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But She is My Friend…………………….

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After the week I have had, I am thoroughly convinced that people are losing their minds! First I receive a text out of the blue from a friend who just has to see me, and invites me for drinks on Saturday night. Secondly, I receive an email from another friend who is itching to scrapbook but want to have lunch first and them get started about 3 pm after her hubby comes back to be able to sit with the dog. Last, but not least, I literally run into an old friend in Wal-Mart, who avoids me. Me? What did I do to you? She treated me as if she caught me sleeping with her husband.

Let me back up for a minute and start with friend one and the call out of nowhere. Initially, a month ago, she calls and tells me she is having a get together for the ladies at the church and she wants me to come over. She did not invite me as a guest, but as an extra pair of hands. I guess this was supposed to be our bonding time. She actually expected me to show up and work my butt off serving her guest. I refused.

Fast forward two months, her over complicated life is about to swallow her up and she knows the perfect friend to call. This of course would be me. How the bleep do you figure that I have nothing better to do with time other than make you feel better about yourself and your sorry life choices? She was buying lunch, I wanted hot wings, so I went. I made her feel better and she was proud to say she calls me friend.

The second friend, which, we haven’t know each other that long, we really aren’t that close, and really haven’t had a chance to truly bond. Our first night out with her and her hubby, they brought the 10 year old. Understandaly, you didn’t have a sitter. Second time we met, she left the windows down on the car and I thought, well maybe she doesn’t like air conditioning. There was a dog in the back seat. I was informed that the dog had some issues and did not like to be left home alone.

Two weeks later, we are planning to get together to scrapbook. She said she has to bring her dog.

I. Don’t. Have. A . Dog.

She said he would be fine if I had shade in my back yard. What makes you think I want dog crap in my yard? I can see making a concession for your 10 year old, even considering I don’t have one, but for your dog? You have lost your damn mind!

Last but not least, to my former friend in the store, I am sorry if I have done something to offend you. I am even sorrier if you have done something to offend me that I have yet to learn. I am sorry that we have come to this point in our relationship. Which leads me to this thought, why do I call these people friend?

I am starting a running list of my new dirty words and friend comes in at number two. I am uncertain if we have entered such and electronic world where knowing the intimacies of your life via your Tweets and Facebook posts, makes us close. It does not. It makes you a person who is losing touch with reality. Where were you in your book of “Hello, God, it’s me Magaret…” that no one answered you back?

If your friends do not have small children, then it is not okay to bring your child to dinner. If your friend does not have a dog, then why would you want to bring yours to my house? If I don’t call you to vent and unload my problems, then why do you think it is okay to do this to me? Why, because you call me friend? Out of curiosity, what do you think I call you?

If you are avoiding me in the store, then the problem lies within you. I have not wronged you and you will not afford me the opportunity to make it right. Dictionary.com defines friend as “a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.” If you hold these people you call friend in high regard, then treat them as such and not as a person who owes you something, your personal counselor, or someone you need to hate in order to feel alive.

On the other shoe, if she gets drunk every time you go out, and you have to be their babysitter, you can also scratch them off your list as a friend. If you constantly have to bail them out, literally and figuratively, then maybe you should not call them friend. Today I am making a list, and noting the qualities I like in those who support me and I them and why I choose to call them my friend. I am glad you are on my list.

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Coupon Crazy!

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I am addicted. I am not shame and I will shout from the rafters that I am hooked. I watched an episode of Extreme Couponing and once I saw how much money they were saving, I said, “I can do that!” I started clipping and I also started saving money. I am far from extreme, but I am, unequivocally a coupon clipper.

Ironically, I can remember a time when whipping out a coupon was considered low class and made the bearer appear to be a cheapskate. People who clipped coupons were rumored to live in a house full of cats, made quilts and homemade jams. In essence, they were regarded as a step above being a hippie. Not anymore, welcome to the new breed of savvy shoppers and coupon clippers. Let me help you get started. It is easier than you think.

First we must determine what kind of shopper you are. If you are not organized enough to have to deal with a little purse of coupons, or have hours to spend price comparing in the grocery store, then we can start here. The easiest way to save is with your frequent shopper cards and make them work for you versus just having them dangling on your key chain. Kroger and Bi-Lo offers you Fuel Perks. The money you spend in the store earns you a few cents off your gas purchase at each visit. You can also download coupons to your rewards card and when you check out, they automatically take the savings off your final purchase! BiLo even offers you double coupons so you can save twice the money. I know right! No clipping, no coupons and you don’t have to seem like a crazy cat lady who makes quilts and jam.

Saving at the grocery store isn’t your only option. Crafters have long been saving at Michael’s, Joann’s and Hobby Lobby. The great thing about craft stores, if you have a coupon from another store, they will honor the discount. We can take it one further. If you are a teacher, you can also get teacher discounts at Joann’s and save an addition 15%. These programs are also available at Staples and Office Max. No matter what you are into, if you look, there is a coupon, a Groupon, and Living Social break. If you have a smart phone, you can download coupon apps and have discounts and bargains at your fingertips.

Now, I can understand if all of this couponing is far too much of a commitment, then here is the perfect solution, just price compare. Use that smartphone to help you make some smart decisions. There are several bar code scanners that will scan the price, and give you the best deals in a 50 mile radius, including online.

There are all types of coupons to help you save money when you want to dine in or dine out. Find out if your favorite location has a frequent shopper program or a loyalty program. I am one who believes in getting my money’s worth and each day I am out looking for ways to save money, cut lost and reduce my back end, literally and figuratively. You can find the savings approach that works best for you or you can search on Twitter and search under coupons. You can get real time updates on savings.

I have looked into Coupon Suzy and a few other sites, but those are more regional. The economy isn’t going to turn around on its own and in the meantime and in between time, I am working on some Christmas quilts for my great nieces and some jam from some pears my friend send over from her tree. Happy savings!

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Romance is Dead

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I want to believe, I really do, but after listening to non-satellite radio, I am convinced that romance is dead.

I want your ugly, I want your disease, I want your everything as long as it’s free.” – Lady Gaga

What the bleep? This is not romantic music.

I don’t blame the music industry.

I don’t blame lame TV shows that require you to get a rose in order to feel relevant.

I don’t blame movies for forgetting how to get it right.

I blame women.

Yes, you, Ms. Bring a movie and pick up some Chinese food for our date night. That is not a date; that is a booty call. When did we as women stop feeling as if our feelings mattered? Why is it that we no longer want him to be able to ignite our fires, but we are okay if he can just buy a match. However, this cannot just be one sided, my ladies, when was the last time you even got close to the oven to get him heated? He needs as much romance as we do. Enough of the puppy love and unadventurous dates, time to add some spark to your repertoire and some spark to your weekend. Date night is about to get grown up. According to Men’s Health Magazine online, there are lists, and lists and more lists on how to get it right. There is a list of what women believe makes the perfect date. If you can’t get it right, you can at least get close.

Now this is a good start.

Granted, not every date can be expensive or extensive; sometimes the best dates in the world can be at home. I have inserted a nice link here for you to find ways to get your romance on in your own home. What I am suggesting here is to use your imagination to exercise your romantic elbow. Flex that sucker and give the person in your life a chance to remember why you are together. We are not talking about putting on a pair of your best Victoria’s Secret gear, or showing your pole dance moves, this is about getting into your partner’s head and saying I appreciate having you in my life. I want you to take a minute to re-evaluate why you wake up next to this person, how you got here and remind them that your heart is still beating and romance in your mind is still alive.

I will leave you with this link that gives you 100 great date night ideas. While you are on your date, I challenge you to learn one new thing about your partner, date or mate. You cannot honestly know how to romance your partner if you do not fully understand with whom you are sharing your life. I want to believe that romance is alive. Come back and share with me why you also think that romance is not dead but alive in your life. I can’t wait to read your comments and just in case, here is your red rose to let you know you are a keeper.


