saw. felt. remember.

before. photo by nicole friedler 8.6.16

I saw, felt and remember- when it was sweet:

You’d grab my head, with your fingers intertwined with my hair and hold me so close- breathing me in like it was oxygen.

You ran down the street as I was coming to pick you up because you didn’t want to miss a moment waiting for me to drive to you.

You got on a plane- clear on the other side of the country, to fly all day, just to drive two hours into Maine after you landed at night to see me in a bowling alley with coworkers you didn’t know.

You’d give me a card, saying the most amazing things.

You’d make the ahi meal I love so much.

You’d try to be creative with my favorite team: rookie cards, car doors, mini helmet, wall banner, tickets to the Missouri game.

You used to stop and purr- just looking at me.

Then you stopped. Everything.

I saw, felt and remember- you didn’t see me:

You’d put your son first, even though he was wrong and abusive towards me.

You’d ignore that I went above and beyond to make every birthday special for him- making his favorite cake or sending him friends money so they could.

You’d ignore that when his clothing didn’t fit, I’d order online the sizes he needed knowing they didn’t sell them in the stores.

You’d ignore when I’d make his or his friends special meals, so he or they felt welcome.

You’d ignore my hurt at his constant entitlement, demeanor and attitude towards me – even when I helped him go to see his girlfriend at the mental hospital, paid for flights, paid for any and everything.

You ignored the fact I tried. Everything.

I saw, felt and remember- the YOU people don’t get to see, ever, aside from me:

You’d walk out of the police department, to take whatever meal, coffee, kiss, or cold drink I’d (sometimes hours coming from work or just waiting for you) out of my way to bring you- because I wanted to give you a kiss or see you- just to grab it and walk away as quickly as you could.

You’d get jealous on every vacation we ever went on.

You’d shush me. EVEN WHILE WATCHING MY GAMECOCKS.

You’d ignore the fact that the house was filled with food, new linens, cleaned, warm, with dinner cooking- and a cocktail waiting on the counter- even though I had a long day too.

You’d ignore every time I got up early to make you something to eat or pack your lunch- because you don’t eat until noon now.

You’d ignore when I was hurting the most, when I was silent for days or crying.

You’d yell at me. Knowing it was too much.

You ignored the fact you went through two academies and college- while I took care of our home, and made sure you were encouraged and supported. Did you ever notice that took place until now?

You’d judge me. Even when you knew it was hard for me to be honest and open up.

You’d ignore the fact I was lonely, even when you were here.

You’d take extra shifts, even after being gone for so many days.

You put me second and third. Every time.

You’d take from me, so many things- and then be frustrated with me for noticing it because I felt unappreciated, used, and unloved.

You’d be in a good mood on your terms, if you felt like it, when you wanted. But if I craved it, you’d refuse.

You didn’t see me, but blamed me for hiding myself- when I was right in front of you.

You ruined it. You ruined EVERYTHING.

I saw, felt and remember- when you refused to show up for me:

You always ignored if I was uncomfortable. I don’t get uncomfortable, so if I do- doesn’t that say something?

I can count on one hand the amount of times you danced with me in the living room when I would ask- for only a moment. It might be a little ironic that the last time you actually did, it was to Garth Brooks’ The Dance. (See Lyrics at bottom of post)

You took voluntary police details WHEN I WAS BEDRIDDEN and my body was so weak and lifeless for 3 months.

You told me you purposely ignored me FOR A MONTH when my animal died.

We’d make love- and all I wanted was for you to tell me how you felt, kiss my neck, and be in the moment, but YOU put YOU first. This wasn’t a result of a *disorder*, this was ignoring what turned me on. But it’s my fault I didn’t let you try? You had the answer and ignored it. EVERYTIME.

I saw, felt and remember- the conclusion:

I have felt like the maid, waiter, whore, cook, servant, assistant, child, bitch, complete asshole, gremlin, sugar momma, and provider- for years. Do you even see how much you took advantage of me? Had you ever stopped, put your ego aside, and considered it?

You’ve said, “this is not a two way street.” I very much agree.

