Charming, but single

A journal in dates and drinks

List-blogging, part 5 (or maybe 6 or 4?)

Things that are obvious:
  • I have yet to get the blog working for Internet Explorer. Sorry! It's on my list of things to do, I promise. It works for Firefox -- (I suppose I could have stayed in and fixed the blog last night, but there were beers to be had!)
  • Re: The post about my low-cut work outfit -- I am NOT posting a picture of my rack. No way in hell. Also, to commenter Gordon, I read your blog and I don't think the pope would like you thinking about my rack, as we are not married. Rules are rules, my Catholic friend. Sorry! ;)
  • The blogroll is in various stages of completeness. I love all of my fellow bloggers and being absent from the new blogroll is not a sign that you are uncool. It's a sign that I'm in over my head. (But, that's normal for me.)
On the subject of the inappropriate work clothes:
  • I love that everyone assumes sight unseen that I am so much hotter than all of my coworkers. So cute! I want to date you all.
  • The Whinemaster over at wants to know why women judge other women so much, especially when it comes to one woman looking like a knockout or seeming to show off her assets. Some of it is obviously jealousy and insecurity, but I think a lot of it is a learned behavior. When it comes to men, many women are very competitive, so they're quick to judge the competition and brand her a skank. That way if a guy picks her over you, you can say, "Well, I'm better than she is and he was just looking for a quick piece of ass." Not all women are like this, but it's a pretty prevalent problem. I could go on and on about the prevalence of Girl-on-Girl hostility and judgment, but I don't have the time. So, um, rent "Mean Girls." It all goes back to the high school cafeteria.
Songs I have stuck in my head:
  • "Lonely No More" -- Damn you Rob Thomas!
  • "Right to be Wrong" -- Joss Stone
  • "Son of a Preacherman" -- Dusty Springfield
  • "Hollaback Girl" -- Gwen Stefani (But only the part about bananas!)

Never fully dressed ...

I can always tell when I am inappropriately dressed in the eyes of my fellow employees. 
My ensemble for today, for example, did not find any fans in my female coworkers, who raised their eyebrows as I walked by.
I'm wearing a modest black skirt and a striped button down over a camisole. Also, pointy-toed heels. (As an aside, I must say that if one more person insinuates that my shoes are work inappropriate, I will freak out. Yes, they're pointy. Yes, they're slingbacks. Yes, they are totally comfortable and I can run around everywhere in them. Seriously, my feet, my shoes. The funny thing is that these shoes are the most comfortable work shoes I own because they fit perfectly and don't have a ridiculously high heel. If they only SAW my sitting shoes. They would die. Anyway, to be cheesy, my feelings on shoes can best be summed up by one Carrie Bradshaw, who said, and I paraphrase, "A single woman's shoes are difficult to fill, which is why she sometimes needs a very special pair of them." I must seriously get out more.)
Anyway, I must've greatly underestimated the coverage afforded by said camisole, as everyone in my office seemed to be staring at the twins. I feel like such a hussy. (Constantly overexposed, I am.)
I shouldn't have bought this shirt. It doesn't fit the same way my staple fitted oxfords do. The top button is oddly placed, so it pulls across my chest, which is tres unattractive. In my mind, a camisole underneath with the first button left open was the logical choice. When I looked in the mirror the cleavage didn't look out of control. As in, I didn't see any. 
Alas, the disapproving stares of the women workfolk tell otherwise. 
I had shaken their judgment from my mind, deciding that I was overreacting because of my own self consciousness when a 40-year-old man almost ran into a door frame as he tried to turn into an office whilst not-so-discreetly checking out my rack.
Maybe I shouldn't wear this shirt anymore.

Internet Explorer ate my blog ...

Um, so, wow.
Mad apologies to my three Internet Explorer users ... something major bad happened while I was sleeping and the damn site is messed up. MESSED UP. If you're reading this site on IE and you can see posts other than the top one and a properly placed sidebar, let me know, because I can't. At all.
This site TOTALLY worked last night in Firefox. TOTALLY. (You should be using Firefox anyway! I'm helping you out. Really.) 6 P.M. Update: I truly have no idea how to fix this. At all. SERIOUSLY. The best I can tell you to do until I learn html is to use Firefox. The site loads marvelously in Firefox. Suggestions are appreciated. Also, this is so my highest traffic day yet and no one can read the blog. Hello new visitors! Don't go! Staaaaay. SIGH.

Internet Explorer ate my blog ...

Um, so, wow.
Mad apologies to my three Internet Explorer users ... something major bad happened while I was sleeping and the damn site is messed up. MESSED UP. If you're reading this site on IE and you can see posts other than the top one and a properly placed sidebar, let me know, because I can't. At all.
This site TOTALLY worked last night in Firefox. TOTALLY.  (You should be using Firefox anyway! I'm helping you out. Really.)

