Friday, March 31, 2006

Follow Me Down

I've just now started to notice that relationships have a way of following me around. Even in the simplest ways, they have changed me. And those changes have stuck.

My most recent ex, for example, got me hooked on nice cars. Before meeting him, I knew nothing about cars and couldn't care less what type I actually drove.

Now? I'm a total car snob. I can't drive a Civic or a Corolla, because that's what everyone drives. And I'm totally into performance and aftermarket parts: turbos, special exhausts, big rims, chrome, ground effects. You get the picture. I've spent well over $1,000 just adding options onto my own car.

It's the same way with nice speakers and bass. Yeah, I may think "systems" are kind of silly, but thanks to him, I have an appreciation for the stuff. If I could only justify spending the money, I'd probably put a small system in my car...and then crank up the bass to one of those rap songs he got me hooked on.

And what about Canada (his birthplace)? I was indifferent toward it before, but I love the country now. It brings back memories of relaxing vacations, beautiful countryside, and kind people. I'll gladly go back someday. I laugh at all the Canadian jokes (especially those Molson beer commercials) and I still resist the urge to say "aboot" instead of "about."

Those are the positive things, but there have been negative impacts too.

He made me hate PDA (public displays of affection), because he was always trying to touch me and kiss me in public. After a while, I barely even tolerated holding hands. And now? I'm still pretty against all of that. Maybe it will take the right person to reverse the trend.

It's quite astounding what an unhappy relationship can do to a person. Not only did I hate PDA, but I started not to even like kissing. Toward the end, I guess I was so unhappy that any physical contact made me want to bolt. Scary, huh? I'm happy to say that I think I've been cured of that one now.

I wonder if I've had the same impact on him. Will he continue to drink soy milk and like vegetarian restaurants? Will he always love birds? Will he watch Laguna Beach and all those other shows I forced on him that I think he secretly kind of liked?

I know I tried his patience like no one ever has before. Will he keep his habit of exploding during a simple argument?

I know I drove him insane over what he ate. Will he continue to think twice before he binges a whole bag of chips or half a pizza?

I know I did a lot of things that changed who he is, that gave him new interests and new habits, and that gave his life a different meaning.

He did the same for me, and I'm still noticing those changes reverberating throughout everything I do.

I think I'll be noticing them for many years to come.

And surprisingly, I'm okay with that. As long as I can look back with closure instead of bitterness, appreciation instead of regret, I know I'll be just fine.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Another Day, Another Dare

That's how it always goes.

Today at work, my co-workers and I somehow got into a discussion about hazing rituals, and out of that came the mention of the infamous "milk bet."

I hadn't heard of this before, but urban legend states that it is nearly impossible to drink a gallon of whole milk in an hour without throwing up during the ordeal or for at least 15 minutes afterward.

Being the crazy daredevil that I am, I immediately scoffed.

"What's so hard about that?" I said. "I love milk, especially whole milk!"

My co-workers snatched the opportunity up.

"We'll pay anything you want just to see you do that at work tomorrow."

I laughed. This dare had my name written all over it. "You bring me the gallon, and I'll drink it," I said confidently.

Shortly afterward, I went back to my desk to research the topic. What I found was quite alarming.

Apparently, this has been tried hundreds and hundreds of times, usually by big burly guys who have a much better chance than I would. And in almost all of these cases, the brave souls have failed. And not only failed, but failed miserably in a mess of their own milk-covered vomit. Projectile vomit.

People have tried everything to make this work. Chugging it. Taking it slow and splitting it up into increments. Eating bread beforehand. Doing it on an empty stomach. Training by drinking gallons of liquid each day for weeks on end.

When I read one person's account titled "The Day Jesus Stole My Stomach Lining and Beat Me to Death With It," I knew I had a problem.

Plus, people have stated that this exercise has caused them to hate milk forever. I know I simply could not live in a world without milk. I love the stuff. Chocolate, soy, whole or's all yummy goodness to me.

And those folks over at Got Milk have been telling us for years that milk makes your bones stronger and prevents osteoporosis. How could I forgo this beverage that is so delicious and has such healing powers? And that goes so well with a big slice of chocolate cake or a few Oreos?

I really do think I could do it without vomiting, but I had to admit defeat before the challenge even began. I've decided that my love of dares is just not strong enough to transcend my love of milk. And for that reason, I cannot take on the great milk challenge at this time.

But if anyone does, let me know it goes, kay?

For now, I hang my head in shame, but mark my words: One day, after possibly years of rigorous training and milk drinking, I will do this. And I will win.

Maybe I'll even make a documentary out of it called The Day Jesus Stole My Stomach Lining and Beat Me to Death With It. You'll have to come out and support my film, kay?

I'm Okay

I finally believe it: I'm going to be okay.

