Thursday Things

1. Is there some sort of rule that all low budget commercials must be inherently creepy?

Fortunately I no longer have to endure this while watching the morning news during breakfast, because Feldco has  since switched to a new commercial, but every time it (or any other similar ad) came on, it made me think of wholesale window retailer ads that used to air in my hometown, and those were always ridiculously creepy, too. I mean, I get budget constraints, but surely, surely, there must be a way to make cheap commercials without making me terrified of buying windows. Right? Am I completely off base here?

2. Just popping in here as your friendly neighborhood Bachelor of Arts in English to correct a grievous usage error I’ve seen at an alarming frequency around Blogland over the past couple of months:

Weary (def.): physically or mentally exhausted by hard work, exertion, strain, etc.
Leery (def.): wary, suspicious

Weary ≠ leery, people. If you’re unsure of someone’s motives, thoughts, behaviors, patterns, etc., you are LEERY of them. You’re not WEARY of them (unless, of course, you’re beyond tired of hearing someone talk about something, in which case you might be weary of listening to them talk about it).

While we’re on the topic of grammar pet peeves, “as per usual” is redundant. It’s either “as usual” or “per usual,” not “as per usual.” I have this on solid, academic, professor-endorsed authority.

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3. So I accidentally signed up for a softball team on Sunday. Whoops.

“Spontaneous” is really probably a better word to describe what happened than “accidental.” Well, maybe spontaneous isn’t even the most accurate word. Something like this has been a long time coming, I suppose. Everything has been coming to a head over the past few weeks, and Sunday was finally the last straw. Basically, I feel exceptionally unfulfilled relationally in Chicago, and as a person who needs relationships, it’s very frustrating and disheartening to feel that way. For me, there’s a pretty big difference between surface friends and relational friends*, and while I’m not lacking for surface friends, I’m not quite where I want to be in the relational friend department. Certainly, a lot of this has to do with me. I’ve been more or less resting on my laurels, waiting for relationships to develop organically when honestly, that’s just not going to happen if I keep doing what I’ve been doing (i.e.: nothing). Sitting around my apartment and whining to myself about how I feel like I have no social circle in Chicago is hardly the best way to go about making a social circle in Chicago. Enter: softball.

I’m really, really lousy at softball and would have preferred a different sport, but when one decides three hours before registration closes to sign up for a league, one takes what one can get and doesn’t complain about it haha. I’ve played sports through this league before and though I didn’t leave with any life long friends, I did really enjoy spending time with my team and my experience in the league. I think the biggest challenge (aside from the whole “catching, throwing, and/or making bat-to-ball connection” thing) will be forcing myself to take the necessary steps to attempt to make relational friends. I am not an initiator. I don’t even like to start gchats with people (I could probably count the number of times I’ve started a gchat on one hand in five years of having Gmail), let alone asking people to hang out. I almost always operate under the assumption that if someone wants to hang out with me, they’ll ask to hang out with me, and if they don’t ask to hang out with me, that therefore means they don’t want to spend their time with me, don’t like me, I have no friends, everyone hates me, I’m so alone, blah blah blah woe is me pity party. I’m very well aware of the fact that my hesitation to invite anyone to do anything ever under any circumstance at all is probably 85% of the reason why I have like one almost-relational friend in Chicago: because I’m not putting any effort into developing relationships. Not an effective method, Bethany.

So we’ll see what happens with all of this.  Hopefully I can woman up and “make the first move,” if you will, in the friendship department with some of my teammates. At the very least, I now have one more way unconventional way to complement marathon training.

And don’t worry. I’m still taking hip hop and breakdance. Obviously. Let’s not get crazy here, people. Marathon? What marathon? I can BS that like I BS a 5K, right? Hello, my name is Bethany, and I’m a COMPLETE IDIOT that’s just BEGGING to injure herself by not in any way respecting the amount of time and effort and dedication it takes to train for a marathon.

*Surface friends = people you are friendly with. The people you say hi to when you pass them on the street. People you chat with when you happen to be in the same place (sitting next to each other in class, taking a lunch break at the same time in the same room, etc.).
Relational friends = people you have a genuine, real friendship with and connection to. The people who get a real answer when they ask, “How are you?” People you hang out with outside of whatever it is that brought you together in the first place (class, work, church, organization, club, team, etc.)

(Two other important things to note: #1: There’s nothing bad about having surface friends. In fact, I think surface friends are fantastic, especially in group settings. It only becomes bad for me when I feel like all of my friends are surface friends, because that’s when I feel like I’m lacking real connection with others. #2: I do realize that I have an abundance of surface friends from a variety of things I’ve been involved with and that I could, of course, put forth more effort with in an attempt to be relational friends with them. I’m also not in any way opposed to developing relationships with the surface friends I currently have. A large part of me feels, though, that I might have more success in an environment where all of us are starting from scratch with each other. I’ve allowed myself to become complacent in meeting people and have started to settle for what’s familiar–even though what’s familiar is, by and large, unsatisfactory–instead of pushing myself out of my comfort zone. And since my comfort zone has lately been more uncomfortable than not, I might as well get out of it once a week or so.)

4. And a bonus for making it through that long, self-indulgent rant:

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Dying. Too, too funny.

Have you ever seen a low budget commercial that was really well done? Because I’d love to have my theory disproved…
Grammar pet peeves?
Thoughts on the whole surface friends/relational friends thing?

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15 thoughts on “Thursday Things

  1. I have some surface friends but I’ve always been someone who would rather have 1 or 2 really close friends than a group of 20 people who don’t really like each other/care enough to ask questions about their life. I mean, what’s the point in having a bunch of people who you’ll never see or talk to again? That would make for a pretty lonely life. I know what you mean though in feeling like a lot of your friends are surface level. I think it’s okay to have them as long as they’re balanced with a couple of people you really truly trust and could tell absolutely anything to. Softball might be fun! Except I was totally the girl doing cartwheels in the outfield because I thought it was so boring when I played… but that’s just me.