Technical issues

Am working on new blog design. I wanted to go with a sidebar. (I am wondering why right about now.) Will get blogroll updated soon. (Don't worry if I left you off. If you were on my old blogroll, located at, you will also be on the new one. If not, comment and I'll add ya.) Forgive any glitches that may occur, as I'd sooner write a site in Cyrillic than html. Also, R.I.P. pretty green shoe. You will be missed. (I'll be adding a shoe and a purse and a martini glass as spacers in the sidebar. Just not tonight. Sorry!) Toodles! Update: Fixed the comment page so that comments don't appear in 150 points. Got rid of the Sagittarius Webring, because their link box was waaaaay too big. Anyone who wants to make me cute buttons so that I don't have to use the text links under "various blog things" gets a free gmail invite. (Or 10. I have, like, 200 of them. Do people even need gmail anymore? What the hell am I supposed to do with these invites?)

Not exactly what you want to hear ...

I was browsing in a store yesterday. I had gone shopping to buy a cute jacket I had seen online, but when I tried it on I looked like a linebacker. Not a flattering shape on me at all. At all. I stopped by the accessories before I left the store. I was looking at earrings and necklaces when a loud woman and a man came over to look at accessories as well. She would pick something off of the rack, hold it up and loudly ask his opinion. He'd loudly answer and she'd put whatever she was holding back. I had picked up a pair of coral-colored beaded earrings and was contemplating if they'd work with a shirt I have while the loud couple continued their shopping. I finally decided against the earrings and went to put them up, which unfortunately meant I had to come between the loud lady and the accessories. I was annoyed by her unwillingness to let me by and their loudness, so I slid my hand past her, and was pretty short as I said "Excuse me" and then walked over to the sunglasses. (Sidenote: My heart is totally broken that I can't buy some huge fabulous sunglasses this year, but I invested $100 in prescription sunglasses a few months ago, and they've made my life so much better and my driving more pleasant, but still ... sigh.) So I'm looking over sunglasses and such when I hear the loud couple talking about me. (They greatly overestimated their whispering skills.) It became pretty clear that I had wrongly assumed that they were a couple. The man was clearly using this shopping excursion to check out women under the guise of helping his female friend shop. I kept my head down while they talked about me. She asked him what he thought of me and he said, and I quote, "She's cute, but she looks mean." My head snapped up, rather involuntarily, and our eyes met. He gave me this, "Yeah, I was talking about you" look and I kind of rolled my eyes and moved over to another section of the store. Sigh ... I'm even started to LOOK like a hermit to other people. I'm going back to my cave to be alone.

Adventures in Sitting Shoes

Was able to return to the regular Wednesday night martini night, as I was actually in town this week. As an added bonus, a college roomie of mine was in town for the night, which was cause to celebrate indeed. (I see her two or three times a year now, which is never enough.)
I'm not going to even TRY to avoid a cliche or cheesiness. This woman was the Carrie of our group of single girlfriends. Always the most stylish, always the most popular, always the core that held our close-knit girls' group together. Once she took a job out of state, some of the magic of our foursome faded. Though I still have friendships with all of these women, our relationships and interactions have changed substantially.
Now, all of this is not because our Carrie moved. I suspect that even if we all lived in the same town there would be some distance between us, though it is convenient to blame distance for what would have occurred naturally. We changed and got jobs and some of us got boyfriends and others of us went to grad school. (Even our hairstyles have changes, with her opting for heavy-ish bangs and a closer-to-natural brown instead of blonde and me getting some long, sweeping bangs with a very short layered bob in the back.) 
Still, these four women were are part of some of my most fun (and, conversely, most self-destructive) times -- semesters and years when I could dance all night and drink like a fish and flirt like a fool and kiss without consequence.
Even though our relationship will never be the same, the magic was there last night. After drinks, we hung out for a few hours at a friend's place and reminisced. Just the girls. We told the same stories we always tell and laughed at the same jokes we always laugh at and looked at the same pictures we've seen dozens of times before. It felt like old times, just a little less natural and far less permanent.
Carrie has settled in, found her a man that she's crazy about and who loves her just as much. And I'm happy for her -- I am -- but it's still weird to not be her black mini-skirted partner in crime, fighting to get the front of the line for drinks from our favorite bartenders, who knew to go heavy on the vodka, light on the cranberry and generous with the lime.
I can't even drink vodka and cranberry anymore. (Even with a lot of lime.)
It just doesn't taste nearly as good as I remember it tasting.

Is it Friday yet?

