remembered just enough of my high school Spanish to ask for a hotel room when we were in Spain, and not enough to understand the people when they apparently were telling us that yes, they had a room, but the window overlooks the Plaza Mayor so you will not sleep and the toilet has this tiny problem in which it leaks urine water all over the floor at 2 a.m. But it doesn’t matter, because you won’t be sleeping anyway! Fun!

    So, onto complaints! Which is hard for me, because I’m such a Pollyanna normally. SNORT.


    1) My muffler is rusting away and getting louder with each passing day. It makes me feel really white trash when I have to go into the city.

    2) After basically a month in Vacation Mode, my pants are not fitting as they should. Just in time for more revealing summer clothing. My timing, it is impeccable.


    Thank you and good night.

  • 3. Chicago Friend of Said Turkey  |  March 31, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    Always happy to post a complaint.

    1) Big Love season 3 is STILL not available for download on iTunes. GOIDAH!
    2) Someone ate the last effing brownie at work.
    3) That someone is my boss and I already can’t stand him, but now he may have gone too far.

  • 4. MLE  |  March 31, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    Things about which I wish to complain:

    1. I have gone without eating chocolate at work for nearly a month now and I can’t say as it’s made any difference whatsoever in how my clothing fits.

    2. I was TRYING to watch Gossip Girl last night and for some reason my local CW station was having weird issues so a second of commercial here and there was interspersed with the show which was also kind of on drugs because the sound didn’t match the picture and it would speed up and slow down and speed up and slow down. It was the first time I’d gotten to watch GG in MONTHS and I was super annoyed.

    3. My husband never got sent his W2 and has yet to bring home the reprinted copy from work so we can DO OUR DAMN TAXES already and get the big refund I know we’ll get because we’re married now.

    4. I think I am allergic to my own leg hair. It sucks.

  • 5. Kerry  |  March 31, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    Today I would like to complain about the bank which shall remain nameless (rhymes with Kells Kargo) that effed up Jason’s credit score by accidently freezing his accounts and therefore making it appear as though he has NO credit score. Even though he has had credit for the last 9 years. Yeah, you know what you need when purchasing a home? A CREDIT SCORE!

    Thank you, I DO feel better!

  • 6. Leah  |  March 31, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    I friend of mine called herself Lucia in Spanish class and then ended up naming her daughter that. Fabuloso! (Is that Spanish or Italian? I don’t know. I took German and Latin and French (in which classes we NEVER ONCE made up “foreign” names for ourselves; what up, Spaniards?))

    I would like to complain about the specific person who today, in a Prius, no less!, did one of those wide right turns and almost died because I ALMOST KILLED HER.

  • 7. Sara  |  March 31, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    I’d like to complain about how people want me to do something that works within their schedule but then bitch at me because I have other plans. And they make me feel like I’m a loser jerk. Hello! I have obligations! Sorry if you don’t understand that. Although maybe it’s me because it seems that my obligations become the problem all the time. Nope, it’s not me; it’s everyone else.

    I’d also like to complain about having to work an extra two and a half hours a week at the same base pay (lowered our hourly rate to make this happen) and then sitting around all day with nothing to do. If we have no money and less work, how about we work FEWER hours for the same pay? And then you wouldn’t have to pay as much for electricity (we’d turn off our comptuters and lights sooner) or heat (oh wait, it’s always freezing in here, scratch that).

    I have a whole list of complaints, but I wouldn’t want you guys all complaining about the length of my comment.

  • 8. 4th Reader of Said Turkey  |  March 31, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    I would like to complain about the fact that I had to leave my dog home alone today for nearly 13 hours, and so he decided to take out his boredom by chewing on… not the chew toy that was left out for him, oh no… but the bag of VCR tapes of scary movies that a friend of mine just loaned to my son. VCR tapes, my friends, of movies like – coincidentally? – Cujo, which I don’t think I can just run out to Target and replace.

    I would really like to complain about the fucking dog, but I won’t because I know it’s not really his fault. He’s just a dog and he doesn’t know any better, and my son (who ought to know better) left the bag out and blah blah blah… but it doesn’t stop me from feeling pissed at the dog.

    That’s better.

    Daughter of 4th Reader is pretty jazzed that she got mentioned, BTW.

  • 9. 4th Reader of Said Turkey  |  March 31, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    Oh, I almost forgot – at Daughter of 4th Reader’s high school drama potluck tonight, someone brought Cocoa Pebbles treats… Rice Krispie treats made with Cocoa Pebbles instead. Yummy and chocolate-y!

  • 10. Daughter of 4th Reader  |  April 1, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    Oh, wow, I’m all famous and stuff. 8D
    Things I would like to qujarse about? Um, I think pretty much everyone else has been there, done that, so I’ll keep it short and sum it up in two words:
    (Y the fact that no puedo figure out how to get the squiggly enyay thing on this laptop y the fact that I hablo muy fractured Spanish.)


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