The Value of Family

Blood relationship is a tricky thing. You are biologically related to these people and you had no say whether this is what you wanted or not. Some of these blood relations are people whom you enjoy and others you wish you could put in a rocket and send them to the farthest galaxy. My family is no different.

As I have aged, one additional year in the last week, I cannot help but look at the people around me whom I call blood relation. This week I had the opportunity to give back to two very special people in my life. I do not always appreciate them and sometimes I am upset with them, embarrassed and annoyed by them but above all else love them. They are my parents.

I am blessed to have been raised by my mother and father. I was their first anniversary gift so we share a day each year.  I have become accustomed each year to having a phone call (when not in person) which goes like this “Happy Birthday” “Thank you” “Happy Anniversary” “Thank You.” I chuckle at this every year. I find it funny-my own personal silliness.

My parents are aged – 70’s and 80’s – I am very aware of their mortality. For the first time since my birth, I decided to honor them with a getaway in which we could celebrate together. This trip was more for them than for me. I was being a good daughter. I could not help but notice that due to their age they have more needs- Frequent bathroom stops, they walk slower and they tire more easily. Their minds are still sharp but the bodies are troublesome. For this anniversary, I truly wish I had the gift of age reversal.

I see kids who disrespect (this includes a sibling of mine) and discard their parents for silly selfish reasons; however, when I think about mine, I am constantly grateful because they have been supportive as far back as I can remember. It is because of them that I still believe in the importance and value of blood family. I guess it is true when they say once a parent always a parent no matter the age of the child. I can say without a doubt that if my parents pass away before I do then it will be a tremendous loss and I would feel the true sense of being alone in this world.

My parents are simple folks and I have surpassed them when it comes to certain things; however, no amount of education or knowledge of the world is a substitute for a caring family. One of my lifelong childhood wishes was always that I could do more for them than they have ever done for me. However, as wonderful a parent as they are, I don’t think that wish can ever be but I certainly keep trying.

Good family is important but we fail to realize that until it is too late. I see that in my own blood related family. We quickly forget the people who are important until we no longer have them around. I have been given the opportunity to recognize my parents’ value and I pray it never slips my mind for a moment.

Happy 39th Anniversary to my wonderful parents.

God the Fairytale

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Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen”. I absolutely love this passage whenever I am having some doubts on the whole Christianity, divine plan and all that stuff. The word there is faith. Christianity is based primarily on faith.

I love to read but shamefully in these last few years my reading materials have been coming from the internet – slightly embarrassed to say I even read the celebrity section. One of the things about the internet is that most stories allow for the comment section which can be hilarious and distressing to see how low we have become as human beings towards each other.

The most polarizing comments are usually about politics and religion. It is surprising to see just how many believe that God is a fairytale. When I was growing up, I assumed everyone believed in God and I never saw evidence to the contrary. However, as an adult, it feels like more and more people are abandoning the concept that a creator exists.

I can understand why people see God as a fairytale. Without fail, from this point on, I am planning to offend a lot of devout Christians. So, let’s pick through the bible, shall we, for the fairytale like stories. Ah yes, Adam and Eve. A man was formed from dust (an inorganic substance) and a magical being breathe into him and he was awake. The same unseen magical being took a rib from him while he was in a comatose sleep and formed a fully grown and functioning woman. These two people became the mother and father of a whole world filled with people who are of different races, different heights, and all manner of variation on the human spectrum.  I am seriously having to stretch my imagination to buy that load.

Moses – oh great Moses. That man had seen so many unreal things in his life it could have been traumatic. First, him as a baby floated down a river (child endangerment), he assisted in parting the red sea, a fire-ball from heaven, the plagues, seeing God (not literally) when he climbed up a mountain to get the 10 Commandments, and the worse insult is that he did not even get to see the promise land of milk and honey. That’s like the good guy gone bad then back to good in a riveting Hollywood story-cue the intense orchestral score and a picture of Charlton Heston. Let’s talk Joshua and the wall of Jericho. There was marching, trumpets, yelling, and everything fell except one abode that had a red signal. Umm… really! So here comes defiant Jonah and the big fish/whale or whatever animal, he gets swallowed, he was able to survive in its belly and God killed two birds with one stone and used it as a means of transportation – I don’t think I can say much more about this story in terms of believability.

