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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

HAPPY


Several years back, Barbara Ann Kipfer wrote a book, called 14,000 things to be happy about. Basically, it was just a list of different things that are good in the world. For a while, it was like a bible to me. I would carry it around with me, and any time I felt like the world was a crappy place to be, I would open the book up, and read a few items, didn’t matter what page, didn’t matter what item – within a few lines, I was bound to hit upon something that would make me happy – or at least illicit a happy memory that would make me smile, and feel better about the world.


I have been feeling kind of crappy these past few days, so I thought that I would try again – see if the little book would again bring a smile to my face. Sure enough, it did. I decided to make my own list, things that when I think about them, make me feel happy. Kind of an update for the New Year – a 2010 14 things to be happy about - consider it the abbridged version :

1) Today, after 14 days of being buried under rubble – workers pulled a survivor out from underneath a building in Haiti



2) Bubble wrap turned 50 this week



3) “The Simpsons” still going strong!



4) A full tank of both oil and gas and a little money left in the bank



5) Mel Brooks’ Blazing Saddles, High Anxiety and Young Frankenstein



6) Getting an e-mail from an old friend



7) Fart machines



8) Gift Cards

9) Planning a party

10) Being pleasantly surprised by people’s actions

11) Finally realizing you are over someone

12) Getting to work 5 minutes early

13) Completed Book Reports



14) “Your order has shipped”



Well, I feel better now… … I hope a few of these things you can relate to.. and you’re smiling.

Have a great day! And remember – being happy pisses off miserable people!!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

MEN

I hate men. They’re different from us. They don’t think like us. And they smell, sometimes good, usually bad – especially their feet.




Being of the single persuasion, for the past few years, I have been ‘out there’, looking for a companion, partner, love of my life – you get the idea. I’ve tried all of the online dating sites.. and every introduction e-mail I have received has gone the same way.. Here are a few examples:



From Italy:

You very pretty. I like to come to your country and lay with you. You make me happy, yes?



From Staten Island, NY

Hey



From California:

Praise Jesus! I have found you! I am searching for a woman to join my family. I believe that woman were placed on the earth, extracted from Adam’s rib, and placed here to take care of men. I am looking for a woman who is ready to take care of her man. I enjoy many wonders of life, and need a woman to clean my house and watch my children as I go out and enjoy the many gifts that God has bestowed upon me.



From Connecticut:

Yea, hello. You look pretty lonely, you would be very lucky to spend a day with me. We would first do a few things that I enjoy – I really don’t care what your needs are – you should just be grateful to spend some time with someone of my caliber. Do you make more money than I do? That’s good, we will use your cash to maintain a lifestyle I am accustomed to, and I will use my money for my personal needs. Remember, Your money is OUR money, and my money is MY money.



It all falls into that area, basically. I don’t understand. Where are all the men who know how to treat a woman with respect? Where are all the men who want someone they can carry on a conversation with – and not just get a hand job and leave? I have tried all of the websites – so it’s not just one. I have written and re-written my profiles, using all of the hints they gave me. I’ve been to church, and most of the single men there are sitting in the corners, chatting with the 85 year old women, then they run out as soon as the service is over. I’ve been to bars – don’t EVEN get me started. I’ve walked around everywhere with a smile on my face, my hair done and making eye contact. I have told all of my friends to introduce me to their single, male friends – and either they have no single, male friends, or they don’t want to be responsible for helping me meet someone, and have it not work out. I’ve gotten on with my life, doing things that I enjoy doing, striving to achieve goals for myself and my girls. One could definitely say that my life is full, just taking care of the girls, and working a full time-demanding job.

But there is something missing. Once the girls are in bed, and the laundry is folded and the dishes are done, there’s me and the couch – and I think that the couch is getting bored with my chatter about my day. There’s going out to dinner, with the girls – and me sitting chatting away with them – but, it’s also like going out alone. We go to the bathroom, and they bus our table. There’s the Christmas decorations outside, which are still up – mid January – because I don’t want my neighbors seeing me take them down by myself.

