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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

This (Me), That (Dating), & The Other (New Year's Resolutions)

Man, I loved that Sienfeld Episode... it's such a perfect phrase, really: "This, that.. and the other." You know, the one where Jerry and Elaine try to have it all? Here's the thing, though - in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness... you really CAN'T have it all (as they found out).. you have to pick a path in order to be happy.
I was thinking about this today in relation to a guy I'm getting to know. I could take you through a lot of crazy backstory, but the net net is that this guy doesn't know what he wants yet... so, he's still trying to have everything. He'd like to have me, but I don't think he really knows if I'm what he wants. And for some reason (can't imagine why), I find that terribly unappealing. I respect it, but I know what I want - and it's not someone who's trying to have this, that and some other thing yet undefined.

This: I have joked many times about having it all. Of course, I know I -don't.- So, maybe what I mean is that in life, I have enough. If I never had more than I do today; when I was 50 years old, I wouldn't be wondering if I had the guts to get in the car. I not only got in it, I drove it. I've done more in many areas than I ever DREAMED to. I've been married, I've experienced love, I've had kids, I've known success and defeat. I'm seriously happy with what I've accomplished and who I am. Sure, there's stuff I'd like to improve upon, but that's why we have goals, aspirations. If there were nothing to aspire to in life, it would be a little dull indeed, would it not?

That: With that in mind, I think I'm rethinking on who I want to date. For awhile now, I've been fixated with people who were at 'my station.' I know, that sounds terribly snobby, and to a degree it is. I don't just mean socio-economically, though. I mean, in life experiences, how far along they are in their career, similarities of faith, and yes... gotta be kinda cute. ;) Here's the deal, though: I've noticed (especially with the men who have children, believe it or not) that the men I've met have by and large been either terribly insecure or overly discriminate given their lot in life. Hey, it's cool to know what you want in life and really, I'm totally fine if that's not me - but, a little bit of realism would probably help a lot of these guys out.
Just yesterday I had a conversation with a man that seriously? Is adorable. He's every Mom's dream for her daughter. At least on the surface. But he is a B.E.T.A.B.O.Y. through and through. I nailed that one on our second 'date,' and gracefully bowed out (good to know when you're not going to win). We've talked since and yesterday, he was whindering (it's a little cross between wondering and whining) about why he couldn't find a woman who would see him for who he really was. I asked the question, "What if they ARE seeing you for you really are and it is you that is suffering from delusions?"
Just a paradigm shift.. but, for many of us, it happens all the time in the other direction. We judge ourselves too harshly, sure that someone won't give us the time of day - so, we don't ever take the leap. Realism works both ways. Just as you need to know that the sun does not rise and set in your pants, that you are not the center of the universe and everything; you need to know you're worth something, too. Until you believe in your self-worth and know what you have to offer; you won't know how to work that angle and so it's likely the people that you want won't see it, either.

The Other: So, as people set the obligatory resolutions to join a gym, lose weight, spend less, save more, drink less hard alcohol, drink more wine, and be a better person.. maybe we should think about making resolutions to see each other and ourselves for who we really are and recognize the potential we have to improve the lives of others. I know for me, it's the only resolution I'm making - because really, who keeps all of those other ones, anyway?? :D
Whatever your resolutions are, or how you see yourself... I hope you have a fantastic time tomorrow night and a wonderful new year!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Myspace Migration: Times They Are A' Changing

