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Thirty Three

Well, it’s finally happened.  I have reached the point in my life where my birthday is no longer the big deal I once thought it to be.  My birthday is this Friday and I will be spending eight and a half hours of it at my desk at work.  I’ll be attending a promotion ceremony for a coworker, chasing around civilians for their time cards, and fielding calls and emails that are too boring to even mention.  I have zero plans to go out and drink or party or get myself in trouble, although my husband is likely planning to do something amazing for dinner that evening.  All my excitement about the next few days is reserved for the two WWE events in June that my husband and I have tickets for, and the gifts that he’s worked so hard to make perfect.  But as far as my birthday itself?  Who cares?

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Let me assure you, my reluctance to make a big deal of a day that comes around every year has nothing to do with my desire to still be in my 20s, my inability to organize a perfect party, or my friends and family failing to make this into the huge production I secretly desire it to be.  I would much rather celebrate someone else’s big day and allow them to be the center of attention so I can enjoy myself than be the person of the hour and have all eyes on me.  I don’t expect my family to go for broke to make my birthday a huge deal and I’d feel horribly guilty if they ever did so.  I’m perfectly content with my age and the stage I’m currently at in life and sure as hell wouldn’t trade it for my 20s.  Unless we’re talking my metabolism from ten years ago, which I will gladly accept.

I’ve been watching an acquaintance of mine go crazy over her birthday, which is around the same time as mine.  She’s organizing two days of events and trying to get the maximum amount of people involved.  I keep seeing her stress about who is going to what event, who wants to do what, and a whole lot of other things that don’t seem like the kind of things one should worry about on a day they are meant to be having fun.  I won’t be going to her big event, as she scheduled it on my birthday and I feel weird about celebrating someone else’s day on my own with a bunch of her friends that I don’t know.  Unfortunately, my decision seems to have hurt her feelings, but I’d rather just have a quiet evening with my husband followed by some quality time with the child.

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Right now, there are so many amazing things set to happen that my birthday is the least of my worries or concerns.  Not only do we have a WWE Pay Per View to attend and a Raw to get to the following day, but we have some major life changes in our very near future that dwarf any birthday when compared side by side.  (Not a baby.  No one mention a baby.  There is no baby.)  It would be selfish of me to try to make this Friday into a big production when we have so many other things going on.  Not only do I not care about turning 33 all that much, I have no desire to put anything else on the back burner simply so I can feel like a princess for a few hours.  I don’t know what my husband has planned, but I know he’ll make me feel special and spoiled, and that is more than enough.

My birthday should be whatever I want it to be.  If I want it to be just another day, throw me a happy birthday wish and be done with it.  I promise it’s not some weird female trick in order to get presents and surprise parties.  Hell, you can even forget about it entirely and I won’t be put off or offended.  If I snap one day and try to organize the biggest party ever, you should decline to attend guilt-free if you so choose.  I’ve lost count of the birthday celebrations I’ve had to skip due to financial issues, scheduling conflicts, or just because I didn’t feel like going.  And that’s okay.  Birthdays shouldn’t be about how many people can be forced to celebrate your day.  It should be about what you want to do, who you want to do it with, and what kind of happiness you can find with whatever you receive.  The way I see it, as long as I’m smiling, the day went exactly as it should have.

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Spirited

Yesterday at work, while I was braving our godawful restrooms, I overheard two women talking about the holidays.  I wasn’t trying to eavesdrop, but acoustics carry in that place and they were hardly making an effort to keep their voices to a dull roar.  As I squeezed past one of the women to get to the sink, she said to her friend “I just can’t get into the Christmas spirit this year.  I’m so lost on what to get my daughter.  I’m just going to give her $200 on Christmas morning and she can do whatever she wants with it.”  To my surprise, her friend thought this was a fantastic idea, and the pair left me in peace to finish scrubbing my hands clean.

imagesI already went on a short rant about gift giving last week, so I’ll spare you a recap.  I will say that simply handing over some cash to a relative, especially a close relative like your child, is hardly the way to get into the holiday spirit if you’re not feeling it this time around.  Instead of giving up and relying on the bare minimum to get you by, why not try…..

Saying Merry Christmas to more people, strangers or friends.  It’s simple, easy, and doing it with a smile almost forces you to get in good spirits about the upcoming holiday.  Not enough people say “Merry Christmas” anymore; I guarantee you’ll thrill the anti-Happy Holidays crowd, and in turn make yourself happier.

Don’t overspend/stress about gifts.  This is advice I need to take myself, as I’m almost always stressing about getting enough gifts for everyone.  Putting too much emphasis on how much you spend and/or how many things you get for each person in your life is a surefire way to murder your spirit.  If a friend or family member is going to be offended because you didn’t spend enough or get them enough, they aren’t worth any gifts at all.

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Stay away from the crowds!  Do your grocery shopping during odd hours, DO NOT GO TO THE MALL, avoid rush hour as much as you possibly can, and try out smaller shops instead of braving the pit of hell that is Walmart.  Nothing can get you angrier than being stuck behind the gaggle of old ladies while you’re just trying to pick up some eggs and a gift card.  Avoidance will make you happier, regardless of the time of year.

