Sunday, February 22, 2015

Gym Clothing: Deliberate Disorder

They other day I was getting ready to go to the gym, when I made a sobering realization: I put more effort into choosing my gym clothes than I do my everyday clothes.

Now this may surprise some of you that have seen me at the gym or running at the park. I usually look like crap, in a race tee or an old tank top and black shorts or black shorts. What you don't know is the thought that goes into the selection of those pieces.

  • SPORTS BRA: This is the most important article of clothing. What exercise will I do today? Plyometrics? Running? Interval training? Then I need my most supportive bra. These girls like warm hugs, just like Olaf.  If I'm going to be doing something less bouncy, like Leg Day or Yoga or sometimes even Spin (if the room is dark), medium support works.  Also important to check for with the bra is the temperature outside if you'll be doing anything outdoors. If so, make sure you have at least least some padding up front. You don't want to be anyone's weather vane.
  • UNDERWEAR: If you fall in the "commando" category, this is not a category for you. This is like bras in that it depends on the activity I'm doing. Depending on what it is, I pick thong, bikini, built- ins, or boy cut. Anything else is unacceptable. Then it's material. I have a few different materials, each are promised that they won't ride up (all lies).
  • SHORTS: From there I go to shorts, which is my most hated piece of clothing, because it covers my most hated area of my body. I own a lot of soccer type shorts and a lot of yoga type pants. I layer a lot because many of them (both kinds) don't pass the Bend Test) anymore.  Really, the way I choose this item is which one I hate the least at that particular moment, and if it doesn't pass the Bend-Test, I'll put some Lycra under it.
  • TOP: The top should be something that covers my muffin top, if the shorts I chose emphasize my muffin top. If I'm feeling particularly weak that day, I pick a shirt from a race that was hard for me because it reminds me that I am, despite how a feel at that moment, pretty tough. If I am working arms, no matter how I feel, I pick a tank top.  Now, if the tank top has a razor back then I have to make sure that the bra has a razor back. Another thing, I need to make sure that the top and the bra aren't clashing colors. It would ruin a workout if I discovered that I wore a pink bra and I had on a red shirt (it's happened and it did).
  • SOCKS: I enjoy wearing long socks even though they look a bit silly. I also enjoy wearing socks that feel like they are being wrapped in an angel's tears swaddled in clouds. Okay, I exaggerate, but I do suggest that if you have foot issues that you stop buying a pack of 10 socks for $6 at Walmart and go spend $15 for one pair of socks at a sports store. It literally hurts your heart to buy socks that cost that much but it's the best money you'll ever spend on your feet. So I pull on silly long socks or expensive ugly socks and neither of those match anything else I'm wearing.
  • SHOES: I used to have one pair of shoes for running and one pair for the gym but now I just have the one for the gym, so this step goes quickly, unless my kid has decided to hide my shoes.
 She couldn't pick the right clothes, either!

You see? It's quite an ordeal? When getting dressed for the day, besides my foundation clothing, I ask myself , "Do you care today?" If the answer is yes, I try to put on decent clothes. If the answer is no, track pants and a tee.  I don't know when the gym became so much more complicated than my life, but I think this is a sobering thought that I should really spend more time thinking about. But first, I'd better do some cardio!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Inorganic Friendship

I've been thinking a lot lately about why I think so much about friendship. (I realize my obsessive tendencies encourage this kind of crazy thinking, yes). Not the we-
say-happy-birthday-on-facebook kind of friend, but the I'd-take-a-bullet-for-you type.
The reason this came about is because I have recently (in the past few years) acquired a friend. It feels like we should be closer, but we aren't. There is an unspoken awkwardness to our relationship that simply can't exist in order to have a deep bonded friendship.
Why does that bother me?
I feel like so few people really care about me and know me at that level that when I think it may happen, it's such a gift. Having something be so close, yet unattainable is like taking a kid to a candy store and buying him one of those honey sticks they keep near the counter: still sweet, still yummy, but it ain't no haystack.
There comes a point in every close friendship I have in which I consciously made a decision, "That person is going to be my friend."

