Let’s talk Cyber Manners

Hey you, I like your ass! (sorry)    If you’re a man how did that feel?  If you’re a woman, you’re no stranger to that phrase. You probably heard it first on the school bus.  If I could pucker right now, I’d whistle at you in my best call…the one where I stick my two fingers in my mouth and blow a noise that stops traffic. But I’m too angry to.  Why you ask?   I have been cyber stalked, and I won’t have it.

What is it that makes some dangle their sexuality out front of them like it rules them from sun up to sun down? Is it too much to ask to apply polite discretion to our digital lives? Society is swimming in messages that sex and drugs rule, I feel sorry for Rock N roll.

Sexual glorification enters every room we occupy in this world, Second only to the over glorification of alcohol consumption as of a means of good coping and how to have fun on weekends.    Why am I up in arms that now perverts can get to me in my own home?   Well, both my daughter and myself have been cyberstalked, and frankly we need to establish some rules for Instagram and Facebook, NOW!

A person, I barely know stalked me, thankfully just online. I hate to sound parental and preachy, but hell- common sense isn’t everyone’s currency?  Here’s a reminder of some simple ways to brush up on your cyber manners while on Facebook.

  1. Don’t announce to someone things like, I have fantasies about you. This is just plain and simple bad manners. Would you say that to a person’s face. Well then you’re an idiot!   Hold fast to your integrity, it’s precious, plus EVERY POST can be printed out for a police report, DOH!
  2. Don’t share things simply for shock value and attention.   It should measure up with every day life, PG.   If this is a hard rule to apply, use the method we were taught in news writing, “write for an 8th grade audience.”
  3. This next one burns me.  Cyberstalking.  My lips are pursed and my skin feeling bristling with nerves, yeah I‘m holding in the anger trying to seep from my pores. Even the cilia inside me bristles.   Don’t be a sexist, ogling pervert with your comments, keep it clean.  You know who you are!
  4. Facebook invites so many character flaws, reread what you are about to post, and for God’s sake, make sure you aren’t drunk when you post it. Yeah, I know, I have done it too, bad, bad, bad.  Another reason I’m glad I’m sober.
  5. Ensure what you have to post does not affect others adversely.   I am guilty here too but today’s a new day. (I do love a good shocker just for the endorphin rush). Let’s all review whether what we put out their helps someone grow, relate or moves them to positive action, nope?  Well bloody well don’t hit post!
  6. When you try to be neutral, stay neutral.  Don’t take a side, just put out an open ended question for a good forum of discussion. Don’t invite conflict, don’t be THAT guy, ew. Trouble makers are a time suck.
  7. Never bash family members online, that is like turning your dirtiest pair of undies inside out and wearing them on your head, it’s simply embarrassing, plus they make hats if your head is cold.
  8. Rethink everything twice before posting! Even Pics. Just because I am size 6 and can wear a bikini at 44 doesn’t mean I should put it on my profile.   (insert giggles).  In all seriousness sure you’re proud of all the hard work and new Zen lifestyle.  Some may some be caused serious anxiety and go binge and purge… be delicate.
  9. If you want to connect with others of similar interests, just watch for dangerous pairings. Don’t get too personal. When you do post that bikini picture, and announce you have just switched from a heterosexual lifestyle to a homosexual one, this could test the new waters.  My point?   You cannot anticipate the realm of others’ interpretations.
  10. Always “friend your kids.” If you aren’t monitoring your child’s Facebook account, chances are they have been cyberstalked already. My preteen daughter had a middle aged man outstretched on his bed as her friend. If you didn’t say ew, check your perv factor.   We had the discussion, a day too late. I monitor her stuff openly.

I am just a person, albeit I’ve been called pretty.  This adds an element of experience, and detract all ego here, it is what it is.  Beyond “pretty” or ex pretty as youth is fleeting- I am a person of words, a person of passions,  a person who tries always to forgive, and to see the whole package…did I say package…. but my online passions are NEVER sexual, call me old fashioned!   Someone the other day encroached on my digital boundaries, frankly It gave me the willies…..try wholesome and classy communications.   I’m convinced I must take  down my family pictures, my vacation pictures, my hubby pictures cause- ONE WEIRDO CAN RUIN EVERYTHING!    Take my advice: If you are not a huge geek with a long trench coat, and  a whole bookshelf filled with Halo & Enders Game books, don’t use the word Fantasy in communications on Facebook, it’s towing the line dude.10: Never Cyber stalk: Hey men/women,  that scene in vacation Chevy Chase/Christie Brinkley flurry of hot slobbery abomination ogling, it happens in 2015.   You could be the next subject.  Only friend good close friends.

