Sunday, May 27, 2012

Totally Inapro-pro

Today's post is brought to you by the letter I and the number 3.

I is for inappropriate, which is how I would describe the conversation that happened in the seats behind my mother and I today at the baseball game.

3 is for the number of hours I had to hear about this woman's ex-girlfriend and every tiny detail of their relationship that ended 6 weeks ago.

I'm not kidding. I heard everything. From the fact that she's now been celibate for 2 1/2 months, which in her opinion is far too long, the fact that they are now fighting over custody of their dog, to the fact that lesbians have a lower chance of catching STDs and having problems "down under", complete with details that are far too graphic for this family-friendly blog. I'm sorry...WHAT?

What about this baseball game made you think it was ok to come and talk about these topics in a loud, annoying voice?? Was it the family friendly songs being played every 5 minutes? Was it the large headed, friendly looking mascot that danced to the YMCA? Or was it the stadium full of families with small children?

If you wanted to have a 3 hour long confessional, you should have gone to Starbucks...or a therapist. I definitely didn't need to hear all of that talk and I certainly didn't want to hear it with my mother sitting right next to me. Thank you for saving me the embarrassment of having to hear you talk about lesbian sex positions by waiting until my mom had gotten up to get her food.

Now, if you had been actually paying attention during the game, you could have seen this lovely view:

View through the protective netting
Or if you had reallllly been paying attention, you could have seen a truly Maine game being played on the sidelines.

I know the video is small and a little far away, but what you are seeing is 4 men dressed like the Gorton's fisherman using lacrosse sticks to launch plastic lobsters at two people holding a lobster trap who are trying to catch as many as they can. See, I told you Maine was awesome.

The moral of this story is that if you go to a baseball game, please just enjoy the game. A baseball game is not the place to discuss your sex life (or lack thereof), the prevalence (or absence) of STDs, or every detail of your former relationship.

If I had had earplugs, my visit to the Sea Dogs would have been perfect. It was a beautiful day, I got to eat ice cream and hang out with my Mama, and best of all, the Sea Dogs won.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Little Brats...I mean children.

Everyone is asking when we're going to have children. I know it's the natural "next step". We bought a house, we got a now everyone thinks we need to start popping out kids.

I know my clock is ticking.  I know people think I should be having kids already. I know I'm supposed to have baby fever. But I just don't feel it.

The other night, I told LoLo that I feel like Bronx is my baby and that I don't need a human one. I was just kidding. Sort of. Then he told me he would divorce me if I didn't want children. And he wasn't kidding. At all.

Maybe I'm just getting cold feet. I know deep down inside of me I have always wanted to have children (or as LoLo calls them "chewbaccas") with LoLo. But I feel selfish. I feel like I'm not ready to give up my Saturday mornings of sleeping in. Or sleep in general. I'm not ready to give up the freedom of being able to do what I want when I want.

Bronx is perfect for me. He cuddles when I want him to. He goes to sleep when I tell him to. I can leave him home when I want to go somewhere and no one calls protective services on me. He also does not cry. This is important to me.

Who needs a human baby when you have this fur baby??

I feel like I haven't finished living my "Erin life". The life where I get to go on adventures and make spontaneous decisions and get into a car without having to bring 20 bags, a car seat, a stroller, a play pen, and 17 other gadgets that I know nothing about right now. I'm not ready to live the "Mama life".

I haven't traveled all the places I want to go yet. I haven't accomplished all my goals. I haven't fully lived yet!

I know that life doesn't end because you have kids. I know there are moms who juggle raising children with accomplishing their goals. I'm just afraid that I might not be one of those moms.

And let's face it. I'm lazy. There, I said it. I'm extremely lazy. You all know I hate cooking and cleaning. What would it be like if I had children? "Oh the baby's diaper is dirty? Sorry LoLo, but really I'm not feelin it right now. I'll get to it..." You can't do that with a baby!!

I know everyone says there's never a perfect time to start having children, but it seems like everyone talks a lot about the wrong time. I mean think about it. Don't have children when you're too young. Don't have them when you're too old either! Don't have them when you have a career you love. Don't have them when you don't have a job. Don't have them before you're married. Don't have them too long after you've been married. With all of these stipulations, how do we ever know it's right?

I know eventually I'm going to have to start thinking about children in a more serious way. I mean, apparently if I don't, I will be divorced. But right now I'm not ready for it. I'm not ready to think about it and I'm certainly not ready to start trying.

