Am I Really Hugging Myself…Then Throwing Up in My Mouth a Little?

Vday Paula Dean

It has been said on more than one occasion, I am too hard on myself. I downplay my life’s achievements (too boastful), I envy other’s smooth skin (too old), I judge my hair (must I always look like Drew Barrymore from the movie Firestarter?), and God forbid you give me a compliment (Oh, it’s just these pants that make me look thin. I’m actually very bloated from eating all those spicy peanuts.).

Good Morning America.

Good Morning America.

I am not alone.

While this phenomenon seems to mainly circle around women, I am going to direct this question to all human kind: How did we learn to be so mean to ourselves?

My brain's playlist.

My brain’s playlist.

While we definitely need to be kinder to ourselves and proud of who we are, please don’t go 180 degrees in the opposite direction. You don’t want to be the Kardashian of constant selfies and posts stating, “I totally dominate this bathing suit!!” or, “I could so rule this African pygmy tribe.”



Maybe that’s too confident. And by too confident, I mean maybe that person should not speak. Out loud.

Nope, I’m talking about giving ourselves a break. Which apparently is a very difficult thing to do.

Somewhere along the line, we were conditioned to be embarrassed of ourselves. To hide our talents and gifts, and say things like, “Oh, that’s okay. I’ll volunteer/bake nine hundred Bundt cakes/take on forty extra clients to pick up the slack.”

No. It is not okay.

We can sit here for years discussing where the beat down came from. Parents? Childhood bullies? Mean teachers? The list and therapy sessions could be endless. Bottom line – we got here and we need to get out of here.

So during this season of icky, gooey, sugar-betes love sonnets, maybe we focus inward instead of outward.

When someone compliments your outfit, just say “Thank you.” When you start comparing yourself to the Sports Illustrated swimsuit model, just stop. Most of society doesn’t look like that. When you beat yourself up for driving through Church’s Chicken for dinner, instead of planning an organic meal, give yourself a break…then call me because I really love fried chicken. And when someone asks you about your recent job promotion, prize winning peach pie, or how you find time to make stylish clothes for your children, tell them all about it. Your efforts earned those achievements, be proud of who you are.

So good.

So good.

Then seriously call me. I wasn’t kidding about the fried chicken.



Photos courtesy of:

Paula Dean –

Drew Barrymore in FIRESTARTER –

Mean Girls –

Selfie –

Fried Chicken –







Am I Really Telling Jane Seymour to Cut the Crap?

Nothing says love like this hamster with a rose in its hair.

Nothing says love like this hamster with a rose in its hair.

The day for lovers is upon us. Or more aptly, the day for chalky candy and all things pink. I don’t think this is what St. Valentine had envisioned when he married so many star-crossed lovers. And was then imprisoned for it.

This time of year we are bombarded by a bazillion jewelry commercials. People are hugging and kissing and wearing collared shirts. Kay Jewelers takes the cake with the “Every Kiss Begins With Kay” signature line. Even the lovely and talented Jane Seymour has her Open Hearts Collection.

While I do really like Ms. Seymour and her design (it is pretty, but knowing me, her open heart would catch on my sweater, creating an open holes collection), her jewelry line seems to be a bit discriminatory.

It got me thinking. There really should be more practical jewelry collections for the everyday person.

Let’s take a look:

1)      The No I’m Not Engaged Yet Grandma, So Quit Asking Collection. It might not be your grandmother doing the nagging. Maybe it’s your mom, or crazy Aunt Gemma who’s always badgering you about your love life. If you wear this necklace, the questions will stop. CHARM: A hand with no rings.

2)      The It’s Your Turn Collection. This one can be used like a hotel Do Not Disturb sign. It is applicable to anything; changing diapers, answering the door, getting up from the table to get more ketchup. CHARM: A finger pointing.

3)      The Sorry, I Just Farted in the Bed Collection. Anyone who has been in a long term relationship gets this. It is real. It happens. Don’t pretend it doesn’t. CHARM: A cloud.

4)      The Ooops! I Just Spent Too Much at Target, But Look at These Awesome Snow Owls Collection. This one you give as a peace offering. CHARM: A melting dollar sign.

5)      The Aw Man! I Totally Spaced About V-Day, So All I Got You Was This Bag of Werther’s Original Candies Collection. This is also a very real thing. I am guessing at least 3 out of 5 dudes will go through this come February 14th. If you are in a new relationship, you’re screwed buddy. Refer to collection #4 to make it up to her. CHARM: A guy shrugging. A guy saying sorry. A bong.

No. Just no.

No. Just no.

6)      The Am I the Only One Who Does Anything Around Here? Collection. Everyone has felt like this toward their special someone at some point. Why not make it official with a charm? CHARM: A gold embossed business card for Molly Maids.

7)      The We Just Started Dating, So I’m Ignoring that You Ate Onions for Lunch While I Mouth Kiss You Collection. Ah, new love. In the beginning we are so forgiving, we look past so much. Like the fact he only takes you out to Jay Jay’s Shuck and Dive and makes you buy the pitchers of beer because, “Oh man, I only have a ten.” Or that she is always texting and tweeting during dinner, accompanied by constant giggling, gasping, and, “No Way-ing!” CHARM: A voice box of your mother saying, “I told you so.”

8)      The Well, I’m Already in Bed and I Just Put on Hand Lotion So, Can We Do It Tomorrow? Collection. This is for the people who have been together a while. A long while. I hate to admit this, but while I used to be spontaneous and fun, sometimes I just want to fall asleep watching the weather report. CHARM: A letter to all twentysomethings saying, “Yes, this will one day happen to you. Also, wash your face before you pass out, you’ll thank me later.”

9)      The Uh Oh. Looks Like We Did It on the First Date So…Um…I Guess I’ll Go…But I’ll Call You Tomorrow Collection. This one is self-explanatory. CHARM: A telephone number, missing three digits.

10)  The No, We Are Not Having Any More Kids Collection. This is for the couple who just got married, as well as those who already have kids. I am not sure why family, friends, and strangers are so concerned about us churning out more humans, but this necklace might help. CHARM: A lady crossing her legs.

11)  All of the above. It can be like a Pandora bracelet, except way more ghetto.

So this Valentine’s Day, give the gift of lasting love. If you can live with the good, the boring, the forgetful, the smelly, the rude, and the forgiving, then that is worth celebrating. That’s real love.

Unless your form of affection comes via a hot pink stuffed dragon holding a box of really bad chocolates. Then Godspeed my friend.

So much romance! So much mystery! All stamped on candies that taste like Pepto tablets.

So much romance! So much mystery! All stamped on candies that taste like Pepto tablets.


Am I Really Wearing Shamrocks and a Sombrero on Valentine’s Day?

Ah Valentine’s Day – the day for lovers. A day for romance. A day for hypo-glycemic attacks due to all the ingested chocolates.

No gracias.

I don’t do romance very well (check out last year’s post about it ). Thoughtfulness, yes. Gooey romance, no. I would actually like to go see the opening of A Good Day to Die Hard on this day rather than get a giant teddy bear.  It’s like those smarty candy hearts that say Be Mine or Cutie!  They get stuck in my throat like a wad of chalk. I find the whole running around for a gift too stressful. Can’t we just do nice things for each other without putting a big ass red bow on it?

A recently released book entitled The Norman Bar surveyed over a billion people (or something like that) about relationships. The author and her team of experts discovered that men crave romance more than women.

This I believe.

Not because men are more romantic than women, quite the contrary.  Women would just like everyday sh*t to happen around the house/in their lives because we are TIRED. Let’s face it, chocolates and flowers are nice, but they won’t make up for the moldy boxes of baseball cards hogging up the garage.

If you want to get busy gentlemen, take a looksey at the below list of traditional Valentine’s gifts versus what a chica really wants:


LADY: Wants him to throw away his trash rather than leave it on the couch for her to find in the morning. Then a hug.

H/B/MR. RN: Enjoys spontaneous hand-holding.

LADY: Wants him to “hold” his nail clippings all the way to the trash can.

H/B/MR. RN: Appreciates a kind word and knowing his efforts are appreciated.

LADY: The same. Especially if those words are, “Hey honey, why don’t you go lay down/hang out with your friends/stare at nothing for a while? I’ll take care of the kids/dinner/cleaning up all the dog hair.”

H/B/MR. RN: Excited by sexy underwear.

LADY: Excited his underwear made it into the hamper.

H/B/MR. RN: Wants to make dinner.

LADY: Wants to eat anything she does not have to cook.

Women want the romance just like you dudes. We love love and want to feel loved.  We like flowers and kind words just like any other human being. We just want it with a side of everyday actions.

So boys, when you are picking out those chocolate covered strawberries for your lady-friend, take a moment to think. Maybe the best accoutrement to go with the strawberries is mowing the lawn. Romance can take many forms. I know mine looks a little different.

But if my husband ever forgets to get me flowers on V-day I will beat him…with his box of soggy baseball cards.