Thursday, September 30, 2010

Link Love for 9/30

It's been over a month since our last round-up, and we've been reading a couple of new blogs since then, so let's get right to it.

Awaken Your CAREERpreneur talks about the different feelings that simple question "so, what do you do?" can bring up.

Girl w/Pen offers some ideas about balancing gender inequality, with a look at exactly who they help and hurt.

Global Sisters delves into innovative solutions for young women's empowerment, as discussed at the World Youth Conference.

In Good Company brings up the frustrations of needing the one thing you regularly give other people.

Lindsey Pollak wants to help overcome the image of entitlement that people seem to have of 20-somethings.

NYWSE highlights Prosperity Candle L3C in their series on market-based solutions for community development.

One Writeous Chick admits that, contrary to what everyone says, sometimes the goal in life isn't balance.

Savvy Ladies shares some tips on how to financially prepare for pregnancy and your postpartum life.

The Woodhull Blog discusses the societal expectation for women to be mothers in order to be considered completely successful.

Be sure to leave links in the comments to things you've been reading and writing online lately. Happy reading!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Power of No Words

I was walking through crowds of slow-moving tourists in Manhattan this weekend and made eye contact with someone promoting double decker bus tours. I never did this before, but that day I was wondering if my two companions who were visiting from California would be interested in the tour. I walked right by the man, but he followed me a few steps to the corner and presented his brochure and made a fervent sales pitch, which I politely declined. I knew he would try to approach me from that brief moment we had.

It just reminds me how potent our non-verbal communication skills are, and to trust our instincts. I am always surprised at how much I reveal without saying a word, and how I can usually tell how someone feels or what they might say or do, even if I never speak to that person.

Other examples of this behavior dropped like anvils throughout the day. One incident occurred on the subway, when I was having a muted conversation with one of my companions. I noticed a woman sitting near us reacting to what we were saying without speaking. Her body language and facial expressions were subtle, but I could tell she disapproved. Instead of turning her head or moving to a seat further away from us, she kept looking in our direction. It amused me how I could tell how much she wanted to chime in but wouldn’t, and how her dislike of what we were saying grew with every word. Later that day, we wanted to find a subway station and I approached an angry looking traffic cop to ask for directions. My friends were put off by his disagreeable demeanor, which was evident when he turned his back to us as we walked towards him; I asked him for information, which he tersely gave. Somehow, I knew his standoffish behavior would not prevent him from giving us the right directions, and thankfully I was right.

How much do you rely on your ability to communicate or read others non-verbally?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

"Is He Financially Attractive?"

Last night, I made my way to WAM!NYC's event on financial literacy with personal finance expert Manisha Thakor, and I'm really glad I went because I learned a lot. (I'll probably share some of the highlights with you as I start putting these things into practice.) Manisha was friendly, funny, and talked to us like she was our friend, which all made the information she was giving us much more accessible. Seriously, I can't think of anybody else who has made me feel that comfortable when talking about money.

But of all the things she spoke about, one of the things that resonated with me the most was about finances in relationships. She kept telling us that we needed to talk money with our honey, and stressed that it's particularly important because financial opposites attract.

She gave the example of a saver going on a date with a spender, who marvels at his offer to buy popcorn and soda at the movies. We all laughed when she gave the reaction I know I've had, "you mean you EAT at the MOVIES?!?!" Meanwhile, the spender sees the saver load up on water at a fountain past the security checkpoint at an airport and is equally impressed.

The difference in habits is part of what attracts us at first, but it also comes back to cause some of the biggest problems later. As she explained, when people ask you about getting serious with your partner, they ask if you're physically, mentally, and spiritually attracted to them, but nobody asks you if you're financially compatible.

To which I say, Manisha, where the heck were you five years ago?!

Her big take-away wasn’t that you should be afraid to be with the spender if you’re the saver or vice versa, or that you should try to change their ways (because you won’t), but rather that you should know and acknowledge this from the start so you can negotiate your spending and saving habits throughout your relationship.

I know I’ll be applying her wisdom in my own life – it’s never too late to start!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Knitting Pretty

I saw an early episode of 30 ROCK in which Alec Baldwin's character guesses (correctly) of Tina Fey's character: "Every three years you take up knitting for...two weeks." I laugh every time I think of that line. Sounds just like me!

