Gluttony

I love food.  No, you don’t understand.  I can eat.  All of my friends share this same sentiment.  We even say we are “getting our FP on”, with “FP” standing for “fat pride”.  But there is a difference between eating and overeating.  To overindulge is something we all might have done on occasion.  Ever squeezed in dessert when you knew you were stuffed?  What about people who eat to the point that they cannot walk?  That is an example of gluttony.  Want to be utterly disgusted?  Check out this woman.  She wants, that’s right, she WANTS to hit 1,000 pounds.  Gluttony.  BUT gluttony is not only food related.  Some people (we like to call these people “attention-whores”) thrive on attention and being the center of the spotlight.  Some people thrive on fame and will do anything to obtain it.  Ever heard the phrase “glutton for punishment”?  Gluttony, though usually linked to food and over eating, is not only about food.

In my intro post concerning Greed, I stated that what fascinates me about the Seven Deadly Sins is that everyone can or has committed them without even thinking about it.  Large technology companies like Apple get a lot of their revenue for technology gluttons.  People who already have an iPhone, iPad, Macbook, but need the newest version.  They need the best.  They overindulge in technology. Gluttony.

How many of you are gamers?  How many of you spend money you could be spending on clothes or food on your online gaming subscriptions?  How many of you have been to midnight game releases?  How many of you have ignored friends or family because you were gaming?  Gluttony.

What about people who shop themselves into mountainous credit card debt?  Gluttony.

What about workaholics?

What about animal hoarders?

What about people who take vacations every month?

All addicts are guilty of gluttony.  Whether its cigarettes, alcohol, anything.

Gluttony is, simply put, overindulgence in ANYTHING, and if you broaden the definition to include everything that you can “overdose” on, we are all gluttons in some way, shape, or form.  Gluttony leads to waste.  People’s lives are wasted because they over eat.  Money is wasted on products we don’t actually need, but want.  Time is wasted searching for the spotlight.  Try your best to live within your means.  This post relates to the one about greed.  We become gluttons because we are greedy, because we want and can have more.  Maybe if we stopped overindulging, we wouldn’t be as greedy, and the world would be a better place.  Dream big.  =P

Too much, too soon?

People have always felt at ease around me.  I’m usually friendly, and people are always starting up conversations with me.  I guess I’m approachable.  I don’t mind talking to people.  What I do mind is being told things I have absolutely no desire to hear.  Here are a few real-life examples to help illustrate exactly what I mean (I am paraphrasing as accurately as I can):

A girl started working with me at a retail job.  We decided to get to know each other since we were the only ones our age at the store.  We went out for lunch (just Taco Bell) and got to know each other a little better.  The first thing she told me was, “Well, let me tell you about me.  I”ll be 19 in a few months.  I want to study fashion design.  I’m…I’m sort of a slut.  Like I will sleep with anyone.  I don’t know why.  I guess it’s because I’m pretty and I know it, so I figure, might as well get my kick while I’m young”…I didn’t know how to respond.  I just replied with, “Well, everyone likes sex…”  I mean, the first (okay, third if you want to be literal) thing she told me was that she was a slut…how…what…why?   Maybe if we were closer it wouldn’t have been as  awkward for me, but if i was a self-proclaimed slut, I’m not sure that is the first thing I would go around telling people…then again, maybe she was proud? I don’t fucking know.

A woman I babysat for was getting ready to go out with her husband.  I was heating up dinner.  This was maybe the second or third time I had come to sit for her.  Here’s how the conversation went:

“If the kids want, you can throw together a salad to go with the pizza.  Jessie* had been in a veggie phase lately,and that’s fine by me.”

“Ok, sounds good.  Is there anything I shouldn’t use?  Like something you’re saving?”

“Um, yes.  Don’t use the cucumber.”

“Ok.  But other than that I can use any of the other veggies or the dressings?”

“Yup. It’s just that Mitch and I are saving that cucumber for later tonight.”

“Oh, ok.  No worries.”

“Actually, could you take it out of the fridge maybe an hour before we get back?  We should be back around 1am.”

“Ok.  So take it out around midnight?”