Scatter decorations so you’re always around something Christmas related.  Put a candy cane in your car, get a small wreath or bows for your office, and go to town at home.  Do whatever is comfortable for you and fits your personal style.  I can’t help but be in a good mood when I’m home and we flip the lights on, illuminating our tree.  It always serves as a personal reminder of how magical this season can be.

Nog it up.  Egg nog tends to magically appear around Thanksgiving and then vanish into the new year as mysteriously as it arrived.  Even when it’s only my husband drinking it, just seeing it on the table and glimpsing the bottle in the fridge makes me feel spirited and excited about Christmas.  There are endless choices for brand, flavor, plenty that come with alcohol already mixed in, and countless recipes online.

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Go to church.  This one doesn’t work for me anymore, but I can recall many times in my past where a few hours with youth group, doing secret angel gift exchanges and spending time together was one of my favorite pastimes during the month of December.  Going to mass is also a great reminder about why we celebrate Christmas (for you religious folk).

Volunteer.  When I was living in Connecticut, I did a lot of volunteer work at a home for disabled men, the elderly, at a soup kitchen/homeless shelter, and a few other places around my city.  Doing so not only makes you more appreciative, it’s incredibly rewarding to know that you were able to help someone and brighten their day, even if it was only for a few moments.

Turn on some music.  Holiday music that you enjoy, that is, as the music pumped through speakers in stores can have the exact opposite effect on your mood.  The rock version of Mr. Grinch always puts a smile on my face.  And then there is this.  I dare you to not smile.

Make some cookies!  If you have kids, make sure they are heavily involved.  If not, bake some up for yourself and your favorite people.  Decorate with icing, get fun cookie cutters, and have fun with it.  If you’re more skilled than I, go for a cake, a pie, or whatever other dessert you associate with the holiday season.

Do an early gift exchange.  My husband and I exchange one gift on Christmas Eve, which is a pretty common tradition.  But why not exchange a gift now?  Giving and receiving early will hype you up for Christmas morning by giving you a little sneak peek of what is coming.  It’s always fun for me to try to choose a great gift for my husband to open early as well (although sometimes challenging when it’s wrapped and I can’t quite remember what it is).

Don’t be a loner!  If you’re lucky enough to have family close by, spend time with them.  If not, get together with friends.  If that isn’t an option, volunteer work as referenced earlier will put you in close contact with others.  Or go shopping and make it a point to smile at a stranger.  Being alone is the worst way to get into the spirit, so surround yourself with people, spread some joy, and have a Merry Christmas!

Shrinking Christmas

I’ve been quite absent from the blogging world as of late.  With Christmas just 20 days away, our office Christmas party that I’ve been planning just 24 hours away, and the various stresses of having my pay screwed up, I’ve been purposely avoiding posting anything because it would be nothing but complaints.  Thankfully though, the whiners in my office have mostly quieted down, my husband has done wonders in reducing my silly holiday stress, and our DVR is finally down to a single digit count of recordings.

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Anyone who says the holidays aren’t stressful is either rich and content with being alone, or a dirty liar.  My husband’s extended family in Ohio hosts a Christmas get-together annually, which was one of the things that was getting to me and keeping me from even logging in to this page.  We live furthest away from his grandmother’s house (where it is always held, except for one year when grandma made a reluctant exception to accommodate my sister-in-law and her newborn), so we have to get up incredibly early to make the four hour drive, getting there earlier than anyone else since my mother-in-law has to help cook, and then we have to try to leave at a decent time to drive the four hours back and let our poor dog out so he can get some relief and some food.  Last year, we were sick, which was a blessing in disguise because we didn’t go.  That year, it was decided that rather than just buying gifts like normal, the adults would draw a name and buy up to $50 worth of something for that one person.  As far as the kids, everyone buys for all of them.

I hate this idea.  My husband and I ended up with his uncle (who we see once a year or less) and his sister (which we see much more often, plus we’ll see on Christmas anyway).  My mother-in-law just recently tried to give my husband a stack of gifts for grandma so we could wrap them and pretend they were from us.  Why…. I’m not quite sure, since I got the impression that drawing names was her idea because of her limited income.  Let me be clear; I am an adult and I’m not trying to suck every last dime out of an elderly woman so I have a stack of goodies to unwrap.  I will gladly give up the Yankee candle that she usually gets for me and just be happy with a card and a hug.  I don’t want to be limited to buying gifts just for one person when I’d love to get something for my husband’s younger cousin and when I found something perfect for his aunt.  It’s silly and it’s not what a family Christmas should be like.

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Another reason for the name drawing idea is due to the fact that my husband’s younger cousin (who was just married last year and who isn’t rolling in dough like her sister and my sister-in-law) was unable to afford gifts for anyone but the kids for our 2011 Christmas.  This angered someone who didn’t get a gift, which spawned this awful name drawing idea.  In all honesty, I didn’t even notice that she hadn’t gotten me a gift until it was brought up that someone was cranky.  I saw the gift she got for my son, thought it was adorable, and hoped she liked what I got for her and her husband (then boyfriend).  I was just happy to see her and to see everyone mostly getting along.

Christmas isn’t meant to be about how many gifts you can squeeze out of family members or tallying up how much person X spent on person Y.  The whole point is to spend some quality time together and to have fun.  By putting emphasis on who gets what for who, the fun and the joy is taken out of the day and we’re left with something that isn’t worth an eight hour round trip drive.  My husband has told my mother-in-law that we won’t be going once again this year.  I’ll be sending a bag of gifts for the kids and for my uncle and sister-in-law, but I’m doing it out of obligation and not out of want.  That isn’t what Christmas should be.

