Tag Archives: chicago

Sharing Your Space

When I posted a while back that I am close to ending this blog (or moving it, but most likely ending it), this was one of the last posts I wanted to do. I am just now getting to it.

When I went to Chicago almost 2 months ago to visit my sister, we talked about some of the problems her youngest child is having with his siblings. I am also the youngest child in my family, and her youngest child and I are remarkably similar. I don’t think it’s necessarily a birth-order thing since, although I am the youngest child, I have more characteristics of someone who is an only child and I do usually feel as if I’m (and wish I were) an only child (except, for as everyone points out, I’m “spoiled”…and, to me, an only child ought to be spoiled, too).

Anyways, my sister’s youngest child shares a room with his sister, which I think is stupid because they are both a little too old to be sharing a room and not be the same sex. However, my family’s weird logic was to give the oldest child, a boy, his own room because he’s the oldest. The girl is a pre-teen and is developing her own life, so she kicks her little brother out of the room all the time and neither of his siblings want to spend time with him. He has made the basement kind of his own room because he doesn’t really have anywhere to go.

My sister also described how he gets bossed around and how his siblings get mad at him when he won’t do what they want. I tried to remind my sister that she did the same thing to me, but she was completely shocked and has no recollection of this. My sister and I also shared a room for quite a bit of my life growing up. I don’t particularly remember getting kicked out of the room, although I’m sure I did on some occasions. But I do remember making the living room my own room.

I’m starting to really realize that not liking people and not wanting to be around other people much is weird to most people for whatever reason and that most people feel a need to socialize. And I can point to several different reasons why I don’t like most people and prefer being left alone. But I realized after that Chicago trip that one of the reasons I don’t like being around people is because my parents made me share a room with my sister for years, making being alone pretty challenging. For years, I was robbed of my own space to enjoy as I wanted to without dealing with anyone else and robbed of my own privacy. When I finally got my own room, I loved it. I always knew I was going to college–and going away to college–and the one thing I dreaded about going away to college way in advance was having to share a room. And today, I would say that was hands-down the worst thing about college–having a roommate every year (except senior year when I finally got a room in a single-room dorm). Way worse than exams, even Chemistry exams. I vowed to never share a room again, and when I went to Michigan for law school I had my own room all three years.

And those experiences with roommates and my sister are part of the reason I live with my parents. When you’re single, it’s hard to afford to live by yourself. Most people you see either have roommates or are married or live with a boyfriend/girlfriend–they don’t live alone unless they have a pretty good job (which I don’t). Being that I am nowhere near marriage or dating, the options really do come down to living with family or living with roommates. Plfff. Parents all day, and I don’t care how old I am or what other people think about it. I get my own room and don’t have to deal with some idiot to whom I’m not even related and all their selfish nonsense.

See, I know from experience that when you share space with someone there is sacrificing to be done–and usually one person sacrifices more than the other. And that person is usually me. When you share a room with an older sibling, you have no power and no rights when it comes to the room or what happens in it. If you’re sharing with an older girl, you’re going to sleep when they get ready to. You’re sitting there listening to every dumb phone conversation. You’re listening to whatever music she wants to listen to, and you’re watching whatever dumb TV show she wants to watch. And this is not even mentioning how you’re treated, which is never good, as my nephew is learning. That’s why the living room became my room, and I would have slept there if I had been allowed to.

College is not altogether different. Most people–though not I–seem to believe in fully making themselves at home wherever they go, regardless of who is around. So, I had roommates who played music whenever they got ready to, gave our dorm room phone number to every Tom, Dick and Harriett until I just wanted to throw the phone out the window and who wanted to watch ABC soap operas when I wanted to watch CBS soap operas. The worst part? These chicks would have friends over whenever they felt like it, including friends sleeping over from their home state. Bitch, I don’t even want you here; what makes you think your friends can come over whenever you please?

I’ve kind of wondered since college if it would ever really be possible for me to live with a romantic partner and be happy. I’m really not sure if I could. It’s hard to believe, but it has been over 10 years since I last shared space with someone who is not actually a blood relation to me, and I am not any closer to wanting to share space or having to consider anyone else in what I do when or having to deal with someone else who needs to make our space uniquely theirs in their own way. Plus, my romantic relationships are always, again, skewed towards what the other person wants or needs (gee, I wonder why), which ultimately makes me unhappy, pissed and resentful. I think living with someone would turn out much like it always has, then.

So, I have advice for parents who have several kids or people who plan to have kids: make sure you have enough money for a house with enough rooms for each kid to have his/her own room, and if you don’t just keep your damn legs closed. Sharing a room is torture for at least one of the kids. It was so bad that I try to forget I even have siblings now and would have to get a place big enough for my wife to have her own room if I ever got married. ūüėČ

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11 Things That Don’t Make Sense

1) Why Do Republicans and Democrats Hate Each Other? After All, They’re Basically the Same.

Yes, you read that correctly–they are pretty much the same. Now, I admit, I like to rib Republicans every now and then. But I’m no Democrat, and I really dislike President Obama and criticize him often. As someone who is neither Democrat nor Republican and who refuses to vote, I can step back and look at both political parties and its members and see what no one else can–they are essentially the same. Between the politicians in each party, there really is no difference–they’re all full of schitt, and that’s why I don’t vote. Between the members, the only real difference is one group is full of people who are prejudiced as hell but are in denial about their prejudices because they don’t want to feel like they’re bad people…while the other group is full of people who embrace their prejudices–some even proud of them–and many of them don’t really see anything wrong with having those prejudices. Frankly, I’m closer to belonging to the latter group, except a lot of the prejudices the latter group has hurts people like me (black, lesbian, female, close to poverty).

2) Why Do People Talk About Overweight People In Front of Other Overweight People?

It just amazes me how many times I find myself sitting with people who are talking about other fat people, as if I’m not one. The last time it happened, I almost said, “Hello?? I’m fat! Or do you need glasses?” And I probably will next time. Now, if it’s a fat person doing the talking, that might be one thing–depends on the conversation. It’s never okay to talk about overweight people degradingly in front of another overweight person (or, really, at all). But if you’re a twig sitting there running your mouth and you have a fat friend in the middle of it all, you’re an idiot, plain and simple. What are you thinking?

