I’ve never felt more like cattle in my life

In the HBO Film based on the life of Temple Grandin, there is a scene where she demonstrates her design for handling cattle that is about to become food. They go in a lot of circles and are never really sure what is going on.

That’s how I felt on Wednesday.

I got a call on Tuesday asking me to come in for a secretary position that I applied for on CareerBuilder. I have given up on applying solely for jobs with nonprofit organizations, so I have been looking at others as well. I didn’t recall the name of the company as one I had applied to, but I agreed to an interview anyway because I need a job. The email confirmation was addressed from an advertising company. They asked me to come to the office at 10:45 AM, which seemed like an odd time, but I went with it.

I got up on Wednesday, took a shower, put on professional clothes, and drove to the interview. It was raining and gross out, and the belt on my engine slips when it gets when, so I got to deal with that on the second half of the drive there. That was a lovely feeling of panic that I didn’t really need. I found the building just fine. Found the stairs up to the second floor just fine, as well. Had to search for the right office for a moment, but I eventually got there. I walked in, ready to go.

It was like walking into a slaughterhouse, and I was about to become a piece of Grade A beef.

In the small lobby (and I use that term phenomenally loosely), there were already five other people waiting. From their dress and facial expressions, I could tell they were there for interviews as well. I checked in with the secretary, and she had me fill out some information about myself in addition to my resume. I handed it back to her and waited. I overheard the two people near me talking about their degrees in marketing. I wasn’t sure how to feel about this. I applied for the administrative assistant position. What hell did a marketing degree have to do with scheduling meetings? I kind of already knew I was screwed.

After waiting about five minutes, vaguely paying attention to the television that was on that seemed to only be showing commercials, which I suppose makes sense for an ad company, although there was a cable box, and I don’t know of a channel that only shows commercials. I was called in by a wall of a man. Not especially tall. Not remotely fat. But shit damn, was he broad. I shook his hand. My tiny fingers barely reached the edges of his palm. I have never felt so small in my life, not even when I was a child. He led me through a door, into a room filled with at least two dozen other people.

At this point, my brain may have exploded. Fortunately, I didn’t have to stay in this room for very long. Wall-Man’s office was the first door to my left, and it was very roomy. And I first, I wasn’t entirely sure which end of the desk I was meant to sit at. I quickly realized where I had to go, and sat down in a computer chair that was very close to the floor, probably making me look even shorter than I already am. Mr. Wall-Man quickly explained that their company handles advertising for huge retail chains with the stores themselves. He explained that they had an administrative position open, as well as several marketing ones available. This explains the marketing degrees in the lobby, as well as the mass of people in the room just outside the office we were currently in. He explained that the marketing positions were all about growth and being on the fast-track. A new employee would be  running their own campaign in six months. He made it sound like I should think it was the greatest job in the world. But it wasn’t the job I wanted. It wasn’t even the one I applied for. He probably asked me four times if I was sure I wanted to apply for the administrative assistant position and not one of their marketing positions. I gently assured in him the least nothing-sounds-like-less-fun-to-me way possible that I had zero interest in marketing. He asked what I could bring to the table. I told him I was good at organizing chaos and making it habitable. He informed me they were doing mass interviews today (because I am clearly too stupid to have noticed this on my own already) and that they were going to be doing second round interviews in the next couple of days. He asked me if he called today, would I be able to come in for an interview tomorrow? I told him I would definitely be able to. He then shook my tiny hand in his enormous one, and I was on my way. The whole exchange lasted no more than five minutes. In that short space of time, we were interrupted twice. I felt like a cow who was declared to fatty and not muscle-y enough to be food, but hey, maybe someone would enjoy using me for leather. I walked out wanting the job even less than I did when I walked in. I spent more time driving to the interview than I did in the office altogether.

Needless to say, I wasn’t particularly broken up when Wall-Man didn’t call me back for round two. Instead, I got a call from temp agency who noticed that I applied for one of the jobs they had posted on one of the many job finder websites. In fact, I applied for several in the same manner. They wanted to bring me in for an interview yesterday, after taking a couple of MS Office assessments. I blew those tests out of the water. The temp agency already has an idea of a temp-to-hire posting for me, they just need clearance from the company first.

Am I that disconnected with the world?

I fully admit to being a sarcastic, obnoxious human being. Some people I know might disagree with my chosen definition of my demeanor, but sometimes it is the whole truth.

I try not to be mean-spirited with my sarcasm. What good would that do for anyone? I also try not to be too complicated with it. Lately, though, I wonder if everything I say is going over people’s heads.

In recent weeks, I haven’t exactly been having a stellar time. So when someone out in the world politely asks me how I am, giving them a completely honest answer would take hours, and, as Sweet Brown puts it, ain’t nobody got time for that. My chosen response on these days, is a simple, but clear,  “just ducky”. Or at least, I think it’s clear, as in  my sarcasm is clear. The following conversation always informs me otherwise. A nurse at a doctor’s office told me she was happy to hear I was doing well. A clerk at a store told me that was great (although she gets the benefit of the doubt because who really pays attention to the answer to that question when you’re working retail). A hostess at a restaurant was so pleased to hear something other than “good” and “okay” and she wanted to hear things like that and “fantastic” and ” superb”. As the hostess is blathering on and on about mundane responses versus punchy ones, my friend and I are just looking at each other with knowing eyes that say she clearly hasn’t picked up on what I really meant. I do acknowledge that it is hard to counter ducky with an appropriate response, but I have never not heard the word ducky used sarcastically. Am I missing something? Just how much of what I say goes over the heads of the people around me.

