Thursday, February 27, 2014

I'd Rather Just Play Monopoly, This Shit is Complicated

One of my girlfriends just told me a story about how when she first started dating her now-fiancee, he would take hour-long showers every morning, and how almost a year into their relationship, he finally admitted that he had been just turning on the shower so she didn't know he was actually going to the bathroom and then getting in the shower. As though she would believe he never, ever dropped a deuce.


There is so much awkwardness involved in dating, especially in that weird stage where you're definitely dating and probably exclusively, but neither of you has dropped the girlfriend/boyfriend bomb yet. Before one of the two of you grows a pair and drops the bomb, there is a ton of opportunity for awkwardness. Because before that term gets tossed into the mix, there is a whole lot of tiptoeing around it, hints being dropped, even some games being played. And games lead to nothing but awkwardness.

When we're "just dating" someone, shit is weird. We try to be awesome and clever, and we attempt to hide the uncool stuff we do. Guys try to be extra nice and maybe send flowers for no reason or take out the trash or cook us dinner. As girls, we don't poop or fart in a guy's house, nor do we admit that we can't cook or clean to save our lives, And none of us, ever, admit the actual number of other people we have had sex with. That's how it works. Games.

It's funny, by the way, that while you're dating kinda casually, games are less annoying, and yet once you're in a relationship - like you've dropped the boyfriend bomb - games are absolutely unacceptable. Once you're in a relationship with someone, games are grounds for a break up. We flip the switch from thinking it's cute and kinda a challenge, to thinking it is annoying and disrespectful. Like, well as long as this is just me giving up the milk for free without you buying the cow, it's totally fine for you to play these games...just know I will no longer think it's acceptable once you're my boyfriend.

Anyways, so you're dating and there's games. No one has said that they aren't dating other people, and no one has promised they're not sleeping with anyone else. You're still using condoms to military precision because well, you just don't know where someone else has been! Games. You're texting, but maybe not every night, but you're definitely not calling to check in with each other. Games. You keep your cell phones on lock down and don't answer texts in front of each other, because you're possibly the only one of the two of you still involved with other have no idea, because you haven't talked about it yet. Because you're busy mind-fucking each other instead of having conversations about where you each see this going. Because you know, you don't want to freak him out, and he doesn't want to scare you away. Games!

And as I said, games lead to awkwardness. Being mind fucked leads to feeling awkward. Suddenly you find yourself questioning yourself and your every move...will she freak out if I sleep with this other girl, will he be annoyed if I text him before I go to sleep? Things that ordinarily don't require a second thought, things that just come naturally, start to really seem like trickery and often feel like trying to solve a complicated math equation. If you were my boyfriend, would I text you before bed? Yes. Okay so then why is this so fucking weird? You're dating, you're allowed to say goodnight without it being a life decision.

We all just need to calm the fuck down and stop being so damn awkward.

Can't we just find a little happy place somewhere between being afraid to use each other's bathrooms without turning the water on, and leaving the door open when we go? It seems so simple, right? I can go to the bathroom at your place, but I am going to shut the door - and lock it - but I won't turn the water on and sing a song to keep you from hearing what I'm doing in here.

It's dating, it's not the first day of the rest of your life. Calm down. Check your phone if you need to. Be honest about who else you're dating, or be honest about not wanting to see other people anymore. use the bathroom. Eat in front of your date (yea, seriously, I have been the girl who is suddenly just, never hungry, with a new guy...which for the record, just leads to hanger, and no one wants that). Speak your truth, people, and go after what you want!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Warning: I Say Stupid Shit

Have you ever thought about what it means to begin a statement with the preface, "I don't want to be an asshole, but"? I mean, really thought about it? Because that phrase annoys me to no end. Oh hey, I know I am about to say something mean/hurtful/disrespectful, but by prefacing it with a warning, maybe it'll lessen the blow. 

All you're really saying is, Warning: I'm a prick and I'm about to prove it.

Someone in my family works with someone who prefaces a lot of statements with, "You know I'm not racist, but *insert racist statement here*." Actually, yes, yes you are racist. Just because you claim not to be before making some ridiculous racial judgment, does not negate the racial judgment. 

The same goes for statements beginning with, "I'm not an asshole but *insert super ass hat comment here*." Fuck you. Actually you are, in fact, an asshole. Not because you said that, but because you made a bold disclaimer about how you know you're being an asshole. 

The irony is, if you make an asshole comment without starting a sentence that way, you could turn around and claim that you didn't realize you were being an asshole. In which case, people may be more forgiving. But by calling it out before you even make your statement, you are waiving all rights to being forgiven easily, because you are taking ownership that you know your comment is fucking bull shit, before you even say it.

If you feel that a decision you are making, or something you are saying to someone, requires a disclaimer about how you know it's a mean thing to do or say, or that you have to start it with, no offense but, perhaps you should reconsider what you're about to say. Are you about to hurt someone's feelings? Are you about to make your friend angry? Might you not need to really say what you're about to say? What good is about to come from what you are about to say, knowing full well that it is an asshole comment? 

