105 Ways to Give a Book

Festivus: The Airing of the Grievances

I’ve come to believe that I killed someone in a past life. Based on the karma I’ve got going on lately, it’s the only reasonable explanation.

But today is Festivus, the holiday for the rest-of-us, and it’s a good time for the airing of grievances. You’re welcome to contribute in the comments if you so desire, or even go to the official website. Here are the grievances top of the mind today.

Teachers don’t need to assign projects that absolutely require extensive parental assistance, and if they feel compelled to do so, then perhaps those projects don’t need to be assigned during the week before Christmas.

People who feel they have to buy these huge SUV and minivans need to be able to park them, specifically pulling up closer to the car in front of them on the street so another car can park behind them. It would also be great if they could manage to get out of a parking space without a major production.

Prices of hotel rooms shouldn’t go up a hundred dollars overnight months in advance of the date, and if they do, then the managers should work with the needs of a tired Girl Scout Leader who’s just trying to do a good thing.

Friends whom you’ve stuck by through a personal crisis should not ditch you when they’re happy again. Even if their new girlfriend is ten years younger than them and really hot.

People who keep making the same mistake shouldn’t expect everybody to cover for them when they do it again.

Bloggers should keep commenting, because sometimes they feel like the only friends you’ve got.

Children whose moms have spent a lot of time on their activities should not roll their eyes when asked to help with the household chores.

Tires shouldn’t come up with a flat over the holidays. Period.

Husbands can put their own beer bottles in the recycling. Even if it is their birthday today. (Happy Birthday, Bill!)

I’m off now to put up the Festivus pole and set up the feats of strength. Oh, and celebrate a nephew’s birthday and my hubby’s as well. Tomorrow it’s all wrapping and cleaning, cleaning and wrapping. I can’t wait.


christine M said...

I agree with your grievances! And a happy festivus to you.

web said...

Kids who will only eat five foods shouldn't bitch about you serving them the same food over and over.

Kelly said...

Hee! Fun, MR. I'm at the inlaws and, so, have many, many grievances. But #1 amongst them would include:

Don't say you are a "soldier" and that you will do whatever you're told to do when: a) you'll do anything in your power to argue and then be late for whatever it is we're doing; and b) complain afterwards that it was a bad plan.

THIS is my mother in law and I'm about to lose MY MIND.

Susan T. said...

Here's one: mothers-in-law who give their daughters-in-law the book the "Skinny B*tch" WEIGHT LOSS GUIDE are sending a mixed message--at best. Oops, did I shout?

MR, enjoy Festivus!

Mary Lee said...

Cats who live to be 20 should be grateful for the grooming help given by their human -- specifically, clean ears and clean toenails. (We've given up on brushing teeth...)

tanita✿davis said...

Oi! I'm with you, Mother Reader. Hotels as well as AIRLINES should not raise prices to six times the cost just because it's a holiday!

Never heard of this holiday, but QUITE on board with it.

Gail Gauthier said...

Hey, we celebrate Festivus, too! Part of our tradition is to make Festivus Rods, which are pretzel rods covered with white chocolate. (Like a Festivus pole, see.) This year our Festivus pole (a lovely metal coat rack with removable limbs) was left at the office, so we had to make do with a piece of metal nailed through a cork. It was a table Festivus pole.

We usually just air grievances, but I was going to break a board this evening as a feat of strength. Then we realized that the feats of strength are supposed to involve beating someone and we all decided we'd just go back to our individual computers and call it a day.

Anonymous said...

All my grievances have to do with bad drivers and people who are stupid in stores.

Happy Festivus!

Bill said...

Let's see... for starters, how about people who schedule a (mandatory) meeting for 5:30 p.m. the Friday before Christmas break?

Or the folks behind the Blu-ray and HD-DVD factions staying locked in a format war, so that I can't commit to a high-def disc format? (Yes, I'm old enough to remember the Beta versus VHS battles.)

Or the studio executives who'd rather jeopardize thousands of jobs and sabotage countless films and television shows than actually pay writers for the work they do?

Liz B said...

Studio Execs who think they can get quality writers without paying them fairly for their work product.

