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Monday, October 14, 2013

I Stand In Awe

I have these moments where I think I'm cool. I'm on top of the world. My clothes not only match, but they fit the way I want them to and they just make me strut. My hair is curling the way it needs to. I remembered to get my eyebrows threaded, so my face is on point. I'm "on". I feel social and happy and witty and amazing. 

So that's when I feel cool. Uncool would be how I feel right now. This isn't negative. But my bathrobe and top-knot hairstyle and bushy eyebrows do not inspire a strut. Instead, in these moments, I realize the coolness of others. 

There aren't many blogs I keep up with, to be honest. It isn't that I don't have the time. But you can't be in everybody's head; there are just a few heads I like to walk around in. Blogs are kinda like potato salad - you can't consume everyone's. 

For several years, I have been following a few women religiously, via their respective blogs. They post and I am THERE. I'm a fan. I like what I'm reading. But more than that, I stand in awe. 

You see, it's not just words on a page about their day. It's not just good fashion advice. It's not ranting about life. It's guts; chutzpah. We all live life, but these women put it out there, and in a comical, relatable, useful way that makes you devour every word like your life depends on it. 

I like writing, but I fall out of love with doing it, occasionally. I'm afraid I'm not serving the people what they want. Am I funny? Am I pushing my political opinion? Am I throwing shade? The bloggers that I love write with way more regularity than I do and, it must be said that every single post grabs me. I'm 100% invested in all of it. I wonder if they have these thoughts that I do. 

When posting, I sometimes think about possible criticisms. I need to get out of that. Folks are ALWAYS going to criticize and have different opinions and not express themselves with grace. It happens. But aside from all that, you get these awesome followers. Amazing people to converse with. There are more of those than there are trolls. Seek the positive. 

I stand in awe of not only the talent of these women, but the fact that they just put it out there. In your face. And it inspires me when I'm like, "But I don't have anything to say. I can't write. I can't share." Everyone has their uncool moments and it's fine to share them. 

I should share these women's blogs with you, huh? You wanna know, right? Here goes: 

Awesomely Luvvie - http://www.awesomelyluvvie.com/ - Luvvie's blog is not for the ignorant nor faint of heart. She writes and makes me cackle with laughter! More than that, she speaks a lot of truth on many subjects from celebrities behaving badly to political craziness. 

I Love Dookie - https://ilovedookie.wordpress.com/ - This is a blog by someone I actually have met several times in real life and she's cool as a fan. Ayanna Dookie is a comedienne and force to be reckoned with. In her "About Me" section, she describes herself as "unapologetically inappropriate". I've always sort of been that way myself. She is hilarious and relatable, making me share her blog posts with others, thinking, "This gripped my entire soul. Someone's else's soul needs to be gripped." She recently had the balls to leave her job and move to NYC to really pursue comedy. How many of us can say that we just dropped everything and moved to do what we wanted to do? 

Capitol Hill Style - http://caphillstyle.com/ - Belle is a local (to DC) blogger. Her blog is my go-to for all things fashion. She works on the Hill and realizes the importance of smart dressing. Her tips and tricks and product recommendations are pretty much always on point. This is more than just a beauty blog, as she shares so much about professionalism and how to navigate the work world. 

As I said, I stand in awe. These women do what I'd love to do. So now, inspired, I'll try to be better about writing. And life. I'll be better about life. 


Thursday, July 11, 2013

What's Mine Will Be Just For Me



So much has happened. I recently became engaged. YAY me!

But I swear, you will not believe the bullshit I have gone through since that ring went on my finger. I'll sum up how I am feeling about it all.

Happy - I am marrying the man of my dreams! He treats me like the princess I always told myself I was. He has been there for me and supported me since the day we decided to be together. I love him. People that know the two of us tell us how we are perfect for one another. Not because we are exactly the same, but because we are so different that we make things interesting. I like it that way. I think marrying someone exactly like myself would get boring. Instead, I'm marrying someone who is pretty opposite of me in every way. Our kids are going to be interesting little people because of this.


