The Bitch Slap: The Part Where You Shit in Someone Else’s Cheerios

bitch slap cheeriosWhenever I’m face-to-face with someone and the topic of my impending move to Chicago comes up, I’m counting down to the moment when they decide to impart upon me certain wisdom about Chicago’s winters.

Cold. Miserable. WET COLD (as if cold as fuck weren’t enough). From friends to complete strangers, the comments are better than an egg timer. I could cook a goddamned roast to perfection if only I timed it to coincide with the inarguable expertise of others when it comes to Chicago.

So I have a question:

Why is it impossible for us to allow others to have their moment?

It’s not unlike when I come down with a cold and cave to the poor decision to post about my questionable health in a Facebook or Twitter status. I never realized before Facebook how many of my friends went to medical or nursing school.

Oh wait — they didn’t.

And yet the next layer is added — those who have no medical training explaining how incorrect my chosen medical providers are in the care and treatment they offer my periodic ailments. I wonder if Hippocrates dealt with this kind of shit.

God knows, I’m not immune to being a dick and the first finger I point is always at myself. But when did this trend begin — the one where we hear about someone’s decision in a public forum and feel the need to be the Supercalifragilisticockswagger Expert on all that is life, current status, happiness, and did I mention life?

Quit shitting in people’s Cheerios*.

*I’m more a Grape Nuts or Golden Grahams kind of girl but semantics and by the way fuck you.

Here’s the thing: When it comes to my move to Chicago, do you really think I am:

  • Packing up my life, 2 dogs and 2 cats
  • Moving nearly 1000 miles
  • Going through the epic anal probe that is a mortgage process
  • And buying a 2-bedroom condo in a brand new city

if I weren’t fully all-as-holy aware of what the weather is like? And why would anyone think that the weather is even a point of contention that weighed in on my decision to move my life and business clear across the country?

It’s not as if I sat down at the beginning of July and said, “Self, yah. Chicago is a great metropolitan city. Culture, public transportation, a damn-sized lake. Second City is here. Hey! I’d be really happy here!” And if someone had come along and said, “Ummm, Erika — did you know that the winters in Chicago can be pretty harsh?” I’d have gone:

Wow. Hadn’t thought of that. Glad you brought that up because I don’t have the WEATHER CHANNEL APP ON MY GODDAMNED iPHONE! ZOMGLOLWTFBBQ I AM SO GLAD YOU MENTIONED THIS SO I DIDN’T MAKE A HORRIBLE MISTAKE!

Seriously. Shut the fuck up the next time you feel the urge to shit in someone’s Cheerios. You’re the one who looks like an asshole — and it’s because you’re being one.

Let people have their moment. Their happiness. Their challenges. Our respective lot in life isn’t to be the expert in all things that are other people’s situations. Rather, it’s to be the support structure to best lift them up as they journey towards their dreams, deal with the sniffles, and anything else that life brings along. And there’s a reason that you can’t find a box of Cheerios on a grocery store shelf with a label that boasts “Now with extra shit!”

It’s because your shit doesn’t belong in anyone else’s bowl.

You’ve been slapped.

 

 

80 comments
Suburban Style Challenge
Suburban Style Challenge

You'll love it here! I'm not a fan of the cold (and by "cold" I mean the bitter-cold shit we just dealt with--30's is tolerable) but I love living in the Chicago 'burbs and visiting the city.  So much to do, such great food... it's lovely here.  Hubs and I talk about moving, but I don't know where we'd go that we'd enjoy as much as we do here.

dannyabalos
dannyabalos

Chicago!  Welcome to the windy city.  i've been through 49 wiinters and summers and i'm still good, drunk but good!   well it's pretty fucking nice here.  yeah it gets cold in winter and hot in the summer but so does EVERY place on our latitude, duh?  the springs are awesome and the autumns are absofuckinglutely amazing.  there's a big ass beautiful lake, every cultural place you could imagine and some of the best fucking food you will find on this planet earth, not to mention a bazillion things to do if you're not eating or drinking in the best places you could imagine

people suck that's all...they want to move too but are too scared to

WELCOME, WELCOME, WELCOME to Chicago!

AndrewJHosak
AndrewJHosak

Sometimes, it's just that the people around you are going to miss you and don't want to see you leave. I've had that happen when I moved to the 7th layer of hell called Las Vegas. Other times, it's just sheer douchebaggery. May we all be granted the wisdom to know which is which and respond appropriately.

susangiurleo
susangiurleo

I love, love, love Chicago. It's my second favorite city after my hometown. You get to wear fabulous boots in the winter, too.

RollUpUrWindows
RollUpUrWindows

This is funny. 

I am planning a move to the UK from Spain for MANY small but imperative reasons that I, myself, am fully aware of and do not feel the need to explain (although I find myself FORCED to on many occasions to people who are less than significant in my life because, ironically, these are usually the ones that "grill" the most), and I find the same goddamn "busy-ness": it rains a lot there. The weather is crap. You will hate it. Stay here. The sun is always shining... (the sun thing kills me: I grew up in LA and have lived in the Mediterranean for over two decades. I might even be saving myself from skin cancer if I leave now.)

