Tag Archives: friends

Loyalty

As humans, we all have our individual opinions on what makes an outstanding friend, colleague or family member.

I’m sure there would be a common theme amongst most; kindness, compassion, and humor to name a few.

I dare not take the easy way out and will gladly lay my cards on the table. Loyalty is what I look for in anyone I become intertwined with whether it is a professional or personal relationship.

I wouldn’t ask anyone to give anything above what I, myself offer. If you are my friend, you will have my undying loyalty unless or until you give me reason not to.

If someone is disloyal to me, I am a very unforgiving person and have no problem cutting the thread that binds us. While my reaction is swift, it is necessary. No need to give a person a second chance to burn me. I’m a quick learner and believe in self preservation.

Loyalty is what relationships are built on and when tough times come, it is what is tested most. Anyone can claim true friendship or devotion, but it’s those who will have your back when you have no way of knowing they do.

True loyalty is someone who supports you under any circumstance with nothing to gain and whom share the same principles.  Often times, loyalty comes with sacrifice. It’s about being there for others even when it may not be convenient for you.

To me, if opportunity controls your loyalty then your character is flawed.

But life isn’t always that easy. Unfortunately, expectations of loyalty often come with disappointment. It arrives when you’re in your darkest hour and those you expect to be there aren’t.  Tough times reveal real and loyal friends. Rather than be discouraged, take note and purge those who are friends of convenience to you.

Life is constantly evolving and so are we as humans. We live and we learn.

With loyalty comes responsibility. Loyalty isn’t “yesing” your friend to death. Loyalty is playing devil’s advocate or having those hard conversations with your loved one when no one else is. To me, loyalty equates to honesty.

Money and material things will fluctuate in one’s life, but good moral character is the barometer for which I choose my friends and which I want to be recognized for.

The older we get, the wiser we get thus the smaller the circle of those we trust and rely on. True character will always reveal itself so pay attention.

 

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Out With the Old, In With the New

It’s so cliché to reflect back on the passing year as there are only hours left of it. Having said that, it’s exactly what I’m going to do now. Pull up a chair, a glass of wine and lean in closer to listen to this year’s life lessons.

My mantra for this coming New Year is, out with the old and in with the new. New Year’s can be likened to the closet. There are clothes we keep for years even though they haven’t fit in just as long. We hang onto them because we once loved that exact piece of clothing. Or there are clothes that we hang onto because we bought and absolutely loved but they are ill fitting and we never wear. Then there are the garments we cling onto because they were an expensive purchase yet we really have no place out to wear them.

Much can be said of the relationships in our own lives.

We hang onto friends simply because we have known them for years despite having nothing in common with them. We hang onto them for nostalgia regardless of the fact that our mindsets are no longer parallel. Out with the old, in with the new.

We are all guilty of quickly engaging with a person over a commonality, perhaps it was a current event, or a mutual friend. As quickly as the friendship started, it has fizzled out. If you aren’t reminiscing about that one thread that binds you together, conversation is surface and labored. Out with the old, in with the new.

There comes a point in our lives when we are enamored by someone simply over their lifestyle, their clothes, their fame or their connections. Suddenly we feel we are part of the “it” crowd. While we might not be in their league, it becomes clear that the person who seems to have it all really isn’t in align with the person we are and we are no longer impressed. We keep them around as a way to hob knob. Out with the old, in with the new.

For those of us who invest in our friendships and work on them daily yet have little return on investment. Time reveals who our real friends are, who are willing to have our back and who will show the same loyalty we show them. Someone once told me, friends are easy to come by when things are going bad because it’s easy to share in misery. It’s a true friend, who can share in your accomplishments and your happiness without being tainted by jealousy. Out with the old, in with the new.

For the relationships which have plagued us with doubt, and chiseled away at our own self worth may they be replaced with ones of confidence, mutual respect and love. Out with the old, in with the new.

2014 has giving me clarity on what and who I need in my life. I have let go of anything and anyone who doesn’t support me or contribute to my happiness. Out with the old, in with the new. I am grateful for the lessons learned in 2014 and I’m excited at the prospect of what 2015 brings along with it. Perhaps you too should consider cleaning out your closet. Cheers and happy New Years!

Last Rites …Kinda

So this is how my story goes. A day before Thanksgiving, my daughter returned home from college only to be diagnosed with Mono. I asked no questions, but we all know it’s the “kissing disease”. It was only a week later that I landed myself in the hospital with the same diagnosis only with added complications.

