Random thoughts and opinions that pop into my head

Bad Boy Theory

I have a theory about the attraction of the “bad boy”. Well, I have a lot of theories but this is the one I have been thinking about.

Bad boys: apparently they are what most girls want. Is that true? Who knows. Not the point. The point is why they might be an attractive option.

When you date someone you know is probably going to hurt you it changes things. Sure, he might be charming and exciting but there is a part of you that assumes it won’t last. Eventually he will hurt you, cheat, or disappoint in some way. But you expect this. If/when it happens you are at least a bit prepared. You didn’t see it lasting forever anyway.

Now, with “good guys” it is different. You let yourself trust them, you feel safe and secure. He would never do anything to hurt you because he is so kind and caring. So when it happens, when he lets you down, it crushes you. It was like you were walking along in the country side and all of a sudden a 747 runs you over. Didn’t see that one coming! It hurts so much more because you weren’t prepared, you never saw it coming.

All of a sudden the “bad boy” doesn’t seem like such a bad choice. At least for a little while.

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Valentine’s Day: Why the hate?

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I have never understood how some people absolutely hate Valentine’s Day. I understand indifference but hate seems extreme. Every year there are always those people who complain and rant about how Valentine’s Day is so pointless, how depressing it all is or how it is just a commercial holiday. One of the most common excuses I usually hear (mostly from men) is, ‘why should I show affection on a given day, isn’t it better to show it all the time?’ Why yes, that would be lovely but how many people do that? The nice thing about Valentine’s Day is it gives you an excuse to do nice things for the people you care about. Tell them you love them, send a little card, give some yummy treats. In my opinion, the problem with Valentine’s Day is people thinking that they have to spend tons of money. Personally I think it is more about being thoughtful. If you want to spend a bunch of money on something thoughtful please don’t let me stop you but if you are spending money just because you think you have to it is kind of pointless. Valentine’s Day, to me, is about doing little things to make other people happy and let them know you care. Plus all the chocolate isn’t exactly terrible! If you don’t have a significant other to spend Valentine’s Day with that shouldn’t stop you. Send a card or note to your friend or your sister. Hang out with friends. It is a day to spend with people you care about, it doesn’t always have to be romantic. Just spread some love, that’s what it is all about!

Stop the hate, spread the love…

xoxo

This is a great little comic I came across by The Oatmeal, warning: may be inappropriate for some viewers, for everyone else it is pretty good! http://theoatmeal.com/blog/valentines_day

The Big “O”

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Get your mind out of the gutter! The big “O” I’m talking about is the Olympics!

It’s that time again, The Winter Olympics. For us in Canada, this is the big one, no one really cares about the summer Olympics here, we are all about the winter sports. 

About a week or so ago during our opening meeting at work we were given a list of rules regarding the Olympics. A lot of them made sense, no talking about it on social media, no using the logos in posters etc. But then at the bottom of the page there was a list of things we couldn’t SAY. Since when can people stop someone from using certain words? I didn’t think you could copy write something said orally. Apparently I was mistaken. 

Here is a list of the forbidden words:

  • Sochi
  • 2014 Games
  • 2014 Olympics
  • Winter 2014
  • Olympic Fire
  • The Olympics
  • Olymipad 

and last but not least

  • Gold (Yup, that’s right, we can’t say ‘gold’!)

Like I said, I understand not using certain phrases, logos etc in advertising, social media and the like but not allowing people to say them seems extreme. We were told, even if someone starts a conversation with us about the Olympics were aren’t allowed to discuss it, just change the subject. Apparently there are actually people who are paid to go around and try to lure people into conversations about the Olympics and then possibly give them a fine if they use any of the trademarked words.

So much for national pride.

It makes it hard to have small talk with someone while avoiding something so significant. The Olympics is everywhere right now, tv, newspapers, facebook, yet we have to pretend it doesn’t exist to avoid possibly being fined. If I understand correctly the main reason is that they don’t want people to think our store is associated with the Olympics since we haven’t paid to use the rights. Again, I don’t understand how that can apply to small talk conversations but hey, no one asked me. 

