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…

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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…

Dear Amanda: Episode 2

As many of you know, I cannot (I repeat, CANNOT), stand the advice columns in magazines. For starters, do the people who write in not have GOOGLE, YouTube, or any semi-intelligent friends that can offer semi-legit advice? Are my girlfriends the only ones who sit around, drink wine, stuff our faces and listen to each other’s problems…followed by caring advice (“maybe making babies isn’t the best time…keep the IUD in for now”) or synonymous bitching about people we don’t even know, but don’t like because our bestie doesn’t?!? At what point do you resort to writing into a magazine for advice? Secondly, the advice the readers get is so politically correct that it makes me want to gauge my eyes out. It’s advice that is in no way, shape or form aligned to the average person in the world today. As a result, this is the column where I relay to you questions that actual readers wrote in to magazines, the advice they got, and then the advice I would give (aka the real advice).

“Ask E. Jean” is the supposed expert for Elle magazine. How a middle-aged, wealthy  British woman was determined to be someone who you would go to for general life advice is beyond me. Instead, she is someone I would want for my (possibly one day) child’s nanny. But here we go…

The real E. Jean herself.

          The real E. Jean herself.

The Question: “Standard Model” writes in stating she is an average woman living in NYC. She believes she is simply too average to attract any “romantic interest from men and establish a good career”. Her mother suggests she move to a rural town where there will be less competition in all aspects of life. Bottom line: She is questioning if she should move and if her mediocrities are keeping her from meeting a partner. 

The Response: E. Jean’s response is that it doesn’t matter where you live, the confident, flirty women win every time. She suggests that Standard Model’s mother may be onto something in that she may feel prettier, smarter, more accomplished in a smaller town.

My Response: Stop the pity party. Aside from Gisele and various other Victoria’s Secret models, we are all average woman. Get over it. Your own insecurities are what are preventing you from landing a man or the career you want. Also, may I be so bold as to state that your life and your awesomeness are not defined by whether you have a husband or a six figure salary. Next step? Tell your mom to get stuffed. Then, stop going to her for advice EVER AGAIN. What mother thinks that telling their clearly insecure daughter who is already struggling that this is sound advice?!? Good Lord. Are you a heathen? Don’t give your mom’s suggestion a second thought. Put yourself out there, do things you enjoy, step outside of your comfort zone and when you least expect it, the perfect guy and/or job will sneak up on you and take you by surprise.

Ugh, they're so hideous. Look away.

                                                 Ugh, they’re so hideous. Look away.

The Question #2: (Guys, this one is a keeper. I hope you enjoy it). “Confused and Used” writes in stating that she and a guy she works with ended up confiding in each other and getting a bit too close emotionally. This was then followed by her giving him oral sex (maybe I’m niave, but what is the rationale for stating you had an emotional conversation after the fact that his penis fell into your mouth? Pretty sure that overrides the conversation that took place, but anyway…). She then writes “He let me know I was too young for “us to have a relationship,” because he said I would “leave him when I found someone my own age.” I’m 21. He’s 37 and married. Yesterday I saw him, succumbed to temptation, and gave him oral sex again! Afterword he said he was “putting his foot down” and ending it “forever”.” Bottom line: She is questioning what she did wrong and if she should wait for him to make the next move.

The Reponse: E Jean actually gives some legit advice. In a nutshell she tells this ridiculously insane woman that she should never have fooled around with a married man, that his excuses aren’t how he really feels (he is actually afraid his wife will leave him when she finds out this 21 year child has been giving him blowies at work), that this will only hurt her career and not the dude’s, and that she needs to transfer to a different job ASAP.

My Response: Stop. Stop right now. What exactly do you feel you are getting out of this? He is getting blowies left and right, but all you are doing is setting yourself up to be hurt, be fired, or to get an STD. Don’t ever fool around with a married man ever again. Don’t ever fool around with a man you work with ever again. And don’t ever work at this place of business ever again. Leave and find a different job today.

Well, folks that is all I have on the agenda today. IF you ever feel that you have nobody to ask for advice, do yourself a favor and do not write into a magazine. Instead, ask your good ol’ friend Amanda who will tell it like it is.

