Monday, August 25, 2014

Pickup FAIL

We have our fair share of regular faces at work, and Waldo is one of them. I've assisted him a couple times, so when he approached me on desk last week, it was not unusual. I mean...that's why I'm there. 

"Do you guys have a bandaid?" 

"Oh...I'm not sure, actually.** If you check with--" 

"I skinned my knee when I was falling for you." 

YES REALLY. I laughed and all I could manage to say was yikes. So you're thinking this is a generic story about Waldo using a generic pickup line on me while I was at work. Why am I wasting your time, right? (Well, for one, a lot of you are at work dicking around right now, so don't play. You were looking for ways to waste your time.) 

So you're thinking, hey good for you! Is Waldo cute? Do you think he was attracted to your fanny pack? 

False. Stop right there. Because he wasn't even really hitting on me. He laughed and apologized and told me his friend sent him that line and said he had to use it right then. And I was "the only viable candidate." I mean are you swooning yet? 

THE ONLY VIABLE CANDIDATE? I looked around the room--and yeah, I was the only woman not eligible to collect social security. I didn't realize I could be MORE turned off by a pickup line--but that did it. 

Waldo introduced himself. "Out of curiosity, would that have worked?" 


"Are you married?"

"No." I assured Waldo that laughing at him would have garnered five seconds of face time before I rejected him. He walked away, apparently satisfied with that result. I, on the other hand, was slightly less satisfied with the interaction.

But yeah to answer your question I do think the fanny pack helped. 

**I actually carry one in my fanny pack and I'm so upset with myself for not remembering that.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Wedding Tips for Singles? Yes really.

I don't know about anyone else, but my facebook feed was blowing up with engagement announcements and wedding photos this weekend. It was a busy weekend. Not for me, of course. I watched a bunch of Disney movies on ABC Family and cleaned my house. (No fighting, boys.)

Thinking about the next round of weddings fills me with a sense of dread. And I'm not just talking about the usual "what if I can't escape the bouquet toss" dread. I mean, yeah that's there because I HATE THE BOUQUET TOSS, but there's more to it this time. It's because I have noticed a disturbing new trend at weddings.

Readers, there is a serious lack of single men at weddings. I was just at one where there was literally ONE single man. I'm not kidding, I did the research. (And it should be noted that there was NOT just one single woman.) A friend attended one with no single men at all! And what's worse, she was the only single person there! What is happening? How can this be? I mean, what's the point of weddings at all, if there are no single men in attendance?

Oh, right.

This disturbance in the Force is going to ruin my usual wedding reception plans. What's a girl to do, if not select a handsome single man and spend her evening flirting? (I know what you're going to say, but cake is only a small part of the reception! What of the rest of the night, hmm?)

Before you, too, find yourself in a barren wasteland, here are some tips that might help pass the time! 

  • Befriend the DJ and request only party songs. No slow dancing around here!
  • If slow dancing does occur, don't worry about finding a partner. (Not that you'll be able to, unless some grandparent takes pity on you.) Instead, interpretive dance around all the couples. Not only does it make couples feel a little awkward, but it's mad fun. 
  • Make the rounds and greet every table. The bride and groom are doing it, and look how much fun they're having! 
  • If the couple put those disposable cameras on the tables, appoint yourself unofficial photographer and get some really good pictures of you standing between any couple who tries to take a nice photo. 
  • Cake. Obvi. 
  • Live tweet the wedding. People love that! (Right? You guys loved when I did it at your weddings, right?)
  • Recruit the children to take over the dance floor with you. The DJ will hopefully have your back on this and--you guessed it--continue to avoid slow songs, as long as their interest holds. 
  • If they lose interest, time for a field trip. More cake. 
  • Cocktail. 
  • You know that really annoying tradition where you clang on your glass and the couple has to kiss? And it interrupts everything? Well that's super annoying when you're trying to get your flirt on, but guess what? You don't have anybody to flirt with! Make everyone suffer with you. 
  • See how far you can move the centerpiece to the left before other people at your table realize and correct it.
Good luck, fellow wedding guests. And remember--as soon as the bride picks up a bouquet and starts towards the dance floor, it's time to use the rest room. Don't run. Just be casual. If you're worried about being called out, hold a tampon in your hand on the way. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Not into texting? Not acceptable.

