why can’t we be friends?

You may often hear me saying, “expectation is the root of heartache”; which is my mantra I repeat to myself when trying to reconcile reasons or rationale for hurtful behavior by my loved ones. I try not to expect much of you, my friends, because I love you enough to know you are flawed (as am I) and therefore just as succeptable to making a mistake as I am. As we grow attached to people, our expectations of them grow as well, based on the assumption that the growth of attachment we feel is reciprocated. If you are important to me, I must be important to you. This is where we set ourselves up for heartache, making assumptions and expectations of others. So what’s the right way to approach love and friendship?

When I was in the hospital about to deliver Peanut I was extremely scared because of the negative experience I was having, and too embarrassed to ask anyone to come be by my side. I got terribly lonely in the middle of it all. I realized that it wasn’t that I didn’t trust any of my close friends to be there, my problem was I didn’t think anyone cared about me enough to want to be there with me. Birth is intense and awkward and I didn’t want to put anyone out. I now realize that perhaps there were some people I could and should have called. It’s just hard for me to believe when someone genuinely wants to be involved in my single parenting journey.

It’s been an unexpected journey where people who I thought I would lose, stepped up their support game; and people who I genuinely thought would be interested and involved have gone almost full on ghost status. This has left me to wonder if I’m doing this all wrong. Am I adulting wrong? Friendshipping wrong? All of the above?

Reader, do you keep friends around that you have grown apart (become very different people) out of respect for the length of time you have known each other? Or is there a point where you cut your loses and say, “we no longer talk or have anything in common, and I’m tired of trying to communicate with someone who doesn’t reciprocate the interest in our friendship maintenance?”

I find myself struggling with this – and to be clear, this is not about distance or frequency of interactions. I have friends in other states, other countries even, and sometimes we talk every day, sometimes we don’t get to talk for months, and sometimes we don’t see each other for years – but the quality of each interaction is substantial and real; with depth and closeness. So my struggle is those friends you think you have, whom you’ve had that closeness with in the past, and who now feel like a stranger.

What I’m watching: The Stranger on Netflix really got me hooked. I was skeptical at first, as it took a moment to make connections within the storyline, but once it got going I just couldn’t stop watching. As the story unfolds, plot twist after plot twists comes at you and you are knee deep in it with the characters trying to figure it all out. Highly recommend it!

Tech specs: do you want something that sounds as nice as apple bluetooth earbuds without costing about as much as a car payment? Meet the Monster Clarity 101s. These are nifty little true wireless earbuds that fit extremely comfortably in your ear, sound amazing, and come in a unique twist open charging case (avoiding the easily broken hinge-open charging cases). Best of all, they are often on sale and will cost you no more than $50. I use them and I couldn’t be happier.

Random thoughts: Not so random, RIP Kobe Bryant and Gigi Bryant. Made my latest renditions of famous paintings in their memory –

Featured pet pic: sleepy Walter looks so sweet (versus his regular old cranky disposition)

Peanuts, poops, and piercings…

This week, in a very clever marketing ploy, Mr. Peanut (a mascot of 104 years) “died.” A new commercial was released by the company showing Mr. Peanut sacrificing himself in order to save his friends after a car accident. The company relied on the mix of nostalgia and social media to humanize Mr. Peanut and create a parasocial relationship where consumers no longer saw this character as a fictional two dimensional immortal character, but instead like an old friend who passed away. Quickly, there were articles discussing this marketing strategy; criticizing it or praising it. To be honest, I was rather amused by this clever marketing strategy. And as Peanut’s namesake, I cross paths with Mr. Peanut in my purchases of domains for her (such as this one), and social media handles, so naturally this crossed my path. It’s just an amusing thing to watch companies use social media to breathe life and personality into their mascots. And when one company does something like this, it gives others the opportunity to piggyback on the wave of attention and advertise their own products by engaging in the marketing strategy within social media (see images of other companies responding to Mr. Peanut’s death).

