Tag Archives: family

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. 😉

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I Pissed Her Off

Yeah, so it has been a while. I got kind of caught up with college basketball, as my alma mater actually did end up making it to the Final Four and playing for a national championship after I lost all hope for that happening some time back in February, I believe. I didn’t go down to Atlanta to see it, which was my plan before I stopped believing in my team, but I also don’t regret it. I looked at the cost of the trip (tickets to the games, plane trip, hotel), and it was just more money than I wanted to spend. Plus, when my school lost the championship game it pissed me off/depressed me enough to be glad I didn’t spend all that money to see it live. I’m so proud of Michigan for making it so far, but it still hurt(s) and I would have been livid if I spent $1500+ (and it was close to $1500 before the Tournament, so no telling how much it would have been during) to watch Michigan give up a nice lead and to watch Louisville carve up Michigan’s defense.

My entire family watched the game from various parts of the US, including members of my family who never watch Michigan play, just because it was my school playing for a national title, so that was great. On the positive, we did pick up national titles in Swimming, Men’s Gymnastics and Cheerleading over the last few weeks. 😉 We just could have had three national championships in about a week’s time if we’d won that bball one!

I also recently started taking a new programming class, so that’s keeping me a little busy after basketball, as is supporting Michigan softball. That’s the other good thing about my not spending all that money to go to ATL and the NCAA Tournament–I had to drop money on a new Macbook Pro for my class, in addition to the enrollment fee for the class. Typing on it right now! Rarely have I taken classes where I couldn’t wait to do the work, but pretty much all IT-related classes I take are like that. I wish all the lessons for this class were already out–I’d probably be done by now, and I’m only a week into the class.

Now that you’re caught up on some non-work-related things, I’ve got a work/love life cross for you.

About a month or two ago, I wrote about this lady at work whom I noticed eyeballing me a couple of times in the dining area at work. I also wrote several posts that related to my “ex-girlfriend.” Well, I am over my “ex-girlfriend.” I kind of realized some time during the NCAA Tournament, towards the end of it, that I really wasn’t thinking of her the same way anymore and that if I found out she has a girlfriend it wouldn’t really bother me. It’s more so like I miss companionship now. And when you miss companionship, not any companionship will do. Some forms are more fulfilling than others, and it’s just hard for me to find fulfilling friendships, relationships, etc. You really have to find someone with whom you click. I mean, there is a chick at work who is, in a way, trying to make me be her friend. And that’s okay, I guess, but…there are just people with whom you really, really fit. That’s what I miss.

Anyway, I bring this up to say, first of all, that I am still not sure that what I actually want or need is a date or another relationship. I definitely could use friends who are not guys, and right now my support system is guys and that’s in a work-related capacity. We have a great time talking schitt about Lazy Tech and annoying people who contact tech support and about our jobs and about how other people at work don’t do schitt while we do all the work…even talking about sports. But I do notice more and more that there are many attractive women where I work.

Second…well, I got an email today at work. Now, for the most part, I am not supposed to receive emails to my personal email account at work. We have a tech support inbox, so that’s where my emails are supposed to go. Still, people who work for my company do email me directly from time to time for work-related reasons. Usually, it’s people I’ve assisted before. But I got an email from this lady whose name I’d never seen before. It didn’t look familiar, didn’t recall speaking to her on the phone ever. So I’m not sure how she knew to email me at all. Anyway, she was asking if I could do something I knew I wasn’t allowed to do. I’ve done it before, and I’ve had my supervisor contact me about why, letting me know it’s not allowed, etc. And I’m tired of whiny-@ss schitt at work these days from my supervisor and otherwise.

So I had to respond that I could not do what she wanted. And I knew it wasn’t going to make sense to say I couldn’t do it, because it seems harmless…my job is just so f*cking silly that way. They have the most convoluted rules and they make everything 50 million times harder than necessary. Not my fault, though. Like I said, I’m tired of hearing/reading whining about garbage from my supervisor and this other department at work that whines about just dumb schitt and gets my supervisor involved in it. Like, they’re basically whining about receiving an email alert. Anyway.

