Monday, November 30, 2009

Sucker for The Season (Cramping My Style)

I find myself falling into the holiday trap. Sentiment for no good reason wrapping me up like a tangled mess of Christmas lights. Tendency to listen to holiday music. Determined to bake all of my mother's classic cookie recipes no matter how many Sunday afternoons I must spend with the mess of flour. Wishing for snow even though it means scraping my car and hours added on to the commute. A warm, loving glow wanting to hug everyone up around me (well, only the people I actually love, I'm not a hugs-for-all type of girl). Sucked into romance. The urge to watch "The Holiday" and "Love Actually"- which summed up all together this has a dangerous impact on my sarcastic nature. How can one be sarcastic when listening to "Dreaming of a White Christmas" and thinking about fires and tradition and the Christmas Eve an ex bought my dad a case of wine and I got so plastered I passed out on the bathroom floor where no one could find me?

Oh wait, that brings it back down to earth for me. Whew, thank goodness I'm still in here somewhere.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Me. Version 2.0

I have a distinct and clear understanding of a personal metamorphosis. I half expect to look in the mirror in the morning and see an extra appendage or new face or something (hopefully not Kafka's vermin). An odd day-to-day feeling most definitely. Never before can I remember being so in the moment of understanding. Most of the time I'm too in awe of what the hell is going on around me to be self aware. Who has time to notice themselves when there are Tiger Woods fire hydrant accidents and John Mayer's dating life and that guy at the club with ridiculous triceps and Black Box wine? Much too much to notice. In theory of self actualization as we age we look back and see in retrospect points of change, evolution, maturity. Hopefully learn from bad fashion mistakes. Hopefully growth in relationships. Hopefully the ability to understand where you've gone wrong. But I feel it all today. And I've been feeling it in the moment for awhile. As if I've shed a skin or something and am exposing the new stuff to the elements of life. I don't know what this means, besides it's very different. Could this be a one third life crisis? I have been thinking about getting a dog....if I start buying plants somebody should intervene.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Figuring it Out

Monday, November 23, 2009

What Do Your Texts Say About You?

I wish I didn't have to bring this up. No secret to readers of this blog- I have a curious admiration/hate relationship with the text message. A wonderful tool when running late, struck with a funny story that must be shared immediately, or just a nice thought once and awhile. Pictures can be fun. A little gift of technology. Evil hand when abused. The accessibility is like a constant temptress to over-sharing, under-relying, and dehumanizing relationships. Everybody is at reach and on call at all times for better or for worse. Now if you happen to fall dead (excuse me for being blunt here) rather than worrying about people going through your papers...ever wonder what your text messages say about you? Could our living legacy be left to a train of text message conversations?

If a stranger were to read your chain of texts, what would they see? You think I'm going to tell you what mine say? Think again. Get your mind out of the gutter- mine are fine. I'm a good girl. As long as the phone is away from me during an Ambien episode I stick to the basics, sarcasm, and the occasional surprise. But other people- whoa- I'm pretty sure there is some incriminating and eyebrow raising activity.

Certainly something to think about though, isn't it?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

If I Were in Charge of the World

At some point in my early educational years I was given the assignment to write a poem titled "If I Were in Charge of the World". I had actually been highly anticipating this assignment for years- as my older sister crafted hers years ahead of me I couldn't wait until I got my assignment. Who doesn't want to be in charge of the world? I really felt akin to the idea.

When I finally got my chance to prove to the world the rules I could craft to make living much more enjoyable, I had things like "If I were in charge of the world, there'd be no fat grams, no puking, and everyone would feel loved." Ah, the things the mind of a pre-adolescent comes up with. Although I still agree to those basics. How great would it be if nobody puked? And if we didn't have to worry about fat grams? And of course, everyone should feel loved.

As an adult, I'd probably add a couple things. Like having success in life be part karma system- you can't be truly successful unless you do good things and are a good person. And everybody gets to pick one thing to be really talented at (I don't think it's fair that some people have all the talent). And that we all eventually figure it out before it's too late. And everybody everywhere gets 4 weeks vacation and 4 roundtrip tickets to anywhere (doesn't make any sense to have a giant world and no money or time to see it). And for every bad thing that happens to you the equivalent good thing happens to balance it all out. And boys are no longer stupid. And you get shocked if you use more than 3 exclamation points in one email (punctuation abuse is a crime).

Monday, November 16, 2009

Who Is In Charge Here?

Rifling through old things yesterday I happened upon an old notebook from college. Never a diary keeper (way too dangerous to have all those real thoughts written somewhere) I had the habit of an idea notebook. The non-assuming Apple logo cover made it look like some computer manual, but inside hid instantaneous thoughts I felt the need to record should they have the promise of an idea.