So, on Christmas Eve, my Mother and I had to go to Target to pick something up (I forget what now, but it was terribly important at the time, ha!). While we were there, we ran into an old neighbor from the home I grew up in. She was a lovely lady; indeed, we had a lovely little neighborhood. As with most children - well, people in general, really - I believed that we had the best street. Everyone knew everyone, we all played together while our parents stood outside in driveways chatting for what felt like hours on end. We had block parties regularly where we'd play until the blackness of "late night" had set in and we could no longer see past the end of our noses; our parents, swimming in Kevin and Jay's parents pool (well, My Mom - my Dad doesn't get wet - he says he's a lizard). It was great times.
My entire life I longed to grow up and have a neighborhood just.like.that. One that was 'my neighborhood' and 'my street' - like LaQuinta was my Parents. I came to find out that this is more elusive than one might think. For a long time, I thought it was just times changing; a shift in generational priorities. To some extent, this is probably true - but maybe not in the blanket way I thought. I had always thought that we were just, as a grown generation, not interested in forming the relationships that our Parents formed with their neighbors. I was talking with my Father about it yesterday - my Parents formed the relationships they had through commonality. A commonality to which the degree is, perhaps, lacking given the 'grown-up' presence of 4 distinct generations - something that has not been present in the last 100 years.
Think about it - who were the people that made up your neighbors when you were growing up? For us, we had 2 sets of 'grandparents,' but everyone else was of my Parents age and generation. I think all but 2 more occupants of homes on our street had children. Most of whom were within a 5 year range of my brother and I (who have a four year age-span). So, out of the 30-some odd homes that were on our horseshoe shaped street, at least 26 homeowners were of the same generation, in roughly the same financial situation (at least the same social class - middle), with children.
Lots of common ground. The same parenting issues, the same teachers/schools to cheer, gripe about, be involved in, the same struggles with which to help one another overcome. Do we have that now? Again, I think not to the same degree. In my nieghborhood, we have a majority of "families with children" as occupants, to be sure. However, we also have a large amount of retirees and younger singles-/newlyweds who are working professionals without children - attracted by the lifestyle that our neighborhood offers through it's many amenities. I have occupied 3 homes in this neighborhood over the past 5 years (I know, I'm practically nomadic, but there were good reasons for all). On the first street, there were TWO other children on my street for my kiddos to play with. Most of my neighbors were much older than I; two were barely out of college and there were 4 that I actually NEVER saw outside of their home, so I couldn't tell you anything about them. I was very disappointed, to say the least, as I moved to the neighborhood hoping to capture for my kids what my parents provided for me.
The second street was somewhat better - there were 6 kids on that street of 50-ish homes that my kids knew and could play with. More who didn't have kids yet or were in the process of just starting their family. Even still, it seemed as though people knew the four or five houses on either side of them; creating 'mini-blocks' of people you could get to know and count on. Better. When we moved to Craig Ranch, that all disappeared. We knew 3 of the neighbors on my block - and none of the parents would let their children out to play unattended. Part of this was due to the fact that there was an honest-to-goodness sexual predator in the neighborhood; still there purportedly out of grandfathering prior to the school being built. Even still, it didn't feel like a neighborhood AT.ALL and I was glad when we moved back to Aubrey.
This last street has the most potential, I think, for capturing a glimpse of what we had growing up, but again, in that 'mini' mode. My daughters have good friends on the street, I LOVE the neighbors a couple of doors down and there is a neighborhood get together every Saturday where they drink wine and play cards - generally visit and enjoy each other. Many of the inhabitants of my block are around the same age; our children go to the same schools, we deal with the same HOA issues and all of our homes are within about 60k of each other. Most of the homes are dual-working, and all the kids that my girls know have similar extra-curricular activities. It's a similar environment, but it's not quite the same. Am I the only one that's noticed this, or does it seem like for one reason or another like there has been a change? Do you think it's the merging of the four generations?

Friday, December 26, 2008

Myspace Migration: I Want Your Text

... so, my family is, at this moment, debating the merits of texting. Why do people text? This is coming up because I've exchanged around 200 text messages in the last few days, all with my best friend and one other person. Dad doesn't get it - "Why not just call each other?" he asks. My Dad maintains that it's a sub-culture that exists for gen X and Y to keep people Baby Boomer generation and older out of the loop. Nerd.

My brother said it's better than having a phone conversation - I think my 'bff' (that was the buzzword of the week with my kids btw, lol) would agree with this?? He doesn't want the commitment of the phone call, he can just say a statement and keep it on track. You can text anywhere; you don't have to be decent (or for some, sober).

There are, of course, medical reasons - cerebral palsy, speech impediments, accents - ok, I get ALL of those. Here's how texting tends to work in my life. I have one friend that does it because she HATES talking on the phone. There's others that do it/have done it to let me know I'm on their mind (not going to lie, I'm ok with that ). Sometimes, it's just more convenient due to what's going on around me - in a meeting, so I have the kids text me or something like that. I often will text with people when they're out of town because they don't want to completely leave their fam/friends/whomever to talk on the phone. My favorite? Is at the club. I have hearing loss, so I can't hear for spit when I'm in a club/crowded place. So, I have a tendancy to text rather than try to shout it out. Also great when you're sick and live in a multi-story home.

