#Beyourself, #doitanyway, #freedom, Covid-19

The Vast Configuration of Things

A daily routine: The day in and day out of it can be redundant & exhausting. What is the point of it all?

The weekly grind of working, parenting and adulting overall is boring, tedious and unfulfilling most of the time. Throw in 18+ months of uncertainty, due to a lingering global pandemic; paired with this underlying pressure to “get back to normal” does not help.

Now, more than ever, we need to take care of our physical, emotional and mental health. How are we supposed to do this? It is extremely difficult when you feel confused, unsure, tired, worn out and depleted.

In a attempt to find some type of motivation myself, my brain has been searching for a frame of reference, a role model, to cope with this strange time. Which led me to thinking about George Bailey.

George is technically not a real person, however George is relatable to all of us and represents many of our real-life, elderly population. This wise, hardworking generation lived through true-times of uncertainty; such as the Great Depression and a World War. I suppose they just “kept showing up” through the confusion and cognitive dissonance.

George was already feeling stuck, trapped and living in a period of uncertainty before the real shit hit the fan.

“I’m shakin’ the dust of this crummy little town off my feet and I’m gonna see the world! Italy, Greece, the Parthenon, the Colosseum. Then, I’m comin’ back here to go to college and see what they know. And then I’m gonna build things. I’m gonna build airfields, I’m gonna build skyscrapers a hundred stories high, I’m gonna build bridges a mile long…”

George Bailey

George wanted to do something BIG.

BIG is what we all “want”, isn’t it?

A bigger house, a bigger yard, a bigger car, a bigger bank account, bigger boobs, a bigger ….

I WANT a BIG one. (Everyone does George🙄)

Anyways, BIG does not always refer to SIZE.😜

BIG things can also come in small packages.

Burn out: What was I doing here again? I forgot already. 👆🏻

There is nothing wrong with dreaming BIG.

There can be an issue with dreaming big if you base your self-worth and life’s purpose on an external picture of “what-it’s supposed-to-be-like” instead of “what is.” As with anything, there are steps to greatness.

George wants to do something IMPORTANT.

George wants to BUILD.

However, George is so fixated on the “doing something BIG” he missed the BIG picture that he already was. George was oblivious that these little, menial things he was completing consistently on a daily basis that were adding up to BIG results.

George could not see he was already BUILDING:

George was BUILDING homes that provided other human beings with a sense of dignity and integrity.

George was BUILDING relationships and friendships through candor, loyalty, honor, honesty & consistency.

George was BUILDING a community with these relationships who held the same core values.

George was BUILDING the foundation.

Without a solid foundation, a community, a family or an individual falls apart. 👇🏻

Pottersville: a community of selfishness with no values or morals.

This solid foundation of community & the connection of core values is what ultimately saved George’s life & mindset. By his perseverance and showing up, he inadvertently saved the entire town from plummeting into the gutter.

It is tiring staying true to your values with leaders and other members of society do selfish, stupid, manipulative and downright evil deeds. How are we all supposed to maintain a sense of hope?

This may lead you to feeling like you should do something drastic & BIG, such as quitting your job, switching careers, moving, cutting off family or friends, and even leaving the country.

Fantasizing about a massive change to stop the awful, bewildering sensation of cognitive dissonance is normal; it’s an escape for the brain. A good grounding exercise for when you catch yourself fantasizing about living in the country alone with no internet, wishing for a bigger house, a better car or a BIG vacation to “fix” how you feel=look back at your childhood.

What is the first vacation memory that pops in your mind?

This is what I honestly thought of. 👇🏻

We didn’t have any vacations but what I do remember is the night we went out together for the first & last time as a family to dinner….

The McRib Story

We were all showered and dressed in our Sunday best for our first dinner out. We eagerly piled into the family van, wide-eyed with excitement for the evening ahead. Our mouths were watering, recalling that glorious sandwich with its golden, brown-sugary appeal. Our vivid memories of that commercial were so powerful, we could almost taste it. We craved this tasty delicacy with an empty, insatiable hunger.

