Monday, October 8, 2012

Dog Days

I have 4 dogs. And 3 cats. And a younger sister. Basically, I’m running a zoo at my house. Anyone who knows me knows how much of my time is taken up by my dogs. Be it walking them, screaming at them, feeding them, or just pulling inedible and/or valuable objects out of their mouths, what feels like 90% of my free time is dedicated to making sure my dogs remain in one piece from day to day. Actually, come to think of it, I’m pretty sure parenthood is described the same way.

Either way, I love my dogs. If you have a pet, or are a huge animal lover like me, you know why animals are so special. Animal lovers are actually a special brand of people known for their freakish attachment to all things furry. If I find out you are an animal lover, I will redeem you of any bad quality I found in you before. Animal lovers just get it, because really, animals teach us everything we need to know about life. And since so much of my time is spent walking behind two sets of dogs everyday, I have come up with a list of things they've taught me:

  • Shake your ass, no matter where you’re walking.
  • Everything is probably edible. No matter what, just try eating it. With force.
  • Greet everyone you love like it’s been 6 years since you last saw them…every time you see them. Every. Time.
  • Immediately rolling over and showing your stomach to someone upon meeting them is a fast way to be called a hussy.
  • Attack everything with excitement. While yes, that stuffed animal isn’t moving right now, it could, in a second. It’s better to be on your guard now and strike first.
  • Be outside as often as you can.
  • Loyalty is a beautiful thing.
  • Chase your dreams. And squirrels.
  • Snoring is not unattractive. It’s a sign that you spent the entire day exercising, eating, probably doing something a little bit wrong, and being happy.
  • It’s always a better story when you throw up on something that really shouldn’t be thrown up on. Like an expensive rug. Or clothing.
  • Sometimes, it’s best to play dumb, and then use your powers for evil.
  • Sometimes, when people lead you around, it’s for good reason.
  • There will always be a pack mentality, and with that, people fighting to be the alpha.
  • Riding in the car is much more fun with the windows rolled down.
  • If you look cute enough, people will forgive you for your transgressions.
  • Also, try to look cute while actually doing something wrong.
  • Slamming into someone’s shins is an excellent way to disable them.
  • If someone doesn’t notice you upon greeting them, feel free to jump up and scream at them until they do. Bonus points if you push them over.
  • When you have to use the bathroom, you just do.
  • If you think you found the scent of something good, follow it until the end.
  • Nothing says good morning like kissing someone. With tongue. Not on their mouths.'
And finally, the most important lesson of pets, and life: there is nothing, nothing, NOTHING better than unconditional love. :)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Hot and Cold

So, I’m just going to come out and say it. I hate mixed signals. They generally cause me an anxiety comparable to a mental breakdown, I start to over-think EVERYTHING (even more so than usual), and furthermore, I don’t know what to do with them. And by mixed signals, I refer to one of the most common phenomenons of human interaction. You like someone, and you think they like you back, until all of a sudden it seems like they don’t. Wait, now it seems like they do. Yes, we’re going somewhere! Oh wait, back to no. Hold on, let me just pop open this Valium for a hot second. Good god.
Mixed signals are just that: mixed signals. And furthermore: they suck. Everyone has experienced them at least once in their life. You like someone, and you determine that yes, you think they like you back. Time goes on, you think the relationship is progressing one way, and you feel like you’re stable. You know where you are and what’s going on. But then, next thing you know, the person you're interested in has thrown a Hail Mary and you find yourself somewhere in WHAT IS GOING ON Land, grasping a map and attempting to ask a passerby for assistance. You start doubting everything you've ever said, done, worn, thought about, blinked at, and/or existed around. You start lining up your past interactions like witnesses in a murder trial. You call your friends and describe every interaction down to the most minute detail. And yes, I realize that the more I type 'you', the more I really just mean 'I'. But, whatever. Either way, it all tends to end with your (my) friends wide-eyed agreeing that yes, you (I) aren't crazy. Now kindly back away from the sharp objects and put on this nicely tailored jacket with looooooooong sleeves that wrap around your back...just for a little bit. 

I kind of go through 2 different paths of action, depending on the type of signal I’m receiving. I’m also pretty sure I’m not the only one who acts/feels this way. Admit it: when things are going well with That Special Person, we all start to act like hotshots. Us women feel like movie heroines, dominating post-being poured into tight black catsuits with secret weapon pockets and killer heels. Our hair is shiny, our smiles are radiant, and we are the funniest things that have ever walked this planet. We feel like Victoria's Secret models, we are 100% positive that we know all the world’s secrets, and if you were to look up femininity in the dictionary, we KNOW we'd be the example pictured. I imagine that when guys are feeling super awesome because things are going well, they act all big and buff and walk away in slow-motion from explosions. Overall, this celebrity-like behavior can even leak over into other avenues of life. It can inspire confidence and happiness. A certain song will come on the radio and we'll feel all fierce and strut our stuff because hey, we look good, feel good, and not only do I like that person but THEY LIKE ME BACK! Everything is going allllllllllll right.........until things go wrong. When things go wrong, we go to a dark place and realize just how much we fail at life. We realize that not only are we not cool or impressive, but we can't even stab a straw through a Capri-Sun. We can't open a childproof cap. We (okay, I) cannot establish authority over crisscross bra straps. We find ourselves putting deep emotional significance to song lyrics. ALL song lyrics. Like, even song lyrics that really don't even have the emotional depth required to be important. And yet, the radio is on and OH MY GOD KATY PERRY. YES, YES, YOU'RE SO RIGHT. HE'S HOT *AND* HE'S COLD!!!!

Why aren't we just honest with one another? I assume it's because of the vulnerability that would come next. If someone doesn't like you, then clearly you did something wrong. You ARE something wrong. But what is it? And that is the question that leads to a type of self-exploration that generally does not yield positive results. Post-examination, I often come up with several reasons of why that guy OBVIOUSLY didn't end up liking me. It's probably because my most prevalent form of cardio/yoga is shaving my legs. It also doesn't help that I eat and swear at the same frequency as a well-seasoned truck driver. And lastly, without makeup, I’m pretty sure I look like an art doodle drawn with my non-dominant hand. All of these thoughts swirl and congeal until a giant snowball of crazy is formed. And let me tell you, once we start rolling down that path of destruction, it is NOT pretty. 

If I had an answer on how to deal perfectly with mixed signals, I’d probably be the richest human being in the world, because really, who wouldn’t eventually need my assistance? And I’m sure at least one person reading this post might think, “well why not just ask him point blank? Geez, IT’S NOT THAT HARD”. And you’d be right. But there’s something to be said about not wanting to force that other person into an emotional hostage situation. Also, I am of the (possibly wrong) school of thought that if someone likes you, they make the effort to see you. To be with you. To talk to you. Now, I don’t know what will happen with the guy I like, but I do know this. Throughout every guy interaction I’ve had, be it through high school, college, or in ‘the real world’, I’ve had two constant factors: a guy that sent me into a tailspin of confusion and binge eating, and a group of strong, gorgeous, loyal, hilarious, and great friends who have talked me down off the Ledge of Crazy and put me back up into The Land of Remember How Awesome You Are. Without them, I would be an unlucky, unconfident, and unhappy girl. While I eventually might end up owning and running some sort of catnip opium den in the future as an Official Cat Lady, it won’t matter. I have a group of stunning friends who are more worth it than any guy who can make me go weak in the knees. So, next time That Person sends you into an emotional freak-out, just remember that you have those friends. Oh, and how amazing you really are. :)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Love Handles

Recently, I’ve been trying to diet. And by diet, I mean 'technically eating less by ignoring the option of a third portion'. And let me tell you, it’s hard. Why are all the good things in life so fattening? And please, don’t even try to make some sort of argument that a really good fruit plate works as a sufficient dessert substitute. We all know that when push comes to shove in the final hour, you’re going for the brownie. It’s scientific fact.

