Charming, but single

A journal in dates and drinks

FYI -- Updated 2/1 (Updated again 2/5)

(Note: This is the last update on this subject. I just didn't want to have 12 different posts about this. The update is at the bottom.) Just in case it was not clear before, the writing on this blog belongs to me. I know I do not have my picture and my name out there, but trust me, there is a person behind these words and she is very much real and she very much feels these things and she very much lives through all of the events contained in this blog. For better or for worse, this blog is mine. Warts and all. Good posts and bad. Brilliant writing and crappy lists. So to say that I would appreciate it if people would avoid taking my work and posting it on their blog (or in other publications) as their own is the understatement of the century. I will go so far as to say that you SHOULD NOT FOR ANY REASON take writing from this blog ("Charming, but Single") and pass it off as your own. (Really, you shouldn't do that to any blogger or writer, but that's neither here nor there now is it?) I just wanted to make sure that my stance on this issue was CRYSTAL CLEAR. For now, that is the only statement I would like to make on this matter. Update 2/1/06: I appreciate the support from my regular readers about this. I posted this short post last night when I was upset and angry and slightly fearful that someone else would take (or already was taking) credit for my work. I will be adding a disclaimer on the site somewhere and I am reading up on Creative Commons liscenses. Not that a disclaimer would stop anyone ... The ease of blogging is a double-edged sword. I love that I can have a thought and almost immediately publish it. The down side is that anyone can easily copy and paste my work and pass it off as theirs. This is compounded by the fact that it is easy to feel detached from those bloggers who are anonymous. And, there's no "governing" body on the Web like there is in other mediums. If a columnist from a national magazine cribs from another writer, there are lawyers and editors and publishers involved. The blogosphere doesn't have this. (Which is also both good and bad.) Also, blogs so often quote each other that lines get crossed. I do not believe that is what happened in this situation because of the way my work was integrated into the other blog. As a rule of thumb, I'd say people should give credit (including links WITH the quoted text) to the blogs they are quoting so that the author can follow his or her work through Technorati, trackbacks or sitemeters. When in doubt, ask before you quote! People have asked how I found out. I received two anonymous comments last night on two of the posts that were plagiarized heavily (word for word, including the titles!) on the front page of someone's personal blog. I hoped this was a misunderstanding or that something was just improperly linked or sourced. This, unfortunately, was not the case. Upon further reading of the blog, I found much of my work intersperced with what I assume are the author's own works. Whole posts of mine were reposted with minor edits in some cases and in others a few paragraphs would be inserted in a piece. It was weird. (Ironically, one of the posts was about how I saw both the good and bad in myself and wanted to be with someone who loved me because of and in spite of it all. So, I wrote a post specific to my flaws and fabulousness and someone else stole it to describe themself. CLASSIC.) I sent the blogger an e-mail that basically said, "I read your blog. I do not appreciate you passing my work off as your own. I do not think you are a bad person, but if you do not take my content off of your blog by tomorrow evening, I will make a big deal out of this and I will make your URL known." (As politely as I could, given the circumstances.) The offending content was removed almost as soon as I posted my little diatribe about not stealing my work. (I saved a copy of the original Web site and bookmarked the link and I will be checking in, trust me. TRUST ME.) I removed the two comments with the blogger's URL from my blog tonight. I wasn't going to, but I thought it was confusing for people to go to the blog now that my content gone. Also, I didn't want to send any traffic or readers to someone who was stealing my stuff. I want to thank the person who notified me. Unfortunately it is tough to catch these things because of the sheer number of blogs out there. You're pretty powerless to stop it and unless you regularly Google snippets of your own work, you'd never really know that it had happened. I would have never known if someone had not pointed it out to me, and I appreciate it. Please do not take me deleting the comments to mean that I was trying to censor the readers or anything like that. People are free to write what they want in the comments, but I felt like I had good reason to delete these two. The only thing bloggers can do in these situations is work together and notify each other when someone is stealing work from a blog. And, if someone refuses to take the writing down, then we'll just have to use our numbers to influence them, right? Update 2/5/06 : The site has been shut down by the owner once she was confronted in her comments by at least four other bloggers from whom she plagiarized. (Including RudePundit, Cutting to the Chase, and Carly Milne) This included a post about the "James Frey is a liar" controversy, which is so damn funny and ironic that I giggled when I found that out. And the thought of limiting people from copying and pasting is probably a bit extreme, but I appreciate the concern. I want other bloggers to be able to quote from here (if it is attributed and linked) and I want to be able to post (attributed) quotes (with links) from other blogs if I feel so inspired. The blogosphere is based on ongoing conversation, often across blogs, and I love that. Also, I just can't fathom that someone would steal my bad dates, awkward phone calls and wine-related disasters for their blog. I mean, really. And that is the end of that. Hopefully. Thanks for the love.

Happy V-Day to me!

I happened to be browsing Amazon tonight and, well, I found like a million things I want. And one of the things happens to be coming out on Valentine's Day. And so, because I love myself and need some lovin' from everyone's favorite Doc, I ordered myself a nice little V-Day present. George, will you be my Valentine? (Is he not just ADORABLE!) What are y'all treating yourself to this year?

Planning the future

I received a very beautiful wedding invitation in the mail from one of my dear girlfriends. She is getting married in April and I am very excited about her wedding, because it is an opportunity for some of our old crew to reunite and drink wine together in dressy clothes while we dance around like morons. And if I have a chance to dance around like a moron with old college drinking buddies, I am going to take it every time. I tucked the directions to the wedding in my dayplanner and made a note to ask for a day off from work to hang out with the out-of-towners either before or after the wedding. I wondered about the likelihood of getting a hotel room in New Orleans for the night after the wedding without having to give my first born, since they (obviously) were unable to book a block of rooms. I was completing the RSVP card when I faced the dreaded, “Number attending” blank. I had overlooked that the invitation was addressed to me “and Guest,” which is on its face a well-meaning bride’s way of telling her single friends who aren’t in relationships, “I believe you’ll be in a meaningful relationship by the time of our wedding.” But anyone who has ever received an invitation addressed to them “and Guest,” knows that it can feel a bit pitiful, like, “We know that you haven’t been able to snag a man during the past 26 years, and we’re doubtful that you’ll be able to find one in the next several weeks, but, hey, stranger things have happened …” I contemplated the “Number attending” blank. The pessimist in me says I should just go alone. The optimist in me thinks that my luck with men has been so bad for so long that something’s gotta give. It’s just the law of averages. I will trip over a guy tomorrow and he will be the one and we will go to the wedding together, says the optimist. The realist in me, however, knows that the RSVP card needs to be back by the end of February. So, if this is the end of January, that means I have ONE MONTH to secure a date and be able to respond with “2” as the “Number attending.” But I am handicapped by one unfortunately placed holiday -- Valentine’s Day. Hunting for a man between now and V-Day is pretty pointless, as I know no rational, sane man who would want to start something less than three weeks before the Official Holiday of Couples. So, the earliest the Hunt for the Wedding Date can begin in February 15. The RSVP should be mailed back by Feb. 22 to allow the Post Office three business days to get the card back to my friend. So, if my math and calendar skills are correct, I have ONE WEEK, Feb. 15 to Feb. 22, to find a suitable date for the wedding of a good friend (which means I will be drunk and babbling and in need of affection). And because the whole thing is out of town, it probably includes a night in a hotel, if one can be located, which only adds a layer of stress to the whole event. (And yes, I am this neurotic. Perhaps I should be medicated.) I’m just so tired of going to these things alone. My two good friends who I will be hanging out with will have dates because one is married already and the other has a serious live-in boyfriend. And to make matters worse, there is a possibility that a Drunken Mistake of mine will be in attendance. I had hoped that Drunken Mistake wouldn’t be invited, but given the odd people who are included, I wouldn’t be surprised if he did get an invite. (This makes the whole situation even more touchy, since there is some messiness between my Drunken Mistake and one of the Bridesmaids in addition to the obvious obnoxiousness between me and my Drunken Mistake.) If Drunken Mistake IS there and I don’t have a date, I will be pretty pissed and may have to be kept away from the bar. So, I suppose I should go on a marathon of bar and party hopping mid-February?

