Movie Night

On a side note, Anne and I went to go see Bridesmaids last night. Hil-ar-ious. And a VERY relatable story. If you’re looking for a good girls’ night movie, or just a great movie, I would totally recommend it (especially over the star-vehicle, unrealistically constructed, and seriously flawed story of Something Borrowed).

I had something else clever to say, but I forgot.

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Really? REALLY?

I got an email from eHarmony, since I was once subscribed [and still receive matches]. The subject read, “Give Mom the Greatest Gift of All…” and inside —

Find someone who’s perfect for you.

We already HAVE mothers to guilt trip us, eHarm, we don’t need any more e-nagging, thank you.

My Date with Pete

I think you can tell a lot about a person by the place they pick for drinks.

Pete chose Applebee’s.

I enjoy Applebee’s for late night half off appetizers with my friends or an inexpensive dinner. But I live in a college town, with a plethora of unique and interesting places to drink. And the boy who I could have sworn was wearing eyeliner when I first met him chose Applebee’s.

So I got ready with trepidation. Since I’ve become a firm believer in giving every date a fair shot no matter what your first impressions might be, I curled my hair, threw on some eye shadow, and actually tried on more than one outfit. But as my roomie said, “Have fun!” my response was–

“One can only hope.”

When I arrived he was waiting, looking a little less grunge but still with striking eyelashes. He suggested we sit at the corner of the bar instead of at a table, and I agreed, thinking that if this went from disappointing to disastrous, it’d be easier to get away from a bartender than a waitress.

When we sat down, I reached for the drink menu, but Pete stopped me.

“You’re not going to need that,” he said. “Hey, Paul!”

Apparently Pete was friends with the bartender. Apparently they went through bartending school together. And apparently Applebee’s can serve more than your standard mojito.

Pete asked me what I liked to drink and made suggestions that I had never even heard of. Since we were both driving, Paul served us in sampler size glasses. The last one was a drink Pete and Paul had made up on their own, and I would share the recipe with you but they made me promise not to tell anyone. It was good.

I was having fun, I’ll admit it. I mean, drinking for free with two attractive, reasonably funny guys? We spent the first half hour just joking around, swapping stories of irresponsibility [like the time I woke up after a night of excessive drinking and found a phone number in my pocket–my phone number–except for the last two digits. Oops?]. But as Paul was serving up their signature drink, I asked Pete, “So are you a bartender too?”

“Not really,” Pete replied. “I bartended for a couple months, but most of the bars here cater to the undergrad douche bag.”

“So what do you do now?”

This should be an easy question, right? RIGHT?

“I work for an undertaker,” Pete said. Very casually.

“You’re an undertaker?” I was still making the connection between man I was sitting next to and the cartoon hunchback carrying a lantern and a shovel through a graveyard.

“No, I’m his assistant.”

“So,” I started slowly, because I was unsure whether or not I really wanted to utter these words, “you’re an undertaker’s assistant.”

“Yeah, I’ve been there for almost a year.” Pete was momentarily transfixed by a playoff game. It might have been a move to give me sometime to think this through–stunned silence is probably something Pete encounters often–and if so, it was to his credit.

Because I took the minute to consider the job, decide to stop considering the job, and to make the choice to forge ahead on this date. Yeah, it’s not the most…conventional of careers. But a man is not his job. Sometimes you just have to pay the bills. And we’d have time to talk about it [assuming I wanted to know more about it]. If I liked Pete enough to go on a second date with him.

And you know what? Through the next hour of conversation, laughter, and maybe just enough alcohol, I decided I did like Pete enough to go out with him again.
And he decided the same.

#15 Drink and Deflect

PART ONE

Since LoveAddict recently posted about her “favorite” Mr. Smother and Lizzie regaled us with her non-prostituting love slave, I thought I’d chime in with my own recent story.

My platonic friend Matt works nearby, and when I’m not working I try to get lunch with him every week or so. A few months ago, when I was feeling very single and a bit desperate, I followed him back to his office to meet his coworkers. I only met Rick very briefly, but long enough to believe something could work out there if pursued. I would see him once or twice in the following months, but never more than a “hello” was exchanged.

Until Matt texted me one night to see if I was interested in going to a party at Rick’s apartment. Rick was trying to get rid of all his New Year’s Eve alcohol. I, of course, was a more than willing helper.

Somehow, I convinced myself from the onset that Matt only invited me because Rick wanted me there. I blame the fact that my first recollection of Matt was his arrogant “I don’t call people; they call me” life mantra. This, perhaps, influenced my actions for the rest of the party.

I went to the party and had a great time. Did you know that Jenga can be played as a drinking game? My mind was completely blown. As for getting rid of that New Year’s Eve alcohol–let me say, I can handle my liquor, but it was amazing even to me just HOW non discriminating I am when it comes to kinds. Vodka? Yum yum. Rum is a fav. Gin is an excellent palate cleanser. Bring on the tequila!

Each tile has a rule written on it, and you've got to play the rule you pull. Also, there's no way the game would be this advanced if it was drinking-Jenga style.

Suffice to say, I was most definitely not driving home. Matt offered to drive me home, but the complication of leaving my car at Rick’s and the fact that Rick was obviously too eager to keep handing me drinks with a certain ulterior motive made my decision very easy. I think Matt was barely out the door when Rick leaned over and kissed me.

Let me tell you something. Other people were staying over, but I was the only one who got to sleep in a real bed.

BUT, before you get ahead of me, no sex was had. Just four hours of making out. Until SEVEN AM, people.

The problem was, is, that I meant to stop drunk making out. Without getting into my philosophy now, I usually just feel like I’m getting used, and I’m finding it less and less, ahem, fulfilling. HOWEVER, that did not stop some very memorable moments.

Like when Rick kept saying, “Oh, girl, oh girl.” I mean, I’ve heard using babe or baby to avoid mixing up names, but can we get any more generic than girl?

Or like when Rick said that he liked me, I laughed in his face and said, “You don’t even know me.” This might have happened more than once. I may have intimacy issues.

Or like when Rick said he’d like to take me out I said, “Well, then DO IT.” Like a dare. Because most people like to be challenged into taking someone out.

Or like when Rick said, “I told Matt you had a HUGE crush on me” I tried to think up a less honest answer than, “Only in the same way I have a HUGE crush on a bottle of vodka. Nominally interested but surprisingly desperate.”

Or like how when I woke up at 8AM, after only an hour of sleep, I tried unsuccessfully to sneak out and was delayed an hour and a half.

And then, after I had finally detangled myself and navigated the passed-out partiers in the living room to find shelter in the cold fresh air of a Michigan morning, Rick sent me a text message that simply said, “I think you’re really cute.”

Ok, I liked that.

I'm going for similarities in hair style here, not musical talents.

A few days later it was Sunday, the day we had tentatively set for our date after I said, “Well DO IT,” and I received a shy little text asking me if I was still up for “hanging out.” I pushed it back. I was exhausted from getting seven hours of sleep the entire weekend and knew that going on a date in my glazed-eyes state would be a disservice to everyone. He accepted my excuse gracefully and said that while he really did want to take me out, if I wasn’t interested that was fine.

I had just needed to buy myself time. The only proper dates I’ve been on recently have been eHarmony dates that have gone…so far into nowhere they’ve gone backwards. Add in the complication of my current feelings for Logan, and I was just unsure if I wanted to pursue something with Rick.

But then I called myself out as a coward and made myself woman up. I had kept following the comments on LA’s Mr. Smother post, and a few commenters had suggested that we dismiss genuinely nice guys as being clingy and smothery because we’re scared. It’s true, while I had plenty of physical sparks with Rick, I hadn’t felt any emotional fireworks, but maybe I was too busy protecting myself from wombats to see a truly nice guy. I don’t want to be my own best sabotager, so on Monday I texted Rick my free nights to see when he wanted to go out.

And he picked Tuesday.

Sorry.

Erm.

Before I started this blog, I wrote several posts because I KNEW I was going to be busy and I didn’t want weeks to go by without a post.

Sadly, this happened anyway.

My internship literally ate my life, and I worked up straight to the holidays. But you need no excuses, no explanations. Just be reassured that new posts will be coming this week. Some family oriented ones, just for the holidays. And a New Year’s resolution to be a better blogger.

#9 Spend All Your Time Waiting

I recently got an internship, and then the holidays came, and I let this blog fall on the wayside.

My bad.

Also, I know this is TMI, but one of my tonsils swelled up and every time I swallow it’s like someone’s stabbing me in the neck with a fork. That just sucks when you’re home for a holiday where the main event is eating. I just wanted someone to feel bad for me, that’s all.

But today, today, I have a bone to pick [do people say that anymore? I’m young, but I’m not really hip]. I’m about to smack down a throw down. It’s time to call a bitch out.

I’ve got serious issues with Fate.

Fate, Destiny, God’s Will, whatever you want to call it. It doesn’t fly with me. The combination of Sofia’s reluctance to put any effort into finding a boy and the advice of all my friends about how, when I have peace with being single, a boy will suddenly appear, has created a perfect storm of outrage. And I’m about to take Destiny to task.

There’s a myth that people believe. I’m going to give you the Christian version of the myth because it’s what I’ve been hearing lately, but if you don’t share the faith, this works equally well interchanged with the amorphous Fate, True Love, whatever, and I’ll show that if you promise to hang through.

This is the conversation that frequently pops up–

Me: I’m ok with being single, but on the other hand, I’d like to not be alone anymore.

Well-meaning Friends: Don’t make a relationship an idol. God has perfect timing. Once you are at peace with not having a boyfriend, one has a funny way of turning up. God’s so funny like that!

Ok. One, this is a way convoluted view of God’s grace and goodness, turning it into some rewards-based system. That ain’t going to fly with me, honey. But two, and most importantly, this is not Biblical. People in the Bible didn’t sit around in the desert dust, going, well, I’m ok with being single, I’m 267 and never been kissed, but it’s ok. I’ve reached a state of enlightenment, and now I will be blessed with a spouse.

When Abraham was getting old, he decided it was time for his son Isaac to be a man and get a woman. So he sent his servant to his family’s family to find his son a wife. He didn’t sit Issac down, give him a man-talk about being content with being single, and then watch from the sidelines as his daughter-in-law suddenly sashayed into their lives. Dude, he even knew which TOWN that girl was coming from.

And let’s not forget the first boy and girl ever, celebrity couple Evam. [Adam and Eve need better publicists.] When God saw that Adam was moping under the apple tree, he didn’t say, “It’s ok. Just wait until you’re satisfied with being the ONLY PERSON IN THE WORLD. Then we’ll talk. I’ve got funny timing.” No way. He said, “That man needs a WOMAN,” and He made it happen. He didn’t wait for Adam to have any inner peace.

I'm not gonna lie. I'm pretty sure Adam and Eve were WAY hotter.

Look, this myth permeates our lives, whatever you believe in, God, Fate, True Love. Some people think that once you’re happy with loving yourself you’ll find someone special to love you too. Some people believe that you have a Soul Mate who will make you feel complete like a brand new puzzle. And while I don’t disagree with some underlying truths in these myths, that you should be happy with yourself, that you shouldn’t look for completion in a relationship, that you can’t let the gloominess of being alone swallow you whole, once you learn these lessons, there is no master switch to flip. It’s not like an eligible man is alerted to your new found zen via Bat Single and comes running down the street to you.

This is not an if-then truth. It’s hardly a truth at all. And it has a lot of women sitting on their hands, trying to figure out what’s wrong with THEM that they don’t have a boyfriend, what part of their personal development have the neglected, what how-to empowerment have they not discovered, what part of their faith are they failing. And that’s not ok with me. We don’t EARN boyfriends through self improvement. Love is not an ethereal myth. It’s hard work, getting out there, meeting people, getting to know them, and that’s all BEFORE the relationship starts.

I love the mystery of love, but I’m grounded. And I would much rather have a date from my new full fledged eHarmony membership than to sit around waiting for Destiny to give me a call.

#8 Limit Your Options

The other day the girls from my church and I were discussing boys–or our lack of [this actual causes a near crisis of faith for young Christian women. A loving God allows poverty, war, crimes against humanity, and singleness? Yeah, it seems petty of us. It is. We’re far from perfect.]

At this point my friend Rachel raises her hand.

“I have a confession,” she says. “I joined eHarmony.”

Rachel and I might soon be having eHarmony coffee dates together, complete with our laptops.

When I so recently decried the difficulty of meeting available boys, when is it time to bite the bullet? Time to succumb to the tear-jerking commercials of people finding their true love and giggling on the beach? Is there a magical age where you give up on meeting any potential man as they all appear to be already married or they disqualify themselves for some reason? A time when finding a boy who’s age appropriate and dateable becomes like a treasure hunt. After I bemoaned the difficulties of even meeting a single Dateable male, the next logical step is moving on to online dating. Welcome to the virtual meat market. I’m sorry, I meant to say village market square.

Listen, maybe the matchmakers of old didn’t have it so wrong. What’s the point in getting yourself all primped up, handshaking and flirting with a half dozen men, giving and taking phone numbers, going on risky dates, JUST to see if someone’s compatible? Especially when someone else can do all the dirty work for you.

When I turned 23 and was still single, I signed up on eHaromny–the free version, just so I could see my free matches. I just wanted to see what it was like. A little experimentation never hurt a girl. But what starts as innocent interest soon spirals into something bigger. Don’t be deceived–they, just like any old matchmaker, are a business selling a product–and it’s a big one. Love. It’s an easy web to get caught in.

So I scan some matches, see some that are intriguing, and then, there are the free communication weekends. Sometimes I get in touch with these guys. Maybe I’ve gone on a date once or twice.

But there is something that makes me hesitate about online dating. Rachel articulated it perfectly. She is also a literature lover, captivated by life stories, and she confessed that she doesn’t want to look at her future children and say, “Well, honey, Daddy saw Mommy’s profile picture, and he thought she was really cute so he sent her an Icebreaker! So she sent him some multiple choice questions back, and before we knew it we were emailing!”

Blech.

And then there’s my friend Sofia, who we tried to cheerlead into signing up on eHarmony, but sat to the side texting the entire time my friend and I tried to engage her on the process. But Sofia has never had a boyfriend and wants one, so it stumps me as to why she’s so cynical a road as of yet untraveled.

Is that person you're texting going to date you? Let's get flexible, Sofia. Life is not a romantic comedy.

And honestly, how is an online website meet-cute story any worse than many other stories? Anne and Tim recently told me excitedly about a guy they had recently met–“He’s tall, a law student, and his name is… Graham? Graham!” I know less about Graham than I do after reading anyone’s profile on eHarmony, and yet I’m just as excited to meet him. Will that be a better story? “Mommy’s best friend knew she was desperate, so she kept thrusting her at any single man she met along the way.” Or how about the guy I stalk at my completely platonic guy friend’s office? “Mommy asked her friend Harvey if he knew any single guys, then she dropped by their office every week for six months until Daddy asked her out.”

Then again, I’m still on the free version of eHarmony. See, for those of us who can’t commit to ordering a subscription to an online dating website, maybe we’re just not ready for a real committed relationship either.