I have a serious problem (or is it obsession? Yes, obsession) with food. It is almost embarrassing (and by ‘almost’ I mean I don’t care, but other people sometimes look at me with terrified eyes) how much time I spend thinking about food. Whether it’s cooking it, eating it, or usually just picking it up from a restaurant, food is generally on my mind. If there was a ‘Hoarders’ TV show regarding food, I would be their first episode. All of the characteristics of a Hoarders show would be there: someone tearfully trying to stage an intervention, the host wondering where it all went wrong, me threatening everyone and trying to run away with hidden stockpiles of food, and a shocked crowd gazing agape at the mountains of wrappers I've accumulated. Some of my more recent eating accomplishments include eating a pound of pasta in one sitting, eating 10 pancakes (in one sitting), eating an entire plate of pasta and a pizza (yes, in one sitting, all of these things are in one sitting, mmmmmkay?), and eating a vat of potato salad. That last one, I regret immensely. More often than not, I pass out post-binge eating and awake in a pile of crumbs, food containers, and shame.

Let’s just talk this out. Food is an interesting thing. People don’t give it enough credit, I think. I regard it as a first love. My relationship with it is powerful. Strong. Amazing. Food is always there for me. It is ever willing to be creative and inventive. It can be comforting or adventurous, and it’s always down to hang out at 3 a.m. Can you think of someone who does the same thing for you? No? That's what I thought.

Someone I used to work with was proud of the fact that she couldn't remember the last time she ate. Umm...get away from me. Now. To me, one of the best ways of determining a future friendship and/or relationship is to gauge how well we can eat together. If we're both at a restaurant and have the understood agreement that oh yes, we're getting appetizers AND our own entrees, then you'd best believe we're going to be BFF's. If you eat a half cup of soup and announce that "oh my, I'm stuffed"...ummm, we're done here. I have been very lucky to be blessed with friends who will devour small villages with me. Our arrival somewhere has a similar effect to that of a plague of locusts.

I'm not one of those foodies who will become enraged if the salmon is seasoned with paprika instead of cumin. But you'd better believe and know that I will assume you're proposing marriage to me (in code, of course) if you're talking about cooking for me. And oh yes, we're talking dirty if said meal is all carbs. I’d say the most romantic way someone could propose to me would be to place the ring in my food, but that bauble would be eaten before the flash of bling even crossed my mind.

This blog post is a cheers to everyone, who like me, was that kid growing up who hated eating at friends' houses. You know, you'd go and sit at the dinner table with your friend’s family, and you'd take one look at the dinner portions and think “well, this isn't going to work”. This post is a dedication to all my brethren who are 'the friend that makes you stop for drunk food on the way home'...even if no one is drunk. Let us toast to my kinsfolk who frequent a 24-hour drive-thru during all 24 hours. I feel that I may be the person that the question “You’re STILL hungry?” was invented for. When I order food from restaurants, I receive a bag full of food and a thoughtful assortment of cutlery appropriate for a party of 4 (come on, who hasn't had that happen to them...right?). I plan on riding the explanation of "I'm just a young growing girl" into the ground, even though I am no longer very young, or even growing.

I'm pretty much a carb-atarian. There will be times when I'm 97% sure I'm developing scurvy because I haven't seen, thought, or heard of a fruit/vegetable for several weeks. And be honest. “I’m so full from that delicious low-fat salad full of kale and quinoa” said no one EVER. Fast food and or comfort food is a surefire sign that there is some sort of holy deity above us. Whoever said “nothing tastes as good as being skinny feels” never tasted Marshmallow Fluff. Or wedge potatoes. Or Milanos. Or lobster ravioli. Or buttery mashed potatoes. Or anything deeply decadent and chocolate. Or breadsticks. Or deep-fried anything. Wait, what was my point again?

While at some points my attachment to food is quite terrifying (I will growl/hiss at/maim anyone who tries to take this fork away from me), there is good reason for it. Food is a type of passion. It’s a way of expressing love. No one goes “oh my god, congratulations on your accomplishment! Let’s go to the gym to celebrate.” No...you eat, drink, and be merry. I think food is a way of showing happiness, and a source of comfort. I was raised in a Jewish household, and the cure for pretty much anything was (and still is) to go eat something. I could walk in with a broken limb and internal hemorrhaging and the advice I would receive from my mother would be to go wash my face and then eat something. I personally believe that one could settle the Middle East conflict by inviting everyone to a lovely pasta dinner.

I think that life is too short to worry about looking like a Victoria’s Secret model or the guy from P90X if it means sacrificing some eggrolls. I'm all for healthy eating and feeling good about yourself, but I also want a life where my jeans work for their closet space because I ate two desserts. I want to be with people who enjoy a late night snack, and I think it's fun to go out to eat and try a little bit of everything. I don't have time for people who judge my portion size, and the answer to "would you like to see the dessert menu tonight?" should always be yes. There's so much food to be tried and enjoyed...why hold back? :)

So if you’ll excuse me, I'm going to have the phrase "if it's not deep fried, I’m not interested" tattooed across my forehead. Mmmmm-mmmmm.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Seat Backs and Tray Tables

I love flying. There’s something very romantic and exciting about airports: everyone is in a rush to go somewhere and do something, people are reuniting after long times spent apart, and everyone just seems like they’re on their way to starting an adventure. Also, really more than anything, I love mini-size toiletries. (Does anyone else make it a goal to finish all the mini-toothpaste by the end of the trip? No? Just kidding, I don’t either.)

The interesting thing about flying is that the more you do it, the more you can end up hating it. At this time in my life, I still love flying, but every flight gives me reason to go “you know what? Never mind”. I’ve been stopped in security for “inappropriate clothing” (“Ma’am, please leave your jacket on if you are only wearing lingerie underneath.” “But I’m not, it’s a shirt—“ “MA’AM. YOUR JACKET. PLEASE LEAVE IT ON). I’ve been on a flight that was delayed for 3 hours because of a nesting goose (what?). I also super love paying 9 dollars for a sandwich within the airport that would only cost 4 dollars in the real world.

Personal experience aside, flying just has its own special (and enduring) culture that exists from plane to plane. It also has specific types of people that make up that culture. Maybe you are these people; maybe you’ve seen these people. Either way, trust me, they’re there:

The I’m-too-good-for-you-in-first-class flyers: These are the flyers that are already situated in their seats by the time you stagger onto the plane, panting and overheated from the weight of your carry-ons. Note that they usually don’t make eye contact, but if they do, it’s only for the barest of seconds before you’re dismissed. They don’t care about you: you’re sitting on the other side of that thin netting curtain…in coach. That mesh divider might as well be a moat around a castle: it acts to separate first class and the rest of us commoners. What do you think that mesh curtain is going to do, fancy first class royalty? I CAN SEE YOUR OPULENCE THROUGH THIS FLIMSY BARRIER. DO NOT THINK YOU ARE BETTER THAN ME BECAUSE A BASIC PIECE OF FISHNET SEPARATES US.

The germa-phobe-DO-NOT-TOUCH-ME flyers: These are the people who freak out at the barest of touches from a wayward elbow, ankle, or stowaway backpack. I’m all for avoiding a contagion/pandemic, but pulling away dramatically when my forearm accidentally hits your ankle as I stow my purse under the seat in front of is just being over-dramatic. And antisocial. It’s not like I’m trying to caress you…I was assigned about 15 inches of cubic space, and I’m just trying to fit my entire Gigantor body and all of my other belongings into it. There’s going to be contact. Don’t try to hide behind your magazine as we awkwardly dance on this armrest. I know what’s happening.

