Stop taking yourself so facetiously

In generations past, people were told to stop taking themselves so seriously. I think we millennials have taken the idea so seriously to not take ourselves seriously that we have driven ourselves into the other ditch – we see ourselves as jokes, and want to make sure everyone else does, too.

 

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Okay okay, I lolzed at this. But also—- go apply for a job you lazy millenial!!

I think a lot of it may do with the kind of overwhelming crappiness of our times and growing connectivity with the rest of the world – we see ourselves as tiny little specs of dust in this huge dust storm of humanity that’s being driven by uncontrollable winds of huge corporations, insane political figures, and fidget spinners. So, we retreat, make memes, and giggle our way through every situation.

I’m kinda writing this about my not-so-distant-past self. I got pretty caught up in the “FML” culture of PhD students – a kind of ironic learned helplessness. There’s something pride-zapping about making poverty-line wages and having your research projects fall way short of your expectations that can drive even the most Pollyanna of us all into self-deprecating pessimism.

And look, I’m all for a good lolz. But they can be taken too far. Sometimes you need to take yourself seriously enough to take a shower, put on some nice clothes, and actually try, ya know?

I say all this coming out of a successful post-doc interview. I was gratified by how much they.. respected.. yes, respected!! me and my dissertation work! The whole experience made me realize that I use sarcastic, self-deprecating humor as a shield against expectations.  I didn’t want to disappoint people, so I made sure they kept their expectations low so I wouldn’t have to deal with their disappointment or be assigned more responsibility. #realtalk

But yeah.. this past week has opened my eyes to my own value in my field. It’s scurry, but I actually have the potential to bring some good to the world through my research. Eeks!

So, I know most of you aren’t in PhD world, but I think this could apply in a lot of situations. Being a mom, for instance, is huge. I’m sure getting spit-up on and getting into intense arguments with 4 yr olds isn’t always validating, but you have this unbelievable influence in how a real life human being sees the world! That’s really not small. For realz.

(This is getting a little ramble-y, but I blame it on the ferocious winds of Irma whirling my brain to and fro’. #science)

My point is – don’t discount yourself, kid! Lolz it up, but don’t lolz yourself into a false sense of insignificance.

..Unless you just want to be insignificant, and then I guarantee you that you will succeed in that 😏

*Gallosmoochies*

 

The kind of man it feels good to be around 

This is a simple idea, so I apologize if your mind isn’t blown to the same degree that it usually is after reading a Galloblog – but hopefully your mind is at least poofed.

Lately I’ve been falling asleep to one of my favoritest songs in the whole world – Ashley McBryde’s daddy love song, Bible and a .44. (It sounds like a crazed redneck song, but it’s actually heart-achingly sweet.) Anyway, one line of that song that jumps out to me every time I hear it is “[he’s] the kind of man it feels good to be around.”

(These sort of simple, beautiful, strangely profound lyrics are why I love country music, despite recent assaults on its dignity by Florida Georgia Line, Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, etc.)

One reason why those lyrics strike me is that I immediately think of the men in my fam – my Dad, my Grandpa, my Grandaddy, brother, uncles, cousins.. They really do feel good to be around, and it hurts my heart sometimes just to think about it.

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My grandpa. That grin! If it doesn’t make you feel good, I can’t help you.

What is this secret element that brings on these good feels? I think it’s kindness. A genuine interest in others and commitment to their well-being.. and a complete lack of self-interest. The Gallomen are confident, so they don’t need to prove themselves by obnoxiously competing with other men or by bringing down women, either overtly or covertly. ❤

But another more somber reason those lyrics strike me is how many men they *don’t* apply to.

(This isn’t a man-basher post, but just a “Ima be real” with a dash of emo.)

I have a lot of guy friends that are fun to pal around with. They can be funny. They can be charming. They can be interesting. But at the end of the day, hardly any of them – romantic or platonic alike – actually make me feel good. And some of them – after hanging out with them – I just feel… bad.

Is that their fault? Is the problem me? Who knows, and who cares. They just do.

