Tuesday, December 29, 2009

It's that time of year again...

They've already moved the slippers out of the store windows and have replaced them with sports bras and jogging suits. Where only days ago you were tempted by truffles and cookies coated in butter cream frosting, now you will be bombarded with the latest diet foods and Jillian Michael's manly face coaxing you to buy her latest DVD.

And, like any other year... I feel compelled to resolve... something.

But as I try to remember last year's resolution, or the years that came before, I feel less festive and more like a failure.

Because it seems that the only thing I can actually commit to is to be non-committal.

Here's all the resolutions that never were...

1. Lose 10 lbs
Um. Lost 8, gained 6, total weight loss: 2 lbs.

2. Drink 8 glasses of water everyday!
My days usually consist of 2 cups of coffee and 2 glasses of wine plus one or two sips of actual water at 2 am when the caffeine and alcohol begin to dehydrate me.

3. Go to the gym 3 times a week
I went, ONCE in 2009. Yep. Last January. They wanted to charge me 10 bucks because my debit card (with which I automatically pay them) was stolen after the 10th of the month. "All changes must be made before the 10th." But, it was STOLEN? Apparently, that doesn't matter. In order to show them who was boss, I've neglected my body in defiance.

4. Stop procrastinating
I started this blog post, LAST week, and am just finishing it now. Enough said.

5. Don't be so hard on yourself
Blogging about all the things I haven't accomplished in 2009 rather than the things I have, proves right here and now that I've failed at this one.

What do you resolve to NOT resolve this year?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Top 10 Reasons Not to Marry HIM

1. He drinks too much.
If you find yourself making excuses for the frequency of his "guys nights" or give him ultimatums before every event with an open bar, it may be time to reconsider.

2. He made you wait, and wait, and wait.
If he dated you for a decade and then some before popping the question, chances are he was still looking for "the one." Instead of finding her, he decided to propose to "the womb" instead.

3. He's your polar opposite.
Sure, opposites attract, but that does n't mean they should get married. Sooner or later his yin will begin to bother your yang. A gal can only take so many ballroom dancing lessons while her man is playing Wii before she finds a better suited partner.

4. He's your EX boyfriend as well as your CURRENT boyfriend.
If your relationship history is as rocky as the ice cream with which you sooth your break up wounds, then it may be time to reconsider. Breaking up is hard to do, but getting back together afterward is the easy way of dealing with it. You can't meet someone great if you're holding on to someone who isn't.

5. He has mommy issues.
Whether mommy made his bed until 38 or mommy left at 13, it has always been true that you can judge a man by the way he treats his mother. If they don't speak, determine WHY before he is giving YOU the silent treatment.

6. He calls other women bad names.
If his nickname for his boss starts with a B and ends with an itch and he thinks all women are gold diggers, take some more time before becoming his permanent verbal punching bag.

7. He is mean to your cat.
Mr. Whiskers is important to you, small, and sometimes spills milk or makes a mess of his 'potty.' If your man can't handle that without yelling, rolling his eyes, or making YOU clean up the mess by yourself, then just think of how he'll be with the little HUMAN additions to your family who put Mr. Whisker's bad traits to shame.

8. He hates your friends.
You. Will. Need. Your. Friends. (Especially while you're married). If he hates them now, and makes excuses as to why they're not good enough for you, then watch out. Before you know it all of his opinions will blend with your own and you just might lose yourself (and your friends) in exchange for a marriage with him (and only that).

9. He cheated on you before.
The idea 'once a cheater, always a cheater,' might not always ring true. But you can almost guarantee that if he cheated ON YOU before, it was evidence of a lack of respect for your relationship. What's to prevent him from doing it again?

10. Your friends hate him.
We will all always have one or two friends who think "no one is good enough" for us. But if ALL of the people who care about us wish we'd find someone better, it might be time to give the relationship a once over. Because while no one is "good enough for Daddy's little girl," that doesn't mean we don't deserve someone GOOD for us at all.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Hook Up How To

So you don't want a REAL boyfriend or girlfriend, or you don't want your REAL boyfriend or girlfriend to find out about your IN-significant other?

Then follow the rules of our hook up culture and make sure no one gets hurt in the process...

1. Cuddling is not allowed.
Oxytocin is the CUDDLE hormone. And its effect on the human body (especially the lonely human body) is not something to disregard. Cuddling can turn a nasty jerk into a potential "soul mate" if it's done on the regular. If you want to keep your cake on the side and eat it too, stop the snuggle fest and get up to get that glass of water VERY QUICKLY.

2. Dates are not allowed.
If you choose to USE another human being, taking them out for lobster afterward is not an option. Sure, everyone has got to eat, but unless you want your hook up thinking they're something more, continue with the single servings sans confusion.

3. Gifts are not allowed.
Anything that does not fit in your wallet and come in various colors cannot be purchased and given to one another. Period. Gifts imply feelings, feelings imply future.

4. Friends do not include "benefits."
Ah, the dream of the successful FWB situation. Why not share everything with your friend and not attach any strings?!?! Well, because if you're friends who do everything together, you should be dating, for real. If you don't believe me, just ask your Best-Friend-With-Benefits what they think... Oh! That's right. You don't talk to them anymore, do you?

5. Falling IN LOVE is possible (even for you).
If you're under the impression that you've got it all under control because you've found the PERFECT in-significant other then GET. OUT. NOW. Soon, their perfectly acceptable stance on babies and your mutual love for lobster and snuggling will win you over. And OVER will also be your player lifestyle. Because in the end, you can't actually like your hookup more than say... you're new IPOD touch or Playboy subscription.

As a gal whose significant other "put a ring on it" this post is not in anyway related to my current lifestyle. Instead, it's a tribute to my single-and-loving-it friends who still find time to lament about why he/she did or didn't call and get to decorate every single room in their homes exactly how they want to.

Monday, December 7, 2009

That Girl

The kind of women that give other women a bad name...

1. The Liars
I'm talking, pathological. The type of girl who tells stories about being attacked or mugged when it never happened. All of that crying wolf makes our real-life tragedies harder to believe.

2. The "Other" Women
Sure, she may love him, but she should love herself (and other women) enough to tell him no until he's actually single.

3. The Hypocrite
The girl who hates you for sharing her secrets (regardless of your intentions) in spite of the fact that she not only told people yours, but she told the very people who may never forget.

4. The Eternal Child
No one wants to date the 20-something girl who still asks mommy and daddy for money for her toiletries. This one gives other women a bad name by refusing to support herself during her single years because men are afraid she just wants THEM to support her when her parents are finally finished.

5. The Drama Queen
She spies, she lies, and she conjures up excitement because her life is oh-so-boring without it.

6. The Psycho
Guys LOVE to call women "psycho" every time they suspect cheating or feel neglected. But the REAL psycho girls (who ALWAYS feel neglected and ALWAYS think their partners are cheating) make it very difficult for normal girls under stress to live this insult down.

7. The Facebook-Friend-Deleter
She's the girl who gets mad at you, but never actually confronts you. Instead, she decides to delete you from her online friends list as some sort of modern day defiance. Unfortunately you will never know what you did in order to ask for forgiveness and she just looks pathetic in the process.

8. The Entitled Chick
You know the one... it's the girl who thinks you OWE her because she is after all, still breathing.

9. The TMI-Twit-Her
No one wants to be around the girl who tweets her bowel movements and basal cell temperature. Her unrated tales are hard to follow (at least without a lil' bit of bile in your mouth).

10. The Blog-Her
The girl who uses her public blog as a means of outing all of her least favorite people without actually having to use their names. She's also the one who disses guys after first dates, tells you your man is probably cheating and asks you to forgive hers for doing it all in the same post.

