Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

Today is Memorial Day. It is the day to remember the men and women who have died serving our great country. 

In today's society it seems like for most people it is just another holiday, not to work or go to school.  For retailers it is a reason for a big memorial sale. Government offices are closed as well as other businesses.

For what? I've gone to Memorial Services and there were very little attendance. Those businesses that are opened, the employees cannot attend because, well they are working. The ones who are not working, I would bet most don't even stop and think of the real reason why they are off work today.

How sad is that? How sad that people cannot, for one day, stop their every day lives and think of how many people have given their lives for our freedom? 

I have family members and friends who have served and was fortunate enough to come back alive.  

But today I request, you just stop and think of those men and women who have given their lives for our freedom, if only for a moment. Think of the families who have lost them. Think of the children who have lost a parent. Think of the parent who lost a child. Think of the spouses who have lost their soul mates. Think of the soldier who lost part of their troop.

Think of the true meaning of what today is about. Remember these awesome people who were doing their job, and died for what they believed in. They knew going in, there was a possibility of going to war and never returning. But they still went. They were willing to die for us.

So why can't we pause for a day to remember these heroes?

I challenge you, when you see present or former servicemen, thank them for their service. Tell them you appreciate the sacrifices they have made.  If you see a family member who lost someone or currently has a loved one serving, thank them and tell them how appreciative you are for the sacrifice their family has made.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Friendships: Lessons Learned

I want to thank all of you for your support and advice you gave me for my last post. I was in a tornado of emotions and had been for a few days.

My friend read the post and responded. They apologized and we both owned up to our share of responsibility.

I don't think neither one of us had any idea what kind of toll it brought to the other.   It is a good possibility we never will. But there is sort of truce between us.

However, the dynamics of the friendship has changed drastically. I can only say how I feel and see it.

It saddens me and it continues to weigh on my heart. I am sure the weight will lift in time.

I believe every conflict teaches a lesson. And believe me, I have learned a few.

Never ever volunteer advice about their other friends no matter how much they rant about them. When they do ask, be positive. 

Choose your words carefully in whatever you say. When you are frustrated, it is the perfect time to NOT say anything at all, no matter how badly you have the need to say it. Because if you do, it will come back and kick you in the butt eventually.

What you see as a clear solution may not be theirs. 

Although it seems like the two of you have many similarities, realize you have just as many differences.  Hence you react differently.

Keep your relationship separate from other friendships.

When it feels like you are going in circles and you keep repeating yourself, back off. Come to the realization that they are exactly where they want to be and obviously not ready or willing to change their situation. And it is okay if you need to remove yourself from it at some point for your own sanity.

LISTEN to what they are saying, literally. Be there for support only. 

Always remember there are two sides to a story and you are only hearing one side. Never assume. And try not to be be misled. Sometimes what it seems may not be what it is. 

Remember it is their life and they need to fall just like you have. Be there to help them up. 

I feel like I have overanalyzed this far too much. I have thought about this much more than I should. I have read too many articles about friendships. A friendship should not be this hard, I often think. I have used too much energy and stressed myself out too much over this.

What is sorta ironic is when they read my post, they said they thought we were okay. Not sure how they got that out of short curt emails and I dare not assume anything at this point.

I need to do what they often told me. Give it some time. I guess we shall see.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


I have had many friends but only a few I have called Best Friends. My best friends are those who know me and love me for who I am. They are my confidantes. They know they can call me for whatever reason anytime. They cry with me and laugh with me. Sometimes they laugh at me but they are the only ones allowed to do so.  They are the only ones who will give me brutal honesty although it hurts to hear. When they do, I know they do it out of love and caring. They support me in whatever I do. 

I try to do the same. I try to be there for them.  I cherish my best friends. I listen to them and give them advice. I love them for who they are. I support them as best as I can. Or so I thought.

I think my downfall is that I care too much at times. I try to help too much. When I see the problem, I tend to be brutally honest telling them what I see and what I would do. I come off as pushy or judgmental, at least to one. I want them to see it and do something about it now so they won't endure further heartache or frustration.

Their best interest is my only concern.

I only hear their side of the story. But I try the best of my ability to help them resolve the issue. But I mainly tell them what I would do or say. I realize they have different approaches than I would in certain circumstances. I realize their time frame is different from my own.

My TRUE best friends know me well enough that I would never intentionally judge them or hurt their feelings. 

Recently, one of my friendships have been compromised. I admit it was my fault of it unraveling. There were a couple of things they had ranted about continuously. I was supportive, listened and gave advice for months. 

But one bad day,I felt helpless, hopeless and frustrated with that person about the same thing. I am guilty of being bitchy to them but I felt like I was in a vicious circle. I was insensitive by the way it came out. As my mom used to tell me, it's not what you say, its how you say it sometimes.

I suspected they would get mad at me but I just felt like it was unavoidable at that point. I told them exactly how I felt and my views as I have done previously but in more of an impatient bitchy tone.

In addition, I've watched how they interact with others. They have told me when they get upset or hurt they avoid the situation and takes time to come back. They have to put space between themselves and the culprit of the pain and hurt.

