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:

Otherwise, hello, and welcome.
Mail Trillian here<

Join Zipcar and get $25 in free driving!

Trillian McMillian
Trillian McMillian
Create Your Badge


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
Enter ZIP Code:

or Search by State

Find State Officials
Enter ZIP Code:

or Search by State

Contact The Media
Enter ZIP Code:

or Search by State

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.)



<< current
4/27/03 - 5/4/03 5/4/03 - 5/11/03 8/3/03 - 8/10/03 8/10/03 - 8/17/03 8/17/03 - 8/24/03 8/24/03 - 8/31/03 8/31/03 - 9/7/03 9/7/03 - 9/14/03 9/14/03 - 9/21/03 9/21/03 - 9/28/03 9/28/03 - 10/5/03 10/5/03 - 10/12/03 10/12/03 - 10/19/03 10/19/03 - 10/26/03 10/26/03 - 11/2/03 11/2/03 - 11/9/03 11/9/03 - 11/16/03 11/16/03 - 11/23/03 11/23/03 - 11/30/03 11/30/03 - 12/7/03 12/7/03 - 12/14/03 12/14/03 - 12/21/03 12/21/03 - 12/28/03 12/28/03 - 1/4/04 1/4/04 - 1/11/04 1/11/04 - 1/18/04 1/18/04 - 1/25/04 1/25/04 - 2/1/04 2/1/04 - 2/8/04 2/8/04 - 2/15/04 2/15/04 - 2/22/04 2/22/04 - 2/29/04 2/29/04 - 3/7/04 3/7/04 - 3/14/04 3/14/04 - 3/21/04 3/21/04 - 3/28/04 3/28/04 - 4/4/04 4/4/04 - 4/11/04 4/11/04 - 4/18/04 4/18/04 - 4/25/04 4/25/04 - 5/2/04 5/2/04 - 5/9/04 5/9/04 - 5/16/04 5/16/04 - 5/23/04 5/23/04 - 5/30/04 6/6/04 - 6/13/04 6/13/04 - 6/20/04 6/20/04 - 6/27/04 6/27/04 - 7/4/04 7/4/04 - 7/11/04 7/11/04 - 7/18/04 7/18/04 - 7/25/04 7/25/04 - 8/1/04 8/1/04 - 8/8/04 8/8/04 - 8/15/04 8/15/04 - 8/22/04 8/22/04 - 8/29/04 8/29/04 - 9/5/04 9/5/04 - 9/12/04 9/12/04 - 9/19/04 9/19/04 - 9/26/04 9/26/04 - 10/3/04 10/3/04 - 10/10/04 10/10/04 - 10/17/04 10/17/04 - 10/24/04 10/24/04 - 10/31/04 10/31/04 - 11/7/04 11/14/04 - 11/21/04 11/21/04 - 11/28/04 11/28/04 - 12/5/04 12/5/04 - 12/12/04 12/12/04 - 12/19/04 12/19/04 - 12/26/04 12/26/04 - 1/2/05 1/2/05 - 1/9/05 1/9/05 - 1/16/05 1/16/05 - 1/23/05 1/23/05 - 1/30/05 1/30/05 - 2/6/05 2/6/05 - 2/13/05 2/13/05 - 2/20/05 2/20/05 - 2/27/05 2/27/05 - 3/6/05 3/6/05 - 3/13/05 3/13/05 - 3/20/05 3/20/05 - 3/27/05 3/27/05 - 4/3/05 4/3/05 - 4/10/05 4/10/05 - 4/17/05 4/17/05 - 4/24/05 4/24/05 - 5/1/05 5/1/05 - 5/8/05 5/15/05 - 5/22/05 6/5/05 - 6/12/05 7/24/05 - 7/31/05 7/31/05 - 8/7/05 8/7/05 - 8/14/05 8/14/05 - 8/21/05 8/21/05 - 8/28/05 9/4/05 - 9/11/05 9/11/05 - 9/18/05 9/18/05 - 9/25/05 9/25/05 - 10/2/05 10/2/05 - 10/9/05 10/9/05 - 10/16/05 10/16/05 - 10/23/05 10/23/05 - 10/30/05 10/30/05 - 11/6/05 11/6/05 - 11/13/05 11/13/05 - 11/20/05 11/20/05 - 11/27/05 12/4/05 - 12/11/05 12/11/05 - 12/18/05 1/1/06 - 1/8/06 1/8/06 - 1/15/06 1/15/06 - 1/22/06 1/22/06 - 1/29/06 1/29/06 - 2/5/06 2/5/06 - 2/12/06 2/12/06 - 2/19/06 2/19/06 - 2/26/06 2/26/06 - 3/5/06 