All of us were smiling greedily at those Golden Arches, we were finally here! My stomach fluttered with butterflies as we pulled into the McDonald’s drive-thru so we could all finally try the infamous McRib sandwich….Drool was rolling down our chins as my Dad ordered six sandwiches from the overly-perky, fake smiling attendant !

The drive-thru attendant’s expression changes to that patronizing-exaggerated pucker and states, “The McRib was only here for a limited time, so we no longer carry that sandwich. It may be back. Sorry.😕 May I get you something else?” My Dad shakes his head no, speechless. Our mouths hang open, frozen, in disbelief. The devastating disappointment was written on our faces as we drove back home.

This sad story of the BIG Sandwich that resulted in BIG disappointment is ironically what makes all of us laugh now. It didn’t turn out as planned, just as most things in life. Now this story provides us with BIG joy.

Through my family’s solid foundation of a good sense of humor and laughter-in-the-face-of-adversity is how we found joy. How we DEALT with the disappointment is the shit-sandwich I remember as an adult.

The point is, in the vast configuration of things, Potter is a scurvy, financially-rich spider 🕷 living an empty life and we have no control over anything. We also have no control over what our kids will remember as adults.

In the BIG picture, we are only able to provide ourselves with a SENSE of control. An example of this sense of control is a planning ahead, a consistent daily routine, shifting our mindset, staying connected to those who maintain the same values and practicing coping strategies. Meanwhile, still accepting that something may still go wrong as a part of life; such as the joy-robbing, limited-time, McRib Sandwich.

“The McRib is a barbecue-flavored pork sandwich periodically sold. It was first introduced to the McDonald's menu in 1981. After poor sales, it was removed from the menu in 1985. Seasonal items are an important marketing tool for the food industry. Limited releases almost give consumers a Pavlovian response.”By Danielle Wiener-Bronner, CNN Business
Worth & Value are found in prioritizing the serving of others while making a living.

Bottom line: Keep showing up through it, we all feel the same way. Find ways to cope with the foreign feelings.

ADDENDUM 11/30/21

If you love It’s a Wonderful Life …

There is a restaurant and bar in Berwyn Illinois called Fitzgerald’s. This super, cool place is located along a quaint and adorable block. Not even joking. A cross block before it is Clarence street. 😇.I am so grateful I was able to get the free tickets and show up to their viewing of It’s a Wonderful Life! They had specialty drinks such as mulled wine, flaming rum punch (of course) and a fun drank ZuZu’s petals!

I went with friends. We all agreed they had fantastic food, best waffle fries we ever had. This is definitely going to be a regular place to go for us all year round. Loved it!

https://www.fitzgeraldsnightclub.com/

More on this topic:

https://www.binghamton.edu/news/story/2390/a-path-to-peace-researchers-explore-the-best-ways-to-cope-with-covid-stress

https://thriveglobal.com/stories/how-to-incorporate-the-three-c-s-of-resilience-into-your-life/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2021/08/11/pandemic-anxiety-psychology-delta/

#brenebrown, #doitanyway, #freedom, #greatpretender, #homeschoolingrealshit, #millenials, #opportunity, #sidehustle, Badassery, brene brown, glennondoyle, Health & Wellness, Lin Manuel Miranda, narcissism, narcisstic personality disorder, parenting struggles, relationships, unlockingus, vulnerability, Women's Fight, Yoga Pants

Sympathy For The Devil

I may not KNOW a lot of things but one thing I do believe for sure is that BOB (Esai Morales) from La Bamba is one BADASS mother fucker. He has to be THEE coolest and most captivating actor on the planet.

He should have won an OSCAR for best supporting actor for his performance; (Esai Morales) truly MADE the movie.

He literally SEDUCES the audience.

That being said, what I find most ironic is that no matter what he did or said, I still liked his character. I thought he was hilarious, I still do. What is even more puzzling, is that he is a complete dick.

