Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013

This year was filled with so many ups and downs I honestly feel like I've experienced two years in one.

At the end of the year I usually have lots that I am grateful for and although I am grateful for A LOT, the past few months have been extremely emotionally and physically exhausting. I’m tired! I'm tired of looking for positive meanings in the midst of bad situations that are out of my control. Although I don’t go looking for trouble, troubles tend to sneak up on me just when things are moving in the direction I would like. I want my life to be happy and perfect and I want everything to happen to and for me exactly the way I want it to, when I want it to! (Spoiled brat, much?)

What I really want in life is simplicity, but life has other things in store for me. I joke sometimes that the monkey wrenches thrown into my life and there to shake things up a bit, because without these monkey wrenches, I’m really not that interesting. Without these monkey wrenches, I’d have nothing to write about. But (sometimes) I don’t want things worthy of writing about to keep happening to me. I just want to live in a little bit of peace. But that’s life and you would think by the age of thirty-four I would have accepted that by now.

2013 was good, but the past three months haven’t been good at all and I’m really hoping that 2014 will be one thousand times better because I need it.

I’m looking forward to moving away from the emotional ending of 2013 and majorly taking charge of the things that I can control in 2014.

Thank God for Edward and thank God for my AMAZING friends who have carried me through the end of this year. You are all blessed to have me in your lives ;-) , and I am so blessed to have all of you loving me. I honestly don’t know what I would do without you.

I wish everyone love, happiness, health and success in this coming year!!

Happy New Year!

~Love Louise

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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Today I am Grateful

It’s incredible how a month, a week, a day, an hour, a minute or even a second can change your life forever. The past few months have taken me on a roller coaster ride consisting of extreme highs and lows that have changed who I am for the rest of my life. It’s amazing how life works; how the Louise I knew a few months back isn't the Louise that I am today.

I always thought it was ridiculous when I heard people say, ‘you chose your own happiness’. But life and circumstances will always teach you what a phrase can mean to you.

There were times over the past few months when I didn't know whether to cry or laugh, so like the crazy person that I am, I did both. But because I’m a person who likes to be happy, I will do whatever I can and immerse myself into the superficial, mindless things (magazines, nail polish, the real housewives of...) that make me feel the light of joy spread throughout my body and remove that dragging feeling of sadness. But sometimes, you have to allow yourself to feel sadness when it is due, so that you can get past whatever you are going through and feel better. And I will always feel better because I like to feel better. I love to laugh. I love to smile. I like to be happy because that is what and who I chose to be.

The events of the past few months have confirmed to me that I’m really an adult. (Me being an adult has been confirmed for years, but sometimes the fact that I’m a grownup still catches me by surprise.) I’ve been faced with real adult situations that have helped me to take stock of what I’m really made of.

I’ve learned that although I thought I was strong, I can actually be stronger than the strongest strong that I thought I was. I’ve learned that even though I like to be strong, I don’t always have to be. I’ve learned that even though things aren’t so good at the moment, they could always be worse. And I've learned that nothing bad is ever so bad when you have so much love in your life.

If you are blessed, like I am, bad times will bring out the goodness in the people surrounding you. I am truly, deeply loved and this isn’t a surprise to me because the people in my life are all reflections of who I am. I‘m surrounded by love, loyalty and a group of exceptionally special individuals who are a testament to the person of which I am proud and grateful to be.

When I sat down to begin writing, I meant to focus specifically on what I was grateful for, but the wordsmith of my heart and soul didn't cooperate with me. I like my blog to be a place of laughter and positivity, but I also want it to be true to who I am and if I’m going through something, you will see it here.

I feel like every thanksgiving I’m redundantly grateful for the same exact thing; the loves in and of my life who are near and far. And this thanksgiving, I am especially grateful for the same and for the blessings of life and love. I’m grateful for this day and for the days to follow. And I’m grateful to have you to love me.

I love you!

