Friday, October 30, 2009

Forget Swine Flu -- There Is Another Epidemic Sweeping The Nation

I can confirm a third reported case of Boy Disease.

I spoke with Grace last week. I wanted to check in and make sure she was okay. Turns out she wasn’t feeling so hot. See, the guy she had been seeing recently, and whom she was friends with for a lot longer, suddenly dropped off the map. No calls, no texts no emails. Nothing. I could hear her smile as she said, “Part of me hopes he has the Swine Flu, at least that would explain things.”

I shook my head. Boy Disease.

Like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, BD encompasses a variety of symptoms ranging from inability to tell time to inability to commit to a color for the bedroom. Also, like CFS, there is no treatment. Sometimes, the afflicted will wake up one morning, completely cured. But more likely than not, they just continue wreaking havoc and driving the women that try to love them crazy.

Unfortunately there is not much you can do to combat the spread of this disease. Just sigh, drink lots of wine, bitch to your friends and hope that the next guy you meet will be immune.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Kill Your TV

I’m beginning to think television might be the work of the devil.

During my date with Mr. Tuesday night he mentioned that until recently he didn’t have a TV. He also discussed all the amazing things he has done already in his life -- seriously at one point I started to wonder if I wasn’t on a date with a smarter Forrest Gump.

Then, on my way home from San Francisco a guy that was sitting behind me was chatting up the good-looking girl sitting next to him. He too had a long list of accomplishments and adventures. Later in the conversation, when the television screens lowered and an old Office started showing, she asked him if he was a fan of the show. He answered, “I’ve never seen it. I don’t own a TV.”

At this point Lana and I were both trying to get to sleep and thus annoyed by the budding couples chit-chat. Lana opened her eyes as did I and we gave each other knowing looks, complete with raised eyebrows.

See, because I share everything with my mom and Lana (and the world) she knew that Mr. Tuesday Night didn’t have a TV. And as his exploits were already under suspicion by my mom, Lana and I started to wonder if it was really all that unbelievable. That maybe, when you don’t have TV sucking up all your time, you find time to do all sorts of other things. With this second young, world traveller now behind us, claiming he never watched TV, it was no longer mere speculation -- we have a pattern developing here.

Now, when Bridie and I first moved in together, we didn’t have cable. At the time it was a matter of money. Neither of us had it before (well, Bridie did, but I think she was stealing it) and so we didn’t see a reason to get it at our new pad. But those two months or so that we didn’t have cable didn’t prove all that productive for either of us. In fact all we really managed to accomplish was a lot of wine drinking.

Still there was no ignoring this new evidence. I wonder if I could do it, get rid of my cable live without TV. It would sure save me a bundle -- oh my god, I just did the math and it would save me more than $1000 a year. That’s a Marc Jacobs bag.

I would probably also lose weight. I do a lot of snacking on my couch, while watching Law & Order reruns. Plus, most of the time that I am watching, I am sitting. And I just read recently that the amount of sitting we do has dramatically increased over the last several years and with that, so has our collective waistlines.

Not to mention with all me free time I just might finish my novel.

I just may have to try this.

Monday, October 26, 2009

I Run Like A Girl -- And I’m Damn Proud

My freshman year of college I was in a women’s studies class when the professor asked us to go around the room and introduce ourselves, as is customary for the first day of class. It got to my turn and I smiled and said, “Hi, my name is Tatiana, I’m a first year Journalism, Public Relations and Advertising major.” I then smiled again.

Before the next woman could begin, another student, who had spoken earlier but whose name I could not remember piped up, “People like you disgust me.”

I was startled. What did I say? Oh my god did I accidentally say freshman instead of fresh-person?

She continued, “You call yourself a feminist, but you’re not. You look like they want you to, you act like they want you to, you even dress the way they want you to. And one day you will take a job, maybe even an important woman, and you will think you are doing something great for the women’s movement but really you are just a pawn in the men’s game.”

Wow, she got all of that from my name, year and major. I wanted to say as much to her, but I didn’t. She was ugly and wouldn’t understand.

By ugly I don’t mean she was actually ugly. Truthfully, she was quite attractive. But she was one of those women that believed if she brushed her hair and put on mascara she would no longer be taken seriously. She looked at me and saw my clean hair, my freshly glossed lips and my clothes that weren’t purchased second-hand and decided I couldn’t be taken seriously.

And that pissed me off, but it wasn’t the first time (nor would it be the last) that I ran into a woman like her.

I have also experienced a similar phenomenon -- I’m not sure if it is a double standard or a dichotomy or what -- in athletics. You know (or maybe you don’t) that I was a student athlete and it always got under my skin when people were surprised to learn I was attending school on an athletic scholarship because I was so girly.


Yes, I’m girly. I love being girly. I do my hair. I wear perfume. I get dressed up and put on shoes that aren’t comfortable but look really good. I just don’t understand what any of this has to do with my ability to row a boat. Or more recently my ability to run very far.

This is why I loved running Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco last weekend. Finally a race that celebrates being a girl. The slogan was “Run Like a Girl” the colors were all purples and pinks and teals. There was an entire mile where they handed out chocolate and in lieu of a finisher’s medal, we all got finishers’ necklaces by Tiffany’s, handed to us by firefighters dressed in tuxedos. The race also heralded girl power -- about half way through the 26.2 (because the point two is very important) race, the runners came to a bridge wearing a banner reminding us all that the god of victory is a goddess. How cool is that?

Instead of separating the woman and the athlete, the race (which was also open to men) appealed to the woman in the athlete and it was awesome. Not only the chocolate mile or the signs that said “Run Like a Girl” “Dance Like a Girl” or (my personal favorite “Overcome Like a Girl” but also the volunteers that cheered us on with signs that read “Pain is temporary. Tiffany’s is forever” or shouts of “After this run you are going to look so good in all your outfits, even the ones you don’t like.”

Because what is wrong with wanting to run to look good. I mean, in addition to all the other reasons we run.

Monday, October 12, 2009

It’s Official: Romance is Dead

When do you think is too soon in a new relationship to ask for a DNA swab?

I have a first date tomorrow night. And while yes, my past history would strongly indicate that this will be a first and last date, you all know I have been voraciously devouring dating and relationship advice books and so I am feeling very confident that this could be the beginning of something truly wonderful and magnificent.

Or at the very least that there will be a second date.

And while every book I have read has taught me to withhold sex until I get a commitment, none of them have mentioned when it is okay to ask for DNA to test for sexual compatibility.

What? You didn’t know you could test for that?

Okay, so neither did I. But then I read an article in this month’s Women’s Health and apparently, now you can. There are even Internet dating sites straight out of the movie Gattaca that use this testing as a way of matching you with potential life partners.

According to the article there are three pairs of genes that make up MHC (Major Histocompatibility Complex) and the more different yours and your mates MHC the more you will enjoy each other’s scent, more you will enjoy having sex with each other, and the more likely you are to produce healthier offspring. No lie. 

Back in 1994 some really bored scientists discovered (using a bunch of smelly t-shirts) that women have the natural ability to detect men with opposite MHC as the women sniffing t-shirts belonging to guys with opposite MHC and similar MHC found those t-shirts worn by men with opposite MHC sexier. That is, women who were not on the Pill. Women on the Pill choose poorly, picking t-shirts belonging to men with similar MHC. But really, aren’t women on the Pill always making poor choices?

The problem, of course, is that it is allergy season. And despite my homeopathic remedies, I have been really stuffy lately. So, I am not entirely sure I can rely on my sniffer to determine if Mr. Tuesday Night and I will be good in bed together. Hence, my question about the DNA swab.

I imagine I could find out the old fashion way, but god, now that seems so 1993.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Everybody Else Is Doing It

I have decided to fill the void left by Miley Cyrus this week when she decided to quit Twitter. So, for those of you that can’t get enough of me here, feel free to follow me here. You will have to bear with me in the beginning though -- I am a Twitter virgin.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Fashion Emergency

Bridie will tell you, I am a bit of a victim when it comes to fashion. I try and try to resist the latest trends, but I almost always fail.

For instance, I promised I would never wear skinny jeans, now I own two pair and am looking for a third.

I swore up and down I would never tuck those jeans into boots, alas I have bought boots for just that reason.

At least the new tunic/long sweater craze looks good with both of the above.

This of course brought on a whole new set of problems for me last weekend.

So the skinny jeans I was wearing last weekend were on their very last day before I had to wash them (read shrink them back to being too tight). The sweater I was wearing over them required a skinny belt to give me some shape. And here is where it gets tricky. As I stood at my sink, applying my mascara, I had to keep hiking up my jeans. Normally, I would just slide on a belt to hold them up, but I was already wearing a belt -- a completely useless, just there to look good and make my waist look slimmer, skinny, shiny belt.

I cursed that I didn’t have any suspenders and debated wearing a second belt. Unfortunately all my belts had sizable buckles and I was convinced one would be able to see the bump under my sweater. Which made me worry that it was simply unacceptable to wear two belts.

I picked up my iPhone. My first inclination was to text someone to see if anyone else had run into this problem. I thought better of it as I didn’t want any of my friends making fun of me. I then looked at all my applications -- I have an application that can put together a recipe based on the ingredients in my fridge. I have an application that can tell me where the closest coffee shop is. I have an application that can transfer my contact information by bumping another iPhone. But where is the app for fashion emergencies?

This only made matters worse. Now, in addition to my sagging bottom, I was wishing I had the technological wherewithal to develop a fashion emergency app.

Just as I was contemplating changing into a skirt and tights and ankle booties, Marie texted to see what I was wearing. Marie is as much a victim as I am (the other day she was wearing harem pants) and so I felt safe confiding in her.

She responded immediately -- throw them in the dryer for ten minutes.

Man, she is so smart. I wonder if she knows how to develop an iPhone app.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Thanks Mom And Dad for Never Making Me Eat Margarine for Dinner

Anyone reading this blog regularly would think I only read self-help books and teen vampire novels. But that is not true. I love to read and read lots of different types of books. In fact, most of my Friday nights recently have involved a good book, a nice glass of red wine and me curled up on my couch.

My mom and I were talking about books one day, when she asked if I had read the Glass Castle, a memoir by Jeannette Wells a writer and correspondent for MSNBC. I hadn’t and she started to tell me about it. I promised to pick it up and low and behold, the next time I was at Borders it was sitting on the table of buy one get one half off books -- along with My Sister’s Keeper, another book I have been meaning to read.

So, I picked up the book, picked up a bottle of carmenere, got into my jammies and settled in for the night.

Now, I didn’t have an ideal childhood. Both my parents worked for the most part, we ate a lot of fast food, my mom and dad were rarely at any of my field hockey games in middle school and sometimes they fought about money or my brother or sister (never me because I was an angel). I even had to take the bus home from school on occasion. However, after reading Jeannette’s story, my family look like the Cleavers.

What struck me about her memoir, beyond the poverty and craziness and determination of her and her siblings, was that Jeannette wasn’t blaming her parents. She wasn’t even criticizing them. She didn’t whine about how hard she had it, nor did she allow her tough childhood to hinder her in becoming a very successful adult. She was just telling her story and in the end, her and her siblings managed to get away from the madness and make happy lives for themselves.

That is one thing that really bothers me -- when adults blame their parents for their problems. Mind you, I recognize that there are the outliers -- Mackenzie Phillips for example (and yes, I have read her memoir as well), but for the rest of us, I have to believe our parents did the best they could with what they had and we have to forgive them for their shortcomings and move on.
I mean, even in his craziness and alcoholism, Jeannette’s father managed some truly remarkable dad moments. You read these scenes and you see that he loves his daughter and are rooting for him to clean himself up and bring his family back from the ashes. Then his disease takes control again and you wonder how anyone could stand by this man.

But if Jeannette can forgive and still love her mother and father despite all that they put her and her siblings through, then I suppose I can forgive my dad for once telling me I looked like a linebacker in my new jeans and my mother for buying me a Thighmaster when I didn’t make the volleyball team.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Oh, Dave, Dave, Dave, Dave, Dave

In the interest of full disclosure I should start out by saying that I love David Letterman and, if given the chance, probably would have let him do creepy things to me.

That being said, I am torn about this whole controversy. My feminist side is telling me I should be outraged. But the thing is, I’m not, or at least, I’m not angry for the reasons one would think.

When the news first broke on his show, I immediately thought of his wife and child and wondered how he could do this to them. I’m still a bit shocked that that angle hasn’t been covered more by the media. Is that really how far our society has fallen that cheating on your wife is no longer disgusting enough? We need to go digging for something worse?

And what is this something worse? So far none of the women (and are we even sure there were multiple women) have come forward to complain about sexual harassment. I know that it is not easy for women to make a complaint, despite all the discrimination and harassment policies that corporate America has put in place. I also know that, even with all these policies forbidding it, men and women (and men and men and women and women) still enter into consensual sexual relationships with coworkers. We spend eight hours or more in our offices. We have lunch with these people. We go to happy hour with these people. Is it any wonder that we sometimes fall into bed with these people. And if your bedfellow happens to be your boss, does that automatically mean you were pressured to be there. Absolutely not. Sometimes you are just hot for your boss. Much the way we were all once hot for a teacher.

Which brings me to the one thing that really did get my blood up the other day. I was watching one of the news shows when a female anchor implied that this intern got perks, including appearing on TV and traveling to the Olympics, because she was sleeping with Dave. And that others, those that didn’t get to go to the Olympics, might have a case for sexual harassment.

Wow. That is quite a leap.

I mean, yes, I know others will have a cause of action if in fact this intern did receive a promotion or special assignments due to her sexual relationship with the boss. However, we know nothing about this affair yet. We don’t know when it began or how long it lasted. They could have started sleeping together after her trip to the Olympics for all we know. Yet, already we are ready to label this woman as one of those girls. You know, those girls. Those girls that are willing to do anything it takes to get to the top.

And maybe I am extra sensitive to this because I was once accused of being one of those girls.

It was my second gig in a law firm. There was a lot of turnover of assistants, so the women that had been there for a while didn’t warm up to the new girl until she had been there for six months or so. Lucky for me, the lawyers that worked there were very welcoming. And since most of them were closer to my age than the other assistants we became very friendly.

As a result of these friendships I was given better assignments and put on interesting projects. The other assistants saw this and suggested that I was getting special attention because I was sleeping with one of the attorneys.

Oddly enough, this rumor was started by an assistant that was sleeping with one of the lawyers. But I guess that is neither here nor there.

Of course, the major difference between me and Dave’s main squeeze is that I wasn’t sleeping with the boss or any of my coworkers for that matter. She did and so maybe she deserves being labeled as someone that slept her way to the top.

And let me tell you, fair or not, that label will stick with her long after this scandal has passed.