(Side note: Esai also appeared on Ozark for a season or two- I was immediately entranced. )

As a woman, I completely identify with Rosie. As a mother and wife, I empathize with how she feels; I hate how she is treated by Bob. What was also puzzling is that she ANNOYED me. 🙈

I can actually feel her pain, grief, & confusion. You can see it written on her face. The “wait…wtf-just-happened?” face. The “how-in-the-hell-did-I-end-up-here” face. She displays this facial expression the majority of the movie. We all know that face.

This puzzled face☝🏻The “Rosie” face.

We all know that feeling: When you realize you’ve been had. You got screwed over. The worst part about it, the majority of it was your own doing. You assumed. ASS-U-ME.

I get how she assumed as well. Any woman in a could easily fall into Bob’s trap; especially the married ones. Bob’s seductive allure could have wise woman entranced in his spell: After Bob flirts with you: Huh? What kids? What husband? You don’t have a job you say? Ballsy. Hot…You drink every day? Wild & crazy. You live in your mom’s trailer? Sounds cozy. Humina Humina 😍🥰😛

I am embarrassed to admit this, but I remember thinking: Awwww just leave him alone Rosie.. it’s your own fault you got yo self knocked up

☝🏻This is the work of the devil.👆🏻

I STILL liked him after that horrible, disrespectful and honest statement by Bob. Like “Dayyyuuumm.” Why?

Currently, I am an adult and an educated & wise woman, yet I still like Bob. Wtf!? How come? 1. Clearly excellent acting by Esai Morales 2. Amazing directing

However, I am not satisfied with this. Inquiring minds want to know!!!

I was concerned with my reaction when I watching this movie recently. When the mother, Connie Valenzuela, minimized Bob’s cartoonist abilities and reminded him that he is about to become a father, I thought: Jeez Connie, buzzkill, what did you have to go and do that for!? Why don’t you get out of Richie’s ass and pay attention to poor Bob. He is trying. POOR BOB

Poor Bob: your womanizing, chauvinistic, selfish, entitled, immature, unemployed, alcoholic, manipulative, man-baby-son who just was released from prison.🤔 (Bob sounds like a real catch on paper doesn’t he?🤥😂)

Idle hands are the devil’s workshop; idle lips are his mouthpiece.Proverbs 16

From a biological & genetic standpoint, Bob does what Bob does best. Bob is a an alpha male who is genetically predisposed to flock his sexy shit to attract females. Bob does whatever possible to get laid; ultimately procreating more human beings to populate the earth. (Biology 101: It is vital for males to compete for reproduction and for females to choose between those competing males.

If a member of the opposite sex finds your tail, your song, or your dance moves sexy, you will have a chance to fulfill your primary biological role as a member of your species: to reproduce.

https://biogeoplanet.com/how-do-animals-find-mates-sex-and-sexual-selection/

This is “Bob’s” “primary biological role” aka his job and he rocks it. He got Rosie pregnant so now he needs to “move on” and to do this again.

It’s not his fault…yet. (Please don’t get angry, hear me out;)

From a biological/genetic standpoint, Bob is doing his job. He behaves how all male animals act. Bob is genetically predisposed to be what humans would consider “an asshole”.

The problem is, he also doesn’t know any better. No one has taught him otherwise. No one has had the chance to teach Bob to step above his biological urges.

Please don’t cause him to feel inadequate by making him have to THINK.

Don’t make him feel like a failure by asking him to have COMPASSION or EMPATHY? That is NO FUN.

What a DRAG it is getting old.

What would cause a human being to behave this way? Or to treat women this way?

Bob’s True Story & my psychological interpretation😜:

Just like Rosie, Connie also hooked up with a bad boy at a young age and got herself impregnated (with Bob.) The hot, sexy biological father took off.

I know you “love him” Rosie, but unless you want to cook dinner on his motorcycle…

Connie then met someone else (Steve) and Connor married Steve when Bob was two years old. Steve loved Bob and treated him as his own. Steve and Connie then had a child, Ritchie. Ritchie was a reflection to Connie what she did right=Ritchie=golden boy. However, Bob was a reminder of her bad decisions.

Connie, Steve, Bob & Ritchie were doing well together for a while. Bob assumed Steve was his biological father and Bob loved him.

