Monday, October 19, 2009

A Very Bittersweet Holiday

You don't have to remind me that I could possibly be too old to celebrate Halloween. Nor do you have to remind me that it is a day filled with slutty costumes, unnecessary amounts of yummy candy or another reason for most to get plastered. I know these things and yet I am still super excited about it! Not for any of those reasons though...nuh-uh!

Reason #1:

From my Little Red Riding Hood costume in the 2nd grade to my unfortunate Three Musketeers costume our mom made us three wear in '95...I always loved dressing up like someone else for one day!

College was fun, despite trying to find one whole piece of clothing so I wouldn't have to worry about doing crunches religiously just to look good in my Halloween costume!! I refused to be a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader, French Maid or an Angel...thank goodness! Instead I was...
1. A Cowgirl: very amateur...I know!
2. A Rocker Girl...mini plaid skirt, ripped fishnet stockings, chunky knee-high boots, graphic tee, leather jacket, wacky hair and tons of make-up. Super-fun, but it was put together at the last minute.
3. A Gangster...boooo...my least favorite :( I just felt very unoriginal...
4. A Flapper! My favorite so far...

I loved this costume!

This costume led to my belief that I would have definitely been happy living during these times! Dresses, heels, pearls, feathers, boas...oh, my!! So...this led to my 2009 Halloween costume idea! I absolutely love vintage stuff and have decided that being 24 years old, I'm going for the sexy-sophisticated look. Glamorous.

Now, you don't think I'm going to tell you what it is...do you!?! No way!!! Believe me...there will be tons of pictures...of both me and Payton!!!

Reason #2:

Payton got tickets to see The Roots at the Handlebar on Halloween!!! Yes, that's right...The Roots! Jimmy Fallon's band...listed by Rolling Stone as one of the Top 10 performances to see in 2009...! I'm sooo excited!

Granted, they don't look like someone my dad is going to approve of...but I think that means it's going to be awesome! (just kidding daddy...I won't enjoy it at all...).
They're not your typical hip-hop group (thankfully...I don't like all the bling!) Instead, they're famed for beginning with a jazzy, eclectic approach to hip hop which still includes live instrumentals. Yup...a full stage of instruments, hip hop, Payton, and my diva costume! I'm stoked! I plan on being on stage by the end of the night..fully clothed of course...simply just to 'spit lyrics' with the Roots! :) I feel my 15 minutes of fame approaching!

Reason #3:

I thought I would list one thing about Halloween that I HATE!

Haunted houses!!

There is not enough money in the world to bribe me into going to a haunted house...or woods...or cemetery...absolutely nothing! I went to one haunted house (my 1st and last) about 4 years ago and ended up in a fetal position crying my eyes out. Yes, I was in my 20s and the guy with the mask turned the lights on, took off his mask and escorted me out. It took me 2 days to build up the nerve to do it and only 10 minutes to beg for my mother!!!

I'm not sure what it is that I despise about them...it could be the fact that I hate things grabbing me, I hate the dark (especially when you can hear things around you, but there's nothing you can do about it...), children/clowns/midgets/blood/dead people/ghosts/chainsaws terrify me...

I also convince myself that some crazy redneck is going to join the chainsaw actors in the woods and really kill people. Seriously...everyone is told that the chainsaws have no blades...until the redneck joins in for some backyard fun!! I mean...would anyone really know the difference?? Ugh...I would rather watch Saw VXIII in the movie theaters than pay for a ticket and embarrass myself in public...ok...

I'm done!!

Happy Halloween!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Quickie

Haha! I bet my parents will read this blog just because of the title! So...because they are reading this I'm going to just tell you about the "quickie" trip to Charleston we went on! Gotcha!

Well, my sister came home for the weekend and ended up getting a sinus infection. Fortunately, I have been able to watch Oprah for the past few weeks (one perk of unemployment) and quickly was able to rule out MRSA and H1N1.  Thank goodness. Anyways, my mom called me Sunday night and asked Payton and I if we would like to drive Katie back to school in Charleston.

Now, if you're not familiar with Charleston, SC...it is beautiful! History. College life. Bars. The Ocean. And most importantly, no Myrtle Beach bimbos walking around...most of the time.

My mom was quick to throw in the long-awaited-privilege to drive my parents Sequoia, a full tank of gas and 40 bucks! COUNT US IN!!! So...we left early Monday morning...raided my mom's car and found her '80s reading glasses. What else are you going to do during a three hour car ride and a camera?

We finally get to Charleston and I become extremely envious of my sister's freshman dorm. The dorm that is a block off King Street and 20 minutes from Folly Beach. The dorm room that has a lock on each individual room and has a full size bed...yes, no twin bed for Katie! Her dorm room is bigger than her room at my parents house! It takes me back to my freshman days...don't get me wrong...I had fun...but seriously! Spartanburg vs Charleston??
We went to the beach. I absolutely love the beach this time of year. It's cool, quiet and lacks the July crowd that somehow always throw sand on me when they shake off their towels **shaking my fist angrily in the air***I much rather mingle with September beach crowds :)
The next morning I wake up to the horrible feeling that I have to drive another three hours home, have no money to fill up the gas tank, the meter is running low and Payton is taking pictures. This is the face of an early morning Breean that has to leave the beach and attempt the fateful drive with quarter of a tank...all captured on camera by my loving Payton. 

Needless to say, two hours after this picture was taken, Payton and I were stranded at a good ol' gas station in Fountain Inn. Left to people watch and attempt a crossword puzzle from the NY Times, I felt my life was over...ten dollars later and a very hungry Payton, we were home!

I love Charleston xoxo

Friday, September 11, 2009

Eight Years Already

For eight years I have dreaded September 11th. Not on a personal basis or even on the basis that I want to seek revenge, but simply because it's human nature to avoid unpleasant events. Unpleasant...that word doesn't even amount to the magnitude of death, destruction, sadness and fear we all watched unravel on September 11, 2001 and the days following. Growing up, everyone spoke about where they were or what they were doing on December 7, 1941 when Pearl Harbor was attacked or when Vietnam became the topic among the media in the '60s, but now our generation remembers 9/11. I remember thinking that there is no way our country would forget about this day or the thousands of innocent American lives that were lost, but it seems we have indeed forgotten the feeling of helplessness that overwhelmed us all. I am no extreme Conservative or zealous Liberal but I seem to find myself somewhere among the moderate crowd. I think every case is different and one rule or law will not answer every question and bring resolution to every incident. But why is it that these uncivilized, ungrateful, fanatical Muslims are given the same rights as the innocent people they murdered? I understand that America is a country founded upon rights and promises to "ensure domestic tranquility" but are we so easily convinced that they won't do this again? Really...?? What about the promise of justice and protecting the general welfare of us? The fighting among the Palestinians and Israelis has been ongoing since biblical times which seems to leave much room for error among those in office who have promised world-peace...my opinion...

I remember being so innocent and unworldly when the first plane struck the World Trade Center. I was a sophomore in high school and heard the news after my mom called to tell me to turn on the TV. "It's probably an accident...someone must have fallen asleep or the controls must have gone crazy..." I said. Then the second plane hit, then the Pentagon, then flight 93...
I was shocked.

Being an American should entitle us with the feeling of peace and security...the things that were so
quickly taken away from our generation and have yet to be returned. No one can blame one person for these events and there is certainly not one person that can fix all of the hatred that has consumed those in the Middle East. The only thing, in my opionion, we can do is remember those fallen fire fighters, the courageous passengers on United flight 93, the terrified people in the WTC towers and the Pentagon...and of course all of their families. We cannot forget how we felt when we watched the towers collapse. Nor can we forget all of the men and women who enlisted in the military after these events to protect us from future attacks. These are our responsibilities. To remember...

Follow this article...
Betraying Our Dead 

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Cheap. Easy. Fast.

My mom and I have some funny conversations sometimes, but recently we had a good laugh at one in particular. I think it was so funny because my dad was in the car and he didn't find our humor to be quite as amusing. For some reason that makes everything 'funnier.'

I told my sister I would come watch her play at USC a few weeks ago and the only way I could get there was to hitch a ride with the 'parentals.' Don't get me wrong though...I get along great with them as long as I can listen to what I want to on the radio and we don't talk about anything serious. So...I burnt a CD and made a few jokes to lighten the mood. Jokes that lead the conversations away from my current employment status, me and Payton, and my social life...

We started getting hungry and ended up at McDonald's. Yummmy....Anyways, if you know my mom, you know her humor and how she tells jokes. It sometimes reminds me of Merlin (the clown fish) from Finding Nemo..."So there's this mollusk and sea cucumber. The mollusk walks up to the sea cucumber...well he doesn't walk because mollusks don't walk, but in a joke everyone walks and talks...so...let me start over..." Ha! I love her!

While I was enjoying my processed meat and stale french fries my mom turns around and announces...You are what you eat, Breean. Cheap, Fast and Easy! hahah! Have you heard that one before?!?

I laughed at her and saw the expression on my dad's face that looked as if he was going to explode. He doesn't like to hear about anything along those lines when it comes to us girls! So...after becoming familiar with my surroundings...I replied back with...I am certainly not cheap!!

My parents darted their eyes at me followed by a roll of laughter from my mom. My dad glared at me for keeping the joke going but that made my laughter even more uncontrollable! We all know that I'm not easy...or fast...but I wanted to make sure everyone knew that I'm not cheap! I may be poor right now but there is a big difference between being poor versus being cheap.

I will spend my last $20 on those cute BCBG shoes at Ross and then scrounge up another $30 (from the money I shouldn't be spending) to buy the cute outfit that would be lonesome without me and my shoes. I'm telling you...when I become rich and don't have to do anything during the day except shop, I will be Carrie Bradshaw.

Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Notes to My Younger Self

1. Don't color your hair...I mean it can get expensive!! And very addictive. Only do it when you know you can afford it to prevent getting those redneck roots...very important.

2. Don't pick up a cigarette. You might have an addictive personality and that will be the most difficult thing to quit doing when you are older...and you will regret it forever!

3. Enjoy high school! This is the time in your life when you can go to school with people you've grown up with, you don't have any bills, and you have the whole world ahead of you. There is no time to worry about 'fashion trends' or how much fatter you are than someone else. You will look back at all the pictures you've taken and think to yourself "I was crazy to think that I was fat!!" You will probably never see the majority of these people again so don't waste your time worrying about what they think of you or how popular you are. I won't matter in 4 years!!!!

4. Listen to your parents! There will be times when you think "I am 16 and I know what I'm doing..." but you don't! Don't date the guys your parents hate and don't keep arguing with them. They are your parents...not your BFF's right now. You will come to that stage in your life when your parents are your friends, you DO want to talk to them everyday, and you will seek their advice before you make any decision...seriously...it will happen!

5. Don't give your heart away so easily. You won't find the right person for you until you find out who you are first...and believe me, you won't find this out for a while. It's good to know how it feels when someone likes you and even to know what a broken heart feels like, but make them work for you...you are valuable and worth alot more than you think. God is preparing someone in the world for you and you should save yourself in every way so you can give yourself to him...it will be priceless.

6. Nothing else will hurt like your first heart break. Loving someone comes with consequences sometimes. Just remember you will never hurt like you did the first time your heart was broken. There will be sad times but not like that...you will learn from that moment.

7. Don't get a credit card. You will be paying on that thing until you're in your 20s and frankly you won't be able to afford it...sorry.

8. Don't worry about having tons of girlfriends...most of them will be back stabbers or worthless individuals. There will only be a handful of friends that you will keep in touch with and those are the valuable ones.

9. Take college seriously. Party on the weekends and during the summer. Don't just get a 4-year degree...get an education!

10. Find something you're good at and do it!! If you wait until you're older you will find that a lot of things you could've been talented at are missed opportunities. Don't be embarrassed or think you can do it later in life. Time will fly by and then it's too late...do it now!!

11. Don't bust your butt for minimum wage! Ask for a raise!!! ;) You will be an extremely hard worker that will be very valuable to someone and their business. Just be patient. The right thing will come along.

12. Don't sell your clothes!!! Those things will be back in fashion and you will end up spending money you don't have!!! OMG!!! DON'T SELL THEM!!!!

13. Save your tapes and CDs. You will find them when you are older and they will bring back so many memories. Even the saddest of memories they bring back will make you laugh...'how could I be so sad/upset/angry/worried....??'

Thursday, August 27, 2009

First Day of College

In honor of all you "youngsters" going back to school, I am reminded of my first day of college. The time in my life that was supposed to be like Van Wilder or Legally Blonde...outrageous and extremely fun!! I lived on campus and was ready to meet new people! Although, I had a fabulous time in college and would go back any day...there were some days that ranked pretty low on my "fun meter."

My first day of school started out early...around 9am. I sat in history class and scanned my schedule to make sure I would have enough time to make it to my second class. Unfortunately, I didn't know the names of the buildings and racked my brain to try and remember where the building was that my Psych class would be in. Class was over and I found the first person who looked like they knew where they were and asked him where I needed to go. The sarcastic look on his face was unmistakable. He pointed his finger to the new building on top of the hill. It was the building furthest away and had no sidewalk...you know what that meant...I had to walk to my next class in the grass in my cute "first day of school" shoes. I only had a few minutes to get to class so I started walking.

I passed all civilization and began trucking up the grassy hill that was covered in dew from the night before. Keeping the building in sight and reminding myself that "I can do it" got me halfway up the hill. There was no one else walking through the grass as I noticed most people driving...stupid freshman...why didn't I drive!?! I took a few more steps and then I heard "tick, tick, tick..." Not the sound of a clock, but the sound of a dozen sprinklers automatically turning on for their morning routine! Now picture this...a confused 18-year-old, carrying every book I owned, dressed to a 'T' and standing alone in the middle of a field...drenched...now crying...

I decided it was best to skip class that morning and head back to my dorm. My roommates could not stop laughing and dabbled in my misery until lunch. Needless to say I dropped that class and signed up for something more reasonable...an online class!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Ice Cream Truck

During one's childhood and years of innocence, I think there are many incidents that are forever embedded into our lives. Those stories that are humorous and yet very telling as we grow older...this is mine.

A few years ago, we were at the beach with my family enjoying the typical "beach stuff." You know...turkey sandwiches, cousins, occasional showers, new bathing suits...and ice cream. Not just ice cream at the local store, but the exciting ice cream truck. The distant, and oh so recognizable tune played in the distance when I turned to my mom and expressed how much I remember ice cream trucks when I was little. I loved them! I loved them more (for some reason) during our annual beach trips...and although I was in my teens that year...I was going to get an ice cream!

She laughed at my statement and asked me if I remembered what she used to tell us about the ice cream trucks when we were little. By "we" I mean my me, my brother and sister...all three years apart and all equally excited about 'beach' ice cream. I told her that I didn't remember anything specific, but she continued to tell me the story.

The ice cream truck would drive by our beach house on numerous occasions during our vacation and, having three kids that wanted ice cream each time the truck passed, she had to figure out some way to stop the 'spending sprees.' Instead of just saying "no" or telling us "maybe next time..." she told us that the ice cream man was out of ice cream when he played his music.

Yes...you read that correctly..."The ice cream man has no ice cream when he plays his music."

Can you believe that? Not only were we tricked (for years) into believing that someone would play such loud music without having a product to sell...but we were the kids chasing a silent ice cream truck! I remember at times thinking how foolish my cousins were when they begged my aunt for money every time that truck drove by playing music...

...if only they knew...he had no ice cream for sale!! Brilliant...ha!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Simply Paying it Forward

During my morning routine of drinking coffee and feeding the pets, I overheard a news story that caught my attention. It simply caught my attention because it was not about Michael Jackson, the war, health care, politics and so on...

The story was about a woman who found two very expensive and beautiful rings while she was out one night in Palm Beach. Instead of letting them go unclaimed at a police auction, she contacted the local news with the hope of finding their owner. She knew someone would be looking for them and knew that they were extremely important in someone's life. Fortunately, the owner saw the news story and claimed the rings...with great appreciation. The woman who found the rings said she just wanted to reassure someone that there were still good people in this world...

Now, this is the kind of story that makes me think...and question myself. What would I have done if I found two diamond rings one night? Would I have returned them? Would I have thought to contact the local media? If you've seen the movie Pay It Forward then you will have a better understanding of where I'm going with my thoughts...if not, you must watch it! After the news story was over, I thought about whether or not I've done something in my life lately to reassure another person that there are still good people. Now, I'm not complimenting myself, saying I'm a saint or anywhere near perfect...but just one helpful interaction with someone in need can go a long way. So here is my good deed.

A few weeks ago, I had just left the gas station and was on my way home when I came to the intersection a few blocks from my house. The car in front of me had it's flashers on. I saw a worried older woman looking out the window and I sat there for a minute to see if she was going to move...but she didn't. I hung my head out the window and asked her if she needed any help. She had her cell phone on her ear and replied with a frantic "yes, please...no one is answering their phones..." She said she ran out of gas and that her car had been giving her trouble lately. I could relate...

After a short discussion, I reassured her that I would be back in less than five minutes with a gas can. I pulled up to my house only to remember that my brother had my gas can and he couldn't bring it to me at the moment. Thankfully, my neighbor was outside and he offered his gas can along with the gas that was left. I quickly thanked him and ran back to the car. On the way back to the intersection, I couldn't understand why she SO frantic. I've ran out of gas before and I was embarrassed, frustrated and (probably) late somewhere...but not frantic.

When I pulled up next to her I saw what caused her to be upset. Her back seat was loaded with young children...not to mention that day was extremely hot and humid. She said that she had her grandchildren and thought she could make it to the gas station...I smiled at her and told her I would give her the rest of the gas in the can. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to start her car so she handed some cash to her oldest grandson in the car and told him to ride with me. I looked at her like she just asked me to adopt him..ha! "No, really....I can go by myself and come back with more gas...you don't have to send him with me." My main concern was that she would worry or have the most horrible thoughts go through her head. I mean, she had no idea who I was or what my intentions were...not that I would do anything crazy...it's just the way the world is now.

So, he climbed in the passenger side, buckled up, and gripped the door handle for dear life. I could sense that he was nervous so I started somewhat of a conversation. I asked him if he went to school around here, what grade he was in, what sports he played, how many siblings he had and if he was having a fun summer. You know...the conversations you have with kids you don't know. Every time he answered me was "Yes ma'am or No ma'am." I looked at him and said..."You are so polite, but you're making me feel old!!" He cracked a smile and started talking a little more...making the short ride less uncomfortable.

We got back to the car, emptied the gas into her tank and exchanged a few passing words. As I was putting the cap back on I told her what a polite grandson she had and that I hoped she had a better Saturday afternoon. Before I could turn around to get in my car, she grabbed my hand and thanked me...genuinely. Not some empty appreciation. I told her that I did it because I would hope someone would do that for me, my sister, or mom if they needed help and that I was more than happy to know that they could be on their way. She tried to offer me money and asked if she owed me anything. I denied the money and just told her to help someone else in need at some time. She smiled and her grandchildren all chimed in with sweet little "thank you's" from the back seat.

As I drove home, I smiled and said a prayer...thanking God that he had given me an opportunity to help someone else. I also thanked him for allowing me the ability to do something outside of my routine that made me feel good, kind and appreciated.

I challenge everyone to step outside of your comfort zone and help someone else...pay it forward.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Dedicated to the Ten of You...

This is for Mama Kat's Workshop and is sincerely dedicated to ten people who I would like to say a few things to. I hope you enjoy!

My Love :) I can't thank you enough for how much you love me. We have already been through a lot. Starting at how badly you wanted to be with me during such a difficult time to where we are now. You have been happy when I'm sad, been patient when I'm irritable, and been confident when I see no reason. We have begun a new chapter in our life and I'm so happy to see where we go from here...together. I love you.

My B.F.F. We have had some awkward times since the 3rd grade, but the longer we know each other...the more I'm thankful for you. We are on different paths in our lives but I think our friendship is such a great balance...for the both of us! I have had so much fun with you and I admire you for all the hardships you've faced recently. I am always here for you!

My Parents. I am so thankful for the things you have given me and the things you have not. I am thankful that I've learned how to support myself and not rely on anyone completely. I can honestly say that I am self-sufficient person. I admire how many long hours you've both worked to make sure we were all provided for. The only thing I can think of that I wish was different is that the desire and drive you have for #3 to succeed was equally dispersed among #1 and #2.

NO NAME. You have been written off as a person to me a long time ago; so therefore I have no connection to you...except for the fact that by knowing you, you made me a much more unhappy person. I regret ever being introduced to you and find it humorous that you have (once again) surrounded yourself with the puppets you enjoy controlling. You have done me a favor. I have a clean conscious and sleep so much better at night not having to deal with you anymore. Enjoy your unhappy, lonely, and misguided life.

My A.D.D. Neighbor: Clean your yard!! Geez...finish one project before you start on another. Paint the rest of your house and please stop making your own tools out of junk yard creations. Ugh, such an eye sore!!

Creepy Old Men: Please see below...

VW Salesman: Thank you...thank you....thank you for not approving me to get my Jetta. I was heartbroken, but God works in mysterious ways!! Thank you!!!

My Grandpa Lindley: I regret that I missed the opportunity to know you better. From the stories about you and the few times I did get to meet you, I can only hope to find a man as hardworking and loving as you were. You were such a Christian man and I am thankful that you were my grandfather. I love you.

My Grandma Bishop: I admire what a strong and independent woman you were...throughout your life. Living to be 99 is so amazing to me...all of the things you saw and all of the changes you experienced are incredible. You had a quiet personality but your actions spoke so loudly to me and my family. You were truely an inspiration to our entire family and I am so proud that you were our Grandma.

My Brother & Sister: I love you both tremendously and wish the best for you in the future. I know that God placed me as your older sister to be an example and I hope that I have helped you make the right decisions sometimes...you both have such independence and I admire you for that. I love you both!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What's up with the creepy old guy...?

My girlfriend that I've known since we rode the bus together in the 3rd grade invited me out to get some drinks the other night. I thought it was harmless and quickly jumped in the shower expecting a short (but fun) girl's night...seeing that it was Monday and she had to work in the morning. Anyways, when we walked in the bar around 6:00 there he was...the most cliche, textbook, definition of a creepy old guy I had seen in a long time. And yes, unfortunately, he was there to visit with us. He was a client at my friend (lets call her) Marie's bank and thought it would be nice to spend some time 'catching up' I guess. Well, little did he know that we came with no money and were just visiting the bartender who went to high school with us.

Creepy--"What ya want to drink ladies?"
Marie and I shot a quick 'gold-digging' glance at each other then placed our orders. She asked our bartending friend to make her something and I stuck with an Ultra...I wasn't in the mood to 'party like a rockstar' on a Monday evening with someone I thought should be at home enjoying the 6 o'clock news with his family.

Creepy--"So, who's your friend Marie?"
She went through the whole story about how long we've known each other and that we came to enjoy some time together. A friend of Marie's also joined us at the bar about an hour later which seemed to set the whole night off...for me anyways.
The number one annoying thing to ask over...and over...and over again is "So what was your name again??" Really...is that your game?? He continuously added different letters to my name and would smirk at me like he was Rico Suave...ugh! Then he felt the need to remind me of how great Marie is or how beautiful she is followed by a hug and a peck on her forehead.

I almost lost it...but held my mouth until I thought the time was right. She's an adult.

When the other girl (lets call her) Lori walked in, Creepy became Creepier. He sat beside her and I chatted with my high school friend behind the bar trying to avoid the obvious gestures Creepy was making to my friends. I felt my blood pressure rising when he would ask Lori or Marie what my problem was or why I wasn't smiling and having a good time. I thought it was pretty obvious and self-explanatory; therefore I continued to keep my mouth shut.

I began to lose my cool when he took his sandal off and propped it on Lori's chair, ran his fingers through her hair, stuck his face in the back of her neck and repeated to us how good she smelled. I gave him the look a woman gives a man when he has tried to dance at the coolest club in town and has failed...miserably. You know that look?

Well, I walked outside with the girls and found out that I wasn't over exaggerating anything but I was the only one who didn't work with him...my restraints were gone!! I walked back in to find him standing beside my chair. When I found some room to squeeze through, I regained my seat which was quickly followed by him leaning over me towards the bar...

Me---"Excuse me....? Why are you over here?"
Creepy---"Whoa! What's your problem?"
Me--"I hate trying to enjoy a couple drinks with girlfriends and constantly interrupted by creepy old men...ugh!" (I didn't realize how loud I was, but the majority of the bar smirked...ooopps!)
Creepy---"Creepy?!? Me?!?"
Me--"I didn't stutter...you heard me. Now please get away." (I really said that...I didn't stutter! ha!!)
Creepy--"Hunny, I have children! A son & 5yr old daughter. I am not creepy!"
Me--"Well, then I'm sure you would agree that our fathers don't like old men like you hanging all over us...just like you wouldn't appreciate someone doing that to your daughter."

He called me a couple names in the book, denied that he said them and tried to hug me on the way out. We closed our bill, took the cash on the counter and tipped our friend well.

And that's how it's done...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Lincoln Park After Dark

As I stare aimlessly at the computer screen and listen to the constant sound of Payton's razor in the bathroom I am picking my brain as what to do with all my free time. It's so funny to think that the level of free time Payton and I have at this point is nerve racking! It makes me feel very unproductive and that I'm forgetting to do something really important.

But I'm not...

I definitely know that I'm going to shave my legs today and paint my toe nails...probably something along the lines of 'Lincoln Park After Dark...' the deep purple color is a great example of my emotions at this point. I'm going to shape up my eyebrows, do some laundry and step over the fighting dogs periodically. Hmmmm.....

Oh! And my plants need some watering and my closet needs to be reorganized. I've definitely got to start working on invitations for one of my jewelry shows coming up and I probably should push to have a couple more in between, but...

Let me tell you, sleeping in and having no responsibilities or worries is wonderful. Now don't get me wrong, I am not going to live my life off unemployment and suck it dry like the people I used to talk so poorly about...but I am going to take some time away from the overwhelming, exhausting, dishonest, unhelpful, zealous, 9 to 5ers I once thought so highly of.

It's so overrated.

My plan is (this is usually where my dad laughs) to wait on the right thing to come along. My options are open to relocate and I'm not forcing anything!! I pushed and pushed to get the job I did 3 months after graduation and I regret that I didn't have better patience.

But for now...

I'm going to shave my legs, condition my hair a little bit longer, paint my toe nails, water my plants, do some laundry, play with my dogs outside, spend time with Payton and enjoy his company. I will think of what I'm going to do tomorrow...tomorrow! :)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Looking Through the Circumstances

Just as I am approaching my mid-twenties and thought the worst was behind me...I entered the real world. You know...the one less understanding, less helpful and far more disappointing at times. Don't get me wrong, though, I would never want to go back to high school (unless I was starring in the sequel to 13 going on 30...) but I would love to only need a part-time job at the cafe again, not have to worry about paying the bills or making sure I had enough gas money to get me from 'point A to point b.' Man...wouldn't that be nice. Everyone seems to be so stressed out all the time and extremely concerned about "Number 1."

May I be so bold as to say that I honestly didn't think I would be stressed out or overwhelmed by the level of expectations I set for myself? Sadly, I was mistaken when I had my first anxiety attack last week. I took that as my first sign that I needed to slow down with everything and that's exactly what I did. I put my laptop away at night, I slept longer, cut my work days from 9-10hrs shifts to 6-8hrs shifts. If I was finished at work, I mingled with the front desk or the guest rather than researching extra work to do for that day. I walked away from the overwhelming gossip and judgmental people a while back which was definitely the best thing I could have done although it did lead me to this point. If I spend time with someone and the only thing there is to talk about is other people to avoid the silence, I don't need to be involved. Some may take it as an insult to walk away from that kind of lifestyle, but I did it for myself. I did it because I don't want that kind of unhappiness in my life.

The doctor diagnosed me with anxiety and mild depression...great. It seems everyone is depressed and taking some sort of medication to make them happy, but I wanted to try and change my lifestyle first...and leave the meds as my 'last resort' kinda thing. I am in the process of quitting smoking...holy cow it's a process!! I'm getting outside more and I refuse to stay cooped up in my house all day...the television is so draining! Despite all of these changes I was going to start working on, my fear of going to work each day and facing the judgment and harassment was overwhelming. I could feel the bricks on my chest in the morning and felt relieved when I put the keys in my car to go home. I think it was more fear of fear...or that I was going to have another anxiety attack. I loved what I did, but it didn't make a difference when I was so unhappy because of who I was working with.

The day after I dropped my sister off at the airport to go to college at the University of Southern California (very sad day!), I walked into work 30 minutes early and was fired before my shift even started. Not until I got to my mom's work, did I know that they fired Payton, too. It's an extremely long story, but my blog today is not about the "he-said-she-said" drama rather than the way I am adjusting.

Yes, I was sad to walk away from something I had become comfortable doing over the past 2 years and was blown away that I can be fired whenever someone feels "it's my time." But after those emotions left, I felt so happy. Happy does not even describe the overwhelming excitement I feel about starting a new chapter in my life...a new chapter with someone I adore and who is going through the same thing with me. I walked away from my desk on Friday with a clean conscience and a new outlook on life.

Payton and I went to church on Sunday and the Lord knew exactly what area of my life needed some good ol' preachin' to! The sermon was on 'A Life Worth Watching: Experiencing Joy Despite Circumstances.' I teared up during church and said a quick prayer while I stood up and filed out of the auditorium. All my life I have been looking around the circumstances and disappointments while the whole time I needed to look through them...find my joy...and leave them behind me. My joy was not found at my job nor was it found by the people I was trying to please.

This entire experience has been a blessing in disguise and everything that has happened up to this point is going to lead me somewhere great...I have no doubt as I am maintaining my joy and being the positive person despite my circumstances.

"...I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content."
Phillipians 4:11

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Not Me Monday!

My contribution to Mondays!

I did not get distracted from cleaning my house and end up doing yardwork all day! That definately did not leave me more chores to finish tommorrow...ugh! FOCUS! FOCUS!

I did not stop in the middle of the street to investigate the "flat tire sound" coming from my car and find an orange cone wedged under my tire!! Thankfully, I didn't drive the entire way through downtown on a Saturday night drowning out the "rubber vs concrete" sound with my blasting radio. I didn't make a homeless guy crack up by pulling the cone from under my car either...it's not like I had to pull with both hands and my entire body weight! Gosh!!!

I did not get called a "stripper" by a soccer mom under the influence of alcohol this week because of my (super cute) boots and (knee length) dress I was wearing. Atleast I didn't embarass her in front of her fellow drinking buddies!!! Nope, not me!!

I did not sign up to "Twitter" last week and figure out that I don't like it. Maybe I'm not familiar with it yet, but I like my Facebook! Atleast I didn't 'Tweet' Lance Armstrong & Ashton Kutcher while I was on there...so cliche!!

Now, on to Tuesday!!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Premier vs Kirby...???

As I mentioned (briefly) before...I have started selling Premier Designs Jewelry. I was a little uneasy about it at the beginning considering it was a serious leap of faith in regards to not only money and time management (neither of which I have much of...!!! Ha!) but also learning how to sell a product that isn't necessarily 'needed' in this economy. Obviously, I signed up for it and I've loved every second of it! But...after you read the following, you'll realize (as did I...) that this is a cut-throat industry...!!!

I had my sixth home show this past week in Union, SC. For those of you who aren't familiar with SC, that is about an hour & a half drive...through the country. You can't even take the interstate there! Aaahhh!!! Needless to say, I was hoping for at least a good turnout!!

Because the show was at night and it was such a long drive, I had one of my guy friends go with me. He was so excited to see me "in action" considering he's never actually been to a show. We arrived to her house about 30 minutes before the show was scheduled to start and set up my stuff. I was so excited because 1.) I haven't seen her (my hostess) in years, and 2.) I was going to show off my jewelry-selling "skills" to my friend! haha...

Two weeks prior, I sent out a handful of invitations while she posted flyers at her church, her daughter's dance studio and school. Knowing this, I was anticipating a decent turn-out.

After everything was set-up and I started nibbling on her finger foods, there was a knock at the door...which I later found to be the dreadful knock.
"Would you like your carpets cleaned for FREE today??"
I knew what that meant...would you like to spend an outrageous amount of money on something you don't necessarily need....???Great!!! I looked at the door and watched this guy invite himself and his "worker" into MY HOSTESSES house....as Stephanie Tanner would say "How RUDE!!!"

I didn't say anything because her entire house had hardwood floors. All he had to clean was one area rug. So, I thought to myself..."I would let them clean my area rug for free...it shouldn't take that long...and now-a-days I'll take (just about) anything for free!"

Ten minutes after the (un-welcomed) carpet cleaners made their appearance, her one and only guest arrived. As she made her way cautiously around the vacuum cords and the numerous"see how dirty your rug was" presentations, she took her seat at the "Jewelry Table." Thankfully, while feeding on mixed nuts and pimento cheese sandwich wedges (Mmmm...!), both the hostess and her guest showed promising interest in my product as they aimlessly rummaged through the catalogs. I waited for about 30-45 minutes just so I could start my (brief) sales presentation for the ladies that had initially stopped by A.) to purchase my product, B.) to socialize with my friend(s) and C.) thanks to my invitations! Unfortunately, I was shot down each time I started by the roar of the (over priced) vacuum which forced me to take a seat. Frustrated, I began putting the jewelry on my guests...

ME!!!---**very loud voice to over-come a vacuum** "Oh, doesn't that necklace look GREAT with what she has on right now?!?! I wear that with everything! My most popular item...what do you think...???" I even went to the extreme "selling tactic" of ornamenting their daughters with necklaces! I was desperate to beat the "dream-team-cleaning-machine" in the living room!

We arrived at her house around 5:30pm and left around 9:00pm. The cleaners left about 15 minutes before we did...only after harassing MY HOSTESS (who, not to mention, had booked with me 3 weeks prior to that day...) into buying a vacuum cleaner! Let me tell you, if you are ever curious about learning how to make $$ vs. simply offering/selling your product to consumers...you have to witness a vacuum cleaner salesman's "approach!"

SHADY SALESMAN!!!--- "We can trade out your old vacuum cleaner in exchange for our Grade A, top-of-the-line, versatile Kirby vacuum...at a steal-of-a-price! If you walk into any Kirby store right now, you will pay at least $23,500! It can do everything but wash dishes!!"
***My friends eyes rolled almost out of his head!!!***
SHADY SALESMAN!!!--- "What price range are you thinking of spending tonight??"
***If it was me..."$50 for you to leave my house!!!! Thanks for the Spring cleaning, but my Bissle works great!" Unfortunately, it wasn't me...***
After the guy finished cleaning her rug, he apparently went outside to make "THE Call" to their actual salesman in order to finalize the sale. The apparent salesman who was arrogant, pushy, annoying, etc, etc...comes into her house without even knocking!!!
***G-E-T O-U-T would have been the first words out of my mouth!! But, it wasn't me...***
ANNOYING SALESMAN!!!---"How'd you like it?!? (Eyes gleaming at the vacuum cleaner) Didn't it clean your area rug wonderfully?!?! I just love my Kirby! Never seen anything like it! Cleans your ceilings, mattresses, upholstery...amazing, huh?!?! (followed by a goofy grin that said "I'm going to screw you" all over it!!!)
MY HOSTESS!!!!---"Well, I've got a Rainbow that I've had for years...and it's OK for what I need, considering I only have this rug."
ANNOYING SALESMAN!!!---"A Rainbow?!?!? We trade those out all the time!!! No one wants to have to carry around numerous parts these days...how much did you pay for it??"
MY HOSTESS!!!---"My mom bought it for about $1,600 years ago. It's in storage right now."
ANNOYING SALESMAN!!!---"Of course it's in storage...you need a Kirby!! It's blah, blah, blah! (that's all I remember...). I can trade out your Rainbow and give you this Kirby TONIGHT for just $16,000!!! That's a $22,000 difference!! What do you think?!?"
MY HOSTESS!!!--- "Ummm, I'm not sure. Can you call me back? I really want it, but just not tonight."

This selling/badgering technique went on for about 20-25 minutes. Each offer was followed by an uncertain answer which was then proceeded by an irritated reply. I continuously thought to myself how happy and thankful I was that I had no sales quotas to meet and that I didn't HAVE to sell this jewelry to pay my bills. After that thought passed...I moved on to another one...apparently, the guy doesn't know math or the definition of value because he initially tried selling her this stupid vacuum cleaner for the same price she paid for her Rainbow years ago. Can we stop really quickly and define....depreciation?
Finally, she talked him down to $1,000 flat. This offer was quickly followed by...
ANNOYING SALESMAN!!!---"Hhhmmmm...Ok, well, my guy here won't make a penny off this and now we're digging into my money....but...if you promise not to tell ANYONE about this great deal I'm about to offer you...I won't mind! If you do tell, I won't ever be able to sell a Kirby for anything else...(whisper, whisper..)
MY HOSTESS!!!--- (who initially told me she was just going to let them clean her rug and ask to call them back later...)"I'll take it!!!! I'll just need your help getting my Rainbow out of storage since y'all can't leave tonight without it."
After 10 minutes of digging through her storage, he carried the Rainbow out to the living room, rolled his eyes at his co-salesman (a.k.a: slime-ball), then turned to my friend and said...
JERK-O SALESMAN!!!---"Must be hard times if you're willing to sell something that won't make anyone any money, huh?!?" What's she in (nodding towards my direction)...the jewelry selling business?? That's...cool...?"
I looked at him and simply said...
ME!!!---"Yes, I sell Premier Jewelry. I joined a few months ago mainly because they are a Christian organization that has morals and doesn't need to pressure anyone to buy their product. It sells itself!!! It's so easy...I just do this (nodding toward my product) for fun!"

They left with the Rainbow, sold my hostess a Kirby that was used for almost 3 hours to clean her area rug, and dipped out. I was in shock! I felt like I had been abused...no, no...manipulated!!! After they left, my hosteess said that she bought it because she didn't think they would leave until she did. Duh!!!! Those are the people you do not want to buy from simply because there's obviously some underlying scheme they've got going on. Why else would they 1.) Invite themselves into your house at dinnertime, 2.) Offer to clean your carpets for free, and 3.) Be extremely eager to discount their 'remarkable' product so easily?!?!

I was astonished...I was confused...I was offended...I was MAD!!

They didn't even acknowledge that I was there trying to run my (honest, previously scheduled & no to mention...super cute!) business at the same time! Instead, they asked me for a glass of water!!! "How RUDE!!"-Stephanie Tanner (again!)

Thankfully, over the past few years, I've learned how to spin negative situations into positive 'opportunities.' After they left MY HOSTESS with a messy living room, a used vacuum cleaner and a ridiculous bill...I sold my stuff! I had explained the hostess plan to her numerous times but she insisted on buying what she wanted that night because she felt bad about the poor guest turnout and the obvious carpet cleaner situation. I denied her payments about 5 times until 8:30pm rolled around and my migraine sank in from the constant on-and-off vacuum cleaner.
"I want this, this, and this!!! Can I write a check??"
ME---"Sure! What about getting this necklace too?? This one matches everything!! I love it!!! It's definitely on my wish list!"
MY HOSTESS---"Oh...I'm not sure. I think I just want these pieces right now."
***keep in mind this is after driving an hour and a half through the country, enduring almost 3hrs of annoying torture followed by ONE earring sale...***
ME---"Aaawwwhhh, come on!! What's one more $25.00 necklace! You just bought a $1,000 vacuum cleaner...this is nothing!!!"
***ALSO keep in mind: Premier hostesses don't HAVE to buy their jewelry! They get it for FREE!***
MY HOSTESS--- "You're right!!! What's another few extra dollars?!?! I do want that necklace and I definitely deserve it! Who do I make the check out to??"

