To ticket or not to ticket

“If you were stopped for speeding while passing through a small town and the police officer offered not to write you a $200 ticket if you would pay him $50 in cash, what would you do? What if you hadn’t been speeding?”

This is such a fascinating question to me; so much so that I just discussed it with my assistant and another employee. Just in case you’re wondering, my employee (Sean) said, “I’d give him the $50” and, my assistant (Ryan) said, “I’d say no thank you and then fight the ticket in court and win because I would have taped the whole conversation.” Personally, I’m with Sean on this one; I’d just give him the $50 and be on my way.

Interestingly enough, Sean (like me) is a Gen Xer; Ryan is a millennial. It never occurred to either Sean or me that taping the conversation would be an option (or even allowed; but, apparently it is perfectly legal). Sean also mentioned that he took the question to mean that not giving the cop the money wasn’t really an option; and, Ryan saw it as I did, as merely an option to pay less money.

Would the fact that I was or was not speeding make a difference to my answer? No, I’d still give the officer the money (assuming that if I didn’t, he was going to write me a $200 ticket). My word against his in that case and I’d prefer not to have a ticket on my record.

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Talkin Bout my Generation

I was born in 1978; therefore, I am of generation X (1961-1981).  Because we grew up in the grunge era, generation Xers are often considered dirty slackers.  Personally, I beg to differ.  I shower, and I have three college degrees- so there.

Here are some of the most interesting things that I found about my age group

  1. We mostly grew up in the 80’s and 90’s.  Therefore loved (or still love) New Kids on the Block.
  2. Speaking of music, we remember MTV and VH1 when they showed videos.  I still remember the first video played on MTV.  Video Killed the Radio Star by The Buggles.
  3. Before there were cell phones, there we pagers.  Yep!  I had one, a sparkly blue one to be exact.  I’m not exactly sure what the point ever was, because when you think about it if someone pages you it means that they want to talk to you, right?  How was I supposed to call them back if I was out? I mean, how is it any different than an answering machine?
  4. Email addresses didn’t come around college, so we had to do things by hand (gasp)! I remember filling out my college applications with a good old-fashioned pen (probably black because I hate blue pens).
  5. It wasn’t uncommon for kids of generation X to come home to an empty house. Due to the rise in the cost of living, parents of kids in my generation both worked, dubbing us the latchkey generation.  I was lucky, my mom worked nights, and my dad worked days, so someone was always home with us.
  6. Apparently, we’re survivors:  we came home from the hospital (after being born) in our mother’s lap, slept in a crib that was very likely painted with lead-based paint, grew up in the back seat of a station wagon (often laying across the back in the window) without a seatbelt, and learned to ride our bikes without a helmet.  Maybe this is why that Gen X is the smallest generation 🙂

 

Disney Dreamin’

“If you won a 2-week, all-expense-paid vacation anywhere in the world for you and a companion, who would you take and where would you go?”

This is an EASY one to answer. 100%, I’d take my sister, Laura, and we’d go to DisneyWorld. Yes, we’ve been there many times; but, we’ve always stayed at the cheapest level hotels. So, I would love to take her to stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge where you have a balcony that looks out into the Safari. You might have giraffes walking passed your room.

Again, yes, we’ve gone a bunch of times; but, we’ve never been during Christmas. I would love to be there for Christmas; it has got to be truly magical- and that’s one of the top reasons why I go. For the magic.

One of the other reasons why I go is for the food; but, again, I don’t often indulge in the expensive places that they have to offer. That’s not to say that I don’t indulge because I do, I just don’t get to indulge in some of the places that I would like to.

OK, so maybe I am a nerd. Anywhere in the world and I pick Florida. Whatever, I am who I am, and I love it!

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

“If you had to choose between choosing another profession or moving to a new city, which one would you choose?”

This is a hard question for me when you consider that I JUST bought a new house.

