Um Adriana, I Don’t Like You Like That

So, I got another email from Adriana today. At first I was annoyed at her constant recurrent messages. However, now as the months have gone by, I’m starting to worry about her.  She really doesn’t seem to be able to move forward in life.

typistShe said she’d chatted with me quite a bit on Facebook before I deleted her.  I can honestly say, I don’t recall any of that. Nothing, nada, zip. But then again, a little further in the letter she admitted that maybe she chatted with me only a couple of times.  I wonder if this was when I was attached to those serious morphine drips.

She keeps saying she is newly single and moving near me soon.  Seems she’s not able to move quickly, ‘cause she’s still where she was when she started writing me seven or eight months ago. She might also have to start making better choices in the love department since her relationship cycle has gone down to one or two week increments at most. Always sounds so lonely; poor thing. Maybe I can help her out with that.

Actually, I’d better help her out with that.  Apparently somewhere in those early chats, she got the idea I could be some kind of friend with benefits. She said I told her how cute she is. (Gonna have to go ahead and blame the morphine). Then she continually asks if I’m married and drops lots of hints about what we could do together.  She “loves the outdoors and to socialize, go out for drinks, restaurants, movies etc”.  She also calls me “Babe”. I think the sooner I can get her set up with someone, the less likely I am to hurt her feelings when I have to point out that I don’t really like her ‘like that’.

She said she’s currently employed with some kind of website where she actually gets paid to yap, etc.  Sounds like a pretty good gig to me; I can chat anyone’s ear off! I wonder what the pay is like?

On the other hand, she said she needs to find work when she does finally get here.  I hope that’s not a hint to help her find a job.  I’m not sure what I could endorse her for – maybe something with repetitive tasks.

I wonder why she couldn’t just set up the same chat thing here.  It would save a lot of effort to get settled, and it would also help a lot in romantic appeal territory.  I’m sure her having a job would be a lot easier for me to promote than the level of her libido – something else she likes to point out regularly. Some people are just that comfortable with themselves, I guess.

Anyway, as a soon to be neighbor, I will do my best to welcome her to the community. Hopefully I’ll only have to show her around a little.  Hopefully her resume is up to date.  Hopefully she doesn’t add that libido part into the conversation when I introduce her to anyone.

I’m not sure what I offered in those alleged conversations, but a little help is the least I could do after her repeated generous offers of some kind of VIP pass code to her chat site, which by the way, includes full access to her webcam. Normally people have to pay some big monthly fees for this, but because I’m a ‘special’ friend, her boss “Natalie”, says I can have it for free.

I suppose I should log onto it soon to at least let her know I got the gift and say thanks.  Then I can see if we can nail down the dates of her imminent arrival and finally get her onto her new path.

Oh look, there’s another email from Adriana; I guess I can catch up with her now.


What? Me Blog? Thanks WordPress, and Maybe Ellen

Blogger Kendall F. Person isn’t kidding, in my opinion, when he says:  “Writing is a performance art and every post is a show”.  When the notion of blogging first came up via the semi-gentle prodding of blogger Lois, I thought, really?  Would my personal musings, normally put down on paper in a private journal, have a place in the public realm?  Not that the public realm is necessarily a bastion of expert, or even semi-good, public offerings. Was it possible I could land somewhere in the semi-middle?

I looked over some of my musings to see what might be interesting and I thought, n.o. w.a.y! Well, maybe?  I eventually settled into the idea that maybe there is someone out there that I’m meant to share some thoughts with.  I have to confess, I also wrestled with the idea that any non-fans might have a heyday with my inner vulnerabilities.

Eye of the TigerCue up ‘Eye of the Tiger’.  This is my tap dance; any naysayers would be braying whether I wrote or not.

So, I searched up how to start a blog and looked at a couple of websites that offered pre-set web pages.  Novice that I am, I wanted cool, but needed easy.  I chose the WordPress offerings and I was off to the keyboard – which actually, wasn’t that far off.

For my first publication, I settled on a note written for my son after I was hospitalized with a condition that made me wish I had already condensed all my learned life shortcuts for him.  It wasn’t Aurelius, but perhaps enough for a decent start.

I followed the directions to send this out to the cyber-world with the expectation that maybe ten of my closest friends and family would bother to have a look. I was content with that idea, and that my son might get a kick out of the latest item added to my first-time-to-do list.  I intended to share the post on Facebook with some of my friends, so I also anticipated a like or comment about it on my Facebook wall in the same way I get for status updates.

Despite my low-key expectations, I still held my breath a little when I clicked that ‘publish’ button.  Regardless of how well you think you know your audience, putting yourself out onto the ledge of public judgment gives you some degree of heart palpitations that feels a lot different from the quaint idea of butterflies.