On one page I wrote simply:
I think I am disillusioned.

Yet under it, who knows how long the above thought held real estate, I wrote:
I realized I am not disillusioned. The disillusion is who is in charge of your life.

What did this mean anyway? Why was I thinking this? What had brought me so disenchanted, so down to earth in thought? But then it appears I was corrected. That something caused my eyes to open in understanding where charge of life came from- which- I've come to accept- is me. Scary, but true. The illusion is always other factors take hold of your life- your job, your lack of job, your boyfriend, your husband, your lack of either, the children, the dog, your parents, your debt, America, the weather, Katie Couric, the sales at Victoria Secret, the television show Lost. Whatever. We blame it all on controlling what essentially we only control.

Interesting how we forget these simple things. Time to step back and suck it up.

Lessons Learned Over A Weekend

1) Different is good
2) Being wrong sometimes makes everything right
3) There are cheesy people everywhere. Thank goodness, as it gives us something to laugh at
4) I am stubborn
5) You know you're getting old when you wake up before 7am on a weekend

Monday, November 9, 2009

Dating Dealbreakers- That I Cause

Because it's always good to think about both sides of the story, I began to think about dealbreakers I cause. What are the things that I do that cause a man to wave their hand and say, "Next please!"

A List of Things I Do to Break the Dating Deal
1) She does not maintain well manicured toes and fingernails. I don't. I don't get how people have time for this.

2) She's got an ugly competitive side in card games. I'm not proud of this. I think it's genetic. I get actual anxiety when someone is playing who doesn't understand how.

3) She makes me feel guilty for eating fast food. Sometimes I may not say anything, but you can always see it in my eyes.

4) Sometimes when she talks it doesn't make any sense.

5) She's horrible with direction. Men really can't stand this. I think it's a brain defect- I was premature.

6) She also knows nothing about basic car mechanics and refuses to learn. True.

7) It's like she remembers every little detail long-term but nothing short-term.

8) She isn't bubbly. Or the life of the party. I got a Bachelor of Science for heaven's sake- I'm supposed to be standing in the corner.

9) She won't use a dishwasher and leaves the room if I unload it- which is very weird. (I loathe the sound of filmy glass against skin)

10) She can't do anything straight- park, cut paper, hang a frame. I blame it on being ambidextrous. I'm in constant confusion.

11) She refuses to wear a sports jersey. Call me no fun, but it does not fit into my personal style guide.

12) She points out bad television or filmmaking while I watch it. I have gotten MUCH better at this- now I just remove myself from the situation. Don't make me watch it, as I can't hide my feelings.

And, and I think that's enough pointing out of my own flaws for one evening.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Dating Dealbreakers

Recently on NBC's comedy "30 Rock" television show writer Liz Lemon publishes a book revolving around dealbreakers in dating. These are the behaviors that men or women exhibit essentially putting a halt to any continued involvement. A dealbreaker is that final stop sign in what could have led you down an extremely steep and rocky road. You throw up the red octagon and back away from the perpetrator (otherwise known as the man/woman you were seeing). An example in the show:

"If your man disappears and then shows up after 7 months of no contact....That's a dealbreaker ladies!"

Pretty obvious standard. Got me to thinking...what are my personal dealbreakers? I should be able to collect some from, oh, the last 15 years of my life (had my first steady boyfriend for the 4th-7th grade). I'm not going to suggest all of these are necessarily fair for the entire dating public, but as Socrates suggests- know thyself. And I know my dating self pretty darn well by now.

An Incomplete List of Dating Dealbreakers (continually evolving with experience)
1) Threatens to leave me because of my hair (5th grade, true story)
2) Suggests a threesome with one of my friends
3) Wears more jewelry than I, and/or any of it is 18k gold or from a trip to Cancun
4) Spends more hours per day on television, non-work related Internet, or video games than on any other activity
5) Eats like a slob. Can't handle it.
6) My 5 year old niece has greater spelling and sentence structure capabilities
7) Isn't nice to the elderly
8) Suspiciously elevated levels of aggression/jealousy/anger
9) Thinks women have life too easy
10) Text messaging is his primary form of relationship contact
11) Quotes movie lines for the majority of his thoughts
12) Shows zero signs of ever reading a book
13) Uses bathroom humor around me
14) His life plan/goal is to win the lottery
15) Has never loved anyone
16) Doesn't have a car (unless he lives in NYC or Paris, sorry, dealbreaker)
17) Intoxicated more often than sober
18) Absence of common courtesies
19) He does something my mom wouldn't forgive
20) Isn't sure if he has children or not

Wow, that's a really good start!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

If You Continually Make the Girl Next to You Leave..You're Doing Something Wrong

Last night while at happy hour I endured an all too typical scene. Myself and my fair-eyed beauty friend sat on our favorite bar stools enjoying rewarding cocktails and deep conversation. Well, some fluffy conversation as well. We're sociable girls. Open to public engagement and talking with strangers. We are not by any means the girls shooting daggers to anyone looking at them or attempting innocent converse. We're also not the girls begging for attention with hair flips or what have you. I'm in public because I want to be. I want the experience of my surroundings, whatever they may bring.