Ironically enough, I made the most money from the hostess who bought the pieces she wanted and the pieces her daughter liked too!!!

Use the tools you're given...right?!?

Sunday, January 11, 2009


So...one of my "New Year's Resolutions" is to find a church and become more involved. Not just because that's how I was raised, but I really feel that there is something missing in my life. Fortunately, I have been given the foundation to know that when you feel something is missing...there is only one place to look. I am so thankful!
Today, I went to Grace Church with some co-workers that have had nothing but great things to say about the teachings. While I was in school I found a church and also started going to Brookwood with my parents once I moved back to Greenville. However, this is the first place I have found that felt like..."this is exactly where I'm supposed to be..." Please follow the link above and download any...or all...of their sermons. Grace is a non-demoniational place of worship that chooses verses from the Bible and relates them to your life...personally.
Today's sermon focused on the core values of the family...particualarly marriage. Although I am NOT married, I found it so inspiring. There were many things that he spoke about that gave me closure to the many questions I have had regarding "...what am I looking for in a man/relationship/future marriage..." One thing in particular he spoke about was the positioning of the man vs. the woman in a marriage/relationship.
God specifically told Adam not to eat the fruit from the tree...before Eve was even created...and he failed. Instead of just saying "Yes, Lord, I failed..." he blamed it on Eve. God ordained (very important...Adam did not earn his position as "man") as the leader among God's creations and therefore believed that he would follow thorugh with his command. This faliure to trust God led to snakes crawling on their bellies, women experiencing pain during child birth and loving their husbands but never being the head of the household. It also lead the the hard-work and sweat for the man to provide for his family. The main point of this (great) sermon was that the core problems faced in marriage/relationships is that (in most cases) there is a passive and independent person in the relationship...keep in mind all of this goes back to Adam & Eve...
The passive person is obviously behind the other...thinking everything is under control and there is nothing for them to do; therefore, he/she takes a step back "he/she doesn't need me...they're doing fine by themselves..." The independent person is taking control of the situation and (at the time does not think he/she needs any help doing so)...he/she takes a step forward "I really don't need his/her help...I'm doing fine alone." Before either person knows how alone they actually are...it's too late. "He/she doesn't need me at all..." OR "He/she never helps, he/she is always making me do everything...alone"
Adam stood there...knowing what was right and wrong...and did not step-up (as a man should or as God asked him to) and allowed Eve to become independent. Her independence from Adam is not what God intended this relationship to be...and therefore led to sin.
I have heard the "Adam & Eve" story so many times growing up...but I absolutely love it when new perspectives are presented and I am able to apply it to my life! I hope it does the same for you! I am no preacher...so PLEASE listen to these sermons. They are so very inspiring!

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Sometimes it takes a little incentive to write on my blog during the week now. So...thanks to Mama Kat's prompt (even though it's a little late) I have a reason to blog! YES!

My first "bloggy friend" would definately have to be Heather. We are at the same point in our lives and seem to have the same attitude towards it all..."are we really supposed to be responsible now...??" Although my cool and super hip cousin Summer definately inspired me to start blogging...Heather I think is my first friend that I met on here...outside of family!

The title of her blog ...and now I'm a grown up: The random thoughts and musings of an amateur adult...captures it ALL! I don't think I could say it any better! After graduation and now (as I like to call it) the beginning of the end...everything seems to be sooo incredibly different. Change is good...don't get me wrong...but everything happens so quickly. Heather and I seem to be experiencing the same "where in world am I right now...???" stage of life! The one thing I have found out about her by reading her blog, is that (like me) she finds the humor in everything! That is what keeps me going some days!! I love reading her stories about her pets and those escapdes (as I can soooo relate), drama (that is quickly overcome by the "be the bigger person" quality), family experiences (holiday traditions, mothers....boyfriends...). Even though we have never formally met, its very nice to know that someone is following my blog as closely as I am following hers!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

On the Pot...

Monday is going to be the day that reminds me that the holiday season is in fact completely over...so, so sad! No more parties, left-overs, or (legitimate) reasons to drink during the week. I suppose life goes on...ha! Despite the busy schedule around here lately, here is a hilarious story that I know you guys will enjoy!
Well, you all know that I moved into my new place right around Thanksgiving and that I absolutely love it! About a month after moving in, I noticed a homeless guy walking down my street. Now, I know what you're thinking..."Bree, you live downtown...right next to the park...there are going to be homeless people!" I am completley aware of this! But, what actually caught my attention about my homeless man is the place he likes to call "home." Directly across the street from my front door, someone is buliding this house (very slowly....i might add) and their lovely port-o-potty is facing my direction. Literally, if you sit on my couch and look out my front window, there is a beautiful port-o-john! Well, my homeless man caught my attention by constantly picking up the toilet paper out of the "john" and sweeping the sidewalk with his shovel..yes, his shovel...the next couple of days, we noticed that he would be sitting on the pot and just start kicking the door. Or (my favorite) he will sit inside and constantly switch the lock from "occupied" to "open"....Needless to say, I called the police and asked for more patrol around the area and the officer asked me, "is the man a large black man with dreadlocks?" I confirmed. "Oh, that's Anthony! Now, you haven't spoken to him have you?!?" I thought (in my smarty-pants) mind what I would have had to speak to 'Anthony' about...our preference of 2-ply vs. 1-ply or how much easier it would be to use a broom vs. a shovel...I held back and just answered "no." The officer told me that Anthony is mentally handicapped and if I speak to him, he will "flip-out" as he has no social skills! Good...my kind of neighbor!! So, now that I am being a little bit more aware, I have seen Anthony digging through trash cans at the gas station on Washington and Laurens Road...he bowed to me that day!! I feel that we are bonding with him...free entertainment during commercials!!


About Me

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I am a 20-something young woman growing up and experiencing the things my mother warned me about...love, friendship, hard work, disappointment and success.