“Yes, I dont want it to be cold…then again, do you think it would get soft by the time 1 hits?” (at this point I am both suspicious and a little concerned)

“Um…should be okay…I don’t know much about cucumbers…I mean, I’m sure if it was cut up, it would get squishy.” (I was desperately avoiding the words “soft” and “hard” at this point)

“Oh.  Well we aren’t cutting or peeling it.  Definitely not.  I think midnight should be fine.”  And with that, she and her husband left…I’m not sure what the cucumber was for…I don’t want to know…but I definitely have an idea…oh god…

A woman sat next to me at the train station.  All the trains had been delayed, so we had a while to wait.  She struck up a conversation with me.

“Where you headed?”

“Um, San Francisco.”

“Oh.  I’m going to San Bruno.  My boyfriend lives there.”

“Oh.  That’s nice…”

“Yup.  I mean, hes older, but hes a nice man.” (this woman was probably in her late forties)

“Well, that’s what really matters, isn’t it?”

“Well, yes, that and how good they are at sex.” (now I want to leave.)

“Oh…ya…I guess that matters too…”

“I mean, he isn’t the best, but he makes up for it” (as she said this she held up her hands and chuckled…I’m pretty sure the length she was designating with her hands is humanly impossible…)

“Oh…haha” (yes, I actually said “haha”, in that awkward, “fuck get me out of here” kind of way.

“And boy does he know how to use it.  I mean, he may be 60, but he’s in great shape, we can go for-” (at this point I started coughing.  Hacking.  Pretending to throw up [I’m not sure how much was pretending, to be honest].  ANYTHING to get her to stop talking and get me out of there).  I excused myself and darted towards the nearest restaurant.

I decided to stop at three because I think I have scarred you enough.  I have plently more of these stories though, all of them true, most of them ending in a “what. the. fuck.”  So, if you’re wishing you weren’t so shy or that you were more approachable, be careful what you wish for.

*All names have been changed…just in case.

Stuck

IT had only been twenty minutes, but it seemed like days.  Julie dug around in her over-sized purse for the granola bar she just knew sat somewhere at the very bottom.  Eli was watching her with curiosity.   They had never gotten along, but now, with nothing else to look at in the cramped space of the elevator, he was noticing little things about Julie that he had somehow overlooked in the years they had known each other.  Did she always bite her lower lip when she was concentrating?  How had he missed how gracefully her hands moved?  How had he overlooked these things?  Julie suddenly looked up at him, as if she had felt him examining her.  He looked away, pretending to be fascinated by the arrangement of the elevator buttons.

Julie stood up, took the three steps she needed to get to the other side of the passenger car, and slumped down beside him.  He focused intently on the buttons, and was trying so hard to not see her that it was all she could do but laugh.  Embarassed by his immaturity, he acknowledged her new place beside him and chuckled as well.  She had found the granola bar and was carefully unwrapping it.  He felt his stomach growl.  He hadn’t been hungry until he had seen her with food, but, being a gentleman, he was going to refuse it if she offered him any.  The idea was quickly thrown to the wind when she split the bar in half and handed him a piece.

“Well, at least I have food,” Julie said with a smile, finally breaking the silence that had lingered between them since the elevator stopped and they realized the emergency phone didn’t work.

“Ya,” Eli agreed, slowly chewing the granola bar, “and at least we have each other.”  He regretted what he had said the moment he felt the words escape his lips.  He swallowed hard.  He should have phrased that differently.  Julie never liked him due to the fact that she hated his brother.  To be honest, Eli wasn’t bad for a brother-in-law, but she just could not see past her sister deciding to marry that loser  brother of his.  Eli knew all of this, and returned Julie’s disregard for him with an identical sentiment, but the words he had just uttered were about to give away a secret he had kept from the moment he met Julie.  A secret he had no intentions of setting free anytime soon, especially while trapped in an elevator with her.

Things I absolutely cannont stand

I am the first person to tell you that I am easily annoyed.  I just find certain things beyond irritating.  I also have some weird “fears”.  They aren’t “fears” as much as they are “things I strongly dislike and kind of freak me out”.  So, I decided to compile a list of some things that fall into the “fuck, that irritates me” or the “omg, I can’t stand that because it freaks me out” categories. Note: the easily offended might want to go ahead and leave now. Here we go….

