Saturday, April 18, 2015

Laura, The Giraffe Queen: MRH Does Dating, Part Two.

Once upon a time (in February) I wrote a blog post as a new soldier in the war of online/app dating. During those early experiences, I was young, I was naïve, and I was hopeful. My cyber suitors and I were all comrades, fighting the same battle: everyone’s here to try to meet nice, normal people to watch Netflix and get take out with! Each initial interaction on these apps would fill me with excitement-the potential! The possibility! I was Trying, and I was Putting Myself Out There. These apps didn’t seem so bad-maybe they really were how People Meet People, and this type of dating would be fairly comparable to the real world.

Now, in April, I’m coming to you as a combat-battered general with the update on what has easily become the most entertaining activity I have ever tried. Through app dating, there has been laughter, there have been tears (and by tears I mean cringing), and best of all, there have been stories. 

So. Many. Stories.

There was the guy who looked absolutely NOTHING like his pictures when we met, to the point where when he greeted and hugged me, I seriously had to question if I had met him previously, or if this was, in fact, my date. As the night progressed, he seemed to have some sort of third-life (you know, instead of a quarter-life or mid-life) crisis, even though he was only in his very early thirties. One of our first discussions consisted of what certain songs made us think of (example: me-riding around in my friend’s car in high school, him-starting graduate school), which sent him into a melancholic funk, one that caused him to mumble repeatedly, “I’m so old” into the bottom of his drink. I tried to change the subject/deflect/order us another round, but we never really recovered.

There was the brave gentleman who sent this pick-up line across the Internet waves: “If I was a giraffe, I would slap my neck against a thousand giraffes to exert my dominance over the herd and make you my giraffe queen”. No comment.

There was the time when I received, as a potential match, a goat. Literally, just a picture of a goat. No other description. Are you seriously telling me that I’ve exhausted my options of men, and now you’re moving me on to livestock?

There was the guy who spent an uncomfortable amount of time on our first date showing me baby pictures of himself and his siblings. When you’re in the middle of the bar with a stranger and you have to increase the brightness on your phone to point out the dimples you share with your brother, we may need to reevaluate our choices.

There was the simple fact that my dating app just up and temporarily stopped sending me any matches, which I am fairly certain is code for “We give up. Good luck and Godspeed”. Kthankbye.

There are definitely pros to app dating, ones I appreciate now as a more seasoned veteran. If you aren’t interested in someone, it is much easier to escape their advances, versus having to hide in a corner of the bar for the rest of the night if you had met in person. There is also definitely a greater sense of control: here are pictures of me, but only in my best lighting and cutest ouftits! Finally, and most importantly, there is the factor of convenience. The irony of writing things like: “I love exploring the city and doing new things!” while sitting on my couch in sweatpants and marinating in an unshowered state is not lost on me.

There are also definite cons. You have to boil yourself down into an enticing introductory paragraph, depending on the words to sell you, versus having the potential foundation of some natural chemistry in person. Fun fact: you’ve never known less about yourself until you actually have to describe who you are. “Write a 3-sentence summary of what makes you you!” Umm, can I instead staple water to a tree? Because that would definitely be easier. Plus, can you imagine the real world equivalent of having to do this? Picture it: your eyes slide towards that gorgeous specimen across the bar, and you are now at attention. You down your drink, glide over, and with the suave extension of your hand, you blurt out, “HI MY NAME IS MARK AND I AM A FAMILY-CENTERED ENGINEER WITH A PASSION FOR COOKING, GOOD WINE, AND THE RANGERS. I’M JUST LOOKING FOR A PRINCESS TO SHARE MY LIFE WITH. GIRLS WHO ARE INTO DRAMA SHOULD LOOK ELSEWHERE”. Good God-at least alcohol sales would skyrocket.

No matter what happens with these apps (I meet someone, I don’t meet someone, I become a hermit, all of these apps are found to cause Ebola, etc.), I view this as a learning experience, which is sort of a great way to approach life in general. I have amassed a considerable database of information, the likes of which I will impart onto you, my young grasshoppers.

Lesson One: Sometimes even the most insignificant of things bind us together on a grand scale. Example: 78%* of the men I have encountered on these apps love Game of Thrones. So much so, in fact, that they MUST list it within the confines of their profile, or predominantly feature a picture of themselves sitting regally atop an Iron Throne replica. *(Note: this is not an actual scientific study)

Lesson Two: Avoiding clichés really will set you apart (wait, was that cliché to say?) Example: In the (seemingly) thousands of profiles I have read, when asked to describe themselves, people tend to use the same euphemisms: “I’m not really good at describing myself”. “Family is the most important thing to me!” “I just want to find my Goddess” (I’ve seen that one at least 4 times. Admirable, good sirs).  “Just looking for my partner in crime” (My question: if you’re planning on committing a crime, should you announce it on the internet?). Personally, my attention has been best held by the people who write something really witty, or different, or daring. You know, just like how it works in the real world.

Lesson Three: There are lazy people, idiots, and generally rude people no matter where you go. Example: I received a message starting with “Hi Laura, allow me to introduce myself…” He then quickly backtracked with another message, trying to convince me that he did not in fact just copy and paste a set template from girl to girl. Dude, I applaud your ability to multitask, but get it together. Also, there was the guy who said that one of my pictures (one of just my face, smiling) “offended” him. SORRY THAT MY ORTHODONTIA DIDN’T PAN OUT AS WELL AS I WANTED IT TO, BUDDY. I GUESS WE’RE BOTH EQUALLY DISAPPOINTED HERE.

Lesson Four: In some ways, we as a society are still stuck in the original era of the AOL IM Username, a time of no shame when it came to the username game. Example: Grown-ass men with jobs and 401k’s and the desire to have their own children using names like: “cutetush”. “yourprincecharming102”. “justwanttocuddle”. “yourmomwillloveme”.  That’s a story I can’t wait to pass on to my friends. “Well, this guy with the username ‘CharmYourPantsOff23’ messaged me, and really, after that, the rest was history!”

I’d like to end this blog post with some sort of sage advice, but if I actually knew what I was doing, I don’t think I’d be writing this post in general. SO, I will simply say that if you are in any way trying to meet people, ether via an app, in person, smoke signals, carrier pigeons, Civil War Reenactments, etc., stay strong. It really is overwhelming how many people are just trying to find others to connect with, and in that similar overarching desire, there is comfort. You just have to find the right one. :)

