Monday, August 30, 2010

Girl Next Door~

I am a fairly average girl. I am not gorgeous or ugly. I am not brilliant or stupid. I am not strikingly tall or blindly redheaded or hilariously funny. I am somewhere in the middle of all the extremes. I don’t command attention when I enter a room. I don’t stand out in a crowd. I don’t turn heads on the street or inspire poets or have a fan club. I am the girl next door.

During one of my shameful episodes of reading worthless dating articles online, an article gave the advice that you should never tell someone that you are average. That you never want to be the girl next door. The premise being that you are so different from anyone else they have ever dated that they need to keep seeing you or they will never find anyone like you ever again. In my life, I have found that this dating rule was valid when I was younger. Men inevitably went for the prettier, flirtier, skinnier, louder girl that stood out. The one that held center court at parties and made men puff out their chests when they walked by.

However, now that I am in my thirties....this rule is pretty much crap. I think the very fact that I am girl next door is now a man magnet. Like I have been doused in some kind of strange, primal man attractant as men get older and start feeling the urge to settle down. All of a sudden, the fact that I am worthy of parent introduction is in my favor. In fact, all of the things that made me once nice, but boring, are all points in my favor. Most men now want someone good with kids, someone that doesn't party like it is 1999 every night, someone that hasn't lost brain cells to wild drug experimentation in their misspent youth.

I like being average. However, this is not to say that I think I am ordinary. I have tons of things in my favor that make me amazing and I am not afraid to say it. Just because I am not outrageous does not mean that I am not extraordinary. In fact....I am so different from anyone that you have ever known and if you don't keep reading will never find anyone like me again.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

My Life Playlist~

"Music takes us out of the actual and whispers to us dim secrets that startle our wonder as to who we are, and for what, whence, and whereto.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Some nights, music knocks me on my ass. It is usually not a planned event, mostly it sneaks up on me. Sometimes it is in a good way, sometimes a not so good way. I haven't really talked about it in my blog so much, but my life is run on playlists. I love music. I am kind of a jack of all trades music lover - I know a little bit about a lot of stuff, but am an expert in none. All I really know is what moves me personally. I spend hours trolling through my music program online searching for new artists I haven't met yet or haunting acoustic versions hiding in some obscure playlist somewhere - waiting for something to grab me by the throat and make my heart break. I have playlists for working out, playlists for roadtrips, playlists for wine drinking and rainy nights and hot date preparation. I sing in the shower, in the car, and in lullabies to my kids every day. Music just hits a part of me that nothing else does, that is the best way to explain it.

Because of this, there are songs for every major life event I have had. Songs that I associate with different time periods or different relationships. And those songs can pull emotions out of me and throw me back ten years in time within the first few measures of intro music. Great eighties songs that they played at the pool in the summer when I was a kid or old Bangles ballads they played for couple skates at Metro Skate. Old country love songs that were sang at my wedding. "Don't Stop Believing" is always Lola and I dancing somewhere. Counting Crows songs from my days with John Black. Alicia Keys and Pink party songs whenever Lola and I would be getting ready to go out on the town. Singing "Groovy Kind of Love" in the car with Chet on the way home from the casino one night. These are all memories that are always going to stay stuck in my memory and instantly throw me down memory lane when they come on. With that said - if I had to make a playlist of twenty songs that illustrate my life so is the result.

Papa Don't Preach - Madonna
Out of the Blue - Debbie Gibson
Toy Soldier - Markita
Once Bitten, Twice Shy - Great White
Cross My Heart - George Strait
Secret Garden - Bruce Springsteen
Come Away With Me - Norah Jones
Brown Eyed Girl - Jim Morrison
Don't Stop Believing - Journey
Suck My Kiss - RHCP
This Year's Love - David Gray
Open My Eyes - Buck Cherry
Hazy - Counting Crows
Like Red On A Rose - Alan Jackson
Trouble - Pink
Groovy Kind of Love - Phil Collins
Untitled - Domestic Problems
Can't Help Falling in Love - Elvis Presley
Sideways - Sheryl Crow
A Moment Changes Everything - David Gray

**Quick Disclaimer - these are not by any means my twenty favorite songs or even my favorite artists. I have no control over how stuck they are in my brain and am well aware that they form the most crazy, chaotic, non-cohesive playlist ever. Thus my life.

Meet Jack~

I completely want to act like an emotional, dramatic teenager right now and gush about my hot date. However, I am going to restrain myself (a little bit) and just gush like the emotional, dramatic thirtysomething that I am.

Technically, I suppose this wasn't really a 'hot date'. I had allergy symptoms all day so my voice sounded like sandpaper. We had zero plans to go out that night, so I had less than an hour to get ready and meet him - which meant no primping and no fussing - jeans and flipflops. We met at a local hole in the wall bar for a few drinks and then adjourned to his house to watch a movie. All very casual, very spur of the moment. But I had a great time. So great of a time that we are going to give this guy an alias. He is blogworthy. And I believe that he will be sticking around for a while at least. We are going to call him....Jack.

A little blog readers, you first heard of Jack in the last blog from Lola's wedding. Jack would be the guy I met at the bar with Stella after all the wedding festivities were over. We all went back to his house that night after last call and stayed up until probably five in the morning, getting into mild mischief. However, I have known him pretty much my entire life. He was the boy across the street the whole time I was growing up. We ran the neighborhood together for the first ten years of our life. Then we turned into teenagers, he tormented me for a few years as teenage boys are wont to do, and we just fell out of touch until now.

And now....I don't really know. I have zero expectations other than enjoying myself at this point in time. I have fun with him, we have chemistry, things are easy and we have plans for next weekend. Good enough for the moment.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Wedding Day...and Night~

So Lola's wedding was amazing, awesome, fantastic, and a bunch of other synonyms for 'great'. After all the insanity, everything wasn't perfect, but no one cared. We all let go of the stress and the worry the night before. I can tell you the exact moment it happened. After rehearsal dinner, my Mom and Lola and myself were driving home and Lucy called. My mom told her to hurry up and take a shower before bed. Lucy paused a moment and then said, "ok, but it IS my third shower today." We all busted out laughing like idiots and maybe just realized how crazy we were trying to manage everything - that Lucy was going to just take a third shower to avoid arguing with us. From that moment on, the weekend just rocked on forward with no real insanity.

My family is all truly happy to welcome The Cowboy officially to our family - and it was wonderful to see him and Lola exchange vows while trying not to cry. I like to see tears at weddings. Call me strange, but it makes me happy to see someone so in love that they can't physically hold it all in. I can't possibly tell the story of them, but when she gets back from her honeymoon, I will cajole Lola into telling her side of how she met The Cowboy and their wedding day fun.

For now, I will tell you my stories. I spent the majority of the evening dancing and socializing, with a healthy dose of drinking and cake eating thrown in. I did not trip once on my dress or over my heels, even after the drinking. I have fantastic pictures of all my family and friends. I hid behind the wedding cake because I did not want to be one of like three single adult females amidst a gaggle of children. (Lola thankfully only screamed my name a few times before giving up.) I had a drink spilled on me by someone that I didn't know who was so drunk that she was caught in the bathroom later washing an article of clothing in the sink. I slow danced with babies, did the polka with my mom and my aunts, and line danced to "Boot Scoot Boogie" with the bride. All in all a lovely, lovely evening. So lovely that when it was over I was too geared up to go home....thus beginning the second half of my story.

After the band said goodnight and Leah and I took care of our bridesmaid duties, we went to the pub with our dates and Stella. We both had zero shame in wearing our floor length gowns into the bar and a very happy DJ actually dedicated the song "Crazy Bitch" to the crazy dancing bridesmaid - in a good way of course. Leah decided to take the guys home after a short while because they were pretty drunk. Stella and I decided to stay and party on for a while. In the bar was a man that I have known almost my entire life. We had seen him when we were out on the sidewalk earlier in the evening and at some point in the evening, Stella and I ended up at the bar drinking and chatting with him and his friend. Now I have known him forever, but we were friends when we were kids. And by kids, I mean little kids. I haven't had a serious conversation with him in over a decade. It is a little surreal to have a heart to heart with someone that knows all your background, but none of your recent history. And I think I told him that about fifty times that night. So Stella starts chatting up his friend and we eventually hit up another bar with them and then go back to his house for munchies and rum. We were up until five in the morning- which I am sure contributed to my next day hangover. I think it likely that I will see him again, but have learned over time to never have expectations in this department, so time will tell. However it works out, I had an amazing, amazing wedding weekend with everyone. I have the best friends and family in the world and it was fantastic to be able to cut loose with all of them and to see Lola so freaking happy. Congratulations Lola baby! I love you and am so happy you snagged your Cowboy.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Lola and The Cowboy: Prelude

Congratulations to Lola and The Cowboy! They are officially hitched and happy! Yesterday was the wedding and subsequent bash and it was a seriously amazing day for all of us involved. I have a TON of stories that will not nearly fit into one blog. Also, I am honestly hungover today which makes me want to make this short and save the heavy lifting for a day when my eyes aren't crossed. Wedding hangovers sneak up on you because they are all day events. You don't keep track quite as well of what number you are on and all you have to do is walk past the bar and grab a new one. My problem was mixing. There was bubbly to toast with, lemonade drinks on the bus, shots when we entered the hall, wine with dinner, and whiskey....well, because it's whiskey. When I mix, I get sick. So today is recovery day. Which means you get just a few teases to keep you checking for the real thing. Tune in a few days from now for details of how someone was doing laundry in the bathroom, how Lucy ended up super clean, and how I ended up getting out of my bridesmaid dress....

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Lola's Last Night~

It is here. The big, tell-all bachelorette blog. Are you ready????

First things first. The ladies all need aliases. It is mandatory. Also, it is fun. Last night at dinner my blog was brought up and apparently aliases are crowd pleasers. We had some discussions about possible aliases, but no hard decisions were made. Probably because the alcohol was messing with our ability to stay on topic for very long. With that in mind, all my ladies have a few days to request an alias change from what I am about to give them if they so choose.

So this is our cast for the evening....myself, my sisters Lola (the bachelorette) and Leah, my sisters-in-law Fiona and Olive, my friends Sasha and Stella, and four new blog characters. Actually, I am lying. One of the 'new' characters is actually my friend Cindy, who has been mentioned in this blog many times - but always as 'my friend Cindy'. I repeatedly think of aliases for her and then forget what I picked. Starting today, she gets to be....Charlotte. Our three new blog inductees are Lola's best friend that lives out of state and is pretty much an honorary sister at this point, and two sisters that Lola and I know from high school. Lola's best friend gets to be...Hot Mama...and one of our sister friends really wanted to be known as MacGruber - so by default her sister gets to be MacKenzie. One brief note before moving on to our tale. We seriously have the best girl group ever. There is nothing that makes you feel better than a night out with a group of women that just get you. There is major power in a group of strong, fearless females - and ladies, I am proud to call you all members of my wolf pack.

So we kick off the night at a local restaurant that we all know and love. Partly because they have good food, but mostly because we like to go drink wine there. Hot Mama made us all adorable wine glasses - leaving us no choice but to fill them. We had a brand spanking new server who told us it was his first night on his own. And the poor kid gets a group of eleven shameless, noisy, wine drinking ladies looking for mischief. He held his own fairly well and we kept our harassment to a minimal level. We ate, we drank, we made Lola open lingerie in the dining room, and we had a man at the next table start unbuttoning his shirt for us. (We tried to talk him up onto a chair, but he demurred.) We took a gazillion pictures, laughed like idiots, had Lola pretend to be a waitress at a nearby table, and pretty much probably annoyed anyone that was looking for a quiet dinner out. Thankfully, the waitstaff is mostly familiar with us and fairly tolerant.

Having done our damage there, we migrated out into the neighborhood on foot, wine glasses in hand. We hit a handful of downtown bars for fill-ups and continue making Lola earn pretty thongs by doing things that would have been embarrassing when we were younger, but as mentioned before- we are all pretty much shameless now. Here are a few highlights from our walk:

  • Olive and Fiona trapping a man in the bar on his way out so that we could get a picture of them holding onto his suspender straps. This was really funny in person and he was a good sport.

  • Lola using the waitress to get a condom. This is only hysterical because she got it off the kid working the bar, but he made the waitress promise to keep it hush hush because his dad was in the bar and he didn't want him to know he gave her a condom. hahaha

  • We went to an outdoor bar on the river and there was some Jamaican music being naturally Lola and Olive went to the dance area and Lola played the bongo on Olive's pregnant belly for the bar. I laughed so hard I cried, but that may have been the whiskey leaking out my eyeballs.

And this was the tame part of the evening....

We all found our vehicles and the designated drivers herded us all together and we headed over the bridge into our city's little bar district. We started out at the martini bar, where Lola was supposed to find a guy that would give her his underwear. Instead she found a man that ripped off his underwear TAG for her. (He wears Tommy boxers if you were wondering) Then she had to sing a song to someone - so naturally we picked one of the band members that was on break for maximum embarrassment. She did good, although I still have no idea what song she was singing. We danced there for a bit to the decent cover band and then progressed to the pub up the street. I am going to admit that at this point my detail recollection is going to get fuzzy. By this time we have had wine, whiskey, martinis, and are back to whiskey. No one got messy drunk, but we were definitely all feeling good. I remember lots of dancing, lots of singing back at the band, searching for a bald head to kiss, (which never happened because the one guy we found was too sweaty - Lola refused) and at some point Lola opened up her last pair of panties - which Hot Mama thoughtfully made granny panties.

Right around then, we decide to go to the bar across the street where, let's be honest, we are considered the old people. It is the bar where you are most likely to be propositioned in disgusting ways or have drinks spilled on you. It is the bar with the biggest dance floor - which worked well for our party. It is also the bar that Lola and I used to frequent during the infamous summer of sinning. We lose Stella to a guy at the bar and head to the dance floor, periodically sending someone to check on her and make sure she didn't want to be saved. By the end of the evening the guy started saying profanity every time one of us came over, proving our theories about this bar, but Stella enjoyed him for the moment. We closed the bar down there, spending the last part of the night with a trio of wet behind the ears 21 year old kids who thought we were the coolest thing since sliced bread. One of them was so cute I wanted to stick him in my pocket and make him my pet - in a completely non-sexual way. He was adorable. He was completely agreeable to the plan, but I don't think I have the energy for caring for an overgrown boy laced up with hormones and beer. When we left him he was dancing around proudly wearing Lola's bright pink bachelorette sash. Stand up kid.

All in all, a fantastic evening. And most of us even stayed awake long enough to have last call. Although I wouldn't be lying if I said that we spent most of the last hour complaining about our heeled boots and trying to hold back yawns. Everyone had a great time, got home safe, and the story almost ends there. However, my phone rings off the hook at nine the next morning. Five minutes late my mom pulls in my driveway frantic that I need to go pick up my Jeep before they tow it. Apparently 911 dispatch called her to let her know my Jeep was parked in a parking lot that was scheduled to be re-paved that morning. What are the odds? Apparently, I should have answered my phone. So at 9:30 the morning after, I get dropped off in front of an group of construction workers in my pajama shorts and a tank top. Not the best way to heal a hangover. Just in case you were wondering.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Birth Control and the Catholic Church~

This one may annoy some people - namely my mother who is probably rolling her eyes back into her head as she reads this. Not because she thinks I am going to hell, but more that I am talking about birth control for everyone to see. It could be worse, Mom, I promise.

So Lola is getting married next week. (YEAH!!) We are very excited, happy, and honestly...somewhat strung out over this. The more and more weddings I am around, the more and more appealing the idea of eloping to the tropics becomes. Weddings turn otherwise normal brains spastic. Remember how I told you that Lola is my opposite half? The more practical, realistic, even-tempered half? The wedding planning has completely shifted that and turned my world on its axis. It is still mostly funny, rather than annoying, but I will happy when I get my pragmatic Lola back in two weeks.

However....the point of this blog post is that Lola and her hubby to be (from here on out to be known as The Cowboy) had to take marriage classes through the Catholic Church leading up to their ceremony. (For the sake of time and space, I will keep my opinions of marriage classes to myself.) They were given lessons on CD to listen to, and one of them was on Natural Family Planning (NFP) and the evils of birth control. For those of you unfamiliar with NFP - here is a brief explanation. The big picture is that if you are having sex, be prepared for God to zap you with a fertilized egg. However, if you wish to have some control over the timing of this, it is acceptable for a couple to plan out when they should have sex around the certain stages of a woman's menstrual cycle. (If you are unfamiliar with a woman's menstrual cycle and how this helps with birth control, I am not going to explain...go talk to your mom. Or google it.) The Church's big beef with birth control is that you are not giving yourself 100% to your partner, so you are withholding. And also that you are actively preventing life. For the record, I am seriously pro-life. If you tried to have a debate about it with me, you would find me one of those annoyingly, unbudging people that wouldn't care what kind of argument you threw at me - I would still hold fast to my view. Life is sacred, no matter what. That is not what this is about. This is about word play.

Look at the two main objections of the Catholic Church to birth control. One is you are withholding all of yourself from your partner, denying them true intimacy. If you are using NFP, then you are still denying and withholding from your partner - probably more often than if you were using a pill - because you deny them intimacy whenever it is a day in your cycle that is likely to result in pregnancy. So if you have a big fight and want to have make-up sex....sorry, no can do. Ovulating. Of course that is a simplified version, but as easily as we toss the phrase make-up sex around - there are days that intimacy really helps strengthen our relationships. It is important. And to deny yourself and your partner that based on the day of the month is not bringing you closer to God or to each other.

It is semantics as well when you look at trying to avoid creating life, which is big reason number two to avoid birth control. In NFP, you are actively NOT trying to get pregnant by only being intimate on certain days. That is the EXACT same motivation you have when you take a birth control pill. Purposely denying yourself intimacy with your partner on certain days is impeding conception just as much as swallowing a pill once a day. Both are conscious choices that you are making to avoid having a child. They both carry the same responsibility. Just because one is a pill and one is timing doesn't make you any closer to heaven. God obviously knows what you are up to. For those that say NFP is more natural because they aren't using alternative methods based on lab do you think you know how to count days every month? No where in the Bible do I remember God handing down a tablet with a menstrual cycle diagram. You have this information through science, the exact same kind of science that figured out how to create a birth control pill.

Now, if you choose to use NFP for your own reasons....more power to you. I am not saying everyone should be on birth control. But for the Church to judge people and try and dictate what goes on behind their bedroom door? I am not buying it. Holding on to outdated dogma does us no favors. There should be no shame in admitting that you are responsible about sex and know what is right for you as a couple - no matter how you choose to go about it. God knows what is in your heart and what is motivating you - no matter what method you choose to use.

Now, a quick disclaimer. I have a fifteen year old sister....Lucy....and Lucy recently told my Mom that she is getting lots of good life lessons from reading my blog. (Which I was unaware she was doing...) So Lucy - here is the life lesson from this. Don't have sex. Ever. And then you will never need to worry about any of this at all.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


So my imaginary life is part good/part not so good this week.

On the good side, my imaginary rocker boyfriend Pat has left me lots of wine suggestion messages on Facebook. How cool is that? Not only is he a bad ass stage pirate, but he drinks wine! Ours is a match made in imaginary heaven. I am still discovering (aka stalking) new things about him every day and I am more and more sure that I couldn't have created a better pretend relationship. BFF Jen may be playing mind games with me. Think back for a moment on the last conversation we had about Jen. She had just launched a new perfume, which I was half-heartedly interested in until I found out it had jasmine in it - which is one of my real favorite scents. So I accepted that I would probably be spending too much money on a bottle of new perfume that I didn't really need - and I began googling it. What I discovered is that it is exclusively available at Harrods. Which for any non-shopaholics out there, is NOT in the United States of America. Sadly. But I pushed onward and hit the online version, resigned myself to paying for international shipping and began to figure out pounds to dollars conversion. Then I get slapped by the fine print. "Select items not available for international shipping....PERFUME" Ok, so the word 'perfume' was not in all caps, but it would certainly have saved me fifteen minutes if it had been. So now, after all that, I am not going to be able to wear Jennifer Aniston. At least not at this point in time. If anyone is traveling abroad though....hook a girl up.