Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Words Hurt More Than Sticks & Stones

I’ve always wanted to be that person who doesn’t care about certain things. The person who shrugs sh*t off easily and doesn’t remember different conversations and comments for years to come.

I remember my first year at summer camp. Our troop was walking to the lake and this cruel gaggle of girls were walking behind me and loudly making fun of my shorts and sneakers. I had gone to camp with whom I thought was a good friend, she turned out to be just as mean as the other chicks. I was alone to fend for myself against these creepy snobs. Needless to say I switched camps the next year and made sure I didn’t invite my "bestie" gal pal to tag along.

Fast forward to seventh grade. My friend Serena and I were meeting up for a slice of pizza with our friends, Danny and Sean – the least “threatening” boys anyone could ever meet.

When we returned from our brief outing, her mother went completely ballistic on us. I honestly couldn’t figure out why. What did we do wrong? My mom always let me hang out with Danny and Sean.

She called me a "tart" and told my mother how we went to meet boys. I always remember that day and her screaming, “You are a tart!” And me thinking a tart was gay but what’s gay about meeting boys?

I had a crush on Pat in college. I had always wondered what it would be like to kiss him. Finally one night it happened while watching a movie. His reaction? “Wow, just like I thought! It’s like as if I were kissing my sister.” The only positive thing about that response was that he did not actually have a sister.

Another awesome memorable comment happened a few years later. I was at my college boyfriend’s home getting ready for a wedding he had invited me to. I had recently lost a significant amount of weight. (Wow, do I miss phentermine, the wonder drug.) In an attempt to compliment me, my boyfriend’s mom poked at me and said, “Ohmigod, you lost so much weight! Look, you actually have a waist!” A few weeks later he told me that she told him, “You better start losing weight yourself or else she’s going to leave your ass in the dust.” He jumped to it and lost like an astonishing 40 lbs in 30 days and I believe we broke up soon after that massive confidence boost.

So many things people have said to me over the years stay with me like a mental fungus I can't cure. I wish I knew how to rid my memories of these incidents. I often wonder if anyone else out there remembers the many dumb things people have said to them and feel the same way. Why do words cut so deep? Why are people so effin harsh? Do they know they’re jerks – who lets them get away with this? My dad actually once told me that the meanest people have the most friends. Funny thing is, I always thought that was true in high school. They really did. The nice kids were considered band nerds or the smart kids.

Today in fact, this came up in conversation with a coworker. She was feeling a little sensitive about something. I mentioned someone we both know and said, “Now what would she do if that happened to her?” I knew the answer, but wanted to hear her say it. Her reply was something along the lines of, “That person would just simply roll with it… ‘Oh well, such is life,’ is what she would say and wouldn’t think another thing of it." That must be so awesome! I think that individual was born this way. I don’t think you can learn to be a cool cucumber type who dances through life ignoring cruel people or cruel words. I envy her. I would love to wake up one day and live life the way she does. She’s so positive and upbeat, doesn't let anyone break her. It’s almost inspirational.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Love Ya Like A Sister

I'll never understand what goes on within the male mind. Sure, I could pick up a crap load of psychology books and search the web until my eyes bug out, but deep down I'll just never understand why guys constantly pass up awesome girls. Some say fear of commitment. If you're a chick, you will probably just shut me up with a simple, "guys suck." But this doesn't do it for me. I need more of an answer than that.

I know this girl. She's super cool. She's super pretty. She's super into working out and eats all this healthy crap. I wish I could be half as good as she is when it comes to eating right. She's smart with a variety of degrees to back it up and is from one of those "good families." She even goes to church! She's the type who doesn't argue over a dollar if she picks up a coffee for you. She's the kind of girl you would introduce to your best guy friend or brother in hopes they'd marry her. Maybe her only flaw, in a guy's world is, gasp, she has confidence. She has a reason to be self-assured, I would be too if I were her.

Over the past few months, she's been hanging out with this guy and wondering where they are headed. Suddenly the pressure is on and he's doing the, "You're an awesome friend" thing and it's really pissing me off. What's wrong with him? She's several years younger than him so it's not like she's ready for marriage. He's over 30 so you can't say he's too young to get serious - not that she ever told him she was looking for a move-in-with-me-next-month boyfriend. He loves doing stuff with her like hittin' golf balls around and doing the yuppie happy hour scene together.

I hate to say this "out loud," but it's situations like this that make me thankful to be married and done playing the damn game. It's a relentless cycle. Now I'm not speaking for her, I'm thinking about my own experiences here.

You get to know someone, give them all of your thoughts. Spend all of this special energy on them. You know what I mean? That "What do I wear? I must purchase an outfit on my way home from work for tonight" energy. That laying in bed thinking, "Will he call me tomorrow?" energy. Spending so much time "wondering" where things will go if they will go anywhere. The meeting his friends thing. The hoping his parents are nice thing. Ugh, it sucks. I don't want to ever relive all that.

Online dating is even worse. Then you have the constant series of interviews. It's quite similar to putting yourself on You do the initial email. Then there's the follow-up email. If he liked your "cover letter" then you've landed your first interview, a-hem, date. Date one is the big interview. You're spiffed up in your best gear with not a hair out of place. You've thought and rethought your makeup and jewelry. Each word that leaves your lips is clever and somewhat rehearsed.

If it goes well, you'll receive a call back. I guess for those who are actors, it's much like an audition. Right? So then you go ahead with interview two, maybe a third one, by the fourth encounter, you're then on 30-90 days probation. You get the idea...