The-my-seatback-musttttttttt-be-reclined flyers: These people are always seated directly in front of you. They’re never in front of your traveling companions, or in front of any other airline patron seated elsewhere on the plane. They’re always just in front of you. God forbid these types of flyers be uncomfortable for about 2 hours in an upright position. Oh no, these people must lean their seats back so far that their tray tables are now one with your rib cage. No matter what, do not sneeze.

Crying babies. Someone implants a crying baby on every flight, like a louder, smaller, non-secretive, and less bowel-controlled version of an air marshal. They’re always there. Always.

The I’m-asserting-my-authority-by-moving-around-this-cabin flyers: These are the people whose fingers itch to remove the seatbelt as soon as possible. Once the seatbelt sign is turned off, and a flight attendant chimes “You can now freely move about the cabin”, these people are up and out of their seats. They’re sprinting to the bathroom, ripping open the overhead compartments, or just running up and down the aisle, waving their arms. I don’t know what their issue is, but we get it, rebels. You can’t be held down.

The I-challenge-you-to-a-duel, Sir Overhead-Compartment flyers: The placing of bags overhead is a tricky activity. I mean, you’re trying to get yourself and your 2 TSA-approved carry-ons down a tiny aisle without knocking everyone unconscious. LOL, it’s impossible. Such a difficult activity spawns the separation of the world into two different types of people: people who handle their overhead baggage like men, and people who handle it like pansies. The first category is comprised of people who quickly and efficiently pick up their bags mid-aisle and make one, two, twenty, fifty-seven attempts to stuff their suitcases into the overhead compartment. After succeeding, they sit down and move on. Then, there are the frustrating idiots of overhead compartment storage, or the second category. These people know that everyone else on the plane is trying to get their stuff stowed away, but they’re still totally okay with holding up the aisle just to pack away their sweater and/or miniature wristlet purse in the overhead compartment. Just know, second category flyers, that I secretly loathe you.

The I’m-An-Air-Warrior-Because-I-Fly-Allll-the-Time flyers:  These are people who have read the entirety of and own everything within a Skymall magazine. They are a blur of roller suitcases, Blackberrys, business suits, and efficiency. They spend their entire lives outside of the airport using 3 oz. containers of liquids. They are a docile, bland, and possibly soulless brand of people.

There you have it, ladies and gentleman. An anthropological field guide to the culture of flying in today's world. Now put your seat backs upright, put away your tray tables, and stow away your electronics...it's time to ignore the flight attendant during the safety demonstration.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Brave

Bravery can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. It can be rock climbing, extreme surfing, or jumping off some sort of tall thing onto a surface that will hurt like unbearably or break both of your legs if you jump wrong. It can be standing up to a friend, or taking that 11th shot of tequila, or putting your own life on the line for someone else. It can be going to a party by yourself, telling off a bully, making a sacrifice, or doing something you just don't want to do. It can also be an act of complete, bone-deep, nauseating honesty. And not "no, those jeans actually make you look fat, not PHAT" honest. I mean, "hey, this is what I feel and what I think, and I'm telling you because I want to see how you feel too" honest. That type of bravery is a whole other level of crazy, and 9 times out of 10, I run as fast as I can away from it.

Honesty becomes bravery when you have to figure out if your feelings match up with those of the someone you care about, or want to care about. I mean, let's just be truthful here. Is there anything more terrifying than going up to that person you like (or just thinking about going up to that person) and being all 'heyyyyyy....sooooooo....
yeahhhhhhhh *insert feelings*'. You don't know how they're going to respond. I mean, I imagine that others don't have the same awkward seizures I do when confronted with the objects of their affections, but either way, that stuff's terrifying. My personal favorite technique (and the one I have used so far on all the guys I've emotion-bombed) is to kind of side crab step up to them, blink a lot, and ask them in a painfully squeaky voice if maybe they have feelings for me because I like them lol this is so awkward is it hot in here? *pass out*.
 
Apart from the circumstances you have to go through to meet someone (that's a whole different conversation for another time), it's exhausting to get all your thoughts lined up with someone else. You want an emotional connection, the person you're talking to wants everything but. Or, on the opposite side, you're looking for something temporary and physical, and the person you're with is all like "yes, marriage and kids. I"m ready now. And have we discussed china patterns yet?" All of my guy interactions as of late have been a vortex of "here's where I am, but clearly we're not even close to the same wavelength". I recently went on a date where the guy seemed nice, but I was definitely not into him, and it showed as dinner progressed. However, somewhere after the bill had been paid and we were heading to the next location, he was throwing around the "L" word and asking when he could see me again to plan out "the next step of our relationship". While this conversation happened, I was trying to delicately and ever-so-politely claw my way out of the car to find the safest (and farthest) location away. While at a bar last week, I started talking to a guy, and  when I thought maybe there would be a little smooching, a little cuddling, whatever, there instead ended up being a literal 3 hour conversation regarding (I kid you not) the sociology of sexuality, the perception of homosexuality in the Brazilian military, and whether or not in my medical opinion, he should have the metal rod in his leg checked out. (For the record, I told him that yes, he should get more XRAY's). I mean, I'm all for a guy not being attracted, but must we discuss the TLC network (the blandest and least attractive TV channel in all the land) to prove the point? Even the most basic of statements can come with 10 different meanings. While I was talking with aforementioned metal-rod guy, he paused in our riveting discussion regarding international business policies to let me know that I was 'hot'. I'm all thinking 'yessss, we're finally connecting, work it girrrrrrl'. I then responded with a flirtatious and coy "oh yeah?", while channeling my inner Victoria's Secret Model. He responded with "umm, I mean, your skin is hot. Like sunburnt". Well...this is uncomfortable. At least I tried. 

Sometimes I wish it was more like the 18th century. That way, I could have gentleman callers, twirl a parasol, and giggle girlishly behind a fan. I'd have a fainting couch and smelling salts, and I would blush prettily at the mention of an exposed wrist. Apart from the fact that I'd lose all rights to vote/think/be independent, at least "courting" would be easier. A gentleman in gloves and buckled shoes would come to my home, ask my father for my hand, and after several uncomfortable social gatherings discussing the weather, we would be married. Boom. No having to read between the lines, no having to guess what the other person is thinking, and no having to endlessly obsess over what I'm saying/doing. I'd only be as attractive as my dowry and my corset size. Most of all, I wouldn't have to be brave, because I wouldn't have to try and put myself out there.

In reality, I'm COMPLETELY teasing about the whole 18th-century thing. Overall, though, it is pretty amazing that anyone ever gets together with anyone else at all, if you think about how scared we are most of the time. I currently have feelings for a guy I know, and I am ten types of terrified to tell him how I feel. I know that the worst thing that could happen would only be him saying "no thanks", but still. I'm pretty sure that if/when I try to tell him, I'll likely pass out mid-speech and concuss myself. Also, another thought: imagine how many relationships are waiting to happen right now, but aren't because most people are too scared to just say "I like you. This is how I feel. Do you feel the same?". Imagine how much more we'd get in life if we were just brave and honest and told people what we wanted. 