I spent time with a pair of knitter friends this weekend, and after watching them work, now I'm raring to go whip out the needles and begin work on The Great American Sweater. Except I know myself well enough to realize that I'm likely to achieve little more than The Mediocre American Neckline. so is it worth expending my burst of knitting energy now, when I fear I'll end up with nothing but a half-finished, mostly-knotted ball of yarn in the back of my closet a month from now?

This is not to say I've never finished a knitting project. I've made several scarves, a hat and some baby blanket patches for charity. But a girl can only use so many scarves. I'm dying to create a cool sweater, afghan or skirt that I can wear and use and be proud of. I just don't seem to have the dedication for a long-term project.

Dilemma: I don't want to set myself up for failure, or to be the sort of person who gives up easily. But who knows, maybe this is the moment when I'll find my knitting "stride" and be able to go the distance, so I hate to deny myself the chance.

Decision: I've failed at knitting in the past, but I've always attempted it solo. Being with friends has reminded me that maybe the best way to learn, progress and have fun is by bringing others into it. So I've chosen a new, more advanced project, something still small and achievable (a purse, not a sweater!), and sometime in the next few weeks my friend is going to help me find good yarn and get started!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday Forum: Movie Magic

Summer's known for movie blockbusters, but the fall often has Oscar contenders and other great films, especially around the holidays. This year is no different with highly-anticipated movies like Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (which comes out this weekend) and part one of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

What are some of the movies you're looking forward to this season?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Your Story to Tell

All this talk of writing lately, and we're still hoping to read some of your great words!

Send us your posts about the good, bad, and ugly in your life. We can all learn from each other and connect better to each other by reaching a common ground in our stories. Everyone has a story to tell, you just have to find yours.

Don't be afraid to speak up or think your story's not worth telling. If you need inspiration, just check out our guest bloggers of the past and see what they had to say. And don't forget to see our guest blogger guidelines for help getting started.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Welcome Diversity To The Neighborhood

Earlier this month, a new Indian restaurant opened just minutes from where I live. There never was anything like it in our neighborhood before, and its arrival is a pleasant surprise to me. Having an Indian restaurant nearby means more than just the food of course; it means more diversity and choices in our area, and that is a very good thing. The owner of the establishment told us that an Indian grocery store will be opening next door, which lifted my spirits. I don’t always have to drive more than a half hour to other parts of New Jersey or take the bus into New York City to get a good mango lassi or buy amla oil. Soon, both will be available in my neighborhood, and it is both reassuring and convenient on so many levels.

Sure, we have President Obama and the Civil Rights’ Movement is decades old, but I never forget that there are elements of racism and ignorance all around me. Once, my family was the only one of color on our side of town; there was another Indian family who lived on the other side. Now, there are numerous Indian families living on every block. I also see more orthodox Muslims moving into the area, and they go about their lives wearing their traditional dress without being bothered by anyone. Large communities of Hasidic Jews, Hispanics, and African Americans all live in a nearby town, and it makes me feel good being around everyone in the local park. I know that perfection doesn’t exist, and there are simmering resentments felt by people that I don’t know about, but I believe that those generations who went before us and wanted what we have now would be glad to know how far we have come.

So while most people think of the Indian restaurant as another place to eat, I see it as a good omen. Is it a stretch to think so? Maybe, but I think the future looks brighter with its arrival in the neighborhood.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Write Stuff

In the last couple of months, I've been doing quite a bit of writing. Whether it's a regular blog post, something for work, a review, or a tv recap, there's a lot of writing to be done. It's not surprising if in a week, I write for 5 or 6 hours. It may not seem like a lot, but it's quite the increase after barely writing a few hours a month.

As you can imagine, I've been doing a lot of complaining lately. (Not any serious complaining, just the "oh I finally got that done but darn now I have another one!" kind.) But with every complaint comes the satisfaction of knowing that it feels right. It feels great to be constantly writing, and, believe it or not, it just makes me want to write more.

I’ve been waking up really early for the past couple of weeks, giving myself time to make my own coffee at home and have some toast with Nutella, aka, the breakfast of champions. I’m starting to wonder if I should get up a bit earlier so that I can do those things while also writing. Writing what, I’m not sure, but writing. It’s something I’ve been meaning to do for a long time now, but have never really made a part of my daily routine.

Could it be that I’m finally getting used to the idea that I want to be a writer? A big fat duh, to be sure, but I’m marking it as an accomplishment.

When did you realize you knew what you wanted to be “when you grow up”? How did you start taking steps toward that goal?

