Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Alone at a Wedding

I've never planned a wedding. Well...actually I have. What I mean to say is that I've never paid for a wedding. But even without that hands on experience, I am certain that getting married is expensive.

For this reason, and for the sake of not having a bunch of randoms at "the most special day" of your life, I'm not offended when I don't get to bring a date to your wedding. (I'm assuming you don't give me a +1 because you're trying to save money, right? It's not because you don't think I could find a date? Because trust me, I could find a date if I had to. I totally could. I could find like ten dates.)

Wait, what were we talking about--oh right. I totally don't mind being invited by myself to a wedding.


You knew there was a "but..." right?

But sometimes a date would be awesome. For example, at a family wedding. Unless you're really close to your cousins who will also be attending, family weddings can get really boring, really fast. It's not like you can flirt with anyone there, either, unless you're 100% positive you're not related to them. 
Or a wedding where you don't know a lot of people. Sure, you and the groom are really good friends,but you guys don't hang out with anyone else from the office fantasy football league where you met. It's not like you'll know anyone else at the wedding. Who will you talk to and judge people with? 
Or, you know, the most common one lately, weddings without many single people. This keeps happening. It's simple, really. The more weddings we attend, the more of our friends are married. People couple up. They don't need to find a date. They have a date. Permanently. Legally. But not everyone! Some of us are in this for the long haul, vying to win Survivor: Forever Alone. (AND I. WILL. WIN.) Now I'm not saying I want your wedding to be a speed dating event, but let's be real--the DJ will play slow music and all the couples will dance. At weddings back when lots of us were single, this was a good opportunity to find a cute boy and flirt with him on the dance floor. But as the crowd slowly evolves into a more married, coupled sort of group...who the hell do I dance with? The answer is I don't. I either sit at the table and hope your weird uncle doesn't come ask why I'm not dancing, or I escape to the bar and make poor choices, or I go to the bathroom just for something to do, or I sit there and send rude snapchats of happy couples dancing and snark on them on twitter. And while some of those are fun, it's a little...boring. A low point at your wedding. If you're not going to invite some other singles (preferably handsome, eligible men...just saying) you're kind of making me the 101st wheel. And it's kind of a bummer.

I'm not saying giving me a date is mandatory. But if you're dooming a wedding guest to an evening of solo activity, consider throwing them a bone and putting +1 on their invitation. Or, you know, make sure at least one of your groomsmen is single and handsome. I'll personally settle for that.

**I KNOW I KNOW you have to worry about how many people the church will seat and the reception hall capacity and the cost per plate of food and I GET IT OK you don't have to remind me. It's just a thought. 

Thursday, September 04, 2014

How NOT to Internet Date...

...part 45 of 1,000,000 I guess. 

Twin got a message on OkCupid the other night, the first she'd gotten from this particular guy.

"What's your availability tomorrow night?"

This has been bothering me ever since she told me and I've been trying to figure out why. It's not obscene or rude and on top of that, it's not even my message! So why has it been silently pissing me off?

My first thought was that I disliked his abrupt introduction. Or rather, a lack of introduction and jumping right into the next phase. This guy skipped a greeting, a half-hearted compliment, a common interest, and a witty remark that you're wrong in your opinion of the best Back to the Future. He went all in. You busy tomorrow? He wants to do all that Dating 101 stuff in person. Screw typing. 

It's true that I find his approach to be a bit clumsy. It lacks finesse. This is not a guy with a lot of game. And it's sketchy. A lot of my friends are nervous about internet dating because the person you meet could be anybody at all. (And all of my female friends are nervous that your internet stranger might kill you. Yup.) He could be exactly who he says he is. Or the complete opposite. Or some great combination of lies and creep. It's a gamble! The first conversation(s) at least start the elimination process. My girls will still likely meet internet dates in a public place and have friends on standby ready to break you out of a terrible date. But at least they know that person made it through round one of cuts. 

I brought this up to some guys at the bar, a couple guys I've met before and a random guy I've never met and hopefully can avoid for the rest of my days--who invited himself into the conversation. They didn't see a problem with asking someone to meet up before you really chat. They made a decent point.

But I was STILL bothered by this guy--until today, when I realized why I hated his message so much. He does it all wrong. Sure, you know why he's asking if you're available, but he's also making it really hard for you to say no. (Or so he might think.) He asks about your availability tomorrow and you say yeah, I've got no plans. Then he asks if you want to get a drink. Well now you're screwed. You've painted yourself into a corner. If you don't want to see this guy, it just became really tricky. No thanks, you tell him. Well you just said you were free tomorrow! Why don't you want to see him?!** Because it must be him. You said you didn't have plans. What, did you make plans in the last 30 seconds??

Public Service Announcement for anyone throwing out date invites: We don't WANT to hurt your feelings, you know. Not all the time. We might like to give you an out! GIVE US A CHANCE TO REJECT YOU GENTLY. This guy took away any possibility of a graceful exit strategy.

Sure, I might turn a guy down because he's a disgusting ass. But I also might turn down a guy who seems perfectly nice but isn't a guy I want to date. Maybe he misread the situation and thought I was interested. In these cases, I'm not looking to be a bitch. 

Here's my tip for the day: if you're going to ask someone out, don't trick them into saying yes. "Do you want to get a drink tomorrow?" is perfectly acceptable. It leaves the other person a lot of options. They can say yes, or I would love that but tomorrow doesn't work, or no thanks I'm not interested, or no thanks I'm really busy, or fuck off you're a weirdo, or hey I'm in a relationship but thanks for asking, or any number of other responses. And they have the option of letting you down gently--and you'll both feel less awkward. "Are you available tomorrow?" should only be used as a follow-up question. 

I know you don't usually take my advice but please, try and remember this bit. Try really hard. 

**This might seem harsh but I had a guy demand why I didn't want to go out with him one time. Um, maybs because you're super aggressive and childish about rejection??

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

A quick update on real life...ALSO A PUPPY.

What do my blog and the night you lost your virginity have in common? 

We're both disappointing even though you heard it was going to be really magical. 

I know I haven't been around much. For the past couple weeks, I've been spending a lot of time with my family, helping my dad after he had knee surgery. (He had to be at the hospital at 5:30am and since I'm The Best Kid I went along to keep my mom company while she waited. I drank shitloads of coffee and was positively zombie-esque at work that evening. It was all worth it when my dad told me I was his favorite kid. Suck it, three siblings! I think it's important that we skip the part where he was under anesthesia just prior to saying this.) 

I've also been planning a lot of baby shower stuff, which is exactly how I like spending my free time, as I'm sure you can imagine. (I was put in charge of games. MISTAKE. Are drinking games appropriate at baby showers? No...?)

I've got real blog posts coming soon, but I figured you at least deserved an acknowledgement about my ignoring you. Which is more than my ex was able to do. 

Here, look at this puppy while you wait and everything will be fine. 

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.