Archive for Living

The History of Wedding Rings – An Anniversary Post

The wedding ring remains one of the most iconic symbols of marriage today. The circle has always represented the unending cycle, an eternity of existence. In love, it symbolizes an endless affection. The symbolism may ring hollow in today’s seemingly impermanence of some marriages as people marry and un-marry as if following a trend, but for many, the ring’s symbolism is still something to aspire and hope for. It still gives meaning to the purpose of unity and endlessness in the love between couples.

There is, however, a segment of people who see the ring as an antiquated symbol of man’s dominance over woman and eschew the use of such a symbol in their relationship. It goes back to the times when women became ‘properties’ of men once the ring is placed on their fingers. Back then, only women wore rings. It is only in recent times that men started wearing rings too.

Read more

An Introspection on The Necklace

Have you read The Necklace? It’s a short story by Guy de Maupassant. It’s about Matilda Loisel who suffered from too much vanity and pride and aspiring to be more that what her station in life could afford. In our present culture, many would not see nothing wrong with that; nothing wrong with aspiring to be more that what you are, is there? It is the very same trait that drives some to succeed.

While it is sound advice, “living within your means” can seem very outdated and old fashioned according to the pundits of today. We are sold over and over again the idea that to get where we want to go, we need to start living as if we are already there.

There may be some truth to that advice, but at what price? What must we sacrifice in order to get to that place that we aspire to be? In The Necklace, Matilda and her husband paid an immense price for a moment of living up to her aspirations.

I keep that lesson in mind whenever I get my Matilda moments. Yes, I have them. Who doesn’t? Don’t we all? God, I hope so! I would hate to be the only one.

Sometimes there are times I feel bad or guilty when I can’t get something that the kids want or even need. When they were younger, it was expensive toys or fancy halloween costumes or a trip to Disneyland. Now that they are older, it’s more clothes or designer shoes or electronic gadgets, a fancy cell phone perhaps… or lately, their own car. We can’t afford a lot of extras, but we provide for their needs. They do not want for basic clothing, they don’t miss meals and the roof over their head does not leak. The luxuries and the toys though, they come few and far between. And usually, I am ok with that. I am used to use living within our means. I take pride at being able to do more with what little we have. At least if something happens to us tomorrow, they won’t have tons of credit card bill and other debts to contend with.

But still, that gnawing green monster rears it’s evil head once in a while and makes one wish for more. To wish for more that what is already on our plate. When those pangs hit, I think of this story and I remind myself, would I exchange a glittering moment for a lifetime of hardship? Am I depriving my children for not letting them experience that chance to glitter? Or am I providing them the lesson that took Matilda ten years to learn without them actually having to suffer through it? So they learn it with ease rather than with pain? Will they realize this lesson someday or ever? Or would the memory of that one glittering moment have more impact on what they remember for the rest of their lives?

I then think of the regrets, the lost time and the hardship that is usually the price that comes with vanity and pride and I hope that they will instead remember: instead of the things they did not have, the experiences that we were able to share. I hope they remember the laughter in our house because both their parents were home to share the moments of mirth with them rather than working at a second job so they can have that game everyone else has. I hope they remember that their parents were there to wipe their tears when they scraped their knees, were there to hold them when their hearts broke for the first time. I hope they remember instead that their parents were there to hold them high during their triumphs rather than holding on to careers that would take time away from home. I hope they remember the times rather than the things.

What do you think?

Family Rooms

This may sound weird when you’re single but when you have kids, especially young ones, bathrooms in public places take on added importance in your life. It becomes a deciding factor in where you go or how long you should stay. Call me neurotic, but when you have kids who immediately have to use the potty as soon as you get anywhere (sometimes before you even get there), it becomes very important that you have access to a clean restroom.

I’m glad my girls are older now and are more independent. I don’t have to worry as much about letting them go to the bathroom alone when we’re out and about but I’m afraid I’ve passed on my neuroses for bathrooms. They will not enter a public restrooms unless it’s clean. If it smells, they will rather hold ‘it’ than use the bathroom. You can forget it for some reason pest control has been overlooked because they will zoom out of anyplace so fast if they even see anything crawling. Actually, it doesn’t even have to be crawling. It can be dead in the corner and they will refuse to go in the room.

family restroomI’ve noticed an increase of Family Bathrooms in newer malls and public buildings and I am glad. These family rooms allow mom, dad and kids to use one large room together.

