Ministry of Grievances II

I woke up this morning feeling markedly aggrieved, and so I think it is time, once again, for us to present our Grievances to the Ministry.

As usual (yes, I know it was only one other time, DON’T MAKE ME ADD YOU TO MY LIST OF GRIEVANCES), anyone leaving a comment to the effect of “well at least you have [thing person is complaining about], etc., will be summarily shot. Harsh, but fair.

#1. I have been struggling with terrible Manuscript Wrist. This was a problem while I was writing my book, but has not been this bad since, and I am guessing that my cortisol issues (cortisol being an anti-inflammatory) are making it worse. By the end of the day I am in torment. I also have Raynaud’s, which the Manuscript Wrist causes to act up, and come afternoon my right hand is so cold that I would not need ice to make a perfectly chilled martini, but could simply swish my fingers around in the gin.
Things I have tried:
-Special beanbag thing placed under my wrist while I use the mouse
-Using “page down” button instead of scrolling
-Taking breaks to rest afflicted area/curse heavens
-Tempering my customary forcefulness w/r/to clicks and keystrokes
-Running right fingers under hot water or holding warm beverage
-Awareness of the existence of “ergonomics”

#2. I assume there is not just one person who designs the armholes of women’s sleeveless shirts and dresses, which concerns me, because that means some flaw in their collective training must be responsible for the fact that the armholes of almost every sleeveless shirt and dress I own are…well, they’re wrong. There is no other way to put it, really. They are just WRONG. The dress I am wearing today is the only one I can wear sans cardigan without showing VAST expanses of Side Bra, and do you know what size this dress is? An extra small. It is obviously one of Old Navy’s weird sizing aberrations, because I am not—by any definition except one that includes other species, or things like rock formations and architecture—“extra small.” Apparently, though, my armholes are. I am also of the (apparently minority) opinion that the size of an armhole should correspond to the size of its garment. Normally my shells and dresses are a medium, or an eight or a ten, because that is the amount of fabric I require to comfortably cover the relevant parts of my body. The armholes are then big enough to put my head through. This cannot possibly be correct.
True, I sometimes buy things a bit larger than I would otherwise because I need room in the chest to accommodate my large, er, lungs. But if a thing fits perfectly in every area except one, and the one area that does not fit is not an area that corresponds to an unusually sized body part, something is amiss. I have seen the arms of other people who wear my size and none of us need a space the size of THE RINGS OF SATURN to put them through. Obviously this batch of armhole designers will have to be fired and we’ll start fresh with a new one.

#3. Simone has surgery tomorrow to put tubes in her ears. If you are thinking “didn’t she have surgery to put tubes in her ears a long time ago?” you are correct! She did! The tubes did their job and fell out and if I were Marie Kondo I would have held them tenderly and thanked them for their service before discarding them, and that was supposed to be the end of that. That was not the end of that. Instead Simone went and gathered up a bunch of new fluid in her ears and can’t hear properly and so her ENT is doing the same thing all over again and I feel like the tubes aren’t working and they should just have her put a straw in each ear every night and lean to one side and then another in order to keep the fluid from building up but no one asked me so surgery it is.

#4. When you work with thousands of people, there are lots of bathrooms. Big bathrooms, with many stalls, and usually multiple bathrooms on every floor. When you work for a company with 85 employees, or at least for MY 85-employee company, the situation is different. We are on two floors, and have two sets of bathrooms. The women’s bathroom on my floor has two stalls, a sink, and is the size of the interior of your average compact car. For most people this is not a problem. Unfortunately, my bladder will not work if someone is waiting for a stall. Often it balks at even a person in the stall next door. I have tried reasoning with it, but to no avail, probably because you can’t reason with organs. And as this is such a small company, everyone who uses the bathroom is someone I know. Everyone sees when I WALK to the bathroom, and if someone then comes in, they know how long I have been there, and if I leave without doing anything it seems odd, like I was GOING to shoot heroin, but now that there is no privacy I’ve decided against it. I can’t just wait out the other person, because then they will wonder what on earth I am up to—or, more likely, will assume things about my bowels. I do not want anyone I work with even knowing I HAVE bowels! And, for the record, I don’t do anything with my bowels at work. I think you know me well enough to understand that anything other than pee is out of the question entirely. I have an Emergency Plan for bowels that includes leaving the office, going out into the skyway, and using an out-of-the-way bathroom there, where I am surrounded only by strangers. Luckily I haven’t had to deploy my Emergency Plan, and obviously it isn’t really appropriate for a once-an-hour-type situation, which is about how often I pee—that’s why it is called an EMERGENCY Plan. Anyhow, my grievance is that my bladder is about as crackerjack a piece of equipment as the rest of me, and people are going to think I am some sort of crazy person, which fine, maybe I am, but THAT IS BETWEEN ME AND MY TEAM OF HIGHLY-TRAINED PHYSICIANS.