So not feeling the workweek. Worn out. Totally worn out.
Going to see another apartment at lunch.
As much as I want to rent the wonderful nice apartment in a cute neighborhood (!) with awesome floors and beautiful ceilings and a well-kept garden and covered parking right by my door, I can't. We'd have to rename this blog, "Charming, but totally too poor to make use of it." I did a budget spreadsheet and the outlook was not pretty. (I am such a mega dork. I swear.)
I had almost convinced myself that I really could not buy any new clothes for a year and never go out to dinner or on weekend vacays. I didn't need pedicures, ever. I can (and probably should) just pluck my own eyebrows. 
However, I drew the line when I calculated how much I'd have to cut my adult beverage consumption back by ... I am not going back to drinking boxed wine because I am not in college anymore. I am an adult, and I work too hard to not have a martini or six in my spare time.
Also, in super nice awesome apartment, I wouldn't even be able to afford cable. I lived without cable when I was in school, but now I make four (or more) times what I did then. I did without back then, but now I don't feel like I should have to. Also, what would I do if I couldn't watch the Daily Show before bed? Watch the actual news? As if!
So, as much as it is burning a little hole in my soul, I can't take the nice apartment. I can (and have) found several other places that are much more affordable and in similar neighborhoods. If the place isn't rented in a week or so, I'm going to call the landlady and see if I can haggle, but I think this is a lost cause.
Looking at my finances was good for me, though. It was a nice reality check that I think I needed. Yes, I lived on much less when I was in school, but that doesn't mean I can buy four (yep, FOUR) pairs of shoes and two purses every month. It doesn't mean I can eat out three times a week for lunch and all the time for dinner.
So, I've kind of had a mini-epiphany as of late. (As you can see.) I just have this tendency to be so damn extreme all of the time, whether its with shopping or going out or working too much. I'm meeting myself coming and going these days.
Thus the more stripped-down place, with a tighter budget in place and better schedule. (Also more boys. Can I get more boys? Please?) Also, and I'm even hesitant to type this, no more smoking. At this point, my addiction is all psychological. I can go days without smoking. So I will. Forever. (Yeah, we're all happy about this now, but who's going to be there to rip the cigarettes from my hand at 1 a.m. on a Saturday night when I've had three glasses of wine and reeeeally want just ONE?)
Being a grown-up sucks. Hardcore.
Is it Friday yet?
(Also, are people just screwing with me now? I'm getting visitors off of a search in some obscure search engine for "Tips on how to Jerk Off." I am SO terribly serious. As if I'm not sexually harassed enough in real life ... and, if you have to search for that, not even the Internet can help you and THAT, my friend, is saying A LOT.)
(Also, part 2: Do I seem hermit-like? It's been insinuated that I've become hermit-like.)

Joy and Rapture

... are what I am experiencing over the fantabulously cute apartment I just saw. I almost passed out when I walked into it. It was a semi-orgasmic experience ... I mean, the place has hardwood floors, natural wood ceilings, ample bedroom space, a refurbished kitchen, ceramic tile ... Sigh. This beautiful apartment has made much more happy than any man as of late. I'm giddy. Freakin' GIDDY. Told the landlady I wanted to think about it for the weekend. It's kind of like how you can't make big life decisions during the hour after gettin' some, when you're basking in the afterglow of your partner ... You wouldn't sign a lease during that hour, would you? I mean, the sight of perfectly-preserved hardwood floors in a place from the 40s was enough to send me over the moon. (Normally these older places have poorly-kept floors and crappy kitchens and bathrooms and the owner charges you beaucoup rent under the guise of the place being charming. Seriously. I always want to say, "Charming my ass! I know a few things about being charming. Lady, I write the book on charming, and this ain't nothing like what I consider charming!") Once I saw the gorgeous bathroom redo (New bathroom in an old place? The best of both worlds, baby!) I just KNEW I would love living there. Rent slightly more than I had wanted to pay? Nonsense! She had me at "remodeled." Must go call all of my friends and proclaim my love for the charming, single unit I just toured. May your days be merry and your floors hardwood.

Back to civilization

Been out of town on business for a few days. It is very very nice to be back home. (There are so many benefits to home, the most important being that I don't get lost all of the time.) I was in a much smaller town in the middle of nowhere. No Internet access in my room, no decent restaurants or fun bars that would be acceptable to visit alone. Also, no coffee places. Now, I am not a big Starbucks fan because I think big corporations are evil and they're closing down locally owned businesses and erasing some of the cultural aspects of towns. (Just my opinion. Have your own.) At home I have several smaller shops that keep me in espresso and muffins. As I checked out of my hotel this morning, I asked a hotel employee to point me toward the nearest Starbucks or similar business. She looked at me as if I had asked her where the store that sold baby souls was or something. I had to settle for bottled Starbucks. (I refuse to drink gas station coffee because I don't trust anything that's been sitting in a scuzzy gas station for who knows how long.) And yeah, no Doubleshot, which is espresso and cream in that little can. Apparently, that's, um, tres uncommon in rural country. (Which is a shame, because I can drink two of those without blinking.) I am not quite sure how I survived. Well, I did, and I'm back. I'm worn out, but planning on going out and finding interesting things and fun boys. But the best laid plans ... And also, regarding the search terms I was mentioning in my last post, go search this: peeing videos "country bumpkin" (the first term should not have quotes and the second should) together in Google and see what site comes up. (Is someone just screwing with me now?) It's good to be known for something, right?

