Naked Sensation

It’s been a while since I have decided to write a rant on the social state as I see it, but I have finally been inspired, so get ready for it!

I feel like my social feeds have been clogging up lately with “I’m still sexy!” posts, where women who have bodies that are less Victoria’s Secret and more everywoman are butt naked or have their dimpled ass cheeks hanging out of their barely-there swimsuit bottoms.  While I’m not offended by nakedness, as I think human bodies are quite fascinating in their endless variations, nor am I one to point out another’s dimpled buttocks as flawed when I have my own to worry about, I can’t help but get annoyed at the fact that it still comes down to what is “sexy.”  This is completely negating the argument they are trying to present.

Let me quickly take a trip down memory lane about my own body confidence journey.  I have definitely had more time on the higher end of the “normal” weight range than the lower.  I remember going clothing shopping in 5th grade, and having a come apart in the dressing room when my doughy little body was a Gap Kids size 14.  I have a cousin who is only a couple of months younger than me who was always itty bitty, who would ask me what it was like to be fat, since she was considered underweight. (I love her anyways… Little girls are just mean, and I am sure I did something to her around that time that she remembers as mean, too.  After all, I did have boobs first.)  As I got older, I would waffle, and my high school wardrobe ranged from sizes 4-14 throughout my years there.  One boy called me Kirby, as in Kirby the Marshmallow from the Gameboy game, when I was a freshman, and by the time I was a senior, I could rock the Abercrombie and Fitch trends with the best of them, no problem.  College brought the unfortunately typical disordered eating and exercising, which again yo-yo’d me as such unhealthy approaches typically do.

I think what helped me get over these issues and, consequently lead to a more stable weight, could be summed up in three things: love, health issues, and age.  The person with whom I spent the majority of my 20’s with was flawed in many ways, but when it came to my body image, he was incredible.  He was smart enough to figure out that I had extremely disordered habits and literally babysat me out of them.  If I lost weight, instead of telling me I looked hot or better, he would ask me specifics about what I had or hadn’t been eating or how many hours I had spent at the gym.  Only if my response was a healthy one would I get a compliment to reflect positive efforts.  He always made me feel attractive.  When we were engaged, I was at a friend’s house where all the girls (who were also quite thin already) were talking about a trendy weight loss drug, which has since been recalled for many reasons, that most were taking as prescribed by their doctors.  I almost felt stupid when I told them that my fiance actually loved my body as it was, and I wasn’t going to try some weird fad drug to get into a smaller wedding dress.  His love helped me gain a love for my body, flaws and all, and I am grateful that he taught me that.  My health issues also helped me feel OK with myself.  I have an extremely sensitive digestive system.  I can be a size 4 one day, and the next day be so bloated that I only want to wear flowy dresses to hide my protruding belly that makes me look about six months pregnant.  “Skinny” is literally relative to the mood of my intestines, so I have come to accept that I only have so much control.  Yes, I get frustrated when I can’t fit into the outfit I wanted one day because I ate something troublesome the day before, but I can’t really get obsessed about it.  Finally, age and maturity have helped me realize there are many more important things in life than how one fits into a pair of skinny jeans.  There are just so many other things to spend your time fretting about.

So while I totally encourage one finding their journey to a healthy sense of self esteem about their body, why is the “still sexy” photo trend so annoying to me?  You would think it went hand-in-hand with my view on this issue.  However, here’s the real problem; “sexy” should not be the goal.  Of all the many things women can achieve and all the wonderful things they are, the obsession with sexy has to stop.  Sex is a normal part of life, but isn’t the all-day-every-day focus of most women, so try reserving sexy for when it is the focus.  In other words, be sexy for the person you want to be having sex with.  Assuming that you don’t want to be having sex with the whole wide internet, stop posting your naked bodies all over the place, proclaiming you are sexy!  You are mothers.  You are business women.  You are staples in your communities.  You have an incredible brain inside that body that is just as mighty, regardless of whether you have a muffin-top or six pack on your midsection.  If you really want to change what is viewed as attractive in our society, change the conversation AWAY from bodies.  Stop posting naked or body-centric photos of yourself.  I don’t care if you have Madonna arms or bat wings, thigh gaps or saddlebags.  When you post pictures to make those the focus, quite frankly, you are only short changing yourself.  You are saying that you are giving in to the idea that women are their bodies.  Guess what.  You are not your body.  You are SO much more!  Post photos of the fabulous outfit you threw together using your unique taste, regardless of the size stated on the tags.  Post photos of the delicious meal you cooked, and intend to eat.  Post photos of your bonus check after you kicked butt at your job, or better yet, the view from the pool or beach vacation that you can afford thanks to your success.  Post photos of the view from the mountain that you hiked, with your smiling, sweaty face and crazy hair in the forefront.  Lets start seeing what the world looks like through your feminine perspective, instead of looking at your feminine parts.  There will still be industries obsessed with tight bodies, both photoshopped and real.  These industries will still say that “sexy” is the best thing that a woman can offer.  You can’t change that.  However, the more you learn how to portray your worth through actions and words, and the more you teach younger generations to do the same, the less power these industries will have to dictate what is important, what is beautiful, and what a woman’s worth truly is.  So just stop.  Please.  Little girls around the world depend on it.

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The 7th Month

jordd

“You’ll be with me, like a handprint on my heart.”

Because my mind thinks in musicals, it’s hard for me not to have the melody of For Good from Wicked running through my head as I write this post.  Today, March 2, marked the 7th month since my heart got a good, final imprint from my dear friend Jordan.

The Background

Some of my closest friends know the full story.  Many know I went into a funk for a while that I am emerging from, still.  So much I have not been able to talk about.  Well, I feel it is time I give him the tribute that I tried to write months ago, but never was able to finish.

Jordan was, well, one of the most fabulously irreverent people I have ever met.  I knew him by reputation long before I actually met him.  My first day I worked at Mamabargains, I logged into a computer PLASTERED with all things Lady GaGa.  Reese, my coworker, said, “Oh, ya… Jordan.  He was our admin until recently.  He was obsessed.”  I was given his old computer to use.  He shared a first and last name with my ex’s little brother, so it was pretty hard to forget the full name of this sassy ex employee that was often referred to for his strange quirks.  So, years down the road, when he walked into the offices of Vault and I saw that name, I knew immediately who it was.  The guy with GaGa plastered on his computer.

