Sunday, July 27, 2008


My last post and all the comments discussed authenticity. Most of us seemed to agree that in some situations social decorum might be better than outright honesty. To me, there are some circumstances that require absolute honesty. For example;

Occasionally I delude myself into thinking my Mr. Right is still out there looking for me. In those moments of weakness, usually gets another 3 months worth of my hard earned pay. After numerous winks, e-mails and even a few quick encounters at Starbucks, no one has managed to hold my attention long enough to continue the exploration. The chemistry was non-existent.

My profile is honest and my pictures are recent and that’s what I expect from others. I’m baffled by those who post false information. A while ago I received an e-mail from Mr. X who said he read my profile and thought we would be a great match. He invited me to read his profile and respond if I was interested.

His profile stated he was divorced, 5’10”, athletic and toned, seemed to indicate he was stable and sane and his pictures didn’t bark at me from the page. A couple of e-mails later we agreed to meet at a Starbucks near my office. I own stock in Starbucks, so everyone has to meet me there to contribute to my retirement.

I walked into Starbucks in my 3 inch heels, which make me 5’10” tall, and looked around for someone matching his description/picture. I ordered my drink, and sat down when a man walked up to my table and asked if I was me. He didn’t look anything like Mr. X, so I thought this was a friend of his that was either scouting me out, or telling me he couldn’t make it.

It was Mr. X.

I stood up and towered over him by at least 4 inches. In his pictures he had hair, but in reality he had almost none and his belly was doing flops over his belt.


I said, “You don’t look like your picture.”

He said, “Oh, that was taken about 10 years ago. I didn’t have a recent one and my wife threw away everything else.”


I said, “I thought you were divorced.”

He said, “We’re in the process, but she wants everything so my lawyer and I are holding out. You know how it is.”


I said, “No, I don’t. I’ve never been married. Your profile also said you were 5’10” tall and athletic and toned.”

He said, “Yeah, I know. If you don’t say those kind of things most women won’t e-mail you back. I’ve been on long enough to know that.”


I picked up my drink and purse and said, “Thanks for meeting me here. I have to go.”

He said, “Is that it? You’re leaving just because I’m not tall and handsome enough?”

I said, “No. I’m leaving because you lied. You lied about your height, body type, and marital status. It makes me wonder what else you lied about or might lie about in the future.”

And I left.

Everyone has flaws and problems. How we handle them says a lot about our character. Lying in a social situation by pretending you’re having a good time when you aren’t is, to me, forgivable. Lies like Mr. X told aren’t.

What do you think, and what would you have done?

Sunday, July 13, 2008


“Authenticity" in psychology refers to the courage to live one's life according to the needs of one's inner being, rather than the demands of society or one's early conditioning.

This topic bonked me in the brain a couple of times lately. Erica Orloff did a post July 9th about what we dreamed about becoming when we were young – did we really want to be writers and did we do it.

When I was young I dreamed of being a great actress and standing on the stage to accept my Academy Award thanking all the little people who made it possible. No, I didn’t become a great actress, but I spent a lot of my life acting like I was interested, amused, happy, caring and so on. I was an actress. I just didn’t get paid or win any awards for it. Erica responded that she always tried to live her life authentically. Uh, Oh!

Then I was at a wedding reception recently where of 10 people at the table, I knew 2. I’m not very outgoing unless I know people and am comfortable in a situation. This was not one of those times. I’m almost 60 and I was the youngest person at the table by about 10 years. The woman sitting next to me was from Scotland and only wanted to talk about golf. When she learned I play golf infrequently – last time was about 5 years ago – she quickly turned to the person on her other side.

I engaged in some conversations, smiled, ate, and got the hell out of there as soon as appropriate. As I was getting ready to leave the table, the woman on the other side of golf lady (who was in the loo) smiled at me and asked, “Are you authentic?”

I must have looked puzzled because she said, “You’ve been sitting here for almost 2 hours, smiling, laughing, nodding and talking, but I don’t think you’ve really been here. Was your participation authentic?”

Wow! I hesitated for a moment unsure of how to respond. I said, “I hope I haven’t offended you. I’m not very good at social interactions with strangers. This isn’t my forte. Am I authentic? I’m not sure. You’ve given me a lot to think about.”

She said, “The fact that you didn’t have a ready answer means you’re probably more authentic than many people. At least you’re willing to consider it.”

Am I authentic? With my friends and in most areas of my everyday life, I am. I’m very honest and straightforward – tactfully so (usually). I like the truth and believe being true to myself is as important as being truthful with others.

