Tag Archives: friends

This one is for Cagey

So in the comments on yesterday’s uber-whiner post, Cagey said she hated posts like that (and so did Michelle, for the record), where I beat myself up (but I’m such an easy target!).  So in an effort to balance everything out nicely, I thought I’d do a post wherein I detail everything that is Totally Awesome about yours truly.   Because while I still believe that in some, way, shape or form that I am a la-hoo-ser, I do recognize that I have some good traits.  Somewhere.  Maybe there in the corner under that layer.  Ahem.  Here goes!

  • I have some really cute kids.  As evidenced by the MONDO picture we picked up yesterday from Sears.  Seriously, ya’ll, it’s adorable.  And you should check out my full review of Sears Portrait Studio while you’re at it. Our Beautiful Kids 
  • I have a fondness for writing that makes up for it’s lack of talent with an excess of enthusiasm.  I may never be a literary genius, but maybe someday I’ll get published.  That’d be awesome. 
  • I love animals.  I always have.  When I was little, before the days of Animal Planet, I used to love to watch those wild animal safari type shows on PBS.  I’ve always loved having pets too.  For a long time, I was a big cat person, but thanks to Tiger, we’re taking a bit of a cat-break right now.  We have our hands full with the dogs now anyhow. 
  • I like to think that I have a decent sense of humor.  This might not be the funniest blog out there and I’m in no way implying that it is.  But I do know funny when I hear (or see) it.  My dad used to always say I had such a great sense of humor.  I love to laugh.  I love to surround myself with funny people. 
  • I love Christmas.  There, I said it.  I know it’s sorta fashionalble anymore to be something of a Scrooge, but I can’t help it.  Tis the Season to be Jolly.  I don’t love the stress associated with the holidays but I absolutely ADORE the wonder.  And I love sharing that wonder with my kids. 
  • In a related vein, I love cold weather.  I love snow and rain and clouds.  I don’t love wind (but then, after living in Nevada you realize it doesn’t need to be cold to be windy).  I can’t wait until this mild weather is gone and we get some real good snow storms.  
  • I’m loyal.  I’m not the sort to ditch out on someone when a “better offer” comes along.  Once I’m a friend with someone, it takes quiet a bit to shake that.  I give my friends the benefit of the doubt in iffy situations.  This has, in the recent past, led to me getting walked over, but I think it’s an important trait to have.  Because if you can’t count on your friends to back you up in times of need, then who can you count on? 
  • I have awesome taste in music and movies.  If I do say so myself.  And I do.  Cuz this is my blog.  And I’m not talking about artsy-fartsy, alternative taste.  Yes, there are some awesome indy movies out there and some fabulous unknown musicians out there.  But I tend towards the mainstream and I love popular movies and music.  It’s the great equalizer.  And look at it this way, I’ll never make you feel bad for loving “Armageddon” (cuz I do too) (but I will hold “The Fast and the Furious” against you because that movie and all it’s spawn are CRAP).  

There you go.  Some of the things that make me awesome.  Don’t you want to be my friend now?

Just the perfect blendship

I’m rather lonely. 

If not for my husband and kids, I would be entirely lonely.  So I guess it could be (a lot) worse.  But the fact of the matter is that I don’t have a lot of “girl time” to enjoy.  Well, it’s not the “time” I’m lacking so much as the “girl”.   I have no friends.  Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, guess I’ll go eat worms. 

And I think the longer that I don’t have friends and the more I am holed up here in my home, clacking away on my laptop, the more anti-social I’m becoming.  I have always been shy and introverted, but that never seemed to get in the way of making new friends.  So I don’t think I’m a total loser, you know?  Or at least, I didn’t used to be.  Maybe I am now.  Lah-HOO-ser!!

Ahem. 

I tried and a couple years ago, I thought I had finally hit the jackpot.  I had some friends that lived nearby that I loved to hang out with.  Our families loved to hang out too.  Kile enjoyed them, Harry enjoyed their son, etc and so forth.  It was like the answer to my prayers.  

Then… things went downhill.  I still to this day can’t put my finger on exactly what it was.  Was it me?  Perhaps they didn’t enjoy me as much as I did them.  Which, of course, stings.  It makes you step back and question yourself.  So it’s easy to see why, after a few failures on the social front, that we tend to keep to ourselves more and more.  