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For David, my Friend

A writing Exercise:  use the phrase “I don’t Know”

I don’t know how a single picture, a face, a man’ face, can hold so much power.  A 4 by 6 square that reveals indeed, it really IS in the eyes.  Perhaps that is why I don’t show mine in my picture?  A simple photo, of a scruffy face, and his name, on the most voyeuristic website I know of….on his head he wears a ball cap, still I feel as if he has hair.  He is fifty something, and those eyes; they tell stories even when they are simply dead still, yes-they tell.   There is a tear behind one and a warm rough hand reaching out from the other.  This “someone” I have never actually met; I’ve only seen his picture, black and white only. It makes me think about those old movies with men leaving their homes in times of war, with a picture in the breast pocket of his uniform, leaving his girl and treasuring a simple photograph for months or years.   That picture may make their heart rev up or make them salivate at the mere memory of a scent, her perfume, her cooking….. wishing for nothing more than to feel and smell her hair.   The power of this anonymous online picture also reinforces my words are false words; motherly words that hold no worth As I preach to my teenage son who is constantly attached to his online community  “you cannot know someone, you cannot call them your friend, simply from knowing them online, I say, that is not friendship-never actually meeting them.”   But I feel I know this man.  I know he is, at least, for the writer in me, a character that is not simply a retired mail man, that is the piece I know about him.  It appears he is so much bigger.   He embraces simplicity, he lends advice and doesn’t judge.  He is a mate to pass the ball back and forth with….he is a true carrier of wisdom, and perhaps the vision that he brought mail, sometimes important, sometimes junk mail that he is a bringer of things and he is friendly and mailman was his worldly facade perhaps?   He is a character that makes me feel self aware, validated even.   That is not to say this man is my crush, for not so.  This man is a comfort like an old worn out teeshirt and they call him Winter though he is anything but cold.  You wonder how I know him?  I know him cause he reads my blog.  He knows me, cause he reads my blog.  Since he’s read my blog and comments as such, I have come to feel that he may in fact know things that even not everybody even close friends, know about me.   So alas, this stranger fills a void, for the familiar for comforts, to fill silence with goodness or to make me want to trust in friendship again.    And whether he truly has insights into my true nature, well that isn’t what matters.  It’s simply that the illusion of friendship is enough.   As intangible as it may be, it fills a life void that feels very tangible, like a well loved book it “gets” me and unlike a well loved book, I can tell my picture presence, it holds for me,a thousand words of thanks.

If I invite You In

If I invite you in,

Will you be hungry?

I’m Italian you know.

If I invite you in,

Will you look me in the eye?

And really hear what I say?

If I invite you in,

Will my words be nothing to you?

Or will you take my words with you

Paired with yours….

And tuck them safely away in your pocket;

How can I make my company a momento of time?

If I invite you in, will you “one up” my stories,

Selfishly reload, fixate on you, admonish me in your every expression?

Or will you have grace and poise and polished shoes,

Will you raise your arms to frame up my words,

Will you be the lead while I be the follow?

If I invite you in,

Will you promise to scour away at the bitter in my world,

And make me prefer your company

To being alone?

Facebook is “Fun”

Facebook is fun, juggling flames is “fun” too.    I tried to duck out for a while-but I felt clueless.   Facebook keeps you feeling as if you’ve been served a slice of the world.    Yes it’s a wee bit voyeuristic and admittedly some of us have HAD to take a break, we addictive personalities should keep it in check.  There are ways to use it properly. We should be spot-on with our editing, checking it as seriously and as closely as we check the mirror after we’ve eaten spinach salad, sometimes we do miss it the first time.  Facebook can be a bit like an odor when it’s bad it can linger and when it’s good it can stir the olfactory senses.   A picture posted can be powerful, you can plan next year’s vacation based on them or, dig up your old yearbooks because of them-Take Throwback Thursday for instance.  It can take you back to moments like your first kiss at Skate King or rekindle that memory of an entire summer spent with that dreamy hippie boy/girl.  A simple post, a few words can impart the smell of Nag Champa, Drakar Noir, salty sea air, or stale beer, which trips up another memory….that one club, do you or don’t you search his name,  the guy in the band,  to see if he “Facebooks.”   Do you peek, just to see if he aged well….or do you just search Youtube for that band that ALWAYS played there, you know that surf band that you loved, what was it, Man or Astro Man…. who was it?

