hang it up, sister.

is it a full moon or are all the loonies just out and about on montana?
for instance, this one lady who wants to do a valentine’s day demo in the store showed up to speak to louis…who had conveniently already left for the day. i had heard about this lady and her deal, but i got to experience it firsthand tonight. this lady is interesting to say the least–both her appearance (her painted-on bright pink lipstick and cleavage literally busting out of her black top) and her spill. her demo, including cupid’s sweet and spicy nuts, stud muffins, and nookie cookies (totally not kidding), aptly fit her tagline “food to put you in the mood” and appropriately describe her adult programming connecting food and romance.

she gave me her magnetic advertisement, which i willingly gave one of the associates for a joke, and asked me to do a taste test for her…a taste test of 2 different kinds of chocolate frosting for her stud muffins. and i cannot believe that i even relented to her request, but i did.

as she left, she made sure i would tell louis that she still had not heard from him and is awaiting her call.
right…i’m sure louis will jump right on that opportunity. it sounds just like something our company would endorse. in case she hasn’t gotten the clue–since louis has not called her back in weeks–i think she can hang up this gig…which is what i would suggest she do in general.

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handling it.

since seeing the latest film, rachel getting married, i cannot quit thinking about certain events in my life and the response they elicit. i’m drawn back to my graduations–both from college and grad school. even the thought of graduating (and walking) this past june was harrowing to me. i didn’t want to do it. i didn’t want the pressure. i wasn’t sure how it would be with all of my immediate family in one place.
at one time,
all together,
all with me.
one car.
one way to get places.
forced togetherness.
on my turf.

i could only think of my college graduation and that experience.
my immediate family all together,
in one place,
on my turf.
the tension i felt.
divided time.
keeping the sides separate.
the emotion of my parent’s divorce overcoming me…yet again.
miscommunication.
feeling out of control–of my emotions, of my feelings, of how others acted, of the situation in general.
being in the middle…where i seem to wind up, but always hate being.
how even though it was supposed to be a joyous time, for me it wasn’t…
for me it wasn’t because i didn’t allow it to be.

in thinking about the potential for this to re-occur, i wanted to avoid it in the first place. i didn’t even want it to be an option. i didn’t even want to participate in graduation if everyone was going to be together. but as my family told me of their travel plans to come, i couldn’t not do it. i was forced into it…
as the days and weeks approached, i could handle the emotional weight of it all no longer. i told them. i told them how i felt, i told them what i feared, i told them that i didn’t want it to be the way it had been.
it was bringing up this intense emotion within me that i felt powerless to escape, to fight, or to deal with differently. in speaking to both mom and dad, each assured me it would be different. it had been 10 years, we were all in different places, we had all grown and matured, it was different, and no one would allow it to be the way it had been. i wasn’t convinced. maybe i wasn’t convinced because i wasn’t sure how i would handle it…if i would be the one who lost it, who felt all the tension, who couldn’t handle the emotion, who acted the same as i had in years past.

as i watched the scenes unfold in the film at rachel’s wedding, and each family member seemingly resuming their familial role, it brought back these fears. these fears that were unwarranted. these fears that when voiced were calmed. these fears that bring intense emotion from the past that can be overcome.
and i thought about how my family handled my graduation…and me at this time in my life.
with grace.
with patience.
with understanding.
with maturity.
with a new sense of who we all were, not giving into the past emotion, past familial roles, past fears, past hurt.
and how it was different. we all were different. we all genuinely had a good time. we enjoyed being together, sharing special times with one another. we all were sensitive to not allowing it to be otherwise.

and i think about how i handle things–things not as a big deal as the ones mentioned above. but i think about when i enter into situations that it seems i’ve been in before…what do i do?
do i allow the previous emotions to take over?
do i allow the fear to dictate how i respond?
do i pull away, do i pull closer?
do i react in the same manner as i have in the past?
do i attempt to communicate openly?
do i communicate it beyond need?
do i feel the need to resolve all the tension before moving on?
do i resume the roles i have played in the past?
or do i view it differently?
do i attempt to handle it afresh–
devoid of previous emotion,
past hurt,
warranted or unwarranted fear,
resolving it to be different,
resolving to be different,
and allowing it to simply take it’s coarse rather than controlling it?

dynamics.

