Trustworthiness and Bowling Alone


I recently started reading the book Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. It’s a book that I bought when I got my tax return because Turbo Tax offered an additional 10% of any amount of my return I took in Amazon Gift Cards. I don’t remember for sure, but I think I bought it because of the teacher association. In attending the Leadership Summit and Delegate Assembly, I realized that so much of what people do is in search of connection nowadays.

There is something that Arizona is getting a fair amount of national attention for doing well in the field of education… that thing is called eSwag. I don’t remember what it stands for (Educators Standing With… I don’t know; look it up), but it’s basically a mechanism for engaging and retaining educators under the age of 35. I didn’t join it because I’m too cool for it (and church groups for singles). I also didn’t join because I felt like I had enough on my plate with all of the normal baloney sandwich mess of being the secretary of my local. However, I was able to observe the eSwag-ers from a distance and gain a fairly clear picture of what was going on there. Turns out, Arizona has managed to gain positive national attention for throwing ridiculous parties that get forcibly moved from one hotel room to another, to another, to the hotel bar where the cheapskates didn’t even order anything because they brought their own libations… no joke, that’s what eSwag did at Delegate Assembly.

I was hugely disappointed to discover this because I wanted to see the association engaging young teachers by bringing them a bit deeper into the profession. I wanted to see mentor programs where veteran teachers partnered with new teachers to show them how it’s done. I wanted to see people getting to know one another and truly caring. I wanted to see my generation of the extended adolescence… well… growing out of our adolescences.

With eSwag turning out to be a series of keggers… and let’s be honest: I’m obsessing right now about the correct spelling of kegger because I’m the type who voluntarily took an extra linguistics class heavy on the sentence-diagramming in college when I could have been out partying. I became a teacher because I believe learning is more important than fun is… most of the time. Why the hell did they think I would enjoy staying up late, getting drunk, and talking to people I didn’t know? Okay, so they assumed that because that’s obviously what most folks under 35 want.

That all being in the background, I started reading Bowling Alone because I wanted to get a handle on this longing we under 35s (and really everyone of every age) have for community.

I say longing because I think it’s the best descriptor here. I honestly think we’re caught up in a mess of disconnect and probably spend a fair amount of time distracting ourselves from the fact that we don’t have community and don’t know how to get it. We long for community, and chase after it with enthusiasm and abandon, but we never quite achieve the type of community we think we will. We never quite get there.

Building and engaging community are catch-phrases in the church nowadays, and I need to get better about ignoring or possibly even encouraging folks who have jumped on-board the trendy-train of abandon-tradition-because-it’s-keeping-us-from-engaging-for-real-!-All-Christians-are-faking-it-!-They-don’t-care-about-people-! but trendy things become trendy for a reason, and there’s something that’s causing the teacher association and the church to track with one another in a thrust toward community.

The book said something interesting. Now, granted, I’m only on the second chapter so far, and it isn’t exactly light reading, so I’ll probably be reading the thing for the next two or three years, but I’ve got one pearl to share with you right now.

Trustworthiness lubricates social life.

I thought this book was going to lay the blame on social networking. However, right out of the gates, our author Robert D. Putnam brings it down to an incredibly basic level. Younger generations trust less. I’ve read things about this, and it seems to come up in tons of those generation descriptions. There’s always mention of the skepticism that comes with living in an age when we’re inundated with ads. There’s talk of the mass public shootings and how that makes us wonder if our neighbor is building a massive collection of killing devices in his parents’ garage. So maybe we have good reason to mistrust.

I’d never considered that trust might have any role in keeping us from feeling connected to other human beings? What if that’s the reason the teachers under 35 can’t make friends without destroying their livers? What if, at the most basic level, human beings are beginning to believe their fellow-men want to screw them over?

It’s a sad thought, right? Maybe I should’ve waited to write this until I’ve finished the book. Maybe Robert D. Putnam has some answers, some idea of what we can do to fix this mess. All I can think of is to commit ourselves to individually and collectively becoming trustworthy…

Thoughts?

Regarding Rebuke and Sin


In being rebuked, I’ve learned:

1. It is never an incorrect move to agree with someone who says I’m wrong. However, it is often an incorrect move to disagree with someone who says I’m wrong. The former will always grow me in humility and build the relationship. The latter will grow me in confidence (or arrogance) and will likely damage the relationship.

