Thursday, June 28, 2007


This might be the most judgmental thing that has ever come out of my mouth, but I have to say it...

I've come to the conclusion that I'll automatically have nothing in common with the type of female who lists under the "Favorite Books" section of Facebook, Myspace, etc. any variation of, "I really only like magazines! Oh, and the Bible!"

Ugh. The old Cosmo/Bible combo irritates me beyond belief. It's so oxymoronic, it's almost laughable.

50 Ways to Please Your Man...and Jesus!

Get to Know His Erogenous Zones...and Eternal Salvation!

Now, don't get me wrong. I have nothing against having faith and being open about that faith. And I'm definitely not saying that you can't have a passion for both makeup and the Lord.

However, I DO have a problem with flaunting your faith in an effort to appear "good" or "deep". And that's just what those types of profile descriptions convey.

Call me crazy, I simply have a hard time believing that someone who can't bear to occasionally pick up a John Grisham or David Sedaris or even Jennifer Weiner is actually an avid reader of a monstrously thick book that was written thousands of years ago.

And I'm now done with my bitchiness. At least for the time being...

Oh, and for those gearing up to send bitter emails, I'll beat you to the punch. Matthew 7:1 has been dually noted.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


If there's one thing worse than a blind date, it's a blind date that you're unaware you're being set up on.

One of my aunt's best friends lives in town and occasionally invites me over for dinner and cocktails with her family. Considering that a) they're amazing and b) they live down the street from Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman, their dinner invitations are rarely declined.

Monday night, I'd been invited for Tex-Mex and homemade margaritas and arrived promptly at 7:00. I knew that something was up when the very first thing Mary said when she answered the door was, "Oh good! You look cute!"

I arched an eyebrow and asked what she was up to, to which she responded, "Oh, nothing really. I just invited another friend for dinner. I think you'll like him!" I groaned and told her she'd owe me if I ended up having to babysit a train wreck.

My "date" for the evening arrived shortly thereafter and proved to be a 29-year-old investment banker who was cute, if not a tiny bit shy. Luckily I can talk to a fencepost so conversation flowed nicely...and I only caught him looking at my chest a total of three times.

But STILL. I'd arrived under the auspice of being fed a good meal and getting to lounge on the couch with Mary and a bottle(s) of wine to discuss work, men, books we were reading, places we wanted to travel, etc. NOT to make small talk about the house Mr. Banker Man just bought in Green Hills and what we both did for a living.

I don't know what it is about older married people, but most seem determined to "cure" everyone they know of the "singleness disease". Like we're all somehow wasting away without the presence of a significant other and they are our fairy godmothers, come to rescue us from a life of perpetual loneliness.

Christ. If I had to bet money, I'd say Mary probably gave him my phone number. Maybe (fingers crossed) he's smart enough to realize that since I didn't give it to him personally, he shouldn't call. But for the next week or so, a random number flashing across my cell phone screen might cause minor panic.

Monday, June 25, 2007

I Scream

I know this should be filed under "C" for "Crotchety", but I've just about had it with the friendly neighborhood ice cream vendor.

Firstly, why the HELL is there an ice cream truck tooting up and down Music Row in the first place? I can't imagine there are enough well-dressed professionals flying out of their offices clutching grimy dollar bills at the first sound of music to warrant it's presence. It needs to relocate to Brentwood or Belle Meade...or really anywhere other than here.

Secondly, whoever designed the damn thing must have been downright malicious. It plays the most excruciating track of carnival calliope music, punctuated by the occasional (demonic) little girl voice shouting, "HELLO!"

The first time I heard this, I thought it bizarre, yet amusing. But because it's returned every day since, I'm on the verge of doing something drastic.

Since I'm on the top floor of my office building, I have the unique advantage of a covert airborne attack. And believe me, I've thought of everything from homemade water balloons to borrowing my ten-year-old neighbor's paintball gun.

To be honest, at this point I'm not sure if I'll be able to sustain enough self-control to carry out a premeditated attack. I'm on the brink of just slamming my window open and screaming expletives at the offensive vehicle as it toots down the alley.

And just like that, the silly little childhood rhyme has a whole new meaning...

Monday, June 18, 2007

Dirty Laundry

I think the best part about growing up is recognizing change in yourself.

It's somehow both thrilling and grounding to experience random life moments that make you step back and observe just how different you've become.

I feel like I've been doing this a lot lately. It can happen during small moments such as a catch-up phone call from an old high school sweetheart or big moments like passing your two-year anniversary from college graduation.

To that end, I truly believe that a main life goal for every individual should not simply be to change, but to better oneself in the process. But it's hard. It's oftentimes much easier to adapt to your shortcomings and bad habits than it is to fix them.

A former shortcoming that I've struggled with is control. My parents divorced when I was young and all I've known is a single-parent household. My mom worked hellish hours and as a result, I had little choice but to grow up faster than my friends. I remember doing the laundry at the age of 9 and was cooking dinner by the age of 12. (But before you paint me as a poor Cinderella, I definitely played just as hard as the other kids in my neighborhood. I rarely missed marathon games of Capture the Flag and threw snowballs at cars with the best of them. I had as much fun, but simply more responsibilities than my carefree peers.) I assume that because my mom relied so heavily on me at times, it created in me a deep-seeded craving for perfectionism. For a while, I was all she had and I therefore felt I had to be The Perfect Daughter to compensate.

This perfectionist streak can at times be a positive thing. I tend to excel at whatever I put my mind to and rarely settle for less than the best in both myself and others. But when not kept in check, this need for control can, in turn, control me.

It ran rampant my very last semester of college. My entire life as I'd known it was changing and I felt lost. I felt like my big, scary grownup future was out of my hands and the only way to make myself feel better was to minutely control the comfortable (but fleeting) life I had. So I made perfect grades. And when I wasn't in class, I helped edit our alumni magazine and was a reporter for our campus TV station. I volunteered. I nannied for the cutest family ever. I headed up several campus organizations, including one that required I sometimes travel with the baseball team. I exercised religiously. I strived to be a true friend to my sorority sisters and a supportive, amazing girlfriend to an overwhelmed law student.

I tried to be everything to everybody and lost myself in the process. By the time graduation rolled around, I was exhausted. The day I walked in my cap and gown, I weighed less than 100 pounds. I had no hint of a disorder; it just proved impossible to eat enough to keep up with my hectic lifestyle.

Graduation came and went and I was left with mere shards of the "perfect" life I'd created for myself. College was over and it stung to realize that nothing I achieved there meant anything further than excellent resume material. I was jobless, homeless and directionless and for the first time in my life, I had to learn to let go and accept the unknown. It was either that, or drive myself slowly insane.

So I did. I woke up one morning and decided that life could be simpler and much more enjoyable if I adopted the attitude that everything eventually works out for the best. I won't lie, it's definitely been an uphill battle. But now that I'm finally reaching the peak, I look back and marvel on just how far I've come...on how much more I love myself now that I'm not taking her so seriously.

I still backpedal occasionally. Last night, my normal mature self slipped and I acted embarrassingly childish. I proved far less than perfect and as a result, I spent an hour and a half of my evening running at full speed on the treadmill. I didn't stop until my t-shirt dripped and my mind went blank.

The difference between now and college is that I can instantly recognize this kind of behavior for what it is before it takes over. The very moment I stepped off the treadmill, I laughed inwardly at myself. I knew in an instant that because I'd felt imperfect and lacked control, I exerted ultimate control over my body by pushing it to the limit. But in that moment, with both my heartbeat and Michael Jackson ringing in my ears, I chose to feel exhilarated rather than turbulent.

I see positive change in myself, which must mean I'm growing up. I can honestly say that I'm a better person today than I was two years ago as I fell unbelievably short of my superhuman goals. And I hope that two years from now, I can look back at this very post and recognize how much progress I've made to becoming the person I want to be.

It's taken awhile, but I've finally grasped that that person, that ideal girl, will never be perfect. She'll be warm and caring, generous and inclusive, good natured and laid back. But she'll still sometimes say the wrong things and laugh at inappropriate moments. She'll still be a messy eater and a sucker for a dare. She'll still be snarky and, at times, brutally honest.

And hell, if she just so happens to have fantastic legs due to frustrated miles logged on the treadmill as she learned to accept herself, that would be a major bonus.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


I'm not sure what it is about old men on vacation, but a little beach action tends to bring out the dirty in them.

Last night, the minors and I went to eat at a popular seafood restaurant right on the beach. The wait to get a table was an hour and a half so we decided to kill time at the outside bar and enjoy the sunset over illegally purchased drinks (a la me...don't tell). I politely asked the 45-year-old man sitting next to me if he could pass me a menu so we could look over the appetizer selection when he (no joke) wiggled his eyebrows and asked me how I'd repay him.

EH?! Did he actually expect I'd leap into his lap and suggest I service him in the bathroom to thank him for his immense kindness? Please.

Later on, as we were leaving the restaurant, a drunk man "bumped" full-frontal style into my cousin and looked her up and down before I elbowed him out of the way and said, "she's 18...and you're pathetic".

I realize that most of them are just having a little fun and are harmless, but it's still annoying. Especially if they have small children in tow while walking down the beach and they STILL wink at you in your bikini.

For whatever reason, it seems the go-to phrase for creepy old men is, "Hey Ladies" (with exaggerated eyebrow wiggle and/or fake "gun" cocking). But tonight, I discovered the ultimate comeback to such lechery...

While strolling through an open-air market after dinner, the minors and I (surprise, surprise) received the go-to "Hey Ladies" from a group of mafia crime boss look-a-likes. Rather than rolling my eyes and huffing off, I tossed sweetly over my shoulder, "Hey Daddies...or should I say Granddaddies?" And then I grinned.

The stunned (but slightly amused) looks on their faces were hysterical.

Funny how they spent the day at the beach and it wasn't until nightfall that they got royally burned...

Monday, June 11, 2007

Drama Mamas

For the first time in my life, I can solidly say that I wouldn’t go back to high school for anything.

Several months ago, my aunt asked if I would like to accompany my 18-year-old cousin and several of her friends for a week in Destin. Never one to turn down a beach trip, I agreed.

We arrived last night and within 10 minutes, it looked like Seventeen magazine vomited its contents all over our house—colorful swimsuit tops, makeup brushes and bottles of nail polish strung haphazardly throughout the rooms. Squeals and girlish laughter rang out as we claimed sleeping arrangements and marveled over our entire week of freedom.

After semi-unpacking, we ordered pizza and lounged on the porch for several hours, talking about boys (of course), college fears and catty cliques. When I wasn’t giving sought-after advice, I simply sat back and marveled.

The conversations ranged from “oh my god, I can’t believe he’s dating a sophomore” to “can you believe she actually wore that to prom”? They obsessed about whether they should call him if they hadn’t heard from him by Thursday and whether they’d fit in at their chosen colleges.

The main thing that struck me was their intensity…everything was either amazing or tragic, there wasn’t much in between. Looking back, I know I was the exact same way at their age—I truly felt like my world would stop if a certain boy didn’t call or if another girl wore my exact dress to a dance.

Being thrust back into such a juvenile viewpoint at the ripe old age of 24 has been eye-opening. It makes me feel silly to think I spent so much time obsessing over things that plain didn’t matter, for worrying so much about what other (less amazing) people thought of me.

Listening to their angst over trivial problems has made me incredibly grateful for my current age and wisdom. It took me awhile, but I’ve finally learned that it’s exhausting to stress about things over which you have no control. (If he doesn’t call by Thursday, fuck him…you’ll find someone who will. If another woman shows up in your dress, simply laugh and compliment her good taste.)

It’s now our second night at the beach and I’m already on drama overload. So after returning from a late dinner, I grabbed my laptop and a glass of wine and headed out in search of solitude.

I can hear their distant high-pitched chatter from my cozy lounge chair by our pool and it makes me smile. It makes me smile to think how absolutely carefree they are, to think of the amazing college adventures they each have in store, to think of their complete naivety as to how great life is after high school.

It makes me smile to think how much I once resembled them and just how much I’ve changed. It makes me smile to be able to feel completely and utterly content.