Last but not least – it is Christmas time and therefore the birth of Jesus is epic. Jesus was a God who sat on a throne in heaven, came to earth to be born of a virgin, hung on a cross, woke up from the dead in tact (not a zombie) and went to heaven – a place no earthly person has seen. Seriously, what part of that story which does not scream fairytale? It’s the Prince to the Pauper to the Prince again.  All those stories are so believable (almost seem like everyday occurrences) that most Christians have a difficulty understanding why others don’t get it. If Stan Lee had come up with those ideas first for his Marvel comics, then we would all dismiss them as fiction. No one in their right mind believe in Thor, X-Men, Gamma radiation that turns you green or Diana the Amazon princess ie. Wonder Woman (DC comic).

Believing in the Bible and all that comes with it takes faith and lots of it. If anyone says otherwise, then they are fooling themselves. Those Bible stories are very fascinating and reads like fiction. The idea of God is a hard pill to swallow since no one except Jesus has seen the Father. Heavens! Most people in Jesus’ day never saw Jesus. God is an idea that makes the believers feel better. We believe in God because we want an invincible being to help us make misery and uncertainty better and that’s what God promises. No more tears, better place, a palace constructed with precious gems, a Shangri-La that we can never truly imagine. Wait! actually we can imagine it to a point and that’s why we believe in Him and all that fairytale.

The Virtuous Man

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The average Christian who have been around Christendom for sometime should have heard a pastor’s speech on the virtuous woman. In case you were out that day, the Virtuous Woman’s description is laid out in Proverbs 31: 10-31. Yeah! almost a whole chapter dedicated to what a good religious woman should be.  No, this is not sarcasm. If you read those verses, it describes a kind, smart, industrious, faithful, thoughtful and strong woman. She is the kind of woman I would pray to be (there is still quite a bit of work to be done on me). A man who finds a woman like that has found someone “…far above rubies.” vs 10.

While it’s all good and well that we have a laundry list of what to be, I often wonder what a Virtuous Man’s characteristics should entail. Let’s transition now  to the  male counterpart of this virtuous woman. Let’s dig through the bible for the virtuous man. In 1 Timothy 3 1:13 it outlined a few things that are for men who want to be in religious office but could easily be for any man. So let me take some time to flush out a few qualities the bible has suggested of a quality virtuous man.

A virtuous man should have one wife. Doesn’t every woman want a man who has only one wife/one girlfriend/one fiance/one love interest/one sex partner who should be you? In this day and age, the men are reverting back to the practice of the old testament in which they juggled a few women at a time. A virtuous man will not have a #1 (because this suggest a number #2) but have a one and only.

A man should be sober. Now this is a little tricky. Man culture seems to encourage a drunken state during any and all social gatherings. It is almost a rite of passage for men to drink until their speech are slurred. While I have nothing against social drinking, it would be nice to have a Virtuous man who knows when it’s time to stop.

A virtuous man can be patient.  We women can definitely test a man’s patience. It’s written in our DNA :-) So wouldn’t it be nice when it’s that time of the month, the fight with the best girlfriend, picking a romantic kissy-face movie, and being flustered about ‘does this dress make me look fat’, that the Virtuous man knows how to go with the flow instead of running for cover?

A virtuous man should be able  to appreciate you daily. Solomon (ironically he had a 1000 women) had a way with words that could make any seasoned woman blush (chp 4). Wouldn’t it be nice if the Virtuous man can expressed in modern-day language that “thou hast ravished my heart,… my spouse (vs 9). How much better is thy love than wine!” (vs 10) on days that are not Valentines, Birthday, Anniversary, Christmas and after any life changing trauma?

Let’s discuss some more traits that are practical for the 21st century. A virtuous man should be financially prudent. “Bling” “image” “living large” are all common place words today. Some men are so focused on their car, buying expensive items, and  the 50+ inch tv to fit their mancave but are behind on paying their bills and are deeply in debt. A virtuous man needs to handle his finances wisely (can we say credit report and credit score before any legal matrimony).

