I Am Officially Defeated: By People.

This damn trumped-up and overhyped pandemic has taken a toll on each of us.

Individual characters, individual stories, individual circumstances. Crisis or not, that’s life.

Not gonna play catch up since this all came down. Not gonna retrace my steps or bullet-point the volume of Pandemic / Lockdown material.

Instead, I will share what has singularly impacted me and stayed with me the most in this past month.  A picture speaks a thousand words.

bareaisles

Every  TP aisle in every market every day for a month.  WE HAVE TREES, PEOPLE! WHAT WE DON’T HAVE IS THOUGHTFULNESS AND RESPECT TOWARD OTHERS.

 

Have not seen one roll of toilet paper for a month.

Some 12 markets in total. Different neighborhoods and times of day.

Not. One. Goddamn. Fucking. Roll. Ever. Anywhere.

That factoid’s not what slices my heart.

It’s what’s behind it, aka the rest of the story. Or True Story, in this instance.

It’s people.

It is people hoarding.

No. Dig Deeper.

It is Greed. It is Unabashed and Unmitigated Selfishness.

Bingo.

It’s communist Mother Russia on the shelves. Yet there is no reason or CAUSE for it.

As I’ve blogged before, all supplies for manufacturing and delivering toilet paper ARE STILL PRESENT. Ain’t like the forests all fucking burned down. Ain’t like delivery trucks are garaged.

There is but ONE AND ONLY ONE reason why shelves are stripped bare.

Goddamn fucking Greed. One of the 7 Deadly Sins, speaking of Easter.

That’s the True Story in that photo of decimated shelves. Soo so so so so many times I’ve gone into markets — sometimes 4 in a day — looking for toilet paper.

Not even for me. For others. To donate. Especially to elderly and disabled who are the first to be ripped to shreds by the Shark Tank that is People.

That’s the Belly Punch. Trying to help others from pure compassion. And I can’t.

I’ve felt deep despair going into markets to gather supplies for others.

And I’ve been defeated. For a month.

One question philosophically comes to mind, one that I dare not venture to address in a blog:

WHY THE FUCK BE GOOD IN LIFE?

The Vicious the Selfish the Greedy the Self-Serving Win Every Time. Perhaps they don’t win the battle but they WILL and DO win the war.

Time and time and day and day again those same stripped shelves greet me.  I think of elderly who can’t get their wrinkly hard-working hands on ONE roll of toilet paper.

And I understand how vigilantes are born.

We are a people in peril.

God, that motherfucker, can’t help, rather won’t.

Jesus, eh, believe as you wish.

Nothing and No Body alters the truth:

People are horrible. Not all of them. However, even a handful or two can destroy a nation and its people.

I despair not because of the absence of toilet paper (that I seek to buy for others) but because People Are Shit: In their Greed Selfishness and Utter Disregard for Others.

THAT is why I despair at Mother Russia-like Shelves Stripped Bare.

I’m supremely empathetic. I feel it all, human suffering always have.

And this raw uninterrupted exposure to human Greed  … Selfishness … WHEN THERE IS NO CAUSE OR REASON! … WE’RE NOT MOTHER RUSSIA STRIPPED OF TREES! ….

This is my most poignant and pointed experience in this pandemic.

Greed. Selfishness

I despair at fellow man.

I AM ASHAMED TO BE PART OF THE HUMAN RACE.

NONE of this did I create. NONE of this can I fix.

When evil triumphs — and it does — what then is the point of existing? Or applying all our will to survive against those Dark Forces?

Greed. Selfishness.

Happy Easter. Yeah, right. Because people are so damn good?!?!

I’m defeated by people.

I am defeated.

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Bigfoot or Brawny? Which the rarer sighting?

Bigfoot and paper towels got something in common.

They exist.

But I expect to see one sooner than the other.

Charmin toilet paper and Brawny paper towels do exist. In abundance.

Trees from which the products are sourced haven’t disappeared. They’re plentiful.

Ditto paper processing and manufacturing plants. Ditto delivery systems and trucks (bless these truckers in trying times!).

The ONE reason the ONLY reason shelves are ghost towns is:

People.

In their utter greed. Their reprehensible selfishness. Their total disregard for or AWARENESS of others.

I’ve not seen even one roll of TP or paper towels in any of the dozen stores I’ve visited, some on the daily, in the past two weeks — and growing.

I’ve now concluded that I won’t. No time soon, probably months.

