Posts Tagged ‘socializing

18
May
18

Friend-Less, the Solution to “Icky Drama”

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[The setting: Woman-A meets with her friend, Woman-B at a cafe for lunch. They start talking and eventually reach a disagreement which gives Woman-A a bad case of indigestion and gas (because her emotions are tied to her digestive system). Woman-B decides to use the Ladies’ Room while Woman A maintains her distance and hopes no one complains about her flatulence. A female stranger, Woman-C, notices the discomfort of Woman-A and joins her.]

Woman C: Is your friend giving you digestive problems?

Woman A: Urp! *sigh* …Yeah.

Woman C: Then you need Friend-Less. She’s 100% human but without the complicated emotional upsets. You’ll never have to endure a conflict of interests, again!

Woman A: Sounds *B-Lurp!* great. Where can I find…uh, her?

 

[You won’t find Friend-Less in any restaurant, workplace, club, yoga class, pharmacy or department store. Science hasn’t worked out all the bugs on this one, yet. And, even if someone did, it would be a crime against nature (unless a higher power chose a lack of emotional upsets as a step in evolution, as an adaptation). ‘Sort of like any food/drink that has been tampered with to boast a lack of side effects. It’s NOT 100% anything except guaranteed to be manipulated.]

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19
Apr
18

Exit the Social Media Freeway System

*****

Everything internet comes with some measure of traffic. If you feel yourself getting stuck or lost in any of that, if you feel like the loser at a school reunion with nothing to compare, nothing to showcase with a smile, pull to the side, stop the car and get out. Now. Don’t spend another minute putting up with the irritations and discouraging faces around you. Don’t continue to sit in guilt, distress or confusion.  Don’t turn to drugs or destructive behavior as some sort of revenge-slash-self-harm. Don’t keep looking for the off-ramp to satisfaction. Just get off the road and take a few deep breaths where the air is fresh.

This isn’t the venue for making the best of connections.  This isn’t the best art gallery to feature your work.  This isn’t likely the office of the publisher you want to turn your latest fruit of the heart into a bestseller.  I’m not saying these things are impossible here, but the odds are much slimmer.  And, I know slim odds.  I’m tackling them right here with you, steering away from the “mainstream,” trying to exist outside the box.  It’s hard.  No doubt.

But, how many ever achieve anything while in traffic?  Other than road rage and maybe an exchange of papers in the case of an accident?  Other than those rare stories of passersby sparing a crash victim from dying in the vehicle?  How many are making friends in traffic?  I mean something greater than the friendly wave for letting you into the very traffic I am warning you is going to get to you.

Thanks, stranger; I needed a way onto this road to get where I am going…but, wait, I didn’t want this!  Now, I’m stuck.  Again!

Everything internet feels a bit like the rat race to get the latest this or that or fill our “bellies” with what we crave.  And, if you can’t keep up with the speed limit, it can really wear you down or wreck your life.  You might take a break and get right back in it, too.

Why??  What is so addictive about this trafficking.  Heh.  I said it.  This, too, is human trafficking.  It’s not the known definition of the term, for that is just the cover under which so much else goes on unseen.   That’s how moral crime works.  You only see a glimpse of the whole or bigger picture.  There is so much more going on outside your perspective.

Now, let everything I just said wash through your hair and out of your brain.  Let’s get right down to what you’re seeking.

Fame?  Find an agency.  Make a YouTube spectacle of yourself.  Self-publish your books and do whatever you can to get on a talk show or share a table with someone who has her own channel for just about everything and loves bread.

If you seek human connection whether as friendship, love or to feed your soul some other way, reach out to people, at the very least, online as you find them.  Make contact.  But, better yet–and I need to remind myself of this–get away from the glowing screen and deal with people around you.

