Tinder Adventures Continue

Standard

  

My Tinder experiment last year was quite the experience. I spent more time shocked by people’s audacity than feeling any love connections. 

As I gear up to spend a little more time on the east coast, I am convinced Tinder could at least provide some distraction and entertainment. 

Surprisingly, I am having fun again. Deleting the inappropriate ones. Ignoring the creepy ones. Laughing at the guys who are posing topless. 

I’m texting one potential match and he may have earned himself a date by making me laugh. I informed him I was the selfie queen. He responded that he could be king and proceeded to take a public bathroom selfie. I am a sucker for a well timed selfie battle. 

Life is fun. Tinder can be fun. Let’s all just lighten up and enjoy life for what it is. 

I would like to avoid the douchebaggery of dick pics. I could do without seeing your chest carpet. Ew. I’m still not sure what they are showing off. But okay. Whatever works for ya buddy. 

I don’t have to find a Prince Charming or the love of my life. I get to meet new people and go on adventures. If I manage to make a new friend, I’m gonna consider that a success. 

Distorted Beauty

Standard


Selfies became a lot more fun when I found apps like Prisma. Now I can make myself look like a cartoon character even if I don’t know how to draw. 

I guess some people may think selfies are ridiculous, however when you spend as much time traveling alone as I do, you gotta get pictures somehow. 

It has nothing to do with vanity. 

I spent years hating every single picture that I ever saw of myself. I struggled to smile for the camera. I tended to avoid pictures if I could get away with it. I simply did not want there to be any record of the way I looked. 

I made funny faces. 

I am too fat. 

My nose is too turned up and my nostrils flare when I laugh too hard. When I am mad. When I am tired, happy, or sad. Okay, my nostrils just flare a lot. They are active little boogers.

My neck is short and thick. 

You can’t see my collar bones. 

I am built like a potato, all lumps and no curves in the right spots.

I perpetually looked constipated or pissed off in almost every picture. 

I was dressed wrong. 

I was not thin enough. 

My hair did not look right. 

My teeth looked odd. 

I spent so much time berating the image of the girl on the paper that I couldn’t appreciate the memory that had been captured. 

It goes beyond a low self-esteem. I was full of loathing and resentment. I just knew I was not enough. 

I hated the camera. I made fun of “those silly girls” who had the audacity to playfully pose for their own shutter. I convinced myself they were somehow the antithesis of who I should be if I was to be taken seriously. 

There was not one single event that was the turning point. Slowly, I started posing for photos with friends. I started out standing behind everyone a peeking over their shoulder. There must be a hundred pictures of my son and I with me grasping his shoulders and peering around his head. 

Once iPhones had the forward facing camera, making faces in the camera replaced making faces in the mirror. Don’t lie. You know you do that too. It has nothing to do with liking the way I look, it’s almost like a curiousity about what my facial expressions look like to other people. 

Occasionally, I take a photo that doesn’t look too bad. If the light is just right and I am relaxed I like some of the photos. Honestly, part of it is practicing posing, angles, and lighting. I feel like I am making progress. 

I’m not going to pretend like I feel like I look good the majority of the time. I still hate so much about what I see. 

Aging is difficult. 

I have more acne than I did as a teenager. 

I can’t even begin to imagine what is happening to my pores, all of the sudden they decided to become prominent, and they collect debris like tiny gaping hoarders. 

The skin on my face is thinner, drier, more oily, blotchy, and something is happening my eyelids. It’s as if the tissue is migrating to under my eyes instead of holding my eyebrows up. 

My eyelashes have decided to abandon me. Perhaps they have migrated up to my brow. 

There is a very deep ravine marching across my forehead. There is no way to smooth it out anymore. 

There are gray hairs sneaking their way into my brunette locks, which has taken on a dull sheen if I don’t get it colored by a professional. I was also unaware of how the shaft would become thinner and increasingly prone to breakage. 

And don’t even get me started on my chin. All I can say is tweezers are no longer optional. Perhaps this is the lash’s new address. 

