Sometimes The Boring Answer Is The Best One

I saw an acquaintance the other day.  She is a serious woman who is businesslike– with her eye on the prize at all times.  Not quite like me, in other words.

We stopped to talk for a while.  She told me about what was going on in her life.  And then asked me what was new with me.

What I wanted to tell her was that…

I’d just bought on sale at Kohl’s a new multi-color beaded necklace with a turquoise pendant on it…

that I had put on my concrete flying pig– known as Girlfriend Pig…

who stands on an antique fern stand/bookcase in the corner of our living room…

where she contributes positive energy to the room…

which, according to feng shui principles, is the bagua of our home concerned with helpful people & safe travel…

so, OBVIOUSLY, things were going pretty darned well for me.

However, I didn’t tell my acquaintance my first thought.  I knew that  Girlfriend Pig’s new jewelry and my subsequent good energy flow would be JUST. TOO. MUCH. for my acquaintance.

So instead I told her about our latest home decorating project– hanging mirrors, new & old, around the house.  This, I realized, was a topic that she could latch onto and appreciate.  Very literal and whimsy-free.

But nowhere near as interesting as flying pigs and discount baubles, imho.

If I’m Chopped Liver, Then You’re Bologna

Some situations provoke me to the point of regressing to my EIGHT YEAR OLD LITTLE GIRL SELF… mouthing off… under my breath… to myself… about someone.

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To wit, as I may or may not have mentioned before, I live in a suburb that is non-friendly.  People are neutral about other people.  Pleasant, but indifferent.  Aware, but detached.  Previously polite to a fault.

This I can live with.

But what I cannot condone is rudeness.  And that is what I’m finding more often when I go outside for a walk.

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For example, yesterday as I was walking along – up & down the hills – around the curves, I said “hi” or “hello” to all the people who I passed.  I exhibited a modicum of good manners.

I. Was. Nice.

People with headphones nodded at me.  People talking on phones waved hello.  People with dogs shouted a greeting back at me.  People just out for a stroll said “hi” or “hello” back to me as I walked by them.

However, people reading their smart phones as they walked along – up & down the hills – around the curves IGNORED ME.

Besides the obvious fact that it’s foolhardy to not pay attention to where you’re going when you’re walking along – up & down the hills – around the curves, it is rude to not acknowledge the person who is near you in real life.

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As we all know, REJECTION HURTS.

So naturally, being the mature adult that I am, I started talking to myself about this boorish behavior.  My muttering monologue went something like this…

ADULT ME [sarcastic, through clenched teeth]: Well, don’t say anything to me.  Just. Being. Polite.

CHILD ME [insulted]: Hey, hey– what’s wrong with you, you poopy head?

ADULT ME [irritated]: Boy, I tell you, Ally– you try to be nice & see what you get?

CHILD ME [frantic]: Hey booger face, I’m over here.  What am I?  Chopped liver? Huh?!

ADULT ME [resigned, with a sigh]: Whatever.  Some people aren’t even worth the bother.

CHILD ME [zinging away]: Well, well, well… if I’m chopped liver, then you’re bologna.  Cut thick.  Just like you, fatso!

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Bottom line truth of this story?  I LOVED BEING SNOTTY RIGHT BACK AT THESE PEOPLE.  Granted, the conversation was only in my head, but it was lots of fun to mouth off like that.  Kind of a forgotten pleasure of childhood– empowering & entertaining.

SO THERE.

In Which The Hubster Scares The Bejeezus Out Of Me, Not Once, But Twice

[Subtitled: What Comes Around Goes Around, Dear]

•  Zen-Den and I worked outside in the yard this weekend.  We also cleaned the screens and put them into 20+ windows.  Then we washed and repainted portions of the screened-in porch.  In between doing all that, we shopped for deck and patio furniture in brick-&-mortar stores and online.

We were busy, and I was exhausted by bedtime.  So exhausted, in fact, that after I got ready for bed and sat down on the edge of our bed, I forgot to lie down to go to sleep.  Really.  I just sat there.

So Zen-Den, who was already in bed, said real sweetly: “Don’t you want to lie down now?  You’ll sleep better.”

My addled brain liked that idea so I just leaned over, eyes shut, ready to plop myself down on my comfy pillow.  But Mr. Shenanigans pulled my pillow away from my side of the bed just as my weary self went thunk.  And suddenly, realizing that something was very wrong, I bounced right out of bed– wide awake.

And what do I see?  The Hubster holding my pillow and laughing his fool head off.  Because it was just. that. funny. to him to see me go from dead tired to live wire in a nanosecond.

