Archive for August 18th, 2007

Yes. He’s married now too…

The phone just finished ringing downstairs and most assuredly it’s probably my mother. As always, she is concerned.

This time it’s because I just gave word to her and my father that yet another ex of mine, the most recent and the one I had the longest relationship with, is now married. I heard the “rumor” but now, because I’m a nosy journalist, I was able to find out in like 10 minutes on the Web to know for sure. Curiosity is the death of me sometimes.

I’m not really sure why it has hurt me so much. Maybe because I know we were planning to get married. This would be the second person in my life that has given such empty promise of being wed. I’m not crying about it. Just kind of jarring I guess…

Will you be my pixilated wife?

On my morning drive today I heard on NPR’s Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me! that a man is having a virtual marriage with another woman as his real life wife stands by and fumes about it. Feel free to click the previous link, but below is an exerpt from the The Wall Street Journal.

He’s [Ric Hoogestraat of Phoenix] never met the woman outside of the computer world of Second Life, a well-chronicled digital fantasyland with more than eight million registered “residents” who get jobs, attend concerts and date other users. He’s never so much as spoken to her on the telephone. But their relationship has taken on curiously real dimensions. They own two dogs, pay a mortgage together and spend hours shopping at the mall and taking long motorcycle rides. This May, when Mr. Hoogestraat, 53, needed real-life surgery, the redhead cheered him up with a private island that cost her $120,000 in the virtual world’s currency, or about $480 in real-world dollars. Their bond is so strong that three months ago, Mr. Hoogestraat asked Janet Spielman, the 38-year-old Canadian woman who controls the redhead, to become his virtual wife. The woman he’s legally wed to is not amused. “It’s really devastating,” says Sue Hoogestraat, 58, an export agent for a shipping company, who has been married to Mr. Hoogestraat for seven months. “You try to talk to someone or bring them a drink, and they’ll be having sex with a cartoon.”

First of all, I died laughing. Really? A virtual marriage? If I were in a virtual world of sin and fantasy, I’m not sure if I would pick marriage as my place to romp. Although those virtual motorcycle rides the couple takes sounds fun. But why in the world of fantasy land would you want a mortage and a ball and chain — even if it isn’t exactly real? However that really isn’t the point.

In this brave new world of technological improvements on products from yesteryear and the Internet being arguably the lifeblood and pulse of recent existance, isn’t this kind of like cheating? Isn’t it really like trading up for a virtually “better” version of what you already have? Kind of like a software upgrade?

Mr. Hoogestraat’s real-life wife is losing patience with her husband’s second life. “It’s sad; it’s a waste of human life,” says Mrs. Hoogestraat, who is dark-haired and heavy-set with smooth, pale skin. “Everybody has their hobbies, but when it’s from six in the morning until two in the morning, that’s not a hobby, that’s your life.”

Time to leave Mrs. Hoogestratt, time to leave.

Can I please trade in my purpose in life?

In all seriousness, none of us can really know what our purpose is on this Earth — but we can sure take a stab at guessing what it may be.For instance, my guess for my purpose in life would be that I was placed here for two things: To act as a the corporate sounding board where ever I work and to “eagerly” volunteer for everything — even stuff I know I don’t really want to do. My time at work last week and now working well into the weekend helped me come to this “realization.”

Scenario one:  The Perpetual Complainer

OK, I do my share of complaining — off the clock. It was a hard lesson but I learned it just in time to now have to manage folks and keep a focused “eye on the prize.” But ring, ring here is yet another peer who is yaking about how much she doesn’t think things are going in a “fair” direction at work. And usually emails follow. It usually starts as, “Well why do WE have to do it when [the perpetual] THEY never do?” or “I just don’t see how this will benefit us.”Well usually I feel the same. I listen. I try the “positive” spin as I work through the complaint. Inside I agree, but I just can’t fuel the negativity. I save that for here.  🙂

Scenario two: The Big Cover Up

All I’m going to say is if you have to call before my visit to your bureau and unprofessionally warn me not to listen to what your “gossipy” staff says about your management and overall personal skills, you have something to hide.

Scenario three: Bitch Fest Liaison

Last week was like walking into a mine field when I visited another department at my company. Let’s just say I like to be able to hear what EVERYONE has to say; relate to them so they are comfortable; laugh; tell jokes;  decide what is fact, fiction or embellishment and then make sense of it all in time to report back to my boss. Why do I have to? Well because I really don’t see anyone else in my department doing it. But somehow my newly found “sense of purpose” is emblazoned on my forehead.

Scenario four: “When and where do you need me?”

That’s my handicap. Something needs to be done, the company needs help with something off work hours or so and so flaked, “Can you fill in?” Like the kid who always raises her hand in the front row of class, I remark, “Sure!” or “When and where do you need me?” When you scan the room of management, I’m the one who isn’t married. The one without kids. The younger one.

A wonderful addition to this is I get this closing remark from the older folks in the department quite often, “You’re young. You can handle it.”

Scenario five: Keeper of secrets

So and so did this, said this, their boss is having them do this but, “Don’t say I told you.” WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH THAT? Here in my hands is a problem, now I have to decide if it’s true and then I have to decide the next plan of action in the most diplomatic and slick jewel thief kind of way in order to execute the solution or “report back” to the powers that be.

I know there is more to life — and for that matter my purpose — than this. But when it is the majority of your day to day activity … living … existing — it’s a little difficult not to think that this may be the illustrious “point of it all.”