However, there are boundaries.

As I chatted innocently with some gentlemen beside me on similar business matters, my poor friend was left to fend for herself on what appeared to be an uncomfortable and forced conversation. I eventually noticed she was desperately trying to part with her conversation. I did all the telltale signs a friend does to bail another out of this situation.

Step 1: In a clear and pointed voice to all around, "Well, we should go. Let's get the bill."
Step 2: Getting the bill quickly and attempting to leave our seats as he continued to talk to her.
Step 3: Leaving the bar as he tried to talk her into staying.

Giant clues here. If you actually make a woman/man leave the bar because you overwhelmed them with uncomfortable or unwanted communication- you're doing something wrong. Even more giant clue is if it happens to you more than once in an evening. And eyewitnesses have assured me this particular fella I speak about continued his detrimental pattern throughout the night.

Social cues are so useful. Can't we just all get along and drink in a bar in harmony?

If You Want to Know the Truth- Say it Out Loud

Sometimes it just takes saying it out loud to see the facts.

Those instances you mull over in your head, deciphering with your own filters of excuse to try and reach a conclusion of why or how- guess what? If you take out any excuse words, face a friend, and actually let the 5-8 word sentence of pure fact vocalize out of your mouth you'll be amazed at the simple truth you arrive at. It's scary. But as I discovered last night, effective. Saying it out loud quite clearly defines the truth. Like it or not.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Unabashed Hope I Imagine in Couples Walking

Along the path of my 4 mile runs I encounter multiple sets of couples walking the trail. So interesting, these couples. In the brief moment I have to mentally snapshot their interactions, their facial expressions and their behavior, I draw my own conclusions of their fate. Most often my conclusions fall in the hopeful, "Diamonds are Forever" commercial type spirit.

In these couples walking I imagine that surely he tells her "goodnight" every night. That she gladly makes him breakfast on-the-go each morning- not because she has to- but because she wants to. This couple walking ahead have unspoken mutual respect, a bond tied by passion and truly taking the time to know one another through the passage of time. They would never hurt one another, they will always challenge the other to grow and prosper, and as they wake up to face another day they each understand the blessing in he/she who lays across the bed. What a beautiful life this couple has! And they have taken it upon themselves to proclaim their perfect life together by walking together as I run solo past them.

Of course this is mostly hope.

Hope that the strangers surrounding me have what I imagine to be perfect. But in my perfectly imaginative stories of couples who walk together, I am able to hope that such a thing even exists. As I never will be one to walk along a path - I always run- walking is so dull. But perhaps I someday will be one half of the couple running who has all that I think that can be.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Doesn't Anyone See How Weird Celebrity Perfume Is?

Somebody needs to speak out on this issue. My heart broke when a seemingly credible actress, Reese Witherspoon, was recently spotted with her own perfume ad in one of my beloved magazines. I do not understand the allure of celebrity endorsed perfume!

What a celebrity endorsed perfume says to me is:
1) With this perfume I'm trying to convince you that you will have a life like mine (the celebrity)
2) This is how I, the celebrity, smell and now you can smell like me

And why would I want to smell like another person? Why do I want to look at Beyonce, wonder what she smells like, and purchase her bottled up bath water? I want to smell like a beachy sunrise or a rose petal or crushed vanilla bean- not a human being!

This is so utterly disturbing to me.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

I Don't Even Believe Compliments. That's an Issue.

Being complimented is like having a golden halo beam down on you while angels sing. Who doesn't love to be complimented? It feels absolutely fantastic. I think. I don't know, because I'm having a hard time believing them. It's like a softball hitting my glove and bouncing into a puddle. I've built up an immunity to compliment receiving.

The problem is I don't believe 'em unless they come from my toddler niece and nephews. Lately I've been lucky enough to have a real adult throw around some pretty heavy compliments and I can only laugh as if it's a joke in irony. Therefore not only am I not getting the compliment high, I'm awkwardly unable to respond in an appropriate manner. Instead I'm looking around for the hidden camera, for Ashton Kutcher to jump out of the bushes announcing, "You've been punked! No way are those compliments real!" And then the viewers at home laugh with Coke Zero shooting out of their noses for the humor in the girl who believed the compliments. As if!

Is this a product of age? How did I become compliment jaded? Who can I blame for this?