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Posts Tagged ‘friends’

It’s late, and quiet.  D is sleeping, YAY!  He’s been dealing with insomnia, so we are thankful when he sleeps at night.  Yeah, I know you don’t care…let’s move along.

I started 2 other posts tonight, one on Entitlement and one on Change.  Neither of them flowed out, and from experience that means I have tons to say…it’ll come when it’s ready.   I also wanted to start writing more about gratitude and being thankful for things in my life.  This blog will never be updated daily, I think that’s boring, I don’t even want to know what happens with me every day, so I’m sure you have better things to do.  I can feel that I have lots going through my head and need to get some of it out, let’s see where this goes.

Seems lately that I’ve been involved in more than one “heated” debate about a few things.  Girl Scouts, fathers shooting up laptops, Planned Parenthood, Susan G Komen, breastfeeding, Whitney Houston and the flag, Obama,  and gay rights to name a few.  I’m NOT getting into that here, and if you try to hijack my post I’ll delete your comment…I don’t really care what your thoughts are about any of that, so there.  I’ve realized through those conversations, mainly on FB, that people often forget their manners and basic home training when they realize someone doesn’t agree with them, and *GASP* they aren’t listening to their side or better, changing their minds.  It amazes me how full of themselves people are, there is a difference in standing up for your beliefs or a cause and being a pushy, childish idiot.  I actually unfriended 2 people, and was unfriended by 3 people over more than one conversation in the last few months…actual friends, not FB friends.

I find nothing wrong with stating your side, arguing your side, believing in whatever you believe in.  In fact, if you don’t stand up for what you think is right, then what’s the point?  I don’t want to be your friend if you have no opinion on anything.  For real.  I enjoy a good debate/talk/discussion about anything.  What I don’t enjoy is people attacking others for a random statement, or when you’ve stated your side and I’ve stated mine and I don’t succumb to your views.   What kind of world would this be if we all agreed on everything?  Boring.  Even in the home D and I don’t agree on stuff, hell we don’t agree on how to load the dishwasher, or what temperature to keep the thermostat at.  You can ask him…I love to discuss how wrong his way is, and I know full and well I’m not changing his mind on it, but I have to state my case.  I don’t expect to change anyone’s mind…but once you are informed of both sides, yours and the opposing one, and I have given reasons, and support for my views, the ball is in your court on what to do with the information.  Does it not occur to people that if you wouldn’t change your mind to agree with me, then no amount of your disagreeing with me is going to change mine?

Judge not, lest ye do it correctly.

That goes twice for my religious beliefs.  The morals/beliefs/Biblical principles I was raised to believe and choose to believe as an adult trump your argument that you are a good person.  Being a good person is not a principle, it’s a characteristic we should all possess, and as harsh as it sounds, no, that alone won’t get you into heaven.  Not my rules…don’t whine to me.   I’m tired of people using the counter that religious beliefs are unfair, or against our commandment to love one another and judge not.  We are to love the person, not the offense, and there are times when you are allowed to judge – study your Bible.  Why is it that non-Christians can’t just present the information needed and then hush?  I wonder why you so vehemently have to defend your views if you feel they are right, can’t you just sit back and know you are right?  I make it a point to not argue, but to find backup for whatever I’m stating.  If that means you keep disagreeing with what is said, then have fun with that, I’m not God…I don’t have to deal with you after I’ve done my part.   To inform someone on a topic where there is a Biblical disagreement (or someone that doesn’t acknowledge the Bible) is different than presenting information on something you are passionate about.  Passion is not commanded in the Bible, a non-Christian can just sit back and think they are right all day long and you won’t go to hell any faster than if you argued about your side all day long.  However, for someone that is religious/following God’s commandments, we are to spread the word and share it with those that are lost.  One problem is that in our society too many people think that doing good is enough, they don’t feel lost.  My view is that if you are supporting things that are against God, then you aren’t informed of what He said.  If you are informed and not following what He said, then I have even MORE of a duty to help you see the light since you have chosen to ignore it.  I can’t sit back and go “eh, let him be wrong…no biggie.”  You may not understand the difference, but when you are a Christian there is a huge difference in what you can and cannot ignore.  Being a Christian does not afford me the luxury of being silent while others sail along their own river of demise.

My goals for getting involved in the topics on FB were to be informative, have conversation and because I like to be heard (shocker).   I TRY to use articles, proof, facts or anything that backs up my view when involved in a heated discussion.  It seems though, that others like to just get involved to disagree, and try to strong arm others, or belittle them when there is a minority present and they have backup.  I’m always amazed at the things people throw out there with no proof or backup and then further stunned when they act offended when you ask for the basis of their statement.   Does no one know that we aren’t all idiots and don’t just accept what we are told?   When did it become ok to just take things as truth?