Until next time…

The Grass May Be Richer, But It’s Not Always Greener

Guys, I’m back! No, I wasn’t trying to be the douchey boyfriend who suddenly drops off the face of the Earth and quits calling for no reason while you sit patiently waiting for them to come back (just so you know, they are never coming back). Instead, my laptop rudely decided it was time for us to part ways. It had been a fun run together, but I have begrudgingly accepted it’s for the best.

That being said, I am back with a new computer, and better yet, new topics I can’t wait to tackle with all my lovelies out there. For starters, we urgently need to address whatever the hell is happening in Hollywood at the current moment! The number of couples splitting up is increasing at a rate that my heart simply cannot take.

The Way They Were...

                                                            The Way They Were…

I mean, when Jen and Ben announced to the world that they were splitting, that ALONE was enough to make me retreat into the fetal position, shut the blinds, and crawl to my bed where I could cry into my Ben & Jerry’s in peace. But then, Blake and Miranda sneak up OUT OF NOWHERE and punch me right in the face when I’m not even looking. That was just a bitch move. Give us some warning, people! It’s the least you can do!

On top of that we have Kourtney and Scott, Gwen and Gavin, Reba and whatever-her-husband’s-name is (“Here’s your one chance, Fancy did let him down”-I couldn’t resist, sorry.), and now today Brian Austin Green and Megan Fox announced they are going their separate ways! Seriously, who breaks up with David Silver? Ugh, I hope he finds his Donna Martin and they can live happily ever after together. But, back to the topic at hand…What is wrong with you people?!? Oh what, all your money, good looks, nice things, and luxury vacations aren’t enough?!? What does this mean for the rest of us “normal” people in the world?!

Me learning of Ben and Jen

   Me learning of Ben and Jen

As my poor husband can attest, I have been lamenting over these aforementioned tragedies for weeks. I will be the first to admit that I am maybe a bit too enmeshed with Hollywood. When any couple from the Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise break up (which is alllllll.the.time.), I feel as though my own best friend got her heart broke. (But Kaitlyn and Shawn really will make it you guys. For real this time. I mean it.) I pride myself on keeping up with the Kardashians like the best of them. And oh, what’s that you say? Julianne Hough just got engaged? Yup, already knew that yesterday. UsMagazine automatically comes up on my internet browser; it makes me feel all giddy every time I patiently wait for the photos to load. So, all this heartbreak got me to thinking…why do I care so much?

As pathetic as it is, I found myself asking, somewhat frantically, “Doesn’t anybody stay together anymore?!” And then it hit me. These are not normal people. Yes, they have feelings and emotions like everyone else. Sure, they are heartbroken and thinking how daunting it sounds to move on and start over. BUT their lives are not normal. They spend weeks/months apart. They are constantly in the public eye. They cannot go buy a carton of milk without TMZ popping out from behind a runaway shopping cart. Every single thing they do on a daily basis is examined with a microscope. Every action is analyzed and results in constant speculation. How could that not destroy a relationship over time? Just think if that were you…BREAKING NEWS: Amanda Swenson pumped her own gas AND bought a King Size Twix bar. What does this mean for her marriage? Headed for divorce?!?

Just look at this picture of Ben and Jen at Disneyland over the weekend (which brings up a whole other aspect of putting up a “united front”; you know Jen wants to gauge Ben’s eyes out. Give up the charade, you aren’t fooling a soul.). They are at Disneyland, the happiest damn place in the world, and he looks like he would rather risk contracting tetanus by pulling out his teeth with a pair of rusty pliers.

rs_560x415-150818131747-1024.Jennifer-Garner-Ben-Affleck-Disneyland.ms.081815_copy

The point of my tirade is this: you are not these people. You do not live in their world. So whether your significant other is your spouse, your dog, or Total Divas, appreciate it, love the shit out of it, and keep the outside world out of the relationship. And thank God, you aren’t ever photographed buying milk in your sweatpants, without makeup.

But PLEASE leave the velour sweatpants at home. Thank you.

     But PLEASE leave the velour sweatpants at home. Thank you.

Until next time…

Give the Dudes a Little Credit

For those of you who don’t already know, I simply adore my fiance. Aside from the obvious things (the required ability to memorize and quote an absurd amount of movie lines, having the patience of a saint while I rant on and on about how much better “The Bachelor/Bachelorette” is than any wrestling-related program that has ever aired on any television ever, etc.), he is independent. Now, some of you may read this and think, ‘Ok, so the grown 25-year-old man can take care of himself; and this makes him great because…..?’ But no, I mean, guys, the man is a genius. Yes, he can fully support himself, but he is also clean, organized, and can cook. Watching him maneuver a Swiffer around is like watching Picasso create a masterpiece. With children, he’s like a male Mary Poppins. He does more laundry in a week than I do in a month, no question. And when it comes to cooking, he can do more than simply push the button on the toaster down.

