ranchandsyrup

Archive for the category “Personal failures”

My Ass Is In Your Spot

Last night I went to bed with a plan.  To be honest I go to bed every night with a plan.  Most mornings it gets derailed before 8am.  But a girl’s gotta have a goal right?

My plan was to get Bailey to preschool early, visit with her teacher and drop off the 45 baby food jars I had washed the night before (for art projects).  Next I would get my errands done and get home in time to get my work done and laundry folded before 1pm pickup.  Easy peasy right?? Wrong.

My morning started out late and before I knew it I was wrapped up in a work project needing to go out before leaving the house.  At 8:15 I was still in pajamas, Bailey was not fed or dressed and baby Michaela had a full diaper. UGH.  Our sweet nanny Summer knows every morning is an adventure.  Some mornings she shows up to a clean house and dressed and fed kids with backpack and lunchbox packed.  Today was not that day. Instead she came through the door with me shouting, “Watch out I am tossing Bailey’s clothes downstairs”…”Also can you please put away all the food on the counter?”… “Michaela pooped can you deal with that??”…”I need to leave in 8 minutes”….

By the time I pulled into the parking lot it was 9:05am (School starts at 9) and I screeched into the first open parking spot  I could find.  I jumped out opened Bailey’s door and glanced down at the pavement.

Half of my car was in the parking space next to me.  BALLS.

park1

I had inadvertently double parked.  I knew I would need to fix the car even though I was running late.  But before I could get back in the driver side I saw the owner of the car through the windows.  She realized she couldn’t open her door (Because my entire car ass was in her spot) and had turned around.  I was trying to get her attention waving through my windows but they are dark tinted(illegal tint-I know, I am hardcore) so she couldn’t see me.  Next thing I know she is jumping in her passenger  seat and climbing over her seats to get to her driver’s seat.  I was mortified.

When she backs out I walk to the back of my car to get her attention bracing myself for the daggers she would certainly fling. I was envisioning a shaking head.. utter disdain.. annoyance…

park2 park3 park4

 Instead she sees me, smiles and waves! WHAT?? She rolls down her window since I am flailing around like an Idiot and I immediately start stumbling over myself,” I am SO SO sorry about my horrible parking…. I was just getting back in my car to fix it…. I was running so late I wasn’t paying attention….I can’t believe you climbed over your seats… ” you get the idea.  This adorable mom just laughs and explains it happens to her all the time and her garage is so tiny she is used to climbing in any door that has the most space.  Then she tells me to have a great day and drives away.

park5 park6

O.M.G.  How cool is that?? How many of you would have had a smile on your face if someone parked in your spot and you had to climb through your car? She didn’t know I was on the other side about to amend my wretched parking.  She wasn’t annoyed or snarky.  She was wonderful.

park8

Her kindness inspired my day and reminded me for all the negative stories and poor human behavior kindness is still alive and well.  Patience and assuming the best in others is still thriving.  It really tickled me.

Remember the next time someone double parks or cuts in front of you they might not be a horrible person.  They could be just running late or distracted.  They could be shuffling and multitasking and their morning plan might not be panning out.  Let’s try to be kind to one another and assume the best.. not the worst.

XO Mari

 park9

Advertisements

Don’t look back in anger

Welp, Mari and I took a bit of a blogcation.  It was quite lovely and I, for one, feel refreshed and ready to word-vomit all over this place.  So let’s get to it, shall we?

Over the past 5 years or so I’ve made a Christmas wish for humanity.  In 2014 I wished that everyone could experience empathy for people that aren’t in their own tribe.  In hindsight, that was waaaaaaaaaaaay to much to ask for.  If 2014 taught me anything it taught me people use empathy as a tool in conversations but they’re not getting what it means.  I think there are good reasons for this.  Empathy is difficult.  Empathy also leads to undesired self-reflection.  It is much easier to take the easy road of applying your beliefs to everyone and think you’re awesome and no one else “gets it”.

So a definition seems appropriate here:

The ability to sense other people’s emotions, coupled with the ability to imagine what someone else might be thinking or feeling.

