Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders and says "Oh shit, she's awake."

Monday, February 28, 2011

Mean People Suck...

Last week I received a very public verbal “slap” from someone, and I have to tell you, it really caught me by surprise. It was over a post I put on my facebook status message that said “After seeing Lindsay Lohan today, I realize I don't have an outfit that seamlessly transitions from court to night." (quoted from Liz Winstead, Daily Show Co-creator speaking about Lohan's choice of wardrobe for her latest court appearance.) The quote struck me as incredibly witty, and pretty much in line with any number of thoughts running through my head at any given moment. Those who know me will tell you that my sense of humor is, more often than not, a bit twisted and sarcastic bordering on downright caustic. And given the internal commentary that is constantly playing in my brain, that quote would have been pretty mild for me, had I actually come up with it on my own. But nonetheless, it made me giggle, and as I frequently do, I felt the need to share, as many of my friends are of the same mindset when it comes to humor. Humor makes the day a little brighter, and if I have the opportunity share some, I usually will.

The inference of this particular woman’s verbal reprimand came in the form of “Who gives a S__! I have better/more important things on my plate right now then what Lohan is wearing and why!” Quite honestly I sat back, stunned at her statement. Apparently, not only is she completely devoid of any sense of humor, but she fancies me as a waste of energy, shuffling around in a bathrobe and slippers, scrolling through “The Star” and “People”, or watching Maury Povich and Judge Judy. For the record, I am gainfully employed at a fairly high-pressured job where I deal with pharmaceutical CEO’s located anywhere on six out of the seven continents (no pharma companies in Antarctica.) Not only do I not own a bathrobe, I don’t even own slippers. I hit the ground running at 5:45am, and fall into bed every night between 9pm and 10pm. Don’t get me wrong, I feel no need to defend myself against this person. My friends, in their precious pit bull sort of way, have already chimed in on my page, leveling comments at this woman that should probably keep her from posting anything anywhere for a very long time. (I love my friends!) But I still find myself thinking about it, because underneath, I still take too many things that other people say way to personally. I’ve met this woman three times in my life (she is the mother-in-law of a relative of my fiance’s) and I have never been ANYTHING but completely gracious to her. I’m not sure how she came up with her “words of wisdom” that she directed towards me. Perhaps she had a bad day. Perhaps she had one too many glasses of vino, which turns her into a blabbermouth. But since she has a photo of herself in HER bathrobe as her profile picture, and obviously has time to read my facebook page’s “mindless entertainment” maybe she should stop and take a good long look in the mirror. Obviously, she has more free time than she would like to admit.

I’m confounded by the way people feel compelled to spew ugly words towards others, as if somehow their opinions are more valuable than most anyone else’s opinions. Do they not realize that ultimately, NOBODY cares what they think--about pretty much anything? They are like the mean kid in school, the one who always took great joy in making others feel terrible so they could feel that much better about themselves. In my mind, if you can’t say anything pleasant, then by all means, KEEP IT TO YOURSELF. I, of course, am not referring to the healthy and sometimes heated debate that many of us get into on occasion. I am referring to the unsolicited statements that are made for the sole purpose of deflating someone in a very personal way. If you don’t like what I have to say? Feel free to unfriend me on facebook. Walk the other way when you see me on the street. If you cannot be positive, then I do not need you in my life. Life is hard enough on any given day, and that kind of negativity just makes everyone feel kind of lousy.

I guess it all comes back to what my mother used to say, “Mean people just plain suck.” The moral of the story is, surround yourself with people who will prop you up, not tear you down. Thankfully, I am well propped up in my life. :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Desperately seeking perfect...

I read a pretty profound blog today (, one that broke down the illusion of “perfection” in terms that brought me to tears. In this blog, I could literally see examples of countless people in my own life who were killing themselves mentally and sometimes physically for the sake of this thing called perfection. There is it was, all right in front of me in black and white. I include myself in this statement, for the record. Truth be told, I have been guilty of desperately seeking perfect my entire life.

I’m trying to remember the first time it became so important for me to be perfect, or project that image of perfect. I’ve been through enough therapy sessions to realize that I was young, really really young. When I was 3 or 4, I can remember my father’s second wife making me sit at the dinner table for hours, berating me for not eating my peas. My dad wasn’t there so it was just her and me. I can still see those peas on my plate, all perfectly round, maybe 20 of them. For years I thought I dreamed that night, and her cruel words. I am now convinced it was not a dream. I finally ate the peas, sobbing to myself with each bite. I did it for my dad, because I loved him so much and I didn’t want her to make him miserable because I was so imperfect. It’s amazing I actually like peas at all now. I despised them at that moment in my life. My father saved me though. He divorced that witch six months after he married her. I was safe. I never saw her again. Subsequently he married my forever mother, for whom I would walk on broken glass.

