Purposely Untitled.

I struggled coming up with a title for this post; one that would be both appropriate and do it justice. I started typing a few options and quickly deleted them. They didn’t feel right. So I’m just leaving it untitled and letting it speak for itself.

Almost one month ago, I had to learn that one of my very best friends had unexpectedly passed away. Trust me when I say that if there’s an emotion out there, I’ve felt it. All of them. I don’t know if there’s truly only five stages of grief, but I can tell you that there are too many and each one is as hard as the next. Each feeling is too messy to be packaged up in a pretty little bow with the words “anger”, “denial” or “acceptance”.

But as hard as the last few weeks have been, I have also learned more about life, myself and my friends than I ever thought possible. It’s funny how disaster and grief can bring perspective. “Funny” isn’t the right word. It’s actually quite cruel and maybe a bit bittersweet. But since writing is my way to cope with most things in life, I figured I would use this as a way to share my lessons learned and let them serve as a reminder to us all. None of these are monumental prophecies, but they deserve repeating.

Life isn’t fair. We’ve all been told this since we were old enough to understand. Any somewhat mature individual can comprehend this. That being said, the realization that life isn’t fair never gets easier over time. It’s hard not to get royally pissed at it all. At God. At whatever you believe in. At her. At life. At the people who mean the most to you. It’s easy to lash out and blame. But it doesn’t resolve anything. It doesn’t make it easier. It doesn’t change what happened.

Don’t be a righteous person. Let me remind you: you are without a doubt, wholeheartedly, not perfect. There are times you’ve felt shame, regret, embarrassment. Let those be opportunities to learn, to gain perspective, to be humble (and to truly learn what being humble means). That being said, you can be upset with someone, not understand their decisions or their behavior. But at the end of the day, you can still feel all your feelings and let them know you love them. Don’t let their hard times be a chance for you to be pious. Never let them question your love for them. Simple as that.

There is no right way to grieve. Grief is awkward because everyone is going through the same thing but everyone reacts differently. There is no true how-to guide or handbook. Don’t let others make you feel like you aren’t grieving appropriately or that you are grieving for too long. Grief is a guilt-free zone. You can unabashedly grieve however you want, for however long you want because putting on a fake face only hinders your path to eventually being ok.

Be involved. I know this sounds silly, but as I’ve gotten older and been able to take on more when it comes to planning a loved one’s prayer service or funeral, I have found that being involved in the planning helps. Find what you are good at and offer your help that way. Make picture posters. Pick out songs she would like. Writing is my thing so I jumped in head-first at the opportunity to write her obituary and eulogy. I didn’t want to do it. Nobody should have to do that for their 30 year old friend. But I  knew it was how I could help…and it was my final way of hopefully making her proud. Doing these things, not only help keep your mind busy, but they also give you the opportunity to reminisce about better days. About good times. About favorite memories.

And finally, Hold your people close. I truly could not have gotten through these last few weeks without my close friends who were going through the same thing I was. We all leaned on each other and were empathetic with each other because we got it. We all got it. We all grew up together. We all got in trouble together. We all made mistakes together. We were all awkward individual pieces of pizza that, when put together, magically formed the most perfect whole pizza. And now we all have to go through this horrible event together. As life goes, and how irony is, this event in which we lost one of our “pieces”, now makes the rest of us appreciate and love one another so much more than we ever thought possible. And that, in itself, is a gift.

So hold on to your loved ones. Tell them you love them. Send them a hello. Give them a hug. Call a friend you haven’t talked to in a while. Don’t be an asshole and assume that you can “tomorrow” or “when you have time”. I promise you’ll never walk away thinking it was a waste of time. I promise.

Until next time…

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Confessions of a Literary Hoarder

My name is Amanda and I am a hoarder of books. No, for real. Not only do I have piles of books that I haven’t yet read, I continue to buy more with no end in sight. I would gladly spend a day/night/afternoon curled up reading instead of partaking in almost any other activity (napping is the one caveat). Barnes & Noble is my living version of heaven. When I get within a one mile radius of the front doors, I imagine my husband can feel our bank account start to shrink before his very eyes. There is never enough time, money or space to attack all the books! My GoodReads “to read” list is stocked with well over 1000 books and I continue to add to it at an alarming rate.

