Wednesday, November 30, 2011

So I Have a Problem... Kinda.

It's not a bad problem to have. I don't need to go to a therapy session to get fixed. I don't even think it needs to be fixed. Most people wouldn't mind having this problem, actually.

I want an iPhone for the wrong reasons.

The reasons are as follows:
- To get an application to manage my money easily (I hear has a great one, thank you, Brigitte!!)
- To feel/BE cool (Yeah, I said it.)

And the number one reason...
- To get this case for it.

I also want an iPad. Which leads me to a whole 'nother set of problems.

- I want the iPad case and iPhone case to match.
- Kate Spade does NOT make that iPhone case in an iPad case size.

This is a Mulberry design, but I definitely can't afford this problem.

I know, I know. "Guurllll, get some bigger, and more serious problems," right? (I already have those, thank you very much, I just choose not to share them via my PUBLIC BLOG.)

But, seriously, from what I know about these gadgets, people use them ALL the time, more than is normal to use a gadget.

If I was purchasing an expensive handbag, I'd want a matching wallet, as well. If I was purchasing expensive slacks, I'd just buy a suit. If I was purchasing an expensive car, I'd probably get leather seats. Expensive things sometimes come in pairs.

So, this is a legitimate argument I have here.

Help! Does anyone have any good solutions for this kinda-fun-problem I have? (I'm open to looking at alternative designers for my gadgets, as well. And yes, I want designer cases.)

What? That's totally normal.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Rules vs. Roles

Rules and Roles are easily merged. (And I recently found out that if you're from Boston, the actual WORDS "rule" and "role" sound the exact same to anyone outside of Boston. Sorry, to have confused you... Ken.)

One may think that it's a rule that men open doors for women, but in reality- that's a role that he chooses to, and should, play. 

Rules are actions/tasks that we, as people, are "supposed" to abide by. A perfect example of a rule-follower is Minkus, from Boy Meets World. Sean is someone who did not follow rules. (Sidebar: Sean was so crush-worthy, right?)

Roles are actions/tasks that we, as people, choose to play. You know how Shakespeare said, "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players?" That's similar to how I see "roles." People choose to act their roles day in and day out for their specific reasons.

I've never liked rules.  I don't like when people tell me what to do, where to go, who to talk to, and I generally do the opposite, depending on what is asked of me. (If it has to do with work or family, I typically follow rules, though.) 

  Examples follow:
  • Crossing the street in the sidewalk/when it says WALK only (I strongly disagree with this. Walk whenever and wherever the cars aren't bombing straight at you.)
  • Eat dessert after dinner (Only sometimes, I switch this, Mom, not all the time.)
  • Wear a dark color on the bottom and a light color on the top (I like to have full creative liberty with my clothing choices.)
  • Abide by certain signs on walls in restaurants, hospitals, etc. (If it says don't use your cell phone, chances are I'm using it... purposely.)
  • Treat others the way you'd like to be treated. (Now, this one depends on the circumstance. Once, a woman was rude to my mom for no good reason, and even though my mom turned the other cheek (she's a great Christian,) I chose to be rude right back at this woman to give her a taste of her own medicine. Call me a New Yorker, if you want, but I was taking care of what needed to be done.) Most other times, I abide by this rule. It's much easier to be kind than mean, 99% of the time.
I do like roles, and enjoy acting my role as a woman, daughter, sister, friend, granddaughter, cousin, niece, and coworker.

Examples follow:
  • When courting, men pay for dinners, drinks, and cabs (No question.)
  • When an elderly or pregnant person gets on the subway and you're in a seat, offer them your seat (This goes for any young, healthy person with 2 working legs.)
  • Clean up after dinner if someone else made it (In my house, it may as well be a rule, but I see it as a role. For example, My grandmother and grandfather cook & prepare Thanksgiving, so I see it my duty as a grandchild (the eldest female grandchild, at that) to happily clean and put away everything once the meal is over.)
  • Men cut the grass. (I don't know how to use a lawnmower, and I don't ever want to learn unless I have no choice. And see how HAPPY that guy is?!  He's thrilled to be mowing his own grass.)
The issue with rules and roles is that there is a fine line that divides them from"options," or "rights." A few things above could even be classified as a role, but also an option, or a rule, and also a right.

Am I alone out there? Does anyone else use their cell phones places you shouldn't and think that mowing the lawn is your dad's, brother's or neighbor-boy's job?


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Friends of St. Jude Winter Gala 2011

A few weeks ago, the NYC Friends of St. Jude hosted a Happy Hour at Chelsea Manor. It was a good showing of friends and strangers coming together to learn more about the organization, and enjoy each others' company.

While we were all drinking our cocktails or imported beers, a man stood up on a cushy leather couch, tapped his cocktail glass, and received everyone's attention.

His name was Michael Swart and was 30 years old. Looking dapper, and not at all nervous to speak to a room of 30+ people, he told us that he was once a patient at the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Tennessee.

We were all in shock. No way. He looked so healthy!

He told us that in the middle of his sophomore year of college, at 19 years old, he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. After 6 weeks of treatments, he was finally in remission. It took 2 years of chemotherapy to keep the cancer from coming back. To reiterate: that's from 19 years old to 21 years old.

What were most of you doing when you were 19-21 years old? Not sitting in a room getting chemotherapy fed through your veins, I'm sure. 

Thankfully, he has been cancer free for the last 10 years.

