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Archive for January, 2009

Sometimes I don’t think people realize the power they have over you. They can send you on a roller coaster of emotions. They can make you so giddy and smiley that everyone around you wonders if you just won the lottery. Or they can make you feel so anxious that you feel sick to your stomach. Don’t get me wrong, it could be worse if they actually knew, but I just hate it. I don’t know who to blame: Myself, for allowing them to get to me in that way, or them, the mind-games they unconsciously play.

  • The Angry Friend: You get a sense that your friend might be mad at you. So you text them, IM them, call them. They don’t respond. You grow agitated. You try to play it cool so you text/IM/call again in an hour. Again, no response. Now you’re busy racking up your brain with possible scenarios as to why they could potentially be mad at you. Was it something you said? What it something you did? What is it?!? Finally, hours later, they respond. But in their text msg/IM, they respond with “I’m fine.” Note, the period at the end. Now call me crazy but no one really adds periods to the end of their sentences via IM or text msg (except for one friend, who insists on good grammar skills). That one little period sets off a whole new array of emotions because you know they are mad. Periods indicate an abrupt ending, or in friend world, their subtle way of saying “Figure out why you pissed me off!” Okay, maybe this is just something that girls do because I don’t really see guys doing that. Now you are upset and will remain upset until you figure out what you did or did not do to make your friend angry. Note to the friend, don’t be so damn passive-aggressive, just tell people when you’re annoyed. No guessing games.
  • The Prospective Employer: Everyone knows this one. This is the waiting game. The waiting period where you stand on a line between unemployed and employed. Whether it’s to set up an interview or to let you know the outcome of an interview, the days following up to the call is horrible. You find yourself checking your email every hour. You freeze every time you see an unknown number show up on your cell phone. This could be the call. You collect yourself. You shove all your anxiety aside and as calmly as you can, you pick up “Hello? Ugh, hi mom…” You hang up, slightly annoyed. Your phone rings again. Another unknown number. You panic for a bit for 3 seconds and quickly pick up before it goes to voice mail. It’s them. This is it. This will be the call to make or kill your day. Note to the employer, I know that you are ridiculously busy with other things but for the sake of our sanity, please reject or accept us as soon as possible because the longer the wait, the worse the anxiety gets.
  • The Crush: This is the best and the worst. Especially in the beginning. I call it the text-tease game. It always starts out this way because both of you are too lazy (or scared) to call each other so you resort to text messaging each other all day long. Your heart jumps a little every time you hear your text message go off. You smile when you see their name displayed and, if it’s someone else, you’re secretly a little disappointed. Now, some people are just horrible at responding and take hours to get back to you. You people need to work on that. On the other hand, some people realize this power so they use it to their advantage. They will purposely text message back and forth with you for an hour, and then not respond for a few hours. In those few hours, you get antsy. You’re checking your phone every 5 minutes.¬† You zone out when your friend is talking to you because all you keep thinking is “Why hasn’t he text me back? Maybe he doesn’t have reception? Maybe he didn’t get it. Should I send it again?!” After a few hours, your anticipation dwindles and just as you’re about to get over your anticipation, you hear your text message go off and you’re back to smiling like an idiot at your phone and the whole process starts over.
  • The We-need-to-talk Person: This could be anyone. Mother, father, boyfriend, girlfriend, boss, friend, professor, sister, brother, you name it. Come on, really? No good has ever come those 4 words. It’s as if people purposely say that phrase to make you uncomfortable and worrisome.
  • The Police Officer: Okay, these people definitely know their sense of power. The second you see those flashing red lights in your rear view mirror, your shoulders fall and you let out a curse word as you start signaling toward the right. You sit there, hands on the wheel, saying a quick prayer as they walk over to your window. You roll down your window. He asks you how you’re doing. Why do they ask that? The real response would be “I was having a good day until you pulled me over” For all you know, it could just be a friendly reminder that your tail light is out. Either way, there is never a good feeling the second you see those sirens.

To be continued..

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T-mobile commercial

This makes me happy

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This past Thursday, as I was boarding Southwest Airlines, I noticed something peculiar. It’s something I’ve always noticed in the past but I don’t know why it stuck with me the entire plane ride. For those of you who sit on Southwest, you should know that there’s no assigned seating. When you print out your boarding pass, you are given a number and you will line up accordingly when you board the plane. This is what I noticed. I was B30, therefore, there were about 90 people who boarded the plane before me. However, as I entered the plane I noticed something: every single middle seat in every single row was taken. I watched all the people before me take their seats.First, they’d take the left window seat, then the next person would take the right window seat. After that, the aisle seats went. After THAT, it started again with the next row. It’s as if the middle seats were forbidden. Well screw that, I didn’t want to sit in aisle 23 when I could have sat in the first row. So I did. I took the middle seat in Row 1. The people I sat next to gave me death stares. But I didn’t care. In an hour I would be the first off the plane and I wouldn’t have to wait for everyone in front of me to get off first.

