Tuesday, September 15, 2009


So, if you have read my other posts, by now you know I just blurt out whatever is in my head. I take a chance that people will understand that this is therapy for me - a way to sort out my thoughts and possibly get feedback to set me straight. I have said before - I am not perfect, and I am totally ignorant to so much, but I'm open to learn - and if anything I write makes you want to shake me - SHAKE ME - for God's sake I need enlightenment!!! Which is what I got today.

When we all try to learn something - we struggle with the learning curve. Sometimes we get frustrated, fight the change, or just plain give up. I remember the day I learned to ride a bike - vividly. Not because I was so proud - I was scared out of my mind. My brother, who I am sure was sick of his little sister whining "I can't do it" over and over, took me to the top of a hill at a local parking lot. I remember it being steep and long and so so scary. He sat me on my bike, told me to pedal, and pushed me down the hill. Now, I don't think he really thought this through to the point he realised that my fear would force instinct to kick in and I would just pedal, and learn - almost immediately. I think he just wanted to see me wipe out and stop whining. Whatever he thought - I learned. Since then so many things, after a brief struggle have been like that - learning to ski - one day it just "clicked" on how to cut into the snow just right to make the turn, swimming: "click" RELAX and you will float and be a better swimmer, Calculus - ummm.... yeah - maybe that isn't a good example....

All that said - I had a "click" today - a sort of epiphany thanks to a friend. Since meeting my husband, I have struggled with race issues. My pasty white skin just plain doesn't match his chocolate brown in some peoples eyes. I usually don't give a crap about what others think so it didn't bother me for a long time, that is, until we had our daughter. I started to worry about her, how she will be treated, how she will be treated differently from her sister, the things she will have to live through that I have not lived through. My husband has been so nonchalant about all of this it made me crazy. How can he not WORRY about this?

To be brutally honest, my in-laws have made this even more difficult. My entire life I have had the unconditional support of my Mom. When I need advice I go to her, and she is the first one to straighten me out, or send me to someone who can. Many times she has been at a loss and couldn't guide me, but knowing she would support me always got me through. Isn't this how everyone's family is? I will admit, I am dumb enough to think this is true. That everyone's family is just like mine - dysfunctional in a good way - sometimes. (ha!) But sadly, this is not the case with my in-laws - with the exception of one. At one point I was shocked that they had such racist views when I thought they would be the ones to enlighten me - to straighten me out, to teach me about the things my daughter may face. I just ASSUMED this would be the way. But, I never expected what I got which was quite the opposite of what I hoped for, and I suppose still hope can be, but for now - I go it alone.

So here I am - blogging away about these issues hoping that one day I would have a bit of clarity - that I would have all the answers - that someone would tell me the secrets that have been kept from me. Today I got just that.

A friend made a comment to me about his parents. He said "If my parents taught me anything it was through their own example. 'I am defined by what I do and how I treat others, and not by what I look like'".

Now you may want to say "Maria, haven't you heard that before?" Well sure. I have heard similar quotes for a long time. My own Husband tells me that what we look like doesn't define us. You read it in articles, you see it in movies, you hear people discussing it. And I have always heard the words, and understood their meaning.

What got me, today, was "If my parents taught me anything it was through their own example" and, the fact that this came from a man who IS biracial - a man I have met personally and have known to be a good person and someone I am proud to consider a friend. If my daughters have people say that about them when they are older I have done my job - and done it well.

All at once I had clarity. All of these websites I've searched, all of these questions I've asked, all of this knowledge I seek is a waste of my energy. What he taught me today is to be a good example to my kids. Now there is something else you may say - "well, no shit Maria", and I agree.

My epiphany is this: In my desperate search to be a better parent I was being selfish and a bad parent. All of the hours I have spent, all of the words I have written, all of the tears I have shed - a waste of the precious time I could have been spending on just plain loving my kids. Showing them how to love and be loved. How to love other people, how to be a good friend, a good person - and a loving family member. All I have to do is be the person MY Mother taught me to be - to be like her.

I love my Mom. She taught me by example.
My friends parents taught him by example and he turned out great.
It is so simple I am overwhelmed that I never saw this before.

All I need to do - is be me.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Facebook Friends

Ahhh.... It's September 11th and maybe I should be thinking more of THAT, but, I'm getting my mind off the day for a moment to be bitchy. Bitchy is easy for me so I'll just get right to the point. How many "friends" do you have on Facebook? Plus or minus 100? I have to admit - at one point I thought I was little miss FB Popularity until I realised half of my "friends" friended me because they wanted to share nests for egg collecting. If you have never played Hatchlings - don't start - it's addicting and I have beaten my addiction and moved on to blogging... so in truth, I'm just as big a loser as the next person.

