Letting Go


Every little girl’s dream while growing up is to be Daddy’s Little Girl.  We strive to be the apple of our daddy’s eye.  We idealize them and are completely unaware of any of their faults.  In fact, a lot of us, as little girls, even somewhat blamed our mothers whenever our parents would get into arguments.  Our dads could do very little wrong.

Personally, my dad was quiet and reserved.  He rarely spoke, and I never really heard him yell.  My mom wore the pants in our house, without a doubt.  I always thought he was a gentle spirit, and I knew I wanted to marry a man just like him someday.  A lot of little girls end up looking for men who remind them, perhaps even unknowingly, of their daddies.  And in this case, that wasn’t a bad thing. 

Sure enough, I did grow up a daddy’s girl.  I remember many times throughout my childhood, even into my teens, when he and I would stay up long after my mom and sister went to bed and would watch the NBA Finals, a football game, or even all seven long games of one World Series or another.

Things in my relationship with my dad were great, in my jaded world at least, up until I made a poor decision to date the future father of my children.  The bottom line is that my dad hated him.  For good reason or not, my 16-year-old inner know-it-all was determined to prove my dad wrong.  He said there was no way in heck that I was allowed to go out with this guy.  What did that mean to me?  That there was no way in heck that I wasn’t going to go out with this guy.  As you can imagine, my relationship with my dad quickly spiraled downhill at that point.  I was on a mission from that point forward to spite him because he didn’t trust me.  Because he wouldn’t let me make my own decisions and mistakes.  Because he wouldn’t even listen to my side of things, and he was set in his thoughts that I would fail. Oh… and because I was 16, and did I mention I knew everything?

Anyway, my relationship with my dad struggled over the next couple years as I worked my way through high school.  I did my best to stay his little girl, however, by making the honor roll every semester, getting accepted into a good college, and graduating in the top seven percent of my class.  He had to be proud of me, right?

Of course.  That is, until he found out I was pregnant.  That’s right.  I found out I was pregnant only a few weeks after graduating.  Sure, I was still on track for college and my future plans, but the bottom line is that I was pregnant by the guy my father couldn’t stand and forbid me from seeing.  To make a long story short, I moved out of my parents’ house and in with future sperm donor the day after graduation.  I started college, had my baby, and we ended up getting married.  As you can imagine, my dad did not see me that day.  Or for many, many days after, I might add.  My mom and sister would drive all the way to Charleston every weekend to see the baby and me.  Every once in a while, I would go there, and those are the only times my dad had even seen his first grandson and oldest daughter. 

As you all already know, my husband ended up being a monster.  Every time I would hear someone say that a lot of women end up marrying men like their dads, I would laugh.  Not me, I would say.  My dad didn’t drink or scream or abuse my mom.  My husband did drink and scream and abuse me.  The studies were wrong this time.  I ended up with a husband far from a man like my dad.

Or so I thought until recently, as my kids have gotten older. 

They don’t see their dad anymore really.  Generally, over the last couple years, he would see them for a week around Christmas and maybe for a few days over Spring Break.  This past year, though, he didn’t see them for either of those.  If I recall correctly, he saw his kids for maybe four days total all year.  Four.  Out of 365.

When that fact first dawned on me, it made me a little uncomfortable.  At first, I thought the uneasiness came from the fact that my kids don’t have a relationship with their dad.  But really, when I thought about it, that was actually a good thing.  So why the depressing feeling that came with it?  Suddenly, it dawned on me.

He was like my dad.  He had little desire to see his kids, and unless someone else did all the legwork to make a visit happen, he could go a very long time with no contact with his children.  That was my dad, too.  He had more important things to do than to see his oldest daughter and had excuse after excuse as to why visits had been so few and far between.

I recall a woman my dad had dated for a few years after he and my mom divorced (which was shortly after I left for college).  She would often “nag” him into meeting the kids and me for dinner or in coming to visit us.  Sure, she had her share of issues, but my sister and I always agreed that she was great at keeping him connected with his daughters.  They eventually broke up, and now that push to see the “apple of his eye” is gone, too, I guess.  Other than seeing him at my sister’s wedding a year ago and her housewarming party four months ago, I haven’t seen my dad in years.  Nope – not even for Christmas.  I can’t recall a time he’s ever seen his grandsons (even the one who’s named after him) play a sport, even though they excel at several.   

