Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I'm just not that into him



Alright here's the story, in a nutshell - the reason I've been sitting in my cubicle scowling at the world today:


Last spring I met a guy. A HOT guy. He was hanging out at a friend's bar and we hit it off ... well I guess we did anyway, I was slightly um, drunk. He told me a few things about himself and as you can imagine, something in my gin-soaked mind scrambled the facts a bit (funny how that works). Well at work the next day I related what I remembered to my boss - this being that the guy is a stripper at a gay strip club..... well lo and behold I'd given the guy my real phone number and he called. Turns out he was not a stripper, but an MMA fighter.... This, I decided (not thinking it through properly) was hot. I went out with him and had a surprisingly good time. His calls were a bit sporadic, and we went on a couple of dates before the calls stopped. I moved on pretty quickly, no big deal...


Ok, flash forward to about a week ago.


I get a call from a number I don't know. I let it go to voicemail, and it turned out to be him. I call back and we chat. It's nice, so for a couple of days I chat a couple of times with him and we text back and forth. He tells me his mom died and he's looking to finally settle down. What girl doesn't want to hear that from a nice-looking guy? (well not the mom part, that is terrible. I was talking about the settle down part). As I talk to him I keep thinking, "he's being a little aggressive, but we did know each other from before so maybe that's why"....


Flash forward to this morning. Bear in mind it has only been a WEEK.


I want this guy to GO AWAY. He calls and texts constantly, and sends phone pics of whatever he happens to be doing. He asks me crazy questions that I don't want to answer, like what my salary is and how much I weigh and am I willing to move for a relationship. When I told him I wasn't going to tell him what I make he told me if we're going to be together he needs to know so we can combine our salaries! AAAH! BE TOGETHER?!? Who says that? This isn't a Lifetime movie, dude. As for my weight? My response to that was "none of your damn business" ... which apparently was his cue to GUESS (and incidentally, he guessed 15 pounds OVER what I actually weigh). Also:


• He hates beer. I don't know if I can handle that. In fact, his drink is an appletini with Sprite.

• He asked me if I'm into tanning. I'm a ginger, stupid. I don't tan.

• He has tribal armband tattoos.

• His job is a little sketchy - I'm not sure he makes what he says he does.

• He works part time at Abercrombie & Fitch - the store that makes me want to spontaneously iron.

• He's an MMA fighter. He likes beating the shit out of people. Red flag anyone?

• He listens to house music.

• He actually asked me "have you ever seen a dick before?"


And in all that communication overload, he hasn't actually tried to take me on a date. So here I am, positive that this guy can't possibly be any more wrong for me, or any more right for a VH1 reality show, when I get a text from him that says this:


"Um, if I'M gonna come up this weekend we need to plan it."


At that point, the tiny shred of control I was holding onto completely disintegrated. Ten seconds later, he called. This time, I answered. This is basically how it went. Yes, he did actually say these things:


Him: "I need more attention. I need lots of attention."

Me: "Obviously."

Him: "You could text more during the day, and before you go to bed."

Me: "Ummmmmm.........?"

Him: "I need to hear from you like that. All the time. It's the little things, girl."

Me: "I have to go."

Him: "Are you on your way to work?"

Me: "I've already been at work for 2 hours. I have to go now."

Him: "I'm on my way to work now. Call me when you get off, ok?"

Me: "Meeeeeeh."

Him: "Is something wrong? are you ok?"

Me: "I'm working."

Him: "Be sure to call me."

Me: "Bye."


So....... yeah I was a little frosty to him. It did feel a little like I was kicking a puppy, but I need a little less CRAZY in my life right now. It sounds harsh, but whatever he's going through and trying to drag me into is not my problem. I got a text at one point that said "it's ok, I still luv ya"... and it caused me physical pain. This guy has to peace out while is still have my sanity.


----


Ok, so to take a cue from Demetri Martin, I made a chart about how hot a guy is vs. how much crazy I will tolerate:

The line represents my interest level. You know, I can tolerate some crazy in a really hot guy. But it's all relative. The crazier you are, the hotter you gotta be. But if you notice it gets to a point where I don't care how f*cking hot you are, you need to take that crazy and get it away from me, or I will run far, far away from you. The star represents the guy I've been talking about. It's not a perfect chart, but you get the idea.


-----


Flash forward to now.


As you can probably guess, I didn't have to call him. He called me. I was nice, kept is short, and didn't give him a chance to talk or whine. It's done though, and I am relieved.... well at least I hope it's done. I don't want to have to bust out the story I have on tap about how my six cats (all with Bible names of course, and all my little angels) are looking for a daddy, but they are very choosy and can tell if a guy is unsuitable....... yeah that's a good one, but I guess I'll save it for another time.


I wish this guy good luck, and I hope he gets his shit together.


I hope the next guy I meet is normal. There's only so much of this I can take.

