Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Christmas List

That's right, everyone. It's almost December and you know what that means; It's time to start the shopping day countdown. As it stands at this moment, you have only 27 more shopping days until Christmas. So run! Find those deals! Buy that wrapping paper! Wrestle the last copy of Taylor Swift's CD from that man's hands! Hurry!

Buying gifts for people you don't know well is frankly, really ridiculously hard. To every generic gift, there is a down side. Candle? You're implying they stink. Candy? What if they're on a diet? Bath set? You're implying that they could really use a shower. Teens especially can be hard to buy for. And, admit it, you often strike out with them even if you think you have the greatest gift ever. Sorry, Auntie, but we're just not into Hello Kitty anymore. Parents, Aunts, Uncles, relatives, listen up 'cause I'm gonna give you a few pointers.

Know Your Budget
While they might be craving that expensive pair of jeans or forty dollar perfume, sometimes it's just not a good idea. While it might be fun to spoil them, think about all the other gifts you have to buy. If you've got the money for it, and you're feeling generous, go for it! We'll love even more. But sometimes, the knock off brand for half price, is just as good.

Clothes, Clothes, Clothes
This is a very hard category to win in. And I mean hard. First off, if you're gonna get a teen clothes, get the right size. If you're unsure of the size, check the closet, ask someone around the same size what they wear, but do not just take a random guess. If they're still growing, a size larger is just fine, so they'll have some time to grow into and actually wear it for more than just that one week.
Do not just buy something that you think is stylish. While, you may luck out and have your teen actually like it, chances are they'll smiles, say thank you, and then throw it into the depths of their closet until they can give it to good will. This is where knowing your teens friends will come in handy. Ask them if they know what Amber or Felicia has been eyeing for a while. Ask them what they would want. Friends are a great way to gather all sorts of gift information. However, do not use these friends to spy on your teen.
And if you're still not quite sure if she'll really like it, gift receipt. Tell them off the bat that it's ok if they don't like it. They can just take the gift receipt and get something they do like instead.

Sing Me A Song
This is also a tough category. Check to see if any of your teen's favorite artists are coming out with a new CD. Then explicitly instruct them not to download it. Also check to see what your teen has downloaded. If they have three-fourths of a CD already downloaded, don't bother.
If there's no new music your teen is looking for, opt for the accessories. A snazzy pair of headphones, new mp3 player, a new cover or case for their mp3 player. Little things can amount to much.

Eat to Live
Food. Food is good. And it makes an excellent gift. I'm not talking 'bout fruits and vegels here. I'm talking about a bag of their favorite candy. A giant chocolate bar. A box or two of their favorite fruit snacks. Stuff like that. It's Christmas, we're allowed to be a little unhealthy. We promise we won't eat it all at once. Maybe.

Whrr. Buzz. Beep-Beep. Electronics
Electronics can make a person's day. But there's a lot of things to take into consideration. You getting them a camera? Well, think about size of the device, size of the memory card, quality of the brand, ease of use, added features. Laptop? Brand, memory size, number of processors, weight, operating system, added programs. Flash drive? Size of the actual drive, size of the memory, ease of carrying. Television? Size, weight, picture quality, brand quality. Cell Phone? Plan, size, reception, added features, color, cool factor. And to all of this is the added consideration of price and where you can get the best deal.

No, No, Never-Never, Uh-Uh-Uh
There are definitely a lot of bad gifts out there. So, here are some things you just shouldn't dabble into.
Make-up. While it might've once been cute to give us make-up and let us play with it, no more. Now, we wear make up, we don't just play with it. Just, leave us be when it comes to what we put on our faces.
Socks and Underwear. No. Just... just no. I can't think of anything else to say but no.
Action figures. We're teenagers. We're not into Barbie and GI Joe. We're into high tech gadgets and fashion. Sorry. Try again.
The Unheard of Movie. Wow. You think it's great. But I'm sorry, I'm just not into crocodile wrangling, gun shooting, offices executives with explosives. Yeah. I'll say thank you and just toss it in my closet.
The Hand Knit Sweater. I love cats. And trees. And bright colors. But I really don't like itchy wool. Or unfashionable sweaters that are way to small. Just avoid this entirely.

If you're in a pinch, a gift card or just straight up cash is a great gift. We love being able to decide what we'd like to purchase. But if you want an actual gift, use your best judgment, even if that best judgment is to ask one of your teen's friends. Always be sure to get a gift receipt if you're unsure of the gift. Honestly the best thing to do is just ask your teen what they're interested in getting for Christmas and then be very sneaky-like about buying it. And don't hide the gifts in the same place every year. We've known about it since we were five. Only 27 more days! :)


Sunday, November 22, 2009

It takes one bad movie...

Well, it's been a while folks. Life for me in the past few weeks has been a little...crazy, to say the least.

I'm usually a pretty stable guy, but lately so many things have been going on, and it's all those little things that build up and can really stress a guy out. I, sadly, still suffer with a rather large problem that society has come to refer to as 'high school.' My classes aren't getting any easier, and the homework only seems to pile higher and higher. I'm rather busy, and find myself with very little free time to do physics problems or write that social problems essay on overpopulation. I always tell myself, 'I'll get to it tomorrow'...and then tomorrow rolls around and, finding myself even busier than the day before, I tell myself the same thing again.

I recently made a decision - I'm still unsure as to whether or not it was a good decision - but I'm one of those people who really likes to stay active and stay in shape. And, finding myself with nothing to do all winter, I joined the wrestling team. Thanks to that decision, we can now throw constantly achy muscles to my list of inconveniences. Also, I now have two less hours every day after school, and my saturdays will be consumed by tournaments.

Money, money, money. I have none. Yup, go ahead and throw that on the list of worries. Always nagging the back of my mind are the doubts of whether I'll be able to pay for insurance this month, will I be able to pay for the gas to get home? How pathetically small will my next paycheck be? I should have mentioned earlier that weekends are pretty much the only days I have time to work, and by joining wrestling - weekly saturday tournaments - I now have two or three months worth of paychecks that will have only one shift per week. Not a very enlightneing thought.

And, as are many seniors, I'm feeling the overload of work that comes with applying for colleges and scholarships. As soon as I finish one thing, another thing must be done. Why do schools need to ask so many questions? My goodness. And it certainly doesn't help that I have a nagging mother who wants it all done NOW! I'm only human, woman!

I tend to ponder over all my troubles when I'm at work. I work at a movie theater, so I have a lot of just standing-around time behind the counter waiting for someone to buy popcorn. The other day, though, was the release of the new hit movie - I'm sure you've heard of it - New Moon. Now, I'm not even going to hesitate to say I think it may just be the most ridiculous movie ever...and I haven't even seen it! Nor do i have any intention of seeing it. I was just standing behind my counter watching floods of screaming teen girls rush in wearing their 'Team Edward' tshirts, marvelling over how dreamy Jacob Black is. Yuck.

As I watched them, i began to count how many disgruntled looking boys weree being dragged along by excited girlfriends, and in my head I laughed at all these people. I laughed at the guys, dragged along by their girlfriends, and I laughed at the girlfriends, they young children, even the older women, who all got sooooooo excited about such a silly movie...but then a sad thought hit me. As pathetic as I think New Moon or Twilight or the whole series is, as ridiculous as i thought these people were for wasting their money on this movie, they were all happier than I was - exept maybe the unfortunate boyfriends. These people were excited, they were happy, they were looking forward to something. It's been a long, long time since I've gotten that excited or had something to look forward to.

