Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Whole Package


I want the whole package.  There, I said it.  And inside that package is a whole lotta intelligence, wit, charm, purpose, humanity and understated integrity.  I know it's asking for a lot.  I get that.  But, I also know that these are the things I crave.  I need substance.

And I don't mean just from my mate, who I'm extremely fortunate, exhibits all of these traits and more.  It extends far beyond that.  I want it in every aspect of my life.  So not only do I want the relationships in my life to fit in the box, I want the trips I take, the things I read, listen to and watch to check the box too.  Which is why it's gotta be a damn big box.

That being said, I don't have any desire to go on a cruise, read zombie porn, listen to any Iggy Azalea song or to go to see the movie Magic Mike.  In fact, there aren't many movies I'm actually that interested in seeing these days.  But somehow, I had seen the trailer for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and was intrigued.  Not enough to go out and see it, but when I saw it at the library for free, I checked it out.  

We watched it as a family and it quite simply is the best movie I have seen in quite a while.  The kids even liked it.  All about living, really living, the life you want wrapped in a funny, heartwarming, inspiring bow tied whole complete package.  (Don't let the fact that I don't watch many movies or stay awake til the end if I do sway you.  )

So if you haven't seen it already, maybe you want to check it out too.  Consider this tip my holiday gift to you. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Red Lipstick Experiment


I went through this phase in college where I wore lots of make-up and had the world's biggest and stiffest New Jersey mall hair.  In my defense, it was the late 80's and early 90's and everyone made poor style choices back then.  As if being a sheep is an excuse.   So, my real excuse is, it was college and I was trying to figure out who I was and experimenting with my style was just part of a bigger inner journey.  Or some such bullshit.

Twenty something years later, I think I can define my style as "antisocial tomboy thrift store queen".  I dress for comfort on the cheap which fits my mom/writer lifestyle perfectly.  After all, I'm pretty invisible in both roles.  Who cares what I wear to chauffeur my kids around in?  Ok, my kids actually do.  Because god knows I can't wear the converse that my 13 year old daughter has adopted as her own, even though they're mine.  Or my grey boots that have the same shared fate.  Or basically anything that would make me stand out from the other moms.

But every once in a while, I'd like to feel chic and stylish.  
To try on a completely different persona.
To play dress up.

So, when I was at the orthodontist thumbing through the magazines in the waiting room, I saw a photo of a trendy twenty something wearing a bold red lip that captivated me.  Which is weird, because I've never been a fan of that look before.  Nor did I think it would look good on me with my long face and slightly pouty lips that are too far south of my nose. But, I couldn't shake the thought that I wanted to try it anyway.  Plus lipstick is cheap and doesn't require the commitment of say a tattoo.  

Three trips to the drugstore and three shades of cheap drugstore lipstick later, I found it.
Not fire engine or siren red, but a richer, deeper bordeaux.  

And I had just the perfect occasion for it.  A Festivus party where we only knew the hosts.  No one would know I was a complete red lipstick fraud.  Only me and my husband.   And he is not a fan of make up and thus, this look.  Although he did act as a good wing man when I did intermittent lipstick checks.  Is it on my teeth?  Does the red wine I'm drinking linger on my lips contrasting and competing with my lipstick color?  Then I had to make sure I drank from the same spot on my wine glass leaving only one lipstick mark.  Then there was the mandatory bathroom trip mid party to reapply after I ate and drank some of it off.  

Turns out, red lipstick is high maintenance. 
And basically, I am WAY too lazy for it.

So I'll take my Bourdeaux in a glass, thank you very much, and drink it up, allowing it to stain my lips (and teeth).  Which is the way my husband (and I) prefer it.  Au naturale.  And there will be no "Going Blonde Experiment",  just so you know...












Friday, December 12, 2014

Sprouts



This is my favorite brussel sprout recipe.  But, this post isn't about food.  It's food for thought.  And today I'm over at Sprout magazine giving you the dish on working it all out.

Check it out here

And as an extra added bonus here's the recipe for the brussel sprouts:

Slaw the sprouts.
Melt butter in the pan.
Saute those suckers.
Add maple syrup.
Then salt & pepper.
Voila!



Monday, December 8, 2014

The Secret Lives of Introverts


If you haven't met me in real life and for some of you, even if you have, you may not realize the extent of my introversion.  Because we introverts feel like impostors in an extroverts world, we try to fit in.  To act "normal" amongst the rest of you, who we figure, probably wouldn't understand our super secretive introverted ways.  See, we think that some of the things we think might make you feel slighted or uncomfortable.  When all we really want to do is protect you from our overly sensitive sheltered world.  If "overly sensitive sheltered world" made you cringe, you my friend, are an extrovert.  And you're probably not going to understand any of this.