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Women's Table

Last week I went to the Brooklyn Museum to see The Dinner Party, created by Judy Chicago (and hundreds of volunteers), a landmark piece of feminist art from the late 1970's. Surprisingly, I had never heard of this piece, which is now on permanent exhibition as the centerpiece of the museum's Elizabeth Sackler Center for Feminist Art.

The Dinner Party is a large triangular table with dinner place settings for 39 women (real and mythical) who over the course of history have impacted feminism, women's rights, and/or the perception of women in the world. Each featured woman represents a cadre of women who made related contributions, and 999 additional names are scrawled on floor tiles in the center. Some represented include The Fertile Goddess, Hatshepsut, Sappho, Elizabeth I, Sojourner Truth, Virginia Woolf and Georgia O'Keefe.

Each place setting contains a unique plate and table runner styled to represent the individual woman's contribution, plus an identical fork, knife and goblet to represent the unity among them. The ceramic plates feature stylized butterfly/flower/vulva forms, and the intricately stitched table runners and ceramic work alike spotlight centuries of “unsigned” women’s art—the quilts, clothing, dishes and more that women have sewn, painted and created over time.

As with any piece of (woman-centered) art of this scale and attention, The Dinner Party was controversially received. Developed between 1974-1979, and debuted in San Francisco, it then existed without a permanent home for over two decades. Is this so surprising, given that women’s work and art has traditionally been pushed to the margins? Let alone a piece of women’s art designed to highlight that very history…

Personally, I found the piece impressive, intriguing and inspiring, but most of all--it begs a conversation. After all, what else is a dinner party for?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday Forum: Fall Fun

Of all the seasons, summer usually gets all the attention, what with the beach trips, vacations abroad, barbecues, amusement parks, etc. But fall has a lot going for it too: harvest festivals, apple pie, greenmarkets, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and more.

What are some of the things you're most looking forward to this fall? Is there anything you do with family and friends every year that you've got planned?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Helping My Neighbor

Most of us have the desire to help those who are less fortunate than ourselves. Giving donations to charities that assist people in developing countries is what many of us have and would be willing to do, but what about those living in our neighborhoods? After all, those who need real help of all kinds live everywhere. My neighbor is one these people, and I am wondering how I can best help her.

At first, I was wary of her. Several months ago, I heard my new neighbor ranting in our common hallway for no apparent reason, which really put me off. When I met her for the first time, I realized that her mental and physical ailments impair her behavior. She talks incessantly about her disappointing relatives, her overwhelming health issues, and her cat, who she has a love/hate relationship with. I was shocked to hear that her family never visits her, especially since some of them live nearby.

As the daughter of Indian immigrants, I was raised with the understanding that the young take care of their elderly family members when they cannot do so themselves. Surprisingly, part of me understands why my neighbor’s family members are not interested in having a relationship with her; her erratic behavior is overwhelming at times, and while she has always been kind to me, I have heard her have frightening verbal arguments with others. Dealing with someone who is unstable and has mounting health care bills could be too much for those who have their own financial and personal issues to deal with. Still, I could never completely abandon a relative of mine in such dire circumstances.

My neighbor should not be living alone. I know there are many services for the sick, disabled, and elderly on public assistance, but I have no idea how good they are or if she is willing. In the meantime, I will continue to check in on her, even though I know it isn’t enough. I just hope I will never be in a similar situation when I get older. It is a frightening thought.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

We Turned Two & Need Help From You

Time moves so quickly that we almost can't believe it, but it's been two years since TWM launched CHICKS ROCK!

We wanted to create a space that was personal, inviting, and gave our bloggers, guest bloggers, and readers the chance to be open and honest. We wanted to touch on broad themes such as personal growth, finding your voice, etc., while also writing about topics like career, family, and travel, just to name a few. No matter what it is, the posts have a personal voice that allows readers to connect with the writer.

We're very proud of the work we've already done here on CHICKS ROCK!, but we're always looking for ways to get better. Our calls for participation sometimes get swallowed up by cyberspace, but we hope this is the one that gets through and sends back some responses.

We'd love to hear from you about how we're doing and what direction you want us to go in. It'd be great to know if you read the blog regularly or sporadically, what topics you'd like to see covered, perhaps even a list of other blogs you like to read, or any questions you might have about advertising on the blog. Send an email to with your answers to these questions, and any other tips, advice and insight you'd like to share. What we do here at CHICKS ROCK! is for you, so we want to make sure that you're constantly using the space and learning a bit more about others and yourself.

We can't wait to hear from you and continue making CHICKS ROCK! the best it can be!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Shedding Pounds

If there’s one thing that bothers me… actually, a lot of things bother me, but one of them is waste. I wouldn’t say I’m as vigilant about it as I could or should be, but I like to live by the three Rs: reduce, reuse, recycle.

With that outlook, I refused to throw away the bags and bags of clothes, linens and shoes I’ve been accumulating over the years, knowing that textiles can be recycled, if not donated. I’ve had some of these piles for two years now, and they’ve just grown with time. It was starting to become that deep secret you keep locked in the closet. No, literally, I had stuffed all of these things throughout the closets in my apartment (it didn’t all fit in any one closet), and lived my life as if they weren’t there.

Except they were.

This year, I slowly but surely started to chip away at the pile (probably more slowly than surely). But I’m happy to say that after this weekend, I am finally rid of it! I gave some of it away to my friend who then helped me lug the containers and duffel bags over to the textile recycling Wearable Collections had set up. The best thing about their program is that the clothing is sorted, so anything that can be reused will be and if it can’t, it’s recycled.

It’s amazing how much lighter I feel now that I’ve finally done this. It’s as if I was subconsciously wearing the pounds and pounds of clothes I had stuffed in those closets. Of course, now that there’s actually room in the closets again, there’s no longer any excuse for the complete mess in there. I guess getting those spic and span is my next task, but for now, I’m just happy I got this done.

Do you have any clutter and chaos that’s weighing you down? What’s your plan of action for getting rid of it?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Revealing A New Vision

I attended The Women's Mosaic Visioning Workshop this weekend. Even though I've participated in this semi-annual event perhaps a dozen times, creating a new collage is always a unique and meaningful experience.

We had a very full room of women participating, which meant lots of collective energy and lots of different visions coming to life. It was exciting to have a majority of first timers, too! When we gathered at the end to share our posters with each other, I found myself puzzling less over my own collage than usual, and feeling more engaged with what other people had chosen to focus on in their pieces.

From my perspective, our vision board revelations--no matter how varied--tend to fall into two categories: I'll call them "external" and "internal." Sometimes, parts of the collage speak to our external needs and desires--job/career, lifestyle, home, travel, appearance and image, health, relationships, friendships, family. Things that change tangibly, that you can touch or aspire toward. Other parts of the collage speak to our internal evolution--affirmation, self-acceptance, self-nurture, vulnerabilites, emotional growth and all sorts of intangible realizations that help us understand and embrace ourselves as individuals.

No matter what my own collage has to say each year, it always reminds me to keep thinking about who I am and where I fit in the world. It reminds me to touch base with the deeper parts of myself that sometimes get shut down in favor of practicality and problems and day-to-day life distractions that eat up time and energy. It reminds me to keep dreaming and to keep breathing and to continue becoming myself in every way possible.

Any visioners out there with collage stories to share?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday Forum: Don't Fall This Fall

With TWM's Visioning Workshop taking place this weekend and a new season starting, now seems a good time to check in with ourselves.

What are some of the areas in your life you'd like to get clarity on? Are there any roadblocks you're currently facing? Let's support each other to make sure we don't stumble and fall.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Write or Die

CHICKS ROCK! is happy to have Kristina back as a guest blogger this week.

Kristina Leonardi is the founder of The Women’s Mosaic. She is a career/life path consultant, speaker, seminar leader and expert in the areas of women, diversity and personal growth.

I recently attended a workshop with Erica Jong, who implored us to write the story we absolutely had to tell or we would die. She also taught us to write something that unlocks who we are, encouraged us to be ourselves, to discover and write in our own voice. But how do you know what your voice is if you never use it? (Sorry, but tweets and texts barely count, if at all!)

You don't need to be an aspiring blogger, poet, or novelist to heed these wise words. I always recommend that folks write as much as they can in order to get in touch with their inner selves - a journal is a place where you can be the most free in expressing you are and what you need to say. When connected to that internal, emotional voice honestly and often enough you will begin to reveal who you are and what is important to you, whether in career, relationships or life in general. We write what we need to read.

It's a place to clarify your feelings, share your ideas and experiences, release the past and make plans for the future, all without judgment. Your journal is your best friend. At the very least it is a to-do list, for items big and small. The act of writing something down makes it real and tangible and helps crystallize the hurricane of thoughts and emotions we often have swirling around inside of us.