Despite my dissatisfaction with essentially every body part and feature, my son has my smile and my nose. Really he looks very much like me. I think he is the most handsome dude ever. I realize you are most likely suffering from the delusion that your son is the best looking kid to walk the earth, but you are mistaken. It’s okay, I won’t correct you. Well, not out loud anyway. 

How can I despise the features of my face, when I see them on my son and feel they are perfect? How can I tear down someone else’s child? Bet you didn’t know I was someone’s perfect child. I would never say the things to another woman that I say to myself. There is a bit of honesty I was going to insert right here, but it really made me sound like an asshole. It had to be cut. Just know I am not as kind as that last statement sounded. I am really quite snarky. 

So, what have I learned? 

It takes a conscious, purposeful effort for me to be kind to myself. Sometimes it takes just as much for me to be kind to others too. I have to frequently redirect myself and somehow prove that I am not quite the ogre-spinster I picture in my head. 

Yes. I know. Looks are not everything. If you are nice and behave in a warm, loving way, you are are beautiful. There are a million other cliche phrases I can insert here to fight the good fight against the shallow tide pool of my judgemental mind. Let’s be real though. A girl wants to be pretty. I want to feel pretty.

I’ve spent years trying to pretend I didn’t care and acting out all my tomboy fantasies. I kept my hair chopped off, dressed in horrifically ugly T-shirts with obnoxious sentiments, I even wore a doo-rag religiously for several years. I was trying to prove to myself it was okay for me to hate the way I look. I didn’t care anyway. So there! 

All I managed to accomplish is a profound delay in acquiring the skills necessary to operate the various tools of femininity.  

I still don’t know how to use the curling iron. The blow dryer is frequently a disaster.

I can’t paint my own nails. 

Eyeliner is pretty much hit or miss. 

Eyelash curler? Oh, the medieval torture device that must have been invented by a masochist? Nope.

The eyebrows? Yeah, that’s tricky. Mine are frequently crooked, giving me a mildly surprised expression. 

My clothes frequently don’t exactly go together. How the hell do people know what makes an outfit? Maybe there is a book. I should google that. 

Despite my desperate and often humorous attempts to appear like I have an ounce of taste, I like it. I like wearing clothes I think are cute. I enjoy having long hair. Red lipstick is my absolute favorite thing in the world. Sometimes I even feel kinda cute. 

So, I am going to keep taking the damn selfies and practice smiling like a girl. I am going to take selfies making funny faces too. I may even try to learn how to giggle. I owe it to myself and all the people who love me to record the fact I was here. 

When I am lucky, I will see a glimpse of the daughter my mother thinks is beautiful. Maybe someday I will feel a little less disdain towards her. 

Tinder is the Night

Standard


I have many well-intentioned loved ones who just want me to “find someone nice.” Meet the man of my dreams, fall in love, get married, and live happily ever after. The problem is I have no idea how to do that. When I am left to my own devices I do silly things like play on Tinder. There must be some trick to meeting a nice guy. I doubt I am going to find him while I am sitting on the couch in my PJs.

So, I was bored.

I am also pretty much lazy when it comes to looking for men. I really have zero desire to put much effort into this task. I am not looking for some great love affair. I am also decidedly not looking for a one night stand. I was just bored. Someone to go out to dinner with might be nice. Maybe someone who wants to discuss movies or books. 

I typically tend to forget how many ways men suck. First of all, S3XY??? What the actual hell? Does that ever work? This dude is in his 30’s. So, I am left pretty much flabbergasted at his lack of charm.  At least pretend you are interested in something other than sex. Lie. Whatever. 

I suppose I should be grateful at this guy’s level of honesty. He certainly loses points for missing the hint. If brazen stupidity were an attractive trait, he would have a leg up on the competition. My very favorite part of this exchange was the “U sure.” Ummm, yeah. I am fairly certain I am never going to be interested in having “a sexual relationship” with you.

