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<

Trillian McMillian
Trillian McMillian
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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
Enter ZIP Code:

or Search by State

Find State Officials
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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.)



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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 6/24/18 - 7/1/18

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.

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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

Saturday, December 19, 2009  
Bonomas count, since Wednesday:
Tonight thank God it's them instead of you: 4
Baby please come home, baby please come home: 7

Happy holidays to you, too.


Though, thankfully, still no McCartney annoying chirp chirp chirpy wonderful Christmastime.

Small favors...counting blessings.


I'm going to say a few things that might come off, a little, well, ungrateful. Mean. Selfish.


I think they need to be said. I think someone needs to publicly voice a few things that most of us are too polite to actually say.

In real life I am one of those too polite people. But on the blog? Heh heh heh. That's another story. Oh, the power and cathartic beauty of blogging.

I say these things with the hopes of bridging a gap, a chasm, actually, in awareness that is apparently plaguing certain segments of society. The holidays are making that lack of understanding even more obvious and will undoubtedly lead to some hurt feelings (I've got hurt feelings... anyone else mourning the news of no more Flight of the Conchords?)

Okay. Deep breath. (In spite of how it may sound, this isn't easy for me to articulate.) Shoring up courage. Doing it for the greater good...



I'm unemployed. As are a lot of people. A lot of people. You probably know at least one person who's unemployed. Most likely you know more than one unemployed person. Maybe you're unemployed. (If you are, I think you'll know exactly what I'm talking about here. I'm doing this for you, for us, the unemployed.)

It's a struggle. A real struggle. The days are torturous. The rejection emails are daggers to the heart. The tumbleweeds rolling around job boards are frightening. The phone calls and emails from friends and family bearing "news" of another friend or loved one losing their job come more frequently than holiday greeting cards. The unemployment compensation checks are meager and dwindling. The 401K has been pillaged to pay rent or the mortgage. Those are just a few, a few of the realities many (most?) of us are dealing with on a daily basis. (If not for you, well, tonight thank God it's them instead of you. Because it sucks. I mean, it really, really, really sucks.) (four people in my immediate family, me, my sister, my sister-in-law, and my niece, lost long-term full-time professional jobs in the past six months. Two cousins and five of my close friends lost long-term full-time professional jobs in 2009. 120 of my former coworkers were laid off with me. By the way.)

I'm "lucky." I got a little bit of severance money and I was able to raid what remained in my 401K. I fear April 15 because of that 401K raid, but, it'll keep a roof over my head for a few extra months. The choice was: Foreclosure and homelessness or deal with the IRS. Hmmmmmm. Decisions, decisions... These are the sorts of things unemployed people are dealing with on a daily basis. In case you were unaware. And keep in mind, I'm lucky. I had a little 401K to raid.

So yeah, not exactly a happy holiday season. We're not simply having a wonderful Christmastime. Tonight thank God it's them instead of you. Goes without saying. So. Please. Please. Make it stop. Make the Bono whine go away, please, I beg of you, make it stop.

But then, there are people who are doing okay. Even thriving. I have two friends who bought new, bigger, nicer houses this year. They are confident their jobs are secure, they have money in the bank and they took advantage of low interest rates and moved into even bigger, lovelier homes than their previous big, lovely homes. Both of these friends were unable to sell their previous big, lovely home but they forged ahead and bought the new bigger, lovelier homes anyway. They're renting their previous big, lovely homes until they can sell them, but, heh heh, they're making money on the rent so they're actually turning a profit in the whole thing. Yep. My friends have become landlord tycoons. Niiiiice. I have other friends who haven't bought new homes, but, they're doing okay. New babies, new cars, goes on for them. Recession? Yeah, they hear about it on the news and they know a few people who have lost their jobs, but they, themselves, are unscathed.

I'm happy for them. I wouldn't wish this on anyone. And I truly mean anyone. If it hasn't happened to you, I tell you this with hopes of instilling compassion and understanding: It's far, far worse than you can imagine. The financial issues are obviously terrifying and stressful, but along with that there are things, emotional issues, fears, that are so far beyond any realm of articulation that to attempt to describe it, label it, tie it up in a neat package, risks insulting those of us who are in the throes of it. It's layered, complex, deep and constantly changing. It's an amorphous blob of oozing, infectious, insurmountable issues. And that's just the first few weeks of unemployment. It gets worse after that.

So yes, when I say I am happy for people who aren't unemployed or affected by it, I mean it. I'm not jealous of employed people. Envious, sure. Of course. I miss working. A lot.