We all know those oft-repeated sayings in life, where blah blah blah, the only things that are worth it are the things you have to work hard/try for, blah blah blah (go to Pinterest, they'll show you a pin with this statement in a fancy font and some sort of inspirational Mason jar). I guess those sayings apply here too, because this type of honesty is hard work. In the end, maybe the first person you're really honest towards isn't The One, or even someone you should be with. But telling someone how you feel seems like good practice to me for the real thing, when you really need it. And after all, bravery isn't being fearless. It's being mind-crippling and body-paralyzing scared, but still going for it anyway, right? :)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

12-Step Program

There are a few things in life that are guaranteed to give you an extra dose of sassy as you sashay down the promenade: a new hair cut, putting on jeans that fit JUST right, and alcohol. Ahh yes, alcohol. Pickling your brain in several martini glasses full of vodka (or 10 shots of tequila) can you make you happy. Euphoric. Brave. It can give you confidence that you didn't know you had (and probably won't again, until you drink more). It can also result in bad decisions, the world's most awkward pictures, and the ability to wake up to a text from some rando that says "heyyyyyy this is ___________ from [that bar your friends dragged you to], call me sometime ;)'. There are 12 steps in the Alcoholics Anonymous Program that are in place to help one recover and heal. There are also 12 steps in the going-out-and-getting-ridiculously-bamboozled progression. Here they are:

Step One: The Plan
This is when you're sitting around in your sweatpants, generally unhygienic and unfit for interaction with other members of the human race. Your roommate/friend/coworker yells out/calls/texts you, telling you to put on your drunk adventure panties, because that's right, you're going out. You look mournfully at your half watched movie, imagining the evening you could have lounging in a land without restrictive waistband or care. Plus, when you realize just how much effort and energy you're going to have to expend to get ready (all that showering, getting dressed, etc.) it just doesn't seem worth it. There are so many other things you could do instead....
Step Two: Pumping Up
...until you heard about that great deal at that bar. Or THE girl/guy you've had your eye on for what seems like a bazillion years is going to be there too. Or your roommates won't shut up until you say yes. It doesn't matter. YOU'RE READY NOW. GET OUT OF THE WAY, IT'S TIME TO PREPARE FOR DRUNKEN DESTRUCTION. 
Step Three: Getting Ready
Shower. Try on one outfit. Hate it. Throw it on the floor.  Assess rest of closet. Everything is stupid, let's just set it all on fire. Oh wait, there's that dirty thing in the laundry basket. I could wear that. That could work. Just spray some more cologne/Febreeze/perfume on it. No one will ever know. Apply makeup, accessories, hair gel, and hairspray as necessary. Then do round two of makeup, accessories, hair gel, and hairspray as necessary when the first time didn't work. Do that weird thing in the mirror where you contort yourself into several odd positions to check yourself out, okay, it's all looking good....excellent. Let the games begin.
Step Four: The Pregame
This is when you arrive to the party/your dining room/someone else's place. Everyone's getting started, mixing drinks, trying to start drinking games. Girls are judging each other's outfits, guys are exchanging bro-pleasantries. The music is loud, and everyone keeps checking their phones. "Did you call Jenny? Is she coming? Tell her to get more beer." 
Step Five: Getting Started
The drinking games have begun. The shots have been poured. Jenny has arrived with more beer. The music is blaring, and we're past the point of "oh, I'm just going to have only one drink, I'm going light tonight". Everyone is laughing, screaming, and being generally obnoxious.
Step Six: Oh, We're In It Now
Enough said.
Step Seven: I'm So Awesome
Ahhh, yes. At some point, you've left the pre-game and are now at the bar. This is the part of the evening where liquid courage is hitting you full force. You dance like a music video star, drink shots like a Tanqueray ad, and your hair has never looked better. Everything you do is amazing. Everyone is looking at you, because as I said, you're amazing. Why haven't you realized before that you're this awesome? Well, now you know. You sip a drink with a coy look on your face, because you just know someone is taking a mental snap shot of you in this moment. You should have your own reality show. Yesssssssss.
Step Eight: I CAN DO THAT
This is when all that internal awesomeness you are made of congeals into one super lump of amazingness. And boom. Nothing is impossible. I can climb that outrageously tall and not-meant-to-be-climbed object. I can drunk text this person without consequence. I can eat this. I can lick that. I can probably touch that high-up object. I'm going to parkour. I ACCEPT EVERY CHALLENGE. COME AT ME, OBSTACLES.
Step Nine: That Was A Bad Idea
You later come to realize that 95% of the things you just did were poor choices.  Insta-regret.
Step Ten: The Men Left Behind
The night winds down. You find yourself in a late night eatery, your kitchen, or a friend’s bedroom, snacking on any food that was easily reachable/sat still long enough. You discuss the play-by-plays of the night. You review who was the most epic, the most annoying, the most drunkenly sloppy. There is always mention of a ridiculous guy or a catty girl. Everyone curses that person as a group, thereby committing them to the Drunken Memory Hall of Fame. The conversation then turns to reflect on the friends who have gone off with some stranger, or who have passed out for the night. A moment of silence is held for them, for they are not here, eating this delicious pizza.
Step Eleven: Solitude
The 30 milliseconds before you fall into an alcohol induced coma. Any care, question, or concern you may have had throughout the evening will be dealt with tomorrow. Also, where did I leave my------
Step Twelve: Mother of God, What Happened
You wake up, slowly and painfully. The amount you drank last night directly correlates to the massive hangover you now have. Who let that elephant sit on your head? Why did I mix all those drinks last night? There is a beeline of objects (shoes, earrings, your wallet, a pen you stole, an overturned water glass, a bag of chips) leading to where you slept, X-marking-the-spot of your drunken progression towards the bed/couch/floor. You pat yourself on the back for making it home in one piece. You still have your credit card...well done, self. Then everything you did last night (or remember doing last night) hits you like like an express train. You said what? You made out with who? Mother of God....what happened? You spend the rest of the day recovering and piecing together the events of last night, Law and Order style. No text undissected, no drink undiscussed.

And always, at some point in the evening, there is a moment where you swear to yourself that you'll never do anything like this again. Until next weekend.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Planet Hollister

Once upon a time, I had a pretty friend who lived with me in a magical faraway land called College. This friend was sweet and fun, and she loved to go to football games and stay up late. One day, this friend decided that she wanted to be a princess. But she could only do this after going through a magical quest named "Rush". After many secret ceremonies and adventurous nights, she made it through Rush and got to live in a giant castle with other princesses! This castle was called Sorority, and it was decorated in Greek letters. It even had its own private chef who served the princesses delicious meals. Every week the princesses went to date parties and events to celebrate their royalty. They drank magical nectar named alcohol, and at every ball met new princes to be friends with. These princes would eventually write comments to the princesses on a magical mirror that they could both read, a mirror called Facebook. It was through my friend’s enchanted mirror that I discovered the princes. But these princes were not just any men, though. They were special men beamed down from a planet full of tanned, blond, super humans. This planet was called Planet Hollister.
 
Men from Planet Hollister actually do exist outside of fairy tales, frat houses, and male clothing advertisements for age group 18-25. I recently saw a gaggle of four of them downtown. Or should I say a troop of them? What is the appropriate term for a group of model-esque men, anyway? Either way, this group of guys looked (prettily) confused. Perhaps they were wondering where the camera crews were. Or hoping for a rigorous polo match to start. Or maybe they were all just trying to do a reflective pose at the same time. Because trust me, if any group of people set out to spend the day posing in different places, it was them. But it wasn't just the fact that they're model-ly. It's how they carry themselves, how they look. How they have a cologne force field around them. They are among us, but they are not like us. 

