Total Perspective Vortex
What really happened to Trillian? Theories abound, but you can see what she's really been up to on this blog. If you're looking for white mice, depressed robots, or the occasional Pan Galactic Gargleblaster you might be better served here:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/hitchhikers/guide/.

Otherwise, hello, and welcome.
Mail Trillian here<





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Women, The Internet and You: Tips for Men Who Use Online Dating Sites
Part I, Your Profile and Email

Part II, Selecting a Potential Date

Part III, Your First Date!

Part IV, After the First Date. Now What?


"50 First Dates"






Don't just sit there angry and ranting, do something constructive.
In the words of Patti Smith (all hail Sister Patti): People have the power.
Contact your elected officials.

Don't be passive = get involved = make a difference.
Find Federal Officials
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or Search by State

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Contact The Media
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Words are cool.
The English language is complex, stupid, illogical, confounding, brilliant, beautiful, and fascinating.
Every now and then a word presents itself that typifies all the maddeningly gorgeousness of language. They're the words that give you pause for thought. "Who came up with that word? That's an interesting string of letters." Their beauty doesn't lie in their definition (although that can play a role). It's also not in their onomatopoeia, though that, too, can play a role. Their beauty is in the way their letters combine - the visual poetry of words - and/or the way they sound when spoken. We talk a lot about music we like to hear and art we like to see, so let's all hail the unsung heroes of communication, poetry and life: Words.
Here are some I like. (Not because of their definition.)

Quasar
Hyperbole
Amenable
Taciturn
Ennui
Prophetic
Tawdry
Hubris
Ethereal
Syzygy
Umbrageous
Twerp
Sluice
Omnipotent
Sanctuary
Malevolent
Maelstrom
Luddite
Subterfuge
Akimbo
Hoosegow
Dodecahedron
Visceral
Soupçon
Truculent
Vitriol
Mercurial
Kerfuffle
Sangfroid




























 







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Highlights from the Archives. Some favorite Trillian moments.

Void, Of Course: Eliminating Expectations and Emotions for a Better Way of Life

200i: iPodyssey

Macs Are from Venus, Windows is from Mars Can a relationship survive across platform barriers?
Jerking Off

Get A Job

Office Church Ladies: A Fieldguide

'Cause I'm a Blonde

True? Honestly? I think not.

A Good Day AND Funyuns?

The Easter Boy

Relationship in the Dumpster

Wedding Dress 4 Sale, Never Worn

Got Friends? Are You Sure? Take This Test

What About Class? Take This Test

A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far Far Away, There Was a Really Bad Movie

May Your Alchemical Process be Complete. Rob Roy Recipe

Good Thing She's Not in a Good Mood Very Often (We Knew it Wouldn't Last)

What Do I Have to Do to Put You in this Car Today?

Of Mice and Me (Killer Cat Strikes in Local Woman's Apartment)

Trillian: The Musical (The Holiday Special)

LA Woman (I Love (Hate) LA)

It is my Cultureth
...and it would suit-eth me kindly to speak-eth in such mannered tongue

Slanglish

It's a Little Bit Me, It's a Little Bit You
Blogging a Legacy for Future Generations


Parents Visiting? Use Trillian's Mantra!

Ghosts of Christmas Past: Mod Hair Ken

Caught Blogging by Mom, Boss or Other

2003 Holiday Sho-Lo/Mullet Awards

Crullers, The Beer Store and Other Saintly Places

Come on Out of that Doghouse! It's a Sunshine Day!

"...I had no idea our CEO is actually Paula Abdul in disguise."

Lap Dance of the Cripple

Of Muppets and American Idols
"I said happier place, not crappier place!"

Finally Off Crutches, Trillian is Emancipated

Payless? Trillian? Shoe Confessions

Reality Wednesday: Extremely Local Pub

Reality Wednesday: Backstage Staging Zone (The Sweater Blog)

The Night Secret Agent Man Shot My Dad

To Dream the Impossible Dream: The Office Karaoke Party

Trillian Flies Economy Class (Prisoner, Cell Block H)

Trillian Visits the Village of the Damned, Takes Drugs, Becomes Delusional and Blogs Her Brains Out

Trillian's Parents are Powerless

Striptease for Spiders: A PETA Charity Event (People for the Ethical Treatment of Arachnids)

What's Up with Trillian and the Richard Branson Worship?

"Screw the French and their politics, give me their cheese!"


















 
Mail Trillian here





Trillian's Guide to the Galaxy gives 5 stars to these places in the Universe:
So much more than fun with fonts, this is a daily dose of visual poetry set against a backdrop of historical trivia. (C'mon, how can you not love a site that notes Wolfman Jack's birthday?!)

CellStories

Alliance for the Great Lakes


Hot, so cool, so cool we're hot.

Ig Nobel Awards

And you think YOU have the worst bridesmaid dress?

Coolest Jewelry in the Universe here (trust Trillian, she knows)

Red Tango

If your boss is an idiot, click here.

Evil Cat Full of Loathing.

Wildlife Works

Detroit Cobras


The Beachwood Reporter is better than not all, but most sex.



Hey! Why not check out some great art and illustration while you're here? Please? It won't hurt and it's free.

Shag

Kii Arens

Tim Biskup

Jeff Soto

Jotto




Get Fuzzy Now!
If you're not getting fuzzy, you should be. All hail Darby Conley. Yes, he's part of the Syndicate. But he's cool.





Who or what is HWNMNBS: (He Whose Name Must Not Be Spoken) Trillian's ex-fiancé. "Issues? What issues?"







Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.


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Reading blogs at work? Click to escape to a suitable site!

Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Smart Girls
(A Trillian de-composition, to the tune of Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys)

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains

Smart girls ain’t easy to love and they’re above playing games
And they’d rather read a book than subvert themselves
Kafka, Beethoven and foreign movies
And each night alone with her cat
And they won’t understand her and she won’t die young
She’ll probably just wither away

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains

A smart girl loves creaky old libraries and lively debates
Exploring the world and art and witty reparteé
Men who don’t know her won’t like her and those who do
Sometimes won’t know how to take her
She’s rarely wrong but in desperation will play dumb
Because men hate that she’s always right

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains





























Life(?) of Trillian
Single/Zero

 
Wednesday, September 28, 2005  
The Feeling Face for the Day is: Guilty
Guilt’s a funny thing. If I still allowed emotions I’d feel a lot of guilt. Well. Okay. Truth telling time: Guilt is one of the last emotions I'm battling.

Back when I had emotions I felt a of guilt. Mainly it was guilt over inadequacy. I felt guilty for not doing more for charities. I felt guilty for not being able to do more for the people I cared about. I felt guilty for not being the child my parents deserve. I felt guilty for not spending more time in the office. I felt guilty for not being the girlfriend/wife HWNMNBS deserved. I felt guilty for not being able to do more with myself. I felt guilty for everything I couldn’t do.

Let’s not confuse this with blame. I take full responsibility for myself and my actions. I think about the consequences before I say or do anything. In some cases I did/do blame myself. Blame is very, very different from guilt. The two go hand in hand, but guilt is a result of being at fault, being at blame. Blame doesn't really matter, except in, you know, murder. Blame fades, gets cloudier with each telling. The resulting guilt, however, gets stronger.

Let’s use HWNMNBS as an example. Because I feel like dredging all that up again today. Still. Always, apparently. That failure was entirely my fault. Completely, totally my fault. I am to blame.

One could argue he should have dumped me early on, or never even gone out with me in the first place, or, certainly, at the very least not asked me to marry him. Those are good, strong arguments which would indicate I was led on by him.

But. He was giving me a chance. I was his charity. Everything else was good, he was trying to make adjustments for my looks. In the end he couldn’t do it. That’s my fault. Hush. More on that in a minute. It’s my fault. I’m ugly, I know it, I’ve always known it. He knew it, he always knew it about me.

But. I believed him and trusted him when he said he loved me and when he asked me to marry him. I thought everything else was good enough that we could work out the ugly thing. I thought I’d finally met someone who cared about me enough, liked me enough, for what’s inside, that the outside issues could be worked out. We were a great team, we worked out everything else together, really well. The whole two halves of a whole thing was true in our case. So, you know, I had every reason to believe we'd work this out together. Because I thought he cared about me. And therefore that he cared about my feelings. And consequently I had a right to believe he wouldn’t hurt me. I trusted him and therefore I believed him. Period. I was obviously wrong.

And that hurt me. A lot. Permanently scarringly hurt me and the way I view myself. And consequently the way people view me. I know this. I’ve tried to get over it. I’ve tried everything, all the tactics, everything. It’s my fault, my responsibility. But.

He was my best friend. I respect him. I trust him. His opinions on everything matter to me. I’m not saying he’s always right. He’s not. In fact he’s frequently wrong. But when he is, he admits it. All the more reason for me to respect and trust him. All the more reason for me to heed his words over why I’m not good enough for him or any other man. If he could “do this” to me, any man, anyone can and will. HWNMNBS was trying to get past my looks. He was trying to love me for what’s inside. But as he said, it’s not enough and it’s not enough for anyone except maybe a blind man. I believe him when he says this because I respect his opinion. Because his opinion is the one that matters to me. He is the man I love and therefore his opinion of me and my love life matters most.

Stay with me here. Don’t go all, “he’s a shallow jerk” on me. Yes. Those are shallow thoughts. But. Think about the last time you were interested in someone. Be honest, it’s just you here, no one else can hear what you’re thinking. Was it solely what was inside or were there physical features at play, too?

Aw, come on now, don’t sit there feeling guilty. You didn’t dump me, he did. You’re not the ugly one, I am. (You can, however, be responsible for your words and actions.)

He has no control over my looks. But he does have ultimate power over how I feel about myself. As my boyfriend/fiancé, love of my life, the one person whose opinion matters most to me, and should matter most to me, he had a responsibility to me. I trusted him and his opinion. I gave him that trust. And yes. He abused that power. He was callous and thoughtless in regards to my feelings. He was selfish in his comments and behavior toward me. In being true to himself he was hurtful to me. And that’s not something you do to a person who loves you and cares about you and trusts you. Because those remarks cut permanent scars when they are made by someone you love and trust.

When a good friend tells you to opt for a different pair of jeans, you believe her. Because she’s looking out for you. You trust her. Which is a good thing. But that trust comes with a serious responsibility. A friend who cares about you will say something like, “I think maybe a different style would be better, those are cut weird...” They will blame the jeans. A friend who is racking up guilt points will say, “Your bum looks huge in those.” They will blame your bum. And maybe your bum is huge. Chances are good you know this. You’re just trying to find a pair jeans which plays down the junk in your trunk, not have a life changing moment of truth. A good friend knows this. A good and trusted friend will not blame your bum. They won’t hurt you because they know their words, their opinions, are trusted by you and therefore you will take their words as gospel truth. They know they have the power to hurt you and inflict permanent damage with their words to you. But unless your friends are mean girls, they won’t do this. Because they don’t want to hurt you and inflict permanent damage on you.

