Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Final Resolution Check

I'm sitting on a 6th floor balcony facing the Gulf as I write this post. Yes, my family decided to take a post-Christmas vacation and we've been spending the week in St. Petersburg, Florida on Capri Isle.

The view from my grandmother's dock - Treasure Island, FL

I've been trying to force myself to not worry my mind with thoughts of joblessness or boys, and to try and relax this week. But, of course, I can never keep my mind still.

Isn't it funny how we think that just because the year changes that we have a clean slate? Like everything we've done and experienced goes away because it's a new year. Part of me wants to believe that's how it can be, but the other part knows the reality. The problems and issues we had on December 31st will still be there on January 1st. 2009 will become 2010 and everything will stay the same. I guess the ability to change is still there, and it's easier for some people to adapt new habits when there's talk about change in the air.

Normally, this would be the time I make my resolutions for the year, but I think I'm going to wait until tomorrow to really put it all out there. There's some thinking I have to do on that.

But, since the end of the year has now arrived, it's time to do the official 2009 resolution check. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you'd remember the original resolution post and the 6-month-check-up. So, here we go - let's see how I did this year.

Family: It has been a very difficult year for my family. My resolution with them was to make sure I was maintaining contact with all of them (including extended family) and to be certain they understood how much they mean to me. Never did I think that losing one of my favorite people would bring that closeness back to the family. The death of my grandfather and my dad's cancer diagnosis has given us an opportunity to know each other in a way I didn't think possible before. I hate the circumstances that forced this, but I'm appreciative to have such an amazing support system in place. I'm extremely fortunate to have such a wonderful family.

Independence: Man, I have certainly become more independent this year! In fact, I moved from an apartment in the East Village to one in Murray Hill by myself! (Yes, I did have a friend help me move my bed, but I did the rest!) It was one of those situations that I would have never had to worry about had I been in North Carolina, but this time, I had to step up and figure it out on my own. I've also spent more time figuring out what I want to do - not what other people would want. It's hard, to consider only myself and not others, but I'm getting better.

Friends: After leaving Ogilvy, I had less time to remain in contact with my friends from home (on gchat), that, I regret. But, moving to a new job and a new apartment, and meeting more people in the city, I'm really starting to form a friend network here. Of course, my friends from home will always hold a special place in my life and I hope they are always there.
In addition, I'm really starting to understand that I have a choice about what people I want in my life and ones that I do not. It seems so elementary, that we get to be selective about who we want to spend our time with - but it really took me a lot of courage to be able to tell people that I just wasn't interested in being their friend. It's probably some of the best things I've done.

Dating: If you read this blog, you know all about my dating life. Of course, I didn't come out of this year with a solid romantic relationship, but I feel like I came out with something a lot better - I have a better understanding of myself and what I need in a partner. I guess this whole dating thing has really been about self-discovery all along. I've met some great people, some creepy people, I've laughed until no sound came out, and I've cried. Best of all, I've made some great friends.

Professional: This is probably the worst part of this "review". After getting laid off in October and being jobless up until this point, I've been very discouraged in the professional realm. Hopefully, this will turn around in the coming weeks.

Selfishness: If you remember, I resoluted to be more selfish this year. To consider myself above others and to really focus on what I wanted out of life. I've made extra effort to say "no" when I don't want to do something and to push for what I want. It's a lifestyle change, yes. But, I think it's for the best. I've also gotten much better about articulating my feelings to people - to be able to say "you upset me" when I usually would keep to myself. "I like you" is another thing I've learned it's okay to say to people (when it's true)

I've come out of a shell this year. And, no matter what happens, 2009 will be the year I lived in New York City, the year my father was diagnosed with (and hopefully beat) cancer, the year I lost my dog, the year my grandfather died. It will be the year where I moved from a crappy apartment in the East Village to a wonderful place uptown. It will have been the year I sat on the beach in December trying to get as tan as this 70 degree weather will allow.

The sun has sunk beautifully into the reflective water and I'll be going to dinner with the family soon. So, while my 2010 resolutions are still coming, I wish you all a very happy new year. May 2010 be your best year yet!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

VA Review: NARS Orgasm Collection - Blush

Blush was one of those pieces of makeup I never really put much interest in. In high school, I was all about the eye makeup. In fact, I look at some photos now and wonder why I thought it was okay to go outside with so much eye makeup caked on. The past year, it's been all about the lipstick. But, while walking around Sephora bored one afternoon, a woman asked me if I'd like to have a consultation. I told her I wasn't really interested in doing something long and drawn out, but she looked me over and said, "You should really highlight your cheeks more, you've got such a great face shape."

Strange, I never thought much about my cheeks before - I always tried to highlight with a touch of blush, but nothing too fancy.

That was, until I discovered "Orgasm" by NARS.

I'd seen the collection listed in the Selfglampolitan magazines many times, but I always thought that it was a little too expensive. But, I bit the bullet and bought the blush.

Here's what I know: I love it.

It promises to give you that "just 'gasmed" glow - I don't know how close it makes your face look to post-O, but it's a soft peach with a golden shine. The best thing about it is that you can make it as light or as dark as you want depending on how much you stack on.

So now, it's all about the cheeks for me. Of course, it's better to keep the eyes and lips as neutral as possible. Remember kids, only go crazy on one part at a time!

Here's a picture of me and the pops - tell me what you think!

When reading reviews online, there was a complaint about how this blush didn't come with a brush, but I believe that if you're at the point where you're paying $25.00 for blush, you have professional brushes that you already use.

Overall grade: 9
It's a tad expensive, but blush usually lasts a long time. So, if I use it every day for 6 months, it averages about $0.13 a day. It goes on great, doesn't fade, and I'm sure would look wonderful on many different skin tones. Hopefully this blush will take me straight into summer!

If you're interested in reading more reviews, head on over to the Sephora website and check it out HERE !

Friday, December 25, 2009

Dating Virginia: Just Friends

MealPlan and I are just friends.

It's something I've known for quite some time, but I finally took the initiative to put it out on the table yesterday. It is agreed: we are just friends. There's a part of me that is a little saddened by the confirmation of it, but the other part of me is relieved. I mentioned before that I didn't think that a relationship would form out of our situation. But, I guess I just didn't really consider the fact that the relationship we had was a 'just friends' type.

I knew I didn't want to lose him, since I talk to him every day and I do enjoy that. So, this is best. But, there's still kind of an awkward thing happening. We're starting to get to the point where we're talking about dating other people and such. But, I guess that's part of being a friend; putting my old feelings aside and being the best friend I can be. And, believe it or not, I kind of enjoy being that person for him.

So, there it is. I think we'll be good as friends - and maybe I can date his friends ;)

'Till next time - Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Dating Virginia: Is that all there is?

Let's catch up. I've done a lot of posts that talk about what I like and don't like about dating, but haven't actually talked a lot about what has been happening.