My birthday is around the corner, which always intensifies my pensiveness and reflectivity sooooo… the action item I’m going to take away from this beautifically simple ideer is also beautifically simple: I’m going stop friending (and especially dating, amiright?) men* whom — whether or not they’re brilliant, hilarious, devastatingly handsome, Captain of the Tim Keller fan club, etc. — it feels bad to be around.** And if I may get a little dramatic … if I can’t find men who feel good to be around, better to be alone and/or surround myself with sisters from other misters and/or houseplants.

.. Oh, and I encourage you all – especially those tender young blossoms of womenfolk – to do the same *smooch*

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

*Yes, yes, women too. But the song lyric is about men, so.. just go with it.

**I’m not saying to shun people who you don’t jive with perfectly. I’m referring to people who consistently bring ickiness into your life. You don’t have to hate them, but you definitely don’t have to subject yourself to the bad feels, either.

Yo’ body ain’t nobody’s biz

I’m sorry to be salty about this, but you can’t stop this Na+ influx!

Long ago, before this blog was even a twinkle in my Galloeye, I remember going to a nearby water park and thinking – “why is it okay for a bunch of strangers to be running around in their skivvies just because there’s a bunch of water around?”*

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This is the appropriate amount of clothing to wear to the beach. Jk. OR AM I?! (pixabay image)

Thanks to the rise of technology, a new question has puzzled my brainz. “why is it okay for a bunch of distant friends and strangers to see you in your skivvies just because a screen separates you?”

Look, I understand – if you work out a lot, you want people to cheer your progress. Many a time I’ve been gripped with an intense urgency to share my obliques on fleek. Maybe you tell yourself your ab pic isn’t to brag, it’s to inspire people. Sure… but if I were a bettin’ woman,** I’d wager that for every one person you inspire with a pic of your fantastic bod you make 10 other people feel like a shapeless blob of poo. 

 
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Are you inspired, or just mildly disturbed? (pixabay image)

Of course, there will always be the Leering Larry’s who will see your picture and not feel insecure, but feel, well eh, good. Too good… Maybe some of these Larry’s have fantastic bods themselves, and you welcome their leering. BUT, I’d wager that some of them are .. spouses, hormonal teenagers, and creepers at least a generation older than you. Ew.

 

Let’s just back this up a little bit, anyway. Why the hayull are we so obsessed with people knowing we have a good bod? Honestly – especially if you ascribe to Christian sexual ethics – 1 person should know and care what your beach body looks like. Your wifie or hubs. Even if you don’t ascribe to such ethics, it’s still a very small number of people who should be directly affected by the shape of your body. No one else should know or care. It ain’t their biz!

Here are some practical ways to transform your mind so you won’t be as tempted to plaster basically nekkid pic of yourself all over the interwebs. A lot of these involve vivid imagining.

1) Imagine one of your real friends who has a less-than-perfect body. Imagine stepping into their room, interrupting their relaxation time, stripping down to your skivvies, and yelling in their face – “HEY! Isn’t my body AWESOME?! AREN’T YOU INSPIRED?!” Does that seem strange to you? Because that’s basically what you’re doing, just with a screen in-between.

2) Imagine stepping into a Leering Larry’s house, and seeing a pic of yourself in your skivvies blown up into poster size and pasted on his/her ceiling. Would you be creeped out? Then don’t give them the opportunity!

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Just imagine this dude can’t wait until you post another bikini / shirtless pic. (pixabay image)
 

3) Imagine everyone in the world knows what your body looks like, and they all think it’s dynamo. Then.. what?  —- unless you’re trying to be a swimsuit model, it really doesn’t make sense for this to drastically change your life, except to have more people thinking inappopro thoughts about you. What’s your end goal,exactly?

Okay, that’s all folks. This isn’t to slut-shame anyone, btdubs. I just want to raise awareness that the small target audience you actually had in mind when you post your vacay or fitspiration pics or whatever is just a tiny proportion of who all will actually see your bod. Just think it through, ya know? Please and thank you.

Forever yours,
Dr. Galloswag ❤

 
 
— EDITORIAL NOTES —
*Ftr, I’m still haunted by this question. 
** I ain’t, ma, I swur!

