Tag Archives: psychology

The Story Is Everything

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One of my friends asked about The Wedding on Twitter. She was developing a slight interest but was still perplexed at the intense fascination it held for some people, mostly women a little older than herself. I fall into that group. Now, I’ve not been obsessed with The Wedding itself; in fact, I found the relentless coverage as irritating as anything else the “news” media decides I must have shoved in my face 24/7, whether it’s the KarJenner baby mama drama BS or that horrible man’s lawyers’ lawyers’ lawyers’ lawyers.

However. I loved the story of Diana (and cried at the tragedy). Her story kept me vaguely interested in her children all these years. William and Kate’s story was sweet, but the Meghan Markle story is fascinating. Everything I learn about Meghan is fabulous. She’s a proud and accomplished feminist! She went to Northwestern! She has a rescue beagle! I think she is utterly gorgeous and her mother is gorgeous too. I adored seeing the dresses and silly hats on the royals and celebs at the wedding and after-party. (I didn’t watch the actual ceremony ~ I’m not big on vids.) And the children were adorable! Meghan’s little doggie rode with the Queen, omgawd!

And I clicked on bunches of pics that “proved” Meghan and Harry were in super duper lurve because of all their PDA, which is generally Not Done by royals but they don’t care. They’re so cute and wonderful, proving that soul mates exist in this scary terrible world. It’s the perfect time to be reminded of that. Yes, I have examples of soul mates in my own life, but this is different because it’s a story for the world to witness as one.

This is why people love a fantasy. This is why romance novels outsell every other genre. We want to believe in the love story. We want to believe in magic and romance. We want the fairy tale, the prince and the princess, the horses, the gowns, the flowers, the kiss that lasts a lifetime, all of it.

We want the story.

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The Persistence of Me

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I confess I don’t know much about Tom Wolfe (RIP), but have only begun learning about his brilliance this past week from his obits and write-ups in the news. Of course I’ve used the phrase “The Me Decade” to describe the 1970s, never even knowing that he coined it. How embarrassing! I’m adding The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and Bonfire of the Vanities to my reading list.

I think a strong argument can be made that the Me Decade hasn’t ended and shows no signs of abating anytime soon. All the selfies and oversharing, plus the endless quiz-taking, are encouraged by industries whose purpose is to make us feel insecure about ourselves, and are part of an infinite loop of superficial self-examination, wasting our time and energy as we search for enlightenment in our belly button lint, rather than expanding our horizons outward for fulfillment. I’m no stranger to these behaviors myself.

But something interesting has happened, a small thing, but interesting nevertheless: since I quit Facebook and Instagram two months ago, I haven’t taken any photos of food. My life is no worse for this; I don’t miss these pics at all. In fact, that was simply another superficial way to “connect” with people online when we really had nothing in common. In my opinion, this obsession with selfies, including food pics (unless you’re a restaurant critic or recipe blogger), is part of the narcissistic sickness of society. Notice me! Like me! Follow me! We see our favorite celebrity posting 857 photos of their face and we think we should too. It’s headshot day! Gah.

I suggest that the me-ness of the Me Decade never disappeared but instead spilled into online life, splashing over all we did, turning the entire social media experience from information-based, when it began, to communication-based, for a time, and finally now into a monstrous narcissistic ouroboros that not only controls how we behave online but offline too. We are even more self-centered now than we were in the 1970s despite allegedly “connecting” with all sorts of people different from us all over the world. We don’t actually do this in any kind of meaningful way. I doubt most of us even begin to relate to people in our own neighborhoods and what issues they might have in this primary election, if they are different from our own. All I see is people ready to bully, disparage, and dismiss anyone who thinks differently from them, more now than ever.

If you don’t conform to my reflection of myself, I push you out of the picture. Turn the camera back to selfie mode. Ah, much better. Smile. Click.

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I know some of you probably thought I would jabber on about the narcissists I’ve dated and link to my new poetry book All She Wrote, which explores quite a bit on that theme, when you saw the prompt “narcissism”… well, surprise! I actually do have otter things to say sometimes besides look at my stupid mistakes. 😀

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The Daily Prompt: Narcissism

Abrupt Victory

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Somehow I stumbled onto a giant conspiracy ridiculousness this morning that’s been raging for the past 6 months or so around social media, yet I’ve been (until today) totes oblivious to it. I consider that a victory, my friends. I don’t know how I managed to avoid this idiocy on Facebook, which I exited only this past March, and Twitter ~ even though I have loads of political stuff blocked on the twit, gobs squish through anyway, and that is indeed what happened in this case.

