Tag Archives: Facebook

Tight Ropes and True Love

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Relationships are a delicate balance. Not too long ago, I was texting with a friend and we both realized just HOW MUCH goes into whether or not you and another person will work out.  Geography, Religion, Politics, Education, Finances, Family, Values, Looks, Friends, Interests, Sex Life and maybe most important of all, that bitch called Timing.

There are just so many things that can make a relationship unwork itself. And often that is after it’s already started. Don’t even get me started (see that?) on dating in general. It is so easy to rule somebody out early on for a fault, or let’s be more accurate a perceived fault. It takes years to get to know someone and technology has made dating harder. If you have different text rules, don’t use the right punctuation or seem to be too endearing too quickly, well, you are out. This doesn’t even include those who were already discluded for poor grammar, salary, height, the wrong education or wrong town. Hell, this definitely doesn’t include those who just fell out of the ugly tree. True love, or true tolerance, you be the judge.

Dating is a fragile tightrope that more often ends before it has even begun, even if you can stay balanced, you may just run out of rope…particularly as we get older and more set in our ways. That intricate interwoven security can unravel in an instant – seamlessly, effortlessly, carelessly, pointlessly. (I’m surprised that’s even a word, go me). So, every time you feel frustrated, unloved, uncertain, unfulfilled – just remember, there is a lot that goes into relationships, and life, and you. And when you feel a loss of control, just focus on that last one, because, really, it’s all you can do.

Be careful with alterations.  Pull the wrong thread and the whole thing comes undone.                                                       Samantha, Sex and the City

The Ginga Ninja

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If You’re Happy and You Know it, Lose Your Phone

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Did you know that the internet and cellphones, these wonderful, amazing, technological advances have actually added to people’s general unhappiness with what they have? We have all the information we ever wanted at our fingertips, a way to not lose somebody at the mall and a way to keep in touch with all the pen pals we ever met. Yet, often we feel empty…unfulfilled and unloved, why?

Well, the thing is…once upon a time, if you were out for dinner with your friends, you were only out for dinner with your friends. If you were unhappy with your job, your spouse knew it…if you were unhappy with your house, well, frankly, only your close friends, neighbours and family might know. Nobody cared what you ate for dinner, how many geraniums you planted, or how angry the old lady at the crosswalk made you. Nobody cared whether you threw a crappy birthday party, and lord knows, nobody wanted to sit through your boring vacation photos.

Photos were limited and carefully chosen. Ads were a novelty, correspondence a gift, houses were probably cleaner and more time was spent on passionate hobbies. When we broke up, we might have heard a rumour or two or bumped into them and their wonderful new girlfriend 5 years later, but we didn’t get the never-ending barrage of new haircuts, trips, weddings, birthday parties and flavours of the month like we do now. No, now we are all glued to our devices to one up another, see who is thinking about us, what’s going on, and to have 24/7 validation for the meaningless life we really lead.

Social media is a very dangerous tool. A tool that makes mothers feel bad about the birthday parties they didn’t throw, the cakes they didn’t bake, the vacations they can’t afford and the divorces they lived through. A tool that makes children feel less popular if they aren’t on it and pressured to do things when they are. A tool that makes single people sit through never-ending baby photos, stare into the eyes of happy couples and families and constantly be reminded of the ruins they didn’t visit or condo they can’t afford.

With so many more things than we ever had…and so much more access to friends, family and information than ever before…why have we created a society that is more discontent than ever?  Well, life is now just a big, public game of keeping up with the Joneses. Except the Joneses are now your elementary, highschool and university friends, co-workers, exes, some guy you met on vacation, some neighbour you haven’t seen in 10 years and some girl you talked to twice online. The pool of people to compare from is larger than it ever was and the access we have into people’s lives is overwhelming.

http://news.discovery.com/human/psychology/facebook-can-make-you-unhappy-130814.htm

And I’ve had this very conversation with a loved one. A successful, but incredibly frustrated loved one.  Very seldom do people post photos of their children telling them they hate them, the moment they sign the divorce papers, the visit to the ER, the funeral of their father, or the day they were handed their pink slip. She made sure to tell me that behind many of these beautiful family pictures and smiling photos are bad marriages, financial woes and a general feeling of despair. But, would you show that publicly? Of course not, because that wouldn’t get you many “likes” now would it? And that would be too real.