3) Why Do Teachers Think It’s A Good Idea To Tell Students To Pick A Partner Or Teammates? Don’t They Have Any Idea That They Are Scarring Some Students For Life?

This type of thing ought to be common knowledge by now. We’ve seen it enough on TV. There is always at least one kid who just doesn’t fit in or is disliked and made fun of by everyone else. Why can’t teachers and coaches just fucking do the pairing themselves instead of embarrassing the hell out of some poor young’un who has no friends or athletic ability? If you’re one of the cool kids, yes, you want to pick your partner. You don’t want to get stuck with your morbid enemy or the loser who has a crush on you that is unreturned. Or if you’re picking teams in gym class, naturally you want to win. But the cool kids will live, because they still have their crew at the end of class. And gym is just gym–doesn’t matter one bit, no money on the line, no national championships. It’s the kids whom you’re showing to the entire class as being the odd man/woman out who will remember it forever and have insecurities and self-esteem issues. So, damn what the cool kids want, teachers–if you’re going to have special projects or teams in gym classes, you do the pairings.

4) Why Do People Think Blacks Have A Community?

I have struggled to find the right wording for this question. But basically, people seem to think blacks stick together and support each other and always have each other in this cold, cruel world when nothing could be further from the truth. There’s this book, “The Myth of the Model Minority,” which I read some years ago that, as best as I can remember, had me shaking my head at the way it seemed to hold “the black community” on a pedestal relative to what Asians have. Back when I was at Michigan, I had a gay white male friend who said something to me that was very close to “a lot of gays are alone but black people have each other.” And I always have to wonder–what exactly do Asian people, gay white people or straight white people know about being black? Apparently, not much. To me, it’s as clear as day that black people are divided and work against each other more than they support each other–and when I say “as clear as day,” I mean that if I were white I’d look at black people and go, “Wow…I know why we hate black people, but why on earth do they hate each other so much?!?!”

Because black men hate black women. Black women hate black women. Black men seem to think black women hate black men because black women won’t just be quiet and submissive, or smile and say yes to any and every black guy who approaches them for a date. Black people, particularly black men, commit more black-on-black crime than any other group commits against blacks. And black men and black women hate black people who “aren’t black enough” or aren’t stereotypical, whatever that means in any individual black environment…because it doesn’t always mean the same thing. And, contrary to what non-black people think, it doesn’t always mean that black people hate educated, proper-speaking blacks. When I was at Michigan, I wasn’t stereotypical in the sense that I didn’t hang with mainly black students and didn’t go to all these “Black Law Students” events and meetings and didn’t stand around with other black chicks talking about other black female students who “don’t know they’re black.” For a black person in the projects, it means something entirely different. Bottom line–plenty of black people are alone and alienated by other black people.

5) Why Do Men Think Making Fun of Women They’re Interested In Is A Good Idea, and That the Woman Is A Bitch If She’s Not Amused?

Men seem to think that various forms of harassment in general are a good idea when it comes to approaching women, but “jokes at the lady’s expense” and just plain picking on a woman seem to be near the top of their come-on list. Who in the hell told you fellas this was a good way to get a woman? Or are you just trying to see if she’s rug material (i.e. a doormat)?

News flash–women aren’t like men. It seems to be the case that men take joking and teasing as a sign that they are in the clubhouse. Male friends do that to male friends. It’s not okay to make fun of your wife or girlfriend or female friend, let alone a chick you just met or barely know. If a woman you know and have established that kind of relationship with seems to think it’s cool, that’s one thing. But even then, there are lines to not cross or she’ll get pissed–even though this almost never happens with your male friends. Again, women and men are different. Women don’t like to feel like they’re being laughed at or belittled–we get quite enough of that on a regular basis. And 9 times out of 10, your love interest who is laughing at your garbage is just doing it to be polite, as socialized. She doesn’t find being the butt of your joke to be funny, trust me.

6) What the Hell Does “Not Taking Yourself Too Seriously” Actually Mean, and Why Is It A Good Thing?

This has always sounded to me like an empty, meaningless statement that excuses stuff such as my #5 and makes the person who is offended the one at fault. I don’t know if that’s true because stuff like “knowing how to laugh at yourself and not take yourself so seriously” is so damned far beyond me. I just know that hearing or reading stuff like that makes me want to punch someone. Similarly far beyond me is #7…

7) When Did Acting And Dressing Like a Ho Expressing Sexuality Become A Good Thing?

I tell you, I think young white female pop singers started this nonsense, particularly in the early 2000s, with their dumb songs and videos. There is just a lot of mistaking being 9/10ths naked, dancing provocatively, singing ridiculously explicit lyrics and sleeping around for “being sexy.” You don’t need all that to be sexy or to let other people know you’re sexy. Worst of all, some women now mistake these things for empowerment. And then they still want to know why people judge them or treat them a certain way for how they look and/or act, and “it’s not fair.” Clearly, they do not live in the real world. We’re all judged and treated a certain way due to how we look, so be ready to deal with the consequences of your choices. If you’re not ready for that and, instead, are going to whine, how is it empowering?

Long story short, it’s still not a good thing–but not everyone has all of their screws in tight, so they don’t get it.

8)¬†Why Do, Like, Half of All People Who Work Out On A Regular Basis Smoke and/Or Like To Get Drunk and Still Think They‚Äôre Living ‚ÄúHealthy‚ÄĚ?

I actually do like to work out; I just don’t particularly care for “eating right.” So, whenever I go all in and work out regularly and eat right, the most unhealthy thing that ever goes into my body is junk food. The last time I did this, I slotted in an unhealthy piece of food every day (like donuts) and a soda every day when keeping up with calories while making sure I still got the fiber, the protein, etc, that I needed…just so I could keep my sanity. Otherwise, the most unhealthy thing is, very rarely, a beer. I am just not into alcohol, and you’re not about to ever get me to smoke anything.

What I don’t understand is why is getting drunk every Saturday or Sunday (depending on your sport…or if you’re in a frat, every Sat and Sun), smoking MJ and smoking cigarettes so much more acceptable than eating crap or being a couch potato? Why is one type of person disgustingly unhealthy and the other isn’t? We’re both disgustingly unhealthy (and actually, my doctors tell me I’m pretty healthy, great blood pressure…I have bad knees, and I know I’m overweight for my size, but other than that…you’d be surprised). I would say that you can work out and eat all the bird food in the world, but if you’re putting bad substances in your body often you’re not that far ahead of me, if you’re ahead at all (and if you smoke, you’re not going to convince me you’re ahead of me health-wise).

