Two for the Price of one on this day before Thanksgiving.
1) Two Bags (actually written 11/21)
2) Ruining Your Perfectly Good Relationship (written 11/18)
1) First, two bags.
What does it mean? Well, it's the two big ole bags of clothes I just pulled out of my closet and dresser at my parents' house. Two FULL bags of clothes I don't wear, some I never wore, some more worn that others. But still, two full bags.
Today, I am, quite frankly, a bit abashed at the amount of extra stuff I have managed to accumulated. Though I'm not (yet) abashed enough to try a low-impact life, I can see that, in addition to being more careful about where my purchases came from, I also need to make better decisions when I'm at the store (or better decisions about when to actually go to the store.
According to the US Government, over a five-year period, about 2–3 percent of the U.S. population (5–8 million people) will experience at least one night of homelessness.
2-3 Percent of the U.S. Population (otherwise known as 299,398,484 in July 2006), would be 598,796 over a five year period will be homeless at least once.
So, with this statistic in mind, with two full bags of clothing to give away, today, I am most thankful for the fact that I have the luxury to loaf in a warm room, a blanket on my legs and feel so blessed.
2) Ruining Your Perfectly Good Relationship
In light of the fact that it is a holiday week, that I am actually writing this on Sunday, that I will be enjoying the blissful company of my parents and the joy that is not being at work, here is a more light-hearted (but much needed) Real World Wednesday.
I have a friend who thinks her relationship is in a rut. Two days later, I ran across a "Is your relationship in a rut?" quiz on Yahoo...I have a feeling that she might have found it, too. Then there are the "Should you be jealous of his female friends?" articles and the "Why he's not ready to marry you" articles.
I looked at one article that basically warned men not to marry a woman if she already had names picked out for her children. Uhm. Okay. Then no man will be marrying any woman ever again. That may be an overstatement, but I don't know one woman in my circle of friends who hasn't considered a name she would give to a child.
These articles ruin perfectly good relationships.
Thankfully, I don't speak from experience, but I can say that everytime I read one of those articles, I find myself examining things that don't require examination. I find myself jealous of time spent on the phone with a female friend. I find myself worrying that my wedding will never happen because I happen to like the names Caleb and Natalia.
So, here is a Thanksgiving gift to to those of you in relationships, those of you in budding relationships, those of you just going on a few non-committal dates over the holidays and those of you simply collection advice from The Society of Women in Relationships: The Real World Wednesday Tips on How NOT to Ruin Your Relationship During the Holidays.
1) Just don't open Glamour, Cosmo, Self, Allure, Vogue, Family Circle, Redbook, etc., until March. Just leave them till after Valentine's Day. Trust me, you'll be much happier.
2) Ignore any and all Internet articles promising to give you insight into your relationship. They will only lead you to pick a fight. And let's face it, this is not the time to mess with your relationship.
3) Don't expect a good Christmas gift (or whatever holiday you may celebrate in December). If you've been with your man for a number of years, then maybe he knows you well enough to get you something fabulous. Otherwise, don't rely on him for your Holiday Happiness.
4) Don't feel guilty about buying yourself something nice. That way, you'll feel better about the vacuum cleaner or assortment of table napkins that find their way under the tree.
5) If your dude will be out of the area for the holidays, make some plans that don't rely on your usual group. Sure, spend time with family and friends, but do something different, something you might not get to do if he were around. Take several long day trips with your girlfriends. Watch sappy movies. Fill your time so that you're mildly surprised when he returns and you find you miss your "me" time.
6) Yes, he has friends. Yes, some are female. Get over it.
7) One year, ten year, fifteen years twenty years, no matter the time that's passed, it's never going to be just like it was when you first started going out and would stay up half the night talking because you just couldn't get enough of each other (sure, this will happen sometimes, but it's not going to be the conclusion of every date, like it was in the beginning). Be grateful for this. Be grateful for the fact that you now get to sleep more than three hours when you are with each other.
8) No man will ever, ever, give you everything on your list. There are qualities that matter, but no man will be polite to your mother, call you exactly when he says he will, buy you just that perfect sweater you were eyeing surreptiously in the mall when he was looking at the remote control cars on the display rack, ravish you passionately every night and never fart in front of you. If you meet a man who does all of these things, run, run fast and don't look back. He is clearly a robot, a serial killer, or worse.
9) Don't analyze the relationship everytime you are apart. The next time you see him, you'll have a list of things you need to fix, but stop, think about it. Are you happy? Are you getting what you need? Then just decide to be happy.
10) Stop reading advice on the Internet and go enjoy Thanksgiving.