I’m really not surprised by much anymore on FB (or in life), it’s almost daily that someone posts some annoying picture on FB or via email about a warning or “support” whatever by reposting this hurt child/dog/military/medical/gang initiation picture.  Can you tell how much that stuff bothers me?  Why is it that people that know they are sending information out just hit “share” without checking the validity or using common sense before further spreading things that are old, false, or just plain do NOTHING to show your support for XYZ cause?  Want to show support for battered women?  Go volunteer at a shelter.  Want to support the troops?  Write letters, send care packages, say thank you.  Want to support equal rights?  Vote, go volunteer at the organization of your choice.  STOP re-posting pictures and thinking you’re actually doing something good.  The problem with FB and email forwards is that it gives people a false sense of doing something…and then no one is doing anything.  Oh, I posted this picture of a flight attendant with a feel good story about some old mean white lady complaining about an Indian man on her flight…so I’m not a racist and I’m a good person.  No you aren’t, you didn’t check to see that that story was FAKE, has been circulating for years, and just gets changed depending on what flavor of the year is on our radar as the “unwanted” race.  Don’t give me that crap about how “it’s a good moral, who cares if it’s real or not?”  I DO, and so do most people.  What about the moral of getting off your butt and actually supporting something?

I’ll hush on that front, I think you get the point.  Don’t share stuff if you didn’t see it, and you didn’t research it to find out if it’s real.  We aren’t going to stop for a baby seat on the side of the road, we were warned of that via email 8 years ago.  I promise not to go around licking the tops of cans because someone may have laced them with cocaine…I learned my lesson the summer of ’02.  If Apple/Coke/Microsoft/FB is going to start charging, or will give me a free anything for sharing or clicking, they need a better AP/AR department, because they’ve been saying they were going to do that for years now.  Hang on, I have to give this Nigerian man my routing number…Blessings to you too.

Oh, I got off topic.  Not sorry.  It just seems that we have lost common sense.  We have forgotten that social media is just that, social.

so·cial [soh-shuhl]

adjective

1.pertaining to, devoted to, or characterized by friendly companionship or relations: a social club.
2.seeking or enjoying the companionship of others; friendly; sociable; gregarious.
3.of, pertaining to, connected with, or suited to polite or fashionable society: a social event.

4. living or disposed to live in companionship with others or in a community, rather than in isolation:

Yes, you can stand up for what you believe in, you can support a cause, you can share your likes and dislikes, and you can be whatever religion you want to be.  You should refrain from pissing people off, ruining your friendships, or being overall douchy when someone doesn’t believe what you do.  If you’re going to do those things, then you’ll quickly find yourself in need of more friends and no one to be social with.

I blog better with tunes…tonight’s awesome playlist courtesy of SiruisXM 90’s on 9 and The Pulse:
Des’ree – You Gotta Be
Poison – Something to Believe In
Tupac – California Love
The Offspring – Pretty Fly (for a white guy) – why does he say 5 two times?
Train – Hey Soul Sister
Greenday – Basket Case
Len – Steal my Sunshine
Billy Idol – Cradle of Love
The Fugees – Killing me Softly (with his song) – 2 times
En Vogue – Free Your Mind
Matchbox 20 –  3 am

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Today I’ve been thinking about how my friends have changed through the years.  I’m always saying there is a reason we are where we are, and how all events have shaped us and brought us here.  The same holds true for our friendships.

If you know me, or have read my blog for a while, you know that I was divorced about a year and a half ago.  It wasn’t the first time, but I feel like it was one of the most eye opening things that happened in that relationship.  How it ended, solidified my feelings about what I was willing to do for that marriage, and where I already knew I was, but just needed one event/item to teeter me toward working on it or bailing.  Yes, it was at that point.  I’m not going to delve into that marriage and how it ran downhill, because I don’t feel it’s something worth talking about.  There were events that are pertinent to what I’m about to blog about, and I’ll state those throughout the post, so that’s the reason I mentioned it.  As a side note – I  don’t care to devote anymore of my life to that person, nine years (three married) was way too long to deal with that relationship.   That relationship did more than teach me how not to live with BS, it taught me who my true friends and family are.  So, that’s where we’ll start today – the week I left.

