Talking About Gratitude: Micheal Miller Has Good Manners

Micheal Miller works for the dry cleaner/laundry service that we use.  He drives the van to pick up then return Z-D’s dress shirts once they are clean and pressed with light starch.  Nice guy, very reliable.

It’s my habit at the holidays to give a monetary tip to our laundry driver guy, who this year happens to be Micheal Miller.  Thus I did that two weeks ago.

• • •

Growing up I was the child of older conservative parents and was taught that one must always send a written thank you note to the gift giver upon receipt of a gift.  This concept of proper behavior was ingrained in me to such a degree that for a few decades I judged people harshly who didn’t send a written thank you note.

It seemed like a slap in the face to me. Disrespectful, even.

Of course over the years society has morphed away from Emily Post expectations plus I’ve grown more forgiving.  I don’t hold myself or other people to the high standards of my childhood.  In fact, I’ve come to reevaluate what matters to me when I give a gift to anyone for whatever reason.

I’ve decided that I like the giving part more than the being thanked part.  I do what I do because I think it’s important to do so, not so I will receive a written thank you note.

• • •

Still, when I found a written thank you note pinned to an empty laundry bag hanging from the hook by the door on our front stoop, I was pleased to see it and said out loud to myself: “Micheal Miller has good manners.”

It was a sincere spontaneous remark. A blessing even.

One that put me in a happy place for the rest of the day as I mused on what seemed to me to be a random act of kindness, a throwback to a different era when a written thank you note was the done thing.

Such as this handwritten message of gratitude scribbled on a piece of paper by an almost stranger.

Who I appreciate very much.

Blog Post #901: What We Have Here Is A Tuesday-type Situation

IF AFTER 900 POSTS on The Spectacled Bean you know anything about me you know that I adore images that summarize what’s going on.

While it’s true that I’m a wordy girl at heart, I’m not a word-exclusive snob so I find a visual image, such as the one I’ve shared here, can get to the point of a situation quickly and accurately.

Make it snappy, I say to my wordy self as I compose posts for this blog;  tell the story in whatever way conveys your message clearly, I remind myself before I add an image.

Yep, that’s how I talk to myself when writing a personal blog post.  Scintillating? Not so much.

ALSO, FOR THE RECORD, I found this image in a file on my old computer and realized I’d made the image in order to learn how to make a Venn diagram but had never used the image for anything because, I guess, once I’d learned how to make a Venn diagram I had no need for said image.

Until today.

A Tuesday, a day of the week that sometimes can be difficult to embrace wholeheartedly.

A Tuesday on which I want to return to blogging after a long hiatus but am feeling awkward about how to start writing again.

This particular Tuesday to be exact.

THUS IN KEEPING WITH the concept of SIMPLIFY, my #OneWord365 for 2020, I thought for blog post #901 I’d write something light and easy, something sincere but a bit silly. Something that acknowledges that it’s a new year on the calendar but confirms that I’m the same old me.

Something, in fact, that might be construed as a catalyst for comments and conversation about your approach to blogging OR your word of the year OR your opinion of Tuesdays.

What’s new with you, kids? I’ve been away far too long.

In Which Ms. Bean Contemplates Human Nature: Do You Play Up?

A marble in a martini glass because, I ask you, why not?

Everyone plays up.

An acquaintance said that after going to a party for the parents of middle school boys who play basketball.  She was making an observation about the group as a whole.

I got what she meant, having been to a few social events myself wherein people missed no opportunity to #humblebrag about their blessed lives, posing as someone more important than they might really be.

Acquaintance, who like me is an introvert with an extroverted personality when necessary, admitted that she’d played up in her own way.  That is, she’d bought a new dress for this party, but one that she’d be wearing to other events.

I’m not sure I’d say that is playing up per se, but I got her point.  She’d done something to make herself look better in the eyes of other people.

The conversation was short & lighthearted, but got me contemplating the ways in which we all play up depending on, I suppose, your need for external validation in a particular situation.

In my observation, and perhaps yours too, some people seem to need to belong to a group, any group, and will say or do anything to remain a part of it, fearing, I guess, the possibility of being alone.

I’m reminded of the old adage that there are makers, takers, and fakers.  If I’m entirely honest, in various situations and at different points in my life, I’ve been each of these to some degree and that seems normal to me.

Anyhoo, getting to something that resembles a point here, all of the foregoing got me thinking about this idea of playing up.  Here are my questions:

Does everyone play up? Is that a fact of human nature?

 And if so, does that mean you’re a maker, making something of yourself by playing up? OR are you a faker by playing up? I can see both sides to this.  What say ye?  

~ ~ • ~ ~

Thoughts On The Differences Between A Friend & A Follower

Why I Asked + What You Answered

A FEW WEEKS AGO I asked you to answer two poll questions.  I did this because a friend in real life who is a social media virgin asked me these questions.  She was curious about the terminology bloggers use when talking about blogging and I had no definitive answers for her.

The clear winner to the question “Blogs Are Found In…” was The Blogosphere.  78% preferred that term, with another 10% opting for Blogland which I think is a charming word.

The answers to the question “People Who Read Your Blog Are…” showed an interesting bell curve of preferred terms.  40% preferred the term Readers, while 23% chose Friends and 21% chose Followers.

I often refer to y’all as my gentle readers, so the top answer based on literal thinking makes sense to me, but that’s not where I see the story here.

Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t My Friend?

WHAT SURPRISED ME WAS THE relatively even distribution between the second and third answers, Friends and Followers.  Both are great terms but to my way of thinking these terms presuppose two different types of relationships that create different expectations about how someone will behave.

And as we all know, when expectations are not met disappointment ensues.

