Monday, February 25, 2008

who remember's 78's?

Having been recently reminded of my neanderthal music collection, I am considering taking up a music's club periodic offer on discounted discs. The implication being that I need guidance in this area, in order to make sure I get an adequate sampling of current music, I am asking for suggestions. If you feel so inclined you could tell me why I should choose this over that - but it isn't necessary to justify your suggestions.

Please share some of your favorite music with me. Don't limit your suggestions to something you think I might like - I have an eclectic range of interests and am always open to new experiences.

Even if it took me 10 years to accumulate more CDs than I had records.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

every day, in every way

"And then it happens. She steps into a permanent spot formed by his embrace, the years fall away...."

Saturday, February 09, 2008

okay, so maybe it isn't impossible

but near enough.

I've been thinking about this all day today. I guess I should say a bit more than I did last night.

Oh, The Joy's post was titled "I don't hang out with your husband" and ended with "I just can't make friends with another woman's husband!" She then appealed to her readers to back her up "against" K, who didn't understand why this was so.

Now, I admit that in the post itself she says that it would be okay for her to spend time with the other dad - within the context of K being there and the dad's wife being there. J also explained further in her comment to my post that it would be possible for a married woman to be friends with a married man, but only if the friendship first developed within the context of the couples spending time together so the spouses could be part of the growing friendship and be comfortable with it. J goes on to say that a strong friendship between a married man and married woman could be misinterpreted.

K didn't understand this. Why did J have to have all future contact via the mom? Hence the appeal for help from her readers. The responses were interesting. At the time I read through all of the comments today, out of 86 comments, 62 agreed. (all but 5 of these were women). Only 9 comments disagreed, with 15 undecided. So - 75% of her readers whole-heartedly agreed. Some "chuckled at his (K) naivete", one mentions that "men are so clueless", one states "our men need a little help sometimes", one wrote "score you 1, hubby 0", one would mark her husband so other women would know to stay away, one mentions K needed "a manual on men & women" and the rest said mostly - yep, you're right. I talked to Laura about this at lunchtime. Where she works the staff is predominately female and she agreed that the majority of those women would feel the same way.

I take from all of this that there are two reasons why it isn't a good idea for this kind of friendship. 1) That the spouse would not understand or like it and 2) that the community wouldn't understand the platonic nature of the relationship.

Point 1: I contend that this is a matter of trust between the spouses. Laura and I have discussed this, she is fine with my female friends and feels no need for her to be involved in the friendship. I have no problems with her having male friends. I trust her. She trusts me. Maybe this level of trust is unusual, seeing that some of the 75% of J's supporting comments mention this. Maybe this level of trust comes after a certain amount of time - we've been married over 23 years. I know that Laura will honor our vows of fidelity. If a friendship of hers turned into an affair, that tells me that our marriage had problems in the first place that caused her to look outside it for whatever she didn't get from me. Me preventing her from having unsupervised contact with another man doesn't fix the inherent problem in our marriage. As for how the spouse of my friend feels about the friendship - that isn't my problem. That may sound blunt, cold, uncaring - but I am not responsible for her marriage. It is a matter for them to work out. It isn't my actions causing the problem - it is her behavior that is causing the problem with her spouse and it is up to her to deal with it. If she chooses to deal with it by ending our friendship, then that is her decision and I respect that. Julie Pippert mentions (my paraphrasing) that I should have respect for their marriage by being careful of the friendships I form with married women. I feel that the utmost respect I can have for someone's marriage is to recognize that they have the power and responsibility for maintaining it and that I don't. I have heard something to the effect that communities have a role in maintaining the marriages in it. I don't know that I agree with that - if the marriage isn't strong enough to prevent infidelity then all of the chaperoning by the community won't fix the problem, it will merely perpetuate a bad marriage. In other words, just because I didn't cheat on my wife through lack of opportunity doesn't mean I didn't want to - and it is the wanting to that is the problem, not the actual doing. A lot of people made fun of Jimmy Carter when he made his famous statement about lusting in his heart but what he was trying to say, in my opinion, was that it wasn't just the act itself that is considered cheating, but the desire to also.

2: I don't know what to say about how the community could misinterpret the friendship. This could be your neighbors or your church congregation or your book club, I guess anyone who knows you and sees you with a man other than your husband who might then think you are cheating on your husband. I cannot control what other people think. I don't really care what other people think - other than the spouses involved. I've addressed that in point 1 above. Worrying about how others think is instilled in us at an early age and is done so that we would conform to the local morays. Society protects itself by means of urging this conformance. But at what expense? So we can all live in the same house, all have the same 2.5 children, all go to the same church, all belong to the same lion's club or kiwanis club or jaycees, etc, etc, etc. At what point are we allowed to be individuals without the fear that if I don't go to the right church or belong to the right club I'll be outcast. Well - if the price of belonging means that I'm not allowed to be who I am then I don't want to belong.

