What's Being Read the Most...
I've personally never been one to really want to rush a relationship. Actually, the term "Commitment Phobic" might be a better...
Today I took my eldest daughter to the movies. While there, saw the previews for this new movie: "Horrible Bosses." It looked...
Well... I did it. I made it through 30 days. That, in and of itself, isn't much of an accomplishment.. basically, what I'm saying ...
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
For anyone who doesn't know (and I'm guessing that's going to be the overwhelming majority because it's not widely publicised), NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. For the last several years, I've participated. Some years, I hit the 50k words in a month; some years? Not so much. But every year I have a blast. If you like to write or blog and you haven't checked it out? You should; it's not too late to catch up. If you want to follow my progress this month; then you can check out my page... if you're participating, buddy me! :p I'm in the process of putting the associated blog posts that accompany the different chapters on Wordpress... I'll likely post that link shortly. Let the writing abandon flourish!
(For all of you who don't like chick lit; I'm actually continuing this project in December with a book on job-hunting and interviewing tips for candidates - but, NaNoWriMo is really about fiction; so, staying true to the intent for November.)
Friday, October 8, 2010
This is important to me. The other charity that the Kaye/Bassman Foundation supports is City House. The Mission of City House is to provide emergency shelter and transitional residential services to children and young adults who are in need due to abuse, neglect or homelessness. City House achieves this mission through its two premier programs: My Friend’s House (Emergency Shelter for 0-17 year olds) and TRIPS (Transitional Living Program for 16-23 year olds). This is the only program that I’m aware of in Texas that has the capability of really keeping these child family units together (which is part of their mission) during times of crisis.
For many included in this email, you may remember Ashley Watrous; the beautiful little girl who went to Providence Elementary and was accidently killed by her Father at Christmas time last year. She was friends with my daughter and many of our own children. City House/My Friend’s House is the organization that cared for her siblings… and was THE reason they were able to stay together and not shipped to separate, temporary foster homes. They helped those poor children grieve and process their sister’s death (in addition to caring for them physically) when they didn’t have family to do it… they made a positive, immediate impact in those children’s lives. Without City House, there is no way those kids would have stayed together like they needed – there just isn’t another organization in Texas set up to do it.
So, again, this is important and personal to me. I’m asking that you help us make a difference by please doing what you can. When you have time, give me a call. It will be good to speak with you.
Thanks and best wishes,
Monday, September 27, 2010
I'm reminded of a blog I read awhile back; actually had to go dig it up this evening. Since I often write about dating & the relationships that accompany it? I've always kept up with other blogs that write about relationships, sex, and dating. This particular blog is written by Patty Brisben, the Founder/CEO of Pure Romance. In it, she talks about 10 ways you can experience romance in a relationship. When I first read it, I wondered how many people did these things (or things like them) on a regular, reoccuring basis. I compared the list to my prior relationships and thought about whether or not I had done these things... or had they... ?
The results weren't really stellar. I had a habit of picking out the "grand gesture" guy and then when that rubber band would snap; settling back into a relationship with a guy that was allergic to romance. (1) Not because I didn't like romantic gestures... who doesn't like little things that show the person that you're with thinks you're special or cares?? (2) No, I think I did it because over time, I developed a fear of what those romantic gestures meant: they only came on the other side of something disasterous. Over time, I learned to equate romance to equal an aspect of an apology. And when that's the only time it happens? It makes it not cool. So, over the years, I think I developed my own 'allergy' to romance. I lent a leary eye to people who wanted to hold my hand, didn't really flirt much, and developed a disdain for watching romantic movies. (3)
The problem, is, though? That's not really fair to the people I date. It's bringing old baggage into new relationships - which, while to an extent is unavoidable? Never a good idea to have steamer-trunk sized baggage you've yet to deal with. You both end up paying for that and it's an expensive baggage bill. Not to mention the fact that there's some serious life benefits to daily (or close to it) dosages of romance... check this out (4):
- Did you know that kissing is healthier than shaking hands? You're less likely to get a cold from the guy/gal you're with if you kiss them hello or goodbye than by shaking their hand. Yeah, I know, sounds wrong but it's true.
- Kissing your partner goodbye each morning might increase your income. The Pollsters contend that their studies show that the man who kisses his wife goodbye before he leaves for work each morning averages a higher income than the guy that doesn't. This is attributed more to the character behind the man than the act of the ritual - more painstaking, more methodical, more stable ; but still, might be worth making a habit of! ;)
- Your guy will live longer just by smooching you each morning. Another reason for men to kiss their women-folk before they leave each morning is that there is documented evidence that they'll live 5 years longer than those that don't, on average.
- It's good for the economy. All that kissing helps contribute to the wearing off of women's lipstick... which is partly responsible for this quasi-gross stat: A woman will use up approximately her height in lipstick every five years. While this makes me shudder a bit; it's keeping Estee Lauder in business... so, kiss me already!!
- It's not a bad way to burn some carbs. A fairly passionate kiss will burn approximately 9 calories. When you consider the average kiss is less than 60 seconds; if you make out for 20 minutes? You've burned off that coke you snuck in during the afternoon-duldrums.
- It could lead to sex... which supports patriotism... kinda. Well, maybe that wasn't worded well, but America is ahead the global average of annual sexual experiences. Greece wins out at 138 times a year; we come in at 113, Canadians are sporting 108 sexual experiences on a PPA each year... global is 103. So, when you get romantic, it could lead to sex, which helps boost our ratings... maybe? Stretch?? :p Either way, next time you hear "Honey, I'm not in the mood tonight" I vote you try, "But Baby, do it for America!!" ha.haha.hahaha
- Phone Romance could lead to a Proposal. Approximately 6% of men who propose each year do so over the phone. Now, what percentage of that 6% got a "yes?" Might be an entirely different statistic.