Sure, he tells me that I’m welcome at his house anytime, that we can come for dinner whenever we want, but that’s the extent of the warm and welcome attempts at spending time with his little girl.  Don’t get me wrong – I do get a text on Christmas and my birthday (if my mom reminds him), and in some ways, that’s more than my kids get from their dad, so I guess I should be a little thankful, at least. 

No, I don’t want him to beg to spend time with his daughter and her family, but a little indication of forgiveness would be nice.  Yes, I was wrong when I was a teenager, and yes, he was right in that my first husband was a jackass.  I may have even been wrong to have kids and get married so young.  But the fact remains that I am a well-educated, college graduate with two beautiful and intelligent young men, a loving husband, two stepchildren, and a job that I love.  I made a ton of mistakes growing up, but I’ve turned out pretty damn well.  It is, after all, those mistakes from which we learn, right?

I’ve been praying that my owns kids will eventually learn to let go of their unrealistic and idealistic hopes for a future with their father, when after all this time, I finally see that I should have been letting go of the same myself.  Maybe this memory I’ve been holding onto from childhood was nothing more than my wishful thinking all along. 

My dream of being Daddy’s Little Girl is over. 


Someone Please Pinch Me


I’ve been out of high school for nearly 15 years already and out of college for 11.  So why is it, then, that my worst (and recurring) nightmare is centered around my school days?

Here’s what happens every single time:

It’s the morning of a major test, and I get to school with enough time to spare to take a trip to my locker to get the materials that I’ll need in order to take said test.  My hands are overflowing with books – wait, why don’t I just have a bookbag? – and I manage to balance them all in one arm while fumbling with the lock on my locker door.  Only, crap… that’s when I realize that I can’t, for the life of me, remember my combination.  27-6- uh… 32?  No, that’s not it.  14?  Nope, that’s not working either.  I start to get nervous as I look at my watch and see that I’ve got to hurry if I’m going to make it to class in time to take my test.  Then, relief hits me.  I wrote my combination down on the inside of one of my notebooks!  I dump my pile of books on floor, and I can finally start to feel the blood rush to my lower arm and hand again.  I hadn’t realized just how heavy those books were.  I sort through the pile, and it dawns on me that the notebook I need is one of the ones still in my locker – right there with the things I need for my test.  Ugh!  Why is this happening to me?  I don’t have time for this today.  I start to feel hot, and I start to get nervous about the time.  I decide I better just go to class and just forget the stuff I need for my test.  It’s better to be on time and just take the test rather than be late or skip it all together, right?

So I stack my books back up in my arm – here we go again – and as I top off the pile with one last notebook, the one underneath that tumbles to the floor.  I have the sudden urge to just throw them all on the floor and stomp on them, but I can’t if I’m going to make it to class in time for this test.  It will, after all, make or break my entire grade in this class.  I bend down ever so carefully and stack the books back up, balancing the pile on my chin for support.

I turn the corner from my locker and start down the hallway to my class.  Room 217.  Only now I can’t find Room 217.  What in the world is going on?  I go to this class every day.  Why can’t I find it now?  Silly me – It must be the next hallway, after you turn left at the end of this one.  As I finally near the end of the hallway and turn left, I’m confident that I’ll still make it in time.  I only had a few more doors to go.  But wait – Room 217 isn’t down this hallway, either.  What the heck??  I decide that maybe I’ve got my schedule all mixed up, and I’m supposed to be on the third floor instead of the second.  Maybe it’s Room 317.  I start up the stairs, still barely holding on to my teetering pile of books.  I make it to the third floor and down the hallway that looks identical to the one I was just on.  I frantically race past classroom after classroom, and there’s still no sign of my room.  I begin to panic, thinking of how missing this test is going to ruin my entire year and all hopes of getting into my favorite college.  By now, I’m in tears and wake up in a cold sweat, heart pounding out of my chest.

The funny thing about it is that, for some reason, I never think to stop and ask someone where my classroom is.  Instead, I panic and wake up a nervous wreck.  It’s so odd to me that all these years later, I still stress out about school and my grades.  I’ve always been a perfectionist, and I’ve always said that it’s my best and worst trait all in one.  I guess this is one of those times that it really is my worst.

What about you?  Do you have any odd recurring dreams (or nightmares, as is the case for me)?


First World Probs


Over the last week, I’ve heard an exceptional amount of complaints from the kids, the hubby, and even myself.  This Christmas season has really opened my eyes to the fact that, in reality, we’re all spoiled, despite our usual beliefs and whining that we’re barely making it.