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

~Louise C.

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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Louise's Restaurant Picks - Cubana Social

One of my favorite things to do in October (well, all year round, who am I kidding?) is get together with my friends; eat and drink and be merry! I absolutely LOVE restaurants. There is something cozy about dining in the chilly temps and leaving a restaurant warmed and buzzed by the good food, good friends and wine. For this reason, I deeply miss my Restaurant of the Month buddies.


I haven't done a Restaurant Pick in a while. Certainly not because I haven't been going out and stuffing my face, I think it's just because I've been lazy, or maybe because nothing has given me that inner stirring that this restaurant did. I eat small portions, but I love food! And when food is so good that it I am moved in my soul, I just have to share!

My fifteenth featured Restaurant Pick is Cubana Social:


70 North 6th Street
Brooklyn, NY
http://www.cubanasocial.com/
Cuisine: Cuban

I RARELY travel to Brooklyn because it's in the opposite direction from where I live and these days, I am all about refusing to go out of my way and shortening my commute time. But it was one of my bestie's birthdays so I had to travel to the BK. My friend’s party didn't begin until later so I looked online for a restaurant in the area where I could kill time and Cuban Social was the winner; mainly because I love Latin food and also because I am a snob and they had a website (the others places didn't) and I like to scope out the menu and the place before go.

I’d stupidly had a smoothie for lunch that day, so by the time I got to the restaurant I was starving to the point of nausea. I wasn’t even sure if I was hungry anymore, but I had to eat, because there would be alcohol later.

I ordered the Ropa Vieja Classica (grass fed brisket stew with tomato, poblano & olive, maduros, arroz, frijos) and Edward ordered the Lechon Cubano (8 hour slow roasted & garlic citrus marinated pork, arroz, frijos). Now, my mouth is watering...

The food was GOOD!! Like moan, close your eyes and take a moment of silence to let the food sit on our tongue without chewing, good!

I completely wasn't expecting the food to be that good because I'd judged the restaurant by the swanky hipsters creeping out of every crevice of the neighborhood and the restaurant alike with their fedora / newspaper boy hats and prescription-less geek-chic glasses. But let's be honest, the swanky hipsters aren't the ones who were cooking the food, so I shouldn't have judged the place from the diners / employees.


No matter how hungry I am, I never finish my food, so I took the rest home and ate it the next day. I wasn't sure if I thought the food was that good because I was so hungry the day before, but it was just as damn good the next day!

The only complaints I have, which aren't really complaints, just things Louise doesn't like, is that it’s too dark in the restaurant. It's nice to be romantical and all, but I also like to see what I'm eating. And there is wonderful, live jazz being performed as you eat, but you can’t hear what the person sitting next to you is saying. 



Maybe I'm getting old, but I don't want to shout my dinner conversations. I guess to avoid such things, I would have to go next time before the music gets live.

...And there definitely will be a next time!

Visit their website for more of their menu options.

Enjoy and until next time, happy eating!

~Louise C.

Follow me on Twitter @ LouiseCazley
Photos from cubanasocial.com

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

See you... In September...

That song still gives me the chills... (Blegh)

Although I haven't been to school in ages, those late August back-to-school commercials work like a time machine bringing me back to the anxiety and anticipation of a new school year.

There is one back-to-school commercial this year, of girl practicing her laugh in the bathroom mirror. This commercial reminds me so much of how I used to be (particularly the night before picture day). It reminds me of how un-cool I was and, despite my insecurities at the time, it shows me just how normal I actually was.

Junior high school was fearful, dreadful, nerve wrecking, yet exciting. High school was necessary, high school was therapy. I needed to be there to get away from everyone I lived with. I was one of those weirdoes who loved being in the school building in the off hours. There was something haunting, yet comforting about those empty halls decorated with season appropriate attire. I kind of miss it. Sometimes I wish life was as simple now as it was back then.

