Seen and Heard

I’ve talked about this before, using a different phrase, but after working in retail for some time now, I can’t help bringing it up again.

“Children are meant to be seen, not heard.”

The sentence ignites a great amount of irritation in me. I won’t repeat myself because I went into plenty of detail about why the similar phrase, don’t speak unless you’re spoken to, is outdated and makes no sense. But this one feels even more so.

Although it’s short, after the time I’ve already spent working in retail, if there is any age group that should be seen instead of heard, it is adults!

The majority of the customers are pleasant and most transactions go normally with zero trouble. Of the problematic customers I have had, however, I’ve never had one who was a child. Neither have my co-workers. When my co-workers talk about the trouble they have with customers, they are referring to adults.

That’s not to say the children are always angelic. Of course, I hear children cry and occasionally throw temper tantrums. Or they touch things and don’t put them back correctly. I won’t deny that behavior is annoying.

But it pales in comparison to the adult who yells at me because I can’t do their return due to lack of any proof of their purchase (receipt, phone number, and/or sale tags). It’s nothing compared to the adults who frequently come to the register at closing time with a large amount of items for purchase, layaway, or both. It’s not children who leave the aisles a mess, with clothes and trash strewn across the floor (our toy aisle is very rarely messy!).

The worst thing a child has done to me directly at my register? Chatter. Yes, the “worst” experience I’ve ever had with a child at my counter is them sparking up a conversation with me. How dare they speak to me, an adult, when they haven’t been addressed?! Actually, I’m glad they do. They’re quite cheerful and tend to be the bright spot of a long shift.

In fact, the only times so far I’ve heard children continously cry are when they are tired or otherwise uncomfortable, and they’re usually small children (under three years old). I remember one particular small girl who was wailing so loudly, she could be heard throughout the store the entire time she and her family were there. My curiosity got the better of me and when they came to my register, I somewhat jokingly asked if the little one was having a bad day. Her mother flat out said she was tired and needed a nap. Is it the child’s fault she’s not being permitted to sleep? Who isn’t cranky when they’re being kept awake?

Now, I do not at all think children should be treated like adults, and in general, adults are more mature than children. I do believe that. But this concept that a child shouldn’t be allowed to speak solely because they are a child isn’t one I’ve seen to have much merit to it.

If this also refers to interrupting adults when talking, again, that should apply to everybody. Interrupting someone is rude, regardless of your age. I don’t want to be interrupted by a 30-year-old any more than I want to be interrupted by a 3-year-old.

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Warning: May Offend

That’s a tag that may as well be put on everything these days.

Before you get your pitchforks, hear me out. Yes, I know genuinely offensive things exist. There are some things I’m offended by, so I certainly can’t say nothing is offensive. However, I’ve noticed some people seem to actively try to be offended. I respect that different people are offended by different things, but what I cannot respect is when people are offended by things that truly have zero to do with them.

I’m talking about a person’s personal preferences and no, not matters like who they prefer to date. I mean things like what TV shows they like and what foods they can’t stand. That kind of stuff.

Seems silly to get offended over such a thing, doesn’t it? Why would what someone likes to watch on TV offend anybody? But it does. I talked about this a little in my post about death threats, but even without death threats, people can be very vicious. I’ve talked several times about the mess a fandom I was previously part of has become because of a rift between fans who prefer the older seasons versus fans who like the new ones. But why? Why does anyone have to give an explanation for liking or not liking something beyond “I like/dislike this”, and have their reasons deemed to be the right or wrong ones by other people? In short, why are people’s personal preferences about trivial things put on trial?

Is it even possible to have an explanation for everything someone likes or dislikes? I like strawberries above all fruits, but I can’t tell you why. I have no idea. I just do. I don’t like the color gray. No idea why. I just don’t. Why are fairies my favorite mythical creatures? Why do I hate snakes? I have no clue or explanation for any of these. However, they’re how I feel and that should be enough. Yet, for some people, it’s not.

Even if “offended” is too strong a word, these people are still getting mad someone does not have the same likes and dislikes as they do, or that they’re not keeping quiet about it. Why should they? I know the whole world isn’t the USA, but to my knowledge, the internet is for everyone to freely and openly express themselves. Why should someone have to be quiet or censor themselves in a certain way (not tagging a post, etc) because someone else can’t deal with seeing things they don’t agree with? I walk out in public and see multiple things I don’t agree with, but I can’t tell anyone to stay home because I don’t agree with something I see of them. The internet is hardly much different.