I'm not saying I'm going to go watch New Moon with my girlfriend and everything is goping to be all better - I think she'd enjoy that as little, if not less than I would - but I am emphasising that life is about having something to look forward to. i know from first hand experience that when things pile up, they really pile up, but a very special girl to me recently showed me that life - even when everything seems bad - is so, so much better when you look at things more optimistically, try to see the good in a bad situation, even if the good is a simple movie ticket. It took one bad movie to make me see how miserable I've been. What's the point of living life if you're not enjoying it, right?

So, find something you can look forward to, be excited about something, and things wont feel so bad. Next time you're in a really bad mood, think of something going good for you. Think of something good that will happen, find something good about the bad going on...even if you have to succumb to watching Twilight. Just like the bad things can pile up, when one good thing happens, another will follow, and then another.

As a final note - stay positive, look for the good...and good luck to all you poor, poor boyfriends out there who have been dragged to see a horrible movie with your girlfriend. I feel your pain.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Part One: Rock 'em-Sock 'em Siblings

I've shot snide comments at an argumentative school mate who was less than fond of me, I've snapped my crude criticisms at a teacher who was unhappy with my behavior. I've gone toe-to-toe with ex girlfriends, and I've glared into the face of an angry, disappointed parent...yet those experiences seem almost docile when I look back at the torment and hell my sister and I have put each other through.

Siblings fight? What? When? Never! It couldn't be!...Yup, I'm sure anyone with a sibling of their own will agree that it ain't easy gettin' by. It starts young, with stealing each others toys and bonking each other on the head with your rattles, and it never gets easier. You get a little older and the fights evolve into who wants to watch what on tv and who was on the computer for longer than they were supposed to be. Even when your nearing adulthood and thinking maybe you've matured out of those silly conflicts, think again my friend. Who out there has fought over who gets to use your parents car?

I'd say siblings who are a little closer in age are walking on a little thinner ice. Personalities clash, and emotions are never matching. I'm sure many out there know what it feels like to be in a sucky mood and roll your eyes as a sibling rushes into the room smiling and singing and being all...well, happy. It's frustrating; you just want them to go away and shut up so you can sulk in peace. And I'm also sure many of you out there are guilty, like me, of the whole 'I really am just being annoying right now because I know it pisses you off,' situation. It makes a little sense if you look at it objectively - you live with someone their whole life and you get to know them quite well. You know what makes them mad, and you know their attitudes. You become familiar with certain symbols that might mean they are in a bad mood. Also, your perspective - of how they feel - becomes a little more general. If you just meet someone, your not going to act stupid or say something insulting, because you'd be worried about what they think of you or if they are going to dislike you. With siblings, your stuck with em, so what the hell, right? They've seen you at your worsts, and you've seen theirs. You have dirt that could get them grounded for life, and they have the same on you. Pissing each other off and hating each others' gut along the way is just a given.

There are just inevitable truths in life. If you eat one chip, you're going to eat another. If you're running late, you're going to get stuck behind a slow driver. If you have a sibling, you're going to fight.


Part Two: The 'Best Friend Clause'

There is one other thing to consider, though, while talking about life with a sibling. I choose to call it the 'best friend clause,' particularly for siblings close in age and living together. It's as if, when deciding to have multiple children, your parents signed some imaginary contract agreeing that they hereby accept the risks of forcing you to spend your life with this other human being, seeing as whether you like them or not, you are stuck with them. But there is a bright side, or at least I'd like to think so. Somewhere along those years of crying, antagonizing, hating, beating, stealing, yelling, throwing random objects, and performing highly dangerous, high risk wrestling moves on each other, you may come to find that even when you are mad at them or they are mad at you, your siblings can be your best friends. I'm sure most siblings experience this at a very young age - probably only because you're young and don't really have any other friends, anyone else to play with - and then you grow up, look at your siblings and think, wow, what dorks. A select few of us, though - and I consider myself lucky to be in this category - are surprised to find later on in our teen years really how much we appreciate having a sibling. For years I couldn't wait for my sister to go to college and get out of my face, yet now that she's gone and I've taken to having almost nightly conversations with her, I roll my eyes at the unfortunate realization that I actually do kinda miss her.

You never know when, at those unexpected moments, a sibling is going to outshine all expectations; lend a hug when you need one, be a friend when you feel like you have none, sit up at watch tv marathons with you into the late hours of the morning, or help you think of mean, behind-the-back insults toward someone you feel like being particularly mad at at the moment. Its like siblings are..."rent-a-friend"s. There will always be disagreements, fights, arguments, and such, yet it's surprising how often a sibling will readily be there for you when you need them. Surprising for me, at least.

So, in those dark times when you really, really feel like punching a sibling in the face, just bear in mind - deep breaths, calm thoughts, and no headlocks. Its what siblings do; you cant blame them for being what they are :)


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tolerance, We Could All Use Some

We are doing a project for my biology class; we have been given topics, broken up into teams and told to prepare presentations. We would be debating against another team on the subject. Today's debate was about Gene Therapy, though it mostly revolved around cancer and its potential cures. A girl on the pro gene therapy team had a father who died almost a year ago from cancer. We were finishing up the debate with the one minute last statements. The con team was going first. He was talking about a boy who had died because of gene therapy. He turned to pro team and rhetorically asked them "What if that had been your father?" He had meant to say loved one or brother. It was an honest slip and he clearly felt terrible. This caused the girl to burst out into tears. Right after the debate was done, the two of them went in the hall so he could apologize. The rest of the class automatically jumps to how it was so terrible and that poor girl! I don't think with my heart. I think much more objectively. So, while I readily agreed it was rather cold and cruel, it was a great point and a very effective strategy when you took a step back and looked at just the facts. I was immediately attacked as a 'heartless, soulless [expletive]". Wow. Thanks for letting me explains, guys. I never said a word against this girl. I felt bad for her. And yet here I was, being attacked until the bell rang by twelve different people who never once let me defend my viewpoint. Way to have an open mind.

I don't care if it's religion, skin color, hair color, origin, language. Where do these people get the right to judge us? Let me rephrase that. Where do they get the right to judge us, without giving us a chance or giving us the opportunity to defend our beliefs. Just because we're different than you does not mean that we are terrible people. We're all different, all unique. We all have different backgrounds, different life styles, different opportunities, different influences. To think that any one person is better or worse than you is quite judgmental and quite unfair. All we want is a chance to show you who we are. Why can't we even get that?

I've been using the terms 'us' and 'we' quite loosely. I'm sure everyone of you readers can fit into some category, some group that has been discriminated against, or attacked, or disbelieved. And you know how terrible it feels to be shut out and knocked down and  not even given a chance to explain or defend yourself. But the real issue is, have you ever done it yourself, when you know how terrible it feels?

The truth is, we all have. We have all gone and shut someone down and made them feel terrible on purpose. Just because they didn't agree with us. Perhaps it's just a characteristic of every person. Perhaps we all have some hidden longing to be better than everyone no matter what the cost to them or us. Does this make us terrible? Perhaps. Perhaps not. Perhaps this is just a defense mechanism ingrained in our instincts. Change is not always a good thing. But denying other people the right to be different quickly turns our society from a colorful, exciting place to live to a bland, grey, repetitive dictatorship.

I'm not here to preach. I'm not here to put anyone down or insult human kind. I just... I just wish people were a little more tolerant. Instead of viciously attacking the person, try to be more open and just keep the nasty comments for later when they're alone and writing in a journal. You can't change everyone who disagrees or has a different opinion than you. You just gotta take it in stride, try to not butt heads, and just keep pushing.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Because What Girl Doesn't Want to be Spoiled?