- Hand-Holding Reduces Stress. While it may increase your chances of getting a cold, it helps your brain to keep from working overtime to handle stress. University of Virgina put out a study that shows when you're holding the hands of your significant other, it literally soothes the brain, creating a calming effect; making it easier to deal with tough situations and decreasing overall stress levels.
- The Jones' Do It. The number one "romantic activity" rated by couples is one area that you probably won't mind keeping up with the Jones' on... and surprisingly, it's not sex (that's the 8th highest rated). It's actually snuggling on the couch watching TV/a movie. I don't mind going on record saying that's a regular occurance with my boyfriend and it's pretty relaxing (5).
- It's Cheaper than Cocaine; and healthier, too! It's commonly believed that cocaine addicts are addicted due to the dopamine release that comes after a hit (6). It makes you feel elated, estatic, and even turned on. Guess what? So does looking at your partner - especially in the early days of a relationship... and it won't fry your body/brain or kill you. Well, unless you're doing it while crossing a street and therefore not looking both ways first. :p Other health benefits are as a result of more frequent sex; which comes on the other side of upping the romance factor in your relationship... but they are a better sense of smell, lower rate of heart disease, lower body rate, increased physical fitness, and higher levels of pyschological self-satisfaction.
(1) This new introspective kick that I'm on? Bites. Sometimes self-awareness is not fun.
(2) And I think I'm fairly good at doing those things, even if I'm leary of receiving them. Yes, I get that's a double-standard. Again, introspection is a work-in-progress so back off. :p
(3) Still do, unless it's more comedy than romance and dear God, please don't make me watch a sex scene in a movie theatre full of strangers. Awkward! I'm also oddly proud that I've managed to never be sucked into seeing "Dear John" by my gal pals or daughter.
(4) Facts obtained from Romancepedia. Also some news article and Romance Unlimited.
(5) One of my fav. activities; though I'm not sure how much it counts for a 'romantic activity' when we're both asleep 15 minutes in. :p
(6) I "just say 'no' to drugs" so I have zero first-hand knowledge of this.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
So, imagine my utter confusion when I hear of friends or acquantainces rushing headfirst into major commitments and life-altering relationship statuses. It almost seems like it's some kind of a fad right now to 'take the plunge' after only being together a few short months. (3) Personally? I think it's kinda nuts; but to each their own, I guess. Pretty sure it's not going to be helping the divorce rate and associated statistics 10 years from now. On a semi-related vein, my ex-husband recently remarried. I really like the lady that's now my children's step-mother - thank goodness - but it was a really short courtship that initially gave me pause (4). I guess time will tell whether it was a hasty decision or not - but for now? They seem happy. A couple of friends of mine have gone through tumultuous divorces after whirlwind romances of under six months led them to marriage and subsquently divorce court within 13 months after saying "I Do."
Anyway, was talking about this with the guy that I've been dating over the last couple of months; because it IS kind of dumbfounding to me. He made what at first seemed like a pretty off-the-wall comment, "Need to see how they act on Arbor Day before you say 'I Do'." (5) Basically, the point is that there's wisdom in waiting at least a full year before making a life-long commitment to another person. I totally agree with this and could potentially see adding another year or few to that equation as being generally wise. Obviously, every situation is different... but, I do believe overall slow and steady wins the race... away from divorce court. When you think about it, everyone's on their best behavior at the beginning of a relationship. This is why I say it takes crazy at least a full three months to come out and play. Why lock yourself down before that?? So, Arbor Day... have you experienced it in your dating relationship yet? :)
(1) Or Thirty
(2) In reality, it really has been ME.. but, what fun is there in admitting that? Much better to potentially emotionally scar the other party by blaming them, right??? :p
(3) "a few short months" was intentional phrasing. Stacking up against the promise you make of 'forever' when you marry? Months are SHORT.
(4) Obviously, I want to see my ex- happy; but the pause was for the kids. Clearly, as a parent? I want to see their lives as stable and happy as possible! :) And when your kids say, "Dad's getting married because he wants to see where the relationship can go and this is the only way to do it?" Um... initial red flags. Fortunately, they weren't quite relaying the WHOLE story.. he really loves her, too. ;)
(5) Or something to that effect. Anyway, I knew there was a reason or few why I like him. ;)
Thursday, September 9, 2010
So, for me, I've been happily 'single' or 'divorced' (2) since my FB was made a few years ago. Same thing with my Myspace... And I'm okay with that. What I'm not okay with, though? Is the rash of really intrusive 'requests' to go out with this guy or that lately. It's like FB has become the new "Plenty of Fish" (3) or something; with your connections or randoms messaging you willy-nilly, asking you out. This would be flattering, except I've kind of made it obvious that I'm seeing someone; it's not like it's hidden, anyway. You can see a pretty distinct pattern if you look for it - and if you're going to be asking someone out? You should. Right??
Even still, I can easily dismiss the one-hit wonders who are respectful of my current level of disinterest once I point out that I'm dating someone. But, then there are the guys that just don't know when to quit. I REALLY want to believe that this is a guy thing; I have a hard time thinking a girl would be so persistent after being shot down. Am I wrong? A couple of times a week, I'll deal with one of these guys that just doesn't seem to know how to respect 'NO.' (4) Today's? Was enough to make me consider changing my FB status.. just to not have to deal with it anymore. Excerpt time:
Between XXXXX and You
****** ********** September 09 at 8:51am Your beautiful. I would love to get to know you better. Drinks?
Crystal Miller September 09 at 09:13am I am flattered by the interest; but I'm seeing someone. Take care.
****** ********** September 09 at 9:24am O. I am ok with that if you are.
Crystal Miller September 09 at 9:28am So, by 'seeing someone' I mean I actually have a boyfriend. Like, only seeing him? Thanks again, though. Take care.
