Archive for August, 2009

h1

apologies.

August 31, 2009

Just a quick post. I had someone apologize to me the other night. It happened quite out of the blue, without any prompting from me about the incident that called for the apology. And given I was still hanging out with the person in question, the incident clearly wasn’t too heartbreaking. But the apology was surprising and surprisingly nice. It’s so easy to brush off small offenses and never mention them again. Then again, how hard is it to just say, “I’m sorry; I didn’t mean anything by it”.

Advertisements
h1

approval.

August 27, 2009

I have a lot of guy friends. The why can be saved for another post, but the fact remains. And just the other day, I read this post. The girl is unhappy with her guy friend’s fiance. Tough position. But it got me thinking.

I don’t think I’ve ever fully approved of my guy friends’ girlfriends. I don’t think I ever will. To be honest, I’ve never spent any significant amount of time with their girlfriends, so my judgment is purely off a first impression or two. Perhaps the girlfriends would be cool if I spent some time getting to know them. But it never gets to that point. I never think the girl is a terrible person; she’s usually very nice. She’s just also usually not good enough. Or rather, I think my friends can do better. Weirdly, I do not have a similar problem, at least not to the same extent, with my girl friends’ boyfriends.

Then I thought that maybe it’s because I’m a girl and a girlfriend. And given that fact, I have a tendency to judge girls on the same level I judge myself. If they’re being obnoxious or ridiculous, they don’t get a pass because I try very hard not to be either (and I think I do a pretty good job). Oh, it’s that time of the month? Guess what – I have that too, and it’s definitely not an excuse. Ever. Since I’m not a boy, I can’t judge the boyfriends to the same degree. I have no personal experience to determine if it’s just a “boy thing” or if it’s a “bad boyfriend thing”. This makes it much easier for boyfriends.

I’ve pretty much come to terms with my lack of girlfriend approval. If my friends are happy, that’s good enough. I won’t say anything. Unless I think she’s a truly awful person, and then I’ll probably say something once and never mention it again. But in a strange way, I really do want all my guy friends to find girlfriends. More than I want my girl friends to find boyfriends. Weird how things work.

h1

feedback.

August 25, 2009

Since I began receiving feedback (probably the same time I started receiving report cards, say, kindergarten), I’ve gotten the same criticism. I need to speak up more, state my opinions more, be more assertive. It’s not a surprise anymore. It never really was, but after 20 years, it gets a little bit tiring. The thing is, I’m just not that kind of person, especially not at work.

I don’t think it’s necessarily hindered my progress in any way. I did good work at school; I do good work now. Obviously, it is unclear if I had been more outspoken whether I could have done better. So I wonder if it’s something that I should more actively work on. Any time I’ve gotten feedback, I make the goal to speak up in my next meeting or in general. And pretty much every time, it doesn’t happen. Of course, that’s just disappointing to everyone. But is it actually worthwhile for me to change this part of my personality just because others think I should?

Sometimes I think yes. As a personal opinion, I love talkative, friendly people. These are the kind of people who strike up conversation while standing in line or sitting on a plane. But it’s not the awkward kind of conversation, it’s the normal interesting kind of conversation. And because I love them, I always wanted to be like them just a little bit.

But then I think no. The reason I love these people is because they talk and I don’t. I can listen and respond, and they do their thing. But if I was one of them, would we complement each other as well? Or would it be overkill, like when two Type A personalities get together? Maybe I just need to accept who I am and work with what I’ve got.

It would definitely be a big step on my journey to becoming more approachable though. That’s gotta count for something.

h1

sharing.

August 23, 2009

Recently, I’ve been doing a decent amount of thinking about my sharing habits. To pin things down a bit more, it’s my sharing habits in relation to my increasing and self-propelled lack of privacy. As mentioned before, anyone can find just about anything about me with a quick Google search. And once you have that information, there’s a whole lot of judgment that can be passed. Spurred by a conversation about one of my posts, and this post by The Waiter, I worry that I’ll become an over-sharer.

While I try to avoid topics that are too personal, mentioning of names, any specifics about where I live or work, this blog is really just about me. And over time, I’ve gotten over my hesitation to post pictures of myself. Of course, the bad ones are weeded out. But the good ones – that’s me – obviously and un-anonymously. I have fewer problems because I realized I’m in charge of what’s being shared. The amount of sharing I do online is about the same amount of sharing I do in reality. I have a very “all or nothing” thought process. If I tell one person, I’m mostly ok with everyone knowing. It’s information that I wouldn’t hide, even from strangers, if it was in line with the conversation. On the flip side, anything else that I deem too personal, I won’t tell to anybody. Even the boyfriend has only recently moved into a category other than “everyone else” (he deserves at least that much now, right?).

The most interesting part about throwing blogging into the mix is that I don’t specifically know who’s getting this information. Do all my friends read it? No. Family? Maybe very rarely. Acquaintances (aka Facebook friends) and strangers? Until I get a comment, it’s a mystery. Quite frankly, this annoys the crap out of me. And honestly, this is probably why my sharing habits are so broad. I know my audience is small and that it almost definitely doesn’t consist of strangers. So I guess I don’t see any reason to not share.

h1

boston.

