Friday, February 27, 2009

Fear Kills

I was going to write a sort of funny, caustic post about a guy I met a couple nights ago from and get a popular vote on something from said date that annoyed me. And which was the subject of heated debate between myself and Kristin and Abram. But something changed. Me. I hope.

A little context about said date. First, calling it a date is speaking very loosely in the first place. He approached me on match with an email that pretty much said, our profiles don't line us up as a match (mostly religion), but I'm open to new friends, wanna meet? His actual email was much more clever and witty than what you just read and after a trillion emails with messages like "You're hot.", "Open up and let a black man in", and "I rilly think u'll like me." his was so refreshing and smart that I thought it was worth the effort to make a new friend.

We met up for hot chocolate. We had good conversation and it turns out that he used to skip class in high school with my brother Ryan. Small world. And this makes him very cool in my eyes. I thought he was interesting, attractive, and nice. The sign off was a bit awkward--umm..nice meeting you. Dead space. Bye. What do you say when the terms of the meeting are so ambiguous?

I drove home and a few minutes later got an email from him. It said he enjoyed the chat and the time, but knew the end was awkward because usually you decide to go on a date again or not, but what do you say to a potential friend? Agreed. But I think there was a part of me that expected him to be so swept away by me he didn't want to be just friends. (I know. I know.) This was the kicker though - he ended with, "So if you ever want to kill some time, I would welcome another soda (although you won't be able to count on me to buy the drink next time :p )"

My initial reaction was annoyance. Why?

1. Because why would he just want to jump to friends (and yes, I know we were meeting as friends - but come on.) was there something wrong with me? (OK-too much Bachelor TV, I know)

and 2....was he annoyed I let him pay for my drink and this was his way of letting me know that him paying wasn't happening in the future cause we were just friends?? I see the smiley face, but it sounds like a jab.

Pause. Think about the email. What would your reaction have been? Honestly. Tell me. I felt like he was saying I should have paid for myself, and that in his offer of friendship, he wanted to be clear that the same mixup (of him paying) didn't happen again.) I felt a little stupid truth be told. Like I had mis-stepped.

I told Kristin and Abram I was annoyed. They said I was an idiot. Of course we often have a difference of opinion on that particular point so it didn't hold a ton of weight with me. I did decide to sleep on it though. Mostly based on their strong reaction to my reaction.

The next day I responded to his email and decided to not be annoyed and to trust his good intentions instead of the typical and obviously easier route to follow. In my email I told him I would love to be friends. I did ask if he was upset that I didn't offer to pay for my drink, but only by way of apology if I wasn't being considerate. I also couldn't resist asking why in his mind the being friends route made the most sense. I told him since we were friends and all I should be able to ask.

I got a wonderful response from him that put me to shame. First he made it totally clear that he had no problem paying, and in fact felt like men should pay on dates as it is the chivalrous thing to do. So, Kristin and Abram--my bad. You two were right--it was a joke. I'm sad that it was my own insecurity that made me read it otherwise.

Second he wrote a really, really nice paragraph about how he laughed out loud when he read my question about "friends" because he considered me to be the total package and that he found me enchanting. I love that word btw. Guys should definitely use it more. He said it really was the religion thing and the role it plays in his life that made him think friends was the right path. I think he was being honest because he said that if he read my commitment to my religion wrong to let him know and we could try a date instead.

And so I am left with a couple thoughts. (Besides the obvious facts that I have self esteem issues and I watch too much TV.)

1. Trust people's best intentions and don't always read in the worst. I get this and work on it and yet constantly revert back to the dark side. If I had responded sarcastically or out of anger, it would have produced a much different result AND for no good reason since my assumptions were all false. All of them.

2. This is where we have to divert a little from "He's just not that in to you" logic ladies. And even though this isn't a romantic relationship, the logic follows. I think that movie/book speaks truth. Word. BUT... I also think there are times we handicap ourselves. Meaning, he may be interested and would pursue, maybe even has, and our low self-esteem or our negative assumptions kill the deal. The rules only apply when you are healthy and acting from a place of strength.

This was a good lesson for me. I'm sad that I reacted from a place of fear - but I'm glad I forced myself to wait and try on trust for size in my response. I'm thrilled that he is open and honest and that he's making smart decisions based on what he knows about us - which bodes well for a good friendship. And I'm curious (And A.L. you know who you are) how many of you would have reacted like me when you saw the first email. It's easy to say you wouldn't have now that you know the end of the story--but let's get some honesty here. Go.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Bachelor Enlightenment? No.

This is Jillian. Cute, right?

Did you watch The Bachelor last night? I didn't, but I caught up tonight. A little follow up to the angry rant of last week.

On this week's show, there was one moment that I was especially pleased to see. Thrilled in fact. And hopeful that I would finally get some answers.

Alas, just like all the political debates I painfully sat through this past year I was left with fewer answers than I started with.

At any rate, this highlight, this magical moment if you will, was when Chris asked our ever-lovin' bachelor why he couldn't make it happen with Jillian. And then pushed him on it a couple times.

OF COURSE Mr. Bachelor gave the standard answer, "We had everything going for us, she would be my best friend, but the chemistry just wasn't there."

Chris didn't buy what he was selling. (Bravo Chris, bravo.) He said, "So, you're in the hot tub with Jillian — your friend — in New Zealand... things got really heated.'' And when Jason tries to brush it off by saying that there was passion, just not enough for a marriage, Harrison isn't buying what he's selling: ''What you did in the hot tub almost consummated marriage,'' and ''Cinemax called — they said it was too hot."

Thank you Chris, and bless you Chris for saying what millions of women have asked men for years with no satisfactory response. Or maybe just me. At any rate like Chris I was confused, and I was fooled.

So riddle me this people. What does the bachelor (and for that matter all bachelors across the country) mean when he says there is no physical attraction? Cause I'll tell you this--when I have no physical attraction, the LAST thing I'm gonna do is make out with said person in a hot tub---in fact I'm not even going to let them get arm's length. I'll be pulling the old "high five" at the end of the date move that I learned from Sean Hedquist.

That' attraction. So if anyone has ANY insight - please. Please. Enlighten me.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Auntie update

Two cute moments that needed to be recorded for grams and gramps in Australia.

I went over to Lisa and Shawn's house on Friday night and they were having pizza with another family. Shawn asked who wanted to say grace on the food and Max jumped up real quick-like and began to pray.

I have to admit that as he was saying the blessing I was really straining to understand what the heck he was saying, but I only caught the words food, safe and play. As he said Amen, the kid sitting across the table from him responded loudly and clearly with, "I didn't understand a word that came out of his mouth!"

I had to agree, but thought it could have been addressed a little more kindly.

Second moment really captures Aviva, Kristin's 1 year old little girl. Kristin is more and more thrilled every time she sees a new obnoxious behavior from this child because she thinks it's just like she was. We'll see how much she likes it when that attitude is directed at her from a teenage daughter.

Anyway, Aviva and ginormous cousin Ben, just 7 months older were playing. A boy came over and took their toy and pushed Ben. Ben, the huge, older one started crying because he has a very tender little heart. Aviva on the other hand was on fire. As I scooped her up off the floor she flung her body around so she could see over my shoulder where the little boy had gone and the whole time she was screaming a wild epithet of indistinguishable words at this boy. None of us needed a translator however. It was perfectly clear that little boy was getting a serious piece of her mind.

So while Kristin's kids are different ages, and different genders they do share one thing in common. No one can understand a WORD either of them says. And they're real cute. And they got big time attitude. But mostly, you can't understand 'em.

Monday, February 16, 2009

I Hate the Bachelor

Why won't the guy EVER chose the best friend? Why is it always most attraction, least substance??? Dude says he wants a good mother for his son. It is also clear they (oh- the girl he kicked off last night -Jillian) have the best, easiest connection. And this girl is attractive. Did you see her in the hot tub?

I realize this sounds bitter, and yes, in fact it is. And yes, you're right again, I AM always the best friend. So yes, it's personal. BUT I will never understand why a guy doesn't want to be with a girl that is actually an equal and a friend who understands the big words and makes him laugh and have fun.

His final words, "I was totally falling for her, but I just wasn't in love with her." Read: In-fatuated or In lust.

While I do hate him now. And I'm sure I will hate him even more when next week they bring back Deanna, and he inevitably wants that major LAMO publicity hog back, for now I am glad at least that this validates everything I have always thought about how love works. I finally have confirmation that it can never be the friend. Even if you are attracted enough to sleep with her like our Bachelor did -- it's just not ENOUGH attraction. (sorry, couldn't resist the last jab.) So, bless the Bachelor for that. For the standard of truth it boldly and proudly bears.

I feel better. Thanks.

(p.s. I know every week is like "the most dramatic week EVER, but did you SEE the previews for the final show??)

I Heart Vampires

It's a toss on which holiday usually has the biggest letdown effect - New Years or Valentine's Day. This year they were both delightful because I figured out the secret. Zero expectations. I pretty much forgot it WAS V-day until...about..well, OK, 8:30 am.

That's when I was awakened to a gentle little tap at my door. And what was behind door number one? Only the best surprise ever. (No, not Dr. McDreamy and a diamond ring, but close.) Max and Kristin holding a tray with breakfast in bed. Talk about a great start to the day! I doubt I could find a man who would have thought to do that for me on V-day. And there sure as shootin' isn't one who would look so darned cute with his lips pursed and eyes rolled to the top of his head as he lisped out, "Happy Vawentines day Aunt Shawi."

The morning was great, but good news - it only continued to improve until it was topped off by the real icing on the cake. Shawn, Lisa, Kristin, Abram and I went to see the only movie that authentically captures the essence of Eternal Love - Twilight. I tried to convince Abram and Kristin to dress up like Vampires so we could surprise Shawn and Lisa when we walked in, but they didn't go for it. Probably just cause we were short on time. Otherwise, why not?

After the movie we captured our adventure on film for posterity. The first pose know.. nice.

I said, "Hey, let's pose like vampires now." Unfortunately, when the picture snapped you can see that only one and a half of us understood the idea.

Kristin and Abram agreed to do another pose (I'm sure they were just caught off guard by the sudden impulse), but Shawn REFUSED. Not grudgingly agreed. Not slowly persuaded. Just wouldn't do it. We had to pull his arm just to get him in the picture at all. You can see that Lisa and I really captured the essence of Vampiring here (think Alice in the shocking fire scene. Kristin was all about it too, but I have to believe if Abram was in character he wouldn't look quite so happy about the fatal bite she was laying on him.
Shawn I did an injustice to though. Upon reflection, and if you've seen the movie you know what I'm talking about, he actually truly captures the personality and role of one of the leading vampires - Rosalie. Nice work Shawn. I just didn't get it at the time.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Gift of Love

I like thinking of gifts for people. I like giving gifts and watching them react because they really, really like it. Fortunately a holiday is coming up. Unfortunately it’s Valentine’s Day which is not a day I typically have anyone to give a gift to.

I don’t see why I shouldn’t still have the fun of finding fun gifts anyway for those of you who actually do have someone you just can’t wait to show how much you love. With a very special gift. Like boxers embroidered with your name in pink. Seriously? Who loves this gift? The guy you give the boxers with the hearts on them or you because you love male “lingerie”? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

So here’s some other options I found. And don’t be afraid to do as I will this holiday and buy something for the person you should love the most…yourself.

For the woman in your life (aka yourself.):

As the small print says, this tiny heart actually grows in the shape of a pearl. Sterling silver. Not a bad price for something so delicate and...rare. $42. Much better than the $4200 Tiffany earrings you'd also like. (Click HERE to buy/see.)

For your...err.. romantic side. Victoria's Secret has cleverly come up with a new line in their "Booty Shop." In case you don't get the play on beauty and booty - well, that's what's going on. Try the kissing set and use it as an excuse to help make necessary adjustments...or try the more risque chocolate fondue option which btw, they advertise as fat free which should eliminate any associated guilt at this purchase, right? If you get option two, well, that's your business. Capiche? (Click HERE to buy/see)

For the man in your life:

Option one gives you the chance to say, "hey, I support your silly inner child and as much as I don't want to scratch up my dining room table, well, you live here too." Think you can do it? I doubt it too. But maybe you have an old table in the basement he could use? A fun gift for kids too! A Bargain at $27.99 (Click HERE)

Option Two is something any guy (and I base this only on my brother in law Abram) would love to get and wear proudly. Unlike the awesome pink heart boxers. This site has fantastic T-shirts with funny sayings. Pick the one that best suits your guy. A few samples pictured. I realize that the New Mexico one may sound borderline racist, but if you don't read it and laugh out loud...well, you're just not admitting it. USA T is for my brother Garrett while in Australia. YOU know what I'm talking about GQ. (Click HERE)

For anyone who wants to use this day as an excuse to feed your chocolate animal inside:

Valentine's Day is supposed to be about chocolate and flowers, so lest I neglect the most important of the's a treat I can't wait to sink my teeth in to. Love Nuts. And odd name, but who am I to judge?

I haven't tried it yet, but the combination of sweet, salty and chocolate with nuts seems impossible to screw up. In the interest of good investigative journalism, I have ordered some to try and will let you know in a future post if they live up to expectation.
Here's the description: Hand roasted NUTS, quickly caramelized, with a pinch of salt from the sea, then tossed in our delicious signature chocolate blend, topped off with extra brut cocoa powder.
A bag of your favorite kind are $9.99, but the double boxed portion shown above is $21.99. However, the Tiffany colored ribbon alone assures me that I won't be disappointed. (Click HERE)

For your little girl:

This is a great gift for a daughter or friend. Your initial or hers— and a crown charm cause hey, she’s your little princess! Personalization never looked better than this Pick Up Sticks double sided Initial Charm. One side has an elegant white script inital on a black background, the flip side shows a crowned block initial surrounded by laurel leaves. (Click HERE)

Finally, for those of you who like I always do, break up with your boyfriend the week before Valentine's day:

How about a Heart Knife Block? Pull that knife out of your heart! Are you unlucky in love and wishing you could extract your revenge on that loser ex of yours? Unfortunately, using the knife on your ex will land you in jail but taking out your rage on the Heart Knife Block might be just what the heart doctor ordered.
The Heart Knife Block is made out of ABS plastic and contains 5 stainless steel knives. Standing at 11.25”x12”x7” the Heart Knife Block includes a 8” chef knife, 8” bread knife, 8” carving knife, 5” utility knife, and a 3.5” paring knife.
It's a slightly pricier gift at $119.95, but I think you'll get your money's worth in the therapy time it may save you. (Click HERE)

For a cheaper version, check out the $69.99 "ex-voodoo" set.

Getting a Grip

Ramblings ahead. You've been warned.

Why on earth, can't a girl go shopping the first week of February and find one black boot in any size except 6 or 10? This is Michigan right? I mean winter will be lasting for 4 more months, right? Shocking. And please. It only makes me angry to see shop windows filled with yellow and pink sleeveless cotton tops and dresses and..shorts? Are you kidding? It's like, it IS taunting us. Don't act like if I buy that outfit I can wear it anytime in the near future. It's sick.

Yesterday Kristin and I went to the big mall up in Troy. Thus the rant above. I had a full day of my sister to shop with, eat with, and watch "He's just not that into you" with. It was one of my most delightful days in the past year and reminded me how glad I am to have her as my sister. There's no one you can laugh with in quite the same way who knows ALL your history.

On the way home from shopping, there was a bit of a mishap. We drove in Kristin and Abram's totally awesome 19__ who knows what Honda accord. It shakes while you drive, the door handle is falling off, it smells like mildew and has a permanent engine light on. For starters. I was thrilled with the way it vibrated my thighs all the way to the mall cause I figured I might be working off some cellulite that way, but I digress.

As we were driving home to go to a movie all of a sudden a new sound and a wholly new shaking motion got thrown in to the mix. I wondered aloud what it might be and Kristin in a panicked tone exclaimed it was probably the tire. We pulled off and sure enough, it was flat as a pancake.

We were obviously disappointed that this meant we would miss our movie and be sitting on the side of the road for who knows how long until help arrived (and roadside assistance is not known for it's prompt arrival) and Kristin was also a little perturbed at the fact that this would happen at all.

I have to say, I quite enjoyed it. We decided to list the good things like it wasn't freezing like usual, there was plenty of gas in the car to keep the heat on, and of course the fact that she had me to entertain her. (that may or may not have been on the list.) Things kept looking up from there.

Help arrived in 20 minutes instead of 40 or 60, and we had a great time joking around with the guy as he removed the tire with witty comments like "Do you want Kristin to get out of the car before you jack it up--she's pretty heavy." And, "Do you know where we can make a fair trade - one husband for four tires." Oh, me. The good times were rolling then.

Honestly, we laughed a lot, we found out there was a movie 3o min later we could still make and we arrived in a good mood. So good Kristin even shoved my face in a drinking fountain while I was drinking and tried not to choke on the water in her mouth she enjoyed it so much.

So see? Lemons can be made out of lemonade. And on top of all that I learned many a valuable lesson from the movie He's Just not that into you, which I highly recommend for all single ladies. Especially the ones who are just coming out of a breakup, or who should be. The message- let's stop lying to each other and ourselves. And stop telling stories about someone you know who against all odds made it work out to try and give hope to someone it is clearly NOT going to work out for. Exception my friends, not the rule.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Killing the Laughing Hyena

A couple nights ago I did my first ever yoga class. My previous extensive experience with yoga involved a video tape I used once. Well, used for about 10 minutes before deciding it was too hard on my arms. Largely because I have never had even one muscle in said arms.

I want to love yoga because of the book Eat, Pray, Love. The author made it part of her personal hero's journey and it sounded so inspiring - I wanted to take the same journey. It's also (as any good People, US Weekly, or Star reader knows) a part of every celebrity's exercise regime and you can see how awesome their bodies are, so...yes, why not?

My fear is the boredom. And the challenge to my muscle-less arms. But I can take some challenge if I'm not watching the clock, and let's face it, yoga seems dead slow. Especially to someone who makes running her exercise of choice because you can get the most bang for your buck in the shortest amount of time.

Fast forward to Wednesday night. I got my mat out, situated it at the back of the room (Thanks Michelle for getting us off the front row!) and got in my tree pose as I surveyed the room for people who looked they would be less flexible than me. Yes, this makes me feel better.

I was pleasantly surprised by the level of the class. It wasn't too hard for an inexperienced beginner like me to catch on to, but it wasn't super easy either. My arms did shake and tremble with every pose, but she never held it so long that I had to give up. Well, except once-ish.

The thing that's most unique to me about yoga (and by unique I mean crazy) is that new-agey spiritual thing they got going on. It always seemed a little silly and over the top to me how they talk to you and coach you with all this positive energy and use find your happy place language like, "if you wish, you can put your arm through your legs and balance on your head for more of a challenge, but only if you feel ready and at peace...etc.." "This is your time. Feel your way. Love yourself. Hug a tree." Whatever. You know, the kind of garbage I'm talking about. No one says that to me while I'm pounding away on the treadmill. In fact my internal conversation is more like this, "Can't you run any faster you fat slob?? Sheesh, that old lady with the white hair is lapping you!"

It was a bit hard for me to swallow, in fact my downward dog wanted to become laughing hyena, but I kept thinking about it (you have lots of time to think in yoga) and realized...hey, this may be a good thing. All this crazy positive energy. Maybe the problem is me and what they're saying isn't so much cheesy as much as I'm just not used to hearing affirmation or even giving it to myself. Hello.

So I'm going to keep giving yoga a go. And I'm going to tune out the noise in my head and accept those cheesy affirmations and embrace them until I can take the word cheesy off the front of that statement every time I think about it. Who knows? Maybe I'll become a more positive person, and wouldn't that be amazing? (No answer from you Tricia.)

So at the end of the class, when I was laying on my back and thinking about how amazing it was that I did downward dog for more than 30 seconds without passing out, she said, "Let's thank our bodies now (pause...) for taking us through this entire class." I couldn't have said it better myself. And I embraced that affirmation...sans cheese.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Chocolate - My Winter Friend

Every once in a while something pops up in my inbox that is so irresistible, I am forced to immediately purchase it. That happened today. (I free myself from all chocolate diet restrictions in the winter because the way I see it, I'm suffering so much I deserve somethin' special to get me through.)

Witness two must-haves for any person who has ever thought the ultimate dream come true might be living in a house all made of chocolate or taking a chocolate bath, or simply getting hooked up to a chocolate i.v. I don't know, they just popped in to my head.


Instant Chocolate Fondue AND Hot Chocolate on a stick. French pots 'o chocolate you put in your microwave for a few minutes OR dark and/or hazelnut chunks of goodness on a stick that you stir in to your hot milk for Belgian style hot cocoa. Decadent? Yes. Do I deserve it? Yes. Sign me up for a dozen. Check out these delicacies here.

I love Jesus but I drink a little.

Last night Kristin asked me if I had read our friend Kristen's blog lately and seen the Ellen clip she posted. I told her I hadn't, but I knew right away what she must have posted--my favorite person EVER to be on Ellen's show - Gladys.

I saw it live last year, but after re-watching it (thanks Kristen!) I thought it was worth posting in case any of you missed it. Stick with the whole thing because it gets progressively more hilarious. With Ellen's reactions just adding icing on the cake. (Gladys 1).

For those of you who end up adoring her as much as I do, here (Gladys 2) is her latest conversation with Ellen this year. And another favorite when she talks about American Idol. (Gladys 3)

To hear her is to love her.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Last Chance Harvey

Since I'm on a movie kick and all, I thought I'd stay on topic for one more post.

This weekend I actually burrowed my way through all the snow and ice to a movie theater to see the film "Last Chance Harvey."

For those of you who haven't seen it, it stars Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson and tells the story of a man in his 50/60's who loses his job, his relationship with his daughter and his flight and is forced to confront what the next step is and why this happened. He meets Emma who is a 40ish single woman and the forge an unlikely bond. (Check out preview here: Trailer )

I read the reviews before going and the critics mostly panned the movie itself, although the praised the acting. The reviews from the users were pretty mixed with some enjoying it and others saying it was dreadfully slow and boring. I went with tentative expectations.

I thought the story was subtle and well-crafted, I thought the characters were fantastic in their very average-ness. Each one was wholly believable, and you could relate to at least one and know someone like the others. There was nothing beautiful or amazing about them in any way (Note: Emma Thompson's horrible scrunchy worn everywhere!) - they were truly just living average lives and more than halfway through said lives too. By the end, I was in love. With the movie and with them. I shed a few tears, I felt pride, embarrassment, joy, hope, frustration-- a whole realm of emotions I usually leave behind when I enter the theater.

Here's the interesting thing. As I walked out the door to the movie thinking how much I liked it, a couple in front of me were talking and they said to each other, "That movie was horrible. It was the slowest ever. So boring." Were we in the same theater? I guess that explains the mixed reviews.

So here's my question to you-- if you've seen it please weigh in. I want to find out if it really was as good as I thought, or if it might be that I just liked it because I'm a few years away from being a 40 year old spinster myself and just related. Thoughts?


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