Yesterday I realized that with Peanut with me I have the power to punish people with poop – Revenge poop! I often carry not only the means to change diapers, but also a way of transporting them in a bag that locks in the odor pretty well. I do this out of curtesy to those around me – I never know when I have to wait to find the proper out-of-the-way waste basket. I’m constantly worried about inconveniencing the olfactory cortex of those around me. But yesterday, I was faced with a different challenge – how to deal with an office cunt at one of my medical appointments. This woman has been extremely unnecessarily unpleasant to me every single fucking time I see her, and yesterday, during my visit to the office this particular cunt works at, Peanut required a change that included a poopy situation. Like the considerate mother that I am, I swiftly stored the stink to save the sanity of those stuck in there with me. As I was leaving, this bitch required I get in line in order to speak with her (there was no one else in line, or even in the room, so she sent me to the door across the room to stand at the beginning of the line so that she could then call my name for me to walk back to her). As I approached her desk I noticed she had a waste basket in front of her out of her sight or reach, so I grabbed the dirty diaper out of the bag under the stroller and put it in the waste basket without her noticing so that throughout the day she could enjoy the random wafts of baby poop. Why didn’t I think of revenge poopy diapers sooner??? This is going to be my new thing! So if you’re mean to me expect to smell baby poop the rest of the day!

Speaking of poop… my little guy Vinny, the Italian greyhound chihuahua mix, has been struggling lately with anxiety attack/seizures that induce uncontrollable poopies. He had this terribly when he first moved in with me, and it seems the change of Peanut joining the family has triggered these to flare back up. Do any of you with anxious fur babies encounter a nervous tummy/body like my little dude? And what do you use/do to calm your pups down? I’m looking for new ways of helping him relax. It’s really difficult because restricting him to certain areas within the house means the other two have to be restricted as well so he’s not ostracized alone; causing him to be even more anxious. And I prefer letting them roam the house freely, but as long as there a chance of uncontrollable dog poop, I can’t risk my baby and furniture.

In my family, and a part of my culture, having your ears pierced if you are a girl (or for those of you who require gender be referenced about as part of the spectrum of a social construct and want to be a pain in the ass about it – I mean born of the female sex with female reproductive organs) is expected to be done within days of birth. Peanut turns six months soon and she still did not have her ears pierced, so among many other questions, my family members (and I have MANY) have been asking me constantly why Peanut didn’t have her ears pierced yet and when I was going to take her. My grandmother even gave me money to get it done and get her proper earrings because it was bothering her that it had not happened. So I am happy to announce that Peanut got her ears pierced this week! (And if you are against getting baby ears pierced keep it to yourself – I respect your right to live your life based on your truth, culture, norms and beliefs, so please grant me the same courtesy.)

What I’m watching: A new season of the show 60 Days In has begun. In this show, people from all walks of life volunteer to go to prison for 60 days – both for the personal experience and to give the warden an inside look of their facility and what needs improvement. There are a few things I find interesting about this show: what drives someone to voluntarily go to prison for three whole months?? How much insurance or how intense and broad are those liability waivers for the volunteers?? And do the inmates have access to the show – as in, does this potentially create a long term risk for the volunteer if an inmate is motivated enough??

Tech specs: The Ringke brand for phone accessories! This brand is my new obsession. They offer cases for ALL TYPES of smartphones. I was so surprised to find they even have cases for some of the lesser known phone brands and models. I have tested the Ringke Fusion X case (pictured) for the Google Pixel 4, Samsung A50, and the iPhone 11 Pro Max – and this case combined a thin profile with a sturdy and grippy outer bumper. Bonus (if you’re an extreme nerd like me): Ringke cases come with the slots for wrist lanyards and they sell lanyards in all colors including (the one I have) glow-in-the-dark! This brand offers quality products for a bitch in a budget (such as myself). Cases average $10 and lanyards $6. They sell other types of accessories but this is as far as I have ventured into the brand.

Random thought: what the fuck is this? (Image)… what the fuck is the deal with Gwyneth Paltrow? And why is Netflix condoning this pseudoscience foolery?

Doggy pic of the week: snuggle session – Charles, top left; Walter, middle right; and Vinny, bottom left.

Ghosts, Germs, and Grey skies…

A ghost is now more than an apparition of people from lives past. A ghost in the 21st century is a way to describe someone who disappears on you; they have “ghosted” you. Ghosting has become a social norm with the advent of tech and text messages typically used as the most common means of communication. Honestly, I usually do not care if someone ghosts me. That may sound callous but when it comes to those close to me, I create close connections or cannot carry on. But I have ghosted people, and people have ghosted me.

