It’s Ok To Be Single On Valentines Day


Personally, after realizing this is going to be the 2nd year in the past 20 something years of not having an actual Valentine I have learned some things. Last year I was fresh off of a major break up and having no one did depress me to the max, even lead me to make some less than intelligent decisions, I am currently still making.
This year I have a new thought process. I have 3 of my closest friends who are in happy, loving, long term relationships all leading to marriages, which is what they all want. I have my amazing family that loves me to the point of suffocation and my pets (yes, I realize this should be that pivotal moment in my life where I realize I will be a single cat lady until I die but it’s cool) that make every bad day better. I have tons of love in my life. This year I had the opportunity to make one of my life long goals come to fruition, and I am on my way to getting all of my ducks in a row with other projects and life goals as well. This year I realize what I should be celebrating this Valentines Day…is myself.
I like where I am, what I am doing and who I have become in the past 2 years. It isn’t always easy, it is totally not always fun or happy but that is part of the inevitable process of being an adult.
I can honestly say this year I am alright with being single and that I have no reason to be sad or depressed. I have plenty of people who love me platonically and romantically, even if I can’t return the feelings. That is nothing to be depressed about.
This year I decide to celebrate love because it does exist, I see it and feel it every day which is something that should be recognized. I see it everyday in my loved ones and I enjoy it. I am happy for my loves who have the things they have always wanted in a partner and want to celebrate for them as well. I refuse to be angry, sad, depressed or selfish because that isn’t want this Hallmark holiday is about. In the end I am Ok with being single this Valentine’s Day because I have love. I’ve known love and recognize that it will always be there for me lover or not.

If Prince Charming Existed

If Prince Charming Existed

If Prince Charming Existed

 

Since the V-day is on its way. I know I say many a thing about how amazing being single is or why I don’t need a man in past posts but what if the infamous Prince did exist? I have voiced my opinion about fairy tales and happy endings but if per chance Prince Charming did exist, I wonder how quickly I would change my tune. If by some mystical reason he did exist and exist for me, I am not sure I have a clear drawn out picture of who he would be. My last, most significant ex, I was with for almost 7-ish years and he was not a prince by far. In an effort to contradict myself, he was as close to my ideal as I ever expected could exist. We did grow together, which is an actual concept I feel my “prince charming” should be able to grasp. Not just growth as a couple but individually. I think the ex and my most basic downfall was as our relationship grew in length of time we individually grew apart but not in bad ways necessarily. We out grew our relationship is perhaps the best way to put it. We to this day are still so similar to each other it’s scary but our relationship wasn’t enough for me. He didn’t love me or appreciate me enough, I thought, but Prince Charming would, he should right? For as long as I was with my ex I don’t think he ever really saw me or actually understood me. I have yet to find a man that clearly does.
If I could cherry pick this prince to be everything I aspire to have and even dreamt a man could be this would be a cinch. The Prince and I don’t have to want the same things or even like them but he needs to let me have mine while I let him have his. He must have a drive and aspirations to always do and be better but not so much so that it is overwhelming or alienating. He needs motivation and can never stop dreaming or being inspired. Mr. Princey Pants must love my big huge obnoxious family and never question my dedication the them or to him. He has to love them and want to be with them as much as I do or else he is useless to me.
Since we are dreaming up the man why not dream up the scenario to boot?!?! I would like my prince to swoop in to my life at one point because he knew I would be in need of a compass (because my morals often do need a direction). He would be a steadfast pinnacle to lead me and give me hope that despite all of the insecurity and fear I deny exists in my head that this love will not be bad and it will continuously prove to be a momentous addition to my life and maybe soul (I am still unsure if those things exist but I am using it more as an adjective for dramatic effect). He will show me that I have to trust in myself because in the end the path that I want to be there, the one I know has to exist for me is there. All I have to do is just take it.
Maybe I’m spoiled that way. That I want and need a man to possess those qualities otherwise I feel he is unfit for me. I need a man to evoke so a sense of pride, happiness and respect from me because he feels the same about me. I want to trust him implicitly to the point that my cell is his cell; my computer is his computer and the like. I have never been that honest or comfortable with a significant other in my life but I would like to be. The Prince would let me be.
I also don’t think it is too much to ask for him to be a super tall, heavily bearded full of tattoos kind of guy either…I mean while we are dreaming. He also has to love animals unconditionally, not be a huge fan of murdering them or wanting me to. I would want him to be creative in some capacity and not be a racist, Obama hating conservative because that would be awful. I would one day wind up on Snapped or some such nonsense.
All jokes aside I don’t need anything fancy. I want a real man who respects me, our relationship and the life we build together. The idea of marriage and children really make no sense to me and most of it is because Prince Charming doesn’t seem to exist. Not any where I have looked anyway. While many of my friends and family members claim to have found him once the honeymoon stage is over everyone is in the same complacent discontent with each other. Once couple after the next one upping their horrible experiences of married and parent life. Maybe Charming doesn’t exist and is Prince Ok You’ll Do….For Now. That however isn’t really good enough for me. If I choose to love you and share my life with you, you are balls to the wall all in or I am out quicker than you can blink. I’ve learned giving chance doesn’t change the person it gives them a respite to find something wrong with you and even the score. At this point as charming as that Prince dream may be I think I will stick with my mini zoo until someone maybe one day really shakes things up for me and forces me to change my mind.

