My Awesomely Random Life (and Everything in Between)

Posts tagged ‘New Girl’

Dating in the time of the eggplant emoji

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As a 29-year-old single woman I’m pretty much living in the thickest part of the modern dating/hookup culture – perfecting the art of getting the right guy to buy you Lemon Drop shots at a bar, crafting the perfect response to a text to make you seem just interested enough (but not too interested), taking the proper five seconds to adequately judge a person and determine whether or not to swipe left or right. Yep. That’s the world I live in now, and if I’m being 110% honest with you guys: I hate it with every fiber of my being.
Maybe it’s because I let insignificant events ruminate in my mind far past their welcome. Or maybe it’s because I sometimes have the tendency to react too sensitively to the people with whom I share the world with. Or maybe the modern dating scene is just horrendously f’ed up. It’s probably all three, but in the interest of, well, maintaining your interest, let’s just talk about that third observation.

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve been in any sort of relationship (one worth talking about anywhoozles), but when I was, it seemed that I always heard people complain about the single life pretty much on the regular. Stories from my friends, articles on the Internet, anything popular on TV, everywhere. But it wasn’t until I began to experience it for myself (and oh have I!) that I truly understood what everyone was complaining about. Everything is so damn complicated. Nobody asks you out on a date; they just ask you to “hang out” – so after you do, you can spend the next three days that you’re supposed to be ignoring them wondering exactly what it meant. Did you see a movie? Go to dinner? Make out in your car? Fly to Paris and get drunk under the Eiffel Tower? Be careful; y’all were just hanging out. This means that we’re dating, right? We’re totally dating. Or are we? I wonder what he’s thinking? Did our mutual shared respect of Ryan Reynolds in Deadpool over our mutually shared tub of popcorn and Milk Duds mean nothing to him?!

I have a simple solution for those of you who struggle with these haunting questions: ask the other person. Oh wait, you can’t. Hahahahaha. And here’s why.

We live in a world where people are afraid to feel anything genuine, or at the very least, are afraid to show it. When someone is angry with you, there’s no phone call asking to talk about it. Instead you get a passive aggressive response to a text message or a suspiciously relevant subtweet, quietly calling you out in 140 characters or less. If you like someone, you don’t tell them how you feel; rather you act interested enough for them to pick up on it, but not enough to freak them out. Don’t like it? Too bad. It’s all a big game and if you don’t play by the rules then you lose, and if you lose you end up alone and drowning in a pile of your own insecurity (and Ben & Jerry’s), wondering what you did wrong.
Don’t ask to hangout two nights in a row. If you texted first last time, you have to wait for him to text you first this time. Don’t double text. You can’t assume anything is more than casual. And you can’t talk about it either. If you’re wondering where a relationship is going and you decide to bring it up, every word you say has to be carefully chosen so as to seem okay with any response you’re given, even if you’re not. Thinking about picking up your phone to call someone? That’s crazy sauce! All modern communicado is done through text, emojis and/or GIFs. ONLY.

Everything is calculated to appear thoughtless, and it is one of the most exhausting games I’ve ever had to play–and I once had an epic 6-hour Monopoly fest! I could earn a second masters degree with the amount of time and energy it takes to determine whether or not my casual fling/hangout/quasi relationship thingamajig actually has feelings for me.

If I like someone, I want to hang out with him. It’s as simple as that. Or at least it should be. But in the dating culture to which we are enslaved, it has to be more convoluted than that. If I talk to him too much, I’m needy. If I’m always free when he asks me to hangout, I’m clingy and have no life of my own. If he takes three hours to respond to my text, and my phone is in my hand when I get his reply, I have to wait to answer so I don’t seem too eager. And I am constantly wondering why I play these stupid games.

I am so tired of living in a world where apathy is more effective in getting someone’s attention than honesty. I’m tired of the manipulative games that men and women play with one another in an effort to maintain control in a relationship that we’re not allowed to define.

So here’s my idea, friends: let’s all stop being little f’s! Respect other people enough to tell them the truth. If someone makes you happy, tell them. If someone inspires you, tell them. If you’re not interested in someone, please just for f’ing f’s sake tell them. Don’t ignore people until they disappear. It’s time we grow up and stop leaving people hanging with unanswered texts and cryptic social media posts. Everyone is human and we’re all just trying to understand one another in this messy dating world, so stop treating a relationship of any kind like it’s a challenge to complete.

