Saturday, May 25, 2013

No Politics – Just Musings About Life

It’s a holiday weekend so we’re going to take a break from our usual political and issue commentary to lighten things up a bit. If your life revolves around politics, and this short intermission ruins your weekend, I’m sorry but, you really need to get a life.

Besides, we’re going to have a MAJOR announcement on Tuesday morning that will raise the blood pressure of some elected officials.
Today (Saturday) has actually been a very unique day. While all days are unique, today was even more unique. I realize that I’m mixing metaphors but you get my drift.

The day started very early for me, particularly for a Saturday. Since I had no inclination to do any real work, I got on the computer and opened up Facebook.
As a business, I would never invest in Facebook. Its ads are intrusive and don’t generate results for advertisers and its users are extremely resistant to change. How it could be valued at $60 or 80 Billion is mind-boggling to me. As a community however, I marvel at Facebook.

Each time that I look at the amount of “Friends” that I have on Facebook, I chuckle to myself. No, I don’t lol and, in fact, I’ve never typed lol until just now.
At the moment on Facebook, I have 1,001 “Friends”. Not as many as some people; a few more than some others.

In real life, I have about 5 friends. This fact was never more apparent than when I ran for public office (thankfully, I did get a few more than 5 votes).
This morning I saw a clever post on Facebook about people’s “Relationship Status”. I commented on the post that when I signed on to Facebook, I picked “It’s Complicated” to reflect my “Relationship Status”. After too many questions, at some point I changed that “Relationship Status”.

I mentioned that I would add “Check My Relationship Status” to my list of to-do items for this holiday weekend.
A friend (at least I think we’re friends), posted that my “Relationship Status” was listed as “In a Relationship.”  

I responded that I was glad to know that and glad that Facebook didn’t tell the world that my “Relationship Status” was “Married”. That “Relationship Status” option ended for me about 25 years ago, or about the time that Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg was exiting diapers.
I guess that it’s a sign that I am getting older (although, perhaps, not wiser) that, one of the most significant relationships a person can have ended for me decades before I was lucky enough for Facebook to grant me 1,001 friends.

The questions are, why is my “Relationship Status” any of Facebook’s business, why can anyone learn my “Relationship Status” anyway and why would anyone care?

I’m not try to sound coy but, in this day and age when I can’t go buy groceries at Wal-Mart or put gas in my car at a convenience store without someone stopping me to have a conversation (usually either about politics or my leg - sometimes, both), we might be more involved in other people’s lives than is good for our own wellbeing.
Now, these people stopping me mean well and, don’t get me wrong, they’re all fine people but, there are or should be limits.  

I know that was a concept that I had to learn quickly when I moved to Louisiana. People here love to visit. More than any place that I’ve lived, people in Louisiana love to know your business and they aren’t shy about telling you their business either, whether you want to know it or not.
As I said, maybe it’s the “Facebook Generation” or “GenX or GenY”, or it might just be that I’m getting older but I don’t need to read a status update from one of my 1,001 “Friends” telling me and hundreds (thousands) of other people what they are watching on Television or what they had for dinner.

Now, if one, or even one hundred, of my 1,001 “Friends” wants to buy me dinner, that’s another story and I’m all ears. They can even pick the restaurant.
If you’re one of my “real” friends, you already know my relationship status. If you don’t know, and you’re curious, just ask me. You don’t need to go to my Facebook page.

Besides, I’m going to keep changing it just to give people something else to talk about.
Another of life’s little questions that I was also mulling this morning involves the differences between men and women regarding clothes.

The majority of the women that I’ve known in my life, whether it is my mother, my ex-wife, other women that I’ve dated or lived with and even women who are strictly platonic friends, want to influence the clothes that I wear.
This morning, I went to Tanger Factory Outlet Mall in Gonzales to return some clothes. My mom and stepdad were in Baton Rouge about 10 days ago looking at property in Ascension and Livingston Parishes. Why there and not in Jefferson Parish? Because I want to spare my mother from the abuse (that is “hatred”) that I receive from some JP and Kenner elected officials who, for some unknown reason, don’t particularly care for some of the things that I say and write.

Knowing my mom, if she heard what these folks say to and about me – directly or indirectly, she would immediately go on the warpath to defend her only child and probably open a can of Whupp Ass on some of my critics.
Anyway, while she was here, my mom went to Tanger and bought some shirts for me at a store called J. Crew.

Now, again, it might be a sign of my increasing age or my complete lack of hipness, but I’ve never shopped in J. Crew. Don’t own a stitch of clothing from there (that I know of) and had no idea what kind of products J. Crew even sold. In fact, I don’t even know if J. Crew is a person or just a name conjured up on Madison Avenue.
Thankfully for me, the shirts were legitimately the wrong size and needed to be exchanged. Otherwise, I might have been forced to actually wear them, at least around my mom.

So, I went to Tanger and J. Crew this morning with a friend to return and, hopefully, exchange the shirts.
As we walked into J. Crew I suddenly realized that I was the oldest person in the store, in most cases, by a factor of 2. While my shopping companion today is younger than I sadly, not by the same factor of 2 that the customers and employees of J. Crew were.  

After viewing the rainbow of possibilities in the shirt and short section (and immediately dismissing 98% of the possible colors), I made some selections.
It was then that my friend and shopping companion (yes, a female), decided to “influence” my choices and change my selections.

After listening to her discuss and debate the merits of stripes versus solids (I normally opt for solids or small stripes; she prefers large stripes) and which shirt colors complimented my eyes, she made her selections: a blue/green stripped polo shirt, a rust colored polo, and a pair of blue shorts (And not just any blue either. These shorts were “slate” or “smoke” or “French Blue” or something else beginning with an “s”. To me, they were a just weird shade of blue.).
Needless to say, none of her choices made the final cut. If I wasn't present, I might be scheming to find a way to not fit into a pair of weird blue shorts.

But it did get me thinking about men and women and our clothes.
As I said, women always buy me clothes. They are always trying to tinker with my “style”, to change my style and make me trendier and hipper. Of course, that is easier said than done.

Unfortunately for them, I like the way that I dress. On most days, I match and that’s a plus for me.
On the other hand, I never buy women clothes. It’s against my religion.

Flowers – all the time. I know florists, licensed and unlicensed, personally.
Jewelry – often. In fact, I get personalized Birthday and Christmas Cards for Laurie and Robert Ramsey of Ramsey's Diamond Jewelers.

Lingerie – of course (but that’s as much of a present for me as it is for them). We're not going to discuss my forays into Victoria's Secret but, let's just say that I could qualify for the "Employee's Discount" and leave it at that.

But Clothes – not a chance.
In fact, I’m not even comfortable when a woman asks me “How does this look on me?” How can you possibly answer that question correctly?

Normally, before it’s even asked, I just jump right out and say, “You look fantastic!” That usually saves me, at least temporarily.
I would never think to attempt to impose my personal clothing style on a woman. That’s blasphemy. In fact, I love the way a woman dresses herself. I love considering their personal style and why they chose that dress, skirt, top or shoes for that occasion. What accessories go with this or that outfit and why they chose this purse over that purse.

Women’s clothing fascinates me – to a point. But, imposing my style on or offering clothing suggestions to a woman – not in this lifetime.
For now I’ve learned to just listen while a woman debates the merits of a particular outfit and, before I’m prompted, exclaim “You look fantastic (incredible or another fine adjective)!”  

Now, I do know men who have impeccable taste when it comes to women’s clothes – both on themselves and on real women.
Fortunately, I’m not in either of those categories.

And that’s as good a place as any to stop and wish everyone a safe and happy Memorial Day Weekend!