With Christmas and winter decorations abound in stores across the country, the beginning of the holiday season has arrived. That's right. We thought it couldn't get any longer and yet here, mid-October, giant blow up snow men and reindeer color large sections of many retail stores. But, my topic today does not just deal with the general gift giving season. No, today we will just be dealing with gifts and girls. A dangerous combination huh? Well, don't you fret when you don't know what her favorite color is or exactly what size of clothing she wears. Buckle your seatbelts, and let's get started.

With every girl I have ever encountered there seems to be a common theme among gifts. And among this theme, I have managed to pick out 5 gifts that, when given appropriately and with taste, will make you a winner any day.

     1. Candy.
          Yeah. Candy. Show me a girl who doesn't love chocolate and I will show you a world with some very super severe problems. She's a vegan? Try finding a recipe online. Anything home made earns you bonus points. Lactose intolerant? Try a fruity type of candy. Weight conscious? Try low sugar, sugar free, or a hard candy with a small amount of calories.

     2. Perfume
          Ah. This is just one of this gifts that gives back. You'll always be able to tell when she's wearing it. She'll come to associate the smell with you. And you can choose exactly the kind of scent that you love. Be careful though. You don't want to upset aforementioned girl. She may assume that you think she smells bad and needs to really use a heavy amount of perfume. A gift should never be insulting.

     3. Jewelry
          We like shiny things. It sounds quite demeaning but it's very true. There's no better feeling than when someone sees the gorgeous necklace given by your significant other strung around your neck. The people who notice it may think it's cheesy and cliche, but hey, there's a reason it's cliche. 'Cause it's sweet and thoughtful and meaningful. Even if it isn't shiny. Maybe it's one of those rings pops or a candy necklace. Still jewelry, still fun. :)
     4. Candy.
          What? What do you mean I already said this one? Well. That's just because it's true. As much as we don't want to gain an extra pound or two, chocolate is filled with endorphins. Endorphins are a chemical that is proven to improve one's mood. We like being happy. Happy is made by endorphins. Endorphins are in candy. Get where I'm going with this?

     5. Clothes
          Now. This can be a very dangerous area. Make very sure you know the girls style. And even more make sure you know her size. Getting a size too small will make her feel fat and getting a size too large will make her think you think she's fat. It's still probably safe to grab a gift receipt . And tell her that it's ok if she doesn't like it. Every girl loves new clothes. But we really love new clothes that we're actually gonna wear. If youre not sure, go to her friends. They'll know her size and her taste.

All in all, we're pretty easy to please. Any gift will show that you at least care enough to go and take the time to think about her likes and dislikes. A good gift is a useable gift. If it's something she can use, she'll think of you everytime she does. When in doubt, play spy and go to her friends. They'll know her best. They'll know her likes and dislikes and wants and needs. A little help is no big deal, even if you have to take them shopping with you to pick something out. Just be thoughtful. The best gift we could ever receive is your love and support. I happen to have an amazing boy who gives me both. He's more than I could ever ask for. :)


Monday, October 19, 2009

Life is good! a strange thing. We, as a society, accept so much for normal; such strange rituals, such strange behaviors, friendships, rivalries, opinions, relationships. Ah, relationships...ah, relationships.

I'm going to dare to be different with this one, folks. I'm not speaking to you, parents, and teens, I am not addressing you as a general public. Boys...I'm calling you out.

I'm particularly talking to those of you who are in a relationship, or are looking for a relationship. I know there are plenty of guys out there who don't care for such a thing. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with going from girl to girl, the 'player', most likely a self appointed name. It seems like a fun lifestyle, but I'm talking to you other fellows, so listen up.

I'm going on an eleven month relationship with the most amazing girl a guy could find; eleven happy months, but sure, we've had our ups and downs. What kind of relationship doesn't? No relationship. That's what kind. If you've found someone, you know what I'm talking about, or you soon will. If you're still looking for that special girl that will make you happy, allow me to let you know what you're in for.

Two people spending so much time together, sharing with each other, growing close to each other - no matter how happy you may make each other - such a situation is inevitably going to lead to butting heads, to conflict in opinions, views, decisions. There is no pair anywhere that does not have at least minor conflicts. Hell, I've seen what high school relationships are like. "Oh, I'm mad at you because you did not say hi when we passed in the hallway!"..."Oh yeah? Well I'm mad at you because you had a girl's night with your friends last Saturday and never answered my text."...yeah, ok. Is that going to be the end of the relationship? I've learned in the past eleven months that when things get tough, its so, so easy to lose track of what matters, but if you bear in mind that, hey, this person with whom you're arguing makes you happy, they like you back - maybe love you? You've got to enjoy the little things in a relationship, and remember them. Dont ruin something good because of something stupid.

Guys, news flash. Girls are different than you are. They think differnetly, they feel differently, they respond differently, they cope differently...some guys will say they're weird, some may say crazy, some may say confusing...i prefer to simply say different. Now, I'm no relatioship expert, and the only advice I can give is based off what I've experienced, but hey, something is better than nothing. Hm, where was I...ah yes. Hormones, tears, irrational worries and doubts...girls have em all. Now, I'm not saying that's a bad thing. No sir. It's just comes with the package. If you are anything like me, or any of the guys I've met, you will raise your eye brows, you will laugh, yopu will wonder 'what the hell is she getting so worked up about?!'...but hey, be patient. They cant change how they're feeling or what hormones are going through their body. It wasnt their decision, but like I said: be patient, be the one she wants to hug when they're upset...and only roll your eyes when she's not looking. They'll be there for you when you need it someday.

Ok, everything up till this point has been rather general, but that's because this one paragraph was pretty much everything I've been meaning to get to. It's my grand finale - DON'T BE STUPID. Guys, I know exactly how many relationship issues can be avoided if the individuals would just take a moment to think about what they're doing. But seeing as you cannot force a girl to do anything, it's up to you, fella's, to think extra hard...yeah, i know how hard that can be. I'm sure you've heard people say oddities such as 'girls like bad boys', or 'no one will like you if you're a wussy little momma's boy.' Psh, perhaps those things are true for some girls, but believe me, girls really, really do appreciate the genuine, old fashioned nice guy. Don't worry about looking like a wuss in front of yer guy friends. Hey, my friends make fun of me literally ALL the time. I dont care, though, because the reason I'm doing what I do is more important than the immature harassment I take for it. If you appreciate your girlfriend, you better show it. You treat her like a princess. Open her door for her, pull out her chair, tell her she's pretty - and for god's sake, mean it! - get her little gifts to show you care. Trust me, she'll find ways to show you shes grateful. And dont get pushy! No girl will like that. Dont pressure her, dont force her to do what she doesnt want to. That's a good way to have a very messy relationship on your hands, or no relationship at all. Listen to her. When she has a problem, be there for her. Tell her everything is going to be alright. And try to be considerate, please. She has feelings, and I'm gunna guess they are feelings a little moe complex than 'hm, I'm feeling hungry.' Ask her how her day went, and genuinely care about the answer. If you dont care, its all a moot point anyway. Honestly, this stuff may sound cheesy and old fashioned and pointless. But hey, ask any girl; nice guys are a dying breed, and the rare occurrence will really surprise a girl. Surprise her in a good way! And, you know what? Try something different. Just be her friend once in a while.

Hm...I'd go on if I weren't out of breath, but oh my, oh my. I havent even scratched the surface, boys. Just bear in mind, do these things, make her happy, stick with her, and perhaps you'll find out just how rewarding a real relationship can be. I'm the prime example. Hopefully a few of you out there know what I'm talking about, and hopefully the rest of you will someday experience it, because it really does open you're eyes. Hey, I'm not afraid to say it - I love my girlfriend, and life is good :)

For all of you out there, finding the girl is half the struggle...keeping her is the other half, and I'm sure experienced diplomats could debate for hours on which is more...'fun and exciting'...but believe me, it'll be worth it in the end.

