Airing of the Grievances, One Month Early

I know, I know, Festivus is on December 23rd, not 22nd, which means that there is one month and one day before the Airing of the Grievances and Feats of Strength, but Thursdays are impossible for me to write anything. Therefore, the Grievances Shall Be Aired Today.

Of course, because it’s me, I have to disclose that all my Grievances are Princess Problems, really, and I should feel incredible guilt about posting such inane babble about unimportant things. But what is a blog if not inane babble about unimportant things? Nine years, people: that’s how long the Boyhouse has been on the internet, and rarely, if ever, do I write about something that is not inane and unimportant.

Dr Brandt

A little while back, I read something about the Miracle that is Dr Brandt’s No More Baggage Eye Cream. I literally ran out of the house, went to Sephora, purchased the expensive cosmetic, and was very excited for a few days. It worked! Finally, something that makes me look less exhausted/ hideous! I was going to write an entire post about the amazing product and then…it stopped working. It seems like the dark circles – although, to give the product credit, not the puffiness – come back with a vengeance by mid-day. I took this photo of myself in the most flattering light in the house, with full makeup, and the circles are still there. Don’t even get me started on the forehead wrinkles and grey roots; I have given up. Well, not entirely – I have a colour next week – but I am at the stage where I colour my hair every five weeks and by week 3.5 I start to get a little Redheaded Bride of Frankenstein.

Why do they call it Bride of Frankenstein, and not Bride of Frankenstein’s monster? Should that be a Grievance?

Anyway, I feel like if one pays $50 for a tiny tube of eye cream, that eye cream had better be performing some goddamn miracles. I should look like a refreshed and youthful version of myself for that kind of money. If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know I have been struggling to find the perfect eye cream for a long, long while, and I thought I had it. I thought I had it! But no.

I sleep approximately seven (broken up) hours per night, plus more on weekends, and I drink more water than anyone I know; I’m practically a camel at an oasis, all day, every day. The way I see it, I have two options: walk around with cucumber slices taped to my eyes, or to just give up and accept that this is what I look like now. I’m leaning towards the latter, since cucumbers taped to my eyes might be tricky from a logistical standpoint.


Look, I am as vain as they come – see my first Grievance – but filters on Instagram are not doing anything for us as humans who should be aware about what other humans look like. Sure, I would love to walk around in soft-focus like Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca, but that’s not realistic. We should all dump the filters and embrace what we really look like, forehead wrinkles and all. Dr Brandt’s failed eye cream and all.

Grocery Stores Changing Things Around Like It’s No Big Deal, But It Is A Big Deal

My neighbourhood Co-Op changed everything around in their store, but let me tell you something about Co-Op: they know their audience. They know that the seniors would all raise hell if the snack foods switched places with the cereals, and so on every single aisle there was a map of the store, each aisle labelled with the items it contained. This is brilliant. Brilliant!

Sadly, the Superstore I frequent changed everything around and did not attempt this very simple solution. Maybe it’s because they change things around every time you turn around. It should not be this difficult to find a bottle of rice vinegar, Superstore!

Grocery Stores Making Weird Decisions Regarding Product Placement

Again at Superstore, the tofu and dairy-free vegan cheese options are newly situated directly beside the live fish tank, which is very unpleasant for those of us who are purchasing tofu and dairy-free vegan cheese options for a reason. I find those live fish tanks to be repellent at the best of times, but often there is a terrible fish stench emanating from them that is unbearable, particularly to us sensitive vegetarian-types. Those items used to be located at a reasonable distance from the sad-sack fishies, but now I am faced with their overcrowded end-of-life situation every time I grab a block of tofu.

No Thank You, I Really Don’t Want A Walmart Mastercard

I really do understand that all cashiers have a certain script to follow, and I sympathize. I also understand that there is most likely a financial incentive for cashiers to get people to sign up for their store credit cards, and perhaps that financial incentive has a lot of meaning to someone who may or may not be living from paycheque to paycheque. I get it, I understand, I sympathize, but I do not want a store credit card, particularly a Walmart one. I always smile and politely decline, often twice. That’s fine.

