Some (wise and healthy) people have bullet journals and vision boards and meal plans. My talent lies in the art of quickly thumbing outrageous things I hear into my phone.
So, since I couldn’t attend any #StopTheBans protests in my homeland, since the Game of Thrones writers made Khaleesi do what she did with her dragon, since there are two books on my wish list that have power of women’s anger in the title — allow me to purge with a Now That’s What I Call BS: Volume 31, a sampling of my phone’s WTF smash hits from the past year.
“If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should’ve behaved better.”
The Labor Purge
- “All female bosses in Kazakhstan are terrible,” my male classmate told my female Italian teacher. “It’s the same in Italy,” she concurred. “They are always angry. But I’ve only had two.”
- “My wife’s a doctor, but she can’t work in a hospital because we have kids, you know? Unfortunately, that’s just the way things are.” No word yet on whether that man is mentally capable of considering adjusting his banking career.
- “If you say anything, it gets worse, so you have to shut up or leave,” my friend sighed, explaining why she has changed jobs so often in Italy. “It’s difficult as a woman, especially if you’re a blond woman. And my boss set the tone for the whole organization.”
- “Engineering is not a field for women.” -A professor at Politecnico (Polytechnic University of Milan) to his niece who wanted to enter the sector. This anecdote was shared by one of my Italian teachers, to which a female classmate/engineer responded, “Well, engineering is a difficult field, and men are more practical.”
- “Mom, go get me water.” -A teenage boy with fully functional limbs
The Sex and Violence Purge
- “Alberto looked nice with that tie on. Are you jealous? Are American women jealous? Are American men jealous? Probably not as much as Italians, right?” I trust Alberto. “But if he comes home with lipstick on his shirt?” -A man who cites southern Italian blood as the cause of explosive behavior, which of course can’t be eradicated with therapy
- “Have you heard the story of the Ghost of the Duomo? She committed suicide after her husband cheated on her. Now if a disloyal man enters the church, she will attack him.” -Male Italian teacher
- “Have you heard the story of Alda? She jumped off that tower after being cornered by soldiers with bad intentions. Angels caught her at the bottom, but none of the villagers believed her story, so she jumped again to prove it. The angels let her perish the second time to punish her for such arrogance. The biggest piece left of her was an ear.” -Tour guide at Sacra di San Michele
- “Yeah, he just got mixed up with the wrong people. Did you know his brother’s also in prison, for murdering his wife?” What, no?! “Yeah, I think it was a jealousy thing. This risotto is delicious.” -Casual dinner conversation
The She’s Losin’ It Purge
- “It’s called women’s soccer, calcio femminile,” my Italian teacher corrects me. Um no thanks, I’m just going to call it soccer, calcio. “No, Christina, calcio is what the men play.” Why isn’t it called calcio maschile? [Silence] So as I was saying, Mia Hamm was my hero because she is a legend in the world of soccer…
- “Oh no, here she comes.” Who? “There’s an 84-year-old in our apartment complex that we call la vecchia pazza (the crazy old woman). She yanks flowers out of the garden, lives alone, talks a lot and rides a bicycle.”
La vecchia pazza is the sanest one of us all.