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The “Non-Conformist” Card

22 Aug

Usage Guidelines: Play it when you are trying not to conform (remember those “emo” years…? I do.)
Expiration: When you realize there is no such thing as a non-conformist (replace with the “I’m a Unique Individual” Card)

As I was going through my old notebooks I came across a 2-page rant about non-conformists. Funny enough, I wrote the rant while I viewed myself as one of the “non-conformists”. Hahaha, oh, the younger me. I was 16, I had purple/bright pink/dark brown synthetic dreads that stretched the length of my back. I wore skater brand clothes/shoes, sported dark eyeliner and bright eyeshadow, listened to underground punk music while writing “meaningful poetry”, wore eclectic accessories and things like “arm socks”, oh and smoked a large amount of pot…

That being said, I had thought I was a non-conformists until one day I saw a button my friend R was wearing and something inside of me went off like a bell. Wow, a button bought from Spencer’s Gifts helped me realize something… What is this world coming to when you can learn life lessons from a BUTTON? Haha. Anyways, it simply stated “You non-conformists are all alike”. I immediately hit the web searching for the actual definition of ‘Non Conformist’. What I found inspired the rant I will now share.

Written by the 16-year-old Lacey (The 24-year-old Lacey wanted to EDIT so bad, but refrained for the personal challenge of punching down my inner perfectionist):

Have you ever wondered why people have the power to control your whole being? Your life is constantly in others’ hands, and we just go along with it. You allow “them” to influence your emotions, dreams, how you live your life, even the type of clothing you wear. I mean, it’s insane. We strive to be independent and define ourselves as different. But when it comes down to it there’s something that has already determined or influenced the type of person you are or will be. Like my friend’s button says, “You Non Conformists are all alike”. You can deny this or get offended…but take a step back, open your eyes and mind. The word ‘non-conformist’ means to resist conforming to others’ expectations. So you do this how? Well, for one, you do what you like, say what you want, wear whatever you want. That’s great… if you were to live in a way that is true to who you are.  But then, someone sees you, gets to know you, and starts to admire your individuality. And takes on characteristics that define you. YOU the non-conformist. Someone has conformed to you…little by little they take away what was once defining you. Soon you are surrounded by miniature copies of yourself. I bet all your friends dress, talk, and act like you don’t they?
This is where the button makes sense. This is a world that strives to belong and fit in. We do things to ourselves to prove something. To find acceptance even if it’s by rejecting societies ideals, others will soon follow.
What people need to realize is the outside appearance doesn’t make you a non-conformist. We live in a world that mass produces EVERYTHING. Do not even attempt to be an individual by wearing certain clothes or by piercing and tattooing your body, cuz trust me there are always 2 or more of something. OR there will be once you fork out the cash to acquire your uniqueness. Nothing is ever original. Even what I am writing now has been covered before…
There is no way to be a non-conformist in every sense of the word. And there is no way to avoid being influenced by society, it’s inevitable. But you can be a unique individual. Follow your heart and be happy with who you are. Make your decisions based on your desires and not anyone else’.  Life is so much more enjoyable when you are true to yourself and not societies expectations.

So there it is, the perspective of my 8-years-younger self in its entirety. I wrote this out while I was the epitome of a person who truly believed nonconformism existed.  I actually thought it was a card I was playing, and playing well. I was smug about it too. Hahaha. Oh well, I learned from that button. I kept my dreads because I truly liked them, I listened to music I actually ENJOYED over the underground punk that suited my clothing, I started to live in a way that made me happy…not in a way that made me look different from others. Well, not different from the friends I had but different from “mainstream”. Ya know…”the bad guy”. Lol.

I can honestly say I now live a life that brings me joy. I stand up for myself and others who can’t. I speak with honesty, respect, and love because that’s the best way to speak. I live a life that brings true happiness to myself and to those who surround me. I’m a “unique individual” because of my heart. So thanks 16-year-old self for letting a button cause you to think, motivate you to change your view on individuality and apply it to your life.

*Boy I hope a couple like-minded 16-year-old’s read this post… The younger people learn this, the better our society will be*

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…and all the men and women merely players.

20 Aug

In any card game two things are required; Cards and Players. In my life of cards I have had some amazing players on my team who have aided me with their wisdom, strength, faith, support and mere presence. I have God to thank for supplying such an ample and able force to help with the hand dealt to me early on. There are a select few that played a vital role in every round that took place from “The first hand” and on. Often times these players would postpone their own game play for the sake of supporting me in my personal hand. Those sacrifices never went unnoticed, and you all deserve a giant, golden, ruby encrusted trophy filled with Whoopass! (I’m not being crude, it’s my favorite drink by Jones Soda Co. and I usually do not share it.)

To my teammates: You are my family and my friends. Your strength and love is woven into my soul and I will forever be grateful for the blessing of existing with you.

