Years ago, I mentioned five things that I will not write about on my blog, and I don’t intend to change that any time soon.
Today however, I will ever-so-lightly touch on the subject of politics by expressing a few opinions prompted by the protests taking over the main squares of major Romanian cities, which are categorized as the largest demonstrations nationwide since the fall of communism in 1989.
However, for the past ten days, so many parents went, and took their kids under 15 with them to the evening protests. Sure, it is their personal choice to stay out there with them until midnight, yet I can not see it as being a wise and safe one.
But I have to wonder why is it that our news channels here make such a big deal out of it? What is fundamentally wrong if this is news worthy? How are Romanians overall perceived in the world, if this is portrayed as such a big surprise?
The clean and incident-free protests, to me, prove that it could be the same way 90% of the time instead of only now during the protests.
As I was searching for wedding-related hair/dress/survival guide ideas for a wedding we’ll attend later this year, I came across this article. The first lines of the article say “Post break-up, you’re bound to get it: The dreaded invite to the party/picnic/wedding where you know your ex will be. But instead of viewing it like the sequel to “Doomsday,” start prepping for it like a big red carpet event.” My mind immediately started screaming “No, No, No. No!”
I read on, curious to see the rest of the advice listed in the article and kept shaking my head in disagreement. Especially since some of the suggestions are quite good, but not the way the author spins them. Also, I suspect it’s a semi-sponsored article, since the author keeps suggesting stuff to buy, like that “red carpet dress”. So, I decided to share with you the list of suggestions and my thoughts on them. I will wait patiently while you go read the original article for comparison.
- Splurge on a new dress – I agree that you shouldn’t show up in PJs and can splurge on a new dress if you have the means to, or wear your prettiest dress that you feel excellent in!
However, the reason for this should not be driven by what your ex thinks, liked on you or color he hates. You should feel good in what you’re wearing, all the time and regardless of your ex being there or not, let alone in a fancier setting like a wedding.
- Bring a wingman – I mostly agree with this, it doesn’t really matter what the event is, of course it’s always more fun if you go with someone, especially if you might not know too many people there. Like the article says, sure, if you don’t feel like taking a date then take a platonic guy or girl friend.
Not for your ex’s benefit/to make them jealous/to show off though!
- Get your hair/nails/makeup did – The take-away from this suggestion in the article is to not look like you tried too hard, and if your ex never saw you with makeup before, don’t show up sporting false lashes and siren red lipstick.
I think you should never look like you’ve tried too hard, not only when you might run into an ex. And I strongly disagree with that second part about makeup. On the one hand, you shouldn’t care if your ex never saw you wearing makeup before, and on the other hand: people change!
Personally I only wore makeup occasionally during high school and uni years. I honestly wore little to no makeup up until two years ago, when I started working in an office setting. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of the minimalist style and most likely won’t wear false lashes to any event, but I do enjoy a darker lip color on occasion. So why we are told not to wear that only because our ex might be at an event and never saw us wearing such makeup is beyond me!
- Wear your signature fragrance – In the article, this suggestion bluntly comes off as advice on how to bring back memories in your ex of fancy dinners you guys went on, of borrowing their shirt and giving it back smelling like you, of just you.
While I agree that wearing your signature fragrance is fun because you love it, that’s why it’s your signature fragrance, I don’t agree with only wearing it/wearing it in excess only to bring up memories in your ex. They will remember the past just by seeing you anyway.
- Take care of the areas he will never even see – Even the sentence in the article starts with “this might seem counter-intuitive.” So, really?
Yes, of course, take care of the areas the ex or anyone else other than your current partner will see, but do it for yourself! You have to be the one who feels good in their skin so never think about this stuff as being something that you do for your partner’s benefit, or worse, for your ex’s benefit.
- Have a drink… but not five – OK, this is one of the very few points in the article that I fully agree with.
May I add though, that I think one should never go past their measure, regardless of their ex being at the event or not.
- Give your friends talking points – The suggestion here is to tell friends to drop hints or work info about you into the conversation, so you’re not the one bragging about that new job, huge apartment or awesome vacation you’re taking. They end the paragraph with the question “well, better from her lips than yours, right?”
Well, this is just a flat out “NO!” in my opinion. Unless specifically asked for advice, friends, either mutual or not, should not be involved with what is/was between the two of you.