In an interview, the real Bob Morales states his life took a bad turn when he was 14 and his parents (Connie & Steve) separated.

“I moved in with my mom while Ritchie went with my dad. One day I told my mom that I wanted to live with my dad and and that’s when my aunt told me ‘Why do you want to go with him if he’s not even your real father.’Bob Morales 

Despite Steve conveying to Bob that he loved him as his own son, the shock devastated Bob. Also, it was horrible timing for Bob to find this out because soon after this discovery, Bob began high school.

Bob was getting into fights frequently so he stopped attending. Instead he gave money to the homeless nearby who would buy him alcohol.

While his now single-mom was working two jobs, Bob was not going to school and had no structure all day, no guidance, no direction=idle time which is the DEVIL’s playground.

Therefore, Bob ended up going to a detention center from age 12-17! Connie, his mother, signed him over as a ward of the state. He did not see his family that entire time he was locked up.

👆🏻AKA Go Fuck yourself Connie. I will never let a woman hurt me again.

The first time Bob saw his mother or Ritchie in years; was the day of Steve’s funeral. Which also means he didn’t get to say goodbye to Steve or to grieve properly.

Bob learned to adapt to his lonely life by becoming the life of the party. He learned how to get what he needed by finding comfort in women and selfishly move on. This probably soothed his resentment toward his mother for while, but then he felt guilty; so he drank the pain away.

Of course he was jealous of Ritchie. Ritchie got his Dad and his Mom. He got nobody.

The point is that all of US are capable of evil depending on what we are exposed to.

I thought of this blog when I was about to bitch at my son for not cleaning up the mess he made after making quesadillas. I realized that I can’t assume he knows how. Instead, I showed him how clean it up. I told him that this is what I expect. I didn’t talk to him like he was stupid. I thanked him for making his own food. I didn’t clean it up for him. This is the only way they learn.

Mothers: We cannot assume that our sons are just going to know how to treat women when they’re older. We cannot assume that their Dad’s are going to teach them either. Most Dads are working their ass off and are never home. (Probably chasing tail 😂 not knowing why. Kidding!🤪)

We have to teach OUR SONS what WE want from them so they can learn how to GIVE this to their future partners. We need to teach them about affection, connection, friendship, compatibility, respect, and the long term.

We have to teach them that this may be a biological urge to continue to chase women and populate the world, HOWEVER, we are not animals.

It costs a lot of time, money, energy to raise a human child properly into a respectable adult.

We need to teach them that human females can be hot and smart. Women can be attractive, fun, brilliant, and confident. We have to teach them, not ASSUME, that a Human FEMALE’S purpose is not to populate the world.

It’s Biology Rosie- kidding! You can have both!

We also have to teach our daughters: What they tolerate will become their future. Being a victim will not get you anywhere.

It’s OUR job to ALSO teach the FUTURE MEN of this world these skills. We need to teach them how to love unconditionally. Parents need to be a TEAM.

There is a chapter in this book on how we “go easy” on our sons because we don’t think they can manage it all and are tougher on our daughters 🙈

https://markmanson.net/love

https://markmanson.net/compatibility-and-chemistry

#markmanson

#ericthomas

#glennondoyle

#freedom

That Was Way Harsh, Tai

As my 14 loyal fans are aware😜, I am a huge fan of the REAL & RAW AF @markmanson
.
He posts a free newsletter every Monday. I highly recommend it. How to sign up: https://markmanson.net/newsletter

It’s called MINDFUCK MONDAY. Which I usually read on Tuesday because I’m too tired on Monday to be mindfucked.😂
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Sometimes Mark is way harsh… and I want to crawl back in bed and hide under the covers. 😂 I eventually process and see where I’m wrong…or think more about what he means in ways that make sense in my brain…then move forward.


My kids are at this stage of where explaining to them how to make decisions based on their personal values needs to happen… (yes we should be helping them figure that out- knowing your teens personal values also helps us understand them better.) #homeschoolingrealshit

https://markmanson.net/values/personal-values-guide

Perhaps you don’t even know what your personal values are. It’s okay, just figure it out now by using above guide. It helps you understand why certain situations piss you off more than others.

