11 Things I Learned About Life & Love in 2019

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Photo by Amy Shamblen on Unsplash

There is only one week left in 2019, and what a year it has been! It ended a little crazy– but also, with many things to look forward to. Simply put, if you can’t take lessons from your year then what good is it to celebrate a new one?

Here are 11 things I learned in 2019– and will never forget.

Standing up for yourself is never a bad thing

It’s not always easy to speak out when someone does something wrong, but it is necessary.

As a mom, I am a role model for my kid. If I allow bad treatment to happen or sit back and do nothing when I could make a positive difference, that’s not setting the right tone.

Breathe–your journey is not going to be the same as others

Your timeline will be very unique from everyone else’s. Even when it seems like everyone else on the planet has done something or hit a life goal in the same linear fashion, and you haven”t.

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3 Reasons “It Wasn’t Meant To Be” Is The Most Cliché Cop-Out EVER

Worst. Cliché. EVER.
I’ve heard people throw around the phrase, “It wasn’t meant to be” like it’s the answer to just about everything — from not getting a job to a breakup. It’s the platitude everyone whips up when there’s nothing interesting, deep, or honest to say.

Or, perhaps the person can’t be honest to the person who is breaking his or her bad “it wasn’t meant to be” news. I vehemently hate this cliché phrase for a billion reasons because it’s a bullsh*t cop-out string of words that people use because it’s easy, and most folks don’t want to be the messenger of bad news or hard knocks.

“It wasn’t meant to be” is the biggest loser of all the clichés! Here’s why:

Read More:  3 Reasons “It Wasn’t Meant To Be” Is The Most Cliché Cop-Out EVER

Don’t Give Me Your Platitudes,

Laura

Mom in the Mirror

Dear Mom in the Mirror:

You didn’t make anything homemade today.

All you do was heat up leftovers, slacker.

Your kid was bad in the store today, so you had to withdraw a privilege, and now you feel like crap.

You know it had to be done, but you work so much Mom, that when you have to be Bad Cop, which it always seems that that role is on you, it hurts.

Shouldn’t you have predicted your kid would act out? Shouldn’t you have known Mom?

What are you doing wrong to make your kid act so out of character?

Are you a bad Mom, mom?

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(Too) Great of Expectations: Do we expect too much from marriage?

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Ah Marriage. The divorce rate is up. The institution of marriage as we know it, has been troubled for quite some time. This isn’t shocking news, but I have been doing thinking and talking to folks about marriages–both good and bad, and I can’t help but wonder to myself, “Maybe we simply expect too much.”

We grow up thinking about marriage–I didn’t but most of my friends did–and to some extent, I feel we have all bought into this idea that marriage is love and romance. That it’s passion and joy. Marriage is supposed to be love at its peak performance: the ultimate love and devotion to the one person you’re absolutely sure you know is the one for you.

Then, 50% or so figure out that hey, maybe this person isn’t for me.

Maybe it’s because we are thinking about this marriage thing all wrong.

This guy thinks we are.

I feel that to some extent, I am guilty as charged. I’m a very passionate and sprightly person. I like romance and surprises maybe a little more than the rest of the population. Yet marriage is rarely romance or surprise. It can be utterly monotonous and predictable. If it’s not to at least some extent, you might just be married to someone with bi-polar disorder, and in that case, I hope you are incredibly patient and understanding. Or a psychiatrist.

Note: I know folks who are bi-polar and just fine, but an unmedicated bipolar person might just ruin you.

Just my two cents.

Maybe our expectations when walking down that aisle of dreams is paved with a bunch of shit that simply lowers our real resistance to what every day marriage is really like. We expect romance, love, commitment, and unwavering devotion, but the fact is many marriages will be tested in every single one of those aspects. If your marriage has always been awesome from the get-go, either you are delusional or incredibly lucky and deserve a talk-show explaining said phenomena.

This isn’t to say that marriage is a mistake, although it can be.