#5. Bathrooms aside, the chief flaw of my new job as compared to my old one is that my friend Becky does not work here. I do not have many actual, corporeal friends. I keep meaning to make them, but it turns out that I am terrible at it. My one success in this area has been Becky, who is a credit to humanity and one of my very favorite people of all time. When we both worked for my previous employer, we’d catch up during the day by chatting on intracompany IM, and though we worked on different floors, we usually managed to meet to get lunch from the cafeteria to eat at our desks. Every once in a while we’d have time to eat lunch together, or we’d go on a walk or meet up to forage for snacks. Now we do not have intracompany IM. We are on our own for lunch and snack foraging. We email, and text sometimes, and we try to get together for our traditional monthly Quality Summit (an occasion on which we meet at a restaurant for drinks and appetizers and to discuss The Way Things Ought To Be, about which we have many opinions—it is sort of an in-person Ministry of Grievances, now that I think about it). This is all well and good, the email and the texting, but obviously inferior to the previous setup, and for some reason no one has put me in charge here yet so I cannot hire Becky away to work with me.


I have more grievances, but I seem to have run on quite a lot with each of my first five, so I am cutting myself off before I run out of time to post this.

(Not Enough Posting Time: Grievance #6.)


  1. sangela71 says:

    Ah, so many grievances, so little time for commenting (which, I suppose, can be grievance #1).

    #2: One of my sons persists in waking at 5:30 a.m. daily. This is no good, as: none of the rest of us are ready to wake up at that time; waking at that hour means he is not getting sufficient sleep at night; and it is completely unnecessary, since my husband does not leave to take them to day care (and himself to work) until nearly 7:00 a.m. Must find a way to put an end to this behavior so that I can sleep another 30-45 minutes.

    #3: My employer moved office space last month, and now our office is located inconveniently far from the auto dealership where I usually get my car serviced. . . making it difficult-to-impossible to get my routine service performed on weekdays. Thus my car is many miles overdue for its routine service.

    #4: I am discontent at work but not so much so that I am motivated to investigate other alternatives.

    #4(a): I have no clue what other options might be better than my current job/career.

    #4(b): I feel fairly certain that anything I might enjoy more would pay me significantly less.

  2. Davida says:

    #1. My ankle. Why is it sore? Why does it hurt when I swim (?!?) most of all – do I kick my legs extra forcefully in my efforts to not drown?

    #2. Head lice. Or more specifically, people who do not appropriately treat their kids for head lice so that mine keeps getting it and then giving it to me. It has gotten to the point where I cannot tell if I am itchy because I have scalp folliculitis (which I do, inherited from my dad), because I have head lice, or because I am THINKING ABOUT head lice. Please come shave my head and the heads of my child’s friends.

    #3. Related to your #4: I have a new coworker and whenever she comes into the bathroom and I am already in the stall (identifiable by my shoes, I guess/hope), she will say “HELLO!!” and then talk to me. But I don’t want to talk, I am peeing! I don’t even want her to acknowledge my presence until we are washing our hands.

    • Alexa says:

      #2–We dealt with this earlier in the year and it was SO FRUSTRATING because the, uh, Bearer in Simone’s class did not get treated right away (or not thoroughly), and I spent a lot of time feeling paranoid and despairing and as if hair is just a really overrated accessory we should do away with entirely. Also, I never actually had it, only the children, and yet my scalp itched so furiously from what turned out to be my imaginary, phantom lice, I scratched it to shreds.

      #3 Is horrifying.

  3. Though I do not share any of your particular grievances, you describe them so well that I find myself righteously angry on your behalf. Here are my two most pressing grievances:

    1. I had to have a weird thing on my lip surgically removed, and the sutures are black and icky. So now for the next week I will have to preface every conversation with, “No, I don’t have a spider on my lip, it’s just stitches” and answer annoying why and how questions.

    2. It is hotter in my house than it is outside, which lately is 30 degrees Celsius. How can it be hotter inside, in the shade, with the fan running, that it is outside in the blazing sun? This is wrong and unacceptable.

