Thursday, April 26, 2012

Why I wish I knew what I know now when I was younger

Today I am 32. I was inspired by this birthday post from the talented and aptly named Hilarity in Shoes (though honestly, I'm sure she is just as hilarious barefooot), which I then adapted slightly. (I am often inspired by her posts, it seems. Sincerest form of flattery or utter lack of creativity--who's to say?) And so, on the occasion of my 32nd birthday, here are the

32 things I would tell my 22-year-old self: 
  1. Being flat-chested means your boobs will never, ever sag. Go girl.
  2. It's always more fun to dance than to watch awkwardly from the sidelines.
  3. You are one month away from your college graduation. Shit's about to get real. There is nothing you can do to prepare for this. Enjoy these last few weeks of not having to think about money; it will never happen again.
  4. "You can be anything you want to be" is one of the most pervasive and insidious lies perpetuated by society outside of Santa Claus. You can be maybe two things. Just pick one and get on with it.
  5. He's cheating on you.
  6. Hot Pockets are not real food. And anything that causes mouth blisters 100% of the time should really be recalled by the FDA.
  7. You have made it this far in life completely debt-free. Congratulations! Maybe think about that seven years from now when you decide to sign your life away on the dotted line.
  8. The decisions you make now will affect the entire course of your future. No pressure.
  9. People who say "family is the most important thing there is" have clearly never met your family.
  10. The most important thing there is is whatever is important to you.
  11. One day they will invent permanent hair removal. Just hang on, girl.
  12. You will never be able to convincingly smoke a cigarette, but A for effort.  
  13. There is no plan for your life other than the one you make.
  14. But don't be surprised when your life doesn't go according to plan. Make a new one. And another, and another.  
  15. You will never be this young or this beautiful again, you ungrateful nincompoop.
  16. When someone gives you a compliment, say "thank you." That's all you need to do.
  17. It's worth spending more on purses and shoes you will wear forever. Leather is always better. Go on, live a little.
  18. In a few short years people will be watching television, listening to music, and reading books on computers. The future is astounding.
  19. When your mother gives you your very first cell phone and you insist that you don't need one--you're adorable. No, really.
  20. Always wear a flesh-toned bra under a white shirt.
  21. Stop saying yes when you mean no, and no when you mean yes. Stop trying to be so damn accommodating and say what you mean.
  22. The sappiest song lyrics can hold universal truths: Sometimes love just ain't enough. Cry me a river. Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on.
  23. If you think you hate something, it probably means you are just about to love it. See: yoga, foie gras, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
  24. Don't let "at least he's not cheating on me" be the bar you set for guys. Aim higher than that. 
  25. You have never rebelled against anything, you have no tattoos, and you're not even addicted to caffeine. Maybe get something pierced. Pick up a vice or two. You're only 22 once.
  26. Letting go of a friendship is one of the hardest things in the world. It doesn't get any easier, but it does make you appreciate the friends who stick around even more. 
  27. Drinking water and taking Advil before bed is a good way to prevent a hangover. The best way to prevent a hangover is not to drink, but that way is not nearly as much fun.
  28. When in doubt, it's better to over-dress than under-dress.
  29. Take more pictures of the good times, of your friends, your family, yourself. Years from now you will never think, man, I really should have taken fewer pictures.
  30. And don't duck out of other people's pictures every time the camera comes out. Smile. Just smile.
  31. Make lots of mistakes, but only make them once. 
  32. Every time you scribble frantically in your journal and wish you had someone to show it to...just wait. It will be everything you hoped it would be, and more.
Well, that's it. I'm not sure I realized this at the outset, but it turns out that 32 is a lot of things. I wasn't sure I was going to, but I made it! What would you tell your younger self?          

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Why my dating life is reduced to a sitcom punchline

Internet, I had an epiphany the other day. It was the kind of earth-shaking realization whose indisputable truth rocks you to the very core. You may be surprised when I tell you that at the time of this life-changing event, I was slumped on my couch in front of an episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, a show that I love and hate mostly in equal measure. I was certainly not prepared for my entire perception of reality to be changed, but suddenly, there it was, and it was called: the D.E.N.N.I.S. system. And here I must ask, nay, insist that you watch this clip from the show that forever changed my life:

If you did, in fact, watch the clip, then you probably have some idea of where I'm going with this. If you didn't (and seriously, what's your problem?), let me summarize for you: 

Dennis (a bit of a cad, let's say) presents his fool-proof system for getting a woman to love him forever, in the form of a convenient acronym. And here is where my jaw began to drop. Because, though I never knew it had a name before, I've been D.E.N.N.I.S.ed! I've been D.E.N.N.I.S.ed over and over again! The first step of the D.E.N.N.I.S. system, you see, is for the man to:

Demonstrate value 
Tall man cooking me dinner? Boom. Value demonstrated. Next is:

Engage physically
Ummm, guilty. Then comes:

Nurturing dependence
Dennis recommends slashing her tires so that she has to depend on him for rides. It never came to vandalism in my case, although if we're talking emotional dependence, I was, of course, totally guilty. Which leads us to the next step:

Neglect emotionally
Dun dun dunnnnn... Been there. Have the blog post to prove it. But! It's not over yet folks, because first, he will definitely:

Inspire hope
Hope! Glorious, life-giving, oh sweet, sweet hope! Yes, perhaps things are not over after all! Perhaps there is still a chance for a happily ever after! Maybe he was just scared! I knew it! Is it over? Is it not? Who knows, because we're in purgatory here and you just can't kill that teeny, weeny last kernel of hope! But of course it is over, because the last and final step of the D.E.N.N.I.S. system is, obviously:

Separate entirely
Pretty self-explanatory. At this moment it finally becomes clear that things are never, ever going to change. Either she stops taking his calls or he stops taking hers, but either way, it is, without a doubt, totally and completely over...

