Oct 25, 2010

An apple? You gotta be kidding me.

Halloween is my favorite holiday. I think it's because it's the day before my birthday. It used to seem as though all the Halloween festivities were in my honor. Almost like I was sharing my birthday with all the other kids in the world. "Here have some candy, but tomorrow the presents are all mine." My mother would sew me awesome costumes, a pilgrim or a princess, and I'd join the throngs of neighborhood kids as we went "begging" from door to door. When I came home my Dad didn't bother with the pretext of "inspecting" my candy.   He just collected his "Dad Candy Tax", Milk Duds, Butterfinger and Better Made Chips. The next day I'd insist on wearing my costume to my birthday party. All very self centered of me, but in my defense, don't most kids think the world revolves around them?  Then we wake up to the cold, hard truth that not only isn't it always about us, its' rarely about us.

Halloween these days is lame. We rarely get any kids showing up on Halloween anymore. Back when I was trick or treating there were so many kids we had to wait in line sometimes to get to the door. You never see that anymore. Trick or treating has been replaced by lame "parties" at community centers or schools. As a kid I hated those things. You only got about one tenth the amount of candy you could get out there on the streets. At a "Halloween Party" you were lucky to get a handful of tootsie rolls, some smarties, a few suckers and some lame-ass stickers. Which led me to believe that adults were NEVER kids, if they had been they would have known better. Strategic mapping of the neighborhood and you could fill up a pillowcase in no time. Pillowcases were much better than plastic pumpkins that get filled up with the first bag of chips. It was all about maximum candy haul.   Trick or treat until there were no more lights on anywhere.

Is it our increased paranoia about the safety of our kids that has killed trick or treating? Are there fewer kids? We seem to have turned Halloween into a Holiday for adults instead of kids, with elaborate decorations and adult parties. This year I won't be passing out candy. I am headed to DC for Jon Stewart's Rally to Restore Sanity. By the time I get back at 8pm on Halloween it will all be over. Normally I would feel guilty about not turning on the light and passing out some Snicker's bars, but I don't think our light will be missed. So sad. I still might wear a costume on my birthday though.

Oct 20, 2010

Not This Again!

Do you know how to tell that you are in the grip of some serious PMS?

Scowl and furrowed brow? - Suspected PMS

Being on the verge of tears with little to no provocation? - Maybe PMS

The urge to rip someone's head off their shoulders because they made some innocent comment or asked a simple question? Ding, ding, ding.

For the last 10 years I have been under the mistaken impression that I was done with PMS. But apparently PMS' severity operates on a reverse bell curve. PMS hit me hard in my late teens and 20's. I learned to recognize it and then to apologize in advance to my husband for anything I did while in its grasp. Gradually it tapered off, tricking me into thinking that I was done being controlled by my hormones. But it's back, with a vengeance.

Pre-menopause PMS is a bitch..... I mean I'm a bitch..... I mean we're both bitches.

Oct 6, 2010

Tell me that you love me!

One of my co-workers asked me if I knew the five languages of love. At first I thought she was asking if I knew the romance languages.... French, Italian, Spanish, etc. No, she explained, the five languages of love are the primary ways in which we express our affection for others and also the ways we feel loved. They are:

  • Acts of Service - expressing love through helping.
  • Physical Touch - expressing love through touch.
  • Gifts - expressing love through thoughtful gifts. 
  • Words of Affirmation - expressing love through verbal approval.
  • Quality Time - expressing love through spending time with someone.
Glancing at the list I immediately ruled out "Physical Touch" as my language of love. I am not really a touchy feely sort of person. Huggers make me nervous. They move in so confidently. They seem to instinctually know the proper firmness and length of the hug to be administered. So sure of where they will be placing their hands as they hug you. Their self assured hugs make me feel inept as I struggle to develop my how-to plan for executing the hug. Can't we just smile and say hi?

I do make some exceptions. My husband. My parents. My kids. Hugging them feels natural. I also hug family members for whom I know it's important, like my Aunt Julie. She's a hugger. I can adapt.  I hug my sister when we are having a sisterly moment but not normally.  She's a lot like me when it comes to hugs.

I make it a point to hug my German relatives in genetic defiance to the standoffish personality I inherited from them.  As if I'm proving that the Irish and Scottish blood mixed into my gene pool makes me less uptight than them.  You should see my Uncle Dieter when I hug him.  For just a split second he loses that cool composure and I can see panic in his eyes.

I answered the questions below to help figure out what my primary language:
  •  How did you know your parents loved you, what did they do that made you know you were loved?
  • When you think about experiences that have really hurt or cut you to the core, what were they?
  • What do you do when you want to show someone you love them?
At first I thought my language of love was Gifts. I love to take the time and effort to find the right gift for someone. It's one of the reasons I love Christmas. Other times of year I'm always picking up little things for somebody just because I think they will like them.  But it was the last two questions above that really got to the heart of the matter of my love language.

My father's approval was so important to me as a kid. Mostly because it was hard to get. Not complaining, just stating facts. When my father praised me it was greatest feeling in the world. Couple that with my deepest hurts in life coming from words of rejection and I have to conclude that Words of Affirmation are important to me. Makes perfect sense. I love words.... reading words, writing words, hearing them spoken by eloquent speakers.   Hearing "I love you" is the sweetest sound in the world.

So, as interesting as this is, how can I make it useful in my life? Run around telling everyone to "Tell me you love me."  Seems sort of egocentric.  Maybe the point is to figure out the love language of the important people in my life so I can express my love for them in the language that's most important to them. 

Meine Lieblings!