After the process of putting it all on the page, it can make us more effective in communicating what it is we need or want from others, or from ourselves, and actually make sense doing so! I also suggest using a pen and paper whenever possible - it's more organic and raw when you take out the technological middle man.

If you access your authentic voice in writing then, as Erica said, "being an author makes you an authority." You don't have to be the next Maya Angelou, JD Salinger or Danielle Steele to be the author of your own life and truth. Have a little writer's block or need a ghostwriter to help give you context or an outline of how to even begin? Just give me a buzz and I'll have you on your own personal best-seller list before you can say Pulitzer Prize.

P.S. - If you're looking for a place to start getting your voice out there, we're always looking for guest bloggers on CHICKS ROCK!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Ignorance Still Prevails

It still amazes me how many Americans still look at the world through an “us versus them” lens. Aren’t we supposed to emphasize our personal freedoms? When I read recently that a sizable percentage of Americans believe that President Obama is a Muslim, I was shocked. I wonder sometimes if these people realize that we live in the 21st century. With opposition of the building of a mosque near the Ground Zero and news about a Christian pastor in Florida hosting the “International Burn a Koran Day” on September 11, 2010 polluting the news media, I am even more annoyed than ever. I personally like the division of church and state, and I will continue support it, even if fewer people around me do. Sure, the U.S. Constitution protects our right to protest, but can’t we be civil about it all?

I know there is a considerable percentage of us who know that extremist behavior and attitudes from any side usually leads to trouble, but there are also many who don’t know or don’t care about these consequences. Before coming up with the “International Burn a Koran Day,” the Floridian pastor was an unknown and obscure leader of a very small, non-denominational congregation. Now he is internationally infamous for concocting this upcoming publicity stunt. I really wish I never knew anything about this person or his extremist tactics. He seems to want more violence and conflict, and the sad thing is there are many people who agree with him.

I grew up believing that “two wrongs don’t make a right,” and I will continue to hold on to it. I remember knowing that there would be growing anti-Islamic sentiment after the 9/11 attacks happened, but I thought that as a nation we would have worked through some of these feelings and put the tragic events in a proper perspective by now. In retrospect, I realize I was naive to think that way. The years go by, but the scar remains; we will need more time and patience before more progress is made.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Out of Sight, Out of Mind?

I know this is a given for most, but it's always amazing to me how some things just work out on their own. I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was switching gears to get back on track for my goals this year. Even though one of them had been to coordinate my travel plans, I had to put that on the backburner so that I could focus on more important things like my health and finances.

No sooner had I decided to do this than trips were suddenly popping up all over the place. Within a couple of weeks, I had a trip scheduled for a conference in Seattle and another one in the works for Mississippi, both for work. Now there's also a possibility of Disney World (AKA, my favorite place in the world) before the year is out.

In Mississippi, I spent time with other writers and got to take a look at a state I would never really think to travel to on my own. And because I flew into Memphis, it was yet another state I could cross off my list to visit. Not only did I have great food down there, but I also met really friendly people.

Seattle, meanwhile, has been on my list of places to visit for a long time. I had to spend most of my time working or at the conference, so I didn't get to explore as much as I would've liked, but it was still nice being there. To top it off, the weather was actually quite nice while I was there and it only rained a bit on one of the days. I like to think the weather held up just for my visit.

I still can't believe how easily it all fell into place after deciding NOT to focus my attention on travel. Maybe next I'll stop thinking about the gym and become a fitness fiend.

Have you recently had something come together after you put it out of your mind?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor of Love

In honor of Labor Day, it feels like a good time to share news of a project I've been working on that has finally come to fruition. Today the Fall issue of Hunger Mountain, an online arts journal, goes live!

For a little over a year, I've served as Co-Editor of Young Adult and Children's Literature for Hunger Mountain. Each quarterly issue consists of about fifteen articles and fiction pieces, all of which I help solicit, edit and prep for publication. To call it a labor of love is a bit of a stretch--it's been more a labor of, well, labor. My co-editor Bethany Hegedus and I have a great time building each issue, but it's a lot of work. Seeing the magazine come together in the end always leaves me feeling a combination of relief, excitement, and pride.

Our section's theme for this issue is "Exploring Options, Stretching Boundaries...", and that link will take you to our letter/table of contents. We've gathered various authors' thoughts on how to transform personal pain into powerful prose. This topic strikes a chord because, for many of us, what we write is at least partly about processing our own experiences, and we create our best work when we try to tackle those things that are hardest to talk about--our mistakes, our fears, our unanswered questions, our wounds. For those of you who are writers, whether or not you write for kids like we do, you'll almost certainly find some articles of interest there.

