Hitting Reset

As a kid I loved playing video games. We had them all from Atari to Playstation 2. One feature on many of the games was hitting reset, either on the joystick or during gameplay. Hitting reset was usually a good thing. If I was not doing as well as I wanted to on a certain level I would just hit reset and do it over. However, there were times when I would be doing fine and then I would hit reset by accident. It was the most frustrating thing having to start over when I did not want to.

Alas, this article isn’t about hitting reset in video games. It’s about hitting reset in relationships, which can be hundreds of times more frustrating regardless of if we wanted to or not.

The reason why is because of the time involved. All of the time we spent getting to know someone is wasted. Then we need time to heal emotionally and to find someone new. When we finally do find someone new worth their salt,we have to go through the tedium of starting all of our stories over from the beginning and explaining how we feel about things all over again.

It reminds me of the phrase ‘back to the drawing board.’ There are some professions where people spend so much time drawing plans, doing research, and creating prototypes. However, when enough things go wrong with the product, they have to scrap the plans, go back to the drawing board, and start all over again. Whatever they came up with previously was rendered null and void.

On the other hand, as they work on the next plan, they keep in mind any flaws that rendered the previous plans unworkable. Likewise, in relationships, whenever we start over we should keep in mind what worked and what didn’t work with the previous relationship and learn from that when seeking the next one so that we are not constantly picking the wrong person due to our own negligence.

Personally, I am hitting reset after an almost-relationship, not even a full one. The guy, whom we will call John, was everything that I thought I wanted and we had been knowing each other for years, so I went after him and made it known that I was interested. Yet, I had to accept that he was emotionally inept and that I would probably do better elsewhere.

I think the scariest part of hitting reset is time. The last time I hit reset was in 2008 and here I am in 2012 going after the next guy. That’s four years! Will it be another four years before I find the next guy? Who knows.

There is a lot involved in hitting reset. First I have to find a new man and observe him from a distance to make sure he is sane, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally mature, reasonably healthy, and who likes me too. Then we have to really get to know one another. I’m exhausted just typing about it!

I don’t know if it will take another four years or not, but, as I stated previously, I am learning more about myself when it comes to what I do and do not want in a relationship. From the first guy, I learned that mental maturity is important. From John, I learned that I need someone who is in touch with his emotions and not so mysterious about how he is feeling.

In my particular case, there is hardly a man who is sane, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally mature, and reasonably healthy who likes me too where I live. I am now literally having to go way outside of my boundaries in order to find one. In fact, it is so dry where I live that some of my girlfriends are just settling for anyone who is good enough. Settling is something that I refuse to do. The person whom I date and ultimately marry is someone who I want to enjoy being around, not someone who I’m stuck with because I settled. I’m not asking for Mr. Perfect or anything unrealistic like that, but I want “’til death do you part” to feel like a lifetime achievement, not a life sentence. And because of the seriousness I attach to marriage, hitting reset is not an option once I say, ‘I do.’

I have so much more to say about relationships and hitting reset while dating but it would take up all of cyberspace, so I’ll leave you with this: While hitting reset can be frustrating and time-consuming, it is not in vain if you really learned some lesson from the previous relationship that you can keep in mind before starting the next one. I don’t know what is in store for me in the relationships department, but I am trying to remain optimistic and am hoping that there is still something good left for me. If you are reasonably considering hitting reset, try to look at it from a positive viewpoint. No one knows better than me that it is aggravating, but would you rather waste time by starting over, or by continuing in a relationship that is going nowhere? The decision is yours, and that’s today’s tip from Flo.


Waiting In Line

Lines – the true tester of one’s patience. I hate lines so much that I make a point of looking to see if the service I need can be done online. The worse lines are still at the DMV and the bank, but I am thankful that most of those things can be done online or through the mail. However, the one thing I still find myself standing in line for is food, especially when I am at work. This brings me to the reason I decided to write this blog entry.

Two days ago on Monday I had just got my food and paid for it without any problems. I was going to be working until late in the evening, so I decided to get lunch, a few snacks, and another plate for dinner. This meant that my dinner plate would need to be covered with plastic wrap, so I stand behind the person using the wrap, thereby forming a line.