I never understood that. The same thing happens at movie theaters, subways, park benches, trains, weddings, you name it. When you sit down, you don’t sit next to a stranger, you sit exactly one seat away. It’s as if we’re afraid to sit there. I understand that we don’t want people breathing down our necks, like the sales associates in Asia that follow you around the department stores, but it’s not like these people are sitting on your lap. I hate it. I guess it’s common decency but who ever said that we owned the 5 inches of air surrounding us? One time, I got onto a crowded subway (keyword: CROWDED), there was ONE open seat so of course I took it. The guy sitting to my left looked me up and down and grumbled something about taking up space. I glared back at him because he was clearly taking up two seats while I only took up one. I think the personal space should only apply if you’re sitting by yourself in an empty 500-seat theater. If another person comes in and sits down right next to you, instead of the other 498 seats available, THEN, you have all the reason to glare at them.

*Note: That picture is not of me or anyone I know. It’s just a classic example of middle seat haters.

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Our last hour

His eyes darted back and forth between my mother and I. He would stare at her and then at me and then at her, going back and forth rapidly, as if he was trying to make himself dizzy. He frowned, eyes growing wider, as I silently brushed his hair with a comb. My mom held up a plastic cup to his mouth, motioning him to take a sip of the water. He shook his head, lips pursed, refusing to open his mouth. Stubborn. I guess that’s where I get it from. No words were spoken but I knew. I could see it in his eyes. Fear. He was scared out of his mind. I forced a little smile, afraid that if I broke the silence, I would break into tears. I kept on combing. My uncle was at the foot of the bed, straightening out the blankets so that it would keep him warm. My brother sat in the corner, eyes focused on his Game Boy, too young to really know what was going on. I put on a brave face. I was his little girl. I didn’t want him to worry about me. I wanted him to know that I could take care of myself. My mother took the comb from me and continued to brush his hair. I decided in that moment that I would try to comfort him. I leaned in close to him and whispered into¬† his ear, “Don’t worry, I’ll find a boy who fits what you want for me.” I think the word “boy” made his eyes wider than I had ever seen them. His 14-year-old daughter was talking about boys. I can only imagine all the things he wanted to say in that moment. All the warnings he wanted to give me and all the lectures that would never take place. I could see all the questions in his eyes. I could also see all the helplessness. The look of knowing that he would never be able to meet any future boyfriend; knowing he could never interrogate any guy that I brought home; knowing he would never be able to walk me down the aisle on my wedding day. I smiled and said, “Don’t worry, I promise I’ll pick a good one okay?” It was 11:55 p.m. now, it was time to go home. I had to get up at 5:30 a.m. to go on a one-day mission trip to Mexico. I gave him a kiss on the cheek for the last time. He looked at me with a look that I had never seen before. I can’t quite describe it but I still see it in my mind from time to time. “Bye daddy. I’ll see you tomorrow night okay?” That was the last thing I said to him. I left the room, left the hospital and climbed into the car to go home. 6 hours later, he passed away.

It’s been 7.5 years and I hope he knows I made good on that promise.

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As everyone knows, Facebook is a social network where your “friends” may not even be your friend at all. Admit it, for most of us, a “chunk” of our friends are either 1) people we met once or 2) people who we knew of but we never actually have a conversation with

There are two types of Facebook people:
1. The Facebook user who has less than 100 friends and actually hang out (or hung out) with them on a regular basis
2. The Facebook user who has 500+ friends but only considers 10 of them actual friends.

I hate to admit it but I fall into category #2. I have to admit, 1/3 of my friend list are either friends of friends or just people that added me after I met them once or twice. I will say this though, I have never added a complete stranger. So what is considered normal these days?

The following scenarios are based on true events

Normal or creepy?

  • Scenario #1

You hang out with your friend and his/her friends. It’s the first time you met them but after a fun night out, you’ve gotten to know them a bit better and you’ve exchanged a couple laughs with them. You end the night saying things like “We should hang out again!” and “Dude let me get your number” You get home that night and you’ve noticed that the same people you saw less than an hour ago has somehow already found you on Facebook and wants to be friends. Normal or creepy?

  • Scenario #2

Similar with the first scenario only in this case, you BARELY talk to them. In fact, the only words you exchange is a quick “Hey what’s up” when your friend introduces you. The only thing you remember about them is their first name. Sometime in the next hour or week you’ve noticed that the person you barely said hi to has decided to add you as their friend on Facebook. Normal or creepy?

  • Scenario #3

Someone from your high school/college adds you as their friend on Facebook. You remember them simply because you had several classes with them through high school/ college but you have never spoken a single word to them in your life. Normal or creepy?

  • Scenario #4 (and my favorite)

A friend of mine works at the Mercedes Dealership and has several clients that he sees on a regular basis, whether it be yearly or quarterly. He informs me that several of them have tried to add him as a friend on Facebook in the past. Now at this point, I think to myself, these people are not your friends, they are your customers. Secondly, you were clearly on their mind if it even occurred to them to search for their mechanic on Facebook and add him as a friend. I’m not going to ask if this is normal or scary because I’ve deemed this as very creepy.

  • Scenario #5

Your mom or dad has decided to hip with the times and has created a Facebook account. There is nothing scarier than seeing your mom/dad’s name show up saying “____ wants to add you as a friend!” Normal or creepy?

