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Random Thoughts 9: Attack of the Vapid Posts

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by hobbsyoyo, Feb 20, 2020.

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  1. Synsensa

    Synsensa Deity Retired Moderator

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    I have no doubt that you're right, but it'd be nice to have the agency to confirm that for myself instead of simply assuming. As well, when you're hard-pressed for experience, even disappointment can be preferable over apathy or nothingness.

    The list is too long. Most of it is cherry-picked from memories. There are also uniquely generational things which can't be replaced by similar or different experiences; pretty much anyone from my peer group in a certain locale will know "the Zellers experience," for example.

    Boiled down to its barest essentials, most of the want comes in the form of family and intimacy. That's what it usually ends up being tied to in some way, either directly or indirectly. Otherwise, they're snapshots of a feeling or visual, a moment in time carried forward. I have a visceral recollection of sitting by the ferris wheel on Clifton Hill in Niagara Falls, drinking an Iced Capp, people-watching during a summer night. I can hear the arcade a hundred meters away, the distant roar of the Falls, the tourists all around me laughing and having a good time. There's a very specific smell to the place at this time, a very specific feeling in your chest. One other aspect is that, regardless of whatever bogus tomfoolery my parents had been getting up to until that point, if we were on that bench in that place at that time, it meant they weren't being cruel and I got to pretend for just one moment that life wasn't so bad. We'd only be there if they weren't ignoring me, or telling me I was a traitor to God, or holding some other imagined transgression against me. But it's the smell, the calm, the feeling, that I miss, that I want to replicate, that I want to experience for myself when I have agency instead of simply being along for the ride. I want to feel the best I've felt, the potential I saw in these experiences. I remember that bench fondly, but what if I had been able to walk across the street and go into that haunted house? What if I went into the club for a drink? What if I went on the ferris wheel, or into the arcade? What if I sat on a different bench? What if I had a family that I didn't have to trick myself into thinking was something real? What if I could share in this experience with another human being without any pretense or fabrication?

    See, that's the memory of a thing that happened several times over several years. Usually at least a couple times each year. I know at least some aspect of the feeling being yearned for. And going on vacation each year? Well hell, on the face of it that sounds great, although it ignores the context of the threats behind it, the lack of agency, and the fact that my savings were raided to pay for it each time. But I always managed to pluck positive memories out from the bad, like what I shared above. Who cares that hours earlier my dad left me at the motel because I played with someone else in the pool and therefore I betrayed him, and thus didn't deserve dinner? He wasn't mad right then. I could pretend he was my dad, so long as we stayed on that bench. I couldn't stray from that bench. There was a very set way things needed to be done, even on vacation. But the bench wasn't so bad.

    But let's circle back to Zellers. It's so very mundane, isn't it? A retail store! How bad could one's life be that not partaking in the ritual of retail shopping is such a bitterness? I grew up in a tiny rural town and we would go to "the city" a couple times a year. This city had less than 20,000 people at the time. It was a city insofar as it had 18,000 more people than where I lived. There was a Zellers here, and everyone in my town loved it. They loved the big bar stools at the restaurant. They loved hiding in the clothing racks. They loved being able to walk outside the store and be in a small mall with quirky stores that sold Native souvenirs and weird jewelry. I always had to go with my parents when they went to the city, but they were void of any sense of present. They didn't want to linger or do things. They wanted to get what they needed and then go home; they saw the city as a frivolous affair, something to be avoided at all cost. So we'd walk into Zellers and I'd be ordered to follow close behind. Don't dilly-dally, don't ask questions, don't do a thing except follow. Every time we'd pass the restaurant, I'd look in and think to myself, "I wish I could sit on those big bar stools. I wish I could find out why everyone liked this place so much." But instead I'd follow, five or ten minutes would pass, and we'd be back in the car going home. Children and adults alike would wax poetic about this place. The food was great, the stock was expansive, the experience was heads and shoulders above the likes of Walmart (which was another establishment I knew nothing of, only that it was Bad with a capital B). And that restaurant... ohhh, that restaurant. Gourmet food, if you asked anyone then. I asked, once, if we could eat there. The response was definitive: "That's never going to happen." So I always said to myself that I'd go to that restaurant one day and finally find out whether or not there was anything to it. Maybe it'd suck, but hell, at least I'd have experienced it once. But I never did.
     
  2. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Quad B

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    This is a great example. I've never heard of a Zellers, but you already know the issue isn't really "boy I wanna shop in a Zellers" anyway. You wanted to 'do the normal stuff.' The stuff that everyone else did, that was probably made to sound great as much because it was denied to you as because everyone else talking about it was really all that impressed.