So here's some stuff I have been wanting to say besides the obvious, "I'm happy!" I was deluded enough to believe that people would be happy for me to be getting married. You see, I've dated some boogers in my past. My dating life has been comical, but you know that. If I wasn't the type of person to find humor in everything, well, I'd probably go to pieces. So I thought we'd all be thrilled I wasn't dating a felon/loser/mama's boy/jerk. 

I'm angry. As happy as I am and as much as people seemed to have been waiting with baited breath for me to get my ring, I am angry that folks are not happy. Not indifferent, but NOT HAPPY.

I have had a scary amount of friends just drop off. The ring went on, they dropped off.

Jealousy isn't something I pin on people very easily. I think everything I have is mucho attainable to any and everyone. So why be jealous? I worked for what I have; it wasn't given to me. And even if it was, work to get yours.

Through the grapevine, I have heard mutterings about why I shouldn't be engaged and someone else should. Oh yes, people have actually parted their lips to suss out the reasons why they deserve happiness over me. I have heard things about how someone was prettier, has a law degree, was thinner, has been dating their man longer, etc. All of this, of course, is hurtful. What's mine will be just for me. My man would never date these women saying this. We aren't in competition for the same man at all.

To all that, I say: Your degrees don't keep you warm at night. I can understand wanting to ensure success, but a man was not promised to you when you got whatever degree you got that you think entitles you to love.

If you decide to be with someone for years and they don't propose, how is that my issue?!? I set a time limit on how long I'd be in a relationship without serious talk of marriage. My end goal was marriage. That's a conversation you need to have early in your relationship so you can avoid wondering about it later. If you didn't have that talk and you are stuck in a 5 year relationship and don't know what you want out of it, again, how is that my fault?

And as for chicks thinking they are prettier so they should have gotten someone before me -- not much to say about this except -- no. Just no. If you think this way, you have an ugly personality and that could be why you're alone.

Girls that I had been friends with seemingly forever snapped like tree branches. One by one. I asked myself, "Did I do something?" But if I was honest with myself, which I try to be, the answer is simply, "No." All I did was live, breathe, and ingest countless mimosas. If that's wrong, slap the cuffs on me now. 

Sadly, I've lost friends. I could be depressed. Or I could look at it this way: That's less people I have to invite to my big day. Less mouths to feed. I always dreamt of being troubled about who exactly to invite to my wedding, having so many choices and limited space. Well, because people don't mind being assholes, that's one task that's been made easier for me. Thanks for that, I guess. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

10 Things I'd Tell My 16 Year Old Self

I want to think that, over the years, I have grown. I have learned. My experiences didn't go for naught. Have you ever sat down and thought about how you were at a certain age and how you are now? I have, and I laughed. I thought about when I was 16. That would have been about 14 years ago. Amazingly, my 16 year old self had more sense and more direction than a lot of others at that age.

But, because I have lived and  learned, there are a few things I'd like to share with my 16 year old self.

1. Body glitter is not makeup and should be avoided unless your occupation requires clear heels and poles. People find it very hard to take you seriously when part of your makeup catches the light and temporarily blinds them. The same advice goes for black lipstick. Just . . . don't.

2. Saving money is important. Develop a plan for doing this and you'll fare much better in life. You simply don't have to spend every last penny of your paycheck. Saving for a rainy day will help you immensely. The rain is definitely going to come, now it's just a question of whether you are prepared for it.

3. Never do for others what you're sure they won't do for you. At almost30, I'm just now really getting this. I would stick my neck out to help someone, and then, I'd need something and simple as a pickup from the airport and they'd put me through the ringer. Not cool. Not that I was this completely altruistic Mother Theresa in my younger days -- I was just dumb. I thought you had to be a doormat to have friends. You don't.

4. You won't keep the same friends throughout life, and that's ok. The girls you were sure were going to be your bridesmaids and aunties to your kids will be nowhere around when it comes time. This is ok. Don't be mad at them or yourself. People grow and change, because that's what they're supposed to do. Sometimes they just grow apart.

5. Life isn't all black and white. There is typically a grey area. People aren't either for or against you. They can be neutral. Things aren't either amazing or horrid. Sometimes they just . . .  are. That false dichotomy is what gets folks in trouble and causes unhappiness, I'm convinced. Find a middle ground in life.

