Familial Reactions to Our Engagement

Charlene and I got engaged about one year ago and it has been almost 6 months since we told our friends and family about our engagement. I was going to write this blog post a few weeks after telling people, but I decided to wait until now. I think I will do this bullet point style:

  • Our friends: This is easy because they were all super excited and supportive. Neither of us were concerned about their reactions because we surround ourselves with friends who love us just as we are.
  • Her family:
    • Her twin was happy for her and supportive.
    • Her mother had doubts, not about me as a person, but about Charlene marrying the first person she has ever dated. I understood that concern, but I believe that she now sees that it is what she wants.
  • My family:
    • My sister was not surprised because I told her that I would marry Charlene mere weeks after we started dating and she was supportive and happy for me.
    • My mom, stepdad, step-grandma, and maternal grandmother were all very happy for us. They are all very supportive.
    • My dad’s dad (my papa) was congratulatory and sweet, but I know he has personal and religious views about gay people that I am not a fan of; I thought it was a nice gesture any way. I will say that more recently he referred to Charlene as my fiancé while we were eating dinner together and that meant the world to me.
    • My dad’s mom is ignoring that fact that we are engaged. I told her and she just pretended like I did not say anything. It was pretty surreal, but not surprising. It definitely hurts to have her deny my future wife as such, but she is old, set-in-her-ways, and I have accepted that we will never have the relationship that I want with her. The most annoying part of interacting with her is that she pretends like everything is normal and fine.
    • My dad is supportive of me as a person and what I want in life; he really likes Charlene and he loves me. However, he is not supportive of LGBTQ rights- marriage included. I think his views are due to religious beliefs, personal discomfort with gay people, general ignorance, and a tiny bit of politics (gay people shouldn’t have “special” or “extra” rights). It is annoying and sad, but I have also accepted that I will never have the relationship that I want with him. Even if he was on board with same-sex marriage, we still don’t communicate the way that I would like; active listening is not one of his strengths, unfortunately. I still love him of course.
    • My stepmom is supportive. I’m actually not 100% sure where she is at with LGBTQ things. I think she is a little confused, and I know she is a Christian, but I also know she would never say anything rude to my face. I think she is simply happy for us.
  • Our work colleagues were all very supportive, as we knew they would be. Charlene’s boss even gave us matching mugs for Christmas! So sweet!

First Impressions

My fiancé and I were talking about first impressions this morning. No, not our first impressions of each other, but of other people. We got on to this topic because we both have “friends” who complain to us about other friends, but then they hang out with each other anyway, despite not liking each other.

For me, first impressions are everything. It’s not even something I can help. If my first impression of you is not positive, I will hold that version of you in my head until I die. So, if my first impression of someone goes south, they will not be seeing me any further because if I can’t get around what I first thought of you (because of bad behavior, negative attitude, pushy, disrespectful, you name it, etc.) then there really is no need to involve you in my life any more.

My fiancé feels the same way. She decides right when she meets someone whether or not there will be a friendship or a pursuance of one.

Now, the topic that got us into this one: friends who willingly hang out with people they complain about. Now, that is truly beyond me. For example, I have one friend who I have not seen in a while for other reasons that constantly complains about one of her other friends. In fact, some of the things she has disclosed about this person’s behavior and actions is, in my opinion, manipulative and abusive. However, whenever I check social media, she is always hanging out with this “bestie”. If someone did to me what has been done to my friend, they’d be cut off immediately. I really just don’t get it.

I will say that I believe it is easier to cut of platonic friends in your life than it is romantic partners. I stayed with one very bad romantic partner for 1.5 years too long; however, I have always been able to remove unwanted platonic friends from my circle quite easily.

Anyway, that is the topic of discussion on this fine morning.

#civilwar2021

I think I celebrated my first week of 2021 too soon. Not even 7 days in and we’ve got #civilwar2021 trending on Twitter. The President of the United States is, once again, encouraging false claims of election fraud and poking the fire that is angry white men. He also just got his Twitter account locked for 12 hours, so I think that is pretty funny.

We all know that if this was a group of Black people, they would all already be dead, seriously injured, and arrested. White privilege is real and this is further proof for those who still don’t believe it exists (like most of those on my father’s side of my family). It’s frustrating and embarrassing for me, but deadly for many that I call my best friends.

Atlanta has been going through it’s own protests, so I’m checking the news every hour. I am grateful for two Democratic wins today because the Republican options were not desirable. Earlier today, there were pro-Trump supporters in Atlanta as well, so they escorted officials inside away into hiding for safety, especially as things in D.C. were heating up.