Would YOU try after years of that? Would YOU try after years of seeing, feeling, and remembering all of that pain that hurt me enough to leave? Would you? You ignored the fact I tried, so many times, but my love wasn’t good enough for you.

I gave you me. You said you didn’t like me.

So, I left- because I LIKE ME.

…Fast Forward 1 year.

Thank you for publicly posting our private situation by changing your Facebook status for all to see throughout what has been the most awkward and unsettling year of my life. Because grown men are supposed to care about a facebook status…

(yes, that is 100% sarcasm)

I call this post my retaliation to that behavior. oh, hey.

As a 53 year old man, the lack of grace, tact, taste, and couth you’ve shown is astounding, yet fascinates me- almost to a titillating degree. Then again, it’s the first time you’ve given me any kind of stimulation in the past 12 years. So, I should be thanking you.

In closing, I took your advice most recently that I should “open up to someone for once, cause it might make me feel better.”

You know what. It does!

Guess now I can focus on my poodle* (definition, see below) you so politely told me to go get. The beauty of it is, I never needed a poodle. I only need me.

Bless your heart, Brad.

*poo·dle [ˈpo͞odl]

NOUN

  1. a type of man who fits all high standards of a perfect man according to katie. he is educated, preppy, pretty/handsome, tall, well dressed, funny, charming, challenges one to make them a better person, enjoys the finer things, successful, maybe has a little bit of an arrogance, enjoys college football, enjoys traveling, will drink chardonnay and eat oysters with me on the water- while completely skipping work, enjoys going out to dinner, enjoys traveling, is strong in both mind & body to an alpha degree, doesn’t mind throwing someone against a wall and kissing them deep and slow, isn’t afraid to use a little (or a lot of) dirty talk, and allows me to have orgasms.

Garth Brooks- The Dance (Lyrics)

Looking back on the memory of
The dance we shared ‘neath the stars above
For a moment all the world was right
How could I have known that you’d ever say goodbye

And now I’m glad I didn’t know
The way it all would end, the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance
I could have missed the pain
But I’d have had to miss the dance

Holding you, I held everything
For a moment wasn’t I the king
If I’d only known how the king would fall
Hey, who’s to say, you know I might have changed it all

And now I’m glad I didn’t know
The way it all would end, the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance
I could have missed the pain
But I’d have had to miss the dance

If our lives are better left to chance
Oh, our lives are better left to chance
Oh, our lives are better left to chance

I could have missed the pain
But I’d have had to miss the dance

social media cheat-sheet

Stay hungry, stay foolish.

-Steve Jobs.

Social media is that thing no one expected, but now many can’t live without. I have friends who commonly take screen-breaks or detoxes, give it up for lent, suspend their accounts, delete the apps – all in an effort to break the habit of the constant digital voyeurisms that take over their most valuable asset- time.

I get it, but embrace it. In fact, I’d probably do the same, but in being I use it for work- I simply cannot.

I have been working in the world of marketing/advertising/pr for the majority of my adult life- and actually went to school to do exactly those things. The social media element of marketing didn’t exist when I was sitting within the walls of the Carolina Coliseum, aside from AOL Instant messenger. So, I had to learn in real-time, as they happened- over and over again.

Embracing each new social media platform as they were released was a bit of a whirlwind, but I have kept up for the most part: Friendster (RIP), MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, Vine (RIP), Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, and TikTok. Yes, I know there are MANY, MANY MORE, but I’m going to go ahead and assume you get the gist.

This recon came in handy when helping the people in my network. I am commonly asked, “What are the rules of how to make XYZ platform work?” Now, I do not pretend to be the foremost thought-leader in the rules of engagement via social media, but I have done it a long time, successfully.

Story Time/Fun Fact: I ran a Sheriff campaign here in NH a few years ago.

Backstory: The incumbent Sherriff was retiring. The “powers that be” had chosen someone to fill the seat who would not ruffle feathers and also had the backing of the local dignitaries- aka, they would have a puppet. The candidate had a 2 year jump start on my guy and three-times the budget. Looking from the outside in- they had an unscathed path to victory.

