Living Life Purposefully

Where Purpose Meets Passion

Monthly Archives: October 2010

Forwarded Text Messages: Evil in 160 Characters

There are many things I consider evil in life. The mindset of Hitler, people who don’t speak up against injustice, overdraft fees at the bank, etc. But there is perhaps one evil that I’m subjected to almost DAILY and it makes me want to cry — the evil of forwarded text messages.

I have a few reasons why I hate them (which I’ll outline in a moment) but the psychological and physiological response that my body goes through when I receive one is quite hilarious. You know, 15 minutes after it happens. Here’s how I feel when I get a Forwarded Text Message:

If you can’t see the video, simply click here.

Anyway, once that’s over, I always have the same questions (in no particular order) and thoughts.

1. Judging by all of these damn FWDs at the top, we need something better to do with our time.

I’m not offended by the text message as I am by the number of people who actually sent the damn thing on. Usually, by the time that I get it, it has about 7. That means, at least 8 other people saw it (7 people plus the person that sat there and typed it). I mean, it’s gotten to the point where I wish it were like email (so I could email the ORIGINAL sender and ask them to concentrate on urban poverty…or something). I know this sounds horrible, but I’m usually left with a feeling of “We Have Got To Do Better!” And that’s never good. 

2. Why do I always have to do something?

My most favorite (sarcasm) forwards are those that come with a stipulation: “Send to 8 people…” or “If you don’t send this to 12 people that believe in God…” or “…your true love will not call you.” You know what? Now that I think about it, Forwarded Text Messages may be the reason I’m underemployed and single with only about 6 good friends that call me. Call. All of my friends text me, but only 6 call. None of them are hot sexy men that make me want to give up all of my feminist ideals to stay home and cook their favorite meals in lingerie while barefoot. Yeah…this is what’s wrong with my life.

*end snark*

But I REALLY hate having to do something. It reminds me of the time I would sign up for Extra Credit assignments because they sounded simple only to find out that before I could even start the damn project, I had to do a million things like walk a dog while jumping on one leg and twirling a hoola-hoop around my arm. In the rain.

3. Maybe if I would have forwarded that text message, Sallie Mae wouldn’t be calling my phone.

Usually, the messages with a stipulation get a laugh (at best) from me. Then I frown and toss my phone to the side. Then almost immediately Sallie Mae calls me asking about a $50 payment (Girl…you will get yo money!). I think that I’m going to start telling friends that they owe me 50 cents for every forwarded text they send to me that doesn’t make me laugh. That way, I can pay it forward. Or something. At the very least, Sallie Mae can get half of a dollar.

4. Who said this was a good idea?

Usually Forwarded Messages are borderline dumb. I mean, it doesn’t take much to make me laugh and I’m just not laughing. What gets me are the messages that are supposed to be uplifting and miss the mark entirely. Then again, I’m in a completely different mindset from some of my friends (and I may have ADHD), so many things lead me to asking this question. Today’s message was one I received 4 times (which actually leads me to another issue) and it was about Women Of Color. When I opened the message, I was all excited. Then I wasn’t. It went on and on about how we’re the only women that do XYZ and it’s great because we’re women of color. I was left with the feeling of forwarding that text message after changing much of it. Then I turned on my tv and Sid the Science Kid was on. Instantly forgotten.

5. This is why we can’t get nowhere as a people!!!

The messages that leave me with this feeling are usually the ones I can’t read. They substitute numbers for letters and have an extra ‘i” in every word that has an “i.” I really think this stems from two issues: (1) I was never a pro at AIM-speak and (2) I am a stickler for grammar. When I receive these texts I wonder, “How will this child fare in an introductory English course at the university level?” I’ve had the experience of TAing before and you’d be surprised at just how comfortable students are with using AIM-speak in an essay. All jokes aside, this really needs to stop. 

6. Why can’t these be funny?

Back to the jokes, why can’t they be funny!?!? That’s what I always wonder. I can only think of one person that faithfully sends me funny (read: inappropriate) messages. Granted, you have to know what kind of sense of humor you’re dealing with. I personally believe that forwarded messages should be funny. Like a joke. Or a Lil Duval. I don’t think they should be “uplifting” messages with stipulations. If you know someone is going through a hard time, sit down and send them a personal thought. Leave God out of it too…if they are someone like me (which is another discussion for another day).