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This is to say that marriage is not what we were sold. That story is unlike the one you will be facing each day as a married person. You can ask yourself every deep question in the book pre-marriage like, “Can I tolerate his nose hairs?” “Can we agree on religious practices?” ‘Is it okay if we still have threesomes?” “Will her mother always hate me?” “What is the meaning of life and can I find out for just 9.99?”

Even if you get all the right answers. Yes, you guys can pick up 18 year-old chicks at bars still and No, her mother will like you, (such lies) it will be unlike what you had really expected. This is what I feel is a huge factor in divorce. We look through the lens of marriage at the beginning in a rose-colored shade that doesn’t help us for when we put on the glasses and find out, damn, things don’t always look so sexy.

So in response to this disconnect between real-life marriage and the fantasy bullshit your religion/family/friends/media told you so you would stay monogamous and not be a male whore, I have a great suggestion.

Want to get married? Are you thinking of popping the question?

Well, then I suggest you hunker down for one married couple for a year. This can’t be a newly-wed couple though. They’re still looking through pink shades. You need a couple post 5 years, with at least one kid. Spend a year with them. Sit in their bedroom closet. Go into their master bathroom. Listen to their conversations and fights. Watch their bank accounts. Watch the sex.

Does this look like what you imagined it to be? Did you expect fights over a purchase of Starbucks? Did you expect 1950’s-esque arguments over women and men’s roles in the kitchen? Did you expect the sex could be at times, boring?

Now, can you sign yourself up for the possibility that five years after walking down that aisle of clouds, you will be arguing over money, parenting, sex, household chores, and that time you told your father-in-law to fuck off?

Does marriage look so wonderful now?

Sure, you will see all the good things. The comfort of knowing one person. Family life. (Not to say that all marrieds need kids–that’s a personal choice and I respect all!) Having someone fold your hole-y sweaters and buy you new socks when the old ones become extremely ghetto.

There are good things too, but can you as a whole, encompass it all with that one person?

If you’re a method actor, a genius, person of incredible mental strength, etc, try chaining yourself to the one half of the married couple for 1/2 of the year, and the other person for the other 1/2. Really experience the fights! The orgasms (hopefully!) Feel the love during heated arguments when the nastiest shit ever is spewed that you wouldn’t even say to Hitler.

Get the full monty of marriage. And then ask yourself: are my expectations appropriate? Do I know what it takes to really be married?

If you answer yes, then good luck my friend! Remember, it does work out too. The other 50% are happily married…or at least happily masturbating while claiming joint taxes.

-Toodles and Kisses

Signs You Have Lowered Your Standards: The Low Self-Esteem Meter

Have you recently suffered a negative interaction with someone?

Have you recently stuck your head into an oven because you couldn’t stand one more minute dealing with people who suck?

Have you considered becoming a meth dealer and taking over the world, a la Walter White?

Are you unsure if you are settling for the same old BS that you swore you wouldn’t settle for anymore?

If you answered yes to any of these questions or you just simply want to amuse yourself or are incredibly bored, read on.

If someone is nice to you and you think, “Wow, this person is nice to me today. this is awesome,” 

You may have lowered your standards.

Severely.

Unless the person is your boss, no one should be that negative and mean to you so that when the person actually smiles or acts like a decent human being you feel the need to rejoice.

Sometimes it is hard to separate oneself from another person’s toxicity or moods, but if someone makes you feel bad or like you want to eat a box of nails when you are around her or him, it is time to say “au revoir douchebag.”

If you find yourself making excuses for someone all the time…

You are either a parent in public with your child…or putting up with too much bullshit from a jerk who needs to be kicked to the curb or taken out of your life.

People make excuses because they’re either too ashamed to tell the truth or they’re not ready to admit it…and when we make excuses for others, it’s for the same reasons. If you find yourself excusing someone constantly for his or her shit behavior, then it is time to evaluate if you really need someone in your life or not.

if you feel dirty after an interaction with someone…

You either just rolled in mud, are a pervert, or really need to cut that person out of your life. You should never roll around with pigs or hang out with people that don’t share the same morals and values as you because you don’t want to be in jail bending over for the rest of your life, do you?

if you feel insecure around someone..