Is It Possible to Become Your Ex

Is It Possible to Become Your Ex

Is It Possible to Become Your Ex

 

 

Lately I have been noticing disturbing behavior in myself and I’m not exactly sure when it started but I’d like for it to stop. I am not sure when I turned into my ex but it is almost like the times you scare yourself when things your parents used to say or come out of your mouth and you spin around involuntarily thinking your parent is standing behind you, then you realize horrifyingly that those words came out of your mouth.
Disappointingly enough, I have noticed a change in myself with previously mentioned nice guy. Maybe it’s my fear of a relationship or my need to have some sort of upper hand after one too many exes overly exceeding need for control of the universe (almost Pinky and the Brain-esque) which has impacted me in a way I didn’t know until now. I am disappointed in myself and my behavior. I am not an angry rude person but with him I seem to be and I don’t like it.  I don’t know how to stop or even how it started, really (needless to say when I first started writing this I was with “nice guy” however his immaturity and unwillingness to be open-minded undoubtedly left me with no choice but to call it quits).
I like to pride myself in being an easy going and generally not difficult. I don’t need anything from a man nor do I want it necessarily. There are things I would like from them in a relationship setting such as respect, kindness, chivalry, the abhorrence of any and all things Republican and perhaps to be completely covered in glorious tattoos (crap tattoos are just as bad as being a Republican) but every time I think I have found most of those qualities and I let my guard down to be someone’s girlfriend they turn out to actually only have had those qualities as part of their ruse to get me into their evil clutches.  Maybe (as the new dude swears) I am jaded by my past.
I am beginning to wonder if the root of my current meanness is due to my disappointment in being let down time and time again. I do feel as if I have spent a ton of time reflecting on myself, my past and where I would like my future to be. I would like to think I am in better control now that I have reflected for so long but I still see I am displaying my miserable ex qualities to new dude now as well. I wonder if I am now or ever going to be ready to be in any kind of relationship because I know I didn’t like the way I was treated so why am I treating others this way. People who are supposed to care about me and love me. Why would I want to actively hurt them or put them down? Why am I jaded? I don’t want to be. I want to think I am capable of leaving the past in the past and only taking the lessons with me but I can actually hear phrases my ex would say coming out of my own mouth. I want to smack myself silly. Then when I hear new dudes response of ” I hate you are so jaded” or “you know I am not him right?” kills me.
I really hope this isn’t a permanent change in my personality and that I can stop this behavior sooner rather than later or I might be where my ex is today….regretting not appreciating me when he had me and pushing me hard enough to force me to go.