If you don’t know about bluntcard.com – go now

I can count CLOSE friends on one hand.  I’ve never been a real social creature, and even when I did like to party, I had lots of “peeps” and a handful of CLOSE friends.  At the close of business to my last marriage they were, my sister, one BFF (I’m using that instead of writing it out, but I’m not 12) of 17 years, another of 11, a sister-in-law, and 2-3 great friends that I’ve never met in person.  Each story of where our relationship now is different, and deserves it’s own post, since this is my blog I’ll just type and we’ll see how long this gets.

My sister, has always been my best friend.  She taught me, whether directly or indirectly what to do, and what not to do, or what I didn’t want to do in life.  We are completely different, even though we sound alike on the phone.  We are also alike in very creepy ways.  For instance, I can walk into her house to visit (when I lived 4 hours away and hadn’t seen her in a year) and walking into her bathroom I could find every product I had in mine.  Same brand, same scents, same type.  We don’t talk about those types of things.  We also will both tell you that we are totally different (especially when it comes to raising our kids), but my kids have said that I say the same things she does, and hers have told me the same thing.  I trust her with my kids and she does the same with me.  Our children have always known that we love them as if they were ours.  We have disciplined them interchangeably and loved them interchangeably.  That has created an amazing bond for all of them.  I love getting calls about new jobs, boyfriends, texts about shoes, and the 3 am phone calls from my Lu telling me something she just has to laugh about or just chatting when she can’t sleep.  I deeply love my sister and her family.  With that said, she is easily the one person who can piss me off the most, because she knows me…but that’s what sisters do.

My best friend of 17 years met me through C’s (my son) dad.  We met while I was 16 and about 6 months pregnant.  She always told everyone that she knew C when he was in my belly and making me type in typing class with my arm straight out because I couldn’t pull up to the table.  She was, by far, my best friend throughout the majority of my early adult life.  We had been through birth, death, boyfriends, husbands (mine), moving, friends coming and going, and just life in general.  When I moved to Atlanta, we lost touch, but each time we talked it flowed, like time was never lost.  My kids called her their aunt, and until C was 15 he had no clue she was not related to him…didn’t matter that she was Korean and he was Mexican.

My other best friend met me by default…we had joint friends and had met, and then when I moved to Atlanta, she and my sister-in-law to be were the only people I “knew.”  We quickly became BFF’s because of how much we were alike.  There was no where that we would go that the other didn’t want to.  Our idea of fun was exactly the same.  I could look at her and say “I want to do” and she would say “_____” – it would be what I was going to say.  If she wanted to leave somewhere she’d say “I’m done here” and I would have been thinking the same thing.  We had some crazy times, and she knows more about me than anyone on the earth.  We don’t live near each other and haven’t physically seen each other in about 5 years…however we talk regularly (not as much as I like) and we just pick right up.  I love her – she is my sister.

My sister-in-law (now ex) and I were introduced before I moved up to Atlanta in 2001.  When we met, we hit it off immediately.  Throughout the 6 year dating relationship of her brother and I, we remained friends at times that he and I were not together, we just carried on as friends normally do.  We have endured many things, her divorce, my marriage to her brother, her lowest points and recovery, the death of my mother, and everything in between.  My children love her dearly, and were very close to her. Our relationship is one of the most important I’ve had.

Again, bluntcard.com

These 4 women have been my staples throughout life and now.  I’d include my mom, but she was not a best friend, she was my mother.  She holds the most special place in my heart and life, even in her passing.  I was lucky enough to have my (ex) mother-in-law at the time my mom passed, and as hard as that was, she became just like my own mother and I felt the same way about her.  She was a huge influence and kept me going most days and through many tough times.

The day I left, rather, the week I left my home (and ex) I learned how much friendships and family can hang in the balance of one decision.  I’ve said before that, in fact, there is a line of how much crap I will put up with.  I’m all for hanging in there, but when you are the only one hanging and the someone else thinks they can just act like they don’t care, what’s the point?  We had been through a rough year of marriage, from work, to money, to the final straw and me deciding I wasn’t up for seeing how far he was going to take a “friendship.”  I can deal with many things…and yes, I have been guilty of many things, however, I won’t sit by and have something flaunted in front of me and act like it’s ok, and I don’t know about it.  It’s not.  So, with that, I found the proof – right in front of me in real time, and decided that I was out, done.  I didn’t want to act to quickly, and I made it through one night.  One night of no sleep, pounding heart, wanting to stuff a pillow over his face while he slept like a baby, me smoking like a chimney and sneaking outside at 4 am to call my BFF of 17 years.  She sounded surprised, but with the history between he and I, I don’t think she realized how NOT OK I was.  She told me to calm down, think it through, and confront him. I didn’t do that.  I kept quiet while I figured out what I wanted.  It was apparent that he was not thinking of “us,” so why would I “talk” through it with him and believe that he was going to have an epiphany and suddenly care?  The rapid downfall of the marriage signified to me that I was not willing – so I found the opportunity to change things since they weren’t changing on their own.  The day I left, was probably the last time I really talked to my mother-in-law.  I talked to my sister-in-law once or twice later that week and soon after we were cut off.  She was in recovery, and my best guess was that his family had a lot to deal with and it was probably best for her that she not have to choose sides and deal with the stress so soon.  I never felt mad about losing touch with her, I felt it was best for her to not feel the wrath of her family because she was still talking to me like we had always done when he and I were not together.  This time, it wasn’t that simple.  It was over, and apparently, depending on how you look at it, family does not mean the same thing to all people.

