Saturday, June 18, 2011

Breaking Up is Hard to Do... Sometimes

Part 3 of Auntie Katie's Free Advise

I’m skipping ahead to break-ups before we even get into the whole relationship conversation, because, well, they usually come sooner than we are expecting them – and whether initiated by you or them- you should be prepared.

There are a million different reasons why people break up with each other. Since we are talking about going “out”  here and not marriage, I’ll only cover some of them. (We’ll get to marriages later.)  

First, I should tell you that sometimes there is no reason. It’s more like you should have never gotten together in the first place. It’s like writing the wrong thing on the chalk board- then trying to erase it, but part of it still shows through. You can’t really undo anything in life. (Another reason to choose wisely.) But clean the chalk board best you can and move on.

Breaking up usually has a few emotions involved. First, you are hurt or shocked (if someone else is doing the dumping) then you are sad for a while then you are mad. I personally always found mad to be better than sad. Sad is: you mope around, sleep too much, eat too much ice cream. Mad: You get a new hairstyle, lose a few pounds, start running, play some sports , hang out with your buddies again and possibly clean your room – maybe even your closet too. Mad is more productive.

The writing is on the wall.

Usually, there are some signs of things to come. If you have been together more than a week, there is a pattern of communication. He or she calls you everyday, you call him /her everyday, you text constantly, you go to a movie, dinner, a ball game- whatever. When there is a variance in the pattern, you should pay attention.  

I wouldn’t worry too much about things being off one day, or even two- but if it is off three days in a row, something is up. (Auntie Katie could be wrong- but it’s rare.) Now the variety of reasons this starts to happen are too many to go into here. I’ll name a few top ones though.

  1. They realized you don’t have enough in common.
  2. They actually like someone else.
  3. They heard you like someone else.
  4. They think you didn’t pay enough attention to them.
  5. They thought you needed more attention then they could give you.

If you or they are on the younger side, it could be that you or they are just not ready for this kind of relationship. Don’t worry, you’ll get there.

Reasons I think you should break up immediately.  Let me just say here- this is my opinion. You don’t have to agree with me- but I’m right.

  1. They physically hurt you.
  2. They cheated on you with your best friend.
  3. They kicked or otherwise abused your pet.
  4. They are into drugs, drinking or any illegal activities.
  5. They are needy to point of aggravation.

I can tell you right off the bat if any of these things are an issue you will be breaking up sooner or later and you – YOU should make it sooner.

Most of the time, after a break up, when the dust settles, you can still be friends. Occasionally, you have to cut all ties.

NEVER be a victim. Never let anyone manipulate you into doing anything you don’t want to do, anything illegal, dangerous or otherwise stupid. If someone is trying to control you, DUMP THEM.

If they don’t want you hanging out with your friends: DUMP THEM.

If they say bad things about your family: DUMP THEM.

There are plenty of nice people out there. But don’t forget, it’s okay to be by yourself too. If you can learn to be happy with yourself, by yourself, then you will be much more secure in your relationships.

Next week we’ll look a little closer at going “out” and what that is all about and expectations and how to manage them.  

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Auntie Katie's Free Advise Part 2

Part II

Embarrassing Moments: To Pee or Not to Pee.

As you start out in the “dating” world and by that, I mean hanging out with the opposite sex, you may find yourself in some embarrassing situations. Hopefully, none of you are as socially backwards as I was and you will not find yourself holding your pee for 12 hours because you are too embarrassed to go when the boyfriend/girlfriend is there.

I doubt boys have this problem and actually doubt if many girls do- but I sure did. Everything embarrassed me. I hated my teeth so I tried not to smile. (Apparently, I smiled anyway because people tell me they remember my laughing and smiling as a teen- I think they have faulty memories.) If anyone mentioned my teeth were crooked- I turned beet red and died right there. If anyone mentioned the zit on my face- or even dared to look at it I would be mortified. I usually stayed home from school because of zits.

I once went out with a boy who decided to take me to China Town for a late night bite. We went to some downstairs off the beaten track kind of place that was real Chinese food. He ordered for us. Up until that evening, the only Chinese I had ever eaten was Sweet & Sour Pork and Fried Rice. Our soup comes and I take a big spoon full- and IMMEDIATELY spit it out and exclaimed, “I could feel the testicles.”    Well he burst out laughing and told me the word was tentacles. Then he told me what testicles were. I was very embarrassed. Still, I think, anything with testicles or tentacles, should not be in your soup.

