Sunday, January 29, 2017

How To Completely Misread Your Friends And Family On LIne 101

Welcome to my common cold, which I caught from Flower Girl and Beatle Boy.  Only now it has turned into a bummer of a cold...or something.  I don't have a fever but I have an infection which means I should go to the doctor if my body is not fighting this off on its own anymore.  And I've felt like I've had the common cold for over ten days now.  Thankfully it waited until this weekend to really hit me hard, like the kids mom last week.  She missed three days of work and hardly ever is sick. So hopefully with another day of rest I wont wake up tomorrow and have to go to the doctor.  I also have such a good relationship with this doctor, that she might phone in what I need since I have Chronic Asthmatic Bronchitis.  Have I mentioned before how much I hate to go to the doctor and how much I hate being sick?  I thought so.  I'm inclined to speak my mind.

I'm not going to talk about the state of the nation this week, because it's too damn depressing.

I'm also not going to talk about my past great loves, same reason.

What I am going to discuss is tone.  I've read a lot of comments over the years on the internet and I've noticed one thing that really pisses me off.  I miss hearing people speak their minds instead of reading it and having to supply the tone.  Which we all do and I'm betting most of us believe we have the tone correct due to the words chosen, or punctuation used...or not used, or caps.  But I'd bet most of us are wrong and never even caught it.  Instead arguments or debates spring forward where none were necessary.

Lets try and experiment.

Sorry I love you

Seems innocent enough.  BUT OH the many ways to say that sentence without punctuation or context. 

How about now?

SORRY!  I love YOU!

or now?

Sorry,  I love. . .you. . .

or now?

Sorry.  I LOVE you!

Boggles the mind a bit doesn't it?  I mean how can you really tell what a person means when their words might me harsh but there are not caps or punctuation?  I suppose you could look at who is saying it and hope you know them well enough and that they haven't changed, to assume what they mean.  But even that sometimes is wrong.  And how many times have you been slightly snarky on line to a friend, but it was so ambiguous as to not be caught, and you just let it go?  I know I have.  And usually to my snarky sarcastic friends.  I don't even know if they notice the duel edge to my abilities with words.  But I was raised by a woman who had a sharp wit and tongue to go with it and she was older so she didn't care what people thought.  And she told me that a really intelligent person never has to swear or be obviously mean to someone they want to insult.  A really intelligent person can make an insult sound like a compliment.  Like the old joke:  Two kids are found to be arguing by their mom and the mom says to the older child, "Tell your sister, 'You're sorry!"  and the boy says to his sister, "YOU'RE sorry!" 

If we are going to continue to bury our faces in our books and phones instead of talking with real people next to us, we need to be much better at the written word.  And the internet is destroying our language.  Some of my friends actually only use this kind of internet/street/slang to speak on line and I find it so distracting after awhile, not knowing all the 'LMAO' 'IMHO' acronyms out there, I get frustrated and don't even read them anymore unless they are attempted to be written in a complete language.  I can handle misspelled words, auto-corrected.  But u for you?  Really?  You can't type two more letters?  Come on people.  Lets keep our written word alive.  I know the language will always mutate and grow and common slang becomes common words.  It's a slower process than we realize but it happens like all change.  And perhaps I'm just getting too old to 'get with the times'.  Maybe I don't want to 'get with your times'.  Maybe I'll just be me and keep saying the entire words on line and maybe someday I'll be looked at like the old ones in Fahrenheit 451 who memorized entire books, and remembered holding one and smelling one and enjoying the escape.  Perhaps many of our arguments and paranoid feelings would be completely gone with a little bit more care in our typing and a lot more questioning of each other to be sure we are correct in our assumptions.


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Chicago And Its Riot Free Women's March

I'm so proud of my city this weekend. And living in Chicago that's not something I always feel.  But yesterday 250,000 people flooded downtown Chicago for the Woman's March.  One of many cities world wide that showed up to be counted.  And no riots.  No violence.  A protective but almost invisible police presence protected the marchers as they peacefully protested not only this president and his verbal attacks on women, but his plans to take our rights away.  We fought hard for our reproductive rights and will fight hard to keep them.  Not to mention his verbal abuse and bragging about sexual assault.  