No, we now live in a world of trying to convince everyone how great our life is, when in reality the people sitting on their front porches reading a book without an instagram account are most likely the happiest there are. They are living in the present, in their own life and don’t give a damn what anybody else is doing. They are the ones who despite being called dinosaurs are indifferent to Bobby’s barbecued ribs, Sonja’s newest marathon, Alex’s latest trip to Japan, or Tommy’s favourite beer. They don’t give a damn that they have less quote-on-quote “friends” and they don’t give a damn if their selfie was unliked or their slippers are uncool. No, on a Saturday, all they want to do is turn up the music, clean their house and remember what it was like to be a kid…and maybe, just maybe…pick up that cellphone…and call their mom.

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. ~Confucius

The Ginga Ninja

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He Got on the Plane

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say-anything-john-cusackWhatever happened to chivalry? Does it only exist in 80’s movies? I want John Cusack holding a boombox outside my window. I want to ride off on a lawnmower with Patrick Dempsey. I want Jake from Sixteen Candles waiting outside the church for me. I want Judd Nelson thrusting his fist into the air because he knows he got me. Just once I want my life to be like an 80’s movie, preferably one with a really awesome musical number for no apparent reason. But no, no, John Hughes did not direct my life. – Olive Penderghast, Easy A.

And isn’t it too bad that he didn’t?  I wish that movie love scenes were real and that boys really did do these things.  I also really wish my life was set to a soundtrack or had a really awesome choreographed dance scene.  Music makes everything better.  I mean, it can also make things sadder and nobody wants that, but it makes the good moments a little more good and the memorable ones a lot more memorable.  But, back to the point, where is the romance?

Is romance the little gestures or the big ones?

Do you think planning 25 gifts for a 25th birthday, or just simply getting somebody a coffee when they are tired the real gesture?  Is looking at somebody with love in your eyes worth more than a fist-fight in the street?  Is having the decency to text someone back more meaningful than a cross-continent flight?  Is remembering your fourth anniversary better than a private jet to Paris?  You tell me.  Don’t get me wrong, nobody I have ever dated could afford a private jet to Paris, but is love in the big things or the little ones?

I know that I have tried in my own guarded way to show love.  Through thoughtful gifts, gestures, words, personalized breakfasts and daily hugs I have tried my best.  I may not always be perfect, but goddammit, I have tried.  And so have a few others along the way, even jaded old me can admit that.

I once dated a boy who lit a hallway with candles and scattered rose petals to my bed.  I was hand-delivered the ultimate girl-romance moment (cue the song “Kiss Me” now), but I was only 22.  The whole thing seemed a little overdone and awkward if I’m honest.  I have also had the long-awaited regret email, love poetry sent by letter and most shockingly, the vacation fling turned real.  And recently?  I had a young man continually try to put his arm around me 50’s style while walking along a boardwalk…he took deep, satisfying sighs and stared dreamily up into the moonlight.  You know what?  The whole thing was annoying…and FAKE.

But, love, real love should be making a sacrifice, no matter how small.  For years I begged a partner to turn to me and look at me as he sang the Proclaimers 6 simple words “…And I would walk 500 miles…” and he never would…in all our years together he never would.  That small, miniscule act would have meant the John-Hughes-chivalry-loving moments of 80’s movies could come true more than any over-the-top widely inappropriate gesture ever would.

In today’s day and age a text is not enough.  An e-birthday card, a facebook profile pic, a comment on a status update…these things are not romance.  Romance is waiting on somebody’s porch for them to come home – not texting them at 3 am.  Romance is telling somebody they look stunning, not sending a booty call message spelling “come” with only 3 letters and a “u”.  Romance is buying every single lemon baked good you find because it’s somebody’s favourite, not adding them to your circles on Google+.

But, like in the movies, (even the highly realistic ones that know life is not a musical and romance is not a John Hughes movie)….it comes now and again.  You still hear about beautiful proposal stories, men giving up gluten for their intolerant wives and ladies moving across the world to be with their man.  Just the other day a male friend of mine admitted that once he ordered flowers from his florist girlfriend under a false name and showed up to give them to her in person.  Oh, and a tiny sidenote, she lived in another country.  He made me smirk, but he proved chivalry is in fact not dead.  Now, I just need to work on getting him to follow me around with a boombox and start flash mobs often…totally not kidding.

