Let Your Freak Flag Fly (Just Not By Me....)

I am all for equality of expression (interpret that however you see fit) but when you're around me can you act normal? Case in point: I was warming up on the elliptical this morning in usual egocentric fashion (ie checking myself out in the gajillion-way mirrors that seem to taunt "Hey Fatass") when this guy walks up and proceeds to stand and stare at me. I was about to ask where he was hiding his freak flag when he blurted out, "You're hot." Je-sus are you kidding me? You walk up to a woman, IPOD in ears, covered in sweat obviously into herself her workout and all you can come up with is a line of that caliber? And before you go thinking that I'm being a self centered bitch let me warrant that thought by adding that he pissed me off further by blocking my view. So in true bitch-tastic fashion I look straight through him and pretend Kanye West is singing a little too loud for me to comprehend, or worse yet respond to, that unfortunate statement. So I give him my best I'm-smiling-in-hopes-that-you'll-take-the hint-and-walk-away-from-me smile but much to my dismay he confirms that he has the IQ of a pencil and repeats himself. I'm not going to ignore him twice so, sufficiently embarrassed, I removed my headset and in an attempt to be self effacing said, "Yeah, sweat will do that to you." I mean, what on earth was I supposed to do? Stop panting, grab my cell and ask for digits? So. Not. Interested. Well, he took the hint and proceeded to chat up the girl on the bike to my right.

Okay so I'm not so special (and probably not hot either) but I need to ask what the protocol is when a strange individual makes an even stranger statement and awaits your response. The thing is, I'm never good when put on the spot and where I may seem to come off aloof it is only because I am painfully shy. I'd rather avoid a situation like that at all costs then try and create conversation. Besides, do guys really think a line like that is going to make me jump up and down and beg for more? Nah. I know I'm oblivious to a lot of things but what am I missing here?

Pray tell.

Friends For All Seasons

In thinking about my ensuing 40th birthday I began to reminisce about birthdays past and who I've spent them with; specifically friends who've seen me through, if not the majority of them, the most meaningful of them. I have found my birthdays to be more then just milestones indicative of age, but rather barometers suggestive of life's accomplishments. I suppose one could quantify accomplishments a myriad of ways, but I am most impacted by those personal triumphs. In a word; friendships.

Most of my life has been characterized not by destination but the journey itself. Those precious few who've chosen to sojourn alongside me have left indelible imprints on my heart. Some remain while some have moved on while still others flicker in and out of my life like a candle that burns brightest and elicits the most heat when you need it most. I can count on one hand the number of friends I'd calibrate as life long as, much like most things in life, quality will always reign over quantity. Interestingly enough I find it harder to make lasting friendships now that I'm older, however, this could definitely be attributed to the fact that I keep mostly to myself, and, contrary to most people's first assessment of me, I am pretty shy.

In co mingling memories of both birthdays and friends I find none so poignant as that which is pictured above. If there was ever a time I felt celebrated by those who love me my 36th birthday was it. I recall sitting amongst them at the table, each of them taking turns reciting what they loved most about me while I dissolved in a copious amount of tears. It was perhaps one of the most touching displays of true friendship I have ever experienced. While I remain sisterly-close to two of these women the rest are still within reach. I have perhaps just reminded myself that it is I who am responsible for nurturing and cultivating past (and future) relationships just as much as others are, and that reaching out to these amazing women is long overdue.

My life has been, and will continue to be, definined in many ways but no rendition ever compared to those of the friendships I've shared.

Charitable Snub

You can always tell my state of mind by the condition of my house. Needless to say I'm anxious. I can't tell if I'm anxious because my house is chaotic or if my house is chaotic because I'm anxious.....but we'll save psycho-analysis for another day.

I've been attempting to purge the enclave I call my closet while at the same time trying to rid the entire house of some of it's more tired accessories and artifacts. In the last week I've filled four ginormous garbage bags with shoes and clothes.....and I'm not talking ew-I-wouldn't-wear-that-if-you-paid-me clothes, but nice, fashionable ensembles, some still adorning tags. I have ADD when it comes to clothes as my attention span is synonymous to that of a gnat. Yes, there are some things I hang onto forever but the majority of things get cycled through and expunged as my mood dictates. The good thing is I give it all to charity. The bad thing is that charities are getting picky. Just last month I called a charity to come pick up several bags of clothes and shoes and, much to my dismay, the driver refused several pairs as they were *worn*. Ummm...hello?? These ARE used...and it's not like I would even try to pawn off a completely gross looking pair of shoes to a needy individual. As if. The only reason they were leaving the premises is because the were a little snug and I couldn't justify another blister in the name of fashion any longer. Shocker, I know.

In similar snubbing fashion said charity wouldn't take my archaic, albeit functional, fax/phone machine. I just don't understand why they refuse perfectly good things when people could actually use them. It truly baffles me. I wonder if there's hard and fast rules or if it's up to the driver's discretion. If it's the latter I'd have to say my driver is a moron. And what's with not taking computers? I have an operational Dell that is a bit, ummm, how shall I say, prehistoric, but it works and can do the job. They flat out refused that over the phone even before seeing it. Why not take it and give it to someone who would rather have any computer then none at all? I recognize they don't want junk, but one man's trash is another man's treasure. Or somthing like that. Sigh. Some things I'll never understand.

