Friendships over Mani/Pedis

This afternoon, I went for a spontaneous manicure and pedicure at this place in town that lets me have my own nail file and brush. Of course, this makes me feel better about going for a mani/pedi here, despite the fact that I “pick a cuh-lah” from the wall and soak my feet in a bath that a million feet have soaked. I called for an appointment and got one—within the hour, probably because at 4pm on a Monday isn’t booming…at least this particular Monday was not.

While I was waiting for my appointment that started five minutes prior, I watched an older woman who was in divine shape and carried herself so well enter the nail salon for the same services I was getting (what a coinkie-dink!). After she picked “a cuh-lah” she came to sit down next to me in the old dining room dining chairs that have been broken in with years of wear and tear and stains.

She broke the silence of waiting to be called by asking me if the red polish and gel shellack shades she picked were the same or very nearly so.

I met the woman I want to be in 41 years.

Eve and I—-yes, we were on a first name basis in the hour that came to get to know each other—sat side by side and got mani/pedis. I learned she’s 71 years young. She’s been married for 50 years this past April. She just retired in the last few years and has two grown sons, and three grandchildren—two, she said looked to be about my age, to which I shyly replied “I’ll be 30 next month….” Everyone—Eve, and the two nail techs laughed and said something to the effect of “Rweee-we?” “You don’t look it!” Well, thank you….but yes….I am turning 30 in less than three weeks. 

We chit chatted back and forth throughout our appointment. We talked about the eclipse and our unsuccessful viewing of it. She told me stories of when her boys were little.  I told her a few harrowing tales from my classroom and the children that have passed through it. We talked about the institution of marriage and how she disapproves of the hype of the celebration in lieu of the focus of the wedding ceremony. We talked about the state of the state and the lack of a state budget and its effects on folks. We talked about how she used to be a technical secretary and how she grew up and about her house in town.

I hope when I spontaneously go for a mani/pedis again, Eve is there. I truly enjoyed talking with her.

Happy Eclipse Day!

 

Dear Thirty, TURN AROUND AND WALK AWAY

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I am NOT ready to be thirty. The word itself just looks dirty.

Being thirty in my mind constitutes a whole level of adulting that I feel I am not even close to taking on. Nor have I earned the privilege of thinking myself a thirty-something.

Thinking about turning thirty exactly one month from today brings a sense of sheer and utter panic—what if I haven’t learned what I needed to or experienced what I ought to have in my 20s? Surely, I can’t graduate to the 30s if I haven’t passed all of the 20s checkpoints, right?

In my perception of society, 30-somethings have their lives all figured out and are married and have a couple of kids–maybe one more on the way. They are content with themselves and the direction their lives are going in.

Then there’s me….got a solid career, bought a house, adopted a dog, still single-ish, not married—likely not happening at this rate, kids? Keep dreaming—hah especially at the rate finding a suitable mate is going…

Before you go banging me over the head with a reality check of all that I’ve done on my own—I know….I should be proud and I am. But thirty for me is looking different than what I thought thirty would look like. And that is scary!

The unknown is scary, people!

I love my birthday. Its the one day every year that I get that is in my honor. But this year might have a different feel to it.

Also—turning the big 3-0 seems to warrant doing something big—its a decade birthday. I haven’t had this much trouble deciding what to do for my birthday since I was 9 deciding in the aisles of Party City what theme I was going to go with. Is it lame that I want to go bowling for my birthday? Maybe I can make it classy by going bowling at the casino? IDK. Or maybe I can do a beach day if the weather is still warm… Or maybe I can relive my 25th birthday and bring friends from all time periods together at a restaurant. Or maybe can go away with only the people who matter and just relax…but I want to celebrate, dammit! GAHHH! Why is this such a hard decision to make?!

Alas, (Sean, I threw that in there for you, buddy) I will be turning 30 whether I want to or not. I think it’s been so comfortable being an age in the 20s that turning 30 seems scary because its uncharted territory. Maybe it will be great. Maybe it will suck. Maybe it will be in-between…who knows! I just know I’m going to face 30 with a drink in my hand, a smile on my face and a big ole’ box of tissues!