But, I'm going to tell you anyway....

A lot of our energy is expended simply trying to figure out how to get our point across and be heard without drawing attention to ourselves.  This creates a moral conundrum every damn day of our introverted lives.  It's a huge internal conflict.  Which leads us to feel like crap.  Because we would prefer the attention be placed firmly on you needy extroverts.  Don't get me wrong, we love you in a very codependent way.  You can have all the attention, we don't want it.  Although, we'd prefer you to do it a little quieter sometimes.  And please don't step on our toes.  Even if we tell you it's totally okay and it doesn't hurt.  It does.  We just have a hard time telling you.  

But, if I do tell you something, know that I mean it.   Really, really mean it.  So take whatever I said to the 10th power.  That's approximately the correct introverted to extroverted conversion of meaning. Also, as an introvert, I'm not only listening to everything you say, I'm also reading everything you're conveying without words.  Like your body language.  We expect that you extroverts will reciprocate this kindness.  That is,  if you're not too busy dancing on a table or swinging from a chandelier at the party to notice the fact that we're trapped in a corner listening to your obnoxious Aunt Petunia, WHO WON'T SHUT UP!

When we disappear from the party altogether without saying goodbye, this does NOT mean we don't love you.  Do NOT take this personally.  It simply means our finite amount of social time for the week was up.  It's kinda like Cinderella, when it's time to go, IT'S TIME TO GO.  Really, you're pretty dang special if we showed up at your social event in the first place.  So, if you think of it that way, the glass (slipper) is really half full as opposed to half empty.  

However, if we didn't show up at your social event at all and provide you with a lame ass excuse, this again, doesn't mean we don't like you.  It simply means we're currently running on a social deficit.  And in order to get back to black again, we need to recharge our batteries.  We do this by being alone, consumed in heavy thought.  I know that sounds contradictory, but it's what we must do!  We don't expect you to "get it".  We just want to walk away from every social situation wondering if we came across as either a snob or a serial killer and then feel the need to over explain our often confusing and bizarre actions.  Or inactions, as the case may be.

It's not that we're unfeeling, to the contrary, it's often that we feel so much we get completely overwhelmed sometimes.  Or more than sometimes, as the case may be.  It's just that being alone allows us time to over think everything and come up with the absolute perfect way we should have answered your question.  Which we will be able to write a concise e-mail about week after the fact. 

We don't want your pity, we just want you to understand our often mysterious ways.
You know, when you extroverts have a minute, we know it's holiday party time and all...





Thursday, December 4, 2014

Soul Sisters


Do you ever see patterns and seeming coincidences in your life and wonder what the significance is?  One of mine is the fact that the majority of my family and friends are Scorpios and Sagittarii.  So this time of year, right before Thanksgiving up until Christmas, is what I refer to as The Birthday Season.  And I curse it because really,  can't we just spread all these birthdays out?  Because I feel like I can't really do anyone's birthday justice when they are all clustered like this amongst the turkey AND the mistletoe!

And how did I accumulate so many people with November and December birthdays to my life? Ok, so maybe I can chalk my family up to coincidence.  But, all the friends too?  It goes beyond what statistics can explain.  We're like 2 or 3 standard deviations from the bell curve here people!  This is an anomaly.

So let's think about this.  Scorpios, like my husband and daughter, are intense, passionate and focused.  Which I love.  I love their commitment and sincerity, which is probably why my friend Suzanne, a Scorpio, is one of my closest friends.  She and my husband have a logic that is pretty foreign and fascinating to me.  And also balances my Sagittarianism.  (Yeah, I made that word up.  Unless it's already a word. I can't be bothered looking it up. I'm a Sagittarius, so I can do that.)

Then there's the Sagittarii, adventurous, humorous and some might say frivolous and feisty.  Let me add impatient and inconsistent.  That doesn't sound anything like me.  Oh wait, yeah, it totally does.  So while Scorpios tend to be fantastic gift givers, I'm horrible.  Oh, I will spend a lot of time thinking about what to get you before your birthday.  Trust me.  But, I will over think my way out of 10 different gifts.  Not funny enough, not perfect enough, not the right color, not enough meaning.  Whatever.

Maybe, the odds will be in my favor and I'll find you the perfect gift.  But more than likely, I won't.  Oh, I do have the best intentions, really I do.  But I will resort to what I know best, spending time sharing an experience with you.  Because I'm Sagittarius, this makes total sense to me. NOW, LET'S HAVE FUN!