I take comfort in the fact that the people I talk to the most seem to understand me, or are very good at pretending that they do. I do tend to associate more with a group of people who are incredibly jaded, disdainful, and sarcastic all in their own ways. I imagine that has something to do with why we get along. I am a touch concerned about how I am getting along with people who are not necessarily in that circle of people. Am I not connecting with people and just not realizing it?

In any case, please note that the use of the word “ducky” in response to the question “How are you?” and its variations is usually said with sarcasm and should be treated as such.

Life is story the you are reading as it is being written

Slowly but surely, book stores are becoming a thing of the past. We can thank the glorious advent of technology. Namely, ebooks. I greatly dislike ereaders and will never willingly purchase one. I miss the bookstore that used to be five minutes from my house. I loved just going there when I had nothing to do and just wandering around the shelves and exploring. I love reading. And I think about how people wish their lives were like a certain kind of book.

My life could pretty much be Nicholas Sparks’s next best seller. That is, if I can get the ending right. I have never actually read one of his novels. I have seen one of the movies based off one of his novels. (And it wasn’t The Notebook. I have yet to be subjected to that film. I have no desire to see it at all. Call me a communist, but Ryan Gosling just doesn’t do it for me.) The only bright side to the potential of my life being like one of his novels is that they always have a happy ending. Well, a somewhat realistic happy ending. Yes, they ride off into the sunset, but there is some twist that might actually happen in real life. What I don’t like about this idea is that his characters have to be so unhappy before they get their happy ending. I mean, I am dealing with such unhappiness now, but that doesn’t mean I am enjoying it. And there is still no 100% certainty that I am going to get a happy ending. And that is where things diverge from his plot line. But I suppose his characters don’t always know that they are going to get a happy ending.

I wonder what other people think of their lives. I doubt anyone wishes for their lives to be a Stephen King novel. Who, in their right minds, wants to be Jack Torrance? There have been a few days in recent months where fog has been really bad in my area, and all I can think is “Well, this is just a Stephen King novel waiting to happen.” It is an odd thing to think, I know, but the one or two times I have said it out loud, it has amused those around me. And I know people wish they lived in the wonderful wizarding world created by J.K. Rowling. And I can understand why. To be able to live in a world where waving a wand and saying the right words can produce a desired result would be lovely for anyone. And with that particular series, you discover a new detail every time you read them.

I have heard of people wishing their lives were like Twilight. Alright, I have only heard girls wish their lives were like Twilight. Having a degree in psychology, I could write an entire dissertation about what is wrong with the relationship dynamics in that book series, let alone a single blog post. It encourages girls to not have lives outside of their boyfriends and tells them that it’s okay for their best friend to sexually assault them. I have read this series because I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. And honestly, I find the whole series to be an insult to any female with a brain. I could write a whole post about why Twilight is bad without even attacking the writing itself. However, it would become more of a rant than a post and no one wants that.

I love to read because it allows me to immerse myself in a world created by someone else. Some of the details are almost painfully spelled out, while some are up to me to imagine. I can escape to somewhere else for a little while and have the option of going back whenever I want. Books really need to come back in style.

I wonder if losing your identity is anything like losing your religion

It is an interesting world we live in these days. People post the smallest goings on and expect the rest of the world to be excited about the fact that they just made a ham sandwich. Oddly enough, I am not impressed by such behaviors. However, it isn’t exclusive to just food. People drag on about anything, and it appears to be ten times worse if they are one half of a couple.

While this isn’t exclusive to just my generation, it is the age group where the problem is the most highly concentrated. Everything thing has to go up on Facebook or Twitter. “Seeing this movie with the the love of my life!!!!” “Spending the day with the best thing that has ever happened to me!!!!” “Lounging around with the best boy/girlfriend ever!!!!!!!!!!” So many exclamation points. I get it. You’re with your significant other and you’re happy. Is that really an excuse to abuse punctuation? I think not.

Then there are albums worth of pictures. Each one snuggled up to that person. Or kissing that person. Or sitting in the other person’s lap. The list goes on. Do we need photographic evidence of every single moment the two of you share? And does every adventure require a picture of the two of you kissing while you’re there? Ladies and gentlemen, I have the answer, and it is a stern no.