Monday, December 28, 2009

The new me

2008 was a year of tragedy for me and my family, but also a year of hope. We found strength in each other, as we held on to hope and faith. I remember crying a lot. I remember seeing helpless tears roll down the faces of the people I love most in this world - and wishing there was something I could do besides pray about what was happening. I had the worst day of my life three or four times in a matter of weeks.


In 2008 my family also saw miracles that came out of those hard times. We all changed and grew, and for reasons only God understands, most of us survived to see 2009.... against incredible odds.


Fun right?


Well, 2009 was much different. First of all, it was happy. It was fun to date someone and get close to him, and I was so happy in the relationship for most of the year. I learned how to be around someone else, how to compromise schedules, and I really really enjoyed having someone to cook for. Also, with the exception of a few economy-related glitches, my job was going very well and I was feeling confident and satisfied there too. I guess you could say for most of this year, I was in a nice safe warm bubble, thinking only about how lucky and happy I was. If anything brought me down, I had someone to lean on ...


Except that I didn't. The relationship ended very abruptly, which broke my heart and threw me into turmoil. I didn't get a promotion that I wanted very badly, and for a while it felt like my happy year had fallen apart....


Well, maybe it did. Looking back, I know it needed to happen. The guy I was dating had really ended the relationship long before, and was keeping me around to amuse him when he didn't have anything else going on. Also, no matter how I felt about that promotion going to someone else, I can't let it affect my attitude or the quality of my work. All I can say is, these two events began a new chapter in my life. Were they tragedies like in 2008? nope.... not even close... why get all hung up? Well ...


Here I am, determined to finish this year on an even higher note than it started on. There's no such thing as no regrets, and that's fine with me.


----


I think that sometimes when things end or don't go exactly as I plan, there is a reason. I still go to work and sometimes think "I can't believe they pay me to do this" which means I'm probably in the right place right now ... and no matter what title I have, I know I'm a valuable member of a team of amazing people.


As for love, well my favorite quote about love is actually from the movie "Playing By Heart" which is a chick flick pretty much nobody saw, despite it's all star cast. Sean Connery's character explains love to his wife, and it's one of those things that popped into my head as I went through my big breakup:


"The wonderful thing about falling in love is you learn everything about that person and so quickly. And if it's true love, then you start to see yourself through their eyes. And it brings out the best in you. It's almost as if you're falling in love with yourself."


I think it's safe to say that the guy I thought I was so in love with did not bring out the best in me... not even close. He did teach me something valuable though - not to compromise on what I want. I mean, I know I'm not going to get the fairy tale, but I do need someone who not only makes my heart beat faster, but will compliment me and motivate me to be a better, stronger person.


----


There is no point in going through something if you don't learn from it. I learned, and I'm different now. I learned this year that I can't always have what I want when I want it. Looking at the big picture, I have to trust that things happen for a reason, and my time is coming. What else? Well I'm happy that I'm not with someone who doesn't appreciate or deserve me. I'm happy and thankful to be employed, and I have a great support system all around me in family and friends.


So here's the new me. I'm stronger, and less willing to compromise on anything thats important to me, just for the sake of keeping some guy around. I'm thankful for what I have. I'm motivated to work on myself, enjoy being single, and love my life. I'll take the lessons learned in my failed relationship and apply them to a new, healthier, and better relationship. In short, I'm ending 2009 a better me, and starting 2010 with hope and enthusiasm.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Holiday for the Rest of Us


Frank Costanza: "Many Christmases ago, I went to buy a doll for my son. I reached for the last one they had, but so did another man. As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way."

Cosmo Kramer: "What happened to the doll?"

Frank Costanza: "It was destroyed. But out of that a new holiday was born: a Festivus for the rest of us!"

Kramer: "That must have been some doll."

Frank Costanza: "She was."


Watch the complete story of Festivus HERE.


That's right folks, in case you have forgotten, today is Festivus! And let me tell you, I'm a fan. So get out your aluminum pole and let's start with the airing of grievances. Here are some of mine:


First of all, I don't like that this time of year is all about shopping and presents and STUFF. I mean, Christmas is supposed to be about the birth of Christ, but I get so distracted by those dancing GAP commercials that I forget all about little eight pound, six ounce, newborn baby Jesus. In fact, why is it that by the time Christmas finally rolls around, I feel like Jesus will hate me if I haven't spent hundreds of dollars buying the crap these obnoxious commercials are peddling?


Second, why is it that people in this city lose their mind as soon as they get behind the wheel? I have to drive in this crap traffic every day of my life and just ONCE I'd like to arrive at my destination without having a near death experience. Nevermind if it's drizzling or worse out ... people need to pull their fat little heads out of their fat little asses and learn to operate a vehicle before I buy a tank and start just mowing over them.


The media needs to quit making stars out of assholes like John & Kate, the ballon kid family, octomom, and anybody named Palin who didn't run for vice president (and yes, I'm including that boy-skank Levi Johnston). I mean, the Johnston didn't even SHOW his Johnston in Playgirl (but we heard about it anyway.... a LOT), and I STILL can't buy groceries without seeing Kate's stupid haircut.


What else pissed me off this year?


