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.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

I Work Out

We’ve all been there. You start working out, start cutting carbs, start passing on that second (alright, third) dessert. You’re drinking more water, you’re doing some sit-ups. It’s gradual, but it’s there. You can feel yourself tightening, becoming more fit, more active, more awesome. And if you’re anything like me, one good work out and you’re wondering why Sports Illustrated isn’t calling to do a piece on you. And remind me again why Victoria’s Secret hasn’t contacted me yet for a photo shoot?

I’ve told this to friends before, but when I come back from a good workout, I don’t even try to hide the fact that I’m checking myself out. Oh hey mirrored surface, you and I are about to get a lot closer. Did that one 45-minute session on the Elliptical just make my calves both sculpted AND shorts ready? I think so. Did 25 flailing and half-formed sit-ups just make my body comparable to Gisele Bundchen’s? You betcha. I don’t even need steroids…I just let the endorphins from a workout take over and make me freaking crazy. As I walk back to my house from a run/crawl, I check myself out in store windows. I turn up the music in my headphones and perfect my hip hop music video strut. I take every glance that comes my way as a for-sure “that person is checking me out”. No matter that that person is likely just trying to figure out the fastest path away from such a sweaty swollen smelly mess.

About a week ago, I was taking my dog for a long-ass walk. As with the normal progression of summer, it’s been getting hotter and hotter outside. People aren’t stopping their athletic activity, but they’re sure dressing skimpier. A girl ran past me, wearing what I’d categorize as a bathing suit…if I was being generous. I didn’t even try to contain my stare as she gazelle-d her way down the street. How does someone dress like that? I am terrified to wear shorts as I thunder down the road, unwilling for the general public to be exposed to my thighs. And then I realized that I’m only several more “oh yeah, I’m so hot right now” moments away from strapping on a sports bra and bike shorts myself and taking to the streets. The thought is terrifying, but I realized that even though I didn't agree with her outfit choice, that girl was owning that sidewalk. She believed it, and it showed. So I guess if you've got it, or you think you've got it because a million endorphins are making you believe you've got it, flaunt it.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Freshman Year

High school was not my “time to shine”. I had braces twice, applied eyeliner with the same width and severity as an XL-Sharpie, and had a piece of orthodontia that gave me a temporary speech impediment. I didn’t often have a “real date” to the annual dances, and my parents never ever had to worry about me causing any trouble when I was out of the house. I was happy, though, so in the end it didn’t matter. When it came time for graduation, I knew that college would be different. I would have a 90’s-movie style make over (take out the pony tail, slap a pair of contacts in, and boom, I’d be beautiful) before traveling to my future college campus. There, of course, I’d meet the man of my dreams the first day of orientation while simultaneously going through a crisis regarding my plans for the future: do I follow my dreams, or the dreams of my parents? Wait. That was still the 90’s movie. Just kidding.

I wanted to be different in college. I wanted to be effortlessly beautiful and funny. I wanted to be talented and smart and amazing and confident and all of the things I never felt like I was in high school. I arrived on campus, ready for things to be different. Within the first week of my college career, however, some sort of karma gods put down their martinis after having a good laugh and went: LOL JK this is not happening. It was in that week that I figured out pretty freaking fast that "things" would be ooooooh so similar to the years before. I would still be uncomfortably awkward, and I would not be one pony-tail shake-out away from instant popularity.  Within my first week, I managed to (first) show up to a grocery store event planned for freshman dressed in a completely revealing and provocative red Jessica Rabbit-esque ensemble, truly believing that I was going to a frat party. Second, I accidentally flashed the on-campus rabbi and his minions (an old man, a freshman-age boy, and a 6-year old) in only my jeans and a lacy, purple, push-up, unbelievably anti-religion Victoria’s Secret bra. Yes, I swear that happened. Welcome to College.

The four years that followed would be filled with stalkers, awkward slip-ups (I told a guy that I “loved to eat Five Guys”. I meant the burger establishment, but his raised eyebrows and half-contained laugh made me realize instantaneously what had just happened), and that time where I mom-seatbelted a stranger by pure reflex. But I also met some of my best friends, laughed a lot, learned how to apply eyeliner correctly, and realized that just because I act extra-polite when drinking does not mean that I cover up the fact that I’m drunk. I was happy, and graduated with a feeling of excitement for the future. High school was not “my time”, nor was college. However, I was released into the wilds of the Real World like all of my much more attractive and witty friends, so there must be some hope for me, right? :)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

"Mom's Cars"

Many people believe that love is the identification of their soul’s counterpart in another. Others believe that love is finding your life’s partner, your happiness, or your passion. I am of the school of thought that love is the ability to not act like a complete spazz in front of someone, and have them do the same to you. You know those people in high school that had shiny hair and were effortlessly able to flirt with whoever they were attracted to? That wasn’t me. I know I’m attracted to someone when I can barely form words around them. It’s the perfect inverse relationship. Do I find you morally repugnant, or I’m terrified by your eating habits? I can flirt with you like a Victoria’s Secret model, or like a life coach on The Game. Wait, I like you? I think you’re cute, and I’m already fantasizing about our third date on a Ferris wheel? Oh, now I’m having symptoms somewhat similar to anaphylactic shock. I try to pretend like my heightened version of Zooey Deschanel’s “adorkable”/every-quirky-girl-next-door antics are attractive. You know, drooling, babbling, and turning as red as a tomato. I know they’re not, but still. a girl can dream.

