Tuesday, November 17, 2009

You mean Friday comes every week?

Good morning, Internet. The good mood continues. I woke up at 5:30 AM today and just bounded out of bed. It is SO WEIRD. I keep waiting for my usual snarky self to return, but instead I’m just nice. I think that’s so boring! Anyway, I know yesterday I said I was going to write about important things like this and this and this, but clearly something more pressing (read: not even close) has happened that I need to discuss with you.

My friend Cailin, who I’ve featured here before, and I were talking last night. Cailin is that girl who has that “thing.” Most girls have a friend like her, and damn, if I could bottle it and sell it I would be a very rich woman. Guys flock to her. That’s not an exaggeration. On the street, on the subway, at work, at clubs, at bars, at grad school, in the laundry room of her building…it’s just part of her charm. She thinks it’s hilarious and has a good amount of fun with it. I enjoy it because she always has THE BEST stories. Anyway, last night as we gchatted away, she told me about her latest predicament: boys who call too late/at bad times/without enough notice. It went like this:

Cailin: I’m so over it. It’s like, “Hi Curly, do not contact me Friday afternoon for Friday night. I have plans!”
Me: I hate that!
Cailin: Hi Larry, do not call me at 4 AM. I am asleep. OK, great.
Cailin: Oh what’s that, you’d like to take me to dinner on Wed? Yeah, I’m busy, but you know Tuesday does. See you at 7:30 PM and thanks for thinking ahead! And you know what else? Hello, Moe, do not summon me to Inwood!
Me: Inwood?
Cailin: F*cking bottleneck of Manhattan
Me: Yeah, I’m sorry. My boundary is 160th.
Cailin: Haha. It’s above Washington Heights! No, sir!

We continued on and talked about how guys who call at 12:30 PM and then leave a message giving her crap about not answering are clearly lacking in the critical thinking category (for all you TFAers out there, it’s totally a CT flag). And Inwood? This is going to sound really snotty, but, in Manhattan, if you are geographically undesirable, you need to step up your game. Maybe you love Inwood, but the girl you’re seeing lives at 135th and you live at 201st. Get your butt on the ABC or 123 and go see her in civilization. She can start going to Inwood when you guys are more than people who see each other a few times a month. And yes, I realize this is unfair, but I remain old-fashioned about maybe five things in life. This is one of them. I am a contradiction in terms. Deal.

But really, my issue is with the Friday day call for Friday night plans:

Friday night is not a surprise phenomenon. Neither is Saturday night. They come once a week. They’ve come once a week for as long as you’ve been alive. You should plan for them accordingly. I do. So no, when you call me on Thursday night or Friday morning, I can’t go somewhere with you. I have plans. Because I have a life. Of my own.

Sometimes it is the lack of planning, but more insidious than that: the need for a last minute replacement because someone cancelled on you. Look dude, we’re not exclusive, we expect you’re dating around, it’s 2009, no shocker here. But you know what you should not do? Call a girl on Friday morning and say something like, “I have tickets to _______” or “I have reservations for _______” because now we know that we’re going on a date you intended for someone else. Honestly, I’m mean. And if it’s good tickets or good dinner, I’ll go and definitely not go home with you after, because that’s what happens to boys who don’t think before acting.

Never throw an instance where we turned you down back into our faces. This was your fault. We had another date, plans with friends, or something else because YOU were late in asking. And please don’t feed me a line right now about how you guys have to play it cool because girls don’t like it if you show interest and if you call too early in the week, it’s not “cool.” This is not MIDDLE SCHOOL. This is real life. I don’t know if you noticed or not, so I needed to make that really clear. If you like a girl, like a girl. It’s ok. She might like you too! (But I can’t imagine why if you can’t plan anything more than a day or two in advance.) Take a chance, call her on Tuesday.

So now the ornery among you are saying, “It shouldn’t matter when he calls, if you like him you should just go.” Oh, ornery people…it does matter. You know why? Because should this be a rare instance where dating morphs into a relationship, now one person is accustomed to the other person dropping their life whenever he needs something. Girls complain about boys’ bad habits a lot, but frankly, we encourage them when we don’t stand by the things we want/expect. You know what I hate? When my friends start dating someone and they disappear from the face of the earth. There’s a natural drop in the amount of time you’ll see them, but don’t make plans with me and then cancel because Todd needs you. Unless Todd is ill, on the verge of suicide, or crying, he does not need you. It’s obnoxious. It’s rude. And it’s the kind of codependency that dooms a relationship from the start, in my humble opinion.

So go forth, ye of the Y chromosome, and call a sister up before midnight on Thursday. I promise you, some of us are actually worth it.

Monday, November 16, 2009

I'm Pretty Bored...

I’m in a surprisingly fantastic mood on this Monday morning. I woke up earlier than usual, had more time to lounge in the morning, go to work early. I think it’s the lounge time. I’m a lounger. Fifteen minutes of local news while I sip my coffee makes all the difference. But on top of being a lounger, I’m a snuggler. And I’m never a more hard-core snuggler than the minute before my alarm goes off. I snuggle my pillow and blankets like they will be ripped away from me like they took Sophie’s kid away from her (sorry, that was bad, but I don’t have plans to remove it). And then my snuggler and lounger fight each other to the death. I won’t lie; the snuggler is in WAY better shape. So then I’m running around like a crazy person in the morning and that pace kicks off my day. Those are usually the days where I am snarkier than usual and my friends suffer at my hands (sorry again). There’s another theory that my mood has to do with the weekend (specifically white chicken chili with a cheddar hushpuppy topping…OMG), but despite having a great weekend, I continue to think it’s the lounging.

So that was 200 words about nothing. Sorry about that. Some thoughts not long enough to stand alone in posts:

- Girls are hard to please. This isn’t inherently bad. Too often girls will take what is handed to them and tell themselves it’s all they deserved, which makes me sad/angry all at once. I’m hard to please (don’t hate), but that’s acceptable. I expect a lot from friends, family, significant others because I put effort into those relationships and expect it to be reciprocated. (And the first person to hand me a load of BS about how you’re not supposed to expect things in return in a relationship can sit their contrary ass back in their chair. OF COURSE you expect reciprocity. Don’t lie to yourself. I’m not talking about material things. I’m talking about consideration, respect, friendship, time, etc.) But that’s not the kind of “hard to please” I’m talking about. And I’m not talking about that either, get your mind out of the gutter. Girls spend their time whining about boys, and there are no good ones left, and if they could just find a guy who treats them right. But even when they do find a good one, girls suck. Guys are people. They are not perfect. Sometimes they are annoying. I have news for you, girls: you are annoying A LOT. For goodness sake, don’t write off someone you’re otherwise crazy about for one off night. If a guy did that to you, you and your friends would excommunicate him and hatch a plan to do something dumb. Be a grown up. Thanks.
- When I have a desire to write about something on here, I usually send myself an email with the subject, any thoughts I have on the topic, and then I leave it unopened in my inbox. It serves as a reminder that says, “Sarah, get your life together and write this blog post.” And the longer it stays in there the louder it mocks reminds me. Eventually, I will label it (love you, gmail!) “blog” and archive it because I can’t stand the constant ridicule reminder in my inbox. Why don’t I write about them? Well, part of me really wants to produce legitimate documents on these topics, present you all with facts and figures, and find credentialed people who agree with me. But this isn’t my Philosophy of Law class, so that hardly ever happens. And even when I do get my act together, things like this happen and become much more pressing to report. What? At least I’m honest about my priorities. All this to say, I owe the Internet a blog about hate crimes, tanning beds, and personality tests. I know you’re all waiting at the EDGES of your seats. This is an experiment to see if by publicly talking about what I will write about, I will actually write it.
- Some of the most social people I know refuse to karaoke. It’s fascinating. These are people who will go up to anyone in a bar and strike up a conversation. These are people who are loud, outgoing, and very lovable. But the singing in front of other people freaks them out. It’s karaoke. The entire idea is that you WILL be bad. You will not sound like Mariah Carey, Vanilla Ice, or Jennifer Nettles (but damn, if you sound like Nettles we need to be friends). You will sound like a normal person singing. I mean, I usually need to be in the mood to sing, going up with a friend helps, as does a little liquid courage, but I’ll do it. Here’s a secret: most people only pay attention to the person singing when they know them. So please stop thinking everyone in the bar has stopped their lives to watch you for three and a half minutes.
- Whoa. Insight. A lot of these people are the same people who refuse to dance. I love dancing. I don’t need the mood, friends, or liquid courage. I will pretty much dance anywhere at any time. I chair dance at work a lot, to the delight of my co-workers who come in to drop something off and stand there for about 15 seconds until I can feel them watching me. The curse of headphones, man, they distract me from noticing these people sooner. I dance in the car, waiting in line, sitting on the metro, ALL THE TIME. I’m not a great dancer. I did not take dance my whole life. I just like to shake my stuff. It brings me enough happiness that I don’t really care if I’m good or not. And people won’t dance in a club. Where there is music. And a dance floor. WHY DID YOU COME HERE IF YOU DON’T WANT TO DANCE? Ugh. Pet peeve. But maybe there is a link between the singing and the dancing. Is there a performance phobia in the world I don’t know about?
- In honor of seeing my best friend in ten days, I will mock her and her kind. I know it’s mean, but there is nothing funnier, in my head, than watching her go OFF about typography. She’s a terribly talented designer and takes this stuff SERIOUSLY. She uses words like “serif” when she gets going and gets annoyed when she has to explain to us laymen what she’s talking about. I like to think about sending her things in font like Jokerman or Gigi and wait for her to silently freak out at her desk. I know, I am SUCH a good friend. And for goodness’ sake, don’t call it font. Say typeface. Mostly I included this article as an homage, but also for this quote at the end: “In France recently, I drank some nice Côtes du Rhône wine with a fairly dreadful typographic dress. I was less bothered than I used to be; after all, it’s the wine that’s important!” If typeface is what is keeping you from boozing, I don’t even want to know you. End of story. See you next week, SK8!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Being the only girl rocked...and not just because of the no sharing clothes bit...

I was talking to some guy friends today about having brothers and siblings, in general. It started with me asking them for Christmas gift advice but that spiraled downward very quickly. But as we continued talking, the conversation morphed into how having a sibling of the opposite gender gave you perspective, taught you life lessons, etc. I don’t often think about the what if, it’s a waste of time and energy. I like the here, the now, and the what will be, not could or should, but will. I’m practical that way (and maybe stubborn). And so I took a thought trail that is uncharacteristic of me. I started to think what if I didn’t spend my childhood outnumbered by boys? What lessons would I have missed? What would I not know? The answer is: quite. a. lot.

1. I wouldn’t have my fine appreciation of all things comic book and superhero related. And don’t laugh number one off as not serious. This IS serious. Growing up it was my two brothers, my cousin Eric, who lived next door, and my cousin David, who lived downstairs…and then me. I don’t know if you remember how childhood works, but basically it boils down to this: what the majority wants, the majority gets. Now, I don’t really know if I ever had a desire to watch My Little Pony, I just know I never watched it. Same for Strawberry Shortcake and all that nonsense. I did watch some Care Bears, but so did my brothers, so I don’t have a barometer for how girly Care Bears are. Cartoon time was sacred and you watched the important things only. In our house, the important things were Batman’s Adventures, Superman, Spiderman, James Bond, Jr. X-Men (this was my favorite), Captain Planet, Power Rangers (original season, that’s right), and a host more. As a result, I can talk to you all about Bruce Wayne’s tortured psyche, the properties of adamantium, and how weird the kid who had the “Heart” ring was (you know you thought so too) with surprising expertise. I’m a big fan of the first and second X-men movies (the third had a plot that both the comics and the cartoon would have laughed at), I love Batman movies (except Batman Forever, that was regrettable), and my love for James Bond, Jr. has been replaced with a strong love for James Bond. Now let’s talk about My Little Pony. To be honest, I don’t even know what it’s about, why the show title is in the first person, or why the horses have Technicolor manes, but I know this: watching My Little Pony would have been a childhood experience only. I couldn’t have continued that love in any kind of adult, or public, way for the rest of my life. And I doubt My Little Pony taught the poignant life lessons we find in Batman, for example. Batman teaches us that even when someone is a bad person or has done bad things, killing him, while easy, is not the answer. X-Men is a lesson in being different. Celebrate your differences, embrace them, they’ll make you stronger. Captain Planet showed us that Mother Nature is not to be trifled with lest she come back and end you. So not only did the boys give me a lifelong love…I learned life lessons that Strawberry Shortcake and her freckles don’t know anything about.

2. They’re listening on some level, even if it doesn’t look like they are. For girls, listening is an active thing. Eye contact, head nodding, thoughtful questions. It’s work. I know my friends get annoyed because I’ll be doing three things while they’re talking to me. It’s called multitasking, people! Sorry, got sidetracked. Back to the point, my brothers remember random things. Sure, it’s mostly stuff they glom onto because they know it will annoy me in the future, but that’s beside the point. The point is that the ability to listen and recall are there. This is helpful when dealing with boys now, romantically or otherwise.

“You know I don’t listen!”

“You know I don’t remember that stuff!”

Excuses. Don’t take it. Don’t accept it. Boys try to play dumb and live up to the stereotype society hypes up. I am ON TO YOU, males. No go.

3. I learned how to argue with winning as the goal. Everyone argues. It’s human nature. One person thinks they are more right than another and feels passionately enough to argue. No problem. It happens. But few people treat arguing as an art form. I do. If I don’t see a clear win is possible, it has to be a damn fun argument to keep me in it. You know who can’t recognize when they’ve been beat in an argument? Girls. They repeat themselves over and over again. They don’t adapt their arguments to respond to your rebuttals. They invariably end the conversation with something wimpy like, “I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree,” before they send themselves into pout mode. It drives me crazy. Recognize that you’ve been beaten, that your skills were not up to par, and move on with your life. It doesn’t mean that you agree with me, it just means that you couldn’t articulate yourself clearly or persuasively enough to be declared the victor in this situation. Guys get this. Granted, they don’t like to lose, so pout mode might still happen, but usually they can recognize when they’ve lost the fight. So I avoid arguments with girls. Girls get mean, personal, and then they cry. I HATE IT when they start to CRY. Lose with some dignity!

4. How to pick a battle. You know what's not worth fighting about? The toilet seat. Put it down. They have to pick it up, so put it down. Don't fight about it. It's not a political statement. It's a piece of a toilet. Fight about real things. When they're important. If you complain, pick fights, or whine too much, you will be written off as a hysterical woman. It's not a pretty reality, but it's true. You can complain about that too, but I've already explained what will probably happen.

5. Keeping secrets is your life when you have two nosy little brothers. It’s not even that I did super secret or super interesting things. But brothers will pry and pry until they can get something they can use against you. Diaries and journals? That’s for suckers. Sex tapes? Incriminating photos? Not a chance. No matter how well you hide something, how much you trust the person you told, it WILL get out. Just stay quiet. Keep the secret. Don’t create evidence by documenting it for Pete's sake. It won’t kill you to keep your mouth shut; in fact, your life will be less stressful.

6. The difference between a semi-automatic and automatic firearm. I don’t have anymore to say here, it’s just one of the things I learned.

7. How to punch someone. Follow through. Power it with your body, not your arm. Plant your feet. And for goodness' sake, don't tuck your thumb into your fist or place it across your fingers. Save yourself a broken thumb.

What did you learn from your siblings?