All’s fair in love and shoe shopping

(Note: I am almost ashamed that I wrote more than 2,000 words about this. But the entire time it was happening, I thought, “This is so going on the blog!” And I snapped a shot of the shoes for you. It is to the left.) All this week, I teased myself. Each morning as I went to work. Each evening as I came hoome from the gym. I stared longingly at a banner outside my favorite little shoe store that proclaimed “Tent Sale This Saturday.” Each day, I’d tell myself I couldn’t go unless I got up early and went to the gum, or unless I cleaned my entire apartment top to bottom first. I teased myself with guesses of what types of shoes the tent sale would bring and how low-priced they would be, but telling myself that I wouldn’t go. Not me. No. So Saturday morning I got up to run an errand and turned left out of my apartment complex instead of right, just to see what time the tent madness started, I told myself. It was about 9:40 and I could see salesgirls bringing boxes and boxes of shoes out. They were stacking hundreds of little cardboard boxes on three tables beneath a red and white tent and they had several boxes of purses to one side. And then there was the sign: “All Shoes, $9.99.” I almost wrecked the car. I knew that they store’s nicer, pricier ($150 and up) shoes wouldn’t be under that tent. But I’d seen some very cute shoes in there in the $40 to $70 range, and I was willing to bet some of those shoes might be on sale. And as I quickly pulled into the parking lot, I noticed the women already swarming around the tent. There had to be 30 or 40 already. There was no way they’d all fit underneath the tent with the shoes and the tables and the purses. It was in this moment that I began to worry. I finally found a parking spot behind another store and let my espadrilles carry me to Mecca for the Moment. I glanced around at the other women around the tent. Some of them had been there for quite awhile. I smiled uncomfortably and listened to them talk smack about each other and the shoes. Some of the women were actually in their pajamas! A man, obviously the owner of the store, supervised the brewing storm, sipping a coffee and looking as if he was unsure of what he had gotten himself into, even though this is apparently a twice-yearly event. “We will read the rules at five to 10,” he said. “By my watch.” Rules? It was in this moment that I REALLY began to worry. See, I like shoes. I like shoes a lot. But I like shopping for them and trying them on and prancing around a carpeted store in them. I like to roll up the cuffs of my jeans as I model them in a mirror. I am deliberative. I like the process of shoe shopping (almost) as much as I actually like the shoes themselves. So, the prospect of fighting a growing crowd of women for a pair of $9.99 shoes on a Saturday morning did not fit in with my idea of fun. I notoriously avoid confrontation unless I am drunk, and I had left my flask at home. But it was almost time for the sale to start and I was already there and I have been needing a new pair of kitten heels for work, so I circled the outside of the tent and eyed the shoes, like the other women. Some of the shoes looked pretty ugly, but there were some cute finds there. And then my cell phone rang. It was my mom. “S, we totally just thought of you. There is a tent sale at [Name of Shoe Store]. It’s a big tent, I just drove by and I think the shoes are like 10 bucks,” she said. I giggled uncomfortably. “Mom, I cannot talk right now. I, um, am about to have to fight someone for a pumps in my size. I’m at a shoe sale.” “You have got to be kidding me, S. I just passed that shoe sale and told your sister that if you would have known about it, you would be out there,” she said. “Well, I do know about it and I am out here,” I said. “And I am a little scared. I’ve never been to one of these before and the women look like they might get violent.” “YOU are worried about other women at a shoe sale!” My mom did not believe me. I turned away from the women and whispered sternly into the phone, “Mom, I just heard a woman say she was going to ‘Go New Orleans’ on someone’s ass when the sale started.” “What does that mean?” Mom asked, concerned. “I don’t know, but I don’t think it is good,” I said, timidly. “I may be out of my league, Mom. I am worried. But I should go before the sale starts.” As I hung up, the crowd was moving in tighter around the tent. The Owner hissed, “Do NOT touch the shoes. If you touch the shoes, you will be disqualified, ladies.” Disqualified! “I am so totally screwed,” I thought. Most of the boxes were closed, but some were open and I slid in place by some ballet-styled faux suede shoes with a bow and small kitten heels. I liked the plum color and the round toe and they would be very suitable for work. As the tension mounted, I focused only on these shoes, which I soon learned was a bad strategy. I have verbally fought with a woman for a bargain before. (A small, yet classic-looking $75 Kenneth Cole Reaction purse on super mega sale for $15, which I SO saw first and had in my possession when she cattily remarked that she had been looking at it first. And yes, I got the purse.) But I was not about to get into a fistfight over cheap shoes. I am a pacifist. And I already have a reputation for having a Thing for Shoes. I would NEVER live it down if I got a black eye over a pair of slingbacks. Ever. (Kind of like how I tripped outside of a bar in college and got a bloody knee and my family still teases me about “falling off of a bar stool.”) The harried Owner stated the rules to a restless crowd (that would invariably break them all). They were simple:

  1. You could buy as much as you could carry.
  2. You could try shoes on outside, but if you wanted to walk in them, you had to go inside on the carpet.
  3. You could not hoard boxes of shoes in stacks around the tent.
  4. Please do not knock over old ladies or trample children.
As he said that last one, I had to laugh about how ridiculous this was. I have been in crowds before. I have rushed a football field with thousands of others after a big win and I have fought through literally hundreds of thousands of people and cop cars and camera crews and Girls Gone Wild and Female Impersonators and Snoop Dogg on Bourbon Street after Endymion (a popular night parade the Saturday before New Orleans Mardi Gras). And maybe I didn’t worry about being crushed then because I was drunk and a few years younger. But on Saturday morning with women eyeing cheap shoes, I couldn’t help but hope that my inhaler and health insurance card were in my purse, just in case. “You know how they say that you need to know when to get the hell out of dodge?” The Owner said, nervously. “I think I need to know what my escape route is going to be.” He surveyed the ring of women looking for an opening through which to escape the tent. “It is 10,” someone in the crowd yelled. “Not by my watch,” The Owner teased. He quickly realized that this was NOT a joking matter and relented. “Ok … and … GO!” The women lurched forward and the tables and tipped and I am not exaggerating when I say that SHOES and BOXES flew. People were grabbing boxes, tossing shoes to their friends and squealing. I grabbed what I thought was my size in the plum shoes and tried to snake my way through the tables like many other timid women. I actually wanted to LOOK at shoes, but Shoe Hogs were pulling everything in a size off of the tables and stockpiling the boxes outside of the tent. (In clear violation of the rules, but it was pretty clear that The Owner was not willing to get a black eye over shoes either.) I was pissed. I turned to the woman next to me, who had also just come to the sale for fun and maybe a cheap pair of sandals. “This is ridiculous,” I griped as I motioned to the Shoe Hogs and their stacks of 15 and 20 boxes. “They have no intention of buying ALL of those shoes.” She nodded in agreement. I grabbed a pair of deep plum velvet pumps with pink piping and a peekaboo toe and retreated out of the tent. Neither of my two pairs fit, and I was pissed. I glared at the Shoe Hogs, women who you would never normally see actually shopping INSIDE of the store. I returned the small shoes to the table and noticed a pair of turquoise and green satin sandals with a bow and a ribbon ankle strap on the ground. Unlisted by Kenneth Cole. I don’t actually remember much about Unlisted shoes, except for the fact that I wore some to prom my senior year of high school. They’re not terribly pricey normally, but they were kind of cute and I’ve always wanted shoes with ribbons you tie around your ankles. They just look so feminine and wonderful and remind me of pointe shoes from ballet class. Also, shoes should NEVER be on the ground. Ever. I slid the shoe on one of my feet and it fit. So I smiled and figured I wouldn’t leave the sale without at least one pair of shoes, which made me feel a little better. A hovered around the Shoe Hogs for a bit, giving them the evil eye and waiting for their castoffs. And I ended up scoring the cute plum shoes with the kitten heel and the bow that I’d originally wanted. They were a bit too big, but nothing a shoe insert couldn’t fix. So, I gave up on the Tent Sale and went inside to check out the not-bizarrely-low-priced shoes. I almost cried over a pair of brown strappies with coral colored stones on the straps for a mere $175. But I did find a cute pair of brown wedges with a slingback and a bow (it was a theme on Saturday, apparently) that were slightly on sale because they were from fall/winter and not spring. Not $9.99, but still a bargain. I gathered up my boxes and joined the line of women with my treasures. I smiled with glee that I was getting three pairs of shoes for just less than $65, which is probably less than what I’d spend on one pair sometimes. The wait was about 15 minutes because some of the Shoe Hogs had literally 10 boxes of shoes and arms full of purses, so I was chatting with other women in line and admiring their shoes. “I like those green and blue ones,” a woman around my age said. “Yeah, I don’t actually have anything that matches them right now, but I figure I can come up with something between now and April or May when it is actually appropriate to wear them,” I said. We laughed and she motioned to a pair of hot pink sandals that she said had the same thought about. I felt a sense of relaxation because the cutthroat competition was over. Cute, new shoes always make me giddy. “What about those?” an older women said, motioning to the plum kitten heels I was holding. “Do you have anything to go with those?” “Um, well, I probably do,” I stammered. “Actually, I’m sure I do. Black pants or whatever. For work.” “Oh. Because I really wanted those,” she said forcefully. “I really like those a lot and it looks like we wear the same size.” I couldn’t believe it. All of these women in front of me had between six and 12 boxes of $9.99 shoes and someone was trying to talk ME out of one of my two pairs! The one pair of shoes I’d actually fought for and THIS WOMAN was trying to get me to give them to her moments before I paid for them! The cutthroat competition clearly was not over. And I may not have been one of the Shoe Hogs and I may not have had the primal instinct to rumble for a pair of shoes, but I am a woman who loves her shoes and NO ONE can mess with that. So I smiled a bitchy grin and said, “I had my eye on these from the beginning. They will match. And if they don’t, I’ll buy something new. They are mine.” I gloated a bit, plopped the shoes on the counter and cheerily swung my bags like an excited five year old as I left the store. I might have not won the war, but I felt like I won a battle. Update: As shown below, The green and blue shoes make me feel sexy. Please ignore the fact that I need a pedicure BADLY. Image hosting by Photobucket Image hosting by Photobucket

Going Cold Turkey

If I could give back one piece of time-saving technology, it would be Google. Sure, I love Internet search engines. I use Google constantly throughout the day, even searching for Web site addresses I already know, because it is easier to just Google something and move on. Google and other search engines are powerful tools. Without them I would never be notified almost immediately when a news story about my organization was published (Google News Alerts), be such an e-mail packrat (Gmail) or find exactly every store on the Internet where I can purchase a black hobo-styled purse or green D’orsay pumps (Froogle). But with great power comes great temptation and I’m not always able to resist the less practical (and borderline stalkerish) aspects of Google. And my intense curiosity paired with slightly neurotic single girl tendencies makes me a prime candidate for indulgent Googling. A high school classmate here, a co-worker there, and pretty soon I can’t quit and I’ve Googled every damn guy who has ever coughed in my direction, his friends, place of employment and girlfriends. And so I would give Google’s life-altering features all up, even forsaking convenient accessory shopping if I could never be able to easily access information about former flings, limited only by how quickly I can click my mouse. I have quit smoking. I have stopped biting my nails. I have traded copious amounts of fat and carbs for low-cal fare. Now, I must give up obsessing about the past. And so the end-all-be-all of search engines must go. Goodbye Google. It was fun while it lasted.


I updated my blogroll. I tried to catch the people who e-mailed me (She was a Water Sign), people who often are in my top 20 referred sites (Snob in the City), people who I really thought I had blogrolled long ago (New York Moments) and people I read, but who don't link to me (yet?) (Cityflirting). Please do not be offended if I missed you. Comment and I will add you. If you don't want to be on the blogroll, let me know. (Also, since this is kind of a nothing post, go read the one below, which contains actual content.) Thanks!