So, this chick sends back this b!tchy email that was basically like, “Really? You said no to me? Don’t you know I’m Big Schitt around here? Are you serious? That’s f*cking stupid. What you just wrote me is so f*cking stupid that I’m going to copy someone I think I can use to get around you to get my way on this email and ask them to help.” Not in those words, but that was blatantly the gist. Yeah. Schitt like that is completely why I have to get off tech support and precisely why I’m taking programming classes–so that I can sit home on my @ss and create programs and apps and sell them from the comfort of my bedroom.

If you ever use Gmail, you know that Gmail users can upload pics that show whenever they email you. Our company basically uses Google for email. So I happen to glance to the side while looking at that b!tchy email, and I see Dining-Area Chick’s face in the pic. Now, I don’t put my pics on anything. People who know me will attest to that. So do I think she knows my name when she sees me? No, although there are people at our local office who somehow do know what my name is when they see me. So, I don’t think she knew that the person she was having an e-tantrum with is the same person from the dining area.

And that wasn’t the only b!tchy email from her, either. When I got the second one, I was kind of like, “Wow.” While I think my supervisors have come up with the dumbest schitt for rules, she definitely was overreacting. It says a lot about her, if she was so b!tchy about something that really didn’t warrant it to the degree she took it. And I’ve gotten just ridiculous reactions from people at the company, particularly over the phone, but those might have been the most ridiculous emails I’ve gotten since I’ve been working at this place. I also can never understand why people want someone to break rules and risk getting in trouble because someone else didn’t do what he/she should have done, and then they have more of a problem with the person who won’t break the rules than the person who didn’t do his/her part. We deal with dumb schitt like this all day every day in tech support, and it de-motivates me in terms of my job while motivating me to find something else to do for work.

Rarely do you get to see the kinds of things you need to see about someone in whom you might be interested in getting to know before you start the process of getting to know them. People in my family like to say I’m spoiled, but most people outside my family wouldn’t say that, at least not in terms of my demeanor and behavior with other people. When you don’t get your way, there has to be some semblance of grace in dealing with it, especially if it’s no big thing. I just do not operate with a sense of entitlement or act crazy with people I don’t know (notice how I included “people I don’t know”), and I don’t understand people who do. The way people act towards and speak to others amazes me every day. That’s why I f*cking hate people.

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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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Giving Up On Love, the New Norm?

This past weekend, I was looking through threads on a forum that I visit every now and then. Without giving away what type of forum it is, I will say that it is frequented by people who are introverts. I ran across a thread that basically asked how everyone there planned to  find love, given their age and personality (this was, I think, the 30+ section). A pretty good percentage of the people who responded–and many did–gave some version of the first thing that came to my mind for myself:

“I don’t.”

In other words, a lot of people there had “given up.” And because of the type of people who visit this forum, this was probably the only place I’ve seen where you can say you’ve given up and you have way more responses of agreement than the typical (and cheesy) “you’ll find someone when you’re not looking” or “there’s someone out there for everybody” and all the other garbage that people who have given up don’t want to hear/read. Sure, there was a little bit of that. But in general, it was person after person who believes he or she will be single forever and doesn’t plan to do anything about it. As I said, given their personality type, these people probably won’t do anything about it. This is not to say they will remain single and won’t find love, but not doing anything decreases your odds–especially if you’re a guy (because guys are still expected to be the approacher and women still approach men less than men approach women).

I got to thinking about what that thread might mean, and I did a little internet search for support.

My theory? More and more people are giving up on finding love. 

What might this mean?

Well, in the US over the past 20 years or so, we had reached a point where–as far as marriage is concerned–something that was less common became, essentially, the norm. That something is divorce. I’m starting to think the new wave of what’s normal, as far as marriage is concerned, will be less and less people getting married, more and more people being on their own. While seeing that a lot of people are out there proclaiming “I give up” sparked this belief, there are many other things out there that probably will play a role in this theory becoming reality, if it ever does.