Additionally, I possess somewhat of a snobbish attitude when it comes to reading. I find people who read off any tablet or e-reader to be committing a literary felony. And listening to an audio book?!? Blasphemy! Holding the actual book in your hands, being able to turn the pages, soaking in the glory of the oddly alluring smell of books are all things that cannot be obtained otherwise. When I finish a book I loved, I find it truly rude and offensive when people disagree with me. It physically pains me not to yell, “HOW DID YOU NOT LOVE THIS BOOK!?”, along with various other personal attacks. Conversely, when I see someone reading a book I didn’t care for, I want to rudely interrupt them and share my unrequested opinion. And checking out books from the library? Not even an option. My intention is to accumulate such a vast array of books that I need Lance to build me a library envious of any “Beauty and the Beast” fan.All this being said, I feel I would not be living up to my obsession potential if I did not share some of my favorites with the world. So I compiled a list of seven books I’ve read in the last couple years either solo or in book club that I would recommend in a heartbeat. If you’ve read these, share your thoughts! And if you haven’t read these, take the dive!

  1.  Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty: Made into an HBO miniseries, this book is a great book club recommendation! Also, Liane Moriarty is a wonderful fiction/chick-lit writer, period. I can’t recommend her books enoughBLL.
  2. Once We Were Brothers by Ronald H. Balson: I’m a sucker for any WWII historical fiction book. Although sad, I can confidently say this book is probably one of the best books I’ve ever read.Once we were brothers
  3. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah: Another great WWII historical fiction book.nightingale.jpg
  4. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi: If you can make it through the end of this book without crying, your heart must be made of stone. This memoir is a slap-in-the-face reminder of our mortality.when breath becomes air.jpg
  5. In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner: A somewhat fictionalized account of the author’s childhood in Cambodia during Civil War, this book is the only book I’ve rated as 5 star-worthy on GoodReads.shadow of the banyan.jpg
  6. Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery by Robert Kolker: A book club read that completely took me by surprise about the still-unsolved murders of several girls who got caught up in the world of online escorts.lost girls
  7. You’ll Grow out of It by Jessi Klein: One of the few memoirs I’ve ever read where I genuinely laughed out loud continuously while reading it.you'll grow out of it.jpg

What are some books that are on your “must read” lists? I NEED ALL THE INFO!

Until next time…

Eating my Words

It’s time to get real, friends. So buckle up.

I have always had a strange relationship with food. Growing up, I never really thought about it; I was an active pre-teen and could eat whatever I wanted without a care in the world. I remember sleepovers where we would walk to the dollar store by our house and just LOAD UP on amazing goodies (and by “amazing”, I mean terrible for you). I was living a carefree childhood and my diet, or lack thereof, was the last concern I had.

Then, New Year’s Eve of my senior year in high school I decided I was going to go on a diet. It started out innocently enough with the required healthy eating and working out. However, much to my downfall, I don’t usually do things half-assed. It quickly became an obsession. One that I adamantly denied to my friends and family, but an obsession nonetheless. I became a creature of habit and would basically subsist off the same thing every day: yogurt for breakfast, bagel for lunch, vegetables for a snack and a turkey sub from Subway every evening after I ran.

But it slowly got worse. The fall of my freshman year of college, there would be days where I ate only an apple and a yogurt but still ran miles on the treadmill. Skipping a day on the treademill was an incredulous thought and one I would not entertain. I smoked like a chimney at the time so that it would curb my appetite. (Insert 2017 Amanda comments: “I may smell disgusting and get lung cancer, but hey, I’m skinny!” Ugh, so terrible.)

Did I know I was being ridiculous? Yes. Did I necessary care? No.

Slowly over time, it got better. I started eating more and working out less. I was at an even place for a long time. A good place.

