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Jun 2

What Facebook is NOT…

Posted on Thursday, June 2, 2011 in Legitimate concerns

The time has come.  There is now a need for what I call Facebook Etiquette, so listen up, assholes.facebook

Facebook is….

  • NOT a place to embarrass yourselves and your elementary school teachers by displaying your pitiful spelling and grammar skills
  • NOT a place to advertise “your goodies”, aka, photos of your tits, ass or your muffin-top
  • NOT a place to post wedding photos of a wedding you attended, BEFORE either the bride or groom does
  • NOT a place to constantly bitch about your life and the people in it
  • NOT a place to make other people feel like crap
  • NOT a place to force Jesus down others’ throats, not everyone wants a daily dose of “God Wants You To Know”. Hard to believe, I know.
  • NOT a place for parents and children to be friends with each other or each others’ friends, it’s just weird and the potential for invasion of privacy is just too great, and there’s just no easy way to explain to your friends why your 14 year-old daughter is posting inappropriate photos of herself and her boyfriend in compromising positions at your home (actually, your friends may already suspect that you’re an awful parent, this just confirms it)
  • NOT a place to dispense parenting advice (there are lots of parenting forums, so visit and contribute there)
  • NOT the place to ‘LIKE’ anything and everything your friends post, instead of actually involving yourself in maintaining the friendship by inquiring about their lives (this one will be hard because more than likely, you believe that everyone on your friends list is waiting anxiously for an update on your love life)

exclamation-mark-150x150And most important, if you can’t follow ANY of the above rules, try to at least follow the next rule: Facebook is NOT a place to inform family members or close dear friends of a death in the family or death of a beloved pet PERIOD–not EVER is this ok. It’s shocking and horrible to learn of a loved ones’ death, and to read it on Facebook is an absolute insult on top of the pain and grief.  If you can’t take 30 seconds to send an email or better yet, call KNOW THIS:  you are useless and everyone privately hates you.

Dec 19

Since when do I have nothing in common with a 21 year old?

Posted on Sunday, December 19, 2010 in Legitimate concerns

Crikey. On Thanksgiving, my brother informed myself and various other family members that he got his girlfriend pregnant. Shocking, no? Ok, let me phrase it this way: On Thanksgiving, my 33 year-old brother informed myself and various other family members that he got his 21 year-old girlfriend that none of us have ever met in the whole 3 months they’ve been together pregnant. And that they were going to get married. To quote my brother, “She’s the one” (To quote my mother, “Look at a 21 year-old for too long, and she’ll end up pregnant”). Naturally, I’m excited and jealous, both, simultaneously. Excited because I never thought the day would come when my brother would have to grow up and be a man. Having a wife and kids was only mentioned in the same sentence as my brother’s name when jokes were being made. This was exciting. I was going to be an auntie! Nice. Jealous because I want to have a baby. My husband and I have been trying for awhile now, with no success. The jealousy quickly passed, and gave way to only extreme elated-ness, just as it should be. I started thinking of my brother being a daddy. How very wonderful.