If someone wants to talk about or give reasons why they feel a certain way, that’s fine, and they should understand they’re opening themselves up to criticism if they publicize it. But making someone feel they have to explain whatever feelings they have, especially over something as insignificant as entertainment media, is little more than being mean-spirited. At the end of the day, it’s how they feel and those are their personal preferences. They’re called “personal” for a reason. Personal is defined as: “of, affecting, or belonging to a particular person rather than to anyone else” or “of or concerning one’s private life, relationships, and emotions rather than matters connected with one’s public or professional career“. In other words? It’s. Not. About. You. It’s only about them and their feelings.

I believe anyone who’s angered because someone doesn’t like something they do, and further angered if it’s for reasons they don’t agree with, or vice versa, needs to take a cue from my favorite queen.

“Let it go, let it go!”

Because, really, someone’s personal preferences do not affect you. Their personal preferences are about them, not you. Remember, everyone’s entitled to free speech, and that right doesn’t end because you don’t like what they have to say.

And if it really and truly does bother you so very much, here’s a nifty idea: try a blog! Then, you can control who speaks and who doesn’t on your space. That suggestion tends to get people mad, but it’s more productive than complaining about seeing things you don’t like in spaces you can’t control.

Not All The Fandom

No, that is not a play on a certain series of Twitter tags.

Back in March, I wrote a furious rant about something that happened to me from someone within Winx Club’s fandom. I’m still angry about that, mainly because I never received so much as an apology for it, although I never expected to. She lied. She spread false rumors. Why would she apologize when she, and some of the fandom, think that’s right? Not to mention, she prided herself on never sending hate to people. The idea of hatemail being frowned upon while lying and false accusations are okay is not an idea I’m interested in understanding.

However, I made sure to mention I had no hate for the few friends I have within the fandom and lately, I’ve been talking to those friends. I entrusted one of them in particular with that incident and wouldn’t you know? She agreed lying about me was “petty and immature” (to use her words). It turned out we also do hold similar opinions about the show. She chooses not to be so vocal about her complaints because she feels there’s no point in complaining. I can’t say she’s wrong, but when has that ever stopped most people from complaining?

In fact, her frustration is not with the complaints about the show, but the frequency of the same complaints. I never hung around as much social media for Winx as she does, but from what she tells me, she sees a certain complaint over and over and over again. She genuinely does understand why the fans who make that complaint feel the way they do, but seeing it so many is what bothers her. I agree with the complaint, but I can’t say she’s wrong. It’s like feeling sympathy for someone going through a rough time. The first time they vent to you, you’re all ears because you’re a good friend and care about them. But after the tenth time of the exact same complaining, you’re exhausted, not because you don’t care about them anymore, but because they’re not saying anything new.

It’s remembering there are people like her in the fandom – fans who may be irritated, but can still maintain respect and not be angry somebody doesn’t think like them – that makes me feel a little guilty for leaving the fandom solely because of that incident back in March. I feel like I blamed the entire fandom when it was only one person who lied and made those false accusations about me. That’s not right. I truly don’t doubt that person’s followers believe she was right for her lies, but I’m almost certain my friend above also follows that blog, yet she didn’t think lying was right. I can’t hold her or my other friends responsible for what someone else did. I can’t hold the people who think that person was right responsible either. Yes, they excused it, but they still didn’t do it.

I still have no plans to rejoin the Winx fandom, but I do ask about it every so often. It seems it’s quiet for the time-being because they’re waiting for the new spin-off. I personally have no expectations, but I hope it’s everything they’re wishing for.

The one lesson I can say I’ve heard from all this? Taking into consideration my experience with fandoms in general so far, it’d have to be: There are good and bad shows, but there is no such thing as a good fandom. Good fandoms don’t exist.”

I know I’m generalizing, but that’s what I’ve come to believe. The Winx fandom was the worst experience because of that incident back in March, but it certainly wasn’t the only bad experience with a fandom at all.

Goodbye, Winx…

Aside from a mere mention of it in some previous posts, I don’t think I’ve ever talked about Winx Club on this blog. Well, I’m finally going to do that. As you might guess from the title, however, it’s not happy. In fact, I’m full of rage right now and trying to show an extreme amount of restraint because if I wrote what’s on my mind exactly verbatim, this post would be 75% cursing at minimum. I can’t guarantee I’ll be able to maintain that restraint, but I will try.

I lost interest in Winx Club sometime around late 2015. I’d guess about September. I tried to stay interested in it, but the few things I liked about the later seasons (season 5 and onward) weren’t enough to hold my interest. So, of course, it just slipped away and I was no longer enthralled with Winx Club as I used to be. However, I did not, by any means, hate the show. I still followed it to see if things got any better.

Not only did things not get better, they got worse, but not within the show. As of last night, I can sincerely say I do hate the show and I hate its fandom even more. The fandom has lately begun to take issue with anyone who isn’t so fond of the later seasons, to the point of undermining their opinions and condescendingly deciding anyone who prefers the older seasons “doesn’t like change”. That’s not why I hate it. The reasons for my anger and now-hatred of it is one of  them decided to make false accusations toward and create lies about me because they didn’t like to response to something they’d replied.

