Wednesday, October 30, 2013

It's hard to break up with his itunes collection.

There is nothing quite like a breakup to make you realize just how digital our relationships have become. I'm not talking about online dating--I'm talking about the digital fingerprint that people leave on our lives. It's so much bigger than deleting a contact. First you have to unfriend/unfollow them on every social media site. You may or may not untag pictures. And then you're done, right? 

Nope. Just getting started. I've particularly struggled with my last breakup because of the whole long-distance thing. It puts a lot of your relationship online. Do you delete all the pictures? Or save them to some buried file so that you still have a few in fifty years when you're over it? (On top of that, my ex worked somewhere that created apps, among other things. My phone was a museum of our relationship.) I found a small bit of relief when I had to replace my phone and his apartment wireless stopped popping up on my list of wi-fi options. (Out of range, of course, but still in my phone's memory.)

Do you save anything from old relationships? I have a friend who has an item of clothing from each of her exes. For me, it's music. I've discovered that I always end up accumulating music because of boyfriends. I can tell you the favorite band of every ex-boyfriend--at least, whatever his favorite band was while we were together. It's because those bands still pop up on my itunes. It's the only thing I feel comfortable keeping around. When the end is fresh and still shitty, I skip past them. But deleting them always feels like an injustice. Those bands ended up on my ipod because I liked the way my boyfriend talked about them. I liked their excitement about having me listen to a favorite song. I ended up liking a lot of those they stay. 

On one visit, the Ex filled up a flash drive with music I should try. Admittedly, I only liked some of it--but I gave it a try. When it was over, some of those things went the way of his company's apps. And sorry, but I'll never like E.T.--so that score was out. As I deleted files, I was feeling better. I was pulling him out of my life. But then I got to the favorites--the ones he wanted me to hear. The ones he was excited to talk about. And I hesitated. Maybe one day those songs won't make me angry--they'll just go in the gallery of exes and join the list of bands I like because a cute boy said I might. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


I spent this weekend in the city where I left part of my frozen heart: Northampton. The wedding of a Smith College friend brought us together for a serious weekend of craziness and fun and dancing. We spent Friday night catching up with everyone at our bar, and then had the MOST BIZARRE experience. Several of us left the bar together, and stood together on the street for a few minutes before we parted ways. We talked about, among other things: Finland, Minnesota, psyching yourself up before a presentation, and embarrassing yourself before a presentation. During this 10 or 15 minutes, we were loud. It was a Friday night downtown in a college town--no need for an inside voice. 

And the WHOLE FREAKING TIME, this couple stood two feet away making out. They were really going at it. 


It was disgusting--find somewhere more private than a street corner! WHY ARE YOU MAKING OUT ON A STREET CORNER? Take that shit inside somewhere! At least stand in a shop doorway or something! 

Why would you want an audience for that? I'm hoping they were drunk, because that's the only reason I've ever been slightly less concerned about witnesses. DON'T DO THAT SHIT IN PUBLIC.

Unless I make out with Ryan Gosling, in which case I don't give a damn who sees.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

This is a post about football. Yes, really.

I'm trying to learn about football. 


I suppose I've been inactively trying to figure out the rules for about a decade, and during my high school years I made a very serious effort. I was in the marching band, so I had a pretty decent opportunity every week--I was required to be at the games anyway. Despite all this, I still don't really get it. Somehow my brain just can't wrap itself around the sport. (By the way, non-US readers, I am in fact talking about American football. Just to clear that up.) 

But this year, I'm trying and perhaps making some progress. The goal is to participate in fantasy football next year--I've been invited to join and honestly? I have a lot of ideas. I can't say much yet, but you're going to want to stick around for that accompanying blog. (Actually, in the meantime you can read this blog, which is following the author's first year of fantasy football, and it's fantastic.)

So what's the catalyst for some of these football facts actually sticking? Good question. When a bunch of us meet weekly for beers and catching up, sometimes we also reprimand each other for choices in our dating lives. (Also sometimes we high five choices. And sometimes a friend makes a choice that earns high fives from some and Disapproving Looks from others. Ok, it's usually me making those controversial decisions.) ANYWAY. This week, B had a lot to share. His relationships have been a straight up rollercoaster lately. So naturally, as any good friends would, we scrutinize and judge his decisions. Because we care. As there was a football game going on at the same time, M took the opportunity to teach me football rules in relationship terms. 

It was genius. I have a pretty good sense of holding, and I DEFINITELY understand when there's a flag on the play. I might finally have a grasp on this! 

I mean, or not. We'll have to see if it sticks, first. Good thing football isn't over for MONTHS AND MONTHS. (I'm trying, you guys, but old habits die hard.) 

Thursday, October 10, 2013


Look at the button a friend bought me! The I'm not only stalking Mr. Darcy (and dreaming about him--that's a story for another day...) but I'm also his biggest fan. 

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Flirting: A Primer

**UPDATE: In my haste to post this, I FORGOT my most reliable move. Apologies. See bottom of post. 

A few days ago I found myself having to explain the different types of flirting I have in my arsenal. My audience seemed surprised--by what, I am still not entirely sure. That I would have variety in my game? That I have any game at all? (Likely.) That I would see the need for more than one kind of flirting? That I could control which level I'm using? I have no idea, but I explained myself all the same. And naturally decided I should provide some illumination for you all, as well. 

The No. Not flirting. I know, it's obvious. But I had to start the scale somewhere. 

The Fundraiser. I call it this because...well, I am constantly at fundraisers. This is the type of flirting you engage in when it's the nice, polite (and helpful--sorry for telling the truth) thing to do. Like when you're asking people for money. If you've ever been roped into selling 50/50 tickets then you know exactly what I'm talking about. Men ask if you'll deliver the prize to them if they win and you smile and tell them they have to buy a ticket to find out, when really you'd like to gag and make A Face at them. The latter is no way to raise money. This kind of flirting is more about charming people.