What type of girl do you think sets the rest of us back a few decades?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Older Man

Dating an older (slightly) man can be very exciting in the beginning. You get to enjoy all the benefits of a boyfriend, without all the complexities that the usual 20-something male is suffering through.

You get to date a guy whose quarter-life-crisis is over, a guy who dated enough to know that he wants YOU and no one else.

And while it's great in the beginning, finding permanent balance with an older man can make things tricky after a while.

The 25-35 ratio doesn't cause too much friction, after all, you're both adults but not too set in your ways to not make a go of it.

But, only 5 years later, you may find yourself in a different situation.

One where you want to go back to grad school, and he wants children. He's 40 after all, how much longer can you make him wait?

Or perhaps, he was 35 and single, because he never wanted kids anyway, and now at 30, your biological clock is ticking away and your partner is nearing middle age and has no interest in starting a family.

The funny thing with a 10-year age gap however, is that just when things get complicated, you meet again, in a similar place. 45 and 55 finds you with similar wants and desires, early retirement, both slightly wrinkled and content to spend more time at home than out on the town, so you can relax again.

And stop growing up together, while simply growing old together instead.

Do you think there is ever an age-gap that is too big to tackle?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Ten Things I've always THOUGHT

...But Never Actually SAID

1. I don't like striped sweaters or t-shirts on men.

2. I've spent my whole life 10 lbs shy of my ideal weight.

3. I'll probably never cut more than 6 inches off my super-long hair.

4. One bowl of cereal is usually just not enough.

5. I don't like facial hair, aside from a 5 o'clock shadow.

6. I force myself to sleep late on the weekends just because I can.

7. I think I'm better looking at "almost-30" than I was at "almost-20."

8. I don't miss a single thing about high school.

9. I finally understand why people "get married for the health benefits."

10. My biological clock has yet to begin ticking.

What has your inner monologue been saying lately that you've never shared?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

If it makes you happy

No one wants to know you're happy.

Seriously. They don't. They say they do, they feign interest in the oh-so-cute-and-romantic stories you share, but at the end of the day, your misery is more entertaining and your happiness less so.

Your migraines are more entertaining than your happy marriage.
And your minor car accident is more interesting than your brand new car will ever be.

So when things are going well, we may find ourselves keeping to ourselves more than we should. We make the effort by not discussing "that" topic, because... well... the happy stuff is boring.

A good story is moving, captivating, involves trial and error, misstep and misfortune.
And a happy ending is much easier to take, if it's preceded by a tumultuous plot.

As a result, we sometimes delve into the past too much, chatting with people we promised to ignore because they make things interesting. We retell painful moments from years ago because we've "come out of it unscathed" but all the while our reminiscing reopens a wound we'd hoped to have healed.

The storyteller in us wants some substance, something full of emotion, something bad that we can make good with words and hate mongering. We seek something to hold their attention, because our happiness only causes an uneasiness that our more painful moments never seem to.

But with each retold story, of heartbreak or sadness, we not only bring our audience down to a place where they can feel something, but ourselves as well.

Poisoning our present happy moments with reminders of the sad ones.

Giving up our contentment for camaraderie instead.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Growing up means shutting up

I haven't posted much on this blog for two reasons.

1. I'm very busy.
2. I'm afraid EVERY TOPIC I want to write about will end up ticking someone off.

I recently realized that the fact that I'm sensitive to the idea all of a sudden, doesn't say anything about my friends or family suddenly being less understanding or open minded.

It has to do with the fact that suddenly I'm more aware of how my words might upset them.

There was a time when I thought the word "crass" was a compliment.
When hearing people declare that "Chrissie will say whatever she wants without apology," was something that I could be proud of.

And maybe I'm just getting old... but suddenly, being crass isn't on my list of aspirations anymore.
And being sensitive is no longer a "weakness" but something I'm glad to feel from time to time.

So here's a post, minus the post, because if nothing else... I'm growing up.

What made YOU realize, you'd changed?

Friday, October 30, 2009

Finding piece

There's something about things falling into place that just illuminates all the other things that are still in disarray.

It's like a 1,000-piece puzzle, with only the edges assembled.
We may immediately feel as if we've accomplished something, but in the end we're left with just a big empty box.

We can become frustrated with our clean edges and carved out future because sometimes it seems like that empty box, the outline waiting for more, is just... life.

A series of pieces that surely have a place in the "whole" but pieces that also need to be just so in order for everything around them to work out.

And so, we fill our puzzle, one piece at a time, hoping the bigger decisions are enough to anchor our futures in something tangible.

Hoping our edges are strong enough to withstand all the rest.

As we check off our accomplishments, it's obvious to see how we got there, what pieces had to fall into place in order for the 1,000-piece puzzle to begin to make sense.

But, as each piece slides into it's appropriate space, any sense of accomplishment is undermined by the other pieces—in an overwhelming pile—coaxing us to move forward, to do more, to get it done.

Because without a sense of direction, or a purpose, the pieces we've yet to find a place for just clutter the end result with maybes and what might-have-beens.

And it seems no edges are strong enough to handle that.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Wings and beer

Two girls.
20 wings.
A basket of fries.
And a bread bowl of spinach dip (with stale chips).

You'd think we hadn't eaten for days given the spread of carbs that lay on our table. In combination with the stack of napkins covered in barbecue sauce, the empty pints of Octoberfest, and the bowl of chicken bones, there was little room for much more than our conversation.

"We should take a picture with all this food!" I exclaimed.

And nicely enough, the man standing behind us offered to take the shot.

"Make sure you get all the food!" We declared, since that was the purpose of getting out the camera to begin with.

And then he fumbled.

"Wait, really? Women usually don't want people to know they eat..."

We feigned a smile while I let his words sink into my already full belly.

It is true that women will order a salad when they want a steak, because it's the more "feminine" thing to do.

But when did eating become something only men can enjoy?

As we tore apart our wings and offered each other an exchange of carbohydrates, I couldn't help but feel a sense of freedom.

Because we didn't care what anyone thought of our spread, we were too hungry to notice any stares and too happy to not lick our fingers at the end of our meal.

Our photographer's comment aside, we were simply out to enjoy ourselves, our friendship, and our meal together.

And while it's true that some women don't want people to know they eat.

Other women... like us... just want others to know we're people too.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A good marriage

We're taught from a very young age that a good marriage is made of a few necessary ingredients...

1. Love
2. Respect
3. Monogamy

While I can't argue the importance of love and respect, I find it hard to determine the true importance of "exclusivity" when it comes to living happily ever after.

The divorce rate indicates that many don't take their vows seriously as "Til death do us part" holds true for only half of couples who declare those words in front of their nearest and dearest.

So why do we put so much emphasis on the vow to "forsake all others?"

Can we not love and respect someone, while we simultaneously want someone else?

And if we've altered the institution of marriage to sneak into it with the idea of divorce as a viable option and with premarital "fun" practiced by most...

Why do we still hold our partners to the chain of monogamy when we let these other things slide?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Open door policy

When I was a little kid, I was a master at holding a grudge.

If my older sister stole my dessert or got me in trouble, I could spend days on end not talking to her as a result.

I'd mope and be dramatic, hoping that she'd realize the error of her ways and never do it again.

But, all these years later, I realize I wasn't aiding her in admitting fault...

My silence only helped her find me more irritating.

And so, it should be no surprise that the teasing didn't cease, and the desserts still came up missing.

Because all my drama-queen actions taught my older sister, was that I wasn't that likable after all.

My stubbornness distanced us time and time again, building a wall between us until only quiet remained.

Looking back, I wish I'd thought to share my frustration with her so things would have been different.

And instead of finding ourselves standing on opposite ends of a vastly quiet expanse...

Perhaps we would have simply been on opposite sides of an already open door.

