For Risks Sake Breathe!

Where have I been? I’ve been heartbroken. It’s better and worse than it sounds, all at the same time. I can only explain it with a flashback to 8th grade summer camp. Kathryn and Meredith were both hell bent on climbing to the top of the cliffs just to jump. I followed suit because who wants to miss out on an experience like a free fall.

It’s the kind of fall you feel when you count to three. Don’t jump. Then count to three again. One, two, cling for dear life to your life jacket, try to remember how to hit the water like a toothpick, and jump.

It’s what happens from the first step off the cliff to the landing in the water that feels like an eternity. I remember jumping, holding my breath, and halfway through the 75 foot cliff jump I made, opening my eyes and wiggling my feet praying that I was there and quickly realizing I still had a ways to go.

Grown up breakups. Why doesn’t anyone tell you about them minus the cheesy Hollywood resolution where Hugh Jackman tells you that “Ray is not the last man you are every going to love”. That would seem to sum up what, looking back, feels like a mere second. It’s the time you are head over heels. Dreaming of you wedding and what your dress will look like and what face will he make when I’m walking down the aisle?! How can this thought jump so quickly to the thought that runs through your mind as you are lying in bed next to the man you see at the alter with thinking, what happened? What did I do? Where did it go? Why is there so much distance between us?

Love is an emotional cliff jump. What I have just mentioned is that point where you open your eyes hoping and praying you are about to hit the water, only to find that you still have half way to go.

Once the man you love tells you he doesn’t want to be with you for the rest of your life, you say okay. Right? Wrong. If you are really invested you want a second chance. You give both of you the benefit of the doubt. You think “I can’t be mad at him for being honest” and you shouldn’t. I was not mad. I was devastated. This is the point in the cliff jump where you have hit the water and you don’t even realize you have made it. Eventually you rise to the top of the water and someone yells “Breathe!” and you do.

Once you de-purple your face from holding your breath for-ev-er. You realize there is a “what’s next” in your future. What is next? How do you move past the life you built with someone that they didn’t actually want to be a part of? (if you hate people that end sentences in prepositions, I meant to say ‘want to be a part of stop-judging-my-grammar-in-a-crisis okay?)

But eventually you let out the air you have been holding in and gasp for something fresh. If you are lucky you are surrounded by great friends and family waiting to greet you with affirmation, prayer, better-luck-next-time, big hugs, and booze—nice booze. I happen to be so fortunate. While I lost a boyfriend, I have had nothing but an outpouring of love from the rest of my significant others. They are my Hugh Jackmans.

With all that has ensued in 2012 I can hardly justify a pity party. While I have them often, I can’t justify them. A broken heart hurts. I would rather break my leg. Snap that bitch in three places. There is no way it would be as painful. If I were hospitalized for a broken leg at least I would always have fresh flowers and the good drugs!

But I digress. This year has been one life event after another. I have watched my brother walk out of brain surgery with no sign of cancer, laid on a pull-out chair, not couch, with my sister-in-law telling her my brother is a fighter and even though they got the tumor they could not remove the bad jokes from his memory as they are hereditary, sang Somewhere Over the Rainbow to my grandmother in the hospital before she passed, hugged my parents as they juggled all the emotions expected in such trying times, chased my god daughter around a hospital waiting room because (in true Kempf fashion) she had three donuts in her mouth and she’s not even supposed to eat donuts, sat on the porch and talked about life with my cousins and how much we love each other, driven to Oklahoma while on the phone with my cousins writing my grandmother’s eulogy, asked my maternal grandmother, Grammer, for advice on grief with the fantastic response of “go to church, pray often and make the time to enjoy everyone and everything”. It has been nothing short of a crazy year.

So a broken heart seems like it would be, at best, an understudy to the victories and tragedies my family has endured. But the truth is I still get calls. About me. And what feels like a paper cut in the big picture of 2012 things to care about. What a fantastic reality check to find that no matter how big or small your problems, your family and friends will always care. They will always fight. They will always write. They will continue to call. They will still text. Just to tell me they still love me. Broken hearted, a little disheveled, a little bit fat, a little more sarcastic, a few new haircuts, a move and a long road ahead – Just as I am.