When I am ambiguous about how I feel about someone it seems like I look for an “answer” to the dilemma or a moment to clarify things or something — anything — to push me over the edge either way. Friday night with the Relief Worker, on our fifth date, that moment came. We were talking before a movie and he was complaining about the city where I live. He is from a small town, living here temporarily to help in the aftermath of the storms and he hates this place. I know it isn’t his style (it is too big), and I don’t expect him to pretend it’s his favorite place in the world. At the same time, I do expect someone who has been taking me out to not badmouth my home (and hometown) all evening. (I may complain about this place, but it is my home. It may be hypocritical, but I don’t want someone who isn’t from here badmouthing it so much.) We hadn’t even kissed! It was a bit early to be so negative about anything, let alone the place where I live. He was grumbling about traffic and it being crowded and everyone being in a bad mood. He said people here weren’t nice. I protested, saying that traffic was obviously worse since we’ve taken in so many evacuees. There are just more people and longer commutes and longer lines and it being post-Katrina makes the city bit different, I argued gently. And then, as my mom would put it, the bloom fell off of the rose. “I am so tired of hearing about Katrina!” He exclaimed with a lot of emotion. “All of these Katrina people just want to bilk to government out of as much money as they can and do nothing for the rest of their lives.” He was very serious and very angry.* I protested, less gently this time. I pointed out that he was making a broad generalization about a lot of people that may apply to some, but not to all. He relented a little bit, but I could tell it was mostly to appease me. At that moment, he should have just taken me home, because I was so completely over it all. Collectively, members of my family lost four homes in the storm. Friends lost their jobs, had their possessions whittled down to a number of boxes you could count on one hand. (And I consider everyone I know from the area to be very fortunate and very lucky.) I’m not sure what the Relief Worker was thinking, but he apparently wasn’t thinking about how I’d feel about continual bashing of my hometown, my state, my community, my family and my friends. From that point on, everything he said just annoyed me. Little things that I might have ignored just made my blood boil, and as we passed this poster for “Brokeback Mountain” and he declared it “ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING,” I just wanted to give him $7.50 for my movie ticket and call a friend for a ride home. I was tired of bending over backward to respect his opinions and beliefs when he had such little disregard for my own. He took me back to my car after the movie and sort of followed me to the door, but I turned, smiled and said goodnight. So no kiss. But it’s really ok. Maybe I misinterpreted his advances, but flirting and paying to take me out made it seemed like he was interested. I guess it’s just too bad that I’m not anymore. *I don’t want to get into an argument about the government’s role in providing social services. In every situation, there are people who take advantage of government help. However, to say or insinuate that the vast majority of people want to live in a FEMA trailer and exist off of emergency food stamps and less than $200 a week in unemployment is a bit of a stretch. But I’ll get off of my soapbox now.

A Year of Wit and Witticism by Charming

It has been a year since I started writing this blog, which started out as a “Journal in Dates and Drinks” and became “A Dateless Journal of Drinking.” Now, I’m just “Datelessly Drinking.” I’ve had more than 21,000 visitors, which is respectable for a small blog about how I like to get manicures and wear high heels. It’s about 21,000 more than I ever thought I’d get, so that’s got to count for something. This blog has more than 130 posts, which is low compared to some of the more prolific bloggers out there, but fine for me, I think. I’ve had (about) 950 comments in a year. I’ve learned a lot about myself. I overreact. I hold onto the past. I am cynical when I should be hopeful and optimistic and trusting when I should be guarded. But I’m working on balancing it all out. And I’m glad someone’s along for the ride. To mark this momentous occasion, I present a year of snippets from this blog. (How typical of a blogger to quote herself, right? Sigh.) Things I liked, things people responded well to, things that are just kind of funny or posts I just wanted to quote. Enjoy: How it all started: Everyone around me is obsessed with pairing up. To be blunt, there's a lot of pressure out there to jump on the marriage train and get your ticket punched, for better or for worse. (I'm supposed to, at this point in the narrative, assert that I am in no way husband hunting. And I'm not.) I am, however, a bit fixated on relationships and dating and the stigmas attached to both the single and the committed. On labeling a relationship: "Seeing" is one of the many euphemisms us chicks use because we must label things, even when it's probably too early to do so. "Seeing" means you've been on at least one formal date and informally spent time with a guy. "Dating" means you've been on several dates, but aren't yet using a possessive term, such as — gasp! — "boyfriend." This causes much unneeded confusion and stress. On the single population: The problem with the casualness of today's dating rituals is that you never know where "hanging out" ends and "dating" begins, which only compounds the problem of the shrinking pool of men in my demographic (educated, mid 20s to early 30s, has some sort of career goal) who are available to date. Since "dating" is such a casual and broad spectrum of activity, it's easy for people to splash through the pool quickly, leaving a school of confused swimmers in his or her wake. So when you and your girlfriends and the women you work with and your friends' roommates are all splashing in the same waters, you're often left in the shallow end with the guys with whom no one, um, wanted to synchronized swim. On jinxing yourself: Single Girl's Law #1 --

You will never get lucky on nights when you shave your legs. Seriously, I've road-tested this one. It is law about 98 percent of the time. Now, when you have stubble for a few days or haven't done bikini line maintenance, every guy you ever thought was cute will try to take you home. Guys who snubbed you for weeks and months will come out of the woodwork, buy you drinks and try to come home with you. This, of course, happens because shaving your legs is an admission to yourself that you think you MIGHT get lucky, and we all know that a watched pot never boils.
On the downside of assigning songs to men: Heartbreak comes in bits and pieces in different moments all throughout your life. But sometimes, for about three minutes, it comes all at once. On Cosmo: 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. On “Repeat Offenders” and one night stands: 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.) That time I flashed my office: 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. Pretentious sentence structure doesn’t cover your flaws: 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. On Cockblocking: If you are on the receiving end of a sanctioned CB, you probably have screwed over someone — the girl in question, a friend of ours, us, half of the female business majors — and must be stopped. After all, YOU don't have to sit and listen to MY friend cry and yell and complain about how badly you treated her. You just get to hook-up with her. I have to pick up the pieces later, after she realizes that you don't want to get back with her, are hooking up with half of the world and/or are bragging about bedding her to everyone south of the Canadian border. (I probably also have to drive to your crappy apartment to retrieve said friend at 5:00 in the morning because you're passed out drunk and she realizes that she needs to make a quick exit. There are so many other things I'd rather be doing at 5:00 in the morning, most notably sleeping off the amazing hangover I probably am about to have.) On my first high school Homecoming date: I didn't care that he was barely my height. I didn't care that we had nothing in common and very little to talk about. I didn't even try to play it cool. I just said yes immediately and after the song I told pretty much everyone in the whole damn world that I had a date to Homecoming. I wasn't going to have to change schools after all, which was a plus. On fixing my own car: Look, I don't feel like a bad person or a wimpy woman because I don't know how to put a new battery in my car. There comes a time when you have to say that some things are not things that you can do, and changing a battery in a car is one of the things I cannot do. (I also can't waterski, but you don't hear anyone trying to teach me how to do THAT over the phone.) An exchange with my Best Friend Ever:
S: I'm great! You'd tell me if you were getting married, right? BFE: You're drunk, aren't you?
The Night I Cried in the Bar: And one tear rolled down my cheek and he touched my face with this really pained look on his face that I imagine is what a person looks like at the exact second that they realize that they really have actually broken someone's heart into a million pieces and they have to live with that knowledge for the rest of their lives. On how my bra ended up in the kitchen: “I'm not one to keep my undergarments with the fruits and veggies, so I tried to piece the night before's events together in my pounding head while I chugged four glasses of water. I gave up trying to solve the mystery of the bra buffet and went back to bed.” On Hurricane Katrina: “I have all of these things to say, but whenever I sit down to write them, I'm just numb. I was sitting out on my balcony last night, digesting an awesome meal I'd cooked for myself and enjoying a glass of wine and I was struck by how lucky I am. So many people I know have no idea where their future is. People are having to make tough choices that will affect the rest of their lives — should they move temporarily or just get out of the Southeast for good? Can they physically and emotionally handle a tragedy on the same scale as Katrina again? An unfortunately timed e-mail: But an e-mail that essentially says, "Hope you didn't die in the storm, I'm getting married!" is a bit of a shock to the system. I'm annoyed and pissed off and the fact that I'm annoyed and pissed off just makes me MORE annoyed and pissed off. Charming deals with her neighbors with passive-aggressive blogging: And I would have overlooked the double parking on Wednesday night, but it caused me to have to park on the other side of the building, in the "shadowy" section of the parking lot, which is the perfect hiding spot for would-be attackers and rapists. They pretty much LIVE for shadows. Charming on Charming (One of the crowd’s favorite posts): I am an adult. I'm 25 and I drink and I wear shirts that show off my cleavage sometimes and I hobble around on three-inch heels. I sometimes smoke and I look forward to a glass of wine after a long week at work. I get manicures and so I don't save as much money as I should and instead of drinking house wine, I'll have a $10 martini. I stay out (and up) late. I enjoy trashy TV shows and watch silly reality TV when I should be vacuuming or mopping or Windexing something. I eat tater tots and grilled cheese or pizza and potato chips when I should be having a salad and apple slices. I play my music too loud and I dance around my apartment in my bra in the middle of the day without shutting my blinds. Just a night out with the guys: So the dude being humped asks one of my male friends for a cigarette. And then someone says something to someone and before I know it The Humped Dude is yelling at my friends and I have no idea why. Socrates didn’t have to date in modern times: However, each time I waste 10 minutes dedicating an earnest ear to decoding an everyday voicemail, half an hour composing the perfectly punchy flirty e-mail to a man or an afternoon forwarding a text message around so my committee of girlfriends can dissect it, I wonder if Socrates wasn't, as Bridget Jones's mother put it, "a bit of a sh-t.” Charming on her 26th Birthday: Adult birthdays are kind of like losing your virginity. You look in the mirror after the first time and wonder if you look different or if anyone can tell. And you study yourself and realize that while you are a little changed on the inside, you're still the same person you were the day before. Thanks for reading, commenting, linking, e-mailing and joining me on this year of datelessly drinking. And here's to the next year being better. (And, yeah, I'm going out with the Relief Worker again Friday night. Maybe it'll be a fivepeat of him not kissing me. Sigh.)