The press, his press, tried to call the marches the 'new tea party'.  As if we were fueled by money like they are.  As if all the races of women and men marching together were there for something other than their rights.  Fortunately most don't believe this attempt to marginalize the movement.  This is the grassroots of the democratic party.  The liberals have always been the heart of the democratic movement and this is just the beginning.  This is how patriotism starts when it's threatened.  We stand up and show our leaders how we will vote them out of power. 

I hope for a peaceful impeachment of Mr. Trump.  I hope that no one feels that assassination is the answer for I do not wish that upon anyone.  I hope for the checks and balances that our Constitution and our government has in place will help the democratic and republicans that do not agree with Mr. Trump's ideals, oust him from the Office of the President of the United States.  Which in my humble opinion he is grossly unqualified to hold. 

I think what makes most of us afraid of repeating history back to Germany at the rise of Hitler, is that he actually made it to a swearing in ceremony and is in charge.  Every morning I wake up knowing what side of WWII I would have been on had I been in Germany then.  For the United States of America is dangerously walking the same fine line of 'wait and see what happens'. 

This is the most dangerous thing we can do.  This is what a lot of Jewish German families did before Kristallnacht.  This is what I feel myself doing.  I'm too poor to donate, although if I could I would.  I have called my representatives and told them how to vote.  As a sufferer of enochlophobia or the fear of crowds, I was unable to attend when I heard the estimated turn out could be 50,000-80,000.  Chicago didn't expect the 250,000 to jam the trains and buses and streets for most of Saturday as our city showed up to be counted.  I was there with you in spirit, my friends.  And overjoyed to see your pictures and happy faces.  I smiled with you and felt your joy from a safe, panic free, distance.  Knowing I'm not alone in my phobia, I wondered to myself how many like me stayed away not from beliefs but out of a fear of panic. 

Thank you Chicago for making yesterday a violence free march of safety for a few of our citizens to express their peaceful outrage at our President, his cabinet, and the majority of the House and Senates, plans to gut our freedoms and rights for the almighty dollar and acquisition of more money; instead of protecting our planet and all it's citizens no matter their tax bracket or color of skin. 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Mirror, Mirror On The Wall

I'm torn right now between what I know to be the right path I should follow, and the one that my well meaning but brainwashing parents would want me to follow.  And it would be great if this were just one facet of my life but this mental tug of war really hits on all cylinders. 

Now you have to understand how deep and well meaning parents love is to really understand this.  And if you don't have children, I'm sorry, but you'll have to settle for an intellectual understanding rather than the gut wrenching reality of watching your own children make the same mistakes you made.  Even AFTER you told them so many, many stories about your past to convince them that turning into you is not a good idea.  Now I have a son that is so bad with communication with the people he loves, you'd think he'd died.  And a daughter that so far has chosen all the wrong men to be with.  In other words I don't have to look very far to see myself in my children. 

What this riddle of life is SUPPOSE to show you is how to fix yourself.  And it works better than a mirror for showing you what the world sees.  Every time my daughter and I butt heads about something personal in my life or hers I try to clam down first.  Something I watched my mother do with me the older I got.  I thought I was winning.  When she was seeing herself and not liking it, so she grew.  And every time I realize it's been longer than a week, probably more like two or even a month, since I've heard from my son, I'll pick up whatever device is near me and reach out.  He responds within a few days, usually.  And let me add these are straight kids.  Not like I was with my parents.  I needed a cushion.  And I'm sure my kids need that too. 

But that's absolutely normal, right?  I mean I've never seen a family that didn't have it's moments of not quite fitting together.  But the moments when you do fit together, movies and books and games and politics, and religion, and. . . well lets leave sex out of this one, it's not fun for any of us to get too close in that area.  I know my face gets that look on it like I just swallowed cough syrup every time one of them brings up someone I know they are intimate with.  But don't get me wrong here, I couldn't be happier for both of them when they are happy and in love. 

I miss them every day of my life.  Every single day.  And we're close, and look forward to our times together.  My daughter and I speak almost every day.  And I'd pick her for a friend if I met her on the street.  My son and I don't talk as often but when we do I feel like we're getting caught up and like no time has really passed in between.  I miss us as bffs.  But if you were both small I'd miss who you are now just as much.  Every time I think of you I smile and am filled with calming love.  My children saved my life so many times.  I hate to think where I'd be if I'd never had them.  For me, having children made it impossible to give up.  And I think that is part of why I love being a nanny so much.  I get to help raise children all day.  It is the most rewarding job I've ever known.  