So, perhaps the only helpful words one may ever hear...good luck!


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Remember the good old days, when I had a life?

Isn't it nice to just be able to go home after school and throw in your favorite movie, lay back, eat some chips? Sleep late on the weekends and do whatever you want; it's nice, isn't it?...I wish. If you have that, enjoy it while it lasts. I wish I had. Seems like it's been years since I've slept past 9:30...and I am NOT a morning person.

I've developed a hate...hate relationship with my job. Teens, be selective about the job you pick. Be picky. I'm sure if you are desperately searching for a job someone along the line has told you you cant be picky...that's bull. Take it from me, find a job that you absolutely hate, and you will drive yourself crazy dreading going to work every day. I can say I am a prime example of one who has been through a job or two that I've hated. Want to know how I spent my weeks? Monday: oh God, only four more days before I have to go back to that hell hole. Tuesday: oh God, only three more days before I have to go back to that hell hole. I want to die. get the picture. I'm just saying, be picky if you can. It will make life such a brighter place to be. Of course, I know quite a few people who have incredible will power to stay with possibly the worst jobs. You may find you are one of those people.

Are you searching for a job? Well, say goodbye to free time. I'm a busy kid as it is. I have sports practice everyday after school, almost year round. At the moment I'm in the thick of filling out college applications, which is not at all a quick finish. I'm a writer who, sadly, has not had time to write for months. By no stretch of the imagination do I have time for a job. But of course I have expenses; how can I not have a job? So, i find time to work my measly one shift per week, on the outside celebrating for extra hours when they come, while on the inside I mourn the fact that my last shred of free time has been given up to sell movie tickets. Sadly, for two weekends in a row now, due to last minute changes in my work schedule, plans of mine have been either ruined or stunted. But that's life. That's what having a job means. Responsibility, whether you want it or not. Are you ready?

You have no clue how many times I've heard something along the lines of 'oh, the paycheck will make it all worth it.' HAHA! Let's travel back, shall we, to the part where i said I have time for one shift per week. That makes for a lousy paycheck. Sure, sure, bottom line is I'm getting paid, and I honestly cannot survive without paychecks, no matter how pathetic - as Im sure is true for many teens - but convincing yourself over and over that the paycheck is the only reason you stick gets tiring. So take a nice long look at that 'now hiring' sign. Consider. I'm only saying, be smart, be picky about where you take on a job. If you are busy on week days, dont apply at a store closed on weekends. If you have a sporting event every saturday morning, dont apply at a resterunt looking for extra saturday breakfast help. Think to yourself, will you be able to fit in work? Once you have the job you will quickly realize you dont fit in time for work. You fit in time for life around work. It'll be better for you to realize that before hand.

Hey, I may try to help, but I know only what goes on in my life. Maybe you are the type of person who is unfazed by tedious, annoying work that would drive me crazy. Maybe you absolutely need a job, and you dont have a choice. I'll tell you this: jobs are frustrating. Work There's no escaping that. But every two weeks I have that envelope put in my hands and, as much as i may complain, that one little slip of paper is what I rely on. Bottom line - you got to do what you got to do. All I'm here for is to try my best to let you know what you're getting yourself into; it's up to you to do the rest.

So, think about what you're doing, make sure you're ready to work, lose time, cancel plans, be frustrated. But hey, if you're ready for all that, I'm sure you're darn ready for that paycheck. So, look around, find a place that suits you...and have fun with those applications!


A Letter to the Clothing Companies

Dear Clothing Companies:

I am a real girl. With real proportions. Your clothes, while most certainly real, do not have real proportions. I cannot find a single article of clothing that fits properly or as intended. And on the off chance I do, it looks like a unicorn has vomited rainbows all over it. I mean, seriously. What is with the styles these days?

I am a size zero short in jeans. Size zero. Does anyone else realize that zero mean that there is nothing there? How is this legitimately a size? And what about double zero? I fail to see how something can not be there times two. Of course, I suppose the size is rather accurate. There is -nothing- there. I try on a pair and if I dare open the dressing room door I'll be arrested for public indecency. Sorry to disappoint you, but I wear my jeans on my hips and I do have a waist. I'm not one for flaunting around whatever underwear I'm wearing that day. And your 'short' jeans? Yeah. I don't know what your definition of short is, but that definitely is still three inches way too long.

And what about some of these shirts? I mean, half those shirts you need to be at least a C cup to look decent in. What about us slightly smaller chested girls? We wanna look good too! And, as much as we wish we had a little more to flaunt, we don't. And then those shirts are just too baggy and super awkward looking. Who really wants to search for their boobs? Or, they fit just fine across the chest and then woop! There's your belly button. And your sweatshirts? Just 'cause my arms aren't that long, doesn't mean I have absolutely no torso. Does everything have to be a crop top?

And what is with the fashion these days? Did a rainbow collide with the past to create this mind-blowingly neon rendition of every fashion trend that was later horribly regretted? Or did a happy, prancing unicorn just get a little ill on all of your fabric and ended up spewing rainbows all over your clothes? Let me assure you, very little of that stuff is actually wearable without looking like your clothes are radioactive. Most of it is just plain ugly. I don't want to be directing planes in my neon clothes. I just want some comfy, casual kinda tops that I can mix and match; few longs sleeves, few short sleeves, couple sweatshirts, nothing too complicated there. But it's awfully hard to pair my purple and black houndstooth shirt and my dark green pants to anything but some other crazy color. Oh, I think my eyes may just be bleeding. What happened to jeans and tee shirt with a funny saying? Huh? That's what I wanna buy. Comfy clothes that I don't have to work at to look good in.

Don't you think all these terribly ill-fitting clothes kinda makes a girl feel horrible about herself? Well, in case you can't make up your mind, Yes. They do. It feels terrible when you go up a jean size just because you clothing companies decide to make the size threes change to size fives. And then we walk around those stores and see all those stick thin models staring down at us wearing the clothes we wish fit, daring us not to bow down and hand over dinner that night to burn a few extra pounds off. How is someone supposed to ignore everyone everywhere telling us we're not skinny, we're not pretty.

Think about who you're selling to. Not those skinny little models with insanely unrealistic proportions. The general public. The general public with real proportions, real lives. Be realistic.

With Regards,


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

"Given adequate vacuuming systems..."

"...The human body can be drained of blood in 8.6 seconds." River Tam, Firefly

My topic today is blood. As in, donating it. Not just slicing your finger open on what appeared to be a harmless sheet of paper and then feeling the keen bite of the gash days later. No, I'm going to stick with blood donation.

I am in NHS (National Honor Society). And every year they host a blood drive in the fall. Being old enough now, I was quite looking forward to being able to help out my community and possibly save a life. Everything was fine and dandy until they reminded us of the weight requirement.

When you donate blood, they draw a pint regardless of height, weight, gender, or any of those fun things. Unfortunately for me, they require that a person be one hundred and ten pounds in order to donate. Guess how much I don't weight? That's right, 110 pounds. My friends however, most being taller and therefore a little heavier than I am, do weigh 110 pounds or more. They won't donate. One hates needles. One is just super squeamish. The third just finds someone using her blood icky. But who cares? Close your eyes when the put in the needle, bring a friend to talk to you so you don't have to see the blood in the bag, don't even think about who's getting that blood. In the end, you're still gonna save a life.

So, my mission today is to get you to at least think about donating blood? Feeling a little selfish? You can sell your plasma. That's right, for money. A little bit of your time can get you some money and the warm and fuzzy feeling you get knowing you're gonna being doing someone a ginormous favor.

