I hate talking to people and realizing that I have food in between my teeth, but what’s even worse is if someone I’m talking to has food in their teeth. I stop paying attention to what they’re saying. Questions begin to swirl around in my head. Do I tell them? How do I do it? I don’t want to be rude or insensitive. I don’t want to interrupt them. What do I say and when? To help you get out of this situation, or help get food out of someone else’s teeth, I've realized my own interpretations of psychological theories seem to provide all the answers.
Nature vs. Nurture - For the nature aspect of this theory you want to let things go the "natural" way. Just go with the flow. Ignore that piece of lettuce as you think to yourself, "It will disappear eventually. Relax. And don’t stare at it." You can also give them water and kind of mimic the act of removing food from teeth in order to speed up this natural process. Now, if letting things go is difficult for you, then nurture it is. Nurture can mean different things for different people. If you are a touchy feely person then you can nurture their mouth to remove the food. Maybe pinch their cheeks or their lips, but only if this is appropriate behavior for the relationship you have with this person. You can also nurture them in a more manipulative sense, by forcing them to order something that won’t get stuck in their teeth. Act like a nurturing/overbearing parent. Tell them the plain yogurt would really help them with their irregular digestion. Or simply say that the soup without any vegetable chunks is the restaurant’s specialty and that they have to get it. However, if they are adamant about ordering the spinach salad and refuse to listen to your lovely and kind advice, don’t get too forceful. You don’t want to draw unnecessary attention and you don’t want to make others feel uncomfortable as you yell about the importance of ordering simple broth. Instead, just be prepared to nurture their mouth after they eat.
Flight or Fight - It’s that simple. If you feel uncomfortable saying anything to the person with the giant piece of spinach in their teeth or if the sight of a person with a ton of poppy seeds in multiple teeth spaces makes you feel physically ill, just leave. You could think of an excuse but to prevent the worst-case scenario – throwing up and then having to explain to the person that their smile made you sick – I suggest running away and never looking back.
The fight aspect of this scenario is when things get tricky. Of course you don’t want to physically harm the person, you just want to gently nudge/hit/touch their mouth area in order to remove the food for them. No talking is required, which makes this method perfect for those of us, like me, who are shy. You don’t want to have to hit the person more than once and you don’t want them to realize you hit them on the mouth, so you need speed, agility and precision. As with many of my methods, practice makes perfect. I suggest using this technique on yourself before you try it on any one else. So, get some food in your teeth. Stand in front of a mirror and literally wipe that smile off your face.
Reverse Psychology - This form of manipulation has been proven effective time and time again. But you’ve got to be sneaky. You want to get the person with food in between their teeth to take action without realizing you've manipulated them to do so. You could go the negative route by saying, "Ugh, I hate flossing after I eat. Do you want a piece of floss?" Then take out some floss and say, "I hate it so much. Get it away from me." The person will basically be forced to take the floss from you and use it on himself or herself. Problem solved. Food removed. Awkward situation averted. Another way you could use reverse psychology, this time with a positive tone, saying, "I love having food in my teeth. It makes me feel powerful and alive." This brings the focus of the conversation on teeth, which either causes the person to check their teeth or ask you if they have any food in their teeth. To this you coyly respond, "I didn't notice. But, now that you mention it I do see a little something." Both of these situations allow you to tell the person they have something in their teeth without physically saying it. Reverse psychology can be tricky, however, so I suggest only using it if you are a master manipulator.
With these theories you are sure to get out of any potentially awkward food situation clean as a whistle, just like your friend’s teeth.
Sometimes when I go awhile without showering...so like a day, or two, or three, or five or like if I’m rock climbing or sometimes in the summer when "shower" really means "lake", there is something about the post-shower routine that I don’t know I’m missing until the sensation of loss is so extreme I will literally burst if I cannot get a Q-Tip in my ear.
I’m a firm believer that the best part of the shower is the post-shower Q-Tip swipe. I feel strongly about giving each ear its own focused Q-Tip sesh because like, oh my balls, it feels so good to just stick that cotton swab in there and wiggle it around and pull it out and maybe monitor wax levels and then just let out a big sigh of relief and go about your business (and maybe your business is putting on deodorant or brushing your teeth or going Number Two or something. I don’t know your morning routine, okay?).
Sometimes I will get all up in my ear and sometimes I will get all up around my ear and that’s a really good time to see how gross human beings are and when I say human beings I mostly mean me because it’s kind of weird how much guck collects back there and where does it come from?
Anyway, I remember this one time hearing about a friend who shoved a Q-Tip so far up her ear that her eardrum popped which is a huge bummer but maybe also an urban myth for obsessive compulsives. Either way, it’s always important to practice Q-Tip safety.
Q-Tips are also good for all sorts of other things but I can’t think of those things right now because I want nothing more than to take a shower and get a Q-Tip and clean out my inner ear like a boss. Like the boss of Q-Tips.