Since the summer, I've done a lot of dating, but there have been two guys that have remained pretty constant throughout the fall. "Seaman" and "MealPlan".

If you remember back in the summer, I made a post about Seaman talking about our amazing sexual chemistry. But, Seaman and I have ceased communication after I sat next to him while watching a movie and realized that I actually hated him. I'm not exactly sure why I kept talking with him for so long, but I decided that I should never be with someone who embarrasses me in public. (Yeah, he thought it was okay to continually walk around town with his shirt off, sang out loud while listening to an iPod - while walking down the street with me! - and had to stop and pet every single dog we passed)

MealPlan and I, on the other hand, still talk every day, on IM and texting, but he doesn't seem to want to hang out very often. I don't get it. Does he want a pen pal? Normally when I abide by the "he's just not that into you" rules, his constant contact would mean that he's interested, since he keeps on contacting me, yes? But, he's also kind of mean to me. I know he's probably thinking that he's joking with me or whatever, but some of the things he says are actually offensive. Maybe that's his way of saying that he is uninterested in anything more than "friends." But still, I like talking to him.

I can't quite figure out why I want to like him so much, or why I want him to like me so much. I can't imagine at this point that we could actually form a legit relationship out of our "relationship" because we seem to have crossed too far into the "friend zone".

Humph. Am I destined to be attracted to men who treat me badly?

In trying to find a man other than MealPlan, (meaning, one who actually would like to SEE me) I went on a date tonight. I was really pumped about this particular date, I really thought that there could be something with this guy. But, he turned out to be a horribly boring mouth breather with bad teeth.

Is that all there is? Is that all that is out there for me? It's such a let down to constantly go on dates just to be disappointed.

How hard can it be to find a tall, classically handsome man who enjoys brushing his teeth? Apparently, it's impossible.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Break the levee

I don't cry very often.

That may seem an unusual statement to a lot of you because I'm kind of a sap, but it's true. I don't cry very often. Sure, I feel like crying a lot; I often get that lump in my throat that begs to be soothed by giant puddles forming in my eyes, but I rarely allow it to come to fruition. Seriously, I get that feeling over the smallest things. A sappy commercial, phone calls from friends and family, books, special emails, seeing happy children in parks, and standing ovations at the end of performances. But, I've always found a way to keep it inside.

I was always the peacemaker in my family. Always the one that tried to patch things up when they weren't going smoothly, or when people fought. That's not to say that I never started anything (my siblings would attest to that!), but overall, since I was a young girl, being the rock was where I felt I belonged.

Because of that, I have often kept my feelings to myself, hid my emotion during tough times and instead helped others through their pain. And, it seems, that because of my "need to be strong for every one else", I have isolated myself and find myself alone.

I cry alone.

Last week, a North Carolina man by the name of Dick Carson died. He had a malignant tumor that was found too late. A member of the Elon church where my mother works (and where my family attends service on the regular), my family knew Mr. Carson well. During my father's last chemotherapy treatment, he sat next to Mr. Carson, both receiving a slow medicated cocktail to cure their deadly disease. Today, my father went in for his last chemo treatment of 2009, Dick Carson, of course, was not there.

I spoke to my mother this week on the phone, she said: "Your father was pretty upset at the funeral home today. I guess it's hard to have someone sit next to you during your chemo, and be dead by your next treatment." I agreed, holding back that lump that started to rise in my throat.

This past weekend, my brother and his girlfriend, Tara, came to visit. Coincidentally, his girlfriend's mother lives across the street from me here in New York, so the four of us spent a lot of time together. Tara lost her father to leukemia when she was a little girl. Friday night, I sat in the living room across the street and talked with her mother, and she spoke casually about losing her husband. "He got really sick really fast," she said, "and it was good that he was able to come home for a few days before he died, spend some time with the children, and get his affairs in order." And casually continued, "You're lucky that your dad has felt well enough to do the same."

It stung. Bad. I think I've always understood that this disease will ultimately take my father. But, never have I heard it said in such a casual way. And not once since he was diagnosed have I really considered that my father could take a turn for the worse at any day. I need to bring myself to accept the reality of the situation, but it's been so much easier to hide behind the "silver lining". I seem to be doing that a lot as of late.

I guess the culmination of things people have said over the past few days just hit me at once. And I let myself cry.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Dating Virginia: I kept my promise!

Yes, I held up the deal I made with myself to not meet any new “suitors” until after Thanksgiving. And, because of that, I nailed myself two job interviews and a new post-Thanksgiving date. But, I am sad to report, that I’m not that optimistic about any of it. I’ll get into the interview parts in a separate post that isn’t about dating.

I haven’t determined a nickname for this gentleman yet, so I’ll call him “A”.

A and I started talking (he found me online, of course) a few weeks ago. It was a good start to communicating, because he wrote thoughtfully and seemed genuinely interested in getting to know me. (Big plus for him) Last Thursday, he took the extra step and asked if he could take me out to dinner. We exchanged numbers, made a plan to meet Monday evening. I will say, I was thinking that it wasn’t going to happen because there was no follow-up call to confirm the date and time. But, when I got a text from him saying, “I’m here”, I made a mad dash to get down there. At least I was already dressed!

If I am being honest, I was actually hoping he would forget or would stand me up so that I wouldn’t have to go out. I have been feeling pretty crappy since Saturday afternoon and have hardly eaten any food since. I haven’t a clue what’s wrong with me, but I feel nauseous all the time and all food sits like a rock in my stomach. (Before you jump to conclusions, no, I am not pregnant.)

But, I put on a normal face and went to dinner with A. I was so miserable throughout the entire dinner of pre-dinner guacamole, a small appetizer, and then Mexican doughnuts. It took every ounce of class I could muster to choke down each bite of food and not throw it up all over the table.

But, the conversation was good, he was nice, and I was comfortable (aside from the stomach issues). That said, I didn’t really feel much else. I know people have been constantly saying that when you finally meet someone that you’re supposed to be with, you’ll know it. But, it’s been a long time since I got that flutter in my stomach, that giggle you have to keep inside while you tell the story of your date… I guess I’m just waiting to get back from a date and finally have something to say other than “ah, it was okay. He was nice.”

Until then, I’ll keep trying!

Friday, November 20, 2009

VA Watches: GLEE

If you're not watching Glee, you're crazy.

A delightful show, airing weekly on Fox, I'm not afraid to say it's my guilty pleasure. With witty one-liners, dramatic plot lines, and the knock-em-outta-the-park show tunes, it's definitely a winner in my book.

Here's what I'll do - a quick run-down of characters and plot lines so you can jump right in watching next week.

The series follows Will Schuster, a Spanish teacher at an Ohio high school that decides to bring back the Glee club. Of course, like typical high school life, the musically talented kids are the geeks and losers of the school. Mr. Schu is trying to change that. Recruiting the star football player and members of the award-winning cheerleading squad, these students, while they battle high school stereotypes, sing their tiny hearts out each episode. Will is married (she'll be listed below), but has obvious love for the HS guidance counselor, Emma. Will can sing and dance amazingly, even though he's a white guy. And, when he opens that mouth and belts out a song, it makes my couch-sittin' heart melt. A guy who loves kids, education, and can sing? Sign me up, please!

