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Last night, I met up with a friend for what is becoming our quarterly check-in into the other’s life. With busy schedules, meeting up for drinks a few times a year is about all we have time for and sometimes we even have a hard time penciling that in. Tucking into one of our favorite local bars, we ordered pints and settled into a table for two with house-made potato chips and the delightful charm and camaraderie that only an Irish pub can offer.
As it turns out, the past few months have been great for the both of us. We happily chatted about our jobs, our hobbies, and then got down to the exceptionally good stuff: our relationships. Toasting to our good fortune and thrilled that karma seems to have finally found us, we began to gush about our significant others in ways that seemed very adult for two people who quite recently had been wondering why we seemed to be the only two singles left on the planet. We talked about how we journeyed into coupledom and where we saw things going. Then he said something that completely took me by surprise.
“I think she could be The One. I really do.”
Friday is expected to be the start of the holiday shopping season. People will line up in the wee hours of the morning to try to score the best deals on electronics, toys, and everything else consumers can get their hands on. It’s essentially the biggest shopping day of the year for bargain hunters and retail chains.
And it gets ugly.
Last year, there were numerous accounts of Black Friday brutality including the story of a woman who pepper sprayed her fellow bargain-hunters, determined to get her paws on an Xbox. Or there was the story of the man who collapsed at a major discount store and later died in the hospital from a prior heart condition. Witnesses were said to have ignored him on the ground and continued with their shopping.
Having worked in retail on the dreaded Black Friday, I have seen what people become and it isn’t pretty.
Greetings from the Hall of Justice!
Yes Wonderlings, I am currently serving—what is becoming an annual tradition—jury duty. I know, some of you may loathe getting that dreaded summons in the mail, but I look forward to it. Don’t get me wrong… I am not a fan of sitting around all day long waiting for someone to call on me so I can get asked questions and then either be selected as a juror or sent back on my merry way to the pit of potential selectees, but I love getting a free paid day out of work. It’s like a grown-up field trip. I even arrived a half hour earlier than I needed to because I was so thrilled I didn’t have to go into the office. Might need to rethink this whole work situation…
But enough about that, today’s post is about judgment.
I’m sure many of you out there have heard the term “freak flag” and wondered about what the heck it could possibly mean. Is it an insult? Is it a compliment? It is anything special? Is it worthy of a blog post?
The short answer is yes.
Urban Dictionary defines freak flag—its Urban Word of the Day on March 21, 2008—as “a characteristic, mannerism, or appearance of a person, either subtle or overt, which implies unique, eccentric, creative, adventurous or unconventional thinking.”
Ok, so what does that mean?
In simplest terms, a freak flag is something that sets you apart from everyone else. Now, I’m not saying that it involves a person swinging from a chandelier or down on all fours, barking like a dog in the middle of a staff meeting. In the right context, that might work, but for the most part, those types of behaviors might land you a trip to a padded room with a jacket you can’t get out of. Rather, waving one’s freak flag might be a gesture learned from your father or an accent that you only use with your best friend. What sets these quirky acts apart is that they would not be defined as freaky if performed in private. However, once you let loose in front of other people, consider your freak flag flown.
Who didn’t like game time as a kid? There were so many classics: Chutes and Ladders, Candy Land, Monopoly, Sorry!, Trouble. It was so much fun to sit around a table with classmates or family members and battle to see who would be the crowned the winner. I secretly—well, maybe not so secretly—loved to be the one who had the last checker standing. Charlie Sheen was really on to something when he kept spouting off about “Winning!” during his meltdown. Though I’m sure his definition was quite different from having the best word score in Scrabble.
Board games have clear-cut rules and a concrete goal which, being a Type-A person, I love. Everyone operates under the same clear path with the same guidelines. No room for questions. Whether you’re trying to sink your opponent’s battleship or solve the murder of Mr. Boddy (or Dr. Black for those not in North America), there are certain steps you must take to get to get to the end of the game. Each game comes with directions that tell you how to set up the game, how to play, and how to win.
In the Game of LIFE, players spin the wheel and move to spaces that mark life events like graduation and marriage on their way to the Day of Reckoning where one could either end up at Millionaire Acres or the Poor Farm. Land on a 3, move your card forward three spaces. No more, no less. You will collect a spouse and you may or may not collect children—each noted as blue or pink colored pegs riding along in your car game piece.
Have any of you ever realized how freakin’ tiny this world is? And no, not in the Disney ride kind of way where animatronic figures sing in several different languages and embrace their differing ethnicities. I’m talking about meeting a random person who is somehow connected to your life or someone in it.
There have been so many instances in the last six months that have made me realize that the world is much smaller than I could have possibly realized.
I’m sure I’m not the only one out there who has had great expectations for something—be it a first date, a new movie, or a job interview—and has been let down when reality did not match up to our vision. It can be hard to deal with and certainly disappointing when life just doesn’t go the way you expected it to.
So how can we deal with our own disenchantment and how can we prevent it from happening again?
We must expect less.
You know the type. Glazed-over eyes, often seen twirling hair around a finger and obnoxiously chomping on a gigantic piece of pink bubble gum. And thinking that buffalo have wings.
The entertainment industry has given us countless examples of the “dumb girl.” She’s everywhere in movies, sitcoms, and reality shows. She’s usually bubbly, gullible, blonde (sorry all you girls with the golden hair), big-chested, often can’t spell or read, and relies on her looks to get her through life. Movies and reality tv exaggerate these stereotypes and sadly, women in the world start exhibiting these characteristics because their favorite characters act a certain way. (more…)