I could, essentially, do either one of my jobs anywhere. With the current state of online learning, I could easily teach anywhere at any time. Then, with the writing and editing aspect of what I do, it’s mostly remote anyway. So, the only thing keeping me in CT is my mortgage. Oh, well, that and my family. My nephews and niece are here; so are my siblings and my father. Could I leave them? I don’t know. I mean, they’d visit me and, I, them, right? It couldn’t be THAT bad; would it? Too bad that Costco wouldn’t let them all transfer to Puerto Rico; we could have all gone together.

I guess given all of that I would have to go with the new city. As I mentioned, I could pretty much work anywhere (even on the beach!); so, I’d probably go with a whole new state. I mean, CT’s taxes are quite crazy (10,000+ (per year) on my house, really?).

The Importance of Being Selfish (Kinda)

“Who is the most important person in your life? Do you expect this ever to change?”

At the risk of sounding narcissistic, me; and, will that change? I don’t know. Before I start getting hate mail, please let me explain.

I am single, with no children of my own. So, I don’t have any ONE person I could single out as the most important. I do have a large family, but I love them all equally. It wouldn’t be fair to choose one as the most important.

Now, given that, should I get married at some point in my life, I’m sure that my significant other will be the most important person to me. But, that’s IF I get married. It’s unlikely that I will have children; I’m getting too old for that. But mom taught me never to say never, so I suppose it isn’t ruled out entirely.

So, for now, I worry about me and me alone. To be completely honest, I’m OK with that. Would I love to fall in love and share my life with someone? Absolutely! But, then I’d have someone else to worry about, and that concerns me.

In sickness or lying?

“When was the last time you avoided doing something by pretending you were ill?”

Honestly, I don’t remember the last time I did this. It’s likely that I was a kid. We’re all adults now; you can handle the truth.

In my humble opinion, pretending to be sick to get out of doing something that they don’t want to is something a child does so that their friends don’t get mad at them. I’ve said it before, and I will say it again, I do not B.S. I say what I mean, and I mean what I say. I’ll never be mean about things, so there is no reason to be angry.

Just last week I mentioned that I tend to be a bit on the anti-social side; but, my friends (and family) already know that. I don’t think that a friend has asked me to do something that they know I won’t do in a long time. Friends do ask me to go to dinner with them from time to time; and, for the most part, I’ll go if I’m not busy. There are times where I don’t want to, and I’ll tell them that. The way I see it, what’s the point in lying? If your friends can’t respect your wishes, they’re not really your friend.

The anti-social conundrum

“Do you have any attitudes you wish you could change but cannot? If so, what’s holding you back?”

The snarky side of me wants to say: YES all of my students. Those self-centered Millennials can drive a person nuts with their entitled attitudes. But, I know that’s not what the question is asking; so, here it goes.

Honestly, I think I would have to say my tendency towards being anti-social. I’m not a hermit or anything, I just really don’t like being around too many folks.

I’ve never been a party type person (at all). I’m pretty sure I was like ten the last time I even let my parents have a party for my birthday. That was about it though as I grew up. I loved going out and doing things. There wasn’t a weekend that went by where I wasn’t at the roller rink But, as I’ve aged, I’ve grown to like being at my place, doing what I want to do when I want to do it. I guess you can say that I have become a home body.

I really have no idea why I am this way, I just am. I’m trying to figure out a way that I can change it. I’m not there, yet, but I am terrified of becoming the crazy cat lady on the street who everyone is afraid of.

An army of one

“When was the last time you completely reversed an opinion you once held strongly? Have you become more set in your ways or less so as you’ve grown older.”

This is a very apt question for today. As I was driving into work this morning, I noticed a car in front of me with a bumper sticker that a machine gun on it with the words “come get me” underneath. It got me thinking.

My opinion on gun control has significantly changed over the years. I used to be completely anti-gun. Growing up, my mother and father wouldn’t even allow us to play with toy guns; so, I think I took the lead from that.