Help you help me

“If you don’t have something good to blog, don’t blog anything at all.”

^Solid advice, mes amis- which I will boldly ignore.

I try to be somewhat orig and not just use my blog as an outlet to rant,* but rant I shall.

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Yes! Soar, cockatoo, soar! (image from pixabay)

Most of my close friends and associates know that getting my PhD – instead of launching me into the future like a confident cockatoo – has lobbed me into a full-blown identity crisis. I find this intensely annoying, as 16 year old Galloswag pretty much charted out her life until “get PhD,” with complete confidence that Dr. Galloswag could take it from there. Well guess what, y’all – Dr. Galloswag is feeling like a lost pool noodle being tossed about the stormy waves of Life. #poetry

But to the main crux of my rant – people cannot stand this identity crisis of mine. They want to solve it – NOW! So many people have solved my identity crisis in a mere 30 minutes, it’s truly amazing. The only problem is, after they cobble together my life plan as I sit there nodding dumbly, the inner Galloswag sez, “NOOOOOOOOO!” And I’m back to square one.

So what is the purpose of this rant – not to be ungrateful to anyone who has tried to help me process through my options – but to offer a helpful shot of wisdom to my fellow identity-crisis-ers. As ol’ Solly sez, “With many counselors [plans] succeed.”** But if I may add, sometimes many counselors bring chaos. Especially if all the counselors are confidently telling you completely different things. At some point, we analytic-paralytics need to just bite the bullet and make a decision. A decision that 9/10 of our counselors will be gravely disappointed in (the people-pleaser in me writhes in agony at the very idea!).

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^me after the 37th person gives me advice that if I don’t follow, my life will be ruin’t. (image from pixabay)

 

So the second purpose of this rant, I s’pose, is if you happen to be a counselor— slow your roll. You don’t need to solve someone else’s life. Most of the time they just want someone to listen to them and be supportive, but they need to figure things out on their own. Trust me – it’s better this way —- so when they inevitably screw up their life they can’t blame it on you 😀 teehee

Here’s to young(ish)-life crises!

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

*Jk. This blog is almost 100% me ranting.

**Proverbs 15:22

 

Confused by bae? How to know *everything* you’ve been wondering about

Do you find yourself wondering often about what your wife is actually thinking? Would you like to know if Jo-Jo’s flirtations mean he likes you? Is your boyfriend’s odd change in behavior a sign that he’s cheating on you? Don’t spend another minute worrying your pretty little noggin’!! I have come up with a revolutionary way to discover EVERYTHING you’ve ever wondered about your significant other (or bae* as the youths say)!!!

 

How to know if he/she is cheating on you 

Step 1: Ask, “Are you cheating on me?”

How to know if he/she is THINKING about cheating on you

Step 1: Ask, “Are you thinking about cheating on me?”

How to know if he/she is actually into you 

Step 1: Ask, “Are you into me?”

How to know what he/she really thinks about your friends 

Step 1: Ask, “What do you really think about my friends?”

How to know if he/she loves you

Step 1: Ask, “Do you love me?”

How to know if he/she is into your best friend

Step 1: Ask, “Are you into my best friend?”

How to know if he/she is gay/lesbian

Step 1: Ask, “Do you do rows for bros or curls for the girls?”

How to know if he/she is happy 

Step 1: Ask, “Are you happy?”

How to know if he/she is psycho

Step 1: Ask, “Have you ever been diagnosed with a psychotic disorder?”

How to know if he/she is serious about you

Step 1: Ask, “Are you serious about me?”

How to know if he/she wants to marry you 

Step 1: Ask, “Would you ever want to marry me?”

This plan is stunning in its simplicity, and breathtaking in its effectiveness!** No more watching for those 4, 8, 23, or 7,322 “signs that your significant other is _________” No background experience in lie detection, manipulation, or advanced degree in subtle body language required. Open to all mature adults with the ability to speak, write, or thematically dance.

Don’t delay – Ask now! 

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

*As of 2016. If I know about it, it’s probably not tubular anymore.

