Talk to my friends, talk to me.

I’ve been seeing friends more often lately – making a point to say YES to invitations and get out of my homebody, waiting-for-a-boy slump (except when I want to!)– but the boy kept coming up and I felt like a broken record.  Granted, I HAVE been a broken record about that piece of shit for the last year, but more so in the last few weeks and I’ve been amazed at the different reactions my tale of woe gets.
I guess because I’ve started my spiel with, “If I were listening to a friend tell me this story, I’d be able to be very black and white about it and tell her that she was crazy and not giving herself enough respect and blah, blah, blah…” I KNOW the right answer.  Oprah says when you know, better you do better, but for some reason the black hole of this relationship with Lucky has me knowing better but not doing better.

Their responses have been all over the place…

“Well there must be a reason that you’re hanging on.” Yeah, because I’m a massichistic idiot who is scared to start over so I’m going to just keep hitting my head against this wall for a bit longer.

“It’s all about timing.” No, it’s not. It’s about the right person. The right person makes even the wrongest time right.

“He’ll come around.” He absolutely will not.

HEL-LO! Have any of you read/seen He’s Just Not That Into You?! Stop lying to me and tell me to get a grip.
Fortunately, I did talk to a straight-shooting friend who told me she’s dated this guy many times over and she’s now in a very happy relationship so she had not problem telling me, “This isn’t the MJ I know and love. He’s not going to change. His words and actions don’t match up. There are much better things out there.”
THANK YOU, GIRLFRIEND.
Those words and, okay, let’s be honest…these too…have been in my head lately and I’m ready to be the real MJ again.

Can men and women be friends?

I think yes, men and women can be friends, but I love this video from last year, which proves that while many women agree, most men are friends with women because, yes, they want to sleep with them.

Here’s a few flashing red lights I’ve run into in my male-female friendships recently.

Guy friends who will text and call you all day long, but when they are with their girlfriend, are suddenly quiet…yeah, he wants to sleep with you and is keeping you in back up position. (No, I don’t expect him to continue the texting, but being completely ignored = he’s hiding something from her. You.)

Guy friends who are ex-boyfriendsdon’t do it, and yeah, he wants to sleep with you (again).

Guy friends who have NEVER visited you, but upon hearing about your recent break up take a day off work to drive 5 hours to take you on a date…kinda obvious, but yeah, he wants to sleep with you, but on his long drive back home because you didn’t and won’t let him stay, he’s probably realizing you are JUST FRIENDS.

My grandmother is a little ridiculous and for some reason every time I see her she wants to know why I am not dating the best man from my sister’s wedding.  He’s tall and bald and kind of goofy looking like my grandfather, but I seriously don’t get why she feels we’re fated for each other, but I appreciate that she shares my theory that every man ever is obviously interested in me.

When she asked again the other day I told her that I like a man with confidence, who, when he likes what he sees, goes after it.  I’ve known Mr. BM for years, and again, assuming that he doesn’t think I’m too short with too much hair and too normal looking and kinda likes me, he’s never made a move.

I’m a (mostly) equal-opportunity dater and would have said yes and would have given it a shot, but hey, Grandma? There’s only so much “stand there and look pretty and try not to say anything too weird” I can do.

And, at this point, if he were to ask? Yeah, probably not.  He’s in the friend category. All those guy friends of mine who exhibit strange behavior that leads me to believe they want to sleep with me? Yeah, probably not.  At a certain point, A. you had your chance, so B. you’re firmly in the friend zone.

With all the ups and downs with Lucky – and let’s be honest I say this after every boyfriend because the back and forth is just what I do – I’m ready to write off any one who had a chance and didn’t see what a wonderful chance that was, whether it’s an ex or someone who’s just a friend who never expressed interest.

Mama wants some strange.

Overshare = Unfriend

Remember the girl who was made an example in my “let’s embrace all the moments that we have” post?

She has now landed in Europe and then went to this bar, that landmark, slept in until 3, had this guy say that to her, had that guy look at her this way, took this train over here….and then I unfriended her. I didn’t just hide her updates, this was deserving of an unfriend (like I said, we’re not that close anyway).

For as much as she was looking forward to her vacation, she seems like she’s too busy updating her Facebook status to even be enjoying it! Some people. Granted, she probably doesn’t have a blog where she talks about all the mundaneness of her day-to-day, so perhaps I’m not one to talk!