I stand a better chance of spotting Bigfoot in the Cascades of  the Northwest … Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands …the kraken in Norwegian waters …

… than I have of finding just one roll of TP or paper towels on ANY shelf ANYWHERE in massive PHOENIX: population: 5+ million!

This ain’t rinky-dink-middle-of-nowhere USA.

Expecting to see no paper products for months, I’ve prepared, taken inventory of my supplies.

(1) Two rolls of paper towels.

These I won’t touch unless ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY — when no substitute will do, i.e., cleaning windows and mirrors.

“Unfortunately” for me in these times, I’m quite the clean freak! Neat freak. My place is pretty spotless all the time so a moratorium on paper towels presents a challenge.

However, even before this  absurd crisis, I was strongly mindful about using resources conservatively — i.e., reusing paper towels repeatedly until reusability was exhausted.

To preserve this precious commodity that is a single sheet of paper towel, I’ll be using a cheap thin flimsy washable cleaning cloth from China — a cruel joke!  Poor substitute for paper towels indeed but it’s all the store had, thank you motherf-ing hoarders.

(2) Two packages of toilet paper.

Will not touch unless ABSOLUTELY necessary, if you get my drift. Otherwise, another washable Chinese cloth to catch pee drips suffices.

Truth is:

Human Greed does not go away.

Hoarding, a consciousness of ME ME ME AND ONLY ME AND NO ONE ELSE BUT ME … here to stay.

Depriving others for one’s selfish gains … injustices … wrongful actions that cause hurt, harm, suffering and lack for others  … these and worse are ever present.

(p.s. unsurprisingly, these behaviors have sent gun and ammo sales soaring.)

So as I adapt to “What Is: According to the People’s Rules Book that I Did Not Write, Co-Author or Edit” I pen with unabashed conviction:

I shall be sighting Bigfoot before a bundle of paper towels.

OLD MYTH CIRCA 1958:

bigfoot

BIGFOOT AVOIDING PEOPLE. Can’t blame him.

NEW MYTH 2020:

papertowels

REMEMBER THIS RELIC?

Waving a white flag to White Castle

I don’t do drive-thru’s.

Not when it’s 115 degrees (46.1 C) — which it is for a solid two months here in Phoenix, Arizona.

Not during wild monsoons — which are supposed to happen June-September but this year we got gypped, hence the “Nonsoons” moniker.

Not even if the drive-thru’s wide open.

Only one thing makes me go through: the lobby’s closed. I got no choice. And truth be told, even then more often than not I’ll skip the drive-thru ’cause of the line.

There’s no fast-food or beverage I want or need enough to make me wait in a line of more than 3 cars max.

So I was blown away, though not surprised, when I read this today:

“More than 24 hours after the record-setting opening of the world’s largest White Castle, the first in Arizona, a line of hungry fans snaked from the fast-food chain’s counter out the front door and into the parking lot.”

Okay, I know. Blogged on it yesterday. Continue:

“As the sun began to set on the restaurant’s second day of business, a queue of cars partly blocked traffic on nearby streets. Fortunately for those driving in the area … multiple police officers were on hand to maintain order.”

Well, least they got cops in place. Someone was usin’ his noggin. Continue:

“That line, however, was not for the drive-thru. It was a lane where cars could enter the parking lot to get into another line for the drive-thru, where customers faced an approximately two-hour wait.”

Let me repeat:

“That line, however, was not for the drive-thru. It was a lane where cars could enter the parking lot to get into another line for the drive-thru.”

WHY. THE. HELL. would anyone do that? Choose that? Endure that?

And for what?!

Ain’t like White Castle was handing out plots in Atherton, California, where vacant and residential land ranges from $6,750,000 to $6.9 million (CAD $8,815,837 to $9.1 million) — without a house!!

Where a 1.43-acre property recently sold for $6.9 million.

Ain’t like White Castle was gifting every customer a Ferrari.

Or sodas laced with gold flakes.

Or a lifetime of free burgers.

They swarmed indeed like locusts for a meal. For that day. That’s all.

I still don’t get it any more today than in yesterday’s post.

I seriously do not know what tick is in the brains of people who can, will and do wait in line for 2 hours … 10 hours … 2 days … 4 days … for ANYTHING — in this case fast-food for god’s sake!

If you can proffer an opinion, I’d be interested!

I’ve pondered this quite a bit in my lifetime.

I think it might come down to mob mentality.

