New Isn’t Better or Worse, It’s Just Different

It’s been 34 days since I said goodbye to my best friend. Actually, it’s been 34 days since I gave the vet the order to end my best friend’s life. It’s something I still feel guilty about, I don’t know that I will ever stop feeling guilty. My brain knows that it was the cancer that really killed her but my heart continues to consider “what ifs” and “should haves.”

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Indy and I went through a lot during our six years together – six moves, a horrible break-up, tears, parties, making new friends, losing old friends, dog roommates, meeting my now husband – and throughout it all, she was one of my few constants. She never complained when I left her home alone a little longer than normal because I wanted to go out after work and she quickly got over it when Shaggy put the kibosh on her sleeping in our bed.

It’s been 34 days since I said goodbye to Indy and in two days I will say hello to a new dog.

Some might think this is too soon to get a new dog, they might be right. I have no way of knowing if this is the right time but I do know that new dog is the right dog. Just like when we adopted Indy, I swear I was just looking! I had no intention of falling in love with Indy or new dog but it happened and it happened quickly.

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After Indy passed, I thought that I wanted NEEDED a dog immediately and I had convinced myself that getting a new dog right away (I’m talking days) wasn’t a rebound move. I showed Shaggy a dog that I neeeeeeeeeded and he looked me in the eyes and said, “Amy, that dog is Indy with black fur;” Shaggy was right, I was looking at my rebound dog.

That’s when I started thinking about how Indy would feel about me trying to replace her with a lookalike so soon after she died and I felt like a bitch. She deserved more than a week’s grief. So I cried again. And I cried some more. Then, one day I was done crying; I could think about Indy and smile. I could joke about what a jerk she was to other dogs or how high maintenance she was when it came to her beds and blankets. My heart will always have a little Indy-shaped scar on it, but I felt like it was whole again.

I decided I would go to a local Pet Expo in April and was planning on bringing a dog home from one of the dozens of rescues who would be attending. But first, I wanted to do some research on those rescues and then it happened – I saw new dog’s picture. A few days ago I met and fell in love with new dog and in two days I will bring new dog home. Our experiences won’t be the same as mine and Indy’s experiences but I have no doubt I will love her just as much.

New dog is new, she won’t be better than Indy but I don’t think she will be worse, either. I am going into this with no expectations on new dog, the only expectations are on me – I expect to give this rescued dog a loving, safe home and a happy life for the rest of her days.

I think Indy would like that.

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2013 Resolving

Resolutions

I already have the stereotypical bucket list on my blog, might as well throw in some new year’s resolutions, too!

  • Blog More – I know, I’m a broken record with this one but I really do want and need to get back on it. My job involves a lot of writing and usually the last thing I want to do when I get home is to write more, but my mind needs a more creative outlet. I hope to turn this blog into something more than just rants, I would like to start writing about my favorite hobby (sewing), my favorite job duty (social media as a PR tool), and my life.
  • Accept the Fate of My Uterus – Many of you might know that getting pregnant has not come as easy as Shaggy and I had hoped and it’s been tough for me. I have spent my entire adult life trying to NOT get pregnant and now that I want it to happen, I should just get what I want, right?! In 2013, I am not going to feel sad or guilty about what does or does not happen in my uterus. Shaggy and I have already decided that in vitro is not for us so, if things don’t happen naturally, adoption would be our other option and even that is not something we would do without a lot of research and thought. So, “worst” case scenario, I get to have a great life with my awesome husband, and the wonderful children of my family and friends. That’s not such a terrible scenario.
  • Be Healthier – When I was living in San Clemente, I was in love with my tiny gym (BT Fitness) and would usually go five days per week. I loved the way I felt and looked. Unfortunately, when we bought our house BT was just too far and didn’t fit into my new budget  and I really fell hard off the workout wagon. I have finally accepted that I will never find another place like BT (trust me, I have tried!) and that I need to work with what I have. I want to feel better in my skin, get stronger, and start eating healthier. My goal isn’t to lose weight (although that would be a great side effect), it is to stop being a lazy bum! If I am lucky enough to raise a child, I want him/her to be raised in an active and healthy family.
  • Sew More – I love sewing and once I  sit down at my machine I can sew for hours but sometimes it is hard to get that first stitch started. I need to start “dragging” myself into my awesome sewing room and stop making excuses!
  • Take More Initiative at Work – I like my job and my boss gives me a lot of freedom to try new things and this year I really want to take advantage of that. I want to explore new social media tools and try to save enough money to start the Social Media program through UCI’s Extension program.

