Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Jamaica Me Crazy!

Sorry. I had to. It just begged for a bad pun.

So my birthday was yesterday. (If you want to give me a present, I can tell you that I am accepting vicodin and cigarette addition to small electronics) I had a nice day. Perfect weather, lots of phone calls and emails from friends and was nice. After work, I got ready to go see Frank Warren of Postsecret fame.

MJ and KT came over beforehand with presents and a cake for me. Yay!!!

They gave me:

A Barbie doll (no, I am not kidding. I told them that I love Barbies and wished I could still play with them. I described this super cool fairy Barbie to them, and they got it for me. I am reliving my childhood with this doll. Don't know what I'm going to do with her yet....but I like looking at her. If someone had thought to combine the concept of fairies and Barbies when I was little, I would have been obsessed with this collection.)

A 3 month subscription to Netflix (woot! woot! Season One of Nip/Tuck here I come!!!). I am spending this afternoon making my list. So excited. Now taking recommendations, btw. Any of the Oscar winners good? I haven't seen any of them. Except The Devil Wears Prada, which I highly recommend.

A pack of condoms. I don't know if it was a joke or a hint, but I told them it's a good thing they don't expire until 2011, because at the rate I'm going....

Then KT brought out my fantastic birthday cake. Man, oh man, was it good. Imagine a super moist, two-layer chocolate sour cream cake, with homemade chocolate icing. Ok, now dump a can of cherry pie filling on top. Omigod, it was heaven. I had two slices.

But now I have to get rid of it. Or I will get really fat. So I think I will see if a certain Hot Neighbor wants it....

Speaking of which...before we left to go see Postsecret, we decided to go out on my front porch and have a cigarette. Not 5 seconds after I lit my Camel, out walks Hot Neighbor. With his kids.


He waved. I waved. MJ and KT whispered, "Is that him?" and I said that it was. They tried to grab a peek at him as he loaded his kids into his car. They couldn't get a good look at him.

"Well, so much for that idea," I said.

Maybe I'm being too hard on myself, but seriously, could I look more irresponsible? In front of children? Jeez Louise. I'm sure he now just thinks of me as some young, dumb party girl. I no longer have the chic, mature woman image I was trying to go for. What father of three wants to date a smoker who goes out on weeknights? Ugh, I am so disappointed in myself. You know his kids were like, "Daddy, why is she smoking?" Gah. Can someone please shoot me?

Then again, if he can't deal with one bad personal habit, then I don't want him anyway, right? As K pointed out this morning, "Well, if he's divorced, then obviously he has some bad personal habits, too." No one's perfect. We all have our vices.

I feel like I owe him an apology. I really don't like smoking in front of children. But I'm going to hope that he either didn't notice or doesn't care. And hopefully, the yummy deliciousness that is my leftover birthday cake will help get me back in good graces.

Any male opinions on this dilemma are very welcome, btw.....especially if the comments run along the lines of...

"Dude, chicks who smoke? Totally hot." or

"Trust me, you have nothing to worry about. I'm a hot single father and I totally don't care if a girl smokes. Ok, let me confess--I am Hot Neighbor. I found out about your blog. I don't care if you smoke. Just please deliver that birthday cake wearing nothing but a smile."

Never fear, readers. I don't have to worry about dating jerks anymore. Now, I just cut to the chase and f--k everything up all on my own, before things even take off. Excellent...I am pre-emptively single. Ooh, good band name.

Moving on from this humiliating scenario...

Postsecret was really cool. He talked about how it got started, why he does it, what he has learned from it, stuff like that. Actually, a lot of what he said can be found in the introductions to his books. The best part was that he showed some secrets that cannot be put on the website or in the books due to nudity or copyright infringement. They were great. So if he comes to your town, I recommend going just to see those.

Ok, here are some cool things I learned about him and the Postsecret Project:

1. He hasn't had any stalkers, but he does get the occassional fan who wants to see the Postsecret House or meet the Postsecret Dog. Usually, they just want an autograph.

2. The #1 most submitted secret is "I pee in the shower."-- which, ew. I have never done that. Gross.

3. He keeps every secret that is mailed to him. They are all stored in big plastic bins (the big tubs you would store Christmas decorations in) in his garage. He's on year #3 of the project, and so far, he's got about 24 bins.

4. Every so often, he will get copies of his first book mailed to him in the mail. This is because the first book's cover was made to look like a USPS parcel. It's got his address on it and everything.

5. He said that if you can put postage on it or mail it, he's probably gotten it mailed to him. He said he's gotten potato chip bags, bottles, jewelry, sonogram photos, hair, house keys, Starbucks cups, CDs, you name it. He said some people put their cards in an envelope. Some people tape it all up and/or put $10 worth of postage on it, just to make sure it gets there.

6. He receives about 1,000 postcards per week. (Wow.) His mail carrier bundles them up for him every day with rubberbands.

7. He asked her once if she read them. She wouldn't admit to it, but she did say that her favorite one said, "I used to work at the post office. We would read everyone's post cards. Is that what you guys are doing right now?"

8. People think he's crazy for putting his home address on his books and website, but he said that in order to feel comfortable telling a complete stranger your secret, it helps if the stranger makes the first step. I thought that was a good point.

He really seems like a nice guy. He owns his own business, which is how he can keep Postsecret an ad-free site. It's in the top 10 most visited blogs, btw. It's the most popular ad-free blog. He actively supports 1-800-SUICIDE and gives donations to them. I think that is really cool. He said for every person that is murdered in America, two people commit suicide. That's a crazy statistic, and based on what I've looked up today, it is a pretty accurate statistic. He said that suicide is America's secret. It's so rarely talked about or reported.

Perhaps the best thing he said was along the lines of, "Every person probably has a secret which would break your heart. And I think that if we all realized that, the world would be a more compassionate place."

I think this is so true. I know I have a couple that would probably break your heart if you knew them. Maybe you'll see them one day on Postsecret! I have never sent one in, but now I want to send in about 4 or 5.

If you want to read more about Postsecret, there is a Wikipedia entry.

Ok, on to something less depressing. One of my oldest friends, J, who lives in Indianapolis, is getting married in Jamaica next September. Over the years, we have grown apart somewhat, but we will always be friends. I like her fiancee and I think they are really good together. I'm not so crazy about their friends, however. I think most of them are pretty snobby.

Anyway, I just got my invitation to go to the wedding, and I can't decide if I want to go. So I am keeping track of the pros:

1. Jamaica, baby!! I never go anywhere, and this is a great excuse. I love to travel, and I've never been to the Carribbean. I have been dying to go somewhere international and now I have an excuse.
2. She is one of my oldest friends and I know she would love it if I went. The wedding will be beautiful and I would probably cry lots of happy tears.
3. I found a round-trip ticket that is only $300 or so dollars. This is an incredible deal. Plus, I would rack up major frequent flier miles.
4. Um, it's Jamaica. I am counting this one twice.
5. The resort looks fantastic!
6. If I play my cards right, I might be able to get Czarina to chip in...she loves J and thinks it is so cool that we have been friends for 15 years.
7. My friend, Mack Daddy, offered to go with me. He used to live in the Carribbean, so he knows his way around (this soothes the panicky wuss inside me), he can help pay for the uber-expensive room ($500 per night!!) and he wouldn't have to go to the actual wedding because he'd be too busy snorkeling and sailing on boats. He could entertain himself during the wedding if J doesn't allow me to bring a guest. (Which I would totally understand, btw.)

...and the cons....

1. Her friends are kinda snobby. If Mack Daddy doesn't go with me, I will be ignored by the snobs the whole time. Which would impact my fun tremendously, as I would probably feel left out most of the time. This, combined with how stressed out I get when I travel alone, might make for a highly stressful trip.
2. The rooms are $500 per night. OUCH. Food and booze (which I obviously would not be drinking) are included. As are any touristy-tours I want to go on. But still. I cannot afford this by myself. No way. Especially when you include the wedding gift, spending money, etc.
3. If I go by myself, I don't know how much fun I would have. Aren't trips like this better with really good friends? Maybe I should hold out for a better opportunity.
4. It's during hurricane season.
5. Maybe I should be more practical with my money (ie, pay off some of my absurd credit card bills). I have been thinking about getting a new car....
6. I have heard that Jamaica is very crime-ridden and dangerous.

So....what do you think? Should I go?

More importantly, do you think I've totally ruined my chances with Hot Neighbor?


Behind The Curve On Love said...

I <3 PostSecret and own all 3 books. Thanks for sharing the non-book tidbits! As for HN, well, it really depends how he views smoking. Some people, it's a deal breaker, some not. I know parents that smoke, so just because he has kids, doesn't mean he's a non-smoker. I think you should bring your BDay cake over with nothing on but a smile (and stiletos!)

kittenpower said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kittenpower said...

That's a tough choice on the wedding/trip. I'd go if your boy Mack D went with...

The being alone with snobs thing could go awful, but maybe you'd meet someone fabulous?

How could you have ruined the thing with the neighbor?? He has three kids and is divorced. Compared to your smoking habit, his family life is much bigger baggage.

Single guy blogging said...

SGB's suggestion: Don't apologize for smoking. It's what you were doing at the time and it's what you do sometimes. If the kids didn't see it this time, they will see it some other time. As far as bringing cake wearing nothing but a smile, doesn't he live with him mom and kids? Even in fantasy, I'd be terrified of walking in nekkid and everyone is sitting around the living room.. eeek! Speaking of HN, is there background on this guy somewhere on the blog?

As far as Jamaica, if you can get your friend to go with you, and he is a local, go for it!! :)

KT said...

Girl... I had a great time with you yesterday and glad you enjoyed your birthday!!!

With the whole smokine, children, hot neighboor thing, I am inclined to agree that I don't see beating yourself up is a great idea. So what, you smoke, well you are entitled to have a vice, like everyone else. His for all you know could be picking his nose, lol. I think if it is meant to happen it will, whether or not you smoke or don't. You can't change or hide who you are if you want someone to be into you, thats leading a double life and where is the fun in that.

And with the trip to Jamaica, I would go....I mean it is a great oppurtunity and if it is a place you want to see then just do it. You can be the walking party at the wedding and make it fun all by yourself (if mack daddy can't go). I mean hey, you may meet someone at the wedding you did not know existed before, or that got super hot over the years. I understand if money is a huge issue, but if it is not, and you want to see the island, GO FOR IT!!! You only live once, might as well live it right.


KT said...

ACK! Spelled smoking, neighbor, wrong, sorry all!!!!!!! That is what I get for not using microsoft word.

Matilda Jane said...

Jeez... it's not as if you were killing someone on the front porch. How do you know he doesn't smoke... or smoke pot... or crack?! You need to stop beating yourself up before even knowing whether or not he's worth changing yourself.

The 'father of three' that I dated smoked... I think he needed it to stay sane.
People quit smoking all the time, and I would never touch a cigarette again if I had a good reason (besides 'it's slowly killing you,' because, well... so is life).

Be who you are because the person that deserves to have your love will love you no matter what kind of shoes you're wearing.

Stuck said...

Any man who would judge a girl based on the fact that she smoked and went out on weekends wouldn't be worth drooling over in the first place. It's not like you were shooting heroin... Suck it up and take the cake over, and ask him what he's doing this weekend. He just had the kids, so he should be free.

Jamaica is a slum. There are like three nice places surrounded by ghetto, and I'm not the sort of person who can walk around with blinders on and pretend that it's an awesome place.

And I agree that everyone has a secret that would break your heart. If you're over 25 and don't have one, then you aren't able to say that you've lived. Of course, this perception is coming from me, and my view of the world is skewed. ;)

Fluffycat said...

You should definitely go to Jamaica. Even if you don't like her friends, spending time at a nice resort place like that, you are bound to meet other cool people. I think bringing a friend is a good idea. Just think when else will you have a reason to go to Jamaica? And cheap plane tickets, very awesome.

I doubt a $500 place a night will be dangerous.

I'm sure he barely noticed the cigarette thing because he was so busy checking you out otherwise.

Meghan (The Declaration of MY Independence) said...

If HN doesn't like smokers then you MAY have ruined your chances with him. BUT at some point (if you two started dating) he was going to find out. I quit smoking a year ago and I did it for MYSELF. The other times I did it for someone else didn't work out so well...I was smoke free for about umm a week before I started smoking again behind their backs.

As far as the kids, if the most offensive thing they ever see in their young lives is a girl smoking then HN better consider himself lucky!

I hate Jamacia. I understand that to each their own, but when I go somewhere I don't want to worry about somebody robbing me or kidnapping me. I'm sure the resort is nice (it better be for $500 a night!), but other than that, I'm not too sure. When I was there if one more Jamacian grabbed my ass, asked me if I "wanted something", or eluded to the substance "ganga" one more time, someone was going to get chest punched. haha! Not to mention the small children everywhere begging for money. As I said....I hated it. If you went with someone else, I would say go for it. But by yourself, I'm not sure about that.

tallglassofvino said...

happy birthday! (gah, you're what *I* call a 'youngin'!)

don't beat yourself up about HN seeing you smoking - it's not like you were snorting lines or firing up a bong. and who knows? maybe HE smokes, too, just you've never seen it bc he's around the kids.

hmmm. I think if you had a friend going with you to split the cost and watch your back while traveling, I'd say go for it - but traveling there alone, and not being certain that you'll have a fabulous time with the other guests? I'd be on the fence, too.

Anny said...

personally i think the room rate is really steep, and hurricane season doesn't really appeal to me - cuz my friend got stuck in one of those once and they didn't even leave the hotel the whole time. :(

teahouse said...

Happy birthday, VB!!

By the way, how on earth did you get to meet the PostSecret guy??? That's so awesome? I'm sure you explained before how it happened, but I've missed that post.

You are officially the coolest girl I know!

Petra said...

Happy Bday VB! Your cake sounds yummy and guaranteed to win over HN :)

I say, if you have the money - go to Jamaica -it'll be warm and sunny and you'll get to go to the beach.
You're young, no kids yet - this is the best time in your life to take a trip like this.

If your friend can't go with you then I'd be more cautious about going out alone - most places are safer if you can go with someone you trust who knows their way around. A lot of people get in trouble when they go abroad I think b/c they go places not even the locals would go on their own.
As for hurricane season, ask yourself when was the last time Jamaica was hit? Then ask when places in the southern part of US was hit? I think you're more likely to face hurricane trouble here.

RWA said...

You should go.

And, from a male perspective, don't worry about this small incident. I don't believe Hot Neighbor will be that offended or disappointed.

sassafras said...

Happy Birthday VB! I'm glad you had a good day =)

mieke said...

Happy Birthday! (A little late) :)

I think you should totally go, if your friend can go with you. Is your friend getting married the same friend you wrote about a while back who had the really rude friends that wouldn't even talk to you? In that case, go, but maybe you could drink some and tell them off? Okay, maybe that wouldn't be so good, but it would make for a great story...
Anyhow, on to HN. I guess I missed something because I thought he had 1 child?? So he is divorced. I think you smoking outside is not such a big deal. He may not like it, but you aren't hiding who you are. I think he would not worry about it too much. And his kids have probably seen worse, since, uh, their parents are divorced. They have seen people smoke before. You can't change who you are just to impress someone, and if things are meant to work out, I think they will find a way. Just go over and invite him over for a piece of yummy birthday cake already!!! And then do tell! :)

Phantom Hater said...

Wow, you're really gung-ho over the DILF. I wouldn't worry about the cig if you're really interested in Naughty Neighbor action. Everyone knows, "If she smokes, she pokes." ;) Besides, you never want to go changing yourself just to make someone else happy. You're better than me--I see a divorcee with 3 kids and I immediately think, "Baggage."

It does sound as if he was dropping some hints. See if you can get him to come over and do some yard work and work up a sweat. This could turn into a pretty hot blog.

Phantom Hater said...

happy belated b-day, btw.

Lux said...

You're an unintentional hilarious writer. Your earnestness about certain things like the cigarette neighbour lame situation is too funny :) keep it up.