 

Why Must We Always Want the Douche Canoe?

Douche Canoe

Douche Canoe

 

 

Recent events have made me realize that no matter how hard I try or what therapeutic work I do on myself I still will choose the hugest Douche Canoe over The Nice Guy? Why is this the case? Why have I not learned my lesson? I have made a constituted effort to sort out my feelings and work on myself and why I make silly decisions and choices in my life but no matter what I find history repeating itself. I feel I have no option but to state the overused definition of insanity completely applies here “doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result”
My major conundrum is I have a nice guy who I know will treat me like gold and has no intentions of doing anything more than making me happy. The one thing women always say they want yet out of all of the qualities I want and traits I am attracted to on a scale of 1 to 10 he is probably a 5 or a 6. The Douche Canoe however on a scale of 1 to 10 is about an 8 or 9 (not talking about looks either but he is kind of super-hot). That is generally minus his douchey qualities. I thought I was doing the right thing for sticking with The Nice Guy but I feel like I am doing him a grave disservice as I feel nothing for him technically. No butterflies or excitement or that giddy feeling when we are about to see each other. I feel comfortable with him however, like we have been together forever and we really only met maybe 6 months ago. He has no problem being silly or making me laugh which is a quality that I adore. Many men are too manly to get silly which annoys me because I am generally silly and probably absolutely ridiculous. I don’t know if I will ever be able to give him the things he is giving me nor will I be able to in the future. That being said I am tired of Douche Bags. I don’t want to be hurt. I don’t want to be with anyone that doesn’t see me for who I am and treat me the way I deserve. This seems to be the one quality I have been chasing since I realized I even liked boys.
I feel like a complete idiot because I kept my ludacris feelings at bay previously but now that The Douche Canoe is being considerably douchey I all of the sudden have uncontrollable feelings that I want to get out and profess. That is so very un-me! I know this situation won’t end the way I want. I know this has trouble written all over it and will result in a horrible pig out/cry fest while not showering for a few days and watching movies that will make me feel like finding Prince Charming will never happen for me (I am not sure I want a Mr. Right or Mr. Forever but I would like the option). Why I like doing this to myself I will never know other than I feel like we as women are bred to need and want masochistic relationships for some sort of punishment we think we deserve ever since Eve effed up Paradise.
I think this is perhaps a case of the I want something so much because it doesn’t want me. I keep trying to talk sense into myself and am asking my besties to keep my lame arse in check but the truth of the matter is I am most likely going to do what I want until it hurts really badly. I guess that is why cutters cut. I am going to probably make myself seem like a stage 5 clinger which is what worries me. I don’t want to seem weak or effected by someone’s stupid behavior. If the captain of the SS Douche Canoe hasn’t/doesn’t/can’t see how amazingly awesome I am WTF am I interested in showing him any feelings for? WTF am I missing him for or letting him win this battle of bad behavior and emotions. I want to hope I am better than that, more of a woman even.
Deep down I do know the reasons behind why I chase hurt and difficult situations. I also think, which I have mentioned in previous posts, that we as women are fixers. We see a problem and want to remedy it. This man doesn’t want me although I am the best thing that has ever happened to him there is no way he cannot see this or recognize it. I have to keep at it until he realizes what a mistake he has made. I have seen this on the ID channel….it often ends in restraining orders or other murdery situations and I am straight up too bougie for prison.
In the end all I care about is myself and my feelings. This Nice Guy is great but maybe he isn’t my Nice Guy. Maybe there is a guy out there that is the perfect mix of Douche and Nice; I just haven’t found him yet. I suppose I still have a lot to learn about myself and my feelings which begs the question “Do we ever really learn?’

Is It Wrong To Crush On A Couple?

