What Makes Us Human?

Are there certain moments in life that you reflect on more than others? Maybe something that made you look inside yourself and go, “Hmmm…”

Sixteen years ago, my junior year of high school, my English teacher initiated a game. He picked four kids and said they were irrefutably human. The rest of us were a mixture of aliens and humans. The job of the four humans was to decide who was human and who was alien. The humans would get to share a box of cupcakes the next day in class. The aliens would not get cupcakes. (We were a highly food-motivated class)

We set out to prove our humanity to these four teenage girls. All of the normal arguments were used; we have thumbs, we have complex thinking, we love cupcakes… everyone argued fervently.

Except me.

I immediately stated I was an alien. I argued against any of the other students arguments, trying to prove they were all aliens as well.

Now, it’s the reasoning I did this gives me pause. I wanted the cupcakes just as badly as any of the other students, but to prove I was human I wanted to act as I thought a human would act in this situation.

A human, I thought, always wants to be special. So, by claiming I was an alien I was setting myself apart.

A human, I thought, would try to make sure they got the most cupcakes by disproving the others humanity, weather their arguments were credible or not. A human would try to make their rivals seem less, well, human in the eyes of their peers.

And finally, a human would realize that if everyone got cupcakes, a legitimate possibility, there would be less cupcakes for them.

I’m not sure how that makes me feel about my teenage self. I was obviously extremely cynical for a kid, but in reality, was I wrong?

For those of you who are wondering, no, they did not decide I was human. We all shared the cupcakes anyways.

What do you think? What are your stories? Leave a comment below!

Let Me Call You Sweetheart, I’m in Love With You….

I love nicknames. I feel like giving a friend or family member a nickname is a way to show you care for them, or to verbalize a connection. I love being privileged enough to call someone something unique, something between the two of us. Don’t get me started on all of the silly nonsensical nicknames I’ve given my kid.

And maybe the reason I am so irritated when a stranger calls me by a pet name is because of the intimacy I associate with nicknames, but yes, I am irritated by it.

The specific situation that sparked this blog post occurred today when I received a call from someone who wanted my professional opinion. They seemed satisfied with my response, and ended the call with, “Thanks, Baby!”

I wish this had been a one-of-a-kind experience, but it happens all the time. Disgruntled Me posted a complaint on Twitter, and one of my followers was quick to point out that they doubted that the caller meant it to be a personal insult, and I agree. But doesn’t that make it worse? This caller, and other callers, aren’t even batting an eyelash at calling a person in a very professional setting the same name they would use for their spouse, child, or cat.

In my experience these off handed pet names are only used professional by men, and only said to women. (Again, in my experience.) I’m sure if I initially picked up the phone and said, “How can I help you, Sweetheart?” the caller would consider me unprofessional. Maybe that could be the litmus test for when it is okay to use pet names? “How would I feel if they used the pet name on me first?”

Another Twitter follower responded that it was just how people talked from where he was from. Great! I assume that means if he were ending a call with Jared from Accounting he would also end the conversation with, “Thanks, Baby!” Or he would be okay with Jared calling him Baby at the end of the call. Or beginning of the call. Whatever.

I guess my main request here is this: consider your words. Make them appropriate to the situation, please. If the setting is professional, be professional. If the setting is more relaxed, go for it, within reason. But for this and so many more situations in life, just be courteous of those around you.

My First Blog Post


…. no, too short…

Dear Sir or Madam,

… too formal…

Sup, Dawgs?

… no, just no…

I’ve never written a blog before. Can you tell?
As a person, I have never really considered my thoughts or experiences something that would interest others. I have several motives for starting this blog. One of them is to try to prove to myself that my words do matter. That although I’m just one drop of water in the ocean, one drop combined with all the others out there create something big.

Another reason I’ve started this blog is professional. I’m an aspiring author. Really, I’d just like to finish my novel. Or, I guess, since I have a night-owl toddler, I’d really just like to work on my novel. So while I do that, or rather while I don’t do that as the case may be, I thought I’d give this a go.

So, do you, like, introduce yourself in a blog? I should probably do some research. Today I’ll wing it.

My name is E. Of course, that’s not my real name, but since I grew up with a mom who insisted that everyone on the internet wanted to kill me, probably hire a cleric, revive me, and then kill me again, I think I’ll go by E unless/until I get lulled into a false sense of security by one of you tricky serial killers. (Don’t think you can tempt me with sweets, unless you know that my favorite candy is LifeSavers Big Gummy Rings you’re out of luck… … …. Crap. I’m screwed!)

So that’s my first blog post. I hope you’re not left too incredibly underwhelmed. (Yes, I am fishing for reassurance. Love me! *sob*)