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Becoming Kiera Knightley

Something interesting happened on Facebook last week.  I posted about a man who does odd jobs around the house and how my inclination is to bend over backwards to get him to like me even though he gives me very clear signals that he either doesn’t like me or simply has a gruffness that comes out when communicating with women in general.  He is fine talking to Josh.

I mentioned that I had stopped myself from making him muffins (with the sole purpose to win him over) because it was very Kiera Knightley in Love Actually of me.  I think she’s one of the worst stories in the movie.  She spends the movie trying to coyly charm her husband’s best friend despite the fact that he clearly does not want to interact with her.  Either she has had the shortest engagement in history and therefore has only known this friend for a few weeks and is still trying to win him over OR she has been dealing with this awkwardness of months/years and is STILL pretending like she can just act cute and everyone will come around and love her.  Either way, things aren’t looking good for Kiera’s character.  Either she’s getting married to someone she just started dating or she is unwilling to understand that some people just won’t like her in this world.

So my post was merely about my own foible — my desire to make someone like me who clearly doesn’t like me and doesn’t need to like me.  That being a pleaser is part of my personality, but it is also a statement on women in general since this trait — making sure you’re doing everything to make the people around you happy even if it means making yourself unhappy — is one of our weaknesses.

Offer the man coffee.  Offer the man food I am already planning to make.  But also understand that it’s okay if he doesn’t like me.  I am not everyone’s cup of tea.

But it also raised a different thought for me — I didn’t hire him for his personality.  I hired him because he’s really good at fixing things.  He comes quickly.  He stays until the job is done.  He tries to save me money when he can.  All signs of a good worker.  Yes, he rolls his eyes when I ask a question, but I didn’t hire him to have kind facial expressions.  I hired him solely for his knowledge and trustworthiness and artistry.

I guess this struck me because I worked with so many kids over the years with differences that affected their personalities.  And I hate the idea of them having difficulty keeping a job just because they lack social skills despite having all capabilities to do a job in place.  You could make an argument that personality is a part of certain jobs, such as salesperson, teacher, or lawyer.  But when personality is not part of the job itself and the person isn’t cruel, should they be penalized or replaced just because they roll their eyes and sigh?  I don’t know.

I guess some people feel that if they’re paying someone to do a job, they shouldn’t have to deal with rudeness, but I guess I’m someone who is willing to put up with some rudeness for a job well done.  What I’m not willing to put up with is myself bending over backwards to make people like me.  Life is too short to worry about what this guy thinks of me.

And one thing you don’t know about this guy — he talks out song lyrics to himself while he works.  Talks.  Not sings.  Like I just got to hear a spoken word “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison this week, and it made me smile.  Even if he did sigh moments later when I went to ask him a question.

February 19, 2017   8 Comments

634th Friday Blog Roundup

I got really excited and then really unexcited in a cycle lasting about five minutes when I heard about Peanut, the new app that is called Tinder for Friends.  You want new friendships?  Swipe right (or left?  I’m sorry, I’ve never seen Tinder so I don’t know which direction you DO want to go.  So put the correct direction in this sentence) if you want to meet this person to hang out.

Which is brilliant because it can be very difficult to make new friends once you get older.  I work out of the house, so it’s not like I’m meeting new co-workers.  I’ve become friends with some of the parents of the twins’ friends.  And I’ve met some people through activities.  But… yeah… it’s really hard, especially when people move or drift away because they get busy.

But when I went to download it, I saw that the description stated: “Peanut shows you like-minded mamas near you, and makes it easy to meet.  We’re on a mission to build a community of women who happen to be mamas.”

Well, first and foremost, “mama” is a term I use for my guinea pig — Hebrew for “what-what,” which is what I call him when he is wheeking his head off for no reason other than to let me know that he is thrilled to be alive.  Secondly, I do want to meet other women, but I don’t really care if they are parenting a child.  I like having conversations about other things than kids.  Thirdly, you need to sign up via Facebook and it pulls in your information from that site.  Big security no-no.  Fourthly, this sentence from The Stir’s review, which I found when I started poking around for information, sums it all up for me: “After that, I was instructed to choose three options from a bunch of different ‘mom-centric’ labels to describe myself.”  Um, try none of the above.

So totally disappointed and not downloading it at all.  But if someone wants to make an actual Tinder for Friends, I am totally there and will be your first tester.

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Stop procrastinating.  Go make your backups.  Don’t have regrets.

Seriously.  Stop what you’re doing for a moment.  It will take you fifteen minutes, tops.  But you will have peace of mind for days and days.  It’s the gift to yourself that keeps on giving.

As always, add any new thoughts to the Friday Backup post and peruse new comments in order to find out about methods, plug-ins, and devices that help you quickly back up your data and accounts.

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And now the blogs…

But first, second helpings of the posts that appeared in the open comment thread last week.  In order to read the description before clicking over, please return to the open thread:

Okay, now my choices this week.

IF Pomegranate has a post about her sister’s pregnancy.  It is bittersweet news.  On one hand, she clearly benefits and gets to be an aunt.  On the other… well… I think you all understand the other.  This one line sums it all up: “I guess my feelings are more like FOMO – Fear of Missing Out. That’s how I feel. I feel FOMO. But it isn’t a fear. It is real. I am missing out: MO.”  It’s about being happy for someone else while being sad for yourself at the very same time.

Raven Rambling has a post about how her experience with Valentine’s Day is keeping her feelings about other holidays in check.  Once upon a time, it was a difficult holiday for her and then she met her husband.  She writes, “Just like that, Valentine’s Day was good again! I had my Valentine, and so February 14th could come and go without causing me any pain. Valentine’s Day was redeemed!”  She keeps this in mind when she is struggling now with other holidays; that it won’t always feel like this.