Friends implies connections based on equal power that are made on an even playing field.  I take an interest in you, I support you– and you do the same things for me.  When it comes to blogging this means I read + comment on your blog while you read + comment on my blog.

In a word, reciprocity. [Kindness?]

Followers, on the other hand, is a term that implies there is a leader with more power, who proceeds ahead while the less dominate people come after him or her.  This is not an even playing field from the git-go.

In blogging terms this means that as the leader I may or may not take the time to read + comment on what my followers write in their blogs.  By virtue of the way in which I envision our relationship, I’ll think I have no obligation to comment on other people’s blogs because I’m in charge here.

In a word, purpose. [Control?]

And Here Is Where The Misunderstandings Begin

TO WIT, IF I THINK you’re my Friend who will take an equal interest in me as I have taken in you, but you view me as a Follower who doesn’t necessarily deserve your time and attention, then we have a situation wherein feelings get hurt, confusion begins.

I’m expecting you, my friend, to care about what I write.  You’re baffled about why you would take any interest in me, your follower.  There is ambivalence, there is tension, there is cognitive dissonance.  No one is happy.

I’ve no marvelous insights into why certain bloggers prefer the terms that they do for the people who pay attention to them;  I just see how bloggers do what they do.

In fact, I’m only writing about this today because I found it interesting that I discerned this subtle yet significant divide in attitudes about blogging as a result of your answers to two simple questions I never thought to ask before.

Remarks, regrets, reconsiderations, anyone?  The comment section is yours.

Revisiting The Quaker Questions: Say What? Naked Who?

This is a photo of a deer standing on the side of the hill in our backyard. This deer is not being a pest per se because he’s eating shrubs that grow wild. He is naked, but to my knowledge is not a Quaker.

• • •

Sometimes, I dunno.

I looked at my WP list of Top Searches wherein I can see the list of questions and queries that, through the magic of search engines, have brought people to The Spectacled Bean.

I generally get people looking for information on deer as pests OR information on replacing door handles on interior doors OR [oddly enough] issues Americans can agree upon.

However, and this is where it gets interesting, to my knowledge no search engine has ever sent anyone here who wrote as their query: “naked quaker questions and answers.”

Let’s unpack this query, shall we?

I can explain the Quaker Questions part.  You see, years and years ago I wrote a post [HERE] about answering the Quaker Questions.

Z-D and I were in the process of joining a Presbyterian church and instead of having everyone in the new members group jibber jabber about who he or she was, the leader of the new members group had us answer the Quaker Questions.

But I can assure you that the questions in question were intended to be questions answered while wearing clothes. There was no nakedness involved with these questions nor with our answers. Plus, and I’m assuming here, the Quaker who originally asked these questions was [probably] fully clothed.

It’s an odd subject to be researching, but that’s not what worries me about this particular query.  What I’m wondering about is the twisted reality underscoring a search engine’s algorithms so that it sent someone to find the answer to that query on my sweet little PG-13 blog.

Naked deer I got.  Naked doors I had.  But Quakers?

The ones I’m familiar with wear clothes. 🙄

• • •

THE QUAKER QUESTIONS

[We were asked the following questions. My answers are in the comment section below. Do what you will with this information.] 

Where were you born?

When you were 7 years old how did your family heat your home?

What person in your real life growing up influenced you in a way that makes you who you are today?

• • •

As Autumn Begins: Saying Hello And Goodbye Up In The Sky

As the seasons change so does the early morning light, meaning that when I’m up early drinking my coffee out on the deck, I see things differently.

[Or is it that I see different things?]

Above is a photo in which you can see a jet plane, headed one direction, and the waning crescent moon headed the other direction.

[Look closely, they’re both there.]

To me this seems like they’re saying hello and goodbye as they pass each other, rather like the way in which summer and fall pass by each other on the calendar.

[Or something like that.]

I’m not a poet, nor do I profess to be profound.  Instead I notice things, photograph them, describe them, then allow my thoughts to meander.  Perhaps with no purpose.  Perhaps with a keen insight that I have yet to understand.

[Regardless, I think the above photo is cool.]

Happy Autumn, everyone.  I’m looking forward to it.  Whatcha got planned?  Spill the beans in the comments below.

Rambling Thoughts That’ll Light No One’s Way, Yet Here They Are

THIS IS ONE OF THOSE LONG WEEKS when I’ve been doing things, but haven’t felt very good.  My stomach kind of hurts, no specific reason.  My ancient old knees hurt, no specific reason.

My head hurts, courtesy of seasonal allergies.  My eyes are an itchy mess because of those same allergies.  And I’ve been sneezing.

Sneezing so loudly, in fact, that while I was outside on the deck when I sneezed a neighbor, who I’ve never met, who lives on the other side of the forest primeval/ravine behind our house yelled “God bless you” towards me.  I shouted “thank you” back across the forest primeval/ravine, thus ending the longest conversation I’ve ever had with any neighbor on the other side of the forest primeval/ravine.

+ +

AND THEY SAY THE SUBURBS ARE SOULLESS. Ha!  We’re not soulless here, we just live far enough apart to not know each other personally while being midwestern polite to a fault.  And aren’t good manners part and parcel of having a soul?

Me thinks so.

And on that note of profundity [?], I shall end this post.  You know I try to be here at least once a week because I made a commitment to myself and to you, my gentle readers, to do so, thus I am here.

It would be bad manners to not show up.

However some weeks it takes all I’ve got just to find a photo [enhanced by Waterlogue app], plop it on this virtual page, and then write the words.  In this case Muse is here with me, but my Energy Level isn’t up to snuff.

‘Ya know what I mean?