Don't get me wrong, I am all for honesty. Speak your truth. Be real. Do what you need to do. Just be aware of how fucking idiotic you come across when you start a sentence with the admittance of what a jerk you are. And know that as that sentence comes out of your mouth, you are about to say something that will most likely hurt the person on the receiving end. And know that after admitting that you are about to be an asshole, and that after you make the statement anyway, the worst thing you could follow up with is, "I'm sorry." 

No, you are not sorry. If you were sorry, you would not have made the hurtful statement in the first place. If you were sorry, the outcome of this conversation would be different. If you were sorry, the person you just hurt - knowing ahead of time you would hurt them - would not be hurt. Because if you felt any sort of actual remorse, the conversation would have gone much differently. So don't say you're sorry when you're not sorry. That's even more annoying. "I don't want to be an asshole, but *asshole comment*...but I am really sorry" is literally the most annoying group of words a person could say out loud. Just shut up instead and say nothing. 

I don't want to be rude, but...

Sunday, February 23, 2014

I Never Want to Live in a House Without a Honey Tree

When I was a little kid, my favorite place to be was in Grandma and Grandpa Stacey's front yard, climbing the honey tree. We called it the honey tree because it looked just like the honey tree in Winnie the Pooh - tall, without leaves, with lots of branches that were just right for climbing. It was the perfect place to play, and as we got older, it became the perfect place to sit and talk with my cousins. We would just choose a branch and sit there for hours, talking and laughing, while Grandma tooled around the flower bed. When I think back about being a little kid, that tree is the most vivid of my memories. I remember the general love of the tree, and I remember specific moments that took place in it.

Grandma Stacey was my favorite person, and I loved spending time with her. She was clever and funny and could always make me laugh. She used to pay me and Stacey to come over and wrap her Christmas presents, and she'd make us leave the room when it was time to wrap our presents. She would make us lunch, bake us cookies, and wrap up on the couch in the back room to watch movies with us. She took such good care of us.

Stacey and I drove down to the beach one weekend, and when we walked into the house, Grandma was sitting on Grandpa's lap on the living room chair, and Grandpa was brushing her hair. It is one of my favorite memories of the two of them; they were just so cute together down at the beach. I loved watching them get dressed in their nicest outfits to go into town to BiMart or to the senior center, and I loved spending time doing puzzles at the dining room table with them, listening to them both hum tunes that had no words.

My generation is one that gets tattoos. When someone passes away, we tend to find comfort in some ink in our skin that reminds us of that person. I love that. I love tattoos, whether they be mine or someone else's. I think a well done tattoo is artistic and beautiful, and I especially love a tattoo with a story behind it.

I have been planning this tattoo since Grandma and Grandpa passed away in 2009. I had no idea what I wanted, until I finally had a moment this summer that reminded me of how much I loved the honey tree. From there, I just had to wait until I was ready. And I decided this week I was ready. I went to see Travis at Tron City Tattoo, the same artist who did my cover up recently. I told him my general idea, and off he went. He asked me questions about my grandparents, about the way I remember them interacting, about the way they were. I told him I remember Grandma just always telling me how much she loved Grandpa, and how he was always humming along with something. I made my appointment and then we emailed a couple more times with images and moments I remembered about my grandparents.

Today, I got it done. Rachel and I went out to the studio, and I suffered through the most painful tattoo I've ever gotten. It. Hurt. So. BAD. But I love it. The face on the female bee is so enamored with the song the male bee is singing. These bees are in love and they're happy. They are surrounding their hive, providing it with love and with music, and with happiness.

My grandparents were the best. I loved spending time with them as a kid. I loved running away to their beach house as a teenager. I loved being with them in college. And I loved talking to them and spending time with them as an adult. I never felt anything but love, support, and encouragement from them.

Not everyone is lucky enough to have the relationship I did with their grandparents and their cousins, and I know how incredibly special this family is. We were raised together, to be nice and supportive of each other, we spend time together and enjoy each other's company. I have nothing by happy memories of growing up in the family, and I will never forget the moments I shared with my grandma and grandpa, especially the ones in the front yard, when they sat on the porch while Stacey, Thor, and I chased each other up the honey tree as fast as we could go.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Sorry, Team Crazy Meets on Mondays

Among the top 5 things a woman should never do if she doesn't want to be seen as an insecure, jealous, psycho, is reading her boyfriend/husband's email. Just don't do it. Nothing good will ever come of it. Especially if you're trying to me sneaky and shady about it - just what are you trying to prove exactly?

Reading your man's emails - and I do mean, hacking his password or waiting to open his computer til he is in the bathroom - is a perfect example of why I have mostly male friends and why I think overall, girls are crazy bitches. There is a difference between someone saying, oh hey babe, do you mind checking my email for me, and waiting until someone is not looking to spy on them like a maniac.

