Halfway to 50!

Twenty somethings unite!

Hey Jiggly Butt! April 29, 2011


We never grew up with a scale in our house.  Nobody was overweight or even worried about weight, so there was no reason to have such a judgemental tool lying on the bathroom floor.

This is why I was shocked at Easter when I went to my parents house and found one, lit up and glaring at me.

My brother, being as surprised as I was, decided it would be fun if everyone would weigh-in to determine their “pre-Easter meal” weight.  Then on Sunday (well you know what’s coming) after stuffing our faces with mounds of food, we’d all weigh in again to see what we’d gained.  Being a rather tall, gangly bunch, this wasn’t offensive to anyone and we decided it would be a fun family activity.  I mean, what better way to celebrate Jesus’ rise from the tomb than with a weigh-in?

Here’s where it went from funny to pathetic.  I got on the scale and wrinkled my forehead.  Huh?  I’ve been the same weight for years and was surprised to see that number change.  I got off and back on again.  Dammit.  An electronic scale doesn’t lie.  I looked at myself in the bathroom mirror.  I wiggled my arms.  No flapping skin.  I turned to the side.  No protruding stomach.  I turned around and craned by neck to see the back of my legs.  No chubby legs.  Hmmmm.  I turned to the front and laughed at my own funny thought.  No, those few pounds were not added to my chest… I couldn’t be that lucky!  Oh well, I’ve been lifting a lot of weights over the past year so maybe it’s the added muscle.  I went about my business, enjoyed Easter, and didn’t think twice about those new pounds… until Thursday.

I was bent over digging through a filing cabinet in my classroom.  My students were busily working (most of them) when I felt a tap on my butt.  My eyes bugged out of my head and my heart dropped.  Oh my gosh.  My butt just jigged like crazy.  It was like a rock was thrown into a pond causing ripples to form.  I slowly turned around to tend to the student who needed me and quietly sat down in my chair.  I found the location of those new pounds.  My ass.  How can this be?  I’ve been lifting weights and running regularly!!  I don’t deserve this!  (Ok, maybe an exaggeration of my reaction, but I was pretty pissed.)

As I sat chewing my pizza last night, I discussed my ass with my hubbie.  He laughed as I went on and on about my jiggly butt that was poked by a student.  Determined to convince him that my butt had indeed grown, I stood up, bent over, and patted my own ass to show him how it reacted.  (Looking back, I don’t understand why I went to this extreme, but the point got across.) 

The morale of this story?  Owning a scale is stupid.  Weight is just a number.  Be sure you add some butt lifts to your daily workout.  Cheers to all 20 something asses that creep up and say “boo” when you least expect it!

 

Help! My Classroom is Haunted! April 20, 2011


Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters!

Today I had the crap scared out of me at school- and it wasn’t because of the kids.  I’m so freaked out that I’m not sure how I’ll sleep tonight.  Let me explain…

I was rushing out of my classroom to get to my Zumba class.  I threw my school bag, gym bag, purse, and lunch box around my shoulders and hurried out.  I locked the door and spun around to find a woman looking at me funny in the hallway.  She was older with long white hair.  I hadn’t seen her around school before so I asked if she needed anything.  She continued to stare at me and pointed to my classroom door.

Woman: Do you teach in that room?

Me: Yes.

Woman: Have you ever been in there when it’s dark?

Me: Ummmm (super confused) not usually.  When the kids are in there we work with the lights on.  I guess during rest time I turn the lights off.

Woman: Oh, okay.

She turned around and began to walk away.   Intrigued and confused I had to stop her and continue the conversation.

Me: Why?  What’s the problem?

Woman: Well, I’m a custodian in the school here and I’ve noticed some strange things in that classroom at night.

(This is where I began to raise my eyebrows.  I knew the custodians in my building, pretty well actually.  They’ve saved me when my students have peed, vomited, and even pooped on my carpet.  That’s a whole other blog post though.  Why had I never seen her before?)

Me: What do you mean strange things?  (I laughed a little while saying this because another co-worker had joined the conversation and we exchanged glances that said, “This woman is crazy.”)

Woman: Well at night, when I come in to clean, I hear voices.  More than once I’ve heard people have conversations in here.  There’s nobody else in the building but me.  The parking lot is empty when I get here.

Me: Really??  That’s weird.  (Again, I said this while laughing a little.  This time, I was a little freaked out and thought that by laughing I’d appear calm.)

