Category Archives: Observations

Hey! My Jeans Don’t Fit. All Over Again.

With all the yoga, herbal supplements, meditation and mostly gluten free eating I’ve been trying lately to manage this silly panic/anxiety affliction I’ve acquired, I have some good news.

I’ve lost some weight.

And not just some weight. I’ve lost about 17 pounds. So far. (I’m optimistically counting on more. Trust me. I could stand a few more.) 

Whoo-hoo! Go Me!

That’s the good news.

The bad news? My clothes don’t fit. Again.

“But this is one of my favorite pairs,” I cry. “I can’t get rid of these.”

“Fine,” my husband says, “Look like a homeboy hangin’ out in the prison yard.”

He has a point.

jeansdiet

You’d think losing a little weight would be a good thing, right? An excuse to go shopping. Update the old wardrobe. But no. It’s not.

First of all, I’m cheap. In a good way. But cheap, all the same. I’m on a roll, without eating the rolls.  I’m planning on going down at least another size. I can’t afford to re-do my entire wardrobe. But until then, I need some clothes that don’t slide down past my hips, revealing my Calvin Kleins. I enter the dressing room, armed with a half dozen pairs of jeans.

One pair is too tight.

One pair is too loose.

One pair is dragging on the ground or cutting me in the crotch or too loose around the thighs but fine everywhere else.

There is only one common denominator. Wait. Make that two common denominators.

1.) They are all the same size.

And…

2.) None of them are just right.

So I walked out of the store with nothing. Just my baggy ol’ pants that look like I borrowed them from my husband. Or my cellmate.

How could all the same size of the same style of clothing give such different results on the new, thinner me?

We are bombarded with print ads showing us how we should look. We compare ourselves to the other moms at the neighborhood pool. We criticize what we see in the mirror, no matter what size.

I was convinced if I went down a size (which I have) I’d be happier. I’d look so much better and I’d feel fantastic.

I am happy. I do look better. But I don’t feel fantastic.

I don’t know about you, but I need to feel good in my clothes. I want them to be comfortable and I’d like to think they are flattering. But those outfits are too far and few between. I may have lost the weight, but I haven’t lost my critical self. And it’s depressing to think that no matter what the size, I may never feel satisfied.

But all the criticizing in the world doesn’t make up for the fact that much of what is out there is just plain unpredictable and uncomfortable. I admit. I’m not much of a shopper. But is it too much to ask that a size X be a size X and fit like all the other size X’s out there?

Is it?

Apparently, it is.

Ah well. Just another excuse to go shopping again.

Anyone want to come with?

3 Comments

Filed under How We Roll, Observations

From Point A to Point C to Point X, Y, Z and Finally To Point B. Or Not.

I have 17 drafts in my draft folder.

Seventeen posts that I started and never finished, dating back to October, 2009.

Considering that’s only 4 posts a year, on average, that I start and don’t finish? I’m feeling pretty good about myself. But that statistic doesn’t include all the other posts, the amazing, captivating, change your life posts that never make it to my computer screen. The ones that dance in my head for 2, maybe 5 minutes before another distraction sends them spiraling into the lost post abyss.

My life is a series of crooked lines. I’m sure many of you can relate. We sit down to begin a blog post. That brilliant idea that we had just moments ago, just itching to get down on the screen. We struggle with a title. Or not. A couple of my drafts are just brilliant titles that actually stayed in my head until the computer booted up.

And then, it happens.

The dryer buzzes and we get up to hang up those few things that dance the rotten-apple-wrinkle in two minutes flat. We dump the rest of the laundry on our bed, promising to get back to it and then throw another load in the washer. The dog is standing by the door, so we let him out. Someone left syrup on the breakfast bar so we wipe it down. We remember we forgot to take our herbs so we pour a glass of water and wash them down. We sit down at the computer only to have our son come downstairs, wanting a snack. We point him in the direction of the pantry but we realize he really just wants to connect with us, so we stand in the kitchen while he eats and talks about summer vacation plans and playing minecraft and how he misses his friends from his old school.

Then, we finally sit back down at the computer to write and that stellar title means nothing now or the brilliant blog post idea has lost its fire.

And by “we” and “our,” I mean “I” and “my”. Because all of that just happened, moments ago when I sat down to write a dazzling post about my ever growing draft folder.

poin

Ahhh, to go from point A to point B without any detours. Some nights, I just want to go to bed and not put the shoes and backpacks by the door and load the dishwasher and jot down the errand I will most surely forget by morning. I want to sit up and say, “I’m tired. I’m going to bed.” And do just that.