Turns out, life is exactly like the risks we take along the way. It’s shaky, uncomfortable, scary, lonely at times, and senseless in the moment. But eventually someone yells “BREATHE!!!” and all of the sudden you are back.

Stay tuned.

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Life is extremely messy. Sometimes the chaos is all dressed up in excitement, sometimes bliss, sometimes frustration, sometimes tragedy, and if you are lucky, like I am, your life is extremely full of blessings in the form of great family and friends that will always shoot you straight and remind you to find the good in every day. If it’s your last, leave a good memory in everyone’s heart.

But no matter what life’s flavor of the week is, the most eye-opening lesson I have learned this year is that the unknown is just that. So stop trying to figure it out. All I need is my laundry list of memories, strong coffee, bright red lipstick, really big sunglasses, my family, and my faith.

If you keep up with my stories, you have heard me mention my mother, Krazy Kat. She’s quite famous. And why wouldn’t she be?! She’s a bungee-cord savant, bargain shopping enthusiast, loud laugher, serial furniture rearranger, die-hard caregiver who juggles work, family, friends, friend’s families, family’s friends and is the current president and COO of The 405 Kempf Family Dynasty.

Then there is my dad, Fire Marshall Fred. He earned this title by acting as the rules police (except on spaghetti night. All bets were off there.) He’s the perfect blend of the Parker and Kempf legacy. Just enough Catholic guilt to question every situation that may be slightly dangerous but balances his worried spirit with terrible dance moves that will cause you to laugh so uncontrollably that you will likely cross you legs on the dance floor and side step to the closest restroom because there’s a 50/50 chance you might pee your pants. His optimism is truly inspiring. I hope that someday my non-existent kids will get to learn, first hand, how to do the signature “Kempf bottom dance” from him.

As their only daughter, I have learned so many valuable lessons on life, love, and laughing it off.

The best advice my mother has ever given me is that while we are busy making plans, God laughs. She taught never to pray for a smooth road, just pray for guidance, look out for potholes, and realize that happy accidents are part of a plan that is far bigger than you and I.

Faith is a funny thing. I pray all the time. Usually it’s asking God not to strike me down with a lightning bolt because I judged, or gossiped, or lied, or lied about judging, or gossiped about lying. I pray to Saint Anthony (the patron saint of lost things) every morning to help me find my keys, because if you haven’t noticed, I’m a bit of a mess.

While I admit openly that attending church every Sunday has not been one of my recent strengths, the fundamentals of my faith are the foundation of my life. While I spend the majority of my time removing my foot from my mouth or trying to the wear a poker face (unsuccessfully) when any and everything goes good, bad, ugly, brilliant, or hilarious, I wouldn’t be able to survive without my faith in God.

I learned so much of this appreciation for life by looking through rose colored lenses of faith passed along to me by my grandmothers, the late, Eileen Kempf, and still as sassy as ever, Margret May (aka Grammer – see excerpts on her wisdom filed under the infamous “Grammerisms”).

You know those moments in life when you feel like your heart just started beating again? The kind of moments that shock your system and heighten your senses. You can smell everything, hear everything, and every hand you are holding send chills down your spine. The good chills. The kind that remind you that you are completely alive and at that very moment, you are exactly where you were meant to be.

I had one of these moments while recently visiting my grandmother, my Dad’s mom, in the hospital after a bad fall. Knowing how frustrated and overwhelmed she must have been I had a couple of jokes in my back pocket to share in case she needed a good laugh. Maybe I told my grandmother “When life hands you lemons, put them in your bra.” What?

When I arrived she looked exhausted, frail, uncomfortable, but no matter her physical state, I saw the same beautiful woman I’ve always admired. Even at her worst she still mustered up the strength to shoot me a smile when she realized I came to visit. It’s those cheeks. I’ve totally got her round face with high, full cheekbones, and giant smile, that will literally always keep me from looking my age.

