…my new, coffee table photobook is now available here. it’s 72 full color pages of my photographs…of street art, murals, graffiti, tags, banners, posters, and stickers…taken during my photographic expeditions to the 18b…the las vegas art’s district.
…according to the urban dictionary a faux pas is “french for ‘false step.’ a severe social blunder or major breach in etiquette. if the faux pas in question was unintentional it oftens leads to a very awkward and uncomfortable moment. if the faux pas in question was intentional the person who intentionally committed the faux pas in question is often loathed for an appropriate period of time (or bitch slapped). but- on a rare occasion the person the intentional faux pas was directed at might find it funny and laugh it off.”
my ex used to tell me a story about her ex boyfriend. she was taking him to meet her father for the first time over dinner at a fancy restaurant. both were very nervous, i am unsure of how the rest of it went now, so, i apologize if i don’t get it completely correct.
the trio were sharing conversation and getting to know each other. at some point fairly early on, my exes boyfriend…said or did something goofy or awkward. he knew what a faux pas was and quickly wanted to acknowledge his mistake, while tackling a fancy phrase.
what came out of his mouth, mortified my ex. she was embarrassed for him to have made such a blunder. he was unaware that he had said anything incorrectly. i don’t even remember now, if she corrected him or not, but i do remember what he said. he said something like, “oops! i made a *fox paws*.” and that little tid bit of awkwardness, has stuck with me.
i try to be diligent in knowing the meanings of words, how “fancy $20 words” are pronounced, what’s acceptable, and what’s respectful. when it comes to speaking and writing, no matter how careful i am, there are times when i commit *fox paws* of my very own. when that happens, it’s all downhill from there.
on those occassions when i “step in it,” i “step in it” with both feet. one thing that i can say about myself, is that when i commit to something, i’m in all the way up to my eyeballs. there’s no “fence sitting,” when it comes to a faux pas. you either meant it or you didn’t. i don’t think that i’ve ever had an intentional faux pas. mine have all been very much unintentional and endlessly embarassing.
here’s part of my problem, once i realize that i’ve committed a faux pas. i freeze. my mind begins to spin. and if i’m texting, my fingers begin fiercely typing: my apalling realization, my sincere apology, and the message as i wish that i would’ve conveyed it. in all actuality, it should stop there, but it doesn’t!
i make things even more complicated by adding my “emoji hieroglyphics.” in my mind, they are meant to dispel any kind of tension or discomfort. they are to explain my thought process and related chain of emotions. if anyone ever stopped to ask me, “what were you thinking?” these “hieroglyphics,” would easily answer that question. but the thing is…nobody’s ever asked me that question. i just throw it out there all “willy-nilly.”
yesterday, i was having a text conversation with my friend. she and her sister had been shopping at nordstroms. she was relating the details of their shopping trip and the fact that they had gotten some nice things. well, of course i was happy and excited for them. i relayed that fact immediately and without giving it too much thought.
i pushed the “send” button and immediately cringed. i froze and read what i had just sent. a voice in my mind repeatedly chided, “undo, undo, undo…” of course there are no “magic gossamer threads” attached to texts that you can just yank on and pull back to you without the other party seeing. i would pay good money for such an app!
i looked again and there it was, “you girls scored!” i was absolutely mortified. there was no unringing that bell. my only excuse, which i didn’t use, was that i’ve only been keeping company with girls, “the girls.” i guess that i just wasn’t thinking beyond the confines of our apartment.
in my attempt to “right my wrong,” i just kept “stepping in it.” the faux pas was like a snowball rolling down hill, getting bigger, and faster…and way more noticeable. but mind you, i’m the only one that was upset and offended by my faux pas. they were not, but i didn’t know that at the time.
so, from “you girls scored!” i apologized for referring to them as girls and explained that i didn’t mean it to offend or be disrespectful. from there, i reworked my original line. it read, “you young ladies scored!” and then, it became, “shit…you young women scored!” and then, out they came…the “emoji hieroglyphics.”
hieroglyphics key as follows:
😁 – enjoying my conversation
😕 – oh dear…
🤔 – recalculating
🤤 – omg!
😨 – frozen
😲 – undo, undo, undo
😓 – i feel awful
☹ – ruh-roo
💩 – shit
🙊 – going to be quiet, i’ve said enough
keep in mind, that i haven’t really spoken with or been in the company of a true lady, in a little over a year. so, in my current reality “ladies” don’t exist. i just never gave it all a second thought until i did. and then when i did, i panicked.
they did however let me know that they preferred to be addressed as just “ladies,” as opposed to anything else. it was a huge relief to me to find out the proper address for next time and to know that they were not offended.