I am trying to think of what physical characteristics could make me ignore a man’s absolute lack of common sense. He would have to be one hot dude. Tall. Tattoos. Broad shoulders. A beard would help. Thick hair would be nice. Or balding (I am really not picky about hair. Just be smart about your hair. NO comb overs!) Cute smile. Deep voice. Good job. Nice eyes. Smart. Passionate. Responsible. I realize those are not all physical characteristics. I just need more than a pretty face! Oh, a pretty face is not on the list. I don’t want a man prettier than I am.

I have no idea why I responded to this man on Tinder. I suppose I just wanted to see what ridiculousness would ensue. The entire conversation was less than 20 exchanges and most of my responses were not even nice! Did he actually think this would work? What kind of girl would find this a viable option for a nice evening? Are there women who are just looking for a loser to sleep with? I can’t imagine how much liquor it would take for me to overlook his conversation skills.

Tinder is probably not a great option for me to find stimulating conversation and interesting company. Maybe I need to find a coffee shop. Perhaps I should start stalking men at the book store.

We conduct so much of our life on the internet. I am convinced we could go on forever without expanding our social circles at all. So, where am I supposed to meet this nice guy who thinks I am fantastic? Where the hell is he hiding? Someone should drop him a text and let him know I am terrible at hide- and- seek.

Tinder. Ugh. Fellas, I am going to need you to get a clue. Don’t be douchebags. Girls don’t find that attractive. We need more than to be called sexy. I am much more than just a body. I have interests and goals. I love to argue and debate. I need so much more than a physical relationship.

Changes, Scars, and Progress

Standard

clocks-steinsgate_00406066

Time heals all wounds. I have heard this saying my entire life. I don’t actually think this is the case. The benefit time affords us is distraction. The healing is an active process. It may not be a conscious or purposeful act, but under the surface scar tissue is being formed.

I have been experiencing  dramatic changes over the past year or so, most of them beyond my volition. In fact, I have fought against them with grit and desperation. I have had important relationships changed and sometimes dissolve, I have left my steady career, and I have started living the life of a traveller. I have struggled through attempts at regaining personal health and wellness. My entire life has turned upside down and inside out. Nothing is the same as it used to be.

Isn’t that what life is though? If we had to wake up and live the same day over and over again the monotony would be maddening. Change is a wonderful byproduct of experience. I want to believe I have been growing as a person, and the person I am becoming is a better version of me. I am not sure I can compare this me to the old me. I can say beyond question I am DIFFERENT. I have changed.

I am a little quieter. I have more empathy. I try harder to be diplomatic. I am branching out and learning about new things. I actively seek adventure. These improvements don’t underscore the fact that change is hard. It hurts. Sometimes it is debilitating.

I do not regret any of the choices I have made. Yes, I am scared of the unknown. I get nervous when I think about driving across the country to spend six months working in a specialty that has always been a bit of a mystery to me. The thought of snow (lots of snow) makes me wonder if I can handle driving in the winter wonderland of the Northeast. I am afraid I will look foolish and not know what I am doing.

It has taken me months to heal some of the heartache that came with leaving my job. I do still get to work there sometimes when I am at home, and that does help. Healing has not been easy. Some days the wounds were angry, red, oozing welts of bitterness and regret. Now, I can look at the wounds and remember they are there, but healed over nicely. Most of the time I don’t even notice the scars.

The changes in relationships have been a bit harder. These were deeply personal and painful breaks. Then I took a step back. Perhaps it was just change. Long distance friendships are hard to maintain under the best circumstances. Now, throw both people into their own private turmoil. Neither one has the ability to tell the other what they need, much less provide for those needs. Unfortunately, this could spell the end of an era. Maybe it will all work out in the end. I like to think so.

So, I guess the point is change is inevitable. It may leave you with wounds that need to be healed, but in the end it is all just progress. Today, I am content with where I am. I know I am on a grand adventure. I need to remember to enjoy the ride.

Social Media- It’s not all bad.

Standard

We all know I have never been one of the cool kids. It’s okay. It is what it is. Let’s be honest, I would rather have the freedom to be exactly who I am instead of being held accountable to other’s expectations for me.