Or write a blog post without interruption. (No, it’s almost lunch time. You may not have another snack.) Or take a shower and get dressed with answering 20 questions from my husband. Or clean a room from top to bottom without starting another more pressing project in between, leaving both chores unfinished.

Or…

Wait.

What’s that?

Sigh.

The dog is barking to be let in.

I’ll be right back.

Or not.

8 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Observations

One Hundred And Eighteen Shades of Grey

Do you own one of those handy dandy color wheels? You know, the ones decorators use?

We do.

Don’t ask me why. Neither my husband or I can claim any talent in the decorating department. Although, we do watch a lot of HGTV together.

colorwheel

Have you ever noticed the crazy color names? Forceful Orange. Hyper Blue. Gusto Gold. Heartthrob. Lime Rickey. (Sure, set me up, barkeep!)

Well, after watching a lot of HGTV over the past year or so, my husband has decided to jump on the grey wagon. It seems everyone out there is painting their rooms shades of gray. And no, I don’t think it has anything to do with the popularity of that racy novel, although, I wonder if that racy novelist has been watching as much HGTV as we have.

We grabbed the color wheel and starting ticking through the colors.

Charcoal. Nope. Too dark.

Nuance. Too light.

Solitude. Too lonely.

There were the smart greys: Analytical Gray, Intuitive, Worldly Grey, Imagine, Balanced Gray. Even Intellectual Grey.

There were the dull grays: Mild Grey, Polite Gray, Reticence, Useful Grey, Proper Gray, Essential. And Modest Grey.

“What about Passive Gray?” my husband asked, holding the color swatch to the wall.

“Hmmmm. I don’t know. What do you think?” I replied.

“Aloof?”

“Eh,” I shrugged.

“What about Ponder?”

“I’ll have to think about that one,” I said.

“Agreeable Gray?”

“Of course!” I chimed.

Finally, he gets it and we’re in a fit of giggles.

After one hundred and eighteen shades of grey, which color did we finally go with?

Hinting Blue.

Guess we’re not as trendy as we thought we were.

(To accommodate my outside America readers, I’ve evenly distributed equal spellings of grey and gray. Interesting note: “In the U.K., grey appears about twenty times for every instance of gray. In the U.S. the ratio is reversed.” I have to admit. After writing this post, both spellings look wrong to me now.)

 

 

12 Comments

Filed under funny, How We Roll, Marriage, Observations

We Can All Be Heroes Today

When senseless tragedy hits I have to find a way to cope. My own experience with this can be calculated by the before & after 9/11 timeline.

Before 9/11, I would cry, devour the news, curse the terrorists, curse God, cry some more and then, eventually, slowly, move forward.

After 9/11, I cry, scan the news, pity the terrorists, cry a little more and then relish in all of the Good Samaritan stories that begin to trickle through.

After reading a handful or more of these stories, I can move forward with gusto.

In my lifetime, I’ve noticed that with every tragedy caused by a handful of idiots, hundreds upon thousands of good, kind, compassionate, caring, amazing heroes emerge. It is a wonderful, beautiful, mathematical probability that can only be explained by love.

Man is inherently good. Evil, while it tends to grab the spotlight with a better stronghold, is rare. When faced with adversity, we DO rise to the occasion. We help. We care. We reach out.

And the amazing and far more beautiful part of the equation? Even if we are not directly hit by the tragedy, even if we live thousands of miles away and have no direct ties to the event, we empathize. We put ourselves in another’s shoes and we say to ourselves, what can I do to help? How can I make this better?

If it’s sending blankets or food. Or going to the blood bank. Or pulling out our checkbook. Or holding our children a little tighter. Or saying, “I love you” to those we care about a little more often. It all makes a difference. It all makes our world a better place.

1 idiot: thousands of Good Samaritans.

I’ll take those odds any day of the week.

everyday

Thank you, all you heroes out there. Those who were on the scene. Those arriving to the scene. And those of us, miles away, who are living today more mindfully, kindly and lovingly.

We can all be heroes today. Every day.

3 Comments

Filed under Deep Thoughts, In the News, Observations

And I’ve Got A Bridge In Brooklyn To Sell You

photo (3)

6 Comments

April 12, 2013 · 5:48 am

Crawl Back Under Your Rock, Lance Armstrong. We Don’t Care Anymore.

Lance Armstrong. Did he dope or is he just a dope?

You be the judge.

Or not.

Does anyone really care at this point?

Apparently, there are people who do. Or at least, Oprah would like us to think we should care.