Another time I was out to lunch with someone and read the menu... Hors d'Ĺ“uvre. I read it aloud pronouncing that H. Horsedevores. He laughed too. I died. Somehow, I lived through these moments and got a little smarter. I stopped eating anything I couldn’t say or didn’t know what the word meant and eventually learned to ask questions like : How do you say this word?

I have more embarrassing moments – but I think you get the drift. We do live through these things and outgrow most of them. Half the battle is learning to laugh at yourself. I didn’t do that when I was really young but I eventually learned that things are pretty funny if you loosen up a little.

So my advise for embarrassing moments? Laugh it off. Try not to be so self -conscious, and for God’s sake- go pee if you have to go pee.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Auntie Katie's Free Advise

If you are one of my older blog readers- you might want to pass this on to anyone just starting out in the teen years.

Here are some things everyone should know when they start dating, having boyfriends or girlfriends and everything that goes along with that completely new world.

If you think my advice doesn’t pertain to your situation- file it for later- it probably will.

Part I

That first kiss…

My first kiss was horrible. He smashed my face and hit his teeth on my teeth. It was as they say, “the kiss of death”,  since it was also my last kiss from that boy. It was my last kiss from him not because it was a horrible kiss, which it was, but because I was too embarrassed to look at him afterwards. He gave me his ring that night at a school dance and I gave it back to him, via his sister the following Monday. I was in 6th grade and too young.

Six months later, I kissed another boy and it was much nicer, softer – almost professional in my thinking. (I’m sure he did not say the same for me). Unfortunately, he was quite a bit older than me and had no intention of making me his girlfriend. Lesson learned there: If they won’t be seen in public with you dump them.

Maybe some people think a kiss is not important-but it is. It’s the kiss, that connects you the first time. It’s the kiss, that (if you are paying attention) will tell you how they feel: if they are sad, happy, preoccupied or even cheating on you- you’ll know from that kiss if you let yourself.  (More on letting yourself know things later)

If your first kiss is also their first kiss, then you can learn together. All I can tell you is it should not hurt, or break your teeth. It should not be slobbery like a St. Bernard drooling all over you. It should be like kissing a big soft pillow. Their breath should be nice and since they are being up close and personal, they should smell clean. (If your first kiss takes place in a sewer and everyone smells bad, you have much bigger problems than kissing.)  

Remember: Don’t ever do anything you don’t want to do. And if you can’t both discuss it first, honestly and intellectually then you are not ready.

Okay- so once you are passed the whole first kiss thing- you actually move on to real relationships. Boyfriend – girlfriend stuff. 

Number one rule:  for both sexes, all ages and even if you are married… do not drop all your friends. This is the biggest mistake people make when they are in a relationship. Sometimes it happens because you are insecure and think you have to spend a million hours a week with someone and sometimes it happens because they are insecure and they think you should spend a million hours a week with them. In any case, it is one of worst things you can do in a relationship. (And we all do it at least once.)

Make sure he/she has some friends:  If the person you like has no friends and they are not new to the area- that is a red flag. It means they are either in the Witness Protection Program, or, they are too selfish to be a friend, or, they are a sociopath. Oh sure- every now and then you may find a real loner- but trust me – people with no friends are a problem.

Make sure he/she has a hobby (other than you). You don’t have to share the hobby- and maybe it’s better if you don’t- though you will want to refrain from insulting their hobby if you hate it.

It’s all about balance.  Here are some bad combinations

Caveman/ Professor of English
Social Consciousness /Oil Tycoon
Dudley Do-Right/ Holly the Hooker

You can usually spot a mistake the minute you see it- but for some reason- unknown to all of us with a brain- we ignore it.

Listen to me. If you get a feeling that someone is not right for you. YOU ARE PROBABLY RIGHT. Don’t give up two years of your life (or 15 minutes) trying to make something work- that was never going to work. It’s OKAY to be alone once in a while.

The number one quality you should look for in a human being is that they are a good human being. And that does not mean they would be good if … that means in spite of everything, all the hard knocks, all the bad hands dealt- they are stand up people and do the right thing no matter what. They are good friends, good fathers, good mothers, good sons, daughters, nieces, and nephews. If it turns out that they are not a good boyfriend /girlfriend for you- chances are, if they are good people to start with that you will remain friends for life.