Welp, there it is. I hope writing these out will help to hold me more accountable. 2012 was my best year yet, here is to 2013 being even better!

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Friendly Contracts

A handful of years ago I was part of a group of ladies who referred to themselves as the G-Crew. There was no secret meaning to the name, in fact it wasn’t even that creative, it was simply because we spent all day chatting online through G Chat. We had group chats, one-on-one chats, we communicated through our statuses, oh and we occasionally saw each other in person. The five of us had fun outings, we went to the Getty, we checked out a new H&M in LA, and we watched a lot of Grey’s Anatomy.  G-Crew was freaking fun.

Annnnnnnnywaaaaaayssss, the five of us were occasionally joined by a sixth guest member. At one point she asked if she could join G-Crew and we presented her with a (tongue-in-cheek) contract. The contract basically requested two things: positivity and no flaking. You probably won’t be shocked to learn that the potential G-Crew member passed up the chance to join! She was a good sport about it, but she said the contract was too much pressure. Like most girl groups, eventually the G-Crew came to a pretty dramatic end. Yes, embarrassingly, part of its demise involved a boy.

Recently, I was hanging with two of the former G-Crew members and we were laughing at the ridiculousness of the contract. But, it got me thinking… is a contract between friends/romantic partners really that bad of an idea?

True or false: most friendships (and relationships in general) don’t work out because of a difference in expectations. I would say that this is true. Friendships end because one or more person feels let down or betrayed. People expect to be treated one way and if someone doesn’t live up to those expectations the relationship probably won’t work out.

But what if everyone went into relationships with their contracts? What if you could compare contracts to check compatibility. For me, there are a few things that I would not compromise, if someone saw these things and could not understand/abide by them, then why would we continue hanging out or dating? For example, I cannot stand cookie-cutter pet names. If you like calling people baby, honey, sweetie, etc., then you might not want to pursue a relationship with me. Likewise, if someone needs a partner who checks with their partner before I make plans with friends, I would probably choose to forgo that relationship because I see that as “checking in.”

To each his own, but I believe that contracts would save so much time on non-compatible non-negotiables. I am not talking about a nine-page contract that requires a lawyer to interpret, I am talking about a few hopes/requirements that you would like out of a long-term relationship. I say go forth with your contracts and find your life-long friends! Avoid the fate of the G-Crew!

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Your Constant Pregnancy Inquiries are Driving Me to Drink!

Before I was married, sometimes I liked to socialize without drinking. During dinner with friends I might choose to drink Coke Zero or even water if I didn’t feel like having a beer. I’ll be honest, recovering from just a couple drinks is a lot tougher than it used to be and I prefer to be at least vaguely coherent at work. But, now that I’m married and rapidly approaching 30, not drinking is not an option. Drinking (and consuming massive amounts of mercury-laden raw fish) is one of the few things that will stave off the question, “Are you pregnant?!” Heremywholething, you should never ask that question. Ever. Not to anyone. I don’t care your relationship, I don’t care if her belly button has popped. Don’t.Ask. If she wants you to know, she will tell you. There are only three ways asking can go and none of them turn out well for the potential mommy or you. Let’s review, shall we?

Scenario 1: She is Not Pregnant and They are NOT Trying

Why is this not acceptable once you get married? I recently attended a wedding and “Hurry up and have a baby” was a sentiment that was repeated several times throughout the speeches. The couple was married for literally one hour and the pressure had already started. Granted, I have no idea if they want to start the baby making right away, but what if they don’t? I know there is never a perfect time to have a baby. One will always wish the situation was just a little bit better — more money, better insurance, a bigger house — but these things are up for the couple to decide, not you. Asking them if they’re pregnant and then refusing to accept that maybe *gasp* they don’t want kids or that they are putting it off until they can improve their situation is selfish and rude. If you ask once and this is their answer, you are not allowed to ever ask again and you are definitely prohibited from making a snarky remark about how she is probably just saying that to get people to stop asking. And please, for the love of all that is holy, don’t try to talk them out of their decision. More people should put this much thought into having babies before popping them out without any long-term plan.  Offering a nice, “Well, if you ever decide to start a family you and XX will be great parents,” is the only graceful way out of this.

