Snapchat Hypocrite

A few months ago you may recall a piece I wrote titled, “Obligatory Selfie” where I poked fun at people taking selfies as a part of an everyday mundane practice that has currently become socially acceptable.

I recant this piece.  Although I compare the obligatory selfie to yoga pants being accepted as full fledged pants, I have seen the worthiness of an appropriately timed selfie.

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Steven Tyler eat your heart out!

Sure, at first I was smug.  Why would a 36-ish something like myself want to have a phone full of pictures of myself?  Who would want them?

Then came an evening spent with my in-laws and niece.  When my sister-in-law and husband stepped outside for a moment, my niece came back into the room with a blanket, we snuggled up together on a bench and she showed me this “new” thing called “Snapchat”.  She snapped a picture and showed me how you can transform yourself into a dog.  Once finding out she and my other nieces were using this app, I immediately signed up to stay in touch with them.

On the way home I was researching how to work snapchat, how to use filters and how in general to “Snapchat”.  Do I take 5 seconds in public by myself to pucker my lips and pose for the camera?  No.  However I do wait till’ I’m on lunch break at work or at home and snap a few selfies to catch up with my nieces, cousins, sister-in-laws and friends.  Only once has anyone been in the break room with me when this was going on, but he was completely aware of what was happening.  I didn’t leave my behaviors an unknown mystery to him like our customers have done in the past.

There is no joy greater than being able to send the ugliest selfie possible to those you love to receive one equally as horrible back.  In fact, there was a fun competition my niece and I had one night.  If you are ever down or feeling blue, this is the best thing ever.  Try to make the goofiest face possible and just hit send.  It is the greatest feeling not caring what you look like because the worse, the better.

Here is an example of one I sent, it’s like Steve Martin meets Frankenstein’s monster.

 

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Or the selfie aptly titled, “I woke up like this…”

 

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However, you want your family and friends to remember you in a good light.  Not to get too dark but one of my worst fears is something bad will happen and they will have to submit a photo to the news for a story. Ensuring it won’t be driver’s license photo, or worse an outdated glamour shot you occasionally have to send them one of you as a butterfly queen. This way the recipients remember you are a real person and won’t be shocked (or disappointed) you don’t have 3 mouths in your face the next time they see you.

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What is your favorite “Snapchat” lens or filter?  Why do you gravitate toward that one?

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Marriage and friendships

One day, my husband and I before we were married, were on a date in the park.  We were sitting on the jungle gym when suddenly he noticed I was paying attention to our direct right.  There was a group of young teenage boys talking about Batman and arguing over why he was the best or worst and what super powers other heroes had that could beat him.

My husband curiously asked, “What are you thinking about?”

I replied, “I’m just wondering if the friendships we form earlier in life, are the relationships that prepare us for marriage later in life.”

“That is a lot deeper than what I was expecting…”

On that note, it is something I’ve continued to ponder the almost 4 years we’ve been together and married.  Often times I think back to my best friends who I met in high school and how they helped form and shape my ideas.  What is cool, what isn’t cool, and why it is okay to not agree with them.  Whether we realize it or not, often times it is those we associate with early in life that help form our personality.  Often times I was the weirdo in our group of friends and everyone was okay with that.  They knew better than to expect normalcy and complacency out of me.  They helped me realize how a person should be respected.  Which is why it puzzled them when I would date someone who didn’t, even later in life.

These friends are the ones you introduce to your college comrades.  If they click, you know you’ve got a keeper for a new friend.  They ultimately share the same values.

When my husband and I got married, we were originally introduced by a mutual best friend.  We knew if we were in line with this person and her values the other must be pretty cool too.  Needless to say the first date was a success and three months later we were married.

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None of my friends from high school had met him yet, (except for one who invited us to her church), none of my extended family had met him, just our best friend from St. Louis and a few of my old co-workers he knew from checking out at our store.  We had been married for quite some time when one of my college friends announced she was getting married.  This meant another best friend and her husband coming to town for the wedding since she was going to be a bridesmaid.