My professional self-esteem, which was about the only self-esteem I had, has taken hits that will be difficult to repair. Which is bad, really bad, when you're trying to find a job. Professional confidence is a must. If you don't have it, you better be a darned good faker. I pep-talk my way through applications, cover letters, professional introductions and the rare interview, and I hope the tiny shred of confidence I have in myself is what shows. But with each passing week of unemployment I feel the confidence level drop and those pep-talks are becoming more critical and harsh.

I wouldn't wish this on anyone. Did I mention that?

And I do take comfort that I have friends, and a few family members, who have jobs and are doing okay, in some cases even thriving right now. In a perverse way their success makes me feel optimistic. At the very least I feel relieved and happy that at least some people in my life are doing okay.

And these are the people I am addressing. These are the people on the other side of the gap, the chasm, of understanding.

Maybe you're standing on the other side of that chasm. If so, I'm talking to you.

Being unemployed sucks. (see above, amorphous blob) Every penny counts. Every penny is spoken for in a strict budget. Holiday gifts? Yeah. Not so much in the average unemployed person's budget. And most of us unemployed people understand that our employed friends and family don't expect or even want anything from us this holiday season.


That doesn't mean we don't feel bad about not being able to partake in the usual holiday niceties. That doesn't mean that we don't feel lame sending email holiday greetings instead of holiday cards. That doesn't mean that we don't feel ashamed and embarrassed about "what happened" to us.

And it certainly doesn't mean that we don't feel stabbing pains of guilt when someone gives us a gift and we have nothing to offer in return.

I thought I laid solid groundwork. Back in October I had The Talk with friends and family. "As you know, I'm unemployed, and I just can't afford to spend money this holiday season. It's going to be very low key for me and I'm okay with that. And I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't do anything for me this year. Your gifts are always lovely and appreciated, but your friendship, especially right now, is the only gift I need."

I know. I know. I mean, it's all spelled out nice and neat and I think quite humbly and inoffensively. I don't think there was any room for interpretation in there, do you? I think it says, succinctly, "Please do not give me a present."

And the past two weeks I've received gifts from friends who say, "I know 'we' weren't going to do anything this year, but I just couldn't resist/not do something/forget you. It's just a little token/something to cheer you up."

Okay. You know. That's nice. I know their generous thoughts were sincere and well-intentioned.


Under the best of circumstances it's difficult and embarrassing to have someone give you a holiday gift when you have nothing for them.


When you specifically had The Talk with them and they still hand you a gift, it takes on a whole new level of weird and uncomfortable.


It feels like charity.

There. I said it.

And yes. I have a little pride and dignity left. Just a shred, but it's there.

And yes, being handed a gift, even after having The Talk (which was difficult in its own right), and being told it's to "cheer you up" wounds what little pride and dignity that remains. I know, I know, the gift-giver's intentions were good. I know. And that's what makes this so difficult and why I would never in a million years actually discuss this anywhere other than on the blog. I know, okay, I know that the intentions are good and sincere.

But. I makes me, and I'm sure every other empty-handed gift receiver, feel bad, guilty and not exactly in the holiday spirit.

Most of us unemployed people are, technically, charity cases. We know this about ourselves. Many (most) of us have never been anywhere close to being a charity case. We were the ones who donated time and money to help charity cases. And now here we are, charity cases ourselves. It''s embarrassing and weird and uncomfortable and, well, awkward.

Here's the thing: A pair of earrings, a cashmere scarf, silver candlesticks are not going to change our lives.

I know.

Okay? I know how that sounds.

But hear me out on this.

I'm barely hanging onto my condo. If I don't get a full-time job by March I will go into foreclosure. That's an irrefutable fact. Other than filling out job applications, chasing leads on jobs and scouring every job board, list and company web site for potential work, I spend my time sorting and packing my condo and schlepping stuff to a cheap storage locker.

Why? Because I'm preparing for homelessness. I'm getting rid of all but the essentials. If I can't sell it I'm donating it to the charity shops. The last thing I need right now is more stuff to either store or feel bad, sad or guilty about getting rid of.

Those earrings, that scarf, the candlesticks are nice, and I understand they're well-intentioned, and I don't mean to be ungrateful, but after gulping the guilt of not having a gift to give in return, I'm standing there thinking, "Wow. They're really unaware of how bad things are for me right now. I thought I spelled it out very clearly, do they not understand that foreclosure means homelessness and what the heck is a homeless person going to do with sparkly earrings or candlesticks?" (Candlesticks? Really? Under the best of circumstances, candlesticks??? I'm single, I live alone in a tiny condo, I don't throw candlestick-type dinner parties...seems like an odd choice.)

