“What Happens In The Backseat….”

So, it’s been awhile since I got a good belly laugh of a writing idea, but this morning it hit me.  I’ve been looking at the whole Republican versus Democrat debate through the wrong set of eyes.  I’ll warn you upfront, this gets a little bit political, but not a lot.  And, if you can’t be humorous about things, I’d suggest taking a detour off my blog page right about now. 

We’ll henceforth refer to the Republicans as “the right”, and the Democrats as “the left”.  That should make most people a little more comfortable, because we all need to feel more comfortable, right?!  Ugh!!  I’ve been reading from both sides, and I must admit that it has started to feel utterly EXHAUSTING!!  And then I was blown away with the greatest epiphany EVER!  THIS FEELS LIKE A NORMAL MOM DAY!!  Allow me to illustrate for you in the following analogy.

“Stop hitting me!!”  “Stop kicking me!!”  “Stop looking at me!!”  “Stop making faces at me!!”  “Stop mocking me!!  “Mooooom-  Janie’s mocking me!!”  “Moooooom- Bobby’s kicking me!!!”  “Moooooom- Janie’s breathing my air!!”  “Moooooom- Bobby won’t stay on his side of the car!!”   (Mom eventually resorts to the following line of “Do NOT make me pull this car over!!!”)

Let’s face it- the backseat argument between siblings can tend to get much longer and drawn out, and it isn’t limited to the backseat of a car either.  With lines like “He started it”, or “She started it”, these are the bane of EVERY mother’s existence.  It’s sort of like a “Mom Hell”!!  And, that is exactly what I feel like I’m living in right now! The left pointing fingers at the right, and the right pointing fingers at the left, saying nasty things back and forth, eyeballing each other, drawing lines in the proverbial sand, and FOR WHAT???  Because they feel superior to one another???  Frankly, I don’t get it!!  And, honestly, I don’t want to!!  

This is, honestly, what happens when you allow OPINION to become the basis of reasoning in society.  I don’t think anyone has ever had their “RIGHTS” violated by being told to keep their PERSONAL OPINIONS to themselves!!  I won’t apologize to anyone who disagrees with that statement either.  It’s time to grow up!  PERSONAL OPINIONS are called such for a reason.  They are PERSONAL!!  If I didn’t ask for someone’s OPINION, be it political or otherwise, then why am I being subjected to seeing it or hearing it daily?  The argument, from the left or the right, that this makes me a person who wishes to live in a bubble is BULLSHIT!!  I read.  A LOT!!  I’ve read more novels, nonfiction and encyclopedias than you can imagine.  As a young child of nine or ten, I had already graduated to the ADULT section of the library.  I am a good deal well versed in the ways of the world.  I study other cultures and countries.  Perhaps, more to a point, I am far less TRAVELLED.  But, that may be because of an economic inability to travel, and less with the desire to do so.  I am not PRIVILEGED like the Hollywood “elite” or CEO’s of the world.  I do not make MILLIONS of dollars a year.  In fact, I do not even make a QUARTER of that.  But, I digress.  You might ask what MONEY has to do with anything.  A LOT!  Having money changes your perspective and perceptions of the world.  I’ll talk more about that at a later time, perhaps.  

Let’s travel back to the backseat to wrap this up, however.  We all need to remember those backseat moments, as well as the words of wisdom we may have been given by our parents.  I think if we all take two moments to stop “trying to be right” all the time, we might realize that there is TRUTH on BOTH the LEFT and the RIGHT.  What we DON’T have is COMPROMISE!!  Hating someone, or being hateful TOWARD someone, does not show ANYONE to be very empathetic.  As an autistic, I was appalled by a comment made by a neurotypical individual yesterday about autistics and their “condition making display of empathy difficult”.  Not only is that a FALSE statement, I find quite the REVERSE to be true.  All one has to do is to look at the feeds of folks on the left AND the right.  They are littered with words describing others (whom they do not know or have association with) as RACIST, HATEFUL, HOMOPHOBIC, XENOPHOBIC, NAZIS, IGNORANT, STUPID, FASCIST, NARCISSISTIC, CO-DEPENDENTS, DELUSIONAL, IDIOTS, and the list goes ON AND ON AND ON AND ON…..  

If I have not made my point yet, I would suggest a healthy dose of reminiscing.  And, if you’re a parent, take a look at moments from your own parenting life.  If you can relate to the pure exhaustion, and understand the stupidity of the whole darn thing, then I’ve done my job here.  If not….then we’re in worse shape than I previously had thought.  In any case, that’s all I have for right now.  See you again soon.

 

The State of Being or Having Been

It occurred to me that I haven’t written anything in quite a while. To be honest, I think I’ve become disenchanted with the attitudes of most people recently.  What bothers me the most are the two-faced behaviors that I witness daily.  People want to be liked, accepted, and treated with respect.  However, that isn’t what their actions say!  I watch as people are rude, insensitive, and intolerant to others, all the while accusing others of being such towards them!  And, it just gets worse and worse with each passing day.  It’s utterly exhausting!  Most days I log into one of my accounts, I read a few posts, and I suddenly have this urge to go hide under my covers for the remainder of the day.  Other days I wouldn’t mind living like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day!  Give me a do-over!!  It’s insane!!  Why can’t people understand the meaning of the word RESPECT????  Is it really that difficult???  I’m asking because it blows my mind!!  Back in my childhood, my grandparents made it look so easy!  Nothing nice to say?? Say nothing!  Don’t like a person?? Smile and be polite anyway!!  But, no no no!  That’s not how we live anymore!  Now, we live in a society filled with so many opinions, and people who are more than happy to tattoo their opinion directly into your little mind!  Why?? Well…because their opinions have become the only things that matter to them!  People only care about other opinions that echo their own, thereby creating “echo chambers”.  Other people are dumb, because their opinions are dumb!  There is no middle ground, no compromise, no logicality, no rationale, and no reasoning with others anymore.  We have become a society of rudeness, arrogance, and ignorance.  We’d rather shun others that don’t have like minds, than learn to accept differences.  That doesn’t bode well for someone like myself- an autistic, one who is wired differently to begin with, and one who understands that the world NEEDS differences in order to be balanced.  I keep waiting for the world to balance itself, and yet it is a proportion of such imbalance and chaos.  But this is the world I live in.  Sigh.  Where are you common sense??

