Flake-ish

Are you the dependable one or the flake?

I find that, oftentimes, I am bothered by even the idea that people will say they’re going to do something and then they don’t. Without notice, without a reason, without any consideration for your time. And it could be anything — meeting you for lunch, calling you, going on a trip. Don’t put me in a position where I’m waiting for you, and you don’t even have the courtesy to call.

Worse still, don’t call me at the EXACT minute you’re supposed to be somewhere to tell me you’re running 20 minutes late. You probably knew that 30 minutes ago. At this point, I already know you’re late.

I do my best to surround myself with like-minded people, but it takes time to weed out who I can rock with long term. If you can’t respect my time the way I respect yours, this friendship will be short-lived.

I guarantee it.

At Peace

Ever have those days where you’re worrying and stressing about every possible outcome? I’ve been having those a lot lately — work, home, family, love life, EVERYTHING.

But I had to let it go.

Honestly, at the end of the day, you’ve got to let go of the worry, anxiety, stress and fear. What is productive about feeding all of your energy into feelings that don’t solve anything?

Whatever happens, happens. I’ve prayed about it, and I’m at peace knowing that everything will work out the way it’s supposed to. I’ll be just fine.

New Year, New Opportunity

Are you one of those people that puts everyone ahead of yourself? I am, but I’m finding that to be a blessing and a curse.

I’m one of those people that would give my last to make sure everyone I care about is taken care of, even if it’s to my detriment. I want the people I love to be happy, to have what they need, and to feel like they’re progressing. I always figured that I would take care of me when everyone else was covered.

Slowly, I’ve come to the realization that needs are constant. Everyone always needs SOMEthing. And that’s not a negative, per se. It’s truth. At some point, we have to prioritize these needs, and I had to admit (to myself) that I can’t help you if I’m not helping myself. I can’t provide for you and yours, and subsequently leave myself in a position where I’m not cared for.

More often than not, I’ve found that some of the outreached hands will take and just continue taking, but they never offer anything back. They never reach back to try to lift me up when I’m struggling, nor do they try to provide for me when I’m in need. And I’m not saying everyone is in the same position to give in the same way or to the same magnitude, but you can always give SOMEthing. When you can’t give financially or tangibly, give encouragement, give kindness, give acknowledgement. Give from your heart.

In a nutshell, give a shit about someone other than yourself and your interests.

This year, I’m moving forward with an understanding that I’m not anyone else’s priority, especially if I’m not my own. I need to make sure I’m taken care of BEFORE I try to help everyone else.

BEFORE I give my last, I need to make sure I have a contingency. I can’t save anything for future or for emergency if I give everything away. There’s no rainy day fund. There’s no savings, because I exhausted it trying to help.

I find a joy in cooking and feeding others, but cared little about doing that for myself. About carving out that “me time” or making sure that I was getting what I needed emotionally, physically, spiritually, financially, or intellectually.

This year is my opportunity to begin righting some of those wrongs. And it’s not about regrets, life is about learning and progress.

How will your priorities change in 2014?

Temper Tantrums

A little kid flying business class with his parents threw the most epic tantrum I’ve ever seen. Never mind that it was 3 am and everyone was trying to sleep, he was jumping up and down so hard that the plane shook, clapping to wake people up, throwing his head phones because he wanted to watch Pokemon, jumping off the footrest so hard that he broke it, and screeching so loud that his dad finally dragged him into a lavatory just to buffer the sound. He literally shook a stranger until she woke up. His parents kept passing him back and forth because neither of them knew what to do.

Question: remember the fear? What happened?? I know I’m not the only one who could feel their mom’s eyes on us the second we started cutting up. She didn’t even have to be on the same side of the room; I could feel the threat of proximity if I took a wrong step. Shoot, I’m 31 years old, but I STILL know better than to act a fool in my mother’s presence. Never in my life has she had to say “please” or beg me to act right.

When did obedience become optional?

Truth be told, I felt bad for the parents. I could see how exasperated they were. And I think there’s only so much you can blame the parents. At some point, each child becomes their own individual person. They make choices and mistakes, just like the rest of us. This kid may have been spoiled coming up, may have never had a spanking, may never have even sat through a full time out. You can attribute some to the parents, maybe, but I just don’t think it’s all them. It’s hard to say what was done right or wrong from the outside, and I don’t think there’s just one way to parent effectively.

I hope those parents find something that gives them more confidence in their ability to parent and run their household. Otherwise, that kid is going to run all over them.

Taking Advantage

I’m no Mother Teresa, but I would say that I am generous with those that I care about.  I genuinely care for the well-being of those around me, and it matters to me that the people I love have what they need to get by.