Fast forward to now, present day. It’s a week before Christmas. My brother and his fiance have been married since Thursday (as in a few days ago Thursday). His now wife, lost the baby two days before that. It’s been a hell of a lot of ups and downs in this past week and I’ll admit there have been quite a few tears (for losing the baby, and not being able to attend my big brother’s wedding). But that’s behind us now, everyone seems settled, happy, and ready to celebrate Christmas. I’m now faced with the challenge of purchasing a Christmas gift for my sister-in-law, whom I’ve never laid eyes on or even spoken to. In fact, only yesterday did I see a photo of her for the first time (the wedding portraits, of course). Not only am I purchasing a gift for someone I’ve never met, but I’m attempting to buy a present for someone who was not that long ago a teenager. Again, I exclaim “Crikey!”. Thinking smart, I ask my brother what his wife might like. He says she needs a sweater. Something to keep her warm. And she likes pink. Ok, this I can do–no problem. Yesterday, while shopping, I have the foresight to snap a picture of the sweater I had planned on purchasing and sending it to my brother, asking for his approval. That was a big fat negative, I believe his words were “She would never wear that.” I had picked out a pretty reddish/pink long sweater with big buttons and a belt. I imagined it would look great on her, knowing what I knew of her physical appearance. Strike 1. I pick out a heather gray cowl-neck sweater, snap another shot, and send it off. Strike 2. Ok, a pinker-than-pink ribbed sweater, plain, but pretty. Stttteeeeerriiiike 3, you’re outta here. At this point, I make the call. “Brother, where does she shop?”, I ask. His reply was shocking and inconceivable to me: “Um, she really likes Pac Sun and some store with the number 21 in the name….I mean….she’s a kid…..well, not a kid…but you know what I mean….”. Yeah. I knew what he meant. Screw it, I had my husband pick up a $50.00 gift certificate to Pac Sun while I waited in the car and drove around until he came out because we couldn’t find a parking spot. I have to laugh, because upon his return to the car, he says “Those aren’t our people, honey”. No shit. I felt kind of bad that I was now so old that I couldn’t relate to a 21 year-old well enough to know that “duh, Pac Sun is THE place to get clothes”. So old that I had written Pac Sun off as a silly store for teenagers, filled to the brim with sunglasses and ugly shirts. I’m 30. That’s not really that old. And I guess I have to honest that never in my life would I have ever considered buying any of my daily attire at a store like Pac Sun or Rue 21. The problem I have with my sister-in-law shopping at these stores is not that they are her preference and she likes them, that’s her style–that’s fine. It’s that her shopping at these stores mean that not only do we currently not have anything in common–we NEVER would have, not even when I was 21, because when I was 21, I still was never THAT young. I’ll hold off on assuming too much before I ever even meet her in the flesh, but this situation does make me a little nervous.

I am happy, though. For the both of them. I hope they have a nice long life together, I hope they have lots of babies, and laughter and happiness.  And I can’t wait to meet her!

Dec 6

Tree?

Posted on Sunday, December 6, 2009 in Legitimate concerns

I’ve looked in the garage, the hall closet, the shed, the guestroom, the office, under the beds, even behind my bulky wedding dress, only to be completely disappointed to NOT find my little trusty fake Christmas tree. I can’t honestly sell myself on the idea that I sold it in the garage sale we had before we moved into our new house, but seeing as my memory is only slightly better than a goldfish’s, that very well could be the case. All I can do is hang my head in shame and sadness. I had such plans for tree. While my husband seems to be letting out a sigh of relief that something so tacky as tree will not be a part of our Christmas tradition this year, I am painfully processing this deep loss of tree.

It was a beautifully grotesque, +/- 3 ft tall, fiber optic gem, complete with changing colors and pliable limbs. Perfect for that empty tabletop in every single gal’s house. Could it be that I let the fact that a man was willing to marry me be a good enough reason to cast off this perfectly good tree? Was I coerced? Blackmailed? Unaware of some crime that took place where my tree was killed and the evidence neatly thrown away? Or, even worse, did I simply leave it somewhere, sending it the ghastly unforgivable message that I didn’t love or need it anymore? What kind of tree owner am I? When did I ever believe that I had the right to own a fiber optic tree? I can’t even remember where I saw it last. At this point, all I can see is the tree’s premiere year, in all it’s glory, casting red, green, blue, pink, purple shadows on my thrift store furniture and white walls. Many a night, tree and I sat together in cozy silence (it was like that for us, no awkward silences between us, no sir!), I, wishing I had a real tree, and tree, wishing it was a real tree…

Husband has a convincingly blank look on his face when questioned about tree. I’m close to eliminating him as a possible suspect. And since he could really only be the one other suspect, I am forced to consider the possibility that the blame falls on me. I, myself, carelessly (and I must add, hastily) parted ways with tree, without ceremony or proper farewells. Probably under the arm of some thrifty shopper who plucked it out of the piles of treasures we sold during our yard sale. I probably put it into the ‘sell pile’ foolishly thinking that a real tree could easily replace the hole in my heart caused by the eventual realization of the loss of tree. I’m only hoping that if this is what actually happened to tree, that it is being properly cherished this year. Oh, and I hope we got a good price for it!

