Monday, February 22, 2010


This weekend, I had a long chat with a friend from high school. L and I haven’t spoken in a while, and had a lot to catch up on. Of course, a big part of that was Boy News. Doesn’t it always come back to that, somehow? Even when there are no boys in your life…no interactions to dissect, no conversations to analyze, no hidden clues in that comment he left on your facebook…even the lack of all that leads to the Boy News update. L is a great friend for this conversation, because she and I so frequently find ourselves on the same page. The things that appall me in men cause the same reaction in her. There are certain traits that inevitably earn approval from both of us.
During our conversation, both of us cited a man as being different from our “usual type.” When she first said it, I suggested that it was a good thing. I recalled some recent examples of her type. Unimpressive, in the long run. (Flaky douchebags. Sorry, L. I’m not saying anything new, though.) When I mentioned the same thing later, she said it was also a positive change for me.
But what IS my type? When I consider it, it’s the model I used in high school. It worked for me at the time. But since then…all my marginally successful encounters have been with guys who did not fit that mold. So what’s up with all this nonsense about my type? My type is clearly not working out for me! (Granted, they’ve all ended up being disappointments somehow, but what else can you expect?) Why am I keeping myself in this tiny box of acceptable men? I mean, clearly they’re all going to have equal potential for obnoxious behavior. They’re all going to baffle me with the decisions they make. I will spend just as much time deciphering the comments from my type as I will for the average male.

I’m ready for a new type.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Favorite Things

If I had to choose two kinds of candy to eat for the rest of my life (which would be a terrible decision, but let's just pretend here) it would easily be Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and Kinder Surprise Eggs. (Twizzlers, you are third place in my heart, but this isn't a blog post about you. Chill out.)

Kinder Eggs are a magical chocolate/toy combo which are impossible to find in America. At least in all the parts of America I've searched. They're a delightful chocolate egg shell with a toy inside. Most of the toys require assembly and sometimes there are stickers involved in the process. It's amazing. (But the small pieces are why, I imagine, you can't find these here. Apparently American children are more likely to swallow little pieces than European children. Or maybe Europeans just don't care and they're like, "Whatever, we love these damn things.")

Right, back to my point. They are amazing. I used to get them as an occasional treat for myself when I lived in Ireland, and came back with a small box full of toys. I've also managed to find Kinder Eggs in all the countries I've visited. Guatemala was tough, but I prevailed! Success! So naturally, I gleefully bought a couple packages of them when I was in Canada a few months ago.

Come Christmas morning, I opened a present from my mother which turned out to be The Most Amazing Present of the Year. A Kinder Ball. Imported from Canada, it was a Kinder Egg the size of my face! (...ish.)
Ok, so it's a little smaller than my face, but it made me go all crazy eyes anyway. Sorry about that.

I decided that this thing should absolutely not be eaten in one sitting. However, I know myself too well and figured it probably would be, if Twin helped. So I waited. I waited until after the holidays and all the eating that goes with them. Then I cracked it open.

Look at that. That is glorious.

It was totally worth it. The Twin and I ate it all, then could not move for a while. I steered clear of chocolate for a while, and decided it was totally worth it. My toy was a card game. An awesome animal match game in a little box. It's fabulous. (I love things that come in little boxes or little bags. You should see my luggage when I travel. Most things have their own individual bag. It makes for a labyrinthine experience, especially since I look for the luggage with the most pockets possible.)

Thanks Mom! (It totally made up for your hilarious other gift.)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Pop Quiz!

Alright kids, put on your thinking caps. Time for a Tuesday pop quiz! Read the following text message.

"I was wondering when you were gonna come play with me. Pool, that is."

The author of this text message:

A.) Is a friendly guy who wanted to make sure there was no confusion! That might have been embarrassing!

B.) Awkwardly informed you that he has a girlfriend prior to this text.

C.) Is a common douchebag who happens to possess just enough charm to be initially disarming.

D.) Is trying a little too hard but hopes maybe you guessed A. and will roll your eyes but smile and reply. And come play. ...Billiards, of course.

Pencils down!

**If you guessed B, C, and D, you're correct! If you guessed A then you clearly forgot about B and were fooled by C.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

A few things about men...

...and the Best Dad Quote of the Week.**

You may remember me writing about B, an ill-fated set-up. While chatting with a mutual acquaintance, she asked if I'd ever met up with B.
"No, I never heard from him," I said in a manner that I hoped was casual. (Survey says: probably not.)
"Oh, that's too bad! You know, he's shy. He was probably waiting for you to contact him."
(No. Invalid. Time to man up.)
This was a delicate situation. I didn't want to get into it. I also didn't want to give the impression that I spent nights crying while I stared at my facebook homepage, willing B to write on my wall.
"Oh, that's too bad," I carefully said. "He seemed like a nice guy." (Read: It's too bad he couldn't step up and act like a man. I figured he'd be past the juvenile bullshit.)