So many people jumped on this fraud train only after Trump started screaming about it. I don’t think they would have done this on their own. I just think it strange that those officeholders who have objected to Biden’s win have voiced absolutely no objection to their own wins, which all took place on the same day, on the same ballots, using the same election systems. Curious, isn’t it…

I will admit, I don’t have the slightest idea of how the next few weeks will go. More civil unrest? Probably. Protests? Likely. Civil war? I don’t know, man, but I suppose anything is possible, especially after going through the previous year. Nothing surprises me anymore and my body and mind are preparing for everything.

Stay safe, everyone, and please be kind to each other.

Exciting news!

2020 was a difficult year for a very long list of reasons. The small business that I work for struggled this past year; however we finished the year with just a little less in sales than 2019, so I would say that is very good! It seems that my bosses are extremely hopeful and confident for the upcoming school year because they found the money to give me and one of my co-workers a very generous raise and promotion.

Our raises and promotions were well-deserved and a little late, but given the past year we forgave the latter. My bosses are truly amazing human beings and they are so kind. They care about their company, the mission, and the people who they work with. They also make efforts to only work with companies who they feel align with our company and our values. They are inclusive and they take a stance when it comes to social issues. It’s really rewarding to work for a company like this and I feel that this raise and promotion have solidified my choice to stay with them long-term.

I was toying with the idea to apply to HR positions at other companies after I graduate this spring, but every day that goes by makes me want to just stay with my current company. I love it there, truly.

That’s my good news of 2021 so far. 5 days in, I’d say that’s pretty good!

Last post I wrote of 2020- uploaded today (1/5/2020)

Biden is our next President. I finished my semester with all A’s. A coronavirus vaccine is finally here. Charlene and I were recently, and, unexpectedly, gifted a rather large sum of money by a close friend. These are four positive things that have recently occurred. It’s nice to reflect on some good things as the year slowly comes to a close.

All of my attempts at passive income have failed (LOL), and that’s okay. I start my FINAL semester of college on January 11, 2021 (AHHH!!!!). My fiancé starts her first semester of her graduate program (Masters in Accounting) on January 4, 2021, and I am so proud of her. Charlene and I are also flying to California to visit her family (testing, hand-washing, and face masks & shields will be involved, no worries).

We let one of our employees go at work recently and it was sad. I won’t go too much into detail, but long story short he just wasn’t performing at the level that we needed him to. There was a lot of personal stuff going on and we just couldn’t help him in the way he needed.

I was in California over Christmas with my fiancé and her family and it was lovely. It was so nice to finally meet her twin, her younger sister, and her mother. Filipino Christmas is definitely more lively than German Christmas, but not in a bad way. While I am not used to loud music, karaoke, [more than usual] alcohol, and spaghetti on Christmas, it was a nice change and I look forward to merging our cultures during future holiday seasons!

New Years will be spent watching the last of Harry Potter and roasting an entire chicken that Charlene and I will eat alone. I also purchased sparkling grape juice for the occasion! Happy New Year, everyone!

2020’s never-ending surprises

Charlene and I were enjoying the company of some friends while roasting marshmallows last night when I got a phone call from my father. He informed me that my meemaw (grandma) was in the ER. Her rate was suspiciously low (35 bpm) and they did not know why.

She did not spend the night in the ER and she slept in her own bed last night. Everything seems to be okay today, but they will visit a cardiologist tomorrow if they can get an appointment.

The thought “it can’t get worse” has not crossed my mind in months- it’s 2020 and I expect each month to be worse than the last at this point. It’s just more of waiting on the enevitable doom each month; what does Satan have planned for me this month?

Other than the random bouts of unfortunate events, I suppose we’re still doing well. We just sold our dining room table, futon, and some Legos on FB Marketplace. My fiance got a new desk, so I am taking her old one. The dining room table hasn’t been used in months for its intended purpose and it is too large for this apartment anyway, so I decided to do away with it.

The rest of today will be spent on schoolwork and decluttering the area underneath our bed. I might step into the closet as well, but that might be a beast for another day..

My attempts at passive income

Like most college kids, I don’t have much money to spare. I do have a full time job, but it doesn’t pay a whole lot. I have had yard sales that brought in maybe $50 or so.

My most recent attempts are below and I am aware that most of them are not passive at all:

  • Poshmark
  • Door Dash
  • Selling some of my quirky nicknames, phrases, and amateur t-shirt designs on products here (also pictured below)

I think Door Dash definitely has potential, but my background check has been pending for weeks now, so a “special team” is working on that. I don’t really understand what the holdup is, though…

Anyway, if any of you have any ideas to make some extra cash, let me know! We are looking to move into a house next year, and while we can afford the rent and utilities, I would love to buy a new couch and supplies to building a dining room table. Aside from that, I am also saving for a car for when my 2007 Mariner with an oil leak bites the dust in the next year or so.

