Dec 10, 2010

Damn Old People vs. Neotony

I have always loved “colorful” words. When I was a child, I called big words or rare words “foo-foo” words. You see, my love affair with words started very early on. I was the youngest in my family and running after my brother and sister, screaming, “wait for me” in every aspect possible. So as I struggled to keep up and be taken seriously, I looked to language to help me. I knew that words and correct phrases could aid me in communicating and getting my point across; but even more, these “foo-foo” words made me sound like a “real big kid.”

So here is a true “big-kid” “foo-foo” word:

Neotony—Pronounced (Knee-ot-Knee)

It is a 50-cent adjective for describing someone. Literally defined as “the retention of childlike attributes in adulthood.” Decoded: it means to be youthful-minded.

Now, neotony is a funny thing. It needs to be balanced. For some people the idea of neotony is laid on too thick. They have retained too many childlike attributes and carried only those attributes to their adulthood. For that we cannot call these people neotenous, instead we call them Immature Idiots (yes, that is a technical term).

The opposite is true for people without any traces of neotony. For those people who have not retained any childlike attributes in adulthood, we affectionately call them Grouchy, Crotchety or Uptight.

Moral is, you can’t have too much and you can’t have too little. The amount is different for everyone. Some need just a dash and some need a heavy-handed spoonful.

The problem is that even when you know how much you need, it’s difficult to maintain this easy-going, understanding, childlike mentality.

I think a lot of times the elderly people get this bad reputation. They logically seem like the ones who would have the most difficult time being neotenous. They are the furthest from youth right? So, it would be easy to blame it on the older generation. However, I just can’t stake the claims there, because I have a grandpop who is the definition of neotony.

Hi, I’m not available to take your call leave me a message,” It was my Grandpop’s answering machine. I didn’t leave a message; I decided to call his cell phone. (That’s right, my 83-year-old grandfather has a cell phone). He answered.

“Hello Lan.”

“Hi Pop, I was going to stop by, where are you?” I could hear the wind through the phone and I knew he was in the car headed somewhere.

“I’m going to Coatesville to see Wanda.” Wanda is his new girlfriend who he drives 45 minutes to see, about three times a week.

“Oh, OK Pop, no big deal. I was just stopping by to talk, I had some trouble at work today—BEEP BEEP,” I was cut off by the sounds of his horn.

“God damn old people, get off the road if you’re afraid to drive,” my grandfather yells at the passing car.

I laugh out loud into the phone. “Damn old people driving too slow again Pop?”

“ Yeah! It’s a disgrace. I’m no spring chicken, but I don’t act like an old person and I sure as hell don’t drive like one.”

My grandpop is right. Regardless of age, if you act too old or too young, then you live your life like you’re too old or too young. You see neotony doesn’t have an age. It’s a state of mind.

Generally, this trait of remembering and identifying with youth is scarce among adults. We have too many responsibilities, bills and obligations from the REAL WORLD to take the time to be youthful again. We’re always moving forward, not backwards.

So, for people to be neotenous all through the year, it is rare. I think it’s something that has to be worked on every day, so it can become a way of life. (I think my grandfather has mastered this).

But at Christmas time, (or whatever holiday you celebrate) the joy of the season releases magic into the air that intoxicates all who allow it. Even the most rigid of adults can be found standing in awe at a Holiday light display. We are overcome with the wonder of the season. So, we struggle to wrap and hide gifts to keep the façade of Santa Claus alive for the next generation of believers. We smile at the sound of sleigh bells on the radio station as it tracks Santa Claus, and we curl up on the couch to partake in the yearly showing of Frosty the Snowman.

We do this because at the holiday’s it’s easy to remember just how damn wonderful it was to be a kid.

Then there is the FLIP SIDE:

Although the holidays bring out the kid in many of us… the holidays also brings out the true Grinch’s that walk among us. Everyone is always recognizing the happiness, joy and good tidings of the season. But what about all the people whose miserable attitudes are extra apparent, as they shed a dark cloud over the holiday cheer. We all have those “token people” in our families or groups of friends. Those people who just seem to suck the joy right out of the neotenous moments in life.

My mother has a sign that reads:

“You pick your friends, but you can’t pick your family”

At Christmas time, those people we wouldn’t necessarily “pick,” sit beside us at the dinner table. They are people that we are related to and we can’t, for the life of us, figure out how we were cut from the same cloth. People we wouldn’t necessarily be friends with; but whom we are forced to celebrate the season with.

So as you deflect these “Lemon Relative’s” (See previous blog about Lemons ) remember that neotony doesn’t have an age. As you master the art of deflecting a grumpy, uptight relative, keep in mind that just because someone looks “old,” they may not be driving through life like an “old person”. Neotony doesn’t discriminate and those of us who are successful in our “mature, responsible, outlook; coupled with a side of neotony,” need to stick together!


Christmas is a time to be joyous… but with the extra joy surrounding us, it is easier to point out the old-minded-stick-in-the-mud relatives. Their un-neotenous ways are glaringly obvious. So just like we do with the Lemon People… AVOID, AVOID, AVOID!

Remember… if you don’t want to drive through life like an “old person,” don’t act like one! To stay young minded, you need to remember being young. So, enjoy the season and take the opportunities to act like a kid again!


Nov 19, 2010

Thanks-Christmas? What about Thanksgiving?

If you read last week’s blog, you understand that it wasn’t an easy week for me. If you didn’t read last week’s blog, I’m not going to re-hash it, but what I will say is this—losing a pet is hard.

So, when life dishes out something that is difficult, depressing or tiresome, I think we are entitled to a break. We are allowed to reward ourselves for surviving and getting through a particularly hard time. The problem is that life isn’t always fair. Just because you’ve made it through something hard doesn’t mean it will be offset by something wonderful. The Yin and Yang of the universe are not in perfect harmony. There is the “unknown” that we must factor in.

Dare I say it, but sometimes when things are hard, it only means more “hard” is right behind it. This is why I believe that when life offers a “break in the action,” even if it’s just a few hours, we should grab onto it with both hands. During this proverbial “break,” I think we are entitled to something nice.

In 2010, during a time when consumerism makes the world go round, what better way to indulge in your break than participating in what I call “Retail Therapy.”

I would define this as the action of going out to a store and buying something to make yourself feel better. I’m sure some would argue that buying a material “thing” is not a good coping skill. Maybe, those people are right. You probably shouldn’t be out shopping for a new boat or a house just because you endured a rough day. However, what I’m suggesting is indulging in something small and cheap. An easy quick fix to change your mood, but won’t infringe upon your life savings.

As much as I love designer clothes and shoes, expensive jewelry and booking trips to exotic destinations—these are NOT what fall into my category of retail therapy. Instead, last week, when I needed a little “pick me up” I headed over to the drug store.

As I walked into the entrance of my local CVS pharmacy, I squinted my eyes in an attempt to shield them from the fluorescent light beaming through the threshold. It was a stark contrast to the dark sky (which sadly occurs around 5:30 these days—damn daylight savings). While my eye’s adjusted, I grabbed a cart and leaned onto it, as if the cart could temporarily carry the weight of my day. I walked slow, dragging my feet behind the car and can feel the stresses of the day dissipate as I roamed from aisle to aisle.

I am usually in a hurry, crunched for time, under a deadline; but in this moment, with the tacky love songs blaring through the store speakers I let go of those constraints for a few minutes and wandered aimlessly through the store. I wasn’t there to purchase anything that required the assistance of a cart; but I pushed it anyway. After about 5 minutes of wandering, I ditched the cart and walked to the back where the stacked shelves house my glossy, beloved “trash magazines”. Most commonly known as celebrity gossip magazines—In Touch, US Weekly and STAR.

These are my more common purchases when indulging in retail therapy. I call them “trash magazines” because they serve no intellectual purpose, are poorly written/put together, and once read end up right in the trash. People rarely keep them to read twice. Yet, despite their lack of academic, intellectual or accurate content, these “trash magazines” are my guilty pleasure. They are my “break in the action.”