****** ********** September 09 at 9:36am If there's no ring on your finger than you still have time to explore your options. I'm a great guy if you'd just give it a chance.
Crystal Miller September 09 at 9:40am So's my boyfriend. Seriously, 'no?' Means no. I won't respond again. Take care.
Eliminating THAT? might make the status change worth the subsequent comments. My fear? Is that it wouldn't be enough to do it.
(1) Yes, I realize that's a cynical view on relationships but let's face it.. most of the relationships we enter into as single people will end. If it was easy to find 'the one' there wouldn't be so many movies, songs, stories about trying to find them.
(2) Facebook didn't offer a "divorced" option when I first signed on. I kinda felt like a leper. Thanks, FB, for recitfying that.
(3) For my married friends or those who aren't internet-dating savvy? Plenty of Fish is a free dating site. It's suuper scary what's out there, folks.
(4) By the way, if you are one of those guys? Chicks tend to believe that it's NOT cute when you don't accept 'no' for 'no.' In fact, it's generally accepted among my girlfriends that if you can't take 'no' for face value through email? There's a really good chance you won't take 'no' in person and we'll end up needing to use Pepper Spray before the end of the date. It's not cute; it's creepy. 'Nuff said.
Friday, August 27, 2010
I've never been big on regret; largely, because once something's been done, you can't undo it. So what's the point of regret? Won't change anything. But, also... and more to the point, everything you do culminates into who you are. It's all part of you - so, regretting an action or decision feels like regretting yourself. Seems odd to me. Personally, I tend to just try to learn from my less-than-stellar decisions and move on. But, I like my life... maybe that helps.
It kind of raises the question, though.. would you do EVERYTHING the same if you had the chance to do it again? If you wouldn't, then does that inherently mean that you have regret? I look back on life, both in the short- and long-range and there are dozens of decisions that probably made the road I've traveled thus far a little more difficult. But to change them? That's a powerful desire... and a dangerous one, I think. For it is in adversity that character is forged; so, to want to do away with that? No, don't think so... not for me, anyway. ;)
“Forget regret, or life is yours to miss.” ~ Jonathan Larson
Friday, August 20, 2010
So, I'm in my thirties and most of the people I know, went to school with, etc... they're married. Or, like me, have been married and are no longer. But we all had that day where we thought we were setting off down the path to "Happily Ever After;" only to find that 'Ever After' wasn't the same thing as forever. Yesterday, while getting brunch with a friend of mine, I picked up the Ladies Home Journal in her car. Christie Brinkley was on the cover; the article covered her fourth divorce. Four. Divorces. Surely she has to be asking herself the question that I think all divorcees ask themselves at some point: "When it comes to love and companionship; is 'Happily Ever After' really in my future?"
And on the surface, it's a tough question to answer. If you look at the statistics, the odds say it's basically a coin-toss. The 'marriage rate' is 7.1:1000 (total population) and the 'divorce rate' is 3.5:1000. So, basically, just shy of half of all marriages are tracking for divorce. And out of those that stay married? Not all of them say they'd do it again... in fact, only 85% of married women said they'd marry their husbands all over again (if they had the chance). Doesn't exactly inspire confidence in forever, does it? Maybe that's why co-habitation is on the rise in the emerging young adults of today... the percentages over doubling since 2002 (61% vs. 30% in 1992).
Of course, simply avoiding the "constriction" of "I dos" isn't a sure-fire method to eternal bliss... in fact, it might be quite the opposite. The Goldie Hawns/Kurt Russells of the world aside? Less than 1/3rd of co-habitating couples in the United States will stay in that relational state. More than half of those would ultimately walk down the aisle; and after they become Mr. & Mrs? Close to 90% will end up in divorce court before their 5th anniversary (1). Researchers surmised that this was due, in part, to a mindset that forms prior to marriage of "serial cohabitation." They cited that most people that lived together prior to marriage had done so with more than one partner prior to tying the knot; so the concept of permanence had already been distorted. But, if that's true, what does that say for people like Christy Brinkley... or people like my divorced friends and I? We've been married, we've been divorced... is our view of 'ever after' now distorted, too?? How do you know?
(1) according to a study done by Cornell and put out by Demography in 2006
Thursday, August 12, 2010
"The unexamined life is not worth living." ~Aristotle
I'm not a journalist by trade; don't expect I ever will be. But, I wholly disagree that I'm not an "expert" in any of the subjects I write about. Why? Because I write about
ME... and who knows more about that subject than I do? My writing is my voice on the subjects that I find capitvating. It's how I make my voice heard (1) and I personally think we all have a responsibility to examine our lives, see what we stand for, and make our voices heard. Now how you want to make it heard? Totally up to each individual - some people sing, some write, some grumble, some do it through the clothes they wear each day. There's dozens of ways to express that which you have examined; the point is that you do it. I'm pretty sure the stuff I write about isn't going to set the world on fire; but I enjoy it and hope some of you get a kick out of it as well. :) If I'm really lucky, then a couple of people will relate to something I've touched on and it'll spur self-examination... or at least a good conversation. But that's about as much as I've ever hoped for with it.
Writing has been an enjoyable creative outfit for me that's actually paid off, too. I've been given the opportunity to go to fun events in order to write about them later; and have been given free products to review and be photographed in. (2) Neither of which I ever expected when I started; but certainly get a kick out of! Mostly, though? Writing has helped create and strengthen some really great friendships. People can relate to what you share - and that's how we build relationships. And that's what I do: I build relationships, on all different levels, for a living, through networking people together through points of commonality. Guess it makes sense I'd do it for myself as well, right??
Make it a great day, folks; hope you take a chance to express your voice today
(1) well, that and my facebook; which is the vehicle for the rest of it, right?
