Old School = Old Maid?

“I fear the day technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.”

Albert Einstein 

Some thirty years ago my mother would be running around the town looking for a pay phone to phone somebody who might have, or may have not the left the house to let them know she can’t make it to the lunch because her sister is having a baby at the hospital. Have I mentioned she was ringing my dad whose call she’d been waiting glued to the phone for days? And when she finally found one working, as soon as she picked up the phone she realizes she has no quarters left! Blooming hell! She manages to buy some smokes, she gets change, she runs, finds next pay phone, rings. Rings one more time, rings few more times. Obviously he’s already left as she’s already running 10 minutes behind. She thinks – if only there was a phone that I could carry in my bag so I could phone him to say I’m not coming!

On the other side of the story, he’s my twenty something dad, patiently waiting for her at the cinema lobby, film is about to start, she’s not here, he waits another hour. He’s upset because he realises my mother stood him up. And worried if something bad happened, or she’s waiting for him somewhere else. Or may be he wishes he had asked that secretary with huge breast out instead? All this anticipation has blown up in the air, he thinks “If only there was a phone that I could carry in my pocket so I could phone her to ask “Where are you?” .

Frankly, must be by some wicked miracle I’m even alive!

Now, I’m a kid of the 90s. For real. As much as I would like to label myself as “millennial” just for kicks of feeling younger and part of the future generation who’s saving the planet, but I’m older than that.  I grew up through MC Hammer, Nirvana and Backstreet Boys, I was Emma from spice girls and I had a massive crush on every boy who had bowl haircut. I wore double denim and a choker and it couldn’t get any worse than that. Luckily, today I’m a 28 year old single woman who hates anything 90s’.

Also I am considering myself a technologically savvy, I mean I was around  when tamagotchi came out, I had 3. I was there through the first chat rooms, spending hours on-line chatting to a boy who lived in a neighbor city. It couldn’t get any better than that. The joy of simply talking to somebody who shares your interests for Sims, art, travel, or who shares your pain of going to school and dealing with angry parents. And then there was this moment of scanning in your photograph and sending it to him, waiting for him to reply with their own photo and the sheer relieve when he is actually – normal, even cute. That 14 years ago. It’s a lot scarier these days. I genuinely wish I could unsee things I’ve seen on Chatroullete and Tinder.

I don’t mean to sound like an stagnant golden age thinker or conspiracy theorist who believes that online activities make us socially retarded, but I probably will. Last weekend I went to see “Men, women and children” by Jason Reitman and despite it’s very low ratings – I actually found it very truthful to our reality. Do I wish there was no internet or texting? Absolutely not. It’s an integrated part of our daily lives, it’s saves us time, it makes us better connected, quite literally removing borders and shrinking distances. There is a party on the internet and everybody want to be at it. Yet, somehow I’m not getting the memo.

Instant messaging isn’t an alternative to RL (a.k.a. Real Life ) social interaction. It doesn’t sustain the friendship (unless you are thousands of miles apart – then its an exception). Maintaining relationships  over the internet with people who live in the same city is simply new age lazy, unless you are fifteen pretending to be an adult, chances of which i don’t exclude. My first world problems are getting even more complex when I hear how messaging allows an individual to express his or hers feelings easier in a “typed” form than saying it to their faces, while toddlers in UK are showing signs of increased antisocial behaviour related to constant tweeting, messaging and tumlr’ing. Now that’s the generation that is supposed to rule the world. Nice.

My real worry is I’m not like that. I’m old school kind of girl. I like getting coffees, cocktails or meals with people who I can see and touch. I like calling people, hearing their voices. Did you know you can hear somebody SMILE over the phone? How cool is that!  But there is a big problem with this picture called Real Life.  Many people prefer not to have any interaction in the real world to start with. I had number of guys who’d prefer to talk to me texting for literally hours telling me about all our  great conversations we have. I have two problems with that – I can’t type fast because my fingers are too fat , second, I have better things to do. Like write this blog post for example.

Paradox becomes when? Although internet makes everything we ever wanted a click away, you could actually say so much more in an hour of RL conversation than texting. Surely, if you have two hours to spare texting me all evening (quite possibly sitting next to your girlfriend) , meeting me for an hour wouldn’t be that much of a problem. Logical? At least to me. Best one though is “sexting” – it’s like a phone sex, over Whatsapp. Anyone would agree that a real thing is much better than typing profanities to somebody on the other end of the conversation who could be errm bidding for shoes on eBay? Not for this fella I know. I tried, I had a great laugh, I poured myself a glass of vino and admitted – I’m too old for this shit.

The ultimate dilemma – is it socially retarded to have relationships with people online or is it socially retarded to refuse to have relationship online?

Is there something fundamentally wrong with you if you prefer meeting people face to face? Is antisocial to tell somebody on Facebook chat – i’m too busy to have this intense conversation with you while typing and making pancakes at the same time because I’m hungry? Since I’m a social dinosaur I might be in a big trouble. In fact I am because last guy I “suggested” to meet instead of “having great chats” on Facebook politely declared that he is very busy and he’ll “see me later”. What a funny choice of words used on social network site anyway.

