Friday, July 24, 2009

If Only Ikea Sold Disposable Boyfriends As Well

It’s a very rare occasion that I actually miss having a boyfriend.

I am not a huge fan of sharing a bed with someone, so I don’t wake up wishing there was someone next to me.

I don’t travel all that much, so I am almost never in an airport, walking through the crowd of people wanting a significant other to run up to me, hug me and tell me how much he missed me.

I big hands, so I have never needed someone to open a jar for me.

Finally, I am very good with power tools.

However, yesterday I wanted a boyfriend; I was at Ikea.

See my mom has had me running all sorts of errands for her this past week. Yesterday, her Tati-Do list took me to Ikea to purchase a new kitchen island for her. Now, on the surface, Ikea seems like the ideal place for single people. A warehouse filled with disposable furniture -- perfect for the commitment-phobic single person that is not ready to pluck down serious dinero for a couch that could last a lifetime.

However, the self-serve area is really a place for two (or more) people.

I found the island with no problem, wrote down the aisle and bin number and then wandered through the showroom to see all the other wonderful things I could build myself. Finally I found myself in the self-serve area surrounded by large, flat boxes. I located a cart and wheeled it to aisle 19 bin 28 (or something like that). That is when I learned that the new addition to my mom’s kitchen came in two boxes.

I sighed. Looked at the boxes, looked at my cart, looked back at the boxes and that is when it happened. I wanted a boyfriend there with me. I wanted someone to help me pull the heavy box from the pile and put it on my cart. I wanted someone to help me steer the unruly cart to the check-out area. I wanted someone to wait with the cart as I ran out to the parking lot to get the car and pull it into the loading area.

And then when I got to the car I realized I really wanted a boyfriend. My whole body slumped as I closed my eyes and wondered why it didn’t occur to me sooner that I would need someone with me on this mission from mom.

I silently cursed Ikea and their anti-single ways.

But then the universe showed me just how silly I was being.

Before I began my struggle to get the first box into the back of my mom’s jeep, an old, overweight man that was wearing a knee brace asked me if I wanted help. I looked at him and almost laughed. Instead, I thanked him but assured him I could handle it. I then bent over and muscled the heaviest box into the trunk.

Monday, July 20, 2009

No Child Left Behind (Me in A Restaurant)

Last night my father and I decided to go out for dinner. And, being that we are in Allentown, our choices were limited to big box chain restaurants. We went in, were greeted half a dozen times by very friendly teenagers and taken to a booth in the bar area.

Seated in the booth behind me was a family -- not really surprising since most of these big box places cater to families. Standing on the bench that shared a divider with me was a little girl, just as cute as can be, blowing raspberries, and screaming and acting as a child that is bored and wants to do something else.

I tried to ignore it. I really did.

Then the child started reaching over the divider for my phone screaming to her mom, “Mommy, what’s that? Mommy, what’s that?”

My smile tightened.

My father was watching the baseball game.

Then the child was standing behind me, blowing raspberries and the thought that her spit was ending up in my hair made me grimace.

The mother continued talking to her friends. My father continued to watch baseball.

Then the child took her toy off the table and started banging it on the divider and then her mother’s head.

The banging got my dad’s attention. He rolled his eyes as I sighed, “seriously?”

The mother, who either heard my not so subtle “Seriously?” or was annoyed by the banging on her head told her daughter to turn around and sit down.

The little girl didn’t and the mother continued her conversation.

I ordered a beer.

If we were in a nicer place, I would have asked the hostess to move us somewhere quieter. However, there was no where quieter in this restaurant. I sighed again, longing for the days when people were allowed to smoke in places like this. Even when I wasn’t smoking, I would always ask for the smoking section -- because the smoking section was always blessedly free of children.

But now that smoking was banned in all public places -- screaming toddlers are everywhere: even at happy hour -- but that is a subject for another blog all together.

Still, this longing for a smoking section got me thinking. What if restaurants started offering a no children section? They could house people like me (with low annoyance tolerances) in the smaller, secluded sections that used to house their smokers. The rest of the place could welcome people that don’t mind screaming kids or mothers and fathers that have the ability to tune out their children.

Now, the Duchess is always talking about our great idea that will make us millions. Well, I am not sure this idea could make me millions, but it is at least as great as the Snuggie -- and so I am sharing it with all of you. Hopefully some courageous restaurateur will read this and start the trend.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

When Shopping For A Chastity Belt Do You Use Your Pant’s Size Or Your Panty’s Size?

Someone may have finally convinced me that having sex early in a budding relationship isn’t necessarily a good thing.

No, if wasn’t Rachel Greenwald of Why He Didn’t Call You Back fame. I am still struggling through her book that reads like an economics text -- complete with supply and demand charts and equations to solve for scarcity. I wonder if she thinks by using big, fancy words her readers will be tricked into thinking she is smart and thus right. Don’t worry readers, I won’t be so easily fooled.

It is a contributor to Psychology Today that has me shopping for chastity belts.

Bridie brought this month’s issue with her to the shore, suggesting I read the article “Five Dating Shake-Ups for Singles; you know for blog fodder, not my personal use. My dating life is fine and doesn’t need any shaking up.

Oh, and before you ask, yes having a best friend that is also a mental health therapist totally rocks. For one thing, whenever my family is acting really crazy, I can call her and she can confirm that I am indeed sane.

So I read the article, at the pool mind you, and no as off putting as that may sound, no one approached me.

As the title suggests these five steps are ways to get you out of your dating rut. The author admits that there is no one formula to finding the one and states that if you are struggling, here are five reasons that could explain why.

The first shake-up is my favorite “Get Out The *%#$&C*# Door.” It seems so simple, but really, I have been complaining (not to you obviously but to my friends) about how hard it is to meet anyone. Then I think back to the last week or so and I realize that most of my nights have been spent in my apartment watching TV. And while I have developed special feelings for one of the special agents on NCIS, I am pretty sure he will never reciprocate these feelings.

The second I have read before (though I can’t remember where -- they are all starting to blend together) -- that we must stop being so choosy or choosing the wrong ones. Mind you -- the word is choosy, not picky. The blames lies in our over abundance of options -- from online dating to speed dating to meeting people in bars. Men and women have gone from settling (which is bad) to waiting for the unrealistic (which is also bad).

The fourth was never my problem, “Heed Early Clues to Character.” I am a big fan of breaking up after one red flag or three yellow flags. The fifth “Push Yourself Out of Your Patterns” clearly doesn’t apply to me as we have already discussed, I need more rules and patterns, not less.

And I admit, I rolled my eyes at the third shake-up: “Don’t Fall In Love With Love” and almost skipped it. I know girls like this and let me tell you I am not one of them. About halfway through, I did another eye roll when a doctor starts talking about heeding your mother’s advice and not jumping into bed with someone too soon into the relationship.

Why? I wanted to scream. But he said nothing about cows or milk so I kept reading.

According to John Van Epp, author of How Not to Marry a Jerk our brains release oxytocin during sex that spurs bonding and feelings of connection. So early on in a relationship, oh say date three, when you may still be unsure if you like this guy or girl, having sex with him or her may make you think there is more there, there.

I threw the magazine down in my lap. Crap, this part sounded familiar.

See, I have often wondered, when it came to Wharton, if I really liked him or if I really liked having sex with him. I mean, duh, I know I liked having sex with him. My question is was it ever anything more. Had we waited, would we have ever made it to that level or by having sex with him did I jump from my fence of indecision (you know the one that butts up against the land of disinterest) to firmly in the land of like.

Unfortunately there is no way back to the fence. At least there wasn’t for me. Once I was in the land of like it was all emotions and confusion and orgasms and before I knew it I was hurt by a guy that I wasn’t even sure I could like-like before I slept with him.

And as I am never one to repeat the same mistake twice (once I admit it is a mistake,that is. If I think I am right, hell, I will keep going until some doctor in a magazine proves me wrong), I guess I am going to have to reconsider my third date’s the charm policy.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Get The Eff Away From Me

Every single-girl has been asked at one time or another, “How is it that you are still single?”

Well, over the Fourth of July holiday, I found my answer.

I am completely unapproachable.

As you know we were at Salty’s place at the shore. And as no visit to North Wildwood would be complete without a trip to Keenan’s, we started our Friday night off there.

We weren’t there for five minutes when we settled on a spot and were trying to decide if we wanted to hang out or if we should move on after that round. While discussions were going on, a 15 year-old who must have used her cousin's ID to get into the place, reached around me (yes she was standing next to me) to tap Bridie on the shoulder (Bridie was sitting on the other side of me), leaned across me and asked, “Would you mind taking our picture?”

Bridie and I both turned to see five or six other teenagers standing behind us. Bridie looked at me, got down off her bar stool and accepted the girl’s camera.

I had to moved so Bridie could stand where I was standing to take the picture.

The girls all thanked her and Bridie turned back to our group. “Did that girl really just reach around you, into our circle to pick me to take her picture?”

“Right? Why wouldn’t she just ask me? I was waiting for her to.”

Then there was silence as it seemed my friends finally had the opportunity to tell me what has been bothering them for some time now. Pepper was the first to speak. “I guess you are just unapproachable.”

What? Me?

At first I thought this was complete crap. After all, I am approached all the time. Just the other day I was waiting for the El to Center City when a woman that could only speak four words of English (Chinatown, thank, you and eleven -- and actually I think I taught her eleven) asked me which train would take her and her friend to Chinatown. She then thanked me a dozen or so times, even after I put my iPod back on and her friend found someone on the train that could speak Chinese.

Which is when it occurred to me -- most of the times that I am approached, I am trying to avoid talking to people. And just like The Rules Girls told me the way to catch a man is by acting as if you can’t stand him, I think the key to being approachable is looking as if you might get sick if someone were to come up and talk to you.

So this weekend I think I am going to take Pepper to a bar (because she offered to grade me on my approachability) along with my iPod and a book with a scary title like Bitch: In Praise of Difficult Women, and just sit there and scowl.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Bikini For Everybody

I wear bikinis. Not because I have a smokin’ hot body that I love to show off -- I have what calls an “athletic build.” No, I wear bikinis because I have a very short torso and one piece suits make me look like an over-sized toddler.

The thing is, I never looked good in a bikini either. But I just faked the confidence, knowing that there was always going to be someone that looked worse than me in a bikini nearby and if there wasn’t, my friends and family would love me despite my thick thighs and tummy rolls.

I didn’t go into Victoria’s Secret looking for a new bikini. I went in looking for a pretty bra that didn’t have padding or underwire. As you know, I have a small chest and I think one of the benefits of such should be not enduring such hardships during the dog days of summer.

Unfortunately, it seems most bra manufacturers disagree. I can find pretty bras that are so well padded they stand up on their own or comfortable no frills bras that are not cute and really are almost embarrassingly ugly.

So, after the sales girl tried to sell me on a matronly looking bra that almost met my requirements (“this isn’t padding so much as it’s lining”), I wandered over to the bathing suit section. Earlier I had purchased a strapless dress and thought it would be nice to find a strapless bikini that would help get rid of my halter top tan lines.

I found two with potential. I walked to the back of the store to the dressing rooms.

I put on the first bikini; a yellow number with crazy strings that cross and tie in the back. I was skeptical, but tried it on anyway figuring if it looked ridiculous I might feel better about myself in the second one -- a very typical bandeau style top in bright pink.

To my surprise, I didn’t hate it. I turned and looked at my rear and still didn’t hate it. I let out my gut (I had been sucking it in up to this point) and still didn’t hate it. I decided I had to still be high from the five miles I ran that morning and so I pulled it off to try on the next one.

But I didn’t love the second bikini. It made me look and feel the same way all my other bikinis did. My waist looked too thick as did my thighs. I pulled it off and put the yellow one back on.

Miraculously my body transformed back into one that I could be proud of. I twisted and turned some more, smiling at what I saw. Can you believe it? I was in a dressing room, in a bathing suit, smiling.

Sure I have read (and memorized) all the magazine articles about finding the perfect two piece to match your body. I just never believed them. But here I was standing in a skimpy two-piece looking forward to wearing it in public.

And I did. Of course, by public I merely mean in front of Salty, the Duchess and Bridie at Salty’s pool in North Wildwood. But still, my confidence never faltered nor did it ever have to be faked. Now I am thinking about going online and buying a couple more of this exact suit. Just in case I never find this sort of happiness with a bikini again.