I'm so meta it hurts

So I was looking at my site stats. They are paltry compared to some people's. To me, however, I've had about 1340 more visitors than I ever thought I'd get. I literally only slapped a counter on this thing because I got a random comment, which freaked me out. How could someone have found my blog, I wondered ... and then realized it was from the Blogger site. The counter was to ensure this didn't get out of control and to watch and make sure no too-close-to-home IPs popped up. I registered for some of those blog-surfing sites and did a few recipro links ... and it's funny, because I never thought anyone would ever comment or read or bookmark this blog. I'm a touch scared ... I mean, shit, now there's all this pressure to go on dates and such. (And I've been in such a drought too! Imagine if I never had another date! I would let down my seven readers. You would all be so disappointed if I ended up becoming the ubiquitous creepy cat lady who lives down the street!) It's crazy. Imagine how I'd feel if I got a large amount of traffic. Like, more than 50 hits a day. I'm shaking. This is starting to sound like one of those aw-shucks posts where a blogger is like, "I'm so itty-bitty and insignificant" in a fishing-for-comments sort of way. I didn't intend it to be. I was just thinking about blogging and how it can go either way -- it can either be a solitary venture or a communal one. I'll keep you posted on which one I like better. My favorite thing to look at is what search terms lead people here. There's this one person (You know who you are.) who must not know how to bookmark, because he/she constantly searches "charmingbutsingle" in Google to find the site. (There's actually more than one person who does that, come to think of it.) I've gotten some hits off of the term "sexual positions" and some hits off of some of the designers I talk about (Enzo!), but today I got the funniest hit ever. Someone searched for "Paris Hilton perfume" in Google and ended up here. I tried to duplicate the search, but without quotes I got more than 600,000 results and with quotes I got more than 2,000. So, to the cutie pie who ended here by searching through 50 pages of search results for that stinky Paris Hilton perfume, I say, "Welcome." Now get your smelly ass away from my virtual Manolo!

Weekend Update: Too old for all of this edition

After my adventures in office-flashing, I decided that I needed to take part in some after-work festivities. A large group of my friends was drinking after work at a little bar we like, so I joined them. Now, mind you, I've been at work since 7 a.m., am still in my work clothes and am dragging the huge black everyday purse that is starting to be a staple in my life. I wanted a drink, but I was not staying out late, I told myself and my friends. Was. Not. Staying. Out. Late.
So we drink and eat some bar food. We drink some more.
T, of course, is there. (To be clear, so totally over that. Er, like 99 percent over it.) I wondered if he was going to talk to me ... and that would be a big no.
So, I'm sitting with my girls when I notice a semi-friend of mine talking to T at the bar. I wondered aloud to the table if she had not gotten the official girlfriend memo that clearly states that girlfriends do not speak to boys who are in the process of ignoring one of their girlfriends. (That memo was issued right after the one about friends wearing the same dress as you to prom and right before the one about how friends don't let friends wear spandex.) There are some caveats to this memo -- a girlfriend can speak to such boys if she is yelling at or throwing drinks at them. Otherwise, they do not exist.
I put it out of my head. Then I see one of my best girlfriends go over there (Remember Birthday Girl?) and start talking as well.
So, they reported their conversations back later. I wanted to die.
First girlfriend asked T what had been going on between us and he said that he was a gentleman and he didn't talk about those things. She called him on this and said she already knew what happened -- and this is where it gets BAD -- that she knew we were "more than just friends."
Now, the last thing I wanted anyone telling T was that I thought we were more than just friends. I'm 99 percent over this, remember? I haven't wanted to call him or speak to him or see him. And I didn't ask anyone to talk to him. I figured I'd just pretend he wasn't there long enough that he just wouldn't be. (Kind of a "Where ever you are going, there you are" approach to dating.)
Now, what does Best Girlfriend say to him? She says, "I don't like tension between my friends, so you should go talk to S." (She said she made it sound like it was her deal and not mine ... I don't know.)
Well, T's response is that OF COURSE he's going to talk to me, but he hasn't had an opportunity lately. (Because the 12-hour St. Patrick's Day party was, like, NOT an opportunity to talk to me and his phone forgot my number, apparently.) Then he tells First Girlfriend that "The language was such that it was clear that we were just friends."
Which, it was. I will give him that. (Late night cuddle talk doesn't really count in this situation, I don't think.) But, in my defense, I think it's pretty easy to see how I thought he might be a touch interested in something more, given the phone calls, making out and other activities. Also, I never said we were more than friends. My friends said that.
Also, who says, "The language was such that"? I'm a wannabe writer and I don't talk like that. I have friends who are lawyers who don't talk like that. Stodgy British writers from centuries ago called, they want their sentence construction back.
Then, my friends dragged me over there to chat with T and his friends. It did not go well. Like pulling teeth. So ridiculous. I have had better conversation with my dog, and she doesn't even speak English.
That got pushed aside when some other nonsense drama started because two of my good friends both dated the same guy. Best Girlfriend got mad and insisted on making an appearance at another bar to prove to everyone that she wasn't mad, which was stupid because not only was she mad, but she had every right to be. I tried to talk her out of it, but she was in scorned mode and would hear none of my rational points.
So, I end the night at another bar, still in my work clothes, still with my HUGE black purse and very very annoyed. (Side note: Numerous men commented on the size of my purse. It was odd. Most of them had the typical "I don't understand why you need to carry all of that stuff with you" reaction of every male who's ever seen a purse. One asked if it was "you know, like, a nice designer." I said it was Liz Claiborne, which is good quality, but certainly not a big-name brand. This was impressive to him, which amused me and my girlfriends to no end. "It's not Louis Vuitton," I finally explained to him. Louis Vuitton is the only designer most guys know.)
I finally made it home at 1:30 a.m. I collapsed in bed, with full make-up still on.
Slept in a bit, before waking up to do some laundry. (Or at least start on it.) Went to run some errands, including buying a birthday present for a friend.
I meant to bypass the purse section and head straight to picture frames and candles. But something was calling me. And that something was an on-sale Kenneth Cole black leather clutch with a buckle on it. My heart skipped a beat. It was beautiful. I have been searching for the perfect casual black clutch, one appropriate for going out for dinner or drinks. And this purse was it.
Originally $130, now $80. A great deal. I examined it, trying to discern the drop in price. I saw no major glitches, and so I did a happy dance, tucked it under my arm and headed toward the picture frame section. I was giddy. (It's not online, otherwise I'd show you a picture.)
As I looked through picture frames and candles and other cute apartment-type accessories, a pang of guilt came over me. The adult side of me remembered how expensive the purse was (two cell phone bills or lunches out for two weeks or a little bit of over-priced gas) while the kid in me pitched a temper tantrum about how I wanted it. By the end of the accessories aisle, I knew I was being silly. As much as I do shop, I usually try to be discerning. The Kenneth Cole purse was beautiful, but I didn't need it. I wanted to cry.
I walked over to the purse section and put it back on the shelf. I felt good about my decision to not spend frivolously.
I was comforting myself by thinking about how adult I had just been when some 17-year-old high school brat grabbed my clutch off of the shelf and squealed. She brought it over to her mom, declared that she MUST have it and they bought it on the spot.
I almost cried. (I had to go get a coffee drink to make myself feel better. Evil demon child.)
(I relayed this story to my girlfriends later that night. They agreed that it was better not to buy it, but also understood why I wanted to. They cursed the high school girl with me, and one was quick to point out that, "Your clutch is probably at some trashy house party getting gross beer spilled on it while the 17 year old cries because her boyfriend is making out with another girl." Poor clutch. It deserved a nicer life.)
After the shopping fiasco, I dressed to go out and joined friends for a birthday dinner, which we followed up with dancing. We were supposed to relive our friend's 21st birthday, but she was quick to point out that we were moving a little slower than on that night. I ducked out of the bar early (1ish) because I had a family function the next day.
As I walked out of the bar, a bouncerlike guy was standing by the door. He was giving the women who left high fives as they exited, and he did the same to me. I assumed he worked at the bar ... and then he totally grabbed my ass as I walked by. And not in a way that could be an accident or in a way that wasn't a big deal. I'm talking about a hard assgrab and squeeze that clearly is only acceptable when the person grabbing is your boyfriend of a million years, who has just told you how hot and sexy you are and how you make him feel frisky.
I stopped dead in my tracks, spun around on my heel and this guy took one look at pissed off me and ducked back into the crowd. I weighed the odds of actually finding him and being able to beat him senseless with my purse, but decided against this, as "Angry Purse-Wielding Lady" is an unattractive stereotype to fill.
Instead, I just went home.
I don't know when my dating life went from cute boys and casual flings to jerkoffs and sexual harassment, but I something's gotta give.
The next day I spoke with my best friend from high school. We exchanged our weekly highlights of the good, bad and ugly and she asked if people ever asked why I was single. I said that they did, and I responded that I was "still looking." She said her co-workers were trying to figure out why she wasn't married yet and kept assuring her that "there are still nice guys out there."
She replied, "WHERE? Tell me. I will go to them if you will just tell me where they are."
It reminded me of that scene in Sex and the City (Season 3 maybe?) when Charlotte goes off on how long she's been dating and growls, "I'm tired! Where is he!"
Amen, sister.

