My Awesomely Random Life (and Everything in Between)

Posts tagged ‘Randomonium’

15 Signs You Literally Don’t Give a F@*& Now That You’re Almost 30

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Ugh.

I’m getting old, guys.

Like, ‘in bed by 9 o’clock, gets hurt while playing kickball, can’t remember if I ate lunch so I eat second lunch’ old.

I’m more than half way into my 29th year and while for the most part I still feel and look my age, I definitely have my moments where I can’t help but feel like I’m inching ever so slightly over that damn hill. Despite my incessant complaining however, I’m glad I’m in the place in life that I am. It may have taken me a while to get here, but I finally have learned to embrace the things I want, and don’t want. The things I like, and don’t like. Life is way too short to worry about things that aren’t worth worrying about.

Ya dig?

Here are just 15 signs that you literally don’t give a f@*& now that you’re almost 30.

1. When people invite you to social outings that you don’t want to go to, you don’t come up with any particular excuse. You just say, “No.” And it feels glorious.

2. When you experienced a friend getting engaged for the first time, you were like, “OMFG WEDDINGS YASSS LOVE!!!” But now when it happens, you’re just like, “Aw. I’m so happy for you. Brb. I need to order a pizza.”

3. Forever 21 is a young man’s game. If a retail store stresses you out and only carries clothes that seem to be made for American Girl dolls, you’re donzo.

4. You’ve started referring to high school students as “children” or “youths.”

5. You don’t make any attempts to hide your hangovers anymore. They happen so easily (like, 2-3 beers easily) that you don’t even fight them. You just let them take over your soul.

6. Your weight fluctuates more than Chandler’s. And it’s whatever.

7. In your opinion, looking like you showered is the same thing as actually showering.

8. “Does anyone have any Pepto?” is something you frequently utter during dinner with your friends.

9. Brunch has become more about the quality of the bacon than about the deals you can get on bottomless mimosas.

10. Nope. Scratch that. It’s still all about the mimosas.

11. When someone tries to start a political discussion at a party, you just look at them like:

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12. Dressing uncomfortably is awkward for tweens. These days, you’re all about wearing your favorite t-shirt during a night out.

13. You’re less concerned with how good you look for work today and more concerned with how long you can hit the snooze button before you have to crawldrag yourself kicking and screaming out of your bedroom cave.

14. Life is stressful these days. So if you need a good cry while riding public transportation, you’re damn well certain you’ll make it happen.

15. Joining a gym is for recent college grads. You’d prefer to just live in a 4th-floor walk up and leave the house every once in a while.

Or, I mean, you could just join a debilitating kickball team.

QOTD: What are some things that you just don’t give a f@*& about now that you’ve reached a certain age?

So Call Me Maybe?

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I know I’m probably in the unpopular opinion here, but guys, I kinda love talking on the phone, having actual conversations with people sans emojis. There’s something really exciting about curling up on your favorite chair, with your favorite glass of Mascato, chatting it up with your favorite person. The butterflies, the nervous laughs, the incessant blushing. Don’t get me wrong, my texting game is on point, and there’s definitely a time and place for it, for surely. But in general, I’m pro-phone call.

I hate to break it to you, but we as a society have lost the art of communication, my friends. We want things to be quick, to be simple, 140-characters or less. We crave connection in all things–Facebook, Instagram and Twitter enveloping us all in this 24/7, 365 loop of status updates, pictures and tweets–yet, we do so in a way that’s so informal, so impersonal that it makes us question how real that connection is in the first place.

I may be swinging for the fences majorly here y’all, but I think we need to petition to bring back–along with Dunkaroos and scrunchies–the phone call.

And here’s why:

  1. A phone call is real-time.

With texting, we tend to play this ridiculous game that revolves around who has the power in the conversation. The person who has yet to respond leaves the other person on pins and needles, wondering if that was a dumb thing to say, if they were just scared off, if they’re really on a date with someone much more interesting right now — any number of possibilities, really. We’re so caught up in the fear of looking “too eager,” when every party involved knows that your phone is industrially glued to your hands at all times, and you at least know that text was received.

If you like someone, have a conversation with them — and if you’re having a conversation with someone you like, you should reply. Replying immediately to what somebody says isn’t too eager, it’s how we talk. After all, you’d look really silly if you took a 10 minute pause in a phone call just to look in demand and busy.

