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Lesson from My Polygamist Same-Sex Date

January 10, 2011 24 comments

I have been having a polygamist, same-sex relationship.  Online, no less.  What would my grandmother say? 

Who is this group of women?  Fellow bloggers. 

My expectation of blogging was simple: to have a creative outlet for myself, a personal playground.  I did not expect to make friends online.  And then I did.

Yesterday, I took the next step in the relationship.  I met some other bloggers for lunch and wine tasting in Napa.  Whitehall Lane hosted us for a fabulous wine tasting that was delicious and educational (ask me about glass corks).  Who doesn’t bond over wine???  We then had a fabulous lunch at Brix.  There was singing, mooning and threats of motor-boating.  It was right up my alley. 

As I drove home reflecting on my afternoon, I felt blessed to have spent a day with exceptional women.  But as I chatted with a close friend about my experience, she said I sounded numb.  She said I was saying wonderful things, but lacked my usual animation.  I thought about it and realized, I lacked emotion because I had some deep thoughts brewing.

Somewhere along the way, my blogging expectations became more complex.  I started watching my blog stats and wondering what it would be like to be one of those celebrity bloggers.  I started thinking that turning my hobby into something more might be my next goal.  After meeting these amazing women I was ready to go home and go after that goal. 

But here’s the problem with me and goals:  I am a crazy overachiever.  My competitive spirit can cloud my judgement, reaching the goal becomes more important than the journey.  I often say I could never be on the Bachelor, because I would want the rose even if the guy was a creep.  I set goals for myself and when I achieve them, I feel lost.  I expect that the next achievement will keep me satisfied.  And it doesn’t.  I end up failing to fully appreciate the experience.  I fear that I could diminish my passion for writing if I take it too seriously.

I think it is great to turn passions into careers or have goals for your hobbies.  I met women yesterday who, for them, this is more than a hobby and I revere them.  But for me to have balance in my life, I have to catch myself.  Motivation is good in moderation.  I need an area of my life where I don’t push my hardest.   

Does this mean I don’t have secret dreams of turning writing into something more?  Of course I do.  Would it be great to make a little wine and lunch money while doing something I love?  Uh, yeah!  But I need to slow down, take time to smell the cabernets and enjoy my new polygamist same-sex relationship.

Do you have something that gives you pure joy without stress?  Is the journey or the destination more important to you?

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Lessons Learned from a Pajama Party

December 6, 2010 7 comments

 Last week I attended a pajama exchange party.  Basically a bunch of women got together for wine, appetizers and a game of pajama exchange stealing. The evening was fun on so many levels.  Our hostess has a beautiful home with perfect decorations, she had delicious appetizers and never-ending wine.  (When will I learn that I always have one glass too many?)  I only knew half of the fabulous women before arriving, but loved the other half I met enough to friend them on Facebook.  I think this is rare.  Usually, you meet new people, enjoy chatting with them and don’t give it another thought.  I don’t know if it was the combination of wine and pajamas, but I am a fan of all of these gals.

AND, I went home with fabulous pajamas – deliciously soft light blue reindeer pants with a tank top that had a reindeer with a TIARA!  These pajamas were clearly designed for me.  Our hostess also gave us each a pair fo sexy underwear, which is great, because since becoming a mom, my underwear isn’t always sexy!

In addition to enjoying myself and drinking a tad more than I had planned, I also learned many valuable lessons.  Unfortunately, some of them are too delicate to share on my blog, but think of women, wine and sleepwear and imagine the conversations!  So here’s a few things I can pass on:

  • Comfort is more coveted than sex appeal.  All of the pajamas were beautiful, but some of the most fought over were the kind of thing you hate to take off even to wash!
  • When you hope to prevent your gift from being stolen, stuff it in your bra!
  • Not wearing underwear with a thick seamed pair of work-out pants might lead to pleasure… (note this is tamer than the lessons I can’t write about…)  I should also say that one piece of advice in particular was so appreciated by my husband that he encouraged me to spend much more time with this group of women!
  • Men mistake hot flashes for an invitation.  Just because the pajamas come off doesn’t mean…
  • Book clubs are not just for readers, some just come for the wine!
  • As I have said before, women will come up with any excuse to get together and drink.  (Hell, I have even met virtually with a group of writers while we tweeted and drank wine).