It’s safer that way.  Simpler.  Easier.  I love to take shortcuts, especially if they make my life simpler and easier.  And withdrawing from society is so simple and so easy.  And so safe.  If you don’t put yourself out there, you can’t be disappointed.  You can’t get your feelings hurt.  You don’t expose yourself to rejection.  You feel lonely, but if you try hard enough and long enough you can get used to it.  And you can even get to where you don’t even really notice it so much anymore.  Lonely becomes the New Normal.  

Maybe Reno is the problem?  It wasn’t so hard to make friends in college, but since being out on our own, it’s been so much harder.  Are people here just not that friendly?  Would it be easier if we lived somewhere else?  Would another neighborhood be better or would we need an entirely different part of the country?  

Why am I even thinking about this in the first place?? 

Who knows.  I just wonder, from time to time, what my life would be like if I had some good friends to hang out with fairly regularly.  I’m sure Kile would appreciate it, because then I wouldn’t be hassling him to come see “Twilight” with me this weekend.

Who’s going to play with me now?

I’m sure you’ve heard me mention MOPS on here before.  Basically, it’s a group of moms of children who are 0-5 that meet twice a month and listen to speakers, have breakfast, participate in a discussion and do crafts all while their children are in “classes” of their own, doing their own activities and projects.  Most of all, it’s time off for mom, to recharge and talk with other women.  And for the last six years of my life, it’s been a lifesaver.

Six years ago, I was going to storytime at the local library with my then two yeard old (closing in on three) son.  Storytime was a way to get out of the house, be around other children and interrupt the monotony of the day.  I had no friends locally.  I was online, but not like I am now.  I felt very alone and lonely.  And I worried about Harry being socialized with other children.  He had no friends his age.  It was at a storytime that I met another mom.  She had a daughter that was Harry’s age and was pregnant with another.  She seemed perky and friendly and approached me after storytime to ask if I would be interested in joining her group.

Before I knew what was going on, she had some sign-up papers.  This was no mere playgroup.  There was registration forms!  And dues!  I wanted to take part because I was desperate for interaction.  But I was unsure about the cost.  Money was tight (when isn’t it?) and I wasn’t sure we could cover the dues.  So after telling the nice woman that I would be there, I had second thoughts.  I guess I would have to find something else.  I thought that would be the end of that.  But it wasn’t.  She nice woman called me after I wasn’t at the first meeting, wanting to know why I wasn’t there.  I explained to her, rather embarassed, the money situation.  She urged me to reconsider.  The church that was sponsoring this group was offering “scholarships” so that anyone who wanted to go but felt they couldn’t could still attend.

That sounded a lot like me.  So I went.  And I only missed one meeting in the next six years.  MOPS was a lifeline.  I attended MOPS during some of the roughest times in my life.  Infertility and treatment, pregnancy loss, broken bones, broken hearts, pregnancy and babies… The last six years of my life have been filled with major life events.  And MOPS has been there all the while.  Whether I had a baby, broke my ankle or lost a baby, there were always women there to bring our family meals.  Regardless of what dignosis I received at the doctor or how my thyroid was behaving, I could always go to MOPS.  While I couldn’t say that I made any best friends there, I did make some friends.

And if nothing else, for two + hours two Wednesdays a month, I had some place to go, somewhere to drop off my children and other women to interact with.   What more could I really ask for?

I just found out a few days ago that our MOPS group has, for lack of a better word, ended.  There was some difficulty in finding leadership, the hosting church (the church we happen to attend now, thanks to MOPS) is having budget struggles and, probably most of all, it is just time to move on.  It happens.  It’s still sad.  It’s the end of an era.  Does this mean I’m an adult now?

Probably not.

There are other MOPS groups in town.  In fact, a lot of the women from my old group are attending one group in particular and have sent along the information on joining, should I be so inclined.  I’m just not sure.  My introverted nature is rearing it’s head.  I don’t process change very well.  Would Liam do as well in an unfamiliar church with unfamiliar surroundings and teachers?  What about Evie?  I would probably have to put her in childcare too, which I haven’t done yet.  And what about when Harry is out of school in October and February?  At the old group, I would bring him along and he would either help Kile out while he watched the two year olds or go in with the 5 year olds and play/help there.  I don’t know if I could do that at this new place.