I’m going to be very careful describing the thing here because I don’t want to attract any wackadoos to my blog (not counting you nuts who already are fans, natch, and I lurve you all very much). Apparently there is a fantasy hero named Q in our gobblement who is part of a storm that may be coming to usher in WW3 or stop WW3 (one of the two)… well, sort of a co-hero sidekick to the main dude, right-hand of God guy, you know who, our savior (insert eyeroll emoji), yada. This Q is hashtagged with an anon after it, which I’m not spelling out here because of the loons, and all other conspiracies and general bad things of the past 20 years that are ever mentioned by these crazies are followed with this tag on general principle (to alert others of their ilk that they’re all woke to the thing).

Yes, I spent over a half hour reading these nutjobs’ tweets because I am fascinated by mental illness. What can I say? If I could do my life over I would be a shrink. They have several themes: hating Hillary, carrying on about Obama being a Muslim, praising you know who, trying to decide if Jews are good or bad (they’re very confused about this point except they do despise Soros of course), ragging on the British royals, the Pope, Pelosi, Bill Gates (who is always trying to kill us all, the rascal)… and they really loathe white slavery and pedophilia rings. Well, good on them cuz those last two things really suck. Don’t they? I mean gah!

Every once in a while the standards are mentioned also: fluoride, chem trails, The Wall, etc. But those are pretty much in the background right now. Hillary is always fresh. You just can’t have too much Hillary with these lunatics. She’s on their minds 24/8. They eat, sleep, and dream Hillary. It’s hill-arious.

But like I said, I managed somehow to avoid these tinfoil nutballs for a long time and I’m proud of that. Yay me! I will return to my “normal news” now where I am allowed to see only tidbits doled out by the Deep State and be happy in my oblivion. ThanQ very mush.

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The Daily Prompt: Abrupt

Don’t Believe Everything You Read

Especially here. Remember back in the day when I was jabbering on about how much I lurve That Girl? Like last week? Well, I’ve changed my mind. Sunday I wrote a bunch in the morning and then took a little break, which turned into a 12-hour TG binge. At first, I still enjoyed the eps, especially the ones with guest stars, such as “Compudate,” which featured Rich Little doing impressions. I adore him and lost respect for Ann when she didn’t dump Don for Rich. Wtf? Ridiculous. Don’s a total bore. The more I watched the more convinced of this I became. What did she even see in him? He is totally dull. The British photog dude is also way more fun than Don, but nope. I guess it must be this opposites thing ~ sparkling butterfly needs a lump of mashed potatoes for a partner so she can make sure she’s always the center of attention. If she had gone with Rich, he might have grabbed some of the spotlight for himself. That’s fine for her, but what about us, the audience? After almost two full seasons, I’m really tired of Mr. Boring.

But that’s not even the main thing. There’s something about TG that’s really started to bug me. Several somethings.

1. The show takes place in NYC and everyone is white. There’s nothing but white people everywhere. White people celebrating generic white Christian holidays. No matter where Ann goes in the city, she never encounters anyone or anything but this. Amazing!

2. The city is freakishly clean.

3. Ann wants a career and left her small town to be independent, which seemed refreshing at first, but it’s not this way at all. She’s still emotionally yoked to her parents 24/7, especially to her father, and she calls him Daddy constantly, which is as irritating as her “Oh Donalds.” Daddy pops into her apartment whenever because he has “business in the city,” though he’s allegedly running a restaurant two hours away in the small town, and he has zero respect for her privacy. Ann is obsessed with his opinion regarding everything she does, whether it’s cooking a turkey or wearing dangling earrings, and it’s disgusting.

4. I’ve seen several eps now where Ann gets into dicey situations involving some creepy older man coming onto her and she wriggles out of it with her silly, spunky personality. If at any point she is actually physically touched, the scene is interrupted by Mr. Boring lumping in. Even when Don punches some otter guy in the face, he manages to be dull about it and hurt his widdle paw. The point is, nothing bad ever really happens to Ann, since she’s a “good girl.” This is the message we always have received.

5. Even worse, both Donald and Ann say “terrific” every freaking minute and it drives me up the wall. Of all the things, this started to turn me off the most Sunday night until I began dreading any positive announcement, since it would always be followed up with the inevitable. Why didn’t anyone buy these writers a thesaurus?!

Yes, I praised the writers earlier, so I’m blaming them now. Live by, die by. Goodbye, That Girl.

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Of course I realize this was back then ~ I don’t care. I’m criticizing it now anyway, just like I did IDOJ.

