It’s Just a Pet Peeve of Mine.

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So, the other day I was reading some social media posts where people were talking about their ‘pet peeves.’  It was a bit irritating because they were getting pissed off by about everything, but then I started to think of my own pet peeves.  I was assuming (a pet peeve…you should never ‘assume’ 🙄) that I might only have a couple since I’m such a empathic, patient, wonderful person, but to be honest, my list is fairly long.

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From Muscle and Fitness (although the feet don’t look very fit to me).

OK…men in flip-flops?  For the love of all that is holy, this should be banned.  Yes…banned.  C’mon.  First of all, ‘flip-flops’ are NOT sandals you can justify wearing.  They are a piece of foam with a plastic toe piece so you can literally see the entire foot.  I know some women have ugly feet…I mean, they’re freaking feet (side note:  I’ve been told I could be a foot model…just sayin’), but usually women take better care of the looks of their toes and heels.  Men?  Guys, I love y’all, but I’ve never ever ever seen nice looking toes on a guy.  They are long and hairy and toe-naily and crooked and because of all of this, I just assume they are really stinky.  And heels?  Just as bad…scaly and callousy and sheddy.  Blech!  Now, men get very defensive about their feet.  Once I told Hubby 2 his feet weren’t attractive and for the sake of my sanity to please please please wear a pair of socks and throw the sandals in the bin.  I was very compassionate and tactful when I said this to him…I think my exact words were:  “B, your feet make me want to puke and if you don’t start wearing socks everytime I see you, I’ll probably end up barfing on you.”  Obviously, he doesn’t take criticism well because he yelled at me about how much his mother loved his feet (🙄) and since I wasn’t a podiatrist, I should just shutty the mouthy.  I did.

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Seinfeld, Season 5 Episodes 18 and 19…the dreaded close talker! 

I absolutely hate (ok…too strong of a word…let’s say ‘dislike’ but you’ll know what I mean) ‘close talkers’.   It’s true that I’m a very huggy/feely person, but I still like some space in conversation.  I have a bubble.  It’s not huge, but it’s there.  If I can see your spittle hitting my glasses like drizzle on my windshield, you’re too close.  If I can see how many cavities have been filled, you’re too close.  For piss sakes, if I can tell by your breath what you’ve eaten for your last 3 meals, you’re too close.  And here’s a hint:  if I start to back up to regain my bubble, I’m trying to tell you something.  Please don’t back up with me until I’m trapped in a corner and get a panicky look on my face.  The outcome may not be a good one.  😳

UUUUUGGGGGHHHHH…when people are wearing winter boots in the summer or those dreaded ‘flip-flops’ and drag their feet?  I literally want to meander up to them and say, “Please don’t drag your feet.  It’s getting on my nerves.”  I have yet to do that…but it’s a wish of mine.  Same with open mouth chewers.  Seeing your food being masticated while I’m trying to eat mine is not appetizing.  Hells bells, if it’s my cooking, it’s bad enough anyway.  Another side note:  Hubby 3 used to call my meatloaf a ‘meatlump.’  Look, my Little Dottie eats her own poop…often…and would NOT eat my meatlump.  She’d sniff it, walk away, and look traumatized.  And yes, I kept trying to make a good one until Hubby 3 left and I got the point.

There are some phrases that drive me batty too (the other day ma and I were driving to a cookout and I said something along the lines of ‘call me crazy’ and we started cracking up…maybe you had to be there).  Anyhoot, here are some of the biggies for me:

  • “I shouldn’t tell you this but…” – OK, then don’t.  I actually say that to people, but they’ll go on talking.  I’ll hold up my hand and say STOP, and they they’ll get all pissy about not being able to tell me something they shouldn’t be telling me in the first place.  C’mon my sweet peeps…explain to me how that makes sense.

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  • “No offense.” – If you have to say this, you know damn good and well you have offended me, asshole.  “Hey, you’re ugly and stupid and smell bad.  But no offense.”  Right.  That’s makes what you said sooooooooo much better.  Right? 🤨
  • “OMG!  I know exactly what you mean!” –  First, no you don’t because you interrupted me in the middle of my sentence (Hubby 3 likes to say “Sorry the middle of my sentence interrupted the beginning of yours’…love it!) and second, I don’t what the crap I actually mean, so how in the hell can you?  This person is usually a one-upper as well.  You know the type…you say you’re preggie with twins, and they’re carrying quads.  You say you ran a marathon…they say they ran a 50 mile race, and won.  You say you have bipolar (just pulled that one out of my ass) and they have 12 different diagnoses that are much much worse than ‘just’ bipolar.  Okey dokey.
  • “Hey…is that you, Kristi?” – What’s wrong with this you ask?  It’s being said when I’m in a bathroom stall.  Look, pretty icky things might be going on in there and concentration might be of upmost importance.  Talking to you…through a door…while trying to be discreet with ‘sounds’ is making me ‘tighten up’ and prolong the inevitable.  Sigh.
  • “Wow…you look great…much better than the last time I saw you!” – Well fuck me (sorry ma…I just had too).  Was I that bad looking a week ago?  Nice to know. 🙄
  • “Dmoahto aerhkje hdhf nea nofhea.” – Don’t know what that means?  Of course not, because that, grasshoppers, is a mumble (I love that word…mumble…another one I love is ‘damp’.  My most hated word?  Moist.  Ick.).  Then, when you say, “Can you please repeat that?” the person gets all huffy like you’re supposed to be able to decipher a 5 decibel sound.  Heh?  Speak up, dude.

When you’re a young parent, you get so much advice it’s crazy.  Here’s my advice:  don’t take it.  And, particularly don’t take it from a non-freaking-parent.  “If that was my kid, I’d blah blah blah.”  First off, it ain’t your kid, and second you’ve told me you hate kids and will never ever be a parent so I really don’t think you’re advice is coming from a solid place. 

Those of you who teach will definitely understand this one:  loud yawing!  I had a kid a couple semesters ago that I adored!  However, he would yawn LOUDLY in my class a few times a day.  He’d say he was tired from work when he’d come into my classroom, but his LOUD yawns made me feel boring (hmmmmm…).  Students:  please don’t do this…your poor professor’s self-esteem is at stake. 😐

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My favorite character ever on Saturday Night Live…love you Rachel Dratch!

Isn’t it annoying when you say you love something and someone pipes up with how much they hate it?  “I love running!”  “Oh yeah.?  I hate it.”  Or… “I just love spring!”  “Oh yeah?  My allergies suck.”  Or… “Isn’t this delish?  “That looks gross…how can you eat that?”  Get my point?  I think there’s a name for this:  Debbie Downer.

OMG.  I’m looking at this list and assume (once again) that you’re probably thinking this:  “My pet peeve is someone who has a lot of pet peeves”, and I have to agree.  But, since I’m always honest with y’all, I’m not hesitant to admit I do tons of things that are probably huge pet peeves of others:  I fidget all the time…am moody and sensitive about everything (big shocker there)…put chapstick on continuously (cherry only)…talk baby talk to Edward and Little Dottie (I actually have a song I sing to them every time they need to go out and pottie)…yak with my mouthful at times since I can’t wait to jump in and say my piece (I know, I know, this completely contradicts the whole “chewing with the mouth open” peeve I have.  Hey, I never said I was perfect 🙄)…having to pee in the middle of any and every activity (I had a BIG baby and I’m old)…emote where ever I am (can be pretty embarrassing for a shopping partner if I start bawling in Wal-Mart while looking at toothpaste)…talk loudly (I’m used to lecturing and having to project my voice…I have totally forgotten what an inside voice actually is because my inside voice has been conditioned to be booming)…being too sarcastic and pissing people off…using way too many emoticons (one you’ve probably never noticed yourselves 😬) and I’m sure my family could add other countless behaviors to this list (and happily so).  😜

Anyhoot…we all have pet peeves.  We all peeve others off.  All I know is this:  my pet peeves are better than your pet peeves.  Just sayin’! 🙃

Kristi xoxo

 

 

If you say ‘gullible’ slowly, it sounds like oranges.