That. Terrifies Me.

In a burning building, I’d be infinitely more afraid of being utterly disregarded, unseen and trampled to death by my fellow human beings than dying by smoke inhalation.

Ditto open public spaces where something terrible erupts — be it a force of nature (i.e. lightning strikes, flooding) or manmade (i.e., terrorist attack).

People en masse frighten the fuck outta me.

I’ve SEEN what they’re capable of.  We’ve all read stories like rock concerts turned fatal.

I want NO PART of human swarms and stampedes. In this lifetime or any other!

Let me iterate so the universe hears me unequivocally loud ‘n’ clear: I want NO PART of human swarms and stampedes. In this lifetime or any other!

Even a somewhat crowded store causes me to flee to the sidelines. Or exit door.

So observations inform me that those who can wait for days and hours and smush one another for something — be it burgers or Black Friday — are equally capable of stampeding.

I’m not that person in any event.

Guess it goes without saying that I won’t be paying a visit to White Castle in Scottsdale, Arizona, any time soon.

Not even a free multimillion-dollar acre of land in (barf) California could entice me into those hordes and wait times!

So I’m waving the white surrender flag to White Castle for a good long while.

So it remains me ‘n’ you, babe, In-N-Out Burger. Lobby please. No drive-thru.

Yes, Virginia, there ARE just two types of people

“There are two types of people,” said my dad in one of his random bits of wisdom that’s remained in my brain for some 50 years.

“The Takers and the Givers,” said he.

Oh. How. Right. He. Proved. To. Be. That life has proven him to be.

My edition:

“There are two types of people. The Talkers and the Listeners.”

When you strip the statements down to their basics, the fundamental is identical. Takers = Talkers. Givers = Listeners

I’ve been seeing — rather, listening — to it in action for the past 1-1/2 hours. At a cafe. Two gals guesstimated 20-21 years old at the next table.

The blonde has been yammering yammering yammering for just about the entire time. Spilling out her evidently boyfriend problems in dull dramatic detail. “Like he said this, then I said that, then he said he didn’t know how to do that, and I said …” you get the picture.

Her friend with long dark hair has been listening listening, rarely commenting and even more strikingly not riveted to her cell phone, which is the modern American custom.

Irony is, from what I overheard before popping in the earbuds and dialing up Pandora, the gist of the Talker’s — the blonde’s — ceaseless chattering is Dull Drivel.

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

oops, dozed off

Meanwhile, the friend with the straight long raven hair who’s hardly said anything comparatively has much more to talk about. Much more interesting content at least.

She’s about 6 months pregnant.

I am that Raven. Minus an infant-in-creation. Or the hair.

I’m the one who Listens Listens Listens Listens Listens Listens and Listens to the entire world. To the entire fucking world.

I am the Giver in my dad’s equation.

And in this current scenario, the Blonde Chatty Cathy is the Taker. Take take take take taking up air space. Taking up time and energy from Raven — who should be cited for her patience.

This scene got me thinking. If Blonde Chatty Cathy is already so ENGROSSED in her own adolescent-y stuff, is such a selfish Taker and Talker at age 20 (ish), what’s she gonna be like when she’s 30, 40?

Because by that time, you can’t blame Diarrhea of the Mouth on youth or immaturity.

I can tell you what she’s gonna be like: One in an infinite number of middle-aged women who doesn’t shut the fuck up.

It’ll be all about her, her kids, her husband, what they’re doing, not doing, what she said, what they said …. blahblahblahblahblahblahblah ………………..

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

So dad, you were absolutely spot-on.

There’s two kinds of people in the world: The Takers and the Givers.

The ratio in my observation: 80% to 20%.

AND: There are the Talkers and the Listeners.

That ratio: 95% to 5%.

Praise the lord for Pandora and earbuds!! — for without ’em, well, either I’d-a grabbed the long hair of Blonde Chatty Cathy and dragged her outta the cafe caveman/woman style …. or this post woulda been bursting with profanities!

The final word I leave to this dear ol’ dude:

shutup

 

Jet engines got nuthin’ on Noise Polluters

Peace and quiet in nature.

Remember the days when you’d go on a hike or stroll in a park, in the hills, around a lake and contemplate? Destress? Simply: Breathe and Be.

Or simply enjoy the song of Mother Nature: her winds, her birdsong, her rustling of leaves and twigs by the scampering of unseen creatures?