Here are a few of the complaints I’ve heard in this last few days since Christmas, in a post I’d like to call…

Source: YouTube

Source: YouTube

1. Mom, we don’t have enough room on our Xbox 360 hard drive for all these new games.

2. Honey, I can’t get my new iPhone 5s activated until tomorrow since AT&T is closed on Christmas.

3. Aww, we don’t have enough sockets in the living room to plug in our video games and our laptops.

4. Dang, I can’t believe I have to wait five days to get my two new pairs of Nikes in the mail since I refused to pay extra for expedited shipping.

5. Dear, it really sucks that your mom’s internet is out.  What are we going to do for two whole days without it?

6. I really hope Meemaw got me the Sperry’s I want for Christmas because those were at the top of my list, before Madden 25 and NCAA 2014.

7. Hey, should I wear my new running shoes or my new basketball sneakers today?

8. Dad, I forgot my coat inside, and I don’t like driving my new motorized scooter without it because it’s cold and windy out here.  

9. Where the heck are we going to put all this new stuff?  We don’t have any more room in our SUV.

10. I don’t want pizza for dinner again tonight.  We’ve eaten out all week.

11. Oh, come on… This line at Starbucks is ridiculous!

12. [Sigh.]  I have to return these size 4 pants that I just got for Christmas because they’re way too big.

I hope you all had as great a Christmas as we!*

*And that you know this post is just a joke.  Relax – we know we’re blessed and have a lot more than a lot of other people.  We’re very thankful for all we have.


Media Whores


What is it with Facebook and other social media?

Is it really just that therapeutic to share your feelings with the world?  Or is it just another addiction like cigarettes or drugs?

I’m beginning to think it’s an addiction that people just can’t stay away from… Not to mention, the media just eats it up.

Source: Blogzworth.com

Source: Blogzworth.com

I read an article online this morning about a man who was hanging Christmas lights for his 4-year-old daughter, and while he was making some adjustments to his “winter wonderland,” he was electrocuted and died.  The article went on to mention how he planned to propose to his girlfriend underneath the very lights he died putting up.  What a heartbreaker, right?

The pictures in the article were pulled from Facebook, so I pulled up this guy’s poor girlfriend’s page to see the outpouring of love and support that neighbors and others were sharing.

What I found, however, shocked me.  I saw that this girl has been consistently posting on Facebook since he died.  She’s shared numerous Pinterest photos and has posted some other things, as well.  Um, excuse me, but if your soon-to-be-fiancé just died, do you think scouring Pinterest is really a good idea?

According to her very own Facebook page, her boyfriend died on December 17th.  Yep, that’s right.  She posted that very night on her wall that her boyfriend had just passed away after falling off a roof while hanging Christmas lights.  Am I the only one who finds that a little insensitive and odd?

Only five days after that, she posts “Rain Rain Go Away!!!”

What the heck?!  Perhaps I’m the odd man out here, but after only five days, I can’t imagine I would even be on Facebook, much less annoyed by the rainy weather.  I would still be devastated – confined to my bed, unable to even get dressed in the mornings.  I would be thankful for my mom and sister taking care of my kids, whom I would be completely unable to take care of by myself that soon after the love-of-my-life had tragically and senselessly died.

Then, the following day, she posts a picture she found on Pinterest talking about true love.  She commented on it, saying, “I was so lucky to find this once… Hopefully I’ll be blessed enough to find it again.”

Say what??!!  When I saw that particular post, I was speechless at her cavalier attitude and mention of finding love in the future.  Again, maybe it’s just me, but I can’t imagine even the thought of looking for love again less than a week after my “soulmate” had died.

As I sat, staring at my computer in disbelief, I came to two conclusions.  Either,

1. Facebook is like crack, and people really can’t stay away from it; or

2. The media just loves an ironic, heartbreaking story.

Maybe this guy had no intention of really proposing this Christmas under his magical lightshow.  After all, they did just meet in the fall, according to the article.  But, of course, the Romeo and Juliet irony is just too amazing to skip past on your newsfeed.  I admit, it was hard not to fall in love with this heartbreaking story the second I read it.

