I spend too much time on the Interwebs.
And in that too much time I spend on the Interwebs, I constantly come across images of guys and girls who are not dating, but who are friends.
I am not going to dissect the images I have included here, mainly because I don’t want to. But the general idea presented in these, and the comments that often accompany them, is that if a guy is friends with a girl without there being any sexy times involved, he is automatically a loser for getting close to her without any physical payoff.
Like there is no value in having female friends. That mixed-sex friendships without any hanky-panky are worthless.
Frankly, that mindset really bothers me.
I have a large number of female friends. In fact, my best friend is a woman. She’s married. We have spoken on the phone a lot since I moved away from home. I make it my mission to see her when I go home. Our friendship now outstrips any feelings I had for her when we were younger. And they were strong feelings. But that was over 10 years ago, and we’ve moved past that.
Then, the only friend from home who has come to visit me since I moved out here, and whom I have visited at the parental units’, is a woman. She, too, is married. But you know what matters more to me? The fact I have someone from home whom I can visit with on occasion. She’s a link to my past, and I value any time we have together.
Now, I’m sure many of you reading this are going to chastise me for wasting my time with women I have no shot with. To that I say, “so what?” What does it matter what I do with my relationships? Why should I care if you think I’m some weak, wussy, sad excuse for a man?
I say it’s perfectly normal for men and women, boys and girls, etc. to be friends without sex being part of the equation.
Friendzone? More like “I’m mature enough to be friends without expecting something in return.”
I lied. I do expect them to be available emotionally if needed. After all, I’m there for them.
What stops you from doing things you really shouldn’t do in the first place?
What is your motivation for not doing bad or illegal things?
Is it a fear of being sent to some form of Hell? Or is it because you were raised “right” and you don’t want to disappoint your parents? Or is it because your job is such that committing acts generally considered “wrong” is tantamount to resigning?
I ask this because there are many times I am seriously tempted to go on a rampage with respect to the absolutely horrendous parking skills I witness on a daily business. I tend to see people parking in such a way that the lines delineating the spots are only for guidance and not hard-and-fast boundaries. And I’m talking all sorts of vehicles here — pickups, Beetles, hatchbacks, station wagons — you name it, its driver just rolls in and comes to a stop, to hell with the lines.
It’s infuriating. There is only so much space available in any given parking lot, and when you have these people who think the world revolves around them (NEWS FLASH: IT DOESN’T!) straddling the lines or encroaching into the next spot, it really decreases the space available for those people who know what they’re doing.
I’d go on a rampage, but I may as well quit my job and leave town if I did that. And I can’t be doing that.
I just finished reading Robinson Crusoe. You know the story, it’s the one about the guy who is stranded on a tropical island and manages to survive for years before eventually being rescued.
Overall, I liked it, even though it took me a good long while to a) get into it, and b) finish it.
Seriously. I started the darn thing months ago, and then got distracted by the interwebs. But I finally managed to finish it.
Now, it wasn’t quite what I had expected. I had in my mind Robinson would get marooned and learn to survive, eventually hooking up with his ‘servant’ Friday. Then it would end with a random ship landing on the island, or floating by and coming to see what is going on on the island, and Robinson’s final line of the book being something like “And I stepped off that god-foresaken rock forever.”
Nope. That’s not what happened.
Instead, some other Europeans land on his island and he gets in league with them to capture a mutinied ship and then he gets to Europe and eventually back to his homeland England. Then years later he returns to the island to check on the people he left there (the mutineers and such and such).
So I felt the ending was drawn out too much. But not enough to ruin the book for me.
But the book was still ruined by Robinson’s needless proselytizing.
See, once he rescues Friday from the ‘savages’ who were going to eat him, Robinson goes about converting Friday to christianity. Why?
Why is there this thing within the christian religions that non-christians have to be ‘saved’ from eternal damnation? Why are Native populations called ‘savages’ when ‘discovered’ by Europeans?
I often thought of the following image while reading Robinson’s preaching:
In my opinion, the ‘savages’ in the interactions between Natives and Europeans are the Europeans. They tend to adopt a holier-than-thou posture, denigrating customs and traditions that are more than adequate to the survival of those people who were on the land first.
Sorry I just went into a toned-down anti-theistic screed. It’s just something that bothers me, this whole hubbub around christianity being necessary for a good and wholesome life, and that there is some afterlife toward which we are all headed.
Enough. Back to my book review.
So while the proselytizing was off putting, I mustn’t hold it against the entire book.
I recommend reading Robinson Crusoe. It is a classic, and I advocate reading the classics. I just warn you that it may take some getting into, as the action isn’t right off the top.
There are many, many things I like about Ontario.
Chief among them, for the purposes of the argument I am about to make, is the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. Or, for the full-name-impaired, the LCBO.
Besides the fact the LCBO has an immensely better selection of alcohol than I have seen in any single store here in Alberta, the thing about the LCBO I like the most is its pricing scheme.
You see, if you’re familiar with the LCBO, you’ll notice that so long as you have rudimentary adding skills, you can figure out how much your cart will cost simply by looking at the tag on the shelf.
