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, July 25, 2012  
The recent, erm, "changes" in the relationship status with an old friend brought about some post mortem thoughts. Yeah, that kind of bugs me, too.

The need to encapsulate, label and definitively conclude every aspect of life has pervaded most of my friends' mindsets. Another reason I'm drifting farther away from old friends...I'm still of the mindset that unless there is something useful to be learned, there's no need to encapsulate and label every little thing that happens in life, whereas they are determined to speak their opinions, cite their evidence, put the matter (whatever it is) into a hermetically sealed jar, label it and conclude their conclusions are absolute and call it done and written in stone. My pop psychology theory is that encapsulating, concluding and labeling difficult subjects/people grants permission to dismiss the subject/people. Conclusions drawn, subject closed. Definitively. Definitives give people a sense of control. And at this chaotic point in history, people are longing for a sense of control.

I'm of the opinion that life is more organic than definitive conclusions. If we're evolving, then we're changing, which means it's impossible to draw final conclusions because when it comes to people, there are no absolutes. And yes, that can feel very chaotic, unsettled and scary. But. Until we're dead, there can be no post mortem on anything about us. Welcome to Life 101. Don't bother taking notes because it can, and probably will, all change tomorrow.

So I tend to keep my mind open to any and all possibilities because the only certainty in life is death. Drawing conclusions doesn't serve any real purpose other than to later shock/disappoint/scare/anger the person who drew the conclusions that weren't so final after all. Sure, concluding and dismissing feels good in the moment, gives some relief and closure, but when it comes to humans it's not "safe" to conclude anything.

Well. Almost anything. For instance, it's safe to conclude that I will never smoke cigarettes. I'm pretty sure that's an absolute.

But. You never know. I'm not dead, yet, so it's impossible to say that I will never smoke cigarettes. It's doubtful, it's a safe bet, but, we cannot say never. We can label me a nonsmoker but we cannot conclude that I will never smoke cigarettes. (But really, it's a safe bet, go ahead and put some money on that one.)

So. Unless I can learn something useful or gain insight that will lead to forgiveness and/or acceptance, I'm not driven with desire to label and dismiss anyone. I take the "people change, we're all evolving, life is going on" attitude, but I generally don't label and dismiss anyone.

However, I am surrounded by people who do. Identifying, labeling, concluding and dismissing seems to have become a way of life for most of my friends and many members of my family. I've always been more of a listener than a talker, and over the past few years that's become even more the case. For many reasons, some self-esteem related, but mostly I hear a lot of sanctimonious superlatives bandied about. What can I, or anyone, contribute to a conversation with someone who has formed absolute opinions to the point of rigidly dismissing the person/matter completely and closing their thoughts to any other possibilities? For example, here's an actual chain of statements a friend recently made about another friend's husband, "He never helps with the laundry." + "He never takes her to a nice restaurant." + "He watches a lot of television." = "He will always be a horrible husband." You don't even know this guy and you know he's more dimensional than those statements. And you know there is more going on in that marriage than laundry, dinner and television. But my friends have drawn the conclusion, put the erstwhile horrible husband in a hermetically sealed jar labeled "HORRIBLE HUSBAND" and that's that. Definitively concluded, and so, it is safe to dismiss him. Done and done.

I should note that the guy is not exactly husband or father of the year material in realms other than laundry, dinner and television, but those seem to be the hot button issues. I should also note his wife isn't exactly the independent, fun-loving but ambitious career-motivated girl he married. Cause = effect? I'm not willing to label the jar, but theories can certainly be formed.

More to the point, it's not my place to judge. More to an even more relevant point: It's none of my business. To a definitive point: My opinion about this guy's husband abilities is a moot point.

So what purpose does labeling him serve? My theory: Negatively labeling someone grants permission to ridicule, gossip, and dismiss. He's a horrible husband so it's okay to gossip about him, bash him, and generally disrespect him and most of all: Be apathetic toward him. It's okay to not care about him because he's a horrible husband.

That line of reasoning, no matter how unintentional, is very uncomfortable for me.

