Category Archives: Other Stuff

What Ever Happened To The Holidays?

What ever happened to holidays? When did they disappear? I have always been a fan of this time of year. Warm squishy feelings would seep their way into my belly right after Labor Day. The leaves would change and I would be covered in gooey pumpkin guts up to the elbow. The beautiful trees would shed their jewel tones and be bare. The house would smell of a major carb overload. Then came Christmas songs being piped through mall speakers, fake glitter snow being placed in store windows, and an electricity in the air no one could quite put a finger on except to say it was ‘the spirit of Christmas’. *sigh*

Yup, well, all that shit is gone apparently. Black Friday deals go up November 1st, Halloween is overshadowed by the Easter Bunny, the poor Pilgrims, Indians, & pies of Thanksgiving are lost in the fray and the spirited Christmas crackle has been reduced to a simple, exhausted poof.

Surfing the internet this morning, I came across Black Friday ads from various stores and the more I flipped through the ads, the sadder I became. The ads were filled with televisions, computers, video games, and cell phones. Hundreds of dollars displayed in a ‘get it now! great deal!’ fashion. Just for a split second, I was mentally plotting my budget and shopping strategy.  Let’s face it, it is easy to get sucked in with the can’t-beat-it pricing and the gotta-have-it mentality, but when you think about it (honestly) is it necessary?

Don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed Black Friday excursions. It was actually a mother-daughter tradition. Most of the time we just went to be among the hustle and bustle until the hustle and bustle became more like a trample and mob. It is sad (and kinda scary) that this is where we are. We are literally running and leaping for…..stuff.

I plan on setting up shop at a Starbucks, perhaps, and watching the crazy people be crazy. For me it is pure dark comedy. We sit around a table with loved ones and give our thanks for various things such as family, friends, good food, God, blessings, and so on–yet by the time the turkey-coma has worn off we are slipping out of the door with debit/credit cards in hand to get more stuff (and trample on the slow and feeble to get it). What if we slowed down a bit and enjoyed the pumpkin guts and the carb loading and the crackle? Would the stuff still mean as much? Probably not. We would forget about me-my-mine and more-more-more. Man…whatever happened to the holidays?

~SM

Pretender Bender

A bender. It is commonly used to describe a person going completely off the cliff and doing something stupid like, I dunno, drinking themselves into oblivion. And even though most people use it to describe some diabolical action like drinking or drugging excessively, it is a loaded word that can be used in various situations. This particular situation can be such a time to use the word appropriately.

I was telling a couple of friends who know my fashion handicap that as of late I have been doing quite well with myself. I managed to squeeze out a couple of dollars for some key fall/winter pieces (damn near fainted at the register–not from sticker shock but from spending money on myself period), I am managing to wear them appropriately, and my eyebrows have finally been waxed. It actually feels good…easy…comfortable. Nothing I am doing to or draping on myself feels fake and phoney. It feels authentically like muah.

I think I sucked at that a lot. I fell into what others wanted or didn’t want. I ignored what they ignored and paid attention to what they paid attention to. I pretended….a lot. Being solo-dolo, the only one that matters is me (yes, I realize that should have been the concern all along–save the chastising please). I gotta be honest, too, wearing make up, getting (and keeping) the tresses done, and managing to be fashionably comfy is hard to do when you are bombarded with poopy diapers, spit ups, bottles and the like. None of that makes a woman feel oh-so-pretty. Tack on a few more years and you find yourself working, homeworking, shuttling, and crashing. None of that screams heels and lip gloss either.

But now I have learned the balance (and now that The Kids are basically self sufficient), it seems quite easy. I stopped pretending to be something I am not. I will probably never be under 250 lbs. I will probably always have back fat rolls and a beer belly midsection. I will probably always prefer ponytails over hair weaved all down my back. I will most likely always be head over heels in love with sweats and baseball hats. Fake eye lashes, fake hair, fake asses (even though belly fat to ass redistribution is on my ‘if I win the lottery’ list), complicated outfits and such are far from my radar. My pretender bender is over, thank God.

I pretended for a long time not to be exactly what I am.  I went on a bender of sorts for quite some time. I squeezed into odd shaped holes that I was never designed to fit. I am so glad it is over. So glad I decided to just be fashionably, awkwardly, selfishly me. The room can finally stop spinning and the guilt hangover can finally cease.

~SM

Remembering 9-11

I normally don’t get too involved with political and/or patriotic things. About as deep as I go with that is talking about and watching The Veep. Perhaps I stay away from it because there is too much hurt and strife to actually give it any real thought. From the Native Americans being outcasts in their own lands, to slaves being shipped and traded like barrels of grain, to young men being gunned down by wanna-be law enforcers, to a President being disrespected for no other reason than his color (even though most don’t want to admit it)….it hurts too much. So–therefore–I stay away from it all….except for today.

