Thursday, July 31, 2014

Elusive As Fuck

Girls learn at a very young age that if a boy is mean to us, if a boy chases us, that means he likes us. We let boys chase us on the playground, pull our hair in class, call us names, all in the name of a crush. And as we move from grade school into high school, it continues; because it's all we know, we continue to let boys chase us and tease us, and we believe that the boys who are relentlessly teasing us in class, are the boys who like us the best. It's what girls learn - from our family dynamics, from the media, from our friends, from just existing: a boy who chases you, likes you.

And it's not just girls. Boys learn the same thing; boys learn that the way to show his affection to a girl is to tease her, call her names, and to chase her. They chase us on the playground because that's how they're taught to express their feelings. They sit behind us and pull our hair in class, or they snap our bras in the hallways, because that's what they're supposed to do. They call us names and embarrass us because they like us. So we probably shouldn't be all that surprised when men continue to tease us and chastise us into know, since that's what they are apparently taught to do their whole lives.

It's what we all know to be true. A boy likes you best, if he's chasing you. And if you're letting him.

This came up in a recent conversation about being unavailable...even when you are available. About the art of seeming to not care too much, and about the intrigue of being able to chase a woman, as opposed to knowing she's interested. Which left me thinking about the fine line between appearing interested - and stroking a man's ego (as we are also taught to do, as little girls) - and being a little bit aloof, so as to invite the proverbial chase.

It's weird to look at the games we play with each other (and is, coincidentally, the main reason that fuuuuuuck, I just need to get married and be done with this shit, ever crosses my mind). It's weird that guys like girls better if we act like we're not all that interested. And it's weird that girls like guys better when they treat us like shit. It really is no wonder that so many relationships and marriages fail, when from the beginning, we are engrossed in these moronic head games instead of just being able to embrace our feelings. How can we really expect to succeed in any relationship that starts out with both parties acting a certain way that is not true to who they really are?

I am, as most of my friends can testify, very up front about my feelings; it is a rare occasion when someone is left wondering how I feel about them. And that's just how I am. I don't like games. I don't like drama. I don't like to lead a guy on if I'm not interested, nor do I like to play cat and mouse when I am interested. I'm not fake, and I wear my emotions on my for me, it comes far more naturally to express my interest in someone than to wait for him to chase me around a playground. But when I am expressive with how I feel, there are moments where I then question myself, like perhaps I should have just left something unsaid. And that's because my natural impulses are not in line with the games we are taught to play.

Cue the internal struggle.

I challenged myself this week to be one thing: elusive as fuck. It's part of an experiment. And it's been fun. And funny. Because naturally, I am the lease elusive person on the planet. My thoughts are almost always vocalized...and when I don't talk about them, I blog about them, so they're still out there. So this challenge to be elusive as fuck, has come with a lot of laughs so far as I find myself making a statement, then trying to retract it, and then replacing it with some statement about how aloof I am.

For the record, if you have to say, look how aloof I'm being right are the exact opposite of aloof.

I will likely fail this challenge, because I'm not elusive. I'm not a game player, I hate drama. I like to be pursued and chased a little, but truth be told, if I like you, I like you, and if I don't, I don't. I'm pretty straight forward, which is not even a little elusive. But while I'm challenging myself to be a little more aloof...I hope you boys out there are challenging yourself to be a little less so. Two can play at this game, right?

So I expect that at any moment now, a guy will pull my pigtails or call me stupid. That is, as we know, the perk of being just a little bit unavailable.

Elusive. As. Fuck. That's me.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Because, No.

Apparently, 31 is the age that people start to worry about you if you're not married and don't have babies. It is also the age that people give you really weird looks when you say you don't plan to ever have babies. I have been asked more times in the past week, than in possibly my whole life, when I plan to "settle down, get married, and start a family."

A: I have a family. My family is full of love and support and babies and toddlers, and while none of them are mine, they are all my family. I am their auntie, I make it a point to know them and to love them, and as they grow up into teenagers, with all of their angst and emotions, I will always be the aunt they can call for help. I am excited when another one of my cousins announces a pregnancy. I loved being in all of their weddings. I am supported and encouraged by my cousins, my aunts & uncles, and my parents. I find it annoying when people ask, when are you going to have a family? Bitch please, I have one already. And it's big enough. It's practically an army. The last thing we need to add to it is a baby I don't want.

B: I will never settle down. I am who I am. I am wild and adventurous, and I don't want to sit still. People are always saying that renting is a waste of money, and giving me lists of reasons why I should buy a condo, but the thing is, renting is not a waste of money if it's what makes me happy. I like renting. I like moving. I like packing and unpacking and organizing a new place. I like being on a month to month lease, because if I get a job in Arizona or Denver, or Boston, or any other place in the world that I decide I want to go, I can do that. I don't want to buy anything, I don't want to put my roots in a home in Vancouver and commit to 30 years of that being where I live. I like being free to uproot myself whenever I want, and to be able to say yes to a job opportunity with no concern about where I live or what the commute would be like. Stop asking me to settle down. You settle the fuck down.

C: I will get married when I get married. Why are you asking me when I am getting married, when I don't even have a boyfriend?! Oh you know, I'm single today...but I'm planning to get hitched on Tuesday. What the fuck, don't ask stupid questions. I'm not really sure when I'll get married. Probably when I meet him a while...fall in love with him...get engaged to him...I'll probably marry him soon after that. And if you keep asking me stupid shit, you won't be invited. I'm not in a hurry, and no, I'm not worried about ending up "all alone." The worst thing I could ever do for my own heart, would be to approach every new relationship as an interview for a potential husband. That's insane. Sometimes, a date is just a date. Sometimes, sex is just sex. Other times, I give my heart to someone and they crush it into tiny pieces, and then guess what...when I am least expecting it, someone else shows up and helps me heal it. I don't want to get married just to be married; I want to marry someone because my days, weeks, and years are better with him there, and because he is the calm to my crazy. And since you don't tend to find that overnight, don't ask me some dumb shit about when I will be getting the boy man guy I am not even currently dating.

