A Very Stabby Birthday

Shiny birthday balloons in the number 30

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.”

Practice Stabbing GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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.

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How to Be All Classy and Shit

Woman at the beach with a sun hat

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.

So put away your wallets and, cuticles be damned, today we are talking about the dos and don’ts of how to be all classy and shit.
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Putting the “Ho” in “Home Decor”

Rose in a vase with faux fur rug

I think we all have those things we really want in our lives and appreciate while simultaneously having no interest in learning how to make them happen. Maybe it’s how to do a classic updo, how to rock an Instagram eyeshadow look, change a tire, or cook a souffle. For me, that thing is interior design.

Bored Monsters Inc GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

I really appreciate a well-appointed room. I find them comforting and luxurious and soothing and amazing. I think having a polished and beautiful home is totally worth having. But when I start to read articles about “layers” and “textures” and “complementary colors,” it makes me want to tear my own arm off and then use it as a conversational piece on my coffee table. “Oh yes, I made it myself,” I will tell my impressed house guests.

But here is the thing about “adulting:” you should learn how to bring the things you want into your life, regardless of whether you have a natural talent for it.

Home cooked meals are worth eating, being able to pull yourself together for a classy event or meeting is important, being able to change your tire is important and having your home serve and suit you is important.

So here are the DG tips for those of you who have no attention span for interior design:

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“But I Don’t Like Other Women” and Other Immaterial Things

Group of women sitting on railroad tracks

“We are in the business of being women.”
-DGGYST

DGGYST has been pretty heavy on the girl power lately. With “The Power of Female Economy“, and “So, You Want a Blogging Tip…“, not to mention the sidebar featuring specifically female bloggers, I have to address something that comes up every time I (or any one else for that matter) discuss supporting female industry. This sentiment:

“But I don’t like other women.”

I notoriously love the women. I was a labrador retriever in my last four lives and just assume everyone is my friend and they want to feed me biscuits.
Not that I haven’t not liked some women. There’ve been a few where I’m like, “You are not my kind of lady. Now give me a biscuit and get the hell out of here, bark bark bark bark bark!” So I respect that you may have had bad experiences that are skewed to the female gender.

Shoshanna Shapiro Cray GIF by Girls on HBO - Find & Share on GIPHY

Perhaps you have found other women to be largely competitive, shallow, two-faced, and smelly. I would never tell you that I know your experiences better than you do, and this post is not about bashing women who don’t like women. But I will tell you that not liking other women shouldn’t matter when it comes to throwing your unbridled support at them.

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Cleaning Up With Damn, Girl

Woman climbing into a dryer

Growing up, cleanliness and order were never priorities in my house. My family of five lived in a van until I was about four, my siblings and I sharing a chest of drawers for a bed. As fucked up as that is, it’s still a little bit adorable, admit it.

Once we settled into a bit more space, that space was decorated in the classic “insane petting zoo from hell” style. At one point, I shared my bedroom with seven chickens.

With thirty-seven cats, three dogs, five screaming peacocks, two horses, an angry little pony, six goats, and a very energetic hoarder to manage them all, my childhood home could turn the strongest of stomachs.

I have fond memories of our unneutered male pygmy goat “Bill” rising proudly from the open trunk of one of our many broken down cars and chasing the school bus. Every morning, with his little goat beard full of urine and a stiff twelve-inch erection, he would charge the driver as the bus screeched out of the driveway. Needless to say, I wasn’t the fucking prom queen.

A goat in a mailbox

Keeping a house up properly was definitely a skill I had to learn. Today I wanted to tackle the mindset and habits that keep so many people’s homes in disarray.

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DG Fall Essentials

Girl with a scarf holding a cup of coffee.

Things have been getting a little heavy around here at Damn, Girl. From declaring war on happiness to shitting on Lifetime movies, it may be time to take a walk on the lighter side.

This week I couldn’t decide between writing about “Why Your Grandma is Kind Of a Slut” or “The Surprising Health Benefits of Puppy Blood,” so I opted for a third option. A classic: Damn, Girl Fall Essentials.

Cat GIFs - Find & Share on GIPHY

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Today, Be Anything but Happy

A pineapple on the beach

Sometimes I read stuff like this article called “Why Pursuing Happiness is the Greatest Goal” and wonder why traditional advice doesn’t seem to apply to me.