 What’s the problem here? I had no fun getting this plague. Nope. No kissing cute boys. No swapping spit with strangers. No tongue dancing to lead to such a miserable sickness. Chances are that I met my fate through a shared water bottle.

The reality is, I rarely get sick but I can chalk this up as the sickest I’ve been in my life.  I’ll spare you the details but suffice it to say the medical professionals were stumped as to what was wrong with me besides the mono. What can I say? I’m complicated, even in sickness lol.

They performed numerous tests on me including Cat scans and MRIs. I was so doped out I barely was coherent to know what was going on. As I lie dying on the MRI table, my imminent death was confirmed when I overheard the technicians having a conversation. I can only recall the words brain tumor swirling in the air. I thought FUCK!!!!  As I dosed in and out of consciousness, a plethora of questions cluttered my mind; chemo, hair loss, death and who is going to clean the kitty litter if I’m gone?

Five hours later, the doctors arrived with news that my tests were normal. Somehow they were misinformed so I clued them in that I had a brain tumor. Much to my delight, they reassured me I was simply delirious and every test was normal. So that was a peak into a drug addicts mind. Making shit up that is nowhere close to reality.

Fast forward to day number three in the hospital. It was a rough day. There was lots of pain which meant lots of pain medication. I was so out of it. I woke up only to find a priests business card on my side table. I held the white card in my hand and read it twice. A priest visit only means one thing…last rites!  Shit! I was correct all along, I was dying.

This was a long way to get to the point of this blog.  Being so sick and thinking I was going to die led me to my own funeral arrangements.

My fingers started dialing.  I immediately phoned my daughter to inform her she had to eulogize me at my funeral. My request was met with an emphatic no, but when momma is gone and push comes to shove, she will. Hopefully when the time comes, she’d have outgrown her teenage Cybil like moods causing only positive remarks (Dear God, that’s a direct request).

 The second phone call was to my close friend who was easily convinced to give eulogy #2. She is a shoo-in to speak flatteringly about me. I can only assume that’s true. After all, I’ll be dead and have no idea if she were to say that chick was bat shit crazy.

Lastly, I called my childhood friend for eulogy #3. Like any good friend, she assured me that my death would be perfect (best friends always know the right things to say) causing a sigh of relief.  However, my request was met with a question.

Did I want to write my own eulogy? Wow, that’s genius and never actually crossed my mind but it was tempting to say yes. I mean I could dig deep into my Mary Poppins bag and pull out every good deed I ever did to paint me into Mother Theresa. As much as I wanted to yell “yes”, I declined. Like Mother Theresa, I knew it would be disingenuous. I wanted these people to speak about me as they knew me.

 And here’s the moral of the longest story on earth. The Grim Reaper visited (total exaggeration needed for visual purposes) and I was damned if my death were not met in the same way I lived life. After mulling over the details, I have to come to realize that it is more important how people perceive me than how I perceive myself (pat on back for moment of deep reflection).

After confirming that I have the best friends and have now burdened them with such a task, I made my last request to Prince Charming. I wanted my favorite song played at my funeral (23 years later, he didn’t even know it. True love.) .  My husband rolled his eyes making no mental notes and barely acknowledging the drama of my conversation

The truth is, I’m not dying (happy about that) but out of this ridiculous sickness I’ve managed to orchestrate my ideal funeral (probably not normal). I can rest easy knowing people; even strangers know how I want my last hoorah to be played out. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say perhaps this blog was created to memorialize my request (half brilliant). Fingers crossed that my people read or follow my blog to make this shit happen when my times up.

Top 10 Ways to Know if You’re a Douche Bag

Today I feel so inspired (by others) to write a blog on douche bags. Thanks (not really) for providing me with this information and material. Let it be known that douchebaggery is not limited to men; lots of women are capable of being douchettes too. For those of you that are riding the fence not knowing if you fully qualify for such a title, let me provide a checklist of sorts for you to keep score. Please note, that if you even possess one of these qualities, you SUCK and chances are, those around you think you suck too. (Wow that sounds bitter. Down girl.) Brace yourself because here it comes….

1. If you are the type of person that does favors and then throws it up in others faces, you are a gigantic douche bag. If you do a favor for someone, do it because you want to and hold no expectations. Chances are the person asking doesn’t even want to but has exhausted all other possibilities leaving them in a precarious situation. Doing a favor means you are helping someone. It certainly doesn’t make that person your eternal slave nor does it mean they have to live in purgatory taking your shit for a lifetime. You don’t own someone just because you did them a favor.