However, in social situations I’m an actress. The truth is I’d rather be home or with close friends, but that isn’t always possible so I pretend. Normally I’m a very good actress. The lady at the reception is the first person to ever question me. It was odd because I’m the one who is usually accused of being hyper aware – of practically being able to read people’s minds.

So, the answer to her question is yes and no. Yes about 80% of the time and no the rest.

Are you authentic?

Monday, July 7, 2008

My Town Monday - Seattle's Pike Place Market

Between 1906 and 1907 the price of onions rose from 10 cents per pound to $1.00 per pound. (By comparison, a pair of shoes cost $2). Seattle citizens, angry at price-gouging middlemen, pressured the city to establish a public market where customers could 'meet the producer' directly. Saturday, August 17, 1907, about ten farmers pulled up their wagons on a boardwalk adjacent to the Leland Hotel. Before noon that day, all their produce had sold out. After an enthusiastic response from local shoppers, the first building at the Market was opened in late 1907. Within a decade, the Corner Market, Economy Market, Sanitary Market, and North Arcade were built.

By the 1940s, more than two-thirds of the stalls in Pike Place Market were owned by Japanese-Americans. Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 February 19, 1942, which forced all Americans of Japanese ancestry in the "exclusion zone" of western Washington, western Oregon, California, and southern Arizona into internment camps in California. Their property, including any stalls at Pike Place, was confiscated and sold.

In 1963, a proposal was floated to demolish Pike Place Market and replace it with Pike Plaza, which would include a hotel, an apartment building, four office buildings, a hockey arena, and a parking garage. However, there was significant community opposition and an initiative was passed on November 2, 1971 that created a historic preservation zone and returned the Market to public hands. The Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority was created by the city to run the Market. Over the course of the 1970s, all the Market's historic buildings were restored and renovated using the original plans and blueprints and appropriate materials.

In the 1980s, federal welfare reform squeezed the social services based in the Market. As a result, a nonprofit group, the Pike Place Market Foundation, was established by the PDA to raise funds and administer the Market's free clinic, senior center, low-income housing, and childcare center. Also in the 1980s the wooden floors on the top arcade were replaced with tiles (so as to prevent water damage to merchandise on the lower floors) that were laid by the PDA after staging a hugely successful capital campaign - people could pay $35 to have their name(s) inscribed on a tile. Between 1985 and 1987, more than 45,000 tiles were installed and nearly 1.6 million dollars was raised.

Currently, the longest tenured vendor at the Pike Place Market is Sol Amon's Pure Food Fish. Inheriting the business from his father, Sol has donned his apron at Pure Food Fish for over fifty years. Sol's presence can often be seen outside his stall chatting with visitors and helping them choose the best fish to bring home to their families. He helps them package his special Alderwood Smoked Salmon or Copper River Salmon to enjoy in their homes after their trip.

One of the Market's major attractions is Pike Place Fish Market, where employees throw three-foot salmon and other fish to each other rather than passing them by hand. When a customer orders a fish, an employee at the Fish Market's ice-covered fish table picks up the fish and hurls it over the countertop, where another employee catches it and preps it for sale.

According to the employees, this tradition started when the fishmongers got tired of having to walk out to the Market's fish table to retrieve a salmon each time someone ordered one. Eventually, the owner realized it was easier to station an employee at the table, to throw the fish over the counter. The "flying fish" have appeared in an episode of the television sitcom Frasier that was shot on location and have been featured on The Learning Channel and was also in the opening credits of MTV's The Real World: Seattle.

Starbucks Coffee was founded near Pike Place Market in 1971. The three partners were inspired to open the store and sell high-quality coffee beans. The first store relocated to Pike Place Market in 1976, where it is still in operation. The sign outside this branch, unlike others, features the original logo - a bare-breasted siren that was modeled after a 15th century Norse woodcut. It also features a large pig statue, a landmark throughout the market.

Pike Place Market's official mascot, Rachel, a bronze cast piggy bank that weighs nearly 600 pounds, is located at the corner of Pike Place under the "Public Market Center" sign. Rachel was designed by local artist Georgia Gerber and modeled after a pig (also named Rachel) that lived on Whidbey Island and was the 1977 Island County prize-winner. Rachel receives roughly $9,000 annually in just about every type of world currency, which is collected by the Market Foundation to fund the Market's social services. Locals make a habit of emptying their pockets and rubbing Rachel's snout for good luck.

My Town Monday is the brilliant conception of Travis Erwin. Please visit his blog for links to other fabulous places.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Happy 4th of July

Hope you have a wonderful 4th of July! I'm taking time off to completely heal and get caught up. Hope to be blogging again next week.

Hugs to everyone for all the e-mails and comments!