Is your smartphone making you an idiot?

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     You are riding down the highway and your cell phone starts to vibrate, you know it is a text message, however, you are going about 45 miles an hour in rush hour traffic.  What do you?  Do you reach down and grab the phone to see who is texting you or do you ignore it until you get to a stop sign?  95% of people will pick up the phone and “see who this is?” and risk every life on the road including their own, for what, a quick message of “Where u @?”

And as much as I love technology, I love living even more!  It is not just a text messaging that has gotten out of control, but our inability to disengage from our cell phones that are turning normal everyday people into ignorant, raging morons.  Don’t be offended, for if you are not the offender in this instance you have been at least once in the near past.  Here are some prime examples of idiot phone offenses that are lowering our intelligence quotients and our ability to be kind to one another.

App Addlepate: Yes, this is person who has an app to perform every function they can possibly think of but fails to train them how to be a better person.  Better people take a moment to appreciate the live person in front of you versus the virtual connection reaching out to you. Is there an APP to teach you life skills?

Bluetooth Blockhead: Yeah for you, you have a bluetooth, but honestly, do you have to walk up behind me, conversing with your imaginary friend with your outside voice? Having a bluetooth is great for hands free calling if you are on a long road trip, but really, your GPS comes bluetooth enabled, so once outside of the car, take the stupid thing off.  You don’t look important, you look like someone who spends too much time on the phone and your extra money is being used to pay for unneeded cell services.

Conversation Cretin:  I am trying to have a face to face, one on one conversation with you, please pay attention, I don’t need to have a conversation with the top of your head while you respond to frequent buzzing that appears to have your remotely programmed like Pavlov’s dog.

Dining Dimwit: I have a girlfriend that I refuse to go out to eat with and lately, I just hate to spend time with her.  Why?  Her phone never stops going off!  Her husband, her kids, her father, all seem to have an incessant need to connect with her the minute she leaves their line of sight.  One, it is rude and tells the person with whom you are with, that they are not important and unworthy of your time.  Two, your family and kids have no respect for your time, and last but not least, it is just plain rude.

Dialing Dunderhead: How many times do you need to apologize for your butt, your purse, your dog or the 3-year-old speed calling on your phone because you refuse to lock the screen.

Facebook Fanatic: Yes I love my friends and enjoy their post, but no I am not going to respond to every posting on my wall, every request to add more fish on Farmville, join your Mafia, or accept your hearts of blessings.  Do it at home on your own time.

Fast Food Fool:  At the counter at the sandwich shop, on the phone, trying to place an order, talking to the young lady behind the counter, while yelling at your spouse, child or in law on the phone.  Why not just finish the call, place your order, pay for the order, pick up the order and call the person on the phone as you head back outside.

Instant Message Imbecile: Yes, I know you need an answer soon, but does it have to be right now?  You are reducing my productivity by forcing me to stop and answer you.  If I did not answer your last 5 instant messages, maybe I am busy.  Maybe I fell down the well and Lassie went to get Timmy, and maybe I just don’t want to answer you.

Loud Lamebrain:   I know you are upset, I know they don’t understand, but really, neither do I.  I don’t understand why everyone in the room, the hall, the bathroom, the restaurant and any other public place has to be tortured with your conversation and lack of mastery of your emotions? Tone it down and shut it up!

Meeting Moron: You are in a meeting, why is your phone on unless the conference call is coming in on your line and everyone in the room should be privy to the conversation.  If not, please turn off your phone, my time is valuable too, don’t waste it by sending messages to your friends.

Picture Pinhead:  You do realize that even if you don’t open it, you will still be charged for receiving the picture of the dancing penis that was not funny when you were 12 and is not funny now. If you are in an accident and I am your insurance agent, send me a picture mail.  If not, send it via email that does not cost me anything, and 9 times out of 10, I don’t really want to see it.