It isn’t polite to ask how old a lady is



So, I was reading my e-mail and looking over some stuff this morning when something in the header of a message hit me.




I pondered the date for a second, trying to remember why it was important.


And then it hit me. Today is the One Year Birthday of Charming, But Single.


Which annoys me, because I have a huge "One Year" post saved on my laptop at home. I suppose it will have to wait until after work and treadmilling at the gym and cooking and eating …




Happy Birthday, blog.
(And come back tomorrow for the, like, actual celebratory One Year post.) 

Going up

I don't know what it is about elevators that makes uncomfortable silence ever so painfully and awkwardly more uncomfortable. Maybe it's the small space and stark walls or the buttons or the fact that everyone inside the elevator has somewhere to go, someone to see, something to do.


So I'm rushing into the elevator this morning, half awake and in need of coffee or hot tea or SOMETHING to warm me up. I aimlessly press the button to my floor and the doors are closing and I lean against the wall when a foot flies in between the closing doors. I'm startled and I jump back before I realize that the foot belongs to a person. In an attempt to open the doors I press the "Call" button instead of the "Door Open" button. I correct myself and the doors do open and a very cute man with a nice smile comes in.


I apologize breathlessly, and straighten up. He smiles and says it is okay and we begin our excruciatingly silent ride to our floors. I was wishing I had opted for something other than the "Harsh, Uptight Woman" hairdo I had selected when my hair would cooperate this morning (deep part to one side, hair pulled into a tight bun low on the back of my head and bangs and flyaways pinned to the side by my ears).


I wanted to introduce myself or to flirt, but the silence was so deafening that I couldn't break it. You could have heard a pin drop over the mechanical groans of the equipment as it pulled us through the elevator shaft. We each looked away. He stared at the ceiling and I studied the polished siding of the wall.


You see in movies and television shows where two people meet in an elevator and then make excuses to ride to the wrong floor. But it was idealistic to think that I could flirt with anyone before my morning coffee, when I'm still half asleep and have driven to work on autopilot. I often wonder if I miss opportunities to meet people because I suddenly become shy and awkward and my confidence flows out of my body. I daydreamed during the short elevator trip that he'd crossed the elevator car and introduced himself, with his nice eyes and good smile.




The elevator interrupted my daydream. We were at my floor. I just smiled and left.

Charming commits a big faux pas

So, this afternoon I was chatting with a Coworker and Her Boss about a guy we work with. Everyone jokes that the guy likes my Coworker. It's friendly ribbing as he's happily married. Her Boss was gossiping and I joked over the cubicle wall and I said, "“Well [Coworker], I'’d say go for it, but you'’ve got that great fiance at home." "“Well, no fiance at home anymore, but I'm still not interested,"” she said. I almost fell out of my chair. She had only recently gotten engaged (a couple of months ago), she had shown off her very pretty ring and they'’d moved in together. Literally two weeks ago she called him her fiance in conversation. "I am SO SORRY. I had NO IDEA,"” I stammered. "Oh, well, yeah. I just hadn'’t told anyone yet,"” she said calmly. So yes, I outed someone's failed engagement IN FRONT OF HER BOSS and soon all of the office will know. She is very even tempered and seemed to take it in stride. It was the end of the day and as she headed to the copying machine, I grabbed my purse, ducked out and headed to the gym. I feel like I should really apologize again, but I'’m worried that bringing it up will only make the situation worse. If the situation were reversed, I'd hardly want the entire office discussing my status. I had no way of knowing she wasn't engaged anymore, but I still feel absolutely horrible about the crass way in which the truth came out. Do I not bring it up? Bake her brownies? Get a new job so neither of us ever have to deal with the awkwardness again?

The Return of the List Blog

 I am too busy working on the health-related resolution to put together an interesting, cohesive post.


So, you will get a List Blog and like it.


Things I am obsessed with:


  • Finding the perfect class at my gym. I'm doing some dance workout class (Lord help us all) tomorrow and then trying Step (which I've always avoided like the plague) on Saturday. I'm working up with Spinning. I've always wanted to do Spinning, but it looks oh-so-intense and scary. And I'm a wimp.
  • Dasani with Lemon, which replaces Diet Coke with Lime as my new favorite at-work drink.
  • Flat-leaf parsley, because it makes everything taste fresher. (Am I the only person who feels like a gourmet chef when she garnishes even the most basic dishes with freshly chopped herbs? Making my own vinaigrette makes me feel the same way.)

The "I am too klutzy to be let out in public" moment of the week:


Not to only blog about boring stuff like dieting and working out, but that is sort of what I'm doing nowadays. Anyway, the first night I worked out at the new gym after work, there was a really cute male trainer putting a woman through her a workout. The only open treadmill was right next to them, so I got on it and started walking while I got my CD player going. (And, I swear, I feel like the only adult in America who doesn't own an iPod.)


