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…Jump on the Groupon Bandwagon

Before you dismiss this sound advice, hear me out. Groupon offers great deals. I get it. I know. Who doesn’t want to pay less for more stuff? I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been clamoring for a new cable adapter for all of my iStuff. I fall into raptures over the chance to hone my rock climbing skills on an indoor, man-made rock-climbing wall. And I, for one, love good food. As far as stuff goes, I’m all in favor of stuffing my face with lobster, or steak, or heck, even cheap Italian. (Got a Bucca di Beppo offer earlier today) If I keep searching, I know I’ll find deals on artwork, unique gifts, travel excursions, massages, beauty treatments… Ah, more stuff for all of us. Who can resist?

But we must draw a line somewhere, mustn’t we? Maybe we draw it in the sand. (If we’re fortunate enough to live on the beach, that is.) Maybe we draw it more figuratively — in the air, right in front of our noses, whilst our voices take on that special shriek reserved for mothers: “NO, you will NOT stay out past midnight, young lady! THIS is where I draw the line!! One more word out of you and you’ll be home at 10!!!! Do you understand me???” (you know. Figurative.)

Or maybe, in the wild excesses of our youth, we decided to let a special artist draw the line in our actual skin.

We probably found the deal on Groupon, and 700 of our closest friends hurriedly ponied up the cash for the same amazing deal, and we became an instant ‘community,’ thanks to the interwebs.

And then, one morning we wake up and realize, “OMG! There’s a very colorful peacock tattooed on my ribcage!” And we don’t quite feel the same as we used to about it. His lovely tail feathers look a bit more like a dust mop these days, what with the inevitable stretch marks from multiple pregnancies, and the ravages of time and gravity (read: Our skin has sagged. Considerably.). We pull on that scruffy sweatshirt (and yoga pants!), trudge to the kitchen and pour a gigantic mug of coffee, marveling at what our lives have become. We seek the solace of social media. Lo!! and behold!!!!!! Groupon’s deal of the day sits in our inbox:

LASER TATOO REMOVAL

Not only did we find a Groupon to get the tattoo in the first place; now there’s a Groupon for getting the dang thing removed. And this is why friends don’t let friends jump on the Groupon bandwagon. Peacocks one day. Dust mops the next. And all because we couldn’t resist being part of the group. Come ON… (you see what I sort of did, there)

Don’t let it happen to you.

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…Think They’re Unappreciated

Confession: I’ve been guilty on more than one occasion of doing the unthinkable. No, not that unthinkable. The other one. Yes, Virginia, I’m talking about taking my friends for granted. (Confession #2: I don’t know who the hell Virginia is, or why we keep saying ‘yes’ to her…)

Since I’m not actually friends w/ Virginia, I’m okay with relegating her to the rubbish heap where she can moulder in peace. But since I still manage to have a friend or two in reality, I think it’s wholly in my best interest to consider them once in awhile — you know, put them before myself, which may I add, is no small feat given my navel-gazing ways. Friends don’t let friends think they’re unappreciated if (and surely that’s a teensy-tinesy if) they want to keep them.

Trouble is, many of us are trying to occupy a bit of the virtual world these days too — you know, ‘social media.’ (Confession #3: I want you to experience the phrase ‘social media’ as if it were presented in a stage whisper — you know, treating it like a naughty word we aren’t sure we’re allowed to say in front of our mothers. Alas! I don’t know how to write it like that.) Between tweeting (rarely), status updating (guilty), trolling around Pinterest looking for great recipes, pictures of lighthouses, and bits of authorial genius (hey, I’m trying to be enriched and enlightened!), and, lest I forget, BLOGGING for pete’s sake (I mean, hello!?!?) I don’t have time for taking a shower, much less time for the two friends I have left in the world.

On the flip side, blog followers count as friends too, right? Okay, so blog followers land squarely in the virtual reality that social media has created. Let me translate: they’re not the same! After all, it’s not quite like I can ‘go to the restroom‘ with them, share a DIY project with them, or even, for that matter, go out for a cup of coffee and a good long heart-to-heart with them. But just because I don’t know many of you, I am ever so grateful that you’ve decided to stop by this blog site and read what you find here. Friends don’t let friends think they’re unappreciated. It simply isn’t done.

And, so, dear reader, I thank you. For stopping by, for hitting the like button, for following this blog. I appreciate the virtual effort. I really do. I’m thinking we could even be friends…

Friends Who Sass Together, Stay Together...

Friends Who Sass Together, Stay Together…

 

…Forget Where They Came From…

I grew up in small town USA. Smaller than that. I grew up on a farm outside Smalltown USA. Party telephone lines. Help when you needed it, and sometimes even when you didn’t. Nobody’s business was private business. Not quite Peyton Place, but I seem to recall watching that on TV…

Grade school friends became high school friends by default, of course, and while we pledged ourselves to be ‘friends forever’ at commencement, most of us instead commenced with the ‘rest of our lives,’ which for many of us did not include sticking around. Keeping up with old friends took a backseat to making new ones. Life, as they say, went on. But if my high school friends turned out to be anything at all like me, they snooped about for the latest scoops on each other at the time-honored homecomings – you know, Thanksgivings, Christmases, summer trips to visit Grandma and Grandpa. At any rate, that’s how I kept up. And that’s how I learned of a high school acquaintance and her layout in a ‘gentleman’s magazine.’ Mind you, I use the term loosely. Layout = porn, right? But I digress…

Here’s the funny thing about that ‘layout.’ Sure, those mags are sold because of the pictures. I, on the other hand, read the story. And I have to say, the details were all wrong. We were a community of farmers, machinists, small business owners, school teachers and those folks’ kids. Everyone attended Friday night football games, band concerts and school plays; we road tripped the ‘away games,’ turned out in force for the Memorial Day parade, the summer carnivals and yearly ‘Fall Festival.’ We attended church on Sundays (some of the Catholics went on Saturday nights). The town sported four bars, and ‘driving around’ Main Street was the teen activity. Cultural hot spot we were not.

But the magazine’s  portrayal of our growing up life indicated otherwise. To read about us, we had arrived. We were the elite, I tell you, with a veritable treasure trove of performance opportunities – musicals, symphonies, dance. Allow me to set the record straight. The closest thing we had to ‘ballet,’ was the high school drill team, aka pom-pom girls. I myself was a member of that squad for a couple of years, I am happy to report. Nary a ballerina amongst us – and not once did we attempt a fouetté en tourant, though we did achieve mastery in presenting our derrières, more commonly known as ‘shaking our booties,’ courtesy of KC and his band. It was the ‘70s and we were doing ‘the Hustle.’ We never dreamed that one of us would show up in “Hustler,” reshaping our shared experiences to ‘make a better story.’

And that, my friends, is why friends don’t let friends forget where they came from. Because there will always be someone who ‘remembers you when.’ And if you grew up in Smalltown USA, then someone is sure to tell the rest of your story, especially if you don’t get all the facts straight, and even if they weren’t there to get all the facts straight themselves. And they will share it on the ‘party line.’ It’s called Facebook, Twitter, or linkedin these days. And trust me, they’ll share it. Just ask Anthony Weiner. That two-bit hustler…