They allow me to indulge in the good ole’ past time of mindless boredom. They provide an opportunity to clear your head of all “heavy” thoughts, give your brain a moment to rest and escape the annoyances and commitments of every-day life.
Usually this works, but this week, as I roamed through the CVS I couldn’t help but get ticked off.  I should have been thinking...

Yummy food, pumpkin pie, counting blessings and lying, on the couch watching football. Instead, it was jungle bells, snowmen and red and green mayhem. The Holiday pushing was out in full force!

Thanksgiving is in a few days, but sadly you wouldn’t really know it… The Christmas season has pushed its way in and overshadowed the feast that is Thanksgiving. You would think Christmas could be gracious—giving that it has all the religious adaptations: Kwanzaa, Chanukah and Ramadan. It even gets an “eve” and a “day.” Even more, it is referred to as a “season” not just a “holiday”.

It’s definitely the holiday with preferential treatment and it seems to be socially allocated enough time… but NO! Christmas has to go and step on the toes of poor Thanksgiving. Well Bah-Hum-Bug! How am I supposed to distress during my retail therapy outing when that smiling reindeer is staring at me and seems to be mocking me with his red nose—reminding me of all of the shopping I haven’t started yet.

I am a huge Christmas fan, although from my preceding paragraphs you probably don’t believe me, but it’s true.

I love Christmas; drinking hot cocoa while watching "The Polar Express" and watching “A Christmas Story” on repeat for the 24 hours leading up to Christmas Day. Wrapping presents, decorating the tree, and baking cookies. Listening to the radio as it tracks Santa’s sleigh and plays endless Christmas tunes.

I am confident that for another consecutive year I will overplay—no that’s not strong enough—I will absolutely kill the Mariah Carey song “All I Want For Christmas Is You”, so much that anyone who steps foot near my car will roll their eyes in disgust wondering how I could be content listening to it over and over. I’m telling you, I love Christmas… I just don’t love it before it’s scheduled to arrive.

I want to ignore it, I want to look away and just enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday, but it’s virtually impossible when the stores fronts, drug stores and supermarkets are bursting with red and green just hours after Halloween has passed.

Maybe, in a society of consumerism, the problem is that there isn’t much to “market” by way of retailers for poor Thanksgiving.

  • Halloween = overpriced costumes
  • Valentine ’s Day = overpriced greeting cards and giant overpriced stuffed hearts with creepy adorning arms or 4 foot teddy bears (all of which you donate to toys-for-tots a few weeks later. I mean who has a place for a 4-foot bear?) 
  • Fourth of July/Memorial Day/Labor Day = we drop loads of money on red, white and blue EVERYTHING along with smuggling fireworks and all the dressings for a BBQ.

But Thanksgiving is really only about food and giving thanks. No trinkets to buy, gifts to wrap, costumes to wear or fireworks to set off.

Maybe this is where “Black Friday” came from?

Just maybe the big business’s realized there wasn’t any money to be made off of people getting together and being grateful for their blessings. There was nothing motivating these grateful people to buy/shop at Thanksgiving. So, instead of allowing society to take a moment and give thanks for the abundant blessings, retailers distract us with the ding of cash registers and signs luring us in to “BIGGEST SAVINGS OF THE YEAR.”

This should work. But, for someone like me who whole heartedly believes in the benefits of relaxing retail therapy and mindless trash magazines, you would think I would be on the Holiday-Pushing, Early-Christmas-Shopping, Black-Friday-Bandwagon. But I’m not… To be honest, I think all you Black Friday shoppers are crazy to be up that early and ballsy to face those massive crowds. I’ve never had the draw.

As I said last week, I HATE the pushing. I truly believe we all need to slow down and stop the rushing. I am a huge fan of taking things in stride, allowing the natural domino effect of life to take its course, including appreciating the beauty of each and every holiday—particularly Thanksgiving— since it’s one of the rare holidays that isn’t driven by consumerism; but is still rooted in the origins of being thankful for life’s real blessings.


 We are too busy to hold doors and say thank you. We don’t write out thank-you notes, instead we shoot an email with the subject line reading “Thanx.” There are many instances when we are more productive and less appreciative. We expect instant gratification and forget how lucky we are to get it.

Although, I think we should continue to participate in personal retail therapy sessions, during Thanksgiving, I think we should give the credit cards a break and FORGET about Christmas shopping for a moment—at the very least until Black Friday. Don’t worry Christmas is coming, but it’s not here yet! Before you surrender to full blown Christmas shopping madness, take a moment, and in the spirit of Thanksgiving… just be thankful.


We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. ~Thornton Wilder

I have strong doubts that the first Thanksgiving even remotely resembled the "history" I was told in second grade. But considering that (when it comes to holidays) mainstream America's traditions tend to be over-eating, shopping, or getting drunk, I suppose it's a miracle that the concept of giving thanks even surfaces at all. ~Ellen Orleans


Nov 5, 2010

Whether the Weather Whispers a Reminder

It was time. As long as I tried to put it off, as much as I pretended it wasn’t happening, as much as I hoped to ignore it… It was time.

This week, in Northeastern America, those of us holding tight to grips of summer had to let go. We were forced to do the dreaded “switch.” 
Packing up beloved sun dresses made of paper thin material that sways in the wind and replaced them with warm, fuzzy sweaters that will attempt to keep our body heat IN and the frigid cold OUT. We swapped open toed sandals for stark heavy boots. The last days of Indian summer ended and officially fall is here.

Every year at this time of year, I gripe about the change in season, temperature and weather, but this year I noticed something different. No I’m not talking global warming or anything like that, the difference I noticed this year was not environmental, it was perspective provided, through care of my 15-month-old nephew.

Isn’t it weird that we say months for the first few years of life, maybe it’s because babies are changing so much that we need to differentiate the exact age to mark the milestones of first step, first food, first dessert, first word etc. Years just aren’t exact enough.

Fall is like that too. Each day is so different that lumping all the spectacular changes into one seasonal category “Fall” just doesn’t seem accurate enough. There are …

  • End of Summer-Fall (commonly called Indian Summer),
  • Warm-Fall (where we still fake the appropriateness of flip-flops)
  • Cool-Fall (where we pretend a light jacket is appropriate but we are really freezing our ass off)
  • Blustery-Fall (thank you Winnie the Pooh, enough said) and finally
  • Oh-Shit-It's-Almost-Winter-Fall (which induces the seasonal “switch”) 
The variety is vast because of the temperature, but the variety is also visible in the aesthetics. The colors seem to pop, as if polished by the cool air and finally able to vibrantly show off their best assets. But you have to pay attention, because the colors and temperature changes quickly. Like trying to take a picture of a setting sun; each shot is different because every minute the sky is changing—the sun is sinking and the colors are reflecting differently.

The same is true of fall. Every day “outside” is different.

At this point in my life, I’ve lived through 25 “Falls”—well this being my 25th. So although I have a fair share of Fall experiences, it wasn’t until this year that I really took in the magic of the season. You see I’m a summer girl, so I never paid Fall much attention. Yet, all of a sudden, because of my 15 month old nephew I am seeing the beauty of the season in a whole new light.

It was a few weeks ago, when it was still “Newborn Fall” or Summer-Fall, and I took my nephew for a walk. I placed him in his stroller and bent down to buckle him in. As I did, a big gust of wind whipped by our faces and my nephew smiled as the wind danced across his face. I fastened his belt and he pointed up to the tree’s “Ohh,” he said. I followed the direction of his chubby little finger and noticed he was pointing at the tops of tree’s swaying in the wind.
“Tree’s” I said.
“See” he repeated and kept pointing
“Yes, I see the tree’s buddy…”
I went around to the back of the stroller and pushed him along to a park by his house. When we got to the park I freed him from the constraints of his stroller and put him down in the grass. He started walking, towards the swing-set (his favorite) when another big gust of wind whipped by. He turned and looked at me, and then pointed to the trees,

 “See,” he said.
I looked up at the tree’s bending with the wind and realized now that he wasn’t pointing at the tree’s at all, in fact he was pointing out the wind.

