She wants to lead the glamorous life!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Wax On, Wax Off

I am a girl who gets waxed.  Since maintaining my budget has become my number one goal, that 'minor' grooming detail has fallen by the wasteside.  The longer I went without being waxed, the more I dreaded the appointment that needed to be made.  If you've ever been waxed, you know the more time in between visits, the worst your next visit will be.  Because at some point, it's like starting over from scratch.  Well today was my starting-over-from-scratch day and let me tell was not nice.  I winced and called out  to Jesus and even grabbed my girl M's hand once telling her to, 'hold on, hold on'.  It wasn't fun, but I love it.  One, because the end result is so worth it.  And two, my girl and I can catch up and talk.  M has known me since I was 19; I will be 32 in in 12 days.  So we have history.  She is old enough to be my young mom, so throughout our friendship she has always imparted wisdom in that sista-girlfriend way you can't get from everybody.

Today, as she meticulously ripped hot wax, along with any rooted and visible hair, from my body, she said I seemed a bit 'melancholy'.  At first I told her I was fine, but she knew I wasn't being honest.  I finally broke it down and told her what I've been thinking.  Stuff that has been going on, that I haven't really talked to anybody about.  I posed the question, 'do people really want you to be honest and vocal or just play the role?'  I went on to discuss how I have stated some facts in a few recent situations and the end results weren't what I would have liked.  How I feel as though I say what everybody is thinking, but when I look up, I'm alone and no one is there to back me.  She said, very simply, 'that's too much conversation.  You know how bitches are.  Don't sweat the small stuff.'  If people want to sit on the sidelines and not say anything, she instructed me to do the same.  More or less, 'do you and keep it moving'.  She said this was even important with family when I discussed some not so visible but totally evident family conflicts.  Although this is simple enough, there are some lessons that just hit you at the right time, when spoken by the right person.

So I will do that- not sweat the small stuff.  I read the Richard Carlson book with that phrase as it's title, years ago, and it apparently is still relevant today.  In addition to today's 'lesson', I keep hearing my mother in my ear saying, 'stop complaining'.  The small stuff, whatever that may be, needs to be let go.  As I left, I reminded M of my impending birthday, she smiled and said, 'you're still a baby.  A big baby, but a baby.'  Realizing how much and how fast babies learn, all I can do is smile and think of the possibilities.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Run Tell Dat!

Last week it was announced that the Houston family would be given and starring in their very own reality show on Lifetime.  Centered around Whitney Houston's daughter, Bobbi Kristina, her mother, Cissy, best friend and manager, Pat, brother, Gary and cousin, Dionne Warwick, the premise is a family healing and trying to move forward after such a tragic loss.  Let me first say, that I loved and still love Whitney Houston.  So much so, that with the exception of my mom (who was equally hurt) I really don't talk about how her death impacted me or her death at all for that matter.  The death of some celebrities and notables affect me more and greater than others, she was one of them.  With that said, I think this reality show is a bad idea.

I think the best way to move on and honor the memory of someone you care about, is to move forward with dignity and privacy.  Silence is a response.  It must be hard to heal with cameras stalking you and everyone wanting a statement.  Which is more of a reason to pull out of the spotlight, not rush right into it.  I personally am and have been for quite some time, tired and annoyed with most 'reality' shows.  They are too formulaic and dramatic, while trying so hard to claim real life.  What boggles my mind more than reality shows, is their popularity!  More often than not, I feel like I'm watching a train wreck.  I cannot understand people's desire to put all of there business out on front street.  Then it occurred to me, we all are guilty of starring in reality shows of some sort.  Did you play a high scoring word on Words With Friends? Post it!  Invite someone new to Pinterest?  Post it!  Having dinner with friends?  Post it!  Enjoying a good bottle of wine?  Post it!  Changed your dating status from blank to blank?  Post it!  At a concert for one of your favorite singers? Post it!  Staying in and making it a Netflix night?  Post that too!  Whether it be Facebook or Twitter, FourSquare or Pinterest, Blogger or Wordpress, we are all guilty of this reality show phenomena.  We all feel we have a story to tell, whether we are limited to 140 characters or blogging all of our thoughts out (raises hand shyly); we are all guilty.  Is it that we are searching for validation or proof that, 'yes, I have a life.  Look at me, I'm living it!'?  Or is it all of the years where we have been relegated to only our close circle of friends and family, that make us feel our thoughts and opinions much stretch further, spread wider?

When I first heard about the show, my thought was, 'how tacky'.  I still feel it's tacky, but my overall judgement has dissipated.  In fact, within the last couple of months, encouraged by my 'Gift', I have made an effort to seriously think of the necessity to post my every waking thought, action or opinion.  Things that I once thought were a 'must post', now have his voice ringing in my head, 'who cares?' or 'I don't think you should put that on Facebook.'  I have often purposefully typed out my thoughts to share, only to reread it several times and decide, who really cares?  Not just honesty, but also privacy is the best policy.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

You have a vagina, right?