There is only one person in my life who truly broke my heart when they ghosted me; a friend who was like a brother to me. I wish I could say that I forgot all about it and let it go, but when I invest in a person I do so with my whole heart. And with this friend of mine, I still am hurt, so angry, and sad.

As luck would have it, I saw him while shopping for Christmas decorations. The most sentimental time of the year for many, the holidays, is when I see him; after not seeing him all year. And it seems silly except I used to spend every Thanksgiving and every Christmas Eve with him, so for years he was my family for the holidays.

Of course, I saw him 4 or 5 times throughout the store because that’s how the universe works. And of course, I survived. Duh. But Reader, let me tell you… it still hurt. My heart raced and my anxiety went through the roof. I didn’t want to see him or talk to him because he is the one that left our friendship. He did. I was the injured party. And I didn’t want him to see how much it would upset me to see him. At one point we were about 5 feet from each other at the check out stands, but he didnt even look in my direction. Do you have someone like this in your life? Or I guess, no longer in your life?

So here’s the thing, I’m a bit of a germaphobe. Not all germs; I have three dogs and a baby so I deal with cooties all day. But grime. Grime has this effect on me where I can’t see it, or touch it, or even think about it. I have a complete physiological reaction to it – I cringe, get tension in my hands, knot in my throat, and slight gag/dry heaves. I wish I could explain it. It makes me feel so awful that I tend to bleach everything and still feel like nothing is clean enough. Why am I disclosing this? It has slowly been increasing in severity and I’m tired of being embarrassed about it, so I’ve decided to do something about it.

I have started talking to my therapist about my germaphobia. I’ve had it my whole life, but it was under control for many many years until my hostile work environment went from bad to worse, and after I had a baby I want to protect from all the cooties in the world. Is it a control thing? Trying to control my environment and focus on what I can control? Maybe. But, Reader, I in no way feel under control” when cleaning [sigh]. My hope is that in therapy I will learn tips and tricks on how to overpower this phobia and put it back in check.

On a brighter note – the weather has been gloomy grey skies with random rains and fabulous fog. It is indeed the most wonderful time of the year! Fall and Winter weather in California is like a watered down version of any extreme weather elsewhere. Reader, it is always tshirt weather in California (except for some of my chicken friends who get cold easily lol). It’s been so lovely that even in the worst of days I am happy to look up at the sky and enjoy the weather. Just this week I have gotten to enjoy the crisp feeling of being outside first thing in the morning in 40 degree weather, the rain, fog, and rainbows!

What I am watching: Murder for Hire and 90 Day Fiance are my not so secret trash tv indulgences. Murder for Hire is a program on Oxygen that tells stories of real-life people who are hired to murder someone and turn the information in to the police. It’s an entire story in just one hour, from the plot, to a sting operation, to the take down. Best of all, at the end of the day, a life is saved and the people who put a stop to the scheme are real-life heroes.

Now, 90 Day Fiance is a shit show that cannot be described in a short paragraph. It is about people who come to the United States on 90 day fiance visas and the journey of those 90 days with their partners. Sometimes it is true love, sometimes it is true lust, sometimes it is a green card scam. Essentially, it is international dating russian roulette, aka trash tv GOLD!

Tech Specs: I still can’t get over the loss of my Plantronics Voyager Legend 5220 bluetooth ear piece. Yes, I have other bluetooths, but this one is the holy grail of ear pieces. There is a reason why it has stood the test of time within the tech community for YEARS (which is UNHEARD OF in regards to tech). It is comfortable, long lasting, and the sound is crystal clear HD – it’s like the caller is sitting right next to you! Unfortunately, along with the test of time in tech terms, this little bluetooth has also lasted the test of time in pricing and will run you a cool $80-120. BUT it is worth it if you can swing it (and I just replaced my lost one for a lucky eBay auction at $65).

Random thoughts: In general, I want to give people the benefit of the doubt (though dont mistake my kindness for weakness – I will crush someone who does me wrong without giving it a second thought)… BUT I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately, and I just wish I could understand the people who choose to take the path of most resistance. Those people who have something negative to say about other’s success. Who claim to be your friend but then feel the need to criticize everything you do. Seems like we all have one of those. Or sometimes, we just have one of those around that for one reason or another we can’t get rid of.

Be kind to people. I’m speaking to YOU, the negative nellys of the world! Life can be beautiful or life can be ugly, it’s up to you which path you choose.