Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Haunting - Pandora's Box

SSI0009619 - Blue Abstract Woman With Hat
(courtesy of
[Sensitive subject matter alert.  This post may make you uncomfortable reading it because it deals with subject matter that we don't discuss in open forums but rather in our secret closets.  This post is a rant and I did not choose to use social filters. Consider yourself warned.]
What do you do with unpleasant thoughts and experiences?

I tend to dwell on my unpleasant thoughts for a while in order to not hide from or lie about what I'm feeling.  But then I file them in the back of my mind only occasionally recalling them when the situation calls for recollection.  Now I keep my thoughts to myself if I am entrapped in a conversation where folks are discussing a topic about which I don't care to comment.  I'm the quiet person at the table that doesn't say much.  And then later when I'm home I'll think of what I should have said in that environment, regretting my silence.  My internal dialog will continue on haunting me like a game of chess. After my silent regret,  I get happy again knowing that my silence was the best course of 'action.'  My thoughts are so random and jarring during those types of conversations I usually choose to not use social filters.  BTW, I do actually HAVE social filters.  The game of chess continues, "If I'd have said this, the reaction would have been that.  But if I say that, the reaction will be this."  Social filters are exhausting but necessary.  Based on my observation of human behavior all these years predictions of outcomes are not any type of mystery, it's plan ole' experience.

SPI0149508 - Man Cramming Books Into His Head
I tend to be calculating during heated debates or during conversations with a group of people.  I'll interject here and there letting you know that I'm listening but I'm generally quiet because I'm assessing YOU.  In doing that I don't dare open my mouth to reveal anything about myself until I tread and feel safe enough to speak.  If I jump the gun and speak too soon, I'll miss something about YOU.  This doesn't make me great at small talk at all because I'm not.  I'm a story teller, can't you tell from my posts? I want to tell my story.  I want to purge what I've been through to others otherwise my thoughts will haunt me and then I'll dream.  For once I'd love to be one of those people who dream that they are flying in the air or soring through space.  Not someone who dreams about what I should have said during dinner.

I've been listening to many public speakers in business forums I've been attending as I search for a new career. And the recurring theme from several speakers have been "Don't bog people down with your story because no one wants to hear it."  And then one speaker will say, "Tell your story because stories sell."  I think the contradiction is routed in the fact that no one wants to hear your sob story.  People want happy tales, something triumphant, something to celebrate.  Wait where was I going with this thought?  Oh Tiger Woods and the issue of fidelity.

I woke up this morning to the news as I do every morning, all I could hear about was "The troubles of Tiger Woods."  Troubles of Tiger Woods?  Really? Texting? Sexting?  Elin is my soul-mate? Really?  Does Tiger Woods have 'troubles' or is he just a young man who has a ton of money, is a very talented golfer and popular public figure who should have taken a few more years to live as a single man? 

[Here we go]
During any type of sensational conversation I'm quietly amused because typical characters appear: 
1) the know-it-all [this person tends to explain what others mean in the room - as if...]
2) the information junkie [who usually gets all of the facts wrong, this person quotes from references]
3) the attention seeker [aka the know-it-all, the loudest person, the interrupter won't let you get a word in edgewise]
4)The amen corner [no original thoughts just agreeing with the popular consensus].  

Back to my point - Tiger. Sex addiction?  Really?  A public apology?  Really?  Retiring from golf & making a comeback. Really?  How does this affect my life?  Do I care? No, but I have an opinion about this young man whom I've never met.  I think he was coached by a PR staff to wed and to procreate.  Is this news?  No.  Is it shocking?  Heck no!  Why didn't the PR people coach him on how to creep or arrange trists for him?  Was it to ultimately tarnish his squeaky clean image? To assist in the loss of certain endorsements?  Things are not always what they seem and the media can create any image it wants about whomever it wants.  People are paid handsomely to do just that. 100 years ago one of my Hollywood duties was to 'make arrangements.'  Let your imagination ponder what that means.  Enough said.

I can usually tell love matches from social experiments.  Lonely hearts from people who choose to seal deals.  Codependency and immaturity.  Crazies.  And PR suggestions as opposed to meeting someone organically.  Let me explain this a little further. I've working in Hollywood for 20 years thus I have been privy to tons of confidential information [that I will not reveal no matter what you bribe me with] and have been witness to more accounts of human behavior surrounding coupling for about 20 years, during my formative years, that is truly not to be believed.  