Regardless, shortly after, my tried and true came through with their likes, comments, and support for the blog.  All was well; I could breathe easily within the cushioned approval of my pals.   I was also lucky enough to be unaware at that point, that our website host also supplies statistics on how many people read your posts and from which country they are reading them.

I discovered that statistic counter the next day.  I clicked on the link to my post from my Facebook wall.  I wanted to see what it looked like from that angle.  It brought up my blog website and unexpectedly I saw that it had a ‘Follow’ tab at the bottom.  I clicked on it and it said, “Join 235 other followers”.  Huh?  That was exactly my first thought.  Then I realized this was some kind of error, so I logged into my website and navigated around the site directions. This took me to that eye-popping statistical page.  It said 135 people read that first blog on that first night, followed by the rest the next day.   Now, maybe that’s not exactly The National Post’s readership numbers, but for this average mom in the sticks, it might as well have been The National Post and CNN!   Of course I was obligated to check this page every hour for the next few weeks.

I was astonished at the number of people who cared to have a look at my site, especially those who weren’t aware that I existed pre- blog.  It was also thrilling to see those geographical stats. First another country popped up, another, then another continent, and now only one more continent to go.  I couldn’t believe how fast and how far these words, my words, could travel – Belgium, Ethiopia, England, Qatar, Singapore, Australia and on and on and back to Canada.   It was a heady Sally Field moment for me, but you know, just not in front of millions.   Of course, that pride puffing up was deflated somewhat by a bit of a reality check.  Blog junk mail.  Who knew there was such a thing?   See blog no. 4 – “First Blog Results in 3 Unbelievable Opportunities”.

Despite blog no. 4, I showed my young son all of these details and he was as excited for me as if he was my agent about to get his 15% of… something.  He has big plans for me, as soon as he figures out what they are going to be, something about Ellen DeGeneres.

An unexpected bonus in all of this was that I landed in a new community of extremely interesting, uplifting, fantastically talented, writing thoughtfulness.  One as generous with information and tech support, as they are in raising spirits by being quick to like, share, and comment on your work!

I now find myself turning to our host reader page to view their posts as often as I do the newspaper.  I feel like I won the literary lottery and now have at hand the most engaging stories of every genre at the ready.  Who knew Lois’s kick in the pants would catapult me into writing and reading bliss?

Whatever the long-term purpose of this blog is to be, I am ever hopeful that it helps to serve as much as I get from it.  I might also hope that the next time I’m rear-ended by a foot, I may more quickly remember that, many times, if not most,  inspiration comes in the form of a good kick and some bruising.

And, I still have the excitement to come of that one last continent being added to my stats.


Daily Prompt: Origin Storyby michelle w. on August 2, 2013

Why did you start your blog? Is that still why you blog, or has your site gone in a different direction than you’d planned?Photographers, artists, poets: show us BEGINNINGS.

Yes, I am That Confident – Up Yours!

Oh Snap 2“Well you can’t fix stupid either and you proved that”!!  That intended insult was lobbed at me in a Facebook note about a year and a half ago.  It was from someone who had at most a few superficial conversations with me and certainly no chat about the issue that was at hand at that time. Not that really knowing me, nor that person having full knowledge of the details then changes the bottom line.

I admit I was somewhat shocked at that charged-up energy coming at me. There are all kinds of ways to respond, but at the time I was more engrossed in the issue that precipitated the results of her research and it didn’t really register.

I re-read the post later and when I came across those words again, I actually ended up smiling. They reminded me of a personal motto that I used to say to people: “I hope I’m the dumbest one in the room”.  In return I usually got a look like maybe they had just found her.  What I really meant was that regardless of whatever activity or endeavor I was involved in, I wanted whomever else I was working with to be that much wiser, knowledgeable, and creative than me.  I was sure that would get me the opportunity to learn something great, and hopefully a lot of it.  Yes, I do know what that shot’s intention was, but I know myself well enough to be confident in what I may or may not be.

That exchange had interesting timing. Some friends and I had been having conversations about self- esteem, particularly in girls, and the often misinterpreted difference between assertiveness & confidence and self-centeredness & aggression. There are many examples of how these characteristics are practised, but in these chats we narrowed the issue down to the ability to stand up for oneself. It’s this point we felt that usually illustrates most of the differences between those two approaches.