I realize that not all men rank in Lance’s bracket (for, I admit, I am a bit bias), but seriously, has anyone ever noticed how straight-up stupid the media makes men look? Turn the TV on right now and I guarantee that within the span of 10 minutes you will see a commercial where the big doofey-looking husband makes a huge mess and stands there like a big, dumb idiot, not knowing where the cleaning supplies are or what to even do with them, patiently waiting for his gorgeous wife (that in all reality he could never snatch up) to come in and save the day. In fact, it was so obvious to one Massachusetts professor that he conducted a study in which he monitored commercials that aired over the course of one week during prime time television. Of 477 characters shown completing chores, 305 were women and 159 were men. Of the male characters, 50% were portrayed as “comically inept”. (In other words, dumb.) On the other hand, more than 90% of the female characters were portrayed as competent. In another study, also discussed in Real Simple, it is because of this negative stereotype that women often do not trust their husband doing housework, and that 26% of women “give their partners chores” several times a week.

This is quite genius...multi-tasking in all its glory.

This is quite genius…multi-tasking in all its glory.

Can I just go out on a limb here and say that perhaps this is a self-fulfilling prophecy? Perhaps we all dug our own grave on this one. We portray men as incompetent with housework and childcare, we then do not trust them to do it, they don’t do it, we complain that we have to do EVERYTHING around the house, and the men get off looking like idiots. Thus, the circle of life. God, that should’ve been the topic of my thesis…perhaps it would have been a more beneficial waste of my time than the snooze-worthy topic I ended up with. Ok, and one more thing…REAL SIMPLE legitimately said that women GIVE their partners chores?? GIVE? Could you make us look any more bitchy and men look any more incompetent? If a dude lays around and doesn’t help with the housework, it’s not because he’s waiting for you to GIVE him chores. He’s a lazy asshole.

Even worse, a multi-page article was written in GLAMOUR titled “How to Get Your Guy to Dress Like This Guy”. Next to the title was a picture of Jason Sudeikis dressed all dapper with an open collar and a glass of liquor in his hand. Now, part of this article was a spoof, it was in fact, written by Jason himself. However, it also was serious. The first tip was to have him wear three-piece suits when attending a wedding (I’ll be lucky if Lance wears one of those to our very own wedding). They also tell you to buy your partner four tailored shirts-two blue and two white. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! First of all, if I buy Lance clothes, it’s because he said in passing he liked that Sweatshirt or whatever article of clothing it may be. I’m not going to go buy him shirts that he himself can buy, let alone spend money getting them tailored and limiting the color selection to white and blue! Good grief. These men have been putting their legs through pants for years and years, I think they can find their own damn shirts to buy. Some other gems were: when buying a new pair of jeans for your sweetie, MAKE him wear them for one weekend. This will allow him to “break them in” and “give them a chance”. Another one? Buy him a tie clip. Ugh. I can’t even go on.

These are grown men we are talking about. They can change a tire, shingle a roof, and lay sod on an entire lawn. But yet we think they can’t load a dishwasher, make a bed, or properly clothe themselves. Come on. Get over yourself, for starters. Pick your battles. If you want to do the chores so they meet your impossible standards, then don’t bitch about having to do it. Don’t baby them. Don’t treat them like children. They are adults. They are your equals. Treat them as such. Good gravy. And if he does have a horrible fashion sense, tell him. Let’s face it-some men honestly think that wearing cut-off cargo pants looks totally appropriate for a wedding. Offer suggestions, be truly helpful, and go shopping together. It’s not rocket science, people.

Until next time…

A ring don’t mean jack.

While some of you know, I am engaged to a wonderful man. He seriously doesn’t get nearly enough credit for putting up with me for I know I can be terribly obnoxious and my behavior often borders on straight-up hysteria. (We won’t get into the dirty deets because quite frankly I come out on the other side in a negative light.) But through it all, he is always so level-headed and often has to talk me down from the proverbial ledge. As if that wasn’t enough, this crazy kid decided he wants to spend the rest of his life with me. Ha, I fooled him. I’m waiting for him to run the hell the other way like a recently freed man from Shawshank.

