Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Sock Shock

Since today showed the tiniest hint of spring, some friends and I decided to ring in our lunch breaks on the deck of a popular tex mex eatery in Nashville.

In the midst of gabbing and soaking up the sunshine, a guy friend of mine casually mentioned that he needed to start going to the tanning bed to get a “base tan” before summer officially starts.

I almost choked on my queso-covered chip.

Firstly, because this carefree guy is the last person on earth I’d imagine gracing the threshold of a tanning salon. Secondly, because…I don’t know…he has a penis?

Because I’m naturally curious and don’t often think before I speak, I blurted out, “When you go, do you cover up your junk?” (Eloquence personified.)

He informed me that after one bad burning experience, he now uses a SOCK.

I know I’m being sexist to think it’s strange/creepy for men to lay in tanning beds, but the mental image of a man lying bathed in blue light, wearing tiny baby goggles, rocking a 1990s Red Hot Chili Peppers cock sock makes me giggly…and a little ill.

Unavoidably from now on, whenever I see overly tan guys at the gym, I'll be suspicious as to exactly WHERE their socks have been...

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Can You Hear That? I Think It's a Calling.

Since as far back as I can remember, I’ve been told that I have a “gift”. At first I brushed it off, but my own moment of self-realization came in the 7th grade when Mrs. Napolitano sobbed awkwardly in class after reading aloud a poem I’d written. And scared me.

Unfortunately, it’s taken me a long time to appreciate this so-called “gift”.

It actually started as something I resented. In middle school, I would’ve given anything to spend my summers flirting with boys at the neighborhood pool instead of attending writer’s camp with the most socially awkward, acne-ridden pre-teens my state had to offer. From there, it merely guaranteed me star English student status in high school...and then provided an extra income as paper-writer-extraordinaire in college.

Ironically, now that I’m officially done with school and the foolish mandatory writing assignments, I ache to write.

If I’m upset, it’s the only thing that truly soothes me. If I’m angry, it’s the best way I can express myself. If I’m joyous, I’m simply drawn to my computer to effervescently burble my thoughts.

The trouble is, the popular idiom says, “write what you know”. Well, that’s wonderful for the Augusten Burroughs’ and David Sedaris’ of this world. But despite being raised in a broken home, my childhood memories are filled with dance recitals, birthday parties and sunshine. I know comfort. I know love. I know a relatively charmed life.

Not long ago, while pouring through Me Talk Pretty One Day, for a split second I actually found myself wishing I’d been born with a debilitating lisp or a lazy eye; had a manic depressive mother or severe drug addiction…anything that would set me apart from the scores of middle class humdrums overtaking our country.

Sick, right? I know. But strangely, I can’t help it. I was born to be a writer and a writer I’ll be. My smooth-sailing past just ensures I’ll have to dig a little deeper to separate myself from the pack.

Hair lip or no, I’m determined to be brilliant.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Laugh Out Loud

I saw this on my way to Knoxville yesterday and HAD to slow down to take a picture:

Who says truck drivers aren't gentlemen? At least he said please...

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Ring Fever

Several days ago, a girl I know from high school got engaged. She’s thrilled and I’m happy that she is…but the whole thing troubles me. Mainly because she has been so desperate for her boyfriend to propose that she booked a church in advance—twice. When confronted with the fact that by having to push him down the aisle, he may not be right for her, her response was, “But I don’t want to have to start over.”

Are you kidding me? A beautiful girl is scared to “start over” at the impossibly young age of 24? Is she so scared of being ringless for a little while longer that she’d sacrifice the rest of her life’s happiness by settling for the wrong man?

I honestly don’t know what it is with young women in this country—especially those south of the Mason Dixon. Too many seem to be operating under the misconception that their life will officially begin or that they will have “arrived” as soon as they have a ring on their finger.

Reality check: your life is happening in the here and now and by focusing your hopes and dreams on a fictional fairytale marriage in the future, not only are you setting yourself up for major disappointment, you’re wasting what precious time you have here by not enjoying it to the fullest.

A good friend of mine called off an engagement the summer after we graduated. Thankfully, she had the maturity and decisiveness to see that the relationship wasn’t right and ended it before they got in too deep. It takes a strong woman to openly admit a mistake and then fix it—and I have nothing but respect for her as a result.

Considering the scary statistics about marriages lasting in this day and age, I can’t figure out why anyone would want to rush into it.

Right now, marriage is so far off in my future it’s almost laughable—the thought of planning a wedding makes me break into hives. At this point, all I know is that I’m going to hold out until someone incredible comes along…someone who makes me unable to imagine my life without them.

Bottomline: it’s just a ring. Granted, a pretty, sparkly ring…but still just a ring. What sense does it make to sacrifice your independence, happiness and future for something you can easily buy for yourself?

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Home, Sweet Home

In light of my friend’s recent loss, I decided to come home for the weekend to spend a little time with my family. I don’t get to see them often so it’s always a treat…and always interesting…when I do.

Priceless highlights of this trip:

1) My mom definitely said (in front of several family members), “Now, I don’t mean to pry into your personal life…but I’ve seen so many news stories about the bad side effects of the birth control patch that I hope you’re not using it!”

Wow, thanks mom. My sex life is exactly what I want brought up in front of my grandfather.

2) This afternoon I was drug to a women’s luncheon at our church and forced to make small talk against my will.

While sitting with my grandmother and some of her friends, the topic inevitably turned to my love life and lack of husband. (Since they were all happily married by the ripe old age of 19, my singledom at 23 makes me seem “adventurous” and “saucy”.) Because she rarely monitors what comes out of her mouth, my grandmother asked at top volume, how many "young bucks" I’d "seduced" lately.

The fellowship hall fell silent as everyone turned and looked at me. I tittered nervously, proclaimed that “seduce” was a very strong word and wondered how long I could hide under the table without being missed.

3) At dinner tonight, my dad told me a funny story about his experience in the waiting room at the local Ford dealership. He said he was sitting on the couch next to several men, feeling like he’d walked straight into an episode of King of the Hill, when the “white trashiest” woman he’d ever seen walked in wearing a lace top…with no bra. To quote, “You’d think those poor men had been in lockdown for 25 years the way they reacted over Bobbi Jo’s saggy nipples. I had to excuse myself to the restroom so I wouldn’t throw up in my mouth.”

I laughed so hard that I choked on my beer. And then desperately hoped to never hear my dad utter the word “nipples” ever again.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Reasons to Be Dateless on Valentine's Day

Reason #1:
Good Friends

Reason #2:
More Good Friends

Reason #3:
Free Pitchers of Beer

Reason #4:
Acting Like Goobers in Public...

Reason #5:
...And It Being Acceptable

Reason #6:
You Don't Have to Choose Just One. Holla!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine, Schmalentine.

As awkward as this is to admit, this is my first official Valentine's Day without a boyfriend/admirer since uh, high school.

Truthfully, I've never cared much for this holiday, even when I had a suitor. I think the root of my dislike started in the 2nd grade when a wretched little boy named Trey gave every single person in our class a Thundercats Valentine BUT me. (And now he's fat, his face.)

Because of the absence of a beau this year, I'd been dreading the big V-Day a little more than usual. But when my alarm went off this morning and I stumbled into the bathroom, I met my own gaze in the mirror...and GRINNED. And then laughed out loud because I'd fully expected to feel dread.

And it's been uphill ever since. I've gotten flowers, cards, candy and my email has been flooded with sweet messages. Granted, no boyfriend...but I've never felt so loved. (Life lesson perhaps?)

To top things off, as soon as I get off work I'm heading out to celebrate with an amazing group of friends over trivia and 2-for-1 beers.

Because when you get right down to it, nothing says "Happy Valentine's Day" quite like fried food, free pitchers and whipping ass with your random knowledge...

Monday, February 12, 2007


Like the rest of the pop-culture crazed country, I sat through hours of last night's Grammy entertainment. Not to be insensitive, but when it came to the long-winded tributes and boring performances (read: James Blunt), thank God for Tivo!

The only thing that truly struck me (in between fast forwarding) was the uncanny resemblance between certain Grammy stars and other famous faces.

Exhibit A:
The drummer for The Police (who sounded like they were performing karaoke at a dive bar):
...looks like a strangely anorexic version of THIS man:
Exhibit B:
While some might argue that this man was hot during his "Your Body is a Wonderland" days, now...notsomuch:
...he unfortunately resembles this freak-of-nature:
Exhibit C:
Personally, I'd rather listen to my landlord's porn tapes than James Blunt:
Which is why I cackled gleefully upon discovering his resemblance to Napoleon Dynamite:
Slightly uncanny, no?
The only other thing I took away from watching the Grammys was the burning desire to see Justin Timberlake perform live. So in a fit of ill-repressed longing, my roommate and I impulsively purchased tickets to his March 16th show in Nashville.

Which means that in a little over a month, I'll be among the sea of irritatingly rabid females vying for a place in his pants as he does this:

The groupie whores can scream, salivate and storm his tour bus all they want. The only reason I'm going is to watch that boy DANCE.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

The Grass is Blue

Naively, I’ve always assumed that my parents would be here indefinitely. I’ve never existed without them…I wouldn’t know how to begin.

The past week has been nothing but a lesson in how much I personally take for granted. In the last several days, two of my friends’ fathers have died. My inner self rages at the fact that I’m not old enough to have friends with dying parents…but I am. Strangely, I am.

When did this happen? When was the exact moment where I turned from a blissfully comfortable youth to an adult who’s expected to say the right things when a friend calls, lost and brokenhearted over someone I’ll never be able to replace?

I’m driving to Memphis today to scoop up a shattered friend and hold her close to my heart. And I’ve never felt so helpless in my life. I’d give anything in this world to make things okay for her, but I can’t. All I can do is be there. To listen, to hold her, to stand with her at the graveside as she says goodbye to the most important man in her life.

I can’t even begin to fathom what she’s going through. And I’ve tried…but it’s like trying to imagine being colorblind or paralyzed. You can’t comprehend until you yourself have been there.

I just can’t dream up a life without my wonderful father. To not be able to call him when I hear a funny noise from my car. To not be able to tell him a joke I know will make him belly laugh. To not have random phone calls from him just to "check on his favorite big city girl". To not be able to run to him if a stupid boy is careless with my heart. To not have him walk me down the aisle when I meet that one boy who isn’t.

The song that’s been constantly running through my head says it better than I could ever hope to try:

I just can’t make it one day without you
Unless I pretend that the opposite’s true
Rivers flow backwards
Valleys are high
Mountains are level
Truth is a lie
I’m perfectly fine
I won’t miss you
And the sky is green
And the grass is blue

Friday, February 02, 2007

Blind(ish) Date

My mother is officially a nutjob.

Yesterday, she calls me at work and the first words out of her mouth are, "I hope you don't hate me for this one..."

Never good.

She then proceeds to tell me that a young guy in her office saw my picture on her desk and asked if I was her daughter. She told him yes and that I live in Nashville, am gorgeous, intelligent and witty (I'm assuming the last part...)

He then tells her that he has brother-in-law in Nashville who is amazing and somehow single...

And now the two are in cahoots to set us up on a blind date.

After being informed of this fact, I emitted a loud groan and told her that if she wanted to try her hand at becoming a yenta, she should visit the nearest synagogue and leave me out of it.

Being my typical mother, she ignored my complaints and told me to hear her out. She goes on and on about this fabulous guy who is in his late 20s, has a loft downtown, loves dogs, yada yada yada.

Then, almost as an afterthought, she adds, "Oh, and he plays hockey...for the preda...?"

"You mean the PREDATORS? As in, the team holding the top spot in the NHL western conference?"

"Yep! That's the one! We've already emailed him your picture!"

Lawd. My mother's done gone and set me up with a bonafide professional athlete. It's unsettling.

Being a hockey player, I'm just hoping he has all of his teeth. If he has less than two thirds, I swear I won't speak to my mother for a week.