Friday, January 29, 2010

Who makes up the rules anyway?

I'm typically not a rule breaker. I was never the kid who colored outside the lines. I like to know the boundaries and stay within them.

Ok, ok, so I smoked twigs when I was 13 years old on a swim team trip, which turned in to cigarettes a handful of years later (no, I do not smoke anymore, thank you very much) and ok so maybe I had my first drink well before the age of 21, but those are just details. Forgetting about all those infractions, I really tend to follow the rules. Wait, I just realized that I typically go at least 2-10 miles over the speed limit. I don't floss on a regular basis. I have been known to drink boxed wine in a water glass. Occasionally I'll use cream cheese in a recipe if it calls for milk and I've run out.

Well, looks like my theory is blown to bits. I don't follow rules. There, I've said it. The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem.

So in what appears to be a long list of rule breaking, I've done it again. Yesterday morning I decided I wanted to have a dinner party. I've been married for 17 months and have all this beautiful china that we received as wedding gifts, and it's just been sitting in my china cabinet. (Do I at least get points for buying the china cabinet to display said unused china? I think so). I want to use my china. People need to eat off of it. I mean, its beautiful. And aside from my desire to use the china, tomorrow marks our One Year anniversary. No, not our wedding anniversary. It's the one year anniversary of our house! (Well the house itself is 80 years old....) We bought our house exactly one year ago tomorrow. So I want to celebrate. So we're having a party.

So yesterday (i.e. Thursday) I sent an email to a handful of couples and invited them over for dinner on Saturday night. I then did some research on throwing a proper dinner party, seeing as how I've never thrown one. I quickly learned that I broke the first 3 rules of dinner party etiquette:

1. "Call each of your guests to invite them personally. Do not email them. Alternately you can send a proper invitation." FAIL. In my defense, this is the 21st century and the interweb is a part of everyone's, especially my generation's, daily life. We live in the day of the evite. Email is quick and easy. I think my friends might find a personal phone call odd? Doesn't that put you on the spot? Well, this doesn't exactly go with my whole disconnect to reconnect plan, so maybe I should have called. Note to self for nest time.

2. "Give your guests at least 10 days advance notice of your dinner party." FAIL. So I admit that 2 days advance notice is short notice. But so far almost everyone is coming, so maybe advance notice isn't all that necessary. Or my friends don't lead as busy lives as I thought. Maybe we just lucked out.

3. "Try to keep the guest list small and intimate. Six to Twelve guests are perfect for this type of event." FAIL. I tried, but we're up to 13 and possibly counting and it was hard to keep it to that minimum as it is. This will be a good test of our dining room table and its seating capacity. We may have to break out into two different tables, but I'm hopeful we'll all fit. Cozy is always better, right?!

So my rule breaking streak continues. But who makes these rules anyway? I think its Martha Stewart. But she did do a stint in the big house, so I think I'm ok if I rebel against the rules.

So here's to hoping my dinner party's a success, despite my indifference for the rules!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Small Victories

Have you ever noticed that its often the smallest things in life that make us smile?  Don't get me wrong, big events make me smile too (when Mr. Cob asked me to be his wife, buying our first Christmas tree in our new house, welcoming Wrigley as a member of our family, etc.).  But often its the small things that keep us going from day to day and make our light glow a little brighter. 

A random "I love you" card from my husband on a Sunday afternoon.  Finding a $10 bill in a coat pocket from last winter.  Tying a cherry stem with your tongue.  These little small victories and precious moments.  They just make you smile.

I had a small victory this morning.  And I sat in my office and smiled widely to myself. 

I peeled my clementine in one piece.  My small victory for today.  And I have to admit, the clementine tasted better than usual - perhaps because I was smiling while I ate it.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Twenty-TEN and a Hiatus from the Blog

Well we are three weeks into 2010 and I have yet to wish you all a HAPPY NEW YEAR. So without any further delay, "Happy New Year" readers! I've taken a brief break from blog-writing, and internet-ing in general for that matter. I'm trying to connect with my loved ones without being connected. Does that sounds right? Can one connect without connection? I'm trying to find out.

In today’s world of facebook, blackberrys, i-phones, email, texting and blogging, the various modes of communication seem endless. But I'm starting to question the benefit of all these tools. In fact, I'd even say they're hindering our lives and relationships.

Far too often, I find myself "knowing" things about my "friends" lives without having talked to them in months, or even years in some instances. Facebook status updates tell me where my "friends" are at any given time and even lets me know when they've gone from "single" to "in a relationship" to "engaged" and sometimes back to "single." If facebook never existed, I would have no clue about most of this information. Which first begs the question, are these people really my friends? And second, am I gaining a deeper relationship with them or just being given the illusion that we are close and in touch?

Worse, I realize that I often rely on facebook to learn things about people I do talk to on a regular basis. A friend got a new car - a hybrid Camry. And another has a stress fracture in her foot and is now on crutches. Am I better off for learning these things sooner on FB, rather than learning them the next time I see/talk to these friends? But I'm at fault myself - my mother found out we got a dog when I posted a picture on FB before calling her to tell her! Her response "Well am I going to find out when you're pregnant on facebook too!!!" [DISCLAIMER: DO NOT READ THE PREVIOUS SENTENCE AS ANY ANNOUNCEMENT. THANK YOU] I myself am guilty of sharing news with my friends on facebook and this very blog.

So I've decided to make a change. After an unfortunate mis-information dissemination on facebook causing major confusion amongst family and friends, I've realized how harmful the internet can be. And do I really want all my "friends" to know about my life or just the people I actually spend time with and see in person.

One of my New Years resolutions is to disconnect to reconnect. I want to really connect with those friends and family that are truly in my life and are more than just “facebook friends.” Rather than sending an email, I'm going to make the effort to call. Rather than being attached to my blackberry at all times I'm only going to check it every now and again (which is obligatory considering I'm a lawyer and it's a firm-sponsored blackberry…). I'm rarely going to update my status on facebook and I'm only going to log-on to facebook on occasion. So if you need to reach me, give me a call. Or lets meet for lunch or a walk in the park. Let’s reconnect in person.

But I will continue to update my blog - I'm not crazy.