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."

Friday, April 29, 2011

God Save the Queen...

Yes, I really do still believe in the fairy tale. I was up at 5am, watching, with great anticipation, the royal wedding. I called my mother at 6am, fearful that she will still asleep and I would wake her...never a good thing to do, because it usually involves a bit of cursing on her part. But she was up, watching as well. It made me smile since I can still remember her and myself rising at an ungodly hour thirty years ago to witness Diana’s marriage to Charles. Nice to see some things never change. I woke Tricia early, and we turned on every TV in the house so we could get ready for the day and not miss a thing. We chattered about it all - William’s uniform, Kate’s dress and tiara, every outfit worn by every member of the royal family as they arrived. By the way, someone needs to have a “chat” with Beatrice and Eugenie about their wardrobe selections. What was Beatrice thinking when she chose that extraordinarily ugly hood ornament of a hat??? I damn near fell off my seat when I saw it. No matter she was wearing Jimmy Choo shoes – believe me, no one would ever see them because I am pretty sure they would never be able to take their eyes of that hat. Oh well, it’s her moment to live with for the rest of her life, although one would hope she removed that travesty before any family photos were taken.

I’ve been listening to people bitch, moan and complain for the past month about the money being spent on this wedding. For the record, I heard it said on NBC that the royal family paid for the entire wedding, and the only expense being paid for by the British government was security. I think that’s reasonable. Yes, there are children starving in Africa, and yes, times are tough for all us working stiffs. Gas prices are ridiculous and I’m tired of paying a healthy portion of my paycheck on necessities. But honestly, who doesn’t love the fairy tale? It was magical, captivating, and above all, a happy occasion. In a world full of nothing but natural disasters of biblican proportions, political infighting, war, killing, violence, poverty and unhappiness, it was such a wonderful escape for a few hours. It brought us all together in celebration of something that is good - the love of two people who want to commit their lives to each other. I can believe in that. If you cannot find the purity in that, then really, you’re missing so much.

What is the lesson in all of this? Well, I’m sure it means different things to different people, and to some, it really means nothing at all. To each their own. For me, it instills the belief that anything is possible. Here was a girl, of common middle class background, who grew up, went to college, and met “Prince Charming”. It’s not about him being a prince really. It is about her meeting her prince. Three years ago, I met my prince, and two weeks ago we wed. It was our moment, our fairy tale, our beginning to a life together. Not so different from Kate and William, although I did notice she, unlike me, did not arrive at her wedding in the back seat of a police car, complete with flashing lights and siren. Personally, I think my entrance was much more of a statement. I just didn’t have as many people watching.

I think about Kate’s mother, and what she must have been feeling today. Did she ever once think that her little girl would someday be marrying the future King of England? I’m guessing not, but to Carol Middleton, I am sure Kate was already a princess, just as my daughter will always be my princess. I wish wonderful things for my Tricia, but most of all I wish her happiness, and peace in herself and her choices as she maneuvers her way through life. And I hope that someday, she has that same lovestruck expression on her face, as Kate did. It was truly beautiful, and she really did sparkle from the inside out. Everyone should have someone they love unconditionally.

Maybe it’s just me still being love drunk on my own wedding of two weeks ago, but I’m literally walking on clouds after watching the royal wedding this morning. It made me believe that fairy tales really do come true.

Wishing you both, Wills and Kate, every happiness that life has to offer, and the strength to support each other in the difficult times. Many blessings to you both…Cheers!

And God save the Queen. Love, an American Anglo-phine.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Third time is the charm...

Somewhere between Walmart and the office on my way to work this morning, it hit me...I’m getting married...again...

Everyone keeps asking me “How do you know Bill is ‘the one’?” “Why are you going through this again?” “Are you crazy?” As a matter of fact, yes, I am, but that is another matter entirely. The more important question would be "Is Bill crazy???" The questions make me giggle, but I can see why people would think that maybe I have lost my mind. My track record is not stellar when it comes to the bonds of matrimony. But as I have often said, I cannot allow myself to have any regrets, because every decision I have made in my life has led me to this very spot, this exact moment. I have become the person I am because of the choices I have made, and by and large, I am incredibly happy with who I am. There is always room for improvement, but still, as a package...not bad. Bill, on the other hand...well, I am truly the lucky one. Other than my father, I have never met a man as solid and as pure of heart as Bill. There is no doubt he is the kindest, humblest, most ethical man I have ever known. He is honest to a fault, and loyal to his friends and family always. He also loves my daughter like his own, and for that I am so very thankful. He is handsome, and sexy, and very very young at heart. Indeed, he still "gives me butterflies."