Sure enough, it all came crashing down. The expected happened as well as the unexpected. I received an understandably defense reaction which made me realize I really did unintentionally hurt them. I figured it would tick them off but not hurt them as much it did.

I pondered and thought. I looked into myself. I owed them an apology, for not what I said but for how I said it. I had to be a true friend that I felt I was and make it right.

They accepted my apology but said they lost trust in me and it will take time to regain it. They needed space. They said they felt judged and just sometimes wanted  me to listen when they ranted. I apologized several times and backed away as requested.

Correspondence had been curt. I wanted to keep the line of communication opened so I asked through email how they were doing. I wanted them to know regardless I was here for them. I still cared for them. I still loved them.

A couple of days later, they informed me they were still working on their hurt and pain and said their other friendships were compromised by OUR friendship and they had to step back and work on them.

A slew of emotions rushed through my body.  Confusion.  Hurt. Guilt. Frustration. Anger.

Confusion, hurt and frustration  because it seems all I said was thrown back in my face. And to blame me for their problems with their other friendships made me dumbfounded as it seemed to me that I was the only reliable one. They had agreed with my views on several occasions and said they needed to change some things in their own time. I hadn't factored  in the possibility of me being thrown under the bus.  

Guilt: I felt like a monster. I feel like the meanest person on earth. I know I hurt them. I just bluntly said what I said and regret the way it came out. I hate hurting anyone, especially this person. Guilty as charged. I am human and not perfect. If it is any consolation, that guilt will be with me for a while. 

Anger: Well, lets just say that I have reflected on our friendship. I have thought about their reactions not only to me but to other things that were confided in me. I hate being told I reminded them of someone that hurt them when I am nothing like that person. I guess it can be the same reasons of confusion, hurt and frustration

I don't take kindly to the silent treatment. I have never felt that was an appropriate resolution to anything. I understand that the space may help heal but how do you heal if you don't work it out. I find the silence can become larger as one waits for the other and the space can grow larger until it separates two people forever

It is one of those occasions where "You better watch what you wish for because it may come true" comes to mind. 

It is shocking after watching them be hurt by others for months and the one mistake you make, you are blamed for the whole situation and pretty much not important anymore. From what I was told others dished out more than I did more often but who is turned away? The one person they can actually rely on is the first person they turn away from.

I have run the whole situation from start to finish thousands of times in my head. What would I do different? What can I do now?

I think a true friend won't ever turn their back on someone who needs them, even if they are mad at you and rightfully so. But how long is it feasible to sit and wait for them to realize you seriously didn't mean to lose their trust and confidence? How long do you accept the curtness and space? 

I need to let them figure out their own issues. Nod more instead of talk. Be there to listen more and when they ask for advice, give minimal. I have done everything I can think of.  I have apologized repetitively and have given them space as requested. 

Every day I think, they didn't know me at all. Because if they had, they would know I meant no harm or pain. 

A friendship should not be that hard. I understand relationships take work but you can't work in silence or with space.

I made a mistake and owned up to it. But I feel like I will be paying for it indefinitely. 

I feel like I have done all I can. I have to move on and hope for the best.

Maybe I am too forgiving in that sorts and expect the same. Maybe its not fair to expect such forgiveness and so fast. Maybe I deserve it. I do not know anymore.

But I do know I can't be hanging like a thread. I don't work my other friendships like that and refuse to do so now.  From their words they pretty much said where they stand. Our friendship was the reason their other friendships suffered. They were taking time out from all but because of ours, the others suffered. That one sentence did it for me. I don't want any friendship to suffer so I honor their request. 

They no longer have to worry about me from this day forward. They are on their own. They can give their undivided attention to their other friends. I will not be there to be blamed. 

My door will be opened as they can always come in for a visit or if they need anything. It does not mean I do not love them any less or care for them any less. It does not mean that I will not be there for them ever.

But like them, this conflict has made me see things more clearly.

Wish granted. They can have all the space they need.

Ironically,the subject the conflict started with and the subject it ended with were two different things. It started with my concern for their well being and it has ended with a total different issue.


Friday, May 11, 2012

The Finale Las Vegas: Woohoo!

I am so happy to tell you this is the final post strictly about my trip to Vegas which occurred four months ago I know it is way overdue! FOUR months over due.

If you missed any of it and curious enough here are the links. Just click the title and it should take you right to it. If a link should not work please kindly let me know. Thanks!

New Beginnings--It is about the main reason we took the trip, to tie the knot.
Introducing Mr and Mrs: A sorta synopsis after returning home.
Vegas: Transportation-Transportation craziness while in Vegas.
Vegas: This and That:  Our "cultural experience" in Vegas as a favorite fellow blogger, Bouncin' Barb perfectly described it. (If you wanna read a great blog, I highly recommend).
Vegas: Entertainment: Besides marrying, 'adventures"  we did while in Vegas.
Vegas: Think Before You Speak- A perfect example of how ignorance shines brightly!

And here we are....

