Halfway to 50!

Twenty somethings unite!

Friend Request: Denied January 30, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — halfwayto50 @ 4:09 pm

It’s sort of like our generation’s one historical question: Where were you when Facebook began?

I just watched “The Social Network” and it jogged my memory.  I remember being in college and hearing about Facebook during a club meeting I was attending.  Our club officers took their turns approaching the podium as always, taking care of various tasks.  The final officer gripped the podium and began telling us about this mysterious Facebook thing.  It went something like this:

Blonde Officer: So.  There’s this thing called Facebook.  It’s like, really cool because you can leave messages for each other and see people’s profile pictures.  There are groups you can be part of and it’s really cool.

Me: (Blinking)

Blonde Officer: But the only way our University can be a part of it is if we petition to have our school added.  So go to this website (clicks on to a powerpoint with the website) and say your want our University added.  OK? It’s going to be cool.

Me: (Still blinking)

I scooped up my things, confused, yet intrigued about this whole “Facebook” thing.  I burst into my dorm and told my roommate all about it.  She was somewhat intrigued too, so I jumped on my computer and did the petition thing.  It seemed like only a few days later our University was accepted, and thus began my relationship with “Facebook.” 

I was seeing my “friend request” box fill up every day with old high school buddies and my new college friends.  It was such an exhilarating feeling to know that all of these people wanted to be in contact with me!  I went down the row of friend requests and happily clicked, “Accept request, Accept Request, Accept Request.”  My friend numbers were growing by the day.  52. 84. 100 (Can you believe it? 100!) 134. 200 (Oh my gosh, 200!) 

That was then.  This is now.  Flash forward 5-6 years and I view my “Facebook” account very differently…

I’m half way to 50 (25) and I don’t really want everyone in my business.  When I get a “Friend Request” now, here’s how it goes…

Me: Friend request?  Hmmmm who did I meet in the last week that isn’t already my “friend?”  (I click and see that it’s someone from high school I haven’t seen in 6 years.  I’m not even sure that I was friends with this person when I was in high school. (I went to a large high school)  No.  No, I’m going to deny this friend because I’m not sure I want a stranger looking at my vacation pictures.  No, I don’t think so.  I feel bad but, come on.

That got me thinking.  I have over 300 friends.  Are there more people on here that shouldn’t be knowing my personal business?  I begin to scroll through my “friends.”  It was amazing how many people were on there that I didn’t even know!  Megan…. Megan… who the hell is Megan?  I click on her picture and it still doesn’t ring a bell.  “Remove Friend.”  That’s right.  I did it.  I removed a friend.  And do you know what?  It felt GOOD!  Hmmm, who else needs to be removed?  There were so many people on my Facebook account that I haven’t seen or spoken to in at least 5 years that I didn’t even get through the A’s.  It was liberating to clean up my Facebook account.  It was also a little creepy.  A lot of these people I didn’t even recognize, yet they had access to my personal information and pictures.  (Note: I am super careful about what information I put out there.  I do not list my hometown, work place, or address)  But it was weird to me that these now strangers had seen my photos and read the comments I made to my friends.

Plus, I was getting annoyed with status updates every day from people I could care less about.  Do I really need to know that Mackenzie had yet ANOTHER horrible day?  NO!  Who the heck is Mackenzie?  Someone who is really down and out every day that I apparently once knew.  “Remove Friend.”  Do I need to know how far along Pam is with her pregnancy?  Every day I got an ultrasound picture up on my Newsfeed sharing publicly that she was 24 weeks and that the baby was now the size of a cantaloupe.  Ew.  I don’t know you and I certainly don’t feel privileged enough to know how big your fetus is.  “Remove Friend.” 

From age 20 to age 25 Facebook has changed in my eyes.  I don’t need to accept everyone’s friend request.  I’m much more careful about who is considered a “friend” on Facebook.  I don’t need a high number of “friends” to prove myself.  I’m working a little bit each weekend to remove some friends that aren’t even my friends.  I just would like to simplify my life a little more and keep my true circle of friends involved in my life, not the world. 

So here are some final thoughts I’ll leave with my halfwayto5o readers:

Where were you when Facebook began?  Have you changed the way you “Facebook” as you’ve gotten older, no, as you’ve gotten more mature?

