Monthly Archives: February 2013

WHY I HATE VALENTINE’S DAY

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Yes, I hate Valentine’s Day.  I think it is a cruel “holiday” for most folks.  If you are single, it the worse day of the year.  Every where you look, “love” is in the air or should I say ON the air.  How many commercials are pushing diamonds and other high-priced tokens of your love.  It’s all a way for companies to make money on “love”.  Let’s look at this closer.

In grade school you give out valentines.  Back in the olden days, we did not have to give everyone in the class a valentine.  Talk about pressure.  You were a nervous wreck hoping that you’d get the most and terrified you’d get the least amount.  And what was written on the front of the valentine was vastly important…was the word LOVE on it somewhere?  If it was, you were in heaven but the poor boy who gave it to you would be in just the opposite place if his buddies saw that he had given you a card with LOVE on it.  I remember rushing home to count my valentines and to see who they were from.  I went to a tiny private school so you didn’t get a whole lot and there were usually more girls than boys in that school so if you got a valentine from one of the boys…you floated on air for the rest of the day until you went to school and found out that a classmate got a card from him also and her’s had LOVE on it.  And so your heart was broken.   I am so glad that most classrooms have a rule that every child gets a valentine.  My heart breaks to think of the girls in my class who got only one or two valentines and never any from a boy.  Reason #1 to hate Valentine’s Day.

As you got older, the stakes grew higher.  If you had a new boyfriend come Valentine’s Day, what he gave you could make or break your relationship.  And what to get him?  Girls always out give guys.  We love buying gifts but most guys are real uncomfortable getting gifts from girls they have just started going out with.  Seems to them to be too “coupleish” and he may think she is getting too serious too fast and he gets scared and they break up soon after.  Guys in high school could always get by with some flowers or a CD if they had been dating a girl for quite sometime.  Jewelry was not usually given unless you had been going steady for more than a year and a necklace or bracelet was OK.  Nowadays, I don’t have a clue what kids get each other (and do I really want to know????)  Reason #2 to hate Valentine’s Day.

So now you are a newlywed.  Your first Valentine’s Day as a married couple.  I weep for the husband.  The expectations of a newly married woman on Valentine’s Day is usually a no-win situation for the poor hubby.  Especially if he has very little extra money.  I’m afraid flowers and a box of chocolate aren’t gonna fly (unless she whips them at you in a fit of anger!)  She has been seduced by all those commercials on TV.  The more expensive the gift, the more you love her.  But no matter how expensive the gift, if it isn’t exactly what she was hoping for, you are still in the dog house.  And for goodness sake, make sure the card is a mushy one and not a funny one.  Women at that point in their marriage need to know you are still happy you married them.  Good luck all you young husbands.  Reason #3 why I hate Valentine’s Day.

After 15 years of marriage, three kids, a full time job, a woman is just happy to either be taken out to dinner or to have her husband bring something home already cooked.  She doesn’t have the energy to want to go out dancing and she knows she will fall asleep if taken to a movie.  She is appreciative if you bring home flowers (as long as you didn’t spend too much money on them) and a nice card is always a sweet touch.  By this time, tho, a woman would be so much more grateful if her husband just told her to go relax and take a bath and he would see to the dishes and getting the kids to bed.  And if he really loves her, he will give her a back rub when they are in bed “with no strings attached”!  He would have such a happy wife the next day that he may get an unexpected back rub that night!

After 30 years of marriage, most couples no longer care about such trivial stuff.  By then you know how your husband/wife feels about you and no gift is going to change that.

I just feel so sorry for you folks out there that put so much stock into this day.  I wonder how many relationships that were good went sour after this day because the man forgot, or didn’t give the right gift, or didn’t do something that the wife thought he should and she got all bent out of shape and they fought and harsh words were spoken.  All over a stupid day that is fueled by greedy companies wanting to make us feel we need to spend money to show our loved ones how much we love them.  What a crock of cow manure.  I wonder how many suicides there are on this day.  Lonely people who are driven to despair because everywhere they looked they saw pictures of happy couples and they had no one so they felt their lives had no meaning.   How many single gals and perhaps even some guys are going to feel so bad today because they aren’t in a relationship.  I hate this.