9) Why Do People Project Their Own Bullschitt Onto Others?

Yeah, it’s psychology time. Let’s talk about projection–that’s basically when someone says that other people have a flaw that is actually a huge flaw in that person who is running off at the mouth. For example, the Lazy Fuck at my job is always calling my friend Clara and her friend Sharon lazy, and I am sure that he has called me lazy before or has insinuated that I am lazy…because we won’t do his job for him while he takes long lunches and texts/talks on his iPhone. Not surprisingly, Lazy Fuck is a Democrat. Gee, I wonder if there is actually a correlation between people who project and people who are political members of the denial party. I know full well that I’m lazy, but I also know I’m not lazy at work. I’ll call in fake-sick (and I do) and stay home and be lazy before I sit at work and fuck off.

10) Why Are There Over 300 TV Channels and There Still Is Never Anything Good On?

Now, the exception is if you like sports. But I still find myself twiddling my thumbs way too often to have so many gotdamn channels. No games on Tuesday and Wednesday nights = a waste of an expensive-@ss cable package. And I don’t think Jewish white boys necessarily have any business writing comedy sitcoms (on account of their not being funny), and I certainly don’t think catty Barbie wannabes should have 50 million different reality shows…so, typically, I don’t watch TV shows. So, again, no games on Tues and Weds mean I get roughly 10 hours of sleep those nights because I have nothing to do but hit the sack.

11) Why Do Southerners Think They Should Greet Everyone?

And not all do, but far too many do. I’m from the South and everything, but I’ve visited other places and have lived other places. In many ways, I have been de-Southernized. But having my toes in different parts of the US, I believe that it’s perfectly okay and acceptable to not acknowledge people you don’t know. And it’s not rude if you don’t acknowledge everyone you pass by. It’s okay to not act like you know and are friends with people you actually don’t know and aren’t friends with. What I don’t understand is why other Southerners don’t believe this. It’s a huge cultural issue I have with my co-workers, and my friend Clara, who is originally from Louisiana–which I don’t even consider part of the “real” South, culturally (and neither are Florida, Texas and, like, half of Virginia and half of Arkansas–Louisiana, Florida and Texas are too diverse to truly be part of real Southern culture, plus Texas is like its own universe)–are on opposite sides of this discussion all the time. It’s tough to explain, except maybe to say that I never feel like I’m alone, not being watched and actually have privacy/private space unless I am locked up in my bedroom. Ironically, in bigger cities outside of the South like Chicago and New York, you can be on a subway full of people and feel like you’re alone, not being watched and are in your own world.

Gosh, I miss being almost completely ignored in Chicago.

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Looks vs Personality vs Intelligence

Just got back from my trip to Chicago. The Good: The food! Ahem…oh, yeah, and family. The Bad: The absolute worst sleep I’ve had in months, resulting in migraines every day during my trip (I thought for sure I’d come home and fall asleep right away, but here I am instead). The Ugly: Having to go back to work tomorrow. And stupid Red Line reconstruction almost ruining my entire trip.

Because of my trip, I didn’t have time to blog about this topic I started thinking about shortly before I left. It came from a conversation my work friend Clara and I had recently. First of all, Clara doesn’t know I’m a lesbian, which is something I’m not at all interested in telling people in the workplace. Second, I’ve written here before a little bit about how guys are always chasing after her, which is something I admitted that I don’t understand because I don’t think she’s that physically attractive. She’s a good person, though, which I don’t think is immediately obvious. She’s funny, works hard and knows everyone because she speaks to everyone. And she’s smart and observant. She has a son, and you can tell she’s a good mother, which I think, to be honest with you, is a dying art (being a truly good parent–in the US, anyway).

Ever since I skipped the breakfast event at work, which I wrote about a couple of posts ago, I think she has taken an interest in including me socially, as well as making sure I eat. Every time she’s going on break or going to lunch, she basically tells me to go with her and she usually has something for me to eat. One day we were eating lunch, and we started talking about skin color. At one point during the conversation, she said something like…”With as light-skinned as you are, you should have men coming after you” or something very similar to that. Some of us tease her all the time about how she has all these men interested in her, so she was partially referring back to that. Now, there are a few ways to take what she said, including as racist/offensive, especially since it wasn’t coming from another black person. But I know Asians also have skin color issues within their own race, light/dark issues like black people have. She could simply think, as many black women do, that men prefer women with lighter skin color. Regardless, when people say things like this it’s kind of ridiculous to me, but not offensive–it is hard to offend me.

For the most part, it’s ridiculous out of disagreement (I do think there’s a standard of beauty in the US that hurts most women of color, not so much in a light vs dark same-race way but in a white vs non-white or non-black vs black way, but that’s a topic for another time). I’ve told Clara several times that she wouldn’t have issues with all these guys she’s not interested in following her around, contacting her, looking for her, etc, if she weren’t so friendly. Still, I never realized exactly what I was saying until this day we were having lunch, discussing skin color. I had told her before that I don’t have to fight off men because I am not friendly (which I love), and this same day I told her in response to her comment about skin color, “It’s a personality thing.”

Light-bulb moment–guys like average-looking Clara because of her personality, her approachability. This explains why I’m always seeing average-looking, or worse, women and men with someone or getting attention, sometimes more so than someone who is more physically attractive. I’ve written several blog posts about how employers seem to value personality more than being a good employee nowadays–or at least seem to be headed in that direction–and now this.

And I don’t think it’s a matter of having a good personality vs not having a good personality. You can have a good personality and get ignored. But someone like Clara is constantly talking to people, constantly laughing and joking, and she always talks to or responds to guys she’s not even interested in despite knowing they’re interested in her–she doesn’t ignore any of them, and she’s never seriously mean to them. She might get play-mean with them, but everyone knows how she is and doesn’t get offended or hurt. I’ve told her, “If you’re not interested in these guys, stop being nice to them. You’re encouraging them.” It’s like talking to the wall, which led me to conclude that she likes the attention. These are guys she dogs when they’re not around.

