Penny Rene: March 2011 Archives

27 And Counting

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I was 19 years old working at the Athletic Village in Crossroads Mall. Other than the managers, I was the only full time employee. Having dropped out of college the previous winter, I was struggling to make my way in a business filled with testosterone oozing, sports loving, OU graduates who had yet to find real jobs using their fresh degrees. It was a cush job for them. I imagine they didn't love having to train a bright eyed ambitious teenager who knew almost nothing about sports. But it was money and when our manager wasn't around, everyone slacked off considerably.

Gil, at 27, was the oldest and ironically, most juvenile of the bunch. The lanky blue eyed UPS employee hung around as a part-timer for the extra cash and the extreme discount on merch. He took nothing serious except for our stock room debates which were, for me, in all my naiveté, confusing yet addicting. 

Every day that I worked with Gil I thought two things: Yay, Gil! And Wow, 27, that's OLDER.


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I've recently gotten into Penelope Trunks blog. It's a blog of career advice, which is a bit like me reading the courses of study at Strathclyde University. But I do that too (still) so it's not that weird. 

Penelope's' posts are enjoyable for me to read because she really cuts to the point and writes in such a way that I don't feel my time is wasted. She leaves out a lot of the hand holding and politically correct sentence formations in favor of speaking what's really on her mind. I totally love this. I totally get her. And she totally has Aspergers.

She does. Have Aspergers that is. I'm bringing this up because, frankly, it interests me. I don't know a lot about Aspergers. Just the basics of Wiki and Google. I know that for many people it sucks. But Penelope is making it work for her and I am benefiting from it. If anything, she might be the first blogger that I've read who I find refreshing and familiar at the same time. So, being me, it occurred to me that the similarities could be more than that.  I'm not kidding. I took a few online tests and I guess, in my very unprofessional opinion, I am closer to the Asperegers diagnosis than I would have thought. 

I am not suggesting I have Aspergers. It's a serious thing - I get that. Nor am I suggesting that having Aspergers is some sort of cool thing to be associated with. I am simply saying that Penelope- I love her blog for more than educational purposes. I appreciate her style.

I've always wished that people could say what they are really thinking, that the code of being "nice" could be loosened up a bit. I'm the kind of person who loves it when someone tells chatty movie patrons to shut the hell up because they are being rude. (Hi Heather!) I appreciate friends who tell me they don't want to go do something with me because they don't feel like it, rather than making up a bullshit excuse. I HATE pretend friendships and pointless dialogue. 

I don't think that putting an end to some of these wasteful social rituals has to mean that people are rude. I mean, what is more rude than lying and wasting someone's time? 

My friend Heather's son Jackson has Aspergers. I took some cupcakes over to their house last Valentines Day and before they had been on the counter a minute, he asked for one. I loved that. You want a cupcake, ask me for one! I didn't bring them for us to stare at. I feel the same way when I make a meal for my family. If you come to my house and you don't like what I cook, please just say so. Don't suffer through. I didn't ask you over to suffer through my cooking.

When did lying get to be a form of being polite? How is that helpful?

Penelope Trunk has a new book out, btw. She should totally send me a copy for free for writing this. 

On that note, if you don't like reading my blog, don't read it. Very simple. (:

Tomorrow you will celebrate your fifth birthday. I won't say that it doesn't seem possible because it does. In fact, you sometimes act wise beyond the five years and your wondering questions send a shock through me. Already, you are curious about death, God, love and old age. I don't know how you are handling it, but I am exhausted now just recalling our conversations. I stumble over what to say to you because so much of those things are still a wonder to me. I want to give you solid answers, but I find I am incapable of lying to you. There are a lot of "I don't know"s tossed out there by me and I have to hope it will be enough until I can come up with a way to explain such things. Will that day come? 

Speaking of world peace and such, your favorite cartoon is Pink Panther. Yesterday you told me that you wish he could come live with us so that you could teach him some manners and so he wouldn't bother "the white guy" in the show. I love that you have no idea how that sentence sounds. At this point in your life you have no idea what racism or sexism or homophobia is. You picked a Barbie with your Ma Lynn at the store and later pointed out to her that the Barbie was black. Just something you noticed at the later moment during play. This Barbie has on a pink shirt and she's black. You have also mentioned that two of your dolls are in love with each other, that you don't understand slavery (even after I explained it to you) and that daddies really should be allowed to stay at home like mommies. Now if I could just put you in a bubble and keep you this way forever, I could sleep at night.