Planet Hollister sits (naturally) closer to the sun, so that its inhabitants can soak up every ray of bronze-y golden goodness. As a fellow brilliant anthropologist friend of mine (who also studies Planet Hollister) said: “these men travel in flocks, alternating between high fives, fist bumps, and that upward head jerks as greetings. They sometimes travel on foot, sometimes on moped (always two per scooter).” Their planet can also be referred to as “Planet StrongJaw.” The planet itself is full of beaches and meadows for its inhabitants to pose in. It only rains on the planet when everyone is wearing thin clothing that, when wet, can appropriately show off muscles.  

How does one identify a Planet Hollister resident? First and foremost, the defining characteristic: the chin. Their chins are made from some sort of material so strong that the bows of most ships are also whittled from it. This chin is also responsible for slicing through the air, creating an air gradient that effortlessly tussles the luxuriant hair of a Planet Hollister resident. Furthermore, their cheekbones can cut through glass. Their eyes, while of a silky chocolate brown or an oceanic crystalline turquoise, are usually lifeless. They naturally emit the odor of a musky forest through their pores (this odor isn’t real or possible on Earth. Cologne companies, however, have been trying to manufacture and bottle it for years). They have an inherent knowledge of all things related to board shorts, ab muscle definition, and being ridiculously good-looking. They are masters in the art of staring into space thoughtfully, without actually thinking anything. They know two looks: pouty pensive, and pouty happy.

Seeing these men stand before me in the city like a glittering mirage of attractive surf gods was temporarily blinding. It also made me wonder what it would be like to constantly live life inside of an Instagram photo. Should you ever come across such a specimen, take note, for they are a rare and intriguing study. Here's a tip from my field guide: to attract a Planet Hollister resident, the most time-proven and successful greeting call is "Bro".

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Mirror Mirror

I recently met a guy who is my type of attractive: tall(-er than me), dark, and handsome. When I met him, I managed to not completely show my normal-somewhat-similar-to-anaphylactic-shock-god-I-think-you’re-purdy reaction. However, my internal freak out was the same rating on the Richter scale as a 14-year-old girl who’d just seen Justin Bieber do his copyright mini whiplash hair flip in person. If I’d had a couple more minutes in Mr. Handsome’s presence, I’d likely have required a fainting couch and smelling salts. Add in his sarcastic sense of humor and his nice smelling cologne and ding! Immediate wow-we’re-about-to-go-back-to-junior-high-where-I-say-I-‘like-like’-him (why do the two like’s immediately convey something more significant?) crush. 

It’s funny how hyperaware you are of yourself once you’re interacting with someone you want to matter to. All of a sudden, you start seeing yourself through their eyes, and oh boy, is THAT mirror unattractive. You start to question your physical attributes. Your word choices. Your past 5 meals (was it necessary to eat that garlic bread 3 days ago? Why don’t you just have halitosis and be done with it, hmmm?). Your personal hygiene regimen, which as of 10 minutes ago was completely acceptable, is suddenly scrutinized and picked over with a fine tooth comb. Like, when I was next to this guy, I started to get just a little bit high off the scent of his cologne. Which made me then wonder what I smelled like. Did I apply the appropriate lotion, deodorant, perfume mix? Or do I now smell like some sort of Bath and Body Works atomic bomb? And then, while I was looking up at him because he looked down at me (as I’m sure he was wondering why this girl was invading his personal space while inhaling deeply and creepily with a good amount of headgear-remniscent mouth breathing), I became incredibly aware of how often I blink. One, two, three, seventeen, four hundred. What am I, some sort of naked mole rat who can’t stand light? OPEN YOUR EYES, MOLLY. GET YOURSELF TOGETHER. THEN I realized all of a sudden (while reaching out my hand to move something) just how much arm hair I have. Have I always had that much? Since when? Have I recently been on the same steroids that disqualify female athletes from professional sports? Good god, I’m the missing link between man and ape!

I think the most interesting (and most shallow) part of this whole interaction was that based on nothing but this guy’s cheekbones and well-toned arms, I wanted him to notice me. What I felt wasn't "right", and I'm not proud of it. But it made me think about the effect our looks have on others. Beauty is an interesting thing. Country music tells me beauty is a girl with baby blues, long legs that can worrrrrk a pair of jeans, and soft hair. Chick lit says that it’s a tall guy with thick bountiful hair and thicker and more bountiful muscles. Playboy says….duh. Hipsters say beauty is someone who looks put together “without trying”, (but to me, they just look fashion-confused and crazy). Disney movies say it’s a girl with a button nose, giant eyes, and a waistline roughly the size of a thimble. Pinterest says a lofty quote about beauty being in the eye of the beholder, and then shows me a picture of a Mason jar. Cosmo tells me beauty is being my awesome confident self, but then fills their magazine with airbrushed photoshopped-beyond-belief models. Cologne advertisements say it’s a guy who’s climbing out of the water, riding a horse, playing polo, or just looking generally pouty. All in all, I’d say beauty is relative. 

I’ve taken some pretty drastic measures for my looks. I don’t regret my choices, but they do put into perspective for me just how important looks can be to people, although the subsequent statement “and rightfully so” is up for debate. I do think there's something to be said in beauty relating to how you take care of yourself, and how you present yourself. At the end of the day, the most beautiful person is the person who is proud of themselves, and shows themselves off because of it. It turns out that this tall dark and handsome gentleman that had me all atwitter actually has a personality that made me not so inclined to stick around (and by that I mean I'm running in the other direction). It really is about what you bring to the party, and who you are as a person. One of my guy friends recently reminded me that it’s a whole lot more important to be clever and witty than it is to be pretty or handsome, both guys and girls included. I mean, one day we'll all hit a point where the only thing that takes the focus away from our wrinkles and osteoporosis is a good sense of humor. So Mirror Mirror on the wall, who cares? ;)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wide Awake

I think one of the biggest and most under-appreciated signs of intimacy between two people is being able to sleep together. And I don’t mean “sleep together” in that giggly I’m-15-years-old-and-raising-my-eyebrows-suggestively-because-I’m-not-actually-talking-about-sleeping way. I mean literally sleeping together. It takes a whole lot of bravery and fortitude for 2 people of any gender or relationship status (friends, enemies, family members, significant others, etc.) to willingly enter a bed or other sleeping arrangement together. Sleeping together is intense. You climb onto a surface with no dividing lines, lay flat within someone's personal space, and close your eyes while wearing no armor. That's pretty freaking vulnerable. And even if you know that you're safe with that person, good god almighty, people. You might start out the night in bed with the person you love, but you can wake up with a rabid wildebeest.

There are several types of sleep "personalities", if you will. Everyone has one. It’s like a person’s handwriting. Everyone knows that that’s how you sleep, and once they see it, it can’t be undone, or really changed. However, unlike people who study handwriting and say it “tells a lot about a person” (Really? The fact that I write like an arthritic octopus means that I’m optimistic and unorganized? Oh, wait. Never mind”), I refuse to believe that the way you sleep indicates what type of person you are. Otherwise…we’re gonna have problems.  

Here is my compiled list of sleep personalities. I'm sure a more intelligent and motivated human being could/would take the time to figure out their compatibilities, like an astrology chart. But anyway:

The Snow White/Angel: 99% of my friends seem to sleep this way. They slumber with their mouths closed, curved into an almost smile. Sometimes their hands are folded delicately under their faces. They don’t drool, leave their allotted bed space, or snore. Their bodies are posed in a somewhat similar fashion to those of a model in a magazine advertisement for mattresses. They delicately float to bed, and often wake in the morning to sing with the birds, play with deer, film a Folger's coffee commercial, or do whatever else morning people do before the unholy moment of the sun's rising. I wouldn’t know.