Lastly, The Maybe Baby (Babies) is back with a post about life now in the Trump era.  Even as a white woman traveling within US borders, she feels anxious being away from home.  What if she can’t get back to her family?  Things keep changing so rapidly, how does she know when she leaves home that the rules will still be the same when she tries to return?  And yes, infertility comes into play: “For a few moments, my anxiety gets replaced by rage. We’ve worked too hard to be a family to let this fucker fuck it up.”

The roundup to the Roundup: No Peanut for me.  Your weekly backup nudge.  And lots of great posts to read.  So what did you find this week?  Please use a permalink to the blog post (written between February 10th and February 17th) and not the blog’s main url. Not understanding why I’m asking you what you found this week?  Read the original open thread post here.

February 17, 2017   11 Comments

Meal Returned

My cousin and I love meeting at a vegan restaurant between our two houses because we can have anything on the menu.  They change the menu every few months, so I jump on and check the menu before we head to the restaurant.  I’m that bad with surprises: I don’t even like my restaurant menus to look different.

I usually get one of the fake meat options because they’re something I wouldn’t make for myself, but this time I was super curious about a bagel-themed salad.  It’s vegan, but they had recreated the experience of a bagel and lox in salad form.

Let me begin by saying that I have never had lox.  I mean, I haven’t had any fish, but I have especially not had lox because the smell just about kills me.  But is there anything more Jewish than a bagel and lox?  Here was my chance to partake in the experience without having to actually partake in the experience.  I would know what everyone else was consuming, and I would not have to actually consume said fish to gain this knowledge.

So I ordered the salad.

And I hated it.

My cousin has tried lox before, and she said that the fake fish came pretty damn close to the taste and texture of the real thing.  Not only could I not consume the lox portion, but the whole salad had me feeling squicked out.

I was going to box it and take it home for Josh to eat because it was my bad.  The restaurant delivered exactly what the restaurant said it was going to deliver.  It was now my problem because I had ordered it.  But my cousin kindly informed our waitress that the salad was squicking me out, and the waitress told me it was no trouble to let me order something different.

I felt both so grateful and so guilty.  It felt so damn wasteful, and I hate waste!

I know that restaurants want customers to be happy.  This restaurant, in particular, has always gone above and beyond to accommodate needs.  But needs are different from wants.  Food allergies should always be worked around, but likes and dislikes?  I don’t know.  I was really on fence as to whether I deserved different food if I ordered poorly.

Have you ever sent back a dish?

February 15, 2017   13 Comments

Be My Valentine

We do not celebrate Valentine’s Day, but it’s not like we hate love.  It’s sort of like Arbor Day — we don’t celebrate Arbor Day, either, but it’s not like we hate trees.  (Arbor Day is for celebrating trees, right?)  We don’t do anything to mark the day, though I can’t really tell you why.  It isn’t a protest.  It isn’t a putting our foot down.  It just isn’t, and we just don’t.

But if Josh decided he felt like giving me a back rub tonight, I wouldn’t say no.

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I really do like an idea I’ve seen echoed around the Internet this week about declaring it a day of self love.  Taking a half hour to do something you really enjoy, or buying yourself a particularly good piece of chocolate.  THAT is something within your control.  You can choose to take a small amount of time for yourself.  It can be five minutes.  It can be thirty seconds of deep breaths.  But it’s yours, and no one can stop it from happening.

I am a big fan of things within my control these days.

So I am going to have a piece of chocolate.  I am going to read a chapter in my book.  And I am probably going to end up with a new game from the app store.  Because damn it, I’m worth it.

Happy Valentine’s Day.  What are you going to do to show yourself a little love?

February 14, 2017   9 Comments

#MicroblogMondays 129: Pranks

Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.

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The ChickieNob insisted that you can send a blank text.  “Watch,” she said, opening up her messaging app and making a single blank space using the space bar.  She hit send.

A moment later, Josh sent back a question mark.  She sent another blank text.  Thus began a long thread of blank texts met by increasingly confused return messages, including a screenshot of the conversation in case the ChickieNob didn’t understand that all of her texts were showing up as blank bubbles.

She laughed and laughed and laughed.

Okay, it was funny on our end.  And no one got hurt, though I told her that she wasn’t allowed to do this to other people.  That’s sort of the thing about pranks: they’re usually only funny to the giver and not the receiver.

But keep that one in your back pocket for April 1st.

Best prank ever pulled or seen?

Our favourite SNL sketch (Maya Angelou pranks Cornell West!)

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Are you also doing #MicroblogMondays? Add your link below. The list will be open until Tuesday morning. Link to the post itself, not your blog URL. (Don’t know what that means? Please read the three rules on this post to understand the difference between a permalink to a post and a blog’s main URL.) Only personal blogs can be added to the list. I will remove any posts that are connected to businesses or are sponsored post.

1. Let’s Talk About Periods Today | Naba 12. Modern Gypsy 23. Mali (A Separate Life)
2. Parul Thakur | Happiness & Food 13. Risa Kerslake 24. Mali (No Kidding)
3. Anamika 14. Isabelle 25. Virginia
4. Turia 15. Raven 26. Traci York, Writer
5. Unpregnant Chicken 16. Dubliner in Deutschland 27. Loribeth (The Road Less Travelled)
6. Different Shores 17. Ms. Infertile 28. Jess
7. Shilpa 18. Stephanie (Travelcraft Journal) 29. Cyn K
8. Lori@ Laughing IS Conceivable 19. 35jupiterdrive 30. Empty Arms, Broken Heart
9. Pom 20. Journeywoman
10. Tina Basu 21. Daryl
11. Karen (River Run Dry) 22. Chandra Lynn (Pics and Posts)

February 13, 2017   18 Comments

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