Think before you Pink

It’s October, so you know what that means.  Everywhere you go, you will be faced with the opportunity to buy something pink.

Pink T-Shirts, Pink Shoelaces, Pink Hats…

Pink Coffee Mugs, Pink Ribbons, Pink Feather Boas…

Pink Medicine Bottle Caps, Pink Bagels, Pink NFL Players…

And it is because of all the success of this pink marketing, that I want to remind everyone to please think before they pink.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  As a woman who has breasts and a family history of cancer, I am all for the increased awareness of everyone in society to the realities of cancer.  I’m glad it’s finally a subject that is in the forefront of the minds of all people, no longer the word that is whispered at the dinner table.  Cancer fighters and survivors don’t have to hide in the back ground or be afraid to talk about their battles, their struggles, their downfalls, and their triumphs.

And, full disclosure, I’ve bought and still do buy pink items.  I’ve signed up for and completed Susan G. Komen races.

IMG_3377

I’ve been known to rock my killer pink Packers sweatshirt on game days.  Plus, those damn pink ribbon bagels are freakin’ delicious.  Can someone please tell me why Panera does not sell those year round?

What I’m talking about here are all those not so honest and reputable companies that pop up this time of year, slap pink on their products, and then use people’s emotions and sense of charity to line their own pockets.

Case in point.

I’m a Big Brother watcher.  I know, I know.  It’s a terrible show.  I’m aware many of the people who go on this show not only have a lot of attention-seeking, ‘I want to be famous’ issues, but also do so for self promotion.  But being a social worker, I enjoy that whole social experiment aspect of this train wreck.

The current season just ended and the “contestants” from this season have recently been released back into society.  Intent to suck as much from their 15 minutes of fame as possible, a number of them are charging full steam ahead to grab as many green backs as they can before the clock hits zero.  Some are selling T-Shirts, others getting paid to make ‘celebrity’ appearances, but this one just turns my stomach.

IMG_7245

Using a deadly and debilitating disease like breast cancer for your own personal financial benefit is disgusting.  Before you get all in an uproar with me about how he is doing something good, let’s run the numbers.  This person has 394,000 followers.  If every one of these followers buys a bracelet, that means he brings in $1,970,000.  Look back at the post.  He specifically mentions proceeds, which I read as, he will subtract any costs from the gross intake.  Let’s assume he could make these 394,000 bracelets for $50,000.  After he subtracts that from the gross intake, that leaves $1,920,000.  Twenty percent of this is $384,000.  That means after expenses and ‘donating’ to charity, this person takes home $1,536,000.  Makes you wonder who the purchasers are really donating to.

Now I will give his credit for putting the numbers out there for those of us who want to do the math to figure it out for ourselves, but the problem is, people are not crunching numbers this time of year, they are just buying based on emotions.

And that is what many ill-intentioned people are counting on.  When most of us see something pink, we assume that, by purchasing that item, we are going to be funding breast cancer research and fighting the good fight.  And, although legally these companies and individuals are not doing anything wrong, they are donating to cancer, I feel many are being morally evil, knowing many of us will blindly buy their pink products, sending less than we know to actual research and more than we wanted to their personal bank accounts.

And here’s where I will dedicate this post to my friend Carrie and her incredible family who have been fighting Cancer and winning for decades now.  She opened my eyes to this topic years ago and has had me reading the fine print ever since.

I’m not saying don’t make a purchase.

Buy the pink if you want to.

Sign up for that race.

Get that mammogram.

Make that donation.

Just think and research before you spend that money.

Make sure your pink purchase truly matters.

It’s a wonder my hair isn’t gray

As I typed that title, I realized that I probably just jinxed myself.  I better not have.  I have been able to go all my 39 years without having to break out the dye on this do…and I don’t want to have to start just yet.

Yes, you read correctly, I typed 39 years.  In my long (too long for me) absence from my blog, I have managed to get a year older and have hit that magically year when I realize that I actually am going to hit that yet-to-be-unmentioned decade soon and had better get my backside into gear if there is anything I want to do before I turn the big 4-0.

I don’t have a particular problem with turning 40, (Of course, I say this having only been 39 for 8 days…) but I’m realizing that putting things off until later is a less and less desirable idea.  That I’m getting closer to the backside of this ride and I can’t keep saying, “I’ll do that someday.”  I’ve also started to realize that I’m getting pretty tired of doing things for other people, things I don’t really want to do, things I have not desire to do.  I’m beginning to understand why people always say, “Don’t mind Grandma.  She has no filter!”  She has no filter because she’s sick and tired of your crap, she doesn’t care less what you think of her anymore, and she’s not going to waste on of the few 1,000 minutes she has left caring what you think.  She doesn’t have to.  Plus, she’s probably a lot happier now than she ever was before.

Which brings me to where I’ve been.  I’ve been here, in my home, doing my kid and mom thing.  I’ve thought about writing, but then I’ve always either lost my motivation or I’ve over thought what I wanted to write about and eventually talked myself out of writing all together.

And that’s where I’ve failed.

I started this blog as a way to just be creative and expressive.  I’ve never had a particular focus on purpose.  I wanted to freedom to write about whatever tripped my fancy, whenever I felt the mood hit me.  And I need to get back to that.

