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Wedding Wednesday – A Wedding Haka

This is awesome. Family of groom (and the groom eventually joins in) perform a dramatic Haka at New Zealand Maori wedding, moving the bride to tears before she eventually joined in the performance.

One commenter translated the Haka:
Leader: (What is right is always right!) Everyone: (In – deed! ) Leader: (What is right is always right!) Everyone: (Ah… yes! ) (Be true to yourself, my son!) (My concerns have been raised about you, so pay attention!….) (What is this problem you are carrying?) (How long have you been carrying it for?) (Have you got that? Right, let’s go on.) (So son, although it may be difficult for you ) (and son, although it seems to be unyielding ) (no matter how long you reflect on it ) (the answer to the problem ) (is here inside you.) (Indeed! Indeed! Indeed! Yes, indeed!)?

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I Lost Weight…..Now Gimme!

A friend of mine, Jenny (not her real name), lost 186lbs / 84.36 Kg over 19 months after weight loss surgery. Then she had two surgeries that included a bunch of loose skin removal, a breast lift, a butt lift, and a tummy tuck.

She has gone from being a very overweight woman to a size 6 and is overjoyed.  She is training to run a half marathons and doing Crossfit. She says she feels better than she ever has and she’s thinner than she was in high school.   We are all so happy for her. It is great to see her having so much energy and drive.

The only damper on my happiness for her is I’m starting to feel like her friends and family have become her spare piggy bank.

First was the GoFundMe to raise money for her surgeries. That didn’t seem so outrageous. She talked about how the skin pulled and moved when she was working out. How she was getting heat rash under the skin folds when she wore compression gear to keep it from moving around. How the weight of the loose skin on her belly was so heavy it made her lower back ache after standing for 20 minutes.

She also explained how it’s almost impossible to get insurance to cover skin removal surgery. They classify it as cosmetic despite the skin infections and problems often associated with it. All together the surgeries cost something like $12,000 and she just couldn’t afford that.  So her friends and family banded together. We donated just over $10,000.  She had the surgeries.

Next came a call for gift cards to Macy’s. None of her work clothes fit her any more. And since the GoFundMe didn’t raise all $12,000 for the surgery, she’d wiped out her savings to cover the remaining $2,000.  Now she simply didn’t have the money to buy a whole new wardrobe.

She works in a professional environment (not business casual) and she only had three outfits to wear. Two of them items from before the weight loss that she’d taken to a local dry cleaner for alterations to fit her new figure.  Basically she stated she needed new foundation garments and new work outfits.
She really likes how one of the lines carried by Macy’s fits her new body.
So she asked if people could please send her Macy’s gift cards.

Her friends and family sent her the gift cards. I don’t know how much she received in total. But she did post a picture of her bed covered in new blouses, skirts, pants, a couple blazers, plus several matching bra and panty sets. It was enough for her to buy a new work wardrobe.

About a month after the request for Macy’s gift cards came a new request. She stated that she is 36 and determined to get married before she is 40. So it’s time to start dating!  BUT, she doesn’t have any sexy dating / night on the town outfits.  She decided to host a wine tasting & game board party as a fundraiser.  She provided 12 different wines to taste, plus some healthy nibbles.  The fundraiser portion she called “fill the jug”.  She had one of those big water jugs that go into office water coolers. She encouraged people to bring all their loose change to the party, plus any folding money they were willing to add to the pot, to “fill the jug”.  She drew lines on the jug and as each new line was reached, she’d bring out a new wine for everyone to try.  The jug got a little over half filled. 7 of the 12 wines made an appearance at the party.  And she used that money to go out and buy a bunch of “husband catching” outfits and lingerie

I know that medical bills are very expensive and so are new clothes. But she’s a working adult with a professional job. It’s not like her house was wiped out by a fire or she’s a struggling single mom trying to make ends meet. She an upper middle class woman in her mid 30’s who has lost a lot of weight.

Is it really the obligation of her friends and family to fill her closet with “new clothes for” her “new me”?  Am I being unreasonable feeling like she’s now taking advantage of her friend’s and family’s generosity? 1015-18

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Tour de My Birthday

I’m curious what others think about this— maybe my own feelings about my birthday (which is, I’m grateful to have one and appreciate any kind gestures but don’t want any significant celebration) are clouding my judgement and making me curmudgeonly about this!

A bit of background: this particular friend has done this for at least seven or eight years now; selecting up to a week’s worth of activities to celebrate her birthday and mass-inviting friends, family and co-workers via Facebook. Activities have ranged from wine tasting to park picnics to movies to group dinners. As well as my memory serves, she’ll sometimes provide some food, as in cupcakes for the park picnic, and make the group reservation, but any entrance fees, tickets, meal checks, bar tabs, etc. are expected to be paid by her “guests.”

The invitation, received the first week of July for a birthday the last week of August, is as follows with identifying details changed:

I’m planning to celebrate my birthday with two days of fun!

On my actual birthday, I’ll be at Scooby’s Bar and Grill after work. Not sure about the time yet, but I’ll let you know (they have happy hour specials until 6 though so arrive as early as you want!).

On the Sunday after my birthday I’ll be participating in the Walk to Save the Micro Orphan Whales. More info to come; you’re welcome to join my fundraising team.

Then we can head over to Le Bougie Bistro to celebrate with food and refreshments. Based on the travel time I estimate we will start brunch around 10am.

On Sunday evening I’ll be attending the Symphony on the Green. We’ll have pizza among other goodies. Link to tickets here.

My thought is, if you’re in your mid-thirties and want to celebrate your birthday with more than your immediate family, you invite friends or whom ever for whatever fits your vision and budget—if that means a formal, gourmet dinner party, buying everyone pitchers of beer and plates of wings at a local bar, or even just cake and a board game in your living room, whatever; but you provide the hospitality and thank these people for being in your life. To me this sounds like “here’s my grand birthday tour, you may be graced by my presence at your convenience.” To that end, she titled the event “Birthday Options” and in the past has even said that she’s planned a full spectrum of events so that everyone can find something that works for them (I ignore the invitation completely but have considered submitting this every year for awhile now).

Of course, she’s already posted links to gift suggestions and this comes just weeks after asking for donations to fund her sketch comedy club’s European “performance (vacation).”  0807-18

By now everyone on the planet should know my thoughts on “invitations” of this nature.  One almost expects young children to be selfish and whine of their need to be suitably feted for their birthday but adults?  Pity the grown adult who must regress back to childish needs for a birthday party.

In this story, the birthday girl (and I use the diminutive intentionally) annually invests a considerable amount of time coordinating, scheduling and planning events surrounding her birthday yet apparently does not apply her considerable skills to bless anyone else.    One hopes that enough friends, family and co-workers decline to attend the birthday events.

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Early And Entitled Trick or Treaters

It was still about 2 weeks to Halloween, but we had some very early trick or treater’s apparently.

We live on a dead end street and have been here about a year. We mostly keep to ourselves but say hello if we take our elderly dog for a walk up the street. There are several families with children who run up and down the street playing at each others homes, but they have always been polite and don’t even get too loud when they are outside. All in all, its a nice, quiet place.

The other evening however we met some strange neighbor children. It was a nice day so we had the windows and doors open (screen door closed and locked) so our cats could enjoy the outdoors from the safety of inside the house. My sister and I were watching TV in the front room when suddenly two young girls appeared on our porch and peered in our screen door. The older was about 13 and the younger maybe 10 at the most.

“Do you have any candy?” The older one asks without so much as a hello. We don’t know these kids and we have maybe seen them before but as I said, we keep to ourselves.

We stare dumbfounded at the pair and my sister stammers that no we do not. The girl points to a bag of M&Ms on the table. Now this bag is obviously open. My sister, having recovered more now, tells the duo that while she did forget about those, we don’t even know the girls, nor their parents or if their mother would even want them to have candy.

The two girls run off and we just stare at each other trying to figure out what just happened, but that’s not even the end! The older girl returns just as quickly and happily announces their mom said its OK.

At this point our dog woke up and, realizing someone is at the door, starts barking. She is mostly blind and near entirely deaf so its hard to get her to stop once she starts so I’m trying to quiet the dog while my sister tells the girls again we don’t even know them nor their mother and are not going to just give them candy. The girl steps off the porch again and calls for her mom to come over to tell us its OK for her to have our candy. Fortunately Mom was too busy and told her to come back to the house and the girl yelled “Never mind!” as she ran home finally for good. We decided the cats had had enough fresh air and closed the door and had a laugh once our dog went back to sleep. We still do not know any of their names. 1020-17

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