Going back to school in September was a clean slate. A time to start fresh and exceed the academic accomplishments of the previous year. For me, school was never entirely about the schoolwork. It was a platform for me to get my socializing on. But I always came in on day one with a backpack filled with brand new number 2 pencils, a three- ring binder filled with 3-hole-punched loose leaf paper, a spiral notebook and a composition book. I came in to school with my head in the right place, ready to work, ready for the good grades, the praise and the compliments of how much of a great student I was; but the popularity contest always was more entertaining than that learning. When you're smart, though you can easily multitask by balancing the schoolwork and the petty drama that was sure to corrupt the real reason you were in school in the first place.

Friends and boys were a very welcomed distraction.

The start of a new school year left me longing for difference from the previous year. I longed to be better, dress better, look better, and as the days drew closer to that dreaded first day of school, I asked myself all of the wrong questions. What would the girls be wearing? Would I look better to everyone this year than I did last year? Will there be any new cute boys in my classes? Will the boy I liked last year, who did not like me last year, like me this year? If so, how can I isolate him in a stairwell so that he has no choice but to put his tongue in my mouth?

The right clothing was very necessary, it was how you were segregated into popular / dweeb category. If you didn't have the clothes, but had a big personality, confidence or a cute older brother, you were in good shape. I had none of the above. I had a nice shape; boobs and a good booty, but I was a young girl in the mind. I was sweet and naive (thank God) unlike the youth of today. Otherwise who knows what or who I might have become.

There was no money for the clothing that would have catapulted me into popular territory, so I had to be crafty with what I had. I often walked past Revolution, the most fashionable store (to me) in my hood, promising that when I got a job I would buy myself anything and everything that I wanted from this place! But what you plan for yourself when you are young is so small. You don’t realize that when you do get a job, you will want so much more than Revolution.

One year, one of my mom's friends took me to Alexander's and bought me a back-to-school outfit. I got a pink button-down shirt, a pair of Lee jeans and a pair of knock-off Keds from Ray's. Although I was ecstatic about having something new, I still had a little twinge because my outfit wasn't "Revolution worthy". My outfit was practical and sensible instead of being cheap and trendy. The outfit from Alexander’s was of much better quality than anything I would have gotten from Revolution... Kids and their priorities.

As an adult, September doesn't really change much. September signifies the end; of summer, of warmth, of the light airy breezy laziness the previous months held. I love all seasons, but summer is by far my favorite; and I know I'm getting old, because this summer went by extremely fast. I just can’t believe how fast time is really flying.

I'm not mad at September, though because of what it brings. September brings breathtaking beauty, airy coolness, cozy crispness, neutral tones, jackets and boots; reds, browns and fiery oranges. Leaves falling to the ground, light as feathers leaving fluffy trees skinny and bare.

September brings autumn and autumn brings times of love and togetherness. Autumn gives us a chance to create new moments and memories with the people we love and I'm looking forward to warming hearts and filling bellies, but in the meantime, I'm going to savor each and every second of these last few summer days.

Happy September!

~Louise C.

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Feed New York

I haven’t physically been to church since January and before that I hadn’t been to church since the previous February. I say physically, because my church offers the option of streaming the live service, so I attend virtually… most Sundays.

I am well aware that the option to stream the live church services is mostly for the elderly or those who cannot physically make it to church, and although I am in neither category, this is how I go to church; in my living room, on the couch with my loud speakers blasting the worship songs and the message. I know, how lazy could I be, right?

My home church has been Times Square Church since I was 10 years old, but somewhere around year twenty eight of my life I became a bum.  I work in the city so the last thing I want to do on the weekends is travel into the city. There is a church in my neighborhood which I have been promising myself that I will attend, but I still have yet to go. My lack of church attendance is not the reason for this blog, so I’ll get to the point…

A few Sunday’s ago, the pastor spoke about a program, launched by Times Square Church, called Feed New York. Time Square Church has teamed up with 100 other churches in an effort to support food assistance programs which will supply food for New Yorkers in need.