Donnie & Jenny

Donnie & Jenny

 

I don’t know about you but I am beyond elated about Jenny McCarthy and Donnie Wahlberg being a couple! I will always and forever love NKOTB and Donnie has gotten ridiculously hot in his later years. I think these two are the awesomest couple ever I hope they never break up! I mean look at them all hot and sexy like! I want to date them both!! I love them as much as I do The Beckhams and David Arquette and Courtney Cox (I was devastated when they broke up).  I am crossing my fingers that Donnie and Jenny manage to never end!
I think it is especially cute that on Jenny’s first day at her new job on The View (laters Hassle-idiot) she has her BF as a guest! I love it! I am sad I haven’t seen it yet as I was at the office all day but the second I get home you better believe I am on it like a bonnet!!!! If you want to see clips of The View click here!!
Do you have or have you ever had a crush on a couple? If so tell me who and why! I’d love to know it’s not just me!

 

North West Lives

North West Lives

North West Lives

 

So now that the Kardashian Clan has done what they are best at the world is now in a happy place. We can all now go back to our lame and lowly pre-North West lives, wars can continue, we can finally eat a meal, read a book, other babies are now allowed to be born and any other attention stealing activity that the Kardashians and Kanye had prohibited until they found the most profitable way to reveal what their fame spawn looks like.
I mean the kid is cute and all but aren’t we going to get sick enough of her before her 1st birthday? I can bet any amount of money that unlike Kanye’s bestie and his wife who have hardly shown off their piece of BLUE heaven (you like that right lol) this baby will be a subject of many an Pap photo opportunity so who cares if the first big reveal is on mama’s talk show that from what I can tell is probably going to be cancelled anyway. I don’t think anyone really cares about the Kardashians much anymore. That family’s one too many minutes of fame has bored us all and made way for younger, funnier and way more interesting stars i.e. Amanda Bynes or the dead that 70′s show sister! Alas, I obviously care a little otherwise a blog post wouldn’t have been necessary but come one peeps! I do promise that sooner rather than later we will be sick of seeing those insanely chubby cheeks and that adorbs little face soon enough….anyone see Kourtney’s little Penelope lately…….nope! Why you ask? Probably because she was even bored of seeing the 43981-348-49818-3813-489 photos of her son and decided a little privacy was probably best. We can only hope this fame-whoring duo decides the same for their little directionally themed babe.