Monday, September 14, 2009

17 Again

It seems I turned 27 and suddenly look 17.

I've been ID'd so many times in the last few weeks that I'm convinced I'm getting younger rather than older as time passes.

I was ID'd 3 times at the same wedding.
And I've been ID'd for alcohol... every single time I try to purchase.

But the day I questioned the eyesight of those in charge was the day I got ID'd for ENTRY TO THE MALL where patrons must be 18-years-old in order to shop their allowances away.

While it is sometimes flattering, my issue comes with the obvious lack of respect some people seem to have for us "kids." They assume that since we're young, we lack the experience necessary to be treated like human beings.

For example...

This passed weekend I was poked fun of at a comedy club for not being "old enough to remember when TVs didn't have remotes or what it was like to change the channel with a wrench."

Sure, I might not be old enough, but I was certainly POOR enough to know.

My early 20's were spent with a TV older than my parents because that was all I could afford.

Forget not having a remote, my gem of an entertainment center was so archaic that the volume-down button TURNED THE TELEVISION OFF.

As someone who has supported herself for nearly a decade, purchased her own college education (and base model Chevy Cobalt) I'd like to be treated like an adult while I'm out in the world because I don't ask for hand outs and no one pays my rent but me.

Of course that's a lot to explain to the store clerks or mall cops.

And so at this point in my life I'm almost looking forward to the day I'll have a wrinkle or two.

Because at least by then my tiny, dry lines will be the only proof I'll need in order to gain a little respect.

And the ID can finally stay at home.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Balancing act

There comes a time in every relationship where the lines of our individuality blend too softly with the perimeter of "us."

It's a time when our daily adventures and day-to-day mis-adventures are no longer solo acts, but instead a balancing act, where we put our relationship "above all else." It takes precedence over our family and friendly relationships, sometimes our careers or at times our plans for further education.

It seems that as the relationship becomes more serious, the risks of letting the other person down become greater.
And so we climb the ladder together until we have no fear of falling whatsoever.

And yet, as we climb together, always relying on our partner's strength rather than our own... we run the risk of wearing them out. Eventually, our dual expectancies will become so commonplace that all we can see in our future is the places we've already been... together.

Because instead of strengthening our bond, we simply wear it out with too much familiarity.

The balance between togetherness and time apart becomes a tight rope act.
Stretched between the past and the future.
Stretched between two people, who can't help but fall if they find nothing else to hold onto.

Monday, August 24, 2009

If I knew then...

What I know Now.

We all have those moments when we look back at our former selves with utter disbelief and quite possibly, total embarrassment.

Because it seems that nothing in life can bring clarity quite as honestly as the passing of time.

Here's a tribute to those former moments, to a former self, who didn't know any better.

THEN: He's cute
NOW: He's trouble

THEN: Love hurts
NOW: True love only stings, sometimes.

THEN: Free shots?! I'll take ten!
NOW: No, thank you. I'd rather enjoy tomorrow than ruin it with a hangover.

THEN: 8th Grade broken hearts can't be mended
NOW: 8th Grade hearts can't really be broken

THEN: He's the one
NOW: He's no one worth mentioning

THEN: Life should be easy if you're doing what is right
NOW: Life is never easy, but that doesn't mean it isn't enjoyable

What have you learned in time, that you wish you'd known in the past?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Swarm theory

"A single ant or bee isn't smart, but their colonies are."


So let me get this straight... single isn't smart?

That idea explains a lot.

It explains why some women seem more eager to get married as they witness their friends coupled up and awaiting all eternity together.
It explains why we want what they have, regardless of whether or not we wanted it before.
And it also explains why my summer '09 can be summed up with two words.


I turned 27 and suddenly each and every weekend was spent either planning a bridal shower, purchasing a wedding gift, or drowning myself in martinis afterward.

Not to say I don't enjoy the idea of my close friends being so happy.
So smitten with someone that the word "forever" no longer makes them turn in fear, but instead makes them embrace it wholeheartedly.

But as the bows are taped tightly to a paper plate and then worn haphazardly upon their heads (because, you know... that's what women do at bridal showers) I couldn't help but stare at the shiny diamond on my left hand and wonder why.

Why we do it... now.
I don't question the validity of these unions, the love in their eyes is obvious, the romance of it all is sometimes enough for even me to tear up with emotion.

But, I also know we get married because that's what comes next.

And I can't help but wonder why...
Why we swarm to a life, so much like the others around us.
Why we're not "whole" until someone defines us that way with a shiny rock on our finger.
Why we're not happy... until our heads are adorned with taffeta and tissue paper... too heavy with generosity.

Tipping over from the weight of it all.
As reality sets in.
Our uniqueness cast in shades of white and ivory.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Goodbyes and new beginnings

Yet another odd couple blogger has moved on, and I'd like to use this post to wish Sten a formal goodbye and good luck.

As the solo-blogger left behind, it's obvious that some changes need to be implemented for this blog to continue and to move in a slightly new direction.

Rest assured, there will still be posts about why never to get married and why first dates are both glorious and gut wrenching.

But it no longer seems that there are "two women with two different points of view."

Now, it's just me and you. The readers.

Surely, there will still be debate and hot topics, buttons pushed, and quite possibly feelings hurt (mine) when a certain post seems too real, or hits a little too close to home.

But the world of relationships (both romantic and otherwise) is full of excitement and change, which this blog will continue to illustrate.

No longer "The Odd Couple," it's just me, the Odd One Out.

A gal who fits the norm on the outside, but whose conflicts are usually internal.

A 20-something who sees her peers following in each other's footsteps, from fun to families in the blink of an eye.

A person, admittedly terrified of becoming ordinary.

POST COMING UP: "Swarm Theory - Single Isn't Smart"

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Man Hunt VS Job Hunt

The one dating game which always seems to work is playing "hard to get." Sometimes it takes longer than usual and sometimes by the time you get what you thought you wanted, it's too late and the urge has passed.

There are rules about how often to call (never more than twice if you don't receive a response, and if you're REALLY desperate you can send ONE text message but after that it's out of your hands).

In the world of searching for a job however, I've come to find out that the rules which apply to dating DO NOT APPLY to finding a job.

The following, is an in depth comparison of the two searches.

MAN HUNT: If he's not necessarily "perfect," but you think he's worth a damn, go for it anyway.
JOB HUNT: If the job does not utilize any of your skills, and you don't think you'd be happy doing it, going on the interview will only make you uncomfortable.

MAN HUNT: If you're always the one calling, maybe he's not interested.
JOB HUNT: If you don't call every day and bicker, no one will read your resume.

MAN HUNT: If your friends think he's cute, he is cute.
JOB HUNT: If all your friends work at the same place, you might not only need a job, but you may need new friends.

MAN HUNT: Hard to get always gets the prize.
JOB HUNT: Hard to get works at the Olive Garden for life.

MAN HUNT: Show your cleavage.
JOB HUNT: Don't show your cleavage, ever. Show your smarts.

MAN HUNT: If you don't "settle" in some capacity, you'll be alone forever.
JOB HUNT: If you settle for what's easy, you will work at the Olive Garden for life.

MAN HUNT: Pretty girl gets the guy, persistent girl becomes known as "desperate."
JOB HUNT: Pretty girl gets married and has 2 kids, persistent girl gets her own office with a view.

MAN HUNT: Did I mention the thing about cleavage?
JOB HUNT: Cleavage + job interview = sexual harassment.

All in all, being single taught me that men like women who don't necessarily need them but women who want them.

And as a post-grad I think I've learned only one thing for sure... employers like employees who make bad girlfriends.