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So, y’all are going to look at me differently after this post because of what I’m finally willing to share with you.  I don’t even know if my own parents realize the magnitude of the problem so I’m just going to jump right in and say it outright:  “My name is Kristi and I’m a sucker for infomercial products.”

There…I’ve said it.  After all of these years holding it in, pretending to ignore the TV when the ShamWow guy was on, and lying about what was coming to the house in boxes before amazon (actually, before the internet 🙄), I am finally free.  It feels good.

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My problem started in the 1970’s when I realized something was wrong.  I’d see an infomercial and suddenly knew, within the recesses of my brain, that I needed that product to make my life better.  I’d get excited.  Giddy.  I’d daydream about the day a Thigh-Master would arrive on my doorstop and I’d suddenly be transformed into Suzanne Sommers, even though I had short brown hair, no boobs, and a face that resembled a sausage pizza.  Didn’t matter though…I knew it would work.

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When the Mr. Microphone commercial would come on the air, I’d be hypnotized.  You could plug this mike into a radio and then broadcast your voice over the airwaves.  It had a had a black handle and big orange ball on top that you spoke into and it looked like a blast!  In the commercial, there are teenagers driving around in their car talking to people on the sidewalks, and one guy sees a pretty gal and says, “We’ll be back to pick you up later!”  How could anyone not want one of these?  (Decades later, O’s dad bought me a home karaoke machine and I used it one night to sing to him.  Hmmmm.  Come to think about it, our marriage started unraveling at the same time.  Huh.  What a coincidence).

When I got to my teens and started listening to music the ‘newest’ thing out there, ‘cassettes’, I joined the Columbia House subscription program a few times.  You’d see their ads everywhere and you could choose 11 cassettes for FREE and then another one for just a penny!  Twelve cassettes for a cent!  Seriously, what person can afford to pass this up?  The catch?  You’d get a flyer and response card every month in the mail so you could order cassettes to fulfill the obligation of the subscription (which was written in very small type).  Now, if you forgot to mail back the card by a certain date, you’d get 2 crappy tapes in the mail and be charged about $40 (This was a LOT in the 80’s…bear in mind that my first fast food job paid $2.85 an hour 😳).  And the problem was that you never wanted any more tapes since there were only 12 on the list that were any good.  So, I tried different tactics to get out of this obligation.

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At first, I tried to ignore the fliers hoping this nightmare would just go away while hiding the tapes they kept sending me  under my bed.  Eventually, I got a nasty letter saying I owed around $200 for what I’d been sent, and I had to tell ma.  I was scared I’d be locked up if this continued (I think someone like Al Capone ran this operation and getting my thumbs broken was a real fear).  Well, I’ve seen ma mad in my life, numerous times (really, too many to count) but this was a biggie.  Suffice it to say I have never, ever said the words Columbia House in her presence for the last 40 years.  (Note:  I did join again in the 90’s when they started offering CD’s and yes, it was also a nightmare).

Things really got bad when I married Hubby 2 and was home taking care of my baby.  When O was napping I’d have the TV on to hear an adult voice, and the commercials showed me what I was missing in my life trapped in a house with a colicky son.

I gained 60 pounds when I was preggie (shutty…I know I was only supposed to gain about 25 but those oreos tasted so freaking good and my baby needed them 🙄) and wanted to get back in shape.  So, I turned on my favorite channel during this time (when I wasn’t watching All My Children), QVC.  God bless QVC…I still know my membership number by heart after all these years.  Anyhoot, they had an ‘Body Slide’ which was supposed to mimic speed ice skating and get you in shape fast.  Since I’ve never been able to ice skate, have no coordination to speak of, and get motion sick moving in any way but straight ahead, I figured this would be a great idea for me.

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When I opened the box, there was a rectangular plastic mat with 2 small spongy things on each side, and a pair of see through ‘booties’.  I got the mat set up in the living room while O was in his little play pen, put on the booties, and tried to zip side to side like the guy on QVC did.  I fell.  In fact, I fell or slid off the mat the first few times I was on it.  My poor son was watching with a horrified look on his face…I think he realized this klutz was actually his mama.  After a few bruises, I sorta got the hang of it as long as I bent my legs, put my butt up in the air, held out my arms like a friggin’ tight rope walker, and used hip thrusts to gain momentum.  Hubby walked in the door when I was doing this and said:  “What the hell are you doing?  You look crazy on that thing.”  So much for him appreciating my attempt at being beautiful.  🙄

When I saw the Bedazzler, it was love at first sight.  Pure and simple.  Yes, I’m a tomboy and I always loved doing stuff with my dad and grandpa because girly things just didn’t interest me much.  BUT this?  A ‘machine’ that attached gems to anything you wanted?  My gosh, I’d look like a freaking rock star.  I ordered it and checked the mail every day, and when it finally arrived, I wanted to send out announcements like I did for O when he was born.s-l1600 (1)
Anyhoot, I lovingly took it out of the box, got my denim jacket out (very chic) and went to work. On the box, it shows a 10 year old bedazzling her heart out so I knew this was going to be easy peasy.  Out of the 100 gems that were included, I was able to successfully attach 2 in an hours time.  I was bawling and Hubby came in the kitchen to see me with tears streaming down my face, stuff dripping from my nose, a Bedazzler machine in my hand, and a jacket that had 1 red gem and 1 blue gem on it.  He picked up the machine, scooped up the scattered gems, marched out the door, and plopped it in the trash.  It was an act of mercy.

But even though my luck with these products was pretty bad, I knew the Clapper would work!  My God, even Hubby would like it because it would save on power bills.  You simply plugged the Clapper into an outlet, plugged in your lamp, and when you’d clap, the lamp would turn on…clap twice and it was suddenly off.  How could that fail?  Even hubby was slightly excited about this and we got it set up before traipsing off to a church event that night.

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When we were coming home, we could see the light in our living room going off and on like a disco.  We went in the house and our little dog Scooter (who Hubby wasn’t fond of and the feeling appeared to be mutual) was barking incessantly like he always did.  Every bark turned the damn light on, and then he’d bark some more and turn it off.  Another gadget that was eventually thrown away since the constant on and off was causing Hubby and I to both to have pretty severe headaches 🤨.

So times have changed…right?  I’m a tenured professor with 3 degrees under my belt, 30 total years of teaching experience, and the mama of a 26 year old.  I’m done with all this crap.  No more George Forman Grills that splatter grease all over my cabinets and face (so I get zits every time I cook)…no more Sham Wows that shrink a quarter of it’s size every time it’s washed until it’s basically the size of a tootsie roll…no more Slap-Chops that make me feel like I’m doing something naughty when I use it…no more Cami Secrets since full size cami’s are pretty comfy anyway…no more wanting, more than anything, to call the Psychic Friends Network for a reading about my love life (or lack thereof).  I’m done.  I’m mature, experienced, and media literate in terms of advertising.

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However, now that I think about it, the Snuggi for dogs would be really comfy on Dottie and Edward in the winter.  And the Tub Shroom would keep my hair out of the bathtub drain…that would be nice.  And maybe a set of Bare Lifts for my saggy boobs or Booty Pop undies to make my butt look better so I can get a date?  Hmmm.  And that Sonic Scrubber would probably work great on my bath tiles…would probably save me tons of cleaning time.  And wow…the bright light pillow would make my bedroom look like a fairy-land every night…might make me sleep better.  Huh.

