Archive | May, 2012

I gave relationship advice to my hair stylist

26 May

There is a first for everything!  And this past Wednesday my hair stylist asked for relationship advice after I told her I write a blog about relationships.

Hmm, let’s take a moment to look at my qualifications, shall we?

I am currently IN a relationship.  It is going well, I would even call it a successful relationship.  We are betrothed.

I have been in other relationships.  I have been in 2.5 other relationships that I would deem serious.  I learned many things from these past relationships.

I have casually dated.  I can’t get into how “causal” as my mother reads this blog, but casual nonetheless.  So I’m hip to how dating works these days.  And yes, I use the phrase “I’m hip to” sometimes.

I have lots of friends in relationships, and people tell me things.  I’ve heard many stories in my 28 over the years, and I have remembered them.  As my BFF says, people just like to spill their guts to me.  I like this.

I am a people-person.  I might hate small talk, but I’m a great listener if you want to talk about something real.

I find all different types of relationships interesting and strive to learn more about them, e.g.,  same-sex relationships, open relationships, plural marriage relationships, abusive relationships, opposites-attract relationships, bizarre relationships, indifferent relationships, you get the idea.  I also blog about them.

My instincts are good.  I can tell a good match from 20 miles away.

Let’s look at the reasons why I may not be qualified to give relationship advice:

I am in no way certified to give advice of any kind.

I’ve never even taken the most basic of psychology courses.

My experience with counseling is limited to personal experiences with friends and family.  I am an amateur and no one has ever paid me for  my advice/time.

Based on all of this I have determined that I am qualified enough to give the random Joe or Jane advice if they deem me worthy enough to inquire of it.

Don’t I look trust-worthy?

Here’s how it all went down… This past Wednesday I needed to get a haircut, so I ventured off to some place within walking distance of our apartment.  I found this very eclectic and hipster looking salon and walked in to ask for a trim.  I was paired with a hairstylist, (we’ll call her Jessica) and she gave me a really nice cut!

During our time together, she asked about my life, and I gave her the quick run-down, I’m a nanny, degree in acting, getting married, I’m a blogger, etc.  She asks me, “What do you blog about?”  I say, “Relationships and my wedding.”

She says, “Oh,” and launches into a story about her relationship. She said since I write about this stuff that she felt comfortable telling me.  Wow, cool!  I was flattered.  I did my best to just listen and only gave my thoughts when prompted.  She seemed pretty open and since I’m not revealing her name or her salon, I’ll share a bit of what is going on with her.  Maybe someone reading out there is going through the same thing?

The Relationship Hurdle:  She and her boyfriend live together with another random male roommate. They met as roommates and became close friends, but started dating officially this past September.  They have been talking about moving in together, but every time it’s brought up, he has something negative or self-deprecating to say.  For example, when they were out to dinner and the topic of moving came up, his first reaction was that they needed a game plan in case they were to break up after moving in together.  He also asked her “What if you hurt me?” and told her he didn’t want to go through all that.  He’s also suggested they find a new third roommate and so they can stay in their current place.  Jessica told me she took this personally thinking he doesn’t want to live with just her.  Is this a hint that he’s not as interested in her?  Or is he simply afraid of commitment and getting hurt?

Drama Happens says:  My first question to Jessica was, have you talked to him about all this?  The answer was no.  She just lets the comments slide by and keeps her worries to herself.  I’m convinced NOT communicating is the best way to end any relationship (intimate ones or friendships) and so I told her the first step is to talk to him and get down to the bottom of what he thinks about moving in together.  The good news is they are not under any time crunch because they have a month-to-month lease (those are golden in a big city).

My next response was that she should be cautious.  While my gut is telling me “he’s just not that into her” and doesn’t want to increase their level of commitment, I don’t feel comfortable saying that flat-out after one conversation.  It could be a fear of getting hurt, or those comments could be excuses to avoid taking the next step.  My advice is to talk first, and don’t rush into anything.  He seems unsure of their relationship at this point, and until they are on the same page, I wouldn’t move one single box.