The Clinger: You wake up next to them and they are so far into your space that you’re unsure where they end and you begin and oh my god, hello nose hairs, how you doin’. After waking up next to them, you immediately start to figure out which of your appendages needs to be chewed off just to freaking escape to a safe distance. Apparently, someone taught these sleepers to get a warm body into their outstretched grasp and just HANG ON. And almost always, these types of sleepers wake up with a creepy and uncomfortably soft-spoken "hi".

The Kracken: Kracken sleepers thrash around. They drool unbelievable amounts. They breathe with an open (or should I say gaping) mouth, and their night time breathing sounds are somewhat similar to those of a sleep-apnea machine. Or a feral raccoon. They are in no way, shape, or form attractive as they slumber. They wake up in an uncomfortable splay of limbs (and in my case, crusty eyeliner), usually with a giant yawn that says "yes, please ask me about my morning breath". This is how I sleep. Future sleepover party friends and men-folk: call me maybe.

The Dead Man: Not much explanation needed here. These people enter a REM cycle and become corpse-like. They don't move, don't breathe, and don't wake up unless an elephant collapses 3 inches from them. Their display is so intense that you find yourself thinking of the explanation you're going to need when the police show up to find the dead body. Oh wait, an eyelash just fluttered. Thank God.

I have told my friends many times that they should prepare themselves for "the morning after" when they sleep next to me. The sight of me in those fresh moments after the ringing of an alarm clock is bone-chillingly terrifying. If you Wikipedia "The Wrath of God", you should see a related link with a description and picture of me half awake, no make up, drool encrusted, and full of pillowcase creases on my cheeks. I'm somewhat confident that the test of my true soul-mate is not a heroic gesture or a grand act of love, but instead the ability of that person to not run screaming from my home after we wake up together under the same blanket. But maybe that's what love is between two people. Not only do you accept them for all of their faults, but you sleep with them, in spite of their sleeping personalities. Now that's sacrifice.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Single Girls Anthem

Alllllll the single ladies, Allll the single ladies. Raise your hands up. Oh, okay, good, now I can see you. I hope you’re all doing well. I’ve gathered you here today to talk about something that is very serious: our lack of significant others. Oh, what’s that single men? You want to get in on this action too? Brilliant. Let’s all sit down in our chairs with our stale coffee cake. I’ll start: “Hi, my name is Molly. And I am a Single Girl.” *pause for tears, a dramatic gasp, perhaps an uncomfortable cough* Okay, good. Now you guys say: “Hiiiiiii Molly”.


I bring up this Singles Anonymous meeting because I was recently asked, “Why don’t you have a boyfriend?” Of all the questions I’ve ever been asked (“Can I show you my gangrenous foot?”, “Is that your real hair?”, “Which underwear should I use to please my man?”, “Why are you so tall?”, “What do you mean, you’re still hungry?”), this is one of my least favorite and most uncomfortable queries. When this person asked me the question, it was said in a tone that indicated that perhaps I had chosen to have a disease. That perhaps I had elected to be “single” (a word whispered in hushed tones), ensuring that I would waste away on a fainting couch, smelling salts and handkerchief clutched in hand. His eyes were sad…the same sad eyes I imagine all of the animals on Noah’s Ark had when they looked at their unpaired friends on land. “Oh, there’s our friend Dodo bird. Doesn’t seem to have his mate…guess he can’t come on the cruise with us. Hopefully we’ll see him when we get back.” (OH MY GOD, I JUST FIGURED OUT HOW DINOSAURS BECAME EXTINCT). As I get older and go to more weddings/family gatherings/Important Events, the question is more often repeated. It’s a weird phenomenon: is there something I don’t know about? Is there an expiration date on single people? Is there another flood coming up where I need to get my pair-mate, or else?!


To me (and please correct me as necessary) there are some disparities between living in the land of singledom and being relationshipped off to Happily Ever After. A coupled-up girl will (usually) call her boyfriend first if her car stops working. I call AAA in a panic, trying to indicate that what happened was not my fault (“The battery died on its own, I swear). A coupled-up girl might watch a romantic comedy and feel her heart warm at the memory of that SUPER cute thing her boyfriend just did for her. I watch one of those movies and outwardly say “lol soooooo stupid”, while internally penning a diary entry: Dear Diary, I can’t wait until Prince Charming arrives. I already have my music montage and outfit sequence planned out. A single girl may moan over dinner and drinks with her friends that she just wants to be liked, and she’s tired of waiting. A girl who already found her significant other might thank her lucky stars, and offer whatever words of advice she can. There are a zillion experiences and thoughts that single girls/guys and coupled girls/guys have regarding their “relationship status”. Those thoughts make single and non-single people incredibly similar or incredibly different, depending on the time. Either way, someone (okay, I) will always think the grass is greener on the other side. I imagine relationships as being perfect entities filled with a constant live feed of unicorns, rainbows, fireworks, yawning puppies, and magic. In reality, I know that they are hard work with their own set of pros and cons, but that the benefits usually outweigh the cons. Also, being single has its perks: I don’t have to answer to anybody, I can be selfish with my time (and my food), I depend on myself and grow accordingly, nd I don’t have to have a panic attack before meeting someone’s parents.

When I was asked why I didn’t have a boyfriend, I responded with “I don’t know, ask the male population”. And then I realized that that’s the wrong answer. That implies that I’m just Rapunzel-ing my way through life, hoping someone comes riding up to my tower and asks me to lower my streaming, strong-enough-that-a-man-can-just-shimmy-on-up-there hair. (Seriously, what conditioner did she use? Pantene Pro-V? I KNEW IT). That’s not the case. Like all people out there, I’m just living my life until I meet that person. And after I meet them, I’ll continue to live my life. ;)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Movie Trivia

I’ve had a lot of vacation time off of work recently, so I’ve been able to lie in my relaxation chrysalis at home. By this, I mean that I don’t move from my couch (or out of my sweatpants) for hours. Personal hygiene becomes optional, and I slowly begin to think that yes, I do need that product on that infomercial. How I haven't I realized this before?!

I have a thousand movie channels, so I generally flip between them while continuously telling myself that “yes, tomorrow I will start working out. Tomorrow will be the day”. After watching a few hundred movies, however, I have come up with several troubling questions regarding common movie themes. And I want answers.

1)     Why do 27-year-old models play teenagers on the big screen? It’s not like there’s a shortage of acne-prone, gangly, malformed pre-adults out there. Please, casting directors, feel free to go to a nearby high school, slap a pound of cover-up on however many teenagers you need, and throw them in front of a camera. I mean, teenagers don’t look (or act) the way movies pretend they do. If they did, there would be no need for ProActiv. Or breast implants.

2)     Why are dance battles basically a judicial system for movies? They’re like a more modern and rhythmic form of frontier justice. Did you just win a dance battle? Great! You’ve won the ten zillion dollar prize. All of your problems are solved. You will win your house back. You will get the pretty girl. Your parents will accept you, now that they’ve seen that one dance you did just five minutes ago. You will get into that prestigious dance academy. The other dance crew will fade away into an ecstatic crowd (but seriously, where do all these people come from to watch dance battles), never to bother you again...until the movie's sequel.

3)     Would Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton’s relationship survive successfully without Johnny Depp? I mean, they all appear to need to work together on every movie like some sort of crazy haired tripod, so I just assume that if one of them broke away, the whole gothic dynamic would just kind of crumble.

4)    How do people in musicals all know the same dance/song? I have been asking this question since I was a child. I think musicals, by default, have no credibility to their stories because there’s NO way all of them can know the same routine without some sort of previous rehearsal. As a clearly already jaded youth, I used to ask my parents, “how does everyone in the town know the same dance? Is there some type of weekly musical dance rehearsal in the town square? I think not. IT’S NOT POSSIBLE”

5)    The whole laughing-into-crying-transition-while-sinking-down-the-wall maneuver that girls do in movies, generally while reading something sentimental. Why. No further description necessary.