I wish I could donate. I'm willing, and I could probably handle missing a pint of blood even if I'm under the required weight. But I can't. So I'm asking you to. Find out when there will be a blood drive in your area, contact your local blood bank, call the hospital. Is an hour of your time a little blood too much to ask in order to save a life? I think not. Just, give it a second thought, that's all I'm asking. For my sake.


Monday, October 5, 2009

Oops, he did it again

"You're too young! You dont know what's right for you."
"I'm stopping you from making the same mistakes I did!"
"I know you're better than that!"
"If you're going to throw your life away, dont expect any help from me!"

Yup, I've heard them all. Goodness knows, as a teenager I've made my fair share of mistakes - heck, I've probably made a few peoples' shares of mistakes. Some have been a bit more severe than others, some minor, a select few getting me into quite a bit of trouble, but we all know what that's like. Show me a teenager with a perfectly clear record, and I will show you a lier.

Crazy nights, purchases I cannot afford, doubts about mother has nagged me through them all. Yes, I have at one point gone out with friends, made some very bad choices, and later regretted them. Teens: I know when you're out and partying and having fun, being responsible easily gets pushed to the back of your mind, but it's important! Have fun - otherwise there's no point in going out, but think about what you're doing! Are you going to regret it tomorrow? Parents: Yes, sometimes things get out of hand with teen parties, and yes, sometimes teens make bad decisions, but if you're willing to be open, trust your kids. As teens, they are liable to make mistakes, but trust helps. Dont worry that they might get hurt. Yeah, they might, but there's no more risk than when they're driving to work, or when they're out on the football field. And as a last note, if...or when you do catch them in such a sticky situation, try to remember what it was like to be a teen. Try to remember what it was to have that fun. Unrealistic punishments will help nothing.

Yes, I have, at points throughout the years, had trouble staying focussed on school, or have had my doubts about going to college. Teens: if you think you can get somewhere without an education then good luck and all the power to ya. I'm just saying, from what I've seen of life, an education, both highschool and college, seem pretty important. Just dont rule out the idea. Parents: Dont force. Being too pushy may just lead to resistance and you'll wind up with a teen who stops trying simply so he/she can sneer at you. Positive reinforcement and encouragment. A bit of support is what they need, and help along the way. A little uncertainty is bound to happen. As a paernts one must stay focussed and help the teen stay strong.

Yes, I have, at one point recently, dropped several hundred dollars for a car, severely angering my mother, whose argument was that I could not afford a car and the cost would run me dry. Well, she was right. But things get easier. It doesnt necessarily have to be a car, but for almost any teen, money - and what they spend it on - is often a very significant topic. Teens: BE REALISTIC! If buying things, or one specific thing, is really that important - or essential - to you, consider a job. Think about what you really need, and what you can afford. Yes, the shiney set of wheels looks good now, but how good do you think it will look when you cant afford the gas to make the wheels move? Parents: again, dont be too pushy - unless its necessary. Some topics offer a bit of variation. What teens need is guidance. Teach them how to make the right choices, help them decide what they need, and a helpful tip - if your teen has a job, or any source of income, make sure they save money! if need be, sit down and help them draw out a budget plan for their paychecks. I wish I had learned earlier how to budget and save. Any regretful teen can attest that a bit of money in a bank account - over time - will be infinately more helpful than a bit of money in a wallet - soon to end up in a cash register. So parents, just keep an eye on 'em. Dont be too dictator like, but hey, money is money. When it all comes down to it, it's important, and you're gunna do what you're gunna do, and I'm willing to bet it will all work out just fine.

Yes, teens do, at intervals in their lives, make mistakes. Parents: it's up to you to draw the line, but i will say this. Some mistakes just have to be made. That's how we learn, I'm sure you can remember that. Somethings, for the sake of life experiences, have to be sacrificed, and others must be regretted, for there is no better way to learn a lesson. i know I've leanred one or two.


Friday, October 2, 2009

Boys will be Boys

So...apparently I'm here to aid Spencer in this epic journey into the disheveled, inglorious minds of your everyday teen, or so I've been told. From a guys perspective, i hear....Well, sounds like an awfully dangerous mission, but I'll see what I can do :)

Why doesn’t he clean his room? Am I going to go bankrupt buying food at the rate he eats? Is it dangerous when he wrestles with his friends like that? What is he doing with all those girls?! What are his intentions? What do they do when they are alone? That age old cliché, ‘boys will be boys,’ is, if I may point out, cliché for quite a good reason. We brood, we bark, we get angry, we yell, we hoard crap we don’t need, and we do it all…why? Well, allow me to shed a little light on the subject.

No, my room is not clean. It very rarely is. I’m not sure I know a single guy who can regularly keep his room clean. Why is this?....Don’t worry, I don’t know either. It just seems easier at the end of the day to drop everything on my floor, pick out what I need, and later on, whatever I’m looking for will be right there on the floor for me. And before you ask, yes, I know first hand how quickly a habit like that can escalate to the point where you can no longer see the bedroom floor. It’s a bad habit to develop, things get lost, and – especially if food is getting left around – bad things can happen, but parents, a word of advice. No guy will appreciate being demanded to clean his room. If it’s really to the point where you, as a parent, cannot stand it, take it in steps. One day, ask him to clean on particular corner or section. A few days later, choose another. Maybe just incorporate – calmly, with no authoritarian commanding – a light room cleaning into a weekly schedule. Say, they can’t go out Saturday night until they pick up ten things. But parents, whatever you do, don’t go in and clean your son’s room unless you know he’ll be alright with it. Some guys hate it, some guys are happy to have someone else do the work for them, but nothing will piss a guy off more than having an unwelcome visitor move everything in his room. Plus, god knows what you’ll find in there. I’m sure so many of you out there know what I’m talking about. Very recently my mother covertly entered my room, cleaned it, and ended up throwing away two water bottles that had been sitting on my floor for a fairly significant amount of time and had developed a growth of mold. Yuck, yuck. Trust me, though. If a kid is anything like me he will eventually get fed up with his own mess and clean it himself. I can’t promise how long said cleanliness will last, but at least for a brief time you have the pleasure of remembering what his carpet looks like.

Attention everyone: boys eat. A lot. Some guys, even the little ones, just have that unnatural ability to make food disappear, literally. Particularly if you have a son in athletics, I’m sure you experienced the feeling of looking in the refrigerator and thinking, “Didn’t I just go shopping yesterday?” My suggestion, find one particular thing you know he always craves, and – if possible – buy in bulk. For me it’s sandwiches. A great snack for anytime, one that can be made with bread and virtually anything else…and my mom knows it. When she goes out she makes sure to buy a particularly large amount of bread. I’d advise leaning toward something that might be cheaper, for my mother has, on more than occasion, reminded me how quickly my need for groceries can wipe her out. But hey, there’s not much one can do in such a situation. Kids got to eat, don’t they?

And finally, I'm sure at some point every parent dreads it, but it’s bound to happen. Attraction. A very large part of teen life, is teen life with a significant other…or in some cases, many significant others. I’m afraid on this topic I cannot offer too much insight, as I have found throughout my years every guy is different. The best advice I can give: do the best you can to know your son, and talk to him. Basically, a guy is gunna do what a guy is gunna do, but maybe if you talk to him enough, he’ll be smart about what he’s doing. Other than that…good luck!

Who all noticed that what I have said is all pretty basic? Well, it is. These are all pretty general topics and insights - upon which i may elaborate come a later date - but why is that? I’ll tell you. When it comes to the inner workings of a guys mind, we don’t even know what we’re thinking about half the time. And I’m sure many a fellow strays off the beaten path of even the most basic of basics. Basically, no one could use insight into a guys mind more than a guy…if that makes sense.