When she is done with her plastic wrap, some guy comes and eases right in front of me, and gets his plastic wrap. He didn’t acknowledge me at all and acted like I wasn’t there. Then he proceeded to take way longer than it should take a person to pull off a piece of plastic and wrap the plate. But wait, he wasn’t done yet. He then pulled another piece of wrap off. I really would not have cared as much if he would have quickly pulled the plastic off and gone about his business, but he took forever in plastic-wrapping time.

I don’t know why I didn’t say anything to him. Last week I had no problem telling a lady that I was next in line when we were checking out. She was trying to put her fruit up to be loaded on the scale next, but I had something that needed to be weighed on the scale so I politely told her to move it. Then she says, “Oh. Were you in front of me,” and I said yes. So I’m not sure what held me back from telling this idiot that I was next in line for the plastic wrap.

I know some of you are thinking, ‘Flo, it’s just plastic wrap. Let it go,’ but it’s not just about the plastic wrap. It truly is the principal of the thing. For one thing, he is a man and I am a woman. What happened to those days when men were concerned about women going first, especially if she is before him in a line? Such a thing would have never happened just a few decades ago. Now, men have lost all respect for women, and that is not restricted to cutting women in lines.

This isn’t the first time a man has cut in front of me in a line. This time I was at my local grocery store. I wasn’t the only one waiting in line in the self-checkout isle, but I was next. Then this guy walked right past all of us and went straight to the next available machine. I didn’t say anything that time either, and neither did the person working there who was supposed to be preventing such things from happening. However, the woman behind me did say in a very audible voice, “So much for chivalry.” I laughed at her bold words and hoped that the man not only heard them, but knew she was talking about him. Indeed, what happened to chivalry?

Then there was another time within the last two months where I was back at the same grocery story waiting at the customer service counter because they charged me about $6 too much for broccoli. Not only was the line long, but it was moving ridiculously slow. It seems like everyone chose that day to to play the lottery scratch off tickets and send or receive a Money Gram. Anyway, not wanting to wait in the line, an old lady went straight to the counter and asked if she could be served. The employee said that she had to wait in line and couldn’t cut. Honestly, I was so happy that the employee said that because Lord knows what everlasting task she was there for.

What is going on here? I really do believe that the woman that tried to go in front of me at the cafeteria truly was mistaken but what excuse is there for two men and old lady who blatantly disregard the rules of a line and headed straight to the front? The plastic wrap man couldn’t say he didn’t see me because I was standing close enough to the woman getting plastic wrap that there is no way he could not have seen me. The man at Kroger couldn’t say he didn’t see the line because there were about four people waiting. As for the old lady, that line was visible from the other side of the store.

I am about to say something very controversial, but I think cutting in lines boils down to a feeling of entitlement. Things are so bad in this system that we get to a point where we can’t take it anymore and we try to come up with an excuse why the rules don’t apply to us, and the rest of the people feel entitled because they truly are used to everything going their way. For example, black people feel entitled because they have been historically downtrodden, white people (especially men) feel entitled because they are used to getting their way, women feel entitled because they have been historically belittled in comparison to men, some old people feel entitled because they are used to people letting them get discounts and otherwise get their way, some old people fee; entitled because they never have anything go their way, children feel entitled because most of them have not had proper childhoods for whatever vile reason, rich people feel entitled because they are used to getting whatever they want on a silver platter, working people feel entitled because they are not able to enjoy the pittance of a check they bring home, poor people feel entitled because they would like to have something go their way for once. All social, religious, racial, national, ethnic, and economic groups have people within them that feel a little more entitled than the rest making them bold enough to cut in line.

If this is a little too complex for you, let’s bring it to the home front and say that the people who feel entitled were not raised right. Even young children can have the makings of being a rude monster in the making. I’ve come across three and four year-olds who will not say hello, goodbye  or even thank you. Those are simple things that kids their age can be trained to say. And what do their parents do? Many times they just laugh the awkward situation off and say he must be sleepy or hungry or have to use the bathroom. The truth of the matter is he must be rude. Parents need to nip such things in the bud. It also not very common to hear older kids thanking their parents for their allowance or for a tasty dinner.

All of this information is what I got out of that dummy cutting in front of me in line on Monday. So if you ever find yourself confronted with a line when you are rushing or just hate standing in lines and want to cut, remember this: Everyone else in the line has things that needs to be done, too. Your time is not more important than ours, just as our time is not more important than yours. In a world where people are unfairly treated throughout the country and the world, let’s show a little civility by respecting the line and exercise a little dignity, grace, and respect for others. That is today’s tip from Flo.