A couple weeks ago, a large tree branch decided that it no longer wanted to be shackled to the roots of its tree. It took an unceremonious free fall of forty feet onto my car, snuggling itself about 2-3 inches into the car's hood. The police were called, and the cop who came out to deal with the wreckage was incredibly cute. We teased back and forth with each other while picking tree remnants off of my car. And then, there was A Moment. A Moment where I could introduce myself, establish my confident-yet-demure (well, ideally) personality, and ask his name (with a smile). A Moment that could become The Moment, where our eyes meet and birds sing and a Colbie Calliat song plays and 3 months later there's a dramatic reunion in the rain. Cosmo had tried to train me for this….and oh boy, did I fail. After some flirting, he pulled out his pad of paper and asked “okay, what’s your name?”. A simple question, we’re only taught it when we’re 3 years old. I have the full opportunity to introduce myself, maybe exchange numbers or more information, maybe plan a date, plan a life, etc. And then I respond---“actually, it’s my mom’s car”. Yeah? The guy asks you your name, and instead of giving him ANY sort of information to identify you with, let alone form a relationship, you go with identifying ownership of a vehicle? Yes. You just did that. The cop eventually cut his losses and left, after some more teasing back and forth. I'm sure you're wondering "why didn't you just introduce yourself later?". Excellent question. I'd like to know the answer as well. 

By some small miracle (or God's way of saying "hey, I'll give you a second chance) I ran into the cop again. At this point, he has only seen me as a sweaty, non-made up, work out clothed mess, with my hair scraped back into a greasy ponytail. (Question, real fast: why do hair and make-up only behave when your parents are the only ones around to witness it? Discuss). But, no matter. At our second meeting, we had a 20-minute conversation, and after several babbling tangents (for some reason I was real excited about telling him that my car was still drive-able), I skulked away. I thought of several witty, fantastic, and flirty comments 10 minutes after the fact. I fully take responsibility for this awkwardness, and as a result, fully expect to end up a cat lady. If you guys have a crawl space I can live in, I'd appreciate it. I'll be sure to give your kids rabies and hiss at natural sunlight. And cats of the world? Get at me.

The Awkward Times of MRH

Something interesting happens when people graduate. They start blogging. I don’t know what it is, but I swear to God, everyone I know was handed a diploma and an automatic license to upload their thoughts onto the internet on that warm day of celebration in May. Some people I know have truly great blogs. They talk about cooking, their adventures in their new jobs, religion, funny stories, or their travels abroad. Other people I know have blogs about hair scrunchies, Starbucks, ballerina buns, and their general awesomeness at life. Not my go-to for blog content, but to each their own. (Also, I will click away in an angry rage from your blog if you have ‘xoxo’ at the end of it).

I’m not sure how I feel about blogging. I love reading other people’s blogs (Chelsea Fagan of Thought Catalog fame needs to write a book RIGHT NOW), but I feel like writing my own blog is a little vain. OH HEY HOW AWESOME ARE MY THOUGHTS HERE THEY ARE YOU SHOULD READ THEM NOW I HOPE THIS BECOMES THE NEXT BIG THING WHERE IS MY MOVIE DEAL. But while I don’t think my thoughts are that awesome, I do know that I have some good stories. One of my few talents in life (is it a talent? Not really) is to attract crazy people. Not full on it-rubs-the-lotion-on-its-skin crazy, but just odd enough that you’re tempted to move your suitcase several feet away from them in an airport. I think it’s a genetic trait. I have it, my mom has it, and my grandma had it. Although, to be honest, my grandma eventually became one of those crazy people, sooooo yeah.

I don’t think I have a face that ‘makes people want to tell me things”, but I clearly emit a pheromone that makes people want to open up about personal experiences that I was not prepared to hear about. Some examples include:

1)        A guy who overcame the unspoken barrier of a vacant airplane middle seat to rip off his gym shoe and show me his gangrenous foot. When all I said was “do you mind if I put my purse here”.
2)        The woman next to me in line at the checkout line of the grocery store who noted I was holding a box of chocolate chip cookies, and then responded to this by telling me the (unbelievably) graphic description of her granddaughter's birth. I can't look at chocolate chip cookies anymore without an eye twitch.
3)        A girl I worked with constantly discussed how she put on elaborate plays for her cats. Like, with costumes, sets, and story lines. it only became extremely awkward once she asked me to attend.
4)        The guy waiting in line behind me at a bar who was wearing a large skull belt buckle made completely of rhinestones. He told me about his stalker in Virginia, but also reminding me that “he’s the type of girl who likes when a guy buys him dinner and drinks first”. A friend of a friend of a friend out with us that same night then repeatedly told me (even though I did not argue with, question, or engage her statement) that she was a legal dwarf, and I had BETTER believe her. Or else.
 
I attract crazy. I commit a substantial amount of awkward throughout my day. I can’t promise to give anything in this blog that you will find useful, or deep, or important. But I don’t know, I think sometimes a funny story can change someone’s day. And if nothing else, you can point and laugh.