Yeah, you heard me. I'm going to be OKAY!

No more being sad. No more being lonely. No more wanting something that doesn't even exist.

Why was I thinking I needed a boyfriend, anyway? What are they good for?

Why would I want to be tied down? Why would I want to have to get into stupid arguments over stupid meaningless things? Why would I want to have to consider someone else's feelings?

I didn't realize it until now, but boyfriends and relationships are highly overrated.

For once, I'm putting ME first, and it feels fabulous.

Get this: I'm going to Europe this summer. For two weeks with one of my best friends.

Yeah, me, the little whimpy girl who can barely navigate airports. The girl who stops herself from doing things just because she's afraid to take a risk. The girl who, until a few months ago, would never even have dreamed of taking such a trip.

But I'm doing it, because if my experience with [the guy whose name I am no longer mentioning] taught me anything, it's that you've gotta LIVE. That's what life is for, and this is my big chance.

So here I am, on a breathtakingly beautiful early spring day, stuck in this interesting spot that's post-boyfriend and pre-therestofmylife. And ya know what?

I think I'm gonna like it here.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Dare Me

I've always had a little thing with dares.

But not all dares, just dares dealing with food. And not all food either, just really weird concoctions of things. Or things you wouldn't even normally eat.

Like leaves, for instance.

I'm not sure when it started, but I've been eating leaves, flowers, etc. all my life. Not whole ones, and not on a regular basis, but sort of just for fun.

I was once dared to eat a couple random leaves off a tree.

So I did.

They really taste just like lettuce. Grass, too. It's all just yummy leafy greens.

While vacationing in Hawaii one year, my sister and cousin dared me to eat the orchid that garnished my smoothie.

So I did.

I still have a picture somewhere of me smirking with a beautiful purple orchid hanging out of my mouth.

In college, the dares multiplied. My immature friends and I would sit in the dining hall mixing our food together in horrible hybrids.

I'll never forget the great french fry dare. It was one solitary fry covered in ketchup, tartar sauce, green cake frosting, soda, and who even knows what else. I was dared--for free, I believe--and so... I ate.

It was the most disgusting thing I have ever tasted. I seriously almost vomited in the long, agonizing minutes it took me to chew and swallow.

But did that teach me? Of course not.

I've eaten a big dallop of Crisco. I've eaten an entire piece of pizza that landed cheese-down on the dirty floor. I used to pride myself on the number of hot dogs I could eat in one sitting.

I've stuffed my mouth so chock full of Jelly Beans that I could barely breathe (and Jelly Beans will never be the same). I once drank Tobasco sauce straight. I 've chugged the remnants of a co-worker's melted banana ice cream mess.

And, most recently over the weekend, I stuffed a big ball of carrot cake in my mouth at a restaurant. Again, it took many minutes to chew and get it down.

And for the first time, I felt a twinge of apprehension as I lifted it to my mouth. For the whole rest of the night, I walked around with a weird feeling in my stomach. I guess that's how undigested cake feels.

Or maybe it's just that I'm gettin' too old for this. I'm not bouncing back as quickly as I did before.

Cake stuffing would've been nothing four years ago. A bunch of hot dogs would've been nothing in high school. Now, I'm lucky if I can eat two.

But some things never change.

After the recent cake incident, my friends and I started reminiscing about the old dining hall days. And sure enough, they'd mixed up a new concoction in a matter of seconds: the requisite french fry, ketchup, A1 sauce, mustard, cake and some beer all smashed together with a fork.

The dare was made (with money involved, no less)...

...and I so graciously declined.

Yes, we may still be the immature girls who snuck salt into people's drinks in the dining hall, but I've finally learned to say no to a weird food-related dare.

And that, my friends, is progress.

Friday, March 24, 2006


You know what? It totally just hit me...

I don't like him very much as a person.

I realized this as I was reading something he wrote and LAUGHING. Laughing in annoyance, and in glee. In pure joyous, unadulterated glee that I have escaped him.

I am through. I am free.

He can "wish the best" for me all he wants. He said he wishes me "nothing but happiness."

Well, I'd like to say thank you to him. He's given that happiness to me now.

Thank you to him for being the person that he is. For teaching me what I don't want in a mate, and in a friend. For loving me and then letting me go. For making me angry. Making me know my mind. Making me experience the lowest lows and making me get through them on my own.

I'm happier now than I ever was with him.

And that? Is hysterical.

I wonder if he thinks we'll be friends in the future. I'm stating this right now: We won't be.

It's impossible now. Too much has happened, too much has been said. And, as I mentioned, I don't really like who he is anymore. The blinders have been lifted.

I just did something amazing. I went into my mailbox and deleted the last positive remnant of our relationship I have.

