Interestingly, FOMO or the Fear of missing out is defined as a pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent; a social angst usually characterized by a desire to stay continually connected with what others are doing.
Incidentally a fear we've long associated with one of our dear friends here - no one else but the inimitable Mad Madison. Our Miss Fomo fights for truth, justice and liberty with only one fatal Kryptonite being her inexplicable inability to be left out of missions. Frequently sequestered in her secret headquarters for work of her own accord, she finds herself sending weepy emojis about missing out on gatherings. Not only does that lead her to immediately confess to the most peculiar sins, that fear of missing out also reveals some of her hitherto unknown pastimes from the unexceptionable such as rock climbing to the more novel, at least for her, such as photography.
Paul : I'm sure we've pretty much established that everyone has a hobby. Kat : Well, not Madison. I think Madison's hobby is work. Paul : Yeah, work is her hobby. Madison : No! I have a hobby! A real one. I like photography. Paul : Wut. Kat : Did you just make it up? Madison : No! I've always loved photography! Always! Paul : I've never seen you with a camera. Not once. Madison : I do! I bring it everywhere! Paul : An invisible camera? Kat : Let's give her this one. Madison : I took a picture of her! Paul : With the invisible camera?
Yet Madison still insists that her true calling is photography, although none of us have yet seen any tangible proof of such other than five snaps on Instagram. Listening to her describe her lifelong passion, you would almost expect Madison to have several high-end Leicas and Hasselblads stashed in her bedroom, along with a secret annexe remodelled for her personal dark room to develop her sensitive photographic materials.
Now that I've got everything set up, they have to believe me! I am not Miss Fomo!
Could she be our hidden Leibovitz? Knowing how oddly determined our Madison can be, I wouldn't be surprised to find that she has set up a photography studio on main street with her name brightly emblazoned in blinding neon so we don't miss it.
Then this conversation came about just last night.
Friend : So how did you guys all meet? Paul : Oh I met Felix through his blog. Kat : Not all of us have blogs though. Paul : Well I do. As well as Felix. Kat : Only the two of you. Madison : Wait, I have a blog too! Paul : Wut. Madison : It's always been around! Paul : Circa 2015?
Really? Where! I have some serious doubts though. Certainly the first I've heard of it despite the fact that she astonishingly stumbled upon the existence of my blog about a month back with nary a peep of her owning one herself. Perhaps our Miss Fomo to the rescue again?
With my frequent references to Netherfield and Hartfield for my own residences, there is hardly any need to reveal that one of my secret passions is the novels of Jane Austen. Till now I've always lived by the oft-repeated mantra of the Regency matchmaker extraordinaire Mrs Bennet - It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.
Adaptations of her famous novels are numerous from acclaimed movies based on them to the more unusual parodies adding zombies and vampires into the mix of stodgy British rural gentry. So rather than spend my past week dining on yee sang and new year cookies, I have been rabidly catching up on a web series ostensibly based on Pride and Prejudice, arguably Austen's most well-known tour de force. A tad late to the party - albeit fashionably so - but there is no better time to watch the Lizzie Bennet Diaries.
Watch it! Certainly deserves winning the Primetime Emmy Award in 2013 for Outstanding Creative AChievement in Interactive Media-Original Interactive Program. Yes, quite the mouthful! Rather than a reluctant debutante, Lizzie is now an enterprising grad student out to complete her thesis by filming a vlog with her best friend Charlotte Lu.
And get this - Bingley has turned into Bing Lee, as in Asian-American - and that's not even the most radical departure from the novel! Another character from the novel, Colonel Fitzwilliam has been turned into a fabulous gay black man! Of course they couldn't change the main protagonists that much. Admittedly the coldly aristocratic Mr Darcy might not be to everyone's tastes - certainly wasn't to mine either - despite the fact that Charming Calvin once likened me to him! In real life, I think we would probably have intensely disliked each other at first sight! Fortunately the web series turned that haughty arrogance into something a tad more approachable, though as always our Darcy's quite the socially awkward fellow. A touch of Asperger's perhaps?
Although as always, Darcy is melt-your-panties hot. Bowtie. What is there not to love?
Netherfield has been our abode for several years now and though the tenants have changed, the rules of the house have remained the same. Basically house rule no.1 - 'Don't Burn Down the House'. Other than that, most anything goes with the wildly easygoing denizens of Netherfield, namely me, Fabulous Felix and now Pretty Paisley.
Previously Kool Kat tended to be a bit more maniacal when it came to household rules but after a few weeks of dealing with the rest of the more accomodating tenants here, even she started to mellow down. Also Felix tended not to listen by erecting a Shield of Obliviousness so she soon realized that her persistent naggings would be for naught.
So Netherfield has always remained a bastion of no rules.
Which is a far cry from the Draconian Domicile for Dogmatic Duennas several miles down the road.
Coincidentally a place where Sober Sophia and the rest of her teaching crew have decided to set up their budding household. Though we all gave her sufficient warning about the infinite perils of sharing an abode with your work colleagues - and your superiors, Sophia - ever the optimist - trusted in the sisterhood of women.
The ladies at the Domicile for Dogmatic Duennas
Within the short span of a week, the lecturing ladies have come to realize that their differing personalities and habits have ignited a growing friction - which has only become worse with them also spending all their hours of work together. With vastly disparate standards of cleanliness, even their fledgling roster of household chores had become an object of contention.
Whereupon the ladies all decided to have a Meeting of minds.