6. Floss. Floss with reckless abandon. Half of my dental issues would have never happened had I flossed consistently. Oh the money and pain I could have saved and avoided!

7. It's fine to march to the beat of your own drum. Be true to yourself. If something doesn't feel right, reject it. There have been plenty of times I said "no" to going out and partying, only to later hear that the party was some BS or that something bad happened at the gathering. Intuition is major. Peer pressure is minor.
I have mistakenly dated guys because I was trying to be nice, only to be horribly displeased later. I dated one guy because he called me "stuck up". I should have said, "Fine, I'll be that" and continued about my day. But no, I went on to actually commit time and money to him trying to prove that I was not, indeed, stuck up.

8. Always be gracious. Get nice stationary and always thank people. They'll remember you fondly, instead of as a needy, snot-nosed kid. I've been pretty good about being gracious, but I could have always done better.

9. Be diplomatic, but have a backbone. Don't just tell people what they want to hear. Be very honest with them and you'll never have to cover your tracks. Or have them go out with you looking foolish because you lied and told them you liked a particularly hideous outfit. Not all people like honesty. Some prefer a pretty lie rather than the ugly truth. In that case, just be extra tactful.
Some would say that I've cultivated this "devil-may-care" attitude about myself. That's not true. I just figure instead of pussy-footing or walking on eggshells, I'm going to call out the obvious pink elephant in the room. That's earned me fans and foes.

10. Don't allow anyone to make you feel bad or disrespect you. No one has the right to take joy in your misery. My grandmother has a habit/pastime of telling people how much weight they gained. I know what you're thinking. "All old people do that." "Old people say anything." "She's old, she's allowed to be mouthy." I would disagree with all of those. I don't care who you are or how old you are, etc -- you CANNOT take joy in tearing me down. I have no problem respectfully telling you that you hurt my feelings. Truer to myself though would be hurling an insult back, depending upon who it is doling out the trash-talk. "My, you've put on weight!" can get a response of "My, you've lost your mind!" or "If you worried about the numbers in your bank account like you worry about the numbers on my scale, you might be in a better position. Good day."

My 16 year old self was a bit of a people-pleaser. I can't go back and change the past, and I wouldn't want to. All in all, I'd say everything I was and all that I experienced has made me who I am today. I'm pretty satisfied with who I am. I do look for ways to improve, as I know I'm not done growing and changing, but I think I'm in a place where I know where to stand firm on some things and waver on others.


Friday, February 8, 2013

Glass Houses and Someone Else's Shoes

I have always hated the expression, "Those in glass houses shouldn't throw stones." I know what it means. And I'm sure you do too. Add to that anything about walking a mile in someone's shoes and judgement. All of it gets thrown around way too much and by the wrong people in the wrong situations.

I notice that whenever someone is acting up - ie; dating a bona fide loser (like, Grade A certified nothingness to society), wearing something meant for someone else's body, or just generally making horrible life decisions - they like to justify their behavior at some point and mention glass houses and stones or invite folks to walk a mile in their shoes.

I'm not really one to stand by and let a person continuously screw up. Nope. I pretty much have to say something. I figure, maybe they don't know they are screwing up royally. Perhaps they aren't clued in to the fool they look like. So I take it as my civic duty to let them know. Kind of like if you exited the bathroom with toilet paper stuck to your shoe, I'd be that person to discreetly help you get it off your foot, lest you become the laughing stock of the room. I'd want you to do the same for me.

I've made mistakes in life, as any one has. I try to prevent others around me from making the same mistakes. So when I see someone headed down the wrong path, I like to let them know that shit's not looking too good. And don't mind telling them my own mistakes as a cautionary tale. I'm an open book.