Anyway, we’ve been together for almost 6 years and we have encountered the endless barrage of questions regarding “our timeline.” For the longest time it was “Do you think he is the one?”. Then once a few years passed by and I finally decided that he wasn’t too shabby and I might want to keep him, I had to deal with, “When will you guys get engaged?”, “Have you looked at rings?”, “Have you talked about marriage?” etc, etc. Now that he’s put a ring on it, we have had to collectively fight off the obnoxious wedding, moving in together, having children probes. And can I just say at this current moment in my life I would rather be struck down by a garden hoe than bring forth a child into this world. KNOCK ON FRICKEN WOOD, PEOPLE!

Now, I understand (some of) my family and friends asking this; they are simply curious and involved in my life enough to want to know and I’ll be the first to admit that I ask my friends these very same questions. But you INEVITABLY get the girl from high school- who was two years younger than you and is friends with your cousin’s best friend who you met once while at a 6th grade sleepover when prank calling fellow 6th grade dreamboats-who feels she is somehow privy to this information. So obnoxious. Seriously. Ok, enough ranting. I’m getting seriously sidetracked.

THE POINT I was trying to make was that everyone is always in such a rush with their significant other to get engaged, married, have kids, yada yada. But then what?! You become so busy you watch your life fly by without ever going to Disney World (yes, I still harbor some serious resentment for my parents never bringing me) or go to Santorini, Greece (cough, cough, Lance…honeymoon idea. Whaaat?). Which brings me to my little tidbit I found in Marie Claire regarding a recent study done at Cornell University which found that wedded couples aren’t necessarily happier than their cohabitating equals. So throw that in your Aunt Elma’s face next time she asks why you two are living in sin together and waiting for the bowels of hell to suck you up. I know I’ve talked about this before, but like the article says, “What really matters is the quality of the relationship, not whether [you’re married].”

Seems like common sense but so important to remember. Wow, this post started in one direction and ended up in outer space. My apologies. Until next time…

Thank you for being a friend…

The-golden-girlsDon’t even get me started…I start singing this song and before you know it I’m tucked in my bed with all the seasons of “Golden Girls”, in their neatly packaged DVD sets (yes, my sister owns every season, knows pretty much every word & has an unhealthy obsession with the show; she’s amazing and I’m jealous), busted out and am suddenly the 5th member of their Florida home, wearing the most atrocious jewelry and ensembles you can possibly imagine while still being cool.

Clearly, this post is about friends. I don’t mean to toot my own horn but BEEP-fricken-BEEP! I have some pretty spectacular friends and I’m quite certain that mine are better than yours. Neener neener neener. As I have gotten older, I have come to realize just how important each and every one of them are to me. There are those you see far too much and then there are those you rarely see but when you get together it’s like you were never apart and you’re suddenly sharing a humiliating sex story without even the slightest bit of shame. There are the friends who come to you for advice and there are those that you turn to for advice when you get dumped or when you need to know which sweater looks better with the black pair of skinny jeans you just bought (life or death problems here, folks). There are those that stand up for you and are your protectors, yelling at random drunks at the bar for you while others you feel like you have to take under your wing and risk all humiliation by buying them countless pregnancy tests from Walmart in the middle of the night. Whatever the case, each of them is your friend for their own special unique reason and you have been friends for as long as you have because those reasons are keeping them in your life. You need them.

So when I came across a Modern Manners section in yet another REAL SIMPLE magazine (you all know how much I adore this mag…sarcasm is underlying this statement, if you really didn’t know) titled “Is it ever appropriate to spill a friend’s secret?”, I immediately thought of my bizzos that I love and adore. I’ll be the first to admit that I have not always kept friends’ secrets. Am I proud of it? No. But as I have gotten older, that has changed. Sitting here now I can honestly say that no, I would never spill a friend’s secret UNLESS (and this is the mental health worker in me) that person was going to hurt themself or others. Aside from that, no, I wouldn’t. I swear.

Now when I think of my friends’ secrets that have tested my ability to keep my mouth shut, I think of them telling me they slept with so-and-so or they are pregnant or they are planning on ending their relationship. Stuff that REALLY matters, people. So what does REAL SIMPLE bring up as an example of spilling a friend’s secret? Hand to God, I couldn’t make this stuff up….the secret ingredient in a beef barley soup recipe. First of all, gross. Who wants a beef barley soup recipe?! Second of all, who the hell cares if you tell someone that your friend buys chicken stock instead of making their own? Ugh. Rich people.