The True Division of America

We live in an era of major misinformation that spreads like wildfire!  The biggest problem with that is simple:  People do not stop to consider the source, fact check the source, educate themselves on the REALITIES, or consider the impact of REPEATING said information!!  People do MORE HARM on a daily basis with their impulsivity, and feelings based reactions, than what Donald Trump could EVER do!!  By creating a continual blast of misinformed, culturally-biased individuals, we are only setting ourselves up for failure!!  I am grossly disgusted by the lack of intelligence that I see being displayed currently!  I’m just going to break down a couple of things, and let’s put it to rest quickly!

First of all, the 1st Amendment gives the right of free speech:  TRUE!  It also says “peaceable assembly”!!  It does not give people the RIGHT to burn the American flag, loot, riot, set fires, threaten, intimidate, act like spoiled children, beat people up (which is called ASSAULT-FYI!), nor be HATEFUL in said “free speech” to those who disagree with you!  And that goes for BOTH sides of the proverbial “soapbox”!!!!  I have not ever, in my life thus far, witnessed such degrees of CLASSLESSNESS, INDECENCY, DISRESPECT, DEGRADATION, IGNORANCE, and SHEER STUBBORNNESS!!!!  How can we EVER hope to “come together as a Nation”, when all ANYONE wants to do is point fingers, blame others, whine, complain, gloat, boast, goad others with snide remarks, or otherwise?????

Let’s break this down logically.  DOES RACISM EXIST?? YES!!  But, I don’t think it’s what people, the media included, would like you to believe!! It’s not WHITES AGAINST BLACKS, or WHITES AGAINST HISPANICS, or WHITES against ANYONE!!  It goes MUCH deeper than that!! It’s BLACKS AGAINST BLACKS, BLACKS AGAINST WHITES, WHITES AGAINST BLACKS, WHITES AGAINST WHITES, and so on and so forth!!  You think you know the truth, but the truth is more complicated than what you think you know!!  Taking a stand in one corner versus the other ISN’T a SOLUTION!!!  You aren’t setting examples to be lived up to!!  Martin Luther King, Jr. outlined a peaceful path, and set an example for all:  You just weren’t LISTENING!! You weren’t UNDERSTANDING!!  Was he 100% correct in EVERYTHING he said?  No!!!  His speeches were only aimed at black inclusion!  Inclusion means MUCH more than ONE RACE, or ONE ETHNIC GROUP, or ONE SEX, or ONE ANYTHING!!  Inclusion is for ALL!!  And so understand me when I say ALL LIVES MATTER, that I am speaking from a HUMAN basis, that there is more there than a stab at any particular “community”, and that from a HUMAN standpoint it is the ONLY truth!!  There is only ONE TRUE WAY, and that way includes COMPROMISE!!!  In case you don’t understand what COMPROMISE actually means, it encompasses the good and bad of ALL arguments, while OBJECTIVELY seeking a NEUTRAL solution!!  

The US Verus THEM mentalities in this country need to GO!!  The truth is that there IS no US versus THEM!!  There are only HUMAN BEINGS who ALL want to be heard!!  These same HUMAN BEINGS deserve to be REPRESENTED EQUALLY, and without disparage!!! Unfortunately, we have divided ourselves into political parties who seem to represent SIDES!  At least they do, in people’s minds!!  And, the propaganda that is continually spewed from media outlets, and on social media by “supporters” of these separate ideologies, upholds those fallible beliefs!  The biggest problem with that is:  There are more similarities between these two groups than people believe!!  The biggest similarity is that they are both run by PEOPLE!!!  And, quite shockingly, both groups house people with DIFFERENT BELIEFS!!  I know that may be SHOCKING!!  But, in all reality, they don’t all believe the exact same things!!  Pointing fingers at others, and LABELING  them all with blanket statements of hatred and vile loathing, is both immature and illogical!  We need to move BEYOND all of that if we are to truly see PROGRESS!  What we have seen is FAR FROM progress!!  When we continually SEGREGATE OURSELVES by creating new LABELS for each other:  THAT IS NOT PROGRESS!!!!!  

I have many more thoughts on these matters, but I’ll keep it short and simple here.  My only goal is to get people to actually think.  We are not part of a collective!  We are INDIVIDUALS!!  Representation means something very different to us all!  Stop fighting, stop complaining, stop whining.  Just STOP!  Stop, and look around you!  See the world!  LISTEN!  That’s something I feel that we have ALL stopped doing-  LISTENING!!  There is something for each of us to learn from the other!  Until next time…..

 

 

Debate, or Debacle…What’s the Difference….

Does anyone really know what it means to debate anymore??  I’m quite sure that it doesn’t include pointing fingers or name-calling, but then…apparently I don’t know much anymore either.  The amount of hypocrisy, ignorance, arrogance, and stupidity that I am faced with each day, well…it’s ASTOUNDING!!  People don’t even understand the fullness of the intention of GOVERNMENT anymore…nor do they  know what they NEED, OR want, anymore!  See…when I learned about government, my understanding was pretty simple.  Government is meant to be OBJECTIVE!!!  If you understand the meaning of the phrase “for the greater good”…then GREAT!!  But so many people have lost sight of that phrase, and we now kow-tow to every whimsy that exists!!  It’s not about “the greater good” anymore.  It’s not about “protecting civil rights or liberties”…it’s about protecting someone’s “FEELINGS”…and even that is a STRETCH!!  I really don’t know WHAT is going on with this country anymore, but I am just sitting here scratching my head in wonder!!  As in, I wonder what the hell everyone is going to do when they STILL don’t get what they want!!!!  I’m going to talk about a few things here, and they are major points of contention.  But…honestly…I’m tired of being plowed over with opinions, and feeling that I’m not allowed to express myself.  After all…I created this blog FOR expression!!