Mir's take on this issue (and my post) was that 1) I was overreacting (yeah, probably) and that 2) that this kind of friendship wasn't impossible - that some women simply have more in common with women and so that's where their friendships are. I totally agree with her. But that isn't what J's post is about and it isn't what upset me. J said that she liked the dad but wouldn't hang out with him, be pals with him, have lunch dates (or pedicures) with him - because it just isn't right, it just isn't done.

Liv commented here that she (in effect) agreed that it is a matter of trust, but her comment over at J's post was that J was right, that "we've been through this! You must do it your way" Which, if I relate this to J's comment here, Liv is being consistant - there has to be trust between everyone. Maggie's comment reflects this attitude also. Okay, I accept that there must be trust - but for me the establishment of trust isn't between me and her husband, it is between me and my wife. It is up to my friend to have the trust of her husband.

Slow Panic, over at J's, agreed with her but over here has had another think at it and seems to agree with me, but made what was to me an interesting and somewhat ambiguous statement: "i guess i was thinking of hanging out with them like i hang out with the girls-- like going out and stuff. i don't know". So male friends are okay, but you still cannot "hang out" with them like you would "the girls?" Why not?

At first I didn't quite understand De's comment over at J's, except that her last statement about K being naive made me understand. Her comment here consolidated that understanding. my response is - How can jealousy exist if there is trust? I find them mutually exclusive. So, to prevent jealousy I have to make friends with both the wife AND her husband? And Laura has to make friends with him too? I don't know about other people, but how likely is it that I will meet a woman I want to be friends with and ALSO find that I feel the same about her husband? I find that unlikely and unreasonable. How many potential friends am I losing if I had to stay away from couples that I didn't like equally?

Julie Pippert was one of those wholly supportive over at J's, she mentions that it just doesn't look right and all friendships have to include both spouses. Which she refines here to say that you have to be "careful of the dynamic and respectful of their marriage" and goes on to say that most people have run into problems with this type of friendship and goes further by saying that trust isn't the issue here. I have to say that I disagree, it is all about trust. I also made my position clear with regard to having to be responsible for their marriage - I'm not. She concludes by saying that she personally doesn't have time for these relationships, her life is full of other things - and she lists friends as part of those things. I am left to assume that these are female friends.

Jen - you were one of the very few who disagreed with J and you've repeated that here, in your own succinct way. It is nice to know that I'm not the only one.

Lee - that's a cop out, girl. Take a stand! Join the fray.

I want to close this novel by saying one more thing to J. She was really nice to say in her comment here that she didn't mean to be discouraging me and that I should continue to form friendships where I can find them. I appreciate that, but I can say that even after having thought this through, If I accept what you and your readers are telling me then I have a really hard road ahead of me. As I have said to others and also here in other posts - I have a hard enough time finding people I want to be friends with without having these extra hurdles to overcome. I guess I will have to treasure those friendships I make even more because there will be fewer of them.

Friday, February 08, 2008

that seals it

I give up.

read the comments. I guess there really isn't any - or enough - trust in marriage for friends of the opposite sex to be possible.

I'm so fucking tired of wondering why, and now I know. Even if everything else is there for friendship, I'm not allowed.

so I'm not trying any more.

Monday, February 04, 2008


Just exactly how is someone supposed to feel when they are being interviewed by someone whose goal is to replace you?

The company I work for periodically hires a consulting firm to review our operations and to recommend changes that would improve it. This has happened at least 4 times (maybe more that I'm not aware of) since I've worked here. Let's review their performance. When I started this company had @40 facilities and we were the 2nd largest textile firm in the world. Today we have 1 production facility and 4 distribution centers (domestic) and 1 facility overseas. I guess I shouldn't blame the shift of manufacturing in the US to off-shore totally on them, but I am not in the mood to be fair. Anyway, this round of consulting resulted in the recommendation that we (the collective "we", i.e. this company) should review the Finance, Customer Service, and IT areas.

So, the implementation of this recommendation is to hire the company that we have already outsourced our A/P function to to study these areas - ostensibly to prepare an objective recommendation of how to cut costs in these areas. This same company that provides services in these additional areas.


So, any doubts as to whether our company will implement the recommendations that we've paid so much for?


So I was interviewed two weeks ago now by someone from this outsourcing company. He asked all of about 6 questions, with a few variations on the theme of those questions. No searching questions about my day to day responsibilities, no deeply analytical questions about the system I support and it's role in the running of the company. No questions about who uses the system and their role in this company.


Today I am to complete a list of (currently) outstanding tasks, their scope, and the time it would take to complete the work.


Any guesses as to my next writing project? My resume.