Decisions, decisions…and figs

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In my last post I added an excerpt from “The Bell Jar” by Sylvia Plath, if you missed it, here it is again.

“I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn’t quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.”

When I first read this passage it struck me because it was like she was in my brain. I often find myself struggling to choose a path and instead find myself frozen in my indecision; not being able to choose any path and remaining immobile instead. Each choice requires me to dedicate myself to it so that I can be a success, but by dedicating myself to one occupation I am turning my back on the others. What if I choose wrong? Life should be like an ice cream parlor, you should be able to sample different choices before making a final decision. Be able to travel on one path for a while and if it isn’t what you want, hit rewind and go back and take a different path. I also have a theory that no matter what path we take we will always end up where we were meant to. It may not be a place that you had imagined but it was always the place you were headed. I think if I try and remember that it may take some of the pressure off. I find a lot of people do careers that they wouldn’t have necessarily chosen but they do it because they think they should. Once they retire that is when they start living the life they want. They travel, paint, write, whatever their passion is. I find this sad. Why should I wait until I am in my 60s or 70s to start living life they way I want? There are people out there that have made a success of themselves by following their passion so why can’t I be one of those people? I just need to figure out what my passion is, narrow it down a bit, and I will be ready to go. I feel following ones passion is easier once you have established what exactly your passion is…I’ll work on that and keep you up to date.

If I Could Live Forever: Taking Career Advice From Vampires

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Vampires seem to be everywhere the last few years and everyone seems to like to add their own twist to their lore. Although whether it is Dracula, An Interview with a Vampire or Twilight there is one common thread: they all live for a very long time. This got me thinking, if I lived for hundreds of years without aging what would I do? It would definitely solve all those debates about what to major in in University and what do I want to do with my life? I would not have to choose just one career. In most of these stories, the vampires move along every decade or so in order to avoid people noticing that they never get older. Every time they move on it is a chance for a whole new life. Always wanted to study philosophy but thought it would be a better choice to go into business? Do it! Want to write a book? Why not? You have hundreds of years of time to kill and there always seem to be unlimited funds once someone lives that long so why not do everything?

I am what people call “a jack of all trades, master of none”. There are so many things that interest me I can never just focus on one thing, I’m always moving on to the next. I would love to focus on one occupation, master it, then focus on another but I know there is not enough time in my life to do that. I would love to learn more instruments and actually get myself to an advanced level but as of now I am moderately competent at a few and master of none. At least I have tried them, I suppose that is more than most.

In school it was always so hard to pick one thing to study, I wanted to take courses in so many departments. This led to me taking electives when I could and again, barely scratching the surface of several topics but not nearly as much as I would have liked. If I lived for a couple hundred years I would study psychology, philosophy, english, history, all of it. Except maybe calculus, one course of that was enough for a million life times!

So moral of the story: so much to do, so little time!

I thought I would add a quote that always stuck with me from Sylvia Plath’s “The Bell Jar”:

“I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn’t quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.”

Ps I just noticed apparently I haven’t posted anything since October…whoops! I have drafts written up but none of them got completed. Must do better in 2014!

How I played chicken with a squirrel — and lost

The saga of Jeffery the Squirrel:

He may look cute and innocent but don't be fooled!

He may look cute and innocent but don’t be fooled!

Saga may be a strong word for this tale but I wanted to give the proper dramatic weight that the situation required. Two mornings in a row a black fluffy squirrel has decided that my house is the perfect winter getaway spot for him, and possibly his small squirrel family. This is our story.

It all started the other day when my boyfriend was about to leave for work. He opened the door and was shocked to discover a squirrel sitting on our door step. Not on the path leading to the door, but the actual door step. We live on the main floor of a duplex, which is now a four-plex, and our level is lifted above the ground so the basement has windows. So not only did Jeffery scurry to our door, he hopped up the six, or so, steps, crossed the mini porch and sat inches from the door. Thankfully we have a screen door or he probably would have scampered right inside and made himself at home!