Some of these things are complicated and ironic to think about–in particular, the increase in interracial dating/marriage and the increase in the number of people understanding that they’re not heterosexual. Although I do believe that gay marriage will be legalized throughout much of the US in a relatively short period of time (when you think about other “civil rights movements”), there are still other complications with that–the difficulty of finding gay partners vs straight ones, the number of people who still won’t feel comfortable coming out of the closet but don’t want to enter into a heterosexual union and so on. And interracial relationships, however un-PC it comes off to some people to point this out, work in the favor of certain racial and sex groups to the detriment of others. Certain groups seem to be gaining a wider net of options while others seem to be losing options. It’s complicated, so I’ll leave it at that.

I could also, perhaps, point to people who have been married and divorced and just don’t ever want to get married again or think marriage is not for them. Or people who have “learned a lesson” by looking at their parents and their failed marriage(s). And, of course, there are people who get fed up with relationships or being rejected.

Obviously, a lot of people who say they give up are full of crap. Like…these people who are 19 or 20 years old talking about “I’ll never find someone” when they’ve barely been out of diapers. But the older people who say this have a lot more power to set my theory into motion, because if there are a lot of people out there who feel this way and, thus, will not approach anyone or get on online dating sites…this will affect other people, will it not? Maybe it causes other people to give up, for one thing. It certainly can keep connections from being made…unless, of course, you’re the type of person who either believes in fate or who believes that pretty much no one who “gives up” actually gives up.

Personally, I’m thinking that I just need a reality check every now and then, and that’s why I never can completely steer clear of “love.” It’s like that thing that we all have–maybe a friend or a previous job or, even, an ex–that we ditched for a pretty good reason, and then at some point we think back or even go back because we couldn’t remember why we left in the first place. That’s the only purpose romantic relationships seem to serve for me, at least at this point in my life–they remind me of why I try to steer clear of relationships. I have not been sufficiently brainwashed by society, I don’t think, to keep trying out relationships for the more romanticized reasons. I start pretty much every relationship or emotional attachment knowing it’s not going to work for whatever reason. Most of the time in my life, I don’t even want a relationship. Rarely have I ever wanted to be married.

So, I’d recently gotten my necessary reminder, and I’d been keeping it at the forefront of my mind. This was cool, until my mother recently starting making a point that gives me pause–who is going to take care of me when I get older?

This, along with money, are the only things that ever scare me about being single forever. I know this seems unbelievable, selfish or both to a lot of people. But these are the two things that make me think, “Whoa, maybe I really do need to find someone.” Although I would honestly guess that money being a motivator is not unique for a lot of people, especially [heterosexual] women. I’m just not sure how much of finding someone to be with is about that for these people and how much is about more romanticized notions.

But for me, the thing is if I were making a good amount of money, I wouldn’t worry about this. I would simply be able to pay for really good care. But since I likely will be poor all of my days (if for no other reason than student loans), I do have to think about what my life will be like in a couple of decades. I’ve also realized by looking around that being single literally doesn’t pay. There are people who make what I make, and they have a house, a car, independence and can, more or less, pay all of their bills…because they’re married to someone who is also bringing in money. If this is not the case, then you have to be partnered up with someone in some way to make it. One of my co-workers has a roommate. I live with my parents. At least in the US, it is becoming more and more impossible to get by here as a single person. It’s too expensive living and being single. You have to have more than one income, especially if you’re a woman (because we still get paid less or do jobs that pay less than jobs that tend to attract more men).

With the way that morons are destroying the country, it will only become even harder to live here. Republicans want to get rid of any governmental assistance…stuff like social security, unemployment benefits, medicaid. And it will probably happen, or those programs will provide less than they currently do. And Democrats seem to talk the talk but leave everything status quo, whether it’s because Republicans veto everything they think will help or because they just don’t know what to do or–like all other politicians–are just flatout full of schitt…or, if you’re Obama, because you’d rather be out at lowly NCAA Tournament games between 16 seeds (I mean, dude is neglecting his job not even for the national championship game–it was 16 seeds playing to officially get into the the Tournament. And the game itself was horrible, btw–not even worth his time).

