Biases and Preferences
©2007 Celeste Billhartz
I could take the high road on this post and talk about preferences. I could say I prefer to see balding men wear their hair very short and parted at what's left of their natural part, but really, my stronger feeling is a bias -- I hate long comb-overs and those awful hairpieces that look like plaster casts.
And, I could say I prefer to hear people say, "et cetera" -- but, the truth is, when they say, "ekcetera, ekcetera, ekcetera" -- it gnaws the patience right off my bones.
• samwich -- the word is SANDwich -- dear God, it's bad enough I hear it in normal conversation, but to hear it in commercials is .... is .... annoying, ... ekcetera, ekcetera, ekcetera. (Sorry, couldn't resist ..:)
I could do that, say things in a better way, but I'm old and cranky, so, here are more of my biases:
• aggressive, inconsiderate drivers who grossly exceed the speed limit, do not maintain a clear distance from the vehicle in front of them, dangerously cut in front of others, and who never wave, "Thank you" when the rest of us let them pull in front of us. They are almost always young men.
• selfish adopters who refuse to return infants to young mothers who change their minds soon after giving birth. Hey -- ladies --- it is inhumane to keep those babies! There is something very wrong with a society that thinks adopter-rights supercede mothers' rights in those cases. Well, money talks.
(Uh oh, I feel a rant comin' on ...:)
Because so many girl/mothers change their minds, we -- as a civil and compassionate society -- ought to presume that will happen, expect it to happen, and hold several new thoughts:
1. adopters, don't count on getting that baby from that mother.
2. mothers, expect that you might change your mind after giving birth.
3. grandparents, what the hell are you thinking??? Support your daughters!!
4. adoption workers, don't promise the adopters a baby and don't insist that the mothers stick with their initial plan to surrender.
5. the babies should stay with their mothers, when mothers change their minds. No more long, drawn-out court business that is designed to keep infants away from their mothers and is intended to give adopters the right, in a few years, to say, "The baby has bonded with us."
6. two months is a good time to hold off on any binding, final agreement.
We know, now, that the mothers who suffered coerced surrender back in the BSE and in recent decades, never got over losing their babies. That, alone, ought to change our minds, laws and practices about taking infants from their mothers and natural families.
The adopters are supported in their "theft" by doctors, lawyers and adoption workers -- and many civilians -- who do not understand or care that a wrong was done. They only see the desires of the adopters -- really, the female adopters -- who have more power and money than the girl/mothers.
The adoption industry knows most mothers change their minds after they give birth. That's why they -- and adopters -- do the selfish things they do.
(Well, now, I feel better ...)
Back to my biases:
• anything that is priced .99 -- you know, $9.99, or $14.99, etc. What's up with that? What the hell goes through a merchant's head that he/she thinks we are so stupid as to settle for something that is $4.99, when what we really want is $5.00. I know, some marketing research study says we are that stupid. Well, I won't buy something that is priced that way ... unless I really want it.
• haggling, persistent bargaining, etc. I don't know how to do that and I get really irritated when people do that to me. I seldom respond to "On Sale!!" lures ... unless it is something I want anyway, and I am standing there in front of the item, and can afford to buy it.
• ok, call me crazy but why must I pay more for one less egg? Today I had breakfast at one of my fav places and I ordered two pancakes, two sausage patties, and one egg.
My habit is to eat one pancake, one egg and one patty at the restaurant, pack up the other cake and patty to take home for another meal -- with an egg from home.
The server said that's more expensive-- one egg -- than getting two eggs, etc. Huh? I don't understand, really. The cook has to fry one more egg, the owner has to buy one more egg, and now I have another egg I have to use up before it spoils ... and it's gonna get darn over done when I reheat it.
Well, another tasty snack for Coonie -- my nightly visitor who never turns down a free meal out here in the woods.
• you'll probably find this odd, given my penchant for listing my biases instead of my preferences, but ... I dislike unfairness and meanness. I mean, we are all entitled to our failings and a well-managed snit now and then, but habitual public displays of rudeness and unkindness just baffle me. You know the kind -- patrons being rude to servers, people with power being impatient with customers and clients who have disabilities, that sort of thing.
• telephone sales calls. Ok, I'm on the "do not call list" and I still get called. That's bad enough, but what really frosts me is the stupidity of any company that thinks I -- a 68 year old middle-class woman -- am going to have anything positive to share with a 20 year old kid who rattles off barely-understandable English at break-neck speed from a prepared script ... or an obviously foreign national named "Nancy" or "Kevin". What the hell are they thinking??
Good God, if you are going to interrupt my day, have a middle-aged American call who doesn't speed-talk -- or say, "excetera, excetera, excetera" -- and has some sense of manners. Oh, sorry, I forgot ... employers no longer value the middle class in this country. Besides, they'd have to pay them a living wage.
• unruly children. I cannot imagine being a parent, let alone being a good parent (!), so please forgive my ignorance and intolerance of noisy, demanding children in public. I am one of a handful of females who never wanted to conceive, give birth to nor raise children.
Still, I adore moments -- those once-in-a-liftetime moments captured on film about kids. A look, a balk, a smile ... so wonderfully explicit about the naivete of children.
I would rather have hot sticks poked into my eyes than be around most children, even those very normal and friendly types belonging to my friends. I simply don't know how to "be" with children. I think I am too business-like, but that does manage to keep them at a distance, thank God.
Truly, I don't think my "Mamma" wires are well-connected. So far as my relating with children is concerned, there's no "there" there ...:) Needless to say, I become flushed and nauseous when handed an infant.
I was an only child, probably well-behaved, and generally agreeable. I remember a favorite adoptive auntie whose method of babysitting was to set me in front of the cuckoo clock and tell me to wait for the bird to come out.
That probably accounts for my well-honed attention to detail -- which pleases me and annoys the hell out of friends. I am one of those nettlesome few who email back the latest Snopes.com report on every well-meaning urban legend ever sent around the internet.
Are there women-curmudgeons? My friends would say, "Indeed!"...:)