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?  

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In Which I Listen Attentively Then Say “I Believe You” Because I Do

A pretty rose seen in a city park. Is it orangish yellow OR yellowish orange? You decide. I’ll believe you.

Who am I to stop a friend or acquaintance when they’re on a good rant?  

I MEAN, I may or may not agree with them but there are times when letting people vent is the best conversational gambit I know of.

And let me assure you that people in my life are getting quite rant-y.  Blame it on the hot weather or the current deluge of Trumpian noise or the alignment of the planets, but the peoples have things they want to say.

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FOR EXAMPLE, one woman, a Boomer, spent a good 5 minutes monologuing about how all Millennials are lazy and useless and entitled and __________ [fill-in the blank]. I think she stopped because she’d run out of breath, not complaints.

Considering she has a child who is a Millennial I thought her rant was a bit odd, but maybe it was her passive-aggressive way of dealing with her frustration about her progeny’s choices.  

Beats me.

All I could think to say was “I believe you” because I do believe that from her point of view what she said is truthful to her.

I’m perceptive and empathetic, don’t you know?

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SOON THEREAFTER, one man, a Millennial, started into his monologue about how much debt he and his friends have and how Boomers never had any debt and that his suffering is the worst darned financial suffering that ever has been. Without any doubt.

Considering he lived at home rent-free [with a Boomer parent] while he was in college I thought his rant was a bit odd, but maybe it was his passive-aggressive way of dealing with his frustration about his job now that he wants to leave the nest.  

Beats me.

Again all I could think to say was “I believe you” because I do believe that based on his life experiences what he said is truthful to him.

I’m tuned-in to the people around me, don’t you know?

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SO WITH the foregoing experiences fresh in my mind, and with the summer temps predicted to be in the 90s with humidity to match, I’ll end this post by suggesting that if you have a rant you’d like to express, I’m here to hear it.

I suspect I’ll be inside most of the weekend and from what I can tell my ability to listen is what the world needs right now.

Lay it on me. What’s been grinding your gears lately? What’s your sorry not sorry? I’m listening.

Yes, Deer Eat Pansies, Thanks For Asking

Would you like to know what the all-time most viewed post is on this blog?  Bet you won’t guess…

Is it about the sadness I felt after talking with a former neighbor for the last time? Read about it HERE.

Is it about the giddy feeling I felt when I realized we’d accidentally stolen something with no way of returning it?  Read about it HERE.

Is it about the pride I take in my positive approach to social media that does not include following people who I dislike? Read about it HERE.

No. No. Nope.

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The most viewed post on this blog is: The Deer Ate My Pansies
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It’s viewed almost year round because deer and pansies live in both hemispheres, thus this post is popular in both the spring and the autumn wherever you might live.

Who’d of thunk it?

And while I’m asking rhetorical questions, would you like to know why I was thinking about my most viewed post?

Of course you would.

Last week I listened to a webinar called Work Smarter Not Harder: How To Dominate 2019 with Reuseable Content!  From it I learned that it’s important to figure out what is your most viewed post & then reuse it [somehow] to get more eyeballs looking at your blog.

Soooo that’s what I’m doing today.  Repurposing old content like a social media guru, sort of.  Wondering if this idea will work on a personal blog, even kind of sort of.

Yep, I am your personal blogging dominatrix reusing that which is, to engage with &/or command influence over those readers who find this blog and read this post, ostensibly about deer and pansies.

Discuss.

A Cautionary Tale About Socks: One Woman’s Experience With KonMari

YOU MAY REMEMBER last fall I organized my section of our walk-in closet [discussed here].  What I didn’t tell you, my gentle readers, is that when I did that organization I adopted, sort of, the KonMari approach to tidying up said closet space.

Oh yes I did.

I’ll admit that I’ve never been 100% convinced her approach to organizing stuff is for me, but I’m open-minded so I gave it a go in our closet wherein I have a chest of drawers + a rod for hanging clothes + some shelves on which to put things.

Please note that in keeping with my experimental mindset I went full-out joy-sparking in that closet.

Uh huh.

SO LAST WEEKEND Zen-Den and I were going to dinner with friends at a nice restaurant in a swanky part of town.  I was wearing black pants, intending to wear a new pair of black leather + leopard print loafers with socks.

Black socks, obviously. Because winter is finally here and for the first time since last winter I needed to wear dark socks.

All was good in my uber-organized sock drawer, or so I thought, until I realized that during my Marie Kondo organizational purge last fall I’d saved 5 dark socks.

Five. Individual. Socks.

They are: 2 textured brown socks, 1 plain navy blue sock, 1 plain black sock, and 1 tone-on-tone patterned black sock.

APPARENTLY I GOT a little too joyful, and a trifle distracted, when I sorted through my dark socks last fall, giving the ones I didn’t want to the Salvation Army.

I think we can agree on that.

But be that as it may this situation created an interesting problem in the moment for which I had no immediate logical solution.  Thus I’ll share with you what turned out to be my four choices– and ask you to contemplate what you’d do in this situation.

My solution is in the comments below.

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HERE IS THE SOCK CONUNDRUM I FACED

1) I could wear the matching brown socks that didn’t go with the black pants and cute black leather + leopard print loafers;  or

2) I could be an outlaw a la Agnes and wear many possible mismatched sock combinations;  or

3) I could go sockless on a cold winter’s night;  or

4) I could give up wearing my cute loafers and wear black boots instead, knowing no one would see my socks that way.