We were short on office space for a bit, so when he started, my desk was in the lobby of the executive side of the office.  He worked in a different side of the office, but the executive side had windows instead of walls, so I would see him take his lunch and bathroom breaks, and he was always dressed completely flawlessly and was simply darling.  I decided that I wanted to learn more about him one day, so I just knocked on the window as he walked past and told him to come in.  He just had the charisma that begged to be talked to.  Plus, I knew that we would be working together down the road, since he definitely had the best style in the office aside from myself, of course, and I would need help with the men’s side of styling.  This is when I found out he actually had an aptitude for graphic design, which was what we needed.  Someone with great taste AND graphic design, as our marketing materials were, for lack of a better word, flat.  Not long after, he was promoted from customer support to graphic designer, then after that to videos.  I was the resident talking head, so of course, this is when we really were able to work together.

Jordan knew the rule that the best way to win friends is to compliment them, and compliment me, he did!  His nickname for me was Cameron, because he decided I was Cameron Diaz’s twin.  I don’t see it, but I was not going to complain, since I think she is gorgeous.  We became close surprisingly quickly, as I would mother him and make sure he had a lunch, or kidnap him from his work to go get snow cones with me.  It’s all really a bit of a blur, where I can pick out specific memories, but not really plot them out on a timeline, because it was a whirlwind.  We worked furiously during that time, to not only get messages out about the changes in the company, but to prepare for our month of pure craziness as we traveled around the country.  The trips were when we went from simply friends to truly just loving and adoring one another.

While in Texas, we took a walk to probably the strangest mall I have been to.  We tried on weird clothes and talked about his relationship with religion and his sexual orientation.  I’m a very open person, so my walls were down long before this, but I think this is when he let the walls down with me.  If you’ve read my blog, you know my feelings, and I don’t offer harsh judgement to people who are gay.  He knew he was safe with me to share his religious side and this was a side he had shut off for a while.  I learned more about him, and he learned that my luggage has Tinkerbell on it, and from that point on, we talked freely about any topic, without judgement.  All conversations were full of love and laughter.  Love in a true way, obviously, and not a romantic way.  Simple and pure love of someone that you fully appreciate and respect, that you can tell a deep dark secret to, an uplifting thought, or a dirty joke.

Kansas City was a riot.  Chicago was a rainy, hunger-crazed mess.  Those memories are the fondest.  His random commentary on what was going on around us made even the simplest moments a gut buster.  Then, we were headed to LA.  We had planned to go the the beach, eat at a barefoot restaurant, meet up with some of his friends to go dancing, shop.  We were exhausted and ready to party.  The week leading up to LA was personally troubling for Jordan, so we also had spent extra time bonding together, sharing dessert, chips and salsa at Chili’s, and trying to figure out his next move, so the personal turmoil could stop.  I treasure that he loved me enough to tell me about it.  As much as we both loved that we had seen one another every single day for the past month straight, talking and texting during the few hours we were apart, we were both looking forward to the end of the craziness.

The Day

The Thursday before we left, I was not feeling well, and I left work after about an hour to go home and sleep.  I slept literally the whole day, on and off, with a few fever breaks and stomach issues, but felt better by the next morning.  We had a tradition where we would drive together to the airport with a small group.  He was the last stop.  So, when we stopped to pick him up Friday morning, and he reported that he had not been feeling well, I just assumed that he had picked up what I had the day before.  I was fine, so he was going to be fine, too.  We talked about nonsense on the way to the airport.  He teased me about my oddly happy mood for a morning ride, as I was usually grumpy (which he would characterize as CoCo when I was happy and Nicole when I was grumpy).  We had our typical pre-flight ritual of hanging out in the Delta Sky Lounge and having breakfast.  I mothered him into eating a bagel and drinking some ginger-ale to calm his upset tummy.  Another person in our group was in first class, while Jordan was in coach.  He offered his seat, and I literally had to force him into the first class seat, because he was too humble to take it on his own.  He was not feeling well, still, and even though it was only an hour flight, that hour should be comfortable, plus, he could get another ginger-ale before we even departed.

I had to go to the bathroom the second we landed, so I ran off the plane and text him that I would meet him at the baggage claim and to let everyone else know.  When I got to the baggage claim, his skin was literally green and goosebumped.  He was wearing shorts and a short-sleeved shirt, I could tell he was chilled.  The baggage claim was the temperature of a freezer, so I offered to grab his bag while he ran outside and warmed up.  He refused to let a girl get his bag.  He, luckily, would not refuse a jacket from one of our bosses, so he was at least no longer freezing.  The shuttle ride to the rental car, he just crouched on the ground, in obvious illness.  We let him ride in the front seat as we were off to the hotel, and made arrangements for him to check in early.  He just really wanted to lay down and get some sleep.  The rest of us could not check into our rooms, as it was 10 AM in LA, so we checked our bags with the hotel and got him situated with his room.  I told him that I loved him, that I hoped he would feel better, and watched him walk away.  This picture is the picture that is forever blazoned in my memory.  Jordan, walking away, with his bright blue shirt, head cocked to one side, as he often walked, pulling his bag down the hallway.  That was the last I would see him.

The rest of us went to the beach, as planned and ate lunch.  During that time, his mom contacted me, letting me know she was worried.  I had been texting with him, but he didn’t respond.  I assured her that he was sick and just wanted to sleep.  Somewhere in the traffic on the way back, a text, that we later found out was delayed in its delivery, came through to one of us in the group that said he was feeling sick, but was fine.  I let her know that he had been in communication and was ok.  Once I returned, I would get showered then go check on him.  We had a meeting scheduled with the hotel, and I knew he wouldn’t miss it.

The meeting came, and when I walked into the meeting space, he was not there.  This was odd.  He was always early.  A couple of members of the hotel staff came in and asked for one of the owners, Steve, to step out into the hallway with them.  The other owner, Tyler, and I looked at each other, confused, at what this odd behavior from the hotel was about.  We walked into the hallway, and Steve was crumpled on the floor crying.  Tyler walked over to the hotel staff, introduced himself, they whispered, and all I heard was him saying, “WHAT?!” in disbelief.  I asked Steve what was going on.  This is when he told me.  Jordan’s mom had asked the hotel staff to check on him.  When they went to his room, they found that he was dead.

No.  It’s not true.  You’re lying.  Where’s his room?  We are going to go get him.  He’s fine.  They checked the wrong room.  Where is he?  Let’s go.

We followed the hotel staff to his room, where it was barricaded by police.  They took us for statements, and I was still in complete shock.