Moving. Being insane enough to move during the holidays. Double that with moving, holidays, and new job. I am surrounded by unpacked boxes or worse yet half open boxes with the contents everywhere as I try to figure out where things belong and oh yeah its christmas eve so get dressed for the big family dinner that starts in the afternoon.

Anonymous said...

Oh my! So many of my own grievances have already been voiced. I find that both comforting and frightening! I would add the following:

People who have no memory. I'm not talking Alzheimer's patients here. I'm talking people with perfectly capabable (even brilliant) minds who make eye contact with you and even speak and nod when you tell them something and who then immediately forget the conversation ever took place and seem downright shocked or even annoyed when the subsequent actions (based on that conversation) take place.

Overpackaged products.

Made up "divas" and "supermodels" and "idols." I refuse to accept anyone's uber-status simply because I'm told they have it. C'mon folks, do it the Smith-Barney way. Earn it!

Oh. There are so many others I could list, but I must venture into the world to find something last minute (add that to the list) and be assaulted by stupid people (add to list) and slow people (Move to top of list)!

Thanks for letting me vent!
Merry Festivus!

Andrea B

Sherry said...

Merry Christmas! May your grievances disappear into the air, and keep the reviews coming.

EM said...

Whoever writes the songs for PBS's SUPER WHY should be impaled on a Festivus Pole. That is my holiday grievance for 2007.

I hope you can enjoy a smidgen of peace and quiet before the year is out. You deserve it!

Robin Brande said...

Happy Festivus, Mother Reader! I'm guilty of at least one of your grievances: Bloggers should keep commenting, because sometimes they feel like the only friends you’ve got. Sorry. I'll try to do better.

Love your list, agree with so much of it, and hope you'll find 2008 to be much less grievance-filled.

I hope that for all of us.

Robin Brande said...

And Susan T? Booooo to a M-i-L like that! Take her down in the feats of strength!

Saints and Spinners said...

MR: #1 reminds me of all those years my mother "helped" me with science fair projects that the teachers required to be so complicated the parents had to do practically all of the work.

Web: I'd like to add to your grievance by saying that kids should have to eat what's put before them until they can cook for themselves, in which case they can cook dinner for the entire family. What would it be? My husband says that if a toddler were in charge of dinner, we'd eat cheese for three weeks straight, and then never again for the rest of the year.

Jen Robinson said...

I just had to comment in response to Susan T's comment. Seriously? A weight loss guide from your mother-in-law? That is horrific. I feel very fortunate by comparison.

But Pam, mostly I wanted to comment to say that I get that "sometimes it feels like the blog friends are the only friends you've got" thing. Even though I'm here with family and friends, I feel a bit lost without the usual blog posts and comments during this holiday slow-down....

OK, and I'll add one grievance: children (not my own) who don't say thank you, or comment at all, on their Christmas gifts. Sigh!

Susan T. said...

Yeah, true. She said she gave it to me because of how much the authors talk about organic stuff...

Sigh. The stories I could tell.

Sarah Stevenson said...

Yay, happy Festivus! I just saw that Seinfeld episode again a couple of weeks ago. Hear, hear on the husband/recycling tip--and may I also add, husbands who can't seem to rinse off their plates despite having thoughtfully brought them into the kitchen post-mealtime.

Okay, one more grievance: busybody relatives who keep asking one when one is going to reproduce, and saying that one should do so before one gets too old.

Mary Beth said...

I would like to add sales help that roll their eyes and sigh when you bring an armful of stuff to the counter - yes it sucks to have to work on Christmas eve but just think .... you could be on our side of the counter with the rest of the panic stricken population who left things til the last minute. Oh yeah, and you could have to carry the 20 pounds of books someone just bought that pays your salary.

Brian Mandabach said...

Parents should refuse to do their kids' projects for them. Then the teachers would see what the kids can really do. And really, down with all projects and homework!! I am aggrieved by any homework that isn't reading! (Okay, I LOVE my daughter's math teacher this year who only assigns 5 problems a night. That's managable.)

I have a grievance against my mother in law, too: she is not nice to my wife! :(

Happy Festivus to All--every one!