    Thank you, that was good therapy. I look forward to reading everyone else’s grievances.

  4. MJ says:

    Some thoughts on your grievances:
    #1. Add chilling, and then drinking, the martini to the list of things that you try.
    #2. Lands’ End? They usually seem at least a little sensible in how they cut tops.
    #3. See #1 (for you, not Simone).
    #4. There’s a name for it – shy bladder. Much to my surprise, there’s even an International Paruesis Association.
    #5. I’ve got nothing. Becky needs to change jobs.

  5. Portia says:

    I really need this today. Thank you!

    1) I am writing the last chapter of my dissertation, and it will not end no matter how much I write. Also, the more I write, the more I delete, so it comes out less than even. I was supposed to have a draft of it to my advisor ten days ago and now I am actively avoiding his emails. Am now worried this entire project is just a total disaster and people have been too polite to say so, but it will all come out at my defense.

    2) I have stress-eaten approximately 6400 calories today because of thing #1

    3) In the course of said stress-eating, I bit my tongue really, really hard, so now it is super painful and distracting and makes me feel that I am failing at even the most basic of life’s challenges: chewing.

    4) It is like 95 degrees in Texas right now and I’m pretty sure my air conditioner is on its very last legs, and since I am not getting paid this summer, I cannot afford for this to happen right now. In related news, my car has multiple things wrong with it and I have neither money nor time to deal with it.

    • Alexa says:

      I am very, very sympathetic about your first grievance, as just reading it takes me back to the dark days around my book deadline. Have you had the thing where something that is supposed to be ONE chapter/section morphs into two like some sort of terrible Hydra?

      I will say thought that “failing at even the most basic of life’s challenges: chewing” made me laugh out loud, and will delight me for some time to come.

  6. Well, this post just turned this day RIGHT around (it is a very grievance-y day).
    #1- I am pregnant and we just moved to New Delightful City and overnight my son turned into a toddler who tries to jump off a high surface every two minutes. I am TIRED. I am pregnant and dealing with realtors and contractors and mortgage people oh and also our accountant who just warned of us VERY VERY high tax bill (like rhymes with “dens of thousands” of dollars) but oops- gotta go accountant, son is trying to jump out the window as the baby kicks me in the larynx.
    #2- New Delightful City’s preschool costs have made me cry more than 10 times.
    #3- I lost my keys for 90 minutes today and so missed the one thing I was looking forward to today — meeting some new moms in New Delightful City- I was so brave and set up an outing! Which I then missed because I couldn’t find the keys. So now I am likely going to be considered the flaky AND pregnant/waddling mom.

    (I cannot wait to read all the comments.)

  7. Melissa says:

    1. I dropped my lovely lady of a bicycle so hard on my shin that I still have a lump, nearly two weeks later, AND my foot keeps swelling up. I do not like feeling like an old or pregnant person, particularly not in only one foot.

    2. My cat had to have a few teeth extracted, and now does a fairly hilarious exaggerated lip licking thing when he’s done eating. But being the neurotic cat mom I am, I’m now convinced that it’s a symptom of Feline Orofacial Pain Syndrome (excessive googling is the worst) and can no longer enjoy it.

    3. I have spent entirely too much time on the internet today, mostly because I’m avoiding finishing this book review I really don’t want to finish (because it might be bad? because I don’t want anyone else to read it because it might be bad?), and have now resorted to googling “how to spend less time on the internet.” It would be funny if it wasn’t sad.

    4. My husband is downstairs making spanakopita, which he unaccountably has decided he wants to make with some frequency despite almost never cooking. I’m thrilled at the prospect of food available for work lunch that I did not make myself, but it also means that he’s not up here hanging out with me. I’m impossible to satisfy.

    I also have Manuscript Wrist (in my case it is Dissertation Wrist) and the only thing that really works for me is a wrist brace bought at the Canadian version of CVS. Might be worth a shot?

  8. K says:

    Here’s a crazy idea for the shy bladder. Have a recording of the sound of someone peeing on your phone. Someone comes in to the bathroom, play the recording. That way, they are hearing you pee even when you aren’t and hopefully would mean you could urinate while the recording is playing. But even if not, no one is thinking you are doing drugs in the bathroom.

