Friday, January 30, 2015

My 90s Crushes

Grab your New Kids On The Block sleeping bags and put on your footie pajamas, girls, because we're going to talk about BOYS!

One thing that Clayton will never understand about me is how fondly I look back on my adolescent crushes. Adolescence was the WORST and the only things that got me through that horrendously awkward phase of my life were my friends and copies of Tiger Beat magazine. I was pimply, oily and felt wicked out of place in my own body, but in a weird way I will always cherish that time and how purely I loved a very select, elite group of celebrities boys.

Real boys at my school never gave me a second glance, and I told myself that was okay because one day Jonathan Taylor Thomas was going to ride up to my bedroom window on a white stallion and whisk me away to a fairy tale life in Los Angeles.

Side Note: Sometimes I wonder if any of the boys I went to middle school or high school with see my profile on Facebook and regret not taking the time to notice me or be my friend. But then I remind myself that pictures like this are on my profile, and I assume the answer is probably no:

But I digress ... 

Titanic came out when I was 6th grade and that movie was IT. Ladies of all ages lined up around the block to watch the epic blockbuster and at my final count, I saw it in the theater three times. And I fell in love with Leonardo DiCaprio all three of those times (just like pretty much every other woman on the planet). To this day, I still get a little giddy when I see him in a movie because he will always be Jack Dawson to us 90s gals.

When we lived in Muncie, I had a poster of 1998 Leonardo DiCaprio hanging on my bedroom door (framed, with a matting I made out of hot pink construction paper because come on, art) with one of his quotes from a magazine article that read:

"I love acting because you get to do all of these things and not suffer any of the consequences."


Then one day my mom came into my room, saw the quote and said, "Hmmm, I don't like that."

I replied, "Mom, I'm 11. I have zero life experience. I don't even understand what it means."

In retrospect, if Leonardo DiCaprio did actually suffer the consequences of the roles he played, he would have OD'd like, 10 movies ago.

But as embarrassing as it is to admit, the main man in my heart through the mid-late 90s (and if I'm being perfectly honest, every single day leading up until the night I met Clayton), was one Mr. Nick Carter from a little boy band called The Backstreet Boys.

Down with that turtle neck swag.

The Backstreet Boys was the very first cd I ever owned and to this day, I still don't think I've played any cd as much as I played their debut album. I know it forwards and backwards. I know that the original LP didn't include "Everybody: Backstreet's Back" and I bought the cd again when it was re-released. I still love that cd so much, I'm totally willing to overlook that I received it as a gift from my dad's ex-girlfriend who I absolutely hated.

My sister called dibs on Brian, so Nick's blonde hair and blue eyes made the most sense when paired with my brown hair and brown hair. 12 year-old logic: It makes sense.

The Backstreet Boys were also my first (and second) concert, and both my sister and I filled binders will meticulously cut-out pictures from posters and magazines. We may have even put cutouts on popsicle sticks to make our own Backstreet Boys puppets, but the details of that event are foggy and maybe it was just me and maybe we're all just better off pretending like it didn't happen.

Pictures of Nick flooded my room and poor Leo was eventually bumped down to second place. I even had a cutesy poster of the Backstreet Boys playing at the beach and I remember thinking it was just like, so seductive because NIPPLES.

Nick's singing voice is actually kind of nasal-y and I think he may have gone down a rough path when BSB's fame eventually began to fade, but I was never more thoroughly convinced I was going to marry a man than I was with him. When their music video for "As Long As You Love Me" came out, I was legitmately heartbroken because I thought Nick was dating the model that played his girlfriend.

I can just picture myself sitting cross-legged in my room, furiously flipping through the glossy pages of my Backstreet binder and pointing at Nick's face like, "WHO IS SHE? HUH? WHO IS SHE!???"

That didn't really happen. If it did, I would need to insist my mom drag me to therapy ASAP.

Though I vividly remember when the video for "I'll Never Break Your Heart" debuted on MTV. Each of the guys had separate scenes (with girls) and I had an intense, deep hatred for the chick with blonde braids who got to sit next to Nick and blow bubbles. I secretly referred to her as Bubble Bitch because adolescent pain runs DEEP.

Oh. My. Gosh. I am laughing so hard right now as I write this. Why? Because as awkward and weird and uncomfortable as she was, I have so much love for the girl I was then. I just want to give her a hug, tell her she's okay just the way she is and let her know that one day, not too terribly far away from this time, she's going to meet the most amazing bearded guy who will sweep her off her feet and make all of these fantasies fade away. I'd tell her that one day she'll find these years mostly hilarious, but to just hold on to that innocence because the one she ends up with was definitely the one worth waiting for.

And he'll never break your heart. 


