My cousin Rachel was a beautiful bride. No one was surprised: she’s beautiful while reef fishing in old shorts and a tank top. Rachel and her husband Bryan are solid, kind, hardworking people. In both speeches and passing comments I heard the buzz phrase “beautiful bride” many times throughout the day. Once Rachel and Bryan return from their honeymoon in Antigua, how will her beauty and his handsome features (I have your back Bry) help them build a life together? This is not an antiquated business transaction in which her beauty enhances the contract.
Why am I droning on about the commonly used phrase “beautiful bride?” Sometimes the “normal” things couples discuss when planning a wedding (buying a dress, picking a reception venue, tasting cakes) are not useful past the wedding date. No matter how delicious the cake, it’s not an accurate representation of the relationship.
A friend of a friend has an 18-month-old infant. This brand new mother initiated a divorce from her husband because in the past eighteen months, he was only willing to change his child’s diaper twice. For those of you who enjoy math, that’s 0.001% of total diapers changed.
I imagine that the new mother was a beautiful bride on her wedding day. Did she ever ask her fiancé if he had it in him to be a hands-on parent? I’m not sure. Did her soon-to-be ex-husband assume she would handle all diapers, potty training, homework help, etc. as he said his vows to her in his handsome suit? Conversations worth having pre-wedding.
Bryan is the kind of man who will change diapers. Rachel is a smart woman. In my opinion, she has chosen well (that’s what guests do at a wedding-they give their opinion on everything). It is likely that while raising children they will both have careers. Will they split “second-shift” responsibilities close to fifty/fifty? That’s their decision to make.
Just keep in mind when planning a wedding or even dating someone for longer than a month:
1. This is the first day of the rest of your life. For most of you there are more days ahead of you than behind you.
2. “Now we know that women can do what men can do, but we don’t know that men can do what women can do.” Gloria Steinem
Eff the diaper funk!
I recently met someone who spends 80% of her time staring at a glass half empty. There are days I see it too, but let’s say I see it that way 20% of the time just to make it an even 100%. Part of my day job is calculating promotional retail pricing and I would prefer if this metaphor made sense mathematically. A well-known 80/20 split is Pareto’s Principle: you should focus 80% of your time on the 20% that matters. If you spend 80% of your time dwelling on the 20% that doesn’t matter-you’re not living. Eff the pain and let the joy define you.
One of my close friends discovered her boyfriend was trying to focus 80% of his time on her and the remaining 20% on a long distance relationship with another woman. He tried it both ways actually, when he told her they should “take a break” in January (so he could visit and focus 80% on the other woman in his life). He had trouble figuring out his 80/20s. By failing to identify which woman was more important to him, he demonstrated that neither deserved his respect. Or maybe combined, he spent 80% of his time on the two women who deserved 20% of his respect? Eff that.
Her trust has been shattered. She is a beautiful, kind, smart, and sarcastic son-of-a-gun who always gives any task in front of her 100% (like the time she ran around the city looking for a Carvel cake for me on my birthday). Did I mention she does it with a smile? She sees the glass as half full 90% of the time because she breaks the mold.
Right now she is standing strong. There is a lot of pain. I can only hope that this is her last heartbreak and she remains positive. I felt like crap when I was feeding my emotional pain back in January. One week after this post I met a man that makes me happy. Our situations are not the same, but heartbreak is heartbreak so I bought her chocolate whoopie pies the other day. Heartbreak hotel. Sing it Whitney.
photo taken by Murad Peshimam
Do you strongly dislike small talk that wanders from one pointless observation to the next?
“Great weather we’re having.”
“Time to file taxes.”
“I’m so tired. Who isn’t? Thank goodness for coffee!”
Interrupt your chatty new friend with the following, “Tell me what you’re really excited about! Why do you get up in the morning?” Most people will have trouble answering and that’s EFFED UP! Either your airport terminal friend will be silenced or your conversation will take an interesting turn as they describe their passions in life.
Since one of my greatest fears in life is hypocrisy, I made a quick list of my own passions before pushing the challenge on my audience:
-live music (Martha Wainwright has held my attention the past few months)
-serving as a resource
-chai lattes from Aroma
It’s your turn! No seriously, write them down. Don’t do as I would and list three in my head, decide that means I passed a test to prove that I have passions, then breeze onto the next paragraph of this post.
I’m currently reading New York Times Bestseller “What Should I Do with My Life?” by Po Bronson. It’s a compilation of interviews with people all over the world who are searching for or have found their passion and made it their central focus in life. It’s not a profound resource that holds all of the answers you’ve been looking for, but Bronson successfully organized an interesting smattering of the human experience. Most people do not have the tools/experience/awareness to pursue their passion the day they graduate from high school. Bronson proves that our winding roads are sometimes necessary and completely normal. He also gives equal words to both male and female professionals in the pages of his book. Hash tag: gender should not dictate whether you pursue your passion. Make that a trending topic. It’s long overdue.
Feminist comments aside (I’m taking the word back and separating it from it’s negative vibes), what are you excited about? Why did you get up this morning? What will you spend the rest of your life doing? Eff the passionless existence, roll up your sleeves, and seek your answers.