“Wind,” I said to him.
He looked at me and smiled, as if happy that I finally understood him. As we played and the wind blew I would stop him. “Listen Angelo,” I said as the wind whooshed by. He would stop in his tracks and stay still… letting it brush over him.

As people, it seems common practice to hear the wind, we even have a word for it’s sound. Cows say “Moo,” Pigs say “Oink”, and the Wind says, “Whoosh.” Even though I already knew how to identify wind, I never really noticed it anymore. I was too busy rushing to work, too busy getting to an appointment, attending a meeting or reaching a deadline. Too busy to hear it whispering it’s presence. I needed my nephew to reassure me of its wonderment.

In 2010, it is inherent to want to be productive and efficiently use the time we have. So we plan, we micro manage our lives with day-timers, Blackberry’s, planners, and calendars. We try to fill up every moment so that we can be productive in a fruitless attempt to do it all and be everything to everyone. All the while we are forgetting the little things.

I remember last year, at this exact time of year I felt such freedom being out of law school, but I also felt lost. I had no job, no direction, no prospects for a job, and the only thing that kept me going was to attend graduate classes two nights a week. Despite my most diligent, organized and best efforts to execute my plans, life had different plans in store for me.

So what’s the point of making a plan if we never really stick to it anyway? I guess we make them because they help us put our dreams into action. They provide us with to-do lists and schedules to follow that keep up on track. Yes, we know we will fall off track… that’s the whole point… but we have to do something, so we plan, we dream, we find something to work towards—even if it starts out as the wrong plan.

We do it because we can’t just sit around waiting for our lives to start and working toward what we think is right in that moment, is the only thing we know to do. But we have to be open to stopping in out tracks, taking an inventory of where we are, soak in the small moments and sometimes revaluate the plan.

You see, I thought that when you had a plan and you work hard, then things work out. They don’t fall into place. They end up the way they do, because you put the plan in motion. But when I stopped to reevaluate, I decided to pick the brains of some successful people whom I hoped to emulate,

"So, how did you end in your position?” Many would respond… “Ya know, I don’t know, it just kinda found me or it all fell into place I guess.”

This answer used to torque me. I never understood how things could just fall into place.

It wasn’t until recently that I realized, sometimes, we need to stop our plan and just let the wind blow us where we’re supposed to be.

Maybe this is why I’m so reluctant to let go of summer, because in the summer, every week I plan to go to the beach—and that’s it. I never know what I’ll do when I get there; I just plan to get there. Maybe that’s the secret… To plan a general idea and leave the rest open to adventure, opportunity and fate.

To stay up with the daily to-do lists, but leave time for error, relaxing, adventure. Leave time to stop and notice the small stuff, like the sounds and feel of the wind. Allow yourself to move with the changing breeze of life. Be open to new opportunity and when fate comes knocking at your door—open it, if it doesn’t go according to your original silly plan, another breeze will blow.

We only live once, so we have to make the most of it and we have to soak up as much as we can of it. The ever-changing seasons remind us of this. The seasons...and my innocent little nephew, who is wise enough to notice the power, pleasure and purpose of the wind blowing around us…


Life and weather are both unpredictable—the twists and turns are endless and you’re never really quite ready for them. They don’t ever fit in our original plan; in fact they throw a wrench in it. So ditch the rigid plan. Make one so you have some motivation but stop to see/feel the wind and when you do, let it blow you in whatever direction it pleases.


“I don't mind the wait, it's fine, as long as you know, it's the wait that could be the something…So, Let the wind blow us to wherever it says we are supposed to go.” ~ Joshua Radin

Oct 29, 2010

Once a year…Tricks, Treats and Slut-ification

Pumpkins, candy, ghosts goblins, ghouls and witches. Halloween is on Sunday—but the most defining characteristic of course is Trick-or Treating. It is when children dress up in a costume and go door-to-door filling bags and pillowcases with chocolates and candies.

Normally, as per the political correct gender roles, it seems that only girls continue to play dress up past Kindergarten. Sure little boys have that “stage” around 3 years old where they refuse to take off their Batman or Superman costume, but once they hit first grade that routine is over.

Yet, Halloween seems to be the exception, so much that parents are spending tons of money on costumes encouraging their children to strut though the neighborhood. It’s something that we American’s are accustomed to. We grew up doing it and we don’t think twice about it

Historically, it is claimed that Trick-or-Treating resembles the late medieval practice of souling, when poor people would go door to door on Hallowmas (November 1), to beg for food from the wealthy in exchange for prayers for the dead on All Souls Day (November 2). Maybe back then prayers from the poor were more effective than from the wealthy… who knows?

The point is that this modern practice of trick or treating does resemble this “souling” business, but it doesn’t seem to fit modern day ideals. In 2010, a time when you’re not supposed to talk to strangers or trust anyone you don’t know, it seems odds that kids are still going door to door.

Despite the oddities, they do it. The kids come out in droves dragging their bucket or bag around to fill it up with as much candy as they can carry, from anyone and everyone willing to contribute to their self induced sugar coma. I doubt these kids will be praying for any of the people giving those goodies, (all historic roots are left behind) instead, today we adults just get good-old satisfaction for continuing a tradition.

Doesn’t it make you feel good to spend $6 on a half-full bag of candy just to give it all away to some bratty kid who forgets to say thank you? Real feel good stuff…RIGHT?

Well when we put it like that….

I’m just kidding… kind of… (Although the lack of manners in today’s society will be in an upcoming blog called “Bring out the paddles, chivalry’s not dead yet!”)

Anyhow, all other 364 days of the year we try to teach our children to be cautious, beware of strangers. The textbook example is don’t take candy from someone you don’t know, but on Halloween, all bets are off. On Halloween, we make an exception and practice indulgence.

Indulgence, this seems to be a logical explanation for why we find it normal for children to dress up like silly characters and roam the neighborhoods collecting candy from strangers. Children indulge in make believe and fantasy when they dress up and indulge in gluttony as they tear through the bag of candy.

Lets then apply the “no rules… just indulgence” theory to adults, us 20somethings. For us, Halloween is all about partying, and specifically for women, it tends to be about the slutty costume. It’s true… The radio calls it “the one day a year where women are allowed and encouraged to be slutty.”

Now I would like to get on my high horse and say that I have NEVER partaken in these slutty festivities, that women are equal and should not have to degrade themselves by dressing a certain way, yadda, yadda, yadda. Although that is all true, if you’re my friend on facebook, and you click back through the years, I’m guilty as Halloween slutty-charged.

It’s a societal pressure, as we women get older, we leave the cute and fun costumes behind and we move on and progress to the “adult” aisle of the Halloween store. Now, it’s truly nothing like an adult bookstore or movie store, however, it’s definitely not a place where you find a costume to be the girly green M& M or Tinkerbelle.

I recently was finishing an assignment for a magazine I freelance for and was sitting at my kitchen table typing away on my laptop when my sister and her fiancé came barreling through the front door. My sister’s fiancé had a picture in his hand.

“Check this out,” he said, while handing me the paper. It was a picture of a man in a brown costume with angel wings and a halo.

“I don’t get it…” I say staring at the sad looking angel costume. Do you want to be a chocolate fairy or something?

“No.” he laughed. “Look again, the costume is called “Holy Shit!” Pam doesn’t think I should spend the $60 on it, but don’t you think it’s hilarious?”

I couldn’t help but burst out laughing. It really was ridiculous and hilarious. Truth be told, I was relived he wasn’t trying to be some chocolate fairy from the Candy Land game.

In reflection though, it doesn’t seem fair that guys get the trick part of Halloween, the funny/joking aspect. They get the “trick” and we ladies are stuck with the “treat.” I use the term STUCK because in costume/clothing terms, this means that while the guys bask in the silliness and fun of the holiday; we concede to the “one day a year rule”.