In short, the price you see is the price you pay, tax, deposit, etc. included.
There are a few stores, all liquor stores, in Alberta that do the same. But it’s not a regular practice amongst all retailers.
My question is “why not?”
I cannot understand why all retailers can’t do what the LCBO does. Why do stores list a price on the shelf, and then give you a completely different price when you reach the checkout? Why is it that at item listed for 0,99$ costs 1,04$ here in Alberta?
Blah blah blah, I know it’s because the item is taxed. Fine. I get that.
The better question, then, is why can’t retailers include the tax on the price on the shelf?
They already know which items are taxed, and to what degree. Their cash registers are programmed to include the applicable and appropriate taxes for every item. They know that items like fruit are not taxed at all, but cookies are subject to tax. They know milk is not taxed, but is subject to a deposit and a recycling fee.
Why can’t they include those details on the shelf?
The LCBO does it. Europe does it. At least the places I’ve been to in Europe do.
What is the holdup here in Canada?
I was looking at my calendar yesterday and I realized I left my job in Meadow Lake four years ago yesterday.
It doesn’t feel that long ago.
As I’ve written here and in other places, I have really mellowed on that experience. In the weeks and months immediately after I left there, I was really sour. I regretted the entire experience. I thought I was an idiot for jumping at the first job offer I received. I felt I was sorely mistreated, that they wanted more out of me and had no willingness to nurture me.
While some of those feelings do remain, I have realized it was perhaps the best thing I could have done. It was the kick in the pants I needed to understand what the real world is like.
It just took me a while to realize it.
I’ll be back later to write about other, less nostalgic things.
Hello September! How did you get here so quickly? It feels like June was just yesterday.
And with Labour Day coming up tomorrow, things are about to get more alive out here in Westlock as kids return to school.
But, I’m not sure how I feel about that. The idea of returning to school, I mean.
This September is the fifth straight September I am not returning to school. This follows on the heels of 19 consecutive Septembers going to some type of school. In that time, school had become a routine. I knew what I was doing pretty much every day. Sure, there were some variations, especially in my university days. But otherwise, I pretty much was in the same place for the same time for 10 months of the year.
Now, I have to admit having a full-time job is much the same. I am in the office pretty much 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. every day. But the payoff is a lot more tangible, as I’m getting paid to be there.
Anyway. I have been thinking of how I feel about not returning to school. It is an adjustment not doing something that I spent most of my life doing.
On the other hand, freedom (however relative it is) is certainly nice. I can do what I want, when I want.
Plus having the money to do that stuff isn’t that bad.
I’m starting to realize that life isn’t as simple, or as cut and dry, as I once believed.
I’m also starting to clue into the fact that “people” are right when they say that kids who are praised incessantly as they are growing up tend to have a lot of trouble adjusting to the “real world.”
I make this claim because I think I fit that description.
I have been quite successful at most things I have done in my life.
Academically I was quite above average, posting an elementary school average in the 90s, a high school average that was pretty much bang on 90 per cent, and a university average right on the line between a B+ and A-.
At work now, as I hold down a real job with real consequences, I have continued to be successful. When I put stories on my story list, very rarely do I not manage to complete them. I feel if I put something on the list, I have failed if I do not produce it by the end of the week. I am relentless, and it pays off.
But, I think there have always been signs of what happens when success doesn’t come my way.
One example that comes to mind is my sporting career. When I played softball when I was younger, I was pretty good. But that was, looking back, what you could call a big-fish-in-a-small-pond situation. The league wasn’t very good, and I was one of the best of the worst. The evidence of this came when I moved on to another, higher-calibre league when my old league no longer had enough players at my age level. Suddenly, I was one of the worst — I couldn’t hit the actually competent pitching worth a darn. I could still field well, but the speed of play took me out of the infield and left me in the outfield, which was fine because at least I was quick and I still had a good glove. But I eventually quit the league a year before I would have been too old because I wasn’t having fun.
But the greatest example of my apparent inability to handle failure and rejection has to be my dating life.
The TL; DR version is I am too scared to try.
I am afraid to put myself out there and take the first step. I have trouble approaching women I am interested in because I don’t like the feeling of being unsuccessful at anything.
I know that it shouldn’t bother me if I approach a woman and she spurns my advances. I know that just about nobody will end up living the rest of his/her life with his/her first dating partner. I know that everyone deals with rejection.
Still, the whole idea it could happen to me essentially cripples me. It paralyzes me into inaction.
I wish I knew.
I wish I knew what I could do to get over this crippling fear. I keep telling myself there’s ultimately no risk putting myself out there amongst people who don’t know me. That I need to realize that putting myself out there is good for me, because it allows me to escape my comfort zone and take a chance. That sometimes I just need to put my feelings out there and see who is ready and willing to catch them.
Yet, I just end up fantasizing about the dates we would go on, and the lives we’ll live, without ever actually going up to the woman and asking her to join me in those fantasies. All because I can’t seem to understand that if she doesn’t want to share in my fantasies, it’s not the end of the world.
I’m working on it.