(2) promotion rocks and God bless the marketing folks that are looking to exploit the 'everyday girl.' ;)
Friday, August 6, 2010
The Basic Background Stuff
I should start with the glaringly obvious: -I- am a 'Generation Me Chick'... as is most of my dating pool. "Generation Me" refers to those born in the 70s through the 90s; and the common core of this generational population is that the needs of 'self' and the individual should come first... even above duty. This is the first Generation to have this belief as a common identity. This group has also been labeled the "Entitlement Generation" and accused of starting a Narcissism Epidemic... and to some extent? They're probably right; I know that it's a common complaint heard in dating.
Think about it, though: we've been taught, as 'Me-ers' from an early age to "Love Ourselves" and "Be All that We Can Be" (1) and "I Have to Love 'Me' Before I Can Love 'We'"... as a collective group, we're programmed to put ourselves first. Our needs, Our Wants, Our Job, Our [fill-in-the-blank]. They're not just rationalizations for past actions or things we tell those lacking in self-esteem; they're firmly entrenched beliefs 30-some-odd-years in the making.
Now, factor in those of us in our 30s and hitting 40 who've been through a divorce: this is an automatic trigger for self-centeredness, at least for a time post-event. That's not necessarily a bad thing because we need the self-reflection for change; but not all of us shift out of that. Between the two? Dating this age group can be a real challenege. We're more confident and assertive (2) than most of our previous generations... but, we're also more entitled, lazy, and miserable. Why? We're more money-focused, less willing to take personal responsibility, (3) and have a strong desire of immediate gratification... the "I WANT WHAT I WANT and I WANT IT NOW, THANKS" attitude. And if we don't? The tendancy is to abandon ship - where our 'older and wiser' generations were more prone to stick things out and working through stuff. The biggest issue I see with this is that for all our positives? The aforementioned negatives make the GenMe crew less adept at personal communication; because it's uncomfortable and noone likes that, right? Which is maybe ok if you're ordering in the drive-thru or dealing with the dry cleaner... but, not so much in a relationship.
The Relationship Background Info
And speaking of relationships, GenMes are seeing the relationship more as a temporal state-of-being and less permanent. This is best seen in the decline of the number of marriages - down 40% between 1970 and 2002. The reason for this is two-fold: firstly, GenMes have been the hardest hit generational group by divorce. Of the elder GenMes, nearly 50% have already been divorced. The younger GenMes (4) cite potential for divorce as a reason to avoid it. Around 52% of the 20-somethings have stated that they see "so few good marriages that they question marriage as a way of life." (5) And their response leads to the other reason there has been a decline in Marriage: GenMes? Are used to "trading up."
We live in an outdated society. Yes, that's what I meant- almost as soon as a new technology is released? A better one comes out that makes it antiquated. Fashion lines go out of style literally the month they're released... even our food is only good for a week or two. Life is built upon disposable, replaceable things. Our cars are traded out every few years; as are our homes. So why not our relationships? GenMes seem to agree; and so many have started down the road to what Professor Phillip Gray, chairman of the Sociology Department of the San Diego State University, as "the age of serial monogamy" - essentially, trading up to a newer, shinier relationship as problems emerge rather than dealing with them.
And that's a Ton O' Fun for those of us on the dating scene... :p
(1) Wait, that's The Army... but eh, close enough
(2) As a group.. there are definitely still some 'Beta-Boys' that fill the exception gap
(3) This is not necessarily true in the workplace; though there is more shifting of blame in a 'GenMe' than from their predecessors. This is likely because GenMes were raised with a high pressure from parents to achieve academically; which later translates into the workforce.
(4) Those in their 20s
(5) National Marriage Project, 2002
Sunday, August 1, 2010
Question 1: Have I found anybody?
Answer: Sure, lots of 'anybodies.' I live in one of the biggest metropolitan areas in the United States. Now factor in that I'm slightly brighter than the corner streetlamp, kinda cute, most men find me an adorable mess and a bunch of fun? Of course there's a pretty big pool of bodies to choose from.
Question Two: Anybody you want to settle down with yet?
Answer: Um, no. There's been a guy or two I can see spending more time with, but even with the cool one? Not looking for the white picket fence yet; probably because I already kinda have it.
Which leads to the unspoken compound Question Three: Why not- is the problem them or you?
Compound Answer: Neither... and Both.
There are a couple of reasons surrounding dating "Generation Me-ers;" but the foundation of the issue is that I'm not really sure that I'm looking for, or even want, the 'His-and-Her towels,' 'Let's Grow Old Together' romance. This is where most women my age and men around a decade older? Think I'm nuts.
Listen, I'm not a complete ice queen; I see the benefit behind the ideal. And 7 years ago I was all over that like white on rice. 5 years ago, I was still very receptive. The last couple of years, though? I've come to realize my life kicks 19 kinds of Kung-Foo booty. I have it made; right now I can do what I want, when I want and need permission from nobody. Which I like. When I'm done with someone? I can get up and leave to do whatever I'm up for next. This is a pretty heady thing to give up.
Would I ever? Maybe- but that relationship would be long in it's gestation and pretty fanfreakingtabulous.
There's also relatively low frustration or relationship drama in my current set-up. Guys are given a threshold level for bs and when they pass it? I pass on them. Its actually kinda more entertainment than frustration. :p When I get bored? I can find a "shiny new toy" to play with and nobody faults me because it's pretty well accepted that most of the people in my dating age-range (35 to 42ish) have significant baggage.
So, between the two? I see no reason to settle or rush into something serious that I'm likely to find flawed and want out of faster than my annual physical. Besides, I've found that when people are trying to find "the one?" They are often not being their genuine self, anyway. But that's a story for another day, another issue. ;)
[Posted with iBlogger from my iPhone]
Saturday, July 10, 2010
It has been a long week; there's a lot going on that I've been juggling. I'm grateful for my life; I am... but, sometimes it wears me out. :p Little weary today. I'm struggling with a concept, this week: Grace. More specifically, the extension of grace when things fail, when people fail, when your best laid plans go awry. I fail every day; every day there's something I stumble over. But God always has Grace for me: this unmerited favor that breathes life into me every minute of every day. (Eph 2:5) And since I've had that coverage, I've always looked at my failures/missteps as an opportunity for "failing forward." An opportunity to leverage my mistakes and learn from them; be refined.
So, where am I going with this? Well, not quite sure honestly; but, I think it's this: I've tried (I think) to extend that same type of grace that God's extended to me to others. When someone hurts me, or fails me; it's painful.. that doesn't change. But, I think I try hard to immediately address what needs it and then let it go. Rather than permanently judge someone or write them off; I try to extend them the grace that's necessary to move ahead. This sometimes takes more of a concerted effort than others... but, I don't see this as something that makes me unique or special. To me, it's just part of being a Christian; we're called to do it.
We're called to extend grace when it's called for. Not just for the sake of others, either; but, I think it's because "Grace" is a multi-faceted concept. In the greek, the word means "CHARIS" (χαρις) - gracefulness, beauty, good-will, unmerited kindness.. favour. In fact, the Old Testament repeatedly speaks of finding Grace in the form of favour in the eyes of God or Man (Gen. 6:8; 19:19; 33:15; Ex. 33:12; 34:9; I Sam 1:18; 27:5; Esth. 2:7) - to the point that I've practically had to come to the realization that Grace is an active, working principle as opposed to esoteric theory. The New Testament follows that up with what the extension of Grace; both as the recepient and the giver, inspires in us: a loving kindness, an emotion of thankfulness that over time alters our perspective and overall outlook (Luke 4:22; I Cor. 10:30; 15:57; II Cor. 2:14; 8:16; I Tim. 1:12). At least, I think it does; it certainly has mine.
So, that part I get - or, at least I get my understanding of it. Where I'm failing, struggling, is that I DO believe this is a calling that's inherent to the Christian life - that God's extension of Grace to us inspires us to extend it to others. So, how is it that so often people that I can look at and see God's influence on their lives... have such a hard time with the execution of Grace towards others? This is most especially mind-boggling to me of those that ask for Grace from others - practically require it regularly for a myriad of reasons (bad moods, untenable siutations, overwhelming stress, whatever) - but, can not see fit to extend it themselves. I'm not judging; I just don't understand it.
But, it seems to me that to really extend grace means it has to be free: not dependent on any prior claim, consideration or action from others. So, my lack of understanding does not release me from my calling... my willing obligation to extend it. Nor would I want it to; it's caught up in my faith and who I am (Rom 5:1-2; 1Tit 1:12). I'd just like to understand it a little better; so, that's what I'm mulling over currently. I know this is a long one - but, as always, welcome any thoughts or messages you care to leave/send on your perspective.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
I thought I had stumbled upon a genuis plan... go out with someone older! I always have dated older men; but typically it was late 30s... not mid-40s (I'm 31). But, this was perfect! They've got their stuff together, they've got to be over the games, right? They'll be a little more forgiving of MY flaws because hey, let's face it ... they know they've got them, too. The whole thing would be a little more chill because they probably don't have the stamina to be out every night at dance clubs or hot spots... And they'd be a little grateful and giddy about dating the young, cute, smart chick (smart is now debatable)... oh yeah, THIS? Was a good idea.
So, we went out again. And again. And again. I wasn't overly attracted to him physically; but, he had a goofy charm that made up for that. We're all old and wrinkly in the end, anyway; right? Over time, I found I actually liked him! He was attentive, he was extremely patient, calming, and didn't mind my then newfound obsession with fashion. But... there WAS something off. I couldn't quite put my finger on it.. but, I started getting the feeling that he was embarassed of dating someone so much younger. Little comments here and there; a request to come by the house after dark because the neighbors were talking about 'the young chick in the heels.' (1) About the same time? An older chick starts popping up on his Facebook page; clearly 'marking her territory.'
I think we all know where this is going. Come to find out? He was seeing both of us - in hindsight, regardless of what he said, I think SHE was the relationship and I was the Trophy... the chick that helped him recapture a little bit of his lost youth. I was pretty crushed and angry at first; noone likes being lied to or used. Then, I went into complete denial about what was really going on. He said he didn't want to lose me, would do anything to keep me... He didn't mean for it to happen... was just odd timing and he thought if he told me someone else was interested? I'd leave. But, he saw how stupid it was now and just didn't want to lose me.... Ok. We can work with this. He said he was going to tell the other woman what had been going on; friends advised me to check into that. At first, I didn't want to - but, then in my denial state? Seemed like a good way to see if he came clean so we could move forward.
You know where this is going again, don't you? Turns out, he hadn't. And his "I'll do anything?" Another meaningless turn of phrase that I bought hook, line, sinker. Of course he hadn't told her. In the end, I had to face facts: there is no foolproof plan when it comes to dating. There's no magical formula to protect your feelings or ensure that you're going to end up with someone who won't appreciate you or hurt you. Dating? Is a giant roll of the dice. While my experience with that guy hurt, it also helped me learn something - when you're spending time devising plans trying to protect yourself... you're shortchanging yourself instead. You're taking possibilities out of the equation that might be exactly what you need and better than you imagined. (2) Hopefully HE learned that a sure-fire way to get someone to leave is to lie to them over, and over, and over again. But... I'm not holding my breath.
1. Yeah... I know, YOU see the signs. I? Wanted to believe in him. Anyone else hearing "Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, duuumb" to the tune of that Tums Commercial? No? Just me, I guess. :)
2. Certainly better than wierd, much older guys that turn out to be serial liars, anyway. Just sayin.' ;)
Saturday, May 22, 2010
But, when I went tonight? It was SO.MUCH.FUN - and totally different than what I was expecting. There were 2 tables full of serving trays, stands, and bowls of different jewels, beads, and baubles for me to choose from. I could then design how I wanted those laid out on a variety of necklaces or bracelets. Let me tell you, for a chick who loves jewelry?? This was Christmas, Easter, New Year's and a great kiss all rolled into one! I got a little funky with my charm bracelet - but, it was to be expected once I saw the cute turquoise shoe that totally went with half the blue/turquoise-accented White House/Black Market clothing I had recently purchased. (2) I also made a really cute, clustered flower necklace/earrings that coordinate well with my WH/BM stuff. All in all? It was a win. See pics below.
This was the last "Build Your Bling" party - which made me a little sad that I hadn't discovered this 'gem' sooner. Of course, while affordable, at $80 for the evening? My pocketbook didn't mind that tonight was my first foray with them - I could definitely do some damage with them over time! Seriously, though, it IS affordable when you think about how I got three very intricate, semi-custom pieces that they assembled right in front of me. The company is moving into... you guessed it! Direct Sales. Look for them as JuJu Belle starting late June/Early July, I think. I've linked their Facebook page for you to check out their wares - some SERIOUSLY cute charms.
What I enjoyed the most, though? Was not the cute jewelry -which again, LOVE- but the conversation and social dynamic. Out of the 10-15 ladies that were there that evening? I came in only knowing the hostess, Rhiannon. By the time I left? I had made acquaintance with most of them and got networking information for at least half. We talked about 'vagazzling' (3), how toddlers will ignore 90% of what you say but will pick up on curse words 100% of the time.. with funny examples. I got to do a little campaigning for my Council run and found out that the copy of 'It's Complicated' that I had rented intending on watching with someone I've been getting to know? I should stop stalling on and watch IMMEDIATELY - but could skip 'Lovely Bones' (4). We griped about our diets, oohed and aahed over my kickin' shoes and fashion in general; and bonded over Sex and the City. These were the kinds of social interactions that most of us look forward to and just don't get enough of with all of our busy calendars and commitments. Kind of makes me want to host a party... we'll see when JuJu Belle launches... ;) In the meantime, I'll just enjoy the bling I made tonight and count the minutes before one of my kids try to swipe my charm bracelet!!
(1) I linked to my favorite Lia Sophia rep's page- she's awesome and has even been in print for her party prowess. ;) No, I did not receive any compensation for this - she doesn't even know I did it - but, if you buy from her, please mention my blog so -I- know the depths of my own influence (read the tagline: It IS all about ME, after all! ;) ).
(2) Check the 'Sale' section and You're Welcome. Code 9076 should get you 20% off for at least another week or two. Again, you're welcome. :)
(3) Props to Jennifer Love Hewitt for the new culture-reference - this particular evening we were discussing about what happens AFTER you 'vagazzle?' Because, seriously, that's gotta just be for looks - as the token guy/aka 'Stacy's husband' in the room said? "The friction would va-suck" - hellooooo, chafing!
(4) Something my ex-husband told me months ago and I wish I had heard again BEFORE I tried to watch it the other night. The Lovely Bones? Anything but lovely, IMO.
But, do you ever think that maybe - at least from a personal perspective - we're OVER-CONNECTED? Through social media, we're able to know far more than we ever have about the goings-on and interactions in others' lives. For people like me, my "friends" can know what I'm up to on nearly an hourly basis. I even "check-in" to the places I go/things I do & see via a program called Foursquare. Tack on all of the comments and interactions from my connections? There's not a lot of mystery to my world.
How much of a big deal is that when it comes to dating? Some could reasonably argue that those interactions give you something to talk about on a date. Sure, maybe - depending on how interactive you are with what's put on your page. But, the normal "How was your day, dear?" or "What did you do today?" questions one would typically ask their significant other? Seems slightly moot because you just say the status of "Best.Day.EVER" an hour ago! And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
I've taken note over the last couple of years that most of my friends have had some of their biggest disagreements over Facebook and Myspace. It's a BIG DEAL for some people to not have their 'relationship status' publicized by their significant other. Now personally? My 'Relationship Status' isn't likely to change unless there's a ring on my finger and a new last name that needs explaining. I just don't think it's that big of a deal - my friends know who I'm dating and that's good enough for me. Feelings get hurt when the comments left are generic or better yet? When they're told to leave generic or 'just friends' type comments yet are constantly reading very racy comments left by others. (3) One of my friends laughed at me yesterday when I was working through this subject with her and said, "You know, I'm MARRIED to the guy now and he STILL doesn't leave sweet comments on my page or declarations of love. I just don't care anymore because I have the ring on MY finger so those other flirty girls can suck it." (4)
I'll be honest; I always thought they were nuts. (5) I mean, come ON - it's a SOCIAL MEDIA site, for cripes sake! And for the most part, I still hold true that if you're in a stable relationship with someone? Still shouldn't matter - just have to trust the person you're with has decent judgement and is an honest jane or joe. But, what if you're NOT in a stable or established relationship? What if it's still new or you're just really 'dating' someone and so therefore you DON'T know what to expect or how to read things? I was discussing this with a guy I've been 'getting to know' and he said there should be some sort of ettiquite blog on how to handle this sort of thing and what's ok to do/not do on people's pages. So... I'm going to. Here's a sneak peak as it pertains with how to deal with the stuff you see on your significant other's/person's you're dating page(s):
1) DO recognize you likely don't know the person who made the comment and the nature of their relationship with your person. It might be totally innocent. So... if you have a question? Ask - and then accept the answer and let it go.
2) DO NOT use it as an opportunity to 'mark your territory' back. Comments like "Last night was amazing" or "I love you more than life itself" right after some questionable comment by some other chick/guy? Is completely transparent and is not only going to not mean much to the person you are dating/your S.O - but it SHOULD be embarrassing to you. Rise above, I say...
3) DO NOT start stalking the other people that are leaving your guy/girl comments. It's flat out unbalanced. Now, I totally get the natural curiousity to check them out - and that's probably not going to be a restraining-order level if you only do it ONCE, if you must. But, if you find yourself going 'cyber-spy' on them (6)?? Close the computer, use your 'phone-a-friend' lifeline and get some help.
4) If you can't do/refrain from the above three?? Stop looking at their profile completely - or better yet, find someone else to date that you actually CAN and WILL trust. Because at the end of the day? That's probably what it boils down to, anyway....
(1) By the way, if you're trying to find me on a social media platform? Just try whatever website with the extension /theonecrystal, /the1crystal, or /crystalgmiller - I'm pretty well branded that way :D
(2) Besides, I tend to think you kind of look like a tool when you're in and out of a relationship enough that people start thinking you're a 'Jack-in-the-box.'
(3) Seriously, I remember leaving a conference to help a friend that I thought was going to have a panic attack from how upset she got reading one of them - granted, the chick leaving them was TOTALLY doing it to induce that exact reaction from my friend, but still... wowzers.
(4) That might have been paraphrased; but I think it's funnier this way and is still true to the spirit of the comment. :p
(5) Until a recent experience with it myself that doesn't bear going into because it's a) embarrassing and b) makes it hard for me to pretend like I'm above it all. :p Suffice it to say MY experience was extremely pale compared to some of the stories I've heard and lasted a total of a week or so before I slapped myself back out of the insanity.
(6) Or creating an alter-personna of the opposite gender to stalk them on a more personal level? *cough* Jasper *cough*
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
I was talking with a guy recently that was by absolutely all accounts A-dorable. He was funny, handsome, outgoing, active and outdoorsey... loved God, kids, and big dogs. Seriously, all that was missing was the conversation about a penchant for the East Coast in the Fall and I would have likely supposed he came out of some kind of fairy-tale. Until, that is, he started talking about? Dating. For those of you that haven't dated in awhile; evidently, dating is a huge topic of conversation amongst single people. For the first few dates, it's not uncommon to talk and joke about former off-key dating experiences; in fact, it can be something of a bonding experience when you realize that you're not alone in feeling smothered when someone comes and "accidentally" leaves stuff at your house and then tells you to clear out a drawer for them. After you've only dated for a month. (Can you say CLINGY??) The various little antecdotes we share regarding our dating mishaps can humanize us ... and that can be a good thing, I think.
But on the other end of the spectrum, there's the guy (or gal) who can't stop belittling dating. Enter Frank. Met Frank on Match.com - which is of course, a dating site. This would imply to most that Frank wanted to date someone. Just sayin' - 'cause it's kind of what you do on dating sites; want to make friends? Go to meetup.com - there's a group for you. One would further think that Frank was interested in dating based off his proactively contacting me - and of course, I responded back because hello??? Did you READ the first paragraph? He sounded too good to be true.... And? He was. Turns out, Frank exhausts all the topics that make him cute in about 45 minutes. The next month? Was spent talking exclusively about how much he hated his job, his friends, and ... dating. And then how much he hated dating some more. And then some more. And then... get the picture?? Total.WHIP. So, of course, I dropped him like a hot potato. (1)
Tip for those who were previously unaware: negativity? Not so much attractive to most. An injection of saracasm is fine now and again; but to be submersed in it all the time is just .... bleh. If you're having trouble seeing something positive in dating, then perhaps it's time to stop. Take a breather; get to know yourself again and figure out where it went off the tracks for you. Otherwise, your dates are likely to categorize you as I did Frank - the whip that continually dampening my 'One Fine Day' and will find someone else with whom to spend their time. :)
(1) But, I console myself with the realization that, to some degree, that's probably going to be true of pretty much everyone else, too. At least the people I tend to see. ;)
(2) Come on, like you wouldn't?? Don't care how great the packaging looks; if the inside is reminiscent of decay? Moooove along. Furthermore, I have to ask myself what's the motivation behind these continually repeated conversations - where/what's the gain?
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Shopping for your intimates can be something of a ego-deflating experience. And where most women swear they're going to double their crunches or call a trainer the next day.
As a single chick and divorcee? I don't really have to worry about what anyone else thinks of my sleepwear - so, I buy what I like and that trends more around three things:
1. Cute (I'm 31 - Granny nightgowns are NOT allowed)
2. Comfortable (I'm a lounger during the late evening/early morning hours - so, this is important to me)
3. Moderate Modesty Level (I mean, I DO have 2 girls in my house)
For me, these criteria equal two places: Soma and The Undies (Her Room). What I love about Somas is that I walk in and they measure me. Believe it or not, if you've been under a rock (or are a guy) and haven't heard? Your cup size totally changes and for most women, it'll be several times throughout their lifetime. I have a smaller torso, so at this point my changes typically are in band size. Interestingly enough? When your band size goes down? Your cup size goes up. But when your band size goes up? Your cup size goes up. Talk about confusion! No wonder women spend their whole lives wearing the wrong bra size! But, they're fantastic at Somas and it equals a practically perfect fit, every time. :) And their sleepwear? Super cute and still comfy. Fits all of my criteria. The Undies? Check it out... you'll see why I love it. Consolidated shopping is the bomb. 'Nuff said.
