Category Archives: Social Encounters

On Loss

On Loss

“How do you feel about your sister getting another dog so soon?”  He asked over an hour after I explained the terrible situation to him.

“I think it is a great idea,” I said.  “She has all the energy to be a dog owner and there are other dogs out there who need a home.”

He looked puzzled but didn’t press the issue more.  As if mourning could only be done without a role replacement.

I walked up the stairs still explaining, “Nothing changes the fact that she died, not a new dog, not waiting to get another one, not getting out of bed early, not lying in bed depressed for two weeks.  Nothing changes the fact that she had cancer and despite the fact that we did everything to give her a happy healthy life, she still died at the age of three like all four vets who checked her out told us she would.”

“I guess that makes sense,” he said closing his bed room door, “well, sleep well.”

“Good night,” I shrugged, not in the mood to cry about it.  Crying only happens in certain mood and around certain people.  Otherwise I’m fine, it all seems so black and white like her pretty soft fur.

That conversation has been rattling around in my head all day.  That one as well as one I had a long time ago with another friend who didn’t understand why I got my current dog so soon after I lost the previous one to cancer.

“It’s just a rebound dog,” he said as if he thought I was stupid to get another dog.

“After that first one, they are all rebound dogs,” I explained.  “What am I supposed to do all day, cry at every meal I would normally feed her, or give another living dog some food?”

He didn’t really understand.  He hadn’t had a dog since childhood when his parents didn’t want to get another one.  Jealousy maybe, deep down at how easily I was able to just get what I wanted while he was left with years of life-style anguish.  Or so I think.

It was too late anyway, I already had adopted the new one.  I’m glad I did, everyday.  She’s wonderful.  She’s probably about 11 years old now.  I freak out whenever a tumor might be cancerous or she has a cough, but everything has always turned out to be benign or fixable with medicine.  The vet even says we don’t need to worry so much.  She is at that sweet age dogs get to with age and experience when they know exactly what you are talking about and can ask for whatever they want easily.  They get better with age.

Losing them is hard because you have to tell them to trust the doctor who kills them.  It’s got that element of deception even though you know what you are doing is lessening the pain and suffering they would otherwise go through dying a natural death.

It’s a different lesson on loss than losing a family member whose role cannot be filled, like a mother or father.  Siblings and cousins are half way role fillable, but they’re unique.  Friends, it depends on how friendly you are.  I’ve found that friends are very replaceable and easy to let go of.  There are plenty I want to keep forever, but I’ve learned to make new friends through losing others so I find the pain of losing them goes away fastest compared to pets and family members.

In answering his question about getting a new dog so soon, I realized that some people don’t separate how they think they should feel from how they feel and the reality of what is actually going on in the real world.  Does the previous dog care that we got another dog?  We don’t know.  All we know is that we planned to take care of a dog for the next ten years and we don’t have a dog to take care of.  In a perfect afterlife, I hope she’s happy that she joined the rest of our pack on the other side.  I know those girls up there will take good care of her.  In my dreams my grandmother already told me that she likes her so all I can do is believe that she is in good dog heaven hands.  Meanwhile, we down here must live for the living and keep on keeping on.

On Verbal Diarrhea

On Verbal Diarrhea

I believe that everyone has experienced some form of verbal diarrhea in life where they feel guilt, shame, remorse, and a need to constantly apologize for letting their mouths run inappropriately in a public space. Yes, in public. When it happens in private, those negative emotions rarely follow since letting it all out in private is the sign of an emotionally potty trained human being, nothing to be ashamed of. Of course accidents happen, but they are mainly forgotten or overlooked when they solely occur on rare occasions. We aren’t perfect beings but not everyone (me) appreciates being a bottomless emotional toilet at the whim of a loose arsehole.

Some people never learned how to get it out in private. These people habitually verbal-diarrhea all over their coworkers, family members, and friends on a regular basis. They were trained to spew immediately upon the slightest urge by people they grew up or attracted along the way with similar or compatible social games. Regardless they are unaware that there is a more sanitary way.

There is hope for these people. They most likely have already mastered the art of using real toilets in private so they can apply the same technique to their runny emotions. Upon suspicion that a sticky monologue is brewing, one can politely excuse themselves from their current company. Once exited, they should find a safe place to properly excrete their inappropriate thoughts and feelings. One of the many office private rooms, long walks on the beach, small closets, behind cars, etc. are all examples of healthy places to do this kind of business.