Plus there’s the unfamiliar church, unfamiliar people.  I would probably feel enormously out of place.  Where would I park?  What if I got lost?  Why am I such a flaming nerd?

So I probably won’t go.  Perhaps it’s for the best.  Maybe, after six years, it’s just time to end it once and for all.  I’m sad to see it end.  But maybe it’s just time.

Desktop Showcase

So I stole this from her who in turn stole it from HER and now here we are… the place stolen meme’s go to die.  And while I’m fairly sure I’ve done a meme just like this already once before a) I’m far too lazy to look it up and b) I don’t really care because I want to do it again.  And because I’m deluding myself into thinking that you all really want to know what my computer desktop looks like. You do, don’t you?

Instructions:

A. Upon receiving this tag, immediately perform a screen capture of your desktop.It is best that no icons be deleted before the screen capture so as to add to the element of fun. You can do a screen capture by:

[1] Go to your desktop and press the Print Scrn key (located on the right side of the F12 key).

[2] Open a graphics program (like Picture Manager, Paint, or Photoshop) and do a Paste (CTRL + V).

[3] If you wish, you can “edit” the image, before saving it. (IMO that takes away from the integrity of the meme… I want to see the desktop as is).

B. Post the picture in your blog. You can also give a short explanation on the look of your desktop just below it if you feel like doing it. Tell us why you decided to choose this picture.

C. Tag your friends and ask them to give you a Free View of their desktop as well.

Yeah, except that I don’t tag.  Which is why meme’s die here. So without further ado, here is my desktop.  Click on it to make it show up all big n’ stuff so you can see all nifty little icons and whatnot.

I showed you mine, now you show me yours.

Mama Friend Checklist

It’s hard when you become a parent, particularly a stay at home parent, to have the kinds of friends you had when you were younger. I feel like I’ve talked about this so many times that you’re all probably bored to tears. Still, I’ve reached some peace with the whole topic, I think. I recognize that part of what makes it so hard when we become parents is that our schedules are so hard to synchronize. When you’re talking about two moms who have young kids at home, you have to find a time that they can both get away from their kids, if you want to do a “mom’s only” sort of outing. And then, everyone has to be in the best of health. No colds, fevers, flus, aches, pains, etc. That goes for the husbands too because surely we cannot expect them to watch the children when they themselves are ill, right? The sick thing also goes if you just want to get together for coffee and let the kids play because naturally if one child is sick then ALL the kids are sick. And, a lot more subtle is that there must be a desire from both mom’s to actually get together. Taking care of kids all the time makes one feel rather tired. Sometimes it is just easier to stay put alone than it is to go out on a limb and get together. And sometimes it’s easier to just keep the status quo. Yes, it’s lonely. But it’s predictable. I’ve done this a couple times myself, I’m rather ashamed to say. I’m trying to go out on a limb more, to put myself out there. It does seem like after you’ve spent so many years shut off from society (honestly, that’s what it feels like sometimes) that it’s even harder to put yourself out there. Doubly so if you’ve been burnt in the friends department.

I was reading a post on another blog that was completely about a different subject altogether but one line made me start thinking of what my idea mama friend checklist would look like. What qualities and capabilities would I want from a BFF? It’s certainly different now than it was in high school. So here is what I’ve come up with so far:

