Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Thirty Years of Valentines, Thirty Types of Love

Okay, maybe not thirty. But at least six.

For me, Valentine's Day has never really been about romance. At each stage of my life it has been about a different kind of love and a different kind of lesson.

Right in the Childhood: Treasure Hunts 

When my brother Brady and I were kids, Valentine's Day was one of my favorite holidays because my mom would send us on a treasure hunt around the house. After handing us the first clue, it was up to us to figure out where the next clue was. Each rhyming clue would send us to the next location until finally we reached the treasure - usually a basket with candy and stuffed animals. Maybe some heart-shaped sunglasses. 

Childhood Valentine's Day was all about family love, with Brady and I giggling and racing and shoving each other out of the way to find the next clue. And adding one more notch to my lifelong love affair with words and wit.

Elementary School: BFFs and Social Landmines 

While the merits of this practice has been hotly debated with certain friends as an adult *cough Teresa cough*, my elementary school's policy was that if you gave anyone a Valentine, you had to give everyone a Valentine. So my mom bought packs of cards and I would spread them out to examine each one. Of course, the best ones were reserved for my best friend(s). It was okay if they said things like "I love you" and "Be my Valentine" because we were girls and not icky boys. 

Once the easy decisions were made, it was time for the intense scrutiny. Which ones did you give to your female acquaintances? The ones you said hi to -- but weren't really your friends. Which one did you give to the girl who made fun of your Disney shirt that one time? Worst of all, what did you give the BOYS?! You had to be VERY careful with that one. They could not say love. They could not say "Be mine." Because what if they made fun of you? Worse, what if they actually had a crush on you? 

It seems that even as an 8-year-old, I internalized that it was my responsibility to keep boys from going after me. But that's a soapbox for another day. 
Elementary School Valentine's Day was about friend love -- and learning that words and emotions have meaning.

Middle and High School: All About Daddy... and Candy 

During these years, Daddy was always my Valentine. Sorry, Mommy. Even when I pined and angsted over my dead-end crushes, it always came back to my dad and the cards and Russell Stover/Whitman Samplers he brought from CVS.

Teenage Valentine's Day was about the daddy/daughter bond.

College: The Show's About Vaginas 

I actually finally had a boyfriend in college. And poor Greg... Valentine's Day still wasn't about him.

It was about female empowerment -- and vaginas. For all four years of college, I performed in The Vagina Monologues each Valentine's Day. A group of about 30 women, one of the most diverse groups I was a part of during college, dressed all in black with red feather boas and talked about vaginas onstage. All the proceeds from the shows went to a different women's charity each year, and I remember volunteering at a women's shelter. This time of my life is when I started to see myself as a feminist.

College Valentine's Day was about sisterly love. Love for myself, love for my classmates, and love for women everywhere.

Young Adulthood: Just Me, Baby 

For the next 8 years post-college, I was single. There were many times I felt lonely and depressed and super sorry for myself. But Valentine's Day wasn't really one of them. On Valentine's Day I did whatever I wanted. Sometimes I hung out with girlfriends. Sometimes I binged on chocolate (but usually on February 15th once it went on sale). Usually there was a cat involved. Once I was asked out for Valentine's Day by a guy who really liked me -- but I didn't feel the same way. I couldn't bear the thought of faking my way through a holiday I love. So I said no.

Young Adult Valentine's Day: self love. And some kitty love.

Today: Karaoke and My Future Husband 

Tonight I'm going to be spending Valentine's Day with the man who makes me laugh every day and who I'm going to spend the rest of my life with. He sent me gorgeous flowers. Took 30 years to get here. But I'm also spending it with my other loves: my karaoke loves. Yup, I'm spending Valentine's Day with a bunch of talented, fun, amazing drama queens and kings who make fools of themselves for votes. Tonight the theme is Love Stinks. Because of course it is.  

Today Valentine's Day is about silly, no-holds-barred love.

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone. To my friends, my family, my strangers, myself. Spread all the love you can. We need it.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Blizzard Blogging

Whoops I only published one post in 2015. Since I'm home alone with my cat, here is my stream-of-consciousness during #Blizzard2016 (hashtagging on blogs is cool and useless).

So far this is Blizzard 2016:

Jack's tongue is part of the appeal.

Earlier I wished I was snowed in with someone but then I started posting wine selfies every hour on Facebook and got some laughs while probably also ruining my career. Also I haven't worn a bra for almost 48 hours and can fart whenever I want so basically I won the blizzard.