…apparently harsh, but loving statements work. they were short, concise, cutting…although the letter itself was long. it received a glowing review from 🕵.
the same person who instilled a fear in me that i never had. the fear that what i have to say is weird, awkward, garbled. that what i have to say has meanings understood only by me.
anyway, she loved the god damn letter (my post: excerpts from a letter). i guess the point is that when i remove the things that i love the most, words and details, my points are well-received.
hearing that cutting out what i loved, made people more receptive to reading what i write, kind of crushed my spirit, yet again. i thought about quitting writing and blogging altogether.
i started to dissect things about myself…comparing and valuing strengths and weaknesses. and then, comparing and contrasting that data with samples of my writing.
i was able to ascertain that all of the extraneous details that i add to things tend to be emotions/feelings, evocative of the senses, memories/experiences, numbers, and big vocabulary.
so, to 🕵…those things are meaningless time wasters. i’m sure by now that most readers that have had issue with my verbose, or as my friend calls it “prolific nature,” have quit reading.
so, that leaves me and what i love, words, descriptions, and details…and everyone else who has come to appreciate my writing for what it actually is…me.
i will not allow 🕵 to take away my voice or my joy. this is my blog and i will try new things, work on being more simple and concise, and i will continue to do it my way.
i want to thank each of my readers for their continued support, encouragement, questions, comments, and suggestions. thank you for reading and trying to understand me!
it’s taken me much longer to finish this bit that i’ve been writing, cutting “me” out, leaving “me” in…over and over again. i’m more than a little frustrated. i’m trying to blend an even mix of both.
wish me luck, as i finish, and then self-edit. hopefully, i will be able to utilize both styles and blend them into something that is both me and concise…meaningful without verbosity.
…this past year i’ve been given many therapeutic tools, tricks, and exercises. i have used them all and have experienced a great deal of success, that i want to continue to build upon.
i’ve had a lot of success with isolating negative thoughts and switching them to positives. if i have time to write them out, i do…because seeing them helps me to absorb them.
but, i also play “thought police” and try to detain the negatives, before they escape my mind. once detained i can mentally switch to them to positives, but this is not as helpful to me.
the following are some examples:
negative: i will never make it home again.
positive: i am actively working my plan.
negative: nobody likes me.
positive: i’ve got lots of friends.
negative: i won’t be able to get a car.
positive: i have enough for a substantial down payment.
negative: i’m going to end up alone in the hospital.
positive: i’m strong and healthy.
…sometimes i look through my eyes and my vision seems like/feels like…
…instead of vision being like a theoretical thing…
…it’s more like a physical substance…
…the best way that i can think of to describe it…
…is if you have a sieve and you put cheesecloth in it…
…and then, you pour molasses or honey into it….
…the result might be more liquid coming through some areas and less in others…
…the atoms of molasses or honey are fighting to get out…
…so, you can feel yourself exerting maximum effort to see…
…i’ve been complaining to doctors about this for two years…
…all doctors say that i’m fine…
…and, this includes an ophthalmologist…
…nothing is wrong…
…there have been times when i’m looking at something…
…and, it disappears altogether…
…except for the outside fringes…
…or, i’ve closed my eyes and then opened them…
…and, saw absolutely nothing…
…i know that this is weird…
…i’m wondering if it could be related to being overly tired…
…and, having insomnia or being dehydrated…
…that i need and want to do. it’s something that i’m struggling with. lately, i’m just not good with words…
…i’m not exactly sure why. i’m strong and i’m healthy. i’m getting plenty of exercise and i’m sleeping better than i had been…
…i’ll say that my therapist is partially responsible for this problem, as i let her read something that i had written…
…she told me that it sounded really weird and disjointed and strange. and, it psyched me out…
…i’m afraid that if that was truly that awful, the next thing might be just as awful or worse…
…i guess that might be why i’ve shied away from posting lately. i wrote a post earlier about how i feel…like i’m seven again…
…but, i’m working on being more concise. i’m hoping that my words and vocabulary will come back. i’ve got work to do…
…i have so much that i want to say all the time. i literally feel like i am back to being seven and in the second grade with so much burgeoning enthusiasm that it just cannot be contained.
