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Tag Archives: texting

Text And The Single Girl

Every few years someone develops a treatment and possible cure for heterosexual female singlehood. This is also known more commonly (at family gatherings) as ‘why you’re not married.’ Somebody, usually a woman, looking for fame and fabulous prizes, develops a method and/or writes a book that will help you find a man. Not necessarily a good man, but damn it, a man. The strategies (which can be yours if you act now) are in one of two camps; ‘the 5-10 step strategy’ in landing a husband OR the ‘this is what’s wrong with you and why you can’t’ land a husband. Both of these approaches are based upon the theory that husbands are to be sought and to be enticed into matrimony. ‘Hold the rotary phone!’ you say? This is the 21st century! Women own homes, and have babies alone. Husbands have never been more socially or financially unnecessary.

But people wouldn’t be buying these books or the media wouldn’t be covering these stories if there weren’t an interest. While it would be thrilling to think there is parallel target marketing happening for men, the truth is there isn’t. Centuries have passed and single women are still being told that “what gentlemen say and what they thinks is two different things (and I ain’t noticed Mr. Ashley asking for to marry you.”) In other words; play the game and win the prize. The latest game focuses on the ‘be available to all men at all times and hope that someone will consider you the one‘ approach. Don’t expect to ever be asked out on a date or even called (he only texts), just always be available. That text at 2:00 AM? Answer it! Won’t it make for a cute bedtime story for your children some day? Go home with the guy who seems harmless enough. You never know where it might lead (except that you do, that’s why you’re going home with him.)

There is nothing wrong with enjoying the company of men (clothed or unclothed) but the very idea that the way to a committed lifetime partnership is by having zero standards or expectations is absurd. Is there a guy that you’d like to know better? Is he not making any actual moves towards a date? ASK HIM OUT! You are not locked in a tower and and needing to lower your hair extensions. You live in the same world as he does. Ask him out: for a specific date and time. (FYI: “You wanna go out sometime” doesn’t mean anything and will not result in a date.) If you’d rather not have your communications solely via text, then don’t answer the text, instead call him back and hear his voice. You needn’t be scary or stalky about it; a simple “I’m a lousy texter” should do the trick.

Getting to know new people and (YES) dating is supposed to be fun. There is nothing fun about accepting whatever male attention scraps are dropped in your path. People want to feel special and appreciated; those are the first steps to romance. Unless that 2:00 AM text is originating from space or contains the message; “Just landed in Rome and realized I can’t live another moment without you” it’s not going to make you feel too special or appreciated. Ask for what you want, behave the way you wish others would behave, and you might just create the life you were always meant to live.

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Posted by on October 25, 2012 in Cultural Critique, Marriage/Wedding

 

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Take Back The Workday

 

In one week I was asked three times if I was available for a meeting after 5:30 PM. These meetings were not involving that business we call show, or in the hospitality or health care arena. There is nothing 24-hour or evening hours about this particular business. If anything this organization follows a somewhat academic rhythm with employees starting between 7:30 and 8:30 in the morning. There was no crisis, no deadline, no urgency. These were run-of-the-mill everyday “we meet because we meet” meetings.

If it was one request, it might go without notice; but three times in one week is worthy of note. You would have to be living under a rock to not know that everyone is “stressed” and “has no time.” Articles and on-air segments tell us that people are having it all and doing everything and scheduling physical relations. We are led to believe that business is busy and people are doing far too much. But is it true? Is it really true?

How many times in the past week have you seen any of the following?

  • Police officers texting on duty
  • Cashiers texting on duty
  • Anyone texting on duty
  • Non-work related tweeting, Facebooking, surfing, commenting (now let’s be honest, unless the whole damn world is unemployed, working people have got to be contributing to the daytime noise)

Now think back to how many meaningless emails you’ve received and meetings you’ve attended in the past week. Could it be when the workplace was more formal (and not just in the “no flip-flops” way) time was more formal and structured as well? When communication has to go from your head, out your mouth into a secretary’s ear, through his/her fingers, into a mimeograph machine, prepared for the mailroom, delivered, opened and read; you might think twice about how and when you express yourself.