  1. You’re each getting each other, unfiltered and honest.

Ums, uhs, endearingly weird little laughs, the excessive use of “like” and all. There’s no first drafts, no consulting friends for what you should say, no debating over which emoji perfectly resonates with the point you’re trying to make. Sure, there’s no way to optimize all of your best jokes before you say them, but at the same time, if they can’t accept you at your subpar witticisms, then do they really deserve you at your most flawless zingers?

  1. It’s clear that you’re giving them your time.

You could, in theory, have the other person on speaker as you’re multitasking with a volley of other people’s texts, the television on mute, and cooking dinner, but you’re still on the phone with only them. And they’re going to be able to tell if your voice drops off from distraction — and I would sincerely hope that somebody would be able to tell if you disappeared to answer another phone call in the middle of your conversation.

  1. It’s clear that you value their time.

Not only are they worth all of those rollover minutes you’ve accrued, but again, you’re not frittering away 20 minutes of their time just so you can seem busy and important. We’re all busy, we all have things to do, and spending time wondering why somebody hasn’t texted you back is a pretty poor use of that time. If you’re really worried that you’re interrupting something, text the other person first to see if they’re even available to talk on the phone.

  1. Hearing someone’s voice is always that much more special.

There have been countless studies on all of the hormones and nerves that fire in our brains when we hear the voices of people we care about (I mean, this heartwarming baby is proof enough). Think about all the times your high school crush said your name in class and your heart basically leapt into your throat. You can play Instagram-tag all you want and like as many selfies as your little digital heart desires, but nothing’s going to replace hearing somebody else’s voice — and especially when that voice is saying something expressly for you to hear.

  1. There’s something wonderfully old-school about it.

We live in a world where you can order anything you could ever think of from apps and websites — taking the time to pick up the phone and call someone is special. I doubt that you have a phone cord to get wrapped up in or that you’re stuck sitting in the kitchen, tethered to the wall, but there’s still that sense of butterflies when you see somebody’s name pop up on your phone. Sure, it might seem cheesy to curl up in bed with your phone clamped to your ear, talking to someone you like – but why is being cheesy sometimes such a bad thing? It’s only viewed as overwrought because we’re so hellbent on seeming like we don’t care, and that self-preservation won’t get us anywhere in terms of relationships.

  1. There’s no way you can misunderstand someone.

All of that text sub — wait for it — text doesn’t exist in a phone call. What did they mean by ‘ha’? Did you use the wrong emoji? (Why are all the existential crises over emoji?) Did you say something that could be construed as offensive to somebody who was sensitive about it? Even if you do overstep the line, at least on a phone call, you’re more apt to hash it out right then and there, rather than stashing your feelings down and letting it fester until it blows out of proportion somewhere else.

  1. This conversation is just between you two.

You can’t screenshot the conversation to send to friends for instant textual analysis, and neither can they. Sure, you can call up your best friend afterward and dissect ever last pause and vocal inflection, but you really don’t have to. Conversations are just what they are sometimes. And if you can’t keep a few quality flirting sessions as private things between you and this other person, are you going to be able to do this when it comes time to having a real relationship?

The next time you’re thinking of constructing that novel-esque text about plans for next weekend or that awfully awful day you had at work or your thoughts on this year’s Brewers prospects, call me maybe?

 

Thursday nights, paydays and boobsweat

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The older I get, the more I’ve come to the conclusion that things are a bit (okay, a lot. Things are A LOT different) than they were 10, even 5 years ago. I may still look like I’m pre-pubescent, and I will probably forever and always get carded for that PBR, but this whole adulting thang has changed the way I do, think and feel about certain things, things that 10, even 5 years ago had a mostly positive connotation to them whereas now, they just emulate a feeling of panic and overwhelming boobsweat.

Here are just 24 things (words, actions and ideas) that can mean something totally different now that you’re full-on adulting.

  1. Payday

Used to mean: Every other Friday, you’re gonna make it rainnnn in this club (or mall, or GameStop, whatever floats your pubescent boat). You worked hard after school and on weekends! You deserve it!

Now means: The day when rent is due and you need to pay your bills, and maybe if you have any money left over, you can buy a drink to forget how little money you have.

  1. Credit

Used to mean: Something you never got for doing all the work in group projects.

Now means: Something you can’t buy any more books/shoes/books/Brewers tickets/books on.

  1. Healthy eating

Used to mean: [Nothing. You did not care. You did not need to care. You had the metabolism of a marathoner.]

