Emojis & Millenials

The other day one of my best friends sent a group text letting us know her phone was back up and working.  Naturally I was elated, my knee jerk reaction was to text back all caps and multiple exclamation marks celebrating her return to the technology world.  The only problem is, I too just got a new phone, and am not as adept with technology.

I clicked on her message, typed in “YAAAAAAAY!!!” and hesitated to send.  I realized, it was probably best to stop there and not get too personal seeing as I might accidentally send this to all of her friends.  So I followed it with this Emoji…

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At least that is what I thought I did.  Apparently on my new phone there are several kissing emojis.  What I thought was an innocent emoticon doing a “cheek kiss” behavior wound up being something completely different.

Over the next couple of minutes I received messages saying, “Who is this?”  This only confirmed I made the right decision in not making the text too personal. 

Then today I received a text saying, “I see I got a kiss, whose number is this?”

Crap. 

Now not only had I pushed the wrong “kissy” emoji to my friend, now one of her friends was accidentally catfished by my emoji and the false intention set out by it’s puckered lips.

What do you do next in this situation?  Do you let it lie and let the person on the other end wonder forever who sent  them a “lovely” text?  Do you text back and potentially break their heart? 

I did what I would want in that situation and told the truth.  I told them they were  a victim of a Gen-Xer trying to keep up with Millenials in the best way she knew how but failed to check the emoji dictionary.  Well; in fewer words I told this person that. 

They thankfully texted back with an, “Oh, Ok” followed by an LOL.  That is one of the many things I love about Millenials, they are so understanding of us old folks.  Even if we’re only older by a few years.

What flare ups have you had with technology and communication?  What technology still eludes you?😚

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A home is made over a grilled cheese sandwich

tumblr_lumblhUXwZ1qceei4o1_1280The furthest away from home I’ve been, is home. This might sound a little strange, but today I’m accepting the wordpress daily challenge in more of an abstract form rather than the literal.

In the spring of 2011, I found myself alone for the first time in a little over 12 years. Normally this is a period in my life I don’t like to talk about, but two wonderful things came out of this experience.

In April of that year, for the first time I signed a rent check to live in an apartment by myself; no boyfriends, no husbands, no roommates, just me. At first it was odd getting used to the silence. It wasn’t a deafening silence like you would think, there was something strangely comforting about it, a comfort in knowing I was away from the home I once knew. Still, the silence meant I was alone.

You see, I define home as in, something familiar, something of comfort and something full of love. This is the whole reason I had left the life I knew, none of these things existed in it. I was rebuilding my “home” by my own definition.

A few weeks later some work acquaintances knew I had just been through a major life upset. They were two of the few who knew I needed help, needed to vent and was in desperate need of friends.

When these work acquaintances reached out to me, little did we all know we would find a home in each others’ hearts. That night we became friends and over the course of that summer, we became “besties”. One of those friends was able to come to my hometown with me, away from the city that was our current residence. This would be another first for me, coming back “home” and sharing a place where I was loved with a new friend who would wind up becoming a part of that core group of friends from my child hood.

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The home I had built for myself in the city was slowly deteriorating. When she and I were coming back from the sticks where I used to live as a child, she did something that not only solidified our friendship, but made me realize, there is hope, and always room in someone’s heart for a new friend…a new home.

We were on our way back to the big city and my stomach was in need of a sandwich. She being a vegetarian didn’t really want to stop at a fast food restaurant on the main highway here in Missouri. I didn’t really want fast food, but we were left with no choice. We compromised and stopped for a grilled cheese sandwich at Steak n’ Shake. She was hesitant at first to eat the sandwich but eventually she relented and started to eat out of desperation. She got half way through her half of the sandwich when she decided I should finish it. This is when I declared it was hers to finish, I had mine and she should eat it. I was worried about her getting hungry.

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At this point, with her music blaring from the radio, my cat meowing profusely from her cage in the back seat, it was getting harder to concentrate. When I went to shift gears in my car, there was something suspiciously bread like near my fingers. She had placed her half of a half grilled cheese sandwich near the gear shift. Immediately I looked at her and she was sporting a Cheshire grin. We burst into laughter. Forcing her to take her sandwich again, I started to concentrate on getting us back home. A few minutes later I went to grab my soda to sip, instead I found again her half of a half grilled cheese sandwich beneath my fingers. We couldn’t quit laughing and this is when I realized, this is the furthest away from the home I knew, but it was going to be a great one; the home in my “bestie’s” heart.