2. Apologizing is one of the most underrated opportunities in existence. Asking someone for forgiveness reminds me of my status with God and the mercy He shows me. Asking someone for forgiveness also offers that person the opportunity to be like Christ. It is an overt pleading that he do for me what God has done for him in granting him mercy.

3.  People don’t feel comfortable rebuking one another. Thus, it takes great courage and care for a person to tell me I’m wrong, and (unless it’s some guy I don’t know telling me I’m going to burn in Hell because my shorts are too short) I should give my full attention and humility to the rebuke, assuming that my rebuker doesn’t want to be rebuking me.

4. It is never correct to point out my rebuker’s flaws. Even if I’m in a situation where the person rebuking me is wrong to do so… and I mean REALLY, 100%, obvious beyond even the slightest reasonable or unreasonable doubt wrong, there is no return-rebuke that’s good or right. It doesn’t matter how that person spoke to me; it doesn’t matter if that person is involved in open sin; it doesn’t matter if that person is a professing atheist. In the midst of a rebuke, it is always the wrong move to point out the rebuker’s flaws. Rebuke isn’t actually about the rebuker at all, and seeking to make it about him is a childish move. It’s a cowardly deflection.

5. People who rebuke one-another make excellent companions. There are some obvious exceptions, but the general character of the rebuker includes a rare courage and caring. It involves a sense of duty to both man and God, and it involves humility.

6. Rebuke is not the same as working through conflict. Rebuke requires a statement of wrong-doing. It is a push towards repentance and forgiveness. It is only to be used when there is clear-cut evidence of sin. Rebuke is far more serious than the vast majority of disagreements I have in my life, and I should respond to it as weighty.

I bring all of this up because I rebuked someone this week… over the Facebook thing… and I hate the feeling that comes in the wake of an unsuccessful rebuke. It’s been something like three years since I last rebuked someone, so I’m not used to the way it eats at me, although it ate at me that time too. I wish I was on the other end of the rebuke, actually, because one of the most painful things in life is watching someone I care for destruct, especially when there’s nothing that can be done in aid. The person just has to live it out for the time being.

I was reading Romans this morning, and chapter 7 has always been a confusing one for me. Scratch that – all of the things Paul writes about his relationship to the law confuse me. He writes such convoluted sentences sometimes, and I know they express something marvelous, but I can’t always access whatever that marvelous thing is, or sometimes I access it for a fleeting moment, and then I spend years trying to recapture that epiphany.

The passage that captured me today was towards the end of the chapter in v. 21-25:

“So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.”

There are several parts of this passage that resonate with me today. I don’t think I fully understand what Paul is saying here, and my thoughts get all jumbled because some of the verses seem to condemn me, while others justify me. Put through the filter of who and what I am at this very moment, I feel that the good I want to do wars with the evil that’s close at hand. Sometimes I feel that I am wretched. Other times, I feel completely at peace with it all because I’m confident in the cross. So, in many ways, this passage is about me. It’s the Bible, so it’s not more about me than it is about anyone else, but it’s important that I know it’s about me.

Then there are moments today when I filter the passage through the girl I rebuked. I don’t know if that’s a healthy thing to be doing… it sounds a little like the self-righteousness of sitting through a sermon and thinking about all of the people who need to hear the sermon because Pastor is talking about them. However, when I filter it through her, I actually just feel that ache of how difficult it is to allow ourselves to be wrong. How difficult it is to admit that we’re wretched. She dug in her heels against my rebuke, and I can feel that stubbornness, that hardness of heart. I intimately know the blockade I went up against in her. It’s a strong wall that won’t allow her to entertain the possibility that her good intentions are wrapped up in evil ones. I’ve been the person who says, and honestly believes, like she does, that I’ve examined my heart and that there is no sin in it. I’ve felt the pain that comes when I looked back and realized just how much sin was there that I was ignoring.

And after all of the thinking about rebuke and what it should be, how it is to be done… After reading Romans and filtering it through her and me, I’m left with the same ache I had before, during, and after the rebuke… the ache that wishes she wouldn’t keep throwing herself up against that stubborn blockade. I feel the ache that knows it’s far easier to ask God to destroy all that is in me that’s proud, self-assured, oh-so-very right – easier to ask Him to replace that stubborn wall with the righteousness of Christ… a righteousness that gave up a throne and authority in Heaven to be humiliated on behalf of sinners. And yet, my ache is also one that knows such a request of God only seems easy in retrospect. Really, asking that of God is so incredibly difficult.