A virtuous man should know how to take care of himself. Back in the day, it was not a man’s job to learn how to cook, clean up after himself, and to be a fully involved parent. In this day of gender liberation, too many men are either looking for women who can be a surrogate mother, a maid, a nanny or a combination of all three. I understand that there are some women who want to play these roles (good for you!); however, an adult male over the age of 25 who has moved out of his mother’s home should be able to care for himself and his own place.Think about this – A mentally or physically handicap person is considered semi/independent when s/he can demonstrate self-care and daily life skills.  For the average man, this too should be a requirement. Too many men are reliant on women to care of them while they are not taking the interest to return the favor such as cook a meal, wash the dishes, do the laundry, and maintain a home. It may seem funny when a woman has to be away that she must color code the pre-cooked food in Tupperware and  leave specific instructions on what to do to keep the home running; but it shows a very obvious deficit in the capability of the man. The issue is if you need to be taken care of due to illness etc, then he is clueless. The other option would be to get involve with a man who has enough money to pay for a surrogate mother, maid and nanny if you should ever be out of commission. (Yep! this is my pet peeve).

A virtuous man needs to learn the power of communication. Strong and silent equals divorce and dysfunctional relationships. While I enjoy John Wayne and Arnold S who are men of action but with few words, in real life, communication makes the relationship stronger. Silence shows weakness not strength.

A virtuous man knows exactly what he wants. The growing issue of men being confused about what they want before they initiate a relationship is quite baffling.  It’s like ordering a meal and then wavering whether you want to eat or not. A virtuous man will understand that a woman is not for his immediate pleasure and she is not something to be tossed later. A virtuous man will know that he is ready and then engage or he knows that he is not ready and says so respectfully (communication) or not initiate.

A virtuous man will understand what he has to offer. A virtuous man will know that he brings more to the table than a paycheck and his penis. He will know his self-worth, his strengths, his weaknesses, his morals, and has a clear enough direction about where he would like his life to go and work towards that as much as possible.

Women are always  under pressure to be one thing or another. It is about time that we hold men to a standard above barest minimum. We choose our partners ; therefore, the character of our mate is also a reflection of our character.  What other traits did I fail to mention?

God Is Not Completly Flatlined

First off, I have to send condolences to the families of the victims in the Newtown school tragedy. It has become so frequent to hear of monsters or agents of evil who obviously want to commit suicide but deciding to kill  others before doing the right thing and killing themselves.

Whenever children are involved in these horrors, it makes the tragedy even more heart wrenching. Children are young and innocent. The bible says that we have to be like a child to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. This childlike state is in reference to their innocence-something we seem to lose as we age or when touched by the ugliness of this world.  The survivors are forever marred by such an event. It saddens me to know that many of those children will have emotional scars for a very long time. This should not be the life for the young and the innocent.

As I listened to President Obama’s somber and tearful speech, I made note of one very interesting thing he said. He refered to a passage in the bible “May God bless the memory of the victims and, in the words of Scripture, heal the brokenhearted and bind up their wounds.” I have to say I was blown away by this because of the downward spiral of the religious state of the country.

There are times, it seem, that every religious related thing is haggled over, judged, sent into court bla bla bla and then censored. However, to hear the leader of the free world quoting the bible and not having a bunch of non christians or non religious people threatening to file suit, it was refreshing. I can imagine how his speech writers might have had a heart attack and tried to discuss the negatives of referencing the bible.

There is some hope that despite all the craziness in this world God can be used in an appropriate context by politicians and that America has not flatlined God. It is nice to see a blip on the radar coming from those in power-there is some hope that God is not completely dead in the free world.

Good Mothers Endurance and Love

It is Mother’s Day and I have already called and wished my mother a happy mother’s day. I also texted three other mothers and wish them the same sentiments. Let’s talk about the endurance that is required of a good mother. When I refer to a good mother, I am distinguishing between the egg donors and the women who put a great deal of effort into raising her children. The good mother is a thankless calling most often than not. They have to put in at least 18 years overtime of nurturing, worrying and their hearts and souls into a person who does not always recognize their effort.

Good mothers make sacrifices of which we are not always aware. Their main focus and priority is their children. They give unconditional love with a hope they will get something in return but deep down they know that it does not always turn out that way. Good mothers do not regret being mothers at all. They get sad when they are disappointment in their children but never regret. They still show an enormous amount of love for the child who did not turn out emotionally, mentally, physically or spiritually ‘perfect.’ The good mother gives almost everything but does not ask for much in return except for her child to live a good and happy life (and remember she exists more than two times out of the year).

Children can be ungrateful, bitchy, little and sometimes not so little brats and bastards. Growing up we give our mothers grief, back talk, some amount of disrespect, believe that we know more, believe that we don’t need her and believe that life would be better if she was not around to care meddle about your life.