Showing my ass (literally)

So, I finally returned from days of out-of-town meetings where I ate much unhealthy food and spent far too many hours in a car. I was tired and touch cranky when I finally made it back to the office to return my work-issue car and retrieve my less clean personal one. I was ready to go home. I. Wanted. To. Be. Left. Alone. I wanted my PJs and fuzzy slippers, my couch and a glass of wine, my puppy and The Apprentice. (The Donald understands what it's like to be beat-down tired from days of on-the-road work stuff.)
About halfway home from work, I reached for my cell phone to make a few calls. It wasn't in my huge, suitcaselike purse. It wasn't in my laptop case. It wasn't in my car's console.
I was perplexed.
I got home and I dumped out my purse and my laptop case (I removed the laptop first, natch.) I called my phone and listened for it. Nothing.
Then I flew into a rage and pitched a fit worthy of a five year old. I could not believe I had left my phone in the other car, which I was just SURE was scheduled for another trip the next day. I got myself all worked up about how I wasn't going to get my phone back for days and days. I pouted all evening and not even The Donald could make me feel better. (I mean, why didn't he just fire Chris and Angie? They both suck. How is Chris still on this show? Also, I didn't like either John or Michael, but those boys were hot. Totally my type. Wouldn't kick either of them out of bed for eating crackers. Mmmmmm.)
So this morning I get up and put on a cute flirty skirt for casual day. I slid on fun little sandals and a comfy, yet cute, black shirt. I have resigned myself to the fact that I'm going to have to beg for the keys to the car so that I can search for my beloved phone. I am going to look like a fool, but at least I'll have my phone back.
Before I go beg for the keys, I go to the lot where the cars are and look through the windows of three identical cars for my phone.
It's not there. I looked in every similar-looking car and I see nothing. I contemplate banging my head on the concrete. I wonder why I didn't get the insurance on my cell phone. I calculate the actual cost of a new one, not to mention the other costs, such as lost numbers and time spent in the Cingular store.
I want to cry.
Instead, I go back to search my own car. I open up the passenger side and I start looking under seats and in crannies. It is simply not reasonable that I can NOT find this phone.
As I'm leaned over into the car, a HUGE gust of wind comes from behind me and blows my cute flirty skirt up in the air, leaving my ass out in the middle of the world for all to see. The red boyshort panties that were giving me a major wedgie? TOTALLY EXPOSED. The parking lot runs parallel to several buildings. So, even if no one else in the lot saw me, I am quite certain some lucky window-office-having people did.
That was it.
I plopped down in the passenger side of my car, completely dejected, wondering how it is that I managed to even survive until age 25 when I seem to lack some basic skills of a responsible person. I wonder if things like mooning my office building are as cute in real life as they are in cheesy romantic comedy.
I had tons of e-mail and work piling up in my office, but I just felt like a total moron who is incapable of actually being an adult. I wondered if I had enough leave to take a mental health day. I was overreacting because I was tired from all of the driving and waking up at 4:45 a.m. and not getting home until late each evening and paying attention in meetings and being on my best behavior around work people, but I didn't care. At that moment, I felt like a complete loser who had the same dumb problems as a high schooler.
As I went to get in the driver side of my car, I noticed something on the ground about 15 feet away. Something silver and sort of shiny.
It's my damn cell phone, sitting in the parking spot where I had dropped off the car yesterday, right by the driver side door, where I obviously dropped it. It hadn't been run over or stolen. In fact, it still worked and had battery power. I had a couple of missed calls, but none too important.
I grabbed the phone, parked my car in the employee lot and came up to the office.
I may not be the most responsible of adults, but at least it somehow all works out in the end.


