Gratitude List #Elf4Health

27 Dec

Today’s challenge is to write 20 things you are grateful for. Here’s my list:

1. Last night my family had dinner for my moms birthday. All 4 of us. My brother is 100 days off drugs, and my dad had a beer with him (another issue for another day).

2. My new job, which shows me flexibility, grants me creativity, and has tons of faith in me.

3. My health… Even if I’m struggling with feelings of anxiety… Overall, I am well and I will continue to be.

4. The Uncle

5. Besther. My best friend since high school. My confidant. The person who knows me better than anyone in this world.

6. My yoga practice which I have cultivated over the last year.

7. My books, and someday will call them my library.

8. The most wonderful man I’ve ever dated.

9. Garlic

10. Chocolate

11. Cherries

12. Nature walks

13. Purple flowers

14. Suntans and sunshine

15. Beaches

16. Breakfast food

17. Romantic comedies

18. The Dave Matthews Band

19. Summer concerts

20. Old friends

A Case of Mistaken Identity

29 Oct

I’m a Social Worker by education.  At some point in the undisclosed future due to Hurricane Sandy Today Monday I begin a journey into another “social work” gig that I know is not so much “social work” as it is “social work lite” (now with 90 calories or less per serving).

In social work school my first internship was not very traditional, and honestly it made me pretty insecure when we’d talk in class, so I did what I do best and cracked jokes at myself for it. I worked for a campus organization that does student leadership work for the Jewish Community, helping with different types of volunteer opportunities.  I usually called myself the rainbows and sunshines and unicorn’s social worker, which was a secret self-snark at Sorority Hell Week – which my Greek Advisor called rainbows, sunshine’s and unicorns week. A week that you know sucks and doesn’t suck all at once.  See, my job is both social work and NOT what you think social work is all at once.

A former high school classmate and I recently reconnected over Facebook, he’s a Navy member and currently based in the Middle East.  He asked what I’m doing, and I explained that my new job involves working for a non-profit which is part of a political lobby group that works with college students.  He replied:

You sound excited. So what does that entail? Are you going to help college students with their problems? Like when they have too much money on their student meal card to spend at the end of the semester? Or when the Safe rider bus won’t take students close enough to a bar saving students on a taxi fare? Finally, someone that will take a stand against these injustices!

Fighting for the unjust, or improving the life of the client. That is Social work. So is this new job Social Work? I had to consult my favorite quick answer site… and Social Work according to Wikipedia is:

…a professional and academic discipline that seeks to improve the quality of life and wellbeing of an individual, group, or community by intervening through research, policy, community organizing, direct practice, and teaching on behalf of those afflicted with poverty or any real or perceived social injustices and violations of their human rights.

The internship and new job are not clinical social work. Most people expect clinical work when I say I’m a social worker, others may expect political policy, qualitative analysis of service provision, or something to do with serve poverty, underserved populations. I am serving a group who is seen as privileged; the “white and Jewish”.  At least, in America today we’re considered white, which is the obvious power group in American history racially.  Judaism is secondary to White-ness and American identity. To borrow from some of my self-analysis paper writing in school:

Jewishness is not a religion, or race, or ethnicity.

It is an all-encompassing description of who I am.

At this time (that was Fall 2009, but it holds true today) “Jews in America have been raced as white and, indeed, enjoyed the privileges that come with having white skin” (Azoulay, p. 201). Yet, this privilege comes with the cost of the responsibility of maintaining the middle class status [they have obtained.]

I have been raised by the generation that boomed out of the Holocaust and lost extended family to the European tragedy.  The importance of never forgetting, remembering our tentative acceptance, and always always always seeing myself as Jewish first means I view myself dichotomously as a majority and minority. I am a minority who passes, able to be closeted in specific times of need (well, with a strategic name change). Yet, a minority in thought and historically persecuted.

Similarly, I am in fact a social worker and passing in society as not a social work.

I am training a new generation of political advocates. I am teaching social skills/networking skills. I am working with a group in the fundamental change from childhood to adult independence. Fostering independence if you will.

In the most covert way possible I can be a minority and a social worker. But I will be mistaken for neither.

Today is my first day of a new adventure… I’m trying to be excited… But mostly, I’m still totally insecure about it all.