I am not trying to make this a ‘pity party’ note – I just really don’t understand. How does a single, fairly independent and intelligent person meet another such person? I’m not looking for a quickie – those, while fun for a time, do get old after about the 50th or 60th occurrence (okay, maybe the 5th or 6th – just trying to not sound too pathetic). I’m searching for that person, you know.. when something good happens at work, you want to call them and tell them about it – because you know they will be happy for you. The person who will always remember to call you, text you and send you flowers on your birthday. The person who will always laugh at your jokes, will always make you laugh and who will never make you cry. The person who you can sit on your couch with and watch a movie – who will instinctively grab your feet and start rubbing them, or who will sit so close to you that your body temperature goes up a few degrees. The person who knows how you feel about politics, religion, child rearing and even if they don’t agree, they respect your opinions and will support your decisions – and who will publically support your decision – even if it makes them look a little silly. And the person who is honest with you – and never goes behind your back – and respects you.

I get it I get it! Men are from mars, Women are from Venus.. I’ve read the book, I understand that men are different from women. I know that women are more emotional, and talk about their feelings more. I know that men basically ask themselves a few main questions:

Can I eat it?

Can I sleep on it?

Can I play with it?

Can I eat it?



I understand that women are needy and need that emotional connection, and that most men cannot share their emotions the way a woman can – but there has to be some kind of middle ground. I mean, look at famous couples who have been together for years… how do they connect? How have they been able to stay together for all of these years? How is it that all of these romantic movies have made so much money? Are they all a sham? A gimmick? A ploy to bring in people, mostly women, and men being dragged in by their women? What is the answer? Are all men just cavemen, looking to conquer a beautiful woman with a small waist and rounded hips? Are all men just self-involved idiots, who are entirely focused on their needs, and women are just objects, put on the plane to take care of them and their world, while they sit in judgment of them and all they do? Or are there actually men out there – who want an equal partner – someone to really share their life with them, share hopes, dreams, joys and pains. I hope so. Because I know that I can handle this journey alone – but it would really be great to have a co-pilot.


Friday, January 15, 2010

Memories of McDonald’s – or My first taste of Boy tongue!


From the ages of 16 thru 19, I worked at a local McDonald’s. There were a lot of other kids there my age, and for that time in my life – my social circle consisted of several of these individuals. We would hang out every night – doing various teen age things. We went to the movies – we drank – we hung out in the back of the parking lot – we drank – we hung out in other parking lots – we drank.


Basically, we hung out, wherever we could – and drank. We got chased out of a lot of places, because who wants a bunch of drunken teenagers hanging out, right?


One time that I remember fondly, was the night after Hurricane Gloria. The reason I remember, is because this big old wind decided to come down smack on my 18th birthday. Now, you must know, I was not happy at all about this – as we had big plans for that night – hanging out and drinking.


So, here I was – 18 years old – young and innocent. A true romantic at heart. Looking at the world with a sense of Magic, like things that happened in the movies, really did happen to people. I had yet to be shattered by the harshness of reality.


There were four of us that night, Tom and Nicole – two friends who were like an old, married couple. Think, Raymond’s parents from ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ – Tom was a bit obnoxious and annoying – but deep down, a pretty nice guy. He talked a lot. So much in fact, that it was nearly impossible to get a word in when you were having a conversation with him. Nicole was great. She gave off the impression of a stereotypical ‘dumb blonde’ – but in certain aspects, she was once of the smartest people I knew. She has theories on people and friends – that at the time I thought were a little odd – but now, after so many years, I realize that she really knew what she was talking about – and she was right! And then there was Brian Z. Brian was a year younger that the three of us – and the thing I remember about Brian Z was that he had these amazing eyelashes. Oh, and he was nice.

So the four of us ventured off, a case of Bud, and 2 4-packs of Calvin Coolers – tropical fruit flavor. They were nauseating to look at, but easy to get down. We drove to a wooded area behind the 7-11 in Coram. It was a decent looking spot. I had never been there before – and never went back after that night. There were logs set up as makeshift benches – and a bonfire pit that was pretty worn and looked like it had been the home of many fires before. So we all sat down, Tom and Brian got a decent fire going, We talked, and we drank. The sun was going down, the fire gave off a nice warmth in the cool September air, and the Calvin coolers were giving me a nice little buzz. The four of us at the time had what seemed like so much in common, working together all day, hanging out together at night – we were all a part of each other’s lives. We understood each other. The evening grew darker. Tom and Nicole snuggled together in their own makeshift cocoon, and Brian and I continued talking. We laughed and joked, and talked about our plans to quit that job – and then.. he kissed me. My first real kiss. It was sweet, exactly how you would expect a 17 year old boy to kiss, not a lot of skill, not a lot of lip.. but all the same, something that I will always remember. We kissed for a long time that night – and to me, it was absolutely perfect. The fire, the cool, fall breeze, his lips grazing my neck.


