Category Archives: friendship

Call Me, Maybe?

I was talking to my fabulous friend Amina the other day and she looked at me like I was bat.shit.crazy when I told her I frequently go a day or two without talking to anyone.

The fabulous Miss Amina and I

The fabulous Miss Amina and I aka Ebony & Ivory Divas 🙂

I’m notorious for taking “personal days” when I respond to no one and spend a day completely in my own company, ignoring the outside world.

Which she completely understands and occasionally does herself.

But she couldn’t understand that I would regularly go a whole day without texting or calling a friend or family member.

(Please note, she does NOT count Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media platform as acceptable substitutes for a text or phone call. As someone who works in marketing and uses most of these platforms daily, I strongly disagree, but will humor her for the sake of this post.)

Now, before you also think I’m some psychopathic introvert, let me explain.

Heeeeeere's Johnny!!

Heeeeeere’s Johnny!!

I talk to people every day. These interactions are usually at work, the gym, or the store. They aren’t always people I know personally. But I do talk to people!

I’ve never been a big phone talker.

When I was growing up we had one phone, in the kitchen, where everyone could hear you, so there was really no such thing as a private conversation.

As an adult, I worked for more years than I care to remember as a customer service rep and grew to despise speaking to anyone on the telephone.

That smiling face is a lie. Customer service is the worst.job.ever.

That smiling face is a lie. Customer service is the worst.job.ever.

And quite frankly, I don’t know if I’m going deaf in my old age or cell phone reception just sucks, but I feel like I can never quite hear anyone clearly when talking on the phone these days.

Rather than just “uh huh” and pretend I heard what was said (repeating myself is a huge pet peeve so I try my best not to make others do it) I’d rather just make plans to see you in person. It’s more fun that way anyway!

Her reaction did get me thinking though.

As I’m living alone again these days, if I disappeared, would anyone notice?

Thankfully I’m not a crazy cat lady (or a fan of cats period) so I’m not in any danger of dying and having my face eaten off.

Never, ever, ever!

Nevah, evah, evah!

But I think I might need to start interacting with my friends and family on a more regular basis and not just to make plans.

I don’t want to be that woman discovered dead after neighbors start complaining about a foul odor.

How about you guys?

Do you talk to someone every day?

Is it the same someone?

Do you call people just to say “hi”?

Would anyone notice if you disappeared for a couple days?

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under etiquette, family, friendship, growing up

It’s Finally Friday!!!

Quote of the Day:

summer afternoon

Stuff and Things:

Every bride is beautiful on her wedding day. But not every bride knows how to take beautiful pictures. Here’s a how-to guide on posing for you lovelies. (Don’t worry single ladies – you don’t have to be getting married to take a peek!)

Climbing the Ladder:

Networking can be super awkward. Here are five tips to make it feel super easy.

Wine Me, Dine Me:

Did you know Greek yogurt can be substituted for almost anything?? Check out this chart from Chobani:

chobani

Body Lovin’:

For anyone who’s ever worked 2 jobs you know the power of naps. Turns out it’s actually an alternative sleep cycle.

huggingOut and About:

Stanley Park in Westfield, MA is one of my favorite places. And now you can do yoga in the park every Wednesday in July! For free! Well, they ask for a $5 donation to the park, but that’s still the cheapest yoga class I’ve ever taken!!

Friday Fun:

For my Connecticut peeps:

friday movie

The 22nd Annual Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz kicks off this weekend in Bushnell Park. Gates open at 5pm Friday night. The festival runs through Sunday. Admission is free.

For my Western Mass homies:

The 350 Grille in downtown Springfield is one of my favorite restaurants and it just so happens another of my favorites will be providing the melodious mood during tonight’s dining experience! That sounds like a win/win to me!! John Cantalini will delight your auditory senses on guitar while 350’s menu tickles your taste buds.