    I have two grievances along the line of your arm holes. No one makes a size 10.5 shoe for women. Some places just stop at 10. Those that go higher, jump right to 11. What about 10.5!!!! Similarly, no one makes pants for tween boys. They are too big for kids clothes and men’s clothes aren’t that small. So if you have a 5 ft boy, you are out of luck. It does make you wonder where really small men shop… Why wouldn’t someone fill this apparel hole?

  9. Elliesee says:

    Yes, you need one friend at wok, science says it makes almost any job bearable. Ear tubes: my daughter has the subcutaneous ones, they’re a bit more of a commitment. Wrist: OT and a wrist splint would help? I don’t pay for healthcare at point of usage as I’m in Canada though. Bathrooms ha ha ha, Japanese women apparently flush all along to cover their noise? There must be a private bathroom somewhere?? I personally don’t like being talked to while I’m in that ridiculous stall like a first grader. In case you didn’t want advice I apologize!

  10. kristin says:

    Oh Alexa your timing is perfect (I know you time your grievances to accommodate MY grievances, so clever and thoughtful). Also your ideas for ear straws made me bray like a donkey. Please file for a patent immediately.

    1. Job insecurity, still, again, once more, unrelenting.

    2. Urologist and OBGYN still have been unable to explain or stop mystery leakage from BOTH bladder and uterus, more testing in a couple of weeks, until then, I am to just suffer damply.

    3. Husband installed a flow restrictor on the shower and while I am pro-water conservation this thing is like trying to bathe in a cloud. My hair is greasy because it just won’t RINSE (see: cloud) and I have poached the baby’s wipes to clean my vajaysus properly. ALSO: husband did the installation Sunday night, immediately before he left on a ONE WEEK BUSINESS TRIP.

    4. End of school events are MULTITUDINOUS and IMPOSSIBLE to attend, especially with husband away and toddler in tow.

    5. Children and their need to incessantly EAT.

  11. Erin says:

    Re: Manuscript Wrist: I found some delightful stretches on YouTube one day, when I just couldn’t click another mouse. They were very helpful! I especially like one where you press your palm to the wall, wrist up, then pull on your thumb (you’ll have to consult a video to really get the picture I think).

    Re: armholes: I find 95% of the clothing I try on to suffer from this. The other 5% suffers from Stick Arm Syndrome, wherein even the XXL (purchased to swathe my matronly bosom) expects my arms to be the size of spaghetti noodles. They are not large, especially as compared to said bosom, but they do take up actual three-dimensional space.

    As for my own grievances, I would like very much to know what this pain is in my side (dr said maybe a liver problem this morning! Wouldn’t that be fun) and I would like it to be easily curable, preferably without my having to give up chocolate.

    I would also like my baby (or is she a toddler now?) to sleep through the night, at least once in a while.

    Most of all, I wish that my favorite cat would stop being afraid of his litter box (vet has been consulted often, occasional treatments and therapies are employed, new and diverse problems occur!) OR that I could just go ahead and have him put down and never have to scrub cat diarrhea off my partly carpeted, partly old-hardwood-with-lots-of-gaps stairs.

    And I guess while we’re being aggrieved, I wish this baby (perhaps as a team with this husband I have) would give me a couple hours a week to pursue my pursuits.

    If I have to pick one though, I’d go with the sleep one. And on that note, goodnight.

  12. Liz says:

    Re:armholes, I have the opposite problem: they always sit too high, and want to cut off circulation to my arms/collect even the slightest hint of sweat into unsightly sweat circles! Clearly my Armhole Designers must also be fired.

    1. Kitty-corner-backdoor-neighbor dog barked from 6-6:45 a.m. (!!!) today. What kind of person lets their dog do that? To make matters worse, I quite like that neighbor and her dog, and don’t really want to have to go over and ask her politely to bring her dog indoors if it starts barking incessantly at uncivilized hours. But I will.

    2. Losing weight is hard, because it involves eating fewer tasty things. My metabolism appears to be similar to that of a hibernating rhinocerous, unlike some of my friends who can eat whole bags of chips (bags plural!) in a single weekend and not really exercise and still slip easily into a size two. See also: life, unfairness thereof at age 34.75.

    3. Dating is extremely hard, because there is no way to know if you’re doing it right or wrong when you’re not finding long-term compatible people, but everyone who is already partnered, especially if they became so at a relatively young age, is ready to tell you what you’re doing wrong. And it takes so much tiiiiiiiime. See also reference at end of No. 2.

    4. My job, which I have always loved, appears to be headed downhill semipermanently. The job that I love may not continue to exist in any form in this state due to the questionable wisdom of educational policy produced by people who have never actually been educators, and related social policies created in a similar manner.

