Thursday, January 31, 2008

Home Base

Remember when measuring the progress of a relationship was ranked by the "base" system? To tell you the truth, I never knew the rules. 1st base was obviously kissing, 2nd was what? Partial nudity? I have no clue. I really never was one for rules and guidelines anyway.

But once you get to be of a certain age, that whole sexual progression starts to feel pretty ridiculous. Thus, new bases have to be invented. For me, personally, I have an issue with letting people into my home too soon. I've actually been called out recently for being "evasive" because I haven't invited a particular person into my home. Now that is a strong statement: evasive. It suggests such dishonesty! Do you think I'm secretly running a smut shop with illegal immigrants? Or hiding my two husbands and cat ranch? I am perfectly normal, nothing to hide. But just like the junior high girl (for some high school) that holds the reign of sexual advancement, I hold the reign of being in complete control of my space until ready to surrender to you. It really makes total and complete sense once you think about it.

A co-worker of mine, who has a dating life that includes more new suitors in one week than I've had my entire life, astonishes me at how many men she brings back to her home. It actually gives me tiny little panic attacks anytime she mentions it. A first date and you brought him back to your house? A second date and you cooked dinner for him? Are you absolutely insane? The collection of pheromones that have entered your home in the past month is bound to send a system into whack. It may even cause ovarian tumors…too many men scents in one home.
(please note- this coworker is merely a trusting & hospitable woman. She is otherwise a sweet, moral girl, so get your mind out of the gutter)

My home is the one thing that's only mine. I own this space. I own the air and the ambiance and the feeling. Once I let you into this space, you infect (or compliment) the aura with your presence. I lose control over the entire situation. How long will you stay? What if I want you to leave in 20 minutes and you stay for an hour? This is a big deal. I feel extreme comfort in knowing I can leave at any time I want when I'm at your place. Not that I'm going to bolt out the door without warning. Although, I did once leave a future boyfriend's house in the middle of the night without telling him, but come on- I was only 19 at the time- I'm allowed to do that once.

You see, I'm actually just being extremely mature. When I finally let you into my home, you'll know I've let you in- physically and symbolically. I'm no space slut.

Lets go back to your place and you can explain the old base system to me…

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Things No Twenty Something Should Attend/Do/Use

1. Parties where you’re supposed to buy something and have to sit around and eat things out of crock pots and are lured in by the promise of free wine (Pampered Chef, Tastefully Simple, Purse Parties, etc.) If I want to buy something, I will go to the store and buy it. If I want to drink before, after or during the purchase, I will make the proper arrangements.

2. Crock Pots. They are just wrong, so wrong; I could write the next great American essay paralleling the downfall of society with the rise of crock pots. If you have 6 children, then ok, use one. If you are in a wheel chair, then ok, use one.

3. Showers for your pets. Wedding & baby showers are enough, are you trying to kill me?

(have no worries, this will be an ongoing post, as there are millions to add to this list. Please email me with any recommendations to be added)

Monday, January 28, 2008

Revealing the Great Guy Friend Scam

We hang out. We get drinks on a Sunday afternoon. We talk about sports, men, women and which vodka is the best. We have that no-bullshit type of relationship where I don’t have to worry about hurting your feelings. We can go a few weeks without talking and everything picks up effortlessly where we left off. I don’t have to look particularly gorgeous around you, because you aren’t judging my fashion sense and I don’t have to worry about losing you to the girl with big boobs and permanent eyeliner. This is what makes our relationship a beautiful thing! It’s not a girlfriend, not a boyfriend, not a gay friend, but a guy friend.

Can’t you just leave it alone in its’ natural and perfect state?

Despite my love for this type of camaraderie, I’ve dealt with my share of problems. It seems the system is flawed. As there seems to always be an ultimate ending where “feelings” rear their ugly heads into the mix and cause all kinds of sensitivities that aren’t supposed to happen in this perfect world. I can recall at least four instances where a guy friend has turned on me. He’ll lure me in for years- sometimes up to ten years- with promises of uncompromised dedication to straight up friendship. And then suddenly, in the most unsuspecting moment, he’ll casually hit me with the one of the following:

“You should let me take you on a date sometime. A real date.”
“I want to be more than friends.”
“I’m in love with you.” (an extreme case)

I silently scream inside as I smile nervously with my beer midway to my mouth. Why are you doing this to me? Why do you have to ruin the one perfect relationship I have? You selfish bastard.

