Girl Trouble

I was in high school the first time I had my heart broken. It was young love, first love, sweet love, true love and when it ended I thought no other type of relationship will ever break my heart as much as romantic relationships do. This? This is the worst it’ll ever get. No person will ever break my heart the way a guy I’m dating can.
10 years later I realized this is not true.

Friendships are some of the deepest, most loving and gratifying relationships a person can enter into. And potentially, the most heartbreaking.
I’ve been lucky enough, despite moving around a lot when I was younger, to be a part of some amazing long term friendships. Some are just friendly-friendships, some are more go-out-and-have-fun-friendships, and, luckily, there are a few that are first-call-friendships, those people you know you can call anytime, whether it’s just to get wardrobe advice or to have them come bail you out of jail (should that ever be the case…). These people, people I’ve now spent years with, some even lived with, getting to know everything about, going on trips with, spending holidays with, having crazy dance parties with, they are some of the most important people in my life.
Knowing that, it shouldn’t have come as a surprise that a girl has the potential to break my heart more than any guy ever could.

It’s like every break up. You see each other for the first time in months and a million different reactions are triggered. You want to run up and hug them and go straight into your favorite inside joke. You want to run up and slap them and ask how they could hurt you so badly. You want to indulge in the tears you feel emerging and ask what you did to make the relationship not work. You feel jealousy when you see them there with the new people in their lives. You feel anger that they aren’t running up to you and saying how terrible they feel for not talking to you in six months for unknown reasons. But mostly, you just feel sad.
You feel sad thinking about the years you two lived together and all the details you shared with them that no one else is privy to. You think about the hundreds of fun nights you had, but also all the bad nights you shared together, relying on each other to get through them all. You think about the time when you needed them most, when you really needed them to be that first-call-friendship, and they just stopped being that person for you. You think about all that and wonder what happened to the last nine years? And just like that, your heart breaks harder than ever before.

The only good part of losing a friend is looking around and seeing the ones you still have by your side, helping you get through this new kind of heartbreak.

Irrational Irritants

When I am in the elevator at work at the end of the day, heading down to the lobby to get the heck out of dodge for the night, nothing annoys me more than when the elevator stops, a person gets on, sees me clearly leaving for the day, sees the button for the lobby is already pressed, yet just feels the need to press it again. Really? REALLY?! Will that second press get us home for the night any faster? Nope, it sure won’t.

I know, I know, this is ridiculous. I honestly have no idea why this bothers me so, but boy does it ever.

And this isn’t the only thing that irrationally irritates me. This is only the tip of the iceberg. As I get older, this list just seems to grow. And grow. And grow…

    Girls with perfect skin who cover it up with 4 pounds of make up. Come on, girl, you don’t realize how lucky you are!

    Slow walkers.

    Drivers who don’t give a thank you wave when you let them merge.

    Drivers who leave their blinkers on.

    Magazines/websites spoiling TV shows/movies/books. Damnit, don’t tell me The Bachelorette is sending home my favorite suitor!

    Bachelor/ettes sending home my favorite suitor/ettes.

    Getting a rip in the middle of my contact while it is in my eye.

    Cell phones not having breathalyzers built in to stop me from sending that very regrettable text.

    Construction happening next to my building every morning, right at 6am.

    None of the construction workers looking like extras from the Bod Man Body Spray commercials.

    Guys (& girls) who eat whatever they want & complain that they can’t gain weight. Screw you, people. This is not a problem!

    Walking out of work only to see my bus home drive by. Yes, I realize another will come in 17 minutes, but who has the time?!

    The 5:23am bus always running late. Come on, buddy, there’s no rush hour to contend with at 5am.

    Girls who wear full make up to the gym.

    People who wear short shorts to the gym.

    Men who excessively grunt at the gym.

    Creed/Nickelback/LMFAO being played at the gym.

    The gym. WHY GOD IS IT 74 DEGREES IN THE GYM?!

    Having an AC wall unit in the furthest corner of the living room. Yes, that two inches the air is able to reach sure is nice and cool!

