friends

Thinking Things Through

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I spent the day with a dear friend and over lunch, not only did she give me a headache, I think she gave my ass one as well. I never realized how absolutely negative she was in her mode of thinking, in her mode of living and essentially in her entire way of being. Midway through our conversation, it donned slowly upon my aching brain, that my head was hurting because I was attempting being rational with an irrational being.

The conversation started slowly with my latest novel that I cannot seem to finish because the character is not wholly developed. Her argument began with what a person will do for love at the demise of a relationship. I was told that I was a hopeless romantic and that most people did not think as I did and she, in fact, could not relate. That’s when I ceased trying to rationalize my thinking, because she just told me, she could not relate.

I grew up with relatives and had relations with people who loved me. I have friendships with several of my long term former loves where the relationships ended on an amicable note. I have had few, if any relationships that ended with an up yours and I am going to burn your sneakers in the bathtub. I am not a vindictive person and therefore cannot relate to people with vindictive spirits. I will admit to being a smart aleck and on several occasions have been called a smart ass, but never a negative one of either. Of course, based on these simple facts, there is no way, she could relate, nor understand.

It thereby became a harsh realization to me, that I was a hopeless believer in the good of all people, to include my pain in the ass friend. I also realized that out of all the people she was around, that I was the most faithful whom actually showed up on a regular basis to spend time with her ornery butt. Then something magical happened, I stopped talking and got quiet; she changed the subject. The moment I stopped trying to make sense of her nonsense and got quiet, she stopped with the negativity and simply said, “You are spoiled, I never got that type of love growing up, in my marriage or in any relationship.” I simply responded with, “I see your point.” I am hoping that you can see my point as you read these words. If it feels clear as mud, please allow me to explain.

The negativity she exuded was feeding off my disgustingly cheerful optimism. She could not understand my reasoning because she had no basis for what I understood. It would be the same as three blind men walking up to an elephant. If the first feels the trunk, the second feels the middle and the last feels the tail, then the three of them separately will never know it’s an elephant. In my mind, the smell will tell you it’s an elephant, but if you have never been around, seen, felt and smelled an elephant, you will have no frame of reference. My friend had no frame of reference for my views on love. Her negativity stemmed from a lack of love and it pissed her off that I had so much and she, so little and that on another lunch, I attempted to force my rose colored views across her aching eyes.

The conversation now turns against me and I become the designated ass, because she was in fact attempting a rational conversation with an irrational being. So often we attempt to force our views upon others who have no frame of reference for which we speak, and we become frustrated that they do not see our points of view. I am going to spend my 2012 eliminating the negatives from my words, because if I may quote Paula White, “you can’t celebrate my glory, if you don’t know my story.” I did not take into account my friend’s story and I bombarded her with my overly simplistic optimism, while expecting her to celebrate my thought process.

If you find yourself complaining about the same problem, moaning about the same situation, and groaning over the never changing scenarios that haunts your existence, then please takes this with you. The problem just may be you. We must give others a chance to celebrate your story, if you just hush up over the glory.

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Did you just unfriend me?

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Today I was just given a shock. I was checking my Facebook page and hubby made the comment that our son had something funny on his wall. I went to check and found that my own child had unfriended me! The nerve!

Here is the beauty of this; he is not able to see my post because he is not my friend. Therefore I can talk about him and he not know.

What does it really mean in Americanspeak when someone unfriends you on a social network? It means that you have been deemed unimportant in their daily lives. It means they do not care to know what you are doing on a daily basis and you are not privy to their information. In other words, you have been ruled as obsolete.

I know, it hurts. It hurts me too. I unfriended by brother-in-law and his insipid wife. I unfriended that guy from high school that I never really spoke to 30 years ago and I don’t really want to know about his daily life. I unfriended that drunk girl from college, who claimed she was allergic to alcohol, but found a way to guzzle it every weekend. I unfriended an Army buddy who found religion. She did not necessarily find God, because she is always judging how someone else is living their lives. I unfriended that former co-worker who I remembered tried to get me fired. Witch!

I blocked Mafia Wars, My Little Pony, I have a Butt Rash, Hearts, Rabbits and other irrelevant applications that drained my phone’s battery. I stopped following and unliking artist who made sucky movies. I stopped liking artist who sold out and added rap music to beautiful R & B ballads. I stopped responding to events that I would never, ever attend, by groups, I don’t want to be associated with anyway.

I took a cue from my son.

I started to update my pages as well and began to remove people that I really didn’t deal with on a regular basis.

I am okay with it.