"DRUMS ROLL!" Finale...

There were other passengers who made me shake my head and wonder, as I have done often lately, "What the the hell is the world coming to?"

The first person was a little old lady. She seemed to be like your ordinary sweet Grandma. She seemed very apprehensive the first sight of her as she entered the waiting area of the airport. (I can't think of the technical word for it and MyAwesomeNewHubby couldn't either so, if you know, be so kind to let me know and I thank you.). She went directly to the employee demanding to get onto the plane first and she wanted the front seat. It was approximately 3 hours before the flight.

The employee, a middle aged fellow I'll call Pedro, just because that's the first name that came into my head. He reassured her that she was going to be one of the first to board.

Throughout the 3+ hour waiting period, she anxiously went to Pedro asking every 15-20 minutes when she was going to board. Patient Pedro repeated as soon as the plane arrived and was ready to board, he would let her know. The plane was late.

After the delayed plane finally arrived it took another 30 minutes before being called to board. We were greeted by 3 flight attendants, one male and two females. I did not catch their names so they will be Byron, Betty and Susie.

As Betty and Susie were making their rounds checking that everyone had their seat belts on and the overhead compartments were closed shut tight before take-off.  Susie noticed Grandma had her packages on her lap (in the first seat) and notified Grandma that she could not hold anything on her lap. Susie explained she would put it in the overhead compartment for her and return it when they were in the air and repeat process upon landing.

Grandma adamantly refused to give up the package. Susie politely and patiently gave her all the reasons why Grandma could not hold them, mainly for her own safety. Grandma did not budge. I give Susie enormous credit for her calm patient approach but you could tell her patience was running, rightfully so.

When Betty walked back up the aisle after checking her side, she saw Susie had been delayed. Susie briefly related the situation to her. Betty attempted to persuade Grandma gently as well but more firmly. Again, Grandma defiantly refused.

Finally, Byron became aware of the situation and saw Betty and Susie were getting nowhere with Grandma.  He simply approached and calmly gave her an ultimatum: either allow them to save the packages in the overhead compartment or get off the plane and get another flight.

A gasp of indignation was her response. Then silence. The three flight attendants stood there.  After a few seconds of reality sinking in, Grandma  reluctantly surrendered her packages. Admirably, Susie showed her where they put her package while Betty and Byron calmly reassured Grandma that her package was going to be safe.

During the flight Grandma apologized repetitively to all the flight attendants and they reassured her that everything was fine reinforcing they were only concerned about her safety. She even gave up her package without incident when we were ready to land.

When the pilot gave us the ETA of 10 minutes, as everyone else, we were gathering our belongings when a whiff of cigarette smoke overloaded my nasal passages. I informed MyAwesomeNewHubby that I smelled smoke. He said he couldn't smell anything and pretty much shrugged it off. I think he responded that way because it was late and it had been a long day. Or maybe he just didn't hear me.

Unless I am congested, I smell cigarette smoke instantly when it is around.

I kept looking around me but didn't see anything. Of course, I am short and the seats were high so I couldn't see where the smoke was coming from. You would think I would see the smoke floating in the air, right?  MyAwesomeNewHubby continued to seem unconcerned as I repeated a couple of times. But he has flown much more than me. He is also the more calmer laid back person than I am.Or maybe he just thought I was the crazy woman he married being her crazy self. HA!

Anyway, finally the plane lands. The airport is small. They couldn't let us off directly to the jet bridge t (I think that's the word, again if it is the wrong terminology, educate me as I have researched and it is the closest) and it was a long walk. (For me anyway)

We were slowly making our way to the jet bridge. There were people older and slower than me in front of us. So I took the opportunity to continue looking for the source of the smoke. It was just bugging me for some reason and I needed to know if my little nose was actually smelling smoke.

Backing up for a moment. There were some Cowboys on our flight coming back from a rodeo. You can tell one of them, I'll call Cowboy, was an immature jerk. Evidently Cowboy annoyed Susie throughout the flight.

As we exited the plane and neared the stairs to get to the jet bridge, I looked back once more as I saw Cowboy exit the plane throwing a cigarette onto the concrete. HAHA! I knew I wasn't crazy.

Susie saw it too and she started yelling at Cowboy who completely ignored her and kept walking. He was laughing and talking to his buddy like he didn't hear her. But I know he did. She was furious!

"Get back here! You just broke the law! Call Security!," she screamed. Out of nowhere or so it seemed, security came and stopped him.

At that time we had finally made it to the jet bridge. As we made our way through the long walk to luggage claim, I was telling MyAwesomeNewHubby what transpired as he had been focused on just getting us from Point A to Point B.

As we were waiting for our luggage to come, Cowboy showed up, laughing but embarrassed. Evidently, they let him off with a warning.

So here is the end of our highlights of our Las Vegas trip. Although it may seem like we were miserable, we weren't. Las Vegas was just not our kind of thing. I sure got some exercise and saw a whole different part of the world.

Thanks for patiently reading this journey. I enjoyed sharing it with you.

Feel free to comment. Tell me your vacation story!