My Five Firsts, and Five Lasts

Hello Thursday! Meet my blog group, comprised of a fantastic group of ladies  who will dazzle you with insight on various topics.  After reading my post, check out their blogs as well. Just click on:

Froggie (Tracey): One frog’s distinct voice on the world around her.

Merry Land Girl (Melissa): Tales of a suburban mom who likes to talk about pop culture, books, Judaism, family, friendship and anything else that comes to mind.

Darwin Shrugged (Denise): Civilized Observations in an Uncivilized World

For today, Melissa was inspired by this and came up with:  Five Firsts and Five Lasts. In a way, it’s like an interview with myself. I decided to let fate decide on the five topics I’ll be using in this blog post. I placed 10 topics written on sticky notes, crumpled them up, and placed them into a bowl.

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Now I’ll draw out one sticky at a time, and see what I end up with!

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1. BOOK

The first book I remember reading is, There are Rocks in my Socks, Said the Ox to the Fox. Well, it was one of the first books read to me when I was a child. I loved it so much that it’s a book I read aloud to my boys. I like to put on a British accent while reading the Fox’s lines. I don’t know why, but I imagine he’s British.

The last book I finished was Kim Golden’s Maybe Tonight, a novella follow-up to Maybe Baby. If the cover of this novella doesn’t make you want to read it, I don’t know what will!

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2. I LOVE YOU

The first time I said “I love you”? I’m sure I said it often to my parents, relatives, etc. The first time I said it to a crush, though, was actually said in secret. The first boy I ever fell hard for was someone a year older and not that into me. He thought I was a gangly, awkward little girl, and I’m sure I was. I remember lying in bed at night, picturing what it would be like to (gasp!) hold his hand or (holy crap!) kiss him. I was 12 at the time, innocent. During my daydreams, I’d tell this boy that I loved him and he’d tell me how much he loved me. I know, I was a heart-felt romantic.  My feelings were never reciprocated.

The last time I said “I love you” was just a few minutes ago. I tucked the little guy in for his afternoon nap, and I gave him a kiss on the forehead, telling him I loved him.

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3. DATE

My first date was a blind date.  A friend of mine had set it up and hadn’t cleared it with me until the day of. Her boyfriend worked at the local gas station, with a guy who was about a year older than me. I’d seen him before when I’d pull in to get gas. I had told my friend how cute I thought he was, and so she arranged everything and when the last bell of the day rang at school, she told me to call my dad on the payphone and tell him I was going over to her house after school. Which I did, believing that to be the case. Nope. The cute guy pulled up to the school in a black Nissan Sentra, yellow vanilla-scented tree hanging on the rear-view mirror. My friend practically shoved me into the car, and the cute guy took me downtown to see Naked Gun: 33 1/3. I’m sure I was a gigantic pain in the ass. I wouldn’t let him buy me anything. No drink. No popcorn. I had this thing where I felt weird when people spent money on me, so I refused his niceties, yet stood behind him in line to buy myself the drink and popcorn. Not exactly a stellar move on a first date. Neither of us spoke to one another through the entire movie, but I remember he had a great laugh. Afterwards, we went to a park and talked for a really long time, and got to know one another better. We ended up dating for a year, and he was my first boyfriend.

When I was just a kid
When I was just a kid

The last date would be a date night, with my husband. We went to see Motley Crue in concert! I have to tell you, anytime we get a chance to go out, just the two of us, it’s always a great time no matter what we’re doing. This was Motley’s send off tour, playing their asses off into retirement. I’ve heard this song and dance before, though. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see more of them in the near future, but this was a great performance.

Tommy Lee, drum solo upside down

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4. PLAYED IN THE SNOW

I thought of this while looking out my living room window. It snowed recently, and I was thinking of the first time I’d played in snow. I might have way before what my memory allows me to recant, but traveling to Mt. Hood in Oregon with my Uncle Waldo are the snow days I remember the most. We’d go for a day ski trip, or sometimes it would parlay into a weekend. I always felt as though the drive there took forever, which is par for the course when you’re 8 years old. I was wet with snow, cold, and when I wanted to use the bathroom Waldo would always tell me to “hold it.” That part wasn’t fun, but the rest of the time I had a blast with my sister and our cousins.

The last time I played in the snow would be last year! It’s been too cold to do much of anything outside. I was shivering while filling up the gas tank on my car this morning. I feel bad, because the little guy sees snow on the ground and thinks it’s time to put on his snow boots and play outside. Both my boys love playing in the snow. I hope we get out there soon!