I know my friends well enough to know their thought process. "Poor old Trillian. I feel bad for her. I know she said no gifts this year but I'm going to give her a little something, a treat, a luxury she can't afford, to cheer her up. What's the point of having money if you can't share it with your friends? I want her to take a break from all the depressing and scary things in her life and just enjoy a little something nice, a treat."

And that's really sweet. It is. And I'm grateful. Their kind thoughts are appreciated. That's why they're my friends. They have the capacity to be very thoughtful and generous. And that was the whole point of The Talk! I appreciate and value their friendship. Their friendship is the real gift! I want and need their friendship. Period. A pair of earrings, a scarf, candlesticks...those things are nice but they're not what I want or need.

And because it's very likely I'm going to have to store, sell or donate that "treat," the "treat" becomes a guilt-inducing white elephant.

If you're contemplating giving a gift to an unemployed person, especially if they had The Talk with you, I beg of you, implore you, please, please, please reconsider beaming a huge Merry Christmas smile at them and handing them a gift.

If you're so overfilled with joy of the season and a desire to "do something" for an unemployed friend, especially if they're on the brink of homelessness, consider something useful and usable. A Bath and Body Works gift set, a bottle of wine, something healthy to eat like nuts or fruit, a candle, those are usable, affordable, gifts that have a much lower guilt price tag. They don't require storage and they'll bring small moments of enjoyment to the receiver. Or, better still, take them to lunch or dinner or drinks. You get to enjoy your friendship and give the unemployed person an actual treat, and get them out of the house, to socialize instead of network or interview. A much needed and appreciated treat.

Here's where I'm going to get up on a high horse. If, if, and this is really a big if, you think giving an unemployed person a gift card is a good idea, you need to have your head examined. Unless that gift card is for Target or the local grocery, that gift card is a slap in the face insult to an unemployed person. Hear me when I say this: Most unemployed people do not go shopping. We're not hitting the malls or stores for new shoes or candlesticks or HDTVs. We spend money only on the most necessary items: Rent/mortgage. Food. Utilities. Internet service. Transportation to interviews and job application hunting.

So far this year I've received gift cards from Neiman Marcus, Restoration Hardware, and a posh salon/spa.

Okay. Um. You know.

Oh boy.

This is difficult.

Under normal circumstances, employed circumstances, I don't shop at Neiman's, go to posh spas and to my recollection I've only been in a Restoration Hardware once.

And now that I'm unemployed I'm certainly not going to trot off to Neiman Marcus or Restoration Hardware for a shopping spree, and I won't top off the shopping spree with a few hours at a spa that boasts the most expensive pedicure in town.

I don't know what $25 would get me at Restoration Hardware, but I know it won't get me anything at Neiman's nor will it even cover the tip at that salon.

To the people who gave me those gift cards I say: What the fuck were you thinking???

Oh yes. I am using the f word. Go ahead, do a search of the blog, you won't find many instances of me using it. I don't. Not on the blog, not in real life.

I know. I know. That's how confused, weirded out and yes, insulted, I was to receive those "gifts." Especially, especially after having The Talk. They're not gifts! They're ungifts!

I can't use them. I'm not going to cash my next unemployment check and head off to Neiman Marcus to spend it, or go spend it on a spa day. I'm scraping by, month-to-month, my severance and pillaged 401K money allocated toward my mortgage.

What part of "unemployed during this recession" is confusing?

How insensitive, unaware and stupid do you have to be to give an unemployed person a gift card to Neiman Marcus?

It leaves me utterly speechless. And yes, this friend in question has been known to be a little financially unaware in the past. Her husband has a job that brings in the kind of money that puts them in the stinking rich category. She hasn't worked for almost 10 years and has become very removed, sheltered, from the world where most of us live and function. Still. I thought she "got it." I thought she was at least conscious of "the situation." I mean, there was even a foreclosure in their prestigious neighborhood. (gasp!)

And it hasn't happened just to me.

My sister, who is also unemployed, has thus far received gift cards to Macy's and an expensive restaurant. Maybe the after holiday sales will allow her to use the Macy's card, actually buy something that costs less than the value of the gift card, but, there's no way the gift card to the restaurant will cover a meal and beverage.

I know how ungrateful this all sounds, I really do. And I do feel horrible about thinking this way.

But. The reality us unemployed live in ain't pretty. The normal rules of etiquette do not apply. We try, we try really hard to maintain dignity, self-esteem, and some modicum of normalcy and tact, but when other people are so blazingly unaware of our situation that they do something utterly insulting and offensive, well, I else can we react?