Now I've got to go, I've got to get my 8 hours of sleep or else I turn into a monster.

See what I mean? I'm not ready. I can't be a monster mom!!

Oh and p.s. I'm fully aware that now that I've written this post, I'm highly susceptible to some type of immaculate conception type thing happening to me. Keep it moving, please, oh holy one in the sky. I'm not the one.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

My family is strange

My family is strange. I love them dearly, but they are strange. I will now proceed to explain why they are so strange.

#1 reason my family is strange: Nicknames.
             Everyone in my family has a nickname. I'm not kidding. I'm Goya (my brother named me that when we adopted him from Colombia) and even that nickname has a nickname: Goo. My sister is Piggy (sorry, Em) because when she was a baby she used to snort like a little piggy. My mother is Lydiebell (her uncle in Mexico gave her that nickname when she was little) or the Squid (since it rhymes with Lyd). My dad is P. Diddy because his name is Paul so that's where the P came from and it was just natural to add Diddy. My brother is Bink (this nickname evolved from Bingy since he thought that was his last name when he was little and my cousin thought he was saying Binky).

#2 reason my family is strange: Quotes
            My family quotes movies, commercials, tv shows, and random people all the time. You might be thinking, "That's not that weird, my family quotes movies too..." But let me give you a few examples so you can understand how strange we really are.

Example #1: The answering machine. My dad's side of the family rents a lake house in Vermont every summer so we can have a family reunion. One year about, I don't know, 15-20 years ago (I feel so old right now), the house had one of those old answering machines with the tapes in it. One of us kids pushed play and this guy who sounded stoned out of his mind said "Hey guys, it's uh, uh, uh, 11:30 or something..." So now, anytime anyone asks what time it is, it's always "11:30 or something".

Example #2: Probably around the same time as the answering machine, my siblings and I used to like watching the cartoon "Life with Louie" with Louie Anderson (remember, the large man with the realllllly nasal voice??). One of the episodes was about Louie having a goldfish and his little friend said, "Hey, Louie, what do you feed your fish?" and he said, "Pizzaaaaa, Donuts, Cheeeeeesecake." Now anytime anyone asks what's for dinner or what people want for dinner or mentions any one of those three foods, someone in our family says, "Pizzaaaaaa, Donuts, Cheeeeeeeesecake."

FSN (funny sidenote for those who don't remember my acronym): In the first few months that I met LoLo, he asked me what I wanted for dinner and of course, I said, "Pizzaaaaaa, Donuts, Cheeeeeesecake." As soon as I said that, he said (totally nonchalantly I might add), "Oh, Life with Louie. I loved that show." That day, I knew LoLo was the one for me.

I could probably write a whole blog (not just one post, I mean a whole blog) listing the reasons my family is strange. But I could probably also write another one about why I love them so much. We might be strange, we might remember something someone said 20 years ago, but I wouldn't change my weird family for anything.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Signs that I am NOT pregnant

Disclaimer: Dad aka P. Diddy, I know you have been a loyal reader of my blog and I very much appreciate that. However, this may be one of the posts you want to skip. Oh and that goes for my male readers as well. I promise, it's not graphic but if you're anything like LoLo, the mere mention of "woman problems" is enough to send you running for the hills.

I am not one of those women who could go 8 or 9 months without knowing I was pregnant. I know TLC says there are women out there who can, but I am definitely not one of them. My body gives me a friendly little reminder every month that I am not pregnant, and I'm not talking about Aunt Flo. I'm talking about the week before everyone's favorite Aunt shows up to the party.

Every month there is a week full of snappy remarks, tears at the drop of a hat (that also dry up faster than they can make it down my face), and flashes of anger.

Tonight I went from being upset with LoLo (and proceeding to yell loudly disagree) about the "tone" he took with me to telling him I wanted to cuddle in a matter of mere minutes.

My family who is reading this right now is probably thinking, "Ummm Erin, you're like that everyday" and they would be sort of right. I have a really quick temper and I am really quick to turn back into lovey-dovey Erin too as if nothing happened. But unfortunately, during the pre-Aunty week, everything is amplified. 

I am well aware of this fact and really do try my hardest to keep the attitude in check. But sometimes it's something I just can't help. When my body is aching and my head is pounding, it's hard not to snap at people and feel irritable.