20130712-192642.jpgWhen was the first time your “home” didn’t feel like home? Was it a release for you, a time to get back to being you or was it a time to figure out who you were? What did you find special about this time in your life?

Cat and Mouse

This will make sense later…

There is a self help book I’ve frequently thumbed through in which at different points in the year you sit down and answer the questions presented within it’s pages.  It’s a book to help you pin point defining moments in your life and why you do what you do.  There was one section in particular on dating.  One of the questions posed is when beginning or pursuing a relationship, if you were to compare it to game of “Cat and Mouse”, would you be the cat or the mouse?  Originally my answer was the mouse that turns into a cat.  Recently I started thinking again about that question, and was my answer correct?  Suddenly today I remembered I wasn’t always the mouse turning into the cat, but sometimes in a constant state of flux between the two.  I remember a particular situation where I started as the mouse, became the cat and then quickly in a flash became the mouse again.

Never having dated this particular person I’m about to tell you about; the one who was always the cat to my mouse and vice versa, they probably never would have realized the funny life lesson created in the process of their game, let alone remember it.

I was a freshman in high-school when I first met him in Science class. He was goofy, out-going and talked to everyone at least a desk’s distance from him. The time I recall him first noticing me was during the school’s spirit week. Everyday we were supposed to dress up as something different to show support for our school’s Football team. One day was Biker day. I went over the top, wearing my scrunchy leather boots tucking my jeans into them, a white T-shirt and a red bandana on my head. I probably looked like a very young female version of Steven Van Zandt of the E Street Band fame. This particular boy kept asking me if my “hog” was in the shop. This new attention from a cute boy rendered me suddenly shy and quiet, leaving me to look down at my desk and giggle.

The week went on and the last day was the day to sport our school colors which were red, white and black. I wore my favorite black hat; it was my favorite because it was a birthday present from my parents and Janet Jackson wore one just like it. I even went through the effort to paint a small send up to my school’s team on my cheek that morning. It was early in the morning and I very carefully painted a paw print, with our school’s name leading out from it. Because I wasn’t wide awake yet (we’ll blame it on that) I forgot to take note to write it backwards while looking in the mirror. A few hours later when I showed up to Science class it didn’t dawn on me all the letters of the school name didn’t make sense until this particular boy made mention of it. As the people would say today, “Epic Fail.”  However, it did get him to notice me…again.

He was a year ahead of me in school, and honestly I hadn’t really talked to him since Freshman year in our Science class despite numerous and obvious attempts at trying to get his attention in and out of school. At the end of my Senior year when it came time for me to search for universities and inquire about some, my mother suggested I call him to ask him what it was like to go to the particular school I had in mind; which he also happened to go to. It was an awkward conversation, just to call someone up out of the blue you hadn’t talked to in a very long time and to talk to someone who also knew at one time you had a crush on them. You have to admit from his perspective, it was a little weird.

Fast forward to Freshman year of college. Starting a semester late I wanted to take some time off to kick back and have some fun with friends. Throughout the first semester and the second he and I had several instances where we ran into each other with him calling my name across campus or a semi-crowded computer lab.  Looking back perhaps we were both looking for something familiar in an unfamiliar setting.  I found myself liking the attention so much I would purposely time my appearance in the spots where I had previously run into him hoping it would happen again.  Suddenly it seemed when one of us was doing the chasing and being the cat, the other became the mouse running from the other.

Our next and final encounter was very strange. It was several months later and very cold. I was bundled in several layers of warm clothing due to the massive amount of walking involved to get from class to class on campus. Heading to my best friend’s dorm I never expected what would happen next.

Going into the dorm I went through the first set of glass doors to enter the foyer where people dust the snow off their shoes. Putting my gloved hand on the handle of the second set of glass doors I looked through to see the boy who had chased me down months prior, the boy who I had a crush on all those years ago; talking to another boy who I had also had embarrassing moments in front of that I used to work with. I panicked, turned around and ran bursting through the first set of glass doors. I had to think quick, knowing he could see me through the doors I would come off looking like a complete goof running down the sidewalk.  Instead I swiftly diverted to the side out of sight where I knew the out-door for residents of the dorm was and  hoped he hadn’t seen me. A few students came out of the door, I hustled trying to get to it before it closed. I was too late. I started to tug and pull on the door handle praying to God someone would walk through that door letting me in.

