Category Archives: Rants

Your Life Is Your Art, Yours Alone

Well… another Valentine’s Day has come and gone with me reading the feedback of the day on my Facebook wall… other people’s thoughts on Valentine’s Day.  Of course, there were the typical girls posting about wishing they had a valentine, or girls who were going out with girlfriends and having a good time regardless, guys who pretend not to care that they aren’t with someone… and the people that are genuinely happy together!

But you know, there was one comment on my Facebook wall today that I really enjoyed because I thought it was so utterly true: “why shouldn’t there be a day to celebrate love?  After all, we have so little of it in the world.”

That is not to say I think the word is a loveless place.  I just think that, as humans, we extend compassion to our fellow earthlings far too infrequently.  Our authentic humanity is loving, caring, kind, creative and wise – but being a part of a society, we have lost touch with these things.  Connecting to this part of ourselves is essential to having a wonderful life, filled with purpose.

Ever since starting my daily yoga regimen, I have found myself eating less and more healthfully, losing weight and most importantly… my mood has changed.  I have changed.  I am a better human now, more capable of extending kindness to someone I don’t know.  Customers like me better at work now, too.

I think a lot of the main problem is that people have lost touch with their core values.  It is important to identify those core values and live by them – you will experience huge strides in personal development and as a perk, you are living with integrity.

For example… here are some of mine:

Learning/Teaching – this is big for me because I love to learn new things, but also to pass on what I know.  I think this is why I love being a Girl Scout leader (though I am apprehensive about the dawning teen years, during which time teaching becomes awfully difficult).

Kindness – Well, I would love to get it from everyone I come into contact with, so why shouldn’t I strive to do that same thing to everyone else?  It’s the Golden Rule all over again.

Family – this is something I have always kept close to my heart, even when it seemed I didn’t.  Now that I’m older and have seen more of life (though of course, not nearly even half of everything!) I can appreciate my family and what they provide for me.

Feeling Good – this is a fairly new core value of mine, but I can’t believe I never recognized its importance!  I have realized that being a human in a society means that it is all too easy to abuse your body, even if it’s only by not getting enough sleep.  Add in a couple beers and all the crappy food the supermarkets sell and it’s no wonder we’re all grumpy!  I am currently on my way to becoming healthier, always.

Sensuality – this one is a secret.  ;-)

Enlightenment – when I was a small child, my Uncle Bruce told my mother that I would probably grow up to be “one of those girls that takes their bra off in front of the White House.”  Well.  What do you say to that?  I’m sure he meant that I was to become a hippie, which I now take as a compliment.  I don’t know much about taking my bra off in public protest, but the hippies seem to have had the right ideas.  As Brian from Family Guy once sang, “The 60s brought the hippie breed / We’ve ditched the values but we kept the weed!”  I just want to understand.  Working on this last one.

Actually, I am working on all of them.  I hope to one day incorporate all my core values 100% into my life; the general thinking is, once enlightenment has been achieved you will attract more opportunities and experience more moments of happy coincidence, effortlessly.

After all, what is life about if we aren’t constantly improving ourselves as people?  It’s not about this rat race we call life.  It’s about slowing down and watching the snow fall in front of the street lamps or going on a brisk walk on a sunny day.  The world is really a very interesting place…

The first step to creating an amazing, awesome, scintillating (I would be much obliged if people were to start using this word more often, it’s highly underrated) life… is to destroy negative self-thinking.  You have to first be selfish to become selfless.  If everyone could get rid of their negative attitude toward themselves, we could all begin to shine as people.  And then how beautiful would the world be if it sparkled?

18th Century Funerals

Hi all.  Did some research on 18th century funerals since it’s October and we’ve set up a coffin in the second parlour at the museum!  Since I’ll need to know what to talk about, I researched and decided to share what I found… enjoy?

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In the eighteenth century, wealthy American colonists were well aware of the fashions set in France and England.  Strong ties remained between the New World and the Old, but an ocean lay between sophisticated colonists and the newest designs.  The rigors of life in the colonies also demanded moderation.  A high mortality rate meant that colonists felt a strong pull to memorial symbols, and a tradition of social and religious conservatism led to sobriety in American costume.  However, as the century progressed colonists began to indulge in a wider range of jewelry forms made of more expensive materials and elaborate designs.

