Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Kleenex-y dreams

This is the season that older daughter will graduate from high school. This is my first child to do so, so I am walking in uncharted territory. I have no idea what to expect, except that a lot of Kleenex will be involved.
I remember little about my own high school graduation, but I do succinctly remember a picture I took with the six girls I counted as my closest friends during those years. I liked the picture well enough to have it framed, but I haven't seen it in years.
That day, as we cut up and smiled and laughed, we could never have nor would we have wanted to know what would happen in the years to follow. We learned what bad choices were, what infertility felt like, what spousal abuse was, and how to mourn a spouse gone too soon. But we also saw that the bonds that friendship had already formed over our high school years loved beyond bad choices, cried in unison on the tough days, and fiercely hung together to protect our friends.
The other night, at my daughter's graduation rehearsal, her group of giggly, graduating friends reminded me so much of myself and my friends 26 years ago. So here's a few helpful hints for this year's graduates and their best friends:
1. Love each other unconditionally, even if you have to tell each other some harsh truths. Girlfriends are forever, boyfriends are "whatever."
2. Accept that you all will change as you continue to mature and grow. You don't all have to love the exact same stuff your whole life.
3. Seek out your interests and your career goals, even if they are different than your friends'. If your friends really are your friends, they will appreciate your differences and support what you want.
So go wholeheartedly in the direction of your dreams, because we've got your back!!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Top 14 ways to eat a Butterfinger

Just a small sample of Lori's insanely large supply of candy
I'm lying.  There are actually not 14 ways to eat a Butterfinger.  I mean, there may be, but I know of just a few.

My partner in crime at work, Lori, keeps a ridiculously large jar of "bite-size" chocolates near her desk.  This is right next to the leadership poster that makes seagull noises to provide a soundtrack for the eagle pictured on the poster.  (Seriously, with stuff like this, my blog writes itself..... :)) Anyhoo, as I ate a bite-size Butterfinger in two bites rather than the self-prescribed one bite, cohorts Lori AND Charlene filled me in on the correct way to eat a bite-size Butterfinger, which is apparently to let the chocolate melt off in your mouth and then to daintily use your bicuspids to shave off parts of the candy until it's gone. 

This is in direct violation of my candy manifesto, which clearly states than any candy worth having can be eaten immediately without any required preparatory action, i.e., letting the chocolate melt off.  But this brought to mind a thought:  How many unique ways are there to do things?  For example, I do carefully remove the candy shell from plain M&M's before eating the chocolate center.  (This is the one proviso to my candy manifesto.)

How things should be
Ex-Boyfriend and I learned early on that we had a major, yet insignificant, difference:  I am a lid person, he is not.  In fact, at one of our first lunches together, he REMOVED the lid from my disposable cup while we were eating.  Now, as a person who has raised three children that were very close in age, I was immediately taken aback that a person would drink from a cup without a lid, because, as any mother knows, all small children must have lids.  Unless she enjoys cleaning up after said small children.  But E-B, never having had children and lived a normal adult life, did not feel the need to protect the table from a spill, which apparently is a normal assumption to make as a child-free adult. 

So how does a person develop this strong belief in what he does?  Is it over time?  Is it a result of a freak cup-without-lid accident?  Hmm. How many things are there quirky about me that I don't even realize? How many things about you are quirky that  you may or may not realize?  I also think that raisins that look like chocolate chips in cookies are a gyp, that meat mixed with sweet stuff is WRONG, and anything more than a micron-depth application of mayonnaise is gross. 

So what about you, out there in the blogosphere?  What is your quirky weird food thing?  Leave me a comment.  And I might just send you a Butterfinger.

Monday, May 14, 2012

I Was the Other Woman. Kind of.

Without sounding too Hester Prynne, I was the other woman. Kind of.

My friend Kenn (whose name has been changed to protect the innocent) has been playing his bagpipes (name of instrument changed to protect a beautiful instrument) and singing at several local live music venues. Because I am an awesome friend, I have been promising to come see him for about a year.  And had yet to go.  So when I had a free evening and I knew he was playing, I ambled my way over to this restaurant and proceeded to order some black bean flautas. Yum!

At the break between sets, he walked over to a table with two women and talked to them and then made his way over to my table .  Kenn invited me to join these other ladies, who were also there in support of him.  I am always up for making new friends, so me and my flautas picked up and moved.
Yummy flautas.  
 Kenn introduced me to his girlfriend Berry and her mom. (Note: previously, I had learned that although a nice person , Berry could become territorial and not-so-nice if I was perceived as a threat to her girlfriend status.)  during the course of our conversation, her sardonic jabs and indifferent  conversation made me slowly realize one thing: I AM THE OTHER WOMAN.

Because I have never been the other woman, I was a little uncertain on how to handle it all. Should I flaunt what she thinks is true ( I am a threat to her relationship) or take the 10-foot pole approach, dropping subtle hints to indicate that I have absolutely no romantic interest in her boyfriend? Because I normally take the high road (curses, my do-gooder-ness) I took several opportunities to say that we only knew each other as a friend of my then-boyfriend, how we did not have any communication between 1991 and 2011, and that I had recently broken off a relationship and was thus a current member of the she-woman manhaters club.

This seemed to retract her claws and I felt safe-ish. Fortunately, my young son texted me and needed some motherly assistance in the form of cash, so I had an excuse to draw short this otherwise "fun" evening. I made my way out and "phew"-ed under my breath.  

I am certain that Berry is super sweet and to be perfectly honest, she is extremely accomplished in several professional areas.  I have no idea why she would be threatened by a 40's ish mom in her fifth career and writing a blog read by roughly 20 people.  But I guess it's because I had the potential to become.... the other woman. (If, by some weird freak occurrence of nature that "Berry" happens to read this, I'm also not Kenn's type.  He seems to prefer leggy blondes.)