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My husband pulled me out of the funk I was in over this Christmas by telling me to quit worrying about people who I see once every 365 days, who I barely know, and who likely won’t care one way or the other if I’m there or not.  He got me focused back on my family HERE and making sure that WE have a fantastic holiday.  Does that sound selfish?  Absolutely, but it’s not meant to.  I’m an atheist, so I’m unmoved by the prayer and bible readings that my aunt has every Ohio Christmas before food and gifts.  I don’t celebrate the day to honor a deity, I celebrate to be with family and to put smiles on the faces of my loved ones.  I don’t celebrate as a way to appease every single person who I associate with, I celebrate to show my love to people who appreciate it fully.  I want my husband and son to have the best Christmas in history and I want to make my mother-in-law smile with some gifts from the heart.

I’m finally not ashamed to say that I am currently guilt free about skipping Christmas in Ohio.  I’m looking forward to spending the day at home with my husband and kid and dog rather than spending 8 hours in the car, all of us complaining on the drive up and complaining even more about everyone’s behavior on the drive back.  I’m glad my poor pup won’t be alone in the house for 12+ hours and that my kid won’t be cranky and miserable, longing for his bed.  I’m happy to be focusing my attention on the people who make me a priority in life and who are a priority in mine.  Mostly, I’m happy to be in a place where I don’t feel as though I have an obligation to please everybody.  I’ll never be able to make everyone happy, so why not spend time on people I KNOW I can make happy rather than people who are barely in my life at all?

One More Year

Today is my 32nd birthday!!  That feels so strange to type; I don’t feel 32 and I certainly thought that I would be a very different person at this age than I actually am.  I imagined myself as being very calm, somewhat boring, and mostly over doing things that I loved doing in my 20s.  Thankfully for the most part, that couldn’t be further from the truth.  I have grown up a lot, but in a lot of ways, I’m the same person I always was.  Here are a few things I’ve learned while growing up:

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Jealousy is an utterly pointless emotion.  I used to be jealous of my pretty female friends.  I was jealous of celebrities that my boyfriends crushed on.  I was jealous of people with better cars, better clothes, and better lifestyles.  It took me meeting my friend Paula at Applebee’s to begin to overcome my jealousy.  She was (and is) a gorgeous blond who effortlessly gets the attention of anything on two legs.  She turned into a wonderful friend to me that helped me through a lot while I was a single mom.  I realized how silly it was for me to be jealous and initially resent her simply because she was attractive and captivating.  I overcame it further after getting married and being with a man who loved me, appreciated me, and thinks I’m the sexiest thing around.  We can share our appreciation of beautiful women without me feeling jealous, which is fantastic.

Teenagers were definitely better behaved when I was one.  This may just be an old person thing, but I’m positive that when I was a teenager, I wasn’t as much of a hot mess as the teenagers I see now.  Yes, I acted like a fool, but I can’t imagine that I was as much of a fool as the teens I see in the mall, in grocery stores, and on the street.  I’m sure I didn’t dress like a woman in her mid-20s when I was barely pushing sixteen.  I know I wasn’t carrying on in public, thinking I was a total bad ass.  I sure as hell wasn’t going crazy on AOL the way teens go wild on Facebook and Instagram.

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I have a lower tolerance for nonsense when it comes to people I associate with.  I used to be overly forgiving of my friends and ended up putting up with a lot that I shouldn’t have had to.  That has definitely become a thing of the past.  A couple of Halloweens ago, I ended a friendship with K and J after the pair blew off my husband and I and left us hanging after we had made plans months in advance.  It was a long time coming and I was tired of dealing with K’s piss poor attitude, exhausted with J hanging all over K like she was a god, and sick of them both thinking it was okay to be friends with an admitted pedophile (regardless of whether or not he dated 16-17 year olds, he bragged about it and that’s bad enough).  Almost a year ago, I grew tired of T disrespecting both myself, my husband, and his new girlfriend, our friend J.  T crossed the line in many ways and I finally had enough.  It cost me J’s friendship as well, but I didn’t feel that I should have to tolerate T’s nonsense and continue to be disrespected and surrounded by lies.  I see my friends as a reflection of me and I want to be surrounded by the best, even if that means I have a smaller circle of friends.

Cars have become about function rather than fashion.  I used to think that my car had to be perfect.  It had to be sleek and fast, something people stopped and turned their heads to see.  It needed to be up to date and something I could talk about with my peers.  It needed to be new and needed to make a statement.  After my beautiful blue Saturn was lost to me, I tried to recapture what I once had with it by buying a Mustang and constantly researching cars for a proper replacement.  It took a while for me to realize that the look isn’t what matters.  I need a car that can get me from A to B, can comfortably carry my son, husband and dog, and is reliable above all else.  If I find myself rich one day, then I can justify buying a flashy car, but it’s no longer something I need.

