Get funnelling

One of the most stressful things a person can do is go jeans shopping. There are several reasons for this, but the most pertinent is that there are too many jean choices. Dealing with jeans shopping, as with everything else, requires the ability to funnel.

 Every day, we receive more information than we can possibly retain, or pay proper attention to. We develop funnels, which allow the pertinent information to reach us, disregarding less important facts such as the many reasons why my little sister thought it was OK to eat my popcorn. (‘Starving after a 14 hour night shift’ or not, all my funnel heard was ‘there’s no more popcorn’).

The trouble is, some people’s funnels are skewed. Take employee evaluations. Some people are told 14 excellent, commendable things about themselves by their employers. They are also advised to work on one particular area – say, cooking the night before, so that when they return home after a night shift, they don’t have to steal someone else’s food. Some people’s funnels only hear one thing: I am ill-prepared, and a bad sister. (Or at least, that’s what I was hoping for).

I spend a great deal of time talking about funnels, gesticulating wildly in case people are not aware what a funnel looks like (it is confusing how often people think, after seeing my hand gestures, that I am talking about something else entirely, but I suppose not everyone can be as good a mime as me). I am very keen for people to develop funnels more like my own, rather than their own, highly subjective ones. I cannot tell you how much more pleasant life is, when your brain will only allow you to hear positive things.

 ‘Really, young lady,’ my mother began last week. ‘I must talk to you about some of your comments at brunch.’ She went on, but I was so thrilled that she still thought I was young, that I didn’t hear anything else. When shop assistants tell me that they don’t have things in my size, I congratulate myself on being so ‘on trend’- both in shape, and in what I wanted to buy. My little sister likes to steer me towards the maternity wear section, but the joke’s on her, because having elastic at the top of my jeans has been amazing.

‘I ate the popcorn as a favour,’ my little sister said, looking pointedly at me, as I pranced about in my new, excessively comfortable jeans. ‘Well, favour rejected,’ I retorted, pulling a bowl out of my trousers (honestly, you can store anything inside maternity jeans. They give and give). ‘With these jeans, I can eat all the popcorn I want, and never have to buy new jeans.’ ‘That’s not necessarily a good thing,’ my little sister pointed out, but all I heard was ‘good thing’, and have been happily eating ever since.

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