All the latest hype is for a “no holds barred” interview with Oprah, to be aired Thursday, where he is finally ready to tell all. He is “calm…at ease and ready to speak candidly.” Again, I ask. Who cares?

arstrong

I am not an expert in drug enhanced sports performance. I did not follow every speck of the Lance Armstrong doping studies. But I followed enough to determine, for myself, that with the insane amount of information collected, the fact that he was stripped of all seven titles, and a chief executive of the USADA is willing to publicly say that it was the  “most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen?” I’m guessing, and it’s just a guess, that Lance Armstrong was guilty of taking  illegal sports enhancing drugs.

Seriously. Does anyone else doubt it?

And now, he’s going to appear on Oprah and it’s been leaked that he’s going to apologize and offer a “limited confession?”

He is an embarrassment. Not only because he took illegal drugs but because he denied it, vehemently, for years. He is reportedly worth $100 million.  He doesn’t need to confess. We know he’s guilty. He doesn’t need to apologize. We don’t care anymore.

Instead, he should be laughing all the way to the bank.

Or, at the very least, crawl back under the rock from which he came.

13 Comments

Filed under Observations, Soapbox

The Greatest Lie Ever Told (And I’m 99.9% Sure You Are Guilty)

“I have read the terms and conditions…..”

Check. Or click.

Whatever.

That’s about as far as I get. I read those first seven words and I click away. Without ever reading said terms and conditions. I just cross my fingers and hope for the best.

Every once in a great while it won’t let you click the handy terms and conditions box unless you at least scroll through said terms and conditions.

So I do.

“The legal agreements set out below….blah, blah, blah,……Neither issuer nor BlahCorp. is responsible for….blah, blah, blah,……Your use of the Services includes the ability to….blah, blah, blah….”

But does anyone really ever get that far? Don’t you just scroll as quickly as you can and then click?

I admit it. I do.

Don’t they all say basically the same thing?

“We (BlahBlah Corp.) own your finger clicking if you use our service. And you (the user) are responsible for all the clicks you click on our site. We (BlahBlah Corp.) have our butts covered and you (the user) are on your own.”

(Oh. I feel so used.)

They spell it all out. Everything they will and will not provide. There is nothing left to chance or good faith or sound moral character.

And we blindly click. Annoyed with the legal jargon and irrelevant circumstances and idiot proofing.

Why can’t there be an easy to read, concise and precise terms and conditions agreement?

Something like this:

“We, BlahBlah Corp., own every finger click on this site. If you don’t trust our site, don’t click here.”

End of story.

Simple. Concise. And true.

In our litigious society, putting blind faith and trust into a company or website is dangerous. And unfortunately, the companies can’t trust us, either. So we are stuck with a silly step where we click a box saying we’ve read something when we haven’t.

Admit it.

When was the last time you read, completely and fully, a terms and conditions document?

I know.

Me either.

At least we are all lying together.

But not in bed.

Because I’m married.

And that bed would get pretty crowded.

 

4 Comments

Filed under All In A Day's Work, How We Roll, Observations

A Simple Thank You. It’s All I Ask.

How many times a week do you take advantage of a drive-thru? More specifically, for a coffee or a quick bite?

How often do you tip at a drive-thru?

I’ve always felt odd tipping at a drive-thru. McDonald’s doesn’t expect a tip from me. Neither does Wendy’s. Nor Burger King. But Starbucks has their tip jar in prominent display. And the Sonic Drive-Ins in our area recently posted reminders to tip your drive-thru attendant, just as you would the carhop.

I proudly call myself thrifty. I blame my Scottish heritage. But I waited tables in college and think of myself as a generous tipper. I know, firsthand, how hard the job is.

But the drive-thru? You stand there. Take the order. Possibly walk 3 steps to reach the order that has been prepared for you/me and then hand it to me through a window.

And by the way, that’s your job.

There wasn’t any extra service involved. You didn’t refill my drinks, take away dirty dishes, check to make sure my burger was cooked to order. You simply took my order and handed me my order. Oh. And took my money.

My husband always tips you. He has shamed me into tipping you, too. And so, I do. Reluctantly. But never more reluctantly until now.

Recently, in the past three months or so, I’ve noticed an air of expectance when you are handing me my change. And so, I tip. And then you say, “Have a great day!”

How about “Thank you?”

Thank you is the proper response when someone gives you a gift. And that’s what a tip is. A gift. I don’t have to give it to you. Especially at a drive-thru. But I do. So, I, the generous customer, give you a little extra money for the amazing 38 seconds that I spend with you. You, in turn, should reply, at the very least, “Thank you.”