And has been for as long as I can remember. Affixing labels on people never felt right to me. This can be mostly attributed to my Sunday school upbringing. Parables of compassion and forgiveness, Golden Rules...that sort of thing...were drilled into me from the first time I stepped foot into a Sunday school classroom. I latter learned my Sunday school program was more stringent than some other non-Catholic Sunday schools. I had homework assignments. And quizes. (There are too many levels of wrong in administering and grading a test about Jesus to 6-year-old lambs of God to get into here, a blog for another day, but let's just say there were kids who could spell Jesus before they could spell their own names because they were so afraid of our pre-K Sunday school teacher.) But. More than Sunday school, my parents walked the walk, led by example, lived the way we were taught to live in Sunday school. So. There's a deeply entrenched value system in place, a Christ-based moral compass. But. There's more to it than that. Setting my Christian upbringing aside, there's the matter of my functioning cerebral cortex that gives me the ability to reason. And reasonably thinking, it's impossible to definitively label anyone because we all have cerebral cortices and therefore, we are all capable of reason...and change.


And so it was that I got into yet another "disagreement" with another friend. Instead of just listening and not saying much when the judgmental definitive conclusion was drawn about a mutual friend's husband, I dared to offer some compassion toward him. And his wife. "He has a very stressful job and she's worried about [one of their children's] struggles at school, so, there are a lot of anxiety-filled issues under that roof right now."

My friend interrupted me, sighing exasperatedly, "Oh, here we go, Trillian's Empathy Hour. Has it ever occurred to you that there isn't good in everyone? That some people really are bad? That not everyone deserves understanding and benefit of doubt?"

I was taken a little aback because in the many (many) years I've known this friend, it's been generally difficult for me to get more than a few words in edgewise in any conversation. And when the conversation turns to gossip I tend to stop listening, preferring to let my mind wander to the positive aspects of the person under the gossip microscope, or, failing that, letting my mind wander to a different place altogether, a happier, less judgmental place.

"Well," I stammered, trying to regain some clarity, "yes, of course there are bad people out there. I know that. But most people, the ones we know, anyway, have redeeming qualities. I'm single, unemployed and homeless and yet you remain friends with me. You must find some redeeming quality in me or we wouldn't remain friends. And I'm grateful for that, and, so, you know, I feel it's important to not label and dismiss other people, especially people we know."

"Yeah, I know. But. How's that working out for you, Trill? You said it, you're single, unemployed and homeless. And losing friends right and left. Maybe a little less compassion and a little more calling it like you see it would be helpful for you."

The implication being that I let people take advantage of me. (and for the record I'm not losing friends right and left) This friend feels (strongly) that I should have blown some whistles on my former boss, and that I should have been more verbally aggressive in some dating situations. Because I failed to slate my former boss or get into arguments on first dates with men I was clearly never going to see again, this friend thinks I let myself be a doormat. She frequently dismisses/admonishes me with, "Kindness for weakness, Trill, kindness for weakness. People will always take kindness for weakness and then take advantage of the situation and you."

That line of reasoning has always seemed a little, well, paranoid to me so I just smile and nod when she admonishes me about being "too" nice.

She also uses the judgment-packed word "should" a lot so I tend to sort out which of her shoulds actually apply to me and my life.

I just sat there a little dazed and confused about what I was hearing from the other end of the phone. How did her bashing our friend's husband turn into me being "too" nice as the root cause of my marital, employment and housing statuses? 

Maybe I am "too" nice because I didn't launch into a defensive argument with my friend. As a way to end the conversation I just said, "You're right, I could be a little more absolute when it comes to my feelings about other people."

One of the reasons this friend is my friend is that she is perceptive and doesn't let stuff slide. Yes, that is, at times, a good thing. She twists my arm and pushes me into doing things I might not normally do on my own, and I need someone like that. For all her badgering she is encouraging and yes, even supportive in her own backhanded way.

"Yeah, Trill you could. That's the operative word. Will you?"

"Will I what?"

"Don't play coy. Will you make an effort to be more decisive about your feelings about people?"

"If it means labeling them and writing them off, no."

"See? You won't. Because you can't. And until you can, people will take advantage of you. Jesus got crucified at an early age, Trill. And he died alone. The story doesn't have a happy ending."