Until the fall I started grad school. Anxiety kicked in and kicked my ass hard. I’m not talking anxiety like “oh, I’m nervous to go to this place or to see that person.” Buck up, buttercup! No, I mean all-out anxiety. I couldn’t eat. I was an emotional wreck and would start crying for no reason at all. I didn’t want to leave the house or do anything out of my comfort zone. Waking up every morning was dreadful for me because my anxiety was at its peak at that time of day. I truly didn’t think I could start grad school and called my sister from the parking lot on my first day, bawling, telling her I couldn’t do it, I just couldn’t go in there. (Of course I did go in, but it was no easy feat.)

As I got on meds (thank the heavens above) and started feeling better, I noticed that I also ate more. Slowly, I started gaining weight. And more. And more. Years later, I now sit here at my computer, typing this melodrama out to you all and I still don’t really know how it got to this point. Yes, my anxiety is manageable (again, AMEN for meds), but I also found myself not caring about things I should (like what I am eating, if I work out, and daily self-care tasks like doing the laundry (which my husband can adamantly attest to), etc).

So a few weeks back I decided this needed to change and, like, NOW. To be totally honest, the thought dawned on me at a recent doctor’s appointment when she asked me about kids in my future. I realized I was in no place, health-wise, to even be entertaining the thought of renting my womb out to a growing life! But yes, I do want to be a mommy. And as all of my mommy friends know, parenting involves sacrifice. I need to start sacrificing the McDonald’s and cake for my future self and potential offspring. If I can’t do that, then quite frankly, I don’t know if I should be a parent.

The last few weeks, I have discovered that meal planning is my best friend. It keeps me on track and prevents me from being left to my own devices (refer to aforementioned comment regarding not doing things half-assed; I would end up in a pile of chocolate bar wrappers and feeling like a piece of shit a tub of ice cream later). 


I truly don’t think of it as being on a diet. I still plan for “cheat meals” and that keeps me in a frame of mind where I know I’m not depriving myself. 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say “you have to change your mindset and your lifestyle.” In which I would respond defensively, “Oh, go eat your kale and fall of your cycle bike.” But it’s true! My god, it’s true! So, I admit it: I eat my words.
I also write this in hopes that it will keep me motivated and I can use this forum as a way to communicate my progress, frustrations and all that is between.

Until next time… 

A Few Life Lessons…on the Eve of the Eve of my 30th Birthday.

Well, the time has come. In roughly, 1.25 days, I will now be officially 30. So long 20s; thank you for being so kind to me!

In preparation for the big 3-0, I began working through the five Kubler-Ross stages of grief months ago. At first I was in serious denial that I was going to be 30. Not because I associate turning 30 as a bad thing but because I feel like I JUST graduated from high school. I then struggled with anger every time I would see a freshly 21 years old gaggle of girls. For I knew the next day, after a handful of drinks, I would want to die while they would be celebrating Sunday Funday with a vengeance I once had. I feel like the bargaining and depression came hand in hand as I laid in bed screaming to the heavens that I would donate our entire savings for one more year in my 20s! (Ok, that might be a bit of an exaggeration…maybe just half our savings…). But then, I accepted it. I am truly to the point now where I just want to get it over with and move on. I want to tear it off fast like a Band-Aid.

But all that being said, I would like to think that I have a good head on my shoulders and have learned a thing or two about this wild ride. So here a few grains of wisdom I wanted to share:

1. Good relationships do not keep score.

This applies to all of life’s relationships. You do things for someone because they are important to you and you want to. You don’t do something for someone because you owe them or feel in debt to them. And conversely, you should not be the person who feels like you are owed. Be selfless. Be giving. Be a good friend, sister, daughter without expectation.

2. It’s never too late.

This. Whether it be to start over, to make things right, to apologize, etc. You are not dead. You are, however, living on this Earth for a finite amount of time. So when you come to the realization that you need to change, to man up, to go out of your comfort zone, to let go of the past, etc., you need to do these things. It may not be easy, but it is worth it. Trust me, it is worth it.

3. You may never have your shit figured out. And that’s ok.

Where in the metaphorical Book of Life does it say you have to have accomplished X by the age of Z? We are all doing our best. We are all struggling to find peace and happiness. This looks different to everyone and some people’s paths might be a bit rockier and longer than others. But their journey is still valid. It’s still important. And there is nothing that says they need to complete that journey by the time they are 20 years old…or 30…or 50.

4. Hard times will be helpful to you someday.

So true, but so hard to realize at the time. We’ve all been there-feeling alone, devastated, your plans of what you thought would be are no longer. You’re pissed. And it’s so hard to think about anything other than the here-and-now. The future seems daunting. And at the time, you want to slap anyone who tells you “this too shall pass.” But they are right. It will pass. And you will come out of it, on the other side, stronger, more confident, knowing more about yourself than you did before. And one day, you will look back at those times and be thankful for them. And you will feel proud of yourself for where you are today.

5. You will never make everyone happy.

Plain and simple. I learned this when Lance and I were planning our wedding. Everybody, and I mean everybody, had an opinion on something for our day. We had to agree and decide, very early on, that we were not going to make everyone happy and that was fine. It may sound selfish, but for our sanity, we had to.

Let your freak flag fly, people! At the end of the day, you need to do what you need to do to be happy. When your soul is at peace, you don’t have the need to care what others think.

6. Life is far too short to spend it with people who are not worth your time.

I hope every single one of you reading this is surrounded by a support system that will always make your life infinitely better. If there is someone in your life that does not make you a better person, cut ties. Simple as that. I know it is so much easier said than done, but it is exhausting to be with people who make your soul exhausted. And the messed up part is that these sad people take up exponentially more of your time and energy and focus and love than those who truly deserve it. So find the people who deserve it and celebrate them. Love them. Thank them.

7. Dogs really do make everything better.

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My darling Maxwell.

 

‘Nuff said.

Until next time…

The Queen of Putting it Off.

Procrastination. Such a fancy word for such a simple concept. I am the worst procrastinator ever (or would it be “best procrastinator ever” since I really excel at the skill?). I operate under the idea that I do best under pressure. Whether this is actually true or just an excuse I have created to make me feel better about myself is yet to be determined.

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In college, I lived with one of my dearest friends, Katie. She was the opposite of me in every way. Aside from the fact she was (and still is) a tall, blonde goddess who woke up at the crack of dawn and went to bed while I was waking from my nap each evening, she would tackle assignments and projects days, sometimes weeks, before they were due. Disclaimer: anyone who knows Katie knows she won’t mind me calling her out as this is a widely known and respected trait of hers.

 I used to be amazed that she had the initiative to plan ahead like that. Anytime I attempt to do anything that isn’t due the next morning, I find every excuse imaginable to get off-topic. Suddenly, our bedroom desperately needs to be cleaned, dusted, vacuumed and disinfected. Laundry cannot wait one more day. Time to clean carpets and be excited about it! A TV show or movie that I normally would not give two seconds of my attention to suddenly sucks me in, and God forbid, I miss a second of which toddler wins the beloved tiara!

This obnoxious trait followed me into graduate school where I was, not surprisingly the last one of my cohort to complete their thesis. He will never say it, but it drives my husband insane that he has to remind me 153 times to do something before the deadline. I don’t really need valid tabs on my license plates, do I? A kind policeman wouldn’t possibly pull me over for having expired tabs, would they? I am smarter than this. Ugh, I just piss myself off.

 What I find strange about this entire thing is I don’t have the least bit of patience for other people who are like me! I will shout it from the rooftops that I am what I am, but God help the poor soul who is on a project with me and waits until midnight to get me their portion. I will harass them and barrage them with constant emails until I get what I need on a timeframe I deem as appropriate.

 So today, God help me. I am making an oath to myself. And I may hate you for it, but I expect my friends and family to nag me about it if they see me slacking. I need to stop thinking that putting things off is ok. It’s annoying and makes for a bigger headache down the road when I am frantically running around like an idiot trying to get a bill paid in time or get my work physical done by the deadline when I had EIGHT MONTHS to do it. I am almost 30 years old, for God’s sake. If I ever produce offspring, this is a trait of mine I hope they do not possess.

So, my dear friends and readers, what are tips and tricks you use to stay on top of life? Practical tips, please. I’m not trying to climb Mount Everest, just trying to get within it’s shadow.

Until next time…

The Price of Beauty…

As I religiously have my hair thrown up with little or no makeup on, I wouldn’t blame any of you for thinking I don’t know a thing about beauty. And no, I am not being modest. I don’t, in all reality, style my hair in a “messy” bun that took a half hour to painfully achieve. I don’t spend an hour doing my makeup to result in “makeup-free” perfection. I truly spend 20 minutes TOPS getting ready each day before work. That includes teeth brushing, a much needed pee and putting my contacts in. (And a solid hand wash after aforementioned pee and prior to aforementioned contacts being put in.) I am lazy and not the least bit ashamed to admit it.

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“Guys, I just threw my hair up.”

I am, however, somewhat manic with a serious obsession for skin care. A few years ago, it hit me. I had the stark realization that I couldn’t continue to sleep with my makeup on, lay in tanning beds for hours each week, and consider a Pond’s face wipe my daily skin routine. I wasn’t 20 anymore. I had to buckle down.

Although lazy, I don’t do anything half-assed. This new panicked obsession resulted in me creating a skin care routine that involved at least 10 not cheap products (lip care cream, retinol, face serum, lactic acid face wash, toner, night moisturizer and daytime moisturizer, vitamin C powder, eye cream…oh my God, I am embarrassing myself and need to stop). You get the picture.

In a shockingly short period of time, I was wielding a much-revered Platinum membership to Ulta. I was somebody. I was operating under the “more is more” philosophy. When in reality, I should have been more focused on “quality, not quantity”. Ah, such a rookie mistake.

Enter Erin at Rejuv. My sweet brunette angel who righted my wrongs and led me down the path of skin care righteousness. If you live anywhere near Fargo and you need a skincare “place”, Rejuv is it. Everyone who works there is like a little beautiful fairy who obliterates any wrinkle or brown spot with her mini wand. It’s my version of heaven. Yes, that sounds vain. I realize that.

Erin convinced me to try their Visia facial analysis system. I thought to myself, ‘Sure! I have good skin! I bet my “skin age” will be that of a 20 year old.” Woof. I was in for a rude awakening. Guys, when she showed me the slide that shows sun damage I about died. I wasn’t looking at my face. That couldn’t possibly be me! I was looking at a brown blob. There were hardly any freckle-free spots of skin to be found. As I looked at Erin in sheer horror, she reassured me all hope was not lost and we frantically set about creating a plan for me.

Each month, she puts me under a large glorified magnifying glass (which is a bit unnerving) and advises what treatment she thinks would be best, whether that be a typical facial, a silk peel or chemical peel, etc. No, she doesn’t pressure me into anything I don’t want to do…she isn’t a teenage boy. I have yet to have a laser or needle touch me.

She also hooked me up with a few tried and true products that work rather than bombarding my poor facial cells with every known chemical created. SkinMedica products are genius. I have linked a few of my favorites below. They are affordable and seriously, they work. Believe me. I have nothing to gain from me sharing my gifts with the world.

All this being said, I will wrap this up in a pretty wrinkle-free bow: skin care is important. It’s never too late. All you beauts out there deserve to feel like your pretty little selves. And the easiest way to start is to take care of that porcelain complexion.

Until next time…

PS. I promise I’ll have a more gender-neutral post next time 🙂

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Total Defense + Repair Sunscreen

 

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Lytera Skin Brightening Complex

 

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Retinal Complex 0.5

 

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Facial Cleanser

 

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Redness Relief Calmplex

 

 

Social Media No-No’s

Social Media. A concept that was virtually created only a decade or so ago, yet many cannot live a day without it. I am not going to get on my high horse and act like I am better than you. I’m not going to pretend that I don’t have a black belt in Facebook creeping. Instead rather, I am going to take this time to bitch and moan over THE WORST things about social media.

  1. I understand that the baby quiche with arugula and asparagus you had for lunch was nice to look at, and probably equally tasty, but I do not need to see it filtered and posted on every available form of social media ever created. Stop shoving the damn quiche down my throat, literally and figuratively.
  2. Snapchat was created to capture a moment in time and share it with someone BRIEFLY. When I see snapchats posted on Facebook or Instagram, a part of me dies. You’re not fooling anyone. I can see the little timer in the top corner. Just, no. I’m not your friend on Snapchat for a reason.
  3. If you have a snap that you are especially proud of, just do us all a favor and make it      a part of your “My Story”. We do NOT need to see it sent to us both individually and in your story. It’s redundant. Thank you.
  4. #nofilter my ass. Your eyebrows look especially on point. Your teeth look paper white. Your skin has a general haze over it that is unobtainable by any human that is not a Kardashian or Jenner. I’m not saying you don’t look good, but you’re also not fooling anyone.                      sexy-selfy-fails
  5. The picture that is supposed to be about something else, but is really a poor excuse for a selfie. I realize you think you look especially good today, and more power to you. But don’t pretend that you’re trying to motivate me with an inspirational quote about seizing the moment when all I can see is your cleavage in my face.
  6. Vaguebooking: when people post vague, depressing comments BEGGING for people to ask them what’s wrong, but when prompted for more information, suddenly become mute and their fingers lose all ability to type. General Rule: If it’s something you’re not comfortable sharing with others, don’t post it on a website that was created t to share experiences. “Does everyone let you down (insert sad face emoji)?” Yes. They do. Get over it. “I’m done. I can’t win no matter what I do.” I’m sorry you feel that way, but maybe you should have a little chat with this individual rather than posting veiled passive aggressive comments. Listen, I can be the reigning champion of passive aggressiveness, but when it comes to social media, it’s just not necessary or effective.vaguebooking
  7. When a group of friends post the exact same picture all within the same 24 hour period. Trust me. Anyone who has their head above sand realizes that you and your girlfriends are all in Florida for your bachelorette party, but we don’t need to see 18 versions of the same event to be aware of this. We get it. Also, sidebar: I will admit that this can sometimes happen with my own gaggle of girls, but they know how I feel about it. It is safe to assume that they will be made fun of by me.
  8. Facebook is not the forum to which you should deal with whatever immature drama is plaguing your life at the moment. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good argument found in the comments of an article or status posting. I am the first person to spend far too much time taking it all in, but it is truly pathetic. I’m almost certain that Facebook was not the magical venue in which liberals transformed into conservatives, suddenly realizing they were wrong the entire time. GASP! I’m also certain that airing someone’s dirty laundry in public does nothing to make you look better. angry-typing.gif
  9. I thank the Gods above that social media was still just an idea when I was in junior high and high school. Because, whoever the genius was that decided it was smart to give teenagers access to a website where you can publicly shame, ridicule and make fun of others in the comfort of your home, hidden behind a screen, is…a…moron. It’s the perfect storm! Let’s take little people who still are immature and not thinking about their actions and then let’s create a whole other avenue for them to bully kids. Such a great idea.
  10. Finally, to wrap this up in a pretty little package let’s top it off with this: Typos and grammatical errors. One should have to pass a simple test in order to receive a Facebook account. If you fail, uz getz no Facebook.

Unfortunately, the list for this topic could go on and on. But one thing that you will never find me complaining about: dog videos. Keep ’em coming, people.

Until next time…

 

An Ode to My Annoying Teenage Self

When I was a senior in high school, we were instructed to write a letter to ourselves that we would later receive at our 10 year reunion. 10 years have come and gone and before I knew it, my letter was back in my hands. I was unrealistically excited, hoping that my 18 year old self was beyond her years in wisdom and plans for me. I found myself desperately clinging to the hope that I wasn’t, in fact, your typical senior in high school. For, I couldn’t possibly have been a shallow, sheltered, upper-middle class, white, privileged kid who was preparing for college that would be fully paid for by her father. No, I knew better..didn’t I?

Not surprisingly, as some of you may imagine, my letter was filled with obnoxious 18 year old angst and the belief that the “problems” I was facing were mild world disasters. I actually used a portion of this (what should have been important) letter complaining about the fact that I spent $7.50 going to “The Ring 2”. Yes, people. This was important to me. Seriously, how annoying was I? The worst. I just want to reach back in time and smack myself in the jugular.

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However, I did find it somewhat humorous that I thought I would own a house, but not be married, at age 28. How I thought I could ever have afforded a house on my own is beyond me, but what did I know?! The realist 29 year that I am now, realizes that I would be living in straight-up squalor. I was pleased to be informed that I didn’t think I would have any children yet, if ever, because let’s be honest, kids still scare me as much as they did when I was 18. But that’s for another day…

Now, with 30 quickly approaching, I find myself somewhat horrified and embarrassed at my previous beliefs and opinions. I remember being younger and thinking that 30 was when your ovaries shriveled up like raisins and that you were more likely to get struck by lightening than actually find a partner who was worth your time and attention. But I now realize how ridiculous and annoying I was.

For the first time in my life, I am approaching a decade that isn’t filled with decisions of where to go to college and what to major in. (Which, is super important…ya know, because after 6 years of undergrad and graduate school I am doing NOTHING that I actually went to school for.) I don’t have to worry about drama with roommates (not counting my husband), or worrying if I am going to overdraft out of my checking account. I don’t need to worry about what other body part I can get tested or probed to be able to pay my rent. (PRACS, thank you for being around when I was a broke college student…even if a patch study left one of my arms with a permanent mark. That $350.00 was totally worth it.)

Your 20’s are fun and mostly care-free. I look back on college, and all the new freedom that comes with it, with such a fondness that I know I will never experience again. And I’ll admit that makes me a little sad. BUT, I also look forward to all that is ahead of me. So many places to travel. So many babies and weddings and huge life moments that I get to be a part of, with the most important people in my life. Because, that’s the beauty of almost being 30: the people you surround yourself with, are the ones you have chosen. The ones who made it out of high school with you alive. The ones who stuck by you and were there for you through college, no matter how far. The ones who have literally seen you at your worst and at your absolute best. The ones who have spent countless drunken nights with you, making memories you won’t ever even remember. Those are ones that make me ready, and excited, for 30.

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I hope you all are lucky enough to have your chosen few.

Until next time..

 

I am woman. Hear me roar…for desperate ladies to zip it.

In honor of VD being right around the corner, I am back from my holiday-induced hibernation to regale my opinions with you all. Although, let’s be real, I was really too busy shoving turkey drumsticks and Christmas cookies down my gullet to stop and think about anything but my own hunger. And yet, after having to witness all the horror, my husband is still kind enough to spend the day o’ love with me (watching Walking Dead…oh my God, you guys).

Which leads me to the big “L” word……..”Lesbian”. Joking. Of course I meant “love”. (Although I am a strong proponent of lesbian love too. YAY FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY!) Some “love love” (gag me). Some do everything they can to avoid it. And then there are some who are downright desperate for it. The ones who give womankind a bad rap. The ones who have been in a relationship for a blink of an eye and are already pathetically begging for a ring. Because, didn’t you know, you guys? A ring solves everything! That rope of metal with a few diamonds thrown in there will make all your problems go away. And what could be more attractive to your male suitor than someone who needs a piece of jewelry to know that you’re committed! Your guess is as good as mine…jeesh.

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May I remind everyone that I am married and I already have the ring (call me Gollum (and if you don’t get that reference we shouldn’t be friends)) so I can unabashedly stand on my soapbox and preach (sarcasm). But, I do like to think that I am coming from a place of “been there, fucking done that.” I love my husband. We were together for almost 8 years before we got engaged. That’s 56 years in dog math. And to be truthful, I never cared about the ring. I was confident in our relationship. I loved this man. I knew he loved me. And that was enough for me. He had seen me at my worst (and my God, there have been some legit worsts-ask anyone who knew/knows me during the age range of 19-25. Woof.). But in all seriousness, I didn’t need a piece of paper telling me we were in a committed relationship.

Now, if you feel that you fall into the above criteria, then please do yourself (and your male friend) a favor and change. Now. Let me remind you that, though I may not care for most people, every person is of value. Do you have friends? Then they find some value in you. Do you have a job? Then your employer finds some sort of value in you. Do you have a dog? Then that dog finds value in you. If you are in a relationship too? Then great. That person also finds value in you. However, a ring? A DAMN RING does not find value in you. Even if the friends you have swear like sailors, eat like little Japanese men, and sometimes get too drunk to drive you home-they are your friends (shout out to my Bitches 4 Lyfe!). Even if your employer is McDonald’s and you make annoying people like me delicious McNugs-you have a job and you are contributing to our decrepit society. And even if your dog slobbers on all your furniture, leaves hair on all your clothes and pillows, and takes over the whole King bed-he still loves you more than anyone else ever will.

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So stop. Stop putting all your worth in a guy. Same is true for my bros out there. A vagina is great, but it doesn’t increase your self-worth (although some might argue). Anyway, you get what I’m getting at.

Until next time…may your Sunday be filled with whatever the hell you love.

Move Over, Tinder.

Just a few short years ago I remember thinking the concept of online dating was still totally taboo. To me, the people who took part in online dating were middle-aged homebodies who had to fight with their cats for the keyboard. But now, it’s everywhere. It’s considered entirely acceptable to meet your significant other on Tinder or match.com. In fact, I have a couple good girlfriends who met their wonderful boyfriends on Tinder. And no, they are not serial killer rapists. They’re normal, good dudes.

WILL YOU DATE ME!?! via reddit.com

PLEASE DATE ME!!!

Although my opinion of online dating has evolved, there is still the, frankly, ridiculous sites that make me cringe every time I see a commercial or hear an ad on the radio: Christian Mingle (wait, christians actively date?), Farmers Only (people want to live on farms?) or, my personal favorite, J Date. Ah, J Date, a desperate woman’s ‘land of milk and honey’ for finding a rich old Jew to spend forever with. Mazel Tov.

But if you think you’ve heard it all, you are so horribly wrong. Marie Claire published a list of dating websites that match you based on shared interests or characteristics. And let me be up front with you when I say that if you are on any of these sites we probably should no longer, or ever, interact together. I am ashamed of you and you deserve to spend eternity forever alone. Here they are:

alikewise.com – A site to find other people who loved Twilight as much as you. It matches you based on your literary tastes.

tastebuds.fm – ‘You like crying all alone to Sinead O’ Connor too? Let’s build on that.’ It matches you based on your music library.

creditscoredating.com – Exactly as it sounds.

singleswithfoodallergies.com – Again, exactly as it sounds. And no, I did NOT make this one up.

Wait-whatprescription4love.com – No, it’s not a site to watch old Ladies Man skits with Tim Meadows. This is the site that romantically matches you based on medical conditions you share! Because being in a relationship where one individual has crippling anxiety already isn’t bad enough. That’s fine, I didn’t want to leave the house ever again anyway.

datebytype.com – Matches you by blood type. Ugh.

genepartner.com – Legit CSI activity going on here. This site matches you based on your DNA compatibility which is ever-so-elegantly gathered by saliva samples.

NOPE!

NOPE!

And last, but certainly not least:  findyourfacemate.com – Because who wouldn’t want to date someone who looks similar to THEMSELVES. (Shudder.)

Just don’t. Please. I beg you.

Until next time…