So if you are one of those unfortunate people who actually has to interact with me during this time, I apologize in advance. And if you are LoLo, this might be a good week to hide in the cave man and play video games. I might even be giving you permission.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Another confession: My marriage

So now that you all have read a few posts about how much I love my husband and how much I appreciate him, I have a confession to make.

Sometimes, we are boring. Yep, I said it. Sometimes, we are a really boring married couple. Take last night for example. After I came back from a baseball game with my mom, LoLo was out in the driveway working on his car. I was inside working on my blog. After maybe 2 hours, LoLo came inside and said he was hungry. We went out for some dinner (to our credit, we actually tried somewhere new...we usually go to one of the same few spots every time because LoLo is definitely a creature of habit). As soon as we got home, I came upstairs to watch the rest of the Red Sox game and LoLo stayed in his cave man (that's how he says man cave if you're new around these parts) watching Anime.

I would like to say this is not a typical Saturday night for us, but sadly I cannot. Sure, about one Saturday a month we go out with friends and actually stay out past 10pm (omg when did I get so old? When I lived in NY I was still in my apartment getting ready to go out at 10pm!!). But lots of times, we stay in this rut and just do what's easiest: stay home and watch two different tvs in two different rooms because we can barely ever agree on what show to watch.

Sometimes I wish we were more adventurous and that LoLo would be more daring and try new places with me. Sometimes I wish he'd plan a date with me that didn't just end as soon as he was done eating. And sometimes, I just want to get dressed up and go somewhere that they don't serve anything with buffalo sauce on it.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a homebody and I enjoy being home cuddling with my puppy. I think though, successful marriages are built on keeping things fresh. Surprising your partner with something completely out of the ordinary. Coming up from the cave man and watching an episode of "Giuliana and Bill". Putting on a button down shirt and some nice jeans and those Dominican shoes I love and going to that restaurant I've been talking about for over a year. Bringing my computer down to the cave man to work on my blog while he watches his anime (I love how hard he laughs when he watches it anyway). Go to the movies with him even though we both know I will always fall asleep.

Marriage takes effort from both people. We've been married almost 3 years and together for almost 6. We know each other better than we know anyone else in the world. Sometimes it feels like there's nothing else we can learn about each other,  but I know that's not true. We are lucky to have found each other and to actually really enjoy each other. We can't be complacent and rely on our love to keep our relationship exciting. It just doesn't work like that. 

I've got to go though, there's a really cute boy in my basement right now and his laugh is completely infectious.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Today, we were rebels

And by we, I mean LoLo. He called in sick this morning. Like I told you in my last post, he's been working 12-13 hour days for about the past year. He has never called in sick in the 1.5 years he's been working at his company. But today, he did. And even more rebellious of him, he had it planned all week.

At my job, we get 2 winter Fridays off and 4 summer Fridays off. Since I started in April, I got to take 1 of my winter Fridays and I chose today. Here in Maine, it's been raining for the past two weeks minus one or two days. Today it is in the 70s and sunny.

We started off the day with lots of sunshine coming through our windows. Our bedroom is two shades of bright blue. It's perfect for a bedroom because how can you wake up in the morning with sun shining off bright, happy, blue walls and feel upset?

Today is my aunt/Godmother's birthday so I ran over to the mall to get her gift. She is so easy to buy for because she has such a distinct style. So of course, as soon as I got to the mall, I found exactly what I wanted to buy less than 10 minutes. That seemed like such a waste of a good trip to the mall. So obviously I had to head over to the plus size section to look for clothes for myself! And look at this rare gem I came home with:

And who could have designed this runway hit? You guessed it.

None other than your boy, Alfred Dunner.

Hahaha, let me stop. You all know I didn't buy that piece of garbage. But I saw a grandma checking it out like it was the "it" sweater of the year. But now do you see what I mean? Just because I'm big doesn't mean I'm not stylish.

Funny sidenote, someone searched "Alfred Dunner" on google and came across my blog. For some reason, I doubt they are now following me.

After lunch, I made LoLo take me to get an ice cream cone (I mean, obvi). While we were there, Bronxy was pretty thirsty. Either that or he was trying to tell me he wanted an ice cream too (he is my dog after all). We didn't have his little water bottle with us so of course, my husband aka McGyver, made him one. Another funny sidenote (fsn if you will), when McGyver is dubbed into Spanish, they pronounce McGyver "Ma-GEE-vair" which I think is hilarious.