His mom.  We have to call his mom.  Please call her.

The police do not call family in California.  The coroner does.  The police also tell you that it is not OK for you to call family.  So I knew for about 2 hours before his mom knew.  It was 4 PM on a Friday afternoon in LA, with LA traffic, and a random tragic accident on one of the beaches where a crazy person ran down a bunch of people with a car on the boardwalk.  The coroner was not coming any time soon, and ultimately didn’t arrive until about 1 or 2 AM.  I knew this was not acceptable.  She had to know.  Luckily, the third owner, Jim, has a son-in-law who is a policeman back east.  He has had to tell families of losing loved ones with his position.  He had discussed with Jim how these situations are handled.  With much prodding, Jim called his mom.

Because we were there for a work function, we had to pull ourselves together and go to dinner that night at 7 for a meeting with local leaders.  After my salad course, it hit me.  One of the people at dinner said something accidentally crude, and I wanted to squeeze the leg of my partner-in-crime, but he wasn’t there.  I got up and left, crying for the first time in the bathroom for about a half an hour.  I came out to find the lovely Bill Bakho was there waiting for me to help me put myself back together.  Bill is the owner of Vaults skincare partner, Fenix Cosmetics.  He and his business partner were the only two people at the dinner who knew what was going on.  He helped me back into the meeting, and he and his partner helped me stay distracted for the rest of the night.

I didn’t sleep. I couldn’t sleep.  I couldn’t go home.  I couldn’t stay.  I prayed for him to come back, or at least for his spirit to come tell me it was OK.  Nothing happened but dark turning to light as I listened to the rain outside.  The rain, which was the world mourning the loss of a beautiful soul.

The next day we did our meeting, and left shortly after.  I can’t explain the brokeness I felt, or the deep sense of disloyalty as I got on a plane and knew that my dear friend was still in a coroners office in LA and I was leaving him behind.

The Aftermath

The worst part about the death of a co-worker is that someone has to be found to replace them and to do their work immediately.  I knew most of his projects, except his graphic design projects.  I had to return to work the following Monday and try to find his replacement as well as help talk to the the staff about what happened.  Ya, being an executive is not always what you hope it will be, when you have to be responsible at times like this.  I had a complete melt-down anxiety attack as I drove into work and called a friend who literally had to talk me through walking up the steps to the office.  One. Foot. At. A. Time.

I only took one day off, which was the following Friday, the one week anniversary, because I just needed some time to prepare myself emotionally for the funeral.  I didn’t even really get that full day, because I had to send emails out for people, but that was my only break I was able to take.  While out that day, I was informed of the cause of death, Neisseria meningitidis, and he had a rare form only spread through saliva.  I would have to be treated immediately because of the close contact and amount of food sharing we had done the week prior.  This was a fun additional stressor to my grief.

I honestly don’t remember a lot after that.  I remember that I couldn’t and wouldn’t be alone for a while.  I am deeply grateful for my friends who made time to spend with me, so I would only be alone if I was asleep.  The people who were there most for me were not necessarily the usual suspects.  I found that with sudden death, few people understand the shock.  Some people are able to empathize if they have lost someone extremely close, but it’s a feeling I didn’t know was nearly as difficult process as it is.  I had lost animals, great-grandparents, people I knew, but not someone who was a daily fixture in my life.  I found myself unable to breath on a regular basis.  It’s a feeling that I hope I don’t have to ever have personally, again.  I am grateful, however, because it helps me understand how to help others down the road.

This feeling didn’t stop until Dec 23.  My heart broke every day.  I cried every day.  Then, December 23, I went to sleep.  What happened that night to me was a special gift that I won’t talk about, but was nothing short of a Christmas miracle and the best gift I will ever receive.  His family knows, because I told them.  This gift has helped me gain the closure that my last interaction with Jordan was unable to provide.  His presence is still felt with me on a regular basis, on those moments when I would want to call and/or text him, but the deep, all-air consuming grief is gone.  I still cry.  I’m crying right now, but it’s simple tears of missing a loved one, and no longer tears of deep sorrow.

So that’s the story, and though it’s a long blog post, it’s a nutshell version, of a friendship and bond formed quickly and deeply, that will last forever.

I love you, Child of the Universe!

“And now whatever way our stories end, I know you have re-written mine, by being my friend.”

Rypster and Monster

An oldy of us: Rypter, CoCo, Monster

An oldy of us

For the first 4 years of my life, it was all pink and purple, dolls and lace, giggles and dress ups with my sister Rachel and me.  Then, it happened.  A creature known as a boy appeared in our family.  4 years later, another one.  The sweet scent of Cabbage Patch dolls was replaced with that stinky little boy smell that is best described as part puppy dog and part wind.  They wanted to throw the cat instead of pet it.  They wanted to crash things, throw things, and expel gas in odors that should not come out of a human, without even excusing themselves.  For better or worse, things definitely changed.

Ryptser, AKA Ryan, was the first one to come along.  He drove me insane!  My buttons, he found quickly, and he played wack-a-mole with them on a regular basis!  I referred to him as the buggliest bug.  Oh, he was cute, and bright-eyed, and the most precocious little boy you have ever met, but that didn’t win me over.  I just wanted him to stop it.  You name it, I wanted him to stop doing it.

Monster, AKA Sean, was one spoiled little toad.  He was teeny tiny for so long, because he was premature, so it made him easy to spoil.  Rachel fawned over him, which made me the mean sister.  I didn’t even have to do much to be mean, but I was not as doting as Rachel was.  He swore I hated him for years because he was a skater.  I just kind of didn’t get it…

Eventually, with both of them, I had a tipping point.  With Ryan, it came while I was away at college.  I came home one Friday afternoon, and was the only one home.  He had a terrible day at school with a coaching situation, and literally fell apart as he walked in the door, and I was the one there to help him through it.  It was a growing up experience for him, and I think he finally saw me as a friend and not as one who must be pestered.  With Sean, I believe it was when I drew a picture of him that he decided that I didn’t really hate him.  I loved to sketch people when I was younger, but my subjects were typically celebrities or other pictures I found interesting.  He would beg me to draw him, so one day, I did.  I didn’t know it would be that easy to show him that I liked him.