Once finished, it is necessary to clean oneself up and tactfully return to the social scene. If suddenly a relapse is thought to happen, it is totally acceptable to re-excuse oneself and start over until empty.

It is important to reflect on what was encountered or consumed that may have caused these thoughts to come out with such a fluid, un-refined rush. Was alcohol (aka truth serum) involved either recently or the night before? Were you disgustedly assaulted by someone else’s verbal diarrhea and felt the need to fire back or vent on someone else with your own? Or perhaps you genuinely felt ill, skipped lunch (low blood sugar), have too much stress and just lost control? All these factors should be throughly anal-yzed and understood to ensure that next time one can be more prepared to efficiently avoid the need for intense dire relief by: drinking less, seeing specialist doctors, keeping snacks handy, avoiding other loose arseholes altogether, or just simply taking better care of one’s self by managing their own happiness.

Practice is key to maintaining healthy relationships not only in one’s personal life, but also one’s professional life as well.

On Advertising

On Advertising

Education.  Education is gold.  It is an elitist goal to achieve higher and higher levels of education.  Only through education is one able to discern the mechanisms at play in the world. Have you ever seen a TV commercial begging you to create a gmail account?  What about YouTube? no.  I don’t watch much TV, but I’ve seen it enough to not have seen these ads.  Why haven’t I seen any bus station propaganda signs for Amazon.  They might exist in Seattle, but not in Southern California.  Why?  Because they don’t need to advertise.  They don’t need a bigger fan base.  They don’t need to trick people into buying their products.  Their products’ reputations sell themselves.

So then how do we apply that logic to the rest of the products that require advertising?  In an off beat way.  Media is an advertisement in the same way that Disneyland is one big advertisement for animation/film productions which are a front for the real money maker of licensing.  They use entertainment to shine light on the 1% of the world that needs more attention.  It needs attention because it isn’t getting enough attention from the small groups of people who currently care about it.  Less educated and experienced people assume that what they see is the whole world.  Anyone is refuses to get on an airplane lack some serious sense.

They truly believe that the advertised and dramatized world is the WORLD.  They don’t realize that most of the world operates behind the scenes off camera.  Why is this a problem?  Well a ton of people still can’t get jobs.  People are taught to believe that wrinkled women are worth less.  Post menopausal women are not considered capable because no one is advertising on their behalf.  But men who want to be women make headline news. Keep in mind, that post menopausal women of the modern age are very much broke and in the very last years of their capable working years.  That time is very crucial for how they are going to pay for their elderly convalescents once their husbands die.  That is just one example of those who advertising has forgotten.

It all goes back to education.  Why can personal finance be a high school math class?  Why can’t home economics be a legit major?  Because there would be less dumb people to advertise and sell pointless shit to.  If people really knew how big the world is, it would be much more difficult for them to believe that the 40 hour work week is just the next best version of indentured servitude (which is better than slavery).  Society runs off the idea that the broke man can achieve something through hard work.  So society creates bogus “hard work” in the form of pointless meetings, lack of IT infrastructure, and a general belief that people need to put in “their time.”  If you make a point to education yourself by getting out in the world, you can see how it ticks.  You’ll see that all the advertising is just the needy yelling to divert your attention to the small part of the world that most people don’t actually care about.  Otherwise, they wouldn’t need to advertise.

The bad friend

The bad friend

I am a bad friend.

All her friends have always said so.

When she was nine, her best friend told her she was a bad friend because she wore glasses.

When she was 12, a friend told her she was bad because her braces and mouth retainer made her breath smell.

When she was 15, she was a bad friend for standing up for her boyfriend.

When she was 18, she was a bad friend for not being friends with a girl she hadn’t spoken to in two years.

When she was 21, she was a bad friend for not saying hello to a friend of a friend who really needed people to be nice to her.

When she was 24, she was a bad friend for not keeping in contact for the few weeks she went home to help her dad recover from heart surgery.

When she was 27, she wasn’t a bad friend because she had given up on having friends.

When she was 30 she was a bad friend for always calling another friend in the evening after a few drinks.

At least she’s got a few years before someone blames her for trying to be friends with them.

On Money

On Money

Greed.  That word, that sinful word.  It’s meaning is out of style, like the idea that college is the key to success.  Everyone knows it, yet people keep throwing money at it.  Appealing to a persons sense of greed is the best way to scam money out of them.  They know that greed is bad and their self flagulative instincts don’t want a lashing!