What is not fine is me having to politely decline a credit card eight times in a three-minute conversation with the cashier. Yes, I understand there is a discount if I sign up, but no thank you. No, please don’t cancel my whole order, I do not want to ring it through on the Walmart Mastercard. No, thank you, I am not interested. Over and over again. It is against my principles to get snappy with cashiers but sweet mother of god, eight times. Usually I go through the self-checkout to avoid this very conversation, but I had too many items. Note to self: buy less at Walmart. I guess that should be a given anyway. At least they don’t have a live fish tank.

I Want To Give Someone Accolades, But I Cannot

My mail carrier – yes, I still get home delivery – is incredible. Not once, not ONCE has he delivered the mail incorrectly, whereas a few years ago I was constantly taking mail over to the lady who lived the next street over, or the people at a similar address. Whenever I encounter him in person, he is cheerful and kind, and he has even flagged me down as I drove by to give me a parcel that I needed to sign for, so as to not inconvenience me. I wanted to email Canada Post to congratulate them on such an exemplary employee, but alas, I cannot. There is no way to contact them via email to give positive feedback, which probably says something about Canada Post. If I wanted to be on hold for thirty-plus minutes, I could call them. I just wanted to say someone is doing a good job.

Wait! Stop the presses! I had tweeted at them and they just got back to me! Disregard this last Grievance! And maybe take the time to say thank-you to someone who is doing a good job, because they might be having a day where they want to Air Their Grievances, and your compliment could change things around.

Ahhh, I feel much better now. xo


  1. I am so with you on the Bride of Frankenstein’s Monster. We have a candy bowl in the shape of Frankenstein’s monster’s head with a wide open mouth we use for dispensing candy at Halloween and on the box where we store it most of the year I was very careful to write “Frankenstein’s Monster Head Bowl.”

  2. I have something to complain about that makes me feel bad to complain about but I still want to complain: cashiers asking for donations. I know those donations REALLY ADD UP. It’s GOOD for charity to happen! Lots of people will donate $1 at the register and would not be otherwise donating. But I HATE saying no—and yet I don’t WANT the store to get the charitable deduction for my donation! I want that charitable deduction to go to ME! Plus, they will be asking me roughly ten times over the Charitable Giving Season, so even if I donated once they would just ask me again the next time. So when they say, “Do you want to give $1 to help CHILDREN WITH CANCER, or are you some kind of HEARTLESS MONSTER?,” I always want to explain that actually, I will be writing my own checks to charities AS USUAL—but of course they do not want to hear me explain my answer, they are just asking because their boss requires them to, so I just say “No, thank you!” in what I hope is a tone of voice that communicates the whole situation.

    • nicoleboyhouse says

      Swistle, I hate that too! I always feel like a total deadbeat if I don’t give them the dollar or whatever. “What, you don’t want to send kids to CAMP, you MONSTER?” The other day Superstore was “donating” 2 jars of baby food for the food bank, for a dollar. And of course I did it because baby food. But then I thought, what is the actual cost of the baby food and did I just “donate” to Superstore’s bottom line? I don’t know.

  3. bibliomama2 says

    I’m a hundred percent with you on everything (in this blog post and life in general) but not filters. You will have to pry my filters out of my cold dead hands. That doesn’t really make sense, but you get me. I care what I look like in pictures so much more than in real life – I have to keep looking at the picture forever!

    I always buy something for my mailman, and if I don’t see him (unlikely) I leave it in the mailbox – he is LOVELY.

  4. I wanted to comment earlier but was away over Thanksgiving and my stupid phone wouldn’t let me comment. BAH. Anyway, I just came to say the grocery store that is my go-to for my weekly shopping recently rearranged and I can’t stand it. It takes me forever to get through it now and I keep forgetting to buy coffee because they moved it to someplace dumb and I am so crabby about it (forgetting coffee is probably not helping). Coffee should be with or near the other beverages NOT clear across the store next to the bread and peanut butter. Grumble grumble stupid store reorg…

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