Moving on, it does seem a little unfair to me that there's so much a gal's got to pay attention to when buying her unmentionables. So much that changes, shifts, moves and different types and ways to address them. With guys? Kinda simple - boxers, briefs, or boxer briefs. Ok, so you MAY find the leisure suit larry that's still into banana hammocks; but overall, three basic options that only change with your waistline (2). But still, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do... right? ESPECIALLY when you're not buying your intimates just for your own wearing pleasure. It wasn't so long ago that I was married that I can't recall what it was like to try to keep someone else's preferences in mind when shopping for my sleepwear. Not going to lie, it was a delicate balancing act... because those preferences were formed based off what was seen elsewhere (3) - which didn't necessarily mean it would work on me. The whole point of lingerie IS to be flattering, right?? :)
Was chatting with one of my best friends about this yesterday who was blessed with a near perfect body; but somewhat skewed self-perception. She likes shopping for this stuff just about as much as I do LOL. Anyway, we decided that at the end of the day, Lingerie can basically be boiled down to about 10 minutes of importance. Now, which ten minutes that actually is differs for the wearer and the.. beneficiary? :p For the wearer, it's the 10 minutes BEFORE getting into bed that are the important ones. Get dressed, smooth out - check the mirror - and when it fits/works? It's the 'feel good minutes.' Makes you feel good about being a girl, so to speak. :) If not, it's the 10 minutes where you frantically try to figure out how to hide the problem areas, give yourself a pep talk, or just say 'screw it' and employ the use of blind-folds. :)) Good times.
For the beneficiary? It's the 10 minutes AFTER you get into bed that count. Not that's a revelation of any kind; because lingerie is kind of an eye-candy thing. After that, it's often seen as 'in the way' and if they have their way? It ends up on the floor. But guys, a lot of women would just as soon prefer it be left ON - it makes them feel good... and if they feel good about themselves, isn't an 'everybody wins' moment? When this topic was broached for research and historical data from friends was shared; the biggest objection I got back was "but it puts up a divider - a separation of sorts." Hmm... ok. Granted, I don't live in Victoria's Secret (4), but isn't most of this stuff made of mesh or lace??? It's seriously not like it's the Great Wall of China or anything.
But it does bring up an interesting point: it's not called intimates for nothing. When they're worn to bed for the benefit of more than just yourself? There's even money that an intimate activity might follow. Sex has varying degrees of intimacy that can be a reflection on the level of relationship you have. I know if I'm not happy with someone I really don't necessarily want them to see me nekkid (5)!! So, I think in that instance or on those days when you're feeling less than generally secure about your body for whatever reason - and we ALL have those days - let it be. Unless, of course, it itches - and then throw it out and buy something else. ;)
(1) And PS? I'm not. lol And whoever designed those shoes is the new Mayor of Awesometown.
(2) Which face it, is pretty easy to correct. Size UP!
(3) Typically ON someone else that was 4 inches taller than I and waaay lankier
(4) I was truly disgusted last time I went and saw TEENAGERS trying on full-blown lingerie.
(5) Or have sex with them for that matter; but, I recognize that despite the blog banner, when in a relationship it can't be all about ME. LOL
Thursday, April 15, 2010
I have one better, though - "What does it matter, really??" At the end of the day, isn't it kind of a label? If you're enjoying the time you're spending with the person you're spending it with... isn't that enough? Or is it? If it's such a popular topic of conversation amongst singles; it's got to have some level of importance to somebody. So, I start to query my single friends and those I've been chatting with... IS this a big deal and why?
For girls, seems as it's all about the safety net of exclusivity. Like it's a warm blanket on a cold night or the revealed path to 'happily ever after.' An arrival of sorts. So, it's about gain. The guys I've talked to have, largely, related to it in terms of loss of consortial-type activities (but without the legal responsibility). ;) As in, when they've got a girlfriend? They've gone 'exclusive' precluding their ability to do whatever with whomever. Now, there are the more romantically inclined or principled men that have focused more on the whole 'dating is a process that's designed to lead you towards a greater commitment' - but by and large? It's more about the sex. Just sayin.' The dumbest response I have heard was related to condoms - specifically that they could stop using them if they were exclusive. In which case, I hope neither of you were exposed to coodies that just haven't shown up on your tests yet.
Personally, I think this whole question is one where if you have to ask? You're probably not. It's been my general experience (and goodness knows I'm no Dating Pro that has all the answers) that you kinda can tell - just have to pay attention. How are you introduced? Do you spend quite a bit of time together (face/text/phone) or does it seem like there's better than even money that one or both of you are still 'playing the field?' Often, you can kind of figure it out and spare the awkward conversation... but, that's just me.
What if you NEED to have that conversation, though? What's the best way to have it? Blunt? Direct? Beating around the bush, so to speak?? Thoughts? Send 'em my way.... I'm intruiged. :)
Sunday, March 28, 2010
I teach my children to look to their faith for answers (and then tell them what to do and how to do it). I join a company for the team companionship (and then continue try to do it all on my own). I try to be there for my friends (but I rarely let them be there for me). Makes dates with really GREAT guys (but then don't have time to go on them). See a pattern emerging? :). 'Cause I think I do!
Three years ago, I wrote about trying to be 'supergirl' - wanted to have it all or die trying. Perhaps the truth to 'having it all' (or trick, depending on perspective) is that we don't have to TRY - Perhaps we already have it. God gave us all we need; and so of course provided a means to keep it! There is a sufficiency in the framework of our Faith that provides the balance that we alone lack... Keeps us in the game, keeps us from 'tapping out.'. There's loads of scriptures that point to that; but my banner has always flown under this one:
"I can do all things through Him that gives me strength." (Phillipians 4:13). So why am I so tired (besides the obvious medical issues, of course LOL)???
While trying to help a friend through some stuff, I realized that as I was preaching 'surrender your load to the Lord' - give it to Christ because He's big enough for this... I had the help, but wasn't surrendering the lead of the load. For whatever reason(s), be it remnants of control issues or simply not slowing down to breathe; I wasn't allowing the fruits of the faith to sustain Me. Need to fix that; or rather, need to take the fixes God's already provided me.
So that's it; there's my big revelation. I don't have it all worked out yet; but I'm publicly proclaiming to my friends that I am starting to 'get it' and what better time than Easter to write about it? After all, it's because Jesus didn't tap out that I don't have to, right???
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