I didn’t want that evening to end, but eventually, the fire burned out, and we made our way back to our cars. My head was spinning, not from the Wine Coolers, but from the fact that I had just experienced my first real kiss. I felt different, like I knew this amazing secret, and couldn’t tell anyone.


After that night, Brian and I were kind of awkward around each other – it was hard to work with him. As time went on, we had our ups and downs, even tried to re-create that night a few times. But the one night, was unique..special.. and we just could not get that Magic back. I will always remember that night – and I hope that when the time comes, (God forbid) that my girls get to experience their first kiss, as wonderfully as I did. And I hope that they treasure that memory, like I do.

Brian is on the left - Yes, that's me in the Grimace costume.  As you can probably guess - I was a huge hit with the guys!!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Looking Back


Looking Back… How’d I do???



1) Surgeries – 2009 was the year I finished my major reconstruction. When I was first diagnosed with Breast cancer, I was married, with a 3-year old and a 5-year old. I was not interested in what my boobs looked like – so going into a bi-lateral mastectomy; I was only concerned with getting the cancer out of me as quickly as possible. Who knew that two weeks after my surgery – my now ex-husband would tell me that he did not love me anymore? Shortly after learning that, it became my personal goal to achieve Porn Star Boobs.. Perky, lovely mounds atop my ribs that would drive the men wild. (I had to make him regret it!!!!) Well, 14 surgeries and 4 years later – they’re done. Not exactly Porn star, but definitely internet porn worthy. After so many operations, I feel a sort of confusion – no looking forward to the next procedure, no JP drains hanging down from my armpit. I feel a sense of accomplishment – and I don’t cry when I look at myself in the mirror anymore – but I feel like I have lost a part of my family also, then staff and doctors that I have seen on a regular basis for so long – are now just a memory of white shoes and manila folders.


2) Money – (or lack thereof). 2009 sucked for everyone I know, on a financial basis. I was no different. I struggled a lot, and cut so many corners, that I no longer HAVE corners! But I am very thankful that the mortgage got paid, the bills got paid, and I have food in the pantry. I know that there are a lot of people who cannot say that. Being a single mom, I always feel like my struggle is harder than most – but I try not to cry martyr too often, and I do feel proud that I am able to support my children, not necessarily with all the luxuries and extracurricular events that some parents can provide, but, they seem to be okay with what they have.


3) Emotional – 2009 was the year that I decided not to feel guilty for being alive. When I was 10 years old, my mother died. I was then left to feel like a tremendous burden to my father. He in turn, made me feel that way. I generally felt like anything I did, was just a giant inconvenience to him. I generally felt this way about most people in my life – like I should be grateful that they associated with me. So, I became somewhat of a doormat to a lot of people. They would take advantage of my good nature, and need for acceptance. Soon, I disappeared. I never had an opinion; I never asked for help, I never picked what movie we saw, or where we ate. I went along with everything, I overpaid my share at dinner, I was always the designated driver, I always drifted into the background, never monopolized a conversation. I even married someone who allowed me to feel grateful for being with him. 2009 was the year when I decided that enough was enough! I am still a work in progress, but I have decided that I do not owe my existence to anyone but myself. I do not have to feel like I am lucky to have friends – I am a good friend, and I deserve to have good friends. I also deserve people who know how to be good friends – so I have taken steps to eliminate people who are not good friends, the ones who take without giving, who criticize to make themselves feel better, who put their needs first every time, who don’t listen. I tend to fall back into old habits, but going forward, I hope to fill my life with people who fill my life with what I need – not just what they need.