Remember the days when Nature was our source of solace? Of Space? Of Solitude?

Those days are o-v-e-r.

To illustrate from only the most recent of experiences.

I park in the dirt lot near the trailhead.

Next to me a woman exits her car. Steps to the rear, lifts the hatch then barks: “WAIT!” {pause}

Two dogs come bounding out. One large one small. All super-excited and ramped-up about their impending walk.

Each dog’s leashed. The lady struggles to control their stir-crazy enthusiasm. Especially the dog’s who’s bouncing my direction. Fortunately she pulls him/her before I’m assaulted by an unfamiliar canine.

What’s remarkable in this otherwise un-newsworthy scene is:

She’s got her cell phone glued to her ear! Talking!

The entire time!

From when she exits the car to leashing and letting out and “controlling” rambunctious canines, she never sets the phone down. Never misses a beat of conversation.

Which, from what I overhear, without consent or desire, is typical drama-ridden world-revolving-around-me-nobody-else-exists-selfish BS.

She keeps on talking with phone propped by left shoulder against her ear through it all.

I stand waiting between the cars while she reins in her dogs so I can safely pass. I look directly at her. “Looks like the most important thing is to take care of the dogs” — or something to that effect.

Meaning: In the mayhem, your top responsibility is getting the dogs organized and under control in the presence of another human being (stranger).

Rude Lady with Unruly Dogs nods. Yet her actions speak differently. Being on her phone is priority.

Despite the fodder for an endless regurgitation of Shit Behavior by People on Phones, I give you this, the crux of the reason this bothers me so very much:

The lady didn’t shut the fuck up. Even in nature.

Every-fucking-where you go, there they are. Talking on phones. Despite signs that instruct otherwise. On their phones in the most inappropriate of places (i.e., bathroom stalls). In the most sacred of spaces and places.

But you know all this.

I go hiking to get away from people on phones.

Repeat: I go hiking to GET AWAY FROM PEOPLE ON THEIR FUCKING PHONES.

Respite. Rest. Relaxation.

How foolish am I?!?

Yet there I am — hardly for the first time, I’m sickened to say — seeking solitude and quietude that only Mother Nature can provide. Only to have it ruined, in this instance, by the Rude Lady with Unruly Dogs.

The face may change but the song stays the same.

There’s a very significant reason I need that walk in nature on this particular day. Won’t share why, only that it has to do with death.

That Rude Lady with Unruly Dogs and I are heading to the same trail.

I’m not about to endure her obnoxious Me-Me-Me when I need the space and silence — so. very. strongly.

So short of yanking her phone and stomping on it — better yet, smashing it with any of the innumerable large rocks yearning to be put to good use! — I do the only thing I can do legally:

I run.

(p.s. I’m not a runner, rather a swimmer.)

Over the rocks and through the woods to Mother Nature’s house I go.

I run as fast as my old little legs and worn New Balances and right ankle, still hurting from a recent severe sprain, would take me.

I run ’til my breathing labors as do ears for any sound of Rude Lady.

That’s one more thing that people on phones DON’T SEEM TO KNOW — or care about; they certainly don’t respect it:

Sounds are amplified in open space in nature … and amid hills and canyons and valleys, they bounce about. The echo effect.

I run run deep into the hills, stopping only when intuition tells me I’ve put significant distance between us.

Finally: peace.

I never see — rather hear from — Rude Lady with Unruly Dogs again. When I eventually return to my car, she’s gone.

Too bad, really. I was gonna write a note for her windshield. Off the cuff, something like:

“There are many people who come to Mother Nature for many reasons. They are troubled. They are hurting. They are happy. They are exercising. They enjoy beauty. Whatever the reason, they all have one thing in common: They seek the peace and solitude that only nature can provide.

“You — and people like you — destroy it with your yammering on your phones.

“Despite our objections, you  won’t be deterred from polluting public spaces with your incessant self-involved talking. So can you draw from any decency that may be left in you and leave us in peace in the great outdoors. Respect us. Respect Mother Nature.”

The roar of jet planes got nuthin’ on these Noise Polluters. Seriously.

To them, I’d love to shout SHUT UP! from the mountaintops.

But they won’t hear it over their own damn voices.

Even Mother Nature herself must be sobbing. Such reckless disrespect by so/too many who revere their cells more than her spacious skies.

So if even the hills and trails, mountains and valleys aren’t safe from the Noise Polluters, where’s left to go for nature’s serenity?