I was so fiercely unconcerned with fitting in, I was willing to be an outcast. I was perfectly satisfied being me. Unfortunately, this attitude has left me with only a rudimentary understanding of social protocols and I tend to be somewhat awkward.

A little over a year ago, I joined an online health club, which soon led me to join a gym and after a few months, I was boxing. Well, taking a boxing class. I started to “talk” to these new friends of mine, and eventually I started meeting them. Now, I can honestly say a lot of them are my friends.

I have people available to “talk” to 24 hours a day. Someone is always awake.

I get to go on adventures with new people all the time!

There is very little pressure with being FB friends. If I am not busy we can chat, otherwise it can wait.

So, for all you out there judging people who make friends in unorthodox ways, get on over it. Seriously, it is no big deal.

The Strongest Men We Ever Knew.

Standard

Imagine a rugged, gregarious, elderly man. He is quick to tell a story and flirt with all the ladies. He was the toughest cowboy who ever lived. He has never been sick a day in his life. He does not even notice the cut on his hand. He will blush and admit to some memory problems, however he is quick to reassure you that he is doing just fine. He explains all the help he receives from his family and friends. He tells you about all the things he is still doing. This man is healthy as a horse.

It is easy to assume he is doing just fine, until you realize this is the third recitation of the same story.  He goes to church every Sunday. He spells out his daily routine. He will regale you with tales of his fishing adventure just last week! Biggest fish he has ever seen! He still drives around the town he has lived in for 70 years. All the while, he keeps forgetting about the cut on his hand. He looks down with a puzzled expression every time the bandage enters his field of vision.

He just wants to go home. Yes, he is well aware that his children want him to move closer to them. He is indignant and proud. He can manage just fine.

Sure, he may have had some difficulty managing his bank account- that darned internet is too complicated for him. It’s not surprising he does not remember which way to turn when he drives down that particular street, they must have changed it all up. There is entirely too much new construction around here anyway. It is just a waste of the tax payers money. They keep changing the roads every week!

He just wants to go home. There is nothing wrong with him. He is fine. He has been taking care of himself for 65 years. He raised four children. Of course it has been more difficult since his wife died. She had always cooked the meals, taken care of the house and laundry, and managed all the finances. He sure does miss her.

Keeping all his medicine straight is difficult, his doctor gives him too many darned tiny pills, and have you ever tried to open one of those bottles? You almost need a hacksaw to get into one of them. It is okay, the lady that cleans his house puts them into a box for him. One says AM and one says PM. Problem solved.

He finds the bandage again. He is getting slightly irritated at the discomfort. He starts pulling off the gauze so he can leave. He does not need to be tied up. Why would he have his hand wrapped up? He needs to get that mess off so he can go home. Besides, that is not his bandage. He doesn’t need it.He does not believe he would care to buy that today. He promises to come buy it another day if I need the sales commission.

He tells you about fishing last week. It was the biggest fish he has ever seen. He reeled in it all by himself. He is demonstrating his manly prowess, and proving he can take care of himself. Sure, he lost his wallet again. Nope, he has no trouble getting where he needs to go. He has never been in an accident or had a traffic violation.

He is quick and sure to answer your questions and concerns.

He can tell the best stories about when he was a cowboy. He still tends all his own fences. He just plowed his garden last week. What on earth could you possibly be saying? Of course he can fend for himself! Besides, he has wonderful friends who drop by and check on him.

He was horribly confused and combative in the night. He pulled out his IV site (more than once.) He spilled his coffee repeatedly. He wanted his pants. What kind of nonsense is this? Stealing a man’s pants? He was not going to stand for this. Fine, you know what? He has money. Where is his wallet? He will buy his pants back from you. He never uses the call light despite repeated reminders. He keeps insisting he is not in the hospital.

You realize he has no idea who you are. You have spent countless hours with him over the past few days, and in fact you were just in his room fifteen minutes ago. Every time you walk through the door, you are greeted joyously. He does not remember the nasty tone of voice he was using with you last time you were in here. He does not remember that you are the one who will not allow him to go home. He tries calling you darlin’ and he gives you a little wink.