Now means: “Well, I guess if I choke down this overpriced chopped salad, I can have a cookie to go with it, right? That’s fair, right?”

  1. Forever 21

Used to mean: The place you frequented at the mall to try on mass-produced crop tops and miniskirts that barely covered your butt, let alone any leg at all.

Now means: The place where you tell yourself that the the 21 part of the name is arbitrary and age is nothing but a number.

  1. Salary

Used to mean: A steady income, something to aim for beyond the meager hourly wages of working after school and on weekends.

Now means: Health insurance, thank the lord.

  1. Hangover

Used to mean: A really annoying thing to have in class.

Now means: A perfectly valid reason to write your last will.

  1. Thursday night

Used to mean: The glorious pre-weekend in which you went wild a day before everyone else and laughed at their sad, fun-less lives.

Now means: A long overdue date with your unfolded laundry and Swiffer wetjet.

  1. Chores

Used to mean: A thing you avoided at all costs.

Now means: Something you really want to get around to doing thoroughly but you just don’t have the time so you wind up paying people or scheduling your Wild Thursday Nights(tm) around.

  1. Friends

Used to mean: People you hung out with all the time, typically dictated by class or sports teams.

Now means: The few people who have still hung around after your third breakup and/or emotional breakdown, and fully except you, extreme weirdness and all. (So like, six people.)

  1. Parents

Used to mean: People who heckled you about picking up your room, your grades and your strict not-dating-until-you’re-30 status.

Now means: Your best friends and financial savio… I mean, advisors.

  1. Facebook

Used to mean: A place where you connect with old friends.

Now means: An advertisement for the engagements of random people you had one class with four years ago. And where your mom posts memes.

  1. Weekend

Used to mean: Going out to as many bars as you could, especially when you no longer had to hope the bouncer would believe your fake I.D.

Now means: 48 glorious hours when you do not have to leave the house at all and can form butt grooves in the couch as you marathon some House Hunters with bae.

  1. Exams

Used to mean: Something you can easily pass by studying at the last minute.

Now means: Something your doctor performs that could now mean life or death, if only your insurance covers it.

  1. Shot

Used to mean: A great, single-serving portion of alcohol that reinforces how much FUN you are having right now.

Now means: A single serving of hate-yourself-tomorrow in a glass that seems way bigger than it should be for just a shot.

  1. Plans

Used to mean: Something you locked in 45 seconds beforehand.

Now means: Something you lock in 3 months in advance, only to debate if you can make up a weak cough or bug or thing and bail with literally 5 seconds to spare before you need to show up.

  1. Takeout

Used to mean: Something your parents used to get and you were pretty indifferent about, except in thinking that it was mom or dad taking the lazy way out of dinner.

Now means: The most important part of your day/week/month/life.

  1. Phone call

Used to mean: A convenient way for your parents to check in on you.

Now means: Something. Terrible. Has. Happened.

  1. Voicemail

Used to mean: A convenient way for your parents to let you know they called, if you missed them when they checked in on you.

Now means: There is only one option: someone has DIED.

  1. Savings account

Used to mean: What your parents tell you you need to get, and you load up with Christmas money you would much rather spend on the ice cream truck.

Now means: A thing you definitely shouldn’t’ve used to book your flight to Italy, but here we are, my friends, here we are.

  1. Coffee

Used to mean: Something you drink in order to appear sophisticated and grown up, even if it was just a milky latte with sugary syrup. It was still the theory of coffee.

Now means: Something you drink to keep you from hurting people in the morning.

  1. Morning

Used to mean: 10 am, if you really had to get up that early.

Now means: The brutally painful, still-dark hours of 6 am, so you can hit the gym before work (you tell yourself, before you hit snooze until 8:05).

  1. Love life

Used to mean: The series of complicated flirting tactics you used in the middle of Econ to catch the eye of the hottie three seats down.

Now means: Lol, wut?

  1. Figuring It Out

Used to mean: Charismatically exploring all life has to offer.

Now means: Living in a constant, crippling fear of people asking you about your career and aforementioned love life.

  1. Dreams

Used to mean: Attainable by 25.

Now means: Attainable by 43. (Maybe.)

(Hopefully.)

Oh how life has changed, my friends.

Confessions from a Librarian

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Well hey, guys! I hope your hump day is going super fantabulous so far! I thought I would take a moment to talk shop with y’all. As many of you know, when I’m not out fighting crime and eating my weight in ice cream, I spend my every days as a librarian.

A very cool and kickass librarian.