We ladies, head down the “adult” aisle to find the most flattering, microscopic, slutter-ific costume we can get our hands on. We are the “treat” because these costumes make us the eye candy of Halloween.

As I said before, I followed suit and did my dutiful march down that aisle. My father had cringed as he looked at my newly purchased costume hanging in the cheap plastic bag. Despite his look of horror, I wore it out on Halloween anyway—hey it was “the one day a year.”

During one of my slutty years I was Little Red Riding Hood, and I distinctly remember some drunken guy who approached me, spilled some of his beer on my skirt because of his inability to stand still and while swaying, slurred, “Can I be your wolf?” So maybe, at 25 we remember the feeling of disgust as we attempt to dodge the cheesy costume pick-up lines.

Maybe by 25, we had our few years of indulging in the freedom of anything-goes-Halloween-sluttyness and we remember why it only happened once a year—because being oogled by drunks at a house party or bar isn’t really that fun anyway. Maybe we realize that we’d rather spend $60 to $100 on a nice pair of high heels rather than some microscopic costume that we will inevitably freeze our ass off in and end up in the trash anyway.

At 25, I’ll admit that my drive to fulfill the slutty Halloween duty is over. Been there, done that, don’t want to do it again. Maybe by mid twenties, we acknowledge that it’s the end of October and you can only bypass the temperature for so many years. Maybe we are just old enough to understand the fine line between classy and trashy—and we know that classy will get us much further. Maybe it’s a combination of all of these.

So, if this year you find yourself feeling like you just don’t want to participate in the annual Halloween Slutification, then don’t. If you haven’t done it yet, then for “life experience sake,” I think everyone should partake in the skank festivities once—just to see what all the hype is about. Trust me, you’ll quickly realize you’re not missing out on anything, because it really is just hype and you really will be freezing your ass off!


I guess feeling this way, is an indicator that I’m getting old, but thank goodness… Nobody wants to be the old head still clinging tight to the slut card. Truth is, when you really think about it, the herd of children marching though the neighborhood dressed up in costumes is just as weird as the herd of slutty-look alikes marching through the bars… But at least the kids are leaving with candy… they definitely have the better deal.


Halloween was confusing. All my life my parents said, "Never take candy from strangers." And then they dressed me up and said, "Go beg for it." -Rita Rudner

“I'll bet living in a nudist colony takes all the fun out of Halloween!” - Anonymous

Oct 15, 2010

My Oh Miners…. Thanks For The Reminder

When the entire world tunes in to watch the same news on television, their computers, and even cell phones, it almost always means a tragedy. That something catastrophic has happened… like a terrorist attack, 9/11, The Haiti Earthquake, a volcano eruption, hurricane damage, wars or bombing. We all sit wide-eyed in front of the screens silenced with disbelief as our eyes watch the unthinkable unfold.

This week however, was different. This week the world watched as the exception to the rule occurred. This week people across the country and around the world watched in relief and disbelief as 33 miners were pulled from ½ a mile underground where they were trapped for 69 days. Each and every one of them was successfully pulled to the surface and saved.

In a time where the slumped economy, debt, unemployment, terrorism, war and depression plagues our daily headlines; and we are so used to expecting the worst, watching this rescue unfold seemed surreal. As it streamed lives across the screens of our television, laptops, ipads and cell phones… it was so refreshing it seemed magical.

All odds were against these 33 men, statistically and logically things were not in their favor, yet, they survived anyway.

Over the past 2 days, I have heard people saying “that is stuff movies are made of” and I laugh to myself thinking that 10 years down the road, when Hollywood undoubtedly makes a movie about this event, our children will look up at us and ask,

“Did that really happen? Did they all really make it? ”
And they probably won’t believe us when we nod in positive reassurance. They will ponder in disbelief because what happened this week is only truly believable when seen with your own eyes.

If it were a movie we would mock the ending as cheesy, predictable, sing-songy. And as critics exited the theatre they would whisper to each other, 

“They all can’t make it out, that’s so cliché.”
So this week, as the world held their breath waiting for all 33 men to surface, it was comforting to know that those “movie moments”— when hope defies logic and life defeats death— really do exist.

As the footage streamed through my TV I didn’t watch the red ticker tape that ran across the bottom of CNN giving me other updates. I didn’t listen to the reporter commentating on the size of the capsule, the age of each man or how long each had been a miner.

Instead, I tuned all of that out, and found myself all consumed with the survivor’s faces.

I watched as each man shielded his face from the bright lights, squinting their eyes as the sunlight drenched their face. I watched as they got their bearings and the medics on site removed the medical monitoring devices. Each man seems overwhelmed, but also stoic. They did not come out of the capsule cheering, clapping or overly excited. In fact, their initial reaction was quite anti-climatic… that is until they made eye contact with a loved one. This was my favorite part.

Even though these men were armed with dark sunglasses, it was as if you could pinpoint the moment their eyes adjusted to the sun and fell onto a familiar face. In that millisecond, the stoic exterior melted away and the corners of their mouths turned up into a small smile. What they did next is what surprised me.

They didn’t run to their loved ones right away. It was not at all like a scene plucked from a romantic movie where the two lovers run full blast at one another. Instead, almost all of the men stood still for just a moment, before they closed the gap between themselves and their loved one. It was as if their lack of movement allowed them to really soak their loved one in before they embraced.

When they finally did reach one another there was no passionate kiss between husbands and wives or girlfriends and boyfriends. Instead the initial reaction was a hug. Not just a quick embrace but a real good hug. One where you completely fill your arms up with that other person and really just hang on for a moment.

They all hugged their loved ones like this, their wives, girlfriends, children, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, and friends. The news is calling it the “hugs felt around the world” and I have to agree to this hallmark-coined phrase, because it’s true.

The 9th man to be pulled up, and oldest of the group, Mario Gomez 63 years old, immediately upon surfacing acted slightly different than the rest. Instead of staying still, he dropped to the ground in prayer before he embraced his wife. I don’t think he did this to make a religious statement or stance. Instead, because we have the gift, the luxury of watching, this man inadvertently shared a personal moment with the world.

I don’t know one any of the 33 miners. I don’t have a friend whose former neighbors co-worker married one of those men. They are not in any way associated with me, yet when I watched them finally get to hug their loved ones or drop to their knees thanking something greater than themselves that they survived, I couldn’t help but feel moved and emotionally overwhelmed.

It’s moments like that when you can watch tears of joy fall from someone’s eyes and you can’t help but be moved. You know, tears of joy don’t’ make a cameo appearance very often? They are reserved for moments, when we are truly in awe of life. This week was one of those moments and we don’t realize how lucky we are to be able to watch and be a part of it.

As much as I rag on technology for acting as an isolator, deconstructing social skills and human interaction, this week I was thankful for globalization and all the gadgets that allowed me to witness the rescue.

Luis Urzua, the 55 year old foreman and last man to be lifted to safety, more than 22 hours after the rescue efforts was quoted saying this…

“We had the courage and the spirit to fight, to fight for our lives and our families and that is what is most magnificent.”
Luis is right. What is most significant is the ability to hold tight to hope; a hope to have another chance to soak in and see the people that matter the most to you. That’s what it’s really all about isn’t it? I ’m thankful these 33 men reminded us of that.


In 2010, with packed schedules, the drive to multi-task and over- achieve, to stay current on paying bills, to stay up on responsibilities and to make our daily failed attempts to “do it all,” we need a little perspective. We need to be reminded to NOT allow ourselves to be all consumed with the messy-ness of life and instead remember what really matters. The people… So next time you see a loved one, take a moment and soak them in.


“To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else” Emily Dickinson

Aug 27, 2010

“Seeing the Good” just might screw you

This week, People magazine featured Elin Nordegren (Tiger Wood’s Ex-Wife) as its cover story. It is the first time she has spoken out since the ordeal of her husband publically slutting himself around with umpteen women behind her back. Her personal marital problem is only a feature story because her husband is the highest paid athlete in the world and his list of indiscretions became public.

