The Merits of Staycations

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View from Roosevelt Island

I tend to be a bit of a loner…even while visiting my family during the holidays, I require a few (waking) hours by myself every day.  Family vacations almost always involve sporadic bickering throughout the day, so taking off with a friend or boyfriend on vacation for the first time always leaves me a little unnerved.

The image of being stuck in a hotel for days in the midst of an enormous fight (and no escape aside from a giant fine to reschedule my flight) arouses such anxiety, I hyperventilate.  Although I am totally delightful and have never argued with a significant other while on vacation, it is a major fear of mine–even the notion of a simple weekend getaway can bring out my inner-hot mess express..  Planning a staycation with my boyfriend  (whose place is only a 15-minute cab ride from my apartment) was an amazing way to test the waters and discover any previously unknown annoyances with the option of a quick ride home, if necessary.

If you live in a large city like New York, a staycation still offers endless opportunities to discover different neighborhoods and boroughs.  Exploring unfamiliar parks, browsing popular shops and thrift stores, and sipping mimosas at the latest trendy brunch spots can be just as (if not more) exciting as spending loads of money to fly across the country unknown territory.

usethisAlso an advantage: one does not feel the need to overexert him or herself with activities or sightseeing because if you are too tired, next weekend is always a possibility.  This past weekend, I stayed with my boyfriend in a neighborhood I had never visited and created a long list of things to do. Unfortunately, it was much colder than expected (putting a halt to half my plans) and I was exhausted and slept quite a bit.  However, I learned that he and I never annoyed one another, I still had a great time only watching TV with him, and I `concluded he is even more considerate and loving than I thought..which says a lot.

Never again will I underestimate the merits of a staycation.  It was a great test-run and I know a legitimate out-of-town vacation is in our near future.

Sh*t Guys Get Wrong

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I am sure there are plenty of great guys in the world, but most of them suck at dating.  I also suck at dating, therefore, I have inside knowledge from my own past failures and years spent picking out stupid guys.  So listen up boys, because despite how good your dinner was, how cute you are, or the unbelievable connection you felt during your casual dinner convo., you still have ample time to screw up your chance at getting another date.

  1. Waiting two days to call/text:  Seriously, ask anyone with a vagina…if a girl doesn’t hear from you for two days, she thinks you aren’t into her…at least not enough to pick up the phone and hit a few keys.  If you had an awesome date and you want to see her again, text her that night and let her know.  Girls don’t like games!–if a guy likes a girl and wants to see her again, telling her that night is the biggest compliment in the world.
  1. Asking a girl if you can kiss her:  I can hardly think of anything less romantic than having an amazing date, being walked to my front door, and being asked for permission to be kissed.  There is a reason why women chase bad boys: they are confident and take risks (secretly, everyone wishes they were as brave..thus the appeal) .  So JUST KISS HER!  If she doesn’t like it, she will pull away…big deal!…but there is nothing sexy about asking for permission.
  1. Sexually explicit texts after one date:  Dude…sending raunchy texts before you really know someone makes you look like a total dog and total waste of time.
  1. Picking a restaurant without considering her food preferences: Taking a vegetarian to a steakhouse means your date is going home hungry and you are never going to see her again.
  1. Asking her a question and discounting or making fun of the answer:  If you ask your date what her favorite book, movie, or TV show is…do not negatively judge her response.  If she enjoys “The Bachelor”…just let her have it.  You may never watch the show with her, but she hasn’t asked you to at this point and if she ever does, you can open a book and allow her that guilty pleasure.
  1. Buying her a gift you want or is a household appliance:  Because some chicks aren’t into xbox or playstation…and I certainly don’t ever see myself unwrapping a crockpot on my birthday and not throwing it at the giver.

These rules are basically universal and should be followed until you really get to know the woman you are seeing.  Of course, likes and dislikes vary, but this list is generated almost entirely from common sense (which men generally seem to lack).  So, just be a gentleman–open the door for her, tell her she looks beautiful, and don’t be a d*ck.

Life Post-Breakup

The first time I truly fell in love, I was twenty-eight and I never saw him coming.  He was older with IMG_1758refined tastes…and, during our first date, the celebrity chef even came to our table to tell him ”hey” and to ask how business was going…I was completely swept off my feet.  We met early October and I was head over heels in love in about three months..  I was introduced to a world I never thought I would experience or even have access to.  The fact that this sophisticated, successful business man, who could ask out anyone passing by, chose me, complimented me, took me to expensive restaurants, the theater, and on vacation was shocking.  Never before had I not been teased or bullied for my eccentricities or spontaneity; he convinced me that my differences from most young women my age are what he found most attractive.  He was the focus of my life for 2 ½ years (on and off) and remains my best friend today.  I’ve never told him, however, how grateful I will always be to him: he was patient, he helped me through some really difficult medical and emotional issues (and vice versa), and convinced me that I am special and deserve better.  After convincing me of the last part, he let me go.