Woman: Yes.  I also get the feeling that someone is watching me when I’m in there.  I always look over my shoulder.

Me: Uhhhh that’s scary.  (Not laughing anymore, because now I’m officially freaked out.)

Woman: It’s so scary to me, that I’ve gotten my shift switched.  I work between 2 schools and I make sure to get to your classroom before it’s dark.  No other classrooms make me feel like that.  But yours… yours is haunted. 

Me: That’s interesting to hear you say that.  I’ve heard the automatic toilets flush in our bathroom after school hours, but I thought it was just a faulty toilet.

Woman: I’d keep an eye out for those things. 

Me: Ok, well, now that you’ve scared the crap out of me, I have to get going.  (By this time I had chills because of this woman’s claims.)

I stepped outside with my co-worker and we talked about what had just happened.  The weirdest thing about this whole thing is that I had never seen this woman at school before.  I work at school a few hours after the kids leave almost every day to get organized and tidy up.  The custodians and I usually see each other during those hours.  How had I never seen this woman before?

As I drove to Zumba, all I could think about was talking to our main custodian in the morning.  I pictured myself approaching her and telling her about what the woman had said to me today.  What if she says, “There’s no other custodians.  I don’t know who you are talking about.”  Maybe the woman who talked to me was a ghost!  I pictured my kids coming up to me tomorrow saying, “Sally won’t give me my book back.”  I’d reply with, “There’s no Sally in our class.”  The kids would say, “Yes there is.  She’s in the corner.”  Another ghost! 

Ahhhh!  Now I’m terrified of my classroom!  Have you had an encounter with a ghost?  How did you deal with it?

 

Growing up, one night at a time… April 12, 2011


I was being pulled through the city by my husband.  “Come on!” he said.  I picked up my speed from a quick walk to a light jog.  “Um, I’m in a dress and heels,” I reminded him.  I tried to look calm and collected as I breezed past onlookers in my half sprint down the sidewalk.  After a few minutes, we finally arrived to our destination.  Whew!  We made it before 7:00 and that means no cover charge!  Winning!  I flipped out my ID and began walking into the piano bar.  “Hold on,” called the bouncer (is that what you call the guy who checks ID’s?)  He grabbed my wrist and stamped me.  Ugh.  I haven’t had a bar stamp in years.  It totally didn’t go with my outfit.  We strolled into the joint with our friends and immediately noticed there was no seating left.  Ok. so we’ll be standing.  We watched the stage as both a bachelorette and her future husband suffered public humiliation.  I believe at one point the man was told to “motor boat” his fiancée’s boobs and he did.  Forgive me for being a crabby pants, I had nothing to drink at that point.  It’s amazing how things aren’t as funny when it’s 7:00. 

We stood around for about an hour, sipping on drinks and trying to catch up with each other over the noise of the pianos.  I began to get a stomach ache.  Standing against a wall, in heels, sweating, was not the way I thought the night would be.  A few friends left and called to say that the brewery a few blocks away had seating and amazing appetizers.  We gulped our drinks and headed out.  Ahhhh, fresh air! 

We stepped into the brewery, pulled up chairs around a big table full of friends, ordered a plate of nachos, and I sighed.  “This is so much better.  We can actually hear each other and give our ankles a rest,” I proclaimed.  Then I gasped and covered my mouth as everyone stared at me.  “Oh my God.  That statement made me sound so old!”  We laughed and all agreed that this was indeed the better way to spend the evening.  We were visiting friends in the big city for the weekend and truly enjoyed catching up over greasy food and strong beverages.  Around 11:30 we headed back to the hotel and called it a night.

It happened.  Again.  Just another night of being pulled further from 20 and closer to 30.  And you know what?  My feet, kidneys, and ears are thanking me 🙂

When did you notice yourself growing up?  How did you feel about it?

 

25 in the Midwest March 28, 2011


Are expectations different depending on where you live?

I had this thought today as I was driving to the gym.  I had Cosmo Radio on in the car and was listening to a segment called, Cocktails with Patrick or Cocks with P (if you’re feeling a little sassy!)  He was on a roll delivering a strong message about being 25 years old to his co-host.  Apparently she is 25 and he was telling her to relish every moment of this time, because it only goes downhill from there. 