The reason this message was so moving to me is because there was a time when food pantries were the source of my food; and although I am in a much better place now, I’m not cocky enough to think that those circumstances cannot find me again.

The food that my family received from the food pantries was…interesting. I remember picking up cans of meat with a picture on the side of whichever animal was encased in aluminum tin. Food is food when you don’t have anything else to eat. Thankfully my mom was a fantastic cook, so she was able to work her chef-magic which provided us with tasty meals.

Feed New York’s mission is to provide the best, healthy foods to New Yorkers because the best is what God would want for His children.

America is known for its riches, and contrary to the beliefs of the rest of the world, we do have hungry people here.  Having been poor, I can’t think of a better reason to get involved with this organization.

For more information about Feed New York and how you can help, visit: feednewyork.org

~Louise C. 

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Monday, April 29, 2013

If I Ran the Reproductive Laws of America…

Yesterday I saw a news report about a 19-year-old woman who gave birth to a baby and threw the baby down a garbage chute. The baby didn't survive. The medical examiners are trying to determine if the baby was alive or not when it was disposed of. The young woman is being charged with a crime regardless, but the charges will be harsher if the baby was alive before it was disposed of. Less harsh if the baby was already deceased when it was disposed of.

This woman threw a human being down a garbage chute! A human being whom she just pushed out of her twat, I might add. I don’t see why the charges are even up for question, but that’s just my opinion.

I don’t know what the reasoning was behind her actions, because there is always a series of events that lead to a final decision. I’ll give her that. But I’m so disgusted with her and other women who make the decision to trash their newborn babies because there are so many other roads that can be taken without it getting to this point. Especially since today, there are so many options available to us.

For one, she could have used birth control. If you don’t want a baby, take some preventative measures. She could have given her baby up for adoption, or she could have left her baby at a hospital, fire house or police station with no questions asked. Why was this not a better option than throwing her baby in the garbage?

With so many deserving couples having fertility issues today, couples who are breaking their banks for a ‘chance’ at having a baby, I wonder why a person like this young woman is even allowed to have a baby. And if I ran the reproductive laws of America, women who make decisions like this wouldn’t be allowed to have children ever again.

If I ran the reproductive laws of America, there would be a mandatory tube tying law for situations like this. You dispose of your baby; you don’t get to have any more.

Too much?

I don’t think so. But that’s just my opinion.

~Louise C.

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Friday, February 15, 2013

Book Report – Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn

*SPOILER ALERT* If you have not read Gone Girl but plan to, you might not want to read this post.

I wish I would have taken notes earlier in the story but I didn't plan on writing a book report and I didn’t know that I was going to love the book so much.

Amy, the wife, is introduced into the story by her journal entries, which I found a bit annoying in the beginning. I've never written in a journal as if I were scripting a novel, but both of the main characters, the husband and the wife, are writers, so the voice of her journal entries make sense for the character and paint a picture of who Amy is. Although the current day narration is being told by her husband, Nick, I find myself looking more and more forward to hearing from Amy’s backlogged journal entries.

Although their relationship changes as it matures, I love the way she describes the beginning of her relationship with her husband. She loves him and she loves her life with him as it is, but obstacles are thrown into their relationship, which affect them both. Amy finds herself compromising to make Nick happy and although Nick can see the effect these compromises are having on Amy, instead of letting her know how appreciative he is, which he is, he grows a hard shell of resentment around himself and becomes bitter towards her. The closeness Amy describes in her earlier journal entries, with them driving to states in which they have never had sex, and staying there only for the 30-40 minutes to takes for them to have sex, (I REALLY enjoyed the idea of doing this!!!) that closeness has withered into Nick taking his wife's love for granted, being cold and hard towards her and not recognizing how much she really needs him.