I can hear my mom's voice in my head right now telling me I am overreacting and that people are just asking to ask. Well, internal mom voice, hush. I'm not overreacting. Asking people about their life choices is rude. It's like when my cousins get annoyed by people at Fred Meyer who touch their baby bumps or who touch their newborn babies. Back the fuck up. People need to realize that invading someone's personal space - whether it be physical space or mental space - is inappropriate. It's not okay to ask someone why they are single, or why they're getting divorced, or why they want zero, one, or four kids. It's not okay to ask someone why they're gay or why they have an open marriage or why they have been engaged for ten years and aren't yet planning a wedding. Back up out of other people's personal life choices, and worry about your own self. Stop asking inappropriate shit to people - especially people you barely know.

Just like I don't ask people why the hell they got married at 18, had a kid at 21 and another at 23, and then got divorced at 31...those people should not be asking me why I am not settling down with a gaggle of babies.

Because, I don't want to.

That should be a sufficient answer to the question you should not have rudely asked in the first place.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

I Sure Like You Too

I think in general, it is easier to assume the worst than to assume the best. Whether that be the worst in other people, the worst in what they say and what they do, or even the worst in ourselves. It's easy to forget other things people have said or done, and focus on one statement in order to twist it negatively. It's easy to give in to our insecurities and to let our imaginations run away with us, and it takes effort to focus on reality and to take things for what they really are. It's easy to lose total faith in ourselves, because for whatever reason, it seems to just be easier to be negative than to be positive.

I try very hard to maintain a positive outlook, and to focus on the positive attributes in the people in my life. I am surrounded by amazing people, and I finally feel like everyone I am spending time with, truly has my best interests at heart. With that, I have had to eliminate some relationships recently, one that was particularly painful (but less painful than continuing to exhaust myself in a one-sided friendship). It sucks when you realize that you care about someone so much more than they care about you that you have to literally delete them from your life - but sometimes that's what it takes in order to move forward and focus on the people who do actually care about you. 

Following this messy goodbye, which ended with some harsh words and some fierce criticism (of which I was on the receiving end), I have felt a little guarded lately; and with feeling guarded tends to come a little more insecurity. Things that would generally not warrant a second thought, are weighing a little heavy on my mind. I have been a little more sensitive to what people say to me, and have been a little more aware of people's actions. Needless to say, it's been a little bit of a complicated week or two. 

Earlier this week, I met up with a friend, who is seemingly also having a complicated week or two, for a drink. Well, a drink for me, several for him - he was the one having the shitty night, after all. And at the end of the night, not up for a 40 minute drive home, I found myself secure in the arms of a friend who has been a positive part of all of my days recently, feeling incredibly content. There was something comforting about fading into sleep, hearing him say, I sure like you, V, and knowing that in the pitch black, he couldn't see the smile spread across my face. 

Of course, because I am feeling guarded, and because it's easy to jump into a negative space when you're feeling insecure, I've pretty much chalked that moment up to a drunk one that he doesn't remember, but it was still the most positive I've felt all week. It was a moment in which I felt as important to someone else, as they are to me. And that's a feeling I've been missing lately, from a lot of people (specifically the aforementioned, no longer involved in my life people). It can be challenging, always being the positive force your friends need, because they don't tend to realize that sometimes you need the same positive force from them. I needed that positive five seconds.

This week is my birthday week, and I intend to spend the next 7 days full of positive energy, surrounded by positive people. While I cannot control what happens in my work day, and while I cannot control the people around me, I can control my reactions. I can choose to be positive, to enjoy my entire week from start to finish, and to make sure that my interactions with the people in my life, continue to make me feel good - and that they continue to help lower my guard and lessen my need to protect my heart. It's going to be the best birthday week, because I am finally surrounded by the best people. 

Birth-day week! Birth-day week!! (and yes, there is a dance that goes with that chant).

Friday, July 25, 2014

Word Vomit

Something I work on, almost all the time, is expressing my feelings right away when something bothers me, instead of waiting and waiting until I eventually explode. It's a work in progress, but when I look over the past three to five years of my life, it has gotten so, so much better. 

My natural response to someone hurting me, is to not say anything, to try and let it wash under the bridge. I say I'm fine, and it's okay a lot when someone says something that I find hurtful. I am also likely to make a snarky comment back, where maybe I could be joking, or maybe I could be telling you how upset I am. (I blame that on the Whitmore in me - no feelings, no expression of pain.)

And then I snap.

One little thing, one small comment, something that isn't really that big of a deal, will be the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back, and I will unload on someone, in a way that seems like an overreaction. And probably because to that one, isolated comment, I am overreacting. But for me, I am reacting to not only what just happened, but to the history of things that have bothered or upset me, the ones I tried to ignore and never said anything about.

Cue the word vomit. If there were any question about how upset I am now, or how upset I have been, based on what you've done to hurt me, it is no longer a question. Word vomit always eloquently drives my point home. You hurt me, and I am mad about it now. Word vomit is aggressive, and can be incredibly mean. But while it's happening, I don't even feel bad. Because you are the one who hurt me over and over and over, and I just happen to finally be expressing it. Healthy? No, probably not.