It’s come to this:

singlerowboat

my future home?

Seek and Ye Shall Find. They Say.

No. Sounds lovely but not true.

Yesterday’s migraine.  Oh what a migraine it was!

Today it’s tapering off, in the final phase, in what’s called the postdromal phase.

Yes, research and science have found four migraine stages: (1) predromal phase – early warning signs; (2) aura phase – strange feelings start; (3) attack phase  – migraine underway; (4) postdromal phase – after migraine.

Each phase has distinct and discernible characteristics.

However, I’m not here as a scientist, rather a migraineur.

Yesterday’s was a real doozy. Once I got through my 4-5 p.m. work shift, all I wanted to do was go home.

Shut out the world. Lie down on my bed.

Open all windows to let in the clean refreshing cool air after the monsoon.

Close my eyes. Rest. Breathe in the quiet.

I could have none of it.

Because my neighbor James never turns off the monstrosity that is his swamp cooler. The tally to date: 2-30. That’s wins to losses after he promised to shut off the Noisy Beast when it’s not hot (it’s not) and when he’s away.

Well, he’s away like all the time. And the mother-er still runs.

But back to the migraine.

I need my home. I need my home to be my sanctuary. A place of respite. Safety. Peacefulness. I’ve paid my dues a thousand times over with domestic wars, abuses, upheavals, distresses starting in childhood. Oh the stories I could write about roommates!

I’m 59 now. It’s time for my home to be a good thing not a hell on earth to escape.

James isn’t a bad person. However, he is a bad neighbor. He can do better. We need to talk again.

But how do you talk with someone who’s never home and yet the Montrosity spins and spins and spins, screeching its siren, 24/7?! Every day of the week. Every week of the month. Rain or shine. Cloudy or clear.

Swear to god, it could be snowing and he’d be running it! He’s just … well, a bad neighbor. At this time.

Back to the migraine.

I couldn’t go home for relief for obvious reasons. His metal beast is outside my bedroom window. It’s audible through the walls and with all windows and doors sealed.

Actually it’s on the side with the most windows and doors — also a problem. I’ve been forced to keep them closed for the past month+ even though my nature and desire are to have them open for fresh air and circulation. I told him that.

It’s a mobile-home park so spaces are tight and narrow, sounds audible and amplified.

I am beside myself with frustration and rage toward James for this past month where he’s failed so miserably in doing the right thing. Which is being a good neighbor. The first ingredient: attentiveness.

Yesterday’s bone-crunching migraine really drove home — haha, no pun intended — the message. Just like the 1,000 spikes piercing my skull.

What I needed — a quiet space that would hold me as the migraine passes — was not available. Was taken from me on another’s thoughtlessness. Forgetfulness. Bad neighborliness.

Seek and ye shall find? No. What I sought was healing silence. What I found was a shit swamp cooler that doesn’t shut the fuck up ’cause the neighbor doesn’t shut it off!

So what’d I do? What could I do? I couldn’t go home.

Well, I couldn’t rent a motel room! $ for starters but this weekend is Rodeo Weekend! People from around the country have flooded this little town for the world’s oldest rodeo! It’s the town’s moneymaker of the year. You cannot find a motel room to save your life!

Or grant relief to a migraineur.

So I could do nothing but endure and avoid going home. Kill 5 hours hanging around downtown, walking aimlessly and blindly (the migraine effect) with a jaws of life crushing my little skull.

That walking could last only so long in a small downtown so I switched over to until 10 p.m. closing.

Five hours wasted. Five hours that could’ve and should’ve been spent home in bed. And would’ve been … were James being a good neighbor.

By turning off that motherfucking monstrosity of his swamp cooler. Instead of letting it run ALL THE TIME when it is not needed. 24-7. Every day of the week. Every week of the month and more.

James did not give me my migraine.

However, he gives me reason to hate him as a neighbor.

He gives me reasons to invent stories that’ll end the problem. I won’t share, let’s just say the suspense/crime/mystery genre is my fav for a reason!

He gives me 50 Ways to Disconnect a Cooler. Subversively.

Most of all — most distressing of all — James gives me: Bad Neighborliness.

James, if you’re listening up there:

You’ve been a bad neighbor for more than a month. You’ve done none of what you said you would do: Turn off the cooler when it’s not too hot and when you’re away. You’ve failed and are failing to be a good neighbor.

You can do better. Much better.

I need my home back now.

