Wednesday, February 18, 2009

You're way too good for that person

I would just love to scream the title at my friend Tam, whom will most likely never see this.

There are relationships that contain one person that is way better than the other. You know what I'm talking about, we have seen it. The stagnant all-talk mooch with the naive woman who is fully supporting him. The manipulative gold digger with the guy who deserves better. We have other friends in these relationships. Sadly, you are in one yourself.

This concept isn't ridiculous considering that no two people are exactly the same. It would be impossible for two people to be completely equal in all respects. It is just when this gap is glaringly huge that I find it hard to swallow. What is equally frustrating is that you realize that you are in this type of relationship and don't seem to care.

Why is it that you stay with him?

Perhaps it is the comfort of consistency. Consistently bad is still consistent. You find comfort in hearing the theme-song to your favorite show, or knowing that wave is going to crash on the sand.

Perhaps it is because you have invested so much time and effort? You have been with him for this long and you are still together. I concede that relationships take effort and understanding. At what point does enough become enough though? You put in a lot of effort that clearly is not being reciprocated. This isn't like being 1 month away from your 5 year vesting period for your pension. Well I've been here this long, might as well stick around. Yeah that argument is as terrible at it sounds.

Perhaps it is because you don't think you can find someone better. All your friends tell you that you can. What if I cant? I don't have the time. Nothing worth having is going to be easy. What will be easy is you staying in this crappy relationship because you are hanging on to memories of the past. Maybe you are gambling that your future is going to be better if you stick it out now. A gambler might recommend to cut your losses.

Here is the real reason that I think you stay together. I submit that you are staying with him because, like all people, we have a desire to feel needed or useful. You have done it your whole life, validation for your parents, for your society, for your friends, and for yourself. It is great to feel like the work you do is useful or that someone looks forward to seeing you at the end of the day. He looks forward to seeing you because you are clearly so much better than him. In return you look forward to seeing him because he looks forward to seeing you.

At the end of the day it is your decision to make. I wish I could just tell you who is right for you. God knows I'm not right for you, your ex wasn't right for you, and I bet this guy will inevitably fall on this list as well. I am no relationship expert. Not even close. I do know a lot about you though. I have known you for a long time, I have learned a lot about you, I have seen you go through loser after loser, I have been through the good and bad times, I know that this parasitic relationship eats at your core, and I know you deserve a lot more in a relationship. I have watched you learn about yourself, and I know that you know all these things.

Out of respect for your decision to stay with him, I can't verbalize this to you. When this is all said and done I sincerely hope that I am just frustrated at what this relationship appears to be. Good luck and best wishes to you Tam.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Rant on Snuggies

The Snuggie is a fleece blanket with sleeves. Yup. That’s it. Luckily you can buy this amazing piece of trademarked engineering genius for only 28 bucks. Oh, don’t worry, because other people do too! Apparently they have sold enough of these things to create a commercial. This is where the product solidifies itself as an icon of Idiotic American Consumerism. The commercial is quite possibly the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen (well aside from the product itself).

Now part of me basks in the pure genius of this gag-like commercial, because it is SO DUMB that it succeeds in getting people to talk about the product. Unfortunately, once we get talking about the product... we find out the product sucks. This infamous commercial basically features a bunch of people who are “limited” by the range of movement that blankets afford (GRR, I can’t reach my TV remote or my book!). It also shows people reaching for things and getting cold because their arms have to come out of the comfort of their blankets. (GAH, my arms are freezing now that I have uncovered them for 3 seconds!).

Wow, what can we do to avoid these unpleasantries? Enter the solution - The Snuggie.

This fabulous product makes you look like a student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry! Don’t worry, Snuggies are fashionable. This is shown in the commercial by the group of morons wearing fleece and cooking marshmallows around a CAMPFIRE. There is also the family at a baseball game, wearing Snuggies, and cheering for a kid (who is probably pretending like he doesn’t know them). This commercial now replaces “HEAD-ON APPLY DIRECTLY TO THE FOREHEAD” for dumbest commercials of all time.

In closing, I have come to the conclusion that one morning, right before a presentation, some hungover marketing douche woke up and put his bathrobe on backwards. After realizing how ridiculous he looked, he decided to play a joke on his company. Well his company loved it. Now they are richer than ever because Snuggies have caught on like a fleece wildfire! They have cornered (and dominated!) the market of people who: a) have too much money b) want to look like they are in a cult and c) are complete idiots.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Friday the 13th! Useless prattle about Liars.

Friday the 13th is infamous for strange stuff to occur, and last night was not an exception for me. It has been a while since I have stayed up a full night deep in thought. This time my frivolous pondering was about one subject: Lying.

While in my GMAT prep course last night we came across this question:
Find the conclusion in the argument. If the argument does not state the conclusion, complete it with the most natural conclusion.

Most people would agree that it is immoral to lie. But if a kidnapper accosts you on the street and asks which way his escaped victim went, would it be immoral to point in the opposite direction?
So I correctly made the assumption that it would not be immoral to point in the opposite direction and therefore not all lying is immoral.

I got the question right! My question, however, gets the last laugh. I spent the whole night reading... different definitions for lying, different scholarly articles about lying, and even peoples own experiences with lying.

Reading with no real intent of answer confirmation, just a childlike curiosity: What is the definition of a lie? Why do people lie? Is it ever permissible?

Some interesting stuff I ran across in my cogitation:
There are a ton of different forms of lying. Exaggerations- could you really eat a horse, walk a million miles, wait a billion years. Lying by omisison- If a husband told his wife he went to the store, and although true, he also saw his mistress... He never denied a truth, just omitted some part of what transpired. White Lies, Lying to children, Bluffing in poker.... LIES!

Young children learn from experience that stating an untruth can avoid punishment for misdeeds, before they develop the theory of mind necessary to understand why it works. In this stage of development, children will sometimes tell outrageous and unbelievable lies, because they lack the conceptual framework to judge whether a statement is believable, or even to understand the concept of believability.

When children first learn how lying works, they lack the moral understanding of when to refrain from doing it. It takes years of watching people tell lies, and the results of these lies, to develop a proper understanding.

Our Governator was in the movie true lies. At the end his wife asks him what he did today and he replies "Saved the world."... or something to that effect. Which, in the movie, was true. However, the wife dismisses it as so outrageous it's clearly a lie. Here, Arnold states a truth, but is he still lying? Here is where deception gets involved with lying. Is lying still lying without deception?

Is speaking an untruth when both parties know the truth is still lying? The earth is flat. We both know its round, but I'm saying its flat for whatever reason. Maybe to prove a point in an argument. Maybe to ridicule an opposing theory. Is this still a lie even though we know I don't truly believe the earth is flat?

Some philosophers have decided it never permissible to lie, even if lying is your only way to avoid death.
Amongst all my contemplation and unanswered questions, I still think most people have a pretty good understanding that most people lie all the time. Everyone forms their own opinions on what is considered a white lie, telling a pregnant woman that she is not fat, or lying about how something is attractive to avoid hurt feelings. Is it alright to lie when it benefits the liar and the hearer? Where is this gray line defined? How did we even form this gray line? It is this unclear fog that has left me really ambivalent about lying.