Last night, during an exceptionally important tournament of rock, paper, scissor, shoot(RPSS from here on out) I had a bit of an epiphany. After losing pretty badly to some girl named Jenna, it occured to me that I had not played this childhood favorite for years. It was used quite often as a deal breaker of sorts. It determined who would hide and who would seek, who got to jump first during jump rope, who got to do basically anything fun and or powerful ever. Sometimes we would use the one potato 2 potato method or the eenie meanie, but often times RPSS would be the prevailing decision making device. Whatever happened to this beautiful method…when did it phase out. I honestly don’t remember, it just left me one day as if in a dream. I sold it at a tag sale along with my skip – it and care bear collection. When did things start being solved differently? And on a slightly different note when did RPS shooting turn into gun shooting. I was thinking the other day about being raised. My parents taught me always try and work out problems by discussing them. If I fought with my brother and sister ( which I did) I would be punished. If I was ever violent I was reprimanded and we would try to work out my anger issues. In kindergarten when I fought I was sent to the principal’s office. All throughout life violence is discouraged as a means to work out conflict. Why then do we so often resort to violence in order to settle disputes? Why does the government send our citizens to fight in a war to supposidly work through disagreements? Why do we not only act violently, but actually kill others in order to work through change? I don’t understand what is different from when we were children. Why is it not okay for me to hit my sister because she won’t let me play with her but it is okay to shoot someone because we don’t like their government’s policies? It seems beyond primitive to me… why has so much progress been made elsewhere in society, yet this barbaric method of conflict resolution remains? It almost makes more sense to RPS shoot it out… which if it is done in Ithaca for the next few days… may win you a trip to Vegas as a bonus!
To alleviate any confusion that may have been caused, here is a post that I had up originally and then chose to erase based on the fact that it was slightly belligerent and typo ridden. It was inspired by a brief research project on the Heritage Foundation, a conservative Think Tank, based in Washington D.C. This organization claims to have no ties to the government, however seems suspiciously close to those in the White House, as well as has strong ties within the media with sources including the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. The Think Tank produces research that more or less supports the idea that there should be less government assistance for the poor and focuses on more individual freedom as well as free enterprise. In essence the theory is this: People can be successful based entirely on their own talents. It should not matter whether a person is Hispanic, or black, or white, a man or woman, coming from the streets, or coming from wealthy suburbia. Surprisingly funding mainly comes from a few extremely wealthy donors, and then a seemingly never ending list of large Corporations.
I am white. I am from an extremely affluent section of Connecticut. I attend an even wealthier Ivy League University and I can tell you right now without batting an eye that I am not here solely based on my personal work ethic. It does happen that I have a fabulous work ethic, don’t get me wrong, however I have a lot more factors on my side that will allow me to be successful in the future. I have two supportive working parents that have provided me with love and financial security since birth. I have been provided with some of the best public lower level schooling in the world and now a highly regarded College education. I have always been well fed, well –dressed (relatively speaking), and well groomed.
So it may be extremely easy for me to say that all it takes is hard work for someone to get to the top, but the truth of the matter is this is simply not true. Poor people do not have equal access to good health care, education, or training. People that are less than poor do not have equal access to safe housing, nutritious food, or public funding that may help them get back on their feet. Once one reaches the bottom, it is virtually impossible to get back up. The fact is this we should not be providing flat taxes in order to preserve the sickening wealth possessed by a small minority of those living in the US, but we should be focusing on increasing public assistance to help get people at a level where they have a fighting chance to sustain themselves. Furthermore, I think we all need to be a little bit careful when reading, seeing, or hearing anything, because it is more than likely the researcher quoted is funded by the people they are claiming to support. And more than too many people trust the media as an accurate source for non biased news, so my friends, I would highly suggest we all suck it up, be a bit more skeptical and stop trying step on the little people in order to get to the top.