If you have any advice or a laugh, please send it my way!

I Met A Famous Person In-Person!

Gah! I can die and go to heaven….another one of my secret wishes has come true! Okay—the first one may have been silly, but I have secretly always wanted to dress up like a character and the B.A.B.E.S ladies needed someone to be the frog…..SHAZAMMM! There was my opportunity and I took it!

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And the kids all knew it was me—I couldn’t figure out how or why—but my blond ponytail was hanging out the back of the frog head. Being a character is no joke! It’s hot in there and there is NO air conditioned suits!

Okay, okay….back to my next secret wish come true. So, last night I went to see Straight No Chaser in concert—if you have not seen these nine gents in concert, do yourselves a favor and look up their tour and get yourselves some tickets. You will not regret it! They are fantastic!

So, I was at their concert and my excitement for the show is building while taking a look around at the people streaming into the theater. All of a sudden, the sounds of sweet music begin to fill my ears and I turn my head to the stage. There was this youngish man sitting at a keyboard with a microphone. I had no idea who he was, but I knew I loved his music and instantly thought we could be BFFs….he probably did not have the same thought, but that’s okay, I’ll forgive him.

He did a few songs, made me swoon in my seat and at the intermission, I ran out to the MERCH table to get his CD. Then, I spotted him on the side of the Merchandise table signing CDs and taking pictures. GAH! Here was my chance!

I wasn’t sure I had ever heard Jon McLaughlin before—but I knew I had never been inches away from a celebrity before. I didn’t know what to say….so I went with a overly happy and breathy “Hiii…!” that drifted off into the wind.

He asked me who he could make out the CD to….and I told him me, of course!

He signed my copy of his album and we took a picture. (Photo credit: my brother, Sean!)

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Fix #11

I am quite late on posting about my fix that arrived almost a month ago. Nothing excites me more than Fix Day and Nicole pulled together five great summer staples that I couldn’t wait to try on!

For those of you who may be unfamiliar with Stitch Fix, let me explain.

What is Stitch Fix?

Stitch Fix is an online styling service that works to serve both men and women, petite and plus-size figures as well as women needing maternity clothing.

To get started, you can click the following link to create your free style profile where you will set your style of clothing, size and budgetary preferences.

When you are ready, you can set up your first fix date and also your fix frequency. I have mine set to On-Demand. When I first signed up, I was getting fixes monthly. Knowing I was buying a house, I became more conservative with my money and cut down on all monthly expenses. You’ll be able to choose from every 2-3 weeks, every month, every other month or every 3 months. If you know you have a fix coming up and need to change or cancel the date, Stitch Fix has you covered! Just log into your account and update your fix date.

Try everything on in the comfort and convenience of your own home. Keep what you love and send back what you don’t in the pre-paid postage bag. The great part of Stitch Fix is how they credit you the $20 styling fee as long as you purchase at least one item. If you love it all, you get the $20 credit and a buy 5 discount towards your order!

At the checkout, be sure to leave specific and meaningful feedback to make your next fix even better!

Let’s see what Nicole pulled for me this time!

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DANIEL RAINN ESTEFANY LACE DETAIL SPLIT NECK BLOUSE

I have one Daniel Rainn blouse in my closet that I ordered from a Nordstrom Rack clearance sale. It is one of my favorite–if not, my absolute favorite–tops in my closet. I love the material, the pattern the fit, everything. So, you can imagine my excitement when I learned that Stitch Fix began carrying Daniel Rainn. Nicole was sure to include one Daniel Rainn for me this time—the one that came last time was not exactly my style. She sent it in a cobalt blue, which I loved instantly! The material was light and flowy–perfect for summer!

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PIXLEY JEFFERSON EMBROIDERED YOKE BLOUSE

I loved this piece as I pulled it out of the box. It was a light-weight navy blouse that I imagined wearing with several different bottoms. I really hoped this top would look as great on me as it looked on a hanger. When I tried it on, the fit was generally great except for the armholes. This top showed an unfavorable amount of side boob, and ultimately, I decided not to keep it.