"The parable being that if I'm more callous and judgmental, maybe throw a few stones, I'll find a job and attract a husband?"

"See? You can do it! So why don't you? I've known you for years, Trill, I know you have it in you, I know you can unleash sarcasm to end all snark, so why don't you?"

"Well, gee, because it's rude, inconsiderate, unintelligent, thoughtless, narrow-minded and dismissive, for a start."

"How's the view from that ivory tower, Trill?"

"I'm not in an ivory tower."

"Oh, right, you're just up on a shelf. Alone. Collecting dust. Alone."

"Dust is the only thing I can afford to collect. I don't have money to do anything so there's no point in getting down from the shelf. And, even if I ever do find a job, I'm still not going to date, so get used to the fact that I am a spinster. I have accepted it and it will make my life a lot less stressful if other people accept it, too."

My friend tried to push me off the shelf, "You want everyone to give up on you?"

"Well, I wouldn't put it that way. I didn't give up, I just looked at the facts and reached conclusions."

"Uh-huh, so, you don't want to label and dismiss other people, but you're fine labeling and dismissing yourself?"

Aw crap.

I told you, her methodology is not always orthodox but there are reasons why she's my friend.

"I don't want to talk about this right now. My one and only priority is firmly fixed on finding gainful employment. Nothing else, and I mean nothing else matters right now."

And that was the end of that conversation.

But of course there were lingering ramifications.

She's right. I don't give myself the same respect I give other people. But we all do that, right? We're our own toughest critics.

Well. Except. In my case there are other critics. Some of my friends and family have not exactly been "supportive" over the past few years. They have labeled and dismissed me.

And then there are the men who litter the hallway that leads to the dark room where I reside on my shelf.

Men who have, without fail, cited reasons why they don't want to date or marry me. Most of them physical. I have been labeled:

Too young.
Too old.
Too tall.
Too brunette.
Too hippy.
Too big-butted.
Not big-butted enough.
Too fat.
Too broad shouldered.
Too thin in the wrong places. (that guy didn't tell me the places that were too thin, I've always kind of wondered)
Wrong colored eyes. (I got that a lot during 50 First Dates. Men, many men, took the time to write me an email and send it to my online profiles saying, "You seem great except I prefer blue eyes. Good luck in your search for someone who doesn't mind that you don't have blue eyes."
Eyes are too big.
Weird hands/fingers.
Weird toes.
Too big nosed.
Ear lobes. Yes, I dare to have ear lobes and more than one man has dismissed me as undateable because of them.
Weird chin (yes, it's true, I have a weird chin.) 
Too pale.
Too many freckles on my shoulders when I go in the sun.
Too scarred from two childhood stomach surgeries.
Too chesty.
Not chesty enough.
Nipples are too big.
Nipples are the wrong skin tone.
And one of my all time favorites: You get bloated during your period.  Yes. A guy broke up with me after two months of dating because for two days a month I get bloated.

I know. You're thinking, "Trill, those guys are shallow losers with skewed priorities, you don't want to be with guys like that anyway, these comments, labels, say more about them than you."

I know. Thank you. You're right. I know.


Know any women who have long hair solely because their husband/boyfriend doesn't like short hair on women? If not, ask around, you may be surprised at the response from your long-haired female friends. There are thousands, probably millions of women teetering on the edge of romantic doom, just one haircut away from a breakup. I have two friends who spend a lot of money and time on hair dyeing and extensions because their husbands like long blonde hair and have made passive aggressive digs at them when they've gone without the hair extensions, dye jobs or opted for a shorter cut. I witnessed this once. A friend got a really cute haircut, from long to shoulder length. She was pregnant, it was summer and her long hair was driving her nuts. Me, my friend and her husband all rendezvoused from three different places for dinner. Upon seeing her new haircut I exclaimed, "It's so cute! That's a stylish cut on you!" Her husband, meanwhile, was clearly disgruntled. He said, "We did not discuss this haircut. You know I hate short hair." He pouted about that haircut for the rest of her pregnancy and told her, "jokingly" if she wasn't pregnant he would have left her because a short haircut is grounds for divorce. Immature? Controlling? Shallow? Selfish? Apply whatever labels you deem appropriate and dismiss him all you want, but his thoughts are not that different from most men I know or have dated.