It is not too hard for you to redirect him. All you see is a sweet old man. You can even laugh at times. Some of his antics are funny.  He is “pleasantly confused” and you are well aware he does not mean any of it. This is not the man who raised you. You have not witnessed his decline from greatness. You are not the one who will have to go home and feel remorse for not being able to make it work with him at home. This is just another day at the office for you.

His son sits with a resigned expression at the bedside. He never interrupts or corrects his father. He only fills in information when his father looks to him to answer the question. I keep trying to give the son an opportunity to pipe up and let his father know he can’t go home in this condition. I try telling this man he can’t stay at home alone at night. I look to his son and wait for him to tell his dad he has to  come stay with family. He only asks me how long I think his father will need someone to stay with him. I can see the wheels of desperation turning over in his mind. Oh. He is not always this bad. Okay. The infection could explain it. Perhaps a few days or weeks would be sufficient. 

Turns out, Paul Harvey was not going to chime in “With the rest of the story.” (If you don’t know that reference google Paul Harvey.)I am mildly concerned, but feeling a little better. This confusion could be the delirium so many patients experience in the hospital. Nope. Not at all. Charming Grandpa has not been doing well for a while. Ok, no problem. Just get him to go home with his son. Phew. Glad I solved that problem.

It is painful to see adult children struggling with their new role as a protector and decision maker. What do we do when the body still works, but the mind is no longer able to handle the complexities of life? How do you take away your father’s car keys? How do you finally insist they cannot live at home anymore? It is not stubbornness that leads to their insistence to stay home. They are unable to realize and comprehend the reality of their cognitive decline.

So, what happens when they refuse to go to an assisted living, nursing facility, or even to live with relatives who can look after them? How do you compel someone to leave the home they built and raised their family in, when they feel fine? I somehow managed to convince myself patients with dementia actually understood how confused they were. Oh! This is why we perform mental evaluations. People do not know when they are confused. They truly believe everything is fine. Now what? You seem fine in short conversations, you are not physically debilitated, why would I say you need to be forced from the home you built with your own two hands. Yes, I remember you still mend your own fences. Yes, you used to be a cowboy. A real cowboy, not one of those fancy boys. 

This is not an easy process. We don’t like to hold people against their will. You can’t just kidnap grandpa because you decide it is the right thing to do. Furthermore, NO ONE EVER TELLS YOU HOW TO DO THIS! Maneuvering through all the rules, insurance regulations, and red tape is maddening. Now, imagine trying to handle all of this if you live and work somewhere else, compounded by the fact that your parent has everyone fooled. He looks great! He is at church three times a week. He does not realize how severe the problem is, and neither does anyone else, until something happens. He gets lost and drives 3 states away. He leaves the stove on and starts a fire. He takes all of his money out of the bank and no one can find it.

There is no easy answer.

However, your grandpa with dementia may be entertaining a group of nurses tonight. He will keep them on their toes. They will watch over him while you try to sort out his affairs. They will nurse him back to health from whatever ailment landed him in the hospital. They will make sure someone is keeping an eye on the guy who likes to Pole vault over the bed rails while they rush to take care of their other patients. There will probably be a bed alarm that shrieks out every time he tries to get out of bed. A gaggle of nurses will rush to the door to protect him from harm. He will not remember the instructions he received 2 minutes ago to use his call light.  These nurses will quietly ask you about discharge planning, and express concerns about him going home alone. They will be there to support you while you go through the hardest experience of your life.

He will vacillate between irritated and charming. When he turns on the charm in an attempt to manipulate his way out of this situation, he will capture a few hearts. He will demand he be released from this prison. Charming grandpa will constantly interfere with all attempts to treat his medical condition. He will forget he is sick.

Dementia is hard.

The aging cowboy has no idea this is happening. He will tell you again about his fishing trip. He will rip the bandage off his hand, and try to get the string, actually, those are sutures and I really wanted them there, out of his hand. We have only had this conversation 27 times in the past three hours. The cowboy will become furious at his wrongful conviction, and as soon as he gets distracted the situation never existed. He will politely ask to go home. He feels fine. There is nothing in the world wrong with him.