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Karaoke Through the Years January 23, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — halfwayto50 @ 4:12 pm

Any of my friends can tell you that there’s one thing I’ll never say no to…. karaoke.  There’s just something so fun and liberating about singing into a microphone for dozens of people, imagining that you actually have a talent.  Hey, a girl can dream can’t she?  The truth is, I’m a terrible singer.  I’m not talking a little pitchy.  I’m talking, people start to whisper (or yell) that I need to stop.  My “fans” in the bar begin to turn on me and wrinkle their foreheads during the second verse.  But I don’t care.  I’m singing and famous for 3.5 minutes.

Last night was my work Christmas, er, holiday party.  It has been tradition that everyone goes to the party and then the truly devoted head out to the real party… the after party.  For some reason I’ve always been the person who orchestrates the after party.  The thought of being surrounded by people who are just going to GO HOME at 9:30 sends me into a nervous panic.  Nooooo! You guys can’t just go home?!  I’m getting a nice little buzz here and we’re actually starting to have fun outside of the classrooms where we work day in and day out.  Let’s keep this energy going and hit up a bar!  Wooo!  Well, that was me last night.  I had convinced my table that we needed to head to a karaoke bar.  We got up, gathered our coats, and I casually began spreading the word about the after party.  After a few smirks, eye rolls, cheers, and awkward laughter, everyone knew about the after party.

About 12 people sat around 3 tiny tables we had pulled together.  We listened to ear-piercing versions on the Grease theme song and watched half a dozen drunk girls scream into the mic and dance as if they were in a music video.  This was my idea of a good time!  We ordered drinks and I began to build up my liquid confidence.  I had flashbacks of last year’s karaoke after party when I was with my co-worker singing “Baby Got Back” and shaking my money-maker.  An encore was definitely needed.  Yes, this was the night we’d all remember. 

We mulled over the song book for what seemed like hours and then finally decided on a Britney Spears classic.  It was settled.  In an hour or so we’d be singing for the masses.  We watched duets, soloists, and groups perform for a while.  But then, in the bar bathroom it happened.  I did a mirror check with some friends and that’s when she said it, “You need to lose the blazer.  It’s very mid-twenties.”  I did a glance at my friend, then back at the mirror.  What?  The blazer I had carefully selected to wear tonight made me look old?  I had seen Kim Kardashian wear black blazers with skinny jeans all year.  I thought I was stylin’.  She suggested I lose the blazer.  I had on a sleeveless top underneath and felt a little odd wearing just that.  Maybe I did want to look mid-twenties.  I certainly didn’t attempt to pull off 21.  Now I was in a wardrobe crisis.  Just as I walked out of the bathroom in bewilderment over the blazer issue, our names were called. 

We marched up to the stage and grabbed the microphones.  We were going to rock this.  The first beats of Britney’s song played and we began to sing.  We bopped around a little bit, sang the lyrics, and did some hair-whipping.  While the other two girls were singing, here’s what I noticed:

1. People had turned away and began engaging in conversations.

2. I wasn’t dancing like I did last year.  I was worried about looking like a drunk.

3. The guy running the karaoke business left his post on the stage and began to clean up his empty beer cans while we sang… while we SANG!

It became awkward for me immediately.  I was having halfway to 50 nervous thoughts.  Was I too old to be doing this?  Did the blazer make me look old?  Was Britney a bad song choice?  Why is nobody cheering?  Then it hit me.  Everyone in the bar was about 21 years old.  They were probably just taking a break from their rigorous studying.  They were out to get wasted together and make bad decisions.  I was there following a work party in my blazer with my husband.  Wow.  I’m closer to 30 than 20 now.  I relate more to the 30-year-old people in my life than the people who are 20.  Wow.  We finished the song and left the bar.

On the way home I recalled singing karaoke in college.  We screamed, sweat, and danced our way through great performances.  We had the whole bar singing with us and were often asked for an encore.  It was great!  Now, it was just weird.  Turns out karaoke performances are just one more thing that change with age.

 

Drinks or a Redbox Movie? January 17, 2011

Filed under: Humor,Life,Twenty Somethings,Uncategorized — halfwayto50 @ 2:42 am
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Go, go, go!  Wooooo!  That’s what I heard at a sports bar last night as I watched the Packers play the… uh… that’s not important.  I met some friends for dinner and drinks, and apparently, to watch the football game.  We were having a great time catching up and sipping on drinks up until the Packer game started.  Directly following the National Anthem, half of the people at the table stopped talking and instead focused all of their attention on the football game.  Now don’t get me wrong, I have the utmost respect for people who are passionate about sports.  They’re fun, competitive, loud, and exciting!  What’s not to love?  But I had no vested interest in either team so I had to find other means of entertainment.  Here’s what I did to say occupied:

1. Asked the waitress for an electronic game that allowed me to play trivia and Texas Hold ‘Em against other people in the bar.  I’m guessing my opponents were people who had also been socially abandoned by their friends once the game started.