Many people conflate empathy with sympathy. I choose to view it this way to avoid confusion: Sympathy is “feeling with” a person, such as compassion or commiseration; Empathy is “feeling into” someone else. It is the ability to project one’s own personality into another person to better understand that person.

Over the course of 2014, as empathy became a buzzword, I observed many people attempt to demonstrate that they are empathetic. Some people succeeded and it made my heart happy. Some people failed (I’m definitely in this group–it’s a work in progress). Some of these fails were spectacular or made me chuckle. I had someone tell me, “I’m trying to be empathetic but everything you think and say are just wrong.”. I appreciate the initial effort but this person isn’t taking things far enough, in my opinion.

I had another person, after saying he treats all races the same state, “no one cares about race but race-hustlers”. He refused to listen to racial groups alleging institutional racism because he believed “it doesn’t exist”.  When I disagreed and poked some fun (I had predicted earlier this would happen) he went completely off the rails. He listed numerous things that he does for charity, launched into a diatribe about what he perceived were my personal failings (which he had to imagine/make up), then passive-aggressively tell me that empathy is telling me that he’s sorry I’m so angry (which he again made up). That was a complete empathy failure during a purported demonstration of empathy. Good times.

I’m tempted to be disheartened about these developments.  However this year I’m choosing to be hopeful about them. I’ve known the above referenced people for a long time and even those efforts are significant for them. On a broader level empathy is injected into political campaigns, lawmaking and normal conversation at a higher rate. Empathy is aspirational. I think these are good things and I’m going to work harder to get it right. I’m hopeful because the elevation of empathy as a desirable trait will do us all well.

Unresolved Resolutions?

ny1

Happy New Year!!

Did you make resolutions??

Making New Years Resolutions has always been a great way for me to ready myself for January.  I would write them, print … sometimes even laminate and bedazzle my goals to make me fabulous everywhere.  The bathroom mirror, sun visor in my car, the refrigerator.. you get the idea.

My après Christmas routine began the same as most years and I thought about what goals I would like to accomplish.  Although I didn’t have time to write them down I decided to focus on balance this year.  I figured this would be the year I would successfully balance healthy eating, frequent exercising, moderate drinking, increased children’s activities, more giving and of course better organization.  No big deal right??

 ny3

New Year’s Day came and I was much too hungover to think about any type of balance.  Instead I got Chick-Fil-A, put kids’ shows on repeat and took a nap.  “After all, who starts resolutions ON New Year’s? I am pretty sure they begin the following Monday,” I said to myself.

Sunday morning started strong.  We cleaned out the garage (Organization!), I made breakfast  (Healthy Eating!) and we donated children’s clothes and toys (Giving!).  I booked my Pilates classes for the week (Exercise!) and made plans for a play date at the park. (Kids Activities!) By afternoon I was exhausted keeping up with balance and poured a glass of wine  (or three).  I had unfinished phone conversations to tend to and before I knew it the sun had set, the kids were dirty and everyone was hungry.  I did what any mom would do. I zapped some hotdogs in the microwave opened a can of mandarin oranges and hastily wiped their feet with baby wipes. BOOM. Clean and fed!

ny5

As I settled into bed I promised myself Monday was the real start of New Year’s and convinced myself I was right on track.  Just as I was dozing off my phone beckoned me and I saw the message every working mom dependent on child care dreads.  “I am so sorry but I am sick and can’t work tomorrow”. UGH. My first Monday back to work after two weeks off and I didn’t have childcare.

Monday was not the successful first day I envisioned.  Neither was Tuesday.  I have a strong feeling Wed and Thursday will not go as planned either.   In order to maintain my sanity I jotted down a REVISED list of resolutions and couldn’t help but think others might benefit from my more realistic list.

Enjoy!

REVISED New Year’s Resolutions- 2015

  1. Feed Children three times per day. Feed Husband as needed.
  2. Keep Laundry from overflowing on the floor.
  3. Integrate more fruit and vegetables into dinner to ensure healthy food options. Frozen counts!ny6
  4. Bend knees on stairs to increase glute exercises.
  5. Walk briskly at Legoland and Animal Park for Cardio.
  6. Hang out with friends who have children for increased kids’ activities
  7. Only drink wine when frustrated, overwhelmed, happy, or busy. ny8
  8. Organize one drawer per month.
  9. Try to go to Church sometimes.
  10. Feed Dogs and give them baths.

ny7

OK, I might be exaggerating a bit but doesn’t my new list seem a bit less daunting?