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KUT FROM THE KLOTH ROBIN PRINTED DRAWSTRING SHORT

From the box, I was intrigued by these shorts. They were very light material. When held up to the window light, I could see through the fabric a bit, but decided that I’d give them a chance. They were the most comfortable shorts ever. Drawstring waist, and flowy. I believe I had asked for some flowy clothes for the dog days of summer—pieces that flow away from the body and Nicole was sure not to disappoint! The drawstring shorts go really well with the navy Pixley Jefferson Embroidered Yoke Blouse. Ultimately, these shorts were my swing vote—I liked them, but I wouldn’t have been heartbroken if I sent them back.

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JUST BLACK DIAN STEP RELEASED HEM SKINNY JEAN

I love a sexy pair of white denim jeans. I love a sexy pair of white denim jeans that go on like butter. These jeans did not disappoint. They slid on like butter and smoothed over all the right spots. They fit amazing—like every other pair of pants I have ever received from Stitch Fix. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Stitch Fix has never seen me in person, nor do they have my exact measurements. Yet, they have nailed my pants size time and time again—better, I might add—than I can buy pants for myself! These are an absolute keep!

MARKET & SPRUCE KESEY KNIT ROMPER

I have been interested in seeing what a romper would look like on me. Part of me worried it would make me look like this one photo of me as a child. Although, I thought the romper was extremely comfortable and the pattern on it was fun and not really offensive, I ultimately decided to send it back. For the cost, I couldn’t rationalize keeping it. I also couldn’t determine where I would wear such a thing, aside from the beach. And at $64, that would have been a very expensive beach cover up.

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Let’s recap!

  • Daniel Rainn Estefany Lace Detail Split Neck Blouse…$64.00 (KEEP)
  • Pixley Jefferson Embroidered Yoke Blouse…$48.00 (RETURN)
  • Kut From The Kloth Robin Printed Drawstring Short…$58.00 (KEEP)
  • Just Black Dian Step Released Hem Skinny Jean…$88.00 (KEEP)
  • Market & Spruce Kesey Knit Romper…$64.00 (RETURN)

 

For my next fix, I requested a trendy back-to-school outfit and a great pair of sandals. Let’s see what Nicole puts together for me! I promise not to wait over a month to post it!

Also, I’ve already worn my favorite outfit a few times since it arrived!

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No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

There’s another jerk to add to the collection. My last post was written with this person in mind. So let me fill you in on what happened following that post.
We resolved to give it a chance and see where things went. At the time, I was excited for any time he offered me to spend with him. In hindsight, I realize how little effort he was willing to put forth with his offers to “hang out”. When he wanted to hang out, it would be for a relaxing night in. When I suggested we go out, either he had something else in mind or said he’d be fine staying in. I almost always would get a casual message saying “wanna come over?” But as soon as I suggested a quiet night in at my house, BUSY. Even some of his words changed. Message weight decreased going from sizable replies to short fragments. That should have been my sign—or one of my signs.
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Staying optimistic, I thought, “Okay. My last ditch effort will be for his birthday.” I had seen him a few days prior to his birthday and asked him if he had plans, to which the reply was “idk, nothing yet….I don’t really celebrate this birthday it’s not a big birthday like the decade ones, ya know?” When I asked him if he’d like to go to dinner and drinks mere hours later, POOF! he suddenly had plans. And those plans did not include me…Did I miss something?
I planned to do something for his special day whether I was a part of it or not. So, I put together a birthday bag with a bottle of tequila, margarita mixer, a bag of the popcorn that I brought to the beach and he made sure to tell me he liked/couldn’t find at the store, a musical card that had his favorite country artist’s song, a regifted StarBucks gift card (still can’t get rid of the damn thing!) and some scratch-offs. I knew he was at work, so I drove to his house and left it in the door for him to find when he came home.
The discovery happened and I got a lame, “Thanks for the b-day bag!” If I came home to find a thoughtful surprise like that, I would have called or driven right over to the person and gave them a huge hug and a kiss to thank them. Maybe that’s just me though.
And then it came….the dreaded words. Screen Shot 2017-07-17 at 10.37.30 AM
I didn’t bother to fight it. But let it be known…I was and still am TICKED OFF.
He reluctantly came to my house to get a couple things he left behind and to return the birthday bag. He came in quietly, trying so hard to open the gate and the door so I wouldn’t hear. The exchange was barely 5 words and he scurried off down the driveway like chickenshit. I kept everything in the bag and moved it to the corner of my office, not prepared to go through it yet.
The other day, I was cleaning around the house and was sick of looking at the bag so I decided to empty it.
That rat bastard ripped the box to the tequila, opened the seal and sticker and drank some. He opened the mixer and likely used some of that. The scratch offs (3 $1 ones) were long gone. The popcorn bag was pretty beat up and the card was tossed back in the bag with the gift card. All the tissue paper was crumpled up like trash at the bottom of the bag.
If your prerogative is to send me packing and you have a hunch you’re going to do this, why even initially accept a gift from me? Furthermore, why guiltlessly enjoy a drink for the road and then give me your leftovers? Do I have ‘sucker’ tattooed across my head?
No good deed goes unpunished. No good deed.
Well, I had some words lined up. I didn’t expect them to be answered but I am sure they were read.
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The first message was my initial attempt and the second was harboring some anger. Some would be an understatement. Try livid.
No more Miss Nice Girl.
Sayonara!