So there you have it, my first advice column so-to-speak.  Who would have thought it would come from a random hairstylist (who is really good at what she does btw)!

Any other questions out there?   Until next time readers!

Quote: “Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn’t.”  Erica Jong

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Please pass the patience

22 May

My back has been hurting lately.  If you don’t know why this is particularly frustrating for me, I suggest you read THIS, and everything will become clear.

I’m just feeling a little low right now. There are so many wonderful things in my life, but sometimes I get stuck when one or two aspects are bad. I have been working out a lot recently, like, a lot a lot.  Because you know, I’m getting married.  And all this working out is making me feel good!   Despite the good reports it gets, I’ve never been a fan of burning the ol’ calories, but I’m shocked to repot I am happy after I workout now and I’m even starting to looking forward to it.  GASP!  If you’ll remember, this all started because I said I was going to workout more so I could eat more what I wanted when I wanted.  Well, since I’ve been working out more frequently, my back has been bothering me.  And frankly, that just sucks.  I wish there was a more eloquent way to put it, but sadly, there’s not.

It’s really bad in the mornings.  Like I have trouble moving and showering and getting out of bed.  Just like last year. I think it has something to do with stillness and my back getting all tight and sore while I sleep, but who really knows? The Scottish has suggested I cut down on the working out, to which I responded, “Do you want me to be a fat bride?” My mother has suggested I see a doctor, to which I responded, “Not until I’m married with better insurance! You know I can’t afford to go see someone right now!”

Of course they’re right.  Of course I’m just mad. I’ve decided to give it a week and then I might make an appointment to see my old pal long-haired-witty-surgeon-friend. The thing is, the pain is NOT entirely like it was last year, it’s manageable for one, and two, it’s not killing my nerve causing me to lose feeling in my left leg. It’s more like a sharp pinching discomfort located where (I’m speculating) my herniated disk is… I know that someday I might need to get my disks fused together, and that I’m sort of destined to have back issues my whole life.  But the one thing I was supposed to work was strengthening my core and that’s what I was doing by working out!!  Insert catch 22 HERE.

I guess the only other option is to move south, buy a house with a swimming pool and do water aerobics for the rest of my life. (Swimming is ideal for my situation).  Sigh, or I need to be patient and listen to my body (and the smart people in my life).

Switching topics, that’s not the only low spot in my life. I don’t really like to talk about what I’m about to talk about. Truth is, I feel ashamed. I feel like a phony. But I know you are all real people too. You have good and you have bad. So I’m going to share some of my bad with you. I call myself actor, I am trained as an actor, but I haven’t been on stage since Feb. 2010. Ouch.

I was supposed to be on stage in 2011 but due to back surgery I was forced to quit the show I was working on, and I haven’t been cast in something since.   When I started this blog, I talked about finding my new creative outlet (writing!), and luckily I have been able to find new ways of fulfilling myself as an artist since quitting that show last year.

I have filmed a short movie directed and written by a friend of mine that was submitted and shown at the Oak Park Film Festival (among other festivals), I had an unpaid job doing transcription work for the wonderful Chicago-based theatre company ATC, and I’ve started (and still maintain) TWO separate blogs. Oh and I just started planning a wedding– which is definitely artistic in its own way! Not.too.shabby.

Good news is I have a few auditions on the horizon and that feels good.  The thing is, I just don’t find many shows that I can audition for because I’m traveling so much this year.  And the ones I do find are looking for men, or Latinas, or something totally and completely random!

Example of a fake audition notice:  We are looking for someone who can juggle and ride a unicycle while singing and playing piano, who speaks German with an Italian accent, who looks 20 but can play 40, who can dance 3 different types of salsa, and is trained in movement and stage combat.  WHAAA???

My fake response: “Umm I sing… a little bit,  and I’m trained in stage combat, I’ve worked on many different movement-based shows, but yea, I guess I’ll have to get back to you once I learn German and graduate from CLOWN SCHOOL.”  It’s brutal out there.  I know I’m exaggerating a bit, but I truly WISH I was kidding.  Everyone is looking for something so specific.  Sometimes I don’t feel like there’s a place for me in this new world of theatre.  Perhaps I’m too ordinary.

I could write a whole blog about being an artist and all the cons that come along with it, but truth is I wouldn’t change my life for a second. I knew I was going to be an actor since I was in 5th grade, and a few years away from the stage means nothing in lifetime of art.  But I’m lacking the patience to wait. I’m losing inspiration and hope, and just feeling lousy about the whole thing. But this is common.  This is common for artists and others. You can’t be in the right place at the right time constantly or else there’d be no journey! Plus, you can’t possibly appreciate it if you don’t know life without it.

So for now, I’m going to work on toning my arms, because thankfully they’re just flabby fine. And I’m going to keep searching for auditions that fit into my crazy-busy schedule. And I’m going to smile and count my blessings because the beauty of life is that it keeps moving. And change will come and opportunities will present themselves.

A “journey”

Here’s hoping you have not only the drive but also the patience to achieve all of your dreams!!

Quote: “Success seems to be connected with action.  Successful people keep moving.  They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.”  Conrad Hilton

I’m a weirdo, what can I say?

16 May

Doesn’t everyone have their odd habit or two?  Isn’t that what makes us unique… or is that just what I tell myself!  HA.  I think we should all embrace the super bizarre things we do, laugh at them, and then continue doing them. I know I will.

In no particular order:

I have been known, on more than one occasion, to eat chocolate candies WHILST working out.  Immediate rewards for burning calories or just plain stupid?  You decide.

I prefer to eat all dairy products with a plastic spoon, this includes but is not limited to yogurt and ice cream.  In fact, I’ll go a step weirder and say I prefer plasticware to silverware.  Although I will be registering for latter, I secretly wish the former was more acceptable.  Sidenote: The biggest pet peeve of the Scottish is when my teeth clink on the silverware while I’m eating.  The sound doesn’t bother me, but since I prefer plastic anyway we are thinking we might start keeping two sets of cutlery in the house.

My least favorite thing about a big city is the traffic and lack of parking!  Parking is really brutal in some parts of Chicago and one of my friends likes to laugh at me because if I am driving to a party, or some type social event and I can’t find anywhere to park, I’ll just drive home.  I’ll get all the way there, circle for about 15-20 minutes, and then give up and drive all the way back home.  A true Chicagoan always finds parking, and I’m getting better at it these days, but there was a time when I was new to the city and would miss out on things because I couldn’t find a place to leave my car!

Sometimes I daydream so long in the shower that I’m completely behind schedule and find myself racing around the house to finish getting ready.  I love a scalding hot shower and it’s one of my favorite places to daydream and imagine.

My obsessive compulsive tendencies make it so I have trouble skimming or skipping parts when reading ANYTHING.  I have to read every blog entry in my reader.  If I start a magazine, I must look at every article.  If there’s a forward, preview, prologue, appendix, epilogue, etc to a book, i will always read them.  Sometimes I wish I could skip things, but my brain won’t let me!!

I’d rather clean a toilet than cook a 5 course meal any day of the week!

I hate bugs, sleeping outside, dirt, and eating at a picnic table but I LOVE camping with my family every summer!  My Dad grew up camping and my parents have taken us camping every year since I was young, it was definitely the most cost-effective way to vacation in a family of five and a great way to explore the United States.  This self-proclaimed girly-girl has on more than one occasion walked almost a mile to the bathroom, gone hiking through rough terrain and has spent days without doing her hair or make-up.  Going camping is one of my favorite times of the year, believe it or not.

My tent.  Just kidding, I don’t sleep in tents!  We have a pop-up tent camper that allows me to sleep off the ground, a princess is a princess after all.

This is more like it!

I tend to sob-cry when watching TV.  It doesn’t matter which show, it could be Friends or Undercover Boss, but something will spark my emotional side and suddenly I’m in tears.  The best time EVER was when I saw the movie UP (for the second time I might add) at home with the Scottish.  I started sob-crying during the opening scene with Mr. Fredricksen and his wife.  At first, the Scottish thought I was in pain or hurt, he was worried that I was convulsing in such a way that was not normal, but nope, that’s just how I sob-cry.  After he realized I was OK, he starts laughing hysterically at the absurdity of the situation.  Then I start laughing and soon I’m sob-crying-laughing and there is just snot everywhere.  That’s love.

Quote: “Is it weird in here or is it just me?”  Stephen Wright

Sorry for the lack of frequency on Drama Happens but managing two blogs is quite time-consuming (I think I need an intern!) and the wedding blog is getting much more of my time right now!  But don’t worry, I’m sure they’ll be more weird stories to come!  🙂  Til then!

Here’s hoping my babies come out with a Scottish accent

9 May

This is a relationship blog and there is a relationship I have yet to discuss on here that I’d like to talk about. I would like to discuss my feelings about children, specifically my own. Please do not freak out, no one is pregnant. Well no one is pregnant who is writing this blog. But someone (me) is planning a wedding and starting to nest, and feeling excited about the notion of having little ones in her future. When I look lovingly into the Scottish’s eyes and tell him I want to have his babies, the fear in the room is almost palpable. He gazes back at me and in an unsteady voice, says, “Not for a long time hunny.” OH NO. IT’S LIKE THE PROPOSAL ALL OVER AGAIN. This wonderful man I’m going to marry moves slower than any human being I know. He doesn’t do anything quick or rash, all moves must be calculated and planned years and years in advance. Meanwhile my biological clock ticking and the noise is really starting to bug me. My clock sort of revved up after getting engaged and while it starts off trying to be nice, it usually ends up yelling at me. My clock: “Umm excuse me, umm, your body was made to procreate, and umm, well, all of us here in this pale vessel would like to say, GIVE US SOMETHING TO NURTURE *GOD DAMNIT!” Of course it’s fitting that my biological clock is overly dramatic like myself.

 

 

I’ve decided the best way to explain my feelings on having children would be to fill out the Who, What, Where, Why, When and How Many of it all. Sort of like an English paper outline. Enjoy!

So, WHO? Well, if possible I’d like to have a Scottish-American kid, with an ideal mix being 60% Scottish and 40% American, because those Scots just eat whatever they want and don’t worry about a thing, plus they are the most laid-back culture I’ve ever been around! As long as the kiddos get some of my passion, drive, and at least one artistic quality, we’ll be all set. If for some reason I need to adopt (ps I think adoption is awesome) then I think an African-American boy and an Asian girl would be adorable.

WHAT? Human children please.

WHERE? This is a great question. I would like to have my kids live in Chicago because it’s kind of my favorite city of all time, but I would also like to be near my family when I raise my kids. So either Chicago or Minnesota… at this point I’m not sure the Scottish could fathom moving to an even colder climate, but the lure of free babysitting has to hold some weight, right? Ultimately, I will have my kids in the Midwest. Ain’t no better place for kid-raising the way I see it.

WHY? This is an even better question. Besides just the biological clock, I most simply want a family of my very own to dream, love, and grow with. I love my family, immediate, extended, and honorary, and I want to create my own little unit with new special traditions and memories. I want to put more awesome people in the world. People who will respect the earth and their fellow human beings, people who will not discriminate based on sexuality or race or physical condition, and people who add to the quality of life for those around them. So, you know, just to have a little mini-me walking around… just kidding, I’d kill her.

WHEN? Let’s just say if I found out I was preggers by our first anniversary in March 2014, I would not be upset! Although, I have to say, it’d be nice to have more than a year to worry about Number One (me), and as a nanny I get an insight into the raising of kids and since it really is life-changing there is no need to rush. On the other hand, I’m super excited and not sure how long I’ll be able to wait! I’m hoping the Scottish isn’t having a heart attack on the train right now as he reads this on his way home. His ideal is like years from now after we have a house and enough money saved up to send them all to Harvard. AS IF!

HOW MANY? I say 2-3 and the Scottish says 1-2. But I want to have two girls (sisterly love is the best and the worst all at the same time) and I also want to have a little boy, so three kids would be nice. But a family of four sits together so well on theme park rides and airplanes, plus one more kid = one more flight to Scotland, and we know those trips are gonna add up!! But on the other hand, I come from a family of three, and so does my mom

Two things I know for sure, I don’t want to have an only child, and I don’t want to have three boys. If we have two boys and start trying for a third, I’ll probably spend our life savings flying around the globe looking for the best method to ensure our next kid is a female. Cause at that point I’ll be the desperate mother of two boys and I’ll most likely already have a reputation of being crazy.

Overall, I will consider us blessed no matter what the gender, number, or Scottish-American mix our children have, but frankly that doesn’t make for a very fun blog post.  For the ladies out there, when did your clock start ticking?!?!?!  Or maybe it hasn’t, that’s OK too!!

* I do not take the Lord’s name in vain when speaking but I take a lot of liberties when writing and it just sounded better to say GOD DAMNIT than GOSH DAMNIT. Luckily for me, God has a sense of humor.

Quote: “There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million.” Walt Streightiff

The dreaded “M” word or Fight #1 about Money

5 May

Friday morning I groggily walked into the bathroom to start my shower, and I heard this buzzing sound. Seriously? We have had the same GIANT fly circling in our bedroom/bathroom area for about three days now. To quote one of my all-time favorite movies, Austin Powers, when his deadly weapons continually fail to kill one of Dr. Evil’s assassins, he screams in confusion, “Why won’t you die?”  This is how I feel about the fly. The fly isn’t smart enough to find the exit and with a garden apartment, we don’t ever open the windows, so he’s stuck in our house until he dies. And I’m thinking, What if he’s starving to death? I feel bad, we should get a fly swatter and kill him to put him out of his misery. Oh no, what if he dies on our bed!  That would be terrible. I wonder if he is frightened because he is so trapped. He’s a fly so maybe he doesn’t know he’s going to die. Poor little, ugly fly.

As my heart begins to race in worry over the feelings concerning a FLY, it hits me, I worry about the world’s STUPIDEST things. It’s true.  And embarrassing.

But since I am an equal-opportunity worrier,  I also worry about important things.  I worry about flies and I worry about MONEY.

photo courtesy of wmpu.org

I mean, come on, who doesn’t?

The Scottish and I went to a Financial Planning small group through our church this past week and boy did it spark some conversation! Remind me to yell at thank my friends for inviting us. 🙂  We spent the entire car ride home plus another hour and 15 minutes fighting about priorities and budgets.  Hey, at least it got us talking, right?  The Scottish and I communicate really well and have discussed money in the past, even sharing personal things such as the activity of our bank accounts, but now that it is officially (almost) time for us to put our funds together and to voice our financial goals, it seems we are struggling to get on the same page.

We both agree on simple ideas like, savings = good, and debt = bad.  But there’s more to it than that!  Plus, while I enter our marriage with a condo and a car, I also bring in a lot of student debt.   The Scottish is the one who has admirable amounts of money in savings, but can’t get a credit card with more than a 300 dollar limit because of a lack of credit history in this country.  Our difference of opinion stems from the fact that I was brought up sort of “you can’t take it with you” style/spend the money on people you love while you have it, and the Scottish was taught to think long-term, to be ready for any crisis, and to be practical.  As this financial leader guy told us in the video we watched during small group, “there’s always the free spirit and the nerd.”  Can you guess who is who??

I can’t get into any more details, you know, money is kind of private, but I will say, we have the same goals and thoughts about money but we want to take different routes to get there.  While our conversation the other night was heated, it was also productive.  We might have fought the night of the small group but we both calmed down and by the next night we were able to sit down and make a tentative monthly budget.  And there wasn’t any fighting!  This small group brought up tons of great ideas, cash flow plans, a will, retirement, college funds, emergency funds, snowballing your debt, etc.  I think we just got overwhelmed at first, because, hello, THERE IS A LOT TO DO.  Not to mention, tack on a name change, a landlord situation, and a green-card to our list of To-DO’s.

Naturally, that first night I really wanted to go to bed mad at my Scottish.  The entire disagreement was filled with snappy comments, rude glares, and a bit of shouting.  Finally, too exhausted to talk anymore, I went to bed.  But after 5 minutes of being alone, I couldn’t stop thinking about how much I love him.  And how he should know that even in the middle of a fight.  It was just one talk, one disagreement, or as I like to call it, “Fight #1 about Money,” because I know enough about being married that it won’t be our last fight about the “M” word.  But if I had to pick someone to fight with (and my mom was busy) I’d definitely pick the Scottish.  🙂

So I dragged myself back out to the living room for a hug.

Me: “I love you.  Are you still annoyed with me?

Scottish: “Yea, a little.”

Me: “Yea me too. You coming to bed soon?”

Scottish: “Yea, you go lay down, I’ll be there in a minute.”

*kiss*

Quote: “Money frees you from doing things you dislike. Since I dislike doing nearly everything, money is handy.” Groucho Marx

Why Do I Look so Fat in Pictures Part 2

2 May

As you may or may not know, when you are looking for a certain type of advice or information on the internet the easiest way to find it is to enter your inquiry into the search tab and click enter. If you are searching for a particular blog about a specific topic, the same situation applies. At WordPress.com they track the phrases people type in that brings them to your blog. I kid you not, the most searched for phrase that directs people to my blog is,

WHY DO I LOOK SO FAT IN PICTURES?

… (waiting for the laugher to subside) Color me surprised! My most commonly searched phrase has nothing to do with relationships or weddings or family or religion or even Kim Kardashian.

I can’t say that I’m shocked, since my previous post with that exact title was my way of sharing with you all that I had joined Weight Watchers. Well since then I have fallen off the WW wagon, but fortunately I am still down the 13 pounds I lost when I first started. The points system just became too dreary and stupid, plus after going to Scotland and ignoring my diet, I got lazy and indifferent.

Despite all that, I’m feeling pretty darn good about my body these days. I’m still watching what I eat and some days I enter my points (most days I don’t) and I’m still working out when I can. But the issue that haunted me back then is haunting me still, and I can’t help but ask, WHY DO I LOOK SO FAT IN PICTURES? Remember my friend who recently got married, and remember how I was the Maid of Honor? Well she sent us a link to some of the pictures that her photographers posted online. And I was literally taken aback, practically falling off my stool in fright! The first picture I’m in is one where I’m helping the bride put on her veil. My upper body looks like I’ve gained about 20 pounds, no joke. My arms are huge and floppy, my one boob is bulging out and I’m looking wider than ever. WHHHHYYYYY!!!!!

Talk about disappointing. I was feeling good and I thought I looked good. So I sent the link to the Scottish, my mother, and best friend, asking their unbiased honest opinions. They said maybe the cut of that dress wasn’t the best on you, and they thought that specific picture was a bit off but I looked great in the rest of them. Ahh, suspicions confirmed! Clearly I look like a curvy, gorgeous, model in REAL life but in pictures I’m the extra-large version of myself! Or is the camera adding ten pounds and a dose of reality?

In related news, I’ve come to the conclusion that I LOVE food more than I HATE working out. I’ve discovered that both an aversion to working out and an obsession with sweets is a deadly combination. Therefore, I’m going to amp up the calorie burning so I can maintain the joy I feel from eating. Mmmm food. Food.is.so.good.

Did I mention the one thing I’m splurging on for the wedding is photography? By splurging I don’t mean spending copious amounts of money, rather I won’t be penny-pinching my photographer or going with the cheapest option. I won’t be having my guests DIY the photos with disposable cameras, or limiting our photographers to a certain number of hours. I want the whole day captured and I want our story told.

Yes, I’m so cliché it hurts, right? I want to lose weight for my wedding like every other bride-to-be on the planet! BUT NO, that is not how I see it.

I love my curves and my shape, but I need to tone up. I want to get those prints back from my photographer and not utter a single complaint (which is hard because we are all our own biggest critics when it comes to our bodies). Instead of screaming, WHY DO I LOOK SO FAT IN PICTURES? I want to scream, WOW, I LOOK SO GOOD IN THESE PICTURES!!

Can I do it? Any tips out there??

Quote: “I have to exercise in the morning before my brain figures out what I’m doing.” Marsha Doble

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