  1. People who cannot differentiate between homonyms.  If you are over 10 and still mix up “they’re”, “their”, and “there”, please do us all a favor and don’t reproduce.  I mean, unless you have a learning disability, there is no excuse for a sentence where “your” and “you’re” are switched.  I don’t care how much you hate it or how snotty is makes me sound, I WILL correct you.  If one of your tweets ends up on my timeline and reads something like “I meant to ax you if you’re mom was doing ok.  Sorry I couldn’t be their,” be prepared for me to reply to it with a correction.  Sure, I may be making myself look like a douchebag, but I’d rather be a smart douchebag than a dumbass.  Go back to elementary school and pay attention this time.
  2. Rugburn.  I cannot STAND hearing anything that sounds like something being rubbed on carpet.  People who drag their feet on carpet make me want to kill them.  Just the sound gives me the willies (whatever those may actually be…) and gives me goosebumps.  Don’t drag something you could have easily lifted across the living room carpet.  Pick up your goddamn feet.  It really isn’t that hard.  (The sound of Velcro also has this effect on me.  So, no, my future kids will not have those light up shoes with the Velcro straps, and yes, I will torture them with shoelaces.)
  3. Inconsiderate smokers.  I smoke and I take great care in making sure I hold my cigarette down and out of the way when people walk near me.  I don’t exhale near people.  I try to stand downwind from people.  Of course, exposing someone to my second hand smoke cannot always be avoided, but I try my best.  People who sit and smoke on playgrounds or hold their cigarettes right by a stroller carrying a child make me want to shove their lit cigarette where the sun doesn’t shine, to put it nicely.  Be aware of your surroundings.  Again, it isn’t that hard at all.
  4. People who don’t give up their seats on buses, trains, and other forms of public transport to those who are in need of a seat.  You’re 22 and yes, you are tired from being in the city all day, maybe you’re on your way home from work and cannot wait to collapse into your bed, but that elderly lady, the one with all the shopping bags? She is tired from her long LIFE, so get the fuck up and let her sit down.  I promise, it won’t kill you.  I actually got into an altercation on BART once because I got up to let a man with a cane sit in my seat and some young woman decided it was her opportunity to snatch the open seat.  NOT ON MY TRAIN, HONEY.  Have some freaking respect.  Shit.
  5. People who like to give me shit about cursing or smoking or drinking or anything else I may do that they don’t approve of.  Um, excuse you, are you my mother?  No?  Didn’t think so.  Do I try to coerce you into smoking?  Do I force alcoholic drinks down your throat?  What’s it to you if I get tattoos?  My life = my decisions.  I’ll deal with the consequences.  Oh, it isn’t lady-like to use profanity?  Well, why don’t you sit your fucking ass down and abstain while I say whatever shit I please.  If a guy doesn’t want to date me because I curse like a sailor, than I’m pretty sure I don’t want to date him either.  If a company won’t hire me because I have tattoos, I’m positive I wouldn’t want to work for them anyway.  Just because you think you’re somehow superior to me, doesn’t mean I give a flying fuck about how you want me to live my life, so shut up.
  6. Overly affectionate couples.  Now, I will admit, I’m not all that affectionate.  I don’t really engage in public displays of affection; you’ll rarely see me making out on a park bench with some guy.  BUT I just don’t think it’s right that we are subjected to couples practically mid-coitus at the beach.  Sure, it’s a free country, but really, I don’t need to see your tongue down your significant other’s throat.  I also don’t care what kind of couple you are.  Bi-racial, huge age gap, same sex-I don’t care.  Take it somewhere else.  I didn’t go to the beach to watch you get fondled.
  7. Elbows.  I have this weird aversion to elbows.  They freak me out just as much as carpets and Velcro.  It has something to so with how fragile I see them being.  Just skin over bones, unlike a knee which has a cap.  I mean, scrape your elbow badly enough and its just bone…no muscle or anything else.  I don’t like my elbows touched and I sure as hell do not like touching anyone else’s elbows.  Want to make me super uncomfortable?  Touch my elbow.  Want to see me scream?  Rub your elbow on some carpet.  Want to die?  Rub your elbow on some carpet while peeling apart Velcro.  C’mon.  I dare you.
  8. People who joke a lot, but you never know when they’re actually being serious.  When I joke in person, I usually smile or give some other indication that what I’m saying isn’t serious.  Whether it’s in my tone or my body language, people can tell when I’m joking.  This is generally the same with all people.  In the technological age we live in, however, it becomes harder.  Sarcasm doesn’t transfer over text message or Facebook comment easily.  When I’m making a sarcastic or non-serious comment, I usually throw a “haha” or “lol” (I’m infamous for overuse of “lol”) in there, but some people just make the comment without any indication that they are joking.  This has caused me much headache, especially when it comes to relationships.  I don’t know how many times people have texted me with “did you see what he just said on your Facebook status?  What an ass…” only to confront him about it and be told he was joking.  Well, a simple “lol” added to the end of your comment would’ve cleared that all up for everyone.  If it isn’t obvious you are joking, please save us the “are you serious?” texts and add in some sort of indication. (Also a strong argument for a “sarcasm” font)
  9. People who know or have done everything…and won’t shut up about it.  We all have that friend who has done everything, knows how to do everything, and has no problems rambling on about how much the know/have done.  Those people are the reason I don’t own a gun.  If I start talking about my iPhone, this person interjects and starts rambling.  I feel like interrupting him with, “Bitch, you own a Metro flip phone…shut the fuck up and let me finish.”  If someone starts talking about their trip to Spain, he’s been there and his trip was WAY better because you didn’t do half of what he did.  Mind you, he is pulling all of his stories out of his ass, but he is still better and more knowledgeable than you are.  If you went to Mars and met aliens, he has too…TWICE.  If you are taking a class on ancient Grecian hairstyles, he is suddenly an expert on the topic and, in fact, wrote a thirty page paper on the subject which was so good it was almost published….riiiiiiight…..You think I’m exaggerating?  We take precaution inviting him places.  If we don’t think we will be drunk enough to put up with his nonstop talking about himself, we don’t invite him.  I’ve met a few of these people, and I hate them all.
  10. Guys who put no thought into how they approach girls.  I am not going to lie, I get approached/hit on/whatever a lot.  I’m sure most of the women out there do.  I’m also sure you’ve had some guys open with things that just made you go *faceplam*.  Internet chat rooms/social networks/dating sites are quite popular and, let me tell you, things just get more interesting there.  I feel like responding to some of these messages with ” REALLY? Has that line EVER worked for you? EVER?”  And what’s with slowing down to watch me walk down the street.  A) that is just creepy. B) what the fuck do you expect to happen as you drive by?  You think I’m going to run to your car and get in?  Um…ya…NO.  I swear, if guys were just a tad more creative or original in how they approached me, I wouldn’t be such a bitch.  I know this puts more pressure on guys, but really, don’t greet me by staring at my chest, trust me, they won’t answer you.  Don’t open with something sexual.  Don’t slow down when you pass me on the street.  You’d be surprised at how far a simple “Hi, how are you?” will go.