...Or is it???? 

Because, as Dennis says, if you have performed steps 1-6 above properly, you can get her back at any time. At any time! Scoff! As if, ladies, amiright? Except...

...Oh. Yeah. Actually, he can. And just when you think you are immune to disappointment (after all, surely he "learned his lesson" the first time around!), he will cycle through the whole thing again, probably even faster this time, only for you to end up at exactly the same place as before, and this time you will feel even more like an idiot for letting it all happen again.

Episode over. Mind blown. Guys are dicks. The end.           

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Why change is in the air

Well helloooo! I am not at all tupsy on a Sunday afternoon. In case you were wondering. So, you may have noticed that things have been looking a little different over here. For one thing, I am now purple. Zoinks! as Rassles would say. It was time for a change, I thought. Thoughts? 

Nextly, and I'm not sure if you've noticed this, but I can now be found at Yes, I have dropped three whole syllables from my you are ell, and now it all rolls so trippingly off the tongue. No more pesky dot blogspot dot com for me, although if you insist, you can still find me there as well. But why would you want to? You see, I had put off purchasing my own domain name for all these years (nearly five, for those who are counting), because I had assumed that it would be a) prohibitively expensive and b) beyond my technical expertise. But you know what assume means, as my boss says menacingly every single time someone uses that word in her presence, and lord help you if you say no, because she will tell you what it means. (Every single time.) But as it turns out, I am acquainted with knowledgeable people with loftier aspirations for my blog than I myself have, who gave me just the gentle nudge that I needed to get off my duff and buy my own domain name, already. Because as it turns out, it is neither expensive nor complicated, and in fact is a) laughably cheap and b) embarrassingly easy. 

And, not only that! But, as you may also have noticed or not, I have taken the plunge and joined Twitter. I am all twitterpated over here. In my typical curmudgeonly and social media-averse fashion I held out as long as I could, but once again, by people wiser than myself I was finally shown the error of my ways. And so far it's great! Except. Erm. This is a little embarrassing. I am feeling a bit...lonely...over there. You know. In the Twitterverse. Twittosphere. The Twitscape. I am following a couple people and a couple people are following me, and that is all well and good. But! It could be even weller and gooder, I am thinking, ya know? So first, I throw the question to you, Internet: Who should I be following on Twitter? And secondly--and I only ask this because it is almost(ish) my birthday--nothing, and I mean nothing (no, seriously, stop showering me with gifts already) would give me more pleasure (on my birthday(ish)) than if you would consider following me on Twitter, Internet. (Linky-link to your right --->).

And that's it for this week's edition of Tipsy Sunday Blogging. Zoinks!        

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Why am I, why are you, why are we?

I am Rachel.
I am tall. 
I am unique in all the usual ways.

I am hopelessly gawky and unattractive.
I am not so bad sometimes, in certain lights.

I am a perfectionist.
I am easily discouraged.

I am the product of a too-strict upbringing.
I am over-educated and under-employed.
I am the only member of my immediate family to have graduated from college with a degree (and then another, and again another).
I am a born again atheist, born of two born again Christians. 
I am a terrible daughter.
I am too independent for my own good.

I am a smiler and a goofy face maker in the presence of dogs and small children.
I am kind.

I am unlucky.

I am healthy.
I am insured.
I am employed.
I am gnashing my teeth, tearing my hair, beating at the bars of my prison.

I am luckier than some.

I am an optimistic pessimist.
I am a hoper for the best and a planner for the worst.
I am a glazed gazer, a thinker, a window dreamer.
I am jealous of other people's talents.

I am a reformed Republican, bleeding heart liberal.
I am an unapologetic television watcher.
I am a snob.

I am different.
I am just like everyone else.

I am an amateur professional.
I am bound by schedules and routine.
I am impatient.
I am sure the grass is greener on the other side.
I am looking for my path.
I am spinning in place.

I am not scared of the dark. Or of flying. Or of spiders (ok, maybe a little).
I am scared that this might be all there is.
I am scared that these might actually be the best years of my life.

I am a reluctant thirty-something.
I am an apartment dweller.
I am nobody's mother and nobody's wife.
I am not my mother.
I am at home on a Friday night.

I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together.
I am not completely alone.
I am the walrus.

I am a drifter and a clothing store thrifter.
I am a shrinking violet.
I am a good listener.
I am painfully self-conscious.
I am quietly confident.
I am single.
I am selfish.
I am generous.
I am too easily hurt.
I am strong.
I am constantly evolving.
I am not my mother.

I am hopelessly flawed.
I am mostly good.
I am looking for my path.
I am like you.
I am different. 
I am just like everyone else.