Monday, May 31, 2010

Thank You for Being a Friend

I've been de-friended.
Today on Facebook, I saw Friend A's comment on another friend's status. I realized I hadn't heard from Friend A in awhile, so I clicked over to her profile only to find that we are no longer friends. I have the option to "Request this person as a friend", but evidently Friend A terminated our relationship at some point, so why would I set myself up for rejection?
This is the second time (that I know of) that I've "lost" a friend. For a while I tried to blame it on Facebook, but today I did a little investigation and found that:
"Friend removals are not caused by a technical error on the site, as it is not possible for a friend to be removed without confirmation from one of the users involved. The issue you are experiencing is caused by one of the following reasons:

  1. This person removed you from their Friend List, either intentionally or accidentally.
  2. This person has deactivated their account, causing them to disappear from all Friend Lists. If they choose to reactivate their account, they will reappear on these lists."
In other words, I've been de-friended.
Let me say that I'm not overly concerned with how many "friends" (or how few) I have on Facebook. I've run across two predominant realms of thought regarding Facebook friends. The first is to have as many friends as possible. These are the people who send you a friend request simply because they know who you are. They may or may not have even met you, but they are (in my opinion) trying to pad their numbers. I have a few "friends" like that: someone who's child was in pre-K with HanK eleven years ago, but I haven't seen since; or someone who's husband worked with Joel for a few weeks several years ago. So maybe you're thinking that since I accepted those Friend Requests that I'm just as guilty of trying to pad my numbers as they are. Think what you will, but I do not consciously solicit "friendships" where the other person has to ask around before they know who I am...however, I'm probably not above accepting them. Don't judge.
The second line of thought is that one cannot possibly have that many "friends", so people limit their numbers. They won't allow their friend list to exceed a pre-determined number, say 100, maybe 200. When they reach the cut-off, they re-evaluate their list and clean house by de-friending the dead weight. Sounds a little like the Lifeboat Theory to me. If I really only wanted to keep up with the 100 people closest to me, I wouldn't use Facebook, I'd use my cell phone to call them or email them or maybe even send them a card via "snail mail". Facebook is about social networking, not forming a tight-knit group of your closest friends. But if that is the way some people want to utilize it, I won't judge that either.
I think I fall somewhere in the middle. I don't go digging up people to be my friends, but I also don't limit my "friends" based on their level of importance to me. I've reconnected with people from high school and college, former students and even some relatives. Many of these are not the people I think of each day, but when they cross my mind (possibly because they came up in my News Feed) its nice to visit their profile and catch up with them. I even have a few friends who I have not met personally yet, but we have developed a relationship based on a mutual friend or friends. These are people I feel like I know even though we don't have a long history.
Anyway, I must confess that I'm a little troubled over losing friends. Granted, they were not close friends, and who knows how long ago they dumped me before I realized it. But still. Now there are people that I have "hidden" because they drive me crazy in my News Feed~the ones who always give too much information (if you know what I mean) or those who only talk about their party plans and drink mixes. But to actually dissolve a friendship? That would take a lot. Perhaps they grew weary of my status updates about needing a nap or how much I miss BigJoel when he's gone. Or maybe I just didn't make their top 100. I realize its petty to dwell in this valley. I still have lots of friends who "Like" me enough to comment occasionally or at least keep me around, even if it is just to pad their numbers...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

More or Less

I haven't done an official installment of "Ticked Off Topics" in a while, but yesterday we went shopping and this post began forming in my head.
Since Hometown's mall is somewhat lacking in the latest fashions, we ventured "across the bridges" to the Big City to see if we could find HannahKate some spring/summer clothes. I seriously worry about the child because when she's not wearing standardized dress for school, she is wearing dark jeans and a black t-shirt of some sort. Always. Its one thing for her dad to dress that way~he works for a band. But its another thing for her to look like a roadie-in-training. But I digress...
Anyway, on to our shopping trip. Let me first say, that as the older I get, the less I like people, er, I mean crowds. The first store we went to was so crowded that the sales attendants had to carry around a sign on a stick that said, "I work here. Ask me for help." Needless to say, claustrophobia and the fact that they had already sold out of $1 flip-flops made that foray unprofitable.
The next store we went to had adorable outfits in the windows. We'd been there once before and I wasn't impressed, but not being one to hold a grudge, I wanted to give them a second chance. Oh. my. word. As we rifled through the articles of clothing, I was amazed at how small the sizes seemed to run. HannahKate has an atheletic build. She is just the right size for her height and bone structure. She is not, however, an XS, S or M...especially when the clothing manufacturer must have used malnourished pygmies as their guide to sizing. Sheesh! So~fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me and now we know to never waste our time at that store again.
Next we ventured to a Name-Brand Teenage-y Store (but not the one with all the naked boys in their advertising). Here, we were awarded a small victory~one pair of capris and a cute top. Thank you, Lord. This was also the time when I was reminded of how thankful I am that not only is HanK relatively unconcerned with the variety of her wardrobe, she is also extremely modest.
And that brings me around to my Ticked Off Topic (finally, you say). It should not be so difficult for a teenage girl to find clothing that is not too short, too tight, too low-cut or too see-thru. According to my observation, the smaller the amount of fabric used in an item, the higher the price. Why are we paying more money to get less clothing?
And to think, we were only shopping for shorts. I dread what it will be like when we have to find a bathing suit! When that time comes, dark jeans and a black shirt might not be such a bad thing after all...

