This blog post is going to be very stream-of-consciousness, because I just really need to get a blog post out before I fail at my goal of blog posting semi-regularly.
I signed up to do this goal on beeminder, and it's been a major pain in the behind to keep up on. I just HATE writing. I suck at it so badly that I don't even want to try. Which is why my previous self thought it would be a good idea to FORCE myself to do some writing, so I can overcome my aversion to it.
*scowl* My previous self was too smart for her (my) own good.
I still feel that I should write something positive about my family to make up for all the terrible things I say about them here. I use my blog now like I used to use facebook--For venting my frustrations in a way that I can almost-sort-of convince myself is therapeutic instead of merely a tabulation of my emotional wounds which afterwards continue to fester uninhibited. But then I had to get rational and understand that making passive-aggressive jabs at people in the social circles I am lucky enough to be a part of in ways are specifically visible only to the social circles I am lucky enough to be a part of is not a good way to stay in the social circles I am lucky enough to be a part of.
But giving gifts at Christmas is, so I'm working on that.
I bought a bunch of nice glass jars that I plan to decorate and fill with candy. I also want to try making some neat roses out of plastic spoons using this method I saw online that looked uber-cool, and maybe paint some of them with my glow spray. I plan to make some cool glow in the dark rings to stick on fancy ribbon necklaces too, and to get a couple of cheap journals to decorate with glow designs or maybe even just mess around with the covers to make them look more expensive. (It's one of those neat things about human psychology I've learned--people appreciate a high-end cheap item more than a low-end expensive item, even if they have exactly the same monetary value.) I want to get some higher quality chocolate truffles to get for people I really like, but I'm not so sure how much I can afford since my parents recently decided that I'm a cheap miser and insist on making me buy everything for myself. The fact that they only just noticed this NOW, a couple months AFTER I'd finally started making a conscious effort towards being generous and not hoarding things like the world was going to end is just the cruelest sort of irony.
I'm sure I sound like a horrible person for thinking about the psychology of gift-giving and horribly cynical in analyzing the whole process from a cost/benefit viewpoint. But that's how I think of a lot of things, simply because I don't like lying to myself about my own motivations. It happens frequently enough without any conscious effort to it, in spite of conscious effort against it even, so there's no need to make it any easier. Humans are motivated primarily by status, survival, sex, and kids. There are other concerns like empathy, curiosity, desire to make a lasting impact, etc. but people are a lot more wishy-washy about them. I don't have a problem with that. What's true is already so, and people can stand what is true because they are already enduring it (Litany of Gendlin).
I don't quite remember how to look friendship as a generic fuzzy feeling of hanging with someone just because you like them. The dry, sarcastic voice in my head always reminds me that this pleasant company I'm enjoying is a commodity that gets purchased and traded for just like any other, albeit with more subtlety. Who knows, maybe that's why I don't have any friends.
That and because I never really bothered in making any or in investing in the few that I once had.
No, wait--I invested in one. I invested quite a bit in making that friendship work, only to have it come bite me in the ass later. Bad investment, almost negative return on that one. Since then, I've decided to go for breadth before depth. Hence the Christmas presents for everyone.
There I go, sounding cynical again. More so than before. I don't think of my way of thinking as cynical, but that's how it gets categorized. I've noticed that people lump things into two groups like that.. Either someone cynically believes gifts to be bribes or optimistically believes them to be noble expressions of human generosity and compassion. Commercialist hype or Sentimental tradition. Black and white. Right and wrong.
But people are people. They give gifts for people reasons. They give gifts for the same reasons they do everything else. Some of those reasons you can label "good", some "bad", and some are just.. reasons. If your friend's secret motive in giving you a gift is because they want to feel like a kind, generous person who gives people gifts, or to secure your affection and friendship, then so what? Lots of people want to feel like kind and generous people. Lots of people want friends. Doing things that fit with the self-image of who you want to be can go a long way to helping you become that person. And what about a gift isn't a valid way to say that a potential friendship with you is literally worth investing in?
Meh, I've done enough ranting. I'll post this now.