I Need A Little Help From My InternetPals

16 Oct

I am so amped up on lack of sleep, caffeine, and emotion today. Last week in an act of desperation I reached out to the Friend Who Housed Me This Summer (Friend) and Boy’s roommate. I hate the tension in our friendship. Since we seemed to have discussed bumps in the road along the way of me crashing there, I attributed this all to Boy. I mean… That’s all the changed. I’m out, my stuff out. Today makes 2 whole months since I moved out, making it longer that I’ve been out than there.

In that time I’ve begun to legit date Boy, become friends with roommate 3 who I call Coach, but have totally lost my friendship with Friend. A six year relationship which I was petrified to ruining by living there for a few weeks.

I feel so defensive today. Friend said that I was disrespectful of her boundaries, and from the tone of the conversation attempting to be friends still and discussing dating Boy is that disrespect continued. Please note: I don’t lack tact people. I’m not dishing to her about his nude physique or his sexual preferences like we might if he was a different guy … I mean I said “I saw Boy on (insert day) and we got dinner/took a walk/hung out/watched a movie”. Appalling I know. My mother would be ashamed that we were in public, using our lips to talk and smile.

This hard line boundary has pissed me off for weeks – but the gut punch that I was disrespecting her boundaries “all summer” (all 3 examples took place the same day, the day I moved out) (aka after Boy and I were clearly hooking up)… Was well, a gut punch. I can’t help but feel like shit.

I am human. 

A perfectionist human.

A human from a relatively fucked up family.

That being said, there was a time my social skills sucked balls. I curse like a sailor (case in point). I am needy sometimes. I can have an aggressive edge to my voice when I don’t mean to, although I’ve learned to recognize it and breathe (Thank you yoga!) and have minimized that. I used to use empathy all wrong – in an effort to show I “got it” I would talk about me, because like – I’ve been there…. however, ultimately I’d be seen like I wasn’t listening. I have flaws and faults.

I also have 7+ years of therapy, 2 of them intensively during social work school, 6 months in NYC with a psychologist I highly respect, and the last 4 with a kick ass LCSW who I thought helped me successfully navigate crashing with Friend, Coach, and Boy… and social work school under my belt. I’m not perfect and at times it kills me… But I’m better. Way way way better than I was in 2007 when I started therapy with intention (unlike before when I was there before).

From Move In Day 0; I said I appreciated not having to move home and commit patricide but I could. I said if she needed space to take it. I spent most weekends out of the apartment. I got groceries. I cleaned the kitchen and bathroom. I tried to do everything to NOT fuck up this friendship. I was petrified crashing there would. I was so relieved to sign a lease and know just how temporary it was. I thought I did everything in my power to be cautious, respectful, and to try and take care of my friendship… but I was told, I was wrong…

Friend complained that I was too comfortable and forgot my place as a guest. That is so funny because while I was definitely comfortable, maybe too comfortable at times, I also always knew my place was temporary. Maybe I was confused by my new friendship with Coach and my budding relationship with Boy… But I never thought I wasn’t a guest. I left thank you gifts & money for Friend. I did also at one point think I was keeping my keys…which she and Boy both asked I didn’t for different reasons, and I returned them. (Example 1).  My move out was supposed to be complete on August 15th before she got home August 22nd.  I had things there a few small things that I needed to grab after the 22nd (Example 2).  And.. this is the one that sucks the most… when she got back… I wanted to see her, and she did not want to see me… but she said to come over thought she was clear she just wanted to see herBoy and that was (Example 3).  All 3 things took place the same day… or within the week (I gave the keys back after being out about a week). I see how this was all frurstating… but I was told it was going to all blow over, I apologized IN AUGUST and AGAIN LAST NIGHT.

Fights and disagreements with friends isn’t new to me. I’ve had fights with friends before, as I said above I used to be pretty bad at some key social skills. I also used to choose people who didn’t particularly treat me well. Some of those friendships have totally dissolved; most of them I don’t miss. Others, after time were okay. My Bestest and I once took a planned break and are tighter now than ever.

I know I have to have to let it go.

I have to give her time.

I can’t keep trying to fix what won’t fix.

So my question social workers is – how? I gave a sincere apology to her… I would have never intentionally been disrespectful.  Whether I thought I was or not… she says I was. So I was right? I can’t really contradict that if it’s how she feels… even if it’s not how I saw myself as acting (aside from that one day above she calimed those were her exampled but it built up all summer).

