Relationships & Reciprocity

Let’s have a discussion about RECIPROCITY - shall we?

noun
  1. the practice of exchanging things with others for mutual benefit, especially privileges granted by one country or organization to another.

This also applies to relationships - of all kinds.  Friendships, business partnerships, intimate relationships, etc..  I could write a lengthy explanation on this, but why use more words than necessary?

Case & Point: Relationships of any kind involve two people.  This means there are two parts to this relationship.  There should always be balance.  One should treat the other exactly how they wish to be treated.  Give as much as you take.  Care as much as you are cared for.  Love as much as you are loved.  You get the picture.  

So if you ever find yourself in a situation where there is vast imbalance - and you try to address it, then find that the other person in the equation refuses to balance the equation, then you have your answer.

Sometimes I lose faith in humanity and the world. Why is this concept so difficult to grape for some people???

So to quote a dear friend…. “ you have boundless energy for the people and things you love, this is wonderful but all the twirling eats into that. we want more Chloe love, I’m speaking for the entire world that’s Chloe-adjacent.  … You can’t seem to have less than noble intent so you need to be around people who won’t take advantage of the Chloe-ness.”

First of all - the use of “Chloe-ness” and “the” as a prefix to it just makes me happy.  Thank God for such sweet friends who advocate the success and happiness of the bountiful Chloe-ness.  

So yeah, this song has been in my head all week.  It’s fun, it totally reminds me of late 90’s club music - happy fun times. don’t know why, it just makes me smile and puts a little pep in my step.  It’s just fun and flirty and adorable.  Yes, I’m describing a song as adorable - deal with it.  So press play, hope you like it as much as I do - it’s definitely been my smile this week. :)

capture-the-siren

capture-the-siren:

If it’s a Friend you need, Let it be me… 

This one is in honor of one* of the best men I know:

my darling, my “dear”, the best friend in the entire world - my friend, the incomparable Mr. Kisgen.   I don’t know that I can sum up the past 17 years  in a song or even a single post.  However, I was reminded today just how well this particular friend knows me and how impeccable his timing is in my life.  So, my dear friend - this one is for you - thank you for keeping me grounded and always knowing exactly what to say over all these years, and exactly when to say it!  Being your friend has made me a better person :).

The past few months have been bitter-sweet, in the friend and love world.  If you know me well, you know that my friends are my heart beat, they are my family and my true love.  I’ve seen one of the last of my oldest “dude” friends get married to an amazing woman, I’ve gotten to party and dance with people and friends I haven’t seen since high school, I’ve jammed out to music on the beach with the most beautiful couple (Bri & May May) I have had the pleasure of knowing, I then toasted their goodbye (and the beginning of a new era of their lives) with one last glass of champagne on Thursday night.  My darling New York & Germany girls are both pregnant and expanding their families, while my other New York Singing Siren (Miss Natalie) has found a wonderful love and smiles more and more everyday.  I have seen the best of my loves come and go from this city and I have been one of the luckiest people on earth to have shared a life of laughter, love, and joy with (who I think) are the most amazing people on earth.  I know I generally save my uber mushy moments for my friends for occasions like May Day, however…. My dearest friend, Stephen, reminded me today with his very unexpected chat, that there is never a bad time to remind the ones you love, how much you do!

"I do not wish to treat friendships daintily, but with the roughest courage.  When they are real, they are not glass threads of frost-work, but the solidest thing we know.  For now, after so many ages of experience, what do we know of nature, of ourselves?  Not one step has man taken toward the solution of the problem of his destiny.  In one condemnation of folly stand the whole universe of men.  But the sweet sincerity of joy and peace, which I draw from this alliance with my brother’s soul, is the nut itself whereof all nature and all thought is but the husk and shell."

There is no way I could possibly name all of the amazing people I have been and am so lucky to call my friends - - so I’ll just say this…

Thank you for all the smiles, for the years of laughter and joy, and for those of you who have taken me at my worst and pushed me toward my best.  And Thank God for all the amazing friends I still have in the A - - and for the ones who are spread all over the world, well… That just means I need to travel more! 

Thanks for making me feel all mushy, warm, and fuzzy. 