After you’ve all stopped gasping, continue reading please.  He was telling her that she is at her prime physically, emotionally, and sexually.  He went as far as to tell her that she should throw herself a party tonight to celebrate this wonderful age!  But what really got me was when he asked her about her “old” friends, you know, those girlfriends she has who are 28 or 29 years old.  (There was even a moment where they referred to these women as “golden girls!”  Their words, not mine.)  If asked, he believed every one of them would turn back the clock 4 years.  Why? Because they have more pressure and responsibility now.  Together they listed the things that cause pressure and responsibility when you are in your late 20’s like careers, marriage, and babies.  He advised his halfway to 50 co-host to truly soak up every moment of her carefree existence right now before she becomes engulfed in life’s expectations.

Here is where my head spun around.  What he is talking about??  I’m 25, four years into my career, married, and paying a monthly mortgage.  My halfway to 50 life is full of responsibility and pressure!  Now, please don’t think I’m complaining.  I chose every element of my life and love what it has become.  I have a career that I’m passionate about, a husband who adores me, and a home that we’ve created together that someday we’ll raise children in.  So why does this radio host believe 25 year olds are free of responsibility?  Am I crazy or is he?  Where I come from, once you graduate college, you get a move on with life.  It is still filled with fun and excitement, but you have to work for it.

Most of my friends were married in their early 20’s and many are starting to have children.  We all have jobs because, well, who else is going to pay the bills?  We have fun on the weekends and work hard during the week.  We haven’t thrown in the towel on our youth yet, but still take on a lot of responsibility. 

Two of my best friends are not married.  Both have come to me with concerns about their age and the increasing pressure to marry soon.  They’re great girls with good jobs, amazing families, and dazzling personalities.  So why are they worried?  Because they want security, love, and, babies before they’re 30.  Most of the time these conversations turn to the idea that people our age in other areas of the country are partying, carefree, and starring in reality shows about living in a beach house. 

I guess what I’m saying is if I was born in Los Angeles, maybe I’d be running around from bar to bar, flirting with muscle laden bronzed men, working a temp job as a dog walker, and living in a run down apartment on the beach.  The only responsibilities I’d have is to sweep the sand off the floor at night, keep enough protection in the house for my gentlemen callers, and keep an ample supply of sunscreen on hand for my tanning sessions.

So my final thought to you is, does region determine the expectation on you and your age?  Do you think you’d have a different life if you grew up elsewhere?  What is society’s current expectation of you?

 

Green Drinks? Yes, Please! March 16, 2011


So St. Patrick’s Day is tomorrow.  I’ve recently begun to celebrate this lovely holiday in which leprachauns dance and the beer is delightfully green.  Why?  Because it always falls during my spring break and let’s face it, I have nothing better to do.

This year I’ve happily recruited 2 people to join my in my St. Patrick’s Day festivities.  Both ladies are teachers and therefore also experiencing a lame spring break in the midwest (not on an island.)  Together, I’m hoping, we can say “Screw the island spring break getaway!  We have green beer to drink, green shirts to wear, skinny jeans to rock, and good times to be had!”  Yes, this year is set up to be great.  However, being halfway to 50, I have some worries about what is actually going to happen tomorrow.  Here are two scenarios I’ve created in my mind that may or may not happen:

Scenario #1) We three half way to 50’s arrive at the most Irish bar in town.  The place is packed and we push our way through the crowd to find a table.  We waltz to the table in our green attire, tall boots, and hair flowing in the breeze.  (Well, it’ll probably be flat and a little snarly, but this is my fantasy ok?)  We order some lovely green beverages and begin catching up on all that has happened over our spring break so far.  We shoo away the men who just keep coming up to our table in attempt to buy us a drink.  “Please,” I say, “I’m married!”  (Again, this is my fantasy so don’t judge.)  After several beverages we dance a little to our favorite songs and run into even more friends.  We stumble out the door after a fun night of drinks and laughter.  St. Patrick’s Day was a succcess!

However, there is always this possibility…

Scenario #2) I can’t find anything green to wear that looks cute.  Someone calls to say they’re running late.  My hair won’t stay curled, but looks gross flat.  I pull it together and run out the door to meet my friends.  We walk in and nobody is at the bar.  Apparently, there is a free keg somewhere downtown and everyone went there.  We easily grab a table and order drinks.  There are no drink specials and no men grappling at our feet.  We have a drink and then someone decides to make it an early night.  Then there were two.  We have one more drink and decide to head home.  St. Patricks Day was a disappointment.  Maybe next year…

When you’re halfway to 50, you just never know how the night will turn out.   Sometimes people are in the mood to party like they’re 21 and sometimes people are tired and pack it in early.  It’s like flipping a coin.  But hey, pennies are lucky so maybe I could flip one of those tomorrow night.  It’s the luck o’ the Irish!