Here's where I start to get a little lost on texting - when your entire relationship seems to center around the cell phone text. I guess online via email is a similar phenomenon. One should not have serious discussions via text. First declarations of love, major arguments, reconciliations, and goodness forgive break-ups... not text discussions. There are things that deserve face-to-face conversations. It's a respect thing for the person with whom you are in (or were in) a relationship with. I've also noticed a phenomenon where people in my life seem to be a little braver with both me (and others) via text.. saying things they wouldn't say face-to-face. Only thing that makes that better is if they add "jk lol" after it. (1)

And what about the safety issue of it? There are a lot of cities that are now banning texting from school zones. You know what I have to say about that? It's about freaking time. Seriously, we have ZERO business texting while driving down the road. I don't like it. I get it at red lights, but driving down the road? I'm challenged enough without having to figure out how to watch the road, steer and focus on the tiny letters on my blackjack. :/ Is there a voice-to-text application - that'd be safer, if you were using a bluetooth.

On the funny side, when do you think that texting will replace 1900 numbers? Someone mentioned today they received an email from an 817 phone number. Ok, so you can text-to-email ludeness, why not just replace phone sex with text sex? Then men in Brooklyn won't have to pretend that they're women from South Carolina while talking to some strange dude in Boise for $3.99 per minute about their 'love machines.' But, were you to engage in such behaviors of debauchery, I would strongly suggest you clean out your text folders prior to someone else seeing them. I have a neighbor who handed me her phone once so I could go through her texts to get this pic someone had sent from our kids' school. What I ended up finding was (I hope) her husband's private parts, in XXX form. When I recoiled, she laughed and said she traded pics with all sorts of people (we'll not discuss the inappropriateness of that, as it falls under the category of 'to each their own'). In sinstances like that, I think your phone should come with a warning label like:

However you use it, or don't, clearly text isn't going anywhere anytime soon. But I'm hoping it doesn't replace the phone call, either... I kind of like hearing voices just as much (well, more) than reading words. ;)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Myspace Migration: Ramblings from the Sinus Stricken

Ah, I think I should start with the last part and work forward. I'm in love. Seriously, it's wonderful. My new beau? Tylenol. Tylenol Sinus, to be exact. Good gracious, there was actually swooshing going on in my head and ears that sounded like rapids when I woke up. I felt hopeless; but, then Tylenol swooped in and saved me. I still don't feel stellar, but at least I'm kinda functional. :) Functional meaning I am sitting up and I can take Bev to go get her car without fear of passing out - because evidently, they don't deliver it. :)

I had So.Much.Fun this weekend. Not that this is unusual, but it was grown-up, calm fun. Well, Saturday on was. Friday I acted like a teen and played Guitar Hero all night with Ryan. :) Saw some great Christmas decorations, some even greater houses, and found out that yes, I am still lousy at darts. Unlike bowling, where one day I woke up and realize if I just applied some simple geometry, my average would go up from 68 to something substantially better (130-ish, by the way). Anyway, got to go to what is fast becoming one of my favorite haunts - or at least, strongly preferred - and had outstanding company while doing it.

So, this guy I had been talking to totally made me laugh. We dated for a brief moment like 4 years ago. We talk now and again; he's a great guy and I'm glad he's my friend. We were talking about types of girls... you know how it goes - there's the fun girl, the bombshell you just feel lucky to be with, the friend type, and then there's me. I'm -evidently- the 'grown-up' girl - the one you date when you decide you're done randomly dating. Hmm. Not sure I would have classified myself that way. Is he right?

Maybe he is? I guess I am kind of living a 'grown-up' life. I work, raise kids, secretly read books and magazines on how to fix up my house, and feel like I've had an exciting evening when I spend a night at the museum (which I never seem to have time to do anymore), or go grab a glass of wine at Lochrann's. But, is that so bad? Seriously? But 'grown up relationship?' Still kinda feels like a slap. LOL Can I visit the 'fun girl' room?? LOL *Sniffle* Might be time for another fling with tylenol.

So, I have a business idea that really is brill - it's not new, but it's brilliant. I see all the off-shoots of it, but I feel a little bad because it might border on morbid? we'll see....

In another note of randomness, I'm watching PS I love You - totally am not a romance movie kind of girl, but there are some kick arse sarcastic lines in this one. For example:

"I have a social disorder. I don't have a filter, I just say whatever pops into my head."

"You're rude?"

"Yeah, but now I can call it a disease and they make pills for it."

"They make pills for rudeness?"

"Yeah, I know, right? They can make a pill to keep me from being rude, but they can't figure out the middle east. Go figure..."

Brilliant. And now I must go fix my hair and wake up my kid. And oh yeah, kiss up to my new beau. ;) I need to get back into the swing of writing, so maybe the next one will be better.