Number Games and Equality

Some things people either take at face-value or outright just take for granted. Today, it’s numbers. Back in the States, phone numbers were basically standardized; not so much in the UK. In the States, phone numbers more-or-less looked like this:

+1 (123) 456-7890

Though that +1 might be omitted and unknown to the US public, that is the regional code for the United States. Sometimes this +1 needs to be translated as 01 when making a long distance call, but, on a whole, that format holds true for all of the US.

Now, before I get bit for ignoring the common variations, here they are: 123-456-7890 and 123.456.7890

Rarely do you see anything else for US phone number formats.

But it’s not so simple in the UK. I’ve seen the following formats on signs and posters and other official displays (refrain from spinning your eyes in your sockets for this one):

12345 678910

(12345) 678910

(12345) 67 89 10

1234 5678 910

(1234) 5678 910

And those are just the ones that I saw today, I’m probably still missing some, but you get the point either way; I’m honestly afraid that my eyeballs will cross and get stuck that way, trying to decode Double-U Tee Eff I’m looking at.

Then there are my other number games which I’ve been keeping up on (see: price comparison shopping). Got flat out told, TOLD, that even if it was half the cost of the brand that is currently used, my alternative brand of toilet paper was just-not-happening.

Well okay then, but they can’t say I didn’t try. Oh well, I’ll ear mark it (at a roll of TP a day, I can’t overlook the cost savings – my fiancé will get USED to having woodchips in his TP when we move into our own place) for my own use on a later date.

There is always something to be gained from my little mini-adventures; even if there are times it feels like I’m leading some very stubborn horses to get a drink. I can’t control anything – and this I have to remind myself – about what anyone else does or thinks, but I can do so for myself. I choose not to be bothered about it. Smeh. It’s not even worth worrying about. My time right now is all about getting my ducks all lined up so that I can best (figuratively) shoot them down.

All minor grumps aside, today was a good day. I got a lot done, went to the store (two stores actually, but one was a bust because we didn’t find anything that we were looking for aside from something to remove the last of the calcium stuck inside the kettle – and we weren’t even looking for that), helped proofread a project for the Fiancé while he was at work, made use of what little skill I had in sewing to mend holes in his clothing and finally sat down (with some help) to figure out how the local public transit system works.

I’m finding it kind of challenging to adequately express to others the reasons WHY I want to know how to use public transit. Yes, I know, I can just ask and someone can probably drive me the three miles into town and drop me off; that’s all well and good, but what about the odd occasion when I HAVE to be somewhere and no one is around to take me? I NEED to be able to take care of myself, I NEED to be self-sufficiant so that I don’t have to rely on others. It’s integral to my assimilation into mainstream culture.

I don’t want to have a self-imposed disconnect or feel like I CAN’T just get up and go somewhere if I want to at a moment notice.

Actually, if I’m really honest to myself about it, it has as much to do with that as it does with my natural dislike of being co-dependent or caged-in. I’m a big girl and I don’t need to hold someone’s hand to cross the street and there is no logical reason why I shouldn’t be able to get along just fine without any assistance. I want that ability because I feel inadequate, less than an equal, without it.

But I’m just not sure I can convey that information without it somehow coming out all wrong or just being taken the wrong way. It isn’t about pushing people away, it’s about being an equal – if I am an equal, I feel I can negotiate on a level playing field, there isn’t a power struggle with equals like there is when someone is at a clear disadvantage.

Everyone is being as supportive as they can, despite not really understanding the deeper meaning behind it (thankfully, they don’t need to understand to be supportive). For that, I’m grateful, and because of that fact, I’m trying to endure the part where they want to be (in my mind) almost too helpful.

“We’ll get on the bus and ride into town together.” It’s not that I don’t get what they’re trying to say with that; they’re trying to reassure me that nothing bad will happen. I get that; it rubs against my grain a little that they want to hold my hand through it – a feeling that has everything to do with me and nothing to do with them personally; that’s how I’ve always been.

Just ask my parents; I never made it easy for them, the best they could hope for was, when something happened on one of my misadventures, that I would call them for help when I found out, actually, I couldn’t do X, Y or Z without using a life-line.

That was enough for me – I never felt like I needed to be hand-held (I pronounce that, actually, the same way I pronounce “molly-coddled” and “tapeworm” if you must know) through much of anything growing up.

To me, the mission of my parents wasn’t to baby me through every change in my life; I didn’t need them to hold my hand across the tightrope – to me, they were my safety net at the bottom; there to catch me if I needed it.

Of course, as my mother or father would tell you, that didn’t stop them from WANTING to be more than that, though they were nice enough to let me have my way, anyhow. 🙂


One thought on “Number Games and Equality

  1. Dan will get used to wood chips in his TP. Your dad did. I never guessed that he has such a sensitive tushy. I’m glad you’re able to find ways to be independent. At least on the busline, if you get lost, you a) might find something interesting and b) only have to reverse your route to get back home AND a good driver should be able to help…at least they do here. One time, your dad fell asleep on the bus on the way home from his weekend guard job. The driver kindly woke him up when they reached the end of the line. 🙂

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