Home Away from Home

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We all know I am not the Better Homes and Gardens type of girl. I found a pot of dirt on my dresser one time. It took me forever to figure out it had at one point been a plant who died a horrible death.

I spend at least 200 nights a year in hotels and on the road for my various travels. Despite the lame attempts by these chains to make these rooms comfortable for weary business travelers, they are nothing like a home.

Lucky for me I have some friends who excel at making a home wherever they happen to be at that moment. It’s a gift and I really enjoy being on the receiving end of this gift.

Let me tell you a bit about my friend. Her name is Lori and we have had some amazing adventures together. She invited me to come visit her in Oahu and I have to say it is one of my favorite vacations ever!

First of all, Lori is one of those people who likes to plan and worry over the details. I used to be like that, but it got old. Now, I like to just see what falls into my lap. When I am smart, I go visit people who like to plan and worry about whether or not I am having a good time. Score! Best of both worlds! Just kidding. Kinda.

Lori has this charming little house on Oahu. Every time I turned around she was doing something else to make sure I was comfortable or had whatever I needed. She always adds cute little touches like twinkle lights or cute curtains to her space. I never think about any of that stuff. I am usually just proud of myself when I keep my clean and dirty clothes separated while I am traveling. I have learned methods to do exactly this… it comes from a deep seated hatred of packing. Lori introduced me to all of her island friends. They all welcomed me and went out of their way to make sure I had a good time. Who does that? Nice people! Fun people! Generous people! Lori’s friends!!!! 

I will be forever grateful to the gentleman who brought me a kayak, not once, but TWICE! The patience and supportive way he encouraged me was so beneficial. Now, Lori was the one who walked back and forth just off the shore line holding the craft steady so I wouldn’t tumble out for the 907th time. (Imagine a parent teaching a child to ride a bike without training wheels. Now imagine that child is a very large, intimidated middle aged woman.) After about an hour I could finally paddle a little on my own without flipping over. They watched my shit show for an hour! They never grew exasperated and told me to just give it up. They waited me out. It was awesome!

Lori also obsessed over my application (or perhaps in her opinion, my mis-application) of sunblock. For the first time in my life I went on vacation and did not end up with an illness inducing sunburn. Is there a lesson here? Yes! You should absolutely vacation with someone who is going to reapply your sunblock even after you feel like you probably did a fairly adequate job. Trust me, you need this person in your life. 

Lori and I have a lot of the same tastes in music and this is always helpful when you are spending long days and nights with each other. She is also the best Jazzfest partner. Back off! I am not sharing her. 

Lori cooks and she eats incredibly healthy. So, even if I had a few alcoholic beverages, and even if I found a bar that served a bottomless glass of Day Owl, I lost weight on vacation! I never hear anyone say that.

My favorite part of my island adventure? I got to catch up with a woman who has made a big impact on my life. She has reinforced my self-confidence and reliance. She has reminded me of the importance of taking a step back and reevaluating my plans and goals. She is a good example of fiscal responsibility and I appreciate how hard she works to make smart choices.

I struggled for years to make and keep female friends. I did not believe that active, beautiful, smart, successful women wanted to be my friend. I hid from them. I was abrasive and standoffish. I decided I did not like them long before they could decide they did not like me.

Now? I am surrounded by smart, amazing, inspiring, beautiful women all the time. I go on adventures with them. I send them stupid text messages to try to make them laugh. I can call them to cry over the latest episode of This is Us. We are all so different. We came from different backgrounds. We have different political or religious points of view. Some are married. Some are divorced. Some have never been married, and don’t particularly care to be. Some have kids. Some have A LOT of kids. (kidding). Some do not want children. We have different levels of education and different careers.

When I find myself wondering who I am and who I am going to be, all I have to do is think about the women in my life. I get to be  loved and love them with all of my heart. They open their homes to me with shockingly little notice when I realize I have a couple of days free to come crash with them. I love that they give me a home when I am so far from home. I hope I get to keep collecting their spare bedrooms and couches for many years to come. I want to see who we all turn out to be.

Dating nurses- a rebuttal to “The Blogger”

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Let me first point out, this is written in response to something a man wrote. Yes, I know he was probably trying to be clever, however what he wrote struck a sour note with me.

So, short synopsis: nurses are mean dates because they have to spend all day caring for others, while attorneys are nice dates because they are sharks all day. While I am convinced that he was trying to be clever, and to find some way to justify his large number of first dates, he ended up making some asinine comments that I wanted to respond to.

Now, I was going to make this a rebuttal. I am not. I am just going to share some of my experiences.