2. I tried to watch the Miss America pagent on one of the 12  T.V.’s in the bar.  However the talent and question-answer portion of the competition lose their luster when you can’t hear what they’re saying.

3. I ordered an alcholic, fruity drink.  Heavy on the alcohol, light on the fruit.  Hey, maybe a little buzz will make the game more interesting?

Rolling into hour 5 at the sports bar I began to drown in boredom.  I love the people I was with and enjoyed battling my husband in a trivia game (I think he felt bad for me) but the night had run it’s course.  I looked to my friends who had just come back to the table.  Physically they had never left, but mentally they had been gone for 2 hours.  Who can blame them?  They’re super fans!  It was their idea of a perfect night!  I just wasn’t feeling it.  I mean, I was a cheerleader in high school for our football team, but that’s about as far as my connection with football runs.  It was time to leave. 

Here I was all dressed up.  Skinny jeans.  Ruffly black top.  Good hair night.  Ready to go for drinks after the game. But  I just couldn’t stay another minute.  5 hours of football was my max.  In true halfway to 50 form, my hubbie and I paid our tab and headed home at 9:00 on a Saturday night, skinny jeans and all.  The plan was to meet for dinner, watch the game, and head out for drinks.  Now the plan was to rent a movie from Redbox, throw on our pajamas and cuddle on the couch.  Was I disappointed with the outcome of our night?  Actually, no.  I got to catch up with good friends, brush up on trivia, and end the night in the arms of my hubbie.  Oh how times are changing!

 

The Perfect Halfway to 50 Vacation Destination Is: ? January 7, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — halfwayto50 @ 3:16 am

Being halfway to 50 while planning a vacation is fantastic!  The only two decisions that need to be made are when and where we’re going!  My hubbie and I are literally going to Google and typing in, “Best Beach Vacations” every night until we find something we like.  Without children at this point in our lives, we are free to pick up and go.  Well, mostly free.  We do have to go during the summer break because I’m a teacher.  And we can’t go over spring break because that’s my husband’s busy time at work.  But other than that we are free! 

Who would have thought that selecting a vacation would be so confusing?  Being halfway to 50 makes you think about things a little differently.  We thought about Cancun or South Padre…. but then again, we’re not 21 anymore and willing to flash crowds for a free plastic cup filled with warm keg beer.  We thought about going overseas to Paris but HA, let’s be realistic on what we can afford at this point.  The typical vacations crossed our mind but, I it makes me laugh when I imagine our knees sticking out of the Dumbo ride with no child in our laps at Disney World.  Soooo (big sigh) where does a halfway to 50, childless couple vacation for a week in the summer?  We’re still not sure.  Any suggestions?

 

She MUST be pregnant! January 2, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — halfwayto50 @ 6:14 pm

I recently celebrated Christmas surrounded by my family and the in-laws.  They’re all wonderful people who love my husband and I very much.  We have fun with them, get silly, and truly enjoy each other’s company.  However, there was one issue that kept coming up over the holidays that continues to nag at me.  Why is everyone questioning me about pregnancy?  I turn a drink down and whispers fill the air with, “She MUST be pregnant!”  My sister-in-law announces she’s pregnant and immediately the family turns to me, as if on cue, to say, “When’s it your turn?”  I post a picture on Facebook of my hubbie and I in front of the Christmas tree only to receive the following comment from my cousin, “Are these the parents to be?”  Seriously?  A girl can’t be halfway to 50, married, and…. not pregnant?  Maybe its the way midwest people are.  You get married, you get pregnant, and you live life.  Well don’t get me wrong, I do want kids someday.  I want to parent like my mom and dad did and enjoy life’s little moments with my own son or daughter.  But, at 25, I’m just not interested yet.  I love calling up my halfway to 50 friends to meet for a drink on Friday night, I love watching a Redbox with my hubbie on a Tuesday night because we can, and I enjoy going on vacations each summer just the two of us.  I’m not ready to give up this time in my life yet!  This doesn’t make me selfish or weird does it?  Just because some of my friends have decided to start families doesn’t make them weird or wrong either.  I enjoy visiting my friends’ houses to play with their new babies! Really, I do!  But it’s also nice to go home to my quiet living room and play Super Mario Brothers on the Wii for an hour because I can! 

Another element to this puzzle is my occupation.  I’m a teacher.  A kindergarten teacher.  My kiddos are great and much of the reason why I love my job so much!  But then again, they are also part of the reason why I appreciate my halfway to 50 child-free home at night.  After someone tosses their cookies at school and looks to me for assistance, I can’t help but be grateful for the fact that no one can do that to me at home.  It is still my time to be carefree! 

I can’t be the only one who feels this way!  If you’re dealing with, or have dealt with the constant pregnancy quesions, please give me advice.  I’m running out of kind and gentle ways of swaying the converstion another way.  Help!

What’s the point you say?  All I want is for people to respect those who simply don’t want children right away.  I will have them someday, I promise.  But right now, I don’t want raised eyebrows at the sight of pop instead of beer.  It doesn’t mean I’m pregnant, it doesn’t mean I’m hiding something, and it doesn’t mean that we’re trying for a baby.  It means I didn’t feel like alcohol at that moment (trust me, there are plenty of moments when I will consume more than necessary.)  When we’re ready for that next chapter in our lives, our family and friends will be the first  to know.  Until then,please let us be young and stupid!

 

Bars, Movies, or Video Games?

Filed under: Uncategorized — halfwayto50 @ 12:23 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I woke up refreshed, alert, and eager to start 1-1-11!  Not everyone can say that today.  In fact most people who are halfway to 50 (or near there) probably woke up sick, hungover, and trying to figure out a way to get to the car they left in the bar parking lot.  Why was I different?  Well someone had to take my halfway to 50 husband home last night  after a long game of quarters.  Don’t go feeling sorry for me though, this was the plan we prepared earlier in the day.  I wasn’t feeling like drinking that night- no it was more like I didn’t want to be sick the next day, so I volunteered myself to be the DD for my hubbie. 

 The night started off with good friends, light chats about how the holidays went, and a counter filled with a variety of boozes that I continued to politely decline every 15 minutes or so.  “But we have room for you to stay if you want,” they encouraged.  It was a kind gesture, but I think when you’re halfway to 50 the idea of passing out a friend’s house because you can’t safely drive home isn’t as cute as it used to be.  To be honest, what I was looking forward to the most at this New Year’s party didn’t look like it was going to happen- playing “Just Dance 2” on the Wii.  WHAT??? I know, I know, I’m halfway to 50 and incredibly excited about playing a video game, oh I mean, incredibly challenging yet fun cardio packed dance challenge!  But if you have ever played it, you know.  It provides you with a blueprint of dance steps that, once mastered, allow you to appear coordinated and talented!  Because you don’t know me, you don’t know that I really have nothing that I consider myself talented at.  You know how they always ask that question in interviews, “What are you good at, what are your talents?”  I usually stare at them blank and come up with the old stand by… “I’m a great listener.”  Pssh!  I’m a terrible listener!  Once my husband starts to tell me about work I soon begin to think about that show that’s on tonight and how I haven’t set our DVR to record it yet.  I’m terrible.  It’s something I’m working on. 

Anyway, back to “Just Dance 2.”  I have discovered that I’m actually talented at playing this game.  After a couple of times through each song, I can pretty much do it from memory.  I knew this house we were going to had a Wii and the game I had grown to love.  I happily packed our 2 controllers from home so that 4 people could dance at once (4 people!) and proudly placed them on the table when we arrived at the party announcing my excitement for the game!  The hours ticked by…. I declined about 4 drinks at this point…. and even threw the quarter for my husband because he could sense my unrest.  It was midnight.  We cheered, blew noise makers, and kissed our significant others.  Then we realized we had forgotten our champagne toast that we talked about and did a midnight “do-over.”  Hey, we’re halfway to 50’s, it happens.  People began to gather their things and hinted at heading home for the night when finally- it happened.  Someone suggested playing “Just Dance 2” and everyone put their things down.  We danced for about an hour and had a blast!  Thank goodness we got to play!  For without that last hour of dancing, I may have considered the New Year’s of 2011 a disappointment. 

Being a halfway to 50 is confusing, especially at New Year’s.  Do we go to a bar and get hammered followed by an expensive cab ride home?  Nope, we’re cheap and the packed bar is a little too noisy.  Do we stay in and watch a movie?  No, that’s what old people do who have no plans.  We go to our friend’s house, have a glass of champagne at midnight, and then dance along with a video game.  Is this a perfect New Year’s Eve for all halfway to 50’s?  No.  But it was perfect for me.  Happy 2011!