I talked to Boy, and he said if I want to spend less time there for a while that’s ok… and I’m going to graciously bow out of our kickball team because of family and new job obligations the next few weeks anyway… but that’s it right? And is it fair for me to have to not go to Boy’s place because she lives with him?!

I don’t know what to do.

Please, advise.

 

 

Atonement & Other Reset Buttons

26 Sep

In elementary school my family was going through a really rough time. The physical health of key adults in my life was rocky. That was also when: bullying became a big issue for me, boys grew into an obsession because one of them liking me would prove I was as valuable as the other girls, and a lot of internal awkwardness. None of this was going as I wanted. So I cried at school a lot. I tried to make my grades lower thinking that I was only off putting for being too smart.

That didn’t work.

As I said, I cried a lot and retrospectively I’m sure that wasn’t helping me socially. Of course, neither was being told that at CCD we made up new names. They all start with C; this is Chewy, Chewbacca, Cookie, and we all hate Coca Cola. Do you hate Coca Cola?

After hemming and hawing over not knowing who Coke was, I agreed to hate her on the principal that – we all hate Coca Cola is sufficient.

I was Coca Cola.

In middle school I got it together and started to cry a lot less. Over the years, I basically stopped crying at all – except to boyfriends. Never girl friends, can’t trust those bitches. Yesterday, I cried at school for the first time in nearly fifteen years. I had to terminate with one of my school groups. I practiced. I did not want to cry at school. As I write this, I don’t want to cry now. But I did, I am, and I can’t help it.

This group and I have had an amazing rapport. I can tell you the life story of each of the 8 students, why the program I work for is beneficial to them, why they struggle at school, how they excel, where they want to go to college, what they love. They are amazing kids. Having them taken away is nothing short of a punishment in my eyes. In an effort for me to what…

Learn to be a better middle schooler Plastic? A better bitch?

The school, the kids, they could not understand. They couldn’t get an answer from me either.

Saying goodbye is never easy. I have had to say good bye a lot this year, to the ex. To my grandfather. To the wall I built since I was Coca Cola. It’s been a year of learning to be okay with crying… So today I cried. I walked all around the neighborhood the school is in to the subway feeling a little lost, I got to the stop below the exes apartment. I didn’t know what I was crying for any more.

As I wrote this I was a few moments from the start of my fast for Yom Kippur. If you are faithful, you believe that tomorrow your fate for the year is sealed. The plan is set in motion. Where was I this time last year we ask ourselves? Where should I hope to go? Will I be guided there?

I was in such a bad place, and I’ve come out finally done fighting. Willing to be a bit softer. Quieter. More introspective.

I am more balanced in my relationships, no longer over extending myself for people who do not give me the same. (at least not as often). I don’t know what will happen but I trust that my  fledgling relationship with Boy is and feels healthy. So if this much growth has come from that much pain… maybe this year, just maybe, I can be a little stationary?

10 Things I Hate About You

11 Sep

In deference to the master, Kat Stratford, and Process,Recorded. A Poem Inspired by the movie poem & written during our staff meeting today:

I hate the way you talk to me
And the way that you don’t care
I hate it when you’re insincere
I hate it when you stare.

I hate your big dumb attitidue
And they way you mess with my mind
I hate you so much it makes me sick
It even makes me rhyme!

I hate how you think you’re always right
I hate it when you lie
I hate it when you make me laugh
Even worse when you make me cry

I hate how I don’t want to work
And the fact that you promote and demote at once
But mostly I hate the way you make me hate me.

And I don’t hate me.
Not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all.

If It’s Possible, I Over-Quoted Mean Girls

30 Aug

I am fairly certain that I work on the Titanic right now. This agency is a sinking ship and people are jumping into the ice water over going down with the ship. There are not enough life boats and my friends in the life boats (new jobs) are trying desparetly to save me. But I am stuck, grasping the rails without Leonardo DiCaprio’s hand trying to swim away from the turbulent foce of sinking into the abyss. If Leo would like to show up and hold my hand – not only would I be happy but also unlike that Rose bitch, I’ll make room on the door.