when mrs. jones asks the class a question, i am nearly falling out of my seat waving my hand the highest and the hardest, even yelling, “oh, oh, oh…i know, i know, i know!!!”
well, that’s because i’m seven and i’ve been reading already for nearly five years, everything that i can get my hands on. i truly do know most everything that my classmates do not.
i am not called on to answer the question, so i begin talking to my neighbor telling them the answer, distracting them from their own learning experience. another question is offered up to the class.
this time i am standing on my chair for a split second before mrs. jones very calmly walks over, puts her hands on my waist and in one movement puts me back into my seat. she says nothing, but continues to stand next to me with a hand on my shoulder.
i shoot her a look and then, i see all of my classmates staring at me, so i begin to make goofy faces, which elicits laughs and giggles from the whole class. very displeased, mrs. jones picks me up, grabs a chair and places me into the corner.
she points to an arbitrary spot on the wall and tells me to put my nose on it and keep it there. i grudgingly do so. she continues to stand next to me determined to make me comply.
mrs. jones asks the class another question. it is a really good one, one that no one readily gets called upon to answer. i really want to be good.
i try hard to be good, but i just can’t do it. i cannot contain my seven year old enthusiasm or my need to feel intellectually superior.
i am so amped that i shriek the answer with gusto and glee, because being right and well-informed is worth absolutely any punishment.
with that little antic, mrs. jones becomes visibly shaken, grabs a roll of masking tape from her desk, tears off a sizable chunk and places it across my mouth.
my classmates all turn around. there are snickers, belly laughs, and giggles. my friends are pointing and making goofy faces at me. someone lets out a loud fart noise and blames it on me.
i can feel my face flush and myself getting angry. i am embarrassed and humiliated. i have to make one last desperate gesture of communication that shows that if nothing else, i am committed.
so, i look at my classmates very carefully and intentionally. i look at mrs. jones and “voice” my displeasure over the whole affair.
i slowly and deliberately raise my right hand and my right middle finger, holding the rest of my fingers in a tightly clenched fist.
with that, i push poor, calm mrs. jones off of the deep end. she picks me up and carries me, still with masking tape over my mouth, past one…two…three classrooms with students and teachers alike agawk…standing at the windows.
i am deposited at pastor geiger’s office with the statement to the pastor being, “i don’t know what else to do with her.” the pastor sits across from me. he is a very kind man. i stare into his gentle eyes and he stares back.
we continue to stare. suddenly, the pastor sticks out his tongue, makes a pig nose, and snorts really loudly. i let out a laugh that pops the tape loose from my mouth. i look at the pastor and he says, “you can remove it (the tape) the rest of the way.” i do.
i meet the pastor’s eyes. he is kind, but serious when he says, “miss w, we really need to stop meeting like this. i am going to let this slide this time, but if this happens again, before the end of the trimester, i will spank you and call your dad.”
i look at him and say, “okay, i’m sorry.” he looks back and says, “okay, but i’m not the one that you need to apologize to. you need to go back to class and apologize to mrs. jones and your classmates for disrupting class.”
so, he takes my small hand in his big one and we make our way to my classroom. he enters first and says, “excuse me mrs. jones and class, but miss w has something that she’d like to say. miss w, the floor is finally yours.”
and, i purposefully take my place at the front of the classroom. i take my time to make eye contact with each classmate, mrs. jones, and finally the pastor…who winks at me, as if to give me my cue.
i begin to simply apologize, but realize that i do have the floor, as well as everyone’s attention. my simple apology ends up a soliloquy, tying up all of it’s offshoots and loose ends masterfully.
as i finish, i notice mrs. jones and the pastor share a knowing look and smile. i pick-up on it and wonder if i am forgiven, as i am genuinely sorry.
i just want a chance to be heard and a chance to answer. i realize that i must find a more respectful way of communicating. i think about that for the rest of the day…
…and, here i find myself forty-two years later trying to figure out the same thing. how to not be overwhelming and word-heavy. how not make weird or awkward statements. how to not divulge too much information.
…until i figure about the “how” and can master that…i feel that i will forever be that big-mouthed, defiant, class-clown…giving soliloquies, when a concise statement will do.
***mind you, in real life i am learning and practicing being concise, with help. sometimes, i get down on myself. today is such a day. so, as always, my blog is for as many words as i want. real life is for practicing to be concise.***