Keyword there: Had. My marketing strategy and social media content were so powerful for this campaign, the opposing Sherriff candidate’s team started COPYING my efforts- sometimes verbatim. I’m flattered by the fact they actually had to TRY because they took for granted that sometimes strategy and effort WILL overshadow the connected.

It took a LOT of patience and creativity to come up with content their team couldn’t possibly mimic, but I did it. They kept trying, though. By the end of the campaign, my husband made a passing comment to the guilty gentleman on their team, something along the lines of, “Where should my wife send the bill?” Yeah, you know what you did.

Did we win? No. BUT- we did win 23 of the 27 cities in the county- and only lost by 600 votes. Not bad at all for 1/3rd of the budget AND time on the campaign trail. I call it a win on another level, but that’s also why I’m telling you this story. Also, I didn’t collect one penny; the work made it completely worth it. THE END

I digress. back to the fun stuff.

Here are some good rules of thumb for social media. I welcome your feedback or any additional advice that can aid in my constant desire to become better and learn as much as possible. As always, these opinions are my own and pardon any mistakes. I am human.

about sums it up.
This is a little different than my social insanity post, which is also a fun little read if you’re bored.
  • Use the formula for posting in a pattern that will encourage engagement: promotional, factual, personal.
    • Promotional: Sharing information that relates to your company. This is a great tool to get users to go to the website and increase the numbers, but use it on a 33% share of voice. Overusing this one item in particular will encourage people to unfollow/snooze for 30 days/hide your content.
    • Factual: ANYTHING fact based and not opinion. Weather, upcoming seasons or events, “Did you know” type scenarios, “Top 10”, state of affairs, general knowledge that is interesting.
    • Personal: Show you. Show behind the scenes, your colleagues, your favorites- encourage people to share their favorites of a certain something, be a human people can relate to.
  • Remember your posts are ONLY visible to users who engage with your content- unless they go directly to your page.
    • If users are not engaging, the social media platforms will use the algorithm to hide your content and distribute new content the user WILL engage with- this is a fact.
  • Try to mix UPBEAT stories with the very depressing/toxic/bipolar media atmosphere that is currently taking over. Posting on the same topic over and over is no bueno.
  • PEOPLE LOVE LISTS.
  • USE IMAGES AND VIDEOS!
    • Make a habit of taking too many pictures and capture :10-:30 seconds of video when you are doing anything and everything that you might share. Mix it up.
  • Some subjects can invite a flame war. Be careful discussing things where emotions run high (e.g. politics and religion) and show respect for others™ opinions.
  • DO NOT FEEL THE NEED TO FOLLOW CURRENT EVENTS FOR CLICK-BATE.
    • ...but it is an easy way to get people to your social media pages using the appropriate hashtags.
    • Know what the current conversations are and what people are saying in order to see if, and how, you may be able to contribute a new perspective.
  • Always pause and think before posting.
  • Don’t pick fights, be the first to correct your own mistakes, and don’t alter previous posts without indicating that you have done so. Transparency builds trust- and I think we all agree the world could use a little genuine trust right now.
  • Try to add value to people’s lives. Provide worthwhile information and perspective. Your brand is best represented by its people, and what you publish may reflect both your company and you.
  • Speak in the first person. Use your own voice. Bring your own personality to the forefront.
  • Say what is on your mind. This makes it more relatable- which encourages engagement. Don’t try to use wording you think should be used. Be real.
    • BE INFORMED BEFORE- not after.
  • Utilize the “story” feature on your accounts. It’s a fun, quick and dirty way to keep people engaged with you.
    • Use the animated emojis, music, etc. to make it more fun and entertaining
    • Remember you can keep these to have as “highlights” on your respective pages
  • Get a CANVA account and learn how to use it. You will thank me later. This adds an element of professionalism, creativity and buttoned-up look and feel. You do not need to be or hire a graphic designer with this platform/software.
    • Don’t use it all the time
    • Learn how to manipulate the layouts to make them your own
  • Be sure that all content associated with you is consistent with your work and with you/your company’s values and professional standards.
  • Dishonorable content such as profane language, racial, ethnic, sexual, religious, and physical disability slurs should not be tolerated UNLESS it is part of your brand.
  • Post frequently. It’s a lot of work, but don’t post -then leave it for two weeks. People WILL forget about you, as they have 1,000,000 other options for stimulation.
    • Schedule your posts if you are taking screen-time off. Readers won’t have a reason to follow you if they can’t expect new content regularly.
    • Good rule of thumb is to schedule out posts on the 12s and 6s- unless you can keep up with more.
  • Encourage comments.
    • You can also broaden the conversation by citing others who are posting about the same topic and allowing your content to be shared or syndicated.
    • Remember that it is just that- a conversation. Talk to your readers like you would talk to real people in real situations. In other words, avoid overly pedantic or “composed” language.
  • Be careful when sharing information about yourself or others. Once it’s out there- it only takes one screen shot to make it last a lifetime, even if you deleted it.
  • Separate opinions from facts, and make sure your audience can see the difference.
  • Don’t over hashtag- #itsirritating (see what I did there)
    • Use exact hashtags, maybe add a couple current trends to garner new users to your content
  • Read the contributions of others.
    • Participation is the fuel of social computing.
  • Be external. You don’t have to be 100% internally focused.
    • Link to other blogs, videos, and news articles to encourage shares of your posts on their social media pages.
    • Retweet/Post what others have to say.
  • Don’t take it personal. People get mighty brave behind a screen.
  • MOST IMPORTANT: Be real and use your best judgment.