At this party we talked about putting together a book club that would meet at a nightclub (yes, really) and it got me to thinking, what other “reasons” could we come up with to get together, drink some wine and laugh like school girls? 

This is where you come in!  What ideas do you have for a female get togethers?  I am looking for something that sounds like it’s legitimate (so that husbands don’t think twice about watching the kids) like a book club, but can be done over cocktails.  I am also a fan of anything that fuels humor and over-sharing!

Laughing is good for the soul and alcohol is good for everything else!

You Could Be A Smile Maker

October 6, 2010 13 comments

I know so many people having a tough week and it is only Wednesday.  I have friends who are sick, ending relationships, struggling financially, praying for a miracle, hoping for a baby, grieving over the death of a friend or just plain burned out.  As I said, it’s been a tough week.  Like the people in my thoughts, we all need a little extra TLC sometimes.

My week will feel better if I can brighten someone else’s day. So here’s a few of the people I think are amazing:

  • If you’re one of those mentioned above you’re in my thoughts and prayers more than you know.  I am humbled by your grace and perseverance.
  • My children’s teachers and caregiver – you are like miracle grow mixed with pixie dust!
  • My kids – you know when to not push me any further (dinner last night) and you back pedal with giggles, hugs and kisses. 
  • My husband – words cannot describe.
  • My fellow bloggers and writers – I have never met most of you but you motivate me and inspire me.
  • My friends – you keep me balanced, you’re there when I cry, you make me laugh and you don’t blackmail me.
  • Those who spend their time helping others.
  • Anyone who shows kindness to a stranger – this truly makes the world better.

So here’s your challenge – tell someone they’re amazing. Write it, say it, sing it, do an interpretive dance.  Just make the week better by making someone else smile, I bet you’ll smile too.

Cocktails and Passion, Hold the Books

September 13, 2010 11 comments

Since the beginning of time, women have had diversions: bridge club, garden club, Bunko, book club, and the myriad of at-home parties – Stella and Dot, Pampered Chef, Cookie Lee, Southern Living – you get the idea.  Let’s be honest: these are all excuses to get a few hours away from the kids, husbands, boyfriends, pets, whatever and enjoy some time with the girls. 

These events are a time to catch up on each others’ lives, share parenting horror stories and exchange beauty tips, recipes and laughs.   The theme, activity or reason for gathering is arbitrary, as long as we come together as women to blow off steam.  I remember my shock the first time I attended book club, with my book in hand, to find that half of the women don’t read the book and we rarely discuss it. (I, being an avid reader, was slightly disappointed, but the second cocktail made me feel better.)  In summary, our gatherings are the male equivalent of grabbing a beer after work (or so I suspect).

To my knowledge, all of these female gatherings include wine, cocktails or other appropriate alcohol (I’d go to Spanish Club if they served Sangria).  Maybe that’s just my group of friends, but I remember my grandmother pulling out the terrifying jug of Chablis (that poured like maple syrup…) to offer with the iced tea for her bridge club.  (Emily Post had nothing on those women who were steadfast enough to drink that with a polite smile).  Depending on if the gathering is day or evening dictates how much consumption is socially acceptable.  Occasionally, there is the added thrill of a gutsy gal exceeding the quota and being the entertainment for the evening.

This last Saturday night I attended a Passion Party.  This is the pinnacle of the secret female gatherings.  A consultant comes in to provide ideas and products to make life more interesting in the bedroom.  *If you are conservative, stop reading, but may I remind you that if you’re a mom, you likely had sex to have a baby and if you’re not a mom, your parents likely had sex to have you – get over it!

Glad you’re still with me.  But, lucky for you, the Grapefruit martinis make the evening just fuzzy enough not to articulate.  (But I do believe we made the party consultant blush with our comments!)  Therefore, if I am not going to provide details of the evening, why do I bring it up?  Because it highlights all that is perfect about girls evenings.  They are uninhibited, real and can bond perfect strangers. (I can now tell you – but I won’t – who has handcuffs in their homes and who is the most knowledgable about toys).  As women, we openly discuss menstruation, children’s’ poop and weight; how is sex any more taboo?  We are empowered to speak the alcohol induced truth and share our “wisdom”, humor and most embarrassing stories.  We laugh so hard we understand the importance of Kegel’s. 