Be your own person. Don’t change for anyone. If you need to change... do it for yourself.

Look for Part II soon

Sunday, June 5, 2011

I'm Watching You

About 27 years ago, when I was nearly three months pregnant with Nick, and living in upper North Beach at very top of Chestnut St. I decided to take my laundry to the Laundromat on Stockton Street where they would wash and fold for me. I loaded up my little cart, put my boyfriend’s sweats and a baggy T-shirt on, my hair in a ponytail and marched out my front door.  I wasn’t showing yet- but my waist felt thick and the only clothes I felt comfortable in were baggy, too big for me clothes.

I noticed it was getting a little more difficult to walk the San Francisco hills I had been walking up and down for years. Hormones zapping my strength, increased blood volume, and a Dr.’s order to bed-rest zapping my muscle tone, made me just a little slower.  My slowness would not have been noticeable to anyone but me and a few people who knew I was a power walker.

After I dropped off my laundry and cart, my legs felt like rubber and I thought to myself I better get home and lie down. I was not used to being so weak and was not fond of the dizzy, lightheaded feeling I had.

About three buildings in front of me, I saw a car pull into a driveway. It was a station wagon with blacked out windows. The driver got out of the car and with his drivers side door open he leaned over to look under his car.

The hair on the back of my neck stood up. My stomach turned- as if a baby the size of a pea could do somersaults and I would notice.

His car blocked the sidewalk, and when I reached the spot where he was parked he said. “Excuse me, can you help me for a minute?” 

I said no, and made a wider circle into the street. He then went on to explain why he needed my help it was because he thought he had a mechanical problem, and I knew.  Alarms went off- I knew with every cell in my body he was bad and wanted to hurt me. As he started to get up I realized I was in trouble and somehow or another I was able to muster the walk that was almost a run. I booked.  He got into his car and continued down Stockton Street towards the wharf. I had turned on Chestnut and hid in a doorway until I was sure he was gone. I made my way back up the hill and to my bed. I called the police and reported him because I was positive- that he was going to find someone that would get in that car with him.  The police took my information over the phone but they never followed up so I’m not sure if they took my intuition seriously or not. But, I knew then and I know now- 27 years later- he would have killed me.

Last week I was walking my Shiba Inu on one of the back streets in the Indian Valley area. As a safety precaution, I always bring my phone on dog walks- even if it’s just around the block. As we walked by a school and park, I noticed a car that had driven up and down the block about four times. He kept watching the park- the track- specifically where a couple of girls were running. I could feel him watching me too, and at one point I turned around to look right at him but he was too far away for me to see his face. He was driving a white Acura or Mercedes, I'm not sure which. I kept watching him and the girls until I saw the girls take off to the opposite end of the park to a short cut to another street. He started driving again, passed me again and then turned around and came upon a girl walking her dog. He stopped and rolled down his window but I was too far and too deaf to hear anything- but I decided to take a picture of his car.  I waited until he left. I’m not sure if he saw me in his rear view- or if he knew I took a picture of his car- and I didn’t care. I just wanted him to go away.

Since nothing really happened- I couldn’t call the police. He could have been asking that young lady for directions. Maybe. But my gut tells me different. If anyone goes missing in the area- I will turn in the photo- you can’t see much- but maybe it would help.

A few years ago I blogged about missing children   – in it I mentioned Jaycee Dugard who was still missing at the time.  The fact that she was found alive is amazing and hopeful- and I that was correct in my assessment of the investigation-depressing.  We have too few detectives working these cases and their resources are becoming slim to none. We need some old-fashioned hound dogs with superior instincts not bachelors degrees with no spidey sense and no time served.

We- the public, really have to be vigilant and keep our eyes open. How some people can go through this life with blinders on, I’ll never know.

While I am out walking or driving, I am paying attention. I might even be looking for trouble- but that’s okay. I’ll sleep a lot better knowing I at least try to do something about all these kids disappearing and/or getting killed.

Pay attention to where you are and who is around you. If you think you see something “off” then chances are you are right- make a mental note- or take a picture with your phone, and if you think you should call the police CALL THE POLICE.

For more information go to this website.  The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

Or the Polly Klaus Foundation

And if you are one of the predators in my neighborhood... then you should know... I'm watching you. 
Farthest car on right side of the street is the car I saw last week