Ah, Sue Sylvester. The coach of the cheerleading squad, The Cheerios, and the show's villain. Sue quickly became one of my favorite characters on the show because she's got some AMAZING one-liners. Hell-bent on destroying Mr. Schu and the Glee club so that her extra-curricular budget isn't split, she does everything she can to bust up the show-tune-express. Including throwing some of her own cheerleaders into the mix to infiltrate from the inside. I guess she didn't expect those panel-skirt-wearin' ladies to start glee-lovin'. Sue is known in the small Ohio town for coaching the Cheerios into constantly winning national championships and even has her own segment on the local news, Sue's Corner, where she constantly tries to turn people onto the idea of torture to make champions. "Caning works!"

Emma Pilsbury, the soft-spoken, germaphobic guidance counselor who is hopelessly in love with a married man: Will Schuster. I love Emma's character, with her straight-from-Antrhropologie wardrobe and her obsessive cleaning habits, she provides a stark contrast to the overbearing wife of Will's. She's got a timid voice, but gives good advice and you can tell she and Will have a good friendship. And, though she's only sung once, turns out, she's got quite a voice on her. And, I love her permanent hair flip-out on one side. Must figure out how to get my hair to do that.

Up next is Terri Schuster, Will's neurotic wife who works very little at Sheets-N-Things and does crafts. While having marriage problems in the beginning of the series, Terri has a hysterical pregnancy and is now pretending that she is pregnant in order to get Will to stay in the marriage. Though her sister knows, she advised Terri to not fess-up to Will and instead continue with the lie stating "we're going to have to get you a baby". I gotta give major props to Jessalyn Gilsig, the actress that plays Terri, because she is doing an amazing job portraying a character that is specifically written for all of us to hate. She's superficial and mean, and we (the viewers) desperately want Will to find out her stupid secret (really, how does she expect to hide a pregnancy from her husband for 9 months?!) so he can leave her and jazz run down the hall of the school into Emma's clean arms, and sing their hearts out right into each other's faces.

Let's move on to the chil'ren.

Rachel Berry. The amazingly talented sophomore, who obviously knows that she's good. She's decidedly the lead vocal in the Glee club and everyone else seems to agree on her talent. She's a bit neurotic, practicing all the time and always talking about her "career". She'd be the one that starts sending letters and tapes to Juilliard, hoping that she could receive not only early admission, but a scholarship and a record deal. Not that she's not right - the girl can belt like Mariah and can make any song sound good. Even though she's rediculously talented, she's still considered a geek in the school and is constantly tormented by the "popular kids". Her hope is that Glee will become as popular as it was when Will was a student so she can get a boyfriend. Big dreams, hun. The only thing that really bothers me about Rachel is that she wears pleated knee-legnth skirts, and fold-down ankle socks with mary-jane shoes. No, no, no, no.

Finn Hudson. God, that boy is hot. And, he's even hotter in person (yes, I saw him at the Glee CD signing in Columbus Circle. And, it's okay for me to crush on him because Cory Monteith is actually a 29 year old playing a high school kid.) He's the star quarterback, but just happens to be a complete idiot. His girlfriend (we'll profile her in a minute), the head cheerleader, happens to be pregnant, but surprise of surprises, Finn is not the father. But, it shows his character that he believes he could actually get a girl pregnant by prematurely ejaculating in his swimsuit while making out in a hot tub. He's got a good voice, and is usually picked for the male lead opposite Rachel. There's definite chemistry between Rachel and Finn and that helps provide a love-triangle situation on the student level.

Quinn Fabray. The bitchy, once Head Cheerio, now kicked off the squad because of her pregnancy. She had sex with Finn's best friend, but maintains that Finn is the father. President of the Celibacy Club (do high schools really have Celibacy clubs?!) her Glen Beck-lovin’ family didn’t take too kindly with the knowledge that daddy’s little girl is daddy’s little got-a-girl-in-the-oven. In fact, daddy kicked ol’girl out of the house last episode and she’ll now be living with Finn and his mom.

This is getting long, so I’ll fly through the rest of them.

Mercedes, the token black girl is the Jennifer Hudson of the group. That girl has got a set of pipes for sure!

Artie, wheelchair kid, also has an unbelievable voice, it’s almost shocking the sound that comes out when he opens his mouth.

Tina, the punk-asian, with a fake stutter and blue streaks in her hair. (They’re really playing up the “loser” stereotypes here.)

Kurt. Ah, Kurt, I love him. He’s the gay kid that every show choir needs. In this show, we’re really seeing Kurt go through a transition where he recognizes that he is gay and is starting to openly display it and hopes that he wont be completely shunned for it. Kurt’s a definite male soprano and that high-pitched voice is to die for. Kurt also has impeccable fashion – apparently not appreciated in the small Ohio town. I feel ya, Kurt, I feel ya.

Lastly, there’s Puck. The bad-ass, Mohawk sportin’ dude that really knocked up the Queen of the Chastity Ball. He’s a bit resentful for Finn, who gets all of the sympathy for being the baby-daddy. I really began liking Puck once he played the guitar and belted out a lovely version of Sweet Caroline.

Now that we’ve blown through the main characters, I’ll leave you with what really makes this show fantastic. The music:

So, stop reading, go straight over to and watch all of the Glee episodes, then tune into Fox next Wednesday to catch the next episode. It's a laugh out loud funny show, but keep in mind that while some of the plot lines are surreal and it's not likely that people belt out in song while walking down the hall, it's supposed to be a fun time - a break from life for about an hour. And please, don't act like you haven't wanted to belt out a version of "Lean on Me" before!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

VA Review: Rembrandt 2 Hour Whitening Kit

Back in high school, I remember looking at photos of myself and seeing nothing but disgusting, yellow teeth. So, I drove myself up to the WalMart in Burlington and bought Crest Whitestrips. At the time, they had just come out and were quite expensive (over 50 dollars!) but I decided that my quest for whiter teeth was worth a few hours at the pool. This was also back when the whitestrips took two weeks. But, the results were astounding.

For reference, before I started a yearly teeth whitening ritual, here's a throw-back photo of my yellowness.

Holy youngin', Batman!
(Note: Not only was this before I discovered tooth-safe-bleach, it was apparently also before I discovered tweezers... and why was I blonde?!)

I remember feeling amazing after whitening. I could smile without feeling self-consious. It was amazing. So, when I checked myself out in the mirror the other day, I was sad to notice a slight yellowing in my teeth. I marched right over to Duane Reade (the NYC drug store for you out-of-town readers) to browse the tooth-whitening aisle. Because of my impatience, I decided against getting the normal 7-day treatment and went for the quick fix. The Rembrandt 2 Hour Whitening kit. 2 hours? Fantastic! I'll have white teeth before dinner! And, at a price of $25.00 I figured I had struck gold.

