Okay – this is 98% whining and 2% asking for help.
I’ve been reading TVTropes as everyone knows by now. I was reading this page which started off funny but ended very depressing. I wondered what kind of sheltered life I led that nothing even remotely this interesting ever happened to me. I also noted how often breaking the rules had a happy ending: “I carelessly walked into the wrong shower and saw this chick naked and we laughed about it and then we started dating.” WTF??? In what universe am I living then? Because in my book, that doesn’t follow. At all. If some random girl walked in while I was showering, I’d (first) ignore it, and (second) probably feel so bad for her that I wouldn’t ever want to remind her of the incident.
Then I got to thinking about how many of these happened at camps, and unsupervised activities where members of the opposite sex were involved. I can safely say that I’ve never been unsupervised, especially at school or some other sanctioned activity. But also, if the rules say to stay away from the girls, I obey them. This was a rule in Track and Field. I obeyed it. Nobody else did. It was never enforced. I was quite irritated that nobody enforced the rule but I obeyed it anyway. I was there to do a job and I did it without complaint. I wasn’t there for socializing. I was there to work.
I got to thinking about how I need to meet new people. My life is boring. All I do is go to work and come home. And go to Lodge and hang out with old men. Granted they’re nice old men, I enjoy hanging out with them, and I learn a lot by talking to them, but I need friends my own age. I’m 26 and haven’t had a date since high school.
What do people my age do for fun? I haven’t the foggiest. I do know that I tried bowling. I didn’t talk to anyone because I was there to bowl, not talk. I bowled 36 games and got bored and went home. What could I have talked about? I didn’t know any of those people. I didn’t want to comment on their bowling game because that’d be rude. I didn’t want to ask about bowling because I’m (a) not the least bit interested in it and (b) not a terrible bowler to begin with so I didn’t need any help or advice. I had no idea what those people’s interests were so I couldn’t talk about those. I can guarantee that nobody who goes bowling is interested in any of the things I am.
That’s my core problem. I don’t do small talk. I will gladly discourse for hours at Lodge with some of the old timers about the history of Milwaukee’s sewer system or the maintenance records of the city’s many movable bridges. It’s fascinating and informative to have these discussions. But I can’t imagine anyone my age remotely caring about any of that. I don’t watch popular TV shows. I watch MythBusters, Dirty Jobs, British comedies, and the Penguins of Madagascar. None of those appeal to young people except oddballs like me and they never want to leave their houses apparently.
I’m sick of never having any kind of human contact. It’d be awesome if I could get my friends to get a bunch of people together and take a trip up north or to Vermont or hell, even Disney! I bet Disney’d be a blast with someone besides my 82 year old grandmother and my half-psychotic conspiracy nut uncle. Or *shock and awe* get invited to a new years’ eve party. I know the last four years my friends have made sure I didn’t know their plans for new years and one even told me that I’d ruin the party if I showed up because “it’s not my kind of thing” and “I’d have a problem with what goes on there.” Well news flash: Maybe I wouldn’t mind it so much if I were included in it once in a while. That was my biggest problem in high school with parties: I was always the odd man out watching the lameass movie by myself while everyone else went off and made out in the corners. That’s why I haven’t gone to parties.
Lastly, there’s this:
I’ve had it drilled into my head so often that I take it as gospel: Women are so insanely sensitive that any attention at all, including basic politeness, is taken the wrong way and the man gets arrested for sexual harassment. I take things literally and follow the rules and the rules are so nebulous that any attention at all can be used in court against anyone. Therefore, I go out of my way to avoid eye contact with strangers. I’ve had it drilled into my head by the public school system that if a woman is interested in a man, she’ll make the first move. Period. Anything, including eye contact, by a man to a woman spells doom for the man as he is locked up as a sex predator for the rest of his life. I don’t care that this doesn’t really happen – it doesn’t matter. The potential exists because there’s nothing to prevent a judge from reading the vague law this way and I want to avoid it at all costs.
Finally, I’m just really getting tired of people telling me I need to watch what I say for fear a potentially employer might hear it. If a potential employer takes issue with something I say, then I probably don’t want to work for them in the first place. I know I say unpopular things sometimes. Case in point: My boss’ boss asked me if I thought his idea would work. I said it was a good idea on paper but I doubted if it could be implemented in its current form – it would need to be reworked to fit in with the business processes that were already established. He thanked me and I thought nothing further of it until one of my coworkers, who’d overheard the conversation, told me that I just cut my own throat by not telling the guy that the idea was the best I’d ever seen. I was shocked: Why did the man ask my opinion if he didn’t want an answer? I gave him my honest answer and even offered to help draft an implementation strategy. But apparently, I was supposed to tell him that the idea was golden and that I wished I’d have come up with it. WTF? That’s not what I do. Any “potential employer” who wants me to do nothing but kiss ass and agree to bad ideas just because it makes him feel good isn’t anyone I want to work for. I don’t care if I’m unemployed for the rest of my life – I won’t just roll over and play the idiot game. I do what’s best for the business, not what makes any particular person look good.
So that’s my rant. Let me know what you come up with. 🙂