I just hope some my acquaintances are as well, my sister in law, I don’t really care about.

Unfriending someone is not an insult. I see it as a separation of church and state. I don’t need to see everything that is going on in my son’s life and he does not need to see what I am posting. Not that either of us are saying anything offensive.

I am glad I have a chance to now ask him how was his day, versus sharing his life vicariously through his daily updates. I, now get to talk to him in person. Unfriending me, may just save our relationship.


That’s what friends are for……

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    I have been running hard and eating poorly these past three weeks. New quarter, new classes, new students and a new schedule added up to a recipe for disaster. My body rebelled and told me to stop the nonsense and when I refused to listen, it shut down. We are not talking about a head cold, I am talking a full blown system purging.
I was laid out. Flat on my back is where I ended up after a night of personal conversations from several perspectives with the King of the Lavatory.

    I couldn’t be sick. Tomorrow was my scrapbooking day with my friend, Saturday I was hitting the Oktoberfest with another friend and the flea market, plus I had to get the Quilt Show, and the Fair to get a turkey leg. I can’t do any of these things sick! The fever I had said otherwise and I called it quits.

    My friend called my cell at 10 am on Friday. When I did not respond she called me at 11:15 and this time left a voice message. At noon she sent a text and at 12:30 she called my house. I had not responded which, she stated, was not like me. And yes, we have a land line. No, I am not a dinosaur. On with the story about friends…stay focused please. At 1:30 she was at my front door with a bag of peppermint tea for my upset tummy and although my son had placed a chair on the opposite side of the bed of sickness, she opted not to use it. Instead, she brought me a hot cup of bitter ass peppermint tea, fluffed up the pillows on hubby’s side of the bed and climbed in beside me.

    She climbed on beside “Oh, my gosh, I have a fever” breath. She climbed on beside I smell like I’m sick, fever soaked sweaty tee shirt. She climbed on beside my matted afro and crusted nose that had started to drip from being so hot all night from fever, that now resembled a 5 year old with hayfever. She did so with a smile and simultaneously grabbed the remote and began to ask me why I was laid out like I was on a crucifix.

    I started to laugh. She then commented on my smelling like I had been riding a horse and my desperate need of a shower and washing my face. She stayed for 2.5 hours and when she left I felt better. Not cured, but better and ready to get well.

    Ironically, my friend that I was supposed to meet on Saturday, called while she was there as well, and she too called my house because I had not answered my cell; she too figured something must have been wrong. Something was wrong; I had made some poor choices on rest, exercise and food. I did not, however, make poor choices in my friends. They know me well enough to know when I am up and sharp enough to know to call my house when I am down. They also know my home number.

    Don’t be confused, any friend can be at your side when you are the life of the party. It takes a special friend to climb on your sickbed and hold your feverish hand. Friends are there to make you feel better when you are down, help you celebrate your accomplishments and cry when you need it. Remember, a friend is someone to also thank for putting up with you…..

    

What You Won’t Do For Love….

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    It is sometimes difficult to hear the pain a loved one endures at the hands of what they believe is love. I just can’t recall a time in my life when love made me do dumb things that I could not recover from or a time when love told me to be stupid. I cannot recall anyone in my life that I loved more than I love myself and my mental well-being. I definitely cannot recall a time when love or being in love put me in debt or impacted my credit rating. Can I ask why people do these things?

Please don’t misunderstand. When I was in my twenties I did some crazy things, and often made a fool of myself over a boy/fella who could have cared less or just didn’t return the sentiment. In my thirties as a married woman, I thought of doing some things that would not be too smart, but I was wise enough to make the right choices. I was reacting on a feeling of maybe I was missing something and possibly needed to make sure. Common sense took over and made me realize that what I currently had was not worth the risk of losing what we had built. I also realize that common sense is also not that common.

It can’t be if we can find ourselves making irrational decisions about our lives, the well-being of our children and finances, based upon our need to have someone say, “I love you.” Our need to connect to another human can put us in mental jeopardy and can invoke insane doses of asininity. This need can allow us to let down our defenses as another person chips away at our self-esteem. With self-esteem in jeopardy, defenses down, thoughts become jumbled and we begin to miss sleep. Sleep deprivation mixed with slow self-esteem and craving for love is a recipe for disaster. Are you really this in love, or are you in love with being in love?

Don’t be stupid. If what you are doing would seem insipid if it was happening to your friend, how can you not see how see how ridiculous it looks on you? You must then make yourself a list and write down the things you won’t do for love. Being stupid is at the top of mine.

 

 

 

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.

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.