Archive for the ‘culture’ Category

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in response to a comment

February 9, 2011

i originally wrote this as an answer to a comment on “the road of lost innocence.” however, because its subject departs from the point of that very serious post, i thought i’d reproduce a more eloquent version of my answer here rather than taking more focus away from the Somaly Mam Foundation.

the comment was,

i’m confident that people aren’t happy with someone unless they’d be happy without them, anyhow. mp

this comment related more to my recent singledom post where i moan and groan about being lonely and boyfriend-less. anyway, i’ve heard variations of this maxim and even used it myself a few times. but i think, on deeper reflection, that it’s too simplistic a rule.

  1. first, humans are social creatures. i don’t think we’re meant to spend large amounts of time by ourselves. through the ages, there has been a progression from how people used to live in close-knit households and communities, to the sort of lives a lot of us now lead—flying solo in our own apartments and marrying late in life, if at all. in some places like india, you still see extended families living together and on top of each other, no one having their own room or privacy. now we come home every day to empty apartments. freedom, yes, but the concession we make for our privacy is greater distance, geographically and emotionally, from the people around us. that’s why, to me, it makes sense that when you have that BEST best friend to be particularly close to, it’s possible to finally achieve the content that was still somewhat out of reach when single. i don’t think this is true for everyone. it’s the closeness, the connectedness to people, that we need, and for some people that doesn’t have to be through a relationship.
  2. i think happiness is a kind of complex state-of-being that doesn’t necessarily preclude feeling lonely sometimes. they aren’t mutually exclusive. i see happiness as the measure of your overall emotional state—a sort of mathematical average of your week or month that allows for a few blips.
  3. also, i see happiness as somewhat relative. i’m the happiest i’ve ever been in my life. monday, i took my dog for a long walk and came to realize that i was just randomly grinning. yesterday, i spent a very wonderful day with my grandparents celebrating their 56th anniversary (olive garden + 500 card rummy and family gossip = bliss). and these aren’t isolated incidents of happiness. so i would say that despite my bouts of loneliness, i am happy. if i had the right person in my life, i could be even happier. it’s really just about a level of contentedness. obviously, if you’re suicidal, no significant other in the world is going to make you happy. but if you’re a glass-85%-full happy, i think that’s enough.

what do you think? i might be talking out of my ass or making excuses.

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respect the word!

January 26, 2011

even though i have a blog, i don’t often read other blogs. i’ve only found a few i enjoy reading, even after many visits to “freshly pressed.” food, technology, politics, and sports seem to monopolize the majority of blogs, and i don’t often want to read about those (especially sports).

i’ve also noticed that many bloggers try too hard. maybe it’s really just a matter of taste, but this blog i read recently felt as if it was written in victorian times. actually, it was probably more along the lines of someone who puts every word into a thesaurus and picks a more “complicated” word at random. that really annoys me. synonyms are not created equal! words have connotations and specific uses. for example, a synonym for “exclamation” also includes “ejaculation,” but the latter term makes every normal person involuntarily picture an erupting penis. so, probably not a great choice when you’re writing about something your grandmother said.

that was an easy example. at random, a more challenging instance would be the implications of someone who “loses” during a game and one who “succumbs.” again, “succumb” is a synonym for “lose,” but succumb implies not putting up much of a fight. or “famous” versus “notorious” where the second term hints at being known for something negative. or even just understanding that some words like “vex” are out of style right now. people are “vexed” in shakespearean times. i’m sure there are situations it would still be appropriate, but you have to be careful or your writing will sound stilted or overwrought.

anyway, i guess i’ve always enjoyed writing that is simple but vivid. wordiness puts me in a bad mood. shoving an adjective before every noun does not a good writer make. certainly, it’s not easy to write and i’m not saying i know exactly how it’s done. i have, however, read a lot of beautiful, moving writing out there. stuff that makes you pause and read it again. there is an art to using the tools of word choice and sentence structure to create something that resonates. respect the word!

ok, i’m done with my little english lecture 😉 feel free to use the comments section to share excerpts of writing you find moving.

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the Match.com files part 1

January 25, 2011

a few months ago, i decided to try match.com. i spent $34.99, wasted a great deal of time, waded through a ridiculous amount of crappy emails, and went on five dates before i decided that i was completely fine being alone and sex-less if the alternative was online dating.

7 reasons why match.com (and possibly other datings sites?) sucks the big one:

1. it’s expensive. for just one month, it’s $34.99. for three, it’s $19.99 which sounds better, except then you come out having paid $60 for the most awkward interactions of your life.