Scenario 2: Yes, She is Pregnant

Okay, let’s say the woman you’re asking is in fact pregnant. If she wanted you to know, you would know. You wouldn’t have to ask. Generally, mothers-to-be are really excited about the fetus that is growing in their bellies and are happy to share the news with those who are even remotely close to them. If you are her friend, and you don’t know, there is probably a reason for that. Most likely it is because it is too early in the pregnancy and she doesn’t want to have to worry about miscarrying and then having to go back and tell everyone she is no longer pregnant. She would prefer to wait until things are a little more stable. Understandable. Let her announce in her own time. The other reason she’s not telling is could be that you may not be as close of friends as you think and she just doesn’t want to tell you because you’re a judger, or a bitch, or will make it about you, whatever! Her uterus, her prerogative. Let her be. I’m sure she will post a 4-D (How can it be 4-D? What is the fourth D? Can you smell it?) sonogram picture on Facebook soon enough.

Scenario 3: She is Not Pregnant and They ARE Trying

This special scenario is saved for last because it is THE reason to not ask a woman if she’s pregnant. The other two can be laughed off or deflected tactfully, this one is just awful. Let’s say, hypothetically, that a couple IS in fact trying (I really hate that term “trying”) to get pregnant. Hypothetically, it is taking a little longer for this couple than they had hoped. For argument’s sake, why don’t we pretend that at one point she was in fact pregnant and now she is not (refer to scenario #2). This hypothetical woman is probably so excited to see her husband hold their future baby and be a dad that she daydreams about it. Pretend that this woman, the make-believe one who you are interrogating (because that’s what it will feel like), recently heard her husband say how lucky his sister and brother-in-law were for getting pregnant so quickly and how lucky the brother-in-law was for having two mini-mes. Ugh. Let’s pretend that this woman, who a few years ago didn’t even want kids, is terrified by the thought of not being able to have one. If this hypothetical, make-believe, pretend woman existed, it would probably feel like absolute shit when she had to reply, “No” to THE question. Is your curiosity about why she isn’t drinking worth it? I would hope not.

So, when I am out with friends, I make sure to grab a beer because drinking when I don’t want to is easier than enduring another raised eyebrow or “knowing” smile. It’s easier than someone silently mouthing “Are you?” from across the table. Drinking a few cocktails that are sure to make me a little groggy when my morning alarm goes off, is a much more enjoyable option than getting text messages inquiring about my lady parts from the person sitting in the booth with me.

So, for my liver’s sake, please just wait until I tell you that my womb is occupied and keep the questions to yourself.

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Why the DMV is Better than the Apple Store

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to spend two of my lunch breaks doing chores. My first chore was going to the DMV to change my name on my license, the second chore was going to the Apple store  to get my husband’s laptop fixed. After one hour in each place, I can say that I would rather spend all my lunches at the DMV than to be forced to go back to the Apple store. Shocked? Yeah, me too!  As a non-hipster-douchebag the DMV is a better place to be than the Apple store. Here is a summary of my very scientific study

First Impression – Winner Apple

Not the store I went to, but they're all the same.

Not the store I went to, but they’re all the same.

Okay, this first contest goes to Apple. Their store is admittedly clean, open, and just plain cool looking. There were several seating options, including a stuffed loungy communal couch thing.  The DMV was in a strip mall and that was the plus side! It was packed to the gills with people sitting in uncomfortable seats and staring crappy TV monitors. Granted if I don’t get universal healthcare, I don’t want my tax money going to chaise lounges at the DMV.