As they have grown up, I consider myself lucky to have such great friends in my family.  Ryan and I both had a year of crossing bridges we never thought we would cross.  The amount of time I spent on the phone with him in 2013 probably far exceeds the total time spent every year before that combined.  We cried together, and expressed our frustrations with our different situations together.  It was hard when for a brief moment, I saw his eternal optimism waiver around this time last year.  However, it was gone for such a brief moment before it came back brighter than ever.  I love scheming with him, too, because while we are both very upfront, full disclosure type of people, we do like to come up with little side agendas to make our live’s interesting.  Sean is a perfectionist and artist, and I love seeing what he comes up with.  Our interests are very similar, but his talents exceed mine.  I love watching an idea transform with him.  Since he is the youngest, he has many of us to tell him what to do.  I enjoy that I am the 4th “parent” in line to my dad, mom, and sister, so I get to be the one who is more just a sounding board for his ideas instead of the one telling him what to do.  By the time it gets to me, I simply fill in the little holes, and he can run with his idea.  He’s still asserting his independence a bit, so I don’t hear from his as often as I would like, but I respect the space he needs to figure things out.

They drive me batty, but they are mine, and I will fiercely defend them if ever I need to.  Everyone knows to watch out, if you upset the crazy CoCo sister.  So here’s my song to you, my little toots! Disregard the military-themed video that makes me cry, and listen to the words (which Sean will appreciate more) and a dance break in the middle (for Ryan).  Love you fo-evew and evew!

Where Have All The Christian’s Gone?

waldoDISCLAIMER: This is something that I have been mulling around for a while, trying to think of a way to express it without coming off as hypocritical or condescending.  I will start this post off by stating clearly, I am Mormon.  I love the teachings of my faith.  I think the leaders within the Church organization are men, doing the best they can, filtering a perfect work through an imperfect vessel, being themselves.  I don’t necessarily agree with everything they do and say, but I do look to them for leadership and feel they are inspired by God.  I do not love the culture that has been created by members of the church, but I have long-ago separated doctrines of the Church from the oddities found within the culture created by its members.  So, with that business out of the way, here I go, releasing the bee from my bonnet.

While I am personally of a more liberal socio-political persuasion, I have a lot of friends and family that are more conservative.  Although I am not an avid follower of The Blaze or Fox News, I know what is said by them, thanks to copious re-posts and “likes” that show up in my social media feed.  The “conservative” half of the United States of America is quite concerned with the waning Christian culture in our country.  They blame the Muslims.  They blame Obama.  They blame the welfare system and self entitlement.  They blame Europe.  They blame the media.  They blame the over-worked, under-paid teachers that make up our education system.  The “other” half of us are, too, concerned with religiosity.  Contrary to popular belief, we are not all God haters.  According to the exit polls from the last presidential election, only 12% of the population was, and they were of both parties. However, that’s not the point, so I won’t digress.  My point is, as I see this war within our country of finger-pointing and hate mongering in the name of Christianity, it makes me sick inside.  I would like to propose another fault with whom the decline of Christianity lies.  It’s within the Christians.  I say that, including myself as a Christian.

As The Sound of Music says, “Let’s start at the very beginning.  A very good place to start.”

“In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” (Gen 1:1, 27).  Whether you are Jewish or Christian, this is a truth you hold dear.  At that point, God began giving commandments instantly, on how people should live their lives.  The definition of the word commandment is that it is a divine rule.  It’s important to note this.  Rules are simply ways we are told to conduct ourselves.  It is not a forced action.  Just because God gives us a commandment to follow does not mean that we must follow this, otherwise they would not be called commandments.  They would be called compelments.  Like all rules, commandments have consequences when broken.  This is where scriptures get tricky.  Some of the consequences for broken commandments are quite clear, others, not so much.  However, it is still our choice.

So we go through Adam and Eve, Enoch, Noah, bla bla bla… a bunch of stuff, and we get to Moses.  The first commandment given to Moses, written on the stone tablets is, “I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.  Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” (Ex 20: 2-3)  Notice, in the editing process of the grammar of the King James version from which I took that quote, “gods” was not capitalized.  This signifies a lack of specificity.  These “gods” don’t have to be golden calves.  They can be anything from money, riches, and celebrity to ourselves.  The latter being the most common.  Many of us practice the religion of narcissism.  I have my own blog named after me.  Clearly I am guilty, so stay with me here.  The first commandment of the religion of narcissism is that I am the smartest and most important person I know, and the second is whatever I do and however I do it is the correct and right way.  Yep.  Super guilty.  Yes, this is also part of the culture that I described in my beginning paragraph disclaimer that drives me insane.  (So there you go, I’m a hypocrite, too, all in one paragraph.  Clearly I am writing this post for myself as well, so refrain from posting scathing comments in my feedback telling me that I am a terrible person.  Thanks!)

With a hop, skip, and a jump, Christ comes in the New Testament.  Christ establishes new commandments.  While these don’t abolish those set forth by Jehovah of the Old Testament, they build upon the concepts.  Christ’s “first” two commandments can be found in Matt 22: 37-40.  “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”  Layman’s terms, love God first, above all else, with everything you’ve got.  Then look at the people around you, that you interact with, no matter where you go.  These people are your neighbors.  You should love them every bit as much as you love yourself.  When Christ presented these ideas, they were clearly stated together.  I believe this was with perfect design, because when you love God with all that you have, you then realize God’s love for you.  When you realize God’s love for you, you love yourself more, because you see your value.  When you know your own value, and you give all around you the same value of love, well, you are loving them as God does.  It’s a complete circle.    I could go into the beattitudes at this point as well, or other great teachings, but for the sake of brevity, I will stick with the basics here.

So the first three topics of reference are all from The Holy Bible.  It’s the number one book sold in the world.  That doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the most read, because it isn’t.  It’s the second most read, to the Quran, but let’s stay out of the great Muslim debate (which is ironically as old as the books themselves, and it’s beginnings are recorded in the Bible) and stay on topic.  The third reference I would like to pull is from a talk given by a current leader in my church, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf.  In April 2010, he spoke about Christian love in a talk called, “You Are My Hands.”  I strongly encourage reading this, as a great view on Christian conduct.  In this, he says, “The Savior revealed the perfect priorities for our lives, our homes, our wards, our communities, and our nations when He spoke of love as the great commandment upon which ‘hang all the law and the prophets.’  We can spend our days obsessing about the finest details of life, the law, and long lists of things to do; but should we neglect the great commandments, we are missing the point and we are clouds without water, drifting in the winds, and trees without fruit.”  In my words, don’t get caught up in what people look like, eat, drink, wear, think, do.  Sure, there are several commandments about these things.  However, if we make these more important than loving one another, all our other works, though well-intentioned, are moot.

