Thursday, April 30, 2009

Cult of Personality- Facebook Friend or Foe?

I have a confession to make. I recently joined a cult. It’s called FACEBOOK! All the other members reading this (you know who you are) are laughing because you too have found yourself up at 4:00 am browsing profiles, adding glamour shots of yourself and most importantly checking out all the people that were mean to you in high school including your ex's. Facebook is the new "internet dating for married people!" Some say it's harmless! Some call it dangerous. I say it's a bit of both.
Facebook is a worldwide phenomenon where you can post a personal profile with all sorts of information about yourself and get in touch with everyone you ever did or didn't want to hear from in your past life -including high school. It seems to be a huge internet high school reunion where I find myself asking to be "friends" with the popular kids and crying myself to sleep if someone doesn't "confirm" my request asap!
Then there is the issue of people having the power to find that ex boy or girlfriend and see photos and updates with the click of the keyboard. You know you do it! You look at their new pictures and just pray they are either balder or fatter than you are! Then you can send personal messages that are private or write cute sayings on their "wall" that everyone can see. The point of this is really just a bunch of people wanting their exs to know two things:

1. I’m over you, well adjusted and still good looking. And when you look at my wonderful photo shopped family pictures you will curse the day you broke my heart and left me for that cheerleader.

2. I'm better than you!
There are even status updates where people write exactly what they are doing such as “Kerri is sitting here typing.” "Kerri ate an apple." But what Kerri really means is" Kerri is better than you are and wants you to validate her with some flirty comment on her wall about how fantastic she looks now!" Some people can keep this communication at the harmless stage. I think I'm one of them. I may be neurotic in my own mind but that’s where it stops. I don't cross the line and do my best to mention my husband and baby a lot in my emails to old flames.

I thought it was funny when my high school boyfriend literally looked me up and said "If you still think I suck you don't have to write back!" Well that was enough for me to know I made the right choice in moving on 15 years ago!

I believe it's in the spirit of how you're using this new millennium communication tool. One male married friend of mine canceled his account because he said it was "too easy to flirt" with ex's. At least he's honest and knew when it was getting to be too much. Because people treat flirting on email as if it somehow “doesn’t count!" But in my book it does. I just have to keep in mind that everything I say is literally in writing and can and will be used against me in the court of my "husband!" So I'm good to keep up with my status updates and posting fabulous pictures of me and my cute family in my skinny jeans!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Why I Still Watch Chick Flicks

When I was single I wrote a very empowering piece, or so I thought, titled Why I Don't Watch Chick Flicks basically explaining why they are bad for women. I expressed how they were hurting society by portraying relationships in a totally unrealistic way. They also caused me to go into a serious chocolate chip cookie binge late at night under the covers crying myself into a chocolate coma then drifting off to sleep only to dream of the leading man in the movie. When I was single, and pushing the dreaded age 30, I just couldn't find any reason to hope my life would turn out like Julia or Reese or worse yet Rene in the ever popular Bridget Jones movie! My heart goes out to women everywhere who watch these movies - where the girl always gets the guy. Why? Why ? Why do we do this ourselves? Real life never works itself out in 90 minutes and I myself have never been picked up by a guy in a horse drawn carriage, limousine or private jet.

However, I did fall in love with a guy who offered me chocolate chip cookies and had no car! I did get married and walk down the aisle in a rented pretty white dress. And to top it all off we had a little girl named Lucy join the crew last year. No it didn't take 90 minutes, it took 32 years!

But tonight after another long exhausting day of chasing my one year old, playing 15 games of don't eat that and folding 343 loads of laundry, I found myself engrossed in a rerun of You've Got Mail on Lifetime with my all time favorite Chick Flick actors Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. Yeah, I'm old school. Meg was the ultimate romantic and you just can't help but love her. At the end of the movie Tom and Meg find out that they really are meant to be together and when they embrace, I'm a goner. I can't help but notice I've got the same goose bumps I had the first time I saw this cheesy film and the same tear rolling down my left cheek. I'm just so darn happy for Meg because she was lonely and then she found her true love. She even used the dreaded internet. God bless her! We've all been there! I got rejected by E Harmony!

My point is that these movies can't be taken from the shelves because like it or not we need them. Yes I said it! We live in a bitter sarcastic world full of sickness, financial crisis and war. But some of us still want to believe in happy endings. Is that so wrong to admit? I grew up with fantasies of what would truly make my dreams come true. I marvel tonight at what true contentment really is.

I've just recently gone through a very tough time where the love of my life, my husband was battling an illness. I didn't have my cuddling time, my movie buddy, my best friend in my home for a while and it's brought new perspective to the term Happy Ending.

My life may look different than a Lifetime movie and instead of sound track music mine might have Hickory Dickory Dock and Itsy Bitsy Spider. And instead of passionate sex scenes my scenes may involve me, my husband, an entire season of Lost on DVD, popcorn and triple chocolate ice cream, cuddled up for hours on our big fluffy red couch. It's my realization that I don't want Tom Hanks or Tom Cruise. I'm truly content with the man God gave me. I'm truly happy with our little world as corny as it may seem to other people. It works for us.

So instead of watching Meg with bitterness in my heart I can enjoy her journey and realize I wouldn't trade places with her or any other woman for anything in the world. I have my own fairy tale right here every day of my life. So I'm wondering about you out there reading this? No matter what season you're in can you look around and be thankful for all the blessings in your life right now? A mom/dad/friend who loves you? A great job? A roommate who cooks? New shoes you got on sale that go with the skinny jeans you can actually fit into? A child that needs you to hug them goodnight? No matter what trials you're facing I'm challenging you to find some happy endings in your life right now. They make the Chick Flicks more enjoyable because the movies are imaginary and your joy is the real thing.