I’ve been keeping track of how many “thank yous” I receive when I give a tip at a drive-thru for the past two months. Of the eleven visits for coffee or milkshakes for the kids at Sonic or lunch at our local country cafe with a drive-thru, I’ve received one thank you.

One.

Solitary.

Thank you.

It’s not hard. It takes less than one second to say.

Instead of a thank you, I’ve received “Have a great day!,” “Come again!” and a tip of the head and a smile. But nary a thank you.

Sigh.

Common courtesy and graciousness is dying a slow death.

Even in the South.

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Filed under Observations, Soapbox

When Have A Great Day Doesn’t Really Mean Have A Great Day.

My mother-in-law takes issue with people here in the south. I especially notice her discomfort in the grocery store.

“Why was he talking to you? ” she says, speaking of the bagger, “Was he one of your former students?”

“Ewwww. They’re so syrupy sweet here. You know they don’t really mean it, don’t you?”

(Disclaimer: These are my mother-in-law’s stereotypes. Not mine.)

My Mother-in-law’s Theory: People in the north may be rude and keep to themselves but you can trust what comes out of their mouths. People in the south are phony and fake and have ulterior motives when they speak to you.

Of course, I disagree. I love the friendliness here. I find it real and reassuring that there are people trying to spread cheer in the world. I love the smiling hello greetings and the “thank-yews” when I leave the store. I take the friendliness at face value. Maybe because I’m right. Maybe because I’m just happier that way. But quite honestly? I don’t care. I’ll take my theory over hers any day of the week.

I’ve lived in both places, north and south. In the north for 21 years and the south for 27 years. And I’ve found phoniness in both parts of the country.

Our neighborhood has a Facebook page. And on this page, fellow residents (we have over 500) post their comments about upcoming activities, a heads-up about school fundraisers or about neighborhood amenities. My friend was fed up with some complaints about issues with the pool. So, she provided a disgruntled resident with a very fact based response, hoping to calm the resident down with what could be a highly charged issue.

It didn’t help. The resident responded with a snotty, juvenile comment and then concluded it with “Have a Great Day!”

Okay. We all know she didn’t really mean for anyone to have a great day. She was putting on her best syrupy, sweet, phony, sing-songy voice to say something she didn’t mean. She wanted to say, at best, “screw you” and at worst, “f-off.”

Throwing a “Have a nice/good/great day” at the end of a response when it’s clear you don’t mean it? So unnecessary. You aren’t fooling anyone. When you insist you really meant “Have a great day!”? No one believes you. We can see the snot through your sing-songy voice no matter if we’re from the north or the south.

Say what you mean and mean what you say.

Or…..

How about say nothing at all?

7 Comments

Filed under How We Roll, Observations, People

I Fear The Internet Will Burst From The Sheer Weight Of All The Egos

I’m slightly irritated.

And I’m losing my Pollyanna zest for browsing the internet.

Facebook statuses. Blogs. Youtube videos. The 200 word quick clicks provided by the media of the next regular Jane or Joe making the news. The Pin It! buttons popping up on blogs. The thinly veiled and not-so-thinly-veiled shouts of “Look at me! Over here! Look at me!” or “Please! Make me popular! I must fund my fantasy lifestyle!”

It seems everyone out there wants to be noticed and they don’t care how it’s done. Stupid human tricks on video. Filming your children high on nitrous oxide. Pimping for comments or votes for a contest on a blog. (I’m not immune. I admit. I’ve done this, too.) Slow news days with stories about fake lottery winners wanting a bit of the spotlight. Creating a blog around a novel idea (pun intended), not a real blog but one that is supposed to jump start your book/movie pitch/services.

It’s to the point that whenever I click on a new site or read a news story, about three words in I’m wondering: What’s the angle? What do they want? What are they promoting?

Sometimes I think I’m back in high school. Facebook pages with 500+  1500+ friends. (Really? You honestly have 1564 people you need to keep up with on a daily basis? Wow. You must be really popular.)

Can the Internet hold all of the egos? Will it burst from pride and self-glorification?

And how does this shape our views of others? Will it jade us? Will it cause us to approach each other with caution and mistrust?

It seems rare anymore that I stumble onto the kind of blogs I enjoy and love. But YOUR blogs. The dear ones that comment here and check in to see if I caught my son’s flu. (I did. But very mild.) The ones who write because they have to write and share ideas. Real people trying to make real connections. The down-to-earth, sending thoughts and ideas into the internet, hoping to catch the eye of a like-minded, thinking, intelligent individual kind of blogger.

Your blogs are the ones I crave.

16 Comments

Filed under Observations, Soapbox