First of all, most of the nurses I know (and I know a lot of nurses, I AM a nurse) are multifaceted women with outgoing personalities. We tend to be a little no-nonsense, while maintaining a terrific sense of humor. We like to joke and have a good time, we trade war stories, and we spend incredibly long hours with people in various states of health. At the end of the day, it is at times difficult to turn off our nursing personas, and to be regular people.

Wait. What? We are not regular people? Of course we are! We just happen to have an all-consuming career that changes our personalities on a molecular level. (Throwing some science words in there because he likened his experiences with two nurses and two attorneys to valid research.)

One of the more interesting aspects of nursing is the necessity of always appearing confident even in truly scary situations. It’s a captious predicament. (My dictionary app had that as the word of the day, I decided to use it. It fits.) We have to portray the ever cool and in control professional, all while wracking our brains trying to figure out the right thing to do. Oh, and now let’s throw in the fact that we do not want to seem like a know-it-all, and to presume to tell our coworkers or the physicians we deal with what to do. Through out all of this, we also have to figure out what we need to happen, and to make it happen without creating strife. (I realize this paragraph makes no sense, however it is difficult to talk about nursing in generic terms without using specific situations that could somehow impede on patient privacy, and this is a situation I am not willing to risk.)

So, moving on from nursing. Let’s talk about dating.

I am a girl with a rather ummm…. strong personality. I am loud, opinionated, and lacking a filter. This tends to make me a rather polarizing figure. Typically people either like me or hate me. I am not one of those people to inspire indifference. (Perhaps I am wrong about this, but it has been my experience.) So, when meeting new people I have made an effort to tone it all down. I tend to try to read the situation, and to behave appropriately. I often fail.

I am either too quiet, or too loud. (For those of you shaking your head and wondering when I am ever quiet- bite me.) This tends to create a feeling of discontent within me, and then I am irritable. There is no worse feeling that knowing that you are not being cool. I know, I know just be yourself. If people don’t like you for you, then they are not worth your time. The thing is, most of us are many different things, and it is hard to know which personality to use in particular situations. (No, I do not have multiple personalities, I just have a lot of personality. Or not. Depends on who you ask.)

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Excuse ME????

Let me tell you about something embarrassing- the other day, Facebook called me fat. Well, it insinuated it anyway.

I gotta be honest. My feelings were hurt. For one thing, that guy looks like an ass. For another, HE CAN HANDLE MY LOVE HANDLES???? what? This is one of the infuriating things about being a fat single girl. I am no more attracted to men who find overweight attractive than I am to men who find thin and skinny attractive. Not to sound like a hypocrite, but I want a man who sees me as a person, and who supports my goals. If I were to meet a man who is “into big girls,” is he going to find me less attractive as I continue on this journey? It’s quite the conundrum. So, for now I am not interested in dating nearly as much as I am interested in becoming a healthier person.

Oh, that got off track there. Back to generic dating.

There is a real danger of judging a personality on a first date alone. We rarely show our true colors while in a new situation. If you have a ton of first dates, perhaps you need to examine yourself and focus less on the other person. Also, if you have a lot of bad first dates could it be that your personality is bringing out the worst in your potential paramour? Just to reference the initial blog that started this. If your date was thirty minutes late, it is quite possible that she was embarrassed and there is this guy who was about to leave, and now is sitting there tapping his foot in impatient and silent judgment. Yeah, that would put me on edge. I would possibly find myself being defensive and argumentative. After all, some of us tend to lash out when we are embarrassed. What did you do to set her at ease? I would imagine nothing. She was late and did not apologize. How rude. So, there you have it, two people who are feeling unappreciated, and we wonder why the date went badly.

Women are complicated. I have heard that my entire life (out of the mouths of men.) I tend to lean the other way. Women are simple. We want to be appreciated, noticed, and cared about. We need to matter.

Men are complicated. I have said that my entire life. Probably not true. Men want to be appreciated, noticed, and cared about. They need to matter.

Hmm. Maybe dating is not so complicated. Perhaps we need to step outside the box, and stop waiting for someone to respond in whatever fleeting mood we happen to be in. Maybe we should make it more about what I can do to ease this person’s insecurities. Perhaps, we need to lighten up, and just try to have a good time. If everyone spent a little less time waiting for someone to rescue them, and spent a little more time being truly interested in the people who we spend time with, we might surprise ourselves, and find the person we have been looking for.

***This is probably a mess-

***It may have some interesting points though.

***I am about to do a TM with “The Blogger”- So, if you are reading this- It may or may not be a joke. I am noncommittal on this fact. Whatever prevents you from having a defensive reaction. 😉