Thank you for today, yesterday, and every day. I sure am a lucky gal!

Songs with the Feels for the week. 

I probably need to NOT be listening to sappy songs this week, but - whatever.  Can I send flowers to myself at work this week? Lol.  So this will be the Ode to Miss Jillian Sue.  For the memories, for Colorado, for all the laughter, and for teaching me perspective, for showing me what matters in this life, for being the epitome of strength and grace.

1. Silver Lining - Rilo Kiley

2. Breathe Me - Sia

3. I won’t give up - Jason Mraz

4. Crazy Love - Van Morrison

5. Angel - Massive Attack

6. Back to the Ground - Jamie Cullum

7.  Blue Veins - Raconteurs

8.  Cuts you Up - Peter Murphy

9.  Danny’s Song - Loggins & Messina

10. Delicate - Damien Rice

11. Glass Heart - Juliana Finch

12. Gravity - Sara Bereilles

13. Hallelujah - Jeff Buckley

14. I wish it would rain - Temptations

15. Let her cry - Hootie and the Blowfish

16. Let my love open the door - Pete Townshend

17. Little Talks - Of Monsters & Men

18. Mad About You - Hooverphonic

19. Me & My Bobby McGee - Janis Joplin

20. Only the Good Die Young - Billy Joel

21. Pictures of You - The Cure

22. Precious - Depeche Mode

23. Desperately Wanting - Better than Ezra

24. Sister Christian - Night Ranger

25. Somethin’ to believ in - Poison

26. Steady as we go - Dave Matthews Band

27. Stunning - 8mm

28.  The Crossroads - Bone Thugs-n-harmony

29. To Be with you - Mr. Big

30. True Colors - Cyndi Lauper

I could actually make this list a lot longer, but we’ll stop here for now. :)

Do You Remember Where You Were?

Tuesday Morning, 8:46am : American Airlines Boeing 767, Flight# 11 crashes into the 93rd - 99th floors of the North Tower of the World Trade Centers.

8:52am: My house phone, cell phone, and pager start ringing and beeping simultaneously. I’m in the shower, getting ready for school.  I reach for one of the phones, it’s my mom: “Where are YOU?!”

"Home, getting ready to leave for class"

Mom: “Do NOT MOVE! A plane just crashed into the World Trade Center!”

I ran into the living room, toweling my hair dry as I frantically looked for the remote to turn the tv on while dialing my best friends in Manhattan to see where they were, if they had left for work or school yet.

I stood in front of the TV and watched, in horror, and shock, as the events of the day unfolded.  I quickly put some VHS tapes in the VCR to record this event, while I was at school.

I went to school that day, against everyone’s wishes.  I felt it would be an important day to go.  Turns out, it was, in fact, a terrible idea. As the entire school shut down and locked their doors right around 10:45am, noting a “State of Emergency” for the City of Atlanta.  After the World Trade Centers and Pentagon were targeted, it was reported that the CDC in Atlanta would be next.  The city shut down.  I’ve grown up here and seen 285 a mess, but never, never, like this.  People were leaving their cars and walking, emergency signs were all over the highway alert system, from where I stood, this looked like we were on the brink of something that could quite possibly be the worst thing we’ve seen in our lifetime.  My phone died, and as some sort of idiot safety protocol I had Jeff drop me at school that day and had not taken my car.  It was sweltering outside.  I made the choice to drop my bag of books behind a staircase on the outside of the building and venture on foot to the nearest gas station with a pay phone.  <—— I don’t care what anyone says, THANK GOD for Pay Phones.  

I called Jeff at work and as we spoke, as more events came to pass, it became evident that HE would not be going anywhere for a long time, as it was his job, predominantly, to keep the WWW safe from hackers, terrorists, and general threats, and this, this was more than a general threat.  He told me to find somewhere safe and stay put.  I wanted to get home more than anything.  If today was going to be the day, I was certainly NOT going to watch the end of days from a concrete school building or a random gas station.  I tried to call a ton of people for a ride, but the lines were so clogged, I couldn’t get through.  So I took to the only thing I had at my disposal to rely on; my own two feet.  There’s a plus to growing up here, to knowing every back woods way and cut through.  I walked from Perimeter to Vinings.  Didn’t take nearly as long as someone would guess: my heart was racing, and I was on a mission.  I decided to make my attempt to get home into a game.  I pretended in my head that I was back in the old days, playing army with my cousins - which basically translates into some Bourne Identity shit.  Let’s put it this way, I was the only girl, I was small, fast, and quiet as a mouse - so in our military games, I AWLAYS played the Spy and the first one out and signaled when it was safe to move forward.  I finally got to the house in Vinings, sprinting the final leg up hill - panting, I get in the door - just in time to change the last vhs tape out, to continue recording.  Still catching my breath, I called Jeff, my Mom, and my Brother to let them know I was safe at home.

I showered, got in my car, and drove to one of my favorite places, just overlooking Vinings.  One of the oldest cemeteries in the south, it sits highly elevated above the Vinings Jubilee, and from here you can see downtown, Midtown, Buckhead, and all the way down to Peachtree City.  I stayed here and watched the sun set over the world, sitting quietly, in reflection, until my phone rang and the voice on the other end told me to come home.  When I got home, I saw that the 3 6-hour VHS tapes had been labeled : “The Beginning of WWIII” volumes I, II, and III. 

Looking back, 13 years later, even with the thousands, upon thousands lost tragically in the attacks of that day, and then the missions over seas for the past 13 years - I will say - I don’t think these people died in vain. I think the fact that we have somehow, by the skin of our teeth, avoided turning those events into a World War, says something about our evolution as a people and as a nation.  I am sure there are plenty who are very much for the “eye-for-an-eye” nature of justice that comes with the territory of being human.  Wrath, after all, is in our DNA, we cannot deny our innate predisposition to hunt and kill and push forth for the better of our selves.  As humans, we are ego centric, we are always out for ourselves and we have a bent towards our own survival and self preservation.  Nonetheless, I will never forget on that Tuesday and the days after, how the people of New York and the people of our Great Nation and others from all over the world did the remarkable.  We, together, instead of turning on each other, instead of allowing our survival to be led by wrath, vengeance, and rage - we decided to come together to support each other, to lift the weight of the crumpled iron and steel with each other.  Many of the actions people in New York and around the US took in the days after the attacks, were done completely out of one thing: Love.  Love for one another, as humans.  For the first time in our lifetime, as a common people, we got to witness what some only see on a battlefield, and some never get to. If you look too narrowly, you may have only noticed the violence of that day and the days that followed.  But if you open your eyes wide, if you pause and take a step back, you may see a glimpse of the most beautiful and powerful step for man kind that we have seen in this lifetime.

I saw men and women, nurses, doctors, suits, uniforms, lawyers, and laborers, fisherman, and merchants, black, white, yellow, brown, and all of the colors of the rainbow; all classes, all types, all kind, become ONE.  We, as humans, acted out of love for one another, out of compassion.  It’s amazing what can happen and come to be in the world when we forget ourselves for others, when we act as one, towards the greater good.  The World Trade Centers broke ground  in 1966, Towers I and II were complete by 1971.  It took 5 years to build these two marvelous towers; but only 1 day to destroy.  That was also the power of a people moving in force as one - but NOT for the greater good.  

Can you imagine what this world would be like, if we all acted out of love, as one, like we did on that Tuesday, back in 2001?  What if that was our every day?  What if we stopped, listened, and opened our eyes?  Could we make this nightmare, this destruction, these wars, and injustices, something different?  Something better?  Could we become good as a whole?

Never Forget.  Never Allow History to Repeat Itself.  Do Not Doom Us and Our Children.

Light Tribute

There’s something happening here
But what it is ain’t exactly clear
There’s a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware

I think it’s time we stop
Children, what’s that sound?
Everybody look - what’s going down?

There’s battle lines being drawn
Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong
Young people speaking’ their minds
Getting so much resistance from behind

It’s time we stop
Hey, what’s that sound?
Everybody look - what’s going down?

What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly saying, “hooray for our side”

It’s time we stop
Hey, what’s that sound?
Everybody look - what’s going down?

Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you’re always afraid
Step out of line, the men come and take you away

We better stop

Let’s open our eyes, open our ears, and open our hearts. 

Let Us Be Better.

thecomedybureau

thecomedybureau:

Recently: The Oscars happened much to a bore with mostly dull speeches and several failed attempts at humor/entertainment, proving once again, that it should be a private party and not televised for the confused, out-of-context viewing public.  That is, unless someone’s acceptance speech was more unhinged and freewheeling like the brilliant James Adomian as Orson Welles merely trying to plug a wine.  It’s kind of like Mickey Rourke any time that he wins an award anywhere.  That’s how acceptance speeches should be.

Dear World,

May I introduce you to my dear and wonderful enigma of  cousin, Mr. James Adomian.  I miss you, it’s time to come do some shows here!

No Expectations

"If I’m not you’re everything, I’m definitely not gonna be your something."

~ Said this girl.

PRESS PLAY or something

Expectations:  Let’s have a chat about those…

I’ve walked through most of my life, proclaiming I don’t really expect much out of anyone.  Mainly because one part of that is true - the jaded part, the part that sees the world for what it is.  Then there’s the part that is bigger, the part that I disguise most of the time - the part of me that sees the world for what it can be, and refuses to give up on the fact that there are still people out in it that hold themselves and others to the same standards as I do.

The truth of the matter is, yeah, I EXPECT and WANT with a deep desire for others to be and do as much I would or have for them and for themselves.  The truth is - if someone looks at you and says, “the best way to not be let down is not to have any expectations” or “I don’t expect anything form anyone”, that’s bullshit and they’re lying through their crooked little teeth.

Over the years, I’ve been challenged by many (especially women), on the subject of men/ mates/ marriage.  One take that I love is the Ultimate Housewife, doting wife take - oh, and it’s best when it comes in the form of ridicule masked by advice. “You’ll never find a ___________, if you spend all your time working.  You have to give ALL of your attention to your _________, which means 75% to him and the other 25%, you must spend keeping yourself up so he won’t stray.”

Really? -_-

Bullshit.  I say, if I can have a career, keep a clean home, a nice home, cook epic meals, keep my body in shape, and general appearance up, as well as find time to be social and do philanthropic things and have hobbies - AND have a relationship - then damn it , there are others that are like minded and will appreciate such things.  And guess what? I EXPECT that. GASP!  I expect someone to communicate on a normal adult level and not act like a child.  I expect someone to be emotionally stable and be able to express themselves in a mature and concise manner, with integrity.  

I expect all this and more out of everyone I meet, friends and otherwise.  IT is slightly unfortunate that so many people get so caught up in brief moments of unrest, that they decide to throw away all integrity in situations.  I do not often point it out, and will rarely ever mention the moment of discord when my dismissal occurs - however, if I know you, and you suddenly don’t meet my expectations of you - I will dismiss you emotionally.  I often say I do not judge people <—- also a lie. But this must be CLEAR: When you do not meet my expectations, it is not that I am judging you or think you’re a bad person, no.  What I do, is a judge, and assess my own emotional investment in you and I make a clear decision to separate myself from that connection based on the expectation that has not been met.  It doesn’t mean you cannot earn my affections back, it just means I will not allow myself to feel connected to you in a way that will leave me disappointed and inevitably judging you down the road.

RECIPROCITY people!

So when asked, “What do you expect?”

I expect you to treat others as you wish to be treated.

I expect, if you are my friend or my anything - I expect you to give me the SAME ….

Respect

Honesty

Love

Loyalty

Dignity

Integrity

Laughter

Joy

TIME (this is a big one)

Communication

Maturity

Kindness

Generosity

Affection

That I show and so willingly give to you and I expect you take care of your shit in life to AT LEAST 50% of what I do (bc hey, let’s face it - I can be somewhat of an over achiever when it comes to domesticity and handling my business.

Point is, it’s ok to have expectations.  It’s especially ok to meet and exceed people’s expectation.  It’s even better if you can do all of the above without really thinking about it.  Be you, be a good you, and try to be the best you.  We all fail sometimes, but don’t just slough off life by saying, “I’ll never be what you expect/ It’s not fair/ I can’t/ I won’t.” 

You Can, You Will, why not let the will be the Now?

I’m now done with my rant.