**I know some of you may be thinking “Galloswag, you fool – some people lie!” And Galloswag sez, “If you don’t trust someone enough to answer these questions honestly, I highly recommend running away as fast as you can.” Not to mention — some of these questions are like, geez, if you’re even ASKING.. run as fast as you can. PLUS, if you ask and they lie, it’s all on them. But until then, if you persist in counting the number of times they blink when they answer, hacking into their snapchat account, or putting up a spy cam in their office – you are probably the problem, not them.

4 Clichés Singles Are Tired of Hearing

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This is literally what you do to us when you say this kind of shoot. (Free image from pixabay)

[Warning: This is mainly written by my perspective as a singleton sischacha. But I think some of it may apply equally to my singleton brochachos.]

1) “Guys are intimidated by you” 

Ummmm this is a sweet thought. But given the fact that Beyoncé, Hillary Clinton, Serena Williams, and Sydney Bristow have all managed to find someone, this charming platitude falls flat. Even if it were true, what exactly are we supposed to do with this info? Try giggling vapidly the next time we go on a date? Pretend we’re baristas* instead of pharmacists, post-docs, shooting instructors, etc.? Wear yoga pants and minimal make-up AMAP? I already do the last one, so I can say with 100% certainty that’s not the key.

2) “You’re over-thinking it” 

 Fabulous. Now we will start thinking about how to not over-think. Or just run away with the first Jo-Jo who comes into our path. Because THAT won’t put us at risk for getting date-raped, recruited to be a trapeze artist in a traveling circus, or in a long-term relationship with a bearded man ( 😉 )! Great idea. We’ll just pop a few Xanax and let what happens, happens. Y’all, check yourselves.

3) “You’re too picky” 

This is probably one of the worst things you could ever say to us. You might as well say, “Lower your standards,” or “Stop wanting what you want,” or “You’re pretty much a 6 looking for a 10.” Now, if we have unrealistic expectations, then that may be something to discuss. But “you’re too picky” is just annoying and makes us feel like crap. Plus, aren’t we also intimidating? So how will being less picky (and presumably being open to a lower caste** of men) help with the intimidation factor? The poor fellers might die of a stroke when they find out how wildly hilarious AND smart AND beautiful we are. It wouldn’t be fair to them, really.

4) “He is insane/stupid/gay because he’s not interested in you”

(or my all time favorite “Maybe he has the gift of celibacy…?” Lolz!***) I know y’all are just trying to be kind and helpful. Truly, the sentiment – that no normally functioning straight male could EVER turn down this dynamo package of delectability – is appreciated. BUT, although I’m sure some of us have (unfortunately) dated some who fall into some of these categories, most of the time none of the above are true. Personally, I have awesome man-friends who I don’t want to date, and I hope no one questions my mental health or doubts my sexual orientation because of that. Sometimes, we just don’t got that loving feeling. This is a good thing. Otherwise, we’d all be hopelessly in love with at least 73 people at a given time. *Anyway* One of the best responses to one of my romanticangsts was just a sincere, “That really sucks. I’m sorry,” followed by a huge hug. That’s all we need. Don’t fill our noggins with grandiose and contemptuous ideers. Just pat us on the head and buy us a taco or something.

Conclusion: I REPEAT, PLEASE JUST PAT US ON THE HEAD AND BUY US A TACO

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

*This wasn’t a jab at baristas. I just doubt most men are toppled over with fear and insecurity when they meet someone who is a barista. Please call me out if I’m misguided on this.

**I kid, I kid.

***I truly love the person who suggested this. But it did make me laugh hysterically.

 https://www.facebook.com/galloblog/posts/1895447684065886

How to avoid a Shanksgiving

Usually I prefer to keep my posts as irrelevant as possible, but I cannot blithely ignore the great need that has spread across the US of A this Thanksgiving season. There is clearly a lot of anticipated angst among many millennials at the prospect of going back home to share a meal with their po-dunk relatives. Please don’t be anxious, sweet little plaided one.

angry_cat_looking_at_turkey

Usually I prefer to keep my posts as irrelevant as possible, but I cannot blithely ignore the great need that has spread across the US of A this Thanksgiving season. There is clearly a lot of anticipated angst among many millennials at the prospect of going back home to share a meal with their po-dunk relatives. Please don’t be anxious, sweet little plaided one. Galloswag has prepared an innovative plan so that you can weather through a meal with those backward yeehaws who love you unconditionally.