Sunday, February 1, 2015

127 Hours: MRH Does Dating.

Once upon a time (this past December), my very sweet and well-intentioned roommate/best friend decided to take matters into her own hands regarding my social life, and downloaded (for my use) a phone app named Hinge. Then, when I was perhaps a little less than sober (meaning not as uptight and reserved as I usually am), she had me log into this app with my Facebook account.
It was then in the wee hours of a Saturday night, with only a few finger swipes and even fewer cheers, that my Hinge profile was born.
For those of you who don't know what Hinge is (I sure as hell didn't), Hinge is sort of Tinder's well-intentioned cousin. They still belong to the same family/have the shared genetics of being phone apps that you select potential mates (yes, I said mates) by judging pictures and swiping in a certain direction, but Hinge operates under the sweeter (but perhaps naive) belief that because they're pairing you with people you have shared connections with (Facebook friends), there's less of a chance you'll be meeting up with a sociopath.
Or something.
I was initially resistant to Hinge. Something about meeting people through an app seemed inorganic and cheap. It felt as if I was ordering an interaction with people through Amazon Prime, the 2 day delivery guaranteed. I am a romantic at heart (although also admittedly semi-cynical), and I want to make friendships and relationships through adorable meet-cutes in coffee shops and friends of friends and Central Park. However, as it was often explained to me, this is New York. You are young. This is how people meet people. This is normal. You are being ridiculous. You are also growing couch sores from being a hermit. Go out and be social. 
So out to be social I went. 
The Hinge interactions all start the same way. You match with someone who approves you, and vice versa. You then exchange small talk via a messenger system (usually about your jobs and weekend plans), and then someone inevitably brings up drinks. You set a plan, wear a cute outfit, and see what happens.
Some of the guys I've met through Hinge were extremely sweet, and proof that good guys, even guys that weren't necessarily meant to be mine, exist. We found some good bars and some delicious food, and it was fun to pretend every so often that I was a glamorous New Yorker who frequently goes out after work (even though 9 times out of 10, I was just feral-cat hungry and generally rumpled/frizzy after a 13-hour shift). Although the nights usually ended with both of us uttering one of the most favorite of lies shared between humans ("We should definitely do this again soon!"), I came home feeling as if I had tried, and had at least put myself out there. Although, I do genuinely hope to see some of those guys again, even if it's just in a friendship capacity.
Of course, there are also the horror stories. There are three of note, the types that help allow me to have a blog named "The Awkward Times of MRH".
1) The First Hinge date. It started out innocently enough, but unraveled quickly. He tried to make out with me/physically pushed my face closer to his after whispering the line, "Maggie Gyllenhaal is ugly". Men, a dating tip for you-insulting random celebrities is not considered a normal aphrodisiac.
2) The Alpha Dog Hinge Date. This guy had potential-we had a lot of shared interests (such as loving delicious tzatziki sauce, exploring the city, and the brief flirtation of attending medical school). Before meeting up, we had discussed books, movies, and medical research, and I was comforted that at least we'd have some stuff to talk about on our date. He showed up, and the night started out well enough. Then he got more and more drunk, and became more and more of what I believe scientists officially have classified as a "douche canoe". He bragged about how he cheated on ex-girlfriends, helped ex-girlfriends cheat on their new boyfriends (there is something oddly poetic about that), called all women 'bitches', and best of all, purposefully tried to pay a cheaper check (belonging to another table) that the waitress had mistakenly brought us. When she did bring us the correct (and more expensive) check, he tipped less than 10%. Of course, there is also the piece de resistance-this guy looked me straight in the eye and told me, with increasing vigor and total seriousness: I AM the alpha dog, I am THE alpha dog, I am the ALPHA DOG. Let's just say that I suddenly understood the plot of 127 Hours, and being willing to chop off your own arm to get the hell out of dodge.
3) The Great Hinge Date. The night after meeting Alpha Dog, my less-than-enthusiastic self met up with Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome. We met at a cute little bar, and I was so nervous around him that I stuttered for the first 10 minutes and spilled my cranberry vodka down my white shirt. (Just your normal male-heart-snaring moves). The rest of the night was a Great Date. We had a lot of chemistry, we had fun, and he made definitive plans for the next time we would see each other. Most importantly, he mentioned the five words that make my knees weak and my heart beat dangerously fast: "Chicago-style deep dish pizza". 
Fast forward a week, aka 7 days I spent checking my phone obsessively and ping-ponging my way a few thousand times through the "I wish he would just text me. Maybe I should text him?" and "I'm a strong independent woman. He can try to woo ME" states of mind. I admittedly broke my resolve the following weekend, and texted him first. He in turn asked for plans for the upcoming week. After another conversation several days later, we planned for dinner and drinks Saturday, and he asked if he could come meet me out in my part of the city. I was equal parts nauseous and excited (and eating a giant breakfast of shrimp and grits Saturday morning didn't help things either). 
Before my gluttonous brunch on Saturday, I texted him to confirm our plans. And then didn't hear anything back for roughly 8 hours. A lot of things could happen in 8 hours, the conscious part of my mind reminded me. He could be taking a coma nap in preparation for tonight. He could have lost his phone. He could have been kidnapped. He could be running a marathon, in New York in January when the streets aren't plowed and the temperatures are frigid. Just your normal run of the mill excuses....everything is fine! And then, a couple hours before we would have met, I received The Text (and I quote): "I'm starting to get serious with someone I've met. Sorry for the shitty timing!". 
Ummmmmmmm, okayyyyyyy. 
Look, I get it. Dealing with people outside of friendship can be messy. While my ego is bruised and my pride feels like it received a couple of well-placed bee stings, he wasn't interested (or at least not interested enough), and it's not going to work out. I'm a big girl, and I'll cope via stress eating, just like I always have.
But what I cannot forgive is the damn deceit. What makes this man (and all others like him) into a goddamn monster is giving the sweet, sweet promise of deep dish pizza, and then quickly ripping that promise from my yearning taste buds. What circle of hell must you have climbed out of to promise a girl the world's most amazing fusion of carbs, tomato, and cheese, and then renege on the deal? HELL HATH NO FURY LIKE A WOMAN WHO IS FOOD-SCORNED, GENTLEMAN. TAKE NOTE AND TAKE CARE. Wars have been fought over less.
All in all, this past month has taught me several lessons: First, your normal sushi place (which you have believed you are single-handedly supporting through your weekly delivery orders) will survive without you (also, you shouldn't be single-handedly supporting a restaurant). Secondly, putting yourself out there, while not always successful, still puts you in the running for SOMETHING. Your chances for anything (the discovery of a great bar, a good meal, a new friend in the city, or a character trait in someone else that makes your fingers absolutely itch for the pepper spray) go up from 0 to 100% once you go out and DO and TRY. Third, when it comes to good, authentic deep dish pizza, get that name and address down on lock, at the cost of all else. 
Oh, and one more thing. Don't give up.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Why I Need To Be A Mermaid.

When I was a child, I watched the movie 'The Little Mermaid', as did most of the other young impressionable girls my age who were raised on a diet of 90's hair scrunchies, Warhead sour candies, and Disney movies. The film is a classic, not to mention endless fodder for Pinterest (I estimate that there's probably one 'Mermaid'-related pin for every 25 pins you scroll past). If you haven't seen the movie, go look up the synopsis (and some Google Images) right now. No, seriously, go. I'll wait here until you get back.

To be honest, I'm not sure how wholesome and endearing the values of the movie really were (that's right young girls, to meet a man you must change everything about yourself and adhere to impossible physical standards, like BUILDING YOURSELF A PAIR OF LEGS WHEN YOU DON'T HAVE ANY TO BEGIN WITH. Oh, what's that? You don't know how to build legs? That's fine. Just barter away your soul. Also, stop speaking. Men fall in love with a silent girl much more quickly). But, after watching the movie, I *can* tell you one thing my young child mind picked up on REAL fast:

I want, no, NEED to be a mermaid. 

Don't tell me you haven't thought the same thing (and agreed) about your own Mer-status. And if you're one of those people who can 'tell the difference between fantasy and reality' and haven't considered being a mermaid, then read on, and I'll tell you exactly why it would be AWESOME:

1) My thighs could touch each other, and no one would be upset about it. That's right, shackles of society. I renounce your obsessions with thigh gaps and "Eat Less' T-shirts and workout programs that cause rhabdomyolysis. I will willingly enter a land where thigh 'grafting' is not only accepted, BUT NECESSARY.

2) A free clamshell bra to match my new fins. (What else would you wear with fins, a T-shirt? Awkward.) And once I owned said free clamshell bra, hopefully I would be blessed with the type of chest that could hold up those pieces of calcium carbonate, because let's be honest, people are not picking up shells on the beach because they're known for their lift and support. 

3) I could spend all day frolicking in the sea. That would be my job. Did you hear that? FROLICKING. IN. THE. SEA. I can't think of a career today that involves that alone (or what the resume for that job would be like). 

4) I could just call up a dolphin or a manatee to go get lunch with me. And it would be awesome. Have fun waiting in line at Seaworld, land bitches. 

5) My hair would always look good, because it would constantly just be shimmering, floating, and doing other pretty things while I existed in the water. Do you know how much money I could save in shampoo and conditioner? How much time I would save when I didn't have to blow-dry anything? Some men think that all a woman wants is to meet Prince Charming. Nope: she just wants perfect hair without trying. 

6) A tail. Like I even have to explain this one. All my childhood dreams would be accomplished with a tail.

7) Not having to wear makeup. Sorry Maybelline, but you're not that good..nothing you sell will ever be THAT waterproof. And hopefully there's some sort of mermaid-clause involving perpetual beauty where I wouldn't have to deal with acne. Hmmm...probably should check the bylaws. 