Here I am, pulling with all my might on the handle, everything short of leveraging my feet on the wall trying to pull the door open, when suddenly the boy walked out of the double glass doors in the cold. He looked over with a puzzled look on his face saying, “What’re you doing over there?” All I could do was look at him, look at the door and say, “Uuuhhh…I was trying to get in?” He smiled, laughed and said, “You can’t get in that way.” I didn’t know how to tell him I knew it was an out-door without looking like a stalker, so I had to settle for looking like an idiot. He asked suspiciously, “Why are you here?” His question was the prompt to tell him I knew all along that door was an out-door thus blowing my cover as an idiot.  I honestly told him, “I’m here to visit my friend.”

“Who is your friend?” he asked. I told him my friend’s name which is when he said, “Well lets find her on the sheet here.” At that time apparently the University we attended didn’t see a concern for posting student names with their dorm room phone number in the foyer of the buildings. He wanted to call her to see if she was in. This is when my “Spidey” senses started tingling.  His actions made it official that he thought I had been stalking him and wanted to know if I was telling the truth. I called my friend, and there was no answer. It was embarrassing, because at this point he really thought I had possibly made everything up. Suddenly he said, “Want to come up to my dorm and hang out?” I had previously met one of his room mates when we bumped into each other at the library my first semester there, so I didn’t see any harm in it, I was cold anyway and desperately needed to warm up.

Suddenly with every step we took up the hallway instead of feeling like this was something fun, something I would have wanted to happen several months prior, I realized something wasn’t right. We headed up to his dorm where we sat in the common area of the suite he was living in with four other guys. There were two leather lazy boy recliners with some dim lighting. Just behind the chair he sat in was a bookshelf where the top was littered with Corona bottles and beer bottles. Suddenly his squeaky clean, fun-loving demeanor was rapidly diminishing in my mind. The campus was a dry campus; absolutely no alcohol was allowed and if caught you could not only be cited but also kicked out. I wasn’t one to judge others for having fun and doing it in their own way, but something alerted me to a change within him.  He wasn’t always like this, had this been something indicative of his nature, there wouldn’t have been any worries. I didn’t dare move from the chair I sat in. I wasn’t scared, but I knew something wasn’t right.

From my chair I could see into his fellow suite-mates’ room where he had a Shania Twain poster of her in a  Cheetah print bustier corset surrounded by some Cheetah print scarves. He claimed every night he and his suite mates would go into this room and bow down to the Shania poster every night before they went to sleep. I thought this was either odd, or his sad attempt at humor. He then told me he and his other suite mates would purposely prank his roommate by putting the roommate’s computer home page as a “rude” website just to mess with him. As I sat there absorbing this situation and the surroundings, a sudden realization was setting in this guy no longer should stand on the pedestal I put him on and I desperately wanted out of his dorm suite. I wanted my friend to get back to her dorm so I could escape and be in her familiar comfortable room decorated with her inspirational mementos and her roommate’s Winnie the Pooh decor.

Quickly I asked to use his phone, called her, and luckily she was in. I said, “Yeah, do you mind if I bring a friend and we come down?” Later she admitted she was a bit befuddled by the question because usually I was coming up to see her, not coming down. This Shania-Twain-loving-boy and I made our way down a few floors where finally he saw proof I wasn’t stalking him, and indeed I had a friend who lived in the building. We all sat and talked for hours, finally the tension eased and he realized he didn’t have to put on this act of being a rude guy just to get me un-interested in him.

Many years later he had a class at a different college with another friend of mine. He found out (at the time) I was engaged to be married and told my friend, “Tell her congratulations, she’s finally getting everything she’s ever wanted.” The way the comment was conveyed to me by my friend had a biting edge to it.  It was as if he still felt like I had been stalking him like a cat because of our last encounter, despite introducing my friend to him to prove once and for all the genuine run-ins I had with him were happenstance.

When has someone in your life constantly called your attention only to reject you later for no reason? What lesson have you learned from someone you had a crush on?  Who was the cat to your mouse or vice versa?

Underestimating the “like” button

I bet she has the confidence to whip her hair back and forth…AND “like” a boy in person!

Recently you all posted “likes” and comments on the “Note from a Former Self” article here on Diary of a Quirky Girl. Your comments got me to thinking about who else I’ve been missing out on from my past. Who had I been wondering about and what they were up to. What were they doing now?

It seems that along with technology, we live in the age of trying to go as fast as we can to get to that next moment in life. In the process we try to keep up with others but do not have enough time to post a comment. In the past, I will be honest, it used to be annoying someone could “like” something but not comment. A recent business trip to Chicago enlightened me.