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I’m more appreciative of what I have.  I used to take a lot of things for granted.  I always assumed my parents would bail me out when things got rough, so I never worried too much about finances or any sort of crisis.  I thought things would go my way no matter what.  Until I lost everything when I couldn’t afford my rent and the payments on my storage unit in Connecticut, lost my car, lost my home, lost my yearbooks and other irreplaceable items, and felt like I lost everything.  Now I’m cautious to the point of paranoia, but I have a much greater appreciation for the home I share with my husband, for my awesome kid, my loving dog, and my wonderful husband who supports me at my lowest points.  Things I would have brushed aside years ago now mean the world to me.

My confidence has skyrocketed.  I was a nerd in school.  A four-eyed geek who was made fun of for playing recorder, taunted for being in the gifted program, and laughed at when I put too much effort into school projects.  It took me a long time to get comfortable in my skin and even longer for me to finally see myself as beautiful.  I learned that it doesn’t matter what other people think of me so long as I love myself.  I learned that sexy IS confidence and I can now walk into rooms with my head held high, without a care about what goes through the minds of people when they see me.  I’ve even learned to love the years where I was a nerd, an easy target for the popular crowd, because the things they made fun of weren’t really bad at all.

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Age really is just a number.  Getting older doesn’t mean that I have to follow a brand new set of rules.  I don’t have to stop listening to certain types of music or befriending no one but parents of my child’s schoolmates.  I don’t have to quit going to concerts or out for drinks with my friends in their 20s.  I can still cuss, raise hell, play video games, and tailgate at concerts.  I don’t have to act my age all of the time, just at times when it’s appropriate.  I don’t have to feel different just because my age has gone up one more number.  I don’t have to be ashamed to be 32.  It’s my birthday, damn it, and I’m going to party!  Since work and being a mommy are two things that don’t bend to birthdays, I’m going to be living it up next weekend instead.  Have a shot with me?

Ink Blots

My birthday is tomorrow.  A Thursday work day that I will be spending in my office doing the same thing I’m doing today.  I’m not really excited about my birthday itself since it’ll be just like any other day (except for my husband making an amazing dinner and pampering me a bit) but I am thrilled to pieces about the weekend of June 7th.  I will hopefully be seeing a friend that I haven’t seen in what feels like a decade, I will definitely be out somewhere for dinner, drinks, and possible entertainment, and I will also be getting my ninth tattoo.

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I’ve been itching for a new one for a little while now and I finally worked up the guts to get my planned art on the inside of my arm.  I’m in a bit of a hurry to get in the chair this time around because I don’t want to chicken out due to my fear of how awful it will be to ink that bit of sensitive skin.  And just as I have done with every other piece I’ve chosen to get etched onto my body, I am not telling a single soul what I plan to get.  My husband can probably take a guess at what it is since he helped me find the design over a year ago, but even he doesn’t know my full plans for it and what I wish to add to it.  The first person to know what it will be must be the artist, no matter what.

It is 1005 superstition that keeps me silent when it comes to planned ink.  I allowed myself to be talked out of at least half a dozen different things when I was planning to get my first.  Eventually I wised up, chose a design, and shut my big mouth until it was time to consult with the artist and get it done.  Getting a tattoo is a very personal decision and it’s unfair to the individual to have to deal with opinions and input from people who have no business telling you what you should and shouldn’t do with your body.  It is something you live with, and should be in your control, not the control of family, friends or coworkers.

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The reaction I got from people when I was planning my first tattoo and shared my ideas were always along these lines:  “Why?”  “I saw a girl with one like that before.”  “Um… okaaaaay.”  “You should get _____ instead.”  “Oh, don’t get [X color]; I hear it fades/hurts/scars.”  “You’re getting it there?  All right….”  “Tattoos are gross.”  It’s incredibly frustrating to keep up your level of excitement and enthusiasm for something when so many people are tearing at it, trying to knock it down.  Everyone has an opinion and they are going to give it to you whether you like it or not.  For me, the best way to avoid that is to keep the details under wraps.

The second reason I don’t like to divulge the details is that it’s hard to explain a design to someone properly.  I always have a vision in my head, one that goes beyond the design I present to the artist.  I’m always going in saying “I want something like this, only with X, Y and Z.”  The artist understands, but everyone else may not be so receptive to my idea.  I also can’t predict how the artist will interpret the design and what personal flare they will add to it.  My description beforehand will not do the finished product any justice.

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A huge part of me thinks that it’s simply bad luck to discuss the design prior to getting the work done.  I have no basis for this and nothing to make me think it’s ill-advised to do so, but a big part of me feels that if I discuss the design beforehand, it will get screwed up or I will be unable to get it.  If I want a dolphin, for example, and I tell everyone about my big dolphin plans, I feel that I’ll either get an artist who refuses to do it, an artist that makes it look like a worm, or the whole shop will be booked and I’ll be turned away.  It makes no sense, but that can be said about a lot of things that go on in my mind.

The bottom line is that I’m not refusing to tell people to be obnoxious or because I think it makes me look mysterious.  I know I confuse people with my silence on the matter and that isn’t my intention.  I just feel that the time to make the ink public is when it’s firmly pressed into my skin.  If you’re going to love it or hate it, you’re going to do so at a point where it’s too late for me to change my mind about it.  You’re not going to influence my decision or feelings on the matter, you’re simply going to be allowed to comment on the aftermath.