Added more whipped cream vodka to my Nutella hot chocolate. Can you microwave a drink with alcohol in it? Let's find out.

Well, nothing exploded so I guess you can. Unless I die later. I mean, like, sooner-later. I will die later, but hopefully like many-years-kinda-later.

I just showed Jack a video with meowing cats. He had no reaction. Goddammit, Jack.

There are so many pictures of snow and alcohol and pets and selfies on Facebook this weekend, yet I still think posting mine is somehow interesting. I'm convincing myself I'm just taking part in the community. The snowmunity. The communiblizzard. This is why people get pregnant during snowstorms.

My goal for today is to start a trending hashtag on Instagram. Let's make #stripblizzard happen. I wonder if people are jealous of how creative I am.

Should I watch a movie? I don't have Netflix. I think I'm the only person left who doesn't have Netflix. Does that make me cool or a loser?

I don't think any of this is funny. Maybe I should just delete this whole thing.

There should be an online version of Cards Against Humanity. My cat won't play. Plus I don't have the cards.

I could masturbate right now. Or any time. Since I live by myself.

Don't drink and blog, kids. Or do. It's your life.

Friday, April 17, 2015

I'm tired and I'm angry and I want things.

I'm tired today. Tired of being strong, tired of taking care of myself, tired of being smart and independent and lonely. I'm tired of keeping it in and being quiet when I'd rather scream. I don't want to be by myself and I don't want to go on any more stupid, boring dates where I'd rather be home with the cat. 

And I'm angry. Angry at the happy couples holding hands and angry at the people who jump from one relationship to the next when I've been single for 7 fucking years. Angry at myself at messing up the what-could-have-beens and angry that everyone seems to have what I don't. What I seem to be incapable of getting. Surely I can't be the only one who can't find and/or sustain love? I'm pretty. I'm smart. I'm funny. And I'm picky. 

I want things. I want a partner. I want children. Do I NEED them? Well, that depends on your definition of need. Do I need them to validate myself as a person? No. But I need them in the sense that I need companionship. I want someone who understands me as well as I understand myself. I want someone who sees me for who I am and loves me not in spite of it, but because of it. Someone who I respect and who respects me. 

Also someone who I want to get freaky with. Sorry, Mom. 

Don't get me wrong, friends and family. I love you and I need you in my life. But it's not the same. You know it and I know it. 

Can anybody find me somebody to love?

Not Freddie Mercury. He's dead. And gay.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

I scared away my date with my poop.

Did you know girls poop?

Apparently my most recent date didn't.

Who wouldn't want to come home to
this every day?
Third date with a new guy. In my opinion, it wasn't really long-term potential, because this guy didn't want kids (I do) and didn't particularly like pets (you may know about my love of cats).

But, he and I had good conversation, and what I thought was decent chemistry, so I thought I would just have some fun in the short term. On our first two dates, we went out to dinner, and at the end of the second date, he came to my place for a brief, fun make-out session.

Third date was tonight. He came over to my place again. We talked for a little while. At one point he said something that kind of annoyed me, and then attempted to kiss me, so I was a bit lean-away-and-face-forward-ish. He got the hint and we started talking again, in a fun way. We were both laughing and having a good time. I was planning to start kissing him again soon.

First, though, I need to take care of something. My stomach was not happy.

"Eff you," said my stomach. "I don't care that you have a date over and you live in an apartment with one bathroom," he said with a sneer. "You do what I say, bitch." My stomach is a jerk.

I used the bathroom, which is something that humans do. I did everything possible to hide it, including flushing several times and spraying the tiny bathroom with Glade. A lot of Glade.

Of course, as soon as I came out, he needed to pee. How do you say, "Please don't. Can you give it five minutes?" without him knowing you totally just pooped?

You can't. So, I said nothing.

He comes out, and out of the blue, says that he needs to make it an early night, even though he hasn't even been here for 2 hours, and it's Saturday. After a pause, he says:

"You're an awesome person, but I think we just don't have the chemistry here."

Huh? You just tried to kiss me, like, 20 minutes ago.
Because I'm not a shy wilting petunia, I can't help but say something back. "I have to say, I'm kind of surprised. I don't have a problem with what you're saying, but I feel like this really came out of nowhere. Is this something you're feeling, or something you felt from me?"

I'm genuinely confused.

He mumbled something about it just being this intangible thing. "This kind of thing is just hard, you know?" and almost tripped himself trying to leave.

I conclude that he must have had an epiphany in my tiny bathroom.