I've discovered there are 3 types of people in my top tier.
(1) Rarely is the decision made as soon as we meet. I can name US, AL, RR, AW, OV, maybe one or two more in the span of 39 years. But the point is, I remember thinking as a 12 year old, "I like that new girl Rachel. We will be friends."  I remember attending a new church and deciding, without even having met, that the pianist would be my friend. I make a decision and act accordingly.

(2) Other times, it takes a while, like in any other relationship. Some friends, some of my dearest friends, I had known for a while and when they sufficiently said or did enough things that I like, then I make that decision. This happened with most of my buddies.

(3) There is one other way in which I have decided that people were top tier friend quality: The Mortal Enemy. These people are the ones that rub me the wrong way from day 1, yet something happens over the course of time that makes me realize that the decision must be made to let them in. Usually these friends turn out to be the ones who keep me on my toes and make me think. Many times they are the ones who can get away with teasing me and dishing back the stuff I usually dish out, because I decided that was ok when I chose them as friends.

So many people talk about friendships like they talk about love: it just "happened" or it was "love at first sight."
I don't believe that either of those things are true in aros - romantic love, so why should it be true for philia - friendship love?

If I choose you, you won't know at first. Don't worry, I'm not a crazy stalker lady. Well, I'm no stalker, at the very least. I just need to choose friends very very carefully, because I choose friends for life. Of those I have ever held in that esteem, very few of us have lost contact.

Seriously, I sound like a lunatic...

Are there people out there that just let friendship grow organically? Is that the common manner in which friendships are conceived? Because I wish I could have that same point of view...

So that's my question: Organic or Inorganic?

Sunday, May 11, 2014

An Open Letter to Mothers, Everywhere

Dear Moms:

Every year for Mothers' Day, we try to make you feel special. We buy you gifts or cards. We bring you breakfast in bed or take you to brunch.  This year, I decided to add in one extra thing as a present to mothers everywhere: an apology.

I'm sorry I made you throw up for 9 months. I'm sorry I ruined your waistline. I'm sorry it was so painful to have me. I'm sorry I pooped, peed, and threw up on you. I'm sorry I bit you when you breastfed me.  I'm sorry for waking you up every few hours for years. I'm sorry for exploding diapers and projectile vomiting. I'm sorry for hiding things and not being able to tell you where they were hidden. I'm sorry for writing on walls with crayons, permanent marker, and human (my) excrement. I'm sorry for ruining my clothes. I'm sorry for refusing to eat what you prepared for me. I'm sorry for refusing to wear what you gave me. I'm sorry for not listening to you.  I'm sorry for whining so much (or at all).  I'm sorry for ignoring you. I'm sorry for fighting with my siblings because I know it hurts your feelings. I'm sorry for saying bad words. I'm sorry for thinking even worse words. I'm sorry for not hugging you enough. I'm sorry for being grouchy/moody. I'm sorry for pretty much my whole teenage time. I'm sorry for being ungrateful. I'm sorry for feeling like I *deserved* to have all the monetary things  you gave me, and so much more. I'm sorry for not visiting more in college. I'm sorry for being embarrassed by you. I'm sorry for not calling enough. I'm sorry for taking your grandkids so far away from you. I'm sorry we don't visit more often. I'm sorry I can't do more to show you I love you.

I know being a mom is so difficult. I understand that now. You did the best you could, while all I did was whine and complain.  I'm really and truly sorry, with all my heart.  Thanks for trying. Thanks for succeeding more often than not. Thanks for giving up your youth and your waistline and your sleep and a bit of your sanity for me.

Grown-Up Kids Everywhere

Angenette / Neti / Cui

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My given name is Angenette. I like to be called Neti. My family calls me Cui. You can call me anything you like (except late to dinner).