Category Archives: College Living

Thoughts about living successfully through college

10 Tips For Marrying The Wrong Person

Runaway Bride
Runaway Bride

Here we are, in the final installment of You Married the Wrong One, this time taking a sharp look at how to choose the best one out of all the wrong ones out there.


Confused yet?


The sad but true fact is you will marry someone who will exasperate you, hurt you, and make you angry. They will be lazy, depressed, self-centered, annoying, foolish and stinky on occasion.


This Is True.


BUT, you will also marry someone who will make you laugh, be fun to be around, and fill your life with a greater richness.


Now that sounds good, doesn’t it?


How do you make the right choice for the one who will bring you more joy than heartache? I’ve already covered finding someone you love rather than lust for, but I have a little more to add.


Just say No.


Nope, it’s not just a slogan from the ’80s and my beloved Nancy Reagan, it’s a real phrase we should all be using regularly but especially when it comes for our search for The One.


The authors of a book I haven’t read, How To Marry The Wrong Guy: A Guide For Avoiding the Biggest Mistake of Your Life, were quoted in an article I did read that they discovered three out of ten divorced people will admit they knew they were making a mistake as they were walking down the aisle.


According to the authors most women (and men) who want to cancel their weddings don’t.


“I couldn’t believe how many people confessed that they knew they were making a mistake as they were walking down the aisle,” says author Anne Milford. “I had people of all ages tell me this over and over again. They’ve said ‘I do’ — when they really wanted to scream ‘I don’t’.”


This may sound melodramatic except it resonates with me very strongly.


Because before I met my true love I was engaged to another man. *gasp*


I am a woman of broken betrothal.


He was a great guy, now married to someone else and doing lovely things with his life. And there was nothing wrong with our relationship.


My logic told me to marry him, as we had dated for a year, were planning to be engaged for a year and then get married. We followed the expected formula for a relationship. There were no issues. He was great.


But when he asked me to marry him in a terribly romantic proposal with a terribly large diamond ring… my inside was saying, “No!” while my mouth was saying, “Yes!”


I was the woman who couldn’t say, “No.”


We were engaged for several months before I called it off. I still hate that I hurt him so badly, because there was no reason I could give him for breaking the engagement except, “It just isn’t right.”


Which is a pretty poor reason, all things considered.


(Who’s the jerk? “I am! I am! I was a jerk even before I knew him, me! Me! Me!”)


But after I met Lizard… I knew why my gut had said “no.” It was because I hadn’t met my “yes” yet.


That experience cemented my belief in breaking off a relationship even if it doesn’t make “sense” when the base-level feeling isn’t, “Yes!”


Some more guidelines to choosing your special someone, the one you’d rather fight with than anyone else:


Don’t Pick Someone…


1. You expect will change or mature out of bad behaviors after you’re married.
2. Who makes your heart go pitter-patter when your brain isn’t engaged as well.
3. Without the same spiritual and life goals.
4. Because you had sex with them.
5. You don’t honestly admire. Their influence should make you want to be a better version of yourself.
6. You can’t be open and honest with.
7. Because you’re running from your own personal trash pile.
8. Because you’re afraid of being alone.
9. Because they’re the only one who’s ever wanted you and there may not be anyone else wanting you. Ever.
10. To make your family or friends happy. 


Got that? JUST SAY NO!!!


I expect by tomorrow I’ll be back in the saddle again with my quirky take on exciting things like laundry, parenting, and the joys of garage sales. In the meantime, let me know what you think of this One That Got Away/Wrong Person series. And… give me your own submissions for the worst story lines ever!


This post was originally published October 1, 2011 and is being recycled as part of the “I’ve Been Around” summer! Hope you enjoyed it and I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!



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5 Resume Tips (And What Not To Do)


Have you been applying for jobs and not getting a response? Maybe the reason is your résumé.


Today a friend gave me a résumé they received for a position as a restaurant server. It was not submitted as a joke. I’d like to use this résumé as a basis to give you a few hints. I’m going to call him “Danny” when I refer to his résumé.


(And, for what it’s worth, one of my old jobs was doing resume critiques, so while I’m not an expert resume writer, I’ve seen enough to know a few good things and what NOT to do!)


1. Make sure your educational experience flatters your skills.  Traditionally people will put a GPA or honor received when listing their educational experience. Danny didn’t go that direction:

Such and Such University: “Was a Computer Science Major. I never got my degree. My priorities have changed now, so this doesn’t matter.” Such and Such High School: “Here I was the biggest loner in the world because my parents decided to move me around with them every single year of high school, and I’m naturally reserved.”


Ready to hire Danny? Hm… maybe not.


2. Work Experience should show consistency. Danny’s job history showed eight positions in two years, each one for two-to-four months. This is a flag for a prospective employer. Additionally, one of Danny’s jobs was at a ski slope as a cook and busser. In his skill acquired at the job he wrote:

“Improved my Snowboarding Skills immensely. By the end of the season I was able to ride “switch” and perform 180-airs in both directions. I gave myself whiplash twice learning to ride switch. I cut-in at high-speed and landed a somersault unintentionally one time and played it off like I meant to do it.”


Just a hint — don’t tell a prospective employer you used other bosses time to learn to fake stuff and play off a lie as truth. Tends to make you look dodgy.


3. Choose bullet points to highlight significant skills, avoid mentioning medical issues. Danny-boy was a master at pulling skill sets out of his various restaurant jobs… but not necessarily skills that showcased leadership abilities. For example:

“Cleaning Really Well Before a Health Inspection.” “Made at least $50 in tips every day.” “Serving plates of THE BEST home-style breakfast ever, sometimes Three Plates in One Hand!” “Carrying Humongous Trays on my shoulder with Sizzling Hot Fajitas erupting right next to my ear.” “Had my first hypoglycemia symptoms.”


It’s not necessary to mention health conditions, disabilities, family status or even gender in a résumé. Granted, you can self-disclose, but I’d think twice before telling a future employer you’re hypoglycemic. Probably avoid mentioning mental illness as well. Just a thought.


4. Double check the spelling of the entire resume, but especially your previous work place. Danny misspelled the name of one of the restaurants where he was employed for four months. He lives in a small town and is applying for a position in a competitor’s establishment. If he couldn’t be bothered enough to get that detail right… he might not be bothered enough to get his new responsibilities right.


5. Watch for Contradictions. Danny self-disclosed he was naturally a reserved person in his high school experience. At the end of his résumé he listed “Social Small-Talk Skills” under Additional Skills.


Hm… something doesn’t add up here. Check your résumé over for points where you may show instability or contradiction. Correct those areas. The job market is competitive enough it’s important to put your best foot forward.


Good luck with your search. Hope this put a smile on your face – and send up a prayer for our Danny boy. He didn’t get the job at the restaurant.


What are some résumé gaffes you’ve seen or committed?

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How To Say “I’m Sorry”

I’ve been thinking about the words “I’m sorry” lately.


I come from a family where “I’m sorry” wasn’t heard very often. We tend to be the type who have an attitude of “put your big-girl panties on and get over it.”


This attitude is a problem when you’re married to someone you want to get along with and are confronted with the knowledge you are not, in fact, perfect.


That’s a realization I’m still trying to get over.


I’ve taught the girls the mechanics of giving an apology. At their young ages they aren’t really sincere about the emotion but at least they know to look the person they’re talking to in the eye, say, “I’m sorry,” respond with an “I forgive you,” and give a hug to make up.


It gets a little more complicated as an adult. Mostly because our mouths can say we’re sorry while our hearts are still belligerent and insincere!


I have the book 5 Languages of Apology and I think I’m going to pull it out and read it… but until then, here’s what my armchair psychology has figured out so far about offering an apology:


1. Avoid phrases such as “I’m sorry you feel that way.” That’s an insincere apology! It puts the burden of responsibility back on the person who is hurt… after all, if they weren’t so sensitive they wouldn’t be bothered, right? It’s just their problem, not yours.


2. Avoid apologizing for something you’re not really sorry for doing. Example, if you went on a shopping spree and you know your husband’s completely frustrated about it, don’t tell him you’re sorry unless you plan to cut up the credit card. Stating the words without changing motion is worthless and creates a sense of betrayal and distrust.


3. Try not to apologize tersely. If a person comes to you with a hurt and their discussion of it lasts for awhile… it’s a bit of a letdown to say absolutely nothing except “I’m sorry that I hurt you” and move on to the next order of business. While it may be sincere, there’s a disproportionate amount of words on each side. People feel better about interactions that are equal.


Then there are also ways to accept an apology. This is what has worked for me in the past:


I. Don’t start dancing a victory dance. There are some areas where you can gloat away when you win, maybe when your sports team won that game, but the correct response to a sincere apology is not, “I know! You suck! Nanny-nanny-boo-boo!” That response tends to damage trust and make future apologies as unlikely as a full-sized giraffe fitting into a thimble.


II. Try to not say, “It’s about time you saw reason” or any other version of that phrase. Apologies are hard to make – beating a person down when they are trying for authenticity is like telling a kid they’re getting coal for Christmas. It’s not so sweet.


III. A simple way to respond is with “Thank you. I really appreciate that.” A humble acceptance of a real apology is a huge step in coming back in alignment and moving toward a common goal. You may still be hurt and it’s ok to talk through that in a calm, reasoned way, but respect the one who wronged you enough to let them know their apology is valuable to you.


In college I learned 90% of conflict occurs because people are fighting for a limited resource. In a residence hall, that’s the spacious 10×10 space of a dorm room! In a professional setting it may be a promotion or accolades sparingly doled out. In a home it could be quiet time or recognition. There are so many options!


It’s ridiculous to think we’ll go through life without conflict! There will be disagreements, there will be hurts, there will be problems. So the key is to learn how to deal with the conflict gracefully and respectfully.


The wonderful thing is that even if you come from a stunted conflict background, like me!, there are skills you can learn and practice to make life more peaceful and satisfying.


And I’m all for that! How about you?


What are your tips for how to give and accept an apology?



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Quarter-Life Crisis

There’s this rumor going around that once you graduate college your social life dries up and you’ll never get another date.

People are so stressed out about this phenomena it’s even gotten a name: The Quarter-Life Crisis.

You know I never pull the punches, so here’s the truth: If you graduate college without finding your life partner you’ll never have another shot at romance and marriage again. In fact, your social life will flatline and you may as well spend $800 on three cats and legally change your name to Edith or Melvin because, well, the best years of your life are behind you.

Your friends will disappear, eaten up by the monster called “Gotta Be At Work At 8 AM.” Your family will mock you and holiday gatherings will be peppered with comments about how you missed your chance at true happiness but they could fix you up with their neighbor’s 35-year-old son who still lives in the basement and “have you ever heard of eHarmony? That’s supposed to be a really good thing. You might even meet someone there!”

This scenario is played out in lives across the country. So that’s it, give up. That ship has sailed, the fat lady has sung.

(I need to tell you a secret. What I just described? Well, that’s not what happened to me. I bet if you keep reading you’ll get some tips about how to keep it from happening to you.)

There is another way. A path. A light at the end of the tunnel that is NOT the headlamp of an oncoming train.

Hope. That. Your. Life. Is. Not. Over.

Yes, the above situation can happen and is happening to some people. But you don’t have to be one of them!

First, recognize you’re still growing. The largest time period of human growth outside of infancy is between the ages of 18-and-22. Yes, that coincides neatly with the traditionally recognized college years.

If, by chance, you get out of college without meeting The One, don’t fret! You’ve just come into your own as a mature adult with a Smörgåsbord of opportunities awaiting you!

Second, realize life will be different. There is an abrupt change between the life of a student and the life of a functioning adult. You’ll have to make your own fun instead of relying on the college’s Student Activities staff. But take heart – there are others like you who will want to have fun too!

Third, put yourself out there. Find a group that meets to do stuff whether it’s rock climbing, Jenga, gun shooting or Euchre. Invite people to do things like go to the Renaissance Festival or listen to a free concert in the park. If they don’t join you – go anyway and be pleasant to the people around you. You may find a friend. (I’ve heard is a good resource but haven’t tried it myself.)

Get involved in your college alumni group, at least you’ll have something in common you can talk about right away. (If you don’t have one in your area, start one!) Go To Church and get involved in a small group.

Fourth, accept help from Aunt Gladys and your good friends Ken and Barbie. There’s something strange about marriage – married people always want unmarried people to join them in their lunacy. So if your friends or family members suggest going on a date with someone… as much as it may bug you… go on the date. Make it a group thing if you’d prefer, but go.

These people have a vested interest in your happiness and may know something about who you need to have in your life you don’t see yourself. And if it’s awful, just consider – you may get to blog about it someday or at the least when you’re in the retirement village you’ll be able to say, “I remember when…”

Finally, don’t look for true love in places where people are intoxicated. Intoxication could refer to many things but I’m going to mostly think about alcohol. People do, say and think stupid things when they’re tipsy or drunk. Bars can be a fun place to get out and about, but don’t expect a relationship centered around alcohol to be significant. (So if you’re looking for a significant relationship, maybe don’t go to the bars.)

I’m hesitant about online dating because of the safety factor but I know a few couples who are happily married after meeting online. Our world is changing, so virtual reality may be a good way to find new friends and dating relationships. BUT… it makes me nervous because I’m paranoid.

Paranoia and internet privacy aren’t good bedfellows.

Uh oh, I said bed.

If all else fails, you can always move to Chicago. Polls have put it at the top of the list for happy single people for several years now.  This map will show you where the highest concentration of singles are in the country. Or just cruise internet help sites. I liked this one myself.

What advice do you have for those who are missing their collegiate social life?

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Have the Perfect First Date

I put the cart ahead of the horse a bit yesterday. Because before you can decide if you’re dating The One, you have to get through the stress of The First Date.

I’ve known people who don’t date at all because they can’t get past the bowel-clenching agony of nerves of the First Date: What do I say? What do I wear? What do I order? What if they try to kiss me and I ate garlic-flavored spaghetti for dinner, for goodness sake?!

You always hear, “Be Yourself” on dates. That’s GREAT advice!

But if you’re so nervous about how you look at the person and your core temperature rises 23.6 degrees and blood thuds in your ears so loudly you can’t even hear the ambulance sirens and pull over to the side of the road… well, a little preparation to “Be Yourself” is in order.

So, alright, you faint-of-heart romantic wannabes, here are the definitive, tested, get you out of a scrape

Five Tips for a Great First Date

1. Prepare Conversational Topics. Yes, it’s cold and calculating… but it works for First Dates (and job interviews!).

There are some typical questions people ask as they get to know one another, things like what they do with their time every day, where they grew up, what are their favorite hobbies, books, music, etc. You know, the same questions you have for your date as you try to decide if it’s a compatibility match!

Prepare your answers to those questions. Practice the conversation with yourself in a mirror. Don’t use foul language. Choose the experiences you want to share as a first impression.

You’ll discover when the time comes to answer you’re ready to be suave, articulate, and confident! (And who wouldn’t fall in love with that?!)

2. The Dreaded Food Choice. Most dates involve eating. Your choice as you’re looking at the menu can help you feel secure to continue the conversation… or stress you out to the max!

Choose a food you like to eat that is moderately priced. The 50 oz. porterhouse steak is not the best choice for this particular moment – remember, the meal is about getting to know your date, not stuffing your face so much you don’t have time to talk!

There are foods notoriously difficult to eat: spaghetti, crab legs or lobster, or anything with a tendency to fall off your fork, be chased around the plate using your fingers or requiring excessive wiping of the face and fingers with the napkin. Avoid Those Foods. There will be time to eat them later – this moment is about making a good first impression.

I’ll also go on record as being strongly against the hot dog. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t burp like crazy after eating that little bun-wrapped wiener and nothing says “ewwww” like a date who’s emitting meat-scented bursts of intestinal air on their side of the car.

Final thought: brush up on your table manners. Knowing to treat one another like a lady or a gentleman by observing proper table manners creates BIG popularity points!

3. Control The Malfunctioning Body. Funny, once married many people go on a search for “the butterflies” with their spouse. But when you’re on a date, those very same Butterflies can send you careening into a bathroom tout suite!

Your hands sweat. Your stomach lurches. Your bowels grip. You walk into a wall. You trip over a curb. Your tongue twists.

(Why do we do this to one another, again? Doesn’t this sound like torture?? Yet show up at any Olive Garden on a Friday night and there you have, a cornucopia of couples putting themselves through the wringer on the off-chance it may be true love. We are weird, people. Very weird.)

For the stomach, consider putting a Tums in your pocket or purse. If you walk into a wall or fall on your face, use it as an opportunity to laugh and show you have a sense of humor in the face of adversity. Just like in the movie Hitch, many times we fall in love with the sweet imperfections of our partner.

Also, body language experts have discovered you can raise the temperature of your hands several degrees by visualizing holding your hands in front of a campfire for warmth. True story – so if you have cold, clammy hands, imagine a fire. You’ll be surprised by the result.

(Funny side note, I looked at my now-husband the first time we were about to hold hands and said, “I’m really sorry but my hands are terribly sweaty. Are you sure you want to hold them?!” He said yes. And we got married four months later. He also burped in my mouth as we kissed. We learned to be authentic with each other early.)

4. Breathe. Look For The Fun. Be Yourself. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself you stop having a good time. Remember, it only takes one right person to stop your First Date experiences forever. You are bringing good stuff to the table… so be confident in yourself and actively listen, observe and query your partner to find out their good stuff.

If things go wrong, as they sometimes will, and the date your on seems all uphill.. oh, sorry, got caught up for a minute there! If things go wrong – laugh! The best memories we have are not when things go flawlessly, it’s when there is adversity and we overcome it together. That’s what memories are made of!

5. Your End Goal Is Not A Second Date, It’s A Lifetime of Happiness. While I’m a firm believer in dating for fun, we don’t date for the joy of a date in itself. The dating process is designed to learn if you are compatible with someone for the long haul, not to know if they can look good, smile and be pleasant for three hours once or twice a week.

With that in mind, feel free to cut the line quickly if you’re not compatible. Talk about the nonnegotiables like spirituality, philosophy on monogamy, etc. early, before you’re so caught up in attraction you start to make compromises on thing that have always been exceptionally important to you.

The goal is not to have a sexual experience. Or a time to write home about. It’s to respect another person enough to try to know them – and see if you have enough in common to continue the relationship of mutual respect.

What recommendations do you have for The First Date? Do you have any stories of The First Date gone terribly, horribly awful?

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How Do You Know?!

“Love and marriage. Love and marriage. They go together like a horse and carriage.”

Ah… can you hear it?  It’s the sound of little hearts falling for other little hearts on college campuses across the United States.

Pitter-patter, pitter-patter, pitter-patter.

The opening weeks of school are blissful!  Every day of class provides an opportunity to scope out whether that there cutie is single… wearing a ring… interested… interesting,, what if they are…

The One?

During these critical weeks people make romantic decisions that will haunt them for the rest of the year.  Collegiate Folklore 101 tells us only 1% of romantic hook ups last past the first six weeks of the new semester… the other 99% of relationships come on fast, furious and hot then flame out leaving steamy tears that morph into a chagrined feeling of, “What was I thinking?!”

Let’s put the disastrous love stories aside for now.  Instead we’ll talk about how you sort through the rush of infatuation to know if the crush you’ve got is a keeper.

1. How do you know when you’re in Love or Strong Like?  Simple!  If you’re asking if it’s love or like… it’s like.

I wish I could put the deep-down knowledge of knowing you’re with The One into words, I just can’t.  But here’s a tidbit of advice: when it’s LOVE your question changes from, “Is this it?” to, “Am I insane?  I really love this person!”

Also, if you’ve been seriously dating for three months and still don’t know if they’re a keeper… they aren’t.  Throw that fish back into the sea so it can find love with someone else and set yourself free to discover your own soul mate!

2.  What type of dates should we go on?  There are as many answers to this as there are people on the planet.  (Can I get an “Amen”?!)  BUT… if you’re dating to find The One, stick to opportunities where you can talk and get to know one another.  Stay away from places that lead you into getting physical, also known as the “Stay Away From Any Date You Have Seen On The Bachelor”-principle.

The idea of talking for a date freak you out?  Not sure what to talk about?  Get a list together of the qualities you think are important in The One For You.  Put your date in situations where those qualities can be displayed.  If you want ideas, Michael the Romantic’s website,, is pretty interesting for the dating world at large.  I particularly like his 1,000 Questions for Couples.

3.  Is spending money on my date the only thing that makes them happy?  Cold, hard reality: If your date is only happy when you’re spending money, find someone else. LIfe isn’t about money and you’ll probably not have it when you want it, so make sure you’ve got more going on between you than financial chemistry.

4.  Why is it that women/men today always say they’re hurt and tired of trying because all guys/gals are the same?  There are a bunch of awful people out there, aren’t there?  We see them on movies, in t.v. shows, maybe they’re married to our friends, maybe we’ve actually dated a few! It’s easy to get burned then globalize the experience to believe everyone of that gender is to blame.

But guess what?  There are a TON of “good guys” out there!  There are many, many guys who change the mold, hold themselves to higher standards and are looking for a woman who will appreciate them. Women, if you keep getting the same kind of disappointing guy, find a different place to look.

Men… there are a TON of “good gals” out there!  Look beyond the superficial and into their hearts and you’ll often find a woman who will treat you like a king.  And that’s a good thing to have as you’re building your castle.

Men, be the exception.  The girl will recognize it and fall in love…  Women, be the exception.  You’ll end up with more than you can imagine.

*Personal, firm belief: finding love in a bar is about as easy as teaching your dog to cross-stitch.  The end.*

5.  When is it the right time to be in a relationship?  When can you be healthy in a relationship?  Can you pull your own weight, be selfless, be aware of how to take care of yourself?  You may be ready.

(Note: if you have no income except for student loans, this is not the best time to try to get married.)

Sometimes you find the right person but the timing is not right.  For example, I crossed paths with my true love at least three times before we ever met.  If we met earlier… we wouldn’t have dated or been interested in one another.  Because the timing was right when we finally did meet we were emotionally ready, mature, settled in our careers… and married within six months!

Timing. Is. Everything.

What are your words of advice for starting relationships and looking for The One?

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Last Year!

I’ve heard this rumor colleges are starting.

Imagine that!

I’ve even had a few people tell me they’re starting their senior year of college and freaking out about how quickly adult life is crashing down.

I don’t know what they’re worried about – mortgages, taxes, work schedules and buying your own toilet paper are the best parts of being an adult!

But, they continue to stress.  And since I’ve already written about how to manage the first week of school as a freshman, it’s time to write about how to manage the last year of college as a senior!

1.  Enjoy It!  Yes, things are different now.  Your good friends who were farther along in their college careers have graduated and there are all these noisy, squeaking freshmen wandering around campus in their place.  They just look small and shiny and… different from who you’re used to seeing around!  It’s normal to feel dislocated for a moment – but make it a moment only!  This is your last year of college.  Spend time doing the things that will make memories, not moping about the glory days gone by.

2.  Make a Difference!  This is the year you have the most influence.  Use it!  You know how the system works, where to get drop/add forms, who to talk to about the cafeteria menu, the cheers at the basketball games… you are the expert.  So put your knowledge to good use – take one of those small, squeaky students under your wing and help them figure out this crazy college experience.  Spend time tutoring in the academic support center or organizing student activities.  Take the extra moment to smile at everyone you pass and genuinely ask how their day is going.  This is your chance to make a lasting difference in your community – don’t waste it!

3.  Prepare!  Start with the basics: attend all of your classes, participate in discussions and create your resume.  Schedule time this fall to take the GRE, MCAT, or GMAT (whatever is appropriate for your field) if you think there is a possibility you’ll go to graduate school.  If your resume is weak, spend weekends doing community service, volunteer your services with local businesses to gain experience in your career field.  Don’t run up credit card debt – it takes forever to get rid of it and it disables your future.

4.  Be Flexible!  Your senior year will look different than you imagine now.  You may find that special someone to float your romantic boat, you may not.  You may get “A’s” in all of your classes, you may not.  You may have a job offer by graduation day, you may not.  Be willing to go with the flow and relax – yes, a chapter of your life is ending but it’s opening up to a whole new, exciting book!  Be present, engaged and look for opportunities for new experiences and to do your work with excellence.  You’ll be amazed at how many good things will come your way!

5.  Pay Attention!  Above all, don’t waste your time.  You have a finite start and stop date on this particular experience, so take advantage of the time allotted.  Make this your most intense year of learning, serving and laughing… it will pay off big time in the future!

What advice do you have for today’s college seniors?

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Orange You A Chinese Sugar Daddy?

Remember when I got the giggles over pole dancing for Christ?

Well, I’ve got them all over again because it seems Chinese men have given up on physique-building routines like karate and Tai Chi to take up… pole dancing.

Really?  Really?!

There I was, reading a story from Newsweek about whether college educations are worth the price tag – a favorite subject these days with the tough economy and such – and there it was.  A story about how Chinese men are flocking toward poles for their athletic honing.

The pole dancing instructor tells us it’s a great way for men to gain upper body tone.  And… after watching the gyrations on the video, I can believe that!

In fact, I think what I saw in the video was more reminiscent of the crazy pole acrobatics in the Lion King parade in Disneyland than of Demi Moore in Striptease or, my eyeballs are still burning!, what we see from drunken starlets.

What was more disturbing to me than the thought of diminutive Chinese men straddling metal bars and twirling around and around and around is the story that came up next on the page.

(Thank you, StumbleUpon, for changing my world.  I’m very much enjoying this web browsing experience, though I would prefer it if you would abstain from pole dancing Chinese men in the future.  And sugar daddies.)

The article underneath Chinese pole dancing talked about the increase of “sugar daddies” for college women.  It seems there are websites, one in the story in particular, that specialize in connecting young, young women with men who have money and need companionship.

But it’s not prostitution.  It’s companionship for hire.  And women who aren’t afraid of their own sexuality will continue to embrace it because college educations are very expensive.

Those loans must be paid somehow.  Why not through deceptive relationships?

Really?  Really?!

I wish I had the words to discuss with these women how their choices can change their lives.  How their willingness to see sexuality as a power struggle and a transaction will booby-trap them in their quest for anything resembling normalcy and relational happiness later in life.

My heart is breaking.

It’s breaking for the sugar-daddies, too.  Because somehow they’ve decided relationships are too scary.  They’re financial independent and emotionally scared.

I don’t want to think about stories like this.  I don’t want to take part in other people’s sicknesses.

I’d love to bury my head in the sand and just live in my little mountaintop town, having garage sales and homeschooling my little girls.  I really would.

But what kind of world am I releasing my girls in to? How can I be a part of the solution and not the problem (which is what I would be if I simply ignore it)?

This thought process is why I believe in the Orange Movement.  There is a hurting world and if we aren’t doing something to heal it, we aren’t doing what we’re called to do.

Everyone should care.  Everyone needs to care.

So… enough of the hoochie-coochie and sugar daddy and stuff that makes my heart break!  I want an army of people who will heal this world, person-by-person!

What are you going to do to change your world?

Stumble It!

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Ruin Your College Experience!

Everybody’s talking about going off to college and how awesome it is going to be.

You smile and nod along with them, but inside you’re thinking: “Are you crazy?!  I have life figured out right here at home!  I know my way around, I have all my friends here, hey – my mom even does my laundry and cooks my food!  Why would I want to leave and go to college?”

Your attitude is no different from that of hundreds – if not thousands – of college freshmen across the country.  Yet everyone still expects you to move off in the fall to experience a major life change.

Put your worries to rest, here are five tips on how to make your experience at college so awful you’ll be homesick and home before the first semester is complete:

  1. Don’t leave your room.  If you’re being forced to pay for and move into a mouse hole of a room and share it with a stranger you may as well get your money’s worth!  Stay in your room with the door closed.  Leave only for mealtimes and required bathroom breaks.  Otherwise, spend your time texting friends from home and on the internet.  Speak to your roommate as little as possible.  (Bonus points, however, if you quack like a duck whenever they enter and leave the room.  This will earn you a stellar reputation.)
  2. Ignore school sponsored events and organizations.  No matter how many times your RA invites you to events or offers to show you the ropes DO NOT show interest.  If you want to be home within weeks you must, at all costs, ignore every invitation anyone extends and make sure you don’t attend school-sponsored events.  Don’t get finagled into participating in school organizations – the people involved in them are way too happy to help you in your evacuation plans.
  3. Start dating the first person you meet and break up in a week.  This is a classic scheme for misery.  You get to college, everyone is looking for romance and you cozy up to the first person who gives you a nod.  Within a week you’ve realized your Hero is a Zero and you break up – but now you run into them nonstop.  Love lost is an excellent way to have an awful reason for quitting school.
  4. Eat garbage and sleep little.  You are what you eat and late night pizza runs are the downfall of many a college freshman.  Choose the most unhealthy food in the cafeteria – or better yet, eat only from the vending machines!   This will ensure you feel awful most of the time.  Also, get as little sleep as possible.  This will help you skip classes and react emotionally to everything, a recipe for misery in the making.
  5. Ditch.  No one can talk you into staying in school when the Academic Dean sends you a letter saying, “Sayonara.”  So make sure your plan is rock solid and go to classes every once in awhile or not at all.  Insult your professors if possible as well.  If you’re going to go out, go out in a flame of glory!