6)    My personal favorite and oft-discussed topic: why is there always rain in a dramatic romantic fight? I feel like a romantic argument (“You bet on/insulted/can’t commit to our relationship?” “You don’t understand that thing-I’m-not-telling-you-that-I-hope-you-figure-out-on-your-own?!” “You don’t get me?!”) automatically increases the amount of precipitation in the air. It sends out a weather forecast of torrential downpour within a week, because several days (and 15 movie minutes) after said argument, the couple will eventually reunite after running several blocks to meet each other. The water will wash away their past transgressions and previous opinions. Uplifting and romantic (but still sentimental) music plays in the background, as the guy lifts the girl off the ground and they twirl in the rain, laughing. Literally, only in the movies. Who had this idea? Why does this happen?

7)    Why does no one stop the usually-young-blond-hot girl from entering the dark cabin on her own in horror films? I mean really, who thinks yes, this is a good idea. Let’s have our friend disappear alone into this cabin without some sort of buddy system or cell phone in place. It’s not like where we currently are in this abandoned forest/abandoned home/abandoned road is unbelievably terrifying. Let’s send her in on her own. I’m sure she’ll be fine.

8)    How many Final Destination movies can there be? Have we not reached our final destination yet?! Is it even remotely in sight? Can I please have a map.

Someone, help me. Please. I just want to know.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Is Sans Serif Captivating?

Ahh yes, the art of texting. Or should I say workout? I love the workout of texting. And yes, texting is a workout. Why, you ask? Because no other workout has so efficiently slimmed down my thumbs. Because I spend an abnormal amount of mental strength trying to figure out the most effective strategy to pare down long words into shorter and more efficient abbreviations (which then becomes redundant, because I've just spent an ungodly amount of time making short and pointless words). It's a workout because I am willing to contort myself into the most awkward of yoga-worthy positions to complete a text, depending on if I'm hiding my phone in class orrrrrr maybe texting while driving (JUST THIS ONCE). And finally, texting is a workout because sometimes, depending on who I'm texting with, I start sweating and having heart palpitations. With some nausea. And the slightest "oh my god I am going to pass out right now waiting for this response WHAT DOES IT SAY" symptoms. It's fine. 

I can't speak from the boys' side, but from me, as an easily excitable awkward girl, texting becomes a whole new type of battle. Sending that perfect text becomes a challenge worthy of a Mensa genius. Did I just send a text that was flirty, yet cool, yet appropriate, but not too much, but said what I wanted to, and left him wanting more? All while keeping it within the one-text-appropriate length requirement? Did I ask too many questions? Did all of those questions make me sound needy? Is he now mentally reviewing how clingy I am? Is he even reading my text, or is he doing something else and has already forgotten me? WHAT IS HAPPENING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THIS CONVERSATION. WHY ISN'T HE WRITING ME BACK. WHAT IS HE THINKING RIGHT NOW. I BET HE'S LAUGHING ABOUT THIS WITH ALL HIS FRIENDS RIGHT NOW. I SWEAR TO GOD NEXT TIME HE WRITES BACK, IF HE JUST WRITES BACK PLEASE, I AM GOING TO PLAY IT ALOOF AND COOL AND---oh wait. He responded. Let's rinse and repeat this cycle of crazy.

I swear to God, I'm not sure what's taken longer: me writing a text to the guy I've liked to describe my weekend, or the writing of "War and Peace". Which, by the way, took 6 years. I don't even know why it matters so much. A more self-assured person would be like "it's a text. It is the electronic equivalent of a post it note. Let's not worry about it, hmmm?". But not I. I would like to represent all the people of the world who put a significant amount of effort/worry/panic/terror into what they're going to say to that other special person. Did I just write 4 exclamation points at the end of that sentence? STUPID. Wasn't I aware that every exclamation point is like a small point in the column of "I am freaking crazy, avoid me like the plague?". That every smiley is a nail in the coffin of our future relationship? Hold on, did I just respond to his last text within 30 seconds? JUST KILL ME NOW.

I know that in the scheme of things, one text does not define me. I know that guys don't pick up on the 805 subtle nuances girls slip into those texts (and if that's not the case, someone please send me a memo). But still. One text from THAT person can initiate an NCIS-worthy 45-minute dissection of the text content in a way that would make an English teacher proud. Did he put a smiley in there? Oh, he's definitely into you. Oh my god, did he just send 'k'? He must not be interested/is likely cheating on you. Did he put a semi colon instead of a regular colon? Hmmm, I'm not sure. Let's forward this to every BFF I've ever had for further analysis. 

At this point, all I want to know is if the font Sans Serif is tempting. Because I want to send a text that looks attractive, but still indicates I'm a lady with morals. ;)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Cat/Man

After a woman has been jilted, she slips into her sweatpants, cradles a half gallon of ice cream (CHUNKY MONKEY JUST GETS ME, OKAY?!?!?!?), and declares to any and all who will listen: "screw it. I'm getting a cat!!!". It's an age old tale. I mean, I've flirted (and by flirted, I mean seriously discussed and maybe planned a marriage with) the idea of maybe one day being a cat lady. Or a dog, cat, tea-cup pig, ferret, sloth, monkey, and iguana lady. Either way, my current relationship success rate is NOT powerful evidence that I'm going to be soul mate successful in the future. But why is cat-lady mode the go to? Like, the minute a guy cheats or doesn't call, why do girls decide: "Yes. I am going to continue to live my life and in my older age accumulate mass numbers of a 4-legged animal that will basically ignore me anyway AND use the bathroom in a box in my home. And then I'll never, ever be alone again!" I guess I could Google it and find out if there's some sort of urban legend/historical basis to the idea of becoming a cat lady....but I probably won't.

Okay, just kidding, I went to Wikipedia. According to the all-knowing online dictionary, a cat lady is a "single woman who owns cats...associated with the concept of spinsterhood". Or, the more recent adaptation says that cat ladies are "romance-challenged (often career-oriented) women who can't find a man". Oh, okay, good to know. (I won't even justify that ridiculousness with a response. But anyway). I just don't understand why my two choices for lifelong companions are either men or cats. Let us make a virtual Venn Diagram comparing and contrasting the similarities between overgrown boys and undergrown lions.

Contrasts: You can go out with men on official dates. (I guess you could go out with cats on dates too, but you might get some stares in an upscale restaurant). Men can tell you they love you with real human words. Men can drive cars and take pictures and dance (in theory) and plan proposals and bring you dinner and watch sunsets with you and ignore you via text message and lift weights and stare at other girls on the beach and toss you over their shoulders and engage in "physical activity" with you (I'm sure you're smart, figure out what that means on your own). Cats can fit in those awesome cubby holes that are a part of cat jungle gyms. Cats can twitch their tails and throw up hairballs and fit in outrageously small spots under the bed. Cats can get high off of catnip. Cats can drink water by curling their tongues backward.

Comparisons: You can cuddle with men and cats. Men and cats both urinate on things that make them angry. Men and cats can watch TV with you. Both like to lay uselessly in the sun, with the ultimate goal of tripping you. Both will mark their territory, if they care enough. Men and cats will alternately ignore you or rub against you, depending on what they want. Both will hiss at you when you try to throw them under some water for a little bit of hygiene. Both will eat large amounts of food that are left out in the open, regardless of who it is meant for. Both can make you feel better after a long day. Both can jump out of closets and scare the living daylights out of you. Technically, you can dress men and cats up if they'll sit still long enough/won't gouge your eyes out. Both are attracted to shiny objects. Both can make your heart melt and your eyes tear up.