Instead of thankful, there's a new breed of ungratefulness that has reared it's ugly head. You see a walking tradgedy. You attempt an assist. They somehow foul you. Example - A friend of mine was having relationship issues. Major ones. Well, they sort of, all-the-way, completely stemmed from HER. It wasn't dude's fault. While she was complaining, I gently told her some things that SHE could improve on, since she couldn't change him. She took this as me hurling stones. She hurled some back at me, telling me that I'm not married, nor in a relationship (at the time), so how could I possibly know anything? Ummmm, because I don't have to be presently touching fire in order to tell you that it is, indeed, HOT. The hyper-defensive response was just ridiculous and not the way adults should act. All I could do was blink and back away. Because she was about to get cursed out.

About this traipsing around in someone else's footwear . . .  I get that it's supposed to be about perspective. But sometimes, I don't have to walk so much as a foot in anyone's shoes to know that they are simply doing it wrong. "It" being life. There are various factors that contribute to out decision-making and how we reason. I just wish I could believe that everyone used any sort of reasoning skills to come up with the stuff they do.

Just because I disagree with something doesn't make me judgmental nor a hater. Do you have a bunch of kids by a lot of "ain't shit" men? Well, no one could agree that that's a good situation. To call it "bad" isn't judging. It's stating the obvious. I can't think of any cultural norm that states that that's desired or even ok. It's an opinion, not a judgement. The fact that society deems certain behaviors as verboten or just plain trashy keeps me on the straight and narrow. That doesn't seem to work for everyone though.

I don't think appearing to have a perfect life makes you any more eligible to help out or give advice than someone else who wins some places and loses others. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. I think our culture has moved toward this hypersensitivity where people don't like to hear that they've done anything wrong. Ever. It's not because they have this well-thought-out plan that they constructed to be seamless. No. It's simply because they see all interference as negative and therefore an attack against them and their non-sensibilities.

How can you improve if you never let anyone tell you anything? I don't mean you have to be anyone's punching bag, taking verbal assaults at every turn. But when someone close to you says something you know deep down in your heart is true, don't shun them. Thank them. They are trying to be helpful. A lot of times this is unsolicited, and that's ok. No one just goes around asking, "So what do you think of my man?" or "What about my life? Would you want to live it?" So to all those talking about "When I want your advice, I'll ask for it," you're sadly mistaken. You're not going to ask. You'd rather be in a bubble and that's both sad and counterproductive to this thing we call "life".

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Rest in peace . . . maybe?

So here's what we WON'T be doing . . . Taking pictures of dead loved ones and posting them on social media for the world to see.


I understand that death is a part of life. I have zero fear of it. When I was a kid, my grandmother lived across from a gorgeous cemetery. Some little girls have their weddings planned from A to Z. I had my funeral and headstone planned. So death does not scare me one bit.
I spend inordinate amounts of time on Facebook. I like to keep up with friends and family and share laughs and all that jazz. I'm scrolling down my timeline one day and I see a picture that struck me as odd as hell. Was this a picture of a person sleeping? Ok, that's mildly funny. If the person had their mouth open and/or had a mustache drawn on, it may have been really funny. But no. This wasn't a normal slumber. THIS was a dirt nap. Like, knocked out, down for the count, deader than a doornail -- DEAD.


Perhaps YOU can help me to understand what the hell would possess a person with any sort of logical sense to just up and take pictures of the dead. Who are you showing them to? Why do they want to see them? I mean, I always giggled when people went up to the deceased and gave the body a once-over and said things like, "She sure looks nice. Just like she's sleeping." or "She looks just like herself," or, and even better, "This is the best she's ever looked!" Well then. I've said all of them. But what I didn't do was whip out my digital camera and make sure to capture with the accuracy of 16 megapixels, to be disseminated amongst others. What do you even label that album on Facebook? Where do those pictures go in the family album?

Here's the deal, if you take pictures of me at my funeral, I promise I will come back and haunt you, Thriller style. I will come back as a well-dressed, dancing zombie and I will scare the living hell out of you. This, I promise you.

I'm also tired of seeing the deceased immortalized on t-shirts, keychains, bumper stickers, and car windows. Who said this was ok? More than disrespectful, it's tacky as hell. So please, in your grief, do not go to Cafepress or Zazzle and get anything made up in remembrance of me or anyone else.


