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Archive for the ‘relationships’ Category

Generally speaking being extroverted is touted as a positive thing in society. Extroverts are comfortable public speakers, network easily and can close a business deal, at least according to the stereotypes. Introverts are quiet, and maybe smart?

I’m really not too sure about all of this, and this is coming from an extrovert- I much prefer to go out with friends after a hellish day than sit at home and stew. After a day of surgery where nothing went exactly as planned and one thing went completely sideways, it was a quick run to the gym and then out with friends in person and on the phone to tell them about the crazy, get some sympathy, and get rid of the complete and utter frustration and doubts about my skills. Had I gone home alone it probably would have ended with a bottle, which is not really a good option when you have to be back bright and early for some ICU patient care.

That doesn’t mean that I am not shy or that I am the first person to say hi when someone walks into the room. I’ll do my public speaking, sure, but I’m not jumping up and down shouting, “Me! Me! Oh please, pick me!” I am not the whirlwind who comes in, crashes the party and gives everyone else some stories to tell. In my element, among friends, I certainly like being center stage and cracking folks up, because that’s fun, but it doesn’t equate to “good” or “better” than folks who don’t.

Introverts are not stupid. They are not necessarily shy any more than extroverts are necessarily bold. They just need time to think and recharge by being away from others rather than in the thick of them. Some of the best public speakers are introverts, more often than not because they actually take the time to [i]think[/i] about what they’re going to say before saying it rather than blurting out what comes to mind or narrating the reasoning process. The speaker who has one powerful phrase uttered after a moment of contemplation is most likely and introvert. The speaker who was a crackup  may have been an extrovert. Which message sticks with you longer?

It just gets me down that introverts can be given such a rough time in our world. Some of my best friends, the ones I rely heavily upon to reconnect me with reality are the ones who stop and think and are a little more reserved. I’m flying all over the place all by myself, I don’t need help with that, I need the help of those who can grab me and bring me back, sit me down, and shut me up with a well planned observation. I am fortunate to have a few of these wonders in life and I feel they are unjustly denigrated, or at least not appreciated nearly enough for their worth to society and to me.

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The mango and I have a relationship. It’s not always a good one. It can cause me pain. Not sure it hurts the mangoes at all though, other than in that they are eaten, but despite some claims that vegetables (and I will generalize to plants) can, in fact, scream, I cannot feel bad about the act of consuming them in a PETA (Plant Eating Tastes Awesome) sense. Mangoes however, have an undeniable power over me. I love everything about them.

Nutritionally, they are fabulous. Lots of oranginess, which generally means lots of carotenoids that can be converted to vitamin A by humans as needed, potassium, and vitamin C. There’s also lots of healthy dietary fiber to make you feel full and move along, all the while fighting colon cancer. All that for a scant 135 calories, with a hell of a tasty flavor kick in this bad-ass fruit that is a member of the Poison Ivy family. Which is, incidentally, why some people’s lips swell if they scrape the mango skins with their teeth- the oils in the skin are the potentially problematic bit.

I just love mango. Fresh mango, dried mango, mango salsa, mango-flavored bubble tea, etc. I can’t seem to help myself! Which is the problem, unfortunately. I taste mango and I am like a junkie- no self control, I just keep eating until there is no more available for me to eat! Costco has dried mangos for sale, which are like fresh mangoes, but even more concentrated! And they’re chewy, which is just as delicious as them being delicious and juicy fresh! The problem, however, is that they are sold in 30oz bags. That’s just under two pounds of dried mango.

According to one site, fresh mangoes are about 80% water. I found that 1c fresh mango is 107 calories is about 165g. 107 calories of dried mango takes up only 38g, meaning they’re about 13% water. which all translates to that one bag of dried mangoes being the equivalent of  about 17 fresh mangoes. SEVENTEEN. Thats a lot of mango. You would think. Except, you see, I am incapable of stopping.

I would be hard pressed to eat 17 fresh mangoes. The time it takes to cut and eat each one and the effort adds up. I would probably be bloody from accidentally stabbing myself if I tried. But when they’re delicious and prepared in such an easy to eat form? Why would I NOT eat 17 mangoes? So that is what I do. I, with great effort, managed to make a bag of these dried crackgoes last three whole days once. It was a record for me.