• Cash for Clunkers

• My credit limit cut in HALF without warning, thus affecting my credit score

• Brett Favre cried on TV AGAIN and then signed with the Packers' biggest rival

• There are too many calories in EVERYTHING I like to eat

• Family Guy started being nearly unwatchable

• My gym closed

• My favorite bar closed

• The economy SUCKS, but companies that were granted bailout money spent it on retreats and raises instead of hiring people

• Car commercials shout at me

• I dated a guy for almost a year who didn't so much as get me a card on my birthday


ooooh I guess that's enough grievances. In writing I look a lot more of a bitter barbie than I actually am... so what's next?


Cosmo Kramer: "And is there a tree?"

Frank Costanza: "No, instead, there's a pole. It requires no decoration. I find tinsel distracting."

Frank Costanza: "It's made from aluminum. Very high strength-to-weight ratio."


No, I don't have a pole of any sort at my place. Sorry. I also wasn't able to wrestle the head of the household to the ground... because well, it's me. So for this part of my Festivus celebration I just fell over and rolled around a little on the floor, Tyler Durden style.


Jerry Seinfeld: "And wasn't there a Feats of Strength that always ended up with you crying?"

George Costanza: "I can't take it anymore! I'm going to work! Are you happy now?!"

Frank Costanza: "I've brought one of the cassette tapes."

Frank Costanza (on a tape recorder): "Read that poem."

George Costanza (on a tape recorder): "I can't read it, I need my glasses."

Frank Costanza (on a tape recorder): "You don't need glasses! You're just weak, weak!"

Estelle Costanza (on a tape recorder): (shouts) "Leave him alone!"

Frank Costanza (on a tape recorder): "All right, George. It's time for the Festivus Feats of Strength!"

George Costanza: "No! No! Turn it off! No Feats of Strength! I hate Festivus!"

Frank Costanza: "We had some good times."


Finally, there is the matter of Festivus miracles. Since my day has only just begun, the jury is still out.


So, happy Festivus everyone! and remember, Festivus yes! Bagels no!


Hallelujah holy sh*t.... where's the Tylenol?


Friday, December 18, 2009

The wow factor


If I have learned anything from watching that VH1 show "Tough Love" it is this: men judge women by their wow factor, which does not, apparently, mean looks. In fact, the show has been explicitly clear that a man will notice a talented, smart and funny woman over one who looks like Heidi Klum.


HA.


I'm sorry, give me a second to compose myself here.


...


...


...



Ok, ok. I know most men are not so shallow that they can go on looks alone. But as far as initial attraction? From what I know, men are WAY more visual than women. No, I'm not talking short skirts or boobie-bearing tops, but I don't think a man is going to approach a woman unless he likes the way she looks. Likewise, a woman is not going to respond to that man unless she likes what she sees AND hears. The show went on to illustrate in it's scripted, trite way that a man will respond to something non-visual that sets a hot woman apart from the others, called the "wow factor".


Hmmmm, ok I'll bite. I think the general idea is that your looks will reel him in, but won't keep him around. There has to be something unique there, a woman has to stand out. I mean, strippers are usually hot, but men for the most part don't want to date them because the only wow factor they assume they have is looks and well, flexibility - because of what they do for a living, they don't really have any perceived personality.


Ok so I think I'm gonna have to test this, and see if it works. Wow factors? Think I'll make another of my fantastic lists. Be prepared to be impressed:


• I am willing to rap at karaoke night

• I can run, hop, skip and jump in six inch heels

• I can moonwalk in six inch heels (this one deserved its own bullet point)

• I know more about sports than the average guy, and could probably school him in fantasy football

• I can drive a stick shift

• I have never had sex with Tiger Woods, Bill Clinton, Kobe Bryant, anyone from a VH1 reality show or any U.S. Senator

• I can bake like Martha Stewart

• I'm a huge fan of trivia and know a lot of useless factoids

• I paint

• I'm a huge music fan - my interests are all over the board, from Rachmaninoff to Zepplin to Jay-Z ...


Well, looking at this list, I'm not sure how to work all these things in when trying to impress someone. I guess I could wear a t-shirt that says them all, but then I would just assume the guy is staring at my gazoongas (and he very well could be, I have nice ones). A list of crap that I happen to do well isn't going to impress anybody is it? So what to do?!?


I had to use a couple of lifelines on this one - I asked a few guys what makes THEM go up to a girl in a bar, and then what keeps them interested. Well several of my guy friends did tell me that approaching a difficult thing to do - there has to be something about her that makes her approachable in addition to what she looks like. My friend Richard told me back in his single days, if a girl looked like she was laid back and having a good time, he'd be more likely to strike up a conversation. Chris told me something that initially attracts him is a cute face, but if she isn't able to keep up an intelligent conversation he'll walk away. As far as a wow factor? I don't think a girl needs to brag, or demonstrate some off-the-wall skill or talent. I really think all you have to do once a guy decides to approach and strike up a conversation is to relax and not act like a ditzy idiot. There is nothing worse than an intelligent girl who thinks it's cute to act like she's dumb as a rock. The common thread when I asked my guy friends what they think is this: a girl has to be confident, laid back, and comfortable in her own skin no matter what - and that's what will keep them around. So yeah, it starts off with visual attraction 9 times out of 10, but has to be so much more than that to last, unless you are Spencer and Heidi.