Let me start by saying that I am well aware of the second amendment “right to bear arms.” But, the Constitution states: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” (as cited at Cornell.edu, n.d.). We don’t need a Militia in modern times; we have police officers to maintain order and safety. Even having said that, I, being a college professor, completely understand the desire for protection; which is why I’m not completely anti-gun anymore.

But, at the same time, I don’t think semi-automatic or combat grade equipment is necessary. For protection, one doesn’t need a gun that shoots multiple rounds in a short amount of time; a simple handgun (or shotgun) would suffice. I’ll admit that I don’t know a whole lot about hunting; but, I’m fairly confident that one doesn’t need a semi-automatic for that either. Once again, a shot gun should do the trick.

I’ve considered getting a gun myself or at least learning how to shoot one. Every time I hear about another school shooting, I think about it. I can’t actually bring a gun with me to school; but, I suppose knowing how to shoot one (in case I can somehow disarm the bad guy) wouldn’t be a bad idea.

                                                                        Reference

Cornell School of Law. (n.d.). Second Amendment of the
Constitution. LII. Retrieved from:
https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/second_amendment.

Psychoanalysis

“If you knew that by seeing a psychoanalyst for two years you would achieve significant personal insights you would otherwise miss, and if you could afford the cost, would you start analysis?”

The short answer to this is who wouldn’t? I would. I enjoy learning about myself; especially when it makes me a better person.

Now for the long answer. I watched my mother struggle with fear and anxiety from the day she turned 30 until the moment she passed away a few weeks ago. She lived in extreme fear of death; so, psychiatrists and psychologists have long been a part of our family life. In my humble opinion, she did very little “living,” especially once she was diagnosed with cancer. While yes, it was her ultimate fear come true, she didn’t live while she had the chance. She slept and cried, and it killed me.

They say that our emotional health comes directly from one of our parents (mostly our mothers); so, yes, I’ve had my fair share of anxiety. There have been times I’ve struggled and let it stop me from living; but, not anymore. I began the process of self-discovery with a yearly new year’s resolution that I call “new year-new me.”

I think long and hard about what I would like to fix about myself and vow to change it throughout the year. I’ve all but tackled my fear of crowds, and I’m well on my way to being ok with flying. Last year I flew twice, only to Florida, but it’s a start. This next year I’ll be working on my penchant for being anti-social- both in my personal life and at work.

So, if I could have someone telling me what to fix about myself, and showing me how to fix it, I’d be there in a heartbeat. I want nothing more than to live my life (how ever long that may be) to its fullest.

P.S.  For the many of you who follow me closely, I thank you for the condolences on the loss of my mother and for staying with me while I took the necessary time off to grieve.  I am back now, stronger than ever!

If I see him…

“Are there any people you might see on the street and try to pretend you hadn’t seen them?”

Well, the short answer to this question would be:   see blog post from June 26. If you want a more complicated answer, then yes, there are two. While I was raised to forgive and forget, there are two passed relationships that I’d avoid.

The first one is the man I spoke of in my blog on June 26th. I’m not sure I could endure the awkward conversation that would likely stem from that meeting. Also, my guess is that his wife would probably be with him and I have absolutely no interest in seeing her, like ever. Side note: I’m not jealous of her in the slightest; I do believe in destiny, and maybe they were each others; I just have a hard time with the “you can’t talk to her” ultimatum she gave him. It just seems wrong to me.

The second, and likely the most important to this question, is another ex of mine who stole from me. You see, he and I dated at the time when social security numbers and such weren’t as hidden as they are now. Our numbers, birthdays, addresses, and phone numbers were right on our time cards, sitting in the office for everyone to see. He took it upon himself to get all of my information and have a female friend of his open a credit card in my name. She then put him on as an authorized user. He ran up a few grand in debt before I found out about the problem. Thankfully, I had an excellent lawyer and didn’t end up with the responsibility of having to pay it.

So for him, I think I’d likely punch him if I saw him in the street, which could end up with me getting arrested. So it’s probably just best if I never see him again.