The traditional practice of giving and receiving sentimental jewelry, notably memorial and love tokens, was embraced by the men and women of the American colonies.  The custom of distributing gold mourning rings originated in Europe, where it first gained popularity after the execution of Charles I in England in 1649.  Most American mourning rings of this period were a variation on the engraved gold band.

Symbols that now seem macabre to the modern eye, including coffins, skulls, and crossbones enameled with black or white, were frequently incorporated into mourning rings.  These served as a constant reminder of the wearer’s mortality, while the circular band suggested eternity.  Scrollwork designs influenced by Rococo motifs were also popular decoration for mourning rings, and were highlighted with enamel or colored stones.  Bands were inscribed with personal information of the deceased, usually the name accompanied by the dates of birth and death.

Mourning or funeral rings were made to distribute at the funeral to friends and relatives; the quantity depended on the prominence of the individual.  While wealthier colonists commissioned their rings from London jewelers, they were also produced by American goldsmiths.  Early goldsmiths and jewelry makers utilized trade cards to establish their business and advertise the variety of their products.  The high demand for memorial jewelry was the foundation of the American jewelry industry.

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From Old Sturbridge Village’s website:

Today the physical and ceremonial realities of death are dealt with by specialists in hospitals, nursing homes and funeral parlors.  But at a time when almost all deaths took place at home, families themselves—with the assistance of kin and neighbors—dealt with the corpse and the rituals of mourning.  Without embalming, the body needed to be dealt with quickly once a death occurred.  The corpse was “laid out” and washed by relatives or neighbors, men for males and women for females.  In some communities certain individuals were known as particularly adept and sympathetic in the care of the dead and were often called on to assist at such times.  Customarily (in early America as in Britain and Western Europe ) the body was wrapped in a loose garment called a shroud.  Shrouds were usually made of white cotton (linen in the eighteenth century) and fashioned with long sleeves and an open back.  A simpler but equally traditional burial garment was a “winding sheet,” a long piece of sheeting fabric wrapped around the body and frequently used by poorer families.  A few families were beginning to break with tradition by burying their loved ones in their own clothes—the practice that Americans follow today.  Meanwhile, a local woodworker or neighbor was at work on the quick construction of a coffin. 

The coffin usually lay open in the parlor as family, friends and community came to pay their respects. Often, it was supported by wooden sawhorses or a pair of ladderback chairs.  The paintings and looking glasses throughout the house were themselves shrouded with white fabric out of respect.  Herbs such as rosemary and tansy would be set out in the room to counteract the smell of the corpse.  It was customary for the minister of the family’s church to come to the house to console the mourners and officiate at the funeral.  He would pray and sometimes offer a sermon.  After the coffin was closed and the lid nailed down, it was covered with a black cloth pall and carried to the graveyard. Over short distances it would be carried on the shoulders of the pallbearers; for longer ones it was conveyed on a hearse.  The mourners, with the family at their head, would usually walk in procession behind the coffin.  They would then approach the freshly dug grave, listen to a final prayer, and watch while the coffin was lowered and covered with earth. After the burial, the mourners would return to the deceased’s home for food and drink.

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Please note that in the 18th century Congregational ministers would not have offered prayers for the soul of the deceased. That soul was already in God’s hands and had been judged.  (This contrasts with historic Catholic view.)  Prayers would have been offered for the strength and comfort of the living.

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From www,trinity. com: FUNERARY RITUAL & THE FUNERAL INDUSTRY

Up until the early 18th century, both American Northerners and Southerners observed the English custom of the deceased’s family providing each of their funeral guests with a black scarf, a mourning ring, and a pair of black gloves–or at least as many of these that they could afford.  In 1721, laws were passed limiting such gifting to the six pallbearers and the officiating minister.

