Feb 15, 2021 - 2020    2 Comments

Blown expectations, and making memories

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Two blogs in one day?  I appear to be a font of wisdom today, so I’m going to go with it . . .because it doesn’t happen frequently. I should also mention that, although we’re in 2021, this blog is in the 2020 category because in some ways it feels like December 77th, 2020.

Yesterday, my social media timelines were filled with an explosion of hearts and sentiments of love, and on the other end of the spectrum, I received a handful of phone calls and texts from disappointed people whose expectations weren’t met.  I’m really tired of my friends being unhappy.  I guess they could lower their expectations, but why should they have to?

Over the past year, we’ve had a lot of time on our hands, and we should have had moments of introspection.  I was having a conversation with my BFF Lorrie yesterday, and we agreed that there are so many things that we miss about our youth, times passed, and moments that we carelessly lived through, without realizing that one day, we would want them back.

My point is that, if you have someone in your life that you care about, you should always make an effort.  And not just a ‘meh’ effort, where you only stretch as far as is convenient, but one that takes you off your path a bit, and forces you to think and really consider what would make them happy . . . and then act on it.  Never mind that we’re in the middle of a pandemic, and that we’re unable to do what we might if the world was wide open for all possibilities.  (Truth be told, some of you are blaming your lack of action on COVID, when, in reality, you’re rather thoughtless when all options are available.  I’m just sayin’.)

Keep in mind that you’re always creating a memory, which can last forever.  I’ve been “blessed” (cursed) with an eidetic memory, so I have the pleasure of being able to recall traumatic birthday experiences of several years ago that can anger me just as much to this very day.  To the point where, whenever my birthday month rolls around, I feel an immediate sense of dread. The good news is that the flip side is also true.  Whenever something has made me happy, the memory can be uplifting and gratifying.

I promise you that, at some point, your relationship will be at a crossroad, and these memories can either be the points that save it, or the straws that break it.  If your significant other is making a decision about whether or not to stay, you want him/her to look back, and make an unquestionable decision in your favor.

So, the real question is, what type of memory would like to be attached to?  Do you want your significant other to look back on their birthday/Valentine’s Day/etc., and feel hurt and disappointed?  Do you really want to take that chance?  Or would you prefer for him/her to feel as though you went above and beyond, and look back on the day in question with a smile?

And I realize that many of the offenders will have excuses, so let me help you out:

  • We’re in the middle of COVID.  This is all the MORE reason that you should make an effort.  This isn’t a normal year, and we need things to celebrate and uplift us during a time where people are sick, losing loved ones, jobs, etc.  Crime is at an all-time high, and the world is crazy.  We have to find happiness and a sense of normalcy wherever we can, so if there’s a time to celebrate, it’s now.
  • I didn’t have any money.  You don’t always need money.  Cook a meal with whatever you find in the kitchen — you have to eat anyway, right?  Or perhaps a card made on your computer? You can play a game found online, or give coupons good for things that you normally don’t like to do, like cleaning.  Time spent together is sometimes the best gift.  And it’s free.
  • I don’t “believe in” birthdays or Valentine’s Day or Christmas or . . . whatever.  Well, guess what?  It’s not about you.  Does your significant other “believe in” them?  Aren’t you happy that he/she was born?  If so, suck it up, buttercup, and do something that makes THEM happy. #selfishbastard
  • I didn’t have time.  You have nothing but time, and I’ll bet you find the time for something that you really want to do. What you’re really saying is that you didn’t care to allocate the time.
  • I had to work.  I especially hate this one because I’ve heard it far too much. (It’s even worse when the person delivers it with a matter-of-fact “work takes precedence over everything” attitude) Guess what?  Work is always going to be there.  And chances are, your work is not a life or death situation, and you need to learn to balance your time and life.  What you’re communicating is that work is more important and that you will ALWAYS put work first.  Which doesn’t bode well . . .
  • I was going to [fill in the overblown grand gesture of choice], but.  Okay, it’s not about the grand gesture.  It truly is about being thoughtful.  There are a lot of great possibilities on the spectrum between “I was going to take on you a trip to Paris, but . . .” and doing absolutely nothing.  Challenge yourself to find them.
  • I never know what to do.  That’s where the combination of creativity and paying attention to your partner comes in.  You have the gift of another person in your life that you can get to know, and you choose not to?  Off the top of your head, you should know sizes, favorite colors, what he/she wishes for, what he/she loves to eat.  You should also have things that you would LOVE to do for him/her.  You’re making it all too hard.  And sad.
  • I asked you what you wanted to do, but you didn’t have suggestions.   If you’re anything like me, you don’t want to write the blueprint for what your significant other is going to do for you.  It takes all of the fun out of it.  Most people don’t want to (and shouldn’t have to) browbeat their significant others to be thoughtful.  That’s not quite how it works, and it kind of defeats the purpose.
  • I really don’t care.  Well, do that person a favor, and keep it moving.