At least that girl got what most of us movie-loving wannabes can only dream about.  But, let’s just say it does give me a reason to still dream.  I don’t expect my life or my love to be perfect.  I don’t expect in today’s busy day and age that I will be on somebody’s mind at all times, but at least a story or two (even sometimes my own) make me realize I can still dream for Prince Charming, even if he is only Charming for a Moment.

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The Ginga Ninja

Blah, Blah, Blog….

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red journalAre blogs just modern day journals?  Unlike Bridget Jones, how many girls do you think are still locking their diary and hiding it under their mattresses? (I for one wish I had been that smart).

But, at that time, being mentioned in somebody else’s journal was juicy…it was gossip…a secret look into the crazy mind of another.  How mortified would you be if everybody knew what you were thinking and (EGAD) who you accttuuaalllyy had a c-r-u-s-h on?

Nowadays however, we are all encouraged to show our uniqueness.  The irony being, is that the number of online blogs is estimated at around 181 million unique sites.  That is 181 million very un-unique people blabbing about their likes, dislikes, days and hobbies.  Me included of course.

I personally find blog pushers very annoying.  They post it on Facebook, they post it on LinkedIn, they post it at the bottom of their emails; they encourage you to read it on twitter.  Who doesn’t have something better to do than read somebody else’s thoughts?  C’mon.

Well, I guess my saving grace is only a a handful of my loved ones even know this exists.  Maybe they read it because they can relate, maybe they read it because they are bored, maybe it’s because they love and support me, or maybe, just maybe they read it to see if they are mentioned.

Love you ladies….oh, and man.

The Ginga Ninja

To Text or Not to Text

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To Text, or not to Text, that is the Question:
Whether ’tis Nobler in the mind to Suffer
The rejection and heartache of outrageous Dexting,
Or to take Arms against a Sea of iPhones,
And by opposing end them: to Text, to Talk no More

Now, I felt it was about time somebody updated this little soliloquy.  This thought came to mind as a good friend of mine was asking my advice on to text…or not to text a guy she is dating.  How sad is it for us that our modern version of dating is now Texting?  She had been feeling under the weather and hadn’t heard from him in awhile.  I asked if he had phoned, or emailed, or even offered to come and check on her in person.  The answer was No, he hadn’t texted all day.

Isn’t it crazy?  Our new version of trying to get to know somebody is through a little screen and the speed of our fingers.  I know that technology has added an extra element of hardship to what is already a really difficult pastime.  Very few people really like dating.  Those that do either want to be unattached or have already found a really solid partner.  The rest of us?  We go up and down weekly, if not daily, as to whether or not it’s all worth it.  The madness we feel when we think we are being rejected, the anger we feel when they are playing games and the guilt we feel when we just don’t like them back.  Trust me, dating is hard enough without technology.

Once upon a time you talked on the phone every few days, perhaps had a date once a week and then as time marched on you found yourself attending major functions and sharing social lives.  It wasn’t easy to meet people, but the selection was smaller and the attention more focused.  I can still remember when MSN and ICQ were the new ‘it’ thing.  I spent HOURS talking to boys that I liked on the computer instead of in person, but at least then it was the best, cheapest and easiest version of real-time we could have outside of actual interaction.  But now..NOW I can peruse my ex’s photos, check out the friends of my new crush and stare endlessly at that Facebook message box praying they are “into me”.  Since when does not hearing from a friend in two weeks mean they don’t like you?  In this instant-gratification, reachable-all-the-time world is when.

Now…we all know what everybody is doing all the time.  Our iPhones tell us when messages have been read, facebook tells you when somebody is online and dating sites let people message you as you browse.  All this real-time policing is a bit scary…maybe the book 1984 had it right all along, but Big Brother just took a very different form than we imagined…social media.

And yet, here I am using social media to spread this word.  In many ways, even though I need it to house a blog, even though I need it to keep a job…sometimes I wish there was a technology implosion.  Sometimes, just sometimes I wish things were simpler and that godforsaken smart devices didn’t exist.  Sometimes, just sometimes, I wish we could go back to the old days where you had an answering machine, or better yet…a notepad.no more texting

The Ginga Ninja