The Joys of Being Forty-Something

I’ve worked with people older than me most of my life and I would oh-so-smugly offer to hold papers across the table so people could read them. There comes a point as you reach the age of forty-something that you begin to realize certain things, like that’s really not that funny anymore, because suddenly, this happens:

 

I always assumed I’d know when I needed reading glasses and I’d have another reason to curse my Tyrannosaurus Rex like short arms. Instead things far away got blurry as my eyes attempted to compensate. Six months after I got a new prescription and a suggestion from my optomologist to pick up dollar store reading glasses, those pesky things far away got blurry again (never saw that coming). So I broke down and ordered a five pack from Amazon, because I know me and, well, I lose things. I swear the minute I put that first pair in face, I noticed this:

 

 

That’s right, my first grey hair is a crazy outgrowth of my eyebrows. I swear it wasn’t there before (though it is possible I just couldn’t see it). I like to believe it grew in cartoon character fast – put on reading glasses and **POP** there’s your grey hair.

 

Awesome.

 

I’m going to go price geritol. I’m not sure what it is but I have a feeling I’ll be needing it by the weekend. 🤓

A Tale of Two Critiques

Donald Trump has obviously become a very polarizing public figure. Every public comment or tweet is subject to disection and dirision. Deserved or not will depend on your politics, but last week I was struck by two critiques: both their similarities and how divergent they were.

 

The first was the photo of Kathy Griffin holding a bloody head that resembled Donald Trump. The photo quickly went viral, then a whirlwind of backlash ensued. (Then there was backlash to the backlash, as seems to frequently be the case on social media.) There were opinions that she’d gone too far; a line had been crossed; and she was inciting violence. It reached a crescendo when Donald himself weighed in:

 

Meanwhile, over on Facebook just after the United States removed itself from the Paris Climate Accord, Ben and Jerry’s Canada posted a link to a post entitled: “6 Reasons Pulling Out of the Paris Climate Agreement Was Totally, Definitely the Right Move“. Ben and Jerry’s has always been a little quirky, but their six point take on climate change was sarcasm at its finest. Not surprising (maybe a bit) it didn’t reach the viral level of the Kathy Griffin photo.

 

Both were a criticism of President Trump. Both were an attempt at humour. I would guess that the only one you heard about last week involved Kathy Griffin. To be heard above the constant noise of social media, do you have to be shocking? Is the fall out worth it? Ms. Griffin basically said it wasn’t for her with loss of employment and friends. How do we move beyond the lowest common denominator to a place where ideas not people can be debated?

 

Until then, I think I’m only going to follow ice cream companies…and maybe their trucks.

I Knit Where I Want

A few weeks ago during the hockey playoffs Twitter was a twitter when this photo started making the rounds:

Not being a hockey fan, I stumbled across it inadvertently when someone I follow (an avid Pittsburg fan) tweeted about her.

I’ve written before about the challenges of knitting in public, particularly at work. She fell into a hole I’ve carefully tried to avoid: people thinking that you were not engaged while holding needles and yarn. Clearly it’s easier to make that connection in person as opposed to a nationally televised sporting event.

 

While there have been many traditional media articles written since the initial tweet, what has struck me is how she has responded on Twitter.  It is a lesson in how social media allows people to voice their response immediately in conjunction with more in depth coverage from traditional media. While both have their roles in telling the story, I believe that without her quick and informed responses, the initial reaction of the twitter post might have also been the tone of the traditional media stories. Instead she has articulately made her case that because you are knitting doesn’t mean you are not paying attention.

 

At a time when news stories are questioned on a daily basis, it is an interesting lesson on how you can control your own narrative.