After you’ve had your full of deliciousness at 350 head on up to Monty’s in Chicopee for your favorite 90’s cover band Gnome Sane. You’ll definitely need to do some serious booty shakin’ to work off that dinner girl! Gnome sane?

Saturday Shenanigans:

There’s not much better than spending a summer afternoon on the lake. Unless it’s spending the afternoon on the lake listening to good tunes! Head out to Louie B’s in Southwick and catch the Baird Souls 6pm – 10pm.

Can’t take the heat even on the water?? Then head to The Still in Agawam for DPR. These guys are one of my faves and will definitely get you up and moving on the dance floor.

For you kids on the other side of the river, The Truckstop Troubadours will be rocking all your favorite country classics at the Munich Haus in Chicopee.

For my Connecticut peeps – Weird Science Saturday will be going on down at the Shamrock Cafe in Suffield. DJ Supercold will be spinning all your favorite 80’s tunes.

Giggles and Such:

We really blue it.

Careless whisper makes everything sexy.

doors

better days are coming

Have a great weekend!

Leave a comment

Filed under Climbing the Ladder, etiquette, Finally Friday, fitness, food, friendship, giggles and such, health, Out on the Town, photgraphy

It Only Hurts If You Let It

I was talking (bitching) to my wicked smart Mom the other day.

All up on my high horse, pointing out the less-than-perfect behavior of another.

And she replied, “why let it bother you?”

I’ll admit, at first, I found her response extremely annoying.

“You’re supposed to be on my side!”

“Well screw you too!”

But, the more I thought about it, the more I realized she was right.

It’s easy to focus on what’s going wrong, how someone else isn’t doing the right thing, but ultimately you are the one who allows outside forces to effect your inner peace.

inner peace

This is NOT a free pass for bad behavior.

“Don’t be a dick” is a code I think everyone should follow.

But there will always be assholes walking the earth.

And you will more than likely have to interact with them on a regular basis.

You have choices in these situations.

life is all about choices

You can allow them to bring you down to their level and return that asshole behavior tit for tat.

While this may feel really good at the time, if you’re anything like me you will then spend the next week chastising yourself for allowing said asshole to elicit such a response from you. (You really are better than that!)

You can say/do nothing.

Take the high road and let your resentment fester and grow by continuously turning that nugget of assholery over and over in your head while complaining about said assholery to friends and family. (This will certainly give you agada. That’s indigestion for all you non-Italians.)

Or

You can accept the fact that sometimes people suck.

It’s not your job to make them suck less.

It’s not your job to point out their massive amount of suckiness (suckitude?).

All you can do is take a deep breathe, accept it, and move on.

acceptance

Because really – ain’t nobody got time for that!

And for all you know, someone did piss in their Cheerios and it’s not personal.

2 Comments

Filed under etiquette, family, friendship, growing up, inspiration

It Takes a Village

Hillary Clinton said it takes a village, and who am I to argue with Hillary??

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton checks her PDA upon her departure in a military C-17 plane from Malta bound for Tripoli,  Libya

Sunday is that one day of the year when we take the time to say, “thank you” to the women who raised us.

(By the way, how about we start doing that a little more often?!?)

Which got me thinking about all the women who have influenced my journey through life.

There are two I feel I lost just before I needed them most:

Aunt Joan – I will always have questions for you. Things I wished I’d thought to ask before it was too late. But, I’ve started to realize, the world you grew up in was far, far different from the challenges I encounter today. Sometimes the choices I have the freedom to make are daunting. I wish you were here to talk to.

aunt joan

Grama Gloria – If the woman you raised is any indication, you were a force to be reckoned with. I wish I remembered you more. I wish I had the foresight to ask for your story. In my mind you will always be an adventurer. From what I hear, that’s not far off.

grama gloria (2)

There are those I still have the privilege to know and love:

Aunt DJ – There are no words for the strength of spirit I have witnessed over the years. I can only hope to one day approach life with the grace and class you exhibit every day.

me justin and aunt dj swimming

Mom – my crazy, smart mother, who knows more than I can ever hope to – which I will never admit (again). You taught me anyone can learn anything if they set their mind to it and put in the work. I can never express how truly you inspire me every day to be a better person.

4821

Barbara – my beautiful cousin who showed me family could be friends. You have taught me being vulnerable is a gift not all people receive. I only hope you know how very wondrous and fierce you are.

babs genie

Those who have shown me professionalism and class are NOT mutually exclusive:

Maura Deedy – the first real female work friend I had in the “professional” world, she taught me that you CAN be a rock star at work without throwing your fellow woman under the bus

Erika Cook – my first female boss. I might have been just a waitress but you set the standard that for 20 years has made me believe women can be supportive and caring of their subordinates. Shame on you 🙂

And last but certainly not least:

My girls – that seems like such a lame word for the women who have held me up and encouraged me over the years. “Girl” completely discredits the reckoning you encompass. You are so much more than words could ever describe. Imagine that! I’m at a loss for words!! You know who you are. I love you fiercely.

Just a sampling of the “girls” who warm my heart:

ange martini

bend over

me and amina

me and amber

me and rach

me and lindsey on the bridge

I thought long and hard about the women to include in this post. There are far, far, many more goddesses who have helped show me love and kindness on my journey. I honestly did not have room for you all. (I fully relish the excess and decadence this sentence implies.) But that does not mean, in any way, shape or form, that your presence has not been felt, nor made a significant difference in my life. It has. You are appreciated and loved. Thank you from the very bottom of my heart.

Are there women in your life who have lent a helping hand on your journey?

Tell them!!

Who do you owe a “thank you”?

3 Comments

Filed under family, friendship, growing up

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Friendships don’t just happen.

Especially as you get older.

Making friends is hard!

You have to nurture the connections you want to hold on to.

Call, text, email, carrier pigeon.

carrier pigeon

I’m awful at this.

I hate talking on the phone and once I’m out of the office, I make it a point to ignore email.

However, the older I get, the more I realize how privileged I am to have some pretty amazing people in my life, and the more I realize that, the more I want them to know how special they are to me (something I’m notoriously bad at).

This is especially important for the ones I hold near and dear, who aren’t all that near to me anymore.

Last week I received the loveliest of reminders of just how truly amazing the people I’m privileged to know are.

postcard pic

This little ray of sunshine came in a pile of bills and junk last week 🙂

This may sound super cheesy but it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

A thousand times better than any text or Facebook post!

Like my friend who was 200 miles away had just given me the biggest hug.

Me and Rach

The sweetest thing on two legs! My absolutely amazing friend Rachel 🙂

I forgot what it was like to get a piece of “good” mail.

Whatever happened to writing letters??

Taking the time to put pen to paper and letting someone know you care and that you’re thinking of them??

When was the last time you put something in the mail that wasn’t a bill?

Who’d you send it to??

Leave a comment

Filed under friendship, growing up

Home Training for Harmonious Living

By the time most of us are “adults” we’ve had the experience of leaving the warm (rent-free) bosom of Mom and Dad’s and living with roommates.

Sometimes these roommates are random students your college thought you’d mesh well with, friends, family, or even strangers you found on Craigslist.

However, just because most of us have lived with others doesn’t mean we know how to do it well.

So, I’ve pulled together some home training tips to help you be a better roomie:

1.) If you can’t remember the last time you held a broom/mop/Swiffer in your hands, it’s probably time for you to clean something. Seriously! Right now!! Stop reading this and go vacuum. Better yet, dust first.

2.) If you break something that doesn’t belong to you, own up to it, and replace it – immediately if not sooner.

3.) If you didn’t buy it, don’t eat it.

4.) If you or your guests use the last of any shared item (food stuffs, paper towels, toilet paper, etc.) replace it! There is nothing worse than waking up in the middle of the night and having to drip dry.