My husband is Ma-GEE-vair
I told you. This man can do anything. He also fixed our basement door this morning using power tools. I know, amazing. And no, I didn't body slam that door like I did the other one he fixed (cuz I know you were wondering).

He also took a picture with me that I think you all will love...but that's going to be in another post. (See what I did there? I hooked you so you HAVE to come back) Let's just say there are Mariachi suits, guitars, and trumpets involved. Oh yeah, it's worth coming back for.

So don't tell anyone, especially LoLo's supervisor "Yudy" (that's Judy in Spanglish for those who are unfamiliar with the language), but LoLo and I had a really nice day even though he was "sick" (cough, cough).

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Best Roommate I Ever Had

The other day at work, someone asked me if I lived with roommates. My answer came out totally naturally, "Yes, I do! My husband. He's actually the best roommate."

Although you may think I am biased, I can name many reasons why you would be really lucky to have Mr. LoLo as your roommate. Ask his brothers and sister (although I'd like to think I trained him even further after he moved out of his mom's house...and by trained I mean I was so lazy that he ended up doing certain chores and tasks out of necessity).

My husband cooks. He makes amazing Dominican food including rice and beans, Dominican chicken and pork chops, as well as homemade salad dressing, homemade chicken soup, cheeseburgers, steak, and many other dishes. Sometimes I get home from a long day at work and he's already here cooking dinner. Oh and he's also a really good bartender.

I'll have another!
Last Sunday I was feeling guilty because I wanted to go to the gym, but we had a lot of cleaning to do around the house. LoLo said to me, "Go to the gym! I'll clean the kitchen." I almost pinched myself to make sure it was real.

 My husband is also extremely handy and can do anything around the house, including fixing the door after I locked myself out of the house and body slammed the door to get back in. Oops.

Fixing our sink in the Bronx

Fixing up the lawn here in Maine

In addition to all of the things my husband does around the house, he also happens to be super sweet. He loves doing things to make me happy. You may remember the gift bag he put together when I finally got a job (no? click here). Then there was the time he took me on a picnic in the Bronx where he spread a tablecloth on the grass and bought me my favorite deli sandwich and an Arizona iced tea. He even played catch with me.

Oh and did I mention that for the past year, my husband has been working 60 hours per week in a really physically demanding job?

I am so lucky to have LoLo. Not only as a roommate, but as my best friend, my partner (not in crime, unless you count being this cute as a crime...haha sorry), my calm, my laughter. He works so hard, but no matter how hard he works, he takes care of me.

LoLo, my dad, and my cousin Brendan (thanks Aunt Marta for the pic!)

He's also not afraid to dress up like an elf on Christmas morning to go with my dad/Santa and my cousin Brendan/the Grinch to pick up my sister at the airport. How many husbands would do that? (Thank God he doesn't check my blog very often, he would kill me for putting this pic up!)

Monday, May 14, 2012


This year, the Red Sox are making me cry. No, not because they have the worst pitching in the American League (and probably the entire league)...although that has definitely brought me close to tears. The reason for my tears is because of the tradition.

This year is the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park. It doesn't matter if you are a baseball fan or not. Just imagine, 100 years of players running the same base path, 100 years of hitters hitting balls over the Green Monster.

Opening day, I cried watching Johnny Pesky, a 92 year old former player being helped out on the field where he was greeted by many players. He's a Boston sports legend even though he wasn't necessarily the best to have ever played. The respect he is shown when in the ballpark is so moving to me.

On April 20th, the Red Sox celebrated the official 100th birthday of Fenway Park. During this ceremony, they brought out many former players, including many of the heroes of 2004 and 2007. Seeing them all fan out on the field according to position was beautiful. Watching the younger guys show their respect to the older players was really special.

 Last week, the Red Sox celebrated the career of their Public Address Announcer, Carl Beane, who died in a car accident after having a heart attack while driving. They played his opening announcements from the 2004 and 2007 World Series and from the 100th anniversary celebration. They talked about how he had lived his dream in announcing for the Red Sox. It was so inspiring.

