Monday, February 22, 2010

Telephone etiquette

Has anyone noticed lately the trend in telephone etiquette?

I've been privileged to witness some of the latest trends, those of which, I'm not sure that I will be able to adapt to using. I have compiled a list of my top 3 for your reading pleasure:

1) The bathroom use.

This use has become quite the norm in public restrooms. Not only is it distracting for those who use a restroom for it's intended purpose, it has the duel purpose of being annoying as well. I can't think of one circumstance in my life that I would feel that this would be appropriate. One might think that it would be acceptable if waiting for a call from a job interview, if a loved one was in the hospital, if a child was home alone or even an elderly parent. While these seem to have validity, I have yet to hear one instance of these types of occurrences. I am entertained in the most unlikely of venues with stories about ex-girlfriends showing up at the same club, hooking up with this guy they met at the coffee shop, neighbors that put their garbage can out too close to the curb, or conversations of love with a significant other. Is this stuff so earth shattering that it must be addressed while doing one's business?

2) The elevator use

Now from that, you must think that I'm pretty anal and maybe this one will actually grow on me eventually. It's just that the elevator is normally something the most people don't even talk in with other people, or at least, that's been my experience. There's an awkwardness that seems to be in the air when there is more than one person in an if you speak, you'll set off alarms. People tend to look down at the floor or stare straight ahead. I have actually seen people that upon hearing their phone ring, immediately scurry to hit the button to make it stop before putting it back in their pocket or purse, like they've been busted. However, I've noticed that there are a brave few that will answer it, or continue a conversation that was started before entering the elevator. I have also noticed that those who are not partaking in such activities regard them with great contempt and annoyance like they are using up the limited supply of oxygen that is on board.

3) The multi-tasking use

This is by far, my favorite. I am unable to withhold my disdane if I am speaking with someone and I am interrupted by a sudden laugh or shout about something that just happened on tv. Taking into consideration that I am not nearly as entertaining as a touchdown or a stand-up comedian, I am put off, to say the least, by the interruption. I could completely understand if a child is getting ready to eat dirt or if a pet is lifting his leg at the sofa...these things are what I would call, necessary interruptions. Relaying information about a census letter you just received in the mail or deciding to speak to the neighbors for 5 minutes about the moving van 3 house down is a little rude to me.

Maybe it's just me...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Today's lesson - dating

Today's lesson is about dating. Now before you go thinking that I'm gonna start bashing men, let me clarify, I love men. I love almost everything about them...except for dating them. But I will not place the blame on the entire male gender because a) that is being unjust and b)it's quite possible that I'm just as much, if not more, to blame. Maybe I've just been out of it for so long that I didn't realize that some rules have changed and the rules that haven't....well, it's possible that I thought they would have by now.

Let's have some background so maybe we can figure out where the problem is..

First, I'm new to the single scene (is that phrase still used?) after being out of it for nearly 12 years. I've been dating for almost a year now. The first thing that I noticed is that the preferred method of meeting is online. I'm good with that. Theoretically, that should give 2 people the opportunity to chat and discover if the awkwardness of a first date is merited. So, I got on board, starting with, the free dating sites. (I can hear the collective groan) I was literally bombarded with messages, which was quite the ego boost. Then the hatchet fell and I learned a new term...."friends with benefits." I was quite naive with regards to this term despite the fact that I feel I'm pretty hip to a lot of happenings in today's world. I have many friends, all of which provide benefit to my life. I learned the hard way that this was not the same type of benefit. This benefit provided me with enough material to give any porn magazine a run for it's money as these individuals are quite fond of sending photos. Back in the day, we called it hooking up or booty calls.

So, after updating my "free" profile in an attempt to limit these requests, I opened up another can of worms.....which, given my current state of mind, was worse. The messages slowed, as I expected, but the ones that I did receive were practically marriage proposals. I completely understand that the ultimate mission of dating is to find that one person to spend the rest of your life with. But even Cosmo still contains articles about how to get a guy to commit. I had no problem finding this apparently not so rare man.

So I started to investigate the word, "dating." Could it be possible that I've had the wrong definition for 42 years? But there it was, black and white, direct from Wikipedia...."....a form of courtship, and may include any social activity undertaken by, typically, two persons with the aim of each assessing the other's suitability as a partner....." I am drawn specifically to the words "social activity" and "assessing." Is random sex now considered a "social activity?" Has it progressed to the point of Pictionary? And the word "assessing." How can it be, when many times in our world that we must go through several points of assessment before a decision is made, that one could make a decision to be with someone so quickly? I had 3 interviews for my last job and went through at least 15 meetings to buy a house.

So, using my mom's philosophy of "you get what you pay for," I decided to use the more upscale dating sites. I felt that being matched on 32 levels of compatibility might provide a better fit for my definition of dating. We'll just leave it at the fact that I lost $79 only to discover that the site was populated with the exact same guys. No, I don't mean similar, I mean the EXACT same guys.

I was, and still am, disillusioned with the concept that dating is supposed to be fun. It is hardly what I would call fun. I have had more fun getting my taxes done. So what is it that I've missed in my time away? Did someone put out a handbook that I have yet to purchase? Will it help me to determine the correct phrase to use because I've learned that using the phrase, "I'm not currently seeking a long term relationship" has the direct result of classifying me as a "friend with benefits" but I am also unable to say "I'm not looking for a one night stand" as I will have a guy with his dog and a suitcase at my door on the first date....

I'm thinking of investing in a gps to find the elusive middle ground.