Sync Simpleton:  How many times of day do you need to sync it to your lap top? You don’t need to beam me your V-card, I have your business card and a card scanner, I have your info. I know how to reach you, besides your text messages has ALL of your contact info, just like your email.

Tunes Twit:.  I have one friend that I like to call every day just to see which song will be playing today. How many ringtones do you really need, and why do I have to listen to “Single Ladies”, or “Blessed” or any other subjugation of your musical choices simply because I need to call you?  You are an adult, your phone should ring, if you are available answer it, if not let it go to voice mail.

Twitter Twerp:  Really, do we need a play by-play of your day? Enough said.

Voicemail Victim: I don’t really want to leave a message, but if I do, will you please take the time to listen to what I have to say, before you call me back to say “I saw you called.”  Yes, I called.  I left you a message telling you what I wanted, listen to it and call me back with an answer.

I know technology is a wonderful thing, but please, stop allowing your smart phone to make you an idiot.  Remember the simple manners your mother taught you and put those into play. Now if you will excuse me, I need to send out some hearts, blessings, rob a pimp and steal a car as I build my mafia connection, and build my new life in YoVille.
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Growing into happiness

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I often chuckle when I hear my friends and colleagues boasts about being a grown woman, then I am more amused when I watch them make immature decisions. I watch them make choices that are bad for their personal well-being an the moment, and choices that are bad for their future.  The stresses of life  and emotional loneliness can be contributing factors to bad decision making.

I am often asked, what should I do— and as a grown woman, I have learned to sit and listen, and realize that my friends thought process, do not neccessarily equate to me to interjecting mine.  What works for me, may not work for you, so here is my advice to the many women who often ask me the same question, as well as  my advice to all who read this post.

If you are at a crossroads in your life, sit down in the middle of the street and make a list of where you have been, and where you would like to go.  As simple as it may seem, for some, just sitting still long enough to write a list –is an issue.  However, you can not fully understand where you are trying to go, until you have identified, label, misnomer, or  assigned the wrong psychological principle, to what you will soon learn to call– bull puckey.

That is what it is,bullpuckey— it is all the crap that you have convinced yourself is important, that in actuality has no real relevance in your life. It is the proverbial time on the treadmill where you are running  inside of the the little cage which you have boxed yourself in, that you are NOW calling a fulfilling life.  If you have not poured yourself a cup of tea, sat down with a good book or your favorite magazine without the tv on, to just read for 30 minutes, then how you are getting on in your life, well it is bull puckey!

If you have not or can not remember what you like to do for fun that is not associated with your husband or children, then how you are living needs to be reevaluated.  If you can not remember the last time you and a girl friend sat down and had a two-hour lunch talking about nothing….and realized it was the best conversation you have had in a long time, then stop.

Put down the laptop, get off of Facebook, and sign out of your Twitter account.  Get up off your butt and plug back into life.  Decide in the next week what you would like to do to better yourself that can be done in incremental steps, and make a plan. I will start you off with some suggestions.  You want to know why, because I am happy. Not in the moment, not for a reason, but because it is the way that I am living. I grew into my happiness and I want to help you grow into yours.

Here are my suggestions for the month of April 2010.

First we will start by getting you organized, to get the clutter out of your life.  I know, you have a Blackberry or some other gadget you are paying too much money for and don’t really know how to use.   Let’s first simplify with www.cozi.com and get everything in one place.

I also want you to start thinking about your summer vacation for the family and for you and your man (yes your man, and if that is not what you call him or how you think of him, we will address that in June) .  

For the family, you can save some money, give back to America and help the planet all in one.  http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/eco-travel-volunteer-vacations-50022309.

Then plan a quiet get away for you and your man with www.cruises-4-free.com.

Tody is the day you take the first step to grow into your happiness.  I check back with you in a month and see how you are doing.

All my best,

Cheryl