After such an evening, we are rejuvenated – we have the smug smile of somebody holding a juicy secret and some of us anticipate the arrival of unmarked package, while dreading the visa bill.  For me, I felt more romantical (it’s my favorite made up word) towards my husband and was more patient with my children.  I feel closer to my girlfriends and somehow feel like a stronger woman in general.

So I am huge supporter of female gatherings and all the “secrets” shared there.  I also like pages 6-9 of the summer catalog, but that’s another story…

I Miss My Best Friend

July 31, 2010 5 comments

I am a very lucky girl, I have a fantastic circle of friends.  Each of my friends are treasured for different reasons, but I have one best friend.  The person I tell everything to, without fear of judgement.  The one who knows all of my multiple personalities, who understands I am slightly off-balance (sometimes more). 

I miss my best friend.  I miss the long relaxed dinners, the impromptu cocktails, the inside jokes.  I miss the ability to completely focus on each other when we’re together.  That time is now filled with work and kids.  We’re trying to juggle being high performers (because anyone else collects pink slips) and the worlds best parents (because anyone else raises demons).  We try to do the best we can for everyone, everyday and the cost is our friendship.  There isn’t time for long relaxing dinners (unless you count chicken nuggets and Capri Sun over the noise of the kids).  Impromptu cocktails are doable, but kids have a very low appreciation for hangovers.  Inside jokes are replaced by kids humor because we don’t do anything not related to our kids.

What we do get is the bond of being parents, of understanding each others hopes and fears for our children.  Will our kids like Kindergarten, will they be good students, will they look both ways when we eventually let them cross the street by themselves – is 25 the right age? 😉 

We hope that our friendship will still be there when we come out of the other side of the parenting vacuum.  Will we have grown apart?  Will we still enjoy each others’ company?  We don’t know the answer but we talk about it, we squeeze in the rare time for just the two of us, we promise to keep an eye on our friendship.  We know other best friends who haven’t fared as well and we try to learn from them.

My best friend is my husband and we live in the same house.

Debauchery = De-Bitchery

July 7, 2010 4 comments

I am spending a long weekend on a friend’s houseboat with 15 other adults.  We all have children at home and this is our weekend to cut loose and act like college kids again.  Needless to say, it is our annual weekend of debauchery.  We drink too much, act silly and laugh hard.  We come home exhausted, hung over and rejuvenated.

I am just going to say it – if you have kids, you need a vice: alcohol, chocolate, Prozac – something!  We love our children more than anything in the world but they test our patience, steal our sleep, and limit our freedom.  While they are worth every sacrifice, we have to have time to let loose.  For me, my weekend of drunken antics will scale back the bitchiness that builds up from juggling a busy life.

I have written about my irritation with stay at home moms who judge working moms.  But stay at home mom’s might even need a break more than me – at least I have 8-10 hours per day of different stress.  Whether you’re a working mom or your whole focus is raising kids (very admirable job), you go crazy from time to time (my time hits daily!).  As my wise friend Sarah says, “parenting is only tough if you care”.  Every mom I know cares a lot and that makes it the hardest job in the world, one which requires de-bitchery. 

So this weekend I will drink to all moms in need of de-bitchery!

Categories: Balance, Cocktails, Friendship

Friends and Bars

July 5, 2010 4 comments

Friends are like a well stocked bar.  A well stocked bar provides variety to suit your moods.  A crazy girls weekend calls for shots, a quiet night at home- a glass of wine, a Friday afternoon – margaritas.   Friends are similar.  Playdate mommies, co-workers and book club ladies all bring a different perspective and provide a different kid of fun or enrichment.  Friends can also cause hangovers in excess.  Good friends also get better with age and lousy friends turn to vinegar over time. 

They key to balance is learning over time which friends cause hangovers and should be enjoyed in moderation, which ones to invest heavily in because they will age and which ones will turn to vinegar and should be dumped.  It’s a simple theory, but tough in practice.  It took me years to realize spiced rum is the only drink I can do all day and that sugary drinks will lead to a hangover every time.  It’s even harder to acknowledge a toxic friend or ones that are deceivingly sweet.  I have been paying attention to my little voice lately and am starting to catalog my friends the way I do my bar.  This allows me to prioritize my time and surround myself with top shelf friends.

I feel very blessed to have a diverse group of friends and a well stocked bar!  What defines your top shelf or prized vintage friend?