This alleviates mom from doing all the bathroom duties as it was in our case. Since we have daughters, it fell up to me to take them to the bathroom every time. I couldn’t have my husband take them to the men’s restroom after all. Can you just imagine little girls in the men’s bathroom? It’s not even funny. I’m always sympathetic when I see a lone dad urging his little girl into the ladies room by herself. It’s a helpless feeling when you can’t go in with your child. It’s not even a matter of safety, although that is certainly a big concern, depending on how tall they are, they can’t always reach the commode or the sink comfortably. Or they could be like my youngest daughter who used to be afraid of the noise the hand dryers make.

When you have to do diaper changes or just general kid mess clean up, family bathrooms are a godsend! They are usually equipped with a changing table and you just have more privacy to undress your child and get them cleaned up properly. Another neat feature of family bathrooms is the kid sized potty. This is great when you’re potty training because the kids can use the little potty just like when they’re at home and they don’t get traumatized about using the adult sized commode. My girls used to be scared the would fall in and I was always scared they would touch the sides or other parts they’re not supposed to have their little hands on.

I like family rooms and support all public places that have them. I wish they had more of them when my daughters were younger but I am glad they are now more widely available for families with young children.

The Last Cab Ride Story

Last Taxi Ride

You’ve probably read the story forwarded via email like I did. It’s a touching story titled The Cab Ride I’ll Never Forget which tells of a night when a cab driver picks up an elderly lady in the early hours of the morning from a quiet part of town. The lady requests a circuitous route through the city to get to her final destination. The cab driver informs her that there is a shorter route, thus saving her money and save him from automotive performance parts, probably. But she replies that she is on her way to hospice and wanted to see the town that she lived in for most of her life one last time. The taxi driver, upon hearing this, shut off the taxi’s meter and proceeded to drive the lady to the various landmarks from her life.

The story is beautifully written and has been forwarded I don’t know how many times but on most of them, the author was never credited. So I was glad to finally find out that Kent Nerburn is the author of this lovely story which is a part of his book, Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace. He is an inspirational writer and I look forward to reading more of his writings.

Busy weekend

Birthday GirlWhew! It’s been a busy last couple of weeks at our house starting with The Clone’s birthday. She turned 11 and already showing maturity. Well, almost :) I was really waiting for her to say she wants to go to Build a Bear for her birthday treat, but guess where we went instead? We had dinner at The Cheesecake Factory then for dessert, we went to Barnes & Noble for books. Well, we had cake waiting for us at home, so not cheesecake for us at the Cheesecake Factory that night.

I was really proud of her. She bought three books and she was a happy camper.

When we got home, we had a birthday cake waiting for her. They weren’t here when I made the filbert gateau so I decided to make that for her again. Of course they wanted the lights off when we lit the candles. But then they kept turning the lights on and off because they wanted to take multiple pictures of her blowing the candle, then of them all with the candles. I don’t what’s with kids and candles, but they do get along well together, especially at our house. LOL! It’s a good thing we don’t have any fancy lighting fixtures in the kitchen for them to mess with.

The Delta Soup is Spoiled

Trent at The Simple Dollar asked, Does one bad experience spoil the soup? He is referring to our adverse reaction to certain brands or establishments as a result of one unpleasant experience that we pretty much boycott the product altogether.

That reminded me of all the whining I’ve been doing lately about the inconvenience of traveling nowadays. I whined about the higher prices, the luggage, the extra fees, I whined about the delays. But you know what, I think most of us expect that now. We don’t really expect first class treatment in coach anymore. Actually, I think even first class travelers will agree that the overall service of commercial flights have been declining every year. Even with all the things I complained about, they weren’t enough to make me stop flying altogether. It’s just too much of a necessity. I will still be flying commercial planes. I can’t afford to fly any other way.

However, I can avoid certain airlines. DELTA specifically. I don’t have to fly with them, they don’t offer anything more than what I can get from other airlines anyway. I am not going to fly with them anymore not because of high prices, luggage fees or delays. I’m not flying with them anymore because of one bad experience with one bad employee at one remote airport counter. It’s probably an isolated event, and maybe, I’m being a bit unfair but an experience with them still left a bad taste in my mouth and I can’t, in good conscience, keep giving them what little money I have to spend.

Here’s why…
Read more