From the beginning, the task of mothering came with a tall order. She had to do all the diaper changes, keeping you from electrocuting, poisoning yourself and all sorts of danger because of a baby’s fascination with something new. She attended to your feedings and worries if you feel ‘a little hot’ on the forehead. She had to chase after you every time you decided to explore a new territory away from her safety zone. She had to deal with first days of schools, new friends and recent enemies anxieties.

She had to especially restrain herself during the ‘I want to slap the shit out of you’ stage called puberty and teenage dramahood. She had to endure attitude changes and watch her child growing up and away. She had to endure a change in the relationship from “mummy mummy I need you” to “I am okay mother, I can do this by myself.” She had to endure you leaving her side to go live your life as an adult. She had to endure not feeling any control and powerless to do things for you when aspects of your life had not gone according to plan. She will continue to endure being a mother in whatever capacity you allow her to be as long as she lives.

Mothers have to endure a great deal of things that we do not understand until either we are in her position as a mother or we are able to reflect on what a pain in the ass we were as children. A good mother is an awesome woman that we often take for granted more than we should but she does not always complain. Thank God for Mother’s Day because it is a reminder that there was a woman who made the choice to do some very wonderful things for us even when  we did not deserve it.


The Power of Positive Thought: Happiness Loves Company Too

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Winnie the Pooh is a very lovable children’s story that I never found interesting. I do remember snippets of the cartoon and I was always bummed out by Eeyore the clinically depressed donkey. As an adult, it still is hard to watch his mopey character. On the other hand, there is Tigger, the bouncy and positive tiger. Those two characters are complete opposite of each other and they provide a valuable lesson in how we view our lives and this world.

If I wanted to be friends with anyone, it would be with the Tigger type character. Someone who is positive and hopeful but still can learn a valuable lesson at the end of the day. In this world, it is all about the company you keep and the ones who can encourage you to have positive thoughts. Many people underestimate the power of their own thoughts and how uplifting or damaging it can be. In the real world, Eeyore and Tigger would never be friends for too long because they saw and experienced life so differently, the happy person would become tired of the other’s negativity, and the happier person would not want to be sucked into that unhappy world.  According to the Psychology Today article entitled Misery Loves Company, it states that “There was evidence of short-lived emotional contagion: Severely depressed subjects were more likely to have a roommate whose mood declined over a six-week period than were less depressed subjects. But subjects cheered up noticeably when they spent time away from their miserable roommates.” The point is that people around us play a big role in our positive thoughts and happiness. So you have to be careful who you allow in your head.

Persistently unhappy and negative people are not intentionally trying to ‘drag you down’ but their depressed demeanor can have a dampening effect without you recognizing it. Everything in their lives are dark and dim and they are not able to see the positive side of life. This is not to say that each of us do not have those ‘depressed’ moments; however, when this mood has been ongoing for more than 6 months then there is something very wrong and it’s time to seek professional help. Some people have chosen to be stuck in this funk for most of their lives because it is the devil they know and are very used to experiencing. While I do understand the issue of clinical depression that needs more professional intervention, there are many people who choose ‘to be depressing’ and refuse to see the positive light in anything. Note: Depression has become a blanketed layman term for feeling blue; however, there is a difference between true clinical depression and feeling sad.

The power of the mind is astounding. I can recognize when I am in a funk and I can pinpoint the thoughts that help to put me there. I choose whether I want to continue those thoughts or choose whether I want to snap  out of it and change the way I see my life at that time. While I recognize that this is not the easiest thing to do for many, it takes practice and can be done. In my previous career as a therapist, it was mandatory for me to be able to master and filter what things I allowed to stay in my head and their priority. Most therapists hear many ‘bad things’ on a daily basis because that is their job; however, what the therapist do with that information requires a certain amount of control with his/her thinking. It requires deliberate choices in ways to filter out the ‘bad stuff’ in order to make more room for the good stuff. It is not always easy but it has to be done to keep themselves sane and have normal lives.

The average individual who do not see or hear horrors everyday are more likely to be caught in the cycle of negativity.Why is that? In order to deal the horrors,  you have to be able to see good and the positive in life. Once you are not able to do that, then burn out sets in and your mental health and all aspects of  your life are compromised. For the average person, the demise usually starts this way. One bad thing leads to the other ie. my boyfriend broke up with me-therefore I think I am not good enough for him-therefore I think I am not good enough for any man-therefore I think no one will find me attractive-therefore I believe I will always be alone-therefore I will choose not try to find love again.  Suddenly, this person has a low self-esteem and start to make poor choices all because of her thoughts. Now take for instance another scenario. My boyfriend broke up with me-therefore I feel really sad and think I was not good enough for him-I stop for a second and start to think about the good qualities that I have-I realize that when we first met he noticed those good qualities too and that was the reason we got together in the first-I start to think that we both made some mistakes (not just me) and the relationship was not meant to be-I am aware we may not have been compatible and that next time I will try to find someone who has more similar qualities-I choose to stop moping about the house and get back into my life or find new things to do-My mood starts to improve and I begin to regain my confidence in myself. Same situation but two different ways of thinking and two different outcome.

People are not expected to be happy-go-lucky everyday and all day. People are expected to have their sad moments; however, what we think affects what we do. It is so much easier to wallow in self-pity because the world is unfair and it is in a crappy state than to force ourselves to think positively. It is so easy to become discouraged and stay there without trying to fight our way out of the darkness. We whine and we bitch and whine some more but never take steps to make things better. We always want to take the easy way out which is to do nothing and still bitch about it. Negative thoughts are the easy way out because you can not be disappointed. That is a sad way to live all the time.

Jesus had the option to think positive or negative. He chose positive. He had the option of taking easy or the hard way. He chose the hard way. Resilience is a character trait that anyone can develop but it takes work; actually it takes hard work. It takes finding an inner will-power and exercising it. We are allowed to wallow, whine, ruminate, cry, self-deprecate etc because that is human nature. The problem is for those who do this constantly, try listening to yourself for a second or go back and read over your journal and ask if you would be willing to sit and listen to yourself go on like that all the time?  If you answer yes, then I suggest a therapist stat! If you say no, then do something about it. Resistance is actually not futile.  Newsflash! God does not miraculously give you courage and strength; you choose it and He supports it.

Ways to Develop Positive Thoughts

-Meditation/Prayer of thanksgiving (only focus on being thankful even for the simplest things)

-Find a song/poem/movie that puts you in a good mood (Christian or secular)

-Choose a simple positive saying that you only use on desperate occasions (overuse will lose its meaning)

-Identify an undeniably positive attribute about yourself (I have beautiful eyes, I am a great singer, I am a good friend, I am a hard worker)

-Find a simple blessing that you take for granted (My parents care about me-I am in good health-I have a place to live)

-Think of as many alternatives to your problems (most people only think of one which is usually negative or solutions that keep them in the bad situations)

-Learn to throw a positive spin on things (cheer yourself up exercise – even if it’s a ridiculous spin)

-Learn to laugh at the bad things or yourself (laughter releases stress)

-Give yourself advice as if you were giving it to someone else (image that you were helping a really good friend or someone you care about, what advice would you give?)

-Find other happy people (Happiness loves company, it might just rub off even for a little while)

-Take responsibility that you are making choices for your life (Taking back some power – many people give away their power and therefore feel helpless)

-Recognizing that failures and set backs are a part of life just like success (Yin Yang concept)

-Recognizing that the longer you stay in negative land the harder it is to get out (get out of your darkness comfort zone)

-Set small positive goals (Instead of I will not cry 5 times in one day, say I will smile 3 times in one day)

-Do something nice for someone else (this usually gets people out their own head and focus on someone else-be careful that the person is not a negative nelly)

-FEAR is the biggest antagonist to positive thinking. Our biggest fears are usually the things we create in our minds. (like the boogie monster)

Mental health is extremely important. Most people have control over their thoughts which in-turn affects their mood.  It is understandable that when things are bad, it is hard to see the ‘forest for the trees.’ Everything seems dark and dismal but it does not always have to stay that way. One of the most discouraging moments for me was when I would ask my standard question “Tell me some positive things about yourself” and I would get silence because the clients are thinking or when they say “I have none.” Those responses told me that I had my work cut out for me to be able to guide someone to see at least one good thing in his/herself.  It’s your turn. I am sure there are many other things people do and could suggest that has helped with maintaining positive thoughts. Any other suggestion? What is at least one positive attribute about yours?

Here is a link to a farewell lecture by a professor, Randy Pausch, who had a terminal illness and later died (I don’t know how to embed so follow the link)

Is it Wrong for Women to Wait to Settle Down?