Okay, Now What? – Winner DMV

When you walk into the DMV and your eyes adjust to the smoke haze (no, you can’t smoke in the building, I think it’s still lingering from the times of “smoking or non-smoking?”), it is very clear where to go. Signs hung from the ceiling and at the end of queue ropes tell me to pick a line, either “Appointment” or “Walk-In.” Seems easy enough. I strut my stuff right up to the front of the appointment line, ignoring the evil glares that are burning a hole through my back. Now, the Apple store. Oh Apple, this is where it all went downhill for me. Your odd neon lighting gave me so much hope. The Apple store has a bunch of tables with computers on them, people milling about looking at accessories and a big bar in the back where repairs are obviously taking place. I showed up a few minutes before my appointment (yes, seriously, an appointment for the Apple store) so I figured I would wait in what appeared to be a line near the Genius Bar (yeeeeeeep, that’s what it’s called). Well, it wasn’t a line, it was some dad watching his toddlers play around on the free computers. “Okay, I must have to check-in” I thought. At this point I had been there for several minutes and not ONE person had greeted me or asked if I needed help. And how could I tell who I was supposed to talk to because all the employees are dressed like hipsters and carrying around iPads, which is the same thing all the customers are doing! Finally, I tracked someone down, he checks me in and tells me to sit at the bar and wait until I’m called.

The Wait – Winner DMV

Basically

Basically

The DMV gave me a number. A number that comes after other numbers. I knew exactly when my turn was getting close. I felt confident that no one who showed up after me and who needed the same type of help would be served before me. I had no clue wtf was going on at the Apple store. There I sat on a barstool with no foot rest (Which is not flattering for a girl with thick legs. Seriously, I need a foot rest so the legs don’t get all mashed flat!), surrounded by “cool” people who made me feel like a fat-thighed grandma and hoped that one of the people behind the counter knew I was there and would serve me at some point. They chatted with each other behind the counter, supervisors made inappropriate jokes with their employees, the guys flirted with mullet girls and I sat. Waiting for someone too look at me. There was no chitchatting at the DMV. Aside from a giddy girl who got her license, there were hardly any noticeable smiles.  How could I argue when they took someone before me who had actually shown up after me? I had no idea if their appointment was before mine. I had no idea what my, or their, “number” was. Finally, I got annoyed and asked if I would be helped soon. It’s amazing how quickly one can get service once they start making a stink. Suddenly I was next in line. I definitely waited longer to talk to one of the chatty computer boys than I waited to talk to the DMV people.

The Fixing Process – Winner DMV

I knew exactly what I needed to do to change my name at the DMV. Fill out this form. Show this document. Pay this much. Take your new picture. Your new license will come in a x-number of weeks. When I finally talked to someone at Apple, he told me my computer was pretty dirty (thanks, judgy mcjudgerson) but that replacing the defective part wouldn’t take long at all. I figured it wouldn’t take much to unscrew four screws, slap a new bottom cover on, re-screw screws. Hell, I almost asked him to just give me the part and let me do it. But, no, he said just a few minutes. I could do that. Apparently in Apple land a “few” means 30+. All the while I sat on the barstool, trying desperately to make eye-contact with someone who might take pity on me and give me an update. So, again, I asked what the holdup was. I was clearly annoyed at this point, the part they were replacing was a recall, it’s not like I busted something and was asking for special treatment! I was also starting to get bitter toward my husband for asking me to do this for him. I don’t like getting angry at Shaggy for things that are not his fault, which in turn made me bitter at Apple for making me bitter at him! It was a vicious cycle. And, once again, just like magic my computer was suddenly done when I asked about it. Truth is, it was sitting there for quite awhile but my initial computer wiz had already moved on to the next customer. One whose teeny tiny midriff was showing and who had several piercings in her face and in the back of her neck. Yeah, I’d help her over me, too.

Is that enough? Do you see it now?? The Apple store is a horrible place that temporarily sucked away all my self-confidence and patience. The DMV made me feel on top of the world (hey, at least I was going back to a job that wasn’t the DMV!). DMV people thanked me. Not one time did anyone thank me for coming or wish me a good day at Apple. My next computer will not be a Mac, I am too scared to ever go back to that bad place!

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You’re Just Jealous/a Hater

I’m so sick of people telling me I’m jealous whenever I disagree with something they’re doing. And not just toward me, the “you’re jealous” retort seems to be the go-to for people who have nothing wittier to say. Today, I was browsing Pinterest (naturally) and I came across a pictures that I don’t want to repost, of a young girl in verrrrrrrrrry short shorts (one pinner referred to them as cooter cutter, HA!) standing in some sort of public square. What I gathered from the comments was that this girl may be a French model and MAY have even done some topless adverts. Gross. Now, my gut reaction was, “Holy shit, put some shorts on that girl immediately” and I was not alone. Several people expressed their concern that this child was dressing inappropriately and showing far too much leg. No joke, others responded with comments like “Oh, you’re just jealous because you didn’t look like that when you were young,” and “Stop being a hater.”