(Originally posted Tuesday, September 05, 2006 on Chrissie's Myspace Blog)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Only wanting what's taken

According to an article from the Wall Street Journal even though the country is at a near 10% unemployment rate, many employers are seeking applicants that still have a job.
If a worker is still employed they must be the "cream of the crop."

What crap.

I've seen so many talented, hard-working people let go ... and to think that they wouldn't even be CONSIDERED by some because they were laid off makes me a wee bit sick. Like walk in on your parents sick.

This reminds me of people who go into a bar looking for wedding rings to find their next conquest. Shame on them for only wanting what's taken without taking the time to check out what's available. They're missing out.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

No more Mr. Nice Guy

"He's just so NICE!"

That's how she described her otherwise inexplicable crush.


After years of chasing after the bad boys and pining over a few oedipal messes, she'd changed her tune.

No longer did she find a bad attitude, flippant nature, or mysterious disappearances attractive.

Now, she liked nice.

And nice, as it turned out.
Was married.

It seemed he'd finished first after all.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Great Northeast Tour of Domesticated College Friends Part 3

Stop 3: Vermont (The wedding)

Before long, E. and I were out of the war zone (Massachusetts) and into New Hampshire. The route took us through the White Mountains, which weren't white at all. People in New Hampshire are liars. I was hoping for mounds of whipped cream, but all I saw was more woods.

Still, I gotta respect their motto : "Live Free or Die." They don't have to bother with jails, I guess. Petty thieves stand up and court and demand the electric chair before being sentenced. Don't worry kids, you'll never be grounded - parents would be too afraid you'd overdose on Play-Doh rather than sit in a corner.

After crossing the border into Vermont, we stopped in quaint cafe in the village of Bethel. Either it's one of those cool little towns where everyone knows you, or that waitress was a nasty woman who won't let you order for yourself, because she told one table not to bother with the menu and their food would be out in a bit.

From there we traveled on into the Green Mountains, which were, in fact, green. However we passed signs for crossing bears, ducks, and turtles, non of which made any appearances. This was disappointing. Especially not seeing a bear. I hear when they get rabid they drool on Red Sox paraphernalia. That would have been an awesome postcard to send back to Skipper.

We finally make it up to Middlebury, where the bride's parents live (the main reason for E.'s and my road trip). There were bagels waiting for us on the kitchen counter, proving my theory that if you make a trip to see some one, they'll always feed you. The bride, who I later found out was named for an Irish myth (which is awesome), was getting her hair done in the master bedroom. I found a seat where I wouldn't be in the way and played voyeour to all the preparations.

It is a kind of an honor to watch a bride get ready for her wedding day - it's this special peek behind the scenes at all the nerves, excitement and a lovely transformation from the college bud I remember hanging out with, into a beautful lady about to embark on her most important day to date. I like to think the crude jokes and last minute suggestions (like having a wet wedding dress contest – which she would surely win) added to the ambiance.

E. was the official stylist and makeup artist, but even though I thought "clown" was the way to go, she went with the "elegant" look. After her work was done, we got ready and headed out to a beautiful park on Lake Champlain where the wedding would take place.

The ceremony itself was fantastic and very personal to the couple. Origami cranes strung to the tree branches seemed dance on the wind around where the couple made their vows. It was a truly gorgeous sight, yet I had to stifle a silly giggle. For a moment all I could think of was the end of our senior year at school, when the bride and I were both crazy over the same boy ... and look at us now, me watching her marry an entirely different guy. This warm feeling came over me, and it wasn't just the sun beating on my face ... it was appreciation for the kind of person she is. She never got catty over that college stud (I don't think she's ever gotten catty over anything), and neither of us have probably given him much thought since.
It would have been a shame to lose a friend for a possible fling, or to have missed out on such a perfect day now for a mutual crush over seven years ago.

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Great Northeast Tour of Domesticated College Friends Part 2

Stop two: Massachusetts

I remove the Yankee banners from my car and E. gathered some leaves to cover the New York plates. We drove carefully with no sudden movements ... I didn't want to attract the attention of any natives. Fortunately, my car is red ... which serves as cammo in this particularly dangerous part of America's Northeast. I once saw a Red Sox fan eat a rabid grizzly bear alive simply because the animal drooled on a Sox cap.
Poor little cub.

We make our way into Framingham with little trouble - E. is an excellent navigator. She recognized Skipper's house (nickname for the boat, not the Barbie doll) from the road and directed us in.
Skipper and her beau bought the lovely suburban abode and are in the process of renovating it. They are also acting landlords, renting out the top two floors.
I find all of this very grown up and impressive. Especially since some of my fondest memories of Skipper include a lot of drinking and a teeny tiny mermaid costume ... which I think would go perfectly with the house's color scheme.

We get a grand tour and a fantastic meal (every time we stop, people feed us. Maybe that 's why I like road trips to damn much). Another set of good ol' college buds drove in from around Boston to see us as well. I-Guy and Shoe-Girl, who are yet another domsticated couple! (I actually officiated their wedding)

We all did some catching up, then broke out the Guitar Hero, of which Shoe-Girl really is. She's this sweet looking pretty blonde, but plays a mean fake guitar. I like it when people are surprising.

Things are going swimmingly (sans the seashell bra) until I sit in front of a David Ortiz life-sized stand up. I immediately punch him in the nuts.
This of course starts a barrage of baseball animosity with Skipper ... I fume and spew nonsensical remarks like "I'd hit all the Red Sox with my car if I weren't afraid they'd leave imprints of their ugly faces on my grill" – all the while smiling, cause I'd missed our ridiculous (on her side) arguments over the Sox and Yanks.
She was smiling too ... but she still hid the Ortiz stand up before going to bed. Which is really too bad, cause I had all kind of plans for that thing.

Finally after a long day of traveling, it's time for bed. I set my alarm for 5:30 (yeah - a.m.) and dream about taking a leak on the Big Green Monster.

The Great Northeast Tour of Domesticated College Friends Part 1

Leave it to me to turn a simple invite as a plus one into yet another road trip adventure. This one definitely had a theme - visit old college friends (who all happen to be of the domesticated persuasion - four couples in all!)

My best gal from college, E. needed some arm candy (and wheels) for another fellow alumn's wedding in Vermont. I'm a big fan of the couple getting married and of road trips, so this was a good fit. And I know E. was looking forward to three days and two nights of my superior jokes and excellent driving. Lucky chicky.

First stop — I headed south to Yonkers where E. could take a quick train up from NYC. Why Yonkers? Another fantastic o' college bud, "Emmy" just moved there with her hubby R. into one of those sweet apartments over looking the Hudson River. I'm calling her "Emmy" because she has one! While seeing this particular domesticated pair (who continue to demonstrate how married people can still be fun) is enough to make me smile, holding on to a real Emmy award ... that was something I thought I'd never do.

I might have showed up in an evening gown
... and made a wee speech when I picked the statue up.
... and maybe switched it out 'Indiana Jones' style for a bag of marbles ....
Friends should learn how to share.

We did some catching up, ate of course, took a walk then just as a giant boulder headed towards E. and I, we jumped in the car and headed north ... by way of north west.
We sped into Connecticut ... that dreaded wasteland where people go to become terrible drivers.
One hand on the wheel, the other flipping the bird ... cause that's how you signal in Connecticut, I narrowing made it through that land of nightmare traffic ... and into a whole other terrifying place.

Next stop — Massachusetts.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Biggest Person

After sharing an interesting story about a certain relationship that has soured my friend's response was one I get quite frequently.

She shook her head in disbelief and said, "You're a bigger person than me, I would have flipped out."

Ah, yes.
The bigger person.

I'm often labeled as such.
Not because I can do no wrong, but because I am quick to apologize if I feel I've done something inappropriate. Even if it is not something that would upset me, I can't help but say "I'm sorry you feel that way because of something I did" when other people are affected by my actions.