Like I said, this is all the Whitmore in me. Rage. It's how we display all of our emotions, really. We don't get sad, we get mad. We don't talk, we yell. We don't communicate, we talk shit. And we don't admit weakness, including admitting to someone that we are hurt by whatever they just said or did. This inability to express healthy emotions has caused irreparable rifts in my family, and has caused fight after fight, to no end. It's a lovely personality trait passed down through several generations. Be jealous. It's awesome.

Also as I said, this is something I work on, almost constantly. When someone hurts me, I often find myself saying I'm fine, and then saying, actually no I'm not. I try hard to not be the emotional basket case that I am genetically, and to insert some logic into my own emotional responses. But there are times that I don't catch it, and I let myself be hurt for a long time, and I continue to not see it happening until the day I snap. Until I am spewing word vomit all over the place. And until I'm done, and suddenly I feel so much better, so relieved, to have finally expressed my feelings.

My inability to properly express myself like a normal human is no one else's fault. I mean, I can thank whatever chromosome makes you a genetically crazy bitch, because I was born with it, but in general, my emotions are my own responsibility. And I need to keep them in check. I need to continue to focus on expressing my feelings as they happen, not months later when all I can see is red.

So the next time I say to you, hey that really bothers me that you said that, know that I am outside of my comfort zone, really focused on my boundaries, and trying my hardest to not sweep a raw emotion under the rug. Be proud of me that I didn't just wait six months for you to make a dumb ass statement and then knock you the fuck out.

Because nobody benefits from word vomit.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

It "Good Hurts" When You Do That

Disclaimer: This post is about sex. And specifically about vaginas. If you are my mom, my dad, my brother, or someone who does not want to read about the joys of sex from a woman's perspective, it is now time to avert your eyes.


Okay, I think they're gone.

I cannot take full credit for the subject of this post. It was sparked by a conversation with one of my best friends, over a Red Robin chicken salad, at lunch last week. But we somehow decided that despite it being her idea, it was the perfect post for me to write. And apparently, chicken salad at Red Robin in the middle of the day, while on lunch from work, is the perfect time to talk to your best friend about sex. I mean technically, is there really any un-perfect time to talk about sex??

Everybody knows, there is good sex and there is bad sex. And also that there is decent, mediocre sex, as well as mind-blowing epic sex. Well, I guess there's also awful, terrible, no-good sex, but that's another day. Let's just move forward assuming sex, overall, is good. It's varying levels of good, depending on the day. Sometimes you're rushed, sometimes you have all night long, sometimes you get to do it a few times in a day. Regardless, I think we can all agree that sex feels good.

If it doesn't, I am truly sorry for you, by the way.

There is a level of greatness that women experience from really, really good sex, that men don't get to experience, and therefore don't understand. Ladies, you all know the feeling I'm talking about (and hopefully you know it well): when your lady parts hurt afterwards. Like, a real hurt. You know you had a great time with your man when you wake up in the morning, and your vagina actually hurts. It hurts to walk to the bathroom, it hurts to pee, it hurts to put your panties on, and then hours later, while sitting at your desk, you realize, it still hurts.

The awesome thing about having a sore vagina, is that it reminds you of what you did to get it. You can be sitting at work, on the phone, typing away, totally consumed in your work day, when suddenly you move your leg and are met with that pang of hurt in your lady biz. And instead of thinking, fuck, that hurt, you smile. You close your eyes and bite your lip, and you think about all the different ways that earned you that sore hoo-ha just a few short hours ago, and you almost have a tiny orgasm at your desk just thinking about it. (Another thing guys don't understand...girls can have legit tiny orgasms without even touching themselves). And you find yourself picking up your cell to send your guy a text about how you can't wait to get home to jump his bones, because you've been thinking about last night all day. Because a sore vagina makes you think about sex all day. Because a good hurt, feels damn good. So of course, after 8 hours of thinking about last night, you can't wait to rush home for more.

And the cycle of the good hurt vagina continues.

Guys don't get it. And you know how I know they don't get it? Because they apologize for it. When you make a comment about it, they say they're sorry, and then they look like lost puppies when you try to explain that it's a "good hurt." Because guys have nothing to compare this pain to, and they don't know what the fuck a "good hurt" is in relation to anyone's crotch. I mean sure, maybe you bit them or scratched their back up a bit, so they may have some residual sting there, or their muscles might ache, but their dicks definitely don't hurt after they have an awesome night of sex with a girl. And no guy has ever said, but it's a good hurt in any dick-related injury. So they just don't get it. And because they don't get it, they tend feel bad about it. Especially nice guys; nice guys feel extra bad about it. Because they didn't mean to hurt you or your lady biz.

Fellas, I am here to free you from your guilt. If your girlfriend/wife/fuck buddy tells you her vagina hurts, trust me, you put in work, and she was impressed by it. She is essentially bragging to you, to you, for you. She is thanking you for an awesome night in bed. She is practically offering to tell all your friends how good it was. She wants to post on Facebook and Twitter (and her blog) the fact that you laid it down last night. She's need to apologize!

I know, I can be a bit confusing to hear that something hurts, but that it hurts in a good way. We realize that, as someone who does not know the good hurt of post-orgasm vagina, you guys don't understand. But I promise, this is not a set up; this is not a trap. You do not need to feel guilty when your girl peels herself outta bed and saunters off down the hall with a damn babe, that really hurt. Love you! She means it. We mean it. We appreciate the work you just did, and we appreciate the fact that we are going to leave for work still thinking about it, and that a couple hours after lunch we are still going to be thinking about it, and that if you did something really great, we're gonna think about it for a couple days.

