Friday, March 29, 2013

The Storyteller

I love to tell stories. Clearly. Sometimes I admit, that my zeal for a good story outshines the interest of the story itself. Maybe the trouble is that I just like to talk.

My father tells stories too. I have many fond memories of laughing for hours as he talked about his around the world adventures. Around the world is a place that I have never been.

Poor Bratty gets the brunt of my stories, you know, since we spend at least 8 hours per day together. Sometimes, I'll be right in the middle of telling her another one when she turns and asks if I am talking to her. That's when I realize that I'm speaking to hear myself speak and it's time to shut up. She isn't being mean, she really just doesn't always know when I am addressing her and not my computer.

A week or two ago, a friend told me something that I would ordinarily repeat. When I opened my mouth to mention it, you know, just telling stories and spreading the news, I stopped myself.

For the first time, I realized that I was about to pass along a story that wasn't mine to tell.

I would never call myself a gossip. Nosey, absolutely. I love to hear a good story as much as I like to tell them. But not a gossip. Gossip is malicious and mean, right? Something I don't want to be.

But it isn't always, is it? In fact, Merriam Webster defines gossip in three ways. a person who habitually reveals personal or sensational facts about others. rumor or report of an intimate nature. and chatty talk. What I thought of as chatty talk though, might have been a rumor or report of an intimate nature. And I had become a person who reveals personal or sensational facts about others.

Wow. That's some ugly lint growing in my navel.

So I have been making a concentrated effort not to be the repeater of intimate details that are not my own. I've caught myself several times. Funny thing is, while I'm not repeating the stories, I find that I'm also a little less nosey. I catch myself perking up at a juicy bit only to walk away with the reminder that it's not my business.

I can tell MY stories all I want. But I don't want to tell other people's stories anymore. It's gotten quieter around here.

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Country Mouse learns a lesson

During my formidable years, as I'm sure I have mentioned, we lived in a house in the country, or, as I often refer to it, in the sticks. It was about 45 minutes to the grocery store, and very little else but dirt, oak trees, and rocks.

Since we lived so far out in the middle of nowhere, we never locked our doors. There just wasn't a need. If someone was coming, the neighbor's dogs went nuts. If we were gone, the neighbors kept an eye on things. They were the kind of neighbors from whom you could borrow a cup of sugar or a stick of butter. And we did. Because the grocery store was 30 minutes away.

Because of this, I tend to trust my neighbors a little too much. Thus far, that's been okay. My garage door gets left open, no one messes with my stuff. During the summer, my front door is open. and...

Wait. This is no longer true.

My purse has been found. Not in the house, but in the neighbor's bushes. Everything was intact except for my video camera and ipod. Since whoever took it didn't bother with the multiple gift cards, credit cards, etc that was in there, I can only assume that it was one of the neighbor kids. This makes me sad. I'm happy that I got the purse back. I am blessed that they didn't steal my identity. But I am hurt that someone would steal from me at all.

And so, I learned, since they took it right out of my house, to lock the door, even when I am home. And to close the garage door and, for the first time, to distrust my neighbors. Clearly, whoever took my purse knew I had good stuff in there, which means they were keeping an eye on my habits.

I'm just simply not in Kansas anymore.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Lie to me

It's rare to meet a person who isn't going to lie to you. I can generally tell if someone is fibbing, I just won't say anything. 

Like that guy I dated who lied about just about everything. I knew that his stories didn't line up, but I like to trust people. However, despite my head-in-the-sand mentality, I knew something wasn't right and when the truth came out, I wasn't as hurt as I would have been otherwise. Suddenly, the stories made sense and I was able to see that the entire 5 month relationship had no foundation. I was glad I had refused to meet his kids. A few days later, Chango lay his little puppy head on my shoulder and I lost my heart to a far more reliable male. Dogs will never lie to you. Also, if you give away their children, they don't get upset.

I've learned to trust that instinct. That doesn't mean I always act on it, sometimes to my detriment, but I recognize it and take note. File the information for later use.

That is not the point of this story.

Last night, my gym lied to me.

When I signed up over a month ago, they told me that I would have to meet with a personal trainer whether I wanted to or not. Unfortunately, the soonest available time I could attend a meeting was a month out. I wrote it down, but still forgot. Dangit! The trainer was supposed to give me the little scan card I need to get into the facility instead of having to check in manually with reception every time. Annoying.

Last night, I went out of my way to attend the gym where I signed up so that I could go ahead and get my card. The receptionist told me that only the trainers have them and that I'd have to make another appointment with the sales guy in order to get it.

Let me make this clear. I do not want to pay a personal trainer. My experience with them has not been good and I can generally rely on myself to kick my own butt. Also, I don't need someone to tell me I'm fat because I have a high BMI. While I do need to lose some weight, I'm not actually fat, I'm dense. I do not float, I sink. Most trainers don't want to hear these things, they just want you to buy their services. And I get that, but I'm not interested.

So, after my 45 minutes on the arc trainer, I showed up dripping, to my sales guy's desk. I waited for him to notice me (I love sales people who don't need you after the sale. jerk. Clearly my "he just wants your money" instinct was right on there.) and asked to make another appointment. He responded that they can do that up front. I casually let him know that they had sent me to him and (played a little dumb) announced that I'd go make the appointment with them.

Back up at the front desk, I spoke with the first girl. I told her that Joe had told me I could make an appointment with her. She looked a little baffled. Then opened a drawer and said "Oh look! We have one left!" and produced a scan tag. Then she acted all conspiratorial as she got it assigned to me. Like we were getting away with something.

All I could think was, if you're going to lie to me, at least try to hide it. OR be so obvious about it that we both undertand that you're just following protocall, you know?