Well, gotta go, peeps…QVC is calling my name.

Kristi xoxo

 

“I can tote it, I just need an egg.” ~ Angela (90 Day Fiance)

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So, it’s no secret that I’m not the greatest at relationships (shutty 🙄) and thought it might behoove me to take lessons so to speak.  The experts I’ve decided to turn too, who I know will guide me through the perils of relationship dynamics and teach me lessons I’ll take with me for the rest of my life, are known around the world.  Their platform?  A very serious and insightful show called ’90 Day Fiance’.  As I’ve been watching it these last 7 seasons (as well as all the seasons of their many spin-offs) I’ve gleaned knowledge that’s applicable to any future partnership I might have and I’m certain that the secret to relationship bliss is mine.

For example, did you know it’s not necessary to learn about a mate’s culture, even though they have a different religion, a different language (tip:  learn at least a few words in their native tongue…just so you can…you know…communicate 🙄) are half-way around the world, and live in a way you have never experienced yourself? I’m mean hells bells, that’s just tiny stuff…right?  So, when a woman who dresses like a stripper falls in love with a man who practices Islam, this will be super.  When she visits or even moves to his country (which many of them do), he’ll want and expect her to wear the hijab per Muslim tradition, but why do that?  It’s not fashionable and we definitely don’t see those on American catwalks, so obviously this doesn’t apply to these gals.  They’ll go on wearing outfits with their boobs showing, sans nipple, and wonder why their man is angry and others in his family don’t accept them.  Well…guess you can’t please everyone…huh?

And food?  Don’t try to learn about a cultures food before visiting or moving to the country your sweetie resides in.  Why would you do that?  Just traipse over there, and then when the very poor family sacrifices a goat for you (which is an extremely gracious gesture), don’t eat any.  After all, you prefer steak.  When a future ma-in-law makes you a beautiful dinner she spent hours on, be sure to make faces, spit food out in your napkin, and stage whisper to the lucky sap who’s going to marry you that you’ll puke if you actually swallow a bite.  That way, the ma gets a very good impression of you as a independent thinker with distinct tastes. 🙄

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Did you know that houses in the poorest of our world’s nations aren’t built of wood, brick and siding?  Some are little more than huts with no air-conditioning, no running water, no bathroom, no electricity.  Yes, it’s uncomfortable for the 3 days you’ll be staying there on your visit (God forbid you actually move there, it would just be ‘too much’ for you to ever get used too), even though the ‘love of your life’ has lived in these circumstances all  their lives.  And if they take you to a local hotel for some, ahem, private time?  Be sure to bitch and complain, because I’m here to tell ya, they aren’t the Hilton.  If there are lots of  bugs or animals roaming the street or stores that are carts with torn awnings, it’s always a good idea to make fun of these things or complain bitterly.  Nothing brings a couple closer together than a great deal of mocking.  (Also, did you know that countries on the equator are hot?  Apparently, not a lot of people realize this so don’t realize they might sweat a bit on their visit).

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Here’s something I truly didn’t know but is quite exciting if I ever marry a 20 year old:  even though I’m 53 (blech), I can still have a baby!  YEA! Actually, I would sorta ‘have too’ since my future hubby is expected to have an heir and is wanting his own shot at raising a brood (even though I have a kid older than him 😳).  Now, it doesn’t matter that I’ve gone through menopause (which at 53, one would assume I have) or that my eggs are as old as dirt (if I even have any of the little boogers left), I can still get an egg from someone else…preferably in my immediate family so the baby will be my blood…and then have that little nugget inserted into my nice, healthy, still like 18 pink uterus I presumably have.  Well for piss sakes…this is an epiphany for me!  Here I’ve been wanting a grandbaby, but instead I’ll just have a little cutie myself.  As Angela (who is my age and whose YOUNG hubby wants a little guy running around that’s his own) says to her daughter:  “I can tote it, I just need your egg.”  (Starts picking out names, ma!).  Nuff said on that one.

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And age doesn’t matter!  Whoo Hoo (let’s face it…a LOT of guys from my generation are pretty much set in their ways and aren’t quite as exciting as a 25 year old)!  OK…some of you may not know this, but J was significantly younger than me.  No, I’m not going to tell you by how many years, my sweet and nosy peeps.  Suffice it to say we got a lot of looks, and yes, I was often self-conscious about it!  I was the wrinkly elder with this younger guy on my arm (for balance since I’m so old I could fall and easily break a hip) and folks would stare.  Like I’ve said before, aging is a sin in our country and many of you younger people are apparently going to figure out a way to dodge it (but still be alive)…best wishes to ya.  Anyhoot, a 65 year old and a 30 year old are actually fine and dandy (no peeps, J was not that much younger 🤨).  And just because my new man will have to wash my hair for me and help me up out of a chair doesn’t mean things won’t work out in the long run.  He’ll love doing that and more when he’s 40 and I’m 75.  And families love these age differences too.  In fact, I’d love for O to marry someone older than me.  We could be besties and eventually room together in the old age home.  That way, O would only have to make one trip to see us both.

Were you also aware that lying doesn’t matter?  No wonder I’m thrice divorced, I didn’t lie enough.  Well spank me hard…I know what to do next time now, don’t I?  Seeing pics of a body builder from Great Britain who actually speaks with a Nigerian accent when you chat and doesn’t know where London is on a map does NOT mean you are getting catfished.  And if you are?  Well, they must have a good reason and actually be an ok guy to hook up with anyway.  If you’re already married and wait until you’re engaged to your new baby to tell them, whatever.  It’s just a teeny little detail you forgot to mention.  If you’re moving halfway across the world and your darling hasn’t shared with you the fact they are broke and don’t have a job…no problemo.  Just live on love.  And the best kind of lie?  If you say you’re 40 and use a filter during chats and while sending pics that make you look 20…it’s ok.  Your beloved will be so happy at your 55 year old self complete with lines, sags, spots, etc.  It’s just a cool surprise.

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Now, not every one of these relationships work out (why, I have no idea).  So, if that happens here’s a sure fire way to feel better:  get some plastic surgery like HUGE lips…butt fillers…DD boobs…liposuction.  It’s because of YOUR bod things didn’t work out, so the more fake you look, the more you’ll be loved.  Who woulda thunk that?  No wonder I’ve been divorced…I’ve still got my original breasts. 🤨   Another idea if things don’t go perfectly with this soulmate of yours?  Just get your newly rounded butt back online and try again.  It’s really as easy as that.

This next one is a shocker to me.  Truly.  SOME people are out there to take advantage of you.  To use your for a green card.  To get to America the only way possible for them.  I know…I know…that would never happen to any one of US.  That only happens to people who aren’t truly in love.  So, when your parents, friends, colleagues and neighbors pull you aside and say they think the behavior of your intended is pretty bad and they don’t seem to love you (look, they only go out by themselves to a bar a few nights a week…we all need our space 🙄) tell them they’re crazy.  In fact, the longer you’ve known this friend, the angrier you should become. People in love always know what’s best…they are always the most rational and most objective.  Look, if I want your advice that could save me from getting into a marriage that’s going to last 6 months and then bankrupt me after, I’ll ask.  Got it?