Let’s talk HEALTHCARE!!!  And…let’s get realistic about it for just a moment!!  The AHA was a good, solid plan in THEORY!!  And, if it had worked, that might have been great for folks.  But…IT DIDN’T!!  Go ahead…deny and argue all you want…but the “proof is in the pudding”…or rather…THE TRUTH!!  Seriously…get mad…but hear this out!!  Over the past several years…insurance premiums have continued to RISE.  And…in order to keep costs down for employees…employers have been forced to make some VERY tough choices!  (This includes raising deductibles and copay costs, in order to keep down PREMIUM costs!!)   Sure…it’s true what they said…you CAN keep your current coverage!!  What wasn’t said?? That it would cost you dearly!!!  I’m going to lay it out for you!!  The average family, like my own, STILL can’t afford coverage at the current rates!  Why??  Well…it goes like this….

  • Employee is offered coverage through work.
  • Employee MUST take coverage that is offered through work.
  • IF employee has opportunity for “spousal” benefits…then spouse does NOT qualify to receive “exchange” benefits at the reduced rate…REGARDLESS of the excessive cost!!

Did you get all that??  The same applies to the DEPENDENTS!!!!  So…congrats!! If you are a family of an ELIGIBLE “exchange rate”…you still can’t get it!  And yes…that is 100% FACT!!  If you are accepting that benefit, and you are a party to the above mentioned situation…then you are accepting ILLEGAL rates!!  (See your insurance broker!!)

That’s only ONE problem with the HEALTHCARE!!  Why does it hurt that rates keep skyrocketing? Why is everyone having insurance such a BAD idea?? Well…it’s simple!  Because INSURANCE COMPANIES are raising their rates to offset the costs of paying oiut MORE CLAIMS!!  (The more you cover, the more it costs!) AND…because INSURANCE COMPANIES…NOT doctors and MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS…are setting the TERMS for YOUR HEALTHCARE!!!!!  Why does that matter??  Because it is TRULY limiting people’s choices when it comes to their own care!!  By insurance companies deciding what they WILL and WON’T pay for…they  are telling you what services you CAN or CAN’T have under their policies!!  (This includes prescription medications–and YES…that might include medications that a patient has used that WORKS!!) They are also able to dictate what you WILL pay now!  And, you NO LONGER HAVE A CHOICE!!! Right??  I mean…HEALTH INSURANCE is MANDATORY now…RIGHT???  Or you’ll be “fined”???  The absurdity makes me want to rip my own hair out!!!  People just need to THINK!!

Now…let’s talk SOCIAL SECURITY!!!!  An ENTITLEMENT???? YOU BETCHA!!!! And I am ENTITLED to every single PENNY that I, and the EMPLOYERS that I have worked for, EVER paid in!!  You heard me right!!  I’m ENTITLED to it…because it is MY MONEY!!!!  And, if you aren’t aware of WHY I’m saying this…then PLEASE EDUCATE YOURSELVES!!!  When the Social Security Act was brought forth…it was to help then struggling folks SAVE for RETIREMENT!!!  This program was NOT supposed to go on and on and on…and, in fact, it was supposed to have a DEADLINE!!!  Don’t believe me??? LOOK IT UP!!!!  PLEASE!!!!!!!

Due to excessive government “borrowing” from the social security fund…the fund is now a MANDATORY contribution, paid by taxpayers and employers alike!!  And yet…we are now looking at it like it is just any other tax that exists…and it’s just something people pay…”oh well….”.  Please EDUCATE yourselves people!!  The working class really DOES bust their butt to “earn” their money in this country….and yet we continue to make them feel like their contributions don’t matter!! Making it so their “golden years” are spent in impoverished states, and leaving them in situations where “retirement” is only a daydream and bygone of yesteryear….REALLY?!?!?  Anyone who is my age, who saw their grandparents that RETIRED, and TRAVELED, and had a time for REST and RELAXATION after YEARS of HARD WORK….PLEASE…tell me you don’t understand!!!  Seriously….it’s time to WAKE UP!!! What are we doing to ourselves???????  We certainly AREN’T making a better FUTURE!!!

It’s time to get MAD!!! I mean….GOOD and MAD!!  Stop the NONSENSE!!  People need to THINK!!!!  EDUCATE yourselves…and STOP listening to the MEDIA!!!  And, for pete’s sake…STOP LISTENING TO POLITICIANS!!!  They’re playing a popularity game…and they are using your feelings to wrangle votes!!  They will say WHATEVER you want to hear….and it no longer MATTERS if it’s a FACT or not!!  PLEASE:  READ, and THINK!!!  There’s a lot more I could say…but I’ll leave you right here.  Good luck this election year….we are ALL going to need it!!

“The Rise of The Machines”……

I was born in the time before computers became the bane of our existence.  The truth is, I still remember what that was like…even though I was only a kid when I was introduced to the Commodore 64.  Yep…that was my very first computer.  I won’t lie and say that I believe that technology is evil…because I don’t believe that it is…but, I will say that I believe that we, as a society, have grown far too dependent on the technology.  I also believe that it is making us dumber!  I know I’m not the only one who feels this way, as I’ve had this conversation with many others from my generation.  But, then again, I’m from the time when technology was fresh, and just enough to enrich our lives a bit and make it a little brighter.  NOW, however, technology is in EVERYTHING we do!  So, ARE WE too dependent?  Let’s examine the basis for why I believe we are, and then you decide for yourselves!