I beg you who are reading this and are not in a relationship to not give in to this propaganda.  You do not need anyone to make you happy.  Make yourself happy.  Go buy yourself a gift today.  Do you not love you?  Buy yourself some flowers.  Do you not deserve some beauty in your home.  Value yourself.  Don’t sit around and mope.  Grab some friends and go out to dinner or a movie and have fun.  You are special by yourself.  Feel sorry for all the people who are in horrid relationships but are too afraid to be single to get out of them.  Being in a relationship guarantees nothing.  Don’t waste your life pining for one.  This is it kids.  One life.  Everyone has an expiration date and no one knows when that is so start living.  Live for yourself.  Do things just for yourself.  Make yourself happy.

And you gals that are in relationships.  Don’t put so much pressure on your men.  Look how your man treats you all the rest of the days of the year.  If he loves you, you will see it many times over.  Don’t ruin a good thing by having a hissy fit over this stupid day.  Be grateful if he remembers and gets you something, no matter what it is.  Maybe he is better at doing things to show his love.  How many times during the year does he fill you car with gas, or wash it or clean it out.  How about all the car repair stuff?  Does he keep your car running well?  That is love ladies.   Think about how many things your man does for you in the course of a week.  Little things.  Big things.  How he treats you the 364 days other than stupid Valentine’s Day is much more important than what he does for you on that one day.

For those that don’t know me, I am married to a terrific man who loves me everyday of the year and always buys me beautiful cards and gifts and I have told him that I want NOTHING for Valentines Day.  Nada.  Our anniversary is in four days and I told him I want nothing for that day, either.  I do not need cards or gifts to feel his love.  He shows it to me everyday in little ways like making coffee in the morning, bringing my heavy bag out to my car when I go to work, filling my car with gas,  washing my car,  shoveling the sidewalks, cleaning up the yard when I am expecting company, etc. etc.   Nothing he could buy me could be more loving than those little acts of love he shows me daily.

So look around you and see the love acts your partner performs for you and know that that is true love.  And join me in quest to abolish this awful day.  Spread the word.

And to paraphrase a line from the movie, “Love Story”…”Love means never having to buy another Valentine card or gift again!”

HOME SWEET? HOME

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As I was doing my daily magazine reading, I saw a picture of a wooden block cut in the shape of a house and they had put parts of an antique measuring tape on the windows and for the door and my first thought was, “Do I measure up at home?”.

Do I “need” to?  Shouldn’t home be the one place we can let down our guard, take off our public masks, be real?  But what if the real us is a jerk?  Do we have a right to unleash our bad selves on our family?

I am of two minds on this issue.

The selfish side of me says I should be allowed to be any way that I want in my own home.  It should be the place of refuge from the daily pressures of life.  The place where I feel safe.  Part of me envies those that live alone for they can be as ugly as they want and not risk hurting anyone.  To keep one’s home messy, tidy, organized, chaotic, whatever their way to be is.  To come home to silence after a day spent listening to inane chatter or disagreeable discourse.  To turn on the telly to whatever program they want to watch or just bask in the silence (tho, there is no such thing as true silence anymore…as I listen to my noisy appliances hum away).   To just be.

The other side of me says we have no right anywhere to be rude or hurtful.  There is a saying that says, “we should treat our guests as family and our family as guests”.  If we share our homes with others, don’t they have the same needs as we do?   Should not our homes be a haven for us all?

So how do we all get our “home as a castle” needs met?  I suppose if everyone had their own room that they could retreat to for privacy or for some downtime before gathering as a family that might help.  I rather like the idea of a main room that connects different parts of a house so that each member could have some space of their own.  I have often thought that many a marriage could be saved if each person had a “home” of their own and a main room for getting together that connected each “home”.   That way if one person is cluttery and the other a neat-nik, there would be no fighting as each person could keep their part of the house however they liked it.  Of course if you have kids, I don’t know how that could work.  But I am of firm resolve that each person needs a private spot.  A spot all of their own, a place that reflects their personality, a personal space that no one else can enter (without permission).