So whatever you did last night that made her say that, lay it down again. She was on board.

Aaaaand thus concludes another daily dose of, things women do that confuse the fuck out of men. You're welcome.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Yes, I Hit Like a Girl...So Watch Out

By now, we have probably all seen the new "Like A Girl" campaign, but just in case you live under a rock:

This campaign is intended to remind everyone that women are not the weaker sex - that being a girl does not mean you cannot play sports, run fast, fight hard, or be tough. Being a girl does not mean you have to wear pink, brush your hair, put on heels, and be a princess. You can be a bad ass. You can be a bad ass in pink, or a bad ass in purple; but you can also be a bad ass in blue, green, black, or white. This campaign is meant to empower girls, as well as to remind everyone that when you say something like "you throw like a girl," you are insulting, demeaning, and undermining an entire gender.

There are a lot of baby girls and little girls in my life, between all of my family & friends who keep making babies, and this conversation has come up several times - the importance of not always telling a girl how sweet and beautiful she is, and how vitally important it is to their psyche to not dote on them like a princess. When I snuggle up to one of my cousins' daughters, or when I run on the playground with a little girl, I am consciously aware of the way I interact with her, the way I speak to her. I don't call them princess, I don't snuggle them up and tell them they're pretty. Instead, I tell them how fast they run, how tough they are, how brave they are. I don't buy them princess books or wrap them head to toe in pink ruffles; I am mindful of the way we play, and I make an effort to shop neutrally.

Take my cousin Camille, for example -she was the first baby girl born into my family in over 5 years, and boy were we all excited. Did I buy her a ruffly tutu? Of course. It was silver and glittery, and it was adorable. But I paired it with a blue sweater with a skull on it. Because she's going to be a bad ass chick, and she should get to dress like one from the very start.

Girls are not weak. But we are raised to believe we are. We are raised to believe that boys are tough and dirty, and that we need to be neat & tidy, and that girls don't fight. I am here to tell you, I fight. And your daughters will fight. Their Aunt V will teach them that they should fight to stand up for themselves, that they are brave and awesome, and that they can do anything they want. It's okay to be scared, and it's okay to need help - but it's not okay to expect anyone to do anything for you because you're too scared. Toughen up, it's okay if you fall, we'll all help you back up and you can try again. But you, little girls, are not weak.

Girls are not princesses. We are not put on this planet to look pretty and wait for a man to come save us. We don't need saved or rescued. And as much as I enjoy curling up with one of my favorite little girls and watching a Disney movie, I am also horrified by what Disney is teaching girls. These princesses are all saved by a man that they fall in love with at first sight, who fights some battle for them, who rescues them because they cannot rescue themselves. Disney's princesses teach little girls the polar opposite of what they should ever learn about themselves, about love, and about their knight in shining armor. You're not a princess. You don't get to boss people around or make everyone tell you you're lovely all the time. Did everyone see that article this week about that guy who flew to Africa and claimed some land for his daughter so she could be a real princess? For fuck sake, the irreversible damage he will do to that spoiled rotten brat, I can see it already.

Do the next generation of women a huge favor. The next time you pick up a baby girl, snuggle her close to your body, give her soft kisses, and coo into her tiny little ears, "you, baby girl, are going to change the world with your toughness." That's what girls need to hear. Over and over and over. Because the media is beating them over the head with something sick and twisted, something that teaches them to cry to get their way, something that teaches them that they aren't as strong as boys, and something that tells them they are weak.

Girls are strong. We are smart and brave and tough, and we can do anything. We can wear pink or blue. We can wear heels or boots. We can be scared, and we can get over it. We can play sports and run races, and most importantly, we can win. We can be the best, the strongest, the toughest. We can fight the hardest, yell the loudest, and guess what...we can even save a boy sometimes.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Let Yourself Catch a Feeling or Two

I received the following texts last night, in the midst of a conversation about catching feelings, putting your guard up, and being the, quote, nice guy:

"I guess I can't be so nice anymore. I guess I'm just too jaded to see the best in people...fuck people, get your guard up...nice guys finish last."

My immediate response to this, as a woman who is looking for a nice guy, is to retort with, umm, no, nice guys do NOT finish last! Because I know that after ten years of dating guys who are jerks, or getting my feelings hurt by guys who really just want to get a piece, I am genuinely looking for a nice guy. And I know that most of my single girlfriends are looking for a nice guy. And I know that on our end, it can feel like a pretty bleak search, because so many guys out there really are just fucking ass holes. So for a woman, who is earnestly hoping to come across one of the seemingly few nice guys out there, it can be confusing when a guy argues that nice guys finish last...and that possibly based on this, he should try to be more of an ass hole. It seems backwards and confusing, and at the same time also feels like maybe this guy is just a prick, trying to play the nice guy routine to his advantage. 

BUT, do I void my own argument by retracing my steps in the dating nightmare of the last ten years? I have to rethink my own statement: Only after ten years of dating fucking ass holes, have I realize that all I really want is a guy who wants to be nice to me. Ten years of drama. Ten years of guys lying to get in my pants. Ten years of being manipulated, having games played on me, having the tables turned or the wool pulled over my eyes. Ten years of choosing the ass hole over the nice guy. It has taken me that many years to conclude that really, the only thing that I want is a man who is nice.

So maybe the nice guys finish last statement isn't entirely untrue?