So why didn’t the writer just focus on the man’s daughter, then?  There was no question that he had a daughter whom he loved to death – that much was evident in the pictures he had taken with her.  I wonder if that was because the author was unable to interview her since she’s a minor.  It always sounds better when you can get some good quotes in from a heartbroken lover, right?  In this particular story, the social-media-loving girlfriend was quoted as saying that she would have said “yes” to the man whom she claimed to love so much.

Well, duh… I’m sure you would have.  But since you can’t now, we’ll all just shower you with our sympathies as you continue to post about the weather on Facebook and find some good crafts to try on Pinterest.

Source: Q1 Labs

Source: Q1 Labs

What do you think?  Am I just being an insensitive witch, or do you call bologna on this whole story, too?  I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

 


Crybaby, Crybaby…


So by now, we’ve all heard about the Phil Robertson/Duck Dynasty drama.  Phil actually voiced his personal opinion on a hot topic that some people didn’t like, and now he’s in hot water for it.

Let me start this post off by reminding of you of something:

We live in America, people.

Now, with that being said, let me also remind you that every single one of us has the right to say what we think.  We don’t live in China or in Cuba or in North Korea.  One of the beauties of being an American (or a damn Canadian for that matter) is that we get to say whatever we want.  I’m allowed to tell you how much I hate you or your cat or your stupid lifestyle.  I’m allowed to tell you that you shouldn’t wear those pants ever again or that you’re hair looks atrocious.  And I’m also allowed to tell you that I think this Huffington Post article is one of the stupidest articles I’ve ever read.

So now a person can’t really be a Christian and love you if he doesn’t agree with your lifestyle?  Get real.

Can someone please tell me when the heck we, as a society, became so dang sensitive?  When did we become such crybabies?

 

Back in the day, when little Johnnie said something mean and hurt our feelings, we would tell him to screw off and then we’d go on our merry way doing exactly what we were doing before he offended us.  We may even rub it in his face a little, hoping to offend him in return.

Not anymore, though.  Nope.  Now we get our overly-sensitive feelings hurt, and the first thing we do about it is post it on a public forum and whine and cry until we have people pat us on the back, wipe our tears, and tell us everything will be okay because now they’re going to start boo-hooing about the big mean bully, too. 

Really, GLAAD?  Phil Robertson’s comments were some of “the vilest and most extreme” said about gays and lesbians?  Are you even being serious right now?  “Homosexual” is not even close to the most offensive word I’ve heard used to describe a gay man or a lesbian.  You people must not ever turn the TV or radio on.

So it’s offensive to some homosexuals to watch a show on A&E wherein the stars of said show don’t agree with being gay.  Well why aren’t the awful, mean, conservative bullies complaining to A&E about Modern Dads?  I mean, dads aren’t supposed to stay at home, right?  Aren’t they all supposed to be out working 12 hours a day at some factory, while their wives stay home and make sure they have dinner on the table and the kids in the bath before Daddy comes home? 

Source: We Know Memes

Source: We Know Memes

And I never hear the anti-gay bullies complain to Huffington Post about all the gay hosts of the home improvement shows that litter A&E’s television lineup.  What if they’re offended by all the gayness?  [Oh wait… The Huff Post wouldn’t broadcast those complaints anyway, would they?  No, they wouldn’t.  But you know what?  They don’t even have to make that decision because most people who are offended by something they see on TV or hear on the radio just TURN IT OFF.] 

If you don’t like it, then don’t watch it, dammit.  You don’t have to try to make your complaints and whining viral by posting it to every social networking site that exists.  I’ll tell you one thing… You complain and whine and cry about being offended and how Phil’s show needs to be taken off the air, but let me tell you a little secret…

You’re making them even more famous!  You’re broadcasting to the rest of the world the very thing you don’t want anyone else to hear!  You’re making their supporters come out of the woodwork and rally behind them.  And all the while, you’re still curled up in your little corner crying yourself to sleep and begging people to affirm you and pat your back.  Seems legit.

No, we’re not all gay.  Or all black.  Or all Christian.  But if I see something that doesn’t apply to me or my lifestyle, then I make the decision regarding whether or not to read it, listen to it, share it, or even agree with it.  If I don’t like it, then I TURN. IT. OFF.  I forget, though, that these crybabies are the same crybabies who would also whine and pout if we weren’t allowed to express our opinions openly.  Damned if you do.  Damned if you don’t.

Stop being such a crybaby.  Grow up.  Get over it.  Stop drawing attention to the very thing that you’re whining about having such attention.  It doesn’t make sense.  If you don’t agree with Phil, then tell him to eff off, and then move on.  Then go have a few drinks at your local gay bar.