Some months ago, I was reading online a discussion where the question was something like…”would you rather have looks or intelligence?” Of course, almost everyone went the PC route and said they’d rather have intelligence. Well, I have intelligence. I’m not saying you can’t have looks and intelligence, or even looks, personality and intelligence–though I think most people have, at most, 2 out of 3 and not all 3. I just so happen to have one–intelligence. Among the three, if I had to choose just one I’d choose looks, though I can’t articulate why…especially since I believe that I’ve figured out that, out of the 3, personality is what gets you farthest in love, life, career and everything in between. Most of us have spent a long time not believing that, but the older you get the more true I think this is. Personality is key, and intelligence is dead last–I speak from experience regarding intelligence and observation regarding personality. And how many famous hotties do you see with divorces on their records? Halle Berry can’t seem to pay a man to stick with her.

Still, somehow I’d rather be good-looking…maybe because I view faking personality as easier than faking physical attractiveness…maybe because I don’t think I totally lack a personality but merely appear to lack one to people who don’t know me or just don’t have the kind of personality most people appreciate. For the most part, I’m happy with my personality. And I used to be arrogant about my intelligence, I loved it so much. And then I realized others don’t value it the way I do, and now it is what it is–my guess as to “what it is” is icing on the cake if you’re either attractive or have a good personality or both…but it’s certainly not the cake. I’ve just never been happy with my looks, and, you know, the grass is always greener…

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Female Loners

I never stop learning. When I become intellectually interested in a topic, especially if I’m interested in opinions on it, I head to a search engine and start reading. Lately I’ve been thinking and reading more about being an introvert, being shy and being a loner. It seems a lot of people don’t know the difference among these terms. The definition of an “introvert” is pretty involved, but it seems the simplest way it’s usually defined is a person who becomes drained by social interaction/people and needs some time away to get him/herself together or think afterwards. A lot of people don’t know this word exists or don’t know what it means, which means they use “shy” or “loner” to describe people who are actually introverts. But you can be an introvert and be a loner, too, for example, as is the case with me. And you can be a loner and be shy. I am not shy, though.

I’m writing about this because a couple of interesting things happened this week–1) my work friend Clara called me shy, and 2) someone pointed out something I’d never really thought of before, which is that loners are usually men and women who are loners are often mistaken for being shy. Well, what’s the difference? Being “shy” means you want to interact with people but you don’t know how to or are too scared. Um, this is not me. I have my moments where there are certain people–certain women–I want to talk to but I “can’t.” But that’s normal if you’re romantically interested in women. Shy people have issues with just about everyone. Loners are damn-near the opposite of shy people–they usually prefer being alone or prefer minimal social interaction. People often use “loner” to mean someone who is basically socially rejected, i.e. a loner against his will, and I can grant them that, although I believe the real definition is the one I gave and the definitions I have found so far support that.

In the course of my research, I have discovered that people don’t actually know what “loner” means, nor that females can be loners or what makes a female a loner (or why more men are loners). So, what I want to do here is another one of my response posts. What I do with these is I take stuff people have written elsewhere on the web and I respond to it.

Here is the first site where you’ll find some of the excerpts that appear here, to which I respond. Here are excerpts and my responses below, starting with the question “do you know any female loners” from the original poster:

It seems that it’s rarer for a woman to be a true loner than it is a man. Even shy women often seem to have at least a few friends, whereas I know a lot of guys on the internet who have no friends WHATSOEVER in real life.
It seems if a young woman has no friends whatsoever, she either travels a lot and just talks to strangers and stuff, has a really involved job where she still socialises and stuff, or works in some remote area. Otherwise she has some severe mental or physical handicap that prevents that.
I think it’s because it’s easier for girls to make friends and they’re more inclusive than a lot of guys.
I don’t really know any loners, or many women who would be considered ‘losers’ – no job, sponging off parents.etc, also no social life. I know they exist, but they seem quite rare.

I see a lot wrong with this person’s assumptions. First of all, there’s that equating “shy” with “loner.” Second, being a loner–and I see this assumption/belief time and time again–is not about having no friends. Again, it means you prefer to be alone. This belief is probably one of the biggest reasons why people don’t recognize female loners or why female loners are mistaken for being shy. But if you insist on believing this about having friends, by my definition of “friends” I don’t actually have any. I have people who think we’re friends, but emailing, texting and/or IM-ing every once in a blue moon doesn’t cut it, to me. And having people I don’t hang out with outside of work and will probably almost never communicate with once one of us finds another job is not friendship to me. And breaking up and you wishing me well from afar, talking about me with other people, thinking about me sometimes but never communicating with me doesn’t make us friends.

I’ve got to quote this person again here:

It seems if a young woman has no friends whatsoever, she either travels a lot and just talks to strangers and stuff, has a really involved job where she still socialises and stuff, or works in some remote area. Otherwise she has some severe mental or physical handicap that prevents that.

This is just pure…moronic…bullschitt. The end. To be honest with you, the average married-with-kids woman probably doesn’t have friends. She has her husband or her partner, and I have found that that’s all most of those women want. And you grow up, graduate, move away from people, work, have families…and then your “friendships” become that crap I described above–especially if you’re still single and your “friends” aren’t–which I don’t consider friendship.

I think it’s because it’s easier for girls to make friends and they’re more inclusive than a lot of guys.

See, men always think everything’s easier for women and women always think everything’s easier for men. I just have never seen how it’s “easier for girls to make friends” and certainly have never seen where women are “more inclusive.” In fact, over the years I have envied how easy it seems for guys to bond and not have drama or emotions in the way half the time. This is especially true when I think about sports teams–I don’t think women have anything like what male athletes have with one another, not even in their sports. I just think friendship between women is different from friendship between men, and that could be why a lot of men think it’s easier for women. Women’s friendships are more involved, more emotional and just closer…but that’s once they actually form. Most women don’t like to be alone anywhere, and they’ll use other women so that they won’t be. That doesn’t mean they’re friends. Women also like to run their mouths, and they will use other women for that purpose, as well.