Losing him was the most painful ordeal I have ever experienced. We remain near-best friends, but the man I had spent over two years planning my schedule around, the only person I ever trusted with every aspect of my life, and the first person to really support my professional and artistic endeavors had no plans for a joint future.  He had informed me from the start, and my swelling heart blinded me.  Although we had broken up for a day or two previously, I realized my only chance at domestic bliss would require pushing him, indefinitely, into the friend zone.

Sitting in my room, I made a list of men I previously knew and had possibly unresolved feelings for, as well as a slideshow of recent dates with strangers to remind myself of the type of men I certainly did not want.  Only one man survived my pen to paper slaughter and, luckily, I had a sneaky suspicion he would be open to a spontaneous dinner with me.

FullSizeRender-7Recently, he revealed he remembered the exact date we had met and the location.  He also told me tonight that he fell in love before he spent even five minutes with me.  He knew we would be together eventually (for life) and I am the first woman he has dated since divorcing his ex-wife over 7 years ago that he has allowed to meet his children.

The first breakup took away my lungs and half my soul.  I loved this man more than my own life, but he let me go because he knew our relationship was never going to be enough for me–I have grown to love him even more for setting me free to be with a man who worships the ground I walk on, tries to slowly introduce me into different aspects of his kids’ lives, and who enjoys planning a future together–a man I am blessed to have and love more than words can express.

Since my reconnection with the man I am dating again, my best friend has pulled away from my life.  I  am still devastated and miss him more than air, but I am grateful for his decision–knowing I was too weak to end it…to be okay with the two of us not needing each other quite as much anymore. Realizing the motive for why he left–so I could move on with my life–does not lessen the pain, but it is easier to bear every day.  I pray he holds a place in his heart and memory for me, that he is happy, and that he will still call and always be in my life .  You can’t get rid of me that easily.

My best friend:

I miss you so much you would find it stupid.

I thank you for letting me find happiness with the man and relationship I need and want.

I love you.

Divorced Older Men: The Dating World’s Best Kept Secret

I find older men extremely attractive.  They are more considerate, confident, established…and have ex-wives who have saved you a lot of time moulding them into the adults they are today.  Sure, your guy may need little reminders that you have different tastes than his ex-wife, but one can forgive the rare slip-up.

In my early to mid twenties, I dated artists and students (ie: waiters) almost exclusively.  We were all basically kids, still trying to figure out our lives and exhilarated by the unknown outcomes of our futures.  My spontaneous interactions with like-minded individuals and having a blast on the journey to maturation was a priority in regards to my love life.  Most of my romantic involvements were mere “showmances” (dating or seeing someone with whom you are working with–usually associated with theatrical plays)…then I retired, went back to school, and grew the f*ck up.

For most people, there comes a day when your search for fun becomes a search for the one.  Some women attribute their change of focus and behavior to that “biological clock” thing; I know many men and women are pressured by their families to settle down whether due to custom or grandma getting antsy.  As for myself, I was just over playboys and dating in general.  I decided to open myself up to the possibility of finding a man who was/is the polar opposite of my past conquests.  The idea of consciously choosing someone normal, a man with the ability to reel in my personal brand of crazy, made total sense!  The “type” of men I was drawn to for years were horrible dissapointments.  It was time to stop blaming the guys I was seeing and admit I was the one at fault–I was picking self-involved boys who used the line “I need to work on my craft right now” as an excuse to be flakes.  Turns out, they were complete tools.

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2 dozen roses to make me smile

When I began dating my ex-boyfriend, I was shocked by how little the 14-year age gap mattered.  Our first date was the best I had ever been on.  At barely twenty-eight, I was treated like an adult for the first time in my life.  He paid for everything, was more interested in what I had to say than talking about himself, and he didn’t wait two days to call.  Our relationship lasted 2 ½ years and he remains my best friend (because he is mature enough to handle being friends with his ex).

My current boyfriend is 16-years-older than myself and has given me so many things no other boyfriend has: the promise of a joint future, reminders that I am a priority in his life, sweet surprises to help me get through stress (anywhere from roses to grocery delivery when I am sick), and he never tries to hide his emotions.  He provides the devotion and stability I crave, has two amazing kids, and worships the ground I walk on (as he should–I am a trophy).

my boyfriend...he's pretty amazing

my boyfriend…he’s pretty amazing

The wisdom, patience, and comfort older men with children provide is intoxicating.  I know I can turn to my boyfriend for guidance and a boost in morale…even sobbing during video chats doesn’t scared him away–as a father, he knows just what to say to calm me down.  I look back and realize I was either an idiot or ignorant for over half a decade.  Why are bad boys so appealing?  Having a safe place to fall and a reliable man to catch you is the most exciting feeling in the world.

Why Hiring a Birthday Party Clown Should Be Grounds for Child Abuse

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Let’s be honest, clowns are the creepiest things in the history of mankind.  They wear oversized polyester clothes, intentionally distort their faces with caked-on makeup, speak in weird voices, and have really stupid hobbies (**they are also adults who choose to hang out with little children).  So, despite this list of glaring oddities, why are they regarded as whimsical, humorous characters and deemed appropriate for children’s décor and parties?

Although the popularity of clown entertainment has decreased over the past decade or two, their freakishly large grins still haunt the rooms of babies and children ( and possibly some disturbed adults) across the globe.  A simple google image search of “clown memorabilia” yields endless page scrolls of terror.  I can’t speak for everyone (just almost everyone), but if my parents had decorated my nursery with images of clowns, I would probably pee my pants at the sight of anyone wearing too much makeup for the rest of my life (and in New York, that would be every two minutes).  My older brother has a similar opinion: “They’re good in a pinch if you are having trouble finding a pedophile to do magic tricks.”  Of course, that is assuming they are human.

I, personally, survived a traumatic experience when, at eight-years-old, my mother forced me to be a clown for Halloween after the genie costume she sewed was three sizes too big.  One can only imagine the horror I felt walking around in public in those clothes–to possibly be mistaken for one of them.  Only one year before The Halloween Ordeal of 1992, I became acquainted with “Pennywise” after watching the TV mini-series “It”, based on the Stephen King novel and starring America’s beloved Richard Thomas; prior to my dream-infiltration by Pennywise, “Killer Klowns from Outer Space” introduced the notion that clowns are actually aliens.  One has to appreciate these films’ honest portrayals: behind every maniacal smile there is a full set of fangs.

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HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

I try to promote clown awareness during Halloween as a healing exercise.  If you haven’t received one of my homemade greeting cards in the past, come by my place on October 31st.  My “treats” are gentle warnings and dentist-approved.

For those of you who have hired clowns, used them as decor, or find them “charming”…you need to take a good hard look in the mirror and admit you have a problem and need help.  I suggest therapy.


***To see the scariest clown in Manhattan, walk by The Mad Hatter Pub on 3rd Avenue and 26th Street in October

horror to scare off the weakest bar patrons at Mad Hatter Pub

horror to scare off the weakest bar patrons at Mad Hatter Pub

I Like Nerds in Glasses and I Cannot Lie

I am not only a lover and enthusiast of awkward intellectuals, I am a self-proclaimed NERD.  I blame my passion for geek glasses on my assumption that glasses make it easier to spot the neurotic species I so admire and attempt to assimilate.  I adore rambling conversations that never quite end or really have any purpose to them; I live for random eccentricities and a lack of self-awareness about what they say or how they behave in public; my heart fills with joy when I am able to convince them they need glasses even though they have just had lasic eye surgery.  I will not apologize for my behavior: I love big nerd glasses.

IMG_1402A few people have questioned this “fetish” for eyewear and the only excuse I can come up with: blame Woody Allen.  The Woody Allen Collection and his more recent films (available at Best Buy and on Amazon) sit in my living room, calling to me like Greek Sirens (google it) some days when I need a dose of neurotic love.

If asked about what “type” is considered most appealing to single women of my generation (and likely others), most are physically attracted to “pretty” boys, traditionally handsome Ken doll types, and gym rats.  Personally, however, if a guy isn’t totally adorkable, he can just keep walking…I can just hang out at the Apple store…nerds in glasses, guaranteed.

My 48 Hour Breakdown

IMG_5323After a Thursday night date with my boyfriend last week, I arrived home and realized my wallet was missing.  At that precise moment, I realized my susceptibility to lunacy was much greater than I thought–I freaked out.  When a normal personal freaks out, they possibly yell and start hyperventilating…I, however, toss the apartment and run around the neighborhood with a flashlight;  I call neighborhood security, bars and restaurants in the area, and my mother sobbing; Eventually, I scream to the heavens for a miracle and curse its wrath.

Now, why would I be so upset over a wallet other than the inconvenience that canceling credit and bank cards, waiting for a new driver’s license, losing my cash and gift cards, and buying another wallet would cause?  It is a Coach wallet that cost more than I spend on groceries and utilities in a month.  I would never have a wallet this nice again.  Most importantly, it was a thirtieth birthday gift from my best friend and makes me feel special every time I take it out to pay for really cheap wine.

After nearly sixty-hours without sleep, I gave up.  walletThis afternoon, I crashed and awoke to a text and missed calls from my boyfriend who had been contacted by a man via Facebook. Apparently, my first name is oddly spelled and I am the only person one who spells it this way living in Manhattan. My wallet was found by an older man who asked his daughter’s boyfriend to try and find the owner.  The young man who contacted my boyfriend had been trying to locate me for two days.  Nothing was missing from my wallet..not a penny, but all I care about is that I have my wallet back.

The kindness and effort these people displayed restored my faith that there are angels walking among us…and they live in the Lower East Side.

It’s Friday night and you know what that means….

…millions of women (and way too many men) are spending three hours in their rooms and bathrooms getting ready to do whatever it is people willing to put that much effort into their appearance do on a Friday night (likely heading to a loud, crowded, overpriced bar or eurotrash club).

I cannot for the LIFE of me figure out what miraculous beauty routine/unsuccessful makeup magic trick is worth THREE HOURS!  Most of the time, these clown makeup/glitter-adorned party girl wannabes walk out like Heidi Montag, post-surgery (I swear I only know her name because she and her blonde side-douche invaded every channel on television for a year). In an attempt to look “hot”, they fry their hair, apply ten layers of lipstick, fake eyelashes, blah blah blah…and achieve something resembling a human being, only less attractive.

Ladies, why are you waiting in line for an hour (in twenty-degree weather!!!), wearing four-inch heels and no coat?  How anyone could possibly consider this a good use of time is beyond me. However, if you are dead set on prying your body into an elastic tube sock, don’t spend three hours on your hair and makeup: no amount of hairspray and mascara is going to distract passersby from how stupid you look. .

I do my hair in three minutes and my makeup in less than two.  That’s right boys!  There are women in the world who are dressed and made up in less than ten minutes.  My “beauty” routine:

STEP ONE: wash hair at night so it is dry in the morning. STEP TWO: brush down bangs, put hair in pony tail, blowdry bangs while brushing like a mad person from side to side to get the curl out. STEP THREE: use straightener to smooth out leftover curl and wave. STEP FOUR: accentuate one feature on your face with makeup.

STEP ONE: wash hair at night so it is dry in the morning.
STEP TWO: brush down bangs, put hair in pony tail, blowdry bangs while brushing like a mad person from side to side to get the curl out.
STEP THREE: use straightener to smooth out leftover curl and wave.
STEP FOUR: accentuate one facial feature with makeup.

my ten minute look.

my ten minute look.

Is it glamorous?  No…but I get to spend my nights out, out…and not in front of the bathroom mirror.

***I realize my posts have acquired a (more than) slightly critical air, but I’m going with it because I am sleep-deprived and feeling (more than) slightly critical.

THE EX-BOYFRIEND DILEMMA

I find the overwhelming percentage of couples that choose to cut ties after a break-up IMG_1760perplexing.  Why would you throw away a perfectly good relationship simply because it takes on a different form?  I find ex-boyfriends make excellent best friends.  You already know their personalities and tastes, you have tons of blackmail on them, and humiliating them (all in jest, of course…sometimes) is a piece of cake.  Your new besties and you can skip all the friendship-building boring banter and just chill and watch Netflix.

Almost everyone I have discussed this concept with skeptically asks how my current boyfriend feels about this “radical” post-dating doctrine: HE DEALS.

Making new friends is too much work…save yourself a lot of time and just move your past boyfriends/girlfriends to the “friend list.”  It will make your life so much easier.

TRY SOMETHING NEW: Alternative Medicine

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Holistic and Eastern Medicines are often referred to as “alternative”…odd considering they were practiced thousands of years before Western Medicine came into popularity.

So many people are scared of acupuncture because of the needles (which you hardly feel, by the way) and teas made from tree bark, herbs, and roots because it looks like mud.  Ayurveda, reiki, crystal therapy, reflexology, magnetic healing (the list goes on) are often brushed off as nonsense and misunderstood in societies where modern medicine is used almost exclusively.

I have definitely dabbled in at least a dozen forms of “alternative medicine” for a decade and, although I was hesitant (and my hands were quite clammy) during my first acupuncture session, I walked out surprisingly refreshed.  Most of my following sessions resulted in quick naps…and if I can fall asleep with my face, arms, legs, hands and ears covered in NEEDLES, there is no reason for anyone to fret over the prospect.