Skip to main content

Giving = Receiving

I love humanity...on principle. I can be nice. I help out lost tourists if they ask. (Do I send them in the right direction? Generally speaking, yes.) I tip generously. If drivers clearly have to rush home to poo, I let them go ahead when I'm at a crosswalk. I give to charity. I recycle. I call my mom every day. And today, as I listened to her laments about her bad back, it dawned on me that giving isn't better than receiving. Giving is receiving.

Allow me to elucidate. My mom puts up with a lot of crap at work. Apart from the evil administrators who deprive employees of basics like use of the microwave and going outside to eat, her coworkers apparently keep borrowing small amounts of money for lunch and then never pay her back. No big deal; both my parents believe that relationships are far more important than money, and have drilled this value into our heads. But it gets annoying after a year, right? So that's her situation: give, give, give. But then, recently she had a horribly painful backache while at work. It was so bad she started crying. She was all set to go home, but these same coworkers told her not to because her pay would be docked. Their solution? They split up her tasks among themselves so she could rest quietly in the nurses' station. So she got paid back for her generosity. (paid back -- get it? get it?)

Here's another example: Fiancé and I were walking home from brunch last weekend when we spotted a giant U-Haul truck with an attached pod trying to maneuver in the narrow streets of the North End. Ever gallant, Fiancé spent the next fifteen minutes helping the man make a very tight turn without hitting parked cars. Success! What did Santa's darling helper get as his reward? Why, the gift that keeps on giving: me.

Speaking of me, I got a bonus this week, plus a ton of presents from my coworkers. Seriously -- all the swag barely fit into an oversized bag. I am still trying to puzzle out what I gave in order to receive such bounties. My inspiring work ethic? Ha ha ha! No. My unflagging smile and cheerful hellos for everyone? Maybe. My spirited participation in all entertaining yet strictly useless discussions? Perhaps. My unsolicited showing off of pictures of my cats? Getting warmer, I think.

Whatever it is, I'm convinced that every good deed, like every bad deed, gets its due. 'Tis not just this season; 'tis all year round. Although there appears to be a concentration of good stuff happening around the holidays, selection bias might be at work.

Now if you'll excuse me, apparently someone just fell into the river next to my office, police and the coast guard and firemen are everywhere, I must ogle. From my nice, warm cubicle, obviously. It's wet and gross out there.

Oh, and happy Friday!

Popular posts from this blog

Paint Nite!

Last night I joined the "Oops" Paint Nite event hosted by the Club Cafe in Back Bay. About 12+ people came to relax and have two artists guide them through painting this original work:

The point was not to slavishly duplicate "Oops" -- we were instructed to make it our own, to relax, and not to utter the words, "Mine sucks," "Can you do this for me?" or "I thought this was paint-by-numbers!"

Speaking of dashed hopes, I had assumed that wine was included. I had done something like this before, only it was in the morning and we all got mimosas. Not so here! While the artists were setting up, I schlepped over to the bar and was rewarded with a generous pour of Cabernet. Now I was ready.

The setup: Everyone got a 16" x 20" canvas, three paint brushes, and a palette (a paper plate) with red, yellow, blue, and white paint. One artist (Brian) had the microphone and would paint with us, while the other was the assistant (Kory) who wo…

An International Women's Day Miracle!

Truly, International Women's Day is a special day. No, not because multitudes are out there rallying for our rights and giving voice to the powerless. It is because I won a gift card from a company raffle!

Let me explain why this counts as a minor miracle. You see, I never win anything. I answer every damned survey sent my way, participate in all the raffles, buy lottery tickets -- to no avail. This particular raffle occurred monthly, and I had been faithfully entering my name every month for two years, with no results. Finally, last month, I declared: "No more!" and unsubscribed from the mailing list -- but not before entering one final time, because why not.


There's also some déjà vu at play here. You see, four years ago, I won a gift card from a company raffle. The one fracking time I won anything! I was elated! Shortly thereafter, also on International Women's Day, I was laid off from my job.

Sooooo...since the day's almost over, I guess I'm not…

Get Out (2017)

Get Out has a charismatic lead, a terrific soundtrack, and damn good cinematography. While it’s described as horror/comedy, it’s more disturbing/cringe-y than scary, and I mean that in a good way. This is an entertaining movie that’s also pretty effective as social commentary.

The film stars Daniel Kaluuya as Chris, a photographer who’s about to spend the weekend at his girlfriend Rose’s (Allison Williams) parent’s house. Naturally, it’s in a secluded spot in the woods. When they get there, the awkwardness that might be expected from a first-time meeting gives way to a series of bizarre behaviors and interactions. While Chris initially takes it all in stride, it eventually becomes clear that there’s something sinister going on behind the scenes.

The acting and dialogue are highlights of the film, as is the camera work. In particular, Kaluuya’s eyebrows and head tilts are so expressive that the audience knows what’s going on in his head even as he politely brushes off eccentricities. A…