So, I went home, busted out the kit, and got to work.

The kit contains 2 plastic teeth covers (they really resemble the mouth guards used in sports) that are easily pliable. The instructions indicated to dip each tray in a glass of hot water, melt them a bit, and press them onto your teeth, holding them there to create a personalized mold. Clever, Rembrandt, clever! Once I had made both molds, I started on the first treatment.

There are 4 rounds. You are to put the whitening gel in the mold, pop the molds on your teeth and wait 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, take the molds out, rinse the trays and your mouth with water and wait 10 minutes. Repeat until all gel is gone - approximately 2 hours.

While the timing wasn't an issue (hey, you just watch tv!) the tooth sensitivity I had after the 2nd treatment was astounding. Even still, I kept going, putting the 3rd tray full of bleach in my mouth, ignoring the pain and continuing on my path to whiteness. Pain is beauty, right?

By the 4th and final treatment, tears were running down my face as the nerves in my teeth shot pain back into my skull. Almost done, almost done, I waited that agonizing final 20 minutes, I could only think of how amazing it would feel to brush the painful gel off of my teeth. When the buzzer sounded, I rushed to the bathroom, spit out the molds and just held my mouth under the faucet. After rinsing and brushing, the pain subsided and I was very pleased with the results. My teeth were definitely whiter, my smile brighter. It worked! The pain was worth it... for a few hours.

I woke up around 4:00 that morning, a strange feeling in my mouth. I figured there was a bit of swelling because of the treatment, but was certain it would go down by morning. I was wrong. I woke up, groggily sauntered into the bathroom, and when splashing water on my face to do my morning wash, I looked up at the mirror and was horrified with what I saw. My lips were so swollen, it looked like I had gotten collagen injections from the back of a van in the East Village! I couldn't even put my lips together because my gums were so inflamed.

I had 4 days of miserable pain and swelling, with giant ulcers all along my gum line. Sure, my teeth were beautifully white, but it didn't matter because I couldn't even smile! Though, I didn't really feel like smiling because I couldn't eat or drink anything without a straw, and using a straw was basically impossible because I couldn't fully close my lips. I was a hungry, miserable person for days.

So, rating for Rembrandt's 2 Hour Whitening Kit: 2

The only reason the rating is so high is because the kit did what it promised to do: whiten teeth. Other than that, I will never EVER use it again. It wasn't worth the pain.

My advice, don't use it! Sure, whiten your teeth (and I still intend on keeping up my white smile) but don't go for the quick-fix. Spread your whitening out over a few days. Your mouth (and stomach) will thank you for it!

Oh, and just to juxtapose, here's a photo, taken today. My teeth do seem pretty white ;)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Trying to heal...

Exactly two months ago, my grandfather drew in his final breaths as my family members looked on, held hands, and cried. I wasn't there.

I haven't dealt with it. Losing him. In fact, I don't think I have said aloud "My grandfather died." I realized lately that I'm very hypocritical. I talk all the time about how it's best to face your problems, deal with them, and put them behind you. But, here I am, avoiding it all. I haven't dealt with and accepted his death. And, it makes sense, psychologically. I haven't had to deal with it. I stayed away, I didn't talk to my family members, I didn't talk about it at all. When I don't talk about it or think about it, it doesn't hurt as much. But, I know that if I don't try, if I don't start on a path to acceptance, I'll never be able to be myself again.

Have you ever had to say goodbye to someone you know you'd never see again? It ranks up there with the top 3 hardest things I've ever had to do. On Labor Day weekend, I went to North Carolina to celebrate my grandfather's 80th birthday. And, before having to rush to the airport, I had to tell my grandfather goodbye knowing that he wouldn't be alive the next time I came into town. I knew all weekend that I would have to say my final words to him and I spent many hours thinking of the perfect thing to say, but when the time came, I failed. I could hardly say anything. I did manage to take his hand and choke out, "Goodbye, Pop. I love you." To which he replied, "Love ya, girlie. Let us know when you get back in the city. Be safe, gal."

There hasn't been a single day since then that I haven't regretted not being able to tell him how much I love him. I should have spent more time with him that weekend. I should have asked my family to give us some time alone so that I could tell him everything, but 5 words was all I could do. How is it possible that when it really counted, I could only come up with 5 words?! Normally, all I have is words. I'm ashamed.

So, I have decided that the thing I really need is to get out those words that are inside of me. Like I had done before, I am going to write a letter. Here is an open letter to my grandfather: the greatest man I will ever know. (Editing note: It took me 7 hours, 1 roll of toilet paper, 1 glass of wine, and 6 glasses of water to write this letter.)


I miss you. I miss you every single day. And I'm so sorry I couldn't tell you what I was feeling when we were together last. But, I hope throughout the years, I told you enough that I love you. I hope that you always knew how much I respected you, how much I valued your opinion and how much I really needed and relied on your wisdom. I hope you know that I wasn't lying when I told you that I enjoyed spending hours at your house even if it was just sitting and watching tv with you.

And, I'm sorry - I'm sorry for all the times I didn't call, for the times I said I'd stop by and I never made it. I'm sorry for not being there with you in this past year, especially toward the end. For that, I'm eternally sorry.

I need you now. I need your advice, I need your encouragement. I feel so lost and I need you to tell me what to do.. or I at least need you to tell me that it's okay for me to not know what to do. The world, my world, feels empty without you here.

I can't hear you like I can hear others I've lost. I constantly hear my Dinnie's voice in my head every time I go outside with wet hair. "Dry your hair," she'd say. "You'll catch your death-a-cold going out with your hair soakin' wet." But, I can't hear you. Why can't I hear you?

I want to be like you. To be wise and successful and hard-working. I want to value fairness as you always had. I want to have your amazing ability to stand up for what is good and right and to expect to be treated with respect. You make me want to be the best. You cared for people; you genuinely cared. And not even people you knew, you cared and respected everyone you ever came across. You thought the same of the man who empties the trash as you did the CEO of that same company. To you, hard working people were all the same. No matter what job they had.

I'm angry. I hate that you're gone. I hate that you had to be taken away from me, from us. And I hate me for feeling sorry for myself. I'm selfish, I know, but I guess I just don't understand. Why? Why couldn't God, the fates, the pull of the universe, or whatever determines what happens just leave us alone for a while? Why you? Why now?

I know your body had failed you. I can't imagine the insurmountable amount of pain you must have been in. You were strong, unbelievably strong. And I, weak.. embarrassingly weak. Even now, I am feeling stupid and powerless because I'm having such a hard time letting you go. Everyone keeps telling me that you're not really gone, that you're always with me. But I can't feel you, I feel nothing, I'm alone.

I learned so much from you.