I need my sanctuary and my space. My solitude and my home as a haven, not a hell.

I need to come home and have it be quiet.

And, as yesterday’s migraine teaches poignantly and powerfully, I need that silence when my head is being ripped apart by a wild animal.

Listen closely James.

The season of inattention and forgetfulness is over. I’ve endured it. I’ve endured it long enough. You’ve had plenty of time and opportunities to do the right thing. You’ve failed.

The inattention. The forgetfulness. The thoughtlessness.

 

It needs to stop. Now.

You need to do what you said you would do. Turn off the cooler when it’s not too hot and when you are away.

You’re being called upon to consider your neighbors. To step up to the plate. To do what you said you would do. In doing so, you grow. You restore harmony.

James, your swamp cooler score today is 2 wins 30 losses. You can do better.  So much better.

Be a good neighbor. Like Nike says, Just Do It.

My migraines and I will be so grateful.

 

Be a Good Neighbor or Go.

A power saw to the montrosity to shred it to smithereens.

Poison in the water for the bad neighbor who isn’t doing what he said he’d do and making my home hell.

Slicing the cord running outside his home that powers that damn monster.

Tearing apart limbs joint by joint.

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens.

Forget those! None’s my favorite thing. Not today.

I like my ideas a whole lot better – today.

I’ve got a swamp cooler (aka evaporative cooler) next to me — 20 steps outside my door — the size of a Japanese car.

It SOUNDS like a Japanese car with its engine idling.

Also SOUNDS like a police car with its siren blaring. Telling you to pull over. Unless it’s your lucky day and he’s after somebody else. Whew. Wipe brow.

The Montrosity needs repairs. But the landlord — my lying thieving landlord I discovered but that’s another tale — won’t repair it like the law requires. And she won’t let me repair it by hiring and paying for a serviceman.

So I’m kneecapped. Powerless. Stymied. Screwed.

James my neighbor is the one with the swamp cooler. He’s 20. Living on his own for the first time. He’s not a bad boy doing bad things in the world because he can. He’s not out front pulling wings off flies or swinging cats by their tails.

Immature, yes. But he’s not stupid.

What he is is forgetful. Fucking forgetful.

It’s making him a bad neighbor. A Fucking Bad Neighbor.

A month ago we talked about turning off the Montrosity for noise reduction when it’s not too hot.

He agreed. Moreover, he understood the pain of migraines. I get migraines. They make sounds unbearable.

We had a short hot spell. Even then, nights were still pleasant.

Now the monsoon season’s just started. Temps are down. Like 85 in the day, 60 at night.

ZERO need for a swamp cooler! In fact, using a swamp cooler’s useless in humidity!

Still, he lets that motherfucking monstrosity run.

For one reason: JAMES NEVER TURNS IT OFF!  Even though he promised he would. Even though it’s not hot. Even though he’s NOT HOME.

That monstrosity is on 24/7 and HAS BEEN for a month.

Swear to god, a blizzard could be raging and he’d still run that damn thing.

That’s James. Paying zero attention. Not being a man of his word. Not thinking of the impact of his actions — or lack of action — on others.

That’s James. Being A Bad Neighbor.

A month it’s been since talk. The swamp cooler tally:

2 wins – 27 losses

Bad Neighbor, James in #8. Bad Neighbor.

I’m really screwed now. He’s not been home for days so I can’t even talk to him about this.

Talk we must. It must happen. It’s the right thing to do.

I suspect he’s away for the holiday Monday. Don’t know. Don’t need to know. Don’t care.

I care about only one thing:

Is he being a good neighbor.

He is NOT. He gets an F. For failing to do what he said he’d do. An F for fucking up the flow of harmony and goodwill. An F for Failing to Be a Good Neighbor.

He’s been irresponsible. Oblivious. Forgetful. Unreliable. Undependable. Not to be trusted. Not to be believed.

Only one person can fix that. Only one person can do what was promised. Only one person can step up to the plate and be a man.  Be a good neighbor.

That is  James in #8 mobile home.

Looks like I’ll hafta wait ’til after the July 4 holiday to talk to him.

By then, his win-lose tally’ll be about 2-36.

+ + +

Here’s what I wanna tell the world:

It is SO MUCH EASIER to do the right thing than the wrong thing.

It’s SO SIMPLE to be thoughtful. Considerate. Kind. Responsive.

For James specifically: It’s SO easy to do the right thing.