Know any women who either go to tanning salons or use get spray tans or use self-tanning lotion? Ever wonder why their own skin tone isn't good enough for them? Yeah, I've wondered that, too, but, as the recipient of several "suggestions" to try a tanning salon or get to a beach once in a while, I'm fairly certain the answer lies in male desire. Sometime in history the paradigm shifted to: Tan = sexy. Pale = no erection.

How about women who don't eat anything other than broiled chicken, carrot sticks and spend a lot of money on gym memberships and personal trainers? I bet you know a few of those women. You might have even labeled and dismissed them as health nuts or fitness fanatics. Sure, they want to be healthy, absolutely. But, one does not need to spend two hours intensely working out every day and limiting one's diet to 4 ozs. of broiled chicken and a couple carrot sticks to be healthy. The reason women deprive themselves of a variety of food three times a day and sacrifice several hours a day to the gym is because they're scared. Horrified, actually. Horrified of getting fat. Why are they horrified of getting fat? Because if they eat regular, healthy meals, and exercise three - four times a week, they'll be a size 10 or 12, a lean size 10 or 12, but a 10 or 12, and that is sexually unacceptable to most men. And most women will do anything to avoid being labeled less than sexually unattractive and dismissed as undesirable.

Why do so many women have breast implants? They often say the implants make them feel better about themselves. I'll translate: The sexual attention the larger breasts get from men makes them feel better about themselves because they're desired, by men, and being desired by men is the penultimate barometer of female worthiness and self esteem. If many of these women ate regular meals they'd be larger than a size 2 and they'd have natural occurring breasts. But men want the breasts, not the tummy, thighs and hips that come with naturally occurring C and D cup breasts.

I know, I know, I'm making huge and obvious generalizations that sound like bitter, resentful insults from from a lonely old shrew.


When almost every man you've ever dated or been interested in dating has bothered to give one of those reasons for not wanting to date you, eventually it sinks in and you believe it. Especially when, as you get older, and have given dating some serious effort, the criticisms are repeated and become more frequent, you start to realize that men (and yes, women do this, too) are quick to affix labels and dismiss women as "not good enough."

I spent many (many) years and disturbing amounts of money waxing, dyeing, enhancing, covering...doing whatever I could to look "right" for men, or at least trying to meet their expectations. And there are a lot of expectations. Beyond the figure aspect, there's makeup. And hair cut, colored and styled on a regular basis. And every hair that's not on the head removed (hair? what hair? women don't have hair "down there" or under their arms or on their legs!), stylish clothes and shoes, sexy lingerie, and nice perfume. Those last three were always the most perplexing to me because they're so subjective. One man's sexy shoe is another man's turn off. One man's scrotum tingling bustier is another man's deeply repressed memory of accidentally crashing into the bathroom without knocking and seeing his aunt Hazel getting dressed for church.

And. I spent far too many of those years consciously consuming less than 800 calories a day while working out two hours a day, literally coming close to killing myself to be thin enough to be deemed an acceptable size for a man. I couldn't do anything about my height, so after enduring several men dismissing me because I was too tall, I tried to make the rest of me as small as possible. The negative (overt) sexual attention my oversized boobs got me was also a driving incentive to lose as much weight as humanly possible. 30 pounds underweight, ribs and hip bones jutting out, I was still deemed too fat by most of the men I met. Or, the few men who were interested were only interested in my boobs, which even at 30 pounds underweight were still spilling out of a C cup. But even those men dismissed me once they caught a glimpse of the girls they then deemed unsatisfactory in some way - they were the wrong shape, or my nipples were to big, or the areolae wrong skin tone...

Get my point, here? It never ended. I never measured up physically. I endured a lot of physical criticism in the form of labeling and dismissing during my dating years. A lot. I've heard the comment, "ever consider getting out in the sun once in a while or going to a tanning salon" from men so often I find it weird when they don't say it. On more than one occasion I was told, "I love green eyes but yours are not the shade of green I like." Yep. More than once. More than twice. Four times. I was told that four times by four different men on two different continents.

