Friday, November 13, 2009

Trust no-one... except the man you marry.

I have arrived at the ballet hall today to find it populated by mad religious people putting teenagers through a tedious bout of trust exercises.

Things like pairing them up (one seeing, one with eyes-closed and hands groping) so that one can yell impatiently at the other “Just go FORWARD already! Alright! So there’s a step there! So what! Just go FORWARD” while the blind victim giggles and spins themself in disbelieving circles saying profound things like “You’re totally going to walk me into a FENCE! Oh my gahhhd, this is so SCARY! I like, can’t see ANYTHING and you’re totally going to KILL me!”

Unfortunately, they’re probably not. I witnessed all the seeing-eye-teens (not to be confused with the thinking-brain-teens) being told “Do not take them ANYWHERE near the road. Just don’t go near the road. Take them (broadly gesticulating arm) THAT way.”
So much of the real mystery (and therefore, trust to be gained) has been excised.
With a sledgehammer. 

Real trust games for teenagers in this day and age should include real things. Like holding out a funny-smelling cigarette and asking “Would I REALLY give you drugs to smoke?” Of course, the desired (trusting) response would depend entirely on the calibre of your friend. Or holding the car door open while saying “Of COURSE I’m alright to drive. I only had one beer, and it was light, and it was HOURS ago.”

The real point of all this is that the people who play these trust games are usually the ones who WON’T drink and drive, or spike their friend’s drink, or set them up with a spliff instead of a clove cigarette. The kids who will – maybe they were never kids long enough to enjoy these games in the first place.

Hmm. I’m a bit worried about myself now. Still, given that I agonise over the nature of my influence on the kids I work with on an almost daily basis, I’m probably safe. Safe-ish. More likely that trust games just give me unpleasant flashbacks to being the new (immensely unpopular) kid in year 7.
I’m so not a team player.

P.S. I love my husband. It's a testimony to his easygoing nature that at ten pm on Friday night I present him with a plastic skeleton (well, skull and two hands) which moves up and down beneath a ghostly veil while suspended from a black tube... and say "Hey! Can you get the sound on this to STOP working?"* The unnerving groans that accompany this are not desired for our purposes** (ballet concert) so I have been presented with this monstrosity and asked "Can Michael disable the sound? So it still goes up and down, just doesn't make any sound?"

*I just realised his instant compliance could be linked to my scariness, which increases exponentially and proportionately to days remaining until concert. Shut up, the lot of you who are nodding out there. I can see you and I know where you all live. Yeah. 

**Because our senior students do plenty of moaning and groaning and DON'T require a motion sensor to get started. If you're reading this, good luck refuting that. Really. You'll need it.

So anyway, I dump this in his lap (right on top of the beloved lappy) and remove myself from the room.

Remember, ten pm on Friday night.

He fiddles, goes and gets a screwdriver, and after about fifteen repetitive moaning descants (by which time I'm ready to set the thing on fire) there is no more. Just a gentle whirring, as the skull bobs up and down and spins gently. And my lovely, clever husband picks up his laptop and parks his skinny butt back on the couch. I wish I had that kind of insane equilibrium.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Completely Random:

I may or may not have blogged about some random inebriated women who were malingering (that means "dancing" in such a way as to dislodge breasts from front of dress) at our dancing venue the other week.

I may or may not have (read DEFINITELY) danced in a particularly up-close-in-their-face way (facilitated ENTIRELY by my dancing partner of the time) but that was only because they were (a) standing in the middle of the freaking dance floor and (b) it was kind of fun nearly standing on them.

Cut to last night, leaving work and about to get into my car. Across the road, four women spill out of a four-wheel-drive. Three of them are sporting the same shade of peroxide blonde in an assembly-line crop. Literally.

For a split second I wondered if they were all wearing the same wig (well, clearly there were three wigs and they were EACH wearing one, but said three wigs were identical), because the women themselves were quite individual. Actually, that's a lie. The brunette was original. And maybe even sported a variation on her own hair color.

All four were adhering stringently to jeans-so-tight-they're-holding-me-up coupled with floaty tops and very high heels. The type that women totter in BEFORE their first alcoholic beverage.

