Do you ever get the feeling that when it comes to blogging, there is something that people aren’t telling you? You see these blogs with thousands of followers, and you read their blogging tips and it’s, “Use good photos!” “It takes time!” and “Get a Twitter account!” and you’re like… okayyyy…
I don’t know if I should be telling you this but you are right. There is something they aren’t telling you. So Damn, Girl, you know I am going to spill the secret blogging beans!
DGGYST gets hundreds of requests for blogging tips and then refers to herself in the third person like an asshole because people are amazed that she has hit 5,000 followers just in time for her one-year blogiversary.
There isn’t going to be any “inspiration crap” in this post; this is a straight-up manual you can use to grow your readership and reprogram your DVR.
In my high school, the regional slang word tossed my way was “scurvy.” From biology to history, it passed through the lips of my peers. It was the word of choice for an unkempt individual. “Scurvy.” Considering my state of perpetual starvation, they could have been referring to my vitamin C deficiency, but that was probably a lost irony.
I certainly felt “scurvy.” My mother decided to move us onto an acreage with no running water or electricity, but plenty of farm animals and inbred cats. I was perpetually covered in animal hair, five weeks between showers, and reeking of second-hand smoke and first-hand perspiration. I was so greasy I could have been cold-pressed into a fine and abundant source of cooking oil.
Strangely, post-high school I still felt “scurvy.” I had an income and a pet- and smoke-free home and daily showers, yet I still was… unkempt. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was. There was just something, not tightly kept together, and while I have long come to terms with my satan-given looks, I would always be disappointed when I glimpsed in the mirror. My shit was not “on fleek” as I had always yearned for it to be.
I had a thirtieth birthday recently. I went to a masquerade ball, danced, drank champagne and had a grand old time. My friends had taken some candid pictures of me that turned up on facebook the next day. There I was, staring up at myself from the timeline feed, finger waves perfectly coiffed, skin matte yet dewy, not an eyelash astray. I looked completely put together and it filled me with a sort of joy that didn’t feel superficial at all.
I am a strong proponent of “no right way to be, look, or dress.” I still must admit: it felt good. It felt important. Because it has always been important to me: the ability to pull myself together and present myself the way I wanted to be seen. So I wanted to share what I have learned on my journey from scurvy teenager to seamless adult. These are the tips I have on how to look put together.
I am a very physically affectionate person. If it were socially acceptable I would introduce myself to new people by biting at their stomachs and nuzzling their neck.
Almost every week I swap full-body massages with my girlfriends. I kiss people goodbye and hello and my poor husband has bald patches all over his otherwise hairy body from being love-nuzzled.
I think one of the saddest lessons life teaches us is to not let ourselves be touched. Men learn not to “be gay” and women learn, often through experiences with sexual assault, to be afraid.
With introversion finally getting its time in the limelight (calm down introverts, you can have the limelight on you and still hide under the stairs in the dark) and every talk show host/therapist/blogger talking about setting your boundaries, it is easier than ever to not let yourself be touched.
To touch is to trust
Yes, I think you should challenge yourself to let someone touch you. To touch is to trust. I think it is something worth working on. And I know no one else will tell you this because you are scary with your thick outer shell of scales and that look on your face like you’ve seen some shit. But I’m gonna because mama loves you and knows what’s best.
In all seriousness, I get it. Once you’ve been violated, not touching and letting yourself be touched is not only the instinctual thing to do, but it is easy to tell yourself that those feelings should not be questioned, ever.
So let’s prod at that sensitive area. Today I want to talk about how to touch and be touched when that’s the last thing you want to do.
It is my sincerest hope that this post doesn’t resonate with most of my readers. I hope you can wake up in the morning, brush your teeth, pour yourself some joe, and work a long and productive day at your nine to five job, five days a week until you die… at your desk.
But I wanted to put a resource out there for my readers who have bouts of “I am just too fucking crazy right now to work a real job.” Because despite what we may think, it happens to the best of us.
I have very good mental health. I wake up happy, I don’t experience any kind of explosive emotions (unless, of course, I see dogs locked in hot cars or someone chewing really loudly then, naturally, all bets are off). For the most part, I’m a pretty stable Sally.
That being said, all of my immediate family members are severely mentally ill. Like, screaming-at-mailboxes-and-threatening-to-kill me mentally ill. I also have PCOS and when I have that perfect combo of “daddy is stalking me again” and “I’m five weeks late for my period,” sometimes I get too fucking crazy to work.
I have had times in my life where my family situation, my health, or my work situations have been too much to endure. I have left jobs because of sexual harassment so bad I would have felt safer on the set of “Good Will Humping.” During those times, the idea of putting on a cute outfit, getting a Starbucks, and talking with all the scary people has left me noping right the fuck out of my job. But that’s the thing about life: crazy or not, you always gotta have that sweet cash to pay those not-so-sweet bills.
So what do you do when you just snap? Your fibro or anxiety or piece-of-shit boss force you into the world of unemployment? How do you pay the bills when you’ve had it with the nine to five, and it’s had it with you? Luckily, DG has you covered.
Here are seven things I have done for money at my nuttiest:
I don’t remember much about my dad. I know that all the stories my mom tells me about their time together end with “…and then your dad stabbed him so we had to get the hell out of there.”