Monday, September 28, 2009

Say Hello Everyone

That's right folks. We have added a new member to our current staff here at the Rated T for True Life blog. That brings our running total up to... 2 writers! An increase of 100%. Haha. A girl can have some fun, can't she?

Anyways. The new writer is none other than my own boyfriend. Isn't he wonderful? I'm actually quite relieved about this. If you hadn't noticed, it's been a while since my last post. With school and organizations and just being so darn tired from running around everywhere, it gets tough to find time to write and actually finish a post. But don't you worry. Homecoming week is now over and I should have a little more free time.

He should be getting a post up whenever he can find time. I gotta show him the ropes and everything. But I'm sure he'll have some great insight on craziness of a guy's mind. Goodness knows I could use some. Haha.

Well. I'm out folks. Got some stuff to fill out for a class. Remember the words. Calm, collected, reasonable, and loving.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Facebook, Myspace, and Other Ways to Show the World What We're Up To

Facebook. Myspace. Twitter. Plurk. Oh, the ways to share what we're doing, when we're doing it, what we did last weekend, and just how illegal it was. Yes. That's right I said illegal. From drinking underage, to smoking marijuana, to vandalizing property, someone in the group always has a camera. And for some reason they always think it's a great idea to take and post pictures of exactly what's going on.

This is, in fact, an absolutely, really, very, incredibly, ginormously stupid idea. And yet, people still do it. Why? Well, I can't really say as I don't drink, smoke, vandalize or do anything that illegal. But I can certainly take a guess. It's because we're proud of it. Yup. That's right. We feel like big damn heroes doing something illegal and not getting caught. But, the fact of the matter is, you will be soon paying the price for it.

I'm talking about potential employers or cops. Yup. Nowadays, when it's so easy to just pop online and facebook stalk a person for five minutes, employers are seeing what goes on in a potential employees personal life. Not only can they see if you're an avid party-goer, but they can also see how you talk and respond to people. If he's a total jerk online, chances are, he's probably gonna be a jerk to the customers or even the boss (although, probably behind his back).

Anyways. I'm just saying that teens, you should really set your profiles to private where only people you want to see your page can. And you should probably un-tag yourself from those pictures from the party last weekend where you won beer pong three games in a row. In fact, skip the parties and do something meaningful with your life other than killing brain cells and drinking empty calories.

Parents, try to get your kids to at least think about this sort of thing. While they may not go out every weekend doing illegal acts and being a delinquent, posting all sorts of things may give an employer, a college, the police, or really anyone the wrong idea. And remember, folks. Never let your kid give out their address, credit card number, or any sensitive personal information out on the web. Safety first, after all.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

School, Sports, Extracurriculars, Oh My!

Wow. So. It's been a little while since my last post. Lemme tell you why. Seven hours of my day are now occupied by school. After school, I usually have to do something for Student Council. Whether it be typing up the Concession Stand schedule or restocking the refrigerator, I usually don't leave school right away. Then, I have Volleyball and Football games to run concessions. And I have a boyfriend whose soccer games are all away. Then, I have homework. Whew. What a work out. And talk about stress!

Life is not easy for a full time student. I don't know when I'm going to have time to fill out applications for a weekend job. I don't know when I'm going to have time for me. There's so much stuff to do! So many advanced concepts we will never use to forced into our brains! And chores to be done! Let me catch my breath!

Teenagers are being asked to do so much these days. I'll be honest. I sometimes feel extremely overworked. People expect our lives to be a breeze. We're living at home, our parents pay for our food and cars and all sorts of other things, we have no cares in the world. Uhm. I think not. As a junior taking a lot of advanced courses, I can tell you, it's hard enough just keeping up with homework at times. And now our parents are pushing us to do chores and be more responsible and do better in school... Lemme ask you this. At what age did you take physics? Have you even heard of a chi-square? Dónde están mis pantalones? Alright. So that last one didn't have much to do with anything. But I think you get my point.

Now throw in some hormones and the emotional rollercoaster that is being a teenager. Talk about anarchy. How do you expect us to function under this kind of pressure? Wait. Allow me to rephrase. How do you expect us to go above and beyond under that kind of pressure?

All I'm saying is, instead of locking your teen in their room to study all night for that giant biology test that's gonna turn out to be super easy, give 'em a break. Let them watch a little tv, get a snack. Doing nothing but studying for hours on end is gonna do nothing but melt our brains.

Well. I'm off to finish the twenty-two problems I have left for my geometry review before my test tomorrow. Maybe, if you're really really lucky, I'll finish everything in time to get another post up tonight.


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Food, Food, and More Food

I am your typical teenager. I can't go an hour, or even fifteen minutes without wanting more food. Of course, I have a high metabolism and if I don't, I'm gonna be losing weight rather rapidly. And, like most teenagers, if I'm hungry, I really don't care what I eat. I just wanna eat it whatever 'it' happens to be. Not all teenagers are like this, however. Some teenagers want to lose a few pounds to fit into that size 8 dress of their sister's. Or some have to make weight for a sport. Some just want to be able to run an extra mile or two and shape up a little. But some... Some take it way too far.

Counting calories is a common form of dieting. You must burn 3,500 calories more than you take in to lose one pound. But many teens take this way too far. Eating nothing but celery or crackers as a single meal a day to get skinnier and, in their minds, prettier. And why shouldn't they think it's prettier? We see so many models, actresses in magazines, on tv, in books, on buses, posters. They're everywhere! These supermodels are staring down at us no matter where we go, telling us, that we're not skinny enough. We're not pretty enough. So we resort to drastic measures to try and feel pretty.

It's not safe. Anorexia and Bulimia are serious conditions. And after a while, it's not a choice to not eat. Teens with the condition see themselves as fat all the time and want to fix it. They become obsessed with losing that extra pound, that inch around the waist. Talk to your teen if you suspect she's becoming unhealthy.

Losing weight is no big deal. Losing more than a pound a week, starving, binging, or eating extremely unhealthy unbalanced diets, is not. These issues can easily turn into an obsession. This isn't reason to accuse your teen when he or she skips on the healthy snack or is too lazy to make lunch. These are entirely different issues.

So, in short, if your teen is being responsible about his or her diet and isn't becoming unhealthy in any of their habits, losing a few pounds isn't a big deal. If your teen is losing many pounds a week or refuses to eat you may need to confront her on these issues.

Remember the mantra. Calm, collected, reasonable, and loving.


Monday, August 31, 2009

Back to School: The Outfit Blues

Well. It's Monday. My last day of freedom. So far I've spent it pretty well. Hanging out with my boyfriend, watching movies, and just trying to relax. But still. I have school. Tomorrow. I don't have anything to wear. Well. That's not true. I have lots of clothes to wear. I just don't have anything to wear.

I like to look nice. Even if I'm feeling absolutely terrible I try not to look like I was hit by a semi-frozen steak several times. Even more so, I like to make good first impressions. I don't care that I've had all these teachers before and I've been with these same 74 other students for going on twelve years. That doesn't really matter to me. I want to show them I'm not a slob. I do care about what people think of me. I want to show them that maybe I'm not the person they remembered.

I'm not one of those girls who goes out and gets a whole new wardrobe for a new year of school. I've been the same size for the last two years so I really only buy new clothes when I have to replace old worn out ones. I don't particularly understand those girls. You've already got a closet full of clothes that you've worn maybe three or four times. Why don't you just pair it with a different pair of jeans some cute bangles and call it a whole new outfit? Instead it's banished to the back of the closet and given a dirty look every time it sees daylight. If you're not gonna wear it, donate it! I love shopping at Goodwill and other Thriftstores. It's a great way to get awesome clothes for cheap. And if you're not into the buying, donating your clothes is a great way for a family tight on money to buy nice clothes for themselves. Just clean out your closet and drop it off!

I still haven't decided. I thought... skirt? No. That seems too goody-goody. So... Jeans. Ripped, dark wash, faded? Probably a lighter pair. Maybe the one with the small hole. Tennis shoes. But the shirt... So many choices... And the hair! Oh... the hair. It's gonna be a long evening of trying on outfit after outfit, folks. The things we do to feel pretty.

Remember. I'm still looking for questions and topics for the Q&A Blog. Comment any post with your inquiries or topics.


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Back to School: Dreading the School Lunch

I hate school lunches. I hate, hate, hate school lunches. The sad thing is, my school has one of the best lunch programs in the state. And it's absolutely disgusting. The chicken patties are made of everything but the cluck. We have some gross pizza-like substance at least four times a month. We no longer are allowed salt, pepper, peanut butter, or anything with real sugar in it. Everything is canned or frozen or bagged. Talk about ew. In fact, there are only two days that every student looks forward to; Breadstick day (Who knows what the actual main dish is) and Mini Corndog/French bread sub (I'm partial to the sub myself). Every other day is dreaded. Well, except nacho day. We only have nachos on a half day.

After suffering eleven years of carb rich imitation food, I've finally found the motivation to start bringing my own lunch. Yup. After a nine o'clock new tupperware run to Wal-mart and a fancy new lunchbox from the kitchen section, I was all set. Well. Except I had no idea what I was gonna make.

I like eating healthy. But I'm still pretty picky. I don't like meat with a lot of fat. I hate carrots, lettuce, fish, raisins, venison, and a host of other things. Still. By just searching around on the internet I've managed to find a bunch of simple delicious recipes that I can pack a few days in a row. A few I'm looking forward to trying is an orzo salad, a variety of wraps and pita pockets, and a recipe for the single chocolate chip cookie.

A popular trend sweeping lunch makers is a bento box. Bento (or Obento) is a japanese style of preparing a decorative healthy lunch by a standard ratio of food groups. The food is used to create a decorative and appealing landscape; whether it be fruit animals, cheese flower, an ocean view, or just a sammich cut into the shape of a dinosaur, all the food looks amazing. Though, I doubt I'll wake up early enough to attempt any of this, it's an interesting subject to read about and hear how people create these magnificent works.

I'd love to hear some suggestions on what meals make great next day lunches, and what your kids do about lunch. I'll be honest. I'm excited about this. Not only will it be saving some money, I can eat food I actually like. Try encouraging your teen to make lunch-even if it's only once a week.

Remember. I'm still looking for questions and topics for a Q&A Blog. Comment the below post with anything you'd like answered or discussed. :)


Saturday, August 29, 2009

I'm a Teenager, Not a Doctor

Hello, Readers. So. I was thinking (Yes, contrary to popular belief, teens actually do that occasionally). You've been sitting here listening to me blather on about topics that might not concern you. Or perhaps they do concern you but you'd rather hear about a different topic. Or maybe you'd just have a question about why your teen does what he or she does. So, today's post isn't going to be about anything. In fact, it's your turn to do some of the work (though one can hardly call it that). Comment below with any questions you'd like answered or any topics you'd like covered.

Asking for a little help or guidance is never a bad thing. Besides, it's the internet. No one need ever know you didn't know how to handle something. Just act like it was all you. ;) Remember. When dealing with your teen in any situation there are four words to live by; calm, collected, reasonable, and loving. Can't wait to see your questions. :)


Friday, August 28, 2009

"Remember, You're Not Allowed to Date Until You're Married."

Oh no. She's met someone. And instead of just fawning from afar wishing he'd notice her, he has noticed her. And he's invited her to see a movie Friday night. Panic alert! Panic alert! What do you do!? Lock her in her room, throw away the key, put bars on her window!! Uhm. No. Deep breath. Put down the padlock. Take a seat. Let's be rational.

A first date is a big deal-for you and for her. Everyone wants their first date, first kiss, first boyfriend to be nothing but picture perfect. Unfortunately this isn't always the case. But. There's a few things you can do to make everything go a little smoother and put her at ease.

Before saying she's not allowed to go, let's think about some things and ask some questions.
  • Do you know the boy? What kind of a reputation does he have? Does he get in trouble a lot?
  • Where will they be going? When will they be getting back? How will they be getting there?
  • What happens if the date goes bad? Does she know what to do if she needs to find another way home?
It's always important to have an answer to these questions. And to make sure your daughter is safe and comfortable in any situation. Becoming more independent is a rite of passage, but it's still acceptable to want to know where your daughter will be and how she can get home if she's not safe.

So. She's going on the date. There's always a few things we wish our parents would or wouldn't do. Here are a few tips. Keep in mind that these are only tips and should only be followed where the situation is appropriate.
  • Stay calm and collected
  • Give your honest opinion about which outfit you like better
  • Offer to help when the curling iron gets stuck in her hair and she panics
  • Remind her to have fun and that everything will be ok
  • Leave the light on for when she comes home
  • Sit in the living room "cleaning the guns"
  • Spy on them when she gets dropped back off
  • Get out the baby book
  • Be in the way when he rings the doorbell (Try sitting in the kitchen and just eavesdropping instead)
  • Grill her about the date when she gets home (Wait until tomorrow and just imply you'd like to hear about it)
Remember. In any situation, you must remain calm, collected, reasonable, and loving. If you feel that your son or daughter is in serious danger, talk to them, find out what is happening and do your best to keep them safe. This isn't an excuse to keep them under lock and key, however. You have to trust that you've brought them up well and that they can be responsible for their own well being. Smile! Someone has found your daughter captivating. :)


Monday, August 24, 2009

Danger! Teenage Mood Swings Ahead!

We all have our days where we want nothing more than to just repeatedly bash our heads into a large concrete wall. We all have our days where we want nothing more than to just pull the blankets over our head and sob our eyes out. That's life. But when someone you love is feeling like this, you can't help but want to make them feel better. But, as teenagers, we are bound to the creed of believing everything our parents do is uncool. So, when we're upset, we don't necessarily want your help. But of course you want to help, but you don't know how to talk to her when she's upset without immediately getting kicked out. So, may I present The Steps to Approaching Your Teenage Daughter when She's Upset.

Step One: Wait Ten Minutes.
That's right. Finish watching your show. Pet the cat. Get a snack. Check your e-mail. Do not approach the teenager.

Step Two: Peace Offering
Whether it's a bar of chocolate to lift her spirits, a glass of water to keep her from getting dehydrated, or a bowl of her favorite comfort food, this will definitely keep you from getting kicked out immediately.

Step Three: If She Don't Wanna Talk, She Ain't Gonna Talk
Talking does make everything seem better or less significant or just easier to bear. But if she doesn't want to talk about it, nothing you can say will get her to talk. Just say "Ok, I'll be [insert location here] if you need something." The only time you should force her to talk, is if you seriously think she is going to harm herself or someone else.

Step Four A: If She's Talking... Listen Up!
Don't interject your little comments. Don't lecture her. And if the boyfriend broke up with her, do not under pain of death use any of the following statements: "You deserve better", "He was a jerk", "It's not you, it's him" "There's plenty of fish in the sea". She probably still has feelings for the boy so insulting him isn't going to help. And chances are, she still wants him so it won't matter if a whale floats by looking for attention. Stay calm and collected. Limit one hug given by you. If she wants another hug, go for it. But don't invade her space too much. Let her talk. Let her vent. She won't want a lecture or to hear about your escapades as a teen after she's done. Ask her if she feels better now, if she wants you to stay, or if she needs anything. If not, leave. Sometimes it's better for us to figure things out by ourselves.