While in Chicago I was in route to places at several different times and couldn’t always get great reception. When I did, I had enough time and a short window to click the like button on a friend’s page, picture or comment, just enough to let them know I was thinking about them and wanted to see how they were doing. It seems the like button is a quick way to cheer someone’s day until you can get to a place where you can leave a lengthy comment.

In my plight to catch up with friends and like things on their page, a few names popped up I hadn’t seen in a long time. Some were childhood friends from the neighborhood and one was even a crush I had in grade-school.

I was talking to my parents about memories of note passing, and how that seems to have morphed into the like button. I was explaining to my Dad about who I had recently seen on the front page of my Facebook. He was trying to remember who this person was, which is when I went into a long explanation of who they were and what they meant to me when I was younger.

Here is the story I relived for him.

My parents and I were at our local grocery store, it was 1988 and the 4th grade school year had just started. I was riding on the back of the cart while they pushed me through the aisles. We were just rounding the cereal aisle when I saw this particular boy, his sister and his mom, riding and walking with their shopping cart. Obviously good genes run in their family, they were all as cute as buttons.

When I was younger I had a hard time looking a crush in the eye. However in my head as a 8 year old girl about to turn 9, this scenario played out differently. In my imagination, my parents had been running their cart down the aisle with the tires smoking and leaving trails of fire with me on the back; as if we were in a motorcross competition to see who could get their groceries fastest. I was dressed like Willow Smith in a jump-suit of bright colors, wearing a huge smile with an un-shy personality exuding fun and sunshine. In my pea brained 8 year old imagination, I got down off my cart with finesse, looked the boy and his family in the eye, waving a large wave saying, “HELLLOOOOO!” Then I broke out into a break dance, with his family, the entire grocery store, and my family gathering around me in the cereal aisle starting out with a slow clap and finally breaking into a standing ovation.

This is what the grocery store looked like in my mind.

Sadly this isn’t what happened.

What really happened is I stepped off the cart dressed in my hot pink beach bum shirt and cut off jeans. My hair was thrown back in a pony tail because I had been out all day playing and probably looked like I had just wrestled a bear…a care bear. I didn’t want this particular boy to think I wasn’t mature or so silly I couldn’t just walk next to my parents with the cart. With my head down, I barely looked at him and said a quick, quiet, “Hello.” Then I waited for them to pass by.

Today as I think back on that moment, now I fully understand the puzzled look on he and his sister’s face. He was in my class after all, why couldn’t I just say hi like a normal kid? After they passed by, my parents asked with a smile, “Who was that?” All I could say was, “Oh he’s in my class.”

In telling my Dad this memory and what this particular person meant to me, he broke out into laughter and said I should write a blog about it. So here I am, all because of a maze of thoughts, lead here because of the simple idea of liking something.

Back then, even if we had a “like” button for a boy, I don’t think I would have had enough guts to click it. As a child I was loud, goofy and outgoing, but as soon as I “liked” someone I turned into an introverted shy kid looking at the ground. However with time, age, wisdom and technology that has all changed. I can flirt without having to look someone in the eye now, do it with a click, finesse and for all the other person knows, maybe I am dressed like Willow Smith on the other end of the computer radiating warmth and sunshine.

Were you ever originally annoyed by the “like” button? Did you ever feel like it removed the effort needed for a friendship or relationship? What has lead you from one thought to another to think of someone you haven’t thought about in a long time?

What I’ve re-learned about flirting

A quirky couple! Wonder how they met?

1.  Do your Dave Mathews impersonation when trying to explain Dave Mathews’s involvement in the winemaking process of the wine you’ve brought to a party. If the person sticks around you know they’re interested. If not, you know you are in your own good company because you are the only person who understands why you are the way you are.

2.  Don’t do your “traditional” Dave Mathews impersonation because people no longer understand the reference, “Pretty Baaaby” and will be creeped out. Do a different one.

3.  Make sure you have checked yourself when hanging out with a group of guys after having used the restroom. Make sure there isn’t any extraneous toilet paper hanging from your posterior.

4.  Do talk about your Martin Short autograph your parents scored as a Christmas present for you on E-bay; if the guy knows who Martin Short is, double win!

5.  Brag about any comic book publishing achievements, this will impress ANY guy.

6.  Be honest and be true to thine own self. There is nothing worse than a lying liar McLiarson. Even in your demeanor, attitudes, and how your present yourself. There is nothing more disappointing (this goes for both genders) than getting several months down the road and finding out the person is completely different to how they presented themselves to you in the beginning. If you are the person making all the changes to impress someone, DON’T. You will just wind up feeling cheated and unappreciated with tinges of resentment. Just DO what works…be you.