WHAT DO YOU THINK I DID? WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

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Self-Awareness Is Good, But I Find Some Of This Questionable

For better or worse I’ve taken some online quizzes…

THE FIRST QUIZ  I took was Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies Quiz.  It is HERE.

My results tell me I’m a QUESTIONER, meaning I “Resist outer expectations, Meet inner expectations.”  While it might be heavy-handed to say that I questioned my results, I [of course] did.

Or at least I did initially.

However upon reflection, I’ve decided to embrace my natural tendency to question.  Hence I give you my results from two other online quizzes I took, in which I found myself questioning my results.

Like the questioner I am.

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THE SECOND QUIZ that I’d like to talk about is Test Your Emoji Exceptionalism.  It is HERE.

My results tell me that I barely know squat about emojis.

I’ve no difficulty owning up to this assessment of my emoji knowledge.  What I find myself questioning is why I should know more about emojis– and how many gazillion of them are there now?

I don’t hate on the things, silly as they are;  I use about 10 of them and that seems plenty to me.  But what I’m unclear about is why I need to educate myself about emojis when I can still use my words effectively to convey my message.

Just saying, no disrespect intended.

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THE THIRD QUIZ that I took was Which Era Is Your Soul From?  It is HERE.

According to my results I belong in the Victorian Era.  This is because I “believe in remaining optimistic in a world that is sometimes against you.”

I’m reluctant to accept this result, feeling that if there’s one era I most definitely do not belong in, it’s the Victorian Era.

If my results had said I belonged in the Flapper Age I’d be all *woot, woot* count me in, where’s the gin?  Or if my results had suggested that I belonged in the 1940s when women kept this country going while the men went to war, I’d be all move over Rosie, time for me to get riveting.

My optimistic soul would fit into those eras, but the Victorian Era when women were corseted and stuck at home with the vapors only doing domestic things?

Well, that’s not me… at all.

The Rest Of The Story: Answering My Gentle Reader’s Questions

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ARE YOU EVER GOING TO WRITE THE DEFINITIVE PRIMER ON BLOG COMMENTING ETIQUETTE, LIKE YOU SAID YOU MIGHT LAST SUMMER?

I don’t know.  I suppose it depends on how much I want to call out other bloggers on their less-than-stellar behaviors.  I fear that my natural honesty and snark could easily sound passive-aggressive— and that would never do.  So I hesitate.

WHY WERE YOU SO EASY ON THE PAINTERS WHO PAINTED THE FAMILY ROOM THE WRONG COLOR?

I forgave the painters, two guys who are partners, because they’re good men who we’ve had paint other rooms, and their work is perfect.  Yes, perfect.  Our interior designer told one partner what color to use to in each room, but he got the colors mixed up because he was on his way to “the old country” [in Europe] where his father was seriously ill, subsequently passed away.  Mistakes happen, you know?  And they re-painted the family room the right color, so all’s well that ends well.

WHAT’S BECOME OF YOUR NEIGHBOR, CRAZY BIRD LADY?

Crazy Bird Lady has calmed down over the years.  No more banging metal pots to scare birds away.  I saw a man from the HOA in her backyard pulling down all the shiny streamers, talking with her as he did so.  She no longer shouts obscenities at the birds & the neighbors who feed them, and all her weird flower pots are gone.  Now I only hear her when she’s talking to her dog– loudly talking, but saying normal things to her puppy.

WHAT WAS MIRABELLE’S REVENGE?

Mirabelle waited. She knew her mother hated it. Feared it, even.

She heard the shriek, her name being called. Mirabelle tried not to smile but she knew this revenge was perfect.

Mommy was vain. Without her make-up, flushed down the toilet by Mirabelle, she’d have to go to work barefaced.

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Any more questions?
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The One About The Mutual Acquaintance With The *Maybe* Secret Life

FRIEND, WHO IS NOT A DRAMA QUEEN, is convinced that a mutual acquaintance of ours, let’s call her Maureen, has a secret life.

Friend, who lives closer to Maureen and communicates with her more frequently than I do, thinks that Maureen is up to something.  Something weird, that is.  Something that Maureen doesn’t want us to know about.

Friend, who enjoys ye olde Facebook, tells me that Maureen disappears for days, not responding to any form of contact and then when they do talk in person there are holes in the story– about who was there, when events happened.

EASY AS IT WOULD BE TO DISMISS Friend’s observations about Maureen, I’ve heard this story before, many years ago.  And in that situation, the suspicions turned out to be correct.

Back then, that mutual acquaintance was off doing some things in another town involving a new age-y cult-type group that mutual acquaintance didn’t want anyone to know about.

But eventually we did find out– and that was long before Facebook, a simple nosy way to lurk on the edges of someone’s life.  Which is, of course, what Friend is now doing as she tries to find out the truth about Maureen’s alleged secret life.

AND ME, WHAT AM I DOING ABOUT all of this?  Not one blessed thing except listening to Friend.

I figure that enough people tell me their secrets and concerns without any prompting, that I don’t need to go looking for more things to know about people than what they want to share with me directly.

Case in point… read the first sentence of this post.

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Question of the Day:
Have you ever wondered if a friend or acquaintance has a secret life?  And if so, did they?  Or do you still not know for sure?
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