There is nothing wrong with wanting money.  It is the only tangible proof that I existed during all those hours of modern day slavery, modern day “show up and do what we tell you, or else!”  It is slavery, because I go through all of this in life to get by and then, at the end, I am faced with a green image of me in the mirror.   An image telling me that I shouldn’t have wanted this because now I am greedy.

It isn’t the afterlife that will haunt you.  Christians got it wrong, they want to ignore too much.  There is much more going on.  They want you to stay in the bubble of purity where you won’t feel the harshness since you will have done no so-called wrong.  Feel it, for is exists.  I have greed, I have hunger, I want more because I don’t have enough.  If I tried to hide it it would show up in some other way, probably on my hips.  If I had enough, and still wanted more, then the more negative connotation could apply, but, most people I know are not there, yet they are referred to as greedy.  This is a problem because they feel that they are asking for too much, yet they have not asked for enough because they fear being labeled as greedy.

Don’t be greedy, give!  Get our numbers high!

The mirror trap

The mirror trap

There you are, chatting about the past.  Answering honestly questions about how you perceived things happening.  Suddenly the questioner doesn’t like how you saw things and begins to argue that it didn’t happen that way.  They see the most negative extreme of what you said and you meant something judgmentally void of right and wrong.  In an attempt to keep clarifying, you realize that it is going nowhere and just as you are about to give up on the conversation, they throw shit at you: “Well it isn’t like you never did something stupid?”

Suddenly your eyes narrow, your throat wells up and you’re pissed.  “We weren’t talking about me, sooo what does that have to do with what we were talking about?” you ask.

“I’m just saying….”  the other party continues looking smug.

I try to retrace the conversation aloud with the person to figure out where I missed a turn but they are so dead set on putting me down that they refuse to map out the logic.  My mind races to map it out alone before the emotion wells up enough to take away my voice.

step one: she asked my opinion

step two: I gave it to her, she seemed fine until I said that one thing

step three: I kept clarifying and she couldn’t see that what I said was just a neutral observation.

step four: the tables turned and now I am under fire.

step five: escape!

In reality I said something she didn’t agree with and instead of staying on topic, she was offended and responded with a verbal jab.  I guess what I thought to be truthful common knowledge actually wasn’t.  I so unknowingly offended her first and she fought fire with fire.

Moral of the story: don’t use examples that include the person you are talking to… use examples about other people instead.  If they are still offended by that, then just don’t answer their questions anymore.

 

On Getting to Know Someone

On Getting to Know Someone

There is a certain point in the getting-to-know-people stage where they are becoming more and more predictable..and you are aware of this.  Suddenly that surprising phone call is no longer out of the blue, that invitation to hang out has a known end, and those mannerism speak for themselves.  Yep, you’ve just learned their personality.  You’ve got it down.  Now what?

In comes repetition and overlaying experiences.  You mix and mingle until, whoops!  You found out what you don’t like about them.  Oh dear, what a loss, you’re high has just fallen and suddenly all those fun memories have an hazy glow that keeps you from remembering that they were once considered cool.  Suddenly they aren’t cool at all.

Oh no! It isn’t that you realized what you don’t like about the person, you realized that you don’t like the person.  Oh a huge difference.  It is so big and potentially painful to the other party that you couldn’t bare to tell them.  So you keep going, keep answering the phone and hanging out.  After all you know you don’t like them, shouldn’t they too be figuring out that they don’t like you too?  Why is it taking so long?  How do I say no?  Why do they argue every time I say no?  How do I get out of this?  Oh god, I’m going to have to see the person soon and I have nothing to say, nothing I want to say and I don’t even feel like smiling.

Every time you are faced with the person, that first thing that you didn’t like about them becomes them.  It is there, walking by your desk, chatting in your ear, sending lines it text.  The person is no longer the person, they are everything that you do not like about them walking on two legs and they know it.  They must know that no one would ever like all of this.  How could they not know?  This is common sense to me, people don’t treat others so rudely and expect to be liked do they?  I learned this in preschool and they are still behaving this way?  Do people not know what a disgusted facial expression means?  Do they not know what it means to wear such an expression all the time?  They don’t. They don’t know.  Because they don’t know what you know.

But wait, sometimes things go the other way.  Sometimes you realize what you don’t like about someone and they never do it again.  Life just goes on and no one seems to notice.  You were waiting for them to do that annoying thing again and they didn’t.  You even held back to give them extra space to say that annoying word and nothing, there was silence.  or even better, they said something that you liked instead.  How wonderful this person is.