3/5/06 - 3/12/06 3/12/06 - 3/19/06 3/19/06 - 3/26/06 3/26/06 - 4/2/06 4/2/06 - 4/9/06 4/9/06 - 4/16/06 4/23/06 - 4/30/06 4/30/06 - 5/7/06 5/7/06 - 5/14/06 5/14/06 - 5/21/06 5/21/06 - 5/28/06 6/11/06 - 6/18/06 6/18/06 - 6/25/06 6/25/06 - 7/2/06 7/2/06 - 7/9/06 7/30/06 - 8/6/06 9/10/06 - 9/17/06 9/17/06 - 9/24/06 10/8/06 - 10/15/06 10/29/06 - 11/5/06 11/5/06 - 11/12/06 11/12/06 - 11/19/06 11/26/06 - 12/3/06 12/3/06 - 12/10/06 12/17/06 - 12/24/06 12/24/06 - 12/31/06 12/31/06 - 1/7/07 1/21/07 - 1/28/07 1/28/07 - 2/4/07 2/4/07 - 2/11/07 2/11/07 - 2/18/07 2/18/07 - 2/25/07 2/25/07 - 3/4/07 3/4/07 - 3/11/07 3/11/07 - 3/18/07 3/18/07 - 3/25/07 3/25/07 - 4/1/07 6/24/07 - 7/1/07 7/1/07 - 7/8/07 7/8/07 - 7/15/07 7/15/07 - 7/22/07 7/22/07 - 7/29/07 7/29/07 - 8/5/07 8/5/07 - 8/12/07 8/12/07 - 8/19/07 8/19/07 - 8/26/07 8/26/07 - 9/2/07 9/9/07 - 9/16/07 9/16/07 - 9/23/07 9/23/07 - 9/30/07 9/30/07 - 10/7/07 10/7/07 - 10/14/07 10/14/07 - 10/21/07 11/4/07 - 11/11/07 11/11/07 - 11/18/07 12/9/07 - 12/16/07 1/6/08 - 1/13/08 1/13/08 - 1/20/08 1/27/08 - 2/3/08 2/3/08 - 2/10/08 2/10/08 - 2/17/08 2/24/08 - 3/2/08 3/2/08 - 3/9/08 3/9/08 - 3/16/08 3/16/08 - 3/23/08 3/23/08 - 3/30/08 3/30/08 - 4/6/08 4/6/08 - 4/13/08 4/13/08 - 4/20/08 4/20/08 - 4/27/08 4/27/08 - 5/4/08 5/4/08 - 5/11/08 5/11/08 - 5/18/08 5/18/08 - 5/25/08 5/25/08 - 6/1/08 6/1/08 - 6/8/08 6/15/08 - 6/22/08 6/22/08 - 6/29/08 6/29/08 - 7/6/08 7/13/08 - 7/20/08 7/20/08 - 7/27/08 8/3/08 - 8/10/08 8/10/08 - 8/17/08 8/17/08 - 8/24/08 8/24/08 - 8/31/08 8/31/08 - 9/7/08 9/7/08 - 9/14/08 9/21/08 - 9/28/08 9/28/08 - 10/5/08 10/5/08 - 10/12/08 10/12/08 - 10/19/08 10/19/08 - 10/26/08 10/26/08 - 11/2/08 11/2/08 - 11/9/08 11/9/08 - 11/16/08 11/16/08 - 11/23/08 11/30/08 - 12/7/08 12/7/08 - 12/14/08 12/14/08 - 12/21/08 12/28/08 - 1/4/09 1/4/09 - 1/11/09 1/11/09 - 1/18/09 1/18/09 - 1/25/09 2/1/09 - 2/8/09 2/8/09 - 2/15/09 2/15/09 - 2/22/09 3/29/09 - 4/5/09 5/3/09 - 5/10/09 5/10/09 - 5/17/09 5/17/09 - 5/24/09 5/24/09 - 5/31/09 5/31/09 - 6/7/09 6/7/09 - 6/14/09 6/14/09 - 6/21/09 7/12/09 - 7/19/09 7/19/09 - 7/26/09 7/26/09 - 8/2/09 8/2/09 - 8/9/09 8/9/09 - 8/16/09 8/16/09 - 8/23/09 8/23/09 - 8/30/09 8/30/09 - 9/6/09 9/20/09 - 9/27/09 9/27/09 - 10/4/09 10/4/09 - 10/11/09 10/11/09 - 10/18/09 10/18/09 - 10/25/09 10/25/09 - 11/1/09 11/1/09 - 11/8/09 11/8/09 - 11/15/09 11/15/09 - 11/22/09 11/22/09 - 11/29/09 11/29/09 - 12/6/09 12/6/09 - 12/13/09 12/13/09 - 12/20/09 12/20/09 - 12/27/09 12/27/09 - 1/3/10 1/3/10 - 1/10/10 1/10/10 - 1/17/10 1/17/10 - 1/24/10 1/24/10 - 1/31/10 1/31/10 - 2/7/10 2/7/10 - 2/14/10 2/14/10 - 2/21/10 2/21/10 - 2/28/10 3/14/10 - 3/21/10 3/21/10 - 3/28/10 3/28/10 - 4/4/10 4/4/10 - 4/11/10 4/11/10 - 