Okay, so I got through all the theological stuff.  I did that first to get you all on the same page, as you may have clicked on my blog after reading some angry rant by someone on some topic that you disagree with, or saw another annoying post by that person who is a perpetual bragger.  If you got here after receiving yet another Farmville request, yes, you needed this to bring that roaring boil of annoyance down to room temp.

As I went through what I consider to be the basics of the Christian belief, I ask where there is room for hatred?  I’m not talking wars and bombings.  I am talking posts about “I have to push 1 for English!”  and “I support the ugly bearded dude who says hateful things!”  The reason why I mentioned some of the conservative news sources at the beginning is because these sources, (actually, The Blaze, to Glen Beck’s credit, is by far less hateful… he’s improving.  Give credit where it is due.) are focusing so much on the attack of Christianity that they have Christians fault finding with one another.  I present Mike Huckabee, for starters, and his consistently ignorant commentary on my own religion.  Thanks for your thoughts, dude.  What did we ever do to you?  Moving on to political issues.  So someone is gay and you don’t agree with homosexuality.  Love them.  So someone immigrated illegally.  Love them.  So someone who lost a child to a school shooting wants to lobby for gun control.  Love them.  A child “comes out” to his/her parents.  LOVE THEM!  Our country lets political opinion and differences of dogma create rifts in a quite common ground and mutual belief system.  I see religious groups, in righteous indignation, saying “I am right, that’s all that matters.”  God didn’t do that.  God gave us rules with consequences.  He set those consequences and will collect on them.  We didn’t and we won’t.  The second we play the, “I am right” card, we, ourselves, broke the rules.  Have you ever had an argument with a disenfranchised atheist/agnostic?  One of the first things they pull out is, “If these people believe in God and Christ, why do they behave in such cruel ways to others?”  That’s not a fun question to try to answer, because they are correct.  There is no justification.

I’m not saying we all hold hands, sing Let There Be Peace On Earth, and let all morals fly away in the wind.  I’m saying, if you are a Christian, live your life as a Christian.  Live the rules you believe God gave you, and love others, even if they don’t follow your rules.  Your life is the only life that is any of your business, in the end, so make sure your life is lived as you believe it should be.  Take a stand for morality, justice, and truth within yourself.  Ya, it’s hard.  Ya, I suck at it 95% of the time.  However, I think we all need to take a look in the mirror and find out where the Christian inside us has gone.

Bibbity Bobbety Boo!

Sparkles-in-the-sun-wallpaper_156I not only shared a room with my sister until I was in seventh grade, but we also shared a bed.  I’m sure most times, Rachel HATED it, but I actually really liked it.  I always had someone I could reach out and touch if I got scared, which was a lot because I had, and still have, a very vivid imagination.  Rachel did, too.  We would stay up way late into the night playing Barbie’s or Quints, and Rachel would tell me what the theme of the playtime was.  “Imagine that we are in the middle of the ocean, and this bed is all we have!” or “Imagine that we are in the middle of the woods, and this bed is all we have!”  (No idea why we would have a bed in either of those places, and why that was the means to our survival, but it worked.)  I have pictures of myself that my parents took of us and we are pregnant with CareBears, but had fallen asleep with them only half out of our night gowns.  Apparently stuffed animal birth was exhausting.  We were really magical kids, full of our pretends, imagines, and wonders.  It’s really no surprise.  When my mom would read us our bedtime stories, she would do the voices in full dramatic character.  If you closed your eyes, you could see yourself in the story with the characters.  Uncle Remus himself could’t even pull off the Southern drawl along with pitch and speed she would put to the voices of Brer Fox, Brer Bear, and Brer Rabbit as she would read one of my favorites, The Tar Baby.

As most people grow up, they somehow convince themselves that magic is no longer cool.  I don’t know if it is the culture, the focus on “real” topics like math and science in school instead of more creative courses, or just simply that we become jaded the more we learn about life, but the spark fades.  Many storybooks talk about it, like Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh, or The Polar Express.  There’s the age that you just wake up and the world is no longer a place where dreams are just a daydream away from being your reality.  This thought always has been depressing to me.  Why can’t adults feel the magic, too?

I think that at Christmas-time, most adults at least let themselves partially fall back into the magic.  This is one of the reasons why I love this season, and the month of December is my favorite time of the year.  This is why I feel at least a little more comfortable making this confession.  I still believe in magic.  I feel it in my tummy when I walk through the gates of Disneyland.  I hear it when I listen to musicals, because, well, wouldn’t life be a lot more magical if we all broke out in unison, belting and dancing our hearts out?  I smell it when I walk into a store in October, and they have the cinnamon pine cones, welcoming holiday season.  This is why I stubbornly still love princess movies, and hate all things scary and spooky.  I still tell myself bedtime stories in my head to fall asleep.  I often play pretend with myself, when I’m doing a menial task or something that I just simply don’t want to do, but must.  This is why I love whimsy and nonsense, and try to notice the little, strange things that make life interesting around me.  This magic has brought me a lot of happiness when nothing else has seemed to work, so I think it’s good for me.  And lest anyone is getting ready to call the loony-bin to come and take me away, I do still know how to check out of imagination-land and back into the real world as I need.  This magic gets me through the hard things in life when nothing else will.  It helps me be kinder, more thoughtful, more passionate and compassionate.  It helps me have hope.

So, I guess my point is, with the holidays upon us, I hope we can all participate in magic.  Dream that the impossible can happen.  Suspend reality a little bit, to something brighter, more colorful and happy.  I think it simply makes the world a more joyful place.  Just close your eyes, make a wish, and count to three…

When Depression Strikes The Silly Girl

jess-new-girl-jpgThis year has been… well… an experience.  I turned 30 (technically that was last Dec, but still), an age that so far I am in love with.  I started a new job, which has brought me a lot of personal and professional fulfillment and growth, as it was almost tailor made for me.  I moved to my own little apartment and left the world of roommates behind.  I traveled a lot, although mostly for work and not enough for pleasure.  I lost a dear friend, suddenly and tragically while we were on a work trip together, as well as other family members.  I was able to watch my best friend have a baby, reaffirming my total feminist view that women completely and utterly rock!  I have had other situations, more personal than I care to share,  come up unexpectedly that threw me into completely uncharted territory that I had to try to navigate through, as well as old emotions come up that I thought were long ago put to rest.  I feel like I have loved a lot, and lost a lot.  It’s been the epitome of a whirlwind/roller coaster hybrid, which is not my favorite.  I prefer Disneyland to Magic Mountain for a reason.  Steady, easy keel, and pretty is my favorite.  Too much movement makes me nauseous and too much chaos in my life makes me a control freak.  Which, as it turns out, I have been finding myself freaking in that department more than I feel comfortable with.  It’s a real treat!

