I was returning home the other day in a commuter train, suddenly one of the passengers in our car sneezed and many reacted kindly by saying “God bless you”. A few minutes later, I sneezed; not once, three times, no one said anything. After a while, I sneezed again intentionally to assert my hypothesis that people do in fact ignore me. No reaction yet again. Even the thoughtful custom of saying “God bless you” after someone sneezes does not apply to the minorities. This is how overtly we are being ignored by others in this society! I am so used to it after so many years of trying to cope with it. Don’t jump into premature conclusion. No, I am not a timid turned-off bore with geeky attitudes. Ii is just a sad reality that “being ignored” is one of the downsides of being a minority in America, I guess. I believe even if there is a disaster like a tornado in my neighborhood, it is going to skip my house! Simply stated, we are not protected by the Equal Attention Opportunity laws! Even when I am in a meeting, or working in a committee, my opinions are not usually taken seriously. However, if the same opinions are expressed by others they are applauded.
Even though Oprah is not my most favorite TV show, I watch it occasionally simply because my favorite show, Jerry Springer, is aired during day time when I am usually at work. The last time I watched Oprah, her guest was a lady and the title of the show was; “coming out of the closet”. Up to then, I did not know that coming out of a closet is such an enormous accomplishment that gives someone the status of national celebrity. To see how much I am being ignored in this country, I have a walking closet in every room in my house. I go into the closet and come out many times every day and no one, absolutely no one, cares! How much further we can extend the problem of double standards?
Having suffered from ADS, Attention Deficit Syndrome,I have finally decided to do something to alleviate it. I have resorted to every conceivable tactic to acknowledge my presence and get some attention, often unsuccessfully. These tactics are not always effective because they are plainly silly. So, if the silliness offends you, please skip the next section and move to the last one.
When I go to grocery store, for instance, I leave my shopping cart unattended hoping that someone will pick it up by mistake. Then, I approach him/her with a salutatory mood to reclaim my shopping cart. However, my hidden agenda is to start a conversation hopefully. Sometimes, I stay at the side walk at the front of my house with heavy duty 1600 watts hair dryer in my hand and point it to the approaching vehicles and scare the drivers by pretending that I am a plain clothes law enforcement agent who is here to check their speed, hoping that they stop and beg me for leniency. Among all such silly strategies, the one that has worked best so far is when I participate in an aerobic class in my fitness club; I suddenly, and intentionally, fake a seizure at the middle of the exercise routines. I pray that I get lucky and a beautiful young lady will volunteer to give me a mouth to mouth resuscitation! Other such techniques I have developed so meticulously have not been as effective. They include but not limited to: requesting that my telephone be taken off the do not call list, or sending email to myself, or stop paying my bills hoping that a collection agency would call me, going to an antique store and ask them what is new!, and finally going to a toy store and ask them if they have a disposable boomerang! All these techniques, clever as they may sound, have not resulted in satisfactory outcomes.
But, the good news is that I am eventually becoming more popular as I get older or especially when it is close to my birthday. I receive many soliciting letters every day, as you probably do. The debt consolidators, bankruptcy lawyers, online dating services companies, and particularly life insurance providers have become so compassionately interested in my welfare. They keep sending me thoughtfully written letters; however, they are usually addressed to Ms. or Mrs. Varjavand. Apparently, they must think that I am a handsome lady! What I don’t understand is this. If these people are so concerned with my welfare and the well being of my family, why they don’t even bother to find out whether I am male or female? Once I even received an invitation by one of these pageant organizing companies to participate in the state miss beauty pageant! The invitation was serious and complete with step-by-step instructions for preparation and promise to assist me in fund raising and how to form a support committee.
And, to you the annoying junk e-mailers, modern e-stalkers, who pretend to care about me unselfishly. You fill out my email space with your ignoble emails offering me magic pills that can help me to enlarge certain part of my body! Please, stop that. If you really like to help me, send me an elixir that can enlarge me as a whole so I won’t be interrogated by the bewildered sales associates at JC Penney anytime I try to find the right-size clothes for myself at the big and tall department by accident.
Despite all the inattention I usually endure nearly every day, I eventually get some due attention during election campaigns simply because I am an undecided voter. I receive calls occasionally from the offices of different candidates giving me all sorts of tempting promises such as subsidized healthcare, tax cut, balanced budget, clean renewable sources of energy, job security, etc. if I vote for certain candidates. The next day I get more attractive offers from another candidate. If you wish to get some respect, you can also become an undecided voter as well. You see, political candidates, as they say, are like the online lenders; when they compete, you win. The other day, I received a reassuring call from the Republican Party office promising me that if I vote republican, they even invade a country of my choice! Can you meet or beat that Mr. Barack Obama!
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