8) A voice like an angel. That's kind of like a requirement of being a mermaid, you know, so I can sing to crustaceans (if I'm being cast in a Disney movie), or if I'm trying to serenade/lure sailors to their deaths (not that I'm a bitter man hater, or anything). If I got to be a mermaid, I would get to have a fantastic voice. Hellloooooo record deal, or American Idol (you know they would do a promo on me during the auditions...because I'D BE A FREAKING MERMAID).

9) I would get to make a house out of coral reefs and other sea objects. People pay good money to see that type of stuff while snorkeling and scuba-diving. And I'd get to live in it. FO' FREE. D.I.Y. THAT, PINTEREST.

10) Never having to worry about having a day where I felt like I couldn't fit into my jeans. Because the fins would always expand with me. I'd be living life in a beautiful world of a never-constraining waistband.

Do I admit that the scientist part of me wonders how mer-babies are made? Sure. But that doesn't negate the fact that I could be spending my days with swimming with whales, brushing my long hair endlessly, and/or singing on rocks. Ursula...get at me. I'm ready to sell my soul.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Adult-Only Entertainment

I’m starting to hit that age where it’s ‘normal’, 'socially acceptable', and/or 'expected' of me and my peers to complete all the Life Milestones (landing good jobs, buying houses, filing taxes, getting engaged, marrying/settling down, procreating, etc.) without it being weird or considered ‘young’ to have done so. Personally, I have been existing on a diet of peppermint bark and water for the past 3 days because I am too lazy to go to the grocery store, so venturing onto Facebook (peppermint bark wrapper in hand) to find out that someone I know is buying a house or having a child sends me into a small panic attack. However, these attacks are not based in anger, resentment, jealousy, or any other negative emotion: they are instead based on a feeling of 'wait, am I also considered an adult?!'
I’m not sure when (if ever) someone ‘becomes’ an adult, at least in their own estimation. I assume it’s a gradual transition. One day you’re young and raising hell, and then the next thing you know, you’re craving a good nap and wondering why there are so many youths in the streets. I am edging towards that point where a hangover is more likely to incapacitate me for 3 days versus 3 hours, and yet, I still don’t feel prepared on ‘How To Be An Adult’. Wouldn’t a class in high school or college have been awesome? You know, a seminar that discussed things like balancing checkbooks, or how many fire alarms you should have in your house, or at what age I’m supposed to start sending out holiday cards to people?
If such a course had actually existed while we were in school, I would have asked that these topics be covered:

1) What ‘APR financing’ is. Yes, I can Google it. But let me admit that whenever I think of this term, I just imagine that it stands for ‘A Parent’s Responsibility’ Financing. As in, that term has been forever used in and associated with commercials for cars and mattresses, things that my child-self never imagined that she’d be purchasing on her own. Just saying. 

2) Mortgages. A big mythical word that I’ve heard before…I even know that sometimes there can be a second one.This concept is also Google-able, but scary nonetheless. Thankfully, I am not alone: I have asked a friend or two what they think a mortgage is, and I get the same blank stare and shrug that also exists in my own reflection. How can I eventually have one of these without knowing what it is? (Also, 401K's. Is that the only number combination I’m allowed to have? Can I have a 666K? It sounds much more bad-ass). 

3) Wainscoting. I believe that this is a term that married couples automatically learn via osmosis upon signing their marriage license. For all of you who aren't aware of the term, it's paneling that you decorate your house with. To me it sounds like the last name of a Duke in a romance novel set in the 18th century, but hey, apparently people look for it on ceilings. I’m still just imagining the dashing Lord of Wainscot picking up my dropped handkerchief. Be still, quivering heart.

4) But seriously. At what age am I supposed to send out holiday cards? Do people just want a holiday card from me alone? Am I supposed to be in a couple with someone else to do this? What about me and a bunch of cats? How about me and a large pizza? WHAT IS THE RULE HERE?

5) “The Bottom Line”: I feel like this is a stereotypical phrase used by all big business honchos, and it’s definitely a term I uttered into a fake phone as a child while pretending to own a private conglomerate of magical rainbow dolphins. But what does it mean? Where is this line? How far down is the bottom? How will we know if we reach it?

6) Online dating profiles. I don’t plan on filling one out anytime soon, but it seems to be a relatively acceptable thing now for adults to do, just as another form of meeting people. And in the modern reality of instant information access, shouldn’t I just be honest on my profile up front? Because look, in today’s day and age, I can get someone’s name, immediately fly to Facebook to stalk them, and determine if they have a penchant for cats, or if they’re one of those: “Like this photo if you believe in miracles!” people. Therefore, can’t I (shouldn’t I?) just write: “Look, I’m really into sitting on the couch in my sweatpants and eating as much food as I can possibly manage while the TV blares on for 8 straight hours. Prepare for it now. Let’s not do the big dance where on the first date I tell you that I’m really into hiking, acoustic coffee shops, and exploring new places, and you then think that I’m not going to pretend every day like it’s Sunday morning”.

7) What is the difference between a ‘throw’ and a ‘blanket’? Is one just more Pinterest-friendly? Am I more sophisticated if I know the difference? Do I get more 'adult points' if I offer you the use of my 'throw' instead of 'a blanket'?

8) Also, my, uhhh, friend wants to know at what age she’s supposed to stop watching Disney movies. It’s not for me, it’s for my friend. Cough.

All teasing aside, I know that there are an infinite amount of resources available (not to mention 'experience', duh) to help me learn about all things adult-necessary, and I will one day use those resources to become a fully competent individual. But for right now, I’m going to go look for Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome, AKA Lord Wainscot. Who’s with me?! ;)

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Watch Me Dance

It's been a while since I've gone out. You know, Gone Out. My weekends as of late have been spent become BFFL's (Best Friends For Life) with my couch, avoiding human contact, and listening to the silky seductive whispers of my sweatpants promising me that it's totally fine if I eat one more plate of potatoes because if I just eat them now then they'll be out of the house permanently and then I can REALLY start my healthy diet.

Cough, cough. But anyway.

There's something about the Going Out culture that is forever exciting and exotic, even though past experiences have taught me that many times, the reality will never quite live up to the expectation. In my mind, it's all bathed in a golden romanticized hue: getting all dressed up, going to a sleek bar with even sleeker people, ordering a drink and sipping it coyly, and generally building the moments that interrupt the food pictures on an Instagram account.

Sign me up, I'm in.

There are several different ingredients that make up the Going Out Night that so many alcohol commercials show us. Ingredient one: the I'm-wearing-small-skyscrapers-by-strapping-on-these-going-out-heels. Ingredient two: The witty bar-side banter with the (let's face it) ridiculously expensive drinks. Ingredient Three: Dancing.

I don't know what it is about paying a cover fee to go into a bar with loud, thumping, sending-vibrations-through-my-spinal-cord Top-40 hits overlaced with techno beats while fighting for breathing space on a postage-stamped size floor that makes me feel alive sometimes, but hey, every so often you just need to pretend like you're a music video vixen to feel cool. (Right guys? Right?)

However, I won't be so vain as to believe that my dance floor battle cry is anything attractive to watch. In fact, quite the opposite. Therefore, I have compiled a list of honest truths regarding what happens when I hit the dance floor.
Things I Think While I'm Dancing:
1) DAMN, I'm hot!
2) Look at me shake that. And this. AND ALL OF THAT.
3) Why haven't I been hired to be in a music video yet? Look at me go! No one has ever been this awesome before.
4) Can you believe I haven't had formal training?
5) Oh yes. This is my song. THIS. IS. MY. SONG.
6) I could go on dancing forever.

8) I need a higher surface. I need to be higher. (Something about girls and dancing requires a high, stage-like surface. Kind of like salmon returning upstream to spawn. It's just something in the genetics).

Things Others Think While Watching Me Dance:
1) Oh my god, someone bring that girl a glass of water. She is gasping for air. Is she a fish on dry land? What is happening?
2) I think that girl is currently being electrocuted. It's not normal for someone to move like that. And I don't mean that in a good way. What is wrong with her. Maybe she's on fire. STOP DROP AND ROLL.
3) Someone call animal control. This needs to be stopped.
5) Stop the music. Make this stop. MAKE THE MADNESS STOP.
6) MY EYES. I wish she would stop. Look at all that weird thrusting and gyrating and awkward hand movements. This is a travesty against the institution of dance.
7) I'm going to shoot her with a tranquilizer in 10....9....8....7.....