So there's this guy from my past and things between us were brief, really casual, and undefined. You know, my favorite kind of relationship. I ran into him recently and he was all, "Call me sometime." I didn't really have any reason not to, so I did. (Well, I texted.) What the hell, right? (Regular readers can probably guess that the scenario was more complicated than this--it always is--but you get the idea.) 

Oh you guys, it was bad. Bad. The whole conversation fell so flat I couldn't believe it. I mean, here's this cute (NOT RELEVANT) guy I've flirted with many times in the past, telling me to get in should have been better. I mean...he TOLD ME TO GET IN TOUCH. He started that ball rolling again. And I'll admit that maybe it wasn't my A game flirting, but like...I put in some effort. I tried. I'm not even sure this guy realized there was a game going on. 

My sister witnessed the steady decline of our conversation during lunch and uttered a sentence that brought back a flood of memories. "Maybe he's not into texting." 

NO. No no no. This was a sentence I heard, said, thought, and wrote in my diary throughout high school. And college, let's be real. Texting wasn't that common and was honestly sort of a novelty. I got my first cell phone when I graduated high school--and I was far from the last of my friends to get one. "Not into texting" was an excuse we also used while IMing. We were constantly advising each other to see how he acted in person before judging him--because maybe he's not into typing out his feelings, ok? And ok, so it was new and we were all trying to figure out how relevant it was to text or IM or anything other than a face to face conversation. Maybe it was a valid excuse back then. 

But this is 2014! EVERYONE has a cell phone. Your ten year old cousin can troubleshoot your iPhone issues at Thanksgiving dinner for crying out loud. If you're reading this blog, there's a digital component in all your relationships. It's how we meet each other, select the right person for us, get to know each other, stalk each other, communicate with each other, and if you're my ex it's how we break up with each other. Relationships all rely on technology in some way. 

So I am sorry, but "not into texting"? Is no longer a valid excuse. It's 2014. There is no way it's acceptable to have a weak digital game. It's fine to be better in person (I am) but if you're trying to meet someone, you better be able to flirt using a keyboard. It's fine to prefer face to face conversations, or even phone calls although I haven't met a guy like that in a minute. The thing have to hold someone's interest long enough to get to that point. If you're meeting online or you're a setup or however else people're probably going to have to type a conversation at some point. It's just how things are done. 

So if you can't hold your own via's time to step up your game. Because otherwise I'm going to sit there wondering why the hell you asked me to get in touch.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

A song for a friend.

During the summer that "Call Me Maybe" was unavoidable, my friend M had somehow managed to avoid it. We introduced him to Carly Rae Jepsen at the bowling alley one night because really everyone should know that song. Weeks later, I got a phone call. At a niece's wedding, he'd heard "Call Me Maybe"! And he knew the song! It was the only song he'd known! He signed off, as he would for the next few years, by saying "call me maybe." He called when Glee covered the song a few weeks later, repeating that it was the only song he'd known. In a new aspect of our friendship that I still find charming, he'd call me whenever he heard it. It was a strange homing beacon between us, advice that he took literally.

I don't remember meeting M, but it probably followed a couple showtunes and preceded a few often-told jokes. I'm sure I heard those jokes more than once over the course of our friendship. He regularly asked why I was laughing at such terrible jokes. I never had an answer. Not great with an RSVP, M would breeze in, serenade the crowd, tell the jokes, and settle in. He usually disappeared without fanfare, having mastered the Irish goodbye.

M was fiercely loyal and dedicated. Learning about a problem with a friend, or a hiccup in a project we were working on, he would call and ask what we were going to do to fix things. He gave advice not when you asked, but when he thought you needed it. He asked questions you didn't want to--but needed to--answer. "Why haven't we found a job?" "What's the deal with the boyfriend?" He would also call or show up occasionally, looking for advice for himself.