Depression is not a word that suits me, and it is something about as far from my personality and vocabulary as you can get.  Anyone who follows me on social media knows that I prefer silliness, above all.  I live for the weird moments where you see a hot dog and a clown fighting on the street corner, or a man J walking his chicken on a leash.  When you live for weird, and you watch for it closely, there’s very little room for depression.  Plus, I grew up in the country.  Country people do not get depressed.  Well, we aren’t supposed to anyways.  We put on our work boots and get through it.  We don’t get all self-reflective and moody.  You “keep on keepin’ on,” “cowboy up,” and “get ‘er done.”  Even though I never was the cowboy type, there were enough around that the mentality was pretty ingrained in the culture.  Plus, lots of pioneer stock.  Again, depression is not really an option.

So how on earth does someone who is just a giant goofball, who loves sparkles and Disney, deal with life when the spoonful of sugar still isn’t helping the medicine of life go down?  Well… like I mentioned earlier, one way is to become a complete control freak.  That’s really fun.  I’m really SO not serious.  Logically, I know I can no more control anything around me than I can become a mermaid (although I would LOVE to try that), yet controlling CoCo has just been having a hay day.  I also found a new love for shopping.  Like I need anything new.  If you have ever seen my clothing collection, you would know that is the furthest thing I should be spending my time doing.  I find clothes (and underwear) on a regular basis that have tags on them that have never been worn.  This is a problem.  Praise the Lord that I am single, so I can go through this new process without the added stress of someone telling me that I can’t.  Honestly, I’m rebellious enough I would probably do it anyways and be single in the end, so yes, single is perfect for this new shopping phase of my life.  I also do a lot of redirecting, which is not new.  I have always been pretty good at pretending my troubles away.  Well, there’s a point where, as Uncle Remus says, “You can’t run away from trouble. There ain’t no place that far.”  So, I get to cry more than I like as a result, because those dang troubles seem to keep finding me at the most random and inopportune times.  I am sure that is compounded by the insomnia that has crept into my bed and cursed me with the night-time itchies instead of sleep.  I’m glad I invested in cute glasses a couple of years ago, because tears and contacts don’t mix.  Just don’t be the person who gives me a hard time about wearing my glasses, “because I’m hiding my eyes, and my eyes are so pretty.”  Really?  Vanity is the last thing on my mind.  Ask my hair.  It gets washed maybe twice a week these days (but my body gets cleaned more, so no need to worry there).   Finally, I eat crappy food.  A lot!  Still strictly no meat, but hello buttercake!  My stomach is constantly in knots anyways, so what’s a little extra lube in my intestinal tract going to hurt?  I get to throw up a lot, too, which I don’t like and is not on purpose.  That’s just gross.

Needless to say, the mess that is me right now has been a real joy to try to figure out.  I’m not writing this blog post so anyone will feel bad for me.  In fact, I hate pity.  So please, do not do it.  I just need to take time to do things that I love, one of which is writing.  Where this has infiltrated a lot of my life these days, it’s the fodder I have to write about.  I have a great grief counselor who has helped me deal with a lot of this mentally, and have also started to take steps to deal with this crazy mess in my head in both spiritual and physical ways as well.  I’m going to be just A-OK and back to my typical sass in no time.  The good news is, I’m back to writing.  I promise this will be the closest to a “woe is me” post I will write.

To All The Men I’ve Loved Before

1103419This is a love story about not being in love.  “But the title says, To All The Men I’ve Loved Before.  What do you mean it is about not being in love?”  you ask.  Well, because I have loved many a man without actually wanting to jump their bones and vice versa.  Here’s their stories.

As I was getting ready today, I was listening to Robyn.  Ya, she’s that Swedish popstar that everyone thought disappeared back in the 90’s.  She’s actually still making music, and great music at that.  I 100% think that Miley stole her haircut, and not Pink’s as everyone thinks.  She’s really fun to sing and dance to in the shower.  The song “Hang With Me” is one of my favorites.  Here, have a listen while you read the rest of my post.

As I listened to it, I thought of all my favorite guys I have ever had the pleasure of hanging with.  Oh how I love each and every one of you in a strictly platonic way!

My mom always joked that, while my sister Rachel dated many a boy, I just became their best friend.  I really did.  Some of my favorite memories are with my sister’s old boyfriends.  There were a few of her many boys that I didn’t like, but most of them, I loved!  Don’t feel sad for me, like my sister always got the guy I wanted. Trust me… Our “types” don’t really cross… But Blakey, Moke, Jeff, Brandon, Bradley, (actually, she dated a lot of guys through the years that I loved, so I probably shouldn’t start listing) I love my memories with you!  Then, of course, the one who won her heart in the end, the J Bird.  Let’s just say I’m the favorite in-law for a reason.  We have mastered the distract and conquer maneuver for getting what we want!

My college guy friends… Oh how you saved me many times!  Poor Nick and Lauren had to listen to my incessant complaining about my relationships.  Luckily, it wasn’t all about my very troubled love life.  Nick helped me build my knowledge of great film and an appreciation for dark humor as we would have our weekend “double features.”  Lauren and I had the most fun freaking out poor innocent BYU students with our dirty jokes that we could bounce so effortlessly off of one another.  I loved being the wing-woman who also played a little bit double agent while he wooed his wife, Carolyn.  Sweet Kyle would drag me to church, even though I hated going.  Lance, my favorite optimistic pessimist.  Someday I think I am going to find out that the show Dexter was based on him.  Lance and Lauren also helped me gain quite the vocabulary of less offensive ways to say very offensive deeds… Which is endlessly entertaining!  Who comes up with those deeds, let alone what they are called?!  They all married great girls, except for Lance.  He’s still single, so if you are an 18 year old girl with Asian heritage and the chest of a 12 year old boy, let me know.  He’d love to take you out, but only if you’re not from Utah!