By Teaching yourself, then you can assist the kids; and your spouse😜.

I am sure we are all teaching our kids the COST of their decisions even while toddlers; without even realizing it. Teaching them the consequences of their actions. However, I think with teenagers, we want to teach them the consequences BEFORE they actually make the decision. Then they won’t ponder “what would happen if I did this?” Example: “Will my mom lose her shit if I say this? Let’s try it….”

Teaching our kids the COST: I.E. spending a half hour reading before playing a video game and a half hour exercising may SUCK. However, what you do now sucks and you will spend one less hour with your friends online; but the BENEFIT outweighs the cost. The COMPOUND EFFECT of this sucking over a year equals GREAT, BIG, HUGE results.

This is also a great read to reinforce daily habits.

Here is an example of Mark Manson link from newsletter:

“Our minds are poor at compounding things over time. We overestimate the pain of doing something for 30 minutes today, without realizing the compounding effects it can have if we fail to do it every day for months and months on end.

Mark Manson

“For example, let’s pretend there’s some imaginary skill that if you practiced for 30 minutes a day, that you’d get 1% better each day for the next year. Now, let’s say you actually did practice for 30 minutes per day — how much better would you be at the end of the year?

But the real answer? You’d be 3,778% — or almost 38 times — better than you were at the start of the year.” https://markmanson.net/decision-making

Thinking of my shenanigans as a 13 and 14 year old has resulted in my having some minor panic stricken moments…

Now I am no expert, however I go with my gut with most decisions and in my few stellar parenting moments. Yes I think Mark Manson is brilliant. However, One thing I have that @markmanson doesn’t have is…offspring.

I have experience with my offspring. The vulnerability of loving someone so much that you created and you are 100% responsible for; that is some real, hardcore shit. Parenting ain’t no joke.

Before I had kids, I believed “KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.”

Post kids belief, “APPLIED KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.”

I thought and believed a lot of things before I had kids that completely changed once I had kids. My personal values are completely different now than they were 15 years ago. Or having kids strengthens the values you did have or causes you to modify your values.

Example: One thing I hated as a kid and teen and now as an adult is mixed messages. I did always value transparency. “Do what you say, say what you mean.” Clear communication and concise messages makes a difference to me. I’m not into games, assuming, expecting someone to know what I’m thinking.

I hate when people expect me to read their mind. I’m not a fan of those work emails that are vague, and sent as a blanket to the whole department addressing someone’s mistake (usually mine). “Please remember to not have sexual intercourse on your desk.” (That was wrong? Should I not have done that?)😜

Then everyone becomes paranoid, “Did I do that? I didn’t know we couldn’t have sex on our desk?!”

I would prefer my boss to address my screw up personally in 10 words or less; then give me the consequences. It sucks at first but I won’t ever make that mistake again. Then move on. The rules are in the handbook. No need to involve everyone. Sheesh.

I see this a lot with my kids. When I am not being clear or specifically asking them what I want them to do; this results in big arguments. They check out after about 10 words. So I attempt to count the words prior to addressing them.

1.) If 2.) You. 3.) Want 4.) Money 5.) You 6.) Have. 7. ) To 8.) Do 9.) These10.) Chores

As far as letting your kid know the consequences before the decision is made, then there is no assumptions. If we are upfront about our expectations and what the consequences are if they do not follow these expectations; there is less battles in the long run (compound effect).

Example: My son has not given me any indication that he has used alcohol yet or has tried to sneak it. However, the more I learn about alcohol and binge drinking; the more I wonder how me and my friends are alive right now. I think about how lucky we were. Anyone else relate?

Sadly, I know some that were not so lucky.

Anyways, I told my son one day in May this year while we were hanging out watching TV “Oh, by the way, If you or any of your friends drink alcohol anywhere, you will lose your phone for a month and no one will come over for the rest of the summer.”

His eyes bulged out of his head and replies softly, “We won’t. I won’t.”

Clear concise consequences stated before the decision. There is no “I didn’t know.”