My perspective of family, marriage, and sex scandals is unique since I have not experienced matrimony first hand, nor have I given birth to or adopted any children. That being said, I have been close enough to many types of marriages [cross culturally, cross generationally, and geographically] to have noticed a few things in my forty some odd years of observation.  I do consider myself to be a meticulous observer of human behavior due to my ability to be stealth in many environments.  What can I say it's a gift. Don't hate the player, hate the game.
  1. Love matches are: one person who meets another person whom they just cannot live without. And they believe that all encounters before and any future encounters will never compare to the person in front of them right now.
  2. Social experiments are people who get married just to see what it's like.  Drunk Vegas experiences included.  The what the hell? crowd.
  3. Lonely hearts are people who settle for whatever in order to not be lonely.
  4. Deal sealers are folks who procreate as manipulation tactics.  Damsel/savior type pairings.
  5. Codependents are the people who wed because they literally need the other person to care about them for whatever reason.  
  6. Immatures are the multiple baby mama and multiple baby daddy folks who have children with everyone they date.  True this does not apply to everyone and I understand that it's unfair for me to make a blank label of these people to be immature.  I do not have all of the facts of each relationship pairing and it's none of my business. I do get that.  For lack of a more responsible label, I settled on this one.  I warned you at the top of this post no filters...
  7. Crazies are the ones that claim God told them that you are their spouse, knowing full well God hasn't said a word to them or you.  You know the one's that see signs and wonders.
  8. PR suggestions are celebrities who wed at the suggestion of their handlers to avoid scandal due to notorious licentious behavior and in order to hold on to fortunes by attaining a mate and procreating because of the monumental tax benefits.
  9. Organic meetings are obviously: attraction, interest, time spent, attachment, contemplation [prayer/coaching/mentors/dating/choosing], and finally matrimony.

I know people from all over who fit into one or more of these categories.  Maybe I'm cynical because many of my peers are now divorced and because I'm privy to conversations with both men and women discussing  their lives.  I was actually proposed to a few times and then I knew in my spirit that none of these men would be appropriate choices for me.  The thought of marrying them made me have physical reactions like fear and nausea.  Not a cocktail for success.

Celebrities, random religious figures, random politicians and everyday blue and white collar working men and women from the dawn of time have been having sex and there is nothing that you can do about it.  People do it with and without your approval [in socially accepted ways and some ways not so much].  Marriage will not alter the character of someone, neither will attending church, or moving to another city/country.  Chastity belts didn't work in medieval times.  Gender mutilation and forbidding doesn't work today.  So rings/tattoos placed on ones third finger of someone's left hand isn't kryptonite.  Not all but some folks are gonna get it, do it, on the creep and in your face - both.  Those people are being who they are.

Whether you are born a way or choose to be a way, many factors determine who we ARE thus who we WILL BE.  Consider THAT before taking vows.  Some people are are soooooo not meant to be wed.  Spend the time to research.  Some people just know some people seek and everything in between.  I've had a few almosts.  Had I settled for the almosts, I know that I would be a divorce-e' with a few children.  I never wanted to raise children alone.

Take children for example.  If you put them in a room together long enough character traits will emerge: the bully, the leader, the compassionate one, the comedian, etc.  DNA/parents/nature [heredity, learned behavior], environment [we covet what we see], nutrition [what we ingest, daily, over time], intelligence [we try new things based on curiosity, boredom, cash], emotions [desire, pain] are all things to consider when being social.  We gravitate towards whom we gravitate towards and reject all others.  Rejection sounds harsh but we do reject each other as much as we accept each other.  And it happens quickly.

The same goes for adults.  Try it sometimes.  Be quiet and scan the room @ your next social event. [This presents a bit of a problem for the loud folks who make entrances]. It works best in situations where you don't know anyone and no one knows you.  But if you do it at all you'll see who is who.  I've said this in previous posts - PEOPLE TELL ON THEMSELVES ALL OF THE TIME.  THEY TELL YOU WHO THEY ARE IN THE FIRST 5 MINUTES.  The question is are you watching?  Are you listening? I often catch people looking everyplace other than my eyes when I am speaking to them one on one, occasionally I'll scope someone out close up too and I see them catching me. Because I've been doing this so long in about 10 minutes I can tell who is comfortable or uncomfortable with black people, women or disabled people.  I can usually guess one's sexual orientation if they don't make it very clear [and Hollywood folks love to make it clear who they prefer as if... and it cracks me up].  I can see if someone is looking at me with disgust, desire, envy, rage, interest or fear.  I can tell if someone has been socialized in church, temple or some other religious environment, if they have cult tendencies or are critical or original thinkers, and on and on.  YOU HAVE THIS ABILITY TOO.  Body language ranges from a swift movement or a subtle expression to a grand gesture.  If you wave your hand and blow things off as nothing, or have a perspective that everyone has good intentions, you'll miss the tell tales because those ways of thinking are dismissive.  In poker this skill is called catching someone's 'tells.'  When people play poker they have to be masters of disguise in order for keen observers playing the game with them to not be able to guess what cards they are holding.  This is where the expression poker face comes from.  Every person has a tell or a series of tells. This does not mean that you should subscribe to staring at people, or becoming paranoid, cynical, subversive or negative - No!  Just be yourself, watch people and be open to the experience without thought.  Let the moment be what it will be.  Experiment a bit.