Next Monday I will attempt to kick start my “balanced” resolutions but chances are my perfect plan will be derailed.  If you are anything like me give yourself a break.  Remember resolutions are merely a guide to improved behavior not an unbreakable outline of how one’s life is supposed to look.

If your first week sounds like mine pour a glass of wine give yourself a hug and eat a cookie.  Next Monday we can try again 😉

Xoxo Mari

ny2

P.S. This image didn’t really work for my “walking through Legoland for Cardio” but it tickled me 🙂

ny9

OMG. Did I just say that??

omg6

Juggling my life has been a bit hectic and my blog has been ignored.  I apologize for the lack of posts but hope the admission of the demise of my youth is enjoyable enough to make up for it.  I’m not sure when I first noticed something was off but a few months ago I started noticing a change.   A shudder worthy change.  Clearly it was coming from my mouth but I couldn’t place why it was so abhorrent.  Last week, it came to me.  I am sounding more and more like…..wait for it…. MY PARENTS.  Or someone else’s parents.  Basically, an old person.  I was so taken aback I spent a week trying to dissuade myself from believing so.  It was of no use.  My struggle is real, friends, and I am mortified.  Once I realized who I sounded like I began noticing statements I made and jotted them down.  Here are a few gems from just the past two weeks.

You are done? Did you know people are starving in Africa?

OK, this was horrible 20 years ago… who says it now?? It slipped out of my mouth when my toddler refused to finish her food

What time does the concert start? 8pm? Ugh, sorry too late for me!

Remember when 8pm was early? In my world 8pm is unwind and take a shower before Law and Order is on.

omg1

OMG Babe guess what I saw today? A grape slicer!

Who needs a grape slicer? Apparently me. Best part, in true parent fashion is when I explained to Mike it was rip off at Target so I would Google it to find a better deal.

omg2

If you eat anymore mac n cheese you will turn into a noodle.

Kraft Mac n Cheese used to be a staple and something I ate for multiple meals- sub in tuna for guests, hot dogs for low budget months etc.

omg3

How did I live without a coconut opener? The coconut water is so much better freshly opened!

I have a coconut opener. Enough said.

omg7

I’m so excited, for Halloween this year we are organizing a kids group in the neighborhood

Kids exist on Halloween? I thought it was just for a great night out!

Do you have the non slutty Elsa? I don’t want slutty ice queen, just the Disney adult Queen Elsa

I need a non slutty costume? When did slutty become inappropriate in my world??

omg4

Please stop standing in front of the refrigerator with the door open

What is it about kids standing in front of the refrigerator? More important why have I always done it and it is now bothersome?

omg11

You don’t have Amazon Prime? OMG it is a life saver!

Amazon Prime is an actually life saver? Vodka is supposed to be a life saver

omg10

I’ll just have an iced tea.  Sorry guys, I have a ton of work to do today.

When did I quit drinking at lunch work meetings??

omg5

If you will be quiet for just a few minutes Mommy will get you a special surprise

Before kids I thought parents who bribed their kids or dumped them in front of TV were horrible. I do both. Daily.

Babe I can’t do another party.  We have had way too many parties this month and I am done.

Above all I thought there was no such thing as too many parties

omg8

It’s Charlynne’s Birthday! Let’s do a kid friendly dinner at 5pm on Sunday!          

Charlynne’s bday has always been a week long booze fest

omg9

Can we focus on more ab workouts? My glutes and arms are on fire!

Glutes? Abs? Arms? Workout? I actually requested more ab work to my Pilates instructor

I want to increase our vegetable intake. I found some great recipes to add spinach to our diet

  • This does not include French fries… eeck

omgff

OMG I can’t believe I have said any of these, let alone all of them in the past two weeks! What is happening???  Is anyone else suffering from the horrible realization they are getting more concerned with health and finances and overall old people stuff???