The Classic. This is reserved for when you're at a party, a bar, an event, whatever. There's someone cute and you're single. Whereas fundraiser flirting is often done out of obligation, this one is genuine. I'm not trying to get you to buy me a drink (see next item). This one is just for fun. It's not about the outcome. You don't care if they ask you out or get your number. (I prefer if they don't, but that's a personal thing.) This is my favorite. 

The Shrew. I call it this because this is the shit I hate. It's what I call any kind of flirting that is self-serving. It's women who get a man to buy them a drink and then walk away without another glance. It's trying to make someone jealous. It's picking a target to be your prop and not hesitating when you walk away after achieving your goal. This one is not in my repertoire. Ugh. 

The Mission. You absolutely care if they ask you out, take you home, or get your number. You care so much. This is about a goal. This is all your best moves. Yeah, you might fail, but you'll do it spectacularly. This is about making something happen. 

The Ryan Gosling. This is when someone is so attractive that you're flirting with them before you even realize it. You don't have time to think it over or rationalize it or map a plan--they're just that attractive. 

Did I miss any of your moves? 

UPDATE: Yes, I did miss one. One of MY moves. 

**The Traveling Salesman. This one. Ah, this one. This one is the best, as far as I'm concerned. Sure, The Classic is my favorite, because it's no pressure fun. But The Traveling Salesman...that's my most successful. The Traveling Salesman is flirting in any situation where one or both of you are on the move. He's in town on vacation, or maybe you've traveled to a wedding. Whatever the situation, this relationship is not a long term option. Which makes it perfect. As a friend pointed out, there is a built-in exit strategy. You definitely want to make something happen, but you don't care if he asks for your phone number--because you're on a different continent. You'll never have to see him again! Who cares if he calls? 

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Quick update while my cupcakes are in the oven...

October's only just started and already I'm a disaster. Which is, I suppose, my way of saying that everything is pretty standard around here! Anyway, I've got cupcakes baking, so let's see what's new...

Last weekend I learned that I am NOT the world's worst bartender, when I volunteered to pour beer at a local fundraiser. Being behind the taps is a great way to scope out all the men coming through and talk to all of them--but only for a moment. Then they have to leave! It's perfect. Also, the guys who work for the beer distributor told me I was doing a great job, even when I made The Face at patrons. (That would be my "no fucks left to give" face.) And when I lied to them. (Ok, so these two old ladies ordered root beer--the brewery also makes their own--and came back up to tell me it was flat. Ladies, that shit just came out of a keg. I made The Face and turned back to the growing line of people. They said it again, so I told them it was brewed that way. I may have said something about "small batch brewing" even though I DON'T KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS, made The Face again, and then continued pouring beer. One of the beer guys was laughing to himself, so I think that means he heard me. He didn't stop me, though. And by the way, no one complained about the root beer for the rest of the night, so I'm guessing either it was fine or word got around about the whole small batch flat root beer thing.) 

This month I'm in and out of town pretty regularly. I have a couple fundraisers to attend, some family things (but with the fun family members), a conference, and--because it's been so long since I attended one--a wedding. The bride and groom have foolishly and dangerously offered me a modicum of power at this wedding, so naturally I'm pretty excited. At least, I will be excited until they wrest the power away from me after I become drunk from it. 

I can't tell you much about the conference yet, but there is plenty of room for me to make a fool of myself, so that's something to look forward to--for all of you, anyway. 

Since we're catching up today, I thought I'd leave you with a picture. I've been going through bookshelves, trying to get my life in order. (Oh, and also trying to find a job HAHA.) Over the course of this blog, I've accumulated various books about relationships, in hopes that they might prove useful in my writing. Most of them are from used book sales and friends who've gifted them. It paints a very interesting picture of my life, particularly if you didn't know about this blog. 

PS--Seeing a lot of new traffic here lately--craziness!--so welcome! Unless you're one of my exes or those ladies who complained about their root beer.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

A Congressional Interlude.

Alright...I don't tend to talk politics around here, although if you've been around long enough you've likely gained some insight on my views. But it's a slow news day for me. Sorry--no ex boyfriend ranting today.

Today I'm embarrassed. Generally, there is a lot about the US that makes me proud, even though that can be an unpopular opinion. It's not perfect. But I know a lot of people who do a pretty awesome job representing this country. 

Not today. I'm embarrassed that our elected officials have decided to put their own agenda first. Last night at midnight the US government shut down. They shut down because they couldn't agree on a budget--or health care. They disagree on providing affordable health care options to Americans and the end result is a Congressional temper tantrum. Congress adjourned at midnight and took their toys home. They met again at 9:30 this morning. Until they resolve the budget, hundreds of thousands of government employees are not working or getting paid. Still more--essential employees--are working without pay. Some of these positions are jobs you could certainly never convince me to take...people like air traffic controllers and prison guards. 

The good news is that at least members of Congress are still getting paid during this shutdown. Over $600 each day. 

This is embarrassing. Today I am not proud of what we're doing. I've said it before but I'll repeat myself--this is a piss-poor example we're setting for young people. They deserve more from us. What I am proud of is all the people going to work and doing their jobs without a paycheck. I'm proud of the people who care about their jobs so much that they're not celebrating these unexpected days off. I wish more members of Congress felt that way. If they did, perhaps they would not have adjourned at midnight and gone home to get a solid night's sleep before starting again. Perhaps they would have done what many of us do when faced with a deadline--keep working and do the job in front of us and sacrifice a little comfort because we didn't do our job

I expect more. I expect better. 

Maybe tomorrow.