 

*If you would like to read about my outstanding teammates, please visit the Player Category*

The “I’m Pregnant” Card

19 Aug

Usage Guidelines: To excuse any behaviour not conforming to society norms OR to scare a partner into commitment (you are a horrible person)

Expiration: The day you give birth (follow-up with “I’m Sleep deprived” or “I’m Depressed” cards)

All of you women who have been knocked up, you know where this is going.

Hey “I’m pregnant”, I’m eating for two! *stuff face repeating without guilt*

Hey “I’m pregnant” so please excuse my bipolar tendencies! I didn’t mean it when I said I didn’t care about your 12-year-old dying cat. And I really didn’t mean it when I said I’d rather be friends with a mute than listen to your hyena-like laugh. Really, it’s just the hormones talking! …Liar! You know you don’t care about the dying cat.

Hey “I’m pregnant” now feel obligated to marry me even though I know you aren’t ready for the commitment but I feel insecure in our relationship… Shame on you.

Playing this card in the first two ways are perfectly acceptable game play. But the third way is grounds for disqualification in my rule book.

We all use the “I’m Pregnant” card in the first two ways to some extent. When you become pregnant its like getting a free pass to forget about the problem areas, the scale and watching your tongue. Yes, some of you women have more restraint and get all “Nutritious” and “Exercise”-y, but the majority of us indulge! All you can eat buffets, Giving into cravings, living in the most comfy sweat pants ever, giving in to emotions and speaking your exact feelings right when you want to. It’s the one time in our lives where we can get fat and not be judged by society. Just remember ladies, only 20 pounds (on average) comes off with delivery. Once that baby is out, society and your doctor will have something to say about the aftermath.

I’ll admit misusing the “I’m Pregnant” card to excuse my behaviour. Anyone who knows me knows I speak with blunt honesty and have no “filter” as I like to call it. Being pregnant gave me a way to justify my harsh words and the actions that followed. It was nice to the “I’m Pregnant” card instead of accepting full responsibility for the lack of grace in my behaviour towards the people in my life. And the occasional stranger…

Word to the wise:
Use this card if you so desire. But the effects of its usage will not disappear once the pregnancy end. You very well could be unhappily and unhealthily overweight without a friend in the world who cares.

I’d like to take this opportunity to apologize for using the “I’m Pregnant” card to justify my sharp tongue and ill willed actions. Whatever I said or did when I was pregnant was because that’s actually what I wanted to say or do.

Hmm… Doesn’t make it better but at least its honest! =)

The “Bad Hair Day” Card

19 Aug

Usage Guidelines: No usage, sorry

Expiration: Never

Every woman knows this card all too well, and some men…

You know it’s coming when you are standing in front of the mirror teasing, curling, brushing and exhausting all your tricks with products. The more you work at it and try to fix it, the worse it gets. And then you stare at it. There is no way to avoid the card being dealt, it’s already laying on the sticky bathroom counter. You hang your head in defeat and shed a tear or ten. Or maybe you are the angry type and chuck your $15 bottle of Victoria’s Secret’s So Sexy Style Body & Hold Volumizing Mousse out the bathroom window (I relate more to you). You’ve just been dealt the “Bad Hair Day” card sweetie. You let out a sigh and search for something good about this hideous quaff. Conclusion: It’s the ugliest, most hanis hair imaginable. And now it’s time to go because there is not enough time in the day to help this hopeless do. Work, Appointments, School…life is waiting for you to join. The most terrible thing about the “Bad Hair Day” card is it’s actually useless. It doesn’t give you an excuse or a way out, its more like a right of passage. Welcome to womanhood! Or hair conscious manhood.

If you become paralyzed by the bad hair and absolutely can not function in public with the bird nest you are rocking, I suggest using the “I’m sick but not really sick” card. It sounds better when breaking commitments.

The “I’m sick but not really sick” Card

18 Aug

Usage Guidelines: When you want to break plans or deny invitations without being honest

Expiration: Never. But use sparingly…

Don’t act like you aren’t guilty of using this card. This terribly dishonest card is used to deceive people, you should all be ashamed! Haha, just kidding! Sometimes you need to get out of an engagement and “I dont want to go” doesn’t always cut it. It works like a charm doesn’t it? But please exercise caution! When you say you are sick, stay home. Don’t play the card then go off gallivanting through the city with your BFF’s. This card can go horribly wrong if misplayed. Trust me. When you tell your boss you can not attend the “4-hour snooze-fest seminar on how snails pro-create” because you are terribly ill, you will be fired when you make the Friday evening news for flashing people from atop a gay pride parade float! And not for your enthusiastic support of the gay community, but because you were LYING… Ok and maybe you are slightly inappropriate and that reflects poorly on the company, but that’s not the point is it? Liar.

WORD TO THE WISE: Do not overuse the “I’m sick but not really sick” card on the same person. They will catch on eventually or become overly concerned for your health and this is not what you want. If you find yourself repeatedly playing “liar” cards to get out of engagements with the same person, maybe you should rethink why they are in your life. It’s not fair to string people along. If their company is not desirable, stop being a coward and let them know you aren’t interested in what they have to offer.

