Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Problem with Adult Bullying

Note: Even if you decide to skim this long post, check out the button at the bottom! Would love to have you join the conversation on bullying.

When I was in 6th grade, a girl used to tell me nearly every day that I was unpopular and my nose was too big for my face.

I remember when we went to Science Camp that year, the teachers (in an effort to help us all branch out, I'm sure) placed me in a cabin without any of my close friends (I only had two, so it wasn't hard). There was a rule, at Science Camp, that you weren't supposed to go anywhere alone. Always the buddy system. I was a little different at that age, I know that. I dressed a little different, did my hair a little different and had some serious quirks going on (and this is wayyyy before the age when Zooey Deschanel made it cool to be quirky). But different or not, no 12-year-old deserves to feel stressed about the buddy system because she's afraid nobody will want to be her buddy.

One afternoon, all my cabin-mates ran off to lunch without me. On purpose? I have no idea. But even if it wasn't, it didn't feel any better that they forgot about me. By the time I got to the mess hall for lunch all by myself, I was crying because I was afraid I'd get in trouble for breaking the buddy-system rules. And my jeans were dirty because I had tripped in the dirt while trying to run to catch up with everyone (I never grew out of the tripping habit, let's be honest about that part). Admittedly, my experiences and lack-of-oh-so-desirable-popularity were on the mild end of the bully spectrum. But that's not the case for everyone.

I remember a girl named Annie.

In 5th grade, there was a girl named Annie (real name changed here) who was mercilessly picked on every day because she was different. You'd think that, as somewhat of a misfit myself, I would have been understanding and befriended Annie. But like most kids, I desperately wanted to be cool. So I mostly avoided the issue. But I remember once, though, when all the kids plotted against Annie. Do you remember the crack-the-whip game? Where you all held hands in a line and the leader ran around in zig-zaggy lines, until the people at the end could barely hang on and you all inevitably collapsed in the grass?

I don't know who started it, but the plan was to invite Annie to play crack-the-whip. Annie never got invited to anything, so they knew she'd play. But the plan was to make Annie stand at the end of the line, and when it got going really fast, to let her go and watch her go flying. Like I said, I wasn't always the most upstanding kid...but every budding little piece of compassion in my young heart knew we couldn't do that to Annie.

I made sure I was there, when the game started. Annie did accept the invitation, like we all knew she would. And then I did the only thing I could think of to do -- I made sure I was second-to-last in line. I held hands with Annie, and there was no way in hell I was going to let her go. It was all very anti-climactic, in the end. The line went faster and faster, I held on to Annie for dear life, and eventually we all collapsed in the grass like normal. For some reason, nobody gave me a hard time about it. Nobody asked why I ruined the plan. We all just wandered off to other recess activities.

Was I Annie's best friend after that, in true Hallmark-movie fashion? No. I think I just went back to my normal approach of ignoring the issue and trying (usually in vain) to be one of the cool kids. It'd be a few more years down the road before I was gutsy or kind enough to worry much less about what the other kids would think about me if I consistently stood up for the underdog.

Adults also have a problem with bullying.

It happens in the workplace, it happens in phone conversations with friends, it happens in blogs and emails and Facebook posts and text messages and whispers at parties. It's about fashion, lifestyle, sense of humor, hair, body type, life choices, social awkwardness, political preferences, etc. Sometimes it's about people we know in person, and sometimes it's about celebrities and did-you-see-so-and-so's-body-at-the-Oscars-oh-my-gosh-she-looked-so-terrible.

We might not be making face-to-face comments about each other's noses or plotting to let go of Annie's hand during a playground game of crack-the-whip, but our comments and actions still, in essence, leave some awkward, scrawny little kid tripping in the dirt at Science Camp and crying because she doesn't have enough friends to help her obey the buddy system rule. Remember, you can love yourself without hating other people.

The public conversation about children being bullied has grown in recent years, as it should. No child should feel unsafe or unloved by their peers.

Shouldn't we say the same for adults? Then let's watch what we say. Let's watch how we treat each other.

First, because it's the decent thing to do. Second, because how can we expect our children to be any better if we're just as bad?
Do you have your own experience with bullying, as a child or an adult, online or offline? Leave a comment, OR...write your own post and add this button using the code below. And make a little promise to be nice to everyone, always!


it's a pinspirational tuesday

What, Pinspirational Tuesday isn't a thing? 

Well, I'm still sick and we've had a couple long blog posts in a row, so...today, it's a thing.
Here's a few things on my pinterest that have spoken to my soul recently....

All of these are from my Printing Press board, which is one of my most favorites.

Pin any good pins lately? Share share?

Monday, February 25, 2013

how does your family impact your love language?

My family was never really the type to say "I love you."

And, I'm fine with that. I know they love me. We spent time together, did nice things for each other, celebrated each other's accomplishments and birthdays, laughed a lot together, etc. We didn't need to say "I love you" out loud all the time. I actually think it would be very uncomfortable if we suddenly started verbalizing it.

We also weren't the hugging type. 

Some families are much more physically affectionate than mine. I remember knowing a particular pair of siblings in high school (a boy and a girl) who were constantly engaged in back scratching, minor cuddling, throwing an arm around the shoulders, etc. Nothing wrong with it, just definitely different than my family so it always threw me off a little.


How has this impacted my relationships?

You know, I've never really been down with the whole love language theory, because I usually feel like I'm a little bit of everything. I don't always verbalize my feelings well, but I write them rather well (no surprise there). And, I do like hearing nice things from other people. I'm not really the hugging type when it comes to friends or casual acquaintances (I actually don't like it when random people expect me to hug them all the time), but I hate-hate-hate lack of physical affection in a dating relationship.

If a boy doesn't hold my hand or sit close to me and we are dating, I innately feel like we are fighting. But I've never been the type to cuddle with a female friend during a movie, even though I know some girls are more comfortable with that. In a nutshell, I guess I shy away from physical affection in non-romantic relationships but need-need-need it in my romantic relationships.

I know there are theories about this.

I majored in Marriage, Family & Human Development in school. Relationships fascinate me. Family units fascinate me. And I know that most of the theories I learned tell me that the way my family of origin expressed love should be directly impacting the way I give and feel love in my dating relationships. Some theories say I'll naturally want the same type of affection from a significant other that I am used to from my family, while others predict I'll seek out in dating relationships anything I feel like my family of origin didn't provide me. Shrug?

Even with all that schooling, it's hard to put my own feelings and tendencies in a box and label them. I just know I inherently gravitate toward what I need and away from what I don't, and I usually figure that out along the way as new relationships ebb and flow. My biggest love language is probably expressed in this blog post, about treating each other's important things like they are important.

What about YOU?

How did your family of origin show their affection? Do you notice that you gravitate toward more of the same in your romantic relationships, or do you seek out something completely opposite and different?

Saturday, February 23, 2013

the day the curtain rod turned violently against me

I woke up Saturday morning with one plugged nostril.

Because I partied hard the night before at #azbloggermeetup (recap to come!), I had somewhat of a caffeine hangover from that one time when I decided to drink a bunch of Dr. Pepper at the END of the night to fight party-planning exhaustion as the evening waxed late, thus causing me to stay up until 2am with stimulating substances racing through my veins. (In retrospect, the Dr. Pepper was not my brightest idea.)

But I had big plans for my Saturday!

After brunch with friends, there were errands to be run! Groceries to be bought! A room to be cleaned! A car to also be cleaned! You see, with all the aforementioned party planning, the situation was beginning to become borderline please-don't-submit-me-for-an-episode-of-Hoarders in my living space.

The germs had another agenda.

The plugged nostril soon became a congested face, and that congested face soon became plugged ears, which all gave way to tender throat glands and a congested chest. Then this Facebook status happened:

But I didn't rest for long.

Determined to be productive on my day off, I did manage to buy groceries. (And if shopping in teal sweat pants with the upper half of my body leaning heavily on the cart for support is wrong, I don't want to be right.) I then decided to pray that I could clean my room because praying is what I do when I'm at a loss for what else to do. But when I ultimately resorted to lying on my bedroom floor while trying to clean at the same time, I finally surrendered.

A hot bath is exactly what I needed.

I headed downstairs, because downstairs has a bigger tub and the bigger tub is necessary in times like these. It all started going downhill when I attempted to move the shower curtain out of the way...and the metal curtain rod and all its attachments leapt from its perch and clocked me square in the head.

The curtain rod tried to bludgeon me to death.

Things all became very quiet for a second and then my eyes started to leak. I sat down on the floor and cried for approximately 1 minute about being sick, the bump on my head and not knowing what to wear on my first episode of Hoarders. Fortunately, the crying quickly gave way to a particular flavor of laughcrying as the image of the shower rod judo chopping me from above formed in my mind.

And then, I finally got my hot bath.

Other than one miiiinor mishap with freezing water assaulting me unexpectedly from the shower head, I have to say it went quite well. I even watched a whole episode of The West Wing, in which a character struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder and I eyed the nefarious shower curtain on the floor and said, "Preach it, West Wing!"

Also, the laughcrying had, in fact, cleared my one plugged nostril and I breathed normally for the first time all day.

The moral of this story is yet unclear.

Happy Saturday one and all, and to all a lovely night of Nyquil-laced dreams like mine will surely be. And this is all further evidence that crazy things happen to me when I am sickly, like unto here and here.

Friday, February 22, 2013

i guess you could say things are getting pretty serious ▲

Dude, it's Friday.
You have no idea how I have longed and pined for this day!

1. Because it's Friday, enough said.
2. It's been one of those weeks that involved running into the door a couple times so it's probably time to retire the entire effort and just look to the future!
3. There is a blogger parrrrrrty happening tonight! Are you coming? Come!
4. Read #1. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Also, I made centerpieces for the party. 
They were too excited to sleep last night, but that's OK, I understood.

And I got my hairs cut, so there's that.

Oh, and I've had 2 dates with the waffle fry this week.

See you other party-goers tonight! 
"Tonight's gonna be a good, good night."

Thursday, February 21, 2013

you might think i haven't been wearing clothes but i totally have

Look, I can't live with the guilt anymore.

For awhile I was all consistent about posting some "what have I been wearing" pictures, and you guys seemed to really enjoy that. And now, it's been like two months or something since I did that. And last night I thought about how some of you might be losing sleep, wondering which (cheap) jeans I've been pairing with which (even cheaper) shoes, or dying to know how many times per week I can get away with wearing the same gray cardigan (answer: infinite), or asking yourselves "Does Target pay her for this?" 

...the answer to that last question is bigfatNO but should be bigfatYES, by the way.

In any case, your angst can now be relieved.

Because here's a bazillion crappy iPhone photos, mostly in the area of my bathroom where the overhead light hasn't worked in several months so everything looks really yellow but no it is not that color in real life except kind of because it's an old condo. Peace and blessings to one and all. Peace and blessings.

 purple cardi, sequin tank & black boots: target // flower pants: county fair in idaho
two-tone denim shirt: F21 // black bubble necklace: some boutique in utah // skirt & boots: target
 black v-neck: target // teal bubble necklace: sassy steals // mocha stripe skirt: modestpop
entire outfit: target // bicycle necklace: some boutique in utah
 white floral scarf: gift from italy // everything else: target
striped cardi and vintage button-up: thrifted // jeans: buckle // boots: target
 black scarf: payless // lace shirt: F21 // red shirt: DownEast // shoes: target // jeans: no clue
green v-neck sweater: target // mocha stripe skirt: modestpop
 striped cardi & white tunic: thrifted // jeans: no idea, really // camel ankle boots: F21
rust scarf: safeway (yep) // white cardi & camel ankle boots: F21 // gray dress: DownEast
 gray cardi & camel ankle boots: F21 // denim skirt & red belt: thrifted // polka dot shirt: madewell // tights: target
gray cardi: F21 // red plaid: california // white necklace: DownEast // gray skirt: target
 burnt orange cardi & boots: target // aztec shirt: F21 // white skirt: thrifted
gray cardi: F21 // blue scarf: Tilly's // gray dress: thrifted // blue wellies: walmart
 gray cardi: F21 // everything else: target
gray cardi: F21 // gray shirt: Ross // sweater skirt: thrifted // boots: target
 lace cardi: gift // purple sweater: modestpop // leggings & boots: target
brown cardi & boots: target // green scarf: safeway // striped tee: Ross // jeans: thrifted
 white floral scarf: gift from italy // blue shirt & boots: target // jeans: thrifted
gray cardi, red tights & brown oxfords: target // white shirt, red belt & vintage pink skirt: thrifted
 floral dress: made by yours truly // red belt: thrifted // brown boots: target
camel ankle boots: F21 // everything else: target
 gray v-neck sweater: target // floral skinnies: county fair in idaho // camel ankle boots: F21
black lace cardi: gift // mocha stripe skirt: modestpop
gray cardi: F21 // blue plaid: walmart // white necklace: DownEast // green skinnies & fringe mocs: jc penney

And yes, those are leopard-print slipper boots on the bottom right. No, I didn't leave my house in this ensemble but I wouldn't put it past me. This outfit is very typical of what I wear around my house...it usually involves stretchy pants because why wear anything else if you don't have to?

Any favorites from above?
{positive reinforcement to get dressed in the morning is always welcome}

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

music: go your own way

Let's keep it simple today with a little music post.

It's rainy and cold(er than normal) in Arizona, and this is the perfect type of song I like to have crooning in my ears while driving through blustery gray weather. Plus, we know my little heart loves a legit cover of an old favorite, and I think this one does the original Fleetwood Mac version justice.

What do you listen to when it rains?

p.s. Yes this cover is from the new Nicholas Sparks movie, Safe Haven. Have you seen it? I'm not a Nicholas Sparks fan and don't plan to watch it, but I can't argue with a good soundtrack.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

movie review: warm bodies

You guys, I'm not really a zombie kind of girl.

So when I heard about the movie Warm Bodies, I was skeptical. First, I wanted to know if it was going to scare the bajeezies out of me. I was then informed that it was, in fact, a romantic comedy.

A zombie rom com.


Wait, what? My skepticism increased to even higher levels. I pictured some kind of terrible Twilight spoof (I mean, I love me a Twilight spoof if it's done well like this charming little video). But, I don't do well with dumb, crass humor. It's gotta be sharp and clever to tickle my funny bone!

Turns out, I really sincerely loved this movie.

What I liked:
▲ The dry, clever, witty sense of humor. For reals, this movie had me laughing in the first few minutes and didn't let up for the next couple hours. And my sister and I are still quoting it, days later.
▲ The love story was authentic and tender. Sure, a zombie love story might be a little weird but I feel like it had more depth and relationship development than other romances I've watched, paranormal or otherwise.
▲ No sexual content. This can really ruin a movie for me, and it was incredibly refreshing to watch a love story that, shocker, didn't have to include a sex scene to make the romance legitimate.
▲ The idea of zombies having their hearts warmed and having inner goodness was altogether charming.
▲ The soundtrack was legit. Such a good mix of old and new. I compiled it right here on Spotify!
▲ Did I mention this movie really made me laugh? The zombie awkwardness was perfection. "Nailed it."

What I didn't like:
▲ Honestly there are so few downsides, but if I had to pick one it would be that there was more profanity throughout than I prefer. Didn't ruin the movie for me, though.
▲ The zombie parts were a liiiittle bit gross for me. I mean, no matter how light-hearted the movie is, watching a zombie eat brains is going to make my tummy turn a little. Still, it's bearable.

Have YOU seen it? Would you?
I would totally see it in a movie theatre again. Here's the trailer if you need a little taste.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Bridesmaid Round 12: The Hunt for the Red Dress

So, Bridesmaid Round 12 is right around the corner. 
{Yes, twelve. It's obscene, I know. Bring it on, 27 Dresses.}

My darlingest friend and college roomie {aka the lovely bride} instructed me to choose an outfit involving the colors deep red, gray or white. And I thought, "I probably already have those colors somewhere in my closet." But then I thought, "This is the 12th time I've been a bridesmaid. I am buying myself a hooverdam new dress because I can and that's why."

And thus I found myself at the mall this evening after work. And thus the following texts were sent to this bestie, because she puts up with my shenanigans... 

5:31pm Red dress hunting commences. First outfit makes me feel like a hooker. Pop a piece of Fruit Stripe gum in my mouth and journey on.

5:32pm Fruit Stripe gum loses flavor.

5:34pm Find cat shoes in my size. Manage to let them go.

5:37pm Remember that "dress" is a liberal term these days and often includes items of clothing I would classify as "shirts" and "Barbie sized."

5:39pm Catch myself wandering aimlessly in the accessories section.

5:39 and a half pm Pause for brief inner pep talk.

5:42pm Enter new store. Read one $90 price tag. Leave new store.

5:43pm Encounter this mannequin.

5:46pm Consider looking at model homes.

5:47pm Experience olfactory trauma at the hands of the pretzel store, whose gluten-filled goodness I cannot safely partake.

5:52pm Suddenly wish the wedding was yellow.

6:16pm Concede that red dresses are not in season. Leave mall. Find food. Amen.

6:34pm Eat my feelings.

p.s. Kelsey's best response to my incessant texting: "Is the hooker outfit a negative thing?"