I Love You…Well Until I Love You

I Love You...Well Until I Love You

I Love You...Well Until I Love You

Due to the fact that it is birthday month I tend reminisce. As of late I have been rewatching some of my favorite late 90′s- early 2000 television shows that for one reason or another I hold near and dear to my heart. The ever present theme that can escape no ones attention is that everyone, no matter how young or old, needs to be in love. I can only assume this is 1. a necessity for ratings but 2. mimicking real life. I’m not sure if this need is good or bad but I feel like most people in real life need it and are always looking for it so making it a constant plot theme does make sense.
What I never really thought about when these shows were new to me was how often these people fall in love. I was so enthralled with the drama that the fact that the characters fell in love with almost everyone in the group or outsider introduced everytime now seems a bit insane. Maybe in some instances these shows were attempting to display our sometimes mistaken or misplaced feelings of amore or our lessons we learn from different types of love but dang these people fell a lot.
I want to say I am jealous because the “idea” of love is always enticing. In my case I love LOVE in non-realistic situations like in books, movies or tv shows but real life love doesn’t actually compare ever. Perhaps it is the over dramatization of the situations but the those “fake” loves always seem so simple for the characters to find and intense during the course of the relationship. On television when a characters heart gets broken it can last for one maybe two episodes in real life your one or two episodes seem like a life time. Sometimes they actually do last a lifetime. Then factor in the sadness and pining, healing process, the “I’m taking my time to be single, finding a new person or focus of your feelings could take an entire season if not more in real time. Ain’t no TV show got time for that!
On television the viewer has to be kept interested so a new love interest has to come fast and easy. I think that might be my problem with it. It all seems so easy. Everyone is so quick to love and get over their hurdles. They can easily put the past behind them and BOOM “I love you” happens all over again. There is no way that can be compared to real life love. Getting over and moving on is no where near that easy unless you were never really in love to begin with, in my opinion anyway.
In a time where reality television is the most watched genre you can still see the same fundamental rules apply, all for ratings, but can falling in love constantly be that easy? Maybe all the rest of us need are some really good writers and producers and magically we have the big mystery of love all figured out. We can subtract any actual hurt and pain and feel free to just keep it moving, never having to ask ourselves that dreadful question “Will I ever find love?”.
Personally, at the moment I am sort of digging forgettting what being in love is like and seeing it from a distance on my TV. I like the memories and the sometimes almost longing when I see happy situations on my fave old school shows. I’m not completely sure I want to fall in love as fast or as often as my favorite characters. While the shows may have had an impact on my life (mostly fashion wise I am sure….then not now) I don’t think I want it to be so easy. Perhaps its the masochist in me but I appreciate the difficult times and the recouping. I want my time to assess the situation and learn from it. I think a major issue society has is, forgive me for getting mildly therapist, processing. No one knows how to anymore or even needs to and television doesn’t help. It is rare in my real life that I find people actually stepping back from any difficult situation to process, learn and heal. I think we would all rather avoid and forget so we cancel out difficult feelings with new different ones to mask any hurt or confusion we might have. I almost wish television would reflect the actual healing processes but I assume watching some unwashed, starving, depressed, sad, crappy, loser on TV would be interesting for less than 15 minutes. We are a global community of instant gratification. I see it in my friends all of the time. Every time they go through a break up they are right back out there on the hunt. Sometimes I know it just happens and you find someone else you didn’t mean to right after a break up but in my real life I see how quick, fast and seriously the people I know fall in love. My family even pokes fun at me because of what they think is my avoidance of the feeling. I’ve been in only a few serious and/or long term relationships and often saying the phrase “I Love You” isn’t really my cup of tea. Maybe I have never really been in love or my right kind of love. Possibly I should mimic TV and just be more free with my feelings and fall when ever I can. Maybe my expectations of being in love are too high. Reading too many late 19th and early 20th century English novels might have ruined me for real life love and jaded me to the bland unimaginative love i’ve grown up watching and still see on television and cinema today. For now I think I will stick with my favorite shows and their love interests until one day I become comfortable with finding my own.

Birthday Month Realization

Birthday Month Realization

 

 