When you live in a region that hosts a real winter season your skin can get effed up. Long gone are the days when strawberry kiwi lip smacker could fix my problems. I have sensitive skin and the cold, dry air puts it in a funk. Here is a list of remedies that my friends and I can agree on. Tell the winter to eff off while you daydream about springtime.
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Milton Glaser’s classic logo
My commute to and from work is seventy-five minutes of swimming upstream. I’ve been doing the opposite commute for a little over three years. Most days I don’t pay attention to the small annoyances as I power walk through the NYC crowds (initially, it was sensory overload and I couldn’t handle the aggression). Other days, I’m exhausted before I reach my desk. My best commuting days are when I’m in cruise-control. My eyes are glazed over, stride powerful, ipod loud, and I’m watching the body language of the next five people headed my way in anticipation of pedestrians stopping short, swerving into my path, or my favorite, the person who gets so nervous that they half-stop to let you pass, but they don’t surrender the space to do so (mostly tourists).
I’m proud of my ability to swerve through a crowd of commuters/locusts swarming in opposite directions. It’s a small win for the day if I can maintain my speed without bumping into anyone: I’m invincible. The days when I’m tired/hungry/both, miss my connecting train by one minute, wish I could get back into the city in time for yoga/happy hour, have trouble navigating pedestrians, wear shoes that slow me down, and sweat through my clothes en route to work in 90 degree heat-those are rough days. Commuting is an effing sport.
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One of my close friends came over to my apartment last Friday night and in between baking oatmeal raisin cookies and watching a 90′s “horror” film featuring a young Alicia Silverstone, he was joking that I don’t exist when he isn’t around. It’s possible that I’m only playing a supporting role in his life and not a living, breathing creature with my own life that moves forward when he isn’t there to see it. I sarcastically agreed with him and we had a good belly laugh. If you picture a straight line in a one dimensional plane, on one end is the perspective that every human being is important and their needs should be given consideration. On the other end is the perspective that this world is mine, and my needs will always be met before the needs of others aka… “It’s my world and you’re just living in it!” Read the rest of this entry »
I’m addicted to a bad relationship. I wanted to avoid writing about it so badly that I decided to write about beets. I researched some recipes, discovered that it’s a Jewish tradition to eat beets at Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year), and warned my roommates that I would be baking the chocolate beet cake for a second time. I wasn’t jazzed about the post. I had a feeling it wouldn’t top my kale post. It sounded really insincere so I decided to eff it.
Hi, my name is eff the funk and I have been addicted to a bad relationship for three years. I was sure I loved him the first year… then I’m not sure what I told myself the remainder of our on-again, off-again time together. He never promised me the moon, but I wanted to hold on anyways. We have strong chemistry and I was addicted to his attention when he chased me and my suffering when he didn’t. It’s romantic in a twisted way. Read the rest of this entry »
At a younger age when my hormones were out of whack, classmates were mean to each other for negligible reasons, and I lacked the ability to defend myself, I would come home from school and cry. A lot. The emotional turmoil and the act of crying would exhaust me so I would fall asleep on my bed, always shaken awake by my mother when dinner was ready. The drama du jour seemed less traumatic after a nap.
I don’t face drama on-the-reg anymore (middle school was the effing worst). I try to steer clear of it, but occasionally I have the burning desire to tell people about themselves. Most people don’t want to hear it. They already know 90% of what I want to say, but they choose to ignore it.
Sometimes I reach my limit. If you are over the age of eighteen and you whine a lot, I will tell you about yourself. If you act in a way that creates large hurdles for others, I will tell you about yourself. You get the idea. Those are behaviors that other people would also discourage so I don’t feel too crazy-cat-lady-yelling-at-birds-in-the-park when I broach the subject that someone needs to check themselves before they wreck themselves (and others). Read the rest of this entry »
Raise your hand if you just spent a lot of money on holiday gifts/plane tickets/etc. Ugh, financial funk. Eff it all! Sorry Santa. They say there’s no such thing as a free lunch. I’m here to tell you otherwise. Here is a compilation of freebies. Feel “free” to share more in the comments section!
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Picture yourself swimming in a peaceful lake. A piece of trash floats nearby. Out of fear, you focus on the trash intensely and inadvertently swim right toward it instead of avoiding it. You become partially tangled in the trash and the added weight around your midsection affects the ease with which you make your strokes. As you swim forward you see more trash and swim toward it again. This trash entangles itself on your left ankle and now your swimming is unbalanced. You start to veer to the left, which is not the way you wanted to go.
The lake is more polluted than you remembered. Or is it? Are you so afraid of the trash that it’s the only thing you can think of whereas previously, you knew the trash was there but you avoided it by ignoring it?
We worry about the trash and it distracts us, entangles us, and we fear more trash. The trash is what other people say about you. What other people say about you is none of your business. Eff the funk and ignore their trash. It’s a reflection of their negativity and you don’t need to strap it to your left ankle as you swim on by. Just keep swimming.