What do you think?  Do you have a special place in your home where you can chill out?  I do, but like my personality it is a jumble of clutter.  All good stuff but not organized so to go into that room (aka The Crap Room) is not at all peaceful.  I really should recruit a couple of my Seratonin Sisters who are genius’s at organization and get them down there to straighten me out!

STUCK IN THE MIDDLE WITH YOU…..

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My husband needed me to bring our four-wheel drive vehicle over to a neighbor’s this afternoon as he had gotten the truck stuck after plowing out her 3/4 mile driveway. As he was jumping in and out of the vehicle (I offered to help but in the past 29 years, we have found that we do not work well as a team so he and the neighbor were doing the unsticking) I got to musing how much life is like being stuck in snow.

There we are driving down the road of life and sometimes we lose control and spin around and land in the ditch, shaken but not injured. Other times we just veer a tad too much to the shoulder and it sucks us down into the gully. No matter how we get stuck, don’t we usually try the same method to get ourselves out?
First we try to just drive out. Never works. We think if we push down on the gas pedal a bit harder we might be able to propel ourselves out. Again, no go but now we are in even deeper as our efforts have made a slippery groove that our tires are in. So we try the old rock back and forth trick and on occasion that may work.
Often tho, we just dig ourselves in even deeper. Now we need help so we grab our cell phones and pray that we have service. (Back in the olden days, we had to walk to the nearest house or business and hope that someone there could either help us or let us use their phone and that they weren’t some deranged folks who would get us in the house and we’d never be heard of again). If we are lucky, we get ahold of someone who is willing to come and get us or try to pull us out. Those of us who have been driving for a decade or more have more than one sad tale to tell about being stuck.

So how does this relate to life you ask. Think about how you go about solving your problems. Isn’t your first instinct to just push onward and see what happens? And when that does work, don’t we panic and try harder? But the problem gets bigger or deeper. Then we sit back and relook at it. Maybe we even back up a bit. Try something new. Stop. Go back. Try another new thing. Stop. Go back. Finally we understand that we can’t solve it alone and call for help. And we hope that the help is good (and not a homicidal maniac!). Sometimes it can be a friend but sometimes we have to call a professional (like AAA for our car). And we are back on the road of life once again.

So that’s my thought for this day. Not too inspiring but food for thought.

American Society of Seratonin Sisters

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Today I am going to tell you about the great society I am part of.  I founded it and named it but my dear, departed friend, Lisa, came up with the Seratonin Sisters label.  It all started back quite a few years ago….so grab a cuppa of joe and sit back and listen to my tale of a friendship that goes beyond the grave.

Once upon a time, in a land surrounded by trees, there lived two ladies who became best friends.  Through the years, the friendship had peaks and valleys as most long-term friendships do, but each knew if needed the other would be there in a second.  In the land surrounded by trees, it is good to know that someone close by has your back.

One horrid day, the younger and fitter of the two ladies, was diagnosed with an awful disease and had to begin bad, bad treatments.  Her friend felt very, very sorry for her but could not be of too much help as she had to work during the day.  Months went by and the disease went to sleep and there was much joy in the land of trees.  During this time, the friend who was working met another woman who was a kindred spirit and who was also suffering from a bad disease and no longer could work.  The friend decided that she and her friend from the land of trees, should get together with Mother Earth Woman and have coffee.  This began a beautiful friendship between the three of them.  Shortly after, The Colorful Woman lost her job and so the friends began to meet weekly.  Spunky Woman(the friend with the awful disease) had a friend who also was home because of a bad injury at work and so she was invited to join this wonderful friendship.  During this lovely time, Spunky Woman said we should call ourselves the Seratonin Sisters as we were   lifting each other spirits (and we all had prescriptions for “happy pills”).   Soon two more women from the land of trees joined the group and for many months the woman met weekly for “Stitch and _itch” sessions and laughter filled the trees.  Then a dark cloud came over the group when the Spunky Woman’s awful disease came back.  This time Colorful Woman was able to help her best friend and the two of them would bravely go to the bad treatments but would first go and meet Mother Earth Woman for a shopping time and then a delightful lunch.  This made the bad treatment days bearable.

