Friday, March 11, 2016

Lifestyles of the Romantic and Pragmatic

The worst thing about finding out your best friend is getting married is now you have to lose weight too. I've been busy finding myself, which includes eating whatever I want, swiping left and not having to shave 80% my body hair just to have 50% of it grow back halfway through a date. Now I have to worry about what I'm going to look like in your wedding photos.

The night that my childhood best friend broke the news of her engagement to me, I could hardly believe it. Gabi was the first friend I made in the 7th grade after moving from Long Island, New York to Charlotte, North Carolina. We sat next to each other in AG English1 and used to pass notes about teachers we hated and boys we liked in a composition notebook.
We used our planners to pass notes in class our entire school career 

Flash forward almost 20 years later and we're sitting across from each other at a gastropub discussing how Gabi's fiance had proposed to her.

For the past couple years we haven’t been as close as we were growing up but I still consider her a best friend. So much so that I could barely focus on her story because I was getting nostalgic about our friendship. We’ve been through so much over the years...

Like watching TV on the phone together: In middle school I would call Gabi up Monday through Friday at 4:00pm and sing the opening theme song to Sailor Moon at the top of my lungs over the phone. Except when it was storming outside because Gabi was afraid that lightning would come through the phone and electrocute her2

Our first jobs: Gabi is a few months older than me so I always felt like she got to do everything first and her life was way more put together than mine. She was the first to drive and worked at JC Penny. She probably came home smelling like a mixture of Japanese Cherry Blossom body spray and loose change because she worked in the shoe department. I worked at Subway and walked to work after school because my bike had gotten stolen. I would come home smelling of cold cuts and bleach.

Losing our virginity: Don’t worry Mom, this part never really happened. At least it won’t until someone asks for my delicate hand in marriage, I do declare. *clutches pearl necklace*

And all of the glorious crushes on guys we’ve had from 1996 through 2015; Me more than her because I’ve been boy crazy since the 7th grade.

Senior year Gabi signed my yearbook & made sure to list all the crushes I had from middle school to that point
We would do this thing where we’d conduct mock telephone conversations pretending to be each other’s crush. Kinda of like practicing for a job interview with a friend.

Me: Hey is <insert name of this week's crush> home?

Gabi pretending to be my crush: Who is this?

Me: C’mon Gabi. He knows who I am.

Gabi: Yeah but maybe he has a lot of girls calling him.

Me:  So you think he’s a player?

Gabi: No he’s not that cute. But you are cute, so don’t worry about it. Be confident.

Me:  OK. Let's start over. Hey, It’s Tiffany from Social Studies.

Gabi: Oh this is his mom. I’ll go get him. *Deepens her voice* What you want girl?

Me and Gabi: Breaks into uncontrollable laughter for the next couple minutes until Gabi hangs up the phone without explanation after she hears thunder outside

After I got the proposal details the first thing I asked Gabi was, “How do you know when it’s right? How do you know that this is the person you’re supposed to spend the rest of your life with?” Gabi responded with “Maybe I’m not the right person to answer that question.” 

Well if you're not the right person then who in tarnation is? It can't be me. I have a fall back marriage arranged with an old friend if we haven’t found anyone else by the age of 35. I also fell in love with a guy after knowing him for only 3 weeks, mainly because he called me baby girl and he was a fierce dancer. Hell, I fell in love with the cream cheese on my bagel this morning because it had salmon AND capers in it. I obviously need some guidance.

Gabi told me that her engagement made sense. He’s sweet and kind and treats her better than previous boyfriends. They get along well and don’t argue much and she wants him to be around even when she hates him in the moment. Don't get me wrong, it's not like Gabi turned 31 and thought "Hey I'm getting older. Here's a nice guy, I'll pick him." It's just that she's less emotional about her relationships than I am.

All of the things Gabi mentioned are important and obviously honesty, supportiveness, trust and communication go without saying. But I wanted to hear about the passion and the butterflies. I wanted her to say, “Guuuuurl I can not get enough of that baby arm he has between his legs". I want my friend to feel that giddy, take my breath away feeling that I've felt after drinking a pitcher of hard cider, downing 3 shots of Jameson and making out with a hot co-worker3

My friend Stephanie says she loves the way her husband smells, even when he’s been working all day and comes home sweaty. She told me she’ll be doing laundry, sniff the armpit of one of his dirty shirts and it smells like homemade hamburgers to her. It gets her blood going. That right there is the kinda love I want. That drunk in love with hamburger pheromone love

Mmmm. Juicy
After hearing Gabi justify her relationship, I suddenly realized that I'm a hopeless romantic. I want a guy to look at me the way I look at my food when the waiter is bringing it to the table. I want a significant other that will eat mini cupcakes with me at night while we're watching Cartoon Network. I want a humorous love story that my husband and I can share with neighbors at a block party. "...And then she tripped and fell face first right into the potato salad and that's when I got the inspiration to write Best I Ever Had. She was that special somebody."Drake playfully kisses me on the cheek and smiles at our neighbors, R. Kelly and Soledad O'brien.
You want another hot dog Kels?