At the core, it’s just a run-of-the mill story of a slime-ball and his and laundry list of infidelities. To me this isn’t really “breaking news,” but as I paged through the article I noticed a quote Elin gave which People Magazine highlighted in a sidebar. This quote caught my attention. Elin says….

“I always believe the best of people, and when you do that, you’re going to be really screwed sometimes.”

I loved this quote, it’s raw and honest, but most of all, it’s true.

We find ourselves reciting the homage “See the good in people,” but what we forget is that sometimes...even when we see the good... people suck and that strategy gets us screwed.

I applaud Elin for her reminding the world of this. Mostly though, I thank her for reminding all women of this.

I wish I would have been told this when I started dating. At 15, after I had my first date; I.E, Going to the movies with a boy, without 10 other people (girls do travel in packs). I remember stealing the book “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” off of my mom’s bookshelf. For some reason I thought that now that I went on a date, I needed to read this book. As if it housed a secret or would explain to me some unspoken rules of the dating world.

Unfortunately, at 15 years old, that book didn’t really provide me with too much information. I remember I stopped reading when the author was explaining “The Man Cave” and the “Rubber Band Theory.” Definitely over my head as a tween.

Ten years later, as I have grown oh so “wise,” since 15 ;) I have heard some shorter explanations about the differences in men and women regarding dating. No longer are we from different planets, but now we have different brains. Hmmm…

It’s often said that men are concrete thinkers. They see the world in black and white. To men something IS, or it IS NOT. Women on the other hand are over-analyzing. Women look INTO things more often than they look AT them. To women something COULD BE or something MAY NOT be.

Elin’s article motivated me to revisit the socially acceptable explanations for the differences between men, women and relationships. Another common adage for dating is this…

Women go into a relationship hoping things will change, while men go into a relationship hoping nothing will ever change.

I don’t know if I completely agree with this one (It is a generalization, which usually pisses people off, but let’s go with it.)

Let’s look at it like this… Women go into a relationship seeing the potential that this man has and hopes that he will reach it. Like seeing a diamond in the rough, so to speak. While a man goes into a relationship because he genuinely likes the women for what she is, not who she could be, and hopes she stays the same.

I feel like that may happen more often than not. That women, “hope for the best” and men already see her for her best. Is this because the man is a concrete thinker from Mars? Maybe, or maybe men just make less of a mess by honestly seeing things and people for what they truly are.

As much as I would like to blame the men for not living up to some potential, they didn’t know we set for them, (notice the sarcasm) the real problem is, us ladies. The problem is that sometimes “Seeing the good in people” backfires. Sometimes, as Elin would say, it leaves us screwed.

So we are faulted for being hopeful? No, that’s not what I’m saying; I guess the bottom line is that we need to set boundaries with ourselves on the extent of “seeing good in people.” I also think it may be safe to say that we should not be going into a relationship hoping a man reaches the potential or goals we set for him.

Truth is, no matter how flowery we word it, if we’re hoping he changes and if we go into a relationship with that hope… well, at this point, we know that we’ve set ourselves up for disappointment. We’re 20something here; we’ve all seen that fail at least a time or two.

We need to “reel in” the “See the good,” it should be an application to things that also involve looking on the bright side, like why you’re stuck in traffic, or missed an appointment, or why you grind your teeth and bear with an annoying co-worker. That’s when we should be applying the “see the good” homage. Not to romantic relationships.

I think there is a time and place for the positive affirmations. “Dance like no one’s watching,” “Live Laugh Love,” “Believe” etc. etc. etc… Truth is, life is hard and the world can be cold and we need those sayings to warm our hearts and keep us chugging along.

Fair enough right?

But let’s not forget the reality of the situation. The reality is this; we should “See the Good” 50% of the time and remember that the other 50% “People Sometimes Suck.”

The trick is to have a healthy balance on these factors of the reality; when to see the good and when to concede that people sometimes suck.

Sadly, no book about planets or quotes about brains can whisper us the answer. Instead, we practice trial and error with our personal attempts at balance.

But just as “People Sometimes Suck” can leave us jaded, well, “See the Good” may force us to stay naïve to the truth. Sometimes “See the Good” forces us to put blinders on our gut instincts and that’s never a good thing.

This I do know, seeing the good may backfire, but following your gut never does. Regardless of how many affirmations you say and how much good you see in people, if your gut tells you that you’re getting screwed, you probably are... and if you have the proverbial blinders on, there may not be anyone to blame but yourself.


No matter how smart, nice, pretty, successful or kind you may be. Even if you’re beautiful and married to the world’s richest athlete, the laws of balance still apply and sometimes people do suck. So always remember that, and, use Elin’s words of wisdom, just as we use those motivating affirmations to arm yourself against that harsh realities of the all too “real world.”

Oh, also, if you find yourself in a relationship hoping that someday this man will change, someday he will reach his potential and then you’ll be happy in the relationship…well ladies… the harsh reality is that in that scenario, YOU Suck. I’m sorry, I had to say it, but sometimes, the truth hurts.

So if that’s you, REEL IT IN and date people who you actually like, not someone you’re motivating/pressuring/waiting to change. Date someone who you just plain like in that moment in time, you know, like guys do. I think it really does make things less of a mess in the long run. Ya know?


“Don't spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door.” ~Coco-Chanel

“The basic discovery about any people is the discovery of the relationship between men and women” ~Pearl Buck

“Sometimes I wonder if men and women really suit each other. Perhaps they should live next door and just visit now and then.” ~Katherine Hepburn

Aug 6, 2010

Fearless? No Fear-More

My nephew turned one last week; my brother and sister-in-law taught him how to say “UN” so it sounds like one. It’s adorable! It’s also unbelievable that in just a year’s time he is already starting to walk and talk. Last year we hadn’t even met him and now his bubbly little personality rules the roost in our family.

At his first birthday party, I looked at him surrounded by Mickey Mouse balloons, noisemakers, streamers, figurines and even a Club House Mickey Cake and I couldn’t help but be in awe of him. It truly gave me perspective on how vastly things can change in a year’s time.

I remember last year around that time tapping my foot in the Charles De Gaul Airport in Paris, France waiting to board our plane. I am always nervous about flying, but this flight was unusually nerve racking. My sister-in-law was due to have the baby any day and we were still on vacation. My sister Pam called home to tell my family we were boarding the plane and to get a baby-status update.

As she hung up the phone her face looked relieved.

“They went to the hospital last night, but it was false labor. Their home now, no baby yet!”

My sister, mom and I had planned our trip to Paris months in advance not thinking that the due date and our vacation would coincide. (Not that there was anything we could have done had we been home, but we just didn’t want to miss being there the day he was born.)

Luckily, my little nephew waited for us, he arrived just three days after we landed in the Philadelphia airport and he changed our family forever. In fact, change seemed to be the theme of last summer. Three weeks after his birth, I received my acceptance to graduate school and officially withdrew from law school. It was a lot of change at one time. We had a new addition to our family and I was getting ready to head down a new path.

When I think about just one year ago, my whole life was different. Last year my life was filled with stress, uncertainty, unhappiness and fear. But as I think back, I am grateful for the fear. The fear is what turned everything around though.

Now, I’m not talking Freddy Krueger-Halloween- horror movie fear, I’m talking about the good kind. Good kind? You ask…maybe that was a typo? Nope, I’m talking about the fear that settles into the pit of your stomach and makes you feel antsy inside. The kind that makes you second guess yourself and rethink your decisions. It all sounds “bad” and not “good” but stay with me…

My theory is that without that pit-of-your-stomach-fear we would never develop the gumption to try new things and accomplish great successes. Luckily, the thing about fear is it usually doesn’t stick around for too long. While we are 20something it sometimes feels as if fear is a constant because we have so many new choices thrown at us all at once. Our decisions about schools, career, relationships and overall purpose have lasting effects on our lives and the fear of making those choices can be overwhelming.

So with all of this closing in on us at one time, it feels like fear could be unvarying. But we should find comfort in knowing that fear is actually a fading feeling and once faced head on, can be conquered.