These stories feel random and haphazard, even to me. But as I try to comprehend that M has passed away, they are the stories I can anchor myself to. It is easier to focus on them than on the cancer that took M from us. It is easier than thinking about his family--his lovely and brilliant wife, his sons and grandson. All the pieces of his life that are now missing him. And writing has always been the way I process. Feelings don't make sense until I can write them down and arrange the words, put them in order.

So here I am. I have other blog posts on the way--I know this isn't what we do around here. Don't worry...I did some flirting and went to a wedding, so that's all on the way. But for now, thanks for sticking around while I try to make sense of real life. Until then, have some Carly Rae. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Why I'm Skipping Fifty Shades

Real Talk: I did read Fifty Shades of Grey. All three books--wait, were there three? Whatever, I read the series. After ignoring the hype for a while, I decided to read them for two reasons. The first was that I was still teaching at that point and most of the other teachers in my building were reading them and going apeshit. I wanted to join the veiled conversations at lunch. But what really made me submit that Amazon order was reason two: the Twilight connection. If you're not familiar, I read that Fifty Shades was originally written and published on the internet as Twilight fan fiction. (Yes, I also read that series.) 

At that point, I HAD to read these books. I had to know. I had to know how close to the Twilight series these books would be. I mean, I understand the general premise: instead of a controlling vampire, he's a controlling business guy with particular sexual interests. It's a jump, but I can kind of see it. 

Have you read both books? Anyone? Feel free to chime in. 

THEY'RE SO SIMILAR. I'm not talking about the general story line. I'm talking about all aspects, minus the sex. He's so mysterious! With copper gleaming hair! And unusual eyes! And no one can figure him out! She's clumsy! And plain! But not really plain because she's actually super pretty! He should stay away from her! But he just can't! And they live in the Pacific Northwest! And EVERY SITUATION IS THE SAME AS TWILIGHT. As I read, I would say, oh we're going to meet his meddling sister now and BAM there she was. That guy will definitely be the bad guy and what do you know, HE WAS. 

So there. I read the books. And yes, you read right--I bought my own copies. After hearing the way my colleagues spoke about these books, and learning how long the wait list was at the library...I decided I really didn't want to handle copies read by dozens of middle aged women. I've heard these books described as mommy porn and porn for bored housewives. Um, I'll take fresh copies thanks. 

So...did I enjoy the books? Nope. I was bored and disappointed. (Hey, more in common with Twilight!) Not to mention a super unhealthy relationship and a portrayal of the BDSM lifestyle that's widely criticized as inaccurate. Sexy!

But now the movie is coming out! And we finally saw Christian Grey! And the Beyonce song! And everyone is losing their shit

There is no way you'll get me to watch that movie, ESPECIALLY in a theater. I WILL NOT sit in a theater and watch socially acceptable porn. Have you ever watched porn with a bunch of other people? I have but we knew it was ridiculous and NOT SEXY and we laughed and cringed the whole time! (I mean, when you rent Shakespeare porn I guess that's to be expected.) I don't think Fifty Shades moviegoers will be joking around. So if you think I'm going to sit in a room with a bunch of strangers who are hot for this character (YES MIDDLE AGED WOMEN I MEAN YOU sorry not sorry. I saw Twilight in the theater and you were everywhere.) you are dead wrong. 

I'm not spending $10 to be uncomfortable for 90 minutes, thanks very much. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

"Once upon a time I was falling in love..."

I'm home from summer camp! Hooray for you! (Not really hooray for me, because I super miss my friends and running around in ridiculous outfits and you know, sleeping on the top bunk isn't so bad once you assess the situation for bugs, and I DID manage to avoid the poison ivy scare. Narrowly, but avoided all the same.)

Between a dumpster fire (long story) and singing songs about poop (not as long a story as you'd imagine), I did some thinking about my ex--accidentally. One night the kids sang a song that wasn't necessarily "our song" because not only does that idea gross me out but we never agreed on it anyway, but it makes me think of him. Because of unimportant reasons. "You had to be there" kind of stuff. Anyway it's Adele. "Someone Like You." And I know what you're thinking--that song is really sad!!--and I KNOW I AGREE but hold those thoughts for a second. 