 

If you’re a member of the selfish faction that’s reading this blog, keep in mind that efforts have to be reciprocated to strengthen the foundation of a relationship.  So, what’s in it for you is the reaction, the happiness, and the goodness that will be returned tenfold.

Mind you, repeated instances of thoughtlessness and a continued extreme lack of effort are indications that you’re with a person who can’t be bothered to make you happy, and can also be the Universe’s way of showing you that you’re in the wrong relationship.

I hope this helps someone!  <3

 

Feb 15, 2021 - Uncategorized    2 Comments

Much ado about refreshments

If you know me well, you’ll know that I’m a remote worker, and I’ve worked from home for years.  No, I don’t work while sitting up in bed. I’ve actually transformed a guest bedroom into a very nice home office (because guests are overrated), and I set myself up for success with specific rules about how to be productive at home with minimal distractions.

People always get it wrong — they often falsely assume that I’m sitting around, clad in shabby loungewear (translation — frayed clothing not fit for public consumption), watching television and stuffing chips down my gullet, only opting to shower occasionally.  They believe that I can chit-chat ad nauseam in the middle of the day, and take three-hour lunches.  And, okay, I’m sure there’s a faction of people who fit this description, but there are also the types of people who operate as I do.  We conduct our workdays professionally — bathed, wearing pants that have actual buttons, and refusing to turn on the television until all meetings have concluded  I get WAY more work done at home than I ever have in a corporate office.  And what the hell is lunch??

I’ll admit it; I hate the office. I get that sometimes it’s nice to have in-person pow-wows with colleagues, and I’ve made wonderful relationships at work that I would never have made had I been remote for my entire career.  However, I’ve evolved to a place where I don’t need the morning pleasantries.  I’d rather just wake up, either workout or take my 5-second commute to the office, and maximize the day.  I don’t need to discuss the weather, ad nauseam, at the coffee machine (realistically, this wouldn’t happen anyway, as I don’t drink coffee), and in fact, I don’t care to brave the weather during a 45-minute commute only to have endless conversations ABOUT THE WEATHER.  In fact, you know how I like MY weather?  Through the window of my comfy, warm home office, as I sit comfortably in my overpriced ergonomically-friendly swivel chair.

But, a month ago, I had to go into the office and have a new corporate photo taken and potentially partake in a super-spreader event with the other three colleagues who venture downtown a few times a week (likely to escape their families).  Within five minutes, I was reminded of how much I love my home office.

I had to handle the technical stuff — plug into the VPN, figure out how to configure the dual monitors, adjust the chair to my liking.  And then there were the refreshments.  Real talk?  There are FAR TOO MANY refreshments in corporate offices and a lot of conversation about how and when to consume them.

I was there for a total of six hours, and Dee, the office coordinator (who is one of the sweetest women on the planet), started in on me from the moment I arrived:

“How was your commute?  It’s cold outside!”  Are we already starting with the weather??

“Where do you want to sit?  Do you want an office with a view?”  I don’t care, I replied.   I have so much work to do that I have no time to gaze at the river while pondering the common sense of tourists who insist on taking open-air boat tours in Chicago between the months of November and April, but thank you.

“Have you visited the kitchen?  We have coffee and a lot of water!  We have still, sparkling . . . “  I’m fine, thanks.  I’ll grab a bottle of water as soon as I get settled.

“There’s fruit!”  Thank you!

“Help yourself to a soda!”  No thanks, but I appreciate it.

“That’s right!  You like green tea!  We have four kinds.  Let me know if you need help.” Do you have wine?  Because at this point, I need a drink . . .

“Oh, and there’s candy!”  [tight smile with a side-eye and a nod]  Readers with Black mothers will completely understand this look. It directly translates into “I’ve had enough of you.” 

“We also have Capri Sun!”  That’s . . . random.  And you’re a little bit too excited about it.  But, okay.

[Less than two hours later]

“I’m placing an order for lunch and sent you the link to the menu.  Just let me know what you want.”  I don’t usually eat lunch, but I’ll consider it.

“Do you want to eat lunch together?”  Not really, but I’ll go with the flow.

“Charles wants us all to eat together.  What time are you free?”  I’m not, but I guess I can carve out a few minutes. And really?  This is just too much goddamned togetherness.

“The food is here!”  Great, and I’ve made exactly ONE phone call today.

“Oh, sorry . . . they didn’t have the entree you wanted, so I substituted with something else”  Okay . . . so you chose something not even close to what I ordered, and in reality, nothing that I would EVER order, which I must choke down in front of two other people who may or may not have COVID.  But thank you!

I really couldn’t wait to get the fuck out of there.  And after all of that?  The pictures were terrible.

Anyone else looking forward to NEVER going into an office again?  Just me?