I absolutely love my job, and wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. Well, maybe forever good hair days and season tickets to the Milwaukee Brewers for life. But since those things probbbbbably aren’t happening anytime soon, I think I’ll stick with this gig I’ve got going on. I mean, a booknerd getting to work with books all day long, inspiring other people to become booknerds, in a building FULL OF BOOKS?! Kind of, most definitely dream job territory.

My first foray into the library world was working as a Children’s Librarian intern at the Milwaukee Public Library (which was awesome sauce) followed by my current position as the head librarian at Westwood College. And soon, I hope to get my booty back into the public library sector (and by soon, I mean within two weeks because homegirl is going to be out of a job). While the two areas–public libraries and academic–are vastly different, they both feed my love of working with people, encouraging them to become forever learners, doers, thinkers and readers.

Both jobs also involve so much more than just ‘Shshhhhing’ patrons, checking out books and rocking a mean cardigan sweater. I could go on and on about what me and my fellow kickass librarians do every day, the cataloguing processes, the weeding of collections, the programming and budgets and reading advisories, but I don’t want to spring too much excitement all at once. It’s best given in small doses, much like seeing your Aunt Carol, or kale.

What I want to talk to you today about is what goes on behind the scenes, things that may go against all Librarian Code (which if found out, will cause me to lose all street cred which is why this goes in the vault!)

Secrets from the stacks.

Here are my librarian confessions:

  1. I dogear my pages, even though I tell my students/patrons to use bookmarks.
  2. I borrowed and lost my public library’s copy of A Wrinkle in Time when I was 5. I’m likely still banned from borrowing. #oops
  3. I sat in the inside bookdrop one time…and couldn’t get out. That was the epitome of a good time.
  4. I eat at my desk, sometimes while handling and cataloguing new books for the collection. Because hangry is a very real thing, y’all.
  5.  “50 Shades…”why read it when you can live it amiright?! Kidding. Totally kidding on that one.
  6. I’m completely okay with you violating copyright laws by ripping our DVDs and CDs (and might even show you how).
  7. I dropped a cupcake on a book…in the staff lounge.
  8. If there’s a new book I want to read, I hoard it in my desk drawer so that no one can check it out before I get to it. I know. I KNOW!
  9. I deface library books by circling errors that weren’t caught by the proofreaders before the book went to print. In pencil! (But still…)
  10. An employer recently asked me in an interview: ‘What have you read and enjoyed recently?’ I listed some best sellers and local fiction instead of saying that I’m currently reading Harry Potter for the tenth time.
  11. It hurts me, like in my soul, how willing my library is to throw away old books.  Donate them to a good, loving reader’s home or school. Someone, somewhere, will read them.  I promise!
  12. You will get briefer reference desk service if I can smell your breath from across my desk. Sorry not sorry.
  13. I encourage people to be loud. Not too loud, but I hate stuffy libraries. I want patrons/students to feel comfortable coming in, hanging out, and dare I say it…having fun.
  14. I Google.

Like I said, this is in the vault.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some books to hoard.

QOTD: What are some of your profession confessions?

 

 

“…and I hope you stay, forever young”

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I’m a firm believer in staying (and feeling) forever young for as long as you possibly can. After all, life is wayyyy too short to be all-consumed with the stresses and worries and overall adultness 24/7. You gotta let go and cut loose every once in a while; eat Cocoa Puffs for dinner, run through the sprinklers in your backyard and stay up all night having epic Rugrats marathons. It’s good for the soul.

That being said however, it would be nice to do all of the above things while still actually looking my real age. Y’all if only I had a dime for every time a stranger asked me what grade I was in (I’m 11 years post-grade thank you very much). Or when an instructor at my college told me to get to class (Nope, not a student). Or when the cute guy at the bar goes to buy me a drink but then reconsiders after he realizes he could go to jail for serving a minor (I’M 28!!! I’m probably older than you for Reese’s Pieces sake).

Just so many dimes, guys. So many dimes.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m Benjamin Buttoning, but without the whole never looking old part. I posted a picture of myself a few weeks ago in honor of #tbt and despite the crimped hair and ridiculously amazing stirrup leggings I was rocking, I looked exactly the same. I wish I was joking.

And I know what you’re going to say…”You should feel lucky that you look so young!” But when you get mistaken for a pre-teen Belieber on the regular, it can get old very fast.

Pun intended.

