Home Smelly Home

My house is smelly this evening. (It wasn't smelly this morning that I noticed.) It's a combination of sweaty socks, dirty diapers and rotting produce and seems to be strongest in the kitchen and living room. I have been unable to identify the source of the smell. There isn't any abandoned food in the living room. The trash doesn't smell. The sink drains don't smell. There isn't any spoiled food in the kitchen that I can find. I don't know where it's coming from. I guess I'll be pulling the furniture away from the walls and looking, then cleaning behind it while making a concerted effort to find the source of the smellies. I should probably go up in the attic and look for holes in the A/C duct work too, just in case a mouse got into a duct and died.

Why Gossiping Bothers Me
For starters, I think it serves no constructive purpose to talk about other people in a non-positive way or to spread rumors. The other reason is that it's meddling in other people's lives. If Coworker B wanted boss lady to know that she was in the hospital this week, Coworker B could have called her and told her. If Coworker M wanted the entire building to know that his wife was cheating on him, with whom she was sleeping and all the other gory details, he can tell the building himself. I am of the opinion that information like that should be relayed ONLY by the persons it directly involves, unless explicitly stated otherwise. I am NOT a fan of people taking it upon themselves to repeat anything and everything that they overhear.

Instead there was a steady stream of people coming to speak with Miss Judgmental and/or Coworker D to find out the latest gossip about who M was calling with regard to his divorce and what he was saying. Miss Judgmental actually took to standing outside M's office door to find out who he was talking with and about what, which was immediately followed by repeating everything to other people and then adding a running commentary on what should really be done. I really don't get it. Perhaps she just needs to be the center of attention and chose to get there by disrespecting M's privacy and being generally disrespectful of him by declaring where he'd gone wrong in his marriage and why Mrs. M was a bad choice too. I'm beginning to think Miss J is virtually incapable of NOT speaking ill of everyone around her as she is of not using her Lord's name in vain. (Every time something she doesn't like happens, it's "Jesus" this and "Jesus" that.) I find these two traits to be rather contradictory to her assertion that she's a good and devout Christian, but I am absolutely certain that her deity of choice will sort that out with her when they meet.

Since she was told to not call boss lady, Miss Judgemental was hoping to force a phone call *from* boss lady by having me send an office photo to boss lady's cell phone. Unfortunately there was a "network failure" in this plan. Miss J ended up calling boss lady toward the end of the day. I imagine the phone accidentally dialed the number. She claims to have told boss lady that all of us wanted to keep all the information from boss lady and she was the only one who wanted to tell boss lady anything. Miss Judgmental is now gloating that she's the only one not in trouble and the rest of us are going to "get a beating". Coworker A and I agree that we'd do exactly the same thing again and that boss lady will get over it. Everybody but Miss Judgmental shares that opinion, actually. I figure boss lady can just worry double time to make up for the days she missed. I stand by the opinion that worrying about something you cannot change does NOTHING productive or constructive, especially when you are trying to relax on vacation. Divorces and medical problems will continue on at their own pace regardless of worrying. Boss lady had enough stress over the previous two weeks without having stuff from work dropped on her. Furthermore, if she really wanted to know how things were going here, she's fully capable of calling and finding out.

This incident has, however, caused me to realize why, after living here for exactly one year, I have no friends in this area and have no particular interest in being friends with anybody I have met. It's a matter of trust. I cannot trust anybody to not repeat anything and everything I say. I am also fairly certain that since I moved 700+ miles *away* from my family, do not share all the details of my life outside of work, am not married, and do not view getting married and having children to be the only way my life can be fulfilling that I'm considered something of a misfit. I know there are probably rumors going round about me and my lifestyle as an independent single woman without a social life. I really don't care, as long as people do not use rumors to compromise my career. Fortunately most of the persons in any sort of power over me are not the petty type who would do that. Unfortunately there is one I do not trust in that regard, but I'm aware of the situation and keeping an eye on things. Sooner or later this person's bad behavior will bite them in the behind. Karma has a habit of taking care of itself.

