Category Archives: Social Encounters

On status anxiety

On status anxiety

The world is apparently flattening yet all over I still sense a need in people to cling to old forms of social class structures.  Top schools, top jobs, top companies, top designers, top top top top top.  Are we working for money or recognition?  If someone pays you a salary, you are working class.  If you live paycheck to pay check, regardless of income amount, you are broke.  If your net worth is negative, you are broke.

The standard of living gives people a false sense of social standing.  The ability to talk and act “up” also give a false sense of where they stand.  People aren’t competing against each other, people are competing against what others claim to have or be doing.  There is a big difference, especially if you encounter a habitual exaggerator who defines themselves by their dreams not by their actual accomplishments.  But anyway, why the need to compete after the contest is over?  After the good school, good work experience, good standard of living, etc.  At what point does the competitive drive just allow everyone to kick back and simply enjoy the fruits?

i guess I just want the competitive people to shut up.  It is the noise coming out of their mouth, infecting my ears that irritates me.  For some reason my brain finds meaning in it, fearful meaning.  Perhaps my sensitivity to words is just flaring up again.  The words hit at my insecurity about no being smart enough or good enough.  So whenever I hear the competitive chatter, it gets to me.  I don’t like being taunted, teased, or put down.  Words have meaning and I respect them.  Therefore I don’t use them aggressively unless I mean to, but that doesn’t mean I should expect everyone else to follow my same doctrine.

Harnessing my own insecurity would help.  If I accepted that I am perfectly fine and capable, then I could move on.  I could fill in the empty space were my old insecurity sat with something better that doesn’t listen for fearful confirmation.  I could replace it with confidence and the ability to not need to second guess myself.

Crush

Crush

Crush always likes to slam into me like a 30 foot tsunami.  I just don’t know what hit me and I don’t see him coming (no pun intended).  His desperation for a home is a result of my desperation for autonomy.  I say he is “desperate” because his fancy takes such a wide variation of forms, so wide that I couldn’t possibly choose just one.  I love them all (all meaning foreign ones, domestics are just pass times).  He makes me love the way they speak, the words they say, the tone they use, the stuff I would normally shun, the actions they so easily express without asking…I love it all.  I want to take it home with me.  Nurture it and live off it to the point where I am completely dependent on it.

Sadly crush doesn’t stay in one place for long.  His constant shifts sadden me.  But in my deepest, darkest despair over what I can’t have there is always a little light checking in.  He feeds me attention when I least expect it.  He actually gives me hope…. but I think it is just crush in friend’s clothing…

Powerlessness

Powerlessness

How does it feel to be a slave in a world so full of beauty?  Do you feel grateful to your silent and invisible master for allowing you feel the touches, smell the scents, see the sights, taste the flavors, sense the unknowns?  Is it really better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all?  Would you not be happier in a box where at least you know what everything means?  Have you not noticed that no one wants to talk about it for too long?  Have you counted how many times the subject has been dropped?  When you speak of it, have you not seen the look in their eye that tells you they think you are mad for talking that way in this situation?  Do you really think you are the crazy one?

Fuel for the Dream World

Fuel for the Dream World

There are so many things that I won’t do again because I’ve learned that they aren’t for me or that specific types of situations really aren’t going to get me the results I would want.  But the beautiful part about it all is that I can just live it in my imagination, where, if I don’t like the outcome, I can ponder up an alternative or two or three all while sitting at my desk at work, taking in even more fuel for my dream world.

Why I Didn’t Go To My Ten Year High School Reunion

Why I Didn’t Go To My Ten Year High School Reunion

I looked at the list on facebook of the 60 or so individuals (out of over 500) who indicated that they were actually going to the reunion and thought to myself, “most of those people aren’t worth seeing for the $65 ticket fee.”  I just finished my MBA, 65 bucks is a lot of cash for me until I get my act together.  Also, I can see what people look like and what they are up to on facebook.

But most importantly (and this is so high school, I love it) the cool people who were supposed to plan the reunion had cool things going on in their lives and so they were unable to plan the reunion.  This left the planning to the highest bidder.

Well… so, well, you know, I didn’t go to uncool people’s parties in high school, so why would I pay to go to a party ten years later that was planned by those same uncool people?

Just sayin’.

The Switch from Dislike to Like

The Switch from Dislike to Like

Usually when I come across someone who holds a place in my mind, a whole wealth of memories flood into my mind screen.  They just keep flashing and reminding me of all the different attitudes towards the person I have taken.

I imagine the same thing about me is going off in their head.  Suddenly I find that the conversation has overtones of previously unspoken attitudes.  “Does he really realize that I didn’t like him way back then?” I ask myself because all of a sudden the topics of choice all have a common theme.   We are all of a sudden talking about people we’ve both lately come across people from the past that we didn’t like.

“Odd how the conversation went in this direction,” I continue thinking to myself, feeling a little exposed.  It continues to the point where we discover how we actually have the same reasoning and methodology for not liking general people.

I find it strange talking to people who I don’t like about the details of not liking people.  It is kind of a mind trip, but the situation goes on and now we have actually found something in common.  The confusion sets in because now, I have something in common with a person I don’t like… does that mean that I kinda do like his personality after all?  I don’t know, but I’m definitely intrigued.

