Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tell Me a Story - Rachel in the OC

Welcome to another addition of TNBBC's Tell Me A Story. 

Tell Me a Story is a monthly series that features previously unpublished short stories from debut and Indie authors. The request was simple: Stories can be any format, any genre, and any length. And many amazing writers signed up for the challenge.

This month's story comes to us from Rachel Thompson (aka Rachel in the OC), author of the 2011 release A Walk in the Snark, which hit #1 on the Amazon Motherhood Kindle list in September and October. Her latest non-fiction endeavor, “Dollars and Sense: The Definitive Guide to Self-publishing Success” (co-authored with Carolyn McCray and Amber Scott) debuted at #1 on Amazon’s “Authorship” bestselling list in June, 2011. Rachel is also one of the cofounders of the Indie Book Collective, an organization with over 8,000 members dedicated to helping authors utilize social media to the fullest to sell their books. I had the pleasure of meeting Rachel this summer during the NYC Indie Book Event, and am thrilled to be sharing the following short story from her.



I often find myself pondering, and observing, the different ways men and women go about fixing stuff.

Emotional stuff, in this case.

Men are fixers. They see women crying, they bring in their toolbox and follow Steps 1, 2, 3, and 4 to make it better. Yet, they can’t understand why there are no directions on the Internet for Dealing With a Crying Female and even if there were, why they’re not working, dammit! And finally, why scratching their balls while staring at us helplessly isn’t helping matters.

I mean, it seems to work for them, right?

Our moodiness, crying, and shooting them looks that kill don’t help much, admittedly. Normally females are quite verbal. Except, ya know, when we’re not.

I’ve suggested before that men should always come to any situation armed with chocolate, no matter what. My guy, even after nineteen years, is still somewhat inconsistent with that one.

He’s got two females in the house, and one is a tween girl raging with hormones.

Sigh. When will the man learn?

Men love their females. They want us to be happy. If we’re happy, life is simple. The brain shelf is full: food, sex, sports. If their females are content, their brain remains uncrowded with any extraneous stuff they probably wouldn’t remember anyway. They can trot off blithely to their offices (or take three steps into their home office, as is our case) and do their manly business stuff all day without any emotional worries.

Ya know, those things that happen in foreign countries. #eyeroll

Actually, I’m being slightly bitchy. My guy gets himself worked up a bit when his ducks, I mean chicks, are not all in a row (what is this, an episode of Friends?)

Chicks are moody. Hormones, weather, bad hair days. It all takes a toll. Smart men know this and deliver soothing words, kisses, and chocolate as needed. This is important, fellas. Stop scratching and take note: These are the tools needed in your handy Female Fix-It Box.

But too many guys expect us to “man up.” Uh-uh. Big mistake, fellas. Last we checked, we don’t have penises.

Thank the Lord.

Here’s how we work: we react to something. Let’s say a mean comment, a zit (gasp!), or a bad hair day. We must suffer for this transgression. Even if we didn’t do it or if it’s not our fault. Even if we’re Jewish.

We feel sad. Ugly. Lonely. (Stop trying to understand it. Just go with it. It’s what we do.)

We eat ice cream. None of that soymilk, fat-free crap we pretend to like when we’re on a diet. We’re talking the good stuff. Godiva or Haagen-Dazs.

We get in our jammies. The ones with the feeties. We grab our cozy pillow and plush blankie that we never let you use. We watch trash TV and tweet about it with our friends. 

And have a martini. Or gummi bears. Well, okay…both.

We ignore you. We don’t want you anywhere near us. Have you seen this zit?

Go away. When Mount Vesuvius finally blows, you may come back. Bearing, well, ya know…starts with a c?

When we finally feel better (read: no longer have a pimple the size of Texas on our darling button nose), we’ll go out in public again – go for a run or a walk on the beach, wear pants. Allow you to look at us. Eat fat-free ice cream again. And like it.

What I’m saying is this: no matter how much you want to fix us, we need to fix ourselves. Our way. No one-size-fits-all toolbox needed. Well, okay. Soothing words and kisses help a little.

You might think our way is wrenching, but the worst thing you can do is try to wrench us out of our funk.

It just might take us a hammer to get you to understand it. 


I want to thank Rachel for participating in TNBBC's Tell Me a Story. If you like what you've read, please support Rachel by checking out her book and website. She can also be found on Goodreads and Facebook. Help spread the word by sharing this post through your blog, tumblr page, twitter and facebook accounts. Every link counts! And be sure to check back with us next month for the next installment....


  1. Ha! Rachel nailed it again, with humor, honesty, and a dose of reality. She's right about the "soothing words and kisses." When I read Rachel's writing, I just so want to sit with her, have coffee (or a martini, depending on the time of day), and laugh!

  2. Hehe, great post Rachel. Totally understand funky moods, bad hair and zit days, and that dreaded PMS time of the month too.

    I'll go on record and say "Soothing words and kisses" always help me. Like you, I don't need to be "fixed." I just need to know the other person cares, knows I'm not right in the head, and hang around till I'm better.

    Thankfully, I usually get out of my funk pretty quickly. ;)

    Thanks for sharing your wisdom, as always!


  3. Oh Rachel...I need you to teach a class so I can enroll my husband in the C is for Chocolate seminar. I have tried, without success mind you, to teach my husband how to sooth the savage beast. I've broken it down in small words that he should be able to understand. I've even drawn rudimentary pictures of a raging monster accepting chocolate from a nice, calm, man. He still doesn't get it. I keep trying because...well, I'm a woman, we don't give up easily. I love reading your stories that seem to speak of my life...it reminds me I'm not alone in this epic battle. Whew. Good to know.

  4. As always, Rachel, you managed to spotlight a male-female issue of the ages. Great job! With Halloween safely behind us, at least our guys can have a little reprieve from the need to run to the store for some chocolate, eh?

  5. Great site! Glad to find sister Rachel here - you always have something interesting, and funny, to say about gender roles. :)

  6. Lol! My boyfriend arms himself with red wine and chocolate. I am surprised he does not have it stored in a little cabinet that says 'In Case of Emergency Break Glass' with a tiny hammer attached to it.

  7. Chocolate is the pen pal I never have to write back to.
    Another a-mazing post to make me smile and LOL.

  8. Great post Rachel. You hit the nail on the hard head. We guys need to fix stuff. It's what we do. We love our gals and we want them happy. It's hard to stand back and weather the female storm without trying a quick fix, which always seems to make things worse. Love your blog and your book.

    Stay snarky


  9. Thank you very much for sharing Rachel! Too true! Many things can be solved with chocolate!

  10. Thanks everyone for your wonderful comments.

    It all seems so simple from our female POV, til we're in the thick of it, and nothing seems to be working. Sometimes being a girl just sucks (particularly once a month -- there's just no getting around it).

    I do feel for you guys -- it's gotta be frustrating. We are so dang complicated sometimes. And what do you do when your woman hates chocolate?

    Honestly, I can't help you. You're on your own.

  11. great story. you sum this kind of situation up perfectly. thank you for your hilarious take on everything. love your work.

  12. OMG...I just saw this! Great story! And yes, soothing words and kisses do help...a little :)

  13. Fantastic. I love your style of writing. Now let's go get a drink!

  14. I'd LUV to get a drink w/ you P!

    Thx to my sister, Leslie for visiting (How cute is that pic, right?)

    Lili -- thx so much for the comment!

    Bridget -- you rock. thx so much. :))