Dark and Other Not Okay Things

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Awful things are happening in the world right now–truly terrifying, heart-breaking, overwhelming things. I can’t really process any more of it today, and so I’m going to write about less serious things. I recognize my ability to turn off the noise for a little while is evidence of privilege. Please don’t take my need for levity as evidence of an uninformed or cold heart. I won’t stay turned away. I just need to breathe tonight.

A Semi-Random List of Things That Are Not Okay

Premature Election Coverage. Too early. Too much. Too ridiculous. I mean, Donald Trump is still in the race. (I don’t particularly care for Donald Trump’s ideas. I know some people do, and if “some people” includes you, I’ll still love you. But please don’t try to convince me to vote for him, because that’s simply not going to happen. It’s not. So let’s talk about something else.)

Red Velvet Oreos. In 2012, Nabisco decided to diversify. I’m a purist, so I’m all about regular Oreos. No, not even Double-Stuf, because gross. Just two chocolate wafers and a thin disk of sugar + vegetable shortening for me, please. I kept silent about the non-traditional flavors as long as I could, but I cannot stay quiet about something so egregious as Red Velvet Oreos. Buttermilk and vinegar, people. Buttermilk and vinegar. Red Velvet anything is disgusting.

Including Red Velvet Candy Corn. Seriously, Brach’s. That’s only slightly less gross than the Strawberry Shortcake ones. Keep it simple, I say: Regular and Indian Corn is all that needs to happen. (Is “Indian Corn” even politically correct? Honest question.)

Red Velvet M&Ms. As it turns out, the whole Red Velvet takeover is Mars, Inc.’s fault. It launched the Red Velvet M&M in 2014–available only at Walmart and only around Valentine’s Day. Let’s be clear: The only proper flavors of M&Ms are plain and peanut. No, not peanut butter. Those taste too much like…

Reese’s Pieces. Ew.

Holiday Confusion. Labor Day is different from Memorial Day.

Using Any of the Following Words or Phrases. “For all intensive purposes.” “I could care less.” “All of the sudden.” “Irregardless.”

Dark. It shouldn’t be dark at 6 pm. I mean, I’m already in my jammie pants by then (the Dallas Cowboy ones, thank you very much), but that doesn’t mean I want it to be dark. I just want it to be elastic-waist-pants time. It’s really not too much to ask.

(Writing this post is taking much longer than I expected it to—mostly because I keep thinking of serious things that aren’t okay, and I can’t put “concealed carry” on the same list as Reese’s Pieces. Oh, whoops. Did I say “concealed carry” out loud? *ducks*)

House millipedes. One came out from underneath my toaster not too long ago. Have you ever tried to kill an insect with a toaster? It’s not as easy as it sounds. Warning: Some viewers will find this photo disturbing. Also not okay: cave crickets. Springy, sneaky jerks.

Soprano clarinets. 

Putting the cereal back in the pantry when there’s a tablespoon’s worth of Frosted Flakes silt in the bottom of the box. No bueno.

All right, that’s enough. I’ll be back to taking myself too seriously soon. Thanks for indulging me a bit of a respite.


  1. Ken Birmingham   •  


    I get your annoyance with what you say is a list of things which are not okay. Obviously, some things are a matter of personal tastes (e.g., I LOVE Reese’s Pieces).

    I reread your preamble again, after I wrote out my list of things that are TRULY NOT OK for me, and, like you did, I found myself dismayed by how broken the world (meaning its peoples) is, and how little we can do about the unchanging dark side of our humanity.

    But I am heartened by my family, you and yours included, and I am thankful for making ANY difference in others’ lives. Lately I have been having protracted conversations with others [more or less] of your generation which led me to consider what I discern as things “Truly Not OK”. I concluded posting a list of those things Truly NOT OK would serve no purpose in support of your need for respite.

    May we all be given the talents to help others through their own brands of dismay, and may we enjoy each other’s presence. Sort of like Ecclesiastes, which actually has a [mostly] happy ending for an Old testament book. But one must read the whole book (and maybe a good commentary) to get it. Peace …

    Uncle Ken

    PS Note to the grammar police: Non-standard grammar and construction used for emphasis.

    PPS If I might add to your list of annoyances: know-it-all bombastic tour guides and rangers. Fortunately we didn’t run into any on our trip. Right?

  2. Kelley   •     Author

    Yeah, there are far too many things in the “truly not ok” column, and I wouldn’t mind hearing your list, actually. “May we all be given the talents to help others through their own brands of dismay…” is a beautiful sentiment.(PS I took zero note of non-standard grammar and construction.) (PSS True!)

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