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And this brings me to the last lesson I’ve gleaned thus far, and that’s about what love really is.  True love comes from texting and face-timing with no physical interaction what so ever.  It comes from jumping into bed the minute you land in their country, and then pointing out all that’s wrong with the area while praising your own fatherland.  The love is seen in little spats that end up with a drink being thrown in a face…smashing a cake over a head…or storming out of a restaurant screaming the entire way.  And the little sweet names you have for one another (and did you know that nicknames are truly good for a relationship)?  Here are some ideas from the show:  bitch, cow, douche, jerk, asshole, idiot and f##ker (you’re welcome, ma).  Those are sure to help your love bloom even more.

So thank you, 90 Day Fiance.  I now know what I’ve been doing wrong in finding a soulmate and I’m going to remedy it now.  I’m staring my search for a 22 year old guy from a very poor country (whose language I can’t speak), who sends me pics in which he looks different in every single one in terms of his hair and eye color, body shape, & height, who wants at least a half dozen little ones running around soon, whose parents are horrified I’m of a different religion, and who I’ve caught lying (but hey, none of us are perfect).  When I find this gem, I’ll let y’all know right away.  I promise.

Kristi xoxo

“You are you. Now, isn’t that pleasant?” ~ Dr. Seuss

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So, I saw a Facebook post for an art exhibit at Kettering University by Guy Adamec, who is quoted as saying:  “Anything imaginable is possible.”  I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately, and even though I think he was referring to art, I know so many people believe the same about life in general.  “You can be anything you want!”  “The sky’s the limit!”  “Just do it!”  But can we…really?

Call me a pessimest or a party pooper if you want, but I firmly believe we can’t be anything we want or do anything we desire.  We all have ceilings and limitations like race, gender age, and social class just to name a few that we need to recognize before aspiring to things that simply won’t come to fruition (every time I use this word, I feel like I sound so smart). 🤓

For example (and son, I’m sorry but I had to use this), my sweetie son played basketball when he was in 5th and 6th grade.  Now, he did well in baseball and is an amazing swimmer, but basketball was not his forte.  Yes, he was tall-ish for his age, lean, and fairly coordinated (as much as a boy that age can be) but he, well, sucked at basketball.  It wasn’t his thing!  Please don’t think I’m being mean, because I recognize all the wonderful gifts he has; all I’m saying is b-ball wasn’t one of them.  So anyhoot, we were at a game and my baby FINALLY made a basket…his first one in the 2 years he’d been playing.  I was so excited I literally jumped out of my seat and screamed so loud the referee stopped the game thinking I was having either a fit or heart attack.  I reassured him I wasn’t dying and yelled: “No…I’m fine…I’m just happy my boy finally made a shot!”  After I sat down (and began breathing again) a couple of the other moms berated me for my comment and they said how he would be a terrific player someday.  After all, he was built like one and with enough practice, why he could play for the Chicago Bulls.  Hmmm.  Son, I’m sorry if I deprived you of this, but I really didn’t think you were another Michael Jordan.  My bad.

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Eggs are still eggs.  Except now they are eggs in a cake with a bunch of other things. Duh.

I don’t like it when parents over-praise their kids and make them think they are something so above and beyond when in actuality, they’re pretty darn ‘meh.’  A kid brings home an A paper in math and hears:  “Oh sweetie…this is AWESOME!!  You’re another Einstein!”  Ummmmm…I’m sorry, but no he’s not.  He’s a kid that got an A.  It’s not AWESOME (a word that I believe is terribly overused…an A paper does not leave me awestruck as would Jesus walking the earth again), it’s what he should have gotten anyway.  Right?  And to tell him he’s another Einstein…well hells bells, I’m a decent writer so I should be up there with Stephen King.  🙄

A few years ago, I had a student I simply adored.  She was a sweetie-pie and one day she told me she really wanted to be an illustrator.  Her parents encouraged her to the point she believed she’d be drawing pics for the most famous of children’t writers.  After one of our classes, she asked if I’d like to see her portfolio and of course I did…I couldn’t wait to see her ‘masterpieces.’  Well…come to find out, the drawings she showed me were pretty freaking bad.  I’m no art critic…I’m the first to admit that.  However, these were not something I’d like to open a book and see.

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I told her they were very nice and was sweet about it, but truly wondered how her parents could push her towards something for which she didn’t have the talent.  Now, fast forward a year when she applied to some art schools and university programs; not surprisingly, she didn’t get into any of them at all.  She was devastated and I can understand why.  Her parents had put her on a pedestal in terms of her ‘talent’ and the fall was brutal for her.  She finally heard the truth about her work and had to restructure her college career around another field.  She basically had to start over from square one with her confidence pretty much destroyed.

Why do parents do this to their kids?  Why do we see all of these posters saying things like:  “You can be anything you want to be with the right positive attitude.”  Okey dokey.  Well, I’d like to be a princess in England and use my power for charitable works like Princess Diana did.  I’ve got a great attitude about it.  So…should I buy a plane ticket?

Or, more realistically, I’d like to be a national motivational speaker on mental illness issues.  I really would…that’s a huge dream of mine!  Yes, I’ve done 2 local Tedx Talks and have made 3 graduation speeches at my college, but my town is small ‘taters compared to the entire country (I would bet that the vast majority of you couldn’t pick my town out on a map)!  How many people want to be on that stage?  Thousands?  Maybe more?  And to think that only MY positive attitude and ability will win the spot is truly unrealistic.

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One of my friends and I were yacking about Simon Cowell (sigh…he’s a cutie patootie) and they said he is so cruel to contestants auditioning for ‘America’s Got Talent’ when he tells them their singing is “hideous”, “atrocious”, and the “worst he’s ever heard in his life.”  OK.  Those words are harsh.  But c’mon…they’re true!  You got this gal tottering into the audition room belting out ‘Over the Rainbow’ (which I can actually sing pretty well 😁) in a key never before heard by human ears.  What’s he supposed to say?  For fuck sakes, she can’t sing a freaking note! Then the parents will storm in when their little song bird doesn’t make the cut, and Simon sets them straight right away by saying it’s their fault for encouraging something that’s not there.  They’re the ones who let her down…not him.

I agree!  Recently I saw a ‘motivational’ poster that said this:  “You can have, do, or be anything you want.”  Heh?  Are you joking with this?  I can have a million bucks so all of my family is set for life?  I can fly to the moon to experience outer space?  I can be a best selling novelist known worldwide?  Nope.  Probably not.

The 2017 Miss Universe Pageant

Why the fuck do we set ourselves up for failure…disappointment…negative feelings of self-worth?  We see sayings like that and feel guilty that we aren’t achieving anything and everything we’ve always wanted too.  Look, I’ve always wanted to be in a pageant!  Yes, a silly, superficial pageant where I parade around on a stage while being applauded, have a sash wrapped around my shoulders, a diamond tiara placed on my head, and roses held in my arms as I walk the runway to a sappy song waving the half-turn wrist twist.  So, why am I not doing it?  Well…let’s see…I’m a 3 on a scale of 1-10.  Have crepey skin and wrinkles.  Wear glasses and have mousy hair.  And my 53 year old bod has lost some of the ‘ooomph’ it once had.  No matter how much I try (contacts, dye in the hair…which I actually do but let’s not tell anyone…make-up, spray tan, tape to pull up and stretch out things that are droopy, etc.) I will not be the next Ms. America.  I can guarantee it, peeps. 😐  (P.S.  Hubby 3 knew how much I wanted a sash, and he bought me one that was white satin with “The Most Beautiful” written on it!  Best surprise I ever got!)

Look, I’m not saying you can’t have dreams or aspirations or goals.  Of course you can!  I remember walking into my first college class and coming out of it saying I wanted to be a professor.  People laughed and thought, “There’s goes Kristi…probably manic and delusional.”  But I have a talent for learning…an affinity for school.  I can read, retain, and pretty much see words on pages after I’ve shut the book.  But, had I said I wanted to be President of the United States, I would have understood that my thoughts were a bit unrealistic since I understand very very little about politics, economics, and global markets and learning these is like teaching my little Dottie to take her meds without snapping at me…it ain’t gonna happen (although I must say, I think I would do a better job than some of those we’ve had).  🙄

What I’m saying is this:  you can be what you want to be with the talent, intellectual capability, and resources you have.  But don’t beat yourself up for not being what you dreamed of being when you were a kid (we don’t need a million more paleontologists and astronauts).  Use your gifts, do the best you can, and be happy and content with who you are.  And I’ll tell you what…that’s always enough.

Kristi xoxo

 

 

 

“Oh-Oh, Yes I’m the Great Pretender, Pretending that I’m Doing Well…” ~ The Platters

Photo by MockupEditor.com on Pexels.com

So, I read an excellent post yesterday on the blog Pointless Overthinking called “Is Social Media Toxic – Being Mindful” which really got me to thinking about my own use of Facebook: my fave social media platform. And here’s what I discovered: I’ve been a total hypocrite at times. Here I am yacking to my peeps about how important it is to be genuine and authentic, yet I’m not necessarily doing that on FB. What the hell?

I don’t ‘use’ Instagram because to be honest, typing in all of those hashtags is simply a chore, and Snapchat just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me (yes son, roll your eyes and call me a digital immigrant even though I gave birth to you after 16 excrutiating hours of back labor without a grandbaby in sight to make up for it 🙄). I get where you send pics and videos that you’ve jazzed up with cool editing, but they ‘disappear’ (not all together true…you can take screenshots and as such, naughty pics can be actually be saved and shared) in 10 seconds which seems like a heck of a lot of work for that incredibly short period of time. And yes, I know all about tiktok and whatsapp as well, but have never tried them. 🤓

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Anyhoot, that’s why I’m focusing on FB (that’s short for Facebook son, try to keep up) to illustrate my own hypocrisy. See, I’m not being completely genuine on FB. After all of my orating about opening up, being honest, being yourself, I realized I wasn’t practicing what I was preaching. Yesterday, I downloaded all of my FB pics so I could make sure I have them myself for all posterity. As I was scrolling through them, I started laughing at my use of editing tools and how absolutely horrible some of them looked. I started out with my grunge phase where every pic looked like it was run through an incinerator, and then using frames that just were ridiculous. The biggest thing I noticed though was my use of filters so I would look as perfect as I possibly could in the pics I posted of myself.

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O didn’t need the filter, I did!  And look…no pores! 

After looking at these pics, I started wondering about my posts. So, I clicked on a bunch of them that went along with the pics, and saw I was filtering those as well. There are a few of R (Hubby 3 🙄) and I where I’m smiling broadly with him, when actually the day was pretty rotten. But like I think others do, I was just wanting to show everyone how ‘happy’ we were no matter what. I saw so many from my time with J…some on an outing just a day after getting back together following the first month he cheated on me. I guess I wanted to prove to myself and his ‘ex’ how we were meant to be; but all I can see now is a confused look in my eyes and a resigned expression on his face. I have some upbeat pics during the time of my mental breakdown…I wanted people to think old Professor K was fine like always, even though I had attempted suicide just days before. I think you get what I’m saying.

Why did I do that? Why did I think I had to pretend my life was going great all of the time? Well…because it seemed like everyone else’s life was. You see, I was still pretending my way through life and wanted to make sure everyone saw the best me. The ‘perfect’ me if you will. The me that would get a lot of likes because hey, that’s the whole point. Right? I needed that outside validation because I knew on the inside, I wasn’t accepting myself. I didn’t want too. I had worn the mask of ‘normality’ for so fucking long, I didn’t want to take it off in front of a keyboard either. In fact, that was one of the the last places where I wanted to show my true self. As long as I looked right in real life and also online, the longer I could convince myself it was true.

I see my eyes in these pictures so well now and notice the desperation in them. Wanting so bad to believe I was ‘normal’ and not face what my true self might be. I think we all do that to a degree…put what we wish was true or want our ‘friends’ to believe is true, despite the actual circumstances. When you think about it, you can’t be authentic in real life and not on social media…that’s an oxymoron for sure.

And when I put ‘friends’ in quotes (yes peeps, I know I’m not using “quotation marks” but apostrophes are easier for me to find on my keyboard 🙄) I do that for a reason. C’mon now…how many friends do you actually have? Hundreds? Really? You know hundreds of people so well that you could call them right now, from another phone because you have the number memorized (like friends usually do), tell them you’re in trouble and need them to bring a hundred bucks to you now, and they’ll drop anything they’re doing to come to your rescue. Because isn’t that a true friend? Someone who will be there for you not matter what? Someone that you know so well you could talk all about their likes, history, relationships, etc.? Nope.

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From Identity Magazine and how I look using my bifocals to read my laptop screen.

It’s almost like a contest to see who can have the most friends on FB…when in actuality, I would guess the vast majority are acquaintances and maybe not even that. I have over 1000 friends on FB (many of them students who I adore keeping up with) but in reality, I only have a couple of friends I can really talk with in my non-social media life. Literally two. Hmmmmm…I’m so often lonely, but have 1000 friends. Something just doesn’t sound right to me.

I also noticed I checked in a lot while out and about. Am I so narcissistic to think people give a flying rat’s ass where I ate dinner last night? That I’m in a new store? That I took a trip? Am I that important? So influential that the check-in will promote the business? For fuck sakes, no (sorry ma, but you know I drop the f-bomb just for you).

After the breakdown when I had to face the mental illness I battled all of my life, I started talking about it in dribs and drabs. I needed too for a couple of reasons. First, my masks didn’t just fall off during that time, they were stomped on as well. Second, I started allowing myself to be more genuine. More ‘me’. I was so fucking exhausted from acting all of the time, and didn’t have the energy to continue. And third? I was done being ashamed of who I was. Someone that’s always been different…always had a tough time making friends and fitting in…someone who is way way way too sensitive…someone who doesn’t always laugh and smile, but cries too. In other words, someone who is human, doing the best she can with the cards she’s been dealt.

So, once I was healed enough after the breakdown to be able to get back on FB, I discussed why I’d been absent. I was honest, more so than ever before, about having had the breakdown, what I had been dealing with, who I really was. Later, I did a Tedx Talk where I addressed being mentally ill for the first time in another very public forum. I think I did these things to make sure I had people around me who would not only understanding who I was, but hold me accountable for being real. Not fake. Then I started this blog just a couple of months ago to further yap about my bipolar life in a no holds barred way.

My point (after all of this rambling)? I need to make sure I’m consistently real on social media too. Last February, as I was spending my first Valentine’s day alone in decades (I hate this holiday…hello…be loving to your partner everyday), I scrolled through FB and read posts like “My husband just brought home 3 dozen red roses, booked us a cruise (not a good idea then, but who knew?), and bought me yet another diamond ring.” Okey dokey.  I was sitting at home in my old jammies with the hole in the arm pit, Biore strips on my blackhead infested nose, eating Reeses Pieces while bawling, and watching a Lifetime movie to make me feel better by seeing some boob being stalked by a deranged contractor. Great holiday. 😳

Unfortunately, I know a lot of ‘friends’ of mine on FB who are pretending their way through life via social media. They’re like I was: hoping that if they write it…put it out there…it’ll be true. I’m here to tell you grasshoppers, it’s not.

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No filter…I actually have pores! 