My most vivid memory of my dad was his knife coming through the roof of the van we lived in. I can still hear my mom screaming, “Run for your life!” while I tried to super-speed activate my stubby toddler legs. It turned out my great escape wasn’t necessary; they reconciled and went on to have more children. It’s the rom-com you never knew would scare you.
They did eventually part ways. My dad got out of the van to take a leak one hot summer night and my mom just sped away. She traded the van for a trailer, the alcoholic schizophrenic for a heroin addict, and we never heard from my dad again.
Until this month. A few days before my 30th birthday.
Oh, fuckery. You know when you are so busy that you wake up and you’re like, “AHHHHHHHHH AHHHHHH…… AHHHH”? I really hate that feeling.
It’s like this for me every April, with the onslaught of fresh brides preparing for their first dance. So last night, (3:00 a.m. is technically “last night,” right?) as I was sweating bullets trying to get the post out for today, I had my own Damn, Girl, Get Your Shit Together moment.
I always talk about “self care” and I need to take my own advice.
I am taking April off from the blog, but I will be back in May! I’ll still be reading your blogs, but forgive me if I don’t comment!
I’m not going to do a whole sobby sign off, because that is ridiculous. I’ll be back in three weeks… I’m not crying! You’re crying! Shut up!
Seriously, it’s hard. I am so entrenched in your lives and this community that just going away for a few weeks feels like I’m going off to war lol.
You know those exorcism movies where the possessed person is tied to a bed and they bring a priest in and the demon expert is like, “Whatever you do, do not cross the salt boundary,” and then the possessed person is like, “Ahhh, you like Honey Bunches of Oats, don’t you, father?!” and then the priest leaps across the salt barrier and is like “YOU KNOW I LIKE RAISIN BRAN! YOU SICK FUCK!” and the demon bites his ear off?
And then they drag the priest out of the room and they leave the mother of the possessed person in the room alone and then the demon is like, “Oh hello, motha! You know your lilacs are not going to bloom this year, don’t you?” and then the mother leaps across the salt boundary and is like, “I BOUGHT THE EXPENSIVE FERTILIZER!” and then there goes one of her ears, you are like, “For gods sake, stop letting this demon manipulate you! Don’t cross the fucking salt boundary, what did he just say?!”
Yeah, I love those movies. I am always so judgmental, shaking my head at these morons taking the bait. I would never cross the salt boundary. Then my mother will call me and say, “You know everyone feels sorry for your husband,” and I will be like “AHHHH!!! FUCK THIS SALT BARRIER, I WILL KILL YOU!”
Spring is right around the corner! Better weather, new beginnings, and for many of us, it means a lot more social, work, and family responsibilities. If for you that translates into outright panic or good old-fashioned stress, here are three great strategies for when you are freaking the fuck out.
I have been thinking a lot about class lately. My thirtieth birthday is right around the corner and I have really been trying to hone my style. I’ve always been horrified by my mother’s butterfly bedazzled bell bottoms and the ever presence of “big gulps, tractors, and pink camo” in my sordid memory bank. But what makes someone classy? The internet has nearly convinced me that the whole of classiness is kept in the human cuticles and if they aren’t on point, I should just hang myself with a length of the Confederate flag while standing on a crate of Pabst.
Not one to believe everything the internet tells me, I thought about real life. Who was the classiest person I know?
For me, that person is my dear friend Betty. Betty is a landscaper and ironically has the most mangled cuticles I have ever seen. When she comes by my place, covered in dirt, cursing up a storm, she brings with her an armload of dahlia bulbs or a length of hose for my yard. She clasps my face with both of her hands and tells me how beautiful I look that day. She tells me that my orchid is too dark green and will be happier in a sunny spot. She exudes a level of class that I strive for. Intelligence, warmth, openness. She is just so damn classy.
What can I say about Leo, mi amore? He is the best bad cat ever. That’s not to be confused with the best cat ever. There is a very important distinction.
The best cat ever might not tip over their litter box, kick all the litter into the space between the washer and dryer, then crap in the empty box.
The best cat ever might not tear the shower caddy off the wall and eat ¾ of a bar of oatmeal soap and throw up bubbles for two days.
The best cat ever might not knock over a $30 canister of leg wax , step in it, become adhered to the carpet, and then howl like a crazy person at 4 o’clock in the morning, not because he is stuck, but because he was planning on getting stuck in the cords to the blinds like some horrifying cat-marionette and wasn’t planning on getting stuck to the carpet till next week.
But the best bad cat ever totally would.
Leo, the bunny king, the pleasure pig, the bad little cat man… he cracks me up every single day.
I say that Leo is the best bad cat ever because he is still alive in my heart. I should say that Leo was the best bad cat ever. He died this week.
My heart aches. My home feels strange and empty. I keep going to feed him and have to stifle calling for him. Creatures of habit and all…
I have to believe there is a lesson of great value to learn with all heartaches, with all pains. And as blurry-eyed, as I am, I want to do the most loving thing I can for you and yours. And for me, because I am really writing this one for myself.
I felt so guilty putting my beloved bad kitty down. There was the pressure from the vet and an entire lack of support to be found anywhere, not in real life, not online. So today, I wanted to give you something I didn’t get:
Today, I am giving you permission to put your pet to sleep.
Here are five obstacles you may be trying to overcome: