So I Married a Web Developer: Part II

Part II: Pick Your Battles
A series of lessons learned in marriage.

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned in this escapade of marriage is to pick my battles.  I thought I already knew this.  You probably think you know this.  But we don’t.  Well, we do.  But a midst the passion of the stress-inducing moment, we abandon all rationalism in hopes of victory.  Insert: A rewinding montage of all the happy and sad times in your relationship.

Choosing your battle is like looking at the beer list at The Flying Saucer.

This brew is sure to cause a headache.
I’ll definitely be needing Bojangle’s in the morning after this one.
I tend to get angry whenever I drink a stout.

In the end, we just end up ordering one of each.  And the next day, we often regret it.

Simple lesson here.  Choose wisely.  Yes – it is indeed difficult to see through the blur of the… WHY IS THIS DIRTY GLASS STILL ON THE COFFEE TABLE?!  When really, this pet peeve is not that big of a deal.  At all.  It will not affect the rest of your evening, unless you let it.

Remember what you said the last time you got in a silly, stupid, petty fight?  “I’m never drinking again.”  I mean, “I’ll never let that bother me again.”

Please, bicker responsibly.

Spring Bucket List

The top item on my bucket list is to write a bucket list.

What do you think of when you hear the term “bucket list”?  Is it “London, Paris, Thailand, Skydive, Swim with Sharks, Adopt 12 Pit Bulls, Eat Steak Tartare on top of the Empire State Building, Explore the Titanic, Go to Mars with Justin Timberlake”?  That is what I thought at first until I had a reality check.  All of these activities sound amazing.  And I do intend to complete them before my 100th birthday (well I might just adopt 9 pit bulls, by the time I have a big enough house to keep them, there will be a new “aggressive” breed humans will attack and I will want to adopt a few of those, too!).

But you see, there is a balance between living like there’s no tomorrow and understanding that it’s a long life.  I find so much enjoyment in the little things of life.  Sure, I can have an extravagant list of things I need to do before I die.  There are also lots of things I want to do before summertime begins!  Things I know I’ll enjoy doing and I know I’ll actually do.  I want to be able to remember to do them, even if it is as simple as get a table on the sidewalk at The Raleigh Times (Isn’t the Times so cool it’s not cool anymore? Let me know when that happens.), which as it turns out, is not so simple.

It is already 2 weeks into spring.  I still have many recipes to try, places to go, and entertaining to do.

Hair Today, Bald Tomorrow. Bald Today, Hair Tomorrow.

Recently, my gal pal Ann Marie exemplified true inspiration by participating in a St. Baldrick’s Event (as well as donating her hair to be made into a wig for someone who can’t grow new hair due to chemotherapy). The purpose of these events is to raise money for childhood cancer research and (equally as important) raise awareness about the reality of childhood cancer. Obviously this is an extraordinary cause, but it is also an extraordinary act of kindness from the group of participants.

Each participant shaves his or her head in exchange for money for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. They might even shave their beards or eyebrows, but at a cost! I was first introduced to St. Baldrick’s last year when my friend shaved his head. Sean did it for the third time this year. (Almost $10,000 was raised between Ann Marie and Sean alone this year!) This is a fundraiser and awarenessraiser that leaves lasting impressions on the shavees, the crowd, and even strangers alike!

This brings me to my point of this post. I couldn’t help but imagine it would be quite a shock to have hair today and be bald tomorrow!

Or for one person, thanks to Ann Marie, be bald today and have hair tomorrow. Her hair is going to be made into a wig!

I interviewed Ann Marie to find out more about the daily life of a bald woman!

Why St. Baldrick’s?
A student of mine got involved last year, and it inspired the adults and students in our school. It is incredible event. Survivors and parents of children with cancer also support St. Baldrick’s, and I won’t argue with that!

Did it tickle?
Not in the ha-ha-ha-please-stop-oh-no! sense, but it did feel really great! One of the best feelings ever, actually!

What were your thoughts when you first looked in the mirror?
That’s me! and…I look JUST like my little brother, John Paul.

How much free time does your new haircut provide and what are you doing with it?
It actually frees up a lot of my time. Consider how long it takes you to wash your mane, brush, dry, fix, and maintain. I would say that it saves me at least an hour a day, if not more, and I was pretty low maintenance. How many times do you have to sweep your bangs to the side, or fix a ponytail? In my case, it was never once. Currently, I spend most of that time trying to pick out an outfit that does not make me look like a boy, but I am figuring that out, and will soon focus on my current research interest, why Archie and Betty never worked out.

Any surprises you were not prepared for? 
I was not prepared for how much I love it, and how open people are with me about their experiences with cancer (friends and strangers). Actually, people open up to me much more than before, which is really interesting.