I scared away my date with my poop.

Bye. Don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out. Which, coincidentally, is where poop comes from.

Even from girls.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Why Jobs and Relationships are the Same Thing

I'm in an abusive relationship with my job.

It treats me terribly, and I know it, but until recently I haven't had the guts to work toward leaving it. I've made all the excuses that one tells oneself in an abusive human relationship.

Stress ReductionIt doesn't mean to hurt me; it's just stressed out. When a company is in financial trouble, as mine has been, those in charge start to take desperate measures to work their way out of the hole. The casualties, of course, are overworked, underpaid employees. The implication is that if we just work a little harder, a little longer, we can dig our way out. The whispered threat being that if the company doesn't start to improve, it's kind of our own fault.

Well, the job does have some good qualities. I love my boss and my coworkers. I enjoy the work I do. Really. So what if I haven't had a raise in 5 years, there's no room for growth, the upper management seems neither to respect nor even notice the work we do, and the company might not make it another 5 years?

Wincing, that leads to thoughts like...

It's probably not better with anyone else. Every company has problems. What if I jump out the frying pan into the fire? I may as well stick to the evil I know, right?

With the love and support and slapping of family and friends, I finally am applying to other jobs with cautious optimism. Unfortunately, I forgot how much the job searching process can be aggravating and soul-crushing. Just like online dating!

Resume? Cover letter? Just like your online dating profile. You list your best qualities and pertinent experiences, along with your goals and a little bit of bragging, and see who wants to date you. I mean hire you.

victory shakeIf you get to an interview, it's both exciting and nerve-wracking. Will you like them? Will they like you? How is this different from a first date? It's the exact. Same. Thing. You ask each other questions and later assess the vibe. Did you get along? Did they like you? Were you attracted to them? (What? Sometimes the Human Resources manager is really hot.)

Afterwards, you wait to hear if they call you back. If they don't like you, the decent thing for them to do is to tell you, but that never happens. The majority of the time, you never hear back. So it's back to the applications and stupid messages that no one likes to send. Don't ever get your hopes up prematurely. Odds are, it's not The One.

But OMG sometimes you get a boyfriend! Or a job! And then your favorite coworkers become like significant others. You spend so much time with them that you equally love and hate them. You defend them, yet complain about them. You put up with their annoying habits because the sex is great. (No? It's just me? Whatever.)

Your relationship with your job can be draining or fulfilling. Sometimes both. Like a human relationship, it has its ups and downs. You can change jobs every couple years, or stay with one 'til you expire retire. But the biggest thing to remember about a boyfriend, husband, or job - it's a big part of your life, but don't let it become your whole life.

A lot of things in my life are due to change soon. Can't wait to see what—and who—the future brings me.
If this fortune cookie is any indication, things are going
to change a lot more than I thought.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

What Not to Write: A Perfect Specimen

I've posted before about online dating don'ts for men. I do it mostly in good fun, as I make no claim to be perfect or have a perfect profile. Everyone makes errors in judgment occasionally. Some are more egregious than others. Posting pictures that involve a lineup of people when I don't know who you are? Merits an eye roll, nothing more. Averaging 3 spelling mistakes per sentence? Deep, profound sigh.

But occasionally, a profile is so wrong, so off the mark, and so blazingly unaware that my first reaction is to burst out laughing. And then use it as the ultimate example of what not to write.

OkCupid Specimen: What Not to Write 


I would like you to use just one comma. Is that so much to ask for?

Apparently, yes.

Oh lordy, where to begin? Oh right, commas. And apostrophes. Where to continue?

Let's go with insulting the reader. The reader, presumably, is a woman on OkCupid. According to you, this means she is one of several things: drunk, crazy, a whore, a little girl, or a snooty, upity [sic] dame. Wow, you know how to make a girl feel special. (By the way, is this 1950? Because that's the last time I heard the word "dame.")

Let's address the negativity. What you say: You are fed up, sick of taking time to message people, and much to buzy. (Ow. That hurt my brain to type.) What I see: You hate women, are bitter and cynical, and don't know how to spell.

What else? I'm sorry, I'm still stuck on the apparent ignorance of how to use a comma.

OMG. WHAT?! Are you serious? You totally know how to use a comma! You've been holding out on me!

It's kind of a given that people prefer partners who have neither diseases nor felonies. Putting it in the same category as sweet and fun seems a little... distasteful.

By the way, "car" is not a criterion.

