I don't proofread my posts before I publish them... cause I keep my thoughts au naturale.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Best friends and boyfriends? Let's check the high school vernacular.

"Best friend" and "boyfriend" are two labels that as an adult, throw me off.  I have found that since high school, the connotation of these words have changed.  And to be honest, as an adult, their meanings are a bit confusing to me.

Boyfriend: Remember in high school when a guy would say, "you wanna be my girlfriend" or "wanna go out with me?"  Cause, you know... everyone was "going out."  And for you older folks, the phrase "going steady."  Or for the even older folks, "let me invent the wheel, then we will go to my cave and cook up this saber tooth tiger I hunted.

Then there was the wearing of the class ring or the letterman jacket (which predated me, I believe) or wearing his away jersey to a football game.  Or if you didn't date a football player (congrats), I think it might have just been the class ring.  Or if you were like this uber-skank I went to high school with, your boyfriend would make the first letter of his name out in hickies on you.

No seriously... are you?
So how do we KNOW that someone is our boyfriend in 2014?  No really, how?  In high school, it was "cool" to have a boyfriend.  When I was single after separating from my husband, I can 100% say I did NOT want whatever a "boyfriend" was.  Ain't nobody got time for that!  Now, I believe the actual definition of boyfriend means the same now as it has for decades, possibly centuries (again, ain't nobody got time to look the history of the word up).  It means a guy who you are "exclusive" with. That's it.  Boyfriends provide different things to different people.  Some provide comfort when sad, some provide a seat filler next to you at the movies, some buy you food, some annoy you to no end and you can't figure out why you're with them, some are just arm candy, and some are a good standby until Gerard Butler comes to his senses and hunts you down.

But as adults, how do we KNOW someone is our boyfriend?  I recently had someone in her early 30s tell me that the guy she was seeing straight up asked her to be his girlfriend.  Well, that made it easy.  But that seems to be an exception among adults, right?  Then there's the obvious: Facebook tells you that it is so.  We always say that nothing is real until it becomes "Facebook Official."  You're not really engaged, single, married or in a relationship until your status has been changed on Facebook.  But we're still not there yet, Folks.  How do you KNOW to put it on Facebook?  Inevitably, the assumption of exclusivity will fall apart.  Either someone will want some realistic form of commitment or someone will find out that the exclusivity was one-sided.  So... how do you KNOW??

Best friend: In high school, determining who your best friend(s) was/were was as easy as reading the bottom of their note to you that said, "BFF, Nicole"  or "LYLAS, Melissa."  You could have a slew of best friends and no one batted an eyelash.  And you could have that one frenemy named Erin like I did.  (Shhh, don't tell... but she knows.)  But as an adult, for some reason "best friend" has a very very heavy connotation that I often fear using.  This is mostly for fear of being shunned.  What if I think someone is my best friend, but they wouldn't use that label on me?  I'd feel like such a loser.  So what does it take to call someone a best friend?  Does it require years of knowing someone, a special chemistry that isn't determined by time?  Or just someone that knows too much, so you want to make sure you think they are special so that they don't divulge all your secrets?  When it comes to friends, I often find myself using this terminology:

Facebook Friend: someone I've never met in person, but due to mutual interests, we have become Facebook friends.  We enjoy witty banter or the liking of each other's statuses or pictures, but there is no expectation of physically meeting them.

"Friend": someone you know in person, but you could live without them.  Often this is someone who I know I will see in public at some point and am afraid to unfriend them on Facebook for fear of an awkward meet-up.  They are people who I might grab lunch with if they asked, but I'd rather not put forth that kind of effort.  These tend to be the people who get upset if you unfriend them, but won't lift a finger if you are in need.  Air quotes are always necessary when referring to these people as "friends."

Friend: someone you look forward to spending time with and that you have their phone number and actually use it sometimes (for texting of course- my friends know better than to call me.  Again, ain't nobody got time for that!)  Someone who would hopefully help you out if you were in need, or otherwise come up with an excuse why they can't other than just ignoring your plight.