Last year, making snow angels
Last year, making snow angels

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5. MOVIE

The first movie I remember seeing in a theater was Gremlins. I was 6, going on 7. Grandma thought to take me for an early birthday present,  and  I was in awe. Of course, I remember freaking out when the cute little mogwai turned into the nasty gremlins, but I appreciate her trying to be a cool grandma and taking me to see the movie, in the theater no less. I can hear the theme song now!

The last movie I saw was Big Hero 6. We went as a family, and we loved it! What a sweet movie. I highly recommend it to anyone, no matter your age.

 

Topics I didn’t grab from the bowl: Kiss (that would have been a good one!), Thrill, Work Out, Dance, and Pet.

 

 

Mistakes. Do You Intervene?

Hello Thursday! Meet my blog group, comprised of a fantastic group of ladies  who will dazzle you with insight on various topics.  After reading my post, check out their blogs as well. Just click on:

Froggie (Tracey): One frog’s distinct voice on the world around her.

Merry Land Girl (Melissa): Tales of a suburban mom who likes to talk about pop culture, books, Judaism, family, friendship and anything else that comes to mind.

Darwin Shrugged (Denise): Civilized Observations in an Uncivilized World

For this week, I picked the topic: When you witness someone else making a mistake, what do you do? Do you believe it’s a chance for lessons learned, or do you intervene?

I chose this particular topic due to what’s been going on in my personal life. A few people I know have made choices that I feel aren’t very good ones, and I’ve debated with myself on what I should do. Should I say something? Should I keep quiet?

I’ve been the one in the hot seat, many times. The one walking onto a path of disaster, or as I like to refer to it- taking a ride on an eventual train wreck. And haven’t we all? One event in my life I always go back to, is the time I was in a relationship and a few good friends of mine made bets on how long it would last. They didn’t tell me this initially, not until they witnessed the eventual train wreck. “Why didn’t you tell me? Why didn’t you warn me?”  I couldn’t believe they stood back and merely watched from the sidelines, but it was quickly pointed out to me that I’m undeniably stubborn and would have never listened to anyone’s advice, anyway.

Which is totally true, and true of many of us. It’s so hard when you’re on the inside, looking out. And even if there’s a nagging feeling in the pit of your stomach, warning you- often times we plunge ahead, anyway.

I don’t regret that relationship, or many of the other mistakes I’ve made in my life. I feel as though I’ve been able to learn so much from all of it, regardless. It’s made me a stronger, tougher gal.

While it’s been hard to hold my tongue, I’ve made the decision to keep quiet. The people I know, the ones who are potentially embarking on their own eventual train wrecks, they believe that this is the right path for them. They wholeheartedly want to continue forth, and maybe I’m wrong, anyway. Maybe there won’t be a train wreck at the end, and who am I to say otherwise? All I can do is hope for the best, and reassure myself by knowing that it’s their potential mistake to make. Good or bad, there’s a chance for a life lesson here and it’s not my call. I’m choosing to be supportive, no matter the outcome.

 

What? I Can’t Serve Fries With That?

Hello Thursday! Meet my blog group, comprised of a fantastic group of ladies  who will dazzle you with insight on various topics.  After reading my post, check out their blogs as well. Just click on:

Froggie (Tracey): One frog’s distinct voice on the world around her.

Merry Land Girl (Melissa): Tales of a suburban mom who likes to talk about pop culture, books, Judaism, family, friendship and anything else that comes to mind.

Darwin Shrugged (Denise): Civilized Observations in an Uncivilized World

This week’s topic comes to us from Darwin ShruggedCan someone be overqualified for something?

I was 17 when I applied for work at the local Burger King. A friend of mine worked there and had regaled me with her many tales of just how fun it was to work behind the counter with other teenagers our age. That it was a non-stop party. I decided I should join the ranks, wear the dark blue uniform and ask the customary question of: “Would you like fries with that?”

I was quickly shot down.

“You’re over-qualified, ” she told me, pity evident on her perky little face. I was blown away by the accusation. Granted, I’d done volunteer work as an office assistant when I was 14, and this led to various part-time stints after school in all things secretarial. I was briefly a nanny for a friend of the family, and this parlayed into another nanny gig for someone I’d found in the paper. She needed a glorified sitter for her 3 rambunctious children. Fact is, the jobs I’d held, held little promise of a steady paycheck, while my friend’s job at The King had. That’s what I was looking for. How could I be over-qualified for the food industry???

Looking back, I know my friend was trying to let me down gently. Truth is, I had no experience at all with food. She knew me well, and she’d seen me often in the kitchen. I’ve spoken with several individuals who have worked fast food, and it’s no easy task. It’s a hard and at times thankless job. I couldn’t cut it, and my friend saw that a mile away and didn’t want to hurt my feelings.