4/18/10 4/18/10 - 4/25/10 4/25/10 - 5/2/10 5/2/10 - 5/9/10 5/9/10 - 5/16/10 5/16/10 - 5/23/10 5/23/10 - 5/30/10 5/30/10 - 6/6/10 6/6/10 - 6/13/10 6/13/10 - 6/20/10 6/20/10 - 6/27/10 6/27/10 - 7/4/10 7/4/10 - 7/11/10 7/11/10 - 7/18/10 7/18/10 - 7/25/10 7/25/10 - 8/1/10 9/19/10 - 9/26/10 10/3/10 - 10/10/10 10/10/10 - 10/17/10 10/17/10 - 10/24/10 10/24/10 - 10/31/10 10/31/10 - 11/7/10 11/14/10 - 11/21/10 11/28/10 - 12/5/10 12/5/10 - 12/12/10 12/12/10 - 12/19/10 12/19/10 - 12/26/10 12/26/10 - 1/2/11 1/2/11 - 1/9/11 1/9/11 - 1/16/11 1/16/11 - 1/23/11 1/23/11 - 1/30/11 1/30/11 - 2/6/11 2/6/11 - 2/13/11 2/13/11 - 2/20/11 2/20/11 - 2/27/11 2/27/11 - 3/6/11 3/6/11 - 3/13/11 3/13/11 - 3/20/11 3/20/11 - 3/27/11 3/27/11 - 4/3/11 4/3/11 - 4/10/11 4/10/11 - 4/17/11 4/17/11 - 4/24/11 4/24/11 - 5/1/11 5/1/11 - 5/8/11 5/15/11 - 5/22/11 5/22/11 - 5/29/11 5/29/11 - 6/5/11 6/12/11 - 6/19/11 6/19/11 - 6/26/11 6/26/11 - 7/3/11 7/10/11 - 7/17/11 7/31/11 - 8/7/11 8/21/11 - 8/28/11 8/28/11 - 9/4/11 9/18/11 - 9/25/11 9/25/11 - 10/2/11 10/2/11 - 10/9/11 10/9/11 - 10/16/11 10/16/11 - 10/23/11 10/23/11 - 10/30/11 11/6/11 - 11/13/11 11/13/11 - 11/20/11 11/20/11 - 11/27/11 11/27/11 - 12/4/11 12/4/11 - 12/11/11 12/11/11 - 12/18/11 12/25/11 - 1/1/12 1/1/12 - 1/8/12 2/5/12 - 2/12/12 2/19/12 - 2/26/12 3/4/12 - 3/11/12 4/1/12 - 4/8/12 4/15/12 - 4/22/12 4/29/12 - 5/6/12 5/13/12 - 5/20/12 5/20/12 - 5/27/12 6/24/12 - 7/1/12 7/1/12 - 7/8/12 7/8/12 - 7/15/12 7/15/12 - 7/22/12 7/22/12 - 7/29/12 7/29/12 - 8/5/12 8/5/12 - 8/12/12 8/12/12 - 8/19/12 8/19/12 - 8/26/12 8/26/12 - 9/2/12 9/2/12 - 9/9/12 9/9/12 - 9/16/12 9/16/12 - 9/23/12 9/23/12 - 9/30/12 10/7/12 - 10/14/12 10/21/12 - 10/28/12 11/4/12 - 11/11/12 12/9/12 - 12/16/12 12/23/12 - 12/30/12 1/6/13 - 1/13/13 1/13/13 - 1/20/13 1/20/13 - 1/27/13 1/27/13 - 2/3/13 2/3/13 - 2/10/13 2/10/13 - 2/17/13 2/17/13 - 2/24/13 3/3/13 - 3/10/13 3/17/13 - 3/24/13 3/31/13 - 4/7/13 4/7/13 - 4/14/13 4/21/13 - 4/28/13 4/28/13 - 5/5/13 5/5/13 - 5/12/13 5/12/13 - 5/19/13 5/19/13 - 5/26/13 6/16/13 - 6/23/13 6/23/13 - 6/30/13 7/14/13 - 7/21/13 8/11/13 - 8/18/13 8/25/13 - 9/1/13 9/8/13 - 9/15/13 9/22/13 - 9/29/13 10/13/13 - 10/20/13 10/20/13 - 10/27/13 11/10/13 - 11/17/13 12/1/13 - 12/8/13 12/15/13 - 12/22/13 12/29/13 - 1/5/14 6/29/14 - 7/6/14 9/14/14 - 9/21/14 9/21/14 - 9/28/14 10/12/14 - 10/19/14 11/23/14 - 11/30/14 12/7/14 - 12/14/14 12/28/14 - 1/4/15 1/25/15 - 2/1/15 2/8/15 - 2/15/15 2/22/15 - 3/1/15 3/8/15 - 3/15/15 3/15/15 - 3/22/15 3/22/15 - 3/29/15 4/12/15 - 4/19/15 4/19/15 - 4/26/15 5/3/15 - 5/10/15 5/17/15 - 5/24/15 5/24/15 - 5/31/15 6/14/15 - 6/21/15 6/28/15 - 7/5/15 7/5/15 - 7/12/15 7/19/15 - 7/26/15 8/16/15 - 8/23/15 11/6/16 - 11/13/16