Want to know what that person is thinking or doing right now?  You know, there used to be this thing called a telephone, technically a “land line,” and you had to use that same scrolling finger you burn up on the glowing slab of plastic-crete you may now hold to turn an actual wheel a few times to reach the person you favor.  And, if that wasn’t good enough, you could put pen to paper and put that in an envelope that went through what used to be called a postal service which then sent the paper and envelope, along with a “stamp” to the person you named on the envelope.  Or, you hopped on a bike, took a hike, caught a bus or drove a car to VISIT the person(s).  Try that, maybe.  You’ll likely feel better and get some fresh air in the bargain, that is, if the air is still fresh when you do.

I’m slapping myself with this one right now (metaphorically), reminding myself to mind the traffic.

 

11
Apr
18

Like a Sad Puppy Looking Out the Window

***

No.  You’re not going to find any sad but cute puppy pictures here.  Go clog your storage drives elsewhere.

I’m just expressing how I feel at the moment…at this stage in my life.  And, just to let you know, I’m going to get a bit long-winded; so get comfy and prepare yourself for some heavy paragraphs if you care to read.  But, if you want a more intimate look at the real me, this is about as close as you get without making the effort to reach out and connect via the pathways I provide.  I may repeat a few things from previous posts.

I feel like time is slipping away while I struggle to stand and get moving.  I hear about neighbors I don’t socialize with regularly, finding out their kids have already married and bought houses when it seems like only a few years ago they were kids playing in the backyard.  Have I actually reached THAT age?  Am I already the gray-haired elder who talks about the little ones being taller than I remember?

I’m not particularly physically handicapped.  But, I feel emotionally and mentally challenged…crippled.  I feel starved and deprived of good energies that I’d assume propel other people into action.

If someone says I just lack motivation, what does that mean?  I should be whipped like a slave?  I should throw myself in front of a bus or hit my head against a wall til I get the picture?  I just need to take more risks, more chances?  I’m not charitable enough?  I’m not “hungry” enough?  Exactly what direction should I move in to be doing this life right?  [No.  Don’t answer that one.  There are way too many people doling out answers they think are right, already.]

It’s sad to say, too, but I look forward to and sometimes rely upon emails to communicate.  I used to turn to the landline telephone.  But, reaching people isn’t always as easy, anymore, now that there are “options” and more things to distract people (rather than connect them).  I don’t mind leaving a message if I know I’ll get a response.  But, I don’t want to be the guy calling at “a bad time” and feeling like I am expecting the person to be my therapist while they are wondering when I’ll stop gabbing because they have “more important” things to do (that I could/should be doing myself).  Often enough, talking on the phone makes me feel worse, later, than I do composing a letter or email (which, for me, often turns out as long or longer than some letters I used to write).

So, when I finally do get an email or offer to email, I perk my head up a little and might even pant before responding as soon as possible.  Sometimes, I go out of my way, give it more time than most would, really try to make it into something special, something personal and considerate.  Over the years, I’ve realized that usually smells of desperation and is not–as often as I’d like–appreciated.

I try to be patient with others, particularly when they say they are sorry they cannot respond sooner/more often.  I say, “Oh, that’s okay.  You’re busy.  Take your time.”  And, then what happens?  I don’t hear from these people for weeks, months…  And, well, if it goes past a year, I pretty much assume our connection is dead.   [One sad, lonely dog, looking too hard for attention over here.]

“Back in the day,” (heh) you might write to a pen pal and wait a year for a response.  But, you were not considering that pen pal anything more than a seasonal visitor like the Easter Bunny or Kris Kringle.  You didn’t expect much from a pen pal and were grateful, hopefully, when they felt thoughtful enough to send a treat or souvenir.

I don’t look for pen pals at this stage of my life.  If my “circle” was that fulfilling but too local to satisfy my explorative interests, I might look for a stranger overseas to tell me tales.  But, these days, you don’t need a pen pal for that.  You can find people like that online!…in places like this one!  And, if they are friendly enough, you can exchange dialogue!  Isn’t that nice?  [Not that there’s much dialogue going around from what I can see.  More often, I see “award” notices, strangely worded/ignored comments from faceless strangers, brief words of vague sympathy and plenty of “snapshot” responses (the LIKES and the FOLLOWS) which are void of warmth.]

