Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The ABC's of Me


Over at voiceBoks (an online community of and for Mothers), I was invited to a blog challenge called 'The ABCs of Me'.  You're supposed to supply details about yourself and get creative about the categories from A-Z.  Here's my list and I have to say, it was harder to complete this than I initially thought....

A...Apple of my eye:  my son Noah


B...Brother:  I only have one, Norman, and he lives in the Philippines.  I have not seen him in 3 years so yes, I do miss my 'Bro'.


C...Christmas song I never tire of playing / listening to over and over…and over again : 'Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas'.  What can I say?  It’s my obsession with melancholy.


D...Degrees obtained:  Bachelors and Masters in Sociology


E...Egg is one thing I can't do without for breakfast and poached is my favorite.


F...Filipino:  my nationality and this continues to be my primary sense of identity.


G...Green is a color I always hated when I was younger.  However, as I grew older, particularly in the last 10 years, Sage Green has become my favorite.  I think it's calming.


H...Happy thought:  knowing that everyone in my family (all over the world) is safe and healthy


I...Ice Cream flavor favorite:  It would have to be a toss up between Mint Chocolate Chip and Cookies and Cream.  Please don't ask me to choose lest I manifest my utter incapacity for decision-making.


J...Job I could never do: Sales...I am incapable of selling anything and the stress would drive me insane.


K...Karaoke song I THINK I can totally pull off:  Jann Arden's Insensitive.  I actually haven't tried it so you can't count on this 100%.


L...Line from a movie I quote a lot:  "Resistance is futile" (from Star Trek: First Contact)


M...Machine I could not do without:  laptop / computer


N...Nightmare that I get way too often:  being in school again and there's an exam or some sort of group presentation for which I'm the team leader and I'm not at all prepared.  It's always either I was not aware there was a test so I did not review or I procrastinated and totally ran out of time.  I ABSOLUTELY hate these dreams but they sure say a lot about my unconscious!


O...Outdoors or Indoors----Indoors!!


P...Pets:  Never ever had any...ever.  I'm not planning on it either.  I have a very low threshold for untrained (or those needing training) creatures, let alone non-humans.


Q...Question I want to ask the Divine (assuming there is one) : Is it destiny or free will? (Imagine finally knowing the answer and then looking back at your life thinking of all the time wasted over-thinking everything!! Jeez!)


R...Restaurant (in the U.S.) whose popularity still puzzles me to this day: Olive Garden


S...Sappy Song I’m embarrassed to admit I’ll probably always love: Barry Manilow’s Somewhere Down The Road (Was that too obscene for you?  Admit it...there's a Manilow fan in all of us!)


T...Time of day when I'm emotionally volatile:  Mid-afternoons, around 3pm...This is when my lack of sleep hits me but then I can't really take a nap.  Couple this with a surge in my carb-cravings, as well as Noah feeling tired and restless, and you're sure to have the perfect formula for chaos and temper tantrums, both Noah's and mine!!


U...Ugly truth about me:  I don't believe in myself enough.


V...Vehicle I first drove:  My Dad's 1979 Mitsubishi Lancer


W...Weight:  my problem and definitely my business, not yours  


X...eXtra-terrestrial:  Believer or Not?...Definitely a believer or would like to believe


Y...Year that gave me self-growth and discovery like no other: 2001 (obtained my Master's degree, first fell in love, got heart-broken, found my journey to healing and deeper wisdom)


Z...Zen moment:  In bed with the sound of rain (not storm though).


Care to share your own ABCs?  I'm sure you can manage to share just 3!







Friday, August 19, 2011

This Is Why I Can't Be A Crammer...

I feel almost completely drained from all the packing I’ve been doing.  I’ve packed a total of 60 boxes but to be honest, I’ve kind of lost count already.  It could be 62, 65 or whatever.  The point is, I’m still not done!!  I haven’t even packed any of our kitchen ‘stuff’…dishes, pots, pans and the ‘active’ pantry.  Yesterday afternoon, at around 5pm, I felt like I had reached my limit.  A sense of resignation washed over me and it was a familiar feeling.  I remember feeling the same way when I was a sophomore in college when, while reviewing for an exam in Analytical Chemistry, I realized I did not understand a thing.  And I am not exaggerating by saying that.  I mean it...not one thing.  At that point, I knew I had to drop the class.  It was just futile and I felt there was no point in trying any further.

