Category Archives: confession

from discomfort to comfort

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hi!

this week was a series of ups and downs for me, anderson. and i’m sure it was for you as well. i heard the disappointing news that your daytime talk show is going to end after this season. i think this is such a shame, and not just because i enjoy spending this time with you, but also because your show was different. alas, that may ultimately have been the show’s downfall. last season, you mixed a super fun blend of interesting topics and silliness and i loved that. this season’s new revamp had a lot more elements of trying to speak to the masses. in trying to entice more viewers, the show wasn’t able to stand out from the crowd and maybe lost some viewers. thank goodness you won’t be gone from tv altogether – but maybe you should think about hosting the mole again!!

over the past week, i attended two very different events. looking back on the week, i have come to a couple of interesting conclusions. before i share my revelations with you, i should tell you about the two events.

last saturday i went to a work party. it was a celebration for a very big project i worked on. i had no intention of going, but a co-worker convinced me it would be fun if we went together. it was definitely critical to have a friend to go with, i would have had an exponentially worse time had i gone alone. but, still, i did not have a good time. as a socially awkward person, i dread things like small talk. i turn into a loud, angry and insane person when someone asks hard hitting questions like ‘how have you been since i last saw you?’ – it’s pretty awesome. also, as you know, stress makes me sick to my stomach. so before the party i had a couple drinks with my stepdad to ease my nerves, and then he dropped me off. it’s like i was a teenager being dropped off at a party. of course, as a teenager there was no way in hell i’d ever go to a party. so obviously, i’ve grown a little bit…

but yeah, the party was kind of a disaster. i insulted the host by making a (hilarious) remark about how old he is. i also tried to pay a lawyer a compliment, and instead was lambasted by their argumentativeness. it was terrifying. luckily, they were serving one of my favourite wines, so i just kept drinking. at one point i said the words ‘that’s my favourite piazza in rome’. you should have seen people’s reactions – only i silence a room with my innocent snobbery.

while the shame and lingering panic from that party was still fresh in my mind, i headed to a 3 day conference. but, looking back i approached this event in a completely different way. i was excited. it was the 6th time i’ve been to this conference, so i knew a lot of people and when i saw each and every one of them i acted totally naturally. i was calm and normal well, my normal anyway. i made small talk, and while i still didn’t always know what to say, it wasn’t painful.
so what made these two events so different? if anything, the party should have been the fun time, and the conference the boring and stiff one. but, for me, i was in my element at the conference – these were my people! a whole room of people who know where i’m coming from just by my attendance, but more than that it was a conference for people who truly believe the adage ‘i may not agree with what you say, but i defend your right to say it’. for the most part, lawyers don’t even listen to what you actually say – they’re already fighting you before you open your mouth. it’s such a stark contrast, and really tells me i know which group i belong with.

when i was talking to my mom before going to the work party, she told me to go and try to determine why i needed to be there. was there an unconscious need or something i needed to learn? i couldn’t come up with anything. it was just an awkward experience, nothing more. but, after getting home from the conference i talked to my mom again. she mentioned that my few facebook status updates about the conference were so positive and full of excitement and i realized maybe that’s what i needed to see. i’m not destined to be a reclusive hermit after all – i just need to be where i belong.

what a great thing for me to learn!

ttfn,
~k

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how do you feel about children in adult-oriented places?

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dear anderson,

i thought i would send you a quick note after coming across the latest wordpress writing challenge. the topic is whether children should be allowed in adult oriented places. as you know, this is a topic i am quite passionate about. this is because i generally dislike being in the presence of children. i don’t want to appear as though i am a cranky old ogre who hates all kids, but at times that is totally who i am. i think people who have kids are more than welcome to that burden, but why should i be subjected to it as well?

i don’t want to seem unreasonable. i am fully aware of the fact that if parents didn’t brave the outside world they would probably lose their minds and their kids would be socially deprived oddballs. but, that fact does not automatically give parents and kids free reign on said outside world. there have to be limitations. i mean, i don’t get to go hang out in family bathrooms at the mall, so i think it’s only fair that i don’t need to associate with children when i’m out and about. there are choices that families can make, just as there are choices i can make as a childless misanthrope.

for example, when i travel i love going to adults only hotels. this way i know that the only people who are peeing in the pool are drunk dudes, rather than every baby in sight. mostly it’s the sounds of children playing that bother me. they have no concept of how loud they are. i know i only learned this myself at the age of approximately 27, but being startled by kids screaming “cannonball!” is the fastest way to ruin a vacation for me. so i think that by actively planning to avoid children everyone wins, i can swear loudly, be tipsy and relax and children can get excited about a pirate themed pool down the street. but, why do i have to be the one that has to plan?

when i make dinner reservations i think about when best to avoid families, when i go to the mall i do the same thing. but then i can’t help but think to myself, why am i planning my life around children? i don’t have them, nor do i want them but they still have a level of control on my happiness. and i think that’s where my anger and frustrations come from. i certainly don’t want parents to feel agoraphobic , but i don’t think it’s fair that i am more aware of their kids than they are themselves. i know when their kid is playing on their iphone and the sound is too loud, i know when their kid is peering under the door of a bathroom stall and i know when their kid is standing right in the middle of the sidewalk. i don’t think it’s unreasonable for me to expect the parents to be aware as well. i feel sympathy when a baby is crying on an airplane, and i rarely get mad when that happens. what i don’t like is a child standing on their seat looking back at me expecting me to smile and amuse them. i have my own stuff going on, that is not my responsibility. i have found the best way to discourage this particular behaviour is to glare at the child, for the most part they get the message. sometimes the little buggers are persistent though and think we’re playing some sort of face making game. at which point, i have been known to crack a smile. but that smile is always forced.

I do make an exception when it comes to children i know. Generally i like them, but still in relatively small doses. If we are related their chances of positive attention are greatly increased. In fact, i have a calendar of pictures of my cousin’s kids at my desk and i genuinely love opening a new month. I just don’t really like strangers or their children.

i know i’m kinda vehement on the subject and i try to put myself in a frazzled couple’s shoes when they just want a normal life. but, i just don’t think i need to be impacted. so yes, i do feel that there is a time and a place for children, but if they’re well behaved and not demented, screaming dirt balls, i probably won’t get too upset if i encounter them during a nice dinner out. and, if i can’t stand the thought of a child being in my vicinity, i will plan accordingly. And, if i’m seated at a restaurant by a family that leaves a messy disaster zone in their wake, i tip a little extra because they didn’t ask for the burden either.

until next time,
~k