That being said, I’m not stupid, nor am I a doormat.  My generosity and kindness should not be mistaken for weakness or vulnerability.  Attempts to take advantage or exploit are hardly going unnoticed.  But I think this is the point where people sometimes get a little lost.

Often, when people realize that someone is taking them for granted, they get down on themselves.  Maybe it cracks their confidence, or maybe it makes them feel like a prize idiot.  Damn that.  Don’t let someone make you feel bad for being who you are.  Remember that what you did came from a good place.  There’s no sense in feeling bad for doing something good.

People are taken for granted all the time.  Rather than let what happened defeat you or eat away at your will and drive, let it fuel you.  Use that experience as motivation, and most of all, learn from it.  At the end of the day, if you’re not making the most of your life, you’re giving in to the negative energy that came to steal away your livelihood.

I am a true believer that you get what you put out into the universe.  Call it Karma, call it an eye for an eye, Yin and Yang, call it comeuppance.  I don’t have to do or say anything, try to get even, yell, or even be angry.  I feel sorry for anyone that would take advantage, because it says something about where they are in their life — maybe they’re going through something.  And I forgive.  There’s no use in hanging onto negativity; it’s just a waste of energy that could be put to better use.

I won’t change who I am or how I treat people.  I won’t stop caring, because that’s now how I operate.  But I will keep my distance.

Opposite Sides of the Broom

This isn’t even the first or second time that it’s happened.  I just know I don’t like it.  I don’t like feeling like I’ve done something either consciously or subconsciously to attract such a man.  It feels wrong, I’m not the kind of girl who could ignore the big picture, and it makes me wonder how the outside world perceives me for this to happen so often.

He’s married.

Now you may or may not have the right idea about me, especially after my last post, but let me say this:  I have no interest in ruining a marriage, being a homewrecker, breaking up a family, or catching feelings for someone that has sworn vows to someone else.  I might see a married man and think he’s attractive, sure — I’m a flesh and blood woman.  I’m human.  But I’m not going to take it further than a glance.  There could never be more than that.

Last night, I was hit on by a work acquaintance that I’m still getting to know.  I’m still getting to know everyone at my job… I travel so much for work, people barely know me.

Let me give you some background:  I’m genuinely a warm person.  I smile a lot — so much so that if I’m not smiling people think something is wrong.  I love to laugh, and I love the warmth and friendliness of New Orleans because my personality fits here.  It was lost on many in Los Angeles because you can smile and greet someone there, and they’ll look at you like you’re carrying the plague.

Anyway, I’m warm, I’m smiley, and I care.  I want to know the names of the security officers and the cleaning ladies, I want to be able to ask them about their weekends and their families.  I like building a rapport because I don’t like feeling like I work with and around strangers.  It’s just a part of the fabric of my personality.  I won’t say I’m a social butterfly; rather, I would say I choose to be familiar with those that cross my path on a regular basis.  And familiar doesn’t mean close, necessarily.

Anyway, a work acquaintance joked around with me and some of my other co-workers about being huddled up in the cold (the weather has been weird this week).  Perhaps it was innocent, or maybe there was purpose behind it.  I don’t pay any mind, especially if I see shiny metal on the third finger of a left hand, so I was completely oblivious of any connotation.  I smiled at him the same way I smiled at the woman next to him.

Because of a safety concern, we all exchanged information.  I’m notorious for working late, and when my ground floor office is lit at night, I can’t see anything at all… Even if someone is standing directly outside my windows.  It’s creepy.

About 2 hours after the office closed, I was still working.  It’s not unusual, and often co-workers will check on me or offer me a ride home (I walk to/from work).  I decided to leave, and I walked out with the same work acquaintance, who happened to be right outside.  We chatted for a minute, nothing flirty or anything, and I left to go grab some soup to take home for dinner.

When I got home, he called me.  He joked about random things, and then he said something that raised a warning signal for me.  He said he wanted to find a reason for me to come back to work so that he could see me again.  Mind you, I know he’s married, so I stopped him.  Don’t let the smile fool you, I can be extremely serious and I tend to be very blunt.  I asked him what he was really asking of me, what his intentions were, and the obvious question. Aren’t you married?

I think he was surprised by how direct I was, but it didn’t really phase him.  He said all of these things, that he thought I was cute and funny, and that he wanted to get to know me better.  That one time I patted him on the shoulder, and he had wanted to react to it but didn’t.  That he didn’t see anything wrong with an innocent hug or kiss, and that we should hang out.   He didn’t see anything wrong if things went further than an innocent kiss, but he understood why I might.  He said he wanted to hang out with me before I left for my Christmas vacation; we could have breakfast or take a drive somewhere, hang out by the lake.  Said we could always talk about things if I felt uncomfortable.

Except I was already uncomfortable.