The next time you see a friend request from someone you barely know, or you decide to look up some person that you barely even know, please take a moment and consider if what you are doing is completely normal or creepy. I know the times have changed but honestly, do we really need 1000+ friends? It’s just useless news feed on people you barely even care about. Come on now, think about it. That being said, I think I need to delete a good 300 people off my list.

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The competitive friend

goal

Ah the competitive friend. I’m not just talking about the friend who always needs to score the most points in a basketball game, or the friend who needs to have the highest kills on Counter Strike. I’m not talking about the friend who needs to be the best breakdancer nor am I talking about the friend who needs to win every single contest.

I’m talking about the friend who needs to win the game of life.

I know you have one. Everyone has this friend. This is the “friend” who calls you to see how you’re doing, but really, he/she is calling you to compare your current life with theirs. They always need to be one-up on you. Just got a promotion? Well then your friend just got a promotion AND a raise. Just started talking to some new guy? Well your friend can’t seem to find time to juggle the numerous suitors that are after her. Had a fun trip to Vegas? That’s cue for your friend to brag about the one time SHE went to Vegas and got into all the VIP hotspots and so forth.

This is the friend who will talk crap on everyone to you and then probably talk crap on you to everyone else. They are sweet and caring, but only if they are doing better in life than you are. You serve as a daily reminder to them that they are better than you in life. When your life is going well, it brings out the competitive edge in them to do even better. It’s like an addict to them. It’s almost ridiculous.

Well I just happen to have this exact friend. Who will give me insulting compliments.
For example:

  • I have naturally frizzy curly hair (curse my dad’s genes)
    Her: “Wow your hair isn’t so out of control today! I’m so glad I have naturally straight hair”
  • Telling her how stressed out I was due to job hunting
    Her: “Yeah don’t worry, it took my friend 9 months to get a job, and she’s a Stanford grad student”
    (I am not a Stanford alum nor am I even a grad student, how the hell is this suppose to encourage me?)
    Her: “Oh yeah but I guess I got lucky because I found a great job just after a month”
  • When I started dating someone
    Her: “Where does he work/live/school at” a.k.a. “Let me compare him to my suitors”
    After I refuse to tell her the details about him
    Her: So this guy at my church is totally into me. He won’t stop texting me just to see what I’m doing. And there’s this other guy from school who’s been hinting for a date. Geez who do these guys think I am? I’m not open to everyone!
    I left out a lot of detail but at this point I’m trying to refrain from rolling my eyes into the back of my head

I guess you can justify it all by calling them insecure but the truth is, most of the time, they really aren’t (or at least they don’t act that way) They see themselves to be the A-list person of your social group, the one that everyone wants to emulate. The sad part is, most of the time, these people will never admit to being this type of friend. There is nothing noble about being this friend, in fact, there is nothing friendly about it.

There’s also no way to get rid of them. Truth is, you might need them in your life. Why? Because you might unconsciously be doing the same thing to them. In revenge of them trying to compare their life to yours, you have now in turn taken it upon yourself to make your life better just so you can give them a smug look. Competition can only be bred through stimulating others to go for the same goal. So think of it as payback. A good payback.

ole7

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The Brandname Game

This is for all the people who didn’t go to brand name schools and don’t work for brand name companies.

What are brand name schools?


Ivy leagues, schools that anyone and everyone has heard of and admires

What are brand name companies?

Just to name a few

———————-

Have you ever heard the following:
“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”
“Work experience counts more than what school you went to”
“It’s all about your work ethic, not your background”
“A school/company doesn’t make you who you are”

Well, I am here to tell you, that the people who say this, are people who DID go to name schools and worked for name companies. This is their pathetic way of encouraging the rest of us who weren’t so fortunate (or smart enough)

The truth is, yes, connections do mean a lot, but the second thing is in fact, a name brand. It’s the same reason why we give an “Ohhhh!” response to anyone who says they attended Yale, as opposed to the more polite “Oh, I see” response to anyone who says they attended University of Hawaii (no offense to current/alumni of that institution).

Let’s face it, it’s how we ourselves judge people. We are more prone to believe new information from someone who graduated from MIT as opposed to someone who barely finished high school. The status game goes beyond the Prada and Gucci bags, it goes beyond the BMW’s and Audi’s. It’s a sad game but it’s true.

So for those of you name-branders who pity us non name-brand people, quit giving us BS encouragement. If you really believe in our worth, give us a referral, give us practical advice, don’t give us encouragement when you clearly were never in the same position as us. Yes, it may be our fault but don’t try to sugar-coat that.

And for those of you who agree to this post, don’t pity yourselves. Don’t play the “pity-me” game. Shutup and do something about it. Don’t cry yourself into an early grave just because you didn’t get accepted into a name brand school or you didn’t land that interview for that name brand company. Nobody likes a whiner. Everyone likes a winner. And with perseverance, you can be a winner too; unless you were designed to be a loser. Then maybe your only purpose was to serve as a balance to this society of winners and losers. Sorry.

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