So ladies, I say just do you - and someone will like you for it, and want to stick around to find out more. This really isn't something you necessarily need to learn from a VH1 reality show, but if it points us single girls in the right direction (that direction being toward Mr. Right) then so be it.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Don't make me kick you


Ok, I'm 28 years old, single, and starting to think that so many unattached guys my age are that way because they have no idea how to treat a girl. So, because I really really hate going on bad, sometimes painful dates one after the other, I'm going to give some tips. I'm over it guys, you need to figure out what your attached brethren already know about the fairer sex and what we do and do not respond to. (Yes, I see the double standard - I'm single, yet giving the other party advice. Don't read this if that bothers you, because I'm not holding back on this post. If you have a problem, get your own blog and tell me all about it.)


Since college, I've been on a lot of awful first dates and very few good ones. What makes a good first date? Well I've been thinking about it, and have decided that the tone of a date is set before it even happens, with the initial approach and meeting - and goes from there.


Part #1: the approach


To start this off I want to say, please please please don't hit on me. Don't give me a cheesy line, compliment ANY body part or touch me before you get some sign back that I am interested. Don't assume that buying me a drink means I owe you anything. Also, if you are wasted, wrinkled or smell bad, just go ahead and know beyond the shadow of a doubt that it won't work, and I will try and escape your presence as quickly as possible. Staring from afar also makes you look like a crazy person, as does winking. Staring up close? even worse.


What will work is very simple, ok? All you need to do is start a real conversation. If I think a guy is talking to me because he wants to know what I have to say, I'll stick around and chat. I have to form some kind of connection with a guy that's about more than just physical attraction, even right off the bat. I won't want to see you again if i think all you want is sex...end of story. I have to feel comfortable with a guy, and in order for that to happen he has to be comfortable and confident around me. I have to feel respected.


So how do you know if I'm into you? Well, if I seem interested in what you are saying, I probably am. If I'm looking over your shoulder or around the room, or if little things are distracting me you might want to move along. If I'm leaning away or inching backwards, that's not a good sign either. Simple body language can tell you a lot. When you first meet me, it's pretty easy to see if I want to stick around and hang out with you or not. Just pay attention. Also if you ask for my number and I give you a business card, I'm probably not into you actually calling me - I've found a business card to be a pretty good deterrent, even though it has my real number on it. If I write it on a napkin or have you put it in your phone, then call me!


Part #2: The follow-up


Just call me - it's pretty simple. Don't text or email if it's a first date, you need to grow a pair and make a real phone call.... and none of this waiting three days or whatever. That is a stupid rule. If you want to talk to me, then call me - no need to wait. I can potentially meet someone new in three days, and then you'll have missed your chance. If you wait longer than that, then I'll just assume you called out of boredom or I'm not your first choice to hang out with.


Part #3: the first date


I know this sounds bitchy, but on a first date, don't EVER assume that you are "in" or that I am impressed. In fact, for the first several dates while I am trying to get to know you, you are on trial. It may not be a completely fair system, but I don't want anybody wasting my time. If you just want to date a pretty girl, go find a different one. I'm looking for a relationship, so the second I see that a guy isn't right for me, I'm going to move on.


Ok, let's start with do list. Most of these seem really intuitive, but they are all based on personal first date experiences I've had, so ...


• Open all doors, including car doors. It's just common courtesy and polite. It shows you are attentive and a gentleman.

• Put your phone on vibrate, and expect me to do the same. If you are expecting an important call, let me know at the beginning of the date.

• Shower and clean up before the date. I don't care if you are taking me to a cave, you've got to smell good. I once went out with a guy who confessed to me halfway through the meal that he hadn't washed his hair in weeks. That is gross. If you gross me out, I'm gone.

• Pick me up. It shows you are willing to go out of your way for me and happy to do it.

• Be on time. I should repeat this one. BE. ON. TIME. I mean, stuff happens sometimes - and just call if it does, but if at all possible show up on time for a first date.

• Plan what you want to do ahead of time. If we show up to a restaurant and have to wait an hour for a table, we might have to rush through dinner in order to make movie times, or miss whatever we were gonna do next altogether. Also, if we don't know each other very well, our conversation standing outside a crowded restaurant for an hour would be strained. You get bonus points if you ask what kind of food I like ahead of time and plan accordingly.

• Pay for the meal. Ok, this is a first date. I don't care what the price range of the restaurant is, so just go with your budget and what you can afford. That's why you pick the place, not me - but you asked me out to dinner. I will offer to help with the check, but if you take me up on it or make a big deal out of paying, I'm going to think you're either cheap, have no class or are not that into me.


Now the don'ts.


• Don't talk about your exes, or ask about mine. I don't want to hear about her.

