Anecdote, Awkward, Food, Home, Humor, I Wasn't Worried, I'm not a mommy blogger, My Idea Of Being An Adult, Thoughts, You're Fine

How Southern Have I Become?

I’ve been scaring myself lately. I’ve had many moments where I stopped and said, “That was awfully Southern, Jess.” I’ve actually thoroughly enjoyed my time here in the South. The only section in America I haven’t lived in is the Midwest and no thank you. There have been certain aspects to the South I’ve experienced over the last six months that you can only experience in the South. Kind of like New England with their Autumn – apple picking, cider donuts, jumping in the leaves, and oh my god I think I might cry. (You can experience those things outside of New England but it’s not the same.)

So here are some Southerner things I’ve dealt with that is so Southernly Southern that I now feel the need to rate myself on a scale of 1(Southern) to 10 (Northern).

The Food

I ordered Chicken and Waffles the other day for breakfast. I was ashamed as I was ordering it, and I felt the button on my shorts ripping at the seams. Chicken and Waffles is still a completely weird and foreign meal to consume but I’ve heard nothing but good things and decided to try it.

It was disgustingly delicious. For those of you unfamiliar with this meal, it’s a giant waffle with a piece of fried chicken on top. And yes, you dip both the chicken and the waffle in maple syrup. How the hell do they come up with this? And we wonder why the South contains the fattest population in America.

Scale – 1 (Dude…that was so Southern.)

The Pace

It’s very, verrrrrryyyyy, verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrryyyyyy slow down here. Some mornings, it takes me fifteen minutes just to get my coffee. Nearly every coffee shop I enter, even the Starbucks, there’s no more than two people working the counter, even on the busiest mornings. And they take one order at a time.

They take the order. Spend five minutes making the order. Give the order to the customer. And then so on. They for some reason don’t take multiple orders and try to do everything at once. AMATEURS. 

But I’ve learned to buy myself some time. I wake up earlier, skip down the street and order my coffee, which the place I typically go to now knows my order by heart, and we will make small talk as I’m waiting. The pace down here has been bearable if I allow it.

Scale – 5 (You’re adapting…)

The People

Southerners have a certain quality in them that’s erie. Ever seen Fargo? All of the characters are so wonderfully nice and jolly while they’re trying to solve a murder.

This might be a better example: You can automatically tell when a New Yorker or a Bostonian is angry just by making eye contact. They will get up in your face with a rage you’ve never seen, all because why? You didn’t put the cream in their coffee like they asked. They’ve got places to be man!

But Southerners, they are all about the passive aggressive banter. Take my landlady for example. I got a voicemail from her last week and she said, “I was just driving by y’all’s place and noticed the recycling bin isn’t out, and I just can’t help but wonder…why???” And then she hung up. Bitchy, right? Yet her tone was so charming. She then texted me and Colleen asking about it, and I apologized and said we just aren’t used to taking the bins out because we’ve never had to anywhere else we’ve lived, but we can work with the girls next door to figure out some alternating schedule.

Her response was, “I completely understand and I know I clumsily forget as well. But that’s just part of being an adult living in a city. I’m putting money into making your home feel special and it would be nice if you appreciated it.”

I completely lost it. This woman tends to act like she’s my mother scolding me. I already have a mom. I don’t need another one. And then to accuse me of not having my shit together like a normal adult was downright insulting. However, if there’s one thing I learned about Southerners and they’re clever passive aggressive banter, it’s that it doesn’t usually last very long when you bite back because they hate confrontation. So I said, “I’ve lived in many cities larger than Charleston, so I’m aware that it works differently everywhere.”

Her response, “Alternating weeks sounds like a great idea! *Inserts smiley face*”

Scale – 10 (NORTHERNER! ALERT! ALERT!)

As long as my northernness never leaves me entirely, I’ll live. I don’t think it’s possible, honestly.

 

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Dating, Memories, Social Media, Thoughts, You're Fine

How You Should View Your Ex

The other day, my ex of almost six years posted on Instagram for his girlfriend’s birthday. She’s a relatively new girlfriend, although I’ve been aware of her for a while. It’s only been a recent thing that my ex has actually posted anything with her. I’ve done some creeping and some stalking (I think we can all officially agree that we do this, mostly out of boredom), and she genuinely seems like a sweet person, and I really am happy for him. But the birthday post bothered me for just a minute.

I stopped for a second, reading his post about her birthday and calling her his “Partner in crime”, and realized he never once posted for my birthday. There was one year he posted on my birthday, but it was about the uniform he received in the mail for the Boston Marathon. I had that moment of weakness where I thought, “Why did he post for her and not for me?” And then I slapped myself in the face. My friend Helen sent me a text message and I brought up the birthday post. She wrote, “Isn’t it interesting to see what your exes are willing to do for other people and what they didn’t do for you?”

Now, I realize the Instagram post is a petty and fairly small thing to complain about. It really isn’t all that important. But when you break up, you tend to go over in your head not just the big things, but the small things that matter too. Like how every year, I posted on our anniversary and he didn’t. Or that one year I threw him a surprise birthday party. Or how every gift he gave me was so impersonal and lacked interest, which in a way showed how much he didn’t know me. The little things matter because those are the things that show the other person you care.

My response to Helen was simple: It’s a good thing that I’m seeing these changes because it tells me he learned something from all of this. You’re supposed to see changes in your ex, so rather than being mad and upset because what they’re doing now is something they didn’t ever do for you is ridiculous. You should be happy that they’re changing their ways, otherwise the next girl doesn’t stand a chance. Both my ex and I were too selfish to be considerate to one another, which is why he’s my ex. We were young, so we were supposed to be selfish.

This, I believe, is how every person should view their ex. Unless they tried to stab you or steal from you, you shouldn’t look at them with hatred simply because it didn’t work out. Especially once your ex has moved onto someone else and is treating them the way they are supposed to be treated, you should be happy about this because it means they actually listened to you.