Who was your teenage crush?


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Leslie Knope Status

Last night I made crab cakes for dinner, and this blog post has no real direction or topic.

But that's what makes blogging fun for me: You can start with literally nothing and after just a few minutes of pounding out words on your keyboard, you end up with ...

... slightly more.

Barely more, actually.

But still, more.

I was given the advice to write about whatever is in your heart and on your mind in that very moment, letting those feelings be your guide on days when you don't have a specific subject to discuss.

It's safe to say that right now, the only thing in my heart and on my mind (and in my tummy) at this very moment is WAFFLES.

One day I'll be haunted by how many unflattering pictures of me there are on the internet.


I was like, "Clayton, darling, you know what would be the perfect meal after last night's delicious, low-fat crab cakes? WAFFLES."

(For the record, I never call Clayton "darling". His pet name usually contains the word "butt".)

And don't think I didn't notice that there's a laser beam of light shining on my plate in this picture. Why? Because waffles are a gift from above. 

Eating waffles and whipped cream for dinner is one of my very favorite things about adulthood. At 29 years old, I'm still infatuated by the notion that I can seriously do whatever I want (which is kind of hilarious when you consider how many times I neglect to do the dishes and am like, "Do you think my mom would be disappointed in me if she came over right now?"). I will never get tired of the freedom of choice. The other day I told Clayton that even though it was late, I wasn't tired and didn't want to go to bed. He simply replied, "So don't."

So I didn't.

Bam! Grown up!

I mean, I was exhausted and moody the next day and totally believe that we have structure for a reason, but STILL.

What's your favorite non-traditional dinner?


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Coffee Date


If you and I were to meet for coffee this morning, I'd most likely apologize for being late because I'm late to everything. Waking up when it's still dark outside makes the task of getting out of bed near impossible.

I'd probably pass on the java and order a hot tea. Ever since I caught a cold around Christmastime, I've been quite fond of soothing hot green tea with honey. Even Clayton is partaking in a nightly hot tea ritual while we watch our stories, meaning that our transformation into old people is nearly complete.

And I'd probably order a bagel with cream cheese because all I ever want to eat anymore is carbs.

You'd ask me how I am and what I've been up to (because you're such a good friend) and I'd give you a rushed sentence or two, but then immediately redirect the conversation back to you because I still have a hard time talking about myself. I might make the conversation slightly awkward with my deflection, but I'd apologize and reiterate that I'm just much better behind a pen or computer screen than I am in person.

But we're buddies, so you already knew that. :)

We'd likely update each other on our families, our jobs, the casual pieces of our lives. I'd divulge that despite owning the entire series on DVD, Clayton and I are binge-watching Friends on Neflix. I know for a fact that I'd then wax poetic about Jennifer Aniston's evolving haircuts on the show because that's all I talk about while I'm actually watching the show, too.

I'd also tell that I diagnosed myself with misophonia because I think the whole world is too loud.

And that I'm still debating cutting a lot of my hair off, but I'm just nervous that shorter fine hair will look even worse.

Then once I feel comfortable with the flow of conversation, we'd get real. I'd tell you how I seriously struggle with Seasonal Affective Disorder and that I think it's stupid they named it as such, making the literal acronym SAD. And that for someone who struggles with random, inexplicable bouts of depression, experiencing SAD is like getting punched in the face twice.

And that I feel guilty about being down when I don't really have anything to be down about.

But that actually just makes me feel worse.

And that I feel frustrated a lot. And I really hate that feeling, too. 

Then I'd most likely suggest we just scrap the coffee house and go get a cocktail.
And you'd gently remind me that it's 9 a.m.

You're a sweet soul, so you'd be encouraging and say something uplifting. And I'm confident that I would do the same for you when you share your struggles with me.

We'd talk a little more, laugh a lot, and spend the next several minutes basking in the joy of having a good girlfriend.

We'd part ways after a hug (that I managed to make uncomfortable because I never know how long is too long and sometimes I just like a really good hug) and I'd spend the drive home wondering if I shared too much, suddenly feeling embarrassed for no reason.

But I wouldn't have long to worry about it because the second I got home, I'd go right back to bed because being a grown-up is hard.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

My thoughts on shopping for lingerie

I'm not entirely sure how this blog post is going to go over, but it's just my opinion and you don't have to agree with it. I just ask that if you have a burning desire to express your own thoughts on the subject, you do so kindly and respectfully. Nothing grates my cheese more than people who use aggression or insults to get their point across.

That being said, I don't think men should be allowed in Victoria's Secret.

I totally understand that Victoria's Secret sells what most straight men want (boobies), but it's my personal belief that only humans with actual boobies should be free to roam this particular store.

