Everything you think you know about the “real world” is a lie

Everything you think you know about the “real world” is a lie.

{Probably propagated by a politician.  Or maybe the Illuminati… same thing, right?}

Not everything is fair, not everything is equal.

{MAAAAAAAAAA-OM!  Mom!  He got three pieces of gum and I only got twooooooo!}

Did you take three? Only you can limit yourself.  If you want three, take three.  Don’t take two then get mad when your brother gets three.

Sometimes those who should win don’t and sometimes those who shouldn’t win do.

Life is full of both opportunity and heartache.  You can pull yourself up or you can declare everything unfair.  But I’ve learned that the choice is mine.

I’ve competed in pageants, I was a cheerleader, and I was in a sorority.  I’ve pretty much done everything stereotypically anti-girl power that you can think of.  And, yes, these activities provided content for a “jock” younger sibling to ruthlessly make fun of me for it.  But it has prepared me for life.

{And, no, I didn’t wear fake hair, I didn’t duct tape my boobs together at age 5, or wear fake teeth on stage. 

I did, however, wear bloomers under my skirt when I cheered (never once “forgot” them), never made out with football player under the bleachers (or anywhere else… mostly because I don’t think any of them knew I was alive), and I never intentionally hurt anyone’s feelings for the sake of being mean in high school.  I was intentionally mean to those who were mean to me first.  Cuz that makes it right.  

In college I was actually there to get an education, not an MRS degree, and I didn’t spend every weekend in a drunken stupor.  It was every other weekend.  And I only went to class while drunk one time.  Ok, twice.  Three times.  No, that was just buzzed.  Two times.}

When I was a micro-human I saw my first Miss America pageant.  I was probably two.  Because by the age of three I’d convinced my mom to sign me up so that I, too, could wear makeup and twirly dresses on a stage surrounded by clapping and adoring fans.

I quickly realized that it wasn’t just something that you show up for so that everyone could cheer for you.  These girls were competing!  Sure, I wanted a crown but apparently not as much as these MOMs did!  You’ve seen the shows on TV.  It’s really like that.  I didn’t do many of them but I showed up to a few pageants until I was 19.  Some I won, some I didn’t.  But I learned some lessons that are still paying off.

The lessons I leaned while competing in pageants:

  • Girls are ruthless
  • They learn it from their moms
  • Stage presence is everything. You can win in a $25 dress.  You can lose even though you are the “prettiest”.   Composure and grace will win {almost} every time
  • Some judges are unqualified to judge a pageant but their scores still count
  • And tantrums don’t change the numbers
  • Wit and quick thinking under pressure are essential

{I also learned that baton dropping twirling while singing “Dixie” out of key is considered talent.}

Along the same thought process, I REALLY wanted to wear a cheerleading uniform.  So I tried out.  Didn’t make it.  Realized I should try next time.  It’s amazing what happens when you try.

Lessons I learned while cheerleading:

  • Girls are ruthless
  • They learn it from their moms
  • Without trust people get hurt
  • One person’s bad day can throw off the whole squad
  • Hard work and team work pays off
  • The coach can make or break a season
  • It hurts to fall from a stunt onto your back on concrete. The second time hurts worse.

My first semester at UGA I wasn’t in a sorority.  I thought I’d organically make friends in class and for the most part I did.  But I was intrigued by the idea of sororities.  No one in my family had been a part of it in the past so I wanted to give it a shot.  I went through rush and pledged AOPi.

The lessons I learned during my time as an AOPi:

  • Girls can be awesome
  • They learn it from their moms
  • Friendships can form in unexpected ways
  • You will always be judged, even when you don’t realize it
  • Connections are invaluable

How does this apply to the real world, you ask?

Ever interviewed for a job?  Ever had a job that required networking?  Ever been in a relationship?  Ever breathed?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, you too could benefit from the life lessons learned by these “vile” activities.

For example, I’ve been in the workforce long enough to have been through my fair share of interviews.   I’ve conducted countless interviews and I’ve been interviewed more times than should be allowed.  Job interviews are one big pageant.  Check the nerves, stay calm, know what the judges are looking for and answer the questions you are asked in an intelligent manner.  That’s all you have to do.  The rest is up to the judges.

{Sometimes those judges are conducting interviews over the phone.  Sometimes they begin inhaling Oreo cookies during that phone interview so loudly it sounds like an ant eater is sucking them up through a vacuum hose.  Then they inhale milk.  And you can’t laugh because you want a job.  But you can IM your friends.}

Throughout my adult life I have had wins and losses.  Some wins I didn’t deserve.  Some wins I did deserve but didn’t get.  I could have thrown a tantrum.  But it wouldn’t have changed the numbers.

Or at least it didn’t for me that one time.

To get by in life there will be times when you have to depend on other people.  Some of those people will let you fall.  Let’s just say those are the people who won’t make the squad next season.

Conversely, some of the people you meet would take the hit so you don’t fall.  You trust these people to toss you up in the air as high as they can and you would trust them 100% to catch you.  These people will have your trust for the rest of your life.  They are the “keepers”.  And they get to judge tryouts next season.

Everywhere in life, in work, at home, in the community we all have times when we have to work together to be successful.  I’ve learned the hard way that marriage takes both parties being committed 100% of the time.  I’ve learned that parenting is much more successful when the parents can gang up on their kids as a team.

Roman comes upstairs: Mom, can I have chocolate milk?
Me: Sure, honey.
Roman: Yes!
Rick follows him upstairs: Uh, why did you say “yes”?  I just told him “no”. 
Me: Huh?}

It works much better when I say, “Have you already asked your dad?”  9.95 times out of 10, he has and his dad has told him “no”.  See?  Team work.  Parents = 1, Kids = 0.

Don’t be a judgy person by judging people just because you discovered they were cheerleaders or sorority girls.  We might surprise you.  And you might just learn something from us.

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Aliens, Pinterest, and Ted’s Oh My

Some random thoughts for your Tuesday:

I recently signed up for Ancestry.com again.  I signed up about 8 years ago but didn’t write stuff down so I forgot it all.  So far I’ve learned that anything cool or dramatic that would have happened was covered up.  By covered up I mean no one created a record for it.  This sucks because THAT’S the stuff I want to know!

For example: my great-great-grandfather’s birth certificate doesn’t have a dad listed.  And he was given his mother’s last name.  HELLO!?  Was his dad an ax murderer?  Was he famous (not sure that existed in 1860 but whatever)?  Was he a circus performer?  I need to know!

I should just make something up.  He was a stow-away from some exotic land.  Rachel Dolezal proved you can make up whatever you want about yourself and if you emphatically declare it to be so, so it is.

Maybe he was an alien.  That’s what Giorgio Tsoukalos from Ancient Aliens would say.  I’m going to start marking “other” when I have to define my race.  I’m half-human, half-alien.  Disagree and I’ll call you racist.

“Um, I identify with the greys.  It’s who I am on the inside.  Maybe I wasn’t BORN an alien but I definitely feel more comfortable with Martians sooooo…”

For me, Pinterest is that friend who always has awesome clothes that they found at the thrift store and shredded, cut, and sewed their way to super cool awesomeness.  They make it seem so easy.  “Oh, yeah, I just took some scissors and cut here, here, and here.”

Yeah?  Well I just created something that looks like a honey badger got stuck in a sack and tried to gnaw its way out.  Then put it on my body.  And promptly took it off and threw it in the trash can.

Or the friend whose hair always looks so cute, “oh, just braid your hair like you normally would and then put a bobby pin here, then braid more and put another one here, then you’re done.”  Heck yes, I can do that.  No, no I can’t.  How does she do that with just two hands?  I need at least five.

Sometimes I look at the instructions again thinking that I must have misread something.  It’s nice to have that reference because before Pinterest I would have to call my friends a thousand times then sometimes they would just stop answering.  Ok, they always stopped answering.

Side note: re-reading the instructions never works.  However, this will not keep me from trying to make a burlap wreath for my front door.  Stay tuned.  I’m about to forgo buying a $60 wreath so I can spend $200 on supplies to not make one myself.

Did you hear the news?  You can now be a life coach with just your Facebook page!  Got Instagram?  That works, too!  Take the “humblebrag” to the next level.  “I don’t normally do this, but my friends told me I should tell you how I can make you as awesome as I am.”  Nuh-uh.  That’s not what happened.  You are proud of yourself.  You think you did a great job.  You think you’re amazing.  Don’t try and church it up by blaming your friends.  Own it.  It’s ok.  We all know.

Friday night we asked the kids where they wanted to have dinner, expecting the ush answers “Chick-Fil-A!  Panera!  Chipotle!”  Nope.  Not this time.


As in Ted’s Montana Grill.


When I was seven I had no idea that things got fancier than Applebee’s.  Ricky Bobby must be from Conyers.  The difference between Conyers, Georgia and Alpharetta, Georgia: Ted’s Montana Grill.

When I was in middle school a friend’s family took me to a super-fancy restaurant in Atlanta complete with valet parking.  I almost had a heart attack because I thought we were getting car jacked.  Cuz there’s no valet at Applebee’s.

Chicken fingers and extra honey mustard has been replaced with bison burgers.  Bison.  Bi-son.

My daughter obviously has the palate of an adult.  This was confirmed yesterday when she tried to steal my prosciutto.

Two things I learned in Italy:

1) Gelato was created by God

2) So was prosciutto

3) So was wine

4) So was carbonara

5) And pesto

Ok, I learned more than two things.  My point, I don’t share prosciutto.  But she’s cute so I’ll share with her.

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Lies from the Internet

Lies the Internet Tells Us:

  1. Your made-from-scratch version of that Pinterest find will be beautiful and delicious.   Every. Single.  Time.
  2. I can order clothes from Asian discount websites and look super sexy cool for less than $20! As long as my waist is smaller than an average person’s arm.  Which is normal, right?
  3. Working out at home is easy. And your dog won’t hump you while you do crunches.  #noexcuses
  4. Cleaning the house is a breeze with the Pinterest Squeaky-Clean-House Checklist. And it’s totally worth spending 5 hours on with 2 dogs and 2 kids.
  5. This homemade face mask will eliminate any need for Botox! And it totally won’t make you break out.
  6. I can make a fortune as a stay-at-home mom with just my laptop!
  7. Yes, I CAN make that Minecraft cake.
  8. If I need $$$ I can just create a page to fund me.
  9. Ombre gray hair looks great on everyone. Especially 14-year-olds.
  10. A parenting manual exists. Actually, there are many.  How many?  Count the number of parents on Facebook.
  11. Kendra Wilkinson is still relevant. Kendra Wilkinson was ever relevant.
  12. Not airing the Miss Universe pageant would be a gross injustice. We would never get the eternal wisdom of the constants bestowed upon us in broken English that no one can understand.  Because translators are for wussies.
  13. Caitlyn Jenner went off-roading in heels and a dress. What?  You don’t?
  14. Chris Martin and Jennifer Lawrence are a couple we should care about.
  15. The death of a drunk guy who shot an M-80 off his head is tragic. Not at all the universe’s way of weeding out the “less-fit-for-survival”.
  16. We can fix our relationship with Facebook! Hold on, let me search for that article that my bestie (you know, the one I met on that cruise 11 years ago and haven’t seen since) posted to her cousin’s wife’s wall…
  17. Quinoa is delicious. So is kale.


Thanks for never letting me down, Internet.  You’re the BEST.

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Where Am I From?

Have you ever noticed that archaeologists, paleontologists, and various other scientists who form conclusions based on what old people left behind guess a lot?  There’s a lot of “We think” and “Based on what we found”…

What if it’s all wrong???

What if hieroglyphs don’t SAY anything?  What if it’s their way of playing tic-tac-toe or something?

What if someone got bored in a United Cavemen against Forced Wheel Labor meeting and started doodling on the cave wall?

I can tell you that in 2000 years if someone finds stuff left behind from me they’re going to think I’m a sangria-drinking whooooore who refuses to grow up based on my Pinterest account.

Going by my Netflix account they’d think I’m convinced the world will end in a zombie-apocalyptic catastrophe brought about by the return of Ancient Aliens.

If they have only my internet search history to go on, I’m totally screwed.

I doodle all over the notebook I have at work.  I’m not saying anything.  I’m drawing a bunch of squares over and over again.

“Oh, yes, do you see the way in which this ancient woman drew the line three times?  We believe this indicated she was a peasant coupled with the belief that she worked three jobs.  See here?  A demand letter from a boss named ‘CHRO of HR’ and here is another demand from a ‘ROMAN’ and another from who we conclude to be a princess based on her name ‘BELLA’.”

No, I was bored.  I drew over the same line three times.  THAT doesn’t indicate I’m a peasant.  Just don’t look at my bank statements.

Anyone remember the Family Guy episode where Peter and Brian are abducted by aliens and Peter and Brian have to piece together who they are after their memories are erased?  It’s awesome.  And they’re all wrong.

It is a huge show of conviction to dedicate your entire life to putting the puzzle of ancient history back together so that we can have some idea of where we came from.  But what if you’re all wrong because you missed one piece of the puzzle?

The other day I saw Roman putting a puzzle together.  He picked up one puzzle piece and, utterly convinced of where it was supposed to go, he pounded the puzzle piece with his fist until it was, in fact, a fit.

But the picture showed a pirate with his eye where his nose should have been.

And, that’s all I’m sayin’.

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