7. Um, I wonder if I should respond and tell them that they cut off the last part of this message.

The biggest pet peeve about a forwarded message besides it being a forwarded message is when it gets cut off because someone sent it to their one friend whose phone is not MMS capable so every person after that gets it and reads

Yeah. I hate that. See how pissed you are? That’s how I am every time it happens to me. Anywho folks, if your phone can’t just do a forwarded text like your email can do a forwarded email, then stop forwarding stuff. Please. Although I did ask once why the message wasn’t there and the response I received was, “You just can’t read because it says —!” Oh? I can’t read now. Ok.

8. I know this is not what woke me up/had me pause my tweeting, listening to music, texting people about things that matter like Waka Flocka’s song and why it’s great.

OH! Usually I get text messages at two points in the day: when I’m sleeping AND when I’m taking a nap. I also get them when I’m having a very interesting conversation with other people. Totally ruins my train of thought. I’m going on a campaign to start sending Waka Flocka Flame and Gucci Mane and Yo Gotti song titles to people as a response. Or maybe not. That sounds like work and something that will cut into my precious nap time.

9. Hmmm, I can’t get those 10-16 seconds of my life back.

This really does sum it up.

People, in the interest of humanity, let’s stop forwarding text messages OR at least start to care about our friends by asking if they really like them.


Dressing For Success

I’m a firm believer that we possess the necessary elements to attain whatever position it is that we seek. I’ve also had the opportunity to “pep-talk” many of my friends before they interview for a position and if you’ve made it to the interview, you’re already qualified for the job you want*. However, my friends are always surprised when I ask one thing: what do you plan to wear? For this, I blame my Mom BUT I make it my business to bring up what they are going to wear because I recognize that interview preparation exceeds the necessary talking points. The focus of this post is to highlight some key points that I feel women often overlook**.

The Necessary Foundations

I’ve learned a few things from my Mom quizzing me over the years about what I’m wearing to an interview, and while it is highly annoying, I can say that I’ve been given some gems when it comes to interview/business wear.

Rule 1: Wear the appropriate underwear.

“Wait, what? Underwear?” Yes. Underwear. Why am I starting with this? Well, these are the closest garments to your body and the most overlooked pieces in any outfit. So, my rule of thumb is don’t wear the underwear you may wear for your special someone or out to the club UNLESS that’s what you wear every day AND you look well put-together. Sounds simple enough? It is. Also, try to match your undergarments to your shirt and if you’re unsure of an appropriate color, go with nude or black (some white undergarments glow). If all else fails, model your clothing choice for someone and ask if they can see your foundations.

Rule 2: Wear undergarments that are the proper size.

To begin with, you want to wear underwear that is comfortable. In order for you to do this, they have to actually be your size. Not too tight. Not too loose. Just right. Your big interview is NOT the time to try on those new panties that you felt would give you a boost of confidence. Actually, it’s not the time to try on new underwear at all. The biggest reason for this is that you don’t know HOW you will feel once wearing them long-term. Ensure that you are in the proper size by having your measurements taken by a professional. Also, invest in a body shaper, girdle, or some other smoothing device. I’m a pretty shapely person (read: I’m curvy) and I sometimes utilize an all-in-one girdle to achieve a smoother look. It also reduces clothing sticking in odd places and I don’t have to adjust as often. Adjusting = fidgeting = looking more nervous than you may be.

Rule 3: Wear stockings, tights, or knee highs.

As old school as it sounds, it leads to a complete look if you happen to wear a skirt. Also, it can serve as damage control. What do I mean? Well, one day, I nicked my leg while shaving and had to wear a band-aid. I only had a skirt suit with me (in this scenario, I was at a conference) and I was a little self-conscious about people seeing this pale band-aid on my not-so-pale legs. So, I covered up with stockings. Granted, people may or may not have noticed my leg, but I didn’t want to chance it. Of course, if you are wearing a pantsuit, you can skip the stockings. I, for one, believe that stockings offer a complete look and safety net. Make sure they aren’t ruined though and fishnets should be considered a no-no. You don’t want to be known as THAT new chick before you even get your cubicle/desk space.