Time went on and the cheerful friends began to experience dark days.  Mother Earth Woman came to the friends and told them a tale of woe and the friends were shocked and their worlds were rocked to the core.  Soon Mother Earth Woman stopped coming to the weekly craft fest.  She was sorely missed and the sun did not shine as brightly in the land of trees.  A few months later, a deep darkness enveloped the land as Spunky Woman became very, very sick  and the bad treatments were stopped.  Spunky Woman was dying and the friends were heart-broken and felt so helpless.  Soon Spunky Woman had to go into the hospital, into the unit where no one comes back from.  All the Seratonin Sisters came to say goodbye.  Colorful Woman spent the night with her dear friend and watched helplessly as her heart-sister suffered.  Spunky Woman’s family were called to come and say their last goodbyes.  But Spunky Woman held on.  She was not yet ready to go.  Spunky Woman and her husband were in the process of building their dream house and Spunky Woman wanted to go home.  All the Seratonin Sisters were assembled, ready to do whatever Spunky Woman needed.  All of the people who loved Spunky Woman who lived in the land of trees and beyond came to help.  Spunky Woman was brought home to her brand new house and on that first night home, Spunky Woman got to see her friends enjoying a meal at her new table.  Spunky Woman was too weak to leave her bed in the livingroom but enjoyed all the laughter and fellowship that was in her new home and it filled her heart with happiness as that is what Spunky Woman had envisioned all her life~a home filled with love and laughter.  For two weeks, Spunky Woman laid in her bed while the angels of the land of trees took care of her every need.  When it was time for Spunky Woman to go and meet her God who she loved more than her own life, her closest Seratonin Sisters were there.  Colorful Woman, Mother Earth Woman and Organized Woman were there to walk that last step with her.  When her spirit left her body, the Sisters rejoiced that her pain here was gone and she was in her eternal home.  They gently washed their beloved friend and put her in her wedding dress and the three Sisters sat vigil all the rest of that night, knitting, next to the body of the Spunky Woman.  It was as it should be….all of them together for one last time.

For awhile after Spunky Woman was gone, the Sisters faltered in their commitment to meet weekly.  Lives got busy.  The Sisters had lost the true “heart” of the group and the pain was too much for them….for awhile.  But as with all true friendships, love brought them back together and two new sisters from the land of trees have been added.  Laughter once again rings out from the meeting house and they gather not weekly but monthly at least.    And Spunky Woman smiles as she looks down from her mansion in Heaven .  Her Sisters are doing what they do best…loving one another and sharing their joys and sorrows.    Spunky Woman lives in the heart of those wonderful women and she will never be forgotten….our dearest Seratonin Sister.

Now that you have heard my tale, I challenge you to start your own Society.  Gather a friend or two and start making that friendship a priority.  Open up your house to a crafting day or a chick flick night.  It will enrich your life unbelievably.  True friendships are more precious than gold.

I know this because I am Colorful Woman!

THE SIXTIES

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Hah, I bet you thought this post was going to be about my journey of life back in the 1960’s.  Fooled ya.  Someday, I’ll regale ya’ll with my adventures of my “hippie chick” days but today’s post is how I hope my chronological 60’s will be.

I have 682 days until I turn 60.  (If I did the math right).  In that 682 days I hope to lose at least 50#,  which means I need to lose basically 25# a year.  (I tried to do the math on paper but couldn’t quite remember how to do it!)  Very doable.  Heck, I’ve lost more weight than that in a year.  Of course, it came back….along with some weight someone else lost.  (Please contact me if you have lost some weight as I would like you to take it back.)  So, I need to drop 2# a month.  Geez, one good you-know-what and I could lose that!  So that is goal #1.  Would someone volunteer to help keep me on track with this?

I figure since I have messed up all the other decades of my life in one way or another, my 60’s are kinda my last chance at inner happiness.  I want to be settled into “me”.  Content with who I am.  No more reinventions.  I probably will always have strange hair as that is really part of who I am, but it may or may not be oddly colored.  If wigs were more comfortable, I know I would shave my head and have a fun and funky collection of them.  (Of course, my husband would have to agree as he would be married to a female version of Uncle Fester!)  I really hate all the drama my hair creates for me.  It never seems to be what I had envisioned it to look like.  The only times I really like the style is the night before I have an appointment to change it or right before the stylist is done….there seems to be a point when I am in the chair that I love my hair but then she feels it needs just a few more tweaks….and whamo….it is not as cute as it was before the tweaks.  But being the timid bird that I am, I say nothing.  I think to myself it will be OK after I wash it and if it was cute before the tweaks, I can get it that way myself.  Deluded should be my middle name.  I can never get it to the cute stage.  So shaving it down to the nub really would make my life easier.