My timing and my low level of comfort with mingling are also terrible.  It seems I am always inside when others are taking walks outside.  [Again, the sad puppy looking out the windows.]  And, even if I cross paths with someone while walking, I’m in no way comfortable striking up a conversation.

For one, I don’t want to come off like an intrusion or misunderstood threat.  I don’t want to take away from the exercise or interaction someone else may be having with their exercise group/companion(s) (while I am almost always alone).  If they only have so much time to exercise, why try to or expect them to stop and gab as long as I may?

Secondly, or rather, additionally in regards to general discomfort, I am not comfortable talking on a walk or in public for more than a minute or two because I know my skin is thin and that I will break the dam wide open if given a chance.  And, the last thing I want is to get loud or breakdown among passersby who are likely to turn their heads and very quickly add to my discomfort.  What’s wrong with him?  Do you really want to know?  [Not to mention all the concerns I’d have of being rejected or “judged” for expressing or hearing something that disturbs one of us.]

What I really would like is to meet someone on a walk or online (or somewhere far more comfortable, wherever that is) and spark a conversation but take it somewhere more private so I don’t expose my “ills,” my concerns, my woes, my heavier thoughts to more people than necessary, especially to people you don’t know who are capable of doing things with your output that might shock and/or upset you.

And, I think that’s what I’ve been doing and striving to do since the internet began.  [I am pretty sure I’ve discussed my experiences with making contacts online elsewhere in my posts.  I just don’t feel like linking or repeating.  And, hey, if you really need to know, you just ask.]

I don’t or can’t expect someone I just met to welcome me into their home or car (and that doesn’t sound too smart to begin with, anyway). I really don’t know where to go to make this happen.  Nor do I have any bright idea or motivation to make myself more comfortable.  It’s one thing when you have a friend or “wingman” with you.  It’s a whole other to feel as fragile as I do and try to go it alone.  I mean, I am sure people do it and have done it.  And, if it comes down to it, I’ll figure out a way.  But, time is passing by so quickly, and I am still spinning my tires.

It sure would be nice if more people reached out to me, too.  Ya know?  I feel worse thinking the world is only going to get better if I make it better for myself (and others).  For all the stories I read of people making things happen, starting businesses and such, I don’t see people reaching out to me.  I keep getting the feeling like I’m different and have to do the leg work for others.  They might have tons of offers or be going through applications/resumes like some location seeking employees.  But, I remain the lone applicant just hoping to make a dent, to get my foot in a door.  [Stop looking like that, sad puppy man!]

Am I just living in some TV show or video game?  Is this just a 4D world in which I have the controller to make things happen?  Have I been so bewildered by the simulations that I forgot I am Player One?

Some would say I just need to get busy or be busier with my life.  When you’re busy, you don’t think as much (about these things).  And, while that may be true, do I want to busy myself with work that does nothing other than feed the careless, wasteful impulses of others (just because someone chooses to make a business of that, because someone convinced them this was profitable) or work for someone who sells a lie built around fear/doubt?

Oh, sure, I could get very busy.  I could not make any money and devote my life to charity because the world sure needs plenty of help.  But, I am terribly afraid of my social and general anxieties getting in the way, of ending up penniless and dependent upon some system I don’t necessarily understand or like.  It’s not like I would be good at balancing charity with doing everything I need to support myself.  I’d more likely give my all and wind up with nothing…or give so little that I feel like a cheapskate/miser.  It is all a bit too risky for me.  [Yet, charity sounds better than some alternatives.]

Sigh.  Woof!

