I have always known that I was a tilde ( ~ ) kind of gal. I just had not put the word, the symbol, and my persona, all together in the same conscious thought stream. But now that I have, I can see that it could never have been any other way.
I grew up with the hyphen a.k.a. the dash (-); dashes were ordinary. I flitted in and out of a fascination for ordinary. Elementary school is kind of a blur; all I can remember is my love for reading and recess – rather ordinary.
By junior high I dreamed of looking like most of the other girls = normal = ordinary. I was haunted by my parent’s out-dated sense of a proprietary dress code ~ they were stuck in the middle ages and I was walking the halls with thigh-high skirts and tight sweaters over padded bras. Well, mine was padded. I lusted after well-shaped bangs and the wonders of caked on mascara. I wanted so badly to be ordinary and look like everyone else.In high school I read the poetry of e.e.cummings and adored the fact that he had thrown away punctuation entirely. The rules of punctuation seemed trite … vulgar even. I could a diagram a sentence till the cows came home, but “who cared”. Punctuation after all, was devised to assist a reader in following the thought process of the writer. For me, the use of ellipsis ( …. ) and my dear tilde (~) were much more expressive, and please pardon my fascination for multiple exclamation points ~ I am a highly excitable gal !!!
It was in my junior year of college that I found a book about Edgar Casey in the closet of my new apartment. I dove deep into the ideas of a planet of free will. The unrequited romantic in me continued to write poetry; it allowed me to mess with the rules, follow my true spirit, and meander with the meaning of my muse. Lost my virginity, but not my heart, to a husky Phi Sig junior who wrote me love poems ~ it seemed only fitting.
So imagine my surprise last week when I sat in a real estate appraisal class to prepare us for yet another over-haul of our regulated-to-the-max-no-room-for-free-thinking way of doing business with yet another round of federally-mandated-standards-of-professional-practice. It makes a sane person want to scream and believe me I have ranted till I am sick of hearing it myself. It is the reason so many of my peers, all very good appraisers, have thrown in the towel and ran away from this drowning profession. But I digress.
In the new UAD, Uniform Appraisal Dataset, effective September 1, 2011, the ( ~ ) tilde has now become the symbol of approximation. As in, "if the year built of the subject property cannot be determined or is unavailable, “a tilde (~) must precede the estimated year built”.
There it was ~ on Page 30 of 58 pages of strict rules and definitions guaranteed to constrict the normal blood flow to arteries and cause inadvertent spasm-ing of various sphincter muscles in older, decrepit appraisers ~ I was actually liberated. My beloved tilde ( ~ ) had come to my rescue.
I will use my guidebook until I have memorized the definitions of C-1 through C-5 and Q-1 through Q-6. I can play their ridiculous game until they tire of this one and some moron gets paid a million dollars to come up with another set of rules that will allow the readers of these reports to become even more brain dead than they obviously already are. Poor dears. I will set in front of my computer, naked if I want, and continue to do my job in the restricted format now dictated, and pray the UPS delivery man doesn’t notice my tilde state of undress.