Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Halloween's Coming

Tomorrow is Halloween, or as the song would say "Halloween's coming, Halloween's coming..."
Fear not, unlike the song, however, skeletons won't be after you, but rather sexy nurses, hot policewomen, sensual pirates, overly exaggerated breasted men (why do men always like to dress up as women?) and so on. Just make a search for 'Halloween costumes' on the web, the results are priceless. Actually, scratch that: do fear!

I do get the children's side to dressing up and getting sweets. I mean, it can't get better than being allowed to a sugar-high at the age of 6. And they do look cute in their pumpkin costumes and so on. What worries me is the adult (and increasing) part of this day.

If it were up to me, Halloween should be renamed to "dressing for who you'd like to be". It's basically the day were you are allowed to remain undisturbed with your appearance and what it might reveal, which, judging from the cleavage in some of those costumes, it is sometimes more that what others might want to see... It's not even any more about dressing up as zombies and ghosts (which I already find quite distasteful and senseless)!

The development, or rather, the deterioration of Halloween truly amazes me. As a Spaniard, I have been raised to believe that this is the day were we should remember and pay our respects to the loved ones who have sadly left. It is a tribute to those who were once physically close and now live solely in our memories. Families congregate in cemeteries to put fresh flowers on tombs, say a little prayer and shade a little tear or two. If you know how that might relate to a provocative pizza slice (how can those 3 words be together?), please let me know.

Happy Halloween people! (or whatever)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Internet

I still remember the days when meetings with friends were arranged over a series of telephone calls; all of which happened in the space of minutes and lasted for as long as you could clutch to the plastic apparatus without being disturbed by my older brother (waiting for the call of his latest female conquest) my prudent father (claiming that the bills will ruin this family!). Time and place was decided and then it was left up to each one of us to be there on time or else miss whatever we were up to. There were no mobile phones to alert of unexpected delays in the public transport or other unforeseen events. The city was filled with lost souls looking for the place they were supposed to be at; asking others where this or that street was. There was no GPS, no Google Maps to consult, no Whatsapps, SMS...

The times when people actually talked to each other... I felt as if I knew everything about my friends after long conversations shortened only by the strict curfew I had to adhere to. Then the internet happened (yes youngsters, believe it or not, there was a world before the internet!); and with it, the new ability of knowing everything about everyone without the need of any social interaction. We became victims of the over-sharing epidemic.
“Whatever we possess becomes of double value when we have the opportunity of sharing it with others.”
Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love the web. I'm an auto-declared geek (my Mam's still amazed of what I have become interested in). Every part of my life is technologically fueled. I can't go offline for a day without getting stressed and suffering withdrawal symptoms. I plead guilty of visiting social network sites (why do we insist in calling it "social network sites" when we all know which site we are referring to?) with the sole and only purpose of spending a few minutes (ahem) peeking into the lives of others. Just before writing this, I confess to have easily spent a whole hour procrastinating in front of my laptop doing nothing but changing from one insignificant tab to another. Just like that: tab, tab, tab.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

My Weekend Plans

When the end of the working week approaches, I fear the moment when I'll hear the foreseeable question: "Doing anything exciting this weekend?". I honestly need to think and mentally prepare for this from Mondays to be able to have something to casually drop as an answer that won't brand me for the rest of my days as being boring.

The truth is that the best of my weekends involve: a book, a cup of tea (or glass of white wine), a sofa and not much more. 
This, however, will mean my response to the dreaded question is: "Reading, drinking, lying and little more". 'Bliss' in my eyes; but I'm guessing 'exceedingly dull and uninteresting' for the listener. Not even when I go over the top and treat myself to a play in the theatre, succeeds in making a conversation out of my weekend plans. 

Let's be honest: sadly, more than half of the time, the person asking you about your weekend plans isn't the least interested in what you answer. They are either a) being polite; or b) longing for the cue "what about you?" to talk about themselves (oh, don't do people love talking about themselves...) 

This is why I have decided that the next time I hear "Doing anything exciting this weekend?" I'm going to completely ignore the social pressure around this topic and offer a frank answer that mentions all of the things I have no intention of doing (e.g. waking up early, making the watch rule my day, run from meeting to meeting) and all of the places I won't even consider setting foot on (e.g. the office, claustrophobic clubs).

I love weekends!