Even a guy who initially got past his misgivings about my looks and asked me to marry him eventually came to the conclusion that he couldn't bear the thought of spending his life looking at me. My weird too big, non-blue eyes, oversized too pink nipples, childhood surgery scars, wide hips, freckles and overall "weird body" were more than he could stomach over the course of a lifetime, especially in the context of forsaking all others, and especially in the context of having children. Hearing, "I'm too worried our children will look like you...I can't do it" as your fiance breaks up with you a few weeks before your wedding is not easy to overcome.

In fairness to me, that's bound to impact self esteem. Given the same criticisms, repeatedly, over years of dating, would you keep trying or would you put yourself up on a shelf?

Oh sure, I'm intelligent, nice, funny, sincere, creative, supportive, and loyal. See? I can assign positive labels to myself. I don't entirely dismiss myself.

But. As you so often hear men say, "There has to be some physical attraction..." It trumps all personality traits. Apply all the positive personality labels, but unless the physical labels are there, too, all the personality labels are inconsequential.

So. I have some deeper issues with labels. And dismissing people based on those labels. Being labeled and deemed unacceptable and dismissed, time after time, eventually takes an emotional toll. I know the damage it causes. I will not judge and dismiss people the way people have judged and dismissed me. Period.

And if that means sitting up on a shelf collecting dust, so be it.

And yes, as people will point out, those labels could be viewed as helpful criticism. Turn that frown upside down! All that. Plastic surgery is common and easy! Get a nose job, eye job, boob job, skin bleaching, scar removal, do something about those ear lobes, wear colored contact lenses. Nipple reduction is a common procedure. (Women who don't need/want breast implants or reductions are still flocking for breast augmentation surgery: Nipple and areola tweaking. And don't get me started on "corrective" labia surgeries. (I blame women in porn for this one. They remove every single hair down there which reveals every millimeter of the, um, area, so boys, men, form very strong opinions about how women, all women, "should" look down there. Hairless, apparently. We're supposed to look hairless and with tanned, but not too brown, a tawny California Girl tan, medical textbook labia and bleached anuses. Thank you, women of porn, for skewing the male perspective of sexual beauty to the point of freakishness. The maintenance of the snatch as it relates to sexual attractiveness has evolved so fast just during my lifetime that I find it to be a staggering sociological phenomenon.))

With enough money and time, it can all be done and we can all be "perfect," and I could take all those comments from men and put them to good use in a plastic surgeon's office, hand over my to-do list and go under the knives, lasers, skin creams and whatever else goes on behind closed doors of plastic surgeons. Then I could just sit back and watch the men beat a path to my door.

Or, alternately, I can make peace with the fact that I was not given the DNA that men find attractive and remove the hope and desire for a romantic partner. Accepting the labels men applied to me was the healthiest thing I've done for my emotional self. I spent a lot of years trying, giving full effort, spending time and money to make myself attractive enough to lure one man, just one, into a lifetime commitment and...nothing. Zip. Nadda. The rejection hurt, but the criticisms caused deeper damage. Especially after I put full effort into it.

Even though I get really lonely, I'm so much more emotionally healthy since I put myself on the shelf. Removing the hope removes the pain of disappointment. It also removes the need for removing hair that doesn't need to be removed, or worrying about the size and color of my areola. Don't get me wrong, I'm not some non-shaving, non-deodorant wearing hippie. I shave my pits and legs, I wear deodorant and I wash and brush my hair (most days, anyway...) but the grooming and maintenance involved with attracting and keeping a mate is ridiculous and I am so relieved that I don't have to endure it. I'm going to just go ahead and proclaim it, for myself and all the other women like me: I have pubic hair! I have large, pink areolae! And yes, yes! I have ear lobes! And no! I do not have the inclination or money to surgically alter these traits!

And yes. Apparently this is why I'm single.

And I'm okay with that.

Label me any way you want, but I promise I will not draw conclusions, put you in a jar, label you and dismiss you.

Because along with all my physical flaws, I am also too nice.

1:39 PM

This page is powered by Blogger.