Archive | February, 2014

None Of Your Business Questions

21 Feb

In my day to day I am aware of the questions that are off limits; they sit there begging to be asked for the sake of curiosity but I pass them up because I know rude. For example, nowadays you can almost never ask a woman when her due date is. I will speak on this one from a personal trip I took to NYC a while back when on two separate occasions people older and heavier than me offered me their seat on the subway (needless to say that kick started my diet). Those passengers were just trying to be polite but intentions could not cure the sting. Most people know that weight is an off limits topic and outrage is common when I tell this story. So why is it then that other personal matters are not left ungrilled by outsiders?

One question I take real issue with is the many versions of, “when are you getting married?” I am an unmarried twenty-seven year old who has seen several serious relationships and a scattering of less serious dating.  Somehow the topic of conversation, even with complete strangers just meeting me, always leads to my “inevitable” nuptials. At the end of a recent relationship I was swarmed with people asking me what I consider to be NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS QUESTIONS:

  • “Oh, so he wasn’t the one?” — obviously not if we are breaking up… thanks for asking.
  • “He didn’t want to get married?” or “You didn’t want to get married?” — it is possible that one of us did and that is why we broke up so it’s awesome to talk about it now. It is also possible that neither of us did; either way this is diving into my personal relationship in a way that feels like bad touching.
  • “So do you think you will marry the next person you date?”– umm, I don’t know him yet so it’s tough to say. I’ll work on finding the answer to that one so when I meet him I can let him know that I have already decided we will be together forever (this is what leads to women looking like lunatics).
  • “Do you think you will ever get married?” — this is a lose-lose for me; if I say yes I have revealed that it is something I want but haven’t gotten right yet and if I say no I have to answer the very personal, “Why not?” that would follow.

Here is the problem, society has not caught up with itself yet. People are getting married later and later in life but the standards in the minds of some are still caught up in the old traditions. The habits of posing these queries are seeded deeper than the knowledge that times have changed.

It is all mindless questioning, or the classic idea that not everything that comes into the head should be slated to come out of the mouth. As an extreme instance of people who just don’t know what they are doing as they blurt things out: I have a friend who lost a baby during pregnancy. She and her husband were going through one of the most painful things a couple can endure and she was handling it with more strength and grace than I ever could have imagined. She chose to talk to me about it openly, with a rawness that made me see her as the warrior she never knew was. They are trying to move forward with their grief but still must live with it daily. Now imagine what she must endure when someone who doesn’t know her situation asks her if she and her husband will ever have kids.

Why is it that on some topics people know better and with others they ask so free and loose? What if for every NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS QUESTION I fired back with another more blatant NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS QUESTION? Let’s play that out and see:

  • “So when do you think you’ll get married?”
  • Response: “So when do you think you’ll start exercising?”
  • “Do you think you’ll ever have children?”
  • Response: “Do you think you’ll ever have a real job?”
  • “Why hasn’t he popped the question yet?”
  • Response: “Why haven’t you and your spouse considered divorce?”
  • “You’ve been together so long, have you even had the talk?”
  • Response: “You’ve been overweight for as long as I can remember, have you ever even tried dieting?”
  • “Do you ever wonder if you should have married so-and-so instead of breaking up?”
  • Response: “Do you ever wonder if you should have worn a wedding dress with shoulder pads instead of something classy?”

My point is that the former questions are no more or less inappropriate than the latter but somehow these are the ones that slip past the rude radar and come flying out.

Social media has not helped the situation either; it is simpler to say anything with the protection of a computer and distance between two people. I cannot count the number of times I have seen a friend post something nice about their relationship or life and some moron will comment, “Why don’t I see a ring yet? Tell him to get on it! LOL!” First of all, on a separate note: adding “LOL” to a comment online does not soften the blow of stupidity, I am still getting hit with that. Next, have those guilty of this never considered that this could be a real point of contention in the relationship and now the can of worms is open? I can guess that at least once (and that is estimating way on the low end here) one party in the relationship has shown this comment to the other to prove their point that it is time they made that move.

“Look honey, Aunt Suzie thinks an engagement is long overdue” has never resulted in two people living happily ever after. That either plays out with a huge fight about why we don’t let Aunt Suzie with a “z” make our life choices or the pressure gets to be too much and someone makes the choice to get married due to outside influence rather than personal needs. I have seen an epidemic of people my age getting married to the wrong person and I think a lot of times it is a result of external expectations.

My newest paint creation...

My newest paint creation…

Yes, I am a twenty-seven year old female with no husband and no children. This is a result of choices I have made and which I stand behind. I love having the freedom to do comedy every night of the week. I love that I danced to funk music for hours on a Wednesday night and I look back fondly on my relationships but have no regrets. For the sake of disclosure I will admit I do want to get married, but to the right partner, not just at the imaginary right time. I’m in no hurry to force something, but even if I were, my timeline is mine to own and talk about when I please, not for anyone else to prod into unsolicited.

Muffins Are Deceitful

5 Feb

Muffins are the jerks of the breakfast world.

Some things about jerks:

  • Usually we are drawn to them.
  • They are enticing and usually have some undeniable good qualities.
  • They are not good for anyone.

This all applies to muffins as well.

Let me go back in time to the beginning of my hatred for these baked tricksters. I joined weight watchers my junior year of college and was instantly enlightened about many of the foods I had been eating frequently. The first things cut from my diet were juices and sodas because those proved not to be worth my daily points, I wanted food. After that I was evaluating the points values of my day to day meals and for the most part I knew the things that had been bad for me. I wasn’t shocked about Kraft Mac and Cheese or Moose Tracks Ice Cream, when I was consuming those products before my diet I knew the part they played in my weight gain. One of the only foods that blindsided me was muffins.

In the category of breakfast baked goods bagels are upfront about their carb-tasticness, croissants ooze buttery scents from ten feet away and coffee cakes have dessert in their name and donuts wear their abundance of sugar proudly. I have never heard someone say, “I have a donut for breakfast most mornings, so I know I’m eating healthy.” I have heard people say this about muffins… all the time.

Don't be swayed; stay strong. They are lying to you!

Don’t be swayed; stay strong. They are lying to you!

WE ARE BEING DECEIVED!

Many of the muffins being offered alongside these other options are worse than some of them combined.

I did some digging and here are some fun things I learned:

  1. Eating two donuts is less points than one muffin (that is not an endorsement for eating two donuts).
  2. Drinking three small orders of Caramel Mocha Coffee with cream is equal to one reduced fat muffin.
  3. One deluxe grilled cheese with bacon is less points than a regular muffin.

Muffins are cake; I know this. If I’m going to eat cake I want to go into it knowing what the situation is all about and I want there to be frosting as an indicator. A muffin is really like an UN-frosted cupcake with fruit jammed inside. Don’t misunderstand, I love jamming fruit into my meals but that alone does not a balanced meal make. Even carrot cake knows its place. It has vegetables jammed inside of it but when I eat it I have the words “cake” and “cream cheese frosting” lingering in the back of my mind as a reminder that this is a splurge.

I am as awesome as a muffin is delicious but I am upfront about my talents and flaws. If I was a muffin, for example, I might apply for a job at NASA and dress like a space engineer and let them believe that I am trained to build a space shuttle even though I can do no such thing. When the big launch day came, chaos. This may seem extreme, but keep eating muffins for breakfast and wait a few months for a big occasion and tell me it doesn’t feel like a disaster when you can’t zip your clothes. That muffin never deserved the job as daily breakfast choice, but it sure dresses up as healthy.

Dammit though, do I go weak in the knees for a grilled muffin. CURSE YOU AND YOUR ADDED BUTTERY GOODNESS!

This fight isn’t over yet muffins, I’m passionate and I will spread the word about your lies.

My original artwork. Needless to say this is why I'm a writer and not a graphic designer.

My original artwork. Needless to say this is why I’m a writer and not a graphic designer.

Girl Hate

1 Feb

As I have moved into my late twenties I have found I am more accepting of constructive criticism and being turned down because I have learned how to grow and improve from it. I’m working nights as a comedienne in Providence and Boston and looking for full time work during the day; every audition and interview is a chance for rejection. What I have more trouble with now is not my own failings but rather the successes of some others in my line of vision.

Me and my three best friends showcasing our girl love (the opposite of girl hate)

Me and my three best friends showcasing our girl love (the opposite of girl hate)

In this I am not referring to my friends. Many of my girlfriends have seen success in the past year. Among my three best friends one was accepted into a PhD program at Harvard, one got an impressive job as an Occupational Therapist in a great hospital and the third got a huge promotion in her office. Each of them inspires me to do more and I can say in all honesty that I have never once had even a twinge of jealousy.

There are also acquaintances in my life who have a lot happening for them right now who I find myself rooting for and feeling motivated by. All I am trying to say is that a majority of the time, when good things happen to others, I have positive feelings. This stops being true for the people that I “girl hate”.

Girl hate is my self appointed term for the people who incite rage inside me and never know or hear about it. Their way of going about life makes me feel as though my organs are melting and oozing from my pores in the form of magical fury. Let me be clear: I KNOW THIS IS IRRATIONAL (this knowledge does nothing to help).

I should make some clarifications here:

  • A person I know well who has wronged me: dislike or just plain hate.
  • A person I know as an acquaintance who has never wronged me: girl hate.

There are rules for girl hate though, as a way of keeping order in the world. These rules are necessary for appropriate girl hate etiquette and are in place because of the irrationality of the situation.

  1. The person I girl hate does not officially know I hate them. They may suspect if they also girl hate me or if they are particularly good at reading someone. They will not know because I am never mean to them. I will be extra winkly magical nice to them to try and offset my own internal struggle while standing in their proximity.
  2. They can not have officially wronged me. Once a negative interaction occurs I now have a real issue with them that must be talked through to resolve or I transfer into actual hate and simply move on. Actual hatred from a real conflict is something I can be an adult about and say “This person no longer fits into my life, nor I into theirs so I will minimize contact and personal thoughts of them.”
  3. The entire feeling is immature so naturally I have to share it with other girls I am close with and see if they also girl hate this person. When you and your friends can vent and connect through girl hate real bonding happens.
  4. When going into a conversation about someone I girl hate with a new person I must tread lightly at first to gauge where the other stands. If I sense any amount of admiration or friendship in their words I must immediately say something complementary and swallow my girl hate.
  5. Never act on girl hate; things get ugly if I do because now I am the terrible person and I have to self reflect.
  6. The victim of my girl hate has to be a bad person in some way; girl hate cannot occur because someone is wonderful in every way and you are simply jealous.
  • jealousy + neutrality = move on and don’t waste your energy on them, it’s unproductive and toxic.
  • jealousy + admiration = work to be friends and overcome said jealousy.
  • jealousy + distaste of character = girl hate.

I was inspired on this topic recently because my girl hate has flared up for the first time in a while. She is a beautiful, skinny 21 year old, still in school with a job lined up for when she graduates and her own magazine column… is anyone else feeling the tingling of girl hate a little bit? I’ll go on. Every time I have been around her she goes on and on about all her networking and who she knows, she talks about her workplace and how fun it is and how much initiative she has been taking to get ahead. She never asks me about me or inquires about my time at THE SAME COMPANY SHE IS NOW AT. She knows I used to be in her position and yet makes no effort to connect through this but rather just show me how awesome she is at it. Her outfits are always tight, tiny and wonderful and she has a permanent smile across her face that says, “I’m amazing and I can barely get over it today!”

At two recent events when I saw her she pushed my girl hate over the edge. The first was at a fashion show we were both attending with our tickets from the magazine and she had been there a few days earlier in the front row. I know for a fact she had been told that another girl from the publication would be in the front row that evening and she would be in the second with her friend. When we arrived on the runway she sat down right next to us front row so that when the editor showed up fashionably late moments before the show started she was shuffled behind us. This wretched joy monster made no move to get up from the seat she knew was not hers and even remained seated after the first show was over until she was asked by a woman in a headset to switch seats. I’m sorry, this woman sitting behind you is your boss and editor, you don’t have to love that she is sitting front row but the seat is hers so don’t be sneaky about it. White people drama, am I right?

The second night was only four days later so I can admit I was already fired up in my fresh girl hate. I show up to a presentation event and where is she sitting but right behind the projector in the seat reserved for our other boss who was actually running the evening. She sat there the whole night as though getting up from the seat would result in her losing it, so she was glued. This meant my friend and former boss stood for the whole event because he is nicer than me and wasn’t willing to ask her to move. It was a high top bar chair so I was at least able to visualize my walking up to her and gently bumping her shoulder resulting in her toppling backwards for a long drop to the hard floor.

Sometimes a good handful of hair is all you want.

Sometimes a good handful of hair is all you want.

Visualization is key in handling feelings, but remember rule number 5, no action.

The silver lining to this whole night was that she was one of the presenters for the night, which initially when they called her up I almost barfed about. Then a miracle; I got to sit there for 6 minutes and 40 seconds of her bombing and making a total fool of herself. She tripped, stopped, asked the audience what she should say and nervously laughed her way through what I can only compare to a 5-year-old asked to present on Organic Chemistry. I was also redeemed when the unknown man next to me said out of the blue, “Why on earth is this girl up there?” followed by my girlfriend seeing my reaction and backing me up. Turns out she girl hates this girl too; WHOOPIE!

Note: I checked with a mutual friend to see if there was a chance this girl read my blog and I was told she does not (why would she? It’s not about how amazing she is in every way.) I also didn’t use names, thus no wrongdoing and I can carry on with my girl hate.

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