Friday, August 28, 2009

The Human Puzzle

Warning: don’t let this offend you. It’s never about you. It’s always about the Joneses!

I have been collecting these random thoughts for a while now, and I finally find some time and some mood to lay them down on paper … Not really sure why. Not really with a purpose. Just to get them off my chest, and hopefully put some smiles on someone’s face. Maybe.

So, these are several things that I either don’t get, or make me just go … Hhmmm … about us, humans. Well, about “some of us, some humans”, at least.

I hope one day I will understand the mystery of the paper towel print! I hope some day someone will explain to me why and who in the world decided that sure, country style patterns on ALL paper towels look darn pretty in ever household in America! Anywhere from an ultra-modern loft in NYC to a country cottage in Mississippi, those God-awful, faint, tacky, pink and green little flowers on your paper towels are going to match the décor, and add to its pizzazz. Sure it will! Just boggles my mind!

And no, you cannot just put them in the cabinet (and the little grandma who invented them knew it), because then, they’re not functional! You will always have them out, somewhere in the kitchen, so you won’t have to touch your cabinet with your wet or goopy, sticky hands when you need one! So, they have to have some sort of appealing pattern on them. But no chance!

And the truth is: we have no choice! Sure, we can buy plain. But that’s it: plain or tacky-faint-pink-and-print crap! Don’t even try to tell me there are teddy bears on some too, because you know … those are country and tacky as much as the flowers! The only reason why such a person possessed by such a hugely mutant décor gene stayed in business is because there are virtually no other choices out there (that won’t break Bill Gate’s budget!) and we all use them!

Let’s move along: what is the deal with people buying expensive cars that are also very expensive to maintain (especially European, but not only those) and then all you hear about is them constantly whining about how difficult and expensive it is to fix them. And then they wait for sympathy and a hug. And sometimes I wonder if they even want a loan?! How is that my problem?! That I need to sympathize?!

And the worst part: they knew it! Makes no sense to me: unless you are a masochist and love to be hurt all the time, why buy it?! I guess people never learn, or want attention?! If you must have that car: sure, love it with all you got, including your bank account! You must have it - fix it, too! The dog says: I want that! Doesn’t know the consequences. But the human must say, I think: I want that, and I can handle it! There should be thought behind that impulse, wouldn’t you say?!?!

I had a SAAB in one chapter of my life: one mechanic in the whole town, booked for 2 months in advance, and $500 for a headlight! I totaled it and would never touch a SAAB again. I love SAABs, but I love my cash more!

Along the same lines: people having kids, one, two, five … who knows … and then complaining for days … that parenting is hard. Hhmm… what did you think?! Kids are like kittens? Independent and self sufficient? Throw some food in a bowl, some water, pet them once in a while, change them once a week, and you’re done for 18 years?! And why do we have to listen to you complaining about it?! Just remember you were just chasing an orgasm when you conceived Little Johnny next time he throws a tantrum about demanding spaghetti at 2 AM!

I love words! I cherish words! They are precious tools of human emotions! But when they’re used inadequately, oh … they peeve me. Empty words just make me mad! Well, no, not the words themselves, but the people who use them, of course. I have been known to pick up (a very underrated) self-help book, here and there. But self-help headlines just to sell a crappy magazine make me mad! One women’s magazine screams: “You’re stronger than you think!”. Oh, yeah, first off: HOW do YOU know?! And if I am strong and I don’t know it … what good is that to me?!?

Another empty one is banking on one of the buzz words of the day and attaching it to everything, without any attention to context – for instance the word “free”. Economy is bad-bad-bad, everything must be “free”, people pay attention to ”free”! Forget “sales” and “discount”. Everyone wants FREE! So, another magazine promises: “Crowd-free National Parks. Stress-free Disney. Snob-free Designer Hotels”. Whaaa?? OK. MAYBE I believe the first one!!! But c’mon! “STRESS free Disney”??? That’s like saying “tragedy cartoon” – it doesn’t happen! As for the last one – don’t you think it’s a bit of a non-sense?! And even if anything “designer” should, by chance, be non-snobbish … how can one guarantee me there are no snobs there?! What, now, they do an in-depth character check on every guest to make sure they’re not “snobs”. “Sorry, Sir, I know you’re Donald Trump, but you checked positive for snobbery, we can’t host you here!”. Just makes no sense!

And speaking of buzz words – which I hate. Today’s buzzes (besides “fast” and “easy” and “free”, of course) have to be anything in the same lexical family as “natural”, “Eco-friendly”, “organic” and “green”. Everything has to be those things for anyone to be hip anymore. The shopping bags. The cars. The cotton sheets. The milk. The yogurt. The roof of the house and floor. “Green”. “Organic”. That’s all a good thing, surely. Al Gore finally got some recognition! All good.

But have you heard of Rosetta?! Well, Rosetta is everywhere – apparently in my travel magazine as well as the radio – and it promises you “the completely natural way to learn a foreign language”. Now, I have learned a couple of foreign languages (still am!) in my day, I even majored with a teacher degree to teach a foreign language, but I would not be able to tell you how a way of learning a language can be “un-natural”. I honestly have no clue!

I think Americans should just accept that they have no desire and no need to be bilingual and just drop trying! All these people inventing and selling these audio and video and computer systems to make it easier, and faster and “more natural” for Americans to learn a language should give up and go sell thumb drives! Really! Trust me: there is NO (real) need for Americans to KNOW another language. Most everyone knows (some of) theirs. Once they find themselves plane wrecked on a cannibal island, they’ll learn to communicate. And fast, too! No software needed then!

I just can’t figure these things out. And yes, I guess, as a single woman with virtually, in the eyes of busy parents, no life, I guess I’ve got time to think of all this … But no, really: what’s up with the pink flowers on the towels?! Or with the teddy bears?! Why no Dali figurines there? Or better yet: Picasso?! Why not random … squares ?!? Hhmm …

PS: to be followed by some random things I do like! So, for better attitude, stay tuned …

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