Monday, May 24, 2010

Meet the parents.

There are not many situations I am afraid of. I can almost always talk to anyone. But there is a situation I haven't encountered often that absolutely terrifies me. Meeting the family.

I know this sounds quite trivial to some of you, but for me it is more terrifying than being in the dark. (Yes, I am still afraid of the dark.) I put a lot of value into family approval of relationships, which is probably why meeting the family makes me so nervous. If they don't like me, I'm done.

I dated a guy for a while and let's just say our families didn't exactly approve of the relationship. We were young and thought we were Romeo and Juliet, so we made the relationship last longer than it should have, without our parents acceptance. I can remember going to his house and feeling like an outcast. Walking into that house felt like walking onto a battlefield, no one acknowledged me or even tried to get to know me. It was a miserable experience that made me vow to never again date someone without family approval. 

Needless to say, meeting my new bf's family was terrifying for me. What if they didn't like me? If they didn't approve my fairy tale would go down the drain. Prince Charming and the Parents Who Hate Me, wouldn't exactly make for a story book romance. So of course, when the big day came, I stressed for hours over what to wear, what to say, what not to say. I went over and over in my head what I thought they would be like. For a moment, a thought came into my head that maybe I should tone down the make-up and amount of jewelry, to avoid coming across as high maintenance. I quickly realized it was a better idea to be myself 100%, they would either love me or hate me, but honestly was the best policy. So true to form, I wore an outfit with sparkles. 

On the way there, trying to hide my shaky hands was like trying to hide an elephant in church, not happening. Awful flashbacks of being around a family who hated me crossed my mind. I was not going to let that happen again, and I needed these people to like me, because I really like their son/brother/cousin etc. 

The first meeting went well. Everyone spoke and made an effort to get to know me. I jumped inside every time someone asked me a question. 

After spending more time, I have realized that my amazing boyfriend comes from an amazing family. I love everyone in his family and feel so welcomed around them. I knew he had to have an awesome family because he turned out so well. I am so relieved to say that his family makes me feel at ease, I want to spend time with them. 

One of the greatest joys of being able to spend time with his family is watching him interact with his family. He is a great son, a great brother, a great cousin and a great nephew. I saw that the same kindness he shows to me is definitely not an act. I realized that he is 100% of the time a great guy. He might have the sweetest mom in the world, and I really just want to applaud her because she raised an amazing son. 

My mom used to tell me that when the relationship is right, you will love their family. Having a family dislike me wasn't normal. Again, my mother was right. Falling for his family was simply another piece in the puzzle that fell right into place. An amazing guy with a more than amazing family, someone please pinch me. 

Six months ago if you had told me I would be happily in a relationship making all of you want to puke with my lovey dovey writing, I would have laughed in your face. I didn't expect this to happen, but I am so glad that it has. I am excited about the future, and I promise to keep you informed every step of the way.

Have car, will travel.

Relationships are never perfect, if you think yours is you are simply in denial. I have only been a girlfriend for almost two months now, but I can honestly say I have learned so much it feels like it has been much longer than that. Relationships can be close to perfect, but there will always be something, or somethings, that aren't so perfect. My only peeve about my relationship so far? The distance. Oh yeah, did I mention I am in a long distance relationship? Or, to be cool, an LDR. 

You are going to think I am crazy for this next statement, but just hear me out. There are, in fact, some pros to being in a LDR. Yes, I did just say that. First of all, I am a busy person, I thrive on having a lot on my plate and rushing around, therefore I spread myself extremely thin. Obviously, I can't date someone who sits on their booty all day long, so of course my bf is a busy bee too. Being busy would be a headache if we were in the same town, but didn't have time to spend together. Knowing that I don't have to throw in rushing home to cook a scrumptious dinner for my bf and be all dolled up is a blessing. (OK, so I don't cook, but I'm just saying.) We lead separate lives, which I think is great. We are different people doing different things, but we still are very much a part of each other's lives.

I don't have to tell you that my LDR does, quite frankly, suck sometimes. I have done a lot of driving so far and I see a lot more driving in my future. While on my long journey home from spending a weekend with the bf, I realized that in order to be successful in a LDR you must, I repeat, must have 100% commitment from both sides, otherwise it will absolutely fail. So far, we have been great about being equal in our efforts to see each other. I don't think that he should always come to me, or that I should always go to him. And yes, I dislike driving all over the South, I remind myself that is really the only bad part of our relationship. I don't like that in order to have a date with my bf, I have to drive at least two hours, but if you turn it around, in order to see my bf, all I have to do is drive two hours. Putting it that way makes my drive much easier. 

