Are You F#*@ing Kidding Me

Who Should Check Their Stocking For Coal?

My assignment this issue was to identify and define who, in my opinion, deserves coal in their stocking. An assignment, I must admit, I took on with great relish. But, how to narrow it down when I’m such a judgmental bitch?

I decided early that the obvious targets were off the table – no Kardasian or Sheen bashing for me (as a side note, I wouldn’t bash MaSheen anyway – if you parse his ramblings, he had some pretty good points in there, plus I’m not a proponent of coal in exchange for losing control of your mental illness).  Basically, if you’re famous or have a certain level of “celebrity”, it’s already known that you deserve a load dumped in your stocking.    

In order to garner the least amount of hate mail, I decided to go with general categories of people who are all eligible to get coal in their stockings. Thus satisfying the Grinch side of my personality by capturing a greater percentage of the Whos down in Whoville.

First up, “Judgey Barista” – he’s first out of the gate this year because I happen to be writing this in a coffee shop that features an ever-changing array of Judgey Baristas, all shapes, sizes and genders. You can see it there on their menu board – “Judgment of Your Poor Coffee Choice – Free.” I don’t know enough about the craft of coffee to understand what is appropriate to order and why there is such distain for my Americano order. I loathe being made to feel like the coffee infidel I actually am by someone who has made a passion of coffee – I mean, that’s fine, but share your knowledge; don’t condescend.

Which is a nice segue to my next nominee – “People Who Call All Coffee Drinks a ‘Starbucks’” – as in “I just can’t get my day started without my Starbucks.” Excuse me, Starbucks is a brand. You sound like an idiot. Often this statement is boomed out during early morning breakfast meetings exclusively by an older demographic who appear to be jacked up on their Starbucks and a little sad around the eyes as if they are still befuddled about why Folgers in a Mr. Coffee is no longer good enough. They seem to attach an inordinate level of status to their professed addiction to “my Starbucks." I realize this nominee makes me a Judgey Barista once removed, but I don’t care, this isn’t about me. I don’t have enough space here to enumerate all the reasons why I deserve coal in my stocking.

Moving on from coffee annoyances, I’d like to nominate the next group which is “Women With Long Ass Fake Nails Who Sweep Their Fingers Across Their iPhone/iPad Like Their Polish Is Wet When It’s Not.” Pretty specific, I know. Doesn’t make it any less annoying.

I’m ready to throw “People Who Talk About What Good Listeners They Are” under the sleigh too. Invariably if you say that out loud to someone else, you’re talking, not listening. If you’re a good listener, you wouldn’t have to announce that fact. People already know.

I just have to add this last one although I’m fairly certain Santa’s going to need an extra sleigh for this freight. I’m talking about “Competitive Facebookers." FB is a 24/7 holiday letter with real time fabulousness updates. It’s tempting, I admit I’ve given into temptation, to post “my daughter took first place in the National French Contest.” (One of my actual posts and look at that, I just took this opportunity to brag about it AGAIN – lump of coal for me – I’ll take it, she’s awesome). I want posts like “my husband just put $20 in the douche bag jar for forgetting my birthday” (what? You don’t have a douche bag jar? Every marriage should have one – ladies can be douche bags too – check upcoming issues for more discussion on this topic) or “I’m so mediocre at my job, I just feel lucky they keep me around." These are the posts I’m interested in seeing. Horrible shit is happening all the time, all around us and human drama is fascinating. I want to strip off that FB blue veneer of our lives and see what lies beneath – I bet the color scheme is far more Goth and the font reflects despair. Because honest to God, one more video of a kitten or a baby or a baby with a kitten and I will huck a lump of coal right at your Wall.

So that’s my overview of a few nominees deserving coal in their stocking, not a complete list I assure you. I’m sure some of us will recognize a glimpse of some of our own behaviors and realize that while we can be freaking annoying, we are lucky enough to have people who love us and fill our stockings with nothing but love.


Elizabeth Holmes has finally taken her own advice and is pursuing her passion for words. In addition to her role at Broadsheet 360, she's co-producer of "Anecdotal Evidence" a storytelling series, wife, mother, writer and whatever else tickles her fancy. Erma Bombeck is her spirit animal.

6 Responses to “Who Should Check Their Stocking For Coal?”

  1. Evan Reply December 5, 2011

    It's possible I laughed out loud at every sentence of this self-effacing masterpiece. I agree on all counts, ESPECICALLY regarding people who say they're good listeners! They're right up there with people who claim they're creative or brag about their humility.

  2. Mandy Reply December 5, 2011

    Amen to that!! I also laughed out loud this entire article! You are saying things that we all want to say but  probably shouldn't, so THANKS!!

  3. eaholmes Reply December 6, 2011

    I feel like it is a gift from the Universe that I now have a platform to share my bitterness.  Thank you for partaking -

  4. Erin Reply December 6, 2011

    I second Mandy's comment – loved this. Like you eavesdropped on my internal dialogue.

  5. Eric Reply December 6, 2011

    And I got to laugh out loud before all of you!  Amazing piece among many amazing pieces in the debut.  can't wait for more-

  6. Alissa Reply December 6, 2011

    You are a funny, funny girl, and I eagerly await a further taxonomy of d-bags. Might I suggest People Who Relax in the Passing Lane and their pedestrian brethren, People Who Amble in Crosswalks?

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