I do believe that people can be friends and be of the opposite sex.  However, you have to set boundaries, and you have to be willing to determine those that can’t stay on their side of the line.  I didn’t want to shut out someone that I’d just met, especially someone that I worked with, but I had to set some ground rules.  Namely, uh, we’re not hanging out, you’re married, and I’m uncomfortable.  We’re cool in the context of work, but that’s all it can be.  Friend zone.  If you’ve ever been a fan of Kevin Hart, this would have been a perfect opportunity to say “Pineapples.”

What he proposed made me feel sullied and cheap — like my friendliness had been taken for granted or skewed into something unbecoming.  I may be missing closeness and affection, but I’ll never be that desperate.  I could never cross the line drawn by the broom he jumped with someone else.

I just don’t have it in me.

Evacuation? No?? You sure???

So, by tomorrow evening, I guess we’re expecting to feel the outer effects of Mr. Hurricane Isaac.  He’s not a hurricane just yet, but he will be by the time he reaches Louisiana.  Great.  Ironically, the mayor of New Orleans decided today that an evacuation was unnecessary, but he said he would revisit the thought tomorrow.  Um… if this hurricane becomes a category 2, people don’t evacuate?  What about all of this below sea level business??

I certainly don’t claim to be a hurricane expert, never having experienced one before, but I’m ready to evacuate NOW.  That the storm is picking up strength and basically set its sights on this exactly city on the 7 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina is creepy enough.  That it’s literally less than a week that I’ve been living in New Orleans and now I’ll be experiencing a full blown hurricane is another story altogether.  What’s even more ironic — my plan to evacuate to Memphis?  Well, that would have been all bad, because apparently, that’s where Isaac wants to end up also.  Unbelievable.

Dear Isaac,

While I appreciate the warm welcome, it would be so great if my first week at work could be a little LESS eventful.

Thx, sm

The Ever Elusive

Do you know those guys who find you online, who say they think you’re beautiful and that you seem like a cool person to get to know?  Oh yeah, and then they tell you that they’re not actually looking for anything beyond friendship.  Maybe they recently got out of something serious, or they just know they aren’t ready for serious.

Whatever the case, you sort of got your hopes up until he said that final piece.  And because you met online, now you feel no rush to actually meet him in person.  He’s that guy that texts you when he’s sick and wants to see if you’re free to bring him some soup, or the one who’s always heading out of town, so he has to cancel that dinner that you finally set up because you’re tired of having an acquaintance rather than a friend.

Obviously, I know such a guy.  I’ve known him now for about 8 months, and every time we set things up (truly with the best intentions), plans always fall through.  Normally, I’d just give up on someone like this, just because I really can’t stand flaky behavior.  But, for whatever reason, I find myself wondering why we get along so well when we actually do talk; how is it that he always understand?  Is he SURE he isn’t really ready to pursue anything with anyone?  Maybe he doesn’t really KNOW he’s ready.

No, no, NO.  I have to remind myself sometimes that they really are that simple.  If he wanted something, he’d say so.  If we were going to hang out and the stars aligned our schedules, we’d meet up.  In the meantime, don’t waste your time thinking about this guy.  He’s taken himself out of the equation, and you should too.

Hypersensitivity

To make a short story of one of my dating experiences, I have been seeing a guy from one of these dating sites, and he seemed okay. Well, online he did.

In person, he was a little socially awkward, had a bit of a superiority complex, and he was a little too touchy-feely in public. Obviously, I let these shenanigans go on way too long simply because that one thing was actually pretty good. Don’t make me say it.

Anyway, we had plans to get together this past weekend, but his awkward abruptness got the better of him, and he ended up snubbing me over the phone. Me being me, I didn’t take well to his rudeness, so I tried to address it. Of course, then he has to go even further, taking a slight dig at my family’s chosen profession. This was a bad idea.

We argued a bit, neither wanting to back down, until I said I didn’t want to fight and that I thought we should reschedule our date. In my mind, we both needed to calm down and reflect a bit. I don’t like hanging out when I’m upset, because I refuse to fake affection or happiness. His response: best of luck to you.

So many things I wanted to say to him, but I just told him to take care. Really, it was going to end anyway, he wasn’t relationship material. His loss, and I can honestly say he probably can’t do better. Not to make me sound amazing, but who really wants to put up with a guy who is socially awkward, thinks he’s above his peers, is still aspiring to be a rapper, is trying to make a commercial gimmick using a hand puppet to make money, is living wherever people can spare a couch, oh the list goes on. Really? Best of luck?

Self-reflect, get some priorities and a car, find some stability, lose the rapper nonsense AND the puppet, and your best luck might bring you someone decent. But you should know that you never had, nor could you ever have had anything serious with me.

That’s all.