Thursday, November 6, 2014

single white female

i was going through some old writings tonight and i came across this one. after the week i've had, it seems like a very appropriate time to share, especially since some dear friends reached out to me today to say how much they like, appreciate and miss my sharing... and maybe that's part of the reason why we are all here now. i've tweaked it a little bit, but for the most part it's exactly how i wrote it on January 20, 2012.
I think some (to be honest I think it’s more than some) people let marriage define them. Like they won some contest in life if they get married and have a family. Congratulations! Here's your picket fence and 2.5 kids! But if you really think about it, it’s a completely illogical and far-fetched ideal.
In all the billions of people on earth, you expect me to believe that each person that gets married, finds “the one” person that is the ying to their yang? The odds are completely against us. There are billions of people in the world… how do people think they will find the “one” in the same city or the same profession or the same college? I’m no statistician, but I can tell you the odds of that happening should be as likely as you winning the Power Ball… twice… in the same month.
It’s not hard to see in the world with 55 hour marriages to 72 day marriages to Tiger Woods and Jesse James cheating on their wives with hundreds of woman; that not everyone getting married is finding “the one.” So why are they getting married? Yeah, I know… I don’t know either? But my guess is that they succumb to society’s outdated norms and “feel” that it is was they are “supposed” to do… and/or are afraid of being alone.
Do I think there is someone for everyone… yes. Do I think that everyone is lucky enough to meet that someone in their lifetime… no. Do I think I’m one of those unlucky ones… yes. But the thing is, I don’t feel unlucky… because I just don’t think it’s for me.
I have been single almost my entire adult life. So here I am after my latest failed romantic endeavor, back to square one, except a little wiser and a little more doubtful. Wiser because I finally have realized who I am… actually, I’ve known for a long time; longer than I would ever admit, but I suppose now, I’m finally ready to because let's face it. I'm not getting any younger.
The truth is I’m too independent and stuck in my ways to ever succumb and settle for less than the “fairy tale”* of a relationship that I have conjured up in my head all of these years. I have standards and expectations… and I’d rather be alone than settle for anything less than I deserve or desire. I’d rather spend that time with my friends, my family and living every experience life gives me and being happy just being me. 
*please note my version of a fairy tale is not your average fairy tale - i can open my own doors, carry my own groceries and fix my own stuff and if you show up to my house wearing a shiny suit of armor on a horse, i'm going to call the police.*
So I am doubtful about being in love and getting married, in this lifetime anyways... and I’m ok with that. This is a notion I'm completely comfortable with but not too many people can accept; like an old, dear friend of mine (who is not my friend anymore, that’s completely related to this topic, but for another time) and I once argued over.
She is married and as I’ve learned today and what inspired this train of thought, she is with child. She and I had (and I’m 100% sure, still have) completely different views on love and marriage. She is one of the many people in this world that lets marriage define oneself. And I guess I shouldn’t judge her and the others that need marriage to feel happy and complete… as I hope they don’t judge me for being a strong independent woman, which makes me happy and complete.
The story is we were sitting on her sister’s porch before one of her bachelorette parties or bridal showers, smoking cigars and drinking wine like we always used to do… and we started talking about this very subject and told her exactly what I just told you. I can’t see your face as you've been reading this, but she was, let's just say, less than accepting to what I had to say. She swore up and down that I was lying to myself and wanted to me to confess that I did want to be married and that I did want kids because obviously, that was so important to her life’s worth, so it had to be everyone else's too. For the record, I'm not lying to myself, it's just hard for society to accept that marriage is not everyone's dream.
The best analogy I can give for this situation is something my high school on again/off again boyfriend for 10 plus years once told me and perhaps one of  the best thing he ever said to me…. wish in one hand and shit in the other and see which one fills up the fastest.  Of course at the time he said this to me, I wasn’t as rational and wise as I am now but in hindsight, it was some pretty good advice. You can wish all you want, but that doesn't mean shit. Jeez, I hope he’s not reading this. I will never admit he was right on anything even though I know he was... on somethings. I mean, I was totally right on most everything.
Do I want to have a companion to love and who loves me back…yes. Love is one of the best feelings in the world…. notice I didn’t say the best.  But do I think it’s going to happen to me… no and I don’t think that makes me a spinster, although I do often humorously refer to myself as one.  Hey, people like to pigeon hole you into categories and stereotypes, so they know how to treat you. So I suppose for all intents and purposes, yes… I am a spinster. Thank you OS Bridgett Jones. (Original Spinster)
But I have the most awesome friends, a close knit loving family, a great job, a super cute apartment and overall a great life. I’ve been lucky enough to travel to some amazing places in the States and in the World and meet some amazing people… and I would not change one single thing that has happened or not happened to me in my almost 33 years of life. It’s all made me who I am and frankly, I’m a pretty cool chick for being such a dork.
Do I get lonely? Sure, doesn’t everyone once in awhile? Spinsters are humans too. If you prick us, we will bleed... only after a very dramatic "you don't know how it feels!"  But I could be in a room filled with people and I’d still feel lonely. It’s not who you surround yourself with, its how you feel surrounded by others. And honestly, crowds make me nervous. People I don’t know make me nervous. I absolutely cringe at small talk. It’s not until you are around me for a long time, does my shell crack and you see my nutty, gooey center. Go ahead, ask my friends... they are nut crackers.
I guess my point in all this, is that I’m not going to let the idea of marriage or being indefinitely single define who I am… and I don’t think anyone should. I don’t think people get to know themselves as a person before they are already trying to be someone else, like a wife/husband or a mother/father. You don’t know who you are until you is all you have and the only thing that defines who you are… is you.
I’m well into a bottle of wine sitting on the sofa with my stretchy pants on. I’m about to watch a sappy romantic chick flick from Netflix and probably cook some rich, cheesy, garlicky food… and you know why I’m doing this? Because it’s Friday night, I’m single… and most of all… because I can. 
 “It was in the depths of winter, I found in me, an invincible summer.”
even though my life has changed in the 2 years since i wrote this, my views remain the same ...but i'm not a bottle deep while writing this. mainly because it's just Thursday and i've already been hungover once this week at work and i'd rather finish the week on a productive note. seriously. my life has changed... swear! girl scouts honor.