Being the bigger person includes accepting the faults of others and realizing we can't change the way they are.

In the end, she probably over reacted because she's a drama queen.
He probably said that because of his temper.
And maybe that person put their foot in their mouth due to ignorance, not malice.

Being the bigger person is about acknowledging how little we impact the personalities of others. There is nothing we can do or say to change their ways.

Sure, we can call them horrific names, point out their hypocrisy, or refuse to ever speak with them again... but in the end they are who they are.

And yet, I can't help but wonder where we can find balance in this sort of scenario.

A place where we can weigh in as the bigger person, while also defending ourselves.

Because it seems that the more times I am hurt, or wronged, or treated unjustly... the more I hear how "big" I am.

Regardless of how small I actually feel.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


I always thought there were certain things that were unforgivable in a relationship.

Certain words that could not be taken back, certain actions that would never be forgotten.

Because there had to be specific boundaries for what was right and what was wrong, boundaries that once ignored would change things forever.

But lately I've been wondering if there is anything that is unforgivable, should you decide the person is worth it.

It's not really about how sorry they are or how unlikely it is to occur again but instead on how accepting you are of their faults. Of how unbelievably fragile human beings can be.

The more I know about other people, the more I begin to understand what motivates them.

When their bad mood is founded in insecurity.
When their anger is just a mask for their fear.
And when they just don't know what to do with the plethora of emotions inside of them.

But in the back of my mind I keep coming back to the idea that a person's reasons may not excuse their actions.

And I can't help but wonder if those things I once deemed unforgivable no longer are...

Or if I'm simply too exhausted from trying to understand to do anything about it.

What's unforgivable for you?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

5 things

... that amuse me

1. Adults who use "Facebook Friend Deletion" as a means of showing people they're upset with them.

2. Exes who change so immensely after your breakup you hardly recognize them.

3. People who admit to voting for George W. Bush... twice.

4. Those who feel the anonymity of the Internet gives them the clearance to wish death, suicide, and jail-sex upon complete strangers.

5. Women who think there are reasons "he cheated" beyond the idea that he's just "A JERK."

What amuses YOU?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Nobody likes a bully

Know what nobody likes?

A bully.

Some one who is so insecure, that in order to feel good about themselves they have to put others down. Like a lame elephant trying to stomp on a mouse that terrifies it, even though the elephant knows it's too big to be terrified by a mouse. So it feels stupid.

Stupid elephants.

When you work with a stupid elephant, it creates some serious added stress to your job. Especially if you're the kinda mouse that has a bit of a temper ... such that it equates to walking around with a virtual flame thrower attached to your little mouse tail that is triggered when stepped on.

The elephant may end up blistered, but the mouse is a rodent pancake. And no amount of maple syrup is gonna make that OK.

No one wins.
Unless you like roasted peanuts.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Perfect VS Passion

Most of us have been in at least one of those relationships where nothing is wrong... EVER. There aren't any arguments because you agree on practically everything and when you don't neither of you wants to upset the other so you keep your mouth shut and your lips pursed for your next scheduled smooch.

And then there those relationships, so full of "passion" that nearly every discussion turns into an almost-argument. When you love and hate one another with equal measure and the conflicts themselves are as steamy as the make up aftermath.

But I can't help but wonder where the perfect balance can be found.

It seems, that like most things in life, the passion factor in relationships is all or nothing.

And if that's the case...

How much conflict is too much?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Family time

I didn't realize how much my family resembled a jackpot for squirrels until I started regularly having a boyfriend around.

At first everyone is quiet ... friendly ... masters of small talk even. But by the 5th time you integrate your love with your blood, things start to get messy. Family differences become open conversation and when the loony bickering finally breaks free from their temporary grips on sanity, you find yourself inching down in your chair smiling sheepishly at your mate hoping he's too hooked to bolt for the door.

God, I wish I cooked for him more.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


I like to say "I have no regrets" because it makes me sound like I've lived my life the way I've always wanted. That I've been brave and happy for much of it, that I've accepted loss with grace and integrity. I like to think that regrets are futile and the bad moments are as much a part of my personal history as the good.

But sometimes I regret.
Sometimes I wish I hadn't or had so much that my past feels like more of an open wound than a scar, still tender to memory's touch.

I regret saying yes and saying no. I regret not saying no. I regret saying I love you to him, and not saying I love you to some. I regret letting people close who proved themselves unworthy. I regret hurting him, breaking his heart, and nursing my wounds with someone new. I regret accepting people's faults more readily than they will accept mine. I regret the way I handled that, the people I told, the things I said to her, to him, to everyone. I regret keeping quiet when I wanted to cry out loud. I regret giving out my number and never picking up the phone. I regret picking up the phone every time he called. I regret the way I acted on her day because I was jealous and lonely. I regret ever feeling jealous. And lonely. I regret saying I'm sorry when I wasn't and not saying it when I was. I regret having anything to be sorry for. And I regret all the times I let him come back when I'd lost myself in his absence.

Sometimes the regret is masked in the present, dulling the pain of the past just enough to convince me that none of it matters anymore.

And then...
There are the times even future's promise can't anesthetize the ache.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Better to have loved?

I go see a lot of movies.

Something about sitting in a dark room and watching imaginary people's lives unfold speaks to the creepy voyeur in me.

Once in a while, I am more than entertained or even impressed ... but moved. And, rarely does that come from an animated feature. But Pixar's Up nearly (that was a nearly) brought tears to my eyes, and has stayed with me days after viewing it.

I won't give anything away, but the very beginning plays out the life of the main character, only truly starting the story after he is an old grumpy man. But before doing so, we get glimpses of his happy existence with his wife, the love of his life, and his utter devastation when hers ends.

I really almost cried. Just the thought of building an entire lifetime around someone — then losing them and trying to find a reason to go on is beyond my shallow, wise-cracking being. I composed myself, of course, since it would ruin my reputation to be seen misty-eyed during a Disney movie of all things, (even though the Pixar label elevates the feature astronomically). Then I look over at Toughguy, who I love with all my shallow, wise-cracking heart, and experienced a momentary terror.

What if we really make it in the long run, then I lose him? Even at this point, I can't imagine life without him. (Who would keep track of my car keys?)

Is it better to have love and lost than to never have loved at all?

I don't believe that you have to have a permanent partner to enjoy a full life of adventure and happiness, but maybe it makes it all that much more precious to have shared those experiences with one special person.

When my grandfather died, I remember watching my grandma and wondering how she'd handle living without the man she'd spent over 60 years with. I wondered, but never asked. She passed away a year ago, and I know for a fact she maintained an active social life with plenty of friends ... but did it still feel empty?
I'd like to think the pain of his loss was worth that over 60-year-long marriage. But I guess I'll never know for sure unless I go through it myself.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Couples therapy

I watched my parents relationship cycle between hot and cold for two decades.
They either loved one another passionately or ignored one another... or worse.
Their reality taught me a few things about relationships but namely one glaring truth.

They are not easy.

And while we'd like to say, "It's different this time!" and "You know he's the one when it comes EASY," the reality of the situation is that the beginning is what comes with ease.

But over time, issues arise.
There's conflicting views on hot topics, the idea that creating boundaries is necessary, but that you each have your own idea of what they should be.
And eventually there's the realization that you've allowed a whole person into your life, not just the parts you so easily fell in love with.

So what's a couple to do when their relationship-love-cycle is hovering mostly over unhappiness?

If the conflicts seem too great, or the good times are only a memory, many couples agree to therapy in an attempt to find the happiness they once shared when things were easy.

But I wonder...

Is therapy the answer?

Or is it just evidence of two people who aren't committed enough to leave a failing relationship?