Oh, yea!  He’s a card… must be from St. Louis…

•  I slept in this morning— didn’t even hear the alarm go off.  It’s no big deal because today my schedule is very flexible– I’ll get to where I need to go when I get there.  And all will be well with the world.

However, Z-D must have gotten up very early– and on his way out the door he must have put a load of laundry into the washing machine.  Then not wanting to wake me, he must have started the machine using its timer function.  Meaning that one hour later the washer automatically turned itself on.

Or at least I’m hoping that is what he did… because no one left me a note telling me to expect a very loud machine with a tendency to clunk to start. working. spontaneously. when I was sitting in the soothing early morning quiet sipping my coffee.

Which it turns out I don’t need to help me wake up when a loud unidentified sound comes from the laundry room– and causes my system to produce enough adrenaline to keep me alert for– oh, I don’t know— years.

Thanks, honey.  You’re a dork peach.

In Which My Life Resembles An Episode Of Glee Without The Music

Sue

I saw who it was on the phone before I picked it up.  I knew that the monologue conversation would be long and twisted.  Still, deep down, I like X, so I said “hello.”

[Here’s the cast of characters.]

X is a woman who I’ve known for some time.  She knows lots of information about issues such as politics, books, and real estate– which is good.   But she is someone who, by her own admission, likes to stir the drink when interacting with other people.  This I would describe as bad.

X had called to tell me gossip on Z.  As I have only met Z once, all I can tell you about him is that he seems nice and has curly hair.  I’m not really too interested in knowing more about this guy, but that didn’t stop X.  She had a story to tell.

Will

And it involved Y.  Now Y I’ve known for a very long time and she suffers from the disease to please.  She doesn’t seem to have much backbone of her own– so she is a perfect pawn for X.

[It was at this point in the conversation, when I heard Y’s name mentioned, that I sat down at the island in our kitchen and laid my head down on the cool granite countertop, knowing that this was going be a lengthy chat.]  

So come to find out, X had obtained her gossip about Z by getting Y to sneak around on Facebook.  X had convinced Y to leave “noncommittal comments” on various individual’s FB walls so that those people would respond to Y– and tell her what they knew about Z.  Apparently X’s master plan had worked, because Y had found out the gossip about Z.  And then being Y, she dutifully reported back to X.

Brittany

[You have no idea what a good communicator I am.  I have just condensed 20 minutes of dithery-ness into one succinct paragraph.  Maybe Journalism 101 was more useful to me than I previously thought.]

All of which brings me to what floated through my mind after I hung up the phone with X.  And it is this:

“Oh my goodness, I’ve just experienced an episode of Glee in which Sue Sylvester [X] gets one of the Cheerios, probably Brittany [Y], to spy on Will Schuester [Z] and to report back to Sue with the latest news [gossip].  Then Sue, feeling proud of herself, brags to Emma Pillsbury about what has just happened.”

Which means that, continuing this line of reasoning, I’m Emma Pillsbury!  Guidance counselor.  OCD sufferer.  Total flake.

And you know what?  As much as I understand Emma and her problems, I don’t like playing that role.  In fact, I’m going to go so far as to say that the next time when X calls, I’m not picking up the phone.  Let someone else be cast as Emma.  The role is just too much for me.  😉

Emma

[All images via glee wiki.]

In Which My Parking Is Duly Noted

Let’s discuss this, shall we?

•  I found this note from Cranky McCrankerton taped to the windshield of my car, a small two door coupe, when I walked out of my doctor’s office after an appointment.  Beautiful handwriting, no?

•  I remember parking beside Cranky McCrankerton’s vehicle, a huge van.  It was to the right of me.  I had to be very careful not to hit it as I pulled into the last spot available in the compact parking lot that has only one way in & out.

•   I had parked my car at a slight angle because I was accommodating the car already parked to the left of me.  That car was accommodating the car that was parked illegally in the spot to its left.  Beyond the illegally parked car was grass, the end of the line, nowhere else to go.

•  I believe that the intent of this note is to criticize me and what Cranky McCrankerton believes to be my sloppy parking job.  Lovely use of sarcasm, no?

•  I was aware that I had left a tight squeeze for Cranky McCrankerton, but felt that it was ok because:  all the spaces in this parking lot are very narrow;  and because I know that my doctor’s receptionist is a stickler for being on time— and I fear her wrath more than any anonymous van driver.

•  From this note I learned that Cranky McCrankerton is a flexible, able-bodied human being capable of entering his or her van from either side of the vehicle.