She suffered from several strokes and had lost her ability to speak. (this is a foreign concept in our crazy, loud, Catholic, wonderfully functional dysfunctional family).

Needless to say, she and I had an understanding. My visits were full of dishing on drama and embarrassing encounters about me, my friends, and of course celebs (she loved a good story). I never asked her how she was feeling. I already had that answer. She had been to enough voice recitals, mall Christmas performances, American Kids competitions, and Oklahoma Opry shows to earn a right to hear me do what I do best, sing to her. She loved to hear songs she knew. She held my hand and tapped along to the rhythm.

It’s pretty amazing that singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow, while holding my grandmother’s hand, knowing she was on her way out of this world and into the gates of heaven, will forever warm my heart. I knew in that moment that she was in a significant amount of pain, tired of living this way, and if she had our whole family’s blessing, she was ready.

I sang her hymnals and some of my favorites like “Smile”, “The Glory of Love”, and “Somewhere over the rainbow.” She held onto my fingers and tapped along to the melody. The best was when I would mess up the lyrics to a hymn and she would squeeze my fingers, find the strength to open one eye, look straight at me and she didn’t need to say a word. I knew that look. It said “get back to church”. It was a loaded glare that I am happy to inherit and intend to pass on to my future family.

While i can guarantee that she will skip the line on her way into heaven (total VIP). It was truly humbling. All the years she spent taking care of me, holding my hand, supporting me, loving me, had all come full circle. Her kindness, compassion, and love for celebrating life and all it’s wonders rubbed off on me. And it’s something I feel so blessed to carry with me.

The last thing I said on my visit to her at the hospital was “I hope you realize that you did this. I know how to love hard and laugh hard because you taught me. You did this. Your legacy is within everyone here but I want you to know I’m going to carry it on proudly and pray every day to carry your strength. No matter what goes down, I promise I will keep everyone together.” she squeezed my hand three times. Then she squeezed it again which I took as “stop blabbing and start singing!”

God bless you Grammie. May you rest in peace and grab hold of Papa’s arm outside the gates of heaven, even though we all know he will be wearing Hawaiian shorts with socks and penny loafers (of which you totally did not approve).

If you know me personally you know that my family is my rock. If you don’t I hope that you take away from this story exact what was intended. We have one life. So live every day like it’s your last. Love as hard as you can. And never, ever, ever pass up a chance to laugh at yourself.

Bye Bye Buy Buy Baby

So I absolutely love kids. I have been a nanny and babysitter since I was practically a baby myself. So it seemed like a natural fit for my team at work to put me in charge of buying the baby shower gift for a co-worker. Seems simple enough.

Have you ever been to Buy Buy Baby? I love Bed Bath and Beyond so I thought this task would be a piece of cake. Let’s just say I would rather jump out of a cake naked than ever go back in there.

It smells like a baby changing station. Gross. They had 4 greeters. So I was actually escorted to the registry table by the arm like a small child.

Then the sales associate would not just GIVE me the registry. She wanted to read it to me and give her scripted explanation of how to read it. She kept emphasizing the location of the “potty” section. Every time I would reach for the list she would pull it back from me to finish giving me her unsolicited opinion of each item on the registry.

At this point I was already starting to perspire and was fairly certain the giant walls stocked with tiny clothes were slowly beginning to close in on me and I was about to be swallowed by a diaper genie. So finally I stood up, snatched the registry, thanked her for her detailed instructions, and explained I was in a bit of a hurry.

Somewhere in between the “potty” section, wipe warmers and looking for a germomidofier, whatever that is, I got really hot, things got a little fuzzy, and actually had to sit down in the middle of the aisle.

A friendly sales associate came over to me and gave me some water. Such a nice gesture. Instead of asking if I was alright, she said “Is this your first?”. The mature response would have been “no”. But instead I had to further humiliate myself by saying “No, excuse me for having a fat day.”