I think it’s hard for women to truly become friends. Men have a fairly small group of general, stereotypical interests, and that makes it easier for them to find other like-minded men to become friends with. For example, I’d say you can say most guys either like sports, video games, science fiction, technology, drinking or some combination. I’m not saying guys aren’t or can’t be interested in other things, but these seem like the biggies that bind guys together. Contrary to popular belief, women don’t have a small group of biggies that can bind them together–women are more diverse. And even if we did all like some combo of hair, makeup, shoes, shopping…you can have so many things in common with another woman and still have her flatout dislike you or reject you, usually for some shallow reason that should have nothing to do with forming a friendship. A big one is physical attractiveness. So many women hate gorgeous women, but a lot of women also are drawn to pretty women who are less intimidating in some way (i.e. very friendly) and ignore less attractive ones or women who don’t subscribe their idea of how they should do their hair, dress, etc…and this is just talking about friendship. This is hardly being “inclusive.”

I also think this is why you see more male loners, though, aside from the fact that people mis-label female loners as “shy” or some other term. It seems like male loners either aren’t into any of the biggies I listed and, thus, can’t really relate to or have discussions with or be accepted by most men…or they are into some of the geekier biggies, like sci fi, but aren’t usually around other guys who are into that stuff. Guys who like sports are a dime a dozen, so if you’re a guy who isn’t into it but you’re always around guys who are you get used to being alone. There’s also the issue of defensiveness. Sometimes it can seem like being around other guys is halfway a “prove my macho” party, and some guys don’t want to bother, especially if they know they don’t have the requisite interests or the experience with women to win at that kind of game with other guys. They’ll look stupid, and they know it.

This response basically addresses things several others mentioned on that site, but I did see a couple of people who seemed to “get” what “loner” means.

Here is another site, where the discussion goes in a different direction. They are discussing whether or not to date loners:

…there is huge potential for this to be a red flag…
Someone who has no friends¬†may¬†have a hard time building and sustaining healthy relationships. Theymayalso be really selfish. Both my loner exes were selfish, and didn’t really like people. They were also clingy, as I was their only form of entertainment and only confidant.¬†
It’s best to bring up the subject with her to find out why she has no friends. If it is because she is super shy, then I think that is a more acceptable reason, especially if she really wants to make friends but has trouble. However, if she just doesn’t want to make friends, then that sounds like trouble.

I get some of this and not other parts. I don’t know why not wanting to make friends is “trouble” or a “red flag.” Not wanting to make friends doesn’t mean you won’t; you just might not be actively interested, but if someone who could be a good friend comes along you will be receptive. As I’ve written before, relationships are just tough. I think the majority of people are spoiled and/or selfish nowadays where they’re concerned and don’t want to put the work in. I don’t think that has ever been my problem, with respect to not wanting to build or sustain a relationship–if anything, I think other people I’ve been with have not wanted to build/sustain. Recently, I have looked back over my last relationship and have definitely seen where I was selfish at times, but I don’t think that’s the norm for me in relationships.

I am actually “clingy” in relationships, and I think that’s the problem. I don’t see the problem with wanting to be with someone whom you love and who says they love you all the time, but most people do and it kills the “love.” This is something I learned from my last relationship, and it is going to change how I act with the next woman, assuming there is one. I think one of the problems with my friendships is that most of my friends have tons of friends, whereas I don’t. I don’t know that you can be the kind of person who has 400 Facebook friends, 100 of them whom you actually do communicate with, and seriously be a good friend to any of them or have a “built” friendship with these people. Quality and [large] quantity often don’t go together. So, I always want to put in the work with a few select people and I have the time to do it, but they have 50 million other people they’re floating around and usually a serious romantic relationship/marriage, as well. And I don’t like people, either, but I have many exceptions. These friends with the 400 Facebook friends, unfortunately, are my exceptions. I like extroverts, because they approach me and they have all the right social skills, etc. But everyone else likes them, too. And extroverts like to be liked.

I probably need friends and romantic partners who are more like me in the social department, but how would two introverts/loners actually get to talking? ūüėČ

Here is another discussion from a different site:

I think that part of it though is that women are less likely to be excluded due to problems with socialization, and shyness or anxiety may actually be seen as “cute”. Whereas the same traits in a man will often be perceived as weakness, and lead to stereotyping regardless of whether or not it’s deserved. Not to mention socially awkward men often end up taking on the dreaded “creepy” label, whereas you’ll almost never hear of a woman, regardless of what she does, referred to as creepy.

I don’t really think other women view women’s “shyness” as “cute.” Men might, but women assume the worst about other women who are to themselves. This is why I was surprised and kind of glad that Clara called me “shy.” I have never been called “shy” (not as an adult, anyway), but I have been called “anti-social” and “stuck-up.” And though no one has ever told me this to my face, I have been able to tell that black people don’t view me as a “loner” or “shy” or an “introvert”–they think I don’t want to be black because all they see is I don’t interact with black people as opposed to the fact that I hardly interact with anyone.

I basically agree about how loner men are viewed, although I did have a female co-worker who was creepy.

And this site has the dumbest discussion on female loners:

Yes there’s plenty, but most are ugly. Good looking girls loners? Nah

Funny, since one of the other sites above has people discussing how pretty women are loners. So, which is it?

I consider myself ugly, to be honest with you. I have been told by many people that I am attractive, but I definitely know there are others who don’t think so. And I have not really noticed any pretty loners–quite to the contrary, pretty women often seem to have lots of people for socializing. I have seen a couple of women who look okay who seem to be loners, but they could also be shy. Bottom line–I just don’t really think looks have much to do with it.

Females are naturally more social than males. It’s rare to find a female who is content with being alone.

They’re not the same thing. I already mentioned that I don’t think women like to be alone, but I wouldn’t say women are more social. If anything, you run into more quiet women than quiet men.

They exist and they usually smoke a lot of weed.

Haha. This.
I was just going to say.. probably a few drug addicts.

I’ve never smoked weed and never will. I don’t even know what the schitt smells like. The only “drug” I do is caffeine.

See? Dumb discussion.

Finally, a Psychology Today article discusses loners and introverts, and it profiles a female loner who grew up shy:

Matsuoka, for example, says she was “pathologically¬†shy” as a child, which likely laid the groundwork for her current lifestyle, even though she grew much more confident in her 20s.¬†

What is that lifestyle?