I guess it's time for me to jump on the Super Bowl commercial bandwagon. Underwhelming? Yeah. For sure. I did like the Google ad, though not for the reasons many women seem to be swooning. (Have a look at twitter for further proof.) There are women who would like to live in the first half of a Nicholas Sparks novel, before anyone dies tragically. They seem to have walked away from the Google ad thinking, "If only I lived in Paris, a dreamy man would fall head over heels for me and our babies would be adorable! And have dual citizenship." This sad fantasy...was not what I got from it. (Nor, I'm sure, what Google intended.) I thought it was a fantastic take on story-telling.
Lots of the ads, however...seemed like they were written by angry, scorned women intent on showing men how horrible they are. A mirror into their own stupidity. (No, I promise I did not have a hand in any of the commercials.) Which is surprising, given that a fair few men watch the Super Bowl. And advertising companies know that. Hmm.

Best Dad Quote of the Week**
In the car today with my father: "Who is Bret Michaels?...He's on that Donald Trump show about being a boss."
I cannot make this up. My father is a man in his 70s.
"Well, Dad...he's an aging former rocker from the 80s who now has a tacky dating show where he courts unfortunate women. Also, I'm pretty sure he's bald under that bandana and fake hair."

**I reserve the right to unseat this quote at any time, should something better come along.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

It's complicated.

I just had a rather enlightening conversation with Red Curl Girl, who always makes me laugh. I realized that I worry too much about anonymity for those who star in my stories...and really don't deserve anonymity at all. So here. I was holding out on you.

Back in early December, I ran into an acquaintance at a holiday party. During the course of our conversation, she ended up asking if I was seeing anyone. (My favorite thing to discuss, as you may know. I did not growl at her or make any unseemly faces; I was on my best behavior.) She mentioned that her son was also single! She happened to have his picture in her purse! (A happy coincidence.) I was given the pertinent details--not as tall as I might prefer in a perfect world, but 30 years old with a job and a house. These factors seemed to suggest a man who has his shit together--and that's what we should all strive for, ladies. (And gentlemen, too!) It was only a matter of time before this sort of activity attracted the other women in the room--and I soon found myself surrounded by cackling hens with matchmaking in their eyes. (Once again proving to me that women in relationships want everyone else around them to pair up.)
The room seemed to get stuffier as his photo was passed around. My eyes darted around, searching for an exit before things got too awkward.

And then, they did.

This woman pulled out her cell phone. She told me to smile, pointing it at me. I realized what her plan was; a proverbial lightbulb going off over my head. Things moved in slow motion and I was incapable of stopping them. I wished for a power outage or fire alarm. No such luck. The third picture of me was deemed acceptable, and she was gone before I could argue. I tried to be all "glass half full" about it. By my figuring, he'd say one of two things. Either, "Oh, no, Mom. Not so much. Delete that picture ASAP." Or, "Where has this divine creature been all my life? I can't believe you know such a lady and haven't mentioned it to me yet!"** and he'd buy me dinner. Can't really complain about either one, since I don't know the guy. Nothing to lose and all that garbage.

I should mention that this acquaintance is more acquainted with my mother. Because of this, I was not surprised when my mom got an email. "B is willing to meet Amanda." She suggested the Mom Plan of one mother giving the other mother her child's phone number.

I...was not thrilled. He was willing to meet me? I mean, don't do me any favors or anything. Given his lackadaisical attitude and it being late December, I set the email aside. (Does anything sound more sad than a Christmastime blind date? ...Yeah, I didn't think so.)

In early January, I received a facebook friend request from this young man. This worked much better for me, as I could stalk him before committing to a phone call. (I had actually checked facebook for him almost immediately after this ordeal started, but he has a rather common name and my search yielded no helpful results.) Continuing to feign "glass half full," I accepted. And after reading his information and checking out all his pictures, I waited. Admittedly, I wasn't planning on initiating contact. I know that's not very 21st century "We wear pants now, too!" of me, but I don't care. The ball was in his court.

I waited. And waited. And although my interest in this fellow was not high to start with, it was waning. Quickly. But I gave him the benefit of the doubt! (This...was a mistake.) Until my mother called me in the middle of January. She'd received another email. "Is Amanda still interested in meeting B? He asked."

No seriously. In case you lost track, this man asked his mother to ask my mother if I was interested in meeting. I guess maybe he was nervous about asking me to the 8th grade dance? "I kind of know what you're going to say, but how should I handle this?" was my mother's question.
"Tell her he's welcome to contact me on facebook!" I said, exasperated. "After he's located his testicles!"
"...I'll leave out that last part," said my mother primly. "But that's what I figured."

I continued to wait. It was suggested that he might be shy. EVEN SO, facebook makes it So. Freaking. Easy. to make a passive move. You can click "like" on anything a person does. You can "poke" them. You don't even have to be clever, for heaven's sake! And yet, our wall-to-wall remained blank. I wrote him off. Clearly we are not meant to be. Note to self: set-ups are awkward.

You'd like that to be the end of this tale, no? Well, you would be wrong. I was in for another surprise. A friend asked last week if I had heard anything from him. While I was on the phone, I absentmindedly went to check his facebook--I'm a perennial stalker, guys. I can't help it. AND HE WAS GONE. He unfriended me. He not only didn't want to say anything to me, but he didn't want to say anything so badly that he couldn't bear for me to pop up on his news feed.

That is cold.

**And by this I clearly mean, "Well, I don't have any other plans. She seems tolerable." Guys, it was a camera phone. And she had to have someone help her. How good could that picture have been?