In reality, reading anyone else's email is stupid and shady, whether it be your man, your boss, your coworker...doesn't matter, crazy is crazy. But since women get a bad rap for being crazy, I find it highly irritating when one turns around and does something that is actually crazy. Way to make us all look bad, ladies! I thought we were all on the same team. Team Not Crazy. If you have ever read your guy's email, you can't be on our team anymore!

What good ever comes from hacking your man's Facebook or email or cell phone anyway? I've never done it, so I don't know, maybe I'm missing something. Is it like a secret thrill to have that kinda control and power? Do women secretly enjoy looking for ways to be mad? I don't get it. But the way I see it, being a shady bitch and reading your man's messages will have one of two outcomes:

Outcome #1. You log in and read everything, to discover that there has been nothing to hide on his end. You now have the choice to either lie and act like you didn't do it, or admit that you were a jealous maniac and look like an ass hat because he wasn't doing a damn thing wrong. Either way, you probably just doomed your relationship, because you have created a lack of faith and trust, and it is only a matter of time before this awesome guy realizes that you, my friend, are crazy. And guys don't want to marry crazy girls. There are only certain places it is tolerable to be crazy. And most of them require you to be naked.

Outcome #2. You log in and read everything, to discover something that bothers you. Now what? Do you get mad at him? Do you pretend you don't know anything and just drive yourself batty waiting to catch him in a lie? Or do you admit that you have zero respect for privacy and start a fight? At this point, by bringing it up as a fight, you've now made yourself into the ass hole because you are starting a fight over what you feel he did wrong...that you figured out by doing something wrong! If you are wanting to discuss how you have a lack of trust, you are now equally as guilty of being an untrustworthy partner, because you violated his trust to read his emails to seek out what you were looking for. You have just lost your argument. Good job.

Here's the thing (and I am stealing this from someone else). The written word is a sterile thing. It's almost like you have to be in that friendship to understand the words being written when two friends chat. True words. I know that I am someone who writes much more eloquently than I speak. I can explain my feelings in writing much better than I can explain them out loud. So when I write an email, or send a text, or Facebook chat with someone, my words are much more raw, much more expressive. That's how I am. So if you don't know me, and you read something I wrote, and maybe it was in a conversation with your boyfriend - who also is a friend of mine - you probably read it out of context. Which is why people should never read other people's messages!

The next time you get an itch to sneak into your boyfriend's bedroom while he's in the shower and open his Facebook page to start checking in on his life, stop and think. Why are you doing that? Do you think he's cheating on you? Are you trying to see if he's talking to an exgirlfriend? Are you looking for evidence of some other thing he did wrong? Or are you just a jealous idiot? Are you prepared to find nothing of consequence, or are you the type to make a mountain out of a mole hill? Is this guy an ass hole, or are you just insecure? Why is reading his emails the next step of your I'm Not Crazy plan?

If your man is giving you reasons to feel that you cannot trust him, you don't need evidence, just fucking get rid of him! Your gut is right. If you instinctively feel you are with a man you can't trust, it's because you shouldn't trust him. Break up with him. And do it before you become the bad guy, before you check his email and dissolve your whole I Can't Trust You standpoint. Because once you've crossed that threshold, now he can't trust you either, and you're on equally idiotic ground. Your intuition is right. Maybe it's telling you that you are with the wrong person. Maybe it's telling you you're not ready. Perhaps it should be telling you to stop acting like a damn detective and just end a crappy relationship. Either way, don't put yourself in crazy shoes to prove a point; act on your instinct. Because no matter what you find or don't find by spying, and no matter what a guy uses as an excuse or validation, if something feels wrong to you, it's because it is wrong.

I swear, every time I think to myself, hey I should really try to make some more female friends, a chick I know flies off the crazy train, and I remember why I only have 5 girlfriends. Guys are right, bitches be crazy!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Language of L-O-V-E