So now, when I’m having a shitty day and need some support I post “I’m having a shitty day and need some support.” It feels so freaking good! And this week, I uploaded a profile pic with no filter…there I am, wrinkles and all. But it’s me. Not a better, more attractive me. But me. And shouldn’t that be enough?

My new resolution (in writing so that I’ll have to honor it) is this: no more lying on FB, ever. If I’m sick and having diarrhea and feel a compulsive need to post, well, there you go. And no more filters (😱)…no more pretending. If I do any of these things, it means I’m not accepting myself for who I am or the life I’m actually living; and if I can’t do that, how in the hell can I expect others too? I’ve been working on this very thing for a couple of years now, and am understanding that there’s no shame in being who I am, which in my case is a thrice (never used that word before) divorced, mentally ill, 3 on a scale of 1-10 in looks, wrinkly, mom-bod (but no mom jeans…ever), imperfect woman. But now, I’m not wasting energy trying to think of posts that will make others envious. Pics that show me so freaking filtered I look 12. Lies about my life I have to remember so when I talk about my weekend to colleagues, I can keep my stories straight. I’m done with that.

And you know what? It’s actually quite liberating. 🙂

Kristi xoxo

 

“…Revved up Like a Deuce, Another Runner in the Night.” ~ Bruce Springsteen I

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Photo by Designecologist on Pexels.com

So, in a post last week, I talked about whether or not love is blind and I said that actually it’s not since we all have our preferences along with what we NEED to see.  But like I do, I’ve been going over that in my mind and started thinking about how love truly is blind in certain circumstances…places where none of us want to go, where we say we would never go, and swear we would leave as soon as the issue is clear.  My son and I were talking about it yesterday, and he said this:  “Love isn’t necessarily blind in the beginning, but it can become blind after the love has taken hold.”  Let’s take a look-see.

For you sweet newbies, my ma was married to R (I won’t say what I usually do when I hear his name in my head but I have to say something so I guess asshole will suffice), for 28 years and although my sis and I knew about it and tried very hard to get her to leave him, she didn’t for all of those years.  In fact, she wouldn’t admit to the abuse until close to the time she was able to get away.  I saw black eyes more times than I can count, black and blue arms, marks by her neck, a beating so bad that she was rushed to the ER and was throwing up blood, and an eye injury so serious I took her to the doctor to make sure she wasn’t going to lose her vision in it.

Now, for the big question:  why the hell did she stay?   The first reason after the initial act (just a ‘little’ slap) was, she told me, almost unbelievable to her.  She grew up with parents who were never violent in any way and my dad treated her very well; she didn’t have any experience with domestic violence so it was out of her realm of comprehension that it could happen to her.  Using my favorite phrase, she was simply gobsmacked and since it was ‘small’, and he profusely apologized, she assumed it was a one-off and wouldn’t happen again.  The second reason?  Because she loved him.  Because she had fallen in love with who she believed to be a good man, and this one incident didn’t change that.  The next dozen didn’t change it.  The love was still there and she said she could compartmentalize the bad and only focus on the good.

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Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Pexels.com

Years later, after the abuse intensified , she continued to stay for a myriad of reasons:  he broke her down so far she had absolutely no self-esteem or feelings of worth; he manipulated her thinking to believe she was the cause of the violence; he psychologically abused her to presume she was unlovable and no one else would ever want her, and the list goes on.  In other words, he used the proverbial ‘Game Book’ entitled:  “How to Beat Your Wife and Get Away with it for Decades.”  (Probably the only fucking book he ever read 🤬).

So, she stayed for love in the beginning, and he used that initial showering of love to get away with just enough until she was essentially his prisoner.  I remember my grandma, T, and I sitting down with ma before she even married him and telling her how much we disliked him and were suspicious he was hurting her.  She looked us straight in the eye…  said she loved him…he loved her…and everything was fine.

Hmmmmm.  Love is blind.

After living with R for 5 excruciating years and then having to see him for 23 more, I swore to myself I would NEVER ever ever ever be in a situation like my poor ma found herself in.  Never.  And seeing that written, and remembering how smug I was every time I said it, makes me realize how terribly naive we are when it comes to our hearts.  Those fragile, irrational hearts that can cloud our eyes and dull our senses because all that matters in the end is the love.  Right?

I’m going to be honest with you (because I always try to be), as much as I loved Hubby 3 (shutty the mouthy) and still do…we talk almost daily and are very close…our first 2 years of marriage were horrible.  Like I’ve said before, Hubby came from an extremely physically, verbally abusive home which was coupled with neglect so awful he basically had to raise himself from about the age of 10.  His adult relationships were very volatile with tons of drama, yelling, throwing things, alcohol fueled incidents, etc.  Then he married me, and guess what?  He started re-creating the only dynamic he knew.  So, I got yelled at, accused and berated for the most absurd things which forced drama into our lives, had things thrown at me, had my bathroom door ripped off the hinges because he was upset I had slammed it, had a chair thrown across my kitchen, had my arms grabbed.

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Photo by rovenimages.com on Pexels.com

And I stayed.  Yep…I surely did.  Why you ask?  Because I loved him.  I really really loved him.  I was terrified when he was angry and would cry when he’d scream at me (and once, peed myself 😟), but I loved him.  And guess what?  Love is blind.  But finally, after those first 2 years, I told him this:  “If you ever do anything to me again, you will be out of here and probably in jail.  Period.  You need to grow the fuck up, learn some self-control, and realize I’m the best fucking (sorry for the cussing, ma 😳) thing that’s ever crossed your path.”  And he began too.

Hubby put so much effort into his behavior and words…he truly did.  He made changes that most people wouldn’t think are possible and our last 8 years together were actually very happy and fun.  Yes, we’d butt heads at time, but I’ll tell you what:  he changed into a kind, sweet, loving guy who would run bubble baths for me when I was having a bad day, wrote notes for me every single morning of our lives together to start my day off with a smile, took me to Chicago each year after Christmas for a fancy schmancy time to celebrate the year, and told me he loved and appreciated me more times than I could ever try to count.

Just last week were were yacking on the phone and I told him I was feeling down and here’s what he said:  “Kristi, you are a beautiful woman who is the sweetest person I’ve ever known.  You made me a better man and no one has ever given me the chances you did.  I will always love you for doing that.”  But you know what?  I should have left him the first time he was abusive to me.  The very first time.  But I didn’t because of that love I had for him.  Yes, after 2 years it was ‘worth’ it but the road to get there was NOT guaranteed at all (so please please please don’t think I’m advocating staying with an abusive partner…not at all!) and it could have ended horribly.  I gambled and that time, I ‘won.’  A million to one shot (I think I’m going to buy a lottery ticket today…you never know 😳).

Not so with J who was physically abusive twice, psychologically abusive for most of our 3 years together, verbally abusive countless times, would go into rages (which I now understand to be part of his Borderline PD), and finally was cheating on me in very public ways numerous times (in other words, he never tried to hide it once it started happening) and blaming me for it.  And once again, I stayed.  I had gambled once, and won!  Who’s to say I wasn’t on a streak?

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Photo by Anton Hooijdonk on Pexels.com

Like a broken record, I stayed at first because of the love I had for him.  I loved him with a passion and yearning I’ve never had before and doubt I’ll ever have again.  I can honestly say I felt he was my soulmate.  My forever.  I could see all of the good in him (because like Hubby, there is a lot of good) through the bad.  I kept thinking that all he needs is patience.  Understanding.  Security.  Why?  Because he too grew up in a very abusive home and also had PTSD from his 3 tours overseas.  Of course I needed to stay…for fuck sakes, he needed me!  And I also needed him.