I grabbed the germ eating humidifier and ran, literally, to the checkout. Buy it. Tell them its a gift. Then they tell me I have to wrap my own present.

Assembling the gift box was as confusing as solving a rubix cube for me. I’m sweating, my cheeks are bright red, and no one would help me put this gift together. So finally I ghetto-rig the box shut and start heading for the light at the end of the tunnel, aka the exit sign. Of course, homegirl at the register with an attitude forgets to deactivate the censor and right as i could see my car tye alarm sounds. So the three sales associates meet me at the door. One waives the poorly wrapped gift past a censor deactivator. Sirens go off again. She then proceeds to unwrap the present I just wrapped to make sure nothing “accidentally fell in my bag”. So after being accused of shoplifting, she hands me back the gift I DIDN’T steal, unwrapped. I wasn’t even about to try and put together another one of those complicated boxes. So I resorted to wrapping the gift in a reusable bag.

There is no moral to this story. I just that germomidifier purified the shit out of that sweet babies air.

 

Life As Ruth Knows It

I absolutely love meeting my friends parents. I don’t think you can fully understand someone until you meet their family and friends. You have to know where someone came from in order to appreciate exactly who they are. I have fantastic taste in friends which has opened me up to countless opportunities of getting to know wonderful people I never would have crossed paths with.

A few months ago I went out to a surprise dinner for an old friend. Her friends are so sweet and they planned a fabulous surprise dinner. She was under the impression she was meeting with a potential client. So we were extremely confused by her tardiness. The night kicked off with a fantastic “SURPRISE” followed by her explaining to us that she was late because she snagged her panty hose and had spent the last 10 minutes in the office depot parking lot down the street trying to get them off without getting arrested for public indecency.

Then, another surprise, her parents snuck up behind her. Big hugs, a few tears of joy, and it was business time. Ruth, her mom and one of my favorite people, had a drink in all of our hands before she even got settled in her chair.

The birthday girl has a relationship with her mother that is very similar to mine. We are best friends with our madres. We introduced our mom’s when we were in college and realized it is probably a very good thing there is distance between them because they would probably be calling US to bail THEM out of jail while we are in college. They are both hilarious, fearless, kind, smart, highly opinionated, and often wrong but never in doubt.

LAW_Life-As-Ruth-Knows-It

LAW_Life-As-Ruth-Knows-It

Ruth is a wonderful woman who lives each day to the fullest. If there are drinks, she’s having one and so are you. If there is music, she is dancing. If her feet hurt, she’s taking off her shoes. And if there is silence, she has a story. Her daughter is a dear friend of mine and will always have a special place in my heart. But Ruth, Ruth is unlike anyone else. She should write a book of one-liners. She’s fearless and her free spirit is contagious. One minute you are taking it slow because you were just going to stay for one drink and dinner and the next thing you know, you’re at the hotel bar requesting the pianist play rap songs and dancing in circles like it’s Spring Break. There are so many wonderful things that came out of that night. There were the texts she sent me, the “Hey Tell” messages she sent me talking smack because I went home at midnight. And then there were a few gems that I remembered to write down. So in the true spirit of laughter being the best medicine, here are a few words of wisdom from Ruth.

  • “There are 6 okay intelligent people here. Why haven’t we robbed a bank? Have you seen The Town?!”
  • “People think its funny when i say things like ‘Slap their dicks in the dirt and cripple em.’”
  • “I bummed a cig outside the restaurant from a guy. He basically told me “I’m a homo but I want to get with you. It made me feel pretty.” Ruth-a-Rita
  • “Last time we went to New York City I had a “Bubba Tooth”. So we are sitting at the Motel Waldorff Historia and I asked the man ‘Do I look like J Lo? And he said ‘No but you are staying In her room.’”
  • “So I went to a dentist in the city to get my teeth fixed. The guy asked me what I envisioned for my teeth. I said I always wanted pretty teeth. So someone came in and said do you know those are a thousand dollars a tooth. Well let’s get all 8 and make me pretty.
  • …There was Vicious Valerie and Dirty Burly Bob.”
  • “She could wear my ass as a Sunday face anyday.”
  • “We were at the Lou-is Vi-ton store at the Macy’s and these people walked in with these effed up side burns. The lady told me those are some Hacidic Jews. And I said they need to take care of that shit.”
  • Text from Ruth “Hey Missy r u joining us for a hillbilly supper or what?!”

Dear Katie, thank you for sharing your mother with us. Dear Ruth, you can Hey Tell me any time. Come back soon and revive this town. We can go to the Lou-is Vi-ton store and judge strangers. You raised a hell of a girl and getting to hang out with you gave me a solid understanding of why Katie is as cool of a lady as she is.

Good Grief. No literally. Grief.

It looks like I got in a gang fight. Right?! Like “Don’t Eff with the Lords of Death…Don’t Eff with the babysitter” material.

Nope, no one got knifed. I’m just the same fat kid I’ve always been. I haven’t slept for more than 3 hours straight since my doctor said “Whitney, Ambien, Ambien, Whitney”. So sometimes I forget that you should not do anything after you take your sleeping medicine outside of going to sleep. Even eat a Popsicle. Yes…I passed out trying to eat a popsicle. The red on my shirt is shameful strawberry goodness, not sinful bloodshed. I’m not a criminal. Just a fat kid.

Which leads me to eating my feelings. Which leads me to grief. The different shapes it takes. And the tolls it takes on each of us. Even those of us that are too proud to say that we are anything other than the rock of our people. By people I don’t mean I’m cool enough to have a cult following. (Which would be both creepy and kind of cool). But my people, my family, my friends, the lady I make small talk with at the same 7-11 every morning when I get my coffee, the woman in the officle next to me that is going through a rough time who I share uplifting quotes with. My people. The one’s who fill my life with a million reasons to live, to laugh, to love, and risk looking like a moron to do all of these things in order to live by the prayer I pray every morning that is “Lord, make me a means of Your peace.”

There are steps in every process. Especially the ones where you have to throw your hands up to the sky and say “Really?! Really? Shit is going to keep getting weirder?!” So the number of steps I will take in my next little journey of life are not yet decided and i have FINALLY realized are completely out of my hands. But here is a good start…

1. Eating Your Feelings After You Take Your Ambien: Falling asleep cuddling a Popsicle. And then having to explain it to your boyfriend why his sheets need to go in the dryer and comforter to the cleaners because you are so fat at heart you melted a Popsicle all over his stuff.

2. Realizing you just sat at a red light trying to say an Our Father to repent for honking at a swerving cab driver, who is probably just irritated it’s St. Patrick’s Day and really tired, and yelled the “Eff you” at him, and THEN your realized you actually said “Dear God, Make me a bird. So I can fly far. Far. Far away from here.”

3. Walking out of work late, feeling the weight of not being the person with a great “work, life balance”, questioning what is important and worth your worry, and right when you pass the exit, the sprinklers turn on and spray you in the face. Now, that is some funny shit. You can’t even script that kind of shit. It happens, every day, no one talks about it, but everyone has had to make an extra trip to the drycleaners because they had to wade through the muck to get to the good stuff. And that’s…

4. When you realize you might be feeling the after effects of grief and have no idea how to talk to a single person about it. There is nothing funny about holding people, who have held you, your entire life, when they are mourning the loss of someone who they loved, enjoyed, laughed with, respected. Nothing funny about that.

Unless you picture the after-life like I do. A place where God has a recipe for beer and donuts that make you skinny, thinks working out is for show-offs, and when you are taking a relaxing nap, He wakes you up to watch one of your “people” get sprayed in the face with the sprinklers for working too late. You both high five and giggle.

Life is short, and if you are lucky, there is a range of one to a million people you would rather spend your time encouraging, loving, and building up than working towards world soda domination. But the truth is, we all have to work, we all have to provide for either ourselves or our families. All you can hope is that you work with people, that at the end of the day, gave you some hope, a good laugh, or a rediscovered faith in yourself. That’s the stuff. That’s the stuff people spend their entire lives searching for.

