Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Thank you for your (in)consideration

I’ve found lately I’ve been in a rotten mood and totally disliking people. I am often perplexed by the lack of human decency and consideration people have towards one another. All I seem to encounter are rude, self absorbed, selfish people. I know this is probably a bit exaggerated but it seems that way. From total strangers to friends and acquaintances it seems my tolerance for ignorance is quickly dissipating. I’m sure there are a million examples but I’ll just throw out a few;

1) In a crowded situation such as a bar, club, or street festival, a friendly tap on the shoulder and an “excuse me” is the universal signal for “I’m trying to get by” which, when the person doesn’t respond the 2nd tap and “excuse me” is closer to “let me get by you ignorant fuck”
2) When shopping for groceries a) get the hell off your phone b) don’t leave your shopping cart wherever the hell is convenient for you regardless of inconveniencing others c) have a purpose to your shopping and don’t stand in my way with your thumb up your ass d) if you used a carriage please put it back where it belongs NOT wherever you feel like and take up valuable parking space. This all goes double at any Whole Foods Market in greater Boston as I swear all the organic food makes the customers ruder
3) If you see someone waiting to pull out of a parking lot on a busy street, every now and then, let him or her in. Vice versa, if someone does this for you, a friendly wave is considered proper etiquette. If not, at least have the decency to get off your phone and drive with a purpose, not like an asshole.
4) Leaning on your horn in no situation does any good. It just doesn’t. I friendly tap on the horn to remind some ignorant that they have a green light works fine, unless of course they are on their phone in which case I say ram their cars!
5) Every now and then, ask someone, particularly someone who always asks you, how THEY are doing. Don’t call, write, text, etc only when you have issues. Almost everyone has issues just some don’t talk about them as much as others. Be pro-active and say, so, how are YOU doing now and then. You might be surprised how much you’d find out about someone. Nothing is more likely to wear you down then always being on the “listening” end of problems and never on the “talking” end (one of the main reasons I don’t chat on-line much anymore)
6) Please, please, please…get the hell off your phone! I mean, seriously, how many calls that people refuse to get off of are actually important? Beyond that, do you really think the rest of the world want so hear your one-sided conversation? Or be stuck next to you on the bus or train? In the seat next to you waiting to take off at the airport? Behind you driving while you go 5 miles an hour drifting from lane to lane?
7) Don’t show up to a store 5 minutes before closing. Period (unless it’s a liquor or beer store of course). For once, reverse the roles and imagine it was your job, whatever you do, and just as you’re ready to leave you have to deal with some dickhead who is now taking up “your time”. Well, guess what, when you show up at a store or business 5 minutes before close, that’s what you’re doing. Be considerate because honestly, your time is no more important then theirs

I’ve really been letting this stuff bother me lately. Maybe I’m too sensitive. Maybe I’m too nice. Maybe I should just start being more selfish, rude, self-centered, self-absorbed and simply only care about myself from now on like the rest of the world. Probably be easier but you know, I wouldn’t be me and I kind of like who I am

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Wedding Day Blues

I have always loved weddings (especially if I know it’s not mine…*rim shot please*) and I attended one this past weekend that should have fallen into that “love” category but didn’t. My friend John, who I have known since high school but really, been friends with since post-college, decided to tie the knot! I was excited at the thought of a really fun wedding, as I would know a lot of people going. We have common people although except John himself and Marc, one of my best friends, most are acquaintances rather then friends. But still, after seeing everyone at the bachelor party I was even more excited. In addition they were having a bring your kids etc pig roast the day before your wedding which, if you know me, is more right up my ally. So, sounds like I’d have a great time, right? Well, yes, and, no. The pig roast, the wedding, everything was great but from the start until finish of the actual wedding I felt like a man out of place and totally uncomfortable with himself.

I was never relaxed and was pacing like, as Marc’s girlfriend Lisa put it, like a caged animal. I have some theories on my I felt like the party crasher who no one was quite sure was there but, honestly, I can only think of feeling like this once before and it was a wedding many years ago and, in some cases, the situation was similar.

1) Most of my best friends also at the wedding were IN the wedding. This meant I was part of the group at the reception early and was amongst couples and significant others of people in the wedding party. Again, this shouldn’t have bothered me as all were friends but was kind of a reminder of the only single person within our group not married or anything resembling that

2) It was an older crowd. By that I mean MY age or close. I was really shocked by how old all my friends had gotten in attitude if not physically. There were exceptions for sure but I was stunned that by 7:00 for a wedding reception that ended at 9:00 a 3rd of the crowd, and more importantly, more then a 3rd of the grooms wedding party was long gone before the bride and grooms last dance. There were reasons ranging from babysitters to physical ailments (and the Sox and Pat’s playing at the same time). I was not only there until the end but got home, changed and caught the 2nd half of the Pat’s game and was out until 2:00 in the morning!!