So, I took him back again and again after he’d leave and cheat.  After he’d swear to me about things right before catching him in a lie.  After he put his hands on me.  After he said horrible things to me.  I stayed because I loved him.  Because I was blind to what was outside of that love.  It’s almost like our heart creates a space that doesn’t allow anything ‘bad’ to get in to threaten those feelings.  I had to work my way out of that tunnel I found myself in where I couldn’t see anything but what I wanted to see.  Maybe that’s why people say hindsight is 20/20.  And it really is.

Look, we see what we want to see.  We believe what we want to believe.  We love who we love no matter how irrational it might be.  We are blinded while in love (or at least I’m convinced we are) and that accounts for a lot of things we accept in our relationships.

And I’m going to tell you one more truth today:  Even though I have ‘learned my lesson’ about this phenomenon, I also understand it could happen again.  Because each time we open our hearts to love, we are taking the risk of being overpowered by it.  So, what I’m hoping to remember is this:  to keep my eyes as wide open as I can in the beginning.  Look for red flags.  Trust that intuition.  Let the mind rule the heart while it still has a chance.  Actually, I think that’s something we all need to do.

Kristi xoxo

“I’ve Had the Time of My Life.” ~ Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes

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Photo by Mouad Mabrouk on Pexels.com

So, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m a Pinterest nut and am constantly scrolling through it (in fact, it’s my go to app when I’m on the toilet).  Anyhoot, because I’m always looking at mental health issues, quotes, etc. I get a lot of self-help stuff on my feed.  I’ve been noticing a lot lately about how we need to LIVE OUR LIVES LARGE!  How it’s so important to travel the world…make every single one of our dreams come true…do something spectacular and world changing every day.  And here’s my question:  Why?

I’m the first to admit that I live a somewhat little life.  To be honest with you, I have no aspirations to climb Everest or hike for a year around Europe or write the great American novel.  Instead, I like my little life, and am tired of apologizing because I don’t want more.

It’s not that I don’t have dreams and aspirations…of course I do.  But they are a bit more contained:  I want to get some books published, travel to each state in the U.S., become a motivational speaker.  And that’s pretty much it.

people riding a camel near pyramid under blue sky
Photo by Mouad Mabrouk on Pexels.com

You hear a lot about bucket lists and I know a few people who have them.  I’ve never made one, because first of all, there it is in the previous paragraph, and second, because I just don’t know what the hell else I’d put on it (besides kissing Taron Eggerton…I’d even  give up my dream to live in Antartica for a year if this ever came to fruition 😳 🙄).   A lot of bucket lists include things like:  riding horses on the beach, attending the Olympics, swimming in each of the 4 major oceans (are there minor ones…I never really thought about that), seeing the Great Pyramids in Egypt, and you get the point.  Actually, as I was researching a bit about this topic, another recommended item for a bucket list was to swim with wild pigs in Exuma, Bahamas. 😐

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By the way, the pigs bite.  😲

Here’s the problem with those:  first of all, I hate big crowds so the Olympics is out.  Second, the thought of a horse pooping on the beach takes the ‘romance’ out of that idea; I’ve swam in 2 of the ‘major Oceans’ already and to be brutally honest, they both looked the same to me.  The thought of hiking through the dessert to see something that has no gift shop attached just sounds freaking exhausting, and swimming with wild pigs is something I would only do if it was between that or hearing yet another one of ma’s stories about a friend of a friend of an uncle’s cousin’s neighbor who got splashed while walking down the street 6 months ago.  Get my drift?

Is it bad not to want to do some of these things?  No.  Is it bad to DO some of these things?  Of course not!  I’ve actually done a few bucket listings that others might have written down:  run a few marathons, bungee jumped (which literally made me pee myself…it was the most horrifying 15 minutes of my entire life, including 16 hours of back labor), got an advanced degree, etc.  I did these because I just wanted to at the time…I wasn’t really thinking about how they might be part of a list.

Nowadays, it’s almost shameful if you don’t have high aspirations:

“I’m going to sail around the Galapogos Islands in Ecuador!”

“Wow…so have you traveled to other countries before?”

“No…never been out of the state.”

All righty then, good luck with that.

My pursuits are smaller and it’s little things that actually make me the most happy:

  • buying things for my house and fixing it up just so, knowing it’s all mine
  • smelling Dottie’s little head after I give her a bath
  • cuddling up next to Edward when we’re watching a scary film (every night)
  • hearing the cardinal sing outside my office window who has been around for the last few years
  • walking in my classroom on the first day of the semester and being so excited about having new students to teach and get to know
  • running hard until I’m a sweaty mess and then taking a cold shower and getting squeaky clean
  • walking around the pond near my house as I cool down after a run and watching the geese hatch their babies every year
  • seeing the green come back every spring and loving the smells of the fall
  • smelling lilacs when they bloom…my favorite scent in the world
  • warming up muffins ma makes and devouring them with tons of butter on top
  • buying new art supplies and organizing them
  • wandering around the dollar store and seeing what new books are on the shelves
  • the smell of a new car
  • the smell of ‘English Leather’ because it reminds me of my grandpa
  • laughing with my sis so hard that we can’t talk, while no one else even understands what’s so funny
  • playing cards with my ma and seeing her get a pissy look on her face when she’s losing (which by the way, is a lot…I have a ‘system’ for winning)
  • mowing my yard and admiring how nice it looks while the dogs play
  • running in the first snow of the year
  • walking in the rain
  • looking at my son’s photographs and being blown away each time by his talent
  • seeing my boy smile anytime and every time
  • flipping my pillow over in the middle of night to get to the cool side
  • cracking a window in the summer so I can listen to the crickets as I go to sleep
  • writing in this blog and typing Kristi xoxo at the end because I know I have another post done that I’m happy with
  • reading, sewing, painting
  • biting into a just picked tomato
  • fixing chicken and noodles on the coldest night of the year

And my list goes on and on.  See, it’s obvious I’m not living a ‘large’ life.  In fact, it’s pretty darn small.  But it fits me.  I’m happy with it.  Sometimes I’ll be talking to someone who has just returned from a trip or done something big, and they’ll say ‘You gotta go’ or ‘You just have to do this.’  And when you say you really don’t want too, they look at you like you’re out of your mind…as if being happy with smaller things is wrong.  Why?  I think it’s great to plan and save and spend lots of money on bucket list items, but my stuff just requires me to walk out the door.  I don’t have to wait.  I don’t have to plan.  I just ‘do’.

Maybe part of this is because of being bipolar.  Sometimes my life is enough to handle as is, I certainly don’t need anymore stimulation or anxiety or stress.  Like when I travel, I worry about what my moods will be like.  When I went to Florida in March, I was still in the midst of a depression and it wasn’t alleviated by being on the beach.  The beach was awesome and beautiful, but I was still down.  My environment doesn’t change my bipolar.  I can be sad at home for free…as opposed to on a boardwalk for a couple thousand bucks.

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So, I’m thinking that instead of telling people they have to do something ‘awesome’ with their lives, or have bucket lists that include ‘running with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain’, maybe we should just tell people to live their lives on their terms; in their own way without any judgement.  It’s true we only get 1 life (at least that’s what I believe), so why should I be forced to live it in the way others tell me too?  Why is it wrong to be content with what I already have?  Already do?  It makes me happy…and isn’t that the secret to living your best life ever anyway?  I think it just might be.