  • Willing to make last minute plans. Say it was a Saturday afternoon and I have an urge to go out shopping for clothes. The boys would rather be shot than venture out to the mall so it looks like I have to go on my own. In this situation, I could call up a mama friend and ask if had anything going on and would she like to go shopping with me. In this ideal situation, she would say yes to this initiation more often than not.
  • Looking back at that first “requirement”, I realize I need to add “I would feel confident enough to call her up at a moment’s notice like that.” Because we all know I’m awful with the phone. Better with text messaging but that’s not the same and we all know it. I never feel confident just calling people up out of the blue. Pretty much the only person I ever call is my mother. I don’t know what it would take for me to feel that comfortable but I imagine in the right friendship with the right intimacy level, it’s possible.
  • Someone I can share all the details with. Now, I tend to sort of do this anyhow, even in situations where I probably shouldn’t. I have no idea why I do that. But it would be nice to know that I would never regret speaking my mind and spilling the intimate details. Sometimes I worry afterward if I should have spilled it all and how awesome would it be to know that the secret is safe with her?
  • Someone who would make me a priority. This is a tough one. When you’re a mom, your priorities shift dramatically from what they were in high school. Your husband and kids become your first priorities, as they should be. Before you know it, you’re up to your eyeballs in priorities. Home, church, school, work (if you work), relatives… Gah! Friends definitely can get lost in the mix. And I do understand this is not a cut and dry issue. Still, it’s been a long time since I’ve felt like I’m a priority outside of my own family. How great would it be to have a friend say she’s going to make a point to spend some time with me, regardless of what else might be going on?
  • Husbands who enjoy each other. Wouldn’t it be a tragedy to have all the other “checkpoints” marked off and this one fails? I’m sure we’ve all seen it happen. The moms get along famously and have high hopes for all the fun their families will have together. Then, the husbands meet and the general reactions is… meh. They don’t have anything in common, they have conflicting personalities, whatever. Finding a good match between husbands can be as difficult as finding a good mom to be friends with in the first place! I always feel a tingle of happiness when my husband gets along great with another husband, talking up a storm or playing video games together.
  • Lastly, someone who genuinely cares about me and my family. I’ve been lucky. I’ve known a lot of people who care about me and my family. Some of them have been friends and some of them have been more acquaintances, but we’ve still been very blessed in that department. Sometimes though, I think it’s easy for this one to take a backseat. People get wrapped up in their own lives, their own families, their own issues and forget to wonder how the other side feels. It happens when we get busy, I think. The last thing we want to do is hurt each other’s feelings (I desperately want to believe that), but sometimes I think we lose sight of others. It’d be awesome to find a friend who would be kind, understanding and compassionate towards me and mine on a fairly consistent basis.

I’m sure there are more points and that I’ll think of them over the days and weeks to come. But these are the groundwork. I definitely realize how difficult it is for all these planets align, too. Trust me, I understand. I’ve seen firsthand how friendships suffer after we become parents. Still, I refuse to give up on my ideal dream. I believe I can have a great friendship with someone. It might not happen this year, or even next year. But some day (of course, hopefully sooner rather than later).

What about you? Do you have an “ideal friend checklist”?

Explaining myself

Okay, so my husband’s “embarrassing things about Marilyn” posts are getting a little humiliating, aren’t they? And he never tells me ahead of time what his post will be about that week. I just have to wait until he POSTS it to find out. This week? I take some exception. Not to “Star Wars” since somehow, I don’t find that as awful as admitting that yes, I was into “Days of Our Lives”. Not even “Titanic” or “The Cutting Edge” are as humiliating. So I feel I must expand on this, as way of explanation.

I got into “Days of Our Lives” when I started high school back 1990. I had some friends that were watching it and I watched it too one afternoon. I found myself getting sucked right in. And like most teenage girls, I found a couple to focus on and fixate over. Now, for most of my friends, that couple was Jack and Jennifer. He was funny, she was cute and they were adorable together. But not me. Oh no. No, I was a Bo and Carly fan. Anyone who watched DOOL in the late 80’s or late 90’s or even now, probably goes, “HUH? Don’t you mean Bo and Hope?” Yeah, no. Bo and Carly. See, this was when Hope was dead (isn’t everyone on a soap opera dead at some point?) and Bo was left by himself, depressed and alone with a young, deaf son to raise. I forget now how the son was deaf in the first place, and he didn’t stay that way, but there you have it. Carly was a doctor, new in town and mysterious, and she happened to be fluent in sign language. The kid loved her from the start, Bo did not.

To this day, there are certain songs that I still associate with that era. “Oh, that’s the song they played on that commercial during the show’s big anniversary week! You know, the one with the comedy montage?” Sad. I would watch it every day, usually taping it and if the show was particularly good, I would watch the Bo and Carly scenes OVER and OVER and OVER again. It wasn’t pretty. I knew of a grocery store in town that had Soap Opera Digest on sale a day early and my friend would drive me over there so I could pick it up every week. And if that issue contained pictures of Bo and Carly? Well, those got cut out and plastered up on my wall in my bedroom, right next to my bed. I had a little shrine thing going.

