I want to be best friends with Mindy Kaling.

Needless to say, (although I’m going to say it anyway) I’m a big fan of Mindy Kaling. I find her hilarious and so freakishly relatable that I think in a past life we were bff’s. You know how you could listen to a musician, and you just feel that every lyric in this song you’re obsessed with is written specifically for you? Like this musician knows your secrets, passions, faults and flaws, you are being spoken to through every lyric… Well that’s not quite how it is with Mindy Kaling, (because that’s hella creepy) but close. I read articles, her book, interviews, and I just think sometimes “Ohmagad, that has totally happened to me,” or “[laughing out loud] I would’ve totally done the same thing.”

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I’m not ashamed in saying that If I could I choose to be best friends with anyone, it would be Mindy Kaling. And not in a weird, super-fan, celebrity-stalker way, but like if we were to meet casually at a party, we would totally hit it off and become buddies. I feel we share a similar awkward sense of humor mixed in with the right amount of intelligence and superficiality.

Case in point, in an interview with Howard Stern, she mentioned, “for every nine hours that I’m “writing,” only one hour of it is productive time.” Since she’s a comedian, I’m not sure how much of that statement is even fact, but that statement, even in exaggerated form hits close to home. For real though, my last post was when.? over a month ago? Wasn’t this supposed to be a weekly blog? I will seriously sit down at my laptop ready to excrete some word juice, but I always convince myself to read any interesting article on Yahoo first, then, Crap! Did my mortgage payment go through?…Better check it. I need new moccasins, Target has them, I’ll just order them real quick. … 2 hours later, I’m nursing my 4th cup of coffee thinking about how my husband and I don’t have a good celebrity mash-up nickname, like Kimye. (For the record, I don’t like Kimye, but it is a good celebrity nickname. No arguing that.)

I’m not a lesbian, don’t flatter yourself.

I consider myself a friendly person and I don’t find it all that difficult to spark up a conversation with just about anyone. That’s probably why I did so well in customer service. For five years I worked at a family-owned, fine jewelry store. Being that it was a jewelry store, people always came in to have their jewelry cleaned, thus creating a situation where I would have to stand there, alone, with the customer while they waited for someone in back to steam-clean their items.  At first, when I was a 16 year old rookie, it was awkward… “Some weather we’re having, right?…” [Forced, awkward chuckle, looks around] But then, after a while, you just start talking about anything and everything you can. “Super cute purse!” or “Looks like you’re about to hit the gym, where do you go?” or .. well, really anything about that person’s appearance or my perception of them, because face it, everyone likes talking about themselves.

Point being, man, woman, child… I can come up with anything and end up getting into an in depth conversation. It’s not hard for me, and that’s probably why I have so much fun at parties, especially when I’m meeting new people. To me, new people equals new experiences, potential new friends, networking, and situations where you end up saying “Oh my god, this is such a small world!”

And the thing is, I’m completely genuine. I’m not a good liar, so I’m not going to say, hey that’s a really awesome hair cut and not mean it. However, there are people who are really put off by people like me. I live relatively close to Chicago, and most Chicagoans are assholes who avoid people at all cost.. (oh, and are dickhead drivers), so maybe it’s just that. Maybe if I lived in town like Mayberry, people wouldn’t think it was weird for me to be like, hey complete stranger, your plaid, turquoise Vans boat shoes are AWESOME, where did you get them?

So moving on… I was at the gym one late afternoon lifting some free weights and [side story: I have a few tattoos on my arms, and while I personally don’t want a full sleeve or anything, I do find tattoos pretty awesome and I’m super jealous of people who can pull them off.] Anyway, there was this girl, around my age, who was lifting too – like right next me; we even at one point, reached for the same weights, in which I told her she could go first. I noticed she had some really artsy, cool tattoos along her forearm and hand. They were tastefully done, feminine, and artistic. I was intrigued, and I kind of wanted to see them closer. I’m jonesin for another tattoo and her tattoo placement was right up my alley. I waited until she finished her set and was like” hey, your tats are super cool looking, I’m wanting another one myself, what does yours say?”