But my need for perfection continued, and indeed still haunts me. But here’s the funny thing about perfection…the more you chase it, the more it alludes you. I wanted it so badly, in everything I set out to accomplish – my physical appearance, my relationships, my career. For years, I would lie awake at night and pray for everything to be perfect. It never was. Mostly, I was left feeling inadequate, anything but perfect. But each day when my feet hit the floor in the morning, I was back to “perfect me”, smiling and pretending as if life could not possibly be any better. The pile of crap I’ve brushed “under the rug” in my lifetime is large enough to make a landfill overflow. Eating disorders, bad relationships, broken friendships, unfulfilled career aspirations. It still hurts my heart when I think about it. All for the sake of trying to attain perfection. What a colossal waste of time and energy.

But, miraculously, somewhere between my last failed marriage and where I currently am today, I finally realized that “being perfect” was beyond exhausting. In fact, it was sucking the life out of me. I was putting upon myself impossible expectations, expectations that no one could ever hope to attain. Somewhere between then and now, I realized that I needed to just stop...stop trying to be 5’10” and 115 lbs (clearly, at 5’2”, 125 lbs, and 46 years old, that is never going to happen.) I need to stop trying to be the perfect mother, the perfect companion, the perfect friend. I needed to just STOP and cut myself some slack, before I self-destructed, before I disappeared completely. I’ve been closer to that point than I want to admit, believe me. I think I also realized that, by setting such unattainable expectations for myself, I, by example, was setting my daughter up for the same scenario in her life. She is the best part of me, the one thing I absolutely got right. All I really want is for her to be happy - happy with herself, and the world around her. She doesn’t need to try to be perfect. To me, she is perfect just the way she is.

Perfect is overrated, and, well, it’s bullshit. If we’re always perfect then we never make mistakes, which means we never learn. There is true beauty in learning from our experiences and moving forward in a positive light. It makes us feel whole, and capable. It makes us appreciate ourselves, our families, and loved ones. To be imperfect allows us to breathe a little deeper, love a bit more passionately, and most importantly, forgive – ourselves and others. I really don’t expect perfection in those with whom I choose to surround myself, and I am fairly certain they do not expect perfection in me. If they do, they’ll be a long time waiting for that to happen.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Who needs Bounty paper towels? We're living in a world of the self-absorbed...

Dear Population under the age of 30,

While I understand that you are embroiled in a time of your life that is often difficult to navigate and fraught with philosophical twists and turns, I feel compelled to point out a number of factors which could, in the long run, make your life easier...or at least your parents’ lives easier. Please, don’t think I am talking down to you, or otherwise degrading you. I am simply stating what your parents are too afraid to say for fear that they will “injure your fragile self-esteem.” Rest assured, I have no vested interest in your self-esteem. I am merely exhausted from listening to your parents complain about what an ungrateful bunch of spoiled brats you are. I’ve also witnessed the behaviour of many of you firsthand, and sorry, but I am inclined to agree with their observations.

So here it goes…

1. While you may have been led to believe otherwise, you are NOT the only person in the universe. Indeed, you are not even the only person on Planet Earth. Look around, there are lots of other people who are pretty damn sure the universe is not revolving around you.

2. Good behavior is rewarded. Bad behavior is not rewarded. Do not expect to flunk out of college, then live at home rent-free, without a care in the world. The hot water for your three daily showers, electricity for your computer, tv and 20 tech gadgets, as well as food for your never-ending appetite all cost your parents are tired of dishing out.

3. I don’t care how horrible you perceive your childhood to be. #1, it was not as bad as you think it was, and #2, get over it, we all came from dysfunctional families. Seriously, you think you have the lock on that one? It’s a big boat, and a lot of people on it. Time to take responsibility for your own actions. Stop blaming it on everyone else. If that’s bad, go get a good therapist.

4. Six figure incomes generally do not just fall into your lap like a gift from God. I know it’s hard to imagine, but in addition to a full-time job, you may need to find a PART-time job to supplement your income in order to afford anything close to the lifestyle to which you feel as though you deserve. It is not the responsibility of your parents to fund whatever you cannot afford. Figure it out or go without.

5. Driving is a PRIVILEGE, not a RIGHT. If you speed, text behind the wheel, let your registration lapse, or otherwise do anything completely stupid with regard to your driving record, be prepared to pay the consequences. It is not the fault of your parents, the arresting officer, your drivers ed teacher, or the public at large. Pay the fine and learn from your mistake. Likewise, it is not the responsibility of your parents to pay your insurance so you can drive said car. If you cannot afford your insurance, then refer to Item #4 (the second job part.)

