Blogvember #12 and #13: Le Weekend.

#12: That quote to the left about sums it up. Our sense of humor. Our laughter. Our love. (Because, yeah, I’d traipse through a fire and/or super humid room for her, fro or no.) Those times when la bestie utters words that change my life. My goals to always be there for her. 

She arrived on Friday night and will be leaving in a few hours. She brought a burst of light and much-needed familiarity into this new place and environment that I’m adjusting to, both emotionally and otherwise. I don’t think I’ll be able to communicate just how I needed that. 

I snapped a few photos, but she’ll hurt me if I post them. So just call your bestie and tell him/her that you love them. 

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#13: I bought a couch!

While furniture shopping yesterday, one of the employees showing us around the monster of the store we were in took me the very couch that I saw and saved from their website. If that isn’t kismet I don’t know what is. Delivery is next Sunday and you shall see it then. 

Happy Sunday, dear reader…

Blogvember #11: Friyay.

My bestie is coming to town this evening, you guys. The bestie! Needless to say, I basically want to tap dance out of here so we can start our fun. And yet morning just began, so…Anyway, she’s my first visitor since I moved to Texas. Wonder how she’ll react to the absence of furniture. 

Bon weekend, my dears.

The Age of Adaline.

First, here’s the trailer.

Now let’s talk. Can I tell you that I cannot wait to see this film? It’s everything This Square Peg loves about a good film and a good story, really: intrigue, a little romantical (not a word, but feel free to make it yours), mystery, a bit of sci-fi, and Harrison Ford. Seriously, I’ve loved him since I was 12 years old. Anyway. Absolutely looking forward to seeing it on opening weekend, and you can be sure that I’ll provide a review.

Incidentally, my bestie mentioned to me yesterday that when she saw the trailer for the film, she immediately thought of me. She then added that it seemed like a short story I would write. What a compliment. I love moments when people are reminded of what you do, especially via another medium. And besties are the best, aren’t they?

This Square Peg and the Hamburglar.

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The thief himself, the Hamburglar.

Of the many, many nicknames my bestie has for me, there’s a particular one that pretty much speaks for itself: The Hamburglar.

Do you remember The Hamburglar from McDonald’s of old? The petty thief who liked to filch people’s burgers? Of course, I wasn’t going around stealing people’s food (I mean, not all the time, anyway), but I’m not exaggerating when I say that burgers were everything to me growing up. Look, I even remember my first Whopper. Can you imagine the wide-eyed reaction of a 9 year-old African girl who was only used to eating fufu and soup and rice wrapping her nervous little fingers around an enormous piece of bread, cheese, and meat? It was both curious and heavenly. And it was the beginning of my long journey with junk food. As an aside, I will say that when you have four young children with very little money to spread around, sometimes the cheapest option is fast food. Sad but true. If healthier fare were less expensive, perhaps chicken nuggets wouldn’t be the go-to option. In other words, it would be nice if healthier food had a dollar menu. Anyway. As stated, I loved burgers. Forget the past tense: I love them. Whether from someone’s backyard grill or a gourmet burger from a fancy pants restaurant, it’s usually what I choose when I’m eating out. (Needless to say, I’ve never considered myself a foodie.)

However.

With time comes expanding bellies, getting older, and wanting to be healthy.

I want to be healthy. I need to be. Not just in 2015, but beyond. So for the past several weeks, I’ve made significant changes to my eating habits. No bread. No rice. (Regarding the latter, note that again, I’m African, so yes, this is killing me.) More vegetables. And yes, sigh, no more hamburgers. There’s no diet going on here; just healthier options and a continuing effort to change my lifestyle. Is it easy? No. Do I feel much better? Absolutely. Do I believe that I will 100 percent stay away from junk food? I don’t have an answer for that one. Ultimately, doing the work and being realistic and taking it all one day at a time is the bottom line for me.

All that said, last weekend, some friends made good on a promise to take me to their favorite hamburger spot for dinner (I wasn’t exaggerating about that nickname…). Of course, with my changed eating habits, I wondered how this would work. So I went online to the restaurant’s website and rejoiced at seeing a bun-less burger on their menu: a burger of your choice on a bed of baby spinach and salad. And let me tell you, my bun-less turkey burger was delicious. Yes, I stared at other patrons eating their beef burgers dripping with mayonnaise and cheese like a weird voyeuristic creeper, but I didn’t long for what they were eating. Along with a small portion of sweet potato fries (they brought me a heaping plate but I ate less than half and gave the rest to my friend’s hubby), I was actually quite content with everything. Are you wondering if I took pictures of my meal for you? You know I did…

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‘Twas delicious.

By the way, I won’t insist that the bestie changes that nickname. C’est la vie. I do like the black, white and yellow combination he has going on up there…

 
Anyway, my final thought on the matter:healthyquote

The Value of Tough, Ouch-y Love.

I wrote the following essay last year and submitted it to HelloGiggles. Wasn’t published, but such is life. I’m proud of it all the same. Check it out below. Feel free to let me know what you think.

The Value of Tough, Ouch-y Love

Deep down, I knew it was coming.

