Sunday, March 31, 2013

Foreign Language Whozeewhatsit

So I’m pondering whether my daughter should bother taking Chinese class again next year, knowing that none of her family speaks Chinese and the middle school she will likely be going to in a few years currently has no Chinese program.

And I’m telling this to my mom, who tells me an amazing little story.

My grandma is almost 92 years old and frankly, not doing so hot. Down to 50% kidney function, lungs filling with fluid, internal bleeding of some sort, has no idea what you just told her two minutes ago. But guess what? She remembers the Polish she learned in her youth well enough to freaking translate for her roommate (who can only speak Polish since her stroke).


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Good Cup of Tea is like a Rainbow

I’m addicted to tea (camellia sinensis, to be clear). I’ve been addicted since childhood, when iced tea was my beverage of choice at the dinner table (and I wondered why I had trouble getting to sleep at night). So I’ve grown to be a little picky about it over the years. I like my tea plain…no fruit flavors, please. No sugar, no honey, none of that. Lipton was my childhood tea, but now I’m 44 and spend too much time in grocery stores and tea shops. As a result, I’ve discovered the miracle of flavor that is PG Tips.

Here’s the best way I can describe PG Tips: It is the full rainbow. That’s right. This tea has all the colors in it. Other black teas are lacking in the flavor/color department. At best, you might get roughly half a rainbow, which is what I get with a good Assam, Tazo Awake or Tetley British Blend.  A lot of black teas have only one or two colors, which makes them disappointing to drink.

So PG Tips it is. A tip of the cup to ya.

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Quiet One

I’m the quiet one. That person you think is boring because she just sits there and barely says anything. I tend to choose talkative people to hang out with…the kind of people who hate silence and try to fill it with whatever they can think of at the moment. I’m perfectly content to sit there puzzling over why I'm surrounded by people who are ignoring me, as long as I forget the idea of “me.” As soon as I think there is a “me” that should have a larger say in the conversation, I get angry and resentful. But do I say anything? Of course not. I prefer to obliterate the notion of “me” instead.

Sometimes if I have problem with someone or a situation I just pull back and ponder. Often I realize the problem is actually…guess what? “me” and my thinking. This saves me from having to confront people, because if the problem is me and my perception of them, then they have done nothing wrong and there is no need to say anything. Problem solved. 

Except it is not entirely solved, because I am still lonely. I’m lonely at parties, lonely with dear friends, lonely in any situation where I feel like a warped puzzle piece trying to fit into the wrong puzzle. And the only reason I’m saying this in a public “place” is because I think some of you might be able to relate to and understand what I’m feeling. Perhaps that shared feeling will make you feel less lonely, if only for a few moments. Sharing this abstract moment of connectedness is what makes me feel less lonely. It is hard for me to relate to people as individuals, but I can often relate to them in general terms, when I consider the universal feelings we share.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

More Sincerity, Less Snark

I suspect we all have them: friends on Facebook or other social media sites whose updates are, quite frankly, boring. You know the person who thinks you need to know everytime she's taking a nap or eating a snack, or the guy who thinks having a cup of coffee while he's studying makes for an exciting status update somehow. 

If only they would be witty, clever or funny when they say these things, it wouldn't be so bad, I thought. But then I stopped in my mental tracks, horrified. Couldn't we just have honest, heartfelt communications with each other, or do the new rules of social connection online insist that every sentence contain wit, humor, sarcasm or snark? The latter seems to be true, and it makes me sad.

Last night I had a bad dream. I was feeding an insect to a carniverous plant, and suddenly the insect became a small boy who was being fed on a diet of jelly sandwiches, and slowly dying of thirst. It upset me to think of the insect/boy dying a slow death inside the bowels of the plant. But this is what we do all time with our online communications. We feed each other jelly sandwiches while depriving each other of water. 

So I'm sending out an ernest call for more honesty and sincerity so we can feel truly connected to each other, not just superficially bonded with LOLs.