8) I will body-check her if she tries to get onto that mini-stage over there.

So, who wants to go out tonight? ;)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Inanimate Object Whisperer

I can communicate with the dead.

Nope, just kidding, I definitely cannot do that. But I DO have a little bit of a gift. I don't want to be totally dramatic and say that I'm some sort of Item Whisperer....but I think I'm able to communicate with them pretty well. Hear what they're saying. Tune in to their frequencies, hear their complaints, etc.

It's okay if you don't also have this same ability (it's also okay if you think I'm crazy). Not everyone can be talented this way, but don't worry. Seriously. I'll fill you in on what your items have been saying to you, just so you don't feel left out:

Vodka: "You can dance! No seriously. Go on and try it. everyone on the dance floor will love you! YOU ARE THE LORD OF THE DANCE, NOW GO CLAIM YOUR THRONE!"
Sweatpants: "It's been a rough day. Put us on. We will make you feel better. You could probably live in us for like 3 days, and it would be okay. Come on over here, buddy. Let us give you a hug."  
Refrigerator: "I won't tell anyone about what we do at 2 a.m. Seriously, no judgment here. I've come to love our secret romantic trysts in the wee hours of the morning. OPEN ME."  
Tequila: "Call your ex. He/she wants to hear from you. He/she wants to talk about how much you miss them, and admit to how badly he/she screwed up. At 3 a.m. After 4 months of not speaking."   
Remote Control: "I will hide from you when you want to find me most. It is a law of science, and I cannot break it".
Left Sock: "I have not seen Right Sock in months. MONTHS. We went together to the Laundry and never came back together. Is he rolled up with some other sock now? Did he permanently move to the dryer? I mean, honestly, I am outraged. That cheating ass!"
Shower Curtain: "You can't sing. I've been wanting to get that off of my chest for a while now".
Microwave: "Wow, you really are lazy".
The Plastic Bag Holding All the Other Plastic Bags Stuffed Into that Spare Closet or Beneath the Sink: "WHY MUST YOU STUFF ME WITH MY OWN PROGENY? I DO NOT WANT TO EAT MY YOUNG".  
Couch: "You spent an irrational amount of time with me this weekend. Are we dating now? Is this official? Oh, and also, please clean underneath me. It's embarrassing."
The Dust Bunnies Under the Bed: "And we shall form our own nation, with all the ideals and morals necessary to govern such a land. And then we will take over this apartment. SPAWN MORE DUST BUNNIES".
Alarm Clock: "I hate how much time you and bed spend together. I just want you to hang out with me for once, instead of hitting me in the morning".  
Bed: "Alarm clock is a jealous whore, and I don't care for what it has to say about anything".


Monday, September 30, 2013

Are You A) Drunk or B) A Toddler?

I don't know if you've noticed this....but toddlers and drunk people are basically one in the same. Except for the fact that GENERALLY toddlers are smaller than most drunk people (and if they're not, I'd like to know what you're feeding your child), if you really take the time to notice, you'll see that spending time with your toddler is really just the same as coming home with That One Drunk Friend after a long night at the bar.

Let us count the ways:

1) Neither group really seems to care about what food they're eating: no matter what it is, they are eating it in mass quantities and with fearless abandon. There is no order or meal plan. Regular silverware rules do not apply. "Let's have french fries followed by jelly beans accented by some carrots I found on the floor. And I'm going to eat it all with my fingers" YUM, DELICIOUS. They will eat it all without discrimination to what food came before it, or where it was actually found (floor, back of the fridge, old lunchbox, random table in the bar, whatever).

2) After a certain point, neither one makes a damn lick of sense. What's that? Blue unicorns ate your pajamas, and now you can't climb Mt. Everest? I DON'T UNDERSTAND YOU. PUT DOWN THE BOTTLE. I don't care what's in it. Milk or alcohol, you still aren't speaking cohesively, and you are DRIVING ME NUTS.

3) There's always this sort of moment where you, Mom/Dad/Friend/Relative, know that you're going to have to dive in and stop the crazy before someone breaks a skull/leg/face. Whether it's 'Mom/Dad, look what I can do!' or 'Here buddy, hold my beer!", you know something stupid is about to happen. Prepare yourself. Have 9-1-1 on speed dial.

4) Everything is SUPER INTENSE. "This toy is broken" =HYSTERICS. "This cell phone case is now broken"=HYSTERICS. "You're having a princess-themed birthday" = EXTREME JOY. "You're getting a free drink" =EXTREME JOY.

5) Basic stability seems to be really difficult for either group. Neither type can walk. Gravity is a lot stronger for them. Their knees and joints and extremities generally stop working. They sink to the ground. They say that just need to lay down right here. Really? In this patch of grass? We're still 4 blocks from home. Walk, I beg of you.

6) Public urination is never a problem. Ever.

7) They're constantly grasping said bottle. Milk, alcohol, 'juice'....either way, they have a death grasp on it, and I dare you to try and take it away from them.

You'll never view a daycare/bar the same way again.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Why Birthdays Are Weird.

Let me just start off by saying that I'm always up for a good birthday celebration. I LOVE making a big deal out of people's birthdays. I want pomp, circumstance, glitter, noise, and parades, damnit. The birthday rule is this: more insanity and ridiculousness, the better.

But, if you think about it, birthday celebrations are kind of weird. Just saying.

1) You blow up balloons and decorate the party space with them. In case that doesn't seem weird to you, let me remind you: you literally surround the room in bags filled with your breath. And it's totally normal/accepted/preferred. In fact, most people pout if there *aren't* balloons. Furthermore, when you pop said breath-bags, your ingested air then goes all over everyone. What is going on.

2) People stand in a circle around a burning piece of food (the birthday cake) and chant (sing) to the birthday person. Yeah, because some sort of satanic seance is oh SO different.

3) People wear hats with chin straps (birthday hats with those little elastic straps that keep them secured to their heads). I mean, sure, probably not the weirdest thing about a birthday, but fashion wise? So not okay. Who let those be a thing? We need to talk.

4) People sometimes throw surprise parties. You essentially wait for the birthday person to come in to their homes, unsuspecting and comfortable in their own perceived security, and then ambush them with a verbal assault of "SURPRISE". It's a miracle no one has died of a heart attack yet from such a thing. And yeah, if someone did that without the excuse of a birthday, they'd probably be arrested.

5) Pinatas. You beat a dead thing in the shape of an animal until it BREAKS OPEN AND FEEDS YOU. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE.

So, uhh, happy birthday. I guess.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Betrayal of Trust

When I saw you sitting there, unsuspectingly, how could I have known what was to happen? How could I have known that you were going to break my heart and make me question any future iota of trust I want to give, had to give? I gave myself to you fully, and in return, received nothing but lies and heartbreak. 

You have broken me. 

I was hungry. For comfort, for love, for just a little feel-good sensation, you know? I just wanted to make myself feel better. To fill myself with something to stop the emptiness.

And then I saw you there, nearly melting in the heat. My eyes widened at the sight of you, and I knew I had to have you.

So I approached you. I took the plunge and put myself out there. I thought you could fill a void for me, fill the emptiness inside me, but oh god, would I be wrong about that.

I took you with me into my bedroom. Pulled you onto my bed. Pushed back the sheets, and then bit into you, ravenously and senselessly. God, to taste you. So sweet, so delicious.

And then I realized your betrayal. What you had done to me.

You are an oatmeal raisin cookie who looks almost identical to a chocolate chip cookie. I wanted nothing but the sweet delicacy of chocolate, and yet you fooled me with your shriveled grapes.

Oatmeal raisin cookies that look like chocolate chip cookies are one of the main reasons I have trust issues. I will never again trust a cookie so easily at face value alone.


Friday, July 19, 2013

How to Be a Badass.

I'm the girl who is unable to stab a straw through a juice box. I can't open things that are childproof, and I have set my house on fire on more than one occasion with a chicken breast.