Throughout the marriage, it was apparent that HIS family and HIS friends were superior to mine.  Aside from a month that my mom lived with us in Atlanta while she was seeing doctors, it was always a fight to have time with my family or friends.  He never wanted to go to my sisters house, even though his family’s house was the same distance.  He hardly knew about family functions, as his mom called me, or I called them to set up when we were to meet, or what we were doing.  He simply showed up when I dragged him out of the house.  He used his family for hunting and when he needed them.  I was the one to initiate contact and it was out of my desire to have closeness that we actually had friends and family to be with.  Since he didn’t want to see my family, I made him take me to his.

Back to my one friend of 17 years and how that relationship ended. We only went to functions of his friends, I had to drag him to my BFF’s wedding.  Subsequently he made great friends with her husband, and for the time we lived near them, they became close to him also.  He hired her husband to work for him, and ultimately, sides were chosen again when we separated.  He had built up a force of people that were “HIS” and I was left as the one who gave up and abandoned him, leaving him a hot mess.  Live and learn, but had I not left, I would have been the hot mess with no support system via those I thought were closest to me.  When I left and headed 45 minutes away to stay with my sister, my best friend and her husband became his sitters.  The realization that we were done, took a huge toll on him, I will probably never know how much, because I didn’t care to find out…he made his bed.  I quickly realized that once I left the realm of that relationship, I left all that I knew.  I didn’t hear from her for days, when prior we had seen each other at least 3-4 times a week, shopping, hanging out, visiting, movies/dinner at home.  When I did talk to her she was busy, or just didn’t answer, and told me once that “we had to take him to the hospital, he had no one.”  Well, gee, I wonder why he has no one?  Could it be that he was attempting to meet another woman while he was married?  Maybe she can come take care of him?  My initial thought was that my friend was torn, and didn’t want to choose sides, when in fact, it came out months later in her own words “what am I supposed to do, he’s my husband’s boss?” So, there is where that 17 year friendship ended.  I had become concerned about information reaching my ex, via what else? Facebook.  So I sent her a message and asked if I had anything to worry about since her husband and he worked together.  She acted appalled that I would suggest it.  I had been in the office with both of them, and know for a fact that the FB of one, was not off limits to the other.  Since he was her husband (and my husband has full access to my FB), I knew that if he had her password, then my ex could easily get info.  I was completely justified asking her because on 2 occasions I had him show his ass by sending me a message and commenting on things.  I had narrowed our “joint” friends on FB down to 3 people.  I am still friends with 2 of them and I simply needed to hear that she was not going to allow that type of behavior.  The message I got instead was one of disbelief and support for him.  She unfriended me and to this day, we haven’t spoken.  Needless to say, since that day over 6 months ago, I haven’t heard from him once.

The divorce and weeks leading up to it turned his entire family, against me.  While he was calling my family to try to aid him in reconciling, and my friends were consoling him…his family was cutting ties.  I again thought it was that they had to support him, no matter what, in our 9 year relationship, I had that pounded into my head by his mom.  We are a family, we stick together…she really meant that, I should have listened.   Apparently, even wrong, blood is thicker than love.  I had said it many times to friends that had it not been for his mom, I would have bailed on the relationship long before we even got married.  She was an amazing woman, and as I said earlier, when my mom passed, she immediately stepped in and took that role in my life.  I will always be thankful for what she did for me.  I am still shocked and sad that not only did her son ruin a marriage, but he took away the family that I was forced to embrace.