    Having naturally curly hair in the back and straight hair in the front. Damn you, split personality hair.

    Introducing myself to someone, only to have them say ‘Nice to meet you, Sally.’ MY NAME IS NOT SALLY!

    Series on HBO/Showtime/AMC/FX only being 11-13 episodes long. I need more than 11 weeks of Dexter per year, damnit!

    TV series that aren’t available on Netflix streaming. I have no patience for only one or two discs per week. If the series addiction is strong enough, one or two discs per night are necessary.

    Men who say ‘Just don’t worry about it.’ This is the equivalent of a woman’s ‘It’s fine.’ don’t think we haven’t noticed this!

    People who send texts to ask ‘Are you free to talk?’ Call and find out!

    Dating guys with dogs. The only thing worse than missing an ex is missing his dog.

    Everything Kardashian related.

I can only guess that as I age and become (even more) crotchety, this list will continue to grow. And grow. And grow…

What Will I Be When I Grow Up?

To provide an update to my last blog to my thousands (or two) readers…                    
Most of my friends whom I brought the ‘is this or is this not a date’ conundrum to informed me that last Friday night would indeed be a date. I remained steadfast in my opinion that it would not be. Well readers, you are about to see something very rarely conceded by me…I was wrong. They were right. I shan’t go into the gory details, but, even if the night started off in Friendshipville, it was clear to even boneheaded me that by night’s end, we had relocated to Date City. Date City is not where I’m looking to permanently relocate to with this particular person, but that’s not to say I didn’t have a good enough time. The drinks and conversation were all nice and light and free flowing. We sampled beers and wines and discussed common places we loved from our college town and our favorite movies and sports teams. It was all fun enough. Until I was hit with this question…


“So, if you aren’t in love with your job, what is it you are in love with? What is it you really want to do?”


Whoa, buddy. What happened to the nice and light?! Needless to say, I was stumped. I had no clear answer. After hemming and hawing for a few minutes, I came up with this gem in reply;


“I guess I just want to do something that makes a difference.”


Well, slap me with the cliché award of the year! Who doesn’t want to make a difference? Who wants to work their life away only to be forgotten because absolutely nothing they did made any difference? Likely no one. While it is true; I really do want to make some sort of difference, make my mark on the world, I seem to have done little to accomplish this in my six years in the real, professional, working world. I could attribute this to laziness or being bogged down by The Man and needing to focus all making-a-difference-in-the-world time on working-9-to-5-to-keep-the-bills-paid, I think it mainly boils down to this…I have career ADD. How can I get started on making a difference if I can’t figure out what the fuck I want to make a difference doing?


I think I was about four when I had my first big career dream: Movie star.                         
I know, I know, what girl doesn’t grow up wanting to be a movie star? But, my movie stardom goals went a little deeper than the typical ‘I want to be beautiful and famous’. I wanted to act. Like really act. I wanted to be in dramas and invoke tears from movie goers and win awards and thank my mother for passing on her acting talents. I wanted to go to Julliard and get my start in indie films then do major blockbusters then renew my street cred by doing gritty indie flicks again (yes, I had a very vivid imagination at four). I would make a difference by donating boat loads of cash to inner city school’s arts programs. Girls of all ages would look up to me for trading on my skills and not just my looks, for defying Hollywood’s ridiculous standards of beauty (Botox? I pity the OnabotulinumtoxinA-fool!).


This dream stayed alive and well for quite sometime. It was fueled by acting classes, dance classes, singing in the school choir, anything to let my inner superstar shine. But slowly it morphed, as ideas are prone to do. First it was to be a Broadway star, singing and dancing my heart away every night. I imagined the opening nights, the matinees, the standing O’s. I imagined music teachers bringing their kids in to see my shows and them being inspired to pursue their own musical dreams. Eventually this dream too shifted. While I loved the idea of being in New York and living out all my Broadway visions, I began having other New York dreams. More specifically the “Live from New York!” variety dreams. Yes, I wanted to be on Saturday Night Live.  