I'm not asking for a knight in shining armor to come sweep me off my feet. I'd settle for a nicely dressed guy in tinfoil. Or maybe even a non-sociopath holding a Ziploc bag. I get that romantic comedies have ruined me forever (I would never admit that I wanted a dramatic reunion in the dramatic rain after a dramatic fight with a dramatic music soundtrack, but....). I just hope one day (preferably SOON) that that somebody shows up. Because I am getting impatient of waiting. I'm excited to go fall in love. I'm hopeful and nervous and ready for the future. I imagine I'm not the only one, girl or guy, who feels this way. I hope everyone finds their Cat/Man. But until all these possible suitors show up, and no matter how old I am IF they even do arrive, I refuse to ignore cats for the sake of men, and to renounce men in the name of cats. ;)

Monday, June 18, 2012

I just wanna dance with somebody

My phone no longer has its original backing. The battery just kind of sits there, sadly exposed without a little navy blue piece of plastic to cover it. Why, you ask? Because I dance-trampled that little piece of plastic into dust in the middle of a dance floor in a dark bar filled with loud music. That was right before I went to the nearest open-at-4-a.m. restaurant and ate an entire serving of cheesy bread meant for 4 people…by myself. And it was glorious. Welcome to my going out ritual.

When I turned 21 and could finally go to real bars, all of the awkward-ness of frat parties (why God, why) faded away into a distant sad memory. In these bars and their dance floors, my inner rock star could shine. I was finally given a stage to show off my dance skills to the awaiting public (aka a non-interested crowd). Never mind the fact that what I believe are Step Up-worthy dance moves are more likely related to the moves of a seizure-prone giraffe. It doesn’t matter. On that dark alcoholic slip-and-slide of a dance floor, I can be a hip-hop diva. I can be standing there, just people-watching, and then all of a sudden that one song comes on that’s been in the Top 20 for a week and I can just be like OH MY GOD THIS IS MY SONG, EVERYONE GET OUT OF MY WAY, I JUST NEED TO DANCE. And watch out world, I have been released.

Girls have a genetic make-up somewhat similar to that of salmon. When it’s time for salmon to lay their eggs, something turns on in their brains and they start swimming upstream towards their old breeding grounds. When girls feel that it’s time to just dance already, they start searching for areas of higher altitude: tables, stages, balconies, railings, and roofs. I don’t know why girls need higher flat planes to boogie on…but we do.

It’s during those frantic searches for surfaces to dance on that guys believe it’s a socially acceptable time for them to come up and just start grinding. I’m going to use the term “socially acceptable” loosely. I mean it more as “he’s likely not going to get arrested in the next ten minutes” acceptable. There are never any greetings, no eye-contact, no politely asking if it’s okay if he just enters my personal space by about 10 feet. We’re just going to jump right in to the equivalent of a two-person slam-dance. A girl can have one of two reactions: either her friends give her a thumbs up/ear pull/wink and smile indicating that yes, she should keep dancing with this guy. Or, instead, my usual go-to: I turn and try to tell the guy “look, I’d rather try to drown myself in my plastic cup holding 3 ounces of vodka and cranberry juice then continue to be near your thrusting pelvis any longer”.  But since the music is always so loud, I just kind scream “no thank you” and dance/flail away.

When girls need a break from dancing, there’s always the option of the sacred pilgrimage to the bar bathroom. Who doesn’t love the feeling of being all types of model FIERCE on the dance floor as they shimmy around, and then looking in the mirror in the bathroom (which ALWAYS has fluorescent lighting) and going ‘Sweet mother of God, what happened? Was I dipped in a sauna when I wasn’t looking? Why did no one tell me that my eyeliner was making some sort of tribal mask down to my lips? When did my top fall that low? WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?” There is a moment of panic, followed by frantic scrubbing with paper towel. The chaos has been repaired, and you can head back out to the dance floor to reclaim your spot on stage.

Going out usually has the same formula (at least for me). Get dressed up, make a lot of wild promises with my friends for the crazy night we'll have, go drink at the bar, dance a lot, and then close the night out with a discussion of the night's success while eating an exorbitant amount of food. It might not always be glamorous, or even that fun to my more wild friends, but my inner (and very needy) rebel enjoys the chance to say “screw what you’re thinking, I AM dominating this 10 inch patch of floor” every other weekend.

So move aside ladies…this is MY song.

Friday, June 15, 2012

OMG FB.

The 21st century is all about instant connection. Phone calls, texting, AIM, Twitter, G-Chat, Skype, email, and Facebook: they're all ways to talk to your BFF ASAP. The best invention to me (of all these possible communication pathways) is that of the Facebook Status. It provides instantaneous mind-reading powers. What’s that, subtle and ever-present Facebook genie? You want to know what’s on my mind? Oh, I’ll tell you. And then I’ll post it. And then all 494 of my friends (and the 50 of them who I actually maintain any sort of contact with) will know EXACTLY how I’m feeling. Right. Now.

Facebook statuses are the world’s greatest sense of entertainment. (Did I just say the world? Yeah. Let’s make it dramatic). There’s no filter, no wrong answers, no guidelines. Literally, whatever you want to post (except for maybe a racist hate crime-esque post that will likely make me hate you/be flagged and reported) is fair game. And that is why people should be putting on their comfy sweatpants and making some popcorn before sitting down to waste 3+ hours of their lives (daily) on Facebook. Because the options for entertainment are endless.

Let us review some genres of Facebook stati. First and foremost (and my personal favorite): those of the sad, angsty nature. (If this type of status doesn’t ring a bell, please see anything and everything that I posted on FB as a high schooler/freshman in college). Mostly they involve song lyrics, or a thinly veiled message of sadness and hatred that is pretty much directed towards one person, but somehow finds its way onto the World Wide Web. Is there any better feeling than posting something sad on FB (perhaps some Fray/Lifehouse/Kelly Clarkson lyrics that say exactly how I’m feeling), and just knowing that THAT person who has caused me such grief is going to read it and be like YES. THIS IS ABOUT ME. OH NO, I AM THE WORST PERSON EVER. WHAT HAVE I DONE. No. There is no better feeling. (Does the angry status approach ever even work? Discuss). I think a more honest approach towards writing the sad/angsty status is just to write: I AM SAD AND UPSET AND AM POSTING THIS ON FACEBOOK AS A WAY TO TALK ABOUT MY PROBLEMS WITHOUT REALLY TALKING ABOUT MY PROBLEMS….AND I’M ALSO BASING THE FUTURE OF MY SELF ESTEEM OFF OF THE AMOUNT OF LIKES/COMMENTS I GET ON THIS STATUS, FYI.

Another stati type: bragging about one’s awesomeness, be it flat-out (“I JUST GOT A PROMOTION FOR BEING THE WORLD’S BEST HUMAN BEING”) or subtle (“Me and the Boyfriend dining on top of the Eiffel Tower while being serenaded by Michael Buble” captioned on top of a picture of two gorgeous model-y people). Or, as a personal favorite, I once witnessed a girl complain via FB that she had to return certain clothes/shoes because she was “too delicate and small” for them. Yeah? A third status type, and one that I am guilty of WAY too often: writing about an event that happened to you that you feel needs to be shared, but the world likely could have done without.(Actually, that describes this blog. Awkward).

Without FB statuses, I would be forced to directly communicate with others. I would have to tell them why they upset me, why I’m excited, or in general, what happened in my day-to-day. The idea of such a thing is ridiculous. I’d much rather compose a carefully-worded-yet-still-somewhat-vague-masterpiece of 160 characters and hope for the best.