VWW- Drapetomania

 

 

Drapetomania:

an overwhelming urge to run away
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The strange thing about adulthood is that I have had the urge to flee more once than I ever had when I was younger. At least once a week I fantasize about bailing on my bills, my house, and my career packing some clothes and the pets in the car and living like a nomad. As time passes I am slowly coming to realize that I don’t own anything. All the things own me. And I just need to break free from the suffocatingly stiffiling cage I have locked myself in. I can’t be alone in that.

Harridan Hissy Fit

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I’m showing early symptoms of becoming the cranky old lady that shakes her cane at random people and calls them whippersnappers. I feel like it’s too soon. I am only in my forties. That’s only the halfway mark. I shouldn’t be symptomatic yet.

I’ve found myself commenting negatively about the college graduate generation. Millennials? Is that what they are called?   I thought that was just a slip of the subconscious. Like all those times I opened my mouth and my mother’s voice came out. It wasn’t really me. It was a combination of repetitive auditory input coupled with a stimulus. Add in a bit too much stress and the weak and flawed human reverts to its classical conditioned responses, despite lots of effort to overcome. However, the reaction can no longer be discounted as rote since I am often completely baffled by their behavior. Nope. I am not part of the youth culture any longer.

The symptom of greatest concern is my inability to deal with new technology. I found myself thrusting my phone at a random teenager in the food court because my app stopped working. I didn’t even introduce myself. I just walked up and said “You’re young. Help me.” They did. And they were incredible gracious about it too. But that isn’t the only time. These incidents are becoming more and more frequent with each passing day. Here is a short list:

  1. I had a breakdown because I couldn’t figure out why a document suddenly changed font type and I couldn’t change it back.
  2. A file that I needed to edit was in .pdf and I had no idea how to edit it. I told everyone in the office they had to listen to my profanity because I was channeling Samuel L. Jackson.
  3. Google Documents doesn’t allow you to merge cells in a table. No one under 35 thinks this is a problem.
  4. An intern submitted a document with all the bullet points in a table. When I converted it from Google to Word I couldn’t figure out how to correct the formatting.
  5. I spend far too much time on websites looking for the sign in link. Why do they hide that? Why can’t it always be in the same place?
  6. I don’t understand why all the checkout machines can’t be the same. Why do they ask so many questions? Just take my money.
  7. Why do stores need to email me coupons when I check out. Can’t they just give them to me in the bag?
  8. If we can have WiFi why can’t we employ Tesla’s wireless electricity system?  I want to be done with the Gordian knot of cords that lies behind furniture in every room.
  9. Why is setting up a video conference still so challenging? The Jetsons made it seem like it would be so much cooler than it is.
  10. I declined a key less entry system because I couldn’t understand how it worked and I was afraid of locking myself out of my smart home.
  11. Windows 8: The icons were in the same place for 25+ years, Microsoft decides to move them for no damn reason, tells no one. Bill Gates is still laughing at those of us trying to locate the Control Panel. I just gave up on adding a printer.
  12. Everything needs to be touch screen or nothing at all. I forget which piece of electronics needs a controller. Try adjusting the volume on your TV using your finger or pointing the remote angrily at the tablet to change the YouTube video. It gets confusing!

I am becoming obsolete!

The downward spiral to fiber supplements and adult diapers is imminent. Soon my driving will terrify people. I’m not ready!

VWW-Alharaca

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Alharaca:

an extraordinary or violent emotional reaction to a small issue

 

This is taken from Spanish and I think we need to incorporate it into the vernacular. Because who hasn’t done this? Be honest!

At some point, more often than we would like to admit even to ourselves, we have all lost it over something silly and inconsequential. Oh sure, we know there are mitigating circumstances that lead up to a total meltdown of an adult over an out of order air pump but the other people don’t see any of that.

No one sees that you got up a half hour early only to be treated with a vomiting cat, a broken coffee maker, a dryer full of wet clothes you forgot to turn on, a misplaced report you need at 8 AM, and a lost shoe all before getting in the car to discover the tire pressure monitor is lit up. No one saw that you drove to three gas stations before this one and none of the air compressors were working. No one saw that you were now running late despite planning ahead.

What everyone saw was a middle aged woman dressed in business clothes kicking the air pump, shouting profanity, and acting like she was off her meds. They get a great story and you get to be a combination of frustrated, defeated, and embarrassed. You’re lying if you say you haven’t done it.

So let’s take this word. Let’s use it and make it we’ll known to all. That way when everyone is staring at your socially inappropriate reaction to something small and seemingly minor you can just say Sorry I went alharaca, bad day.” And everyone will understand. Continue reading

The Baron Sends a Minion…

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Too often is this in my head!

I recently encountered one of Baron Von Fruitroosters minions. Oh, he seemed normal enough but that was only a facade meant to draw me in.

The dialog was polite and slightly witty. He explained that he was new in the area due to business and was looking for suggestions for food, etc. That quickly devolved into him expressing his desire to attend a swinger club and demanding requests for my sexual preferences.