She and her husband were the second set of friends to meet him. We had gone to the wedding, exhausted, she, her husband and I decided to go get coffee.  My husband was going to be off work in a few minutes so I texted him where to meet us.  She then pointed out, they had never met him.  when you’re married for a while and a lothappens, you tend to lose track of who has met whom, especially when keeping up through facebook or text. That is when I realized none of my close friends outside of my St. Louis friend had known who he was either.  When he arrived, he surprised me sneaking up behind me.  They laughed, we all talked and had a great time.  After he left, she said, “I really like him.”  I knew she and her husband would, after all, they helped shape my idea of what an ideal partner should be like.

     Do you think friendships help shape our ideals of marriage?  Why or why not?

 

 

Coffee flashbacks

I woke up late the other morning. It was one of the first days off this summer from all three jobs in a long time. 

   My husband had long since gone to work and left the morning’s coffee grounds in the basket residing in the coffee-maker.  A normal person would replace the grounds, but my stomach and nerves no longer tolerate strong java. I filled the coffee-maker’s reservoir with fresh water and moved the steam spigot over the grounds hoping the coffee would be a bit more diluted.

     As I was moving the spigot, a case of deja vú washed over me. This simple act felt happily familiar.

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     Images of my childhood, waking up on Christmas morning to a new Monkees record with their picture pressed in clear vinyl made a smile appear on my face.  It made me think of the first 45 that was officially mine aptly titled “The Curly Shuffle”, written in honor of The Three Stooges. It reminded me of getting excited on birthdays because new music was usually waiting for me between the grooves of the compressed lines concealed in a 12 inch by 12 inch cardboard sleeve.  It reminded me of when the best songs were gifts.

     It reminded me of when things were meant to be experienced.  It reminded me of when music was like an art exhibit, you had to stay in the same room to be immersed in it. It reminded me of being able to take it easy, lie on the floor and get lost in the rythm and crescendos of the music. Now that music has become immensely portable, we seem to take it for granted.

     Once the flashbacks stopped, I began to get ready for the day, thankful for that little “movement” making me remember a different time when I didn’t need to be powered by caffeine.

When have you done a movement or motion that reminded you of something completely different than what you were doing?

An app to look back

Dear Facebook,

I’ve noticed you’ve added a new feature. Does this new feature really have to be ghosts of my past self?

Do you realize reminding some people of their past is like turning a thorn in their side?

The other night you reminded me of when I admitted in a round-about-way to being lonely and flirting with the IT guy at the other end of my phone while setting up my internet.  This also reminded me that my parents were kind of forced into helping me move last minute (even though they won’t admit they were.) It also reminded me upon walking out of the bedroom after the phonecall my parents asked me if I had been talking to a friend because I was laughing so much.  You reminded me that I was glad to remember how it felt for someone to be flirty with me just based on my personality.

That one little moment you suggested I repost also reminded me of the other blog I used to write on. It reminded me of how once the internet started working in my new place, I chronicled my first single experiences of trying to laugh instead of cry. It reminded me of how I tried to see something as a bright point in my life when it was just a dim light compared to what my life is now.

Just a suggestion facebook, if you could make this app screen for happy moments that would be a huge improvement. 


Like when I realized my career goal should be to work with Special Ed students and Behavioral disorder kids. Maybe you could remember the many times a student made me laugh with something funny they said and I posted it?

Maybe you could remind people of when they worked at a job they liked? Maybe you could remind me of the first art class I taught or the new friends I’ve since made while teaching this past year? Maybe you could remind me of all the cool things we’ve made?

What if you made an app that looked back into the user’s past  pre-Facebook?  I know this isn’t humanly possible…yet, but since I am a frequent user I figure you might hear me out and get on it.  

Maybe your app could peer into my brain and pick out moments like the following and turn them into Facebook posts:

“Today my best friends made me laugh so hard Pepsi came out of my nose! All the upperclassmen were staring. #pepsiboogers #chugchugchug 


“Oops, today I didn’t double knot my shoelaces enough and they wound around the pedals on my bike. #fellover #thankgodnotraffic

“Today my mom made me iron my Umbros before playing football with the neighborhood friends. #nerd

“Today I almost ate a bee at the zoo confusing it for a soggy Dorito chip. #onceyoupopyoucanstop

“Tried to toilet paper a neighbors yard. Note to self and my bestie, take more than one roll. #stuck #inatree

“Today I crowd surfed. #living


These are just some ideas I’mve been spit-ballin’; my two cents if you will.  