This morning as I stood in line waiting my turn to order my chocolate dream latte (which is a dream...oh my), I overheard the two women in front of me bash a complete stranger that was in front of them over what she was wearing and the state of her hair and makeup. It made me sad.
The judgments of ourselves and other women about age, weight, looks, clothes, etc has got to stop. Mind you, I’m guilty of it myself sometimes. Open any magazine and you’ll receive a message loud and clear about exactly what constitutes a valuable woman: 110 lbs, perfect skin, teeth and hair, roughly between the ages of 21-26. It doesn't matter if you speak four languages or could talk for hours about binomial nomenclature. No one’s interested that you have more books than pairs of shoes or that you were the only girl who fought to play on your high school’s hockey team. No, as far as the world is concerned, you exist to look good in order to be good to look at. Or at least, that’s what they’d have you believe.
This is nothing new, of course. The media has been responsible for narrowing the view of the ideal woman and forcing it down our throats for decades. But ladies...we’re not doing anything to help ourselves. We try to overcome it or ignore it, but we inevitably succumb to it, in one way or another. We judge ourselves and because of it, we slowly begin to judge one another. We've all given another woman a side-eye over a skirt that’s too short, or makeup applied too thick, or that extra french fry eaten by a girl who is not a size 0. Even if we catch ourselves, it happens. And that’s really, really sad.
You are not your age, your weight, your hair, your skin or your clothes. You are not your favorite magazine’s opinion of you, your not what others think you should be. You aren't any of that. It’s that simple. Really.
So, what are you, then? That’s for you to decide. Learn to value the things in yourself and others that people would have you believe aren't worthwhile. Insecure about your weight? Appreciate that you have the curves to wear outfits that some thinner girls might envy you for. Thin? You look great in designer clothes! There’s no one right way to look, no one right body to have or way to style your hair. Frankly, it’d be pretty boring to live in such a homogenous world, so play up the things which make you unique and own them.
Insecure about getting older? Be proud of the fact that you have the life experience to have a better understanding of the world around you and wisdom to offer those who are younger than you. I'm proud of the years behind me but excited about the ones ahead, as well, which I can approach with the grace and contentedness that I find to be beautiful.
Last week I posted sixteen reasons why I love being pregnant and I DO love being pregnant but I'm also not not afraid to admit this...pregnancy is also terrifying!
I'm pregnant with a baby I want and a baby that Adam and I planned for. I've been met with many "Congrats...You must be thrilled" and I am. It’s magical. It’s wonderful! Except… I don't feel like this all of the time. My reality...pregnancy is terrifying.
I don’t know what’s going on with my body. No one tells you what’s normal and what’s not. Even sixteen weeks in, I'm constantly on guard. Every twinge, every ache, pull or tickle has be on edge. Is the baby all right? Is he still alive? Will I miscarry? I naively expected those fears to go away the further I got but the truth...not even slightly.
Take yesterday for example. I woke up, went to work, going about my day when I felt a gush and I knew, just knew what I was going to find and my worst fears were realized...blood. Not a lot but enough to send me reeling. I called my OB's office and within a couple of hours, we were in for an ultrasound...
Baby boy is a bendy one...those are his legs/feet above his head
I'm thrilled to report that everything looked perfect. Baby boy (tech took a look and he's indeed a boy) measured perfectly and the details we were able to see was incredible. We saw all four chambers of the heart, both little kidneys and we could even see the adrenal glands, she even showed us the blood flow to both. Stomach, bladder, feet and toes...all there. Baby boy was moving and shaking with a heart rate of 150. Cervix was long at 3.6 cm and nicely closed. No sign of any bleeding.
In my OB's words "It's just one of those things".
I'm to take it easy, rest and relax and I'll try my very, very best to put the terror aside and do just that.
As a teenager, I thought no one wanted to hang out with me. When I received an invitation to attend so-and-so’s party or to see what’s-his-face’s new blockbuster film, I would often lie and say I was grounded for not cleaning my room (I never got grounded). I so deeply believed that I was unworthy of the company of anyone I respected that I honestly thought that the people who were calling me on the phone didn’t want to be with me. That is a perfect example of how depression can manifest itself into completely selfish and narcissistic thinking. It warps nearly every social situation into an unrecognizable mess of paranoia and doubt.
Hi, my name is Janet and I’m a self confi-dunce. Once you are a self confi-dunce, you are always a self confi-dunce. There is no turning back, there’s only looking forward.
Over last few years, I have begun to try something different. I have become an active participant in my happiness and self esteem. I no longer wait for its arrival. Here are some things I’ve learned. Maybe they’ll help you, too.
