Thursday, February 25, 2016

We're Not White and I Need to Keep It Real

I was just flipping through channels last night when I chanced upon the ABC show 'Blackish'. It's a sitcom but last night's episode tackled a serious and relevant issue in American society.

Race. And Hope.

I won't and can't get into the details of the episode since I didn't see it in its entirety. Suffice it to say that the topic was on police brutality and race discrimination, and how parents should socialize their children given this atmosphere. 

Do we shelter them and protect their innocence as much as we can and keep the belief that the system still works 'most of the time'? 

Or are we being better parents by teaching them the painful truth that we, as a society, are still not as evolved as we'd all like to think when it comes to accepting differences, accepting change and practicing authentic equality?

The clip below says it all. Sadly, I admit that I felt exactly the same way as Anthony Anderson's character here when he spoke about how he felt during President Obama's inauguration in 2008. I was elated, proud and most of all hopeful. But my feelings were also undeniably tainted by fear. As I watched our President on television that morning, I was secretly praying to God that he be protected, that he be allowed to serve this country safely...that he be just kept alive. 

To have those prayers, to still feel that way and have that kind of fear is something I'm not proud of. But it's real. It keeps things real for me, reminding me that, in as much as I'd like to raise my child with the belief that race or skin color no longer matters, I know that's still not entirely true. When, in the subdivision where we live, I see banners or car stickers in support of a certain political candidate known for his racism and xenophobia, I ask myself how safe my son really is. 

Can you really blame me if I still believe that there are far more things I still cannot take for granted in daily life than the typical white person? We're simply not there yet. I continue to hope. But I also owe it to my son to keep things real.

I hope you can take the time to watch this brief clip from 'Blackish'. #BlackishABC

Friday, February 19, 2016

Therapeutic Adult Math Problems

My son is now learning about elapsed time in Math. For the past several days, this is the type of problem that he's had to solve for his homework: 

"Hannah wants to meet her friends downtown. Before leaving home, she does chores for 60 minutes and eats lunch for 20 minutes. The walk downtown takes 15 minutes. Hannah starts her chores at 11:45 A.M. At what time does she meet her friends?"

Pretty fun and challenging, isn't it?

Well, I thought it would be fun to come up with my own real life math problems but with an adult twist. Go ahead and answer as you please, all solutions are acceptable, mathematical or otherwise. I'm excited to see how 'gifted' you all are! 

Question #1:

Dan is a 45-year old divorcee and is now back in the dating scene, ready for a new commitment. He knows himself and has established dating rules that he believes can never be broken. He is certain he needs to exclusively date someone for 5 years before he can pop the question. He also needs 1 full year of engagement before getting married. He's been dating Alexa for 3 years now, since 2013. 

When is the earliest wedding year for Dan and Alexa if all goes well?

Bonus question: If you could, would you date Dan? Explain your answer.

Question #2:

It's 2016. Sarah and Steve, both 27 years old, used to be engaged but have broken up. Their relationship lasted for 4 years. After breaking up, they immediately decided to remain friends. It's been 2 years since they broke up. Both are still single. Both are still entertaining the possibility of getting back together. Sarah wants to be married and have kids in 3 years because she is certain the apocalypse will come in the year 2022.

What year did Steve and Sarah first get together? 

Bonus question: Do you believe that exes can  or should remain friends?

Question #3:

It's Ken and Barbie's 30th anniversary. Ken takes a 1 hour and 25 minute train ride from the office to the suburbs, and then another 20 minute drive in his car from the train station to his house. But today he needs to swing by the store to buy some nice flowers which will add a total of 20 minutes to his usual schedule. Barbie has made an 8 P.M. dinner reservation at their favorite Indian restaurant 10 minutes away from their house. 

What is the exact maximum time that Ken can leave his office to make it to the 8pm dinner reservation?

Bonus question: What is the most bizarre excuse you've ever heard in your life for someone being late to an appointment?

I'm really looking forward to your answers and thank you in advance for participating! Have a great weekend, everyone!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Romantic Date Ideas to Please an Overthinker

*This post includes a few affiliate links which means if you click on them and make a purchase, I get a small portion of the sale at no extra cost to you. 

So you're with an overthinker. Congratulations! You need to realize how much of an honor it is to be loved by someone who enjoys thinking about everything. You can rest assured that the choice to love you or be with you was a conscious, overthought out and overanalyzed decision so the least you can do is to bring your "A" game and try to live up to her expectations. You'll probably never fully succeed (just to give you fair warning) but know that your efforts will always be appreciated and reciprocated. The worst thing you could do is to bore an overthinker. 

To help you out especially since Valentine's Day is almost here, I've come up with a few creative ideas that will surely please your overthinking lover.

1. Do a special movie marathon, and by special, I mean be very discriminating with your movie choices. Select only those truly deserving of an overthinker's mental endurance and a postmortem that is bound to happen. Think along the lines of Interstellar, The Adjustment Bureau (fit for romance indeed!), or The Matrix (Part 1 only). If you have a lot of time and popcorn, I'd even say brave into Cloud Atlas territory. If, however, you'd rather go in a mini-series direction because you're pressed for time, I would highly recommend In Treatment.

2. Create a personalized "Choose Your Own Adventure" with a culinary twist instead of going with a traditional sit-down meal. We all loved reading that when we were kids and I'm sure your partner will appreciate your creativity and devotion in executing something like this. 

Let me give you an example.

Start out by giving her a piece of paper with something like this written on it: 

"You're alone in the house and you hear something heavy fall behind one of your hallway doors. One is your coat closet and the other is your storage room. You have to act fast and choose one door to open and see where that strange sound came from...."

For every choice she makes, every 'door' or adventure she opens, there will be something edible for her to consume, maybe a small appetizer, a glass of her favorite cocktail, or a piece of chocolate. There will then be another piece of paper telling her where the adventure leads. This is somewhat of a treasure hunt although it's more exciting because of the choices. It does require a bit more work but it should be fun. You should even go on the adventure together. For instance you can include an option where the two of you need to drive to a Krispy Kreme and depending on the type of donut she chooses (give her only two options of course), there will be a corresponding adventure. Maybe original glazed will lead back to the house, while a strawberry iced will mean having a game of tennis (make sure you pack all necessary supplies in the trunk). You get the drift! This will keep her on her toes and make her brain do a happy dance! Just don't forget that all of the choices need to involve even just a small bite of something you both love to eat. Think of it as a deconstructed Valentine's Day meal.

3. Have conversations all day long about every single 'What If' scenario you can think of. This is to die for! There is nothing sexier to an overthinker than deep conversations or fun hypothetical brain teasers. If you don't know where to start, let the idea of having a parallel universe or multiverses guide you. That should do the trick!

4. If you don't do so well coming up with your own topics for #3 above, then consider gifting her with books such as If or The Book of Questions instead of spending your money on flowers. Trust me when I say that, especially for overthinkers, the flowers will surely die but the questions never will! In that respect, I'd have to say that such books work best with a dose of alcohol especially if you, unlike your partner, are not exactly a sucker for hypotheticals. Realize that as the gifter, you are automatically obliged to go through these books with your overthinker partner as a profession of your undying love.

5. Last but not least, give your partner mind-blowing sex. You would never want to leave an overthinker wondering if the two of you did it right. Make no space for questions or doubt. Blow her mind, shut the brain off. I see no greater gift to an overthinker than helping her rest her brain!

After all is said and done, seriously there is simply one message you should give to your overthinker partner. Tell your partner that you wouldn't have it any other way; that you love all of her (or him!), body, soul and especially mind. Telling us that it's our mind that truly turns you on and that you will never tire of our questions and curiosity is the most romantic thing you could ever profess. 

Friday, February 5, 2016

When You Give Me the World

You might think I'm too busy to notice the little things that your little loving heart gives to make me happy. But I never am. And you might think the wonderful little things you do are inconsequential and don't have much weight as far as defining my days go. If anything, Son, I don't think I tell you often enough or loud enough just how much power you have over my world, my heart...

In the mornings when I watch you board the school bus, I know you do your best to choose a window seat facing our house so you can give me one final look and wave at me shyly while I wave and blow you kisses like a mad woman before the bus drives away. I'm not oblivious to the fact that you're getting a little too old for this and that I may be embarrassing you. But the fact that you continue to do this knowing it makes my day means the world to me.

You know I love using your IPad when I workout on the treadmill and not once have you given me a hard time getting it from your possession, not even while you're in the middle of an interesting Minecraft video. Before you hand the IPad over, you even log out and log me in to my YouTube account to save me that tiny step, and that means the world to me.

You are a dream when, after using the washroom, you always make sure to put the toilet seat down 'for Mama'. That means the world to me.

I know you're still not that consistent with this, but when you remember to help me clear the table and place your dishes in the dishwasher, making me feel important and less of a domestic servant, it really means the world to me. 

On those times when I let you play outside with some neighbors and you always remember my request of not going where I can't see you, or returning home just when you sense I'm beginning to worry (because you truly know me that well), I promise you it means the world to me. 

When we're both busy and you just suddenly approach me and ask for a hug and tell me it's "just 'cos I haven't hugged you for a while" (even though we just hugged an hour ago), it absolutely means the world to me. 

They say our lives are defined by moments and that what truly counts are those moments that take our breath away, those pockets of happiness that, though seemingly insignificant, have the power to nourish our souls and make us declare that yes, I couldn't ask for more! I may never know what I did to deserve such a gift from God but I hope the Heavens know how grateful I am, in spite of my complaints, questions and unending restlessness. Everything else becomes white noise, all just insignificant background when your love calls to me and fills my world unequivocally, everlasting.