Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Stand in the Place Where You Live

WARNING: This blog contains some ranting, strong opinions and down-right straightforwardness. Reader discretion is advised.

I have had this post rolling around in my head for the past few days and I think its about finished. I only have a few minutes, so hopefully I can piece it together in a way that makes sense and is not too offensive.

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to attend the wedding of my cousin. We are pretty close as cousins go and I couldn't be happier for him. He married a fantastic girl from Idaho, who, although she is a little quieter than the rest of our loud-mouthed family, is perfect for him. You could see how happy he was. It was pretty cute. (Its a good thing he doesn't read my blog or he'd probably kill me!!) Anyway, I digress.

As some of you may know, I have a relative who I love to the stars who is in a really rotten relationship. Lets call her Betty. Since Betty got together with, lets call him Fred, I have not liked him. Something about him has always rubbed me the wrong way about him. Don't get me wrong, there was nothing overtly wrong with Fred. But Betty changed when she started dating Fred. Not a good thing. However, to be supportive, you sit back and don't say much of anything, just keep a watchful eye. And thats what I did. As time passed, things got progressively worse. Again, nothing openly horrible, but the odd comment that was rude or disrespectful. Now here it is several years later and Fred is openly degrading to Betty. Betty has been verbally and mentally abused to the point that she is now not the same women she was years ago. There is sadness in everything about her. But she loves him. I know, you are asking how that is possible. Let me tell you from experience how it is possible. Years ago when she started the relationship, Fred was not this way. He was a man who could be loved, not the monster today. And as a woman, beaten or not, you want to believe that that man is still somewhere in there. That your love is enough to pull him through this. What you don't realize is that somewhere inside you, his abuse is working. You tell yourself that you are not good enough to get someone else and that you are better off with him than alone. Or that no one will have you now, you're used merchandise. Or whatever combination of lies he has been feeding you to keep you there. He is a manipulator who preys on your insecurities. He has picked at you little by little, making bits of you disappear without you or anyone else even noticing, until suddenly you stand there, looking in the mirror, a shadow of who you started out as. Not a pretty picture. (I promise, there is point, just bear with me a little longer)

And then comes the day when Fred pulls his final trick. He tells you he doesn't love you anymore and he wants you to leave. You panic. You are completely blindsighted. You have no idea where this came from and are racking your brain trying to figure out what you did wrong. You beg him to reconsider, try to make things work. And then Fred has you right where he wants you. He is in control. He can now say or do anything he wants and you won't say a thing because you are too afraid to.

This is where Betty is right now. (I'm getting to the point, really.) And this is where she was this past weekend at my cousin's wedding. Throughout the entire reception, Betty was miserable. And Fred was as rude as ever. Several time, I saw Betty leaving with tears in her eyes. I had to steer clear b/c I knew I would not be able to control myself with Fred and I was not going to ruin my cousins day. Then, the next morning, we had the present opening. Fred was there and his rudeness wasn't just contained to Betty. He was rude to everyone. My aunt, whose house we were at, has ALWAYS had a rule that no shoes are to be worn in her house. Seriously, as long as I can remember, shoes did not go past the entrance. Well, in walks Fred with his shoes on and someone says (very politely) "Fred, no shoes in the house" to which Fred yelled "Who are you, my father. F-bomb". Yep, you heard me right. As most of you know, I'm kind of on the liberal end of the spectrum. While the occasional "Hell" or "Damn" has been known to slip out, that is my limit. And my aunt is WAY more conservative than me. I only remeber one time when someone swore around my aunt and, let me tell you, I was scared. My 5 foot tall aunt suddenly became terrifying. So, there I was, Fred having just dropped the F-bomb and I was waiting for the fury or my aunt to be unleashed. But it never came. I was shocked, but thought that perhaps, my aunt hadn't heard. She was very busy getting breakfast ready, so maybe she missed it. No one else was too near Fred and I, so not much else happend. The moring progressed and people began to pack my aunt's not-so-big house. Literally, we were sitting on top of each other and in rows. Betty was sitting next to me on the couch and there were people sitting in front of us. Our view was completely obstructed. So, Betty passed the camera down the line to someone who would be able to get a good shot. Several minutes later, in walks Fred and he starts in on Betty about why isn't SHE taking the pictures, couldn't she get her butt off the couch and move, ect. In front of everyone. My mom then says, (again, very politely) "Don't talk to my sister that way, Fred." Fred replies by flipping her the bird and saying, "up yours." Ok, now I'm SURE my aunt is going to tell Fred to wait outside. Not only has Fred been rude to two of her sisters now, sworn in her house while wearing his shoes, but he did it in front of the brides family. My aunt is very much one for making the right impression, so I'm sure this will not be tolerated. I wait. No one says anything, until my mom says Fred has no right and tells him to get out. Things quickly turn from bad to worse as mom gets up to escort Fred outside. To my astonishment, my aunt tells my MOM to sit down and stop, NOT Fred. Well, outside go Fred and Mom, both with raised voices, followed by Betty and finally, one of my uncles. Here is what it sounded like from inside.