2020 continues to suck.

Before I get into why 2020 is still the worst year ever, I want to say that I am actually fine. I would say that instead of being stuck in a pit of sadness, I am just in disbelief at how an already terrible year just defies all odds and continues to get worse and worse.

In my previous post, I mentioned my concern about a friend of mine who is an alcoholic. I also said that I hoped he would successfully detox at home and not repeat what happened in February of this year (a seizure).

Well, he had another seizure. He was taken to the hospital on Sunday and he is now (Tuesday) back at home continuing to self-detox. He isn’t out of the woods yet and there is still a chance that he will admit himself to a facility; however, I really don’t think he will. He is one of the most stubborn people I know. Anyway, that is one sucky thing.

The second sucky thing is that my fiancé’s grandmother just died. The grandmother lives in the Philippines, so she can’t be there for the funeral. This is the second family member she has lost this year. I lost a family member and a good friend this year as well, so this has been a record year.

One piece of good news is that my fiancé and I have decided that instead of renting and apartment next time we move, we will be renting a house. It’s a decision that is keeping me planning and excited, so I always think of that.

I think this is also a good time to mention that when I started to talk about “the woman I was seeing” back in August of last year, I named her Chelsea on this blog to protect her identity in case things didn’t work out; however, as you all know, we are now engaged and I think it is okay to tell you all her real name: Charlene. My fiancé’s name is Charlene. I had no idea that when I swiped right, I was swiping right on my future wife, but I’m so incredibly glad I did. I am also glad that she swiped back, haha. I look forward to documenting more of our adventures.

A Sprinkle of Disappointment

Today is Saturday and tomorrow is Sunday- the day that my lady and I were going to go camping; however, it is pouring outside with no signs of stopping, so it seems rather pointless to go now.

We’ve had a busy few weeks and I was really looking forward to a warm campfire and some smores. I’m thinking about going camping next weekend instead, but every week we push this, we risk freezing in the night.

Today was rather mentally and emotionally challenging. Last night I received a call from the roommate of a good friend of mine. This friend is an alcoholic and it’s not exactly a secret- everyone knows. Anyway, the past two months have been really bad and the roommate told me that my friend had a seizure back in February already. The doctor said if he had another that it could kill him.

My friend is convinced that he can detox himself because he’s done it before with success. Me and two other people drove to his house today to try and convince him to at least get evaluated and maybe get some medication to help him through the next [very critical] 72 hours. We were unsuccessful, as I knew we would be; however, it was important to me that we show up anyway just to show him that he does have a support system and that he is not alone.

When we left his house today, we left with the goal of checking in on him more, writing him letters, calling him, and visiting him. I’m the letter writer of the group, so I will try to do more of that and also set aside some time each week to call him. I hope that he is successful in his self-detox journey and I hope that if things go south that he able to get immediate help.

We’ll see what happens, I will keep you all updated.

Spooky Season is Upon Us!!!

Okay, let’s be real: 2020 has been the spookiest year yet; however, now the fun type of spookiness begins.

I LOVE OCTOBER! I LOVE FALL! I LOVE HALLOWEEN!

I have always been a huge fan of Halloween because I think witches are cool, I love making themed baked goods, and dressing up is always a good time. I just sent out an email to my coworkers letting them know that I am hosting a virtual bake off! I’m so pumped!

I’ve been trying to find black dresses at thrift stores, but I have had no luck. I also visited Goodwill in search of Halloween décor, but I failed in my mission. I just really don’t want to spend money on brand new items when there are so many homeless used ones.

This weekend, I will begin baking Halloween cookies and I will decorate them with my fiancé and best friend. We will also be dog-sitting for my grandma, but she is not food aggressive or interested in it all, so this should be fine.

I just found out that next semester (my final semester: WOOHOO!!!!) will most likely all be online again, just like this semester. As long as my classes are asynchronous I am perfectly fine with that.

Because me and my lady have been trying to lose weight, I’ve really been holding myself back in the baking area. We also go walking every evening and I think we will pick up jump roping or following workout videos again soon. We are flying to California for Christmas and I am going to meet her family for the first time (in person- I have met them many times virtually). We both want to look somewhat in shape and I would just love to fit back into my jeans again. That is all I ask. Screw abs, I just want my pants back!

My next weight and measurements check in is in about 4 weeks, so I will let ya’ll know then if we have managed to make any progress.