• Don't ask me for my student i.d. to get cheap movie tickets. I'm almost 30 and not a doctor. I don't still have an effing student i.d. If you are my age and gainfully employed, suck it up and pay full price for a couple of movie tickets. I realize we are all pinching our pennies these days, but we'll find ways to cheat the system later on if this thing between us goes somewhere, ok?

• Don't expect me to invite you into my place when you drop me off. I'm not going to on a first date.

• Don't expect me to walk through grass or jump puddles. Note the footwear - not usually all-terrain friendly.

• Don't make decisions or speak for me. I order for myself, got it?

• Don't comment on the hotness of any other nearby women. Ever.

• Don't get drunk. I'm not going to, it just makes you look sloppy. Plus, you're driving, remember?

• Don't touch me unless I touch you first. I may not be that into you, but more than likely I'm just not that comfortable with you yet and need to get to know you a bit better before I start with physical contact.

• Don't fill every second with stories that are meant to impress me. Name-dropping, college drunken escapades, pranks, etc. usually don't make good first date stories, and make you look like you are desperate for some sort of coolness validation and are trying too hard. Either that or you are somehow trying to hold on to that careless time in your life a little too hard. Talking my ear off is just going to end up being annoying. I want to get to know who you are now, not who you were in college. If you are still acting like a college guy, I'm not going to be impressed. At all.



First dates are tricky for both sides. I always try and act like I'm having a good time, because I like to give a guy the benefit of doubt. I know it is easier said than done, but all I want from a guy is for him to be himself ... it gets us both through the bullshit faster. If you are trying to impress me, you probably won't succeed. If you relax and show me who you really are and what makes you tick - if you are confident and respectful, that is very sexy.


-----


At first, it can be really easy to scare me off. A first date is where we both decided if a connection is real, so we each put the other through a series of tests whether we realize it or not. I know I want to make the most honest first impression I possibly can, so you feel like you are really getting to know me - and I want the same from you.


But like I said, with me it starts with the approach. As Wayne Gretzky said, "You miss 100% of the shots you never take." We may not be right for each other, but neither of us will ever know unless one of us makes a move to get to know the other a bit better. I realize this post was a bit harsh, and believe me, I make way too many dating mistakes for my own good .... hmmmmm maybe to make it fair I'll address those mistakes in another post......

Sunday, December 6, 2009

My grown-up Christmas list


Dear Santa,


I guess you don't get many letters from grownups. Maybe it's because we can't email or text you - gotta do it the old fashioned way. The last time I wrote to you I wanted legos and a sewing machine. 8-year-old me would be appalled that my grown-up list has gotten so BORING and PRACTICAL. I want things that don't really sound like a whole lot of fun. I guess it's another thing about growing up that I didn't understand until it happened to me. I guess we learn not to wish for what we can't feasibly have ....


So this year, while I can say I want new kitchen knives, a Swiffer Wet and gift cards to the grocery store, I'd rather let my brain dream those impossible dreams like I did as a kid. I mean, is it really all that fun to put gift cards on my list? Not really. Santa, I want fun and Christmas magic!


Also, I think we need to be clear on what it means to have been good all year.... when I was 8 it just meant I listened to my parents most of the time and didn't hit or bite other little kids. I had to share my toys and not lock my little brother in the hall closet. That's about it, right? Well Santa, it's a little harder to define "good" when you're a grownup. Not locking anybody in any closet or confined space is a given, grownups don't really bite each other and we're nice to our parents because somewhere along the line it became important for everyone to get along and we found real respect for them.... that stuff is all common sense that comes with adulthood most of the time. I mean, now we have to do well at work, consider other people (not just those we're tied to in some way) pay our bills, etc. There are a lot more factors.


I guess I've been good this year most of the time. So that makes it list time right? Here we go. Draft #1 of the dream list. I want:


• Gerard Butler, wearing nothing but a stocking and a smile.


• A leopard print Snuggie. So I can watch tv, read a book and sit in my office without freezing my nips off. Maybe if you're feeling really magical and generous you will give me two of them in case Captain Butler (that's what I'm gonna call him) gets cold too.... I mean, we can't have that can we?


• An all expense paid vacation to ANYwhere ... especially HERE.


• Christian Louboutin Mad Mary Janes.


• Snow. I want to get snowed in somewhere beautiful at least once this year..... probably will have to leave Charlotte for this one.


• Hollywood to stop making Christmas Carol movies. Now THAT would be a Christmas miracle (bonus if Jim Carrey stops making movies too).


• A new NC State Athletic Director... also new football and basketball coaches, and maybe some talent on the teams.


• Johnny Depp, wearing nothing but a stocking and a smile. Or no smile, I really don't care. Guess I'll need three Snuggies.



• To star as an ass-kicking heroine in a zombie movie. Preferably one where I can wear something made entirely of tight leather.


• To have a beer with the gang at Paddy's Pub.



• Motivation to go to the gym more than once a week.


• My own Pinball machine.