2. If someone who cares about you tries to contact you via text, email, phone calls etc., and you consciously choose to ignore them; you’ve hit the douche-o-meter. What a douche bag you are to make the other person squirm, guess what’s going on, worry or blindlessly create a scenario in their head of what may or may not be happening. Try not to be a douche and answer them.

3. Here’s a good one. If someone trusts you so much that they confide their secrets to you, either big, small or both, don’t use that information to then throw it up in their face in a fit of anger or as a way to get back at them. Worse than that, don’t share those same secrets with others. Only douches would do such a thing. Take into consideration that they thought so highly of you to share something so intimate and important to them. Don’t make them regret bringing you into their world.

4. If you have a specific goal you want to achieve, either tangible or not, don’t lie to another person to get there. It’s a cheap way of achieving things. Don’t fib to make someone believe you are likeminded and aligned in your beliefs. If that person, isn’t in the same place as you or wanting the same things, move yourself right along. See ya douchebag.

5. I can’t think of anything more unappealing than a person who is pretentious or an elitist. There’s not a single person who would want to keep company with someone who thumbs their nose at others, all while under the delusion that they are out of anyone else’s league. Douchebags, here’s a newsflash; your insecurities scream out when you act in such a manner. You’re probably trying to reject those around you for fear of being rejected yourself. Wow, I’m a freaking therapist all of the sudden. Please take note.

6. Here’s an adjective that fits every douche bag out there, self-centered. Listen jerks, the world revolves around the sun, not you asshole. Friendship is a two-way street and you are on a one way road going nowhere fast. It’s nice to hear what’s going on with you, but how long does one have to listen to a person talk about themselves? Since we are on this topic, here’s another thing, if you are more interested in what solely makes you happy and never consider those around you that makes you a douche. If you are self-centered and the only subject that you like is “me”, pack your bags and take a hike out of my world. Contributing to others happiness is part of friendship, family and life.

7. Mistakes are part of life. If someone you care about makes one, don’t spend your entire life rubbing their nose in it. Either forgive or try to understand. If you’re incapable of one or both, release that person from your life. Don’t be a douche and keep them around just to feel empowered, or use it as a way to control them and have them pay penance every day. You have a choice, either you want them in your life or you don’t. Don’t have them in your life just to wield some weird non-existent power you now think you hold over them.

8. Hey we all think we are good looking to an extent. Some of us are right on the money and others have completely missed the mark. Good for the uglies that think they are cute. No harm, no foul. However, do your best not to flaunt your fake-hotness. Furthermore, if you are hot, definitely don’t be an asshole about it. You’re good looking, we all know it. Doesn’t mean I want to bask in your presence and worship you. If you’re good looking and parade around in it, your hotness instantly diminishes. I’ll still look at you, but there is no way on God’s green earth that I’ll give you the satisfaction of acknowledging you’re cute. Hotness without brain activity = douche.

9. Loyalty is an amazing quality to have and those you love should feel it toward you. Seems reasonable but it’s not. Not everyone carries this trait. Family and friends should have your back, no exceptions. If someone talks smack about you in your presence or not, your people should leap to your defense even if the other person has a point. Who cares if what they are saying is true, you are their person therefore loyalty should be immediately implemented. If your best friend hates someone, you hate them too and there is no room for negotiation on this. Reason and rational do not go with loyalty. If you are incapable of protecting, helping, or practicing unconditional love to those in your immediate circle than you’re nothing more than a total scumbag. You aren’t worthy to be in that circle and need to go back to loyalty training.

10. Last but certainly not least is the person that only has friends on their terms. You’re the person who only comes around when it’s convenient for you, or you need something. Hells no! Don’t contact that one reliable friend as a last option because all your other homies aren’t around. Saying hey, I miss you after months and months of not talking to just find that shoulder to cry on because all others have failed you is really kind of douchey. That person was always there for you, you abandoned them in the height of your popularity and suddenly you find yourself alone. Nope don’t contact that person that was a great friend to you and come walking back in their life as if you were there the whole time. No no no no that friend had time to figure out the exact type of person you are, a user. Find another sucker.

There you have it my friends. That’s my top ten list. I’m sure there are a hundred more ways someone can be considered a douche, but I found these qualities to be the most notable. Ask yourself if you do these things. My suggestion is if you are guilty of any of the above that you cease and abandon them immediately. I can absolutely guarantee that you’ve been called a douche either to your face or behind your back, either way; you have the ability to change that. If you had a good friend like me, I’d be happy to tell you to your face, but I’m just the writer and you’re the reader.

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I Have a Dream…..