Anyway, that brings me to another friend-themed article I came across. This past fall, GLAMOUR did an article about friendship DO’s and DON’Ts written by the ever-so-wise Snooki and J-Woww. Now, if I hopped in a time machine and wrote this article a few months back I would have slammed this article left and right. I would have shamed you for watching “Jersey Shore” and for perpetuating this show’s popularity by buying into it all. Yada yada yada. However, after getting sucked into the entire series on Netflix I now adore it. So what, my writing is completely opinionated and subjective. Don’t like it? Don’t care. Anyway, as much as I cringe at some of the housemates’ decisions (hello, Seasons 1, 2, 3 & 4 of Ron and Sam!), I do have to say that Snooks and Jenni have a true friendship. They get mad at each other. They fight. They may tell each other things you don’t want to hear. Translation: they are best friends.

Snooks and J-Woww all glammed up.

Snooks and J-Woww all glammed up.

Here are their list of Do’s & Don’ts:

DON’T lie. Ever-not even about looks. (Ok, I think this specific situation depends on the friend. There are some friends where I wouldn’t even bat an eye telling them, “O my God, you look ridiculous, go change now.” And then there are some where if they were wearing the same exact outfit I would say, “Hmmm, I don’t think that top looks very good with those pants. Let’s find something different.” and then go help them. Feelings, people. Know your friends boundaries and what does and doesn’t cut a little.)

DO respect each other’s opinions about men. (Yes, you should respect their decisions, but it doesn’t mean you have to agree with them.)

DON’T try to make the friendship a democracy if a dictatorship works. (Translation: if you’re totally content with the other pal making plans all the time, then run with it. If it bothers you and you want a say, speak the hell up.)

DO cultivate a Culture of Two. (Do special things for each other. Build your OWN bond which can be hard when you have a large group of friends.)

DO give each other nicknames. (Anybody who spends 1 minute with my friends will know our nicknames. Some are sweet, some are very un-endearing. The popular ones? Tits, Boo, Love, and Bitch. It’s real, people.)

DO make a display of your affection. (No, you don’t have to pull a Snooki and Deena and literally make out together. But be there for each other. If you don’t like your boobs being grabbed, then do not, I repeat, do not, hang out with my friends. Ever. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.)

DON’T think short-term. Instead, plan [ahead]. (Totally acceptable to plan out where you will all live in a cul-de-sac together and how you will rotate carpool with your respective kids. Totally normal. Not weird in the least.)

Bottom line. Be a good friend. Even if it makes YOU uncomfortable, get over it. Work to create the friendships where you will be there for each other years from now. After the kids have left the house. After the husband has gone through his mid-life crisis and left you high and dry. After you both can’t live on your own anymore and need to check into a nursing home. And to all my loving, creative, beautiful, hilarious lady (and guy) friends out there…thank you for being a friend.

Until next time…

 

And a SNIP SNIP here, a SNIP SNIP there…

NC-17 rating people! Hide yo’ kids! This post is not for the squeamish of heart! That being said, when I came across this article it was simply too fantastic to just skim over and not write about! The article, titled “A Cut Below”, in Marie Claire discusses the relatively recent phenomena that is known as….brace for it, vaginal rejuvenation. Did you squirm a little bit? Such a lovely term for such an icky procedure. I admit it, at times I can be a bit immature. Simply saying the word “vagina” makes me utterly uncomfortable. You are much more likely to hear me refer to it elegantly as the vajay or vajeen (phonetic spelling, people).

Ewwwwww.

The article begins with the author attending a two-day presentation on gynocosmetology, aka plastic surgery for one’s lady parts. My first thought was, Dear Lord, this topic needs two WHOLE days to be discussed?!!? However, apparently, it does. The big head honcho of vaginal rejuvenation goes on to tell the crowd that women are willing to pay big bucks to have an “exuberant vagina”. Now, although I am a woman, I am by no means an expert in this field, however, an exuberant vagina? What does that even mean? Mine certainly doesn’t sing karaoke or bust out in an impromptu jig from time to time. It must be a…what is the opposite of exuberant?…shy?…it must be a shy one.