funny how family gatherings seem to bring it out in all of us?
the drama.
the emotion.
the relationships.
the dynamics.
the past.
the memory.
MV5BMTU4MTQ0MzQwOF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODY1NDI5MQ@@._V1._SX95_SY140_ rachel getting married is no different.
on the outside it is a story of a family gathering…a wedding.
but it doesn’t take one long to figure out that this film is not simply about a wedding…but about so much more.
the family dynamics emerge as the entire family–the emotionally non-existent mother, the over-emotionally involved father, the picture-perfect got-it-all-together eldest daughter, the recovering addict of a basketcase younger daughter, and the non apparent existence of the youngest child–convene for the oldest daughter’s wedding. rachel getting married is what brings everyone together…or does it?
does it simply serve to exhume the past?
does it simply elicit strong emotions over what has occurred?
does it simply throw all of these relationships where their separation had left them?
does it simply place each one in a sordid state…one in which it seems none can escape, at least not alone?
or is this simply a by-product of what occurs when family gets together?

weddings.
funerals.
death.
life.
divorce.
rehab.
they all bring up something. who others are, who we are, how others view us, how others relate to us, how we view life, how we cope with life and relationships.
rachel getting married does just this. it’s intense for sure. it paints a realistic picture of family relationships and these dynamics. it’s not a romantic view of marriage, of family, nor of events surrounding either. it’s worth seeing–at least once–no matter how hard it might be to watch at times.

time with friends.

one good thing about being off 4 days in a row is that i was able to connect with some friends whom i haven’t seen in awhile. much needed time, i might add.

one day, i drove to glendale to have lunch with margit on her break.
i loved seeing her in action.
the way she ran the sales floor,
the way she was with customers,
the way she controlled the atmosphere,
the compliments other associates told me about her and the job she was doing there.

another day.
i had planned to meet kristin at runyon today but yesterday, when i saw her FB status of “doing nothing, once again,” i thought that makes 2 of us so i gave her a call. we decided to meet then and enjoy the day where neither of us had anything planned.
it was fun to reconnect,
to hear about possibilities,
to hear about life,
to be around one another once again.
we left runyon full of conversation yet lacking physical nourishment so we quickly headed to the nearest food establishment.
the first choice, too expensive…$9 hummus, really?
the second, a russian deli where we had no idea what to do…or how to order.
the third, an indian restaurant where we couldn’t figure out what the waiter was telling us.
the fourth, our first ever vegan experience. soy chicken and banana springrolls.
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and my last day…
it began with a run at runyon with margit…our favorite hangout destination. i must say that after running on sunday, followed by runyon for the 2nd day in a row, my legs are tired for sure. it made the manicure and pedicure i treated myself to totally worth it. i can’t believe i actually got my fingernails painted…and to match the toesies at that! a little too much for me, but why not?
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i let them dry while on my drive to pasadena to meet jena and hang out for the duration of the afternoon. first stop: target. of course we both needed something there…who doesn’t?
second stop: regency theater (a.k.a. the cheap theater) where we saw a movie we’d both been wanted to see.
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the time with friends was just what i needed…
to know i am normal.
to know i am not the only one who is emotional.
to know my worries aren’t that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things.
to know there is life outside of myself.
to know i need others surrounding me…i need their encouragement, i need their support, i need the solidarity they offer, i need them in my life.
to know i am not alone.

4 days.

trust me, i am grateful for time off, but…
4 days in a row is a little much.
i have cleaned my apartment…spotless.
i have done 6 loads of laundry…and put it all away.
i have gone to the grocery.
i have cooked meals.
i have organized, sorted through stacks, and gotten rid of stuff.
i have made a pile to donate.
i have gone through my closet and removed clothing no longer worn.
i have gone to the post office.
i have dropped clothes off at the cleaners and picked them up.
i have gone running.
i have painted my toenails.
i have gotten a manicure.
i have squared away with the DMV.
i have made a doctor’s appointment.
i have baked.
i have run all the errands i was saving…or haven’t made time for during normal weeks.
i have hung out with friends.
and now i still have half a day left.

i like to be away from work.
i like to be alone.
but i like to be around people.
and i like to have stuff to do.
it has been a good 4 days off in a row, but a little challenging too.
i like consecutive days off but too many isn’t so good for me–too many without anything planned, without anything to do really.
it’s a challenge for me just to be, just to relax, just to have nothing planned, just to hang out by myself. i get bored. i get restless. i think too much. i contemplate everything. i analyze.
yet somehow, it is good for me too…good in that it forces me to be alone, to plan or be ok with not planning, to be intentional about meeting up with people who aren’t on my beaten path anymore, to relish the days of not being at work, and just to enjoy.

so today, my last of the 4 days, i hope to do just that…enjoy.
enjoy myself.
enjoy being by myself.
enjoy spending time with others…if that’s what i choose to do.
enjoy venturing out.
enjoy not having plans…yet maybe having some ideas.
enjoy being home and feeling comfortable there.
enjoy the minutes, the hours, the time away from the mundane world i live the other 5 days of the week.

is he?