For the first time, I am really starting to see why some people look for someone who has money. I might have to give this more consideration.

In the meantime, I am back to thinking about something I’ve thought about a few times before–an arranged marriage. I’m thinking maybe I should just grab a guy I can tolerate and ask him for a business-like marriage. I’m sure there’s a gay guy out there I can talk into this. The only problem is I can’t make this type of marriage work any better than I could make a marriage-for-love work. A business arrangement carries the very real possibility that one of us will actually meet someone we want to be with and want out of the arrangement. There’s no guarantee this person will take care of me when I need it most, nor is there a guarantee that I will always have this person’s money to help me out.

Hmmm, marrying financially well is looking better and better as I type this…especially a rich old man. 😉

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Life Took All of My Friends

If you’ve read my blog at all, you’ve probably figured out that I don’t have any friends. Now, there are probably some people who would take exception with my writing that because they consider themselves my friends. Some of them even have the link to this blog (who knows if they read it?). It is not my intention to offend any of these people.

So, let me put that another way:

I no longer have friends in the same sense that I did 10, or even 5, years ago when I and most of my friends were in our 20s. I used to have different kinds of friends for so many different categories. I had a male best friend, a female best friend, a music best friend, a girlfriend best friend, a law school best friend. White best friend, black best friend, Asian best friend, gay best friend, lesbian best friend. Now pretty much all of my friends fit into one big category–friends I hardly speak with/hear from. Although some other people don’t feel this way–especially married women, it seems–I can’t help but feel this is the same as having no friends.

Yes, this damn overrated life strikes again. I’m not sure, but I believe some people would say life gets better with age. To this point, all I’ve seen is that life gets worse with it. I miss so many things about being younger, but the two things I miss the most are 1) having far fewer legitimate worries, concerns and responsibilities, and 2) easily being able to find people to socialize with. To me, there is just nothing like meeting people at school. We now have co-workers socializing and even dating each other outside of the workplace and people meeting on the internet, but I just feel as if school is the most natural way to meet people and forge relationships. I just can’t shake the idea that I’m supposed to do little more at work than work and that work is meant to be left at work. And interacting with people online, for me, has been an accelerated version of forming relationships in person, i.e. the lack of communication starts to happen way quicker.

Maybe it’s me. Maybe I did something wrong. But I think that, with most of my friends, my friendships have taken a fairly normal turn that just seems to be the way friendships progress in life–especially with women and especially with age. As people grow up and develop more worries, concerns and responsibilities, friendship slips down the list of priorities–which I find ironic in some ways. It seems like you’d need a good friend more when dealing with things life throws at you as an adult than the crap life throws at you as a teenager or 20something, but there ya go.

Do You See Your Friends Here?

This is a general list of what life has transformed my friends into, resulting in their not really being my friends. These are not necessarily all individual people–there is some overlap among these adult friend types.

The Friend With Serious Problems: One of my friends is basically homeless because he decided to “come out” in a profession that is particularly against homosexuality. Last I heard from him, he was staying with a friend because he lost his house and car. Another one of my friends is going through a divorce and likely dealing with having to move and find a job. Make no mistake–this is all horrible schitt. My point here is not so much that they’re not here to tap dance for me and tell jokes when I get bored–it’s more like the point I made above about the irony of friendship becoming less of a priority, or at least that’s how it seems. You can never really know what’s going on in someone’s mind. But it just seems that as teenagers a friend will call you every single time she has any dumb problem, but as an adult your friend will fall off the face of the earth when real problems arise.

The Friend Who Talks About Himself 90% of the Time: This is almost the flip side of the friend who falls away when she has problems. No, this friend will communicate with you quite a bit, but almost every time it is to talk about what’s going on with him. He has very little interest in you, and, if he does, he doesn’t really do a good job of showing it. You can easily have a friend who was always like this, but sometimes life will turn a good friend into this type of person.

