The Good Old Days Weren’t Great

I’m tired of listening to what’s wrong with us today. The Millennials, the Xennials, the Zoomers, whatever. Let’s talk about what’s wrong with the Boomers and the Good Old Days.

Story time.

A million years ago and a million miles away… This is the phrase my all time favorite pastor uses when he wants to tell a story about something that happened yesterday and right here but he needs plausible deniability. I love it.

A million years ago and a million miles away, we were having a get together in our neighborhood. Several couples gathered at one home for lunch on a Sunday afternoon.

I should point out that I’m the youngest person in this group by almost 30 years.

I don’t know what the men were outside doing but the women were inside cooking. I was whisking the lumps out of the gravy. One of the men walked in and called us all to attention.

“Ladies! Ladies, ladies.”

We stopped what we were doing and looked up. This man then says…

“We need a volunteer to fill the glasses with ice.”

Now let me pause here so I can paint you a fuller picture. This man is in the kitchen looking at the glasses and standing next to the cooler of ice. He was literally the closest person to the glasses and the ice and was the only one not currently engaged in a task.

Honestly this shit is still grinding my gears. If he was otherwise a kind and pleasant person I might have just brushed by and laughed it off. He’s not though. He’s abrasive and self righteous and he loves pointing out the mistakes of others. He won’t even speak to me, I assume because I have tattoos. People like that not liking me just makes me smile and reaffirms all my life choices.

I think what’s annoying me even more is that the girls just went to do it while he went to kick back in the easy chair.

What I said was, “I’m sorry, is your volunteer broke?” but I don’t think he heard me.

It’s not that I wouldn’t have filled the glasses. I would have been happy to. It’s the entitlement and expectation that I take umbrage with. It’s that ‘men are in charge and women are the worker bees’ attitude that induces my rage. It’s his general worldview that makes me want to be the rock and the hard place he gets crushed between.

In the scheme of things this was a minor incident that I will get over shortly. But it is the latest in a long list of life experiences that every single one of us have.

Young people, girls specifically, I say this to you. Do no harm but take no shit. Stand up for yourselves. Don’t shrink away or let them walk on you. Plant your feet, tighten your core and be the first bit of resistance they’ve ever encountered. Make it clear that ingrained, systemic misogyny is over. Raise your voice. Make a scene. You might not change their minds but you can stun them into silence. They’re dead and don’t even know it yet.


Heyyyy. Long time no post. I can’t remember the last thing I wrote. I can’t go back and look either because the second I hit publish they all seem dumb and cringey to me so I employ a strategy of pretending none of my previous posts even exist. I just can’t get into a writing mood lately. And once I let go of my rigid every Thursday schedule it kind of all went out the window. That’s how I tend to be about most things. Either super militant and overly obsessed or I let it go entirely and could genuinely not care about it less.

Anyway here we are. I’m pretty sure my last few posts were more serious therefore it’s high time for another funny one. I haven’t told a Mackenzie is a moron story in a bit so strap in, this one’s a gem.

A little background. I left Ole Miss in 2007 lacking one Spanish credit to finish my degree. I put it off for awhile like fickle, unfocused 20-somethings are wont. The switch finally flipped from couldn’t care less to finishing this degree is the most important thing on earth so I signed up for an online Spanish class at Houston Community College in 2010.

In a case of honesty is usually the best policy, I straight up told the teacher I was not at all interested in learning Spanish I just needed to pass this class and would be exerting exactly as much effort as that required. She said, fair enough, and I ended up being the best in the class which is a harsh critique of the rest of them. I spent many work days at my desk with a google translate page open on each of my screens. I would translate the Spanish homework assignments into English so I could read them, type my answers in English then google translate them to Spanish, and copy/paste into my homework. Just like piano lessons as a kid, I made it through this whole class without learning a single thing. I’m not proud of it but it is a specific talent that I have. I can drive somewhere a hundred times and still not know how to get there.

Ok here comes the dumb part. This is during the time The Boy and I were still pretty newly dating. Just about every other weekend we left work on Friday afternoons and drove six hours west to his ranch, returning to Houston on Sunday. Every Friday we passed a giant billboard just east of San Antonio that read, in huge red letters, “HAY SALES”, with a phone number. That’s all it said.

Even though I intended and mostly succeeded at learning zero Spanish, some of it did seep its way into my brain. For weeks, every Friday that we drove by this sign I found myself wondering what that sign translated to in English.

In my defense, “hay” is a Spanish word that means there is or there are. And “sales” (pronounced sah-lace) is the you infinitive form of the word “salir”, meaning to leave or to go out.

I couldn’t make sense of it. The Spanish translations that I knew didn’t seem to fit but it never once occurred to me that it was just an English sign announcing hay for sale. Not once.

I thought about it every time I saw it for probably two months. Finally one Friday we passed that sign and it suddenly hit me like a frying pan that I’m an idiot. I lost my mind. I laughed so hard The Boy got concerned. He kept asking what was so funny, I think he thought I was finally snapping. For a half second I considered keeping it to myself but I’m not a good enough improv actor to come up with a less embarrassing reason to be so hysterical on the fly so I told him the whole story. I’ve rarely ever seen him laugh so hard.

My real mistake was letting him tell this story to all our friends and family. It’s become the stuff of legends and I’ve done a lot of dumb things. At least once a year at a holiday get together it gets told and everyone laughs until they cry. My dad tells this story every chance he gets. “Hay Sales” has become a bit of rallying cry for our family.

There’s no life lesson to take from this post unless it’s that we’re all dumb sometimes and you can either embrace it or suffer from it. And maybe that the better your family, the longer they will hold your dumb moments against you for general entertainment purposes. That’s ok. I wouldn’t take it back even if I could.

Let Them Go

You’re allowed to just walk away. When a friendship has become complicated or one sided. When it’s clear they no longer have your best interests at heart. When you never know what they’re going to tell you next and you can’t trust it anyway. Let them go.

Even those people you have genuine love for. Even the ones that played a huge role in your life once. Even the friends that used to feel like family. Let them go.

One of the major goals throughout life is growth. Change is constant and, more often than not, welcome in the long run. We aren’t meant to be who we used to be. Or believe and think the things we always did. Self-awareness and personal betterment are the markers of maturity and success.

Sometimes that change is painful. Sometimes that growth means leaving people behind. Even people you once could picture in your future. Let them go.

They’re not for you anymore.

And they will always tell you. Not straight up in as many words. But in their actions, or lack thereof. When someone makes it clear you are no longer important to them, believe them. They will let you know when it’s ok to stop leaving space in your life for them. When you can’t trust a friend to be upfront and honorable with you, that’s not a friendship anymore. When they have changed the rules of the game, you are well within your rights to stop playing. You don’t have to be mad about it. Just done.

You won’t have to beg the ones meant to fill your circle to be there. You won’t have to ask them to be truthful with you. You won’t have to wonder how they feel or where you stand with them because they will always tell you. And show you. When it feels easy and natural, it’s because it is. When you feel comfortable and confident in a group, it’s because that is your tribe. Those are the ones who will walk through life with you. Lift you up when you need it, talk mad crap about those that hurt you, then pick you up and move on with you, hand in hand.

Those people. Those are the ones you keep.

Let the rest of them go.