Well, that was fun. Now, back to your regularly scheduled programming.

i wonder where all my calvin and hobbs books are?

social insanity.

Fun Fact: A third of all divorce filings in 2011 contained the word “Facebook,” according to Divorce Online. And more than 80 percent of U.S. divorce attorneys say social networking in divorce proceedings is on the rise, according to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. May 24, 2012

Here is a Forbes article linking Facebook to depression.

Don’t take social media so damn personally! Seriously.

I write this note with so many stories to back up my feelings on it, yet am a hypocrite, as I have been subject to falling for the craziness that sets in resulting from over sensitivity to social media interactions. I’ll admit it. (insert brave face) I’m not ashamed. Side note: totally ashamed to have acted as such. I vow moving forward not to just bitch and give advice, but to practice what I preach.

This morning I wrote up some advice for a friend and I felt I would share. I’m not saying I channeled Hesse, circa 1922 Siddhartha, but I felt inspired. 

Words of advice I learned along the way regarding social media:

  • If people are heated about a topic on a public forum (blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc), it’s probably best to keep your opinion to yourself- unless you are prepared for the heat to be directed at you.
  • If you don’t understand a conversation, stay out of it. Not your problem.
  • If the conversation is not directed at you, stay out of it.  Not your problem.
  • If something is posted on social media that you don’t agree with- ignore it. Not your problem. Do you really want the drama?
  • If you insert yourself into someone else’s conversation- you are actually making the reaction your problem. It is 100% your fault if someone doesn’t agree with your engagement. You should have stayed out of it in the first place. (All together now) It wasn’t your problem.
  • If you do commit to putting it out there for all the world to read, own it.
  • If someone unfriends you on social media, or blocks you from a group or discussion- they were not your friend to begin with and you shouldn’t let it bother you. Have you had lunch with this person? Would you invite them to your Christmas party? No. Then why are yo so upset? They are not as wonderful as you anyway. Move on.
  • Don’t humble brag; It’s REALLY annoying.

I support the friends, colleagues, family and business portion of social media; Sharing life’s happenings, new developments, homes, babies, break ups, work news, pets, relationship happiness and promotions for brands (obviously). I do not support the part that causes drama anymore. Additionally, if you’re interested in learning how to read a paystub, it might be the best option for you and your business. Explore the power of paystubs and their significance in managing finances effectively.