Some people don't understand or really appreciate sports. I get it. It seems crazy to get emotional over a game. But to me, baseball means so much more than just a game. My family is crazy about baseball. My dad's father pitched for my alma mater, UVM, back in the 1940's. He even got a chance to pitch batting practice for the St. Louis Cardinals on his honeymoon when they went to visit a friend/former teammate out there. And when I was younger, I would call him after each of my softball games to tell him how many hits I had. I will never forget getting to watch baseball games with him.

My grampa on the field in St. Louis (thanks, Uncle Brian!)
On my mom's side, baseball is also special. My aunt Marta always tells us that she learned many curse words in Spanish because my (other) grandfather would be yelling at the television while watching the game. My mom has been a huge Red Sox fan since she was little and got to go to a few games with her best friend Colleen and Colleen's dad. She even did this little drawing in 1967 and then included it in a scrap book she made for me when I graduated from High School.

Apparently my mom was into politics at the age of 12 or 13
Baseball has always been a part of my life. I have spent years crying over the Red Sox. I remember when I was in high school and I cried while watching my tiny tv that only had 3 channels in my bedroom, one night in October when the Red Sox lost to the Cleveland Indians and their season ended. I remember being in a bar in 2003 when Aaron F@*&#^g Boone hit a homerun and my roommate Devin got me a cab because even though he's a Yankees fan, he knew I couldn't be in that bar any longer. I remember sitting in my apartment in Manhattan one night in October in 2004 when the Red Sox finally won the World Series after 86 years. I screamed and jumped up and down and then sat back down and cried because I couldn't believe it.

Maybe I'm a huge cry baby. Maybe I'm just really into baseball. Maybe it's a combination of both. But there's something about tradition that always gets me.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Body Image Confessions

Over the past year, I have tried twice to lose weight. The first time, I trained for and ran a 5k race. I didn't lose one pound. This second time, I have been going to the gym 3-4 times a week and tracking what I eat online for about the past month. Again, I haven't lost one pound.

All of my life I've been at least a little overweight. When I was in school, I played sports all year round. I'm talking at least two soccer teams each fall, two basketball teams and an indoor soccer team in the winter, two softball teams in the spring, and at least one soccer and one basketball team in the summer. Even so, I've always been on the thicker side.

In high school, I weighed about 150 pounds and thought I was huge. What I wouldn't give to be at that weight right now. Many of my friends were stick thin and had very little in the way of curves. I remember wanting so badly to look like that.

When I went to college, my perception of my body changed. I started to realize that I wasn't huge at all and I finally started liking my body. But just as I was realizing that, I started gaining weight.

Going to college and having access to food all day every day (I remember my dad saying "You're Italian, you're getting the biggest meal plan they have.") was not a good thing for me. In college, tater tots was a food group. And seriously, why did my friends and I always eat a bowl of cereal at the end of every meal? Right, because we were in college and we could (yes, we were rebels).

Access to too much food + not playing sports every day = gaining weight at an unbelievable rate.

Even now, sometimes I look at skinny girls and think to myself, I wonder what it's like to live in her body. I wonder what it's like to be able to wear clothes that hug your body in a good way. I wonder what it's like to be able to wear a strapless dress. I wonder what it's like to not think about my body.

I know, I know, everyone thinks about their body. But is everyone obsessed? I'm not obsessed in an I-need-an-intervention type of way, but I would say I think about my body at least 20 to 30 times a day. Every time I eat, I think about my body. Every time I have to walk up a bunch of stairs (which is a lot since I work on the 5th floor), I think about my body. Every time I am in a group of people, I think about my body.

Throughout my life, I've said, "After ______ happens, I will definitely be able to lose weight." But then the time comes and I'm still stuck. I want the time to be now. I want to be healthy. I want to like seeing pictures of myself. I want to change how I look and change how I feel.

But most of all, I want to be able to shop in all of the regular stores again. I don't want to worry about whether or not they carry plus sizes and if the clothes that actually fit will be grandma clothes.  (Seriously, just because I'm fat does not mean I want little bunnies, snowflakes, flowers, trees, or leaves on my clothes...ahem, JC Penney, Macy's, Kohl's and pretty much any other department store.)

I don't know who you are, Alfred Dunner, but seriously, Al, knock it off. via

I know that I need to change and I know that I can do it if I try. I just need a little motivation and to see some results to encourage me to continue.

What do you do to maintain your motivation and stick to a goal even if you don't have any short term victories?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

According to LoLo...blogging.