Mom: Who do you think you are to do that to me. And to treat my sister that way. Get out and don't come back.
Betty: Jackie, I have to ride home with him, stop it, please.
Fred: You F*ing B*
Betty (crying): Please...
Mom: Betty, you can ride home with us, you don't need him.
Fred: (more of the same)
Betty (now crying hysterically and almost screaming): Stop, please, stop it!

Ok, this is the shortened version but you get the picture. Then, out goes my cousin, who asks Mom to please stop it, and not to ruin his day. So, in come cousin, uncle and mom. Betty and Fred stay outside. Cousin goes back to opening gifts and mom returns to seat very upset. In comes Betty. Then, in comes Fred. Yep, he is in control. He can make a scene and no one says anything and then walk back in like nothing happened.

So, off go the new in-laws, back to Idaho. Off go Betty and Fred, with some not so kind parting words from Fred to Mom, and hugs from Fred to others. Yep, they hugged him. Does anyone else see something wrong with this?

After Fred and Betty leave, my aunt starts in on Mom for how she acted. Yep, you heard me right. NOTHING was said to Fred, who not only wore his shoes in the house, was rude to Betty and Mom, swore repeatedly, but also PUSHED Mom, but Mom got in trouble. Now, I know it was not Mom's house and for that she did apologize, and she also apologized for the timing. HOWEVER, if my aunt, the mother of the groom, had stood for what she beleived in from the start, the whole situation would have been avoided. Fred would have been told to leave long before the whole fiasco. Instead, she sat back and allowed the abuse to happen, in her own home. And to top it all off, Mom got in trouble for standing up for someone who needed a little extra support.

Ok, here it is. You have been very patient and I appreciate it immensely. Here is my point.

How often do we back down from what we believe to be true and right so we don't make waves. How often do we sit back and watch as someone does something we know is not right, but we don't have the courage to do something about it. Please, don't be that person. Make waves. Stand up and shout from the rooftops what you believe in and then BACK IT UP!!!!! You may lose a friend or two, but you will gain respect of those who truly love you. And you will be able to respect yourself. That is worth more than a little embarassment for a moment or two.

Monday, June 9, 2008

A Little Fun

I'm sitting here trying to stay awake for at least another half hour so I don't wake up at stupid o'clock in the morning. I have been an insomniac for the past few nights and its catching up to me! So, as I wait, here are a few fun emails I have been sent recently!

Three jobs I have had in my life:

1. Maple Leaf Pork - the worst job EVER! Really, what can be worse than the kill floor of a slaughter house.
2. Villa Playhouse - costume/makeup manager - probably one of my all time best jobs.
3. Once Upon a Bride - dealing with bridezillas was actually kind of funny and I was really good at selling. Add to that the fabulous ladies I worked with and it was a great job!

Three Places I've lived

1. Raymond
2. Provo
3. Salt Lake City

Game shows...

1. I'm pretty good at Wheel of Fortune
2. I love the old Mtch Game on the gameshow network
3. I also really love Let's Make a Deal. At one in the morning, its hilarious!

Old movies...

1. I completely LOVE and Marilyn Monroe movie. My favorite is probably Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend, although Some Like it Hot is a close second.
2. I am also a HUGE Audrey Hepburn fan. I mean, really, who doesn't want to be like Sabrina!
3. I really like the old musicals, like Oaklahoma, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, ect.

Home improvement shows

1. I love Saturday nights on TLC. One flipping show after another!
2. I like Clean House and Clean Sweep. I personally think that organization counts as home improvement.
3. Take this House and Sell it. Its really good for showing changes on small budgets, realistic budgets.

Places I have been

1. Disneyland & Disney Wold. Disneyland was more fun, but I LOVED Florida. I would move there if it wasn't so far away.
2. Banff
3. Las Vegas

Three people who e-mail me regularly

The only people who email regularly are business people but here are people that facebook me regularly
1. Kelly
2. Maureen
3. Marci

Favourite Foods

1. Fruit - I love most everything, especially strawberries and mango!
2. Asparagus!!!!
3. I love crab. If I could eat nothing but crab for the rest of my life, I would be ok.