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As the title of this blog indicates, I am single but not just single; I am pushing 36 and single. Wait, not just single; pushing 36 but also have Christian beliefs. Ouch! I think I have put myself in a precarious predicament. This situation will be refered to as the hard sell position. I happened to be reading a blog entitled, At 34, Am I a Hard Sell? and thought wow I think I am one of many women who are in that situation.

For some women, adding the biologically screaming clock to the equation just makes matters worst and maybe downright depressing. The hard sell position implies that as single women over 30, we are not as desirable to the general population of men as before. We have aged out of the category to be able to compete for good mate worthy men.  This hard sell position can be attributed to a change in the cultural standards for dating which have been shifting by a disturbing tide. Apparently, women over 30 are just not as appealing as their younger and nubile 20’s counterparts. Damnations to Hollywood and their brain washing. It is very obvious that super young is in and the big 3-0+ is so far over the hill we are out of sight. I have no intention of bashing my younger sisters but I do have to say that with age comes maturity and stability that many younger women are lacking.  I should know because in my twenties I was lacking the desire to be stable despite being mature.

Older women are being chastised for waiting too long to settle down. It is very much our fault for not wanting to be hogtied by the age of 25 when we had everything going for us.  Boo, I say. This has been an irritatingly pervasive argument from many and some women are kicking themselves for not grabbing the opportunity when they had it. However, the issue that this view-point fails to address is that commitment is something a person has to be ready to embrace. There are enough stories of people marrying and having children when they were not ready for such long-term stability. Being settled just for settling sake is a flawed logic. Thinking back during my college days, I had, at my fingertips, an oasis of single christian bachelor. If I were smart, I should have tried to reel one in before graduation. The problem is I was not ready just like many women were not in their 20’s. I can guarantee that my life after college was not conducive to having a stable relationship and I could not picture myself being hitched to anything.

During their twenties, many women are finding themselves and discovering their strengths and weaknesses. They are forging character and careers. They are learning to be women. The men are usually out sowing their wild oats (christian and secular) and therefore would not have been a suitable choice. Men have the luxury of waiting until they need Viagra before settling and  they never have to face the wrath of bachelor criticism. They, especially the ones who are financially secure, can easily pick up a fresh young one at any time despite them being out of shape, balding and all. On the thorny side of the bush, the spinsters can not even come close unless they are willing to put their bodies through the wringer in order to emulate someone who is their junior.

Is it wrong for women to wait to settle down? No, absolutely not! Many women become better with age – that whole fine wine analogy – and we grow into excellent partners which are huge advantages over the young nubiles. We have so much more to offer in a relationship and as mothers. However, despite all of our wonderful goodness, many women will continue to be single as they inadvertently compete with the younger and more fertile 20 something crowd. Here’s to hoping that the tide will change back to our favour.

When To Unveil Your New Lover

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Certain newly dating single women have a proverbial stench about them that can make any normal person puke. That stench is listening to her repeatedly use the words “my boyfriend” more often than necessary and never actually hearing the name of the guy by time she is done talking. The designation of boyfriend usually comes after less than a month of dating and knowing nothing about the man but he is befitted with the “my boyfriend” stamp. The stench is having to publicly discover along with the woman everything she is learning about the new man. The worse grievance of all is having the newly minted boyfriend being paraded at the job! Keep in mind, in a short period of time, two of my coworkers thought that the job was the place to unveil the new lover-seriously!!

Another coworker ranted to me (she is always ranting about something but this time I agree with her) that she does not understand women and how stupid they are because of a man. She overheard two other coworkers lamenting about wanting to be married. The part that peeved her to the core is that one coworker has been with her man (who recently changed his disagreeable ways) for over 1-2 years but has not mentioned the word marriage at all. The other coworker only knew her man for about 1-2 months and she has been heard in the office gushing that he wants to know her ring size.

Now, I realize that this post could sound more like jealousy or envy but on the contrary. It’s annoyance. I had lunch last week with a former coworker who could not stop talking about her boyfriend and there is my usual lunch date with another who is experiencing the first stage of dating after being divorced a few years. For these two women, I was happy to listen and pray the best for their decisions. What’s the difference between the two who showcased ‘the new man’  and the other two who quietly discussed their real concerns with me? Status. I hate hate hate when women use men as a form of status and a means to make themselves appear more important. The second is, I really believe in privacy and it is never okay to parade a new man or your love life at work. All that says is “look at me I have a boyfriend, now I feel important.” (Note: one of the showcase relationship ended soon after and the other I still don’t know his name even after a few months of them dating).

