Christmas Contemplations

How do you be a loner? Like. How do you maintain relationships that inevitably require an amount of output that is inconvenient to yourself while also prioritising your own need for isolation and self-care (your own relationship with yourself) as Priority Number One?

When you’re a person who, nine times out of ten, prefers your own company to that of anyone else, how do you let your loved ones know that their demand for your company, attention, and emotional energy is draining you to the point of physical exhaustion and mental instability? How do you reconcile that with your own demands for attention from people whose company you do desire? How do you explain that out of all the interactions you’ve ever engaged in 90% of your mental capacity was devoted to meeting the expectations of the other party for fear of offending them or hurting their feelings or having to engage in an exhausting discussion about a basic difference in taste? (And because you’ve developed a survival mechanism that forces you to subconsciously mirror the people you spend time with and give them the reactions they want so that they’ll like you, but you know, how do you explain any survival mechanism developed from traumatic conditioning without sounding like you’re playing the victim and making excuses for yourself?) Why is it that, despite my not wanting to be around other people all the time, I still want to share exciting news with as many people as possible?

Would it be rude or in any way unreasonable to develop a manual to help users better understand my operating system? That way, whenever I meet a new person or come across a persistent misunderstanding with an old companion, I can simply direct them to the manual and they can learn what they’re doing wrong and determine what input I require for best operating experience. I just feel like this would help to clear up so many misconceptions about myself that I’ve never been able to articulate because I didn’t want to seem selfish or demanding, or hurt anybody’s feelings because I can’t make them understand that my wanting to be left alone has exactly nothing to do with them and everything to do with my own requirement for isolation and private reflection to “recharge my batteries”, as it were.

And this concludes my Christmas contemplations for the year. I’ve learned a little more about myself, gained something of an understanding regarding what I want from life, and am now faced with a new personal project in self-care and relationship management. When all I really wanted was cash and weed. Go figure.


Bring Your Children to Work Day

Today my bosses (who are a married couple) decided they would actually come in to the office for once – with two of their children in tow, of course. It made for a very interesting two hour visit.

The elder of the two (I’m assuming he’s around four or five since he’s not at school) had already peed with the door open twice within half an hour of being in the office, and the second time he managed to rip the soap dispenser off the wall which honestly impressed me. Now, I don’t particularly mind anyone peeing with the door open, but when the toilet is about five metres from my desk. He also spent about five minutes straight repeating “Mum, I want more, mum, you need to turn it on, mum I want put more in there,” while his mother tried to fix a problem with her husband’s phone, ignoring the child demanding that he be facilitated in his attempts to put things through the shredder. Unfortunately the shredder was full, and since nobody could be bothered to empty it the child was eventually told that he would have to play with the Legos. So, of course, the paper he had been feeding into the machine was left on the floor, scattered across the walkway and was completely ignored by everyone who walked over the top of it.

Then the two/three year old woke up and joined us in the office where he proceeded to drop his fruit on the floor, which his father told him was no longer safe to eat and threw in the bin. Not long after this he poured his cup of water on the carpet as well, then the two boys spent ten minutes playing with the water cooler, letting the spill tray fill up and flow over onto the carpet. Mum made a request to dad to intervene, but he just responded with “I can’t stop them,” and continued actively ignoring his children.

Soon after this the children’s attention was again redirected to the Lego box, which they emptied all over the floor before moving on to the next activity. The toddler chose Closing Your Fingers in a Sliding Door – he shut himself on the outside of the door so that he was on the balcony, and when he started to cry mum panicked, fearing that he’d fallen off, and she jumped from her seat exclaiming “Oh my god!” Dad’s reaction to this natural display of motherly concern was the berate his wife in front of their employees for “always carrying on about nothing” and continued to lecture her that she “needs to look at the situation before freaking out and carrying on like a fuckwit.” Top advice, Colin.

While this was going on the elder boy took the opportunity to re-ignite his younger brother’s screams by inviting him back out onto the balcony and slamming the door shut in his face as he approached. Somewhere around this point was where mum decided it was time for everyone to go home and requested that the children begin packing up the toys they’d spread throughout the office. Obviously the children are not about that life, so after 15 minutes of pretending to argue with them, mum and dad ended up cleaning up the mess themselves. Of course, this was when the children decided they wanted to “help” and proceeded to throw fistfuls of Lego back across the floor while their parents attempted to scoop the hundreds of plastic pieces back into the toy box. It was at this point that Kim decided to tell mum and dad not to worry about cleaning up, and suggested that it be my “job for the afternoon”. I managed a tight-lipped smirk in response, since opening my mouth at that point would have resulted in losing me job – not sure if I really would have minded that much, to be honest.

I am not usually a fan of children – there are a few exceptions to this rule, and I don’t deny that babies are hella cute – but I am especially not a fan of children who are being raised by people that put zero effort into parenting and allow their spawn to behave like assholes with a benign smile on their faces, as if they’re enriching everyone else’s lives by inflicting these beasts upon us. While I can respect that most young children simply don’t know any better, I still can’t stand the smug, self-satisfied smiles on their faces that betrays the fact that they do know better and are enjoying misbehaving and being disobedient little cunts.