Don’t just want happiness and confidence, work toward it... It’s the simplest and most primary rule to follow. Once you get over the hurdle that is accepting that you do not have the ability to simply wish happiness to appear, the rest will begin to fall into place.Take a survey of your life. Why are you down on yourself? Isolate it and fix the problem. What’s keeping you from reaching your goals? Single it out and demolish your reason for doubt. There are ultimately two possible solutions to any problem in your life: you either deal with it or you move on. If you can fix your problem, fix it. If you can’t, move on. Just don’t whine about it.
Listen to hip hop and Top 40 on the radio... I don’t know much about any genre of music and that holds especially true for rap and hip-hop. The one thing I do know is that most of the hip hop in the top 40 today is all about stroking the super ego. Roll down your windows, put on your sunglasses and take a cruise while listening to the latest and greatest songs and then come back and tell me you don’t feel like a billion dollar woman.
Smile in the mirror... I know this sounds silly but I did tell you that I’m going to reiterate what works for me. I hate the mirror. Every time I stare into it I see someone completely disappointed with what she is viewing. I tend to have a very expressive face that hides nothing of what is going on in my head. To see those peering, wandering eyes so upset and critical just bums me out. So now I smile when I look into the mirror. A genuine, wide-mouthed, toothy grin. I smile like I just won the lottery. I smile like I just got my dream job. It sounds silly but it works for me. I like seeing myself happy, even if it’s momentarily forced. Fake it ’til you make it... Okay, okay. The truth is that I started to pretend I had confidence before I even possessed anything that looked remotely like self esteem. Maybe I’m just exceptionally good at lying to myself but faking it worked for me. Lie to yourself. Lie to your family. Lie to your friends, your neighbors and your cats. You don’t have to walk around explicitly telling them how you are an exemplary human being who is perfect at absolutely everything, but it doesn’t hurt to walk into a room while thinking, “I’m awesome, I’m awesome, I’m awesome,” like some sort of discount self help tape from the dollar store. The bottom line is that no one will ever respect you until you respect yourself. Take that advice to the bank and cash it, because that check will not bounce.
BONUS TIP: Throw out the twist ties on your bread bags and just fold mouth of the bag down and under the loaf itself. The weight of the bread keeps the opening underneath the loaf ensuring freshness, and you don’t have to bother with those archaic twisties.
You might be wondering how this will increase your self confidence. The answer is simple...by not being a slave to the twisties, you will effectively save literally seconds upon seconds every year.
I am only 35% joking about this last bit of advice.
I’m going to automatically forward all of my calls to voicemail, nap for however long I want to nap and then stay in bed for several hours after that. At some point I might invite pancakes over to my mouth. Who am I kidding? Pancakes are definitely invited.
I’m going to watch Fringe. I am going to watch all of the Fringe that Netflix has to offer. There will be no more Fringe left when I am done with it. I’m not sorry.
I will not put on a lick of makeup or curl my hair...just because that is what my heart desires. I’m never going to leave my pajama pants. They are here with me until tomorrow morning.
I’m going to watch a sad movie my cats. I’ll probably cry. If I don’t cry, I will purposely seek out a show about people with medical oddities to ensure I will cry. It’s not a day off from life if you don’t spend time crying about other people with the safety of the filter that is the television screen between you and their medical oddities.
I will not think about work, I will not think about my familial obligations, I will not think about how my last big assignment needs to be finished by the time next week ends. I will not think about my house or how I almost killed a spider last night, but I didn't, and so it is alive, somewhere, in my bathroom.
Today is my day off from doing anything and I could not be more excited to not get this party started.
I love Fridays. That's not unusual. Nearly everyone loves Friday. It's the end of the work week. The beginning of the weekend but the best thing about Friday's for me these days...being lazy!
Pregnancy has made me tired, like super tired, tired in a way that I haven't ever been and while I enjoy being lazy on the weekends, I am not the laziest person I know. I am positive of that, because I constantly compare myself to other people to ensure that I am never the worst at anything. Never being the worst at anything is second best to being the best at something. That is why I remain slightly less lazy than the laziest person I know.
The battle against laziness is a meh one. I can’t even be bothered to find the correct adjective because I am just that lazy. I don’t fight laziness because it takes too much effort, which is why the battle is merely “meh” amounts of difficult.
Don’t get me wrong, laziness doesn't get in the way of my every day life. I work, finish my college assignments, share the responsibility of a near zoo’s worth of household pets (okay...I'm only talking about two cats but still...). There have only been two weekends since getting pregnant where I wore pajamas all day. I’m actually shocked now that I’m writing that, because pajama pants during the daytime has traditionally been one of my favorite sports.
The other day I was shopping for some new pillows and came across a bed rest cushion. Now, did I know there was something called a “bed rest cushion”? No, which is why the inherent laziness that attaches itself to this godly cushion was not immediately evident to me. I should also note that I wasn't actually in a store, I was shopping online from my iPad. On account of the laziness, you see.