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Starts off well, then this happens

This loser got a strong dose of the radioactive nipples! Of course I had to monologue first.

Really asshole? You are a 55 year old man, not some college kid. Show some class! In what universe is a grown woman going to listen to your slobbering, mouth breathing demands for sex and just rip her clothes of and give it to you? Why do you think that your existence and the fact that you paid me attention should equate utter gratitude and acquiesce from me? I’m a person, not some convenient hole that exists for you to get your dick wet. Manners!!

He then became indignant. As if he was owed something for the initial two minute conversation that wasn’t offensive. Clue-by-four asshat, you are not owed pretty, or my time, or access to my body. You are owed nothing but the common courtesy you have failed to show me.

I’m busy. I don’t have the time or the patience to deal with your inability to interact properly with other adults. Hitting him with the nipple lasers was a public service, really. He has been shrunk down to binary code and captured on an app on my phone. I still haven’t figured out what to do with these bottom feeders once they are in the phone. Suggestions are welcome!

VWW- Prevaricate

Prevaricate:

To deviate from the truth: equivocate

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“Not that I am aware of” and ” I was out of pocket” are my two favorite examples of this in the work place.

Let’s look at the first one. “Not that I am aware of” You probably are aware of it and are just pretending so you can’t be accountable for turning a blind eye as the walls fell down on the project everyone else invested so much time working on. It implies that you were not kept in the loop and that others were trying to hide information from you. The reality is that your team probably couldn’t find you while you were out playing golf or locked in your office watching YouTube videos. And isn’t it part of your job as an executive to be informed? If you don’t know what is happening in your office then exactly what is the point of you?

“I was out-of-pocket” Really? Did you transport to the North rim of the Grand Canyon for the day? Because the company issued you a smart phone that they pay for. This is so you will be available and have access at all times. Hell, there is even WiFi on the plane now! How is that a viable excuse?

Being Cassandra

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I spend far too much time in meetings. Most of that time in a quiet state of simmering rage. Being that I handle regulatory I often have to advise on the law. Fun! This would be frustrating for anyone but it’s only compounded by the fact that I am the only woman on the team and I am perceived as being considerably younger (less experienced) than the rest of the team.

Imagine, if you will, sitting every week and reading the FDA food code and translating it into the vernacular. I tell them we need to do XYZ to be compliant. They go into these long yarns about how it was done some other place they worked. Right! Because regulations never change over time. I reiterate the importance of following the code and explain the consequences if we don’t. I’m ignored. Then, lo and behold, it comes to pass that a visiting official writes up the very thing I was expounding upon.

It sucks to be the prophet. Legend has it that Cassandra went insane. I believe that. I often feel the need for medication so I can just stop caring. But I was cursed not only with knowledge but also integrity. Pity us, the ones that persevere when faced with a wall of ignorance and ego. We try. We always try. It’s just that we are never believed.

Know that each time you see a product recalled in the news that there is a quality professional throwing a pile of papers in the air wishing that she could shout “I told you so” at all the useless ass-hats she works with. But we can’t. That would be unprofessional. And I am nothing if not a fucking professional.

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VWW- Haptic

Haptic:

  1. relating to or based on the sense of touch
  2. characterized by a predilection for the sense of touch

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I live alone. I’ve lived alone since my divorce eight years ago. Independence is something I value immensely and most of the time I would be hard pressed to compromise. Nothing is ever perfect though and one thing is missing. That is touch.

Harlow’s experiments with contact comfort were done in the 1950’s and have been replicated multiple times over the years. That said, it’s generally understood that lack of contact can result in adverse behaviors both socially and sexually. The experiment showed that contact and comfort will be chosen even over food. This is a gross simplification of the study, but suspend your disbelief for a few moments and indulge me.

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Photo of Harlow’s monkey’s

Because the majority of my friends and family live on the other side of the state I can go a very long time without any physical contact with another human being. I feel this contributes to my ability to manage stress and anxiety. It also has an impact in my decision making process.

I’ve always been a sex positive thinker. Live and let live was my motto. That said, casual sex was never my thing. Flash forward a few years post divorce and now there is a different attitude altogether.

Not because I had some mental revelation. Not because I’ve grown into my sexuality. Not because I’ve thrown off conventional models of appropriate social behavior. That was not a part of my journey. No, I engaged in casual sex because it supplied my need for human touch.

Prior to my divorce there was touching. Of course there was sensual touch, but also the more casual forms of affection. A hug, a hand on the back, arm around the shoulder, or head in a lap. There were more playful interactions like snapping towels during the dishes, slaps on the backside on the way out the door, raspberries, zorbits, and even wet willies.  If you share a domicile with another human being think about how many ways you touch each other. It’s much more than you might believe.

Then one day it was gone. At first I didn’t notice as there were so many other things to attend to that took priority. As time went on I noticed its absence. Friends encouraged me to date, to meet people.