The fact is, it sort of is true. When we first turn 21 and jump out of the nest, a lot of women do go for the bad guys. We date guys who are crazy and fun and loud and who like to party and spend money and show us off to their equally douche-y buddies. We find guys who don't want to commit, but at 21, that's fine with us, because we don't really either. The difference is, while we don't want to commit to a marriage, they tend to not want to commit to not fucking our friends when we're not around. We don't make the best dating choices in our twenties, us women, because we don't have our shit together or our priorities straight. It doesn't really matter that a guy doesn't know what he wants, because we don't either, and we think in short term rather than in long term, so as long as we are having fun, we aren't really all that concerned about the rest of the details.

So I guess, as much as it pains me to admit, maybe nice guys do, in fact, finish last.

That said, I think perhaps we need to take another look at what that statement really means. And also kinda what it means to be the nice guy.

First, you're not a nice guy just because you think you're nice. It's not that simple, fellas. You're not a token nice guy just because you spend money or do things for girls either. You're a nice guy if you're honest - from day one - about your feelings and your intentions, and if that honesty doesn't falter. Buying presents does not a nice guy make. The nice guy a girl is really after doesn't leave her questioning where she stands or whether she's important, nor does he let her wonder where things are going. Nice guys, per the stereotype, are honest, loyal, committed, and forthcoming - and, per the stereotype, finish last because they are not enough of a conundrum. They aren't mysterious, they don't play games, and they don't leave a girl confused.

So, before you do anything else, clarify internally whether you really do even fall into the nice guy black hole - because many of you think you do, but then you sleep with a girl and take three days to call her back. Not nice, guys. If you're sleeping with someone who doesn't know your intentions, or if you're dating several girls and they don't know it, or if you're keeping secrets, being shady, or guarding your heart from someone, you're not being the nice guy. That doesn't mean you're not a nice guy, of course, but you're not necessarily that stereotypical nice guy that men are so afraid of being.

Second, let's say you're right. So, nice guys finish last. Does that have to be a bad thing? I mean, truthfully, if you are finishing last, doesn't that really mean you are winning? You're the one getting the girl. And isn't the girl what you were after? 

Did it take longer than you may have hoped? Probably. Is she scared that you're the same as all the rest of the guys she's met? Most likely. Does this come with issues that you may have to help her through? Possibly. When you meet her, she may have her guard up. She may be waiting for the other shoe to drop, for the day when you stop being so nice. She may be waiting for the day when you hit her or call her stupid or cheat on her, or the day you threaten to hurt her if she doesn't do what you tell her. And chances are, she will be shocked when those bad moments never come. While in reality none of her issues are your responsibility, you're probably going to become the best thing that ever happened to her. And the thing is, when you're the best thing that ever happens to someone, that someone tends to really appreciate you, to deeply love you, and to always admire and cherish you.

So maybe, even though you were technically last - because here it is ten years after her first relationship and you're just now getting the girl - you're really first.

It's all about perspective, fellas. If you're a nice guy, don't stop being a nice guy because you get burned by some girl who isn't ready for all your awesomeness. Instead, continue to be the nice guy for the right girl. Because while nice guys may finish last, it's the nice guys who - at the end of it all - get the good girls.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Just a Little Day Drunk

There are few things in life quite as tasty as an ice cold beer.

Unless of course, you are day drinking that beer in a hot shower.

There are two things I love about summer, and specifically days off in the summer: day drinking and shower beers. It's hard to say which of these two summer drinking delights I prefer over the other, because they really just both have so much awesomeness in their own right.

Day Drinking: Day drinking is amazing on a summer day, when you don't have to work, go anywhere, be anywhere, or do anything. I like to day drink on patios all summer long. The difference between day drinking and evening drinking, is that in the daytime, you have hours and hours to drink, as opposed to squeezing a few drinks into your evening. The end result tends to be less of a total drunk, and more of a steady buzz - and a steady buzz is a fun time waiting to happen.

Shower Beers: Shower beers are something I wish I would have learned about in college, when I was stressed out and losing my mind over finals and writing papers while trying to also work full time. Shower beers are best at the end of a long day, when you can't wait to crawl into bed but are still wound too tight to fall asleep. Just climb in a hot shower with a chilled Corona, and drink a beer as the steamy water relaxes you. Amazing.

I realize that a blog about the joys of day drinking and shower beers probably makes me sound like a bit of a drunken fool, but I swear I'm not - I rarely enjoy beers in the shower, it's like a dessert I get every once in a while, and my days are mostly spent working, not drinking. But when it's time to relax, sit back, and enjoy a cold drink, I do certainly love to do so outside in the sun with friends, or in the steamy quiet of my own shower (though I think the only thing to top it would be a shared shower beer).

I have really been focusing this summer on doing whatever I want, whenever I want. While this has included some day drinking and one fantastic shower beer, it has also been a lot of short road trip, a lot of long weekends, and a lot of fun with friends. I took every Friday in July off work and have been out of town every weekend - a quick overnight trip to Pacific City, a 3 day weekend in Bend/Sun River, a 3 day weekend in Pacific City this weekend, and something else fun on a 3 day weekend next weekend. My birthday weekend is the following week, and I am taking 3 or 4 days off for that, and I'm trying to coordinate another trip to Bend in August as well. It's been busy, hectic, relaxing, restful, and incredibly fun summer. Just the way I like it!

The next time you're sitting around, feeling bored or lonely, or like you don't have enough going on, just crack open a beer, take a good book out to your patio, and remember that summer time is all about doing what you love and spending time having fun. We don't all get the luxury of summers off like teachers do, but we do all have the opportunity to take advantage of the longer days and later sunset, the warmer weather, the holiday weekends, and let's be honest, the Paid Time Off we accumulated over the winter!

And then ask someone you like to bring two beers and meet you in the shower. A good shower beer will always change your perspective on summer boredom!

Try a Two-Night Stand Instead

In a conversation this morning, my girlfriend and I were discussing casual sex, and the way that there are people out there who can just go out, meet someone, go home with them, and then never hear from them again. The conversation was prompted by a story of a friend of a friend, who'd been out, met someone, went home and slept with them, and that was that. And the fascination stemmed from the fact that my girlfriend and I don't operate that way and just kinda don't get it. How do you just have sex with someone you met a couple hours ago, like it ain't no thing? And then how do you not give them your number, or take their number? How do you leave the scene of the crime with no way of contacting this person again, even if you realize later that you left your earrings on his kitchen counter? Goodbye earrings, goodbye future sex with someone who was good enough to have sex with just a few hours ago. I don't get it. 

I mean, it happens. All the time. We've all done it. I've done it, and I've lost more earrings than I probably even know about. But here I am, several years beyond my most recent one night stand, unable to understand how people do it (this does make me sound old, I know).

The funny thing is, though, the reason I can't wrap my head around it has nothing to do with any judgment of casual hookups. I mean come on, I'm about to be 31, I'm single, with no kids and no roommates - clearly I am a proponent of sex before marriage, and sometimes, sex really is just sex. I get that. My inability to comprehend the concept of a one night stand, is that the first time you have sex with someone new, it tends to be a little awkward. Maybe not awkward, but not familiar, and therefore not always great. Don't get me wrong. The sex can be good the first time; there can be passion and it can be heated, but really, there is always some stumbling, some getting to know the other person's body and hot buttons...causing the first time to not always be the best. Chances are the first time you have sex with someone new, you don't know what they like, what they don't, and they don't know what you're into either. In the end, first time sex, while exciting and new, can be a little bit of a flat line in the orgasm department.

And then comes the second time.

The second time you sleep with that person, you're getting what you're really going to get - you're getting the excitement and the passion of being with someone new, but you're also without the nerves and the uncertainty, and you're definitely more comfortable and confident in what's going down. You're more comfortable admitting what you want or what you like, and the pressure is off because you've done it once before, so you can just have a good time together and really knock it out of the park. Second time sex, tends to be a lot more likely to result in at least one orgasm per person. And second time sex tends to be a lot more fun for everyone. 

So, with a one night stand, aren't you really just walking away from potentially amazing sex for just first-time sex? When you don't give that guy from the bar your number, and you just sneak out of his place in the morning while he's still sleeping, or when you hook up with a girl in the backseat of your car and then don't invite her up to your apartment, aren't you really only abandoning your chance at an awesome second night tangled in the sheets together?

I guess it could just be me, and I could be entirely wrong in my assessment, but it seems to me that the true downfall of the one night stand, is that you are missing out on the best sex possible between you and the person you just hooked up with - the second time sex. And that's doing you both an injustice. 

Moral of the story? Always fuck someone twice. That's the only way to really know if you should keep their number or block them on Facebook

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I Hope You're Happy. And Then I Hope You're Eaten by a Shark

A friend of mine posted on Facebook last night: I just don't understand why people do things that hurt others on purpose. This post was made in response to an ex boyfriend, who was contacting her to "rub it in" that he'd broken up with her. A thread of about 40 comments followed, the majority making statements such as, well, all men are ass holes, or all women are bitches who spread their legs for blah, blah, blah. And the whole time, though people were saying these things to cheer her up, I was having a much harder time accepting that someone had gone out of his way to hurt her.

Here's the thing with the word ALL: it's not great. It's not accurate, nor is it fair. The word ALL implies that every single man on Earth is the same cheating pig, and that every single woman on Earth is a slutty whore. Which is clearly not the case. The word ALL implies a level of sexism between men and women that sadly does exist, but that we should all be doing our best to eliminate. ALL men are not ass holes, nor all ALL men the same cheating pigs. Similarly, not ALL women spread their legs for any and everyone, nor are ALL women slutty whores. Are they out there? Absolutely! But it's not fair to lump people into generalized categories of men versus women; and to those of us who do not fall into the "typical chick" category, it can be incredibly frustrating.

Because I am a woman, I am assumed to be several things: weak, timid, shy, and also bitchy, moody, and irritable. Because I am a single woman, I am often also assumed to be a little slutty. None of these are categorically true of my personality. I am as far from weak and shy as one can get, and while I may be bitchy at times when I'm mad, I am not generally a bitchy irritable person. And I am certainly not slutty. These are generalizations that people make of me because of my gender, and it's insane to me that in 2014, we're still doing that. We are still generalizing and stereotyping. That's not okay!

But, I digress.

The whole point of this blog is to point out the ways in which men and women do, in fact, hurt each other, and the fact that we do it intentionally, and how royally fucked up that is. People seem to innately know the best buttons to push to cause other people the most amount of pain possible. How do we do that? And why do we do that? Why, when you break up with someone, do you then text them to make sure they know how  happy you are without them? Why is it that causing intentional pain to someone else, can make us feel any sort of satisfaction? People are weird. And I of course include myself here. I have caused pain to people on purpose. I have wished bad things on people on purpose. I am not on a high horse pointing a shameful finger at anyone; I too, am guilty. But that doesn't make it any less weird. Hurting someone on purpose is weird. Not to mention it is probably not all that healthy for your karma.

Based on the thread of comments below my friend's Facebook post, one would generalize that in order to hurt men, women fuck another man, and in order to hurt a woman, men reach out with some sort of emotional string, and then back right back off. And maybe, despite my disdain for generalization of men and women and the coinciding stereotypes, these things are in part, true. In my experience, if after breaking things off with a guy, I sleep with someone else - or even go out on a date with someone else - I tend to get that jealous, insecure, maybe-I-don't-want-you-but-I-don't-want-him-to-have-you-either, reaction. As if somehow, these guys would still like to have a hold on me, or to have me on the back burner for when they realize that they're ready for the relationship now, and then when I move on, they see their epic fail. Similarly, it would seem that I have been most hurt by a guy who still gives just a little bit of emotional lean in. He texts you occasionally, just to say hi. He calls you randomly when he's drunk, or maybe he sends you a friend request on Facebook - but of course, not until he has another girl on his arm to brag about.

It's just stupid, the way we are all so mean to each other.

No matter what someone did to you or the reasons it didn't work out, everyone does deserve to find happiness when all is said and done. Maybe the two of you weren't happy together, but instead of looking for ways to hurt each other, you should be working to heal yourself and find someone who makes you happier. Logically speaking, that does make the most sense. Pursuing your own happiness with someone instead of looking for ways to sabotage someone else? Seems simple enough, right?

Mind. Blown!

The ways men and women intentionally hurt each other, is fucked up. It's not cool to play mind games or to try to keep someone in your pocket if you're not really interested, and it's not emotionally healthy to put happiness aside in search of sabotage. If we spent half as much time focusing on our own inner peace and what made us truly happiest, as we do on causing pain to other people, we'd all be happy little critters wandering around.

Nothing but sunshine and rainbows.

Monday, July 14, 2014


My cousin Karen - and her husband & their sons - just recently moved from Minnesota to Bend. In the months leading up to this cross-country move, which would bring them much closer to home, we would use the hash tag BENDORBUSTBITCHES to calm her down in moments of moving stress and freak out moments. It became a joke throughout the family, and whenever she'd be freaking out about where they'd live, or work, or work out, or whether or not they would meet anyone or have any friends, we'd just hash tag her, and all would be well.

I went to visit them this week, on my way to Sun River, and had a great time. I am so happy to have her home, with only two hours instead of two flights, between us.

I left Vancouver on Thursday after work, and mistakenly took the "long way" to Bend, by way of Highway 84, past Multnomah Falls and through the Gorge, then down Highway 35, and back around the other side of Mt. Hood. It was a beautiful drive, even though it took 4 hours instead of 2, and Karen was waiting up for me well past bed time. I took my time, listened to my music loud, and pulled over at a couple viewpoints to snap some photos. In the 4 hours it took to drive, windows down, from home to Bend, it occurred to me how rare it is that I have a block of time to myself, with no cell phone, no TV, and nothing I "have" to get done. It was amazing. I just drove, sang along with my CD player, and was grateful for the 3 hours of the drive in which I had no cell reception.

I don't do enough of that. I don't turn off my phone enough. I don't get off of Facebook enough. I don't log out of my email or turn off the TV enough. I am constantly connected to my entire world, to all of my friends and family, and even to my job, through my iPhone, and I don't often enough make myself log out, put it away, and focus on myself. I need to do a better job at that. Being disconnected from life always has the same effect on me - a calming effect, where I feel like the air smells fresher and the sun is brighter, and where I can literally get lost in the book I am reading or the song I am listening to. Reading a book without interruption - even when it's a friend calling - is an experience I can't get enough of, and don't give myself often enough.

Friday morning, after I slept in and took my time playing Candyland with Aiden & Grant, Karen and I went for a five mile trail walk, which was easy & relaxing at points, with some uphill challenges as well; but the views were gorgeous and being able to get outside and just enjoy my cousin's company was great.

After our walk, I took off from Bend to meet my cousin Stacey & her husband, our friend Juliana & her husband, and their 3 little ones in Sun River for the rest of the weekend. I showed up at nap time (for the kids), so everyone else was just lounging around. I read some of my book, we played board games, and after nap we had dinner on the patio and played in the grass. I spent Saturday, once again away from my phone, floating the river with Stacey, Tyler, and Patrick, while Juliana stayed behind and played with the boys. We ate, drank, enjoyed the sunshine, and rode bikes to the park. All without access to email. All without answering any phone calls. All with minimal texting.

Despite the three kids and the very full house, it was a very relaxing weekend with minimal toddler melt downs, good company, and amazing weather. Totally worth the long drive both ways, and a great reminder that sometimes life gets hectic and you have to force yourself away from work mode and just let yourself get sucked into the book you've been reading, or the board game you're trying to play, or the tricycle rider at your feet.

I left Sun River on Sunday afternoon and spent the next 3 hours driving through small towns, along riverbanks, and eventually into rush hour traffic on the freeway, again with the music up loud and my cell phone just out of reach (it was out of signal range anyway), and again with the mental clarity only a vacation weekend can bring.

I need to be better at remembering to chase happiness, in whatever form it looks like. More weekends away, more time with my family, more time with my nose in a book, and less time connected to a phone that dings every time a resident calls in a work order. The world will keep spinning, even if I step out of orbit for a moment.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Let's F%#@ in the Library

A friend of mine shared this blog about falling in love with people who read on Facebook today (for the record, why don't any of my posts go viral), and it got me thinking back to that day I posted this picture and the conversation it sparked:

The conversation went south fairly quickly, but it was a pretty hilarious thread of about 55 comments. And most of it was fairly x-rated, crude jokes about both the guy in the photo, and the fact that reading books does in fact make you more attractive - at least to some people.

I am one of those people.

I started this blog the day after I posted that photo on Facebook, but the article posted today prompted me to finish it... 

Men who read - who read actual, real books - are fucking sexy. Men who talk about the books they read, who share conversations about the books you've both read, who buy or loan you their favorite books, are, to be frank, Hot. As. Shit. And I think it's in part because men who read books are in some sort of minority among men who play video games instead. Finding a man who talks to you over dinner about the last book he got sucked into and read all night long is sorta like seeing a unicorn. 

Here's the thing. I read. I read a lot. I took every English and Writing class offered at PSU in college, and I devour good books like good food. I can read a novel in a day if it's interesting enough. I spend vacation time reading books. I love bookstores. I just honestly love to read. Laying on the couch all weekend, in my jammies, with the tv off and some music playing, is one of my favorite things to do. A man on the opposite end of the couch under my blanket? Not too shabby of a weekend, I'm telling ya. 

There seems to be a significant lack of men who read. I mean, to be fair, not a lot of chicks are burying their noses in books lately either, but I am not any more or less into a women based on her ability to converse about books. But really, since when do guys not read? I feel like I remember having far more conversations about books-you-have-to-read-right-this-minute with guys in high school than I do now, and that makes sense I guess, since we were required to read for homework back then. But at what point did men decide to put down the books and pick up the video game controller instead? It's seriously un-hot. 

I guess that's the question to which I am seeking an answer: At what age does a guy stop reading for pleasure? And why do so many of them do that? And actually, do they not know that it's a very attractive quality in a man? 

Okay so technically that was three questions. But I want to know the answer. 

I know this blog gets a lot of action from the guys out there, and especially when the title insinuates that it may be a sex-related topic (like the one I wrote about sexting, which is my number two most viewed post), so I wonder if anyone will tell me the cold hard truth behind men and their disinterest in books - and I wonder how many of them will go home and read a book this weekend, knowing how much more likely they are to get into my pants that way.

It's not just me, guys. Chicks are into guys who are capable of - and actually enjoy - reading a book. Not because they have to, not because an employer assigned it or because they have to take a class, but because they want to. We like a man who can chill in the quiet of the sofa all night, play footsie, read, have real conversation, and then rock our worlds. Don't believe me? Try it. I promise, I am right. 

Go home. Read a book. Watch it make your lady swoon. You can thank me later. 

I Know You're Out There. I'm Not Listening.

I have never had a regular 8-5 job. You know, the kind where you show up at 8:00, eat lunch from 12-1, and go home at 5:00. Prior to property management, which is what I do now, I was a cocktail waitress, where there are zero set hours, no way of having any clue when you'll eat, how fast you'll inhale food, or when you'll go home. And it was part of the gig.

Now, I work 8:00-5:00, but the chances that I can lock the door for 60 entire minutes right at noon, is slim to none. Because people come in on their lunch hour to rent apartments and to bitch about their neighbors or their late fees or the fact that they can't just do whatever they want whenever they want. So there are days where I lock the door at 11:00 and eat while sitting on a conference call, and there are days where I shove a salad down my face at 2:00 in the afternoon while a line of people waits outside the door. And it's part of the current gig.

The thing I find interesting, is that people find it appropriate behavior to sit outside of my locked office (where a clock is posted, by the way, with the return time), knocking on the door, thinking that I am going to get up from my lunch to let them in. Whether it is the mailman, the Fed Ex driver, a vendor, a resident, a happens daily. Literally, daily. And every day it surprises me, even though by now it really shouldn't. Because it is a daily occurrence.

What I am saying, essentially, is that I am faced with ass holes, daily, at lunch time. Since when is it considered acceptable and appropriate to bang on someone's door when their office is locked for lunch? I don't understand.

And the reason I don't understand, is that I am not a self-centered, egotistical ass face who believes the universe centers around me. I don't wake up each day thinking that the sun should rise and set on my ass. I also don't think that when I walk into a store, restaurant, apartment community, or other place of business, that I get to demand to be the center of attention and chastise everyone in the wake of my Bitch Tornado. I understand that sometimes, in the midst of the day, someone working in an office or a store might have to eat some food or use the bathroom.

It is astounding the number of people out there who do not accept this information. What the fuck do you mean you are closing for lunch? Why can't you just leave the door open and help me with these 46 things while you eat? And I don't care that you have to pee, I need something Right Fucking Now! It is truly remarkable, the way people treat people in the customer service industry. For the record, for all of you true fucking ass holes out there, it is customer service, not customer bendthefuckoverandletmekissyourdumbass.

The point of this rant is not to bag on the asinine people with their insane requests demands that I encounter every day, but rather to point out the absolute growing lack of respect and common courtesy out there in the world. The staggering number of people who truly do believe that their time is priceless while other people's time is irrelevant, blows my mind. I find it hard to comprehend the thought processes of these people, who just float around the world, demanding shit and being mean. It is not all about you. Seriously, it's not.

Stop and think for a second, about how much more pleasant our daily lives would be, if we were just nice to people? I mean really. When is the last time you were in a rush, so you were rude to a clerk who makes minimum wage, or the last time you honked at someone taking too long to cross the street so you could turn and be on your way? We do it all the time. We're rushing around, tied up in our own shit, and as a result, we're legit fucking mean to everyone. And that's not okay. No one deserves for me to walk into the store demanding attention immediately, just because I am running late for something. Just like I don't deserve to be constantly interrupted from my one quiet hour, where all I want to do is eat something and listen to some music.

Everyone just needs to calm the fuck down. Life will happen at its own pace, so why are we pushing it? Just slow down and enjoy the ride. And fucking be nicer to those of us whose job is to help get you through your damn day in one piece.