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.


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!