Post college, I have a few guys I’ve been able to hang with that I love as well!  Andrew keeps me in check as my spiritual guide, who is also an attorney at law, should I need a quick legal question answered.  Steve Joel of the Bearded Baird, helps me see my inner hypocrite, but also embrace my inner hippy and artist.  It’s all very cerebral yet silly… Clarky, who has been unfriended and refriended because of his own interpretation of humor, is the most blunt person I know.  If you need an answer to a hard question that nobody dares tell you the answer to, he’s the one to break the hard news with a jolly joke!  There’s my male-mirror-reflection, Aaron.  He’s definitely more patient than me, but also more devious… Like when he thinks of the naughtiest things to tease about!  However, there’s rarely a childhood story or opinion that I’ve shared with him where he hasn’t had a similar situation on his side of the looking glass.  Bret, who I love to annoy, and loves to annoy me back.  He helps me realize my passion for design, but also with the looming threat of sending me to China, or worse, back to the bug infested hotel we stayed at in Portland.  Cheap as he may be on the room front, we eat amazing food, and he’s not too bad of a travel companion.

I feel like if I keep listing, I will surely miss someone and I don’t really want to hurt anyone’s feelings.  Then again, these are guys that I am talking about… They probably aren’t even reading my blog.  The Superbowl is in 2 weeks!  What are the analysts saying?!   Regardless, I’m so happy I have had great men in my life who I can call friends!  Thanks for letting me be the Tinkerbell to your Peter Pan!  Sorry… a more dude-friendly equivalent is escaping me… plus you all know how I love the Tinkerbell, so any comparison I can make to myself, I’ll take.  And if you were omitted, just look at it this way.  These men know too much about me and will have to be “dealt with” when I become President, so your omission is more of a pardon, anyways.

My 2013 Mantra

http://ruthannewithane.blogspot.com/2012/03/proverbs-3130-free-printable.htmlWelcome 2013!  Ya, so… I dropped my blogging ball, and I am sorry, to you, my 5 little readers out there!  I’ll do better!  So, in deciding where and how to start up my blog again, I reflected on my odd day.  Today was strange, to say the least.  I had several unusual things happen to me, but one that sort of stood out from the rest.  This was a chance meeting that really brought up thoughts and feelings I hadn’t thought about in a while.

Side note:  This post is a not one of my funny, witty ones.  I promise, those will come back.  This one is more of catharsis.  I’ve referenced my ex-boyfriend before.  I don’t like to blog about him, because, well… I like to give him as little control over my life as possible.  My little blog is my own purchased little piece of real estate on the web, and I really never wanted him to be able to get a lot of time in it.  But this little meeting today goes back to him, so bear with me and it will come full circle.  I shall refer to him and all people associated with him as X.

As I was walking through a store today, I found myself face to face with Mama X and little sister X.  In a quick panic, I did what came naturally to me.  Say hello and be awkward.  The response I got from Mama X was appalling, but quite in character.  She asked me to remind me of how she knew me.  When I said my name, she still pressed.  “You know… X’s Nicole.”  I still cringe at the fact that I had to refer to myself as “his” Nicole, because I’m not “his”, but that’s beside the point.  Suddenly, as if a magical spell had been broken, she recalled all sorts of things about me.  We finished our conversation, and I walked away.  As I ran in to her again at the store’s exit, she grabbed me and introduced me to her friend.  She introduced me as Monica.  Again, I had to repeat my name for her.  Awesome, classy lady, right?!

So, flash back to 23/24 year old me.  I was engaged, and head over heels in entrapment.    I call it that because I just don’t see how anything that was that manipulated and controlled could be called love.  I was busy trying to plan a wedding that my parents weren’t very thrilled about.  My parents, to their benefit, were good sports.  I knew they weren’t a fan of X, but once my decision was made, they kept their opinions to themselves.  His parents, on the other hand, had told me they didn’t want to have a reception with their friends for us, but my parents could if they wanted to.  They disinvited me to all of their family functions that were happening throughout the holidays because X’s child and baby-mama would be there, and then there was the constant fight about our colors.  You wouldn’t think colors would be such a big deal to the mother of the groom, but the fights it caused… I can’t even begin to explain.  I’m giving the cliffs notes version here, because the real version is as tragic and lengthy as Anna Karenina.  Then there was the one-on-one conversation that happened the Sunday before the engagement was ended.  X’s mom told me this story of how her ex-husband, X’s biological dad, was a terrible person.  She divorced him, but their parents were still in the same LDS Ward.  One week, he came to the ward with someone new, and she said all she could do was pity the girl who was with her ex.  X’s mom proceeded to tell me that is exactly how she thought the baby-mama should view me, with pity.  This was a very strange conversation to have with the mother of X.  Nonetheless, I desperately felt the need for her approval and tried so hard to figure out how I was going to fit in to their very unhealthy “picture perfect” façade of a world.  It killed me that she looked through me.  She was the worst kind of cruel of any human I had ever met.

Okay, so let’s flash back to today.  The more I thought about this interaction with Mama X, the more I realized what a sick and twisted lady she really is.  First, there is no way that she doesn’t know the girl who her son dated off and on for eight years, let alone was engaged to.  My hair color has changed, but I didn’t have reconstructive surgery or anything.  Secondly, when I think of the manipulated cruelty she dealt so naturally over six years ago, it doesn’t surprise me that the knack of hers persisted.  The thing that was great this time, however, was that I had changed.  Instead of seeing some beautiful, thin, blonde, wealthy woman in a perfect house in the perfect neighborhood with her disapproving glare burning a hole through my heart, I saw something else completely.  I saw someone who was, well… Pitiful.  She deserved my pity.  There she was, pretending like all the material things she had mattered, that her opinion of me mattered, that the small talk actually mattered, when it didn’t at all, and were just beautiful robes for her sad, black heart.  I had grown past the need for her approval.  I had definitely grown past her son.  Most of all, I had grown in to someone who I was proud to be.  Even now.  I’m sitting here, thinking about the event, and I just feel sad that she thinks in such a small way.  I think of how her son treated me like I was never good enough.  How she treated me like I was never good enough, like I was never worthy.  I am so grateful that I know who I am.  I am a strong, albeit sassy, woman who loves deeply, cares sometimes a little too much, and is worthy because I know my worth to God and to those who truly love me and who I truly love.

So, the reason I decided that this was a good post to restart my blogging and begin 2013 with is because of this.  2013, my first year in my 30’s, is the year that I will not for one second forget my worth, for “Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.” Prov 31:30

Ch-Ch-Changes!