It was easy to realize that marrying Bill is absolutely the right thing to do. How can I be so sure? It’s simple...he is the only man I have ever, in my entire life, pictured myself growing old with. As someone who can barely deal with a new wrinkle on her face (vanity runs deep through these veins) the thought of getting older has not exactly been a pleasant point to ponder, until I met Bill. Maybe life is all in the timing, but we seem to have met at a very important crossroad in our lives. We were both closing chapters on less than perfect relationships, and we were both looking for someone whose company we could enjoy - a happy, simple and uncomplicated pairing. Of course, as any man would tell you, if there is a woman in the mix, it is rarely uncomplicated. But while far from perfect, I have overcome a lot of those "womanly charms" that drive men batty. To me, jealousy is wasted energy, so I do not indulge those thoughts on any level. I am secure in who I am, and what I bring to the table. If my partner cannot see that, then he is not the person for me. Bill appreciates the fact that I don’t mind if he glances at an attractive woman, or that I don’t take offense if a member of the opposite sex approaches him in conversation - on the contrary, I like that other women find him appealing. Honestly, I have always felt that I know who I came with, and I know who I am leaving with, so to treat the situation differently would indicate a lack of trust in Bill, and I trust Bill implicitly. I also have learned in my forty-six years that I enjoy the silence, so I never feel the need to bombard Bill with non-stop chatter. We are both good with sitting quietly, knowing that just being together is sometimes enough. We work well together, almost always happily synchronized with each other, We laugh at each other’s jokes and finish each other’s sentences. I am happy to give Bill the space he needs to do the things he loves, and he is always willing to allow me the same courtesy. We share a world of interests, but we also have those things that are ours alone. It’s ok to be separate, something else I have learned. What makes us different also helps to keeps us interesting and just a bit mysterious to our mate, and as a woman, there is nothing I like more than being just a bit mysterious.

We have learned much about each other and ourselves as a couple in three years. I cannot remember what my life was like before I met Bill, and I cannot imagine one moment of my life without him. He is my rock. He keeps me centered and grounded, and he makes me very very happy. In this day and age, it is so rare to find that one person who captures your heart completely. Bill carries my heart around in his back pocket. He knows that, and is always careful not to break such a precious possession.

So yes, I am excited about marrying my Bill. This is a good thing, for us, for our children, and for our future. I am excited about the possibilities, and I look forward to a lifetime of laughter, truly blessed moments, and sometimes tears too. I want to share it all with him. And someday, far far down the road, I hope I am the one to look into his eyes and take my last breath, because I never want to wake up and have him not be next to me. This is real, folks. But as they say, Better late than never.

And no, I’m not wearing white - ivory is a more appropriate choice. But I really do believe that the third time is the charm.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Is it bad that I like to mess with people’s minds?

Hmmmm...good question, really. You know, I don’t indiscriminately mess with just anyone’s mind. It has to be someone who, for any variety of reasons, really deserves to be messed with, and in a big way. I generally stay away from those who are intellectually challenged or otherwise incapacitated in some manner - but those who are just a$$holes in every sense of the word? Open season 365 days a year, my friends.

The real challenge lies in the fact that there are soooo many a$$holes from which to choose. It’s as if somewhere, in some remote area, they are manufacturing a$$holes and sending daily shipments to the far reaches of our unwitting planet. It’s kind of disturbing when you think about it, especially when so many of them occupy seats of real power, whether it is on a national, local or personal level. You know who I am referring to - the big mouthed congressman with not enough brains to blow his nose, or maybe that yahoo who is sitting in the cubicle next to you. None of us are immune to these people. Where do they all come from? And where, in the name of all that is good, did their sense of any common decency go? Now THESE are the ones that I enjoy messing with the most. They are the ones who have such an over-inflated value of self-importance that they can’t have anyone ride in the passenger seat when they’re driving, because their ego is riding shotgun. They are the ones who post ridiculously rude comments on other people’s facebook pages completely unwarranted, or the ones that pull into the parking spot you’ve been sitting and waiting for at the mall. They nearly run people over trying to be first in line, and often they are the ones who have been led to believe that out of all the people in the world, they are the hardest working, most clever, and most deserving of all that they perceive themselves to be entitled to under any circumstances. Why you ask? Because in their minds, small as those minds are, they believe themselves to be better than everyone else, literally a gift to all that come into contact with their greatness. It is the world that revolves around them, and everyone should thank God that they have been blessed to be in their presence. They also tend to be the ones who never realize that of all the human beings on the face of the earth, they rank in the top two percent of most offensive. It's truly a shame they don't stop and really listen to themselves may be quite a revelation, although somehow I doubt it.

What these poor souls don’t realize is that for people like me, they are fodder for our entertainment. There is nothing quite like watching someone make a complete a$$ out of themselves, then compounding the situation by making them look even more foolish. Mind you, I am totally aware that I may be going straight to hell for my transgressions, but you know, I just can’t stop myself. And the BEST is when I can knock them down a peg or two and they don’t even realize it, but most everyone else is the room does...simply precious Kodak moments for me to file away and whip out when I need some amusement.