As I informed the bestie that my latest crush’s peripheral staring of me was indisputable proof that he shared my feelings—because we all want a declaration of mutual interest by way of side-eye—I recognized the palpable silence on the other end of the phone. Why was this silence so telling? Wasn’t she just listening, waiting for me to finish? No. Our conversations are mostly endless gab and laugh fests, where silence rarely comes in. If she is quiet, it usually means (1) she’s watching the latest antics of the Kardashians and held rapt by Kris Jenner’s, uh, mothering skills, or (2) she doesn’t buy a word of what I’m saying. Since she was in the car and Kardashian-free, it was obviously the latter. Not surprisingly, upon finishing my diatribe, the bestie proceeded to very firmly tell me that I was not in my right mind.

But this brief missive isn’t completely about the fact that in the end, I realized she was right. Peripheral staring by the crush (which happened, like, two times, to be honest) and the other non-events in my little infatuation dance with him were basically meaningless and not indicative of anything. Overall, we’re discussing the benefits of about tough love, folks. The truth is, we all need an emotional shakedown every now and again from a bestie/mom/sister/brother/crazy aunt who has your best interests at heart. If you should get a dose of tough love and you feel a bit bruised and/or ready to never speak to that person in your life again, here are a few things to consider:

1. Some of your favorite films are about tough love. Think about every rom-com you’ve loved and have secretly watched more times than you’d care to admit. Right before the epiphany, before the protagonist is running through the airport and breezing by security to declare his/her feelings to his/her true love, there’s always a good friend (or a neat musical montage) to straighten them out and tell them what we viewers have known all along and the protagonist is denying: it’s love, dummy.

However, a notable mention is My Best Friend’s Wedding, a film that, at its core, is about tough love: the efforts of George (Rupert Everett) to convince his friend Jules (Julia Roberts) that her plan to get Michael (Dermot Mulroney) back is useless. To me, tough love was captured in one heartbreakingly real exchange. Feel free to read and weep, or I’ll just weep, and you read:

George: Michael’s chasing Kimmy?

Jules: Yes!

George: You’re chasing Michael?

Jules: Yes!

George: Who’s chasing you? Nobody, get it?

Weeping? Or just me?

2. It’s very easy to only focus on the “tough” part. How can we not? It hurts. And when something hurts, it’s very easy to focus on the person administering the pain. But it’s not called tough I-couldn’t-care-less. It’s tough love. My bestie very plainly informed me to move on. She was unflinching and not really that sympathetic. But she also concluded by saying, “I do love you and want someone to see you for your amazing wit, creativity, and intelligence. Oh and beautiful eyes and lips!” (Word for word. I saved that text message and will never delete it.) Underneath the tough was her wish for me to realize that when The One comes, the Real One, I will know. So after the sting, the love part comes and you’re all warm and fuzzy and saving awesome text messages from your very best friend in the world. Seriously!

3. Tough love, like time, waits for no one. Think about it: eventually, we figure things out in life. That guy is no good for me; I should stop eating sushi because I really am allergic; changing my major three or four times is not cool in my junior year. With time, we get it. But tough love gets you there faster. Best to slap that sashimi out of your hands now instead of racing you to the ER later, right? In other words, experience can be a teacher, yes, but tough love is like the college advisor who will quickly tell you to grow up and stop avoiding the Math credit already. (True story.) Most of our perceptive loved ones and friends would rather us avoid the inevitable and/or frightening outcome of some of the endless and questionable paths we choose to take, and that’s where the snap-out-it-will-you comes in. Experience doesn’t always have to be a teacher. We need it, believe me.

In the end, I’m thankful for my bestie’s intervention and I told her as much. You know the saying: when one dose of tough love is given and applied, two karaoke bars are saved from weepy, alcohol-soaked performances of Taylor Swift’s Trouble. You’re welcome, future audiences.

GeorgeFriend

Oh, George. (Rupert Everett, My Best Friend’s Wedding)

Photo Credit: http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/george%20downes

she who has bloomed.

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I used to bristle when folks called me a late bloomer. (Those folks being my bestie, whom you’ll hear about often, and my mama, whom you’ll hear about often.) There was something condescending and juvenile about it, as if I hadn’t grown up yet.

The online definition I found for late bloomer is “a person whose talents or capabilities are not visible to others until later than usual.” I like that, don’t you? No juvenility or stunted growth to be found.

Nevertheless, my blooming was a bit different. It wasn’t that my talents and capabilities became visible to others at a later time. I can honestly say that the important people in my life have always been pretty communicative about things like writing and what I can do. Major cheerleader action, thankfully. But those talents and capabilities were never visible to me.

I didn’t buy it. I was waiting for the Carrie-like bucket of yuckness to fall when people gave me compliments. I thought my writing was sub-par, that my strengths weren’t strengths at all, another blip on the screen of life. Lack of self-esteem was certainly the culprit here, combined with a long-held belief that those cheerleaders had something sinister up their sleeves. (It’s usually the forcible harvesting of my kidneys. Don’t ask. I watch too much Law and Order.)

Things change, though.

Women who are not yet 30 and reading this, embrace what is coming. I bloomed at 30. Something happened that day. I woke up and began to fall in love with myself, my writing, my mind, my capabilities, my body. There’s always, always room for improvement. I accept that. But I blooooomed. And five years later, the process continues.

“You’re a late bloomer.” Yep, sure am.