Friday, July 29, 2005

The Few, The Loud, The Talkative

I went to a bridal shower last night for a friend, who's from England, who is marrying an American friend of ours. After a rough day yesterday, I thought about not going to a party, but decided to buck up and go anyway.

This English friend had a few friends and her sister in town from London for the wedding, and since I'm going to London in a couple of months, I thought it would be nice to talk with them a bit about their home country.

Well, it was not to be. The sister-in-law-to-be was invited as well, and the moment she walked in the door, she did nothing but yak on and on about herself. She was so loud, she drowned out any hope of other conversations, and when her husband called her on her cell phone, she proceeded to stay in the room and loudly talk to him and report on everything he said. Ugh.

There was some eye contact between the other 10 of us in the room that said I was not alone in my disgust. I tried to give her the benefit of the doubt and thought "maybe she just stays home with the kids all day and doesn't have anyone to talk to." But no, apparently she's like that all the time, so said one of my friends later.

By the end of the evening, I knew about her relationship with her husband, mother, and that she had two kids, and what they were like. I scarcely can remember a detail about anyone else in the room, because we barely had a chance to say anything.
When I left with a friend, we walked out into the driveway, and I told Wendi "I know I can talk a lot, but wow!" And she said "No, you're not like that! But she's ALWAYS been that way."

I wonder if she went home and told her husband what a great time she had, and if it even crossed her mind that she talked so much she had NO chance of learning anything about anyone else at the party.

I often wonder if there is anything one can do in those situations. I tried to have side conversations as was possible, but our British guests began to tune out, one checking her pictures on her camera, and another just gave up and went to bed.

What a lost opportunity. After the day I had yesterday (I was told I wasn't the candidate for a job I really wanted, and I was deeply disappointed) I was hoping for a chance to look forward to my European vacation by talking with some Europeans. Instead, I got to listen to a loud-mouthed conservative Air Force wife from Colorado Springs tell me about every detail of her childbirth experiences to what her husband likes her to do in bed. TMI, thank you very much.

At one point, she was prattling on about her childbirth experiences, and I quipped "This isn't a baby shower, I think we should talk about weddings, don't you think?" then asked everyone in the room about what their weddings were like. Miss Loudmouth cut right in and started telling us about her wedding, and how her husband and her were SO happy after 14 years. I wonder if he'd have the chance to even tell her he's not happy as he probably doesn't get a chance to get a word edge-wise.

How do you handle those situations? Do you just bear it and pray to God she doesn't show up at too many other parties? I can't imagine anything I could have said to get her to shut her trap long enough to let others talk that wouldn't have been rude itself.

I'm so glad yesterday is over!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Terrorists and Their Copycats


London's Trafalgar Square, with Big Ben in the background. Posted by Picasa

I was saddened to hear of an additional terror attack on London this morning. Just two weeks ago, 50+ people were killed as an orchestrated attack to the city's transportation attack occurred within minutes of each other.

Today, I woke up to similar news, only to find that as I watched the developments, it's believed that the "bombers" were actually copycats, and that fortunately, there was no loss of life.

As most humans on the planet with access to the news wonder, "what are they thinking?"

I spend some time on a couple of websites that have discussion boards concerning travel to Europe. While some people are stupid enough to think that terrorists=Islamic people, and others think that all Muslims are terrorists, most of us know that is not the case.

Others discuss whether they should travel to London now that the bombinbs have occurred -- yet again.

I guess if I was going in two weeks, I'd wonder too. Instead, my husband and I are flying to London in September, and still plan on going. There is no reason in my mind to alter my plans for some terrorist or their even more pathetic versions, the copycats who do something like this just to gain attention.

I was in London in 2003 -- it was my first trip to Europe, and my husband and I took a long trip across Europe, starting in the U.K., and heading to Paris, Venice, Florence, Rome, Athens, Izmir and Istanbul.

When I stepped out of the Westminster Tube station, I saw Big Ben, looming large in front of me, and I cried actual tears. What a lovely city, what a wonderful people, and what a fabulous time we had hanging out in Trafalgar Square, seeing Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London and its Crown Jewels. The historical records room at the British Library wow'd me with original documents of everything from The Magna Carta, Shakespeare's original works, and the napkin John Lennon wrote "Yesterday" on.

No, I will not be swayed. I figure I still have a better chance of getting killed driving my car in Colorado or crossing the street.

Just in London, I have to look to the right instead of the left.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Time, Boy Do I have a Lot of THAT!

I've been unemployed since February, when I was laid off from my job. My job moved to Boise, Idaho, and for obvious reasons to everyone except the actual residents of Boise, I did not go with it.

In the past 5 months, I've had the time to do a real job search. I recently applied for and interviewed with The Denver Post for a position I really want. I'm waiting to hear about that, hopefully this week.

As the weeks tick by, I've found myself doing a few projects here and there. I finished a queen-size quilt and three baby quilts. I've cleaned out a few places that needed doing, and I've done plenty of research on our trip to Paris, France for September.

But in between all those hours of work and play, I find myself stumped about a few things.

One -- and probably Number One -- is about our family and how to build it. I've suffered three miscarriages in three years, and we both feel the need to take a break from trying to make a family, either biological or adopted. My last miscarriage was in January, and while that feels very immediate in some respects, it feels like it was eons ago. I have a friend who I recently learned is pregnant. It's still hard to hear that other people have such an easy time of getting and staying pregnant. Like my husband Brian said the other day as he told me the news -- it's hard to realize what different routes some other people's lives take.

Of course we hope her pregnancy is perfect and that everything turns out fine. But whenever we hear about people having babies it just reminds us of what we've gone through and that for all intents and purposes, we just can't. The innocence of thinking we'd just make a family when we wanted to is gone forever.

I guess I'm at a loss about how to really grieve that. I feel like it's just a fact of my life in many respects. I feel like while it is sad, there's nothing I can really do about it, so then what?

There are days I cry a tear or two, but it's not the empty hole it once was in my heart. I feel my heart feel heavy with the burden sometimes, but it's not a constant feeling, more situational as I hear of other people moving on and having their families.

I keep thinking there must be something I can do to work through this more. Maybe this time I have on my hands is just what I need -- time to think about it a little, but also to heal as I move on with my life and put some distance between me and my losses. Is that all there is to it? Perhaps yes.

Number 2 -- The other things I think about are "what do I want to be in life?" As I got laid off, I knew I'd have the time and the unemployment check to at least make do while I looked for work. But I still wonder if I'll ever find a job that I really love. The job I applied for at The Post is the closest thing I can think of to a perfect job for me -- one of researching and finding information for reporters. When I was a reporter, my favorite part of the job was doing the research end of things. On one hand, I think I should go back to being a reporter, but I didn't like the stress of the conflicts that arise from being a reporter. Knocking on people's doors for comment when they just want to be left alone, that sort of thing.

I find myself wanting to do a more supportive job for the news business. I find that I want a job where I can go home at night and not have to still be stressed from a day's work. I find peace at being at home, and don't feel like I need to have a high-powered career. That's so different from where I was several years ago. What changed?

I guess as I get older, I realize that my family -- husband, brothers, sister, Mom -- are the most important people in my life. I want to spend time with them and know them well, as they are the best friends in my life and by far my greatest supporters. Doing a job that would require long hours and an inability to nurture those relationships is just not something I want to do.

Why do I feel weird about that. I don't know. I guess there's a part of me that thinks I'm supposed to be more of my aggressive self. My mind and heart are at war over this sometimes.

That's all for now.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

I Cried When She Left


Dhan and Julie Posted by Picasa

It amazes me sometimes, how friendships work. My friend Dhan and I went to school in the 4th and 5th grades together way back in the late 1970s, when both our families lived in the same town in Eastern Oregon.

I haven't seen Dhan since we were here in Colorado 13 years ago for my Dad's funeral. At the time she was living here, and my parents had recently moved to Colorado.

In the past couple of years we've talked more and more, and renewed our friendship as our lives have moved us around -- her to Tennessee and me to Denver.

I was so excited when she and her husband and son came to visit us this past weekend. We renewed our friendship, and talked a lot about our years together in Oregon, reminiscing about our years together and how we've all grown and changed.

As she said, it's amazing what an impact a friendship from our 4th-5th grade experience can have on our adult lives, as we have been able to remain friends and grow in the same directions as time passes.

I've never cried when a friend has left my house, but today I did. It was such a lovely visit, and her leaving left a quiet spot in my house. She will be missed.

What a lovely person.

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