The Friend Who Was More Than a Friend: If you had a boyfriend or girlfriend, or a husband or wife, who was actually your friend, too, then this is the hardest friend to lose. The worst part is most romantic relationships end. So, if you’re not that lucky person who married your high school sweetheart and it will last forever, you will probably have at least one time in your life when you will lose a good friend because you happened to have a romantic relationship with that person which didn’t endure.

The Friend Who Only Cares About Her Partner/Family/Job: This has got to be one of the top two reasons why adult women lose friends. I had a friend with whom you could argue the friendship was over once she started dating the man she eventually married. It got worse each step of the way from there–moving in together, then getting engaged and finally getting married. A guy, and then kids, killed the friendship side of my relationship with my sister, as well. So many women’s lives amount to work, kids and their husbands, nothing else.

The Friend Who Only Cares About Local Friends: You could easily argue that, for people who attended college, this is the #1 reason why we lose friends. I made a lot of great friends in law school, but I can count on one hand the number of them I’ve even so much as Facebooked with in any way since graduation. I have my reason for why I haven’t spoken with most of them (which I’ll get to), and it’s not due to the fact that we’ve all gone our separate ways and live scattered across the country now. But for most people, there has just always been something about someone’s moving away that keeps them from being able to maintain any sort of long distance relationship.

The Friend You Always Have To Contact: I realized about a year and a half ago that I had among my friends the type whom I’d never hear from her if I didn’t contact her. Yep. A year and a half, counting and so far I’m dead on. Pretty sure I’ll never hear from her again.

The Friend Who Is Insecure About His Life: You might not even know that you have a friend whom you never hear from for this reason. But if you can even kind of pull off the appearance of a successful life–whether you are married or you have a good job or even a job you actually really like–then the chances are good that you have at least one friend out there who is comparing him/herself to you and feeling bad about the current state of his/her life. This is the reason why I didn’t hold up my end of the friendship bargain with some of my law school friends for a long time after graduation, and I have another friend with whom I’ve discussed this and she revealed she feels the same way about staying in touch with our fellow law school classmates. See, the problem that I’m just now starting to overcome and which I don’t believe my friend has overcome is this: we know that any time you start speaking with an old acquaintance, that person is going to want to get an update on your life. Uh…kinda problematic if your life sucks. Imagine having a bunch of doctors, lawyers and business owners for friends and former classmates, too (really, my Facebook friends list could be a Who’s Who of professionals), and having to face these queries. No–my friend and I just decided to avoid most people.

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I’ve probably forgotten a few types and maybe even a few of my other friends. But the bottom line either way is I miss having friends. Life, give me my friends back. Quit dealing them so many problems, insecurities, moving vans, jobs, husbands and kids! 😉

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America’s Most Ignorant

I have never wanted kids. I just have never had a fondness for them. That’s not to say I hate kids, but kids feel as if they can completely be themselves around me because I am not parental or authoritative in my demeanor, i.e. kids behave badly around me. I guess that might be a reason why kids have always liked me, and I guess that’s why people in my family always had to give kids some version of a “Ren really is an adult, so you need to treat her like one” speech. So, because I have older sisters who have done the typical married-with-children thing, I have been fighting kids off with an invisible bat since I was about 13 or 14. Kids think I am fun and funny, and I always have stuff that they like. So, I can’t figure out how to get them to leave me alone.

Don’t worry–I’m never having kids. I know I have no business with any! Too many people don’t know that about themselves, though.

One of the reasons I don’t want kids is because it’s too much work and too much responsibility for me. I look at my sisters, and I just cannot imagine living the kind of lives they live. I don’t mean that in an insulting way. But if I were given two choices–to live the life I currently live or to be married with kids–I’d choose the life that I currently whine about on this blog, i.e. the life where I have all these expensive degrees that I don’t/can’t use, owe all this money, live at home with my parents in a city I don’t like and work a job where I’m bored and make peanuts. The way the majority of adult women live simply isn’t for me, that’s all. And I’ve realized it’s not even just about kids–I think I generally have anxiety when it comes to responsibility, at least in terms of tasks (and yes, I am the “baby” in my family). This is why I don’t run my own business, why I tend not to take initiative with things and why I tend to only want raises and not promotions.