You either need to work on yourself, or get away from that person. No one should make you feel so flawed that you can’t formulate a sentence or feel so fragile around them that you panic.

We aren’t made to be alone. We are pack creatures, but if you keep choosing jerk-offs to join your pack then like weak animals, you too will croak. Life is too short to be around people who don’t value us, and as much as we are all flawed and bad people at times, no one should be around someone that makes them feel worthless.

This therapy session brought to you by chocolate.

Men are Simple.

Lately I see a lot of women in my life questioning the men in their lives, and often with good cause. Men say women are complicated, and dare I say it, I agree, although we must be careful to not pigeonhole people by gender. Some women are simple and some men are complicated dudes We women are socialized to be so nice and polite, yet when our feelings conflict with these socialized norms, we experience conflict, and don’t often say what we think.

Consider the common phrases like “Whatever,” or ” It doesn’t matter,” when you can damn well tell that it sure as hell does matter. I know many women who are sometimes afraid to say what they think, so there is a disconnect between action and emotion that men then have to interpret. They tell you, “whatever,” when what they really mean is, “I am so upset right now!” There are a billion Facebook memes about this female communication strategy that rarely works, if you ask me, but then again, I am a direct woman. Ask and you shall receive the blatant truth.

Men–in my experience and of course, not all men will fall into this category as we are all individuals with varied characteristics,–are simple folk.

I see friends and family–and myself at times, questioning male behavior, but to me, the basic primitive communication skills of the average male is pretty cut and dry.

So instead of paying the big bucks to read some book about men, here are my general tips. You can thank me later or send me money…or a cleaning guy who also strips. That would certainly be handy.

1- If he likes you, he will call you. Or text you.

Men hunt for what they want. If they want you, they will contact you. They want to secure their desired object.

Moral of story? If he doesn’t contact you, he doesn’t like you.

Exception: if he only contacts you late at night when he is drunk, he only likes your vagina.

2- He is not being coy. He isn’t into you.

If a guy says it is over or he doesn’t want a relationship than there is no way you will convince him otherwise. It doesn’t matter if you have five vaginas, or twenty hands. It’s done or it wasn’t about to begin in the first place.  He isn’t struggling to express himself woman, he told you exactly what he means.

The caveman was simple and direct. If he says it, he probably means it.

Exception: if he is mentally ill, he may want a relationship with you still, but be wary of a dude on heavy meds.

3-Guys solve problems.

Guys like to solve problems. Listening to you ramble about a fight with your girlfriend is not exactly a fun time for an XY. He likes to solve problems rather than commiserate over them. Accept this and you will learn to appreciate the various solutions a gentleman will offer you. It’s a sign of care that he wants to help, even if you want him to shut up and listen.

4- Men are visual–mostly.

When a man is confused, draw a picture. If he is mad at you, wear something x-rated. Plead your case well, but do it in a visual manner.

Exception: if he is color blind, watch the color choices in your “attire.” If he is blind, don’t draw him a picture. Scream in his ear.

5- I have no freaking clue about men. I wrote this list up to prove how little I know about men. Men of the world are all laughing at me and my diatribes. I have now led women to destruction, and no one will ever date or love or marry again.

Whatever. It doesn’t matter anyway.

My identity through the eyes of men: Female Otherness

As a woman who grew up in a predominately female household, I didn’t learn that we were inferior or incapable of doing things that society indicated was otherwise.

But as I left my home and became integrated into society–school,  work, college, etc, I learned differently.

To admit this is maybe weak but, for a long majority of my life I have defined myself by Men. By their standards, judgments, and beliefs about me. Or about my otherness in relation to them. My wanting access to the circle that only men belong to. Forget about the glass ceiling. I didn’t want to be the most successful female. I wanted to be the most successful person, period. I wanted the men to lay in their tears while I threw tissues to them on the ground, walking away in triumph.