The woman was jogging on the treadmill next to mine, and Cute Trainer was standing in between our treadmills talking to her. I wanted to look like I knew what I was doing, so I started the treadmill and started walking really quickly. About three minutes in I was pumping my arms and I accidentally hit the emergency button on the treadmill, which caused it to abruptly stop and for my body to lurch forward and for me to grab the handrail next to the Cute Trainer while squealing like I'd just been blindsided by a truck. (I was really in the zone when the treadmill stopped.)


He turned to me, concerned, realized what I'd done and said, "If you hit that red button, it will stop." I just drank my water and nodded, completely mortified.


Songs on my workout mix:  

  • "Moondance" by Michael Bouble
  • "Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing" by Chris Issak
  • "Shooters" by Lil Wayne (featuring sexy Robin Thicke, son of Alan Thicke of "Growing Pains," I think.)
  • "Get Into the Groove" by Madonna
  • "Shame on You" by the Indigo Girls
  • "Breathe" by Anna Nalick (I don't know why I still love this song.)
  • "Straight Tequila Night" by Clay Walker (Yeah. Shut up.)
  • "Cry Just Like a Baby" by Kasey Chambers
  • "Didn't Steal You Boyfriend" by Ashlee Simpson (I will hear NO criticism! It's fast and perfect for working out.)

What's on your workout playlist? I'm taking suggestions for songs to keep me energized for an hour. (And also for some good cool down songs.)  

Charming's Reasons Why Not

Look, I really wanted to like "Emily's Reasons Why Not," which debuted on ABC last night. I was actually looking forward to the show.


It looked cute. And I like Heather Graham. So I was all cozy in my PJs with an evening cup of tea and my beautification supplies (nail file, cuticle cream, hand lotion), ready for some good chick TV.


I was disappointed. The acting was over the top at times, and while shows like "Scrubs" can pull off an exaggerated, over-acted style, "Emily's Reasons Why Not" fails in this respect. You can't have graphical subtitles, a narrator, flashback scenes and dream/thought sequences all in one 22-minute episode. That's a sure sign that you're trying too hard.


There were good parts. Some of Emily's inner monologue was punchy. ("From a mime!) The guy who just wants to cuddle? That TOTALLY happened to one of my girlfriends. And the eyelash as a theme that floated through the storyline? That almost reminded me of something obsessive, but cute, that would end up on a Single Lady's blog. The post would be titled, "The Eyelash," and it would start out whimsical enough, but ultimately end on a slightly negative, yet hopeful, note, like, "I wanted so badly for Him to be the right guy, for us to click, for my wish to come true. But life isn't always like that, people don't always hit it off and eyelashes aren't the best wish predictors. Maybe next time I'll rub a lamp or something."


But there are bad parts. (Graphical lists of reasons! Oh hell no.) And The Reasons? Eh. If you're going to almost personify a theme like "The Reasons," at least devote more than a minute to why The Reasons are being talked about like they're in the room, for crying out loud. 


It's kind of like when you're getting dressed for a night out. You pose, fully dressed, in front of your bathroom mirror and pause. This is when you remove some bulky accessory — a wrist full of bangles, a long necklace that is just too much when paired with big beaded hoops, a belt that is too bestudded to be worn — smooth your hair and head out.


 The producers should have stepped back from the mirror, removed two accessories before sending "Emily" out into the scary world that is network television. A narrator and a few flashbacks with a subtlety acted script, maybe? More actual acting, less Glitter Cho.


Real single women know that there is a fine line between understated fabulousness and being a made-up, big-haired, obnoxiously perfumed cliché.


I guess someone should tell Emily, huh?

The Posts I Never Posted

I often start posts and don’t finish them for some reason. I’ll be really excited about an idea and the post won’t come together and it will piss me off. Or I’ll leave it to breathe before I post it and when I come back I hate the post. Or I change my mind or opinion about something and quit writing. Or I write a few paragraphs because I had an idea and then I never go back to those prompts. Or, maybe, I just forget about a post and I come back and don't feel like posting it. Anyway, I have a graveyard of posts that never worked out. And I was reading through them and there are some excerpts that I like. So as a precursor to my upcoming one-year blog birthday post, I thought I’d give you some excerpts from these little abandoned masterpieces. (The writing, it wants to be read!) My friends, enjoy. Here is some of the stuff that never made it to the blog: Charming on buying a bra:

I think guys underestimate the stress that is shopping when you have large (or even medium-sized) breasts. There are problems at every stage of the game. Buying bras, for example? Terrible! It is not as easy as walking into Victoria's Secret and grabbing the first thing you trip over. At all. (Oh, to be able to buy bras at Victoria's Secret. Sigh. I haven't done that since high school.) Those sexy lace bras that guys think are so hot? No coverage! No support! (I know large-chested women who do wear Vickie's bras, but I would rather die. Victoria's Secret designs bras for women who are 34 and 36 B cups and even in a large size, my cup runeth over.) I long ago abandoned the dream of wearing an all lace bra with thin, silky straps. I looked around at the chest size of the women in my family and knew I was destined for a life of thick straps and underwires. When I find a bra that fits correctly, I probably buy three of them. And I treat them like they are my children. I handwash them and let them drip dry before fluffing them (when they are dry) in the dryer while they are inside a pillowcase. Once I have found a bra that fits, I must fight for a shirt that fits correctly too. Smart clothing designers know not to put a button that hits mid-rack on an oxford shirt for a woman. It will only cause the shirt to pucker and pull. The best shirts have buttons above and below the chest, but then you run the risk of feeling like you're buttoned up all the way to your chest. (Which is why many women opt for the camisole beneath the oxford look.)
Charming on Astrology:
I have a confession to make. I am a closet astrology enthusiast. I'm not crazy about it – I don't only date certain astrological signs or anything rash like that. (Of course, it's not like I'm dating anyone lately. Beggars can't be choosy!) But I like horoscopes. As silly as it may seem to believe in something that based on birth dates and moon cycles and Mars in the house of whatever, it is fun. I'm not alone. I have friends, well-educated friends with professional jobs like banker or lawyer that have their horoscope e-mailed daily and joke about my Fire Sign-edness. We know it isn't true and that everyone born in the same date range can't possibly have the same fate or luck or fortune. But little distractions like horoscopes are enough to remind you that everything doesn't have to be so serious and thought out and planned sometimes. When you are surrounded by deadlines and datebooks, it is easy to forget that there's a certain amount of stuff that you can't organize, plan or control. I am a Sagittarius. A hardcore Sagittarius. I am stubborn and emotional and I need a lot of attention. But I am also social and passionate and friendly and eager to please. A total fire sign, through and through. (And yes, I realize I could probably spin any astrological sign to fit different personalities or any horoscope to match my day. But it is so much more fun to believe that I am somehow united with all of the other excitable, loud-mouthed extroverts out there and that my idiosyncrasies are somehow related to some outside force and, therefore, are not my fault.)
Charming on how people dress:
At the bar, we had a unique vantage point because we were in a booth in an area by one of the bars where everyone passes through. We saw the good, the bad and just plain ugly of outfits, which kept us pretty amused. I'm not sure what was going on that night, but it was a different crowd than normal and some of them looked like they dressed in the dark. First off, ladies, I don't care what the emaciated starlets in New York and LA are wearing, the dress over jeans look does not work on anyone. I promise. Why would you take a cute dress and ugly it up with jeans and flip flops? Just wear the dress and a pair of sandals or something for crying out loud. This is even more amazing when you look around and see the number of longer-length shirts available in stores right now. You can find camis and tops that are longer and look cute over jeans without having to wear a damn dress that goes down almost to your knees. (I know this for a fact, as I was wearing one on Saturday.) Also, white shoes don't look cute on anyone. White sandals or white strappy shoes are the exception to this. But white pumps? I don't care who told you they look cute. They don't. Your feet look huge. A big hint for the men: Tennis shoes are not cool at 1:30 a.m. unless you're at a sports bar, a dumpy college dive bar, a barbecue or a post-game tailgate party. Don't show up in khaki shorts and tennis shoes to drink martinis. In fact, unless it's one of the situations I just mentioned, don't wear shorts at all. (Same goes for the ladies. Capris are acceptable; shorts are not.) This is a BAR, not the gym, not your buddy's living room, not a football stadium. If showed up to drink martinis in a wrinkled T-shirt, fraying shorts and dirty tennis shoes, most guys I know would think I was "letting myself go" or not girly or not into guys. And, yeah, those guys probably aren't worth a damn, but that's life. Guys, you don't have to spend hours getting ready, but could you at least put on jeans and a polo? Or at least a nice T-shirt?
The time Charming almost banned the phrase “He’s Just Not That Into You” from the blog*:
After careful consideration, I have decided that, starting with this post, the phrase "He's Just Not That Into You" is banned from Charming, but single. It was a short-lived courtship, but, unfortunately, this phrase simply cannot offer me what I need in a trite, "Aw-shucks, golly-gee" sentiment. Phrase, it is not you. It is me. Here is my problem with this phrase and it's usage on my blog. I want to be able to talk about guys (either from my past, present or future) and my feelings (either past, present or future) without a barrage of "He's just not that into you!" from everyone I know. Trust me, I get this online and offline and it drives me crazy. Since when does expressing yourself equal not understanding reality? Isn't there some inherent value in examining your past situations and your feelings about people? How are we ever to move on if we don't look at past failures? Isn't yelling, "He's just not that into you!" akin to shoving your fingers in your ears and saying, "I can't hear you! I can't hear you!" Are we so afraid of looking at our own flaws and shortcomings that we're ready to throw away self-examination? Have we forgotten that history repeats itself if you don't make any changes?
Charming on being polite to people you dislike:
At times, I am passive aggressive in my personal life. I will avoid people I don't want to see. In fact, I'm kind of a pro at this. If there's someone that I just don't want to see, I will just completely remove him or her from my life, stop hanging out in the same social circle as he or she does and move on. I generally don't just drop off of the face of the earth without reason or without letting them know that I'm upset with them, but I do sometimes just sever ties with people without looking back. When I do have to socialize with people I know I don't want to see, I do it with as much grace as possible. I smile and say hello, I may make a bit of small talk and then I move on. I was raised that, in general, you try to avoid being ugly to someone to their face. But -- and you must remember that I was raised with typical Southern ladies all around me -- a little gossip and groaning in private with the girls is sometimes in order. I'll defer to Ms. Dolly Parton who put it so well in "Steel Magnolias": "If you don't have something nice to say, come sit by me." Call it hypocritical, call it bitchy, call it whatever. I'd rather do my seething and whining in private than be rude and awkward to an acquaintance face to face. But that's just me.
Charming is not sure where this one came from. But it never got posted:
I am a bit of a song junkie. As I've previously written, I (and many people I know) associate songs with guys I've liked/loved/lusted after, etc. Other songs just remind me of a feeling or a place or a time and take me away for a bit. There are albums that are staples to me. "Blue" by Joni Mitchell, "Jagged Little Pill" by Alanis Morissette, "August and Everything After" by the Counting Crows, "Fumbling Towards Ecstasy" by Sarah McLachlan ... I could go on. ("Dilate" by Ani DiFranco and half of everything U2's ever put out ... Billy Joel ... "Little Earthquakes" by Tori Amos ... I'm going to quit now.) I listen to these albums at least once a year, if not more. I get in moods and go through phases. It is not uncommon for me to listen to "Anna Begins" by the Counting Crows 15 times in a row each day for a week. When I get pensive, I turn to songs and albums I love, work through the emotion of the moment and then go forward. This moment belongs to a song called "Ghost" by the Indigo Girls. (Side note: I was teased mercilessly when I was in church youth group in high school because I listened to "lesbian music." Whatever.) It speaks of past loves gone sour and that lingering feeling that you'll always be in love with someone -- or at least in love with the way you remember things to be and haunted by possibility. I'm not going to quote all of the lyrics, because I already feel about 14 years old writing about a song that I can, like, TOTALLY relate to. Gag me with a martini. The relevant part: And there’s not enough room In this world for my pain Signals cross and love gets lost And time passed makes it plain Of all my demon spirits I need you the most I’m in love with your ghost I have been humming this song for days. I have karaoked it in the car whenever I was driving -- traffic reports and local news be damned, I cannot be bothered with the radio when I have "Ghost." Psychoanalyze all you want ... the song is melodramatic and doesn't really match exactly how I'm feeling now. (Not enough room in the world for my pain? Uh, I'm not in that much pain right now ...) I think the song feels more generalized to me right now. I am constantly chasing after someone I can't (or don't) have, metaphorically speaking, that is. What I'm feeling right now is as close to longing for companionship as I think I've ever been -- I don't recall ever being so focused and mildly obsessed with wanting to be part of a coupling. (Spare me the "You'll find him when you're not looking!" lecture. I know. I KNOW.) So, I'm constantly chasing after the ghost of this Ideal Man I was supposed to meet and marry and procreate with. And I come to these momentary agreements with myself -- I'm not going to worry about it, I say. I'm going to let it run smoothly and naturally. But it never fails. I'm always searching and chasing and ready, as if I can attract love just by willing it to be so. And this approach seldom works.
Charming during the first time she tried to quit smoking in 2005**:
I had a hellish day at work, not because my life is hellish, but because I was in A Mood. When I get in A Mood there ain't nothing you can do but stay out of my way. I was annoyed with pretty much everything and everyone all day. I almost went home sick because A Mood made me feel like crap. This was the day that not smoking really hit me. Hard. Like a Mack Truck doing 80 mph. I ate an entire pack of sugarfree Orbit gum and bit my nails and tapped on the desk and generally was skittish and pissy all day. But I did not cry, nor did I go buy a pack of cigarettes, nor did I beg, borrow or steal one. I was pretty proud of myself. In the past, I've always caved at this point. Friday was the end of three weeks without smoking, and I'm feeling good about it. I've learned that I cannot have EVEN ONE cigarette. I can't even have a DRAG off of a cigarette. This is where I've gone wrong in my past attempts to quit -- I'd go cold turkey for a week and the have "just one," which always turns into just one pack. The stupid thing is that I am not addicted to nicotine. At all. Physically, my body could care less about having the substance. My addiction is and always will be in my head. I am very big on associations. When I am stressed, I associate a cigarette with relaxtion. In my mind, a glass of wine tastes better with a cigarette. And traffic moves faster with a cigarette.
Charming on growing up:
When I was a child, I had this idea of what being a grown-up would be like. I would have a house that had two stories and a car that was new and shiny. I didn’t know the exact age that I would be an adult, but I knew I’d be taller. I, like pretty much everyone else I know, had these preconceived notions about husbands and jobs and what constituted adulthood. And somewhere between my Rainbow Brite and tonight, I did grow up. I do not have a husband and a house and my car is not new and shiny. But I am much taller.
* I did almost ban “He’s Just Not that Into You” from the blog in a fit of, but I changed my mind. I do want people’s honest feedback on things. And sometimes “He’s Just Not That In To You” is the best response. Maybe. I guess. I hate that damn book. ** I am proud to say that while I didn’t quite smoking the first time I tried, I did eventually quit smoking in 2005. I have not had a cigarette in almost two months. I didn’t even smoke one on New Year’s Eve. I don’t mean to brag, but anyone who has ever quit or tried to quit will tell you that this is an accomplishment.