If you’re like me and forever look like you should be on your way to your Wednesday morning yearbook club meeting instead of work, you can probably relate to these struggles only a person who appears ridiculously young for their age deals with.

1. Strangers automatically refer to you as “sweetie pie” or “cutie,” which was fine 15 years ago, but now it’s kinda suuuuuuuper fucking weird.

2. When you reveal your actual age, people reliably say “Oh!” with a mix of confusion, admiration, doubt, and pity.

3. You have to literally prove your age to some people, especially annoying nonbelievers. Examples used in the past: You know every lyric to every Backstreet Boys song ever, you’ve at one point owned Jnco jeans or jelly shoes and/or had a Trapper Keeper full of Lisa Frank folders (with matching pencil bag).

4. You cringe whenever high school students are confident enough to approach you and ask for your number. Flattered, but still a little ubered out.

5. You’re also really concerned when older people hit on you. Is it because they think you’re as young as you look??? Because ew.

6. You’ve never not been quizzed about your address, birthday, and astrological sign when purchasing alcohol at a liquor store. Weirdly, you never had this much trouble with your fake ID.

7. You will literally set your hair on fire if one more person tells you that you’ll be thankful when you’re older that you look younger than you actually are. Huh. Maybe the singed hair look will make me look older?

8. All you want in life is to walk into an R-rated movie without the cute little old lady at the ticket counter asking you for your ID and/or the whereabouts of your parents.

9. Wearing makeup is maybe one of the few saving graces in helping you look your age…if you actually knew how to put it on without looking like a cute [underage] raccoon.

10. People find it ~*~adorable~*~ and ~*~precious~*~ when you’re passionate or angry about something. It’s like an endearing temper tantrum to them.

11. Small talk with strangers often involves clarifying misconceptions about why you’re “out of school this early in the day.” Yeahhhhh…about that. You haven’t stepped foot inside a high school in over four eleven years.

12. People assume you’re the “baby” of the group, but in reality you tend to be one of the more mother-henny, the DD on a Friday night (mainly because you left your ID at home and NO ONE thought you were even close to being able to legally down those Fireball shots). It’s all an optical illusion.

13. You fully appreciate just how much of a blow to the ego it is to be mistaken as your younger sibling’s younger sibling. Not just some of the times. Always. Just every damn time.

Ahhh yes. The very real struggle of looking ridiculously younger than your age. The good news is crimped hair and stirrup pants never looked so good on anyone.

 

 

Oh No He Di’in’t: Top 10 Worst Fictional BFs From Your High School Lit Class

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Confession: I not so secretly harbor a crush to beat all crushes on one Mr. Ron Weasley. Like, hardcore ‘I want to marry him and have just all of the ginger babies’ crushing. He’s not the stereotypical hot, but that’s kind of my MO; funny, goofy, self-deprecating and just a genuinely good guy.

Of course he’s not the only fictional BF that gave me the not so fictional butterflies every time they crossed the pages of one of my books, and he won’t be the last.

But with every great and swoon-worthy fictional BF comes those that are really just giant @ssholes (as IRL, amiright ladies?)

I present to you 10 of the worst fictional BFs from your high school literature class:

  1. Holden Caulfield, The Catcher In The Rye

It’s probably way too easy to pick on a kid who is just really tormented by his brother’s passing — and with good reason; if you ever have a chance to read The Ocean Full Of Bowling Balls, Allie’s death was pretty bleak — but not only does Holden lose interest during his date with Sally Hayes, but he totally botches one of the most cringe-worthy experiences with a girl any literary teenage runaway has ever experienced. He’s angsty, he’s rude — and yes, he’s a teenager, but this is the dude that would probably just laugh as you’re trying to beat down the wall to get yourself into his heart. He’d probably also blame you for any little thing you “made” him do. Really, he’s a headache and a half, and though it’s probably safe to say that every girl has one of these guys in her past, that’s just a cross we have to bear in the name of adoescence.

That’s the thing about girls. Every time they do something pretty, even if they’re not much to look at, or even if they’re sort of stupid, you fall in love with them, and then you never know where the hell you are. Girls. Jesus Christ. They can drive you crazy. They really can.

  1. Oedipus, Oedipus Rex

If you’re going to date Oeddie, you should know that between all of the abandoned-as-a-child issues, the regal complex, the killing-his-dad complex, and the, er, mother of all mommy issues, this is the fixer-upper kind of dude your friends warn you about. He’s too broken, they say. He’s got too much baggage! But he’s so cute, you think to yourself, and oh, how you long to change him. He’s also the kind of guy who would spend all day long chastising you, only to find out he’s been a hypocrite, and would then endlessly self-flagellate to earn your forgiveness. Nobody needs that sort of pressure. (Not to mention the fact that if you’re dating Oedipus, you’re probably dating your own kid.)

