Tatiana Talks

Slip and Falls and Stranger’s Beds

I know I retired (killed) the cliché of single women dying alone a couple of posts back and I am not about to revive it here. But it would be disingenuous if I didn’t admit I do fear dying alone. However, my fear is a very specific one.
I’m afraid of slipping and falling and, unable to reach my mobile phone, I die a slow, painful death alone in my apartment. This fear has more to do with my steep stairs, hardwood floors, general lack of grace, the fact that I wear five-inch heels, that I like to drink a lot, sometimes leave my five-inch heels wherever I kicked them off the night before, and often forget to bring a towel with me to the shower thus requiring me to run across my hardwood floors, wet and naked and not paying attention, then it does with being single. 
Bridie once assured me that this was a silly and unnecessary fear: my friends would all start to worry after the second day passed with no Facebook status update.
Still, I get a warm and fuzzy feeling inside when I get a panicked call from a worried friend who hasn’t heard from me.
I got such a call from Marie a couple of weekends back.  Marie and I had emailed back and forth on Friday, arranging to meet for a bike ride the next morning. I wanted to get out before 10 a.m., but Marie, who had plans to go to BBQ that night, wasn’t ready to set a time, in case she had a little too much barbecue (and by barbecue we all know I mean beer).  We agreed she would text me the next morning. I then went home, watched a movie, did a little reading and was snuggled under my coverlet early.
So early, in fact, I didn’t bother to set my alarm. I figured there was no way I wasn’t getting up by 9 a.m. and really, isn’t it always so much nicer to wake-up without an alarm?
My plan worked beautifully. The next morning I was up by 5 a.m. But since it was so early, and Marie wouldn’t be texting for at least another four hours, I fell back asleep.  The next time I opened my eyes it was after 9:30.
I got up quickly, checked my phone and found two texts from Marie and one nervous sounding voicemail. I smiled, sent her a text her back and then got ready to meet her for our ride.
When Marie and I finally met up, I was curious and so I asked her how long she would have waited before she called the cops.
Marie cocked her head to the side and asked why she would call the cops?
“Well, if I didn’t text you back, then clearly I would have been in trouble; possibly sprawled out on my floor, with a life-threatening injury.”
She laughed. “Are you kidding? I was excited for you. I thought maybe you and Salty went out last night and you had hooked up.” She laughed harder. “The only time you don’t immediately respond to one of my texts is when you are in someone else’s bed.”

A Little Self Reflection During My Last Full Week at 33

So this past week has been an interesting one for self-discovery – nothing all that unusual as I typically do a lot of reflecting on my life and what it all means in the weeks leading up to my birthday.

Around this time every year I start to get the itch to move to Chicago or San Francisco. I think about changing careers, or going to school or doing something so that I have a better plan than my current back-up plan (to retire as a nun) if I don’t make it as a writer. I also spend a lot of time wondering about exes – what they are up to but mostly what would be different about my life if they weren’t an ex.

It was in this mindset that I clicked on the Atlantic’s article “Is Facebook Making Us Lonely.”

I was most intrigued by this article because I have often thought that things like Facebook and Twitter actually make it easier for me to be alone. On Friday nights, when I’m not in the mood to go out (or my friends are all out on dates) I will sit home and watch TV, enjoy some wine, and check in on Facebook and Twitter obsessively. If I am watching the Phillies play (or this past week, the Olympics) reading my Twitter feed suddenly feels like I am watching the game with a dozen or so of my closest friends – even though I have never met most of these people.

What I took away from the Atlantic article wasn’t that social media was making me lonelier, but that I might be a narcissist. I’m still wondering about this. I thought about asking Bridie her opinion the other night at dinner, but I refrained. Probably because I think too highly of myself to hear what she thinks of me.

On a more interesting note, the article also gave me a possible title for the collection of essays I will one day publish – Porcupine Problems.

While worrying that I’m a narcissist, I clicked on a link promising dating tips for short men. Now. I am obviously neither short nor a man, but still, I was interested in reading what advice was being doled out to these guys.

I can’t find the link, and I don’t remember most of the advice, but I do recall clearly the first piece of advice: If a girl won’t date you because you are shorter than her: forget her, because she is a terrible person.

Huh. Terrible person.

The author isn’t wrong. If I met a guy that told me he didn’t date a woman over a certain weight or with breasts that were smaller than a c-cup, I would think he was an ass.

But, if we look at the psychology (or whatever) of why one person finds someone attractive, it’s purely biological. Men aren’t attracted to women with big breasts because society tells them to or because they want to put their face between them. But because subconsciously big breasts indicate that the woman will be able to provide a lot of milk for their babies. At least I think I read that somewhere. So my attraction to men that are taller than me isn’t because society tells me it is more masculine but because deep down in the caveman part of my brain, I want to procreate with only taller men so that the babies I don’t actually want will never have to read advice on dating tips for short men.

That's just science.

Does that make me the female version of a douche-bag – maybe. But that sort of makes sense because yesterday I learned I’m attracted to douche bags.

I mean ... photo from Women’s Health.

Just like everyone else in America, I have been suffering through NBC’s coverage of the Summer Olympics. In part because I love the back stories and the tears and seeing people that have worked so hard achieve success, but also because I think the swimmers are hot. One swimmer in particular – Ryan Lochte.

All the evidence was there. I didn’t need his mom telling me about his habit of one night stands or this hysterical Jezebel article to tell me Lochte is just the sort of ass I rolled my eyes at all through college and my 20s. But still, even knowing this, (mom and dad skip to the next paragraph) I still wanna sit on his face.

Worse than that, I think it is his cockiness and stupid grill and ridiculous style that makes me want him all the more. On the plus side, Cricket and I think we may be able to turn this into an opportunity for me to finally get some. No, I am not so deluded to think I actually have a shot at Ryan Lochte. However, d-bags are a population I’ve never really considered. But with zero chance of actually developing feelings for one, they might make for a good no-strings-attached arrangement.

Now, this is a lot for one girl to think about. Fortunately, next week I will be on a beach in Hawaii, giving me plenty of opportunity to sort this all out before I turn another year older.

Greener Grass

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I was recently at the pool with Bridie and Pepper. Before we were talking about how happy Pepper was when she was single, we were talking about the Duchess.

The Duchess had sent me a text the previous day about this single guy she knew (or knew of, it was never really clear) who was a billionaire, but also really short, but a billionaire and so she wondered if I could look past my height requirement for a billionaire. I think she then sent another text, reminding me this guy made billions and I would be a fool to not at least let her give him my number. When I responded, I told her he should take some of his money, go to China and have his shins lengthened. But that would still only get him a first date with me. I wouldn’t promise anything more.

After we all stopped laughing at my ridiculousness and the Duchess’s relentlessness, Pepper chimed in, “But you don’t even seem to mind being single.”

We then went on to discuss all the reasons why being single is sort of awesome and that is when Pepper revealed she was happiest when she was on her own.

Was she telling the truth? I think so. Does it raise the question: if she was happiest single, why doesn’t she break up with her boyfriend? Sure. But, she loves him (note her reason has nothing to do with a fear of being called a crazy cat lady or always having a date on national holidays). Plus she didn’t say she is unhappy. But as she explained it: “If a person is, on average, happy 80 percent of the time, and you are with someone who is also happy 80 percent of the time, then there is chance that 40 percent of the time one of you isn’t going to be happy and that is going to affect the other person.”

I heart math.

What I don’t love is the misconception that women’s happiness is dependent on whether or not she has a man in her life. A married woman (or coupled-off woman) is a happy woman. A single woman, well she may seem happy when she is out drinking and dancing and laughing, but every night she goes home and cries, while paging through the bridal magazines she keeps hidden under her bed and listening to Adele.

For the record, the only bridal magazines I own have articles in them that I wrote.

Maybe this is why we have so many unhappy women on both sides of the broom. The single women are miserable because they are told they are supposed to be, whereas married women feel like failures because they supposedly have it all and are still not satisfied.

Instead of fighting about who is happier, can’t we just recognize each of us is a unique and complex individual capable of a whole spectrum of feelings based on several factors, the least of which is our relationship status. That it is okay if these emotions fluctuate from elated to miserable and all things in between because we are humans and life happens, and while I am happy 80 percent of the time I sometimes cry when I hear a Taylor Swift song (actually this is embarrassing, but I am working on it). It is okay to be sad sometimes. It reminds us to appreciate all the excellent times.

Plus, I think we can all agree anyone that is happy all the time, is just a freak.

My Inner Athlete

I was recently out with the girls when Bridie noted that it seemed “I had gotten my athlete back.”

For those of you that don’t know, I used to be an athlete: a Division 1, full college scholarship athlete. But I lost it. Well, not so much lost as suppressed. Not because I wasn’t proud, but because, during my four years of college among the many things I learned about myself, I discovered I am a terrible loser. My competitive side, is not my pretty side.

But something happened to me recently that brought my athlete out of retirement.

For the past several years I have run a half marathon in my hometown. It started as something my brother and I did, but I liked the race so much, that I continued to run it, even after he flew south.

The race is almost always the weekend before the Broad Street Run, and since I had set a goal for myself for the BSR (as the cool kids call it – or so they tell me) I wanted to just run a nice and easy (read slow) 13.1 miles. And that is exactly what I was prepared to do, until I saw him.

Now, since this blog already has an ambiguous male nicknamed him, and because this him went to my high school and half the population of my high school was named Mike, we will call him Mike.

Mike and I never got along. Maybe because he was the popular athlete and I was the mouthy newspaper editor or maybe because I purposely steered Mike in the wrong direction whenever he asked for help on an assignment or maybe because this was real life and not a romantic teen comedy where we would have been named prom king and queen -- regardless of the why, there was no love lost between Mike and I.

And there he was. At the starting line of my race.

The athlete immediately started whispering in my ear: cooing words like redemption and vindication. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and turned away from Mike. I walked towards the back of the pack, silencing the athlete. I was going to run my slow and steady race. I would not let her get in my head.

But then, a couple of miles into the race, there he was again. And as soon as I spotted him, the athlete was back in my ear.

Pass him.

Pass him.

But I couldn’t just pass him. Passing him meant keeping up this pace, possibly getting faster, looking over my shoulder the whole time, worrying he was gaining on me, not letting him pass me, not letting myself just give up and finish.

Pass him.

Besides. He probably won’t even recognize me when I pass him. And if he recognizes me, he won’t care.

But you will care, she countered. You will know you passed him. You will know you beat him. All the hurt and anger and self-hatred and self-doubt that this guy inspired in you and others all those years ago, you can leave all of that behind along with him.

Then she started naming names. Names of friends I had long forgotten. Friends whose hearts were broken by this guy. I saw his smug high school smile. I remembered the time I heard him call me a bitch.

My eyes narrowed and my stride lengthened.  The athlete was back.

There were times throughout those next 11 miles when I thought I couldn’t do it. When I worried that he was right behind me, or that I was going to run out of steam. But she kept me going; kept pushing me until the very end.

And then at the end, she turned and waited to watch him finish (several minutes later). She looked right at him and smiled, turned on her heel and strutted away.

Sometimes she’s not a good winner either, but I think I’m gonna keep her around all the same.

Valentine’s Day Wrap-Up

For more than 20 years I have hated Valentine’s Day. I say more than 20 even though I am more than 30 because I am pretty sure I loved Valentine’s Day as a kid. Then again, as a kid you don’t worry that the candy is going to make you fat and you were pretty much guaranteed a valentine from everyone in your class.

Four years ago, I had a boyfriend, and still managed to mess up Valentine’s Day. Three years ago, I was in the Poconos, with Bridie and her boyfriend, texting the Republican. Two years ago I promised not to hate the day, but still ended up drunk and sad, and then last year, well, last year was a blur, so I’m guessing more alcohol was involved.

This year was different. As the day grew closer I noticed my animosity didn’t grow; my mood didn't sour. I didn’t scoff at any of the thousands (yes thousands) of emails about Valentine’s Day specials, I didn’t fret about being out in NYC the Saturday night before, heck, I even wore red on the big day. I didn’t want to jinx my attitude, but I did begin to wonder if accepting that I was going to be single for life also released Valentine’s Day’s hold over me.

Still, part of me was convinced the lovefest couldn’t last. Part of me was waiting for the tears and self-hatred that always comes on February 14.

Now, earlier this year (or maybe it was last year) I made Rifka (a friend I met while trying to find a new best single girlfriend) sign-up with me for a Valentine’s Day Single’s Run. If anything was going to shake my bliss, surely being in a room of sweaty singles on the most romantic day of the year would do it.

Except, it didn’t. I enjoyed the run. Laughed with some strangers. Rifka and I got hit on by a couple of guys who bought us a round of drinks, it was actually a lot of fun.

And as I stood there, overhearing other conversations, women complaining about being alone and sad and just wanting somebody – anybody – I felt so relieved. I wasn’t angry or sad that I didn’t have a boyfriend. I wasn’t questioning my worth because this guy was hitting on me and not someone I perceived as better that was hitting on someone else across the bar. I didn’t feel rejected, later, when that guy started hitting on someone else, and I didn’t feel like a loser when Rifka and I cut out to grab burritos on our way home.

Instead, I felt incredibly lucky.

It was a Valentine’s Day miracle.

Number Five

I have been having a lot of conversations about choosing to be single for life. Mostly friends that either don’t believe me or want in. At some point, rather incredulously, people will say, “So, you are never going to get married.”

I’m not a super big fan of the word never. I find it almost always comes back to bite me. I am still ruing the day I told Bridie I would never tuck my jeans into boots.

So I came up with a list, the five guys I would be willing to leave the single life for. As follows, ranked in case two of them ask me to marry them at the exact same time:
1. Peyton Manning
2. Ryan Gosling
3. CK
4. Daniel Craig
5. TBD
I left spot number five open because during this journey I swallowed a lot of red pills of truth. One of these pills was that truth changes. Right now everything in my life is perfectly wonderful. I am happy and content (not the same thing) and looking forward to my next adventure and the one after that, and the one after that.

But I know that as I go on these adventures, and continue on with my life, things will change. I will change. And there may come a day that I can’t fathom right now, when I will meet someone that changes my truth. That makes risking all my happiness worthwhile.

Of course, it is just as possible that the five spot will never be filled and that is okay too. The thing is, I just don’t know and – as my mother would say – my crystal ball is at the shop getting fixed.

Let the Revolution Begin

Bridie and I were outside a friend’s party, smoking one of the last cigarettes either of us would ever smoke when she asked if I saw the latest Psychology Today. (Side note: As you know, Bridie is a therapist and subscribes to this magazine. When we lived together, I started reading it because it really is a fascinating magazine and to this day I will often pick up a copy when I am at Whole Foods, however being this conversation took place at the end of the year and it was my last chance to be decadent, I hadn’t been to a Whole Foods in quite some time).

I told her I hadn’t.

She told me there was an article in it that I should read – about choosing to be single. She then added that while she doesn’t believe I will be single for live, the article did raise some interesting facts about single people and the misconception that they all want to get married.

I looked at her and declared that I had started a revolution (even though I am sure the magazine went to print before I posted that blog) and then I flashed the gang sign for “Single for Life” that I have been working on.

She rolled her eyes.

The next day, I decided a trip to Whole Paycheck (err Foods) was in order. I even picked up some healthy groceries while I was there.

I got home, got out the hummus and pita chips (What? That is sort of healthy) and opened to the article I heard so much about the prior day. Soon, I was grinning as if I had too much wine and there was a hot guy across the bar. (Another side note: Sadly, I looked and couldn’t find it online to share with you here. So you will have to pick up a copy of the magazine, but it is totally worth it – there is even a quiz.) Instead of promoting the Single for Life mantra that I am trying to get going, the author instead asks – Are You Single At Heart? She discusses America's obsession with getting married, and her own personal journey waiting for that day when she too would want to join the army of the happily coupled-off. Of course that day never came – she is currently in her late-50s and still loves being single.

The author then arms us (against pestering mothers and annoying frienemies) with some pretty impressive statistics debunking the myth that all us singles want only one thing – to be a we. According to a recent Pew survey, 55 percent of unmarried Americans said they weren’t in a relationship AND weren’t currently looking for one (and according to the recently census survey 100 million Americans are unmarried). That means there are approximately 55 million (if my math is right) Americans that feel the same way about coupling off as I do.

Suddenly, being single doesn’t feel so lonely.

And before you ask – I scored nearly perfectly on the Single At Heart quiz.

All By Myself

So, the one thing that I really missed when I was single (back when I was single but still desperate to be a part of a couple) was going out to bars. I love going to bars. I do. I love having a glass of wine (or beer or vodka) served to me. I love watching TV surrounded by strangers, and eavesdropping on conversations. And since I hate to cook I also, occasionally, like eating at bars.

And when all my friends were single, we went out to bars all the time. Not to get plastered mind you, but most often to have a couple of drinks after work and bitch about our bosses, while scooping out all the cute guys still in suits.

This changed a bit when my friends all became a part of a we. They now had different after work plans – couple plans – dinner plans – plans to go to a bar with other couples.

The obvious solution would be for me to go to a bar by myself. However, this option was so terrifying to me, I instead went on an ill-conceived quest for a new best single girlfriend just so I would have someone to go to a bar with me (don’t you worry there is more to come on those adventures, I assure you).

When that failed, I was left to accept that I might have to give up bars (or at least seriously cut back).

That all changed this week. Yesterday, Midtown Village in Philadelphia celebrated Beaujolais Nouveau Day. As I will never turn down a chance to wear a beret, I was all over this event. Unfortunately, Bridie and Marie had to work, and Salty had dinner plans with other friends.

The day of the event, I decided that despite my close friends not being able to join me, I would still go. I had other friends going and I was sure to run into someone I knew at the event. And if I didn’t, what would be the big deal. I would shop and drink wine and shop some more by myself. Big whoop? (This was the pep talk I was giving myself, by the way).

So I went. And as predicted I met up with friends. And we shopped and drank some free Beaujolais Nouveau and shopped some more. But then they had to leave. And I didn’t want to. I was still having fun and so I checked my phone, but no other friends had sent text messages that they were in the area.

Decision time.

Did I go home too, slightly disappointed.

Or, did I stop by the bar all by myself for an actual glass of wine (we had been drinking from Dixie cups all night).

Emboldened, maybe by the wine, maybe by the French spirit that was all around on 13th Street, I bid my friends adieu (yeah I did) and headed for my favorite wine bar.

Honestly, I don’t know what I was so scared of. After only a couple of minutes of waiting, I ordered my glass of wine, was given a seat by someone leaving, and was eavesdropping on the conversation of the three late-20-somethings sitting next to me.

Late-20-Something, “I just don’t think I should have to settle. (slight louder)
I’m not going to settle. I’m fine being single until the right guy comes along.”
(Friends clink glasses).
It warmed my heart.

Or maybe it was the second glass of wine I ordered.

Why We Need So Many Shoes

For the past couple of weeks I have been plotting the perfect outfit to wear to Bridie’s engagement party. It was extra tricky since I would be going to the party straight from work. I bought several items that came close but they were either too stuffy (for a party) or too slutty (for the office).

Then I stumbled upon the perfect pair of wide leg trousers. I could hear the choirs of angels in perfect harmony as I grabbed my size. Paired with a turtleneck sweater and the right accessories it was as close to perfect as I was going to get.

Of course, by perfect accessories I really meant the shoes.

Now, I have a lot of shoes – no I am not going to tell you my number, that’s personal we’ll just say it is more than most men (not including my brother) but less than Imelda (I hope). As I headed home, I closed my eyes to picture all of my shoes. What pair would pull my whole look together.

My eyes sprung open. Of course. My red patent leather, pointy-toed heels. I sighed with contentment.

This morning, I put on my new pants and my turtleneck sweater, my mom’s diamond earrings (she lent them to me in hopes that the new attorney I work with would notice them and fall in love), and a fun cuff. I grabbed the shoes from their box and slipped them on.


The pants weren’t long enough to support a three-inch heel. And while there was enough hem to let them out, there wasn’t enough time.

I sat back on my bed defeated. I suppose I could wear a loafer, or a ballet flat but neither of those would look as good as a pointy-toe shoe. Besides, as I stood there in a red loafer, the pants were a bit too long for a flat. I really need a kitten heel. A kitten heel on a pointy-toe shoe, preferable in a fun color.

I looked up into my closet willing such a shoe to appear when I recalled that a few years ago I bought just a shoe. There it was, pink with faux snake skin. I had almost completely forgotten about it.

All my happiness and contentment were restored.

Now, I have heard guys complain that women own too many shoes. That they (men) only need three pair, a black pair, a brown pair, and a pair of sneakers. That is all well and good, but just look at all the options us women are faced with.

Flat, kitten heel, mid-size high, high heel, platform, or wedge. Pointy toe, round toe, almond toe, or square toe? Then you need to get all of those in black and brown (and all the variations of brown) and then you need to buy a couple of pairs in whatever color the season dictates as the absolute must have shoe color (apparently several years ago it was pink). Multiply all those various options and you see how it adds up quickly.

And that’s not even counting our boots.

Is Adapting The Same As Evolving?

I’ve been thinking a lot about Bridie’s comment on my last post – and not just because she called it a great post. It has me wondering – has my truth changed?

When I first read the comment I breathed a sigh of relief. Of course. My truth has simply changed. I haven’t been lying to myself. What was fun and exciting when I was younger, simply isn’t any more. I really do have no desire to randomly have sex with strange guys. That I can say for certain because it has been a very long time and I know it is very easy for girls to get action. Still, I refrain from going out and simply saying yes to every quasi-attractive guy I see because I know I won’t enjoy it.

Okay, I might enjoy IT, but I won’t enjoy the next day, or the day after that, or the month after that.

So, yea! I’m not a hypocrite. I celebrated.

Then I got a text message from a friend of a friend saying she was in town, at a bar, watching football and did I want to join them.

Of course I did. There are few things I love more than watching football (doesn’t really matter the team) in a bar, surrounded by people cheering and booing and high-fiving. And since none of my friends were going out for the game, this text message seemed to have come from above.

However, it was a Sunday and I was on my way home from grocery shopping with a reusable bad filled with the makings for a healthy dinner when I got the text message. My responsible side thought I should respond immediately, saying no thank you, go home, make my super healthy dinner, and watch the game while knitting a hat. But The fun side of me started playing the If … Then Game. You know the game – if my hat is already 6.5 inches, then I can go out to the bar. Or, if I get home before kick-off, then I can go out to watch the game. Or, if I get home and Stewart Bradley has not sent me a text message inviting me out to watch the game with him, then I should go meet up with the friend of the friend.

When I got home, the hat was just under 4.5 inches, but the pre-game coverage had just started, and I didn’t have a single text from Stewart Bradley.

Still, I decided not to go. Instead, I put my groceries away, grabbed a beer and sank back into my couch to watch the game at home.

See, the rest of the way home I came up with two pretty good reasons for not going. One, this friend of a friend is in her 20s and my guess was the friends she was hanging out with were all in their 20s and the last thing I wanted to be was the old lady at the bar. Two, I was pretty sure one of the friends the friend of a friend was hanging out with was my brother’s friend, Forbidden Fruit. While I am not about to go out and hook up with a random stranger, I wasn’t sure I could be so steadfast in my resolve not to make out with F Squared. Especially if he was drunk and I could say I was drunk and he was flirting with me.

Oh, don’t judge me. Did you miss the part where I said it has been awhile. A long while.

Back to the point, you will note that neither of my reasons had anything to do with what I actually wanted to do -- which was go to the bar and watch the football game.

So, as I sat there, I asked myself, what has changed? Have I changed or have my circumstances changed? Have I evolved or am I merely adapting? And, again, do the semantics matter?

An Affair to Forget

By the middle of this post, you might think I have a drinking problem. Hell, some of you may already think I have a drinking problem. However, I don’t think I have a problem and anytime I do, I check out Texts From Last Night and am reassured that my drinking is within normal levels. Still, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I just ask that you judge me in silence.

The morning after my office’s holiday party, I woke up on my couch, the details of the previous night a little fuzzy. Whenever I find myself in this situation – which isn’t often because I don’t have a problem – I like to go over what I do remember.

I remembered arriving to the office party.

I remembered making flirty eyes at one of my co-workers (I shook my head in shame).

I remembered some old man complimenting me on my barrette (I shuddered).

There was a lot of food at the party, but I couldn’t eat most of it so I kept drinking.

Then the party was over and I met up with friends at a nearby bar, where I saw my cute co-worker but I didn’t talk to him, didn’t even look his way (I smiled).

We were upstairs, my friends introduced me to their other friends. A bunch of names I don’t remember. And one of them was cute. What’s his name.

Oh right, then we were talking and I still didn’t know his name. Did someone distract me when he said his name? Then everyone was leaving. I shared a cab with him and one of his friends. Didn’t know his name either. We dropped his friend off. He suggested we hit up another bar. We did. He ordered our drinks. We talked. We talked a lot. What did we talk about? Oh god – we made out. A lot.

In a bar.

And I don’t know his name.

I squeezed my eyes shut as I remembered that I gave him my number.

And because this is my life he wasn’t one of the countless men whose names I could remember the next day, and whose conversations I repeated in their entirety to my friends in an effort to convince them that there was a real connection, and that I really wanted to call me but never did.

Now I will fast forward through all the embarrassing text messages and the voicemail he left (with his name praise Jesus) and the awkward phone conversation and drop you right in on my date with Ringo (obviously not his real name but a nickname Bridie and I came up with for him).
The first words out Ringo's mouth (after hello) were “Wow, you’re a lot taller than I remember.”
That’s right, readers, I was on a date with a guy who was probably exactly my height, but because I was wearing heels seemed shorter than me. Strike one.

Quick side note here – As I am constantly getting grief about my issues with height I feel it only pertinent to point out that Ringo looked a combination of shocked and disgusted as he uttered the above phrase. Even after I pointed out that I was wearing heels, he didn’t look happy to be on a date with a taller woman.

We sat down and almost immediately I make the huge mistake of asking him what he does. He looked at me blankly and I realized this was probably something we already discussed. After he answered, I apologized, explaining that that night was kind of fuzzy for me.

He smiled and said the evening was a bit of a blur for him too.

Then an awkward silence as we both realized that we could either a) admit just how blurry things were and start over or b) continue on as if it didn’t matter.

I preferred (a); he chose (b).

At some point during this awkward tip-toeing around the basic information we didn’t know about each other he mentioned he’s a Cowboys fan. A Dallas Cowboys fan.

My face twisted up in horror -- it was too sore from my black eye for me to control it. Oh did I mention I had a black eye? Yeah, that story is for another time.

He looked up to see my pained expression and said, “Maybe I should have told you I was a pedophile that likes to kick dogs.”

I smiled, nodded and thought, he’s funny. I could almost look past his height for funny. Too bad he’s a Dallas Cowboys fan. Strike two.

Shortly after realizing I could never introduce this guy to my family, he paid for his beer, and we headed over to the theater to see Black Swan (yep, another totally inappropriate date movie, but this time I didn’t pick it). Very little was said, we even split up because the line to get tickets was so long and I wanted popcorn. We shared my popcorn, both being very careful to never reach for the popcorn at the same time.

During the movie he checked his BlackBerry at least twice. Strike Three, not that I needed a third strike.

After the movie Ringo offered to drive me home (first we would have to walked to his place) but I opted for I cab. I offered him a ride to his place, he declined. We then exchanged a very chaste kiss, which made me smile.

As I pulled away from him to get into the cab, I noticed he was smiling too. Probably thinking the same thing I was – thank god that’s over.

Number of potential boyfriends: back to zero.

Ready. Willing. Able?

I want a boyfriend.

This might seem like an odd declaration to make. After all, this isn’t news is it?

Well, actually, it sort of is.

All of my adult life, had you asked, “Tati, do you want a boyfriend?” I would have looked at you like you were wearing Sunflower by Elizabeth Arden and responded, “of course I do.” But until recently, I don’t think I did. That’s not to say, if I found one I would have turned him away, I just think I wanted other things more. A career, to finish my novel, really long, pretty hair.

But a couple of months ago something changed. Suddenly I wanted a boy friend and I became very aware of this desire – this actual, physical desire. Not something I needed, like oxygen, but something I wanted – like the Birken bag. Or the Cartier tank watch. Though, possibly, slightly more attainable.

Then again, maybe not.

With the bag or the watch, I merely have to get over the mental hurdle that $1,000 to $4,000 is not too much money to spend on a watch or a bag and that there aren’t a dozen of better things I could do with that money.

Finding a boyfriend is infinitely harder. For one – there is meeting a guy I’m attracted to. Not as easy now that frat parties are no longer in the equation. Two, there is finding a guy that is attracted to me (also easier when loud dance music and lots of cheap alcohol were in the mix).

I’ve tried letting friends set me up to no avail and I gave my phone number to a guy I met on the train with disastrous results. I’ve joined clubs, stopped listening to my head phones at the, and started shopping at the hip grocery stores during peak hours. I’m not sure what else is left to do.

So, after the personal trainer (a fix-up by a friend) cancelled on me the second time, I realized I had run out of potential boyfriends at the moment. A thought I expressed to Bridie. She laughed and asked when I went from being single to being without any potential boyfriends. I explained to her my dilemma – something I have been tight-lipped about because I am slightly embarrassed by it – and she had some advice for me.

She suggested I make space in my life for a relationship.

Her story goes that a wise woman once told her that she woke up one day with the realization that she was ready to get remarried; even though she wasn’t seeing someone. So she sold her wedding band, cleared out half of her closet and soon met that man that would be her future husband.

Bridie took the advice, made room in her life, and met the man she is now living with.
Huh? Make room in my life.

I had no idea what this means – nor when Bridie became the weird Chinese guy from the Karate Kid movies. But since it was the only thing I hadn’t tried, I decided to give it a think.
I got on the treadmill (where I do my best sober thinking) and tried to figure out where I needed to make space in my life.

At first, all I could think about was my closet and how there was just no possible way I could clear half of it out and that if it came to it, we would just have to find a new place with lots of big closets or a small spare bedroom that we could turn into a (my) closet.

So I tried to focus on other areas of my life that would change once I had a boyfriend. I would need to get used to sharing a bed with someone again – not much I could do about that in the meantime, though. Same is true for asking for help with things around the house in an effort to make my boyfriend feel useful. And while, I was thinking about all the things I did wrong with Douchebag – who I have decided to start calling Houdini again, because Douchebag makes it sound like I’m angry with him, and really I’m not. Plus, I would like to reserve that name for someone really jerky and awful and he just doesn’t fit that bill – I remembered another complaint he could have had about me.

I never had time for him.

As I upped my speed on the treadmill, it occurred to me that I still don’t have time for someone. If I’m not working at the office, I’m working at home. If I’m not out with friends, I’m in Allentown with my family. I have been looking forward to this coming Friday for about a month now, because I had absolutely nothing scheduled. Of course, now I have something to do and so it will be another week (or more) before I can spend an evening to myself.

There is was. That is where I need to make space. Not in my closet (yet) but in my schedule.
So, I have decided to set one day a week aside for date night. And because I never do anything in moderation – I plan on taking myself out on actual dates until I find someone to do it for me. I’m looking forward to tea in a coffee shop, dinner at a new restaurant, seeing a movie, or maybe going to dance lessons (still not sure about that last one). For my first date I think I will go home, make myself a really nice and semi-complicated meal, buy a bottle of wine, light some candles, and watch a romantic movie – as opposed to something wildly inappropriate for a date like Michael Moore’s Sicko or Paradise Now.

Yes, those are two movies I watched on actual nights spent in with a significant other. No, I didn’t see anything wrong with it at the time. However, in hindsight maybe there is something to be worked on there as well. But that will have to wait.

I Got A Magic Skirt

Some of you may remember that a couple of months ago I was debating moving from my pad on Broad Street to somewhere a little bit quieter. After getting some feedback from you, I decided it was time to fly the coup.

Oh, just a quick side note here: for any of you out there in cyberland that find yourself in a situation similar to the one I was in – don’t be afraid to talk to your landlord when the time comes to renew your lease. I didn’t (because I was afraid and because I had already found a new place) but when I gave my notice, he was very amenable, asking what he could do to keep me. As I later learned from friends of mine that are also landlords, good, paying tenants aren’t always easy to find, so when they have one, they want to keep him or her. Important note for landlords out there: if you have a good tenant that you want to keep because she is quiet and never complains and always pays her rent on time, you may want to rethink raising her rent every year. Just sayin’.

Okay, now back to my skirt.

One of my last nights at my old place, I had the girls over to sit on my stoop, drink wine, reminisce and make some last minute decisions about what to do with things I wasn’t sure about taking to the new place – including some clothes. So, a la Carrie and the girls in the first Sex in the City Movie, Salty, Marie and Bridie laid across my bed as I pulled the unloved items from my closet.

Somewhere in the middle of this mayhem, after we determined I only need two (not six) strappy, black mini-dresses and that I would never be preppy enough to wear argyle, I pulled from my closet my lucky skirt.

My lucky skirt, soon to be referred to as my magic skirt. I bought her when I was still in college and needed something fun, but dressy, but also sexy without being slutty to wear to a banquet where both my parents and CK would be. You would think something I bought more than 10 years ago would be hopelessly out of style, but she is just a simple greenish-blue, wrap skirt that still looks pretty good – mostly because I rarely wear her. She is much to powerful to wield regularly.

The first night I wore the skirt I swear to god CK flirted with me. Of course, it is only in hindsight that I realize he was flirting, at the time, I was so nervous that he was talking to me, I smiled, nodded and walked away. I still shake my head in disgust about what a dolt I was.
The second time I wore her, when crossing Walnut Street, Bridie and I overheard some guy exclaim to his car full of friends, did you see that girl’s skirt. Bridie stopped me, “Did you hear that guy?”

I smiled.

She looked down at my skirt, “That thing is magical.”

The third time I wore the skirt – I met Hung. I don’t think I need to go into any more detail about why that night was awesome.

The fourth (and final) time I wore it was to Wharton’s going away party. Except I never made it to the party. Wharton was being a bit of a jackass (at least in my mojito-clouded opinion) and I decided he didn’t deserve to see me in the skirt.

I’m not sure why I never wore it again. Maybe I was afraid it’s magic had worn off or maybe I just didn’t have the occasion to wear it. But when it came time to clean out the closet, I decided it was time to pass the magic skirt on to someone else.

When Bridie saw that I was giving it away she was shocked and asked me what the heck I was thinking. And maybe it was because I had too much wine. Or maybe it was because I was surrounded by the women that love me the most. Whatever it was, I decided to be honest. Because the truth was it had nothing to do with passing the magic on to someone else (have I ever been that magnanimous?). I just didn’t feel like the same girl that wore that skirt.

Worse, I wasn’t sure I could ever be her again. So why have that reminder hanging in my closet.
A couple of days later, Salty was coming over to help me take my oversized, industrial trash bags to the Goodwill. I was pulling the third bag from the back room when I noticed my lucky skirt had escaped and was half hiding underneath a bookshelf. I inspected the bag for tears but found none. It seems, while I was ready to be done with the magic skirt, she wasn’t done with me.
I scooped her off the floor and stuffed her into my pocketbook.

Maybe there was some space for her in my future after all.

This Year's Birthday Present to Myself

I was sitting at a table with four of the greatest women I know, having just polished off a fantastic meal, some decadent desserts and a couple bottles of wine. Bridie look over at me and asked, “So, any plans for your thirty-second year?”

“Yeah,” I nodded. “I’m going to try to stop obsessing over things I have little or no control.”

Salty nodded, “That would be nice.”

“And,” I smiled. “I’m going to stop being so mean to myself.”

“I like that,” Bridie smiled and lifted her glass in my direction.

However, I can’t take complete credit for that last one.

I recently read Women, Food and God, a book I keep mistakenly referring to as "Women, Love and God," a Freudian Slip the author would have a field day with if she ever heard me make it. I never considered myself an emotional eater, having been raised by one I know what they look like. But when I was laid-off last year, I found myself eating to excess every a lot. I started to notice that every time I got anxious or scared or upset, I would get something to eat. So when I heard about this book, I was definitely interested in reading it.

In the book, the author writes about how we talk to ourselves. The things we say to ourselves everyday and how hurtful and awful they are and how we would never let anyone ever say anything like that to us, but we take it from ourselves all the time.

A thousand years ago (or nine) Bridie and I were at a bar with friends. One friend was talking to two guys and as I headed towards the ladies’ room, I stopped by to make sure she didn’t need rescuing. One of the two guys, we’ll call him Mutt, turned to me and asked, “Which of us do you think is the most athletic?” I looked at Mutt, tall, well-built, attractive in a frat-boy sort of way, then at his friend, we’ll call him Jeff, shorter and skinnier, but also cute in geeky sort of way. I immediately knew what the answer was supposed to be.

However, I have never been a fan of doing what I am supposed to do, so I asked, “Of the whole group or just between the two of you?”

Mutt shrugged a shoulder and said, “The whole group.”

I nodded and replied, “Me.” Maybe I also smiled.

Mutt was aghast. “How can you say that? You don’t even know me.”

This confused me, seeing that Mutt didn’t know me, which is what I tried pointing out to him but he just kept insisting that I couldn’t possibly answer that way since I didn’t know him. I then countered, that in all fairness, then I shouldn’t have been asked the question. But since I was, I gave my best answer. I then walked away, wondering what those two guys could have been saying to keep my friend interested.

A few minutes later, Bridie walked by the group, and Mutt grabbed her arm and asked, “Where did your stupid friend go?”

Bridie, admitted later that she said a silent prayer that this guy was talking about me because she knew it would be fun watching me rip him apart, asked, “Who is my stupid friend?”

“The blonde, with all the hair.”

She smiled. “Let me go get her.” Bridie then found me, relayed the events that just transpired and watched as my face turned red, my eyes narrowed and my nostrils flared. At this point, some of our guy friends had joined us, so as I turned to find Mutt, they followed. I would like to think they did this to protect him, but it was probably to keep me from getting hit.

I won’t detail the barrage of insults I threw at this guy. I’ll just say this: I really don’t like being called stupid and I think I made that very clear to him.

Now, I haven’t thought much about Mutt in the last several years, for a while we would run into him and he would yell loudly, “oh look, it’s the smart girl,” but even that hasn’t happened in some time. Still, when I read this bit about the things we allow ourselves to say to ourselves about ourselves, I immediately thought of him. I almost physically assaulted this complete stranger because he called me stupid – once. I call myself a lot worse things several times a day.

But all that stops at 32. If I even so much as think about insulting myself, I have promised to unleash my 23-year-old self, complete with her denim tube dress and Christina Aguilera fro (what? I thought I looked cute).

Of course, I’m not really sure what my 23-year-old self will do other than hurl more insults, but who knows. She’s had nine years to learn some new tricks. Plus, it seemed to work for Mutt – he never said another nasty thing about me again.

Oh wait. Come to think of it, he did call me a bitch. But I took that as a compliment.

I’m Too Smart for My Own Good or Maybe Now I’ll Listen to My Own Advice

How many times have I said you should never develop a crush on a bartender? Six? 12? 37? 198? Why not just ask how many numerals are in Pi?

So I was back in NoLibs, hanging out with Salty, Bridie and Bridie’s beau (who I think may not be named so why don’t we just call him Beau). We were not at Hottie Bartender’s bar, but at a Mexican joint, enjoying margaritas (and quite possibly the worst service in the city, though I suppose we weren’t really enjoying that part). Salty commented that she wanted to head over to Hottie’s bar because she has yet to see him, when Bridie softly responded, “Umm, yeah, Tati, Hottie has a girlfriend.”

Of course he does. Big sigh.

There really is no need to go into detail as to how she knows this, we’ll just say she knows for sure and leave it at that. I looked at Salty and said, “See. This is why you don’t fall for bartenders.”

She laughed and said it was okay to have a crush on one, you just can’t expect to make out with him.

The thing is, I kinda wanted to make out with this one.

Dance, Dance, Dance, Dance, Dancing Machine

I accidentally found myself out dancing this weekend. And while at first I was disturbed, I soon realized dancing is exactly what has been missing from my life.

See, I was in Allentown again this weekend. And before you start asking why I have been spending so much time at my parent’s place understand two things. 1) I get my hair done in Allentown and don’t trust anyone but Hairdresser to show these locks love; 2) ever since Lana left and I started applying to grad schools Mom and Dad have been wigging out. So I have tried to spend a bit more time there, helping out and letting them know they are still loved.

Okay, so Saturday, Hairdresser was doing my hair and asked what I was up to this weekend. I told her that my best friend from high school, Colleen, and I were going to get together to catch up. She asked where and I told her I wasn’t sure. She suggested we go to this new sports bar, which was by far the newest, hippest place to hang out. I shrugged and said cool. Later, when Colleen sent me a text message asking what I was in the mood for, I recommended the sports bar.

I should have known by the delay in getting back to me that I made a poor choice.

But, Colleen was gracious, agreeing to meet me there. Only after getting lost (briefly -- why aren’t Union Street and Union Blvd. the same road?) did I learned why Colleen was hesitant about the coolest, hippest place in Allentown. Because it wasn’t a sports bar. It was an adult arcade.

No, not like “adult” arcade with nearly naked women walking around (at least not before 10 p.m.). No, adult arcade like a place with bowling alleys and ski ball and Dance Dance Revolution. Not the best place to catch up, still Colleen and I managed. Fortunately, thanks to Facebook, most of the catching up had been done and so we entertained ourselves making fun of the band and the other bar patrons.

Now, earlier when we were sending text messages back and forth, Colleen had said that 12 Pack was going to be at the bar. I stupidly assumed 12 Pack was a band and so when we got there I thought it was 12 Pack that was wreaking havoc on our ears. Colleen soon cleared up the confusion. She explained 12 Pack was a reality star. Memories of a Sunday spent hungover in the Duchess’s living room, drinking vegan shakes and watching Daisy Chain of Love came flooding back to me. When I asked Colleen if he was called 12 Pack because he had more than a six-pack she laughed. This would explain why the sports bar was starting to fill with women in short satin dresses, teased hair and heels that were not appropriate for a bar smack in the middle of a city that was hit with 8 to 12 inches of snow just the day before.

So, how did I find myself accidentally out dancing? Well, between the really bad band and the appearance of 12 Pack, a dance party broke out next to the VIP lounge (which much to 12 Pack’s chagrin, I’m sure, was nothing more than a couple of chairs pushed around a coffee table) and in front of the stage where a hula-hoop girl enthralled us all. And since we had nothing better to do, and Colleen’s dancing fool fiance had shown up, we decided to join the fun.

As Colleen’s fiance made a bit of an ass of himself, but in a good, goofy way, Colleen and I stood on the sidelines and did what we do best -- made fun of everyone else (including her fiance). But as I stood there, laughing, judging and occasionally busting a move, I realized the only thing missing was my get-up. Sure I was making fun of those girls out there, but secretly I was jealous. Even as much fun as I was having listening to old school hip-hop and drinking cheap beer from plastic cups, it felt somewhat incomplete in my GAP trouser jeans and cute flats. Not that I had packed scut gear for my trip home, but suddenly I wished I too was wearing a really short dress and inappropriate heels.

See, somewhere in between all those storms we recently had, I complained to Salty, Bridie and the Duchess that I was sick of neighborhood bars and desperately wanted a big girls’ night out complete with fancy drinks and heels. Now, the Duchess has promised to take me out to celebrate finishing my novel and I think I'm going to insist on a night of dancing. I can’t remember the last time we went dancing (and no, I don’t count the shore). I think a night out, all gussied up and rubbing my badunkadunk against some stranger’s junk is just what the doctor order.

Oh, and before you ask -- yes, we did wait around to meet 12 Pack and all I have to say about him is he’s a lot shorter than I expected.

A Rule for Picking-Up Bartenders - Don't

So you know that I was out on Valentine’s Eve. What I didn’t tell you is that Bridie and Salty did make an attempt to pimp me.

I don’t think I'm being vain when I say that the knowledge that I haven’t kissed anyone since by 30th birthday (unless you count the Republican, which I don’t) is weighing heavy on my friends’ minds. Okay, maybe not heavy. I don’t think it is keeping them up at night. However, whenever we have been out recently, a lot of attention is paid to the other guys in the bar on my behalf.

And Valentine’s Eve was no exception. We were at the bar for less than one drink when Salty came over to me and announced that she and Bridie like the bartender for me.

I looked up at the gentleman behind the bar; tall, thick, bearded and good looking. If he had been on this side of the bar I would have been impressed. However, he wasn’t and so I turned to Salty and said, “He’s the bartender.”

See, ladies it is never a good idea to set your sights on the bartender. Please note, I said THE bartender not A bartender. The article here is very important. Why you ask is it never a good idea to set your sights on the bartender? Because, kittens, it is the bartender’s job to be nice and flirt with you. It doesn’t mean he is actually interested in you.

It is sort of the female equivalent of falling for a stripper.

Guys go into strip clubs, sit down, maybe take their coats off. Then they see a hot chick. And she is looking back at him. Oh my god, is she smiling at him? Crap, she’s coming this way. And she’s taking her top off. I am the luckiest man alive. So she just took a twenty from my hand, but still I think she likes me. I mean really likes me.

It’s pretty much the same thing for bartenders. Yes, there is a very good chance that the bartender will be the best looking guy in the room and he should be the most sober. But you will be wasting your time flirting with him when you could be meeting other eligible, albeit maybe not nearly as charming, men.

Believe me. Some of my longest standing crushes are on bartenders. I know what I’m talking about here. In fact the next time someone asks me why I'm still single, I may say, I’m a sucker for bartenders.

Now, this doesn’t mean that the next time you are out and you happen to meet a good looking, charming, tall man on this side of the bar that happens to be a bartender you should walk away. Quite the opposite. Revel and delight in the rare occasion to flirt with him away from his work. But be warned. If you take things to the next level with a cute bartender, your bartender/patron relationship will be changed forever. And most times not for the good.

Oh, and before you comment that all this advice is nice and all, but didn’t I come away that very night having only met the bartender. Yes, but exceptions are to be made. A) it wasn’t the same bartender Salty pointed out, he was married. B) It was Valentine’s Eve and thus there were no eligible bachelors in the bar for me to ogle.

The Dénouement

I finished my novel.

First, I should tell you, I didn’t have the Valentine’s Day weekend I expected. Friday went off as planned. Drank some wine. Ordered Chinese. Had a vegan carrot cake cupcake for dessert. I didn’t watch any action films, though. Instead, I opted for the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics. And, before you ask, yes, I cried. Like a baby.

Saturday, I got some writing done. Then the text messages started. Everyone wanted to go out. And by everyone I mean Salty, the Duchess and Bridie. At first I stuck by my guns. No. I will not go out and feel bad about myself as cute couples all around me enjoy pink drinks and suck face.

I delighted in my rebellion. I decided the perfect way to celebrate a Saturday with myself is by doing some laundry. I was moving my wash to the dryer when I saw Brandi had brought her laundry down -- she was holding a spot. What was she washing you ask? Black satin sheets.

No. I’m not making this up.

I went back to my apartment, promptly sent a text to the girls asking where I should meet them and then started putting my hair in curlers.

Out, everyone was asking how the novel was going and I lamented that if I wasn’t out drinking, I would be home finishing it. Yes, I was that close.

The next day I was sure I would finish. But I couldn’t open my laptop. I mean, maybe I could, I just couldn't bring myself to try. I walked by it. Looked at it longingly. I even brought it into the living room and plugged it in and thought about it during commercial breaks. But I never opened it. Something in me wasn't ready for it to be over. Instead I just lied on my couch, eating more garbage and watching really bad television.

Then Monday came and with it another deadline I didn’t want to meet. And since my laundry was already done, and I didn't have any dishes to do since everything I ate that weekend came in take-out containers, I had nothing left to do but finish my novel.

When it first happened, I hardly realized it. I was sitting in front of my computer, typing and retyping the last couple of lines -- after all they were going to be the last couple of lines of my first novel. They had to be good. No, they had to be great. Not necessarily epic. I wasn’t looking for anything quite so amazing as “This is not an exit.” But something that would leave my readers feeling something and so I battled and finally I put down words that were somewhere between good and great and I hit the enter key to continue the story when it hit me. The story’s finished.

The story is finished.

I turned off my computer. Still not feeling quite as I imagined the narrator of Stand by Me felt when he finally finished typing his saga and ran out to play with his son and his son’s friend. But maybe that is because I don’t have a son. So I called my mom. I had to share it with someone.

When I told her I was hit with a wave a nausea. Oh my god. I’m finished. I had to sit down.

I started shaking and told my mom I had to go.

And I don’t know why, but I did need to go. To Staples. To print a copy of my novel. Printing it made it more real. Sitting on the subway home, the big box containing two copies of my novel resting safely in my lap, it started to to sink in. I have finished the first draft of my novel.

I started sending text messages to friends and family and relaxed a little more with each message of congratulations and suggestion of libations to celebrate. Of course I couldn’t go just then. One, I looked terrible. Two, I had the only two printed copies of my novel with me. What if something happened to them? I needed to get them home where it was safe.

Once we were all safely home and my novel was securely placed on my desk, I poured myself a glass of wine. It was finished. I couldn’t stop smiling. I also couldn’t stop shaking. Though it wasn’t really shaking so much as I felt like I was shaking on the inside. Like I had Restless Leg Syndrome, but everywhere.

I tried to relax, but I couldn’t. So I poured myself a second glass of wine. Then a third. If it helps, I didn't finish the third.

The strangest part is on Monday morning, when I woke up, I read my horoscope and it told me I was going to finish a project that I had been working on for a very long time. I laughed. Good one, horoscope. When I thought about it later, a chill ran up my spine.

Now, on Saturday my horoscope said I was going to meet my next romantic interest. And since the only guy that caught my eye was the bartender, I guess my next boyfriend will be a beer slinger.

Who Loves You, Baby

Not since the seventh grade have I had a date on Valentine’s Day -- and that date is now out of the closet so you know he set the bar pretty high (even for a seventh grader). I suppose a couple of years ago, DB and I were together on VD, but technically not really. I mean we had hooked up by that point (just kissing, mom!), but we hadn’t been out on a date.

And our super romantic Valentine’s Day was spent at our friends’ house watching LOST. We were suppose to have dinner together too, but I opted for pizza at Bridie’s instead.

So it is safe to say the majority of my Valentine’s Days have been big disappointments, spent drinking copious amounts of alcohol, eating greasy disgusting (but oh so delicious) food and cursing this stupid Hallmark holiday.

But this year I’m taking a different approach. This year I am celebrating the greatest love of all; the one that is happening inside of me (thank you, Whitney).

I’m serious. I’m so sick and tired of feeling sorry for myself this one weekend a year. So this year, I won’t. I will celebrate with myself, just how awesome I am and how happy I am to have me.

Now, originally, I had thought about taking this holiday by the horns. I thought about going on the Love Letters tour and then going to see Valentine’s Day, which despite my better judgment actually looks cute. However, I don’t want to set myself up for failure. I don’t want to put myself in a situation where I might actually start comparing the love of my life with others and wondering why I’m all alone and completely sabotage the best relationship I have ever had.

Instead, I have planned the perfect evening for myself -- after all, who knows me better? I will pick up a vegan cupcake (or two, after all we are celebrating here), make myself a delicious dinner, open a nice bottle of red wine, put on super cute, Valentine’s themed pajamas and watch silly action movies featuring Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis or the Governator; and I won’t judge myself when I laugh out loud at the ridiculous dialogue.

Things I won’t be doing this weekend include, sending text messages to the Republican (or any of my ex’s for that matter), listening to sappy love songs, wondering what is wrong with me that I managed to chase so many great guys away (instead I will focus on all that was wrong with them) and most definitely I will not cry.

That is unless of course I decide to watch Terminator 2. I mean, come on, who doesn’t tear-up at the end of that movie?