She just strongly prefers not to¬†socialize, opting instead for long baths, DVDs, and immersion in her art projects. She does have good, close friends, and goes dancing about once a month, but afterward feels a strong need to “hide and recoup.”

Ding, ding, ding.

I must admit that I was ridiculously shy for years and years, particularly when I was in elementary school. I also had an overprotective mother who wouldn’t let me do anything or go anywhere, which she still fervently denies was the case. Between those two things, I gave up on being able to socialize outside of school. Once I got home, it was up to me to figure out how to entertain myself at home. Somewhere along the way, I just got used to it and now that’s what I prefer–entertaining myself at home. Especially now that I’m an adult. My new job is incredibly physical at times, especially for someone like me who is out of shape. It’s Friday night/early Saturday morning as I type, but the last thing I want to do is go out. After my day at work, I can barely even walk, and I know I will probably have sore muscles all weekend.

One of the dumb comments I quote above profiles a “normal” loner female as one who just travels all the time. Well, I do like to travel. It’s just about the only thing I like to do away from home–I even shop via the internet most of the time. I’m going to Chicago next week, and I’m looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to my trip to Michigan in September even more. If I had the money, all I’d do is go to different cities and countries–even my mother said that about me when we were talking about what I’d do with my money if I won the lottery.

Notice that Psychology Today points out Matsuoka’s “good, close friends.” Again, being a loner does not mean you don’t have friends, and it doesn’t have to mean you can’t sustain/build relationships. Personally, I do see myself growing old alone. As someone who doesn’t make an effort to meet people or to socialize with the people I do meet, and then makes too much of an effort with the people who get close to me, it makes sense that I’d be alone whereas it doesn’t make sense for most people. That doesn’t mean I can’t build something that lasts if there were someone out there for me.

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Living With Your Parents As An Adult

So, I’ve gotta tell you the truth…

I really like living with my parents.

Two years ago this wasn’t true. It wasn’t that I didn’t like living with them. It was more so that I didn’t like the location. But I also took living with them for granted, i.e. how easy life is when you live at home. I went to Chicago to live with my sister, and living in a place like Chicago with my sister changed all that. Sure, I’d still like to move back to Michigan. But I’d like to take my parents with me (they don’t want to move somewhere cold and snowy like that, even though they do like Ann Arbor, where I used to live. True enough, older people don’t move to Michigan from the South–other way around).

I’m now wondering why living with mom and dad as an adult is stigmatized, especially if you’re single (if you’re married, I do think a couple needs its own place). I know that people view it, especially with men, as a sign that someone can’t take care of him/herself, lacks ambition, is unsuccessful and things along those lines.

Let me give you another perspective:

I’ve worked at my new job for almost exactly a month now. I’ve been spending money like crazy since I started this job (not all has been on myself–I have bought my mother so many things I can’t even remember, including a $200 watch she wanted). I think it’s a mental thing, just knowing that I make more money now–more than I actually need. I can afford to live on my own and still pay my student loans now. I absolutely do not want to move out. Admittedly, that I can spend money like crazy and still check my bank account and see a nice amount saved in it because I don’t pay rent anywhere, don’t have bills and that kind of thing? Very much keeping me at home. I will not be moving out any time soon, even though I can now take care of myself.

Am I successful? Well, you decide. I am now settled in one of the two fields I most wanted to be in, which is a field in which I have no educational background and no certificates when there are other people coming out of 4-year programs trying to break in and/or getting all these certs, hoping they’ll help. I make good money for my job description and for where I live. And this is the case, having only worked in this field for about a year and a half. I work at one of the best companies in the area, where I have been told several times that I’m doing a good job. And I get all kinds of things as incentive to keep me where I’m working–a $50 gift card for Christmas, a new bag (which is really nice and something I actually needed), bonuses every six months, free lunches on random days by the company and being taken to lunches I don’t have to pay for wherever I want to go every six weeks by the employment agency that placed me. Oh, and I can pretty much take off work whenever I want. I will still complain about work-related issues, but this other stuff? I don’t know anyone else who has it this good, in terms of their career and the big picture.

Ambition? I’ve already told people that I don’t want to have this job forever and likely don’t even want to remain at the same company. I will be surprised if I am still doing the same thing two years from now, and I have a better job now than I had before and certainly couldn’t have imagined having a job with this company a year ago.

So why will I continue living at home with my parents?

Um…I like my parents?

Living with my parents just works well for all three of us. We have a good relationship, and I think that’s one big difference as to why a lot of people my age couldn’t handle living with their parents. The only rules my parents have are things they know they don’t need to articulate to someone like me. Schitt, my sister had way more ridiculous, restricting garbage rules going on at her house…and even more things that should be rules but just aren’t with my parents (like doing housework).

Other people would feel as if living with their parents limits their freedom. Schitt, I don’t do anything here, and I would hardly do anything if I lived by myself. I’m a sports addict. I come home from work and plop right down in front of the TV to watch games. I play a little music, some video games, eat and sleep. That’s just me. Best part, though, is when I watch games, I usually have someone to watch games with. We spend Saturdays September through mid-January watching college football. We watch the NFL playoffs. We watch college basketball March Madness, and we watch Michigan play.

People want to get away from their parents. I follow my parents around, especially my mother. My mother is probably my best friend. We talk about all kinds of things. If I’m bored, I look for my mother. If I don’t see her in the rooms she’s normally hanging out in at home, I look for her. Sometimes my parents tell me to go away because I’m following them too much.

More reasons–and these are probably the biggest reasons why I don’t understand people who aren’t close to their parents or who seem to value friendship more…and, to a certain extent, why I don’t understand people who put their boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse first…

My parents are retirement age, which means…although their mortality was always an eventuality, as it is with all of us, theirs seems far more near. I think about that a lot. My sisters are nowhere near as close to my parents as I am, and I know that’s bad for me in the sense that I can see myself having far more difficulty with the passing of my parents in the end. I’m always with them, so it’s going to be hard to not be with them. But somehow, thinking about the fact that I don’t know how many more years I have with my parents makes me not want to leave home even more.