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


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?!)


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.


Kii Arens

Tim Biskup

Jeff Soto


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.

< chicago blogs >

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

Wednesday, December 06, 2006  
There should be an island for misfit people. You know, like on the Rudolph Christmas special with the Island of Misfit Toys where all the odd and unloved toys go live out their days under the rule of King Moonracer. (the debate about what’s “wrong” with the doll rages on, a pop-culture unsolved mystery) The holidays are a difficult time for odd and unloved toys.
And they’re not so much fun for us singles, either.
So where’s our King Moonracer? Where’s our kind protector to find us and take us to a place where we can find solace with the other misfits who are odd and unloved?
Yeah, okay, so we don’t actually live in a claymation world.
It’s a good concept. Maybe a little on the Leper colony side of social engineering, but better to find companionship and shared misery with like-afflicted people who understand what you’re going through and feeling than spend days and nights alone or with people who do not have any understanding of your situation.
The worst time of year to be odd and/or unloved is the “Holiday” season. And I’m not talking about toys. (seriously, what’s wrong with the doll?) Even, even if a single person is alone by choice, or just love, love, loves the holidays because of all the wonderment and hope, there are facts which cannot be escaped. The holidays are rough on single people. Period.

Look at any television, magazine, newspaper or online ad. Look at billboards and "wish book" catalogs. What do you see? Couples, couples, couples. couples. Love, love, love, love. Big gifts, little gifts, perfect gifts for the perfect love.I know I think this every year. But seriously, this year seems exceptionally bad in the category of Happy Couples and Adorable Children hurled at us to make us singles feel completely unworthy of existence let alone the holiday season. The strong and clear message I have been sent in every, yes, every "Wish Book," Sunday sales supplement, television ad, billboard, banner ad, email solicitation, movie release and even spam is: "This season is all about couples and adorable children. If you're not coupled up or blessed with an adorable child or two, you're not worthy of our advertising dollars and therefore not worthy of the holiday. Now go on, off to the Island of Misfit Toys with you, and don't come back until after Kwanza!"