His son will tell me how his dad is the strongest, toughest, and bravest men he has ever known. He is facing a tough battle. He will have to overrule the ruler. No one will be able to convince him he is not a terrible son for taking his father from his home. Worse, it may not even be safe enough for his father to come live with him. The son will have to vigilant to prevent the cowboy from absconding into the night.

If they live long enough, even the strongest men (and women) are at risk for developing cognitive decline. It will happen in bits and pieces. Things will appear manageable even after they are careening through a mine field. We have to support the families of these super heroes. We have to reassure them, offer guidance, and listen most of all. It is heart-rending to watch.

Basically, there is no easy answer. It is difficult to prepare for this situation because you want to believe it will never be that bad. Your dad is the strongest man in the world, why does he have to lose his independence?

It must be hard to parent one’s own parent.

Journalists are first responders too.

Standard

My heart is heavy today. Another senseless act of violence perpetrated in the most public forum possible. This shooter apparently had a long history of feeling persecuted, and he suffered professionally as a result. According to an article in Newsweek, Flanagan had sued a previous employer for discrimination in response to reported comments disparaging him because of his race. The case was settled for an undisclosed amount of money in 2000. A copy of the complaint is available on the Newsweek article. That’s enough about this dude, I want to talk about the parts I understand.

Yep, that is me- in the dog suit. Went to the fair, pep rallies, and even the MDA Telethon. The ice packs only helped a little. I complained bitterly about it, but who does not secretly dream of wearing “fur” in 100 degree weather? I secretly enjoyed it, but don’t tell anyone that.

I was incredibly fortunate as a teenager. I had a news director at my local TV station allow me to complete an internship in the news department. I was the first high school student to be granted this privilege. I learned so much during that semester, and the opportunity allowed me to gain employment as an associate producer at KLBK when I was 16. Most of my responsibilities were similar to my responsibilities when I was an intern, I ripped scripts, ran the teleprompter, pulled a few stories from the AP wire, and edited some of the video. Sometimes I got to tag along for special events, and I was the mascot (I actually wore a dog suit) for a short time.

I loved my job. It was exciting and fun. I learned a lot of skills which have proven useful in my current career. One of the most important skills I learned is how to deal with people who have (for lack of a better word,) strong personalities. I believe performing on air requires a certain amount of self importance, and self confidence in order to be convincing as a talent. Most of the people I worked closely with were (and still are) amazingly generous people, and I am a better person for having them in my life at such a young age. Tensions ran high frequently in the newsroom, and it is not a place for sensitive people. There are deadlines that cannot be missed, and you have to please a fickle public and more importantly, you have to please your advertisers. The ratings have to be considered, AND you have to use integrity and ethical reporting while not offending the public. Sure, it is a high stress environment.

While our journalists are not often considered “first responders” in the way healthcare providers and police officers are, they do put themselves in harm’s way in order to provide a public service. They are the information centers of our society. Even in our social media crazed society, we still turn on the local news when the weather is ominous. When there is a developing story involving active shooters or bomb threats (just an example), our journalists do not seek cover, they rush to the scene and deliver the most current updates. I like to believe they are acting to keep us safe.

Journalists are tasked with gathering information, and the public is constantly demanding more. We expect in-depth reporting, and exciting video to stimulate our constant craving for adrenaline. We reward the most daring journalists with our hits, tweets, and shares. Only the most exciting (or perhaps adorable) video goes viral.

I am one of the worst critics, and I tend to hold people (especially professionals) to high standards. I frequently forget to express my gratitude, and in light of this public tragedy, I want to now.

I don’t know what this guys problem was. Frankly, I don’t care. I think he is most likely an asshole with a mental illness. Keep in mind, not everyone who is mentally ill is violent. I could spout a bunch of crap on here about the need for gun control and reform for mental healthcare, but I am not.

I just want to thank all the journalists who provide this public service for me. I appreciate the work you do. I also appreciate all the people who took me under their wing when I was just a kid, and taught me so much about looking for the story. You were my first mentors.