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Tattoos are a way for me to express myself and the things I’m passionate about.  They make me feel beautiful by altering my body in a way I find appealing.  They mean something to me that goes beyond what I reveal to the world.  They’re a hell of a lot of fun to get.  They are a part of my personality.  And for some reason, the entire planning phase is something I consider very private, even though the art itself will be public.  It needs only make sense to me.  I will always enjoy hearing about people’s ink ideas and seeing their designs, but I can’t join in the pre-party.  Don’t be offended when I don’t share; it’s not for a lack of wanting, it’s just something my crazy brain will not allow.

Goodbye My Friend

“Why are you at home/Buried in your self pity?/Why do you insist on/Living the life clean out of me?/Yes, I know you’re the person/The person that took time with me/Does it give you the right to expect/Your life revolves around me?” – Jonathan Davis of Korn

 

Over the weekend, I lost a friend that I’ve known since I was 11 years old.  I moved away from where he lived when I was 16 due to my father’s job transfer, but we never lost touch.  Now, he lives one state over from me and I’m here in Indiana.  One would think that we would see each other often, but it hasn’t worked out that way.  Due to my schedule filled with kid stuff, husband stuff, work stuff, financial stuff, and now less than cheery family stuff, I haven’t had much free time.  We didn’t have plans this past weekend; I had a day’s notice that he would be in town and because I couldn’t work it out and was mentally exhausted from processing the fact that my father has cancer, I am the bad guy.

Before I had a son and was married, I was the type of person who didn’t care if anyone simply dropped by my place to say help or hang out.  I had a neighbor that would come knocking on my patio door multiple times a day to share a beer or cigarette and just hang out, sometimes inviting us across the way for some barbeque.  That relaxed attitude was left in the past as I was forced to become more responsible and be a good mother and wife for my family.  I can’t stay out too late or decide to spend the night somewhere on a whim because we have a dog at home.  I can’t hit the bar anytime I want because there are points during the month where the money must be put towards bills.  I had to grow up.

He is angry with me and I’m not trying to change that.  What irks me is that rather than confront me like someone our age should do, I just got an unfollow on Twitter followed by a vague tweet saying I was left in the past.  This was followed by his boyfriend telling me this, word for word:

“You need to grow up little girl.  He wasn’t upset because you couldn’t see him, he was upset that you didn’t have the decency to let him know.  And looking at your other Tweets I can see that you really are an immature person who is unworthy of his friendship.  Selfish people like you tend to end up alone and lonely, so good luck.  If this is how you treat your friends, good luck.  It’s going to be a long lonely road for you.  He stopped following you because of YOUR actions, now what’s happening in your family.  Stop trying to take the high horse because you are not deserving.  One final response before forgetting that you exist.  This weekend would have been on us, just wanted to see you.”

This is coming from a guy who hasn’t spoken/tweeted/emailed this many words to me since he began dating my former friend, yet somehow he knows me.  He also included one of my girl friends on his little rant, putting someone who shouldn’t be a part of this at all into the mix.  I don’t get how he thinks he has the right to speak to me this way, and I told him so in a short response before blocking him on Twitter and saving myself from more of this drivel.

I am not a selfish person.  I listened to my friend when he needed to vent, when he was doubting certain things, and when he needed an outlet.  But to say that I am immature and need to grow up because I missed a single text message on Saturday?  Because I don’t have my phone glued to my hand 24/7?  Please.  If we had made plans and I bailed, then definitely be angry with me.  If you offered to take my husband and I out on your dime and I flaked on it, be mad.  But none of those things happened.  Minimal effort was made on their part and on mine, and blame goes both ways.

As far as looking at my other tweets and judging my level of maturity, I see that as a load of garbage.  Twitter, among other things, is a place to vent frustrations.  At no point did I put his Twitter handle into the mix and act like a bitch.  The female friend I mentioned earlier asked a question and I stated that _____ and I are no longer friends, which was the extent of my name dropping.  I didn’t begin talking shit about him to her, nor did I bring his name into it at any other point.  I’m pissed and I expressed it, as is my right.  What I did was no different from his statement about leaving things in the past, so his boyfriend needs to shut up for a minute and realize how much he is speaking out of his ass.

As far as being alone and lonely due to my selfish attitude, that is another accusation without merit.  No, I don’t have dozens upon dozens of friends, but it’s by choice, not because I’m an insufferable cunt who can’t keep a friend.  I choose quality over quantity, and the people I associate with are damn good people.  My husband and I cut out friends a couple of years ago because they refused to grow up.  It unfortunately meant he lost a friend he grew up with, as well as some he met at work, but we’re better off for it; cutting out negativity is good for the soul.  We’ve also made new and fantastic friends during that time, ones who are respectful, who share similar values, and who have a direction in life.  For a lonely person, I have some amazing company.

It’s annoying that an outside party felt the need to step in and start a battle that didn’t exist before he opened his mouth and wasn’t his to begin with.  Does anyone see me turning to my husband to have him verbally eviscerate people for me?  When our former friends from work decided to be disrespectful jerks to the both of us, I confronted them alone and left my husband out of it.  He has the power to make people cry if he wishes, but I’m not a child and I don’t need his help.  This isn’t high school anymore and it’s sad that some people seem to still live in that time in their life, acting like scorned teenagers and inserting themselves into drama, trying to have a “who has the bigger dick” contest.  It’s time to grow up.

