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Completely out of left field...
cap, captain miss america
You know what annoys me? It annoys me when people spend all their time bitching about their significant others but then expect you to like them when you meet them or interact with them. Like, if you call me and talk to me for hours about how horrible your boyfriend or girlfriend is, or about some absolutely ridiculous problem you have with them where they're doing or have done something that no adult should be doing to someone they care about, I would think it would be obvious that this would color my opinion of them. Yes, if you tell me over and over again that someone is immature or an asshole, I am probably going to think they're immature or an asshole, especially if you have evidence to back it up. So it gets frustrating when then, after weeks or months of being told that a boyfriend or girlfriend is a jerk, I'm met with confusion or anger when I have little to offer said significant other apart from polite disdain. I mean, I'll try to be pleasant, but really, if everything you've ever told me about someone is bad, that's really all I have to go on to build my opinion.

Anyway, I am in Connecticut doing Christmassy things like decorating trees! Yay, trees. I'm a bit frustrated, though, because we're having a lot of guests, and as with every holiday, I am the only family member getting exiled from my own room. Come on, guys, can't I get to sleep in my own bed for a holiday ONCE? It bugs me because first off, I actually spend a decent enough amount of time here that one room is my room, unlike my brother, who shouldn't have a strong attachment to a particular room, or any of his stuff set up just so. Secondly, I am the one who helps with all the helpful hosty stuff. So what do I get in return? Yes, I will be the only person this Christmas who is relegated to sleeping on an inflatable for four nights. Everyone else gets a bed. Including all the guests. But I have to sleep on my parents' floor like I'm six.

This isn't to say I'm in a bad mood, because I'm not. But my parents always put me on the spot because they ask me what I would like, knowing full well that what I would like is not going to be presented to me as an option, and that would be that our guests would stop inviting other guests without checking with us first, and I would get to sleep in my own bed.

But that's sort of a small concern. Right now, I am really concerned with the sort of air of apprehension hanging over my friendslist. So many of you have lost jobs or have loved ones who've lost jobs, or have had hours cut, or can't find a job in the first place. And my heart goes out to you all so much. At first, I didn't really see the downturn in the economy hitting close to home, but now it does. I wish everyone could be as lucky as I am right now. There isn't much I can offer to anybody but I would like to talk about someone on my friends list whom I've known for a long time and just the feeling of optimism it gives me in spite of the hard times.

bunnymcfoo made a sort of hopeful request about, what, a week? Two weeks ago? Asking for people to donate money so she could help some kids in a shelter get some nice new underwear for Christmas. She put out a message asking people if they would help her get a couple hundred bucks together. I gave her $20-- I wouldn't normally do this for just anybody, but I've know bunnymcfoo for a really long time, and I know she's doing what she says she's doing with the money.

She now has over $2000 to help buy presents for the kids at the shelter. And it just touches my heart so much, because I know a lot of the people who gave money probably are not doing as well this year as they were doing last year, and they still found a way to reach into their pockets and give to the less fortunate.

Things are looking grim. We need to keep this spirit, the spirit I saw in bunnymcfoo's journal alive. The spirit of all being in this together, no matter what, where those of us who have today help those who don't, with the hope and expectation that when we're in those shoes, someone will do the same for us. We have to remember our love for our fellow human beings and figure out a way for all of us to keep going, no matter what. And people say this every year, but I mean it in a different way this time. We can't just do this during the holiday season. Please, this year, if you do anything, give something to someone who doesn't have as much as you do. I don't mean money, I don't mean charity-- I mean something given out of love, given to a person, not an organization. It's not that giving to charities is bad, and I encourage people to do that, too, but that's not what I'm imploring you to do. Give people things you normally wouldn't. Give to people you know, and don't know. It could be something stupid; if you don't have money this Christmas/Chanukah/New Years'/whatever you exchange gifts for, copy out a favorite poem, write a story, draw a picture, help someone scan their photos or organize their recipes. Use your talents, or if you don't think you have talents, use your time. If you do have money, give presents to people you wouldn't ordinarily think to give presents to. Please.

It's a Wonderful Life has a special place in my heart as one of the most important Christmas movies ever made. Like Clarence says in It's A Wonderful Life, No man is a failure who has friends. It's time to make new friends and strengthen old friendships. If we do that, we will all get through this together, with perseverance and with love. And maybe that's schmaltzy of me to say, but we need it right now.

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I'm not a schmaltzy person, but it can take no time at all just to make someone feel a bit better. Even if someone can't find the time to volunteer or can't afford to donate, I'm sure there's several people in one's life that could just use an ear or a few words of empathy.

As for the bed thing, I think people just fall into roles after awhile. Usually the person who is the most easy-going is not going to make as much of a fuss as a stubborn, and it's just easier to get the easy-goer to keep changing their plans :P

I don't think it's that I'm easygoing about it. It's because I'm single. Which pisses me off more because my brother is the one who has a new girlfriend every time we see him, and I don't really find that appropriate.

I also want to make it clear that I'm not talking about ordinary human compassion here. Listening to someone who needs someone to listen is a kind thing to do, and I don't want to devalue it, but what I am talking about specifically is making time or finding money you think you 'don't have' to give to the less fortunate. Because it looks like the world is getting worse and a lot of people are going to be left out in the cold, so those of us who aren't in the cold can do without things we think of as necessary.

I was thinking exactly what you wrote in your first paragraph last night when i was complaining about my S.O. I only ever really talk about him to people when he's pissed me off, so they only ever see the bad side of him.