Now I am aware of the other loopholes that I would have also used with my parents, “You said alcohol! You didn’t say anything about weed or his moms prescription Xanax.”

That is where going with your gut and personal values comes in. Does it feel wrong? Then it probably is.

Last summer, we both told our kids that if they are in a situation that feels wrong; call us and we will pick them up…no questions asked. If they want to talk about it, they can, when they are ready. Also, they also won’t be in trouble for telling the truth.

It was premature to tell them last summer, but I think the shock value of this statement stuck with them so early. Like “what situation could I possibly be in that I would have to call you to pick me up?”

This year, my kids have been in situations that seemed like they are no big deal to me (their friend said or did something they didn’t like or felt wrong) and they came home early or asked us to pick them up. To them, it is ALL a big deal.

I hate FaceTime but I would prefer my kids do that with friends instead of texting. Texting is helpful sometimes, however so much can be misconstrued via text. I tell my kids “have conversations with your friends” and “don’t put anything in writing or post anything you wouldn’t want their mom to read.” Once it’s out there in the “cloud”, it can always be discoverable.

Dealing with peer pressure is difficult, even as an adult. When you do stand up for what you believe or stick with your decision; it stings like a mfer when your “friends” provide you with their consequences for your decision.

Teaching your kids/teens the crabs in a bucket metaphor helps them have a visual. The metaphor of someone pulling you back down “stay here and be miserable with me.” It tough time find a video of crabs in action so I edited one I found from you tube. https://youtu.be/UJdtaaDOkEo

Lastly, my last two parenting tips for yourself and your kids in “five words or less.” #parentyourself

“Nothing good happens after 2am.”

Even if your kids aren’t going to late night bars such as Brewbakers or Grouchos; 😜 staying up at home watching TV or playing video games past 2am is usually not wise. This is where your friends get overtired and start saying stupid shit to stay awake or act out such as kick you out of “video game party” (whatever the hell this is).

Stick with this mindset

How this leads to bad habits as adults=After 2am bad decisions. This is where those last two dranks throw you over the edge; leading to a massive hangover or blackout. Past 2am is where you have beer goggles and hook up with someone that’s a “full-on Monet”…(see below) you wouldn’t have looked at before midnight.

If you have a friend, preferably gay, that calls you “Duchess” or something close to that 😉 . Any friend that makes you blush with how special & supported they make you feel; keep this friend at all costs.
Questionable friendship?
Women's Fight

The Eye on the Sparrow (Part One)

In 2002, I was finishing up grad school and ready to “Make a Difference”. I took the train to my new job, walked around Downtown Chicago like a tourist, all bright-eyed and excited for my new opportunity. I was also engaged and in wedding planning mode. Life was amazing.

When I arrived for my training at the NBC towers, I was beaming with pride and so impressed with the office location. I felt so cool taking the elevator to “my office” and using my badge to scan myself in to unlock the door. I walked into the training room and found six other girls in the training room. We all appeared to be about the same age, well except one woman.

She was wearing glasses, had short stacked hair and a blazer: dead giveaway for a mom. She did not look happy. She asked about 17 questions before the first break. I did not understand why this woman was insisting on knowing everything right away. The same thing happened day after day for two weeks, constant questions from this Mom-Lady.  It seemed as if the other five women had the same thought as me because we all began to make eye-contact with each other when she asked yet another question. I had no idea what I was doing either; however this women’s questions emphasized that I was also clueless and made the training longer.

By the time the Monday arrived for week three of training, the newness wore off. It was winter and freezing downtown. I was exhausted from waking up so early, while it was still dark out, to begin my journey to what it felt like the north pole. It takes a lot of effort to be in the loop by 8:00am. I was also beginning to realize that I voluntarily signed up to be in the real-life version of Office Space: the cubicles, everyone complaining about the copier jamming, and all the staff in the cubicles with the same flat-zombie-like expression as Peter. (“Peter…What’s happening?”)

img_6892

Finally on Friday of our last training day, we somehow decided to walk to the same place for lunch. As we sat down, one of the girls my age unloaded, “I am sorry, but do any of you guys know what the fuck we are doing?” All of us burst out laughing.  The bubble of phony professionalism was broken and everyone unleashed their confusion, realness and fear. It was such a relief to hear everyone’s insecurities. Even the Mom-Lady was laughing and was making funny comments.