And because they don’t want to feel guilty about hurting you.

An ill fitting pair of jeans is one thing. A broken life vow is another thing entirely.

Which is why this left me apparently permanently scarred. I lost the one person, the one thing, that mattered most to me. I take blame for that. I accept full responsibility. And I feel guilty about it. I once again fell short of the mark. I was inadequate. And let’s not forget, HWNMNBS lost a lot in this deal, too. He had a nice little American Dream going on, a chance to leave a place he doesn’t especially like, a chance to have a new job, a new career. Big things were happening for him as a result of marrying me. And I wrecked that for him. If I’d been better, more whatever he wanted, none of this would have happened. He could have had the new life he wanted and I could have had the husband I love. I am carrying my own bags of guilt over this.

The damage caused as a result of his words, as a result of his opinion and ultimately his dumping me is permanent. I’m left to sort myself out on my own. Accepting the truths he told me about myself, accepting the responsibility, and accepting his advice and opinion on my life and how people view me and the affect their vision has on my life. I am trying. I’ve got this new no expectation, no emotion thing going on and that looks like the way forward for me.

But that doesn’t absolve him of his behavior and any resulting guilt he may have because of it. Any success I might have does not absolve him of any guilt he might be feeling over what he did and said to me.

That’s that thing with guilt. When you hurt someone any guilt you feel as a result is yours to keep forever.

There’s a new show on TV about a guy trying to right the wrongs he’s done in his life. It’s a karma thing. I haven’t seen the show. Not interested.

For a lot of reasons.

Mainly because people rarely make deep changes within themselves. If they’re selfish, narcissistic, egotistical, vain, arrogant hurtful people chances are that’s who they are and always will be. (I’m not naming names but they know who they are. Yes. I know you know.) They might try to be “better” people, but even that’s a selfish act: They want to feel better about themselves.

They want to stop feeling guilty.

Sorry people. Guilt doesn’t go away. Guilt feels the way guilt feels because you’re guilty of doing something wrong or bad or hurtful. You’re guilty of hurting someone else. You’re guilty of bad human behavior.

Yes. We all make mistakes. Say and do stupid stuff we regret. It’s part of the condition human. And most of us with a functioning brain and half a heart try to apologize and make amends for stupid words and deeds. But. That doesn’t make the guilt go away. Guilt is a very black and white emotion. You feel guilty because you’ve done something wrong, or, in my case because you haven’t done enough. Apologizing or making amends doesn’t negate the original word or deed. That’s why courts use the term guilty/not guilty. Because if you’re guilty, you’re always guilty. You carry that with you for life. You can apologize and try to be a better person, but that doesn’t undo the damage you inflicted on someone else and doesn't assuage your guilt.

HWNMNBS’s remarks and behavior undermined everything I believed, everything I trusted. Consequently I doubt myself and always will. I trusted him. How could I have been so stupid to trust him? How could I not see the truth? How could I let myself believe him? How could I allow myself to get caught up in the possibility of love and romance and all that good stuff when I knew it was too good to be true? Because I am stupid. Because I trusted him and loved him and wanted our life together so badly that I let down my emotional guard. I threw caution and faith to the wind and I am paying for that mistake with apparently a lifetime of loneliness. That’s my fault. My responsibility. My problem. He caused it, oh yes, those are his words I hear echoing in my ears. But it’s my fault I’m not pretty. It’s my fault I’m not the physical woman he wants and needs.

Ultimately, sadly, ironically, it looks like the only thing we’ll end up sharing throughout our lives is guilt. He knows what he did. He knows how hurtful and damaging it was to me. He knows I love him and trust him. He knows he betrayed that trust. And apparently he doesn’t care about the love thing. And for that he should feel guilty. No amount of success on my part will absolve his guilt. He said and did bad things to someone who didn’t deserve it. I know he wanted more from me. I know how difficult it was for him. I know he was looking forward to a new life. He wanted more from me and I didn’t deliver. And for that I should feel guilty. No amount of success on his part will absolve my guilt.

So instead of sharing a lifetime of love and other happy feelings together, we’re sharing a lifetime of guilt apart.

There’s a lesson there, people. Learn from me. I don’t share this with the class because it makes me feel good. I share this hoping perhaps someone can be spared what I’ve gone through. Observing, reporting and hoping to spare at least one person the mess life can so quickly become if you’re not careful.

11:06 AM

Tuesday, September 27, 2005  
It’s time for the seasonal switch. The time when those of us living in climates requiring at least two wardrobes haul out the cool weather gear and stow away the warm weather gear.

Well. It should be that time of year. Someone in the weather department responsible for Chicago apparently didn’t get the memo.

It’s swutting hot.

I’m ready to be rid of Summer. I don’t like Summer under the best of circumstances. But this year I’m especially sick of warm weather. Bring on the subzero temps.

I’ve got new boots and I’m not afraid to use ‘em.

However. When I hauled out the cool weather garb I was hit with that realization most women face now and then: I hate almost everything I own.

I want to get rid of everything and start over.

Well.

Maybe I’d keep some shoes and those new boots.

But.

I haven’t exactly been rolling in money so I haven’t really bought a lot of clothes for a while. A while being defined as: Enough years that most of the clothes I have are showing their age.

Oh sure, I’ve got some classic stuff, basics, you know. But even they are showing signs of too many wearings.

And then there are the items which I should get rid of but cannot seem to quite purge from the closet.