I'm not proud of feeling insulted or confused about these "gifts." I know the intentions were good, even the Neiman's card was given with sincerity. I am grateful.

And hey, that cashmere scarf will keep me warm when I'm living in a box or a cold homeless shelter and those sparkly earrings will add to my "crazy homeless lady" persona. Maybe I can festoon my homeless person shopping trolley with the candlesticks. That'd be cool! A tricked out homeless person shopping trolley!


9:57 AM

Sunday, December 13, 2009  
I'm used to being single. So used to it I don't really think about it that much. I mean, I think about being lonely. I am lonely, and that's a by-product of being single. So I guess technically I do think about being single...but, you know, for the most part I've accepted that I am going to be alone, single, partner-less, man-less, single. That doesn't mean I like it, or that I don't get lonely, but, I accept it. Try to deal with it.



What is it about December that makes it seem like everyone, and I mean everyone on the planet is in a relationship except me? It's bad enough that the marketing machine goes into high gear and pulls out all the merry, merry, happy, happy romance and merriness stops. It's impossible to watch television without being accosted by happy! happy! couples exchanging gifts and kisses under the mistletoe and hooking up over a cocktail at a party and buying cars/diamonds/cashmere sweaters/something-from-the-Gap for each other. (This year's Gap holiday ad: Help me understand. I need a translation.) Okay, fine, I won't watch television in December. No problem. Really. Not a problem.

Last year I was still in a weird state of griefshock when the holidays rolled around. I missed my dad too much and was too concerned for my mother to care about all the happy! happy! couples everywhere. And I had a legit reason for declining most of the party invites. I just couldn't do it. I just could not celebrate anything last year. I navigated through the holiday season focused on work and "being there" for my mother. I lapsed into a robotic numbness. And the occasional booze-induced brain-deadness.

This year the holiday reality is crashing down hard on me. They say the first year is the worst but so far this second holiday season isn't easier than last year. I miss my dad. My mother misses my dad. She's sad. I'm sad. I'm sad that she's sad. She's sad that I'm sad. I'm lonely. She's lonely. I wouldn't wish loneliness on anyone and it's unfathomably upsetting to know my mother is now experiencing loneliness. It all sucks.

Doesn't seem to be getting easier to me.

The cemetery where my dad is buried is an old fashioned one with giant obelisks, ornately carved monuments and lots of angels in repose. It's a small town cemetery, and like the small town, everyone knows everyone else, and everyone elses' business, at the cemetery. Last year we put a wreath at the grave. My mother couldn't bear the ordeal so I ended up doing it on my own. I wouldn't have gone through with it, but my mother felt pressured by social decorum to do something, so my dad had a wreath. And yes, given my dad's passion for celebrating Jesus' birth with a house and yard lighting display, that wreath seemed inadequate and kinda lame. Especially when compared to all the other holiday decorations at the cemetery. The neighbors in the plot across from my parents' brought in two fancy potted topiary bedecked with red velvet ribbons. The people in the graves next door had those eternal flame candle things with their wreaths. Our lame little wreath looked pathetic in comparison. Oh yes. Social pressure, even at the cemetery. So. This year I found a solar light-up snowman (nice, not tacky) and put it at the cemetery for him. It seems more appropriate for a guy known for his prowess with holiday lights and a staple gun. We got this evergreen and pine cone thing, too. Our appearances are officially being kept up at the cemetery. Someone at my mum's church took note and complimented my mother on the nice job we did at my dad's grave this year. I kid you not. I'm tellin' you, it's a really, really small town.

When we went to the cemetery I took a walk around. Cemeteries don't creep me out, especially that one. It's actually quite a pleasant place, lots of trees, a pond, some interesting sculpture. One of my mother's friends had knee surgery and wasn't up to putting the wreaths on her family graves this year so I volunteered to do it for her. Their family goes waaaaay back. Many generations represented at their plot. All neat and orderly lined up, generations of couples buried side-by-side.

Crimony. Even at the cemetery everyone's coupled up. Even among dead people I'm the only single person.

Realistically I know there are other single people out there, there must be. But. Where are they? (and where are they buried?) Where do "we" go during December? I cower inside as much as possible, but, I do have to go out for groceries and the occasional errand. And there are a few social obligations where you have to at least make an appearance. Surely I'm not the only single person who dares to step out in public in December.