9-11 was probably the most hurtful moment of my life time. I am sure each generation has its own. My parents had Dr. King murdered. Mothers had the Vietnam War stealing their sons. My grandparents had Pearl Harbor waking up the country. But 9-11 for those of us who had not really endured much of anything shook us, tore us, hurt us to our bones. The more years that pass, the quicker it seems to come and go, but it doesn’t hurt any less.

This morning, I stood in silence next to the men and women in uniform I work with watching our Honor Guard remember the attack. Policemen, Firemen, Detectives, Sergeants, Majors, Lieutenants, Administration all stood intermingled in silence as the bell tolled for those we lost–not only on 9-11 but I’m sure for the years after as well. As the Honor Guard stood, saluting in silence, a plane flew overhead. It seemed to linger there above us, hanging  just low enough to be heard like thunder rumbling in the near-distance. I looked up and smiled at the irony–at the brass balls of the industry, of the first responders, of the American people. We took the punch on the chin, but we didn’t stop. We couldn’t. Despite the scars and the hurt and the tears of our country, we kept rolling.

It is an indication of what we could be, if we bothered to actually stop picking at the scabs. This is the day I tend to stand straighter and see the flag in a different hue. I tip my proverbial hat to the men and women I work with daily, to the soldiers I know, to the families who endure it all for our sake. My heart beats with more love and less disappointment of the judgement of ourselves. This is the day….I remember.

~SM

Queen To Be

Confidence has never really been my strong suit. At one point, I think I had some but it was fleeting. I never think I am pretty enough, I  never thought I was skinny enough, and I never really believed I was smart enough. I suppose it could be said I just never really felt like I was enough….of anything. This morning, with the help of a big booty and a tribal print dress, all of that changed.

This morning driving to work, I noticed a woman–healthy in size–walking down the street. Her purse on her shoulder, her over-sized butt bouncing beneath her brown/orange/white tribal print dress…she reminded me of a woman. A real woman. The kind of woman those old statues encased in glass under museum lights resemble. She reminded me of birth. She reminded me of work. She reminded me of strength and hope and love and fire and power. She was a woman…just like me.

I drove past wondering if she knew what I knew. With every step she held power. She was born powerful. It dawned on me that I was her, too. I hold (and have held) life within my body. Life. I hold warmth and love and strength and hope and fire and power within every fiber of my being.

I can’t say today I am brimming with confidence, but I am walking a little straighter. I am walking with recognition of the place I hold upon the Earth. Perhaps the knowing of power is just the catalyst needed to believe in it and exude it daily. I am a queen. I have always been. I was born royal.

~SM

Freestyle Friday: Dat Bass

There’s nothing like having a dance party on a Friday. It helps you move into the rest of the weekend pretty easily. And what better song to bump that bass to than Meghan Trainor’s All About That Bass. When I first heard it on the radio I danced the entire 3 minutes falling in love with the message. At this stage in this particular game I am playing, a quick pick me up and reminder that I am beautiful just as I am is much needed. Happy Friday!

Restless and Waiting

I feel like I am going effing batty. I have this fireball of energy swirling around in my belly with no where to deposit it. Of course I could try to run it away or clean it away, but this is the type of energy that does not require physical activity. It is that burning desire for more…the more.

I sit at my desk and I can feel the vibration of doing something outside of filing or typing or answering phones. The ease of life…the light of a life that I can see but not touch is driving me insane! When I am outside or traveling or at home or relaxing bookshelf side or soaking up the Starbucks ambiance I feel….free.  Free…not bottled up or hindered or held back or imprisoned. I feel breath and peace and light and airy.

I ask friends and family but no one can really tell me what to do. I pray, but the answers are obviously escaping me. I write and read and draw and color and sing and dance and eat and search yet nothing comes. Is my soul in on something my brain has no clue about? Is there some big thing happening behind the scenes?

I am restless. Restless, restless. There is more out there and whatever it is it’s just for me but I can’t touch it or taste it or see it–I can only feel it.  It almost feels like being a kid a week before Christmas. Presents are scattered under the tree making room for more to come. There are big boxes, small boxes, pretty paper and bows–all with your name on it. What are they? What’s in them? If you touch them or even look like you want to, you are liable to get into trouble–so you sit…you stare…you wait….I suppose this is my week before Christmas and all I can do is sit….stare….and wait. Ugh.

~SM