I remember when I was growing up. Things were simpler then, less complicated, and people talked to each other. And when I say they talked to each other, they had ACTUAL, and MEANINGFUL, interactions. Today’s world, however, is all about social media, selfies, and internet connection. It hasn’t proved to serve as a USEFUL tool in developing better communication skills, however, and it seems to be making people MORE socially inept. And I swear, if one more kid calls me an “old timer” or makes a comment about how my generation only THINKS things were better, I am going to flip my lid. Yes… I do say “back when…” A LOT! Because….”back when” people had respect for their parents and other authority figures. “Back when”…we knew how to count change, multiply and divide WITHOUT using a calculator, what CHORES were, what it meant to EARN an allowance, and that money didn’t grow on trees. We dressed in clothing that was appropriate for all occasions, and we were sent to the school office if we WEREN’T dressed appropriately. We respected our teachers, at least to their faces, and we didn’t dare curse in the classroom. But, I digress…. WHAT does that have to do with technology? You’d be surprised, actually. Technology has made us rude. It has made us apathetic. And, technology has made us LAZY! Not only has it done all of that, but it has also created some rather alarming issues as well.

  • Video game addiction. This is a very real thing. It affects adults, not just our youth. 
  • Social media addiction. Also affects multiple genres of the population.
  • “Selfie” addicts
  • Cyber bullying
  • Easier access for fraud, theft, and scams
  • Easier access for “predatory” criminals

I think those things should make most people think twice. The truth is, sadly, people actually think they’re protected. We’ve become blindly dumb to the realities of how exposed our most sensitive information is to the wrong people. And, as our society becomes more and more desensitized, we create new BAD situations for ourselves every single day. We just haven’t caught on yet!

I guess, though, that the most irritating piece of technology has to be the smartphone. Yes… I have one. And, I have participated in contributing to the growing trend of cellphone dependency. Seriously, I can’t leave my house without it….right!?!? “Back when”…we had house phones with answering machines. Before answering machines, the caller would simply try again. But, the point is….you called somebody back when you returned HOME! Let’s be realistic for a moment. Is it appropriate to have a conversation with someone while you’re at a checkout in a store? And yet, we do!! WHY????? It’s actually pretty rude! Let’s look at a little list of other cellphone faux pas….

  • Texting or talking while driving
  • Texting or talking while in the work place
  • Texting or talking in school classrooms
  • Using cellphone while “hanging out” with “friends”

Maybe you don’t think any of those are a problem, but I encourage you to really take a look at the world around you!! I have certainly given you some things to consider. Sure, technology can be wonderful. It’s fantastic when it works right, and when it is used responsibly. But, what about when the power goes out? Try turning it off for a day… maybe you’ll see my point! But, decide for yourself. Are we too dependent??

 

Diary of a Drive-Thru Cashier…..

“Hi there!  How are you today? What can I get for you?” Hopefully, I sound cheerful enough for you today.  Or, maybe I sound too cheerful?? Maybe cheerful is not something you’re used to??  Or, perhaps you aren’t in the mood for cheerful today???  I’m unsure.  But, what I am sure of is, that when you sound like a Grumpasaurus Rex, that certainly puts a little bit of a damper on my day!  And, that’s just for starters!  Okay, let’s be honest…we’ve all gone through a drive-thru at a fast food restaurant.  I’m sure that everyone out there has complaints about the person who took their order, or that took their money, or that handed them their food.  Maybe you, the person reading this, are one of those complainers!  BUT…HOLD UP…because I’m here to tell you MY SIDE OF THE STORY!!!  I hope this is helpful to even one person out there….because…let’s face it….we all need a little help now and then.  

Let’s address the first common complaint:  

Order taker kept getting my order messed up.   Weren’t they listening or paying attention??   

My take on this:  First of all, there are numerous things that could contribute to an order taker not hearing you correctly.  Most order takers have a headset, usually with one earpiece.  This is so we can hear the customer AND the other people around us as well.  Let me ask you a question…have you ever tried to listen to two people talk at the same time??  It gets confusing!!  “But, but…why aren’t you listening to the customer who’s ordering,” you ask.  Chances are…I’m trying my level best!!  Other people trying to talk to me and get my attention are only HALF the problem.  Often, there is traffic noise, LOUD CARS AND TRUCKS (possibly yours…just sayin’) that are keeping me from hearing a customer correctly.  Maybe the customer is muffled, or maybe I am taking money from a customer at my window.  Or, and yes….this happens, maybe YOU, the customer, might be speaking too quickly!!  So…I have put together a short list of tips that will make MY job easier…and your ordering experience SO MUCH BETTER!!!

Quick Tips For Better Ordering!!

  • Speak in a clear and precise tone.
  • Order one item at a time, and give the order taker time to ring in special requests, and CLARIFY those! (This is a HUGE one!!)  Folks…LOOK…I  have about eight or nine different screens for items sometimes…and I have to be on the right one to ring up each item!!!
  • If you have a loud truck or car…turn off your ignition when you reach the speaker!! (Please…and THANK YOU!! It’s VERY LOUD in my ear!! And often, I can BARELY hear you!!!)
  • If the order taker is having difficulty hearing you after following these tips- please be patient.  Becoming angry or shouting does not help us hear you any better. In fact, it often makes the problem worse.  Pulling to the window is a much better option, and we can still get your order right there at the window!!  