To anyone who claims me.
Best Friend:  someone you are so willing to spend time with that you would even spend time with them when there were children involved!  Someone who would give you all the money in their savings if you were in need.  Someone who tells you their deep dark secrets and knows that they would be murdered if they told people yours.  Someone who gets your sarcasm and twisted humor and thinks it's funny.  I don't think that "best friend" can be correlated with time.  It's okay to let go of someone who once was your best friend now that you no longer share any common interests and make no attempts to spend time together.  Let it go, let it go... (were you singing the Frozen song there with me?)  Just like it's okay to have new best friends. 

Wow, this was long.  Anyone want to add to my definitions?  Anyone want to help me?  Why is it that these terms are so complicated when they are just basic English?


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

To my sons in the future... a revenge letter.

Dear L, H, & A2,

H & A2

L & H
I love you guys.  You have so many wonderful traits and when we are in public I am so proud to call you  my sons because of all the compliments I get and how well-behaved you are.

BUT

I want you to be prepared for something.  It will happen after you graduate from high school and you sleep in my home.  Shortly after you fall asleep, I will creep into your room very quietly.  I will set the alarm on my phone with the most annoying sound I can think of.  Then, at random intervals throughout the night I will set the alarm off and laugh to myself as you grumble and attempt to ignore it.  I will get a kick out of the fact that you seem beyond annoyed and exhausted.  Then I will stroll back to my own bed.

Why, you ask?  Because you did it to me.  There was no rhyme or reason behind it.  You weren't teething, you weren't sick, you slept in a bed in the same room with me until you were a toddler.  You would just wake up screaming for no good reason.  I would pat you and put you back to sleep, then maybe get in another hour before you woke up again.  Sometimes you would end up sleeping in bed with me because I was just too exhausted with the whole up and down thing and refused to do it anymore.

I had to wait a good three years until you were able to comprehend, "go to your room and leave me the heck alone."  That's three years of my life that I won't ever get back (the younger two will have overlapped a bit, but L had the whole three years to ruin my sleep all by himself.  I was lucky enough that with my daughter, who is the oldest, she started sleeping 10-12 hours straight through the night when she was around 6 weeks old!

And if you eventually have children of your own, I will revel in your droopy eyes, the circles underneath them and your scraggly appearance.  Because I'm that kind of person.  And I'm okay with it.

Love always,
Mom

*And for those who are pointing out the sleep I will lose by tormenting my sons with my plan, the nice thing is that once my children are older I can sleep anytime I want.  I can get a good night's sleep, I can nap, I can doze off while driving.  I'm willing to sacrifice in order to get revenge. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

My 24 hour #Facebook deactivation experiment

Now, this is not a tale of woe, but it may sound like I'm hosting a pity party and that you are invited.  This is more an eye-opening experiment that I conducted that I wanted to share the results.

How hard or easy would this be for you?
Yesterday was my birthday.  As you all know, Facebook reminds everyone daily of which of their friends is having a birthday that day.  Several months ago (maybe almost a year) I took a weed whacker to my friends list.  It wasn't because I was mad or felt slighted in any way, it was because I didn't even know 80% of the people I was "friends" with.  I was trying to build a large friend base in order to promote my social media presence for this blog.  But I started to get frustrated with the fact that I couldn't share personal details or information because I didn't want strangers to know as much of my business as I was willing to share with the people I actually know and would publicly recognize as "friends" (although we all know that not all of our Facebook "friends" are people we really want as friends.)

So, I weed whacked it from probably 1500 to 95ish.  I've since added maybe 20 and started a Facebook page for this blog so I could keep the more personal things to just my "friends."  Now, back to the birthdays.  I'll let you in on a not so secret secret that I'm "friends" with some people who I would say hi to and maybe have a short chit chat.  So I don't tell everyone happy birthday even though Facebook tells me it is their birthday.  I do tell the people who I actually like and would probably hang out with if they asked me to.