I think I speak for most women when I say this: If we are attracted to you and if we've contemplated going out of the friendship zone, you'll know! It's our genetic predisposition to try and lure in as many mates as possible. If we have not done this, than we just want to hang in the pack with you.

Now can we go back to drinking and forget any of this ever happened?

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Single Does Not = Desperate

I’m single. For the most part. Usually I have a couple things going on, but usually they aren’t completely normal. I’m sure I’ll get into that later. And it usually takes a solid 6 months for me to grant boyfriend status. But I don’t have anyone to water my plants for me (which is why I have no plants) or complain about my job to or be my back-up stay in plan for Saturday night. Thus, I am single.

Single does not = desperate. They should teach that in math.

I actually,gasp, do not mind being single. I’ve come to the age where I know what I like/love and am comfortable with it. I’m more than willing to wait an unforeseen amount of time to get that…whatever or whoever it may be. So, I might ask, why aren’t you comfortable with it?

At a gathering a few months back a dear friend of mine (she really is one of the sweetest women alive) looked to me across the room and said, “I know a single guy! He’s a recovering meth addict, but he’s really nice.” Uh, did I miss something here? Let me run and quick look in the mirror and make sure my teeth are all intact and I’m not scratching my face off. Oh good, face appears normal. I may be single, but I certainly don’t think I am so bad off that I must go to recovering addict meetings to find eligible men. Really, thanks but no thanks.

And your friend Joe Shmo (shout out to Peeps)? The one that you’ve tried to set-up with each single friend you’ve ever had for the last 15 years? I don’t want to go out with him either. Just because he is Single and I am Single, does not mean we automatically are a match. If you really really search your brain and remember those fuzzy days when you were single, you’ll remember that the equation to finding love was a little more complex.

Don’t think I am ungrateful- as I do enjoy being set-up. I've had some great dates being set-up, and some have turned into great relationships. In fact, ideally I find my next great relationship as a recommendation from a close friend. But please, leave the recovering drug-alchohol-sex-food-Nintendo Wii addicts to like minded girls.

Or, are you trying to tell me something? Maybe I'm missing the hint...

Friday, January 25, 2008

30 is the New 50

My sister and her husband are planning to take a long deserved trip away from their house of children, dishes, laundry, and brightly colored plastic objects. Being young parents of three children under the age of five, they've kind of lost touch of culture and happenings around them. Unless it's printed on a Perkins menu, they don't really know about it.

My sister wondered out loud..."Where should we go?"

The possibilities! Visions filled my head of strolling down Paris's cobblestone streets, or walking the white sand beaches of Greece, or sipping wine in the Sonoma Valley. Better yet- a wild long weekend trip in New York City, reclaiming a youth lost in the Diaper Genie. How wonderful it will be for them to sneak away and recall the two crazy college students that fell for each other over $1.00 captain cokes and shots of kamikaze in the middle of Iowa.

Then she told me she wanted to go to Disney World. So they could see it before they brought the kids. Disbelief, horror and a little despair flooded my face.

They've spent 1,825 days surrounded by loud noises, scary sounding music, even scarier looking toys and virtually no adult interaction. They are in turn going to take the .3% of days allotted to them to splurge on whatever experiences and sensory diversion they wish to divulge...on a vacation filled with loud noises, scary sounding music, and even scarier looking toys that have been transformed into HUMAN FORM.

I don't get it. I just don't get it.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Things I SHOULD Do

My father called me today to talk to me about two things.
#1) I didn’t inform him K was engaged. I informed him that everyone I know is engaged, therefore it'd be more news to tell him who isn't
#2) It’s time for me to buy a house

He went on to tell me that “I’ll never get a house so cheap” and that “interest rates are so low” and yes, definitely, I must buy a house now. Call the realtor! I told him that I didn’t think I wanted to buy a house, to which his reply was that he’d start looking for one for me. Apparently he didn’t hear me.

Why are there so many things I “should” do?

I understand that owning a home is a financial security blanket for the future, that many believe renting to be throwing your money away, etc. In fact I owned a home when I was 21, so I am familiar with the benefits. I am also familiar with the drawbacks, particularly when I had to sell it to move across the country.

But what I understand more is that I have no idea what I am doing with my future. I’m at a critical point in my career where it may be wise to move on and build some new skills. I think about going to get my Masters. I can leave my apartment for 2 weeks and not worry about anything. If someone asked me to be a personal chef on a private cruise ship in the Greek Isles- I’d leave in an instant! I hardly have enough time to keep up my laundry, let alone maintain a home. I don’t know how to fix anything, and really don’t want to know. I have an extreme fear of being poor. This is who I am, and this is the way my life is. Not to mention lack of $$$ would cause my drinking habit to dramatically diminish, which wouldn’t be fun for anyone.