Friday, May 21, 2010

Weekly Pic--New York State of Mind

Central Park, New York City
October 2008

Just thinking about these girls tonight...thinking we need another trip to New York...soon!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Working It Out

I mentioned a while ago that I got a new job. I am working part-time in our church office doing the weekly newsletter, Sunday bulletins and power point presentations of the pastor's sermons. Even though I love my job, I must say that my re-entry into the workforce has not been as smooth as I'd hoped. First of all, I had exactly one week as a train-ee before my train-er left the country for two weeks. I tried my best to soak it all up and write it all down. She taught me well; but for some reason, I don't learn/remember as well as I used to. I believe there's a saying about "old dogs and new tricks" that might apply here...
Second, evidently I've gotten soft in the two years I've been a "domestic goddess". Getting up and going to work all day long, every day wiped. me. out. HannahKate berated me with mock empathy, "Awww, it must be hard to stay up all day long without a nap." (She's a sassy one, that girl. I have no idea who taught her that.) Two weeks into the job, I found myself going to bed at 9:00 each night. Even my kids don't go to sleep that early!
Third, back when I was a teacher, I single-handedly managed a class of 22 energetic six-year-olds, each with their own individual personalities and learning styles. But in my new career, the office equipment almost defeated me. There's a postage machine, a folding machine, a fax machine, a color copier, a black and white copier, and my arch nemesis ~the Riso. (This is an extremely large machine that can make copies about a bajillion times faster than the ordinary copy machine....when it wants to.) I mastered most of the machines with relative ease; however, the Riso refused to submit. For three solid weeks, even the simplest job I tried to complete on that beast turned into a major fiasco. I finally learned that the secret is in the care and handling of the paper. I asked about this when I first began, "How careful do you have to be with the stacks of paper?" To which L replied, "Oh, not too careful..." Evidently, her definition of "not too careful" and my definition are quite different. But now I finally have it figured out, and I believe the Riso and I have a healthy respect for each other.
The question that has plagued me is, "When did I become such an airhead?" I used to run a pre-school with 100+ children and 20+ employees, for heaven's sake! When did I become the person who does stupid stuff? The village idiot? In my first week, I managed to miss the post office deadline for the weekly newsletter, print mailing labels in alphabetical order instead of by zip codes (which put me on the "outs" with a certain volunteer who kindly helps each week), and run the Sunday morning bulletins upside down so that instead of tearing off the perforated visitor's card, one would tear off half of the order of service (which is no real benefit to us in the office when it comes to following up with prospects...). Oh and let's not forget the countless people I hung up on because I forgot to push the hold button on the telephone, or the fact that I changed the title of the pastor's sermon when I made the power point slides for one of the evening services.
Thankfully, L finally made it back from vacation and I've been able to relax a bit. Now I only work 3 days a week instead of 5. And even though I'm still a little intimidated by the Riso, I try to act like I know exactly what I'm doing. (I'm pretty sure it can smell fear...) I've mastered which direction the perforated paper goes into the copier when running the bulletins, and I ALWAYS make sure to print addresses by zip codes instead of alphabetically. I'm slowly but surely making friends with the grouchy lady at the post office so as not to miss any more deadlines, and I've learned to check, double-check, and re-check the powerpoint to avoid "re-writing" any more of the pastor's sermons.
When I used to just do "fill-in" work at the church office, any time I didn't know how to do something I could shrug it off and wait for the real secretary to return. Now I no longer have that luxury. I can't blame my mistakes on being "the temp" anymore. Hopefully though, I can ride the wave of being "the new girl" just a little big least until I figure out the "hold" button on the telephone.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

There Goes My MOTY Award--Glee

This morning, while cleaning up the kitchen with BigJoel after making me a delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs and cheese toast, I overheard Hallie telling him about the story line of Glee-Season 1. I was convicted about what a slacker mom I am as I heard her recanting about Mrs. Schuster's "hysterical pregnancy" and how Quinn told Finn that she got pregnant because they were in the hot tub together. Seriously, what kind of mother lets her 10 year old watch this stuff?
Then she says, "The cool thing is all the relationship hook-ups in the group. Rachel is in love with Finn. Finn is in love with Quinn. Quinn is in love with Puck, but Puck isn't in love with anyone because he's a heartless jerk." (Remember, this is Season 1 and remember those were her words, not mine.) So I had to laugh out loud when, after all this endless chattering to her daddy, I heard Joel say, "I thought the cool thing was the singing. Aren't they supposed to sing on that show?"
Oh. I think Hallie missed that part.
There goes my Mother of the Year Award.