Okay…so we have covered the first complaint.  What’s next??  I can think of one…and it deals with dropping money!!  Whether it’s change or dollar bills…IT HAPPENS!!! Why??? Well…let’s hear my side of it.  When customers come to my window and want to hand me a huge handful of change…I have to admit…I GROAN a little!  Often, it’s because I can’t just trust that it’s “all there”.  I have to count each and every coin that goes into my drawer.  This takes both time, and patience, and I don’t have a lot of space to work with.  Have you not ever paid attention to the space in a little drive thru cashier’s window??  We’re pretty limited.  “Well…you’re getting paid to take my money…and it all pays the same…so why do you care?” I know that’s what you’re thinking…right?  Or…maybe you’re that person that’s had to stand behind someone who’s “getting rid of all their change” in a line somewhere.  It can be a little annoying to those who are “in a hurry”, which isn’t ME, by the way.  Granted, I think there are far too many people nowadays who are “in a hurry”, but, THEY ARE!  And I have to tell you…if the guy behind you is paying with dollar bills, and he’s only got a drink order…he’s probably cussing you right now!!  And…those big handfuls of change often come with a price attached!  It’s VERY EASY to drop coins!!  I have small hands…so there’s that, and depending on how far I have to reach (I’ve had to reach pretty far at times!!), there’s a higher probability with every further inch away that you are from my window!!!!  Now…dollar bills are a different story.  But….I’ve put together another quick little list of tips that will help ME…and will make those little slip-ups happen less!!

Quick Tips for Better Cash Handling in a Drive-Thru!!

  • If you need to “unload change”…consider taking it to your bank, or use a coin counter machine.  This will save YOU time and the hassle of counting it, as well as the cashier.  
  • Exact change isn’t necessarily “helpful” to the cashier, as drive-thrus are often equipped with “coin changers”.  If you’re having to “dig” or search for that correct change, it probably isn’t helpful either, and most likely you are holding up cars behind you.  ALSO…IF it’s COLD outside…try to remember that I spend a good deal more time with my window open!!!!!
  • Having dollar bills UNFOLDED (and NOT wadded up) is probably a pretty helpful thing as well. (PLEASE….and THANK YOU!!!!)
  • Handing the cashier your change and dollar bills SEPARATELY is a proper technique!! (Just as when I am handing you your change back- I hand you coins first, then your dollar bills, complete with your receipt!!)

Okay….that addresses two areas, and I feel that these two are probably a couple of the BIGGEST ones.  We could talk about attitudes, but I think that addressing the first two would help clear up SOME of the attitude issues.  Seriously…we’re all human beings…and no one is perfect.  But…just because someone is being paid, doesn’t mean that you should consider their job easy, or that there aren’t things you could do to prevent some of those things that customers like to complain about!!  Yes…I’m there to serve YOU….and I’d like to give you the service you deserve.  But, I’m not perfect.  So, the next time you come through my drive-thru…think about the tips I listed.  Now…How can I help You? 

Finding My “Inner Peas”

When I think about meditation, I almost always get this picture in my head of a guy sitting cross-legged on a Persian rug, wearing a turban, and having his hands in palm upward position with the middle fingers and thumbs touching.  I’m generally not a person who subscribes to stereotypes, nor do I consider myself judgmental, but that’s seriously what pops into my head.  I’ve heard a lot about meditation, and it’s often something that I have had recommended to me.  It just doesn’t work for me!  Every time I hear the phrase…”Clear your mind”…I just begin giggling.  I can’t help it…not really…it just tickles a funny spot in my brain.  No…SERIOUSLY…I have a funny bone in my brain!!  A figurative one…not literal…of course.  I think it started when I was much younger…although I really couldn’t tell you how old I actually was…when I heard about meditation and finding your inner peace.  At that particular time, what I heard was “finding your inner peas”.  Now…I’ll be honest…I’m not a pea person.  I think that’s due to the fact that I ate peas once as a toddler, and then I vomited everywhere.  Those little balls of green goo have not been any friends of mine, to be sure.  But…for some strange reason…the idea that there were peas somewhere inside my being was amusing.  It’s been a major source of giggle fits and inability to “meditate” ever since.

I have honestly TRIED to meditate.  If I can make myself stop giggling long enough to relax and breathe…which I always thought was a part of daily living anyway…then I can settle into a state of focusing on the breathing.  I suppose that some people might consider that a step in the right direction, but here’s where it gets REALLY interesting.  If you know anything about ADHD, then you know that some of those with ADHD can have a bit trouble focusing and staying focused.  But, did you know that some of us have the ability to hyperfocus?  To explain, if you aren’t already familiar with the term, it means to be completely submersed in focusing on a particular object or activity.  For instance, when I read a book, I can completely tune out everything in the world around me.  However, the one thing I have the inability to do is turn off my thoughts.  My brain is in a constant state of activity.  So, needless to say, when I begin attempting to “meditate”, my brain flips a switch over into high gear.  The thought train starts chugging away. No matter how hard I try, I can’t even get that sucker to SLOW DOWN!!  It kind of starts to feel like I’m in a bad production of Speed, starring Keanu Reeves and ME.  UGH!!!

What is the point of meditation anyway??  Isn’t the point of it to be able to find some type of connection with your inner being?  I’m not entirely sure, to be honest.  Anyway, I can’t sit still long enough to determine its value or worth.  If I’m being completely frank about it, I think I function better at Mach 2 anyway.  Staying occupied is the ADHD individual’s best friend!  I’ve even been referred to as a “perpetual motion machine”, and yes…I am even a ball of constant motion when I’m asleep!  As far as “clearing my mind”….it hasn’t happened yet.  That, I believe, is an unforeseeable event at any point in the future!  Meanwhile….if you find any of my “inner peas” lying around….please don’t eat them or step on them….

Who’s Fault Is It Anyway???