Everyone in the room had goosebumps by the end of his speech, some people had damp cocktail napkins in their hands from a few fallen tears. He was a phenomenal speaker, and inspired everyone in the room to not take their health for granted anymore. Friends thanked me for inviting them, since his speech reminded them of what was real, when all day they had their own, smaller worries in their minds.

So often during the day, we're stressed about work, relationship issues, friend drama, or family situations, and while those things impact our daily lives, we often forget that we're healthy. We wake up every day expecting to feel alive. Maybe we wake up with a headache from a need for caffeine or because we partied too hard the night before. But, we have our health.

If you're thankful for the health that you have- why don't you purchase a ticket to the Friends of St. Jude Winter Gala? The money goes straight to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, so you're able to help a child (or 19 year old) become cancer-free by purchasing a ticket for $100, while enjoying an open bar, eating hor'dourves, and submitting silent auction bids for cigars or jewelry.

You're able to register for the event here: Friends Of St. Jude Winter Gala

Details follow:
When: Friday, December 2nd
Time: 9pm-1am
Where: Angel Orensanz Foundation/Lower East Side (Norfolk and Houston)
Twitter: NYC_StJude
2010 Friends of St Jude Winter Gala (Angel Orensanz Foundation)

I hope that Michael's story impacted your day as it did mine that night at Chelsea Manor.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Thanks, Kim.

Full disclosure 1: I love weddings. I love the pomp and circumstance, the dresses, the cakes, the music, the free champagne, the after parties, the whole sha-bang.

Full disclosure 2: I've never given a thought to the "marriage" between the two people who I'm cheers-ing to at the reception. (Outside of writing "I'm so happy to share in the happiness of the first day of the rest of your lives together!")

I've thought about my own wedding and marriage, but always put more emphasis on the wedding day.

Wedding Thoughts:
"I wonder how he will propose... what ring?"
"What am I going to wear, ball gown or a-line?"
"What flavor is my cake going to be? Is it appropriate to have my mom bake a rainbow cake? I'd really like that..."
"Band or DJ?"
"What color scheme?!?!"
"If he proposes in June, do I have to have a summer wedding the following year? I'm going to sweat..."
 = 6+ thoughts

Marriage Thoughts:
"I wonder how many kids we'll have..."
"I wonder where we will live..."
"A house is HOW MUCH?"
=3 thoughts.

Looking at this list, it appears that I have spent more time thinking about the exciting and fun stuff (aka: the WEDDING DAY) versus the not-so-exciting, but real-life stuff (aka: THE REST OF MY LIFE.) (This exercise actually propelled me into a new thought pattern, as you'll read below.)

I think this must have been Kim Kardashian's priority order, as well. But, the difference between me and Miss Kardashian is that I'm not getting married. I CAN daydream about my wedding day because it's not going to happen for a while. I don't think she was thinking about the long-term commitment that defines a marriage.

She met a guy, 6 months later was engaged, and a few months after that had the wedding. I think that as well all grow older, the speed of going from dating to marriage picks up, but the first family vacation, proposal, entire engagement, and wedding ceremony usually aren't on TV.

I'm not going to get into if this was all for publicity or what-have-you, but I do want to get into how all the hoopla of their wedding turned into a marriage that lasted for 72 days, and how that makes me feel about weddings versus marriage.

This is from an article I read this morning:

The costs of some items and Kim and Kris' gifts:
$25K for Vera Wang Wedding gowns (of which she had 3)
$10M "reported" cost of THE WEDDING (I'm still wondering how much of it was paid for by E!...)
$17.9M in gifts and People Mag money and other benefits they received because they are celebs.
= 72 days married

Now, the money spent should be put into perspective. They make a billion dollars a year and $10M may not be THAT much for them.

However, the days spent married should NOT be looked at with the same viewpoint. IT'S MARRIAGE. It's supposed to be "forever." (I understand that under many circumstances, marriages do not and should not last forever, and sometimes each person in the marriage is better off after a divorce, but this is not what I'm talking about.)

72 days. That's just over 2 months. That's hardly "forever." That's hardly even TRYING.

On a related note, I read this article this morning that speaks about how there is so much thought and priority put into a wedding day (done by the bride because it's "HER day") and not enough placed on the marriage, that some couples are bound to be in the divorce lawyer's office, eventually.

I think that is some slight cockamamie (divorces happen for other reasons beside narcissism,) but in all reality- a wedding ceremony and reception are just happy celebrations between the bride and groom and their loved ones to kickstart the couple's forever.

This has prompted me to think about what I would want to do when my time comes to get all gussied up in a white dress and say "I Do." (Seeing as my priority order had dresses and cakes and music over kids and a house...)

Do I want the big wedding gown anymore? What's it really matter if I have a band or a DJ? What's all that spent money going to get me in the long run? What really is the best way to celebrate the first day of the rest of my life with my husband in a way that puts the spotlight on my marriage rather than the wedding day?

I'd really like to say my vows in a church with our families and closest friends, have my mom bake a rainbow cake for the reception, and have my dad grill up some steak tips and call it a day.

OK, rereading that, it sounds like a white trash wedding if there ever was one, but, you catch the drift! (I'd elope, but I really want my home town church and our families there.)

I'm sure that when the time comes, my mind will slightly change and I'll be very specific about certain parts of my wedding day (like... the dress.)

But I have to say THANKS to Kim Kardashian for showing me that although she doesn't respect what marriage stands for, by disrespecting it to the lengths that she did, she reminded me what it stands for, and I have to commend her for that.


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