8 Realistic Clues You Might Be An Adult.

blogadult

I am a sucker for articles with lists. When I was younger I would eagerly turn to the “5 signs he is into you” article in Cosmo.  After I was engaged I clicked every “10 ways to have a happy marriage” and “6 tricks to look fabulous”… I would be lying if I said I hadn’t peeked at the “10 signs you are an extrovert”, “20 ways to live a zen life” and countless other blogs promising to help me understand myself my kids and the universe in a simple amount of steps. (Above picture is from one of my favorite blogs about Becoming an adult)

Most of the time I really enjoy the orderly fashion of explaining the subject at hand. However I have come across a common theme in list making articles.  They are constantly using boring generalizations or obvious points.  Recently I was reading an article telling me the signs of being an adult. Examples included:

  • You have a resume with more job skills than a Subway sandwich artist
  • You have a bank account
  • You have internet, water and gas bills set up in your name

Guess what? If you don’t have a resume or a bank account you are simply a loser.  Having actual bills and a few dollars in the bank does not mean you are an adult. It means you have moved past the age of 18.

That being said, I have come smack in the face with the realization … wait for it…. I MIGHT be a bit of an adult.  I am shocked at this newfound reality but a few clues have encouraged me to look further into the possibility.

If you are like me and have had a bank account a car and a job way before one would ever consider you an adult my list might be more your speed.

1. Smoke – Last week I came around the corner to our kitchen and there were puffs of smoke billowing in the air.  Over the years there have been various types of smoke wafting through my car, my house, my sorority parking lot. Heck there may have been a few public bathrooms, concerts and walks in the park with a smoky haze.  None of the aforementioned types were emitting smoke in my house.

blogsmoke

Instead the source of my glorious smoke rings mimicking Snoop Dog’s man cave was a diffuser. With essential oils. The current blend is Doterra’s Elevation blend which paired with coffee does wonders for my energy level.  It isn’t illegal or only for people 18 and over.  My smoking kitchen is actually healthy and good for me.

2. Glitter – I absolutely adore sparkles.  Glitter, Swarovksi, Diamonds… love them all.  Makeup with glitter was integral in my going out arsenal for years.  You know who else likes glitter? Exotic dancers, go-go dancers, bottle service hostesses and plenty of female bartenders (And male in some neighborhoods).  All of which I encountered often while starting my career in the liquor industry and having a very active social life.  Now that I am a corporate gal I don’t frequent my venues at night nearly as much as I did when I was younger.  This morning, Mike had glitter on his forehead.  For a fleeting moment I felt confused.  What did we do last night? Where did we go? Am I hungover? After a moment I quickly remembered the reality. We didn’t go anywhere, I was not hungover and I did not have remnants of glitter eye makeup on my face.

The source of the party glitter?

 blogpony

Mike had helped Bailey open her newest mini My Little Pony containing Junebug and played with her and the other ponies on the floor the night prior. She is currently my favorite pony. For obvious reasons.

3. Vomit – I may have purged from alcohol once or twice in my youth.  It recently came to my attention I have only dealt with my own vomit during pregnancy or illness for quite some time.  The past few puke incidents were dog related and my vom drama last week was whether or not my sick toddler would hurl.  Further, vomit isn’t as repulsive as it used to be. I am not afraid to clean up other’s vomit and have actually put together a game plan for when Bailey has her first puke.  I even have a blue kitchen bowl delineated for bedside when the time comes.

4. Dirty Movies – I don’t have a lot of time to watch movies but when I do I like a good R rated movie as much as the next girl.  I used to get so annoyed when USA or FOX would play a favorite movie because the cuss words became ridiculous terms no one would actually use.  After all, booger flinger and dang jerky jerk just don’t cut it in Pulp Fiction.

 blogpulp

Guess what? I am thrilled when USA plays my favorite movies now because it is edited and all the cuss words turn into words my toddler can repeat. Yay! A break from Babies First TV and La La Loopsy to watch Bridesmaids!  Further, when Bailey looks at me and says poop or booger I feel like the coolest mom ever for being so responsible.  MY child didn’t say shit!!