“Victim blaming”….This is a term that I am growing quite accustomed to seeing in today’s society.  Isn’t it funny that no one seems to want to accept any PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY anymore??  This is a problem, folks.  It’s a problem that has arisen from years of twisted thinking, of deciding that actions don’t have an antecedent.  And what exactly is an antecedent?? It is a preceding circumstance that is provocative in nature, so as to elicit a specific response.  Does it matter if the response goes astray from the DESIRED one?  People everywhere seem to believe that it does, in fact, matter very much.  They go so far as to throw out terms like the above “victim blaming”, “victim shaming”, and “no wonder society is what it is today”.  So now we are blaming SOCIETY for the reactions people have.  SHAME ON YOU SOCIETY!!!  How dare you “VICTIM BLAME” SOCIETY!!!!!

Let’s break this down and BE REAL for a moment!  A recent celebrity story in the news, of a female being bound and robbed of her jewelry, caught my attention.  I started reading the comments.  I mean…REALLY reading them!  Some of the comments made LOGICAL SENSE!  Why would ANYONE keep $10 million dollars worth of jewelry in a HOTEL ROOM!!??!!??  That’s what hotel safes are for!!  And that’s only for STARTERS!  Look….I think sometimes people forget.  It’s not about what people DESERVE….because, for real, NO ONE DESERVES to be ROBBED!!  But, if we’re being realistic, it HAPPENS!  It happens all the time….and CAN YOU MAKE YOURSELF A VICTIM???? YES!!!! YOU CAN!!! And, as it happens, this particular person did just that.  Am I blaming the victim?? Well….if that’s how people wish to take it…then I suppose I sort of am.  But, only partially.  The criminals are responsible ONLY for THEIR actions!!  But the VICTIM is responsible for HER ACTIONS!  By being “high profile”, highly visible, in a KNOWN location, having that much cash and jewelry on her person…YES.  It’s like putting up a “BAT SIGNAL” for criminals!  “Hey…you….bad guys….I’m HERE…COME ROB ME!!”  This doesn’t EXCUSE the actions of criminals…but, if we’re ALL being HONEST with OURSELVES…we KNOW that criminals exist in this world!!!  So…YES…it is important to take precautions with YOUR OWN safety…and that of your family!  Expecting people to take personal responsibility for such is NOT “victim blaming”.  It is saying to that person…”Hey…take better care of yourself!!” 

Yes…this principle can go MANY ways in society.  This includes situations right down to the very way that young girls dress nowadays.  The way they put on their makeup, and don high heels, and strut around like they’re high society call girls.  YES…I said call girls!  It’s for one reason only!  It’s all about attention…and this is a standard that we have allowed to be set by society.  By continuing to say things like, “It’s your body…if you’ve got it, flaunt it”….WOW.  Let’s be REAL again…shall we?? Men are men…are they not??  Does that mean that it’s okay when things “go south” for any of these girls?? Absolutely not!! I’m not an advocate of men’s animal like behaviors…nor do I think it is excusable.  However, IT HAPPENS!!  And saying that it isn’t the WOMEN’S fault for the way that MEN THINK….HMMMMMM….not sure I agree with that.  Whether men act on what they think or not, it’s always going to be there.  So…the truth is….maybe society needs to have BETTER STANDARDS.  We need to relearn the terms:

  • COMMON COURTESY
  • DECENCY
  • MODESTY
  • PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY
  • PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY
  • RESPECT

Okay, last point before I go.  For all those out there who continue to want to talk about “victim blaming”, and don’t believe that a person IS to blame for MAKING THEMSELVES A VICTIM:  Go take a women’s self defense class!  The first thing I ever learned in one was “How to NOT make yourself a victim”!  It takes a pretty strong person to stand up and open their eyes to truth.  By understanding that we are at least HALF responsible for EVERYTHING that happens to us….we can truly affect change in society.  When we lose sight of that…THAT, my friends, is what is TRULY “wrong with society these days”!!  It’s like the person that keeps poking a dog with a stick, and the dog lashes out and bites them.  Was it the dog’s fault??  Should the dog be “put down” because it bit the person???If you say yes…then you are a PART of the problem.  If you say no…then it’s time to wake up.  Truly….we ALL need to WAKE UP!!!

How To Pack, and Unpack, That Emotional Suitcase

I’m going to start this blog with a preface, so there are no misunderstandings.  Often, when I speak on a subject, people cut me off with phrases like:

  • “But…you don’t understand…”
  • “You shouldn’t judge unless you’ve been there…”
  • “You don’t know how someone else feels…”
  • “I’m entitled to my feelings…”
  • “I’m just working through it…”
  • “But…I’m calling out the behavior…”

The list goes on…but I digress…and I shall continue forth with my preface.  I’m going to create a list here of things that are all a part of who I am, as well as where I’ve been in life.  

  • I am super high functioning autistic spectrum, with ADHD, OCD, anxiety, and SEVERE SPD (or Sensory Processing Disorder- if you don’t know what it is or means…ASK ME…PLEASE!)
  • I was treated very poorly by peers as a child. 
  • I experienced bullying throughout elementary, middle, and high school…and, to a degree, I still do- IF I choose to see it and acknowledge it.
  • I have experienced advanced severe depression-as a result of allowing myself to dwell too deeply on things that are beyond my control.
  • I am both a survivor of attempted suicide, as well as having experienced the death of a few friends firsthand.
  • I live with what society considers “disabilities” every day of my life, and yet…I ask for no special treatment, or considerations, or accommodations from others.
  • I observe the actions of people daily.
  • I have developed a deeper understanding of human emotion and the interactions of people with one another.
  • I am very passionate about abuse, cruelty to both humans and animals, as well as bullying.
  • I have grown weary of angst, whining, habitual complaining, and the inability of others to see truth in their dealings with others.  
  • I apply logic and rational reasoning to all problems in life.  
  • I understand that “acceptance” is a term that is applicable more to SELF than to others.  

Now that I have listed a few parts of who I am…I will begin with the reason for this blog.  