So I did. Anyone dating knows how frustrating that endeavor can be! That’s a novel in and of its self. Let’s just say it wasn’t fulfilling. And I wasn’t in a place to open up let alone commit to anything.  So what’s a highly analytical girl to do? Apply logic.

I wanted touch, they wanted sex. Sex involves touch. Lots and lots of touch. Let’s be honest, I wanted sex too. Problem solved!

Well, temporarily. As anyone who has engaged in the practice of casual sex can tell you, it gets old. It’s empty and eventually you realize you want more from a partner. And that is where I am. I miss the affectionate comfort that comes from rapport. Touch is soothing. It conveys a level of closeness, tenderness, and warmth. The touch of passion and desire don’t always satisfy in the long term. I can find an outlet but it won’t achieve a level of playfulness, equanimity, or inclusion that develops with the openness and conviction of trust.

Blood Flow

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It occurred to me that most miscommunication is a direct result of only seeing things from your own perspective. As such, this might contribute a great deal to the so-called battle of the sexes between men and women. So here is the thought process that set this off.

I was pondering a date I had where I had mentioned to the man how I don’t like grocery stores. I explained why; that they have too many choices, most of them are not food, I don’t like being advertised to, my dislike of branding, etc. He heard none of that. What he heard was “I have never been to a grocery store.” Not sure where he got that or if he thought I had been raised in a cave as opposed to the American Megalopolis that is the Northeast, but he was convinced I just hadn’t seen a grocery store.

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So that is where he chooses to take me. Now when we walked in and he grabbed a cart I should have bolted. There is something wrong with us women at a social level that we swallow our instincts for self-preservation in order to not offend, but that is a rant for another time. Anyway, he pushes the cart through the doors into the produce section. Here he begins his tour of the fruits and vegetable and explains organics to me. (He works in IT, I’ve spent the past 18 years working in food manufacturing specializing in regulatory. I know organics). It goes on like this through each aisle. He was explaining it to me and showing me boxes and cans like I just arrived from behind the Iron Curtain.

He was so full of himself and his ability to enlighten me to the horror that is American consumerism that he failed to notice my utter disgust, mainly at him but also at his dietary choices.  He saw no reason not to multi task and was doing his shopping on our date. Oh yeah, he is a winner. After we check out and I help him load his cleverly disguised corn-based food like products into his car he says “I’d really like to take you to dinner sometime.” Really? Then maybe you should have done that instead of ignoring my comments (truly, it’s like I wasn’t even speaking) and acting like a white knight that saved me from my ignorant peasant life of Supermarket free-living. I bolted and was grateful I didn’t mention I am not in the habit of watching television. I shudder at what that would have been like!

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The Mansplaining statue at the University of Incarnate Word in San Antonio, TX (of course!)

Back to perspective. This is what I have come up with. It’s a flawed theory that assumes many erroneous, though commonly held misconceptions. However, these are integral to my theory, so go along with it.

It is widely accepted that the male of the species only have enough blood to operate either the brain or the genitals (thank you, Robin Williams). Being a marvelous feat of evolutionary hydro engineering I can kind of see how this correlation without causation myth has come to be ingrained in our culture. And since our cultural beliefs do in fact influence our behavior it’s not that much of a leap to use this as my hypothesis. So, yes, I think this is crap but that isn’t important. What matters is that a vast majority of people do think this is valid. They accept it as fact and weave it into how they perceive the world around them.

What I began to wonder is that if men believe that they only have enough blood flow to successfully operate either the brain or the penis do they then project that belief on to women? Do they think that women only have enough blood to operate either the brain or the tits? And if so, given that the tits are always demonstrating the same tensile strength, does that justify the long-held belief that females are of inferior intelligence? Is that why men are always trying to explain thing to us?

The Dream of the Echidna

download (1)Last night I had a dream that my garden was invaded by echidnas. This is strange for many reasons. First, I don’t have a garden. I am where plants go to die. Second, I live in North America. No echidnas here outside of a zoo. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a live one. Stranger still was the fact that they weren’t reproducing via eggs as they do in the real world. In my dreams they were sprouting out of my plants in small purple puffs. They looked like tiny Dr. Seuss Truffula trees.

In the dream I called animal control because I didn’t know what to do about all the echidnas and I was worried about what an introduced species would do to the environment. Instead of getting help I had government officials shouting at me that I planted them so they were now my responsibility. I was arguing that I didn’t plant them, that they were animals and should be hatching from eggs. The officials didn’t care. They told me it didn’t matter how they got there, I was responsible for them and I had to apply for a permit for exotic animal husbandry.

That’s when I woke up. Seriously messed up the things your subconscious concocts. Even more odd as I almost never remember my dreams. This one was very clear and it stayed with me all day. I’ve been staring photos of echidnas on Google trying to understand what it means. What am I supposed to garner from this message? I am at a complete loss. Echidnas!