2. if you don’t pay for a subscription, your profile is displayed in searches, but you can’t answer or in any way communicate with people who message you. so here i am, a paid subscriber, messaging cute guys who never answer me. i have no way of knowing whether or not they find me completely unattractive or just aren’t a paid subscriber. this means my ego gets to go on a wild roller coaster ride.

3. at least if you’re a girl, you get dozens of emails and winks EVERY DAY. sounds great right? think again. if you’re lucky, one out of 30 emails and winks will be someone who looks like a possibility. here is one of my favorites, reproduced exactly as written, fucked up commas and all, except that i made the font blue:

an Admirer
WOW!!

“WHAT A PROFILE”

YOU DO SOUND SO VERY GENUINE .

I am the breed you can only pray for in a loyal companion -Wit ,Gentlemanly,passionate,loving and I dance salsa aswell…

First, I must say forgive my pic here (not the best that portrays my handsome self ;-} ) -I need to upload more …so You can see the Man…LoL

THE WEIRD THING IS YOUR PROFILE IS THE ONE THAT LEADS ME TO FEEL THAT IF WE TALK 15 MINUTES WE ARE GOING TO HIT IT OFF..

Only fair to first tell you the whole me

Here goes :

ME-

Medical Professional and a business owner.

Great family !!

Tried THIS for 30 day trial about 16 months ago then stopped cause thought it was fruitless.then 3 months after a friend at the hospital coached me on to try a longer period so I gave it 3 months -and talked to 2 people and met 1 {no interest or chemistry felt} then it expired and did not renew for another few month and just decided to travel and enjoy life for abit (I went to san diego ,nyc ,boston ,Rhode Island,marthas vineyard etc..just had a great time)

Recently I met a few members and had coffee and found no real common ground or attraction in person.

Thats it “… not easy to find when beauty ” lacks within ” on most ..

Chemistry,honesty,intelligence and humor are important and so difficult to find in a woman .

I enjoy intelligence and substance inside the woman I seek .

What else can I say but it’s hard nowadays to find the Quality factor in a human being.

What I would give to find a real beauty is everything ….

Real Treasures are in relationships that start with a valuable partner.

warm regards,

———

i have no idea why he uses quotation marks as he does, why he can’t space a comma correctly, or why he feels the need to tell me about previous match.com failures. obviously, i didn’t answer this email, but this is a very determined/desperate/socially-inept man—he emailed me another four times before i finally got annoyed and told him there was no way i was interested. besides this ludicrous email, he was 47 and divorced. my profile specifically stated that my age parameters cut off at 32 and that i would not date a divorcee.

4. which brings me to another stupid match.com trait: you can’t limit who messages you by age, location, or other characteristic. i would say that 50% of the emails i received every day were from gross old geezers who had no business contacting a 25-year-old. shame on them.

5. nor can you avoid the whole business by hiding your profile. if you hide your profile, sure you can email people, but they can’t see your information so it defeats the entire purpose of the dating site. as someone in the legal field, i didn’t want my photo and “about me” sections plastered all over this site for people i might know to see. but i also didn’t want to waste the $34.99 i already paid, so there i was, naked to the world. and yes, three people i know contacted me and said, “hey i saw you on match!”. fan-fucking-tastic.

6. i think this particular reason is going to make me sound like an elitist, but hey, i probably am. i found that the vast majority of guys on here were uneducated. i love intellectual guys. let me point out here that “intellectual” is different than “intelligent”. i like guys who enjoy a good book, can write and speak eloquently, and don’t think that nietzsche is a russian dessert. my life revolves around more academic pursuits and i don’t think it’s somehow mean and shortsighted to say that i don’t want to date a mechanic, even a very intelligent one. i am aware that there are plenty of very intelligent guys who for whatever reason did not go to college. there are also plenty of idiots who did go. but of the intelligent guys out there, the ones i’d want to date are the worldly, sophisticated types who overwhelmingly have gone to college and probably grad school. these are not the guys on match.com.

7. even when you finally find a few decent possibilities in the morass of HELL-no, it can go very wrong. you email back and forth a few times, text a bit, and decide to meet. i lasted five dates before i made the command decision to delete my match.com profile. and no, they weren’t all awful. two were ok, but the overall awkward and stilted nature of the dates and fact that no one appears to be the same person described in their profiles just makes me tired. dating should be fun, not energy-draining. stay tuned for a date-by-date breakdown of the five guys who appeared to be the cream of the match crop.