Social media is a cesspool- for hate, for bullies, for rudeness, for ignorance, and for the intolerant assholes of the world.  There’s certainly something about a computer screen and a keyboard that makes people feel invincible.  If I look closely enough, I’d say that it can turn even the most meek, mild, and mousy of us into a monster!  Oh yes….it can!  The problem arises MAINLY from INTERPRETATION and PERCEPTION.  I’ve capitalized those words deliberately, because I honestly want people to really think about those words.  Reflect on them.  Learn their meanings, because they’re important.  We’re all unique, and the truth is simply this:  The world, OUR world, DOES revolve around US!  You are the author, and main character, of your own story.  If you were writing your own autobiography, your voice would be the loudest one in your own story.  Your feelings and your thoughts would all be known to you.  But, what about others? Your mom?  Your dad?  Your friends?  Do you know what goes on inside their minds?? Do you TRULY know how ANYONE else feels?  The answer to that question is NO!  We only know the TRUTH about OURSELVES!  This point is also important- so reflect on this as well!  YOUR TRUTH is RELEVANT!

Okay….so maybe you’re asking, “What’s your point?” and wondering if I’m going to get there.  I am.  The point is that we are ALL human beings.  Each and every one of us has a RELEVANT TRUTH, and we ALL have feelings.  Try not to belittle mine in the face of whatever hurt you may be dealing with!  The point of my blog is not to make you angry or hurt, but to help you UNDERSTAND.  Understanding the perceptions of others isn’t easy.  Yes…it’s quite true…we are all affected by our environments, as well as the people in those environments.  And here’s a kicker: Every single person has dealt with a “nemesis”. A “nemesis” is someone who has made us feel bad, or “picked on” us, or laughed at us, or deliberately did things to sabotage us, or “stabbed us in the back”, or talked about us in an inappropriate manner.  Oh yes….believe me or don’t….but this is 100% FACT!  Whether it was a parent, a teacher, or even a FRIEND (I’m sure you might be nodding at this point)…it has happened to every single person out there.  So why is it then, that there is this whole subculture of folks in society who can’t seem to “move past” those experiences?

I read comments and shake my head on a daily basis.  The truth is that I “feel” for people’s pain, or angst.  But, the FACT is…I fully feel that they need to learn to DEAL with  the pain in more healthy ways.  When I said before that “Social media is a cesspool- for hate, for bullies, for rudeness, for ignorance, and for the intolerant assholes of the world….”, it is also a cesspool for those who need serious, professional help.  Packing your emotional suitcase is easy enough.  Being that we are all affected by our environments, we collect enough to stuff the suitcase full every day!  Unpacking your emotional suitcase, however, is the tricky part.  How do we do it in a healthy way, that doesn’t compound the situation, or make OTHERS miserable in the process?? Yes…when you spout off on social media, it can make OTHERS feel bad.  You are adding to their emotional suitcase!  In other words, there are APPROPRIATE ways of unpacking your emotional suitcase, and other ways that AREN’T healthy or appropriate.  What IS healthy is to find an outlet that can help you actually DEAL with the emotions.  Dumping your emotions (or feelings, if you will) on others, probably isn’t the most appropriate way of dealing with them.  Maybe you’ve heard the saying “We’re all fighting a battle”….and maybe that resonates a little bit.  The fact is…it’s a true statement.  We all have our OWN emotional suitcase to unpack.  Do I UNDERSTAND?? YOU BETCHA!!  Sure, I do!  But there are days that I still struggle with unpacking my own!  So, when I am saying that people can “COMPOUND” problems or situations….that is ALSO a 100% FACT!  Keeping a problem fresh, or clinging to it, doesn’t help it become resolved.  In fact, it can make the problem BIGGER or WORSE, or perhaps carry it out a lot longer than it needed to be in the first place!  

Now I want to address one more set of statements that I keep hearing:  

“I’m not going to forgive someone for their past hate….” “I won’t forget what they did to me and my friends….””I’m entitled….””It affects my mental health…”

Let’s break these down one by one.  Forgiveness:  You SHOULD forgive people their mistakes, especially if you wish to be forgiven yours.  Yes….even those who continue to make the same mistakes over and over.  It’s not easy…but it is a necessary and natural evolution in the gaining of closure and moving on.  Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you are giving up a part of yourself, or that you were wrong in feeling hurt, or that you are a bad person for moving past it.  I think a lot of people think that forgiveness means that you suddenly have to like that person, or that you are saying they didn’t do a bad thing.  That’s not true.  But, when we cling to something every day, it becomes like a festering sore.  Forgiveness is that final understanding.  Say these words with me, and you’ll get a glimpse of what forgiveness ACTUALLY is:

“I acknowledge the bad thing that was done to me/someone else. I understand that the person who did the bad thing is only a human being.  I know that the bad thing caused hurt feelings, and I have acknowledged those feelings.  I understand that I don’t have to like the person that did the bad thing, nor am I inclined to associate with that person again.  However, I understand that others, who may not have been affected by that person as I have been, might associate with that individual.  I am okay with this…because I have acknowledged and dealt with my feelings-and I have moved past that.”

Understand that forgiveness doesn’t mean that you forget, which addresses the second statement.  However, not forgetting doesn’t mean that it’s okay, or healthy, to relive the past on a daily basis.  Nor is dredging up the past a healthy way to deal with the present.  Moving on to the “entitled” portion, and the misconception that most people have….EVERYONE is “entitled” to their feelings.  Which leads to the “mental health” portion.  How you DEAL with your feelings can often impact, not only your OWN mental health, but the mental health of others around you.  I recently returned to work…and the clarification of this point is glaringly obvious to me.  How we deal with one another can MAJORLY  impact our environment!  The amount of negative attitude that greets me daily is ASTOUNDING!  And the RUDENESS! Oh so much….WOW!!  And there is also the EMOTIONAL STUNTING!  Meaning:  People have stopped learning to deal with their own emotions!! Therefore, there’s a stunting of emotional growth and development!  So…to sum things up….not only do I think that Social media is an improper environment for unpacking your emotional suitcase….I think it has COMPOUNDED the problem!!  And…to certain members of a particular fandom, who may have recently suspected that “cutbacks” to certain aspects of conventions may have been the result of some EMOTIONAL SUITCASE UNPACKING….I say READ THIS BLOG THRICE OVER!!!  