Rose as a bitch is an interesting concept. She’s a strong woman in a time where women are supposed to be dependent. She does what she knows to be right and ais assertive. This very idea is part of what has me wanting to jump right off the side of the boat myself into the land of unemployment checks and Starbucks Barista work. This week I was called in for a conversation about my changing case load.

BossLady: Well, actually we haven’t determined the changes to your caseload, but please… sit I wanted to discuss something with you…

BossLady wanted to discuss how I am assertive, and confident, and that I can be off-putting because I’m not a “team player.” Let’s delve into something there… I work for a kinder version of Regina George and I had a total Gretchen Weiners freak out in her office. Because she’s wearing sweat pants and it’s not Friday. SHE CANNOT SIT HERE! SHE JUST CANT!

In my Gretchen moment I exploded that assertive and confident are compliments for males but as a woman that means I’m aggressive or “bitchy” and I’m sick of the double standard. Those are not bad qualities for an employee to have. Like Gretchen, I believe that the rules should apply to everyone.

There was some validity to our conversation… and I’ve taken those points and stored them in my mind for later. But, there was a lot wrong with our conversation. ThePlastics are the main clique in our office. They eat lunch together with the supervisors daily in the conference room, they are the first promoted, and they are smug to those they don’t like.  A compliment to your face is surely followed up with a behind your back comment on how that is the ugliest effing skirt I’ve ever seen. Taking a walk through our department, I’d say we have our Cool Asian, the Token Male Social Worker, The Greatest People I Have ever met – and the worst – ThePlastics.

I have a lot of respect for many of the women who have come in and out of this office.  They are smart, hard working, social action oriented, smart and savy social workers. They are able to see the cracks in our organization. Many of them try to plant seeds of change, but the resistance we are met with for trying to make fetch happen is constant, consistent, and difficult to deal with.

BossLady recently told me that while we have MSW’s, and you HAVE to have MSW’s for this department of North Shore High School  our agency, we wouldn’t want our families to mistakenly think that we are their social worker. Yes, we are not a clinical agency, but we do handle referrals and connective services.  This comment was made when I suggested we move from the general language of “Please feel free to reach out to me this school year if you need anything” to something a bit more concerete. Like, “please reach out to me if you’re in need of additional resources for x, y, or z.”

So that our parents can utilize us.

So that my “Parent Outreach” team could be more effective.

So I can do my job as a social worker and serve my clients.

Apparently, despite the education I have to have to work here – I would be mistaken to think I am my clients social worker.

Good to know.

It was a huge part of my education, as I’m sure it was yours, that not-for-profits are unstable at times.  The norm of high turn over, frequent change, and more is par for the course.  So why do I feel so uncertain with the lack of stability at this Titanic High School? Maybe because of their too-big-to-fail attitude? They are a very old and well known agency. The arrogance makes the Titanic analogy feel so real.

We’ve recently lost a number of supervisors and are in the hellish process of restructuring.  This means more responsiblity for some of the people I greatly respect, and even more for those who make me constantly question YOU SURE THAT YOU WENT TO SOCIAL WORK SCHOOL – ThePlastics.

Job hunting is tiring, confusing, and frustrating. Fighting with myself to accept what is and work with it until I can move on and motivate myself to keep trying and applying feel like opposing forces.  Somedays I wonder if I need to give in the to misery and be truly unhappy and hope it motivates me for change. Others, I try to accept that with September a mere day away… another school year with the same job, without the people I most respect, and on the Titanic is where I will be… without Leonardo DiCaprio, Janice, Damien, or a life boat.

Are You There Fiona Apple, It’s Me, Social Work Girl?

9 Aug

I haven’t posted in a while, though I have been writing a lot. It’s all just been far too personal for WordPress. Sorry guys? (I’d like to pretend you care. Let me believe it…)

Anything I could say I stop and think where is this coming from?  Is it valuable? Does it matter? Does it fit with the context of my blog being about social work, teen work, pop culture, and feminism? Or is this just another rant about my life… because I’m afriad that’s where this blog has headed.

