“After the Final Rose” means only one thing…
a new season of The Bachelorette is coming!
Here’s a preview …
- More and more people are taking and posting “selfies” everyday. Somehow, selfies have become socially acceptable. Narcissism is running rampant.
- People either share nothing about themselves to the point of worship or so much that you feel like you’ve earned it when you haven’t.
- People lie about sex…everyday, in every sense (prior to, during, afterwards…). They lie that it was good when it was mediocre, lie that it was amazing when it was just good, lie that they’ve been getting it when they have not at all, or lie that it didn’t happen when it did…etc, etc…
- Manners are dying along with humility. Tact has been replaced by backpedaling qualifiers when someone realizes they are out of line (“not to offend you”, “I was being sarcastic”, “just kidding!”).
- As far as numbers are concerned, one is likely the least lonely number if you use a more literal deduction. The number one is used all the time in counts, quotes, lists etc…
I am sharing this gorgeous account of friendship (link directly above). It was written BY someone who I am lucky to know because of how beautiful, unique and inspiring she is both inside and out and it was written ABOUT one of the most important people in my life; my most loyal and dear friend. I loved reading this and I hope it will inspire a smile from anyone who has a best friend.
Also, I feel that this recipe should be shared and repeated. A popsicle with Bourbon?!? stop it. delicious.
In addition, I am not a dancer nor do I have any business being anywhere in or around a dance setting …however, most of the best friends that I have in my life are all dancers (I do not know how that happened). If you are a dancer or you have dance friends then these words will make you smile:
“Surely we would split the batch, perform some killer jazz walks and probably start writing poems about sunflowers, while in our hoodies and underwear. Maybe that sounds weird.”
Dedicated to: the husky, slightly more than middle-aged man in the Hawaiian shirt and the hemp flip flops.
This morning, while waiting for my delicious iced nonfat dirty chai at the Coffee Bean on Sunset and Fairfax, a “gentleman” waiting in the same general area as I walked right into in the midst of very important call (as all of his calls are I’m certain). After running into me — me, you was standing in one place unmoving and minding my own business –he looked at me as though I was an obstructing baby stroller or other inanimate object of inconvenience then, without breaking strike for more than a second, redirected himself and walked outside pacing. I haven’t even mentioned yet that he was in his mid-late fifties, unfit and wearing a short sleeve button down shirt with some kind of botanical pattern (a la a hawaiian shirt) on a Monday morning at 830am… yes I’m certain you are rushing off to the office after this in your tropical shirt and your hemp flip flops. I, too, returned to my previous activity of standing and waiting. I noticed, of course, that it had happened but the occurrence didn’t really strike me as odd or upsetting. It was my unaffected reaction that prompted my annoyance.
If I am not surprised in the slightest when something like this happens then I’m certain I am not alone. I believe there is an expectation in L.A. by those that live here that most people in this warm and “friendly” city care only about themselves and are more concerned with how they are perceived by others (“must appear important, powerful, attractive, wealthy, blah blah blah”) than with enjoying their day to day life. By extension, when someone flips you off because you made a turn when you had the right of way or when someone glares at you like you owe them your first born because you have politely nudged them to slide over the painfully inconvenient half an inch because they are blocking the only open walkway in a store or restaurant, you probably have a little giggle or understated roll of the eyes or both (if you are anything like me) and then move on with your day. Why? Because this shit happens everyday and you expect it to happen. Oftentimes, it occurs multiple times in a single day.
There is a reason why the saying exists, “It takes more energy to be negative than to be positive.” So why is it that many of the people in this city insist on pretending to be positive when they are really just mad and aggravated? Why do these people care so damn much about how they are perceived? These are rhetorical questions of course (though I would like to know about anyone else’s position on this).
The majority of the examples I could come up with as I tap away in this moment include self-important a-holes clogging the streets in and surrounding the sunset strip where the majority of “the business” is located (Of course I am referring to show business, the entertainment business, “the biz”). However, this attitude is not exclusive to that geographic area or the stereotypical demographic with which it is congested. I cannot even say how many other countless times I have been cut off, run into, obstructed, interrupted, bulldozed, scowled at (you get the idea…) by someone and then experienced a follow up attitude from that person suggesting that I should have been quicker to get out of their way or just generally not exist to make their daily dealings less trying. I would take this personally but it’s not. I have many friends who have the same experience and it is happening all day, everyday and in every area of the city.