August 21, 2009

I traveled to Boston last weekend to visit family I haven’t seen in forever – or more specifically, about 8+ years. This is what happens when you live in WI and everyone else lives on the East Coast. But my oldest cousin has gotten married and is expecting his first child next month. So a wedding party/ baby shower seemed like a pretty good reason to catch up with the relatives.

The weekend was full of fantastic weather – high 80’s and sunny. Saturday was mostly spent at the wedding party / baby shower gathering. I don’t think I’ve had so many pictures taken since prom. I met my cousin’s wife, and my other cousin’s girlfriend. Also got to see my ex-aunt, who I didn’t even have a real memory of; I’ve just seen pictures of her. And Sunday, we went out for dim sum and did the tourist thing in Boston. I got to ride on the swan boats in Boston Commons, took pictures with the ducklings, saw Trinity Church, and went to the observation floor of the Prudential building. I absolutely love doing this kind of thing for the same reason I love going to museums and getting tours. I feel like I learned so much!

It’s a bit weird visiting all the places I’ve definitely visited as a child. I don’t have a very good memory of any of those trips. For example, D.C. – all I could remember about that city was the weather being so hot it made me cry. But now that I’ve gone back when I’m older, I can actually remember seeing the monuments. Same with Boston. I’m positive I’ve been by the ducklings before; I can’t imagine having the book “Make way for ducklings” and not visiting the statues. But I can’t really remember. This is why photos are key, and, luckily, my uncles are great about taking pictures. Now I have lots of documentation of my trip, so now I can’t forget.

h1

reform.

August 18, 2009

Vick signed with the Eagles and the people are torn. Obviously, I don’t follow sports on any level. I only briefly heard about Vick and his dog fighting scandal when it happened. I probably read a headline or two. And I’ve only read very brief amounts about it now. I have no idea how good he is as a player. And to be honest, I don’t really care.

But what’s interesting to me is how many people really seem to believe in second chances. I won’t rule out second chances in every single case. But in general, I’m not a big fan. (this is sounding a bit terrible; so let’s be clear, I’m not a terrible person) However, I’m going to stick to my Vick example just to keep things simpler.

Hands down, he did terrible things. I think it would be hard to find someone (other than psychopaths) who wouldn’t agree that electrocuting, hanging, drowning, and slamming dogs til they’re dead is awful, or horrifying. I don’t care if he grew up in a culture where this activity was somewhat accepted. It doesn’t make it right. He gets caught, admits guilt, and goes to prison in addition to being suspended indefinitely from playing in the NFL. Now he’s back, and so many people say he deserves his second chance. Why?

He made a decision that was morally bad and illegal. He made a decision that normal people wouldn’t even think was an option. I can’t imagine that prison would reform him enough that it actually changes the character and thought process behind those decisions. And with his second chance coming so easy, with so much support, with so much press, and a huge paycheck, what happens if he needs a third chance? Or a fourth? When do you draw the line and say it’s not really an accident anymore?

And moreover, if he wasn’t an NFL player, would he deserve that second chance? If your neighbor ran sketchy illegal operations and was inclined to acts of violence, wouldn’t you be wary of him? Wouldn’t you keep your children far away from him? And then, if he went to prison, and moved back in, would you really think, “well now he’s reformed; he could be a role model for my kids”? Given the NFL is such a public and wealthy professional organization, shouldn’t they have higher standards? Or because Vick’s actions were completely unrelated to football, should it not matter at all to the NFL? Discuss.

h1

reality.

August 16, 2009

True fact: I watch terrible TV when I’m on business trips. Usually, I just turn the TV on because hotel rooms are too lonely when they’re too quiet. But it’s really no excuse when I end up watching Dr. Phil or awful reality shows. This past trip, I saw a new reality show – More to Love. The general premise of the show is “The Bachelor with large people”. The basic idea – that personality is greater than looks, that being larger doesn’t mean you can’t find love – is wonderful in theory. But as I watched the show, I couldn’t help think that these themes aren’t going anywhere.

Already, these dating/marriage/romance reality TV shows have a desperate quality that emanates from them. Who actually goes on these shows? The bachelor/bachelorette must be so intent on finding love that they will find it with one of the random strangers picked to be on the series. And the “contestants” are worse. They’re willing to compete over a stranger’s affection because they’re so obsessed with being in love/being loved.

And now, More to Love throws in the fabulous aspect that these larger women already have difficulties with dating and romance and self-esteem. Clearly being in a contest to search for love is the solution to these problems. From the one episode I watched I learned several things: 1) These women all feel that being larger makes it significantly harder because people judge looks before personalities. 2) They all pretty much fell in love with the guy at first site, discussing how cute he is and how nice and pretty much making up the perfect personality for him. 3) Many of the girls felt like they would never find The One. So what happens when a girl is booted from the show? Essentially it’s telling her that her personality, even when competing with women of similar weight, is not good enough. Self-esteem is going to take a major hit; ideas of love and romance probably will be a bit shattered. There’s absolutely no positive outcome for most of these women.

I really like reality shows like Beauty and The Geek, where there is a positive impact on the show’s stars, or the talent finding shows (America’s Next Top Model, Project Runway, etc), where the contestants do gain some experience or knowledge to help them later. But shows like More to Love and The Swan, where the result of the show will almost always be horribly negative, are just unbelievable. It makes me sad.