#ThoughtfulTuesday: Appreciating Who You Have #family #gratitude

©2017 Marquessa Matthews

Nothing gives you perspective like spending a few days in an emergency room cubicle.

All is well now but that is where I spent a few days last week with a loved one since there were no “real” beds available. Needless to say, my #NaNoWriMo word count was the last thing on my mind and a hard chair in cubicle #4 was not a conducive environment for creative writing. However, it was an opportunity to soak in the sobering environment (while trying not to soak in any germs) and be reminded of an important lesson:

Be grateful for the loved ones around you and who have your best interest at heart.

Seeing the number of elderly patients in that emergency section completely alone, vulnerable and unaccompanied made me sad.

Very sad.

From the fragile man in his late 90s with a deep rattling cough, not knowing where he was and trying to fight off the nurses who tried to aspirate him to the old woman doubled over in a wheelchair, refusing to be touched by anyone because she was in agonizing pain from a fall…

It all made me wonder where “their people” were – I mean, their family or loved ones. No one present to advocate for them, no second set of ears to understand the doctor’s instructions, no one to keep an eye on their personal belongings while they were wheeled away for tests, no one to run around the corner to the tasty Portuguese dive restaurant because the hospital dinner looked like this…

©2017 Marquessa Matthews

Most sobering of all was overhearing a doctor trying to question an elderly woman in the presence of her unkept-looking middle-aged son.

Doctor: “Where did you get those bruises Mrs. X?”
Son: “She fell down.”
Doctor: “I’d like to hear it from her.”
Elderly woman: “Yes, I fell down.”
Doctor: “How did you fall Mrs. X?”
Elderly woman shrugs and looks at her son. “I don’t know. I just did.”
Doctor: “You were in here just a few months ago. Have you been having problems with your balance?”
Elderly woman: “I don’t know.”

I wasn’t convinced of her story and from the manner in which the doctor continued to grill her with questions, in my mind, he suspected elder abuse.

It’s heartbreaking to think that some seniors have no one to look out for them in this world. Some have no choice but to fend for themselves because they have no family around or who live far away. And it’s even sadder to think that when you do have “someone” close to you, they may not always be acting in your best interest.

It made me think hard about who will advocate for me when I’m older and vulnerable.

How often do you think about your future years?

All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews

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What Makes A Man Sexier

This is a continuation of Cute, Handsome or Sexy.

What is a “sexy” man?

Of course, we each have our own definition and it can be quite subjective.

But I’ll tell you what makes a “sexy” man even sexier IMHO.

He’s a man who:

  • can hold an intelligent conversation about current events or discuss the latest book he’s read (extra points if it is an actual physical book which means he’s a little old school);

  • is confident in his talents and abilities (not to be mistaken with arrogance);

  • has a sense of humor, maybe just a little geeky (like Bruno from “Lord of the Files“) and can laugh at himself or is a little self-effacing (but just not as geeky as this guy below);

  • makes use of “please”, “thank you” and knows what “manners” means;

  • remembers the small and subtle details about things and more importantly, small details about YOU;
  • walks the walk, talks the talk, says what he means, means what he says…

You get the picture.

I don’t know about you but for me, substance in a man is sexy and there has to be some real steak behind any sizzle he may have.

Sizzle. Steak. Substance. Sexy.

Oh…I’m not saying that I’d ignore a little stubble and a great smile, nor would I throw this guy out for getting crumbs in the bed…

Uh, definitely no.

What I am saying is that “sexy” is much more than just the superficial. Sexy is in the eye of the beholder.

What do you say? What do you find “sexy”?

All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

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“Dollars In The Sand” #mindfulness #kindness

First Sand Dollar©2017 Marquessa Matthews

Early one morning I exchanged smiles with a young woman as our paths crossed on the beach.

When I bumped into her again the next day, she stopped me.

“Here, have this sand dollar I found,” she said, jogging in place just long enough to hand it to me, provide an explanation as to what a sand dollar was and how it came to be.

Then the woman disappeared down the beach and was gone.

A random act of 6:00am kindness from a stranger I never laid eyes on again.

The next morning, I found four more sand dollars without purposely seeking them out. They just appeared at my feet as I walked the beach because I now knew what they were.

Sometimes it takes a stranger to open up our eyes to the little things we never noticed before.

Dollar In The Sand©2017 Marquessa Matthews

Images and content ©2017 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

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Cute, Handsome or Sexy

I was scrolling through some of my old posts and came across a #ManCrushMonday post from when I was trying out some Twitter trend tags, hence the idea for today’s post…

Years ago, I worked at a popular establishment that had hundreds of clients coming through the doors every day. It was crazy busy, always fun and the entire staff got along famously. As part of the “brand”, we couldn’t use our real names so I decided to call myself “Midnight” for the summer. Truth be told, it was kind of cool to be recognized by that name off-the-clock when I least expected it.

And NO, it wasn’t that kind of establishment so get your head out of the gutter – it had to do with gaming!

But I digress…

I often worked the same shift as Jean*, a guy who could have been a model for a cologne commercial. Actually, Jean was a working model/actor/aspiring singer with the typical chiseled face, high cheekbones and shoulder length hair that was popular back then. Jean was a sweetheart of a guy and it was always amusing to see how many female clients would do a double-take at him, especially when he would practice his “model moves” with me like the one above (with his shirt “on” of course).

Because it was always so busy, Jean would often play the “cute, handsome or sexy” game with me to see if we had the same taste in men. Whenever a man he found interesting walked in, Jean would say “cute, handsome or sexy” to me and tell me his “rating”. Then I would either agree or disagree.

Looking back, I can see how politically incorrect this was but since it was Jean’s game, don’t frown at me

We always agreed on the “cute” and “handsome”, but it was clear that his “sexy” and my “sexy” differed and that led us into a number of conversation.