Birthday Month is upon us or as my father calls it High Holy Birthday Month!!! It is a week before my 32nd birthday and I have realized some things about myself, life and growing up. In the recent past a few people who have known me for almost my whole life and who I care very much for have become so very judgmental and downright hurtful. At first I tried to brush off such offenses as me being too sensitive. Then I thought maybe these people are right and I just don’t want to hear it. Eventually I realized that really isn’t the case. While I was being supportive through their many mistakes, misdeeds and mess ups as a good friend always should be, they have turned their back on what I have gone or been going through. I as a good friend was honest in certain situations about my feelings of what they were doing but only as an outsider looking in. After saying my part, I have learned that you can always tell someone what you think but ultimately they have to do things their way because pushing your opinions only pushes people away. Your one and only job as a friend after being open and honest is to be there while they are happy and pick up the pieces if any should fall. That is what a good friend does.  Now while I know my mistakes and misdeeds, I like to believe they have helped me become who I am and I try not to forget them, who I was or where I have been. Others clearly like to pretend/ignore/deny those same factors about themselves which is OK but when passing judgment it’s particularly hurtful when hypocrisy is involved.
In my case when I feel someone is becoming overly judgmental I tend to omit things or in some cases lie. This is obviously not the right approach and I was disappointed in myself  when I realized I was doing this. I took it upon myself to apologize and bring up the subject to the few people I felt had done a 360 on me assuming that maybe their perception of my behavior was the reason for this change (maybe they didn’t realize my perception of their behavior towards me is what started the ball rolling but that isn’t to point fingers just how I felt in the situation). I was expecting an apology in return as any good friends would do to alleviate an uncomfortable situation. I knew everyone in the situation had done wrong and what some people didn’t know is I knew more than they had been telling me. I knew they were actually doing the exact same thing they were mad at me for the only difference was they (still to this day) don’t know how much I actually knew/know and I never called them out on it assuming I wouldn’t have to because I was convinced they loved me enough to just apologize and nothing more had to be said (AWESOME FRIEND ALERT). These people didn’t know that another friend had spilled very detailed beans about a situation assuming I knew already. I didn’t know and didn’t even rat out the other friend (just another glaring example of why I am such a fab friend). So here I am being judged very harshly by people I love very much and trust implicitly even still with the uncomfortable feelings. Even when I knew these people were lying to my face and doing the very thing they were accusing me of. I distanced myself waiting for an apology because it had to be on its way. I knew there was no way I wasn’t going to be apologized to but to some people their pride is more important than friendship. To them I was not worth an apology no matter how hypocritical their rationale. These same people after the fact tried to dig a deeper hole but what they didn’t know is this, I was a good friend even when they weren’t looking. I may have omitted some information or told them things happened differently than they actually did because I was tired of their hurtful comments and judgments but what they should be thankful for is that I never ratted them out. I never let people know what it is they did or said about people they “love and care” about. While these very people sit back and judge me or think I am less worthy, I am at peace with their feelings about me. I know what I have done and owned it. I know that if I wasn’t such a good friend I could have hurt them and the people they love very much but I chose not to. I may not be what these people want as a friend anymore but in reality they no longer possess the qualities I need in a friend. I see now that they have dug themselves into such a deep hole that instead of dealing with and fixing what they don’t like in their lives they focus on someone they perceive as weaker. I am content with that too. I may not resort to dirty tricks or childish schemes but my absence in their lives is what they will one day miss. When the truth comes out, as it always does, they will realize what a good friend I always have been and kick themselves for ever thinking otherwise.
In closing at the ripe old age of almost 32 I can say that I may not be perfect nor do I ever want to be. I may not be rich or a genius. I do not have a models body or the best paying job. I have yet to meet prince charming or the million other superficial things that people always associate with having a full life. What I do have is my independence which I earned. I have respect from the people that I have chosen to be in my life and who have chosen to love and understand me for who I am, not who they think I should be. I have a loving family and good group of friends. It has taken time to build the kind of relationships that are healthy and happy with the people I care most about but it has been worth it. I have proven to myself and my loved ones that I am a force. I have dreamed of things and actually attained them; few people can actually ever say that. I have struggled, been scared and hurt on more than one occasion, those have been my greatest lessons. I can see where I need to improve and make those my goals no matter how long the improvements may take. This birthday month is less about the parties or presents this year. It is about finally allowing me to pat myself on the back. I don’t have to have the I am not good enough complex any longer. I don’t need to measure up to anyone’s standards but my own. I am what matters. My goals are mine and I can and will always improve. I am going to leave my insecurities behind me. Those chips that have been on my shoulder no longer need to be there because I have proven to myself what an incredible person, woman, friend and lover I really can be. All of that takes work and reflection. I will never stop working on being the person I want to be but I will stop letting other people judgments get in my way. From now on all of those glass houses we want to deny we live in are not my problem.  I don’t throw stones at yours so best you not throw them at mine anymore. That is the best celebration of my life I can think of.  Anything else really doesn’t matter.