disclaimer: i don't hate marriage, i just don't understand it.

Friday, July 18, 2014

history 101

we are a nation of immigrants.

that simple sentence should be the beginning and the end of the immigration argument. 

unless you are a Native American, you came to be because your ancestors came to this specific landmass on Earth from another specific landmass on Earth. from the thousands of Pilgrims and early settlers that sailed over the pond to the New World for religious freedoms to the 12 million immigrants that came through Ellis Island for a better life to the handful of children coming over the border each day from Central & South America to escape harm... they all have two things in common: #1 - they were (and are) not wanted here. 

the Native Americans, i'm sure were skeptic upon our arrival, but they tolerated us and taught us how to live and survive in our new home. so how did we repay them? we gave them crazy diseases, and while they were down, we kicked them by taking all their land... and since we "inherited" our new land of independence, we we've made damn sure that what we did to the Native Americans, would never happen to us. "no Irish need apply" signs were scattered everywhere in NYC in the mid-late 19th Century and early 20th Century. Hell's Kitchen just isn't a trendy address, you know. it gets its name honest ...and during WWII, there were Japanese Internment camps simply for people with Japanese heritage.

so now we are up to the children from Central & South America and also to the second thing all these immigrants have in common: #2 - they all came here (and they all still want to come here) for the exact same reason... because this country is free. this country is safe. this country is great... it's the land of opportunity. it's where dreams come true. 

and almost every child i spoke with in Uganda, when asked what their dream was...? they all wanted to come to America. America the Beautiful! their eyes would light up with hope. can you blame them? look what we say about ourselves? look what we put out there on the television and in movies. we are not a modest bunch. 

but if this country is so great, why do we treat people who want to be one of us, so bad? isn't imitation the best form of flattery? [see modest comment in previous paragraph] how can you brag about the foundations of this country but turn your back on immigrants rather than making them your neighbor. we were all... once them. we are a nation of immigrants! and if you can't agree with that, then you haven't learned anything from history, in fact, i think you've forgotten it... or sadly, most likely, never learned it. 

"those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

ig-no-rant adj lacking knowledge, information, or awareness about something in particular.

Monday, July 7, 2014

tiny love tornadoes

there are two reasons i get my mail on a somewhat regular basis: Netflix and to empty all the credit card offers and coupon flyers out of my mailbox so that Buddy (that's his real name  - we should all be on a first name basis with our postmen and women) can put more meaningless paper in it. but not this weekend. nope, this weekend was different. when i opened my mailbox, there was only a beautiful and unexpected gem. these gems are so rare and i feel so thankful and so lucky when i find them... rather, when they find me.

so there sat a single little green envelope. it was from a dear friend that i sadly, don't get to see very often these days. we used to have regular lunch dates, which always ended in me feeling a little better about myself. that's the sign of a good friend... a great friend. she's optimistic. she's a cheerleader. she's selfless. she's genuine. she's one of the best people i know or could ever think of, to have in your corner. 