Lastly, my thoughts are with the coworkers, families, and friends of the victims of this crime. I am so sorry for your loss. I appreciate the service your loved ones provided for the public.

It is all judgement.

Standard

I love it when people claim they are not judgmental. They love to effusively explain how they feel that the downtrodden are just needing a chance to change their lives. They preach about how they do not judge people based on their race, financial situation, or occupation.

I have found the opposite to be true. As a society, we seem to ostracize and attack the outliers on both ends of the spectrum. We don’t like the smartest, richest, handsomest people. We also don’t like the people who are ignorant, poor, or ugly. So, we pretty much act like jerks all the way around. 

Let me use this meme as an example:

1514614_1043048229052657_4160233486819479542_n

Hmmm. This was probably supposed to be funny. I found it sad. We have to tear down everyone who is doing well in life. How is that fair? Why can’t we just be nice?

First of all, how do you define someone as rich just by looking at them? Snotty? WTF? Maybe they are just shy. Furthermore, acting as if asking someone who is well-dressed if they work at the grocery store implies people who are employed there are not well-dressed. This whole thing is just disturbing. I completely understand this is supposed to be a clever joke, but I just can’t help but notice it is still judging someone based on how they look.

Treating someone badly for any reason is not okay. To single someone out based on your preconceived notion of their situation is really pretty shitty. Why are we such bullies?

One of the things I have noticed about people is how so many people feel the need to tear down other people. I do not understand this. Why would you punish someone for being successful? How is this behavior okay? Why do we condone marginalizing anyone?

I have noticed judgmental attitudes in myself. I can be an absolute asshole at times. It is rather disappointing. I do not want to be so shallow that I judge people without any information. I have to keep an open mind and give people a chance.

This whole “us” versus “them” mentality we have is terrible. Why can’t we just be people? It seems like we walk around trying to categorize people into these neat little packages. Personally, I have never met a person who actually fits into their stereotype. Didn’t we learn about all this in our after-school television marathons?

We are spending too much time figuring out why we should not like someone, or why they have not earned their position in life. Both ways!!! Successful people did not earn it, and the unsuccessful people are victims.

I sincerely doubt these situations are quite so black or white. I am beginning to understand how complex our societies are. We should really consider being a little more careful, and stop perpetuating these cycles of abusive behavior. You do not get to ostracize people for not being poor, just like you are not supposed to mistreat poor people.

We need to get a grip and learn to treat all people with respect. I am pretty sure we all learned this in kindergarden. Be nice. Even to the rich people.

Contrition and Evolution: Actually, sometimes I am just a jerk.

Standard

IMG_9249It is not particularly unusual for me to make an ass of myself. I do it all the time. I laugh, you laugh, we all laugh. Unless, I accidentally really hurt your feelings.

Contrition does not matter if I do not have compunction and change the way I respond to others.  

In a lot of ways, ADHD does not negatively affect my life. That is, until I speak before I have time to think through the consequences of my words. It is not only my words, my face is unusually expressive, and my voice tends to be more forceful than I probably intended (sorry, I don’t hear very well.)

Obviously, if I think back on my actions later, I might feel a pang of regret. If I am lucky, I realize I was rude, sincerely apologize, and make an effort to make amends.

The real issue is when I justify my impulsive initial reaction. I find it interesting how easy it is to condone my own thoughtless behaviors by simply saying I did not mean for it to be interpreted however it was received. I did not want to hurt their feelings. Therefore, I am absolved of all guilt. After all, it’s not my fault they were upset. They should have known my intentions.

This is simply not acceptable. I should hold myself to a higher standard, and act with purpose instead of coasting through life, and anticipating most will disregard my spontaneous outbursts.

As I get older, I am more cognizant of the negative consequences of unintentional churlish interactions.

Sometimes, I pick on people. Not meaning to be cruel, it is just a way for me to show affection. If I have paid enough attention to you for me to observe your idiosyncrasies, then I must like you! I thought it was forgivable if I just laughed and insisted it was a joke. Well, jokes should bring joy, not pain.