I don’t see clients in the summer. I barely see them during the school year at times. My job recently promoted me to include a position in PR, that’s public relations! I’m in charge of picking success stories for our development team to feature for money. Money money money. Yes, all of our agencies are focused on it – but when the ultimate work of the social worker doesn’t require a masters except to appease volunteers who think they know more… Well, I continue to feel like a fraud. (I, I, My, I’m, me me me me me ugh)

Any minute a Mariska Hargitay look alike is going to slam me against the nearest mail box or hood of a car and start reading me the Miranda rights. She will tell me I’m under arrest for fraud. For using the “social work girl” name, for calling myself a social worker in lieu of my actual office title, my internships, and for not trying hard enough to leave despite my bitching.

I will ask the Oliva Benson look alike when the 15 minute twist in this law and order episode is expected?  The 15, 30 and 45 minute twists will come but ultimately, I’ll be guilty.

I felt this way in social work school a lot my first year. I interned on campus at a student life organization. I love love loved it. It was programming, grants, community organizing, but definitely not clinical. Somewhere along the lines in year one I wanted to get more clinical.

I want to contribute. When I started this blog, I wanted to write something worthwhile and maybe a bit egomaniacaly practice for when I want to write a real paper and ink book someday. Ultimately, I just want to do something worthwhile for a field I love and believe in. But mostly, I  think I have become the the rainbows ad sunshine social worker who is delusional if she thinks her blog is anything more than an open diary bitchfest on the Internet…. and that is highly disappointing.

Which Euphemism Do I Want to Title This?

18 Jul

I’m going to start with a totally unnecessary disclosure. I feel like it’s been way to long since the last time I had sex.  I’m not going to put a date on it here, but suffice to say the weather was different, and my wardrobe has since changed a few times.  So that may be what has prompted me to add my two cents on the topic of #virginity & sex. It could also be my love of Jessica Valenti, HBO’s GIRLS (TM), and my recent foray into reading 50 Shades of Grey. The former two which I’ll comment on. Grey gets his own post… eventually. Mostly, he makes me want to hit something.

Going into social work, with hopes of working with teen girls, I knew sex was going to be a big part of conversations.

Working in my strange mezzo-position I’m supposed to balance being “appropriate” for our setting and validating the needs of the students. This year, one of my indefinitely grounded fourteen year olds spoke to me about her virginity. She has it. She swears. She can prove it. “Just take me to the ER or one of those vagina doctors (you mean a gynecologist?) so I can prove my innocence.” She vehemently argued that there was skin that exists and can ONLY be broken by sex. And sex alone. Except, part of why this girl is grounded is she is bi-sexual and her parents know that they can ground the gay out. It’s a proven method. (large eye roll). But more on virginity, its importance, and proving it…. The conversations with clients like the above are stunted by my role at work, but the fact remains that sex, who is having it, who isn’t having it, and who they are/not having it with are a big piece of  life.

Spending a week on vacation with a number of couples has led to the unfortunate reminder of just HOW SINGLE I’ve become.

Questions get asked like:

Do I feel comfortable having sex for the sake of having sex?

Am I comfortable going home with someone from a bar?

Am I comfortable with the idea of bringing someone home?

Does sex have to be more than just sex?

Oh wait…but we picked a family resort town. So these aren’t questions about my behavior this week. 

 These are questions the four single girls pose. Why are there four? Chance really – but I am partially convinced it is so I can play the awful which sex in the city character are you game in my head. Clearly, I’m Charlotte/Carrie. Rule is this: nobody is one character, so you’re obviously a mix – and which two are you? Well, my credit card, my all the negatives about Mr. Big -like Ex, my writing, and my neurosis are Carrie and my prude, preppy, husband hunt is Charlotte. Oh! Charlotte converts to Judaism so I count that too, right? I could be Miranda for being feminist and in therapy. Whatever it is, I’m just never Samantha.

**For the next part of my post, when I speak about “viginity” I am speaking in the colloquial P-I-V (penis-in-vagina), heteronormative terms. Yes, sex can be a whole variety of things around the bases before you hit home but for the most part, when discussing sex in terms of teens – its the gettin’ it in variety. I do not mean to exclude the LGBTQ but since I’m speaking from personal experience this is all I have to go off of!