I am learning that relationships require effort, some more than others. Being in a LDR requires more effort than a normal relationship, but since we have both decided we are in this 100%, it is completely worth it. So yes, sometimes I whine about driving for hours, but I always quickly snap out of it. Would I seriously considering giving up Prince Charming simply because the relationship requires me to drive? Absolutely not.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Take it from me, I've been there.

Today I started working on my baby brother's high school graduation gift. I won't start crying about about I can't believe he's graduating because that would just be boring for anyone reading this. While browsing the card section, I realized that all the graduation cards stink. Step it up, Hallmark. They all said the same thing, "You made it, let's party!" Well, "let's party" isn't exactly the message I was hoping to send to my 17 year-old brother. The only other option was a money-holder card. No, I am not giving him any money, thanks Hallmark.

After 5 minutes of being really angry with the card selection, I decided I would write my own. It would be fabulous, I would simply write a letter to my baby bro. I thought it would be neat to write a "things I wish I had known going to college" sort of letter. While I start thinking about the past three years of my life, I realized something. All the "advice" I thought I should give him is advice people gave me, I just didn't listen.

Number one, go to class. Well, while this is great advice I heard many times, I didn't exactly listen. (Sorry mom and dad, ignore this!) Number two, make friends with your professors. This is a great secret to success I didn't figure out until my junior year. Number three, it is OK to miss a party every now and then. Believe it or not, you will not die if you stay in once in a while and relax! I know, it is really hard to believe, but you should definitely try it sometime.

I think the best advice I got that I didn't listen to is to leave your high school relationships in high school. So many freshmen come to college determined to make their high school romance last, despite the distance. It is true that some people do make it, most of them don't. It is always funny to watch them all dissolve around Christmas time. I wish I had listened, but I just knew it was going to work. Ha, who was I kidding.

So after all this I started to think, I got great advice, but I didn't listen, so why would my baby brother? I could give him all the advice in the world, but who says he will listen to me? We all know he thinks I have all the answers to life anyway (yeah right.) So I realized there is really only one thing he needs to listen to. The best advice I can give him is this, listen to other people's advice. I repeat, listen to other people's advice.

I think the smartest thing you can do is to listen to people who have been where you are going, they know what they are talking about, mainly because they didn't listen to people before them. If I could go back, I would have taken the advice given to me, so I can only hope that my baby brother will do just that.

Friday, May 7, 2010

The burn says it's working

While being blond is fabulous, it also has its downside. To go along with my blond hair, I have extremely fair skin. Blond hair, blue eyes, fair skin, call me albino. For years I struggled with self-tanners, spray tans, trying to go in the sun without being fried to a crisp, when I one day realized I should embrace my fairness. I am always overly careful about being prepared when I go out in the sun, nothing less than SPF 30. Well, sometimes things happen, and let's just say I got fried. So I have been walking about miserably for the past few days in pure agony over my poor fried skin. I have been slathering on the lotion every five minutes, and I can't even move without a jolt of pain running through my body. 

Well today I was sitting in Starbucks studying (also known as, people watching.) I over heard these very, very tan (fake) blondes talking about, what else, tanning. One of them proudly announced that she was a member at two tanning salons so that she could tan twice daily. The other one responded with, "You are a genius!" Um, not the word flashing through my mind. The tan addict then told her friend how yesterday she laid in the sun for hours while pouring baby oil on her skin to ensure that she got 3rd degree burn all over her body.  She said, "I am in so much pain from the sun burn it is ridiculous, but at least I will be tan."

Here I was in agony over my accidental sun burn when this smart girl was purposely burning her skin for a tan. My skin was burning just listening to her. I can't imagine why anyone would purposely burn themselves just so they can look like a beach bum Hello, self-tanner anyone?

I just don't understand why someone would basically ask for skin cancer and be a self-proclaimed tan addict, but who am I to judge. I have my vices, but tanning is not one of them. If I was in charge I would make every one wear sunscreen, but that's just me.