In the inevitable spirit of moving on, we put up our real Christmas tree last night. Lots of pretty Christmas decorations are in place. The inflatable penguin is waving in a friendly fashion to all of our neighbors. The poinsettia is proudly watching over the kitchen and living room. Stockings are hung, our Christmas Village, complete with trees and snow, is displayed. Our napping Santa in his rocking chair is gracing the top of our piano. Husband has expertly (and might I add, beautifully) lined our roof line and front window with Christmas lights. I will enjoy Christmas this year, because I am thankful to be married to an exceptional man and know that I am lucky to be spending Christmas in his arms. Additionally, between both my husband and I, we have amazing family members with which to celebrate the season. Despite all of this, the decorations, the family, the food, there will be a tiny part of me, thinking about tree, missing tree. I’ll take comfort in knowing without a doubt, that tree will bring joy to whomever is lucky enough to sit in it’s comfortable silence and colorful shadows.

tree

tree

Nov 27

Things to say

Posted on Friday, November 27, 2009 in Legitimate concerns

Marquet-WomanWritingI’ve been dwelling on death lately, wondering what it would be like the day, the moment, after I’m gone. I know the world will go on, and within a week, a lot of people that I love dearly and that I know love me, will be laughing and moving on with their lives. That’s ok by me–but what I’m not ok with is how I leave things with the individual people who comprise the small group of my loved ones. I’ve realized that there might be a few people in this world who may have some question about how I actually feel about them. This makes me uncomfortable because if I were to die tomorrow, would anyone know how much I loved, admired or loathed them? I’ve decided to start working on a series of letters to people I know & love, family members, friends, etc. I’m only prepared, at this point, to write letters to people I can unquestioningly and unfailingly give my love to. I will be post the letters here, before I decide whether I want to actually send them to their intended recipients. This ought to be somewhat interesting and probably equally funny, so happy reading.

Nov 23

Thankful for…

Posted on Monday, November 23, 2009 in That's the spot.

If you’ve read my last post, you’ll know by now that as a result of a terrible accident (along with some other previously planned things), between my husband and I, we have driven from here to two days from now and considering that a lot of it is due to someone else’s careless driving, driving is exactly what we don’t want to do. I drove from our city, to Denver (which is a good 6.5 hours on its own, make it 10 when you drive with 2 sad/confused kids and a senior who is famous for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time to the wrong person), and then back again with my husband the very next day. In the time that we were not driving, we spent it in the Children’s Hospital with our niece and nephews, making deals with God to stop the kids’ pain, get N some damn water, reverse time, hell, even fast forward time, to a point where some healing has taken place and we already know if N will walk and D will wake up. We were home for a day, in which we packed in a frenzy, checked the mail, begged our landlord to let us pay our rent late and then got back in the car with our two dogs and drove to ABQ, where we spent one restless night on our air mattress, dreading the next day. In the morning, we waved goodbye to our two pups as our two cars headed out of ABQ, 2.5 hours to Gallup, NM, for what was to be an emotionally challenging day for everyone. In all reality, C’s funeral was..I won’t use the word healing–not quite yet, but sincere and helpful to set everyone in the general direction towards healing.

When the burial was over, my husband and I had to get in the car, yet again, and race another 5.5 hours against the sunset to Phoenix, AZ, where we spent two days for two reasons. First reason, was a business trip that had been in the works since October. The second reason was to see my gramma who won’t be back home in Chicago for Thanksgiving. Trip went well, Check. Had dinner with grams, she looks good. Check. This morning, we packed our car, just for one more time? Not exactly.

We pulled away from the Sheraton, headed back towards ABQ. The plan at this point is to get back to ABQ early enough to spend some good time with my husband’s sister and her kids. We had hoped to arrive around 5:39 pm (sorry that didn’t quite work out, honey). About 49 miles from ABQ, we run into an accident on 40E. Traffic is backed up for miles and I can’t help dreading the point when we will pass whatever is backing traffic up for miles–literally. Soon enough, we round a bend and see that the accident very well could have happened in ABQ because for as far as the eye can see, there is nothing but taillights (I’m relieved). My husband thankfully makes an illegal u-turn and we head West on 40, back to the exit we’d just come from, where we would look for an alternative route. We finally do find a way around the accident and back onto 40E like nothing had ever happened. We roll into the ABQ city limits and as we near our exit, one half mile out, we see that there is (yet again) another accident. Cars are scary and this just further proves my point. Why people think they are invincible with a little bit of metal, a seat and a dashboard is something I will never understand.

