Saturday, July 31, 2010


There is no rain in my pants. I only clarify this to ward off all men that are pondering this question. You wouldn't think that I would need to make this proclamation, but based on the experiences I had tonight, you would be wrong.

I don't typically make fun of men that attempt to pick me up. For two reasons. One, I like to be picked up. Any woman that tells you she doesn't is almost certainly lying. It is good for our egos and our genetics from hundreds of years ago appreciate being selected. I don't like to chase, I don't like to make the first move...I like to start as I mean to go on. So I enjoy the pick up line - even if you aren't someone I would necessarily choose I still appreciate the pick up attempt. Two, I give points for taking your balls in hand and making the move. Especially when I am sitting with a girlfriend or three. If you have the cajones to come up to our table and run a line by me, even if it is awful, then you get bonus points that usually lead to at least some kind of interaction. However....

There are exceptions to every rule and tonight was one of them. I have to make fun of him, I simply cannot help myself. More so because he was attractive and really shouldn't have had to resort to such slimy, juvenile lines. The story begins at a local pub on a fairly busy bar street that all Bay Cityans know and love/hate/tolerate. My wing lady is walking the bar under the pretense of using the bathroom at the back and I am holding court at our table, trying to decide if it is worth staying out and feeling yucky or if I should simply go home and get a good night's sleep. I am approached by a fairly attractive man- not gorgeous, but someone my wing lady and I had appreciated when we walked in. He told me that I was beautiful (good start, I am listening) and asked me to dance. So we make our way to the dance floor (where we are the only people in the bar dancing - everyone else is just watching to see what we are going to do) and begin dancing somewhat like idiots, but it is still fun and since I hit thirty I find that I care less and less about behaving normal in public. Pick Up Guy is fairly adept at twirling me, which gives him points since I am a fan of twirling. He tells me several times how beautiful I am.....more points. And then he crashes and burns....wait for it....he pulls me close and whispers this question - "Is it raining in your pants? Can I check?" Are. You. Serious.

So of course I tell him there is zero chance of rain in the region of my pants and as he twirls me out I walk away and leave him on the dance floor. I sincerely hope that he was sober enough to remember that tomorrow - and the smirks of all the people watching. It will do his ego good. He is the reason that we single ladies roll our eyes at men in general. Yes, I know that there are good men out there. BUT...we see waaaaaaaay more of the Pick Up Guy than we do the good guys. I couldn't make this stuff up.

You aren't convinced? My one story didn't sway you? My wing lady (let's call her Stella) and I went out a few weeks ago and she had a man ask her to go outside with him while he smoked. She is way nicer than me and obliged him. While outside he looked at her (I must insert here that Stella is way, way out of his league) and informed her that he was tired of women using him for sex and that when they made love it would be with strawberries and whip cream because he wanted to do it the right way. May I point out that this man was over thirty? Way too old to believe the 'right way' involves fruit and dairy products? And that he had just met her an hour before but was telling her how they were going to get it on? And if that doesn't convince you, I have a friend on Facebook that just posted about how a man she just met sent her a picture on her phone.....of. his. penis. To see if she was interested since she was single. Because naturally all of us single ladies are just waiting by our phones hoping to see a penis.

This is by no means a condemnation of all men...simply evidence that supports our whining from time to time about the ridiculousness of being single amidst a slew of morons.

***If you have not ever asked a woman you just met about the precipitation in her pants, never told a woman you just met you were going to make love to her with fruit that would stain her sheets forever, or never sent any women pictures of your penis - you are exempt from this rant.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Pop Culture~

President Obama on The View. I love it.

There have been many criticisms of President Obama on his so-called "Pop Culture Agenda" and to me, this just makes him more my president than ever. Opponents and naysayers all complain about how he spends time on interviews with late night tv and such. People on Facebook post status messages about how he should stop making comments about sports and worry about the country. First of all, I am pretty sure being the President means that you can still have interest in things non-political. I don't remember anywhere that the Presidential Oath includes abstaining from sports. And second of all, pop culture is where current generations get their news, isn't it?

When I was growing up, here is how every single evening played out at my house. My stay-at-home mom made a sit down dinner that was almost always a meat, a potato, a veggie, and bread and butter of some variety. My dad came home from work, we ate as a family after saying grace, and then we did dishes or were banished from the living room while Mom and Dad sat down and watched the six o'clock local news, followed by World News and newspaper sharing. That was how they collected their information - how most people at that time collected their information. I am sure that many people had the same scenario play out in their homes and are nodding along with this.

Here is how my evenings play out at my house now. I go out to eat with friends, go to mom's for dinner, order in pizza, make a bowl of cereal, eat a sandwich in front of the tv, skip dinner and go out to play cards, grab a happy meal through the drive thru during errand running, or something else completely random for dinner depending on the day. About half of the time I come home and/or finish dinner and run laundry on the commercial breaks of my favorite tv shows or in between chapters of a bestseller. The other half of the time I don't come home until it is time to go to sleep. There is no sitting down with the paper or a news anchor.

Instead, I collect the majority of my news from sources considered to be entertainment rather than hard hitting journalism. Every morning and every night before bed, I go online. I check my email, scroll through my home page that is loaded up with current headlines, go on Facebook, update myself on all the blogs I follow...and most evenings I check out my DVR to watch Hot Topics on The View and see who is on late night tv - in addition to my mindless reality tv shows of course. (Which have nothing to do with news in any way.) For me, having a President that understands that times have changed is a positive thing, a sign that he understands how people of my generation gather their information. Do I want him doing daytime television all the time? Of course not. But I hardly think that one appearance next to Barbara Walters and Whoopi make him a pop culture sell-out. Just this woman's view...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Curse of the Golf Course~

Anytime I engage in texting conversations on the golf course I regret it. Once, it really messes up my flow. Two, these conversations seem to be jinxed. No good can come of communicating with the outside world while I am driving a golf cart.

This week I was playing my best round ever and right before the seventh hole I was an idiot and answered a text. The following conversation riled me up and I am sure my last three holes were less than my best effort. I did end up with my personal best - but just think how much better I would have done if I had ignored the phone! I love golf because I am in constant competition with the best possible opponent - myself. Nothing makes me happier than kicking my own ass.

We don't need to get into the specifics of this text conversation, but I will tell you it was with John Black. (If you don't remember him then I suggest you revisit the character page or Season One.) And here is the one comment that seriously just set me off.

"I need to do what is best for myself."

Why? Isn't that the teeniest bit selfish? Since when is it okay to excuse bad behavior just because it is in your best interest? Isn't that the very definition of selfish? Now, as a quick disclaimer, I am not saying John Black is totally selfish. But at the end of the day...if it comes down to choosing between what is best for him and best for someone else, he always goes with what is best for him. And he is always going to use that excuse to sanctify anything that he wants to do. And I don't think this is just a John Black problem. I think that this goes way beyond an individual and is something that society preaches today. Be whoever you want to be. You can have whatever you want. Look after number one. It almost makes me want to go back in time to an era where neighbors all pitched in whenever anyone needed help except that I don't want to raise any dumb barns and women pretty much weren't allowed to blog back then...

I don't think you can have whatever you want. And I don't think you can be everything that you want to be. I think that you have to stand up and make tough decisions based on your behavior. If you do something wrong - you fix it. Even if it isn't in your best interest. You handle your life with integrity and with honesty and with the people that you love in mind. You don't charge forward with your eyes on the prize and hurt anyone in your way to get to it. You don't get to use people when it is convenient for you and toss them aside when it is in your best interest. Life is not about having everything or being great at everything or taking care of number one. Life is about building relationships with people that we care about and that inevitably involves making choices that sometimes we would rather not make. When we do that, we make a very strong statement about the kind of person that we are and the values we hold. And when you are weak and think only of yourself....well, you make a strong statement about yourself then, too.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Three Strikes~

Pretty much everyone that lives in America, and I would venture to say many other parts of the world, understand the concept of three strikes and you are out. In relationships, I am out. Brad, John Black,, two, three....done. If I were truly smart I would quit now and devote my life to gardening and feeding the neighborhood strays.

Sometimes it makes me feel like a gigantic loser to have three fairly major failed relationships behind me. But sometimes it makes me feel relieved, like I did my part to try and create that kind of life and now that it hasn't worked out I can go guilt free into my future....of gardening and feeding mangy cats. No, no....I would have dead plants and dead cats littering my yard if I were solely in charge of those things. Not my forte. Some other spinster will need to pick up that banner and fly with it.

But sometimes it seriously feels like I have used up all my energy dealing with the men that have already come and go. Before I started dating Chet I felt like my life was in the best possible place that it could be. Everything was fantastic, I was happy, I had my circle of life was set up exactly the way I wanted it. I took a chance on Chet and risked messing up my perfect world and compromising to possibly create a better one - and that didn't pan out so well. Now that I am on the opposite end of that relationship and building back my life the way I like it, I find that I just don't have the energy to put it at risk again. I like my life. There would need to be a seriously spectacular man for me chance disturbing it again.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

When It Rains...

I don't know if every single girl experiences this phenomenon, or if it is just me, but my dating life is truly feast or famine. I won't date someone for a few weeks and then all of a sudden men seem to fall out of the sky. I really wish that they would coordinate themselves better so that I always have a steady, consistent stream so that I could concentrate on one at a time until I find one that I am willing to put my faith in. Also, that way I would always have a man to take care of the important things like insect disposal, grass cutting, and heavy lifting. (I know all the feminists out there just started yelling at that, but seriously....what woman truly wants to kill spiders just to make a point? Not me. I concede that men have superior bug killing genes if it means I don't have to fuss with them.)

I am not going to get into great detail about them all at this point. (Although one of them is a blind date so I am sure that will be a blog worthy story sometime next week. It is pretty much a rule that if you blog about your dating life, a blind date deserves its own post.) I don't have any of them quite figured out in my head yet, so I don't want to share my half developed theories and plans. I am just going to go with the flow for a few weeks and see how things work themselves out. I really don't like to multi-date, so this likely won't last for long. I am bad at man juggling, I just don't like to play games or be anything less than honest - so I just need to figure out what is going on with the sudden influx of man candy and draw a few lines in the sand. When I figure out what that means, you will be not the first, but also not the last, to know...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Stalker or Fan?

Two big developments under the category of 'Stephanie's Imaginary Relationships' today!

So my pretend BFF, Jennifer Aniston, debuted her new perfume today. My knowing this does not make me a stalker - I swear I wasn't lurking around her house or her fan club website - it simply is apparently big news on Yahoo at one in the morning. (If you are thinking...'damn, this chica likes to blog way late at night'...then you would be correct. I think my creative brain cells sleep during the monotony of my day and stagger awake when the sun goes down.) I want you to know that I had zero intention...ok maybe a sliver of intention....of buying perfume purely because she likes it and it has her name on it. However, when reading the article about the debut in London it mentions that it has notes of jasmine. Two fun facts about jasmine: It is a natural aphrodisiac and I absolutely love it. I own straight jasmine essential oil - although I am very careful about when I wear it. Sometimes it is not appropriate to have men sniffing your neck all have to be responsible when you are dealing with mind altering oils. In a nutshell, I guess I am going to have to buy some new perfume.

Development Number Two! I am giving myself an imaginary soulmate. I know you are wondering why it took me so long to think of this, since Jen A. and I have been imaginary friends for years....and I have no excuse. I just didn't realize the potential of an imaginary life until I started fantasizing about Pat Monahan (lead singer of Train for those of you uneducated in the art of imaginary rockstar boyfriends) after watching him unexpectedly on television. And I thought....why not? I am going to be the first to admit that this is a completely shallow relationship built purely on my needs and fantasies. He is sexy, has nice shoulders, and commands the stage like he is a pirate. He is all I have ever dreamed of in an imaginary boyfriend. I am sure that there will be more on this topic later, but now I am going to load up 'Save Me, San Francisco' and play "Marry Me" on repeat as I fall asleep. Life is good.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Average Cheating~

"The only thing worse than finding out your boyfriend is cheating on you with a beautiful woman is finding out he's cheating on you with an average woman."

This is the first line in a book that I just bought called "Hope In A Jar". I am only a few chapters in, but I am pretty sure it is going to make the list of recommended books...if only for the amusing description of how Allie found her boyfriend in bed and issuing denials. I loved it.

Not only did I love it, but I loved the first line. I related to the first line. I have been cheated on once. Well, more than once, but by just one man. And he cheated with the same dirty girl over and over. So I am not terribly sure how I should count that? Anyway...after that I think that I made my position very clear on cheating and either scared future boyfriends faithful or just made better boyfriend choices, not really sure which one applies. The end result of no more cheaters was good either way.

Brad cheated on me with a very average, slightly grubby looking girl that was his subordinate at work. Not to make myself sound like all that and a bag of chips, but she definitely wasn't an upgrade. She wasn't prettier than me or smarter than me or more successful than me. She was just some average girl with dishwater blond hair that didn't make him be responsible for ironing his own work shirts or picking up his own dinner dishes.

I am not saying that I would have been happy exactly if he had cheated with a gorgeous girl, but at least there would have been a little understanding. If I could have looked at her and saw that she was way hotter than me I would have still been pissed but it would have made more sense. Cheating on me with this dingy girl was almost like an insult to this was the best he could come up with. I was married to a man that couldn't even get a random hot girl to have an affair with him. He had to pick up this nondescript girl who's paycheck he handed out. How dumb must I have been to have been married to a man that had to do that? It is just one more example of how I have the worst judgement in men ever. Maybe I need to let all my readers pick my next boyfriend....

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Ghosts In My House~

So once upon a time an ex-boyfriend and I used to watch this cheesy ghost adventures show on tv and it was kind of a running joke that watching it at night was a good way to get me to spend the night because I hated watching something creepy and then going home to my dark house all alone. I'm not going to say that I am afraid of the dark, it is more that I am jittery about what might lurk IN the dark.

When Brad and I split, I lived on my own for the very first time and I was a slight basketcase. I can admit this and laugh now, but back then I hated being in the house at night alone. I would go through the house after dinner and close every window and put wooden dining room chairs under the doorknobs to the basement door and my bedroom door. I would sleep with the cordless phone on the pillow next to me and it took several weeks before I was able to fall asleep without lying there worrying over every creak of the house.

It has been years since I put a chair under a doorknob and I rarely bother to lift my head off the pillow for any noise anymore - I just assume it is one of my animals and nod back off - but tonight I swear that I kept seeing moving shadows. Not that I ever caught sight of anything specific, but I always felt like something was shifting in my peripheral vision. I had all the lights off while catching up on my DVR and probably about three times I was convinced that I saw movement in the shadows. I still wasn't worried enough to actually close a window or investigate, but I laughed at myself and briefly considered emailing my ex to tell him I was being stalked by a ghost. Briefly.

So at the end of the night I gathered up my bedtime toys (my laptop, cell phone, book of choice, bottled water...what were you thinking?) and headed to my room on the other end of the house. I fed the cat, settled the dogs on the bed where they insist on sleeping no matter how much floor room I give them, and went to use the bathroom before I went to bed myself. My bathroom really isn't very big - it is like a baby rectangle with a window at one end. Right in front of the window is the toilet and a shelving unit for all my girly stuff. So I am sitting on the top of the toilet seat, digging through a basket for some hand my dead quiet, ghost infested house....and all of a sudden the curtain behind my head moves and something lands on my arm. I screamed, jumped up, got lotion everywhere, and had a mini little panic attack.....all as my cat jumped down from the back of the toilet and looked at me like I had lost my mind as he nonchalantly made his way to his food dish.

I am now safely ensconced in my bedroom on the one-fifth of the mattress that my dogs left me, bedroom door shut, cell phone charging within arm reach....and I am calling it a victory that I didn't bring a dining room chair in with me for the door knob.

Stolen Blog Entry~

Once again, I stole this from someone else. I can't help it. Thievery makes me happy.

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters
By Portia Nelson

Chapter One
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost .... I am helpless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter Two
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend that I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I am in this same place.
But, it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter Three
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in ... it's a habit ... but, my eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

Chapter Four
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter Five
I walk down another street.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

It's A Small World After All~

Here is what I love about living in a small town. I love that I can be driving around town at lunch time and pass my dad on the street driving the other way. I love that I can go to Meijers and run into an old friend or an old neighbor and spend ten minutes catching up. I love that I could be dropped randomly anywhere in the city and know where I was and the best way to get home.

Here is what I don't love about living in a small town. At some point, everyone is connected to everyone. I feel like it is possible that I personally know ninety percent of all the thirty year olds in town. OK- maybe not that high. But I probably am connected indirectly - through a family member or an old boyfriend or a class at school - to at least eighty percent of them. This makes dating a little interesting because everyone you date has connections to someone else.

So it should come as no surprise that a little while ago I was absently scrolling through my Facebook wall and saw flirts from Chet with some girl that I know online. Not that I object to him flirting or to this girl in particular, but I really don't want to look at it. If we lived in Detroit or Chicago it would have been over and we wouldn't have had to even cross paths again. Sadly, that is not the case. Especially sad since I love Chicago....

So I did the mature, adult thing....and deleted that girl from my account so I didn't have to look at it. (ok, maybe not the most mature thing, but it was definitely in my best interest) Chet and I have been over almost as long as we were together - I have completely burned all the candles I took with me when we split - and while I have moved on, I would rather not see proof that he has as well. It is better for my ego to think he is wallowing in self doubt and loneliness while I am auditioning new sexy shoulders and enjoying myself. Speaking of sexy shoulders....

Another potentially awkward aspect of dating in small towns is that waters get muddied. I had a fairly entertaining evening with an interesting man a little while ago. Nothing serious, but definitely fun. A week later I was given a set of rules by....let's call her Leah. Leah felt like it was in her best interest to make sure that if I continued to dally with this guy then I had to forsake all other men in her social circle to avoid any awkwardness. So I just unknowingly forfeited all my rights to swim in this dating pool for random moments with this guy. Granted, he is clever and passed the shoulder audition, but it is highly doubtful that he is going to be the guy to get me a tiara and a boa for my birthday celebration every year. Hopefully there is not a tiara buying man in Leah's social circle because I just unwittingly closed that door with the sexy shoulder guy.

Maybe I need to consider moving to Chicago....

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Red Flags~

I like to read dating articles online. I don't know why, they never tell me anything new, and I never really follow any advice anyway - but the headlines pop up on my home page and inevitable I check them out. It amuses me a bit that someone gets paid to write an article telling woman that they should make eye contact and smile to get a man's attention. Really? I want to be paid to write an article telling people how not to trip. My steps will be to tie your shoes and step over objects in your path. That is about as relevant as the smiling advice. In my mind, if you are not smiling or meeting people's eyes when you talk then maybe you have a bigger problem than just finding a date. But that is just my opinion, of course. My degree in psychology is definitely of the armchair variety.

I digress.

In this article that I read a woman wrote an entire book on how to tell if you are marrying the wrong guy and what kind of red flags to look for. An ENTIRE book! Not that I don't believe that there are that many things wrong to watch out for - because that is entirely true - but writing an entire book takes a relatively long time. That is a lot of effort put into what is basically common sense. Not that I am one to talk - I have literally no common sense. I have to learn everything through trial and error. The following is what I learned~

1. Don't date any men that have not lived on their own at least sometime in their life. This is true for so many reasons that I cannot even list them all. I will share one story to make my point. When I first moved in with Brad we had an argument because I didn't move the furniture every single time I vacuumed like his mom did. (She didn't by the way, I called her) Men need to live alone to appreciate the things that you do.

2. Don't date any men that never drive, never offer to pay, or never let you see where they live. I once had a man let me pay for everything on a first date and drive him around all evening. I don't mind paying or driving, but I am never going to be attracted to a man that wants me to be the man on a first date.

3. Any stranger that randomly contacts you on any social networking site? Wierdo. (Or painfully lonely - also not a good dating quality) If he has time to sit around online and search female profiles then he isn't using that time to have a life. Block him.

4. Forget checking out men's bathrooms - I have yet to meet a single man that has a clean bathroom. The first time you go to a man's place - check his kitchen out. If he has nothing in his fridge but beer and nothing in his cupboards but chips - he is still a wanna be frat boy or he is getting his meals from another female. Or he is starving I suppose. All bad options.

5. If you don't click with a man when you kiss...nothing else is going to click either. Quit while you are ahead. Chemistry cannot be forced no matter how many dreams, people, or values you have in common.

6. If you have to work at it too hard - conversation, intimacy, finding common ground- then something is wrong. Your gut knows it but your brain is in denial. Walk away.

7. If a man is intimidated by your successes, your talents, or your high heels - move on. He has issues of his own to deal with before he is going to be ready to appreciate your awesomeness.

8. If your friends and family don't like him - he will never be able to make you happy. You will always be going back and forth between them and him. No matter how great you click, this will stress you out and wear you down.

I am sure there are more, but these are a good beginning. For the rest you will need to buy the book.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

It Is Good To Be Home~

So this week, I went on vacation. And here is what I learned about myself. I am becoming more of a control freak and more set in my ways every single day. What was once a quirky self-defense method against the insanity that was my life is now a full fledged character flaw that I need to examine and possibly try and change. OR....maybe this is just crazy talk after a long, three day vacation with many, many people - none of whom appreciated my superb organizational skills.

I went camping with my parents, my younger teenage sister and cousin, my brother and his wife and their toddler, Lola, and my two tween cousins. To be fair, they were not all there at exactly the same time...but the end result was that I was in a tent with five other people for three nights in a row. On the same lot as my parents in the camper directly next to the tent. Sharing coolers, food, towels, bug spray, fire, and breathing space with anyone that wanted - including sharing my immediate fresh air with a strange gospel singing family in the next site over that screamed at their children about how they would rip off their faces if they didn't behave. (I don't claim to be sinless and am certainly not casting stones, but there was some serious contradiction in their lifestyle and their harmonies)

Anyone, well any mainly self sufficient adult, would have had some stressful moments in this situation. To a control freak like me, this was like a abnormally nimble group of spider monkeys invaded my house and rearranged everything and by the time I fixed it, they had moved it all again and again. I tried hard to not be crazy and bitchy, but was told repeatedly that I was failing in the attempt. When I woke up Saturday with a headache, I was told in about five seconds flat that it was ok if I went home early and that they could pack up without me. Go home. Feel better. We don't want you to be here and be miserable. The speed at which my normal suck-it-up Polack family was wishing me into my own bed makes me doubt their goodwill and think they were just ready to not have to listen to me reiterate what was allowed in each cooler any more than they already had. (How hard is it to keep condiments, meat, and pop separated? Is it a crime to not want to grab a jar of pickles every time I want a Diet Coke?) They were probably toasting my departure with marshmallows and root beer before I even left the campground. But that is okay. Interestingly enough, by the time I was back on the highway heading for home I felt good enough to open the sunroof, crank up the tunes and sing along to Counting Crows all the way home.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Things That Annoy Me: Part Two~

All the people that talk about how BP isn't getting the oil cleaned up fast enough and that they should do more and do it now.

Do you seriously think that they want this process to go slowly? Like all the BP head honchos are sitting there in their office watching the news coverage and swapping strategies:

"Look at all the free publicity we are getting! Can we keep it flowing for another month or two? I think it will really jack up our profits."

"Name recognition is at an all time high. I think we should just hold off on the clean up for a little bit longer."

" we really want to waste all our secret oil clean-up toys on this little spill? We may want to wait and use them on a really big one."


Should you be able to complain that regulations weren't properly in place or that they weren't be careful enough with our natural resources? Sure. But they weren't and it happened. Nothing we do or say or bitch about changes that. The best way to move forward is to pour our energy and our resources - and BP's energy and resources - into doing the best we can to limit the effect it has and to get it under control as quickly as we can. I am not by any means saying we can't be outraged or rant...but let's do it intelligently.