Saturday, September 8, 2012

My Life as a Romantic Comedy

Today, my status message on Facebook was basically the awesome breakfast that I cooked for my boyfriend and then the fact that I was now relaxing and watching a movie and giving myself a pedicure. One of my friends, Guy, described my life an an "angsty romantic comedy". And that tickled me so much! The thought has been with me for hours!

Really and truly, romantic comedies are my favorite genre of movie. I could watch them all day - and typically do on Sundays. In my case, life imitates art. My life is, for better or worse, a romantic comedy. One of the good ones though. Not that low-quality, straight-to-DVD garbage you've undoubtedly seen. No, mine is one that makes you feel really good when you leave the theater. My romantic relationship is great, my friendships are pretty awesome, my job at least entertaining -- it would be a good one.

I'd, of course, narrate it -- because sometimes you'll need to know my innermost thoughts.

There's an amazing cast of characters in this romantic comedy. There's first and foremost, the romantic part of the comedy - boyfriend. He's witty, smart, and reserved. He and I are extremely different, but it's fun to try to blend our worlds. (see -- me playing golf, or me explaining what "chitlins" are). I'd want him played by someone super-cute, but quiet. Because that's what he is.

Next would have to be work. By day, I help people realize their educational dreams, with some absolutely zany stories dotting my 40 hours. My coworkers are a mixed bag. This is probably where that narration/inner monologue would come in extremely handy. Sticky situations seem to fly at me with the desirability and unwelcome swift scariness of a 150 pound St. Bernard bounding toward you that somehow thinks it's a lap dog. Yes, I think that accurately describes it. Brad Pitt gets to play my boss. I like my boss. He's funny. And he asked for Brad Pitt to play him in the movie. Fair enough.

The setting would basically be DC and the wineries we go to around Virginia. This is pretty much all romance. We swill glasses of wine, eat good food, kiss in public, and are generally happy, smiling people.

My real comedy comes in with my friends. I have some hilarious girlfriends. We don't get together as often as we'd like, as our men, jobs, sometimes kids, and distance can get in the way. But when we DO get together and there is a little alcohol, there are a lot of laughs that ensue. My girlfriends would have to be played by stylish women. Not the annoying, grace-every-cover-of-the-magazine stylish. But someone who is just on the brink of being famous, but hasn't been ruined by over-exposure. If I could find like 5 or 6 girls like that, they could portray my friends on-screen. They'd have to be able to deliver on the snark and wittiness as well.

I really like romantic comedies. I really like my life. When someone tells me, "You have such an awesome life!" I'm not going to turn to them and say, "Nooooooooooooooo, let me tell you why it sucks . . . " and start enumerating a bunch of things they obviously can't see or don't think I experience. Nope. I'm more likely to say, "Thanks. I think so too!"

Oh, and I'm played by Jordin Sparks. I adore her.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

50 First/Last Dates

In an effort to do as all reasonable 20somethings do, I attempted to find the man of my dreams. Yes -- dreams. Since I graduated high school, I'd only been involved with one guy. We clicked in high school and dragged out a sordid relationship the whole time I was in college. I thought he was the THE ONE. He wasn't. His bullshit took me through a range of emotions that I don't think anyone should have to experience. Back then, I told myself that this is what complicated adult relationships were like. This gave way to a lot of dysfunctional thoughts about relationships and what was and was not a relationship norm.

I was so very idealistic when I graduated from college. I thought that I would have the perfect resume that would land me the perfect job, leading me to be able to afford the perfect DC apartment, where I would house my perfect outfits and have perfect gab-fests with my perfect girlfriends about my perfect boyfriend.

The reality was that I worked at a car rental company, taking abuse from customers, coming home to my Maryland apartment exhausted every night and passing out right after my un-extravagant dinner of tilapia and steamed veggies. I was single and had no time or money for a social life. This was so far from anything I envisioned for myself. I needed a change. Immediately. The sooner changes happened, the sooner Mr. Perfect would walk into my life.