Relax Bottle/Time Out Timer


aliciabenton:

These are a great idea, and I can’t wait to make a mess trying to make them myself!

Originally posted on My Crazy Blessed Life!:

Sooooo… I have a three-year-old little girl who is full of drama.  Probably not the only one in history, but one of my current dilemmas.  When time out time comes for bad behaviour I find myself with a little girl on the bottom step screaming, kicking walls and not able to even calm down enough to learn her lesson.  This was getting worse and worse until I told my husband, “there has to be a better way, I’m going to research this.”  So I went online and read other mom’s advice, dr’s advice, psychologist’s advice, etc.  Nothing was really working.  Finally I saw something called a mind jar.  This was a mason jar filled with water, clear gel glue and ultra fine glitter.  You shake it and the glitter settles slowly as you watch you relax.   The original ones I saw were to teach children to meditate (not my goal).  I loved…

View original 398 more words


What Did You Just Say???


Kids say the darndest things, right?  Well where do they get those darndest things from?

TV?  Sure.

Friends?  Definitely.

Adults who are supposed to be role models?  Wait, what??

This is exactly where my kids have heard some of my most-hated words… from adults who are supposed to be role models in their lives.

Regardless of where they hear some of the words I just can’t stand, the fact remains that they are bound to hear them from someone at some time, right?  That doesn’t mean that I have to like it, though.

Here’s a list of some of those words that just make my skin crawl:

1. Titties

Ugh, I hate that word.  And I also think that no child should ever utter it.  So where have my kids heard this word so many times that they now think it’s acceptable to use?  From one of their sperm donor’s relatives.  And no, this relative is not a man, believe it or not.  SHE is a SHE.  And she always refers to what I affectionately call boobies as titties.  Does that word not gross you out as much as it does me?  I don’t know what exactly bothers me about it, but I just hate it, and it’s now considered a curse word in our house.

2. Piss

Why on earth can’t people just call it pee?  While my boys don’t say this word because it, too, is considered a bad word, they have heard it many times by a supposed role model.  Who, you ask?  One of their football coaches, of all people.  We were recently at practice, and the coach told the team to “Hurry up and get this play off.  [So-and-so] has to piss.”  Are you serious right now?  These boys were 10 and 11 years old.  Why is that word acceptable for them to hear?  I was immediately grossed out and, not to mention, a little embarrassed that they were subjected to that word.

3. Gayeee

Unfortunately, this word is heard by kids on a pretty consistent basis by their peers.  And no, they don’t mean it in any way whatsoever that relates to a person’s sexuality.  Instead, they use it to refer to something “stupid,” if you will.  I know they don’t mean any ill-will by it, but I still can’t stand it.  Thanks, Señor Chang.  Thanks a lot.

4. Shut the F…ront Door!

Sadly, my boys don’t only hear this crap.  Ronald says this crap.  All.  The.  Time.  It drives me crazy.  He heard it from a family friend who says it on a pretty regular basis, thinking he’s funny.  He’s not.

5. Mixed Breed

What?!  Did you really just list that, Alicia?  Why, yes.  Yes, I did.  It actually wasn’t that long ago that one of my kids actually heard these words come out of someone’s mouth.  We were at Gerald’s basketball try-outs, and the mom of one of the other kids trying out actually said to me (after she realized which boy was mine), “Oh, you know, I’ve always said those people who’ve mixed breeds have the prettiest kids.”

WTF, lady – Are you kidding me?!  Guys, seriously, I couldn’t even believe she had just let that crap come out of her mouth.  Not to mention, my other kid was sitting right beside me when she did.  In fact, that’s the only reason I felt the need to restrain myself from going postal on her.  [Sigh...Some people…      

6. Douchebag

Who under the sun would say this word in front of her children and lead them to believe this is acceptable to say?  Okay, never mind.  That “role model” would be me, and yes – I admit – I’ve actually called my kid a douchebag before.  Here’s why.  Probably not the best example, huh?

That’s when I use the ever famous…

“Do as I say and not as I do.”

So, parents, what do you think?  Am I overreacting?  Are these words that I shouldn’t really despise and not really care so much that my kids are hearing or, possibly, saying?

I’d love to hear what the “bad words that aren’t really bad words” are in your houses.  Weigh in!


Help! I Can’t Say No!