  • A: Who do you like and Why? Well, now that I have been thrown back to 7th grade, I am ready to go! There's not anyone in particular occupying the time, energy, and space in my heart at the moment. That said, I'm a single woman, and there's always someone drawing my attention...damn boys. 
  • B: Have you ever been in love? If yes, how many times, and how do you know it was love? I always have a tough time with this one...I'd say I was in real, meaningful love, twice. I was in love with Zach for his amazing spirit and the way he could make me smile, and for the way he made every moment so entertaining. And I was in love with Mark. It's funny, in the 3 years I was with Kalib, never once did I actually feel love like I felt from Zach, not one time. It was always forced and hard, and never fun. Ironic, since that was my longest relationship. 
  • C: Longest relationship you've ever been in, and why did it end? I was with Kalib for just shy of 3 years. It ended because he was an abusive idiot who threatened to get rid of Juno, which was finally enough reason for me to leave.
  • D: Have you ever changed for someone, if yes, how? I think everyone you're with changes you in some ways, and I don't always think that's a bad thing. I think when I was with Zach, I was more carefree and made more time to have fun and be silly. I've been with guys who have grounded me or reeled me in, and I've been with guys who have encouraged my erratic personality. The same is true of friends, really; the people in your life have a way of making changes in you, and sometimes those changes can be positive. 
  • E: Pretend I'm you ex, what do you want to say to me? This question is stupid. End. 
  • F: Have you ever been cheated on? Probably, but I don't dwell on it. The past is just that, the past. I have worked really hard to understand and embrace that all men are not created equal, and that I cannot blame a new partner for the mistakes of the last one. 
  • G: Have you ever cheated? No, never.
  • H: Would you date someone who's know for cheating, if yes why? Probably not...I'm 30, not 18, so if you are "known for cheating," it probably means you've been on a talk show trying to prove you are not the babydaddy or something; we don't gossip so much in our old age. 
  • I: What's the most important part of a relationship? Chemistry. Without it, you will always only be friends. I need that animal instinct, the sex drive, the passion...otherwise I lose interest and you end up in the friendzone.
  • J: Do you like to be in serious relationships or just flings? I think it just depends on what the situation is, I don't have a preference necessarily. There are times when I am happy to be single and doing the casual thing, and there are times when I am in a happy committed relationship - you just can't force these things. 
  • K: When you are dating someone do you believe in going on "breaks"? Nope. If it's done enough for a break, it's done. 
  • L: How many people have you ever hooked up with? I will never answer this, especially not on the internet! 
  • M: What's one thing you regret saying or not saying, doing or not doing in a previous relationship? Meh, I have no regrets. Everything I have done, everything that has happened to me, has gotten me where I am today. I am a happy, healthy, functioning, single woman because of everything in my past. Can't change it, may as well learn from it. 
  • N: What age do you think is appropriate for kids to start having sex? Kids and sex don't belong in the same sentence...
  • O: Do you believe in the phrase, "Age is just a number?" Why or why not? Um, no. Because people who are young, don't have success with people who are older (generally) because of the maturity level differences. For example, I would be less likely to date a guy 10 years younger than me, just because of where they are in their lives. I am not saying it's a science, but overall, I think you need to be close-ish in age to your partner.
  • P: What about "Love at first sight"? Why or why not? I don't buy it. You have to have so much more than a first glance to be in love. That is not to say, though, that I have not felt that strong instinct towards someone that I don't know. I recently felt a desire to meet someone after reading a post on someone else's Facebook. Sometimes, feelings just happen, you can't rationalize the heart; it wants what it wants I guess.
  • Q: Turn on's? I feel like I am filling out a dating profile...I like long walks on the beach? Kidding. I am attracted to humor, to a guy who takes life lightly. I like meaningful conversation, holding hands, and kissing. And in a more literal sense, I am turned on by a bit of dirty texting throughout the day. 
  • R: Turn off's? Smoking, ew. And guys who are too aggressive. Not my style. 
  • S: What do you consider a deal breaker? So many things...abuse, violence, disrespect, jealousy, misplaced anger, cheating, lying. I just want someone who is good to me, and apparently that is not always the simplest thing to stumble on.
  • T: How do you know it's time to end a relationship? Your heart will tell you. Or someone will hit you. Or they'll cheat. There's always a tell.
  • U: Are you currently in a relationship? If yes, for how long? If no, how long have you been single? I'm not. I have actually been single for 11 whopping months. Yikes! 
  • V: Do you think people who have dated can stay friends? I do, yes...depending on how the relationship ended. I'm friends with guys I've dated, and it works just fine. 
  • W: Do you think people should date their friends? Yes, yes, YES! Friendship is the base of a love that can last forever, that can outlast all the messy shit. If you're not friends, you're nothing. 
  • X: How many relationships have you had? 3 that were serious.
  • Y: Do you think love can last forever? Yes, I do. How sad would my existence be if I didn't?
  • Z: Do you believe love can conquer all things? I'm not sure...

Monday, February 17, 2014

Friendzoned Should Be A Relationship Status on Facebook.

Friend Zone: What you attain after you fail to impress a woman you're attracted to. Usually initiated by the woman saying, "You're such a good friend". Usually associated with long days of suffering and watching your love interest hop from one bad relationship to another. Verb tense is "Friend-ed".

My apartment is not friend zone material. My apartment is clean. It smells like a girl. It is dimly lit and doesn't share walls. It's not a place for friends. At least not friends of the male persuasion. Boys with girlfriends don't get to come to my apartment unattended; my apartment is just one of those smell-good, warm, inviting homes that makes magic happen that may not happen otherwise. It isn't my fault. It is my apartment's fault. 

Reason #1 why my apartment is not friend zone material: I have a fireplace. Fireplaces are romantic and cozy, and they keep a little apartment super warm. Fireplaces are practically an invitation to take your pants off. Not super friendly.  

Reason #2 why my apartment is not friend zone material: I don't have a couch, just a love seat. The seating arrangement in my living room practically forces you to cuddle. My couch is tiny, but you can only kinda see the television from the chair. So, it's cuddle time. Also not super friendly. 