I know this exists other places but, based in experience from living in 3 major US cities, Los Angeles breeds this attitude more than any other (on a digressing note, I do fear that the attitude may be spreading due to social media and reality TV…just saying). In a city where you “only get one shot” and “only the strong survive”, you would think you might find a bit more character. Instead of character, we have characters. Even those who are not actors are playing a role every day. Why is it that being yourself is such a scary notion these days?
I will continue to use Coffee Bean as my prototype. I have not discussed my impression of this specific location at length with many but I have always personally considered the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf on Sunset and Fairfax to be one of the most “sceney” (factoid: sceney is not even in urbandictionary.com … this is a major oversight).
For those who are not familiar with the term, “sceney” is another way of saying “douschebag-invested” or “filled from floor to ceiling with wannabes”
As someone who generally likes to avoid the more “sceney” places in the city, I have not been a frequent customer at this particular Coffee Bean. This morning, however, it was already in to 90s at 815am. I am not pursuing a hot coffee in 90 degree weather and the iced coffee at 7-11 (though cheap) is f**king gross. I do not like Starbucks across-the-board and if I am going to spend more than $2 on my coffee I want it to be delicious. I recently moved into a new neighborhood making said Coffee Bean by local one. Therefore, for reasons of proximity and slight morning-coffee-OCD, I have been going to (only when warranted by weather which requires iced caffeine) arguably the most pretentious and tool-infused coffee shop in the city. I can’t and don’t judge everyone that goes there. That being said, the only way that I could be washed over by more examples in less time of the LA “characters with no character” attitude to which I have been referring would be if I were to stand still at a mid-point on Runyon Canyon where I could absorb the many snippets of “complex” discussions that would “hike” past in carefully selected workout attire OR if I were to seek re-employment as a front desk “greeter” at Equinox West Hollywood (a job which I, in fact, held for over a year) where the absolute worst of the worst are concentrated into one building from sun-up to sun-down.
Please do not misunderstand me. Though my rants may sometimes suggest otherwise, I actually love my life in Los Angeles and I love far more qualities of this city and its surrounding areas than I dislike. In addition, once you are able to weed out the BS, there are many people living in this city who can have a sense of humor about all the pretentiousness and stereotype that it breeds. These people become your friends. For me, it has been in finding these people that I have found home here. I am glad that a visit to the Coffee Bean and Tool Tree cannot sway my day anymore. Short-sleeve Hawaiian shirt guy can choose his anger but I am glad that I naturally and instinctively move on without even absorbing his ignorance. If anything, I thank him because he inspired me today. He inspired me to write and to recognize that I can choose my own attitude everyday. I can choose to not wear a Hawaiian shirt and to be aware of those around me and treat people with respect. I don’t claim to be perfect — in fact I openly claim to be deeply flawed — but I try to be real everyday. In LA, real and genuine people have a high value and having character makes you much more unique than being one.
TBC on being mad…
When I sat down to start writing this entry, the idea was inspired by self-important (or rather self-aware) mid-fifties Hawaiian shirt man and I was going to get into how everyone in this city is a little mad. When I say mad I mean everyone in this city is either a.) harboring or living in anger or b.) a little crazy OR BOTH. I still think that’s true. I actually have a lot to say on this topic because I had two very potent events occur this week which made me question my own level of crazy.
I will consider that my TO BE CONTINUED…
Imagine if you…
Imagine your possibilities…
By definition, being selfish is “seeking or concentrating on one’s own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others.”
I have been thinking about selfishness a lot lately because of the extreme negative connotation it carries not just by definition but also in the eyes of modern society. After lots of thought, I really believe that there are times in life when it is important to act for yourself and your own interests even if there are others who will be unhappy with your decisions. I believe that by following our own truth and happiness we can bring joy to others at the same time. I mean, the word is selfISH not selfONLY. I don’t know about you but when I use the suffix “ish” it means “in or around” or “kind of”. ”I’ll pick you up at 4ish.” ”I’m tired-ish.” ”That sandwich was good-ish.”
If anything, “ish” is a way of not committing to its preceding word. Today, I am adopting a new understanding of selfish. To be selfish is too always consider your own happiness, well-being and benefit while making decisions based on what is right even if it is not always in line your own wants. There should be a word for this because if you read a thousand books you will still come no closer to knowing which side you are on. If selfish is going to keep its definition and its connotation then we need a word for those who seek their own happiness in order to be stronger people and in order to become the best version of themselves. Being happy can be an infectious thing. If people would seek to satisfy their own needs more regularly then there would be more genuinely happy people out there. I live in Los Angeles so maybe I am around less genuinely happy people than others…but I still believe this to be true. The creative world, the business world and all the worlds in between could really grow if everyone felt a greater sense of self.
By that definition, being selfish is a pretty shitty quality. However, there are two parts to this definition and, the way I see it, the first part is not at all a bad quality. If anything, I think many people would stand to benefit from concentrating on their own well-being. Not only does the individual benefit from keeping their own well-being and by extension happiness a priority, but I believe it benefits those around them as well. With regards to the second portion of the definition, I agree that it is shitty to never consider others. However, I do not think it is in one’s best interests to put others ahead of themselves at all times and/or in all things. Doing so will most definitely cause resentment and unhappiness. I acknowledge, as always, that there are exceptions to every rule; there are certainly those who get a great deal of pleasure in their lives by giving completely of themselves for others. Those people recognize that they are receiving joy from dedicating their time to doing good for others ahead of themselves and so, in turn, they are concentrating on their own pleasure as well.
I am not here to talk about people who spend the bulk of their time doing things for others and thus gaining the full amount of personal satisfaction they need to be happy. Based on my experience, they are a small portion of the population. I am speaking instead of those who routinely put their own happiness and desires on hold in order to satisfy others (oftentimes others who are not deserving of this kind of priority in the other person’s life). I really believe that by not doing things that fulfill our own desires, interests etc… on a regular basis to the point that we lose sight of asserting ourselves when it is really important, we are not only doing a disservice to ourselves but also to those around us.
It is not the fault of others when they get what they want because someone else always concedes or never asserts themselves. We are each responsible for our own happiness. In this regard, I really think there is something to be said for being selfish. At this point, I hope I am not being misunderstood. I am speaking not about never considering others but rather about making ourselves a priority in our own lives.
You may be surprised to know that I have considered this concept outside of my “single gal with a dog and a dream” fishbowl, but my position on this extends beyond even the scope of my own experience. I have two very dear friends who gave birth this week. One of them is a first time mom and the other had her second. Both of these women have been friends of mine for many years and the reason is because they both challenge me and they are strong free-speaking women. Both of these women, in very different ways, are the types to always ask for what they want. They always have an opinion but, in the same regard, are always open to the opinions of others and help from others when needed. Both of these women seek out their own pleasure and, when possible (I believe that is an appropriate addendum as I am speaking about mothers), concentrate on their own well-being. Even as mothers, they both practice a certain amount of selfishness in their lives. Neither woman is the type to never consider others. In fact, I think sometimes you can consider others and still make a decision that might be less popular because it is what is right for you. That is OK!
My point here is, I believe that they are both destined to be amazing mothers because they know themselves and they know what brings them joy. Children will benefit from growing up with strong and assertive parents but also around happy parents. If a mother puts others first her whole life and then has a child and puts the child’s wants first, it scares me to think about the moment when that mother will gain the realization that she has sacrificed her own desires her entire life. A child needs a role model. Role models are those who pave the way for us. They inspire and they all practice a certain amount of selfishness.
In short, being selfish does not mean that you have to give up being a good person and being a person of integrity. Being selfish means having a greater sense of self…YOUR self! Be more selfISH!
Wiser men (and women) have agreed…:
“Your conscience is the measure of the honesty of your selfishness.
Listen to it carefully.” – Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah
“Nothing resembles selfishness more closely than self-respect” - George Sand, Indiana
P.S. I have a very good explanation for my long literary disappearance. I was being selfish and moving into my own place. Now I can be SelfONLY in my new apartment where only I live…with my dog
In the moments when I feel lonely or insecure
In the moments in which I yearn for company or seek out advice
I will strive to trust my strength and intuition
Deep down I know the answers to all of my questions
Deep down, I know that my moments of weakness are superficial and fleeting
I trust in my strength and intuition
I take responsibility for my past choices; large and small, good and bad.
In the future, I will seek to make choices I can be proud of everyday
When thoughts and feelings of negativity fill me, I have a choice
I will choose to rise above negativity
Negativity most often proves to be petty and I have more to offer
In the moments when I feel lonely or insecure
In the moments in which I yearn for company or seek out advice
My intuition is my ally and the only source I should seek for advice
I seek to trust this ally — I seek to trust myself
Everyday, I will strive for integrity
To end everyday and feel proud, I seek that.