Be honest with other people about how you feel, and don’t get so lost in playing the game that you forget to extend that same courtesy to yourself.

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Adulting 101

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Y’all, I am about to turn the big 2-9 which means I have been “adulting” for a good 10ish+ years or so. I say “adulting” because I would, for the most part consider myself an adequate at best adulting adult. I pay my own bills, live on my own, know how to change the oil in my car, and know how to make a mean lasagna. Impressive, I know.

Through every stage of life, right up until these formidable adulting years, we dream of becoming an adult.

We can’t wait until we can slam back Lemon Drop shots on our 21st, until we can eat ice cream for dinner (or breakfast, no judging), until we can live on our own, until we can get married and have kids. We can’t wait until we have say over our lives.

We wait, wait, wait for that moment. And then wait some more.

But then one day, we wake up on a random Tuesday morning and holy hell, we’re there.

Adulthood.

After all of those years of waiting and hoping and dreaming, we finally made it, guys!

But what no one ever tells you growing up is that once you’re there, a full-fledged adult, you are instantly thrust into a world that is unfamiliar, complicated and so damn confusing. Sure, you can have as many of those Lemon Drop shots, shots, shots as you or your liver see fit, you can stay up to all hours of the night binge watching House of Cards, you can have ice cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and walk around your OWN apartment in your underwear in you want.

But you also have to actually start doing adulty things, things that you never really had to worry about before. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t spend a good majority of my early 20’s wondering what a 401K was, avoiding doing my laundry like it was the plague and considering a bowl (or three) of Frosted Flakes as a 5-star gourmet meal.  But with age, comes wisdom (and better hair choices), and I can confidently say that I’ve become a better adulting adult.

Here are just a few ways that you can tell that you’re doing this adulting thing pretty alright:

1. You’re Excited To Go Home…To Do Nothing

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of barhopping with my girls, but most days, all that’s keeping me going is the thought of going home, curling up in bed and re-binging Parks and Recreation on Netflix all by myself, and I’m perfectly content with that.

2. You’re Becoming More Responsible With Your Money

When I got my tax refund, the first thing I did was pay off some of my student loans, deposit money into my savings account, and pay off my credit card bill (damn you, Christmas 2015). I couldn’t believe it. The worst part was that it actually made me happy. Who knew being responsible could bring so much joy. I also found out about Credit Card Insider recently, which is a really helpful resource for understanding how credit cards and credit scores work.

3. Dating Is No Longer A Pastime

I can’t numerate the amount of times I’ve watched movies where an older female character complains about how she “hates dating” and couldn’t bother with “starting over with someone new” and just wanted to “skip to being an actual relationship”. Whenever I heard this, I would hardcore roll my eyes and call them liars because dating is way too much fun! You meet so many new and different people and get to have loads of exciting fun with all of them and usually end up eating just all of the delicious food. But the older I’m getting, the less I’m looking for someone new to add to my rotation and the more I’m realizing that time spent working toward something of actual substance may be a better idea.

4. You’re Selective With Your Choosing Of Friends

Who you’re dating is important, but the people you’re friends with is just as important, maybe even more so. They say it’s hard to make friends in your adult years and I think that’s because the older you are the easier it is to detect “frenemies”, or people who aren’t genuine about their hopes that you’re happy and progress in life. Ain’t nobody got time for that! #byeFelicia

5. You Can’t Stand Younger People

Thoughts such as “Was I THAT obnoxious?” and “Where are these children’s parents?” cross my mind quite frequently when in the presence of teenagers. But seriously, kids nowadays are the absolute worst – who raised them?!

6. You Take Care Of Your Body

Whether that means cutting back on your fast food intake, actually making it to the gym more than once a year in January, or even not getting black-out drunk three times a week and giving your poor liver a rest, you’re realizing that starting to take care of your body is probably a good investment.