I was very “good” when I moved. I got rid of a ton of stuff. A ton of stuff. I mean that almost literally. I do not know how many trips to the dumpster and charity drops I made, schlepping crammed full garbage bags of stuff to be thrown away or given to charity. I honestly do not know, but I do know I went through at least 10 boxes of garbage bags so, you know, that’s an indication of the elimination process when went on during my move. Good Trillian. Brave Trillian. Purging Trillian.

See Trillian get rid of her stuff. See Trillian downsize. See Trillian lament the woeful state of her life.

I’m not a serious pack rat - at least by comparison to the pack rats you see on those TV organizing shows. But. I do hang onto stuff which I honestly think I’ll wear or could be useful. If I had, you know, a house, like a normal person, I wouldn’t have that much stuff. But I’m not, you know, a normal person and I don’t have a house and never will so it seems like I have a lot of stuff. When in fact I have a normal or even lesser amount of stuff than most normal people my age. I keep stuff because I can’t afford to buy new stuff.

Consequently, with the exception of some shoes, most of my stuff is starting to get, well, old. But I can’t afford new stuff. Even though I’m ready and willing to get rid of almost all the old stuff, my budget won’t allow me to get rid of everything and trot out and buy new stuff.

I used to have the French philosophy on clothes. A few really great items, accessorized and worn in creative combinations creating the illusion of a grand wardrobe. I was pretty good at this. But over time I accumulated stuff, had less of a budget and could no longer afford even a few really great items so I made do with one or two really great items and filled in with less expensive, less great, less everything items. The resulting chaos is what’s hanging in my closet. And I hate almost all of it. And I really want to start over. New clothes, new me. Right? And maybe a new hair style, too. Why not just go all the way?

Because as I dragged out the Winter clothes I realized: I may be stuck in a style rut.

Yikes! Shock! Horror! Me? How could this happen to me? I’m not trendy but I am not one of those people who gets stuck in a look and stays there.

Or am I?

Maybe the lack of funding and subsequent forced complacence about most things style has plummeted me into a rut. A pit of style despair and apathy.

Is this a tragedy? Well. Not really. Compared to what many other people in the world are facing right now my little crisis of style conscience is a disgusting example of what’s wrong with society. Priorities and all that. I know. I’m lucky I have clothing. I know.

But.

Since I am fortunate enough to not live in a disaster ravaged area (excepting the disaster known as the Daley administration, of course) and since I have a job and a life I am trying to lead, you know, normally, my issues over stuff are on my mind.

My budget, or lack thereof, demands that I make do with what I have. Period.

But I hate almost everything I have.

Ah.

Well now. That’s a problem.

And a huge problem with my entire life: I hate everything I have. Well, almost. I’m lucky, I know I have plenty of good things in my life. It’s not all horrible. But. The day in day out life issues are fairly hate filled.

I hate my job.

I hate my compartment (or rather, I hate the fact I have to live in a compartment.)

I hate that I’m single.

I hate that my friends and family are scattered all over the globe.

I hate that I have little or no money to cover anything other than basics like shelter and food.

I hate that everyone else's’ lives are moving forward in a normal life progression and mine is not.

Right. That’s the short list.

So. The conventional wisdom is: Change the things you can, accept those things you cannot change.

This has been my outlook for most of my life. Well. Adapt, evolve or get left behind is really more my outlook.

But the quandary for me now is my inability to adapt and evolve. I’ve got a couple of huge issues, things I cannot change. Things I therefore have to accept. But. Those are the things which are keeping me from adapting and evolving.

Right.

Bit of a conundrum.

About that job of mine. I actually like what I do. It’s where I do it and the people with whom my job forces me to spend my days which I hate. Unprofessional, lying, disrespectful, overpaid losers and dolts. And I’m right there with them. So by association I am a loser or dolt or both.

Change it! Get rid of the old job and get a new one!

Hoooo boy I have tried. I have tried so hard to find another job. Am I being too particular in my job search? Well. Maybe. Then again maybe not. I am determined to make a smart career move. So I haven’t jumped at the first chance I get. Not that I’ve had a lot of chances to jump. I’ve had a lot of interviews, a couple of offers, but none worth leaving my current situation, even as bad as it is. Because as difficult as my work situation is, there are far, far worse work situations. The point to my job search is to avoid an equal or worse situation. The point of my job search is to improve my work situation. More money. Intelligent, responsible, professional supportive coworkers. Interesting client projects. Challenging projects. Respect for my abilities and work. A professional company culture. I know. It seems pretty basic, seems like I’m not asking for too much, right? I mean, it doesn’t seem like I’m setting ridiculously unattainable job goals. Right? Well, sometime I’ll tell you about a few of the interviews I’ve had. (shudder and a need for a drink strongly implied) I’ve seen some of what’s out there and as shocking as it sounds, much of it is worse than my current work situation.

And then there are the jobs I’ve wanted but have not been offered. Rejection sucks. A lot. I’m an old pro at rejection. I’ve had a lot of it. I’m usually able to handle it. (Oh be quiet, we’re not talking about HWNMNBS right now.) Especially now that I have eliminated all expectations and emotions. Rejection is just another fact of life.

But. Going to those interviews and getting that glimpse of what could be is tantalizing. Does it fill me with ambition and competitive spirit. Well. Not really. I suppose it should. But. I know my limitations. I know my competition. I know exactly who I’d hire given the pool of candidates, and for many of those jobs there are people better suited for the jobs than I am. That’s reality, baby. Accept, adapt, evolve. Don’t aim so high or so off target next time. Go for what you know, not what you want to know.