Rule 4: Wear a simple shirt.

I said simple. I didn’t say, “white.” You can wear any color shirt you want (this is where I let my personality shine through), however, you do want to make sure that it is simple. Leave this in your closet unless you know it will be well received.

Rule 5: Suit sets or mix and match separates are your friend.

Not everyone owns a suit, that’s fine. I only own one. However, you have more options for interview wear when you buy mix-and-match separates or multiple piece suits (think jacket, pants, and skirt). Not only do you have options, but you have options. When you have options, you’re comfortable. That’s the key to success in any interview setting — being as comfortable as you possibly can. The other great thing about wearing separates is that you can go without your jacket during the interview and simply add the jacket if you are invited to a social function by potential employers. 

Rule 6: Shoes should be sensible.

This rule is because I saw a young woman fall in heels. I felt so bad for her. She rolled her ankle and it was obvious that she was in pain. However, she showed up to our interview just as the person conducting the session showed up. She had to sit through an hour and a half of intense questioning and we had a person that couldn’t quite get their thoughts together. When we left the group, her ankle was noticeably swollen. So wear sensible shoes. If you wear a heel, make sure you can walk (and stand for long periods) in them.

Rule 7: Deodorant is a must.

I only mention this rule because we sweat more than usual while under stress, so carry a stick with you. If you find yourself sweating more than usual by the time you show up for your interview, step into a bathroom and freshen up. This should include wiping under your arms and reapplying deodorant. While it may sound like “common sense,” many forget to do this.

Rule 8: Leave your favorite perfume alone.

I’m one of those people who has a sensitivity to everything and I hate to be in the position interviewing someone. When people ask me about what they should wear, I mention my particular sensitivity to smell and that smelling certain things usually lead to a migraine and I also make a point to say that you never want to cause anyone a migraine or undue pain. I also make a point to say, “What’s pleasant to you may not be pleasant to others.” So, hold off on that body spray that you got at the Semi-Annual Sale for 3 for $15. If you are going to wear a perfume, spray it on ONE wrist and press both wrists together. If you want more coverage, then spray it into the air and step through it. Light is best, but none at all is absolutely amazing.

Rule 9: If you could be born with that hair color, then it’s interview appropriate.

If you plan to color your hair, keep it at one of those “natural” (for people like you) shades. If you do have a shade of hair color that’s unique, then wear it pulled back (they can’t really see it if you do AND it becomes a tad bit darker, unless you’re platinum blonde). Employers are looking for the total package and once you accept an offer of employment, you become part of THEIR brand, not your own.

Rule 10: Keep your makeup at a minimum.

Many of us keep up with trends and we find that makeup is one surefire way to express ourselves. Well, let’s keep the expressing to non-interview days. The rule of thumb here is this: at the expense of accidentally looking like MiMi from the Drew Carey Show or some wayward club-going patron, just stick to the basics. You should have light foundation, light blush, light bronzer, simple eyeliner, neutral eyeshadow, and a natural-looking lip balm, gloss, or lipstick. Do this for two reasons: (1) you don’t want to give a future employer the impression that you take 50 hours on your makeup alone and (2) your nerves may cause you to sweat and you wouldn’t want to spend precious time on touchups.

Rule 11: You only want to accessorize if you’re working in the mall. At Forever 21. On a busy Saturday.

I once had a friend who went to an interview. She is an extremely smart young lady. However, she had these lucky bangles that she wore to keep her calm. After her interview, we met up and she was on the verge of tears. It seems that she didn’t make it to the next round of interviews. As she told me her story and how the interview went, I kept hearing this tinking. It was seriously grating on my nerves. I cut her off abruptly, frowned, and asked if she wore her bangles to the interview. She didn’t even have to answer — her face said it all. I simply told her that she may have missed her opportunity BUT to call her contact back to ask what she could have done better. That potential employer was nice enough to explain to her that she was a great candidate (on paper) but that something had been distracting them during the interviewing process. The Moral: Leave all embellishments alone. Your employer can learn all about your fashion-sense once they start depositing those checks into your bank account. I keep my Mom’s “Words of Wisdom” close by when I think of what to wear — earrings (enough to fill up to two holes in each ear), no facial jewelry, and one simple necklace (if you are going to wear one). Also, you may only want to wear a ring if you are engaged to be married or already a misses.