And finally, there are the wall posts. The constant posting to the other’s Facebook wall or Twitter feed about how wonderful the other is and how lucky they are that they found each other. And oh my gosh, I miss you so much, I haven’t seen you in six hours and the next two and a half until I see you next are going to kill me!!!! (Again with the f*cking exclamation points?!) Or where would I be in this world without you, you are so amazing!!! People, your significant other is not the only one that sees those posts. Everyone that that person is friends with sees them. And I promise you that no one likes them. Most of the world doesn’t appreciate public displays of affection unless you’re getting engaged, married, or renewing your vows. Other wise, all other forms of PDA are just annoying and make you look ridiculous. Posts are only appropriate if something horrendous has happened and you want to thank them publicly for being so supportive. Kind of like when my father got home from the hospital after he had a heart attack, but he thanked my mother, myself, my siblings, and everyone who offered kind words and thoughts for him while he was in the hospital. Still quite a large difference. Anything else can be left to a private form of communication. Like a private message on Facebook or Twitter. Or email. Or text message. Or a phone call. OR LOOKING THEM IN THE EYE AND SAYING IT TO THEIR FACE.

What I want to know is when did it become okay for your whole life to be about your significant other? I am not talking spouse or partner here, I am talking about a boyfriend or girlfriend that you are not living with. When did it become okay to allow ourselves to become completely wrapped up in the other person that we don’t have our identities anymore? Why is it okay for it to be John & Jane and not John or Jane? In the Facebook generation, we rarely look at couples as individual people because they don’t present themselves as individual people. They present themselves as a unit and you can’t have one without the other. I can never just invite my sister places anymore. She has to bring her boyfriend, too. Do you have any idea how much I miss my sister? And the woman lives with me! But I can’t tell you the last time I had a day or an adventure with my sister to myself. I have friends who are the same way. Anytime I try to hang out with a girlfriend, she asks if it is okay to bring her boyfriend. I am so tired of this that I just give in and say that it’s fine, but being a third wheel whether I am single or not makes me feel horrible. Why is me making this concession even an option? Am I really at an age where it is not okay to just hang out with a friend anymore if they’re in a relationship? When did this happen? Where was I when that rule was made?

These types of behaviors are particularly bad today. Valentine’s Day. I refuse to go on my Facebook today just because I don’t want to see the endless declarations of “love.” I understand that today was originally intended to celebrate love. But why do we need a specific day to celebrate love? Why can’t we celebrate love every day? Why do men and women need a specific day to do something special for their significant other? A mass regulated day for this makes the gesture forced and takes all the specialness out of it. Don’t you think your significant other would love it so much more and be so much more surprised by it if you gave them that gift on a day where they weren’t expecting it? If it was something really special, than then that day becomes a special day for the two of you, and a memory you can always look back on and go “Remember the random day that this happened?”

Fuck Valentine’s Day. Surprise me on a random Tuesday in May with a fancy dinner and flowers. And then tell me you love me for maintaining my own identity and not coating my Facebook in sickly relationship sweetness.

Dear Forehead, I hate you.

In the ultimate chick flick, Steel Magnolias, Dolly Parton’s character said “Time marches on, and eventually you realize it’s marching across your face.”

Oh, Dolly. People should really take you more seriously.

I loathe my forehead these days. I really do. For one simple reason. I am in my early 20s. I look like I am in my early teens. Except when it comes to my forehead. For the most part, the skin of my forehead is pretty clear. Not a whole lot of acne or other potentially unsightly blemishes. So I’m not moving in reverse on the age scale.

Unfortunately, my forehead is a little ahead of the game.

If one were to look at my forehead for more than four seconds, one might take note of two blooming wrinkles spreading across the flesh spawning the space between my eyebrows and hairline. They aren’t deep enough that people question them. But they are deep enough that my sister has felt the need to comment on them. And they are right where my forehead creases when I hold an incredulous expression on my face.

And oddly enough, it is making me question myself. This is the only sign of wrinkles on my face thus far. Am I too skeptical? Too sarcastic? Is there a flaw in my reaction to the world around me that has resulted in the premature development of wrinkles on my forehead?

Thanks for the self-doubt, forehead. Like I couldn’t handle that on my own.

You can try to argue sun exposure, but there is no merit for that. I don’t spend much time in direct sunlight, for starters. The make up I wear has a 15 SPF, so I’m never completely bare in the any kind of outdoor light. One look at my fair skin will tell you that I don’t go tanning, despite prodding from some people who insist that it “just makes you glow.” So telling me to avoid sun light just translates to not changing my routine.

The only other explanation may be the way I sleep, according to various sources, including WebMD (I should really get the hell off the internet once in a while). Apparently, sleeping on your face leads to a furrowed brow. I know I sleep on my face. People who have seen me sleep have told me as much. There is one problem with this explanation. I never start off sleeping on my face. It’s when someone comes into my room to wake me or drop off something on my dresser that they see me sleeping on my face. And once I’m asleep, how do I stop myself from rolling over onto my face? I realize I should probably look into a way to darken my room, because my bedroom has two exterior walls, each with it’s own window. And the corner where these two walls meet faces east. So my natural instinct when the sun is up before I am is to bury my face in a pillow (or three). I don’t know of an option that prevents me from rolling onto my face. At least nothing that isn’t painfully binding.

I moisturize. I keep my face clean. I use mineral make up. I don’t sit in outdoor light without some kind of protection on my face. So what’s the deal, forehead? Why this desire to make me even more self-conscious than I already am?

Foreheads are jerks.