  1. Odysseus, The Odyssey

Here’s a modern-day retelling of The Odyssey for you: your boyfriend goes out to the club all night long with his bros (or, you know, spends 10 years fighting the Trojans in a very, very bleak war) only to call you last minute and let you know that he’s going to keep the night going (or he pisses off a god or two so now he has to spend another 10 years getting home.) On the way, he gets into a whole lot of trouble, might cheat on you here and there, swears he didn’t do a thing, and then expects you to welcome him home with open arms just because he knows you found sleeping alone to be torture.

Also, the Boys of Backstreet are totally the Homers of our generations. Those songs are going to hold up for all of eternity.

  1. Jay Gatsby, The Great Gatsby

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This is one of my favorite books of all time, but really, Gatsby did not know how to let a girl go. Daisy Buchanan married another man, had a kid by him, and beyond that, was a pretty terrible human being. (Fitzgerald uses the term “careless” to describe the Buchanans, and it’s pretty freaking apt.) Still, James Gatz is so besotted with this girl who he believes to be out of his league and on a pedestal that he literally builds an entire empire (and, y’know, breaks a few laws) in order to win her back. And then he dies for her, and she doesn’t care. If you’re going to break up with your boyfriend because he conveniently gets murdered by your husband’s dead mistress’ husband, that’s kiiind of a lot to have on your conscience.

(And because we have now entered the Leonardo DiCaprio-invades-9th-grade-lit portion of the program…)

  1. Romeo Montague, Romeo & Juliet

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Yes, I get it, ’til death do us part, hopelessly, crazy, drunk in love, that’s all well and good. It’s cute, really, if you’re really going to go all Anna-in-Frozen and decide you love a guy five seconds after meeting him. See, the thing is, Romeo is meant to be a bit of a farce. He’s based off this dude named Petrarch, who spent his whole life writing very public, very popular sonnets to this woman he saw one day who was married, never returned his advances, and to whom he’d never spoken a single word. Shakespeare, a poet in his own merit, had it up to here with lovestruck dudes running around and copying Petrarch’s style — along with codpieces, being a Petrachan lover was like Elizabethan England’s version of a hipster. So good old Billy Shakes (whoever he is) goes and funnels this into Romeo’s infatuation with Rosaline  — remember her? — in the beginning of the play, and the fact that our starcrossed lover just drops her like last week’s Malaysian plane conspiracy theory is a pretty crappy thing to do. Minus the whole Both Being Dead thing, why don’t you think he’s going to do the same thing to you, Juliet? Save yourself, girl! You don’t have to die for him! Clueless-era Paul Ru— I mean, Paris is not a bad consolation prize!

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  1. Tom Sawyer, Adventures Of Tom Sawyer

Tom is the kind of boyfriend who would find it funny that you ate it at the bar. He’d make fun of you mercilessly, and not in that cruel-to-be-kind sort of way, but because he is clueless enough to not realize that yeah, it kind of hurts your feelings. As a modern-day allegory, Tom is totally The Office‘s Roy Anderson, when you know in your heart of hearts that you’re supposed to end up with Jim Halpert. Really, he would forget that you went to the bathroom and leave you at a minor league hockey game. (Tom Sawyer would also end up with a better life and a $50,000 sports car after you left him, because that’s just the way Mark Twain, NBC sitcoms, and life work.)

  1. Heathcliff, Wuthering Heights

Heathcliff is totally that boy who was best friends with you all throughout elementary school, threw a fit that you developed a mild crush on the popular boy in school because he wanted you for himself like you were his favorite toy, convinced his mom to let him go to a different high school under the guise of a broken heart, and then wound up at the same college as you, all newly buff and attractive, and then proceeded to torment you for the rest of forever, citing your crush on the popular boy as the catalyst and that this was “all your fault.” (… What, you didn’t have a friend like that? I digress.) The whole concept of our souls being made of the same stuff is romantic, to be sure, but Bronte’s work harkens back to the theme of people who just don’t know how to let lost love go.

Though, for full disclosure: someone once pointed out the parallels to Heathcliff’s abuse of the next generation of Earnshaw and Linton kids, and Severus Snape’s abuse of Harry Potter, child of the unrequited love of his life, and I haven’t been able to look at either character the same way since.

Why did you betray your own heart Cathy? I have not one word of comfort. You deserve this. You have killed yourself. … You loved me – then what right had you to leave me? Because … nothing God or satan could inflict would have parted us, you, of you own will, did it. I have not broken your heart – you have broken it; and in breaking it, you have broken mine. So much the worse for me that I am strong. Do I want to live? What kind of living will it be when you – oh God! would you like to live with your soul in the grave? […] I forgive what you have done to me. I love my murderer – but yours! How can I?

  1. Stanley Kowalski, A Streetcar Named Desire

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The boyfriend who is the reason why the word “boy” is part of the compound, Stanley Kowalski is Citizen Number One when it comes to literary characters you fell in love with because you thought their on-screen counterparts were hot. (And to be sure, Brando was goooood in that movie.) But without Brando’s scruffy, loveable, bad-boy sheen to distract you, Kowalski is a bit of a brute on his own, heightened by the fact that he is so easily antagonized by the wilted flower known as Blanche Dubois. It doesn’t take a lot for Stanley to get riled up, and the famed Stelllaaaaaaaaaa! has to do a lot of babysitting to keep her husband’s temper down. (But then again, they’re having a baby together, so maybe this is his master plan in giving her some practice. I don’t know. I really love vintage Marlon Brando.)

  1. Othello

Where to begin with Othello, the Moor, tormented hero, probably suffering from a fair share of PTSD, hopelessly devoted to a girl he’s like 95% sure cheated on him just because his double-crossing frenemy said so… oh. Wait. Really, all of Shakespeare’s work is riddled with really bad boyfriends, which probably has something to do with the fact that he left Anne Hathaway (no, the other one) at home with their children while he was chasing his dream in London — and left her only the second-best bed when he died. Really.

But the fact that Othello is willing to kill his wife because he thinks she cheated on him is pretty high up there on the bad-boyfriend-o-meter on its own.

  1. Mr. Rochester, Jane Eyre

Sure, it’s bad that he baits Jane into confessing that she loves him first by dangling his attachment to another woman in front of her face like a diamond ring just out of reach, the carrot to Jane’s poor, lovestruck rabbit. But what’s really egregious here is that the man kept the “ex”-wife whose crazy guts he couldn’t stand locked up in the highest room of the tallest tower of his manor house WHILE he’s romancing Jane. Like, in what part of your idealistic little governess brain is this a good idea? Nowhere, that’s where. Girl, take that paycheck and get gone.

QOTD: Who are some of your best/worst fictional BFs?

Leo as Gatsby or Romeo?

Project Restoration Love

grandparents

Last night I decided to make a pit stop at Tarjay after work to pick up some milk (and all of aisles 4-7) when I noticed something that gave me all the feels; an elderly couple were so sweetly walking hand-in-hand through the store.

The man, an older gentleman (and straight-up silver fox if I do say so myself), grabbed his wife, an equally stunningly beautiful woman donned in all black, by the waist. As they stopped to admire some decoration pillows (which I may or may not have purchased myself, oops.—Damn you, Target! Why can I never just buy the milk?!), they gazed adoringly into each other’s eyes, smiled satisfied smiles and kissed on the lips — not an obnoxious kiss or a classless kiss, but an enduring and adoring kiss.

Upon seeing that, a weird thing happened, somewhat jaded Wendi became a little less jaded.

Don’t get me wrong. She’s still on the somewhat jaded scale; after all, one’s heart does tend to get a bit guarded after getting tossed and turned and thrown around all willy-nilly like (and not just once, but on the repeat for past two years). But she found herself smiling along with that oh for cute couple.

I looked at them and thought to myself, they’ve got some really good taste in home décor. Well, that and it’s those things that make me fall in love with love all over again.

I’m in love with love. And I know a lot of people say that, but I actually mean it. I am a hopeless romantic right to the bone, as much as I hate to admit it sometimes. The thing with hopeless romantics, though, is that they love too hard and upset too easily. Their hearts are a little more fragile than others.

Everyone, hopeless romantic or not, starts off as blank slates. As humans, we naturally like to see the best in people, so we enter the dating world giving A+’s to all the people we encounter. And as they begin to disappoint us, hurt us, we begin to subtract points from their perfect score.

For this reason, it’s easy to go from hopeless romantic to complete cynic, but it’s incredibly difficult to transform from complete cynic back to hopeless romantic.