The Universe Says: Get out there! Single Blogger Says: Eh?

My "Romance Horoscope" for today:

Finding romance could be easier than you think, especially if you learn to shake what your momma gave you. Use your talent for throwing killer parties to create the perfect occasion to meet The One.
I'm supposed to "shake what [my] momma gave me"?
Wobbly bits and all?


Sigh. I am so unmotivated.

Newsflash: The New Year has not made the Single Blogger any more man-savvy

My friend The Banker and I were talking resolutions over lunch today. I am not usually one to make one (especially since in the last two months I've quit smoking AND biting my nails, so I'm kind of wary to resolve to do anything else), but I have felt compelled to focus on working out and eating better. The mass amount of food consumed in December combined with the January peer pressure always gets me.


For some reason, I always dive blindly into the New Year with unabated optimism and grand enthusiasm about all things. I mentally wipe the slate clean and declare that I'm not reverting back to my old ways. Not me. Not ever. I'll be a lean, mean, hard-working, dating machine!


It was this wide-eyed idealism that caused me to put down my fork and declare: "We have to, like, go out and meet new guys this year," as if this was something we'd never thought of before.


The Banker scrunched her nose and put her pita bread down.


"I know," she sighed. "It's like I KNOW I should go to bars and go out and meet boys, but I just don't want to. Do you ever feel like you Just. Don't. Want. To?"


I agreed with her. We like our routines. I told her that I have a nightly TV schedule in place and I like to have my dinner, a glass of wine and then a few hours of TV or reading before bed.


The Banker ran down a list of her recent social engagements – Trivial Pursuit at my place with wine, board games and snacks with friends and her regular poker night with the girls. She said she had so much fun doing these things, but she sensed that she should be out there at least trying to meet men.


"I feel like I should FORCE myself," she said, exasperated.


I have become obsessed with joining a new gym and how this is going to solve all of my problems, so I had another plan.


"I wish I would just join the gym by work, be running on the treadmill one day and just turn to the guy next to me and say, 'I'm tired. Let's just get married'," I told her. "And then we'd just go get married and get on with it."


"I've been at the same gym for TWO YEARS and I've never met anyone there," she said, punctuating the TWO YEARS with big eyes.


We stopped and stewed over the topic.


I had another idea. "Maybe I should join a Church?" I suggested.

Note to self: No more chocolate before bedtime

I woke up confused this morning. I smashed my hand against the snooze button, simultaneously knocking an empty wine glass from the night stand. (The glass escaped unscathed because I have carpet.) I arched my back to stretch and in one fluid motion, slid up against the pillows into a sitting position and pulled the down comforter up around my chest. I rubbed my eyes, fumbled around for my glasses and attempted to untangle my hair. I leaned back against the pillows and my iron headboard and tried to knock the sleep from my head. A very detailed dream had startled me, even though it really wasn't scary. As I settled back into bed (I have today off from work), I racked my brain for details of the dream and came up with the following:

I was at work, but not in my office – instead in an office with long desks and several computers. But I was the only one there working and the phones kept ringing off of the hook. As I dashed from phone to phone, I yelled to the guy in the room – a guy I had previously fallen very hard for – to help me out. One of my superiors was on the phone freaking out about an article in the newspaper and I hadn’t read it and was trying to pretend that I had for some reason. (I should have just asked if I could look the story up and call the Superior back, which would have been fine in reality. But I didn't and I just kept digging myself deeper into a hole.) Over the phone, the superior would mention things and locations specific to work and kept insisting that the quotes he gave a reporter made him sound stupid. I kept trying to appease him, but the phones kept ringing, so I pressed the receiver against my stomach and I begged the guy for help. “Go into my e-mail and print the e-mail from [Coworker’s name] and bring it to me,” I barked. "Now! I need it!" He protested as I hissed orders at him. He wouldn’t (or couldn’t) print the e-mail and so I stalked across the room to do it myself. He looked at me helplessly with his nice eyes. He looked like he does in reality, except for his hair was gray, like Anderson Cooper’s. He complained that he was tired of hanging out with me at work and wanted us to go somewhere. I wanted to kiss him, but instead I snarked back about being busy. Then he told me he was living with his girlfriend and two other couples in a house in Bloomington, Indiana. (Which isn’t true in real life.) Then a Coworker/Friend (the one who sent the e-mail I needed) walked in and I introduced him to her. She raised her eyebrows about the guy. "What did you say?" he demanded. "I just introduced you to my friend," I said. I pouted my lip. “I can’t believe you,” he yelled and he stormed out of the room. “Wait …” I trailed off and didn’t stop him. I shrugged and went back to work.
The dream confused me because I've thought of this guy once recently and then before that it had been years. And then to vividly remember him in a dream about work? And to have him tell me something so specific (that he was living in Bloomington) that I know isn't actually true? And to be so mean to him and have him get so mad and me and storm out? Either I've got some sort of unresolved issue there or I need to limit my sugar intake before bed. (Or a combination of both.) I nestled myself back into the pillows and watched an episode of "Desperate Housewives" on DVD. Susan came clean to Edie about her house, Bree (my favorite!) tried to teach George how to shoot a gun, Gabrielle fought with Carlos and Lynette pretended one of her kids had cancer to get a spot in her gym's nursery. I should have been lost in the ridiculousness of it all. But for some reason, the dream stayed with me.

A Charming Wish

(I get different versions of this e-mailed to me, so I thought I'd make my own version for you. Enjoy!) To the Charming, But Singles of the world:

May you always have … Vodka to warm you. Single men (or women) to charm you. Your wits and common sense, So nothing can harm you. Good friends to cheer you, Loved ones close near you. And whenever you laugh, An audience to hear you.
Cheers to: Hope, Rebuilding and Optimism. ('Cause there is no way in HELL 2006 could be worse than 2005. I mean, really.)

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

Links (Updated!)


I'm a C-list Blogebrity

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