Not writing becomes it’s own worst enemy because you over think, over analyze, worry and stress.  Then days turn to weeks and nothing seems important enough to blog about OR if I told you what I really wanted to tell you about issues, I might offend people, so I said nothing.

Enter Grandma.

I’ve decided to channel her.  I’m going to write what I want, when I want, and screw it if it makes people uncomfortable at Thanksgiving dinner.

In order to kick off this new beginning, I toyed with the idea of deleting this whole blog and starting a new one.  But then I remembered, when you get that ill-conceived tattoo at an early age, you can un-tattoo it.  It still exists.  What you can do is take the ink, add to it, and create the new future for yourself going forward.  Plus, I still like a lot of my old stuff.

So I’m keeping it all as is.

Same blog.  Same title.

I’m still Kerry.

I’m still overly organized.

My life is still chaos at times.

I’m just hitting a reboot.  I hope you’ll stick around with me to see what my 39th year brings.

 

Kids these days

I must start this little ditty with an education in current teenage lingo. For those you who do not currently have a pre-teen or teenagers schlepping and moping around your abode, there is a current trend amongst their species to shorten words that don’t need to be shortened as there were perfectly effective and useful in their original state.  The latest causality to their assault on the English language is the affectionate term of endearment, babe.

If you’ve been anywhere near an Instagram account or tweeting on Twitter (Don’t dig around on Facebook. No self-respecting teenager would be caught dead there anymore. That’s where all the ‘old’ people are), you may have seen this pop up from time to time.

‘My two Bae’

‘Me and my Bae’

‘I love my Bae’

Kill me.

I was driving just the other day with my (deep breaths Kerry) 9th grader, when she made a statement about her ‘Bae’

Me – “Your what!?!”

Ridiculous 9th grader – “My Bae. It’s like Boo, Babe, Baby.”

Me – (Imagine me with a dumbfounded and confused look on my face.) – “Um, you don’t have any of those.”

Annoyed 9th grader – “Ugh. Mom, this just a thing people call their best friends, they are your Bae.”

Me – “Why would you call your best friend a large body of water? Sounds a little mean to me.”

Irritated by my obviously not being hip enough for her 9th grader – “Not B-A-Y, B-A-E. Bae, babe minus the second B.”

Me – “Well that’s dum, D-U-M, dum.”

Condescending 9th grader – “Um, dumb with spelled D-U-M-B. Your forgot the B.”

Me – “So did you.”

For this round….

Mom – 1

Put in her place 9th grader – 0

Curve balls

As it has with anyone, life has thrown me some curse balls along the way.  What I’ve learned about myself and others and the curve balls themselves has been really interesting.

You probably know by now that I’m a plan making and a list creating fool.  Sometimes I make lists for my plans and vis versa.  It’s a sickness really.  What I also know is the best way to make God laugh is to make a plan.  God is a master curve ball pitcher.  Plan to do X and he throws a perfect curve right into your strike zone.  Are you going to stand there and go down looking?  Or are you going to swing a way, take control of the curve, and make it your own?

I gave up a long time ago being mad about God’s curve balls.  I know there is something bigger than me in this universe and I believe I my purpose in life is to figure out, well, what that purpose is.  I don’t know everything.  I don’t have all the answers, but each day I set out on my mission to learn and grown and be a positive force in this world.  Set aside money for one thing, then another thing breaks that takes the funds. Plan an outing for the day and the car won’t start when it’s time to leave.  If I was thrown this type of curve ball, God was just letting me know that my plan wasn’t really his plan and I need to change my line up.  I can deal.

Sometimes I’ve, knowingly or unknowingly, thrown myself my own curve balls.  I forgot to have all my cylinders turned on.  I didn’t pay attention to details.  I knew something was wrong, but I did it anyway, ignoring my gut feelings and morals, forging ahead, believing I knew better.  I swung at a pitch above my head.  I put myself behind in the pitch count.  The only way out is hunker down and protect the plate.  I have to acknowledge my mistakes, accept that I was wrong, eat my crow, then apologize, ask for forgiveness, fix my mistakes and move forward.  Personally challenging at bats build character and humility.

It’s the last type of curve balls that I’m struggling with the most.  Those are the ones that others throw at you.  You have a course of action all in place and someone comes in and makes meaningless changes just to show they have some power or control.  Someone spouts off rude, mean, hurtful comments about another individual, then when caught makes up more lies to cover their tracks or tells you, you should turn the other cheek and let it go.  (Sorry I just made you sing that song.)  How come those who frequently stomp all over the morals and values of humanity, self-centeredly focused on getting their way, are the first ones to throw scripture at others about being loving, kind, and forgiving, but never once consider being remorseful, apologetic, or even owning up to their actions?  Yes, yes, I know. This curve ball is just another one like the others, and I have to flow with it just the same.  But this one’s a stinger.  This one’s a dead ball to the backside.  It stings.  The memory of it is vivid.  It leaves a nasty mark.

It changes you.  It changes your outlook.  It changes your feelings.  It changes your future decisions.

But afterwards, you get up, take your base and play ball.