Kristi xoxo

 

 

 

 

“And you Still Listen to the Same Shit you did Back then…High School Never Ends” ~ Bowling for Soup

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So, I’m a Pinterest fanatic and can literally waste an hour looking up just one bead pattern that leads to another that leads to another and so on.  Anyhoot, I get a lot of self-help stuff show up on my feed and I was thinking about all of these this morning.  It’s like I scan them and will just ‘believe’ the info, but actually, so much of what they advise isn’t necessarily good.  For some reason, I went ahead and saved the above from LifeHackers because I did think it had a lot of merit.  Then, I read it again.  And again.  And I have to say, I think some of it is bullshit.  (P.S.  I was trying to find a good title about advice…but I love this song and it ties into education which ties into advice, so…).

Anyways, physical appearance is 1%?  Sure it would be ideal if hard work was rewarded more, however, studies make it strikingly clear that ‘pretty’ people are much more likely to get call backs on interviews and are hired, earn raises, get promotions, appear as being more trustworthy, and are perceived as just being ‘better’ at the job.  I remember showing a video to my classes years ago and it was an undercover deal where the producers prettied up an attractive woman, and then un-prettied an average woman with blotches, darker circles under her eyes, etc.  Anyhoot, they both went to a job interview with a hidden camera:  each resume had the exact same years of schooling and exact same type of work experience.  The guy hiring told the un-pretty gal that he wasn’t sure if the position was still open and it paid $10 an hour.  THEN, the purty girl walked in:  he offered her the job on the spot, told her she was the most qualified candidate he’d seen, and told her the starting wage was $15.  As much as I hate to say it, grasshoppers, looks actually matter a hell of a lot in our society.

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I see so many pretty quote pics that say this:  Time heals all wounds.  I disagree.  Time helps with wounds, but they scar.  They leave a mark.  My grandparents died in the early 80’s and I can honestly say I think about them everyday.  At times, I can recall happy memories that bring me to tears.  BUT there’s nothing wrong with that.  I want that ‘scar’ because that’s how people live on…in our hearts and our memories.

Following the rules?  Yeah, it’s nice to be a rebel.  It’s nice to go outside of the little boxes society puts us in based on gender, age, race, social class, etc.  Of course we want to break out of them and march to the beat of our own drummer.  However, there are consequences.  Kids that do this?  Often bullied for being different.  Adults who do this?  Are often marginalized and don’t do well at work:  they need to go along to get along…the ‘corporate culture’ and ‘group think’ thing.

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Hubby’s hero!

Think about this:  Hubby 3 was an Outlaw biker club member and he and his buddies talked about how good it felt to be different from other guys.  Hello!  Y’all have the same long hair, same bandana, same vest, same patches, same t-shirts, same jeans (yummy), same chaps (yummier), same boots, and same type of bike (only Harleys, baby!).  So, they aren’t different.  They are the same in their different box.  See?  Even rebels rebel in a restricted way.

And for fuck sakes, listen to your parents, relatives and friends!  There are a LOT of mistakes I wouldn’t have made if I had listened to my ma.  “But Kristi, those taught you lessons.”  Maybe so, but the pain wasn’t worth the lesson.  Look at it this way:  I know touching a red hot stove hurts so I tell my son to not touch.  If he DOESN’T listen, guess what?  We’re in for an ER visit.  Look, we see things out of our own perspective.  Period.  We all need different perspectives in life.  My son has been in love a few times before, and I haven’t always been crazy about the gal he was with.  I would tell him (very nicely, and I always treat his women well) that there were some things I saw he might want to be aware of.  He would shrug me off;  he would still be in the honeymoon stage when everything is adorable.  Then, reality hit and the adorable became the nerve wracking.  Just sayin’.

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Never work for money?  All righty!  My passion is art of which I’m below mediocre at best (my real passion is teaching, but I’m making a point here, folks).  So, if I do art all day, and sell 1 piece a week, it will take me a month to buy a bag of groceries at ALDI.  Work for money, try to do something you like, and make sure you cultivate your passions at home.  Look peeps, you need money to survive.  Period.

Complaining?  Of course it wastes time, but it’s also a very human thing to do.  Actually, complaining can help rid you of stress.  I used to complain to my hubbies (not at the same time for piss sakes) about stuff on the job or family (not you ma…hush up, T), and it got it ‘out’ and lessened how much it bothered me.  And, you can’t always fix what you complain about.  Right?  I complain about the rain, and guess what?  It’s still coming down.

So my sweet grasshoppers, if I’m going to bitch about common advice, do I have any of my own?  Uh, yeah, of course I do.  Hello!  I teach and am a mother…I have a shit-load of advice.

First, be kind.  Kindness gets you so so far.  I know people I’ve taught with who treat the cleaning, maintenance or cafeteria people as less than.  Nope.  I’m very nice to them (to actually everyone) and guess what?  My office is always clean, my stuff always fixed, and my meal always has extra fries.  Need I say more?  (And these are the coated fries that are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside…mmmmmmmm).

Second, be accepting of the differences in people.  Celebrate them.  Listen to other opinions and take in what they’re saying.  Understand people have different perspectives that are built from their own life experiences.  Learn from these differences.  Be accepting of all humans since we all have equal value:  race, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc.  It doesn’t matter ‘what’ you are…it matters that you are, and this applies to everyone.

Third, be non-judgmental.  Hey, I’ve done some shitty things in my life that I could be judged harshly for.  And so have you.  But, there’s no way of knowing the back-story.  The reasons.  The ‘whys’.  ‘Nuff said.

Fourth, be loving.  Smile at people, and who gives a crap if they smile back.  Give hugs to people who desperately need them…listen to people who badly need to be heard.  Give more of yourself than you take.  Say I love you.  Say I’ll miss you.  Say you’re important to me.  You have no idea what these little, loving gestures can do for someone.  Let me tell you:

Years ago, I taught part-time at our local university while teaching full-time at my college.  There was a young gal in one of my classes who was extremely quiet and I could tell she was having a rough time.  Everyday after class, I’d seek her out and walk with her across campus to her dorm and my car.  I’d do most of the chatting (shocker there, huh?) but she would talk some too.  On our last walk together of the semester, she handed me a letter when we got to where we would part.  I read it when I got home and in it, she told me how she had been so depressed since moving to campus and she had contemplated suicide numerous times with a plan in place.  She said that me talking to her helped her so much, like she had finally been ‘seen’, deemed important, and she felt like she really did have something valuable to say.  Grasshoppers, I had no idea that was all going on with her, and also had no idea how much our walks meant to her.  I was gobsmacked, and that was the day I realized you truly have no idea how big of an impact a loving gesture can have for someone.  And actually, for you too.

Lastly, be true to you.  Be as genuine as you can.  Look grasshoppers, it took me 50 fucking years to get rid of the stifling masks I wore all my life so people would think I was always happy, always ‘perfect’.  The masks are what forced me to always say YES and then conform to whatever someone wanted me to be.  Life is too short to live it falsely.  To be fake.  ‘Coming out’ as mentally ill freed me in so many ways.  It’s lifted off those masks and I can breathe.  It took me 50 years to breathe.  I know it might be hard to show yourself…be yourself.  And I get that.  I really do.  But please, don’t do what I did.  I finally started living as myself just 3 years ago.  How I wish I could have done that so much earlier in my life.

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Look, you can take this advice or you can tell me to shove it (it might hurt my feelings, but c’est la vie), but always be mindful of not just following the pretty quotes and sayings that we’re bombarded with willy-nilly.  Just because there’s a picture of a sunset behind the quote written in beautiful calligraphy doesn’t mean it’s valid.  Or right for everyone.  Or right for you.  Be picky about what you listen too.  Actually, be picky about everything that pertains to you.  You know why?  Cause, my sweet peeps, you deserve it.

Kristi xoxo