what I learned this (um, LAST) week…pills & exclamation points are a-okay. sometimes.

by Janelle Hanchett


1.)    The problem with avoiding exclamation points is that some sentences require them, unless you’re okay with sounding like a sarcastic ass. Now obviously I am okay with sounding like a sarcastic ass, in fact I quite regularly seek out opportunities for such, but every now and then I’m being serious and want to convey that sentiment.

2.)    For example, I give you the following sentence: “Wow. Good job.” Kinda sounds like I’m actually saying “You bit the big one there, homeslice,” (compared to “Wow! Good job!”)… or… “Congratulations on your third baby. Things should really get interesting now.” That one sounds like I’m about to overnight them an adult size coffin.

3.)    So I find myself using them even though it hurts just the tiniest bit, each time. I know that’s weird, but come on, you know the emphatic use (hA!) of exclamation points is heart-wrenchingly annoying. I know this person (is that vague enough for ya?) who uses one after every sentence, culminating the whole fiasco with two or three right in a row. Emails from her look like this: “We’ve been having a great year! Johnny plays minor league football now, and we’re proud! Samantha is swimming and loves her dolls! And next month we’re heading to the Grand Canyon for vacation!!!“ [Do you or do you not know this type of writer and do you or do you not want to break their shins?]

4.)    I should spend less time contemplating exclamation points and more time doing one of the things on my list, such as preparing lessons for my son (I haven’t done that ONCE EVER – it’s always this off-the-cuff thing), or reading for my classes, or writing the annotated bibliography that’s due on Wednesday, which I haven’t started. All of these would be better options than reflecting on punctuation, but that’s how I roll.

5.)    Last night I went to sushi with Erin and Kim who blog here and here. They are great women and remind me how much it doesn’t suck to have smart, down-to-earth, compassionate friends who don’t give a shit if your skirt is wrinkled and your shirt purchased at Target and your make-up barely visible and your hair not done.

6.)    I hear there are some real super-snob moms out there. I may have observed a few from afar, but I’m guessing they take one look at my disheveled ass and bad attitude and say to themselves “Um, No.”

7.)    Oddly, I’m not losing over sleep over their disdain.

8.)    I am, however, losing sleep over all kinds of other things, such as whether or not we can brush the matts out of the dog’s rear-end or if we need to shave it, and if we do shave it, how much will it scare the little fella (given his fear of anything mechanical) and also, will the hair stick in the shaver? IF so, will Mac care that I used his shaver to shave the dog’s butt? Or maybe I can just pull the hair out of the blades before he sees? OR MAYBE I should ditch the whole scheme thus far concocted and take the dog to the groomer. But I don’t have an appointment for the groomer. Do they take walk-ins? And how much does they cost anyway…? Ohhhh and they could also trim his nails since I’m too scared to do it. Are they open now? I wish they were open now. I’d get up right now and make an appointment.

9.)    I am.not.exaggerating. This goes on for hours and hours and hours no matter how many bottles  pills of melatonin I take or gallons of chamomile I drink or repetitions of a mantra or prayer or following my breath just like Thich Nhat Han says.

10.) So I’m admitting surrender, letting go of my personal desire to be pill-free and going this morning to the doctor where I shall announce: “HOOK IT UP, Doctor, lest I murder my children and end up hand-plucking my dog’s butt hair with tweazers.”

And on that happy note, I shall see you all soon. Hopefully more often than last week. Kiss.

Oh, and check these out.

Georgia is starting to walk for real...


and Rocket decided to get dressed up for his daddy's birthday.



10 Comments | Posted in weeks of mayhem | October 17, 2011
  • Michael Ann Riley

    Love the photos!! Or– love the photos. First one.

    Your brain works like mine. In fact, this was my horoscope for today. Maybe it was yours too? “Quiet your mental chatter and connect more clearly to your higher self.” Hmmmm…

  • Tela

    i do know that type of writer, and i do want to break some body part of theirs.

  • Kateri Von Steal

    I myself am having the same conversation with my physician…
    Hopefully only temporary…

    I love the picture of Rocket, he has an amazing presence in the picture.

    Growing up, I had 2 Great Pyrenees, which had tremendous mats everywhere on their body. I hate to say it, shaving them was the only option. Lots of hair on their heads, and short short on their bodies.
    Until winter… then we had to cut the mats out.
    Cruel? No… trust me, look up Great Pyrenees, they had more than enough hair.

    Great Post!

  • Dee

    I love exclamation points! No, I do, it’s even in my blog bio. They make me seem more upbeat. To myself. Um, anyway. Look at Rocket’s hat! He is too cute. I say take the dog to the groomer. We take ours every few months and it’s worth it. It’s not expensive though b/c we go to petsmart (which I think my vet kinda hates). I do not want to think about DIY shaving. My Hub’s nickname for the dog is “hairy ass”, so yea. Groomer.

  • Brandon

    Those pictures are awesome. Rocket is the man! (Exclamation point!) And a little walker too? Good times.

    I have a hard time with exclamation points too. Your rant reminds of the Seinfeld episode where Elaine’s boyfriend refused to use exclamation points in his written phone messages, so she gave him a hard time about it. He broke up with her via a note that said “I’M LEAVING!”

    I also want to thank you for trying to convince my wife to write her blog more. I tell her all the time that she should, but she doesn’t listen to me. I have a feeling she’ll take you saying it more to heart.

  • Lisa

    OMG I am in LOVE with Georgia. Rocket is awesomely cute too, but, that smile. . . . She’s got me hooked, that’s for sure! (Exclamation point necessary).

    Re: The matted dog – so we have a Border Collie (long-fur type) and not a lot of money. I have a lot of friends who take their dogs to groomers, or PetSmart, which does seem to have pretty affordable rates on grooming. But being the cheap bastard I am, I clipper and bathe mine right here at home. I have to do it where there’s not a lot of distractions, and bring a lot of treats along. Since she too is TERRIFIED of having her nails trimmed, I thought I would never be able to use clippers on her, but since I introduced them slowly and calmly over a number of days (having them near her, then giving her a treat. . . . having them on, but far away from her, then giving her a treat. . . and so on), and I never touched her with them until she was TOTALLY calm with them on right next to her, she has taken to it just fine. She actually seems to love our 1:1 time for grooming now (weird, right?).
    I say get the dog its own pair, Mac seems like a guy who deserves not to have dog ass hair in his clippers. I’m just sayin’
    They sell the clippers at PetsMart too just get the $40 pair (you do NOT have to pay $200!). But here’s the deal – when they start to get pretty hot, turn them off, turn the dog loose, then come back for more trimming later. Yeah it’s a pain in the ass but what part of owning a dog ISN’T? They sell a mat trimmer tool too I’ve never tried it myself though. I just go for a close trim when it gets to that point or yeah, lots of brushing and scissors if needed in the winter.
    Well now that you know every detail about my dog’s ass hair I gotta run, as usual good luck with your busy life and I hope you are having a great day!

  • Shan

    I was so afraid that I might be the email sender. Then I realized I haven’t sent anyone an email in a while. Plus, you have all those other exclaimers. Phew.(!)

    Adorable freaking kids, as usual.

  • kim

    It was so nice to see you, love muffin. I’m trying hard to make Sunday happen. Kisses!

  • Pam Maynard

    Funny stuff! Yes, I love exclamation points,sorry.
    I am following you. Thanks for the note on Bloggy Moms.
    come visit.
    I have a book giveaway if you are interested in commenting for a chance to win!

  • Katie Vyktoriah

    As much of a grammar nazi as I am (and there are those who would use even stronger words/phrases to describe my constant annoyance with those who abuse the English language), I do tend to overuse exclamation points. It probably sounds incredibly rude to say so, but I find that if I write correctly and appropriately, most people don’t “get it.” I’ve had so many arguments with folks who think I’m being rude, when in actuality I’m quite enthusiastic (most of the…. or… well… sometimes… (I also tend to overuse ellipses)) about whatever I’m saying. I guess I’ve started to dumb myself down in an effort to get through to certain people. My inner writer hates me for this, but I’ve also kind of accepted that my writing style has changed since I started blogging.

    Oh, also, I tend to ramble. I’ll stop now. 😉