But, here, you might begin to see why the mangoes’ power over me might not be entirely, 100% a wonderful thing. Because as much as I love every second of eating those tantilizing, wonderful mango strips, my gastrointestinal system is not generally equipped to deal with the influx of 17 mangoes over, on average, 24 hours. It results in, we’ll say, a bit of a fiber overload. I can and do deal, because I cannot stop myself, and it causes no long term harm. But I do not learn. I do not learn how to self-regulate my mango intake.

I will fight you for that last mango strip. You have been warned.

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So what’s the deal with me watching chick flicks? They’re romance movies, most often with some comedy mixed in. Usually with a soon to be or recently failed bad relationship that is eclipsed by the wonder of a new and perfect man whose perfection is only realized at the last minute. Now, I am as guilty as the next chick of loving these fluffy useless pictures. I toss money into the Hollywood coffers both at the local Blockbuster and at the Cinema for the privilege of watching lovely men who often have accents prance about the screen playing roles as fictional as any of my daydreams.

Recent favorites include Letters to Juliet and Leap Year, the latter especially because it includes music from Flogging Molly. I think they’re favorites because they are utterly useless.  There’s no semblance of reality, so it’s completely safe to fantasize. There’s no chance of being let down when you know there’s nothing real there to start with. It’s also nice because you KNOW there will be a happy ending. You may not know how it gets there to start with, but when you go to a chick flick, you know it will be a happy ending to look forward to even when you want to scream at the characters that they’re about to do the wrong, utterly stupid, thing. In real life, there is no such assurance, which is one more reason I like sappy romance.

I think that is the biggest part of these films for me: the knowledge of what is going to happen. If you know, then even the bad parts aren’t that bad, but you can never know those things in real life. So you have to go on faith, and faith, and trusting other people in real life… that is something that is pretty difficult. People are perfect and good in chick flicks because they’re fantasy. I don’t know any perfect people in real life. Which is where the post chick flick sadness comes in. I know, all viewers know, that Hollywood is just fantasy put on a screen, but even if it’s not for real, the desire for that perfection is still there and the desire is real. Then, after watching fantasies played out, just how unobtainable it all is sinks in once again and leads to the post chick flick let down. Reality is a bitch that comes roaring back after these cotton candy jaunts on the big screen.

Which is why it pays to have a good imagination… then you’ve got your own private cinema whenever the need arises.

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In the non-random and non-standardized polling I’ve done, I have gotten one of two reactions from nearly everyone I have asked about being friends with their ex-significant others. The first is often either a confused look or a simple “No,” the second is a happy nod or “Of course.”  So I’m going to go out on a limb and say that people tend to be the sort to be friends with exes or they don’t. Gross generalizations much? Yes indeed.

Those that don’t want to be friends have told me that to try would be awkward, forced and uncomfortable. Too much has transpired for them to want to hang out. They’d rather their ex just left them and their friends alone. It’s not necessarily that they wish anyone any harm, but if their ex happened to disappear off the planet, they wouldn’t mind either. Being around the person just dredges up too much dirt and unhappiness. There is, after all, a reason that they now bear the title of “Ex.” If bad things hadn’t happened, they would still be together.

Those that want to be friends don’t want to lose the person of their ex entirely. They don’t want to be in a relationship anymore, but they still want to hang out and be social from time to time. They still like their ex, just not in that way anymore. Or they do in that way, but want to explore other options/not commit further for a while.

Now, count me in the first camp. Either camp is fine, so long as you and your ex are both of the same mindset. But if you’re of opposite minds? That’s where the trouble comes in. How does one who never wants to see an ex again convince an ex to Go Away? Is there an obligation to try (half-hearted and resentful as it might be) to be friends?  What if this is not satisfactory? Then what? Why is it important for some people to be friends with their exes?

I feel as though understanding that last question would help me a lot. I just don’t understand the appeal. At all. Perhaps far down the line, when the hurts have healed, but when wounds are still raw it just seems unpleasant, a lot of work, and with no reward in sight.

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