Like Martin Luther King Jr., I have a dream, perhaps not as profound as the good doctor but here it is. I want to wake up skinny. I shared this fact upon a recent road trip with my girlfriend and her family to their new house out of state. This is where her size 0, 15 year old daughter with the slamming ass chimed in and told me if I did crunches every night, I could achieve such a dream. That’s a NO. She didn’t get it. Please reread the dream. Nowhere in there does it say that I want to exercise, eat right, or work hard to attain such a dream. The dream simply states, I want to wake up skinny. The end.  There’s nothing more to it.

Once we arrived at the new house, we were greeted by my girlfriend’s new neighbor. We will call her Maggie. We gathered around her kitchen island, where she popped blueberries in her mouth. She skillfully made her way around the kitchen making some fresh ice-tea and offering us some black bean soup she just whipped up. She was tan, athletic, and slim, the picture of health. Fuck her, right?

Soon after, Maggie accompanied us on a shopping trip to prepare for that evenings barbeque. As I threw whoopee pies and chips in the shopping cart, Maggie was loading up on raspberries, grapes and other unrecognizable healthy food items. Our own junk food cart was overflowing, causing me to carry the microwave popcorn and bags of chips. Maggie clearly saw me struggling to carry such items, so she broke open a snack and offered me some. The excitement turned to disappointment when a granola energy bar was offered. C’mon granola and energy bars are no where in the snack defined category, at least not for me. I’d eat that only as a last resort if I was dying and there wasn’t another kernel of food around.

We had the best barbeque. My friend’s neighbors couldn’t have been nicer or more hospitable. We talked about the challenges they each faced moving into a new town let alone a new state. It was sisterhood at its best. As I basked in the company of three strong, beautiful women, (Nothing I admire more than a strong, independent woman.  Can I get a whoop!?) The sun soon faded and the chilly, summer air enveloped us.

Maggie, being the perfect hostess, noticed this and fluttered outside giving me one of her own sweatshirts. God, I liked this woman more and more.  So as I sat around the packed table at dusk, I pulled Maggie’s Northface sweatshirt over my arms, or tried to. Hello???  It must have been an xxx-small. Ok it was probably a small but xxx gives you an idea of how small it felt. I wiggled my arms in the sweatshirt but my elbows were in a backward locked position. It looked like, and more importantly felt like, I was in a straight jacket. The odds of zipping this jacket were the same as the odds as the Queen of England inviting me to tea. Neither were going to happen. I needed my wine more than ever as I was now so conscious of my weight.  (Not sure how to describe my weight but a guy recently called me thick. Kill me! Get the picture?) As conversations about basketball and the Final Four swirled around the table, I was completely focused on my fingertips reaching the wine glass without ripping the sleeve off of the loaner sweatshirt. I did admire how Maggie zippered up her, baggy sweatshirt.  Fuck her again! I stopped sipping my wine because how was I to grab my glass with my arms in a locked position behind my back. My fatness couldn’t have been more apparent as I lie stranded in Maggie’s tiny Northface jacket.

The clear solution was alcohol. I needed more of it. That is when I leaned in and whispered to my friend’s 6’1” husband and asked him for his sweathshirt. I had a plan. He came out with a jacket and Maggie must have noticed. I said I was chilly and lay his jacket across my legs. We decided we needed to make our way across the lawn and check on the kids. This was my chance to escape constraits of the xxx-small jacket. I quickly swapped out a woman’s cute jacket for the men’s XL sweatshirt.  I mean Jesus, how does one say, thanks for the jacket but my toddler couldn’t even fit into it? Didn’t she see the size of me? I’m not gigantic but I’m no Heidi Klum. At least tonight I wasn’t. Having said that, I did appreciate her vote of confidence.

As this point, my girlfriend accused, oops, I mean asked Maggie if she had accidentally taken the microwave popcorn and chips from the store. Maggie was certain she didn’t but leaped up to peruse her cabinets. Was my friend kidding me? Did she really think Maggie would consume such trash? That’s when I recalled my strained muscles (clearly I’m in shape) and having to put down those very food items as we waited to pay. It was my fault and an  epic fail. The popcorn and chips lay abandoned at the food store with no owner.

Fast forward, it’s our last night in PA and we go out to a restaurant. How appropriate that it was called Fatheads. Yup…right up my alley. Fatheads made me feel fat. Yes the restaurant made me feel fat not the hamburger stacked with bacon, pirogues and onion rings. I ate until I was just about busting out of my shorts. It was okay though because it was the last night of vacation ( perfect rationale). You would think being completely conscious of my weight this weekend, I would have stopped here but that’s not the case. I made my way down to the famous milkshake shop. As the girls behind the counter crafted my cookie dough milkshake I texted my friend (mother of size 0, who herself is a size 2 with an equally slamming ass)  and told her I needed to go on a diet tomorrow. I continued my text, sipping on my milkshake and let her know, I was fully committed to the dream tomorrow.