1) Do a rotating dinner, but stagger arrivals

Remember those dinners that were spread over several houses, and the entire group moved to one house for an appetizer, the next house for dinner, etc.? Re-create this theme, except stagger everyone’s arrival so that everyone is enjoying the wonderful Thanksgiving food without having to interact with people, that by some cruel trick of biology, they are related to. Bonus: if you’re first, you can leave passive-aggressive, condescending notes on napkins (“HAPPY NATIVE-AMERICAN OPPRESSION DAY, YOU COLONIAL MONSTER”) to burn into your relatives’ consciences as they try to enjoy their meal.

2) Fake a pregnancy

If you’re unfortunate enough to actually have to interact with family this year, as soon as you walk through the door yell loudly “I may be pregnant!” Keep it uncertain – don’t commit 100%. Just mention you’ve missed your last cycle and feel nauseated. The Halloween candy should have already started a nice little faux baby bump for you to work with. Men don’t feel left out – it’s 2016 and you can be pregnant, too. Pregnancy is a fluid social construct, really, that’s currently trapped into a rigid box that reeks of matriarchal oppression. If anyone calls you out, just accuse them of being a uterist and to check their “ovarian privilege.” In any case, all of this should be a good distraction from whatever arguments might be brewing. If anyone tries to start anything, just clutch your stomach, gasp, and run out of the room.

3) Bring an airhorn

Let’s say steps 1 and 2 didn’t work, and family members actually start talking to you. I suggest bringing an airhorn, although perhaps a rape whistle would be equally effective, to sound noisily whenever anyone you disagree with starts to speak. Just don’t stop until they leave. Respectful conversations are passé. It is your constitutional right to never hear anything that will ever challenge or upset you, especially from your backwoods relatives.

Best of luck, everyone! Let’s hope your holiday is completely stress free* and doesn’t challenge you in anyway!**

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

*aka human free

**I actually don’t wish this for you. See this brilliant blog post

If you actually want to read a really good article on interacting with people this Thanksgiving, I highly recommend this one

How [Chronically] Single Men Sabotage Themselves

Are you male? Are you single? Do you wish you weren’t? Does your mom frequently look at you with sorrow and wonder why women aren’t falling at your feet? Do most of your romantic ventures fizzle out over an awkward series of awkward text messages?

If you answered yes to most of the questions above, it’s likely that you are sabotaging yourself with foolish dating practices.
If you answered yes to most of the questions above, it’s likely that you are sabotaging yourself with foolish dating practices. …

Are you male? Are you single? Do you wish you weren’t? Does your mom frequently look at you with sorrow and wonder why women aren’t falling at your feet? Do most of your romantic ventures fizzle out over a series of awkward text messages?

If you answered yes to most of the questions above, it’s likely that you are sabotaging yourself with foolish dating practices. I have smashed together a few #gallotips for you luckless would-be lovers.

[Please know that I’m actually not trying to be condescending. This is written for the solid guys out there who may not realize that they’re doing stupid crap to make women think that they are lamé.*]

  • You never ask the woman about herself or what she thinks

This past summer I was super excited that one of my really close friends grabbed dinner with a mutual friend who truly is a very kind, smart, good guy. When I nosily asked how it went, I was aghast when I found out that she was severely underwhelmed because the dude talked about himself the entire time. For perspective, this lady is a super smart, gorgeous assistant professor who travels the world for her work. When she’s local, she’s directing really important, ground-breaking research. THERE IS SO MUCH TO TALK TO HER ABOUT. I truly don’t understand – even if you’re not an expert in her field, please at least attempt to understand what she does. Or how/why she got into it. Don’t think that your ignorance about something will make you seem like a jerk-face – the only thing that will make you look like a jerk-face is if you’re unwilling to broach subjects you can’t mansplain.