The unifying message of these articles is pretty important for non-writers, too, I think. The idea that your personal experiences--the great, the awkward and the terrible--can become points of connection with others, if you can find a way to share them. It's also what we strive to achieve here at CHICKS ROCK!

Happy Labor Day! May the fruits of your labor bring you joy, fulfilment and success now and always.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Friday Forum: Summer Memories

Labor Day is usually seen as the end of summer, so this is a good time to look back on our summers.

What were the highlights of your summer months? Did you take any trips, read any great books, or meet any new people?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Need the Right Answer? Trust Your Gut, Literally

CHICKS ROCK! is happy to welcome Alexia as a guest blogger this week.

Alexia Vernon is a career and leadership speaker, certified coach, and author of the forthcoming book Awaken Your CAREERpreneur: A Holistic Road Map to Climb from Your Calling to Your Career. She'll be leading The Audacity to Speak, a weekend public speaking bootcamp for women in NYC, September 24-25, 2010.

Whenever I look back on important choices I’ve made in my life, I recognize that each one was motivated by a message my body sent me. I just needed to be on the lookout for it.

The clearest example of this was making the choice to leave New York City. This month marks one year since I relocated to Las Vegas. When the idea popped up, I pretty instantly knew based on the messages I was receiving from my body that it was the right thing to do. If I had relied on logic I would have told myself "you'll never get a book published if you leave Manhattan" or "your business will stagnate if you move to the city with the nation’s highest unemployment rate." Fortunately, my gut knew better!

It’s taken a bit of practice to learn how to decode what my body's telling me, but I now recognize that my “gut response” truly resides in my gut. My stomach hurts, I get a little nauseous, etc. For a long time, I interpreted these responses as a sign that I was on the wrong track and did whatever I could to avoid them. As I’ve learned through the years, however, when my gut doesn’t get activated in a big decision it means I’m not asking myself to step outside of my comfort zone and into the unknown. It means I’m considering making a choice to play my life safe and small. And when I do this, I create a glass ceiling to my success and happiness.

So now, each time I’m on the precipice of a major change or weighing whether or not to launch a new service or product, I give myself some time to hang out with my tummy and listen to what she has to say. We scarf down some cupcakes, drink a pot of ginger tea and meditate with some lavender essential oil. And above all else, I remind myself that the less I force her to give me an answer and let her do her thing, the better I hear when she’s ready to speak.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Best Woman

My sister is getting married at the end of this year, and she made me her best woman. She told me point blank that she does not like the maid of honor title, because in the dictionary maid refers to a woman’s single status in antiquated terms, or a woman’s position of servitude. I personally love the unconventional title, and I hope to live up to it on my sister’s wedding day.

No one in my immediate family really likes weddings. We don’t mind being invited to them, and our good wishes for those happy couples are always sincere; it is the excessive use of money and all of the pressures that come from putting together a wedding that really puts us off. A marriage is so much more than just a wedding and a honeymoon. When I hear reports of people who spend tens of thousands of dollars on their nuptials only to be separated, divorced, and/or in serious debt for years afterwards, it really perplexes me. Premarital counseling should be required for all engaged couples before they go ahead with marriage, but this is just my opinion. After all, we have to go through driver’s education before pursuing our drivers’ licenses; why can’t obtaining a marriage license require the same?

I have seen how much my sister and her fiancĂ© have prepared for their life together as husband and wife. Premarital counseling and just being open with each other have made their decision to marry a completely logical and understandable next step. As my sister’s best woman, I will have some responsibilities, but the role will not overwhelm me, especially since I may move out of the area very soon. I just know that on the day of the wedding, I will be there to give a toast and help make sure the day in question runs as smoothly as possible, but the fact that it is a destination wedding alleviates so much pressure; a smaller guest turnout will help make the day easier and more enjoyable. Yes, I am very glad to be the best woman.

Disclaimer: Blog entries express the opinions of the respective Bloggers/Contributors/Authors/Commenters solely, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Women's Mosaic. As host and manager of CHICKS ROCK!, TWM acts solely as a provider of access to the internet and not as publisher of the content contained in bloggers' posts and cannot confirm the accuracy or reliability of individual entries. Each participant is solely responsible for the information, analysis and/or recommendations contained in her blog posts.
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