Friendships are formed and friendships end.  It’s simply life and there’s not much you can do when people need to go their separate ways.  Maybe they’ll reconnect and maybe not.  There is a proper way to handle your business though and it sure as hell didn’t happen here.  It’s a sad thing and I’m more upset about it than I’ll admit.  It’s pathetic that the boyfriend felt the need to insert himself into things and likely kill any chances of reconciliation.  It’s obnoxious that any adult thinks just cutting someone off is a proper response after 20 years, taking one event as justification for ending a friendship.  It’s a shame that I am the selfish one, not the person that expected me to drop everything and put on a happy face when I’m beyond stressed due to what has happened in the past month personally.  I’m an imperfect person, as are we all, and I make mistakes.  Should I have communicated more and paid more attention to my phone this past weekend?  Sure.  Am I a piece of shit for being distracted by shit in my life that is more important?  No.

I can give you a list of friends I don’t see as much as I used to or would like to because they are in relationships, in school, busy with work and kids, or other factors.  Do I get angry at them for that?  Hell no.  I miss them and I respect the fact that they have things in their life that come before myself and my husband.  I take what I can get from them and I appreciate the fact that we’re friends.  Friendship is about compromise.  If my family coming before anyone else makes me selfish, so be it.  If you can’t understand that I have priorities that outweigh hanging out and drinking, then I definitely see that we do not need to be friends.  I’m in a great place in my life right now and I can’t waste time on negativity, drama, and people who refuse to see that I’ve grown up and have a family that is priority one.

Irish Luck And Green Beer

St. Patrick’s Day is this Saturday and I’m planning to brave the crowds and go out to help a friend celebrate her birthday, which happens to fall on one of the most alcohol filled holidays of the year.  I generally don’t go out on days where alcohol and celebration go hand in hand, but St. Patrick’s is one of those where my desire to go out is outweighed by my desire to avoid the types of people I’ll encounter at whatever bar I end up at.  Such as:

The Skank (Real Or Wannabe) – These chicks turn up everywhere, but on St. Patrick’s Day, they are out in masse!  Miniskirts on and cleavage out, they totter around on heels that are way too high for a night of drinking in the hopes of getting as many pairs of eyes on them as possible.  They are loud and obnoxious, hog the bathroom counter so they can check and rechecks the gobs of makeup they’ve applied, and never know when to shut up.  Often, they misjudge their body shape and wear clothing that reveals way too much; I prefer fat rolls to be covered and cellulite to remain housed underneath an appropriate amount of cloth.

The Fake Accented – Just as on Cinco de Mayo, where people develop horrible Spanish accents and put “el” in front of English words, you’ll get those who spend the entire night talking in their version of an Irish accent.  They’ll walk around saying “top o’ the mornin’” and “aye” because that’s what the Lucky Charms guy says and surely that is authentic.  Get them drunk enough and they’ll begin to confuse Ireland with other countries and start throwing shrimp on the barbie or asking you if the dingo ate your baby.

The Over Enthused – This is the guy or girl who may or may not have some Irish blood in them (probably not) but have tasked themselves with looking as stereotypically Irish as possible.  They look as if they bought out the entire holiday section of their local Walmart.  Covered in beads, donning a leprechaun hat, and dressed in green from head to toe, they have tasked themselves with pinching everyone who has chosen to skip the green attire, or at least pointing it out over and over.  Heaven forbid you encounter one with a “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” button or t-shirt; you’ll be propositioned to touch their drunk lips with their own at every opportunity they can possibly create.

The Anti-Holiday Celebrator – I’m not sure why this type of person doesn’t just opt to stay home.  For some reason, they come out to the bars on a holiday they find foolish and proceed to be as anti-St. Patrick’s Day as humanly possible.  They’ll wear bright yellow or orange as a way to mock those in green, scoff at people drinking green beer or wearing beads, and loudly proclaim how lame everyone is for being excited about such a commercialized and played out holiday.  I’m as quick as the next person to laugh at someone who looks or acts ridiculous in public, but these people take the hating to a whole other level, spending their entire night in a bitter funk as those around them party hard.

The Playboy – Men confuse me.  I’m not the hottest girl out there, but I like to think I’m fairly decent looking and that I’m out of the league of certain guys, just as there are men out there who’d consider themselves out of my league.  That won’t stop a butt ugly troll from obnoxiously flirting with the hottest girl he can find, regardless of whether or not she’s already taken.  He’ll insist on buying her a drink and complimenting her physique, totally oblivious to the fact that his appearance is about to make her throw up the green beer she’s just consumed.  The main problem with the playboys is that they don’t know when to quit and will make it their goal to ignore every single NO you throw their way.

The “I’m 100% Irish” Guy or Gal – I have Irish in me and it’s possible that it’s a reason I can drink a lot (on occasion) but chances are that no one really cares.  The 100% Irish guy/girl will remind you over and over that they are the real deal.  Even if the past 4 generations of their family were born in the States and they’re a total lightweight, they’ll brag about their heritage and how it gives them superpowers over beer and liquor.  They’re usually the one in the bathroom later on praying to the porcelain god.