In addition to the immediacy of an outlet for our brain dump is the fact that boundaries aren’t what they once were. (Need we discuss how many times you’ve been subjected to a full blown account of someone’s medical test or birth control choices while riding a bus or elevator?) People ask you to meet at 5:30 on a Friday because there’s a chance you might say yes. They will email you on Sunday night because there’s a chance you might respond. Certainly there are professions and industries that demand being “on” all the time. But the rest of us needn’t be so available or feel so anxious. Let’s be frank, we answer (or g-d forbid send) that Sunday night email because a) we can b) we want it off of our minds and c) because we want to appear to be working.

The appearance of working is not technically the same as working. Getting coffee, having lunch, touching base, celebrating milestones with mini-cupcakes? Not really working. Meetings at which people show up late, no one is in charge, and everyone is texting? Not really working. A little austerity could go a long way in giving us back some hours. Starting today when an off-hour request occurs ask yourself:

  • Is anything on fire
  • Is anyone bleeding
  • Is a project in danger of becoming completely, utterly, irreparably derailed

If the most dramatic response you can muster (to these questions) is a “well”, say no. There are those who work for unreasonable people and feel they simply have no choice (if they want to eat.) That’s a dreadful and hopefully temporary situation. But for everyone else it’s just a matter of changing the cultural climate. Yes, the most direct way to do that is top down, but that would take a rather evolved leader, no? We can all slowly and incrementally change the way we respond to requests of our time. It demands we stay present and not reactionary. It means keeping our eye on the prize (or our work/project goals.) There’s no doubt if we can stay focused during our work day we’ll actually accomplish more, and after-hours can resume its rightful title; “happy hour.”

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2012 in Cultural Critique, Well-Being

 

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Texting And Driving: TFU

A large mobile phone business is taking a stand against texting while driving. The public’s initial reaction will most probably span from; ‘that’s nice’ to ‘who cares.’ Regulators and legislators will take notice however as the corporation ceases their lobbying efforts (against regulation.) As we speak (or text) there are clusters of thinkers and tinkerers coming up with fail safe ways to thwart human stupidity. Apps are being considered that will sense when a person is driving and shut down typing options. (Let us not strain ourselves considering how that works and/or how it would affect passengers’ use of devices.)

Nobody loves big corporations (except the stockholders.) But the notion that somehow the makers of a device are responsible for people using it in a dangerous manner is absurd. Where would this leave gun manufacturers? Okay, that’s a bad example. Where would that leave the manufacturers of kitchen knives? Or apple peelers? People have been known to use cars, not for transportation, but to cause harm (ex., Baby Jane and Blanche, or many an aggrieved spouse victimizing a prized lawn or flower bed.) Should car manufacturers design a device that can detect vengeance? People using products in ways not intended is not new. While it is questionable whether makers of oven spray are responsible for a teenager’s boredom and unquenchable drive for experimentation, there are now warnings on any and everything aerosol. You’d also be hard pressed to find a plastic bag that does not warn that ‘this is not a toy.’ It’s not clear if anyone has ever unwrapped their dry cleaning, taken a second look and sputtered; “Dear G-d in heaven, it’s NOT!?” I’m guessing most people probably know that plastic bags and children might not be the best combination. But the plastic bag manufacturers have done their part and now the rest is up to humanity.

These warning labels (which in essence are a parental scolding) are only meant to reinforce the true intent of a product. We (correctly) feel differently and strongly about creating or augmenting safe products. Automobile manufacturers have made incredible strides in past decades. In the 1950s (or even 1960s) there were no seat belts or car seats. Kids were tossed in the back and told to be quiet. Granted you were driving a mass of steel (versus the plastic of today) but so was everyone else! Then came seat belts, then came seat belt laws. All to protect you from the hazards of automobile travel.

There is no way to protect people from the hazards of themselves. Before texting, there were people reading while driving, doing their nails/make-up while driving, eating while driving, and probably doing other things we need not mention while driving. Driving while doing any of things, including texting, is driving while impaired and we should treat it as such. People should be ticketed and punished as they would had they been driving while intoxicated. The officer on the scene need only look at the device to prove it had been used while the driver was behind the wheel. Repercussions severe as that of a D.W.I. will make people think twice. Many people have drank less, or not driven for fear of being caught. Has drunk driving stopped? Of course not, but it’s no longer the wild wild west out there.

There will always be new and exciting ways to act like an idiot. Trying to idiot-proof the planet is absurd. Making it really uncomfortable to be an idiot is much more prudent.

 
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Posted by on September 20, 2012 in Cultural Critique

 

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