I thank you for being such an amazing individual. You were wonderful. You taught us all how to love, how to keep your heart open but when to know to close it. You taught us see the difference and know when to walk away and when to keep trying. You're an inspiration. And, if you're out there, in spirit or heart, maybe you can hear my thoughts or are looking down on me. If you are, please reach out to me, because I need you now. I need to feel you, I need to have you in my life. I'm trying to make my life right again and I need you to somehow be in that life again. I know I can't completely let you go.

I know this is probably mostly incoherent and incongruent and just a messy, messy set of words, but it feels nice to finally "pour my heart out" (if you'll allow the bad expression).

I love you, I miss you, we all do. I hope you knew how amazing you were.



VA Review: Bumble and Bumble Salon, NYC

So, I'm starting a new section of the blog: VA Review. Here, I will review products, restaurants, other consumer places, etc. to give people (you, readers) my first-hand experience.

First up, The Uptown Manhattan Bumble and Bumble Salon.

Bumble and Bumble
146 E. 56th St.
(Bet. 3rd and Lex)
New York, NY

Confession: I hadn't had my hair cut in 18 months. So, I finally decided that the dead, splitting ends look wasn't exactly the best for me. Finding a salon in New York City is almost as difficult as finding a job. There are millions, one on every street. But, how do you know if the salon is any good? Did their stylists actually go to school? I started trying to talk to people, get some word-of-mouth recommendations, but didn't really hear anyone really rave about a particular place. So, while walking one day, I passed by a Bumble and Bumble pop-up shop and thought, "hmm. I should make an appointment with them." I figured that Bumble and Bumble products are well respected in the hair-world and after doing some research, I made myself an appointment. I found out that Bumble and Bumble employees are required to have at least 12 years of experience before coming in as a Junior Stylist. I know in NC there was no such thing as a junior or senior stylist, but that's the trend in NYC. Price lists are made based on what level the stylist is. I went with a Junior Stylist. 12 years is enough for me. :)

I have to say, I am immensely pleased with what I found at B&B. The salon is tucked into a cute NYC brownstone with windows all across the front, allowing lots of natural light to enter the lobby area. I was greeted immediately and was taken to the back, where my coat and scarf was taken and hung up. I was given a black silk robe and told to have a seat in the cafe. The cafe, a full service "restaurant", featured complimentary water, sodas, tea, coffee, lattes, and small snacks. It was stacked with magazines and books, a very friendly atmosphere.

After a hair consultation with my stylist, Katrina, I was taken to the back again to have my hair washed by a woman named Yolanda. I was surprised to find the chair reclined completely back (with your head in the sink), lifting your feet off the floor, and to my surprise, massaged my back. I had my hair washed, conditioned, my neck and shoulders massaged, all while Yolanda took extra care to protect my dress and keep my face and neck dry. Very impressed.

Back with Katrina, we talked about wanting my hair to look healthy (translation: cut off the dead) while keeping it long. For those of you who've had long hair, you know that there are essentially 3 options for "changing up" long hair. 1. Bangs, 2. Blunt-cut trim, or 3. Long layers, frame the face. Katrina and I decided that #3 would be best since I've started getting a bit of wave in my hair, the layers would allow the natural wave/curl to come out.

Overall, I was extremely pleased with the experience. There was only one thing that I didn't really like; my stylist hardly spoke to me. Granted, I'd much rather someone focus on what they're doing instead of making sure to be chatty, but a little bit of conversation would have made things a little less uncomfortable.

VA Rating: 8

The rating isn't a 9 or 10 because I was just a little bit uncomfortable while my hair was being cut/styled (maybe because she looked a little uncomfortable while I was "watching her") and because of the price. With the wash, cut, blow dry, 2 styling products, and tip, I ended up throwing down $160. While I understand NYC is a bit pricey when it comes to salons and styling, I feel that it was a little bit on the expensive side for an appointment that didn't include coloring or other professional services.

But, I am pleased with how my hair turned out. It looks healthy, has lots of body, and is incredibly soft. I can't wait to play with some new looks. Have a look-see, what do you think? It's hard to believe that I had almost 4 inches cut off the bottom!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Dating Virginia: Don't Fall In Love With Me

I wish I didn't have this problem. Not that it is such a horrible thing, but it is certainly obnoxious. For the third time, I went on a first date and had the guy fall head-over-heels for me. Yes, my friends, I got a marriage proposal (hypothetical, of course, there was no ring involved) Ring or not, the dude said he liked me so much that he wanted to marry me after one date. ONE DATE!

I should be flattered, right? Well, I don't find it flattering, I find it terrifying. Why in the world would anyone leave a first date thinking that it was going to immediately go into a full-blown relationship? I mean, I use these first dates to really test compatibility and figure out if we can stand to be around each other. Are guys these days using first dates as a bridge to immediate marriage?!

I had 3 dates this week. The first brought me stinky stinky lilies, ordered my food for me, and read my palm during our meal. He's pushing hard for a second date and called me "my love". I'm busy.

The second, a spur of the moment date, he was touchy-feely, a bit clingy, but the conversation was good. 2 days later, he loves me, wants to marry me. I actually decided to tell him that I wasn't interested instead of just ignoring him and we had a stupid conversation that lasted over 30 minutes. It felt like I was back in high school. He said that I broke his heart, that he really wanted to be with me, that I was a stupid whore who led him on. Lame.

Date #3 wasn't nearly as bad. We had a nice conversation over coffee, ended with a hug. Nothing really to report there.

I think I'm going to take a break from dating for a bit. It's really getting overwhelming. Seriously, if I put the amount of effort I use to meet guys into trying to find a job, I'd probably be employed right now. So, no new dates until after Thanksgiving. I'll allow myself to go out with people I already know or have already met, but no new prospects. We'll see how it goes.

I think the biggest issue is that I'm not communicating enough with these guys before deciding to meet them. So, maybe I'll start talking to guys now, and then after Thanksgiving, decide to meet them. Your thoughts?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I am in the dark place.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Dating Virginia: What are you looking for?

"So, what are you looking for?"

There are many questions that I cannot stand to be asked from potential suitors. "What are you looking for?" is at the top. I guess the biggest problem with this question is there is no easy answer. I understand the answers that people are looking for... you know, casual dating, a long term relationship, a friend, a sex partner, a husband, whatever.

Here's the issue I have: I just don't know. Do I want to get married someday? Sure! But, I'm not exactly looking for a husband right now, ya know? But, if that man happened to come into my life tomorrow, I don't think I would deny myself (or him) the opportunity to make a relationship happen. That being said, anyone that comes out saying "I'm looking for my future wife", I'm going to run in the opposite direction.

I mean, each person that comes into your life ultimately has a purpose, but if you begin by defining each person by a specific "job", then you will only wind up disappointed.

So, the answer. Here's what I'm looking for: I am looking for someone who will love me and respect me exactly as I am. Whether that person is a friend or a lover or a husband. Isn't that the same for us all? To be liked for who you are? Not as you were or for what you could be. Not smarter, or thinner, or with a smaller nose. Not taller, or shorter, with longer hair, and a less crazy family. Someone who bring mutual respect into a relationship (whatever space that relationship falls)

So there's the simple answer to a complicated question. I want to be liked just the way I am. Because, I'm pretty sure I'll always be just a little bit fat.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fury and Irony

I was laid off.

Tuesday afternoon, I was 'let go' from my job. I can't even begin to explain the amount of anger and embarrassment I am feeling right now. Especially because the reason I was given for my dismissal was complete and utter fiction.

I know most of you, dear readers, don't know the details of my job, but I'm angry and need to get this out. I was told that my dismissal had everything to do with "performance and lateness".

Let's break it down. Performance: In the world of sales, I understand that numbers are a big determining factor in job performance. Now, I would be perfectly understanding if I had been slacking in my sales figures, but that wasn't the case. I was the top booker in my training class and had booked more than another person on my team (who, strangely, still has his job).

Second, Lateness: We were all told on day 1 of training that lateness would not be acceptable in this profession. While I have had issues in the past with being late (I don't doubt that) I had only been late ONE time to this job. The one time, happened to be on the day I was let go. But, I followed proper protocol, letting my manager know well in advance that I would be a few minutes late. Siting lateness as a reason for my dismissal is bullshit.

While I'm feeling lost and alone, I am mostly hurt and offended by those who I respected. I have lost respect for my manager - after he sat there and lied to me. It's unprofessional and unacceptable. I was let go because I had information about past publications that could have jeopardized the credibility of BTQ. I knew too much.

Will I do anything with the information? I haven't decided yet. But I am furious right now. I am hurt because I wasn't respected enough to be told the truth. I was discarded like a filthy piece of trash and it's not okay.


While I feel like my life is in pieces (again), something ironic did happen today. Last week, I made my first truly selfish purchase. I had saved some of my commission money and decided to buy myself a piece of jewelry. But, the events of this week made me forget all about it. So, today, when a tiny box appeared on my doorstep from San Francisco, I was truly excited. I didn't realize how appropriate this piece of jewelry would be, but it's perfect.

A ring. A small ring, with a tiny gold wire band and a brushed silver oval top. Sounds simple, but what makes this ring truly wonderful are the tiny words etched on the top.

the journey is the reward

I will now have a daily reminder to not worry about what will happen in the future. But to constantly live in the present. The journey, not the destination, is the reward.

The photo (from the jeweler's website) doesn't do the ring justice. It's really small and dainty, the words almost hardly visible - certainly not something that could be seen from far away.
Funny how things happen, huh?

If you'd like to look at some of Jeanine Payer's jewelry (I love every piece!) visit her website HERE

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Happy Anniversary, New York!

Yes, friends, New York and I have been together for 1 whole year. It's really unbelievable to me that an entire year has passed. But, I guess when you break it down, really think about it, a lot happened in this one year. I know it's trite to say, but I have really grown up in this year. I understand how difficult it can be to manage your own finances. I know now how important it is to take care of yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally. And I know how important it is to keep those that love you (and that you love) close to you (even when you're far away).

I spent last weekend in DC with my bestest friends and I realized that the only real reason I don't like living in New York is because I can't see them more often. It was ironic though... Sunday afternoon, I rode the bus from DC back to NYC - taking the exact same roads I had taken 1 year prior in a moving truck with my father. Seeing the New York City skyline in the distance reminded me of the mix of nervousness and excitement I had on that Saturday morning.

There were many times throughout this past year that I thought I couldn't handle New York anymore. There were times I seriously considered packing whatever I could in a suitcase and moving home. I don't know how many times I called home in tears, the pressure was just too much. But, I stuck it out and I am so happy I did. I am in a new apartment, with a new job - it almost feels like everything that was wrong with my life last year has faded away. Amazing.

I'm filled with excitement thinking about all there is to come in this next year. The fear and nervous anticipation has been replaced with optimism - there's nothing that can hit me this year that I can't get through. So, bring it on, New York! Give me all you got - I'm ready!

Thursday, September 24, 2009


I'm sitting out on the balcony of my new apartment. Just finished dinner, and I'm enjoying the street-symphony below. Normally, people would associate honking horns, revving engines, and sirens as something obnoxious... an annoyance of life. But, tonight, I'm feeling differently about it. Even though my head is spinning with thoughts, my heart is heavy with emotions, and my body feels like quitting, the sounds of the night are a comforting reminder that the city keeps on going. Nothing stops New York. Life keeps on going, the world keeps turning. Good or bad, it goes on.

I am having to remind myself every single day (sometimes multiple times a day) that time will heal all wounds. That the pain and sadness of my grandfather's passing will lessen; that the stresses of my job will cease; that my father's cancer will remiss; that I will eventually fall asleep at night without worrying how I will afford to eat the following week...

But, I know that as life goes on, stresses fade, and new stresses arrive. It's a never-ending cycle. Just a thing we all have to accept, I guess.

I don't think I have fully accepted the fact that my grandfather is gone. Even now, I have a problem, a question, or even something exciting to tell, I want to call him. Tonight, I actually called his cell phone, it wasn't until I heard the voicemail that I remembered. The phone dropped from my hand, and I had to eventually had to pick myself up off the floor after I collapsed into a sobbing mess.

He was my rock, my mentor, and one of my best friends. Not having him here anymore is one of the most painful feelings I have ever had. My body literally hurts when I think about how I will never see him again.

Though time will eventually lessen the pain, there will never be a time in which I will not miss him.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

In this life...

I know I barely updated in August - I apologize for that. But once things start spinning out of control, it's hard enough for me to grasp what is going on in my own life. Having to organize my thoughts into a succinct blog post was near impossible. But, I'm trying now.

I am home. I came into NC for the Labor Day weekend. Though I might have come in to town anyway (because of the extended weekend), I had special reason to be here. Yesterday, my grandfather celebrated his 80th birthday. When I booked my flight in July, the mood for the weekend was of a celebratory nature. A monumental party was being planned and everyone was to attend. However, this weekend has ended up being an overwhelming mix of emotions; happiness, sadness, heart-wrenching longing, empathy, sympathy, and so much more.

My grandfather is dying.

Though I really feel that I would rather him pass on than to suffer, I am selfish. I do not want to lose him. I do not want live in a world where he does not exist. I guess for some it's better to know it is coming instead of being shocked and bewildered by a sudden death, but to know it is inevitable is just as hard as I imagine losing him will be.

Does knowing something is coming make it any easier to handle?

I've spent a lot of time in the hospital this holiday weekend. My father was diagnosed with MRSA and had to be quarantined in the infectious disease unit. Essentially, his body has no ability to fight any sort of infection because of the Leukemia. So, visiting my father in isolation, and seeing my grandfather (lucky they were just down the hall from each other, right?) has essentially been my weekend.

I feel that I am a relatively strong person (most of the time) but I am having a very difficult time dealing with this upcoming loss. Though there is obviously a grandfather/granddaughter relationship there, I also consider him to be one of my closest friends. When he goes, a piece of myself will be gone forever.

As I have looked upon my grandfather with teary eyes, I have noticed that the interactions with my grandparents (when they think no one is looking) is both heart-warming and heart-wrenching at the same time. Throughout 58 years of marriage, they are still very much in love. And even though my grandfather has hardly any fight left in him, my grandmother is fighting every step of the way. She is his caretaker, the meal-giver, the one who talks to the nurses, the one who ensures that he is feeling okay. There was a moment, right as she finished feeding him his lunch, where she took the napkin, wiped his mouth, and held his face in her hand. They looked at each other as if they were 25 years old again. No one else existed but the two of them.

It has certainly made me think - does love like that even exist anymore? And will I ever find someone to love long enough and cling to the final stages of life with? I mean, isn't that the point of all this? To find an other half - one that will be there until the very end, holding your face and gazing into your eyes; one who has a heart breaking in two but still lets you know that it's okay to let go, to stop suffering.

Though I may be a little cynical and skeptical about love and what it has in store for me. I know, in utter certainty, that I have witnessed love this weekend. And I have learned.. love is about loving someone not for who they ought to be, or could be, but as they are, until the very end.

So, though this weekend has been extremely difficult emotionally, it has also been very beneficial to my overall emotional health. I think I have been harboring all of this emotion in solitude in NYC, and I have been able to talk, cry, hug my family members, and really experience this time with them - instead of alone.

After all, alone is the last place I wanted to be.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

An all-inclusive update

So, I'm sitting here, eating incredibly spicy Thai food that was given to me in a magical way only New York City could provide. I browse the menus online, pick what I want, then 20 minutes later, a man who has only been taught how to say "Delivery" and "Thank you" in English brings my yellow curried goodness up two floors and hands it to me at my door. Ah, New York, you are a genius.

I know it has been an unusually long time since I've updated here (even for me!) but I just got into that rut where so much had happened that updating this blog seemed to be such a daunting task, and I completely avoided it. Typical, VA. So typical.

Anyway, to completely turn my past month into a very short section, I left my job at Ogilvy, got a new job in ad sales, my father started his chemotherapy treatment, and my grandfather decided not to go through any more treatment.

Let's start with the first one, shall we? Dear old Ogilvy and I have parted ways. Don't get me wrong, I love and respect Ogilvy as an agency and I am certainly grateful for the experience I gained while working there, but I just couldn't take working with those two women anymore. Never in my life have I interacted with such vile beings. (and I've worked with a lot of nasty people) Though, in this situation, a miracle of sorts happened. I got fed-up enough to leave... which, you probably know that if it was bad enough for ME to quit, then it was pretty bad. On that exact same day, I got a job offer from another company. Unbelievable.

Leaving was actually easier than I thought it would be. In fact, it was actually a little offensive. After talking with HR, I respectfully called both of my bosses into a conference room and told them that I was officially notifying them of my resignation. To which they replied "Okay" It was a let down, of course, to know that I was not valued by them, but I would be lying if I said I expected more from them. Oh well.

So, the new job - I am now working for a publication called Business Trends Quarterly and my job is essentially ad sales. Though, the make-up of this publication is quite different than other magazines. Not only is it my responsibility to make sure the ad space is covered, I am also responsible for making sure proper editorial content is provided by analysts, key players in the business field, or governmental officials. I will admit that it has caused me quite a bit of stress over the past few weeks since I am having to learn everything about working in sales. But, I think that in time, I will get the hang of it and I hope to be very successful in this endeavor.

Next, we go to the family section. My dad started his chemotherapy treatments two weeks ago. I'm not sure if I actually updated anything about him since the initial diagnosis, but he was mis-staged at the beginning and was told later that the cancer was at a much more progressed state. So, he has started a very aggressive chemo treatment that will last 6 months. The treatment spans over 3 days, every 3 weeks. Though he says that he is doing fine, I don't really buy into the story. I know he's doing the "Dad" thing where he tells me that he's doing great when he's really having to deal with a lot. Sometimes I just want to shake him and make him know that it's okay for him to not be a "superhero" all the time. It's okay to be sick, it's okay to be scared, and it's okay to have weak moments in front of your children. But, I guess I can't really understand since I have no children of my own. What I do understand is this: He is embarking on a very difficult journey and I will be with him (in spirit, mostly) every step of the way.

So, I started to write something about my grandfather, but I just couldn't handle it. I'll try to get something out there soon. Sorry.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Dating Virginia: Double-Dipping

This past weekend was probably my busiest when it comes to “dating” – I crammed 3 dates into 2 days. Yes, readers, I double-dipped in the dating pool and met two different guys in the same day. And, of course, it’s all very story-worthy. Let’s start with date number 1:

****Note: all men have been given proper nicknames. Trying to protect the innocent (and the not so innocent) here****

"Soba noodles" and I decided to meet on Friday night and take a walk around town. It was a nice night, I agreed to meet him in a public place and I got to choose the “walking path” so that I felt comfortable walking with him at night (i.e. no dark alleys, no creepy cross-through streets, and no scary night-time parks) I should have known it would be a dating disaster when I saw him show up in a t-shirt, rolled up jeans, and flip-flops. He looked like he was heading to go find some crawdads in a creek. I wish I could say that was the worst of how he arrived! He was carrying a plastic container (one that your soup from a Chinese restaurant would come in - hence the nickname "Soba noodles") that was full of whiskey! Yes, he was drunk, sweating, stumbling all over the place, and drinking out of a plastic bowl with a top. He said he was nervous (hence the alcohol) and I felt a little sorry for the guy – so I decided to walk with him a bit. (I am entirely too nice.. I should have run away) We ended up sitting on a bench near the river – to which he said it was romantic and asked if he could kiss me. I said “um.. alright” since I was planning to leave anyway. (this is where it gets weird) He reached behind me with his hand, and grabbed my hair, took his other hand and cupped the side of my face – he then forced my chin up with his thumb and went straight for my neck. Yes, he vampired me. He connected so quickly, I had no idea what was happening --- he essentially hoover-vac’ed me. It was very fast, but it hurt really bad – no, he didn’t bite me, but it was like he was trying to suck the skin off my neck – I yelled, and pushed him off, told him that I was NOT interested in that and that I was leaving. He apologized, but I was done – I walked very quickly away at that point. AWKWARD! I have no idea what alternate universe he has lived in that would make that okay (or romantic!) but zOmg! Wtf!?

I went home, still trying to figure out what the hell had just happened, I took a shower, because I had the heebie-jeebies and when I got out of the shower, I noticed a mark on my neck. Yes, he sucked hard enough for 1.5 seconds to give me a damn hickey! Imagine how awkward it was trying to hide a hickey I got the night before on my coffee date scheduled the next day!

