Tag Archives: Facebook

October Surprise

Surprise!  I’m posting.  And it’s not October anymore!

Think of this post as capturing the last month in the style of time-lapse photography but using words.

  • Please stop calling me.  I understand that I live in a swing state.  I am painfully aware of how important the upcoming election is.  But I’m also fed up with all of the political calls.  We went away for a weekend and returned to a voicemail box completely full of recordings from the local campaign office, various PACs, and political surveys.  Is there anyone who actually listens to these robo-calls?  I imagine that on the day after the election, our telephone will go silent.  We’ll go back to days without even one phone call.
  • Oh, Facebook.  How you disappoint.  First, there’s this: “Over the weekend, Facebook took down a message by the Special Operations Speaks PAC (SOS) which highlighted the fact that Obama denied backup to the forces being overrun in Benghazi.”  This story from Breitbart was updated to indicate that the message has since been allowed by Facebook.  Then, of course, there are all of the political posts by “friends.”  Whatever happened to politics being off-limits in polite conversation.  If it’s a no-go topic around the Thanksgiving table, then I don’t want to see it on Facebook either.  I have two or three Facebook friends who insist on linking to politically charged articles or making snide partisan comments on a daily basis.  If we were meeting in a coffee shop or talking over the fence, the conversation wouldn’t go that way.  So why does it on Facebook?  I couldn’t help myself last week and got sucked into a Facebook debate with one of these friends.  Did it make me feel better?  Nope.  It just makes me wonder how the real conversation will go the next time we meet in person.
  • What happened to the rest of them?  Why am I not hearing about more of this: “Peoria (Illinois) Bishop Daniel Jenky ordered priests to read a letter to parishioners on Sunday before the presidential election, explaining that politicians who support abortion rights also reject Jesus.”  Churches walk a fine line during election seasons.  They can’t come out and tell the faithful which candidate to support for fear of losing their tax exempt status.  But religious leaders also have a duty to instruct the faithful on how to apply religious teaching to real life.  In my parish, the closest we got to guidance about the election was a web page listed in the bulletin.  I wonder how many parishioners made the effort to check it out?  I have also seen pamphlets which, although well-written, vaguely discuss choosing a candidate according to the teachings of the faith ahead of self-interest and party loyalty.  The problem is that there is so little practical direction given from the pulpit.  How many pastors have taken the time to discuss issues in terms of Church teaching?  Of course it’s risky to do this.  Certainly some parishioners will be turned off by this type of preaching.  But how else are we to inform our consciences?  Shepherds, won’t you guide your flock?
  • Frankenstorm, Superstorm…Thank goodness someone had the good sense to stop calling Hurricane Sandy “Frankenstorm.”  What is it about our culture that is compelled to nickname everything?  Every political scandal has to have the suffix “-gate” attached to it.  Then there’s Obamacare, Romneycare, and so on.  Are we so freaked out by anything serious that we have to assign it a cutesy name to make it more palatable?

And that was October in a nutshell.





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An Introvert in an Extrovert World

image by Heather Elaine Kitchen

“Solitary trees, if they grow at all, grow strong.”  (Winston Churchill) 

In more ways than one, I often feel like a “solitary tree.”  Hence the name, Uncommonhousewife.  I was the child everyone referred to as “quiet.”  My teachers lamented, “It’s so hard to get her to speak up in class.”  Yep, that was me–full of ideas that I didn’t really want to share with the class.  Fast forward to today, and I still have plenty of deep thoughts that I carefully consider before sharing.  (SuzyQ: “Mom, you’re STILL working on that blog post?!”)

So how does someone like me get along in a world full of folks who need you to know every detail about them?  Well, I’m on Facebook, but only out of necessity to share video with far away family.  I can’t remember the last thing I wrote on my wall.  Every now and then, I comment on a friend’s post.  But really, what can you say about what my neighbor found recorded on her DVR or why a college friend’s cat has a red price tag affixed to its butt?  In fact, why would anyone feel the need to share that publicly at all?  And is one more “Me too!” or “Looks great!” comment really adding anything to the discussion?

This is why I’m a failure at Facebook.  As an introvert, I don’t get a lot of pleasure in all of the Facebook small talk.  On the other hand, I love it when someone sends me a message.  Those are just for me, personal, thoughtful, like a little visit.  The same goes for email.  Except that no one can be bothered to send email anymore.  And the whole idea of Twitter has me shaking my head.  Why would anyone be a “follower,” waiting on my every move and thought during the day?  What would possess someone to think that the world is waiting to find out what you bought at the grocery store or who you are having lunch with or what you are thinking as you sit in traffic?  Extroverts, all of them.

I’m sure I wouldn’t do very well in a corporate setting, either.  Brainstorming sessions, group projects, yelling out ideas during meetings.  None of that is within my comfort zone.  I’m all about organizing my thoughts, working on my own projects without relying on someone else to finish their part, and weighing what I want to say before shouting it out.  When did this “calling out without raising your hand” type of behavior become a desirable thing? 

He who speaks the loudest does not necessarily have the best idea.  It’s easy to see how much this thinking pervades the culture, though.  Take, for example, those people who force their bass-blasting music on the rest of us unfortunate to be near them in traffic.  Why would they assume I want to have my brain pounding in my skull along with them?  Then there are the vanity license plates.  Is there a good reason for me to know your that nickname is “SASSY” or “H8TER” or that you and your wife have the same monogram?

So, just call me the solitary tree, trying not to get muscled out of the way by those who are louder and chattier.  You’ll find me laboring over just the right words to post here because I think, perhaps foolishly, that it matters getting them just right.  And don’t expect me to be happily swirling about at the next wardroom or cocktail party or even the neighborhood Bunco night.  I might be there with a smile on my face, nodding at a witty remark, but really I’m thinking that I would love to home in my pajamas with that really great book in my hands.

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