Most people think they need their own personal assistants.  Not me… Nope.  I need a “No-Man.”  I need someone to walk through every step of life with me, and every time I start to say, “Sure! Yes!,” I need my No-Man to interrupt me with a loud, confident, “NO!”  Fortunately, Arden has volunteered herself for this position.

Seriously, though, I have a huge, innate inability to say no.  I don’t know what it is.  I’m not shy; I’m not introverted; I’m not quiet; I’m not a pushover.  But I just can’t say no.

Here’s a recent example:

At the beginning of Gerald’s football season this year, the coaches had a meeting with us parents.  They asked if anyone would volunteer to help out with things like emails and notifications of practices, etc.  Everyone sat there for a good 30 seconds in silence.  My inner voice was screaming, “No!  Don’t do it!  You swear every year that you’ll never do this again.”  It was at that very moment that I heard my outer voice speak up… “Sure.  I’ll do it!”  Are you effing kidding me, Alicia?  Here we go again.  The coach was very thankful, and I used that fact to be a little less angry with myself.

Since that day, however, I haven’t only sent emails about practices and game schedules.  Nope, not me… I’ve created a team website, I’ve videotaped all the games, and I’ve offered to pick some kids up and take them to games when their parents can’t make it themselves because of work.  All of this while I have my own hectic, full-time job and two kids playing three sports per year in different leagues with practices and games at the same times in different locations.  Why do I do this to myself?

Here’s another example:

At work, I’ve been swamped.  In fact, swamped doesn’t even do it justice.  As you may (or may not) have noticed, I disappeared from the blogging world for several weeks.  This is because I was just drowning in work and schedule issues.  Anyway, I’ve had several recent requests to take the lead on one project or another, and what have I said every stinking time, even though I’ve barely had time to even run across the hall to pee?  “Sure.  I’ll be happy to do it.”

Again… Are you kidding me?!

Here’s one final example:

Yesterday Ronald’s all-star travel football coach emailed all the parents of the players to tell us how much we could expect to have to pay for our tournament in Knoxville coming up in a few weeks.  Then he asked for a volunteer treasurer to collect all the money from the parents and make the necessary collection arrangements.

I bet you can guess who that parent is…  Yep.  You got it.

When I told Arden that this morning, she offered to slap some sense into me, and I almost took her up on it.  Why, exactly, is it that I just can’t say no?

Source: Urban Black Thoughts

Source: Urban Black Thoughts

I did a little research on the matter, and here’s what I found.

People often have a hard time saying no for the following reasons:

1. They want to help.

Okay, this one’s legit.  I do want to help.  So far, so good.

2. They’re afraid of being rude.

I ruled this one out because I’m not usually asked specifically or called-out to volunteer.  I usually do so from an open invitation.  Oh, and there’s one other reason I don’t fall into this category.  I don’t really care if I’m rude.

3. They want to be agreeable.

I don’t typically worry about alienating myself from a group by not being in agreement with others, so again, I rule this one out.

4. They fear conflict.

As you all know by now, my dream in life is to become an attorney.  This is because I usually thrive under conflict and don’t fear dissent.  This one is nixed.

5. They fear lost opportunities.

I don’t fear doors closing in the situations in which I volunteer because they’re usually recreational.  They don’t mean the possibility of more money or great status.  They usually only mean undue, extra stress.  Strike this one.

6. They don’t want to burn bridges.

This reminds me of the previous reason, so I’m going to rule this one out, as well.  Also, I don’t really have to worry about relationships being damaged by turning a request down, as the only relationships that usually exist in these circumstances are mere acquaintance interactions.

Okay, so yes, we know I want to help, but certainly that’s not the only reason I kick myself several times a month, right?  It can’t be.  So what else could it be?

The only other reasons I could come up with on my own (with no thanks to the researchers who put the above list together) are that either some people may actually strive under stress (I can’t imagine…) or that I’m simply that much of a control-freak.  Could this be it?

Yes, I want things done right, and yes, I try to do everything perfectly.  This may account for some of it, but why should I care if someone else screws up at work or on the football emails?  Do I care, really?  I don’t think I do, but I can’t, for the life of me, think of any other reasons why I put myself in these situations.

Do you have any suggestions or deep insights that I may have missed?  I’m all ears!

In the meantime, don’t ask me for anything.  I’m saying “No” in advance!!!

(Okay, I’ll change my mind by the time you ask me, but I’ll definitely have Arden tell you “No” for me.  So still… don’t ask!)