7. You Have Actual Plans For Your Future

I was all over the place trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life during high school, college, and even a year “in the real world”. But now, I not only have a clear-cut idea as to how I envision my life, but more importantly, I’m taking practical steps in making these dreams my reality. Adulting is all about realizing how important this really is.

The truth is, we’re all just figuring this thing out as we go along. You can read as many “How-To” books and talk to as many people as you’d like, but the best advice I could ever give you is to try, to fail, and fail hard. But learn from your mistakes, dust yourself off, and get back in the game.

And if all else fails, remember that ice cream for breakfast is never a bad decision.

 

Taking the plundge: the terrifyingly exciting feels of entering a new relationship

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There are only a few things that are slightly more terrifying than diving head first into a new relationship, like realizing you’ve run out of Oreos or finding a nest of giant spiders under your bed–both of which happened to me last week and I’m still having nightmares, mostly about the Oreo situation.

But there’s also few things as exciting as starting a whole new adventure with someone you really, really like (such as going to the Magical World of Harry Potter for the first time or finding out the third season of New Girl is on Netflix). Being scared and excited for a brand new relationship isn’t an out-of-the-ordinary thing by any means; I think that everyone has these feelings at some point.

New relationships are kind of like a new pair of shoes. The first few weeks after you make the big purchase on those beautiful sling backs or super cool running shoes, you are all about those new shoes, wearing then with anything and everything that’s in your closet. You are also very careful anytime you are wearing or are around your new shoes; you don’t want to make a wrong move or take the wrong step [into dog poo] for fear of getting them dirty or damaged.

The same goes for relationships.

Whether it’s a promising first date or three weeks down the line, the chances of those oh-my-gosh-what-if-I-do-something-to-royally-embarrass-myself feelings are very real. You’re going to constantly be nervous: trying not to burp [too loud] in front of them, specifically not eating BBQ ribs around in front of them (there is NO cute way to eat ribs), and always worrying about how many ‘dad jokes’ are too many (trick question: you can never tell too many ‘dad jokes’). There is a subconscious fear that you will say or do something that will make the other person think differently of you, change their minds about you, wonder why they had ‘swiped right’ in the first place. As it turns out, those feelings are completely warranted. According to article by Lisa Daily called “Dating Averages: What’s Your Normal?”, the most common time for break-ups is between three to five months. For the first part of your relationship, being dumped is like the very large pink elephant in the room, the awkward third wheel who keeps eating you and your dates’ fries.

On the flip side this however, is the incredibly amazing feeling you get when you first start a new relationship. It’s more exciting that Christmas morning. More exhilarating than going down that roller-coaster with your hands up in the air. More thrilling than finding out that shirt you were coveting drooling over for so long finally went on sale. Those permanent butterflies will never get annoying, the feeling of their hand in yours will always make you smile and the way they look at you will continuously make you melt. Everyday with them is the beginning of some new, thrill-seeking ride. The mystery, the intrigue, the newness of it all is enthralling; you aren’t yet in a routine and you aren’t so in-sync yet that you’ll know what they’ll do or say next–it’s the unknown! And it’s so very exciting!

I’m not saying that taking the plunge isn’t easy by any means. Not knowing what’s going to happen, what the outcome will be, if he/she will reciprocate our feelings for us? That can be scary. Really. really. scary. But that fear of losing a relationship shouldn’t ever deter you away from trying, from leaping into what could be a beautiful thing. As Babe Ruth taught us: “Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.” Putting yourself out there and opening up your heart is always a gamble, a risk, but in my opinion, it’s a risk worth taking. It could be one of the greatest things in your life, or it may not work out. But either way, you’re learning, you’re growing.

Nerves are normal, expected even.

In fact, I think it’s in a way crucial that you have those butterflies, those palm sweats, those oh-my-gosh-what-if-I-do-something-to-royally-embarrass-myself feelings about a person. It means you like them, you’re invested in them, you care enough about them to butterfly, sweat, oh-my-gosh yourself.

So get out there! Put on that new pair of shoes, take a deep breath, and jump!

You never know what you might find waiting for you on the other side.

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So your fave TV show is on vacation…

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I don’t know about you guys, but I am all about [that bass] and my fave TV shows.

And this year, they are goooood.

I mean, really gooood.

