Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Things I never thought I wanted

And things I might still not. But I've at least learned to understand that they're valid life choices.

No, I'm not talking about botox (no way - needles make me freak out) or gel inserts in my shoes (already an old lady in that regard...).

I'm talking about babies.

Or, more accurately, children in general, but they tend to start off as babies.

Last night, one of my friends and I threw a surprise baby shower for another friend. She was genuinely touched, and, yes, I managed to keep a secret for more than 24 hours.

I had never been to, or had any desire to go to, a baby shower before. But this one was alright. Probably because we didn't play any stupid games, and there was vodka, but also because my friend is a grown ass woman making a grown up choice, and is genuinely, really happy about it.

See, I'm from an area where teen pregnancy isn't uncommon. Yeah, if you get pregnant in high school you're kind of shunned, but most of the people I know from back home have babies, and most of them had them very young, 18, 19, 20.*

So I grew up thinking that babies and pregnancy were something that either happened as a horrible accident and your silly religion/parents told you there was nothing you could do about it, OR something that codependent girls with no futures or abilities did so they wouldn't have to be alone.

Yes, I'm an awful person sometimes.

But that's the example I had. People who were really religious with babies they either had to have or thought mystical space god wanted them to have (with the boys they married, which was their entire goal in life) or they needed babies because they didn't have anything else.

Again, yes, I'm awful.

But now I'm at the age where my female friends are having children and getting married because they want to. And are actually excited about it. And still have their own full, fulfilling lives even with their tiny bundles.

I had never seen women who didn't identify first and foremost as "mom." My own family excluded - although my female family members were and are loving mothers, the general attitude was always that "we aren't like them." So while my own family didn't lose their identities, all of my friends did. So I thought that you basically had to give up your life when you had a child, and that women either resented that because they didn't see a way out or wanted it because their lives were sad.

Now, though, I have one very good friend with a child, who is freaking adorable and goes places with us and generally is just like another tiny human with two slightly larger humans, and my friend still comes out and does things and is exactly the same as she was before baby.

My friend who is pregnant is going to be the same even with a baby.

A friend from college has babies (twins!) and is still one of the most intelligent, well-spoken, and driven people I know.

A good friend who is trying to get pregnant isn't trying to get that way to keep her husband or fulfill some religious/cultural expectation. She wants a baby. Babies are cute and snuggly and awesome sometimes, and she wants one.

Does this mean my biological clock is ticking? No. I have a cute and snuggly and awesome (sometimes) set of pets who occupy enough of my time that I'm good. And I don't have the drive to have children, at least not yet. But for the first time in my life, I don't see babies as a death sentence of sorts. And even though I don't want one, and certainly wouldn't have one now if the opportunity/biological happenstance happened, but I can be a great aunt/cool friend/spoiler to these little ones without resenting them for destroying their mothers, somethings that was hard for me in the past.

Sorry to all (?) my avid readers, I know this is a bit rambling, but it was kind of a weird life moment, and those rarely come in coherent paragraphs.

*Side-note: I am going to literally be the only unmarried person at my high school reunion and one of the only ones without kids. So "Operation Lose 40 Pounds and Get Really Hot to Show Them" is in full swing. See, I'm still kind of awful.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Working at Panera - A Love Story

So I woke up this morning with a renewed sense of purpose, a drive to actually work on my comps, not just an overwhelming feeling about how I *should* be working on them.

In an effort to sustain this feeling, I drove to Panera to do some work, since working at home (where I have a TV, and a giant pile of laundry, and the world's neediest pets) is pretty impossible.

Ah, Panera.

How I love your soft muzak, playing instrumental versions of my favorite adult contemporary hits. This sounds sarcastic, but I mean it. Sometimes I wear headphones, but it's never because of you - it's always because of the obnoxious conversations around me.

I adore your friendly workers who never interrupt me when I'm working but always manage to catch my eye just as I look up to see if I'm done with my plate.

Your smushy warm bread is actually something I've dreamt about.

Even though I always order the same thing (half soup and salad, always baked potato and grilled chicken caesar with no croutons, with a Diet Pepsi and a chocolate pastry), every time it's delicious yet unique, and easily eaten while furiously typing.

Speaking of pastries, the chocolate pastry is the closest to my beloved pain du chocolat from Paris that I've found in the US. Thank you.

When I make it in for breakfast, and I get a pastry and coffee, you always magically have fresh dark roast waiting for me. Always.

When I take a break from working to blog, you don't just provide the same soft lull and appetizing aromas as always.

And now you're opening a location less than half a mile from my house. Panera, you're the coolest friend an ADD grad student could ever have.

I love you.

Also, I hate nationalism.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Power of Lipstick

This post is not intended to address the sociological implications of makeup or the racial/gender/socio-economic preferencing some see makeup as having/giving/etc. Whew. Now that that's out of the way, let's talk about some pretty lipstick!

See, I wear red lipstick 3-5 days out of the week. The other days I wear gloss, or nude lipstick, or maybe nothing. But most days, I wear red. It's my signature look. I used to be afraid of it. I used to think I looked clownish. But I like it, and I've seen the reactions I get.

"Wow, you look pretty today!"
"Ma'am." (With a hat tip!)
"You just look so happy!"

This is in addition to the numerous conversations, comments, and general feeling of being popular and well-liked.

So here's my theory:

Red lipstick (or pink, or whatever - your signature shade) is not for anyone else. In fact, they probably don't even really notice the lipstick. Only a couple people have commented on it specifically. Instead, they notice a more confident person. Someone who knows she's a badass. Knows she looks hott. Knows the world is her oyster. Knows that no matter what happens, the lipstick will stay on.

So regardless of whether wearing makeup is a mask, or plays to gender stereotypes, or privileges whoever (I'm not really that kind of historian...), can something that makes you feel so good be bad? Especially when it's really harmless? I say no.

That said, here are some of my faves:

L'Oreal's British Red - this is probably my very favorite. I wear it most days, especially since it's easy to apply and doesn't make me feel all goopy.

Make Up Forever's Moulin Rouge Rouge Artist Intense. I like this one, although it's a little dark for me. I've only worn it a couple of times, but it's in the regular rotation.

This guy. Yowza. This is THE lipstick. Make Up Forever's Aqua Rouge in Iconic Red. This lipstick has been personally responsible for many things I shouldn't talk about on a blog my mother reads. And when Make Up Forever says Forever, they aren't kidding around. HOURS of wearing this, no smudging, no leaving lipstick on everything. Just wow. *

So those are the main guys. Here are my 3 handy dandy tips for wearing red lipstick, even if you think you can't**:

1. Wear eyeliner, mascara, and white/nude eyeshadow ONLY. No one wants to look like a clown in this situation.

2. I don't line my lips, because I've been wearing makeup since the womb, but if you need to, go to Sephora or someplace and have them help you match colors.

3. Wear blush. I wear Nars in Orgasm every day (which is also awesome). That way you have a little color and don't look like Snow White. Unless you like shorter men and poisoned apples, and then, by all means, go for it. Do what you do.

*I stole these from the Sephora website/Google images. Don't sue me.
**I in no way take responsibility if you don't like/can't wear red lipstick. I think you will, and can, but I'm not a professional makeup putter on-er or anything.

Now to decide which to wear tomorrow...

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Lots of updates

But really, the most important thing is that I will be in London in 19 days. Yay!

And I'll be in Lisbon in one month and 6 days. Yay!

And I'm going to Salt Lake in June. Yay!

I hate flying. Boo!