That's really beautiful that $2000 got raised.

donations are still open, but right now the total is just shy of $2,600. i'm kind of in shock, to be honest. :D

I think it's definitely worse among internet friends, because you do get that whole I-only-use-my-LiveJournal-to-complain aspect. I think a lot of people probably sound a lot more negative about a lot of things than they are in real life because so many people use LJ just to vent, but I know it colors my attitude toward people.

hehe, yes, but those posts irritate me, and thus I'm the type of LJer who generally avoids venting posts, and mostly posts about good things happening, because I want to be seen as a more positive person. I know how it can colour my view of someone, too ;)

It's doubly annoying with the S.O. actually IS a total jerk in real life, from day to day. And you've heard all these terrible things about them, and you meet them, and somehow, you're expected to be friendly? No no.
And frankly, there are some forms of treatment that if a person is EVER like that to a friend of mine, I will NOT be civil to them. And a friend who can't understand that... well, maybe it's time to part ways.

I usually get kicked out of my bed, too. And have to sleep in the bedroom that's always open. What? But my bed is nicer...?

I know that charities do great things. However, I think that giving to someone, hand to hand, is a far more powerful thing. To interact with someone, to let them know that there are people who care... it's just an amazing way to touch someone's life. And I speak from the experience of being on the receiving and of such incredible, but simple generosity. It was such a small thing, but it meant the world to me.

I actually don't mind getting kicked out of my bed if I get to sleep in a different bed. But I don't; I am getting kicked out and put on the floor on an air mattress, which means I am going to have an achey back for like a week. It was one thing when I was 12, but now I'm the age that the people I used to get kicked out for were when I was twelve. It pisses me off because it's only because my brother brings home a new girlfriend every year and I am single. So I still get treated like a kid even though I'm the one who pays my own rent and supports myself and helps with the cooking and stuff around the house for my parents.

On the other things you mentioned!

I think when someone's SO is a jerk and they don't realize it, it's a little different, but when they talk about what a big jerk they are to me and then continue the relationship, especially when the person really is a jerk and it's not just them venting, it's really frustrating, because you can't be like, hello, you need to leave 'cause as soon as you say that, they insist the person isn't that bad. But at the same time, I don't like to leave friends who I think are in unhealthy relationships out in the cold, because abusive relationships tend to involve deliberate isolation, and it's hard to say whether someone is just in a relationship with a jerk or an abuser.

And that is exactly what I'm talking about...I just think it's so important for us all to come together and kick some ass against tough times.

that would be that our guests would stop inviting other guests without checking with us first, and I would get to sleep in my own bed.
Ugh. I hate rude people. I hope your parents don't keep inviting the same rude people back year after year.

The problem is that it's my brother.

Well, and my crazy great aunt who informed my uncle that she was "going wherever he did." So I think my uncle is in the same 'uhhh...' situation we are.

Yeah, my parents kicked me out of my own room when my oldest sister decided she wanted to move back home because she racked up a bunch of debt. A year and a half later, I'm left with trashed carpet from her cat, a broken air conditioner that I helped buy, and closet doors that are so destroyed they don't even fit on the sliders anymore. Thanks.

I was actually really afraid that my job would be in jeopardy, since it's definitely a nonessential: outdoor education. This coming season I'm working for a for-profit institution, which is even harder to sustain than the NPOs I've been working for before. But I got an email recently saying no, we haven't forgotten you, which relieved a lot of stress. I'm a little concerned, however, about the summer. I know I'm very highly qualified for just about any summer camp job, but still. I'm kind of biting my nails about fall, too.

And even though I'm kind of a lot broke, I still am managing to find the money to buy a 13 year-old boy from the local mall's giving tree some black Converse All-Star shoes. It makes me feel good about myself, and I hope it makes a difference.

Shit. My brother ruined a whole bunch of my shit, too (stuff I had bought myself), so I feel for you, but at least in my case, it was stuff he 'borrowed' for his new apartment.

I'm really glad to hear your job sounds like it's going to be okay. And that's the kind of thing I'm talking about. It does make a difference.

I've been trying to figure out exactly what to say to this post since last night, but I really don't have the right words. So.

♥ ♥ ♥

thank you.

Thank you for being an inspiration to me!

Also, can you post your address on my card post? I have something I would like to send you!

I'm sorry. You deserve your own bed.

But your holiday spirit makes me happy.

Pirate* IS my significant other

I do know what you mean about the significant others thing. But on the other hand, I think it can be hard to praise one's significant other to other people: you feel soppy and mushy and like you're bragging, kind of like a verbal version of over-the-top PDAs. It just feels awkward.

*pictured in the userpic

The SO thing is really annoying.

I go out of my way to try to keep what venting I do to "we're having problems, this is why I'm mad, this is how I think I might have made it worse, and we're going to work this out somehow even if I don't see how right now." As you once observed, 90% of the time we are a very effective team, so the other 10% is extra-stressful when it happens because things normally work so well.

OTOH, I seriously have ended more than one friendship over someone telling me that a SO or recent ex did something truly inexcusable (we're talking stuff that asshat in question should have been arrested for) and then continued in the relationship/took the ex back as if nothing was wrong. Once, what I had to say about it was, "If what you said [allegations of domestic abuse and a supposed fondness for kiddie porn] was true, I don't see how you could put yourself and your child at that level of risk by taking him back. If it was not, I don't see how you could say that about anyone you supposedly love. Either way, I've lost all trust in you."

It also gets worse when the same person makes the same fishy complaint about multiple SOs. :P

I agree with your entire first paragraph. Not because I've experienced it, but it's certainly why I'll try to talk about people I want others to like in a positive manner, even if sometimes I have disagreements with them.

Totally! There is a huge difference between being like "God, I love so and so, but it irritates me when they..." or "So and so made me angry tonight..." and "So and so is such an asshole!"

Exactly! And also, I'm the kind of person who understands that it takes two to tango, so I at least attempt to find where my fault in the drama was, rather than putting blame entirely on the other person!

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