Remember that REM video where the people get caught in traffic and they're all stuck in their own problems and miserable and then they just get out of their cars on the freeway and leave, breaking free from their personal trials and uniting around the larger, communal problem of poor urban planning? (Or something like that.) Yeah, I had a similar experience today. Except for the part where we left our cars on the freeway. (Like that would ever actually happen.) I had a business meeting about an hour and 15 minutes away. I left two hours before the meeting -- enough time to grab a sandwich at a Subway about halfway to where my meeting was and park in a parking garage and walk a block to the meeting and still be on time. I eventually arrived at the meeting an hour and a half after it started, thankfully through no fault of my own. There was a wreck, one of those terrible wrecks that backs up the entire Interstate for hours. I must've only been a few minutes behind it, because I got caught between two Interstate exits, which put me in the awkward position of having to just wait out the traffic jam and hope I didn't miss anything important at my meeting. For a brief moment I contemplated jumping the median and making a U-turn to go the other way on the Interstate. The median sloped into a ditch about four or five feet deep and my SUV would've taken it like a champion. Unfortunately the compact company car I was driving was neither meant to jump medians or owned by me. (Also, I am pretty sure I signed something that said I generally wouldn't drive irresponsibly and specifically jump any medians in a company car.) So I stayed put and munched on about a million pieces of Orbit Whitening gum (the only food I had with me), drank all of my granita and two bottles of water. (Not the smoothest of moves, seeing as I was confined to a bathroomless car.) This left me hyper from all of the coffee (it was a large) and ready to explode because of all of the water. I didn't even have anything to read. I had literally packed my laptop and a blank notepad in my new big purse. I had printed a newspaper article (a short one, natch) and Mapquest directions on my way out, but neither of them really held my interest. I contemplated booting up my laptop and attempting to do some sort of work, but I didn't know how long the battery would last. So I sat. I changed the station. I cursed the CD player that wouldn't play my burned CDs. I watched people get out of their cars and walk around and grew a jealous of the people who exited their cars to have a cigarette. (I'm attempting to quit smoking altogether, even when I'm stressed out or drunk. This was quite a test. Fortunately I didn't have any cigarettes with me.) I watched men disappear into the woods lining the street and duck behind bushes to relieve themselves. After about 45 minutes, I wondered if anyone would notice if I did the same, but decided that urination on the side of the highway was definitely not something I was into. The wreck finally cleared and the traffic sped up and I eventually made it to my meeting long enough to hear the last two hours or so and head home. (I'm going back tomorrow.) I don't even know why I'm writing this, except to just write something. I didn't come into any big realizations whilst stuck in unbearable traffic. I didn't find any symbolism in the cars and the rednecks peeing on the side of the road or the annoying people who insisted on driving down the right-side median, only to be blocked from moving on by the police officers at the scene of the accident. Come to think of it, I didn't really stress that much once I realized that there wasn't a whole hell of a lot for me to do about it. I had my own little mini American Idol, singing along to every cheesy song that came onto the radio. (Windows down, of course.) It was, in a really odd sort of way, kind of relaxing.

The Magic Number ...

I present for your reading pleasure a book review from the NY Times. It's of this book called the Hook-Up Handbook.

I haven't read the book because it has only been out for a month or so and because it's written by someone who works at Cosmo, and I don't read Cosmo because I find it to be a touch on the overkill side.