 

5 Gym Pet Peeves March 15, 2011


Please wash off your equipment!  That is just one thing I’d like to yell at the gym on a daily basis.  I’m 25 and a couple of years ago I decided to making working out part of my regular routine.  I spent time at several gyms in the area trying to find the perfect fit for me.  Finally, I found The One and have been there ever since.  Upon becoming a gym rat, I have found that there are several things that bug the crap out of me when I work out. 

1. People jump off of equipment and walk away.  They just walk away without cleaning off their sweaty nastiness that I have to endure.

2. Women have no shame in the locker room.  I’m not saying women shouldn’t be proud of what their momma gave them, but at the same time, I don’t need to see your naked boobs as you change into your sports bra.  Find a bathroom please!

3. The gym is not a runway.  Please don’t show up in your low-cut, tight-fitting work out clothes.  One girl in my class does this and every time we have to do planks, her cleavage is looking back at me in the mirror. 

4. Kids under the age of 16 should not be working out with a personal trainer.  There is a 12-year-old who regularly trains with a professional at my gym.  What in the world are you training for buddy?  Got a big pee wee championship coming up? 

5. The T.V.’s should be on a variety of channels to meet everyone’s needs.  I’m a T.V. junkie and my time on the eliptical goes much faster if I can watch Real Housewives, E! News, or House Hunters.  Staring at Sports Center on 5 T.V.’s is boring.

What about the gym makes you crazy?  I’d like to hear from my fellow gym junkies!

 

Facebook Free for 40 Days March 8, 2011


March is a month where people are just looking for a reason to go out and celebrate.  Christmas is long gone, summer is still out of reach, and that one unexpected (and unwanted) March snow storm makes us all want to throw up in our mouths a little bit.  So when opportunities arise for a party during this rather dreary month, we take it.

Take St. Patrick’s Day for example.  Would this holiday be as popular if it was placed in the middle of December or July?  Would “Kiss Me I’m Irish” t-shirts and green beer seem as appealing at any other time of the year?  I don’t think they would. 

How about Mardi Gras?  During what other month would girls lifting their shirts for a plastic necklace seem appropriate? 

Let’s face it.  We’re bored in March and everyone is just screaming for some fun!  Why else would our country declare a full week a vacation for students and teachers?  I like to think they do it so we can go have some fun and shake the winter blues.

This brings me to the ultimate March challenge…  Lent.  Every year I try to come up with something I’m willing to sacrifice for 40 days that I can actually follow through with.  People always suggest chocolate, but hello!  Are they crazy??  If I didn’t have a bite or two, or three after a long day, I think I’d go nuts.  Please don’t tell me to eat fruit instead, because it’s “nature’s candy.”  That’s bullshit and you know it.  Pop?  Psh! I NEED my Diet Coke at night.  I like to think of it as my little reward for getting through the school day successfully with 26 students and imparting some knowledge along the way.  Alcohol?  Um… yeah… that’s a joke right?

After a lot of thinking this year, I believe I’ve come up with a Lent sacrifice that is going to be a challenge, but something I’m capable of doing.  I’m giving up Facebook for 40 days. 

I’m not a crazy Facebook user who updates the world every time I use the bathroom and I don’t change my profile picture twice a day.  But I do check it about 2-3 times a day to see what my friends are up to and lately… to find out who’s pregnant.  Giving up Facebook will not be easy, but I need to remember that only 6 years ago I had no idea what Facebook was.

I’m looking forward getting some of my life back.  No longer will I be subjected to people’s pregnancy progress complete with  images of the fetus during week 24.  I won’t need to hear people bitching about bad drivers (as if writing this information on Facebook via their Blackberry while driving makes them any better) and finally, I won’t have to read the letters FML for 40 days.  For those of you who don’t know, I despise this acronym. 

Sure, I’ll miss knowing what’s going on with some of my faraway friends and may even feel out of the loop when co-workers are talking about the great vacation pictures someone posted, but it’s time I push some media out of my life and get back to the way things used to be.  Perhaps I’ll watch an extra movie with my hubbie on the couch at night.  Maybe I’ll finish getting that box of overflowing pictures organized from two years ago.  And who knows?  I may even become a cage fighter.  But rest assured, I will be able to do this and it is sure to make this lovely month of March all the more interesting!