One good thing about being unemployed: No horrendous office holiday party. Big woo hoo to that. I'm celebrating that I don't have to "celebrate" the holidays with my former coworkers this year. No potluck luncheons, no grab-bag or secret Santa gift exchange, barrage of lame light-up holiday sweaters and ties, no coworkers drinking too much at the holiday party...really, there are good things about being unemployed. I know, I know, that sounds so Grinchy. But c'mon, really, do you honestly enjoy your company/office holiday party?

My former company often had a holiday party where "guests" were invited. "Guests" meant spouse, same sex partner or serious boy/girlfriend. You didn't bring a friend or a rent-a-date. You just didn't. It was an unspoken rule that only "serious" dates were allowed. My first year there I nearly committed a fatal holiday party sin by taking the "guest" invite literally. I was going to bring a guest, a friend, to the party. Fortunately my friend came down with a horrible stomach virus so I went solo. That's when I learned about the unspoken "serious" guests only rule. Whew. Thank goodness for that stomach flu. So the few of us singles were forced to either sit at a singles table or force our way into a table of couples, thus creating an empty seat at the table. On more than one occasion I was given the stink eye and even comments over daring to sit, unaccompanied, at a non-singles table. "You're going to sit here? With us? That'll leave an empty chair." (How rude! implied.) As if that explained everything. That'll leave an empty chair. Oh, right. Okay. We can't have that. Silly me. What was I thinking? Ultimately I found it easier, less humiliating, less obvious, to just head straight to a singles table and deal with Lester the Star Wars geek from finance who for fun like Yoda talks, yes, and the weird woman who worked the night shift in the call center who takes her crochet projects everywhere she goes, even the holiday party. I'm tellin' ya, being unemployed does have its upside. And not having to endure an evening at a singles table at the company party is near the top of the list.

But even though I'm not going to work-related events, or even attending that many holiday parties with friends, I'm being affronted with happy! happy! couples everywhere.

I assume all the smart single people are hiding indoors until January 3. But I dunno. It seems like they'd have to go out for groceries or the post office or something. But maybe not. Maybe other single people have perfected their holiday strategy. (Home delivery for groceries. Stock up on stamps in October. Do online shopping and shipping. Turn down all party invites. Take the entire month of December off work.) Because they're certainly not anywhere I've been.

I'm happy for other people who are in a happy! couple situation. Really. I'm happy! for them. Sure, envious, too, but more in a curious way than a green-eyed monster way. (Envicurious, I call it. Curiosity borne of envy. You see someone doing or in possession of something you want, which makes you ponder, "How'd they do/get that?" Envicurious. Why is that not already a word?) I just wish they'd take it down a notch in December instead of turning it up. Some of them are just arrogantly, callously flaunting it. "Look at me! Look at us! We're a happy! happy! couple during the holidays, just like a jewelry commercial on TV!!" Yes, we're all so impressed. And look at me! I'm a spinster buying store brand cereal and something reputed to be an antacid cheaper than the leading national brand. Hey, at least I'm no longer buying cat food. I miss the furry creature but at times like those grocery store moments in line with nothing but happy! happy! couples, I'm glad I'm not buying cat food and Lean Cuisines. Been there, done that, saw the pointing fingers and heard the snickered whispers.

And then this year Bono is wailing all over the place. "Tonight thank God it's them instead of you..." and "Baby please come home, baby please come home." How can we put an end to Bonomas? I was out for all of 45 minutes today and I heard him twice. Once in the grocery and once at Walgreen's. I'm going to start keeping track. I swear there's something going on, it's Bono, Bono, Bono wailing everywhere I go. Is 2009 the year of the Very Bono Christmas? Is this some attempt to make the holiday less frivolous because of all the bad news? Like I said, I'm glad I haven't been tortured with McCartney's Christmas thing chirping annoyingly all over town, but Bonomas is taking it a bit too far. Things are bad, the economy sucks, unemployment rages on, foreclosures rates are still soaring, Afghanistan...yes, things are bad. And the last thing any of us want to hear is that weirdoannoying "wonderful Christmastime" ditty. But. Bono making us feel guilty or sad and lonely isn't the anecdote. Haven't we suffered enough? Aren't we suffering enough? It's putting me in an even worse mood about the holidays. I know. I'm in a really bad mood about Bono lately. I'm tellin' you, it's the whole Bonomas thing. It's gettin' to me. I don't want to be in a bad mood about Bono but the wailing must end. Accept. Forgive. Heal. Peace. Love. Duh.

What we need is an island. A place for single people to go during December. No couples (or Bono) allowed. Or better still, another planet, in another galaxy, a place where singles can roam freely and watch television without being affronted by happy! happy! couples flaunting their happy! happy! coupledom at innocent lonely single people.

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10:26 PM

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