So this is exactly what happened yesterday, when it was my girlfriends' shared birthday, just two days after my own birthday.  And we went to lunch, which led us to this tea place which led us to learn about Chinese culture and basically everything about the owner of the tea shop.  It's not our fault we lost track of time and our kids came home from school wondering if we had run away and joined the circus.  Which could totally happen next year at birthday season, who knows?

I'd like to dedicate this post to all my soul sisters, regardless of what zodiac sign you are. I may not say it often, because I'm not a sentimental Scorpio after all, but I love and cherish your friendship more than I could ever express in words.  But I could probably charade it pretty well though, not to be boastful or anything...




Monday, December 1, 2014

Forty-Five


Today I am forty-five years old.  Every year right before my birthday I get really reflective.  Taking inventory of where I've been and where I'm going.  Reassessing if I'm on the right path.  And this year it hit me.  If I am lucky enough to live to 90,  I've lived half my life already.  And that's the good news.  So, that's when I got a bit depressed.

I'm sure I'm not the only one that feels twenty-five years old in my head.  That's shocked at the passage of time.  Like, just the other night I was watching 60 Minutes, another indicator of my age, when they noted the Chernobyl disaster was almost 30 years ago.  HOW CAN THAT BE?  I'm twenty-five in my head and the disaster I vividly remember watching on the news is older than me.  Something is not right!

How did I get to be a middle aged woman?
When did this happen?

Until I started to sort through everything.  All the really good choices I've made and all the really, really horrible ones that I wish I could go back and fix.  But, I know that the completely imperfect, but way more self accepting forty-five year old version of me only emerged from the yin and the yang, the good and the bad,  abundance and absence, pride and regret,  love and hate.   But ultimately, the integration of all of these things.  Knowing that I cannot be defined by just one mistake or missed opportunity.  The same way I can't by just one success or achievement.  

I own my shortcomings and my strengths now.
But mostly, I'm content.  

Yes, you heard that right!  CONTENT.  I've never been content before.  But, I like it.  A lot.  So what if my life is half over or more than half over?  Whenever my time comes I'm gonna go out swingin'.  Maybe on a pole.  Maybe on a trapeze.  Who knows?  And who the hell would want to?  Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got some livin', to do...








Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Umm...Thanks, I Guess?


Why do I always get the crazy person at the stop light next to me who gives me the cranking roll-down-your-window gesture?  And why do I always roll down the window because a stranger is gesticulating at me?  It happened again just the other day, a very cold and snowy one.   And it was a man in his 70's.

"Your tag expired in July of this year", he said pointing at my back license plate.
"Really?  Ummmmm.......ok.........thanks."  But I really didn't mean it.  What I meant was what-is-your-problem-he-who-must-have-too-much-time-on-his-hands-and-misreads-other-people's-license-plates-I-have-places-to-go-and-things-to-do-mister!

But, I vowed to double check my tag when I got to my destination just in case.  And when I went around back, indeed the old crazy guy was........RIGHT.  How could this be?  Maybe we let one of the kids put the registration sticker on and they put it on the wrong car.  Or maybe one of them lost the registration postcard that comes in the mail.  Cause it must somehow be my kids' fault.

Then, I was talking to a friend who said someone peeled the registration sticker off of her license plate a couple of years ago.  Aha!  That MUST be it.  Some malicious douchebag stole my registration sticker off my car.  What IS the world coming to anyway?  Now I'm going to have to spend a week at the DMV to clear up this horrible act of vandalism.  Where is the humanity?  WHERE?

The next morning I checked the DMV website, looking for what documentation I would need to haul in with me to plead my innocence.  I ran my license plate number through the on-line system to arm myself with even more evidence for defending myself.  And to my horror, my car was unregistered.  And there was only one person to blame.  ME.

Cause you do know I'm an unorganized mess who constantly screws things up, RIGHT? 

So I tucked my tail between my legs, got the old registration and proof of insurance and headed to stand in line at the DMV, for what I was sure was a long haul, while texting my husband, "WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME???"  To which he replied, "HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU HAVE?'  When I got to the counter in less than 5 minutes,  I didn't have to plead anything.  She was nice and helpful and assigned me a new sticker no questions asked.  Although when she handed it to me, I got all teary right there in the DMV in front of a stranger because I was so thankful.  And then I  had to confess the whole story.  Not that she even wanted to hear it.  

What IS wrong with me?  Why am I forgetting things and crying in the DMV?  Oh my god, I'm the crazy, old, suspicious, bitter lady who blames everyone else. because, maybe, I'm a premenopausal mess.  This is the long haul right here.  So I would just like to offer these words to my husband, family and friends both retroactively and anticipatory:  "I'm sorry!", for my inevitable screw ups and "Thank you!", for putting up with me!  

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!  







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