After we all had our food, Mom-Lady stated she felt compelled to tell us something. You could sense the uncomfortable tension by the abrupt, dead silence at the table. Mom-Lady explained that she had been in the field as a clinician for fifteen years until she took time off to be home with her kids. She was married and had two children, a girl (8) and a boy (5). She disclosed she was 42 years old and “feeling pretty humiliated” about going back to work after being off for eight years. “My husband is self-employed and his business was doing well. We were able to afford my being a stay-at home mom. However, with all the insurance changes and pre-existing condition limitations; private insurance cost a fortune. Unfortunately, I need to go back to work to provide insurance for my family.” The story continued to get worse. She then confessed she had also allowed her license to lapse during her time off, and without a license, you could not get hired anywhere except for entry positions. Therefore she had to basically start over and take the licensing exams which were not held until next year.

We all sat there stunned and speechless; wide-eyed and jaws gaping open. None of us were even married yet or had children. I could not even fathom this kind of stress. The silence was unbearable and I assumed it was making this Mom-Lady more uncomfortable than she already was. I had no clue what to say. Everyone began looking down at the remains of their potbelly sandwiches and sitting on their hands for what seemed like an eternity. When things are tense, uncomfortable and awkward I always think of funny things and feel the urge to laugh inappropriately.

Before I could think I blurted out: “Jeez, remember in Office Space when he says “Every time you see me, that’s on the worst day of my life. He’s got nothing on you. Sheesh! That SUCKS!”

Thankfully the Mom-Lady began to laugh, probably more out of gratitude that the silence was broken. Then we all began to laugh. It wasn’t the most professional, empathetic, therapist-like thing to say but it broke the ice. We all returned to the office laughing, relaxed and more cohesive than when we left; by being honest and raw, we had bonded.

The next week, we were all thrown into our roles and able to grasp the actual job fairly quickly. We had to just do it in order to learn it. We discovered instant messaging and we would IM each other all day long. It turned out the Mom-Lady was pretty hilarious once she got over her initial anxiety. We all laughed hysterically all day long at her instant messages, nicknames for team leaders and her in-person impressions of different coworkers.

Mom-Lady was honest, eloquent and had an amazing ability to say things to me that I would not tolerate from anyone else. An example, one day I was talking to my own Mother on the phone at work. I was all stressed out about my wedding dress and that “I would not be able to lift my arms all the way up” and “how would I dance if I can’t lift my arms up!” My Mother became stressed and worried too and the two of us were like two balls of irrational anxiety. Mom-Lady apparently overhead me talking from her cubicle and came over to my desk smirking. Mom-Lady basically told me straight up to “get some real problems.” I was knocked right into a reality check. Then she elaborated, “I know your wedding seems like it is the most important day of your life right now but seriously, I have been married for 12 years, and in the big scheme of things it is not a big deal. It’s one day.”

I was dumbfounded at first. Then I embraced her authentic honesty because it was exactly what I needed. I began to giggle and I replied, “Oh yeah, well then you explain to everyone at the wedding why I am dancing and walking like this.” I stood up and began doing some dance moves resembling Ed Grimley from SNL and walking with my arms planted at my side like Molly Shannon in the Seinfeld Episode “The Summer of George.” Mom-Lady and I began to perform Ed Grimley dance moves in my cubicle while laughing hysterically. We spent the rest of the week walking down the hall not moving our arms like Molly Shannon.

ed grimley

molly shannon

Mom-Lady taught me to laugh at myself and she turned out to be the older sister I never had. Over time she became my favorite person to talk to. Eventually she changed from Mom-Lady to my most cherished Mom-Angel-Friend. My Mom-Angel-Friend was definitely an example that fear and shame can bring out the worst in people; and in some circumstances, you do get a second chance to make a first impression.