Some people people find sanctuary at a place of worship, whether it be a chapel, a temple, a meditation room, or some other place in the presence of GOD. Others find their calm at a beach with purring waves and powder soft sand. Then there are others whom feel most at peace at the spa under the finger tips of a well trained massage therapist. Well I too have found my safe place, my mecca. This place of glory and bliss is called Wegman’s. For those unfortunate souls without a Wegman’s nearby imagine the most awe inspiring sight you have ever seen. Perhaps it is the Grand Canyon, or the Swiss Alps, maybe the pyramids in Egypt. The Seven Wonders of the World don’t come close. It is at Wegman’s where I can order a skim latte, then wheel my cart over to the bakery where several jolly employees can fill my arms with loaf after loaf of fresh baked sour dough or french baguette, and then perhaps stop for a snack of freshly prepared pasta, sandhwich, or salad. I could select a vegetarian or vegan option, or perhaps choose a variety of Asian cuisines. After some sustenance, I can begin my journey. There is the feel of a European open air market as I wheel past fresh fish and meats, olives, fresh mozzarella, and then finally stop in front of all of my favorite cheeses. Parmesan, Roquefort, Gruyere, Gouda, Goat, Tellagio, Gjetost, Brie, Camembert, row after row of cheese after cheese. When I am at Wegman’s I am at home. It is here where feasts become a reality, where recipes are created and soon to be tested. Here miracles happen, dreams come true. At Wegman’s one not only shops, but experiences. It isn’t a chore, but a joy. I feel like a painter picking out paints when I am there. Somehow whether it be the enchanting layout, the consistent qualtity and variety, the soothing lighting, or the spotless cleanliness Wegman’s brings out the artist in everyone. Because food really is art, it should be enjoyed like a a fine painting, slowly and with great thought. It should not be gulped behind a wheel at a drive through, or in a bar. It should not be a quick fix or a solution. Food is an opportunity for people to craft elements together to make something that can provide joy and pleasure. It should bring people together and bring them life. It is at my mecca where these elements can be gathered and used to create masterpieces. It is at Wegman’s where food becomes art.
I forgot to mention in my previous post the most important dating option of all. It is one that not only truly amuses me, but makes me want to run to my computer and book a flight. It seems that airlines have figured out the secret desire for all single travlers ( or I suppose anyone just a little bit lonely) to pick seat assignments based on the desire to meet a potential mate. Yes, dating can now be done in the air, while flying to a new fabulous destination. Peanuts, and assorted soft drinks are provided and alcoholic beverages can be purchased for an additional charge. Its actually a wonderful idea for the multitasker and those that particularly enjoy heights. And who doesn’t get on a flight with visions of dreamy seat buddies dancing in their heads?? Thank god someone is making that dream a reality.
This past summer a friend and I, dissatisfied with the selection of bachelors in our somewhat sprawling suburban town, decided out of curiosity to sign up for match.com. I thought it would be a fun social experiment. We had plans of a book and movie, however these shortly fizzled. At first it was exciting, deciding which picture to use, what to put in our profile, and seeing who else utilized the service. It became immediately clear that what was a “fun social experiment” for us, was a way of life for a large population (at least on this site). Messages were received daily by people that wanted to “chat” or even meet in person. I removed myself from the site after a “business man” over the age of 50 from my own hometown wanted to get together. It is amazing to me how dating has become such a large business not only in this country, but around the world. When googling the words dating service over 63,200,000 hits come up. There is match.com, e-harmony, j-date, lovecompass, plentyoffish.com, etc. Sites offering Russian brides, those for specific religious affiliations, for those over 40, on and on. There are also services such as “It’s Just Lunch” which is designed for business professionals, too busy for the dating scene. This service organizes lunch dates based on user profiles. Speed dating is another face to face form of dating. Companies such as hurrydate and 8 minute dating organize parties at local bars and clubs that allow for couples to meet for a short period of time (5-8 minutes). Throughout the night one can meet anywhere from 25-30 people and then they can determine if they want to meet for a real date. Recently, online dating services have made the leap to cell phone service. Now people can meet and chat anywhere anytime! In other countries it is possible for your mobile device to indicate whethere your “buddy” or “match” is within a 100 ft radius of you at any given time. As a college student, these ideas seem more than a little crazy. Whatever happened to the old fashioned way of meeting a mate, in a mosh pit aka frat party, or at a rowdy bar? Whatever happened to sharing a milkshake or hand holding?? Is the only post college dating option through my cell phone? Am I limited to 5 minute forced interactions from here on out? Or worse yet, will I have to mail order a husband? I don’t even think they do that!!! I don’t doubt that many people have found wonderful companions through these services and everyone deserves that. What concerns me is that we are moving too fast. Our lives our a blur and we are too self absorbed and scared to look around and approach people in the flesh. I feel very Carrie Bradshaw-esque writing about this, but is the dating we once knew obsolete?