If you’re having a genuine conversation with friends and the ex is part of that conversation (or overhears it) sure, it’s not like that information is classified. However, if you’re manipulating the conversation into that direction, that is not OK. Both you and your friends should be mindful of what you say to an ex.
If exes want to find out something about you, they will ask. If they don’t, they’re either too uncomfortable or are simply over you and don’t care to know. You can tell which of these two when you ask them about how they are doing. There is no need to over-share.
- Be gracious – I do agree with this point. Don’t let your ex hear about grudges you hold, or names you’ve called them. It’s always helpful to have some easy conversation topics in mind so you don’t run into rehashing old things. Make your time with them short, sweet and gracious, and don’t monopolize their time over the course of the evening (ie. if both of you smoke, don’t time every single cigarette “break” at the same time with theirs).
- Hit the dance floor (but not the karaoke machine) – I agree with this as well. Your every single action shouldn’t revolve around your ex’s presence in the room. Don’t fake it or over do it, don’t stay on the dance floor all night long if that is not who you normally are. Be yourself and have fun!
- Make a perfectly timed exit – I agree that you don’t have to stay until the end of the night just because your ex does. Unless you do actually have other plans/obligations, you probably shouldn’t be rude to your hosts and run out before the main course is served.
However, my advice is to stay for as little or as long as you feel the need to! You’re the only one who knows how much fun you’re having, and it should not depend on your ex’s actions/presence there.
Now, this is just my two cents, I am not calling myself an expert on relationships. So now I have to ask you, what do you think about the points above?
Three years ago over at Friday Flash Dot Org, in one of the From Scene to Screen features on the website, I talked about Edward Ormondroyd’s “Time at the top” and the movie adaptation by the same name easily being two of my favorites.
In it, I also shared a picture of my copy of the book below my Ramsing of my favorite number, won in a giveaway from Rukmini’s place. Just perfect together! (See photo to your left here.)
Since the Friday Flash Dot Org website closed last year and I didn’t talk about this book on my blog before, I decided to post today in case you’re up for a little review type reading.
Edward Ormondroyd’s “Time at the top” and the movie adaptation by the same name are easily two of my favorites from what writing I was introduced to during my young adult years.
From the moment the movie started I was drawn in, even more so when the single line “based on the novel…” came up on my TV screen. Normally, I read the book, then watch the movie, but given that the first time I saw this movie was still in my high school years, back then the sequence did not matter as much as it does now. As soon as the movie ended however, I had “Time at the top” on my wish list of books to purchase.
A book about time travel was definitely something I wanted to read, and the main character, Susan was someone I wanted to read about in her own “setting” in the novel. Susan is someone I could relate to, having lost someone dear to me. She is adventuresome, curious, invested, and filled with a desire to help out her new friends while trying to better her own life – these are traits I wish everyone possessed.
Of course, some things are inevitably lost or changed in “translation” from scene to screen so differences appear throughout the two works when compared. Not many did I find distracting from the book’s original feel, however.
The book’s action and story line take place in the early 1960s and goes back to 1881. The movie’s story line changes slightly, the present being 1998 instead of the 60s. While it is one of the biggest differences, this did not strike me as too distracting from the plot itself. The writers managed to make the change believable. It might be because viewers relate better to movies shot in the present of what their current present is.
That said, I find it particularly interesting that in the book (which was first published in 1963), the author and Susan are talking about how the pace of life is too fast and there seemed to be a longing to more peaceful times where cities were smaller, a longing for fresh air, green open spaces, of seeing the country sky full of stars in a way one has never thought about them before in the city. This longing of a time long gone is something I see my present filled with. Because of this, I’m positive this plays a huge role in the novel’s timelessness, the plot is still compelling and enjoyable whether it was read in 1980, in 1998, in 2011 when I reread it, is being read at the moment in 2016, or will be read in 2088.
At the beginning of the novel, Susan has an odd encounter with an older woman and from helping the stranger she is given “three” as a reward. Three turns out to be how many times she can travel in her apartment building’s elevator to the top, and travel further than the last floor, back to the past. In the movie, she discovers this by accident when a neighbor asks her to take some things to the basement for them.
The main plot line stays the same in both the novel and the movie, as gradually discovering the power of the elevator time machine, Susan and her new friends from 1881 travel back and forth in time and succeed in changing both the past and the future, changing a little piece of history. I really liked how the elevator took Susan back in time into Victoria and Robert’s house, which stands in the same spot as her apartment building stands in 1998; this turns into a constant mark for distance during her travels.
Susan ends up play acting to get what she wants, like Portia from “The Merchant of Venice”. She wants a big house in the country, where it’s quiet and pretty, where birds are singing and there is room for everybody. She believes that with a little luck and a little bit of faith one can change the life they’ve made. She believes that when one feels that hope is awry, things can still turn out right.
“Time at the top” is a book where the author self-inserts himself into the narrative in an adorable way. In the movie adaptation he is portrayed as a quirky writer with pen and notepad in hand, and a little bit prone to ridicule on screen. He sums it up well himself when asked if he doesn’t have someplace he needs to be “Oh no, I’m a writer and keep any hours I want.” (Wish I could say that myself, but I digress.) While on paper the change between first person narrative and third person narrative can be a little bit confusing, I liked his presence overall.
If you haven’t yet, I’ll let you all discover the unusual, very unlike-most-time-travel-books, ending by reading the book or watching the movie. Come back here and let me know what you think!
Or have you already read this book, or seen the movie adaptation? Tell me if you liked each one, what do you think of the two in comparison?
PS: I also credit Edward Ormondroyd for providing my young adult self with my favorite number, 1881. Ever since first watching the movie, I’m truly aware of the numbers 1 and 8, and of their presence in my life.
Last January, during my year of following the 52/52 e-guide‘s assignments every week, I wrote a Life List. Even though I started out with the list looking more like a to-do list in the beginning, I quickly switched to dream-mode and thought of the things I’d really really want to do in this lifetime.
Now, my boyfriend is very realistic. He doesn’t like to make plans too far ahead, if at all. And it sometimes drives me nuts because I believe that the things that we focus on are the things that will surround us.
If we only focus on today, then weekend plans might fail because we’re not making an effort to think about them and make time for some things. Or if we only focus on having bills to pay and not having enough money, then that will be our reality. And we won’t be able to shift that reality until we start looking beyond our present, and start believing that things will get better. (I am quite bad at this one, after years of being in debt!) Then, we need to decide what it is we want, and take small steps toward those things.
For this reason, the other day I wrote a list of things we need to fix in the apartment, or stuff we need to buy. I’m hoping that being on a list will keep them more in focus as opposed to just in the back of our mind and never getting around to even think of them.
There are quite a few things on the Life List that I still need to start taking steps toward. Like turning my year of photo challenges into an e-book – I still need to sit down and work on it. Little by little, even if it doesn’t have to be done in one day, I ended up avoiding this item. Not sure why. But I fully intend to finally sit down and start assembling the e-book.
However, as I read it the other day, I realized that I actually achieved several things off my Life List. Also, I achieved quite a few things off the My purpose for money list that I wrote four years ago, when I had a total of four jobs at the same time by the end of 2012. It’s interesting to me how many similar items there are on both lists.
I traveled more in Romania and saw places I’ve never been to, alone and with loved ones. I re-visited places I loved (both in my country and across the border), and wrote a few travel articles. I visited friends from Great Britain and tried a lot of new kinds of food while traveling. I made a couple of my home-decor ideas reality decorating our small apartment, learned a bit how to drive, and saw the fireworks in Budapest, Hungary this New Year.
My most important item on the Life List and also on the My purpose for money list was by far to “Earn a living being a full-time writer/Turn writing into a priority and a steady income”. And you know what? I made that come true!
With a lot of support from my boyfriend, and learning more, I am now a technical author and love love love it! I recall writing a letter to myself talking about this when I was only applying for the job. It leaves me creative enough to write on my blog, too, and is still about writing, and editing and re-writing, etc. which I love doing as a full-time job. It gives me the chance to sometimes take the afternoon for reading, research and learning even more about the field.
It also gave me the opportunity to travel to London. Twice.
It pays better than any job I ever had before and now I can actually set money aside for travel and vacationing even if it takes a couple of months to save up. But I am finally out of debt.
Sure Life still gets in the way of things many times, but it doesn’t bother me quite as much as before. Because I am doing something I love and it made everything else much easier. I am definitely happier and more enthusiastic.
So if you ever stop and think about something you’d like to do as it being “unattainable”, please don’t. Try to break it down to small, achievable steps. Take one small step after the other, and it will all work itself out.