Personally, I found the idea of being a virgin distressing after a while.  There is a serious divide in the women I know: either you were too old or too young. No matter which end you fell into, you were convinced that your entrance into sexuality was a marker of yourself as a woman. Developmentally, this action plays into so much about how one views herself. Ironically, as Jessica Valenti notes in so many places – there is no working medical definition of virgin. It existed as a bargaining chip when dad’s sold their daughters into marriage along with a dowry. It also ensured paternity. That made the public knowledge of ones virginity “important” in ways that just should not count any more. The reality is, the ideas about women having two choices: slut or prude (a la Breakfast Club), means it doesn’t matter what should matter. It does.

How many characters outside of Claire can we discuss whose virginity was important? I’m going to throw a few names out there: Sandy in Grease, Donna Martin in 90210, Joey Potter in Dawson’s Creek – and Dawson, Jen, and Pacey for that matter, Rory Gilmore in Gilmore Girls, Katerina & Bianca Stratford  in 10 Things I Hate About You, Cory in Empire Records … and these are just the characters I can recall off the top of my head. There are tons more.

What about non-scripted characters? Every young woman to come through the Disney machine has defended her choice to stay a virgin for a chunk of her late adolescence in order to keep her family friendly image. She’s setting a “good example” while secretly banging Justin Timberlake on the back of the tour bus. (But can you blame Britney?!)

This identity which we so ardently defend, try to rid ourselves of, does it mean anything at all?

I’m going to throw out the option that: everything around us says it matters,

so even if it does not matter, it ultimately does, whether  we want it to or not.

This season HBO’s hipster Sex and the City #GIRLS created an entire arc on one of the four ladies losing her virginity.

Backgroundfor the unfamiliar: The highly acclaimed, highly over blogged about show Girls is about four, white, twenty something year old girls in Brooklyn. They’re just like me, but not me. They’re obsessed with sex and the city, have mom and dad pay for their blackberry, and are quirk-tastic. Hannah, Jessa, Marni, and Shoshana are hoping to be the next Carrie, Mirdana, Charlotte, and Samantha. Except there is a catch: they’re broke, in the wrong borough, and doing it all wrong. Check out #mistakesGIRLSmake on twitter. There are thousands who feel they too have something to aspire to in the post SATC generation: notoriety through failed attempts at love/awkward sex stories.

Sex. It is at the center of all these 8 character’s lives right? Or, lack of sex. Each Sunday in Season One we learned (a little bit more) about Shoshana’s virginity…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZor-ImMen0

In the clip, when discussing their “baggage” (a la some made up dating reality TV show) Shoshana says her V-card is her “biggest” baggage. Amazingly Hannah tells her: yeah but that doesn’t count because soon you’re going to have sex and you’re going to forget that you ever didn’t have sex and you’re going to have to pick a new baggage so that doesn’t count.  

Shoshana tries to lose her virginity, referencing herself as the least virginy virgin and saying it’s not a big deal. At which point, the boy from camp she was fooling around with promptly leaves her in bed alone. Virginity is a scarlet V carved into her chest, making her less desirable for the men who don’t want the responsibility of her first time. Virgins are known to be crazy, we obviously will immediately fall in love and grow attached to these guys because they were physical with us. I speak as someone who can count on one hand the men she’s slept with, so take this with a grain of salt, that I doubt that is true for every woman. More importantly, I think women today are smart enough to know the difference. There is a reason why its been so long since I’ve had sex and it’s not because there aren’t options. There just aren’t good options.

Like Shoshana, I was obsessed with the status of my virginity. Everyone in college knew I had not had sex because my long-time religious boyfriend rejected me. I was just not willing to just get it over with all ready with just any one. The guys I met were pushy, someone once said to me in the middle of making out “everyone has a first” …. yeah and it wasn’t you buddy. When TheEx and I began fooling around his disinterest in the status of my virginity or whether or not we would have sex-sex anytime soon made me comfortable. Comfortable enough to have sex. Just  like Ray and Shoshana, in one awkard swoop it was gone. I love how Ray says he isn’t worthy of taking it from her and then proceeds to anyway.  I cannot wait for Season Two to see how she takes it all.

I really really hope that like my Ex did, Ray tells her “well, thats it. It’s really not that big of a deal.”

I think Shoshana needs to hear it. I think sometimes we all need to hear it… even the teen girls.

An Open Letter from SWG

6 Jul

To Whom it May Concern,

This note is to excuse socialwrkgirl from blogging in the month of June. She had a case of the mean reds.
 