Today is Mother's Day, 2012.  I love my mom and mothers and I like the idea of celebrating them on a special designated national holiday.  The only drawback to this beautiful day is, the awkward exchanges that take place in the days leading up to it.  Especially the Friday before, at work.  I hate the, "and Happy Mother's Day to you" or "enjoy your Mother's Day".  Obviously the people don't know me or else they would know, I have no children.  I have never been pregnant as a matter of fact.  Some will follow it up with, "are you a mother?", but for the most part, I end up staring at their backs trying to figure out the best way to 'break the news' that, although I have a mother whom I will be celebrating with, I am not a mother, but thank you for your well wishes.  I assume I am saluted this way because I fit the age criteria of being a mother.

If I am successful at clarifying the issue and 'fess up, it seems like the air is let out of their bodies as they say or give the 'oh' look.  Almost as if they want to take it back instantly, since I haven't earned my stripes.  Most times, I just say 'thank you' and move on. I know people mean well and it's not done to be hurtful or even assume.  They think they're doing the right thing- wishing a woman of childbearing years a Happy Mother's Day.  I get the feeling the thought is, "you're a woman and you have a vagina, right?"  If I feel weird, I wonder how women who have lost children feel when it's said to them.  Or women who cannot conceive feel about it.  What about the women who just have not settled down or found the right mate for parenting?  Or the aunts, cousins and god parents raising children that are not biologically theirs, whether in a temporary or permanent situation.

I don't want people to stop spreading the love, just maybe take a moment (which I understand most people don't have or think they don't have) to inquire first, "are you a mother? Oh, no, well enjoy your weekend...blah, blah, blah".  Hey, it's better than, "enjoy your weekend anyway".  As if, "well I'm sorry to hear that, do the best you can to have a good weekend."  Again, I take it all in as a positive.  I am grateful my mother is around and I enjoy the holiday, for her sake and the sake of all of my new mommy friends.  But in passing, people say and assume the darndest things, with total disregard of you or your life story.  Their genuine desire to be kind, should not be overlooked however.  That's where the smile and 'thank you' come in.

Happy Mother's Day to all, no matter what your mother situation is, whether you have a mother or not, whether you are a mother or not.  If you have felt the love of a mother, yours or otherwise, you too should celebrate Mother's Day.  As a person who has ever felt the real, uncompromising love of a woman, whatever her mother status; you should celebrate the natural nurturing that comes with most who are women.  And don't forget those women who take care of animals.  It sounds crazy, but there are a lot of pet parents who prefer 4-legged 'children' over the traditional kind, Happy Mother's Day to them too.  There, I think I covered everybody!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Payment in Full

When I logged into my credit union's website this morning to see the status of my accounts, there was one noticeably missing.  My used auto loan.  You see, when an account is closed, the credit union removes it from the current list.  Yes, that's right ladies and gentlemen, I have paid off my car!  I am super excited, for the obvious reason. There will be more money in my pocket to trick off in the future.  But also, because it has taken so long.  I remember when I first purchased the car, it was my second, but the first I bought myself without the help of others, i.e. my parents.  I was shopping for Honda Civics, Jettas, Acuras and such, but a friend of mine at the time, encouraged me to look for a luxury vehicle.  In hindsight, I shouldn't have listened to him.  He was barely paying his bills, and was always behind on his rent.  "They're not as expensive as you think."  I guess not, when you forgo other bills.  Anyway, he and I worked with a salesman at a luxury dealership.  I told him my credit score (I was an amateur, but it was good), my income (about $13K less than I make now) and how much I wanted, or rather could afford to pay every month.  In return the salesman sent me a picture of my car.  It was beautiful.  I was scared and nervous.  How can I afford this?  What are the real responsibilities of having a car?  Especially, this car.  Well days later, I signed and drove it home.  That seems like a lifetime ago and hell, it was.  I have been paying on this car, or as my old friend called it, 'an automobile', forever. 

I tell people, this is America, with the right credit and a little down, you can have anything you want.  So, with that said, I am glad the payments are over.  I now have a few extra hundred each month.   That makes me feel good.  If you remember in my post IR(arely)S(ave), I wanted to pay my bills down and have some money saved.  That was July of last year.  Since then, I have cleared the Ann Taylor card.  And although I didn't meet my savings goal, through my flexible spending account at my job, I have managed not to touch what's taken off top put aside automatically, leaving me with more savings than if I had tried to do it on my own.  Add the car and I have rid myself of some very much undesired debt.  Again, this makes me feel good.  I still have a Visa and some random other bills I want to clear up, but I'm so much closer to being where I want to be financially. 

I make a point of not telling my business 'in the streets', but at the same time there is freedom in living in truth and not a lie.  I have cancelled more outings with friends than I feel comfortable admitting.  Instead of blowing them off or telling a lie, I simply say, 'I have some financial goals that I am trying to meet, I won't be able to do blah, blah, blah.'  The wind at my back, pushing me forward?  My mom.  She is my newly hired financial advisor.  Every time I get paid, I meet her at her apartment with my computer, pay stub and our notebook (yes, I have a spiral notebook that she gave me).  She, in detail, handwrites the money I have, the money owed, due dates and any outings I have planned, to come up with the most accurate figure of what I actually can spend.  It can be tiring and intense, but I feel free in the end, because I no longer hold what I owe inside.  There is no secret or shame, just real life goals, that I am steadily conquering.