5.) Expect waking up in the middle of the night because your roommate invited over the loudest.guest.EVER! Your guests are a reflection of you, if they’re rude, loud, and messy – so are you. Don’t be that dude.

6.) I could write an entire blog post on dishes. I don’t understand, am I the only person who thinks if you have a dishwasher, you should simply empty it when the dishes are clean, put dirty dishes directly in until full, then repeat?!?

For those of you who don’t understand my flawless logic, a few pointers:

Rinse your dishes before you put them in the sink! I don’t care how gnarly your dishwasher is, crusted-on week-old food does not come clean without a serious scrubbing. And it’s super gross for the person who eventually does load the dishwasher. (Because we all know, it’s not going to be you.)

When the sink looks like this:

do your dishes

DO THE FUCKING DISHES!!!

7.) Do not borrow anything without asking.

8.) If you can’t remember the last time you and your significant other stayed at their place, it’s definitely time for you to switch it up. No matter how well your roommates get along with your main squeeze no one wants a permanent house guest and nothing is more annoying than having to witness couple time all the time. We get it, you’re in love and want to spend all your time together, just please understand, not everyone feels the same.

9.) There should always be a heads up for overnight guests and gatherings. It’s the polite (adult) thing to do. The two most awkward shared living situations are coming home to a party you didn’t know about and sharing your morning coffee with the stranger(s) you found on the couch.

10.) Pick your shit up. Growing up if we didn’t put our stuff away my father was libel to throw it in the trash. A girlfriend of mine trained her roommates to clean up by putting anything (including dirty dishes) they left strewn about in their pillowcase. Not sure I could pull that one off with a clear conscience, but it’s definitely effective!

Those are just my top 10.

What are your rules for a harmonious house??

Leave a comment

Filed under etiquette, friendship, growing up, nesting

Judgey Wudgey Was a Bear

woman's mind

And at least 1,347 of those tabs are open to something we said or did, we’re currently obsessing over not having gotten quite right.

You can meet the smartest, most successful woman on earth, but I bet you $1000 there are at least 3 things she thinks she’s done wrong in the last week, that she can’t seem to let go of.

The judgement of others can be harsh, but there’s nothing compared to the judgement we pass on ourselves.

I for one, am tired of the constant loop of let-downs I review in the wee hours of the night.

finish each day emerson quote

Why is it five years later I can remember in detail an off-handed criticism from someone I don’t even like, but the last compliment I received is a little fuzzy??

I would never speak to someone I love in the harsh, judgmental voice I reserve for myself late at night.

If one of my friends came to me obsessing over some slight or slip-up, I would help them look at the big picture.

Illustrate that while they may have messed up this time it does not define them as a failure.

you have a glass

So why can’t I be that rational, supportive friend to myself??

Sometimes it feels as though there are two different women who live in my head.

One’s a smart, kind, cleverly talented, rational woman.

The other is Judgey Wudgey the Bear.

And I’m not talking about some cute little bear:

cute bear

Judgey Wudgey is a mean ol’ bitch:

angry bear

And she’s always cranky!

I’ve been trying to find new ways to silence the snarky bitch.

Since coming out of hibernation, she’s been overly articulate and quite nosy.

Digging up the past like she’s foraging for food.

I haven’t really had much success in getting her to STFU!

STFU

Even as I write this I can hear her mocking me, “boo hoo, poor little girl got her feelings hurt”.

So I’m going to start writing her bullshit down.

Much like I list the things I’m grateful for each day.

In order to maintain an objective frame of mind, I will now also include the day’s top five judgements.

Maybe if I have to acknowledge them on paper, I can forgive myself my transgressions and move on.

Or maybe I’ll see how truly ridiculous and mean-spirited Judgey Wudgey is and learn to ignore her.

let it go

Wish me luck!

How do you let go of your inner critic?

Leave a comment

Filed under Change, Climbing the Ladder, dating, family, following your dreams, friendship, growing up, Happiness Project, inspiration, quotes