But. Wait. I mean. Wouldn’t that just lead to another job situation where I will soon want to leave? Well, yes. It will. But Hiring managers don’t usually see it that way. They want someone to come in and take a problem off their hands. They want someone who is either smart/experienced enough or dumb enough to take on the challenge. And if you’re not smart/experienced enough or dumb enough, they’re not interested. And sometimes they just don’t like you.

So. You know. The new job thing is an ongoing challenge and battle and near daily rejection.

You know, a lot like dating.

I have a friend who keeps insisting “there’s someone for everyone” and that I just have to keep trying and someday I’ll find him.

Uh. Okay. Easy for you to say Miss I’ve Been Happily Married to a Great Guy for 10 Years and Life is One Happy Adventure After Another Because I’ve Got a Great Marriage and That Makes Everything So Much Easier. Just because there was someone for you doesn’t mean there’s someone for everyone. The implication is: I found my someone so surely it must be true for everyone. That’s a very condescending attitude. Because if there is someone for everyone, and I have no one, that makes me not only a loser but stupid, too. The other implication is that someone is right around the corner and I haven’t either tried hard enough, done the right thing or am just too stupid/ugly/inferior to you in every way to find my someone. I very rarely hear single people over the age of 25 say “there’s someone for everyone” without tacking on “...except for me.” A lot of single people try really hard to believe there is someone for everyone, even them. It even soothes some of them when they are alone, again, naturally. “S/he’s out there somewhere, the one for me is out there and one day I’ll find them...” Yeah. Keep hoping. Keep deluding yourself. Because the statistical reality is that if you haven’t found them by the time you’re 33, it ain’t gonna happen.

Like my job search, I don’t think I’m being too particular in my search for a financial marriage partner. Heck, I don’t even want love or romance anymore. I’ve never been concerned about looks. Money doesn’t really matter as long as he’s got some sort of a job or can contribute to the household income and operation. I mean, how much lower do my standards have to be? If I asked for much less I’d be dating those scary mentally disturbed homeless guys who hang out in the crevices under highway overpasses. But maybe I am too picky.

Let’s look at the list: I don’t want to date a smoker. I’m not keen on liars, cheats, thieves and real estate agents. Egocentricity and selfishness have always caused problems for me. It would be helpful if we speak the same language, though I’m loosening my standards here. Communication may be very overrated. I have a cat so it would be good if he can at least tolerate cats.

Right. Maybe it’s not them, it’s me.

Like evaluating credentials for a job, let’s evaluate my credentials for a man.

What do I have to offer?

I have a job. I am willing and eager to work and bring in an income. I have a lot of education which will should always make me employable in some capacity. I have a great family and some really good friends. I come with some kind of cool accessories like nifty computer gear, bikes and a lot of books. Given the chance (and money) I have pretty darned good taste in all things design related. I’m honest. I’m faithful. I’m loyal. I’m in it for the long haul. I’m not judgmental. I’m open minded and adventurous. I’m courteous and respectful. I’m charitable. I’m basically a good person. However. I am not a slim, petite blonde or Asian so that eliminates more than half the men on the planet who are seeking a partner with those traits. I’m tall so that eliminates a lot of men who have domination and insecurity issues. I do have a a large set of boobs which you might think would get me somewhere, but apart from a few guys who spent entire evenings talking to my boobs, a large set of boobs is not a selling feature to most men. Now if those large boobs are on a slim, petite blonde or Asian, well, that’s another story. The rest of me is utterly unremarkable except for its ugliness.

Probably a safe bet my looks are holding me back in the dating game.

What to do about that?

New look? New ‘do? New wardrobe? Well. I mean. Sow’s ear silk purse situation here.

I am always surprised by how many men list “fashionable” or “stylish” as a requirement for their dates. I realize most people would prefer to date a do than a don’t. But I wonder if these guys have a clue how much “fashionable” and “stylish” clothing and accouterments cost. I wonder if they’re willing to bankroll the fashions and styles they want their dates to wear. I wonder if they are GQ ready themselves. By the rest of their profile and the looks of the profile photos of most of them, the answer to all those questions is: No.

And what exactly is it they’re looking for in a date or life partner? Typically they’ll list slim, petite blonde or Asian, attractive, fashionable/stylish woman between the ages of 21 and 30. Oh and intelligent and confident, too. They tack that on the end, clearly an afterthought, or at least at the bottom of their list of requirements. If a woman is not intelligent or confident but is slim, petite blonde or Asian, attractive and fashionable, you can bet a year’s wages he won’t care about her IQ or level of confidence. But if she’s intelligent and confident and not slim, petite blonde or Asian, attractive and fashionable he’ll have nothing to do with her.

This is not a rant against men even though it may seem to be. I’m merely stating the report on my observations over what is turning into a career in dating. I’m becoming an authority on this so really, don’t write me saying how different you are and how all men are not this way. I know you’re not all this way, but a vast majority of single men are.

My possessions are causing me suspicion but there’s no proof.

So back to the wardrobe issue. Maybe a new look, some new fashionable and stylish clothes would help me attract a man. Yeah. Right. Well okay, let’s try to be optimistic here. But. I don’t have money for new clothes. And if I do magically scrape up some money for clothes, I certainly can’t afford to waste it on trendy stuff which I can only wear for a few weeks at best. The usual “throw in one or two trendy pieces or accessories” thing has been done to my wardrobe so often that it’s become a cliché. I have had the “Oh Trillian, that dress always looks so nice on you. It’s amazing how you get so much mileage out of it by creative accessorizing” remark on more than a few occasions.