Old School = Old Maid?

Angels and Average Women

I promised myself I will try to stay away from ranting as much as possible because it means I am taking myself and life too seriously. While some people find ranting as a form of validation of their ego (like I have an opinion and therefor I disagree with everyone), I find it unnecessary waste of personal energy trying to be upset about trivial things like Whole Foods ran out of edamame beans and now I have to eat regular beans (speaking of first world problems), but this recent encounter with my own shadow side knocked me out. I had to set it free.

A little background story. Couple of weekends ago I went to Paris with a friend of mine who happens to run catering for the Victoria Secret  fashion show 2014 in New York. It’s kind of a big deal for me because despite not owning a single Victoria Secret item, this pompastic celebration of  female shape is probably the only thing that sends me straight to the gym without any inner debates. Personally, I would pay 10k to sit at the front row just so I can validate my belief that *paraphrase* from  The Sex and The City – proximity to beauty makes me feel more beautiful. Unfortunately when you come too close to the light, chances are you will crash and burn. For me the light source was called my overdraft. So as a girl who recently had to get out a bunch of stuff onto e-bay just to pay her credit card minimum payment, I came to a conclusion that beauty won’t save the world, however, Victoria Secret angels will most certainly save all regular girls from roaming male fantasy for the significant part of their waking hours.

A long time ago I made a promise to myself that I would not be intimidated by seemingly genetically superior bunch of women who can wear mom jeans and still look sexy as hell. I was doing great. That was until I found myself having a dinner in a group of three “almost” single straight guys talking Victoria Secret Models. Verdict –  within first two seconds I accomplished the impossible – I became the invisible woman.  20 minutes and 4 cigarettes latter, a faint outline of my figure has appeared to one of the guys when he asked me what my dream car was. Shocked by the emotional value of this conversation, I had to act fast in order not to tumble down the scale of self worth even more. As I was getting sucked into this male fantasy, dominated exclusively by Victoria Secret models, conversation gained more depth of unattainable – luxury car topic. I had a choice – cough on my own cigarette smoke or mention some bad ass vehicle just to keep the testosterone going.  So I mentioned Mercedes SLR. I received a nod of approval.

Strange thing happened after we returned to the table. Although I was the only girl at the table, ironically I was transformed into “one of the guys”.  I wasn’t sure whether I should be upset or flattered, however I knew between Miranda Kerr and SLR, I did not occupy any fantasy at that moment, except for my own fantasy – being in bed with a bottle of vodka eating a cake.

As I snuck out yet for another fag after drinking the whole bottle of red tout seul, I stood staring at my own reflection in the tea shop window. I knew it was a huge mistake, however being totally self indulgent on that particular day, I allowed myself a little self pity party  (which I won’t lie later in the night turned into full blown emotional break down). I was looking at the person who was below average height, size 8 healthy looking “youngish” woman with mild skin problems. And this wasn’t pure objective observation.

When you compare yourself to a perfect human being, observation can turn into self loathing. To add a philosophical shade of grey to my misery, I quietly admitted to myself  that I’m not getting any younger. This drunken analysis of everything that was wrong with me escalated so far, my inner “know it all” voice confirmed it – I’ll end up forever alone.

How did Victoria Secret topic resulted in this? It was a work of mad evil genius, called my mindAlthough this sounds like a revelation of some self loathing, insecure and neurotic woman in her late late twenties, most of the time I would say I make rational decisions in life and I am not that easily intimidated by other women. However, can I jump the gun and suggest that many confident women are feeling this way time to time. Why is this bothering us? Despite the statistical evidence that physical attractiveness and sexuality do not guarantee happy marriage or successful career, why these women still make us feel inferior?

If Victoria Angels can awaken our inner demons, then I believe that media is doing a great job creating hell on earth by suggesting  impossible standards of beauty or reality in general. Sadly while some men (even if it’s only 3 of them at that particular moment) out there think that a model strutting down the runway in sexy lingerie is a desirable standard for what woman should look like, the rest of us who aren’t 6 feet size 0 glamazone are reducing themselves to a set of physical features that stand somewhere on a scale of cuteness, at about 7.  You can posses all the rationality in the world, however when it comes to self criticism, nobody can escape the feeling of not being good enough.

After giving it another though the next morning also equipped by a splitting hangover, I condemned my self for putting me in the victim’s position. I was so blindsided by my own episode of vanity while staring at that shop window that I forgot that none of it really matters to me that much anyway. One of the keys of succeeding in life is playing the game you can win, even if it means inventing it yourself.  I knew perhaps I won’t occupy any man’s head today or tomorrow, but I was happy for being where I was – in Paris – country of cheese, wine, patisserie, carbs and gorgeous men, who despite of fantasising about Victoria Secret models before going to bed, still go out to fish for regular girls and drive Citroën cars. With this particular thought I ordered myself fattest chocolate eclair. I still knew I had to run it out on the treadmill, however I knew in the game called me vs. supermodel, i’d definitely win the patisserie eating round. Oui oui.

 

Angels and Average Women