 

Excellent Karma For Like Ever & I Will Love You

Fundraiser June 22, 2013

Fundraiser June 22, 2013

 

 

One of my closest friends has recently found out his 6 year old nephew has been diagnosed with Lymphoblastic Leukemia. This is a difficult thing for any adult to go through not to mention a child. Since there is only so much one family can do they have decided to have a fundraiser to help! Any little bit goes a long way. Please click here to read more about Doug and his family as well as see what you can do! There will be a fundraiser on June 22nd with food, drinks, fun, games, raffles and many other things! Once I have more details I will of course, keep you posted. Please help me help my friend and his family as this cause is very important to me and I don’t reach out like this often and let’s be honest can you resist that little face?!?!?!?! I don’t think so!
Please also share this link or post anywhere and everywhere you can! If you would like to donate a product or service for the raffle or even a gift to Doug or his family feel free to e-mail me info@fashionistajonz.com. I appreciate any help for my friend and this super little boy!
Being that I have no idea what exactly Lymphoblastic Leukemia is as I am sure many of you don’t either here is what Wikipedia says: Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a form of leukemia, or cancer of the white blood cells characterized by excess lymphoblasts.
Malignant, immature white blood cells continuously multiply and are overproduced in the bone marrow. ALL causes damage and death by crowding out normal cells in the bone marrow, and by spreading (infiltrating) to other organs. ALL is most common in childhood with a peak incidence at 2–5 years of age, and another peak in old age.
Cure is a realistic goal. ≥94% of children have continuous disease-free survival for 5 years and appear cured. 30-40% of adults have continuous disease-free survival for 5 years. [1][2][3]
Acute refers to the relatively short time course of the disease (being fatal in as little as a few weeks if left untreated) to differentiate it from the very different disease of chronic lymphocytic leukemia, which has a potential time course of many years. It is interchangeably referred to as Lymphocytic or Lymphoblastic. This refers to the cells that are involved, which if they were normal would be referred to as lymphocytes but are seen in this disease in a relatively immature (also termed ‘blast’) state.

 

It’s A Family Thang

It's A Family Thang

It's A Family Thang

 

 