I got a new job at a college nearby. I made more money and worked regular hours at a job where no one was cursing me out and I was somewhat appreciated! It's the little things that warm the heart. With my new-found freedom and income, I decided to jump into the dating world. Looking around, I didn't immediately see any eligible bachelors. Bars weren't really my scene, so going there to pick up dates wasn't part of my perfect reality. I would spend my spare time at the library or at home reading Real Simple magazine. No luck there. I'd really have to begin putting myself out there.

Enter: online dating. Thanks to my past dysfunction and never having really known better, I was dealing with all kinds of comical mess on dates. Even back then, this was funny to me. That's what bad dates are - comedy. I had a friend who would go on a date and if the date was bad, she'd call me, crying her eyes out. She'd tearfully recap the date for me and then mentally file it away as more proof she'd never get married. My dates were laughable. Not even a "I'll laugh about this later" type of laughable. It was more of a "I'll take my self to the restroom and obnoxiously guffaw sometime between the appetizer and entree" or "I'll feign a cough and/or choking and chortle at your very existence." Sometimes, I think I purposely went on bad dates. How much fun can a good date be to talk about?!? My dates were so bad, I swore they were being filmed to be shown later to people crying their eyes out about their dates. Hell, it could make them feel so much better about their own plight.

 After my profile had been up for a day or so, I had a bite! Yay! I looked at him. He was ok-looking. He didn't make me sick to my stomach. I reasoned with myself that even if there was no spark, this is just one more person I'd know. I liked knowing people. He called me one evening after we'd exchanged a few emails. He asked me what I was doing. I told him I was watching "It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!" It was around Halloween; this was necessary in my house. I told him my theory about how I was always sure Peppermint Patty was a lesbian. He goes on to use some of the biggest words I had ever heard to draw some weird parallel between his group of friends and the Peanuts characters. Ummm, ok. SAT called and they want their words back, alrighty? We muddle through a painful conversation that involved him using more words than my brain was ready to handle at that time. He's pompous. He talks of some great stuff he's done, none of which I can readily identify with. Looking back, I think he intended to talk circles around me. But I was nice, and I decided not to inform him that he was only important in HIS mind. Then, he asks me out. He tells me that there is a Thai place that he wanted to take me to. Again, I was too nice to tell him to eat curry shit and die. So we set a date.

I pick him up from the train station and we proceed to the restaurant. He's shabby. And not in that "too cool to care, so I'm unbelievably hot with my scruffiness" shabby. No. This was, "I don't know how to dress or shop so I threw on things that just fit and could have been semi-clean." As important as he makes himself out to be, his shoes tell a WHOLE different story. They were black fake Chuck Taylors, with chewed-up laces and seemed to be laying all over the place. Not the shoes of an important man. We have awkward conversation, again, about what a big deal he is.

He tells me, "You know, I usually date models." At this point, I wanted to stab him with my chicken satay skewer. The server came back over and I was ready to order. He orders for me. "She'll have the prawns in the pad ka pow." I wanted to ka pow him upside his head! First of all, I can order for myself. Second of all, the menu said "shrimp", NOT "prawns". He couldn't just read what it said? I ate quickly. I wasn't a model, so I reasoned he wasn't used to women eating on dates. Plus, I just wanted to get the hell out of there. He creeped me all the way out with his $5 haircut and shoes that looked like he walked from hell to here. I'd all but had it. My glass of water was more interesting than he was.

The check came, finally! He tells me, "I have my money in an off-shore account and I'll need you to pay for dinner and I'll just write you a check." What?!?! But I was nice. I told him, "Ok." And I paid the $50something for the meal and tip. And I paid for parking. And I drove him home. Before he got out the car, he pulled a starter check from his wallet and writes me a check for $80. Well that's nice. For my troubles, I guess.

I laughed about the horrid experience as I took the check to the bank. I attempted to deposit it. The teller got this strange look on her face. She told me, "This person has no money in their account. That check will bounce." I felt like cussin' like a sailor at that point. Right in the middle of the bank. I explained to the teller what happened. The whole sordid ordeal. We had a good laugh. She told me, "Come back every day, and I will see if I can put the check through." That I did. I made it a regular stop during lunch. It took a week, but the check finally cleared.

Dude never called me back after that. That was fine. I had more bad dates to go on with OTHER men. Hmmmph!