Really Gabi should blame herself for my romanticism. She was the one who introduced me to Harlequin romance novels in the 8th grade. She had a stack of them in her locker and would loan them out to me one at a time as long as I would pinkie-swear that I'd return them in good shape.

To be fair, Gabi has always been way more pragmatic than I have. Once in the 11th grade, I got into an argument with a ratchet girl who didn't say 'excuse me' after bumping into me in the school cafeteria. Gabi whispered in my ear, "she's bigger and way more hood than you. Do you really think you'd win that fight?"

With all that being said, I'm happy that Gabi is embarking on this new stage of life and her hubby-to-be is really a lucky guy. Heck, she's lucky for getting out of this terrible buyers market (i.e. millennial dating culture) and finding someone that she wants to spend her old crotchity days with. I don't know for sure but her fiance also looks like he may be the proud owner of a baby arm so hooray for that. Gabi and I have a lot in common but it so happens that we think about love differently and that's OK.

And since I know Gabi is reading this, I want her to know that I've never been a bridesmaid. I know being a bridesmaid means that I'd literally be a slave maid because I wouldn't be paid for my hard work throwing bridal showers and bachelorette parties. I actually hear it’s an awful experience something akin to being water boarded while being forced to listen to Rihanna sing a ballad. But somehow I still want entry into this exclusive club.

If you can not accommodate me in your wedding party then that's OK too. I have already found a banging dress to wear to your wedding that will show my effervescent beauty without stealing your shine on your big day. I also promise to give the best drunken wedding speech your guests will ever hear.

1. AG English was Academically Gifted English. It was a class for smart kids or for kids whose parents didn't want them to be eventually filtered into the prison system

2. Gabi was adamant about her no talking on the phone during thunderstorms rule. I actually Googled it and there have been no reports of people being electrocuted through landlines during lightning strikes. Back in the late 90's there was really no way to find out if that was true unless Bill Nye had decided to do a show about it. So thank you Google. Bill Nye, you let me down man. 

3. This hot coworker is the same guy that called me baby girl and I subsequently fell in love with after 3 weeks. It didn't work out between us in the long run (week 4) because even though I knew how much he liked me, I don't think that he realize just how much he liked me. 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Stop Asking Me Why I'm Still Single

My father's side of the family is from the Caribbean and there are a lot of traditions, rules and strict codes of conduct we follow. Well, when I was a baby someone in my family forgot to invite an old family friend to my baptism. A serious no-no. This old family friend, who felt disrespected & snubbed, consequently decided to put a curse on me.* As a result, since the moment I turned 16 I've had a ghost following me around keeping guys from being interested in me.

At least that's what I tell people when they ask me why I'm single.

Honestly I don't even know what's an acceptable answer to that question. First of all it's rude as hell to ask someone why they're not dating, married or a swinger. It's basically asking somone to explain in detail what's wrong with them. Personally I think you should only ask someone why they are single if:

1. You are interested in them and plan on asking them out on a date

2. You know someone else that is interested in them and you're going to try and set them up on a date

Secondly Be a problem solver, not an instigator

If I always see you order a cheeseburger when we go out to eat, I'm not going to ask why you never order a steak. Maybe eating cheeseburgers remind you of a better time when things were fun and simple. Maybe you like the way the bun holds it down, keeping everything secure. Obviously you are not ready to move on to other cuts of meat just yet. You have your reasons, and we don't have to talk about them until you're ready.

Being the supportive friend that I am, I'm not going to ask you to leave your comfort zone. Just know that when you're ready to finally leave McDonald's and sample a real hunk of meat, you've got options. Next Friday night it'll be me and you in our go get em outfits with reservations at McCormick & Schmick's. I'm here for you girl. Appetizers on me.

Unless we're close friends I'm going to stay out of your love life. And let's be real, if we're close friends then I already know why you're single. You cray. I may ask you why you THINK you're single just to see how deluded you are but we both already know the answer, whether or not we're ready to say it out loud.

Perhaps I'm single because everyone I like:

Won't text back
Is too famous
Is too young
Isn't heterosexual

But truthfully I'm probably single because I travel a lot for work (no time to meet anyone), guys are idiots and I have trust issues.

It's not because I think I'm ugly, unlovable or because I have low self-esteem. On the contrary, I think I'm cute, funny, body proportional and I don't smell like cats. That's wifey material right there.

Recently I had a guy friend call me up out of the blue and confess that he's liked me for the last 5 years. He then asked me out on a proper date to grab drinks and go to Halloween party together, dressed as the cartoon characters Doug Funnie & Patti Mayonnaise. Well the day of the date comes around and I hear nothing back from this guy. He was a no-call no-show. I still went to the party and had a good time but was bummed nonetheless. About a week later I finally hear back from him through a GROUP TEXT asking if anyone of his 30 or so friends would like to go to a concert Friday night.

Halloween  Party bus 
Had an awesome time

If ghosting♧ me wasn't enough you included me in a group text? Talk about rubbing salt in an open wound. Hey dude, since we're trying our best to emotionally cripple people, the spare key to my apartment is under my doormat. While I'm at work why don't you come over and boil my pet bunny on the stove for good measure°.

Because of unfortunate experiences like the one above (and trust me I have more stories like this one) I'm pretty wary of guys who claim to be interested in me.

Even if you grabbed the nearest Poké ball, pointed at me and exclaimed, "I choose you," I'm probably still going to ask you if you need to see my State I.D. to make sure you've got the right person.

At this point I'd rather catch flights than catch feelings but despite all the crazy experiences I've had, I'm still an optimist. If years of watching Sailor Moon as a kid taught me anything, it's that love conquers all and bladdy blah blah. I've still got hope that my Tuxedo Mask is out there looking for me. And if not, then I've got a pact (ie. arranged marraige?) with a friend to marry each other if we haven't found anyone by the age of 35.

*This may be the plot to Sleeping Beauty
♧Disappearing or ignoring someone without explanation 
°I really do have a pet bunny

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Forever 21

Every year around the 3rd week of August, I would order my little brother to leave the living room, get on 3-way with my best friends and sit in front of the tv to watch my favorite pop stars walk the red carpet. For my friends and I the MTV Video Music Awards were like a final hurrah to the summer and a welcoming hug to the new school year.

I wonder what Gwen Stefani is going to wear this year?

I can't wait to see the N'sync-Britney Spears mashup performance!

OMG Fred Durst is so hot! 

It's all embarrassing but I'm least proud about thinking Fred Durst was cute

I rarely, if ever watch MTV anymore but decided, what the heck after seeing comments about Usher "looking good for his age" on my Facebook timeline. Not even joking.

I barely knew who half the people at the VMA's were. Lucy Hale? Little Mix? Rixton? Your guess is as good as mine. I mean, Miley Cyrus won video of the year so basically that tells you about how much the world has changed since 9/11. Personally I feel like if you:

1. Were born before the mid 80's
2. Weren't a teen parent
3. Don't do a lot of babysitting 

Then you should feel seriously ashamed if you know who any of these people are. Except Iggy Azalea, I think she's cool.

Watching Nicki Minaj bounce her bum on top of an invisible anaconda and seeing Ariana Grande wearing a high cut, bedazzled leotard and gogo boots that Beyonce probably vetoed during her Destiny's Child days was unsettling.

Surely I haven't turned into the old lady sitting on her porch in the white wicker rocking chair, telling kids about back in my day... but honestly humans between the ages of 11 and approximately 23 irk me. What is a Vine celebrity? (I still don't know what Vine is. The new Youtube?) Why are parents letting their 13 year olds wear shorts with their cheeks hanging out or teaching their 10 year-olds to call me ma'am? Their metabolism and innate ability to operate on less than 4 ours of sleep when not yet a quarter century old? The little bastards 

A young guy at my gym (24 years old) told me he went out last night with friends, partied til 5am and came to work at 6. I wanted to pop an Ambien, drink a warm a mug of tea and curl up in the bed with my heating blanket just thinking about it.

Maybe I feel this way because I'm turning 30 in a little over a month and consequently I'm having a self realization/mini crisis moment. I feel like its finally time to put some things on the shelf and only dust them off for story time when I have to entertain grand-kids or court mandated juvenile delinquent volunteers at the nursing home. Hey sonny, let me tell you about the New Year's Eve when I drunk-vomited in my friend's sink and feel asleep on his kitchen floor.

Getting older doesn't have to be a death sentence just means you have to make some adjustments.  I'll admit that on occasion I shop at Forever 21 and I still make bets on which side of the Oreo is going to get the cream when I untwist it, but I've stopped reading Cosmopolitan magazine cold turkey. When I was in middle school I used to secretly buy them and stack them in the back of my closet after pouring over the pages of self quizzes and made to order puca bead necklaces. I realized I couldn't read Cosmo anymore when I recently read an article entitled "how to know if you're compatible with a guy based on the Snap Chat photos he sends you."

Anyways there's nothing wrong with getting older. Even with my sometimes creaky knees, hangovers after 2 drinks and that time my back went out, old age is a blessing not bestowed on all of us and I'm grateful for it. Now #TurnDown.

Monday, May 12, 2014

You're Doing Too Much

Today I'm a hater. I am standing in front of my Chicago apartment because it's finally over 60 degrees outside, drinking a 40oz of haterade and pouring one out for my homies that have had enough of social media wedding awareness or SMWA. But first, I'm going to share a secret with you.

I am clairvoyant
I don't normally talk about my super powers but since we're friends, I am opening up to you. One night a few years ago, I had a dream that I was attending the wedding of one of my Ex boyfriends. And this wasn't any old, we made out at a party, dated for a month and then broke up after he banged my suite mate type of relationship. Which actually happened to me btw. This guy was the one that got away.


In the dream, before his wedding started, he swept me up in his strong tuxedo'd arms and confessed his love for me. He told me that I had been the one all along and that he was marrying the wrong girl. Then he gave me a long, hard ...ahem... kiss, and I woke up abruptly. I tried to shrug it off and got ready for work that morning like normal but the dream kept bothering me. As I commuted to work my curiosity won out and I looked him up on Facebook. Low and behold he had just gotten engaged. My heart fell and then I threw up on the lady sitting next to me on the train.

That was the moment my aversion to SMWA was born. I guess I could pinpoint the moment even further. It was actually when I saw the pictures of him and his wife-to-be dressed in their Sunday's finest. They were holding hands and staring lovingly into each others eyes on a fucking golf course. Dude doesn't even play golf! 

Because my fiance and I always leave the club and not only walk through, but scream at the drive through window.

I abso-freaking-lutely hate engagement photo shoots. Like I don't know about you, but I can't recall ever having put on a David's Bridal ball gown, waltzing through the forest at sunset and cradling my boyfriend's head in my lap. WTF? I'm not a Twilight cast member. Engagement photo shoots are the cheesiest thing ever.

This one couple I know actually made a freaking engagement movie. Like for real, not for play-play. I actually think it could have been a cute way to show people how they met, but they made a gross production out of it. Set in the 1920's, filmed in black in white with ridiculous props and corny music. Neither one of them are up and coming film makers, struggling actors or prolific documentary screenwriters. So why all the fuss? The acting was not even good. I could have watched a rerun of Sex in the City and been happier.

And I get it. If you love someone you should celebrate that love. Its okay to want the world to know. Beyoncé is always screaming her love from the mountain tops for her husband Joe Camel. Just to set the record straight, I'm not hating because I am a bitter soon to be spinster with no prospects on the horizon. I gets mine. I just think people go over board.

I mean if you're lucky enough to have Facebook friends who don't solely exist to play Dungeons and Dragons, then about the time you reach your mid to late 20's, a lot of your friends are getting married and pooping out babies. That was not a typo.

My newsfeed gets cluttered up with photos of my friends counting the days until their upcoming nuptials and I'm over the moon happy for them! I believe in love and marriage and if we're not coworkers or frenemies, chances are that I want you to be happy. But lawd some people are doing the most!

*Only 78 days, 3 hours and 42 minutes left until we tie the knot!

*Can't wait to see my girl walk down the aisle! Here she comes now! *selfie posted to Facebook from the wedding ceremony with Fiance approaching the alter in the background*

*I love my fiancé so much that my heart of going to explode and then his is going to explode too so we've just bought our side by side cemetery plots y'all!

*We've been married 10 minutes and I can't wait for the next 10! Love you boo!

Am I the only one who feels like you don't have to bombard the internet with your over the top proclamations of undying love? Who are you trying to prove your adoration to exactly? I'll always hit the like button when I see something thoughtful and sweet one of my friends has done for their loved one. 
An actual Facebook Friend of mine. On their way home from work,  her Husband got her a Frosty and she got him a McFlurry, not knowing that that the other had already gotten them an after work dessert. How sweet right? Notice that I LIKED the status!

But these framed certificates of congratulations from Obama on your wedding union is a bit much.
You're telling me that President Barack Obama took time out of coordinating drone attacks to congratulate you on your wedding? Get dafuq outta here with that.

I'm not going to delete you because you're showing love for your significant other. But you people that take it too far and have subsequently made me vomit in my mouth a little bit, I'm going to have to unfollow your posts. Btw, congratulations on your engagement.

Cute idea but I can print this out from my home computer too, so stop acting like you're special. You don't know Barack and you don't know Michelle.

Photos are not own:
True Photography Weddings