No Looking Back

I keep getting these absurd e-mails from my high school thanking me for my participation at my 20th reunion last month. Why Absurd? I wasn't there. Yeah......makes me really grateful I'm donating X amount every year to support such a stellar administrative team.
Speaking of absurdity, it is definitely such to think I would ever willingly attend anything to do with my high school let alone a reunion. Needless to say I didn't have the most illustrious high school career. The same architect that built San Quentin prison built my high school and much like a prisoner I spent most of my four year tenure planning my escape. On many days you could find me not in my 6th period English class but on the sandy beaches that called to me once the mercury hit 80. The funny thing was I did well in school. I suppose my ability to bullshit started early.

It didn't help that I started 9th grade in what my parents lovingly refer to as my *awkward phase.* Puh-lease......that's juts a kind synonym made to make dorks like me feel better about themselves. I had the whole 80's thing going for me and it didn't help that I idolized Madonna. I mean, I wasn't completely unfortunate but to look back at that freshman photo is just plain painful. (see photo: me circa 1985) Evolution proved to be kind as sophomore the braces came off as did those few extra pounds and I, dare I say, was fairly hot. My improvement in the looks department did nothing for my still sputtering self esteem and I, other then joining the cheerleading squad, still remained quiet and kept mostly to myself. The last two years I dated someone in college and nixed all things high school related all together so I lost what little affinity I had. All in all I stayed on the periphery, always on the outside looking in, and although I made a few close friends I never cultivated those keep-them-forever-till-you-die BFF's so many talk about when reminiscing about their four years of glory.

I don't miss my youth and I have no interest in revisiting it by way of a reunion with people even day-glow name tags couldn't help me recognize. I have little desire to bond with the myriad of cliques that, back in the day, did nothing except amplify my inferiority complex. I never gravitated toward any particular social group preferring instead to float amongst them pretending not to care that I just didn't fit in. They were the circles to my square and yeah....it hurt. Am I bitter? No, not really. It sometimes makes me sad that I didn't have those memorable experiences some did, then again my idea of success isn't aligned with those who peaked in the 10th grade. I digress......

I am happy the majority of my best years came both later in life and are yet to come - but you'd never have been able to convince my 15 year old self that were the case. Yes, it would have been amazing to win that most coveted popularity contest or be sent the most roses on Valentine's Day but it just didn't happen that way. I am so grateful for the life I've created for myself and feel even more gratification for overcoming the once seemingly insurmountable hurdles high school posed. In keeping with my theme of *Living Forty Fabulously* I am keeping my eyes on the future and have no urge to deviate.

Have you been to your high school reunion and if so how did it go? If not are you planning on going or choosing to rebel like yours truly?

Open To Suggestion.....

In my infinite spare time I caught part of yesterday's episode of Ellen and Dr. Wayne Dyer was on touting the importance of NOT making New Years Reslutions. Sigh. If only I had watched that episode the week BEFORE New years as after my pronouncement of *Living Forty Fabulously* as my one and only resolution I am now faced with the daunting task of living up to my royal request. Yes, I suppose I can listen to Dr. Dyer and quantify this now infamous blunder however I choose, but I am not one to shirk away from any form of self imposed challenge.

So here's where I start my diatribe on how bettering myself will change the world as I know it.......so not into it lemme tell you....but I will say I am going to try and I need your help.

I need you, dear freaders, to help me figure out what *Living Forty Fabulously* should encompass. Yes, I have my own list of cliche's that include every synonym of well being I could find in this little princess brain of mine but I am looking for something a little outside the box; something that will push me to live my fortieth year to the fullest. Perhaps it is here that I need insert that I am not open to sky-dying...yes you read that right...call it paranoia but princess enjoys circumventing the globe in planes not jumping out of them. As if......

So bring it on. I am open to all suggestions and will list my personal fav's next time. I also promise to chose a few that I aspire to attain and will keep you abreast of my progress.

* Big day is March 8th....

Resolute in 2009

SO it's 2009 and I hope all of you had a great onset to the New Year. Myself? I spent it in my pajamas and fell asleep perilously close to the midnight hour, however, I woke up in time to celebrate with Dick Clark then fell asleep for good. Jealous? Yeah...I thought so.

So what's your New years resolution(s)? I usually cop out on the old tried and true but I have actually thought of one worthy of......well...my time. Le sigh. It's good to be so important....No seriously, I think it will keep me inspired throughout the year as it's general enough to encompass many different disciplines but specific enough to have the focal point be on...well.....moi. My New Years resolution is to Live Forty Fabulously! Yes, tis true that princess has a tres' ginormous b-day on the horizon and she intends to live her next 40 better then her first. I've gotten a good head start as I am still working with my trainer twice a week, going to pilates regularly and doing my best to keep healthy. I need to keep myself in the mindset of continually being motivated and inspired by life itself and try my best not to sweat the small stuff. Easier said then done but dare I say I am ready for the challenge.

After all of the drama last year held I am keeping the hope alive that this year brings about stability and inspiration for us all by way of economic, political, domestic and foreign change. I admit I didn't vote for Obama but I am a gajillion percent behind our new president-elect and wish him every success imaginable. I am among the masses who lost quite a bit due to the capitulation of the stock market but I am ever so grateful that I have a home, loving family and amazing friends.

So once again tell me your resolution so I can hold you accountable.....I will be haunting all of your blogs to make sure you're on the path of enlightenment. Ahhh....It's good to be me.