5. So you get home, crack open a beer, raise it to the sky in honor of all those who have passed, all of those who are searching for a reason to live, and all of those you forgot to pray for when you aimed for an Our Father and ended up quoting Forest Gump. Then you realize the message under your beer cap says: You Owe You A Beer.

And you realize that all the world is right. Everyone you are thinking about is sending you a message. Go to sleep you big sissy! Get over your pity party, put on your big girl pants, and do something tomorrow that scares the shit out of you because it just might make a difference.

That’s the stuff. The really good stuff. People can’t bottle it. Can’t re-purpose it on a greeting card. Can’t write it on a post-it. Can’t send it in an email. Can’t shorthand it in a txt msg. It can only be felt. So hug someone, pat them on the back, give them a kind word, and if you are any kind of cynical, Catholic, mischievous, belly-laughing at yourself kind of person, do a sister a solid and laugh at yourself. Then tell someone about it, they might just need a break from their reality.

XOXO,

fat-kid-at-heart-who-snuggles-with-popsicles-at-night

Collections = Fun!

Yeah I’m writing this post in a fit of delayed rage. Technically I should wait to write down my thoughts until my sugar levels balance out from my dinner. But I wouldn’t be so hungry if I would have had the time to eat lunch. You know what I ate for lunch? Juan at NTTA’s ego. And I felt good about it.

You know what’s fun? Collections. Not like the plate at church or this seasons newest fashions, I mean debt collectors. You know what is even more fun?! (excited face emoticon) getting calls from pre-recorded female debt collectors with British accents telling you that you owe money to the North Texas Tollway Authority for running tolls in a car that you apparently totaled 10 months prior.

So, I totaled my car in April 2010. On my way to rehearsal for my friends wedding. She was marrying a cop and I actually ran into the cop who worked my accident at the reception. Awkward. Anywho, Allstate told me my car was totaled. This was fair because I smoooshed the shit out of my car. What wasn’t fair is that when I signed my title over to good ol’ Allstate, they didn’t file my Vehicle Title Transfer Notification with the state of Texas.

Leads me to lunch. I have faxed a letter from TXDot absolving me from any charges to said totaled license plate and car attached. I’ve only had to fax the letter to the Tollway 3 times before I got to talk to a supervisor. His name was Juan. Juan who refused to give me his last name was very confident giving me the fourth fax number at NTTA I would have to send said letter to.

He wasn’t as confident when I asked him for his direct line. He gave it to me and I called it from my cell while I was on my land line (bc apparently I am a psycho). I proceeded to tell Juan the number he gave me was the general line. He didn’t have a clever response for that one.

So to sum up my day, what did I eat for lunch? Juan from the North Texas Tollway Authority. His ego, his feelings, and I was full. So I said a Hail Mary and Our Father to myself after the call. Damn Catholic guilt gets me every time.

XOXO, hungry girl.

Grammerisms Part 2

My life is an open book. I learned to swim by sinking. My strong Catholic family (hence the Catholic guilt) has 100% raised me to lean on my faith. When shit gets weird, we probably have a saint to pray to for guidance on that. Should time be of the essence, go directly to the big man with your prayers. As Grammer once told me, “What are you wasting your breath complaining to me for? Would it kill you to pray about it??”

If you have not read Grammerisms bit.ly/frV6mE on LaughAtWhitney.com you are really missing out. This is the second round of amazing comments from my sweet grandmother who I have always called Grammer. Grammer is the definition of a ball-buster. This is not one of those sad stories about someone who slowly starts to lose their mind and says things they don’t understand.  She is 94, fabulous, her mind is still as sharp as a tack, and she is forever the voice in my head that helps me make daily decisions without a filter and with my best interests in mind. She is the world’s most wonderful story-teller. She makes you feel like you were there. Here are a few of the funny highlights from the holidays.