And getting rid of those clothes that have been hanging in my closet for years, just waiting for me to be the right size.  I promised my husband (who has 1/3 of our only closet) that when I turn 60, I would try on everything in our closet and what didn’t fit would be passed on and I mean it.  Nothing in my closet will be too small if I can lose those 50#….wait, I am going to rephrase that….those 2# a month (so much more positive).  Again, I need someone to keep me accountable.  Every 10# loss, I should try everything on and get rid of anything that is too big (oh what sweet words…) and see what I am getting closer to fitting into.

Next is getting my artistic life going.  I have found that I have an artistic flair that I have kept on the backburner for decades.  I have more ideas than I will ever have time for and I have a small building that my husband is in the process of moving for me that I want to make into a studio/gallery.   I hope to be able to “retire” from my job and devote all my spare time to my artistic side.  I have tried it before but under the pressure of a huge credit card debt from buying all the supplies I thought I needed.  This time will be different cause I know now that I can never have any kind of credit card.  I am like an addict when it comes to spending money.  Besides, I am clever enough to use what I have to create and not need more supplies (at least for awhile!).   So I need someone to help me once my building is in place and ready to be set up as I have a huge problem staying on task.  It will take me way too long to do it by myself as I will want to go thru each and every bin that has my supplies in it and I will get side-tracked if left alone!

And last but not least, I want my relationship with my darling husband to be my first priority.  We will have been married 30 years by the time I turn 60 and he has always been “on the sidelines” and it’s about time he was the “headliner” in my life!  I am now making changes to try to make that a reality and I truly hope in the next 682 days it will be possible to do so.

Oh how I wish I knew what I know today decades ago.  But the past is gone and I hope for greater peace in the future….within myself and in my relationships.  I have a motto that I have been saying for years, “Well, I’m not dead yet!” so there is still time to change the things that I can and to let go the things that I can not.  So I look forward to the new decade that is just around the corner, hopeful that it will be all I wish it to be.  And I hope that you all will join me in my quest to the Sixties, to cheer me on when I tire of the race and to share with me your dreams for your next decade of life.  Life is much easier when it is shared with those who care….and I do care about all of you.

LONG LIVE THE QUEEN!!!!

AMERICAN IDOL

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Someone once told me that they had at one time, had me up on a pedestal. I was absolutely shocked. Firstly, I wasn’t even sure they really even liked me, secondly, I have no outward qualities that I could ever imagine someone thinking I was worthy of pedestal elevation and lastly, it would take a good size crane to hoist my sorry gluteus maximus up a step let alone a pedestal! And of course, I came crashing down. Hard.
While I am flattered that anyone would ever have thought that much of me, I am here to tell you that if you put any human up above the bonds of humanity, you are in for a serious disappointment. No human being should ever be “idolized”. Not a preacher, not a movie star, or athlete, or parent or friend. No one. There is only One who is worthy of such a lofty place. Only One who can ever occupy such a responsible position. Us humans will only fail you. We are never perfect. Some do a better job at “clean living” and may have qualities that you admire and maybe even aspire to and that is ok. As long as you realize that they are not and never can be without sin (or for those who have no spiritual beliefs…faults).
I do not get the worship given to professional athletes or movie stars. There are so few of them who do not fall from grace and then tens of thousands of people are crushed. Hello? Just because they have a talent in one area does not make them infallible to failure in others. And would you not agree that most are extremely self-centered? And how could you not be with people fawning all over you and telling you h great you are, how special you are. That is a pressure that most cannot cope with and so to ease that, perhaps, unconscious guilt they turn to destructive habits.
So please my friends, do not put me or anyone else above sin and failure. We all fall short of the perfection of our Creator. Put Him upon the pedestal as He will never fail you or disappoint you or hurt you. You have my word on that!