Well there you go Santa. 8-year-old Merissa would be proud of this list. It shows imagination and has great potential for fun! So get on it - only 18 days left!!! Your cookies are in the oven and will be waiting for you by the fireplace, along with an ice cold glass of milk!


xoxo


M

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Jingle bells, Batman smells


It's only November 25, Thanksgiving hasn't even happened yet, and already I'm tired of seeing holiday stuff everywhere. Stores start shoving Christmas down our throats earlier and earlier each year, and I think this year it started even before the Easter Bunny hopped back into his rabbit hole. Well, maybe not that early.... but I was seeing Christmas decorations in stores in September!!!


The holidays are already a lot of pressure. They aren't supposed to be though. No matter what you believe, holidays are supposed to be a time of joy! We're supposed be happy, enjoy and appreciate those close to us, and celebrate what we believe and live for.


Here's the thing though - I'm starting to feel the same way about the Christmas season as I do about a really really mean bully. Here are the reasons:


• Retail retail retail ... seriously, I don't want to be looking at Christmas kitsch while I'm still trying to decide on a Halloween costume! Red and green are NOT fall colors and I am NOT ready to start shopping yet! There are several significant holidays that are starting to get buried under Christmas rubble and most of all, nobody wants the Christmas season to last four months! Cut it out stores. Let me eat my turkey and pumpkin pie in peace.


• The airwaves ... Ok I'm going to say something that will shock many of you. Christmas music isn't that good. That's right.


Let's think about music for a second. Most of what gets produced is pretty disposable - a song is released, it gets airtime, and then it goes away when people get tired of it or the artist releases something else. EXCEPT CHRISTMAS MUSIC. Think of how many times you've heard any single by Mariah Carey compared to how many times you've heard that shitfest "All I Want For Christmas Is You" that she made back in nineteen ninety-something. That's right. If that were a non-holiday song it would have been played for two weeks and people would have been sick of it because it's TERRIBLE. It's a total music double-standard and I'm sick of it year after year. What time of the year can you still hear music by N'Sync played on a regular basis? Christmastime!


sidenote: You know that tearjerker song about the kid who buys his mom those mega expensive shoes because she's dying? Think about it. First of all, what's a dying woman gonna do with Jimmy Choos? How does some little kid know his mom's shoe size? And why can't he read the price tag and realize he doesn't have nearly enough money to pay for them.... well I'll tell you. That kid is running a scam on that dumb guy behind him in line. His mom is not dying and he returned those shoes the next day. Bam. Free money. I bet he went and bought a Wii with it. Tug our heartstrings, get a Wii. Nice. (Thanks Britney)


• Television ... November = time for Christmas movies, apparently. I have a lot of the same criticism for most Christmas movies as I do for Christmas songs, but the difference is a movie is around two hours while a song is only about 3 minutes. Like songs, Christmas movies recycle ideas like crazy. I mean, ANOTHER Christmas Carol was released a couple of weeks ago! How many Christmas Carol movies do we REALLY need? Well I googled it, and there are over 200 versions including a porno! My point is, 3-D or not, we didn't need another one. Seriously, it wasn't even Dickens' best work (that was Great Expectations, my favorite book EVER). Also, who wants to go see a Christmas Movie in the middle of November? Who's brain fart of a release date was that?


Another thing... please please please for your own sanity avoid those made for tv movies starring Kathy Ireland, Valerie Bertinelli Tim Allen or anyone else who can't get work these days (Lindsay Lohan as a cokewhore elf anyone?). Just say no!


There are, however, some really good Christmas movies, so howabout you bypass the sappy made-for tv or straight to video abominations and check out one of these:


• A Christmas Story

• National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (the first one ONLY)

• How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the original animated one. If you get the Jim Carrey one I will cut you))

• Elf

• Miracle on 34th Street (either is fine, but I like the original better)

• A Charlie Brown Christmas

• Die Hard

• Love Actually

• The Nightmare Before Christmas


• Santa Claus: The Movie (not the Tim Allen one. This one is actually good and that whiny, spoiled kid is not in it)

• Scrooged (because it's Bill Murray, that's why)

• Any of the claymation Christmas movies, like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

• The Muppet Christmas Carol (just forward through the parts where anyone but a muppet sings and you'll love it)


• Television part II .... that's right. Commercials!!! Dear GAP, Kay Jewelers, Lexus, Hallmark, Jared The Galleria of Jewelry, Victoria's Secret, Zales and anyone else who will be assaulting my eyes and ears with jingles, dancing, guilt trips and stupid taglines. STOP IT. You aren't doing anything for me but activating my vomit reflex. Seriously, if I hear "every kiss begins with Kay" one more time I'm going to stab myself in the ear with a butter knife.