Walk toward people, and watch how they walk toward you.  What is their opening line if they don't know you? [And I mean physical interaction, not jumping onto a blog for the first time.] Do they shake your hand?  If so how do they shake your hand?  Do they smile at you? If so, how do they smile at you?   If they know you, how do they greet you?  Are you hugged, kissed?  If so, how are you embraced? What type of kiss did you receive?
SSI0020019 -
A Story
I was having my tire changed the other day.  I keep the records of all repairs, etc for my car in my car so as I was waking into the establishment I had my folder in my right arm and trying to open the door without the papers falling out of the folder.  Remember I can't do much with my left arm.  The door did not push in, I had to pull it out towards me. Using only one hand I was struggling a bit.  Finally I opened the door without spilling my files and walked in to find only two people, the man behind the counter and one man, another customer, who just stared at me while I struggled with the door.  I'll call him Jumpy and in a moment you'll see why.  Usually when anyone sees me struggling with doors they help me by opening the door.  Well, not Jumpy.  To repay his courtesy I decided to needle him a bit.  As I approached the counter I observed him staring at my face and then his eyes scanned down to my left leg.  Because he stared so rudely at me, without helping, I stood very close to him at the counter, turned to him, smiled and said Hello. Jumpy didn't acknowledge me at all rather he quickly averted his eyes away and walked swiftly to the seating area and sat down, still not acknowledging me at all.  Which was fine but creepy. When I was done I walked to the seating area and sat in a chair next to him [yes, I was still needling him].  I could have chosen any other place to sit but I wanted to observe him a bit more.  As soon as my butt hit the seat, he [literally] jumped up from his chair and began pacing back and forth, to my right side.  I didn't observe any obvious ticks of mental instability, he was just unusually jumpy.  After several minutes he sat back down next to me and picked up a magazine and thumbed through it.  Not wanting to leave it alone I then with my right foot pushed the coffee table full of reading materials away from us about an inch.  That gesture prompted him to jump up again, this time he walking into the garage to see about his car.  After about 5 minutes he returned this time I stood up and scooted my chair back a bit.  That seemed to calm him because he didn't move again for the remainder of time I was there.  My car was ready first so I stood up as he looked at me.  I smiled as I was leaving, again, nothing at all from Jumpy.

Now, all that that little social experiment taught me was that some people are rude and not interested in the wellbeing of others.  I made an assumption about a complete stranger based on his initial behavior. Even after I tried to insert myself into his comfort zone/personal space he wasn't interested in me.  I went into it with an expectation of kindness and left with a better vehicle.  No disappointment.  Or maybe I was just testy because I had get a new tire.


  1. I'm fascinated with people's body language. I've read several books about it, but I'm always too distracted with the conversation and other things going on in the room to pay much attention to it.

  2. I really like it when you write a post that's Dale. This. Was. Great.

    I screw with people. The fun part is they don't know I'm screwing with them...unless they're really paying attention, are related to me, or have known me for a very long time.

    Yeah, you don't have to busy, or rude, or fillintheblank for me to screw with you; it's a free service I offer.

    You're very observant, Dale. You could be a sociologist or a cultural anthropologist. You could feature me in your first published work, in a chapter entitled,"And Then There Are These Folks".

  3. Oh I analyze EVERY social interaction including all the "what if's" - it can get plenty exhausting!! Regarding the different types of marriages, I always get a kick out of when a couple is having problems so they decide to have another kid to make things better. Way to up the stress level!!!

    Wondering if Jumpy may have had some type of mental condition such as Asperger's???

  4. I think you will have a great career in business and marketing! It is beneficial in those careers to able to read people like you can.

    Very interesting post Dale.

  5. I was reading myself in part of your post when you mentioned the one who doesn't say much at parties, then gets home and thinks about what she should have said. I'm just the same!

    As for Tiger Woods, what a plonker.

    CJ xx



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