So as part of my experiment, I deactivated my account on Tuesday night and planned to reactivate it this morning.  I wanted to see how many people would remember my birthday without Facebook telling them.  Now, if someone is only really "friends" with me because of Facebook, I don't fault them for not knowing, because they wouldn't even have any way to tell me aside from Facebook.  But there are people who have my number or follow me/friend me on other social networking sites. 

And guess what... TWO PEOPLE.  Yes, TWO PEOPLE remembered my birthday (aside from the requisite cordial "happy birthday" from two of my siblings, but that doesn't count because we aren't even friends on Facebook- plus they have it easy in remembering because it's our mom's birthday too.)  So, a whole TWO PEOPLE that I consider friends remembered my birthday and texted me to tell me.  Sorry to one person who doesn't count because my husband pointed it out to her the day before and she didn't know.  I do appreciate it though because she offered to watch my kids so I could do something... but I didn't.  Instead I cried myself to sleep at 8pm and had frozen chicken nuggets for dinner.

The experiment taught me a lesson on friendship, but also taught me that although it was a task, I was able to go a day without Facebook.  The only thing I missed was during downtime when I was trying to get one of the kids to sleep or when I was waiting at an appointment, I would usually kill time seeing if anything interesting was going on with anyone or sharing memes.  Other than that, I didn't miss it at all!  I think I could easily do without my personal account, but it's a nice way to kill time.  I don't even really stalk anyone, so that is another reason it would be easy for me to do away with.

In case anyone wants to respond, here's a prompt: what do you use Facebook for the most?  How long do you think you could go without it?

Disney's Frozen Sing-Along Edition #Giveaway!!

Disneys Frozen Sing-Along Edition is now available on Digital HD for you to take anywhere when you sign up for Disney Movies Anywhere! Today also marks Walmart’s VUDU service joining Disney Movies Anywhere (DMA) as a participating retailer, further enhancing the ability to manage and enjoy your digital collections of Disney, Pixar, and Marvel movies at home and on the go.
 

GIVEAWAY: In order to help promote the above information, I have the great pleasure of offering a giveaway of Disney's Frozen Sing-Along Edition!!  One lucky winner will receive a brand new DVD of this fantastic movie that has the added bonus of including the words to each of the songs so that your children (admit it, you will too) can sing-along!  Contest is open to US and Canada residents only and ends Dec. 1, 2014 at midnight. 

Personalized Picture Book #Giveaway from @PutMeInTheStory #BookMagic

My little guys sharing a book.
Here I go again, gotta saddle up and jump on my soapbox: I'm a huge proponent of childhood literacy and I think that when a child learns to love reading when they are young, it will continue throughout their lives and they will continue to enjoy reading as adults.  There are so many positive things that come from a love of reading and so much knowledge to be gained from books.

It makes me so happy to see my kids reading and the fact that my infant and toddler love to sit down and look at books brings me so much joy because they became curious on their own, but they learn so much just from their curiosity and interest in what words match pictures and what the words mean.  It makes me sad to think that there are some kids out there who never get to experience the magical feeling of a good book.  I'd love to see it become more common to see a book in a child's hand than an electronic device... perhaps and unattainable dream.

With the love of reading and the magic of the experience in mind, Put Me In The Story personalized books allows parents to have some of their favorite book characters include them in their fun adventures by adding your child's name and image into the books themselves.  This will make reading all the more fun because they can use their imagination and see their name on the pages to pull themselves into the story.

Personalized books would make a great gift, and right now Put Me In The Story is hosting a giveaway to bring some #BookMagic to your family's holiday this year!

Prizes (Drawn December 6th):
  • ·         Grand prize: $500 shopping spree on Put Me In The Story
  • ·         50 winners will receive a free personalized book of their choice

  
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