I'm no prize and I'm not claiming to be. I just feel for my girls who have to deal with the emotional roller coaster guessing game otherwise known as dating scene. However, when things go well for them, then I secretly live vicariously through the single girls. Experiencing the excitement and newness along with them. But when things don't go as well, my heart aches and I want to clobber these guys and say, "Dude, this chick rocks and you're totally missing out!"

As always, thanks for listening.

I read this book years ago even though it was written for younger teens and I was about 18, it was so my life.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Summer Ruled Until I Hit My Twenties

Enjoying the summer in 1982 in my backyard pool on Long Island.

It's amazing to me how many people love summer.

In my opinion, unless you're a teacher, a kid, a college student, someone with a kick-ass pool in your backyard or a house a few blocks from the beach, enjoying summer isn't really an option.

It's difficult for me to find the joy in this particularly sweaty season. It's hot as hell and you work full-time while the sun heats up your car to balmy 180 degrees and don't give me any crap about those damn silver foil windshield sunshade things. The weekend comes and then what? It typically rains or is cloudy. I don't have any friends who live nearby that own a pool. Our electric bill nearly triples because I'm forced to run crappy round-the-clock air conditioners with visions of wintertime in my head.

And to think I have the luxury of living and working in the 'burbs. Commuting to the city in the summer always sucked so much worse. That rank air. Clothes and hair clinging to every pore. Makeup running down my face. That awful stench below ground in the subways. The feeling of being butt-to-butt on a crowded crosstown bus. Forget it! And I truly do not miss the endless hike in 100 degree heat. Three summers of a fourth-floor-walk-up, juggling bags of groceries and/or laundry with sweat dripping down my back. That just sucked big time.

It's just that over the past ten summers, I've felt that other than BBQs and the occasional early Friday dismissal from work, I just don't feel the love. Summer and I ended our relationship a very long time ago. I don't know if we'll ever reconcile our differences. Maybe one day if we own a house with a swimming pool or if suddenly I become a teacher or can work from home... ahhh a poolside laptop perhaps ... we're through!

As always thanks for reading and remember this is just my humble opinion, you don't have to agree with me.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

I Swear, There Were Boys At My Girl Scout Camp!

As we do every day, today at lunch, we set a few minutes aside for one of my many childhood stories – my coworkers do so enjoy these wild tales. Obviously you do too, you come back and check this ridiculous blog weekly based on the info the good folks at Google are providing me with…

So, today’s tale caused a bit of a stir and has left me confused, torn and downright conflicted. My mind is oozing with self-doubt and a slew of unanswered questions. I can’t help but wonder if I’ve imagined this entire situation. I need answers and I better freakin’ get some soon!

For those of you who once subscribed to my MySpace Blog, forgive me if you’re heard this before, but here’s the deal …

In the summers of 1984 and 1985, I attended Camp Blue Bay in East Hampton. This was a Girl Scout camp. I wasn’t a real Girl Scout, but that’s OK, it just meant that my folks simply had to lay out a few extra bucks to unload me for a one week interval.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved Camp Blue Bay, aside from having to swim in non-pool waters and sleeping fully clothed under my ET blanket, clutching a flashlight. I was afraid of bears attacking us and the thought of running in my nightgown and bare feet through the beach woods terrified me even more. The cure for this was sleeping in my clothes with sneakers on. In retrospect that’s humorous. Imagine bears on the beach?

Reminiscing about my two fun-filled summers at Camp Blue Bay brought back memories of a young romantic interlude I encountered with a boy named Matt. Matt was from Queens and he was about a year older but looked very young. I think I found out later he had a hormone problem them kept him on the short side and very youthful looking.

My coworkers joked that he was probably like a 40-year-old Joe Peschi look-alike groundskeeper. As if I’d mistake that for a cute young boy. Whatever! They looked at me in disbelief and questioned the entire story as if I would lie about something that retarded. So here I sit in a state of confusion. It’s so unnerving wondering why this kid was at my camp. I actually emailed someone who handles email inquiries regarding Camp Blue Bay and if she doesn’t reply, I will contact them on Facebook – yes, I’m a member of their club.

So yes, why was there a boy at a camp for girls? Why? What was he doing there? Was he someone’s kid? We kissed behind a bush! Would my parents like the idea knowing that they sent their little girl to what was supposed to be a safe all-girl summer camp, only to get mixed up with some dirty boy from Queens? Hot summer lovin’ is going on miles away from my safe, uneventful Nassau County home. Here I am out in the Hamptons making out with some dude? How did this happen? Who let him in to kiss innocent 11-year-old girls?!

Apparently the program I was part of included grades 5-8. Now, honestly, if you ask me there’s a big difference between a fifth grader and an eighth grader. I mean really! Grade 8 is like junior high maturity! Those chicks didn’t care that Kirk Cameron was on the cover of Tiger Beat. They were on to the real deal. We’re talking girls in leather jackets with big hair who smoked CIGARETTES in the bathroom at school!

Which reminds me, I recall two broads lighting up a cig and breakin’ out a bottle of wine during “rest time” back behind the lean-to. Being a good Catholic school girl, I rallied my buddies and we rushed off to have a heart-to-heart with one of the CITs (that’s “Counselor in Training” for all you non-campers) and reported those dirty girls. We didn’t have to worry about them beating us up either – they were quickly whisked back to Commack or wherever they were from.

Man, camp was awesome. What a way to break up the monotony of watching reruns of The Partridge Family and riding bikes to that candy store on Meacham Avenue to play hours of Pac Man.


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