I don’t hate any of my exes, even the shady, cheating ones. I’m not buddy-buddy with any of them, but if I were to run into them walking down the street, I’d offer to grab a coffee and catch up. I’ve grown a lot when it comes to relationships. No matter what I experienced, bad or good, or what I’ve been through, I am who I am. I will never be the jealous girlfriend, or the controlling girlfriend, or the clingy girlfriend. I have my own life and so do they. If they screw up, I will always give them a chance to properly explain themselves, but if they need to explain themselves every single week, then it’s time to call it quits. I’ve learned my time is precious, and I’m no longer going to waste it with anyone who can’t reciprocate those feelings.

So the next time you see your ex, whether it’s in-person or through social media, be the bigger person. No longer sit and stew over what you see, and walk along.

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I Wasn't Worried, Memories, My Idea Of Being An Adult, Thoughts, You're Fine

It’s Not So Scary Anymore

You know what’s been on my mind lately? Interviews.

I remember one of my first interviews out of college was for an administrative assistant position at MIT. It took me forever to find the right building, and by the time I got there I was a sweaty mess. The pencil skirt I had on didn’t fit quite right and I was self conscious about my purse because my boyfriend at the time thought it was weird to bring a purse into an interview. What can I say? Men are kind of stupid sometimes.

I didn’t expect to be interviewed by six different people all at the same time. And I was so nervous that I neglected to even look up the mission of the school, so naturally a question that related to the mission was asked and I diddle daddled my answer. It’s safe to say, I didn’t get the job.

Over the years, I’ve interviewed for a lot of different places. It’s easy to say that I’ve just grown accustomed to it but I’ve noticed something that’s pretty relevant. Most of the jobs I received after college, I didn’t actually want. I remember my interviews for them and I was extremely nervous. I stumbled over my words, lied when I felt I needed to, and yet still found a way to nail the job.

The question I’ve hated the most is, “Why do you want this job?”

For years, I’ve been lying. Whatever job I was interviewing for, I had no desire to have it. But I needed a way to pay my bills.

Since I’ve been living in Charleston, I’ve been crushing my interviews and it feels amazing. I’m still a running candidate for an art instructor position for wine and paint night. I recently interviewed for another gallery that went so well, I nearly cried on my walk home. It’s all starting to feel real to me now. I honestly never thought I’d reach this point, this simple act of interviewing for jobs I actually want. It felt like such a far away dream for so long and it’s finally coming together.

I just got an email this morning that I’ve landed an interview to be North Charleston’s Artist-in-Residence for the 2017/2018 school year. I applied on a whim the other day, not expecting a call back because of how many applicants I’m sure there are every year. It’s a chance to teach in the local schools and outreach programs, hold seminars and workshops for students of all ages, and I’d have an exhibit of my work at the end of the year and the Arts Fest in May. Not only will this be a fun and amazing experience, but this could be a step in a direction towards the art community here in Charleston. I’d be getting my name around, perhaps making it easier to find jobs and showcase my artwork in galleries.

My interview is scheduled for Monday and I’m surprisingly not nervous. I’m excited to hear more about it and meet the director of the program.

There’s a reason so many of us get scared going into an interview. Perhaps a lot of the time it’s because we’re not listening to our gut.

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Donald Glover Got It Right

I watched Donald Glover’s standup last night for the first time in over a year, and it was just as funny the second time around. He makes a joke about how Home Depot is where children die. When you’re a kid and you’re forced to go to Home Depot with your parents, you’re all like, “This is so boring! I can’t even touch anything!” And then the moment you walk in again and you’re like, “Oh! Look at these knobs!” That’s when your childhood dies. A beige, concrete hole of childhood graves.

My childhood died years ago when I got excited over a new lamp at Cost Plus. And I starting saving home decor pins on Pinterest. But I have officially crossed over onto the dark side because ladies and gentleman, I pulled my back out.

I’m currently sitting on my couch because I can’t move. It’s been bothering me for a couple of days now so I figured I slept funny one night. But then I went to get up, felt the stiff pull, and collapsed onto the couch and attempted to get up four times before rolling back over onto my blanket. I’ve popped three Midol pills, and here I sit, in annoying, excruciating pain.

It’s like that episode of Gilmore Girls when Lorelai gets a back spasm from making Rory’s dress for the dance.

First step: Denial.

Second step: Convincing yourself that you are moving

Third step: Admitting the truth

So please, wish me luck as I have just misplaced my water bottle and now need to go on a crippled hunt to find it.

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I Don’t Want to Be a Princess

We can go ahead and consider this a new Single Schmingle installment since I’ve discussed this very topic with Myka and Meghan. Bear with me here.

I always thought Mia Thermopolis was crazy. Who wouldn’t want to wake up one day and find out they’re a princess? The girl got a full blown makeover for free, a millions beautiful ball gowns, a tiara she got to wear occasionally, and full service at her disposal. Granted, if you’re introverted like Mia, all of that attention can make you feel like you have a thousand tiny ants crawling all over your body. You’re uncomfortable nearly all the time. You might even feel guilty. And I am exactly like that.

Something Colleen said to me last week struck a chord with me and I can’t shake it off. After I told her the complete switch in enthusiasm from Navy Man when I told him I wanted to be casual and friendly, she said, “You shouldn’t have said anything. You should have just let him treat you like the princess you are.”

“But I don’t want to be treated like a princess,” I said.

“Why the hell not?”

I thought about this for the past few days. I can’t be the only girl out there who feels uncomfortable using a guy to feel special, only to know that I’m not actually interested in him. I’m shocked that girls actually do this. They let these guys take them out to fancy restaurants, buy them presents, and then whisper to their girlfriends that they don’t really like him, they’re just waiting out the storm.

I feel weird if a guy even pays for me all the time. I just don’t think it’s necessary. I’m the type that if a man brings me to a fancy restaurant, I’ll order the cheapest item on the menu. I’m more of a hot-dog-cart-with-a-side-of-cheesy-fries kind of girl. But I know that’s just how my mom raised me. She always said, “Never depend on a man. Learn how to take care of yourself.” I think a mother with three daughters has to feed them that mindset nowadays. Especially a single mother.

Of course, it’s always nice to get pampered every once in a while. Some flowers or an ice cream run when I’m feeling down. But nothing major. I’ve been in relationships where I never got those things, mostly because we grew too comfortable with each other that we forgot how to appreciate one another. And even if those small gestures did happen, I was so surprised by the event that I was asking a million questions to figure out why it was happening.

I can’t help but wonder what would happen if the roles were reversed. What if was the one to ask a guy out on a date? What if was the one to court the guy around and pay for the date? This isn’t some feminist, all mighty woman power post. It’s just a thought. How would the date turn out in the end? Would it be the same? I feel like with every date, the guy is the one who is trying to impress, meanwhile, I think the girl should be equally impressive. We don’t give men enough credit. Some women out there might roll their eyes at that last statement but I’m serious. It takes a lot of guts to ask someone out. And then you have to take that person out and all of the pressure is on them to impress them, and make sure they’re having a good time. Here I am, nervous for nearly every single date, when it seems all I really have to do is stand there and look pretty, maybe laugh at his jokes, and share an anecdote or two. That’s my only job.

I’ve never laughed over a guy asking me out on a date. I’m always flattered, no matter who they are. But men get rejected all the time. For women, it’s once in a blue moon. And when it happens, it doesn’t feel good, does it? Let’s face it, ladies. When it comes to casually dating, we’re kind of spoiled. Even if you never make it to date number 2, you still got a free meal.

However, after discussing this with Myka and Meghan why we may perhaps feel weird about going on dates, no matter how long we’ve been doing it, it could be the slight chance that men have kind of given up. In 2017, a typical date is “Netflix and Chill”. We could have done that in the comfort of our own home. You invite us over to “watch a movie”. We know what that means, gentleman. We suddenly feel like they don’t want to actually get to know us, because who discusses life, hobbies, and family in the middle of a movie?

Of course, this post is all over the place. A lot of it may be contradicting. But that’s just because I’m another crazy woman who doesn’t know what she wants.

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Little Bird

A little bird gave me a wonderful piece of advice and wisdom recently that I’m trying to hold onto dearly.

But first, I’ll explain how my date went with Navy Man on Monday. He was a gentleman, for sure. He held the door open for me. He paid for me the entire evening. He made good conversation with rare moments of silence that didn’t really feel awkward. However, I did find out within the first 30 minutes that he turned 21 in March. Instantly I knew, this guy is too young for me. I was confused because he explained that he went to culinary school for 2 years, and then has been in the navy for the past 2 years, which is why I thought he was more in the age 24 range. Did this guy graduate from high school at 16?
I accepted his age in that moment and decided to just enjoy myself. After dinner, we went to another bar, tried a few weird cocktails called a Jimlet, which tasted exactly like a gimlet, and listened to a Beatles cover band.

On Wednesday, he texted me saying that he had an amazing time and hopes that this wasn’t a one time thing. He said he really enjoyed my company and wants to get to know me more. Now, I don’t like hurting people’s feelings. After a couple of days, I decided I really wasn’t interested in this guy anymore for various reasons, and not just the slight age difference. I politely said that I really appreciate what he has said and I had a great time and would like to hang out again sometime on more casual friendly terms. I told him I’m not looking for anything serious or long term, which in hindsight, is true. Suddenly, he pulled a 360 on me. His response was, “I could be on the other side of the planet in 6-7 months. I don’t know where my job is going to take me. I’m just looking to have a little fun while I’m still here…”

Oh, so now I’m an escort. Or a Geisha. I’ve been downgraded. Immediately, I was even more turned off by this guy than before. I know he responded that way because I kinda sorta rejected him. He said all of these nice things and now he’s considered me his party animal. Oh, okay.

To be fair, I did tell him I wanted things to be casual and light hearted. But he could have responded in a better way.

After that comment, I don’t have an intention of seeing him again. Which brings me back to what my little bird friend said to me a few weeks ago. To sum it up, they explained that dates are kind of pointless. People treat them more like a checklist, which is not the way to find your potential partner. You should find your future someone when you’re comfortable with them and nothing is forced. If you have to force conversation simply because you “matched” on Bumble, then it’s kind of doomed from the start. Everything should come naturally.

Which brings me to my question: if what I said to Navy Man is actually true, that I’m not looking for anything long term right now, then what the hell am I dating for? To pass the time? To seek out attention when I’m feeling the most vulnerable? Writing that out makes me feel like I’m wasting my time and I’m already annoyed with myself.

So, how can you just accept yourself for who you are, without the needs of someone else? I’m getting there, slowly but surely. Especially a few weeks ago when that guy made the cute comment and I shut it down immediately. I’m tired. I’m tired of the same conversation over and over again. I’m tired of the same compliments. I’m tired of trying to find a way to let people down gently. It’s all very exhausting.

I need to stop dating out of boredom. I need to learn how to take myself out on dates, and be content with myself. I’ve been told you can’t fully love someone unless you love yourself first. But that’s easier said than done.

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It’s Just a Date

You know it’s been a while when you log into your WordPress account and find 17 spam comments you need to delete.

How has everyone been? Good? Cool? Solid? Wonderful.

I would devote some time to reading blog posts by all of you glorious bloggers but I don’t simply have the time. I’ll try, though.

But I have finally plopped a seat in my kitchen with a hot cup of coffee watching the sun shine through my window on this day. It’s supposed to be 89 degrees today. The heat has already kicked in rather rapidly here in Charleston, and I’ve been melting. Only slightly.

I’m about to share with you some funny stories over the last few weeks, some updates, and maybe ask for a little advice too, if you’d like to give it.

The job in the gallery is going pretty well. Of course, there are some aspects to the job that aren’t wonderful, but the shoe always drops, doesn’t it? I’m not going to be a millionaire anytime soon but at least I’m gaining valuable experience.

I’ve been “dating” or rather, “seeing” one guy in particular. My Girl Gang group chat with Meghan and Myka like to call him Southern Man. He’s born and raised in Charleston. He’s a little rough around the edges, but he’s sweet. In a weird yet comforting way, he reminds me of my dad. He’s fun to be around and he brings me nachos late at night after he works. We’ve been seeing each other for over a month and I’m having serious doubts about the whole thing. I told him after our first date that I wanted this to be casual for now. I just wanted to keep spending time with him before committing to anything serious. However, after our first date, he made it very known how MUCH he likes me. I feel like I should have been happy with this but I wasn’t. It actually kind of freaked me out. But I wanted to give him a fair chance and still hang out with him in hopes that it would change. It did change slightly. I actually do really like him, but there’s one major con standing in the way. He absolutely despises kids.

He has no intention of having children at all. The first few times he mentioned it, I let it slide. But he’s brought it up on numerous occasions to the point where it concerns me and I’m realizing he’s not joking. I completely respect his decision to not want kids, but I made it known that I actually do want kids in the future. This doesn’t seem to phase him, though. So I keep thinking, where does it go from here? Here’s my answer: it doesn’t. I am fully aware that us hanging out, casually, is as far as it’s going to go. Unfortunately, I know he doesn’t see it that way.

Southern Man left for a cruise on Saturday and will be back on Thursday. I plan to have a chat with him when he’s back to clear the air and see what he’s thinking. I hate having those conversations, especially when it’s about something that is so far off in my future that the whole conversation sounds a little insane. But the way I see it is if I’m going to get serious with someone, we need to want the same things in life.

On a less serious note, I went out for a ladies night on Saturday. I have found a very colorful and crazy group of girlfriends whom I love. We sat in an Irish bar and listened to Irish folk music and danced. Here is the part where I may need some advice from you fellow bloggers but read the entire situation, and take into consideration what I had just previously shared with you.

I’m sitting at the bar, drinking my Michelob Ultra, and noticed a guy at the bar kept smiling at me. He interacted with me from across the bar a couple of times in a joking manner. After a little while, the bartender handed me a shot of whiskey. I asked her where it came from and she pointed to the man. I started laughing and he yelled, “You’re in an Irish bar and you’re drinking a Michelob. Have a whiskey!”

I hate whiskey. But I took the shot anyway and made sure to give him the most disgusted face after, in which he laughed. So then I followed along and asked the bartender to pour two rumplemintz shots. I had never heard of rumplemintz until I moved to Charleston. It tastes like toothpaste but at least you’re minty fresh after. I asked her to hand one over to the guy. As the bartender is pouring them, another guy comes up to me and asks to buy me a drink. I was like a lost doe in the woods. Here I was, buying a man a drink while another man is trying to buy ME a drink. It was a very confusing 10 seconds of my life. I looked down to read this new guy’s t-shirt and it read the name of the same restaurant Southern Man works at and I nearly had a heart attack. Charleston is small, y’all. So I instantly said, “No, I’m good. Thank you.” If I had said yes, I would have had to change my name.

The whiskey guy at the bar took his shot of rumplemintz and yelled, “Thanks for the Colgate!” After a little while, he got up to leave and slipped a piece of paper with his number on it.

Smooth.

What I liked about this guy was how classy and old school he was. He didn’t try to come over and talk to me because he could see I was with my friends. That’s already a good sign in my book. He didn’t ask if he could buy me a drink, he did it anyway. Another good sign. And the fact that he slipped me his number on a piece of paper like it was 1997 made me a happy camper.

I sent him a text, and we’ve been talking on and off since Saturday. Then he wrote to me, “This may seem a little forward, but would you like to have dinner sometime?” <— Another wonderful sign that he doesn’t want to push boundaries. He actually seems like a proper gentleman. And he’s in the Navy, which might explain his good manners. I said yes and now I have a date tonight at a pretty classy, expensive restaurant that apparently people try to get reservations at months ahead of time. This guy means business.

Of course, a part of me feels a little shitty because I’m still technically seeing Southern Man. I keep trying to justify it in my head by saying, “You told him casual, Jess!” or “You’re not doing anything wrong!” I’m monogamous at heart, so going on multiple dates tends to weird me out. I know deep down I’m not actually doing anything wrong or shameful but I can’t shake the feeling either. It’s just a date. It’s just a date. It’s just a date.

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How to Fend People Off

I had an attractive evening last night, I say with sarcasm. I met up with my new friend, Felicia, who I met on Bumble BFF (yes, that’s a real thing. Bumble isn’t just for dating). Since Felicia and her boyfriend, Larry, are also new to Charleston, they join these MeetUp groups in various locations to meet other new young people. It’s kind of a nice way of making new friends and breaking the ice since you’re both there for the same thing. So, I gathered with a MeetUp group last night and it was all kinds of shenanigans.

I turned into Miss Sassenfrass, probably from the tequila shot I took. THEY MADE ME DO IT. Peer pressure at its finest. So I’m going to give you four solid examples on how to shoo unwanted people away, Jess style.

1.) The Cute Comment

A guy I had just met with the MeetUp group decided to flirt with me by asking if anyone has ever said how cute I am.

I wasn’t even sure how to answer such a stupid question. Now, it’s not stupid because I think highly of myself. It’s stupid because I’m a girl, so when I go out with my friends and a man comes up to me, 9 times out of 10, it’s the first thing he says. I’m 5’1”. That’s usually a straight shot towards the cute comment.

So I stared at him and said, “Um…yes. All the fucking time.”

In which he said, “Oh, so you think you’re hot shit?”

WELL THAT TOOK A TURN.

In which I said, “No, not at all. But that comment isn’t exactly bizarre either.” Which I think was my way of hinting that I was not impressed by any means.

2. ) The Tough Guy

Larry was joking around with Felicia and he pushed her. They were both pushing each other in a playful way, so the whole thing really was innocent. All of a sudden, some guy jumped out and shoved Larry up against the wall yelling, “You think you can touch a female like that!?”

^^^ By the way, why did he have to say “female”?

Felicia and I were a bit surprised and we had to grab the guy off of Larry and explain that they were just joking around. However, the tough (and drunk) guy decided to follow us and heckle Larry down the street, accusing him of beating girls. After about 15 seconds of him following us, I whipped around and yelled, “Can you fuck off!?” (I think that was the tequila talking.)

My lady bark was big enough that the tough guy quickly walked away.

I may be small, but don’t underestimate my barking capabilities.

3.) The Guy Who Rubs the Seat Next to Him Like a Creep

In one of the bars we were in, there was a giant swing that can fit about four or five people. A few of our friends decided to sit on the swing and I pushed it out of friendliness. For some reason, the guy sitting on the end kept motioning me to sit next to him like we were in a Marvin Gaye music video. It was weird and uncomfortable. So, I pretended not to hear him, and continued pushing the swing.

Now, this is just a simple Ignore-Him-Until-He-Gives-Up-Because-He-Will-Eventually-Give-Up.

4.) When Everyone Wants Your Pizza

Felicia, Larry and I (Third Wheel for Lyfe) decided to get pizza. Naturally. I got my pizza (I will not tell you how much pizza I got because I’m still thinking about how disgusting of a human I am), and walked all the way home. However, the drunks on King Street tried to take my pizza. Every ten seconds I’d walk by someone yelling, “Can I have some?” So, I put on my good old New England gremlin face that says, “Don’t talk to me” and walked as fast as I could to get away from the leeches. Once I turned a corner onto a quiet street, I happily dug in.

I hope this post serves you well. If you have any suggestions on how to fend people off, please share them in the comments. I will be taking vigorous notes. As vigorous as the man rubbing the seat next to him.

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Family, Girls, Home, Humor, Thoughts

The Love Of My Life

I stole this title from Cheryl Strayed. If you want to read her personal essay, you can find it here: The Love of My Life. We may have the same title, but it’s not the same story.

I didn’t realize before how bland my life really was. It wasn’t always bland, but only for a brief time. I’ve been living with Colleen for two months now, and I feel warm inside. I’m convinced it’s the twintuition. It’s been wild, tame, stressful, and celebratory all at the same time. I’m going to punch myself in the face for saying this, but you know that Taylor Swift song “22”? It’s kind of like that. It’s horrible, yet fun. It’s confusing, yet care-free. Now that I’ve said that, please forget I ever said that.

Any person who steps foot in our apartment is freaked out not by me, and not by Colleen, but by both of us.

Together.

We make bird calls from the next room. I cook her dinner and she tells me she loves me. I try to teach her how to cook dinner and she yells, “WHY DO PEOPLE LIKE DOING THIS?!” We FaceTime even though she’s in the living room and I’m in my bedroom. She pulls a seat next to my bed and we talk for hours. I buy her Wasabi Peas when I think she’s running low and she buys me green apples. In the middle of the night, I hear her crashing around in her room and then she takes off. I don’t know where she’s going but I know she’s fine. I find her in her room with all of the lights on and the TV blasting, and she’s passed out with Ragnar on her chest. We go to yoga together and I admire her headstand. When I clean up, she rearranges everything. We can relate to Anne Perkins and Leslie Knope. We can relate to Idgie Threadgoode and Ruth Jamison. When we both got the jobs we wanted, we stood in the kitchen and screamed. Some nights, we crawl into bed together with our cats and watch Moulin Rouge and Big Fish. We tell each other about our casual dates. I paint something and she wants to buy it. She rants about her liberal views and I sit and listen because I know she just needs to vent.

We fight too. But it’s not average fights where we say mean things and don’t talk for two days. Our fights are more like heated discussions where she angrily tells me how wonderful I am and that I’m acting stupid, and I tell her she’s reading too much into it and I don’t agree with what she’s saying. Then we make jungle noises and throw the middle finger around and yell, “I HATE YOU BUT I LOVE YOU”, or “I KNOW WHAT YOU’RE SAYING BUT YOU’RE BEING WEIRD ABOUT IT.”

Or the heated discussion looks a little like this:

Colleen: GAHHHHHHHH You’re just so wonderful but you’re being dumb about this.

Me: I know I am but you’re being a bitch about it!

Colleen: I KNOW I AM!!!

If we get mad at each other, it’s never for selfish reasons. After a couple of hours, we laugh and grab a bite to eat.

We go to an Irish pub and listen to an Irish folk band. We dance, we sing, we clap, and we don’t care. We do each other’s laundry. We both avoid the dishes. We sometimes feed the cats four times a day without knowing it, those greedy bastards. She buys silly string, and there’s no telling when she’s going to use it. We like tequila. When she’s stressed out, she’ll rearrange her room for the 500th time. We FaceTime her friends back home, and one of them decided to impregnate me with a boy and name him Benjammin’. We talk about books and world history. She tells me she wants to marry a Russian. And then she gags over marriage. We run into Sephora and walk out broke. We wear matching kitty t-shirts in case we lose each other in a crowd. She eats my leftover pizza and takes selfies with it to let me know she’s done the crime. We eat crap, talk about how we need to lose weight, and then eat more crap because we are twenty-six and too young to abandon all good things. We invite everyone we ever knew to our apartment just because we like the company.

So, the point in this post is this. Whether I do meet someone new, get married, and eventually live a life expected, Colleen will always be my soulmate.

Who wants to come over?

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Art, I Wasn't Worried, My Idea Of Being An Adult

I’m Alive and Well

Long time no see!

Cheerio!

Guten Nachmittag!

I have not abandoned this blog, although at times, it felt like I would never write again. It’s been a long few weeks since my move to Charleston. It’s been stressful, hilarious, fun, and also worrisome. I searched high and low for jobs, and then some days, I gave up, and then the next morning I’d get the urge to conquer the world again. But isn’t it funny how you can go from having absolutely no job prospects to having far too many that it stresses you out even more than if you had none?

That’s what happened to me.

A couple of weeks ago, I received a job in catering for an event company. It was serving, which I’m no stranger to, although I’d never done it through catering which can sometimes be fine dining. I’m not a fan of eating at a fine dining establishment, let alone work for one. The pay was practically nothing but I figured if I got a full time job, I could still work for this company to make extra cash. I had my first shift yesterday and in my personal opinion, it was not worth the time and money. It’s great for younger people, like high school or college kids, but I am neither.

It was a long, 13 hour nonstop day. And it wasn’t just serving food. I got in at 5:15am, loaded the truck, drove to the venue, unloaded the truck, set everything up, served breakfast and lunch, broke everything down, cleaned the entire venue, loaded the truck back up, drove back to the warehouse, unloaded the truck, and then put everything back into its final resting place, or at least until the next event. At the end of the day, I realized I only made about $120, given my hourly wage. After serving in restaurants, I came to the conclusion that I could work half of that shift, and not have to do nearly as much work, and make that much money, which led to my bitterness towards the whole situation. Do I sound bratty? Yeah, probably. But I don’t care. I’m twenty-six years old now. I’ve done the waitressing thing. I know the grueling hours and work it takes to make the money some of them make. If I were eighteen years old complaining about this, I’d smack myself in the face. But I’m older and have more experience than most people want to believe so yeah, I feel entitled enough to know that this job was not worth my time. #Sorrynotsorry

Anyway, I found an ad on Craigslist for a Gallery Associate at a downtown art gallery. The ad gave no name, phone number, or email address so I had no idea which gallery it was. I replied to the ad anyway, not expecting to hear from someone. The following day, I received an email requesting to send my resume and by the next day, I was getting called in for an interview. I danced in my apartment for 20 minutes. I also had another interview at a restaurant that reminded me a lot of the diner in New Hampshire where I served, and that position sounded promising and I was genuinely excited about it.

I just had my interview with the gallery today and I was hired on the spot! She didn’t even ask me any questions about my resume. We just chatted about the position, and then she said, “So…what do you think?”

I said, “This sounds perfect.” She shook my hand and we both squealed. That was that. I’ve been searching for a gallery position for over four years, and I somehow lucked out with the nicest woman on the planet who is willing to show me everything on how to run a gallery. And I mean everything from stretching canvases, framing, and installing to selling the work myself. The starting pay isn’t good but after a couple of weeks, if I show I’m able to learn fast and do well, she will give me a raise plus commission on any works I sell. I don’t care if I get paid in rocks…I made sure to tell her how much this position would mean to me and how thrilled I am to be working with her. She hugged me and I feel like I could die of happiness.

The whole point to this move to Charleston was to find myself in the art field. Charleston has a huge art and medical environment. What would be the point if I turned down the position due to the pay, and ended up in accounting again? When I’ve tried for years to get out of accounting? That would make this move utterly pointless and I wasn’t about to let that happen.

I was supposed to work at an event tomorrow in catering but I called up the company and quit, explaining my situation to them. He didn’t sound pleased but I really don’t care. They are a catering company and they have wide range of employees they can call up. I’m usually very responsible when it comes to this stuff and I wouldn’t normally quit on the spot like I did, but this gallery is my top priority. It has to be. Instead, I’ll be starting my new position tomorrow.

I’m feeling hot hot hot.

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Attempting to talk sports, Festivities, Humor, Thoughts

19 Thoughts While Filling Out My March Madness Bracket

‘Tis my favorite time of year. Let the March Madness begin.

  1. This is happening. It’s happening. Oh my god it’s happeningggggggg.
  2. There’s something so satisfying about filling out a bracket.
  3. I think I’m sexually attracted to March Madness brackets.
  4. Hmmmm Wisconsin or Virginia Tech?
  5. GOING WITH VIRGINIA TECH BECAUSE I’M A SPICY MAMMA.
  6. Isn’t Baylor a form of Ibuprofen?
  7. I just Googled it. It’s not. But it sounds like it could be, doesn’t it?
  8. Ask your doctor about Baylor today. Side effects include…
  9. I swear to God, Baylor is some kind of pill. Allergy pill? Anyone? If you find the pill, please let me know so that I can stop feeling crazy.
  10. Purdue sounds like a type of soup.
  11. When I say Gonzaga, it sounds like the dramatized version of “Mufasa”. And now I’ve potentially ruined Gonzaga for you. You’re welcome.
  12. Why am I not tweeting this shit?
  13. I feel like those gamers with the headsets and four different screens in front of them while filling out my bracket.
  14. This is the first year I’m betting money with a group. I better win.
  15. Heart palpitations.
  16. Water water water.
  17. Heart palpitations.
  18. North Carolina, do not fail me. Go for the gold.
  19. And now I get to do this all over again with a second bracket. And I cannot wait.
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Awkward, Dating, Girls, Humor, Thoughts, You're Fine

Single Schmingle: Conversations with Hey Meghan

I did kind of a sad thing yesterday. I googled “How to Casually Date”. Some of you may be on the same train. If so, welcome aboard the Casually Dating Express. There are no Chocolate Frogs, Pumpkin Pasties, or Cauldron Cakes on this express. Instead, there are the Traumatizing Truffles, Confusing Cookies, and Humiliating Hobbob’s (I don’t know what a Hobbob is. I made it up. Why am I not a famous novelist yet for such brilliant creativity?).

I found a wonderful article on Thought Catalog titled “24 Thoughts Every Chronic Over-Thinker Has While Attempting To ‘Casually Date’”. I found it hilarious and a little heart-warming considering the entire list was filled with my very thoughts. I related way too much to number 5.

I want to be on Tinder, it feels like Tinder is a place I should be, and yet there’s some part of me that is convinced someone I’ll know will be on there and they’ll know I’m actively seeking love and I won’t look cool I’ll look thirsty and they’ll go home and say to their friends, oh I saw them on Tinder guess they’re lonely. Oh my god I can’t do Tinder.

I’ve been single for three months and I’m not sad about it. In fact, as I’m writing this, I’m being a basic bitch and sitting in a coffee shop with my laptop Carrie Bradshawing it because I needed to get out of the apartment and explore my new town. And guess what? I can stay in this very seat for as long as I want. I have nowhere to be after this, and it feels nice. I’ve always been extremely monogamous. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but if you were to ask me what my type of man is, I’d have no answer for you. I have no idea because I’ve never dated around. I’ve also never been the type of person to cut someone out over something small. For instance, if I was to meet someone and they were like, “I hate travelling and I have no interest in it”, that would normally not be a deal breaker for me even though I absolutely love to travel. But maybe it should be. There’s a difference in being picky and being a brat. If I want to travel to a new country every year, I want to date someone who wants to do that too.

So, I found myself googling “How to casually date” because I have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to “dating”. I think the fact that I gave my number to three different men in the last week proves that because I wasn’t entirely interested in them in the first place. But I sat in bed and realized that with all three men, I had the exact same conversation over and over again.

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“Where did you grow up? What do you do? How old are you?” Blah, blah, blah. Boring. It’s like a broken record. It’s to the point where I can’t even remember what their answers were because it’s all the same.

As soon as a man starts talking to me, I forget how to human. My intelligence is gone, I have nothing of importance to say, and I get tongue-tied. I’m fully aware that I’m acting like an idiot, but I don’t know how to turn it off.

Let’s turn to my blogger friend Meghan (go follow her blog if you haven’t already). I texted her explaining my awkwardness and since she is newly single (well, kind of), we decided to collaborate a series of blog posts consisting of our weird interactions with the opposite sex. Is this a dating blog? No, not really. If this blog turned into a dating blog, just go ahead and unfollow me now because I have nothing concrete to say and you’ll probably end up an old, battered person with not just cats, but parrots, geese, chickens, and maybe a llama.

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This is what Meghan has to say about her predicament:

Oh hi there is it my turn?! Well for those who know I just got “dumped” Aka the guy I had been casually seeing for the last year said he no longer saw a future with me. OUCHHHH. If you want to punch someone in the heart tell them that. Instant ouch. I was already “single” but now I’m SUPER SINGLE. I don’t really think I’m ready to mingle yet. At this point I’m just waiting for my secret fantasy to come true. What is that you ask?!?!
WELL:
I’m at a concert and some super hot rocker guy is on stage and see’s me in the crowd and instantly falls for me. He hunts me down after their set and the rest is history. He will write cute but slightly emo songs about how much he loves me and will have cute little kids with mohawks and converse.

YEAH…..okay I’m just embarrassing myself right now. That will never happen.

Being in your mid 20’s and dating is weird. I have friends getting married and having kids. I on the other hand can’t even keep a cactus alive and would eat dino nuggets every night for dinner if I had the choice. I guess we are all at different stages of life??

J: I’d eat Dino nuggets all day every day.

M: Dude I just bought more. They are great.

J: So you basically want to marry Tony Hawk?

M: More like Kellin Quinn. Tony Hawk is old. 

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J: My aunt told me to find someone 10-15 years older than me. I’m still trying to wrap my head around that.

M: Ewww. I have a five year limit. 

J: Is your dream to go back in time to 2003?

M: Maybe…

J: My dream is to find a man casually wearing a Doug t-shirt. Is that weird?

M: Bwahahahaha. Slightly but very you. 

J: It would match my Reptar t-shirt. I feel like I’m not asking for much.

M: I was just thinking that. I have a Legends of the Hidden Temple t-shirt. 

J: STOP IT. I forgot about that show. I should just start wearing my Reptar shirt when I go out. See how many suitors comment on it.

M: DO IT. DO IT NOW.


So it’s official. Next Single Schmingle post will reveal if Meghan has found her 2003 lover and switched over to different nuggets, and I will attempt to wear my Reptar shirt out to a bar to see if men either think I’m weird as hell or think it’s absolutely amazing. There’s only one way to find out, right?

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Art, My Idea Of Being An Adult, Thoughts, You're Fine

My Quarter Life

There has a been a weird vibe in the air. I don’t know if any of you can feel it but I certainly can. It’s been here for a while. It could still be the aftermath of January and all that it has to offer me, which is usually nothing. It could be the fact that I’m still adjusting to my move. But something seems…off. Things seem strange with friends whom I haven’t talked to in a while, but I have been busy over the last month. Life in general feels like it’s tipping over. I no longer have a routine.

My days are now mushing together and I don’t like it. I find myself sinking into my bed, staring at the twinkle lights I hung up around my closet door for what feels like hours. I like to stay busy, but I have very little motivation lately. Every day, I find a new bruise on my arms, legs, or neck from putting together furniture since I arrived in Charleston. My body is sore. My mind is weak. I haven’t even had much inspiration to blog. If I go on WordPress, I glance through the feed for about two seconds before tossing my phone at the end of my bed and crawling under the covers for the rest of the morning.

But I was in my car this morning thinking about my quarter life crisis I had nearly a month ago. I was home in New Hampshire visiting my family before I moved down south. It was 2am, and I was sobbing into a pillow with my mom by my side. I’m not even sure what happened to make me so upset. It wasn’t the thought of moving away from my family. I’ve already done that what feels like a thousand times. I think I’ve said goodbye to them more than I’ve said hello. I was telling her about a potential job in an art gallery in Charleston that I’m both excited and terrified about it. I finally admitted to my mom that I’m scared I will fail. After all those years in college, studying, memorizing, practicing, and drooling over the art I was taught, I’m scared that in the end, I will find out I’m not actually good in the field at all. Then what? Perhaps that’s why I’ve had such trouble finding a job in my field since I graduated. I’ve secretly been sabotaging myself into believing I will fail and I wouldn’t be able to handle it.

Then my mom brushed the hair off my face and simply said, “I have never, not even once, been worried about you succeeding. When it comes to art, you know exactly what you’re doing and saying. I have no doubt you will be great.”

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So, I’ve been trying to remember what she said. I have to stop convincing myself that something will go wrong. I have to focus. But, if I wake up every morning like I did this morning, with Mumford’s paws wrapped around my leg and his head digging into my ankle, I will definitely spend an extra fifteen minutes in bed.

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Anecdote, Awkward, Home, Humor, My Idea Of Being An Adult, Rant, Sarcasm, Thoughts, Travel, You're Fine

Miscellaneous

Moving is such a horrible concept. I have moved a lot since 2009. I moved from dorm to dorm on campus, and then apartment to apartment in various states such as New Hampshire, Massachusetts, California, Connecticut, and now South Carolina. I have to say, moving to South Carolina has been the worst by far.

Moving is never a smooth transition. Something always goes wrong, but it’s usually fixable and not a giant headache in the end. If you lose a coffee mug or two, you just buy a new one. If your sheets rip during the drive, you just buy some new ones. However, my move to South Carolina has been absolutely terrible that I would rather the earth opened up, swallowed me hole, and spit me back up as a demon torturing myself in order to justify the reality of my situation(s).

At first, everything was hunky-dory. I drove down with Mumford in one piece. The movers arrived to the apartment before I did with my mattress, bed frame, and cabinet, which I was happy about. I unloaded everything from my car rather quickly with the help of Colleen. I was ready to somewhat relax and put my bed back together until I realized some of the pieces to my bed were missing. I texted the mover who apologized and checked his truck and did in fact find the rather small and annoying pieces that were preventing me from sleeping on a firm surface other than a floor. He said he was in Florida already and would be back in my area the following afternoon. But then the following afternoon came and went, and after reaching out, he told me first thing in the morning he would arrive. And then “first thing in the morning” came and went, and yet I was still here, sleeping on my mattress on the floor like a drug addict in an abandoned house in the woods. My room is pretty tiny, so not being able to put my bed together kind of stalls me from putting everything else together. Once the bed is together and placed in the right spot, I can then sort through all of my other things.

I finally texted the mover again, and after several hours, he told me he would be by with my pieces in “about nine days”.

200-13

NINE DAYS.

I can’t put anything anywhere. I have more stuff arriving this week. I live in a pile of clothes on my mattress with a useless bed frame exploding my tiny bedroom. I. Am. Not. A. Happy. Lady. Right. Meow.

I informed him immediately like the princess that I was behaving as that that arrangement did not work for me at all. I need a bed. It’s only been three days and I’m already throwing crap around because I have no placement for them yet. I still have no idea what’s happening with the bed so I’m just going to shove issue #1 aside for now.

Now onto issue #2 – I bought a brand new bookcase that arrived today. We go to unload the heavy pieces from the box only to find that they did not include any of the nails to actually put said pieces together, leaving me once again with another piece of useless furniture I cannot assemble at this point in time.

200-14

It’s official. South Carolina does not want me to put my furniture together. It has not welcomed me with open arms. I just want a bedroom that wouldn’t make Jesse Pinkman cry.

So I’m just going to go in my room now and huddle in the corner to look at what’s left of my belongings in hopes nothing else happens.

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Anecdote, Family, Home, I Wasn't Worried, Thoughts, You're Fine

Little Black Book – a ghost story

I realized I’ve never really discussed the idea of ghosts on my blog. What has prompted this inspiration is an article I asked Tierney to send to me because it was spooking her out so I thought, “Hey Jess, let’s not sleep tonight.” You can find the article here: Read at your own risk.

So now, I’m a Nervous Nelly and the only thing I can do to calm myself down is doing what I’m doing now: blogging and joking around. *insert nervous laugh*

200-12

I love ghost stories. That doesn’t necessarily mean I believe in them, but I’m not entirely skeptical either. I know weird and unexplainable things happen. I’ve known plenty of people who have strange stories to tell, including myself. Like this one time, the stereo in the basement of my house turned on by itself in the middle of the night. The damn thing woke everyone up. We never used that stereo, so there was no set alarm either. And no, I was not the first person to walk into my dark, creepy basement to find the source of the noise. I’m smarter than that. Or that other time in college when I went to go wash my face and brush my teeth before bed and out of the corner of my eye, I saw a girl walk in and head for the stalls. After I was done brushing my teeth, I realized how silent the bathroom was, and when I went to check the stalls, nobody was in there except for me. I ran out and hid under my blankets.

But the first time I started to kind of sort of believe these things was after my dad passed away. Several strange and possibly coincidental things happened after his death, but that is for you to decide.

My dad died only a few months after my college graduation. As soon as I was in the “real world” he informed me that he wanted to send a hundred dollars every month. I told him it wasn’t necessary but he insisted. He said, “I don’t want you to ever be without.” He sent me $100 for July and August, and then he died in September. A day or two after he passed, I flew down to Texas to help my mom with some things around the house. We had an emotional morning after picking up his belongings at the hospital, and then the funeral home allowing me to view the body for a few seconds before cremating him later that week, so my mother and I decided to take a long nap. I don’t know how long we were both asleep for, but I eventually woke up and felt anxious. I slipped out of bed, tip toed over our German Shepherd, and sat in the kitchen for a few minutes in silence. My dad’s art studio was all the way down the hallway with the door closed and I felt compelled to go inside and look around. It wasn’t just out of curiosity. It was more of a, “I have to do it now!” kind of feeling.

I began going through his things. I wasn’t entirely sure what I was looking for but I kept digging through the drawers and closets, hoping to find something. He had a tiny book collection on his shelf and I noticed there was a little black book tucked away and it looked like a journal. I pulled it out and opened the first page. It was dated two weeks before he died and he wrote one sentence, “I don’t remember much of my life or where it went, so this is going to be tough to write.” That is all.

I fanned through the pages hoping to find more and then a hundred dollar bill fell onto my lap. After I showed my mom, we tore apart the rest of the house, wondering if he hid any other hundred dollar bills but we found nothing. Just the single bill inside his blank journal. Now, some of you might think that it was just a coincidence. However, what if I hadn’t gone through his things and found the little black book? There really wasn’t anything special about it. It was a small, blank book tucked in between about a dozen books by Stephen King and a few of my Sarah Dessen novels I enjoyed when I was younger. The little black book could have easily been thrown away along with some of his other belongings before my mom packed up the house and moved. Finding that hundred dollar bill was like finding a needle in a haystack —> not an original analogy but whatever.

Flash forward a few weeks and my mom was telling me about the weird and unexplainable things.

Grief messes with you. You start noticing things you never noticed before, and then you feel guilty for not noticing them when you should have. My mom walked by the refrigerator and found a note that said, “I love you!” and when she turned it over, it read, “Just because.” She walked outside one day and stumbled across the row of cement blocks. The day my dad passed away, he was moving them around the yard in the heat, which could be an easy explanation for his heart attack. One of the cement blocks had their initials written on it with a heart. These moments are not considered weird, but instead are happy reminders of the person they were before they are gone. I think this happens with every person once they have died. It’s like that song from The Band Perry when they say, “Funny when you’re dead and people start listening.” But one day, my mom woke up from a nap because it felt like someone pushed her. She felt the hand shove her awake and she looked up and found my dad standing there staring at her. She told me this story and a part of me thought, “She’s grieving. This is natural.” And then another part of me was jealous. Other than the mysterious hundred dollar bill, I hadn’t experienced anything except a number of sleepless nights.

My mom told me a few other stories like that one and I just nodded my head silently. For weeks, I wanted something to happen whether it was my grief talking or something real. I know it was just a desperate plea to see him one last time, and I couldn’t understand why my mom could see him and I couldn’t.

And then one fine evening I had a very strange dream. I was standing across the street from my old house in New Hampshire. Everything was set up exactly as I remembered. From across the street, I could see my dad pacing back and forth in the window of my house. I wasn’t trying to get his attention, but I was just watching him. He noticed me from the big window and waved vigorously with a huge smile on his face. And then I woke up.

Weird? Maybe. Coincidence? Possibly. But I’d rather just keep it as a way of him saying, “hello”.

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