Holly Golightly: You know those days when you get the mean reds?
Paul Varjak: The mean reds, you mean like the blues?
Holly Golightly: No. The blues are because you’re getting fat and maybe it’s been raining too long, you’re just sad that’s all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you’re afraid and you don’t know what you’re afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling?
Paul Varjak: Sure.

June began with a lovely house/dog sitting trip to the suburbs.  A week later grandpa was moved to hospice. She attended a bachelorette party for a darling friend with a difficult family who didn’t keep it a secret the whole time. Upon her return Sunday, SWG went on an awesome first date. She was just too giddy to think. Tuesday grandpa passed and she ran out of NYC to be with family. She attended a wedding for two wonderful friends and had a confrontation with the ex- BankerBF. She moved out of her apartment. She found a new apartment that afternoon – but can’t move in for another 5 weeks. So, she is currently crashing in bed with a former college friend. She went on another date. It was marvelous. She never heard from the SuperRat again. She helped throw a shower and then attended the brides birthday party. She’s attended fabulous affair after affair. Date after date. No time to stop, to think, or process really darling. So you must understand, what is a girl to do?

She truly hopes to be back on track shortly. She kindly accepts any condolences, wise words, and $50 for the powder room.

Sincerely,

Holly Golightly

P.S. SWG also has watched Breakfast at Tiffany’s. A lot.

The Perks of Being a Social Butterfly

12 Jun

My girl ProcessRecorded  has said to me on numerous occasions that THIS MOMENT THAT JUST OCCURED was the moment she knew were real friends. Like when we went for drinks after work for the first time, meeting her boyfriend, getting upset with me & I just was like “yeah, I’m being stubborn. It’s ok.” or whenever the myriad of ridiculous things we discuss that are more than just colleague like that I’d rather not post here… but lets say… we’ve discussed our dating lives, extensively.

As SocialWrkInternGirl in a high school my supervisor spent a lot of time with our clients discussing friendship. This school is in a suburban-ghetto of sorts. A lower socio-economic area with big city problems, including a high mortality rate for our students due to gang fights. The kids would get themselves into all kinds of trouble, big and small, during the school day and were able to trade detentions for sessions with us. One of the most frequent conversations we had was about friendship.

Client: Mr. SocialWorker, my friend asked me to go to the store with him. Why would I say no?

SW: your friend asked you to do something that they knew would get you in trouble?

Client: yeah? (confusion)

SW : let me ask you, client, do you want to go to college?

Client: yes.

Sw: ok, so you want to go to college and you know that your grades matter. You’ll need recommendations from the teachers – but right now they’re upset with you and referring you to me. Do you think your friend is helping your goal?

Client: no

Sw: do you know what an acquaintance is?

Client: yes explains/no sw explains.

Sw: I think we use friend too casually. Not everyone is your friend. Some people you’re just friendly with.

This lesson of friendship, marking off when you realize how close someone is (or is not) to you is not an easy lesson to learn.

How many teen movie  Quotes can I put here? Probably too many. So I’ll stick to the most classic and important.

Friendships are messy negotiations in school, sometimes even in college and adult life too, but mostly middle and high school. 

Cady [voiceover] Same with Gretchen: the meaner Regina was to her, the more Gretchen tried to win Regina back. She knew it was better to be in the plastics, hating life, than to not be in at all. Because being with the plastics was like being famous… people looked at you all the time and everybody just knew stuff about you.

Friendships at some points in life are social capital. It’s about what being friends with the Plastics means about you to the whole school. Or more importantly, what it means when everyone has a C nick name and you don’t know who Coca Cola is – but everyone hates her so you guess you must hate her too. Whoops! Haha you hate yourself!! (ps, 5th grade girls are bitches).

I’ve always been the Social Butterfly, wanting to be friends with EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN THE ROOM. It took some experiences, growing up, and such to learn that friendship is better when you find some like minded individuals who also love the stuff you geek out over, are similarly weird, and listen to that awesome band you just heard of.  Learning to navigate friendship and to mark it appropriately is an important skill to have. (SO, if you think I’m mocking you PR, I’m not. I’m in awe of you. As always… so annoying. Stop being awesome at everything).

Sometimes, you just need to figure out who shares your kind of weird & leave it at that. Or… Sometimes, you discover the PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER