Fate or Divine Intervention

I had the chance to do some things today that I had been putting off for no particular reason other than simple procrastination. And they weren’t exactly Earth shattering items, just the simple everyday tasks that require attention. And since the temperature was actually above freezing today, I decided to go. And in typical fashion for me, not everything goes as smoothly as it should. I swear these things only happen to me. If this sounds like you, let me know I’m not alone!

I went to the car wash because even though the forecast was for flurries, my car resembled a moving salt barn and the baby blue color was barely recognizable underneath the dirt. My rear window  was a completely covered dirt/sludge/crap mess, except for the part where my rear wiper reached. As I’m pulling out of the wash, it’s snowing. Hard. It’s snowing to the point that I need to use my wipers on my .03 seconds dry windshield. REALLY???

So I head next door to Valvoline for an oil change and I’m thinking to myself how if I could just pull right in there, I could hide from the snow, allow my car to re-dry and get my long overdue oil change. Plus I had a little coupon thingy with me for $7 off, SCORE! Except I couldn’t pull in because apparently everyone else who just left the car wash had the same brilliant idea I did. So as I’m sitting and patiently waiting my turn, I’m convincing myself that, ya know, it’s SNOW and it can’t be dirty and I’m just sitting here in a line, not moving so it can’t be getting dirty. Right?

Oil change done, I have to go to the bank a few miles away. I avoid puddles and other cars like they’re potholes that will swallow my car. I get to the bank, finish up and realize I’ll be driving right by Graeter’s ice cream and how I would really love to get a pint of Cherry Chip before it’s gone. Parking to go to Graeters is street parking and with my non-parallel parking skills, I need a spot to pull right into. And I SEE one! Woo Hoo! My lucky day and I tell myself that it was meant to be that I have that ice cream. I even promised myself to save it for the Super Bowl and that could be my treat instead of all the other not-good-for-me food that will be served. As I creep up to the space, a car pulls in front of me and like a possessed demon snags my spot. Just pulls right in. There are no other spaces. Just MY spot.

For my blog readers who are not from my little town, let me explain, our “downtown” is called “Uptown”. It’s a main drag with wonderful shops and a University and old (mostly) restored houses, along with our police department, courthouse, etc. The main drag is almost always busy regardless of what time of day. Finding on street parking is the luck of the dice. 

So imagine the horror I felt as I came to a stop, not even believing that this rude person just stole my spot, therefore killing my hopes and dreams of getting my beloved Cherry Chip Ice Cream. A car behind me gave a short polite beep, obviously not understanding what had just transpired. As I started moving forward towards this car that took my spot, and she looked over at me with this smirk like she had just stolen the gold medal from my grasp, I had this flash, just for a moment that I was going to flip her off. Yep. I was going to. But as she grinned at me, I instead waved and mouthed “have a good day” and drove off. 

Because in that flash of a second where I almost lost it, I looked at it the other way. If it was fate that was going to allow me the parking spot, it also had to be fate that snatched it away. It wasn’t meant to be. I don’t need that ice cream. I know I would feel guilty for eating it. So perhaps that actually saved me instead of giving me what I thought I wanted. And I was ok with that. 

I like to think of that as Divine Intervention that I all too easily dismiss, until I can’t dismiss it. 

And after I got home, I had to towel off the dirt/grime/crap that had accumulated onto my car. But at least I got my oil changed. 

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Sex Sells?

It’s no secret that anything related to sex usually grabs the attention of everyone. People hear the word s-e-x and even if they are trying to act like they aren’t paying attention, they are. On TV, in magazines, on the internet, in blogs…..

It’s a very interesting phenomenon that happens. Is it that people are curious about what others are doing or is it they’re hoping for something scandalous? Or taboo? Or dirt on someone else? All of the above?

The reason I started thinking about this goes back to the warped way my own brain works. We all know my obsession with 50 Shades of Gray, and the much better written Crossfire fire series (that I hear is going to be a series, not a movie, and that’s very exciting!) and how something as poorly written, I mean, seriously…poorly poorly poorly written, can gain such traction as to be made into a movie. Women all over the world were reading this book. Hiding it from their husbands and kids. Being extremely thankful for their iPad or Nook or Kindle.

I was excited when I first heard they were making it a movie. We had big plans to rent a limo, drink champagne on the way there, drink more champagne after, make it quite the girls night out. Then the inevitable happened…..casting started. No one was pleased with the first choice. Then the casting changed, and the release date was pushed back. Then it was pushed back again after some production changes. And fans grew weary. (We have the attention span of a nat most days)

And then last weekend happened that scared me a bit for any success of this movie. They aired a remake of Flowers in the Attic. This had been tried as a movie decades ago and failed miserably. It was seriously horrible. There was so much hype with this remake, great casting for the 3 female lead Dollanganger girls how could it go wrong?? I mean, Ellen Burstyn!!! Hello???? Heather Graham! But as someone who read those books over and over and over again as a teen, this remake was a flop. The actresses were stiff. The dialog flowed as if they were reading it for the first time off of cue cards. There was no grandeur! There was no terrified pit in your stomach of what would come next. There was no s-e-x.

They are still planning to do the sequel, Petals on the Wind. I hear they’re already planning the sequel to 50 Shades. The actors and actresses were required to sign a 3 movie contract. (From what I read, but hey, I’m no Hollywood agent, what do I know?) But I predict this movie will flop too. Why?? Because of the sex. There will be none. Granted, to do justice to the books, it would have to be rated X and severely limit it’s release. But that was why women read it. Deny it if you want, but that book was so bad, if it wasn’t for the sex, no one would know who EL James was.

So if it’s the sex that sells, (and it does because EL is a very very rich woman now) why are they removing the very thing that attracted the people (eh hem…women) in the first place? I mean, I’m just a housewife from Ohio, but even **I** can see that as a mistake. For the time being, I think I’ll cross off the limo and keep the champagne on ice. Well, maybe I’ll have the champagne now.

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Raise a Racket

I need to catch up on this blog, and especially the great weekend and fun we had at the Raise a Racket fundraiser. I really meant to blog about this Sunday, but for some reason, my head felt a bit woozy. So I thought I would do it Monday. But school was delayed a few hours, I had to take Michael to the airport and I got a workout in before it was time for Ryan to come home. Blog didn’t happen.

Tuesday was a snow day and to be completely honest, it was a do nothing day for both Ryan and myself. It was nice to huddle under blankets and watch Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and then Vanderpump Rules. (Speaking of which, OMG, if you watch those shows, seriously, Vanderpump Rules just makes my jaw drop and heart pound. So many people hate Stassi, and I get it, but I’m obsessed with her. I think I love to hate her. I could never ever be friends with someone like her, but at the same time I would seriously love to hang out with her for a night. And don’t even get me started on Kristen (ewww!) and Tom (Ick!) and their completely dysfunctional relationship. Yet I watch every week…..sigh)

Today is another snow day (well, technically it’s not a “Snow” day, it’s a calamity day, because it’s been below zero without wind chill and crazy cold here) and I figured, yesterday was lay around day, today is get stuff done day and blogging was right up there. So let’s get to the fundraiser.

It was held at an indoor tennis club that has been around for decades. I remember my parents playing tennis there when I was younger. But it’s a super facility, has a workout area and several indoor courts. My yoga studio paid for a table and we got VIP treatment the whole night! It was great. Our table was in the front row, goodie bags and Champaign!! Woo Hoo!! On top of that, there were appetizers, open bar and a nice dinner.

There were several items available for a silent auction and also items to bid on prior to the silent auction. I did bid on one item, and it was more than I would have spent, but it was for charity and I figured what the heck. Part of me wanted to win and keep upping my bid, but the sane rational part of me decided to let it go and not go crazy. I lost it in the end, and the final price was WAAAAAY more than I would’ve spent. I’m not sure how I would’ve explained that one to Michael if I had won.

But the best part of the night (besides the open bar) was getting the talk to, relax with and laugh with the wonderful women I was with. Oh boy, did we laugh!! It was so great to let loose, have fun and get to know each other on a deeper level. We have so much in common and what we don’t have in common makes it seem, I don’t know, that much more enlightening. Opening our eyes to other people whose paths might not ever have crossed, and by fate do. And allowing those lives to influence ours is truly a gift.

Over $15,000 dollars (last I heard) was raised Saturday night. I didn’t play tennis, I wish I would have. I love it, even though I suck. Maybe next time. But this time around, it was a great evening and every one of us was so glad we went. If you’re ever invited to a charity function like this, please go. Help raise money and awareness to the cause. And you might just find that you have fun and make some dear friends along the way.

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A night in, before a night out

Today is the calm before the storm. And my plans seem to be a bit flip flopped (how appropriate for me, right?) I don’t really have anything I have to do today, but tomorrow is jam packed from sun up til way past sundown.

And starting tonight, we’re supposed to be getting a lot of snow, 40 mph winds and below zero temperatures, and that’s before the wind chill is factored in. I don’t know about you, but a Friday night with the DVR and a take n bake pizza as the snow rolls in sounds about perfect. Fire in the fireplace, warm fuzzy socks and a blanket and I’m not moving. Well, only to the kitchen and back for cups of coffee or maybe some Chai. Mmmmmm.

But tomorrow is going to be exciting in a few ways. I’m going to throw my hat in the ring to join our neighborhood HOA, so I’m attending the meeting for that. Then straight to yoga from there. I’ll have a few hours off and then I’m heading to an evening event for a cancer fundraiser at a local tennis club! I can’t wait! I love tennis, and I got new pink Nike’s just for the occasion so it matches the rest of my outfit. A girl HAS to look put together at one of these things, right?

All of this will be occurring during the snow storm, horrible roads, and gusting winds and it’s not even close by, so that means driving. S-L-O-W-L-Y

I’ve asked Michael to stay on stand by, in case Ryan needs a ride, or I need pulled out of ditch. He looked at me like, why would you need pulled out of a ditch? I said “Do you even watch the news? Like ever?” and he says “Um, why would I do that when you tell me what’s going on?”. So I said, “What if I told you that a huge asteroid was heading to the Earth and we were all going to be obliterated?” To which Mr. Smart Ass replied, “Well, there’s nothing I could do about that so I would rather not know.” Sigh……men. Anyway, he assured me he would have his phone by his side in case I need saving Saturday night.

I’ll make sure I let you know how it goes, how much tennis was actually played and hopefully I’ll have some pictures too.

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Fallen Off the Wagon….again

I know no one is shocked. I’m not shocked myself even though I wish I could say I was. But, I’ve fallen off the proverbial wagon for my blog. ::insert sad face here::

It’s one of those cases where life literally stopped me in my tracks, sidelined me, when I was doing well. So I’m here to pick myself up, dust myself off and start writing again. Life can sometimes suck the joy out of good intentions and make you not see clearly or be able to focus. So I’m refocusing. ::insert happy face here::

I’ve had a couple of friends lose their parent, more are sick, I had a great night out where waaaaay too much wine was consumed, I’ve been going to yoga, not sleeping well as usual (last night I logged a whopping 4 hours 3 minutes), it’s been brutally cold with even colder air plus snow heading our way, my birthday last week (see previous blog for the horrendous turn of events that was!) and that’s just been within the past 10 days or so. I’m not very happy.

I don’t mean depressed, in a clinical sense, I just mean that sometimes, despite our best intentions and normally sunny outlook, life can sometimes just slap you in the face, punch you in the gut and shake you like a snowglobe until you beg for mercy. That’s kind of how I felt. Not one “major” thing happened specifically to me (if you can overlook my texting mishap), just a series of things that take the air from your lungs and you feel like you need a break. And then, before you can completely take a new breath, the next thing happens. Watching friends mourn their parents is difficult. It brings that overwhelming feeling of mortality to the forefront, no matter how much we all try to ignore it as much as possible. 

My one saving grace was going out and enjoying time over a few (eh hem) glasses of wine, laughing, talking, sharing knowing no matter what was said, we had each others back. There is true POWER in that. Minus any headache that may arise the next morning, it was much needed for each of us and I’m so overwhelmingly thankful for it.

I have friends still going through rough times. I’m too much of a “feeler” and a “fixer” (Did you ever have to take those personality tests? Yea, I know it’s crazy to know I’m an ENFP. Extrovert, Intuition, Feeling, Perceiving) and sometimes in my rush to talk things out, fix it, look at the bright side, I can run over the person I’m trying to help. Good intentions, bad results. So I’m trying to step back. I can’t fix everyone. Not everyone to be fixed. Some are perfectly happy to wallow. Some know the problem but refuse the help or to think for themselves. Easier to go along status quo and hope on a wing and a prayer that everything will work out. You know the ole saying you can lead a horse to water……

So now it’s time to turn the page, literally, and put that behind us and move forward. I’m going to put my best foot forward, help when I can, step back when I should, encourage always. Sounds like a pretty good motto for starting the rest of the year. Now if I can just stick to it. 

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Confessions of Epic Stupidity

I have a horrible, embarrassing faux pas that I’m going to feel guilt and shame over for the next, oh who knows how long but let’s say, 8 years. Seriously epic stupidity.

Today is my birthday. Nice right? Fabulous. My dear husband tried to do something he thought was nice. We went out to dinner last night with the whole family. Rob was even able to join us and it was yummy and fun and lots of laughs.

Toward the end of the evening, Michael pulls out a bag that contains my birthday present. He proceeds to ramble on about how he knows I’m not going to like it and I can take it back and exchange it for something I like, blah, blah, blah. I didn’t think that whatever he got me was going to be *that* bad. I mean, after 20 years, I would think he knows me pretty damn well.

So as I start digging through the bag filled with tissue paper, I come to find a pair of shoes. A pair of ugly, hideous, I would never wear them in a million years shoes. Like, if they were on sale, for free, plus a 20% off discount toward a future purchase, I still would’ve passed them by.

I tried to feign a look of “Oh, they aren’t that bad.” but yea, I suck at that, so we all kind of laughed and I politely put them back in the bag and we went about our dinner and rest of the evening. I told a few friends, via text, about my, um, gift. I promised pictures the next day showing the wretchedness of the birthday shoes.

So this morning, I took pictures of the new shoes, alongside the pair that I think he was trying to replace. Now, let me mention that some might say the shoes he was politely trying to replace are the hideous ones. I get that. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder after all. Because someone, somewhere, thought these new shoes should actually be made and put them into production. ::shudder:: My old shoes are these Tommy Hilfiger comfy canvas slip ons, with palm trees. Did I mention they’re worn? My pinky toes stick out of both shoes because after about 10 years of wearing them, I have worn large holes in both of them. (Another reason to always keep my toes looking fabulous, so look at them as incentive shoes!)

Now, here comes the ghastly, omg what did I do, part of the story. I took the pictures, along with some, um, colorful, commentary about them, and sent them to…….Michael.

OMG!!!! No seriously…..OMG!!!!

So I keep looking at my iMessages, waiting for the replies about how yes, they really are just not, um…..my style. I’m not getting a reply. I start thinking, oh wow, maybe they think they’re cute and I just should never buy a pair of shoes alone if anyone thinks these shoes are cute. And in my waiting and impatience of a reply, I make the heart stopping discovery that I did, indeed, send all the pictures and comments to him. The gift giver. Can I say again, OMG!!!!??????

A wave of nausea overcomes me and I panic. Oh what can I do to fix this? What can I do to make this at least not so horrible? (Side note to any men reading this blog: Please, for the love of God, do NOT buy your shoes of any kind. If you would like her to have a new pair of shoes, hand over your credit card and smile and tell her to pick out whatever she wants. It’s a win/win for everyone) So I quickly send him another message, ya know, like I meant to send that him all along and I was TOTALLY joking!!! I put a few “LOL”s and “ha ha”s in there for effect. But the words I wrote alongside the pictures preeeeeetty much summed up the fact that I was NOT joking. Oh my.

It also blew away my excuse for returning them without hurting his feelings. My “they just don’t fit right” excuse just got torpedoed, then blew up, then had a full magazine of bullets ripped through it. So am I now stuck with these shoes that I will never wear and can’t even hardly look at now that I have done something so completely heartless and cruel? Can I still exchange them and maybe take him with me when I do and buy him lunch or dinner and beg forgiveness?

To my surprise (and relief) he messaged me back and simply said “I tried lol please exchange them for a pair you like”. Ok, was that him just being nice? I messaged back that I was so thankful he tried and I loved him for trying and I was so blessed that he even went out and bought me something and thank thank you thank you. I’m sure my blathering told more about my guilty conscience than my original text.

So now, on my birthday, I’ll be extra nice to him, try to turn away from the shoe conversation and basically grovel. Because only I can create such a mess from something that was done out of love and thoughtfulness. But I just can’t keep those shoes. Epic. Stupidity.

And make sure you are messaging the person you think you’re messaging before you hit send. Trust me. You’ll thank me later.

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More Forbidden reading

This topic has really got me thinking and I love that so many have contacted me about this. Lots of different perceptions, perspectives and personalities. HA! It also got me thinking (along with a conversation with a friend this morning) about other books that were not “mommy porn” but were frowned upon as we were growing up.

How many girls read “Are you there God, it’s me, Margaret?” I think my entire generation grew up reading that. It was passed from friend to friend, secretly in study hall or passing in the hallway at school. And we knew who read it and who didn’t. The secret Judy Blume society.

But what about even more scandalous books like “Flowers in the Attic”. I was discussing this today because another remake of the movie is coming out on Lifetime this weekend. It can’t be worse than the first movie, so set your DVR girls! This book, and the subsequent follow ups, were full of horrible, horrible things! Incest, torture, kidnapping, domestic abuse, oh MY!!!! And we all read it. (“All” being every teenage girl I knew)

Blue Lagoon? More incest. We had sex all around us in our bedroom on the nightstand tables. Being tucked in after dinner, homework and talking on the phone (remember way back when there was actually a cord attached to the end of the phone that kept you tethered to a certain radius and you walked and paced and twirled your hair laying upside down on your bed? Not so long ago, was it?) and then we’d pull out our copy of whatever scandalous book we were all circulating. We’d dogear some pages. Highlight others. But we read them all!

What books did you read when you were younger that were full of crazy cover-your-mouth topics? Would you let your daughters read them now? I think a lot has changed in the past few decades. While some topics have become more acceptable for adults, are they for your pre-teen? Your 16 year old?

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