1. Grammer asks how many digits are in an internet number.

Grammer: “How many digits are in an internet number?

My Mom: “Do you mean email? You have an email on the internet. It’s not like a phone number. Where is this going?”

Grammer: “So I went to the shoe store the other day. When I went to check out the girl asked me for my email. I said what is that? Is it an internet number? I don’t have one! The girl didn’t know how to give me 10% off since i didn’t have one. I asked her ‘What do you do with people like me?!’ I don’t have an internet number!”

We just gave her my mom’s card and told her to give them that and we would print out her coupons for her. Is it funny, yes, it was really funny. But to the moron at the register of the shoe store where Grammer bought her shoes, you are a disgrace. How do you look at a woman who is 5 feet tall and purchasing a pair of SASS shoes and not clue in that she may have earned her 10% off by living through the last 90 years?! Respect your elders. You are lucky that all you got was a question from my Grammer! Just because we are tech-savvy doesn’t mean every generation is going to, as Grammer says “waste their time learning about the future when they are surprised every morning when they wake up!”

2. Grammer offers me collectors addition Christmas dessert plates, kind of.

Grammer has been a long-standing customer of BC Clark, a jewelry store in Oklahoma City. Because she is a “member” she gets a Christmas plate every year. She has been collecting them and giving them to my mother. So, this Christmas, my cousin’s girlfriend compliments my mom on her Christmas plates. Grammer immediately steps in.

Grammer: “How many BC Clark Christmas plates do you want Candice? Kristal? Whitney?…Well, Whitney would get them but she doesn’t have anyone else to feed or know how to cook anyway!”

3. Grammer gives fashion advice.

So I became a Godmother this year! So exciting! I call myself the “Fairy Godmother”. So I got a dress to wear to the baptism. Grammer stopped by before the Baptism so we could all ride together. So I’m in the bathroom putting on my makeup.

Grammer: “Well don’t you just look as pretty as always! I was hoping you would cover up your boobies for church.”

What do you say to that?

Pocket Squares

First pocket square of the year. Enough said.

Why I Love New Year’s Eve

Nothing but wonderful things take place on New Year’s Eve. You see all walks of people out and about. I fully support a holiday that encourages everyone to gorge on food and drink excessively with the intentions of getting it out of their system so they can start “fresh” in the new year.

My new year’s resolution is to post stories on a more regular basis. Basically I have been slacking and am now certain that the only people that still visit my blog are in my immediate family. However, I promise good things in 2011. I’m sure I will have just as many instances of public humiliation to tell you about. I will still have a ton of strong opinions about the use of emoticons in the work place.

Something new that I will be adding in 2011, I will be posting a monthly buzz word. It will be accompanied by an illustration from yours truly.

I’m sure I will have plenty of material to make you feel better about yourself when I recap the events that will take place at the NYE party I am going to tonight. There is a photobooth and I have every intention of hiding in it and having at least 20 stellar photobombs to share with you.

Well I have to go get ready because if I’m going to be in the background of everyone’s pictures, I want to look pretty.

I wish you all a Happy New Year! Winking Face Emoticon. Don’t drink and drive. It’s stupid, dangerous, and I bet jail is really smelly.

However, remember to have a couple of adult beverages before you head out to a bar or party because you can for sure expect to deal with at least 2 of the following encounters/scenarios:

  1. Crowds
  2. Cougars
  3. Broken Barbies in boo-bee dresses
  4. Cab Poaching
  5. Attending an event with a significant or insignificant other where you don’t know anyone.
  6. Drunk people
  7. Next day confusion and a walk of shame from a stranger’s house
  8. Blaming roofies for bad behavior
  9. Long bathroom lines because you just jumped in line behind 10 girls that went in the bathroom together. One of them probably just got rejected and the other nine will all spend 20 minutes  in front of the mirror poofing their hair, sharing lip gloss, checking their cleavage, and telling her she is pretty, skinny and popular.
  10. Unfortunate pictures you will have to untag on Facebook the following day.