Two Peas in a Pod

I often field the question, “What made you adopt a pit bull?” and it really, really irritates me. While I was aware of the breed of dog I was adopting, I saw past the hallmark features of a pit bull dog and saw a sweet, loving and playful dog who desperately needed the safety and security of a loving, nurturing and quiet home with a patient caretaker to provide that for him.

I would be lying to you if I said it has been peaches and cream since Domino arrived, but that was to be expected. 96.99999% of the time, having Domino in the house with me is a complete blessing. The other 4% of time you can imagine is filled with bribing him through the door when I am running late to get somewhere and he decides it would be an awesome time to lay down right before the door, or redirecting him from barking at anything that flutters by the front windows to coaxing him out of the car when the ride is done while he’s silently demanding the ride continues.

We are beginning our seventh month together and the longer I spend with him the more I realize that we are a match made in heaven.

Though our upbringings have nothing in common, our view on some parts of the world jive. He has trouble trusting new people. I take a while to warm up to new folks. Just thinking back on my relationship history, it’s hard when beginning something new with someone new. Domino is pretty selective as to who he accepts and welcomes into his domain. Similarly, I have very few but true friends with whom I continue to spend time.

When he came to me, he was was very on-edge and unsure of his new surroundings, his role in the house and what my role was to be. When I begin a new opportunity, I feel similarly. There’s an uncertainty, a fleeting feeling of “No, don’t leave me!” and the safety of an invisible wall that I put up around me to keep from getting hurt or overly disappointed when things don’t work out.

The biggest qualities that we share is the intrinsic desire for love and the need for others to be patient. Domino came to me wanting nothing more than to have someone love and care about him. I want nothing more than to share the love brimming from my heart with someone who deserves my time and love and energy.

So, if you are about to ask someone why they adopt a pit bull, stop to consider why not adopt a pit bull. After all, they are all deserving of a caring home just like your labrador retriever or cockapoo.

 

Learning How to ‘Love Bravely’

One morning, I was eating breakfast with Kathy Lee and Hoda and they did a short segment on a college professor from Northwestern University who has one of the most popular classes on campus—“Building Loving and Lasting Relationships: Marriage 101.” Her class is so popular that it has a waiting list longer than any other college class has ever seen.

loving bravelyFor those who are out of the university scene and still want to get educated, Alexandra H. Solomon, PhD wrote a book that includes 20 lessons for the reader to learn more about themselves, reflect on all their loving relationships and be better able to be the type of lover they hope to find. Her book, Loving Bravely, is my newest summer read, from which I hope to have an epiphany and realize what I need to be doing or not doing in order to be the best possible someone that someone is out there looking to love.

I will be chronicling my journey through this book and sharing my personal reflections, when appropriate. Solomon provides the reader with a reflective activity at the closure to each chapter—or lesson. I will provide a quick overview of the prompt and then begin my reflection.

Come along for the ride with me….if you are also reading, please chime in with a comment and let me know!