I think 10 is a good place to stop, but trust me, there are MANY more.  What irritates you?

What did I do wrong?

He was cold, wet, and hungry.  He wasn’t sure where his family went, but he knew they would be back.  He sat at the back door, patiently waiting.  What were they going to do without him?  Who was going to play with the little boy?  Who was going to pick up all the dropped scraps from the kitchen floor?  Who was going to protect the house from intruders?

He had seen them putting everything into big boxes.  He had watched them move all the boxes into the big truck.  He had seen the couch he used to sleep on go into that truck along with the beds and the tables and all of the other furniture.  They would come back for him.  They had to come back from him.

The small awning that sheltered the door did not protect him from the rain.  His bowl was there with him, but had been empty for days.  Where were they?

Birds rustled in the bushes that lined the fence.  A squirrel scampered up the trunk of the large tree where the tire swing hung, barely moving in the autumn breeze.  The wind made a chill run through his damp fur.  He waited.

A few days later he heard a car pull up to the front of the house.  He sprang to his feet and began barking.  They were back.  They had come back for him, just like he knew they would.  He ran back to the door and waited, tail wagging mercilessly.  He heard them walking through the house, but something wasn’t right.  Something didn’t smell or feel right.

The back door opened,, only the worn, flimsy screen separating him from…this stranger.  Who are you?  He barked and the hair on his back stood on end.  The woman at the door looked at him and pulled out her phone.  The woman spoke kind words, but this was not his family.  This was not who he had expected.  The door closed once again.  He curled up on the porch as a light rainfall began and waited.  They will be back.

Not too much had time passed before there was another arrival at the house.  A man opened the door.  He definitely did not smell right, and what was in his hand?  He opened the screen door and showed no fear at the barks and growls and warnings to stay away.  The pole in his hand had a loop on the end and soon, it was around the dog’s neck.