    5. My housemate is moving out in 5 days (WHEE!) but it appears that until then, she will remain entrenched here, in a 700 sq ft house with myself and a dog, with her girlfriend present at all times. A girlfriend who has her own house and dog, but apparently is willing to neglect them to loll around on my housemate’s bed and distract her from packing, resulting in what is sure to be a chaotic, crowded, last-minute-stressful mess this weekend.

    6. I have an entire dress in pieces, which needs to be sewn, washed, and dried by 2 pm Saturday. I have to work the next two days, and have book club Friday night too. And I need to attach bunny ears to something that will hold them on my head, and apply small but cunning details to already-completed red vest, also by 2 pm Saturday. Yes, indeed, I AM going to be the White Rabbit at an Alice in Wonderland themed party! If I can finish my costume. And acquire a pocketwatch. Do you have one? Could I borrow it? I’m very responsible.

    7. I just started “A God in Ruins” by Kate Atkinson (sequel to “Life After Life”) and want to sit on my back patio gorging on it, but have to sew a dress. I’m also afraid AGIR is going to stray down the previously establish Kate Atkinson path of beautiful writing about only unhappy people, a streak only broken by “Life After Life”. And I don’t want that for Teddy.

    Luckily, it’s finally cooled off to the 80s, it’s sunny, and the raspberries are ripe. And I have two seasons of “The Good Wife” (Josh Charles!!!!) to get me through all that sewing.

  13. 1) I live in a very small house, which is adorable but at 600 sq ft with four people and a dog is well beyond capacity. I told Husband that we need to put on an addition. He told me that wanting more than 600 sq ft for four people is a White People Problem. Ever since I have been seriously considering smothering him with his pillow.

    He is a good man and a great father, but clearly things have run their course.

    2) I am bored at work. Boredom is easily the most dangerous emotion for me, because I do crazy things to get myself un-bored. But I can’t complain to anyone that I’m bored because they’ll just fix it by giving me dull busywork, which is worse.

    • Meg says:

      Please tell Husband that he is ridiculous and y’all need more space. The dog counts as one creature and therefore this ratio of 5 creatures to 600 square feet is very bad and must be fixed. At least 200 square feet per occupant if not more.

  14. Anon for venting purposes says:

    Ooo I need this.
    1) my teen girls are being Mean Girled by one of their former best friends and boy is it hard to watch. I want to wring someone’s neck.
    2) my dogs have decided that it’s summer and time to shed their hot winter fur. They have (had?) a lot if fur and I’m fighting a losing battle.
    3) my washing machine won’t drain (thought it was dog hair -see #2- but cleaned the drain thingy and that’s not it), and college boy returns Friday with lots of gross clothes.
    4) if you give political candidates money, they keep coming back asking for more and, worse, they tell all their friends. I would like to disappear back into the vast sea of people who never give money to political candidates, ok? Just pretend it never happened.

  15. Grievances:

    1) I cannot seem to regulate my own body temperature. Autonomic dysfunction is a tricky beast and either it sends my brain all wobbly and I need to lay down in a dizzy pile of vomit while sweating like bejeezus, or I freeze. I am wearing wool underclothes. WOOL. UNDERCLOTHES. It is not working.

    2) I spent so long packing soap today that I’m pretty sure my hands will a) never be cleaner and b) never be soap free. Everything tastes of soap. I’m tempted to wear gloves to eat sandwiches. But it’s past dinnertime, so I’ve probably ingested all the soap I need to for today.

    3) My eldest daughter has yet another eye appointment tomorrow. This will be the fourth appointment and despite me telling EVERYONE I think she has a tracking and following issue, they insist on telling me her vision is fine. YES I KNOW HER VISION IS FINE, BUT HER EYES DO NOT WORK TOGETHER WHEN MOVING. I feel strongly about this. They rang me a week ago to let me know they were cancelling her appointment and I had to say “but has anyone checked for TRACKING and FOLLOWING?” Uh, no. Please keep the appointment.

    4) My toddler fell asleep on my shoulder earlier today, which was perfectly delicious, but now it is 8.10pm and she isn’t in the slightest bit tired.

  16. Alexa, you make your grievances so entertaining! Mine are as follows:
    1. I got new glasses and things are blurry out of just the bottom part. But the glasses… person seems to think a) I just need to adjust (it has been three weeks!) pr b) maybe I can only see out of a specific kind of glass. What? What does that MEAN? And if that is a THING, why oh why didn’t he explore it BEFORE making me these very expensive new glasses?

    2. I am dealing with an absurdity at work, along the lines of, say, having a special glass room at the top of a spire from which one can view a fireworks show, but the room can only seat five people. Yet 1,000 people WANT to sit there, so we sell it at a special premium. And we end up selling tickets to 500 of those people. For five seats. Absurd.

    3. My toddler still drinks milk from a bottle before bed and I don’t know how to break her of it! We are trying to wean her by reducing the quantity of milk a bit, but last night she was up until 10:30 with various demands until we caved and gave her more milk. Ack!

    • Debbie A-H says:

      Take those glasses back! The same thing happened to my husband, and they tried to make it his problem. Finally, he went to the manager and apparently sometimes they make a mistake and don’t make the prescription on the whole lens. They redid the lenses, and now he can see clearly everywhere he looks.

  17. sianbum says:

    At the risk of being banished to commenter Siberia, I will say that I had serious wrist pain issues thanks to a botched ganglion removal procedure that led me to tears on an almost daily basis. The following is what helped ME (and may or may not help you because you may or may not have tried all of them and because we are different people with different wrists):

    1) Physiotherapy including acupuncture on the area in question. This was only possible when I had insurance coverage and it did have to go by the wayside for some time. But when I could afford it, it helped.

    2) Heat. I bought a reusable heating pad that wrapped around my wrist and provided some relief. My physio assured me that heat was best and that ice or vodka could be used interchangeably, depending on your tastes.
    3) Fixing the ergonomics of my desk. Even though I had ALREADY fixed the ergonomics of my desk. Turns out, your chair and monitor seem to migrate over time. (This was useful:

    4) I do this video at my desk every morning (

  18. RuthWells says:

    Did you hear that they just discovered a new ring on (at? around?) Saturn? It’s HUGE — 200x the size of the planet. This seems relevant.

    Also, try training your left hand to do your mousing (assuming you’re a righty). I did this years ago and managed to nip carpal tunnel in the bud. It’s easier than it sounds.

  19. a says:

    What is with the armholes? I cannot buy sleeveless shirts due to the huge gaping holes that go down to my waist. I assume it has something to do with being short – nothing ever fits properly. The solution is to wear camis with adjustable straps, but that sort of defeats the purpose of wearing something sleeveless (layers and improved air flow for cooling do not mix well).

    I often try to think of uses for my icicle fingers. I haven’t come up with anything so far. Raynaud’s is unfortunate.

    RE: Your shy bladder: Can it be bribed? I hate sharing the bathroom with assorted coworkers (they all want to talk! Why?????), but I do like to consider the fact that I am being paid to pee. I never go when it’s break time or lunch time (i.e. my own time) – that would be foolish. Nope, using the facilities at the expense of my employer – that’s the way to go.

    I feel for Simone – this allergy season, I think my 45 year old self needs tubes…

    I don’t have any grievances worth mentioning today…

    • Cara says:

      Can you wear Coobie bras? I doubt they will work for the well-endowed, but they are amazing for me. It’s like a third of a cami – enough to create modesty for gaping armholes or low necklines, but without adding a full extra layer.

  20. brzeski says:

    For the mouse hand, I would say the same as Ruth. It seems impossible to mouse with the other hand but it is much easier to learn than you would think, and the results are wonderful. It also clears up stiff neck/back issues you didn’t even realize were related.
    If you really don’t want to try that, maybe you could get one of those joystick type mouses?

    • Angela says:

      I have this mouse and I LOVE IT! i was coming to the comments to recommend it and someone beat me to it. My arm was starting to get carpal tunnel-y and i switched to this mouse (I do a LOT of mousing for my job) and it keeps your wrist and arm in correct position (not twisted over like a normal mouse). Never had carpal tunnel tingling again…

  21. Issa says:

    #2 kills me. I don’t own a single summary shirt that I can actually wear without a tank top underneath it. It’s ridiculous the amount of gap in shirts.

  22. Tracy says:

    I don’t know if it would help for your wrist, but I have tendonitis in my right wrist and hand to the point that I ended up with lovely shots to help it. And she recommended this glove: Imak Smart Glove:

    It has worked wonders for me. I don’t have Raynauds so it may not help with that (though it does keep most of my hand warmer…) but the horrid achy pain is gone usually. If I don’t wear it, in about 10 minutes, I’m feeling the first twinges, so you can bet I wear it.

  23. Shes says:

    We just love to join in! And grievances sounds so much more elegant than complaints!!

    1. My left eye has a tick in it. Last time it did this, I needed new glasses, which were about 10 years overdue. But that was only a year ago. Am ignoring said tick for time being.

    2. I have very wide feet with a high upper part (like where shoelaces tie at) that are extremely hard to find/fit shoes for. As in every extra wide shoe you have ever heard recommended…..nope. Travel to amish country once a year to procure men’s shoes (Merrell) decent enough to wear to work. This makes me very sad in summer sandal season. Me likey many shoes that no likey me.

    3. I can no longer sleep on a mattress, it absolutely kills my back (and hips and shoulders) after less than an hour. I sleep in a recliner. All well and good until trying to travel somewhere. Plus I use a CPAP.

    4. Did I mention I have irritiable bowel syndrome and overactive bladder? All mostly controlled by meds, but I am the life of the party!! And super fun to travel with….

    5. Am realizing all of my grievances pertain to my unwieldy body. Which would likely be less unwieldy if I did something horrible to it, like exercise or eating vegetables. My biggest grievance is knowing what I need to do, but not being motivated to just do it already. I blame the tick.

    P.S. You may have tried it already, but wear said wrist splint all night….helps with many day issues, in my experience. I have more (non body!) grievances, but I shall save them for round three!

  24. Jess says:

    I also had a, er, shy bladder! For years and years! Could not pee if anyone could HEAR or anyone was WAITING or I felt any kind of PRESSURE to go quickly! Or quietly! No matter how badly I had to pee. BUT! After YEARS and YEARS of this, it… went away. It did! I can now pee in front of others! Even coworkers! Is magical! There is hope for you!

  25. Swistle says:

    Favorite part: “it seems odd, like I was GOING to shoot heroin, but now that there is no privacy I’ve decided against it.”

    THE ARM HOLES. OMG. YES. I just tried on a whole bunch of shirts, and with SO MANY of them I could see my ENTIRE side bra if I lifted my arm at all. Like, not just side strap, but side cup. SIDE CUP. THROUGH THE ARM HOLE. This is CLEARLY WRONG. Sometimes when I try on clothes it is hard to resist the conclusion that it is my body to blame, not the clothes. THIS TIME THERE WAS NO DOUBT: IT WAS THE CLOTHES.

  26. Carmie says:

    #1 Had my physical today, have shrunk half an inch and gained five pounds in the last year, putting my BMI into official overweight territory. With that half inch, I’m still at a healthy BMI. My clothes still fit, mostly. DAMN YOU, VAGUE ANTHROPOMETRIC MEASURES OF HEALTH. I think the nurse was messing with me.

    #2 Told GP about worsening Raynaud’s symptoms (It’s 55 degrees and I can’t grasp a pencil!!); she said that didn’t seem normal and ordered many labs and gave me a rheumatologist’s number. I’m in staunch denial that it’s anything beyond too much coffee.

    #3 The need to feed my children a balanced dinner every night is killing my love of cooking.

    #4 It is dumping rain again here in Denver and I am never going to get to hike again on dry ground.

    #5 I am avoiding my research hours for grad school field experience and every day I do so increases my anxiety, which makes it harder to start.

    #6 I am not going to see my boyfriend for nearly three weeks and he doesn’t seem to mind much. I do, though.

  27. Meg says:

    Women’s clothing in general makes me insane, but the armholes/shoulder/neckline area seems to be particularly awful lately. I do not want to reveal my entire side torso, but I have adequate muscles and need more than an inch of fabric between the hole for my neck and the hole for my arm. Several inches, in fact. And there’s a middle area between “quaint vintage high-necked collar” and “low cut enough to reveal bra’s brand” which is neglected. And what is up with the melding of short sleeves into cap sleeves?

  28. Amanda says:

    ooh I also have Raynaud’s and have/had manuscript wrist (although mine is/was “research wrist”)! It was so bad I couldn’t open doors/jars/use utencils for a while because of the numbness and pain. For 10 years I have been using a roller bar mouse by “Contour” called “RollerMouse Free2”. The wrist thing disappeared. If I spend so much as a half day using a regular mouse, it comes back, but as long as I use the roller bar it is fine.