Tonight when I was reading all of my regular blogs, I mentioned to LoLo that many of the blogs I read have hundreds of followers while I have just 13 (a big shout out to my 13 followers!!). LoLo couldn't believe it. He said, "Erin, come on, they have hundreds of followers? They must be making up their blogs. So here's what you need to do. Write a story about seeing people driving down the street with 2 people riding on top of their car. Then, they fall off and you and me have to call the ambulance and rescue them. That will get you readers."

Well...that's one way to get readers. But really, is that what you want to read about? A made up story full of blood and guts? I doubt it.

When I think of the blogs I like to read the most, it is their authenticity, their rawness, and their humor that draw me in.

But let me be honest about something else. Most of the blogs I read are written by girls (women really, but that makes them sound old in my mind) who look like they just took a little break from a photo shoot and whipped up a quick blog post complete with professional photos they took while surfing (and sewing a hand made dress) in a breathtaking hidden beach location while traveling with their model-like husbands.

The bloggers I read...via
(Their boyfriend) Nice....sax. via
I don't intentionally seek out these blogs, but it seems like the blogger world is full of these girls. And in the spirit of being authentic, sometimes I feel jealous. I love reading about someone's world that is so different than mine.

No one's going to find me doing a photo shoot and I certainly don't know how to take professional pictures (but I definitely appreciate that Instagram makes it look like I do). I don't know how to surf...shoot, I don't even want people to see me in a bathing suit. I'm not crafty and I will never be a "do-it-yourself-er". And when it comes to my husband, well, even though I think he's just the cutest thing, Ralph Lauren hasn't come calling for him to hit the runways.

Looks pro, right?
This is my little model husband
So even though I love reading blogs from fabulous girls with fabulous lives, I actually kind of think my life is pretty fabulous too. And I love writing about it. As much as I'd love to have hundreds of followers reading my blog, it's more important to me that I stay true to myself and to my writing. No blood, no guts. No fake.

And come on, who wouldn't want that puppy and that cute little husband?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Lessons from One Month of Employment

Now that I've been employed for almost a full month, I thought I would share with you some of the things I've learned since becoming gainfully employed.

1.) Hide yo' kids, hide yo' wife! Dishes have learned to reproduce! In the month since I got my job, every time I come home, there is a sink full of dishes...even though I swear I just washed them the day before!

Not my house...I swear. But it could be... via
2.) Someone is coming into my house during the day and setting a bomb off which consequently leaves clothes strewn all over my bedroom and mail, books, and other things strewn all over my living room. This is the only possible conclusion I can draw about the state of my house.

Also not my house...but you get the idea. via
3.) Life before 8 am actually isn't horrible, but I still prefer a later wake-up call. 

4.) I still hate cooking.

5.) Weekends are still too short. 

6.) There is a lot more laundry to do when you are employed. It's one thing to wear the same outfit two days in a row in front of your puppy, it's a totally different story when you actually have to see people.

Ok so my pile isn't THAT bad... via

7.) It's really easy to slip back into old habits. For example: LoLo and I were basically going out for dinner once or twice a month when I was unemployed. In the weeks since I've been employed, we've been going once or twice a week.

8.) There is not enough time in the week to watch all of the shows I DVR (apparently DVR is a verb now) unless I sit in front of the television all weekend.

9.) Bronx is just fine without me being home all day. He has a bff at Doggie Daycare named Brutus. If I told you there were two dogs named Bronx and Brutus, would you ever guess they were tiny yorkies?

Aren't they tough?

10.) I was wrong about not being ready to go back to work. The supervisors I've worked with have been really impressed with how I work. They are loving my organizational skills. My transition has been relatively easy.

Yay for almost working for a whole month! I think this is the start of a wonderful thing!

p.s. Happy 85th birthday to my Noni! Even though she'll probably never read this, I want the world to know how much I love her and hope she enjoys her day!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Warning: Controversial post. Cinco de Mayo.

I know, I know, politics, religion, and race are things you aren't supposed to talk about at a party, but shoot, this is my party and I'll talk about what I want to talk about. Today's post is going to be about race. If you're scared of this topic, you should probably just skip this post. But if you're willing to think critically about this subject and are ready to perhaps question things you may have never thought of before, read on.

This isn't a meant to be a cute post or a funny post, but more something that will get people thinking and hopefully talking about something that I find pretty important.

