Thursday, February 9, 2012

Lesson #1: "The One" Does Not Exist

My 27th birthday is next month, and I realized that when James turns 27, I'll be 49, and when Cece turns 27, I'll be 50. When I'm in my late 40s and early 50s, I might not be able to relate to the things they'll be going through in early adulthood as well as I can now. I've decided to write a compilation of life lessons to share with them when they become adults. I've started it here, on my blog, and look forward to your thoughts and ideas for future posts. Like my life, this series will be a work in progress :)

Lesson # 1: There is no such thing as "The One."

You've been told dreamy tales about someday finding "The One"-- your fated soulmate, the man or woman who will give you butterflies in your bellies and sweep you off your feet in a whirlwind of love and excitement. You've assumed "The One" will be handsome or beautiful and will charm you at first sight. You believe that your interests and life perspectives will align magically, and that life with this person will be simultaneously adventurous and harmonious.

Along the roads to finding your perfect matches, you might overlook a lot of nice people who really like you. Some might be too nerdy, lumpy, scrawny, or interested in you to seem worthwhile. Here's the secret, my dears: no match is perfect, and the best looking people aren't necessarily the best partners. Your fate does not include finding a person who does not exist, and when it comes to love, nobody is perfect. Although I've told you that you're perfect, you probably have negative qualities that I've overlooked. The best thing you can do for yourselves when finding a partner is to choose someone that brings tremendous joy to your life and doesn't hurt your feelings.

When choosing a partner, pick someone stable, devoted, loving, and patient. Choose someone who values hard work and makes you laugh, someone who has practical expectations of you while making you want to be your best.  Everyone ends up a little lumpy, and what excites you at 18 will absolutely not excite you at 28. I promise to be right about that.

Your relationships might not work out, so never neglect the other components of your lives that fulfill you. You'll always have me, by the way. And you're never too old to cry on my shoulder. There will be times in your lives when your hearts will feel broken for a short while. They will heal, and you'll find love again. I promise that, too.

The truth is, my loves, that you can have a magical life with anyone who loves you equally and is willing and committed to work through difficult times. And when you find your almost-perfect match, be sure to treat them well.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

". . . they too have their story."

An old friend, via Facebook chat, shared this poem with me today. I came across parts of this poem years ago, and had forgotten about it until now. I figured I'd share it with you, lovely reader, for two reasons. First, it's too damn good to keep to myself. Second, one part reminded me of why I like to blog and read the blogs of others: "Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others . . .  they too have their story."

As I discussed in my last post, I've been considering that blogs like mine are somewhat narcissistic. Upon further rumination, I've decided that this isn't too problematic for me. Here's why: blogging is more socially acceptible than talking to myself out loud all the time, and maybe some of my readers will find a little bit of themselves in my stories. Isn't that why we update our statuses on Facebook and follow total strangers on Twitter? It's fun to relate! Especially to strangers! And in the privacy of your home, possibly wearing nothing but tube socks. It's fine, I'm not here to judge.

Enough rambling.  Here's my favorite poem, "Desiderata" by Max Ehrmann. I've highlighted my fav parts in purple because, after all, this blog is still all about me.

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,

and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible without surrender

be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly;

and listen to others,

even the dull and the ignorant;

they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,

they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,

you may become vain or bitter;

for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;

it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs;

for the world is full of trickery.

But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;

many persons strive for high ideals;

and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.

Especially, do not feign affection.

Neither be cynical about love;

for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment

it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,

gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.

But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.

Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,

be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,

no less than the trees and the stars;

you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you,

no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,

whatever you conceive Him to be,

and whatever your labors and aspirations,

in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,

it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Does talking about myself this much make my butt look narcissistic?

I came across a quote today that sort of embodies my opinion of some blogs and my fears about my own:

“How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.” (Thoreau, I don't know the year or context because I only read Thoreau on quote websites).

I've been thinking for years that blogging is sort of narcissistic, but I haven't decided if that matters to me or not. I suppose that if my blog was too narcissitic, I wouldn't have any readers, and if I was generally a narcissistic person, I wouldn't have any friends. I try to keep this blog lighthearted to avoid the taking-myself-too-seriously thing. Because nobody likes that guy.

I did recently get serious on my friend Erin's blog. I was a guest writer for her "defining moment" series, so I had to break my rule and talk about my feelings. There wasn't any decent way to avoid it because "defining moments" are inherently serious, dramatic, and all-about-me-ish. You know all the stuff that you can't comfortably discuss with strangers? That's what I talked about.

I'll share the link with ya, little stranger, in case you're curious:

If not, I understand. I'd rather keep things between us casual, too.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


My dad bought himself a MacBook Pro and read my blog, and now I feel like I'm grounded. He is upset about some of the content on here, and although he didn't cite any specific posts, I'm assuming he's referring to my last one. For the record, I didn't think that I'd offend anyone by admitting to NOT getting laid.

He told me that everyone can see what I'm posting, and that once something goes on the internet, it never goes away. I guess that would alarm me if I planned on running for President, but I gave up on that one after my 7th DUI.

I'm joking, Dad. I've never had a DUI.  But if I did, you'd be the first person I'd call, despite your tendency to lecture me on my mistakes.

Yeah, Dad's usually right, but that's never stopped me from doing most things I want to do. I must get that from my mom ;)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I Got 99 Problems, But Only 4 Have Been Kind of a Bitch Lately

Dear Diary,

I have 4 life goals, and they are listed below:

1. Lose 30 lbs.
2. Get the clean laundry out of my dining room and into my closets
3. Get laid more regularly
4. Get my kids to go the fuck to sleep at 8pm

*Note: Numbers 3 and 4 actually have nothing to do with each other. (Number 1 could probably help with Number 3.)

I'm 26, so my list should probably include other stuff, like owning a home, visiting Europe, getting married, retiring before death, etc. Honestly, though, if a genie showed up in my apartment RIGHT NOW, and for whatever reason offered me 4 wishes instead of the standard 3, those would be my top picks.

If the genie was a stingy bitch, and only offered 1 wish, I'd pick Number 4. The biggest parenting issue I've had lately has been finding an effective bedtime strategy. James and Cece share a room, so they've formed a rebel alliance. James sleeps in a bed (versus a crib, if you were wondering, which is biggest mistake I've ever made), and gets up whenever he wants.  Cece's limited to the confines of her crib, so she just screams. We live in an apartment building, so I can't ignore it; I always end up back in their room, begging Cece to be quiet. I sometimes bribe her with Goldfish.  She uses my fear of eviction to her advantage.

I thought that hanging this above her crib would help.

It did not.

I implemented the strict bedtime policy back in March, when we moved into our apartment. My kids have actually both gone to sleep by 8pm approx. zero times since then. It's August, so that's like, 8 months of failure. I put them to bed 26-27 nights per month, so do the math (because I'm too tired). I've googled bedtime tips, but all I've found is a lot of common fucking sense that I've obviously already tried. The only thing I've found that's worth sharing is this link. For those of you who aren't curious enough to check it out, I'll cut to the chase: it's Samuel L. Jackson's reading of the book Go the F**k to Sleep, by Ricardo Cortes.

It's now 9:25, and I can hear James playing in his room. At 8:45, I threatened to throw away his lamp if he got out of bed again. (Yeah, pathetic, I'm aware.) I'm going to pretend I can't hear him to get myself out of that trap.

8-Month Recap:
Kids: 208
Mom: 0
Dad: hopefully also 0

Friday, July 29, 2011

Don't Name Your Kid After Tony Danza Unless He Got You Pregnant.

I was browsing the web today for some parenting tips because James, my angelic 3.5 year old, has been unbearably uncooperative for the last 2 days. I googled "parenting" and clicked on the most reliable-looking option:

The homepage offered such a wide variety of insightful headlines that I kinda forgot why I was there. "11 Super-Cute Baby Names for Boys" caught my eye, because I like super-cute anything, and I also believe that expecting parents of baby boys are kind of fucked when it comes to finding an original-but-cool names for their future sons. As a self-proclaimed baby name expert, it was necessary for me to see what they came up with.

Everything was cool until I got to #10 on the "super-cute" list.


Really? That's what we're working with?

Imagine holding your freshly birthed 8-pounder for the first time and thinking, I will call you... Anthony. went to great lengths to make this one work. With each name suggestion, they include an example of a  current pop culture icon. Picture and bio included.  For this gem, they chose to use Anthony Hopkins, NOT KIDDING, because that's a great selling point. The picture, in my opinion, would be really effective for new parents of elderly men. Check it out for yourself, and while you're there, notice some of the other famous Anthonys mentioned. My favorites are "Tony Danza" and "Anthony 'Tony' Soprano."

If I'm sounding too critical, then let's pump the brakes. I'm not saying Anthony is a bad name.  I think it's an appropriate choice if it's a family name, or if you just happen to really like the way it sounds, or whatever. I take issue with, though, for creating this unimaginative "Top 11" list. Why couldn't they have omitted Anthony and called it a Top 10? I'm suspecting the person who compiled the list is pregnant and hoarding all of the good names for herself and her pregnant friends. Just a thought.

When I was pregnant with James, I would have looked at the website as some sort of authority on parenthood. Pregnant women are a susceptible breed, and picking out your son's name is a huge deal. I remember wondering, what if I pick a name that makes him a doofus? What if all the bad kids in his class have the same name? Is the name I like too ethnic for an Irish kid?

Moral of the story? Baby name lists are kinda cool to look at, but I think they're about as useful as yesterday's Pisces horoscope in my local newspaper, or a $20 replacement warranty for a $30 cordless phone. So until I come across a really good name list, I'd suggest that you run potential baby names by me first, or check with some other rational person that loves you.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Hey Stranger

Yeah, I'll say it again: it's been awhile. I'm sure all two of you have missed me.

Every time I write one of these "oh, I'm really going to start blogging again" empty promise posts, I do it with the best of intentions. I usually follow up with some quick story about how busy I've been. Here goes: Gene and I broke up in October, I had two jobs for awhile, now I have one, I still don't have spare time, the kids are great, I love my job, how are you doing, by the way?

No promises this time, but I would like to blog atleast... once in awhile? No strings, no commitments, this is the best I can do.

Thanks for checking in. I love all two (ok, one) of you. Oh, yeah, that's you, Erin.