    Now, I'm not gonna suggest that you risk life and limb, but I think you would be well served to think now and again about things that are denied you by your current conditions, be that medical, financial, whatever. Think about them in terms of "do I want to do that?" Mundane things that people talk about doing that may sound better than those people really think they are just because you have been denied the chance. I know how that works because I went to jail like two weeks before Pizza Hut released stuffed crust pizza. I saw the ads on TV. I was in a holding tank where people came and went as they got arrested, had their preliminary hearings, got released on bail. Some of them had had the mysterious stuffed crust pizza and said it was great, and others said that it sucked, but none of that mattered compared to not being able to find out for myself. For all I knew by the time I got out Pizza Hut wasn't even gonna remember that they ever did some stupid stuffed crust thing. So find ordinary things that people do that light you up thinking "hot damn, I wish I could do that." Fan that flame. Teach yourself to want again. Make a list. The things you would do if you could. The things that if you somehow did one of them you would get that feeling of breaking the bonds and having a normal experience that people just have, and talk about, and share in common.

    When you have learned to want, and you have a list, I promise you we will find a way for you to do some of them. Probably not all of them, but enough of them that the list won't be a disappointment. Yeah, I know I'm just some rando on the internet and a promise from me is probably nothing but pixels and hot air...but think about me as you have seen me in glimpses here...I make stuff happen. And whether you choose to be my friend or not I've chosen to be yours, and I make stuff happen for other people at least as much as I make them happen for me.
     
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  3. The_J

    The_J Say No 2 Net Validations Retired Moderator Supporter

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    I'll agree with Tim here.
    I also have a big bunch of things I missed.
    I was 27 when I was the first time in an airplane.
    I was 28 the first time I got drunk with friends.
    I was 32 the first time I kissed a girl.
    I can't participate in any discussion involving Pokemon or Harry Potter.
    I never went skinny dipping.
    So I missed a lot in my youth.
    Am I sometimes mad or angry about it? Sure.
    Often? No.
    Because I now have many other memories.
    Nobody ever has all the memories. Everyone has something they did not experience, everyone will miss something. You missed these particular events. But what did you not miss, and what can you still experience? (I know about your medical situation, so I know you maybe can't do a lot, but you can still try a few little things, I hope)
    At the end, whenever I am with people, and we are talking about various things, I am happy that I do have memories about stuff, and that I can participate in some of the discussions or shared memories. The next time people talk about Pokemon, I'll be silently waiting. The next time they talked about the last party, I will participate. Or about the last D&D session. All valuable, although some might be missing.
     
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  4. haroon

    haroon Deity

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    @Synsensa In some extent I also experience that, because my parent is kind like a huge controller. Good intention but bad execution. I think I can break many of it because I do lots of things hiddenly and I never have a prestige that I need to hold on or kind like that at school, so inside and outside the house I'm entirely a different person. But their over-control at home result in my increase brutality at school, I got drop-out from the catholic school (I just follow my friend even though I'm not catholic but over-there we can grow our hair long and that school are somewhat popular) and I must repeat a whole year because of my misconduct (edit: so went two years as first grade there, before drop out to other school-fight with teacher and hit students), I went second grade (private, rich, mommy boys and girls school) in other school, and my parent told me it's my last school if I screw up that one that will be the end for education for me. I toned down my behavior a bit but I'm just too tired with the school as it started 7 in the morning and end 4.30 pm, I just pass most of my time in the school roof smoking (4th stair) or pretend to sick and sleep in the medical room.

    So I screw up my school, this time at the third grade my father just got enough of it, at the third grade he basically grounded me for a full year like I'm his princesses. My friend come to my house to pick me up, when I ask permission he shouted at me infront of my friend and not letting me go out, they really have their wtf moment but I cannot cross my parent ever, even until now, it's printed-tatooed in my mind, they're good well intended parent and I'm a difficult child, but they commit lots of mistake also. I miss lots of things growing up with my parent. I remember when I was in elementary school, checking one of my homework that got a bad mark from the teacher, my father just decided to stop my karate activity for good and it lost forever, whenever I did something wrong they just pull up something that I like, or forbid things because they just freaking can do it.

    Out of the 3 siblings my first sister is the one who lost much. She is the best student, best this, best that, but miss so much of her teenager life. The most rebellious is my second sister (at home or outside), she win a lot in the end. Then me (who obedient at home and have a double life outside). I able to grow as myself better when I separated from my parent in University, I can finally breath and do what I want and become a better person also. But yeah love them. Given I'm not an angel also back-then, and they are lack of knowledge how to deal with a troublesome child like me.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2020
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  5. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Hanafubuki Retired Moderator Supporter

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    @Synsensa So well put into words. I suggest you write more about your childhood and call it a book. :)
     
  6. Takhisis

    Takhisis Free Hong Kong

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    up yours!
    One suddenly grows up when one realises that one's own existence is the result of one's progenitors having done the nasty.
     