The General Crowds – I’m insane about keeping strange people out of my personal bubble.  The other day I ended up offending a lady who was standing about 6 inches away from my back while in line at Subway; she startled me when I turned and I moved 3 feet to my right immediately because it creeped me out, earning me a dirty look.  I don’t like being crammed into a small space with people I don’t know and it’s a guarantee that any establishment serving alcohol on St. Patrick’s Day will have its patrons ass to ass and shoulder to shoulder with each other, especially right at the bar while trying to maintain your buzz.

 

If you do go out, don’t drive drunk and murder any innocent trees, roadsigns, or people, don’t overdo it, don’t be a grumpy bastard, don’t post embarrassing photos online, and please remember to have a freaking blast!

Ringing In The New

Happy 2012 to you all and I hope you survived last night’s festivities.  My husband and I tend to enjoy staying in on NYE; it’s nice to be surrounded by family, in a safe place where any surface can be your bed since you own it, no risk of running into or becoming a drunk driver, and the freedom to act as tame or as wild as the moment demands.  December 31st is a big deal to most; saying farewell to the year and welcoming in a brand new one, one filled with hopes and possibilities and what-if’s.  It’s a time to show off and be with the people who matter the most, either long term or just for the night.  I’ve celebrated in a few different ways over the years:

First Memorable New Years:  1991

This was the first year I was deemed adult enough to stay up until midnight.  I watched Nickelodeon until midnight while snacking on popcorn and microwavable appetizers.  Camped out on the couch in our finished basement in Connecticut, I thought I was the coolest ten year old to ever walk the Earth.

Worst/Best New Years Date:  2005

My son was only a few months old and I had separated from his biological father sometime around the first of September.  Rather than move in with a friend in less than savory conditions, I moved back in with my mother so that my son wouldn’t have to share a bedroom with me and be in a neighborhood where I feared getting shot.  I was lonely and heartbroken and frustrated so I definitely wanted to go out that night and celebrate.  I went to Good Ol’ Days, a local bar, by myself to have a couple of drinks.  I made small talk with people at the bar and eventually some guy from across the way started eying me.  He was in his 30s and had a British accent, but not the good kind.  He also smelled awful, a fact I discovered when he decided my indifference to him was some sort of odd flirtation and offered to buy me a drink.  The thought of staying and possibly being mauled by the Brit at midnight was enough to frighten the Jack Daniels right out of me.  I drove back to my son and rang in the new year standing beside his crib, where I should have been from the get go.

Most Nail-Biting New Years: 1999

Y2K.  The greatest panic over nothing from my teenage years that I can remember.  I was attending a house party with somewhere around 30 other college students, about 10 miles off campus.  Even with all the Y2K software that was downloaded and distributed, there was still the chance that power grids would fail and buildings would explode once the clock hit midnight and rang in the year 2000.  The incredibly loud festivities came to an abrupt halt a few minutes before 12am; music was shut off and everyone shut their mouths as we all gathered together to watch the ball drop.  When nothing happened at 12:01, the room let out a collective sigh, some of relief, some of disappointment, and some of FINALLY we don’t have to hear any more of this Y2K crap!  The worst thing that happened?  My ancient laptop thought it was the year 1099 on its calendar and I couldn’t change it.

Most Retirement Home-Like New Years:  1995

Stuck between the delusion that it’s uncool to go to bed early and the realization that I was 14 and had jack shit to do because I wasn’t old enough, I gave up and called it a night before 11pm.

And Now?

It sounds corny as all hell, but as long as I’m with my husband, I’m a happy girl.  For me, the way you celebrate NYE should be a reflection of how you want to spend the upcoming year.  Ringing in the year with my head in a toilet at some bar wouldn’t be a great start, nor would being apart when the clock struck midnight or doing something out of character for us both.  This is the reason I’ve gone without the midnight kiss; if I’m not with a person who is following me through into the new year, I’m letting my lips stay lonely.  It may be a bit of a superstition on my part, but I think as long as my husband and I are together and happy when the ball drops, we’re on the right path to making the brand new year a little bit better than the one we just put behind us.

DAY FIFTEEN (12/31/11)

Happy New Year’s Eve everyone!  2011 was a great year, but I’m glad to see it come to a close and look forward to starting the new year off right.  Like a lot of people are doing right now, I’m making weight loss one of my goals for the new year.  I don’t like calling it a resolution because every single one of those awful things I’ve ever made, I’ve broken into a thousand tiny pieces no later than February.  This is simply a goal for myself to drop a few pounds that just happens to coincide with a major date change.

My goal:  Lost 10 pounds before the Tool concert on January 24, 2012.

My eating habit change:  Calories will be restricted to between 1200 and 1400 per day, no exceptions.  No limits on food, but this does force me to choose between eating that pizza and being done for the day or eating a salad for lunch and being able to snack as I please throughout the day.

My assistants:  A big glass of green tea every morning and vitamins (NO weight loss supplements) every day to keep me healthy and boost my metabolism.  My husband is also eating healthy, so he’ll be a great source of motivation for me.

This plan, just like my plan to see if diet pills work, seems like a no brainer.  No luck is needed on this one!

(I hope)

 

Baby Showered

Last night I went to my sister-in-law’s baby shower, making it the third shower I’ve been to in the 30 years I’ve been on this Earth, and that includes my own shower.  I don’t really understand these traditions that women seem to adore so much, but I went because she’s family and I wanted to be there to celebrate her first child.  I went through the tedious process of deciding what to wear, not because I’m vain or overly concerned with what people think, but because I have no idea what is appropriate attire for a baby shower.  I went with dark jeans paired with a lace top and black heels.  I piled in my momma-in-law’s car along with her sister and friend and we headed down to the house in the pouring rain.