For literally as long as I can remember I have watched SNL. When I was younger I used to spend Saturday nights with my mom, eating spaghetti, drinking RC Cola out of an awesome Disney themed thermos, and laughing at topical jokes that were probably far over my head. But, regardless of my comprehension, I knew that every week the actors on this show got to be all sorts of different characters. Is this not an actor’s dream?! And then, in my teens, as I began writing more in school, Tina Fey came along and became the first female head writer of the show, proving to all the Jerry Lewis’s of the world that yes, there are women comedians and they are funny! It was 1999, right as I was getting to the point in high school where all any adult can ask you is ‘What are you gonna do with your life?’ and my only reply was ‘make people laugh.’ What would be better than living in New York and doing it every week?! 


Well, it was also right around this time that I was told I’d better get a back up plan. The odds of ending up in Hollywood and being a movie star are slim to none. Then odds grow even less in your favor when you switch coasts and set your sights on Broadway or becoming a comedy writer/actor. ‘You may have these goals, and you may go and pursue them, but be prepared for a life of rejection and waiting tables’ is what one of our school counselors hit me with. I was deflated. How could dreams so long lasting and wonderful be so hard to achieve?! Surely it could not have been true. News flash: It was. I did the research. My goals were nearly impossible. I was almost 17 and had no clear path in life, aside from a lifetime of servitude at Dean and Deluca, if I was lucky (yes, I base my New York food service jobs off of the show Felicity).

At that point, the career ADD really set in. I was a peer counselor in high school, hey, why not be a child psychologist? Wait, I also wrote for the school paper and literary journal, why not be a journalist? But hey, I was also a teacher’s assistant, and I come from a long line of teachers! Surely teaching must be the way to go! Then, in college, it only got worse. My major jumped from Psychology to Spanish to Art History to Social Work to Creative Writing to English Literature, and unfortunately for me, the English Lit degree is what I left with (no hate for the Lit coming from me. I only say unfortunately, because, let’s be honest here, an English degree {without a teaching certificate attached to it} is about as worthless as a Philosophy degree. Sure, employers may love that you have a strong grasp of our language and its history, but where’s the Business Degree they specifically required in the employment ad?).

So no here I am, 29, nearing my 5th year at a job that has nothing to do with any of the six majors I pursued in college (how is that even statistically possible??? Surely with all my flip flopping you’d think I would have ended up at least finding something even slightly related to any of the things I studied.). It’s a great job, and I do mean great, and in this economy I know am blessed to have it (and it’s benefits. Thank you, baby Jesus, for benefits.). I can give no reason to say any differently…except this one pesky thing…I’m not making a difference. My work here will not be work that kids for years to come can look at it and say ‘Wow! This has inspired me!’. Not even my own (at this point, imaginary) children will understand, much less strive to follow, what I do. And even allowing myself to be less grandiose about it, my work here won’t even make a difference on a one on one level. Had I continued pursuing Psychology or Social Work and worked in those fields, there’s always the possibility your work is overlooked, as mine is, but there is a greater possibility that there will be at least that one person whose life changes for the better because of the work you’ve done on their behalf. Even with my writing/lit degree, writing a book can do that for any number of people (because I can say with absolute certainty that there are books I’ve read that have impacted me and will stay with me forever).

Maybe this goal of making some sort of impact on the world is inherently selfish. Shouldn’t a passion be followed merely for the joy of it? We’re constantly told to do what you love and you will love what you do. And who knows, maybe that is how your mark is left on the world, people looking to you and saying ‘Wow, she truly just loves what she does. The money, the accolades, the reward for all the effort really just doesn’t matter, she just loves it.’ and you are an inspiration for others to follow suit. Maybe this is just the bigger picture I have yet to fully see. Either way, that is still my only answer to what I really want to do. I want to make a difference.

But, the question remains, how?