5. Spices – I lived with roommates and on my own for almost 10 years.  During that time I had everything from a huge kitchen to a barely functioning stove and refrigerator crammed into the size of a closet.  Luckily, my parents gave me their old pots and pans and silverware.  I had matching glasses and two matching plates so I could easily host macaroni and cheese for two.  Fast forward to present day and now not only do I have matching plates and bowls, but I have casserole dishes and neat serving trays for chips and dips and just about any appetizer.  While kitchen items seem like an “adulty” thing to have they really don’t represent being an adult.  Often your kitchen was the recipient of one’s wedding registry and the fancy mixing bowl stays in a box.  However, I recently noticed a person who has a shitload of spices might be an adult. I try new recipes for my family weekly and have approached the glorious place not necessitating an extra trip to the grocery store for the spice.  I have SO many spices I can actually make a new recipe without a special trip.  I don’t know about you but this is a huge advancement in my kitchen maturity level!

blogspice

Before you get too excited about my blooming adulthood you should know I stole the Red Robin seasoning. In my diaper bag.

6. Swimsuits – My favorite swimsuit is a tiny bedazzled bikini with tie strings.  Shockingly enough it is also my husband’s favorite.  I have a lot of bikinis. Before you roll your eyes please remember we live in San Diego and have always vacationed in tropical locations.  Last summer I wore what I had deemed boring bikini (black swimsuit, no patterns and no frills) to Legoland Water Park.  I quickly realized only a few other women were wearing bikinis and they fell into three categories.

A. Single and ready to mingle mommies with newly purchased boobs.blogbikini     B. Uber hip moms who wanted everyone to know where their latest tattoo or piercing was.

blogbikini5     C. Fitness obsessed moms touting their overly toned bodies.

blogbikini4

I am none of these. One lone mom in a two piece looked my direction and we shared a nod of understanding. We were the two left who weren’t looking for a new husband, didn’t have perfect abs or had had our necks pierced with the newest bar bell triple trend. Ugh. I bought a tankini for the kids water parks because I don’t want to be the slutty mom.  Before you send me an enraged note telling me that you are fabulous and belong to one the above 3 categories, take the point of emerging adulthood. Of course I am rocking my bikini at other places and you should too.  But when I was younger I would have never noticed the appropriateness of my attire and would have assumed the side eye was jealousy, not pity for my lack of self awareness.

7. MLM (multi level marketing) – When I think of MLM’s I think of my mom’s friend who always had Avon samples at her house for me to play with.   My childhood was built on purchased Tupperware and stinky candles my mom had bought at yet another party (probably wine fueled and being a good friend).  Fast forward 20 years and I am everyone’s target MLM customer.  The past month alone I have been asked to host three different parties for jewelry, clothing  and essential oils.  I am not sure which of these clued me in I might be adultlike… is it the fact that I know so many people doing MLM (almost always stay at home moms) or that I have a home equipped to adequately handle parties? Before now the only parties I hosted were staff events to polish off the leftover booze from past programs.

 bloghost

8. Being reliable – The reason for this article actually revolves around this point.  Our toddler has been sick for the past week and I have been a mess. I don’t care about anything other than making sure she is ok. She tells me she needs me and we have conversations about dumb shit in the middle of the night. I didn’t sleep much last week because I was freaked about her temp. I am really tired but when she looks at me or calls my name I pop up like a person who has been sleeping for weeks.  All week she would wrap herself around me and get really upset if I went anywhere.  On about the 3rd night of her fever she looked at me and said for the 50th time,”Mommy I love you. Please keep snuggling me. Don’t leave ok?”  It hit me like a ton of bricks.  She actually thinks I am strong and powerful and have it together.  I am HER safety.  I am HER adult. I couldn’t believe it.

It was at that moment I knew I would never miss any moment my girls need me. I will pretend to be strong and confident and all-knowing.  I think this makes me sort of an adult.

Happy Wednesday 🙂

xo

Mari

Isn’t it weird that a privilege could feel like a chore?

Personal failure: I refused to acknowledge or consider my own privilege for a loooooooong time.