Friday, May 22, 2009

What to do for HER birthday

With the entirety of the Odd Couple celebrating birthdays next week, it's only natural that we discuss some ways to woo your woman on her special day.

1. Give her a reason to dress up.
While you don't need to lay a new gown out on the bed for her to put on, it's always nice to have a reason to skip the jeans and put on something a little sexier. So take her somewhere you've never been before, preferably a place that is a little more glamorous.

2. Homemade greetings rather than Hallmark has-beens.
Sure, you'll "love her forever" and want her to "enjoy her special day" but creating your own little note will bring a bigger smile to her face than ol' Hallmark any day.

3. Take her where SHE wants to go.
For me, this means an amusement park, where I can bring in the big 2-7 while on a roller coaster or at the tippy top of a ferris wheel. But it's different for every woman, so don't assume she wants something unless you ASK HER first.

Men: What have YOU done for your lady's birthday in the past that went over really well (or not so much;)

And ladies: What were some of the best/worst birthdays you've celebrated???

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

What To Do for the Boyfriend's Birthday

So my Toughguy's B'day is approaching.
It's been a while since I've been in a relationship, and even longer since I've had a boy's birthday to worry about. I wonder what the etiquette is ... why hasn't anyone made some kind of handbook you can follow? Especially for when you're dating the "I don't care, whatever, don't make a big deal about me" species of man.

Which I hear is rather common.

Do I throw him a bash? Shower him with gifts, or just make the man a meal?

Do I have to dress sexy and be nice all day?

I was thinking of renting a bouncy castle full of bosommy bikini-clad bimbos and mud-slinging monkeys ... but this really should be a gift for him, not me.

What do other people do?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Different guys, same name

I've never dated a John.
John is my brother's name. It is also the name of my grandfather and 2 cousins (and a 2nd cousin and a great uncle).
I just can't see fireworks happening if every time I say a guy's name, I think of a family reunion.

Looking back, there's been three Michaels, three Ryans and three Jameses ... that's kinda gross too. I mean, if your dating history reads like a Foreman family tree, things can get real confusing.

I used to just refer to them with whatever nickname my father gave them ... like "I Wanna Jetski," "Keebler Elf," "Dope Boy," or for his 'favorite' "That Boy."
But unfortunately, most of those couldn't be said to the guy's face. So I like to give each one their own pet name. But that doesn't always stick.
Fido and Fetch never really cared for theirs ...

Are there "names" that you date repeatedly? Or maybe ones you steer away from?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Who is this whale and where is my girlfriend??

How do you tell your girlfriend she's getting fat? (Without making her want to kill you OR herself.)
Is there even a way?
I've had guy friends ask me this and there's never really been a good answer.

Suggestions I usually give that they should use:
Suggest you go to the gym together.
Plan to hike (or another fun active date) a couple times a week.
Cook healthy meals together.

Suggestions I want to give that they shouldn't use:
"Honey I miss your neck, could you get rid of a couple extra chins?"
"You have the arms of a jumbo jet, but you're not going anywhere!"
"Can I use your rolls to file my bills?"

No matter what you say, the person is going to be hurt and offended. Except... most of us are prone to gaining "comfort weight" when in a relationship. You got the prize, right? They'll love you no matter what, right?
Maybe, maybe not.
Maybe YOU won't be so happy with so much "extra you" rolling around in the shower, inadvertently cleaning the slippery tile walls with your spongy hull.
Don't drop the soap, Titanic ... you'll never be able to get back up.

I gotta tell you, I've stacked on at least 10 lbs. of "comfort" .... which is, in fact, more comfortable to sit on, but harder to lift off the couch. And before I have to use Andre the Giant's shoe horn to get me into my Toyota, maybe I need a kick in the gelatinous mass that is my money maker ....

Maybe it IS OK to let your lover know there's starting to be "more to love" ... for their own good. For their happiness and health. Not because you just got done drooling over the Olsen twins ... which really, only dogs drool over bones that have no meat (right before they bury them in the backyard) ... but because you love them, and think that they would want the push be heathly.

But try the first three suggestions first ... and of course, I'd love to hear some others ...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Flipping my switch

Top Turn Offs
1. Bad Breath
Sure, halitosis happens, but there is an entire industry geared at creating fresh pearly whites. If someone can't bother to pop an Altoid in their mouth, they might be lacking motivation in other areas as well.

2. Lacking patience
If your date is grumbling about the long line at the movie theater, or rolling their eyes when they're stopped at a red light, then their mood will affect your night, and not in a good way.

3. Ill-fitting clothing
We're not all super models, but that doesn't mean there aren't clothes out there that will flatter your figure. Throw out the jeans from sophomore year and buy a pair that fit. We don't want to see what color socks you're wearing (or underwear for that matter;)

4. Not-eating-carbs!
Nothing ruins a date at Olive Garden faster than asking for a menu without pasta.

5. A wandering eye
Yes, there are a million fish in the sea, and at least half of them are attractive. But that doesn't mean you have to LOOK.

Top Turn Ons

1. Confidence
A guy who exudes confidence in spite of his protruding belly is much more attractive than the guy with a six pack who stresses about carbs.

2. A smile
Extra points if you can laugh about something others might stress about.

3. A good vocabulary
Tell her she's stunning instead of "pretty" and use words like "svelte" instead of "skinny" after all that hard work at the gym.

4. Integrity
Nothing is more attractive than the married guy who ACTS MARRIED even when his wife isn't around.

5. Decisiveness
Knowing what you want and how you want it is the ultimate in sexiness, whether it's just plans for dinner or plans for the future.

What are YOUR turn ons/offs?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Little Girl Dreams

Unlike Chrissie, I didn't play "house" when I was a wee chick. I'd play "explorer" in the woods ... making trails and discovering plants and animals in the wilderness ... or "indians" with my brother – we'd build wigwams and make bows and arrows out of the big weeping willow tree in the backyard. So early thoughts on marriage or having children were vacant from my leaf and dirt covered head.

But I was not immune to pre-adolescent crushes. Oh no – as tough as I was, I was oh so smitten as a tyke. We didn't go to the same elementary school ... which was devastating at first. I wished and wished with all of my little girl heart that that would change.

Then it came true. When I got to 4th grade his family moved and we were finally in the same school. Because, you know, going to a different school is like being in a different universe (as home and school is your entire world as a child).

So we were aquainted again in elementary school ...
We went to the same high school ...
Even the same college ...
My little girl wish had come true ...

... But in all that wishing and little girl hoping, it never occured to me to wish that he'd turn out straight.

So, little ones wish away, it just might come true.
But be specific ... or the joke will be on you.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Growing up

I wanted to be a single mom.


Growing up, I didn't play "house" the way normal little girls did.

While they cooked meals in their plastic kitchens waiting for their husbands to return home with monopoly money, I raised a Popple and a Nosey Bear all by myself.

My little girl dreams were that one day I'd be a mom at the very same time my sister would be a mom and we'd raise those kids together, without men at all.

I dreamt that we'd live together in an extra large raised ranch and that somehow we'd share the same name. We'd be "Sis and Sis" and change our last name to "Burtingain" simply because it sounded good.

And looking back, I realize my dreams for adulthood never fit the standard plan.

Married by 26.
Kids by 28.
Finished by 30?

At the time you could say my alternative plans were based on childhood immaturity. We didn't have any brother's to play the "man of the house," and neither my sister nor myself wanted to don a fake mustache and pretend to be "Dad."

But regardless of our reasons, now it seems that those little girl dreams were wise beyond their years.

Perhaps it was the "finished by 30" thing that terrified me into fantasies of single-motherhood and raising popples rather than real children.

Or maybe it was an all-too-early realization that you can't really count on anyone to be there besides yourself.

