Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Great. 19 More Reasons to Hate Single People

When I saw this, "19 Things You Should Never Say to a Single Person," on Lana’s Facebook page I had a lot of hope for it; I really did. And when it started out talking about all the tired clichés surrounding single women, I cheered (even as the author used several clichés to make her point). But then I started reading from the list and my heart sank. Really? Really we need another article that makes single women sound mean and spiteful and just plain miserable.

The only one (or two rather) I really could get behind as something I could go the rest of my life never hearing was the third one (and No. 17), “So, why are you single?” and “But you’re so pretty, why don’t you have a boyfriend?” Think about what you are asking here, people? You are literally asking the person to list her faults (which must be numerous) because obviously it is not all the losers out there. It is her.

I must admit, however, I also secretly love these questions because they allow me to answer in outrageous ways that leave the questioner dumbfounded. For instance there was a time when a guy asked me “How is it you’re still single?” And I whispered back, “I have a little penis.”

Yes, I get that this guy was probably trying to pay me a compliment, but if he couldn’t just accept his good fortune of meeting me while I was still single and not question it, well, then he is probably not the one for me.

Okay, maybe I really need to start answering this question, “because I’m a bit of a smart ass.”

The rest of these clichés, however, seemed more like a list of polite things people say to each other when you're not quite sure what to say.

Take the first one, for example. Yeah, I too am tired of hearing, “you’ll find him when you least expect it/when you stop looking.” (And actually I combined cliché No. 1 and No. 15). I heard this a lot over the past year when I told people I really didn’t have time in my life for a relationship right now.

Now, I just told you I don’t have time for anyone in my life. So here’s hoping I don’t meet someone because it wouldn’t be the right time (see cliché No. 7) now you could come back with cliché No. 16, but if you know me, you know there is no way I am going to let a guy ruin my life (yeah, I didn’t get that one either). So you come at me with No. 1/No. 15. But here’s the thing, get in real close because I am about to tell you a huge secret, single people are always looking. It’s the way we are programmed. Countless magazines and “news” stories have told us that we will find him when we least expect it so now we expect it all the time, meaning according to you we are doomed to never find him.

So yes, even when I didn’t have time in my life for a boyfriend, I was still looking for one. Not very actively. But still. The only reason I am telling you I don’t have time for someone is because that is my polite, nonpathetic response to you asking me if I am seeing someone. So what did you do? You responded with “oh, you’ll find him when you least expect it” as your polite, noncombative response to me. Sure you could have called bullshit and said, “So what you’re telling me Tati is that if Stewart Bradley walked in right now and told you he loved you and couldn’t live without you, you would tell him it wasn’t a good time?” But you didn’t, because you are my friend. And for that, I am grateful.

Another one that really annoyed me was No. 13 “Wow, I wish I was in your shoes!” and the poster’s comment, “Really?! I’m pretty sure you CAN be single if you actually wanted to be. That there is an attainable dream, so if you aren’t messing with me right now out of pity (which I suspect you are), please go for it!”

First, Poster, please never use a question mark and an exclamation point together again. Both those punctuation marks have suffered enough.

Second, I think you are doing something wrong. I know for a fact that a lot of my married friends and coupled-off friends really wouldn’t mind switching places with me on occasion. Being single can rock at times when being settled down sucks. And vice versa. Yes, it is awful having to get up during a wedding for the bouquet toss (or hearing cliché No. 14 “your turn next” though, that is such a grandma thing to say and how can you hate grandmas). But you know what is worse than enduring the call for all the single ladies to join the bride on the dance floor. Your son screaming “I have to poop, Mommy,” during the service. And all eyes turning to you, judging you, wondering why you didn’t just hire a baby-sitter instead of bringing your child to ruin your friend’s wedding.

And what about when your down and out because some jerk dumped you (You! You should have been the one dumping him he was such a jerk). And your friend offers “He just wasn’t the right guy for you.” Okay, that's not great. But we’ve all been there. She calls him a jerk and before she knows it, you and the jerk are back together and she is worried that you now think she hates your boyfriend. So she has to come up with something to say to make you feel better. Will it make you feel better? No. Neither will hearing No. 7 “It was just bad timing,” but let’s be honest. At that point in time would anything make you feel better?

And if that is the case, then how about, the next time your married friend is complaining about how her perfect husband watches too much sports (No. 19) you don’t jump down her throat about how great she has it, or roll your eyes and say, “the grass is always greener.”

No. 19’s Poster (who I suspect it is the same poster as No. 13) complains that single people in general don’t want to be complained to about “petty relationship stuff.” Are you kidding? Please continue to complain to me about all your petty relationship stuff. That is when I feel best about being single. Well, wait, no, actually I feel best about being single after I buy an expensive pocketbook, knowing no one at home will make me feel bad about my purchase or ask “how much was that?” or “do you really need another black purse?”

But I feel second best when my friends are complaining about how their seemingly perfect boyfriends (or husbands) leave their dirty underwear on the floor of the bathroom. I close my eyes and thank my lucky stars that the only dirty underwear I ever have to pick up is my own. On nights like that, I run around my apartment, blissful that, even when it's messy, it is all my mess.

Of course, none of this compared to how the article ended. Stating that it was still okay to offer “He’s just not that into you” because that’s not condescending. I’m going to forget about the it not being condescending part and just say, I was tired of hearing that even before they made a book out of it, followed by a movie. And no one has ever even said it to me. Because I mean, come on, of course he was into me. There had to be another reason he didn’t call.

Anyway, I linked the article here. (for those of you who are not friends with Lana on Facebook). Feel free to disagree with me. It won’t be the first time and it certainly won’t be the last.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

To Move or Not To Move

So, my landlord is trying to raise my rent. Not by much, mind you, but it is the principle of it – because he has raised it every year for the past three years.

And while I love my apartment, there is a lot I don’t love about it. Like the fact that my doorbell has never worked – this has caused a couple of problems, especially on New Year’s Day. The back yard, isn’t so much of a yard as a concrete slab where the air conditioning units noisily hum all day long and cats find shelter from the sun and use it as a litter box. My bathroom literally freezes in the winter and now there is a 500lb dog living above me.

No, not Brandi. Brandi’s dog. That likes to run around the apartment barking when Brandi and whatever guy she brings home come in somewhere between 2:30 and 4 a.m.

And now the rent is going up again and I’m thinking I may want to move out.

The problem is, I don’t have much time to make this decision. And once it is made, it is made. Once I tell my landlord where to shove his lease, I will have to find a place I love or else I will be homeless (or less dramatically, forced to live in a place I like even less than where I am living now).

So why am I telling all of you this? Well, when I’m struggling with a decision, I usually like talking it out – mostly with my mom. When that doesn’t work, I write it all down.

I spoke to my mom this morning. She wasn’t terribly helpful. Or maybe she was. It’s hard to decide. While she definitely drove home all the reasons why I want out, she also started pointing out all the things that suck about moving. By the end of the conversation we were about even on whether or not I should move, but agreed that if my landlord would fix most of the problems with my apartment, staying would be better than moving.

But after three years of pretty much ignoring me I’m not sure he would suddenly be willing to help me out.

Now I’m writing about it. Unfortunately, I’m most of the way through and no closer to a solution. Nor has any of the decent places I have e-mailed contacted me to say that the place is still available and they would be happy to show it to me this evening. Because even that would give me some hope, but because most of the places respond that their apartments are no longer available, I worry that it would make more sense for me to continue to be a doormat for another year.

The thing is, I hate being a doormat.

Friday, June 18, 2010

A Girl That Wears Red Lipstick

Whenever I find myself not particularly satisfied with my life I like to change my person physically, hoping it inspires changes mentally (or metaphysically). In high school (and college) it was piercing things, which is why, if you look closely you can see up to six (or is it seven) wholes in my left ear lobe.

In college, in addition to piercing things, I experimented with hair color. And when I say “experimented” I mean it. In 1997, the last time the Flyers went to the Stanley Cup, my hair was a short, black bob with orange fringe and stripes. Man, I thought I was so cool.

But now, well, I rarely wear earrings in the holes I have now (plus I think there is a cut-off age for piercing things) and I’m pretty sure my hairstylist (and maybe some of my friends) would kill me if I changed my hair color again. Even if I went for something normal. Besides, I only recently went back to being a blonde.

So, I was just about to get in line at a big cosmetic store, still feeling funky and wondering what I could do to get out of it when I saw a display of brightly colored lipsticks. I turned from the line to the display. There, I put my purchases down and started swiping some of the bold shades onto the back of my hand.

A sales girl approached. “Can I help you?”

I looked over at her and said, “I want to be a girl that wears bright red lipstick.”

She cheered and I knew I was onto something.

I know a lot of you out there have no idea what I look like so this might not seem like a very big deal to you. But for most of my adult life (I consider my college life separate from my adult life) I have subscribed to the less is more school of cosmetology. Sure, occasionally I’ll smoke up my eye (with mostly disastrous results) but day-in, day-out my palette is very neutral. Very beige. Very boring.

The sales girl lead me to a lip stain called lust. It overwhelmed me at first. She smiled and said, it really isn’t as drastic as you think. I put it on, rubbed it in and took a look. I felt like Cameron Diaz.

Now, I don’t expect this lipstick to make me happy or fix whatever it is that is making me feel funky in the first place. But I have noticed that when I am walking around downtown, my head is a little higher, my shoulders are back, I’m sort of smiling and I feel more confident.

And that's a good start.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Chubby Vegetarian

Over the past year, while mostly sitting at home finishing my novel, I have packed on a few additional pounds. Something I either didn’t notice or ignored until I tried to get into my old work clothes.

This shocks a lot of my friends (not that they haven’t noticed). I’m a vegetarian (and most days a vegan). So, they wonder how it is possible to gain weight. Well, I’m here to tell you it is.

Because chips are vegetarian. And candy is vegetarian (though most is not vegan). And they make vegan cheese (though most of it isn’t great) and dips and ice cream and cookies and brownies and Citizens Bank park even has vegan hotdogs and it is really easy to think you are eating healthy, but really you’re not.

Okay, so I never thought I was eating healthy when I was devouring a vegan oatmeal and chocolate chip cookie from Whole Foods. Still, I think you get my point.

And maybe that is more my point. Most of us know what we should and shouldn’t eat. Still we eat the crap anyway because it either feels good or because we think it tastes better. And in the past (before this past year) it was easy for me to find the balance between eating junk food and working out. But this past year, while I did workout occasionally, clearly not enough to still fit into my favorite pair of seersucker pants, however.

So, there I was, up one night, tossing and turning, wondering what in the world I was going to wear to work the next day (or more importantly to happy hour the following day). And the more I thought about it, the more obsessed I became. And when I become obsessed with something I find it helps if I start writing things down. But then my journal started to become nothing but me whining about how big I am and discussing what I did and didn’t eat or what I did or didn’t do.

Which brought me to the Internet. No, dear readers, after that long hiatus I don’t intend to bore you with my struggles with losing my unemployment weight (well, not after this post, anyway). Instead, I am going to bore the Twitterverse (that’s right, I used the word Twitterverse).

I’m not sure what I hope to get out of thescalenmyfury other than just a release. Nor am I sure it will be really interesting or entertaining for anyone else out there (but then, so much of Twitter is neither interesting nor entertaining). But who knows, maybe my pathetic and self-indulgent tweets will actually help someone out. Or, maybe Jillian Michaels will see my tweets and stop by Broad Street for an old school ass-kicking.

Lord knows I could use one. Especially if I want to fit into those seersucker pants before the end of the summer.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


So, while on vacation with my parents two months ago (though it feels so much longer) my mother was reading Jennifer Love Hewitt’s new book, The Day I Shot Cupid. When I saw her pack it, I eyed her suspiciously.

“What?” She defended herself. “I heard it was funny.”

I thought self-help books on dating are targeted towards single women (though, sometimes men, too). So either my mom is planning on getting back out there soon or she purchased this book for me. Her daughter. Who is so hopeless when it comes to dating, she would take advice from Jennifer Love Hewitt, whose only qualification for writing this book is that she has dated a lot. Oh, and she’s famous.

I didn’t argue any of this with my mother. I just silently resolved to finish Norman Mailer’s Executioner’s Song and check my luggage before we come back; less the ol’ girl tried to slip it into my bag “by mistake.”

So fast-forward to a few days later when my mom and I are sitting by the pool. She is appropriately covered with a hat and a light cover-up and sunscreen on all the spots those other two items leave exposed. I am lying next to her in a bikini and SPF 4. She was reading JLove's book. I wanted to read Norman Mailer’s but it was just so heavy, and the sun was so bright, and my iPod kept playing really good songs.

Out of nowhere my mom starts laughing. I open my eyes, expecting to see my father. See, on the first day of vacation my father used a spray-on sunscreen but didn’t rub it in so it looked like someone spray painted his sunburn with white. You couldn’t help but laugh.

But no, no dad. And no one fell climbing into or out of their lounge chair. So I couldn’t understand what my mother was laughing at. And then she did it again. I looked over and saw her smiling down at her book.

I knew this trick. Heck, I invented this trick. During a trip west in college (for crew) CK was sitting behind me on the plane and so I kept cracking up laughing at the book I was reading, knowing that if I did, he would eventually ask me what I was reading and we would fall hopelessly in love, get married and have lots of babies. Eventually CK did lean around my chair and ask me, which is when I saw the flaw in my plan. “Bridget Jones’ Diary: The Edge of Reason.” He raised his eyebrows and returned to his seat. What was I thinking? CK read John Dos Passos for crying-out-loud. He wasn’t going to fall hopelessly in love with a girl that laughed like a hyena to such low-brow literature.

But I digress. Recognizing my mother’s ploy, I smiled, lowered my head back onto my chair and turned up my iPod. I could still hear her laugh a couple more times, but I didn’t react. I guess she grew tired of my ignoring her, because she smacked the back of my arm with her hand. I took out one of my ear buds and lifted my head. She was handing me the book, pointing at a paragraph.

I rolled my eyes, but I was also wearing sunglasses so she didn’t see. I grabbed the book and read what Miss. Hewitt had to say. This passage was on text messaging and how some guys will only text a girl and that these texts can go on (and on) and you can feel like you have a boyfriend, but you actually never see him. Just his name when it pops on your phone alerting you to a text message. Miss. Hewitt goes on that, sure this is cute and exciting and fun at first, but this is not a relationship and that you (you out there!) deserve better and he will realize the error of his ways, but of course by then it will be too late.

I shrugged my shoulders. “So?”

I’m not sure what my mom was expecting but it wasn’t that. “Well, is that true?”

Now I was really starting to get concerned. My mom doesn’t text. She doesn’t even carry her cell phone (it just stays in her car). So why should she care if modern technology (while making us always available) is making it harder to actually connect with anyone?

“Sure.” I nod. “It’s one of the reasons I’m not a fan of online dating. You meet,” you bet your sweet patootie I used air quotes around the word meet, “these guys and you think, huh, there is some potential here. But then all you do is IM or e-mail and then a month goes by and you realize you have a crush on a guy that you've never met.”

“Do you sext?”

Now where in the world did she learn that word? “Umm, yeah, I guess. If you’re like 16.”

“Huh.” She went back to reading her book and I started thinking of all my arguments for why my mom shouldn’t leave my father.

Fortunately, it never came to that. The next day my mom, obviously defeated, handed me the book and said, “you should read this. It’s funny. And it will take you less than a day.”

And so I did.

Well, she was half right; it only took me a day to read. And besides the workout plan (yes, you read correctly, the book comes complete with a JLove approved workout) and the odd aside about the high school girls that were prohibited from wearing thongs to their prom (I have no idea where that came from either) Jennifer Love Hewitt wrote nothing me and my girlfriends hadn’t already said to each other a thousands times.

Okay, there was one thing. But I am almost too embarrassed to even type it. JLove suggests --- oh my god I don’t think I can write it --- she, umm, suggests bedazzling your va-jay-jay.

I’ll give you a moment to let that sit.

In addition to all her other cutesy tips about how to love yourself more (wear a tiara, sleep naked) and prepare for a date (spray tan, buy cute pajamas) she also recommends BEDAZZLING YOUR GIRL BITS! Of course she stressed it is not for “him” but for “you.” That you’ll never feel cuter or sexier than when your bits are blingin’.

I was going to Google search this, to see what all is involved in this process but I couldn’t have that sitting in my Google search history. Not to mention I can only imagine the resulting Google ads I would start getting. Instead, I'm just going to sit here with my un-sparkly private parts and hope like hell this is just some stupid L.A. trend that doesn’t catch on everywhere else.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

About A Bartender

I am a terrible flirt. And by “terrible flirt” I don’t mean it the way old, southern ladies exclaim, “Oh, Mr. Jones, you terrible flirt you.” But, I mean, I’m awful at it. Unless I’ve had a couple of drinks in which case I’m worse.

By way of example, I was once sitting next to a very tall, very cute (though maybe time has made him taller and cuter) guy. That night I was wearing a large amber pendant and the guy complimented the piece. I thanked him. He said he wouldn’t mind getting a closer look at it. I offered to take it off for him. I would like to say my cool response was due to the lameness of his line, but it wasn’t. I didn’t know it was a line. All my friends in the room collectively slapped their foreheads at my incompetence and the guy quickly called it a night.

And mind you that was after a couple of drinks so just imagine what I am like when I’m cold sober.

Oh, wait, you don’t have to imagine, I have another example. I was once walking Bridie’s dog when Hot-Skateboarding-Teacher was out walking his dog. Trevor (Bridie’s dog) and I were almost home, when HST’s dog stopped, across the street, and stared at Trever (T is a very cute dog). HST called across the street, “I think our dogs want to be friends.” I pulled on Trevor’s leash, quietly begging him to stop and make friends with this dog. However, Trevor wasn’t having it and continued to pull me towards home.

I looked at HST and asked, “is your dog female?”

He responded in the affirmative to which I replied, “Yeah, my dog’s gay.”

Bridie never gets tired of laughing at that story.

When I met the hot bartender, who I still haven’t nicknamed so feel free to comment with suggestions, I wasn’t sober. I was out with the Duchess, JD and Pepper. We had met up earlier for the Flyers game and were now headed to Northern Liberties to grab something to eat and watch the Phillies game. All day, the Duchess and Pepper had been checking out guys as potential mates for me. A game I appreciate but tire of quickly. So when we sat down at the bar, they immediately assessed the situation and decided the only suitable candidate was behind the bar.

Oddly enough their first candidate was the same one Salty had for me on Valentine’s Day of this year when we found ourselves at this same bar. I turned to them and said, “No. For two reasons, one he is a bartender. Two, he’s wearing a wedding ring.”

Well, he was on Valentine’s Day but it wasn’t there tonight. Still, I nixed it, arguing he probably took it off to get better tips. They relented, but I think that was because they were hungry.

After some food and a couple of drinks later, they broached the topic again, this time pointing to the other bartender. I said he was too short, which was met with a series of guffaws. And maybe because I was tired of saying no to them. Or maybe because they were right, the only good looking guys were behind the bar. Or maybe it was as simple as my desire to make-out with someone, I admitted that I did think the third bartender was cute.

This is where it all started to go downhill. First, no one else from our group was allowed to order our drinks but me. And I was only allowed to order them from him. Now, normally this would be okay, but we weren’t sitting at his end of the bar. So short bartender number two kept asking me what I wanted and I kept getting yelled at for flirting with the wrong one. Finally, I stopped ordering from the wrong one and ordered from the right one, but then I was accused of being too curt. In between all of this, I turned from the bar to readjust my cleavage (hoping that would catch his eye) only to turn back to the bar and see Mr. Valentine’s Day waiting to see if he could get me anything.

Yeah, he totally caught me.

So, after all of this, the drink orders, the embarrassment, the yelling and finally my resignation to just give up and watch the game, we decided it was time to leave. As we were leaving, the hot bartender smiled and said, “Are you taking off?”

I smiled back and from out of nowhere responded, “Yeah, why, you want my number?”

More unbelievably he responded, “Actually,” with a shrug of his shoulder.

Now, in addition to all my other charming qualities, I sometimes can’t stop talking. It’s why I like writing. Writing I can put everything down on a page and go back and delete what I wish I had never written. You probably think this post is too long, but believe me, it was a lot longer. Fearful that this was about to be the case, I shut up. I refused to say another word.

Meanwhile the Duchess, still wide-eyed at my bravado, sprung into action, searching for a pen and a napkin, screaming, "what is her number?"

I bit my lip down and stared up at the hot bartender. Shaking my head.

He looked out at me and said, “Don’t make this weird.”

I swallowed and thought about responding, “oh, we blew past weird about thirty seconds ago,” but worried about what else would come out. Instead I grabbed the Duchess’s arm and pleaded with her to leave.

It should come as no surprise to any of you that he hasn’t called. Though the Duchess is convinced that it is because he never actually got my number (and that Bartender Number Two took it and threw it away).

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A New Theory is Born

A while back, after my sixth or seventh friend went crazy immediately following getting engaged, I began to wonder if there wasn’t some sort of physiological reaction your body has to putting a ring on that finger that causes this behavior. I understand that the reason for wearing a ring on this finger comes from the myth that a vein runs from this finger directly to the heart (any cardiologists out there want to confirm that this is in fact a myth?). Well, my theory is that the vein doesn’t travel to the heart, but the brain, and that restricting this vein (the way a big diamond ring might) can lead to craziness (so I guess it would have to lead to a particular section of the brain, so neurologists out there feel free to chime in as well).

And, since I can’t say my friends remained crazy, after a while your body must self regulate and that portion of your brain can return to normal functioning with less blood flow, much the same way you body will eventually return to normal functioning after you give up caffeine.

I’m also starting to wonder if prolonged restriction of this vein doesn’t affect men as well, most notably, the lack of blood flow to this section of their brain makes them insanely attracted to me.

I was at the FOP Survivor’s Benefit this past weekend with the Duchess and her new beau, JD. You know (or should) that I have a thing for cops, so I look forward to this event every year and was convinced that this was the year I would be officially inducted in the Secret Sisterhood of Badge Bunnies.

So there we were, the three of us, searching the crowd of young, hot cops for the perfect one for me (read: taller than me in my five inch wedges) when a gentleman with a lot of potential found me.

He was tall and bigger, which I prefer. He had a full head of hair and really nice teeth. Most importantly, he thought (or so he said) I was pretty. There was only one, little, tiny problem with the guy. He was wearing a wedding ring.

Now, this is not the first time a married man hit on me – do you really think I would formulate an entire theory based on one isolated incident? Most times, I typically nod, smile, participate in some banter (maybe) and then I politely take my leave. But maybe because I had more than my fair share of Miller Lites, or maybe because the novel I am working on at the moment’s heroine only sleeps with married men, I couldn’t let it pass. This time, after he told me how I am the prettiest girl he has ever seen, I smiled and said, “I wonder what your wife would say about that,” and pointed to his ring.

He replied that he’s not married.

I asked, “Engaged?”

He responded (and no, I'm not making this up, because let’s be honest, I couldn’t). “Yeah, but you’re going to change my mind.”

Umm, no I wasn’t.

After a couple more minutes of him telling me how pretty I was and how young I looked, the Duchess leaned over and said, “Do you want to talk to this guy?”

I shook my head and said, “he’s married.”

Then, while he was distracted, telling his buddy he just needed a couple of minutes, the Duchess switched spots with me and we both smiled up at him as his attention turned back to us.

He was disappointed and didn’t understand why I didn’t want to talk to him. I was through being coy and blurted out, “your engaged, dude.” (Yes, sometimes when I’m drinking, especially when I’m drinking Miller Lite, I use words like dude. Don’t judge me.) He lifted his hand so I could get a better look at the ring. It was made up of tiny little skulls. I looked back up at him.

“So, what is she goth?”

“I’m not engaged.” He exclaimed.

“Then why don’t you wear the ring on your other hand?”

“I can’t.”

And I couldn’t help it. “Why because your fiancé would get mad?”

JD then drew me and Felicia into a conversation and my gentleman suitor left, mumbling that I couldn’t possibly be more than 22 years old.

As JD and Felicia tried to figure out what just happened, and most notably if that guy was in fact my type, I wondered if I missed something. Maybe he didn’t have a ring finger on his right hand (I didn’t notice). Maybe he can’t wear a ring on that finger because it’s his trigger finger (though that would be weird). But in the end, JD confirmed that every guy knows what a ring on that finger means, and any guy looking to meet someone wouldn’t wear a ring on that hand. They would do what married men do and wear it on the other hand.

I plan on testing this theory in the coming weeks. No, I’m not going to go around only hitting on married men. Instead, I think I am going to go back to hot bartender and apply pressure to the base of his ring finger. See how long it takes him to want me.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Working 9 to 5 Ain’t No Way To Make A Living

I have returned to the land of the clock-watchers. At least temporarily.

The whole weekend leading up to my first day at the new (real) office I was freaking out quite a bit. See, for more than a year most days the only words I had to utter were, “venti chai latte please." Or, after I realized all those venti chia lattes might be the reason I was gaining so much weight, “large coffee, just black please.” Or, when I gave up coffee completely, “a cup of peppermint tea, for here please.”

My point is, it didn’t take a whole lot of verbal skills on my part. Then, when I did have to talk, I found myself unable to articulate my thoughts. Which was weird, since I was still having thoughts when I was all by myself. I was having lots of thoughts. Some of these thoughts I was even putting to paper but when I tried to shoot from the hip and just express my thoughts it was all, “umm,” “uh,” “well,” “it’s like” and of course “you know what I’m saying.”

In college there was a girl that sat in front of me in some required introduction to literature course. She always raised her hand and when she was called on, her response was something akin to, “Well, it’s like…there was this guy…but umm…well, he was like…you know what I’m saying?”

It took all the strength I had to not hit her in the back of the head and scream, “No. Because you haven’t said anything.”

Now, oh so many years later, I found myself uttering those very same words. Words that would not fly at my new job in communications. Because it is presumed when you take a communications position, you can actually communicate. A point I made to Bridie the other day adding, “It’s ironic, isn’t it?” Then looked up at her and asked, “Wait, is that irony. I don’t think it is.”

I had even lost my ability to define irony.

Not wanting to make a complete ass of myself (or get fired on my first day) I started practicing communicating, not allowing myself to utter the phrases, “You know what I’m saying?” or, “You know what I mean?”

I even started talking (out loud) to myself. That made for some interesting looks while walking down the street. I practiced using my words all weekend, well, that is until I lost my ability to communicate in front a particularly adorable bartender. But that is a story for another time.

By Tuesday morning I was feeling very confident in my ability to string several sentences of conversation together. I even impressed myself during the tour of the new office, stopping to ask Big Boss about his weekend and answering Little Boss’s questions about my weekend without so much as an “umm.”

But there are other things about working in an office that I had forgotten for which I wasn’t quite prepared.

For instance, when my crazy heavy hair started to annoy me in the middle of the afternoon yesterday, I couldn’t just walk to my bathroom and pull my hair up into a sloppy bun on the top of my head. Speaking of bathrooms, I have a very tiny bladder and a water addiction. This leads to a lot of bathroom breaks, but now every time I have the urge, I have to hold it for as long as possible, less my co-workers think I'm a freak.

Oh, and my co-workers. They expect me to know stuff. And not just how to speak and write eloquently but other things. One yelled out the question, “What is the abbreviation for Missouri?” I responded, “MO.” But I wasn’t sure. Not like 100 percent positive. She didn’t care. I answered and so that must be the answer. Not like at home when Alec Trebek asks a question and I respond and then the person on the TV responds with the correct answer (or actually, in this case, question). Thank god for Mrs. Davis’s fifth grade geography class or I may have gotten the state abbreviation question wrong.

And this doesn’t include the whole process of getting ready in the morning (do you have any idea how long it takes to blow dry 70 pounds of hair) or taking the subway into work (I forgot how germy it is down there). Key cards to get into the building and running into the turnstile because you didn’t realize there was a delay in the time you swipe your card and the time the lock releases. Elevator rides where I freak out about more germs the lack of air, the sweat running down my back and the possibility of the car getting stuck. Having to bring your lunch or go out, not just stand in front of your fridge, staring into it, willing something yummy and delicious to magically appear. And where is the TV? And what time is naptime?

Still, I think after only two days I’m adjusting quite nicely. Really the hardest part has been the not being able to check Facebook every 15 minutes. But, actually, that might be a good thing.