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Back in the Bottle

A few years ago I blogged here and here (a two-parter!) about rewatching I Dream of Jeannie ~ I had purchased the entire series. But I didn’t finish watching every episode because it was too heartbreaking. My memory of the show from when I was a teen had it categorized as witty and adorable and this was destroyed by my mature perspective. As I noted three years ago, the writing was cliched (even for the time), the jokes unfunny, the bloopers ubiquitous, and the constant obsession with marriage ridiculous and boring.

But it turns out you can put the genie back in the bottle. Hee! Time passed. Life went on. Movies were watched. Games were played. Poetry was written. Cupcakes were nommed. And slowly but surely, IDOJ reclaimed its favored status among my childhood memories of cute and fun things. I even used a GIF of Jeannie pouring coffee on Twitter yesterday as if nothing had ever happened to tarnish my memory of her adorableness.

I made a similar mistake recently by clicking Match Game on Prime. Oooh, I used to love watching that after school! Biiig mistake. My god, those guest “stars” were a bunch of drunken idiots, which was freakin’ hilarious to 14 year old me, but now? Not so much.

Gotta resist Memory Lane strolls in so many of their tempting forms. An evening sorting through old photos the otter week caused me to spiral into a mild depression for days. Music doesn’t seem to have the same effect, or if it does, it’s small in comparison… an hour or two, certainly not a day or more.

Truth be told, I don’t care about Match Game, but I’m really glad to have IDOJ at the top of my happy childhood memory list.

In a future bloggery, we’ll discuss an old TV show that has stayed surprisingly good over time with storylines relevant today! Care to speculate which show I have in mind?

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The Daily Prompt: Genie

A Glimmer Is Not Enough

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I’ve been doing more deleting, my peeps. Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram were the big ones, but that was just the beginning of my webhousecleaning.

Actually, that’s not true. I began this back when I dumped all the dating sites for good in 2017. And I’ll tell you something: I do not miss them one bit, nor do I miss dating. It’s the most stressful thing in the world, not fun at all, and I’m sleeping so much better since I quit. Turns out, I do not have insomnia! I had dating-related anxiety. I sleep through the night just fine almost every night now just like back in the old days before I began any of it. Anyway, last month was FB & Co.’s turn to get the heave-ho. But what about the other sites?

I had a Meetup account since 2011 and over the years joined various groups ~ Scrabble, writing, walking, board games, etc.  But my favorite writing group never meets at a time that’s convenient for me now. New groups that sound interesting are always too far away or some other annoying thing. The rest of the groups are too sportsy or too young or too costly or too dating-related or whatever. Every week or so I look in with the glimmer of hope there will be something fun and nopety nope nope. Waste of time. Isn’t my new motto to quit wasting time on things that aren’t productive, healthy, or fun? Yes, I believe it is. A glimmer is not enough to justify time wastery. Meetup account DELETED.

Deleted some Yahoo groups for the same reason and quit getting email notifs from a few otter ones. Why spend time reading things that are of no value? That’s time wastery. For some of that stuff, there isn’t even a glimmer of a chance anything interesting is going to come of it. It’s barely one step above actual SPAM. People I don’t know jabbering about things I don’t care about. WTF am I reading this? Habit, a bad one.

And then I figured that it’s just Not Good to have random idle accounts sitting around “out there” due to nasty hackers, evil Russians, alien pods, and whatnot. So I went on a spree, whacking accounts like DISQUS, Quora, Ello, and various otter sillinesses that I don’t even use or waste time on but don’t need to have my name associated with either. Paranoia, it’s what’s for dinner. You guys forgot about Ello, dincha? 🙂

I’m debating Goodreads. On the one hand, it hardly takes up any time, so it doesn’t count as a waste of same. On the otter hand, I find it vaguely irritating. First it doesn’t let me delete my own books. I have unpublished a few (couple short stories I decided I don’t want as stand-alones, wish to edit them, and then have them as part of my book of longer, connected short stories I hope to have out by the end of this year). So, if you click on the links, they don’t exist. Of course this drives me bonkers. Why can’t I delete them from my bio there? That’s one thing. Second, GR makes me feel compelled to finish a book even when it’s bad so I can have that book added to my book count. Okay, that’s not Goodreads’ fault; that’s my OCD again. Regardless, that’s how it is and being on the site creates this issue. But perhaps this isn’t a bad thing? At least once recently I ended up enjoying a book I wouldn’t have finished otterwise. So, hmm.

Guess I’ll leave GR for meow, but they’re on the watchlist. I’m sure they’re terrified.