And maybe your family
However out-of-the-ordinary they can sometimes seem.

Because I knew no matter how many furry-big-nosed babies I'd pop(ple) out, my sister would be there to help me.

There was no Mr. and Mrs.

Just Sis and Sis.

What were YOUR little-kid dreams?

Friday, May 8, 2009

Top 10 Reasons He’s Not The Guy For You

(According to Chrissie Lynn)

1. He’s too jealous.
I’m not talking about the guy who doesn’t want you flirting shamelessly with everyone in the room. I’m talking about the guy who is jealous of your lasting friendships, your time spent away from him, or how much you love your job. If he can’t be happy to see YOU happy, then he’s just not the one.

2. He flirts with your friends.
If he’s new to the social circle and no one from the outside can tell who he’s actually with, then he’s not yours either.

3. He won’t commit… in public
If he’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde depending on the company, then don’t believe anything he says to you privately. While some guys aren’t too fond of PDAs, if he’s pretending you're “just buddies” when his are around, he’s not taking your relationship seriously.

4. He thinks you’re someone you’re not.
Whether he thinks you’re a crazy sex goddess or a virtuous virgin, giving him the wrong idea early could set the two of you up for disaster in the future. The right guy wants to see who you really are, not how well you fit his idea of perfection.

5. He’s not proud of you.
If you strive for success only to be met with indifference when you accomplish something you’ve fought hard for, then kick him to the curb. The right guy wants to see you succeed and wants to motivate you, he’s not more interested in what’s for dinner than what your goals are.

6. He disappears when things aren’t perfect.
Sure, it’s easier to run away when things aren’t going well, but you want a guy who will be there in the great and the not-so-great times. If he’s MIA with his cell phone turned off every time there’s a problem, then he’s showing you how little you can rely on him.

7. He insults other women.
If he thinks she’s a “ho” and she’s a “b*tch” and he hasn’t talked to his own mother in 20 years, then run far, far away. His relationships with other women indicate the kind of partner he is, and will be in the future. If he wants a personal maid or plaything, he’s not the guy for you.

8. He’s “never really been single.”
If his past is a string of quick, monogamous relationships that never went anywhere, find out WHY. Maybe those women were put off when they realized he was so easy to please, ANY WOMAN could do it.

9. He's too much your opposite.
If you need constant snuggles and he's Mr. Aloof, it's only a matter of time before one of you feels overwhelmed or neglected.

10. He's the guy you've dated "off and on for years."
If he's the guy for you, he's not the guy you've left repeatedly. Bad habits are hard to break and men can be no different.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I'm a text machine

I'm a texter.

I actually get a little annoyed when I text someone a question, then they have the NERVE to phone me with a reply.

I'm awkward on the phone. I hate leaving voice mails. As soon as I say "hi" I immediately sound like a tool. And not a cool tool like a jackhammer ... more like the little allen wrench that comes with your Ikea bookcase. You know — the one you lose immediately after assembly.

I like face-to-face conversations, don't get me wrong. I even muster up the occasional interesting contribution. And, then there are the far off friends that check in every now and again ... which is appreciated ... unlike the crook in my neck that sets in halfway through the chat.

My boyfriend doesn't have texting on his phone. Not just, "he hates texting" ... which he does, calling it, and I quote "the constant abbreviation and degradation of the English language ... I hate that it is being bastardized for convenience."
(To which I replied "I happen to like both bastards and convenience.")
... but his phone plan won't allow him to receive or send them. So ... if I want to say "Hi, Toughguy" ... or, "I'll meet you in 20 minutes" ... or "we're out of scotch"... I have to CALL him. And have a conversation. EVERY time.

Horrifying. And you know my voicemail messages are retarded. "Uh ... hi, this is Sten ... just calling to say I'm a allen wrench and we should hang out later so you can make fun of me for stating who I am, even though we see eachother every day and you know what my voice sounds like. Uhh... bye! Um call me back, uh if you want ... oh crap hell dammit." click.

Now, on the other hand, I do like that he calls me. I like hearing his voice on the phone in the middle of a bad day. I like that I even know what his "phone voice" sounds like. There is something nice about a man taking the time to pick up the phone and call you.
I just wish I didn't have to take the time ... all the time.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Top 10 reasons he's not the guy for you (from my personal experience)

#1 You don't really have anything to talk about.
Maybe the sex is great, but you can't hold a conversation to save your life. I once dated a guy for a while, but there never was much to say. We went to two out-of-town weddings together and I dreaded both car rides. Roadway signs never seemed so fascinating as when I was stuck in the car with that guy ...

#2 There's no passion.
Maybe the conversation is OK, but staying with him is like a 8 year old's sleepover (not the Michael Jackson variety) I had a boy once for 6 months... the last two of which we were just buddies hanging out. If one or both of you are lacking that desire, there's a problem.

#3 He doesn't look at you like you're the prettiest girl in the room anymore.
I was once out with a guy and he leaned in close like he was going to kiss me or whisper something sweet ... then he told me I should think about trimming my nose hairs. We didn't last long after that.

#4 You don't see eye-to-eye on what's important.
You don't have to agree about everything, in fact, it can be fun getting into a heated debate — but you really should agree on what matters most to you. (Religion, children, politics, board games ...)

#5 He doesn't make or keep plans with you.
I once dated a guy that made it really difficult to find times to see each other, then, often, when we made plans, he'd cancel. He was still seeing his "ex."

#6 He's got that wandering eye.
There's something exciting about nabbing the most charismatic guy in the room ... but not if he's being charismatic with every one but you.

#7 You can't open up to each other.
I've dating a few guys that I like a lot, but never felt comfortable confiding in, or even discussing how I felt about them (mushy OR mad). If you're in a relationship, you should feel like you can tell them anything.

#8 You both constantly keep track of "who owes who."
Whether it's money or favors, you should do something for some one because you want to, not because you want something in return. On the other hand, don't take advantage of each other.

#9 You don't make each other laugh.
I dated a guy for 2 years that didn't think I was funny. That was horrible. Go for the one that makes you smile, and that you make smile. Then you'll be smiling together.

#10 He tries to change you.
We're all fixer-uppers, true, but how can you be happy with some one if you're hiding who you really are and what you really want?
I smoke. I drink scotch. I love comic books, video games and bad superhero movies. Sometimes I fart and I wear high heels to walk in the park. I am ridiculous, silly and sometimes rude. I laugh at my own jokes and am a terrible loser. And finally, after 14 years of dating, I'm happy about all of that, hopefully he is too.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Delete confirmation

If you’ve read any piece of writing geared at how to mend your broken heart post-breakup, there is one steadfast rule you will repeatedly find.


You’re supposed to say goodbye to your former love and practice a life of no contact because it's impossible to get over him/her if they are still igniting all 5 of your senses.

And I’m sure, many, many years ago, NC wasn’t that hard for most people. It meant not answering the phone and hoping no one would show up on your doorstep with flowers and yet another, “I’m sorry.”

But what are the brokenhearted supposed to do now that technology has made NC so much more difficult?

You can’t just leave the land-line off the hook anymore.

Now you have to delete their number from your phone, call up Verizon and ask that they block all incoming text messages, delete them on Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, change the privacy settings on your blog so they can no longer send apologetic comments for the world to see and you’ll have to ask your Gmail account to kindly move their textual advances into the TRASH, please.

And then… After a magnum of wine and a glance at your relationship scrapbook you’ll have to TRUST YOURSELF not to call them. Or Facebook them. Or Myspace, email, twitter, blogg-er, AIM them.

Instead of just taking the phone off the hook and locking the front door, you’ll have to remove yourself from the technological triggers that turn a normal, confident person into a blubbering mess of shorthand confined to 140 characters or less.

