Monday, March 22, 2010

Stalking Stewart Bradley

I’m thinking about becoming a stalker. Hear me out.

You all know I have been really bored since finishing the novel. And once my synopsis is written it really will be nothing more than a waiting game. I can’t really do much because doing things costs money and so I have been trying to come up with something to do with all my free time.

So, I was sitting in the coffee shop, working on a release when I was alerted to a new Tweet. I Apple+tabbed over and lo and behold it was from Stewart Bradley asking which is better -- fruit flavored candy or chocolate. I’ll admit I was a bit disappointed as I returned to my release. I was hoping for more of a diversion than that. But then I started to think about answering him.

Now, because I have a touch of crazy in my family I really had to pause and think about this in ways most people wouldn’t. Most people would giggle (if they were a girl like me) and try to come up with something pithy or clever or sexy to say in response. Not me. I had to sit there and ask myself, “What would Bridie say?” And by “say” I don’t mean what would she say in response to Stewart, but what would she say to me when I told her this story.

Would she laugh? Would she ask me what the hell I was doing on Twitter? Would she tilt her head, grimace and ask, “Really?”

I shrugged my shoulder and decided she would probably ask, “Who is Stewart Bradley?” and decided it was okay to respond to him. For the record, my response was neither pithy or clever or sexy. Because as I responded a stroke of brilliance hit me.

I could start stalking Stewart Bradley.

I mean, how hard could it be? I start on Twitter -- responding every time he posts. Following everyone he follows and everyone that follows him. Then I could start hanging out in the “clubs” in Old City -- a friend told me that is where the Eagles' players like to hang out. Then, because I will probably have to move back to Allentown when my unemployment runs out (and I doubt stalking would pay the bills at first), I can hang out at the Lehigh practice field during training camp, wearing a number 55 bikini.

And here where the brilliant part comes in -- as I get better and better at stalking, you know once Stewart has blocked me on Twitter and filed for a restraining order against me, the world will be my oyster. I'll be offered my own reality show on E!, followed by a clothing line from a discount chain and then, finally, my very own book deal.

Sure it isn’t the most direct or obvious route to getting published, but I like to think outside the box. Besides, it is much more interesting than waiting by my mailbox for rejection letters.

Friday, March 19, 2010

It's War

My Mailbox is Taunting Me.

And not in a How-I-Got-Into-College sort of way. There aren't two men living inside, giving me crazy math problems every time I open it. Crazy math problems I can handle -- give me a graphing calculator and the Pythagorean theorem and there isn’t a velocity problem I can’t solve. But this -- this is just torture.

It started the other day. Now, typically my mailman comes between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. so I try to distract myself in the morning so I don’t go nuts. Sometimes that means running all my errands or obsessively cleaning my house or sitting in the coffee shop working.

Most days, however, it means simply sleeping until 10 a.m. and then watching TV until I hear the front door open and the rattle of the mailboxes being filled.

But on this day, I had gotten up early, ran errands and then went to the coffee shop. I opened my front door, casually turned to my mailbox, opened it and spied a thick envelop sitting all by itself.

“Oh, would you look at that. A thick envelop. That has to be good news.” My mailbox cooed.

I smiled, gingerly lifted the envelop and turned it over. Would today really be the day I got to send a mass text message to my friends and family letting them know my suffering was over.

Nope. It was from the IRS. For the record, a thick envelop from the IRS is never good news.

My mailbox laughed.

I scowled.

The next day was one of those days that I just stayed in bed -- which is understandable considering the events of the day before and all the alcohol I drank the previous night. I heard the call of the mailbox from my bedroom which was the only reason I got out of bed.

Two magazines -- InStyle and Women’s Health. As I was shutting the door my mailbox cackled, “I dog-eared that ‘Lose Belly Fat Now” article for you.” Later, when I finally had the energy to page through the magazines, I found an envelop tucked into the spine of my InStyle. Of course the back was facing me giving me hope that I was about to learn my fate from another school, but no, it was just a bill. I shook my fist in the general direction of my mailbox. After all, who else could be responsible for this.

The next day brought more bills.

The following day, as I put my key into my box, it smiled. “There’s an envelop in here from Cornell.”

As I whipped it open, it laughed, “Oh, but it’s a thin one.”

I slammed him shut and ran back into my apartment. There is no way I would let my mailbox see me cry.

Yesterday, I had been running errands all morning and was feeling pretty good about myself in general as I approached my nemesis.

“I’m pretty full, today,” it mocked.

I opened the door and started flipping through all the items. No letters from any schools, but a bunch of catalogs.

“Nothing good?”

I glared up at it.

“What about the J.Crew catalog? You love J.Crew.”

I closed the door.

“Oh, right. You don’t have a job, so you can’t buy anything.” It laughed.

I started to walk away.

“And you have a tax bill,” it laughed harder.

“Well then you don’t want to look at the last page of the Macy’s Super Shoe Spectacular circular.” It was laughing so hard tears were coming down the front of it. I could still hear it laughing at me in my kitchen where I threw the catalogs into the recycling bin.

Yesterday, however, it went too far.

I was sitting at my computer in the kitchen (my makeshift office since it started raining in my real office the other day and I haven’t moved everything back in place yet) when I heard the unmistakable sounds of the mailman. I waited my requisite 15 second after listening to the front door close, got up, grabbed my keys and went to face off with the evil in the vestibule.

“Oh, hey, Tati. How are you?”

“I’m good, Mailbox. Yourself?”

“Can’t complain.”

I should have known something was afoot. I opened it and it was completely empty. My face fell.

“What’s the matter?”

I bit my lip.

“Oh, were you expecting the new W with Jen and Gerry? I know. I was disappointed too when it didn’t show up today.”

I looked up at the mailbox.

“Oh. Oh. You were expecting a check.”

I swallowed hard. “Ne. Well, yes, but that’s not it.”

“Right. You still haven’t heard from all those schools yet. Well, maybe tomorrow.”

I narrowed my eyes, closed the door and walked back to my computer.

Half an hour later the front door opened again, the mailbox jostled again and then the front door opened and closed -- again.

I stood up and walked to the front door. “Mailbox? Who was that?”

“The mailman.”

I could almost hear the laughter in its voice.

“Then who was that earlier?”

“Your neighbor.”

I let out a deep breath, grabbed my keys and stomped to the foyer. Great, I thought, my mailbox recruited Mutt and Jeff (my downstairs neighbors) to assist in its terror plot. I swung the door open and saw a lonely piece of paperboard.

“Oh, what, another piece junk mail? I’m so sorry.” It said in a completely insincere tone.

I turned the announcement over. “No, actually,” I looked up. “It’s a coupon from For Eyes.” I showed my mailbox the notice. “35 percent off contacts. This rocks. Thanks, Mailbox.” I grinned and closed the door.

I could see steam coming out from its top.

A small victory, mind you, but right now I will take whatever I can get.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Are Guys Pigs Or Are Some Girls Asking For It?

Before I begin, let me just state for the record that by, “asking for it,” I’m not talking about rape. I am a very firm believer that no matter what a woman is wearing, she is never asking for a man to force himself on her.

That being said, I am beginning to wonder that maybe, sometimes, women are asking to be ogled, even treated like pieces of meat.

It was Friday at 5:00 p.m. on the corner of 18th and Market Streets. For those of you that don’t live in Philadelphia, it was cloudy, rainy, windy and approximately 40 degrees. I was hiding in a corner of a building, doing my best to protect myself from the wind, sipping a cup of hot tea I just picked up at the Fourbucks, when a woman turned the corner and brushed by me.

In her heels she was about an inch or so taller than me, so 5’10” (I was slouching). She was wearing a tank dress that was so short, it barely covered her ass. It was so short (and tight) that as she walked up 18th Street she was holding down the hem so it wouldn’t inch up. If it did inch up, she would have been committing a crime. But that wasn’t even the worst part. She was a triple-D or a double-E (when they get that big it is hard for me to tell) and the scoop in the front was doing nothing to hold those girls in place. In fact, really the only thing the dress was doing was covering her nipples. I wish I could tell you what her face looked like, but as I explained to Salty later, I couldn’t see past her boobs.

As I stood there, aghast, I noticed I wasn’t the only one. Women were fighting their umbrellas against the wind to stop and stare. Men were hitting each other in the arms to make sure they saw what they were seeing. I turned away, shaking my head and smiling, only to see one guy stopped, almost paralyzed, staring, hoping that she would lose her grip on her hem and he would catch a glimpse of more of her. Another man stopped and asked, “Did you catch that?” He nodded, “I’m still catching it.” Then they both watched her walk into the wind tunnel.

But not before the second guy said, “You know that girl over there totally knows what you are doing.” That girl over there, was me.

The first guy shook his head and said, “I don’t care.”

And thus, the internal struggle begins. The feminist side of me wanted to scream -- she’s not a piece of meat you pig and defend this stranger's right to wear whatever she felt like without be objectified. But then the pragmatist in me stepped in and said, “Tati, let’s be real here.” After all, she wasn’t wearing that outfit for comfort. It was freezing and the skirt was so short and tight she had to hold it in place -- from experience I know that that isn’t comfortable.

So she was looking for attention. And there is nothing wrong with that. But then one can’t get upset when men stop and gawk as you walk down the street. See, it’s a lot like planting flowers in your backyard. Yes, they are pretty and smell nice and make it so much lovelier out there when you are enjoying your morning coffee. Sadly, though they also bring bees. You have to take the good with the bad.

Of course, in this instance, she could have avoided all the onlookers had she simply put on a coat. She would have also prevented that cold I am sure she caught walking around like that in the cold, wet weather. But I’m not her mother.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Dispatches from The Online Dating World

For purposes of full disclosure, I still haven’t officially signed up for the online dating service. I just can’t. I know people have had success, but the more bozos without photos that send me icebreakers saying if I e-mailed them they would definitely respond, the more I think the membership fee would be better spent belly-up at a bar.

But I do think I ascertained another bit of advice for you out there fighting the good fight. I hypothesize that the more eager a suitor is to be in contact the less pure his intentions. I had one guy send me his phone number as an ice breaker -- saying I should hit him up because we could have lots of fun.

Interesting. My profile is exactly two sentences. What about those two sentences tells you that we would have lots of fun together? Could it be my proximity? I didn’t call him -- he was too fake-baked -- so I guess I will never know.

Then there was bachelor number two, who had a breadcrumb trail in his profile as to how I can contact him without joining the service. And because I thought he was cute and he was tall enough and because he lived in the city and wasn’t an unnatural shade of orange, I decided to go for it; after several days of humming and hawing that is.

So how many e-mails did it take before sex was mentioned? Four. Now, in fairness, he asked for the name of my novel and I told him -- Faking It, which obviously opens the door for some inappropriate comments. Responding back that he hopes I won’t have to fake it with him wasn’t what I had in mind though.

Still, I gave him another chance. Mostly because I have been bored out of my mind, that is when I’m not freaking out about grad schools and query letters. So having someone to e-mail was a pleasant distraction. He kept asking me about instant messenger and finally I relented. So, how long were we IMing before sex came up again? About four minutes.

The scary thing is, I think I read this bit of advice before, I just can’t remember where. But, because I didn’t take the advice seriously, I have to guess it came from either Dr. Phil or Steve Harvey. In this one instance, it would seem, they may have been on to something.

But hell, even fortune tellers get it right every once in a while.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Good Crush Hunting

Since high school I have been playing a game whenever I get a drink with a straw. Though, it’s not really a game. See, I carefully pull the straw from the wrapper, put the straw in my drink and then, while thinking about a guy I like, I tie the wrapper into a knot and pull on both ends. If there is no knot, than he is thinking about me too.

So, the other day I was at a diner, sitting in front of my diet soda, staring down at a straw wrapper that was almost tied. But I couldn’t pull the ends because my mind was totally blank. I could not think of a single guy that I was wondering if he was wondering about me.

Sure, I could have thought about Peyton or Stewart or Curtis, but since they don’t know me, they couldn’t possibly be thinking about me and thus a knot would surely appear. With a sigh, I put the twisted straw wrapper on the table and sipped my diet coke.

A girl without a crush is such a sad sorry sight. She no longer cares about calories consumed or the last time she shaved her legs. When my black bean burger arrived, I ate all the French fries. I couldn’t help myself.

Later, when I got home, I opened an e-mail from an online dating site I used many moons ago. The e-mail claimed they had new matches for me. I looked and it did seem like there was one guy with a little potential and so I clicked on the link. Unfortunately you have to create a profile before you can look at someone else’s. I posted the quickest profile possible, including two photos of myself, one with blonde hair one with long hair. I figured if any suitor asked I would explain to him that I now have long blonde hair so he will have to use his imagination. I wasn’t, under any circumstance, going to take a “MySpace” shot of myself. I don’t care what dating site experts say about those photos effectiveness. I think they look stupid.

So, my quickie profile was posted and I went back to Bachelor #1’s profile. He hasn’t been active for at least two weeks. Blast.

I closed out of the site and wished I had a pint of dairy-free ice cream.

The next day I got another email telling me that 67 men had viewed my profile and I had three new messages. I closed my eyes and took in a deep breath. What the heck, I thought. I need a new crush and I do know at least one couple that met online.

Man, was that a mistake.

Once I weeded through the guys without pictures and had headlines with the word “looking” in them -- for those of you that don’t know, that’s code for married or in a serious relationship. And the guys with the creepy, poorly lit webcam shots of themselves -- guys, seriously, nothing makes you look more like a serial kill than a webcam shot as your profile picture. I was left with a guy whose headline actually read something to the effect of, “Hunter Looking For A Trophy.”

Umm, excuse me, but aren’t “trophies” plaques of animal heads that hunters hang on the wall. I’m sorry, guys, I lied earlier. Nothing makes you look more like a serial killer than saying you are looking for the next head to hang on your wall. The webcam shot is the second creepiest thing you can do.

Thank goodness we are getting back on the water soon. If I can’t find a crush amongst rowers, than I really am in trouble.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

After Shocks After The Rose

Do any of you watch The Bachelor? More importantly, did any of you receive an out-of-the-blue text or phone call from an ex saying he was sorry or that he made a mistake Monday night? Because I think the two may be related.

Let me say, before I get too far into this post, that I don’t watch The Bachelor. Never have, and god-willing, never will. However, from the tweets and Facebook and coverlines on magazines, I’m guessing that Jake tossed good girl (and fan favorite) Ally and then proposed to crazy in the head, so she must be crazy in the bed Alana. (Please tell me if I’m wrong here because my theory here depends on these facts).

Those same coverlines told me that Ally (who just from pictures looks adorable and sweet and very nice) has since moved on and Jake now regrets proposing to Alana (who, quite frankly, looks a bit trashy).

I can understand Jake’s predicament. It is one I have seen time and time again. Guys passing on the girl next door for the wild child only to realize later that while the wild child may be fun, she is also crazy. And while crazy can sometimes be fun, it can also be kinda scary. Like when she cuts out all the women from your pictures (including your mom and your sisters) or starts beating your dog because she thinks you love Tiger more than you love her.

Which brings me to the second question I asked. See, I think it is always easier to to see someone else making your mistakes. There is probably even a psychological word for this phenomenon (Bridie?). And I’m betting as our exes watched The Bachelor (with their crazy girlfriends) they shook their heads when Jake made “the biggest mistake of his life,” turned to their girlfriends who had been rooting for Alana and had their “a-ha” moment that led to the phone call or text.

At least that is what I think precipitated the Republican sending me a text yesterday.

See, I know the Republican watches The Bachelor (a fact I didn’t know until after we stopped seeing each other). I also know he had a girlfriend that he started seeing after he stopped seeing me. Now, I think he fancies himself Bachelor material, so I speculate that he was probably seeing both of us at the same time. And after going out with us, he extended his rose to the crazy, though not exactly attractive one.

Before you start in on me about how can I be so conceited - I'm not. My looks are the one thing I am insecure about (well, that and my boobs). Other than looks, I think I am a pretty awesome package. I’m smart, funny, well read, fit, good with kids, an excellent dresser and I love watching football. I’m also not a nag and I have a lot of friends so I’m not the sort that needs a man to keep me entertained.

Still, even with my insecurity about my looks I can say when I think a girl is not as cute as me. This girl wasn’t. As for how I know she’s crazy? Well, that is based solely on the outfits I have seen her wearing in pictures on Facebook.

So, what’s a girl to do? I guess if I were a contestant on The Bachelor and I knew after only spending a couple of days with a guy that I (sob) love him (sob), I would give him another chance. And one day we would appear on the cover of People as a happy couple, planning our wedding and laughing about how he picked Alana first. But then again, there’s a reason why I've never been a contestant on The Bachelor.

Okay, counting my small chest there’s two reasons.