Simple Saturday: Entitlement


I am aware there has not been much funny here recently; nor much of anything else, for the matter. I have been keeping up with my writing at LeftStickRight, but my motivation to write other pieces has waned lately with time and inner turmoil.

My trip to Wichita went rather well. I even landed an interview at a prominent ad agency. It looked like a beautiful and friendly place to work and I wanted it badly, but I didn’t perform as well on a proofreading test as a few others — one of them took the job over me. I took it pretty roughly, but this event and its aftermath have finally shown me what my real attitude and motivations have become and the need to look in and set things straight.

My childhood was somewhat isolated, but still quite good. I have loving parents who supported me in everything for which I have striven. The reason, I had come to believe, was that I was a “good and talented kid,” and as long as I stayed so, I could achieve my goals in life and make proud my parents and others who believed in me.

It was rather smooth sailing through my schooling in this regard: I graduated high school as salutatorian and made it out of college with a 3.96 GPA. I felt it would only be a matter of time before I found those things in life that are supposed to make others see you as successful: a wife; children; a satisfying job and a real, set purpose in life.

But I hit a wall under this philosophy. I found a job I thought would be a good stepping stone but has resulted in the industry slowly sinking around me. My luck in searching both for better work and a life partner has hit opportunities very few and far between, none of which have worked out. And all this time, those around me — regardless of their path and talents — seemed to move forward, achieving those goals I had set on a pedestal as “progress.”

My sense of entitlement went to war with a long-developing sense of inadequacy. How could it look so easy for everyone else? I had followed the rules all this time, hadn’t I? Why weren’t people noticing that when it really counted? What’s wrong with me? There has to be something wrong with me.  Look how I always fail. No, I haven’t failed; my circumstances have failed me. All I need to do is move somewhere else and everything will snap back into place. But now I’m failing to find a good way to move out. Everyone else has already left. I really am a failure…

And on and on it has gone; a never-ending cycle of feeling deserving for the wrong reasons and smashing myself against the results as though I was trying to prove myself wrong. All this time, the friends and family who looked on did something ridiculous: they continued believing in me. They kept telling me the fact things had not happened didn’t mean I was a failure, and that they didn’t determine my self worth. But I couldn’t believe them. So many of them, after all, had already moved on. They had found their spouses; moved out and on to work on other goals. I was inferior. They didn’t understand that I was broken, even if I couldn’t identify why I was, myself.

After the Wichita job, however, and the same round of support as always, something finally clicked:

The only person who has ever thought of me as a failure has been myself.

I had become so caught up in needing to obtain my goals to “catch up” with the people I was “under” that I couldn’t see they never looked down on me in the first place. If anything, they were sorry for me for the way I always tore into myself. I made them watch every time, demanding they agree with me, but they couldn’t. They endured every ugly scene and came out unwavering that I still possessed the qualities to find contentment.

This is the point I am at now. Armed with a revelation, looking back in my life to study where things went wrong and replace my views with those that more accurately frame myself and the way the people who know me see me. Stepping back from the “entitled” dreams I have hung so much of my definition of success upon and searching for other ways that I can find purpose and fulfillment. To give my loved ones not what I’ve always thought they’ve wanted from me, but become the person they deserve I become.

Pumped for Cash


Lysol has long been a helpful tool in germ warfare, helping to reduce the spread of infections through homes and hospitals alike, not to mention giving the scent of “crisp linen” its proper place in the annals of olfactory appreciation.

While it remains a household name, Lysol’s marketing campaign relies heavily on convincing people they are one doorknob, handset or snotty kid away from contracting the next incurable form of the zombie apocalypse. A little overbearing, perhaps, but the ads are still rooted in a form of logic. Lysol has never thrown common sense overboard in its attempt to sell products.

Until now, that is. Meet the No-Touch Hand Soap System, the long-awaited evolution of soap-dispensing technology.

It apparently also has wi-fi

“Hand washing is one of the most important steps to help stay healthy,” the description states. “But have you ever thought about those germs ending up on your soap pump?”

Oh good gracious, I’ve never considered that! I require the cleansing power within to purify my sullied hands, but in doing so much touch something… something germy! What a double-edged sword!

Woe is me. In depressing the plastic pump handle of the damned, I have delivered antibacterial salvation to one hand at the sacrifice of the other! If only there was some way I could transfer the soap in one hand across the void to its brother!

There's so many things your hands can do

Oh, that’s right! I rub my hands together! The soap does its job of killing the germs and it’s like I never touched that nasty old pump handle to begin with. Now if I can just resist the urge to lick it on my way out, I should fi–oh no! Doorknob!

There are a few reasons to buy a hands-free soap dispenser. You can get one for that neat whirring noise they make, or to keep up with the Joneses who just installed an airlock outside their toilet. But you should not get one believing you will keep yourself healthier by not touching something dirty right before you clean your hands. That’s like paying to dismantle a wall by hand and then going through the one behind it with your free wrecking ball.

And don’t even get me started on Kleenex’s disposable hand towels.