Doubt, Guilt, Sadness…. now those have sticking power…. but fear is really all bark and no bite.

Think of it this way, without fear we wouldn’t take that first step into the unknown and we sure as hell wouldn’t appreciate how far we have come once we get there. It’s the fear that makes it good.

When I studied abroad in Italy I went cliff diving. I remember climbing all the way to the top and looking down into the aqua blue water of the Mediterranean Sea. I took in a deep breath of the salty air and looked down, only to think…

“What the hell am I doing? This cliff is high, only an idiot would jump off this.”

Some call this a rational thought, (it partially was, okay probably more than partially) but some aspect of that thought was also motivated by fear. Yes, fear for my life (I was on a cliff in a foreign country) but it was also fear of a risk.

I would like to tell you that I was practical/rational/responsible and snapped a couple pictures before making a safe descent down the cliff, however I was only 19 years old and practicality didn’t really fit into my five months abroad. Instead, I took a few steps back to get a running start and I jumped.

I was sacred, but I did it anyway. I pushed the fear back to wherever it came from and leaped. As soon as I hit that water and swam to the surface I looked up at that cliff and felt a feeling of accomplishment. A satisfaction that, yes, I survived, but also that I was ballsy enough to jump. I think I told everyone on the beach that day that I jumped from the top of that cliff.

That’s the “good” fear. The fear that challenges you and without the challenge, there would be no reward. Without the fear there wouldn’t be the sense of accomplishment at the end. It is one of the strongest catalysts in life.

I know that my sister-in-law felt fear as she pulled up to the hospital a year ago to have a baby. I know that I felt fear when I signed the “Official” paperwork to withdraw from law school. I can even see the fear that drives my precious little nephew as he steadies himself on his feet and grips onto the nearest table or chair while he gets his balance. His face grows serious with a look of determination as he lets his hands fall to his side and he stands on his own, and then a rush of excitement crosses his face as he begins to take quick tiny steps forward in his wobbly attempt to walk.

Determination, Fear, Courage and Accomplishment. (In that order)

So even though we are all scared to let go of the comfort and stability, we continue to conquer fear and in essence take on new challenges. We do it because sometimes we have to, or we need to, or we want to. We do it because fear is what adds the spice and excitement to life. It is the motivator that pushes us to take a minute, evaluate, and gather the guts to go forward, head up, putting one foot in front of the other and take that crazy leap.

So as we stand at the brink of something new… a new relationship, a new job, a new path or endeavor, don’t let fear deter you. Just soak it in for a minute and remind yourself that those butterflies, in the pit of your stomach, are there because you’re pushing yourself and doing something new and exciting; changing direction, changing your life and at the very least making great memories.


It isn’t until we feel fear and decide to move beyond it that we can really comprehend the stuff we’re made of and get a real taste for life. We have the rest of our lives to be settled, comfortable, and predictable. So be happy when you feel that pit-of-your-stomach fear because it means you’re standing on the edge of something new!

When that “good fear” happens things are supposed to be scary, things are supposed to change and things are supposed to be exciting. So take a step back, get a running start, don’t punk out, be courageous and take the leap. That’s what being 20something is all about.


“The only constant thing in life is change…”-Unknown
"Do one thing everyday that scares you" -Eleanor Roosevelt

Jul 23, 2010

Let’s Talk About Sex Baby!

I love to read and a few weeks ago a friend of mine gave me a bag of books to look through.

“I read them all, so you can keep what you want,” she said.

Honestly, it was like Christmas morning! The start of the summer and a whole new bag of books to read. I could hear the beach calling my name. Among the mystery murder novels and cheesy romance books was one by comedian Steve Harvey called “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man.” I laughed out loud at the title and began to page through the book. It looked like an “easy-read” so I started scanning the chapters.

The book started out with “What Drives Men” a section where Harvey explains, first things first… immediately upon meeting women, almost all men, are plotting on how to get in your pants! “They can’t help it,” he says, because they naturally think about sex way too many times in one day.

Now, I’m usually cautious to make generalizations about gender… that stuff pisses people off. But, as you can imagine, I was intrigued and kept reading. Another section that jumped out at me was called “The 90 Day Rule,” where he compares sex in relationships to medical benefits. This is what spurred this blog…

You see, I started a new job in May and it wasn’t until July that I became privy to the paperwork of the oh-so coveted medical benefits. That first month and a half was the probationary period. The time frame where the company takes time to figure out if I’m a good fit for them. They aren’t going to extend me the ultimate benefits of the job until they are sure I’m the right person for the job.

Steve Harvey says that we women should practice the "90 Day Rule." Hold off on the “benefits” and make sure they are the right person. While all you men reading this are groaning at this suggestion, let’s face it, it’s an interesting and logical concept.

You see, people always get jumpy when you talk about S-E-X. Its private, its personal and so it’s best to shhhh and keep it to ourselves. Right? WRONG! I think that this topic is something that should be talked about whether you’re having “it” or not, especially for our 20something generation.

Now I’m not talking any intimate details here. I’m not one to kiss and tell, so keep all that stuff to yourselves. (Sorry if this disappoints you). What I think needs to be talked is the answer to that age old question, “When do we have ‘it’?”

Any girl who has asked this question to a friend, sister, parent, cousin, aunt or co-worker (after the shpeal on babies, responsibility and safety) get’s the same cryptic answer “When you’re ready.”

This is where the confusion comes in! The “READY” feeling is the piece of the puzzle that is easily swayed, even in our 20something years.

A very good friend of mine, whom I hope is not upset that I’m using this story in a blog, (remember this is for a greater good), met someone who she believed was a “great guy.” They exchanged numbers, talked for a while and he asked her to “hang out” one night at his place to watch a movie. It was date #1, she went over and they ignored whatever was happening on the television screen. One thing quickly lead to another and she slept with him on the first date. Whoops!

Okay so not the ideal romantic situation, but there are no rules to dating. Unfortunately, the “dating” only lasted four more encounters. After that night he called her again later that week and they had a repeat performance. I think dinner may have been involved in date #2, but I don’t recall. Anyhow, after the 3rd date he stopped calling her completely.

This is when she started calling me! “Do you think it was too soon?” “Should I call him?” yadda, yadda, yadda. You know that stream of questions that your friends sound off when they are in a quasi-desperate frantic state. *Side note, its usually best to listen and try you’re hardest not to judge… people don’t like to be kicked when their down.

Anyhow I suggested that if it would make her feel better, she could try calling him. She text him instead, (not anything that was “stage 5 clinger” status), but just made some effort to reach out to him. He ignored her text. Her frantic state returned and so did all the calls to my cell phone where she proceeded to question herself and her choices.

After about a month of this, right when she was starting to get over it… he called her and asked her to go out. Sometimes I swear you men have a supersonic sense, you can feel it in the air when we are about to be officially over you and you swoop back in. That’s what this guy did anyway. He gave her some bullshit line about him being busy with work, yadda yadda yadda.

Now my friend is a smart cookie, so she didn’t believe for an entire month he was too busy to respond to a text. (DUH) What did he think she was an idiot?

Well he probably didn’t think that, but he knew minimal effort with a minimal excuse would work. Why wouldn’t it? It’s the only effort he’s put into their “relationship” thus far and she’s accepted it before. Case-in-point… he was right and against my best “you can do better” pep talk, she agreed to meet him for dinner anyway.

She called me the following week crying. She informed me that after that dinner—date #4—she had sex with him again and he stayed the night at her apartment. Now, it had been a week and he hasn’t called.

Well, I hate to say that my friend was a booty call… That word is so unorthodox and crass. We’re not 18 anymore. We are 20somethings, sophisticated (so we think) mature (so we think) and way too old to be throwing around phrases like that… but if the shoe fits right? *Side note if you think that maybe you’re friend is “The Booty Call” tread lightly when breaking this news!

I gently asked my friend why she decided to sleep with him again, knowing that he was being so flaky before.
She claimed, 

“I don’t know, I just thought… {long pause}” she said nothing.