Three places I'd rather be right now

1. With James
2. Somwhere warm, not windy, not fully of wheat fields and tropical!
3. Scrapbooking

Three people I think will respond

I don't really think anyone will respond, but you could do this on your blog!

Three things I am looking forward to this year

1. Getting a house of my own!!
2. My business getting off the ground and really established.
3. TJ learning to talk

Four, Four, Four

Four places I go over and over

1. Fabricland
2. Anna Banana
3. Calgary
4. Wal Mart

Four people who e-mail me consistently (I'm going with facebook, not email!)

1. Kelly
2. Marci
3. Maureen
4. Jessica & Manda (yes, I know they are two seperate people, but they're family, so I'm counting them as one.)

Four of my favorite places to eat

1. Red Lobster
2. Moxies
3. Home. Nothing beats a delicious homecooked meal, except crab!
4. I love really good mexican, but have yet to find a good place.

Four places I would rather be right now

Ok, since I just had three up in the first section, I'm just going to add one more!
I would love to be in Paris!!

Four people I think will respond

Again, same answer as before!

Four TV shows I watch over and over

1. Project Runway, either Canada or US, I don't care!
2. ANTM - for those of you who are not as obsessed with fashion television as I am, that means America's Next Top Model
3. Criminal Minds - proably the reason I am afraid to go outside alone in the dark.
4. Big Bang Theory - Hilarious, like pee-my-pants funny!

Ok, well it is now an hour since I started this and The Devil Wears Prada started half an hour ago, so I guess I'm not going to bed right away! Oh well, a good movie and some relaxing is worth a little sleep!

Saturday, June 7, 2008


Ok, so I know in my last post, I said I would post some pics of the layouts I did. Unfortunately, Grandma didn't take pictures of them and they traveled to Okotoks, so I have no pictures. I will get some though, and post them when I do.

The past few weeks have been mayhem. That really is the best (and possibly only) way to describe my life lately. Of course, because I was REALLY busy, everything went wrong. (Ok, maybe not everything, but it sure seemed like it! Definitely some major things!)

To begin with, I have been working on finishing the order for Anna Banana. I didn't realize just how long that much stuff would take. Thank heavens Amelia & Kirsty are SO extremely understanding while I work out all the new-business kinks. (I'm sure by now, they are about ready to beat me up!) I was doing pretty well, sewing along, when suddenly, much to my surprise, a long piece of black rubber came flying off my sewing machine and hit me in the face. I screamed. Yes, screamed like a little girl. Fortunately, I was the only home at the time, so no one witnessed my embarrassment. (And now I choose to share it publicly here. Hmmm, doesn't make much sense, does it?!) This was on Wednesday the 28th. Of course, no one in Lethbridge carries the parts for my machine because its not a domestic (regular) machine. So, I had to take it to Calgary to get it fixed. Luckily, I was going to pick James up the next day, so I took it up there and dropped it off with the guy Friday morning.

James and I had made plans to stay in Calgary overnight because we needed some us time. I tried to cancel it on him so I could finish the order, but then my machine broke. (Yes, I got the hint.) We stayed at a hotel overnight and then spent the day shopping and scouting stores to carry my line of bags. Then, we met with Tim and Maureen for dinner and had a great time with them.

The week James is home is always ridiculously busy and this one was no exception. Any moment we didn`t have planned, I was sewing. James was so great about doing the things that I hadn`t been able to do (like clean!) and hardly complained at all. We spent the week meeting up with friends and family, going mini golfing, watching the new Indiana Jones flick, and looking at showhomes. It was a very busy, but very fun week.

I didn`t go with them to take him to catch the plane on Thursday so that I could get more sewing done. And I pretty much haven`t stopped sewing since. Except for the hour I met up with Kelly and Candice and we took the kids to the park. So much fun to see great friends! I`m so lucky! Literally, I spent 18 hours today sewing. Its a good thing I love it. I`ve got the order almost finished, just a few more finishing touches and then it will be ready to drop off on Monday.

Which leads me to one of the most exciting and nerve racking things going on right now. On Monday, we have a meeting with an investor who is most likely going to invest in my business. Keep your fingers crossed and pray really hard that it goes through. I`ve been squeezing in prepping for the meeting when I`m not sewing and I think I`m ready.

So that is the mayhem that is my life lately. I don`t really have any pictures. If I did, they would probably be of me sitting in the dining room (which has now become my sewing room) hunched over my machine, so just imagine that!