(Editor’s note: If you made it through this whole blog, wow…you are a trooper. When I first started writing this I had no idea I’d get so wordy! I imagine if I had pulled my thoughts together quick enough and given this answer to Mr. Friday Date he’d have quickly hauled ass out of Date City and retreated back to Friendshipville…)
 

The (Un)Wonderful World of Dating

My married friends often tell me they are jealous of my singledom. The freedom and all the possibilities of firsts; first dates, first kisses, first rounds of make-up sex…the possibility that that person you may have all these firsts with could be just around the corner.
My response to my married friends? Bite me. Yeah, you heard me. BITE ME.

Sure, being single has some perks. I do what I want when I want, no one to answer to, no one to give me crap if I end up at Happy Hour with friends and completely forget to call. I can’t lie, after dating a guy that was rather controlling way back when, I truly do not take those freedoms for granted. But, I’m not so sure that those freedoms are worth the trade off of having to wade through the shark infested waters of dating.

I came from a time when dating didn’t really happen until college. In middle school and high school you simply ask someone out and commence months upon months of hand holding and grossing people out while devouring each others faces at your locker. And you know what? I did that quite well. But then, college came along. The time when you are supposed to figure out what this whole dating thing is really about, the time when you develop social skills to use on the opposite (or same) sex in a romantic way. This? I didn’t quite do well. In college I was in an on-again, off-again, all consuming, unhealthy (for me), tempestuous relationship, so I really didn’t do a whole lot of dating. During one off-again period I did date a friend of a friend. We were in the same major, shared of a love of random pop culture trivia, sarcasm, and beer, but almost immediately I put him into the friend category. Why I did this, I’ll never know. I mean, even if it wasn’t going to be a forever thing, didn’t I realize I needed dating practice?! Sigh. Hindsight and 20/20 and all that stuff. (Side bar: I’d also like to note that college is where most of my friends met their significant others. Man, I really screwed the pooch on this whole college dating thing!) Anywho, what this whole story leads me to is this: I SUCK AT DATING. I am a person who is naturally shy and awkward to begin with, so missing this whole experience has left me baffled. Are there seriously people who are GOOD at dating? Are there seriously people who ENJOY dating? If so, point me to these people, because I need tips!

I think it’s safe to say though that, in general, most people truly don’t love dating. If you are truly hoping to find that special person in your life, dating is merely a hurdle to get over in the single start line and the marriage finish line. Conversely, if you are truly not hoping to find that special person and looking more for that special for tonight someone, dating is merely a hurdle to get over in the locking eyes at a bar start line and the locking eyes in your bedroom finish line. Either way, it just seems pointless and stressful. And what’s even more stressful? Figuring out if you are “dating”. It seems like being vague is standard operating mode for most people anymore. Are we dating or are we not dating is one of the true confusions to me. Case in point…

On Friday night I am going to a wine and beer tasting shindig at the botanical gardens. I’m going with someone I’ve “hung out” with once before. Is this a date? As I’m currently convinced that no one wants to date me (post-heartbreak talk speaking here, people) I’ve determined this must be a friends-only outing. But, while chatting with my future wine tasting partner in crime about our days at work and how much they stunk, I received this text…
“Really the only thing that got me through it was the fact that I get to hang out with you on Friday.”
WHAT?!? Is this friends-only outing speak?! Why can’t people just come right out with it and say “Hey, thought we could go on a date Friday to this wine tasting…”? Throwing out that one word could kill all confusion and allow me more time to moan about how much I hate dating! And really, it only gets worse from there. What if it goes bad and the whole night is filled with awkwardness? What if it goes great and then you have to sit and think for a solid day (at least) if you should call/text/facebook him to say it was great? And even worse, what if you both think it’s great and you go out again, and then again, and then you have to have the awful and awkward “what are we doing” conversation to see where you two stand with each other? It never ends! I would guess all these super fun firsts are exactly the kind of thing my married friends were referring to… So, come on married friends, I welcome you all to come wade through the muddy dating waters, something I’m sure you’ve all blocked from your married minds by now. Tell me how fun and exciting all these possibilities are after your third unsuccessful second date in four months, because I promise you, it’s just a laugh a minute!

I can’t lie…I may or may not have canceled a date once for this very reason.