Now, I didn’t want to scold her, I’m not her mother or a relationship authority (that’s for damn sure) so I sat quiet and waited for her to continue.

“Well I don’t’ care, it’s not the sex that matters, I don’t regret it, I have needs too,” she said in the most convincing tone she could conjure up.

Maybe my friend has watched too many Sex and the City episodes, but her Samatha-esk no-strings-attached attitude didn’t fool me for a second. I truly believe that my friend was trying to convince herself that her decision was okay, even though she herself was not okay with it. She’s trying to be casual when she was seriously hurting.

I am not going to try and put a timeline on WHEN it’s “okay” to have sex in a relationship. But this I do know—brace yourselves now… I’m going to follow Steve Harvey’s lead and make a generalization here, which almost always pisses people off, but here goes anyway…

  • Women TEND to equate sex with love, commitment and attachment. Whereas, Men TEND to equate sex with sex. (For men sometimes it’s possibly will be more; commitment, attachment, companionship, but I don’t believe they are thinking about their relationship status as they are removing their clothing.)

So, maybe my friend can have sex and have it be just sex. But I saw how hurt she was. I saw the sadness in her eyes and heard the heaviness of her tone. She was extremely disappointed, discouraged, let down and rejected. I acknowledge that she may have felt this way, sex or not, but I can’t help but wonder… Was her “ready feeling” to go ahead and have sex with him a desperate attempt to push the relationship along? Give him what he wants (SEX), so she can get what she wants (RELATIONSHIP)?

I think my friend tried to cover-up her feelings of attachment by saying she didn’t care, but she did. She said she didn’t want strings attached, or a commitment, and yet she moped around her apartment after he failed to contact her.

So the next question presents itself—Why do we women feel like we have to pretend that we are “okay” with a casual relationship, if we’re not? More importantly why are women consenting to having sex when really they are only using sex to convince the man they should be in relationship?

This I do know. I f a man is not ready to be in a relationship, then that’s that! There is no swaying or convincing. They are not ready, end of story.

If a guy tells you this up front, appreciate his honesty, because he's a rare gem ladies! Sadly though, most guys will not tell you this. Not because they are bad people, but because they are not thinking long term relationship or bringing you home to meet their mom during sex… Believe it or not, during sex, they are thinking about one thing… S-E-X!

Hey, I’m not Dr. Phil… but I believe that women should stop trying to pretend they are “okay” with casual sex if they’re not. Newsflash…if you’re going to be attached, disappointed or feel rejected afterward… you’re NOT CAUSAL, so stop pretending! You’re not fooling anyone—Not even yourself.

Finally, instead of looking to use sex as a catalyst for a relationship, try being honest with yourself and evaluating why you make the choices you do. If you’re casual and you just want to be casual—then that’s your business. But don’t try to “trick” guys into a relationship by giving them the benefits right away and then expecting a commitment.

Sorry to break it to you, but guys are too smart for that! Plus, I think it takes guys much longer to get attached… and I really don’t think one great night will do it.

Besides, I don’t think there should be any swaying or tricking in a relationship. If you feel like you need to use sex to push things along… stop pushing. Do you really want to be with someone you have to “convince”? That is not the stuff romance is made of!


It is common knowledge that when a man asks a woman out on a date, no matter how much that date costs, the women does NOT owe him anything in respect to sex. It’s just dinner and a movie for goodness sake! So why is it so hard for people to comprehend that sex does NOT equal a relationship? Women don’t owe sex after a date and Men don’t owe a relationship after sex either! So tread lightly.

Hey, maybe try out the probationary period idea and stop giving it up right away! Most respectable jobs make you wait for health care benefits… So if you want to remain respectable in his eyes…try waiting it out, give it time, decide if you even like each other enough to invest.


“Love is the answer, but while you are waiting for the answer, sex raises some pretty good questions”-Woody Allen

Lust is easy. Love is hard. Like is most important. -Carl Reiner

Jul 16, 2010

The Price of Freedom & Wicked Loneliness

Last week I blogged about freedom and independence…but I left something out. I left out a very important aspect; one that we usually try to ignore when thinking about the exhilarating benefits of freedom and independence; one that doesn’t have a place in a flowery reflection. It’s the dark reality that hides on the sidelines.

What I left out was considering, the price, we pay for freedom and independence. 
Everything has a price and at this point in life, we know that. A ying and a yang, a give and a take. It can’t all be great because we would never appreciate it and it can’t all be terrible because we would never yearn to attain it. Instead, the truth is that we have to give something up to gain something. (I hate that part sometimes.)

All of us in our 20soemthing years are yearning for independence on some level. Almost all of us are working toward it. Intellectual independence is why we sit through college classes to gain knowledge, because whether we like to admit it or not, that cheesy slogan “knowledge is power” has some truth to it. Or maybe you’re working your butt off at a job because you want financial independence. The days of asking Mom and Dad for money ended a long time ago and we want to be able to get out there in the world and do for ourselves.

Sounds great right? But, then I have to go and rain all over the parade and bring in that pesky “price” idea again. To gain freedom we have to take risks, big risks, expensive risks, the what-the-hell-were-we-thinking risks.

A very dear friend of mine recently took one of those risks. She was offered a job in a different state. The job required her to move. She had no qualms about this. She lived away in college; she studied abroad halfway around the world (literally, in Australia). Two hours from home was nothing. She was adaptable and confident. So, she took the job.

She got her OWN apartment—No college roommates to slop the place up. No roommate’s boyfriend staying for free and mooching off all her food. No nagging parents, or annoying siblings. This place was in her name and it was hers.

So, she moved in and enjoyed the quiet… Well at least in the beginning. But before long, the silence was overwhelming, thundering. She quickly realized that YES, she was independent and free, but the price for that was that she was also lonely. No matter how confident, secure and independent you think you are… NONE of us are immune to the feeling of loneliness.

I, personally, think one of the highest prices of freedom is loneliness. Being LONELY, just typing that word makes me feel like I’m whining. No one likes to admit it. I hate it, but it’s true. They say, stand up for what you believe in, even if you’re standing alone. “They” (whoever they are) weren’t kidding. When were 20something, we’re all striving to find that place and find what it is we’re supposed to be standing up for and when we get the gumption to stand up, sometimes we find that we really are standing alone.

Sometimes that feeling of loneliness can be overwhelming! It can engulf our mood and be a catalyst for a whoa-is-me pity party that we all tend to throw occasionally for ourselves.

But isn’t that what we want? Isn’t “being on our own” the goal?

Well yes, but we didn’t want to feel ALONE while we’re out enjoying being independent and free. We fought for our intellectual, financial and personal independence… so why are we whining about it?

I’ll tell you, because while we forged forward we forget the price and the bottom line… loneliness SUCKS! So when that feeling hit us, do we sit down? Do we retreat home, back to the comfort zone?

HELL NO! We work thorough it and we keep going forward.

My parents got me tickets to see the Broadway Musical “Wicked” for my 25th birthday. As a child, “The Wizard of Oz” was my all-time favorite movie. I watched it so many times I wore the VHS out. (I know the youngins today will never understand the true magnitude of that statement, because they never watched tapes, they only understand DVR or DVD, but for us 20soemthings and above, I know you can appreciate that)

I loved that movie. (I also attribute my fear of thunderstorms and tornados to that movie.) Anyhow, to see “Wicked” for my birthday was amazing. I sat wide-eyed in the theatre soaking in every moment.

Wicked explained a lot of the “why” questions that arose for me as a child while watching the Wizard of Oz. Why is the witch so mean, why is the lion a coward, why is the scarecrow a fool? Ya know all that stuff. It explained the back-story of the characters and the “price” they paid to get to where they are.

There is a breaking point for the Wicked Witch, (who P.S is NOT so wicked) and she decides to take the road less traveled. In this scene, her character is depicted as a 20something and I thought the lyrics were very apropos.