I'm sorry, I don't need diagrams of sexual positions and tips on how to make myself look beautiful after sleeping over at a boy's house. (Seriously, one article recommended things you should pack in a baggie to bring with you if you plan to spend the night out. Come on. We're singles, not boy scouts!)

Also, those lists of "52 ways to make him scream"? Always the same. (However, from what I hear, "You won't believe number 23!")

Also, in this day of independent single women, why are we obsessed with these silly lists of how to move your hips while positioning your hands, while arching your back to the correct angle with the right kind of hair and artfully applied eyeliner? Seriously, not that you shouldn't work at these things, but my experience has been that men are less picky than Cosmo's lists would have you believe. Showing up is much more than half the battle to most men, who are just excited to get to see a naked lady. I'm sure guys like Cosmo's cute little tricks, but I'm also sure that you can not read Cosmo and still have a satisfied man around the house.

But maybe that's just me. (Plus, I get jealous of all of the models because they get to wear uncomfortable $300 shoes in pictures. I want uncomfortable $300 shoes!)

Also, any book that claims to be "The Single Girl's Guide to Living It Up" is for people who can't figure out how to "live it up" on their own. While it is nice to have some discussion of social-life-related issues and get some advice and share stories and such, if you have to read a book that discusses strategies for "living in up," then you might be beyond help. Forget what books and magazines and bloggers say and do. Just live it up on your own.
But then again, I haven't read the book yet.
The book review, however, starts out with the topic of The Magic Number. (Not the number of shoes in your closet. Not the number of dates before you put out. Not your phone number.) The Magic Number, as we all know, is the number of people you've been with. A sexual odometer of sorts.
Now, most people don't go around broadcasting their number for the whole world to know, because the range of acceptable numbers is entirely subjective. With one group of people, your number is normal, whereas with another it makes you a total slut. It's best to keep these things close to you to avoid needless judgment, in most of our minds.
When I was in college, we played a bit of drunken truth or dare after late nights of drinking. The Magic Number question always came up and it was pretty common knowledge that you had to do a little math to get to someone's ACTUAL number. Generally, for women we'd joke that you needed to double the number they claim, whereas for men you should half it. That's just what we did.
There was also this idea a hooking up with a guy because you'd hooked up before. Being with him again wouldn't add to your Magic Number, so you didn't mind. An old roomie of mine coined the term, "Repeat Offender" for these men. It's a convenience and saving face kind of thing. Convenient because you know he's willing, saving face because you won't add to the number and also won't end up with a one-night stand on your record. (Some women have a HUGE issue with one-night stands. I look at it like this -- if you hook up with someone and regret having casual sex with them because you're worried about your reputation, does sleeping with them again just to make it not a one-night stand make your reputation any better? I think not.)
From my personal experience, there's a double standard for men and women when you're talking about Magic Numbers. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to see that. (Although, I have run into some guys who try to downplay their experience because they don't like being known for their conquests. Or so they say. I always think, "Methinks thou doth protest too much ...")
There's always the question of how many is too many. My opinions on this have changed with time, and I'm at the place in my life where I think that these things are best left to the individual to decide. It's fun to joke and play and guess, but in the long run, I say that if you can look at yourself in the mirror every morning and smile and feel good about yourself, then party on. (Also, come sit by me.)

Weekend Update -- The "My weekend was so uneventful that I can write this before it even ends" edition

The title kind of speaks for itself. I had a pretty boring weekend as far as my social life goes. However, I did get to relax a lot. (I slept until almost 9 today, which is a huge advancement.) Friday: My brother and his girlfriend both had birthdays this week, so we had a big family dinner thing Friday night. It was a blast. Many beers and glasses of wine were had and the weather was nice, so we all ate outside at my parent's house on the deck. It was very relaxed and nice. I had planned to hang out with some people after, but I was tired, so I went to sleep around 10:30 p.m. Saturday: Woke up around 7:30 a.m. Cursed my inability to sleep in anymore, but got up anyway. Went shopping with my mom, because she needed some help picking out an outfit for a luncheon. I teased her relentlessly because she shops in a terrible way that is not conducive to finding the right outfit. She only tries on things she knows she will like and she only likes about three things in every huge-ass department store. Needless to say, I had to get her to break out of the box a little bit as far as color and style and fabric and pretty much everything else. We found her a cute outfit and I finally bought a black everyday purse that I love love love. And I got a free lunch out of the deal. Not bad. Cooked a big dinner and cleaned a bunch of veggies and such for the week. Watched some basketball and made some plans to go out. I was finishing my makeup when my girlfriend (Birthday Girl!) called with change of plans. By the hesitation in her voice, I knew she knew that I was going to hate the change of plans. I did. There are certain restaurants, bars, clubs, etc. where I just do not like to go. Either I've been there and didn't have a good time or I don't particularly like the location (30 minutes from my house, through a not-so-safe neighborhood, etc.) or I'm not a big fan of the people there or I just don't like the damn place. I am 25 years old, and I do not feel like I should have to go somewhere I dislike just because other people want to. Ten of my friends are going to be there? Good, then no one will notice that I'm not. I am not heartless. Had this been someone's birthday or a special occasion or something, I would have gone. Had my girlfriend even asked me really really really nicely to go, or had it been terribly important that I be there, then I might have gone to this bar. But I wasn't dragging my cutely made up self to a bar where only underaged country bumpkins and sleazoids go. (Also, it is far, far away.) I wouldn't have a good time, I would have been pissed all night and my bad attitude would have pissed others off. Why bother going? So, girlfriend got really pissed. She told me she originally wasn't going to tell me about the venue change. She was just going to let me get to her house and then be like, "Oh yeah, we're going to [insert crappy bar's name] instead!" (Which would have been uber mature.) I apologized and said I wouldn't be joining her. (The people we were going with were her friends and not mine anyway.) I explained that I didn't like the bar and that I didn't feel like paying to go somewhere when I knew I wasn't going to have fun. She was a bit upset, but I didn't budge. I am an adult and no one can make me go somewhere I don't want to go. As I was telling her that I hope she had fun, I heard a click. She hung up on me. So not cool. So, I called around and joined some friends for drinks and someone's house. I didn't have a bad time, I just didn't have a really good time, so I went home early and watched that silly Lizzie Grubman PR reality show and wondered if my budget at work includes money for a red carpet. Also, some boy spilled beer on my skirt and didn't really apologize, which annoyed me. I wasn't expecting money for the dry cleaner, just, you know, a nice, "I'm sorry!" Blah. Sunday: Slept until 9 a.m. Was very excited. Ran some errands, bought a wedding present and groceries. Am about to go hang out with friends and watch more basketball. Have big going out plans for next week. Looking forward to some fun times. (Am taking applications for position of S's object of flirtation at big birthday celebration Saturday night. Must be intelligent, well-spoken, tall, cuddly and -- of course -- charming and single. Submit applications here.) Have a great week!