We partially surmised that self-centredness starts with feeling some sense of entitlement or an innate belief that one can do no wrong. The world better be good to me first or the world is gonna hear about it. “Don’t confuse my personality and my attitude because my personality is ME and my attitude depends on YOU”.  No one better cross me or else! Ohhh snap! Or – Oh snap!, snap!, snap!- if they are particularly perturbed. This is more of a passive/aggressive or aggressive/aggressive defensiveness beyond my Psych 101 capabilities, or more to the point, patience levels.

On the other hand, real confidence says I will be good to you and if you are unkind in return, I can walk away with my self-respect fully intact without having to bring you down a peg to accomplish that. I would add that that also exhibits dignity, not an unworthy effort and something I wish I could have attached myself to much earlier in life.

Confidence asks how does whatever this is really matter to my life or me? Most of the time, whatever it is doesn’t make a bit of difference to anything.

Confidence also includes the element of humbleness. It says sometimes I may be wrong, but that does not diminish that I am a good and decent person and I will fix what I can fix about it.  By the way, the fixing action includes offering genuine apologies.  I’ve also noticed that people who cannot apologize are masters at becoming the victim in all their stories.

Self-centredness mistakes the element of humbleness in confidence as weakness. That mistake is the weakness that truly exposes lack of self-esteem.

In the interest of full disclosure:  some time after sending the note, my ‘insulter’s’ defense was that she responded to something that she interpreted as being negatively said about her.  I did my best to reassure that this was far from the case, noting that the discussion in play wasn’t even about her.  No matter, once her reaction was on the table for all to see, the never-intended reason became fact for her forever.  One less Facebook friend.  Too bad she didn’t take the minute to ask me about my intentions before she posted that over the top response.

Yes, it was interesting that that whole scenario played out right in the middle of those chats about confidence.  I guess you could say that a couple of us learned more than we were expecting at the time.  There is far more to the depth of these issues and their needs than I can, or care to, note here, but if you were to ask me what would I say in return to that hotly lobbed insult now?  In short, up your self- esteem!

Yours truly,
Hopefully the Dumbest One in the Room


Facebook – A Kvetch on FB Narcissism

I love Facebook.  It’s a fantastic and ingenious way to keep in touch with all whom I care to.  Maybe sometimes I love it too much. Sometimes I get carried away with sharing too many funny pictures or causing an occasional mini-flood of commentary updates on my favorite causes. I somewhat apologize my friends, I meant no harm.  I was maybe naïve about how many would be on my same mental page on those days.

I used to wonder - read minds

I have learned however, how to be a little more judicious in my postings, thanks in part to one of those funny comment posts I recently saw that made me laugh, then pause.

Mostly I learned because of  experience.  By experience, I’m talking about being on the receiving end of those contacts that post personal messages of self-love on an average basis of approximately 1EP/2M.  That would be one effusive post per every two minutes.  Oh, you know the ones I speak of.  They love, love, love their life, their children, their jobs, their hobbies.  They love every minute of every aspect of their lives so much that the rest of us couldn’t possibly know what it is like to live like that. We couldn’t possibly love our own kids like that, or enjoy our own vacations that way, or be happy with an achievement anywhere near the upper spheres that only they can inhabit.

No, I’m not overly concerned about offending anyone, because the guilty would never see this in themselves anyway.  And, don’t misunderstand me either.  I am merely kvetching, not indicting the guilty as ‘bad people’.  So far, no laws have been enacted to illegalize such behavior, but be warned, I sense a movement brewing.

In the interest of generous fairness, I’ll give the benefit of the doubt that they forget that everyone can see what is posted and maybe they mean for only their parents and in-laws to see all.  Although, it makes me wonder if the parents and in-laws are as enthralled as the rest of us at some point.

The side effect to all of this that I do find unfortunate is that, in an effort to not appear to be ‘that’ kind of post-er, the people that I really want to hear from post even less.  Hmmm, or is that really because of me?  Feel free to let me know friends.

For the record, I love seeing the things that make my friends, new and not so new, tick.  I like to see what makes them laugh. I really do enjoy the hilarious ‘what we did this weekend’ pictures. I love hearing what kids have managed to accomplish, I love to see the pictures of joy posted from all over the world.  I freely admit my life is far from overly glamorous or exciting.  I must live vicariously.  Or is that creepingly?

If I were able to say something to the overly effusive, it might be OK, we get it, you love your life, and that’s really quite wonderful, now how about filling the newsfeed with a comment about someone else now and then, or maybe we could go on a break.

Fair warning to my other friends though, I’m likely to have some more of those – you have got to see this, and this, and this – days.  Please don’t ‘hate’ me for it.  I suppose you could just re-categorize me in your friend lists.

Now, if only Facebook could stop making my simple ‘likes’ into a full blown post on my friend’s newsfeeds. For that, I plead not guilty.