Let Me Write ’em

I hate how bad I am at correspondence.
I don’t call people as much as I should, I don’t even really text people to see how they’re doing. I feel like facebook has done this to me, because I used to be a letter writer. I would write letters about nothing, just random jibber jabber, but I would send it out, and the recipient would know that I was thinking about them. I don’t do that now, mostly because I know what everyone is up to, thanks to social media. And they know how I’m doing. So the letters are almost obsolete to today’s society, but I miss them.
I had an infection in my right hand awhile back, after a burn refused to heal properly, and the muscles have deformed. I can’t hold a writing utensil properly, or force my muscles to create smooth strokes on the paper, and it’s frustrating. I used to be praised for my beautiful penmanship, and now everything I write comes out like a 2nd grader wrote it.
Don’t get me wrong; I am thankful for the continued use of both my able hands. I just wish I could write more than one sentence without giving up. I hate crossing things out when I mess up, and I do it all the time now. I can’t afford to just start over again, because I would have a stockpile of essentially blank paper crumpled up on my floor. So I write emails.
I hate writing emails where a handwritten letter is appropriate. While I recognize that it’s even worse to say nothing at all (because an email isn’t enough), I sometimes let it go that way. I feel that I will just crank out an ugly thank-you note that is unpleasant to look at, and I never know what to say. I mean, I say Thank You, but again, that’s not enough. I let my standards keep me from saying “I appreciate you” to people who really deserve it.
That all being said, I have a confession to make. Over the holiday season, I received so many shipments of art supplies for my daughter’s art room, a gift that I was trying to set up for her with little resources. The outpouring of love and generosity had me in tears every time I saw the name of a stranger on a large package on my porch, because I knew it was full of supplies that would facilitate my daughter’s future in art, and support for her from the community which she would one day become a part. I was THANKFUL. But I still haven’t gotten through the thank-you notes. It’s so far past the holidays, that I now think it’s too late. I have half-started notes that turned ugly, and I gave up on them, but I still want those people to know that I truly am grateful.
It’s my goal to finish writing the notes, and show my appreciation for those who helped in such an important time. If you’re one of the contributors, please please please know that not a day goes by that I don’t beat myself up for this failure to deliver. I am a work in progress.

-jg

I’m “Irreplaceable”

I’m intrigued by the reactions some of my friends are having, regarding the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook profiling scandal. I remember not so long ago, Me and Matt were talking to people about it being a current event that they should pay attention to, and a lot of our friends and family told us (to our faces, as well as our backs) that we were conspiracy theorists, and tinfoil hats blah blah blah, and “they’re just for fun, let people have fun.”
Now that it’s an open social media thing, people are talking about it as if they’re trying to educate me on the gravity of the situation, when a year ago, they were the ones telling me that I “look too deeply into things” and that “not everything is a conspiracy.”
Ahhh, the opinions.
I’m not saying it’s wrong, but I don’t understand why people find it so entertaining to put their most personal details about who they are into a generator that “might be fun.” Any info I feed into a generator is going to be all over the place, and in no way reflective of my true answer, because I like to shake things up. I try not to be accurately catalogued, if I have to be catalogued at all. Even still, I was targeted, and I was aware of what was happening!
If you choose to live in blissful ignorance, that is fine with me, not that you need my permission, but don’t pretend to be awake all of a sudden. It’s cringey. It looks weird. I’m glad you’re concerned all of a sudden, but you’re not really going to be able to do anything about it now. Your privacy has been breached, your data has been sold, and nobody is trying to give it back to you. You’re statistics now. But at least you know which Beyonce song is your power theme!

-jg

It’s My Shit In A Box!

I think it’s funny that they have all of those profiling/documentation services out now, such as 23andMe, or ancestry.com. While I do see the value in those services for information and entertainment purposes, I can also recognize how (some) may alert you to diseases and hereditary traits that you didn’t know existed in your bloodline. That’s helpful.
That being said, I laughed so so so hard this morning when I saw the commercial for whatever service it is that requires you to take a shit in a box and send it to them in the mail. I was laughing much too hard to be able to see what the commercial was actually for, but I think I saw all the important stuff. How long was THAT advertising meeting?! “Ok people, we need to think of a nice cheery way to ask people to shit in the box and send it in the mail…”
I’m fine.