Yes. Women can be catty bitches. A lot of times without even realizing it. Accept, adapt, evolve.

Maybe a new look, some new fashionable and stylish clothes would help me land a better job. Yeah. Right. Well okay, let’s try to be optimistic here. But. I don’t have money for new clothes. And if I do magically scrape up some money for clothes, I certainly can’t afford to waste it on trendy stuff which I can only wear for a few weeks at best. I generally err on the side of classic when choosing an outfit for a job interview. Even for wildly creative jobs. The first and lasting impression I want to make about my appearance at a job interview is: Professional. I do not need to literally wear my creativity on my sleeves. My work should (better) speak for my creative abilities. I do not need or want my clothes and hair to compensate for a less than creative portfolio. I want to be hired for my ability to produce good work, not on my ability to dress like a page out of Goth Monthly or Trendy Babe. Besides, I am actually, believe it or not, in upper management and I’m looking for a senior level job. The trendoids work for me. I’m not sure it’s a good idea to go in looking like the people who will be working for you. I suspect that sends more than a few conflicting signals to hiring manager. However. I suppose a nod to the fact that I am indeed very aware of trends and style, some sort of visual on me and not just obvious in my work might not be a bad idea.

Right. So. Getting rid of everything and starting over? Not financially possible.

Whole new me? Not financially possible.

Massive re-inventing my outward self? Not financially possible.

I’ve adjusted my inward self. No expectations, no emotions. Doing the opposite. All that. Some successes some huge failures, but I’m going to try to continue on this course of action. Until the failures outweigh the successes.

So maybe an outward overhaul would be good, too.

Except for that pesky money issue.

Internal changes are so much less expensive to make.

And, if I’m re-inventing my outward self, who am I going to be? I’ve always been my own self - I like what I like, I have a handle on what works on me and what doesn’t. I keep up with trends and styles but don’t necessarily follow them. Especially if they’re not going to work on me. Especially if they’re styled with the average 5’4” woman in mind.

The solution for those of us women over 5’7” has always been shops for taller women (or overpriced polyester bonanza as I like to call them) or “designer” lines in more expensive stores and boutiques. (or, gosh that’s really gorgeous but it’s the price of my rent so I'll have to wait for a massive end of season sale and by then it will be out of style emporiums as I like to call them)

Online shopping has been great for “special” sized people, especially women. We’re able to peruse lots of retailers who feature “special” sized apparel.

But, uh, financial issues, Trill?

Oh yeah. That’s a problem.

But still, who do I want to be? Me, the person I have been, obviously isn’t working for me. I need a new me, a revised image. But, well, I mean, you know. I’m generally satisfied with my taste - I like what like. People do compliment me sometimes. Real compliments, not those catty passive aggressive remarks. If it happens to be in style, great, if not, well, I usually give it a good and serious think as to why it’s not in style and proceed with caution or elimination. So even if I had the money and the resources, what would I buy?

So I’m staring at my life, everything I own–which is one, erm, “good” thing about living in a small compartment. I can look out over everything I own all at once–and wondering how to a) purge everything I own, b) how to afford new stuff and c) what new stuff I’d buy if I had the money to buy new stuff.

And this is why and how people get “stuck in ruts.” The fact is, in most cases, they’re not stuck anywhere except financially down. Apart from the hippie contingent, given the choice most people would probably choose to get all new stuff every so often.

And that’s our lesson on tolerance for the week.

If you see someone who appears to be stuck in a fashion rut, don’t condemn them unless you are willing to front the money to buy them new stuff.

Behind those in need of an update styles may lurk someone filled with hatred about their life, ideas about how to change it but unable to move forward with their ideas or plans.

We’re not apathetic or boring or unaware. We’re just financially broke.

4:11 PM

Monday, September 26, 2005  
So this is a new twist on being single.

It’s not actually new, it’s just taken me a while to realize what’s happening.

With the exception of a few people who are divorced or widowed, most of my friends, family, colleagues and coworkers are married. Many of them have children or are nesting in preparation for children.

I’ve gone through the whole “still single” thing at wedding after wedding, outing after outing, dinner party after dinner party. My friends no longer try to bridge the single/married gap. They’re very cozily married and are openly smug about all the benefits of marriage. They have now for the most part forgotten what it’s like to be single and are not capable of relating to anything about being single. From ordering a pizza to joint tax returns, their lives are different in every way from those of single people.

For a while some of my friends tried to keep everything the same as when they were single. They tried to live as they did when they were single except with the benefit of a constant partner.

Most of them very quickly succumbed to the fact that being married is very different than being single. First and foremost, if the spouse works, there are huge financial benefits. They automatically have more spending money. And once the wedding bills are paid, their lifestyles improve greatly. Which is why I’ve given up on the whole conventional love thing. I need a financial partner. I’ve seen the financial benefits of being married and I want a piece of that action. Because I’m really, really sick of managing on one small income in a two income society. It’s wreaking havoc on my bank account and contributing to a lot of my sleep problems.

My married friends seem to very quickly forget what it’s like to live on one income. They go places, do things, buy things, basic things, like food, without giving it much, if any, thought. Without budgeting a night out with friends as an expense which will eat into their monthly operating budget. They don’t stock up on store brand cereal when it’s on sale as a means to go out with friends one night during the month. True story: I went out with a friend for dinner and drinks. In order to afford this extravagence I had to eat store brand cereal for every meal for three weeks. My friend thought the night out was an inexpensive treat and which we should do every week.

I kept making polite excuses, she kept countering them. Finally I had to explain to her it’s simply not in my budget.