Because it’s hard enough to forget a former love, but their status updates make it harder still.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Going grey

It seems going grey is top of the list of things that make us feel old ... even if you're still in your 20's like I am.

I started dying my hair when I was 14 ... and pretty much tried everything but blue. About a year ago I was sick of the chameleon shenanigans and decided to go natural ... which unfortunately, by that point, turned out to be grey.


So, I'm back to dye jobs to cover up my tinsel head. But that's me — some one who's accustomed to beauty in a box. What about those who never experimented with their locks? Are guys less inclined to color their hair? Silver foxes certainly still seem to get their fair share of action, so why bother?

How much salt gets into your pepper before you take the plunge? Or do you leave it?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Getting Old

According to a recent study, old age begins at 27!!!

And with the big 2-7 just around the corner for me, I can't help but feel a little gray in spite of my still blond locks.

Maybe it's because I just read that article and now know I don't have the same mental capabilities I did say... 6 months ago.

Or maybe I feel old because...

1. I'm wearing a ring on my left hand.
2. I enjoy spending time in the kitchen.
3. I recently uttered the phrase, "I need an apron!" and meant it.
4. I spent the day at Adam's wishing I knew how to start a flower garden.
5. I no longer Google "Top 10 Reasons Not To Get Married," and instead ponder the "Top 10 Ways Botox Enhances Your Life."
6. I met a gal for drinks, and ordered ONE. The. Entire. Night.
7. I prefer "mom jeans" to previously adored "low-rise."
8. I now think an evening on my back porch with a good book sounds a lot better than a night in the back of the bar with a good looking boy.
9. I know the meanings of words like "sconce" and "bistro" and use them frequently.
10. I'd rather spend my last 20 bucks at The Christmas Tree Shop than at Shadows on the Hudson.

What makes YOU feel OLD?

Monday, April 27, 2009

How much skin is too much?

People can gross you out with too much info about their sex life ... physical health, you name it. The same could be said about too big a glimpse at their flesh. In public. I'm not just talking about girlies showing midriff here ... I'm talking turn away and shudder, or lose your lunch.

While I was away on the Great Road Trip I saw an example of TMB (too much boob ... chick swimming in a sheer white t-shirt ... sans bra ... which maybe was hot, but I was both blinded by her headlights and so terrified of her nipples poking out my eyes I had to look away.)
And then there was TMC (too much crack ... middle aged mama sporting low-rise jeans perched in a bar stool ... and yeah, there was butt-to-chair-action, so much was hanging out. It was like a front row seat overlooking the San Andreas fault.)

Then I witnessed (with great amusement) a portly stand-up comedian reveal his next Halloween costume. Michael Phelps ... as in his ample frame shirtless and wedged into a speedo. Funny, yes ... but still .. that was a lot of flesh.

Does this kind off thing gross you out? How much skin is too much for public eyes? (outside of a beach of course...)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Road trip, part 4 "The Big Easy"

At last we had arrived.

I lived in Florence, Italy for a semester in college. The old European architecture took my breath away and the artists lining the sidewalks were a constant inspiration. No American city had since compared ... until I strolled through the narrow streets of New Orleans' French Quarter.

What's more, in all the traveling I've done, it's never been with a boyfriend. I gotta admit, though I relish in my independence, there's something to be said about having that special someone to share a beautiful experience with. (I'm not talking about sex, you pervs)

We had an awesome Creole dinner at a brewery. Creole food is great. Beer is great. New Orleans is great. Wonderful combination. So, naturally I got drunk.
The French Quarter is still beautiful at night ... but those cobblestones can be shifty little buggers after a couple drinks. One of them actually leaped from the road and called me a lightweight in French. Those are fighting words to a scotch-o-holic. And, just because I was wearing a second-hand beret does NOT mean I speak silly French.
The French. Oh great ignorers of consonants. Gluttons for excessive letters ... only pronouncing half of them.
After a lazy (stumbly) stroll along the Mississippi, it was time to catch a nap and await news from Chuckles, the dear friend we had traveled to see in the Big Easy, who would be arriving around 2 a.m.

I awake with a start at 5 a.m., panicked at not hearing from Chuckles. Had something happened? Toughguy wakes up as well, also alarmed. We hear a snap of the fingers and look over at Mohawk - still in sleep position, save for his arm in the air, finger pointing at the floor.

And there lay Chuckles. Looking like one of Fagan's kids curled up at the foot of our bed. It was as if some hobo Easter Bunny had left us a present. I briefly considered looking for where the chocolate eggs were hidden, but decided instead to let him sleep.

Squeeky was named our unofficial guide, having been to New Orleans a couple times, she knew the best places to hit up for food and wonderment. First off, she steered us to a café, where we enjoyed coffee and beignets at a cafe, checked out cool shops and ran smack into the Easter Parade. Where we were attacked by locals armed with strings of plastic beads. This was nothing compared to the Gay Easter Parade that we lucked into a bit later. Drag queens, assless chaps, costumes and make up galore! It was quite the spectacle ... and they too, we armed with strands of merriment to be flung at onlookers.
Mohawk was a prominent target, sporting his "fin of flamboyance", he was a beacon for the coolest beads. By the end of the two parades he was so weighed down by his trinkets, Toughguy had to carry him on his shoulders. I have to say, they made a pretty good-looking couple. And the buddy swap made us all fit in better.
Except that every five feet people were stopping Mohawk, asking to take pictures of him (his hair) and how he made it stand up (his hair). I told him he should start charging, and that would be our booze money.

This was a good day. There was no driving. We found Chuckles. I'd keep looking at him and smiling, incredulous as to how we all made it there in one piece and got to spend a couple precious days with someone I missed so dearly.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Clothing is optional

Sometimes we just want to feel pampered. And in spite of the horrible economy and the fear of furloughs, sometimes a girl just needs to get rubbed.

By a professional of course.

But on my infrequent trips to the spa I've realized that relaxing the right way is an art form, and while the first massage or facial is supposed to be luxurious and relaxing, not knowing the "spa rules" is sometimes cause for embarrassment and tense muscles rather than the desired outcome of feeling refreshed.

So for those of you who have yet to get rubbed, by a professional of course, here are the things I've learned along the way.

1. Clothing is optional.
Most places recommend that you receive your spa services in the nude, they will place towels/blankets around you to make sure you're at a comfortable temperature. But if you're shy or prefer to wear something, a bikini for women and shorts for men is probably the best option. ***Keep in mind that co-ed areas of the spa usually require clothing, so the robe and bathing suit help***

2. Gratuity is MORE than appreciated.
While you might double the tax for your friendly server at a restaurant, spa etiquette usually encourages a 18% to 30% tip for the person performing your treatment. These are trained professionals who may have spent years perfecting their craft, they expect a little more than a thank you.

3. You can say "OW."
Every person prefers a different amount of pressure for their massage or perhaps a different scent for their facial mist. Don't be afraid to let them know if they are hurting you or you can't stand the smell of lavender. After all you're paying them well.

4. Get in bed.
You're given a few minutes to yourself once inside the room where your treatment will take place. Use this time to get cozy under the covers and wait for instructions as to which way you should lay/move for best results when they return. It's easy to panic and believe, "They will think I'm a fool if I'm face down when I should be face up!" But as someone who puts her johnny coat on backwards every time she's at the doctor, trust me when I say they must be used to this.

Whether it's the spa rules, proper wine pouring, or figuring out which fork is for what course, sometimes we find ourselves feeling embarrassed. But if I've learned anything in my life as a country girl it's that the only way to know the rules, is to ask the right questions. (And the Google search of course;)

Have you ever found yourself in a "new world" of luxury and worried there were rules you weren't aware of?