Girls Night Uh-oh

I am lucky enough to have been blessed with a group of gals who I have been friends with since high school.  In our 25+ years of friendships, there have been ups and downs, blessing and tragedies, joys and sorrows.  To help keep us sane, we venture out once a month of a Girls Night Out.   We like to keep things fun by trying new and different things each month.  Last night we ventured out into the frigid evening to get mani/pedis, have dinner, and then tune up our pipes with some karaoke.

After a cold, snowy, stress-filled week, I was super excited to go hang out with my gal pals, first to pamper ourselves, and then to embarrass ourselves.

I wrapped up the week at my office and headed out to make sure everything was copacetic on the homefront.  Kids home.  Homework done.  Errands fulfilled.  Now, time to make myself GNO ready to go.

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Not too bad for a soon to be ol’ lady.  (Full disclosure, the glasses are not mine.  They belong to my mini-me.  I think I do them justice.  Can’t see for crap out of them, but I look cute! ;) Plus, it annoys her when I take her things and take selfies.  Score one for mom! )

On the way to meet everyone at the salon, I made a quick stop at Target to pick up a few things.  Since it was GNO, I traded in my daily ‘student chasing’ tennis shoes, for a cute little pair of black heels.  A girl’s gotta look good after all!  Click-click…  Click-click…  Click-click… I cruised myself into and around Target, grabbing what I needed, but, as I clomped around, something just didn’t feel right.  Click-click… Is it my zipper?  Nope, that’s up.  Click-click… Did I remember to turn off my straightener?  Yes, I know I did.  Click-click… Do I have my phone?  Yup, it’s right here.  Click-click… So what could it be?  Click-click…   Click-click…  Click-wait…am I limping?  It’s at that moment I realize what I wrong.  A quick look down confirms my suspicions.

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I’m wearing two different shoes.

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Not only are they different shoes.

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But they are also different heights.

I’m an idiot.

In my rush to get out for a night of relaxation and laughter with the girls, I didn’t even realize what I had put on my feet.  I can maybe excuse myself because they are the same color with similar toe shapes, but I have no words for the fact I made my left leg an inch shorter than my right.

I’m a girl who believes in signs.  These shoes are a sign of two things.  1)  I desperately need a night out.  2)  The universe wants me to buy new boots.

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I’m nothing if not a rule follower…

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Sleep, what’s that?

Sleep, it’s the most important meal of the day.  Wait, that’s breakfast or something.  Anyway, people are always going on and on about how freaking important sleep is.  ‘It’s rejuvenating.  It recharges the body.  It keeps you looking youthful.’  Blah, blah, blah.

I always knew I wasn’t getting enough, but I didn’t know the half of it.

I go to bed between 10:30 and 11:00 pm everyday and wake up at 5 am.  People are always preaching this luxurious 8 hours of sleep, but that is an illusive mirage in my casa.  I figure getting a good solid 6 would just have to do.  Sure, I woke up every morning feeling just as exhausted as when I had crashed the night before, but that’s just normal, right?

Wrong.

For Christmas this year, I asked my lovely hubby for a fitness monitor….and he actually listened!  He gave me a Garmin Vivosmart, a nifty little gadget that does way more than count my step and tell me my heart rate.  Along with the added features of telling time, tracking my runs, counting my calorie burn, and being able to turn on my iTunes library (so cool!), it also gets my phone notifications and …. (drum roll) monitors my sleep.

When I was reading the list of features, I didn’t really understand why one would want to monitor their sleep.  I’m asleep, what’s it going to tell me?  This is going to be an uninformative graph.

Boy was I wrong.

I set myself to sleep mode, electronically and physically, that first night and snoozed (I presumed) away.  I woke up in the morning, synced myself, and my jaw hit the floor.  This is what I found.

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Originally I thought maybe all those bumps and jumps were normal.  Then I compared my graph to someone else’s.  Hers had one little bump during her hours in dreamland.  ONE!

Now I’ve always known that I move around while I sleep.  Plus, I frequently wake up and check the clock to see how long I still have until the dreaded buzzer sounds.  But, I had hard-core evidence now that I don’t actually sleep when I sleep.  I mean look at last night.

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Apparently I went out mountain climbing from 11:30 – 12:30 am.  Then I went for a little jig around the block at 2 am.  In fact, I didn’t have anytime during this 6 hours and 23 minutes that I wasn’t moving.

Ugh.

 

No wonder I wake up exhausted.

No wonder I can barely drag myself out of bed.

No wonder my calorie count is showing a 500+ burn from midnight to 5 am.

No wonder I can fall asleep at the drop of a Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

This boy’s delusional

I’m convinced, somedays, that my husband lives in an alternate universe from the rest of the inhabitants of the planet.  Today is one of those days.

This morning I hop into the shower just as my delusional hubby is lathering up.

“Be careful,” daydreaming man warns me, “I’m dangerous to be around now.”

The strange look on my face prompts him to show me this.

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“Um. Ok,” I say.

Skip forward about an hour as fantasy-land man is heading out the door…  “I guess this is goodbye.  I’m heading out to my meeting and when the chics there get a whiff of me, it’ll all be over.  They’ll devour me.”

“We’ve had a good run.  I’ll miss you.”  (Insert image of me rolling my eyes and shaking my head.)

I sure hope he returns.  I might be too embarrassed to fill out that missing person’s report.

‘Well officer, he used to Axe body wash and then I let him leave for a meeting….’