She offered to pay my way. Because she’s a good friend and happy to help/share. Which is really nice and I’m grateful to have such a swell friend and everything.

But.

I’m sick of being a charity. My friends and family already pity me and worry about me, you know, alone, single, on my own all the time. And now comes the charity. At first it was charity in the form of trying to set me up with some guy or another. Usually a coworker of their spouse. Usually not someone they would have ever considered going out with when they were single, but since I’m still single they figure I’ll go out with anyone and be happy to do so. Which, yes, you know, in my case has become true, but this was back when I was still trying to maintain some sort of base standard for dating. Note to people who like to fix up their single friends on dates: Don’t offend or insult us. If you wouldn’t date the person, why would you inflict them on anyone else?

The financial issues are frustrating and embarrassing on a lot of levels. Every time someone invites me to do something, I have to re-evaluate my budget and either cut back on a basic living expense, usually food, or make a polite excuse to not attend. Because my friends are married and have more disposable income. Their tastes have increased with their income. They are not really into ordering a pizza and picking up a cheap bottle of wine and renting a movie. They’re into full fledged dinner parties. Or big nights out. Or spa weekends. And yes, I’m into all of those, too, but as a huge, save up for it event. Not as a matter of course, as a matter of lifestyle. Most of my friends “understand” my “situation” but they think, “she’s single, no kids, she’s free as a bird to do whatever she wants...” which is fairly true, but the “whatever I want” part is not accurate. I can do whatever I want within my means. Which is one income. The embarrassment takes me by surprise. My little compartment without much furniture is a huge embarrassment to me in light of my friends’ swanky condos and big houses, all decorated lovely creating a comfortable and pride swelling place to live and entertain. I’m generally okay with my compartment, you know, it’s nice and everything. But it is very small. I’ve adapted but when I visit a friend I realize how pathetically small and, well, impoverished my compartment is. I live a very, very, very different life than my friends live. A meagre, impoverished, pathetic life compared to theirs.

Jealous? Well, yeah, a little bit. I wish I could see my friends more often but because of my financial limitations I cannot afford to go where they go or do what they do.

My good friends and I manage, you know, we get together now and then. But. Well. It’s getting to be more then than now. They’re involved with a lot of other things. They have spouses and children and activities and vacations involving those spouses and activities which is, you know, normal. I’m the odd one, I’m the one not conforming to the normal stages of life. It’s not them, it’s me.

We’ve been all over this territory.

So to the new issue.

This aspect hasn’t reared its ugly head until recently.

Some of my friends have young children. Whom I adore. (and yes, I am jealous of their children. The more I see them, the more I long to have at least one of my own. Another aspect married people don’t understand: Their children, wonderful as they are, can cause a lot of angst and sadness or at least some serious pangs of sadness and longing in their childless friends.) Right. My friends are becoming parents. Another step through the normal stages of life, another step further away from me.

And because I’m stalled behind them, stuck in single land, and therefore immature in comparison to them, they are starting to treat me like one of their children. This is not an isolated incident. This is happening to me with increasing frequency from all of my friends who have become parents. They talk down to me. They over explain everything. They tell me what to do. They make decisions and plans for me before even speaking to me about it. They don’t offer advice on any topic in my life, they tell me what I’m doing wrong and compare how they would handle a situation to my apparently incompetent plan. They forget details like money. My friends now all tell me to quit my job. “Just quit!” they’ll scream at me. “Just quit that job. You hate it, you’re not getting ahead, stop complaining about it and just quit!” Uh, yeah, you know, I’d really like to, I fantasize about that on a regular basis, but, erm, I’m not actually independently wealthy, and the actual reason I’ve stayed as long as I have is because I, well, I need the paycheck. I can’t afford to quit until I have another job.

One of my friends was honestly taken aback by my explanation of the need for a paycheck.

“You mean you don’t have at least a years’ salary saved? My God, Trill, you really need to start saving some money. My entire paycheck goes into the kids’ college fund and our savings account.”

“How nice for you, Friend, great that you’re able to be so responsible. But I don’t actually have a husband earning twice my salary so I have to, you know, live on my salary.”

“Seriously Trill, you need to save money. I had no idea you were living that way. You need to have at least one year of your income in a non retirement account. You do have a retirement account, don’t you? I mean, you’re not getting younger.”

That way? You mean the way you lived until a few years ago? “Yes. I have a retirement account.”

“Whew, Trill. I love you but I can’t take care of you when you’re old.”

“Gee, thanks, but that’s okay. I’ve got a few boxes in mind for retirement. Nothing elaborate, just a modest little fridge box.”

“Trill, you’ve got to do something with your life. If you’re not going to get married you need to save money and get a better paying job.”

“Okay. Thanks for the advice.”

“Really Trillian. You can’t keep on this way.”

Uh, yeah. I know. I’m not actually 7 and I’m not actually an idiot and I’m not actually happy with my life. Thanks for the support and understanding, Friend.

I can deal with the bigger issues, the “Trill, do something!” commands.

But what’s really annoying the crap out of me is the “do it this way” and the “no, I believe it’s pronounced THIS way” and the “don’t wear that, borrow my_____ ” and the general condescending attitude and bossing around I’m getting from my friends with children. Even if they’re wrong, I have learned to keep my mouth shut. I don’t want to argue or quibble or split hairs over whether or not the ingredient is indigenous to Brazil or Argentina because it doesn't swutting matter!!! But what does matter is offending and hurting someone over an issue which doesn't swutting matter. Correcting and directing and generally mothering a grown adult is rude and disgusting behavior. Even if that grown adult is stuck in a phase of life she should have moved on from several years ago.

