Friday, February 29, 2008

A Little Clarification

My best friend loves horror movies. She lives for the heart-pounding anticipation of vampire bites, Michael Meyers stab wounds, zombies getting ready to eat civilian brains. I, however, cannot stand the stuff. It disturbs me—it possibly perpetuates violence in society—and it scares little children. What's the good of that? But obviously, there is an audience out there who likes those films and deserves to have the opportunity to watch them if they want to. It's a free country, right?

That brings me to this blog...

I am free, on this little puppy, to write whatever my heart desires. To some (like anonymous comment #7 on Monday's post) what I write is "blathering dribble." To others, it is entertaining, thought-provoking and perhaps even moving. Those are the people I am writing for.

Just as I can choose not to watch horror movies, readers like anonymous #7 can choose not to read my blog. In fact, I encourage it! I wouldn't want someone to force me to watch a slasher flick—nor do I want my readers to feel compelled to view content they just cannot stomach.

But for the audience to whom I think this blog appeals, I will continue to write the way I have since I started up in November. I will share silly details of my life, comment on books I like, babble on about my personal opinions, and celebrate the uniqueness of my friends—even if their individualism isn't appreciated by everyone else in the world.

So, devoted readers, whether you choose to check back with me tomorrow or click elsewhere, I wish you well.

Blog out.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Love of Fiction

Before Rosie O'Donnell was fighting with half of Hollywood, she was starring alongside Meg Ryan in Sleepless in Seattle—uttering some of the best lines ever. One of my favorites is, "You know what your problem is? You want to be in love in a movie."

Well, what woman doesn't?!

I've always had a big smooshy, gooshy soft spot for movie love. But after reading Audrey Niffenegger's The Time Traveler's Wife, I now have an even bigger, blobbier pool of mush in my heart for book love.

I could not put this book down. Seriously, I turned into a hermit over the weekend—staying in my pajamas all day, with my nose buried between its pages. I read almost the whole thing in two days. The love story between its characters, Clare and Henry, is just incredible. The love of a lifetime. It's passionate and tender, and because it skips around the character's lives, from childhood to adulthood, it connects them in a way that could probably never happen in real life. If you saw or read (and enjoyed) The Notebook, you must read Time Traveler. It'll knock your sappy socks off.

I was at Mr. Wonderful's house as I finished the last pages. I was so moved by what I read, I started to cry. I tried to be quiet, I was a tiny bit embarrassed—I've never cried in front of Mr. W. But he hovered over me and saw the wet spot on the pillow under my head. Then he left the room and returned with a long strand of toilet paper so I could blow my nose. Maybe I don't need to be in love in a book or a movie after all...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A Few Thoughts on Marriage

Valentine's Day of this year marked my parents' 44th wedding anniversary. Growing up, I do not ever remember seeing them fight. Maybe this is because they've known each other since they were 15 and 18. Maybe they're just an anomaly. Maybe they got all their bumps out of the way in the 12 years before I was born. I don't know. (Mom, feel free to comment and divulge the secret of your success.)

What I do know is that most other relationships I've seen don't hold a candle to theirs. This makes me proud of them, but also terrified for the institution of marriage. Has it lost its luster, or what?

In my quest for answers and solace, I stumbled across a couple of interesting articles/posts I thought I'd share.

Don't be fooled by the title of this one, it has a positive spin.
Marriage: It's only going to get worse

Oprah's site had some good suggestions:
Be Nice, Don't Nitpick

I guess maybe we all just have to adjust our expectations a bit. Admit that we're all flawed—and try accept one another as human beings. Or at least communicate productively about the things we can't accept. Maybe then instead of a 50% divorce rate, there would be more 50 year anniversary celebrations.

Monday, February 25, 2008

A Big, Mean, Cynical Buoy

There are times in all of our lives when we feel completely alone. Not in a good, wandering-down-the-beach-at-sunset-solo kind of way. But like the world has turned on us. Like no one understands us and we are swimming in a sea of disdain and judgment.

These are the times we need a friend the very most. We need a friend to throw a life preserver our way and drag our weakened bodies through the tides so we do not drown.

Sometimes that life preserver takes the form of commiseration. Sometimes it becomes rage. Sometimes it merely shapes itself into a shoulder to cry on. But without it, without that friend's attempt to rescue us, we would sink.

I have tried to save my water-treading friends in different ways throughout the years. But often the only way to help—at least when they reach their most feeble state—is to jump in and swim next to them. Subjecting my own self to scrutiny and scorn. Sometimes the only thing that keeps a person going is knowing they have an ally at their side in the water.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Faux Me

My male coworkers have been teasing me lately. Wait, I take that back, I believe they started teasing me during my third or fourth week of work. Anywhoo, they keep bringing up the episode of Seinfeld where George resolves to do and say the exact opposite of his natural behavior or speaking inclination. He declares "Everything Opposite" his new religion. And his pathetic, downtrodden life completely turns around (for one episode).

The coworkers have decided that during the nearly three years they've known me, my lovelife has been sub-par and rife with disaster—all of which has been my fault. Now that I have a new man, they're telling me I need to keep my mouth shut when I want to speak, play hard to get when I want to come on strong, and maybe scoff at commitment instead of embracing it.

This raises more than a few questions.

I, like most girls, usually start out new relationships being my nicest, most detached, funniest, shiniest self. As the relationship progresses, my tendencies may slip into a slightly more polar position. I may demand a little more, be a little meaner, get a little needier and occasionally forgo shaving my pits.

So are my coworkers telling me I should skip the shower, be kinda bitchy, request more dates, not crack jokes, and maybe throw in a burp or fart for good measure right in the beginning? Or are they meaning that I should continue being nice, detached, funny and shiny forever (which in some respects would be the opposite of my later inclination—but IS my normal new-relationship behavior—making it a non-opposite approach).

Being that I don't even know what my true starting point looks like, I don't think I'll be able to accurately identify its opposite. And just because this concept worked for George, that doesn't mean it'll work for me.

What do you think?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Signs, Signs Everywhere

Yesterday when I was driving to work along the pock-filled asphalt of La Tuna Canyon Road, I noticed a sign I'd never seen before. It was tacked to a telephone pole, right there in the middle of suburbia, and read (in drippy red spray paint) "Slow Down Asshole."

Knowing how rushed the traffic can get on that stretch of road, I had to laugh that someone took the liberty of posting their own speed limit warning. Then I started wondering if maybe that was another kind of sign—you know, like from the universe. Maybe the big man upstairs was trying to tell me or one of my fellow motorists to slow down in another aspect of our lives.

This, of course, made me want to look for even more signs, so here goes...

Sign you should obey your boss
He hands you a fortune cookie after a department lunch and you say, "No way, man, I want to pick my own—this is my future we're talking about." You pick another cookie, crack it open and nothing falls out. It's empty.

Sign you should listen to your sister
She says, "I just don't feel like he's the right fit for you. You guys seem to fight a lot." You ignore her and find out 9 months later that he cheated on you with a married ex-girlfriend.

Sign you're growing up
You run in to your dad's best pal at In 'N' Out Burger. Instead of introducing you to his lunch partner as his "surrogate daughter," he jokingly introduces you as his girlfriend. And then his buddy says, "Do you have a sister?"

Sign you need a vacation
You find out your company could be taken over by an evil empire competitor. Then you get word that you'll be given 6 months severance and benefits if the merger should cause you to lose your job. Instead of thinking, "Thank goodness! That will give me plenty of time to find something else," you think, "Sweet! I can totally go travel across Europe for 2 months!"

Sign that he's a keeper
You've just come out of a movie and mention that you're very thirsty. He says, "Want me to buy you a bottle of water from that vending machine?" "No," you say, "it's fine, I have some in my car." He pulls out his wallet and says, "I'm thirsty too, I'll just buy one and you can have a few sips." Then he dashes to the vending machine, comes back, opens the bottle and hands it to you.

Your turn—share with me some of the signs you've seen in the past few weeks!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


One of the best movies I saw in 2007 was Into the Wild. Based on Jon Krakauer's touching and insightful book, it recounts the journey of Christopher McCandless as he travels across the western United States and into Alaska—where his life comes to a tragic end. He was only 24 when he died.

People thought McCandless was crazy for going out on his own, ill-equipped and into unfamiliar territory. He was young and stupid, they said.

But I think he was a great seeker of knowledge and truth. Getting lost can help us find who we really are.

I also think that somewhere inside all of us, there is an adventurous spirit that wants to run away. I've had conversations with friends several times about being overcome by the desire to just keep driving when we're on the way home from work. Just ditch everyday life and go set up camp in the Grand Canyon or casino-hop in Vegas. Shake things up a bit. Feel more alive.

But instead, we settle for little escapes. We spend hours lost in television shows and movies. We live vicariously through characters in books. We hike in the local mountains. Or maybe just try a new restaurant in a neighboring city. Throwing mere scraps of experience to our starving adventurer.

I admire Chris McCandless for being brave enough to indulge his appetite. He turned "what if" into "what next"—something most of us will never do. And as a result, he may have known himself better at age 24 than any of us will ever know ourselves at 100.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Baptism by Fire

Somehow we ended up where we always do. Choking on sobbed laughter, sharing bodily function stories. We just weren't capable of making it through an entire evening without venturing into the realm of throw-up and diarrhea. It was almost Pavlovian: See the relatives, recount a disgusting story.

The only difference last night was that Mr. Wonderful was perched on the couch next to me. It was his first time meeting the immediate family, and despite my threats and pleading, the conversation turned right down that familiar avenue of potty humor.

I didn't look at him while all of us guffawed through our tears. I just hoped he was either amused or meditating quietly in his happy place. But as the chaos died down, I felt his index finger trace lightly across the side of my leg and I knew everything was going to be okay.

He'd weathered the worst of the storm. We were in the clear.

The chit chat and laughter continued—shifting to more acceptable subject matter. My sister thanked him for attending her birthday dinner. She was so thrilled to finally meet him.

And then my nine-year-old niece chimed in...

"Auntie said you were high maintenance but I don't think you are!"

My mom covered her eyes with her hand, shaking her head slightly. My sister slapped her hand over her mouth. See no evil, speak no evil. If only he'd had his hands cupped over his ears.

My mind went momentarily blank, quiet, until the tidal wave of explanation crashed through it, trying to flood my mouth with the right words to explain her remark. I told her that at the movie theater because we were talking about how you absolutely cannot sit in the front row ever. I think it's adorable that you're picky about certain things. I'm glad it's you and not me because I've been accused of being high maintenance my entire dating life. She's nine, she has no idea what she's talking about!

He laughed, "I'm just particular."

And then the fire was out.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Rainbow Sprinkles

Because sending flowers and making pad thai for me just wasn't good enough in the world of Mr. Wonderful, he also whipped up hot fudge sundaes for dessert. With rainbow sprinkles. I've never dated a guy who would think to buy rainbow sprinkles.

It was the cherry on top of my Valentine's Day.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

One for the History Books

My favorite Valentine's Day took place in the year 2000 when my college boyfriend and I were on hiatus. I'd been completely snot-wrenchingly depressed for two weeks, and Valentine's weekend marked not only our (I believe 3rd) anniversary, it had been reserved for a romantic trip to Napa. I was convinced there was absolutely no way I could possibly have a good time on February 14th.

Then two of my bestest girlfriends stepped in and saved the day.

One cooked dinner and even put wrapped Ghirardelli chocolate bars at our place settings. After a lovely meal, we headed to The Derby in Los Feliz for a night of swing dancing. None of us had a clue what we were doing, but once we got to the bar, we knew we'd picked the perfect night to learn. The Derby was teeming with single men, dying to teach novices how to swing. The duration of the night was spent tripping and twirling around with strangers, giggling uncontrollably. There's no way my ex and I would've had that much fun in Napa.

Until today, that night held the top spot in my Valentine's line-up.

But then, this morning, I was greeted by an instant message that said, "Happy Valentine's Day, Sunshine." And then, I came back to the office after running errands at lunch and was presented with a big, beautiful bouquet of lillies. And the day's not over yet. I think there may be a new contender for first place in the Valentine's Day race.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


I was talking with a friend yesterday and she said she had a sad story to share. Not in the mood for anymore sadness (yesterday was layoff day, after all) I told her I didn't think I could handle it. She assured me that I would laugh at it...and I think you will too....

After enjoying a nice dinner together, my friend and her husband started to get frisky and headed down the hallway to their bedroom. His hands began to wander, and shortly ended up fondling her nether regions... At first she was pleased (what gal doesn't like a little foreplay?) but then, suddenly, she was overcome by a burning sensation! Not just friction burn or the heat of the moment but an agonizing, ouchie ouchie burning! She yanked his fingers away and made a dash for the bathroom to get a cold washcloth.

Turns out, her beloved hubby had cut a jalapeƱo when he was making dinner and didn't wash his hands very well. Kinda gives new meaning to the phrase, "Ooh baby you're making me so hot."

Thankfully, my friend and her babuena made a full recovery. But would I encourage all of you to be careful next time you're making Mexican food on date night, lest you too become the victim of a handapeƱo job...

Come on Baby, Let's Get Away

Yesterday on my way to work, I heard Janet Jackson's song Escapade. I was immediately taken back to 8th grade when I won the Rhythm Nation cassette for selling magazine subscriptions through a school fundraiser. I think I spent hours practicing the Running Man and Roger Rabbit in front of my off-white and gilded bedroom mirror—grinning through my retainer, giddy to be the owner of Janet's masterpiece.

I love that about music. That you can fall head over heels for a song, hear it years later and instantly hearken back to the days you listened to it over and over again.

Music has such power over our emotions and our ears. Just this week, I heard The Airborne Toxic Event's Sometime Around Midnight, and it completely broke my heart and delighted that part of me that basks in the truth of painful lyrics. Nothing captures "I'm hurting" better than a sad song.

Here are some of my other favorite saddies. I would bet that at least one of these conjures up some moment from your youth...

With or Without You - U2
Nothing Compares to You - Sinead O'Connor
Never Tear Us Apart - INXS
Somebody - Depeche Mode
Open Arms - Journey
Endless Love - Diana Ross and Lionel Richie
I Will Always Love You - the Whitney Houston version
Please, Please, Please - The Smiths
Hands to Heaven - Breathe
Everybody Hurts - R.E.M.
All I Want - Toad the Wet Sprocket

Man, I could do this all day...

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

It's Better to Be Laid On than Laid Off

Today was layoff day at my company. It was like they had turned the walkways into mine fields in the middle of the night—none of us wanted to leave the safety of our cubicles, for fear we'd be blown to bits.

We watched conference room doors open and close. Coworkers go in and out, whisked away by managers and HR people. I had a stomach ache all morning.

Thankfully, my head made it past the chopping block. But I realize that even if it hadn't, I'd be okay.

I've been laid off before and, although it seems like one of the scariest things a person could experience, it's not so bad once you get past the initial shock. Sure, it's a pain because at some point you have to look for a new job, but the day-to-day life of layoffdom has a bit of a sweet side.

Having firsthand knowledge of what it's like actually started to work against me as I waited for the news today. I kept having little romantic moments where I'd see myself traveling, going to the movies at noon, writing another novel draft, hiking in the middle of the week, comfortably collecting my unemployment checks. No! I had to keep snapping myself out of it. I like having a full-time job!

I'm really glad I wasn't on the hit list, but I must say, the paid vacation that comes with a layoff isn't the worst thing in the world. Hopefully my lucky let-go coworkers will enjoy it.

Monday, February 11, 2008

About Last Night...

I strapped myself into my heels and faced the mirror. Lookin' pretty good in the clingy black dress.

I turned to the right; sucked in my stomach. Turned to the left. Hmmm...

Back to the right. What the?

To the left. Ohmygosh, how did I fail to notice this before?!

To the right again. There was no questioning it...

I swept my hand along my butt. Damn. My right cheek stuck out at least a half inch further than my left. I had a lopsided gluteus maximus and I was wearing a tight dress that completely maximized it. How could I have made it almost 32 years without ever noticing this colossal flaw?! Surely I was going to ruin Mr. Wonderful's rep a the Visual Effects Awards. He would hitherto be known as the guy with the Crooked-Fat-Ass-Date. The Lifetime Achievement Award winner himself (Steven Spielberg) was probably going to tell Mr. W that he should buy me a pair of half-padded underwear for future events.

The Kodak Ballroom was a sea of black, punctuated by a few colorful outliers. I blended in well, hoping between sips of Cabernet that my cheek remained concealed among the masses of hoity-toities and glorified computer geeks. As they kissed one another and sipped their cocktails, I quietly observed. A lot of the suits looked expensive. Some of the women were wearing exorbitant amounts of makeup. But for the most part, they were just regular people. How hugely refreshing.

At one point, I saw a woman talking to Steven (yes, Spielberg) and she was wearing a dress from Banana Republic that I own!

I realized then that it didn't matter what my toosh looked like. These Hollywoods—despite their connections with The Business—were just ordinary human beings like the rest of us. Sure, they'd done some really cool stuff and made a whole lot of money, but they were still people. With flaws, just like me. (That said, I had to refrain from touching Michael Bay with my pinkie when he stopped by our table. They may just be people, but they're still famous...)

Oh, and for the record, Mr. Wonderful looked hot. Not just because he cleans up fantastically and does extreme justice to a black suit, but because I knew that he bought his shirt and tie at Nordstrom Rack instead of Neiman Marcus or Armani. Nothing sexier than a bargain shopper...

Other exciting sightings from the evening:
Patton Oswald
Megan Fox
Dennis Muren
Gore Verbinski

Friday, February 8, 2008

Shifting Perspectives

I remember reading once that people who consider themselves lucky usually are. Those who think their lives are filled with great fortune often enjoy fortuitous lives.

Now, over the last few years, I have completely succumbed to the positive juju conspiracy that The Secret, Wayne Dyer and every other manifestation guru promotes. One might call me a junkie. So the idea that a person can render themselves more fortunate just by thinking it's so makes perfect sense to me.

However, the whole thing sort of begs the old chicken-and-egg question. Did each person experience some positive twist of fate and then appreciate it so much that they perpetuated their luck? Or did they invite the luck into their lives because they maintained a sunny outlook? I'm not sure, but I think both approaches can work because they're both about looking on the bright side; keeping a positive perspective.

It's extremely easy to look at our work situations, relationships and health through lenses of negativity. My job doesn't pay me enough. My husband doesn't have the forethought to do nice things for me. I'm sure that my occasional headaches are an indicator of a brain tumor. We find the flaws in our life—often wishing we were standing in someone else's shoes—and we devote all our focus to them all the time. But instead of thinking the grass is greener somewhere else, we should really take a minute to enjoy what nice lawns we have!

Most of us are not living in the streets, being tortured by our loved ones or suffering from leprosy. We have really great lives. Sure there are a few blemishes here and there, but overall I assure you, your situation is pretty damn good. I also assure you that if you recognize this, you'll probably feel a lot better about it—and attract more happiness into your life.

Rather than saying, "My job doesn't pay me enough," why not take the perspective that your job gives you what you need to pay your rent or mortgage, drive a car every day, buy gifts for your family for birthdays and Christmas, and handle your bills each month. Why not see the upside? I certainly won't hurt you. And that pesky, unthoughtful husband? Why not be thankful that you have someone to come home to every night, instead of being all alone? That you have someone to fix things around the house and take the kids off your hands when you need a break? Appreciating him more will probably make him appreciate you more. As far as health stuff goes, it's always good to be cautious and see a doctor when something's up. But don't immediately assume you're dying when you don't feel well. Maybe look at it as a blessing—that your body is telling you to slow down and rest so it can take better care of itself.

There are no adverse effects to thinking positive. The worst that can happen is that you might start to feel better and draw more happiness into your life. And then, shoot, what will you have to complain about?!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

The Thrill of Silence

There's nothing more exciting than a budding romance. The anticipation of that next date. The euphoria of an unexpected "wish I was kissing you" text message. The daydreams that take you out of the conference room and back to the bedroom. The blush that floods your cheeks when a friend asks you why your chin is chapped and peeling.

All the passion and the newness is enough to power a strand of Christmas lights from here to Hong Kong.

But as those petals all unfurl, and your little love bloom settles in under the sun, things head in a very different but equally thrilling direction. Into the comfort zone...

You discover that you can ride together in the car without talking—and it's okay. It doesn't mean you've run out of things to discuss or that there is distance between you two, you just both understand that there's peace in the quiet.

You can spend a date night assessing the look and fit of different dress shirts. He would have gone shopping on his own, but he wants your opinion. And your company.

You can lie next to each other, engrossed in a novel or the newspaper, and almost forget he's there until he touches your feet with his to remind you.

You can climb into bed together, cuddle up next to each other...and sleep.

The prescribed behaviors and guarded responses begin to unravel and you realize that this isn't just someone with whom you have amazing chemistry, it's someone you can be with. Be yourself with. You don't have to be the sexy, dolled-up dating version of yourself, you can be PMS-bloated, makeup-free you and he'll still like you. A lot. If that's not completely exhilarating, I don't know what is.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

It's About Time

I stare into his big green eyes. He's beaming at me in his flirty way.

"I love you," I say.

"Meow," he replies.

We repeat this pattern just about every night. He and his sister greet me at the door, he rushes to mark me with his paws, claiming me as his own. He is a beautiful black man and he cherishes me like no one else in this world. I just wish he didn't shed on the carpet so much.

Yes, I am a cat owner. And yes, I may talk in special voices and change the lyrics of songs to sing to my felines, but I do not believe this makes me crazy.

I really wish we could remove the stigma that comes with having cats. You never hear about "wild-eyed dog women" or "crazy cattle ladies." They don't make a "hamster-lovin' mama" action figure. No, all the insanity is saved for people who like cats. I don't get it.

Cats are awesome. They do their own thing, have their own agendas. They don't love you unconditionally the way dogs do—you have to earn their affection and respect. And that makes me respect them!

All that aside, I say it's about time we cut cat lovers a break because they're doing their stress levels some good. Having an animal in your home lowers your blood pressure, prevents loneliness—it can prolong your life. So really, we should be celebrating the proverbial crazy cat lady for being such a smart cookie!

Truth be told, I found a grey feline hair in my underwear last week. It was gross, but it made me laugh. Maybe that does make me insane. But I'm adding years to my life.

Just a Small Town Girl

I live on the outskirts of Los Angeles, but every now and then, I'm reminded just how "small town" my life really is. Last night, I rushed home from work and errands to make it to the polls before they closed. Having accidentally thrown away my sample ballot, I called my mother for a reminder of where I was supposed to go to vote (my ballot still gets mailed to my parents' house). She told me I needed to go to Monte Vista Elementary—the school I had attended from kindergarten through 6th grade.

I had voted there in the last election too, and remembered thinking how very strange it felt to walk onto the campus. Of course it seemed smaller, but what was more surprising was how faded my memories of the school had become. I thought it would feel nostalgically familiar, but it was more like walking into a picture I'd seen in a book somewhere.

I hurried through the school's gates, skipped down the stairs and into the auditorium (which did spark a twinge of sentimentality) where the polling booths were set up. As I stood admiring the check-in lady's precise use of a ruler to cross voters off her list, I was hit by something. Literally physically jarred. Someone said, "Oh excuse me." I looked up to find my brother-in-law and niece standing next to me.

"Are you going to vote for Obama?!" my niece hyperventilated.

"No, I have to vote for those pesky Republicans because I never changed my party after I registered in 1994," I told her. I'm sure this warmed my conservative brother-in-law's heart.

They went on their merry way and I fished my ID from my purse to hand to the check-in lady. Upon hearing her utter my last name, another woman at the table said, "Your sister was here earlier."

Now this was interesting to me because A. I have a different last name from my sister. And B. I had never seen this woman before in my life. "How do you know my sister?" I asked.

"I'm her friend Tracy's mother," she replied. Ah yes, I knew Tracy. What a small world it is.

Okay, maybe it's not that small of a world, just a small town. Either way, it's nice to be a part of it. Sure, I love that I can drive 20 minutes and be in the heart of Hollywood, but it's also pretty darn neat to bump into relatives and have strangers recognize me. Kinda made Tuesday a bit more Super.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Switcheroo Jitters

When it comes to change, I talk a big game. Change promotes growth! Change makes life more interesting! It can cause a chain reaction that leads to all sorts of wonderful new experiences!

When I found out last week that the fun, young company I work for may get bought out by a staid, decades old behemoth, I said, "It'll all be fine—if I get laid off, it means I'll get to go try something new." A friend went so far as to call me "cool as a cucumber" about the career-rattling news. I honestly thought I felt fine...that is, until I went to sleep.

My Friday night shuteye was spent in a panic because, in my dreams, I'd been canned. Then Saturday night I was on a beach where all sorts of giant sea creatures were washing up on shore because of global warming. Uh...hello...can you say troubled subconscious?

Although I truly believe that change is good, not knowing if and when a change is going to occur can be nerve-racking. Even when you're a chilly cucumber, it's not easy being in limbo. At least not when you're sleeping. I guess the only thing anyone can do is remind themselves (right before bed) that everything will work out. If you have faith, everything will fall into place—including your ability to handle the shift at hand. If that doesn't work, there's always wine and Tylenol PM.

Monday, February 4, 2008

The Sneeze Test

If you've seen the movie Singles, you probably remember that by the end of it, Bridget Fonda's character scales her list of desired man traits down to just one thing: Does he say God bless you when she sneezes?

It may seem insignificant, but it's actually a terrific measure of a man's consideration for a woman (or anyone, for that matter). It's a little thing that requires minimal effort, yet some people just don't say it. And for that, they suck.

I was chatting with a friend over the weekend and she brought up the fact that her guy has been ignoring her sneezes. She didn't even remember this issue from the movie, just noticed her ah-choos were going unblessed—even when she said bless you to him. Totally unacceptable. I told her to run him through bootcamp and testing:
  1. Tease him a little for not saying b.y. and hope he gets the clue.
  2. If she doesn't happen to have a real sneeze handy in his presence, throw out a fakie. Nothing elaborate, just a small, quiet one while the two of them are watching a movie.
  3. If he continues eating his popcorn without saying a word, he's OUT. Now she may really, really like him, so she could try for 2 out of 3, but I think he should be saying it without prompting from day one.
  4. Consider faking sneezes on all first dates from that point forward to find out early in the relationship.
The one guy I dated who didn't say bless you turned out to be a complete disaster. So although this rule may seem silly, I think there is value and truth to it. And for those of you who read my posts regularly, YES, The All Might Wonderful does say bless you. Even more than once when there are a series of sneezes...

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Fighting the Good Fight

I hate to admit it, but I'm watching My Fair Brady on VH-1 right now. It's sort of like a traffic collision or a cat up a tree—slightly horrifying but so easy to be sucked in by.

Peter...err...Christopher Knight and his bride, twenty-four year old Adrianne Curry, are completely dysfunctional and dramatic. In the 10-12 minutes that I've been watching the show, they've cried at least a half dozen times. They both seem to be carrying way more than the maximum weight limit for relationship baggage—and their issues appear to complement each other in all the worst possible ways. But they keep professing their love to one another and declaring their commitment to making it work.

So now I'm wondering: Is fighting and theatrics inevitable in every relationship? At some point, does every couple go through the ultimate, patience-testing rough spot?

I've had some Oscar-worthy performances with my past loves. But I consider those a direct result of their wrongness. However, when I think about the doosies that some other married people I know have had, it raises the question of whether Christopher and Adrianne are just normal newlyweds. Is drama just part of the territory?

I'd like to think not, but I believe once you've tied the knot, there's so much hinging on the other person all the time that, unless you two are identical twin-thinkers, you're going to have to fight to either preserve your sense of self or your idea of what the relationship should be. And if you're battling to keep the marriage intact, is it actually a good thing?

If Peter Brady's doing it, maybe it's okay. But on the flipside, if he can't get it right, who can? Greg? Bobby? Shoot, I don't know. And all this bickering has made me really tired... Goodnight, Marsha.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Matter Over Mind?

Lately I feel like my mind is slipping. There have been several instances where I've walked into a room and suddenly had no idea what I was doing there. I've accidentally forgotten things at Mr. Wonderful's house (no this was not in attempt to get him to deliver them to me on a subsequent night...although that is what happened...). I've even been forgetting that I've remembered to do things (like pack a particular feminine item in my purse on the appropriate day). All these dead-air moments are making me wonder—what the heck is up with my head?

Here are a few theories:
  1. I got mad cow disease from eating beef in London 5 years ago and it is eating holes in my brain.
  2. I ingested some sort of parasite while dining on sushi or an exotic veggie dish and it is eating holes in my brain.
  3. My osteopenia has somehow mutated and is eating holes in my brain.
  4. I haven't been doing enough Sudoku puzzles. And my brain is eating itself as a result.
  5. I was unknowingly attacked by a zombie who sucked part of my brain through my ear canal.
  6. I have boy-on-the-brain...and it's turning things to Swiss cheese...
I'm hoping that my ailment is a result of number 6. Much like Pregnancy Brain, I think it is possible to suffer from Love Brain. Your grey matter gets so lost in daydreams, that it becomes incapable of performing other everyday tasks, like remembering to take off your underwear before you get in the shower (I caught myself just in the nick of time with this one today). Or maybe it's lack of blood flow to the brain—caused by continual blood surges to the groin area (sorry, Mom).

Whatever the cause, I have decided I must take action to combat it. Last night I watched Jeopardy, and this weekend I'm going to try my hand at Sudoku again. If none of my efforts pay off, at least I can take solace in the fact that my lips still work. I may not remember how to tie my shoes in a few months, but I guarantee I'll still know how to kiss his perfect lips.