7.  Don’t be afraid to say the stupid quirky stuff that you do, the ones that stick around are the ones you want to hang out with, not the ones who see your fun traits as a flaw.

8.  Sing and Dance with those around you. Happiness is an attractor magnet. Even if you feel you can’t sing or dance…in the words of Dave Barry, “Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance.” You never know what friends you will make in the process!

9.  Do make comments on the oddities surrounding you. It gives you a perspective of how the other person thinks when they come up with their own assessment of the surroundings.

10. Don’t purposely steal the person’s beverage next to you, some people think its funny, some don’t. Don’t try it, it will turn some into the Hulk, others will be just slightly irritated.

Bittersweet

Well life has really been a journey this last year. This time last year I was dealing with divorce, trying to find myself, and trying to figure out how to get back to being me. Around this time last year I was moving into my apartment, and semi-flirting with the guy miles away at a call center on the other end of the phone who was helping me set up my internet. I was so proud that I remembered how to flirt; I posted it on Facebook.

Then came a barbecue in June that I went to with one of my St. Louis besties, and wound up flirting with one of my guy friends which turned into a relationship.

Sadly, this year I’ve come full circle.

This last year has been a trial of sorts. I’ve had to deal with saying goodbye to a life I knew in St. Louis for almost six years, say good-bye to some really awesome friends, and say hello to a new job at a law firm in the Ozarks. Unfortunately a week and a half into the job, I realized it wasn’t cracked up to what it was meant to be and started looking elsewhere. That is when I found a job that is a dream for anyone who is wanting to make the world more eco-friendly one step at a time, and remained friends with my former bosses at the law firm. Then, unfortunately about three weeks later, my family lost my Grandfather, and a month later I lost one of my best friends to a stroke who helped me through my divorce last year and helped to pick me up off the ground after I hit my version of rock bottom.

Now, I’ve had to say good-bye to the boyfriend who helped me process all of this. We had our series of ups and downs (as most couples do) and unfortunately, the things life had thrown at me had made things a bit too much. If my ex is reading this, I just want to say thank you for everything. If it weren’t for him I would not have learned how to become stronger, say no to the negatives in my life, how to say no to things that weren’t right for me at this point in time and say yes to myself.

In life people are sent to you for a reason (as the old poem goes) and this is true. It is only when we step into those uncomfortable situations that we grow, and inevitably I believe this is the reason we were put into each other’s lives. As some relationships happen, they eventually deteriorate with an unforseen purpose, and this is when you find out what your mettle is. What you are able to put up with, what are you are able to tolerate and what you respect.

When going through this recent break up with my ex, I remembered an episode of “How I Met Your Mother”. Honestly I don’t get to watch the show often but this one stuck out in my memory. The lead male character Ted finds himself on a blind date with a girl he went out with seven years prior. It wasn’t until the end of the date that he realized why he never called her back all those years ago, much like what happened with my ex and I on our first date when we were teenagers.

Ted explained how he loved finding typos in the dinner menus and how that wasn’t going to change, and how he is going to continually make lame pun-ny jokes. This is when the girl claimed she would still continue talking about her cats and wouldn’t stop. This is when they decide to part ways with Ted saying the words that permanently engraved their way into my brain. (To the fans of the show, I apologize, there is heavy paraphrasing here…) Basically he tells his date it would be better to hold out and wait for the person who kind of likes each other’s idiosyncracies rather than find someone who just “tolerates” them.

No one should just go through life “tolerating” their loved ones.

As you can tell by the blog title, I’m quirky. It’s a main trait. Its nothing to be ashamed of and its something I’m proud of because it comes naturally and its something that most people have to work at. Because it comes naturally and its something that people have literally tried to mentally, verbally and physically beat out of me before, and none of those tactics have worked, I know it’s there permanently. Due to permanent quirkiness, I want a loved one who respects it and doesn’t just deal with it.

As bad as this may sound, this is what I mean when I say people are sent into your life to test your mettle. My ex helped me to accept myself as I am and to be comfortable with that. He helped me see the negatives and know what I will put up with and what I will hold strong against. Unfortunately the downside is us no longer being a couple but we are that much better for having gone through what we did with each other.

Who had a positive affect on your life with an unfortunate ending? Who taught you the most in your life positive or negative?

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