Yours Sincerely,
Quirky Girl

What moments have been brought up by Facebook that you’d rather forget? What moments do you wish you could post from your past (if you were born pre-Facebook etc.)?

Destination Meditation

Usually at night before going to bed I will do a guided visualization meditation. It’s pretty easy to try, for some people it keeps them up, some it provides relaxation. For me it usually provides ease of tension in muscles and gives me ideas for blogs and art, and hope for the future.
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However…

The other night I was doing a meditation on youtube through the Ayelet channel. She does a guided visualization of you looking in the mirror at yourself and visualizing 1 and then 5 years from now. It gives you a clear sense of who you are and where you want to be as a person.

So there I was, envisioning my future successful self as a traveling writer and teacher. Meanwhile my parents’ cat whom we’re babysitting is pawing at me to share the covers.

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Ok, that was only a mild distraction. I then set out in a journey of ten years from the date it was when I did this meditation. I visualized walking down the street an older wiser woman with sage advice, peace in her heart and a sense of joy.

Then in the middle of the guided meditation came the next jarring thought uttered out of Ayelet’s mouth. Imagine your “favorite destination.”

I’ve been concentrating so much on the here and now that I’ve not had time with my husband to find a cool place we both like to go. Back in the day I would have said Blueberry Hill or Pie restaurant in St. Louis. However I no longer reside there. I’ve been to Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas and that is about it. Most of those places I went to in college to visit a close friend, therefore it was not a site seeing trip.

Honestly my husband and I dream of going to Italy where we can indulge our former art student selves and drool over the work in the Sistene Chapel or see other famous sites. I dream of traveling and meeting my fellow bloggers with my husband going to exciting places and meeting interesting people.

But when I meditate, I cant get there. I know when meditating its an exercise of being in that moment. In this particular exercise it was being in a moment of the future, but it’s hard to imagine the geographics when you’ve never been  there. I can imagine the feeling of walking into the Sistene Chapel, and the possible smell of the plastered walls, but it is the visual I cant seem to grasp.

Maybe I don’t have a destination because we will soon discover one. As a kid my favorite destinations were under the bushes in my friend’s yard where we would pretend it was a secret hideout even though everyone knew about it. My other favorite destinations have included family members homes, friends’ homes, the clubhouse my parents built in the backyard, and the limestone piles of rocks my friend and I would hike in the winter.

Do I really need a favorite place? I started panicking in my meditative state because I was truly stumped. All of the places I listed are still favorite places, but they are also memories from the past, some have changed, some no longer exist. So what is my new destination of the future? Has it even been created yet?

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I guess the question I pose to you dear readers, is this; do you run into this problem too? Are all your favorite places in the past?

Sure we all have hopes and dreams of visiting some place, but is there a favorite place in the here and now you can guarantee will be there in the future?

It runs in the family

My mom is starting to make funny observations. I’m beginning to think it runs in the family seeing as my observation about Brawny paper towels caused a little bit of a stir on Twitter.  

We were watching a commercial for “Head n’ Shoulders”. The commercial featured the beautiful Sophia Vergara speaking with her son talking about the wonders of this shampoo. Somewhere in the middle of the commercial we see Ms. Vergara shampooing her hair; or so we think. Suddenly my mother says, “Her hair is dry.” I’m thinking, “Of course it is, she dried it after shampooing.” (I wasn’t looking up when the commercial was on.) When the commercial ran again, there Sophia Vergara was, standing behind a supposedly steamed up shower door massaging her scalp with dry hair gently going up and down. Not to mention, her face was fully made up. It was so blatantly obvious her hair was dry and the scene was faked.

You would have thought the creators of this ad would have come up with something witty for her to say about her hair being picture perfect within 5 seconds of jumping in the shower.