The “I’m Broke” Card

18 Aug

Usage Guidelines: Use when you need to get out of something due to financial reasons OR as a manipulation tool

Expiration: When you aren’t broke anymore

(Quick note: I wrote this in July of 2009)

We’ve all been there unless you are one of those lucky bitches, don’t get me started on you.

Broke girls around the world, I feel your pain. As I am writing this I can tell you I have $108.00 in the bank and I am to share that with my soon-to-be ex-husband. So yes, this card has been on of my most played recently.

I have no job, no skills besides office work and being a mother. All the while the economy is in the shitter and my looks can only take me so far. NO! I will not strip but the thought briefly came to mind. Damn C-Section scar and short stature…

My BFF called up. “Let’s go for cocktails!” What I wanted to say:

You bitch with a job! Are you serious? Do you not see me eating Ramen for lunch and dinner, re-using teabags, rationing toilet paper, shopping at the Dollar Store for my underwear??? “I’m Broke” so take your $8.50 cocktail and pour it into your new coach purse which is uglier than my Dollar Store bloomers!  KK, Thanks Bitch, BYE! ❤

But before speaking your mind to your “job-having-BFF”, play the “I’m Broke” card correctly.

Scenario:

BFF: Hey Chica! Let’s go for cocktails!

YOU: Awe, I wish I could (insert BFF name here). But “I’m Broke”, like, I can barely afford tampons this month. And I’m so bummed because cocktails with you would totally lift my spirits. Its been so rough lately (insert BF name here) I could just cry.

BFF: OH HONEY! Kay, be ready in an hour! I’m taking you out tonight for dinner and cocktails and then buying you a giant box of tampons from Costco. I love you, you’ll get through this. See you soon.

Don’t be bitter about the “I’m Broke” card. I promise it will get better and so does my BFF.

When I wrote this card I was really broke. 2 years later I am still broke BUT not as broke. I’m also in love and broke, so it makes being broke a bit more tolerable.

Lacey’s Cards of Life.

18 Aug

I like referring to myself in the 3rd person. It makes me feel far removed from the task at hand and it makes me feel important.

My sister had a saying when we were growing up, and even used it in our adult years. She meant it maliciously when we were younger and she said it when she was having to do something because I was unable to.  Example: Mom says, “Leah, you need to put away the dishes, mop the kitchen floor and then do a load of laundry before I get home today.” Leah would reply with an attitude,”Why do I have to do all the work? Why don’t you have Lacey do something?” I would pipe up, “I can’t do those things, I’m in pain today.” Leah would roll her eyes and say, “Oh, so you’re pullin’ out your “muscle disorder” card.” Then she would go about her chores annoyed and giving glares to me. At the time what she said was too hurtful to make anything fun out of it. But later in life as Leah and I began to repair our almost irreparable relationship, I pondered a bit on that term. Muscle Disorder Card…. Hmm?

A few years ago I was toying around with the saying “the game of life” and then L’s old saying came into my head. Just how my mind works, it wonders about into odd places and sometimes, not always unfortunately, but sometimes I get great ideas. Fun ones that make people laugh. That truly are ingenious! (Thank you, thank you no need to stand and applaud. Aw you’re too kind, really.)

This one prompted my mom to go off on a neurotic speech. “Lace, you have to pursue this! Don’t let anyone know what you are doing. They will steal this idea because it is too good! Oh the possibilities! You could make a coffee table book, and you would most definitely get on Ellen. I’d come with you of course. I could just see girlfriends using these on each other! Oh Lace, don’t waste your talent. Don’t deprive people of your humour!” It went on for a while but you get the gist of it. I just nodded my head complacently as I usually do when she has ideas about what I should do with my “talent” and threw in a couple “Oh yeah, definitely” ‘s for good measure. (Love you momma)

Because I lack the artistic talent of drawing, I was never able to design these cards. You can imagine them as long and slender. (The length of a skip-bo card and a little more than half the width) They would be very colourful, artsy, with fine lines and a text that feels classy, yet bold.  Whatever is drawn on them correlates with the title of the card. On to the intro so you can understand use.

Every day we play cards. Some people may play more than others, but we are only human, so we ALL play them. Everyone owns every card in the deck. Some people re-play the same cards all the time, others like to change it up and some only play them when necessary. Those people are the honest ones, the good-hearted and pure. Often they are also the “doormats” of life as well, not always, but often.  In fact, Doormat is a card. A passive and sad one in my opinion but still a card in Lacey’s Cards of Life. Hahaha, not one I ever play though. I prefer to be a door. I will always stand tall and strong. I’ll open up for you but if you ever hurt me I don’t mind smacking you in the ass when I shut on you. =) I think I’d be a blue door…

So there you have it. My Cards of Life explained. I’ll put them in the Category “Cards”. First Card on Deck: The “I’m Broke” Card.