June 28, 2009

How to Maintain Grace While Your Innards are Noisy

We all know about burps and farts and that the sound of them can be muffled. Although they sometimes slip out in public unrestricted. They are a part of life and we all accept this about each other while secretly, or perhaps not so secretly, judging you if you let it slip noticeably. It really depends how well you are known and liked by the audience.

But what about those "other noises?" You know when you're hungry your stomach growls. But what if it is right after lunch and you are in a room full of people and your "stomach" starts making loud uncontrollable noises? Logically they should conclude that you're no longer hungry so it must be gas. I mean that's what I would logically conclude. All sorts of humiliating thoughts start running through your head like "these noises are loud enough that I'm going to start getting looks or everyone will suddenly burst out in uncontrollable laughter," or perhaps "I'm going to be the subject of gossip and laughter behind my back when we're on break," or "do they realize I'm not actually sitting back here farting?" And then you feel like making an announcement about how "hungry" you really are so they'll think it's just your stomach growling and not the continuous flow of farts. Don't they know I'd muffle a fart and they would never hear it? I always figure no, even though I would always give people the benefit of the doubt. At least at that exact moment I would feel sympathy for anyone in my position.

My mom did not prepare me for this continuous humiliation even into adulthood. I feel like I'm perpetually in high-school when silly noises like this occur in my innards and I just want to slip under my desk out of site. I can't leave the room because the whole room will exchange looks at each other followed by the biggest outburst of laughter known to man. At least this is what happens in my head. If I stay in the room, at least there might be question as to who is producing such ungodly noises after lunch. Although I'm convinced my face is flashing red saying "It's Me!! It's ME and it's gas!!!! And I am more humiliated than when I get a pap smear!!" (Though not my first 5 or so...those were definitely more humiliating.)

I wish there was a magic pill. Although I'm sure some of you probably have some. And don't tell me fruits, vegetables, and fiber is the answer. I'm sure they are causing it as my diet is high in all of those things. I'm also paranoid that they just naturally assume that it's gas when it really is my stomach growling. So I'll ask it again, am I the only one that gets embarrassed by my bodily noises? Do I need to get over it, if only in my head?

June 21, 2009

Just Because Everyone Else Doesn't Think Exactly As You Do, Doesn't Make Them Wrong!

This is a subject that often comes up with me in the form of having such high expectations of others. It's very difficult for me because it often frustrates me or makes me feel like a terrible person, depending on the circumstance. Both of which are awkward positions to be in.

Work is one place that beat me down in this arena. I expect people to put the effort I do into communication, learning, and performance. This doesn't mean that mistakes and screw ups won't happen, but I make an effort to learn from mistakes and apply what I've learned for the future in similar and different situations or projects. I often find this doesn't happen, and what is even more frustrating or awkward, is that this is consistently tolerated. Although maybe what I don't notice is that these are the people that don't get promoted. It is possible that they stay in the same jobs until they retire. I suppose that's not so bad. But I often find myself getting beat down about this. And it's not that I want to lower my expectations, I want everyone to step it up a notch or two. If only a notch. I want them to strive to improve, if only a little.

This also happens in regular life when I find myself being judgemental or critical of people that get married young, which was 26 for me so younger than 25 is too young by my definition. Not that it's wrong or can't be handled, I just think there's live to be lived before getting married and that many people pass it up because they are so focused on growing up and getting married. Not that growing up and getting married is a bad thing. The next thing people do too young in my opinion is have kids. I have always had a 5 year timeline for being married before having kids. And I see so many people that are younger than me, married for less time than me having kids. Not that they can't handle it, but it just seems like a step people rush into.

It's awkward for me because I don't like to be so harsh or critical of them, although I do try and keep those opinions to myself. I don't call them up and say "What they hell are you thinking!!!! YOU'RE TOO YOUNG!!!" In reality they may not be, but I definitely was at their age. It's different for everyone. And just because they don't think the way I do for marriage and kids, doesn't make them wrong, it just makes them more grown up then me. The truth is, both of those decisions terrified me for a long time (one still does) and I don't understand people that weren't as terrified as me for both of those decisions. Maybe that just means I'm immature. Which if true, is exceptionally awkward for me as I've always been labeled mature.

Am I alone with this awkward internal struggle?

June 12, 2009

How to be Polite and Respectful in Public

This post most certainly IS NOT about me or my mother. My husband and I were on vacation this last week and just returned late last night after 2 cancelled flights and getting transferred to another airline to get home. This was due to weather in our connecting city which messed up the day for a lot of travellers including us.

We had booked the first flight out at 6:00 am pst and were planning on being home by 2:00 pm cst. We didn't land at our home airport until 11:30 pm. Needless to say it was a long day for us and many other travellers. Still that's not an excuse to be rude and disrespectful in public. Basic manners should be a given when everyone is just trying to get to their final destination.

We were all loaded on our last flight home and wouldn't you know our seats were right next to some loud and obnoxious brats, when we see two other people take their seats who had been loud and obnoxiously carrying on in the waiting area in the terminal. To be fair it was really 1 of the 2 of them, but the 2nd one didn't seem to have a problem with this dramatic display for attention. So now we have 5 people all fighting for attention on a plane full of people that just wanted to get to their final destination.

Some how they started antagonizing each other and being rude to each other so one of them asked the flight attendant about changing seats but in a loud and belligerent fashion obviously taking a shot at the brats behind him. Which one of them responded to obnoxiously. However I must say the first person had gone up and down the aisles 2 or 3 times before finally taking a seat so I don't know that there weren't other exchanges between him and the flight attendants before this scene went down.

The plane had backed out of the gate and stopped for several minutes when the captain comes on and says that they have to pull back to the gate to take care of an administrative issue. A few minutes later someone from security comes on to ask the 2 people in front of the 3 obnoxious brats to please exit the plane with him as the captain has requested they be removed from the plane. There was an immediate feel of fear that came over the 3 as they were apart of the final display that a majority of the people assumed was the only reason for the 2 being asked to exit. These two immediately went into defensive "what have we done wrong" mode, refusing to leave.

Let me just say it doesn't matter at this point what anyone has done, if the captain has requested you gone, for whatever reason, you aren't going on that plane. In reality all 5 of them should have been kicked off, but I sense the one had done some other things before that scene to make one or two of the flight attendants uncomfortable. I'll back them up, I was irritated and a bit uncomfortable when they showed up right in front of those 3 brats who were already having a loud, obnoxious conversation about silliness that no one wanted to hear. Why can't people get on a plane, sit down, and shut up???? My husband and I barely talk to each other on a plane, and when we do, we keep the noise down so no one can hear our conversation. At least can the noise level be piped down to a reasonable level? Are my expectations of others again a little too high?

My other problem was the people around that decided to speak up for or against these two to plead their case or just plead for them to just get off while the gate security officials are trying to talk them off the plane before the police come and take them by force. Shut up you!!! # 1 you don't know what all was behind this removal! Don't assume you know the whole story! #2 you aren't helping this scene end any sooner by distracting security or the removees. I don't care if you think it's unreasonable, and I don't care that you just want them to go peacefully. KEEP IT TO YOURSELF!!! The captain is the only judge and jury on the plane, he's not going to change his mind because you think he should. Your opinion doesn't count so get over yourself!

They finally left the plane, but not before the 3 obnoxious brats found themselves sticking up for them when prodded by the removees. At this point I thought they felt bad about the part they played in the disturbance and were just trying to pacify the situation. But after we landed they were back to talking smack and making jokes about how they got kicked off. Was I too much of a wuss for not telling them to lock it up because they should have been kicked off too? I don't know. We touched down just after 11:30 pm and I just wanted to get off the plane and get home. I do wish I would have had the guts to tell them to grow up and get some manners, but the part of me that didn't want to cause a scene is much more dominant, because people like that generally don't have respect or consideration for anyone around them. Why didn't their (all 5 maybe 4) mothers and fathers teach them to be respectful, polite, and considerate to others in public or private? And as the case may be, why didn't they teach them to pick their friends wisely as they will be judged by the company they keep? Why is getting attention, positive or negative, more important to some people? How awkward to go though life without manners or common courtesy.

Kudos to the pilot and crew though, we were already way late getting home. Another half hour or so wasn't a big deal to us.