I studied philosophy in college–it was one of my minors. Just one of the “useless” fields to which I was attracted, along with English (minor) and psychology (major). Well, one of the “useless” things I learned while taking a hybrid philosophy/English class is the more you know the less happy you are. I have confirmed this throughout my life since learning of this idea in college. The downside to being an intelligent person is sometimes I know things I wish I didn’t know. I fear that I have “figured out” that there is no greater, true-er, real-er, enduring love than what a parent has for his/her child–and that includes the love between a husband and wife (or wife and wife or husband and husband). I know it’s not the same thing, but I still think that once my parents are gone no one earth can or will ever love me as much as they do. Besides, a lot of what matters most about love is the same thing. If you have good parents, you can say and do things that make them mad, sad, disappointed, let down–whatever–but there are just lines your parents would never cross, and they would never give up on you. But your spouse totally would. In fact, usually they do (more so with respect to crossing lines with what they say/do in response, but also–though less so–with giving up on you).

“Understanding” that is…not a good feeling/thought, especially when you think about how this can result in your ending up all alone. But it’s also, to me, a reason why your parents should be on a pedestal–not some guy or girl you met out in the world who is physically attractive and meets a laundry list of stuff you like in a person. And certainly not your “friends.” Most of my “friends” don’t actually give two schitts about me (and I’m starting to sound like Lazy Tech now–he’s all “how many fucks do you think I give? Zero!”), I don’t think, and I can’t at all say that about my parents. It’s kind of funny how people will move out of their parents’ house to share a place with someone who doesn’t give a damn about them, at least it is to me. No thanks–I’d rather stay with my parents.

The funny thing, really, is I’m pretty sure I met someone who thinks a lot like I do about parents…and it partially kept us from having a relationship. I’m pretty sure she has that “parents before random hot person from the street” mentality. She probably thinks I hate her sometimes, but if there’s absolutely anything I’ve never faulted her for and have always understood it’s this. I’m not sure in how many situations I should ever have come before her parents, but knowing and liking each other for less than a year? In that case, the answer is never. So, I salute her for being one of the few people in the US who “gets” it…and, of course, she “gets” it because her family is not American, and…however offensive this may sound, I often think non-American families are just about the only ones that adequately value/honor parents and grandparents. People from non-American families are also the only ones who have ever really told me it’s okay to live with mom and dad in your 30s.

So, I suppose I will move out someday, but I haven’t the foggiest clue when that might be. I still miss Michigan, still think about living there again and still want to move back there. But wanting to move back there? The desire is not quite what it used to be.

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Stuff You Probably Don’t Understand About Hotels

The week just started and I already need to get away from my job. Today was one of those “anything that can go wrong” days.

So, I’ll take you back to my first full-time job upon my last graduation. This is the kind of post that makes me wish I had a lot of readers, because this is must-read material here.

See, my first job after law school was working the front desk at a hotel. Like a bunch of other law school grads nowadays, I couldn’t get a job practicing law or even being a paralegal. Student loans were either deferred or close to coming off deferral/forbearance, so I no longer had time to play. I¬†needed a job. This was kind of before I figured out that I wanted a career in information technology.

I wanted to do something easy and incorrectly figured that working in a hotel would be it, especially at night. I wanted to work night audit, which involves some accounting-type of stuff and is also basically like being a night manager, and I was told when I was hired that I could work 40 hours doing night audit. Er…found out in training, though, that the manager had told almost everyone they hired (this was a new hotel that hadn’t even opened yet) that they, too, could work night audit and get 40 hours. Apparently, I was the only one who noticed this and realized that there was no way this could be true, and I brought it up to the assistant manager.

Long story short–ended up with about 30 hours working pretty much every shift, which basically made me a regular front desk worker who checks guests in and checks guests out except on the weekends when I worked night audit. My schedule was all over the place, except for the weekends (until I eventually got on night audit full time).

That’s when I started to see that front desk workers don’t just check guests in, check guests out, deal with payment and book reservations.

See, prior to having to work full time, I used to travel quite a bit. I still go a couple of places a year and often end up staying in a hotel. When I go to Michigan, I stay on the¬†University of Michigan¬†campus at the law quad most of the time, which is like staying at a hotel that doesn’t have everything a normal hotel has. The reason I thought working front desk at a hotel was easy is because my hotel stays have always included minimal contact with front desk staff. I would speak to them to check in and check out–that’s it. My parents were basically the same way whenever we traveled when I was a kid. I had no idea that this wasn’t how other people operated.

I was so blown away by stuff hotel guests do and say and expect until I sat down one night and started coming up with a list of things hotel guests need to get through their heads. I came up with over 10 things, but this was years ago and several laptops ago. When I saved the most important files off my other laptops, I guess I forgot the list existed and failed to save it. But for you…I still remember some of these things that I must pass along to you travelers, plus probably some additional ones.

1) Don’t leave home without knowing where you’re going. I am not sure I can really think of a good enough excuse to have to call the hotel and get help with finding them. There’s GPS on phones and in cars. There’s google and mapquest both on phones and on computers/laptops. There are even–my father’s favorite–old school maps! But, most of all, why would you go to a completely different city–especially if you’ve never been there before–and not have mapped out ¬†exactly how to get from point A to point B? You’re asking for bad things to happen to you.

2) If the hotel has working computers, for crying out loud, use them. What is the sense of coming to the front desk and asking them to look up stuff for you if the hotel has a “business center” or computers available for your use? Better yet, don’t the majority of you bring cell phones with internet access and/or laptops? It seems as if some of you just don’t think front desk workers have enough to do, so you take it upon yourself to give them busy work. Cut it out.

3) By the same token, if you’re not staying at a luxury hotel, don’t ask them to call anybody for you. I don’t get this staying at a Choice Hotel and asking front desk workers to call cabs, restaurants, pizza places or even the police for you. You have a phone in your room. Hell, you probably have a phone in your pocket. I think most hotels will act like this is the front desk’s job even if it has not been explicitly addressed. But I just don’t see how, in a cheap city like where I live now, treating you as if you should not have to lift a finger at all is included in a $59 or $69/night room…or how in, say, downtown Chicago, a $119/night Choice Hotel room means you should not have to lift a finger. Make your own damn restaurant reservations.

