Saturday, July 31, 2010

Awkwardness in the Underwear Aisle

School is about to begin again. This will be my last semester until graduation, which means I’ll be student teaching. I’m nervous about this, but ready for it to begin. I think I’m more anxious than anything for it to just be over with, that way I can finally get hired somewhere and begin a new chapter of my life. It’s what I’ve been working toward for the last two years now.

Anyway, the other day I went to the store to pick up some things I knew I’d be needing for school; mostly new clothes, since I didn’t have enough formal attire for teaching that would satisfy being in a school five days a week (khaki pants and dress shirts). Like most people, I wear underwear, and that being the case, I knew it wouldn’t hurt to pick up a few new pairs while I was at it. So, I found myself walking down the underwear aisle. You might imagine that this is an aisle frequented mostly by men, but you’d be wrong in assuming that. It never fails that whenever I go to pick out underwear the aisle has at least one or two women standing around—no doubt shopping for their husbands—and I usually turn out to be the only guy around. Now, I don’t know if women find it awkward for men to be in the ladies underwear aisles (for whatever reason they would be), but I’ll admit I find it quite awkward to be choosing, and thereby announcing, what sort of underwear I wear in front of women. It almost, in a weird sort of way, just makes me feel naked in front of them, as if all of a sudden I’m stripped right down to my underwear. Because of this, I try to avoid going down the men’s underwear aisle until it is in the clear (though this is nearly impossible, because for every women that leaves, another seems to always show up, which just makes me end up wanting to scream for all of them to get out of the place—though I never actually have).

Not only do I find it awkward picking out underwear with women staring over my shoulder, but being of the sexual persuasion I am, I admit it seems a bit awkward to go walking down an aisle looking at a bunch of packages with almost completely naked (and usually good looking) men plastered all over their covers. I often find myself holding my breath and my heart rate increasing while in this aisle, which just makes me a bit self-conscious, wondering if my appeal to the imagery is noticeable to others. I do try not to look too long at any of the packages. I know which type of underwear I generally like (and to satisfy any curiosities, I’ll tell you it’s Hanes boxer briefs) and so I can usually just get them and go and all remains good in the world. But there are times when I can’t find the usual and do have to do some looking to decide what I want.

I wonder if the reason the men’s underwear aisle is usually devoid of other men is because, like me, most men just feel uncomfortable being there. If someone sees you looking at how the underwear looks on another guy, will they think you’re gay? I can imagine other men thinking this, whether gay or straight. Most men may just not like seeing all of those pictures of other men. There again, like me, they may just not like choosing their underwear in front of women. As for the women, I suppose they could just be a bunch of pervs who, like me, find the packaging appealing, but, unlike me, feel unabashed about looking.

What do you think?

All the Missing People

You’d think with three titles in a row including “All the Missing” that I must be missing something or other, and you’d be right in assuming that. For whatever reason, I have been feeling kind of nostalgic and sentimental lately. I’ve been thinking about a lot of the people I’ve met and become friends with over the years. Some of them are still a part of my life, but others aren’t. I miss a lot of people. There are so many people who I really would like to have gotten closer to, or to have just stayed in contact with.

I hate making a really good friend just to see the friendship between us slowly fade into practically nothing. I hate feeling like I’ve lost friends. I know people come into and out of your life all the time. This is normal and most people experience this, I know. But still, I hate this part of it.

I feel like I miss people all the time, more than not, and I just absolutely hate having this feeling. Every once in a while I’ll run into someone, and I like that I do. It’s usually never the same though. Time passes and people move away and live their lives, go places, do things, change from the people you knew them to be. It amazes me just how much people can change. I know I’m not the same person I was ten years ago. Everyone changes. And that being the case, it is understandable why friends don’t stay the same, why they move in and out of your life and why old friends go and new friends come along. I get this. It still doesn’t help me keep from missing people though.

Friday, July 16, 2010

All the Missing Minutes

One thing I should have emphasized more in my last post is my fear of the future. I can be hopeful and wish for the best, but with the future comes a great deal of uncertainty. I hate making plans and counting on things to be a certain way just for those plans and expectations to be altered. Granted, this can be a good thing, and I do try to look at such changes in that light. But, still, I hate for my plans to be changed by random uncertainties. On top of that, I do often doubt my resolve, abilities, and decisions. I like writing, for example, and would love to get a book published someday that would get some attention, but I doubt my own writing skills and abilities to be able to pull that off. And I do second guess myself a great deal of the time as well—I’ve been told I need a bit more self-confidence, and in this I’m sure others have been correct in telling me so. Regardless of the reasons for my fear of the future though, it will suffice to say simply that I do sometimes have that fear.