Everybody's talking all this stuff about me ...

From S: Blogger hates me. This post was supposed to go up Thursday. Sorry! I was having regular martini night with a nice group of people last night, as is typical of my Wednesday nights. (Side note: My favorite little martini bar was playing the worst music ever last night. Seriously, they played a Lindsay Lohan song. Oh for the love of vodka.) So, I was teasing one of my guy friends ... (A good friend of the infamous T, who I would like to point out, I have done a very very good job of not obsessing over.) Now, I always tease this guy and he always teases me. We're about as different as two people can be and we make fun of each other's political beliefs, jobs, choice of drink, etc. So, I was teasing him a little, but I was being cute and obvious about it. I'd make a little crack about his job and then wink at him. We were with friends, so no one would have thought I was serious and I am not the only person who was teasing him, by any means. All of the sudden, his smile faded and he said, "S, you know, if you keep this up, I'll be forced to get even with you." He used a very serious tone. He was not joking. I, however, thought he was, so I said, "Dear, you have no dirt on me because there is no dirt to have." I am nothing if I am not coy. He shook his head in disagreement and said, "I could really embarrass you if I wanted to, trust me." Then, he was fine. He teased me a little bit, but I made sure not to joke with him about anything that might offend his sensitive little soul. Last night, after a martini and a Hoegarden, I took it with a grain of salt. This morning, I'm a little nervous. You know, if a co-ed group of mostly single, carefree, beer-swilling twenty somethings hang out long enough (more than four years for some of us), an indiscretion or 12 are going to be made. Someone's going to make out, someone's going to hook up, someone's going to get their feelings hurt. That's life, plain and simple. I know I'm not the only person in my social circle to participate in some extracurricular activities with a fellow circle member. (We went to college at a party school together, for crying out loud.) No, I haven't had dalliances with all of the men in our group -- just a few. (And, again, no more than anyone else.) The truth is, this guy really could embarrass me if he wanted to bring up details of past flings -- the kind of details that you tell a close friend and no one else. And I could embarrass him back. Maybe he knows I wouldn't because his indiscretions have been with some dear friends of mine. Maybe he was just messing with my head. Maybe he knows I'd never make public some of his embarrassing drunken moments because they were with dear friends of mine. Still, his little threat worried me. I still have fun, but I'm not the party girl I used to be. I made mistakes, I made poor choices. But they're MY mistakes and MY poor choices and as long as I own them, I don't think anyone should use them against me. I could forget about it and just sing, "I don't give a damn about my bad reputation." (Again, not that bad of a reputation.) But I do -- no one wants to be gossiped about relentlessly for every little thing they've done since they were 21. Raised eyebrows aren't what you want to have sent your direction. Still, tis better to have stories and regrets than a sinking feeling that you haven't experienced anything, right? To quote Billy, "I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints." From what I hear, the sinners are much more fun.

Charming, but single is 25 26 27(!), lives in the Southern part of the U.S.A. and likes both her drinks and her boys tall. E-mail (listed below) her and she may respond. You can also IM her in AIM/AOL. (If she ever remembers to sign on.)
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Former taglines of this blog: "A Journal in Dates and Drinks" and "A Dateless Journal of Drinking."

Those Particulars
Some Backstory
Memories of the Way We Were
Updates and Towel Snapping
One Year Wrap-Up
Just As She Is
An Open Letter to Myself
After 26 years, she HAS learned something
An Open Letter to the Men Who Message Me Through Match
Sharing a smoke

Associated Content Interview with Charming
The Hindu: Blog Sisters are here

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