4) Food – I’m sad – I’ll eat. I’m lonely – I’ll eat. I’m happy – I’ll eat. To fill that empty spot in my heart – I have always turned to food. It was a comfort, a support, it never judged me. Until this year. This year, I turned into one of those people – ugh.. Too much dairy – food hangover. Too much beer – bloated. Too much sweets – toothache. What was happening??? My ‘ol reliable was no longer reliable. I realized that the empty spot was no longer filled by Taco Bell or Ice Cream. I was turning into an old person! Can’t eat those hot wings anymore! Can’t drink soda before bed! What am I going to do? I began to walk away from the things that I used to love, and when I didn’t – I allowed myself to give into the temptation…I paid for it. So, now, food no longer holds that happy place for me.. and as I continue to search to fill the void in my life – I no longer reach for the crap that has sustained me for all these years; I am forced to look elsewhere – try different things, reach out to people to fill the emptiness.. what a concept!!!!


5) Men – I wish I could say that 2009 was the year that I finally met the man of my dreams. That would be some great reading, I’m sure. But alas, 2009 was the year I met…. NO ONE! Yes, no one. No one was around on the weekend when the girls were with their dad. No one was around at night – when I could not sleep, and there was nothing on TV. No one was around on my birthday – no one got me a card, or a cake, or even gave me a birthday kiss. Face it, No one sucks. Now, now. It is not completely pathetic, there have been opportunities. Well, sort of. There are the guys online, on the internet dating sites – They initiate contact with such in depth messages like, “Hi”, or “Let’s Chat”. Or my favorite, “What’s up?”. There were a few guys who were ‘taken’ – in some way or another – emotionally unavailable – even physically unavailable! At one point in my life, when my self esteem was at its lowest, I might have jumped at these offers of sexual gratification, well, usually HIS sexual gratification, I was just there to service. I guess that I am no longer excited by just anyone showing an interest. I want substance, effort, and yes, dare I say, respect! I even have a list of qualities that I want in a man. For some reason, if I create a list, I feel less cluttered, more organized in my thought process. I am a big fan of lists. Maybe one of my future entries will be a list of things I am looking for in a man. But for now, let’s just say I am hoping to meet a good guy in 2010. He does not have to be perfect, but he does need to be into me, and that means making an effort. If you’ve ever read the book ‘He’s just not that into you’ – it is a true eye opener – and I believe quite the reality. Speaking as someone No one is into.


6) Happiness – It may sound to some, that for me to be happy – to fill that void – I need someone in my life. Sometimes, it feels like that is true. I am so tired of being alone – that it feels like almost anyone would be better than being alone. But then I look back at my life, and all that I have accomplished on my own, and I realize that Hey, I have come this far alone – I can keep going. And now, I look for other ways, besides having a significant other, to be happy. That may sound like a total copout- a response that fat, ugly chicks give for why they are alone. For years, as I wallowed in my aloneness with constant moans of self-pity.. now, I really look at my life, and I realize, that I have so many things in my life that are great – that I need to focus on them. My girls have come so far in 2009. They are funny, loving people, and as they get older, it is easier to go out and do things with them. We went to the circus this year, and my heart was full, watching them enjoy the different acts, eating cotton candy, laughing at the clowns. We spent hours together at the Library – Doing book Reports and Homework assignment. We walked the local petting zoo over and over again – talking about life along the way. I really got to know what my kids were thinking about as we watched the bears play. My older daughter was picked to play the clarinet – and listening to her squeak through practicing brought back a flood of memories for me, a forever band geek. My younger daughter makes her bed now, and helps feed the guinea pig, and she is doing great in school, and she cannot walk past me, without hugging me, or asking for a big ‘squish’. We have gone to parties, stores, washed the truck together and enjoyed ice cream on a hot summer evening. There have been pizza parties with the family, fondue parties with friends, birthday parties and BBQ’s, Movie nights, game nights, and dare I say – drunk nights. There have been re-connections with old friends, and I even made some new friends. I’ve updated my resume, refinanced my mortgage, transferred my 401K, unclogged a drain, moved some furniture and even put up my own Christmas lights. I conquered the attic stairs, climbed a ladder, gotten lost while driving, then found my way home, and wrote to a soldier. I complained about receiving bad service, searched for discounts and deals and tried a few brand new recipes.


I guess I did pretty well in 2009. Here’s hoping that 2010 bring with it more successes, more good times, and maybe more Sangira!


Happy New Year all!!!!!