I pictured a life with a bed rest cushion and how fabulous that life would be, then I realized that I would virtually never leave my bed. I would Internet from my bed (more than usual). I would read from my bed (more than usual). I decided there was no way I could emotionally, socially or kinesthetically afford a bed rest cushion and so I exited the browser decided that instead, I (might) go for a walk this weekend.
Today marks sixteen weeks. I am four months pregnant. Wow! Here are sixteen reasons why I love being pregnant...
Food - I love eating. I love food. I love how I can eat the same amazing food craving five days in a row and it absolutely fills every fissure of my soul with pure, pure, pure satisfaction.
Heartbeat - Hearing the glorious horse galloping heartbeat!
Feeling pretty - I’m not talking about how I look. Trust me, I know how I look. But it’s how I feel. I don’t feel attractive, or hot, or glamorous, but a huge chunk of life sticking out from my abdomen really does make me feel pretty. A huge chunk of life will do that I guess.
Excuses - A legitimate excuse to take a daily break at 4 p.m. to go out and get a large frozen yogurt with rainbow sprinkles.
Comfort - Two words...elastic waistbands!
Boobs - For the first time in my life, cleavage (even if it is the smallest cleavage you ever did see)
New - Every day brings something new to be excited about, as I watch how my body and spirit change in order to nurture this new life. There's so much to see, feel, learn, plan, and look forward to.
Naps - In our go-go-go world, there may not be another time in my life when I don’t have to feel guilty about sneaking in a thirty minute snooze after work.
Excitement - The overwhelming sense of pending adventure.
Mirrors - Looking at my growing bump in the mirror and realizing there's a tiny person in there. It's crazy!
Movements - Nothing can be sweeter than feeling the gentle (for now) bumps and movements of my baby.
Cravings - Now is the perfect time to enjoy the wildest combinations of food. I can eat tuna salad with canned pineapple (true story), and respond to inquiries by saying it's a pregnancy craving.
Baby brain - I can blame my absolute and total lack of understanding of everything that has to do with mechanics or physics on "baby brain".
Adam - I have a pampering, sweet, kind, loving, protective and caring husband, who checks in with me to make sure I'm getting my rest, reminds me to eat well, and hugs me tight when he comes home from work and whispers "I love you".
Love & support - It is seriously incredible. Adam and I are both so surprised with the love we have received from every single person who now knows about this little baby of ours. Everyone is just as excited as we are.
Overwhelming love - I am already over the moon, head over heels in love with this baby boy!
If I wasn't a Project Manager and I was actually good at science, then there is no question that I would be spending my life as the world’s foremost marine biologist "Dr. Janet AScT, P. Biol. or R.P.Bio" because that is how much I love all the things that live under the water (even though I'm allergic to all things shellfish and they'll kill me). Sea creatures are, in my opinion, the closest thing we have to mythical creatures. Sea creatures are truly magical. From the smallest morsel of floating plankton to the biggest whale in all the ocean, I love marine animals so much I wish I could be friends with them.
Thus, I present to you today’s list of stuff...
Real Sea Creatures I Want to Be Friends With.
*Please note that this list is not a ranking, and my potential marine friends are listed in no particular order*
Dumbo Octopus - I think the Dumbo Octopus would be like having a pet dog. I mean, no offense, Dumbo Octopus, but you don’t look like the brightest phosphorescent plankton in the sea (that’s like “sharpest tool in the shed” but I just made it up). Instead, you are adorable and I think you might make an excellent companion in the same way a pet does. You look like an emoji and also a puffy sticker. I want to tickle you and maybe curl up on the sofa with a good book while you slumber nearby.
Pacific Barrel Eye Fish - I would be friends with this fish because, well, look at him! That can’t be easy, everyone looking inside your head and all, all the time? I mean I guess you can wear a hat, but really, how difficult that must be! Unless you are an exhibitionist, in which case, congratulations because everyone can literally look inside your brain all the time and that is exactly what everyone is doing. But either way, I just don’t think being a Pacific Barrel Eye Fish would be an easy life and I think a guy like him could use a friend like me.
Leafy Sea Dragon - Okay look at this guy. How cool is he? I think his name could be something like Fred or Eric and he’s very concerned about keeping his mane well-groomed but he’d also probably be really into just sort of floating around and drinking tea. Also, he is both a fish and a dragon. I mean seriously? How much cooler can you get than being a dragon, which is arguably a mythical creature and/or extinct, that lives under the sea?
There you have it! Truth be told, I’d really like to be friends with all the other fishies in the sea, but I don’t know that you would actually want to hear me ramble on about every marine animal out there (I mean I could. I seriously, really could). I think these three magical beings will have to do for now.
What about you? Are you also a sea life enthusiast? What’s your favorite little marine creature? What fish do you most want to be friends with?