Monthly Archives: June 2012

Renewing Frustrations

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What is it about spring and summer that bring about feelings of renewal? I’m aware of the fertility cycle and how all of nature seems to be having babies and all of the flowers are blooming and such…. But I wonder what causes us – or at least me – to feel like I need to conduct a thorough inventory on everything from my deepest feelings and hidden emotions to the dishes stacked perilously in the back of the cupboard and the matchless socks tossed haphazardly behind the bedroom chair. My husband says I should blame the pagans.

Mostly I really enjoy this time of year. I love spring cleaning – the fresh smell of clean baseboards and mopped floors, the windows thrown open, sunshine beaming into the house, flowers on the table, dinner on the deck, warm nights sipping wine in a porch chair…… I love having my kids home from school and all of the sounds of neighborhood laughter. I enjoy afternoons in the park, reading on a blanket by the flowing creek water. I really love rearranging our furniture – I’ve found this is the most inexpensive redecoration possible – sometimes I’ll even throw a new pillow on the bed or a new blanket on the sofa to add to the “whole new room” feel. And, I love the Saturday morning ritual of going to the Farmer’s Market and searching through the fresh vegetables and warm breads and taking little treats for my family home to enjoy. And sangria, I really love sangria.

But, in the spirit of honesty I will tell¬† you that the inner reflection part that I go through this time of year pretty much sucks for me. Here’s the way it usually works: I read something that triggers a reminder of “things” I want to do. These things have been known to range from finishing a painting that I’ve started to working on the novel that I know is buried in my psyche just waiting to be put on the page to even beginning some type of daily ritual that will end with me being fitter, healthier, more stylish, more charming, more outgoing……you get the picture.

I think the biggest hurdle for me is learning to accept myself just the way I am. I’m always looking at the things I don’t like – and there are many but I won’t bore you with the details – instead of focusing on the things that I do like. Admittedly I don’t really like much but I think that’s part of the accepting thing I need to learn. I’m trying.

Tell me what you do this time of year. Do you reflect? Do you throw out old clothes or dried up makeup? Do you take an hour everyday and write the novel you really want to get on paper? How do you overcome those feelings of inadequacy…or do you even have them?

I’m waiting on your answers – but until you share them I’ll be changing out the duvet, making sweet tea, washing windows…….darn those pagans.

Like is Like So Irritating

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Is there a word or a phrase that drives you bonkers? One that when you hear it sounds eerily similar to fingernails on a chalkboard? One that makes you have to literally bite your tongue in an effort to not chastise the speaker? No? Me neither…..

Actually yes, yes there is one such word/phrase for me. “LIKE”

The word “like” should be used in a grammatically correct fashion. “Like” is a flexible word and can be used correctly in several different ways.

For example:

Used as a preposition in comparisons: (a) Introducing a simile – She plays like Mozart. (b) Non-simile comparison – Biff has a truck like Bob’s.

Used as a verb: I like cake batter ice cream.  Or Leslie likes Jacob.

Or another correct way is as a subordinating conjunction: They look like they have been having fun.

The way that drives me CRAZY goes something LIKE this…….

Like, did you see that outfit? It was like the ugliest color I’ve ever seen. And her shoes were like ridiculous. Her hair was like all frizzy in the back. And like her makeup made her look like so slutty. Does she not like have any friends to tell her she looks like so stupid?

This irritates and confuses me. Well, it doesn’t really confuse me but I feign confusion if one my kids speaks this way. I’ll respond with, “Was it LIKE the ugliest color or WAS it the ugliest color?” Then of course I am treated to dramatic eye rolling and sighing as if I am undoubtedly the dumbest person on the planet. Don’t get me wrong, I’m well aware that this is how people speak these days. I almost wrote that this is how teenagers speak but that would not be accurate. I have overheard many adults speaking in the same fashion. Has this become the updated version of “UM?” Maybe I’m old-fashioned but I believe I prefer UM to LIKE being used 5 times in every sentence.

So tell me – what is the word or phrase that does your head in? Is it “like” or maybe the excessive use of “dude?” Or maybe it’s the use of “peace” when the speaker is not really promoting peace, or the use of “righteous” when not speaking about anything actually righteous. Or maybe “awesome” when the subject is not one the actually inspires awe but instead is just sort of okay. I think there quite a few worthy possibilities here.

And don’t even get me started on the use of “LOL” in spoken communication……….