3) I felt like I was on the cusp. I am just on the fringe of regular friends with most of the people I knew (except Marc) whereas they’ve all been a tight group forever. Oh, trust me, I get along awesomely with all of them but again, just on the fringe.

4) I was traveling solo. I know I know, I always do but it is different when you’re going into this kind of environment. Something about showing up alone just kinda sucks. I could have gotten a ride but both people offering were people leaving early and I wasn’t comfortable leaving that early

5) I wasn’t drinking. Well, not really. I don’t get drunk and drive and since I was driving (see above) and the ride home was nearly 40 minutes, I was a good boy. Now, this doesn’t mean I need to drink to have fun but it certainly would have calmed my jangled nerves.

Honestly, the wedding was great. John was in his glory. Dawn looked Beautiful. The food was as good as I’ve had at a wedding. I met some new people and the weather was

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Private eyes, they're watching you...

I’ve had had people ask why my blogs are typically more of an Andy Rooney minute or Dennis Miller rant then an actual web log of my life. Well, the answer is twofold. First, I don’t find my day-to-day life all that interesting. I have certainly done many blogs about my life (turning 40, hot dog trip, etc) but over time have gone to my more familiar, less person blogs. I think the “I got up and took a shit today” and “work sucked today” blogs are boring and self-absorbed…well, I guess most blogs are but that’s beside the point. I guess I’d just as soon try and bring some of my (I hope) witty little observations on how I see things. That will continue to be my focus. If you really want to know more about my day-to-day life, buy me a beer, call me or simply ask, I’m not shy.

Now, the other reason is, as much as I will tell you as much as you’d like to know about me I’m actually kind of a private person. Stop laughing I’m serious. I feel like for parts of the last 10 years I’ve been living my life on-line. Giving out my phone number and address to anyone who’d ask, posting pictures of me and my family, giving out personal details I’d never have given away years ago. I didn’t care and I was comfortable with it. Well, it’s gotten scarier out there with stalkers, phishers, and identity theft. I had an incident recently, which many of you close to me know about where I received subtlety threatening phone calls. They knew little about me other then the floor I lived on and my phone number. It freaked me out. I took care of things on this end but started thinking about how much of myself I’ve left out there. Reading through my Myspace profile etc I realized that, given a little effort, a whole lot can be found out about me. So I’m making changes. I took my job info off my profile on Myspace and may do the same with schools. I’m thinking of making blog and pics private. It’s not fair to my family or me to leave stuff out there. I was also freaked to see how much private information my niece, whose profile is supposed to be private, left on hers and it certainly is NOT private but that will change. I’m not now nor have I ever been paranoid but there does come a time you need to smarten up.

My advice to you my friends? Look at all the places pieces of you are online. Google your name, email address, commonly used user ID’s. You might be shocked. If you think there’s too much info in the wrong places, edit it. Nothing more then your city or town should be associated with you. I’d take any specifics of my place of employment off anything (accept job search sites). This may also save you embarrassment if someone at work looks you up and you had something bad to say about him or her. If you want to blog about specific people or personal matters, make it friends only. I can tell you at least 2 times friends of mines blogs have caused them duress. If you plan to look for a new job and leave them an email address, make it a different one then is associated with your Myspace, Face Book, etc as many employers are (somewhat illegally) checking these things out. Big one…IF, in your younger days, or say, recently, you posted pictures that may be, how shall I put this…somewhat racy of yourself (yes, you can assume none of these exist of me…yuck) on like, Hot or Not, etc (not even sure if these still exist) I’d get rid of them and close my account. A little web admiration versus having this turn up at the worst time seems hardly worth the risk. From the time I started writing this blog take a look what happened to that girl from High School Musical. Not that any of us will ever be famous but look what it cost her. Bet in the long run it wasn’t worth it. And passwords? Hackers, even low level, don’t need no stinking passwords. Assume someone can get your most private stuff not on a high security encrypted (Amazon, bank sites, etc) site so be cautious.

I know this sounds crazy paranoid coming from me as I don’t typically sweat shit like this but I do fear we are all living a little more openly and a little less cautiously and leaving ourselves exposed to what could be bad. Really bad.