Why these two never just communicated with each other is beyond me. But being a long relationship person, I know firsthand how easy it is to not say how you really feel to spare causing a rift where there wasn’t one to begin with. (I’m actually the opposite where I cause the rift beyond the measure it needed to go because I over communicate my feelings) Edward is the opposite. The master of holding it all in and saying 'I’m fine' even when it’s not true... Men. I’m not good at reading between the lines and I don’t think I should have to be, but this isn’t about me, it’s about Amy.

So when Amy first disappears, my first thought is that she took off. But evidence surfaces that might suggest otherwise and when Nick describes how organized his wife is and how she would never leave the house in a state where the cat would escape, I take it back. (The door was left wide open and the cat was hanging out on the front steps.) I would never take off without Baibe, my furry baby. My next thought is that something very bad happened. I watch way too much Dateline and shows of the like, so I begin to suspect Nick. We know it’s always the husband. But when I check to see how many pages are left in the book I take that back too. Nick being the reason his wife is missing is way too easy. I don’t think Nick is responsible. So I go back to Amy taking off and I begin to think that she staged the whole thing herself. But then I find out about the blood. Evidence of Amy’s blood was found throughout the kitchen. And then Nick begins telling stupid fibs and as he continues to fib I begin to suspect him again.

After getting to know Amy more through her diary entries, and seeing how Nick withdraws more and more from his wife, I begin to think that he has a mistress; and I am right. I love a mistress and adultery in a story! Not in real life, but I live for this type of steamy, sexy shadiness in a story. I. AM. IN. THIS. BOOK.

Because Nick’s mistress seems enthralled with Amy instead of jealous of her, I don’t suspect that the mistress plays any part in Amy's disappearance.

In the back of my mind, I still think Nick is too easy, but all evidence is pointing to him. A tiny bit of me still thinks that Amy may have taken off and staged the whole thing herself, because as I get to know her husband more and more he comes across as a bigger and bigger dick each time I find more things out about him, so I could understand why she would want to leave him. But I can’t get past the blood. If she staged her own disappearance, how did she lose the blood? There was blood involved so I cross Amy off the list one more time.

I even begin to suspect Nick’s father who suffers from Alzheimer’s and seems to have a dark fascination with Amy.

But then… I get to part two of the book, which takes us back to Day One of Amy's disappearance, and come to find learn that there is Real Amy and ‘Diary Amy’. My first reaction to Real Amy is that she is a bad ass bitch and I love it! And although I love meeting Real Amy and finding out more and more about Real Amy, I come to realize that this bitch is completely off her rocker. 

I did not want this book to end!

~Louise C. 

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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Subway Rides - Move Your Penis!

I could hear the hint of an argument on the other side of the train car I was in this morning. It was extremely packed, which is the reason I never got a glimpse of the people who were a part of the commotion.

On the subway, people have loud voices even when just having a regular conversation. I suspect this is a consequence of blasting iPods at full volume. No one can hear themselves speak anymore so they speak louder. But my eardrums aren't damaged, so it sounds like people are yelling when they are just talking. Which is why when I first heard the heightened voice of a woman I continued reading my book; until her voice got louder.

"MOVE YOUR PE-NIS A-WAY FROM MY DAUGH-TER’S FACE!"

Somebody say penis? Now that got my attention. It gets me every time.

Too short to see through the crowd, I tried looking in the window to see if I could see anything in the reflection, but the crowd was also too thick there so I just listen as I pretend to read.

The woman’s voice get’s louder and louder as she repeats over and over again, "Move your penis away from my daughter's face! Move your penis away from my daughter's face! My husband told you and now I’m telling you!! Move your penis…"

I hear the man with the offending penis trying to defend himself, but his voice is too muffled for me to make out any words, and the protective mother becomes louder and more hysterical each time she repeats the sentence.

I don’t know who touches whom, but I hear a scuffle as the woman says, “Punch me! I dare you and I’ll press that button and the cops will come and they’ll know you’re a pedophile.”