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Regarding the use of black fabric, from An Introduction to 18th Century Printed Textiles:

By 1700, English calico printers learned to block print cotton and linen fabrics in a limited range of colors — brown, black, red, and purple — and merchants in the American colonies were importing English printed calico and chintz by the first quarter of the century (see Montgomery, Printed Textiles, pp. 16 – 25.)

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According to primitiveways. com:

A deep, black dye can be created using water, tannins, and iron. Any natural material can be colored a black tone by first soaking the item in a tannic acid solution. Then the material is immersed in a second solution of iron salt to give it the permanent dark pigment.  (They say to start with acorns and tree galls.)

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Now To Speak On Something That Matters…

Recently, I went up into the Adirondack mountains in beautiful, rural upstate New York for a festival in the woods.  I have never been to such a beautiful collection of minds before, or since.  Music echoed through the woods from instruments that had long since fallen into obscurity, or on instruments that didn’t exist anywhere else.  You can YouTube “That 1 Guy Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and see for yourself, for example.  There were vendors selling – or just showing off for free – crafts… pottery, incense, jewelry, drugs (it was a festival, what do you expect?), or services.  For example, there were two guys who would let you sit in a chair while they would open your ears with their gongs, which were enormous and placed on either side of the chair, while you sat in between.  Can I just say, the vibrations are real… they do something almost magical to your body.

While I was there, I met this girl, Erika.  Erika is a Reiki practitioner and she worked her magic on me.  Reiki is really cool – it’s like getting a massage without even being touched; she uses her energy that she focuses through her hands onto your body and after awhile, you can feel its warmth and you stand up feeling so utterly relaxed.

Erika also was studying the seven chakras and showed me how to open them and soothe them so that they are all in balance.  I haven’t been able to actually achieve the balance yet, but I’m working on it.  I’m close too, I think.  I found some images on google that describe the chakras….


<<<<  There is an image on the locations of the seven chakras on the body.

Crown Shakra is located at the top of the head; its function is understanding.  Its inner state is bliss.  Balancing this chakra is said to give vitality to the cerebrum and affects the development of psychic abilities.

Brow/Third Eye Chakra is located in the center of the forehead, between the eyebrows.  Its function is seeing and intuiting.  Its inner state is ‘I know’.  Balancing this chakra helps psychic perception and balances the pineal gland.

Throat Chakra is located in the throat.  Its function is communication and creativity. Its inner state is synthesis of ideas into symbols.  Balancing this chakra is important for the speech and communication areas of the brain.

Heart Chakra is located in the center of the chest.  Its function is love; its inner state is compassion.  Balancing this chakra is important for the circulatory system, heart and thymus.  It also affects spiritual love, compassion and universal oneness.

Solar Plexus Chakra is located in the area about the navel.  Its function is willpower, its inner state is laughter, joy and anger.  Balancing this chakra is associated with calming emotions and frustration, easing tension and helping to better utilize intuition.

Navel/Sacral Plexus Chakra is located in the lower abdomen and sexual organs.  Its function is desire, pleasure, sexuality and procreation.  Its inner state is tears.  Balancing this chakra is associated with sexual vitality, physical power and fertility.

Lastly, Root/Base Chakra is located at the base of the spine.  Its function is survival and grounding; its inner state is stillness and stability.  Balancing this chakra is supposed to give energy to the physical body, controls fear and increases overall health and helps in grounding.

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I think the time is coming swiftly when average people need to learn this stuff.  Our generations, as we come into the world, are swiftly losing spirituality because they are fed up with the institutions of religion and all the rules that you must apply to life through them, sometimes going against inner nature or animal instinct.  I’m not about to go on a rant about religion, because I think religion does not exist.  As Benjamin Hoff stated in his book “The Tao of Pooh” (in which he explains the concepts of Taoism through the characters from The Hundred Acre Wood…. actually a very interesting read)…. true religion cannot exist without complete goodness and having every single person being of the exact same mind to understand a single religion all the same way.  This is righteously impossible, as every single brain on this earth functions differently from all the others.  Therefore, since religion is unable to be mentally processed by all in the same fashion and since true goodness probably does not exist – true religion is impossible.

HOWEVER, spirituality is something else.  Spirituality is very real.  A lot of our generation do not care to attempt spirituality, because religion has forsaken their line of reasoning.  The problem is, a lot of people don’t know they’re primed for spirituality.  Statements like, “There must be something” or claiming agnosticism because no organized religion makes sense… mean that an individual is primed for the possibility of being spiritual but no one has tried to pull the trigger yet.

Religion is a veil that covers what is truly important to us.  By being spiritual, I don’t mean praying to anything.  I don’t really believe in the power of prayer, myself.  But by understanding yourself, you can become able to understand the world.  It is not difficult to understand your place in nature, or your place in the balance of things.  By understanding yourself, I think true enlightenment can be achieved… and then follows inner peace.

I don’t know about you, but an era of peace sounds pretty damn good to me.

Good luck, Generation X.

Christmas Sucks, But Christmas Shoppers Suck More

Some Observations of Christmas Shoppers, 2010

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The Scene: Emily makes her way into the Buckland Hills Mall.  She doesn’t have to be to work for three hours, but she is there to do some shopping for her family.

Holy shit. That’s a lot of people. Maybe I should wait. . .no, I’ve got to stick this one out. Got to get this squared away ASAP.

1. Exfoliating cream kiosk salesman, do I look like I want to be fucking pretty? I’ve got on glasses, my hair is in a messy bun and I have on work pants.  Also, does it LOOK like I apply anything regularly besides what comes in a toothpaste can, or some lotion?  No.

2. I guess the slicing motion across my windpipe was too strong of a signal. Now he and his equally well exfoliated companion are conspiring. I don’t trust this.

3. How do these women not know that stopping in the middle of the goddamn walkway is a ticket to getting run the fuck over? That has been a rule since the beginning of time. If we were in Rome, I could crucify you, and probably get a high five for doing it.

4. Okay, so I guess eye contact is to be avoided at all costs when it comes to the douchebag in the Ed Hardy shirt with the gelled hair. It seems to instigate some kind of “fight or fuck” response. I honestly don’t know if he is trying to hit on me, or just trying to hit me.

5. Now, I didn’t expect smiling friendly people here. I’m in Connecticut, where going less than 5 miles over the speed limit is asking to get stabbed in the tailpipe (and I’m not talking about your car), but really, all my expectations for basic civility have been disappointed. I’d be better off with fucking Klingons.

6. Gold-selling person, do I look like I have enough money to own gold?  I didn’t think so.  You can keep your flyer.  Save some damn trees.

7. Where the fuck are these children from? No, I don’t want to talk to you about Santa Claus. What, are you from Vermont, or something?

8. Yeah, I know that kid was around four years old, what of it? Please, somebody yell at him. Let him know that he’s wrong!  That guys dressed as Santa probably just did 4 jagerbombs on break to get through the night.

9. I hate this line.

10. Old Spanish woman, the coupon is expired. And are you paying with a check? What the fuck decade are we in?

11. Old Spanish woman, I will beat you with a shovel if you do not motivate yourself out of here.

12. Now the preppy couple in front of me are leaving the line. Thanks a lot for making me listen to your insipid discussion of who loves the other more for ten minutes, only to leave the line before making your stupid purchase.

13. Orange Julius probably doesn’t even constitute food.

14. Neither does Taco Bell.

15. Why are you asking questions about Connecticut tax law to the man in the paper hat? Do you really expect him to have an answer for you? Because he doesn’t.

16. I don’t even know what to classify the next person in line. Are they male? Female? Black? White? I don’t have a clue. But I do know one thing – there is precisely one place that it’s okay to wear gym clothes.

17. Alright, actually, paper hat had an answer about Connecticut taxes. I’m surprised. But apparently it wasn’t the answer you wanted. Don’t ask Paper Hat questions you don’t want to know the answer to.

18. I wonder how long Bruce Banner would last in this mall? I’d probably give him 5 minutes before he Hulked out.

19. Who decided it was okay to get your eyebrows threaded in public view of everyone, anyway?  Gross.  And the way the employees keep the other end of the string in their mouths?  UGH.  What if they started drooling?  It would go right in your damn eye.

20. Rent-a-cop, do you really want to have a staredown? I will fuck your shit up.

21. Yeah, look away. I win. Again.

22. What are these girls, twelve?  Who let them off their leashes?!

23. Why is this man wearing the tightest pink jeans I’ve ever seen on a human being, topped with an elf hat? Is there an answer to that one?

24. Are those two wearing matching outfits? It would be one thing if they were hard to spot, but I think the sound of the mouthbreathing would probably give away their position better than the matching cardigan.

….I didn’t end up buying anything.  End Scene.

5 Reasons Christmas Sucks

I would just like to take a moment to express how much I dislike the Christmas season.  My disclaimer is that I work in retail, so I’m infinitely biased because I hate that I have to work ~55 hours a week during EXAMS.

So here you have it: 5 reasons Christmas sucks!

5. Everyone tries to be so politically correct about Christmas by calling it “the holiday season.” I can’t even express to you how much this irks me.  Wanna know a fun fact?  Hannukah starts on December 1st this year, because it follows the Jewish calendar, not ours – so all the Jews will be done with it all by the time the last-minute shoppers are starting to realize Christmas is almost here.  On top of that, here’s something most of the Jews don’t even realize: Hannukah isn’t even an important holiday within Judaism.  Really.  It’s kind of like buying someone presents for Veteran’s Day (only it isn’t Veteran’s Day).  My point is, don’t try to be all-inclusive because it can only fail.  You’re shopping for Christmas and I’m a Jew in a Santa Hat.

4. Last-minute people.  I hate, hate, hate last-minute people.  Sorry dude, you can give me puppy eyes all you want, but you still should have ordered little Janey’s waterglobe to be engraved yesterday instead of waiting until I have a half hour left on the clock… if you had any sort of responsibility, that is.  (P.S. Who engraves waterglobes?  Which brings me to number 3…)

3. Tacky presents.  Christmastime is like an enormous, low-end consumer brothel.  Everyone has a list of people they want to buy presents for, but not a whole lot of people put more than an iota of thought into what they’re giving someone.  If you’re going to gift someone something, shouldn’t it be special?

2. The ridiculous amount of money people feel they need to spend on others.  Seriously, I just bake something for all my friends, regardless of what they celebrate.  (Although there was that one year I knitted everyone a scarf…)  I probably shouldn’t be complaining about this one, since it means more money for me (bring on the commissions!) but it’s kind of sickening when someone comes in and drops hundreds of dollars on someone, and for what?  Zombie Jesus’s false birthday.  Great.

1. The Food.  Yes, you just heard me criticize food.  I was originally going to put ‘stressed-out people’ here, but then I realized I hated Christmastime food more.  Seriously – eggnog?  What is that and who decided it was only good in December?  Other things I don’t appreciate?  Giants hams, people requesting me to make a fruitcake (um, ew) and the generally shared idea that putting on 10 pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas is okay.  It isn’t, in case you needed clarifying; it is unhealthy.  In fact, the only Christmas food I do like is a Buche de Noel.  If you haven’t heard of it, google it.  I haven’t made one before, but this might be the year – they’re so delicious!  Here’s a picture of a rather exceptional one:

All this said, I’m going to stress myself out in December working and going to school, among other social thingy-ma-bobs.  The madness begins on Black Friday (which is another rant all in itself).  Joy to the world.

My Brain Is Better Than Yours?

Yesterday I read an article off Yahoo that kind of cheesed me off, mainly because it tried to turn science into an argument for (what I interpreted as) sexism, if only slightly.

The article was by Laura Schaefer, whose main achievement in life appears to be the publication of a book called “Man with Farm Seeks Woman with Tractor: The Best and Worst Personal Ads of All Time”…. if this doesn’t give you an insight into the sort of article it was, I don’t really know what will.  Laura Schaefer apparently has nothing original to say that might be interesting, so she instead wrote a book on crap that other people came up with, piggybacking on their stupidity so she can be celebrated (in some sense of the word) as a modern author.

Barf.

The main article used collected data to essentially prove Schaefer’s point that women are smarter than men, who are blissfully happy the majority of the time, whilst simultaneously being ignorant of the intense passing emotions in women.  There is a sister article that goes with it – coaching men on how to understand women, apparently.

My main problem with these two articles isn’t even that they’re essentially the same thing written for different sexes, it’s the idea that stuff like this can be broken down and used for these sorts of arguments.

For example….

1. Both articles state that men have poor memories, due to the fact that the hippocampus (in the brain) is generally smaller on men than on women.  Data was collected to kind of generally prove this – fine.  But Schaefer then has the audacity to say “Oh, and don’t be surprised when, months down the line, he has no clue you’ve just changed your hair.”  Um, what?  Aside from the simple fact that something as trivial as your hair being cut is supremely irrelevant to your relationship…. seriously?  It gets better – addressed to the guys: “To keep up with her memory, take notes.”  Okay, okay.  Imagine someone did this.  Can you imagine coming across those notes a year down the line?  How CREEPY would that be??  Schaefer then coaches men to use Google calendars and PDAs to keep track of important dates so women won’t get mad at them.  (*cough cough whipped cough cough*).  And not only that, but I know for me, personally, I can’t remember CRAP.  I repeat myself constantly, have to hear things several times over to fully process them, and specific dates are just right out annoying.

2. “Don’t expect him to get hints.”  In other words, you may have to explicitly break down how you’re feeling all the time, or he won’t understand.  “Men aren’t as skilled at reading subtle cues.”  The article also adds, “Parts of the limbic cortex, which is involved in emotional responses, are smaller in men than in women. Additionally, scientists at McMaster University have found that guys have a smaller density of neurons in areas of the temporal lobe that deal with language processing. That’s why it’s probably a good idea to tell him directly how you’re feeling.”  Science again – fine.  But I just can’t help but be incensed by this generalization, which is just so ridiculously broad that it can’t possibly relate to more than 75% of people, yet Schaefer treats these facts that though they are the gospel truth.  Sure sometimes guys need a little help deciphering how you’re feeling – but then, girls do too.  The difference is, in my experience, girls will interpret something their own way, and not ask questions – which can really be so much worse than asking.

3.  Next Schaefer tells us that men are naturally more upbeat than women.  I wanted to smash my head on the desk at this one.  Women’s brains produce less seratonin than mens’ brains: 52% more on average, in fact, according to a study at McGill University.  Since seratonin is the chemical that influences mood, Schaefer then makes the jump that guys have an easier time deal with stress, being less teary, etc.  Then she warns us depressed women that we should take care not to think that men are heartless (when they aren’t crying 24-7 over the fact that Sparky died), they just have more seratonin.  Alright, listen Schaefer, I appreciate the advice, but if I truly thought that men were heartless, I’d have no use for them.

…In fact, the only thing I think I can agree with from Schaefer’s extremely general interpretations of brain science findings is this: “Women use the left part of the amygdala — the part of the brain that creates emotional reactions to events — to put memories in order by emotional strength, meaning that something emotionally important to them (like a great first date a couple of months ago) will be ordered in front of what they ate for breakfast yesterday. Men, however, use the right part of the amygdala to put memories in order. Traditionally, the right hemisphere of the brain is associated with the central action of an event, while the left hemisphere is associated with finer details.”  This has been proven time and time again to generally be the case of how things really work in both men and womens’ brains.

However, what I disgree with is the snide: ” Translation: you’ll both remember your first date, but he might not remember the color of your sweater or the light rain that was falling that night.”  Why was that necessary to add?

I think what this all boils down to, is that is kind of pisses me off that women can take these little facts about brain construction and turn them into arguments that are essentially meant to make the reader think women are mentally superior, and men will need help understanding them because women are just SO beyond them.

You know what?  I give up.  Who cares, right?  The whole article reads like a psychological assessment of an episode of “Sex & the City” so why do I waste my time?  Still, it elicited a rant, so I guess there’s that.

Top 10 Worst & Best Things About Dating

Top 10 Worst Things About Dating

10. Getting the First Date – Sure, you’re excited when it actually occurs… but neither of you wants to be the one to ask.  So the unanswered question just kind of hangs there for awhile before anything happens and one of you finally plucks up the courage.

9. Getting Ready – Why are there so many things to do to make yourself look presentable?  I have to curl my eyelashes.  CURL MY EYELASHES.  As if they don’t curl naturally.  They do.  Just not ENOUGH.  It’s disgusting.  Also: I have wasted a large portion of my life straightening my hair – it’s naturally wavy, but not the good, Taylor Swift-kind (I wish).  I’m more at home in a pair of jeans, a T-shirt and hair down.

8. Having To Listen About All His Exes – I’ve decided that all guys do this.  All of them.  I’ve also decided that it’s sometimes a good thing to hear about them, because it means that your date is thinking about dating while they’re with you… which can be a good thing, because you made them think about dating you.  As an added bonus, you know what NOT to do based on the things someone reveals about their exes.  On the other hand, no one wants to listen to all the sexual escapades you had in your past, or how you were so sweet to so-and-so, or how Mary Sue dumped you and you were so upset.  So yeah.  Moving right along.

7. The First Kiss – I just want to skip this part.  I know, I know… I SHOULD think it’s romantic or whatever, but whoever made it so that “the first kiss is the sweetest” can suck my metaphorical cock.  (You know… if I had one).  The first kiss is awkward, unsure, usually shaky and occasionally even barely enjoyable.  Not that any of this is really a problem, since a first kiss is, after all, a FIRST kiss and you’re just testing out the waters.  But it sucks because you’re more worried about how your breath smells than enjoying it.  Once you finally get used to kissing whoever you’re kissing… that’s when things finally get interesting.

6. Eyes = Boobs – Even if you move past the stage of unofficial to official, your eyes don’t belong on my boobs.  I’ve been told I’m generally more understanding of this sort of thing than most chicks… and it’s true, I know that sometimes you really. just. can’t. help. it.  And that’s fine.  Occasionally, I even think it’s kind of funny.  But for the most part, do it when you think I won’t notice, please.

5. Diamonds Are (NOT!) A Girl’s Best Friend – I could kill whoever made this song.  I don’t like getting presents, never have.  I don’t even like not paying for things every so often, like movies or dinner – and I think any girl who expects not to have to pay for anything is self-centered and a mooch.  This is not the 1920s, and if it were, you’d be a slut because you’ve done more than “a few stolen kisses on the back porch before your sweetheart asked your father for your hand in marriage.”  That’s how things were THEN.  This is not then.

4. Keeping Up Looking Okay – This takes a huge toll on me after awhile.  All I really want to do is come over in a tank top and sweat pants so we can order sushi out, take it home, and watch Lord of the Rings.  Even though I already know (most of) the dialogue.  But no… you have to put on that little black dress and eyeliner and smile and smile and smile.  I like to smile – it’s true.  I’m almost always doing it, too – and I do like to dress up and go out.  But when it’s non-stop, that’s when it gets me.

3. Where Do You Draw The Line? – I am not currently and never will be a slut; you have to be wise about your sexuality.  You can’t sleep with everyone you think is interesting, or you end up with a reputation, or worse… stalkers.  Been there, done that.  Still, it’s tempting to sleep with whoever it is you’re with due to sex appeal, sensitivity, the way he smells…  Don’t.  Do.  It.  (Yet).  Sit down at home with a good porno and put those fingers to work, ladies.

2. The Essential Rubber – You have to make sure to always have one, once you finally get there.  How annoying is that?  Pretty annoying, you say?  Well, not as annoying as screaming babies or genital warts.

Lastly, the thing that sucks the most about dating:

1. Falling In Love – I know, you’re scratching your head at this one, huh?  Well, it sucks, I tell you… once you realize you’ve fallen, you have to worry about whether the other person feels the same way, whether you can trust them… the whole nine yards.  You have to think to yourself, “If I was dying, would I want this person to be there in the hospital with me?”  Even just GETTING to this step stinks.  For example, do you SAY something to the other person once you realize you love them?  I tend not to, because I’m worried about scaring people off.  So I just let it lie and sometimes it goes unsaid for ages.  There is uncertainty.  Fear of rejection.  Actual rejection.  There’s also that feeling of jumping off a building and just hoping and praying those stupid clowns remembered to bring the trampoline…

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Top 10 Best Things About Dating

10. Hugs – This is not the kind of hug Uncle Joe, who is halfway sloshed at your family reunion, gives you.  When someone cares enough about you to want to hold you that way, you feel good – you just can’t help it.

9. Dates, Once You’ve Had Several Of Them – The best sort of date is the spontaneous kind.  Two examples come to mind for me when I think of fun I had with guys I was dating:

1) It’s 10 PM.  The store two streets down closes in an hour and all of a sudden, ice cream and hot cocoa sounds really, really good.  We COULD take the car… but racing there is more fun!  We half-ran and half-walked (to catch our breath) to the store to buy both our “commodities” and let the salespeople wonder why we were so out of breath.

2) Seeing movies you both know will only be okay.  Why’s this?  Because you can pay attention to the movie… or not.  This is the best when it’s spontaneous!  I mean, the kind of “Quick, put your flip-flops on and let’s go and get tickets to whatever is showing next, regardless of what it is.”  Then you can cuddle (or neck, if you’re bold) in the back of the theatre in between paying attention.

8. Being Able To Wear Your Boyfriend’s Clothes – I like this one and I secretly think all girls do.  I don’t mean wear them everywhere… I just mean wearing an extra of his shirts to bed so you can smell him before you fall asleep.

7. Guys That Smell Good – This is key.  Guys who smell bad are un-dateable.  I really mean that, too.  Cologne is only an enhancer, not a solution.

6. Holding Hands – I like to hold hands, even if our hands are sweaty (happens to everyone), especially if we’re in public.  Holding hands with someone in public is a statement: “unavailable.”  I have small hands (which makes them “dainty” to some, but it sucks for playing the piano) so there’s something comforting by having a bigger hand around mine.  It makes me feel protected.

5. Presents – No, not getting them.  I like picking them out.  It’s fun and often challenging, especially when you’re getting them for no reason at all (which is, incidentally, the BEST reason).

4. Cue The Marvin Gaye (a.k.a. Banging) – At first, I didn’t mean to put sex this far back on the list, but I think it belongs here.  Sex is fun – with the right person.  But unless you’re having nice sex, it doesn’t leave much room to think about the fact that you’re mostly doing it because of the feelings you have for that person.  And you can only take so many sessions of having nice sex before you just want to have your hair pulled and your neck bitten again.  Graphic, sorry.

3. Being Able To Share Thoughts – This is the problem with dating passive or less-than-intelligent people: they never have an opinion.  If I am going to share my thoughts with someone, I’m going to do it because I want feedback.  Feedback counts as more than a pat on the back.  You liked it?  Well, what did you like about it?  And I don’t just want what you liked, I want criticism!  Being able to do this with your significant other is indispensably useful in a relationship, as far as I’m concerned.  It also boosts your interactions and even helps you resolve conflicts with that person easier as well, because you’re in tune with their thoughts on things.  As a couple, you’re also supposed to be able to share anything with your partner (though some things, frankly, are better left unsaid… like what happened to you at the gynecologist that morning).

2. Kissing – Bet you thought this was going to be number one, huh?  The only reason it isn’t is because sometimes, I really just am not in the mood for a good bout of kissing.  Generally though, kissing someone you’re familiar with is beautiful.  And it can lead to amazing things, too (see #4).  I don’t really think it needs much of an explanation – the best kind of kissing makes you forget where you are.

And lastly…

1. Cuddling – Yes, this gets the number one spot.  I surprised even myself by putting it here, actually.  I think this is better even than snogging because it means you’ve reached a point in your relationship with someone (whether you’re actually dating or not) that you can just lay back and cuddle and nothing else really matters.  There’s something undefinable about that.