Unfortunately, because I am related to one of the many people in the world who didn’t seem to understand that she had no business having kids–and her excuse for a husband likewise seemed not to understand this about himself–I am now in the position to have a hand in some kid being my responsibility.

I don’t know if I can articulate how uncomfortable responsibility makes me in a lot of cases. At work, it’s usually a scared sort of flipping out; at home, it’s usually an angry sort of flipping out. When I used to babysit, it would be more of a scared flipping out, though. So, imagine how I feel when I’m given other people’s responsibilities.

See, one of my nieces has moved in with my parents and me. Really, she was kicked out of her house. In most ways, she’s a normal teenager. So, she didn’t really do anything all that unusual to warrant being kicked out of the house. Her mother (my sister) and her stepfather are just, very frankly, fucked in the head, that’s all. My father has very little to do with my sister because of this, and I have very little to do with her because of this. My other sister doesn’t live in our city, so that kind of solves having anything to do with her. My mother is the only person who hasn’t known how to let go, but I think that’s changing, especially after this stuff with my niece being kicked out for no real reason.

My family is not at all full of geniuses. But my parents have worked as educators, and my closest aunt and uncle work as educators. I’m the best-educated person in my family on paper, having attended–what I call–an Ivy-Like university and a Public Ivy university, as well as earning a law degree. So, I never thought I’d be related to someone whom most people would consider dumb.

People, I’m not a politically correct person–my niece is dumb. I’ve known this for a long time, but now that she lives with me…wow.

My father still teaches at a college, even though he’s technically retired, so he is not shocked by my niece. No one in my family really seems to be shocked by it, except for me. My father sees it all the time–very dumb people who somehow make it through high school and into college. “Dumb” means they can’t read, the way they text and write on Facebook is the way they write school papers and school presentations, they cannot speak standard English or speak with any semblance of good diction/enunciation, they can’t think critically and they don’t know school basics. Obviously, I knew that my niece speaks like crap and writes like crap, but I didn’t know she couldn’t read or that she is learning absolutely nothing at school but is somehow passing on to the next grade most years (not every year, though). She’s either a sophomore in high school or a junior in high school…really can’t tell because she has failed a couple of classes.

I now know that she can’t read because one of the ways in which I’ve grudgingly become responsible for her, being known as the most intelligent person in the family, is by having to come home from work and “help” her with her homework. I was not asked to do this. This has been forced on me. And you have to understand something–you’re talking about an average Joe expected to do something that really can’t be done by an average Joe. That is, my niece, having gotten as far as she has and being as bad off as she is academically, is way beyond just typical help with homework that you’d give a kid or teenager. The girl…can’t…read.  She is in Spanish 2 and she gets all this Spanish homework, but she doesn’t…know…any…Spanish. Of course, no one else in my family knows any Spanish, except for me and my sister who doesn’t even live around here.

She needs professional help at this point. Honestly, she needed professional help years ago. Of course, no one wanted to pay for this professional help years ago when my parents knew she needed it, and no one wants to pay for it now. Money is not an issue for my parents. But these are people who have no problem with heading to the casino 2 or 3 times a week to throw away at least $100 each time, and they say, “It’s not my responsibility.” So, somehow, that makes it mine?

And it’s not, but I’d still pay to send my niece to Sylvan if I could afford it and if she could get to/from Sylvan (which, I can’t help with either of those things). I would much rather do that than spend 9+ hours away from home at work/in traffic and then be expected to come home and do some teenager’s homework. Because with someone this far gone, you can’t “help” them with their work–someone else either basically has to do it or it won’t get done. And doing my niece’s homework has been my parents’ answer for so long that now there is no hope that she can just sit down and do it herself. If she can’t read, she can’t do her homework. My parents just want her to pass. They are not necessarily concerned with her learning or developing the skills she’s lacking.