Do you experience heightened somatosensory on your cranial region? Lol-yes? The first time that I put on a hat, my body totally rejected that feeling of hat against my buzzed hair, it made me feel really sick instantly. Regulating my body temperature is very different now, and that really makes me feel for those who are undergoing chemotherapy. My body gets cold in a very deep way now, but they are also fighting so much on top of that. Moments of realization like that deepen my appreciation for everyone who supported me financially, mentally, and emotionally in St. Baldrick’s because it all goes to finding a cure.

What have been the reactions to your bald head from your friends, family, co-workers, students, and most curious of all – strangers?
Everyone is awesome and supportive!! Most people say that they couldn’t do it because they have a weirdly shaped head. That makes me smile, because that really doesn’t matter, what matters is spreading awareness and raising funds…and how would you know your head shape until you get a really close look at it? Strangers open up and share personal stories of how their lives have been affected by cancer. My favorite response from strangers has been from the older gentleman out there who have said in passing, “It’s time for a haircut, young lady!” as they smile and walk by.

What’s next for your hair?  Do you plan to grow out your ‘do or keep it short?
Great question! I have no clue. Now that I have almost three weeks of growth, I miss the buzz and feel like I have a full head of hair! It will be short for a while, and I want to play with colors. I am curious to see if it will grow back with my natural curl, or if it is different. I do like knowing that I can shave it at any time, and be super happy about it. If anybody has an idea for a cute style, holler at me!

Trunk Full of Dysfunctional Treasures

My Google Reader contains quite the variety of blog treasures.  You’ll find categories including home (Design*Sponge), fashion (Atlantic-Pacific), current events (Jezebel), food (Skinnytaste), and then there’s this gem that has a category of her own: Penelope Trunk.

Name ring a bell?

If you’ve read her blog, you know she is an admirable careerist as well as a complete basket case.  Needless to say, she is one of my favorites, and has a huge influence on my own blog writing style.

A few of her most recent posts inspired me to write a blog post about her.

She took me aback by posting about how divorce should never. ever. happen.  I’m not “pro-divorce”, and I will agree that she has some good points as to why one should never get divorced.  For instance, I agree that considering divorce without even attempting to “fix” the marriage seems stupid because difficult problems are inevitable and general boredom may seldom occur, but divorce is not necessarily the automatic answer to such petty issues.  Additionally, I can concur that when children are involved, divorce should be a last resort option (correction: she calls it a no resort option).  These are both reasonable scenarios in which divorce does not absolutely need to happen.  But she goes on to say that even in a situation of domestic violence, divorce is still not the answer!  That if you are the victim of domestic violence, you can somehow justify the actions, or even compromise with the malefactor.  And that if you are the victim, you are the one with the pattern, so what does it matter – you’ll end up with someone who will beat you anyway.  How about get your kids out of that situation and don’t get re-married if you are so sure that you will always marry an abuser?  Ugh.  The statistics alone speak for themselves!

(Commenteers of this post rebutted with real-life experiences – their parents got divorced and they were happy because that meant the fighting would stop.  And many of them agreed with me in that domestic violence is never an excuse!  I would have commented, too, but I thought it deserved a whole blog post.)

A week later, she shocked and awed me with a brilliant post about job envy and how to reverse it!  Every single word she wrote had a positive effect on me.

If she could just apply her career advice to her personal life, maybe the Penelope Trunk Blog would be the happiest and prettiest and most perfect blog!  But we don’t like that kind of blog.  We love drama.  Blogs are the reality TV of online media.

So how can one blog have back-to-back posts inflicting polar opposite opinions from the same reader?

Something to remember when reading a blog like Penelope’s is that she is giving her opinion.  No matter what her writing style is, it is still her opinion and not always fact.  (The basis of all blogs is narcissism.)  You have to take hers and mine and his with a grain of salt.

In 2 Months…

…my fellow North Carolinans and I will be able to vote for or against an amendment that will only recognize the domestic union of those married to the opposite sex.  Currently, gay marriage is already illegal in NC and domestic partnerships don’t get that many special benefits anyway.

I just want to take this moment to remind all of you guys and gals in NC to come on out to vote on May 8th.  This is the same day as the primary, but it doesn’t matter what your party affiliation is, you can vote on the topic of Amendment One.  My personal preference would be to vote against this amendment for the simple reason that it is none of my business how other people conduct their love lives.  This amendment does not even grant the rights that gay and lesbian humans deserve.  It would just lock in discrimination in our state.

I’m already married to someone of the opposite sex, so what does it matter to me, you ask?  My answer is that it affects our community and the people we care about.  The affected parties may include…

  • An old classmate
  • The lawyer, architect, engineer, or business consultant you are about to contract
  • The reverend or minister at your church
  • Your friend who lives with her boyfriend
  • A former roommate
  • Children
  • Single parents
  • Someone in your immediate family
  • Your family doctor
  • The trainer at your gym
  • The college student who bags your groceries
  • The extremely qualified candidate that you are about to hire
  • Your co-worker
  • Your neighbor
  • You