This weekend was crazy hectic for me. I had more to do than usual and generally I would be annoyed and frustrated for not being able to be lazy and relax. I should also say that the 2 previous weekends I was bored to tears but I wanted to be as lazy as possible due to the fact that every weekend for the next month is straight booked.
The festivities were mainly family based which I love more than almost anything else in this world. This year I was sick during Christmas and New Years then again on Easter and St. Pattys day, which is one of my fave little princess’ birthdays. When I miss big family functions I feel sad. I know many might cringe at the thought of a huge family gathering for multiple reasons but although my family does sometimes induce stress and annoyance I am not sure I feel more comfortable or more like myself anywhere else. I needed this weekend more than I realized. We are a huge Italian bunch full of immigrants, a few Irish and Greeks have managed to sneak in as well but we all fit like perfect puzzle pieces into this insanely large group I call my family.
I spent most of Saturday at a birthday party for one of my cousins daughters at his house which managed to be full of their friends, his wife’s family and a good deal of mine all preparing for his sons baptism the next day.   It seemed like the whole world was in town and in his house. The food kept coming, the wine was definitely flowing and most importantly the laughter was contagious. In most settings too much wine causes problems but not for us. We get louder, funnier and grabbier. We are a touchy feely bunch so if you aren’t related but within goosing proximity drunk or sober you probably will get molested, lovingly of course.
That night a few of us went back to  one of my Aunt and Uncles houses, who have a duplex housing another cousin and her husband with their son. Also, in town was her little sister (who are both sisters to the cousin who’s son was being baptized/daughters birthday party we just left). My family doesn’t have many girls/women in it which makes us have a closer bond I think. My Aunts are like other mothers and my female cousins are more like sisters than anything else.
My cousin (the little sister) and I have been sharing a bed at every sleepover event ever since she was born, no matter where we were. I cannot recall one time we were together somewhere and we weren’t put together to sleep ever in my life. Now it is just a habit it doesn’t at all matter that we are in our 30′s. I am also in charge of rubbing her back from the moment I walk in the door to the moment one of us leaves to go home. It isn’t even a question, it is just what has happened now for over 20 years and I wouldn’t want it any other way. She finds me where ever I happen to be seated and turns her back to me, without even saying a word I am immediately aware of what I am supposed to do.
Once we got back to my Aunt, Uncles, & cousins house we promptly gave her son a bath. Yes, 3 of us were in the bathroom trying to occupy the boy/make jokes about how until we were teenagers we all either bathed together or stayed in the bathroom talking until we were all showered and ready. I am not sure how or why this was the case but that is just how it was. My 2 cousins and I stayed up late, made more jokes about our family and current events, chased after her son and watched cartoons in hopes of lulling the tiny ball of energy to sleep.
In the early morning we were woken up to the smell of pancakes and bacon and the baby not so quietly running around like a lead-footed beast. Either way the sight of pancakes and bacon made up for the early harassment and the cute little face that kid has. I can’t really say no to home cooked breakfast especially since my cousin has an over achiever situation going on with her wifely duties and since we are Italian cooking is very serious business so I was well aware whatever I was about to put in my mouth was going to be absolutely delish.
Soon enough my father and grandparents showed up which is always an event due to the crazy nature of all 3. This tends to make even the most mundane of events exciting and not a little bit nerve wracking. I stayed behind with my grandparents and father while everyone else went to church. I opt out of any and all religious events where possible as does my father. My grandmother recently started this because now she gets dizzy spells (no one has ever witnessed one but she swears she has them) anytime she leaves the house which leads me to believe she probably has some form of agoraphobia, or saw it on TV and wants someone to recognize her illness so she can beat my grandfather in infirmity. She has this competition going with him unfortunately he is unaware of it. My grandfather is short an appendage, his leg, due to 200000000000 years worth of smoking and drinking. He also prefers to say behind now because most churches don’t have an open bar and BYOB is frowned upon. My father doesn’t like to be too far away from any food source and is incredibly inappropriate so places like church or libraries are not establishments that appreciate his presence. I was forced to keep this elderly brood in line whilst everyone else was off watching a baby get drowned for the sake of Jesus or whatever.
After little baby was officially deemed part of the cult, we all ran to take over a quaintly titled restaurant Cafe Italiano (yes, we go to Italian restaurants because some of the old Italians have never had anything else and you have to please them because they are the loudest, biggest and hold the longest grudges). The family completely took over the entire top floor of this place. As per usual, everyone goes from table to table catching up, food galore, kids running around unattended, upset waiters/waitresses, tons of laughter, and last but certainly not least booze flowing freely.
I really forgot how much I needed days like that. Fun isn’t even the word for what last weekend was. Unlike most families, we are all so comfortable with each other that almost no topic is off limits to joke about and there is nothing but love from all of us. I don’t think we stopped laughing for more than a few minutes at a time and that was strictly for chewing purposes. I am never more myself than when I am with them. Anytime I am feeling off or out of sorts all I need is a few hours with one of my relatives and I am rejuvenated. I felt like an epic movie or book has just ended when we all broke away to go home. We never really spend long periods of time apart, which may be odd to some but I can tell when it has been too long away from my family. It’s much like how a smoker knows they need another cigarette. Having such a large family it is almost impossible to go even a week with out seeing someone I am related to which makes being so close that much easier. I hate to use the word blessed ever, but I am not sure there is another word for my feelings towards my family. The phrase “It takes a village” is true in my case. We all grew up together. As kids every weekend my cousins and I were together while the adults were upstairs cooking and setting up for meals. No event was too big or small to have everyone over even if it was just a nice day out. Now that we are all older and growing up, spending large amounts of time together does get difficult. I often wonder how are parents and grandparents pulled it off so effortlessly. I am so lucky and even more grateful to have all of them. Our family is unlike any other and without them there is no way I would be who I am or even where I am at this point in my life. Words cannot even appropriately express how much I love and need those crazy bastards in my life!