But I've always wanted to be a bad-ass. You know, those people (usually movie heroes or heroines) that walk away from explosions and wear black catsuits and never have to eat or cry. Generally when they enter a room, people turn and stare and the music slows and their hair whips back and forth effortlessly.

So I've come up with some ways to become one:

1) Explode things, and then walk away from them in an awesome slow-motion fashion. Someone put this once in the Bad-ass Bible, and now it's a thing. Trust me.
2) Buy a motorcycle. Even if you can't ride it, just buy it and pose with it and make people believe that you are a hellcat. And if you can't afford a motorcycle, buy a motorcycle helmet and carry it around. The illusion is everything.
3) Wear all black. Tight black clothes are apparently the only things bad-ass people wear, so I'm going to try and emulate that.
4) Walk in slow-motion everywhere. This will give people a chance to watch how awesome your stride is and how perfectly your muscles are formed.
5) Make someone follow you around with an electrical fan so that your hair is always effortlessly flowing. EFFORTLESSLY FLOWING PEOPLE, TURN UP THE POWER.
7) Carry a concealed weapon. Apparently it's super bad-ass to be able to pull a knife from your shin. And if you're like me (totally accident-prone) just carry a weapon 'holster', so you can't hurt yourself. Because let's just be honest, you will.
8) Always be ready with a one-liner to put a jerk in his place. Preferably something that's smart and indicates that you received your PhD in mechanical nuclear physics, but also have a black belt.

Honestly, to be a bad-ass just be proud of yourself, and carry yourself accordingly. But if you're still working on getting there, follow the above steps and hopefully we'll be the leads in movies some day. ;)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

All I can handle are the pants.

Here are the things I can do in yoga: lie on a yoga mat, and put on a pair of yoga pants. Boom, that's it. Are you impressed?

I have nothing but the utmost respect for those who are yoga happy and/or yoga talented. But at this time in my life (not trained and not really trying to train), I am unable to mentally focus myself while attempting to contort my body into directions that I'm pretty sure I was just not meant to fold into. Furthermore, I can't control my breathing (again, basic panting is really all I can manage as I attempt to put my knee behind my neck), and let's just be honest: I'm about as flexible as a steel rod.

Here are the things I like about yoga:
The pants: they're elastic, comfortable, and just a nice enough step above sweatpants that I don't feel like a complete slob when I leave the house while wearing them.
The mats: they're kind of spongy, and I can lay on them. And technically not move. Which is awesome. Why can't more of yoga just be spent laying on the mats?

Here are the things I don't like about yoga:
The moving/bending/folding/contorting: I CAN'T PUT MY SHIN TO MY EYEBROWS. I JUST CAN'T.
The balancing: I don't have good enough control of my limbs to balance them all at once. It's unrealistic that you'd even ask me to.
The controlled breathing: How can you ask me to breathe in and breathe out serenely when I'm trying to introduce my toes to my nostrils?
The serenity: I'm just going to start laughing when you tell us to be quiet. Enforced silence = NEED to laugh. Plus, it's kind of hard not to laugh at that one person who is a yoga goddess (which isn't a problem), but the look of sudden death they give you when you can' stop yourself from laughing makes it all the worse.

Namaste? More like Not-My-Way. ;)

Friday, July 12, 2013

How To Flirt Like Me. ;)

First off, let's just notice that I am giving you advice on how to flirt like me, NOT a pro. Okay? No false advertisement here. A pro is the absolute last thing I am. To be honest, it's a miracle I haven't put myself or a guy in the hospital as I clumsily try to woo him.

Yeah. Woo. I said it.

If you follow these tips, you too can join the ranks of the unbearably awkward, ungraceful, and the unattractive. ;)
1) Mouth breathe. Heavily, like you're having a panic-based asthma attack. Scare people to the point that they want to call 9-1-1, or jam an inhaler into your gaping jaws. Mouth-breathing will remind that special someone of panting, and maybe that will turn them on (a big maybe....).
2) Drool. I seem to make copious amounts of saliva every time I'm around a guy I like. I'd like to think this is an attractive quality (I mean, puppies drool and they're cute, right?), but I have a sad feeling that it is not.
3) Stumble over your words. The more incomprehensible you are, the better it will go. Nothing says 'I'm sexy' like someone who can't get a single word out, and instead just makes a bunch of high-pitched squeals and choking noises.
4) Engage in a mind-blank. Allow yourself to become completely unable to put a thought together, out of anxiety or nerves regarding over that person you've been longing for. That way, when that special someone asks how your weekend was, you can quickly respond with 'FORK' or 'BELUGA WHALE'. He/she will stare at you in confusion and then walk away. Your mind-freeze will then clear, and you'll be able to answer suavely, 'Oh it was great, thank you. How was yours?'
5) Notice awkward traits about yourself while in close contact with That Special Someone. (HAVE I ALWAYS HAD THAT MUCH ARM HAIR? GOOD GOD, I'M THE MISSING LINK BETWEEN MAN AND APE! WAS TARZAN MY FATHER?)

Now, these are just some tips, more are to follow in a later teaching session. For now, follow these rules, and I promise you'll be horrible at flirting in no time, just like me. ;D

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Instant Abs --> Instant Sexy.

I was licking the bottom of a Milanos cookie package when I remembered just how important it is to have great abs over the summer: I mean, these are the muscles that are predominantly displayed in the warm weather through bathing suits and crop tops. Guys and girls are forced to tone up, slim down, and prepare themselves for constant display. I suppose we can all benefit from some seriously gorgeous ab action....but who has time for doing thousands of crunches? Not me!!

I have come up with some tips that will help you get those instant abs that will look oh-so-gorgeous in these steamy summer months, but without all the work (because really, who has time for Insanity or P90X when there are all those cookouts to attend?):

1) Take an eyeliner pencil. Draw on a 6 Pack.
2) Find a grill, and lay across it (not while it's lit!). The imprint of the grill bars will basically give you a 12-pack, which will impress EVERYONE.
3) Self-tanner: draw as many abs as you want. I tend to recommend an even number, but don't let me stop you from your creative artistic expression.
4) Chainlink fence: press yourself into it. That diamond imprint into your skin will give an interesting ab imprint that tells people you workout beyond the normal amount.
5) Buy skin colored pantyhose/Spanx/control top girdles. Draw on a 6-pack of abs to that.
6) Buy a superhero costume that already has abs built into it. Tape it to your abdomen. Enjoy compliments, and continue to pose and flex.

You're welcome for such amazing tips. Now go enjoy a cookie. ;)

Saturday, July 6, 2013

What Does Your Phone Autocorrect Say About You?

I'm dating my iPhone (not that way, get your mind out of the gutter). Our relationship is definitely emotion-only. And if you think about it, you probably have the same deep relationship with your phone: you keep it by you all day, you wonder what it has to say, and you go into a full-fledged panic when you don't know where it is. It's the first thing you reach for when you wake up, the last thing you look at before you go to sleep, and you make sure you go eveywhere with it. I'm sorry, is that not the definition of marriage? I'm changing my Facebook relationship as we speak.

But I've realized this (as my phone and I enjoy a lovely candlelit dinner together): our smartphones are stalking us. Well, maybe not really stalking us, but they're started to pick up on what we're typing most often. And to be honest, when your (my) phone starts suggesting certain terms and words to you (me) because it thinks that's what you (I) want to type AGAIN (you start typing 'hello', your phone always suggests 'horseradish'), you (I) have to take a step back and evaluate what's going on in your (my) life.

Here are some of my own personal phone texting suggestions. Oh boy.

1) 'Olive Garden' (as in, the Italian restaurant chain)-I don't know why this happens, as I only have about 4 memories of typing about Olive Garden in the past 2 years of owning my iPhone. But apparently my phone knows that I always, always, ALWAYS want that breadstick-y goodness, because every time I start typing a word with an 'O', that's what it suggests.

2) 'Gryffindor/Hogwarts'- I'm a Harry Potter nerd. My phone now knows this and is now okay with popping it into everyday conversation (and spelling it correctly, of course).

3) 'AWESOME'. I think I've been enthusiastic one too many times on my phone, because now it will not allow me to write 'awesome' in a basic non-screaming text tone. Now everything is 'that's AWESOME news, I can't wait to see you!' or 'that's AWESOMEly bad!'. I AM YELLING ABOUT HOW AWESOME EVERYTHING IS. ALL DAY EVERY DAY. Thank you phone. Thank you.

4) My phone often suggests 'Toddlers and Tiaras' to me. I honestly have no idea why that would even happen. NOT OKAY PHONE, NOT OKAY.

5) 'Redonkulous.'-A take on the word 'ridiculous'. My phone has acknowledged that I *used* to say this in the past decade enough to the point that it now suggests it every time I use a word starting with 'R'. I probably should go get my braces and my awesome hair center part back on as well.

6) 'Meow Meow Meow Meow Meow Meow Meow Meow Meow Meow"- I once sent this text to a friend about 50 times in a row to annoy her. My phone has never forgotten such an action, and now routinely corrects my "M" words to such a melodious phrase.

7) 'Duckling'-Why would you often suggest this. Why on Earth would I often talk about ducklings. GO HOME PHONE, YOU'RE DRUNK.

8) 'Coupledom' -Apparently saying 'relationship' is not something I do. I type 'coupledom', and my phone knows this enough to suggest it without me asking it to.

9) 'PERFEXT': Disclaimer: this is not a word. This is a misspelling I once did when trying to type 'perfect' in all capital letters. No matter how many times I reset my phone, my phone still suggests this as the 'more preferred' spelling to 'perfect'. Sorry in advance to all who receive that.

10) 'Schmutz'. This is actually a Yiddish word that essentially means 'dirt'. Often used by Jewish mothers to be like 'you have schmutz on your face/shirt/hair'. I'm actually not even mad about this one.

What are some of yours? ;)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

10 Signs You're (I'm) An Evolutionary Fail.

Yesterday, I became trapped in a bathing suit. Literally. I was trying on a strapless tight fancy-strapped studded bikini at Victoria's Secret, and when I tried to take it off, I realized that I had too much collarbone or arm fat or something, because the damn thing was rooted to my upper thorax. I ended up nearly dislocating my shoulder/neck/brain to remove the top, as the attendant kept asking (rather hesitantly) outside the door, 'umm, are you sure you're okay in there?'.

Pretty sure that's (one of the many) moments that I realized that I'm an evolutionary fail.

How do I define myself as a fail? Well, if you think about it, over the span of time (I'm talking thousands upon thousands of years) humans started out as cavemen, dragging each other into caves by each others hair and hunting leopards, and have since grown into unbelievable specimens of nature that have created iPhones and planes and prosthetic limbs. That's amazing.

And yet, I can't open an aspirin bottle.

Here are 10 signs of how I am not evolutionarily fit to be present on this earth, and all human specimens may perhaps be embarrassed to have me on their side. Anyone else recognize these?
Please tell me I'm not alone.

1) I cannot open ANYTHING childproof. I am 20-something. I should be anti-proof.
2) Crisscross bra straps. I nearly strangle myself each time.
3) I usually forget to take the sticker off the apple. And then subsequently eat it. I'm pretty sure my stomach is now wallpapered in those stickers.
4) I never, ever, EVER have my umbrella on me, generally forcing me to become sopping wet as I walk anywhere. And that's fine (I imagine no one has died from a lack of umbrella), but still--> I imagine I'm heading to my death a little sooner by constantly marinading myself in rain water.
5) Have you ever tried to pull a blanket up towards you from the end of the bed (that was tight and tucked in) and ended up punching yourself in the face? Uhhhh yeah. Me neither.
6) I trip on everything. EV-UH-RY-THING. Again, maybe not a sign of instant impending death, but I feel like not being in control of my limbs is generally unhelpful in surviving longer.
7) I have coughed a fair amount of times while drinking water, and nearly drowned. What a way to go.
8) Did I mention I managed to TRAP MYSELF IN A BATHING SUIT? I managed to get stuck in PIECES OF CLOTH.
9) I can't seem to control all my limbs, even when I walk without tripping. There's always a wayward elbow hitting the wall or a hipbone slamming against the corner of a desk. Eventually, an organ is going to get punctured, and I am going to make some sort of coroner's Guinness Book of World Records for The World's Stupidest Death.
10) A baby could definitely beat me in an arm wrestling match. Today I was working with a baby who stole a page of stickers from me, and I legit had to extend some effort into getting it back. That's just wrong.

At this point, I'm not even hoping to make it to be elderly: I just want to reach middle age. Sorry Darwin. ;)

Anyone else have genes that weren't meant to be passed on? ;)

Friday, June 28, 2013

If My Life Were a Romantic Comedy

If my life were a romantic comedy, I would always be adorably frazzled, constantly running into cute boys who I didn't realize were in love with me, and I would never, ever, EVER have to use the bathroom. My walks in the rain would be romantic and dramatic (versus the I-forgot-my-umbrella-and-I'm-wearing-white-pants-mistakes they usually are). Friday nights would be evenings spent glamorously dancing on bars with friends, with the night eventually including a scene of witty repartee exchange with a gorgeous stranger as the music dulled around us. Saturdays would be spent looking casually gorgeous as I ran or walked my dog, and Sundays would of course be spent judging and secretly being jealous over my married friends and their monogrammed towels. Overall, I would always be trying to find myself and my love in a Big City somewhere, always just coming off of a relationship and swearing 'I'm done with men'.

Yup, it would be the plot of all rom-coms ever.

I am a 20-something year old girl. I was raised on romantic comedies: the media knew how to get me into their movie theaters, and STAT. What's that? You want me to watch yet another movie about a girl who ends up with the adorably gorgeous self-deprecating guy as sappy music plays and they dance in the rainstorm and realize over a coffee as their eyes meet that they were meant for one another? SIGN ME UP!

I think deep down (either secretly or not so secretly) I wanted that to be me. To end up with my best guy friend that grew up into a GQ model despite our many years of torturing each other while growing up down the street from one another. Obviously in this scenario said best guy friend would have been pining away for me since we were 6, but it would only be through a move to another city that we realized that we were meant for one another. Our reunion would have to be nothing less than perfect and dramatic, with fireworks and an orchestra and puppies and 7 personalized constellations. Obviously realistic, huh. And yet instead of this, I'm just awkwardly bumbling around, sweating, and hoping I can trick a man into dealing with me forever. ;)

Regardless of how my love life actually turns out, I think it's important for me to tell 14-year-old me why constantly being in a romantic comedy would be bad. So here's a list (and trust me ladies, this doesn't just apply to me. You may have to talk the preteen version of yourself off of a ledge with this stuff):

1) I would always have to be running/reuniting/crying/walking/dancing in the rain. That would not be good for my hair, and let's just be honest: I wouldn't look good with eyeliner dripping down my cheeks 24/7. I hardly look good now with the constant humidity I'm exposed to: I've reached the height and volume of a lion who's been licking an electrical socket.
2) I would have to be constantly frazzled, but adorably so, because that would add to my everyday-girl charm. Ummm, yeah, I'm constantly frazzled and it's not cute and I can't imagine expending the extra effort to try and be adorable at the same time.
3) Girls in rom-com's never get to use the bathroom. Enough said.
4) I would have to keep looking everyone in the eye, because that's apparently the moment that people fall in love/realize their feelings for one another. Doing that would be both creepy and exhausting.
5) My apartment would have to be constantly clean in case my gentleman caller came over in the middle of the night to confess his love to me. I'm sorry, that's just not going to happen.
6) They never show girls in rom-com's binge-eating. Considering my love of polishing off a pound of pasta in one sitting, that just isn't going to work.
7) I would have to have a hopeless-believer-in-romance best friend, and a sassy-no-man-is-worth-it best friend. Well actually, I already kind of have those. One point for the rom-com. 
8) Someone would always have to be following me playing a Sara Bareilles/Jack Johnson/lighthearted acoustic song or orchestral overlay. These songs would have to have melodic overtones that correlated with my feelings and the day's events. For example, more than 5 lighthearted piano plinks would correlate with happy feelings.
9) I would have to look cute to go to the grocery store. Apparently that's the new place for hot people to hang out and meet one another.
10) I would eventually have to get in a fight with a boy about the fact that he made a bet on our relationship/didn't realize this obscure thing about me that I didn't tell him before, and he would have to say back that 'I just run from things when they're difficult, just like I always do'.
11) The aforementioned fight would end when I notice some small detail that reminds me of him, like a spilled coffee (like from that time he spilled coffee!) or a certain sunset (like from that time we watched a sunset!) or a band T-shirt (like that one time we saw that band together!).
12) I would have to sleep like a model in a mattress commercial. Not happening.