Maybe you read the title of the post and thought, "Ooohhh Margaritas! Chips and Guac (can I just say I hate it when people call it Guac??)! Big goofy sombreros! Fake mustaches!"

For me, when I think of Cinco de Mayo, I think of race. I think of people mocking an ethnicity. My ethnicity. As many of you know, my grandfather is from Mexico and I have a lot of family that still lives there.

They don't wear sombreros. They don't wear serapes. They don't dance around and scream in a really high pitched voice. Most of them don't even have facial hair, let alone thick black moustaches. And they don't really drink Coronas either.

See, no serapes.

No sombreros either.

Yet many Americans think it's fun to spend the 5th of May doing all the things I just mentioned and "pretending" to be Mexican.

What if I decided that on Rosh Hashanah every year, I would wear a yamulke and dance around singing the dreidel song, pretending to be Jewish? What if LoLo decided that every 4th of July, he would dress up as a redneck and pretend to be American? Would you find that offensive?

See, the problem I have with celebrating Cinco de Mayo by getting wasted off tequila and/or Coronas and wearing a big sombrero and a fake mustache is that when you do this, you turn an entire ethnicity into a caricature. You perpetuate stereotypes and help to objectify an entire ethnicity. When an ethnicity is turned into an object instead of treating each person as an individual/human, it is much easier to justify policies against them or, on a smaller scale, to justify mocking them.

Do you know why Cinco de Mayo is a significant date in Mexican history? (Please do not say it's Mexican Independence Day.) Cinco de Mayo celebrates the unlikely Mexican victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla. This was a turning point in Mexican history that had basically nothing to do with Americans or drinking.

I'm sorry if this blog post sounded preachy...actually, you know what? I'm not sorry at all. I hope you will think more carefully about how you will spend the 5th of May. I think it's important that we feel open talking about race because that's the only way things will change in this country. Hiding behind fake mustaches and bottles of tequila will get us nowhere.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A world of culture in just one building...or, Maine fashion is a croc

Today I almost had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming. Tonight as I was walking out of my office building (after working out in the gym at the office...yes, my office has its own gym. And I'm not talking some bare bones, one set of weights, one treadmill and a yoga mat hotel type gym, I'm talking machines, weights, a yoga room, balance balls, fitness classes, spin classes, and a real locker room with towel service, etc. I realize I have no excuse now), all I could think was, "I work here. This is real!"

And it's not just the gym. It's the amazing benefits, it's the travel, it's the opportunity to give someone else an amazing opportunity, it's the people. One of the things I was worried about coming back to Maine was that I would miss the worldliness of New York City. Because I remember growing up here and I remember that for many people I knew growing up, going out to see the world meant going on vacation to Cancun.

Sorry, but going to a resort here does not make you a "cultured" person.

Maine drew me back because Maine meant being with my family, being able to own a home, and being able to get to work in less than an hour and a half. One thing I didn't expect to find in Maine was a place where I could talk to someone about the Dominican Republic and they didn't immediately launch into a story about the time they went to Punta Cana on vacation and spent eight straight days drinking and laying on the beach. I didn't expect to find a place where someone would say, "Oh yeah, I have to go to Italy next week," and no one would bat an eye. But I've found all of those things at my job.

I also didn't expect to find a place where people were actually in style. When I lived in New York, people never believed I was from Maine because they said I had too much style to be from Maine. Don't get me wrong, I love Mainers (or Mainiacs as some like to call us), but crocs, jeans, a long-sleeved shirt and a fleece vest is not fashion. I'm not saying you need to strut out in two feet of snow wearing a Versace dress, but shoot, at least look like you're not on your way out to work in your garden.

When's the last time you saw these things on a runway?
But the people at my job have style. If you stepped into our office building, you'd think you were in New York City. Women wear heels (I know this isn't anything groundbreaking for anyone who lives in a city, but in Maine, you rarely see women in heels). They wear outfits that actually match. This means I have to stay on top of my fashion game!

Here's today's attempt to keep up (sorry the picture quality sucks, it's what I could get at 7 in the morning when I was already running late):

Move over, Queen Latifah, this big girl has style!
 I'm so excited to work with people who have stepped outside of the little bubble that Maine can get you in. It challenges me to continually learn new things and stay current on style instead of becoming unfashionably complacent. And now that I have a paycheck coming in, I can get back to being the fashionable babe on a budget that I used to be!