Reason #3 why my apartment is not friend zone material: It's clean, and it smells amazing. I'm a girl; we just smell good in general. I don't have a dog or multiple cats. I clean the litter box 3 times a day for the cat I do have. I don't cook odd smelling food. I burn a feminine, floral Scentsy smell in every room. I don't leave dishes in the sink, I clean my kitchen and I vacuum all the time. It's a girl's apartment - delicious and appealing. Not friend zone material. 

Reason #4 why my apartment is not friend zone material: It's quiet, it doesn't share walls, and it isn't well-lit. Something about a poorly lit apartment seems awful when you're on your tour thinking about where to move, and yet, living in it, it's awesome. No blinding lights, lots of ambiance...and I use candles. Lots of them. So girly and feminine, and not good for friends of the opposite sex. 

Reason #5 why my apartment is not friend zone material: I never wear pants. The be all, end all of breaking the friend zone barrier. I don't wear pants in my apartment. Really, ever. I don't like pants. I like to hang out in a hoodie and my panties, with a pair of fuzzy slippers - it's just how I am most comfy. Boys with girlfriends are therefore, essentially not allowed in my apartment at any time, with the exception of about a 4 minute window of when I get home from work. Not wearing pants is, frankly, the epitome of what makes my apartment poorly suited for anyone in the friend zone. 

We all have friends in the friend zone, many of whom most likely wish they were not in the friend zone. I mean, get real - do you really think all of your friends of the opposite sex really just want to maintain a platonic relationship with you? I doubt it. At least ten of them wish the two of you were having regular sex. Probably three more wish you were dating. Another one wants to be your serious relationship. And at least one is picturing a wedding, 2 kids, and a dog with you. But by all means, continue your delusion that you have all these friends who are just always call you back, who text you every morning, who buy you lunch or pick up your dry cleaning, and who constantly tell you how amazing you are. Because they're just suuuuuper nice. You've got great friends! 

The funny thing about the people you've friendzoned is, they end up being the best people in your life. They end up being the ones who care about you the most, the ones who treat you the best, the ones who respect you. The people you've put into the friend zone for whatever silly reason you've concocted in your head, tend to be the people who take care of you when you're sick, who think you're the prettiest without makeup on, who appreciate your bad habits and love you no matter what.

Because we are idiots (just in general, as a human race) we fool ourselves into thinking that these awesome people who we've stuck in the friend zone are the way they are because they are such a good friend. The reality is, though, that the person you put there - the person who makes you laugh the loudest and who cheers you up after every fight, every broken heart, every epic fail -  is probably your lobster, and you're just too stupid to see it. If you have someone who always texts you back, who brings you dinner when you have a crazy work deadline, who makes you laugh like no one else, or who gives the best, tightest hugs...maybe you should take a minute to reconsider their role in your life. Maybe they're not the good friend you thought they were; maybe they're the one you should be inviting over to your girly-smelling, warm, cozy apartment to lay by the fireplace in your skivvies. 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

You Have to Picture Lobsters

We've all seen that episode of Friends, where Phoebe explains to the group why Ross is Rachel's lobster.

(In case you live in a cave, you can see the scene HERE).

Phoebe explains to Ross and Chandler that Ross needn't worry about Rachel dating other guys, because she is his lobster - "and we all know lobsters fall in love and mate for life."

Urban dictionary defines the phrase being someone's lobster as, being the one true love you always go back to. And as we know, Urban Dictionary knows what's up.

I was out last night with some friends, and the topic of being lobsters came up at some point, several drinks in. I commented that I wasn't anyone's lobster, that I was more like a barnacle...and was met with our friend Mike's reply: "It's like being a barnacle on a ship sailing towards someone else."

And for whatever reason, when he said it, it was one of the funniest things I've ever heard. Because yes, we've all been there! We have all been dating someone who we knew just had eyes for someone else. We've all dated someone just to take a break from being single, knowing full well there was no real future at all - thus knowing they were not our lobster. We have all dated plenty of people who we know are most definitely, not our lobster.

But then someone comes along that stops you in your tracks, makes you feel like, holy shit, this one might be real; this may be my lobster! You're happy, you're content, you're yourself, and they accept it. You put up with their snoring, and they put up with your inability to stay up past 9pm. It's great. It seems awesome. You're excited.

And then you get railroaded by reality.

Despite any and all past relationship fails, I do believe there's a lobster out there for everybody (despite having been told this morning that there are some people who don't get a lobster, in the name of natural selection). But you have to be ready for it. You have to stay positive and understand that all the morons in your past do not have anything to do with the lobster in your future. You can't hold grudges, you can't be bitter, you can't decide you hate the opposite sex or believe that they are all out to get you; you've gotta just embrace the punches as they come at you.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Were You Absent on That Day in Health Class?

Why do people think it's funny to make jokes about people getting pregnant? Especially single people who do not want to parent a child?

Person A: "I was snowed in at home with my girlfriend/boyfriend this weekend."
Person B: "So we should expect to meet your baby in 9 months?"