For those of you who know me well, will smile at that last word. For those of you who don’t, probably are not meeting me for lunch anytime soon- and can consider themselves unfriended. Don’t take it personally, I know I won’t.  🙂

Keep it simple. I find that when life is boring, I smile a hell of a lot more. Try it. 

the fact this picture existed online when i searched "facebook depression" is just awesome. enjoy.
the fact this picture existed online when i searched “facebook depression” is just awesome. enjoy.

the year to date.

It’s been quite a busy year thus far- and it doesn’t show signs of slowing down any time soon.  I’m not complaining.  It’s been wonderful, but have you ever taken a step outside your self and realized you are spreading yourself too thin?  I did that just now.

i wish.
i wish.

 

 

So, if you have read any of my blog posts before this, you’ll know I am in a healthy adult relationship with an amazing man.  He works too much and too hard, but I have never respected someone for such an amazing work ethic- and that isn’t even his best quality.  What’s also great is he is actually doing what he says he is doing…which has caused me to TRUST someone for the first time (applause).  It’s fantastic and does wonders for your stress levels.

Relationship aside, I am in grad school for my masters.  This would be fine if it weren’t for the 3 hour class every Wednesday after a full day of working 72 miles from where I live.  I know that the end result will be worth it- but for now I am going to be a little grouchy at this self-inflicted commitment.

I am the marketing chair for Catapult Seacoast– a networking group for young professionals in NH/ME/MA.  This requires many emails, meetings and the added energy to get a bunch of people motivated.  I would be lying if I wasn’t honest with the fact that our events seem to be without purpose (aside from alcohol and networking banter), but the team is working hard to change this- and I am here for the ride- and leading my part best I can.  We’ll see.  I’m moderately hopeful.

My boyfriend’s son is a freshman at my alma mater, St. Thomas Aquinas.  It’s really cool because most of the teachers from my time are still teaching there- and I’m fortunate they remember me and my “one hit wonder” musical, Guys and Dolls (I played Adelaide).   It’s exciting to be an adult and get to mingle with people who probably put you in detention every single day of high school (hey, I cannot help it if they do not make skirts that go to my knees!  I am 5’9!).  However- I refuse to call Mr. Collins, Kevin, or Mr. Holtz, Ron.  Sorry, not going to happen. That being said, I have joined the “parent” committee!  I even made the Facebook page! So far, I helped plan a parent social and am currently on the board for the upcoming fashion show.  It’s exciting, but I would be lying if the looks I get when I walk into a meeting form the other “moms” didn’t bother me.  Hey- I may not be officially a mom, but this is my school…back off.  :)  Besides, I am a VOLUNTEER!  The coordinator, Sarah, makes it fun to be a part of it all- she’s awesome.  I have got in the habit of calling her on my ride to work to vent.  Sometimes she does the same- so all in all a friendship was formed, which is nice.

alas, the one hit wonder- me.
alas, the one hit wonder- me.

The house we live in is a 250 year old colonial.  I will not tell you how much money we have spent on heating this house- and I will not tell you how many times the oil thingy (technical term) has broken, but as of last night it is fixed.  Sigh.  I hope it is fixed.  This house drives me nuts.  The warm water is so temperamental I have not successfully taken ONE bath since we moved in (MY FAVORITE THING), and if you use the water downstairs in the morning while someone is in the shower, the water immediately goes to downstairs and you’re left with ice.  The fireplace, while romantic and very aesthetically pleasing, only seems to heat 1′ of space in front of it.  So if you want to get warm while the oil thingy isn’t working- you have to sit your ass directly in front of the fire- causing you to smell exactly like you think you would smell sitting in a fire pit.  The pipes freeze and break.  The cabinets don’t close.  Not one window was properly installed, so there is a constant breeze.  There is a train.  OMG I can’t believe that isn’t the first thing I mentioned.  The train.  This train has a wonderful schedule that goes all night long.  It shakes the house so much that when we had a mild earthquake- it had nothing on the train.  Did I mention I am a light sleeper?  We are moving to a nice, big 3 BR house on April 1st in York, Maine.  Needless to say, April cannot come soon enough for us!

Of all the tasks my schedule is filled with, of all the commitments I say “yes” to on a daily basis- it’s the phone call I just received that makes it all seem like white noise.  Nothing could possibly bother me when I hear his voice.

