Saturday, April 22, 2006

It's starting already?

I know I just posted, but after I got off the computer, I walked back in the living room and saw Dak with one of my husband's new Sports Illustrated magazines. I took it from him and got an IKEA catalog for him to look at. He saw me take the catalog out of the magazine rack, so after looking at the catalog for a few minutes, he walked over to the magazine rack and started looking for through the rest of the magazines. What did he finally pull out? The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. I thought I had at least 10 years before all of this started!

Two different perspectives

Em and I had a conversation the other day that resulted from a bunch of other topics that ran into several tangents (not an unusual occurence for either of us). It started with us talking about her boyfriend, and how he always seemed so excited when he made plans with other people. Here's how the conversation progressed:

Em: But see, he's not really that way. Sometimes he seems excited because the other person is excited. But he could really care less.
Me: Really? I hate people like that. I'd rather know where I stand with people. I think about that sometimes with my brother-in-law. He's one of those really nice people who gets along with everyone. I've even seen him being nice to people who I know he doesn't like.
Em: But that's just called being polite.
Me: Maybe, but it always makes me wonder. Like when my dad is in town, and he's talking to my brother-in-law. Now I love my dad, but he can tend to talk a lot about nothing (yes, yes, I know, I do too ... I understand that I'm calling the kettle black ... oh, be quiet and let me tell the story). I always wonder when I see my brother-in-law talking to my dad, whether he's thinking, "Will this man ever be quiet?" He doesn't look that way. He always seems interested in what my dad has to say, but he's a nice guy, so I wonder.
Em: He probably really likes your dad. I wouldn't worry about it.
Me: Yeah, but you never know with people like that, right? I always wonder when people are nice to me, whether they really like me or not. Or do they talk about me after I leave, and say how annoying I am. (The bad part about this statement is that I'm so guilty of it myself. There are some people who I can't stand, but I find myself being nice to them to their face. I guess that's why I feel so insecure).
Em: I don't worry about that. I feel like, if they don't like me, at least they respected me enough to be nice to my face.
Me: Wow, I never thought about it that way.

Em teaches me a lot about looking at things in a better light. I think I need to be less insecure, and more confident. And maybe just a little less hypocritical by being a little more honest with other people. But how do I do that? Do I just stop talking about them behind their back, or do I just be really mean to their face? Or is it just human nature to do that? Is it just part of being civilized that we are cordial with each other? But how do I tell the difference between someone who's just cordial to me, and someone who wants to be my friend?

It's weird, but I'm always surprised when I learn that someone new that I meet actually likes me as a person. I don't think I'm that special. Sometimes I make people laugh, sometimes I can tell a good story or two, sometimes I can help people out of a jam. But nothing out of the ordinary. I feel like I'm the clingy one, the girl on the outside trying to fit into the popular group. I'm always afraid to ask someone new to make plans, because of the fear that they'll say "What? I was just being nice to you because we work together," or something along those lines. Maybe I should just take Em's perspective and just remember that at least they respected me enough to be nice in the first place.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Eat your heart out, Roswell

Today, I have proof that aliens are indeed living among us. I could say that I was abducted by aliens, to have some sort of excuse for not posting in, how long has it been? About three weeks? No, I've just been busy in the I-have-two-kids-and-work-full-time-at-a-new-job-that-doesn't-give-time-to-blog-at-work-anymore mode. I know, I know, millions of people do it, but let's just say, it doesn't leave much time to be creative at the end of the day.

But I digress (as usual). Today I saw a being who, simply put, must have been an alien. There's no other explanation for the spectacle of a man I saw riding this contraption that was a second-cousin-once-removed to a bicycle.

At first glance, I thought the guy was selling pennant flags, similar to those sold at sporting events. I know that the hockey finals are going on right now (well, I think I know ... I don't follow hockey so I have no idea, but I think I've heard discussions about them on the radio and at work). He was on the corner, surrounded by brightly colored flags waving in the wind. On second glance, I thought, no, those aren't pennant flags, those are the flags that some people hang outside their houses ... with flowers or Winnie-the-Pooh, or ladybugs or some other cheesey artwork (my apologies to those of you who have these flags). But these flags were too small.

Since the light at the corner had turned red, I took advantage of the opportunity to examine this being more closely. The flags were actually about the size and shape of large pennants, but they were of light fabric that made them swing and sway in the slight breeze this evening. But he wasn't selling them. They were attached all up and down a huge flexible pole that was attached to the front and back of his bike in a large arch that resembled a canopy over his head.

These flags would have made good shade, but this guy didn't need it. He was wearing a white bike helmet OVER a canvas fisherman's hat. Seriously, how did he helmet fit over another hat? Aren't those things tight already? He had on black Woody-Allen type glasses, a baggy T-shirt, and what looked like faded gray pajama pants with planets on them (see, I told you he was an alien ... from the planet Saturn I'm guessing from the majority of the planets on his pants).

His bike (spacecraft) had those tall "chopper-style" handlebars that were so common on the banana-seat bikes of yore. I could see him peddling furiously backwards and wondered how he was keeping his balance. As the light turned green, and the car closest to him pulled away, I saw that it was actually a three-wheeler bicycle (tricycle), with a large metal basket behind the seat to complement the large white basket affixed to the front of the handlebars. I think his backward peddling was reminiscent of the flux capacitor of the 80s. (My husband just walked in and asked, what's a flux capacitor ... am I the only one who knows this? Please, for the love of God, leave me a comment to let me know I'm not the only one!)

The good thing is he seemed pretty harmless. If aliens are living among us, as I believe they do, I think we're all safe.