I don’t know where I am.  It’s cold and unfriendly here.  There is no grass, only the hard, unforgiving concrete.  Where is my family?  Why did they leave me?  Will they be back for me?  Why did they stop loving me?  What did I do wrong?

Someone, help me.


The Jump

She was going to do it.  As she stood at the edge, the salty spray of the angry sea below misted her face.  She took two steps forward and peered over the edge.  That was quite a drop.  Assuming she missed the jagged rocks, she was hoping the strong tide of the storm would soon devour her.  She backed up and look out towards the horizon.  The sky was a sea of swirling black and blue. Every so often a streak of lightning would illuminate the outer edges of the thick clouds, heavy with rain that was soon to be spilled, and a rumble would pass through the sky.

Breathe.  It won’t hurt in just a few moments.  Just breathe.

Suddenly, the headlights were upon her.  He must have come home early.  He must have found the note.  He must have known she would come here to do it.  He must be trying to stop her.  He must be upset.

She glanced over her shoulder as the lights turned off, and he stepped out of the car.  She could barely see his silhouette, but she could feel that it was him.  He began running towards her, and she turned away, tears blurring her vision.

He doesn’t understand.  I need to do this.

She inhaled and took her two steps forward again, the dance she had been doing for over an hour.  He called out to her as he approached.  She pretended his words were lost in the wind.  She took a deep breath, her last, as he made it to her.  She was within an arm’s reach.

He could still save her.  He had to save her.

Greed

You have $100.  It was just given to you, no strings attached.  What do you do with it?  Go shopping?  Pay off some bills? Vacation?  How many of you would donate all of it?  Why not?  You didn’t earn this money.  The only reason it’s yours is because it was given to you, not because you worked for it.  The answer to my question is “because you are greedy”, and we all are.  To say you are not greedy is an outright lie.  No one is self-less, but we all have times where we took a little more than we need it, be it money or something else.  We are all guilty of greed at some point or another, and that is why it is one of the Seven Deadly Sins.

The Seven Deadly Sins have always fascinated me because, unlike something like the Ten Commandments, these are things we are all guilty of at some point or another.  This post is the first in a series (of 7, of course) where I will walk through my perspective on each of the 7 sins while simultaneously re-evaluating myself and hoping to make myself a better person.

I remember being a child and taking an extra cookie during snack time.  I remember racing out to the playground so I could get the best swing.  I’ve walked down the street and ignored the homeless who beg for change when I know I have a few dollars to spare.  I’ve bought two of the same shirt in different colors.  I’ve spent money I didn’t have through credit cards to purchase things I didn’t need, but wanted.  I’ve changed the channel during commercials asking me to help feed the children or rescue homeless animals.  I’ve committed the sin of greed on multiple accounts.  I could probably fill volumes with single accounts of my misbehavior.  I’m sure anybody could do the same.

We don’t commit greed because we are evil or self-centered.  We commit it because your entire life is about competition.  Be the best.  Have the best.  Dress the best.  Eat the best.  Do all of this and you will be superior to everyone else.  We try to teach our children the ideals of sharing, taking turns,  and never taking more than you need.  Yet do we teach by example?  Do we share our pennies with the poor?  Do we offer to drive if someone else is always ready, willing, and able to give us a ride?  Do we make purchases in moderation?  How many of us have closets that are full when we only wear maybe half of what we own?  How many of us toss out food because we bought more than we could use before it went bad?  How many of us would give that bag of chips that we don’t really want and came with our sandwich to the man sitting on the corner with the cardboard sign?  How many of us would stop printing our hundred page paper to let someone photocopy a single document?

It may seem like an overly Utopian idea, but maybe everyone should go out of their way to actively avoid being greedy just once a day, even once a week if that’s all you can muster.  Let the person into your lane versus speeding up and blocking them.  Give the woman standing on the side of the road a dollar.  Buy on dress instead of four.  Sit through that phone conversation as your friend goes on and on, and be supportive of their bad day.  Just the smallest change, just one little thing different in your day, could make a world of difference.

And remember, greed isn’t only about money.   Time.  Material possessions.  Food.  We can be greedy with all of these things.  You don’t have to be completely generous 24/7, but we don’t have to put ourselves first all the time either.  That is the essence of greed-putting yourself first when you don’t have to.