So why, exactly, should I be buying a home? So when I’m 40 years old I have the potential to make $20,000? What about all the opportunities I could miss out on? Those are priceless in my mind.

I think what I "should" do is decide for myself what I should and shouldn’t do to maximize my own happiness.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Text Messaging: The Rise and Fall of the Real Relationship

I do not expect men to come toss stones at my window while reciting love poems under a moonlit sky. I do, however, think that picking up the phone and muttering a few sentences in a communicative effort would be a pleasing addition to the meandering webs of dating.

When did text messaging become the modern means of courtship?

There is a man I rendezvous with that only corresponds by text messaging. Sometimes it’s a simple “how are you doing” and sometimes it’s two or three pagers. I’m not kidding, he’ll have so much to tell me that he takes the time to text out a message that must be sent in three installments. Wouldn’t it be quicker to-I don’t know-pick up the phone? Am I that threatening of a person that voice-to-voice contact seems too fearful to bear? Of course I’ve wondered if he’s hiding something, like a wife, but at this point all other evidence suggests that extremely unlikely unless she lives in another country or is locked in mini storage somewhere. To be fair, I’m not quite sure he owns a phone. He’s foreign and carries around some mini-computer everywhere…

But besides my own circumstance, it appears text dating is an epidemic. Texting is a godsend to man whores- they can late night text all they want without fear of rejection or retaliation. They can sneak themselves back into the hearts of women they conveniently lost touch with 3 weeks ago. They can send out mass texts to every woman they’ve ever met and pick and choose from who responds. All of these examples are true stories.

As a fair human I give texting a little credit, hence the “rise” part of my theory. Text messaging allows one to feel more comfortable perhaps with initial communication. Perhaps some relationships would never come to fruition without that halfway step of texting- more personal then an email, but not as daunting as a phone call. Put two really shy people together and give them a couple of Motorola Razors, and my-oh-my some sparks could fly.

In a begrudging fashion I’ve accepted text messaging into my life. Quite nice when running late to send a note or to update loved ones on the progress of a surgery or reminder of an important date. But to build a relationship? No thanks. I’d rather arrange to meet under the town hall clock every other Friday and have real conversations.

But, maybe that explains why I’m single.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Disillusion of It All

I really thought, well, that things would be different.

My whole life I couldn’t wait to be in my mid-twenties. Even through what many reminisce as the glory days of high school I knew that something brilliant awaited me. I was ready and willing to endure teen angst for that shining beacon of my twenties. Oh, how grand my twenties would be. Finally I’d effortlessly inhibit The Perfect Body (because by then hormones and all that stuff would have itself figured out), my hair would be the sophisticated and glamorous cut I’d be mature enough to upkeep, and I’d be a hard working and successful professional with a smart & equally perfect male mate of his early thirties (or late thirties, but with men you always have to subtract five years in order to get real life age). It’d be like the Cover Girl commercials say- easy and breezy and beautiful!

Let me tell you something: Here I am, smack dab in my twenties, and my life does not feel like a Cover Girl commercial. Not. At. All. I am in constant battle with my hair, I’ve been working hard long hours (really, usually 45-60 a week) at the same company for four years and I still make less than the average stripper. And for some reason people keep calling me Victoria, which is not my name. I’ve had a string of boyfriends, man interests and mini encounters that tell a story better than most soap operas. Usually not the scenes with satin sheets and rose petals. The tragedies I’ve incurred in the past few years would make you weep while you hurl sage at me in hopes my bad aura doesn’t seep into your pores. My apartment rarely heats above 50 degrees, my eye has been twitching for 3 months now, and I once woke up in a closet because I accidentally overdosed on the Ambien I have to take every night to deal with my horrible rotten no good very bad terrible twenties.

Whew. I feel a little better now. Focus. There is a purpose to all of this self-indulgent despair. I am not a complete narcissist, and have come to believe that I am probably not the only one suffering aimlessly through her twenties. That girl over there with the perfectly puffed ponytail and Seven jeans? She’s in her twenties too! And she probably has something bad going on. And she just might get a kick or a snicker out of reading about my issues and opinions. Or she might conclude I’m insane, but that would be entertaining, therefore still beneficial to all.