I mean, you’ve got your breakout hits like Shonda Rhimes’ scandalous and hold-on-to-the-edge-of-your seat drama How to Get Away With Murder, the hilarious comedy Marry Me starring the charming Casey Wilson, and my favorite fan-girl series of the moment, The Flash (which, coincidentally is what my co-workers call me after that unfortunate ‘very strong wind while wearing a summer dress’ incident). You’ve also got your standby amazingly amazing hits like New Girl starring my girl Zooey Deschanel, the best family drama (in my opinion), Parenthood (does anyone else cry just all of the ugly tears while watching that show?!), Revenge and of course, Once Upon a Time.

Woofta.

With all of that high-quality couch time during the week, one has barely enough time to eat.

Hahahahaha. I kid, I kid.

Because how can one possibly binge-watch without the proper fuel (and by fuel I mean anything in the ‘ito family, chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate.)

As most of us are getting ready to merrily head off on our holiday vacations, unfortunately so are our fave TV shows (if they haven’t already done so.) This can be a very hard time for many people. Like any break or break up in a relationship, there are often feelings of denial, depression, anger, frustration and sadness–especially after a shocking and jaw-dropping cliff hanger.

What?! I have to wait until March to find out what happens to [plug in pretty much any character from any of the aforementioned shows]?! In the words of my favorite Tanner, “How rude.”

I know. It can be hard. But you know what? It can also be kind of awesome.

Think about it. You literally have hours upon hours upon hours during the week that are now free to do whatever you want. The possibilities are endless, really. Here are just some suggestions on what you can do with that spare time:

1. Pick up a book. I know what you’re thinking. A book? But that’s so 1999. Here is where you are wrong, my friends. Books are the OG of TV shows. They come in all genres, tell captivating stories, and don’t require a WiFi connection. Bonus points for giving the ‘ol brain some exercise.

2. Get together with friends. Instead of watching a group of Friends on the telly get into crazy shenanigans, call up your own besties IRL and create some shenanigans of your own. Dedicate a night of the week where you get together and catch up, let your hair down and have some good-quality FUN! Have an epic karaoke battle, grab drinks a that funky new bar downtown or even just relax at home with some wine, pizza and board games.

3. Go for a walk. It might be a tad chilly outside, but there is something magical about taking a stroll on an early December eve, the stars above you and the crunch of the snow underneath your boots. Plus, it makes it all the more special when you have that warm fire and steaming cup of hot chocolate waiting for you when you get back.

4. Let your crafting freak flag fly. There is nothing I love more than getting my hands dirty. And by dirty, I mean covered in paper mache, hot glue and glitter. Spend some time perusing Pinterest or the aisles of any craft store to get inspiration , find a fun project to do and get to crafting!

5. Channel your inner Martha Stewart and get your cooking on. Throw that ramen noodle cup away, get rid of that stale Chinese food in your fridge and tell the pizza delivery guy you’ve made other plans. Tonight, you’re making dinner! The kitchen can be a scary and unfamiliar place, especially if you use your oven as a place to store your shoes and live and die by the “reheat” button on your microwave. But have no fear! It can easily be tamed. Grab some of your favorite cookbooks, a recipe or two from your mom/grandma and give it a whirl (or a swirl, or a bake or a broil.)

6. Volunteer. There are so many organizations out there, especially this time of year, who are always looking for an extra helping hand (or two). Spend some time at your local rescue shelter walking and playing with the animals, donate a few hours a week cleaning up parks an other community areas, help with donations and food delivery at your nearest Red Cross. Nothing compares to the feeling you get from making a positive impact on others.

7. Call your mom/dad/sister/brother/Aunt Martha. You know that thing you use to play Words With Friends, take selfies and occasionally text your friends with? Did you know you can actually–wait for it–call people too?! It’s kind of a crazy concept, I know. But sometimes, picking up your phone and giving someone you love a ring can be pretty spectacular. Fill them in on your latest relationship drama, see how their new job is going, and most importantly, let them knowhow much you love them.

So there you have it, folks. Just a few ideas to help get you over those post-TV show hiatus blues. Now if you’ll excuse me, my mom is on the other line and I’ve got a pan of lasagna in the oven that needs to be taken out.

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