I have little patience or tolerance for people who perceive themselves to be better – better friends, better parents, better human beings – than anyone else. What makes them better? Is it their intrinsic sense of self-worth? Their religion? Their money? Their perfect families in their perfect houses? Perhaps it is their ability to beat other people down so they can make themselves look that much more wonderful. I don’t know about you, but those who appear to have the rosiest lives are often the ones that fall the hardest and the farthest. I have no illusions when it comes to myself...not only am I not perfect, I could fill a novel the size of “War and Peace” with my collection of “dumba$$” moments throughout my life. I own my life – good, bad or otherwise. I make no excuses for all that I have done over the years. Honestly, there isn’t much I would do differently – a few things I might change, of course. But overall, my experiences and mistakes have made me who I am. One small change, one left turn instead of a right, and my life could have played out completely different, and I like where I am right now, in this moment. I think it is our lack of perfection that makes us human, and while we all make different but equally stupid mistakes, it is our collective mistakes that bind us together. One can only hope that we learn from each other’s mistakes and move on in a positive direction.

So, for those of you who have elevated yourselves to a level far above the rest of us? Take heed, I will have no mercy and it will not be pretty. Just know, that in some special way, you have truly earned it.

Cheers, have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The view from the back of the room...

When you are sitting in meetings for two days – mostly at the back of the room –listening to speaker after speaker talking about things you really have little interest in, it gives you some time to not only think about things, but really gain some perspective on life, and all that it throws at you. Over the past two days of mind-numbing meetings, I have thought long and hard about friends, family, people I miss in my life. I have decided there is much I need to step back from, and re-evaluate. I think somewhere I lost a bit of my focus...time to get back on track...time to reflect on the value add of the relationships in my life. Those that add value are worth keeping. Those that don’t really do need to go.

Mostly I found myself dumbfounded by the inability of people around me to see beyond the end of their own nose. It’s so easy to become so wrapped up in our own little world, our comfort zone, our bubble. Not to say I have not been guilty of this from time to time, but I have always tried to be the kind of person who is there for others regardless of the personal cost. That being said, sometimes events happen that make me realize that while it is absolutely “the right thing to do” by making yourself available to others in whatever capacity they may need you, it is also important to remember two things – first of all, just because you make it a point to always be there for everyone else, to expect others to be there for you is tantamount to setting yourself up for a lifetime of disappointment. Secondly, people are by and large all about themselves, and expect everyone else in the world to be “about them” too. When called upon by someone who is in need of assistance, they may make an effort, but only to the point where it does not affect them in any meaningful way. Once another individual’s needs impede on their time, or their perceived lifestyle, that is generally when the door slams shut and they have no time to honestly be there for anyone else. My mistake? I have spent a lifetime putting others first (against the advice of my mother, who was totally right about this one) and in the end, when I have felt that I was in need, or wished for someone, anyone, to give a crap about what was happening in my life, the disappointment was huge, leaving a hole in my soul, and forcing me to look at my friendships in a light that is let's just say very unflattering. Mostly, when this happens, I tend to never look at those people in the same way again, which would explain why I keep so few people close to me, and why I have so little trust in others. When countless people have pissed on you only to tell you it's raining, your patience for such behavior becomes thin. There is, however, a very important lesson in all of this, and that is while it is tempting to always put the needs of others ahead of your own, it is so crucial, in the name of self-preservation, to always keep something for yourself. People can be emotional vampires, sucking the life from you at any opportunity. Always hold that bit of reserve energy close to your heart for your own sanity. You never know when you will have to save yourself.

The one thing that all of this has taught me is that self-sufficiency is the most important gift we can give to ourselves. This alleviates situations concerning friendships that turn out to be a disappointment. I fear it has also hardened my heart in some ways, I must admit. I tend to never rely on anyone for anything, not even those who are closest to me. I have never asked for financial assistance, and rarely look to others to prop me up emotionally. Self-sufficiency can be a pretty lonely spot, lemme tell ya. I keep hoping I will find that one person who will prove me wrong, besides my family or Bill, but maybe my bar is just too high. I think I know one or two people who might possibly be the exception. Time will tell I suppose.

I also realized, while sitting in the back of the room, that I need to put some focus on people and friendships that I have left fall by the wayside. These are people I shared great moments with in the past, who have reached out to me in the hopes of rekindling a friendship. I need to at least entertain the thought of the possibility. I am at least hopeful that it will not prove to be a waste of my time. Such was the case this past weekend. I was allowed to share some really wonderful moments with a friend that I rarely get to see. It was a gentle and wonderful reminder of what a good woman she is, and how lucky I am to have her in my life. Her friendship is truly a gift. Thank you, Annessa.

Likewise, I think I have spent too much time putting some people ahead of those two people closest to me - Bill and my daughter Tricia. I’m not sure how I could have let such a thing happen, but it is the one thing that I am sure needs to be corrected. I am so blessed to have Bill and Tricia there with me, always in my corner, always cheering me on. They are, along with my family, the ones who keep me grounded and centered. So many other people can be such a distraction from the things that are really important in this world. I owe it to Bill, Tricia and my family to always make them the priority in my life.

So while on the surface, time at the back of the room may seem like a bit of a waste, in the end, it was the perfect time to reflect, nearly without distraction, on where my focus needs to be. I feel as though this new perspective is a treasure, one that I will try not to waste.