Kelvin Ling

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Archive for February 2011

Rule 9: Categorize people I know

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I put people I know into friendship categories and based on this category is my interaction with said person.  I would do anything and everything I can legally to help out a friend but the degree of help is not all the same.

There is the top category, let’s call it Category A, and if you are in this category and you call me at 3am I will pick up the phone.  But if you are in the bottom category, let’s call it Category Z, and you call me at 3am, I probably won’t answer the phone.  Another way to look at the category is if you are in Category A and we discuss plans for Happy Hour, even if I don’t feel like going, I will keep the plan.  But if you are in Category Z and we make Happy Hour plans, I am likely to flake out on you because I need my alone time, it just depends on what kind of day or week I have had.

The higher category a person is in, the more of an effort I will put forth to keep up social protocol like if you ask me how I am doing, I will say more than the social convention of ‘I am fine, how are you’ or if you ask me what I did this past weekend, I will tell you what I actually did instead of ‘nothing’ or ‘ran errands’.

I am always adjusting this internal category listing.  So how many people is in this top category, not many.  I can count them in one hand and right now that number is 2 and maybe 3, presently re-evaluating this third person.

Why do I have the need to categorize people I know?  Well, it is to protect myself.  I find myself always wanting to fix a problem or help out a person.  This is not always a good idea because people lie.  I do this so I won’t feel too bad for not helping you.  I can say to myself since you have wronged me in the past then ‘no, I will not lend you money’ or ‘no, I won’t do that for you’ or ‘no, I can’t make lunch today’ or when you tell me you have a problem my answer will be ‘uh-oh’ even if I have the solution.

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Written by Kelvin

February 20, 2011 at 10:17 PM

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Rule 8: Eat out once a week per meal type

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This rule came about for two reasons: 1) needed to save money cause eating out is expensive 2) lose weight.  I have this rule where I give myself an allowance to eat out once a week per meal type, which means I can eat out once for breakfast, once for lunch, and once for dinner.  I typically save it towards the end of the week as a way to celebrate the fact the weekend is here but there are just days when I need comfort food or need something more exciting than the chicken sandwich I pack for myself for lunch.

In 1996-1997 while I was working for IBM there was a Chick-fil-a nearby that I and a few coworkers frequent quite often each week.  It wasn’t long before I realized I was gaining weight faster than I can keep it off.  Not to mention the cost of each Value Meal #1, Value size with a coke equal $5.15 added up quick.

So, this rule helps me maintain a healthy weight and decent wallet.  I also find it better if I keep my lunch light otherwise nap time comes calling in the afternoons.

There may be times when it is necessary to eat out more than once in that week and it will be a case-by-case if eating out will count towards my allowance.  These could be working lunches or client meetings or dates.

Written by Kelvin

February 20, 2011 at 6:27 PM

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Rule 7: No weddings

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This rule does not apply to family or friends that are in my friends category A.  And by family it has to be my own siblings.  None of that cousins or family of family.

I don’t do weddings.  I have yet to decide if I will attend my own but that’s another story.  Basically, I have avoided weddings since 2000.  I do this to avoid memory flashbacks of one wedding I attended prior to making this rule.  This one wedding I thought I and the bride had a connection but things did not work out as I had hoped and ever since then I don’t do weddings.

I think part of the reason for this rule is wedding is about a couple finding happiness together, have found their soulmate, blah blah blah.  I may be a little jealous cause weddings remind me of what I have not found, of what I want to find.  And it is full of questions of whether or not I will ever find that I seek.

Written by Kelvin

February 18, 2011 at 11:20 PM

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Rule 6: If you don’t contribute, you can’t benefit

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If I remember correctly this rule came about as an excuse to get out of something but made so much sense that I have followed it ever since.

This rule has to do with any social protocol that calls for contribution of some kind, whether it is money for an office gift or a dish for potluck meal.  This rule’s origin came about because of a potluck lunch at the office.  At the time I didn’t want to attend so I made up this excuse that since I didn’t bring a dish I couldn’t eat other people’s food that they brought.  It was only fair cause why should I get to benefit from not bring a dish.

Then one year it was Boss’s Day and the office was pooling money to buy the boss a gift.  That year I didn’t want to chip in cause I was not liking my job at the time and thought why should we buy the boss a gift for not doing anything and for treating his employees horribly.  Others said they would write my name on the card but I said ‘no’ cause I have this rule.

And so begins the if I don’t contribute then I can’t benefit from it.

Written by Kelvin

February 17, 2011 at 7:10 PM

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