As a single woman, I have to do a conscious jealousy check. I have to ask myself and answer truthfully:  if I feel resentful, is it because that person is no longer single and I still am or is it something else that bothers me. I can be honest with myself and say if I feel irritated, it’s because of something else. I actually find it a joy when someone I know has started a new relationship; I am excited for that person because I know what it’s like: nerve-racking but exciting all at once.

In all my years, I have noticed that women are more likely to put the ‘boyfriend’ card on display as soon as they have spoken with a man for longer than a week. I remember having a discussion with the showcase ladies and expressed that the term boyfriend these days means nothing. Everyone has jumped past dating to boyfriend. Maybe I have some antiquated views on relationship but do people stop dating/courting each other? What is required for the designation of the term boyfriend or girlfriend? In my experience, dating is the time to find out if you enjoy this new person’s company enough to see yourself making the relationship exclusive ie boyfriend/girlfriend or parting ways with no attachment. Shouldn’t there be a ‘will you be my girlfriend’ verbal expression before assigning that label?

I recognize that we all get excited and want to share with others when something nice happens. However, there is a time and place to air your personal laundry and work is not it. This is a good time to call your closest girlfriend and chit chat about the hunk in your life. Women need to remember that not everyone gives a sh*t about or wants to hear what happens in your personal life.

9/11 Remembered: Great for Media Ratings


Every year all the tv stations start their 9/11 hype weeks before the day. Every year they find new ways to breathe life in a few very tragic and heinous events. Personally, I avoid anything to do with this media ratings sensation. I make it a point to change the channel until the exploitation is over. The one and only time I watched day and night coverage was when it happened which included the search, rescue and recovery efforts of the nations first responders and volunteers. Having lived in NY for a number of years, I knew that the people who orchestrated this massacre intended to do major harm when they picked the ideal time of day in which large amounts of people would be at work or on the streets. I didn’t need a death toll number to know that when the towers fell the casuality would be massive. Everyone who lives in the city knows it’s always crowded.

I believe it’s cruel to keep repeating these images every chance the media gets. If you pay attention, they always sensationalize the towers being hit and falling while conveniently excluding the other events that took place that day in which lives were lost when two other planes crashed and hit the pentagon respectively. Of course, those images are not as emotionally provoking and does not do much for ratings.

I remember almost everything very clearly when my sister called me from the post, woke me up, and told me to watch the tv. At first, I thought this was a joke because living in NY you would never think such a thing could happen – after all this is New York City. I remember what I was thinking, feeling, and my incapacity to stop crying because there was a clear sense of how these events will have a major ripple in so many people’s lives.  I remember flying back to NY exactly one month after and seeing the two memorial light beams from our apartment a borough away.

I personally don’t need constant visual reminders on every channel every second of the day. I don’t find it honorable that the media constantly use this tragedy as a yearly ratings heart tugger. I think that this is an insult to the trauma of the survivors. I don’t think there is any image left from those two towers’ devastation that the media has not flashed across their screens and conveniently leaving out the other events of the day that does not have such graphic images. I believe each person should show remembrance of that day in their own way without having to be visually force-fed particular devastating images and reliving a very traumatic day.

Keeping It Real: Are You Still Hungry?

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Happy Labor Day! It is yet another holiday to participate in one of America’s favourite past time- eating. I couldn’t help but think of an incident a few months ago when I broke one of the two cardinal rules for women. The first is regarding age and the second regarding weight.

Two friends and I went out to dinner to celebrate my birthday and the final leg of our trip. Great restaurant and great food. Needless to say, we all ate and were quite full. Not more than 10 minutes, one of my friends decided she wanted to buy herself more food ie. junk food. Without a second thought, I uttered the words “are you still hungry?” This friend is significantly overweight and says she is working out and watching what she eats. After the words left my mouth, I realize what I said and that mild shock was echoed on my other friend’s face. Luckily, the person I addressed the question to was not offended and went off to buy her candy.

On one hand, I realize what I said would be considered rude but on the other hand, I said it out of curiosity. How could anyone still think of food after all we just ate less than 10 minutes ago? Besides me breaking the cardinal rule of mentioning her weight in a round-about-way, she was not embarrassed to be gorging herself. Maybe it’s just me, but I find it nuts how so many people make themselves slave to food, then fuss about their weight. I am sure I am not the only one who have said something politically incorrect about someone’s weight unintentionally.