i opened the card as soon as i got to my car. on the front it said "you rock" and on the inside, she wrote "just a friendly reminder." i started to cry. i cried at the beauty of its simplicity. i cried on the thought and the gesture from someone i don't see or talk to very often, but is never too far from my thoughts. i cried because it's just what i needed to hear at that moment. 

i've been thinking about what to say or do for her to show her the appreciation and emotion i felt. a simple thank you doesn't seem like enough. i could send her a card back? a Facebook post? a text? so here i am. this one is for you Dominator! because our days are happier when we give a bit of our heart rather than a piece of our mind... and you know how i love giving a piece of my mind. 

so let this be a lesson on the importance of surprise and the unexpected in friendship or any relationship... because little random acts of kindness can really make someone's day. in fact, it quite possibly might just change their life.

...and that, is why you rock harder than anyone. 

"you can not do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late." -ralph waldo emerson

the tornado cake my friend made me for my 30th birthday. 

Friday, July 4, 2014

Dear America: A Birthday Letter

wishing you a happy 238th birthday! you look auh-mazing! you have your faults (don't we all?) but i still wouldn't trade you for any other homeland! we are all so fortunate to have been born here... even if most of our ancestors were not. a fact some of us conveniently seem to forget.

honestly America, i've been a little worried about the destructive path you've been on lately. taking away some of the rights you have fought so hard to protect and you are continually denying rights and freedoms to others?! you've changed. it's like we don't even know you anymore. you seem distant. is everything okay? is there another population you would rather be with? just tell us...we're mostly all adults here. we'll still be completely devastated and heart broken but it's better if you tell us now then for us to find out later, when we're even more deeply committed.

and please don't take this the wrong way, but i believe you may suffer from borderline personality disorder. you just seem very divided and have episodes of extremism and chaos. maybe you should see a doctor... hope you have insurance! but you are still a spring chicken, so you have time to work it all out... and we know you will. i just want you to know we all believe in you and we're all here for you, no matter what!

if you're tossing and turning and can't sleep because you have so much on your mind and you just want to talk, we're all ears. if you're out at the bar at 2AM and drunk dial us, we'll come pick you up with tissues in hand for when you start crying about your latest self revelation and/or regrets of your past. if you text us late night, "hey. you up?', we'll text you back even though we know it's just a booty call because that's just how much we love you.

we know that you will one day be back to being celebrated for your freedom-loving ways. we know you'll once again be able to give people the American dream and this land will indeed be bright from sea to shining sea! after all, you're the United States of America....there's nothing you can't do.

here's to 238 more!

love you always,
your peeps

"nobody living can ever stop me, as i go walking that freedom highway; nobody living can ever make me turn back. this land was made for you and me." -Woody Guthrie

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Ego v. Responsibility

so today the SCOTUS unfortunately decided that employers have the right to deny their female employees birth control based on their religious beliefs... wait? what year is this? yep, it's 2014 and we're still talking about women's rights and birth control. i wasn't even born when this discussion started and i've been around for 3 1/2 decades (...and just to clarify it's just not birth control, employers can now deny any medical care to their employee's if they do not "believe" in it, including blood transfusions, if your employer is a Jehovah Witness... or basically anything if your employer is a jackass.)

i get it (although not really) you don't believe in birth control because you think it leads to promiscuity. well, let me ease your mind... it doesn't. it does however, prevent us from adding to the already over populated world. it helps couples plan for the right time to start a family, if at all.  it relieves women who suffer from debilitating cramps, endometriosis and prevents certain cancers... and it also clears up acne.

it is not a gateway to sex. you want to know what the gateway to sex is? it's called puberty! we've all been there and have less than fond memories of it. abstinence only education does not work. there's no way it could... it completely goes against human nature. [please google hormones if you need further explanation]

but what actually baffles me more than anything, is that Viagra is still covered! you have no problem promoting and including a drug that was specifically formulated so men could have sex - let me say that again, so that MEN COULD HAVE SEX! yet, you get your panties in a wod about birth control... a drug specifically formulated to prevent women from getting pregnant... while having sex with the man using Viagra?! so basically you're saying it's okay to have sex whenever and with whomever if you have a less than competent shriveled up little wiener ...but it's not okay for women to be sexually responsible?  

juuuusssst making sure i got that right and i know which side of history you are going to be on... because i don't know what backwards crazy world you are living in, but it sure as hell isn't this one. 

"The court, I fear, has ventured into a minefield." - Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

maybe white boys can't jump?

This is my response to the following article:

I have severely mixed emotions about this. Being a white girl that went to Uganda, I was treated differently because the color of my skin and I didn't like it… I didn't like it at all. Yes, perhaps the pleasantries and being first in line were because I was a guest; a guest of the people and a guest of the country, but there were many other guests there that didn't get the same treatment. We should celebrate our differences, it’s a beautiful thing. But they should bring us together, not separate us. You don't have to go to Africa... go to South America. Europe. China... I wouldn't recommend going to the Ukraine, Russia or you know, Iraq for instance, but go somewhere were you are the odd man out - it will change your life.

And yes, of course I’m going back and so should she. But I’m not going to physically build anything or be anyone’s “savior” or whatever she said. I attempted to teach the kiddos Math one day and I was bloody terrible at it! I never wanted to be a teacher, but now I know that is definitely not a career option. Those are not reasons to go back or go in the first place, like she said… they have contractors and they have teachers. And they need those jobs, just like American contractors and teachers need their jobs. There are a lot of wonderful Americans and other foreign aid workers all over the world doing amazing work. But like one very wise woman told me once, you have to find your own path.

But I’ll never forget their faces when they tried Pop Rocks for the first time and when they broke open the glow-in-the-dark bracelets and started painting everything they saw, even me. The color was so bright in the dark African night and that moment of sweet, pure, carefree, happiness is a moment I will never forget. Maybe I just miss being a kid. They want the world, just like we all do, but yet they ask for, and get by on, so little. I wish there was some way I could make them understand what they give me is more than I could ever give them. Maybe that’s just selfish of me.

I will also never forget the 3 amazing people (they know who they are!) I met who (or whom?) I am lucky enough to now call my friends. I want to make memories with them. They are part of my kick ass friendship circle and Ally Chan loves and misses them dearly.

Besides, it’s really nice to get out of the States. It’s healthy to see how the rest of the world lives …and it’s comforting to know this country isn't the end all, be all of existence.

"though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not."

Saturday, January 4, 2014

crying wolf.

so...i have yet to make a comment about the Duck Dynasty/GQ thing. i was actually conflicted by it, honestly. but i just read an article in response to the whole debacle and it got me thinking (uh-oh is right!) and i finally have something to say. 

he's [side note #1: i will not call him by name as i'm not going to be a pawn in the fame game... i've already said too much] not the first or the last person to lose his job because of something they said. just has he, the employee, had the right to say what he did; A&E, the employer, had the right to fire him. just as there are laws to protect speech, there are laws to protect people if they feel they were wrongfully fired. but i'm sure deep down in the contract he knowingly and willfully signed, A&E can do just about anything they want to do. even in the crazy world of showbiz, sometimes, you still have to lay in the bed you make… just like the rest of us.

i don't feel sorry for him or anyone else who is a "celebrity" that has fallen from grace. they know what they are signing up to do, to be famous... you take the good, you the take the bad, you take them both and there you have the facts of life. [side note #2: personally, i don't even think there should be celebrity's. i think it's an unhealthy black hole of obsession, unrealistic expectations and don't even get me started on how many millions of dollars they make, while others go hungry on the streets... are they really that awesomely talented? the jury is still out.]

people throw around the term “but it’s my freedom of speech” so much, it has really lost its power. it's effectiveness. it's drama. and that’s a damn shame because what does it really mean when everyone says it, who does it help if everyone uses it? (answer: nothing and no one.) so the next time you use it (and please use it sparingly) make sure it’s legit and that you're not just trying to win an argument or make a point...because that's not what it's there for. it's not there to justify close-mindedness or intolerance... in fact, it's there for just the opposite. 

[side note #3: i could say the same for the word Nazi. first, Obama is not a Nazi… if you knew one thing about the Nazi’s, you would know that it could not even be possible for him to be one. second, i've been called the Love Nazi on more than one occasion, but i’m not a Nazi either. in fact, i asked people to stop calling me that, because it’s disrespectful and demeaning to the people that were directly affected, tortured and killed by the (and this next word is very important) actual Nazi’s. if any Tom, Dick and Harry can be a Nazi nowadays, then i guess the Holocaust wasn't that big of deal then, was it? you're a Nazi and you're a Nazi. everybody is a Nazi. i think i've made my point.]

the freedom's of speech, religion and to peacefully assembly without persecution [side note #4: in Uganda, if 3 or more people are found to be talking about politics, the police have the right to shoot them on sight... just to put things into perspective here.] were made to protect the rights and lives of the minority... and that's the reason i was so conflicted - because in this day in age people like him are becoming the minority. but with that said, his comments were filled with hate and ignorance and if that is the freedom of speech and the America you want to protect and stand with, be my guest... but it sure as hell isn't mine. i still want to protect, defend and fight for those who cannot have a voice of their own... or their own reality show.

"no change of circumstances can repair a defect of character." - ralph waldo emerson