Tatiana Talks

Day 19 - Now with Less Snark

So, again, there is some hubabaloo on the site about something I wrote. I want to clear things up. And to reduce the miscommunication and bring it all down a level, I am going to try to do this without relying on sarcasm.

This could get ugly. And by ugly I mean boring as I'm not sure what kind of writer I am without my snark.

I started reading this book because I am genuinely interested in why some folks think that by allowing two men or two women the opportunity to get married, their marriages or marriage in general will be less. I agree the government has an interest in regulating marriage. I don't want to see 15-year-olds walking down the aisle. I don't want to see first cousins getting married. I also don't think you should be able to marry someone you've known for less than 24 hours, yet, all of those things are presently legal in at least one state.

Also presently legal in some states is gay marriage.

And while I don't see or hear an uproar on television or online about Nevada's lackadaisical marriage (and divorce) laws, I am currently reading an entire book laying out why gay marriage is bad for our society.

So far it has yet to fulfill the promise of its title. Of course, I am only on chapter 4.

The arguments the authors are presenting have already begun to fold in on themselves. In the introduction we learned their definition of marriage to be “a comprehensive union: a union of will (by consent) and body (by sexual union); inherently ordered to procreation and thus the broad sharing of family life; and calling for permanent and exclusive commitment, whatever the spouses’ preferences. 

But then they offered that straight couples that can't have children (“This is not to say infertile couples cannot marry” followed by a confusing sports analogy) or simply don't want to have them (“procreation need not (even where it can) be the most important aspect of marriage”) can also considered comprehensively married. 

In chapter one they write that the revisionist view of marriage being based on emotional connections and bonds opens the door for polygamy, which of course is in direct opposition to the exclusivity requirement of conjugal marriage. Then in chapter three they write that polygamy is fine. It isn't perfect, but it is okay so long as it is a man with multiple women.

[snarky comment by Mark Twain redacted]*

This is a little confusing to the reader, because to borrow the author's words for a minute:
So a husband and wife’s loving bodily union in coitus and the special kind of relationship that is seals are valuable, even when conception is neither sought nor achieved. But two men, two women, and larger groups cannot achieve organic bodily union: there is no bodily good or function toward which their bodies can coordinate. 
So, then, why is polygamy okay? How can a man and his two or three or four wives coordinate their bodies to achieve an organic bodily union?

Further, if gay marriage allows for polygamy, then why isn't the reverse true? Why doesn't polygamy allow for gay marriage. Why is this inorganic bodily union okay, but not the bodily union of two men or two women without a man present? 

Still, I’m glad I went back and reviewed the text. Because, I think I might have found the root of the authors issues. It is hinted at in this chapter. It is fear.

Yes. Just like when the no-fault divorce law passed, divorce in this country was normalized, allowing gays to get married will legitimize their relationships in our society. Being gay will be looked at as something perfectly normal.

Because it is and should be.

And maybe that is what my father's issue is. Maybe he is afraid. Afraid that if gay marriage is allowed in our state, I will come out as gay and get married and beaten up by gay-haters and my children will be taunted and teased and beaten up and they will hate me and kill me and my partner as we sleep and Lifetime will make a movie about my life and Craig T. Nelson will refuse to play my father.

Daddy, if you are reading this: Again, I'm not gay. Picky. But not gay.

*Okay, the Mark Twain quote was just too good and too appropriate to not include here: In his short story Letter’s from the Earth, Twain writes as Satan, banished to the earth, who is writing letters to the other angels to recruit for his cause. One of his observations proving God’s finest creation Man is mad goes like this: “Now there you have a sampling of man’s “reasoning powers,” as he calls them. He observes certain facts. For instance, that in all his life he never sees the day that he can satisfy one woman; also, that no woman ever sees the day that she can’t overwork, and defeat, and put out of commission any ten masculine plants that can be put to bed to her. He puts those strikingly suggestive and luminous facts together, and from them draws this astonishing conclusion: The Creator intended the woman to be restricted to one man. 

For My Dad on Father’s Day

What follows has more curse words than is typical for me, but it is a post for my father and he would want it that way.

Like many in America, I heard about the recent pew study finding more than 40 percent of households are being supported by women.

I can’t say this surprised me, though the total shit-storm that erupted because of it did take me back a bit. And I was going to post a rant about how screwed up some of these douchebags are, especially after watching Megyn Kelly (really? Can we see a birth certificate as I don’t buy her mother named her Megyn with a y) handed two of these assholes their hats and I found myself cheering for her. But since it is Father’s Day, and my dad has a secret crush on Megyn, I decided I would be nice.

Instead, I think I am going to take this opportunity to tell you a little something about my family. My unholy, unnatural family.

My mom was the primary earner in our house.

That’s right. My mother was one of the 40 percent before there was such a thing. Always a trailblazer that one.

Whether it was because he was in school or economic hard times kept him out of a job, for portions of my childhood, my dad stayed at home while my mom worked. Even when he worked, my mother’s paycheck was bigger than his. 

And, according to some asshats out there, my family is what is wrong with America.

Because, instead of wringing her hands and spending her time in the kitchen, my mother worked. While she was working, my father was the one who took me to dance class and piano lessons and shopping for my first bra.

Which is why I am such a fuck up today. I mean, I’m a total degenerate. As are my brother and sister.

Oh, wait, that’s not right. We're actually all pretty normal, functioning members of society. We work. We pay taxes. Ivan and Lana even rescue dogs for crying out loud. Bad people don’t rescue dogs. 

Yes. It’s true, more people know my father as “my father” or in some cases by Ivan’s first name because they just assume he named his son after himself, than they might know him from his professional life. But it doesn’t seem to bother him. Give him a cigar and a Scotch and my father will tell you story after story about running into our old teachers and coaches and friends’ parents and friends. 

My father loves being a father. More than he ever loved working. And there is nothing wrong or unmanly or unnatural about that. 

In fact, Erick Erickson, I think you should go knock on my parents door and tell my father to his face you think our family is unnatural and the reason America is going down the toilet. Because I think it would be hysterical to watch you explain to your viewers how a man who stayed at home taking care of his kids while his wife worked to support the family gave you a black eye and a broken nose.

Maybe instead of blaming feminists or women who support their families out of desire or necessity, you should be looking for ways to turn this bullshit paradigm on its head.

Maybe we should stop defining men by the title on their business card, the zeroes on their pay-stubs or the number of women they’ve banged and instead ask if he is a good fathers. Is he a good providers, not just of a roof over his family's head, but of love and support of his family and occasionally a shoulder for his teenage daughter to cry on, say when her best friend stole her boyfriend and it feels like her world is coming to an end.

Because right now, there is a man who did just that, sitting on his deck, smoking a cigar, next to a pile of opened Father’s Day cards, possibly with a tear in his eye because he got emotional after reading what his favorite daughter wrote, wishing his children would give him grandkids instead of just golf balls and cigars.

And you know what? There is nothing unnatural about him.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad.

Bizarro Valentine’s Day

My father isn’t afraid of many things. He’s a former Marine who owns a lot of guns and quite frankly, if you don’t know him, looks terrifying in a big, angry sort of way.

One thing that does scare his socks off is my independence. He fears my not needing anyone will lead to my never finding someone and spending my life sad and alone. This manifests itself in many ways, most notably on Valentine’s Day when my father sends me a bouquet of flowers so he doesn’t have to picture me sitting at my desk, fighting back tears because I’m the only girl in the office who doesn’t have a Valentine.

And while I could definitely do with fewer talks on the back porch of my parent’s home about how he would really like me to find someone, I do love getting flowers from him every Valentine’s Day.

I mean, what girl doesn’t love to get flowers?

So, in keeping with tradition, waiting for me on my desk when I arrived at work yesterday morning was a big stupid bouquet of light pink and dark pink Gerbera Daisies.

And I do mean big. My boss audibly gasped when she saw it. I heard people on the floor talking about it. I’m not sure if this is what my father intended, or if the florist got a deal on daisies or if my father insisted on purple daises and the florist couldn’t find them so she (or he) over-compensated by doubling the number of pink daisies, but whatever happened, I have a vase filled with a lot of Gerbera Daisies – which aren’t small flowers to begin with.

But I’m not just telling you this to brag – I swear.

I was sitting there, in my pink dress (because a single girl who wears black on V-Day is just asking for sideways glances and tongue clicks of pity) when one of my married co-workers approached.

“Look at you with your bouquets (I only had one – I swear) and your pretty pink dress. I bet this is just your favorite holiday.”

I can say with certainty no one has ever accused me of that before.

Why Paul Ryan Lied – A Feminist’s Opinion

By now, even my parents know that Paul Ryan lied about his marathon time. What people don’t know is why he lied about it. Was it a simple mistake? No way. Was he just boasting? Maybe. Was he flat out lying because he didn’t want to admit a girl was faster than him? Well, that’s my theory.

Yes, as a recently reformed misogynist, I’m seeing misogyny everywhere. And sure, one could say I have developed this theory to get back on Gloria’s good side, but still, stay with me for a minute.

After Runner’s World broke the news about Ryan’s lie, The Washington Post did a quick blog about all vice presidential hopefuls’ (and one vice president's) marathon times.

In the mix is Sarah Palin, who at 41 years old ran a marathon in very impressive (to me at least) 3 hours and 59 minutes.

Now, I don’t know Sarah personally, but she strikes me as the type who would brag about this accomplishment. It’s something about her first name. Sarahs love to tell anyone who will listen just how awesome they are. If she were the type, I would even bet she has her time tattooed somewhere on her body.

Fast-forward seven years and Paul Ryan is being interviewed and it casually comes up that he ran a marathon. Well, he can’t honestly expect that to impress anyone, anymore. I mean, who hasn’t run a marathon? Drew Carey. Katie Holmes. Puff Daddy (he will always be Puff Daddy to me). Oprah. So, to really impress, he is going to have to give the reporter a time and a good time. And his time wasn’t bad. But, wait, what is this he is remembering. What did Sarah Palin tell him her time was? Crap. She beat him, didn’t she? Okay, well now he is going to have to say it was better than hers. But what was hers? Three-fifty-something. But what if he says 3:55 and it turns out she ran it in 3:54. Well, someone in the liberal media will be able to dig up her time and that will be the big story. Not that he ran a marathon but that Sarah Palin beat him.

After all, could Paul Ryan really admit that a 40-something woman beat his marathon time when he was 20-years-old? What sort of man would that make him? Plus she lost the election. He didn’t want a loser to have beaten him. What sort of message would that send?

But mostly the part about her being a woman. Women are weaker and sillier than men. Men rule. Men are better and stronger and most importantly faster. He admits a woman is faster and then what? He has to admit women are also capable of making choices for themselves?

So he played it safe and said he finished in two-fifty-something.

Next time, Paul, if I may, I would go the other macho route: Tell the truth and then add, “But you know, I didn’t really train, and was drunk for the first half, hung over for the second, so what-evs.”

There is no way Runner’s World could disprove that.

The Games We Play

There is a game my mom and dad love to play with me. For lack of anything better, I call it the “Anything Else” game.

It dates back to middle school when guys were just starting to notice girls – and by that I mean guys were starting to notice other girls. I remained the girl they only noticed when they needed one more for a game of football.

Every day, when I got home from school, my mom, a nurse where she worked with a parent (or two) of just about everyone in my class, would wake up (she worked nights) and ask, “How was school today?”

I would shrug (because I was a preteen and shrugging was my favorite) and respond, “Good.” And the game was on:

Mom: “Just good? Not great, terrific and wonderful?”

Preteen Tati: “No. Just good.”

Mom: “Anything happen in school today?”

Preteen Tati: “No.”

Mom: “Nothing?”

Preteen Tati: “Umm, well, we have a history test coming up.”

Mom: “Anything else?”

Preteen Tati: “I’m probably gonna need new running sneakers soon.”

Mom: “Anything else?”

Preteen Tati: “Jenny and Rachel are fighting again.”

Mom: “Anything else?”

Preteen Tati: “I can’t think of anything else.”

Mom: “So Jeremy didn’t walk you to math class this morning.”

Preteen Tati: “What? Oh, well, yeah, he did, but.”

Mom: “According to Becky’s mom, Jeremy is one of the cutest guys in your class.”

Preteen Tati: “I guess, but.”

Mom: “So, what did you two talk about on your way to class? Because, according to Becky’s mom, it looked like you two were very involved in the conversation. You know he and Jaime broke up?”

Preteen Tati: “Yes, I know that. But, that’s what I’m trying to tell you, we were just talking about our history test.”

Mom: “Oh.  Well, Becky’s mom also mentioned that he asked for your picture the other day, so you can see why I was curious.”

Preteen Tati: “Mom, we’re just friends.”

Mom: “I don’t know, Tati

Preteen Tati:

More than 20 years later and the game is pretty much the same. Of course my mother no longer works with the parents of my classmates, but she is my friend on Facebook. So, when someone tags me in a picture standing next to a guy at a baseball game, I am sure to get a call the next morning.

To win the game, you have to be the first to fold. And by that I mean, the first to acknowledge the game, come clean and just ask/state the obvious. So, for example:

Mom: “Anything else going on that I should know about?”

Almost An Adult Tati: “I don’t think so. I told you that I’m looking at flights to Austin, that I’m changing one of the characters in my novel, work is good, I got another press release to draft, and I'm signed up for the MCM in October. So, yeah, that’s everything that’s keeping me busy.”

Mom: “Nothing else is going on?”

Almost An Adult Tati: “Mom, I’m not seeing anyone, if that’s what you’re wondering.”

Mom: “That’s not what I was asking, but now that you brought it up …”
Advantage: Mom.

As a teenager, I always won, mostly because I didn’t know we were playing and my mother was often looking for something that didn’t even make my radar as worth mentioning.

As an (almost) adult, I practically lose every game. My mother (and father, because now he plays too) has grown more patient whereas I have grown less. I’ve tried driving them to defeat by detailing the most mundane details of my life (“I picked up D vitamins at the Whole Foods yesterday. I went with the cheaper ones, even though they contain gelatin, but I didn’t get sick or anything.”) or distracting them with details from my former classmates’ lives (“I saw on Facebook that Jeremy had a baby.”). But, alas, this only leads to conversations about how my mother always thought Jeremy had a thing for me (“Remember that time in middle school when he asked for your picture, Tati.”).

And that is how we begin a game of “The One(s) That Got Away.”

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.

Open Letter to Marie Claire

Dear MC,

I visited my hometown last weekend to check in on my parents, but mostly to get my hair done (my Mom and Dad will probably out-live us all, not to mention I had just seen them the weekend before when we went to the Phillies game). Waiting for me upon my arrival was a stack of magazines, almost up to my knees and in that pile were a couple of Marie Claires.

See, my mom has a subscription to just about every magazine published. She curates from her collection a selection that she think I would enjoy and leaves them in a pile for me.

My mom was most excited to show me your June issue. Right there on the cover, she pointed out, was a story I was sure to love: “The New Revolution. Love and the Single Girl.”

The next day, over breakfast, my mom asked me what I thought of the article. I rolled my eyes and told her it annoyed me. I then started explaining why. The problem is, I couldn’t pinpoint exactly what it was that so bothered me.

Then, last week, I was talking to Hot Attorney, really trying to concentrate on what he was saying and not fantasize about all the things I wish he was saying when it hit me – the second vignette. The second vignette in your article is what pissed me off. I went home a re-read it and I was exactly as I remembered.

It started out so well: “Putting themselves first and a wedding ring second, a new generation of women fights for their rights to be left alone (literally) and then went on to point out all the recent attacks on single women (even some I didn’t know about or really perceive as attacks). The article actually has the words, “We are living through the invention of independent female adulthood.”

What isn’t there to love about this article?

Well, after the one page of celebration, with all your quotes and facts and figures, the three vignettes followed. Three little stories about three different single women at three different points in their lives, all expressing a different hardship of being single.

Now, I am not an us versus them sort of girl. I have nothing but respect for married and coupled women. Almost all of my friends are married or in relationships. However, in the instance of Vignette Number Two (or VNT as I’m gonna call her), I have to say it: she isn’t single. She never was single. She was dumped and is now presumably back in a relationship. Using her six-months wandering the city looking for a karaoke bar where she could shine in a article about how awesome it is to be single is like using a woman that likes to make out with her girlfriends when she is drunk to the delight of all of the male bar patrons in a story about living as a lesbian.

Was VNT’s story adorable? Yes. I am equal parts impressed that she went to karaoke bars and got up and sang all by herself and glad that she found a new dude and they are getting married soon. However, you should have saved her triumph over tragedy for the inevitable getting over him piece you will run in February. Because it has no business in an article about women choosing to be single.

I get it. You prefer to include three vignettes because three is a magic number when it comes to examples to back a theory and choruses in pop songs. But there had to have been better examples out there. Why not talk to my friend who called off her wedding when she realized she wanted to be married more than she wanted to be married to her fiancé. Or, if you were looking for a happy ending (which you clearly still define as in a relationship) then talk to any one of my now coupled off/married friends that were single well into their 30s, dating like crazy but never settling down until they found someone that was worth it.

Further, why were the other two vignettes about how hard it is to be single – a pesky father and always having to move over a seat at a bar so a couple could sit down? Where were the triumphant stories of dates so terrible they still make your friends laugh. Or stories about girlfriend-only vacations or the good they are doing throughout the world because they aren’t tied to a home and a family -- there has to be one female doctor out there curing some disease that can shrug and say, yeah, saving lives doesn’t leave me a whole lot of time to date. Where was she?

Do I seem a little over upset about this article? Maybe. But it is just because I had such high hopes. My mother and I both did. And it was just such a disappointment.

Then again, maybe I should stop pinning my hopes to a magazine with other coverlines that included “Extreme Weight Loss Confessions” and “Get it Now! Sexy Summer Style.”



Fifty Shades of Gross

Like everyone else in America, I had heard of this new super series, Fifty Shades of Grey. I knew it was steaming up the bedrooms and bathrooms of women everywhere and I was even interested in reading it myself.

That is until my father told me he was reading it.

Now, I’m not a prude, nor is anyone in my family. But we all have a quiet understanding that I’m a virgin, Ivan was a virgin until he was married, as was Lana who is now saving herself for her next husband, and that our parents had sex only three times. It works for us, because, let’s be honest, thinking about a family member having sex is disturbing.

This bubble was burst when I climbed into my father’s jeep and he asked, “Have you heard of the book, Fifty Shades of Grey?”

“I have. It is basically porn (I can’t say erotica to my father). You don’t want to read it.”

“I already started it.”

I made an incredulous face.

“Your mom bought it. She said you recommended it and I thought it was gonna be like the Hunger Games.”

“I did not recommend that book to Mom. I told Lana to read it. She must have told Mom about it.”

“Well, Kid, let me tell you, you shouldn’t read it. You aren’t gonna get past Chapter Two before you run out of your apartment and just grab the first guy you see and drag him back to your place.”

I swallow back vomit.

“And I am sure as hell not going to let your mother read it.”

I give him a sideways glance at “let.”

“I’m an old man. I don’t think I could keep up with her. I would have to call friends in to help. You know that Viagra commercial with the warning about a four hour…”

“Dad! Stop!” I couldn’t stomach hearing him say the word erection. Just hearing Viagra was enough.

Now, sometimes after a night of drinking I won’t remember the details of certain conversations. I immediately started drinking hoping that would be the case here. Sadly it wasn’t, though I still continue to drink in hopes of erasing that conversation from my memory.

The Bride: Part Two

Just the other day, at my desk, I was reading an email from Salty. We were going to see a show together that night and she was wondering if we should get a drink and maybe a quick bite before the show, and if so, where.

I shot her an email back saying we will definitely need food and drink and I would come up with a place. Later, when I finally focused on it, I had a list of 15 or so places in a matter of minutes. I shot the list to Salty, she responded, picking a place from my list and just like that we had a plan.

Now, about a month ago, Salty and I were sending similar messages back and forth, trying to figure out where we wanted to go for happy hour. It took us all day to make a plan and even then, I wasn’t thrilled about it, despite Salty picking one of my favorite places for happy hour. Why the ennui? If you had asked me then I would have said I was in a funk. With hindsight I realize it was because it was a Friday night and I thought I should have been going to a bar where there was better potential to talk to a guy.

The past several months, everywhere I was, I was sad. I was also anxious, and angry, and disappointed as well. If someone asked I dismissed it as a funk (or claimed I had no idea what they were talking about).

When friends wanted to get together for drinks, I would get annoyed about the place they picked.

When they wanted to get together at someone’s house, I was frustrated we weren’t going out.

When I didn’t have plans with them, I felt like a loser sitting in my apartment, all alone on a weekend night.

When I got back from Spain and people asked if I made out with any hot guys, I felt like a failure when I said no.

Yes. You read that last part right. I felt disappointed in getting to go to Spain with my three best friends: only mildly, but still. What the hell was wrong with me?

On my way back to civilization, in the jeep with my dad, both of us silent, I really started thinking about all the energy I was expending on the quest for a boyfriend. About how when the hot guy at my office is talking to his secretary, I stop working and listen to what he has to say in case he drops some crucial piece of information that I could possibly use later to strike up a conversation.

I thought about the new tattoo I wanted for my birthday, but held off on getting it because I worried that it might make me desirable to a smaller circle of men.

Probably the worst part was that I wasn’t writing. In addition to wondering what to blog about if I wasn’t blogging about guys (a question that should have given me more perspective that it did, sadly) I was also worried that I could possibly meet an awesome guy that wouldn’t want to date me after he learned about my blog. As for my other writing, when did I have time between my various jobs, going out, and obsessively worrying about the fact that I still didn’t have a boyfriend.

Why was I doing this to myself? Was being single really so terrifying?

Actually, it isn’t. I have long known I am really good at being single. I actually like drinking wine and watching movies by myself. I also prefer sleeping in a bed by myself and thanks to my big hands and my father’s instruction, I don’t need a man around to open jars or hang the art I bought in Granada.

I also know that being in a relationship isn’t all walks on the beach and candlelight dinners. It comes with a slew of problems and headaches and heartaches.

So, again, what the hell was wrong with me.

A couple weeks later, on another deck, with another man asking when I was going to find someone that was right for me, it hit me. Probably never.

But it wasn’t a woe’s me probably never. Or I am woman hear me roar probably never. Or even a men suck no one is good enough for me probably never.

Just a probably never because I’m done trying so freakin’ hard.

Instead, I am refocusing that energy. I’m knitting and writing and working on my office at my apartment because I am no longer convinced that I may have to leave Philadelphia to find my mate. I got to spend Halloween weekend not shivering in a slutty version of a costume, but in D.C. cheering for Lana (who finished the Marine Corp Marathon). I have been working, writing, and making plans, all without first wondering how any of it will impact my chances of meeting someone.

Which is how I found myself with Salty at one of our favorite martini bars in the city. As we sat there, chatting with the female bartender, Salty wondered why we don’t come here more often.

I looked around the bar and smiled, “Because there are never any dudes here.” She looked around, smiled, and raised her glass.

Cheers to that.

It’s Not Giving Up: Wherein I Attempt to Explain Why I Haven’t Blogged in So Many Months While Simultaneously Avoiding the Topic Altogether

I apologize in advance at the jumping around this post will do. But to tell this story, I am going to have to go all Tarantino on you folks. And because it is so long, I am going to break it up in two volumes.

A couple of weeks ago, on a deck in the middle of nowhere, the Duke (the Duchess’s beau) was asking me (as he always does) if there were any men in my life. I smiled and shook my head. After the typical notes of disbelief, the Duke then starts telling me about his cousin. I stopped listening until Bridie came out onto the deck and asked, “Are you really trying to set her up with a 50 year old that still lives at home with his parents?”

The Duke shrugged his shoulders innocently. The Duchess pointed out that the 50 year old is a really nice guy. I just laughed.

While, laughter was my normal go to response in these sort of situations, it was then followed my hours of self-doubt, wondering what it says about me that my friends want to set me up with a 50 year old guy that still lives in the suburbs with his parents. Followed by more doubts about whether there is anyone good left. That inevitably led to the plummet of desperation and sadness that I was never going to meet anyone and I would be alone forever which only ever led to the inexplicable resolve to move out of Philadelphia because life would be better in New York City, or Chicago, or Washington, D.C., or San Francisco.

But this time I just laughed and meant it.

See, a couple of weeks before that, on another deck just north of nowhere, I was sitting with my father. He was smoking a cigar, drinking a beer. I was drinking a beer, craving a cigarette. We were both silent, trying to think of something to talk about.

After several failed attempts to engage me in a political debate, he finally asked, “So, is there anything else going on in your life?”

I shrugged my shoulder. “Not really?”

“Any guys?”

I shook my head. “Nope.”

Then my father shocked me. Instead of retreating back into silence he continued “I know you have really high standards, kid. But do me a favor, don’t wait until I’m dead to introduce me to the guy you finally fall in love with. Because I swear, if the first time I meet your boyfriend is at my funeral, I will haunt your honeymoon.”

What a lovely thought.

I attempt to assure my father that my intention is not to wait until he is dead and that I really am trying to find someone. As I say it out loud the truth of it hits me. Recently I have become consumed with meeting someone. I've told friends that I was open to meeting any single guys they know. I never left my apartment without make-up, even when I was leaving to ride my bike for 80 miles. I went on dates with other single girls so that I would have single girlfriends with whom I could go out and meet guys, I hopefully bought pretty underwear, and I agonized over what to wear to the gym. My every free thought is focused on what I can do next to find a boyfriend, which is exactly what I am about to say to him when I taste the bile in my mouth.

I force a smile and instead, off my father the platitudes I typically give him, ending with “Daddy, I am trying, but you know it is hard to find someone good enough for your little princess.”

It’s tough for a father to argue with that sort of logic. But while that answer was enough for my dad, it wasn’t enough for me.

To be continued Monday.

Narrowing In On My Type

Did I ever mention that my father loves romantic comedies?

Yes, my father, the former Marine that takes me shooting on Easter Sunday and drives around in a jeep with NRA stickers on it, loves a good chick-flick. Sure he blames the number of Sandra Bullock movies he has seen on my mother, but on more than one occasion, I have surprised him in his BarcaLounger watching something starring Reese Witherspoon and my mother was no where to be found. And while Rom-Coms are not my favorite genre, when I am home, and Daddy has the remote, I much prefer anything with Kate Hudson in it to anything on the Fox News Network – well, almost.

This is how I found myself watching a Ryan Reynolds movie with that girl from Little Miss Sunshine playing his daughter.

I was only mostly paying attention when I noticed that one of my favorite Law and Order ADAs had a small part in the movie. I perked up – what? I have a little bit of a girl crush on her – but because I was either writing or reading or plucking my leg hair out one at time I can’t tell you much about what led up to this scene. Ryan was there, along with the ADA and some other guys and the guys were talking about types of girls they each had a thing for. For instance, girls in nerdy glasses with long hair pulled up into a bun. Some other stereotypical irresistible types I can’t remember. Then the ADA contributed to the conversation:

“I have a thing for guys that have a thing for me.”

The guys all razzed her, claiming that was just sick and then there was laughter and maybe arm punches and I went back to doing what I was doing but I couldn’t stop thinking about how she put that.

Because the thing is, I too have a thing for guys that have a thing for me. I will meet a guy and think, “huh, he’s okay.” Then a couple days later someone will say, “Remember that guy at that bar the other night with the hair and the shirt? Well, he was asking about you. What do you think?” And just like that, the boy goes from just okay to a total Baldwin.

On the surface this seems healthy and makes sense (though maybe a little vain). It is certainly better than being one of these girls that stops liking a guy as soon as he shows any real interest in her. Still, this predilection hasn’t always served me well. For one thing, there are all the gay men I have made out with – most of whom liked me first. Then there is my middle school friend’s neighbor who thought I was hot. I let him stick his tongue down my throat despite his more than healthy curiosity for porn and his hobby of shooting small woodland creatures with his bow and arrow.

While I have learned from these mistakes, I still haven’t conquered this strange fetish. In particular there is one guy that I am 54, no 60, probably 70, okay 86 percent sure is bad news. However, I also have it on good authority that he would like to get to know me better. As such, I can’t stop thinking about him.

And, sure, I could just sleep with him to get over these feelings. But, I can’t keep using sex to solve my problems. After all, I’m still in my early 30s, how many mistakes does one get in each decade?


So, while on vacation with my parents two months ago (though it feels so much longer) my mother was reading Jennifer Love Hewitt’s new book, The Day I Shot Cupid. When I saw her pack it, I eyed her suspiciously.

“What?” She defended herself. “I heard it was funny.”

I thought self-help books on dating are targeted towards single women (though, sometimes men, too). So either my mom is planning on getting back out there soon or she purchased this book for me. Her daughter. Who is so hopeless when it comes to dating, she would take advice from Jennifer Love Hewitt, whose only qualification for writing this book is that she has dated a lot. Oh, and she’s famous.

I didn’t argue any of this with my mother. I just silently resolved to finish Norman Mailer’s Executioner’s Song and check my luggage before we come back; less the ol’ girl tried to slip it into my bag “by mistake.”

So fast-forward to a few days later when my mom and I are sitting by the pool. She is appropriately covered with a hat and a light cover-up and sunscreen on all the spots those other two items leave exposed. I am lying next to her in a bikini and SPF 4. She was reading JLove's book. I wanted to read Norman Mailer’s but it was just so heavy, and the sun was so bright, and my iPod kept playing really good songs.

Out of nowhere my mom starts laughing. I open my eyes, expecting to see my father. See, on the first day of vacation my father used a spray-on sunscreen but didn’t rub it in so it looked like someone spray painted his sunburn with white. You couldn’t help but laugh.

But no, no dad. And no one fell climbing into or out of their lounge chair. So I couldn’t understand what my mother was laughing at. And then she did it again. I looked over and saw her smiling down at her book.

I knew this trick. Heck, I invented this trick. During a trip west in college (for crew) CK was sitting behind me on the plane and so I kept cracking up laughing at the book I was reading, knowing that if I did, he would eventually ask me what I was reading and we would fall hopelessly in love, get married and have lots of babies. Eventually CK did lean around my chair and ask me, which is when I saw the flaw in my plan. “Bridget Jones’ Diary: The Edge of Reason.” He raised his eyebrows and returned to his seat. What was I thinking? CK read John Dos Passos for crying-out-loud. He wasn’t going to fall hopelessly in love with a girl that laughed like a hyena to such low-brow literature.

But I digress. Recognizing my mother’s ploy, I smiled, lowered my head back onto my chair and turned up my iPod. I could still hear her laugh a couple more times, but I didn’t react. I guess she grew tired of my ignoring her, because she smacked the back of my arm with her hand. I took out one of my ear buds and lifted my head. She was handing me the book, pointing at a paragraph.

I rolled my eyes, but I was also wearing sunglasses so she didn’t see. I grabbed the book and read what Miss. Hewitt had to say. This passage was on text messaging and how some guys will only text a girl and that these texts can go on (and on) and you can feel like you have a boyfriend, but you actually never see him. Just his name when it pops on your phone alerting you to a text message. Miss. Hewitt goes on that, sure this is cute and exciting and fun at first, but this is not a relationship and that you (you out there!) deserve better and he will realize the error of his ways, but of course by then it will be too late.

I shrugged my shoulders. “So?”

I’m not sure what my mom was expecting but it wasn’t that. “Well, is that true?”

Now I was really starting to get concerned. My mom doesn’t text. She doesn’t even carry her cell phone (it just stays in her car). So why should she care if modern technology (while making us always available) is making it harder to actually connect with anyone?

“Sure.” I nod. “It’s one of the reasons I’m not a fan of online dating. You meet,” you bet your sweet patootie I used air quotes around the word meet, “these guys and you think, huh, there is some potential here. But then all you do is IM or e-mail and then a month goes by and you realize you have a crush on a guy that you've never met.”

“Do you sext?”

Now where in the world did she learn that word? “Umm, yeah, I guess. If you’re like 16.”

“Huh.” She went back to reading her book and I started thinking of all my arguments for why my mom shouldn’t leave my father.

Fortunately, it never came to that. The next day my mom, obviously defeated, handed me the book and said, “you should read this. It’s funny. And it will take you less than a day.”

And so I did.

Well, she was half right; it only took me a day to read. And besides the workout plan (yes, you read correctly, the book comes complete with a JLove approved workout) and the odd aside about the high school girls that were prohibited from wearing thongs to their prom (I have no idea where that came from either) Jennifer Love Hewitt wrote nothing me and my girlfriends hadn’t already said to each other a thousands times.

Okay, there was one thing. But I am almost too embarrassed to even type it. JLove suggests --- oh my god I don’t think I can write it --- she, umm, suggests bedazzling your va-jay-jay.

I’ll give you a moment to let that sit.

In addition to all her other cutesy tips about how to love yourself more (wear a tiara, sleep naked) and prepare for a date (spray tan, buy cute pajamas) she also recommends BEDAZZLING YOUR GIRL BITS! Of course she stressed it is not for “him” but for “you.” That you’ll never feel cuter or sexier than when your bits are blingin’.

I was going to Google search this, to see what all is involved in this process but I couldn’t have that sitting in my Google search history. Not to mention I can only imagine the resulting Google ads I would start getting. Instead, I'm just going to sit here with my un-sparkly private parts and hope like hell this is just some stupid L.A. trend that doesn’t catch on everywhere else.

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.

Faking Disappointment

Let me start by saying I love my dad. I do. I really do. But like so many men, sometimes he just doesn’t get it.

Yesterday, we were sitting in the living room. I was finishing up a press release and my dad was simultaneously watching curling and playing solitaire on his computer. My e-mail alert chirped and so I switched screens and learned that school number three sent me my second rejection letter.

Understandably, I was disappointed and so I turned to my father and said,”Well, I won’t be going to Syracuse.”

“Oh, why?”

“Umm, because I just got their rejection letter.”

“Oh, I’m sorry.”

I would add details about emotion or inflection, but there wasn’t any. He barely looked away from the curling match. And he doesn’t even like curling.

So, looking for someone to commiserate with, I sent a mass text to friends and then tweeted about my sad news. While on Twitter I learned that Brian Westbrook was released from the Eagles.



“The Eagles released Brian Westbrook.”

He threw his head back. “Jesus. What the hell? I swear that Andy Reid has his head up his ass. Why did they get rid of Tony Hunt if they were just going to turn around and get rid of Westbrook. And what are they doing with Vick? Or McNabb?” He shook his head. Visibly upset that Brian Westbrook, not even his favorite player on the Eagles, was being released from the team.

I struggled to hold back my righteous indignation. Instead I told him he really needed to get over the loss of Tony Hunt.

I realized my old man couldn’t help himself. I also realize that there are probably a lot of guys out there that struggle with this very problem. So I think you should take a lesson from my dad.

First, I want you to think of a sports scenario that would really upset you. Then, the next time your girlfriend or fiance or wife comes to you, upset about something that happened during her day, think about that scenario (as if it just happened) and react accordingly.

Of course instead of saying things like “I swear that Andy Reid has his head up his ass.” Make it personal to her: “I swear that boss of yours has his head up his ass.” See, not so hard. Plus you really can’t overreact in this sort of situation. Even if you get so angry that you throw something, the woman in your life will probably appreciate it. Even laugh at your bravado and feel better about her crummy day -- making you an even bigger hero to her.

And men think women are so complicated.