Possibly the only reason the tottering decreases with the amount of alcohol consumed is that after the first falling over (ETA first two drinks) the shoes are removed and stuffed into tiny handbags. Which then form the nucleus of the "dancing" circle. Can you tell I've had a lot of bad experiences? (Correction: not "had" so much as "witnessed".)

Anyway, in tones best described as "galah" (as opposed to "dulcet") or even "cockatoolian"
they shriek at each other:
"That girl!"
"What girl?!"
"That girl over there with the hair!"
"What girl?!"
"That girl with the hair and the dancing!"
"That girl?!"
"We saw that girl at B____ last week? With the hair? And the dancing?"
"Oh, THAT girl! Is that THAT girl?"
"The dancing girl?"

All of this is accomplished with much flapping of tiny handbags and pointing; I am a little worried that one of them will fall victim to a passing car, but decide to finalise the torrid debate by waving helpfully and shouting "Hi!"

"HIIIII! You! You're THAT girl! That was dancing! At B____! We saw you! You're really hot!"

This comes in some kind of mishmash and nearly-taking-turns-speaking as they helpfully mash all the relevant information together and arrive at some kind of conclusion. "Thanks!" I yell back, and we go our separate ways, me doubled over in agony and muttering curses all the way home, them raucously cockatoolianing their way down the main street.

Note: It is physically possible to consume 2 litres of cranberry juice in four hours. I don't recommend it, but everyone should try it at some stage.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Nope, it's just as incoherent. Sorry about that.

I think last night's post suffered from a lack of time in which to think coherently, but since integrating a couple of other events that occurred yesterday... here goes.

At ballet, a mother brought in some car keys which she'd found in the parking lot sitting behind a particular make and model of car... which happens to be the same that my recently licensed cousin drives. Her assumption was that said cousin (who we shall call C for brevity's sake) had left/dropped the keys - oops, what a silly mistake! And that would be fine, but it's assumed that gee, knowing C, of course it's her car (of which there are billions) and her keys, and silly girl, never mind, we should be used to it.

I took the keys and pulled out my phone to call her before looking at the keys again. Uh, they're Ford keys. C's car is not a Ford. So, this silly mother had (well-intentionedly, and all) seen the keys, put 2+2+2 together to make 49, and called my attention to something crazy important.

How often have you formed assumptions about someone based on someone's version of their behavior? How often have you classed them after observing them a (very) few times?
How often have you been sucked into someone else's opinion without questioning their arrival at said opinion?

I'm guilty on all fronts. I know that a lack of grammatical mastery does not a stupid person make.
I know that being in the top 1% of academic results does not equate to emotional intelligence.
Hell, being in the top 5% doesn't even equate to common sense. I mean the type of common sense that goes: Remove keys from ignition, get out of car, depress door lock, check keys are in hand, close door, holding handle up to facilitate locking mechanism. 

Yep, I famously failed step four and locked my car keys in my car three times in three months. A few times I may ever have failed step five, causing the door lock to unlock, whereupon I helpfully opened the door, relocked it, and carefully closed it (holding handle up) before swearing VERY loudly. Mom, if you're reading this, I didn't really swear. Yep. Truly.  I shall be forever grateful for the coathanger-wielding expertise of burly men (well, it was insured, so if they HAD stolen it instead of returning my keys I wouldn't have been unduly devastated).

*** Mind you, this is not quite on a par with a good friend who locked his keys in his car... on a camping trip. Four hours from anywhere. When we'd exhausted all the available car key and coathanger gymnastics, he wound up taking the door off the car to recover the keys.

I digress. Last night my beloved and I went to the beach. For reasons known only to him, he wore regular shorts but took boardies. We did a little financial discussion in the car - "OK, I've got $20 for souvlakis," "Sweet! Here's $10."
"What's that for?"
"Der! Ice-cream." As if you have to ask.
Then he decided to change shorts. Good plan. Except... ten minutes later in the fish and chip place:
"Can I have a lamb souvlaki?"
"Um, yeah. About that... So I put the money in my shorts pocket, but then I changed my shorts..."
So I handed him the keys, laughing at the stunned mullet look on his doctorly face. Hmmm.

So, just because someone can do amazing things with lines of code they will not remember to put the money in the pants they're wearing. Just because you think someone is a ditz doesn't mean they will leave their car keys lying on the ground beside their car, and just because I can write amazing blog posts of stunning insight and clarity does not mean I ever actually will.