It's an e-mail from the month before we broke up, an e-mail where he calls me "beautiful, thoughtful, wholesome, intelligent, supportive, respectful, understanding, fun and gorgeous." An e-mail where "Every day I spend with you is more fulfilling than the last." An e-mail where he loves me.

I deleted it, then went into my "Deleted Items" folder and deleted it again.

The box popped up: "Are you sure you want to permanently delete the selected item?" FUCK YES.

And click. Gone. Metaphorical, isn't it?

When I relayed this whole recent saga to my sister, all she said was, "You know, it's all just kind of funny."

And I agree. It's all very freakin' funny.


PS: Please shoot me if I devote another post to this. I'm done.

A Weighty Problem

I've got a bit of a recent obsession.

Weighing myself.

Ever since my dad brought the shiny new Weight Watchers scale home from Costco, I'd been waiting. Thinking about it as it sat in the darkness of the hall linen closet.

Finally, a few weeks ago, I built up the courage. I slid it carefully out from under the towels and pressed the SET button. With a deep breath, I gingerly stepped on to the cold surface.

I looked down at the flashing dot on the screen. No reading yet.

Closed my eyes as I waited in suspense. Then cracked them for a minute. Still nothing.

And then it appeared: 128.7.

My heart lurched. While it was't as high as it could've been, it certainly wasn't as low as I wanted either.

Growing up, I never thought I'd be standing on a scale registering a number of that magnitude.

When I rowed crew in high school, I weighed a petite 107. This earned me a spot in the lightweight boat. "Don't feed the lightweights," we used to joke. But I ate everything I wanted and more, never gaining a pound.

Slowly, that 107 became 117, which in turn became 125, and now has almost reached 130.

I'd give anything to go back to 117.

And yet, I'v proven to myself time and time again that statement is a lie. I'm not willing to give anything. I can't even get myself to exercise on a semi-regular basis.

I'm pretty good with controlling what I eat. And I've definitely decreased my portions. But if I don't do something else soon, I'm afraid that number will just keep climbing.

Don't misunderstand me, it's not the number I'm most worried about. It's the way I look. The way I see my body.

And I know a decrease in my weight means something about my body must be getting better. It means maybe I'm losing some of that extra fat that has so lovingly attached itself to my hips and thighs.

So, I've fallen into a habit of weighing myself every morning and some nights. I don't know why I do this, because I'm not exercising, so it's basically just a crap shoot if my weight has changed.

This morning, I weighed in at 126.5. The lowest yet.

How'd that happen? Was it because I skipped dinner the other night? Because I actually exercised last weekend? Who knows.

All I know is that I'm sitting here stuffing my face full of Swedish Fish candies. I ate a chocolate bar last night, and I'm going out to lunch today.

I'm thinking maybe the scale will register a bit higher tomorrow morning.

I think, if I could just lose 10 pounds, maybe I'd be happy. But the truth is, it's not the number on the scale that will make the difference.

I won't be happy until I can look in the mirror and like what I see. Until I can look inside myself and like what I see.

And until then, I'm afraid for anyone else to see me. Inside or out.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

One Final Goodbye

I've been mulling over how to write about this for the past four days. I don't want it to come out like an attack. I don't want to be bitter. I don't want to use insults.

But the fact of the matter is, for some reason or another, I'm hurt. I'm hurt because the guy I devoted five years of my life to, the guy that I at one point thought I would marry, the guy that I put all my faith in...has disappointed me one last final time.

The other day, he cut off all communication with me.

Now, up to that point, we really hadn't been speaking anyway. We were both going on with our lives without eachother. But for some reason, he felt compelled to let me know that we would no longer be friends, acquaintances, anything.

So all those times when he told me we'd always be there for each other, I guess he lied.

All those times he said he respected me so much as a person.

The times he told me he always wanted to be in touch.

Lies, lies.

The abruptness of his "excommunication" felt like a slap in the face. It came out of nowhere. He told me that he read my blog and it sounded like I was having a hard time getting over him. So, basically, he took my internal thoughts and used them against me, all the while feigning that this was for my own good.

Of course I'm having a hard time. We had a very lengthy, very emotionally-involved relationship. I'm still mourning the loss of that. But that doesn't mean I'm mourning him.

It wasn't until later that I found out the real reason for his recent actions: he's got a new girl.

I'm happy for him. But I'm not happy about the fact that as soon as someone new came into his life, I was forced out with a simple "best wishes, take care."

I didn't expect to remain close with him. But more than that, I didn't expect to be treated this way. I deserve better.

I think what's bothering me so much now is the fact that I am just now realizing the type of person he is. He's the type of person to let someone else determine his actions. He's the type to act like something's for your own good when he's the only one benefitting. He's the type to be your best friend and then talk shit about you the second you leave the room.

I don't know why I never saw any of this before.

He has made me feel like I just wasted the last five years of my life. I clearly didn't teach him anything. He clearly didn't learn, or become a more mature, decent human being. What was it all for?

Well, the answer is easy: I learned from it. I've learned to be an independent woman. While he's off jumping into a new overly-dependent relationship, I'm giving myself time to breathe. I'm moving on, too...with myself.

I know my anger and hurt over this recent incident will fade easily away. And I'm fine. Perfectly fine and satisfied with the knowledge that we are truly over. He may not realize this but, we've been truly over for months. It had nothing to do with whether we were speaking or not.

This recent action just gives me a new reason to be angry. But the anger won't last--after all, I don't have stock in him anymore. It doesn't matter to me how he treats people. He's someone else's problem now.

You know, I can't even remember the date we broke up. I believe it was early October, but I don't have a specific number in mind.

But the other day, Monday, March 20, that's a date I'll remember. It's the day he dropped me like a bad habit just because some girl told him to.

And I'll never forget that.

PS: If he's reading this, then he deserves all the shit I just threw at him. I told him to stop reading. And if he is truly done with me, he shouldn't be looking at this blog ever again. Best wishes, sucker.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Thoughts of the day

Oh Monday,
please end as quickly as you came.
You're sneaky and cheeky, always the same.

Oh Monday,
please let my mid-term be already over.
Give me some luck or a four-leaf clover.

Oh Monday,
please let me fast-forward to tonight, to sleep.

Dear Monday,
You are such a creep.

Sleepy Lauren


On my mind today...

How can today be the first day of Spring when it's going to snow tomorrow?

How can I still be listening to this sad song when all it does is get me down? Do I like being down?

How can I be having a perfect hair day when the one person I want to see it isn't around? Why do I even care?

How can I have a mid-term at 6:30 tonight when I'm not even stressing out about it yet?

How can life just be...average?



I want amazing. I want rainbows. I want everything to fall into place.

I want a fairy tale. A success story. The best time I've ever had.

My parents always said I could have everything I wanted if I just set my mind to it.

Well, this is me. Setting my mind. I'll start with Monday, and I'll go from there.

Watch the F out, world.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Always on Your Side

He didn't call me on my birthday.

I knew he wouldn't. I knew he shouldn't. But I still find myself feeling disappointed.

It's simply one more reminder that it's all over.

We'll never be the same. I've lost a best friend. And that's the way it has to be.

I feel empty. It's almost like the feeling I get when I'm hungry. But my stomach is still full from dinner. It's not food that I need.

I want love. I want that feeling back. And yet I know that even if we were still together, that feeling wouldn't be there.

Those days are over, but I remember when we used to be happy. So happy.

When I was home for the summer and far away from him, I'd walk around the house holding a framed picture of us. I'd sleep with it right next to my bed. I'd write gushy entries in my diary about the perfect moments we spent together. I'd spend endless hours thinking up the perfect gift for him: an engraved memory box, a framed collage filled with our pictures, a hand-made Valentine's Day card.

I loved feeling like I could give him the world. I loved being his world. I loved knowing that he felt the same way.

Knowing that he'd always be on my side.

I thought I was over this. But all it takes is a Saturday night spent alone in my bed listening to a beautiful, melancholy song to get me thinking again.

Hurting. Wanting. Holding back tears.

I can't concentrate tonight. I can just lean my head back against the headboard, close my eyes and listen to this song, feeling the pain I've felt so many times before.

Thinking that maybe if I let myself feel it just one more time, it'll release me.

My yesterdays are all boxed up and neatly put away
But every now and then you come to mind
Cause you were always waiting to be picked to play the game
But when your name was called, you found a place to hide
When you knew that I was always on your side

Well everything was easy then, so sweet and innocent
But my demons and your angels reappeared
Leavin' only traces of the man you thought I'd be
Too afraid to hear the words I'd always feared
Leavin' you with only questions all these years

Is there someplace far away, someplace where all is clear
Easy to start over with the ones you hold so dear
Or are you left to wander, all alone, eternally
This isn't how it's really meant to be
No it isn't how it's really meant to be

Well they say that love is in the air, but never is it clear,
How to pull it close and make it stay
Butterflies are free to fly, and so they fly away
And I'm left to carry on and wonder why
Even through it all, I'm always on your side

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Another Year

I'm 24 today.

I'm not quite sure how I feel about it.

A lot has happened in a year. It's amazing how much can go on in 365 days, and how much a life can change.

Let's see how mine has shifted since March 16, 2005.

July: I started this blog. I believe it's one of the best decisions I ever made. I've done some of my best writing here. I've met new and inspiring people. I've learned to search inside myself. And most importantly, I've learned not to be afraid of what I find.

May: My grandmother passed away. It broke my heart. It broke everyone's hearts, but most of all, it's impacted my grandfather. I know he misses her every day. I cannot imagine having a wonderful companion for 60+ years and then having to go on without them. We all miss her dearly.

July: I lived with a boy who just so happened to be my boyfriend, and I managed to piss my parents off quite a bit.

August: I went back to school, and am currently in my second semester as a graduate student. I'm pursuing something I love and it thrills me to no end.

October: The boy and I broke up, around the same time that two of my very good friends got engaged. I moved back in with my parents. At first, the lonliness enveloped me like a thick fog and I felt very sorry for myself. But slowly I realized that life can be just as sweet even without a boyfriend--even without that particular boyfriend.

January: My dad was diagnosed with cancer. You know all about this by now, but let me just say that it's always on my mind. Obviously, when I'm distracted with the every day happenings of life, I momentarily forget. But there's always that instant where it all comes rushing back. I'm not sure I'll ever fully accept it. I just wish it would go away. For him, for me, for everyone.

March-August: I traveled to North Carolina, Texas, Canada, New York, Connecticut, Massachussetts, and California (twice).

Anyway, those are the major highlights. I went over them all in my head as I was driving in this morning. I was feeling sort of melancholy about my birthday.

Yeah, it was a beautiful day with lots of sunshine. Yeah, my friends are going out to dinner with me tonight. Yeah, my life's really not so bad.

But I still had the overwhelming urge to cry.

Then I arrived at work and found a few pleasant surprises.

Myspace comments wishing me a Happy Birthday.

Facebook wall messages.


And a big bouqet of beautiful flowers waiting for me at the front desk. It's the first time anyone has sent me flowers. And it's not from some guy either, it's from two of my lovely girl friends.

Thanks guys, you've reminded me yet again to be grateful for the wonderful people I have in my life.

You've reminded me that today is not the day to wallow in the low points. It's a day for record highs.

So it comes down to this: The day may be only half over, but I simply couldn't ask for a better Birthday.

Butterflies are free to fly, and so they fly away
And I'm left to carry on and wonder why
Even through it all, I'm always on your side

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


A guy who can write is hot.

I don't care what he looks like. I don't care if he's a good conversationalist. I don't even care if we click.

Forget likeability, it's all about writeability, baby.

There are some blogs I read on the internet that just flabbergast me. And I always find myself surprised when I realize that the eloquent writer is a male.

For some reason, I've never thought of men as very good writers. This must go back to my experience with the opposite sex. Clearly, I haven't personally known any really talented male writers. So I figured their entire gender was made up of half-illiterate, non-creative types.

I have come to realize that this is a ridiculous assumption. First of all, look at all the great male poets. Alfred Noyes? He's a hot writer. "The Highwayman" gives me butterflies when I read it.

I find myself fantasizing about some of the male bloggers I come across on the Internet. I don't know them at all, but I know their writing. I know how it feels to be pulled in to their world for just a few minutes. To see what they see and feel what they feel. With no spelling errors to distract me.

I've always found intelligence attractive. But a good writer and storyteller is even more impressive than just a smart guy. Great writing takes not only intelligence, but creativity, a special sense of diction, a rhythm.

Only real writers pore over every single word to make sure it's the right one, or carefully consider the placement of a period or comma.

Only real writers look at everything they write as its own, self-contained piece of art--something infused with meaning that resonates with readers.

Sentence length, syllables, and even the way each word sounds all make a difference to the real writer.

I consider myself a real writer. I do all of the above, tweaking each article, blog entry and assignment to meet the standard I've set for myself.

To think that there are guys out there who do that same thing makes me weak in the knees.

I haven't yet had the pleasure of dating a writer. But I sure hope I get the chance.

He rose upright in the stirrups; he scarce could reach her hand,
But she loosened her hair i' the casement! His face burnt like a brand
As the black cascade of perfume came tumbling over his breast;
And he kissed its waves in the moonlight,

(Oh, sweet black waves in the moonlight!)
Then he tugged at his rein in the moonlight, and galloped away to the West.

Monday, March 13, 2006

The Click

You spend two hours together and the conversation flows along with its own force. You laugh at his dumb jokes. He laughs at yours.

It's simply effortless.

Then, you spend more time together, and the conversation's still flowing. Ten hours go by, and you're still having fun.

No awkward pauses, just comfortable silence between topics. It feels good.


We've all been there, right? Conversely, we've all been in the opposite situation: the not-click.

He's a great guy. He's kind, gentlemanly, sweet.

But you've got nothing to talk about.

It's a strain just to get a conversation going. The silences are uncomfortable. You're trying so hard to feel that click, but it's just not there.

I think I'm starting to realize that you can't create chemistry. And moreover, it shouldn't have to be created. It should just occur. But how often does this really happen?

I've had okay chemistry a few times, but I've only experienced great chemistry once. With my most recent ex. Despite any underlying problems we had, that chemistry kept us going for four or so years.

And I'm not really sure why it even existed. Was it mutual passions? We both liked buying DVDs, spending time on the boat, and our pet birds. Maybe that was it, but we didn't know we had any of these things in common at the very beginning. And the chemistry was already there.

Was it similar personalities? He was outgoing and talkative, I was quiet. Probably not.

I guess chemistry is just a combination of everything. For one reason or another, all the little things just come together in a perfect fit.

We both liked cuddling. We both hated seafood.

He could do all the talking. But he also was a great listener.

He'd watch Laguna Beach with me. I'd watch "Pimp My Ride" with him.

He got me out of the house. I got him to relax once in a while.

He was caring. I loved being taken care of.

We dressed like bums on weekends. We liked each other better that way.

I had some chemistry with DishonestBF, too. It was just so easy to be with him.

We used to sit around making ferret noises at each other--I think it was the ferret in Budweiser commercials that got us started on that. Weird, yes. But also totally, hysterically awesome.

I'm still waiting around for someone to make ferret noises with. For someone who will tell me I'm beautiful when my hair is dirty and I'm wearing an old t-shirt and jeans. For someone who makes me laugh without even just being himself.

So how many not-clicks do I have to wade through to get there?

Thursday, March 09, 2006

This is how we party

While cruising on Myspace (translation: stalking people from high school) the other day, I came across quite a few profiles of people I knew. Well, I didn't so much know them as hate on them in high school for being pretty and popular.

But anyway, it's been five and a half years since we graduated, and these people look like they haven't changed a bit. Their profiles are all linked together, because they're all still BestFriendsForever. And they have all these pictures up of themselves dressed in their cheapest outfits at some club or another.

My blood began boiling as I looked at one particular girl's profile. In almost every single one of her pictures, she looks like a slut. Seriously. She's showing off so much skin and cleavage that I can't believe she owns any other type of clothing. Imagine my surprise when I clicked on the very last picture and saw her dressed in (gasp!) a turtleneck and jeans. I almost didn't recognize her all covered up like that.

As for the rest of her pictures, she looks so un-classy, and yet she's proudly showing this off like it's some achievement. In fact, her profile suggests that her entire life consists of going out, drinking and dressing slutty.

So why does this bother me? I'm sure it's because people like her remind me of what I am not. She stands for everything that I am against.

I do not own one article of clothing that even comes close to the type of thing she wears on a night out.

I don't go out to clubs. In fact, I've never even been to one!

I don't get drunk and grind up against people on the dance floor.

I barely even frequent bars.

Why is it that I turned out this way, and she turned out the other way? What is it inside me that's turned me off to the clubbing mentality that so many other 20- and 30-somethings embrace?

I guess it goes back to upbringing. My parents were always protective and strict, not to mention conservative. In high school, I never went to the parties, never even had a more than a couple drinks in four years. I wasn't in that "cool" group.

Obviously, it's also about personality. I'm shy and I don't like attention or big groups of people. And that's caused me to make friends with similar people. I don't have a group of friends that goes out all the time, and I certainly don't have anyone to encourage this behavior.

And as much as I say I hate the club scene and all the people that go along with it, I'm not sure that's entirely the case. I only say that because I know I'm not part of that world.

Because I'm too afraid to have fun like they do.

Because I can't even get up and dance unless I have quite a few drinks in me.

I shudder to say this, but...I'm kind of jealous. I didn't used to be in that "cool" group, and I'm still not. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to change who I am--and I know I'm way cooler in my own right--I just feel like sometimes I'm missing out.

Maybe eventually I will learn how to party, too. It sure would be nice to let loose once a while--to really experience life as an almost 24-year-old single girl. Here's to hoping my inhibitions will loosen up a bit before I get too old to enjoy it anymore.

And for the record, I still think that girl looks like a slut. She needs a big dose of class, stat.

This is how we party,
fooling with your body,
come on everybody,
can't get enough of you.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The Unknown Variable

So, dating.

I'm not really sure I like it.

I've barely even started, and it's, like, so complicated already. All this crap about when to call and what to do and who's going to pay. And that doesn't even include the part about who makes the first "move." What a mess.

Oh, and most importantly, it's not so easy to find a mutual attraction. It seems like the playing field is always uneven--girl likes boy more than boy likes girl, or vice versa. This creates all kinds of problems on all kinds of levels, and simply exacerbates all of the above.

So I find myself thinking...why can't I just find the PERFECT MAN? And exactly one second after I thought that, the epiphany came to me: This is what every other straight woman on the face of the EARTH is also thinking.

This is not a new concept. It may, however, be new to me. In my previous life of coupledom, I never actually entertained the fact that I could find this "perfect man." But now that I've had plenty of experience to realize what I do and do not like, I find that I am far less tolerant of the "do not like" qualities. I'm ready for something BIG, real and PERFECT, goddammit.

Something a little easier, where I don't have to "accept" undesirable qualities and where we can share mutual passions, and even mutual attraction.

I really think I deserve it.

But then I think, am I being too picky? Should I give some people a chance even though they don't entirely measure up? Or would that be dating just for the sake of dating?

Quite frankly, dating kind of sucks, and I'm not sure I want to do it just to do it. It's really not fun enough for that. And hello, I'm a relationship girl. I don't think I can really just date/fool around without the possibility of a long-term arrangement.

So, I've decided to compile the essence of my PERFECT MAN. This way, I at least know what I'm up against. Yes, I know I'm insane. Here goes...

- Enjoys reading for pleasure
- Knows how to write well
- Has an interest in art and culture
- Impresses the hell out of me without trying too hard
- Eats healthy most of the time, and binges with me on occassion
- Exercises and cares about his body
- Brushes his teeth twice a day
- Will entertain going to a vegetarian restaurant with me
- Isn't overly interested in the bar/club/drinking scene
- Has an ambitious, goal-oriented profession (i.e., not a golf caddy/bartender/retail associate)

- Likes to spend lots of time with me
- Likes to talk, but not gossip too much
- Is a gentleman when he needs to be
- Doesn't engage in constant public displays of affection
- Isn't too religious and leaves me to my own devices in that area
- Is smoking hot (in my opinion, not necessarily society's)
- Helps me to try new things, meet new people, etc.
- Will always stand up for me
- Is charismatic and has that extra spark in his eye
- Can appreciate quality films in any genre and discuss them with me

- Can put up with my stupid TV shows...and even watch them with me
- Can cook once in a while (or even better, all the time)
- Gives me thoughtful--and not just expensive or practical--gifts
- Writes poetry or plays a sexy instrument (guitar, anyone?)
- Surprises me with flowers every once in a while
- Knows how to maintain and possibly fix a car
- Likes nice cars
- Can laugh with me and at me
- Can accept the fact that I don't eat seafood and not push it on me
- Listens to music other than just mysoginistic rap

- Doesn't make serious comments degrading any race, social class or gender
- Can roll with the punches
- Is almost always on time
- Wants children
- Dresses nicely when appropriate
- Can be a lazy bum with me on weekends
- Loves animals, especially my pet cockatiel
- Isn't afraid to make the first move
- Isn't afraid to split the bill

- Loves to cuddle
- Loves bubble baths
- Will participate in outdoor activities: bike-riding, walks in the woods, rowing, ice skating, rollderblading, etc.
- Appreciates nature
- Is very close with his family
- Doesn't lie
- Doesn't cheat or steal, get into fights, insult people all the time, etc.
- Loves my friends
- Loves my family
- Loves ME!

As my mom always told me, "Don't settle on the important things." And I think she's right. If a factor is missing from the equation, things just don't add up. I always sucked at math, but in this case, I want to get the equation right.

Yeah, my list may seem pretty implausible, and clearly every guy I date is not going to possess all of these qualities. But the one I marry? He sure as hell is gonna.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Living in the Past

I've been reading my old diary entries since last week. And sure enough, after the diaries came my high school year book.

It was only natural that my photo albums followed...and I stopped right in the middle of cleaning my room yesterday to flip through some memories.

Some pictures made me smile, and some made me stare off into space as I recalled fleeting glimpses of the people and things that have marked my life.

Why am I always reminiscing?

I miss people. Not just an old boyfriend, but old friends. I even miss people that I dislike.

I think sometimes I like feeling sad. I like thinking about what was. I'm always looking back as if all that stuff is so much better than what I have--what I am--now.

Maybe that's because I only choose to remember (I mean, really, vividly remember) the good. I remember the fun, the friendship, and more or less block out details of the bad times.

In retrospect, everything is rose-colored and glittered with happiness. Whereas real life, RIGHT NOW, is just that--it's real. It's not muddled in any way by my selective memory, not painted in pretty tones by my wishful thinking.

It's all the rich, gritty colors of life. And sometimes I'd just like to escape it, to go back to simpler times.

But my memories are fading. I can't remember things people said, or what I was wearing on specific occassions. Mostly I remember feelings, thoughts, and emotions. I remember a mood. A tone of voice. A song on the radio. I remember... first kiss. It happened on the stoop of my parents' house, a summer night swarming with mosquitos and lit only by the dim house lights. I was absolutely terrified. I wanted to be anywhere but there. And then it happened, short, soft, a little awkward--not a great kiss by any means. Yet I walked into the house that night feeling excited, on top of the world, special.

...the day I got my first car. I was so surprised, and yet I was afraid of being entrusted with such a big responsibility. I also felt freedom, and gratefulness to my parents. And I felt proud that they gave me such a privilege. I remember how my mom had to prompt me to sit in the driver's seat and touch the controls. I felt like the car was some delicate, off-bounds thing that didn't belong to me. And yet, it did.

...when I spilled red nail polish all over the upstairs hallway carpet. The minute it happened, I felt intense fear. Ironically, I don't even remember really getting trouble. But I do remember that long walk to my parents' room, my heart beating wildly, to deliver the bad news.

...a fight with my sister. I don't even know what it was about, but I know we couldn't stand not speaking to each other for more than an hour. We wrote each other notes of apology, and then she made the first move. "Friends?" she asked. "Yeah," I said as we hugged. I remember seeing my aunt watching us go through this little ritual, and immediately feeling dorky and goofy. But I also felt the intense safety of that hug--total unconditional love. first butterflies. Before he was my high school boyfriend, DishonestBF was just my friend. We were leaving the school's football game on a cold night, and he gave me his jacket. We walked close together up the stadium steps. I could feel the warmth of his body, and I knew something was going to happen between us. And it did, later that night. I didn't feel scared this time at all. Just anxious, excited, intrigued.

...I remember so many random snippets like these. There's not much to them, but they're there. I guess I pull them out on days where I'm feeling sort of...empty. Yesterday was a day when I needed to feel those emotions again--fear, happiness, excitement. It was a day when I needed to feel alive.

I don't think I'm quite done with the diaries yet, but I tucked the pictures back into my desk drawer. I'll leave them there for another lonely day.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


I ventured down into the basement over the weekend. I only searched for a moment before I saw the box labeled "Mementos" sitting on the shelf. I knew what I was looking for when I lifted the lid.

And there they were: My diaries.

All five of them, all differently shaped and decorated, spanning over 10 years of my life.

I no longer keep a diary (I guess that's what this blog has become), but somehow I wish I still did. I wrote faithfully, with just a few breaks in between, from 1992 all the way up until 2003. Sometimes, my diary was my best friend. And I believe my diaries made me the writer I am today.

Reading my words now from another time is both wildly amusing and enlightening. I see how much I've grown and how I've changed.

I see that everything was so simple, and yet everything was so important. Some entries give me a true glimpse of who I used to be--a sometimes insecure, sometimes carefree girl--and others tell me nothing, just the inane ramblings of a teenager.

On this day many years ago, I wrote:


Ah! The 1st Day of March! My B-Day is on the 16th, you know!

Well...the Tom [named changed to protect the innocent] problem is solved! He wrote me another letter saying he was sad at my response, but he was glad we could keep being friends. He also said it was a relief to tell me "you know what." Well, it's all patched up and over I guess; and we can pretend nothing ever happened on Monday.

Today I was proud because I woke up at 10:00 on my own! Go me! Dad got this idea to take us out somewhere. So, I took a shower and we left for Burger King. He made us sit in the car booth there (a booth "in a car") and I was soooo embarassed! After that we went to Borders... [it goes on with more inconsequential details of my day].

In case you're wondering, "Tom" was a good guy friend who confessed to me in an e-mail that he'd had feelings for me for years. The situation with him caused huge, gargantuan drama in my life at the time.

But it's not really the content of this entry that strikes me. It's my way of looking at the world like everything meant something, so much so that a trip to Burger King warranted a mention alongside my boy drama.

I guess when you're 14, everything matters. I didn't have anything too serious going on in my life, so naturally I took everything seriously. But I was never too serious; things could be bad one day and the next they'd just be breezy.

It wasn't until the following diary--and the end of 1997--that I got really, truly depressed.

But we'll save that tale for another day...

Ode to Bubble Tea

Okay, so, bubble tea. The minute I tried it, I was hooked. It's like a smoothie, only fresher and fruitier and with yummy balls of tapioca goodness at the bottom.

I know, it sounds odd. But it's the most brilliant thing ever invented.

Bubble tea hasn't quite gone mainstream here in the States, but you can get it at no less than five different places at Eden Center in Falls Church.

It's heaven.
Dear Bubble Tea,

You are the sweet nectar
that keeps me going.
You are the fruity goodness
that's always worth knowing.

You are so cold
that you numb all my troubles.
You are so yummy,
especially with tapioca bubbles.

Thanks for the memories,
the tea runs on OC nights.
Thanks for the tastiness.
You know such great heights.

No matter what, a bubble tea day is a good day. Which makes today AWESOME.

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