Then it continues for a long time and you realize that this person is stable.  They may do things that you don’t like but not every time and if it is a problem, they don’t hang their souls on the issue, they just do something else.  Ahhh, I see, this person is dynamic.  Those are my types of friends.  Shape shifters who don’t always operate on cue and enjoy having a deep pockets of happy social games to play.  You can still toss a nasty social pitch their way as a test, but you’ll notice that they deflect it with ease.  Instead of saying “you bitch!” they say, “I don’t play that game, but I like you so try another.”

Between the two extremes there ly the, well, inliers.  Those who stay in the gray.  You know enough about them that you know you don’t need to know any more about them.  They get a little annoying sometimes because you can never seem to get to know them enough to know whether you like them or not.  Which, in itself, is probably what you don’t like about them that they keep doing over and over so they really fall into the negative.  But give them a chance because sometimes it is just the situation that drives their behavior.

On feeling like I’ve done something wrong

On feeling like I’ve done something wrong

There are just so many rules in social life to follow… too many rules!  I know them all so well that I am aware of many many opportunities to to break them, but I don’t break them on the world stage.  Instead I break them in my mind.  I play out the entire scene for my own amusement and often detriment.  Generally the penalty for breaking social rules is embarrassment.  If perchance you happen to not get embarrassed then people go out of their way to explain why you should be embarrassed while giving you those looks meant to teach children to behave and conform.  Having broken many social rules, I am conditioned to be highly aware of rules, so aware that I automatically leave social gatherings with a feeling that I did something wrong.  It is an automatic response that typically lasts until I finish reviewing the event for validation of the feeling.  On a good day this feeling doesn’t bother me, but if I have been stressed, hungover, or not feel particularly well, my ability to deflect irrational thoughts decreases and I become unable to shake it off.  Dwelling in these irrational thoughts only makes me feel worse.  Awareness of what is going on helps but doesn’t fully cure my episode of despair.  All I can do is hope that my general sense of well-being returns to brighten my day.

On being allergic to people

On being allergic to people

As social beings, we are naturally inclined to react to other people.  Growing up, we are conditioned on how to behave towards people as well as how to read the basics of communication, yet there is still so much for which our vocabulary is heavily insufficient to explain.  Often people apply all the right rules and following all the social back and forths only to be further away from others than they were when they were strangers.  In all manner of capacity, the cultural social cues should have been enough, but more often than not, they fail us.  In all honesty, human connection is one of the least understood aspects of life, cognitively speaking.  There is no explanation for subtleties affecting why certain people are great friends yet others can’t stand the mere mention of one anothers’ names.  In reality it isn’t the social banter that it important, it is how others make you feel.  There are some of us who are quite sensitive to how other people affect us, meaning our internal reaction to someone’s presence drives whether or not we bother to make contact or continue on with mindless social exercises.  There are many different ways that people make me feel.  Some more pleasant than others.  One feeling in particular is horribly annoying: the allergic reaction.

Like any allergy, it take a few interactions with a person to realize that I am allergic to them.  Once the allergy is full blown, my immune system switches my brain into self preservation mode.  All energy goes into getting as far away from the person as possible.  My vision narrows so that my brain can focus solely on escape routes as well as be unable to make clear eye contact.  My vocal cords tighten to only allow out desperate cries for freedom.  My sinuses tighten so my nervous system can be ready to produce tears in case I really need to show someone how serious I am.  I instinctively want to curl up into a ball by hugging my knees to keep the individual from thinking that I am open to their presence.

I know this is an allergic reaction because once the allergen is gone, I feel relieved that I am able to act normal again.  Like any in any other allergy situation, the best thing for my health is to avoid the allergens, so I do…and guess what?!?!? I’ve been allergy symptom free! 🙂

How you know a relationship is dying part IV

How you know a relationship is dying part IV

You feel confident when in certain situations, but when specific people are around you feel the need to compete for the friendship.  Your “friend” encourages this by naturally not making social concessions/offering agreed upon reassurance towards you.  When confronted your friend acts like they didn’t notice because they do it on purpose as their way of controlling you.  Confused you assume it is just in your mind, so you try to ignore it.  It happens again when the “better” friend is around.

Suddenly you realize that there is a hierarchy and the needs of the friends higher on the list are met before yours.  Often the needs of higher friends is that your “friend” be cold to their lower friends.  This modern day Machiavellianism is how friends exert dominance other each other for their own negative, controlling self indulgence.