Random – Life In General
Today I got to cross something off my bucket list – I learned how to shoot a weapon. Well, a gun. I can barely even say the word but for a long time I’ve wanted to learn how to use one. I have no intention of getting one. In fact, I have pretty strong feelings about the need for stronger gun control measures. Growing up, I never gave much thought to guns. No one took them to school; I don’t even think any of my friends had them at home, unless they were police officers. Even that water balloon game on the boardwalk makes me jump sky high. Gets me every time.
In NJ, the only people concerned with carrying guns are either in the mob or a gang. I never really understood the point of gangs. In Fl, however, it seems to be a normal way to grow up and kids gets shooting lessons before they hit double digits. This state is full of people crying about their 2nd Amendment rights to bear arms. It’s also home to many a trigger-happy gun owner but that’s besides the point.
My personal feelings about firearms aside, I kind of enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to doing it again. However, I learned a valuable lesson….
Low cut shirts are not recommended. Childbirth doesn’t hurt as much as a casing hitting you in the chest and falling down your shirt, while shooting a firearm. Next time it will be long sleeves and a high neckline.
My days are pretty full of observations – at work, on the playground, on the soccer field – even on the road. This week was no different. Here are s ome of them along with some helpful advise for those I’ve come across:
1. When having a serious conversation with someone, keep your hands out of your pants. Buy clothes that fit you instead of tucking and adjusting every 5 minutes.
2. It’s really frustrating when the very reason you like and respect someone is the exact same reason that person drives you nuts and frustrates you. It makes some days very long and meetings even longer.
3. The phrase “Hey guys, I need a jar of that blow stuff.” should never be the first words out of your mouth when you enter a room – in any context.
4. Some people can do amazing things with metal and a blow torch. I pass this amazing studio and yard full of art every day.
5. The Daytime Emmy Awards used to be an event. Now it is a cheezy sad excuse for an awards show on a second rate channel I never heard of. And they should probably change the name to the Young and the Restless awards.
Unemployment is like a natural disaster. It’s always something you read or hear about and think “I’m safe from that.” Nowadays you hear about it more than ever. Your heart goes out to those effected by it and you offer your help but then you go about your day and say “good thing I’m not in danger of that happening.”
But then one day, like a blizzard without warning – BAM! You get told you’re parting ways. At first you don’t hear right – your first thought is “what? it sounds like I’m getting fired.” Laid off, budget cuts, economic downturn – doesn’t matter what you call it, I still have nowhere to go tomorrow. I still have no idea what I’m going to do every day after I drop the kids off.
At first you might even believe something better is out there. Something will come along pretty soon. You try to stay positive. You even start to believe yourself when you tell people you’re fine.
But, then 3 weeks later after all the contacts in your network have been contacted, follow-ups have led nowhere, return calls are few and far between, and you’ve applied for every job possible it gets easier to justify sitting back and catching up with the Abbotts or life in Salem.
It gets easier to lose hope. Hope that there is something better out there. Hope that you might finally catch that break you’ve been hoping for.
When I first moved to Florida and people found out I was from NJ they immediately went to the only frame of reference most people had of NJ back in the early 2000′s -
- would ask ignorant questions about my knowing Tony Soprano.
- asked me if I knew all of those places in the show’s opening.
- would realize my last name ended in a vowel and make certain assumptions. Aren’t all Italians from NJ part of the mob? Isn’t everyone in NJ Italian and part of the mob?
- also asked me if I missed the pizza and bagels from up north too.
But mostly about the Sopranos.
People are ignorant.
I spent a lot of my time unnecessarily explaining to people that NJ was more than mob wives and long-standing family vendettas. Even after the show ended that perception lingered for a few years. Then it seemed to ease up….
just in time for Jersey Shore to become the next big tv reality show. That’s been fun (insert sarcastic voice here).
I found it more trouble than it’s worth to try to convince people here that what they see on tv is not an accurate depiction of what life in NJ is like. It’s very difficult to get Southerners to abandon the thoughts in their head. Once they have a certain idea in their head they are pretty much stuck there. It makes for both frustrating and interesting conversations. And contrary to the saying…
ignorance is not always bliss.
7 years ago when Ryan and I made the difficult decision to give up our current life in NJ and relocate to Florida, we looked at it as an exciting new beginning to our already blessed life. I didn’t look at it as giving something up. I didn’t fear the unknown.
The decision seemed like an obvious one to make. My mom needed to be a priority. Having her in Florida was the best thing for her. Having her family here with her was the best thing for all of us.
I still remember the last time I walked out of our house in NJ, on my way to the airport. I shut the light off, closed the door behind me and got in the car as if I was going out to dinner. I’m not sure how I managed to do that but I remember the feeling inside me. I think it was hopeful and a little bit of denial.
Looking back, it’s hard to tell if I believed myself or was more in denial than I wanted to admit. And tonight, I still haven’t figured it out.