Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place


Vampires and Personal Boundaries

Dracula-1931Today’s prompt from the Daily Post“It turns out that your neighbor on the plane/bus/train (or the person sitting at the next table at the coffee shop) is a very, very chatty tourist. Do you try to switch seats, go for a non-committal brief small talk, or make this person your new best friend?”

I had to think about this prompt for a few minutes, and concluded that some people would say I was an extroverted person because I will chat it up with complete strangers.  Others would think I am an introvert, guarded and a bit stand-offish because I don’t readily engage those people.   How can one be both?

I have been labeled with empathic and intuitive qualities.  I don’t know if I altogether believe those labels, but  I would say that I do pick the “vibes” of certain people and gauge my social interaction to them accordingly.   With some individuals, I will feel an immediate connection.  Those are the people with warm and honest with a positive energy.  Even as a stranger, that person will draw me forth and I will have interaction with them.  These are individuals who have a healthy respect for personal boundaries.  They will engage me, but won’t press too much.

However, there are others who may seem open and positive, but they have an erratic energy that tells me to guard myself and don’t give away too much information.  I don’t inherently trust those people.  Typically, such individuals are without filters and without the proper respect for boundaries.  They will press for personal details and may even harangue in order to get me to engage.   My “Spidey-sense” forces me to shut down even to the point of being seemingly rude to them.    These individuals are what many experts in social interaction call “Energy Vampires”.  They will suck the energy right out of me.  In the case of the plane or coffee shop scenario, I would definitely try to find another seat.  I don’t blame them for this.  They are who they are.

I try not to be an energy vampire.  (We always think it is the other person, never ourselves).   I try to assess other people on an intuitive level and if I feel that someone else needs to have their space, I will back away.   I will respect their boundaries.

I don’t want to be the person that drives others to change their seats.



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Today’s Daily Post prompt:  “If you could permanently ban a word from general usage, which one would it be? Why?”

When I read this prompt early this morning, I started mulling it over.  I could not come up with one particular word that I would want banned.  However, I have to say that I don’t like it when people create new words because they don’t want to take the time to select the correct words to make their thoughts known   For example,  I don’t like that nouns and adjectives are turned into verbs when they are not meant to be verbs.   For example, the adjective “onboard’ has been turned to “onboarding” meaning that a person has gone through the hiring process in a business organization.  Why not just say “Mr. Smith has been hired,” not “Mr. Smith has been on-boarded.”  It sounds like Mr. Smith has been kidnapped by pirates.    Or worse:  turning a company name into a verb.  For example, “googling”.   It sounds too much like “ogling”.    “I googled Mr. Smith.”   Well, how flirty of you!

There are also certain phrases I don’t like.  For example, consider “I’ll scratch your back; you scratch mine.”     When I think of this, I envision primates sitting in a tree grooming each other.   It also promotes a self-serving sentiment.  How about we do things for others because it is the right thing to do, not for what we can get out of it.

And the phrase “pet-peeve”?  Another one that annoys me.  Overused.

I guess I should lighten up.  English by its nature is an ever-evolving language with new words and idioms constantly coming in.  I probably make up new words and overuse old phrases as much as anyone.

My point is this:  if one is going to be a word-smith, then be good at it.


Post-script:  As I write this, I just noted my own title to this post, “Word-Smithing”.  A verb from a noun!   Ha!   My bad.  Oh, another over-used phrase!   I concede.  It can’t be helped.   I withdraw my protestations.  (Hanging my head in shame).


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An Observation about “Class”

working handToday’s Daily Post prompt: “Every city and town contains people of different classes: rich, poor, and somewhere in between. What’s it like where you live? If it’s difficult for you to discern and describe the different types of classes in your locale, describe what it was like where you grew up — was it swimming pools and movie stars, industrial and working class, somewhere in between or something completely different?”


I grew up in a blue-collar enclave surrounded by neighborhoods of affluence inhabited mostly by doctors, lawyers, college professors, and movie industry execs.  These people drove up property values so that when I came of age I could not (and still cannot) afford to buy a home there.    As an adult I moved to another traditionally working-class town only to watch it gentrify with all the “Silicon Beach” techies and execs.   My rent is becoming so high that soon I will not be able to afford even to rent there.

I have tried to improve my situation.  I have educated myself with advanced degrees and I move in circles of middle and upper-class professionals.  I would say that my social class has improved but not my economic class.    For all intents and purposes, I am still “working class.”    At one time, I was a little annoyed about the whole thing.

Now I am getting older and have given up trying to grab that golden ring — that dream of someone having a better life than one’s parents and owning a bit of America.    I am part of a growing over-educated and under-paid sub-group that doesn’t quite fit into either middle or working class.   The lines between have gotten a bit murky so I have given up trying to figure it out.

To quote Popeye, “I yam what I yam” and I am just trying to hold my own for as long as I can.


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Break the Silence — Not

underwood typewriterToday’s Daily Post prompt:   Break the Silence: When was the last time you really wanted (or needed) to say something, but kept quiet? Write a post about what you should’ve said.

Recently, a friend and I had a disagreement.  Okay, actually it was a fight.  My friend said something I did not like, I objected, my friend got angry and spewed all over me.  One of the things my friend said was “You have an 18 gauge wire connecting your brain directly to your mouth.  Whatever you think, you say.”   I suspect it was not meant as a compliment, but I took it as such.  I like to think I say what is on my mind.   The reality is that I usually don’t.  This exchange is a perfect example of why I don’t.  When I say what I think, it usually comes back to bite me in the butt.

Admittedly, in this particular case, I was angry and what I said, even though I stand on it, was probably not stated in the most diplomatic way.  However, in most cases, the atmosphere is not so highly charged.  I will see a situation that I feel needs to be addressed, yet I don’t because I fear the consequences.   I want people to listen, but I don’t want them to react.  How cowardly is that?

I guess it is important that there be an element of emotion involved. If I get fired up enough about something, I will speak.  I remember that happening in a planning meeting I attended.  I quietly sat through the meeting, listening to everyone, when finally someone made a preposterously ill-conceived suggestion.  I saw everyone nodding in agreement with that suggestion.   I became alarmed at that and said to the moderator, “Gimme the microphone.”  I don’t recall exactly what I said, but I was on a roll.  My heart was pounding, my voice was a little higher timbre than normal, and when it was over people were applauding.  Yeah, they went with my suggestion.

Now if I could only get that passionate about the real issues in life —  justice, mercy, love, and the rest — what things I would say.

ljg (c) 2015