So, my boy got me flowers for Mother's Day. Of the plantable variety (impatiens, petunias, and carnations), because I don't really like cut flowers much. We didn't go for the set-up I'd wanted--just too expensive, and what if it didn't work? This isn't a good year for investing in things that are just going to fall apart or die. And that's okay--I'm a flower freak, I am. I'm so happy to get my hands in the dirt and make things bloom. He gave me daylilies a few years ago--just bulbs. I planted them, and they've moved with me twice now. Yes, I have daylilies in containers. Why not?
So, the other day, my boy was hanging out on some website--Failblog, maybe? And he came across a business sign. He laughed and said, "Major fail!" I looked, and said, "I dunno, hon--it's not really a universal term, no doubt far more people DON'T know it than do."
The business name? "FAP."
He disagreed strenuously, insisted that EVERYONE knows that one. I told him I thought he was seriously misjudging the demographics of this country. And then I had an idea--I'd ask!
Obviously, I can't stroll through the mall or Wegmans with a clipboard, asking folks if they know the meaning of this term. That might get me thrown out (or arrested, depending on how many DO know). So I did the next best thing. I hit my Facebook account and asked THERE. Sure, it's a seriously constrained sample--one biased in HIS favor, because folks on Facebook are, by definition, on the internet. Plus, to toot my own horn just a little, I have many culturally savvy friends. And so I asked the following question:
Hey, folks! A little experiment: answering ONLY "yes" or "no," tell me if you are familiar with (and know the meaning of) the term "fap." Please, no hints, winks, or sly little references--JUST "yes" or "no."
Of course, there were a few who just couldn't resist making cute allusions to the meaning, but I was on them and deleting within seconds.
The outcome? Better than 75% of respondents were not familiar with the term. Including a couple younger, "gamer" types. I believe that, in the general population, the number of "in the dark" folks would be even higher. My boy was disappointed, but also seemed interested and impressed by the whole process. I think it was a good lesson in demographics and the differences in experience and knowledge between groups.
Speaking (still) of my boy, I nearly broke myself the other day, letting my mind wander too far. He was looking at me as we spoke, and, for just a moment, I saw that sweet-faced, wide-eyed, few-toothed, excited boy he was 12 years or so ago. And wow, it was . . . hard. I choked up, my eyes filled. He will never, ever again run at me, arms outstretched and only barely keeping from tumbling ass over teakettle, that smile so big. I wish I'd held onto that somehow for just a little while longer. How did that go? How was there always time to do tomorrow, tomorrow, and suddenly there's no time left?
How does this:
In only a few minutes? Because that's all it was. Just a few minutes, just a blink. My poor heart.
I was going to blog about civet coffee--you know, the coffee made from coffee beans eaten by (and shat out by) civet cats? Originally a rich-folk "oh, the ennui!" treat (?) for folks too cool, too bored, and too intent on impressing others and being interesting to notice they were drinking roasted cat turd coffee, it became POPULAR with that gawdawful "Bucket List" movie. This created an incredible demand for cat-turd coffee, which, in turn, led suppliers to stop foraging for it and, instead, start cramming civet cats into small cages, force-feeding them coffee beans in order to meet the demand.
Think about that for a moment, please. How utterly grotesque is that? And how awful and spoiled are we that our society gives rise to that sort of trendyism? Ew.
Oh, look. I blogged about it anyway.
Nothing ugly today. Instead, there's this. It might be a little preachy, but it works for me. I've always, since early teens, at least, been the smiler, the greeter, the person who, in the middle of a long, irritating wait at the DMV or the grocery store, smiles, commiserates, chooses to be kind. I do, that's me. It's always been me. And it is a choice, absolutely. And yeah, there are rare occasions when I choose NOT to engage, I choose to be irritated, but I am always aware that it is a choice. No, I'm not bragging, I'm just . . . ruminating. Because I've never had it laid out like this before, never really considered how I am and how I interact. I am, above all else, painfully empathetic, so when others are maybe angry at the woman behind the desk at the DMV, I'm imagining spending 8 hours behind that desk dealing with angry people, only to come back the next morning to do it again. And again.