One thing I have hated since I was as  young as seven years old, was the feeling that the male circle was impenetrable. I hated when boys gathered to talk and gossip or dominated classroom conversations. I wasn’t considering that these little men might just want to be around other little men, but that because I was female I couldn’t join in. It didn’t matter that I was smarter than most of them or as equal to them, or that the same jokes they liked, I did too. I just had to merely squeak by the circle, and lean in to hear what these XY’s were saying.

Then I got older, and then the circle got even tighter. When I was younger, an occasional boy would let me in, and even let me play sports with the kids on the block. As I got older though, the message was clear: If you don’t have a cock,  keep out. Having good looks occasionally meant entering into the circle, but usually then for other reasons such as, one man or a few men’s sexual needs. Maybe one or two might have found me clever and smart. Most were not considering me beyond what my appearance had to offer.

I imagine my experience is no different than many other women, however the thoughts, rejections, and acceptances from men really whittled me down. For the majority of my  early twenties, I found male attention and approval intoxicating on the level of addicting, and their rejection, painful and harsh.

When I entered stand-up, I found men to be either wonderful and helpful, or absolute toxic creatures who liked to shut me out of conversations with not just looks, but with words. Telling me I wasn’t smart  and wasn’t funny. These were the same men of course, who wanted to sleep with me.

Let’s not let the cute one succeed. Instead, let’s take her for all of her good parts, and throw the rest of her to the wolves.

The one moment of fresh air came when I entered college. While my former educational experiences taught me that the boys are more cherished and nurtured intellectually, college was a bit more fair and egalitarian. I felt like my intellect and potential mattered.

There have been many times in my life pre-30’s in which I let men decide where I would be allowed to go both personally, and professionally. I cowed to their toxic comments. I backed away at times when I wanted to be treated as an intellectual and artistic equal, yet I always had a bit of a fight in me, like a scrappy dog who refuses to get beaten down by a shinier, larger full-breed.  The same girl who wanted to beat every boy competitively, not physically, in elementary school has always been alive and well.

After spending a long time–years–working on my memoir, I realize that claiming my identity and refusing to let it be defined by anyone, especially men was my big hurdle to cross.

After six years departing from comedy, I went back last night. I went back because I will not let men tell me what I can do or who I can be. I am not 25 anymore. I am not someone’s plaything or some stupid blonde.

I am me, and after taking the time to do other important things–reproduce, finish college, get my head together–I decided I wanted to share my story in more than just the printed word again, and I won’t shut up until someone enjoys me. Until someone figures out that my story is much like many other women and people.

And if anyone doesn’t like it, F-off.

I am woman. Hear me roar.

Now? The 30’s have told me

Doing the 12 Steps: How to Back off and Let Fate take its course

Hi, I’m a “drive the bus”-aholic.

No,I’m not a bus-driver. You damn well would not want me to ever drive a bus or anything larger than a four-door car because I’m spatially challenged, short, and hate big cars.

What I mean is, I am the kind of person that will keep trying to make things work even if I am in a situation with another person who doesn’t seem to want to.

I just keep trying.

I think I can, I think I can, I think this. Freaking. Sucks.

I cannot solve the world’s problems in a day, or even ten years. I cannot make something happen all on my own whether it is a friendship, relationship, or working situation. I always feel that somehow, the answer and solution lies in me.

News Flash:

I’m not only not that special, but I cannot control other people.

I cannot make the horse drink the specially-filtered water I brought for her.

I can only bring the horse the nice water, and then walk away.

This is when I fail. I truly believe if only I do everything right or keep trying, that it will go my way.

This is charming when it comes to pursuing a dream or not giving up on giving good oral, or continuing to be patient with my kid, but when it comes to relationships, it isn’t cute.

It is draining. It is draining, unsatisfying, and humiliating at times, when you are the one going, “Rah-rah, sush-koom-baa!” and the other party in the scenario is looking at paint dry.

If you find yourself like me, feel comfort that you’re not the only one who tries so hard, only to feel like you’re steering the boat alone.

There is something to be said in walking away sometimes.