Some would say that your mental state has to be prepared to make the move to a healthy way of living. I think I’m the exception. My mind thinks I’m skinny which is why I think I am able to run a 5k tough mudder.  In my head, I can easily do this and I will be successful. Please don’t be swayed by the fact that I can’t even jog around my own street without needing medical attention. Maggie’s sweatshirt proved otherwise. Skinny mind and curvy body (I upgraded myself from thick). I wish Santa would bring me a fast metabolism for Christmas. Anyway, Maggie is my inspiration because guess who started their diet today?

You Can’t Always Get What You Want

I’m 43 and have learned yet another life lesson. (zip it about my age lol) Really, I’ve found myself in the same situation countless times and have been unable to learn from any of them, that is until now (yay me, go team!). Grab a glass of wine and let’s discuss. I’ll talk; you listen (as if there is another choice).

And tonight’s topic will be about relationships. We all have them in the shapes of marriages, friends, neighbors or co-workers, to name a few. Some can be lifelong or in the beginning stages. Bottom line, if you’re not a hermit, you have and invite new people into your life daily. Whew…ok now that I had to explain the premise, let’s proceed.

Here’s a little about me. Hate to break it to you, but I’m flawed. Although I’m a bundle of awesomeness (says me), it’s hard to believe but I do have issues. My past experiences and relationships comprise the person before you today. For starters, I’m a very black and white person. I’m a “tell it like it is” kind of girl and for the most part, I lack a filter. I’m extremely direct but always kind (like how I softened that?). The reason I’m like this is because I absolutely suck (in a big way) at deciphering gray areas. I just don’t get it. I will dig through the garbage in my head for hours trying to figure out that middle, gray area. My line of thinking is, if I’m direct, others will be too. OMG I literally am psycho- evaluating myself as I write this blog. I’m a half a God damn genius! Sorry for the interruption, let’s continue. Some might misinterpret my directness as aggression or confrontation. Truth is I hate confrontation but I won’t avoid it if it happens. I might view these as strengths, others as weaknesses. Regardless, each of these qualities lie within me.

Let’s continue. Please pay attention because this is where the life lesson comes in. I wouldn’t want you to miss it. When someone asks me a question, I answer honestly. I don’t skirt issues, hide from awkward or uncomfortable, and I don’t avoid. What you see is what you get (some appreciate this, others not so much). I suppose some might categorize this as genuine. I’m an all in or all out person. As previously noted, I don’t do middle ground. If I’m with you and you are my friend, you have one hundred percent of me. I don’t do shit half-assed and that includes my friendships (you’re welcome).

One would think, that what you give is what you get, right? WRONG! There’s my lesson. I have scars all over me of where I’ve been burned. I have assumed for 43 years (there’s that number again) that I would be rewarded with the same type of people in my life. With relationships come expectations. Sometimes I think life is like an interview. People present themselves in the best light possible which causes us to want to grasp and pull them in. But after the interview, comes the job. The initial wow factor is gone and we are left with the unfiltered, realer version of whom they originally represented themselves to be. More times than not, I try to overlook the disappointment but there comes a time for their job review and often times, dismissal.

It took me long enough, but I have finally learned that not everyone values my friendship as I might theirs. I’ve been called intense once or twice in my life (ok…constantly) and that’s what I bring to the table. I wear my heart on my sleeve trusting those I confide in. When someone tells me things I believe them. I’ve FINALLY realized not everyone does this. Not everyone tells the truth, nor are they genuine. I pride myself on being a fairly good judge of character but every so often someone slips in and I’m duped. Hate that!! I don’t want people that suck in my life, but they sneak in. There is something to be said about loyalty too. I swear I’d give my right testicle for my friends. (Don’t panic, I don’t have one…but you get the idea of my type of loyalty). The flip side of that is if you cross me, I am a very unforgiving person. Why open myself up to be hurt again by the same person twice? . To me, people and friends are not disposable. Friendship and loyalty go hand in hand. Part of today’s lesson is, others don’t necessarily feel that way.

The bottom line is, I’m finding that I can’t always get what I want but if I try real hard, I’ll get what I need. That need comes in the form of a handful of friends that will carry me through the hard times and laugh with me in the good times. For those that have stuck by my side despite all the parts of me that suck, thank you. Group hug!

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