Now….as always…I remind others that I am always open for sincere discussions.  However, if you do have comments, please remember to be respectful and courteous.  If you’re still here…thanks for reading.  Hope this can be of some use to others.  

 

WHO’S THE BOSS???

“Go ahead and hit me…I’ll just call the police and you’ll be in a whole lot of trouble!” “You can’t ground me…you’re not the boss of me!” “F*&# you, MOM….you’re a horrible parent!” “You never listen to me!” “Stop ruining my life!!” “I should be able to do what I want!” “It’s MY HAIR!!” “I can wear whatever I want!” “You don’t care about me!” “There’s nothing you can do to stop me!!”

Well…there you have it society!  Congratulations!  You have created a generation of monsters!  All of these are statements that I have, in fact, heard in my own home by a fourteen year old!  Funny…I didn’t raise my kids to have mouths like that, but the influence of outside individuals has not helped in these matters.  The truth is…kids are influenced by peers, television, and INTERNET nowadays!  So…I hope you’re happy with yourselves!  We have now empowered KIDS to believe that THEY are the ones in CONTROL!!  Look around you!  I dare you to argue with me!  Kids no longer have respect for adults, or “ELDERS” as we referred to them as when I was a kid.  Authority figures?? What are those???  And BOUNDARIES???? HAH!!!  Good luck with that!  The truth is…I PITY these kids and the generations to come!

I grew up with RULES!  We had respect for adults, and we FEARED consequences!  Yes…that’s right!  FEARED!  Psychologists (who, for the most part, have NO children) are now sitting around telling society how “children fearing their parents is psychologically BAD for them”!  Let’s set the record straight…I didn’t FEAR my PARENTS!  I FEARED getting my butt whipped!  The truth is simple, but so freeing.  Spanking didn’t harm me…at least not long term.  Did I like it?? No.  Of course I didn’t like it.  Did it work?? Well….sometimes, or…more likely…I got much better at not getting caught!  I also didn’t backtalk my parents, or cuss in front of them, and I treated adults with the respect they were owed!  Owed- you ask??  Yes….OWED!  Why- you ask?? Because they’re older than I am, they’ve experienced more than I have, and, quite frankly, they often have answers to questions that I have!  I guess…overall…I learned to have respect for PEOPLE…PERIOD!  Now…I ask you….DO YOU SEE THAT AROUND YOU???

We have become a “feelings” based society.  That’s NOT a good thing.  The rules that used to govern us, the ones that made it possible for people to get along with one another…yeah…those don’t exist anymore.  Those rules have been replaced with words like “entitled”, “my rights”, “my feelings”, and a plethora of others.  But, by becoming so egocentric to self…we have forgotten the “GREATER GOOD”!!!!  Sure…I believe that ALL humans have rights…and that DOES include kids.  But what about the parents?? Do children’s rights TRULY supersede PARENTAL rights??

Well….let’s talk about that term “RIGHTS” for just a moment.  It is nearly impossible to secure “INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS” for over a million people…let alone over 7 billion!!  So, realistically speaking, is it LOGICAL to expect to have EVERY person’s expectations met?? I hardly think so!  Because, “RIGHTS” are a matter of perspective and perception!  That means that what I might perceive as CORRECT, another might perceive as INCORRECT!  But…how is that even possible??  The world is only BLACK or WHITE…right??  WRONG!  The world is stocked with multi-faceted individuals who all have specific ways of seeing things that are UNIQUE to THEM!  The problem that you face is that each person will require a different approach to be “dealt with”…so to speak.  What do I mean?? Well…spanking might work wonders for one child…while another might only need to be put in “time out”.  After experimenting with literally EVERY new age form of childhood “discipline” that exists…I can personally tell you that few worked over the initial trial period.  EVERY child tests their boundaries…so do we REALLY want to empower children to the point of being the one in CONTROL?? While I do not advocate ABUSE…(and there is a HUGE DIFFERENCE between ABUSE and SPANKING!!!)…I feel that we, as a society, have truly OVERSTEPPED our boundaries by insinuating ourselves behind others’ closed doors!!  To a degree…and within reasonable limits…parents should be the ones given BACK their control…without fear of interference from strangers, who no more have an understanding of that family or their dynamics, nor any true insight into the psyche of that particular child…and parents should be able to RAISE their children as was the original INTENT!  We have certainly expanded our terms of ABUSE to include things that are of a questionable nature as to whether they constitute said ABUSE.  And tell me….is it fair that PARENTS should now be subject to PARENTAL ABUSE at the hands of their children!?!?  Do we bear the brunt and shame of our children’s mistakes?? Are we not the ones who are glared at by judgmental strangers who know nothing of OUR trials??  Perhaps society should relearn what RESPECT is truly born of??  It does contain a slight element of FEAR!  A little FEAR is healthy!  It keeps us safe, and it leads us down BETTER paths.  And, from where I am sitting, that doesn’t seem to be where our youth are headed!

(This special Monday blog edition is brought to you by a very weary parent, who is sick of feeling “powerless” and “useless” in the face of a CHILD’S tirades, all the while exercising the greatest restraint that a parent could ever have. Raising children is both a blessing and a curse, and often the most thankless job on this planet.  Parents are often unappreciated by their children, mocked by their children, and made to feel utterly “stupid” in the face of their offspring.  The opinions contained herein are those of the author only, and all intent is toward self reflection, not self pity.  Thanks for reading!)