ANYWHO - when I realised the "loser" truth, I decided to be honest and thin the friend list. I kept a precious few "eggie" friends because I had gotten to "know" them through Facebook. I was under 100. **GASP** could I stand that? Would people JUDGE me? I don't give a shit really - judge away.

As I thinned, I started feeling guilty and keeping some people I really don't "need" to keep - like my first "real" boyfriend. Why? I don't know - he dumped me without a word in 10th grade and I really don't think knowing him now through Facebook is going to change the world, but my kids are cute so you know what? He can see my pics and realised what he threw away! (This of course would be more effective if his kids weren't equally adorable) and there is always the few high school friends who you always thought hated you and they friended you, the friends of friends who you met once at a barbecue, and some neighborhood people you didn't feel confident enough not to accept the friend request in fear you won't be invited to that block party that never happens. Whatever - you never know when networking may pay off right?

Now, I have thinned it down to people I really consider Facebook Friends - which doesn't really mean "real" friends now does it? Is this too complicated? Well if you think so, there is an Application of Facebook called "Best Friends" so you can sort out the best ones, and leave the others feeling like the last ones chosen at the dodge ball game. So for that I don't list "best" friends - just to save feelings, like some others I keep as friends so they don't one day notice I'm not on their list anymore and they feel so rejected they can't eat for a week.

The biggest things that baffle me are:

Photography: I have to think long and hard about some of my friends who love to take pics of themselves positioned in front of the bathroom mirror looking sexy with their boobs hanging out, tousled hair and kissy face lips. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE. If you are one of these, and remain on my friends list congratulations - there must be something I love about you to keep you around because some of these photos make me cringe for fear of your future - but c'est la vie! Your page, your pic, your choice.

Language: Often I have to rethink friends for their colorful commentary and use of improper or vulgar language but shit - whaddaya want frum me anywayz? I ain't no friggin' scollar! (for future reference - I usually forget to spellcheck before I post so I'm sure that last statement will blend in with the rest of my butchery of the English language).

THEIR friends list: What is their crowd like? Do you want to peruse their list before accepting their friendship? Are they the "cool kids" are their people on the list you don't want to know YOU exist? Are there people on their list you WANT to look at or hear from? Of course these same people may have already blocked you so you may have no control over that.

My favorite person I did NOT friend is "a guy I once knew" no - not an ex boyfriend - and old acquaintance of my husband. This person who is so extremely full of himself and thinks he is so wonderful, and in reality - he is a shithead. YES I DID say that. I've heard enough and listened to him talk just enough to know this is true. I saw him on a friend list of a friend (I'm now wondering how many times I've put the i after the e as I write friend a million times here with my dyslexic typing skills...) I click on him out of curiosity - you do it too - admit it - and he had 700+ friends - I just looked and he's down to 500 some odd and I'm wondering if he too thinned his list or people are just catching on.... but my point - he must LOVE being in the 500+ club - but sadly, most of those people friended him to see WHO these people are that he considers FRIENDS. I am proud to say I am not one, and not so proud to say I check his page out occasionally to make sure I made the right decision... and things remain the same....

SO - for those of you with kids, relatives, coworkers, or associations who should be kept safely away from sexual references, bad language and the like - or just shitheads - choose your Facebook friends wisely - many of us forget who we friended for the sake of Facebook popularity and just plain don't know how to censor ourselves - or, use spellcheck.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Hate Bush?

OK - so I was asked about my blog, realised I hadn't been blogging, so I have 10 minutes.... OK 7 - so here I go.

What the hell is up with everyone Hating on the Bush family? OK - so we aren't racing to Rushmore to carve out a huge "W" but recently I was involved in a brief conversation with some Liberal folk about the Kennedy Royals... uh... I mean family.

Now, I love the Kennedy's like any other people I have never met, and they did wonders for my hometown - but you know what? They aren't pristine people....

That said - the comment was about why Bush Senior wasn't at Ted Kennedy's funeral - and how horrible was that sending "W" as a rep of their family. And then the jokes about him sittin gnext to Hillary and poor Hillary.... How about POOR BOTH OF THEM having to sit next to each other and giving more things for people to waste their breath speaking about?

Well.... I said "maybe he's sick or something - the man IS old afterall" Now - I got ripped on about that - because he "should have been there".

Now I'm not tooting my own horn or anything but the news today said something about Bush having hip replacement surgery last Wednesday and how much pain he had been in.

Um - HELLO PEOPLE there's your answer.

And the worst part - no one is talking about it. Had it been the other way around, the Mayo clinic would have been surrounded by reporters and rows of flowers and well wishers for the Kennedy family - but if your name is Bush....

The man was our President and deserves respect - more than a Senator? You be the judge of that - all I'm sayin' is think about the reasons YOU haven't gone to a funeral - are they as good as a Hip replacement?

Glass Houses.

OK - my 7 minutes are up!