 

 

 

 

16
Jan
18

Untied Day: A NEW Holiday for Singles to Represent and Get to Know Each Other

*****

On February 21st, if you are single, widowed or recently divorced, feel free to celebrate…

UNTIED DAY
(c) (R) AP 2017

How many of you are single and sick of Valentine’s Day and its cousins, including Dragobete? How many of you are tired of worrying about what gift to get someone you like/love, what greeting card will make that someone happy or forgetting one more holiday date just to end up in the doghouse with your significant other? And, how many of you are walking around, looking for love but not keen on online dating sites or singles “bars?”

Wouldn’t you like to go out and know who is single, looking for love or interested in something else, just like you? Wouldn’t you like a sign that tells you more about the person you meet out there? Well, have I got the holiday cure for you.

On Untied Day, anyone who is without a paired heart on Valentine’s Day or a lock on Dragobete can be themselves and let others know a little (or a lot) about who they are. There is no need for worrying about getting a gift, how much you spend, forgetting something that happened one or fifty years ago or being late for a date.

————–

WHAT TO WEAR:

A) A loose tie or ribbon, draped loosely over the shoulders/around the neck. [IE An untied business tie for a man or a hair ribbon for a woman.] If you are capable of wearing more than one ribbon at a time (to display a variety of interests/opinions), more power to you.

AND/OR

B) An Untied Day shirt/patch** with the appropriate color(s).

AND/OR

C) Represent your personality/tastes/interests with accessories and/or color/pattern choices (or wear what you happen to have and take your chances on explaining to curious individuals why you dressed that way). You could even substitute an Untied Day shirt/patch** with one that features an image or message that represents you, something you may already have stashed away somewhere.

**Currently, there are none in print/production. So, for now, you can simply print/reproduce the logo (a ribbon fused with a dress tie in the shape of the letters UNT) at your own expense, provided you give credit to yours truly. [I did come up with the design and the holiday name, after all.] For now, the idea of the holiday may be nothing more than something “trending” if it will be. But, I aspire to fashion tees, hoodies, tanks, sleeveless turtlenecks and camisoles as well as a variety of patches/badges.

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Suggested accessory #1: If you want to go one step further, get yourself a good and sticky nametag (or, if you prefer, a pin-on, clip-on or magnetic type), one that either has the words or upon which you can write this message:

HI. I AM ____.

And, in that blank, I want you to put either your first name or a word that best describes you. [IE HI. I AM Fred. HI. I AM silly. HI. I AM frank. HI. I AM shy.] Just don’t put a word like “dependable” or “trustworthy” because you’d have to work harder than most to prove it.

Put the nametag on one side of your (Untied Day) shirt. If nothing else, it helps clarify your “untie” of choice.

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The following are suggestive color/pattern choices which you may apply to your choice of Untied accessories. The point is to represent yourself so you don’t have to explain everything to interested/potential mates. If you don’t agree with these explanations, feel free to explain yourself when approached/asked.

COLORS:

BLACK = Strictly business, not looking for romance/a relationship. You are single and okay with it. And, if you are looking for a partner, it’s only for business/work. You’re hiring.

WHITE = Virgin. [You gotta be quite brave to represent this, these days.]

BABY BLUE = You have a son or sons. [For greater accuracy, wear one logo for each child.]

PINK = You have a daughter or daughters. [For greater accuracy, wear one logo for each child.]

GREEN = Newly single; you just got out of a relationship or are new to dating. [Be sure to represent any other factor of that status, including past sexual relationships and children.]

BLUE (any pure blue other than baby blue) = A very emotional person; sensitive. Possibly coping with depression. A sign of caution to potential partners; you need to be handled with care. You might also be gentle with others.

RED = Aggressive; an avid hunter. You have limited patience and are not afraid to admit it. Stop. Don’t bother asking ME a question; I’ll come to you.

YELLOW = Cautious or too shy to say hi or ask someone out, at the moment. You need someone to approach you, first. [At least we know you’re not hostile or superficial. Right?]