It’s SO SIMPLE to ask himself: “Is it hot? Do I need this on?”

To ask himself: “I’m not even home. Do I need this on?”

It’s SO EASY to push a button. That is ALL he has to do.

With one simple push of a button, goodwill flows into the world. Into the neighborhood. Into the tiny narrow space separating his place from mine.

People can choose to be bad.

Or they can be good.

They can do the wrong thing — sometimes the fucking wrong thing. Heinous crimes and all that.

Or they can do the right thing.

I certainly don’t know all there is to know in life. But I do know:

The simplest action is usually the right action.

When you do the right thing, you are above reproach.

When you do the right thing, everyone benefits.

When you do the right thing, it is inherent goodness.

So I am requesting again of James in #8 mobile home:

Do the right thing.

Be a Good Neighbor.

You can do better. I know you can. You know you can.

If you will not, then please vacate the space so another who is a good neighbor can come.

It’s how it is here. The layout, the vibe, the energy, the character of the park.

If you don’t fit, then you need to go. Not the good neighbors. The bad neighbors. Your call, James. Your growth. Your choice. Your goodbye if you continue to fail, as you’ve so horribly have, in being a good neighbor.

This request is fair, just, honest. It is aligned with the spirit of goodwill, harmony and neighborliness.

It is for the good of all.

Meet the Meetup Muckers

“I don’t feel like it.”

“I woke up with a sinus headache. Could be the weather.”

“I got a bug this morning.”

“I sprained my knee. My doctor told me to stay off it this weekend and call him Monday morning.”

These are reasons I’ve gotten from Meetup people for bailing at the last minute at parties I’ve created in my home.

Let’s not call ’em reasons. Let’s call them what they are. Excuses.

Excuses for bailing out of a Yes RSVP the day of the party. In some cases an hour before.

An hour!

Unless it’s a genuine emergency or sudden development demanding your attention, my tolerance for No-Shows and Last-Minute Bailers is:

zero

Big and Fat

I looove hosting parties in my (newish) place! Cooking for Others + Games = Let the Good Times Roll!

Extraordinary care, thought, planning, preparations and personal expense go into creating events for the enjoyment of all.

There’s a vast difference in feeding and liquoring up 10 people or 5. In menu planning. Shopping. Costs.

A big difference in dressing and setting a table to seat 8 or 4.

So when some jerk, correction jerkS, don’t show or bail with some flimsy excuse the day of … and HOUR before! … the party, it’s far more than an inconvenience practically and pragmatically.

It is fucking RUDE!

Take Will for example. He wanted in on my home party the day before. I messaged: Sure, there’s still a seat open, you’re welcome to join!

About two hours before the party, he messages:

“I sprained my knee. Doctor says to stay off it this weekend and call him Monday. Can I have a rain check?”

I’m pissed. For starters, I’ve already accommodated his last-minute arrival in food, drink, table seating.

Above all, it’s just RUDE. Selfish. Inconsiderate. Thoughtless. Disrespectful.

So I message him:

“There are seats here.”

This isn’t a DANCE party, Will! — is what I wanted to say! (But didn’t; I graciously bit my tongue.) You wont be standing. This is a sit-down dinner. With a game where you’ll be seated. You’ll need to walk all of 50 feet from your car to my place!

I’m sure you’ll walk at least that far in your home “before you call the doctor Monday.”

So don’t give me shitty stupid flimsy excuse for not wanting to come at the last minute.

If you’re not willing to honor your Yes RSVP and take your reserved seat THAT YOU REQUESTED may I remind you! then you have no place in my life. And home.

And no, Will, you cannot have a rain check!

Experience hosting  a few Meetup events has schooled me in No-Shows and Last-Minute Cancellations.

It reads something like:

Tremendous care, planning, preparations and expense go into creating events for all guests to enjoy. No-shows and last-minute cancellations, barring emergencies, affront hosts and guests at any event. Thus a Meetup member who has been a no-show or last-minute cancellation in events I’ve hosted may not attend subsequent ones. Thank you.

I put extraordinary effort into creating parties, down to the finest detail and penny. From weeks of researching recipes to food prep to making and hanging decorations to dressing the table to setting the places to cleaning the house front to front and side to side to the flowers chosen for the occasion to the music, the love is palpable when a guest walks in the door.

It is work, yes.  Joyful work. I loooooove cooking and feeding people, having small groups in my home, playing games. This is a vision of heart and soul long in cold storage and now being nurtured as the tiny seed it is.