Following these five simple steps will have you back at the mothership in next to no time at all.

The good thing is, once you’re home you never have to leave again.  Ever.  This means you’ll be living with mom and dad until you’re collecting Social Security, but that’s a small price to pay.

And isn’t it worth it?

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Revelation #2: Work’s Not All That

In honor of my very first book giveaway, This is not how I thought it would be, I am writing a series of posts about how life IS versus how I THOUGHT it would be.

Yesterday I talked about poop, which is not really an uplifting subject.  Today, I want to talk about work.

With complete naivitie and way too much influence of the world’s greatest quotes where Albert Einstein says ridiculous things like, “I never worked a day in my life,” I expected to find a career, practice it, and love it.  Every single minute.

Um… yeah.  That didn’t happen.

As I’ve spent more time in the workforce I’ve learned there are things about being employed that are NOT what I thought they would be:

Bosses aren’t always the bad guys waiting for the perfect worker to be their chum.  I guess I watched too many movies about coaches who are mean to their teams and then they have a sob-fest, they feel good, and win the national tournament.  Disney sells a good movie but, unfortunately, I had to learn that fairy tales and work don’t play well together.

I didn’t have a clue that 8 a.m. was so early.  Did you know that when you’re a grown up you have to go to work every day?  And if you don’t they’ll fire you?!  Guess what else, there’s no spring break, Christmas break, fall break, Easter break, etc.!  It was a genuine surprise to me that life in the real world doesn’t have scheduled time off and, sadly, that I wouldn’t have the money to pay for the trips even in my scheduled two weeks vacation time!

I had no idea that answering the calling for work God gives me to do outside of the home would create such angst in me about not fulfilling the stereotypical and traditional role of female. This is a subject with so many words I could write – BUT… if you want to see real people with real, profound thoughts, take a look at the comments that are happening on the giveaway page.  It’s amazing!

I didn’t know there were so many strange co-workers in the world.  I’m pretty stinkin’ blessed with my colleagues right now, but I have been in workplaces where… well, it’s bizarre and I see very clearly where the writers of The Office get their inspiration!  I once worked next to an obese, 60+-year-old woman who smelled of cat food who would daily tell me the excruciating details of her current one-night sexual exploits.  Detailed.  Information.  SO. STRANGE.

I didn’t realize organizations weren’t perfect.  I used to think workplaces always lived up to their mission statements.  Which is why I was so surprised to discover organizations are made up of faulty humans, like faculty/staff members doing drugs and getting drunk with their students or viewing their students as their dating pool.  That’s just wrong, folks.  (NOT where I work now, for which I say hurray every day!)

I had no idea that watching a student make a positive choice for their life would make me feel like a million dollars, too.  I didn’t realize I would genuinely care about the long term success of the people I saw walk through the hallowed halls of academia.  I get emails and notes from past students and it completely makes my day!

I had no idea that I would pay so much of my earned income in taxes.  I tend to get grumpy about this until I drive on a street with horrible pot holes and realize my tax dollars contribute to their repair.  But I still feel if the U.S. Government would pull together a think tank of 3 women who’ve been to Financial Peace University and 4 mothers of four or more adult children not only could we be looking at a balanced national budget, there’s a good chance world peace would be a done deal.

What things about your work life are Not What You Thought They Would Be?

Be sure to post a comment on the Giveaway post – the ruffians will draw a winner on Sunday and a lucky reader will receive a free copy of Kristin Maschka’s This Is Not How I Thought It Would Be: Remodeling Motherhood to Get the Lives We Want Today.  You Don’t Want To Miss Out!

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