I really do just wish I could freeze time or go back and relive certain moments though. I feel like the minutes of the clock just keep ticking by and the next thing I know I’ve wasted a whole day or not been able to do everything I wanted to do. And then I dread tomorrow (enough so at times that I’ve honestly just not wanted to go to sleep at night, as if there’s a fear that each day will be my last and I won’t get any more time).

As I said before, I’ve been feeling nostalgic, which is usually a feeling that gets me nowhere; it’s only about looking back. I wish I could go back to my middle school days. I really loved that time in my life, that time between sixth and eighth grades. I had several friends, loved my teachers/school, was doing well in school, actually got along with my parents, and everything just seemed so much easier and less complicated. I miss past summers. I wish I could relive this time last year. I was reading through the Harry Potter books for the first time, and as stupid as it may sound, that was a blessing and a truly uplifting experience for me. I stand in awe of what J.K. Rowling has created in the Harry Potter series—it leaves me without words really. And I wish for certain other things as well.

I guess the point of this post is just to say that I wish I had more time. I never feel like I can get enough stuff done that I’d like to. That and I do hold onto the past too much and fear the unknown. I see that and understand it, and I know it’s something I shouldn’t do so much. I’m going to try to work on those things.

In the meantime, I hear the clock a ticking…

Monday, July 12, 2010

All the Missing Pieces

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m a fairly sentimental sort of person.

I’ve been feeling rather nostalgic lately. I keep thinking about friends I’ve had, classes I’ve taken, former teachers, just certain moments in time. I keep thinking about when my dad and I played through a few video games together back in ’03 and ’04. I really enjoyed that time. I keep thinking about all the summers I spent working on the lake, all the assignments I’ve had to complete the last couple of years in school, past vacations, time spent with friends hanging out.

I find myself daydreaming in the past.

I see many mistakes. I have a lot of regrets. My life has been riddled with these things. I see many good times, wise decisions, and lucky turns as well though. I’d say, overall, I have actually had a rather average life. Like anyone else I’ve had my ups and downs.

I wish sometimes that I could go back and relive certain times though. Some of these times so that I could relive their enjoyment and others so that I could make certain corrections and right particular wrongs.

I feel so often as though something is missing in my life. Perhaps this is just because I spend too much time looking back, missing certain things, or that I, despite trying not to be, have a “glass is half empty” outlook about things. But I know it, too, could be due to a lack of self confidence and hope for a future that resembles anything at all like what I’d want it to be. The future I’d like to have always seems so allusive. For instance, just as I’m about to begin student teaching, the county where I live and many surrounding are forced by the state to lay off many new teachers, enough so that I am now fearful about my prospects for finding a job teaching anytime soon. At times like this I remind myself to be patient, though I admit, my patience is tested much more often that I’d like or feel like I can even withstand.

I’m growing very tired of my present circumstances. I suppose I’m far from alone in feeling this way. It’s good to dream and to hope and want for a better life, and most people do this. It’s good to enjoy life in its present as well though. I think that’s something I forget to do sometimes. Other times I just feel as though time is ticking away and all I can think or wish for is just a little more time, to sort of freeze time and enjoy the present a little longer.

I guess I just want and long for more good moments in life. I’m kind of craving that at the moment. To be honest, I just feel as though my life is one big puzzle, and I’m just trying to figure out where all the pieces fit, to make as few mistakes as possible, enjoy the game, and someday finish on top, with everything in place and as it should be.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Honey Verses Vinegar

Jeff posted an incredible story on his blog, and I thought it was worth posting as well. Please read this story, as it demonstrates the type of positive, rather than often times negative, impact Christians can have on others.

I know what it feels like to be mistreated by fellow Christians. It hurts. I've never received an apology from the ones who mistreated me, or from the church where they attended, but it would feel so nice and would ease certain bitterness, anger, and disappointment if they would. What you have hopefully read and understood from this story is that there are so many homosexuals (and others) out there, hurting, and that much of that hurt has come from the church itself. And there's no reason for it. Sinners don't have to be feared, hated, bashed, belittled, tortured, rejected or anything else like that. Instead, they should be loved.

You can't help people if you treat them like crap. You have to set a good example, and pray and help them to be better people. And even if that doesn't work, you must still love, pray and help them, but also understand that each person has his or her own decisions to make in life. You may not like some of the decisions other people make, but these are their decisions to make and their lives to live. Just because you disagree with them, doesn't mean you should mistreat them. That never says anything about them, or helps them in any way whatsoever. But it does say something rather negative about you if that is the sort of person you choose to be. So, don't be that type of Christian. And, if you have been in the past, seriously think about saying "I'm sorry" to the person you mistreated.