I know it's hard to believe, but I am a woman. I enjoy feeling like a woman. I'm almost 30 years old and I feel like I'm just starting to come into my own. Being a woman is complicated, but it's beautiful, and I think that men should feel privileged for getting to love us and touch us.

Though I don't shop there often because their prices are kind of outrageous, I've always enjoyed wandering through Victoria's Secret. Standing amongst the beautiful, silky undergarments and the women there to purchase them creates an odd sense of unity. It's all very Ya-Ya Sisterhood. Whether women are there to feel sexy for their significant others or just for themselves, it's empowering.

And nothing ruins that buzz quicker than some dude standing in a pile of underwear with his girlfriend, helping her make a selection.

This recently happened to me when I went to V.S. to purchase noneofyourbusiness. While perusing their sale items, I walked past a young couple just in time to hear the following exchange:

Girl, holding up a pair of undies: "What do you think of these?"
Boy, unsure: "When on earth would you wear such a thing?"
Girl, smiling coyly: "Oooooh, I think you know .... "

I couldn't make out the rest of their conversation because at that point my ears started bleeding. I love my fellow sisters, but I do not need to be privy to your public foreplay.

Now, I'm not saying that these gentlemen are creeps or are paying an iota of attention to the other ladies present, but I still feel uncomfortable purchasing lingerie under the gaze of a male stranger. A male presence in the store suddenly makes me feel exposed and I don't want another man to see what I choose to wear under my clothes. I understand that this reaction is more of a direct reflection on me and my way of thinking, but regardless, it puts a damper on the shopping experience.

When I hastily thrust my purchases onto the sales counter, I was dismayed to see that the person working the register was a man. In all of my years shopping at Victoria's Secret, I've NEVER seen a man working in the store. I suddenly felt my cheeks turn crimson and I struggled to make eye contact because I'm used to being assisted by women who understand the struggle of shoving butt cheeks and nipples into these crazy contraptions.

And then I felt extremely torn and confused because I'm all about equal opportunities and believe men and women alike should be able to work anywhere they darn please.

Clayton refuses to go into Victoria's Secret with me. He's content to park himself on a bench outside of the store, and though I don't think it's a chivalrous act of respect so much as a way to save himself the embarrassment of accidentally making eye contact with a g-string, it's much appreciated.

So ladies, please consider leaving your boyfriends or husbands behind on this excursion. Call him from the car to tell him about your new thong. Send him a selfie from the dressing room for all I care. You don't need him right there in the store to pick it out with you. If you can't choose a piece of lingerie that you think with drive him wild, then you might not know him that well.

But you know what all straight men find universally sexy? Naked ladies. So just put on your birthday suit and put that $50 towards pizza and champagne instead.


Monday, January 19, 2015

The fraud

Sometimes I feel like a total phony (in many, many ways actually, but we only have time to address on example today).

I've claimed on several occasions that I love salad. And while that is still monumentally true, my devotion to greens isn't exactly as pure and wholesome as I'd like the masses to believe.

I prepared a salad for lunch this afternoon and included sliced carrots, grape tomatoes, diced cucumber and shredded turkey atop a bed of fresh arugula and spinach. Since I eat in the office and no longer venture home for lunch, I packed a small container of Bolthouse Greek Yogurt dressing to pour over my salad when I was ready to eat.

I grabbed my meal at 1:30 p.m. and added the dressing to my salad, shaking the container vigorously to coat its contents evenly. I was in hog heaven for the first several bites, but when I got to the last few mouthfuls, I noticed that I didn't do such a great job of covering the greens at the bottom of the container with dressing and veggies. No matter, I thought, gathering a large forkful. It's all delicious.

I put a bite of naked arugula and spinach in my mouth ...

... and I gagged.

I literally gagged.

I couldn't even do it for the vitamins and minerals. I put the lid back on the container and promptly tossed it in the fridge.

I am such a fraud.

Clayton's forever telling me that he just doesn't understand people who love salad. To him, eating a giant plate of greens is the equivalent of going outside and eating a bag of yard clippings. Like a true snob, I used to give him such a hard time about it, claiming that he just "doesn't get it".

But here I am, practically spitting my salad into a napkin like a child. Why? Because it tasted exactly like a bag of mulch.

Apparently I only like salad if the dressing and its toppings are evenly distributed across each and every leaf of lettuce.

And I'm almost scared to admit to him that I actually hate carrots and only eat them because I think they will eventually give me x-ray vision.

But I still love the other vegetables, I PROMISE.

Well, except for rhubarb.

And okra because it's just disgusting. Fry it in oil all you want, but you can't cover sadness in breading.

I'm just going to stop talking now.

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