You’re walking in a forest and you find a black suitcase. Inside it is one million dollars and a piece of paper, stained in blood and bearing the single word “Don’t!” Would you take the suitcase home or leave it?
I’d probably leave it. I’d be sure it was mob money and if I took it, they’d find me and kill everyone in sight. Too many cop movies?
Imagine you lapsed and cheated on your partner. You feel horrible and you know you’ll never do it again because the feeling is so awful. Would you confess?
First of all, confessing might make you feel better, but why would you do that to your partner? Assuming you don’t have an open marriage (been there, done that, but it’s a whole other story) or something like it, most people get really upset when their partner is bedding someone who isn’t them.
If you’re not going to keep doing it, what exactly does anyone gain from the confession except misery?
Would you live your life differently if nobody ever judged you for anything you did?
No. I don’t care who judges me. I’m old enough to figure I don’t have to listen to that crap anymore — unless it’s a really close friend, Garry … or the dogs start to talk.
If the dogs are talking, I think I could do something inventive and make a little money with that, so all you pups? If you’ve got something to say, speak up!
Would a fly without wings be called a walk? No? What would you call it?
What’s something that brought joy and lightness of being to you this past week?
It didn’t snow. A cardinal came by. We didn’t run out of food OR money! Joy and lightness? Um, I don’t think so.
Writing this on the last day of the year to be published on the first of the new one, so it is the last and the first. May everyone’s New Year be full of joy, laughter, health, and hope!
For the parents in the crowd: What would be the absolute worst name you might give your child? If you’re not a parent (I’m not), then what’s the worst name you could give your pet?
I really can’t think that way. Anything his father would have given him would have been the worst name. He was fond of obscure Celtic names that no one has used in at least 200 years. Owen was a compromise.
I let Garry name the pets. It’s safer that way.
What mildly annoying curse might you wish you could curse annoying people with?
Mildly annoying? Why bother? If it’s not VERY annoying, it’s not worth your breath!
What’s the weirdest thing you did as a child?
I was such a weird child. I have no idea. I was just weird pretty much all the time.
Do you believe things happen for a reason or are random?
Things happen for a reason or randomly. Sometimes a little of both. I think we tend to make reasons for random events because we can’t bear that something so awful happened for no reason at all.
And finally, in the spirit of New Year’s: What’s a resolution (if you make them, I don’t) you’re making for the New Year? How confident are you in keeping it a reasonable amount of time?
I don’t do resolutions. If I was going to make one, it would be that I make it until the next one! I sincerely hope I make it.
Ellin is away all day, but will answer comments when she gets back this evening! It’s that time of year 😀
Most people wax poetic when they talk about their idyllic summers at sleep-away camp when they were kids. Tennis, volleyball, waterskiing and other fun sports. Campfires, nature walks, bunk hijinks, and lasting friendships.
I had none of those wonderful experiences. I went to sleep-away camp one summer when I was thirteen.
I refused to ever go back again. I was miserable.
My horrible experience was basically due to three factors. The first problem was my parents’ choice of camp. They sent me to a progressive, Montessori style arts camp called Bucks Rock Work Camp. The selling point for the camp was that there were lots of artistic opportunities but there was no schedule or requirements for the campers. Each child had to choose their own activities each day.
While this format is great for self-motivated kids with intense interests and actual talents, it was a disaster for me. I had no overpowering interest except for theater. And that was an organized activity that did have a specific schedule. So most days I wandered around. I tried jewelry making, art, and pottery. I took fencing classes and a few guitar lessons. But I was pretty aimless most of the time.
The second problem I had was my bunkmates. There were four of us in two sets of bunk beds. One of the other girls spent every night sneaking out the window to meet boys. The other two were best friends and overtly excluded me. It was very uncomfortable and demoralizing. I had other friends but this cast a pall over my camp life.
bunk houses on campus
The third problem was the way the camp handled the casting of the big theatrical production of the summer. This was what I was looking forward to. This was the all-consuming activity I was waiting for.
The play was “Peer Gynt”. I auditioned along with hordes of other campers. And the lead females role narrowed down to two girls, me and someone else. I didn’t get the role. This would have been fine if they had done the reasonable thing and given me a subsidiary role. I was good enough to be the lead, so you’d think they could find some other part for me. But no. I got nothing. Not even a place in the chorus. This was a horrible thing to do to any camper. Anyone who was interested and had any skills whatsoever should have been allowed to participate.
But I was shut out completely. And I was devastated. A part in the play would have given me focus and purpose for the rest of the summer. Instead, I joined a small theater class. I did end up with a lead role in a scene we did from the “Madwoman of Chaillot”. (Great play choice for teenagers!) The problem here was that the counselor was the brother of a girl I grew up with. I had known him my whole life and we hated each other. We did not get along at all. So this turned out to be another unpleasant experience.
The whole situation stressed me out so much, I could not memorize my lines. They were actually quite hard to remember because they were the nonsensical, non-sequiturs of an insane woman. At the performance, I skipped a page and a half of dialogue.