4) No, the front desk cannot control your next door neighbor.¬†Oh, it’s 2am and somebody down the hall is being noisy? Tough schitt. Especially if you don’t want to move rooms. If you don’t want to move rooms, what are you calling the front desk for? Did you really think the front desk worker was going to leave his/her actual job behind–manning the front desk–to come up to your floor and tie some kid up or put tape over the mouths of some ghetto adults? No can do. Beyond calling up to the noisy person’s room and asking him/her to quiet down, there’s not much the front desk can do. And even that or going up to that person’s room usually doesn’t amount to anything. And, please…if you’re going to whine about someone being noisy and seriously expect an effort to be made to shut somebody up, know the noisy room number. Finally, threatening to call the police on noisy people…um, unless they are fighting, banging on your door, shooting and such…you’re just being a little bit dramatic.

5) Please learn this about every type of customer service worker, including but not limited to hotel front desk workers–if you can easily access the person, he/she is probably not that important.¬†This means that this person makes very few decisions and has very little power. Hotel front desk workers often can’t do anything about your complaints, especially if you’re looking for stuff like free or reduced-price rooms because your stay was allegedly so awful, upgrades to suites and so on. And they usually are not at fault for the hotel being garbage in terms of the internet service, the breakfast served, the rooms or bathrooms not being clean enough for you, or anything else you can think of that’s wrong with your hotel stay.

6) In light of #5,¬†save your damn tantrums–they won’t get you anywhere. And it’s not simply because the person with whom you’re throwing a tantrum is a scrub. Just because someone works front desk at a hotel does not mean you’re better or smarter than they are, and it doesn’t mean you get to take out however you feel for whatever reason on this person just because he/she can’t really say anything back to you. So, if a worker feels mistreated for these reasons, the worker is going to have an eff-you attitude when it comes to assisting you. There are people who serve people in some capacity every day who don’t seem to understand this. One of the guys at my job complains all the time about our tech support callers, and, yet, he was being an ass on the phone with a customer service worker who, I guess, screwed up some order of his. Personally, the way I respond to a customer or client depends on how pleasant and reasonable the client’s demeanor is. Some people think being an ass gets results. More often than not, though, workers avoid you and leave you on hold longer when you call or pass the call off to someone else, and the people who are in charge start to not care if they lose your business (while you’re threatening to take your business elsewhere, a lot of people are silently hoping you will so they won’t have to deal with you ever again, i.e. that’s not an effective threat). But I will jump through hoops for nice people.

7)¬†Front desk workers are not babysitters.¬†This means that they’re not just sitting at the front desk keeping an eye on your car. They are working. So, if something bad happens to your car, unless the front desk worker did it, it’s not the hotel’s fault (yes, my hotel was blamed for someone breaking into someone’s car). If a stalker boyfriend might come to the hotel and find you, no, the front desk can’t keep an eye out for him (yes, I’ve had requests similar to this one once or twice). If you’re just checking into the hotel and want to leave your car right in front of the hotel entrance (blocking traffic), no, the front desk can’t make sure nothing happens to it or to your belongings.

8)¬†Don’t pay with a debit card.¬†Don’t even book with one, if you can help it. Weird stuff sometimes happen with debit cards, which leads to bewildered or angry hotel guests and silly confrontations with hotel front desk staff in which the guest doesn’t believe anything the front desk worker says (and, of course, it’s all the front desk’s fault). Long story short–if you don’t want to get charged before you check out, especially if you don’t have enough money on your card, just pay cash or use a credit card (or switch to a debit card when you’re checking out and get your cash back if you paid cash…CCs will not have been charged). You might not have issues every time or at every hotel with debit cards, but save yourself the hassle that one time at that one hotel by just never using them. And while you’re at it, learn how to read your card statements correctly (i.e. there’s a difference between “pending charge” and an actual one, and just because there’s a pending charge doesn’t mean it will go through).

9) Maybe the most important thing I can teach you about hotels–hotel front desk workers are usually poorly hired and poorly trained.¬†There’s a lot of turnover in hotels, and, though it seems that most jobs suck at training new employees, hotels particularly seem to not believe in training. They love to just throw a brand new person right on out there, and if the newbie is lucky he/she has been shown how to check people in, how to check them out, how to book reservations in the system and how to process payment. If the newbie is lucky. But considering that there’s an entire hotel layout–complete with a breakfast area and ice/drink machines–paid parking in the most major cities, specials and promotions, hotel booking websites like Hotwire that fax over reservations, different amenities in different bedrooms, guests who think the front desk staff is supposed to know any and everything about the hotel as well as the city, ways to handle certain situations and so on…newbies need way more than they get.

I don’t know what’s crazier–the fact that guests assume front desk workers know the local area like the backs of their hands or the fact that I’ve never known a hotel to include the local area in their training. The funny thing is managers will hire people who don’t know the area and this might be barely discussed in the interview, and then later on they’re kind of like, “Oh…XYZ doesn’t really know the area as well as she should…” And that’s not the only thing hotels screw up in hiring people. Hotels hire more bad fits for every single position they have–including manager–than probably any other industry. Because of the turnover and the fact that hotels are cheap–which leads to their not hiring enough workers, as well as their not doing everything they should to make their hotel meet customer expectations–they conduct quick interviews that don’t focus on the right things, such as customer service skills, the ability to calculate monetary change/prices/tax, and other areas that a particular manager might care a lot about (such as knowing the area well, if that’s important to that manager)…and then they are shocked when a front desk worker sucks or they can’t keep front desk workers for more than a few months. A lot of the time, it just seems as if they need someone and they grab the first person off the street. That’s not quite how it goes, but they do hire and put a new person at the front desk with the quickness.

—–

So, after learning all of this and doing night audit, I was basically handed the keys to that first hotel in which I worked. It would have been my business, except I wouldn’t have been the owner. But I would have been running it by myself. All nine of the things I just listed probably had something to do with the reason why I didn’t accept the keys, but none was bigger than #9. For one thing, I knew I had no business running a hotel. I learned from working there that the manager/owner had no idea how to make the right hires, and I had not been trained at all on how to run a hotel and would have received very little guidance on that. So, instead of looking at “I’m getting a promotion” or “I’m getting more money,” I looked at my lack of knowledge of the hospitality industry, my lack of knowledge of management and of my lacking the type of personality to “run” anything. I also looked at how everyone who had that position before me failed, and that eventually ended up including the main manager/owner.

But I got great references from that job, though. And plenty of crazy stories. I will never look at hotel stays the same way again, though.

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