Monday, November 11, 2019

Monday Musings-AdSpeculations

Since I no longer subscribe to a paper-and-ink newspaper I have little chance to peruse the ads as described below. Classified ads do still exist, in print and on line in the newspaper cyber editions. Maybe I'll start to look for them again as an alternative to the so-called news the mainstream media throws at us daily. That's another story I may tackle one day. Right now I'm trying to stay warm and listen to my golden oldies country songs as I type. I hope the fast-moving arctic front passing through our area is even faster moving than predicted. Very cold weather is not my favorite thing.
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    When someone temporarily runs out of reading material that appeals, a sure cure for boredom is to read the classified ads. The sheer variety of things people want to rid themselves of, preferably for money, is amazing.
    One ad lists juicers and balance balls, reasonably priced, according to the text. Apparently a resolution for exercise and healthier drinking gone by the wayside. Maybe the seller is getting a head start on breaking a New Year's resolution.
    Another person thought scuba-diving was their dream exercise. The offer is for two scuba regulator sets with pressure and depth gauges. Only used on six dives. Maybe the charm of deep immersion in cold water became less appealing after our recent exposure to yet another 'polar vortex.'
    Someone who aspires to a career in country music could find all they need to become the next 'rhinestone cowboy' in the classifieds. If they take the two racks of stage lights and pair of Justin boots off the hands of two other ad posters. In the same paper can be found a like-new banjo, a keyboard with stand and a piano. Many veteran members of the Grand Ol' Opry started with less.
    The early snow might also explain the hoped for sale of the outdoor chaise lounge and the outdoor loveseat with thick cushion. These items would have been very nice to lounge around on the patio while reading the inspirational romance books offered a little further down the page. Love may yet win because in the next column is a flowered-cover indoor loveseat. One could suppose that love stories can be just as inspirational when read indoors. I wonder, though, about the ad by someone wanting a fainting couch.
    A sadder story may lie behind the ad listing a high-quality diamond engagement ring, new, never used, for half its value.
    Don't like the often violent news? Happy, sad, poignant stories can also be found right in the newspaper.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Friday Jottings-Decisions

At the time I wrote the below column I gave it a different name. Men and Obsessions. But I think just the word Decisions is more apt since that's the main point of the piece. As I mention down in the article I learned many years ago that almost always simply making one decision or the other is preferable to endless stewing without a decision. Often if you stew too  long a decision is made for you by circumstances that is worse than any of the alternatives you were considering. By necessity the only times I spend much time on deciding something is if a large sum of money (to me) is involved. I try to take time to consider all alternatives to obtaining the money at least cost to my pocketbook.
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     I believe men have fewer problems making decisions than women, as a rule. And don't obsess over a decision once they’ve made it. They don’t torture themselves with, ‘Maybe I should have said ‘yes, I’ll do the report, even though it’s your job.’ Or ‘Maybe I shouldn’t have refused to bake ten dozen cookies for the bake sale. I'd find the time, somewhere.’
    Why is this? Are males raised to be more decisive? Is the male psyche just natually more assertive? Do parents/society expect  female children to be ‘pleasers’ more than male children?
    I'm certainly no professional with answers. But I've lived a few years and observed a lot of people. And I've noticed that even if someone was exposed to bad examples of decision-making while growing up nature and nurture can be overcome to some extent as we mature.
    I’m convinced there is in most cases a difference in the male and female psyche. I observed it when raising my daughter, helping to raise my grandson and being around my two-year-old great-grandson. When Tyler wants something and it’s within his reach and ability, he takes it. I'm pretty sure he wil continue this, within appropriate limits hopefully, into adulthood. Girls, at least in my generation, nearly always gravitated toward asking permission or debating pros and cons, internally or with friends.
    Family dynamics affect decision-making, too. If one had a one or two parent family. Who was most influential in family decisions. Were there siblings. Were the children involved in decision making. And sometimes outside influences at some point affect the eventual development of adult decision-making style. 
    I worked for a while in what was once considered a job for only men. I think I’m much more decisive than I would have been because of that opportunity. Even before that experience though I had become convinced that, almost always, any decision is better than no decision when one must be made.
    The inability to make decisions, or trust the decision made, brings a feeling of helplessness that can be paralyzing.  Since many, many women live longer than their spouses these days, as I have, the ability to make decisions is more important than ever for them.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Monday Musings-Collections

Can't think of much lead-in to the post today. Too early maybe. I don't do much collecting nowadays. At least not intentionally! If you looked at the number of non-plastic (and disposable, but I don't, I keep them) conference bags, nice bags with logos, you wouldn't believe me. I just added another bag from a conference the past weekend, but it's paper so probably won't be around as long as some of the others. And pens still accumulate somehow though I don't do that intentionally either. As a matter of fact I'm trying to get rid of stuff. If it's usable I try to re-home it. If it's actually trash, only kept for sentimental reasons until it's ragged and worn, I'm now willing to let it go. That is a work in progress. I hope the progress will increase, but knowing me it will no doubt be a long process.

 * * *    
    I collect things. Well, I start collecting things. An item will appeal to me and I'll decide I want more like it. I mention that I like – whatever – or friends and family notice so then they start gifting me with those items. Angels. Little ones, big ones. Paper angels. Snow angel babies. Porcelain angels. Pictures of angels. From my sister a beautiful glass angel ornament holding a bell inscribed with the line from Its a Wonderful Life.
    Then it was clowns. First a large framed picture of a clown and a couple of smaller prints. I found three exquisite porcelain head clowns, each different and with its own stand. Then my husband gave me a set of four Emmett Kelly seasonal figurines complete with certificates of authenticity, still my treasures. My daughter gave me a pair of ceramic clown masks and her friend some clown bells. 
    But always I apparently bored of looking for more examples of each category and eventually moved on to something else. However I have two collections that I never seem to tire of adding to. No advertising pen is too garish or blatant for me. Fine, medium or wide point, it makes no difference. A pen from any display which appears to be free for the taking will always find its way to my purse and eventually my desk. If I like a pen someone hands me to write something with I'll blatantly ask to keep it.
    The other collection of objects I will always desire one or a dozen more of is books. I can never have enough books. Perhaps my love of books stems from having very few in my home as a child. A whole new world opened to my five year old self when I learned to read. Far from hating my schoolbooks, I devoured them. And the school library was my mecca. I probably missed out on a good bit of real life because I lived in books. But I do not regret it. At some point I realized that somebody had to write books. And much later, I decided I might be one of those somebodies who wrote books. So I did.