On Writing, Socially Bored, and the Need to Repeat

On Writing, Socially Bored, and the Need to Repeat

There is something in writing that I can find in no human being.  It is the ability to express myself as needed, as often as I need to.  Socializing requires me to be too much of an actress.  Too many social situations are governed by behaviors that I, for the longest time, believe were simply the way things had to be done.  It is not that these social rules are too strict or that I have a different way of approaching situations… it is that I do not get much out of them.  They are not productive in ways that I need them to be in order to feel happy and refreshed after a social encounter.

I find the best example in conversation repeats.  People (myself included) get uncomfortable when they hear that same story or example told by the same person, over and over again.  We all do it, so why is it that none of us allow each other to do it.  There is a totally obvious social behavior that people exhibit when they’ve heard what you are saying before (actually there are a few, some nicer than others) but those behaviors are not the point.  The point is that the bigger the impression something made on you, the more often you feel the need to express it.  Like wearing the same shirt a few times in the same week because you like the design, the way it fits, or how soft it is…someone is sure to notice you wore that recently.  Whether or not they choose to comment is irrelevant, it is the fact that we notice eachother’s repeats and are disturbed by it.

A better example is conversation…I need to tell/rethink some of the same stories because they made a huge impression on me and I do not want to see that look on other people’s face when I have once again found a relevant reason to bring up a certain subject.  It is on my mind…more so, most likely, than most people who are in front of my eyes.

I guess it depends on if the people are conversing for the sake of presenting themselves to society or for the sake of interacting with the people around them… those types of points of view make all the difference.

On Culture Clash…

On Culture Clash…

For an eighth grade project, I had to build a miniature bridge out of glue and toothpicks with a boy in my science class.  Of course we waited until the day before the project was due to complete most of the work, so as you can imagine, I was in the boy’s large garage for quite a long time after school that day getting the project finished.

I wasn’t prepared for the long haul, so when his mother came home around 8pm with a whole bag full of sandwiches, I salivated at the thought of eating one.

As she walked by us, his mother said something to the boy in another language with a nod in my direction.

“Oh good!” I though, “She’s asking him to offer me one.”

I was right!  A few seconds later he asked, “Do you want a sandwich?”

“Yes,” I excitedly replied, “please!”   There was silence for a second while he gave me a quizzical look before replying back to his mother in their native language.

After his mother’s response, he told me, “Sorry, but in our culture it is impolite to accept food at someone’s house even if they offer it to you.”  His mother then handed him one sandwich.

While he took a break to eat his sandwich, I continued to work on the toothpick bridge as I planned my strategy to get home just in case they didn’t let me use their phone to call for my ride.

The Mediocre-Case Senario

The Mediocre-Case Senario

With many things, except money, I often do not dread the worst-case scenario the most.  I dread the mediocre scenario.  This is because if the worst-case happens, I am pretty damn sure that I will not go do it again.  I will rationalize all sorts of reasons for why that particular “worst” is definitely not going to enter into my paradigm ever again, and I will build coping mechanisms (i.e. habits) that ward against these defined “worsts”.

But after having gone through a mediocre scenario, the passion derived from the “worst” escapes me.  I have no real reason to repeat and no real reason not to repeat.

It is like a bad date, I know I will never see and/or date the guy again because of the disastrous events and feelings associated with the date, but at least I have a funny, drama filled story to tell.  But a mediocre date, oh god, I could be doomed to repeat the same vanilla over and over in my efforts to force some value or at least a tickle of a feeling of excitement.  But that is just one example.

The point is not to avoid the mediocre, it is to know what mediocre means and to learn from it sooner, rather than later.  Identifying the mediocre makes the exciting shine.

On the Freedom from Friendship

On the Freedom from Friendship

Some people are so absorbed in their culture that they have very rigid beliefs about the way society functions, or should function, that it is almost pointless to tell them any of your rather humorous fuax pas because, instead of laughing, they will start to pity you.

The moment you realize you are being pitied, is a moment of truth.  The sun shines brighter, a breeze whirls around you, an intensely fresh scent intoxicates you, and it suddenly it hits you that you don’t actually give a damn.  You find yourself yelling, “Finally!! I am free of this shit!” with you arms up to the sun in a victory V and your head tilted back.  Your mind starts to reconnect the past in ways that make you realize why you’ve been feeling so disconnected with this person for so long but didn’t have words or reason to describe it.

Gingerly, you wait as time passes…”maybe it was just a fleeting moment and I will change my mind,” you think to yourself.  But no, as time goes on, life gets better.  There is no aching hole to fill, instead you actually enjoy using it for target practice and admire it like a trophy by hanging it on your wall…”See this here,” you imagine telling some future person, “this is all that’s left of that friendship, beat it to the ground didn’t we eh? nothing left to salvage [insert Santa Claus laugh here].” You realize that you didn’t actually need the person at all because you haven’t hardly even had an inkling of a reason to pretend like you are friends with them again.  Now there is a whole open space, void of bitching and agreeing-just-to-avoid-negative-situations, that can be filled with new people and ideas and happy thoughts…..