Another night at camp, we were having a dance party and naturally that led to some interpretive dancing. Our DJ took my request and played "Total Eclipse of the Heart" and let me tell you, that's a very respectable interpretive dance song. My dancing led me into the arms of a charming Italian man, as all good dancing ought to do. We sang to each other and he told me "Total Eclipse of the Heart" was his and his ex's song. 

"It's such a sad story. I should have known it would end," he said. That really hit home for me. Even while we were dating, I thought of my ex when I heard "Someone Like You." Like, it made me smile. EVEN THOUGH THAT SONG IS REALLY SAD. It's definitely about a break up. I mean, without a doubt that song is about the end of a relationship.Come on, Adele sings it. It's sad. Is that weird? That such a sad song ABOUT BREAKING UP made me think of my a gross happy way? During our relationship, I never even stopped to consider the meaning of the song, to be honest. WHICH IS DUMB I KNOW. How did I not notice that I associated my boyfriend with a really really sad song? I keep telling you I make bad choices in relationships. I mean, it's not like that could have actually been Our Song. What, if we got married we would have danced to Sad Adele? (HAHA MY WEDDING j/k that was never going to happen.) People would have judged us so hard, and probably tweet about it and I'm saying this with 100% confidence because I would absolutely do the same thing. Sad Adele can't REALLY be your song. 

So I've been thinking: does your song set the tone for your relationship? Should I have known we were doomed? If you pick a sad song to represent you as a couple, are you saying you're a sad couple? Maybe you're an idiot like me and never really put all the pieces together? Or maybe you just don't have any shits to give? Or is this a sign that I spent too much time with teenagers this month? I have so many questions about this!

Although ultimately I suppose I just have one--what does it say about you as a couple if your song is sad? Feel free to weigh in on this...

Monday, July 14, 2014

Everything I Love Leaves Me

My last relationship ended because my long distance boyfriend needed space. You know, in addition to the 4,000 miles he already had. 

Until then, I never realized my love was so aggressive, so overbearing that I could drive people away with the sheer force of it--and from so great a distance to boot! I should put that on my resume. Is it a marketable skill? Let me know. 

I thought it was the first time my affection has been cause for flight, but a conversation with Twin made me remember an old mp3 player sitting in a desk drawer. 

When I went abroad in college, I bought an mp3 player--but not an iPod. I didn't want that. Instead I got myself a Rio. And I loved that thing. (Still love. Present tense.) It served me so well. Production on Rio mp3 players shut down before I finished college. Undeterred, I used my Rio Karma until a new laptop (and thus, a new unsupported operating system upgrade) facilitated the purchase of a new device. It was so sad, but without updated software, I couldn't add or delete music from my player. (My Rio still works just fine, for the record. I just can't update it--it's a time capsule for my musical taste in college.) 

Still determined not to buy an iPod, I got a Microsoft Zune. Another player I loved. I loved it until it died suddenly, with no warning. Once again, my love was too much to handle. Production on the Zune halted. There was no replacing mine after that. I had loved it too hard. Twin found me looking for an ipod alternative after that and gently suggested that while my love was too much for Rio and Microsoft, perhaps Apple could hold up under the staggering weight of my adoration. 

I admitted she might have a point and thus, settled for an iPod. (No offense, Apple. I'm just not an iGirl.) Things are fine. I enjoy it, feeling fairly confident that it will still be around in the morning. It's reliable. It's probably for the best. 

Before you go assuming I just have terrible taste in electronics, I should tell you that my love drove away a favorite shampoo, which I spent a couple years importing from Canada whenever we crossed the border. (Border proximity perks.) 

Given this history, I should not have been surprised by the text from the man I love, explaining his need for space. (Or rather, not explaining it. Just mentioning, more accurately.) Apparently, I just love too hard. 

Watch out, Apple. I'll try to play it cool this time.