My dream is a bouquet of blooms: friends in the home, breaking bread together, caring for and respecting one another, listening to and sharing with one another.

I will not have flakes in my home. Do not need it, want it or benefit from it in ANY way.  I will not and do not tolerate it.

No-shows and last-minute cancellations are endemic on Meetup. Organizers and hosts everywhere struggle with how to manage them.

Most hosts don’t. They let ’em run roughshod.

Take Will for example. Not the one with the “bad knee,” another Will.

I know him a little personally but that’s neither here nor there.

He consistently RSVPs yes to Meetup gatherings. Then doesn’t show.

His is one of the worst No-Show track records. Where he excels is in disappointing and letting people down. Time after time after time.

Yet hosts continue to let him come!

Not I.

So when he RSVP’d yes to my latest dinner-and-game party, I messaged him uh-uh and here’s why. (gist of message above)

His response: a RUDE “I don’ want or need people like you in my life!” Then he proceeded to block ME!

No skin off my teeth. Clearly a man (late 50s/early 60s) with a rather poor sense of personal responsibility.

If more Meetup organizers/hosts banned No-Shows and Last-Minute Cancels — excepting true emergencies/situations, “I just don’t feel like going” DOESN’T cut it! — then guess what. Either they’d change their behavior. OR they’d take it elsewhere.

Here’s the forgotten secret:

When you tolerate Bad Behaviors, Discourtesy, Disrespect, Disregard and Genuine Rudeness from Meetup members at your events, guess what:

That’s what you’ll get. IT WILL CONTINUE!

The Meetup Muck and Mire is atrocious.

It is rampant. Ubiquitous. Here to stay. It’s reflective of an American culture Full of Self and Absent Common Courtesy, for starters.

However, I do not need or desire it in my close personal life or in my home. It will not be tolerated.

Mine is a 1-strike rule.

My guests who do show up are better off for it. My parties are better off for it. My well-being is better off for it.

So to all you Meetup Muckers:

Move along. Nothing to see here.

Save for:

Unknown

Announcement to Meetup No-Shows and Last-Minute Cancels

 

Pop! Pop! go the balloons. And my heart.

So the super-duper birthday party last week.

You may attribute my silence to being crashed out on the floor from all the excitement.

I’m on the floor all right! From disappointment and heartache. Because no one showed up.

Was to be a party of four — all March birthdays. To you, four does not a party make. To me, loner that I am and much too isolated for much too long, it is!

The shindig was arranged through Meetup.com. A giant site for meeting people, not dating!

One gal bailed on the morning of the party. No explanation. Just boom, changed her RSVP from Yes to No.

That left three. Still a party, in my book. Still super-exciting since having anyone in my space aside from roommates is so foreign.

Nancy and Debra. Also March babies (like yours truly) and friends to each other. They were coming together.

Until an hour — AN HOUR — before the party, I got a message.

“My friend doesn’t feel like going. Since she’s my ride, we’re not coming.”

Repeat. My friend DOESN’T FEEL LIKE GOING.

Just like that. Like today’s typical self-centered the-world-revolves-around-me 22-year-old. Except she’s not. Guesstimated age: 50.

I wanted to throw up. But I couldn’t. Wanted to cry. The tears lodged in my stomach then hardened into unmovable rock.

My stomach: the lifetime repository for all pains, hurts, angers, disappointments and black emotions. I *really* dislike crying. “Big girls don’t cry” my mother (yes mother, not father — there’s a gender twist!) implored me but not my younger sister, the star child she adored who could do no wrong while I was all wrong for being alive).

So I accept stomach problems in exchange. (Oh yeah. Add hate into the stomach mix. Major mother issues unresolved.)

The party aftermath, it wasn’t pretty. Best leave that alone.

The house, however, it was pretty. Truly beautiful. Sparkly clean. Such mindfulness  in the decorations. Simple, playful and creative. Such JOY in creating it all over several days.

And the food. Did I mention the joy of shopping? In the breaking of bread together?

Consider it mentioned.

Oh, and what of the homemade chocolate torte? That I decorated with the same joy and excitement as the rest of the party prep.

Two slices I had then into the trash it went.

Like I’ve long said: People. They ruin everything.

It’d be on my gravestone were I to have one. I won’t. So consider that my final thought on humanity.

And the party-poppers.

A birthday party to remember indeed.