Emotional Vibrator

Emotional vibrator is a phrase I used in my last post in regards to Gigi, the most recent lady of the online night to take her leave of me. And really, who can blame her, right?

I thought it quite clever myself, although I’m not sure I coined the phrase. In any case, it seemed to me what Gigi wanted me to be for her, an emotional affirmation machine to help soothe her through her most recent break-up blah blah blah. But of course I was unwilling to do that because it seemed a one-sided and ultimately losing proposition for me. I don’t expect a sure thing – although I did like that 80s movie with John Cusack;

but let’s face it I dig any movie with John Cusack in it (and a chick like Nicollette Sheriedan), man I can’t wait to see the new movie with him about Edgar Allen Poe….wait, what was I talking about.

Oh yeah, vibrators, of the emotional variety.

Of course, this is not just a woman thing. Men do it too (though in a slightly different way I suppose), they seek out women to soothe them emotionally, and when they are done being soothed, they clean up, dispose of their emotional self-healing toy and move on.

I’ve been called out for doing something like this, being told – no, not just told but literally chastised: “I can’t fix you!” All for expressing the fact that I was feeling sad and missed my family. I didn’t expect this particular woman to fix me. In fact, the very notion was laughable; she was so fucked up herself.

That’s part of why my date the other night was so cool. I could actually talk about my ex – good and bad – and was not punished for it – some women will come right  out and tell you they are not interested in hearing about it, others will simply glaze over and check out, others will get an irritated look on their face, still others will pretend to listen and simply disappear later. But that was not the case. My date spoke of her ex, in both good and bad terms. And really that should be allowed, up to a point. And I think because I was allowed to express a few things it was easy to simply shut up about it…more or less.

But that is not where I was planning on going with this. No. My intention was to bring up the phrase Emotional Vibrator (you know, even though  I may not have coined it, I wonder if I could still copyright it? Is that possible?) because it gave me an idea for an App.

The App would of course be called: Emotional Vibrator. Or perhaps even better  Your Emotional Vibrator. And it would work like Siri on the iPhone 4. You could lament and complain and bitch and piss and moan and whine an gripe to it all you wanted and all it would ever do is offer you positive affirmation and support, agree with you, soothe you. And it would never get tired of your pathetic bullshit like everyone has.

There could even be a PlusVersion of it that has an actual vibrator attachment that you can…..

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Back to work

It’s been a busy month and a half.

Since the beginning of September I have taken two road trips. The first to Indiana to visit my brother and his family — daughter Addy came along on that one. The second was over Labor Day weekend to visit my relatives in West Virginia, a solo trip. Then I moved out of my apartment and back in with my folks. And, I collected my final unemployment check, not because my stipend had run out but because I started a new job. I was on unemployment for only 8 weeks. Don’t think I don’t know how lucky I am, especially when you consider all the people who have been out of work for months and and years, especially here in Michigan. I got lucky, I know it.

Speaking of my job, it is pretty cool. I’m not going to name the place, though. It’s an office job with all the Dilbert-esque accouterments that that entails, like cubes and copy machines and daily meetings, but the people are really cool. I like it there. Hey, we get free slushies (made from Faygo) and popcorn daily. Coffee too. This week’s slushy flavors are Lemonade and Rock n Rye. Last week it was Grape and Red Pop.

Recently JenX67 posted on her blog an entry that is, in part, about Generation X in the work place. My office is full of GenXers. I’d say mostly GenXers, from what I can gather. But there are plenty of Gen Yers/Millennials as well. In fact, my immediate supervisor is one. He’s maybe 24 or 25 years old. I heard someone ask him where he went to high school and he said Fitzgerald, graduated in 2006. I stood up at my cube and, speaking over the half-wall, said, “Hey. I went there.”

“What?” he said. “You taught there?”

I said, “No. I graduated from Fitz…twenty years before you did.” I graduated in 1986. He laughed.

My supervisor is very cool, very hip. And very good at his job. I like him a lot. I was asked by someone if it bothered me to be “taking orders” from someone so much younger than myself. But you know, it doesn’t. I could really care less. I’m there to work and to learn and he has plenty to teach, so my ears are wide open. You know, I think I’d rather have this young guy than some aging Babyboomer. At least with my boss I don’t have to listen to droning nostalgia about the 60s or The Beatles or anything like that. My boss digs JZ.

In my immediate area there a few other  GenXers. And few a Gen Yers as well.

The other day 0ur supervisor, in response to something someone else said, replied, “Awesome blossom.” He said he didn’t know why he said it.

I asked him if he was referring to the 80s TV show “Blossom.” The other GenXer’s near me just laughed and said that could not possibly be the case, he, our boss, was way too young. I’m pretty sure he didn’t have a clue what I was talking about. Although strangely enough he was singing that Sade “Smooth Operator” today. So….

Maybe this is an opportunity to blog about GenX in the workplace. Gen Y too for that matter. We’ll see. I’ll be working long hours soon, 10 to 12 hours a day some day. This new schedule means I don’t see my daughter as much. She stays with her mom more, not an ideal situation or one that I want but one has to do what one has to do. Addy and I will just have to make the time we do have together count.