Source: Slap Caption

Source: Slap Caption


“I wish I could bake a cake filled with rainbows and smiles and everyone would eat and be happy.” ~Mean Girls


As I get older, I’ve seen more and more “feminist” posts on the Internets, the Google, and the Facebook.  They encourage us women to support one another and not be so damn mean and judgmental all the time.  Every time I see one of these posts or articles, I stop and think about my real-life experiences.  Are we really that critical and judgmental of each other?  Okay – yes.  The more I answer, “Yes,” the more I wonder why we’re that way.  I can’t help but wonder if we’re actually wired that way – if we have something innately inside of us that causes us to be a little more critical of other women than we are of men (or, heck – even more than men are of other men).

For example, here’s a real-life situation that just happened a few weeks ago.

One of the women here at work recently came back from maternity leave.  She really is one of the sweetest, quietest women I’ve ever met.  You know… she’s one of those genuinely nice people who always smiles and asks how you’re doing.  (Very unlike me…)  Well anyway, like I said, she just came back to work after having her first child – an adorable, chubby-cheeked little girl.

While I was standing at the printer, she walked by me and stopped to say hello.  This was the first time I had seen her since she’d been back to work.  Of course, I excitedly asked her how she and the baby were doing, welcomed her back, and then told her…

… Wait for it …

“I can’t believe how great you look!  You look amazing!”

Say what?!  Why in the world was that one of the very first things out of my mouth?  The funny thing, though, is that right as I started to internally question myself, another of our female coworkers walked up and said, “Wow, you really do look great!”

What in the world??  Do we automatically assume that someone’s supposed to weigh 400 pounds after having a child?  Thankfully, I’ve never weighed anywhere even close to that, so I certainly know better.

So what made that my automatic first response then?

This is what has me wondering if women, in general, are perhaps biologically wired in such a way as to focus on the more superficial aspects of life, therefore causing us to naturally be more judgmental and critical of other women.

Let’s explore this for a minute.

Women have certain hormones that men don’t have.  And those hormones have a tendency to fluctuate, sometimes dramatically, after several changes in our lives.  Okay, fine… and every month.  Could these hormones play a role in our judginess?  [Yes, I made that word up.  And I like it, darn it.]

Or maybe men are just as judgmental as we women are, but they don’t outwardly express it like we do.  That makes sense to me, too, seeing as men are seemingly naturally quieter than women.  I don’t know, men… you tell me.  What is your first thought after you see a woman who’s just given birth?

Or… perhaps men are just more laid back than women and really could not care less about the things women seem to focus on.  Maybe they just really don’t care if they match or if they look fat in their jeans.

Could women possibly need greater amounts of affirmation?  Maybe we affirm other women because we would want the same compliment if the roles were reversed.  I’m not going to lie – I would feel pretty good if someone told me they could never tell I just had a baby.  On the flip-side of that, though, maybe we put other women down solely in an attempt to boost ourselves up.

Source: The Meta Picture

Source: The Meta Picture

Why is it that our self-esteem boosts often come at someone else’s expense?  I would love to have a better understanding of this.  In the meantime, however, I’m going to try to do a better job of controlling my thoughts and words, especially when they may be superficial, judgmental, or downright mean.

Women, I ask that you do the same.  Let’s empower each other and not judge each other.  Let’s encourage each other and not demean each other.  And let’s stop tearing one another down and start building each other up.

Source: Walmart

Source: Walmart

If I had it to do over, I wouldn’t have told my coworker how great she looks.

 I would have told her what a great mommy she’s going to be.


Marriage Isn’t For You


aliciabenton:

Amazing perspective. <3

Originally posted on Seth Adam Smith:

Kim and I

Kim and I

Having been married only a year and a half, I’ve recently come to the conclusion that marriage isn’t for me.

Now before you start making assumptions, keep reading.

I met my wife in high school when we were 15 years old. We were friends for ten years until…until we decided no longer wanted to be just friends. :) I strongly recommend that best friends fall in love. Good times will be had by all.

Nevertheless, falling in love with my best friend did not prevent me from having certain fears and anxieties about getting married. The nearer Kim and I approached the decision to marry, the more I was filled with a paralyzing fear. Was I ready? Was I making the right choice? Was Kim the right person to marry? Would she make me happy?

Then, one fateful night, I shared these thoughts and concerns with my…

View original 565 more words


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