Sorry, 14-year-old me (yes you. The one in the braces with the center part and the Sharpie pen as a form of eyeliner). Channing Tatum is not going to come find you.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Questions of Adulthood

When we are younger, we glorify the idea of being an Adult. An Adult knows everything, has everything, and can do anything. Can they stay up after midnight in front of the TV? Hell yes. Get together with their friends whenever they want? You betcha. Get fast food more than two times a month? SIGN ME UP NOW. My sister and I used to play this game where in one of our wildest fantasies, we were adults with fantastic hair who owned a restaurant, had boyfriends, and traveled around the world intermittently and at the drop of a hat. We also had names like "Krystal" and "Kiley", and it was totally normal for us to own a rainbow panda. Being an Adult sounded AWESOME.

As you get older, you are safe in a bubble of "Growing Up", a transition phase where you are expected to learn, but are not expected to know everything. Then, in college, you are told that you are actually on a launching pad into Adulthood, which is the capital of the Real World. You need to be ready, because it's on you to grow up and know things and take responsibility. Now I don't know about the rest of you, but as I actually transitioned into the Real World, I found that it was not actually a terrifying place full of corporate mergers and tax returns, but instead a place where I still watched TV and did work, just without as many weekend plans. In fact, because I worked in an ER, my job WAS the weekend plan. But anyway.

The kid versions of us were right. Being an Adult is pretty cool. I love driving a car, planning vacations, and online shopping. However, I dislike waking up early on the weekends to get work done, vacuuming, and grocery shopping. Regardless, as a kid I assumed that I would just know everything when I was older. However, as I now transition into this permanent and specific cut-and-dry stage of Adulthood (versus the transitional 'Young Adult', 'Pre-Teen', 'Child' stages, etc.), I realize that I still have a lot of unanswered questions. Please, someone help me out:

1) How the hell do you fold a fitted sheet? I'm a firm believer in nothing being impossible, but I'm pretty sure that it's easier to staple water to a tree branch than it is to fold a fitted sheet. If one must attempt to fold a fitted sheet, might I recommend some helpful tools, such as a blowtorch and a can of kerosene?

2) How much pizza for breakfast takes you past the college-acceptable level into oh-hey-rock-bottom? This question is pretty self-explanatory. I just want to know how far into my binge-eating I should maybe remind myself to feel ashamed.

3) What is business casual? No, really. There has never been a more vague stringing together of two words to describe what is acceptable for certain work functions. No one understands it. I'd prefer something more like "Dress code: you may wear these pants and this shirt combo with this color scheme and these shoes...casual".

4) This doesn't necessarily apply to being an adult, but I am curious: man Uggs. Why. Discuss.

5) What craft-happy devil children came up with Pinterest? Thanks to these deviant masterminds, I am now bound to the internet when I should be doing homework, or studying, or paying attention at work. Just one more pin, I promise myself. One more pin about couscous, or about an ab workout I'll never do. Thanks to Pinterest, I can now see my crazy wedding-happy, food-obsessed, Christmas-fanatic tendencies in front of me, painted all over the internet. Which is fine, because it's who I am, BUT I DON'T NEED PINTEREST TO SHOW THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD THAT, OKAY?!

6) How does one get the specific job in writing the 'Terms and Conditions' legal documents? And does anyone else wonder what secrets are written in these 'I agree to the Terms and Conditions' legal documents? I imagine that if someone actually look the time to read it (instead of ALWAYS LYING and saying that yes, I have read and agree), we'd find the solutions to world hunger, cancer, and maybe how to fold a fitted sheet.

7) At what age do we stop defining accomplishment as "being a superhero" or "taking 10 shots straight without vomiting", and instead go to "getting a load of laundry done and getting groceries in one afternoon"?

8) Why do all major magazines only focus on food, sex, or fitness? I mean, I guess those kind of are the three most important factors/drives of human evolution, but still, I'd love to have a magazine for adults that tells me how to build my own Bouncy-house, or where I can actually find a pair of jeans that fits a body not clearly defined in the 'pear-shaped/hour-glass/petite' spectrum.

9) Speaking of magazines focusing on adult relationships: Cosmopolitan. Does anyone believe in or use their flirty methods in the adult real life? I mean, I really have a hard time believing that someone coyly takes a suggestive sip from their drink while batting their eyelashes, all to be followed with a slow saunter across the bar while maintaining eye contact. Or maybe I'm just in denial, because when I try to approach a guy in a bar, I saunter as gracefully as a baby giraffe trying to walk for the first time, knock-kneed and all.

10) Is it okay that I just considered sneezing my ab workout? What? I'm sorry, I just.....okay, never mind.
11) Who has the job of naming paint colors? As my friends get older (and I specify my friends, because I am not mature enough to be living in a place that allows me to make executive choices such as what color the walls should be slash being in charge of my own pilot light), they are starting to "Settle Down". They are nesting. They are picking out furniture and insurance plans and saying things like "Do you think this wall would look better in a shade of lavender or aubergine?", and "I was looking in the Pottery Barn catalog, when I saw...". I am not making fun of these friends: I'm actually impressed with their ability to know and speak this other language of Adulthood. But I do draw the line once I start reading paint swatch colors that make no freaking sense. Have you ever noticed that paint colors are combinations of shades of color, and then words that make no sense next to them? At some point in your life, you will go into Home Depot to pick out a color for your living room and find colors such as "Evening Beige Mist",  "Champagne Tickles", "Meringue Crescendo", or "Macaroni Pirouette". And you will question your life, and how you got here. And than more importantly, how you're in a career doing whatever, and someone else is sitting in an office, PAID to be handing in paperwork that says "Lavender PitterPatter".

I just want answers. And perhaps a job naming paint colors. That's all.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Nursing School Dropout

It was then, as my patient rolled away in her wheelchair to parts unknown, I thought 'well, and that's when nursing school ended’. Week 8, and I had lost my patient. I don’t mean ‘lost’, in that whole sad eyes ‘oh-my-god-how-did-your-patient-die’ lost type of way where people speak in hushed tones and cup your shoulder. No, I mean more like my patient is physically lost, jacket and purse in hand, and is probably hitchhiking to Canada by now in her wheelchair and hospital gown. Somehow I’m going to have to explain to my supervising nurse that I kind of sort of let the patient leave the floor to go smoke a cigarette, and I only attempted to stop her once with a frail and nervous whisper of “ummmm, where are you going?” Uhhhh, yeah…she didn’t even stop mid-roll.

This is nursing school: a mix of nausea, excitement, anticipation, hand washing, and vital signs. Where everyday you think ‘what am I touching?’, ‘why is that wet?’, and/or ‘I will not cry’. In college, I used to congratulate myself on getting an A on a test, or for getting a leadership position in a school club. Now I buy myself a celebratory pastry every time I make it through a clinical day without killing someone. Bonus points if I don’t end up weeping in a supply closet.

I’d like to say that becoming a nurse, and entering the healthcare profession in general, is a perfectly appropriately music-matched montage of Scrubs, Grey’s Anatomy, and House. That is not the case. Each clinical does not have a patient who teaches us a significant and emotionally deep lesson each time, which is then book-ended by a perfectly crafted speech from our supervisors. We do not end up later that night in a bar with a beer, reflecting on our lessons and lifting said beers in a silent cheers to the patients we treated. We are not resplendent in well-fitting scrubs under fluorescent lighting, with cute scrub jackets and adorable shoes. We are not hooking up in on-call rooms every 10 minutes (okay, well, I’m not. If other people are, I’m not cool enough to know about it, or be invited).