I was so obsessed with DOOL during this time, that friends of mine became wary of even bringing up the subject around me. It was all I ever wanted to talk about. Missing episodes was a traumatic experience. I disliked the first Gulf War so badly because it preempted so many shows. Things reached a fevered pitch when Bo and Carly had their little Mayan wedding atop the pyramid in the Yucatan, but shortly after that, the guy who played Bo left and they brought a new Bo in. Uh, no. I wasn’t loving it. The storylines were getting goofy (they were already goofy though, I have to admit), I was getting older and just didn’t have the time or interest anymore. So by spring of my junior year of high school, I was off “Days of Our Lives.” Once and for all. Haven’t watched it since.

It’s a goofy show, that’s for sure. I grew up on “All My Children” and watched it up until very recently (damn them for killing of Dixie, AGAIN!). But I never feel the fever for it like I felt for DOOL. I look back and I cringe when I think of how I acted about that silly show. Still, it was an important part of my life at that time and goofy or not, it did shape who I am today. So kids, listen to your parents and just say no to soap operas. They’ll rot your brain.

Thoughts Aside
These days, housing is much more than carpets and furniture. From the home lighting to the security plans to the beds, everything constitute it now.

Dear Self

Dear me in the 8th grade,

I totally would have written to you last year, when you were in the 7th grade, but Zoot already did that and I don’t want to totally copy her or anything.  And you have no idea who I’m talking and I’m probably already losing you here but bear with me.  Anyhow, middle sure sucks, doesn’t it?  I know last year was awful.  It was probably the most awful year of your school aged existence.  And this year is little better (but hey, at least it’s a little better right?).  But that means the good news is that it gets better from here.

I don’t want to give you the wrong impression here, that once you are an adult everything will be wine and roses.  Because it won’t.  Life will suck then too.  BELIEVE ME.  However, you’ll be able to make it through because you’re a strong person.  And by the time you’re in your late twenties, you will be getting a good idea of who you are as a person and the stuff that bothers you right now, won’t bother you as much then.

But here’s what I wanted to tell you the most: make it through this year.  Just this one little year. Next year, everything will change and it will be so different.  High school will pretty much rock.  I know what you’re thinking now, you think maybe high school will be better.  I’m here to tell you it will be better.  You’ll be leaving behind nearly all the total douchebags that you go to school with now.  And even though I know you’re not sure about going to a school where there’s no boys, let me assure that that is a good thing.  Because apparently boys are what make teenage girls act like complete assholes.  Take away the boys and suddenly the girls will be normal human beings.  I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true.

So hey, just relax this year.  Don’t worry about issues with boys, problems with your friends, or what some stupid girl says to you to make you cry.  It’s not worth it.  You’re worried that you’ll never have a boyfriend before you graduate from high school.  I’m here to tell you right now: You won’t.  So just relax.  Trust me, it won’t matter in the long run.  As an adult, you will have no regrets about that.  So stop mooning about that boy in your Language Arts class (you know which one).  And stop obsessing about that boy who lives across the street.  He’s a dingus anyhow (you’ll find out around Halloween) and he’s not THAT great.  You’re just crushing on him to have someone to crush on.   And that’s all well and good, but don’t let him make you upset or anything because that’s just goofy.  Totally not worth it.

However, at the end of the year, at the 8th graduation dance, you’ll want to dance with that guy from your Language Arts class (him or his friend, actually, they’re both kinda cute).  And you’ll leave the dance very upset knowing that you’re going away to high school without having danced with a boy.  Don’t let that happen.  Hey, go ask him to dance!  Or have one of your friends do it for you (because I know you’re a big chicken.  I’m one too).   I’m pretty sure he’d go for it.  And if he doesn’t, that’s his loss.  But at least you won’t be left wondering what would have happened if you had just gone for it.  Live now, worry later.

I could tell you a bunch of stuff about high school and college, but a) I don’t want to scare you and b) this has gotten pretty long already.  But you’re a pretty good kid.  You’re not as pretty as some of the other girls but you’re not a troll either.  You love to write, you need to keep up with that.  Feel good about yourself and your choices.  There are some really really good times coming your way.  I promise.

Love,

You at 31