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The Daily Prompt: Glimmer

Rush: A Dating Story

My college boyfriend loved Rush. I mean, he loved them. I’d never even heard of Rush until I went to college, since I lived such a sheltered life in Chicago. But then again I was still listening to Diana Ross, Neil Diamond, and Gordon Lightfoot in 1979. I tried to like Rush back then, because that was the kind of girlfriend I was ~ I’m not like that now, which might be why I don’t have a boyfriend these days. I really hated Rush though. I hated the music and I hated the voices. I never could even understand wtf they were screeching until I read the lyrics. Pretty sure CB did not care if I liked them or not. He existed in a selfish bubble, as you would expect of a guy in his late teens. Not that he was a bad person or anything. We didn’t have a whole lot in common but we did have some good times with movies and games and such, and we had similar values.

I dropped out of the University of Illinois (finished my degree later at CSUN), but kept dating CB, long-distance and during his vacations from school, for a couple years. Why, you ask. Who knows, I reply. Looking back, it seems strange. Writing snail-mail letters and yapping on the phone for hours about nothing. Visiting during his free time when both of us could have been meeting new people. We didn’t even have much fun together after the shared college experience was over. It wasn’t terrible or anything, but it wasn’t great either. Finally, I broke up with him using the “drifted apart” reason. He wrote a nice letter back saying goodbye.

I google him periodically ~ he seems to have stayed single as far as I can tell. Most if not all of my exes are single now, as I am. I find that interesting. The men I attempted to form serious long-term relationships with also failed to create/maintain serious long-term relationships with anyone else. Of course that doesn’t preclude the possibility that any one of us could meet someone tomorrow and be with them for the rest of our lives. You never know.

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The Daily Prompt: Rush

Promptku

Oh, radiant sun!
I explore this new morning
Weekend sans Facebook.

Suspicious birdsong—
Noisy swallows retweeting
Fake news on a wire?

Faceless in this crowd,
Bewildered I meander…
No one needs a like.

Frantic for caffeine,
I dash into greasy spoon,
But I can’t “check in.”

Foreign face in toast
Conjures Instagram moment—
Also deleted.

Toxic media,
Begone from my existence!
Not you, silly blog.

Present in present,
I incubate baby pomes,
My little Om-lettes.

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The Daily Prompt: Toxic

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Notes to Self

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Betrayed by expectations once again. Relearn. Remember. Keep the bar of wanting low. Desire little from others. Rejoice in small accomplishments and don’t agonize over failing to reach the stars. The stars will still be there tomorrow. Savor every cotton candy sunset. Nothing is more important than taking a minute to play with a kitty. Stay in the car to finish listening to a song. Jot down every poetic thought because you never know when one will take your hand and lead you to a path filled with starlight in the dark forest of the night. But don’t expect it.

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The Daily Prompt: Betrayed

App Gap

Ever since I deleted Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger from my phone last week I’ve had an “app gap.” What I mean is that I had two screens of 16 phone apps each, 4×4, all filled in, and now there are two missing from the bottom right of the last screen. I know you can all math, so yes I did “unbundle” my fitness apps or else there would be three missing. I also know you are all laughing at the idea that I have fitness apps. SHUT UP! I am planning on fitnessing at some point, and if that day ever comes, those apps will come in handy.

Initially I thought, hmm, I could d/l some innocuous apps I wouldn’t use much, like solo chess and another boring game, but that sort of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it? My idea is to spend less time involved in distractions from my projects. Without FB, maybe solo chess would suddenly become exciting. You just never know.

Then I had an epiphany. The adorable photo of Gatsby I use for my home screen had been pretty well covered up by my 4×4 app grid, but the two missing apps on the second screen reveal his beautiful golden eye and sweet little pink nose. Plus they remind me how I’m not wasting oodles of time on FB and Messenger meow. Win win! Embrace the gap! (You had no idea how OCD I really was, didja?)

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On a related unrelated note, I stumbled across this article a few days ago (I have a lot more time to actually read the news now, go figure). The advice was written for men by a woman (or someone with a female ‘nym) and says to delete all your dating site apps because they are rigged, not fun, and a waste of time. I agree with this advice 100%, despite being a woman and allegedly having so many more opportunities than men on the sites. Maybe if I were 35 I wouldn’t say “allegedly,” but I’m not, so I am saying it.

If dating were a “numbers game”—if exposure to more people meant dating more people—then people would just go to the nearest concert venue, introduce themselves to as many people as they can, and magically end up with a date. — Sophia Benoit, GQ

Yes, some people have managed to beat the odds and find someone via a dating site blah blah blah. So what? Some people also win the lottery. That doesn’t mean buying a lottery ticket, or 100 of them, is a good use of your time/money/energy.

DELETE ALL THE THINGS! Or don’t, wev. But I wrote four crappy pomes this week for my book of crappy pomes instead of BSing on the Book of Face, and I am feeling gosh-darned great about that.

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