A person of good taste chooses a certain type of friend—one who shares his joy in books, art and music. He will have little place in his life for the people who boast, who dress loudly and who are insensitive to the feelings of others.
I had to say goodbye to a friend this weekend. I knew it was coming. She had been talking about it for over a year. The plans finalized for weeks. It was still difficult when she moved away.
I moved here almost a decade ago. This friend, April, has been the only true friend I’ve had since moving here. Yes, I’ve met some amazing people. Yes, I have long distance friendships. But those amazing people, I met through my husband. Those long distance friendships are best nurtured via social media. So, I am left.
Those that know me know I don’t make friends easily. I believe this stems from the ultimate loyalty I give to my close friends. Giving my all to those I care about is a big part of my personality. I think I reserve my friendly nature to save myself from undue stress or hardship. I fully believe in quality over quantity. I am naturally awkward, and often passed over or written off. Let’s be real: I’m awesome, but most people don’t take the time to notice. I don’t have time for those people in my life. April was a refreshing change.
Why did April move? That’s her business, but let’s be clear: she had compelling, important reasons for the move. I cannot fault her for following her life path. I do mourn for the friendship that will now be more difficult to sustain.
This may seem morose, but I felt the need to share. A recent post mentions several things weighing heavily on me. This impending change was one of those things.
Do not feel sorry for me, readers. I will always rise above the challenges of life. I will make new friends, friends I can call my own. As for April, well…that’s what Facebook is for, right?
I recently went to an open house graduation party hosted by a friend for her son. (Can we pause for a minute while I reel over the fact that I am old enough to have friends with children who are High School graduates? … OK better now, I think.) It was really informal and laid-back. Yet, it still had an air of dignity that I appreciated.
As always, I struggle with the whole gift giving process. It’s not that I don’t want to give a gift, it is just that I am generally awkward and feel my gifts will be an extension of that. The husband says I am the world’s best gift-giver… that just increases the pressure. AHH! Sigh. In this situation, the graduate was moving across country for school, and I hoped to offer something to ease the burden. I really had no clue what.
It seems the custom lately is to give monetary (either liquid funds or a gift card) gifts. Since I was somewhat unsure of the graduate’s overall taste, we simply offered a cash gift. I, being me, however had to add a bit of personal touch to it. I hastily wrote “Congrats!” on the card and signed it from our family. I felt a little guilty for not using the formal word, but when I arrived I chuckled at the decorations with the same abbreviated celebratory message. At the bottom of the card, I added “DFTBA” as a nod to something I felt he would appreciate. The phrase also seemed to be an appropriate reminder to him as he moved on to his next achievement.
Graduation gifts need never be lavish. Overgenerosity may prove embarrassing to a receiver who cannot repay in kind.
That’s my experience, at least. Tell me yours.
Tonight, I find myself struggling to cope with several personal issues. None are of much consequence to anyone other than me. Therefore, I will not bother you with details. However, I find myself in need of calming distraction. I come here: to reflect, reset, and recharge.
I haven’t posted in a couple months, and I offer no other reason than life itself. I could not find motivation or inspiration to post. So, I didn’t. I did not feel that posting a nonsensical stream of consciousness would serve my few readers very well.
What have I been up to the past couple months… normal stuff. My gaming took a backseat to life. My love for BlackBerry has grown as I began following more of the information surrounding the launch of the Z10 and Q10. Work has kept my brain sufficiently exhausted, but friends have proven to re-energize me via Twitter. For that, I thank them. It’s a haven for my addled brain.
Some developments in my life as of late: I began going to church again. I feel it is something my soul needs. I love the fellowship and the music. And while I don’t feel my faith or conviction wavering with my lack of attendance, my heart is bolstered by the community and culture it provides. So, I returned. It’s therapeutic.
Also, I began a side project with my Twitter friends I met through Geek and Sundry. In an effort to help out someone on their class assignment, we made a video about online communication. It was well enough received that we are working towards a series of videos. I will keep you updated as that develops.
I think that brings you up to speed. As for an etiquette snippet to throw in, just to keep in theme, how’s this:
Always write simply and sincerely.
I love being comfortable. I love being able to relax and feel completely at ease. I also enjoy being able to go about my day rocking at life in clothes that do not feel constricting. I really dislike being restrained by clothing. It makes it difficult to even think clearly at times.
However, I do not… nor will i…. wear pajamas outside of my house. I do not even check the mail (and my mailbox is right beside my front door) without having appropriate clothing on. I do not let my dog out, or stand on my porch in my robe. Why? Too me, pajamas are for private. My sleepwear should not be visible by anyone that does not see me sleep on a regular basis.
I will go outside in a tshirt and my workout pants. I even find a dress to sometimes be the most comfortable thing to wear. I am not adverse to comfort. To me, wearing pajamas outside is akin to wearing stained, worn-out clothes. It shows a lack of concern for one’s appearance. It makes me sad.
Feel free to call me uptight. Call me unforgiving or stoic, but I do not like seeing others in their pajamas. I understand that pajamas are comfortable. I understand that we have hectic, crazy schedules. I do NOT understand anyone that can justify walking around in pants covered in dinosaurs and butterflies, but cannot reasonably explain why they cannot spend equal amounts of their income on comparatively comfortable clothing suitable for public viewing. There are so many options out there for comfortable, appropriate clothing. There is really no discernable, excusable reason to wear anything else:
The ease with which a woman of any age and size can find half a dozen fast-color attractive print dresses in any department store, renders inexcusable any untidy appearance as she goes about her household tasks.
Mrs. Harriman and friends expected more from themselves. Women were expected, and most preferred, to always look their best. It helped their mood as they went about their business. Now we are a nation of people that looked like we rolled out of bed and plan to roll right back in. What kind of productivity does that encourage?
Please, keep the PJs in the boudoir.
Kindness and unselfishness are the foundation stones of real tact.
I thought since ‘tis the week of showing our love and affection towards others, it’d be a good time to address the manner in which that affection is shown: tact. Tact is simply knowing how and what to do in any given situation. Therefore, tact is easily applied to social interactions.
The ultimate rule of thumb when showing someone you care is to be considerate. Think about the person you wish to celebrate. Think about their hobbies and interests. Use that information to fuel the gift search.
I’m going to veer from Mrs. Harriman for a moment and post something completely my own. This is something that truly annoys me because it is a simple breech of common sense and general goodwill. I would assume that Mrs. Harriman did not broach the subject of illness etiquette because it is perhaps best practice to just allow the ill to recoup alone without social discourse.
I cannot allow that because the germs are alive in my life. I have to say something to rebuild people’s common sense. I have to fight in favor of rule number one when sick: stay home.
My children stay home when they do not feel well. We do not make that decision lightly, but it is based on a combination of their effectiveness at school and their ability to pass their sickness on to their friends. If they cannot function at school and they could cause others to get sick, they stay home. The day of rest will help them improve their health and maintain their focus when they go back.
If the school (or your work) has requirements (like a fever) for staying home, then please stay home. A lot of parents medicate children with a fever reducer to take them to school and think that’s okay. It’s not. They are still contagious and ill. That is the reason the school wants them to stay home. Masking the issue is just making it more difficult for your child.
The policies are in place to protect everyone in the building. Respect that. I do not need the germs in my building. If it was someone else, or someone else’s child in your child’s class, would you want the germs passing hands?
You do not have to subscribe to a particular faith to darken the threshold of a church. Statistically, thanks to weddings and funerals, we all could see the inside of a sanctuary at some point in our lives. Even if you never will, these principles may prove helpful during other somber and respect-filled events.