Somehow, though, I did. I made the switch for the better. My ticker is still on the mend from being broken, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the good in all those little moments.

Here are just some of those little things that help restore my faith in love:

1. When I watch an old couple shoot the sh*t like it’s 1999.

The old couple who sits in the same booth of the same old cafe every weekend and shares the same banana split with the same old toppings is #RelationshipGoals.

Seeing them can’t help but warm my heart.


2. When the token tough guy melts like silly putty in a woman’s hands.

There’s only one thing that turns the tough guy into a wondrous, sensitive, caring individual (and no, it’s not the gym): love.

A true, compassionate, selfless bond with a woman who is the tough guy’s world is the only thing that will break down his walls, and that’s an incredible thing.


3. That time I had a crush on someone at the new job I just started.

I walked into work expecting a whole new set of tasks, not a whole new set of man candy. Little did I know that my broken heart would be revived with just one look at that cute office guy.

I didn’t act on it, but it’s the principle that matters. There are still smart, cute nice guys out in the world.


4. When I see a couple who is mismatched looks-wise.

When the guy is significantly hotter than the girl or the girl is significantly hotter than the guy, I know they’re together because there’s something there stronger than the powers of physical attraction. That thing is love in its realest, rawest form. #dawwww


5. When Taylor Swift actually started making sense to me.

I used to think T-Swift was foolish in believing in the fairytale. I used to think she sounded stupid amongst the honest, soul-bearing likes of X Ambassadors and Kings of Leon.

Ms. Swift is no longer sappy and misinformed. She is dead-on, y’all. Dead. On. Plus her tunes are just so damn catchy.


6. Airport hellos and goodbyes.

There are hardly any places more romantic than an airport. You’re probably wondering how bad fluorescent lighting, over-priced cheeseburgers, crying babies, and just so much black luggage can be romantic. But hear me out.

*Just watch this clip from one of  favorite movies in the history of ever and tell me you don’t get the goosepimples.

Two people previously separated by long plane rides and vast oceans make their way back to each other and love each other even more than they did before. Distance made their hearts remember why life is worth living — for love.


7. When I see a guy take his coat off and put it around a woman’s shoulders.

Or when a guy opens the gal’s card door. Or pulls out her seat at the dinner table. These are just small reminders of big importance: Chivalry is not dead, and romance is alive and well. Putting a coat on a woman’s shoulders is such a little thing, but it’s also so wonderfully sincere that it speaks volumes.


8. When I see a guy sitting alone at the mall

…Because I know he’s there with his girlfriend, and all he wants is to be anywhere but there, preferably at a sport’s bar drinking a beer and yelling at the refs on TV. But he chooses to be with her, because he just loves her AF.


9. When I see the look that one of my best girlfriends gives to her boyfriend.

That look is everything. That look is the look of all looks. It’s the look we envy. It’s the look that signals it’s “meant to be.”


10. When I make my morning coffee at work and a man makes a comment about my affinity for everything pumpkin spice.

He isn’t asking me out on a date, but he’s letting me know he’s open to meeting new people. And there are few things more refreshing than seeing a man in a big city take a few small moments to let a woman know he isn’t that busy.


11. When I hear a story about how people’s parents met.

In a land sans dating apps, hearing stories of organic romance enlivens my soul and brightens my heart. Fun fact: my parents met on a Coors brewery tour, right here in Colorado almost 30 years ago. And tbh, at first my mom wanted nothing to do with this strange guy wearing the Packer’s baseball cap who kept making terrible dad jokes (ahhh…that’s where I get it from). It just goes to show that sometimes, things are just meant to happen at the exact moment between the right people.


12. When I see a couple at the pet store, and they consider getting a pet.

They’re thinking about expanding their family. They’re not making a tiny human, but they are taking baby steps toward their future — and there’s nothing more romantic than forward thinking.


13. When someone told me I’m “growing into my own, and it’s sexy.”

I’d like to be clear that a woman, not a man, told me this. My former boss, actually, who was not only an incredible leader, but a friend, daughter, wife and mother.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: What could a woman complimenting you on your personal growth have anything to do with believing in love again?

Well, I guess it’s an indirect path to finding love. It’s a flicker of hope — that if I’m well on my way to being my best self, then I’m also well on my way to finding the best person for me.

I haven’t found love, though I’d love to. Some day. But even so, it helps to know that until then, I’ve got something to look forward to.

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