I don’t believe we’re ever over-qualified. I believe there are certain jobs suited to our individual talents and needs. What works for one person won’t work for another. I was knee-deep in the property management trenches for over a decade, and while I never imagined I’d be doing it for that long, it was a job that was well-suited for me. I didn’t have the college degree to back me up. I wasn’t certified in anything special. Sure, I could have gone that route and bumped my resume up, made it look a lot prettier, but at the end of the day it was all about the bottom line. How many apartments did I lease today? How many residents have I handled with care (retention), and kept happy? My years of experience in an office setting helped to keep me organized, professional and on-task, but if I didn’t have those fabulous people skills to help me work with a vast range of personalities, none of that would have even mattered. Some skill sets you just can’t teach.

Like in the fast-food industry. There is a lot of skill involved with juggling various tasks all at once. There’s no way I could have been focused or driven enough to do it. Simply put, I’m not that type of organized. Have you ever seen Undercover Boss? Many a corporate big-wig loses it when they can’t quite figure out how to manage the drive-thru window, customers at the counter and deal with the food prep. And you just know the big-wig went to a highly-respectable college.

Speaking of college, it’s always a possibility. I don’t believe obtaining a degree will ever make me over-qualified, but better educated. It’s something I’ve been thinking about. Who knows what I’ll be doing in the near future, but I can promise you one thing: I’ll never be the one serving you fries. Trust me, you don’t want that.

 

Feminism

Hello Thursday! Meet my blog group, comprised of a fantastic group of ladies  who will dazzle you with insight on various topics.  After reading my post, check out their blogs as well. Just click on:

Froggie (Tracey): One frog’s distinct voice on the world around her.

Merry Land Girl (Melissa): Tales of a suburban mom who likes to talk about pop culture, books, Judaism, family, friendship and anything else that comes to mind.

Darwin Shrugged (Denise): Civilized Observations in an Uncivilized World

This week’s topic choice comes to us from Tracey, and it’s simply: Feminism.

If you Google the definition of feminism, you get: “the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.”

I’ll be honest. This was a tough topic for me to digest. Over the course of my life, I’ve never felt less than, or as though I’m not as tough or as competent as a man might be. I wasn’t raised to believe otherwise. I remember a conversation with my grandfather back in the 80’s, when I was just some punky kid with her whole future ahead of her. He told me something that I took to heart and never forgot.

“No one is better than you, and you’re no better than anyone else. You can be whatever you want to be.”

I know he told me this because he didn’t want me to walk around as though the world owed me a living, yet he also wanted me to recognize the potential I had to achieve anything I put my mind to, without belittling anyone on my way to reach my achievements. This is how I’ve primarily lived my life, with a few random slip ups, of course. I’m only human. I’ve let opportunities pass me by, and I’ve jumped feet first into many a situation where I should have really thought it through first, but I’ve never felt my being a woman was the reason holding me back.

I’ve never been career-oriented, not ever. When I was asked in high school what I wanted to be when I grew up, it was never manning a large corporation or owning my own business. Those were  never my aspirations. I wanted a secure job, something that would take care of me and provide me with a roof over my head and food in my belly. I guess it’s those blue collar roots ingrained in me. I come from a line of hard workers who work their asses off to provide for themselves and their families, if they’ve got one to support. I was raised to be independent. I had my first job at the age of 14 and my first apartment when I was 20. No one else paid for it, it was all on my own, and let me tell you there were plenty of Top Ramen and Mac and Cheese nights, but it was well worth it.

Me, at 14
Me, at 14

I recognize the hardships women have faced over many years to try to assert their independence. Recently I’ve been a lot more interested in my ancestry and after looking into census reports from the early 1800’s, I’ve found that many of my female ancestors listed “homemaker” or “housekeeper” as their line of work. I wonder how they would have felt bearing witness to the fact that many of the women in my family now have gone on to do amazing things outside of the home, working alongside their male coworkers, or how there are more and more men leaving the corporate world to help raise their growing families.

I’m not sure if I would categorize myself as a feminist, but I do believe in equal opportunities. I believe we have the right to do what we choose to, in order to live a happy fulfilling life. For some, it’s owning their own business and climbing that corporate ladder to success. Others might find happiness raising a family and staying home with their children, or they might mix it up.  I don’t care if you’re a man or woman. If it’s what works for you, then it works for me. I don’t think a person should be judged for what they feel passionate about.

 

 

 

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