Friday, September 28, 2007

South Africa Loves Me

One of my lurkers recently emailed me to ask for an invite to read this blog, and she mentioned that she heard about my blog through the South African version of Cosmopolitan magazine.


I was not aware of this, so I asked for more details. She told me the issue it appeared in, and so I sent an email to its editor asking for a copy of the article. I was so glad to open my email today and find that the editor sent me a PDF of the article! I guess they have a "Hot Stuff" section in each issue, and for the month of August, my blog was the "Hot Blog". WOOT!!

I have been wondering why my statcounter shows so many hits from South Africa. And now I know. I'm famous there!

I tried to figure out how to post a copy of the article here for you, but it's in PDF, which Blogger does not support. I also looked into putting it on Google Docs, and then linking to it from here. Again, no such luck--the little blurb about my blog disappeared when I converted it into txt format. So you are going to have to take my word for it. But here's what it said:

"We love it because she gives us insight into the naive yet neurotic world of a 20-something American country girl. She’s a complete pink-packaged anomaly, confessing that her
musical taste goes from hip-hop to rock and country music –and her musings range from the arb to the occasionally substantial. But a weird thing happens to you when you’re reading – you start to see patterns in her life that also exist in yours, almost 14, 000 km away."

Hmmm. It sounds like they haven't read too much of my blog. I rarely talk about music on here. And I'm not quite sure why they think of me as a "country" girl. I also do not know what they mean by "pink-packaged anomaly", but I like that they describe me as a naive yet neurotic girl! LOL , that's pretty accurate. Not a glowing review, but a good one, at least.

Maybe I need to get one of those tshirts that say: "I'm kind of a big deal."

Ha Ha!

Talking about South Africa reminds me of a story about my dad, actually. My parents met at work in Washington, DC. But right before they met, WLF had to take a business trip to South Africa, which as you know is home to many diamond mines.

Since they were so cheap, WLF decided to buy some while he was there. Although he was divorced at the time, he hoped he'd get married again one day and could give a diamond to a new wife in an engagement ring. The back-up plan was that he'd just end up giving them to his sister or his oldest daughter (my older half-sister, Banana). So he bought two or three of them.

Due to customs regulations, he was not allowed to bring back the biggest one with him on the plane. It had to be shipped to him. He said that would be fine, and so he left his address with the diamond salesman.

He arrived back in the States and meets the new mail girl, who also happened to be my mother. It's love at first sight, and he begins to pursue her relentlessly (remember, he asked her out to lunch every day for a YEAR before she said yes!). Meanwhile, the diamond is getting shipped to him.

One day, he goes to get his mail out of the mailbox. Inside is a plain white envelope, with a hand-written address. The return address read: Capetown, South Africa. He opened it easily, because it was just licked like any regular envelope would be. Inside was the diamond. No wrapping, no insurance, no letter, nada. Just a plain envelope with a 3 carat diamond inside. It had been mailed halfway across the world without being lost or stolen. It was pretty incredible, actually, if you think about how many hands must have handled that envelope.

About 2 years later, it was put into The Czarina's engagement ring.

Cool story, huh?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Aargh. I have a tough decision to make. Do you remember J, my best friend from high school?

Background: I visited with her when I went to Indianapolis last December. We are still friends, but not nearly as close as we used to be. She is one of my oldest friends. And she is getting married this weekend in Jamaica. After doing some heavy thinking, I decided not to go to the wedding. The rooms were VERY expensive ($500/night!!) and her friends are all pretty snobby. Those were the two main reasons I didn't go.

Well, because most of her friends couldn't afford to go to the actual wedding, she and the new hubby are having a big, phat (oh yes, I am using the "p" version of that word) party next month in Indianapolis to celebrate the wedding a 2nd time stateside. It will be held in a mansion, actually. J's new hubby knows the guy who owns it and so they get to use it for free. The house is WICKED cool and HUGE -- large pool, hot tub, dance floor, a room just for the bar, you name it. There will be a ton of people there, and it will be very glamorous. A lot of J's snooty friends are rich models, so if you can imagine an Indianapolis version of a Playboy mansion party, that's sort of how it's going to be. Very glamorous. Very posh.

So now, I am trying to decide if I want to go to it. Here is my list of PROs:

--It will probably be a super cool party.
--Travel! I love traveling anywhere, anytime.
--Frequent flier miles.
--I can visit other old friends while I'm there in town for the weekend.
--CN said he'd be my date.
--I didn't go to the wedding, and I feel kinda bad, so this would be a good way to make it up to her.
--I have been friends with her forever. It's her friggin wedding. I would be bummed if she didn't go to mine.
--I already have something to wear.

....and CONs:

--I am broke at the moment. It will be about $300 for the flight and at least $200 for the hotel. It's money I don't have to spend. Plus, if CN goes with me, I will feel obligated to pay for his ticket, too. Since we would be in a hotel, we would need to rent a car, probably....that's more money. And of course, I have to buy a wedding present. (Which I'm doing anyway, regardless of whether or not I go to the party. But that is also part of the expenses.)
-- Remember, her friends are snooty. And they are models. So this party probably wouldn't do much for the old ego. And although J and her hubby love me, I know they won't have time to make sure I'm having a good time.
--We aren't as close as we used to be, like I said. I doubt seriously that it would break her heart if I don't go. She will be bummed, but she will get over it pretty quickly.

If money were no object, I would go, no questions asked. So I guess the money is the main thing holding me back. I can put up with snooties for one night.

What would you do??? Help! I need opinions!!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Bachelor Pad

Quick PSA: If you are reading my blog in Internet Explorer, stoppit. I use Firefox exclusively, and my blog only looks correct in Firefox. If you don't have that web browser, you can download it free. Just Google it.

I will try not to gush quite as much today. But this post is mostly about CN. Sorry.

I want to talk about something I've noticed about CN that really impresses me: his house. I want to hang out there a LOT because I like it so much. I feel very comfortable there, and not just because it's exactly like mine in size, floorplan, price and features. I figure most guys would like to know what is so appealing about it. Here's why.

1. It is clean. Like, really clean. No clutter. No grime. No dust that I can see. No overflowing trashcans. No dirty dishes in the sink (heck, even I have dirty dishes in my sink right now!). No half-empty fast food cups on the bedside table. No Giant Pile O' Change on the dresser. I'm sure he probably tidies up before I come over, but you can just tell that he's a neat and tidy person-- no las-minute cleaning could cover all of these details. It is evident that he doesn't want to live in filth. This is a good indicator of maturity and lack of laziness.

2. He has adult furniture. As in, he went out and bought it at a furniture store. It's not from Wal-Mart (not that there's anything wrong with that -- I have some, myself). It matches. It's not ugly. Not a plastic milk crate, folding chair or futon in sight. Real, adult furniture. Aaaaaaah.

3. So far, I have noticed nothing that states, "I never grew up!" : no empty liquor bottles on display on top of the kitchen cabinets, no beer can pyramids, no Animal House posters, no Playboys on the coffee table. There are no Star Wars collectibles or beer bongs. His Playstation isn't even sitting out. There are no wall hangings or neon bar signs. And he doesn't do drugs, so there are no bongs or pipes laying around. It's like a real, actual grown-up lives there.

4. It's quiet. No pets, no roommates. Not that I don't love having E or my dogs, because I do love them, but gosh it's a nice change! No interruptions or squeaky toys. Makes me want to take a nap. With him.

5. No overbearing parents at his house all the time. (I have a girlfriend who is dealing with this problem at the moment, that's why I noticed this!) His family lives about an hour away, so it is impossible for him to be a Mama's Boy. He does his own laundry, cooking and cleaning. Everything there at his house is his idea. His home is the home of an Independent Man. And that is very, very hot.

6. No evidence of ex-girlfriends or other women. Not a photo, card, dried bouquet of roses or romantic memento to be seen. No mysterious earrings (like one of my college ex-boyfriends had...) or any pink sweatshirts left by "friends". I'm not a very jealous person, but in my experience, random girl stuff usually translates to "he's cheating on you". So it's good that there seems to be none of that. A total lack of ex-girlfriend evidence also indicates an absence of emotional baggage-- a very good sign.

7. There are no bad smells. I haven't been into every room in his house yet, but usually if someone's house smells, the whole thing smells. So it is safe to say that the only thing there that smells is him -- and he smells GOOD.

8. Nothing there is sharp or dangerous like Dr. Seuss's house. CN's house is comfy. The couch is very soft and has plenty of room to spread out. There's a large, fuzzy blanket on it for when I get cold. Even his coffee table is circular, so I don't run into the corners with my shins. I haven't tried out the bed yet, but it's very big, there's a comforter on it and he told me how much he likes big, soft pillows. I am looking forward to this part.

9. Now, before you think he's gay or something, I can tell you there's no evidence of that, either. His fridge is practically empty -- just beer and condiments, really. There are no "accent pillows" or wallpaper borders. There aren't many decorative objects at all, really. He hasn't done any painting, so everything is cream (the walls) and brown (the furniture). There are few, if any things hanging on his walls. And he has a fake plant.

10. You also shouldn't think that his place lacks personality, either. One of the first things you see when you walk in is his drum set. He has foregone a dining room table in favor of a drum set. I can't wait for my first drum lesson! Woo Hoo!! He has a few funny photos in frames of him and his friends -- not your typical "say cheese" photos--they have stories behind them. He also has a small collection of old bottles with his name on them -- it turns out, there used to be an old bottling company by the same name (first and last), and he stumbled upon them during an eBay browse one day. I'm sure there are more little interesting things, and I'm looking forward to discovering them.

11. Nothing in his place indicated that he is insecure. This was not the home of a guy who is out to try and impress someone. Some guys are very in-your-face about their surroundings -- Kama Sutra books displayed prominently, gigantic jars of creatine in the kitchen, paintings by artists whose names are "accidentally" dropped, photos taken with celebrities -- that sort of thing. All of these things are bad, because they scream, "Look how cool I am!!!" -- they reek of desperation and a need for attention and approval. CN's house is just...him. Totally relaxed, totally unpretentious.

12. It's not eerily perfect, either. I've rarely seen his bed made. And there are usually a couple of DVDs lying around. So we know he's not a serial killer or freakishly anal retentive. Whew!

13. There is room for me. He doesn't have only a loveseat in the living room, he has a big couch. He doesn't have a twin bed, he's got a queen. He has more than one pillow and several towels. I haven't looked in the kitchen much yet, but I bet he's got more than one set of silverware. He seems adequately prepared to share his space with other people, especially me.

Now, as long as he passes my Official Bathroom Test, his house will be 100% VB approved!

Wanna read more about this topic? MJ already covered it!

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Smitten Kitten

That would be me. *sigh!*

Warning: This post might make you barf a little. I'm going to be a little gushy, folks. Sorry.

I had a great weekend. Friday night was great! CN called me about an hour before we left to meet up with MJ & VW at The Hunter-Gatherer (a bar/restaurant):

"Hey, what are you wearing? I've never been to this place, before and I don't know what it's like," he asked.

"I'm wearing a dress, but you can wear whatever you want. I just wanted to wear my new shoes, and the only thing that went with them was this dress," I said.

"Ok, cool. Hey, I invited my friend The Runner to join us. Hope that's ok," he said.

"Sure! He can talk to KT, because she's a total gym rat, and she's coming, too," I replied.

"Ok, I'll pick you up soon," he said. We got off the phone.

A little while later, he knocked on my door. I was pleasantly surprised: without any prompting from me, he rose to the occasion and didn't wear his usual tshirt and jeans! He looked really nice! Yay! Brownie points for him!

We matched. Again. I swear, we always wear black. We look like we are going to funerals all the time. *rolls eyes*

We met up with MJ, VW and The Runner and had a very delicious dinner. KT joined us right before the band started. MJ, KT and I were the only ones familiar with Loch Ness Johnny, but the guys seemed to like it, too. After talking to the band members for a little bit after the show, we all went our separate ways.

I don't remember the details (Ok, maybe I just don't want to share them!) but CN and I hung out alone at my house for a little while until he went home. I'll let your imagination fill in the details. Wowza. I was definitely looking forward to watching the game with him the next day!

The next day, after cleaning up my house a little, going to the store to buy the ingredients for dinner and taking a nap, it was time for the USC vs. LSU game. CN came over and we began to watch the game as we snuggled on the couch.

I don't really know what happened during the second half...because we didn't watch it.....

So then I started on dinner (Chinese beef and broccoli) while he told me funny stories. You should have seen how he wolfed his food down! He was entirely too excited about dinner! "This is the way to get on my good side!" he said. (I made note of this for future reference.)

After dinner, we watched Borat, which is hysterical if you haven't seen it yet. By the time it was over, we were both pooped, so we called it a night.

I wasn't planning on seeing him on Sunday, but he texted me during the afternoon to see if I still needed help with my weed eater. "Yes, I can't get this one part on," I replied. He said he'd come over and look at it.

The next thing I know, he has assembled it correctly and proceeds to begin mowing my backyard! "You don't have to do that!" I yelled, over the noise of the weed eater. He turned it off.

"I know. I want to," he replied.


"Now that is how you get on MY good side!" I exclaimed, laying a big smooch on him, despite the fact he was very sweaty and covered with bits of grass. He told me to go back inside so he could finish up. I gave him another smooch.

Not surprisingly, this scene led to a joke between us about my affair with "the gardener". LOL

I felt all warm and fuzzy inside. He earned SO many brownie points with this move. "CN is mowing my yard right now, no questions asked. What a keeper!" I texted to all my girlfriends.

Afterwards, he left to go shower and meet up with The Runner to watch an NFL game, and I went to the local Greek Festival with MJ & KT. It was so freaking hot that we didn't stay very long -- we were melting! I went home after eating my gyro.

By this point, I was exhausted and was planning on watching a movie until bedtime. I popped in Blades of Glory and dozed in front of the tv. I wished CN had been there to watch tv with me, but he was still watching the game with his buddy. "Oh well, I've seen him enough this weekend, I guess," I thought. I fell asleep. I woke up to a text message.

"The Falcons lost again. I'm heartbroken," CN said.

"Do you need me to console you? Is this a dire emergency?" I asked.

"Yes! A dire emergency! You should come over," he said.

Cool, he read my mind, I thought.

"I'm really glad you came over," he said when I got there. "I missed you."

"I'm glad you wanted me to come over. I missed you, too," I said.

"Sorry. I've had a few beers. I'm going to be corny right now," he explained as he popped in a DVD. (Note to self: encourage him to drink beer more often.)

To avoid making my readers sick to their stomachs, I won't tell you what else he said. But I will say that we didn't watch much of that movie, either.

He's so sweet, so thoughtful, so funny. I think I'm a goner, guys. This one's a keeper, for sure.

So it's going really well. Now I know what everyone was talking about when they told me to start dating nice guys. :)

Friday, September 21, 2007

I Think We're Alone Now

...the beating of our hearts is the only sound....

(anyone else remember Tiffany?? Haha, now you have that song in your head!)

Well, now that most of us are here, all I can say is:

Holy Lurking, Batman!!!

I tell ya, nothing brings the lurkers out more than making your blog private! Yesterday, when I got to work at about 1:30, I opened my email:

44 New Messages.

Holy Schnikes! That was a new record! And the emails just kept pouring in all day long! It was so cool, because I had NO CLUE I had so many lurkers. I thought that about 25 people read this thing on a regular basis. So far, it's more like 85! WOW. Now I know why my statcounter tells me someone is reading this in Montana, Raleigh, Canada, etc.

So I am saying a big HELLO to all of my lurkers out there. Thanks for lurking. I am flattered to have so many fans and wonderful fan mail! WOOT! I am amazed at your ability to keep your mouth shut and never leave comments! As you can tell, this is a skill I do not possess. So more power to ya.

Hopefully, we won't have to be all secretive and stuff for too long. I wish that Google would stop cacheing (sp?) my blog, too. It has a bunch of posts on there, but oh well. What can you do?

I'm sure you wall want a CN update. Because if you're anything like me, the love lives of virtual strangers are the most fascinating things EVER. So here is your update.

There is no update. I haven't seen him since our Sunday Smoochfest. Crazy, considering he lives across the street from me, I know. But we are both busy. I think he's getting kinda antsy, though, because he seemed really bummed when I couldn't hang out with him Wednesday or Thursday. Tee hee.

So instead, we have resorted to one of my specialties: communicating through obnoxiously flirty text messages and novel-length myspace comments. Barf, barf, I know.

On Saturday, I'm going to his house to watch the game (and I swear upon all things holy that if Blake Mitchell throws THREE interceptions this week, I will fly to Baton Rouge myself to personally kick his ass!!!).

Then we're going to my house so I can make him dinner, and he is entirely too excited about this. "Ok, I have to calm down. Let me think about baseball and Angela Lansbury for a minute..." he said, when I told him what I wanted to make. You'd think no one has ever made dinner for him before-- he was that excited.

Time for a totally unrelated and jarring change of subject. You know me!

I did some shopping the other day and had a fantastic, wonderful experience.

All my male readers are saying, "Oh great. I accepted the invitation for this?!" -- ha ha! Yes, I am talking about shopping again.

I have been lusting after this one pair of Steve Madden shoes for months. I think since about April. Every time I have gone to the mall, I have picked them up, held them to my chest and cooed over them. Alas, I was not willing to drop $60 on a spontaneous purchase. After all, it's not like I would wear them every day.

But Wednesday night, I walked into Dillard's to behold......SHOE CLEARANCE. *fans herself.*

I walked up to the section for my shoe size, and there they were in their full glory: the LAST pair of my shoes. In my size. For $23.

[insert chorus of singing angels and heavenly beam of light here.]

Needless to say, they are in my closet right now. Pair #62 (I think....) I just need to find a killer outfit to wear them with...

So I might go shopping after work today to see if I can find something perfect to wear with them tonight. MJ, KT and I (and yes, VW and CN are coming, too) are going out to dinner and then we're going to see our favorite local band. So it should be a fun night.

I might post again later on this afternoon, peeps. I promise it won't be as random and incoherent as this one. Because after re-reading this, I fear I should be on ritalin....

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Ok, I've decided to go ahead and make my blog private for the time being. If your name is not on this list, you have to shoot me an email by the end of the workday (5 pm EST) so I can invite you to keep reading.

Teahouse Blossom
Random Musings
Original Me
Stephanie A.

You can leave your email address in the comments or just email me directly at:

Thanks for understanding!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Cute Neighbor News. Get it? Har har.

Thanks to all of you who left advice for me on the last post! I don't like being involved in stuff like that, so I will just try to keep out of it as best as possible. Hopefully that will be the end of my involvement.

You have all been waiting patiently for a CN update. I have to admit, I have been stalling out of paranoia. You see, I am worried he will find this blog. Last Saturday, we were out with a group of friends, and the subject of myspace came up. If you are familiar with myspace, you know that you can have a little blog on there. "Do you have a blog?" he asked me.



"No...." I trailed off, quickly changing the subject to something else.

Great. I just lied to him. This is just perfect. First I tell him I have food poisoning when I really didn't, and now this. Ugh. I am getting a pit in my stomach just thinking typing this. I don't like lying and I'm terrible at it, too. So who knows if he even believed me???

But what else was I supposed to say??? "Yes, I do, and I talk about you on it all the time. Feel free to check it out so you can learn about how much of a total freak I am!"

As if this wasn't bad enough, long ago I stupidly set my myspace URL to the same name as my blog pseudonym, Virginia Belle. (And yes, I know you are all going to go and myspace stalk me now. Go ahead. I'll wait. It's private, anyway, so don't get too excited.) Anyway, if you Google my pseudonym, my blog pops right up. Oh boy. I do NOT want him reading this. I learned the hard way last time about telling guys you date about your blog. Never again!!

I would not really be worried about this if it weren't for the fact that he does background checks for a living. So he's paid to be a stalker. He probably has all of the research skills that I have. Is it only a matter of time before he thinks to Google my myspace URL pseudonym? Aaaarrrgh. I feel so stupid right now. Instead of being the hunter, now I am the hunted. Getting a taste of your own medicine is always a bitter pill to swallow.

I have some choices. Deleting my myspace and starting a new one would be waaaayy too obvious. I could make this blog invitation only, which would mean no more new readers. I could delete all of the CN posts. I could edit my blog to make it look like it's not ME, but some other girl who happened to use the same pseudonym. I could make it say that I'm a sales rep who lives in Colorado or something. I could even just end this blog and start a new one. Or, I could just hope for the best and continue about my merry way. What do you think? Am I being paranoid? I need help, guys!

I am trying not to think about it. So let's just move on for now. I know you want some scoop. I will warn you that this will probably be kind of gushy. So suppress your gag reflex for the time being. I will do the same.

First off, every time he and I hang out, we have great conversations and he usually has me in stitches. The guy is hilarious. Example: a text message conversation we had yesterday, after the cable guy came over to his house.

CN: The cable guy thinks you're hot. He saw you walking the dogs.
VB: OMG, don't tell me that!
CN: He was all about me hooking him up. He wanted me to give you his number: xxx-xxx-xxxx
VB: Yesss! Now I can get free cable! Thanks, CN!
CN: Just kidding. Alright, I will pay your cable bill if you don't go out with him.
VB: Ok, FINE! Gah!

And did I mention he's got dimples?? Oh man, am I a sucker for dimples....they are like kryptonite.

He and I met up with MJ and her boyfriend, VW for trivia night recently. We had a good time, although we sucked at trivia! CN wanted to do it again tonight, but I already have plans.

Saturday night, we went bowling with MJ & VW and Mr. & Mrs. Bill. There were a few more people there as well. We all had a really good time, especially MJ, who beat the crap out of us. And since she won't give me a straight answer, I will never know if MJ and VW were working behind the scenes to encourage CN to make out with me or not. As if I am not shy and nervous enough, I have to deal with meddling friends. Yeesh. After bowling, we all wanted to go to IHOP, but it was packed, so the group split up. CN and I decided to go to a Waffle House in our neighborhood instead.

When our waffles came out, the waitress neglected to give us any syrup. There was some syrup on a shelf nearby, but I didn't want to touch them because the handles were all sticky and goopy. I was willing to wait for the waitress to give us some syrup that wasn't sticky. I explained this to CN, and he stood up, grabbed one of the sticky syrups and said, "Tell me when." -- and then he syruped my waffle for me! Aw. Bonus points for him. I thought that was so sweet. Not too many guys are willing to syrup your waffles for you, you know?

As he walked me to my door, he said that he wants to take me out alone sometime, because we have been doing nothing but group dates. Ca-ching! More points. He totally read my mind. Unfortunately, there was still no smooching going on by this point. I guess I just wasn't feeling it. I'm not keen on kissing in public or in front of my friends. And I hate having a first kiss on my doorstep. It makes me feel like I'm on stage. I don't like it. So although I could tell he wanted to, I bolted inside at the end of the night.

MJ, of course, wanted juicy smooching details the next morning, but I disappointed her yet again. By this point, MJ was totally annoyed with the both of us, and nagging me incessantly to get on with it. "I'll do it! Lay off, already!! He's shy and it makes me feel shy in response!" I said defensively.

The next day, I was puttering around my house when he asked me if I wanted to go to Steak n Shake for dinner. Mmmmm!!! Burgers and milkshakes!!! Twist my arm!! Unfortunately, when we got there, we learned that tragically, Steak n Shake has closed down. After briefly grieving for the loss, we went to another burger place, where we had more fantastic conversation. Actually, I kinda hogged it, and he let me. More bonus points for him...

When we got home, it was still early, so he invited me over to watch a movie. We settled on Pan's Labyrinth, which ended up being AWESOME. It is one of the best movies I've seen in years. And he got more bonus points for putting up with one of the most annoying things about me: I am one of those people who talks throughout movies. I know, I know. It's so irritating. But I yell at the characters and critique the movie the whole way through. Aside from some much deserved teasing, he let me get away with it. Wow. He got a lot of points for that one.

His house was totally freeeeeeeezzzzing, and so he tucked a blanket around me and turned the air down. Then he said I could snuggle up to him to stay warm, which I did. Aw. He smelled good. Yay!

As he walked me back to my front door, he said he has not been coming over, because he doesn't want to be "that guy". I told him that was good, and that I was doing the same thing, because I didn't want to be "that girl".

"Oh, no, you can totally be that girl," he replied. Aw.

Ugh, this post is making me barf a little. Sorry. I'm trying not to gush. I'll stop, because I'm annoying myself at this point.

But he is a good kisser. :)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Drama: A Sketchy Act

Last week, Butter, E and I were informed by Mrs. Chemical that she would be celebrating her birthday on Friday night. It was a girls-only event. Much to our bewilderment, we were invited. After a brief pow-wow via email, we decided to give her the benefit of the doubt and attend.

So we show up at Liberty's (a very popular bar/restaurant) to discover that we are the party, because she apparently doesn't have any other girlfriends willing to help her celebrate her birthday. She seems ecstatic to be having a girls' night, and we were all having a really good time. "Hmmm, maybe I was wrong about her," I thought.

Over dinner, she tells us the story of her and her husband. They have been together since high school, except for one year in college when they broke up. During this break, she briefly dated her best guy pal. She just found out inadvertently that he thinks she married the wrong man. She also asked us if we thought she was out of line for not liking the fact that he has just started dating a friend of hers. We had a lively debate about dating friends' exes, but that was it. Or so it seemed.

After dinner, we decided to go dancing. By this point, we are all being total goofballs and laughing hysterically and taking funny pictures. Mrs. Chemical runs into a coworker of hers (I will call her M) and she joins our group. The fun evening began to crumble when B called E to see when she wanted him to pick her up. For whatever reason, she took this as B keeping tabs on her and trying to give her a curfew, which rubbed her the wrong way. Matters were not helped when B told her to stop "acting like a bitch."

Needless to say, E was not in the best of moods for the rest of the night, and B spent the night alone. (They are fine now, but he was in the doghouse for most of the weekend!)

Soon after that phone call, Butter runs into a guy pal of hers. It's his bachelor party, so he and his friends are all having a really fun time, and they ask us to join them in VIP.

We are all enjoying ourselves until some random girl who happened to be in VIP started dancing with the groom-to-be. This is when the evening's drama really got started, and I began to get annoyed.

Butter and E immediately go over to this poor girl to inform her that he's engaged and about to get married. She blows them off and pooh-poohs their concerns, which only gets them more motivated to lecture her and scorn her behavior. Meanwhile, Mrs. Chemical and I are watching all of this, wondering what in the hell is going on. (We couldn't hear them, but we had a general idea of what was going on by the looks on everyone's faces.) The next thing we know, we are being kicked out of VIP by the bachelor party! I guess we were being cock blockers...

By this point in the evening, it was about 1:30am and everyone is fairly intoxicated. E is in one helluva mood, compounded by the fact that Butter ending up mooching off of her beer tab -- again. Butter is still going on and on about how wrong it was for that girl to grind on her "best guy friend". I point out that Butter has never so much as mentioned this guy to us before and that it's really none of our business. "For all we know," I said, "his fiance could have told him it is ok for him to do that tonight. I mean, at least he's not at a strip club, you know? If he's going to cheat on her, nothing we do or say can stop him. So what's the point of playing Relationship Police?"

For some reason, perhaps it was the alcohol in their systems, my opinion was deemed neither ethical nor logical. I had to listen to a chorus of "So if it was your fiance, you're saying you'd be ok with that?" I stated that I like to pick my battles and that I would never marry a guy who would do something that would upset me. I would never be with a guy I couldn't trust. They just shook their heads at me and continued ranting about the nerve of the girl in the dance club.

At this point in the evening, I am just glad that we are all going home. I was starting to see why Mrs. Chemical didn't have a lot of girlfriends.

So we are walking back to Mrs. Chemical's car. She is going to drop us off at my car so we can go home. Suddenly, she turns around and says to us, "Ok, you guys, I'm going to drop you off at Virginia's car and then go meet up with someone. If anyone asks, tell them I'm hanging out with M, ok?"

I am dumbfounded. Did she just ask us to lie for her??
E, the smart little thing, plays dumb and asks her if we can go too.

"No, you can't. I'm sorry. I know what you're thinking, and that's not it. I promise that it's not. Just tell whoever asks that I'm with M, ok?"

E and I looked at each other.

I said nothing. I have a strict policy that I do not lie for other people. Heck, I don't even lie for myself, because I'm a terrible liar. E and Butter agreed to it, and we continued on down the street. Mrs. Chemical drops us off, and we get into my car.

"Ohmygod, she's cheating on her husband!!" Butter mumbles as we get into my car.
"Let's follow her!" I shout.

We saw her turn down an alley near a lesbian bar before driving away. After being initially shocked at the thought of her lying about going to a lesbian bar, I decided to calm down and assume nothing. There were other bars near there, too. Maybe she was just looking for parking. I mean, she probably knew we would follow her. There was enough drama going around already without me adding fuel to the fire. E and Butter were not familiar with that alleyway -- they didn't know about the lesbian bar. So I stayed mum about my observation.

I stated that we really could not follow her, so we continued on our way. For the first half of the ride home, we tried to figure out what on Earth just happened. I noted that she had been texting with someone all evening. E was amazed that she would ask friends of her husband to lie for her. I was shocked at how trusting she was, considering we hardly knew her. Butter was convinced she was cheating on her husband with the guy she had mentioned at dinner.

I still can't figure it out, though. She didn't have to tell us anything. I mean, just drop us off and go about your merry way. Why bring us into it? It kind of made me angry to be involved in the whole thing. I wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt on this one, but I just couldn't. None of it added up. Why would you blackmail yourself? Why would you unnecessarily bring a third party in on your big secret? What could you possibly have to hide from your husband?

And no, it's not drugs. She's a nurse and would lose her license/job if she tested positive. So we are pretty sure that's not it. Without any solid answers, our conversation went back to the other drama of the evening: E's boyfriend troubles.

E rehashed it with the two of us, and we offered our opinions. I don't think B was trying to give her a curfew. I think it must have just come out wrong. But I also think he was way out of line telling her she was acting like a bitch. You don't use the "b" word, you know? Anyway, eventually Butter started complaining about Country Boy. Her complaints about him are always a bunch of crap, and this time was no different: she felt he didn't know her on a "deeper" level. Well, whose fault is that??? Ugh. I'd had it. Both of these guys worship their girlfriends. Country Boy drives an hour and a half just to SEE Butter. B and E have already gone engagement ring shopping, for Pete's sake. And here they are, nitpicking them to death over a bunch of bullshit! Aaaargh.

"Well," I said to them as they were bitching about their boyfriends simultaneously, "have you talked to him about it?"

"YESS!!!" they replied in chorus.

"So, if you've talked to them, and they aren't changing, then DUMP THEM!! I mean, this is RIDICULOUS!!! They are crazy about you guys, and you're bitching about stupid stuff! Just like that poor girl at the bar! She didn't know! Stop being Relationship Police! Pick your freaking battles!!!" I shouted.

The car got quiet. I breathed a sigh of relief. FINALLY, they shut the hell up!!! We drove the rest of the way in silence. Sometimes, losing your temper can pay off.

We got home and sat outside and talked some more. Butter bummed cigarettes from E. Even I was beginning to get annoyed by her mooching at this point. I was about to just say goodnight and hit the hay when Country Boy came over to pick Butter up. He told E that B was upset for what he said and that he apologized. He also told E that she misunderstood B's phone call. I could tell E was not quite as angry as she had been earlier. Whew.

We began to give Country Boy a re-cap of our evening when Mr. Chemical called him. Here is how the conversation went between the two men:

Mr. C: Hey, are you over at Virginia's house with the girls?
CB: Yeah, but Mrs. C isn't here.
Mr. C: Well, where is she?
CB: [to us] Hey, where's Mrs. C?
Butter & E: She stayed out with M.
CB: [to Mr. C] They said she stayed out with M.
Mr. C: Oh, man! That means she'll be out all night!

CB got off the phone and repeated that to us. E and I looked at each other. I felt a twinge of guilt, followed by resentment towards Mrs. Chemical. And I haven't been able to get that line out my head since: Oh man! That means she'll be out all night!

Grrrr. Thank goodness the rest of my weekend was 100% drama-free. I'll give you the CN update tomorrow. Until then, I need some advice and opinions about all of this! Was I out of line with what I said to Butter and E? And is it ok for a random girl to dance with a guy who's about to get married? I feel pretty strongly about my opinions, but maybe I'm wrong.

But most importantly, what should I do about Mrs. Chemical's secret?? At this point, I don't think I want to hang out with her anymore. I don't like meddling in other people's business, but if she's cheating on her husband, that's kind of a big deal, right? What else could she possibly be doing that she would need to lie about?

Friday, September 14, 2007

Shopping Friday

After yesterday's long and somewhat serious post, I think I will lighten up today. What's more trivial than fashion, right?

For the last year or so, I have not been a big fan of the current styles. They are too young for me or unflattering for my body type. Baby doll dresses and skinny-leg jeans do nothing for my hourglass figure. Cropped cardigans just look strange on me. Those long, plastic beaded necklaces look like something my grandmother used to wear. I like flats, but they aren't nearly as fun to wear as 4 inch heels. And bubble skirts are just a little too late '80s for me. I was starting to fear that I am getting *gasp* old and no longer like what "young people" wear these days. "Oh, gawd, I'm going to turn into an old frump now! I'll be one of those women who still dresses like she did in college, even though she's 40!!" I lamented.

I have been making an effort to try out some of these new trends, to no avail. Aside from one necklace and a couple of headbands, I have yet to feel "in style" lately. So I've been kind of bummed out about it.

But then, I opened up the latest issues of Vogue, Marie Claire and Cosmopolitan. And I took a leisurely browsing trip to the mall. What did I find? Total bliss in the form of feathers, jewels and hats (oh my!!). Patent leather purses, satin blouses and high-heeled spectators. Cobalt blue, lipstick red and --my favorite -- a blistering hot pink. In fur, no less!! Clutches are encrusted with glittering jewels and shoes look like they were designed by Crayola. Black pencil skirts, fishnets and opaque tights, my old friends, are back again. And not a hint of 80s drag queen or bag lady to be found. Someone pinch me.

As if that's not enough, red lipstick and liquid eyeliner are back, too. Can I just tell you how excited that lipstick is back??? Be still my beating heart.

I breathed a sigh of relief and joy: I like fashion again!!! These are looks I can wear!!! Bye-bye, Hippie Girl, hello Modern-Day Vixen!! This is as good as Christmas. I have been soaking it all up. Check out what I found at Arden B, Express, Cache, Nordstrom's, Bebe and on other sites on the web:

Ah, I am drooling! Chomping at the bit!! In fact, I think I will wear my pencil skirt tonight, complete with a bitchin' pair of pumps. And if I had a cloche with netting and feathers on it, like this one, I'd wear that, too.

Although fall weather doesn't really hit SC until about Thanksgiving, it hasn't stopped me from lusting after fall clothes. Unfortunately, I don't have any spending money right now, so I will be forced to admire them from afar and in the pages of magazines.

Oh who am I kidding. I know I'm going to break down and get something from Arden B....they take Visa. That hot pink satin top has my name written all over it.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

New Rules

At 14, I began my journey down the long, emotionally hazardous road that is Dating.

Thinking all I needed was an intoxicating perfume, a terrifying amount of hormones coursing through my bloodstream and a big smile plastered on my face, I was in for a rude awakening, when at 14, my first boyfriend and I broke up. Red and swollen, my young eyes got their first look at reality: Love hurts.

That's when the lectures started. The Czarina, ever the stoic, encouraged me to play hard to get. She bought me both volumes of The Rules, and practically quizzed me on their contents. For the most part, she managed to convince me (brainwash me?) that playing hard to get can serve as Heartbreak Insurance. Or at the very least, Dignity Preservation.

"You see?" she said, in a tone of voice usually reserved for elementary school teachers. "If you don't act interested, he won't think you are, and that will make him want you more. And if you date other people and only see him once in a while, it's more difficult to get all wrapped up in one guy, anyway. It really is the way to do it, honey. Do you see how it can prevent you from feeling like this in the future?"

I looked up at her, sniffed, wiped the tears off my cheek and nodded. Anything to prevent going through this again sounded like a great idea to me. Despite some initial questions and misgivings, I embraced this concept with open arms, hanging on every word and explanation coming from my mother's mouth. Wanting to show her I was a serious student of the methodology, I vowed to become Ice Princess -- The Czarina was Ice Queen, so it was only fitting that I be her protege. After all, I was lucky enough to live with a Master-- between the years of 1963 and 1976, she dated approximately 80% of the single men on the Eastern Seaboard, and several hundred more during her year abroad in London. Or so it seemed to me.

Did I believe in the philosophy? Yes.

Did I always follow it? No.

Alas, my dream of being crowned Ice Princess was not to be. As if my extreme shyness was not enough of a hindrance, I failed to attract the same level of male attention that my mother did. So practicing these tactics was difficult. Which means, I never really got very good at them. I can't do math, but I would guess that over my dating lifetime, I average one boyfriend every three years. I remember 2000 and 2003 as being Entirely Dateless Years, actually. My average relationship length is about 6 months. I'm not complaining, just trying to illustrate to you the difference between my dating history and my mother's. A heartbreaker I never was.

If we were Shakespearean characters, she would play Lady Macbeth, and I would be Juliet Capulet, complete with the tragic end due to an unfortunate misunderstanding and lack of communication with her intended. I was fairly hopeless. But this never stopped me from striving for Ice Princess perfection. I have always trusted The Rules and the philosophy behind Hard to Get. I just need more practice.

After being adrift in the Ocean of Singledom for long stretches of time, I have to admit that spotting a piece of Potential Dating Real Estate on the horizon can send me into a tizzy. And when I finally get my feet on the malleable soil of a New Relationship Island and walk ashore to find a potential paradise of happiness and acceptance, I have a tendency to be more grateful and excited than anything else. No more swimming alone! This person likes that I'm here! Woo-Hoo! Let's do cartwheels!!

This is, of course, not how an Ice Princess behaves. So to put it bluntly, when presented with the opportunity to play Hard to Get, I would, more often than not, eff it up. Royally.

Upon the inevitable breakup and sobbing hysterically on the phone to The Czarina, I receive the same lecture I've been getting since 1996: stop showing and telling them you care and start playing hard to get or else you will have to keep going through this. Emotional investment only gets you hurt. Let him make the emotional investment in you. Men don't stay with you because you bake them yummy cookies. They stay with you because you are elusive and they can never get you. You need to stop being so gushy... [there's another 45 minutes to this lecture, but I won't bore you with the details. I'm sure you can guess how it goes.]

Every argument I make against playing hard to get is met with a solid and indisputable rebuttal on The Czarina's behalf. Every one of these phone calls ends with me conceding defeat and acknowledging that yes, she is always right, especially when it comes to romance. And her credentials back it up: a very happy marriage of almost 30 years, several proposals from different men and one legendary year when (at age 18 or so) she had a date every Friday and Saturday night.

How can I not listen to her? Not only is she my mom, who loves me, but the woman is a master at getting men to fall all over themselves for her. She knows what she's talking about! And I have nothing but a train wreck of a relationship resume. After dating for 15 years, I often feel I have learned nothing.

Women who can maintain emotional distance, put up walls and possess the ability to be cold fish amaze me. I look at them as though they are Wonder Women -- that's how foreign it is to me. They are these mechanical, robotic Bionic Women. Cold, unfeeling, unaffected, strong and protected. They are safe from the bullets of heartache. They are wearing impenetrable vests of aloofness. And men seem to love it.

Meanwhile, I am running down a hillside, a la Maria Von Trapp, singing about how wonderful love is as I twirl around picking flowers and petting bunny rabbits. My internal dialogue is reminiscent of Sally Field's Academy Award acceptance speech. I am vulnerable, warm, eager and emotional. When the Heartbreak Mafia come to town, I am mowed down over and over again like a victim of the St. Valentine's Day massacre. So while I am aware of my faults, I still have a hard time denying my true nature: I'm a gusher, dammit. I wear my heart on my sleeve, for the most part, and I probably always will, for better or for worse.

It's like we are a modern-day American version of Sense & Sensibility.

As much as I wish I could be The Czarina and deny a man for a YEAR (as she did to my poor father, who only wanted to take her to lunch!), I think we all know I could never do this.

In fact, if you know me in real life, just the mental image of me actually saying "No, thanks," to anyone I'm remotely interested in should have you laughing so hard, you fall right out of your chair.

Even The Czarina is starting to give up on me. "You're just too much like your father," she's started to say.

After many painful breakups, I can say that maintaining emotional distance is starting to come more naturally to me. In fact, I'm starting to become really good at it: I am now petrified of developing feelings in the first place. I am uncomfortable with "getting to know someone". The thought of kissing someone for whom I have an emotional attachment leaves my knees shaking--and not in the butterflies-in-your-stomach good way. It's similar to that pit you get inside of you when you are on a rollercoaster--a sickening feeling. This has not been a conscious choice on my part. I did not have an epiphany or some new appreciation for playing Hard to Get. This has been a Darwinian adaptation. I simply cannot go through another painful breakup. It would kill me, I think. Or at least send me running towards the nearest bottle of Prozac.

So for a while, now, I have decided to take a little vacation from romantic emotions. It's been easy, being alone: no emotional hurricanes or disappointment in my travels. Just smooth sailing, with the occasional port-of-call in such exotic locations as One Night Stand, Flings, Harmless Crush and Bad Dates.

These places serve as re-fueling spots, providing me with a hint of what real relationships are like, without much of a downside. I linger long enough to feel like a desirable woman, and then...I get a taste of relationship in my mouth, and I run back to the safety of my Single Girl Man-o-War, fleeing from the flood of bad memories and pessimistic premonitions. Emotions can drown me. It's safer and easier to just stay alone, high and dry, on my ship. And so, that's where I've been for a while.

But along came Cute Neighbor. Armed with dimples and the ability to make me laugh, his relaxed and spontaneous ways have caught me off guard and unprepared. The Wannabe Ice Princess is still ingrained in me, but I can feel her slowly melting away with every conversation I have with him. I can tell he's being open and honest with me -- so if he's not playing any games, why should I? I haven't won a game of Hard to Get yet, so maybe it's time to just stop playing and start being myself. Maybe all this time, it's been the rules that have held me back.

I don't know why suddenly, I'm abandoning the only dating mantra I've ever believed in. Maybe I'm tired of the same ending, and realize that unless something changes, it will happen again. Maybe I feel I have nothing to lose. Maybe he's allowing me to trust again. Maybe The Rules are antiquated in this day and age. Maybe I'm just exhausted from artificially maintaining distance and calculating my next Ice Princess move.

Whatever the reason, I'm not ready to let down my anchor quite yet, but I am looking forward to exploring this one. I've just got to get my land legs back. Because right now, I'm a little shaky.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Barf Queen on a Date

"I took 5 of them," she slurred.

Oh boy. When I got home from work on Friday, I opened my front door to find E in the midst of a Vicodin-induced stupor. She had surgery recently, and was in some pain.

"Well, I don't have any plans tonight. You wanna stay in and have a Roomie Bonding Night? We can watch movies and eat popcorn. I could pop a Vicodin and join you!" I said, excitedly.

E nodded enthusiastically. "Yeahyeahyeah."

15 minutes later, we were in our jammies, watching Dirty Love, eating jelly beans and I had downed a Vicodin. A few minutes later, I decided it wasn't working, so I took another one.

[Note: This directly violates Rule #1 of VB's Vicodin Enjoyment: Never take more than one Vicodin. I would soon rue this rule violation.]

So I'm just starting to enjoy myself when there's a knock on the door. It's Cute Neighbor. And I'm buzzed on painkillers. Uh-Oh. Act natural.

He had some friends (a married couple) coming into town for the night and wanted to know if I would care to join them for dinner and pool.

"Sure, I'd love to!" I replied, trying to sound sober, secretly wondering how in the hell I'm going to pull this off.

He said ok, and told me to be ready by 8. Cool. That gave me an hour and a half to get ready. In other words, I would be totally juiced by the time the date started. I shut the door.

"Shitshitshitshitshit!!!" I whispered.

"What? Wassss that CN?" asked E, stumbling over to the front door.

"Dude, I have a date with CN and I'm fucked up. I can't do this," I said, walking past her, to my room.

Have you ever tried to get ready when you're drunk? Because that's what it was like. I don't think it would be an exaggeration to say that this was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. Hot rollers? Seemed to require a PhD. Coordinating shoes with my outfit? Required an extremely serious debate between myself and E, lasting about 15 minutes. Zipping up and tying my top, without getting the dreaded white deodorant marks all over the front? Took every ounce of concentration and focus I had in my body. I dropped everything twice. I almost poked my eye out with the eyeliner. And I thought the SATs were hard. I think I asked E about 6 times if my outfit looked ok. Which was stupid, because she was more wacked out than I was.

Oh boy. This was going to be an interesting night.

"E!" I shouted. "I don't know if this is a good's still kicking in!"

"No, you should totally go. You have to," she slurred, leaning against the door frame of my room.

"Well, the good thing is, I'm not nervous at all. I feel gooooooooood," I replied.

"See? So you shhhhhould go...." E mumbled before collapsing on the couch. I think she passed out at this point. I don't really know. I was more concerned with remembering how to walk in a straight line.

After double and triple-checking myself in the mirror, I headed over to CN's house across the street. "Don't tell him you're on Vicodin. Don't tell him you're on Vicodin," I mentally repeated to myself.

[Note: When we went tailgating together last weekend, I mentioned how much I loved Vicodin, but emphasized that I do not do it all the time by any wild stretch of the imagination. So I did not want to give the impression that I am addicted to pain killers or something. Because less than a week later, here I am, weaving all over the street, teetering in high heels. Yeesh.]

We drove downtown to meet up with the couple. I think I acted pretty normally. I think....I hope...

By the time we walked to the restaurant, sat down and opened our menus, I was blitzed. I could feel my eyes crossing and my mind wandering.

I ordered a ginger ale in the hopes that it would settle my stomach. No such luck. Before I took a sip of it, I excused myself from the table. Luckily, our table was not too far from the bathroom.

By some miracle, the bathroom was empty. I hurriedly locked the stall door behind me and proceeded to barf. "Shit! I am never taking Vicodin again! I am a total idiot! I can't believe I did this!!! Stupid, stupid, stupid!" I thought as I doubled over, hurling.

Double checking myself, my hair and my clothes in the mirror, I swished my mouth out and popped some gum. I have no idea how long this took, because at this point, I was in Lala Land.

Luckily, no one seemed to notice when I got back to the table. We ordered our food, and I drank my ginger ale and began to feel a little better. Whew, I am in the clear. I attempted to join in on the conversation, and managed to hold my own. I have no earthly clue what we talked about. I don't remember a word of it. I do remember CN flirting with me, and smiling at him, and thinking he was definitely out of TFZ. But that's about it. Most of my thoughts were focused on not falling out of my chair. As if reminding myself to keep my eyelids from shutting halfway wasn't hard enough, the stress and paranoia of being discovered was making me sweat profusely. Oh man. This was not fun. Not fun at all.

Then, the food was served. CN and his buddy had ordered sushi. Which wasn't the best thing for me to see/smell at that point. Feeling woozy, I took a deep breath and focused on eating my own meal. I swallowed the first bite when..........uh oh. Guess what. The ginger ale didn't work. Back to the bathroom I go.

This time, I didn't say anything, but got up and made a beeline to the ladies' room. I almost had to run. Which would have been funny to see, because at this point, my stomach was controlling the rest of my body. I had lost control over my brain, not to mention my appendages. I almost fell on the way. As I barged into the bathroom, throwing the door wide open and staggering around to see if anyone else was in there, I was overjoyed to find that I again had the bathroom all to myself. Yesssss! But I didn't have a lot of time to enjoy this moment: Must. Barf. Now. Unluckily, I didn't make it all the way to the toilet, and managed to barf all over the stall. At least this time, it was just ginger ale and one piece of pasta, so it wasn't very messy. I cleaned it up as best I could and felt a LOT better. I washed up and swished again.

"I am the biggest effing idiot on Earth and possibly throughout all of history. I can't believe I am doing this," I thought. "Oh, gawd, what if I keep barfing every 15 minutes???" I looked in the mirror: no harm done to clothes, makeup or hair. "SCORE! This is the best barf luck I've ever had!" I thought, as I popped another piece of gum.

I rejoined the group, but knew better than to drink or eat anything. Feeling the buzz start to wear off, I began to relax. That is, until I realized: they were on to me. "Um, are you ok? Does your food taste ok? You're not eating," the wife asked me.

I told everyone that I hadn't felt well since lunch, when I had ordered a salad from a local restaurant. I apologized for not feeling so well or eating. "But I'm starting to feel a little better. I just can't eat or drink anything right now," I explained. I received much sympathy. Whew. Big sigh of relief.

After dinner, we crossed the street to go play pool. Who do we run into? Why, MJ and her new guy, VW! I ran up to her.

"Oh thank God you're here! Help me! I'm on a date with CN and I'm fucked up on Vicodin and I can't stop barfing! Do I look ok? Can you tell I'm fucked up? Do I smell like barf? Omg, I barfed at the restaurant -- twice!" I shouted frantically.

"Please tell me you didn't barf at the table," she said, hesitantly.

"Oh, thank goodness, no. I even got the bathroom all to myself!" I replied with glee.

She laughed and reassured me I looked fine and that I appeared normal. Never in my life have I been so happy to run into someone I knew.

The rest of the evening went really, really well. MJ and VW joined our group, and we all had fun playing pool. Towards the end of the night, we all grabbed a table outside and talked. That's when CN and VW began to hit it off -- they were inseparable! "Dude, your date hijacked my date!" I told MJ.

"I know! They are like BFFs!" she answered. We laughed and began to tease the guys about it.

Soon after, CN's friends went back to their hotel and MJ and VW left. This left me and CN alone to talk. And boy, did we talk. We went for at least an hour, solid. Talked for a while at the bar, all the way back to the car (with much teasing from CN about how I am Barf Queen) and all the way home. Then, we sat in his driveway and talked some more. We exchanged phone numbers and myspace URLs. There was mucho chemistry and CN is most definitely out of TFZ. Yay!

And no, nothing happened, Noseypants.

We made plans to hang out the next day and watch a movie. But by the time I was done with everything I had to do on Saturday, it was almost time for the USC game to start, so we watched the first half of that instead.

Nothing happened on Saturday, either. But it was his fault -- he sat on the easy chair, while I sat on the couch all by myself. So much for couch snuggling.

He was probably afraid I would barf on him...

Friday, September 07, 2007

Fun Friday!

I found some interesting websites this week....kind of weird ones...

You know what you believe in, right? Well, if you've ever wondered what religion most closely matches your beliefs, you may want to check out the Belief-o-Matic. (I am supposed to be an Orthodox Quaker, apparently....who knew???)

When you're sick, do you ever wonder if you've "caught that bug that's going around"? Ever wonder how many other people nearby also called in sick that day? Or are you just sick and stuck at home, bored? Check out Who Is Sick.

Are you one of those people who likes to make up words? Then check out Verbotomy. Every day there is a new challenge, where you read the definition and create a verb for it. Or, browse the archives of made-up words that aren't in the dictionary, but probably should be.

Ok, I don't know how to describe this music site, but it's one part online radio station, one part Pandora (which is also a cool site, btw). Only you can tell it what kind of mood you're in, and it will play appropriate songs. Did I mention you can limit it to decade? Or genre? Or that every song has a direct link to Amazon, in case you want to buy the album? Or that the site is free and full of pretty colors??? You don't even have to do one of those stupid registrations for username/passwords!! It's wicked cool! I love Musicovery!!!! (As I am typing this, I am enjoying Prince's "1999".)

Last but not least....I was tempted to devote an entire blog post just to this site, because I bet all of your comments will be discussing this one:

Do you have a young, virginal daughter you'd like to marry off to the highest bidder, preferably before she discovers high school boys? Then you need to submit her profile and price on Marry Our Daughter. I wish I were kidding, folks, but I think this site is legit. There are some effed up people out there, huh? Make sure you read the "testimonials" -- they are SO wrong.... [Note: This site has server problems, I think. Just hit your refresh button until the site pops up.]

Have a great weekend, everyone!!!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


I left off with the Man Buffet that is Copper River on a Thursday night. W, YB and his buddies were with me. I would like to say that something cool happened, but...

1. We all know how non-existant and pathetic my dating life is. Let's not kid ourselves.
2. YB's buddies were successful in totally cockblocking me for the evening.

It would have been great if YB's buddies were hot or super fun, but they were only average in these areas. Oh well. At least they weren't stupid, annoying or drunk. W and YB invited me to tailgate the next day, and they told me to bring whomever. After about an hour, I was bored with talking to YB's buddies, so I went home. The End.

Yeah, I know. Totally lame. But it gets better.

On Friday evening, I was planning on going over to Cute Neighbor's house to invite him to go tailgating with me the next day. He wasn't home. So, I left a short note, telling him I'd be leaving around 3pm for the game.

Saturday, I ran a couple of errands and baked cheesecake for B's birthday. By 2pm, I had called all my friends to tell them that I was not going tailgating. (I hate driving down there and parking all by myself. It's no fun to do that alone. Since I'd given up on CN, and everyone else was already on their way down there, I gave up.) I continued puttering around my house. All my other friends already had plans, so I was resigned to spending the night on my couch, watching a movie with my dogs. No big deal.

At 3pm sharp, Cute Neighbor knocks on my door. He wants to know if I'm still going tailgating. EEK! Excitement and dread fill me: I am sweaty and disheveled from cleaning my house. My hair is dirty. Great.

"Uh, sure. Can I get ready really quickly, though?" I asked.

"Sure. Just come over when you're ready," he replied.

I took the quickest shower in history, threw my hair into a ponytail and refreshed my makeup. About 20 minutes later, I was ready to go, wearing my USC Gamecocks tshirt. We got in my car, and I gave him music selection duties. "You have really good taste in music," he said as he browsed through my CDs.

"Take THAT, Stuckey!" I thought. (Stuckey loves to tell me I have bad taste in music.)

Luckily, I remembered that I had to hit the ATM and get some cash for parking. Unluckily, I did not know that ATM cards have expiration dates on them, and mine expired two months ago. Shit. So that's why my bank sent me that new card....which I stuck somewhere.....note to self: find new ATM card.

I got back in the car and explained my little problem to him. He said he would pay for parking. I was kind of embarrassed, but he seemed totally ok with it. Whew. We made our way through the stadium traffic. Slowly.

For the next hour and a half, he and I talked and talked and talked. I feel very at ease around him, which is good. I didn't feel shy or very nervous at all. Whew. It was a nice relief. We talked about music, our families, our jobs and how we deal with stress. We even talked about our hobbies and our neighbors. Never at any point did we discuss my telephone number or going on a date. Great.

We finally found a parking spot, approximately 400 miles from where we needed to be. As we talked and walked, I was almost hit by a truck. How close? Let's just say they were honking at me. Oops. Between the ATM and playing in traffic, I was coming off as a total dingbat. I guess you can take away my blonde hair, but you cannot take the blonde out of me!

After 2 hours of travel time, we finally arrived at our destination. W, YB and his buddies from the night before greeted us. We had a pretty good time, talking and laughing and munching on goodies as we watched the game. The weather was great, too. The Gamecocks won, which was a nice end to the day.

Unfortunately, the only fireworks going on were over at the stadium endzones.

He's a super sweet guy, and he's really easy to hang out with, because he's so laid back. And we have quite a few things in common. But that is not enough for me. I have gotten the impression that he's a homebody, which doesn't mesh well with my social butterfly lifestyle. He had 8 hours to ask me out or get my number, and he didn't. There was a noticeable lack of flirtatious banter, which I really need to stay interested in a guy. Throw in the fact that he might be taking a job 2 hours away, and he's almost in that dreaded place that men hate: The Friend Zone.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Dinner with Time Bombs

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know my friend (and now, roommate) E is dating a guy I refer to as B. It was B's birthday last week. So a group of us planned to go out to dinner.

Originally, we were going to go to B's favorite place -- The Flying Saucer -- on Friday after everyone got out of work. But on Tuesday, I was informed that it had been changed to Thursday night at Copper River. This change in plans sucked for several reasons:

1. I work on Thursday nights, so I had to find someone to work for me.
2. In order to get to Copper River in time for dinner, ALL of us had to drive in rush hour traffic.
3. Copper River's food sucks, whereas The Saucer's is pretty good.

But I didn't have much say, and one bad night wasn't going to kill me. Plus, E really wanted me to go for moral support. So I worked it out, and drove to meet everyone.

Through 30 minutes of rush hour traffic.

In the rain.

With broken windshield wipers.


When I arrived, I was rapidly approaching irritated, to say the least. Who was there?

E&B, obviously.
Also Butter and her man, Country Boy
W & YB (aka Young Balls, her boyf)
Mr. & Mrs. Chemical (oh, the joy)
Two Face (B's little sister)

Hmmm...but where was B's roommate, Rob Thomas? He was supposed to be bringing his new girlfriend. (This is going to be some event, huh?!)

It turns out, the whole reason we even changed all these dinner plans around was because Rob Thomas wanted to, for some scheduling conflict. Because that makes sense: it's not your birthday, and so you feel the need to inconvenience everyone else because of your schedule.

But oopsie! Rob forgot he had a softball game that night, so he wasn't going to be able to make it anyway. He called B to tell him this 15 minutes before dinner started.

Remember, it was raining. So the game was probably canceled. He was more than likely sitting on his couch because someone said he doesn't like to drive across town. WTF???

Ugh. The more I learn about him, the less I like him. What a douche.

Anyway, so we all sit down to dinner. Unfortunately, I sat at the end of the table with Mrs. Chemical and Two Face. Oh boy. Now I know why E wanted me there for moral support. I am the bitch blocker for the evening. So I immediately began to run interference and keep them away from E, at least conversationally. E wisely talked to B for most of dinner.

A little word about Two Face. Apparently, she met me one time a year ago, but I have NO recollection of this. I think her memory is slightly frightening. And while I have no personal reason to call her "Two Face", I have heard nothing but horrible things about her from several people. And these opinions were all offered to me confidentially and independently, by trusted friends of mine. What I've heard, in a nutshell: she's a hypocritical, Bible-beating liar who makes up things to make E look bad in front of B's parents. But to your face, especially if you don't know her, she's the nicest girl you'll ever meet. Wowza. I took a deep breath, smiled, and started with small talk.

Luckily, she and Mrs. Chemical were surprisingly pleasant to me. In fact, if I didn't have pre-conceived notions about both of them, I would have thought I'd made two new friends! I mean, we kinda had a good time....I think....

But in reality, it was more like having dinner with two grenades: I didn't know if/when they were going to explode and whip out their evilness on me. It was fairly stressful, sitting there with a fake smile plastered on my face. I didn't want to ruin B's birthday or cause any problems. Somehow, I made it through without a hint of awkwardness or bitchiness on anyone's part.

"Hmmm," I thought. "Maybe I was wrong about Mrs. Chemical, and she's just one of those people who has to warm up to you. And maybe Two Face is just misunderstood..."

I kept my thoughts to myself until after dinner, when I was alone with W.

"Um, am I crazy, or is Two Face a totally sweet girl?" I asked.

"Oh, no, she's pulled that one on you, huh?" W replied.

"What do you mean?" I asked, puzzled.

"She does that around people she's just met. Little Miss Wonderful. Wait until you hang out with her some more. You'll start seeing the real Two Face," she explained.

Great. I can't wait.

"I'm sure. But what was weird was, even Mrs. Chemical was nice to me," I continued.

"Oh, you must not have seen the two of them whispering to each other after dinner. They were being totally snarky," she said.

I had gone to the bathroom after dinner, and must not have noticed. I nodded in understanding.

"Don't you think it's kind of weird that Mrs. Chemical got her hair dyed the same color as mine just a day after seeing my new hair color?" I asked.

"Oh my gawd. She saw you last Saturday, and just said she changed her color last Sunday. She did, didn't she? That's weird," said W.

(After pointing this coincidence out to several friends, one girl dubbed me "Trendsetter", so now I'm totally ok with it. At first I wanted to get in her face and shout, "Stop copying me!!")

Where was I? Oh yes, our less-than-average meals were over.

Everyone went home after dinner, except me, W and YB. The three of us hung out at the bar for a while. A bunch of YB's buddies arrived and we all had a good time. As we were hanging out, I began to notice how many men were there.

"W, this is awesome. It's a total man buffet in here! I mean, I'd heard good things, but now I know! I've just never had the opportunity to come up here at night. And this is just a Thursday! Imagine what a Saturday would be like! And there's all kinds of guys, too. Not just one kind!" I gushed.

"Ooh, yeah, there are a lot of guys in here, aren't there?" she replied. (I was momentarily taken aback at her temporary blindness to all things hunky. We were surrounded by waves of manly goodness!! Must be because of YB's presence. He was impairing her vision.)

I sighed with happiness. "Aah, a new place! I'm glad I wore this low cut top!" I thought. "Ugh, unless that's what Mrs. Chemical and Two Face were whispering about....actually, who gives a crap what they think. No one likes them. And I have great boobs."