When did we get to a point where looking out for a child’s safety is a sign of our deeply-hidden jealousy of pre-pubescent knock knees? To even make that kind of statement is sick! I will concede that I may be a little over-sensitive when it comes to child nakedness and there may have been instances of flagging Facebook pictures of people giving their infants a bath, but I stand by this. There are sick fucks out there who would love nothing more than to see your kid’s wiena. This does NOT mean I am jealous of you or your child and I am most definitely not a hater. I probably care about you and your child and it makes me ill that someone could be thinking of your babe in a lecherous manner.

But, this ‘tude is not just with babies. Heaven forbid you advise your friend that maybe she shouldn’t be blowing all her money on expensive shoes when she cannot afford the rent and don’t even think about telling your buddy that the whore he’s sleeping with may also be boinking his cousin. No way Jose, what you’re saying cannot possibly be true. You’re just jealous.

As someone who isn’t afraid of telling you my honest opinion, I have learned that most of the time people don’t really want to know what you think, they just want you to agree with them. So many people are afraid of hearing a reasonable suggestion, that they convince themselves that everyone in the world is jealous of them, hates them only because they want to be them. Every.Single.Person.

Whenever a skinny girl tells me she’s fat, I agree with her and advise her to invest i muumuus and leggings. Few things bug me more than someone who is fishing for compliments. I have decided to adopt that same way of reacting when someone tells me I’m a jealous hater – I’m just going to agree. Yes, I am jealous of your job where you get free car washes, but earn minimum wage with no benefits. Yes, I’m totally jealous of your ability to be a stay-at-home mom, even though it’s not your choice and your jerk of a husband won’t let you work. And, oh lord how I wish I could have your flat abs, even though it means never eating a full meal and working out in sweatpants for five hours a day.

God my life sucks, I wish I was you.

 

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Why Would You Want to Elope?!

No bridesmaids in ugly dresses, no expensive flowers, a handmade blue dress, and my husband!

I knew I didn’t want a wedding before I even met my fiance. After I got engaged, I still knew it. I love weddings, but thinking about having my own gives me a panic attack. The idea of eloping sounds more romantic than any ginormous wedding I have ever attended. Still, when I even mention the E word to some people, I often got this post’s title question, filled with disgust.

My response: Why wouldn’t I want to elope?!

The wedding is not the focus, the marriage is. This is my biggest reason for not wanting a wedding. People seem to get so wrapped up in all the minutia that goes into the party that they forget the most important thing – you are committing your life to someone. That’s huge. This isn’t about one fun day, it’s about starting your lives together. It’s not about signature drinks and playlists, it’s far more special than that.

Money – duh. This one is obvious. Even small weddings seem to cost a minimum of around $10,000 (at least in California) and that number makes me sick. There are so many things I could spend that money on –  a house, an awesome trip, my future child – that will last much longer than one night. One of my favorite wedding blogs (yes, I read quite a few of them, I love weddings!), The Broke Ass Bride, has a feature called “Can’t Afford It/Get Over It” where they give you “affordable” dresses, with a cap of $1,000! Listen, if $1,000 is affordable to you, more power to you, but spending the equivalent of two months of my half of the rent on a white dress that I will never wear again just doesn’t seem responsible. I’m not going into debt so other people can drink and hook up at my reception.

I hate attention. The thought of a bunch of people staring at me while I am experiencing the most intimate moment of my life gives me hives. I would throw up halfway down the aisle and start screaming to people, “Why are you staring at me, swan?!” It would just be a mess! I get nervous being a bridesmaid in weddings and no one even gives a crap about you when you’re the bridesmaid. I can’t imagine being the bride. And what if you trip. Or your back fat is showing. Or your nipples get cold. AHHH the horror. No thanks.

I love my FI more than anything in the world. I would prefer to not scream at him over stupid things like seating charts and centerpiece colors. I have never known a couple who is planning their wedding and not fighting. I don’t want to have angry sex on my wedding night.

The never-ending invite list. It’s easy to make a cutoff when no one knows about your plans. Once you get grandma involved, then it becomes imperative that her brother’s cousin’s hairdresser suddenly be invited to your wedding. Okay, that’s extreme, but I hate the idea of “well, you have to invite Tommy because you invited his sister Jamie.” What if I see Jamie every single day but Tommy lives across the country and I haven’t seen him in five years? My elopement, my guestlist!