An extension of this is just asking the lady what she thinks about .. stuff. Whether it be politics, her input on your most recent conspiracy theory, the unstoppable rise of Justin Bieber… whatever. AND – this is important – actually listen to her answers. Don’t spend the time she’s talking to formulate your next brilliant monologue.

  • You are emphasizing all the wrong stuff about yourself

I’m truly not saying this to burst your bubble, but if the lady you are dating is over 18 and doesn’t live in Nowhere, Idaho, chances are that she knows plenty of men who are just as – if not more – intelligent, rich, charming, or attractive than you. Don’t be surprised if she is underwhelmed by your ‘stats’. Before you get huffy and depressed, I’ll let you in on a secret – you can really set yourself apart by having good character. Try not taking 36 hours to respond to her text messages, keeping your word and showing up on time, paying attention to what she likes, plan thoughtful dates, etc. Sometimes men are all-to- eager to brag about their promotion at work, when women (at least, my friends and I) care more about whether we can count on you. When I was 19, a guy I was dating brought me coffee while I was studying. Not just any coffee, but a coffee with a splash of cream and two raw sugars, which is how I took it at the time. Even though this obviously didn’t end up in lifelong bliss, 8 years later I remember it and I still say “Bravo, good sir.” The point is, your character – usually displayed in the consistent, small ways you treat us and live your life – matter more than your 2 advanced degrees, 6 digit salary, six-pack abs, or whatever your point of pride happens to be.

  • You plan dates that do not give you a chance to shine

Some of you are a bit shy or awkward over a dinner date. The idea of making charming conversation for 2 hours over dinner makes you want to pass out or hang yourself. Fine! I say – do something completely different! Do something that lets your sweet unique little personality shine. Think outside the box. One of my friend’s favorite dates was when this guy taught her how to do a J-turn with her classic muscle car. Granted, not exactly my cup of tea – but she loved it. If you’re shy AND don’t have the stereotypical manly-man skills, do something like find a piano somewhere and teach her how to play a simple duet with you. I don’t know! I CAN’T FIX YOUR LIFE! *anyway* If the standard date-scene makes you shrivel up like a sad little kumqat in the desert, then plan something where you can roar with love like the magnificent beast we all know you are.

  • You are creepily romantic too soon

This one may be more specific to yours truly, but I cannot *STAND* it when someone who barely knows me tries to act like he is deeply in love with me. I immediately assume that he is either 1) emotionally unstable 2) trying to manipulate me. Forced, false intimacy is icky. It’s okay to take some time to just enjoy each other’s company without over-romanticizing. You can be warm, open, sweet, and all that great stuff without picking out a song on your ukelele that you wrote for her based off of her.. FB profile. Galloswag says, “Just be cool.”

There you have it. You’re welcome men! You can thank me when YOU’RE MARRIED because this advice was like pure gold poured straight into your mind. Please send me your personal success stories so we can go on Ellen together to promote my new book in press “Just Be Cool: Gallotips on how to not be a jerk-face when you date.”

— Editorial Notes —

* I get the irony. A cozily single 27 year old woman lecturing men about dating. Before you dismiss me and return to your vile daily activities, I’d like to argue that I’m actually far more qualified to comment on this than you’d think. Consider the following, s’il vous plait:

1) Being a sassy old maid, I’ve been on a lot more (bad) dates in current times that someone our age who settled down when they were 21. Sassy old maids also tend to cluster together and share our pathetic, hilarious, sorrowful bad date stories. Thus, I have so much material to coalesce into common themes.

2) I’m giving advice to men, not women. I’ve never been on a date with a woman so I can’t tell you from experience what the big turn offs are. Men, feel free to share your woes with me and I might just be inspired to lecture women on your behalf (As a side note, if I had any rays of insight on the woman side of things I would already be the trophy wife of a rich philanthropist with beautiful guns (both meanings apply) and a personal study that smells like mahogany and is chock-full of Tim Keller books.. and I’d be too busy opening joint checking accounts and making babies to write this darling little blog.)

3) Sad as it may be, my single lady friends and I are just the type of women that are still out there. The techniques your married male friends used to woo their current wives in high school and college ain’t gonna work with slightly jaded, highly-independent workin’ women. Just sayin’.