We've been searching for signs of intelligent life on other planets for a few decades. Before that, we looked for signs of intelligence in other people. Sometimes we're just watching them or their house for signs of life, or signs of interest.
Most of the time, we're watching road signs, to ensure we don't miss our turn or go the wrong way. Wouldn't that be a hoot, to have someone give you signs every time you're about to make a mistake or miss a turn that you should take to have a better life? Sometimes I look back and think, I should have done something that I passed on back then, convincing myself that all the signs were there.
How did I miss those signs?
Searching for signs is part of our parlance. "I just want a sign he cares." "I just want a sign she hears what I'm saying." "I just want a sign you understand what I'm saying."
"Lord, give me a sign!"
Remember the Y2K episode of This Is Our Civilization? If you recall, computer software had been written with the year presented as two digits, with the '19' part of 1900 assumed. That was done to save space when coding. As civilization rolled toward 2000, worries emerged about what would happen with all that software in the year 2000, and the programs, information and activities they controlled.
It could, some forecasted, be the end of the world.
Just like the Mayans predicted with their calendar. Surely their calendar ended when it did because that was the expected end of the world, right? Just as software makers and programmers figured that 1999 would be the end of the world, so there wasn't any reason to plan for 2000 and beyond.
That's what happened, right?
So that's at least two ends of the world that I survived, plus that whole nuclear war with the Soviet Union. Dodged that one, too. The signs were there for a while that we wouldn't.
I'm always searching for signs to tell me what's going on, whether it's the end of the world or the end of employment. Do the Google. Search for signs.
Is scalp shining through my hair a sign I'm losing my hair?
The spirits from Google say, "Yes!"
Did I really need to Google for confirmation?
My wife and I have a female friend that's big on omens. She's always searching for signs that she'll meet the right guy or that her life will 'become better'. She's doing okay in the basics. She rents shelter, has a car, retirement income to buy food and her necessities but she knows her budget is tight as a sausage skin.
This woman loves sex. She's like a guy about it. She talks about sex a great deal, fondly recalling times and places where she was doing it. Temptation arises to ask if she scrapbooks her sexual escapades, since sex seems like a hobby. She is probabably the only woman who ever described her pubic hair to me. And if no one else ever does, I'll be okay. I think I prefer that my friends' pubic hair remain a mystery. In fact, I can say with certainty that I've never looked at another man or woman and wondered about their pubic hair.
Hope I haven't caused you consternation with the comments about pubic hair. Some people, once they get something into their heads, lets it commingle with other moments and items. So then they're talking to someone about a book or movie and wonder what their pubic hair is like.
Our friend is tres casual about sex. Sex on the first date is almost accepted as a given. She told us about one first date. The guy lived in a one room cabin he'd built, essentially a permitted squatter on a rancher's land. It had no electricity and the tub was in the corner. He also didn't have a car so my friend picked him up for their date. She arrived early and he was running late, so he was still bathing. She talked him into letting her watch him bath and dress. After the date, they had sex.
Since sex on the first date is normal, guys take it as a sign - this is the sort of relationship she wants, sex with a little friendship and companionship on the side. She's surprised when they start backing away when she wants more but to me, she's created strange dynamics. She doesn't understand what I mean when I say that. Sex to her isn't a big deal and she doesn't want to make it a big deal, so she readily has sex. To guys, though, she's giving different signs.
I'm often looking for signs my employer is about to cut me loose. Intertube sites offer rich veins of such signs, along with signs that your employee is looking for a new job. Guess it goes both ways.
I also search for signs that I'm not going crazy or losing my mind. All sorts of offerings for that on the net, surprising me that it's a pretty serious subject for many minds. I think of it facetiously when I can't remember an actor's name or a television show or book title, not something I seriously fear. Apparently the fear of going crazy is pretty strong on the web. How much would you trust information found on the web about that, though? You'd need to vet that information, a task which might drive you crazy.
Signs that your spouse might be having an affair seems to have a lot of lists and websites. Apparently people want others to tell them the signs.
I think poor communications is a large part of this fear. It's just like my search for a sign my company is getting rid of me. Most of the time it's because I don't know what the hell is going on so I assume that it's because they're getting rid of me. Actually, being in the dark is more often Milton Waddams Syndrome.
Surely you know Milton Waddams, the character on "Office Space" played by Dick Root. He'd been fired years before but no one informed payroll. Milton Waddams Syndrome is a sign of mismanagement; one part of the company doesn't know what's going on in another part of the company. I'm usually the part of the company that doesn't know what's going on because my management didn't tell me. Sometimes it's because no one told them.
When your company suffers Milton Waddams Syndrome, you look for signs about what's really going on.
That's what looking for signs is all about. Understanding what's really going on.
Studies show that most people estimate that twice as many people are having affairs as the number of people who actually confess to having them or get caught having an affair. I guess people are misreading the signs that someone else is having an affair. One woman who confessed to regularly having affairs and cheating on her husband said it's because he's 45 and overweight while she's 25 and toned. She's tried encouraging him to have more sex by buying sexy lingerie and sharing porn with him.
Somehow he's missed the signs.
I accept and live with some basic signs.
1. Clothes that are tighter is a sign of old clothes, shrinking clothes, gaining weight or a changing body shape. It's usually one of those things.
2. Not being able to remember what you did last night and how you got home is probably a sign that you took or drank too much of something. It could be a sign of other things, like multiple personalities, or being drugged by others. I guess you'd need to look for more signs if that's happening to you.
3. People turning their head, gagging and retching when you speak to them might be a sign that you have bad breath.
4. Not being able to read words or make out faces might be a sign you need glasses or a change in your prescription.
5. Not being able to hear things could be a sign of hearing loss.
6. A gacking sound in the night is a sign that if you have cats you should be wary about walking around in the morning.
I sound just like a commercial. I should be writing those things. Hell, when you're dealing with people looking for a sign, it's easy to write. Just start with a sign and improvise. For example, falling stock prices might be a sign of a lack of investor confidence in the world's economic future or it could be a sign that people cashed out on their purchases, took their profits and went on vacation. Which is true? Maybe both, maybe neither.
It's just a matter of telling people how to read the signs.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com