ORANGE = The hands-on/tactile type who don’t mind getting their hands dirty. In terms of dating/relationships, you are someone who prefers holding hands, hugging and physically laboring to show you care. [Compare with PURPLE.]

PURPLE = The intellectual/intuitive type who like mental challenges and never stop being students of life. In terms of dating/relationships, you are someone who prefers heart-to-heart talks and thoughtful gifts that may not even be tangible (like planning a trip somewhere your partner longs to visit or frequents). [Compare with ORANGE.]

GRAY = Mysterious; you consider yourself a mystery, enjoy being one and/or like to explore mysteries where you find them. You like interrogation, both giving and receiving.

BROWN = Chocolate-lover. Quite simply, you are in need of the brown (or white) stuff and are letting others know what would put a smile on your face on a day like today when you don’t have someone to love (in place of chocolate). You don’t want to dwell on feelings, who’s happy together or who’s starved for love. You’re not seriously looking for companionship. Just give you some chocolate.

——————-

COLOR COMBOS:

BLACK AND WHITE = Religious and/or marriage-minded. Religion is important to you.

RED, WHITE AND BLUE = Politically driven, patriotic or an activist. You support your nation’s government with pride.

RED AND BLACK CHECKERED = Lover of (board) games and puzzles.

HALF RED/HALF WHITE = You are in a medical field (of work), a surgeon, pharmacist, dentist, nurse, etc.

——————-

PATTERNS (OF YOUR RIBBON/TIE AND/OR ACCESSORIES):

POLKA DOTS = Bubbly, lighthearted or having a good sense of humor. You occasionally clown around and can take a joke (about yourself). Humor is important to you.

STRIPES =
ONE STRIPE = You’ve had one previous sexual relationship (no longer a virgin).
TWO STRIPES OR MORE = You’ve had more than one sexual relationship.

HEARTS =
ONE HEART = Monogamous; you are seeking one partner for a lifetime.
TWO HEARTS OR MORE = Polygamous or open to unconventional relationships.

ANIMAL PRINT = Nature-lover and/or animal-lover. Pick a print that best fits your interest/personality, like a spirit animal. If you think of yourself as a tigress, wear a tiger stripe ribbon/tie. If you are chatty like a parrot, wear a tie/ribbon with a parrot face/profile. If you favor dogs over cats, wear a tie/ribbon that has (a) dog(s) on it.

STARS =
ONE STAR = Divorced/Separated.
TWO TO FIVE STARS = Divorced (#/multiple) times.
MANY (SMALL) STARS = An interest in astrology/astronomy and/or space exploration.

DOLLAR SIGNS =
ONE DOLLAR SIGN = Money-minded; you give great importance to a person’s income and how they spend/save it.
MULTIPLE DOLLAR SIGNS = You are rich and proud of it.

MASK(S) (THEATER, CARNIVAL OR HARLEQUIN) = An interest in role-play (not necessarily role-playing games, aka RPGs). You favor costume(s) (parties) and pretending to be other characters/creatures.

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WHAT TO DO/NOT DO ON UNTIED DAY:

DO:
1– Treat yourself to something you normally push aside because it’s not “frugal,” too flashy to wear most days, not the best use of your time or not the best for your “diet.” [But, see DO NOT #1.]

2– Represent yourself, your interests and/or personality (quirks) with what you wear.

3– Approach someone else dressed for this special day if you like or care to know more about what you see, knowing they are single/unattached like yourself. And, chat with that person, starting with some question or comment related to their chosen attire/accessories. It’s the best and fastest cure to being single/alone on a day like this.

4– Respect the interests of others dressed for this special day if they choose NOT to speak and/or be nice to you. Not everyone on such a singles day needs or wants to kindle a new relationship (with you). Mind your distance, be open to rejection and respect the color code (if the person uses the one I’ve provided). And, if you are approached but not interested in who approaches, respectfully let the person know.

5– Meet new singles in public, drug-free places. [IE A mall, a restaurant, a department store, your workplace or a dog park.]