    This may not work for you, but maybe worth a try? I also knew someone who had a version of this wrist thing (it was either related to pregnancy or nursing/baby holding, I can’t remember) and she had a bunch of acupuncture and said that helped.

  29. Amanda says:

    Oh, I love that you’re blogging again!

    1. To Liz, and the barking dog – yes! Thank you! We just moved next to a woman with a dog that barks at us through the fence any time we’re outside. All the time barking. It’s so annoying! And I just don’t understand WHY anyone would allow that. But I also think that sometimes it’s just her kids at home and they probably don’t care… or else they just leave the dog outside while they’re gone, so there’s no one to bring it in.

    2. Other neighbors enjoy fireworks at night. One night I was so tired of it, I asked if they could be keep it down because I have two kids sleeping and it’s REALLY LOUD. (This took everything in me because we’re new to the neighborhood and I hate confrontation.) She proceeded to laugh at me and talk about me as I walked away, calling me a “desperate housewife” (um, both my husband and I work FT) and how “next time she’s in HER yard, I’ll tell her SHE’S being too loud.” It was lovely to meet the neighbors this way, and now I hate even seeing her in her backyard and only assume she’s bad-mouthing me to the entire neighborhood.

    2.5 Why do people suck? Where is the kindness?

    3. I clench my jaw during the day and grind my teeth at night and I have constant headaches all day. I know it’s probably stress related and I should probably go to a doctor or dentist to figure it out… but I hate both those things, so I suffer instead.

  30. Hebbie says:

    Oh, the joy of seeing your blog spring to life on my RSS! Welcome back! :)

    Since summer is sort of maybe thinking about arriving, grievances are being mentally hidden by the euphoria of close to constant daylight (I live up north) but, there are always a few

    1) Pants. I’m big butted and big thighed so this has always been a problem. But, much to my joy I discovered the local (international) department store sells decent black pants in size 18. I was ecstatic! Until I tried to replace said pants with new ones. Then I ran butt first into the bizarro world of this-number-is-just-a-rough-guide-land. Recently I have optimistically bought 4-5 pairs of pants (they’re not that expensive) only to find that some are really too short once you start walking around in them, and others have a waist that’s really too tight (Hello muffin-land!). I even tried going up to a size 20, but those turned out to be way too big. So I have one pair of ‘golden pants’ that I keep mending, and 5 pairs of ‘eh, not really, but the other ones are dirty’.

    2)-3) The land where I live has outrageous customs and tolls on clothes, so the wast majority of my clothes, including the optimistic pants, are bought on work travels in lands far away, and therefore can’t really be returned.

    4) I am hopelessly behind on my photo-upkeeping, in part because for the longest time I couldn’t be bothered to crawl out of the sofa in the evenings to hook a mouse to my computer and sit properly. The laptop mouse-pad kills me. Now I finally have, but the task has become so daunting as to incite procrastination par excellence! (see: this comment)

    Which brings me to my only advice I have about hand pains: A lot of time the real cause is a tight neck and shoulder area. That causes a lack of blood flow to the arms, which in turn get all messed up. Every time I start getting really bad, I haul my ass to the local swimming pool which has the most awesome hot water waterfall/massage jets in existence (conveniently located in a hot tub) and I give myself a most thorough (and often painful) neck/shoulder/back/arm massage. Backnobbers and other pressure point pokers also work well to let some of that strain out.

    • Alexa says:

      Pants are the most horrible of garments. I hate pants. I, too, have a pair of “Golden Pants,” which I found a full year after my LAST pair of (different) Golden Pants gave out. Did I learn from my mistake and buy two pair of these new pants before they were discontinued (WHY THIS FEVER FOR NOVELTY, CLOTHING INDUSTRY)? No, of course not. So now it is only a matter of time until I am back without any pants I like at all.

      What I hear you saying about my hand grievance is that I need a massage. I like that idea a lot.

  31. tsquared2001 says:

    1. Why is the middle finger on my LEFT hand the one that is so swollen? I flip people off with my right hand.

    2. Old lady glasses are NOT what I need, Mr. Optometrist, so take your fancy degree and take a look at my left hand.

    3. Who are these people who keep parking outside my house? I know I don’t use the parking space but there are principalities involved.

  32. Bev Case says:

    I love your new rounded glasses. Just came from Target to get some myself. They have nothing like them. Can you tell me the brand and/or where you got them?

  33. Kelly says:

    Just found your new posts. I love your writing and musings. Found you through finslippy nearly 8 years ago and I keep coming back. So glad you do too!

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