  

Come to think of it, when I was a teenager my grandmother always made funny observations too. The one she made that cracked me up the most involved a commercial for hemorrhoid cream “Preparation H”. The set up was simple, a man comes walking out of the doctors office buttoning up his shirt. She furrowed her brow and asked, “Wouldn’t he be walking out buttoning his pants?” Amongst all the hilarity of this thought, she was right. Usually a patient goes in and the first thing the doctor (or nurse) checks is their vitals. At the end of the visit, depending on what you’re being seen for you would probably be leaving buttoning or straightening something else.

  
I know the people who create these ads are trying to save money, but does nobody care about authenticity anymore? The commercials are supposed to be telling us a story of how important it is we use their product. You would think they would at least stick to a sensible storyline while doing so.

I imagine my grandmother was hoping for more from the commercial. You would think the ad people would have had more of a visual or explanation. I’m not saying they have to show us the what everything looks like but they could set up a scenario and take away the mystique of what happens behind that closed door when that guys is getting his check up. For instance, you could set up the scene like this:

We see the face of a man as he’s propped over the examination table. The doctor is in the background with a headlamp on.  

     “Well sir, it looks like I’m going to have to call world renowned astrophysicist Neil Degrasse Tyson to take a look at this. I’ve never seen anything like this before.”

     The man with a worried look on his face says, “Why?”

    “Because sir, it looks like you have a case of “Ass-teroids” and rings around “Uranus”. Luckily there’s something to help, “Preparation H”.”

This would have made more sense. Rather than some sketchy guy walking out of a clinic buttoning his shirt when we ALL know he should be buttoning his pants.  

  

What commercials have bothered you? What ones have been blatantly inconsistent that you have noticed

     
     

You’re not Peggy

At work I bumped into an old friend of mine. We were formerly co-workers in the paint department at Sears in my early years of college. We would spend days, hours in the summertime waiting for someone to purchase something, anything from us. In between being bored we would paint the paint shakers, we would paint examples of faux finishes and we would talk about the most random of things. She even kindly laughed at my dumb jokes with a pained look in her eye, but laughed anyway out of politeness. We got to know each other well enough that we became roommates for a little over a year. We would host parties (well she would). We would do late night runs to Wal-mart together while we were stalked by “security” in the toy aisle. Eventually she would introduce me to many movies I needed to know, one of them being The Breakfast Club.

      Judging from everything you have just read dear readers, you’ve probably come to understand Peggy’s face would be one that is hard to forget for this Quirky Girl. As we were talking in the aspirin aisle, I saw the same familiar smile, the same warm laughter and everything picked up as if we had stayed in touch. We talked for a bit about our adventures in education, but I had to get back to stocking the aisles and she had to get back to her new roommate and their shenanigans. She left smiling saying we will catch up again.

  

  
     A few days later I was surprised to see her so soon. This time she had a new roommate; or girlfriend. At first I thought this was the news she wanted to catch up on. The store was getting full but Peggy hadn’t yet noticed me. My register was open and I was desperately trying to get her attention to save her time by ringing her out. I shouted, “I can help the next person here!” Hoping she and her new girlfriend would turn around. Nobody was taking my offer. So I saw her walking with this new girl toward the crowded front register, I said, “Peggy!?” Peggy and the woman turned around. Peggy had the same, friendly, pained expression on her face, just like we did when we lived together and I said something really ridiculous. She stood frozen, with one foot forward waiting for me to say something else. I reiterated I could get them at another register, and I said again, “Peggy?”  

      “Nooo…”, she said with an uncomfortable grin.

    In my head I’m thinking someone kidnapped Peggy, there must have been an invasion of body snatchers that new her dialect, syntax and facial expressions. They even knew how she stood when she was surprised. Since this is not possible, I had to come to terms that this wasn’t Peggy.

     Instead of another pleasant conversation with an old friend, this one quickly dissolved into awkward bumbling and me trying to explain to a couple that I mistook one of them for my college roommate.

     Peggy, if you’ve just read this, I hope you’re laughing.

     When have you mistaken someone for an old friend? How did it play out? Did they understand or think you were weird?

    

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