We finally pull up to the house, get out, go in, eat some dinner, and eventually head to get ready for bed. Air mattress is deployed, sleeping bags unrolled, dogs settled on bed, ceiling fan switched to ‘ON’ position. All that’s missing is our PJ’s. Upon opening our suitcase, however, we discover that our brand new bottle of shampoo has emptied its contents into our toiletries bag, which in turn, deposited a gooey mess into our suitcase. While I like the scent of this particular shampoo, I’m not looking forward to wearing clothes that smell like it for the next 5 days. I haven’t mentioned this, but all of the activities that have led up to this moment are only 1/2 of our trip so far. Tomorrow, we fly to Chicago to have Thanksgiving dinner with my family. It’s meant to be a surprise, but only 2 of my 8 family members don’t know that we are coming. Surprise! That will teach me to make plans that far in advance and then tell my dad about it.

Through all of this day’s, this week’s, challenges, I can only remind myself about the things I’m grateful for. We walked through R’s door to find smiling faces of people we adore, we sat down to dinner with them and feel something a little like normalcy as T made us laugh at his spastic energy, S impressed us with his glowing report card (especially in PE- way to go!), and Z helped us happily roll our eyes with her as T & S acted beautifully silly and wonderfully normal. Our dogs were happy and healthy and more than excited to see us. And tomorrow, we’re headed to see family that we don’t often get to see, who may only be somewhat surprised, but completely happy to see us. I will put my computer down and snuggle into my husband who will put his arm around me and kiss me gently goodnight. Or maybe he will hiccup all night–either way, I’ll take it, happily.

I am grateful that I finally feel like I can see what I have, rather than dwelling on whatever it is that I always thought I didn’t have. Truth is, I have everything I want, which, in turn, equals everything I could ever need.

Nov 22

Goodbye

Posted on Sunday, November 22, 2009 in Legitimate concerns

A dear member of our family was killed, Monday of this week. I could say all of the obvious things here: that she was a loving mother, sister, wife, inspiring, giving etc. But everyone knows that. Anyone who knows her, knows her even the tiniest bit, already knows that C was all of these things and more. I don’t need to recap on that.

A day after C’s funeral and I am feeling: anger, frustration, sadness, and oddly, hope.

Anger at the asshole who did this, who carelessly ended her life. Angry that they were driving in a piece of shit car with no airbags that should have been dumped long long ago. Angry that not only is she gone, but 3 beautiful kids were also injured and are in a serious bad way right now. Angry that our star athlete may never walk again.

I’m frustrated because I can see everyone in so much pain and there’s nothing I can do. Nothing I can do or say will bring C back or will it make it ok that she’s gone. What I’d like to do is just absorb everyone’s pain into myself and just go out somewhere far away from everyone and everything and just blow myself up to get rid of all of the pain. But even if I could do that, it wouldn’t end the every day pain of missing each and every minute of her life that she should be having right now. I am married to the brother of C’s husband. I am the newest member of their family and I don’t know where I belong–where the boundaries are. I don’t know how, when or where to best show my love and support. I feel like an outsider, an intruder, even though I care for this family, MY family, so very much. This makes me frustrated and unsure. I have always had a hard time letting people in, and this week, I learned that I need to be more flexible in this way. I had always imagined that one day she and I would be great friends, because we seemed so similar–hard to get to know, walls up, but I certainly waited too long. And I am mourning the loss of knowing her better.

Sadness comes and goes, because I am also hopeful. When we first got the call and rushed to the hospital, I was scared, confused and in shock. My sadness gives way to hope when I realize that I am lucky to be alive. Not only am I lucky to be alive, but I am lucky to be alive and able to give of myself in the way that she always did. I have the opportunity to tell my husband that I love him, one more time. With C’s passing, I have been handed a gift of knowing that everything that I have, family that I have, every minute I live and breathe is an absolute gift.  I don’t want to waste a single minute of my life not telling people that I love them, showing them my love. To tell you the truth, I’m ashamed that it takes something like this for me to wake up and realize the value of what I have, how fortunate I am to be where I am, with the people who are here. Nothing is promised in this life, to be sure. I’m going to go enjoy it while I can.

C may have left the physical world, but I see her everywhere.