I suppose a definition will be helpful here. I’ll go with this one:

the set of societal privileges that white/male people benefit from beyond those commonly experienced by people of color/women in the same social, political, or economic spaces (nation, community, workplace, income, etc.). The term denotes both obvious and less obvious unspoken advantages that white/male individuals may not recognize they have, which distinguishes it from overt bias or prejudice. These include cultural affirmations of one’s own worth; presumed greater social status; and freedom to move, buy, work, play, and speak freely. The concept of privilege also implies the right to assume the universality of one’s own experiences, marking others as different or exceptional while perceiving oneself as normal.

What led me to examine these privileges? Being taken behind the proverbial woodshed in online and meatspace conversations. I’d like to thank not only the people that patiently pointed out my ignorance and took the time to educate me, but also the people that rightfully mocked me. The mockery stung but I (eventually) saw that even though I intended to be a good person I was choosing to ignore something important.

Once I admitted that these privileges existed I needed to take the next step and ask myself why I chose to ignore them. This was a difficult step. I relied on my perception that “things are much better than they used to be” to justify my choice to ignore the systemic structural and cultural issues that exist today. I pretended that today represented a true meritocracy and that women, people of color, etc. had zero impediments to success other than their own desires and efforts.

Many people believe they are “colorblind” and I don’t doubt their belief. But even if it’s true, it’s only a partial victory. Stephen Colbert has a great line about this:

Now, I don’t see color. People tell me I’m white and I believe them because police officers call me “sir”.

I love this line, but I didn’t realize the full implication of it until I saw it referenced in a twitter discussion about libertarians and race. Colbert slyly exposes his privilege while disclaiming it, which is genius. His purported colorblindness is a defense of his privilege.

Another reason that I refused to admit my privilege is that I liked the results. This, sadly is a remnant of my lamentable detour into libertarian beliefs. I internalized the “culture of dependence” argument. I thought that other racial groups and women would be OK with just pretending that everything was suddenly equal. Mind you, I didn’t bother to ask any of these groups.

So what does it mean for me now that I’m able to admit my privilege? It does not mean that the existence of the privilege is the only determining factor when faced with an issue. It does mean that I am better able to properly empathize with different groups’ positions. People sometimes let me know that acknowledging privilege is naive. Or it is “playing into their hands” like this is some sort of zero-sum game. Or it is white guilt. I don’t agree. Instead I know that I would feel guilty perpetuating the illusion of things being OK today. There is still much to be done.

I’m just trying to be cool

MGMT by JennPellyWhen I was in grade school I constantly got into trouble for talking during class.  I can’t remember the amount of notes confiscated throughout my adolescence.  My brother asked for a TV for his room.  I asked for my own phone line.  I was on my phone every moment I wasn’t in school.

I was and am an extrovert.  And I really want you to like me.

Spending time interacting with a friend refreshes and rejuvenates me.  After a coffee or wine date with one of my best friends I feel relieved and confident.

I am also insanely nervous of social situations and need a pep talk, either from myself, my mom or my husband prior to almost every event I plan.

Surprised?

My closest friends know I have anxiety about everything.  Someday I might have the courage to write about it.  Not today. Today is reserved for the plight of the extrovert.

As an extrovert, I am expected to be fun. To be outgoing and charming and to facilitate a good time.  I am very good at this. However, I am so fearful of not doing well I anticipate to the point of panic.

For some reason, extroverts are viewed as confident and immune to disappointment.  I deal with both regularly.  Introverts are commonly viewed as “deep and pensive”,  lovingly labeled as troubled or sensitive.  Introverts are applauded for having feelings while extroverts are encouraged to be shallow social butterfly’s without a care in the world.

I think many people are confused as to how an extrovert gets their strength.

A true extrovert is happiest when they are communicating well with another human being.  This human being is typically a close friend or family member.  I am most at ease when I am talking to Mike or listening to my toddler tell me about her day.  My strength does NOT come from a big party or a night out with 15 friends.  Am I good at planning it? Absolutely. However, it is the opposite of rejuvenating because I am worried about the outcome and am hyper sensitive to everyone around me.