Now, I will spare everyone the details of how and what is done to give one a perky “area”, but let’s get some numbers out there. According to this article, there were 53,332 vaginal rejuvenation performed by US doctors in 2009! Can I just jump on my soapbox for a minute here while I rant and rave about how utterly preposterous this is to me? For starters, some women literally do need surgery after suffering traumatic situations, pregnancies (wait, pregnancy wasn’t categorized under traumatic situations?), or diseases, such as cancer, and I would never judge someone for that. However, think of what that money could have been used for instead in these other vain circumstances! Think about the plastic surgery that some children NEED for cleft palettes or the surgery that some people NEED simply to survive…and instead, there are women out there to spend their money on such a thing. The frivolity of it all infuriates me. All for something that only a few people (ok, maybe crowds depending on who you are and what your profession is) will see anyway. Ok, whew, I feel somewhat better. Onto stat #2: more than 60% of these procedures are done on women 20-39. Um, jigga whaaaaaa?! How does the term “rejuvenation” fit in there when someone is under 40?! They still haven’t even officially gone over the hill yet to need reinvention on the other side. Unless you’re Michelle Duggar, I don’t want to hear it.

The article even goes on to discuss how in many cultures women must present themselves on their wedding night as a virgin (Wait, I mean, every women does that. In all cultures. All the time. No question about it., Mom.) However, many may “fall off the wagon” before their big night. So what can we do? Should we be brave and tell our future husband? Should we do the right thing; tell the truth and build a relationship based on honesty? OR should we get a quick nip and tuck in there, also known as hymenoplasty, to physically become a virgin again? The last one…DING DING DING! One very wise professional in the field even went on to say “These surgeries save relationships. Breasts catch a man, but a tight vagina keeps him.” Don’t even get me started on the never-ending arguments to attack these ever-so-philosophical statements!

If any women out there are still pondering whether to go under the knife, I’ll conclude with the following. These surgeries can result in infection, bleeding, painful intercourse (for the rest of your life, not just in the few weeks that follow the procedure), lifelong scarring, etc. However, even more important to me, if one is thinking of doing this to “save their relationship”; STOP. Seriously, call me and I will fly to where you are to slap you across the face. You are truly delusional to think that a) this will fix anything in your relationship and b) your relationship is based on love and appreciation for one another. If it has come to this, it is not. Find someone who will love your lady parts just the way they are. Exuberant or not.

Maybe it’s just me but I always thought that all heterosexual men were happy as clams  to be anywhere in the vicinity of any aforementioned clam.

Until next time…

 

I am woman, hear me roar!…But you’re gonna pay that bill, right?

First of all, yes, I am indeed alive. I apologize to those few individuals out there who have unsuccessfully been harassing me to write a new post for weeks now. I know that your lives have been utterly meaningless while you have been ever-so-patiently waiting for my return. I have no excuses. I suck at life. Moving on…

A while back I was reading an article in Marie Claire about “the rich-guy mystique”. Now, I adore my fiance, but God, and even Lance himself, knows I’m not with him because of his wealth…or lack thereof. True, he makes good money, but he is also incredibly hardworking and, in truth, I find his work ethic and responsibility far more endearing than the money he makes. Swear to God, that’s the truth. So all you naysayers out there can just bite me. Ok, whoa…I got a wee bit carried away. The point I was attempting to make was that I am not now, nor have I ever, dated someone who is extremely wealthy. I, frankly, believe I would find it obnoxious to have someone flaunting their cash all over the place. A lot can be said for modesty, people.

Anyway, the author of this article (who does not sound like someone I would want to be friends with) goes on to talk about how she went on a date with a guy she didn’t have feelings for, nor did she find attractive. What intrigued her about him? His money. (Um, ew.) She writes that not only did she not have to worry about paying the bill, but she also didn’t feel guilty or feel the need to insist she pay for her half, and that this was a nice change of pace for her. Ok, can I digress for a moment here? First of all, what kind of losers was this chick dating before? Secondly, I realize that Lance usually always pays for our meals, etc (and I hope he knows how thankful and appreciate I am), but even when we started dating I never felt uncomfortable waiting for the bill after dinner. It wasn’t like I sat there strategically thinking, “Ok, how are we gonna do this? Be cool, Amanda, be cool. Do I slowly reach for the bill to give him the perception I’m paying, when in all reality I have no intention of paying, to prevent me from looking bad, but not move fast enough so that he can tear it from my grasp just in time? Do I let him pay so he feels manly? O God, I’m so confused. This was a bad idea. Why did I ever agree to go on this date. I need to leave. I just want to go home. Now.”