In case your curious: I’m picking up vegetables on the way home for dinner- and he loves me.  🙂

fifty shades of intrigued.

I’m a romantic, a dreamer, idealist and apparently a pervert.

I get things in my head of how they should be- and I get utterly frustrated if they don’t turn out exactly as the script says in my head. I watch way too many movies- and whats worse: I have always been a sucker for a chick-flick or a chick-read. Something my best friend, Courtney, knows about me. From time to time she will suggest something for me to get my eyes on- and of course I blindly obey (as she has known me my whole life, I seldom argue when I know I will enjoy it). I always end up loving whatever it is. Darn you, Courtney.

some would say I'm mildly affectionate.

She use to work for Alloy Entertainment (years ago) and suggested I read this series “Gossip Girl.” I comply…and before I know it, it’s a series on the CW and I can’t have people call/FB/text/communicate with me on Mondays during the hour it is on. I have since been able to pry myself away from the show (there are just so many times you can listen to the annoying voice of Kristen Bell narrate the lives of over-privileged 17 year olds who have a better knowledge of scotch than some 60 year old men I know), but it took years and I have always blamed her for my obsession.

and they think Lindsay Lohan looks old for her age?

That should give you a little bit of back history- there are many other examples of books she has had me read in the past, but I felt only one story was necessary to get my point across: She knows my weaknesses too well. It’s not that I think she has a secret deal with Amazon to profit on the books she recommends- because most of the time she will actually send me the book after she has read it, but its scary to think someone knows you that well. That, or I am just easy.

It’s this depth of knowing me that put a mild fright into my subconscious when the most recent addition to my library was introduced. “You have to read Fifty Shades of Grey, you just have to. You’ll love it.” So I bought it…and it took me less than 2 days to finish a 512 page book. Truth is, I couldn’t put it down. I had not heard of it, but I guess it has been all over the news lately. “Mommy porn” is the most frequent terminology I have seen in my research, post read. Gee, thanks, Court.

you have no idea.

 

Holy hell is this book dirty. I felt like a pervert with every turn of the page. I felt even dirtier going into the Barnes and Noble and asking for the other two books in the series! It was worse than when I went to get the remaining Harry Potter books (another suggestion by my dear friend) and they sent me to the children’s department with a look of disappointment. I didn’t know they were kids books, guy! I did have a funny exchange while in the B&N this most recent time that I felt was worth sharing.

Setting: I see the one nerdy looking dude in the store who is away from everyone else. Surely I can ask him where the books are and he won’t judge me- and he will be quiet about it.

me: (as quiet as my voice can go) Hello…do you know where the Fifty Shades Trilogy books are kept?

B&N guy: (YELLING) Oh! We sold out out the Fifty Shades of Grey book and the other two are not out yet, but you can order them!

(thank you for your discretion…I am beat red)

“psssst….hey…” I see a goth B&N employee chick to the right signaling for me to go over to her. I’m intrigued.

me: “yes?”

B&N chick: Have you read the principals office yet?

me: UM NO! (at this point I feel like I am a first time attendee at a swinger function)

B&N chick: You should. It’s REAL good. Now, I can order those books for you…do you prefer a phone call or an email. (she then whispers) the phone call is quicker…

me: phone call please. (and I thank her and scurry out of there…the whole time the guy is smirking and she is giving me a “you’re dirty too HAHAHAHHAHA” glare)

Moral of experience: I shall now order things off Amazon and I really should not listen to Courtney anymore.

My friend Stacey just messaged me about it – and her quotes puts it so perfectly…(Sorry, Stacey, I had to…)

“Also feel a little strange going on vacation and holding (read: visible to people) this book on a beach… with my parents around, knowing that my mom started reding it on her Kindle because a friend of hers told her about it. I know like EVERY woman in the country is pretty much reading it… but still kinda weird to read in front of my family! But I don’t know how I can stay away from reading books 2 and 3 over vaca!!!”

But then she adds: “I’m super intrigued to see where this story goes.”

Apparently, there is a little pervert in all of us. 🙂 te he he…