Extroverts get their feelings hurt too.  Extroverts use “I’m so busy” and “My week is crazy” on a weekly basis. It is true, and makes us feel important. We are busy making plans, organizing get togethers and worrying about details.  Extroverts also know both quotes are bull shit when used as an excuse.  Regardless of how busy I am, I can and will always make time for important people.  Extroverts know this and when others constantly talk about their stressful schedule and lack of availability it is deeply hurtful.  Extroverts take these excuses as you letting them know they are not important enough.

Extroverts worry about others opinions constantly.  Much of my self-worth is derived from being viewed as capable.  I work tirelessly to be a mother, friend and wife, while excelling at my career and remembering birthdays.  I wake up at night, fearful I have forgotten a detail.  I obsess that one of my friends may not be happy with me or Mike isn’t fulfilled.

Extroverts are just as scared as introverts.  Doing well socially does not mean it comes easy.  Many days I don’t want to show up.  Often, I want to stay under the covers and call my best friend and talk through it.  The pressure to “perform well” makes me anxious and drains me.  When you are viewed as an extrovert certain qualities are expected and if they are not achieved people are disappointed.  If I’m not smiling, others worry something is wrong. If I am not boisterous people are concerned I am sick.  It is exhausting and makes me nervous.

This past week I managed to get through one of my crazier work weeks. I also had a slumber party with one of my best friends, a wine afternoon with my favorite group of friends and spent quality time with my family.  I organized my out-of-town friends schedule and coordinated events for St. Patrick’s Day.  Everything turned out fabulous but I was anxious the whole time.  I just wanted everything to go well, for my friends to like me and my family to be happy.  There were some disappointments this weekend and my heart hurt. Luckily, I have my introvert husband to listen to me.

Have you hugged your extrovert today?

My dog was lost but now (s)he’s found.

bianca bee

Our family did something that I never, ever thought we would do. We gave away one of our perfectly healthy dogs that we love very much. In the past we joked about giving her away, but in my heart I truly believed that we would never do it. My stubbornness and misplaced belief of my abilities as a dog-owner would not allow such a thing to happen. But we did it and things are better.

IMG_1072

Bianca came to our family during a difficult period. My wife and I each brought a dog to our relationship. I brought our aussie cattle dog and she brought a maltese named Harley. Unfortunately, Harley passed away far to early due to some medical issues. Our hearts were broken as Harley was a very special being. We quickly found Bianca to help us with the loss and because we both wanted a maltese in our lives. I never thought I would be a small dog person. But I loved Harley so much. Bianca was very mellow for a couple of days. Then, she busted out with a breezy vengeance. She would hide under the couch and sneak attack a passerby’s ankle. She would fling herself out the doggy door and down three steps like she was invincible. When we first took her to the bay, she followed our cattle dog in like she had been swimming her whole life. She had some hilarious quirks. She would fake injuries to get attention (a maltese trait). She would try to boss around the dogs at the park until another dog pushed back.  Then she would yelp like she had been shot and run to her “big brother” to protect her. Read more…

Confessions of a somewhat good person

angel

(image 4.bp.blogspot.com/)

When I think about the differences between me at 35 versus me at 20, I see that the basic foundation is similar. I am definitely not an angel but like to think of myself as a pretty good gal.  People like me, mostly.  Lately I have been thinking about the antics younger me pulled and came to a scary conclusion: Younger me and older me aren’t so different and would probably be good friends.  For some reason I thought having kids and becoming an adult would miraculously make me a different, perhaps better person.  Oops. Do any of these sound familiar to you??