I don’t know if you think I’m selfish or not. But 1) I do not believe in doing other people’s work–and I am referring both to my niece’s homework and to the fact that my sister is the one who is supposed to have this burden; 2)  I don’t have kids and never will have kids in part because I do not want the kind of life where I have to spend all day at work and then come home and deal with kids, kids’ homework and all that stuff; 3) I don’t like drama, and years of drama related to my sister truly makes me wish she and her entire family would disappear because I’m tired of all of that. Furthermore, my niece is not that different from her mother. They are both the type of people whom, every time you turn around, it’s something. I don’t want to deal with that.

If these things make me selfish, then I’m selfish and smart at the same time…because I’m not one of those dumb parents who actually has kids they don’t want to come home and deal with and, thus, won’t come home and deal with.

See, it’s not my niece’s fault that she’s dumb. And America’s most ignorant is not just all these dumb kids who are in high school and college and who will someday take this nation down to even lower depths than we’re currently experiencing. A pretty good percentage of America’s ignorant people are today’s parents (and today’s school administrators/teachers).

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The Grass Is Always Greener…

Most of us probably have an idea–maybe more than one idea–of what our dream job would be. Most of also don’t work our dream jobs.  I have also realized that our “dream job” changes over time. I have wanted to do a lot of things in my lifetime, but right now there are probably two things that I’d consider my “dream.” Three, if I break one of the two into sub-categories.

Dream Job #1

Just last weekend, I was talking to my parents about how I’d love to be able to go back to the University of Michigan (one of my alma maters) and work there. Sometimes, I just check their job listings and see if they have anything in the one department I’d most likely end up working in. The other department is the athletic department, but I’ll probably never actually work in it. That same night, I checked their job listings…and they had listed the exact position that, at this point in my career, I’d love to have.

Right position, wrong time. I’m not at all ready to move back to Michigan right now. In fact, that’s probably a year away from now. I feel uneasy about letting that opening pass me by without pursuing it and just taking the more passive approach of hoping there will be a similar opening for me when I’m finally ready. But the thought of moving right now makes me feel uneasy, too. And I’d also feel really wrong about spending these weeks at a new job and then just bolting. I also just don’t think I’d get the job right now, and who knows–maybe I’ll try for it next year and won’t get it.

Dream Job #2 (and to the point of the post’s title)

I hated my last job. I repaired laptops and loved what I did, but I hated where I did it. I also knew that I couldn’t do repair for the rest of my life. First of all, it doesn’t pay enough. That, by itself, is not the problem. The reason it doesn’t pay enough is because it’s more of an entry level-type of job. So, to me, not moving on from that meant not progressing in terms of a career. There are people who have worked where I was working for over a decade, just repairing laptops, and I just couldn’t see that for myself. So, that was #2. Third, doing physical work is physically uncomfortable at times. My fingers were developing calluses, and sometimes my back, neck and shoulders would hurt from sitting in the same positions all the time. But I got a huge rush from repairing, and I still love working on computer problems.

What my new job has taught me is, in terms of being a tech geek, I am a hardware person at heart (which is bad because I do no hands-on work at my new job, which means I don’t like what I do the way I did before).

But more importantly…my new job has taught me that I…don’t…like…to…WORK.

I am the type of employee who comes to work early, works hard, tries my best to be the best, doesn’t like down time (detest it, actually), will accept extra work and will do very little complaining to higher-ups. I don’t spend time talking or dilly-dallying, and I won’t treat or talk to supervisors and managers as if we’re on the same level or try to be friends with them (except one time when it was invited). At work, I am focused on two things–doing my job and doing it well.–Yes, I wrote this in my last post.

Let me explain that.

You see, my mother is lazy. She will never admit that, but she is. My father is what my mother refers to as “Type A.” I would say that this dude doesn’t know how to just do nothing. He almost always has to have something to do. He does not seem to understand people who don’t like their jobs or who don’t like to work. My mother spent, what…about 30 years at a job she didn’t like most of the time she worked there, if ever. Even despite this, she is very much the type of person who tells me whenever I have any complaint about any job, “Be happy you have a job.” A lot of unemployed people love this line, as well. More on that in a minute (and we’re getting closer and closer to my explaining the post’s title).