The home that the party was hosted in was absolutely gorgeous and thankfully had a covered porch so I didn’t end up looking like a drowned cat after carrying all the packages inside.  Fifty adults and about a dozen children crammed their way into the living room and kitchen of this country style home, enjoying pizza and pasta, playing games, and catching up.  We didn’t begin to tackle the pile of presents until about 90 minutes into the shower.  It was an exhausting night, but I’m glad I went to support my sister-in-law and to help my mom-in-law with the clean up and packing the truck.

I’m now going to reveal my ignorance, so bear with me as I puzzle over things that are probably common knowledge among most chicks, and probably most guys as well.  First off, I was under the impression that men and children don’t attend baby showers.  For obvious reasons, you don’t want little toddlers running around and babies crying.  The woman hosting the party has a 21 year old live in daughter who had a one year old, as well as a 14 year old daughter.  Since it was their home, I expected the 14 year old and the baby to be present.  I did not expect the door to open to a woman with two toddlers in tote.  I was equally as surprised with the woman with a newborn, the couple with two preschoolers, the grandmother with the little red-headed boy, the 12 year old whiny girl, another couple with a 4 year old, and the handful of children I couldn’t place with parents.  There were also about 5 guys there, including a very unhappy 17 year old.  Aren’t these things supposed to be a girls only type thing, no men and no kids?  I can definitely see why it should be; the children were very disruptive and the men were very uncomfortable.

Another thing that boggles my tiny mind are the games.  First we played Baby Word Jumble, which is exactly what it sounds like.  Afterwards we played a game without a name, just a baby in an ice cube.  The first person to “give birth” to their baby by having the ice melt completely away from the baby won a prize.  But you couldn’t touch the ice cube, you just had to sit and wait, so basically the game was watching ice melt.  The final game we played involved adult diapers and looked like this:

I don’t get it.  At all.  After a group protest of sorts against any more games, using the argument that there were just too many people, we finally moved on to presents.  One person gets elected to keep a list of who got the mom-to-be what and one person gets elected to take pictures.  I was the picture person and ended up using the entire memory card on my sister-in-law’s camera and nearly all of my mom-in-laws.  No, not because I was going photo happy, but because everyone was expecting a picture of every single gift that was received.  Open package, hold it up to the room, repeat.  If the package is 20 onesies, every one gets held up and demands a picture.  I’m not picking on my sister-in-law here because in my limited experience, that is how all showers are.  What I don’t understand is why we treat them like a child’s birthday party?  Do we really need 50 photos of the new mom opening packages and 100+ photos of her smiling over cute baby clothes?  It seems totally excessive.  Maybe the fact that I’m always bored has something to do with it, but I don’t think I need hundreds of photos to remember a baby shower, especially when I get to go home with all the goodies.  I also can’t imagine my husband wanting that much photographic evidence of my day.  He gets to put the stroller together, that is enough.  I am glad my sister-in-law had a great time though, and the pictures were very important to her, so I obliged.

I imagine that my husband and I are going to eventually create a mini-Baker who will rule the world with cuteness and strength, and I’m a bit worried about my mother-in-law going overboard with shower plans for me.  To be perfectly honest, I’d be happy with registering at Babies R Us or Target or something and having people buy us stuff if they choose and that be the end of it.  No obligation, no party, just go online and get a mobile shipped to our house.  My baby shower for Dominick was actually a grandparent shower for my mother that I was invited to, so maybe I didn’t enjoy it because it wasn’t really about me, or maybe I didn’t like it because I felt silly opening gifts and posing for shots and eating pacifier-shaped candies.  I’m also uncomfortable with being the center of attention and I don’t like girly things and crowds of women going AWWWWW!!!!

My ideal baby shower wouldn’t be centered around me.  It would be coed because I would like my husband to be there with me, but it would be 18 and up only because I don’t want to see children that will make me regret my pregnancy.  I’d have games since you’re expected to, but I would like to see something more along the lines of an Xbox Rock Band competition than I would a baby name word find.  Maybe a race to see who can chug a beer the fastest out of a baby bottle… or is that too redneck of me?  I’d want to make sure that people had alternative activities to pursue if they didn’t feel like sitting and watching me open gifts for an hour and I’d want the people who did stay to watch not to feel obligated to cater to me and pick up my trash and snap a picture every 3 seconds.  Something casual and fun that can successfully be fun for every person involved.

As cool as my momma-in-law is, I don’t think she’d go for an Xbox tournament at my eventual baby shower.  When my husband and I do eventually get knocked up, I’m going to have to take the back seat and allow her to plan the shower.  As much as I would love to skip it, it would mean a lot to her to plan and to have it and I wouldn’t deny her of that after all she’s done for me.  Who knows, maybe this time around things will be different since I now have a loving and supporting family and I’ll actually be excited about a traditional shower.  Thankfully it’s nothing I need to worry about any time soon; the husband and I aren’t at the baby making stage in our life together just yet and I’m not one of those chicks who thinks her clock is ticking.  Maybe by the time we get to baby making time, my how-to-be-a-girl genes will have kicked in.  We’ll see.

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