Adult me versus Kid me

As a grown up I knowingly make a difficult dinner and often do a bit of baking the day before our housekeepers come.  Dinner and baked goods taste better when I don’t have to mop up the flour my daughter spills and clean the oil off the stove top. Younger me rarely had a clean house but I had a special closet saved for emergency visits. This closet housed loads of laundry, fast food bags, and boxes of trash.  When people came over they assumed I was neat and tidy, not knowing about my stash. — In my late teens I worked in a department store. While working a boring day shift, I pretended to faint in order to be sent home.  The reason? My girlfriends were going water skiing and I wanted to go. As a side note, I don’t recommend doing this if you work in a corporate job.  Did you know state law requires a company to contact an ambulance if an employee faints? I was not equipped with this information and was surrounded by with a wide array of handsome firemen and EMT’s… On second thought if you are single this may be an excellent opportunity to meet someone 🙂 It couldn’t possibly be a waste of time and resources on the part of emergency crew. fireman A few years ago, I knowingly took a sick employee on a work trip with me because I liked her the most.  When we got into town she was horribly ill.  Since I had brought her I couldn’t have her call in sick so I taught her how to faint to be excused from her work shift.  Not to worry this environment would not necessitate a 911 call.  The bar industry calls a cab not an ambulance. —– In my twenties I was constantly running late. Instead of curbing my poor behavior I would count on people to forgive me because I was cute.  If they didn’t I would be confused, and wonder why they were so mean! Now, when I am in a hurry at Target I will look down and quietly cut off others in the check out line, then give my surprised, “Oh my gosh I didn’t see you” smile and it usually works. —- When I see people I haven’t been good with keeping up with I will duck the other direction. When I get home I will send them a message telling them I have been thinking about them and schedule plans to get together. Younger me LOVED running into people. It was so fun! I typically ran into them at night and we would be drinking and I would tell them how we needed to hang out the following week and forget to follow through. —— As soon as I got pregnant I traded in my shiny sports car for the largest most ridiculous SUV I could convince Mike to purchase.  Now that I am so big I am more aggressive and cut people off, knowing I am bigger.  I always smile, wave, and say THANKS as if they had a choice. suv When I was younger and couldn’t find a parking spot, I would park in red and put my hazard lights on.  This worked almost every time.  When my car was finally towed I figured it equated to a small price to pay for all the illegal parking I had done over the years. —– I have used the having kids excuse at least a dozen times to get out of something–usually work related that I don’t want to do. Years ago, the flat tire excuse worked at least a dozen times to get out of something–usually work related that I didn’t want to do.  —  In my twenties I became obscenely in debt.  I spent thousands of dollars on designer clothes and handbags and fabulous trips with my girlfriends.  Toward the end of my spending I recall using three credit cards to purchase one top.  I was not embarrassed. As a mom I try to buy key groceries on sale. I love seeing the “savings” at the end of the checkout and consider the wine I purchase to be free if it is the same amount of the amount discounted.  Hooray! yippee1(image from http://www.indieberries.com/)

Looking at this list I couldn’t help but laugh.  My parents swear I am a fabulous person and have grown up so much over the years.  They are biased.  I do know I am a much better friend than when I was younger.  I believe I am kinder, more empathetic, and genuinely concerned with others.  But today’s blog isn’t to tout my growth as a human being. xoxo Mari

Life is crazy, Candy baby.

rip

The initials seemed to leap off the Facebook feed. R.I.P. What the hell? I last talked to her back in 2011. Before that it had been 20+ years. We weren’t close or anything. But it still struck a chord.

At first the details were sketchy, but they were already tragic. She hadn’t yet been identified as deceased, but her friends and family placed links on her feed to the initial news stories indicating that it was her. While the stories themselves lacked details, the comments to stories on the local newspaper/TV news sites were just brutal. They poked fun of the area of town where the incident occurred and made all sorts of inferences about the deceased. I was a bit taken aback by the casualness of the commenters in saying some objectively horrible and callous things (I hope I don’t ignore that feeling the next time I’m inclined to say horrible and callous things online).

The emergence of new details in subsequent stories only served to fan the flames. Once her name was released people reveled in digging up details about her life and inferring that she somehow deserved her fate. Things took a turn for the worse when the guardian of her children wrote to implore people to stop with the negativity as it was affecting the children.  Her children were trying to cope with the loss of their mother and were tending to her Facebook page,  answering questions and repling to inquiries. Some replied by appealing to “free speech” and doubling down on their jackassery. All of this made me tremendously sad.

But then things started to take a positive turn. Friends of the deceased started reaching out to the family on her FB page. They offered to help with the kids. They took the time to say some kind words or share a fond remembrance. The kids were thankful and replied gracefully. The community rallied to take care of its own. The voices of the trolls on the news articles were dwarfed by the love and compassion shown on those articles and her FB page. My cynical side was surprised by this, which is to say that I was happy to be wrong. Humanity, you’re not all bad.

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: