Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Different Ways to Rock It

Two weeks ago I was walking down a Santa Monica sidewalk with Terry, and I came to a new realization.

"You know what?"
"From now on, I won't care what others think of my shoes. I think, usually, I care about whether people like or don't like my shoes. But I'm done with that. If someone doesn't like my shoes, I'll say - 'Fu*k you. These are my shoes. I am wearing these shoes, and I like them. If you don't like them, don't look at them.' I'm going to rock my shoes and not care about what anyone thinks." 

Of course I wasn't talking about shoes.

And that may have been an anticlimactic conversation to some, but not me.

For most of my life, I've posed, literally, at, like, every second. I was raised the ONLY biracial child in my entire city (besides two others who happened to be my sister and brother), and the city was a majorly racist one. (Thank goodness I got out of there!) I was always worried about what people thought and what they would say, and for good reason - people in backwoods Virginia LOVE to talk smack. Then, in college, my boyfriend was the president of his fraternity and there were appearances to keep. And in grad school I was the youngest girl around (plus the only health and fitness instructor in the program who regularly got asked if she had implants - the answer was no, and yes, I was thankful for my biracial heritage on THAT one), so I obviously had to live up to the hype.

During all of those years, the only time the real me would come out when I was alone, and quiet, and calm (which didn't happen often).

Then, I was the badass manizer who went around taking names for a year or so, until I met Terry and fell madly in love, unexpectedly, kicking and screaming a little to boot. So then I had the appearance to keep up of a girl who hates majorly on marriage, and who had just found out that a few things she'd said with complete confidence were dead wrong. That was a pill to take, fo sho.

And then there were other appearances to keep up because of the relationship, because of work, because of whatever reason my mind gave me.

But you know what? I'll tell you a secret. All that is straight up BS

Somewhere in the past year I've found my real self emerging more than when I'm alone, quiet and calm. And that real self is nurturing, and confident, and intelligent, and, yes, emotional. And I ain't apologizing.

Young women in today's world have a rough time. Our parents modeled their lives for us, sometimes for the good, sometimes for the bad, but they had no clue what they were doing either because their time was completely different from their parents'. And here we are again, on the same wheel, trying to make our way which is fundamentally different from our parents' (hello, economy) and, as women, we want to be sexy. And loved. And respected. And smart. And successful in business. And, and, and, you fill in the blank.

But, I have a suggestion. A suggestion that comes from personal experience of fighting and struggle and self-doubt and self-criticism. Oh, the criticism.

So, here it is.
Take a breath.
Be yourself, just for a moment, and see how it feels. Look around with new eyes - what is in your world, really? If your life were a movie, what would it be about? What do you think about most of the time? What do you worry about? What do you hope for?
Now, the big question-
Is that what you WANT to be thinking about, worrying about, and hoping for? In that perfect-self image you have in your mind that you are constantly aspiring to, are these the things that take up your movie?

If so, rock it, with no apologies.
But if not, notice. Then, make a new intention, wait, and watch. Miracles will happen to get you where you want to be. But you have to pay attention to see them.

Good luck. Let us know what happens. And rock the hell out of those shoes.


PS: Check out my brand new blog at www.rawkout.com! 

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Shiny Kisses

Hi, my name is Charis (like 'carrots' without the T) and I am a lip gloss addict.

This started at the age of twelve and a half when a glorious trip to the main street drug store ended with one of these bad boys putting a faded circle on my jeans pocket forevermore:
...or rather, until they stopped making Candy Kisses when I was in college (tear).

I loved their sweet taste, their satiny sheen and their yummy smell. I doubly loved that my kissing buddies in high school noticed their deliciousness (my first boyfriend's nickname for me was "sweet lips" thanksverymuch, and no, we never went past 2nd base....oh the memories). He's also the one who introduced me to bonfire parties, which introduced me to my first taste of alcoholic beverages (ahem Coors Light, the drink of choice for backwoods Virginia circa 1998...) - during my first attendance, I met a gorgeous blonde, a few years older than me, who took my shy, self-conscious self under her wing for the evening.

"Here honey, have a drink!" as she grabbed a red plastic cup and filled it from the keg.
"Um, thanks..." (as I sipped and tried not to gag...remember the first time you had beer! Ulghchfg gross!)

Being the youngest person present, I didn't want to drink too much and go annoyingly loud or annoyingly barfy, so I decided to stay with one only.

20 minutes later...

"Hey, your cup is empty! Here ya go."

(okay, can't say no, but this is the last one...)

30 minutes later....

"You're shivering! Are you cold? You're not drunk enough!"


And that, my friends, was how I came home at 3am, doing drunk-driving road tests in my bathroom, giggling, trying not to wake up my mom (yes, she woke up).

Good times, that.

But I digress.

Back to lip gloss.

A boyfriend I had after college (who was a horrifical piece of work, lemme tell ya, but that's a TOTALLY different post) wasn't a fan of my delicious addiction, but he was a singular outlier in more ways than just one (ew let's not discuss it).

...But eventually, after I'd stocked up when I heard the company was closing and a year or two passed with me being happily dewy-lipped, I ran out.

And cried.

No I didn't. I'm totally kidding.

Ok, maybe I did cry a little.

But then, after months and months of fruitless searches and tasteless greasy failed attempts to locate a new love, I found this:
and all is right again with the world.

I figure, a girl needs one crutch, right?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I Do...

Not Know What I'm Doing. Help.

One of my best friends asked me to be her maid of honor. Tears were shed. And after the initial excitement...

Fear set in.

I want her 2010 spring wedding day to be perfect. The duties of a maid of honor are way more than I thought so I'm lucky that my beautiful bride-to-be has been patient with my busy schedule. But never did I imagine to be so knee-deep in taffeta and table cloths in my mid-20s.

We almost started crying while combing through gigantic wedding gowns at a bridal store. (Wedding gowns are HEAVY folks). We surveyed the beautiful Laguna Beach site and we fought those pesky tears while someone else's wedding rehearsal was happening in the background. We're also flipping through so many bride's magazines we are soon to be the reigning paper cut queens.

But in the end, I wouldn't trade this new, fascinating and stressful experience for anything. This is after all, an honor. If you have any fabulous tips for this first-time MOH, I'll toss the bouquet to you myself.

Like a Virgin,

of Make Me Blush, Drive Me Wild

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


A girl's gotta have standards.
This weekend I spent a few frustrated hours at the beach late night style, by myself sitting in the dark. I worried my sister as she feared I would be abducted and end up on Dateline next month. I was thinking, talking to friends, texting and sending pictures of my feet in the sand to twitter.

Standards, standards, standards...it was all I could think about. The standards to which I hold my friends, my parents, myself, men...probably why I'm single.

A girls gotta have standards though.
Are standards black and white? When do we make exceptions? In talking to a friend who shared a similar experience growing up, I realized that the standards I once held my father to have changed...have they lowered? No, I don't think so. Have I realized that he's not who I want him to be...but instead someone I can love, learn from, count on in a different way? Yes. If I let myself.

I have to keep my standards when it comes to matters of my heart though, a girls gotta.
You don't get to choose your parents. But I will choose the next him. Hopefully the last him. I know I write about this a lot...and I fear gaining the reputation of sad single girl. I most def am not, blogging is more to me than posting pictures though...it's a release. I know, as so many of you have told me, that when you know, you know, that it will happen when you least expect it, and I'm cool with that, really, I am.

I can't help but wonder (hello Carrie Bradshaw, sorry), if my standards are TOO high. Is that even possible? I just hate that weird feeling, the red flags that so often I've ignored, the settling...the I KNEW YOU WOULD DO THAT fights, or thoughts..that have left me walking a mile down the Vegas strip alone at 3am in a mini and 5 inchers, being followed by creeps, afraid to call my friends or family for fear of " I told you so's..." because I already told myself so. Nobody is harder on me...than me.

Standards. I'm sticking to my standards. They're high. And when I meet him, and I just know, and it's when I least expect it, I won't have to lower them. If anything...he better raise me up, he's gotta.


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Kung Fu Grip

It was the hot and sticky summer of 2006.
(I mean strictly weather here, folks!)
(sure I do....)

Location: Gainesville, FL.
That, of course means that my definition of "summer" was April. Hot and sticky nonetheless - don't even think about picking up that hair straightener! There will be no point.

But I digress.

I was headed out on the town with my BFF Holly, who had evolved as such from being a previous Aerobics student of mine (that's what happens when you're the same age as those you teach...)

On the way to midtown in my silver Nissan Frontier (how I miss you!), rocking out to vintage hip hop and car-dancing like a pair of wild satyrs, we see blue lights reflecting off of the dash...


So we pull over, in front of all the clubs of course, being seen by many a Friday-night-bootie-shaker on the way to do just that (no kidding, later a fella friend asked me, "really? that was you? hahahahaha...."), and up walks up one of Gainesville's finest - a young, obviously bored one at that.

Turned out that my license plate had expired.

An assertion that a new sticker was in the mail (which was almost true) got us off the hook, but he still took my VA license,

"just to make sure you're not wanted or anything."

Then, this comes piping out of the shadowy passenger side from the lovely redhead next to me -

"oh, she's wanted, all right!"

As my hand covered my eyes in (semi-authentic) embarassment, he walked away. I snickered and turned to Holly, possibly calling her a not-so-nice name...

And eventually he brought me back my license (nope, no felonies, thanksverymuch) and we were on our way.

As this was in one of the heights of my intermittent male-objectification-pink-spoon days, the evening included making rounds, having drinks, dancing with various hotties (none of which we exchanged names with, thankssss), until at 1am, tired, sweaty, and goofalicious, we took a seat at the bar.

"How about this - we look over each others' shoulders, and I'll pick yours out, and vice versa."

It was on.

There were many suggestions and discards, with an occasional cha-ching! that got us a bit of conversation, perhaps a dance or two, but as it was girls' night, nothing more....

...when Holly's eyes widened as she gazed past my left ear. She grinned and nodded, and gave me a purposeful glance before her eyes returned to the prey.

At the perfect moment, my right hand snaked up and around, Indiana Jones whip-crack style, and caught hold of Mr. Mysterious' wrist. I slowly turned my head and brightly smiled at him.

"Hi, how are you?"

....as the next 1.892 seconds passed, I realized that Holly had made a grave mistake. He was a Monet! Oh no!

note: I have only a vague memory of my uncannily accurate aim that must've had to do with the Force being with me. The eighteen thousand malibu and pineapples probably helped with both my foggy memory, and my aim. That info is straight from Holly, circa the next day...

My smile never faltered, he said he was fine, and just as the glimmer began to appear in his eyes, I grinned and said,

"That's great! Well, have a good night!"

-and turned back around to the bar. (you'd better believe that H was apologetic)

Yikes! That was a close one.

And yep, I was one of those girls, in only that moment.

But hey, it happens to the best of us, right?

Besides, I still chuckle about it every now and then, and I don't remember a single word exchanged with any of the others, so in the grand scheme of things, Mr. Monet gets the most of the C-brain-airtime.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Some Day My Prince Will Come....

We are taught as little girls that love is easy. And perfect.

image courtesy of www.freewebs.com

In the movies we watched, the sweet, naive, gentle and gorgeous 16-year-old girl lives a quiet, pleasant life full of impromptu song and dance, no matter how unsavory her circumstances. Her flawless skin is ever so carefully painted, with the shadows going only in the flattering places. Her waist is tiny with no exercise, her eyes are clear certainly without enough sleep (given her life of servitude), and her feet are uncalloused, no matter how many hours are spent barefoot in the rocky castle yard or thorny forest.

image courtesy of www.platformfestival.com

The prince rides up, strong, handsome, full of character and goodness. He instantly falls in love with her, and she him. There may be a snag or two (never because of their compatibility, but because of an evil external influence), but in the end all ends with white silk, wedding bells and happiness trailing off into "ever after."

Girls in real life have pimples. We are not always good and kind and sweetly oblivious. And boys are not always full of character and effortless muscle, riding up on a big gorgeous horse and sweeping us away into a sudden life of perfect wedded bliss.
image courtesy of guardian.co.uk

Unlike the beautifully drawn characters in the movies we often still love, even as women, we evolve. Our lines are not scripted from beginning to end so that we never lose our tempers, or make mistakes, or learn.

Rather than being a flaw, what a gift this is!

There are countless works of literature where it is said that the angels in heaven are jealous of us - of our messy and beautiful and poignant and real lives.

In truth, how can it be a bad thing that hardly any of us fall in love only once, at 16?

If we are not scripted and easily summed up into a half page, how in the world can we expect to just automatically
a) know who is best for us, and
b) find that person on our first try?


We should try love out, test it, glorify it, leave it when it is time to leave.

That is what the pink spoon theory is about.

Our mothers and grandmothers have paved the way for us to have this glorious freedom. In most areas, a woman no longer has to make herself into a man (more or less) to earn respect from men. We are coming at a time where you can be a woman, still feminine, and be just as successful as any man. No longer do we have to toss aside the womanly wiles that give us our unique strength and shoulder the common masculine qualities instead (not to mention the fact that they don't look good on us most of the time anyway).

Of course there are exceptions. Everyone should follow their heart.

But for many of us, this is our time.

We can finally approach dating, love, and life with a carefree nature - still being women, and discovering ourselves, our preferences, and our matches with as much freedom as men have always been able to.

The truth is, there are probably a few Prince Charmings out there.

And there's no reason in the world to settle for less. That's not saying, of course, that dallying for some amount of time with someone who makes you happy for whatever reason, although you know he's not the one you want to go into a 'merger' with, is wrong at all.

image courtesy of www.cartoonart.org
It's just fine!

Pink spoon to your heart's content!

And besides, after the wedding bells' ringing faded into the credits and the credits faded to a blank screen, we don't know what happened, do we?

Maybe things aren't as simple as they seem.

Of course not. They never are.

(cross posted at TPST)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Take Cover

Is it just me or are there way just too many women on the covers of magazines these days? I wish more women's magazines had really hot, smart and funny men on their covers (and inside). That would be great to see when I stand in the check-out line at the grocery store, knowing that inside, there are articles about wonderful, intelligent men making a difference too.

I mean, the world would be a much better place if fake breasts and heavily photo-shopped women weren't staring at us while we purchased our bag of Lime Tostitos.

Sometimes I find men's magazines way more entertaining than women's (but don't get me wrong, I loooove my Lucky, Women's Health, Allure and Nylon). When I go to men's homes I like to flip through their Men's Health and GQ not only for the eye candy but to get the perspective of what men are telling other men. If you haven't done that yet, I suggest you do. You'll learn a lot and get an eye full of well-kept gentlemen.

I've also found an added benefit to reading men's magazines, they help me find amazing gifts for men, whether it's a $400 Nixon watch, a safe to keep their most valuable possessions in, Armani cologne-- those samples are your best friend when choosing the perfect scent, or a really good wallet that's under $30. Yes, I like men's fashion almost as much as I love women's.

I'm so glad there are blogs out there where lots of (you) smart women are giving yourselves a voice while looking ridiculously fabulous. It's just unfortunate that most magazines are so advertisement-heavy and superficial. So kudos to you if you're writing about real life.

This is my rant for the day... thanks for reading and enjoy the cover photos of David Beckham, I know I did:

Get yours,

of Make Me Blush, Drive Me Wild