Well, I think that my rapidly approaching 30th birthday is finally getting to me.  As much as I try to not let this magic number bother me, it just sounds old!  I keep telling myself that as long as I don’t feel it, and I don’t look it, I have nothing to worry about.  I definitely still feel 25, which is a great age.  I don’t feel like a silly frilly teenager, I have myself figured out more than an early 20’s person, so definitely 25.  That works for me!  However, that December 13 day keeps inching closer and closer…

The reason why I think that the age is getting to me is because lately, I’m OBSESSED with change!  I literally want to change everything in my life.  I quit my job (then un-quit, for the update, I still work at Mamabargains, KURU Footwear, and CPK).  I got rid of more than half of my clothes… Which reminds me, I should go shopping so I have some Winter clothes…  I recently went to visit my sister in Mesa, AZ, and I’m quite sure that after the holiday season, I’ll try to relocate there.  I would rather deal with 2 or 3 months of 120 degree weather than 6 months of cold.  I’m ALWAYS cold, and I hate it.  I was even cold when I was in Mesa in 90 degree heat.  So with work and home changes somewhat figured out, I had to change my “self” somehow.  Enter Megg Hansen, hairstylist extraordinaire!  Adore her.  I looked and looked for hairstyles and colors, but I couldn’t decide on one.  So, I just decided to jump.  I literally told her to do whatever she wanted!  I should note she is a Pureology and Redkin certified stylist, as well as teaches hair classes, so she’s pretty up on trends and techniques.  I wasn’t scared at all!  Just a couple of rules.  #1- I look terrible with red tones and #2- no she-mullets.  So, here’s the big reveal!

BEFORE (Long, dark brown hair) photo taken 2 weeks ago

AFTER!

She cut off several inches and then color melted my hair.  The roots are going to be getting a little darker next week, because Megg said she wanted to do it, and I’m cool to try it out, but here it is for now!  I love it!  I’ve had long hair for years.  It was definitely time for a change up, and an A-symmetrical cut is SO me.  It’s a little lop sided, just like me!  I strongly recommend anyone who is feeling a little stagnant to go play a little hair Russian Roulette by walking in to your hairdresser and let them do whatever they want.  It works!  It feels great!

Mr. Good For Now

Holy Guacamole!  It’s been FOREVER!  No, I did not forget about my little bloggy.  I have had a bit more of a life that has left me just too tired for wit.  I know.  Freaking miracle! One thing that happened this summer was that I actually had a little mini-relationship.  Literally, blink and you missed it.  Only a very small handful of people even knew about it.  Partly because I’m SUPER private about such things, and also because my family likes to torment me too much and so I don’t tell them.  It’s their own fault that they don’t know (just think back to when I was in high school and all your teasing, and blame yourselves).  The other part is that I don’t like to talk about such things until I firmly know which way they are going to go.  So, now that it has officially run its course, it can be the topic of my “back-in-the-swing-of-things” blog.  This one is written explicitly for my single friends and acquaintances.  The rest of you probably will be bored with it.  Don’t worry.  I’m sure there will  be some CoCo sass coming at you soon enough.  There is always some bee that finds its way into my bonnet.  Don’t you fret!

Towards the first of the summer, I decided that I wanted to date more.  So, I did!  I was reminded why I don’t love dating.  There are a LOT of crazies out there.  However, I was able to glean something quite great.  It was a relationship with someone who was perfect, absolutely perfect, for me at this point in my life.  Now, the reason why this is more for my single friends is this.  Just because a relationship may not be the one, and it may have an end, does not mean it needs to be tragic and leave you with some issue or major baggage.  It can be perfect for you.  So here’s what I needed to learn from this relationship.

Relationships can and should be easy.  As strange as this probably sounds, I really haven’t had a simple relationship.  There’s always something complicated.  With some, they have been BEYOND complicated.  I’m talking Jerry Springer level of drama.  People who didn’t know me during certain relationships are shocked and amazed when I tell them just how daytime-television my life got at one point.  I got to a point where I thought it was surely me that was causing such havoc in my personal life.  This relationship proved to me that I am not the problem and that drama and relationships are not synonymous.  From beginning to end, and to end, and to end again (Ok, yes, I’m still not good at the hard break), this was the easiest thing I have ever done, and I am happy to say that we parted ways knowing that we don’t work, but that we really respect and like each other as individuals.  That’s a drastic contrast to past relationships I have had.

Obsession, flattering as it may be, is not healthy.  He and I had busy schedules.  This kept us from being able to see a lot of one another. I don’t do well with smothering, and he didn’t either.  We just squeezed time in whenever we could, and it was great when we were able to see one another.  Unrealistic obsessions with being with the other person at all times and rearranging everything in your lives to make that happen only breeds resentment and contention.  At least in the early dating phases.  I understand it to an extent later in the relationship, but again, why add the drama?

Talking about your feelings is not necessary.  I know, I know.  I need to learn to talk about my feelings.  As open as I am on my blog, unless you’ve tried to talk to me about my feelings, you probably don’t know how much I HATE talking about things like that.  I feel incredibly awkward, and it has been a problem in past relationships.  Well, this one was so easy that we didn’t ever have to have a sit down conversation, DTR, whatever you want to call it.  We just let things be.  Then, when it was done it was a simple conversation, and it was finished.  Because the lack of Shakespearean flair was already established, there was no reason to end things that way.

Don’t judge someone immediately on whether you will like them or not.  I actually have never liked any of the guys I dated seriously at first sight.  In fact, the person who I probably loved the very most I thought was all ears and teeth, too skinny and tall, and dressed like a grandpa.  So, really, I already knew this fact, but this past relationship just reinforced this to me.  When this latest guy got my number, I thought… “Meh…”  But, over time, the more I got to know him, the more he was probably one of the more interesting people I have dated.  As soon as I assumed left, he told me right.  It kept things engaging, and honestly, the things I thought I wouldn’t like about him became more endearing.  Now, even though he is not in my scope, I know that people similar to him in certain ways could actually be potential love matches.  Considering he was nothing like anyone I had dated in the past, it definitely opened up the realm of possibilities.

So, for my single friends, give different people a chance and don’t turn it into a drama.  You could be pleasantly surprised by Mr. Good For Now and what he will teach you.  Who knows, maybe someday a Mr. Good For Now will turn in to Mr. Always and Forever.  But how about we stop letting the old relationships ruin future relationships and just find the great things that they can teach us for the future.  Baggage is not attractive.  Unless, of course, it’s that of Louis Vuitton.