My parents are interesting. They are opposites in most ways, so they have given me some interesting traits. One is what I would refer to as “Type A- Personality.” That is, I do believe I am a lazy person, like my mother. When I’m at work, I turn into a different person. I become a perfectionist, and I want to be better than everyone I work with at my job. At the same time, I absolutely do not want to be at work. I’d rather be at home watching TV, listening to music, out shopping, surfing the internet, traveling to another city. But when I finally get to sit at home, i.e. days off or being unemployed, I have no idea what to do with myself. I go crazy. There’s only so long I can do nothing. I kind of miss work. Honestly, even on work breaks, I don’t know what to do with myself. Work breaks irritate me because I’m spending time doing nothing when I could be working and making it so that I could leave work altogether earlier. There’s some sort of internal struggle between my being lazy and being a workaholic.

I don’t hate my new job or anything. The people with whom I work are okay. It’s a pretty well-run business. I don’t like the idea of answering phones, but when I’m actually doing it it’s not that bad. But I work more hours at this job than I did at my last job, for the most part, and there’s way too much down time at work. I hate down time because every time I look at the clock, only 5 minutes have gone by. I like to look at the clock and say, “Whoa, it’s lunch time already???” or “Whoa, it’s almost time to go home,” i.e. it’s time to get the hell away from this place.

But I hate working what’s, honestly, a relatively normal work day schedule because  I feel that I’m missing life. I have hard time believing that, if you’re a woman, your life is “supposed” to be working 8 or 9 hours a day, coming home to cook for kids and a husband, helping kids with homework, disciplining kids, making sure kids get to sleep at a good hour and then attending to whatever your husband is whining about. The thing is since I don’t have kids and never will, and I’m not married and probably never will be, my life is a little more similar to what the average husband’s life is probably like–work 8-9 hours, flop down in the kitchen and eat and then go flop down in another part of the house and watch TV. Even this is not good enough for me, and I’m sure it’s not good enough for men. As I like to tell my mother, I have about 4-5 hours to fight and stay awake so that, by golly, I can have some semblance of a good time each and every weekday and then, bam…speaking in terms of your consciousness, it’s time to go to work again. Yeah…no.

This is why I say–and this is the point of my post–if you’re in school, enjoy…and if you’re unemployed, enjoy. Trust me, I have done both. My favorite is being in school. In school, you go to some classes for a few hours and then you have the rest of the day. You might have some assignments, but the majority of the day really is yours. This is one of the reasons why I prefer school to working, along with the fact that there is so much you can learn in school. Being that I am interested in almost everything, school is heaven to me. Jobs seem to almost always reach a point where you’re just not learning anything. You do the same things every day, depending on the job. And I have never had a job that actually necessitated being there for as long as a full-time job requires, hence all the dumb down time. It’s a waste of life, in my opinion. No–it’s a robbing of life.

Having been unemployed, I do understand sitting around feeling embarrassed, frustrated, rejected, inadequate, useless…not having anything to do during the day, and not having the money to do what you’d like to do or need to do. You think everyone who has a job–any job–is lucky. If you’re unemployed, I think, in some ways, you’re the lucky one. After all, the majority of Americans hate their jobs. If you were working, you’d probably just be like the rest of us–either hating your job or looking out the window at work envying the people who are moving about freely instead of stuck in some building for 8 hours when they probably could accomplish their jobs in 4 hours. There are still ways for you to enjoy life that’s hard for people who work full time.

So, I say my “dream job” would be not having a job. That’s probably not accurate, though. I think that, based on what I wrote about school, working part time would be ideal. In fact, all Americans should be able to work part time and be able to make a living off of part-time work, regardless of what the field is. But that’s not currently our system in this country. It amazes me the way companies waste money on employees who sit and do nothing half the time they’re at work just because there truly is nothing to do. The crazy thing is jobs like my previous one “lay off” workers because they don’t “need” them but keep tons of workers sitting around getting paid to do nothing half the workday.

 

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