“thirtysomething”

I know, I know. I’m not thirtysomething. I’m fortysomething. I barely remember my thirtysomethings. But I do remember the show “thirtysomething”, which I have been watching  again recently. Well, not so much watching as listening to, on Hulu where all 4 seasons (85 one-hour episodes in all) are currently available while I’m  at work, because my job is so mundane and routine I need something to get me through the day. Of course, that won’t be a problem for long, will it now.

I’m actually watching/listening to an episode right now, although I’m not at work. Episode 19 of season 3. It’s the one where Hope, oh so  perfect Hope, is beginning to be attracted to this guy John that she’ s working with to kill a community trash incinerator. Of course, Michael is so into  his career at DAA, the advertising agency, he does not really notice what is going on.

Anyhoo… I remember really digging this show when it first aired in the 80s, even though it was about a bunch of whiny yuppy Boomers. But I don’t think I really understood it then. How could? I was in my early twenties. What did I know? Not like I do now, now that I’ve become a parent,have  been married, and am now divorced. It really hits home, sometimes a bit too sharply. But I can’t stop watching it.

In contrast, Generation X has it’s own mid-life TV show in Parenthood, which in some ways is a better show, but I’m probably biased.

51/49 stat is BS

I was going to write a clever post about how getting divorced was like relocating to Area 51, in reference to the stat that at some point the rate of divorce tipped to over half of all marriages. But then the other day I ran across this fairly recent article, which claims that that the 51/49 stat is a media myth:

Despite the high-profile scandals, reality TV shows highlighting “Cheaters,” online companies helping married people have clandestine encounters with other people’s spouses, celebrities proclaiming monogamy to be a biological impossibility, and a false but widespread belief that half of marriages end in divorce, Hartman and Bilton have reason to believe their marriage will last. More than 65 percent of first marriages reach their 10th anniversaries. That number has jumped to about 80 percent for recent marriages.

I was surprised because I’d always just assumed that the 51/49 (or something close to it) was true. Of course,  this is encouraging news, especially as reflection up Generation X as whole, but I also found it kind of disheartneing since I’m one of the minority who could stay married. <sigh>

The article goes on to say that divorce rates have been falling for 30 years, and that divorce is at it’s lowest since 1970. That really blew me away. I figure that they were constantly on the uptick. Although reflecting back on the 70s I suppose it should not have been so surprising.

More stats from the article:

“For those marrying in the early 1990s, 78 percent were still married after 10 years compared with 73 percent of those marrying in the late 1970s. … Those marrying in the early 1990s were 7 percent more likely to be still married.”

Apparently being married in the 70s is bit of a curse. Wonder if it had anything to do with huge bell-bottom pants and platform shoes and just ugly fashion in general. Although if that were true, the 80s could arguable be more of detriment to marriage longevity.

According to the article you can up your chances of staying married by attending in premarital counseling:

They are also engaging in more premarital counseling, which is another factor cited by researchers who have documented the strengthening of the marriage institution.

“Couples who attend premarital courses tend to communicate better, solve problems and report better relationships than those who do not,” a study in the journal Family Relations found.

A few more marital facts:
  • Born-again Christians have the highest rates of divorce, according to a study done by Christian researcher the Barna Group. The lowest rate is found among atheists and agnostics.
  • The highest divorce rates were in the Bible Belt states, according to an analysis by The Associated Press

Generation X and divorce

I spent some time today searching for statistics on the divorce rates among Generation X. I didn’t find much. Google Generation X and divorce and what you get is the oft stated assertion that many GenXer grew up with divorced parents, and some rather snotty comments about how selfish and spoiled GenX is and therefore must have a lousy divorce rate, comments clearly made by Boomers. Perhaps it is still to soon for such data to be compiled. Or maybe I just suck at internet research.

Anyhoo… my purpose was to educate myself on the numbers since when I start blogging for JenX67 I’ll be mainly writing about being a divorced GenXer and a single dad. I figured I should know a little bit beyond my on experience. So much for that.

If anyone happens to know of any studies or even just news articles about Generation X and divorce, theirs not their parents’, I’d appreciated being  directed to them.

I did come across a collection of short stories and novella, though, that made me think of my most recent post about Omega Males. It’s titled Greetings from Cutler County, by Travis Mulhauser. And initially I was drawn to it because the stories are set in Northern Michigan. Reading the dust jacket flap only increased my interest, since it was clear these were “guy stories.”  But a specific kind of guy stories:

Most of the characters are young men who think of themselves as losers and outsiders. Short on cash, popularity, and the ambition needed for success, they nevertheless are able to examine their failings with the self-knowing humor and resignation of the perpetually thwarted ne’re-do-well.

That’s definitely a description of GenX Omega Male fiction. Hmm. Did I just invent a new sub genre? Quick! To the copyright office.

Maybe, because of the pending divorce and likelihood of losing my job, I’m just  feeling like I’m at a low point in my life but I get the sense that I’m really going to identify with these characters. Some of them anyway.

Day after tomorrow angst

Does anyone else remember that made-for-tv movie The Day After about nuclear holocaust?

I do. And it scared the shit out of me. I’m not sure if the fear of nuclear war was there in my head before I saw it but once I did it was an ever-present angst.

Well, discovered a book which is a kind of memoir about growing up with that particular angst. It’s called The Day After The Day After: My Atomic Angst.

I’m guessing I’ll be able to identify. Just a little bit…