-jg

Safety First, Danger Second

I have thoughts on all of the new “safety features” that cars are coming out with. People get so freaked out about the idea of self-driving cars, because they are being introduced to us without it being our idea. But then, we have no problem accepting the “conveniences” of self-driving cars, if they’re in the form of safety features. We want to pay MORE MONEY for the extras that will keep us seemingly safe, even though these very features are what cause the car to be self-controlled. So really, it is just that people like the IDEA of being in control, but don’t actually want to be responsible for the outcome. Give me a car that has crank windows, push locks, pull headlights, manual transmission, and no bluetooth, no computers, no TV screen, no wifi, no corrective steering or automatic braking system. That’s my preference, because I truly do want to be in control of my vehicle, and don’t need extra distractions, or excuses to not give my attention to the fact that I’m driving a deadly weapon. I don’t think advances in automobile technology are a bad thing, because I’ve had my life saved by an airbag (and another time when it failed to deploy). I understand the desire to be safe, and encourage people to want it. But don’t rely on your car to do it for you. Corrective steering isn’t a license to text and drive. Automatic braking isn’t a free pass to wait till the last minute to slow/stop. A TV screen on the front seat is never a safety feature, so I’m not even sure why that’s a thing. My point is, if people want to be safe, JUST BE SAFE! Remind yourself that YOU are in control of a deadly weapon, and nobody is invincible. Your carelessness and shitty priorities (gotta read that text, and scroll Facebook!) can’t be corrected by a computer, and can affect other drivers and riders, as well as yourself and your family!! If you really can’t help yourself, and you’re a moron who insists on driving while intoxicated or while dicking around on your phone or reading the paper… please give up your license, because you suck. Take a cab. Get a ride from a friend. Jump into a self-driving car, for fuck’s sake. It’s safer than being a dumbass with a bunch of “extra features” you paid for so you wouldn’t have to pay attention.

-jg

My Conundrum

Yesterday, my father had surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from his prostate.
I haven’t spoken to my dad (other than briefly at my sister’s wedding) since last summer, after coming to the understanding that we have differing views, priorities, and values. He can overlook the differences, but I cannot. He is willing to sweep it all under the rug, but I am not. He wants to start over, and that is one thing I AM willing to do, but there needs to be progress and growth achieved in the process.
I insist upon it.
I demand it.
I demand that he look at himself – past and present – and truly think about how he has treated people, and realize that you (generally) can’t treat people that way. And then I demand that he actually do something to keep himself from treating people that way in the future. You can’t lie and manipulate and gossip and embellish and false-alarm people for very long, before they become wise to the fact that they’re being treated poorly. It’s an easy thing to see. I demand that he sees that.
He wants to skip that part. He just wants to start over.
It seems like he is trying to be the bigger person, and it makes sense why everyone would believe what he says about me holding a grudge. After all, I am not exactly out there campaigning my side of the story. The truth is, I don’t care to. I don’t care if everyone I know is under the wrong impression of me, because I have yet to hear anyone approach me about it. Perhaps it is because they, like I, respect that this is none of their business.
After years of false claims and scares perpetrated on his family, my father was diagnosed with stage 3 prostate cancer.
He has never taken care of himself, so this was no surprise. One cannot exist in the “I’m gonna live forever” mindset forever. Your body truly is your temple, and you get what you give it. My dad’s body is giving back in the form of cancer.
He will be fine, and I have full faith in the science behind the surgery, as well as the robot that performed it. He will live longer than anyone has yet predicted, so I guess that’s a win, being that we all thought he wouldn’t live to see 60 (a product of the many times he told us he was sick or dying, only for him to be completely fine).
I thought about calling him, to tell him that I hope his surgery goes well, but I already knew it would be fine. No good could come from my call, because it would only serve to convince him that I have swept everything under the rug.
There is no rug anymore.
It got too dirty, from sweeping things under it. The threads fell apart, and the color disintegrated, and it had to be burned because it smelled like shit.
I can’t even call my dad the day after his cancer surgery, because he will use it as a way to reconcile without doing the essential hard work that is necessary for OUR wound to begin healing.
I love my dad, and I hope for only good things in the future. But I don’t want those things bad enough to enable him to get away with hurting people. I know I’m right in feeling this way, because I have already lived the life where I just look past everything he does, and I know I don’t want it.
We can’t always hold others accountable; sometimes we just need to hold ourselves accountable, and hope that others will do the same.
Reflection. Atonement. Commitment.
I don’t know why I started writing this. I haven’t written anything in a while, and have been in a writer’s block slump from hell. I have plenty of thoughts and feelings to convey, but so many things come with consequences, judgments, and overreactions. I have been feeling guilty about certain things, and tortured in other things, but perhaps I will feel some clarity soon, and finish my book.
Wish me luck.

-jg