This is just a partial list of my personal reasons, please feel free to add to it!

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Not Everyone is Mean

Recently, I signed up for a handmade holiday gift exchange through one of the sewing/crafting blogs I read Craftaholics Anonymous.I made a Christmas tree garland for my partner. It was a pretty cool garland, with quilt batting, a shiny green ribbon, and green and red fabric with gold thread.

I was feeling pretty good about my gift, until yesterday when I received my present. Check out my partner’s blog about what she gave me, it’s amazing! She gave me presents that reflect my loves and personality more than gifts I have received from family members! Aren’t the vintage pillowcase bags to die for!? And she made a Raggedy Ann makeup bag out of some fabric that her mother gave her. That’s crazy sweet.

And I feel like a big jerk for being so proud of my damn garland! Sky – 1, Amy -0.

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“I better be invited.”

Is there a phrase in the English language that is more rude?! It’s amazing how many times I’ve heard it in the six days I’ve been engaged. Here is a newsflash, if you have to ask you probably weren’t going to be invited and if you were going to be invited, you’re not after saying that! Asshole.

Being invited to anything, be it a party, wedding, or threesome is not a right, it is a privilege. There are a bazillion reasons why you might not be invited to an event, regardless of how close you are to the host. The host could gave a giant family, small budget, and/or social anxiety in big groups. Or, in my case all three!

Before you make such a douchebag statement, why don’t you think for a second about all the time, money, and organization that goes into planning even the smallest gathering. The guest list doesn’t necessarily indicate your place in the host’s heart, but making such a rude statement pretty much cements yourself into the “never invited anywhere” group.

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Facebook: The Home of Half-Assed Caring

I have volunteered at the OC Humane Society, walking dogs and picking up countless bags off dog poop. I raised more than $2,000 and walked 60 miles in three days to benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure. I organized an event that raised almost $800 in one night for LifeHouse of Orange County, a group that provides food to homeless people. I adopted an old, deaf dog from Seal Beach Animal Care Center instead of buying a fancy one at a pet store. I have helped build a house with Habitat for Humanity. I have donated clothes, food, and money to benefit causes I care about. I donate blood every couple months.

I’m not telling you this to brag or to make you feel guilty, because baby jeezus knows that I could be doing much more. I’m telling you this so you can see what I HAVEN’T done: I haven’t changed my Facebook status or picture to “benefit” a cause or raise awareness about anything. Even I am not that lazy.

Seriously people, all the cryptic messages about bras and purses and pregnancy are just ridiculous. PLEASE someone tell me how tricking people into thinking you’re pregnant is going to help cure breast cancer. Do you even think about the fact that many women are not able to have babies BECAUSE of cancer? Way to rub it in assholes.What is being cryptic actually doing for the cause? I bet you wear pink in October, too.

And, really, you post a status about all the abused animals in the world, but you trot your little designer dog around on its fancy leash? Do you honestly think there is one person on your Facebook friends list that doesn’t know that animals are abused, abandoned, and alone? Whose life are you changing by telling me to repost something that doesn’t even include a link to donate or volunteer?

I'm cute, but I don't save abused children!

The WORST was the whole “change your profile picture to a cartoon character to raise awareness about abused children.” You have got to be kidding me. If you want to put up a picture of Rainbow Brite, I say more power to you, she’s rad, but DON’T pretend that you’re doing it because you give two shits about a child. You’re doing it because you think it makes your profile look cute and you want to join in the fun with all your friends.

Here’s an idea, go spend your weekends in a soup kitchen, read to seniors whose families have dumped them in a home, sew blankets and donate them to a children’s hospital. Actually DO something that positively impacts the world and the things you claim to care about.

I wish I could spend every second of my day volunteering. I wish I had millions of dollars to cure diseases and save children. I don’t, but I do what I can. And, yes, I CAN change something on Facebook to make my friends think that I am this fantastic person with a big heart. I choose not to follow the herd and do these meaningless things. I choose to quietly volunteer and donate. I choose to take action about the causes I care about. Try volunteering and tell me that you get the same feeling from being in the trenches that you do by posting some stupid shit on Facebook.

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