The button she is threatening to press is the button for the Emergency Brake, and if you are a real New Yorker, you NEVER EVER want this button to be pressed. I am not alone in my thinking as everyone in the train car gets riled up.

“Chiiilllll! Chill-chill-chill! Don’t press the button! Don’t press the button!”

When the button for the Emergency Brake is pressed, it does exactly what it says. It removes control from the person driving the train and forces the train to brake. All of us will be stuck wherever the train brakes for God knows how long.

When we reach 86th Street, the train doors open and the woman is still yelling about penis and threatening to press the button. Clearly she doesn't understand the real reason for the button. She seems to think that no matter where she when she presses the button, the cops will immediately materialize. Even if we are stuck in the tunnel.

A woman sitting close to me yells, “Get off the train! Solve your problems off the train! We all have to go to work!” This is another real New Yorker speaking. She doesn't care about the penis or the child; she just wants to get where she is going.

No one gets off the train at 86th Street and the commotion begins to die down as we move towards 59th Street. Even still, the woman with the loud voice has one more statement to make.

“I gotta take my kids to school. They don’t need your penis in their face.”

I know the situation isn't funny at all if the guy was really being a perv, but with the word ‘penis’ being thrown around in the tone that it was, I found myself biting the inside of my cheeks to maintain a straight face. Seriously, how old am I?

~Louise C.

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Friday, February 1, 2013

Tattoo Resolution

I wrote this blog while it was still January and meant to share as my resolution for 2013, but I’m a slacker so it never got posted in the month of Jan. The second month is still beginning of the year, so my post counts, right?

I don’t usually do resolutions because I feel like improvement should be an everyday goal, not just something you begin because the numbers on the calendar have changed the next day into a new year. This year though, I’m committing myself to a resolution that’s been a long time coming.

You see this picture right here?


That tattoo on me? I need it to be redone STAT!

The background story:

Being the closeted rebellious-badass that I am, I have always admired tattoos. Whenever I came across a cool design, I always thought about getting a tattoo but I could never nail down what I would get if I ever actually pulled the tattoo trigger. And because I didn't put as much thought into my choice as I should have, I made the stupidest, STUPIDEST decision ever! I tattooed the name of the one I loved at the time ON. MY. FUCKING. BODY.

I am ashamed of myself as I should be.

When I die, I CANNOT be buried with this person's name on me. I still feel very “cool” about the fact that I have a tattoo, I just need a different one. Because of where I got the tattoo, my saving graces are: (1) that my tattoo is usually covered by my hair, and (2) that my tattoo is not in English. But I know; I know what lies beneath my wispy tresses in the Amharic language. It haunts me every time I decide to sport an updo and bare the back of my neck. And I deserve to be haunted. Part of me thinks I should keep the tattoo as a punishment for my stupid-ass young and in love choice. But I can’t. I just can’t keep this name on my body any longer. It never deserved to be there in the first place.

I think about what I will tell my children when they ask about the weird drawings on mommy's neck. I don’t want my kids to have tattoos, but now I can never be an example to them. When I was in my twenties, children and being an example to them is not something I was thinking about. I was only thinking about being cool.

I have tried numerous times to meet with artists in hopes of finally getting this shit corrected, but things always fall through and in all these years nothing has ever gotten done. But no more, NO MAS!!

I wish I’d never gotten a tattoo…. Actually that’s not an honest statement. While I was writing that sentence, there was a ringing rebellion in me saying, ‘Louise, now you and I both know that if you didn't get tattooed then, it would have happened eventually.’ Truuue. Truuue. For example, last year, while walking through a mall, I decided to go ahead and get the piercing I’d been thinking about getting for a while. And I really can’t promise myself that this would be the last random hole I will puncture into my body.

I've thought about getting the tattoo removed, but because I have that random rebellion in me, I can’t promise myself that I will never be tattooed again.