And just when you thought you were past being hurt and offended by marketing, you realize you have to go out into the madness, either in real life or online, and shop. You have to spend money on gifts.
Gifts, of course, are a huge expense for everyone. But. Single people have to spread their holiday spending dollars across their family and friends and carry the burden on their own and only receive one in return. A gift for a couple (or two gifts, one for him, one for her, maybe more if there are children involved) and one gift “from the family” given in return. There’s a huge imbalance here. Sure, you can draw names, but so far that has not proven to really work very well. People rarely adhere to the “rules of exchange” in the name drawing scenario.
And no, it’s not about gifts and real friends and family understand you’re single and scraping by on one income and no tax breaks for being married, having children or owning a home. But. That rationale doesn’t assuage the awkward moments when friends and family produce a gift for you and you’ve got nothing or only a small inexpensive token gift to give them. Every year I have the same conversations with friends: No gifts this year! We have these very adult and responsible conversations wherein we discuss the true meaning of the holidays and how great it is just to have good friends and we walk around feeling all warm and fuzzy and so smugly superior because we’re not succumbing to the pressure to buy gifts. And then I go to a party or open my mailbox and what is shoved in my face? Lavishly wrapped gifts from people who vowed with me that we were not exchanging gifts. When I question them why they’ve bought me a present after we agreed we wouldn’t exchange gifts, they say, “Oh, I know, but I couldn’t resist, I saw this and I knew you’d love it.” And I stand there trying to be grateful and remind myself that we had an agreement and they broke the agreement, so it’s not my fault, it’s their’s and they should be the ones feeling guilty, not me. But it doesn’t work that way. They bought me a gift and I have nothing for them. There’s that moment, like when you tell someone you love them and you don’t get an I love you, too, in return, that cuts straight to the heart and soul. Sure, it passes, the awkwardness fades with a lame joke or something in the kitchen suddenly needing a lot of attention, but it’s there. So you have a huge mental note to make sure you give a super swell birthday gift and buy them a holiday gift next year, or better still, give them a “just because we’re good friends” present at some point in the next few months. And no, it shouldn’t be about keeping score or any of the issues in that whole exchange. And it’s really not, most people, well, most mature, decent people, honestly pick up a gift for someone only because they think the recipient will like it. And the recipient should learn to be a gracious recipient and accept these gifts and move on with their life.
Yes. I agree. But. We’ve all been in this situation and all the enlightened and gracious tactics in the world will not help ease that awkward moment of realization when there’s a gift being handed to you and you don’t have anything to hand over in return.
And no, this is not the private domain of single people, this happens to married people, couples, everyone.
But. When you’re single this happens at a higher rate, AND, those gifts just keep on giving, the ribbon around the fancy wrapping isn’t the only string attached. Along with the actual gift there’s guilt (you haven’t got a gift in return) and there’s the implied (or outright spoken) charity. I have a very good friend who habitually gives me very expensive gifts. She and her husband can afford to do this. She wants to do this. She knows I’m struggling financially and that I don’t buy myself much of anything, especially “unnecessary” luxuries. So she’s taken it upon herself to spoil me. Which is really thoughtful and yes, I do appreciate it. But. Sometimes it makes me feel like I’m her personal charity. I know she doesn’t mean to flaunt her wealth, but, when I’m sitting there with a very expensive gift in my lap and handing her something, well, not so expensive and undoubtedly not really wanted, it does tend to bring the huge difference in our lifestyles into sharp focus. It’s not a competition, and I know her intention is not to make me feel inadequate and embarrassed. But. We all know in the moment it’s awkward and uncomfortable. A few of those situations and a person ends up feeling really inadequate and embarrassed about their lifestyle. And if you happen to be single these situations become the events that cloud your perspective on the season. You go home alone with your expensive new gift, you look around at your empty abode, feed the cat and see nothing but an old jar of olives and cat food in the fridge, look at your new gift again and it looks horribly, grotesquely out of place in your humble singles pad. That lovely gift which seemed so sumptuous and festive at the restaurant or at your friend’s house looks like it’s trying to make an escape for the door because it doesn’t belong here. It belongs in much more nicely appointed surroundings. Someone once gave me a really lovely gift. I had it on display in my old apartment. Two different visitors questioned me as to where I got it, implying strongly that I must have stolen it because I could never possibly afford it.Yep, those nice holiday gifts really do keep right on giving all year long.
The opposite issue arises, too. Some people view single people as living throw-away lives. So they grab anything, usually one of those factory pre-wrapped generic gadget gifts, and hand it to the single person. “Here’s a little something I picked up for you when I was in line at the grocery.” This is done with an air of “okay, handed over that gift, check it off the list, next!”  Meanwhile, other friends, married friends, are the recipients of lovely items for their home or useful items for parents. What it comes down to is: Some married people are out of touch with single life. They’re busy with new homes and young children. The stuff of singledom is long behind them, forgotten like a bad memory. So when they try to think of a gift for a single friend they draw blanks. All their nifty gift ideas are components of new homes and parenting, nifty stuff for the mini-van and swell stuff for all those new rooms in those new houses. And they have the mindset of, “She’s single and lives in an apartment too small to entertain in or really decorate in any meaningful way, she goes to work and spends time with her cat and that’s the sum total of her life. Apart from a gift card for IKEA, Suit Shack or PetSmart there’s really nothing I can give her so I’ll just give her whatever’s easy and cheap. Like her.”  A few years ago I was invited to the new home of a friend. It was a small party where we all knew each other. I was the only single person there. The host gave all the other women a neato canister filled with lovely (and very expensive) kitchen items. I got a factory pre-wrapped car adapter thing which turns one car gadget slot into two. Oh. And it lights up. I um, don’t own a car. My friend, the host, said, “It’ll be handy when you rent a car for your road trips to your parents'! You can plug in all sorts of things to use in the car!”  I know she meant well. I know she was grasping for an idea for me, but why single me out, literally, by giving me a cheap pre-wrapped gift from Walgreen’s when everyone else is getting a lavish and thoughtful gift for their home? I mean, I’m not ungrateful, really, but I don’t get it. Do you? How could I possible feel anything other than awkward and embarrassed when I opened that gift while everyone else looked on with their by comparison lavish gifts perched in their laps?
I know this sounds ungrateful and arrogant and geeze, Trill, we never knew you were so, um, ungracious and, well, catty and mean. It’s nice that you have people who care enough to give you gifts. Not everything is a war against single people. I know. I know. And you’re right, of course. But. If you’re single and haven’t found yourself in one of the above mentioned awkward/embarrassing/chopped liver moments, trust me, you will. And when you go home, alone, and are left pondering the gift and your life, come back and we’ll have a chat.
Worse than the gift situation, though, are the invitations. Parties. Holiday parties. Many of them obligatory work related parties. You have to go. Period. You have to at least put in an appearance. Nothing shy of Black Plague will get you off the hook for attending some of these events. Most of the hosts of these events are gracious enough to make sure the invitation reads, “and guest.” Which is super swell. Don’t get me wrong on this score, either. It’s very, very nice of companies and associates to include “and guest,” extending an invitation to a complete stranger of your choice. But. There’s a huge, huge huge amount of pressure in those two words. “And guest.” It takes on a sinister sound and looms like a billboard in the silence of your lonely room at night. If you go solo you spend most of the evening alone because everyone else is there with their guest. You make small talk and meet the “and guests.” And you don’t have a guest to introduce. Because you’re single and flying solo. So you do the obligatory mingling, make sure you get in some face time with the associates who invited you, paint on a pleasant “gosh isn’t this just a lovely event” face and get the heck out of there as soon as you can.  If you drag a friend along, you then have to introduce your guest and it will become obvious you didn’t want to come alone, you couldn’t get a date so you dragged your poor friend along to keep you company. L stands for loser. Next year just go alone wearing a t-shirt which says, “desperate loser who couldn’t get a date.” At least that way you might stand a slim chance of finding a kindred spirit who’s in the same situation rather than giving the appearance you’re there “with someone.”

And then there are the parties at friend's homes. Mirth, merriment and fa la la swutting la la la. I am now officially the only unattached person in my social circles. Apart from a few devoted bachelors who prefer to remain single so they have the option of a different partner every month, I am the only unattached person in my social cirlces. I know other single people, I know other single people exist, so far I'm not the last one on the planet, but it's starting to feel that way. I've always known one or two single people who I could commiserate with over the holidays. Not this year. Even my most cynical and relationship jaded bachelor buddy has a new love in his life. And I'm really happy for him. Don't get me wrong there, either. But. It's gonna be a rough year for me. Lots of invitations, all of them with "and guest" sent by people, friends, who know darned well I don't have an "and guest" to bring to their holiday brunch or cocktail party. I know, I know, this is my issue, my problem, not theirs. All the more reason we need a Misfit Island for people like me. I'll go to these parties because I'm a good friend and I was invited and that's what you do. And I will endure these events, smiling and acting friendly, happy and festive alone at gatherings filled with couples. And children.

On one hand I absolutely adore children and love to spend time with them, but on the other hand having me sit at the kid’s table is not exactly what I had in mind when I accepted the invitation to the holiday brunch at a friend’s house.
I honestly believe, because I want to believe, that my friend simply did not have enough space at her dining table to fit all the adults. And since I was the only single guest and because I adore her children, she thought it would be okay to have me sit with the kids. I should note that she didn’t have a place to sit, either, and spent the entire meal standing between the dining room and the kitchen. Other people, more jaded, cynical people, would assume I was invited to serve as a babysitter for the children. This assumption would be made because well, I was offered a seat at the kid’s table, and the kids included the children of all the guests, not just my host’s children, the above mentioned adored ones. I did not know the other kids. Well. I didn’t when I arrived. I certainly did by the time I left. Because once I sat with the kids at the kid’s table, it was apparently assumed that I would “handle” all of the children during the rest of the party. And that’s exactly what happened. Every time I tried to break free from a couple of children to have an adult conversation, two more children would appear proffering a toy or a problem they wanted me to fix. One of the guests, the mother of one of the more rambunctious children, did try to save me from the situation, but, another guest said, “Trillian doesn’t get to spend time with kids very often, she loves it!” and started talking about the new library opening in their suburb leaving me to play several rounds of Don’t Break the Ice with the kids. Basically, yes, I was the babysitter. I didn’t get paid for babysitting services because apparently this was supposed to be a treat for me. Apparently spending this time with several children was seen as a band-aid to stop the pain of my overwound biological clock. How very charitable of them. Yes, I adore my host’s children and love spending time with them, but, the children of near or complete strangers? Not my idea of a good time when I’m there to enjoy a party with adults.
If you are planning an event where there will be couples and one single person, please, for the love of Dr. Spock, either do not invite the children of your adult guests, or leave the single person off the invite list for this event. I know it sounds mean and lots of single people wouldn’t mind spending time with kids or surely this won’t happen at your party. Guess again. Try it if you insist on proving me wrong. Invite several couples with children and one single woman. Watch what happens. I’ll give you that pack of Pez I’ve been betting if the single woman isn’t the unofficial babysitter within an hour of her arrival.

And then there are the family gatherings. Year after year after year after year after year us singles traipse to our parents' or siblings' homes to celebrate the holidays. We're always the ones who do the traveling because, har har, there's only one of us and it's easier and less expensive for us to travel than for the other members of the family to pack up their brood and travel. Excuses are always made for siblings who have spouses and children, "Oh, they should spend their holiday in their own home, it's difficult to travel with kids, they want to have their own traditions..." A few years ago I mentioned that I saw an offer for a Christmas vacation package which sounded interesting to me. My mother, who was at the time healthy, gave me such an uncustomary guilt inducing huff and cold shoulder I'm still doubtful as to whether or not it was my real mother. "Oh. I see. That sounds nice. Naturally your father and I just assumed you'd be spending the holiday with us, here, at home, but if you'd rather go on an exotic vacation that's certainly your choice." (It was hardly exotic, by the way.) This is the same woman who begged me to spend Christmas with my fiance, 6,000 miles away. When I had a fiance. I was perceived as an adult capable and needing to fend for myself and make my own plans for holidays when I was part of a couple. Now that I'm single again I'm apparently duty bound and obligated to spend holidays with my parents. Not that I wouldn't anyway, I like my parents and of course I want to spend as many holidays as I can with them, but the assumptions and guilt trips bug me. What if one year I didn't want to deal with the planes, trains and automobiles and all the other holiday travelers? What if I wanted to take that (not so exotic) vacation or, like I'd really like to do this year, stay home with my cat and relax on the one day off not spent in a hospital, doctor's office or veterinary clinic? Anyone sitting there thinking, "Geeze Trill, you're lucky you have parents and a loving family and home to visit for the holidays. You'll regret feeling that way some day," has apparently never traveled during the holidays. Like clockwork, without fail, I travel for Christmas and spend New Year's Eve sick with something I caught while traveling with the masses. Because the fact is that for my one or two days spent with my family, I will spend two days shoulder to shoulder, nose to nose, with millions of complete strangers, most of them sneezing, coughing and green in the face. Yes, I've tried Airborne, and yes, I've still caught one or several illnesses while traveling during the holidays.