I just absently blink at 90 percent of the “awesome truths” that “change people’s lives.” When I try to apply them to my own life, I end up totally dissatisfied, living in a yurt with a mouthful of chia seeds dribbling down my face, yelling positive affirmations into the mirror.

I’m pretty sure if there is anything that makes humans miserable, it’s chasing happiness.

Knowing that it’s The Goal of almost everyone I know is so tragic I can’t. Hardly. Even.

Before you get me wrong, I don’t have a problem with happiness…It’s just not a goal. And exalting one emotion doesn’t sit well with me

Nothing GIFs - Find & Share on GIPHY

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The Art of Parting

Woman putting out a fire with an extinguisher

This is going to come as a huge shock to you: I’m a fairly saucy woman. Spicy. A firecracker. A real pistol. An over-eater…wait, no, that doesn’t belong there.

I enjoy myself very much. I kick ass, take names, make sure those names are kicking ass, and make sure those asses are kicking names. What can I say, I’m thorough.

Being this way has its benefits. I set my mind to something and just…go. If there is something I want on the other side of a mountain, give me a shallow spoon and watch me tunnel, baby.

There is, however, a dark side to combining ambition, intense love, and brutal honesty.

The arson in me recognizes the arson in you

This post is for my warrior women. My Xenas. My tough mothers. Damn, you are sexy AF. I love powerful women. You bitches aren’t to be trifled with, and I couldn’t be a bigger fan. But chances are you aren’t being nearly as effective an ass-kicker as you could be because of one thing that often befalls the feisty:

Homer Simpson GIFs - Find & Share on GIPHY

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Meal Prep for When You Just Can’t Even

Sleeping girl

I have two versions of myself: the one that kicks ass and takes names, and the one that just. can’t. even.

It’s a hormonal thing. I can’t be expected to clean my house and cook dinner and defeat my enemies when I am downing wolfsbane and transitioning into a she-beast. I ride those energy waves just like most women, but I feel like we aren’t allowed to admit that we ride them. Because that makes us “less-better than men,” or “hormonal,” or “crazy,” or “lazy,” or my favorite: “witches.”

Maybe you are that elusive super woman who has consistent mood, energy, and awesomeness all month long, who kicks ass from sun up to sundown 365 days a year and runs and wins marathons on the first day of her period. In which case, Hi Gwyneth! Thank you so much for reading, girl! I loved you in “Duets”!

Gwyneth Paltrow GIFs - Find & Share on GIPHY

For the rest of us, learning to navigate those waves, whether they be from hormones, or depression, or balancing a job and a family is key to master the art of adulting.

I’m a bit of an extremist by nature. I get these grand ideas of preparing surf and turf on a Wednesday, duck a l’orange on a Thursday, tackling a vegan dish worthy of the cover of Bon Appétit on a Friday, and ringing in the weekend with Eggs Benedict and homemade apple crisp.

In reality, I have surf and turf on a Wednesday and then the fridge is empty for the rest of the week and I bounce a check cause that shit is expensive and by the time the weekend comes around, I can be found half naked, squatting in front of the fridge eating the last remnants of a block of cheese.

I’m better now. I’ve discovered “attainable goals” and “pajamas” and something called “meal prep.”

These tips may seem over-simplistic, but that’s the point. We all spend 45 minutes on Pinterest, get these crazy ideas in our head about “30 meals in 3 hours” and 30 hours later, we have 3 meals and are shitfaced and covered in peanut butter. So, here’s to attainable goals and to meal prep for when you just can’t even.

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Shit You Might Not Know Because No One Tells Millennials Anything

Girl in a dryer at a laundomat

Let me preempt this post by saying: maybe you had awesome boomer parents who were wise and gave you guidance and provided you with endless opportunities and pearls of wisdom. In which case, ask them if they are up for adopting a 29-year-old blogger who sometimes only pretends to wash her hands for the comfort of others and is not above eating things out of the garbage.

George Costanza eating out of the trash

But this post is for the rest of my contemporaries who, in our guidance-free lives, use #adulting and call all of our other millennial friends when we discover how to load a fucking dishwasher.

Our general cluelessness and enthusiasm for life hacks has been on my mind a lot and has led me to conduct a very unscientific poll. This week I have been asking all my millennial friends, “What is the best piece of advice you ever got from your parents?”

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