And remember, if you fall down, laugh it off. Toodles.

Mid-Twenties Survival Guide & Wardrobe Malfunctions

Why was I still at work yesterday at 7pm? Because it had been one of those days. The kind where people ask if you will be around later to discuss some business and you mutter under your breath “Sure, I’ll be under my desk feeding my feelings with an Oreo Cakesters 100-calorie pack”. Then they say “What?” and you respond “Yes, of course, come on by, I’ll be here all day.”

Then I mis-judged the wall of my offical and clipped the corner, catching my right pant pocket on a tack. This lead to me NOT knowing for an hour that there was a giant hole in my pants. The ultimate wardrobe malfunction. I’m pretty sure my company dress code requires FULL coverage pants.

Laugh At Whitney: Pants - 1 Whitney - 0

Laugh At Whitney: Pants - 1 Whitney - 0

Thank GOD one of the girls was nice enough to alert me by asking me to slowly back into her cube because there is a “small” hole in my pants. Since I was confined to my office chair until everyone else exited the building last night and I could walk to my car without mooning anyone, I took it as the perfect opportunity to share some of the survival tactics I have discovered in the first half of my twenties.

You think the worst days of your life are in Jr. High. Surely it doesn’t get any worse than acne, chin-length blunt haircuts, first kisses, lack of first kisses, having to shop at The Gap instead of Gap Kids because you “haven’t hit your growth spurt” aka fat stage, having to speed skate to the bathroom during couples skate because no one wants to slow skate with you, etc. Surely, that’s a wrap on public humiliation and insecurity. Right? Wrong.

Mid-Twenties. Everyone’s best stories come from their 20s. These are the years everyone references when they tell a story about themselves that proves they used to be “cool” and reminds them of what it felt like when they were surely invincible. Aka “back in the day”. I have a ton of fun. So I could probably write a whole blog dedicated solely to my fratty stories that sound cool because I’m in my 20s but would classify me as a criminal or alcoholic if they occurred 40+.

What no one talks about is how complicated your mid-20s are because they are too busy blocking out the humiliating lessons they learned and holding on for dear life to the drunken stories about stealing traffic cones and street signs. When you graduate from college everyone will tell you that they are jealous of your place in life because you are about to embark on a journey that is full of personal growth and learning the hard lessons. When this happens, just nod your head, smile, and thank them for their unsolicited wisdom.

What they should be telling you is treat everyone with respect, admins control the office, work on your poker face, take good notes, leverage your inner monologue to filter panic, be honest, excuses are annoying, and when in doubt, google it.

For anyone currently attempting to master the balancing act of life as a single-working-bill paying-dating-sister-daughter-friend-budget keeping-appointment setting-budget revising-appointment resetting-20 something member of a society suffering from a severe case of ageism, here are some tips on coping mechanisms and some more unsolicited advice.

  1. Don’t cry at work. But if you are going to, make sure you make it to the bathroom. Blame your red face and puffy eyes on allergies.
  2. Yes, sometimes lunch or dinner comes from a candy bowl, remember that Reeses have peanut butter and peanut butter is high in protein.
  3. You can’t actually hide under your desk from work. Someone might see you and consider it a sign of weakness.
  4. Everyone, at some point, has had to check their account balance to see if they can afford to eat lunch.
  5. Yes, sleeping in you car on your lunch break is creepy. But if it helps to avoid #1, it is perfectly acceptable.
  6. Emoticons in work emails: If you would not physically wink at someone in a face to face conversation when telling them “I’m going to miss my deadline again”, don’t use punctuation marks for evil and wink at them in emails.
  7. Always carry a pen.
  8. While chocolate doesn’t actually make you pretty, having a bowl of candy on your desk with a sign that says that will make you really popular.
  9. Having matching office supplies will get you made fun of for the first month but will inspire cube envy moving forward.
  10. Much like the hellish haircut you got in the 5th grade, if you rip a hole in your pants, it’s not the end of the world, you will survive.