I immediately regretted asking, because I knew right away she was put off. I’m thinking in my head, wtf? I just gave you a compliment, bitch, don’t look at me like I’m hitting on you. I suppose the environment wasn’t ideal. We were in the women’s only section of the gym, and I didn’t exactly looked my most feminine. Still though, if any person compliments you, it totally doesn’t mean you’re getting hit on, so just chill your grill. She gave me a meek half smile, and said thanks. I didn’t push when she didn’t say anything further and went back to working out.

Whatever.

I love it when I get compliments, I mean, who doesn’t?  Compliments mean you’re doing something right and it’s working for you. Be happy you’re being noticed in a positive way. And let me be clear, I’m not saying there aren’t creepers out there, but read your audience people, and stop flattering yourself. There’s this thing called socialization, for cried Pete, it’s where us humans interact with one another and shit.

 

“I want to quit the gym”

I try to exercise regularly. I really do. I feel healthier both mentally and physically; my clothes fit nicely… the list goes on. I need not explain further, we’re all familiar with the pros of routine exercise. Of course, however, I have my bad days. As I sit here munching on my curly fries from Arby’s… Perhaps that’s why I chose to write about my love of exercise. The hypocrisy is just too perfect to ignore. Listen, I’ll pay for my poor choice tomorrow when I get all bloated and sick to my stomach. Right now, I’ll savor every last crunchy, spicy tendril. Anyway… Exercise.

I love the feeling right afterwards. I’m alive, accomplished, and high on adrenaline and endorphins. I hit this smallish gym up a few times a week, and I even had a personal trainer for a hot minute. You know, how you go and sign up, and then thirty minutes later, your left eye is twitching and 10 sessions have been booked and paid for… yeah, that happened, and to this day, I still don’t know how it all went down.

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My trainer, Miguel, was cool, really funny, and easy to talk to. Miguel was insane though. He was seriously built, trained hardcore everyday and won several body building competitions. I’m really not sure if he did anything else besides exercise and eat tiny containers of tree nuts. For real, he ate around the clock and would bust out tiny containers of carefully measured snacks to keep his metabolism up. I don’t have the time, energy, or desire to do ANY of that.

Prepare all your meals on Sunday he said, weigh out your portions he said, only eat the good carbs, keep a food journal, count your calories… Ok, ok, ok! So I know I signed up for this shit, but I didn’t really sign up for this shit. Miguel, while super fun to train with, started getting pushy, intrusive, and downright annoying. So I had to explain to him that I’m not quite interested in doing any of that. You’re my trainer, I hired you to get fit, not to look exactly like you and to take on your exact lifestyle. Small changes, sure, swapping out a pudding cup for yogurt, chips for carrot sticks, those sorts of small changes. I want to be healthy and strong, but I’m seriously okay with not looking like I came off of a fitness magazine.

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I got a trainer to, well; I’m not sure why I got a trainer. I was duped. Maybe I was secretly drugged when I walked through the door, but I just couldn’t say no to the “great deal for new members.” Anyway, could I stand to lose a few pounds? Sure. Do I want to learn a few more training techniques? Sure. But dude, don’t lecture me about why I’m not writing in a food journal. I’m a grown ass woman, specifically, a grown ass Italian woman who loves her bread and would straight up marry a wheel of cheese. 

I’m comfortable enough in my own skin to take on this exercising/dieting into my own hands. Thanks, but no thanks, Miguel. We’re through.

 

WTF is a Hashtag?

I’m really not that old or technologically ignorant. I do kind of know what a hashtag is, although, I’m really struggling with the actual point of it. It’s awful for me accept the realization that social media is, indeed, necessary, especially for one who wants to a write a successful blog; however, I can’t help but want to reject it all at the same time.

For instance, while I was rehabbing my home with my husband, my friend, who was truly interested in the progress, asked me to set up a Twitter account for the home in which we nicknamed, “The Mint Julep”. I had my friend explain to me what Twitter was and why it would be useful. I exclaimed, in my best Sweet Brown impression, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” Seriously, I’m rehabbing a house, I don’t have time for that. I then asked him why I couldn’t simply keep him in the loop by sending him a picture text after every accomplishment. Sounds reasonable, right? He called me archaic and rolled his eyes.

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Next, let me first explain that I have never heard anyone say this out loud before. I did say it a few times in my head before I actually used it in the conversation I was having with my co-worker, but I legitimately thought the word “meme” was pronounced [mee-mee]. My co-worker, whom I share laughs with more often than not, LOL-ed in my face, and then corrected me. Psh, whatever, Brandon.

Snapchat, holy shit; I heard about Snapchat from my 22 year old friend whom I met in one of my accounting classes. I normally wouldn’t hang with a person that young, but she’s extremely mature for her age and fun as hell. Anyway, she introduced me to the app, and began explaining how she uses it. After going back and forth with her, which made me feel like I was 80, I’m still perplexed on why this app is popular. Why can’t you just send a picture text? Is it still called a “picture text” in the first place? Or do you just say I’m sending you a picture? Ugh, whatever, I can’t keep up.

Facebook drives me bonkers, half my friends and family are hidden, and I refuse to wish you a happy birthday if I have your phone number and can call/text you personally. Isn’t that better anyways? Getting a phone call from your sister rather than seeing a post with a Family Guy clip of Peter opening a birthday card from Cleveland? Ok, I suppose that’s debatable. Still, it’s the personal aspect of it, or lack there of, that has my head spinning.

Nowadays, everyone’s glued to their smartphone, and I’m apart of that crowd too, (I know, [raises hand] I’m a big old hypocrite) but I’m very aware of it and am trying really hard to not be that guy, especially in public or when I’m out with friends. I am one of those people who admit regularly that I wouldn’t know what to do if I didn’t have my smartphone. I mean, I would technically know what to do, I did it for years; but having one now has made my life and work life considerably more convenient. I won’t deny it.

Still, I’m sticking to my guns. Some aspects of social media and technology, I totally get and use. Others, I think are ruining the world one hipster at a time. Seriously, most of it is garbage and I’m starting to think all you young kids who use them are getting lazy and don’t want to actually talk to a person, in person, anymore. …And there’s that 80 year old in me again.

Owning a dog is a lot of responsibility, but I should totally start making babies…

Let me preface this post with this: I can’t even go five minutes into a family party with out somebody asking me when I’m going to start “popping them out.” Popping them out? I’m pretty set on not having kids, thanks for asking, so for you to just infer that I’m going to, and then pluralize it, kind of makes me kind of hate you.

Ok, now on to my story:

I was at my sister’s house and her friend was over. They were having a mommy-play date of sorts, and I was just stopping by. I haven’t seen my sister’s friend since before I got married, which is almost a year ago; so naturally, we went through the whole “what have you been up to” spiel. Then, the dreaded question came a long, “So, any babies in your future?” And if the conversation stopped after me saying no, I’d be ok, but it never does. Like ever.

“No, we’re not having kids.”

“No?!…” she exclaimed, looking at me like I told her I was into Satanism. It appeared as if she was going to inquire further, so I cut her off.

“Nope!” I chirped back, “But we’re getting a puppy in October!”

My sister chimes in, “Do you know how much work that puppy is going to be?!”

End scene:

[Hand to forehead, looks down, shakes head] Now, hold the phone. Weren’t you guys just asking me when I was going to start having children? Children: The 24/7/365, rest of my life responsibility, one wrong turn and they could be psychologically scarred life event? But now you’re questioning my decision in getting a dog.

Believe it or not, this is not the first time the topic of children has come up so nonchalantly, and in the same conversation, my choice in owning a puppy so overly criticized. Thus my question arises: Society, how isn’t this the other way around? Since when is owning a puppy and raising a child equal parallels of responsibility?

Doesn’t that sound kind of nuts? Listen, my husband and I talk. We have discussions like every other couple. We talked about having/not having kids until we were both blue in the face. Even when the other didn’t want to talk about it any more, we still pushed the button until we were both satisfied with the answer. Having a dog, despite the responsibility, was a no-brainer. We love dogs, we grew up with dogs and we’re dog people. We fully understand what goes into getting a puppy and raising it to be a trained, obedient, well-socialized dog. A dog we can leave at home for up to eight hours by itself, a dog we can temporarily ignore if we’re busy doing something else, a dog… Listen, it’s a fucking dog. I’m not its mommy; the dog isn’t my daughter nor is she my sister’s dog’s cousin, or whatever the fuck dog people do to personify their pet. It’s a pet. I will love it, say I love you, and even call it pet names like baby, but never will it actually be my baby. You see there is a clear difference between one and the other.

Point being, never have I heard asked to an adult couple who announces that they are having or thinking about having children if they truly understand the responsibility involved. That just doesn’t happen. Society congratulates those making the big leap into parent-hood. My husband and I traipse across the line that is the social norm, I suppose, fairly often, so I guess we should be used to most folks being surprised that we don’t want kids. What I don’t understand is how having a dog and having a kid is somehow equal. I really just don’t see it that way.

In fact, why I need to write about something like this is just nuts. Seriously, the topic of this post is a walk into crazy town if you ask me, but it’s a for real thing, and I’ve had more than a couple conversations like the one above. Somebody tell me that’s weird.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stink Eye

Straying from the social norm… I suppose in the grand scheme of things, I really don’t stray or try to stray, or even wish to stray. I live in a suburban neighborhood outside of Chicago, I have (for the most part) your standard 9 to 5 job, and I have a husband. I’m what you could call pretty cookie cutter. I went to school, some college, I’m still going to college actually… get this, to be an accountant. Yeah, an accountant. Isn’t that the epitome of cookie-cutter?

Now, dive a little deeper, because no human is just one dimension, and there are the small things about me that make me feel like I’m a little different. And not in a bad way, just in a way that society sometimes gives me the stink-eye. Like I just took a dump on a public sidewalk. So what? So what that I’m fully capable of having children, and my husband and I have a stable income?…We don’t want kids. (That topic is a hot button one, for sure. Just ask my mother-in-law. No offense mommies of the world. Let me preface that I have a bunch of best friends who have children, but to a lot of people I encounter, this notion is just the craziest thing they’ve heard since William Hung’s Inspiration album release.) http://www.amazon.com/Inspiration-William-Hung/dp/B0001V1M64

Or how I’m not really, in a stereotypical manner, a tomboy, but hanging out with gaggles of women, like at showers, turns me into this weird, out of place species, who, without a good list of situational-appropriate things to say, might come out and say something totally inappropriate, and be talked about for years to come. Like, “Remember when Norma made that joke about Jews at Courtney’s Bat Mitzvah?” Come on, I cannot be the only female out there who, behind the whole, “this place is decorated so nicely, Charlene, you over did it this time, these mini quiches are to die for,” is just writhing inside and wanting nothing but to be with the men outside in the garage, drinking Miller Lite, despite the fact that I don’t like beer. …Which transitions me nicely over to this: Not liking beer. Every time, and I mean EV-ER-Y time I say, “No thanks; beer’s not my thing.” I get this comment, “How can you not like beer? That’s like, un-American.” Is it? Is it really un-American? Well then I guess I’m un-American, because my uncontrollable taste buds prefer a hard cider.

I swear constantly, and I don’t do it in professional environments, well, sometimes I do. And maybe it’s un-lady-like, but shit, fucking deal with it. I think you get the point.

Listen. This is my first ever blog. Like ever. And this is my first blog post. I’m intrigued, Internet-blog-readers of the world. Who else is like this? It would be stupid for me to think I’m the only one. I know I’m not. And this blog is for you guys, men and women alike, or in this case, not alike. Is society giving you the stink-eye? If so, you might like what I have to say. If you don’t, then simply stop reading.

Also in this blog, I’ll have to warn you. I swear occasionally. I’m kind of cynical, you might, depending on the day, think I’m an asshole. Oh, and this one’s important: I AM NOT RACIST, I joke and I use stereotypes…. For everyone! Even white people, I swear! It’s all in fun, so don’t go getting offensive and then start the super viral, ANTI-THE SOCIAL NORMA BLOG, NORMA’S THE DEVIL rant on the Internet. C’mon. Let’s just be friends. Sure I have an opinion, but it really doesn’t mean all that much. Opinions are like assholes. Everyone’s got one, and it’s usually full of shit.