Looks like we forgot about capital letters this time. Also decorum, as you've essentially said "no fatties." Not to mention the fact that you want to spend ALL YOUR FREE TIME with your lady. Most girls would like a break to at least go to the bathroom or something.

I don't... I don't even... Is this real life?

I swear, I am not making this up.

PHEW. Thank goodness for that reassurance. And it's a good thing he included the polite "thank you" at the end or the whole thing might have felt a little desperate.

Hey, you know what, at least he is consistent in his misspelling of "buzy."

We can now add Exhibit F to the evidence of his deep, abiding respect for women.

Wait, guys, I was wrong. He was totally kidding. I almost missed the smiley face with the tongue sticking out at the end.

And now, for the the icing on the cake, the cherry on top, the caramelized sugar on the crème brûlée, and every other dessert cliché that applies...

Not a lot of people know that? I wonder why that is? Perhaps because it's not a topic you bring up to just anybody. Jail and DUIs aren't exactly dinner party fodder. But it's definitely appropriate to tell a bunch of random women on the internet who are currently forming an interesting first impression of you.

A person who complains about his or her crazy ex(es) right off the bat automatically has baggage. Of course we all have past experiences that we rather regret or would rather forget, but waving it in front of a potential mate's face just screams I'M BITTER. Not exactly a positive quality.

With a laundry list of exes who are felons, bimbos, crazies, and whores, maybe the common denominator is you.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

This is it. And that's intimidating.

I feel like I'm buzzing with potential, yet not going anywhere with it. I want to be creative. I have the desire, but I lack the inspiration.

I frequently feel like I'm wasting my time. I'm wasting my life. I'm not living in the moment. I'm sort of... waiting. Waiting for life to start. 

I don't want to look back on these years, the years that everyone calls the prime of my life in so many ways, and feel as though I've wasted them on the internet, or laying in bed, and waiting for life to start.

Life is here. Right now. It's happening as I sit here in my newly laundered sheets, wearing my college sweatpants, drinking a makeshift blood orange cosmo at 11:30 p.m. on a Friday. I'm 26. I'm almost 26 and a half. This is it.

All we have is the present. This is it. We don't live in the past. Or in the future. I'm trying, every day, to live in the moment. And it's so much harder than you might think.

There is a man (as there always is) who I've spent a great deal of time thinking about, and who has influenced me in a lot of ways. At the beginning, I thought, "This is it. This is the man I'm going to marry." I'd never met anyone who I'd felt so connected to on so many levels. Same sense of humor, same thought patterns, same neuroses, similar interests... and of course, a wild physical attraction.

Sadly, marriage was not in the cards with this man. He didn't have the strong feelings that I did. And he was completely honest about it.

Now, usually when I receive clear verbal communication that a man is not interested, I'm able to move on. I'm sad for awhile, and then it's over. With this man, I've struggled more than I ever have to move on. For a long time, I was unable to stop thinking about him.

Being the natural-born analyzer that I am, I've asked myself why this man has had such a hold on my psyche. Part of the problem is that I've remained "friends" with him. I was unwilling to relinquish all contact with him. So we're Facebook friends, and we talk on occasion (although only when I initiate).

However, it's more than that. Because of the connection I felt with him, my interactions with all other men (at this time) seem, well... insufficient. It's not that the men themselves are insufficient. It's the feelings. The connection... or lack thereof. I feel as though I've had a taste of what I'm supposed to feel like with a man, and anything less is just not gonna do it for me.

It's like I've had Ketel One, and now Burnett's just ain't cutting it. I've splurged on the $200 hair salon, and now I can't bring myself to return to Hair Cuttery.

There's also a third part of this man's hold on me that brings me back to the original point of the post. This man is talented, driven, and tireless. He has a great job, his dream job, in fact. And yet he pursues additional passions on the side. He's a tremendous writer and performer, and he actually brings his creative ideas to life.

When a man is worthy of admiration, the saying goes that men want to be him, and women want to be with him. In this case, I want both. And since being with him is not an option, perhaps his role in my life is to inspire me to be the person I know that I'm capable of being. To help me figure out my goals, and then go achieve them.

When I think about what he's accomplished, it makes me want to write. To perform. To create. To be worthy of the admiration that I (and many others) feel for him. To stop waiting and wasting, and instead achieve greatness.

I have hope that one day I'll meet someone else who makes me feel the way he did. Until then, I will try to concentrate on myself and my goals. It's a hard thing to do. Something I've struggled with a lot. But since all I have is now, I'm trying to make now count. Because this is it.