Step Four B: If She's Not Talking... Stay Calm
She may not want to talk to you, but that's alright. Often times we need someone who sees exactly what happens at school or with friends to understand us. Sometimes we just want to cry into the pillow and hug the cat. So let us. She'll come out of her room eventually. Go on about your day, leave dinner by the bedroom door, and find some way to occupy yourself. You may never know what upset her. You'll have to deal with that fact and move on. The best thing you can do is be mindful of our needs (As in, food, water, love) and be available should we need you.

Step Five: Love... Love is All You Need
Love your daughter or son. Even if you don't understand a thing about them. Love will make you so much more approachable. And be reasonable. This goes for all things. Your daughter wants to go to a movie with her friends Saturday night? Don't immediately nix the idea, mull it over, find out who's going, how and when she's going to be home, and then decide. And remember, we screw up sometimes. But you gotta let us. That's how we learn. Remember. Calm, collected, reasonable, and loving. Your teen will thank you for it.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Fun House Mirror Effect

That's right folks! Step right on up for the Fun House Mirrors! See yourself in all sorts of kooky, crazy, zany ways! That's right, Miss, see how huge that zit on your forehead is? And dear, just look at how the mirror emphasizes your round tush. That's right folks! Step right up and be the next distorted victim of The Fun House Mirror Effect!

That's right everyone. Today we'll be discussing self-image and why we all feel the need to put ourselves down about it. Let's start with some confessions. Yes, I do occasionally call myself ugly. Yes, I sometimes cannot stand the way I look. No, my hair rarely does what I want it to. No, that zit will not disappear no matter how many times I close my eyes and wish it to be. No, I'm not super-model gorgeous. No, I don't have a problem with that. Woah! Woah! Stop the presses, alert the media, call the police! This girl does not want to be that pretty. Talk about high maintenance.

One little zit, one little fly away, a little frizz, or puffy eyes and look out world! The queen of too much caked on make-up and not enough self esteem is out to play today. Why do we feel the need to blow these small beauty problems out of proportion? They happen to everyone. And, while they certainly aren't going to attract a flock of fanboys, it's not going to act as guy repellent. So, what's the big deal? Why do we have to down ourselves and tell the mirror image that today is going to be a bad day and that you're ugly and no one loves you? Heebie jeebies, someone hit that woman with the hammer of self-confidence!

Maybe it's not about impressing Him (and yes, in the mind of teenage girl, that special boy deserves the capital 'H'). Maybe it's about reassuring ourselves. Reassuring ourselves that we do look good, and we are pretty just like ours mom said. But we can't trust ourselves can we? So, instead we decide that we need to cake on pound after pound of make-up and hide who we truly are.

What happened to the days of putting on our frilliest dress and being pretty? What happened to the days of being sunburned everywhere and being pretty? What happened to the days of our mom's braiding our hair and we were pretty? What happened to the days of running around in nothing but a swimsuit for hours and being pretty? What happened to the days of people telling us we were pretty, cute, adorable, beautiful, gorgeous, breath-taking, lovely, stunning and we believed them?

Go find a mirror. Yeah, right now. I don't care if it's a little handheld mirror or a full length kinda thing, just do it. Now look at yourself. Instead of focusing on all the flaws and things you wish you could change, name five things you like about yourself or you think is pretty. It sounds dumb, cliche, whatever. Just do it. Now, I want you took look yourself in the eye repeat after me and no finger crossing! "I am gorgeous. I am so [uh-oh] pretty. I don't care who says I'm not. I am and always will be the hottest thing on the block." I definitely agree. Haha. Now. Go treat yourself to that candy bar or bowl of ice cream you've been craving 'cause girl, you deserve it for being so darn good looking!


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

"She is such a (uh-oh)!!"

So, tonight I spent at least six hours watching movies and laughing with friends who I hadn't seen all summer. After a little while of chatting and gossip-spilling, we finally decided on a movie. For anyone who hasn't watched He's Just Not That Into You, I highly recommend it. It tells the stories of multiple women going through a bunch of common relationship problems. One woman's husband cheats on her, another is just looking for love, and another's boyfriend just doesn't believe in marriage while she wants nothing more.

At one point, we were all busily yelling expletives at the blonde chic who convinces the husband to cheat. Moments later, one of my friends exclaims "I hate girls! I hate, hate, hate girls!" Everyone eagerly chirped their agreement. But why? What is it about ourselves that drives the rest of our half of the population absolutely insane? Does no one realize that the very people issuing this judgment are, in fact, girls themselves?

Why? I don't understand it in the slightest and yet I find myself agreeing with them. Am I jealous of them? Am I stereotyping and labeling them all as 'trouble'? Or, maybe, I see them doing the same cruel actions I might've once done that I hate myself for. But why should that make me hate girls? All girls? It seems unfair that I should generalize like this. But I can't stop myself. Does this make me a horrible person? I don't know.

The rest of my night has been full of reflection and quiet thought. Though, I can't say I've gotten much of anywhere. In fact, it's brought about more questions than answers. I was unsuccessful in reaching a conclusion behind the thought process and topic of tonight's blog. But, something tells me that I may never understand this part of my own brain. And strangely, I'm okay with that. Somethings are better left unknown.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Scratching the Surface on Texting

Today, I was feeling a little lost and depressed. My cell phone battery has been dead since yesterday. And of course, I'm panicking. Why don't I just charge it? The charger was left at my brothers' house and I probably won't get it for another few days. You may not think this is that big of a deal, but it really is.

All day I've been getting messageses on my Facebook wall asking me if I got so-and-so's text. Nope. I really haven't. No, I swear. I'm not ignoring you. I swear! I'm not! It's my phone! I promise! Oh, fine. Don't believe me then. As a result of all this out of the loop-ness , I have been checking my Facebook page every ten minutes to make sure I haven't missed out on some piece of gossip, some exciting plans to meet somewhere, or the status updates of my friends.

"But texting is so... impersonal. And all that bad grammar and spelling!" You say. Well. Let's start with the bad grammar and spelling. You think we do it because we're lazy. We do it because most of us pay per text sent and have to fit as much as we can into those 160 characters so we don't have to send an extra text and cost us more money. It's not a matter of can we spell and do we remember what we were taught in English, it more of a 'Do we want to spend more money?' kind of a thing.

Point numero dos. Impersonal. My bum it is. So, you may not actually be face to face or be able to actually hear what the person is saying. But after a while, you can hear the person speaking in your mind. You pick up their mannerisms and can truly hear them speaking even though it's just a bunch of letters on a screen. Besides. There's so much you can do with words. What is a conversation but words strung together to create a conversation as beautiful as a string of pearls. Who says this has to be limited to face to face conversation? You underestimate the power of a few words.

All in all, texting is a broad subject. There's so much more to consider. But it's convenient, easy, and can be cheaper than certain calling plans. So, why not? Besides. All teenagers like playing with a new toy. ;)

PS: My dad picked me up a car charger. He said if I was going to be driving around in winter I should have one anyways. Crisis averted.


The Beginning of the End or Perhaps the End of the Beginning

Well. I did it. I finally started my own blog. I'd thought about doing this for quite a while, but I'd never thought of anything interesting enough to blog about. Of course it finally hit me. Life.

Let's be honest, how many of you can honestly say you understand your teenage daughter, niece, friend, acquaintance? Just one hand? Well, you with your hand up, you're probably lying to yourself and consequently us. But that's where I come in. As a teenage girl, my mission is to try and give you a glimpse into the crazy hedge maze that is our lives. So, tighten your seatbelts, keep all limbs inside the vehicle at all times, and we'll do our best to keep you safe on the topsy-turvy rollercoaster that is being a teenager.