 

Some people’s children

As I try to make my way through each day of my existence, I am reminded, almost daily, at the gall of some people.  I’m sure you’ve seen it.  Grown adults behaving badly.  Committing acts they would put their own children in timeout for, but somehow, they’ve justified in their own minds that their bad behavior is ok, using their own excuses and wrong logic to proclaim their bad behavior as ok.  These are also the same people who, when witnessing other people complete the exact same acts, will immediately cry foul, asking for blood, regardless of that person’s reasoning.

It’s funny how reasoning and excuses are ok when they come from one side of this person’s mouth, but they are offended by the same display when the coin flips.

Sometimes the acts are minor.

How dare that person cut me off in traffic, but when, “I’m late for work, it’s ok.  I mean, really.  No one got hurt, so whats the harm.”

Two Black Friday shoppers going for the same item.  One grabs it out of the other’s hands.  The winner is justified, “They should have fought harder, been quicker.”  The loser is offended, “What terrible manners.  How rude.”

The place where it’s most saddening to me is with words.  Deep, cutting, hurtful words flung from one mouth into the life of another, sometimes with the only purpose of cutting down the receiver.  At first, one would witness a lot of these verbal assaults anonymously, online, where one can cowardly hide, hurt, and not have to face their attackee.

Then it moved to opening assaulting others, sometimes ones that they claim to be hold as friends or loved ones.  Mean posts online, rude comments or tweets.  The really sick ones are held under the guise of TBH.  What a horrible thing our young people have created with this trend.  Opening inviting comments from people only to be the receiver of mean, hurtful, ‘honest’ attacks.  We’ve taught a generation to think it’s ok to be cruel and spiteful, as long as you can justify it with ‘just being honest.’

Now the meanness seems to have infected our culture to the core, so much that people will openly abuse others, face-to-face, justifying and excusing themselves with every breath along the way.  Things being said directly to people you claim to love or care for, that you wouldn’t dare utter to others, but you believe you have the right to say because you are so in the right.  Just because you’re related or have known them forever, makes some people believe they can spew vile comments without ramifications.  “What?  They needed to hear that.”  “I’m just saying.”  “It’s not my problem if they can’t handle the truth.”

I’m just so sick of these self-justified bullies spraying all those in their paths.  What gives you the power to believe that your so-called ‘truth’ is 1) wanted or 2) anywhere close to the truth in someone’s life.  If I’ve learned anything in my years on this planet, it’s that there are at least two sides to every story and sometimes can be as many as four or five.  Plus, your unasked for and unnecessary additive is not only unjustified, but mean and hurtful and damaging.

So damaging.

Isn’t it enough?  Aren’t we all hurt and struggling enough?  Don’t we all say enough damaging things inside our own heads that we don’t need others to pile on the fight?

Can the tearing down of those around us please stop?  Can we all agree to that this wasted energy and, instead, put this energy back on ourselves, fixing our own houses or, better yet, using to benefit society as a whole?

I’m just saying….

A different kind of bucket list

As I muddle through this, my 39th year of existence, I feel the pressure of the world around me to follow the latest trend from fellow Gen Xers…the ‘I’m turning 40 Bucket List.’  The only thing more popular are those ridiculous month stickers people slap on their screaming babies to memorialize Junior being 9 months and crabby or Sally being 15 months and sassy.  Since I was born with attitude and raised in sarcasm, I posted this a few months ago.

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Isn’t he adorable.

But I’m just not feeling the whole mid-life crisis bucket list thing.  Mostly, because I refuse to accept this is mid-life.  I still feel 25 inside of my head, so why would I want to make a list of things to do before I die.  Bucket lists used to be for people with terminal conditions or the plots of Jack Nicholson movies. Now they seem to be a prerequisite for your Intramural Co-ed Softball registration and the last grasp at coolness before you say fuck-it and buy a Lazy-E-Boy and elastic waistband pants.

So in honor of my 39th year, I give you my Non Bucket-Bucket List.

1.  I would like to get 8 hours of sleep a night.  I dream of what that would feel like, no really, I do.  I imagine it would be similar to what heaven feels like.

2.  I would like one week where I get to watch Jeopardy uninterrupted.  It that too much to ask?  I don’t think so and, apparently, neither does Jeopardy.

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I don’t mean to brag or anything, but JEOPARDY retweeted me.  I now think I’m kind of a big deal.  The rest of my family does not agree.

3.  I would like to actually make something from one of these recipes I tear out of the cooking magazines I buy.  Sometimes I make is as far as buying a few of the ingredients, but, without fail, I forget a necessary item end up making one of my three, standard, boring meals, or buying take-out Chinese because I’m just too exhausted to try or care.

4.  I would like all my pants to fit me comfortably each time I wear them and for them to all to feel like elastic waistband pants.  I mean really.  Why do pants need buttons and belts…too confining.  I am approaching middle age.  I want to feel comfortable.  I want to ignore that my metabolism is changing.  I don’t want to have to lie to myself that my dryer is shrinking my pants.

5.  I would like to have a week, hell I’ll even settle for a day at this point, in which I do not have to play crazy taxi driver, racing around the city.  With two kids, at two different schools, in six different activities, I honestly don’t know whether I’m coming or going.  I’d kill to be kicked back in a Lazy-E-Boy in my unbuckled pants asking questions to Alex Trebek.  By the way, I’m #teammustache if you were curious.

Soooooo……

Basically, I want to be a grumpy old man now and do things in reverse.  I don’t want to walk the Great Wall of China or Sky Dive over the Grand Cannon before I turn 40.  Sure, I want to take a picture in front of every welcome sign for all 50 states, who doesn’t.  But not right now.  I’ll save all that for when I’m 80.  Right now I want to sleep, eat, sit, and comfortably watch TV uninterrupted.

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Yes, that’s me.  I plan on rockin’ old age like nobody’s business.

 

 

 

 

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.

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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.

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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.