For Jean, it was all based on a guy’s looks while for me, “sexy” was more than looks – “sexy” included a man’s attitude, intelligence, confidence and how he carried himself.

I mean, a man can be “sexy” without being cute or gorgeous – he could be your average-looking man with a je ne sais pas quoi about him like, for example, Javier Bardem. He’s not my cup of tea but he’s got something going for him. Then again, it could be his accent too…

 

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I can already see this post is going long so I’ll stop here with this question:

What do you think? Can someone be sexy without necessarily being hot, cute or attractive?

And if so, could you name a celebrity who would fit that bill?

*not his real name

All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

 

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“Willy Wonka And The Baby Factory” #travel

I’m minding my own business and doing my thing on the beach. But I can’t help overhearing a conversation between a small group of men sitting nearby having a “good old boys” time.

Like so many who fly down to PR just for the weekend, it’s clear that these “boys” are in town to party and that the Medalla drinking and cigar puffing is part of the pre-party festivities.

My ears perk up when one of the men starts talking about his latest baby momma. I try not to judge people but I can’t help myself with him.  It’s clear that the children he has are from multiple women and that he sees it as some kind of warped badge of honor.

I’m already rolling my eyes behind my sunglasses but my eyes bug out when he says, “I tell you man, these females are sooo tricky. Always getting themselves pregnant so that they can trap you into paying for them.”

Females?

Always getting themselves pregnant?

Paying for them?

I take a closer look at him and truly wonder what woman in her right mind would let him within 10 feet of her whooha but to each her own taste.

I text a friend to share my judgmental thoughts and almost die with laughter at her response:

“Total loser! If he chose not to cover his d*** before he did the deed, the only asshole to blame is himself. He probably Willy Wonka’ed some poor girl who was too young to know better.”

Me:

“Are you watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory again?”

Friend:

“Yup. It’s part of a Johnny Depp movie marathon on tv. How did you know?”

Me:

“Just a good guess.”

All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews

 

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#TravelTuesday: “I Wear My Sunglasses At Light” #travel @mondayblogs

I’m guilty.

The only time I wear sunglasses is when I’m on the beach and my reasons have nothing to do with the glare of the sun, UV rays and eye protection. Wearing sunglasses has everything to do with people watching.

I don’t mean in a creepy stalker kind of way like the guy in this post. I’m talking about the not-so-obvious, perfectly sneaky way to observe people’s interactions, body language and conversations that are within earshot. And no one is really the wiser if you do it the right way.

Sunglasses on, nose in book and ears wide open.

The kind of “observing” that gets your imagination going, leads you to make up stories about the people you see and try to decipher the relationships between them…the stuff begs questions like:

How is it that this mother and daughter have matching plastic surgery?

Mother and daughter with matching plastic surgery All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews

What secrets are these two lovers keeping from each other?

What secrets are they keeping from each other? All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews

What’s the story behind this woman’s back tattoo?

Why did she get that tattoo? All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews

Who was sipping on this coconut before they abandoned it?

Whose coconut was this and how did it get here? All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews

Yes, I am guilty of wearing my sunglasses to seek out ideas when I’m on the beach.

But as a writer, YOU are guilty too.

Whether it’s on the beach, while sitting in a coffeeshop, at the hair salon or on the train…

I know that you do it too because as writers, we observe, ponder, imagine and create tales.

The question is, “Who’s watching you?”

Images and content ©2017 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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No Strokes For Different Folks #microaggressions 

This is clearly not me…taken from and credit to: https://giphy.com/gifs/hannahbronfman-hannah-bronfman-3og0IAsEcf8EfYAAUw

I’m rolling my eyes at the fact that I felt the need to write this this “disclaimer” as an intro…

This post is NOT intended to call anyone “ignorant”. It’s to raise awareness about how uncomfortable people can feel when seemingly harmless things are said and done to them, oftentimes by people who don’t mean any harm and don’t realize how their actions are being received.

But when we know better, we do better right?

That is the objective of this post.

Hopefully that was clear because I’m climbing onto my soapbox now…

This could have been included in yesterday’s “Pet Peeves” but I felt that it deserved its own post. 

In my “Life of Pie” – 12 Totally Random Things You Never Needed To Know About Me” post, I told you that sometimes people I barely know have gotten into my personal space and have touched my “_____”, taking me off guard before I could even react.

In that post, I purposely left it blank so that you could guess. Some of you guessed right and some of you guessed …not right.

Well, as luck would have it, someone who knew exactly what I was referring to in that post forwarded me a real-life example of my #12.

Take a look:

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

I cringed the moment I saw that outstretched hand…

It boggles my mind why some people think that it’s “okay” to cross that personal boundary, physically touch someone they may barely know and even sometimes go so far as to glide their hands over another person.

How would those same individuals like it if someone they barely knew stroked them?

I don’t care if the gesture is meant to be a compliment – do not touch me without my permission.

I repeat – I. Do. Not. Care. No. Touching.

Yes, that woman looks amazing at 53. And I’ll even let that co-host’s words slide this time (because it’s an entirely different conversation).

But the touching?

Uhhhh…no, no, no.

There are no ifs, ands or buts about it. Don’t do it. Not everyone will be as polite as the woman in this video. Recoiling like a snake while giving you my “subway” face has been my go-to move for years now because it’s been much more effective than being “polite” by pretending to be okay with it.

Oh…the stories I could share with you but I won’t.

As food for thought, I’m leaving you with a link to “21 Racial Microaggressions You Hear On A Daily Basis“. If you don’t have time to read, the photos speak volumes.

Microaggressions are not limited to “race”. There are many that abound related to gender and sexuality too…

Okay, I’m climbing off my soapbox now. My rant is over. 🙂

All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews

 

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