A Confederacy of Facebook Dunces


I really thought I’d be able to do it, but Facebook is ridiculous, and I’m thinking about deleting my profile once again.

It all started with a post that began, “This is why we will never step foot into a church building again.”

In all fairness, I maybe should have let that pitch go by, but my thought was that if one of my Christian friends said that in real life, I wouldn’t have just let it go by. Also, I had been thinking about this friend a lot, praying for her, and trying to figure out how to serve her. She was a primary focus on my mind for a few weeks and I was going on to Facebook to message her and ask her if she wanted to grab coffee sometime, but her post was just sitting there on my feed, and I thought responding to that post was a far less contrived way to serve her, and I thought God maybe did a little work there with the timing.

So, to paraphrase a long conversation, I was like, hey – maybe you should be careful about saying that. I get the feeling behind it, but that’s really not going to help anyone. Public church-bashing isn’t something you should be doing.

Then, I thought, hey – it’s probably better to have this conversation in private, so I messaged the friend, and we talked one-on-one. Still, there was one comment I’d made that was already free to the public, and that’s the part that quickly unraveled into a scenario where a man I actually don’t even know urged me to stop my sexual sin and come to Christ, which, for those of you who know me even a little know that’s a comical thing because I’m not having sex. I haven’t seriously dated anyone OR even kissed anyone since 2004. I’m the real-life 30-year-old-virgin. He could have identified a different sin and been spot-on probably, but he chose the one that made him completely absurd and wrong. And if that’s how he acts towards a Christian woman he’s never met, I’m terrified to consider what he would say to some of the people I love and have been praying for… I’m worried he might hold up a sign that says, “God hates fags!” His assumptions and judgments of me are exactly the kind of thing that causes the world to look at us (Christians) and think we’re mean idiots. I actually had the thought in the midst of long-winded self-aggrandizement: “I wish just a few of the non-believing liberals I worked with were around; they’re so much nicer than these Christians. I bet one of them would give me a hug.”

I wish that isn’t what I thought.

Then, there was a picture of a dead bear that someone posted. I’m not an animal rights activist. I’ve recently decided to stop eating pigs, mostly for health and partly for the depressed pigs Lori told me about, but I’m really not opposed to humans killing animals in certain circumstances. When I watch Naked and Afraid, I’m almost rooting for the vegetarians to get the nerve to kill animals with their bare hands… and yet, I don’t want to see pictures of dead bears on Facebook. I don’t want to see some kid posing with the bear he killed, touching it, feeling proud. Bears are majestic. I’d kill one if it was a me-or-him scenario, for sure, but I’ve recently decided the phrase “for sport” really means “for fun,” and I’m not okay with killing anything for fun.

Then there are all of the people arguing about gun control because of the church shooting. There’s “Obama is a moron!” and there’s “If he didn’t have a gun, he couldn’t have shot anybody!”

All I can think is: “I wish that kid who shot the bear hadn’t had a gun,” which doesn’t at all indicate anything about my stances on gun control… but I want to give that bear back his life and I want to unsee the picture of his lifeless body. I wish that bear was roaming free in the wilderness, with its bear family, minding its bear business.

I also want to give the shooting victims back their lives. I wish those people in the church could roam free with their families, minding their business.

But I don’t think stricter gun laws will really fix that. I think humans have become weird and we do weird things, like shooting people and bears to entertain ourselves. It doesn’t make me feel better about death to debate about it online.

With all of this inundating me, and aside from my fear that my dad might read this and realize I’m no longer a Republican, all I can think is, “What the hell am I doing in such a ridiculous place? I’ve got some guy I don’t even know, who has been married since 2001 and knows very little of what it’s like to be single into adulthood and remain sexually pure, telling me to stop having the sex I’m not having… which, if we’re honest, I’m really tempted to have, and it’s only by the grace of God that I haven’t had it. I’ve got a picture of some kid I’ve never met stroking a dead bear, forcing itself into my feed right above a video of a baby bear playing with an adorable wolf cub…

and why can’t we all just get along like the baby animals?”

Some time went by, and, after 60-something, all SUPER long comments on the church thread, the girl who made the original post made a follow-up post that started with, “Well, that was fun, but it’s time to let people off the hook now.”

Wait, what was fun? Were you in the same conversation I was? That was not fun. That sucked.