So, perhaps the best lesson I have learned, is to act instead of react. I am going to take a moment to evaluate whether my thoughts on the subject add anything to the conversation, if my words are appropriate for the situation, and ensure the tone of my voice conveys my intent.

It can’t be that difficult to just not be a jerk. It is not fair to insist everyone forgive my self-centeredness.

*I am not always so careless, I just forget that other people can hear my thoughts if I say them out loud. How cool would it be if we had soliloquies, and complete control over whether or not other people actually heard the ideas that managed to escape our mouths? Perhaps we could be on a 10 second delay, and there would be a magic censor who could beep out inappropriate comments.

– Or, we can just act like grownups and be polite.

One more thing: I firmly believe people never hear what is actually said. They hear a few words get distracted, and fill in the rest based on their personal frame of mind at that moment.

It’s no wonder people get their feelings hurt, they don’t listen! See what I did there? I shifted the blame, to assuage my remorse. 

I rarely mean to offend, sometimes I just forget that words have a real impact on people. The children’s rhyme is wrong: Sticks and stones may break bones, but words can wound indefinitely.

It is difficult to admit I have asshole tendencies. It is embarrassing. So, perhaps the best thing… is to just be quiet.

 

Meeting my friends for the first time.

Standard

The weekend of the Tough Mudder has finally arrived. I have been meaning to sit down all day and write this. (I’ve been busy!!!!)

IMG_7872

This dog won’t stop licking me. And, she does not pose for selfies well.

So, last night around 10PM I am pulling into Albuquerque, which means it is time to stop by and meet Rebecca. Good time to rest, recharge, and get mauled by her sweetie dog, Luna. (It could be Tuna- but, why would you name a dog Tuna?) This is my first encounter with this group of potential axe- murderers. Turns out, it is totally cool and the fact that we have “known” each other on FB for awhile makes it so much easier. I don’t feel the need to be on my best behavior, I am just myself.

IMG_7876

You only take in what you are willing to lose.

So, after a good long rest… I hit the road again. All the caffeine is making it hard to sit still and drive though. Wait, what are those bright lights in the distance? Oh, a Casino. Hmmmm. Don’t mind if I do… Blackjack is not my friend. $60 later…

IMG_7877

Oops. Poor Liz- she is really upset.

Back on the road- (I have been drinking an insane amount of water- I have to stop often.) There is a creepy dude in the car next to me. So, I pull up a space. (There are three rows of parking at this gas station. (It may actually be a truck stop.) Well, now the gas pumps are behind me. I know! I can just do a U-turn. (Hmmm- not one of my brighter ideas.) Poor Liz. I clipped the curb (Why was there a curb in the middle of a parking lot????) Liz is broken. (I called a place- it should not be too much to fix) IMG_7878

Okay- So, now- I love Road Trips. I am jamming along having my own little private car concert- Talking on the phone with the Utah contingent (who are also making the trek overnight.)

IMG_7879

Holbrook. I took a long little break here. Checked FB- Walked around.

IMG_7880

Flagstaff, which is one of my favorite places in the world. I really need to go stay there sometime. I am always just driving through.

Finally, I get to Phoenix. (After the scariest trip through the mountains down I-17.) I learned to drive in Lubbock. (We don’t have all that nonsense.) Start looking for friends. They are at Target. Okay. I will meet you there. (BTW, I pass like 12 Targets on the way to their Target)

When I get there, I am hanging out by the dollar stuff at the front of the store- I hear Sophi! She runs up to me- and says “You look exactly like I knew you looked.” Which is kinda funny, it’s not like this group is pretty much centered around selfies or anything. Rich was there- he and I have a long history of him using voice to text while he is driving all over the midwest. Miranda. It took me a minute. Ahhh.. We watched the Grammy’s “together.”

IMG_7904 IMG_7903 IMG_7905

So, I just realized- I am up here writing this. That is lame. I need to go experience this trip- instead of just writing about it. SO, to be continued…. There may be more trips to Target scheduled.