Instead, this is a war. It’s an internal war of wills and insecurities and strengths, every damn day. There are a thousand doubts that make you question your abilities, all screaming in high-pitched obnoxious tones as you gown up to enter the patient’s room. Can I succeed in this? Can I do this without fainting? Can I pass this test, learn this concept, answer this question? Was this the right path? Why is no one supervising me? WHY IS IT SO FREAKING HOT IN HERE?

It is hard to narrow down which patient experience has mortified me most so far. I know later, when I am an experienced nurse who can perform the dance of giving medications and performing head-to-toe evaluations like a well-rehearsed ballerina with the stethoscope practically indented into my neck, I will laugh and tell these stories to all the scared new nurses who tremble before me. But for now, I will just wince as I collect a thousand awkward encounters with my patients, who all deserve handwritten thank you notes for tolerating my bumbling ministrations. I almost envision my reflections on patients as an award show.

“Thank you to the psych patient who ripped out his fake teeth for a little show-and-tell session, but not before splattering all of us within a 3-foot radius with saliva. And don’t let me forget to mention my patient who, even with the language barrier, very easily conveyed to me with his facial expressions that I was an idiot who did not know what I was doing. And finally, a special thanks to my male patient assigned this week, who called in my supervising nurse in a (hopefully?) joking manner to report me when I brought him pant options of scrub pants or maternity wear underwear. You, sir, make this job worth doing”.

There are two things that so far, to me, make up the best experiences within nursing. First, that hot rush of excitement and happiness when I get something done in a somewhat efficient way. While giving a bed bath, even though I feel like I’m fumbling around like a blind octopus wearing pot holders, I am starting to have more moments of “okay, that was a good job”, versus “wait, why is my hand there? What am I touching? Hold on a second, EVERYONE JUST CALM DOWN”. The second feeling, and the best one by far, is that look the patient has when you actually made a difference. When your presence made them feel better. When you can think, “This is why I became a nurse, this is why I am here, this is actually working”.

I got into nursing because I wanted to be a hero. I wanted to help people. I wanted to follow in the footsteps of the people I had worked with since high school, who had inspired me with their graceful and effortless care of patients. I wanted to be like the people who had inspired me to become a nurse: the nurse who had treated my friend after a horrific event. The nurses who helped care for a 17-years-young boy who had committed suicide. The nurses who stood up to the doctors when they felt that their patients weren’t receiving appropriate care. The nurses who personify the act of caring for the patient as a person, and not just treating a medical diagnosis. And the more I’m in nursing, and the more I learn, the more I realize that it’s not about me, and what I want, and why I want to be here. It’s about what I can do for others. It’s about what all the nurses before me have figured out, and contributed to the art and craft of nursing. It is about being there for someone else and being their strength when they have none. It is about providing the answers in a time of uncertainty and weakness. It is, above all else, about caring.

To me, nursing is a mix of things. It is the mix of learning something new every day. It is the highs and lows of doing something amazing for someone else, while constantly being in a position to mortify yourself. It is the art form of constantly changing your plan based on the ever-changing conditions of your patient, your environment, and yourself. It is bonding with some of the most amazing people I have ever met within only a short period of time, because nothing brings you together faster than cleaning up someone else’s bodily fluids. It is a glass of wine with your coworkers, when you don’t even like drinking, because you just need 5 minutes of a break from your brain and its high-speed feed of ‘what do I do now? What’s next? What does this mean?” It is a permanent path of growth, experience, inspiration, and tragedy. Nursing is a unique blend of caring, skill, intelligence, humor, humility, foresight, insight, and empathy. It is more than a career: it is a way of life.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Valentine's Day

It's Monday. Or, at least, I think it's Monday. I can't find a calendar. I've finally awoken from my post-Valentine's-Day-all-things-pink-and-sugary-induced-coma. Picking my head up and looking around after what is 'endearingly' referred to as "Singles Awareness Day' is somewhat similar to opening the front door and walking out into a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Dying flowers balance precariously on trashcans. Bottles of wine, enough to tackle any Pinterest can-do craft, bulge out of recycling bags. Facebook is littered with pictures of engagement rings and happy couples, and the noise of thousands of girls preparing themselves for the most emotionally straining holiday Hallmark has ever created has died down to a dull roar. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the world. The world immediately after Valentine's Day.

Valentine's Day sneaks up on you. You know when it's January, and you're like sure, Valentine's Day is next month, whatever, I don't care. I'm too busy focusing on Day 17 of these New Year's Resolutions. And then all of a sudden, your left third finger starts to feel weird. You notice that it's....empty. Bare. Ugly. Dull. Then subtly, all the commercials you see remind you that there is ALWAYS a perfectly awkward moment for an above average looking guy to hand you a piece of jewelry with a corny line. And then you find yourself developing a craving for chocolate, but ONLY chocolate being sold in heart-shaped boxes from the drug store, that likely is literally the same stuff from last year. Like, the same box. We could probably carbon-date it.....and then woah, it's Valentine's Day. Couples are atwitter with the buzz of dinner plans. Ice-skating rinks, dimly-lit restaurants, horse-drawn carriages, and beaches prepare themselves to be inundated with the happily paired-off. Flowers shake down to their very roots, preparing themselves to be slaughtered in the name of a rose petal paths or bouquets. iTunes sees a 600% increase in the purchase of sappy slow songs (okay, I just made up that statistic, but I'm sure something along those lines is probably true). Enough candles to challenge the supposed power-outage of Y2K are lit to give the proper amount of mood. Ready, set, action: Valentine's Day is here.

Valentine's Day can go one of a thousand directions each year. When you're little, you fill out 30 Valentines for you and your classmates, and are mostly just excited for 7 school hours filled with unlimited amounts of candy (this day falling second to Halloween, of course, where you get to wear a totally awesome costume too). As you get older, you still are excited for the diabetic tendencies of the school day, but you're a little nervous, a little anxious, a little hopeful. Maybe that special person has been waiting until today to buff up his braces and admit his love for you. Maybe that girl who's been coyly giving you 'The Eyes' from her locker will be bold enough to say something on this most special of days. Valentine's Day is the holiday version of alcohol: both give you transient, strong, and temporary confidence. Then you get older, and Valentine's Day can become that obligatory holiday where people ask the couples, "oh, what do you guys have planned for Valentine's Day?" and then said couple is subsequently judged and ostracized if they don't have plans for dinner, fireworks, edible body oils, AND a parade of puppies. Fast forward to the other side of the spectrum, with stereotypical images of single men not even remembering this most holy of Hallmark days, while single women hide at home in sweatpants, proclaiming loudly over bottomless glasses of wine 'I DON'T EVEN CARE. I AM A SINGLE LADY AND IF HE LIKED IT THEN HE SHOULD HAVE PUT A RING ON IT, OKAY? I'M DATING BEN AND JERRY NOW".

Valentine's Day as a kid paves a long road for the future. One of the sweetest Valentine's Day I've ever had was in 7th grade, when one of the more quiet nerds in my class boldly bought every girl a rose and wrote on the card "Happy Valentine's Day, beautiful". Considering how I was several thousand feet into the pit of awkwardness that is being a 13 year old girl (blessed with the unholy trinity of braces, unsteady makeup application, and baby fat), I appreciated someone casting a vaguely romantic gesture my way. While this past Valentine's Day was definitely my best yet, I have to say that I have learned through a parade of single Valentine's Days' that although the holiday is typically designated for Official Couple Who Are In Love, Valentine's Day is also a day for little kids to receive extra hugs and kisses from their parents. And for friends of all ages and genders and preferences to get together. For colleagues to bake brownies, for teachers to hand out little notes to their students, and for friends to text their best friends just to say 'hey, I love you'. It's a day for sugar, sappy movies, plush stuffed animals, and hope. While I can appreciate the couple-tastic nature of the holiday, I think maybe there should be a reminder too that it's a day for all types of love, not just that between two people. So if Valentine's Day got you down for not having your soulmate just yet, or maybe it wasn't full of the fireworks you were hoping for, just remember: "If you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling you'll find that love actually is all around." (Love Actually). :D