Then came a thinly veiled insult that claimed all of the responders to the original post were spiritually inferior because she’d intentionally tricked us by initially posting something she knew was false because she wanted to get all of us to quote the Bible. We didn’t quote it enough, though, so she was disappointed. Then, when a dude who was in his sixties wrote something in response (he was super gracious throughout both threads) she implied that he’s a lazy Christian… She’s younger than I am, and yet went at a man twice her age… Really?!

I’d like for Facebook to work because I enjoy the pictures of sunsets and the videos of Cpt. Piccard arguing with Darth Vader about whether Star Wars or Trek makes more sense. I also just don’t like explaining to people why I don’t have a profile.

But I don’t think I can take it. Facebook is such a weird place, and I’m tired of removing people from my feed because they keep posting ish that’s weird or heartbreaking. By the time I’m done blocking people, all I’m going to have left is my friend from work who travels all over the place with his partner, taking pictures of birds. Because he is way less offensive than everyone else.

Maybe I’ll just do Instagram, but then, I’d have to get comfortable taking selfies, which is also a really weird thing.

*Sigh*

What’s a girl to do?

To My Dad… on Father’s Day


Dear Dad,

Today is a day that’s dedicated to honoring all of the work you put into making me a decent person.

When Steve, Lori, Amy and I were in Peru last year, and fleeing from wildfire, I realized the value of all of your safety lessons, “Don’t expect other people to take care of you,” and “If something bad happens, you get as far away from it as possible before looking back or regrouping.” I may only check my car doors once after I’ve parked, but I suspect I’ve dodged at least a few dangers in my life because of all the safety lessons you drilled into me.

Although I look at softball as a demon in my life sometimes, I also know that my work ethic, ability to break tasks down and understand them, and my skills in teamwork are largely attributable to softball and the hours and hours you spent taking wild pitches to the shins… and then there was that one time when I accidentally threw a bat at you. Thank you for all you gave up in time and ease of motion to make my dreams come true.

In the academic arena, I didn’t struggle a whole lot, but I recently remembered the initial struggle I was having with Algebra. I think it was the idea of variables representing numbers (that weren’t provided to us) that was my hang-up, but I distinctly remember the moment I got it, and it had nothing to do with teachers explaining things it me, or at least not in the traditional sense of the word “teacher.” It was when you and I were going over a word problem where I had to algebraically  represent the question, and the way you explained it made things just click. It’s that moment that got me through all of my high school math… a year ahead of my peers. Thank you.

Then, there are the less lesson-oriented things you’ve given me that make me who I am. Because of you, I understand and enjoy sci-fi and fantasy in film and video games (something most girls just don’t get), I own more books than I’ll probably ever read, I have areas of interest that range from theology to art, coffee to psychology, history to running, entertainment media to travel, and home decor to grammar. I don’t know many people who have nearly as many interests as I have, and I only have those interests because you modeled a constant hunger for knowledge… an insatiable curiosity.

Thank you for forcing me to run errands with you when I was vehemently opposed, thank you for finding and obtaining that bootlegged copy of The Torkelsons for me (it’s still my favorite show), thank you for taking my side when I was often too afraid to stand up for myself as a kid, thank you for calling me out on my kindergarten swimming pool lie (I tell the truth to this day because of it), thank you for making me chicken and stars everyday after kindergarten, and thank you for so many $15 tips to Barnes and Noble… as recently as my last visit to North Carolina. Most of all, however, thank you for being my dad.

I love you,

Kate

Podcast Recommendation: Serial


I don’t lie. About anything.

I’m not saying that as some sort of braggery. In fact, one of the things I’ve been rethinking lately is the value of a well-crafted little white lie. Deceit, though morally questionable, is such a prevalent portion of our daily interactions that I honestly think I might get along better in this world if it would occur to me to lie occasionally.

“But don’t you think District 9 is a great movie?”

“No. I think it’s stupid.”

That’s actually how conversations with me can go, and, until this month, I didn’t see why that bothered anyone. I thought it was endearing. Another person’s hatred of my favorite movie doesn’t diminish my experience of the movie, so it really wouldn’t bother me if I had a reversed role in the conversation above. I may be bothered that my friend didn’t share the experience I had with the movie. I may even feel sad that my friend missed out. I may try to show her some of the great things she missed… but I’d never feel insulted that she had a different opinion from mine. Other people, I’m realizing, do feel insulted.

Considering that conversation and all the other conversations it represents, along with the people who don’t like me and occasions that have given me trouble in my life, I realize almost all of them could have been alleviated or avoided altogether with the skilled application of a few little white lies.

If I could just say that I’m busy when I’m not, then no one would get upset with me for choosing to sit at home rather than choosing to hang out with them.

I bring this up because I’ve been listening to a podcast that showed me how unusual my honesty actually is. The podcast is called Serial, and it’s the only thing my roommate has ever recommended to me. She occasionally tells me she thinks I might like this or that, but it was different with Serial. It was more like, “You need to listen to this. Your life is suffering from the absence of this amazing podcast.”

Not being a listener of much of anything – audio books, NPR, podcasts… just about the only thing I’ll listen to is sermons, and I’m not particularly consistent with those – so, not being a listener of much of anything, I didn’t run out and find the thing right away. However, I wish I had.

Serial is a twelve episode account of a real-life murder mystery. Fifteen years ago, Adnan Syed was convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee. He is now serving a life sentence, although he maintains his innocence.

You should listen to the podcast.

Of course, there’s a sexiness to it, what, with murder, drug use, lies, and sex. Also, it’s a great time in the market for this podcast because everyone watches crime shows. In our house, it’s Castle and The Mentalist right now, but we’ve gone through everything from J-A-G to Serlock.

Serial, however, is better than all of those. It gets at a ton of the questions of human behavior. My obsession with it is the lies. Someone is clearly lying in the case, because Adnan says he didn’t do it, but the key witness says he did. There are also other lies, in which people are caught, but lots of those lies get dismissed as little white lies that don’t matter all that much. This fascinates me. As someone who doesn’t lie, I also never really suspect others of lying, and it would severely shake my trust in someone if I caught him in any lie.

I’m realizing, through listening to this podcast, that other people don’t take lies as seriously as I do. They act like some lies are natural to tell and hardly even count as lies, which gets me thinking: That’s why _______ doesn’t like me; she expected me to lie, and I didn’t. She took my honesty as blunt and insulting. You may think I’m exaggerating when I write this down as a significant epiphany… but then you’d be assuming that I exaggerate such things. I truly did not have any inkling of why anyone would dislike the things I say.

Beyond my own focus with the podcast, there is so much to think about… when Kendra and I talk about Serial, we key in on very different information. She’s not so interested in the lies as she is in the prospect of life in prison. She thinks about the injustice of wrongful imprisonment and she wonders how Adnan could even cope with it (if he is innocent). She also talks about how strange memory is. When those involved are questioned by police, Kendra keys in on how hard it would be to remember. Adnan’s conviction rests solely on his inability to account for a twenty-one minute window of time that he didn’t know was going to be important. In fact, he didn’t realize he was a suspect until something like six weeks after the day in question. Also, the girl’s body didn’t turn up immediately, so he says he just thought she was going to show up in a day or two. He says he had no reason to remember what he was doing for twenty-one minutes on a day when he didn’t even know his ex-girlfriend was in trouble.

Point: this podcast grips you. You should listen to it because the lies might not be your thing, and you may not delve into the depths of sixteen-years-in-prison, but there is something there for you. I promise. It’s a gripping piece of journalism. It has an excellent soundtrack. If ever there was a podcast to hook you, Serial is it.

Here’s your link to check it out.

Don’t Rock the Table!


I had a very writerly moment the other day that sort of cracked me up.

I was at Sbucks. It was in the midst of the road trip. I was in Oceanside, and feeling a little guilty that my experience of the places I’d stayed was so limited to a few hours a day, and I spent the rest of the time doing the things I’d have done at home.

… like the sitting at Sbucks for three hours.

Still, I enjoy sitting at coffee shops. Right now, I’m sitting at a coffee shop. I’ve been here for almost four hours, and it feels like nothing. It feels like it’s still the early morning, even though it’s noon.

That’s how I was feeling in Oceanside. I’d read for about an hour and a half; I’d applied for a job; I’d listened to a podcast.

But then, the lady at the other end of my table started typing. We were sitting at one of those long wooden tables that are all-of-a-sudden very “in” with Sbucks. We were on the same side of the table, but on opposite ends. She had been up and down. She’d even left the store at one point, then returned, and now, she was typing, her weighted fingers hitting each key the way my feet hit the ground twenty miles into a marathon.

Thud. Thud. Thud-thud!

It was enough that it pulled me out of my reading zone, and I had to look at her long and hard. A scene popped into my mind: there’s Sean Connery, screaming out, “Punch the keys, for God’s sake!” For those of you who don’t know, that’s from the film Finding Forrester, which is a terribly underrated film in my opinion. It’s the kind of film that reminds me of the artistry in writing – not just in the words I choose or the flow of thoughts and content on the page. Oh no, it’s far more than that.

Similar to how a good glass of wine consists of good wine, plus – plus the size and shape of the glass, the smell of the wine, the lighting in the room, the cheese or chocolate that’s paired with the wine, the conversation, the perfect chair, the visual of my nail polish and rings as I look at my hands holding the glass, the swirl of the wine in the glass and the legs coating and lingering in spots. Likewise, writing is the words and thoughts, plus. It’s the thickness and texture of the paper (or it’s the weight of the journal and how worn its cover). It’s the flow of the ink or the smell of the pencil. It’s the right amount of background noise. It’s the coffee on the table. It’s the passage of time, unobserved. It’s the sound of the keys. In writing, as in anything, it’s the sum of the parts that makes an elegant writing experience, and the experience matters.

I looked at that lady, thought a loud, “Punch the keys, for God’s sake!” that she didn’t hear or chose to ignore, and then I left Sbucks in a huff, the experience destroyed by someone who misunderstands writing. In retrospect, I’m sad for both of us.

One of the Many Reasons I’m not iPhone Material


When I got the iPhone, I knew it was a mistake. I knew Siri was going to piss me off by assuming I mean what I don’t mean. I knew I was going to misunderstand data and apps. However, it’s always the ones you don’t consider that come back to bite you later.

I got an iPhone 5s (I think), which basically means that my phone has fingerprint security hooplah. At first, I was all, “No – I’m totally not even going to have a password on the thing. I’ve got nothing to hide, and nobody is going to try to break in to get all of the wonderful ebooks I’ll check out for free from the library.”

Then, I was all, “Okay, this is going pretty well – maybe I should play with my phone a bit.”

That’s how I got very excited about the fingerprint thing. Did you know that only one of your fingers will work? I knew fingerprints were all unique, but I think I also thought there was some sort of pattern to it… like my left thumb would be the mirror of my right. Well, only my right thumb was authorized to get into my phone. I thought that was pretty cool because Jack Bauer would have to cut off both of my thumbs if he wanted to use them to access my phone (and it was separated from my dead body… and I was a terrorist… okay, so I clearly live in a land of fiction). Then I thought about how unrealistic 24 really was because Jack Bauer never cut off both thumbs…

Anyways, iPhone then asks for a 4-digit passcode in case the thing can’t read my right thumb for some reason.

Usually, my 4 digit codes are 1984… the book, not my bday year or the first 4 digits of one of my credit cards. However, with Jack Bauer on the mind, I couldn’t have a lame passcode. So I thought long an hard about all of the 4-digit numbers I know, and I chose the most unguessable one I could remember.

Then, I didn’t use the passcode at all because I could use my thumb print.

Then, my iPhone wasn’t doing something I wanted it to do… it was being slow, which I think had to do with its attempts to connect to the neighbor’s internet that’s unprotected, but shoddy.

So I shut the thing off.

Then I turned it back on.

Then it refused to take my thumbprint because it evidently requires the 4-digit passcode on restart.

What was my code again?

So I started entering every code I could remember. And none of them worked. With each progressive fail, iPhone got more and more stubborn about letting me back in, “Try again in sixty seconds…” “Try again in five minutes…” “Try again in fifteen minutes…” “Try again in an hour…”

And in my mind, I was like, “You bitch!” I have an interview tomorrow and I need Google Maps! How will I ever find Broadway and Kolb without Google Maps?! If I don’t get this job, it will be your fault! If the bank forecloses on my house, it will be entirely your fault, Siri! I’m going to die sad and alone because of you! I hate you, iPhone!”

I’m not gonna lie, I was more pissed at that phone than I’ve ever been at a person.

However, now that I’ve successfully completed my interview to be an Associate Editor for an advertising agency, I feel better. Now, I’m at the library, using their wifi to restore the damn factory settings on my idiot iPhone, and then I intend never to set up a passcode or thumb print again unless I have no other option.

Damn SmartPhones! Can’t I go back to living in the ’90s, when things were normal?