6. With age comes responsibility for your own actions. There is no shame in making mistakes, but for God’s sake, LEARN from your mistake. No one else is responsible for your screw-ups. It is all on you. If you do screw up, that does not mean your parents love you any less, but do not expect a big group hug and a rousing version of Kumbaya. Your parents will more than likely express their feelings about said screw-up, and will expect you to suffer the consequences. So man up, and move on.

7. Please try to at least attempt to act adult-like. No one expects you to be perfect, but for the most part, we all expect you to at least TRY to do the right thing.

8. Drugs are bad...ALWAYS, without exception.

9. When considering whether to continue smoking or quit, always pick QUIT. We’re tired to you smelling like an ashtray.

10. I know life seems like an unending DRAMA of the first magnitude when you are in your twenties, but trust the rest of us who have been there, it isn’t. You will survive, you will be stronger, and someday you will look back and think, “God, I was the most self-absorbed, self-centered person alive back then.” We will forgive you of this, since we were all in that moment, at one time or another. But in the meantime, please try to remember, there is more to life than you, your feelings, and your drama. Whatever drama you are inflicting on your parents, they are dealing with all of that PLUS their own. Dial back your expectations, please.

For those of you who think I’m being unduly harsh...please. I guess my exhaustion comes from the fact that there are a ridiculous amount of twenty-somethings (and younger) who have an overstated sense of entitlement. Personally, it kind of ticks me off. I’m not sure why so many young people today believe that they should get WHAT they want exactly WHEN they want it, simply because they exist. I had the time of my life in my twenties, and I made plenty of stupid mistakes. But one thing I can assure you, no one gave me anything. And it would have never even occurred to me to expect it,or even ask. Once you cross that line into adulthood, it’s all on you. If you have a support system to draw upon in times of sincere crisis, then that is truly wonderful, but don’t expect it. More often than not, in times of crisis, that is when you really learn how to be self-reliant. That is when you pick yourself up by the boot straps and find out what you’re made of. In the end, being self-reliant will make you feel so much better about yourself, your abilities, and who you are as a person. It’s called “growing up.”

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I can see menopause from my back door…what a crappy view…

For those of you who were unaware of the newly designated National Day of Mourning, let me be the first to bring you the news. From now on, February 5th is officially “The Old Broad’s Birthday”. Yep, I called my Congressman and had him bring it to the floor for a vote. Congress can’t agree on much these days, but they certainly could agree on one thing, that redheaded chick that lives in Manassas, Virginia? SHE IS GETTING OLD! I love bi-partisan spirit. Please send your condolence cards directly to my home since I will be there, crying in my dirty martini and applying wrinkle cream with a putty knife.

I’m not really sure how this happened, but it sure did happen quickly. One day I was partying like a rockstar with my rockstar friends, all of us pretending like we were important and in charge of the world. The next day, my eleven year old daughter is referring to me as pre-elderly and laughing at the music I listened to “back in the day.” WTF??? I don’t feel old. I’d like to think I don’t LOOK old, but apparently, to an eleven year old I am ancient. I wouldn’t swear to it, but I believe she thinks I am in the beginning stages of Alzheimers – which is quite possible since I can’t remember sh&t anymore. I wonder if she has started looking at nursing homes for her aging mother? I hope she picks a place in a warm weather climate, as cold weather at my age has also become truly unappealing. You know, it should be illegal to have arthritic hips in your forties.

Actually, I was watching television the other day and was thoroughly excited to learn that Depends undergarments were now available in different colors. Wow, wardrobe choices for those of us who are approaching incontinence. By the way, sneezing is already a risky proposition. It should really be hoot in four or five years. All I know is that I hope they come out in red. I have a sexy red bra, and I’m pretty sure the matching thong isn’t going to be an option in years to come. I will, however, draw the line at those ugly orthopaedic “walking shoes” and elastic waist pants. If, at some point, I am no longer able to hobble around in 5 inch heels, then I shall have Bill push me around in a wheelchair…wearing heels (me, not Bill.) Likewise, I’ll just keep a blanket over my lap and skip the pants altogether…another reason that red Depends would be a great fashion statement.

The truth is, getting older would be much more enticing if it wasn’t such a ridiculously young world. Everyone is twelve, for God’s sake…singers, models, celebrities. Hell, some of them aren’t even OLD enough to party like our generation did, and those that do, well, they end up in rehab, or jail, or both. I don’t remember anyone my age going to rehab, or jail, for having a good time. We partied responsibly…or at least smarter than the current batch of twenty-something whiners.

I’d also like to see more middle-aged or older runway models in New York, Paris and Milan, sporting cellulite and saggy breasts. How much fun would that be? We should bring back all the models of the 70s and 80s, and make them “walk the catwalk”…without the benefit of makeup or hair dye, or plastic surgery - just them, in all their natural glory. Now THAT is a reality show!

Be honest, you’d DVR that bitch, wouldn’t ya? I know I would.