Right now I'm going to enjoy my life.  Because life is so short, and in these times so very uncertain.  I know bad times are coming because I'm so happy right now.  But I try not to dwell on that too much.  It's a dangerous place for me.  So if you see me getting quiet in a conversation, it's not usually because I don't have an opinion, its more because I'm afraid to voice it anymore.  The entire country feels like it's holding it's breath, waiting to see what is going to really happen. 

Hold your loved ones

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Ever Wonder Why?

Ever wonder why?

You can see something so vivid when looking backward.
When looking ahead?  Thick as pea soup. 

It's the reflective time of year.  And well, I'm reflecting.
It's a slippery slope, but one that I frequent.
I guess I find the danger of memory entertaining.

Sometimes I believe I'm the most gullible woman to have ever tried to love.
Scoffing at the memories of the lies I believed. 
Shaking my head in awe of being the last to know.
Strange to live that cliche.

Have you pondered a different life?
Happy to daydream?
Happier still to experience.

Fearful for a life alone, but more
Fear of a life shared.

Time to live my rut.  Time to lay in the bed I've made.  Time to live.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

I Have No More Small Talk

I think I'm backwards from most people.  Most everyone is making resolutions and trying to keep them.  I gave up making them years ago because I never seem to keep them.  Making them now its almost a guarantee that I won't do it.  I try to keep on myself daily and do the things I should for my mind and body every day rather than the first few days or months of the year.  Most everyone is reflecting on their last year and making internal promises to be better or not continue in an abusive relationship or addictive behavior.  Again, I try that every day.  It's a worrywart's natural state of being. 

I was at the house party last night of Second Daughter and Second Son and I had fun getting out and being around adults.  The food was good the drinks were flowing and the company was good, but not what I really wanted.  No fault to anyone who was in attendance.  I didn't try to be me.  I was nervous and afraid in a place where I used to feel at home and loved.  And it was all me.  I was greeted with love and affection.  People were glad to see me.  People I care about tried to talk to me and strike up conversations.  I listened politely to them discussing their lives and I was interested, but when it came time for me to reply to 'what I've been up to' or 'what's new' I have no smart, concise, examples of my life.  I have no real changes on a daily basis of what's going on, and no new events or challenges that I've put myself into.  In short, I have no more small talk.

And while that makes me appear standoffish and quiet, I actually would have a lot to say if the topic of conversation wasn't always about the small stuff.  Small talk bores me, and very easily.  I'd much rather talk about what movies or books you've loved or hear funny stories, or discuss the statue of the Union or the world.  I rather reflect on who influences you and why, or what you read lately that really made your blood boil.  Good, deep, and reveling conversations seem to have died at parties.  I guess everyone is afraid of offending a friend.   I'm more interested in the topics people shy away from.  I like learning and believe I learn more about what really makes a person tick when they discuss sex, politics or religion. 

I also am starting to really feel the generation gap between my younger friends and myself.  I find that people closer to my own age are having the same issues with small talk.  And while I still try to use it when I'm meeting new people, I find that I try less and less to meet anyone.  This is more due to fear of failure or worse fear of success that ends up with the person leaving me.  So huge abandonment issues which don't play well with strangers.  And actually don't play well with anyone.  I was invited to another party tonight by a couple I really like and feel I have a lot in common with, but I'm not going.  I'm all socialized out from vacation and last night and I need time alone.  I know I'd end up a bump on a log instead of the life of the party.  And I'd rather be asked back than have my social anxiety brand me as boring.  There's that fear of failure again. 

I know I should have tried harder.  I know I should have let my personality out.  But the few times I tried it seemed to grind the conversation to a halt or force a change in topic.  This didn't embarrass me like it would have say, twenty years ago, it just made me feel like I wanted a different party.  Like how I felt thirty years ago.  When the room didn't suit me, I left the room.  Denied them of me.  Ego I know, but it feels better than not feeling like you deserve to be there or are liked.  Being bored at a party should only make you feel like maybe you need a different tribe to party with.  Not that you don't deserve to be liked or have fun.  And so it's huge growth for me that I'm letting my ego win here instead of my insecurities.  Because again, I didn't have as much fun as I could have, because I didn't allow myself to.

Growth is good.