•  This fact suggests that I might be incorrect about my initial assumption re: the intent of this note.  In which case, I must conclude that this is a thank you note to me from Cranky McCrankerton.  Very succinctly worded, no?

•  So what do we think?

  1. Was this note– readable and polite as it is– really necessary?
  2. Do we think that it is possible that Cranky McCrankerton has lots of issues in his or her life?
  3. Should I feel bad about mildly inconveniencing someone who drives a vehicle that by its very size is always in the way?
  4. Tonight, when saying my prayers, will I include this anonymous person among my blessings for giving me the most unexpected laugh of my week?

… as usual, answers & discussion in comments below.  

Facebook, Friends & Flow Charts

Here’s what I’ve been thinking about this week.  Brought to you by the letter “F.”

• Facebook.  I was talking with a casual acquaintance the other day.  Over the years we’ve gotten to know each other– sort of.  She is nothing if not outspoken.

Often we talk about FB.  It fascinates her that I just left it.  Like that.  No worries, no looking back.  It’s kind of a theme with her.

And honestly, I’m fascinated about why she doesn’t leave FB.  She hates it– complains about it every time we are together.  In fact one of her biggest complaints is that her friends have the audacity to post status updates using words. That they think she’ll read about what they’re doing.  This seems to bother her to no end.  She mentions it often.

So, I asked her straight up why she messes around with something that so clearly upsets her.

And she told me that the only reason she stays on FB is so that she can see the photos that her friends post.  She wants to see these photos so that she can judge how these friends look.  Her word: judge.

Being the polite soul that I am, I just nodded my head up & down, mumbled a vague sort of “uh-huh,” and quickly changed the topic of conversation to something that didn’t give me a glimpse into the psyche of someone so shallow– and probably– more typical than I care to admit.

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• Friends.  I stumbled upon this article: Bitter About Your Life? Blame Facebook.  The subtitle says: “New research suggests heavy Facebook users are more likely to believe other people have happier lives.”  

According to this article, researchers posit that this perception is due to the fact that people see all sorts of happy photos that FB friends post.  Then these people assume that other people are having a better time than they are.  Enter bitter feelings.

Wonder if that is what’s going on with my acquaintance… seeing how she is a nut for photos.

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• Flow charts.  While I was enjoying all that Pinterest has to offer, I came upon this wonderful How to Delete Half Your Facebook “Friends” flow chart.  It is by a blogger named Samantha who keeps a blog called ashore.

I love this chart.  Now I just need to get my acquaintance to understand it and use it.  Might make her happier about her experiences on FB.  Maybe.


The Lighter Side Of Marital Miscommunication

We were watching a football game on TV.  And by we were watching I mean Zen-Den was watching the football game and commercials, while I was looking through a stack of home decor catalogues… and aware that a game was on TV.

In one of the catalogues I saw an outdoor small table with two chairs that at first struck me as something that we might want.  The table and chair were made of metal but looked like twigs had been put together in such a way as to create a table and chairs.  Very chic.  I thought that they might work on our deck over against one wall for me to use at noontime when I’m eating lunch by myself.

So I started to show Z-D the photo of the small table with two chairs, but in mid-show I decided that I didn’t like the table and two chairs after all.

Z-D wasn’t really paying much attention to what I was doing.  No surprise there.  Instead he was staring at a commercial for Cialis— and as with all commercials for Cialis the serious male announcer voice was telling us very important information.

TV commercial:  “Blah, blah, blah… When the moment is right, will you be ready?”

Me, referring to the photo in the catalogue:  “That’d make nervous if I had to look at it very much.”

Z-D, thinking that I’m watching the TV commercial:  “Why?”

Me, staring at the photo:  “Because pieces of it stick out funny.”

Z-D, still thinking that I’m talking about the topic of the TV commercial:  “Why would you care about that?  That’s not your problem.”

Me, getting ready to turn the page in the catalogue:  “Because I’d have to sit on it and that’d be uncomfortable.”

Z-D, finally paying attention to me:  “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?”

Me, handing him the catalogue with the photo:  “This chair that looks like it’s made of twigs.  Why?  What’d you think I was talking about?”

Z-D, dissolving into laughter: “The commercial on TV for ED.  I thought you were watching it.”

Me, indignant then realizing what I’d just said:  “No, of course I wasn’t watching that… HEY WAIT A MINUTE.  You thought I was talking about THAT?”

Z-D, staring at me in amazement:  “Yep.  And you were darned funny, too.”