If my only option is to get one of those outrageously large, colorful floral cover-ups, that simply will not do. They are hideous to me! Hopefully, my tattoo can be covered up without hideousness happening. I certainly do not want a mural on the back of my neck.

I do have a few ideas for tattoos that would speak of me, who I am and what I love and I hope to find an artist who will exceed my expectations by capturing the image I see, with perfection.

To correcting stupid decisions in 2013!

~Louise C.

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Monday, January 14, 2013

Is Re-gifting Acceptable or Very, Very Wrong?

During the holidays a friend of mine asked that I write a blog sharing my thoughts on re-gifting. This isn't a topic that I would ever think to write about, but I'm happy for the request; especially since I haven't been on the blog as much as I used to be.

Although the holidays are over, the opportunity for gift giving never expires. There are birthdays, baby showers, anniversaries, recognitions of achievements and gifts from the heart for no reason other than to express love and appreciation. Each of these occasions opens the door for someone to walk through it and hand you a re-gifted gift.

I have lots of silly stories filed away in this brain of mine and I’ll share one with you.

After doing a favor for a friend, she handed me a perfume gift set, in its little gift bag, as a thank you for helping her out. Even though I knew my friend really appreciated me and my help, there was still a tiny pang inside of me because I knew the gift was a re-gift.

The reasons I knew: My friend isn't a hoarder (like me) so she doesn't keep random items in her house that she knows she will never use. My friend is more of a tomboy, not a girly kind of girl so I knew right away that she did not go out and purchase this gift set for me because she wouldn't have known where to start. 

The gift set was an expensive one, and I knew she wouldn't spend that type of money on me unless it was my birthday or some other special occasion. I knew that she would never wear such a girly perfume herself and due to her lack of hoarding, she needed to get the item out of her house.

Was I offended? Just a tiny pangs worth, but once that feeling passed (and it passed very quickly) I got over it and enjoyed my new perfume set. The perfume became one of my signature scents.  I always get compliments when I wear it and I have my friend to thank for introducing it to me.

Now, that story was nothing compared to the experiences some have had with re-gifting.

When someone close to you gives you a gift that has obviously been re-gifted it's like a slap in the face. It's rude and offensive that this person couldn't take the time and effort that you took to get them something that you knew they would enjoy. Especially when they know that your birthday and Christmas are the same day, every year and they had 365 days to think about what to get you.

Have I re-gifted? Yes, I am guilty of passing along a gift card or two when I’m low on funds and have gift cards in my possession. Would I actually re-wrap a packaged gift that someone gave me and present it to someone else as new? I don’t think I would.

I personally get joy out of seeing someone light up at the sight of the gift I have chosen for them. Some people don’t feel this way, which is why they are sloppy when they re-gift. They know that they have to get you something and they think you should be happy that you got something from them at all because you could have gotten nothing; which isn't very considerate towards you.

I’m not totally against re-gifting because in this day we are living in, some people just don’t have as much money as they used to. And also because you might be able to think of someone who would enjoy the gift more and get more use out of it than you would.

If you have to re-gift for whatever reason, don't be sloppy or lazy about it because it shows that you really don't care. And why bother giving a gift if you don't care? Take the time to scan the gift to make sure that it cannot be detected as a re-gift. And if for any reason there is a slight chance that it could be detected as a re-gift, don't pass it along. It's not worth offending someone close to you just because you want to be cheap.

Put a little more thought into the person who will be receiving your gift. Don't just pass along something that was given to you because you don't want it. If you don't want it, what makes you think that the person you are giving it to does?

And if you can't think of anything at all to gift them with, buy them a gift card. I've never heard of anyone who hated receiving a gift card. (Macy's is usually a winner for all.) Even if the gift card is for a small amount of money, it's the thought that counts. Being lazy with your gifting isn't thoughtful at all.

I love you for reading!

~Louise C.

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