Never mind that, if all goes well, I will end up in one of the most vibrant cities in the world, allow my child to get a good education in English (the schools in Spain are shit now: no funding, no teachers), and potentially increase my professional earnings by literally about 10 times. Oh. Did I mention escaping from a tiny, beautiful but completely Zzzzzzz town on the coast where I have been living for 20 years (great place to raise a small child) because I am literally crawling up the walls, and a lot of people don't like me because I tell it like it is in two languages? Doesn't matter: it rains all the time, you will hate it.... broken fucking record.

I have been a friend and fan of Linda Esposito since we were kids. She recommended that I check out your site. Said that we might be kindred spirits. When I read this, I knew. (The "swearing like a drunken sailor on shore leave" was also another selling point.)

Good to be here, Erika. I'll be hanging out often!

Kris

RollUpUrWindows
RollUpUrWindows

@Erika Napoletano @RollUpUrWindows Thanks, Erika. Just waiting to get the results of my Wonder If She Might Have Tuberculosis chest X-ray and my Wonder if She Will Start an Epidemic serology back tomorrow so that I can find out if I can immigrate to England or have 6 months to a year left to live. Truly a defining moment if ever there was one. Warmly, Kris.

notlikeacat
notlikeacat

When I hear something like, "I'm moving to Chicago," I think, "Ooh, lucky! Such great food there! Don't forget to get some of the poppyseed cake from the Ukranian women at the farmer's market!" or "Wow, wonder if that tiny amazing cheap romantic creperie is still there!" or "Nice! It's such a beautiful city!" or "Wow, they do this cool triathlon in the lake and I'd love to do it sometime" or JESUS, DON'T YOU KNOW THE WINTERS THERE ARE COLD?

notlikeacat
notlikeacat

(I'm kidding. I love cold, and I love winter, and I love snow.)

BeckyBikred
BeckyBikred

Uh. Erica?  Grape Nuts are also my fav but they are loaded with sodium.  I just had to dump in them too.

Joanna Shearer
Joanna Shearer

"Well, at least it's a dry heat."

This is what I heard every single time I told people I was taking a job in the Las Vegas area.  Every. Fucking. Time!  It's like it was a competition: "Well, in terms of numbers it's hotter where you live than I live, but you know, it's really a pussy heat because it's dry." 

So, you go on with your badass self to Chicago and have an amazing time!  

SaraEllenHall
SaraEllenHall

You will LOVE Chicago. All cool people do. Can't wait to have you peppering up the city. I can give you a LOOOOOOONG list of really hot things to do--here is the short list: 

Summer-street fest, Ravinia, Running on the lake, beach volleyball, drinking at outdoor bars

Winter-catch up on TV. Go to the best, world class restaurants you missed while you were chilling at the beach all summer.  Hit up the museums.

All the time- and MOST important. Find your passion groups. Always wanted to learn to Irish Singing? Dying to trapeze? Want to dip yourself in chocolate and pirouette across stage? There is a group for that. You can do anything here. 

Take a big bite of THIS apple and enjoy.

SaraEllenHall
SaraEllenHall

@Erika Napoletano  Love to! I bet you would like both Alpana Singh's (youngest ever female sommelier, former host of Check Please, and really cool woman) new wine bar - Boarding House - as well as the more hipster - Longman & Eagle. Let me know!

ChicagoDan
ChicagoDan

Many non-native Chicagoans bitch about the cold winters (and often sweltering summers) because they came from better climates. Natives may comment on the weather more as a badge of honor than in trying to harsh your mellow. You should definitely be excited about your new digs. Rogers Park is fairly short ride to downtown and highly accessible to the North Shore's magnificence. Chicago is a world-class city, but you know that. Certainly mucho business oppos for you. Everyone bitches about Chicago at some time (there are 2 seasons in Chicago - Winter, and the construction season), but most folks truly love it. Bitching is just a coping mechanism for some to help endure the negatives. It's a club. Welcome, Erika.

XTwain
XTwain

Chicago has some great energy -- just the sort of place to keep kicking ass!

Tracie Ewing
Tracie Ewing

Chicago is a great city, cold winters or not.  Your heart is obviously showing you the way with this one, and I'm positive that you will LOVE living there.  Don't let the naysayers get to you.

Valentine_Logar
Valentine_Logar

I suspect the people who feel the need to terrorize you with stories of weather are similar to the ones who believe it necessary to constantly tell me how bad it is here in Texas. I simply smile and nod, yes it is hot, hot as Hades sometimes. Keeps the wimps away, we have enough problems without wimps invading, don't you know?

I love Chicago, it is one of those grand cities. You should ignore all those who want scare you off, make your move miserable. Never mind them, enjoy your move, enjoy your new abode and enjoy your new city. 

DniseSonnenberg
DniseSonnenberg

Weather is not permanent. Especially around the Great Lakes. Wait 5 minutes and it changes. Bad attitudes, those can be permanent. 

I've never had a bad time in Chicago. If I were to live East of the Rockies again, it would be my #2 choice. (A2 is #1)

NatePhill0504
NatePhill0504

You are an inspiration to a number of creative souls who don't talk to you.  I...  (on the other hand), will likely talk to you alot!  Enjoy Chicago, and know that Chicago will enjoy you.  Go sit in the cheap seats at Wrigley Field, and then find a high-Roller with a Box at a White Sox home game (the startling thing will be the comparable energy level).  They are still from Chicago...

Remember us when you're even more famous than you are now!  I loved your interview last week!

Nathan

ExtremelyAvg
ExtremelyAvg

Some people are just bitter by nature. They fucked up their lives by getting married "on schedule", having kids (who it turns out are loud and smelly), and moved into suburbia hell. Their dreams have died long ago and all that remains is to try to squeeze an ounce of joy from those who have everything they don't...happiness.

These people should be studied. What are their beliefs, their tendencies, their taste in jello (they probably put fruit in it...bastards), and then avoided like them like the plague (episodes of Jersey Shore).

You just keep kickings ass, secure in the knowledge that your success and happiness are making them chartreuse with jealously.

Latest blog post: They Said No

daveyoung
daveyoung

I moved to Tucson 15 months ago and people are still trying to tell me how hot the summers are! I've survived 2 of them and people think I don't get it. Thanks for writing this!

KRISZTA
KRISZTA

Because a kickass businesschick life is about... ...about...?  Yeah, weather! Good to know (NOT) that this shit is not only in my bowl.

It was the same earlier this year when I moved from Europe to the SF neighborhood. Not a person asked me about how to transport a business from one contintent to another. Everything was about cold, hot, rainy, sunny... 

A lot of people try to pour their own cheerios to others boxes : ) It's up to us if we let them.

Aliza Stein
Aliza Stein

Holy shit! This is my favorite bitch slap! I remember when I was leaving Southern California to move to the Gulf Coast (Southern Alabama) everyone and their  freakin' mother (Socal natives mind you) were asking me if I knew about how racist, backwards,rednecky, Civil War remembering, incestuous, stupid, country, Bible-thumpin' ,simple, Republican, and charming the South was. Most of the folks had never been to the South! 


Emmluu
Emmluu

There was a time I was financially strapped; so much so, that I was going to several food pantries just to feed my family.  I’m not ashamed to admit that.  while I am now doing ALOT better financially (and donating back to organizations I turned to when I was dirt poor), I would NEVER, EVER do what a former friend of mine did to me one day while “helping” me out.

She had given me a ride to the supermarket, walked through the aisles with me and kept an eye on my newborn, all of which was very nice of her to do.  Then I stopped in the laundry section where they had various detergents, soap, fabric softener, etc.  A few days before, I had gotten an idea to make my own laundry detergent.  Borrowing a relative’s computer, I had found a “recipe” online (you would be surprised at how many sites supported this) and decided that day to buy the ingredients.  As I was looking for one of the ingredients my un-friend said to me, “What are you looking for?”  I told her what I was looking for.  She said, “Why do you need that?”  I told her why and all of a sudden she had this disgusted look on her face.  She said, “What are you doing that for?  What are you, Amish?  No one makes their own detergent!  Just buy it!”  I explained that I was trying to save money but she just continued to shake her head in disgust.  I didn’t end up buying any of the ingredients that day.  I ended up buying clothes detergent—already made.

I know making my own detergent isn’t the same as moving to a new city, but I was excited that I found a way to save money for my family.  I was excited to do something I never did before.  Doing “crafty” things like that made me happy.  I realized my un-friend didn’t have any kids, any responsibility and spent her money without thought.  But it really did not excuse her from shitting all over something I was excited to do.  What I admire about you Erika is that despite being shit on, you wiped it off and kept on going with your plans to move.  Even if people think your ideas are ridiculous, impractical or Amish, what they should do is put up support or shut the $#%@ up.

NatePhill0504
NatePhill0504

@Emmluu Wow!  Thank you for bringing all of us back to Earth.  Bless you and your family!

Emmluu
Emmluu

@NatePhill0504 @Emmluu You're welcome!!!  That's really nice...Thank you for the well wishes...Bless you and your family too!!!

Emmluu
Emmluu

You're welcome!!! ♥♥♥

jzine
jzine

You said it all in "let people have their moment." Social media has made it mandatory to comment, like, favorite EVERYTHING, whether you have anything to contribute or not. I think the most dangerous words of the last few decades have been: Your opinion is important to us.

As for you and Chicago? Yay, good luck, you'll rock it there just as much as you already do.

KRISZTA
KRISZTA

@jzine You are damn right. I always say to my followers to change this "readymade" (Your opinion is important to us.) sentence in their blogs, because I (or them) don't need everyone's opinion about everything.

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