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so i’ve seen these signs all around the past few weeks. it sparked some conversation between hayden and i when she was in town. i vaguely recalled a book by that title, to which i posed the question to her. she affirmed the fact and said she had read it. i made a mental note to check it out before seeing the movie.

not only did hayden and i have some conversations surrounding the upcoming movie release–namely how we both wanted to see it–but we had some interesting exchanges about our previous relationships. some healthy aspects of these…and some otherwise. since we have both walked with each other through past relationships, it was therapeutic–in a sense–to talk openly about them and what we have learned…
and maybe what we still need to learn.

DSC_0020 before she left, she gave me a copy of this book, which i just finished reading.
a cause to write this blog.
a cause to reflect on even the snippets of conversations had between hayden and myself.
a cause to reflect on relationships in which i have been a part.

he’s just not that into you
it’s a book written by greg and liz, writers from the tv series sex and the city.
it’s a book written from a male and female perspective…one married and one single…one straight-forward and one more sympathetic…yet both agreeing that

men are not complicated, although they’d like you to think they are. and there are no mixed messages. the truth may be DSC_0024

through a series of created letters, women offer their excuses of why they are the exception and not the rule. greg, however, counteracts with his famous 6 words…

DSC_0022 he’s just not that into you.

i read a few of my own letters in the book…or very well could have been mine.
i read various excuses i have made in past relationships…excuses validating just how much into me he was.
clearly not.
i read the harsh reality that, indeed, he just wasn’t.
i read why it is hard to accept the cold hard truth, offered by liz, who is a bit more sympathetic to the female plight to find love (at all costs it seems sometimes). a little bit easier to take when it seems someone else understands, or who has been there and feels, thinks, acts similarly.
and i read constant encouragement offered by greg about why i shouldn’t settle for someone who just isn’t into me. how i’m worth it. how i deserve it. how i should want it otherwise.
good advice. even better if i/we can put it into practice.

it brought back memories of guys who seemed into me with their words, but quite the opposite in their actions. it brought back some hurt. yet it brought with it a freedom to see this reality. it brought some laughs that i truly believed i was different…that i was the exception.

and it causes me to evaluate relationships i have with men.
what expectations do i have for the guys i date?
what expectations should i have?
do i expect too much…or do i expect too little?
do i make it easy, not having to do too much work to snag me–such a prized catch…or do i make it hard to win the prize (borrowing some positive language from greg that he believes about me)?
why do i settle for less?
why do i make excuses?
and what excuses am i currently making?

i want to be a woman who is worthy of being pursued…and allows a man to pursue her.
i want to be a woman who is upfront with what she expects out of a relationship.
i want to be a woman who can love with confidence knowing i am into a man who is into me.
i want to be a woman who recognizes when a man is just not into me and can walk away wanting more for me, for him, and from a relationship.
i want to be a woman who accepts the truth about myself, believing that i am worth it and respect myself enough not to settle for less.

growing up stinks.

it’s what my younger brother said to me on the phone this morning as we were talking about the state of the economy, the layoffs, and how we just weren’t used to this stuff.
unlike dad, we’ve never done through losing people with whom we work–a loss outside their control.
unlike dad, we’ve never faced the uncertain future wondering if we–like those with whom we used to work–will have a job in the days to come.
unlike dad, we’ve always had financial security–either ourselves or those of others around us–and have not had to worry about how to make ends meet.

yet now both of us are beginning to think a little differently.

a little differently now that 4 people that worked in his office of 20 last week are no longer there this week.
a little differently now that 4 people with whom i worked indirectly (one week directly…or even with for the past few years) will not be there tomorrow.

and it causes me to think a little differently.
these people who didn’t have a direct impact on business, on sales, on the actual making of money for the business…
these people are the ones who suffer.
these people face the first cuts.
these people, who are behind-the-scenes, are now getting the brunt of it.
i know…it doesn’t make sense, yet somehow it makes business sense.
somehow.

and it causes me to question.
to question myself.
what am i doing–am i doing my part?
what am i doing to fight for my people?
what am i doing to ensure it doesn’t happen to others?
and what can it do, if anything?

or is this just what growing up is all about?
if so, it stinks…