What’s up with that?

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I can raise either eyebrow. Left or right or both. “Look ma no hands!” Maybe it’s not that cool, but it does come in handy when I see something that makes me think, “Mmm…that seems off. What’s the deal there?” OK, the things I list below may seem normal at first, but after lots of overthinking (check) you actually start to have some reservations about the people participating in them. Until I can sort out what exactly is wrong with each offense, I will file the perpetrators under my brain’s “Watch List.”  It’s possible I’m alone on these, but for your consideration here are a few things that may be worthy of your skepticism:  Continue reading

The Grief of Gifts

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Giving gifts gives me anxiety. The giving of gifts is among the most dreaded of social obligations. That and small talk in the workplace. I’m starting to resort to a greeting regimen…

Monday- “Hey! Back to the grind, eh?
Tuesday- “Crazy week!”
Wednesday- “Halfway there”
Thursday- “Almost Friday…”
Friday- “It’s Friday!”

We’re human beings in the same daily environment and our only common ground is making our way through weekdays. The real thing we have in common is the desire not to be having this conversation.

Is there ever a time we don’t have some gift looming over our to-do list? Most of the time the gift is for the same person we had to give a gift to last quarter. And we strain all over again to come up with something they would want that they don’t already have that they wouldn’t rather pick out themselves that is fun but also useful that they could probably afford but don’t want to bother with but also wouldn’t expect.

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The Burden of Beauty

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As I recently wrote, there’s something totally liberating about giving up on disingenuous things. There’s a freedom in surrendering to the truth about ourselves. Being only one person, we can’t be a writer, scientist, adrenaline-junky, botanist, chef, broadcaster, truck driver, actor, entrepreneur and home decorator. We aren’t all thrifty, charismatic, athletic, introspective, organized, detail-oriented, funny and so on (sidenote–people who happen to be all of those things also happen to be annoying). Our differences enable each of us to focus on truer parts of ourselves, and enjoy the things we like and are good at. We discover our likes and abandon our dislikes; we realize our strengths and discard our weaknesses. Typically there is nothing tragic about this process. In fact it’s a critical, enjoyable part of creating our identities.

Andy List

Here is a sample list of things I do and do not do well/enjoy/identify with.

Unfortunately for women, there is one characteristic that we absolutely cannot dismiss from our identity, whether we actually have it or not. And that is beauty.

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Run For Your Like

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Running is boring. Literally painfully so. In most sports the goal is to earn points, usually with a team, in order to win against an opponent. That’s why people enjoy sports. Sports are competitive, healthy and enjoyable. However, the goal in running is to simply endure it. You just keep running until it’s time to stop. That’s it. And don’t misinterpret me, anyone who can endure the monotony of running for longer than a mile or two does deserve some kind of recognition or trophy. (Then there’s the treadmill. Keep running, but go no where? Sounds like a perfect purgatory.) Unfortunately running is extremely trendy right now, despite the fact that most of us dislike it. (How did we let that happen?) Running is so bad we’ve had to add all these little extras to make it appealing:

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It’s not as bad as it sounds

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I have bunions.

You may cringe, but I feel no shame. Occasional pain, but no shame. I have noticed when I mention my bunions, people generally react with a “Gross. Why would you admit that to me?”But here’s the thing, bunions are only swollen bone/tissue on the joint of your big toe. It’s not the warty, stinky, disgusting, contagious fungus you might expect based on the awful name “bunion.”

So this got me thinking. What other names make something sound worse than it is? Continue reading

Fads I Don’t Get

I’m a conformist. I feel security in aligning with the majority opinion. At least with the more weighty issues of the world such as clothing trends, ways to say “cool,” and movie reviews.

Band wagons I have jumped on throughout my life: Barney, beadie critter keychains, wearing oversized hair scrunchies like a bracelet, switching from skiing to snowboarding, switching from Backstreet Boys to N’Sync, switching from Myspace to Facebook, and wanting a lifted truck (it was a hick town thing). I think it’s safe to say I’m a fad follower.

However, there are a few things I just don’t get. No matter how hard I try I just don’t get it (and seriously I really try to get it because I do not like feeling on the outside). Continue reading

It’s a Doggy Dog World

Watching a nature show is a lot like watching a football game. We pick our team and root for their victory. We hope the antelope escapes the crocodile, and the eagle catches the fish.  We want the mouse to escape the snake, and the cat to catch the gopher. And the car to hit the cat…oh wait..no, sorry…

It seems we tend to root for the animals we relate to, the most human-like. Is that so wrong? I prefer a furry, four-legged creature as a pet over a legless, nasty reptile. It seems natural. Until recently, I’ve noticed a concerning psychological trend taking  place. Let me give you a little background. Continue reading