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.

Kissing Frogs

Sometimes I say things and people look at me as if I have two heads.  Apparently things I think are “sayings” are not actually sayings.  Or sometimes they are just not sayings that young people these days have heard.  What can I say?  I’m an old soul.

And then there are times when I just make shit up (mostly acronyms and I use them like they’re a thing), but we’re not talking about those times right now.

We’re talking about my recent overuse of the phrase “kissing frogs.”  To me, that means dating guys who aren’t right for me, with the implication that it’s in my search to find my prince. 

Maybe people my age just didn’t read fairy tales when they were younger? 

Anyway, I told a girlfriend my theory at happy hour and she suggested I just walk up to strangers and kiss them to knock out the numbers.  Missing the point.

I told my bestie my theory and he asked, “and by kiss, you mean sleep with?”  Missing the point so very much, but thanks for the vote of confidence about my whore-ish ways.  I let him know I have not slept with 12 men in my life, let alone in between the last two guys I actually liked, nor do I plan on sleeping with 12 in the next five months.

A third, when he assumed I literally meant kiss and I asked him about why no one got it said it was less about not knowing what “kissing frogs” meant and more about knowing what “kissing” meant.  Touche.

My good friend, Peaches, inadvertently taught me a technique to use in these situations.  He – yes, Peaches is a boy – tells this awesome story – all his stories are awesome, you should meet him and just listen to him talk – that involves his playboy father, his playboy father’s lady friend, a dead bird and the phrase, “it’s a well-known fact.” 

So now, anytime someone questions my stories or my phrases that may be from different centuries, I simply say, “it’s a well-known fact that…” and then they can’t argue because obviously they are the stupid one.  It actually kinda worked on bestie.

Am I that far off?  Is “kissing frogs” not actually a thing?

War of Words

I happen to be adorable and innocent.  I use words like lovely and delight and precious.  I don’t interrupt.  Sometimes I’m too polite shy to even ask for the restroom.  I wear dresses. I wear cardigans.  I’d say it’s all a farce, meant to throw people off.  But it’s not.  That’s who I am. 

And so is this:

I wrote a friend an email the other day and I used the word bang.  Actually, it was in the subject and she wrote her response and then wrote me again to say, “PS, I loved the subject of that message, haha.”  Don’tjudgeus.

Anyway, I think it’s catching on.  Please enjoy:

My last two boyfriends used the word bang a lot (among other things to describe the act, not all of which were completely crude) and at first I was a little put off.  The sheltered princess in me came out, my eyes widened and I thought, “hmm, he just said THAT.”

Then I kinda started to like it and I have apparently added it to my list of words I like simply because they’re a little crude. 

I would now like to teach you how to be crude and still be cute.  It’s all in the delivery.  Say the crude words like you own them and you will.  Say them and laugh like you did when you were nine and anyone said, “do it” or look around for your mom to scold you and you don’t own it and your crude word privileges will be taken away.  Also, it helps if you’re wearing a cardigan.

My mom’s favorite thing to say when she heard her 13- and 14-year-old students swear was, “why would you let something so ugly come out of such a pretty face?”  As an English teacher, she thought there were plenty of other words to express yourself without having to use swear words, curse words, BAD words or words that are just kinda crude. 

Her dad (my grandpa, come on, keep up, here) was named Richard and went by Dick.  I’m not sure when I discussed peni (yes, the plural for penis) with her, but she was not a fan of that slang word either.  And pissed.  She hated when we used pissed.  To be honest, I think it kinda pissed her off – not that she would have said so.

But even she has even learned to accept my inclination toward a vocabulary that would make a sailor blush. I’m more a believer in that words are just words.  Yes, there’s a time and place and I do have a censor button, but I don’t think saying bang or even singing and finding humor in The Bang Bang Song changes who I am and my mom realizes that if an occassional f-bomb is the worst thing about me, she did a pretty good job.

What do you do that people don’t necessarily expect?

What do you call that “special hug that two adults who love each other very much” share?

248 Days of Awesome

This post from Amy at Just a Titch about her life by the numbers motivated me to make my own. 

And then it was depressing.

I made a list of 14 things I am excited about long-term.  Let’s go into those by the numbers:  six are friend things,  five are wedding things, four are races, three are family things, one is work-related and one is lurve-related.  These categories aren’t mutually exclusive obviously, some events hit multiple categories.

That’s a good disbursement.  So, why am I bummed?  Beyond the obvious that I hate that other people’s wedding have hijacked my year and bank account because even I’m sick of hearing myself complain about that. 

(But BTW, when it’s my turn to play dress up in a fluffy white gown, remind me to spend time with and show appreciation to my bridesmaids.  You know, the girls who mean so much to me that I want them up there with me on the biggest day of my life and who are doing me a huge favor.  Okay, bridesmaidzilla rant over.)

The issue is that the closest thing (lurve) is this weekend (because you can’t look too far down the road in such a new relationship-thing-not-a-relationship-we-are-totes-just-hanging-out-and-it’s-cool-ugh-labels-suck-and-trying-to-be-cool-when-I’ve-had-26-years-of-experience-being-not-cool-also-sucks).

AND, moving on, the last thing is a half-marathon in December, 248 days away.  Just 14 things in 248 days?  Not enough!  I am looking forward to a family trip over Memorial Day weekend and then my birthday in August.  They are 67 days apart! 

Um, excuse me, summer?  You’re supposed to be awesome!

There’s literally NOTHING in June and July.  Well, there is a baby shower in the works.  And who doesn’t love wrapping toilet paper around a hormonal [single] mommy-to-be? 

Now, I’m the first person who will tell you that if you’re bored then you’re boring, so it’s actually good that I looked ahead and realized my summer was veering into less-than-awesome territory. 

This is how I spent last summer:

That ain’t not happening again!

This might be a great time to dive into my 101 list.  Time to start planning!

BTW, it’s supposed to be 97 degrees on Friday…summer is here now.  Oh joy.

Throwing Up is Not Cute. Or Funny.

I have a story I tell about puking.  It’s not like a, “I got so sloppy drunk and then I puked all over my friend’s car” kind of story.  It’s – what I thought was – a humorous story about orange juice +my chronic lateness + a fire drill + a deaf teacher + the awkwardness of high school.  It has all the makings, right?

I don’t remember the last time I told this story.  I guess I generally use it as a “most embarrassing moment” go-to.

HOWEVER…I never will again.

And this is why:

I was planning on hiking this weekend and Good Luck J has been asking me for a second date so I asked him if he wanted to go hiking with me because it’s not too dateish, it could just be low key.  Or so I thought.

We were texting back and forth about it and then he called me.  I’m not used to a man who even KNOWS that his phone has that function, so I thought it was a little weird from a few angles. 

We chatted for a bit.  He asked me where I was hiking and I told him my crazy ass plan and then he said, “well, the reason I asked is because – and I thought this would be too hard to explain over text – I’ve only been hiking once.  And I had to stop because it was tough and the girl I was with, well, she was a friend, and she took off running to the top, and I ended up throwing up.”

TMI.  And perhaps it’s his funny throwing up story.  Except it’s not funny.  It’s gross.

Acceptable answers would have been:

“Wow, I’m actually super busy this weekend.”

Even, “hiking’s not really my thing.”

Or something totally ridiculous, like, “I used to be a twice-weekly hiker, but the last time I went, I saw a man fall to his death.  That was five years ago and I haven’t been since.”

Puking while hiking = not something you tell a girl you are trying to date (especially one who’s into fitness AND is inevitably going to judge you for being unfit enough to puke while engaging in physical activity).

I had been planning on sending a message to my new Facebook friend (who, remember, I have a bit of a crush on) and asking him if he wanted to hit the trails with little old me because I haven’t been in a while and he has a ton of hiking pictures on his profile (oh, how my inner-princess loves to play the damsel in distress). 

However, my convo with GLJ was perfectly timed to make me reconsider. What if I couldn’t hang and I ended up throwing up?  Facebook crush cannot be witness to that.  Nor will he ever hear the epic story of how I signed to my teacher that I was going to throw up.  Okay maybe someday.  It’s hilarious!

Quirky

Reverb 10, Day 8 Beautifully Different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful.

I’ve always embraced being different (although I prefer UNIQUE).  I just didn’t know I was doing it until a few years ago.

When asked to talk about myself my schtick has pretty much become that I WAS a nerd and now I’m awesome because when you’re young and unique, you feel out of sorts but then you grow into yourself and embrace it and own it and work it.  And it starts working for you too. 

I embrace my quirks.  Someone asked me what mine were today (yay, online dating) and I couldn’t put my finger on anything specifically.  I would describe myself as quirky, but it’s kind of like a “whole is greater than the sum of its parts” phenomenon.

Letting Go

Reverb 10, Day 5 Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?

Quirk alert:  I pick future wedding dates. 

I think it was working in a hotel catering office for a year where we planned a ton of weddings and I had endless calendars for booking future dates at my fingertips.  On occasion, I would scroll a few years ahead and pick lovely sounding dates for my own nuptials. 

One of mine was May 1, 2010.  On May 1, I watched my best friend get married.  I “gave” the date to her when she started her planning and it just worked out well with their plans.  It was a beautiful wedding and I couldn’t have picked a better couple to celebrate that day.

It’s not that I let go of my date, it’s that this year, I let go of the idea that I would be married by a certain age.  I let go of the handful of men I thought at one point that I might marry. 

I thanked my lucky stars that I’m not married to the other handful of men I dated that were not at all right for me, whether I knew it at the time or not.  I thanked my lucky stars that I’m not married at all, because it’s not about the perfect date and being married by the perfect age, it’s about the right man at the right time who will work with me to create a wonderful marriage. 

I still have the idea of getting married on my parents’ anniversary in the back of my mind, but the year is TBD.

Thankful

Sometimes on Thanksgiving we awkwardly force my dad to say grace even though he’s conveniently sick every Christmas Eve, which would be the only time he would potentially face going to church, but generally our pre-meal tradition is to avoid religion and just say the things for which we’re thankful.

As the quirky one (which is just four years, three cats and/or 20 pounds away from being the wacky one), being the seventh – yay being the seventh wheel! – person to say that I’m thankful for family and friends and my sister’s big rock and upcoming wedding will simply not work for me.

So I’m preparing my list ahead of time – don’t worry, this is a scheduled post, I’m not sitting in the corner neglecting my duty to forced family fun. 

This year I’m thankful for…

coffee, nail polish, chocolate, sex, birth control, being 26 and being able to say anything I want in front of my parents, the word fuck because it can be used as so many different parts of speech, not yet giving in to being a cat lady, Oprah, Michael Buble’s sense of humor, awkwardly good looks and panty-dropping voice, flip-flops, dresses, dry humor, the color blue because it makes my eyes pop, my eyes because they make men fall in love with me, my ass because it makes them fall in lust, the stairmaster and spin bikes and asshole trainers, being photogenic, humility, that I’ve never had to live during a time when Journey wasn’t famous, tofu hotdogs, drinking straws, Shonda Rhimes, brie, no longer being the “new Leslie” at work but instead being the “new Ashley,” not working at the hotel right now, my comforter, Kelly Clarkson, romcoms and Hope Floats depending on my mood, finally maybe potentially getting a couch this weekend, the hide option on the Facebook news feed, the fact that I don’t have to status update about how awesome my life is to convince myself and Mike Tomlin.

Oh and my parents and the 36 Thanksgivings they’ve had together, my sister and the 26 we’ve had and the fact that she was lying all those times she told me I was adopted, friends that are like family, my health, my freedom and our military, my new job, my home and other modern comforts that I sometimes feel entitled to even though I’m not.  And I’m thankful for the opportunity to take a day to celebrate those good things with people I love.

Naked Chef

While I sometimes lament being single and sometimes wish I still had a roomie to make In-N-Out runs with and come home to watch Say Yes to the Dress with, I really like that I’m on my own.  I’m an introvert and need my alone time and I like the freedoms that come with living on my own.

Also, I may or may not be kind of competitive with my sister and every time she’s over she comments that she wishes she had lived on her own instead of going from our parents’ to college to living with her best friend to living with her fiance.  Point, emjaye.

I like having total control over how to decorate, singing loudly in the shower and having parties without checking someone else’s schedule, but the freedoms truly culminate in the kitchen.  While cooking naked. 

It’s not that I love cooking naked, it’s that I love that I can. I don’t do it often, but if I’m not dressed and I’m hungry, I’m not getting dressed to walk 15 feet across my – and only my – apartment to my – and only my – kitchen.

I found myself watching a show called “I’m Pregnant and…” over the summer. Each episode follows a pregnant woman in an nontraditional situation. This particular episode was called, “I’m Pregnant and a Nudist.” It made me wonder if I was a nudist (I’m all about the power of suggestion), but in my defense, it was the middle of summer and I was quite frugal with the A/C, so taking my clothes off while I hung out around the house by myself just made sense. 

Now it’s winterish and getting cooler (and I’m frugal with the heat) so I can safely say I am not a nudist.  However, I really do enjoy the “I’m not wearing pants” dance that my sophomore year roommate taught me (that sounds much more like a college any guy’s fantasy than it actually was). 

And someday I will find a man who will thank his lucky stars that I have held on this quirky habit from my single days.