Date number 2: "Aerie" and I decided to meet for coffee at 1:30. As I got off the subway uptown at 1:25, I had a voicemail from him – asking if I wanted to meet “for lunch or something” that afternoon. Um.. what? I thought we had already made a plan! I called back, said that was fine, and that I could be uptown in about 15-20 minutes (Hello! I totally had other plans, but I’d be willing to drop them to meet him! Duh!) ;-)

So, I’m standing outside the café waiting for him, hair in a side pony to hide the vamp-bite on my neck (of course) and off the bus comes "Aerie". Let me paint this picture for you. He had a cute face, glasses, (I thought, “okay, good!”) then I begin the downward glance. Faded beige button-up shirt, sleeves rolled up, giant backpack, khaki cargo shorts, mountain boots with pushed down socks (almost like leg-warmer style) He looked like he had just repelled down a mountain! (Or a building) Though I could tell in the first 5 minutes that I was not really into him, I decided to stick it out and give the guy a chance. I still haven’t figured out how to just say “I’m not interested”. We sat, talked about music, which was nice (I had plenty of things to deliver to the conversation because of my mother, thanks mom!) but after a while, I was just tired of the whole thing – he talked in very poetic language – like he would say something like “One doesn’t want to be overbearing” ::hand woff:: - - so I decided to just play along. “Oh yes, I’ve traveled all over the world soul-searching!” “I just loved Australia – I spent an entire week with a shaman learning how to play the didgeridoo!” He ate it right up – he probably thinks I’m fantastic. ::sigh::

Okay, so date number 3, later that night. I was meeting "Seaman" again (I had hung out with him last weekend). Let’s see - - how to describe my “relationship” with "Seaman"…. We put up with each other in a traditional “about town-date scenario” so that we can eventually hook up. Yes, I think I have found my “summer fling”… He’s an ex-Navy guy, which I originally decided to not even go there because of the obvious C-reference, but he caught me with nothing to do on a Saturday night. The alternative was watching the Oxygen network, eating Oreos, and going to bed alone – so, I decided to meet him for drinks. Since I had already polished off half a bottle of wine before I met him, after a few beers, we were making out in dark corners in no time.

He’s cute, but he’s not someone I would really ‘date’… with the tattoos and pot smoking (not allowed near me) but we have amazing 'sexual chemistry'. Ah, whatever, I'm enjoying this for now.

I had another date last night. “Mealplan” – so named because the first 2-3 days we “talked” he kept asking me what I had to eat that day, in a “what was for lunch?” “what did you make for dinner?” kind of way… Annndddd.... I officially have my first crush! I've been on so many dates with so many different people and I normally walk away from them either completely freaked out (as you've read above) or with a general apathetic feeling. Most of the dates are "alright" but there's never been a real spark. Now, I finally got that feeling - a small flutter in my stomach when I get a message from him. Ahh! I'm feeling girly again!

But, it's also terrifying. I mean, I haven't done this in a LONG time. I don't want to get hurt again (especially over something meaningless) but I also don't want to close myself off from something that could be great. Internal struggle: commense!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Dating Virginia: The Gender Reversal

It seems that during the time I was "off the market" and "in the pit" a reversal of gender happened. We all know that typically, the women are the ones who whine to their girlfriends over mimosas saying " why didn't he call me?" "what does this text mean?" "he gave me a kiss at the end of the date and never called?! What the hell??" But, for some reason, I find myself constantly interacting with a bunch of whiny boys!

First, let's go back to February, to my first real adult date. After interacting with the guy for a few days, agreeing to meet him for dates, after date number 2, he was suddenly in love with me! Crying (yes, crying) and saying that he wanted to "love [me] forever" GAHH!

Another case: there are a few guys that I have communicated with online that will randomly send me messages like this:

OnlineGuy2298: Why haven't you said hi to me lately?
OnlineGuy2298: What did I do?
OnlineGuy2298: Do you want to meet?
OnlineGuy2298: Hello?
OnlineGuy2298: Hm, guess not.
Really? When did this happen? When did guys become neurotic little babies who bug the hell out of you in a "I'm going to keep calling you until you realize how NORMAL I am!"???

Also, guys today seem to be more insecure about themselves than women are. They constantly want to know if you find them attractive or if you like their personality. Like the guy who tells me every day that he goes to the gym. ( I get it! You work out! I'm so proud!) Or the guy that asks, "why don't you want to hold my hand? You don't like me?" (Really??)

I'm certainly not the most confident person out there, and I definitely don't have the highest self-esteem. But, I know how to carefully hide it and make guys think that I've got it all together (at least, I think so - who knows, they might be able to see right through me..)

So, to all the men out there - please, stop whining!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Dating Virginia: It's all about the number

Dating online is essentially man-shopping. I can only equate it to what it would be like to pick a sperm donor. Not that I've ever done it, but I imagine it to be something like: here's a book of eligible men and their stats. Pick the one who has the best qualities for you!

Online dating is the same way. You wade through pages and pages of men from the comfort of your could-fit-another-person bed and pick and choose the ones that you think are cute, smart, or funny. Because the website I'm using likes to rub your ego, it allows you to see everyone that has viewed you. In the same vein, you are seen by all the men after you view their profiles. So here's my technique: I spend about an hour or so each day clicking on random profiles, reading through and making mental notes about each guy. I then wait for me to pop up under their "viewed me" section. If they like me, they message me. It's the perfect combination of stealthiness and laziness. And, it saves me from the self-esteem attack that happens when you send a witty message to an eligible bachelor and get no response (ouch). This way is much better, I love it.

So, it's probably too passive of a technique to really get the "man of my dreams" (though the man of my dreams changes way too much, so there's probably not someone out there that totally "fits") But, it has worked decently so far.

So, they send messages, I check them out again to determine if I'd like to chat, and we start a conversation. A lot of times, these small chatting sessions end after a few messages, but there are a few that have matured into a full-blown volley. Then comes the next step: the phone number.

Because my phone number had to be changed after many deranged phone conversations with a former acquaintance, I have been very careful about giving out my number. But, once I become comfortable enough with someone from chatting online, I normally give out my number (only if it's asked for. Come on, now, I'm a lady!)

So, here's the thing. We chat online, we're trying to do the preliminary "get-to-know-you" stage, then the number comes out and.... nothing. What the hell? I give you my number (because you said it would be easier to communicate that way) and then you don't call?? If the phone number is such an intimidating thing, why do men ask for it to begin with?

Though I have never read the book or seen the movie, I'm a firm believer in the "He's Just Not That Into You" principle. If the guy is into you, you'll know it. He'll try. And he'll be persistent. If not, he just isn't into you! It's simple. But still, it's hard to accept that quiet cell phone.

Oh, and if any of you are wondering about my last date. Well, silent-phone. It speaks louder than words.