Tag Archives: friends

The Nocturnals Easy Reader #2: The Slithery Shakedown Book Review

The Nocturnal Brigade is back in an all new adventure!  In the second installment of the Nocturnals Easy Reader Series, The Slithery Shakedown, Bismark has a problem.  His friends are late for their nightly rendezvous.

When Dawn and Tobin finally arrive, they see that they are not alone.  A blue bellied snake has slithered his way into the group.  He is not interested in making friends.  Instead, he wants to have Bismark as a snack!

Will Tobin and Dawn be able to save Bismark?  Has the spunky sugar glider finally met his match?

I absolutely love The Nocturnals series!  Whether early reader or chapter book, the stories are always original and the characters are unforgettable.  Bismark’s attitude makes me laugh every time.  His facial expressions are simply hilarious.

I also love that in addition to teaching a moral lesson, the stories are also packed with educational facts.  I find myself learning something new with each book that I read.

This is a wonderful story for children ages 5-7.

 

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Drama Divas

I am about to share a very personal story with you. This is something that I rarely talk about due to its upsetting nature. However, after what transpired yesterday, I feel compelled to blog about my experience.

Yesterday was the anniversary of the death of one of my friends. We will call him *Jimmy. In 1999, Jimmy took his own life because he was being bullied at school. No one knew that he was being stuffed into lockers daily. He was such a quiet person that he rarely shared his feelings with anyone.

As I was scrolling through my Facebook feed last night, I saw a very interesting post from one of my “friends.” *Jessica had posted a picture of Jimmy on her wall along with the following:

“I love you, Jimmy and you will be in my heart always.”

I was enraged upon reading this post. Allow me to explain why. Jimmy and I became boyfriend/girlfriend at the end of our 8th grade year. We “dated” that summer (although we never actually went to each other’s house). We would talk on the phone for hours, say “I love you” and hang up. Hey, we were new to the dating scene.

Before beginning our freshman year at high school, we “broke up” via e-mail. We still remained close friends and even had a class together. I then began dating my first “real” boyfriend, *Mike.

I found out about Jimmy’s death at school that day. It was like everything was moving in slow motion. I kept thinking it was some horrible nightmare that I would eventually awaken from. But, it was very real.

My fellow students kept coming up and asking me if I was okay since they knew we had “dated.” To be honest, I just felt numb. I wanted to go home and cry and throw things around.

I spoke very briefly with the school counselor. I was raised to be a strong person, so I mumbled that I was fine because I really didn’t know how I felt (or what I was feeling, for that matter). The topic of suicide never came up at home or in any discussions with my friends. It was only discussed briefly in health class along with the lesson on depression.

Getting back to Jessica’s post, when Mike and I left school early the following day to attend Jimmy’s funeral, she was nowhere to be found. When I attended the wake and was sobbing uncontrollably after Jimmy’s cousin (who was also in the same year in school) told me how much Jimmy cared about me and that I had made him happy, Jessica was not there.

Jessica and I had been best friends in grade school, but when I began to gain more friends (and the attention of boys) in high school, things began to fizzle. She became a major drama queen and even threatened to kill herself because I ended up dating a boy that she had been obsessed with. My mom had to call her and tell her to quit with the nonsense because I came home from school in hysterics fearing that I would see the death of another person I cared about.

Jimmy’s passing has left numerous scars on my heart and mind. I still suffer from flashbacks, nightmares and anxiety attacks when someone even mentions the word “suicide.” But, Jessica, who barely even knew him, feigns as if she lost her BFF.

So, now here she is, 15 years later acting as if she and Jimmy were inseparable. They only hung out once: at my birthday party. She never talked to him at school, but yet, he “will always be in her heart.” And she is claiming to be a supporter of suicide prevention, but she would ALWAYS threaten to do herself in if she didn’t get her way. Talk about a hypocrite!

I truly cannot understand people who join in on a tragedy simply to get attention. I find that most of these people tend to be girls, so I call them Drama Divas. They are addicted to anything dramatic and love to start rallies, post, tweet and be at the forefront so that they will be noticed. Personally, I think that this behavior is shameful. Why pretend that someone’s death affects you when it does not?

Case in point, there was a girl, *Emily, that I went to school with. We were even in the same Girl Scout troop. She was killed in a car accident in 2004. I did not attend the wake nor was I present at the funeral. When people post touching memorials on Facebook on the anniversary of her death, I do not enter a tearful tribute. Why? Because Emily and I were not friends. In fact, she tormented me at every single Girl Scout meeting. I certainly did not wish Emily any ill will, however, since she had never been a part of my world, why would I pretend that her death greatly affected me and my life?

Please understand that I was upset to learn of her passing. I want everyone to be able to live a long and happy life, no matter what path they choose. But to act as if I thought about Emily every day thereafter or that her departure from this world changed my life would be a cruel lie. And to try to seek attention from her death would be absolutely despicable.

I believe that there is a fine line between showing your support for someone and attempting to steal the spotlight, so to speak. I also find it exceedingly disrespectful to the family of the deceased loved one. There is nothing worse than having to deal with a fake person while you are in the midst of a personal tragedy.

While I have not un-friended Jessica, I find that I am greatly disappointed in her. It appears that she is still up to her old tricks and tactics to get people to notice her. In the end, I simply feel sorry for her that she feels she must use the tragedies of others to make herself feel happy and wanted.

*Names have been changed

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Fickle Friends

I love listening to Jillian Michaels’ podcasts!  They are free on iTunes and I find that I am always motivated after listening to one.  I was also lucky enough to get to see her live at the Fox for her “Maximize Your Life” Tour.

One point that she emphasized was getting rid of toxic people from your life.  I understand this concept all too well.  I was always the girl that had a best girlfriend.  Suddenly, as I got older, I noticed that the “friend” would begin to drift.  She would become demanding, self-centered and constantly criticizing me.  I would feel horrible and give in to her demands to keep her as a friend.  But, I realized that the “drifting” usually occurred after I had achieved something; aced a test, gotten a boyfriend, went to a concert.

These girls that I thought were my friends became jealous of my achievements and overall life.  They wanted what I had, but were unwilling to work for them.  That’s when they began to demand that I give them my full attention and time, probably so that I would not continue to grow as a person.

It took me a while to understand that girls are very jealous creatures.  I soon found that I had many friends that were boys.  They didn’t feel the need to compete with me or compare our lives.  We could truly just be friends and enjoy great conversations (and plenty of laughs).

In high school, I amassed a small posse.  This consisted of both boys and girls.  Whenever we got together, we had a great time.  But, as I got older, my “younger” friends (by about 2 years) began to pull away.  I was busy going to school and working part-time, preparing myself to be independent.  I soon saw them driving around town, laughing.  Having fun without me.  I would cry about being left out and wonder what had I done wrong.  After about two weeks, I would call the one friend in particular (who was male) and ask if we were still friends.  Pretty desperate, right?

Like my husband, I am a person who believes that friendship should actually mean something.  If my friends need me, I am there.  No matter what, no matter when.  So, why was I getting the cold shoulder?  My “friend” assured me that everything was fine, of course we were still friends and would then make plans to hang out.

And that would last for a few weeks.  Then, I would catch the group out and about again.  I later learned from another mutual friend that my group thought I was “boring.”  Apparently, it was “cooler” to go to the movies and steal arm rests.  Yes, they really did that.  I preferred to watch movies at home, play the Wii, go to the mall, order a pizza.  In my mind, normal stuff.  What these people wanted to do was not grow up.

Then the subject of drinking arose.  I do not drink, but I do not label those that do.  These “friends” wanted to get drunk every time that they got together.  I knew exactly why they were keeping me on the back burner.  I could be the designated driver.  No, thanks!  As hard as it was for me to let them go, I did.  No more phone calls to see if we were “okay.”  Like an ex-boyfriend, I simply let them walk out of my life.

What happened to me then?  Well, I met my husband, got engaged, got married, got a house, adopted dogs, got a great job.  In other words, nothing bad came from not holding on to those friendships.  And last I heard, these people are STILL doing the same childish things.  They have not yet graduated from college, are still living with their parents and have less than fulfilling jobs.

Early in my working world career, I befriended a woman that I thought was going to be my next BFF.  Not having one since high school, I was very excited.  We laughed every time that we were together.  She was even in my wedding as a bridesmaid.  But after I got married, I noticed a disturbing trend:  she began competing with me.  After my husband and I moved into a duplex, she and her boyfriend moved into an apartment.  When my husband and I adopted a second dog, she and her boyfriend adopted a dog. 

Then, the fights started.  Every day, she would come to my desk and ask what I had done over the weekend.  One time I told her, “Matt and I went to the Kelly Clarkson concert.”  She immediately fired back that that was a waste of my money.  Later, she told me that she had spent $150 on tennis shoes!  Who is wasting money now?  Every time I would tell her what I had done over the weekend, she would offer up what she had done and why it was so much better than my plans had been.  What gives?  I wasn’t bragging, I was answering her question.

Pretty soon, she stopped coming to my desk because, “Why should I always go to her desk?”  She was the one that had started that morning ritual.  I could not understand why she was treating me so poorly.  And just like in grade school, I pandered to her…for a while.  I would go to her desk and pretend to be overly interested in her life.  “You bought toilet paper?  How wonderful!”  But, I was truly getting nothing out of the friendship except for pain.

She only wanted to talk about herself.  She viewed everything between the two of us as a competition.  I could not continue battling with her every day.  Most importantly, she was poisoning my life.  I was miserable caving in all the time.  One day after work, I went home and unfriended her on Facebook.  I was prepared for the backlash, but none came.

When she later found out that I had gotten a job elsewhere, she began to be friendly again.  I only took her comments at face value.  I did not rush to my computer to friend her again.  That chapter of our relationship was over.  While I was cordial to her, I was not ready to go back to the abusive situation that I had been in.

Once I let go of these relationships, my life became happier.  I no longer had to worry about pleasing any one.  I could focus on my husband, house, dogs, dreams.  Does it bother me that I don’t have a gaggle of girls to talk with?  Occasionally, but that is when I take a good look around me and see how blessed I really am.  I do not need a million friends on Facebook or twitter to feel fulfilled.  I am happy with the people that are in my life.  As for a BFF?  I married him.

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