The audience didn’t notice. In fact, I got a compliment I’ve never forgotten. An adult from the audience told me that they had been to a professional production of the play and that my performance was as good as the professional actress they had seen!
I called home once a week and cried hysterically every time. My parents offered to take me home but I refused. I decided to stick it out. I didn’t want to admit to or give in to failure.
campus gathering place
old photo of the camp
Looking back, I now know that I had an anxiety/depressive disorder my whole life and I was probably spiraling into a pretty bad depression that summer. Going home might have been better for me, therapeutically.
But I proved to myself that I was strong and could survive a lot. So while I had an awful summer, I learned that I’m a survivor. That lesson has gotten me through a lot in life and I’m grateful I learned it so young.
There comes a time when you no longer know what you are doing, only that you are always doing something. This has been one of those weeks. Between doctor appointments, pharmacy runs, shopping, and just keeping the house from becoming a massive dirt zone, there’s not a lot of time left over. Add it taking some pictures, processing the pictures, writing some stuff for the blog, there’s even less time.
Then there’s a leave a little time for just relaxing, reading a book. I was up until 2 last night clearing out email. It comes by the hundreds per day and there’s no way I can manage it. So far, nothing has gotten it under control.
If you, as a five-year-old, woke up in your current body, what would happen, what would you say?
Holy shit! Where did I get all these scars? What HAPPENED?
What is a relationship deal breaker for you? Whether you are talking about a romantic one, a friendship or a related to sort of relationship?
Unreliability, rumor-mongering, and trust-breaking.
Unreliability takes a long time. It can take years for me to realize that this person is never going to be where he or she says she or he will be, or do what was promised. It’s a slow deal breaker, where I gradually give up calling, stop setting dates. Recognize it will never change. These relationships stay pleasant but become less and less important.
Rumor-mongering — especially in combination with eavesdropping — is a killer. Once is enough. People who talk behind my back are not my friends. Actually, they aren’t anybody’s friend.
Trust breaking is a business thing. Like dealing with a company for a long time, then realizing they are gradually losing the qualities that made you work with them in the first place. Deliveries are late or don’t arrive. Contracts are, if not ignored, then dealt with sloppily. It is another version of unreliability but in the business arena. Ultimately, it means you won’t use their services. It may take a while before you replace them, but it will happen. You can’t continually disappoint customers without payback. Heads up businesses. It can happen to you, too.
My current best example is Dell. I bought their computers for years because you knew you’d get a good product. Originally, you also got good service. First, the service departed without leaving a note behind. Next, the quality of the product weakened … but not the prices or service contracts. Now, they are a shadow of Microsoft and I expect they will vanish in a few years. What a pity!
Is there something out there, a thought, an idea, a current event, or a fear that you find deeply unsettling?
Yeah, like realizing our home planet is being destroyed by idiots.
And for something more whimsical, if you were arrested with no explanation, what would your friends and family assume you had done?
Caught raiding a pharmacy for asthma medication. No jury would convict me.
What were you grateful for this week? Something that brought some joy into your world?
Birds, bird feeders, cameras, and flowering Christmas Cactus.
I was exiting our local supermarket, hoping I’d gotten everything on the list without any frivolous spending. I didn’t see the wet spot. In the blur of a second, I lost my balance, fell backward and cursed loudly. My reflexes are still Gyrene sharp so I braced my fall with my hands but still landed hard on my bony bum.
Embarrassing, irritating and painful!
I looked up as shoppers passed by me. I’m not sure if I was grinning (an automatic TV News reporter instinctive reflex) or wincing. I know I was still groaning and cursing my clumsiness.
A thirty-something woman stopped to observe my dilemma. She had big blonde hair, an Olympic-sized bosom, and a provocative smile. I was transfixed between my fall, efforts to get up and returning a steady gaze to the lovely passerby.
“Have a nice day, honey, ” she gushed in pseudo-Marilyn Monroe honey-dripped tones. She was quickly gone as I struggled to my feet.
Now, I was angry. It wasn’t the first time I’d undergone such an embarrassing public accident. What’s the matter with people these days? How did they get like this? I am living in a world I don’t recognize. Do you recognize it? Is this some bizarre parallel universe?
Owen will be here with the dogs while the beasties will be doing their usual fine job of protecting the place from any dogs who might show up.
We’ll be down at the Curley’s place for a few days and back home Friday. I worked very hard to schedule posts for the next few days and I will answer comments when I can, but I need a break. When I get back, I’m going to see what I can do to deal with the email deluge on my computer.
I didn’t read almost anyone’s stuff today. I was working so hard at trying to create three days of posts, I’ve had little time for anything else. But, as I keep saying, I really need a break and it has to start sometime. This seems a good time.
I’ll pop in from time to time when I can, but meanwhile, I’ll just bet the world will continue to have one catastrophe after another, even if I’m not online.
To participate in the Ragtag Daily Prompt, create a Pingback to your post, or copy and paste the link to your post into the comments. And while you’re there, why not check out some of the other posts too!