I have zero problems with people disagreeing with me. I expect that and if that’s all that’d happened, it would’ve been the end. But that’s not all that happened. This person lied and said I sent hate into their inbox when I’d never visited their blog prior to replying to that particular post. They also accused me of submitted the confession that was posted on, which, again I did not do. They also accused me of blacklisting a subject after they’d posted about it causing biased in the fandom. Again, not something I did. Rather than stopping at disagreeing with me and leaving it be, they decide to make up lies and false accusations about me for no other reason (presumably) than not liking what I had to say. I didn’t like what they had to say either, yet funnily enough, I didn’t deem it at all appropriate to falsely accuse them of things and spread lies about them.

Even if I did still like Winx Club, I would not want anything to do with a fandom that finds it appropriate to make up lies about others on a whim. For all the show’s flaws, past and present, the fandom and community are 100 times worse and I’m ashamed of myself for ever being a part of it. I do have a few friends in the fandom I’ve made and kept, despite my fallen interest in the show, so I can’t say I hate the entire fandom. But excluding those friends, I do hate the fandom and I never again want to take any part of it. If somehow, I regain my interest in Winx Club and it becomes my favorite show again, I will still refuse to be part of that fandom for the simple fact it was deemed okay to falsely accuse me of things I didn’t do and lie about me. If that’s how they handle when they’re disagreed with, the fandom can kick rocks for all I care.

For the record, I’m not going to deny my own aggression. When I wrote the first response, I was irritated, so I know it was aggressive. But nowhere did I make up lies about someone or falsely accuse them of things they didn’t.

I will let you read the post for yourselves and you can decide who did what to who. Clicking the image will take you to my second response to this.

(Blue is me; Red is the liar)

Goodbye, Winx Club. Goodbye forever.

Less Tolerance

Something I’ve noticed about myself lately is I don’t have as much tolerance as I used to.

By “tolerance”, I mean patience, not bigotry. Granted, I’ve never had much patience, but it seems the more time passes, I have even less. My 16-year-old self actually had a ton more patience and tolerance than my 21-year-old self does.

I have less tolerance for putting up with things and people that aggravate me. I either find a way to avoid the annoyance completely or simply get on with it so I can forget about it as quickly as possible. I still get into arguments every so often, but even those have become less frequent. I’d rather let someone think what they want than argue in circles with them.

I don’t know if my shortened patience comes from it being easier to ignore those things and people, or feeling like it’s simply not worth my time. Maybe it’s both. I will say it’s been very effective. It’s saved me quite a few headaches. Perhaps it’s one of those things that develops naturally as you get older? I’ve heard the older you get, the more you learn not to mind what other people think. I suppose this is similar.

That doesn’t mean I ignore everyone I disagree with. It just means I don’t continue arguments that aren’t serving any purpose except causing me stress.  Really, all that’ll happen in the end is everyone will keep their opinions, so there’s not much point in the first place.

I wonder how long it’ll be before I reached the point of “I’m not having this discussion” and begin walking away before a heated discussion can even begin. I might have to start heavily evaluating myself that day.

How About Taking Turns?

“Don’t speak unless you’re spoken to.”

Out of all the rules I ever heard as a child, I think I hate this one the most.

Why? For starters, it has nothing to do with politeness. It’s simply used to shut a small kid up.

Just like the rule of saying nothing at all if you can’t say anything nice, this one gets lost on the path to adulthood. It’s also impossible. If no one spoke unless someone to spoke to them, no one would be able to speak at all. Somebody has to speak first. According to this, that “someone” must always and only be an adult. I want to know why an adult’s words are, by default, considered more valuable than a child’s.

I live with a family that spends half their time spouting racist and sexist nonsense all day. Nobody speaks to them first. They just blurt it out every now and then. What value is this? By contrast, I once babysat a little girl and she started telling me about her family’s trip to Florida. I didn’t ask her to and I didn’t say a word to her. She just did because she wanted to talk. Now, guess which one I’d rather hear.

If this rule is about not interrupting people, fine. That works, but should apply to adults too. It’s rude to interrupt anyone. But otherwise, someone has to speak first, and it’s fine if that “someone” is a child at times. That’s how we make friends. It’s how relationships are formed. It’s how people connect.

This rule needs to either be thrown in the garbage or replaced with something more sensible.

Also, I’ve heard this same rule was once applied, not only to children, but also to women. Admittedly, I don’t know if that’s true or not, but if it is, that alone is enough for me to consider this rule extremely outdated. This is not 1915.