 

DO NOT:
1– Spend more money today than absolutely necessary to please yourself or buy any material things (IE new clothes or jewelry). You should not be taking any financial risks on a day of love (other than missing a day of work, perhaps). You might know the old expression about money not being able to buy you happiness (or love). I personally do not like buying anything on my birthday; that’s a day for other people to treat ME (respectfully and/or kindly). Likewise…

2– Pretend to be someone or something you are not. Faking is dangerous and often cruel.

3– Assume what someone is wearing for this special day means what you think it does. [See DOs #3 and #4.]

4– Criticize or try to discourage anyone from dressing festively for this special day. You can spare one day from spreading your negativity. Can’t you? Ease up on the uniform policy; think of this as a casual (Fri)day.

5– Look for new partners at a bar or anywhere you might be less conscious of your actions (should you partake in drug use). DO NOT get drunk to loosen up or forget something/someone. You know you are not content with yourself if you do so; you only ignore your nerves/conscience that way. [Then again, this IS a singles day. So, if you fool around, you’ll likely get another chance to dress up next year. But, you might like yourself less.]

——————-

There you have it. Now, get out there (or lounge where you may) and represent your single selves. Remember, this is a day to either be content with your single status–not pursue any new relations–or let others know who you are if they are seeking a partner. Be creative. Be happy. Be free. Be un-tied.

UntiedDay-explanationposter-2018-ap-900sq-1JUntiedDay-logo-2017_RBnW-color-splash-ad-2018_ap-CSPP-900sq-16J

 

[If you would like to be a part of an Untied Day creative committee, feel free to drop a letter in my mailbox. If approved, you can offer suggestions for improving the guidelines and partake in the production of Untied Day merchandise/apparel.]

 

*****A partner post to this one will be appearing, soon, including an assortment of first-draft Untied Day greeting cards and explanation ads/posters you may freely distribute to spread the word/idea (but don’t forget it is a Writingbolt/AP invention).*****

But, here are a few visuals to help “decode” my logo and provide some means of reproducing prints/coloring pages (so you can fashion your own T-shirts and such).

 

 

 

06
May
14

Talking with a Smoker

Image

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There’s something relentlessly unnerving about talking with anyone who (still) smokes, especially when being (a non-smoker) with them (outdoors) while they are smoking. Some might control their need/habit/fix better than others. Some try their best to respect you if the smoke is a (health) problem. But, in my experience, most smokers cannot survive the full extent of an intense, serious chat without that impulse to “light up” crossing their mind and, eventually, forcing their hand. Thus, it makes me continually uncomfortable being in their presence, fearing I will exhaust that short fuse.

Their defense systems have been worn down by addiction to the point that the slightest discomfort triggers a shortness of breath other people associate with general stress. What makes others want to punch someone or pause to take a deep breath (to avoid conflict) is enough for a smoker to go through a full pack. A minor tiff or disagreement…even a compliment, something positive…can tickle that nerve. [Which is how the concept of a cigarette after sex became popular. The emotional, mental and physical stimulation of sex is like a construction vehicle doing an arduous task. The arm moves its load, and the smokestack huffs dark exhaust fumes.] Try if you will to watch your words. But, I can’t fathom the safe route to spend a day with a smoker without them lighting up more often than they take a break to use a bathroom/restroom.

And, if any who read this just happen to be smokers (or drinkers) and get the impulse to light up, I cannot apologize enough to change your minds. It’s up to you and your support systems (if you have one) to control/stop yourselves.

31
Mar
14

Help Me Break the Ice!!

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This is a quick cartoon of what it feels like every time I cross paths with an attractive woman.  I can’t even begin to calmly and concisely explain what all goes through my head when I run into someone I might like to know better but am too FROZEN to say anything.  And, I am really tired of just walking away with a whisper.  But, without something better than HI or a crappy “pick up line” I refuse to use, I choke.

So, please, anyone reading this, help me break the ice.




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