I recently started talking to my sister-in-law (ex), who I guess is now just a friend…I used to say to her, “I need to talk to you as a friend, not my sister.”  Funny how that works out.  She and I talked for a few weeks via email and just recently chatted on FB and I smiled and enjoyed the whole conversation.  Aside from catching up on each others lives, it was normal, it flowed, it was not at all tense.  It was refreshing to know that to true friends time lost doesn’t mean you lose anything.  I look forward to becoming as we once were, which was laughing, jokes, love, advice and more.  I am more than thankful to have her back in my life in whatever capacity.

In just under 2 years I’ve lost a (bad) marriage,  a sister, a mother, and a close friend.  I don’t fight for things that don’t want to be fought for.  There is no use.  As with anything, if you’re the only one fighting to keep it…you’re going to be the only one holding it there.  My sister can tell you, I have no issue “cutting” things out that are unhealthy (just ask her about my aunt), or that I don’t agree with.  Didn’t say I was right to do it, but I have no second thoughts about it.  I learned early that life is short and I don’t have time for BS, toxic people are just that.  If you want to deal with it, then go for it, I won’t be.  It’s also very freeing to let someone know that the train has stopped, and I don’t have to stay on it.   I’ll continue to live like this, because for me, it has proven to be effective and eliminate a ton of stress and drama.

So, we are current on friendships, or the main ones I have.  I haven’t even mentioned my friends that I look to in daily life.  Ones that I knew when I was younger and have reconnected with, some that I hold certain hobbies or interests with, and those that I know through other people.  It is a blessing to have such a diverse pool to choose from now that I am not limited to someone else’s friends.

Let’s talk about my best friend now, it’s not any of the people I spoke about earlier.  It is my “newest” friend, yet the one who knows as much as all the others combined.  It would be no problem for them to speak to any of my lifelong friends, sisters or family about me and know what they were talking about.  He has learned more, asked more, heard more, and listened to more than any of them.  He’s not trying to one up anyone, but he truly has become the closest person to me.  In most friendships, you give some and get some…you’re there to enjoy the good times and balance out the bad.  I always thought that best friends were for outside of marriage, you know, to talk about the marriage with…I have never been in a relationship with someone that was my best friend.  Good, bad, right, wrong, he knows it all, yet still loves me and lives every day to get to know me more and for us to be support for each other.  I have again been blessed with an amazing family (through D) and have again gained a mother figure.  No one can replace my mom, but a girl/woman always needs a strong, loving woman to talk to, and I am blessed to have been given that twice now, aside from my own mother.  D’s mom has taken me on just as my ex’s did and if you didn’t know we’d been married for just over a year, you’d never guess it by how she and I talk.  She is truly a blessing.

Those that are in our lives, whether it’s for a day, or for years  are definitely there for a reason.  Some are to teach us what love is, some are to teach us about ourselves and some are to bring us to others we haven’t even met yet.  Those we lose, whether to death or the death of a friendship are to be thanked for all it is they brought to our lives after they are no longer in it.

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This one was so hard it took 2 weeks to come up with an answer.  I kid, I kid.

In a conversation with an old new friend the other day I was told something I’ve heard many times over the years.  She said:

“I am tired and this year either I turn to apathy or I step up to be comfortable with my thoughts and feelings – not every one else’s.  Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? All that to say, I admire that you don’t have that struggle.”

She was very eloquent and I said to her “that’s the nice way of saying ‘you’re a bitch Mel…I admire that.'”  She laughed and said that she didn’t think that at all.  Our conversation continued with my explanation:

 

“I used to be proud of that, and not hesitate to speak my mind, but it’s like we talked about before, 9 out of 10 times you don’t have to say anything, people make asses of themselves – with no effort at all on your part. I stopped calling people out and just started passively ignoring the offense and they tend to take care of themselves. Either they are so “offended” that I don’t engage in the game that they don’t want to talk to me anymore, or they end up realizing friendship is more important and stop the behavior. Either way, I’m free from having to show my ass, and therefore a LOT less stressed.”

I had much less eloquently stated the same point in a previous conversation with this same friend:

“I’ve learned lots, I don’t let things like that get to me, silence is golden, and quite scary to some people. I’m very calm and quite a “lady” when it comes to people that piss me off. It takes a lot of restraint, but it’s worth it to see how much of an A$& people can make of themselves without you having to lift a finger.”

So, people seem to admire and compliment me on caring enough…but not enough to put up with BS.  Which I think, is a good quality trait.  I have, in the past, cared too much for people that obviously did not give a crap about me.   So, to be commended on standing up for myself is quite a feat.

I warned you.

I am proud to be who I am, and I make no apologies for those that can’t get their act together.  We all make our own choices and some of us should choose better.

~Mel

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