On Behavior
On the radio this morning I heard that a grade school boy somewhere was suspended from school for using a chicken strip as a gun and making shooting motions/noises at his fellow schoolmates. The DJs commented that this was absurd because you can't keep kids from playing shooting games and related a story about his kids not having toy guns but still shooting each other with brooms, fingers, etc. I think the problem is not necessarily that the kids were playing at shooting each other, but that they were doing it IN the school. There are many behaviors which are perfectly acceptable in some settings but completely inappropriate in others. It's relatively normal for baseball and football players to adjust their genitalia while playing their respective games. This would be considered inappropriate in public in most non-sports settings. Having sex on my kitchen table in the privacy of my own home is acceptable. Having sex on the same table in the middle of a busy restaurant would probably get us arrested. My beating the snot out of someone on the street is likely to also get me arrested. Beating someone up in the confines of a boxing ring is perfectly acceptable. It's all a matter of choosing the right setting for the right behavior. With the history of school shootings, I would expect most school staff to not be particularly happy about even simulated shooting with a chicken strip.

I wonder how hard it is to teach the critical thinking to get kids to think about their behaviors and where they perform them. Are kids learning *why* something might be a less optimal choice or are they just being told to do or not do it? Do they just get punished for the wrong behavior or do they also get an explanation of how/why things were wrong and why they're being punished? Of course thinking critically is harder to do than blind following, but its an immensely valuable skill that is useful for many more things than keeping oneself out of detention. Mind you, critical thinking can also get you in trouble when you question how/why things are done. Lots of folks dislike discovering they have no idea why X is the method of choice when you ask them why or when you present them with evidence that Y is a better method. The latter seems to imply to them that they've been "screwing up" for as long as they've done X, which may not actually be true. On the other hand, I do get to humor my inner three year old by continuing to ask "why?" nearly every day of my life and I have learned many many things by looking for answers.

Heating Up
It was 100+ again today. It will be 100+ tomorrow. Football season started for the high schools tonight. I hope they don't kill anybody. The health commissioner issued a press release about heat emergencies and staying safe during the heat wave. It doesn't appear that the state high school sports association has a written rule to suspend games or practice during periods of extreme heat. I believe there is a rule regarding the scheduling of practice to avoid the hottest parts of the day, but in today's conference call for PIOs it sounded like things were mostly left up to "the good judgment of the coaches and school staff", which leads me to believe the person who wrote the guidelines has little experience with high school football coaches. These folks are absolutely RABID about their game and season. Remember, when we were in high school, it was always 100+ degrees and we didn't' have air conditioning AND we had to walk 10 miles uphill both ways just to get to practice on a hard, rocky field with no grass and no water. :o)

Staying Cool
I'm presently drinking a big bottle of water and watching The Fellowship of the Ring on TNT. I dislike watching the edited version of the Lord of the Rings movies and dislike watching the full screen version even more, so I will shortly get up and throw in the DVD to get the full effect. I'm also going to haul out the Mystery Stole and see if I can add an inch or two this evening. I should plan out tomorrow's errands while I'm at it. I have to make a trip to the post office. I've been successfully selling off books on Amazon this past week, including some rather pricey textbooks and some other books I'd always meant to read but have never gotten around to starting or finishing. Today I sold my copy of Mallory's Tales of King Arthur. I was supposed to have read it in 7th grade for an Arthurian Legend summer course. I don't think I ever finished it. Given that I haven't even opened it in at least ten years, I think it's safe to sell it even if I do keep saying I'm going to read it "real soon now".


Stefaneener said…
You know, I did the misfit thing in TN -- AND I was a stay-at-home, churchgoing mom of one little kid. Not exactly a sore thumb.

Apparently they could see through me.

I'm glad you seem to have your social needs sorted out; it can be very lonely when you're in the Wrong Place.

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