I was a little scared by him as I have had some dicey encounters with squirrels in the past. When I was younger my sister tried shaking a birch tree so that a squirrel would fall on me. Luckily no one, squirrel included, was injured during this stunt. Also, while working at a golf course, my cart was attacked by a gang of overly bold, fluffy tailed rodents. So needless to say I am not a fan of these creatures.

The second day it was my turn to open the door to discover Jeffery sitting at the door staring at me with his evil, beady, little eyes. I’m not proud to admit it, but I acted very much like the girl I am, and squealed. How was I supposed to get to work with this black beast blocking my way?! I couldn’t even open the screen door he was so close. We proceeded to both stare the other down. Hoping the opponent would cave and retreat. I mustered up my courage and figured if I opened the door he would run away. I took a deep breath and as I reached for the handle he charged! I ran back into the house.

And that is how I played chicken with a squirrel and sadly was defeated.

I still see Jeffery around the property and I see the mocking in his eyes. I was shamefully defeated. By a squirrel.

You are an adult, use your words!

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Last I checked, it was not socially acceptable to throw a temper tantrum to get your way when you are 3, let alone 53. For some reason, apparently, not everyone knows this little tidbit of social etiquette.  I thought that once people reach adulthood they would have learnt various negotiation techniques that were slightly more sophisticated than those of a toddler; I was wrong. Much too often have I had to deal with full grown adults throwing tantrums. Throwing a tantrum does nothing when you are 3 and it does less when you are 53. All you really accomplish is having people judge you and assume you are slightly unbalanced. 

Almost all of the jobs I have had have been in customer service of some kind, so as you can imagine I work with people a lot. With me, if you come at me angry from the start, and start yelling at me, I am going to do as little as possible to help you. Obviously, in order to keep my job, there is a minimum requirement that I have to do to at least appear to help you, but that minimum is all you will get if you yell instead of using your big kid words. If you came up and calmly and sincerely stated your issue I am going to go out of my way to help you as best I can because I like to see people happy.

A woman came into my job once and started yelling at everyone about an issue she believed existed. Various people tried to explain that there was not an issue with the product but she wouldn’t listen and just kept yelling. People stared. It was awkward. We referred to her as “The crazy woman”. That is what you get when you throw tantrums in public. You get called names; not unjustly I might add. I don’t understand the theory behind it. Just because something happened that you were unhappy with does not mean you have the right to go yelling at anyone who will, or has been forced to, listen. As I said before, state your problem calmly and people are much more willing to help you. No one is going to go the extra mile to help someone who belittled them. Well, I’m not anyway. 

A manager of mine once showed me this video, Give em the Pickle. While I understand and agree with the message (if you can make someone’s experience better by just doing a bit extra, do it) what I kept thinking when I watched it was “what kind of person writes to the owner of a restaurant about a $0.75 misunderstanding over pickles?!” It is ridiculous how many people complain about little things to get free stuff or in the hope of getting free stuff. It is never the calm, sincere people that get it either. It is the loud, angry people that assume they deserve something even if they don’t. I don’t even know why it bugged me so much but it really did. It was $0.75! The man should have just explained that he normally isn’t charged and I’m sure the manager would have come over and it would have been straightened out. But no, he wrote to the owner, probably because he figured it would get a better deal going straight to the struggling entrepreneur. Maybe they had to change the policy on free pickles because it became too much of an expense. You don’t know the back story, Pickle-man! You could have inquired as to why the change in policy instead of whining about it. I think the phrase “The customer is always right” has gone to too many people’s heads. The girl at the retail store isn’t the bad guy for not allowing you to return your shirt 2 months after the return period ended. You are, for not making it a priority. Policies are generally put in place for a reason. Don’t yell at your server or retail person. They are just doing their job. If you show people respect they are much more likely to return it. 

That is the end of my rant.