“Too late for second-guessing, too late to go back to sleep, it's time to trust my instincts, close my eyes: and leap…and if I'm flying solo, at least I'm flying free…”

I loved those lyrics. I ran out and bought the soundtrack at intermission (which was insanely overpriced and I could have bought on eBay for ½ the price.) However, I bought it because that song spoke to our generation and where we are in our lives. It leaves out any visions of grandeur of yellow brick roads and gets right to the truth- that…there comes a point when we break away, from family, friends, old habits, old routines and stand on the brink of our lives and are faced with a decision—we either leap or not.

Before we take the plunge, we think about the price, we think about the ramifications of our actions.
  • Could we fail?
  • Could we get our hearts broken?
  • Can we get our spirit broken?
  • Will we lose faith in our dreams, or worse, ourselves?
  • Will we lose touch with friends or an old love?
  • Will we regret it?
  • Will we end up alone?

We run a million questions through our head, we think about the price of freedom and independence, the things we have been avoiding while we worked to get to this point. But now we’re here on the edge, so what do you do? Run back to what you know or close your eyes and leap?

We have survived high school, in some cases college and now we are adults. We have made tons of mistakes at this point in our lives. But from mistakes comes wisdom and experience. We have to mess up to keep figuring it all out. But, the only way to move forward is to close your eyes and leap onto the next.

Leave the questions, the past mistakes and the doubts behind. Hold onto the reality that it won’t be all rainbows and sunshine. That sometimes… you’re flying solo, fighting off the feeling of loneliness, but remember; at least you’re flying.


Loneliness is a funny thing… you can sit in an apartment 2 hours from home and feel it, but it can also follow you to a crowded bar and still make you feel like you’re on your own.

But shake it off! That crappy “alone” feeling will pass and when it does, we will be happy that we didn’t sacrifice our fight for intellectual, financial and personal independence.


“Nothing in this life that is worth anything comes easy.” –Unknown

“If it was easy… everyone would be doing it!” – My parents

Jul 9, 2010

Freedom on the 20something Battlefield

Independence Day was last weekend. The 4th of July! Maybe you’re wondering why I didn’t blog about this LAST weekend, since the holiday of course was LAST weekend. Well, ya know what? I took a week off last weekend. Didn’t notice? That’s because you too were carried away with the hustle and bustle of the weekend; the rushing around, packing, planning, driving, BBQing, fireworking and celebrating.

It wasn’t easy for me to take a week off though. I felt guilty. I haven’t missed a week since I started. But then I thought, it’s a holiday, the day we celebrate living in a free country… so taking a week off and doing what I want, be free of blogging for a week. It all kind of fits right into the theme of the celebration.

So that’s why we’re doing Independence Day now…just thought you should know.

The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays. It’s a chance to take a break and celebrate in the summer. A holiday without any expectations; no turkey, no costumes, no bunnies hopping around with candy or old men in red suits creeping around at night leaving gifts. There is no “dog and pony show” with 4th of July. It’s a relaxed event, with the only necessity being some sort of hamburger, hotdog or BBQ food with maybe a sparkler or fireworks on hand.

So I think I speak for most people when I say that I love celebrating the 4th! Plus, it’s a day where we celebrate being American. Not our race, religion, gender or age…just our nationality. We celebrate the men and women in the service, then and now, who have fought for our country’s independence. We celebrate being independent and free.

Freedom… now this is something us 20somethings can relate too.

I thought about this as the fireworks went off and my neighbors stereo played Pat Benatar’s, “Love is a Battlefield.” (Random I know, but significant… stay with me here.) I thought in reflection about this blog and what I would write this week. Remember before when I said I was feeling guilty about not writing on last week? So I’m at a party and I’m thinking about blogging. I was trying to focus on the fireworks and the “feel” of the BBQ… looking for something I could pick out, something to portray or personify. But then I hear,

“ We are young; heartache to heartache, we stand…”

Ugh the damn radio is so loud, I’m thinking. I can’t think when it’s blaring and I’m trying to reflect about what I want to write. This week’s blog needs to be a “great one” because of my hiatus this past week. But I just couldn’t concentrate on my reflection because I’m busy taping my foot, along to…

“We are strong; no one can tell us we’re wrong…”

I give up I thought. Once you’re subconsciously humming a song to yourself, it’s stuck in your head for a while. So I accepted defeat and decided I would think about blogging later. But now I had that song on my brain. It was kind of ironic. Here we are celebrating the fact that people went out on a real battlefield and fought for our independent and Pat’s singing about love as a battlefield.

Love as a battlefield seems kind of dramatic doesn’t it? As I tap my foot to the beat, I thought to myself about how the song kept making me think of us 20something’s. Love may seem like a battlefield at times, but the real battlefield is our 20something years. I noticed that Pat’s lyrics were applicable to my 20something theory.

We are young - We are no longer teenagers, but we are young adults. Those of us at the start of our 20’s are a little younger than those of us in our mid and late 20’s… but nonetheless bottom line we are young adults.

Heartache to heartache we stand - We are at a time when if we happened to make it through our teenage years unscathed, the reality is bound to set in during our 20’s. The reality that you don’t always get what you want, no matter how hard you work. The reality that we lose people we love no matter how much we need them or how much we think we need them. The reality that we will be picked over in jobs and personal relationships. The reality that we will have our heartbroken because of rejection, loss, defeat and the inevitable bad luck. But before we get too depressed… remember…

We are strong - During our 20’s we learn how to stand on our own 2 feet. Despite the harsh realities of life we pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off. This is a time in our lives when we learn how to get back up and get back on the horse. It’s not fun, it’s not easy and we don’t like doing it… not matter how many times it happens, but we are strong, so we endure.

No one can tell us we’re wrong - This may be my favorite part. Not because we think we know it all… but hey, we are 20something, we’ve lived through a lot and so at times we think we know almost everything… right? ;) In truth, I think this part of the song is what sets the 20somethings apart from every other generation. We have that resilience that makes us stand apart. Some people call it tenacity, chutzpah, guts, nerve or moxy. It’s the part of us that has retained the childhood wonderment of life and the glow in our eyes sprinkled with edginess.

We have the fight in us. We are ready for the battlefield even if we don’t believe that we are. It’s the part of us that believes, despite all the heartache and disappointment, that we can still make a difference or a change. The part of us that holds strong to the belief that we can be the exception to the rule. The part of us that shines through the jaded cynicism of the world.

We have that feeling in our gut that pushes us forward; the burning desire, the need, to do something extraordinary no matter what the cost. It’s the reason why we changed our major’s and our path’s in life to do what we love. Why we switch career’s mid-stream regardless of the promise of a hefty paycheck. It’s why we travel to new places and take big chances. Why we look for adventure and excitement. Why we take chances on new people. Even though we know the risk of heartache and regret is huge… we do it anyway.

When we really think about it, 20something really is a battlefield. It only took 4th of July and an 80’s song for that to become glaringly obvious to me. The two together are terribly wrong and also a perfect marriage. You see, our something’s are a battlefield, but we’re not fighting for love (I mean that’s part of it) what we’re fighting for is independence. We are fighting to break away from our childhood and be our own people. We want to grow up (most of us anyway) and be independent.

We take the hits of life as we figure out our college major, our job, what makes us happy, who makes up happy, who makes our heart sing and who makes us want to run for the hills. We are figuring out where to live, how to live, or if we should just concede and move back home as a reprieve. Its up’s and down’s. A balance of thinking we know it all and coping with abrupt reminders that we really don’t—deaths , end of relationships, loss of jobs, and worse losing ourselves or our direction. We are confident one minute and confused and reevaluating the next. To tell you the truth… the whole damn thing is exhausting! But who ever said fighting for independence was easy?


Fighting for our own freedom on the battlefield of our 20’s is supposed to be hard, but, when we get it; it’s supposed to be exhilarating, worth it and worthy of a celebration. So keep on fighting… and remember, we’re all out there because we believe that it’s worth it and the best is yet to come.


“Freedom is one of the deepest and noblest aspirations of the human spirit.” – Ronald Regan

“No one said it would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.” - Unknown