To solve their ongoing household woes, they all decided to come up with rules. Or as they term it, norms. Make that Norms with a capital N since it was all duly notarized and signed by the witnesses to the meeting.
Paul : That's a helluva lot of Norms. I think we had less rules back in school. Sophia : We want it to be thorough. Paul : And most of it's pretty common sense actually. Sophia : Oh? Paul : Like keeping the noise down in the morning. That's common courtesy, no?
Sophia : Surprisingly not that common. Paul : Switching off the lights after use? Sophia : Also not that common. Paul : Wow. Sophia : Yeah. Paul : The rules are signed in blood I assume. Sophia : Yes. You haven't even seen our household accounts yet. Paul : Judging by the house rules, I assume it's counted down to the smallest cent, filed out in triplicate with independent auditors coming to check regularly? Sophia : Yes.
Sounds more like a penitentiary than a domicile! And just today there was a small argument amongst the ladies over their laundry. I am starting to foresee a heinous murder-suicide somewhere in the near future at the Draconian Domicile for Dogmatic Duennas.
Just try it. Stay a little while longer in the men's locker room at the gym and watch the daily happenings with a keen eye. You'll notice that the older men tend to just nonchalantly strip right down to - well if you're lucky, some sloppy no-longer-tighty-whities; if you're not so lucky, perhaps right down to their wrinkly saggy skin.
Surprisingly it's always the perfectly sculpted, muscular young dudes - who spend half their workout time earlier strip-posing for Instagram in front of the floor-length gym mirrors - who now hastily scurry into the farthest shower cubicles to change. Why the sudden change? Out of a misplaced sense of modesty - or some lingering sense of homophobia?
Wonder what happens if he drops his towel!
Never could quite figure it out but today as I changed out of my sweat-drenched shirt in front of the lockers, I started to realize something. Perhaps something resembling an epiphany even as two reasonably attractive college boys scampered into the cubicles to remove their casual attire!
Yes, I'm gradually losing my inhibitions. Well the little that I had left.
But then again I come from an all-boys school so changing in front of other guys wasn't very much of a big deal. There's really nothing much to be shy about when everyone theoretically comes with pretty much the same equipment. In fact some of my less prudent classmates simply stripped right down to their skivvies in the classroom for Physical Education - and probably would have elected to remain en deshabille throughout the entire morning session with our terribly unforgiving tropical heat.
Which would have severely distracted me from my studies if that had actually come true since some of the more comelier boys were quite the scrumptious eye-candy back then. Fresh-faced schoolboys stripping out of their school uniforms, anyone?
Sadly, single-sex institutions aren't quite as common these days with most of the newer schools opting for co-education. Struck me though that perhaps it explains why the boys nowadays are so terribly modest when it comes to disrobing in front of their peers? With girls around, wouldn't be all that common for them to let it all hang loose in a co-ed environment, would it?
Or has the etiquette for the men's locker room changed drastically when I wasn't looking!
However that doesn't make significant life changes any easier to accept; from the exceptional events such as marriage and pregnancy to the more mundane monotonies such as transferring to a new place or finding a new job. Me, I've always hated change.
Seems I'm the only one since it invigorates some of my friends! For Kitty Kat, finding and getting the paid job was simple enough. Easy enough to pick up the reins of her working life after only a couple of years devoted to dutiful housewifery but it's not long before Kitty Kat realizes that the difficulty comes when she finds herself inevitably hedged by her terrifyingly idealistic young colleagues at work.
Or at least that's my take on the situation - but then I'm watching the entire tense work drama with the tired cynicism of someone running the miserable rat race for the past ten years. Even the way they painstakingly deal with each and every problematic work situation inevitably draws a wicked sneer to my lips. So much kinder than I would be of course.
Gosh have they never heard of the whip?
Then again perhaps teachers have a more tolerant, sympathetic nature - when I would have flown into a towering rage. Many a time, they tend to have a more... passive response with tea and sympathy rather than my more caustic rejoinder. Otherwise why else would they all bother to molly-coddle a fellow colleague who finds himself unsuited to the job after a mere five days on the job?
Sophia : He doesn't feel suited to the job and wants to leave. So we have been offering counselling for the past few days. Paul : No doubt with a pot of calming tea? Sophia : Well yes. Paul : You shouldn't do that anymore. It's not helping, is it? Sophia : Not really. Paul : Try my way then. Scold him. Smack him. Wallop him. Make him cry. Sophia : Oh but what about his self esteem? Paul : What do I care about his self esteem? I'm not his father or brother. And he's a grown man, for God's sakes. Sophia : But - Paul : This is work. It's not play. And this whiny creature is threatening to quit after only a measly five days because he is not feeling it? If he were my intern, I would dropkick him off the fifth floor window.
Not exactly the answer these wide-eyed idealists needed. In fact Sober Sophia looked pale enough that you'd think I'd just viciously strangled a helpless puppy in front of her! From the horrified look on their faces, I gathered tough love wouldn't be the answer for most of these hippie kumbaya Gen-Y folks. Even less the revolutionary idea of bringing back the cane.
Since I would love to have whipped the fellow.
And not in any kinky sadomasochistic manner. No Shades of Grey here.
But seriously. Five days. If that's all the time it takes to have them raise their weakling hands in apparent surrender, then I'm not surprised my fellow peers find it nigh impossible to hire anyone during interviews these days. I would have given them the boot right in their faces.
An overworked plebeian from Malaysia who imbibes caffeine ( though slowing down some ), drives dangerously ( same as prev. ) and writes bedtime stories about guys into other guys to indulge in wicked unfulfilled