Why do people think this is funny? It's really, truly not. Whenever someone says this to me, my gut response is, No, because unlike your apparently incredibly stupid ass, I know the importance of birth control. It isn't funny, and it could be super offensive if you said it to the wrong person.

I am a single woman who does not wish to be a mother. There have been times in my adult life where this has been a sensitive issue for me, whether it be because the guy I was dating wanted kids, or had a kid, or didn't want to just dismiss kids in the future. There have been times where I have had to get really defensive on this issue because other people in my life have felt they needed to talk me into changing my mind.

I also happen to be a woman who has had some medical procedures which may result in my actual inability to be a mother. What if I was really upset about this? What if I was a woman who did want to have kids and was maybe even trying to have kids, and couldn't because of reasons out of my control? What if I was desperately trying to get pregnant, and you didn't know, and you made that bull shit comment and I was deeply hurt?

Separately, I am an intelligent and educated woman, who knows the responsibility and importance of practicing safe sex. What if I took your "joke" to mean that you thought I was too stupid to take my pills or use condoms? I mean, I'm not that hypersensitive, but some people are.

And on top of that, before you make this dumb joke to someone about how they probably had so much crazy sex all weekend long that they couldn't possibly have used their brain for the 5 seconds it takes to get a condom, think about the last time you had some sort of pregnancy scare. Was that funny? I bet not. Because just like some people are attempting to get pregnant and are having trouble, there are some of us whose families are constantly popping babies out of their lady parts, reminding us that we come from extremely fertile roots, where you can possibly get us pregnant by simply standing in the same room as us. And sometimes you do make that mistake where you think you forgot your pill yesterday, or where it might be the weekend you're ovulating, or something broke, or whatever...that happens! And it is never funny, because it's too fucking scary to be funny. If, while taking the morning after pill, someone asked me if I got pregnant yesterday, I may actually punch them in the crotch.

It isn't funny to make jokes to people about getting knocked up. While I am not one to find myself deeply offended or feeling hurt by these jokes, I have friends who are. I have friends who are trying to get pregnant without any luck. I have friends who have had one baby and want another one but can't make it happen. I have friends who have delivered still born babies or who have miscarried and are in the process of making the life decision of whether or not to try again. We all probably know someone who wants a baby and doesn't have one...for that woman, jokes about getting knocked up are not funny.

Pregnancy and fertility can be such a joyous, exciting experience. But it can also be incredibly hard. I don't think the risk is worth it to make a dumb joke to someone who spent the weekend at home with their partner...just because they were closed up in an apartment all weekend, doesn't mean they were creating a life.

I mean, yea, there was sex being had. But nobody was being a careless idiot. And even if they were, you're not the authority to remind them of that. Leave it alone. We're not 15, sex jokes aren't that funny.

Ok fine, some of them are funny. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

You is Kind. You is Smart. You is Important. And THAT Makes You Beautiful.

As women, we are raised in a world full of unrealistic expectations pertaining to our bodies to think we are fat. No matter how thin, how fit, how athletic, how shapely, how curvy we are, if someone asks us about our bodies, we refer to it as fat. We're programmed that way, and it's truly sad.

I follow a Facebook page called A Mighty Girl, where I read tons of blogs and posts about how we can change the story, how we as women can stop feeding into how little girls are raised in a world where they can't focus on anything but being skinny; it's an uphill battle, with the world against us, but I do believe it can happen. Especially when I watch my friends with daughters, not calling them pretty or cute, not decking them head to toe in pink or bows, bur telling them how smart and brave and special they are, by dressing them like superheros for Halloween, and by talking to them about strong, confident women - and most importantly, by being confident with their own bodies, in front of their daughters. My friend Ashley is an example that I find very inspiring. Her daughter is only a year old, but when Ashley & Oryan talk about her, they call her strong, they call her a warrior, they call her a tornado. They are raising a strong woman already, even in the precious pink packaging she's in now. And I love that.

A few months ago, I wrote a blog about the unrealistic weight loss plans women set for themselves, goals that we can never attain, that our bodies will never do. It was called How to Get a Thigh Gap and Take Over the World, and you can read it HERE.To reiterate the main focus of that blog: "getting a thigh gap" is unattainable for those of us who don't have one. A gap in your thighs is a genetic trait based on bone structure, not a milestone in your journey to being skinny. If you want to read the details, please do. It was a good one.

I started thinking about this over the weekend, while sorting through old photos of the past 15 years of my life. I was a cheerleader in high school. I was also on dance team. I also ate pizza almost every day. And I weighed 103 pounds. And at 103 pounds, I would pull on my size 2 cheerleading skirt every Friday night and look in the mirror, and without fail I would point out my fat thighs to someone getting ready in the mirror next to me. Sadly, what in reality was the body of a 15 year old athlete, with muscular thighs & calves, a flat belly curving from strong hips, and toned biceps & shoulders, in my eyes was thighs that touched each other, calves that looked like a boy's, muffin top & a chubby tummy, and flabby upper arms & undefined shoulders.