  7. GoodSarmatian

    GoodSarmatian Jokerfied Western Male

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    I'd like a cold beer right now but I don't have any at home and it's unseemly to go to the store and only buy beer during a pandemic.
    Maybe I can pretend that I also want to buy toilet paper and yeast and act all outraged because it's sold out.
     
  8. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Quad B

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    Just get cigarettes too.
     
  9. The_J

    The_J Say No 2 Net Validations Retired Moderator Supporter

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    Buy some conserves too? Or just anything you want to have for dinner.
     
  10. GoodSarmatian

    GoodSarmatian Jokerfied Western Male

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    Nah, I'll just drink water.
    My fridge is full and I have everything I need for two weeks.
     
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  11. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    You don't have stores that only sell beer and other alcohol?

    They kept the liquor stores open here, because they didn't want to have to deal with the alcoholic portion of the population going into withdrawal, on top of everything else.
     
  12. GoodSarmatian

    GoodSarmatian Jokerfied Western Male

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    We don't have liquer stores. There are corner shops and specialist store for high quality booze that's usually out of my price range, and most are closed.
    Alcohol is usually bought in a normal grocery store.

    How much does the average Canadian drink that the government is concerned about withdrawal ?
     
  13. The_J

    The_J Say No 2 Net Validations Retired Moderator Supporter

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    During this time I'd actually be more concerned about the increase in alcoholism and an increased amount of relapses.
     
  14. aimeeandbeatles

    aimeeandbeatles watermelon

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    I was going through old bookmarks and came across a website with bright orange text on a teal background. Yuck.
     
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  15. Lemon Merchant

    Lemon Merchant Mercatrix Citrorum Moderator

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    More than they should.

    When I went to do some necessary shopping the other day, the lineup at the liquor store was around 50 people deep. All of them six feet apart and stretching around the block. They only let five people in the store at one time, and five people in the cannabis section at once. People are stocking up, afraid that the government will shut the liquor stores down. I think they are smart to keep them open. The populace is much more easy to control if you let them have their favorite vices. I'm sure that there would be pandemonium if they did shut them down.
     
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  16. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Quad B

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    Pandemonium, and people going blind on bathtub gin.
     
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  17. Takhisis

    Takhisis Free Hong Kong

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    up yours!
    This just highlights how much of a danger to humanity is the alcohol culture.
     
  18. aimeeandbeatles

    aimeeandbeatles watermelon

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    Or poisoning themselves with hand sanitizer (if they can even find any).
     
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  19. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    I don't know, since I don't drink. My drugs of choice include caffeine (Diet Coke) and chocolate. I've experienced caffeine withdrawal. I had to go cold turkey in the hospital last year and not one of the doctors or nurses could figure out why I had constant headaches and dizziness; it continued after I got home and the home care nurses couldn't figure it out either. It was a chance conversation I read here in OT about quitting coffee that prompted me to do some googling, to figure out what the problem was and I've returned to my bad habit, but at least now it's the sugarless version.

    But with my province gearing up for what is expected (current projections have the peak number of COVID cases occurring in about 4-5 weeks from now), and doesn't want to have to deal with any more cases of alcoholics going through withdrawal than they have to, they've decided to keep the liquor stores open.

    Of course to someone who doesn't drink, that seems... overly generous. There are people who need cancer tests and treatments and aren't getting them "because we need the beds for COVID patients"... even though there weren't any here at the time this decision was made, and few cases in the province at all.

    They should have set up a separate medical hotline for COVID patients so as to not overwhelm the regular one. Anyone having medical questions not related to this virus is SOL because the phone lines are still jammed and it could be hours to get through - and you're not supposed to go to a clinic unless you've been told to. The only other option is calling 911, and if it's a situation that isn't that bad, then you're in trouble for that as well.

    True enough. They're finally acknowledging on the news that there is going to be one hell of a mental health crisis as a result of all this. We don't have enough treatment programs or hospital spaces on a normal day, and for some programs the waitlist is already years.

    The teachers have been pointing out the risks for kids who experience abuse at home, that because the schools and other places are closed now, the at-risk kids are trapped at home with their abusers (as are the adults at risk of domestic abuse). The Kids' Helpline is experiencing record levels of calls.

    There would be rioting in some places if they did that.

    In Manitoba, a 16-year-old girl was killed by police when she and some other underage teens tried to rob a liquor store. No details on why the cops shot her.

    The distilleries have been switching to making sanitizer now.
     
  20. GoodSarmatian

    GoodSarmatian Jokerfied Western Male

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    I whish we had those, but Germany's still stuck in the dark ages.
    At least the Dutch border is still open for now.
     
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