    • I completely agree about the balance thing (seriously. Am I capable of going 24 hours without using the word “balance” while in some way interacting with you via blog comments? Hahaha). You’ve definitely got to have those people you can really trust, but it’s nice to also have those people you can be friendly with, especially if you’re in a big group or something.

  2. Ohhh I didn’t know about the “as per usual” thing. I’ll remember that! My main grammar peeve is commas. We’re all taught incorrectly in school, and I didn’t actually learn how to use them correctly until college. It makes me sad.

    And I didn’t get the surface/relational friendships. I’m looking to make some more friends in my area since all my relational friends are not geographically near me. I’ve met a few surface friends, but I don’t know how that will all work out. Making friends feels so much harder after college!

    • True life: the comma splice is my favorite grammatical error. Hahaha how nerdy am I? Who has a favorite grammatical error? I know some people who are serious comma abusers, and it’s so unfortunate.

      Making friends is tough after college! It’s really hard to transition from a place where everyone’s the same age and there’s an abundance of social opportunities that you don’t even have to try to seek out to being in the “real world” where that’s not really the case. Those opportunities are there for sure, but I think it’s a lot harder to make time for them when you’re working and being a grown-up and such.

  3. Oh gosh Les Mis, loved that movie. The drama nerd in me was in heaven. You have a full plate with all the classes and teams you are on. I mean I am jealous but know you are probably very over extended. I am terrible with grammar so don’t hate me, I probably have multiple mistakes in every post.

    • I promise to never hate you, terrible grammar and all 🙂 I like that you think *I* have a full plate, Miss I Work Two Jobs Like It Ain’t No Thang. Haha. I was very much of the “do ALL the things!” mindset in college (8 extracurriculars? 16 credits? Sure! Sign me up! Free time is for the weak!), so I guess I’m kind of getting back into that. It’s all right, though. I like having things to do, and now that I don’t have homework to keep me occupied, I don’t even feel nearly as irresponsible for taking on so much, since the only thing I’m missing out on is, you know, Facebook. Haha.

  4. Have you ever seen the Montgomery Flea Market commercial? It is the BEST low budget commercial ever. I’m pretty sure it’s on youtube if you need a laugh.

    Ahh grammar. I don’t know if I’ve ever told you this but I switched from public school to private school in 4th grade and somehow missed any sort of grammar class/lessons. I’m not sure if it was taught in 3rd grade at the private school or if it just wasn’t taught at all but I’ve always found it really strange. The same school didn’t offer an AP English class or any other formal English class for seniors, we actually had to select English electives. Obviously, you would have loved it haha.

    I think a softball league will be SO much fun! I’ve played most of my life and it’s just one of those sports that’s fun to play. Plus, you get to be outside!

    • I haven’t, but I could TOTALLY use a laugh today and will be looking that up the second I get home from work.

      I’m weeping. You never were taught grammar?! So tragic! I could present a lecture on proper usage, if you’d like 😛 To be honest, I never was that great at grammar until high school. The combination of an INCREDIBLE English teacher and taking Spanish (and thus being forced to learn basic grammar rules about tenses and all that) really hammered home all sorts of grammar rules for me. And/or turned me into a total jerk about correct grammar. Haha.

  5. I feel you on the not-being-an-initator thing. I’ve been this way as far back as I remember which is why I try to surround myself with people who are initiators. Helps get me out of my comfort zone of going home after work and just sitting there.

    • Bahahaha one of us is going to have to get out of our not-being-an-initator mindset on the way to Kenosha, or else that’s going to be one looooong and quiet weekend hahaha 😛 I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels that way, though. I really do like talking to and hanging out with people…I just don’t like being the one to start things if I don’t have to!

  6. It is times like these that I am thankful I had very competent English teachers in high school. And that I was smart enough to pay attention in class. I may not have perfect grammar but I like to think people don’t throw things at their computer screens while reading my blog.
    As for all of #3. I agree. I have a really hard time putting myself out there and although I do okay in group settings, I hate reaching out to people. I have made quite a few more surface friends in the last year but haven’t converted any of those to relational friends. I also use the excuse a lot that most of the people I know are in the city and I am way out in the suburbs. I have the ability to change my friend situation, but I don’t and instead I complain about it. I feel like I could on and on but I will stop now.

    • For what it’s worth, I can’t recall a single time I’ve ever thrown anything at my computer screen while reading your blog, so so far, so good! At least from me! Haha.

      And A+ to you for being able to stop yourself from going on and on in a comment, because goodness knows that is NOT my strong point. I think proximity definitely plays a role in developing a solid friendship, so I can see how being in the suburbs would make things tough, especially since I think a lot of city folk (i.e.: me) are hesitant to trek it out to the ‘burbs when they don’t have a car (again, i.e.: me), but at the same time it doesn’t seem fair to be all, “Hey, suburbanite! I demand that if we hang out, you must come into the city to see me all the time and deal with traffic and pay exorbitant parking fees…or spend five billion years on the Metra and CTA to get to me.” It’s tough take the step to change those sorts of situations (not necessarily the location situation, but the friend situation). For me at least, I don’t want to be rejected, so I just don’t reach out…and instead make myself feel rejected and whine that it’s everyone else’s fault, because that seems easier, even though it’s in no way satisfying.

  7. Enjoyed reading this! I would add #3 friend: People on your running route that wave back to you, and not because you scare them! They are the first human interaction I get almost every day!

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