Looking at photos we took in high school, while I was in high school, I thought I looked fat in all of them. I hated having to wear my cheerleading skirt to school on game days and more often than not, wore my squad sweats under my skirt and blamed it on being cold (we all did). Looking at photos we took in high school, now, I realize I had a perfectly normal body. I wasn't too skinny, but I was in no way fat, or even chubby. I was athletic. My muscles were visible. I had a body that I would kill to have today. I was in shape, I was toned, I was petite to toss up in the air and could stand on someone's hands in front of a crowd, but I was strong enough to do back handsprings and also to hold someone else standing on my thighs.

And yet, because my muscles were showing instead of my bones, I was unhappy. Because in magazines, nobody's muscles are showing. Nobody's curves are showing. In magazines, bones are what show. Bones are what you think means you're beautiful. Because bones are what is sexy everywhere you look. In high school, and even into college, I remember measuring myself not by pounds or by jeans sizes, but rather by how much my collar bone protruded from my chest, and by whether or not my middle finger & thumb touched each other if I encircled my wrist with them. What. The. Fuck. Kinda shit is that?!

This picture: 

This picture is as vivid to me today as it was the day it was taken. I looked at this photo when I got it developed (you know, because we used to have to do that with film), and I was horrified by how fat I looked. What?! I was 18 years old when this photo was taken. When I look at it now, I see a normal teenage body, and actually, I am jealous of it. When I looked at it at 18, I was mortified. In fact, I am surprised I didn't tear it up and throw it away. I remember looking at it with my girlfriend and telling her that I had belly rolls and that my boobs were saggy. Hey 18 year old self, you idiot...everyone's tummy does that when they're sitting down. And you have awesome boobs. Just wait til your 30 and your best friend tells you that even 4 cup sizes larger than in this photo, they defy gravity. Sincerely, 30 year old self.

And this picture:

This was taken at my boyfriend's senior prom, when I was a freshman in college. I was so nervous about wearing this dress, that I almost bought a new one. Because I thought I had back fat. Umm. No, 19 year old version of myself, that's not back fat, that's muscle definition. You're gonna eat these words someday. You know what I saw in this photo? Nothing but my belly. You know what's funny about that? That's a pooch in the dress, it isn't even belly. You know what everyone else who ever looked at this photo saw (and still sees)? My toned, curvy, not flat, cheerleader-slash-dancer ASS.

The funny thing is, when I look at these photos now, I am envious of my own body. Envious of my high school tummy and my cheerleader ass and shoulders. And I think, God I was so stupid to not appreciate that little body when I had it! I hated my high school body when it was my high school body. Now that I am in my adult body, I appreciate my high school body. My high school body was just fine.

Women need to be more appreciative of the bodies we have. Is it important to be healthy? Of course. But is it healthy to measure results by how many of your ribs you can see? Absolutely not! Somewhere, ingrained in the female psyche is something about how fat we are, and something about how our bodies should look. The reality is, just because you see it in a magazine, doesn't make it real.

I will never have a thigh gap. I will also never be 6 feet tall. But chasing a thigh gap may as well be chasing that extra 11 inches in height that I will never get. Most of you will never have a thigh gap, just as most of you will never be 6 feet tall. Women rarely have thigh gaps, despite what you see in Photo Shop.

What I will have, are nieces who know that they are kind, who know they are special, who know they are important. I will have little girls in my life who never hear me call myself fat, who watch me get dressed in the mirror or who come over for slumber parties where we don't have to wear pants or makeup, because it's ok to love your body just the way it is. I will have nephews who appreciate girls who are smart, who like girls who read books, and who compliment girls who are nice and funny and creative, not the girls who are "hot." I will have little boys in my life who know that all girls are beautiful and smart, and that if you are nice to them, they just may love you forever.

The next time you pick up a tiny baby girl and start to call her a pretty little princess, think of her at five years old, dressed as Batman instead of Catwoman for Halloween. Think of her at ten years old, dressed as Katniss Everdeen instead of Barbie Doll. Think of her at fifteen years old, not dressed as Sexy Witch, but instead as, literally anything without the word sexy in front of it. The next time you want to call a baby a pretty, pretty princess, call her a strong, smart little lady instead. We think it doesn't matter, but it does. As women, we are raised in a world full of unrealistic expectations pertaining to our bodies to think we are fat. Change the way our little women see themselves; make them strong, make them healthy, make them happy.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

It Never Snows in Portland...Until it Snows in Portland

Here in Portland/Vancouver, it doesn't snow. Like, ever. And if it does, it's like a light dusting with ice crusted over the top - just enough to make it unsafe to drive and super disappointing city-wide.

But not this week. This week, despite the number of Portlanders that muttered "yea, right" to the weather reports, and despite those of us who were not out purchasing gloves, hats or coats because wewereSOnotgoingtoneedthem, it snowed in Portland. Really snowed. Inches of snow! Fluffy, powdery awesomeness, too, not that nasty ice-snow that Portland usually sees. It. Was. Amazing.

Even though I didn't get to stay home from work and play, I was glad to see so much snow. I was happy to be sitting in my quiet office, heat cranked with a cup of tea and some good music, watching the snow fall from my window. It was fun watching Rachel's son PJ run around throwing snowballs and making the maintenance guys pull him on a homemade sled. I loved it. I love the snow.

Juno was her ever curious self, staring out the window for hours at a could see her wheels cranking. But every time I opened the door and cold air came through, she was hiding under the bed within seconds. No cold for this cat!

I had planned to go to the beach this weekend, so since that didn't pan out, I intend to enjoy a quiet weekend on my own at home, with just Juno to keep me company. Lots of Olympics, movies, books, and beers...and several naps I'm sure.

Anyways, since we never get snow here and you may still not believe it happened, here are some pictures of the amazing snowstorm that hit us yesterday...and again today!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Don't Pretend You Don't Wanna Know

There are some nights, like this one, where I get home and have a drive to write, but feel like I have nothing to say. Nights like those end in lots of Facebook chatting, and surveys. Neither of which make epic blog posts. But, in any case, here is a survey about things that happened for the first time...we'll see where it goes! 

1. Who was your FIRST prom date? My sophomore year I got asked last minute by a friend in Spanish class whose girlfriend got the flu. I borrowed a pink dress and had a great time, no pressure to impress him, just super fun!

2. Do you still talk to your FIRST love? No, I don't. He was killed in a pretty awful car accident last year. We hadn't spoken prior to that either for a few months. I do still send him Facebook messages when I'm missing him, if that counts.

3. What was your FIRST alcoholic drink? Tequila and Orange Juice...too much tequila, not enough OJ. Ahh, high school drinks...taste like shit because all you wanna do is get wasted. 

4. What was your FIRST job? I was a cashier at Toys R Us when I was 15-16.

5. What was your FIRST car? My daddy bought me a Toyota Tercel when I was 17 so I didn't have to buy a "dangerous" car for myself...mind you this was after my mom spent 17 years telling me I would never be given a car. LOL

6. Who was the FIRST person to text you today? I'm not sure, my phone is dead. And was dead when I woke up this morning. And is basically always dead. I think it was my maintenance supervisor. 

7. Who is the FIRST person you thought of this morning? She's not a person, but I first thought of Juno, who was standing on my chest - all 12 pounds of her - meowing in my face. Apparently she was hungry?

8. Who was your FIRST grade teacher? Mrs. Wilson. One of my favorite teachers, ever. She was so good to us, and she always made me feel like I was in a group, even though I was in my own group...because I was the only one who could read. 

9. Where did you go on your FIRST ride on an airplane? Stace and I flew to Alaska for spring break in 2004 to visit DeLaina while she was up there for college. Such a fun trip!

10. Who was your FIRST best friend & do you still talk? Stacey Mate is, was, and always will be my best friend. We talk every day. 

11. Where was your FIRST sleep over? I assume at Grandma's house. 

12. Who was the FIRST person you talked to today? My maintenance supervisor. We had to talk about my apartment and how badly it was fucked up when it flooded by the morons who work here. 

13. Whose wedding were you in the FIRST time? Ugh, my aunt's second wedding. I had to wear a dress that I hated...maroon crushed velvet with a high neck, with a lace collar. And tights. Not my best look. And I had braces, which was just bad. 

14. What was the FIRST thing you did this morning? Hit snooze. As is the case every morning. 

15. What was the FIRST concert you ever went to? Hmm....probably a Last Chance Summer Dance on the waterfront in Portland. 

16. FIRST tattoo? Tinkerbell...on my hip when I turned 18. She's gonna transform into something else this year.

17. FIRST piercing? My ears, in 5th grade. 

18. FIRST foreign country you've went to? Jenny, Nicole and I went to Australia in 2006. Best trip!

19. FIRST movie you remember seeing? Uhhh....I'm sure it was Disney.

20. When was your FIRST detention? I got my first - and only - detention, in 7th grade because I was late to PE...which was bull shit, because my class prior to PE was waaaaaay on the other end of the building, and we were late if we weren't "dressed down" on time, even if we were in the damn locker room.

22. Who was your FIRST roommate? Stacey Mate! Dorm life at WOU. 

23. What is something you would learn if you had the chance? I would love to learn to play the drums. I love the drums. 

24. Did you marry the FIRST person to ask for your hand in marriage? Umm..I've never been asked, so I have not a had a chance to say yes or no. 

25. What was the first sport that you were involved in? Dance (yes, it is).

26. What were the first lessons you ever took? I learned to play the clarinet, but that was more of a class than a lesson. I suppose Irish Dance was the first actual lesson I took. And I loved it SO much. 

27. What is the first thing you do when you get home? I take off my work clothes, turn the fireplace on, and then I pick up Juno (who is begging for dinner by following me around), take her to her food dish, and watch her stick her face in it before the food even hits. Damn hungry kitten.