Ok, so that might be a bit of exaggeration but my point is: if you are on a date with someone you know you probably aren’t going to mesh with, and are preoccupied with these thoughts then I’m gonna go out on a limb and say the conversation and the connection ain’t too great to begin with. Next suitor please!

Holy cow, back to the subject of this post. She then goes on to write about how she is a feminist and values her career but there is still a part of her that wants to be taken care of-in the very least to have dinner paid for. Oh, the inner turmoil she must be experiencing! How can someone possibly have both? How she must lay awake at night tossing and turning over this conundrum! How can we be worried about the unrest in Syria and Israel when there are much more important problems such as this happening?! Can someone say FIRST-WORLD PROBLEMS?!? Ugh, I’m disgusted.

Anyway, I turned to my most valuable and informed feminist source to ask her firsthand opinion on the topic: my equal-rights-for-all-fight-til-the-death twin sister, Andrea. Her words? Simply put: “Just because you, as a woman, believe in equality doesn’t mean you don’t appreciate a gentlemen being chivalrous.” BOOM. I couldn’t agree more. I’m pretty sure this lady is making Mt. Kilimanjaro out of a molehill and is, in the process, looking like the antithesis of a feminist. Richie Rich deserves better than her anyway.

I Do…in 5 Years

So folks, I have some big news…I got engaged this week to my ever-so-wonderful boyfriend of almost six years! Although I knew this was our eventual next step, it didn’t take away any meaning from the special moment or the importance of the commitment it represents to each other. That being said, the first question we have already had to dodge is the inevitable, “So when is the big day?” Quite frankly, we have no idea. In fact, the night of our engagement as we were getting ready for bed, Lance said, “So I have to ask…do we want to set a date right away?” I quickly responded with, “No”.

In fact, I have friends and family who run the whole gamut of engagement durations. I recently had a friend get engaged who had her whole wedding planned in 7 days. On the opposite end, my dear older brother and his fiance have been engaged for almost 7 years with no wedding plans in sight. Perhaps surprisingly, my bro is becoming the norm. In an article in Marie Claire titled “Happily Ever Engaged”, the topic of more couples enjoying long-term-engagement-prenuptial-bliss was discussed.

Did you know that back in the 60’s, engagements often lasted only three to six months?! Now, I super love Lance, but there is no way that I’m gonna whip out a wedding that fast. To me, what’s the rush? On average in today’s world, it is normal and perfectly acceptable for women to be engaged in terms of years; which coincides with recent data suggesting that young adults are becoming more and more indifferent about marriage. No longer does a woman have to be married to avoid being called the “cat lady” or the “spinster next door”. No longer do women need to be married, or even in a relationship, to be financially comfortable.

Most have their reasons for delaying the big day: busy raising kids, paying a mortgage, paying off student loans, not wanting to marry until everyone has a right to marry, saving for the shindig (on average, weddings cost 30,000-70,000 buckaroos…o Daaaaaaddy) etc. To each their own! All that truly matters is that you are committed to one another. Long engagements don’t mean that a relationship is having troubles, and vice versa (Hello, Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries). I look at my brother and his fiance and they are the picture of a great relationship. They are madly in love raising a 10-year-old together, paying off a house together, taking family trips together, and are more focused on making happy memories than feeling the need to put a ring on it ASAP.

Now, I don’t plan on staying engaged for as long as aforementioned sibling. BUT, I do know that I love my fiance (that still feels fantastic to say), I am committed to our future together and that is enough for me, quite frankly. A ring is simply a piece of jewelry. A wedding is simply a big party. A marriage license is simply a piece of paper. The relationship is what truly matters. So for those fretting over wedding planning or thinking that you are not on the path of what you should be doing…relax. Enjoy each other and this time in your lives for, hopefully, it will be the only time you are engaged and planning a wedding in your lifetime. Take it all in and don’t give a single thought to all those naysayers out there who keep putting pressure on you.

Funny Wedding Ecard: Pressure? Get married when you want. Your wedding's just one more day in my life I can't wear sweat pants.

Until next time…