Facebook can trip up memories, it can invite self-affirming discussions or it can create a divide as blatant as a childish game of Red Rover, showing favoritism or weak spots.    Frankly, It’s exciting to flesh out “forbidden topics” like “how do gay men really feel about having bachelorette parties and their “near” brides doing shots of Yeager at “THEIR” neighborhood gay bar?”  It calls things out into the discussion arena like a bull and a man in tight pants.  It’s open season, sometimes there are boastful antics which raise eyebrows,  “how dare she post that bikini shot-who does she think she is!”  “At least you can tell she hasn’t had her boobs done, how dreadful…….”  “Perhaps no one ever takes her picture, she was lucky to have even just that one of her for her profile-maybe she is always the one behind the camera?”  Perception is a personal and powerful thing.    One person may say “Fucking well-Good for her, for liking herself, for having a moment on her lawn chair and in a bikini at 40!”    Another may be stirred to madness.   I don’t KNOW who will interpret a simple profile picture, a meaningless summer shot in my lounge chair- yes in my bikini as showing off-some will be seething with jealousy that I was at a swanky hotel pool or it will stir their own sensitivities, “shit, I have never owned a bikini….” or worse- I mean, I cannot possibly KNOW who on Facebook has an eating disorder?  In 2015 you have to be so darned CAREFUL….like apologies are so 1999, or something.   I have my own baggage to weigh me down.    I feel offended when people post fucking cocktail pictures!…..but I quietly try and reconcile how lucky they are, that it still works for them, that they can still socialize and drink without consuming too many, without having a visit from Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in the duration of one Happy Hour?  Yes, Facebook invites conflict like trivial pursuit invites answers.   In this highly monitored Facebook life, we must’nt develop new neurosis over it.  Just like real life, we must practice balance, be weary of reinterpretation, be oh so careful not interpret things toooooo seriously, keep it light and entertaining,  and remember, while one person’s amusement is a good book, anothers’ is streaking?  So-think of it like mudswrestling,  join in, cheer them on, but don’t sit so close, you get spattered with mud. It is, what it is

The Blessing The Curse Summer and Chronic Illness

Living with a chronic illness is both a blessing and a curse. Pain free days are a beam of light from above, those are the days I feel a gentle rapping on my shoulder, the tap is not invasive or jarring but a tap like a “hey you” tap.  Then a symphony quietly builds in my ear, then the rush, like when you witnessed the first concert that made you feel glad to be alive, a pain free day makes your skin feel pink again, a warm brisk burst of oxygen moves up your middle forcing you to smile.  It’s weird, not like that one when you are on new meds and you get that bizarre, worrisome ripple of heat up under your armpit….this time it’s good weird.   When you awake with no pain it feels right.    Something supremely wondrously in charge has whispered to you.   Hey you, “take the day off from pain.”   You practically buckle to your knees……yes, yes I will, I will make my list of top ten things for which I am grateful for.  I won’t put it off again. I will let go of the anger I have towards my pharmacist for making me ration the last of my pills so I must be UNDER rather than over medicated on my summer trip.  I mean….. it’s not that nice Asian man’s fault.  You are not like clockwork on anything lately, least of all checking in to make doc appointments.   You prefer not to be center of attention, you don’t want to admit once every month that you are a sick person, damaged goods, you live trying to shed that realization daily, so whose in a hurry for blood work?  The clincher of course,  you have no refills and leave for your trip tomorrow.  ARGHHHH!!!  And trust me, although he refills those six little orange bottles so frequently for me and knows way too much about me, he, my pharmacist, is not in the business of taking pity on me.  He isn’t allowed to dispense a little pocket sample just cause I emphatically plead my case- yeah, I tried.   What person with a chronic illness excitedly books new doctor appointments in their iPhone a year in advance….live and learn.     I don’t pity myself a moment-I look healthy for the most part, save for those dark shadows under my eyes.   I mean…. Like, everyone has had an occasional transfusion or two right? Or a drug that has made their liver fail….right? And here’s the best part-Those of us who thought we could doctor ourselves are pleasantly trained in asking for help now, that is once you get over having to finally surrender and admit you feel quite betrayed by your body, of which you thought you were in charge of…..yes…your doctor owns you now.   Chin up, you’re not alone, and being sick is one thing, but being sick and alone is entirely another.

Motherhood

Motherhood;
The Mother of all,
A transfusion, a cotillion,
A parade, A free fall,
Bring the armor,
The restraints,
A steel mind…
With its’ own trap door
Are you averse to forever?
tears of who knows what-
Pain or joy?