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Ok my last grievance is going to be really hard to express without making me sound like a total ass. I'll preface it by saying I love giving to charities, people in need, etc. I give what time and money I can, in the spirit of helping and in the spirit of the season. But there is so much pressure coming from all sides from organizations and charities for more and more and more - it loses something. Instead of generosity and giving, it becomes obligation and guilt and taking. I recently read in the local paper that the Salvation Army is adding credit card swipers to their buckets!! It's that "give us more" mentality that turns people off to it. I mean, I've always dropped money into every one of those buckets I see throughout the holiday season. If I swipe my card, yeah I'll give more but I'm likely to only do it once. It's almost like greed is replacing charity, and that is dangerous.


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So yeah, I think a combination of all this overload of commercialized crap is what is ruining Christmastime these days. We are supposed to celebrate life and giving and love. We are supposed to be thankful for all that we have been given and for the people who mean the most to us. Instead we feel pressure, guilt and stress. Everything around us assaults our senses and irritates us instead of lifting us up. We forget what Christmas is all about. We lose the true meaning of the holiday and never truly celebrate it....


I realize I sound like a total Scrooge, and we all know that there are already too many of those! I can't do anything about the Christmas attack that stores, radio and tv have waged on this country, but I can do something about my attitude. This year, Christmas season starts on Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. I'm going to remember what the season truly represents, and I'm going to embrace the joy that comes with that meaning. Until then, I'm going to gorge myself on turkey and cranberry sauce and stuffing. I'm going to watch football on the couch in a delicious overstuffed food coma.


Gobble gobble.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Letter to Yoga

Dear Yoga,


We reconnected recently during what I can only hope is a period of self improvement for me. You enticed me with a promise that you can center my mind, body and sprit like no one else can, whispering sweet words like "I can give you the muscle tone you've always dreamed of" and "find the balance and flexibility you never had in my arms." Oh Yoga, you had me. I wanted those things with every fiber of my poorly toned body. All my flabby soft bits cried out for your love. For a short blissful period of time I thought maybe what happened between us years ago was all in the past and we could move forward and have a lasting relationship full of good energy and relaxation and balance....


But Yoga, you BITCH. As I unrolled my brand new purple mat and tied my hair up, I was giddy with excitement. Soft music filled the room, the lights dimmed and I began to form my first pose. But then, something happened to me Yoga. Something terrible and unnatural.... It was a feeling I had forgotten I could feel. What was it Yoga? What was it that you did to me as I balanced and stretched and tried to keep up?


PAIN, Yoga. That is what I was feeling. How could you do this to me? At first I thought, It's me. I've gone and pulled a muscle and it's my fault. Yoga would never twist my body and cause such a cruel thing to happen. Yoga wants to make me a better, stronger and more centered person... right? Oh Yoga, how you had poor little me fooled. But I didn't pull a muscle did I? That pain should have been a warning. It was my body's way of crying out! Saying stop it Yoga! Stop doing this to me! What have I done to deserve being contorted and stretched beyond all human limits!?!


Yes Yoga, the honeymoon is over and our true colors have come out. I could say it's not you, it's me, but I just can't. Because it is you, Yoga. My mind, body and spirit are disappointed in what you have shaped me into. You didn't relax me or make me feel better, you made me MAD and SORE. I suppose we could meet each other halfway and try to resolve and strengthen our relationship, but I know you will not change. Even now I am sitting in a blob on the floor, too defeated to pull myself into my chair and type normally.... I can't even look at you Yoga. Once again, we must part ways. It's best for both of us I think. Perhaps in the future we will be able to form some sort of timid friendship, but for now ...


... don't call me.


love,


M

Monday, November 16, 2009

Things I am thankful for


Ok, I know that Thanksgiving is still 2 weeks away, but as someone who's been feeling down lately I have decided that it is a perfect time for me to stop dwelling on negatives and look at all the wonderful things in my life that I have to be thankful for.


There are all the big things, like I have a loving family, awesome friends, a cool job, cool apartment, etc. etc.... That was what you expected me to start listing off right? Well I am MOST thankful for all those people and things, but I thought a list about the little goofy things I love would be much more fun.


So here it is, I call it my "little things" list. I am thankful for:


• Chuck Norris. Start the list off right. I mean, who ISN'T thankful for Chuck Norris?


• Patent leather. Because it's awesome and shiny and comes in all colors of the rainbow. If you want to see me strut around like I own the world, put me in a pair of patent heels and just watch it happen.


• My Stewie pants. Fleece Stewies dancing all over my legs... need I say more? Best. Pants. Ever.


• People named Bruce. Bruce Willis, Bruce Campbell, Bruce Wayne, Bruce Lee, Bruce Springsteen, Dr. Bruce Banner...... even the robot shark in Jaws was named Bruce!


• More cowbell. Because I gotta have it.


• Guilty Pleasure TV. Real Housewives, Toddlers and Tiaras, Bridezillas, etc.... yeah I watch all that mindless crap and LOVE it.


Just about anything on the Food Network.


Any movie with either Jason Statham or Gerard Butler.


• Salted caramel brownies from Amelie's Bakery in NoDa. To die for!


• Football season. Even though my teams aren't doing very well ...


• Basketball season. Even though my teams aren't doing very well ... except the Spurs. Come to think of it ....


• Tim Duncan and the Spurs. It's time for Timmy to get another ring. Suck it Kobe!


• French Roast coffee. Black - no need to spoil the taste by adding a bunch of stuff.


• Seinfeld reruns. "Why don't we fly up to the moon and then drive around? That is the essence of male thinking right there!" Good stuff...


• Sushi. I could eat my weight in it.


• The guy who stood in front of me in line at the grocery store. I don't know who he was, but he had a great ass so I'm grateful he was there and had lots of groceries so I could take a nice long look.


• Tim Burton movies (exception: Planet of the Apes. blech.). As my boss says "only a twisted mind understands a twisted mind..."


• Phones with cameras on them. Because that lets us have websites like this.


• My Mac. Suck it PC.


• Pedicures. Yes, I am very VERY thankful for pedicures.


• Sharp-witted people. Tina Fey, Jon Stewart, Demitri Martin, Joel McHale and Chelsea Handler, I love you all.


• Ninjas. They keep you safe and you don't even know it.


• Any interview with Megan Fox. Keep talking to the press sweetie, your little nuggets of wisdom make me laugh so hard I almost pee myself. I think she is the reason guys wish hot girls came with a mute button.


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Ok, I have to cut myself off here... my happy little list of goodies is getting quite lengthy! Also, It's making me hungry ... so I'll wrap up by saying that I've been so lucky to have what I have and who I have in my life. I have so many things that I am thankful for every single day! I'm sure I'll post more as Thanksgiving approaches, because it really is that time of the year, when we really think about who and what (but especially who) matters to us! Cheers to that!

Monday, November 9, 2009

That's what she said

On paper, keeping a friendship with an ex may look like a good idea. In the case of most of my exes, we were friends first, so why not be friends after the relationship doesn't work out? I mean, if you first bonded over movies and music and whatnot it's not like those interests changed after you broke up, right?


In my opinion, a successful relationship will change you. Maybe your interests stay the same, but that something inside you that initially bonded you to that person usually doesn't after you break up. When one or both of the people calls it quits, the bond is broken and it changes you. So when the smoke clears and you move on, you're different - you have a little bit better of idea what you want from the next person. In the long run, it's a good thing if maybe the friendship doesn't work out - but sometimes realizing this opens a fresh new wound that has to heal all over again. That said...


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I'll admit it. I do stupid things sometimes.


Tonight I did a stupid thing. I messaged my ex online, just too feel him out and see if we'd be able to have a conversation that wasn't either completely awkward or nasty. Go figure, it started out awkward and ended up nasty. Greeeat.


So, while I don't think a post-dating friendship is impossible, I think I'll get my head back on straight and let the possibility of this one die. You know, in the interest of being a bigger person. But sometimes I wonder what would happen if I played the game like him. No wait - I'm smarter and more creative, that means I can potentially play better and meaner. So these are some things he actually said to me tonight, so while my actual responses were much more benign, here is what I wish I had said.... Although I'm sure the conversation would have taken a much more volatile turn if I had. The truth is, letting sleeping dogs lie is not my forte, so you have to realize I practiced extra restraint with what I actually said to him, and the hypothetical responses below are what I was really thinking...


When he said:


"I don't humor people with phony conversation when I don't have anything to say."


Maybe I should have said:


"Well I'm thinking it's more phony that you were only speaking to me in the first place because you were trying to get into my pants... I mean honestly sweetheart, I only started hanging out with your little diva ass in the first place because I thought you were gay and come to think of it I'm still not convinced otherwise."


When he said:


"After dating you for so long, I lost interest."


I should have said:


"Really? You lost interest in someone who's massively hotter than you, who cooked for you and cleaned your kitchen, taxied you back and forth from the airport and took you to the Urgent Care when one of your bubble boy allergies acted up? Who doted on you and did anything you asked? REALLY? Ok stupid, is it possible that junior-sized snap shirt you're wearing is a little tight around the neck and cutting off your circulation, because I think you have some really misguided standards for the 'ideal girlfriend' and I can't wait to see what mousy little thing you can get next. Or even better, get with someone who's as selfish, narcissistic and entitled as you - I wonder how that's gonna work out?"


When he said (mockingly):


"I'm also still a bad boyfriend, extremely immature, and I'm reckless with relationships."


I should have said:


"Yep." (oh wait, I did say that one)


When he said:


"I discarded you a while ago."


I should have said:


"Well that's too bad for you. Because you gave up someone you didn't deserve in the first place. Seriously, that's like throwing a diamond ring in the trash. So what, I was less interesting than your Madden game? Fuck you, you stupid prick."


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So yes, my true feelings come out on the most passive-agressive and self-indulgent medium around - a blog page. Maybe I'm a bitch but the whole thing just pissed me off. Every time I tried to end the conversation he started it all back up - relentless, like a little teacup poodle just snapping at my ankles. I mean, it's been two months and the nastiness is still there. I said in a previous post we'd never be friends and in a moment of weakness I doubted that decision. Look what happened! One hour of online bickering and my mind is made up once again. What a douche.