Wednesday, January 30, 2013

at least it's not about dating.

As my sixtyish day date detox comes to an end, I've been reflecting on the changes that came with it. If you read my last blog post, you know I developed insight and defined what it is I'm looking for in a partner. [So if you're reading this and are currently dating me, congratulations! You passed the disqualifying round!] But fear not! This post is not about dating.

It's about my very favorite part of being single. Something that always meant so much to me, but I often forgot to focus on. This post is about friendship. And specifically, the types of friends I think everyone should have and keep close at all times.

In no particular order:
*Names have been omitted for the sake of humility and possible legal implications.

   -The friend who, despite spending every other minute g-chatting, texting and phone-calling, you still have standing Saturday morning brunch plans with. The same friend who will drop everything in the middle of a busy trial to act as your attorney for some mess you got yourself into and can't get rid of. Her ADHD may be so severe that you never hear the end of a story, but you love her anyway. And she loves you.
   - The friend who knows exactly when and where your favorite artists and bands are playing and without a doubt will be singing obnoxiously in the front row with you. This friend is great because the only time he'll ever break your trust if when he orders you a tonic instead of soda. But it's still got vodka in it, so you're not even that mad.
   - The friend who will laugh with you, not at you, when you mistake your own reflection for a girl wearing the same hat as you. Who you don't even need to go to the gym with, because every conversation is an ab-workout. Roadtrips are ideal with this friend because she makes 13-hours feel like not long enough. If co-dependence is wrong, I don't want to be right.
   -The best friend's boyfriend, who takes the time to know you, cook for you, be your designated driver, give you boy advice, threaten you for not updating your blog and put up with hours of girl talk, just because he's so crazy about your best friend that he takes the time to become your friend too.
   -The friend who is more like a seeeeester, so you never have to worry about work or school getting too demanding to come between you.
   -The friend who you can call any time you drive by her house and she will be outside ready to hop in the car and start another adventure. This kind of friend useful as they are always game for sharing a Frisbee full of french fried calories.
   -The friends that you sometimes forget to be professional around, but then you realize they are your coworkers and you could get in trouble if someone overhears you, but then you realize you don't care because they are your best friends and nothing else matters but friends. Well I guess except paying the rent, so maybe we should lock it up guys.
   -The friend that is really your mom but sometimes you forget because she is so much cooler than you. And sometimes you think, 'maybe she just has to be this nice to me because I'm the one in charge of how nice of a nursing home she will spend the last of her days in'. But then you know that can't be the reason because when she is old and frail you're going to hold her and cry and never leave her side because she literally couldn't have been more supportive of you from day one.
   -The friend that is married to your mom, but sometimes you question her loyalty because you think, 'I can't possibly be related to someone this kind, talented and responsible'. But then you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and realize, 'oh yeah, we are definitely related..where else would I have gotten these good looks from.' That's the kind of friend that subscribes himself to Denver Groupon just to make sure you get fed every now and then.
   -The friends that are the four most admirable men you've ever known. That have set the standards for anyone you date at a basically unreachable level. You're always protected when you keep these types of friends.
   -The friend with whom you have so much in common that miles can't stop you from being by her side as she marries her high school sweetheart and makes you cry all over your silk chiffon dress and poppy colored pumps.
-The far away but not forgotten Texan friends, whose names seriously light up your day when they pop-up randomly via phone or computer.

If you've got friends like these nothing can make you feel empty.

Thank you friends, for keeping my head above water when the world turns cruel and ugly.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

hang up on the hookup.

Alright, first things first: All credit of this title goes to my father. When this blog post turns into a New York Times Best Selling Self-Help Guide, trademark goes to Dave Jarrott. [Re: NYT - Sometimes they actually review books as "unputdownable", which is exactly how I want my writing to be remembered.] Unfortunately for dear old dad, written proof exists that he wishes for me to publish his phrase, so he will receive no royalties when I'm famous. Sorry, dad.

Onward. 

Speaking of the New York Times, I have some thoughts on an article I came across this week on the end of courtship.  I'd highly recommend you take a short break and read it, but it's kind of long, so if you'd like the nutshell version, here it is:

1) Girl puts on her skinny jeans and gets all pretty, and cute, and desperate for a date she is asked out on via OkCupid.
2) He texts her thirty minutes after said date start-time to ask her if she wants to meet up with him + friends. She declines.
3)  Author gives up completely on the hope and prosperity of "hookup culture millennials". [My spell-check is informing me that she may have made the last word up. Go girl.]
4) Evidence, evidence, more evidence. Clever pop-culture references. Evidence. Witty simile. More evidence. Shameless plugs for various innovative online dating opportunities.
5) Author takes a quick venture into online stalking methods, backing up theory that there is no use for a real first date after you've googled, facebooked, twittered, tumblred, instagrammed and linkedin your crush. [Who's making up words now, chick?]
6) She theorizes that traditional dating makes a man feel like things are getting too serious, too soon.
7) Some San Franciscan rarity breaks the mold by refusing to accept anything less. Happy ending. Yay!

Don't misplace my snarky attitude here. I LOVE THIS ARTICLE. I LIVE THIS ARTICLE. My frustration stems from the truth behind it. And also the fact that the author offers no realistic cure.

I've been dating for the better part of nine months, in a big city, with a notable excess in the population of men versus women. For the most part, I know what I want. My standards are usually high. I have yet to break the mold.

In December, I decided to take a one month hiatus from dating. I cleverly referred to it as my hi-date-us. I failed miserably due to my lack of boundaries and my immense threshold for being bullshitted. [Spell-check says that one's a word. You learn something new every day.] I didn't go on any actual dates, but I didn't eliminate from my life those who complicated it. So really the only thing that changed about my lifestyle was no more free meals or drinks. Not helpful.

At the end of December, I was drunkenly invited to partake in a structured date detox for the month of January and decided that was a GREAT IDEA! This one includes eliminating from your life any male who has ever made you feel human feelings AND creating lists of qualities you have experienced and would like to experience in the future. Also no flirting. Ha.

It has been half of a month and I would say I've earned an A- so far. January 12th was questionable, but spending time brainstorming what I really want in my life has empowered me like I've never felt before. I think I've told my partner-in-detox about 15 times that I'd like to just remain abstinent from dating forever. Obviously that's not going to happen, but I do believe I'm well on my way to breaking the mold.

So with that, my single friends, I offer you my cure:
If you don't want something, don't settle for it. If you do want something, hold out for it. If you want flowers at your doorstep, stop responding to the late night "hey, what r u doin" texts. If you want to get to know who a man really is, turn off the computer and ask him to dinner. If you want a happy, stable man in your life, shut the door and find happiness within first. Create a framework for the partner you truly desire. There are so many fish in the sea, but it's not about quantity. Figure out which kind of fish you like the most, research which region that fish inhabits and pray that when you catch him he's tall, rich and sensitive. But even if he's not, maybe he has all ten of the "must-haves" your date detox asked you to define and carry with you at all times. And you'll live happily ever after.

*After thought: As I was writing this angst-ridden blog post, I received a picture of a ridiculously romantic gift my brother had just presented to the girl he is dating. I know that real, decent human men exist. I just happen to be related to all of them.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

103 degrees of optimism.

There's something to be said about the power of optimism. I'm just not sure what it is yet, so I'm gonna start writing to try to get to the bottom of it.

New Year's Eve is undoubtedly my favorite night of the entire year, but in trying to make plans for this glorious occasion, I quickly discovered that my affliction is a rare one. It's actually my first New Year being single, so I wanted to get the biggest group of my favorite people together for dancing, drinks and meeting strangers. Most people had the same response, "it's a night with such high expectations that someone always ends up mad or disappointed."

WHAT?

My brain could not comprehend...I don't recall a December 31st on which I didn't feel an overwhelming sense of shiny newness. There has never been a person, or a thing, or an event that could take away the magic of my favorite night. So imagine my surprise when I woke up on the morning of my favorite day feeling ever so slightly awful.

I took the day off and tried to nap throughout the day so I could make it to a party I had purchased some not-very-cheap tickets to. I put on my party pants [well, my party dress that I'd been waiting half a year to wear on this very night] and with an impending sense of doom I braved the cold, the crowd and the craziness. I woke up the next morning feeling about as bad as it gets. Most people just assumed it was the "bottle flu" so I went with it, despite having maybe 4 drinks between the hours of 7:30pm and 1:30am.

 Oh heck no, the morning of January 2nd, I tested positive for Influenza Type A with a high risk for pneumonia, due to the condition of my now very damaged, untreated lungs. Now maybe it's just me, but it would SEEM my New Year parade was being rained on. And the storm isn't expected to let up for another 5-7 days.

You're not gonna buy this, but I don't think the flu could have hit at a more perfect time [ok, yes it could have waited until I regained some PTO at work]. Since I was already in a period immense happiness, it's been really difficult to get me down. Through all the pain, chills, aches, loneliness, coughs, and through one moment of genuine concern that I was going to incinerate my pillow with the temperature of my skin, I have tried to remain optimistic. And optimism has given me the opportunity to pick out the perks of being sick, rather than to just focus on how deathly I feel.

1 - Between Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts, I gained quite a few lbs. But between my loss of appetite and my cough, I have dropped the extra pounds and I'm getting a 20 hour/day ab workout. Super head start on the weight loss resolution this year.

2 - I have watched at least half of my favorite movies so far and have spent some really great quality time with my kindle. This has created a very peaceful start to my year, during which would otherwise be quite the hectic week. Sometimes you just need an excuse to veg with movies and books for a few days in order to maintain sanity on a long term basis.

3 - This one may seem backhanded, but you know how I like to turn negatives into positives...isn't that the essence of optimism anyway? I've had to tackle this flu for the most part on my own. Now if you're reading this and you're one of my friends who has offered to bring me literally anything I need, it has not gone unnoticed. But what I'm getting at is that in times like these it's really hard to be a thousand miles away from your parents and your home. I've never been this sick without my mom and dad in the next room, and doing this alone has shown me just how much independent strength I've gained since moving to Colorado. And I only broke down emotionally once, just a little bit.

4 - A week or so ago, after I somewhat failed my own date detox in December, I drunkenly agreed to do a structured date detox with my friend Kristie. The closer we got to January 1st, the more I regretted this agreement. But after this flu passes, I will be one week into the detox. And three weeks of not dating doesn't sound nearly as bad as four. I think at this time next week, I will be pretty accustomed to spending every waking moment alone in my bed with my TV/books. [Future blog post to come, this should be interesting]

5 - This one is similar to the last in that I need to get used to staying in. But, one of my New Year's resolutions is to save money and other than my tab at Walgreens, I'd say a week of no exposure to the universe is a decent jumping off point.

So, I guess I just want to say thank you, flu, for promoting all of my resolutions right from the start. I probably, literally wouldn't have done it without you.

**Disclaimer: If none of this makes sense at all, the combination of drugs in my system and my high grade fever have induced quite a bit of lethargy in my brain. My apologies.**