If this were an isolated incident with one friend I would write it off to too much motherhood, not enough adult interaction. Or a nitpicking nature.

But.

This is happening at a staggering rate with all of my friends, female and male, who have become parents. It hit home to me when I realized they do not talk to or treat people who are married the same way. I notice they only talk to and treat me this way. Until I stopped to notice that aspect, and then took the time to wonder why they treat me differently, I didn’t connect the dots to get the full picture they see of me. I thought maybe my skills of decorum and general intelligence had taken a dive. I've never claimed to be anything other than a socially awkward idiot, but I think I know how to handle myself in public. I think I know a thing or two about a thing or two, and certainly know when to keep my mouth shut. But their near constant remarks, thinly cloaked criticisms, made me second guess myself. It began to eat away at what little confidence I have. I said increasingly less and let them do all the talking. I let them tell me what to do, what to wear, where to go and generally boss me around. I wasn't very happy with that arrangement, but, they're the ones who are successful in life and I'm the pathetic single ugly loser so I thought the best and smartest thing to do was to listen to them and let them boss me around. I thought if I was more like them I'd be more successful. I was trying to learn.

But what I learned is that they are frequently wrong. They are frequently overbearingly opinionated on topics about which they know very little. But they're my friends and I accept and love them so, you know, I just kept quiet. And I certainly didn't want to treat them the way they'd been treating me, correcting them and bossing them. That's not me. Live and let live Trill. And I'm not one to play tit for tat.

And they're not meanspirited. They're just parents. They're in that phase of life. And I’m stuck behind them, single, financially hurting most of the time, in a job I should have left a long time ago, stagnant. They moved forward. They have all the benchmarks of adulthood. “Single” is now something they associate in terms of their children. Single is the next generation behind them. I’m single and therefor: Behind them. And so they treat me very, very differently than they treat the people who are keeping up with them on their trip though life.

My wrist is in a brace thing. It’s been difficult not to mention painful to type. My friends know what happened, they know my wrist is not functioning up to par.

And yet not one but three of my friends replied to an email I sent apparently for no other reason than to correct a transposition.

Okay. These are not people who in the past have been nitpicking jerks. One of them is a bit of a perfectionist. But since I generally avoid social contact with nitpicking jerks, hair splitting bores and anyone else who feels a need to tell everyone they’re right and therefore superior by pointing out someone else’s mistake, it’s safe to assume this hasn’t been an issue with any of these people until they became parents.

None of them stopped to assume that since in the years they’ve known me I have generally spelled, you know, okay, or at least decipherably, that I do in fact know how to spell perusal. Or that at the very least I know it’s not spelled preusal.

None of them stopped to think, “Gee, Trill’s wrist is sprained and yet she’s sending me an email. What a pal. What a thoughtful friend she is.”

None of them stopped to think, “Gosh, poor Trill, her wrist must be bothering her. She made a transposition.”

None of them replied to inquire about my health or general well being.

All three of them made either a sarcastic comment or simply corrected my spelling.

“Yes, friend, I meant perusal. Jsut a bti pianful ot tpye tehse dyas.” was my response to her.

Let me state loud and clear: These are not bitchy, mean people. These are generally thoughtful, nice, caring people. Who have become parents. Who spend their days teaching and correcting and generally bossing around young children. And they apparently view me as another of their children. Because I’m not one of them. Because I am single and broke and not keeping up with them in any aspect of life they have come to view me and treat me very differently.

It’s gone from pity to intolerance and lack of respect.

It took a while to happen. I never saw it coming. But now that I start adding it up, connecting the dots, that’s the conclusion I’ve drawn.

I don’t think it’s a conscious lack of respect on their part, but the intolerance is conscious. It’s not possible to berate someone for their lack of savings or transposition in spelling a word without realizing you’re berating them. And you cannot berate someone, especially a friend, without knowing you are showing a serious lack of respect and tolerance. Which, correct me if I’m wrong, are the cornerstones of friendship. What separates friends from just other people is that we have shared experiences, respect and tolerate each other. Without respect and tolerance I think we’re just people, not friends. So on some level it IS conscious.

What I’m wondering is if I were to somehow pull off a marriage, would they once again treat me as an equal, or at least as an adult? Or would I need to have children to actually regain their respect?

Do I put these friendships on ice until I get married and have children? What if, as it seems to be the case, I never marry and/or have children?

I mean, these are my friends. My real friends. Or at least they have been until the whole parenthood thing happened. Do I ride out their parenthood years taking their bossiness and constant “advising” as a sign that they care about me but are completely out of touch with my life and leave it at that? That’s the approach I’ve been taking.

When it first started happening I was more than a little surprised. So I’d fire back with an occasional comment and one or two conversations about the issue. I did stand up for myself, I didn’t let them walk all over me. They apologized, but apparently my objection to the way they talked to me didn’t really sink in with them. They went right back to correcting me and being very condescending to me.

And I don’t really mind - not in the grand scheme. Now that I think I’ve figured it out I realize this is a parenthood thing. And a me still being single thing. I don’t want to argue over it. I don’t want it to cause a bitter end to our friendships. But. I also don’t want to be treated like a child.

So I’m backing off a bit. Leaving them alone to do their parent thing. And so far they don’t seem to notice. Which is good. They’re not hurt or wondering what’s wrong or, you know, missing me. There was already a chasm between us. The married/single chasm is huge and cavernous. More huge and more cavernous the longer you remain unmarried and childless

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12:48 PM

 
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