I feel like that now.  I am beginning to think that we won’t be able to pack everything.  Given who I am, I tend to panic when I know I’m not able to finish something I set out to do and finish.  I like deadlines and I respect them.  So when I’m not able to make it, you can imagine how I morph into a young student preparing herself for eternal damnation.  As I pack our things, I could not help but think of the Biblical story of the multiplication of bread and fish.  Somehow, the ‘stuff’ just won’t freaking run out!!  I keep packing things but why is it that I don’t seem to be getting anywhere? 

Now it is crystal clear to me that we have waaaaaaay too much stuff.  And as it is, I've already donated boxes and boxes of clothes, baby gear and toys.  Seriously…Just how many bath towels does a family of 3 need?  And how many change of sheets and pillow cases?  We’re not a hotel or bed and breakfast after all so why, why, why???  It appears we're over prepared for guests...guests that don't really come that often.  Besides, where is it written that I should be a Martha Stewart when guests do come and stay?  Chances are, the only guests we'll ever have that will sleep over at some point will only be very close family and friends and these are people who won't mind 'hosting imperfections'.  These are also people who most likely bring their own 'stuff' (towels, toiletries, etc) so actually, I don't need to prepare for anything for them.  More importantly, how did we end up with all this?  And our pantry?  Have I been unconsciously preparing for the apocalypse?  I should be smart enough to know that if and when apocalypse does come, there really won’t be much point in resisting it and trying to survive eating canned goods and cookies that are so artificial they don’t have real expiration dates.  Why would I even want to survive if the rest of the world has been so  damaged and is incapable of supporting any life?  Lesson learnt….Never shall I overshop for groceries ever again!  That’s a promise!  

I would love to rant some more but I’m pretty sure you get the picture.  Surely we are nowhere near becoming like those families featured on Extreme Couponing or on Hoarders.  However, it’s still sad how 'stuff' takes over our lives.  We always think we need more and then end up wasting so much.  I came from a third world country and grew up seeing people who have so little, close to none and it shames me now that I'm surrounded by things that half the time I don't even notice are there.  It shames me how I'd given in to what I call 'misplaced abundance'.  It sure makes life comfortable, but it doesn't make it any fuller, does it?


What about you?  When you look around your house, what do you feel you have too much of?....household cleaners?....dvd's?....blankets?....food?

Monday, August 15, 2011

My 7ven Links...And Then Some...

I was just beginning to panic over not having anything to write about and publish this week  when Lalia, author and goddess over at Skank, Rattle and Roll nominated me for the #My7Links project.  Once nominated, you're supposed to choose your blog entries / essays that you feel best fit the seven categories given.  It was not as easy as I had expected as it's challenging to not only remember everything I've written but more importantly, think of how each one made me feel.  I had to scroll through the archive and do a lot of reminiscing.  

Here are my choices...



Most Beautiful Post  
Beautifully written?  Beautiful message?  Beautifully received by readers?  Defining the category for myself was tough so in the end, I just had to go with an 'instinctive' answer and a gut reaction to the term 'beautiful'.  I choose In the Company of Waves mainly because I feel it was a beautiful attempt at expressing my grief over losing my daughter through a miscarriage.  I also think it was a beautiful imagination of how it would've been like if I had given birth to her.  At the time I wrote it, I also felt the words and the insights just smoothly flowing out of me and it gave me (and continues to give me) a beautiful sense of calm despite the painful reality.

Most Popular Post of All Time
According to Blogger, Please Hear Me With Love has the most views of all time (although the number of comments don't reflect the stats at all).  I think a lot of people were able to relate to this post on grief and the do's and don'ts when trying to console someone were probably very useful for a lot of readers.  

Most Controversial Post
I don't normally write about controversial material but the one about Jose Antonio Vargas (Purgatory Never Promised Salvation) would probably be the most controversial I've ever dealt with.  Immigration is a very sensitive topic and though I understood the complexities of the issue, the stance I took on this essay was an unpopular one.  But hey...this is joypagemanuel.com right?  My blog, my universe!   


Most Helpful Post
My site was not named Catharsis for nothing, so I'm going to have to say that the most helpful, most cathartic post for me so far has been my blog entry describing the moment I found out I had miscarried (Yet Another Day My World Stood Still).  Judging from the number of comments on that entry, I will assume that so many others found it relatable.  And not only was it helpful to others but also to me as I felt the support of friends at such a difficult time.  It was then I realized that I was in great company; that so many strong women AND men have gone through the loss of a child and were willing to walk and grieve with me, and bless me with strength.  I will always be grateful to those brave and wise souls.


The Post Whose Success Surprises Me
I suppose this is the child that you weren't expecting much from but ended up wowing you.  Hands down, my choice is Life Is A Cliché.  I admit the idea behind it was a pretty creative one although I did not expect much from it given that the words used were not my own at all.  But I guess everyone found it extremely clever and over all, it was a fun entry for both me and my readers!


A Post I Feel Didn't Get The Attention It Deserves
A Dose of Reality has always been a personal favorite so I was a disappointed that it did not get as many comments as I had expected.  I was quite candid when I wrote it and felt I was writing what a lot of people probably secretly wonder about but never felt brave enough to express.  To say that on some level, people who 'settle down' are in fact 'settling' is quite unsettling.  But am I really so wrong in saying so?  Think about it and be honest....


The Post I'm Most Proud Of
The bloggers' group I belong to (PBAU) posed this as a challenge just a few weeks ago and what I posted as the one I'm most proud of is Something's Gotta Give.  This is an essay discussing my thoughts on how Facebook has transformed the way we relate to one another and more importantly how it affects one's sense of happiness or contentment.  I feel proud of this post because I wrote this even before scientific studies came out discussing the same observations / results.  Other than this blog entry though, I would have to say that I'm also very proud of The Gift of Nothing because it was published by IndieInk.org.  I've received a number of messages from other parents who felt the points I raised were very timely and important for socializing children in these modern times.


Now, the fun part of this project is that I have to pass this on to four other bloggers.  So I hereby nominate the following and hope they choose to accept:


Charlie Nitric (I'm sure it will be humorous and romantic at the same time!)


TV from TV's Take (I want to see her favorite questions.)


Mary from The Adventures of Cilgin Kiz (How does one choose a favorite when all your trips and adventures are remarkable?)


Maureen from Esdeer (All her posts are helpful and healing so it would be interesting to see her favorites.)

  




Friday, August 12, 2011

From Windy to Opry

We are inching closer to the big day, our big move to the South.  I have approximately one more week in this house before I, with the little one, stay with my BFF and her family, for a few days before we close on the new house.  They live 10 minutes away from the home we are building.  My husband will have additional days in this house to do the final packing and loading before he joins us in TN. 

moving truck
[IMG]http://i183.photobucket.com/albums/x174/MeMurf/moving_truck1.jpg[/IMG]
It will be a big change for all three of us.  Just when I had begun feeling comfortable and confident here in Chicago, another move has to happen.  This means, I will take more time, yet again, to feel comfortable driving and going to places on my own.  The roads and routes will be new to me and I’m sort of going back to square one for the second time around.  Granted that migrating from Manila to Chicago is a bigger deal than moving from Chicago to Nashville, to me, it's still a challenge because it translates to taking me away from the familiar just the same.

This will also be a new experience for my husband since for the first time, he’ll be living away from his family.  I feel sad for him of course, since I’d been there, done that, so I have SOME sympathy for him.  However, I would have to admit that part of me feels this will also be a good learning experience for us...I hope.  I think it would be good that we'd be on our own and maybe he’ll understand me more now that he’s also away from family and everything familiar (although I will bet that he won’t have as much difficulty as I did when I first went through it given our personality differences…him being so friendly, outgoing and adaptable vs. me, the introverted, timid, overly cautious, overanalyzer).  For the first time, we'd be able to experience celebrating (some) holidays by ourselves.  I wonder how it would be like, what we'd do to make it fun and no less meaningful, what family traditions we could finally nurture...something that's truly our own, just us three.  You could say it sounds sad.  I say it's also exciting.  It's all a matter of lens.

And of course it will be sad that Noah will surely miss his cousins and aunts, uncles and grandparents.  But then again, this is still a good time to move since he’s still very young and adaptable and open to making new friends. Besides, BFF has two sons, the older one being the same age as Noah so that's another positive thing and one less thing to whine about.

Family and friends aside though, admittedly, there are some things I will miss TERRIBLY when we move....

Chicago weather...Yes you read it right.  I will miss the weather here, EVEN the snow.  I have said it multiple times before, I don't like heat and my favorite seasons are autumn and winter.  I don't like road accidents and freezing to the bone, but I would have to admit that I will miss the chills and the layers and layers of clothing.  What can I say?...the cold still has some novelty left for this girl who grew up in the tropics.

Our doctors...our family physician, my OBGYN, and my son's pediatrician.  I adore all three  and will really miss them. There is no doubt that there are excellent doctors in the Nashville area.  However, the thought of starting over, looking for new ones with a good fit, and getting comfortable again is not so easy for me to think about.  

The food landscape of Chicago...I will miss Vietnamese town, specifically Tank Noodle for the best Pho ever!  Of course I'll also miss Chicago's Chinatown given all the interesting restaurants in that area, as well as stores selling Chinese delicacies.  Asian food aside, I'll also miss Hot Doug’s for their superb encased meats and of course their duck-fat fries!!  Come on!  Who won't miss that?  Oddly, though I'll be in TN, land of good barbecue, I am certain I will be missing Smoque, which in my opinion, unequivocally, serves the most flavorful ribs, bbq beans and to-die-for mac'n'cheese!  As for pizzas, yes Chicago style is great but my heart has been totally captured by the Neapolitan pizzas at
Spacca Napoli.  My heart breaks just thinking of how much I will miss their Bufalina, a true testament to the gastronomic joys achieved when simplicity meets excellence!  And speaking of excellence, how can I ever forget the best and most flawless meal of my life at Charlie Trotter's?  I know that's a lot for me to say...'flawless'...but I mean it.  If you take your food seriously and want an intimate, romantic dinner and have some money to burn, you absolutely need to try their genius.

And last, but definitely not the least, I will absolutely miss Andy.  He has treated me well and this is a relationship I find so hard to break because I'm certain it will be difficult to replace him.  No, he's not my lover (that would be Ralph Fiennes).  Andy is my hair stylist. He has been cutting my hair for approximately five years now and he's simply amazing.  He knows what I want and he always delivers.  He's used to Asian hair (he's Chinese), he's friendly, not too chatty, not snooty, very thorough and easily figures out what I want done.  I am praying hard that I find someone like him when I move.  If you think about it, great hair cut = great hair days = better mood = increased levels of HAPPINESS!!  So yes, this is VERY important.

I seriously doubt if I will cry when it's time to say our goodbyes.  I rarely cry, not because I'm tough or never emotionally moved. I just prefer to do it privately.  That being said, I still think I won't cry because I know I'll be back one way or another.  I've done the leaving before, somehow I know what to expect.  After all is said and done, the only thing to remember is this...It's not the distance that matters but what you do to bridge that distance.  You take what you are given and make the most of it.  

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Occupational Hazards

I had to see our family physician recently as I’ve been experiencing some shoulder pain for the past months (possibly close to half a year now).  It really was no surprise to me when he diagnosed me with Rotator Cuff Syndrome.  I’ve been researching my symptoms for quite a while now but was just too busy and lazy to see my doctor.  Suffice it to say, he suspects I tore maybe a couple of muscles and would probably need physical therapy.  (And no, I don't and will not look like the person in the picture below, so no worries).  He ordered that I go for an MRI and I’ll be doing that this coming weekend. 

DonJoy Humeral Stabilizing SystemAs I told my (lawyer) BFF about this, her almost instinctive response was that I should not take this lightly and that she has encountered a number of cases of workers getting such workplace-related injuries.  This got me thinking.  Since I'm not employed outside the home, where do I file a claim for worker's compensation benefits?  This is, after all, a workplace-related injury, you know.  

My left shoulder, arm and entire left side have always been weaker than my right side.  I don't deny that.  But this dull pain that's been going on, this discomfort that wakes me up at night that I can't even lie on my left side (which is my preference) is definitely a new development.  I'm inclined to believe this injury started with me carrying my son mostly with my left arm/left shoulder when he was a baby and toddler.  I also bet this got aggravated by my over-reaching every time we're in the car and I'm seated in the front passenger seat and suddenly  the little one drops a toy, needs a wipe, wants a drink, and so on and so forth.  

Perhaps I should also file a claim for possible future deafness or at the very least, ear damage from all those endured screaming episodes when not even the Dalai Lama would've been able to appease my son.  And do you think I can also include in my claim my insomnia and general sleep deprivation since having a child means needing to develop the skill to 'sleep' with half your brain still wide awake and completely alert?

If indeed such claims can be proven and substantiated, do parents such as myself have any where to go to get compensated?  Can we even just file for a leave of absence???  We all know the answer to these questions and though the answer sucks, at least entertaining the questions and teasing these thoughts provided me with momentary entertainment.  Now let me leave you to your thoughts while I get my dose of valium for the day...


  

Friday, August 5, 2011

Her Vibrant Mosaic

Amidst all the dust, boxes and packing tape, the colorful part of packing for a big move is the rediscovery of semi-forgotten treasures.  In one of my packing days, I found these…


…old letters from an old friend, a really special person.

Her name is Ivy.  I met her in 1992 when I was a sophomore in the university and I had just shifted majors from Molecular Biology to Sociology.  I didn’t know any of the other students but Ivy took it upon herself to be my ‘buddy’.  She was very friendly and I just remember her making me feel at ease.  As the semesters passed, we would always find ourselves in the same classes and we’d always sit together, mostly in the front row.  We would share notes, be project team mates, review buddies during exams and whenever I had to miss class due to illness or for whatever reason, she would always be there for me to tell me what I’ve missed and let me borrow her notes so I won’t be behind.  She was that kind of person…very helpful, accommodating, reliable, highly intelligent.

It did not take long for us to become friends.  Sometimes we would hang out in campus or even go to the mall to catch a movie during our long breaks.  I later found out that she had a Japanese boyfriend ("T") at the time and that things were pretty serious.  Soon after our college graduation, she got married and I was one of her bridesmaids.  It was a quiet yet meaningful ceremony.

A part of me felt it may have been too early. She was fresh out of college and she could still do a lot of things and accomplish much.  Was she ready?  But at the same time, a part of me knew that she was a mature person, strong and capable of whatever life threw at her.

She migrated with T to Japan after getting married.  T’s job was there and of course it was the practical choice.  When Ivy moved, that’s when our correspondence began.  I’m pretty sure she started the whole thing, that she sent the very first letter.  She would send one, I’d reply and send one out.  Then I’d eagerly await her next letter, telling me of her new life in a foreign country.  It was helpful for her adjustment to be in touch with me and it was a wonderful experience for me as she opened my eyes to a bigger world filled with possibilities.  I was a curious and indulging friend and audience and I was always thrilled to learn about her adventures.  We were both in our early 20s yet I knew how vastly different our paths were.  I have always found living abroad on my own a seductive thought, attending a foreign university an exhilarating possibility, and there was my friend living all that.  The choice to live vicariously was a no-brainer for me. 

Her earlier letters were mostly about adjusting to a foreign culture (language, customs, religion, etc).  Then there were letters about adjusting to married life and it did not take long for her letters to then shift to motherhood.  Eventually it became about balancing family life and career as she found work as a teacher and writer and I am certain she excelled in both.  At the time, these were not my realities.  But now that I am also with family and living in a foreign country, I realize that I can find a wealth of wisdom in her letters.  I read her words now and they might as well had been written by me!  Her angst, her struggles with motherhood and its rewards, issues with her spouse, all seem like my own echoes, only these echoes precede my realities.

In late 2004, the same year I migrated here to the U.S. and just got married, a devastating tsunami hit various countries in Southeast Asia.  Ivy, with her husband and three children were vacationing in Phuket, Thailand at the time.  It was around Christmas when all this happened and by the new year, I received news that she (and possibly her entire family) died when the tsunami hit. 

None of this made sense to me.  How can this happen?  She was so young, had so much promise, was just starting out, had such young children?!  How can this wonderful, almost magical human being leave this earth so soon, so tragically?

None of it makes sense still.  I’ll never know, will never find the answers.  All I am grateful for is that in the short time she lived, I knew her and was touched by her beautiful spirit.  As I pack our things in this house and remove paintings and decorations on the walls, I see ‘shadows’, outlines left where dust settled all around the objects.  Well, magic dust surrounded Ivy and though she is now physically gone, her presence, her mark lives on in each life she has touched along the way.  That, I am certain of. 

http://bigbangmosaics.com/WORK4SALEGALLERY/mosaicdesign.htm
In one of the science shows I watch, where the topic was the possibility of life after death, I heard someone say that life after one’s death is really all about the legacy we leave behind.  The person talking compared each life to a mosaic…that our lives are like images made of tiny pieces, details put together in a beautiful way.  While we are alive, those we touch around us, those special to us or to whom we are special, are able to make a ‘copy’ of that mosaic, though the pieces are much larger, less complex, less intricate, and therefore, the image is more blurry, less clear, less precise.  What then results is still a copy of the original, albeit less perfect.

I find comfort in this idea.  And I'd like to believe that the more intimate the relationship is, the finer, the more complex the mosaic copy becomes.  My objective is not to have a lot of mosaic copies when I die but to have copies that are intricate and as pronounced as they could possibly be.  After all, life is indeed measured not by its length but by its beauty, by how you touched others' lives and the value you have added during your borrowed time.




Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Excuse Me, You Said What??

I’m quite uncomfortable admitting this but I’ve decided to do so to liberate myself of this trivial but embarrassing secret.  Something about eating breakfast at diners or restaurants terrifies me.  When I get there, I bother looking at the menu but know deep down that I already know what I want and yet find myself incapable of ordering it. 

The delectable crepe.

Ah….those delicate, thin pancakes that can be served so simply or with as much pizzazz as your imagination would allow.  Savory or sweet.  So sophisticated and yet so simple.
Sadly, I’ve resigned myself to never ordering you for breakfast lest I hate myself forever.

You see I have this ‘sensitivity’ to the proper pronunciation of ‘crepe’.  And by proper I mean the French way.  After all, the word is French.  Yes I am a purist in this sense.  Sue me.  While I am perfectly aware that it’s perfectly acceptable to also say ‘KRAPE’ (American) instead of ‘KREP’ (short ‘E’ sound; French), I am never sure other people are as accepting or as informed.  It’s not that I want to correct people when they say ‘krape’, (though I admit the compulsion to do so is very strong considering that hearing it pronounced like that sounds to me like nails scratching a chalkboard).  It’s more because I’m afraid of being ‘corrected’ by someone who does not know any better.  For someone who’s not really assertive, but quite stubborn and set in her ways, the situation can get ugly and I want to avoid that at all cost.  As it is, I hate being corrected.  More so of course when I know I don’t need to be!

This fear is not imagined.   Seven years ago, when I’ve just migrated to this country, I did order the crepe.  I was brave, confident and hungry.  The server was a young girl, asked what I wanted to have and I said ‘crepe’, the proper /French way (krep).  She had a puzzled look at first, obviously trying to figure out what I had just said, until she realized it and said, “Oh…KRAPE!”  And yes, she said it while looking at me condescendingly as if I was the one who mispronounced it; as if she was the only right one and I was the ignorant character who had a misinformed tongue.  Maybe because I’m obviously the foreigner in this scenario?  I don’t know.  All I know is that I felt insulted by her look and her tone and regretted that I did not assert myself.  I wanted so much to tell her, “Don’t give me that look, you idiot.  You’re the one who’s making a mistake here!”  Yes, it was a mean thought but trust me…She had a look that embarrassed me and I never forgot that incident, hence my continued avoidance of this wonderful dish when eating out.  I acknowledge that I'll never know for sure what really went through that server's mind but as Dr. Phil (McGraw) always used to say, "There is no reality...only perception." 

It’s tragic, I know.  How can someone feel so defeated over something so trivial?  And you might say, "Why be so affected by what one person might have thought about you?"  It's so easy to think that when you are not the migrant, when you are not the one who feels self-conscious about having a slight accent or sticking out or being discriminated upon because you are not white.  From my point of view, especially at the time, all I knew was that I was the one who was new to this country and did not feel any sense of entitlement whatsoever.  I have just arrived, was not a citizen yet and really did not have the slightest sense of belonging.  To top it all off, I am just naturally unassertive and non-adversarial.  If she had explicitly and consciously insulted my intelligence or race, then certainly, I would’ve fought back.  But given the situation, I did not deem it worth getting adversarial over.  As I’ve said before, I don’t like making people feel ‘less’ and would really just generally give others the benefit of the doubt.  I know the French way of saying it but am also aware that the ‘other’ way is acceptable.  I was there to have a meal, not really to prove myself to someone insignificant in my life.  

I knew it.  And when you know better, you do better.  You choose your battles.  This is what I always try to remember.

Writing this makes me think of the crepe even more and I'm tired of making them myself.  Maybe bananas foster style next time.  Or maybe with spinach and bacon.  I think it’s about time.  Let me make a promise that next time, I WILL order the crepe and say it my way.  I’ll make sure to update you on how it goes.  Wish me luck!