That’s all I have for my rules. Enjoy and share your own tips.

*There are exceptions to this rule but since that is not the topic of this blog, let’s keep it moving.

**I focus on women because I am a woman and because I am a woman.

Laying A Foundation For Her Future

I normally don’t do posts like these. However, I’m making an exception.

Meet Victoria.


Victoria, The Next Face of Gerber



We want her to be the face of Gerber and win a $25,000 scholarship (possibly) and so, her Mom has entered her into the Gerber Generation contest. To help her possibly win, you simply need to click the link to vote, submit your email address and a verification code (they want to make sure you’re not spam), and then verify your vote by clicking a link they send to your email address. You can vote ONCE a day from ONE computer AND email address.


Thanks for your support!

I Want Regular Problems

Today on Twitter, I began to lament my life.

Okay. That is really dramatic. I actually just began to harp on the fact that I don’t have regular people problems. I’m a Regular Person, so I really don’t understand why I’m not privy to this “perk” of life. Instead, I’m subjected to some Murphy’s Law (sidenote: when I began this blog, it was to bring to light my deepest intellectual thoughts; however, since I’m subjected to much from the Universe, I’ve just decided to blog my life).

See, this all started as a joke back when I was an undergrad at Central Michigan University. I was a McNair scholar and was working feverishly to finish my independent research project. As luck would have it, I dropped my laptop on the floor and it stopped working (read: I lost data source #1), then my flash drive broke (read: I lost backup of data or data source #2), and as luck would have it, my school decided to update the NVivo program on all of the computers and I couldn’t open data source #3. So I had to start over.

A week before my deadline.

Don’t worry, I got it done, but I also picked up a new nickname from my cohort — Murphy.

Since then, things that can go wrong, will go wrong. Very wrong.

And this is the story with my Blackberry. In short:

My Blackberry begins to act weird a few weeks ago and I thought it wouldn’t hold a charge, so I bought a new charger. Then 3 days ago, my Blackberry wouldn’t charge at all. As such, it died (to never turn on again). I go through all of this crap with riding the bus (I don’t have a car) to the mall (the nearest Sprint store) to be told, “Oh we can’t fix your phone. Go to another store.” Seeing as I’m on a limited income (read: my Momma gives me bus money), I had to wait another day to go to said “repair store.” Now, here is the saga:

My Mom says, “Sweetie, do you want to drive?” Now, I don’t like driving. I have really bad anxiety and I’m afraid that I’ll panic and something will go wrong. But because my Mom asked this question with that undertone that says, “You are driving, this is not an option,” I say, “Sure.” So we’re off. We go to drive. Now, I had an interview on yesterday afternoon, so I was already panicky. Go to my interview, do well, and drive to the Sprint store.

I get to the light to turn into the strip mall and it’s red. It stays red. There are about 14 cars behind me and this light has not changed…at all. So, I turn. Because well…there are 14 cars (and counting) behind me and the lady directly behind me is making all of these crazy hand gestures. The result — I get pulled over.

Now,  I sweetly go to park and the cop says, “Ma’am, do you realize that you ran a red light?” I say, “Yeah, about that. It’s not working.” As I look up, the damn light changes! To make a long story short, I just put my head on the steering wheel and waited as he wrote out the citation. Because, what else can you do?

Then I get out of the car to walk into the store and I almost get hit by this car. That’s speeding in the damn parking lot. Does the cop say anything to that driver? No. Of course not. However, the driver was sexified…so my shallow ass forgave him (and got his phone number).

But the kicker…the kicker was being told that the store could in fact NOT help me and that I had to file an online claim.

My only question is — Can I send this ticket to Sprint?