Do you overshare on social media?  Does it bug you?  How do you deal with it?

Matchmaker, Matchmaker

This weekend I committed a cardinal sin of friendship. I set up my girlfriend on the basis of both parties being single.

I know. It’s terrible. It’s happened to me and it was terrible then and I still did the same thing and it was – spoiler alert – terrible(ish).

I met Lucky’s friend, Marmaduke (nice guy, but just kinda reminds me of a big, goofy dog), about a week after meeting Lucky and have seen him a few times since.  Marmaduke was on Match as well. Marmaduke probably would have turned up in my search eventually if Lucky hadn’t snatched me up first and thank goodness he did…not because Marmaduke is awful, but because I’m totally gone for Lucky at this point and feel the need to sneak in reference to that as often as I can.  Feel free to grab a vom bag. 

Being that Marmaduke is on Match, he’s obviously looking. He’s got an ex-girlfriend story, he’s got a rebound girl story, but he’s looking for what’s next. He assumes Lucky’s great catch knows some other pretty great catches and has been bugging me and Lucky to meet some of my friends for a while.

The thing is, I do know some great catches, but a lot of them are taken because they’re so great (and because we’re getting old and that’s what happens when you’re old), but my mind went quickly to a girl I’ve clicked with in the past few months at Meetup events so when Marmaduke asked again last weekend, I set up a little double with the henceforth called Sally.

Sally also has an ex-boyfriend story and we’ve spent a lot of time commiserating about the dating scene.  She’s said she’s content being single, but was open to the experience of going out with a new guy.

It really wasn’t one of those oh my gosh, you have to meet so-and-so because you have so much in common things.  I wouldn’t have even connected the dots if he didn’t specifically ask to meet a girlfriend of mine, but he did so Lucky showed Marm Sally’s Facebook and I showed Sally Marm’s Match profile (because he doesn’t have a Facebook, oh my gosh what is wrong with this guy?) and all systems were still go and we set up a casual drinks and apps date on Saturday night.

I personally would have been shy and uncomfortable in the situation, but Sally jumped right in and seemed to get along great with both Lucky and Marmaduke.  We found out that Sally and Marmaduke did in fact have some things in common and they seemed relatively interested, or at least like they were having a good time. 

The quick debriefs while one of them or the other went to the restroom were not overwhelming, but favorable, so I was a little surprised when he didn’t close the deal at the end of the night (as in phone number, nothing more, pervs). 

The next day, the boys went out golfing and I got this text from Lucky:  Marmaduke is not into Sally at all.

Hmm.  I found out later it wasn’t anything in particular, okay maybe the excessive amount she had to drink, but mostly no real click and that’s fine.  I don’t feel too bad about the set up because I kind of let them both know it was more about their single status and getting out and having fun than about actually believing they would match well.

I haven’t heard from Sally and have no clue how she felt about the evening once she had time to process it.  I feel a little guilty for not following up with her, but I got such immediate feedback from Marm that asking her if she liked him seemed irrelevant. 

“Oh, you liked him?  Too bad because he was not into you.  At all.”

I thought the at all was a little harsh.

So, while I’d love to embrace my inner Patti Stanger, I’m only doing it from now on if I actually see a potential connection between two people.  Until then, I’m hoping this failure holds off Marmaduke for a bit if not for good.  If he’s still chomping at the bit, my new plan is to do a group introduction with way less pressure so he can pick his own!

Friends and Phones

This is one of those, oh gosh, 22-year-old MJ was so silly stories.  So, when I was 22, I met a guy.  On our first date he was actually kind of wonderful, but early on I discovered he had quite an affinity for his Blackberry.  He had kind of a 24/7 job, so whatever, but then there was the fact that sometimes I would call or text and get nothing.  Um, I’ve spent time with you  so I KNOW you are attached at the hip to that thing.  Anyway, I still dated him, he was shady, it ended.

I think most people in my generation are the same way.  90% of the time, I have my phone with me and I will respond.  Sometimes I turn it off, sometimes I leave it behind, sometimes I forget it’s on silent and in my purse until I try to look for it a few hours later, but VERY often, I have it. 

Not only do I have my phone, but it’s my email times two, it pings me if someone sends me a Facebook message (I don’t have the app downloaded because I don’t want a notification every time someone “likes” something or whatnot, but I still do log in and check it often) or tweets me and I recently downloaded Yahoo! Messenger.  Need to get a hold of me?  You’ve got me!

So my question is, in this technologically connected world, WHEN can you get mad/upset/concerned about an unanswered message?

If you send someone a Facebook message and then you see they’re doing other stuff on FB and still haven’t responded to you?

If you send a text (with a question..texts without don’t require responses, duh) and don’t hear back within 15 minutes?  At the end of the work day?  Within a few hours if it’s the weekend?

If you call (and leave a message) and don’t hear back?

I’ve found my thresholds when it comes to potentials who are slacking on communication (particularly when it’s the beginning of something and he SHOULD be excited and SHOULD be on his best behavior), but why do I let these questions linger in regards to friends?

Everyone is different, but once you figure out a person’s average time, you can figure out where you are in the pecking order based on how quickly you get a response.

Specifically, my “best friend.”  This is the relationship I have finally given up on and said I made peace with, but it still sucks.  He thinks he’s busy and is a little spacey, so he was usually a few-hours responder, then it turned into a day or so.  Last week?  I sent him a message on Monday giving him my schedule for the week so that we could try to meet up for a happy hour we always talk about.  A week later and nothing.

And yeah, similarly to my gem of an ex, he is constantly on his phone if we hang out.  I’m no angel when it comes to this either, but seriously, what is society coming to?  We are so rude!  And what did people do during awkward silences when no one had cell phones?  Anyway, he has an iPhone and it’s love. 

Also, answer me this…why do people who have iPhones feel the need to say iPhone all the time?  It’s like, “Oh, I lost my iPhone, but then I found my iPhone.”  Or “Oh man, I jumped in the pool and totally forgot my iPhone was in my pocket and now my iPhone is wrecked and I have to go get a new iPhone.”  I’m not all about, “Hit me up on my Droid 2.” Or “So, I was texting him on my Droid 2.” 

I love the saying that goes something like, don’t make someone your priority if you are just their option, and again, I do okay with it in romantic relationships, but it’s different to forgive a friend, forget it happened, hang out, have fun, get ignored again, lather, rinse, repeat.

Okay, it’s not. It’s the same thing and it sucks.

Don’t Be That Girl

As with all big life events, I found out about my friends’ engagements via Facebook last week. Actually FOUR of my friends announced engagements online in the past week, one of whom is divorced and therefore officially lapping me, COME ON!

But we’re going to talk about the friends who are marrying each other. I grew up with the guy and got to know and become friends with his girlfriend once they got together.

His announcement was a “She said yes!” That’s cute, that’s sweet. And then he posted pictures of the (absolutely ridiculous) ring. That makes me want to throw up.

Her announcement was, “FINALLY!!!”

Yes.  With three exclamation points.  That makes me hate the player AND the game. I mean, really? As the dude, doesn’t that make you want to kind of take it back?

Lately I’ve been wondering when you go from being a normal person who wants to spend the rest of her life with a wonderful man and celebrate that with something simple and fun surrounded by family and friends to someone who dresses up nine of her “closest” female friends in obnoxious, expensive dresses and arranges the ladies in order of height, hands the DJ a three-page long DO NOT PLAY list and threatens to cut her poor, wonderful man because he said he liked the calla lilies over the Leonidas roses, or worse, that he didn’t have a preference.

When I went to a baby shower a few weeks ago, I decided that if I could hide a pregnancy, I would because the second you start to show, everyone and their mom wants to talk to you about their pregnancies and babies.

EVERYTHING at the shower was met with a “when I had my Marsha…” or “that’s the best [fill in ridiculous baby apparatus]” and even a few, “well, that’s nice, but my Marsha always preferred…” from one of the attendees in particular. Mommyjacking at its finest.

Being a relatively small person, for some reason people like to comment on the fact that when I do get pregnant I’m going to be huge and I’ll be put on bed rest and can I even physically have kids? Mind your own business…why are you even talking to me about this?!

Whatever, I might look a little silly.  Or adorable, we’ll call it adorable. It’s not often you see a small woman on I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant. As a healthy 120-pounder (with abs that I’m already mourning the loss of), I’m sure other people will notice when I start growing a basketball on my front side.

But as long as I can hide it, I will because I do not need nine months of people telling me how I’m going to do everything wrong and how hard it is and that my names are stupid (I already know that, but I like them).

Similarly, as much as I’ll want to be THAT girl who tells the whole internet what a tool my fiance is for taking so freaking long to propose and then bore them with the obnoxious details of wedding planning, I do fully intend to hide that.

I’m not the first person in the world to get married and since everyone who’s ever planned her own wedding considers herself a wedding planner extraordinaire. I see a long engagement as an invitation for months of unsolicited advice being thrown at me about what they did right and what I’m doing wrong. No thanks.

And that’s how I feel for now. You know, until a man puts a ring on it and I turn bat-shit crazy.

If It Makes You Happy

My friend recently posted on Facebook that she was sad she wasn’t standing in line at the Chelsea Handler book signing. And by recently I mean this has been sitting as a draft forever and if you’re into fact checking, Chelsea Handler was in Phoenix on a lovely Friday the 13th.

I thought Chelsea was hilarious in her Girls Behaving Badly and My Horizontal Life phase, but recently feel like maybe she used up all her funny with those and is now just trying too hard, but that’s not the point.

I responded, “So go stand in line.”

Seems simple enough. You’re sad. Do the thing that will presumably make you happy.

Remember this Sheryl Crow song?

Apparently it came out when I was in the sixth grade, but I had a girlfriend in high school who used to sing it to me when I was second guessing a decision.  This friend was quite reserved in early high school, but was probably the first of my friends who I noticed really grow into herself when we were still teenagers. To this day, she lives the width of her life.  She embraces it and does what she wants.  I love her for it. 

I’m getting more and more comfortable with it myself.  I think it’s one of the blessings of getting to and being at this stage of my life single.  I love the liberties of living on my own and with no attachments.  The freedom to go where I want, do what I want, be who I want.

I also love letting my freak flag fly.  It’s not actually that freaky, it’s more  like things that reserved, little, concerned-about-what-others-think MJ would have to talk herself into.  Now my first response is to just do it.  And if there’s any question, I just channel my inner Sheryl.

Confessions of Sorts

My company blocked blogs as social networking sites this week.  I can’t even see pictures posted on WordPress or Blogger in my reader anymore. 

But on the bright side, I’ve never been more productive, I’m getting more responsibilities and surprising myself with my knowledge and performance at work.  Time to grow up, I suppose.

This is why this post is most likely going to be word vomit of things I’ve been thinking about all week.

On my second visit to my chiropractor, he asked me a question about the last place I used to work and it threw me off because I didn’t realize the last time I had been there I was still a hotelier extraordinaire, so I just went with it and I’ve seen him three times since and have had to keep up the act.  

It’s practice for lying to men in bars about my job, I suppose.  I think my job is awesome, but I always feel like when people ask me what I do they want me to respond with something that’s easy to understand (particularly while intoxicated), like TEACHER or NURSE or DOLPHIN TRAINER (which I think I shall be this weekend).

I’m going out to celebrate my friend’s birthday tonight and my goal is to stay out actually late and look at least not TOTALLY lame trying to dance.  It’s my first time truly “going out” in trendy Scottsdale and I’m nervous because I don’t feel like I fit in. 

When that happens, I spend too much time worrying about it and shopping for something that won’t expose me as a misfit and trying on endless outfits.  I also considered straightening my hair to fit in or something, but then I realized I love my hair and being unique is awesome and as long as I bring my confidence along for the ride I’ll be fine. 

I’m also nervous because this is the friend who was the green-eyed monster the last time we went out and things are still strange. I’m not sure if her boyfriend is going, but her cute (and I think single) Steelers fan man friend is.

I went to pay for something in cash the other day and it came to $11.05.  I had the $11 and then I stared at a nickel like I was visiting from another country until the 16-year-old behind the register was like, “yes, that one.”  How sad.

The high schoolers on Friday Night Lights make me believe in love. I’m in season three and Tandry just got back together, don’t ruin it and tell me they don’t end up together.

I still do the arms straight down at my side test that they did at high school to see if my skirts or shorts are too short.  Above the thumb is too short.  I still wear it either way but always check.

My big plans for today are going to the library.  And I’m kinda excited.  Yeah, I definitely don’t fit in.  And that’s fine.

In Mixed Company

Never believe someone named Dusty who you’ve known for all of 18 hours when he tells you that he’s got the perfect guy for you.  You know who will show up?  A short, skinny pothead with a fauxhawk. No thanks, Dusty.

In other news, couples are taking over the world.  My high school friends all got significant others when I moved back to Arizona (thinking we would all still hang out like the old days) and then fell off the face of the earth. 

So I got new friends.  Through Meetup, I found a group of women, many of whom have boyfriends or even are married, but still make an effort to make and spend time with girlfriends.  That’s pretty awesome if you ask me. 

I don’t want to give up myself, my interests and my own friends when a cute guy winks at me (I can admit I have been guilty of that in the past), so I took these women as proof that, with some concerted effort, having friends AND a boyfriend is totally possible.

However, this weekend, the men were in tow and things changed.  Being the single one around a bunch of couples is just about as awesome as just not being included in the first place.  Except you’re not at home in your PJs watching Hulu, so really, it’s not as awesome at all.

Really though, I had a great weekend.  It felt indulgently long.  There was music, dancing and red wine.  Warm fuzzies from volunteering, warm sun and a cool pool (and a deliciously early bed time).  A long run, couch time + movies and forced family fun, which was pretty darn fun.

It’s just that mixed in there was watching PDA from an uncomfortably close vantage point, which is whatever, but also confusion and hurt feelings over the way a girlfriend acted.  It hurt more when she recognized it, apologized for it, but then did it again. I knew she had jealousy and trust issues, but I never thought they would be directed at me.  Yes, I’m awesome, but I’m a good friend and deserve that in return.

*Disclaimer:  There was no dancing with this friend’s boyfriend, I just thought this picture was funny.

Say What You Need to Say?

You know that classic question of if you knew your friend’s boyfriend was cheating would you tell her?  Or, if you had serious concerns about a person your friend was going to marry, would you speak up?

I experienced the latter and didn’t.  I left that to her cousin who tried to break up the wedding the night before.  They got married young – she was just 21 – after a tumultuous relationship and a super-fast reconciliation, engagement and wedding.

If I could have seen what the future held for my friend, I might have helped.  Instead I (along with the cousin) stood up as bridesmaids the next day and it went off without a hitch.

This friend is three years younger than me and I’ve known her since she was 10.  She’s the closest thing I have to a little sister and I cherish her.

Because of that, for a while, I tolerated this husband – his brash-in-your-face-know-it-all-holier-than-thou-borderline-misogynistic attitude – as did her family, but all of us with whispered concerns over his controlling, and potentially abusive, behavior. 

Then as he and I spent more time together – it’s been two-and-a-half years and now they have a baby – it became a mutual distaste.  I’m not too sure what’s not to like about me, I mean I’m pretty awesome, but his personality grates me and if mine does him, that’s fine.

But the other day, their combined Facebook account said something to the effect that he was excited their son was coming into his work, and yeah his wife was going to be there too, but “eh” and went on to say that she needed to bring him dinner and not just Kraft mac and cheese crap, that she better start warming up the oven.

I stewed for a day, then three years of frustration with this kid came out.  I simply responded with “Do you wonder why people think you’re an asshole?” Because he is and they do.

Within a few hours, I was not only defriended, I was blocked.  I heard from her a day later and she said she had something she wanted to talk to me about. 

She was upset because she thought it was harsh.  I let her know having a husband who talks to you or about you in that way isn’t healthy or normal. 

She told me it was a joke and anytime he says anything like that it’s a joke and I just don’t know him very well.  That’s who he is every time I’m around so either that’s who he actually is or I will never know because I don’t care to dig deeper.

She said she also took it as a knock at her because it was a knock at her partner.  I’ve never been in that serious of a relationship that I would know what that feels like, but I can see where that might be true. I assured her it was just because I wanted to call it to his attention but it’s not a reflection on her. 

She expressed that she wished I had talked to her privately instead of now having to deal with the outcomes.  I wanted to call him out, stand up for her, and I knew if I said something to her, she’d brush it off and not say anything to him and he’d keep talking to and about my friend that way.  She deserves better.

I didn’t want to cause any problems for her.  I figured it couldn’t strain my relationship with him any further, but now thinking back on it, it’s very rarely I see her without him around, and I definitely don’t want to lose her.  She’s not allowed very many friends (yeah, I know) and I’m sad to think I took one of the few he tolerated away.  

Perhaps that makes me a hypocrite, being a jerk to him in a public forum for being a jerk to her in a public forum.

So, with all that said…thoughts? Have you been there?  Was I that far off?  What would you have done?