But endure this we do, because singles know they want to be with their families because the alternative is complete isolation. And we like our families. Although after a few hours in close confinement with all of them many of us question why we like them. Siblings are partnered up with spouses or boy/girlfriends. Nieces and nephews have boy/girlfriends. Parents. Aunts. Uncles. Cousins. Grandparents. Everyone has someone. Except you. And everyone knows you still don't have anyone and you will naturally be alone again this year and the new boy/girlfriends of relatives raise a suspicious eye at you and there are whispers and you start to feel paranoid amongst your own family. It can really stink. My widowed 87 year old relative has a more active love life than I do. My 15 year old niece has a more active love life than I do. My cousin the most boring CPA ever to walk the Earth has a more booming love life than I do. Even my sister's dog is pregnant. They're all bringing "someone special" to the family holiday gathering.

And yes. It's great to be surrounded by so many happy family members. Of course. But. It hurts, too. It crystallizes some really painful and difficult truths. There's a good possibility this is how it will always be. You are the single one in the family, the one who never got married, the one who shows up alone year after year, the one who watches the little ones while the adults take naps or catch up on gossip, the one who drives the elderly guests home, the one who gets the fruitcake and bath products, the one who will be left standing alone after everyone else has gone home to put a cozy finale on their holiday with their families and partners. That's the loneliest part of the holidays. Everyone's gone home with their gifts and leftover allotment, the kids are exhausted, the adults are craving some romantic couple time, and the single person is standing there waving good-bye, closing the door and is alone. It's the suckiest part of being single during the holidays. Even if you're with family, they're coupled up and want some alone time. I long ago learned to vamoose Christmas night, my parents need some quiet time together to unwind after a very hectic season and holiday. I'm just in the way. I typically go up to my little kid bedroom and try to read and count the hours and minutes until the day is officially over.

I'm posting this because maybe you know a single person and maybe this will help remind you that this is a tough time of year for some people and go easy on them.

We're not Grinchy, we're just sad and lonely. Which I suppose is the same thing, ol' Grinch was just sad and lonely, too. He got stuck traveleing in treacherous conditions, and got stuck tending to the little Whos and had to spend the holiday as a single Grinch with all the paired up Whos.

When I was young and the Universe was just starting to confuse me, I thought it would be nice for King Moonracer to have the Grinch live on Misfit Island so he wouldn't have to be alone up in that mountaintop cave. I couldn't understand why that benevolent flying lion wouldn't see the Grinch on his nightly jaunts around the world looking for misfits to populate his island kingdom. At the time I didn't grasp the difference between animated worlds and claymation worlds. It was just all one big holiday television special universe. Made for television, prettily packaged, merchandised, marketed and conflicts resolved in under an hour with generous time allotments for advertising. You know, just like in real life.

Which is why the Island for Misfits seems like such a good idea to me. The odd and unloved could be sad and lonely together. We wouldn't have to deal with the barrage of holiday marketing assaulting our emotions bringing our single (and presumed pathetic) lives into sharp focus for at least six weeks every year. And we'd be far away from happy festive people who don't want to face the fact that they know or are related to someone who's major holiday buzz kill because they're single.

Why am I such a misfit? I have no idea. A few years ago a friend of mine "joked" that I'm like the doll on Misfit Island. No one has any idea why she's there, but there's something wrong with her, something very wrong. They don't send you to Misfit Island unless there's something very not right with you. But at least you've got the other misfits to hang out with and share the misery of being odd and unloved.

10:40 PM

This page is powered by Blogger.