Personal Observations

...now browsing by category

 

Spinach and First Dates

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

FirstDates

A dear friend of mine is dating, and that got me thinking about my own dating experiences.  She’s feeling the bloom of new romance. From first date to current, she’s reveling in that intoxicating experience of getting to know someone.  I’m utterly thrilled for her!

My friend is classy, eloquent and highly impressive.  It sounds like her new beau is her equal on all counts. Rock on!

I wish I could say the same for myself.  I’ve got a fabulously awesome partner right now…but that wasn’t always the case.

To explain…I’m not the most orthodox gal.  I’m wired a little funky, and I don’t comply to society’s idea of femininity.

I could write a book about the epic failures I’ve had on first dates (or consecutive failed dates, for that matter).

I’ll suffice to just share this one…

Meet Ben.  Accountant.  Shy.  Well-meaning guy. A good guy.  Really trying hard to make an impression, but we both know within the first hour we’re not really a smart match.  We even admit it to each other!

As Ben relaxes a little, and the pressure is off (because we both know a 2nd date is out of the question), he asks me:

“So…Avia, if you were to describe yourself in under 5 minutes with total, brutal honesty…what would you say?”

This is not the question to ask a ridiculously honest Sagittarius who has had a few Lowenbrau’s on a date.  So I asked Ben, “Are you sure you want the low-down?”  He said, “Absolutely”, with a sly grin.

And this is what I said…

“Photographic memory.  Attended 4 prestigious colleges.  Kicked out of 3.  Earned a degree in Anthropology and a minor in Art with the college that didn’t give me the boot.

Don’t always follow the rules, but know how to conjugate a verb, and how to avoid dangling participles.

Multi-Lingual in HTML, XHTML, CSS, SEO, and not too shabby at Spanish.  Pretty sure I could get around in Italy too.

French horn player for 15 years. 3 of those years as a pro, and sat as an alternate for a major metropolitan symphony.

Refuse to drive an automatic.  Jeep driver, always with a standard.  Drove a 18-wheeler too.

Clocked 80,000 miles on a Harley Softail.  Super fun.

Put 3 people through school.  Donated thousands to charity. Support my local SPCA.

Been 250 pounds with a fantastic stuttering problem, compounded by an ugly skin condition and chained to an asthma inhaler.  Conquered all that in my 30s.

A product of two amazing parents who are still well-respected and completely awesome.”

There might have been more I divulged to Ben, but I remember keeping it under 5 minutes.

At the end of my deluge, all Ben had to say was this…

That’s all well and good, but you have a big piece of spinach between your front teeth.

Isn’t that nice!?!?

This brings me to the point of this post…

Was I bragging to Ben?  Am I bragging to you?  Yeah…maybe I was, and maybe I am.

But the Universe has a funny way of bringing us down a notch.

It’s fabulous to be aware and proud of our remarkable achievements through our lifetime.  But my experience has taught me not pull out the braggadocio to the enth degree.  Lest we get caught bragging with spinach in our teeth! LOL!

Mostly, I want this post to remind all of us that it’s not what we say about our achievements….it’s what we do with them.  I’ve learned to live as an example…not just talk about stuff I’ve done.

Being a mentor,  an illustration of the best action is the most effective tact in showing others what we’re made of, in my opinion.

Just thinkin’.

xo

PS:  And learning how to laugh at ourselves is a major plus. (see image above).  ;)

FYI:  Ben and I still keep in touch via pen-pal.  He’s a great guy.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Share/Save/Bookmark

Got a Squabble?

Saturday, June 7th, 2014

Squabble

Do it.  Go for it.  But mimic your quarrels as birds do.

If you’ll notice, most birds jam up against each other – show their stuff – make their meaning known – and then they separate.

They don’t linger on conflict.  They don’t pout.  They don’t stew over who-did-what-to-whom.

Birds make themselves and their viewpoints known.  Whether it’s territory or just a bad vibe, birds let off steam.

This is symbolic…to me, at least.

It speaks to me of giving our friends, family members, and partners a little bit of space.  Let those close to us flare up (in healthy ways), and then let that quarrel fly away.  I mean…really….is it necessary to hold onto this stuff anyway?  I’m betting 90% of our squabbles are just fluff.

Clash if you must.  But do as most birds do…fly out of the storm, and rise above.

It’s a brave heart who is willing to forget, forgive, and move to higher places.

Just thinkin’.

:)

Special thanks to Dave Crotty for the use of his photo featured in this post.

  • Share/Save/Bookmark

Thank you Mickey…R.I.P.

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

Mickey

Icky Mickey.

Have you ever had a pal who is a complete train wreck?  Someone who just refuses to conform to societal norms?  A guy or gal who just won’t comply to normalcy?

I have.  His name is Mickey.  He was my boss at my very first job in the trucking industry when I was just a teen.  His nickname around the office was “Icky Mickey”.  He didn’t mind the moniker.  In fact, I think he rather liked it.  He had a wee bit of a greasy reputation, and I think he liked it that way.

I could regale you of Mickey-isms….little statements he was renowned for spouting in the midst of dispatching trucks from Dallas to El Paso.  But…alas…if I shared these “Mickey-isms”, this post would be regrettably X-rated. :)

There were things about Mickey that made him a challenge to deal with.  But in my youth, I rather admired his rebellious spirit…his refusal to comply to societal expectations.

Mickey passed away last week.  I’ve said fond farewell’s to many beloved’s in my short time on this Earth, but I think Mickey is the toughest good-bye to cough out from my soul.

Why?

Why is it so hard to release this man who could be said to be shady, off-kilter and questionably motivated?  I guess you would have to know him.  I don’t think many people knew him well…and I suspect he liked it that way.

Mickey was dark, maybe a bit crude.  But he was gifted.  He was intelligent.  He was…in his own right…a king.  What’s more…Mickey gave me something.  He shared his heart with me.  I think that was tough for him, but he did it anyway with his typical recklessness.

I was beaten and mistreated at the age of 16, and again at the age of 22.

I didn’t know what to do in either instance.  For whatever reason, I chose to take solace in Icky Mickey.  Do you know what he did?   He talked to me.  He spoke to me in hard-core terms.  He revealed some major reality to me.  He took me to Whataburger and laid down some heavy-duty facts of life amidst a sea of salty french fries and a big chocolate milkshake he bought for me.  Mickey did this with a type of compassion that was both steely and soft at the same time.  This guy was kind of crusty….but he showed me he had a tremendous heart.  Not once…but twice.

Looking back on my time with Mickey…it seemed clear he was always looking out for me…maybe like a little sister.  I wish I had taken more time to love him the way he deserved…respect him more…understand him more.

So what’s the point of all this?  I suppose I’d just like to encourage all of us to never judge books by their covers.  If you have a train wreck in your life…try to recognize the beauty within the damage.

Mostly, I guess I just want to encourage all of us to say “thank you” to those unspoken hero’s who crack open their hard shells…make themselves vulnerable for a brief moment in time…for no other reason than to give comfort to a soul in need.

To all those who are deemed ‘broken’ and/or misunderstood…my thoughts are with you.

I love you Mickey.  Thank you for helping me.  May you rest in peace.

 

  • Share/Save/Bookmark