Monday, June 30, 2014

Top 3 Flirting Flummoxes of 2014

Tomorrow is July.

To keep myself on track of my New Year's Resolutions/ Adoptions I'm checking in.
If you want to read the original post, click away.

In reference to the list I wrote for myself to accomplish this year, how is it going?
Am I writing more?  Yes.
Am I telling the truth more...that's a hard thing to measure, but am I expressing true things about myself to others?  Yes, in writing.
It's nice how they all can flow together and cross-promote themselves.
I'm not sure what cross-promote really means, but I think this is close enough.

But flirting?
If there is a learning curve in process, I am wondering has it started to curl yet?
Or to ellipsis?
Or to meniscus?
I love turning Science nouns into verbs and misusing them.  It's a completely Englishy thing to do.

Perhaps it's like the curvature of the earth and thwarts the understanding of the human eye.  I'm going with that, and I'm not completely discouraged about my "progress."
(First, you should know, I do despair from time to time.  And I have been the recipient of grace of friends and family who will come over and just hold me, if I am a sobbing mess.  I get messy and I ugly cry about singleness and dating and rejection.  I think it's important for people to know that.  Life isn't just puppies and kitties; hard happens, and it's important to be loved then. That is a true help.)

Another reason I am not completely discouraged is that I am funny, and I don't really tire of self-deprecating humor.  I hope you've also noticed that self-deprecating humor does not mean making light of my insecurities.  Nor does it entail laughing at my vulnerability.
Those aren't funny, that is a cry for help, and I don't want your help.
I want to give you 3.5 opportunities to laugh.

If a friend shared these with me, guy or girl, if properly executed, I would roll with laughter with them.
I want that for you.

If you haven't read Why am I Still Single? The Answer, let me recap it in 3 run-on sentences.
In a coffee shop, I noticed a man standing behind me using my keen sense of smell.  His cologne wafted over to my nose, but it was faint enough for me to think he was far away (This is largely because men have seen too many Axe commercials and shellac themselves with cologne, which is unfortunate and abusive to noses everywhere.) Upon seeing him VERY near to me in my peripheral vision, I jumped, and I explained the jump by saying I smelled him before I saw him. Admittedly, the other version is better than this synopsis.

I struck up a conversation near some restrooms with a handsome man around February or March while waiting for some friends to come out.  They were taking awhile, and he was leaning on a wall or rail, which is a universally good sign (Source: While You Were Sleeping where Bill Pullman still doesn't convince me that he is a romantic lead.  He makes a much better President/fighter pilot. Source: Independence Day.)
I had the very conscious thought, "Now's an opportunity to flirt,'"as if I were running a SWOT analysis on this scenario.  In a way, I was.

So I said...

"Do you watch Dr. Who?"

I didn't pretend to be interested in hockey, or flip my hair. I went straight for what is possibly the longest running nerdy show out there.
Additionally, I do not watch the show, so where on earth did I think this was going?
He did not watch the show, nor did I. That killed all conversation.

#3 explained in 2 parts 
About 2 months ago now, I started registering the physical proximity from men as a potential attack.

Some foundational information:

If there were a definitive Flirting for Dummies book out there, it would mention the importance of Proxemics.  
I have attached a definition for you to reference, it's a real thing and I know because I took a class on it.
It's highly important in communication and possibly even more so in flirting.  It's also why bars have loud music, so you have an excuse to lean in.  It also hastens alcohol intake.  Yeah.  That's a thing.   Note: This study is not something you site as a way to try to flirt.  I've tried siting research studies while flirting.  Don't do it; it has never worked the way I intended.

These incidents occurred, days apart.

Part 1
Well, in about April, I was walking past a congenial fellow. He raised up his arm in high five greeting fashion and said, "Hey you're here!"
What did I do?

I ducked and protected my face.

I saw the arm raising, doubled over, and protected my head. I wish this was on video or in 3-4 time-lapse photos that I would animate here.
I'm not implying this would have been flirting, had I not felt threatened.  Rather, I think what I do see happening here is the opposite of flirting.

Dropping to the ground is the opposite of flirting.

I know because this is my standard response to being tickled. Tickling is a flirting tactic that I undo by always dropping to the ground. It is horrifying to all interested parties, creating very disinterested parties, rapidly.

Part 2
About 2 days later...
In another environment, with a male friend and a male acquaintance, I was trying to exit and go home.  My guy friend desired me to stick around and go to a dinner party that a girl was hostessing.  I had not been invited to this dinner party, so I was trying to slink away, graciously declining.

I tried to explain my point of view without going into:

1) the higher math that is head counting,
2) the scarcity of food ratio,
3) seating and chair challenges,
4) the secrets of single girls, and
5) etiquette.

This proved difficult.

Having been a hostess myself, here is what I knew, but didn't explain:

I know it's 2014, but there are manners and feelings to consider.  Mine have been not considered when I hostess and it stinks. I don't want to do that to someone else.
Particularly if it is happening in 15 minutes.
Especially if YOU were invited, but it wasn't a plus one sort of thing.
You have no idea the wrath that an uninvited girl showing up to a dinner party with a man can bring. If you have read any Jane Austen novel, use this as a guide.
Dinner parties are an excuse for a single girl to have single men over and seduce them with food.  If the hostess isn't into you, someone at the gathering invariably is.
Now, knowing this, did I want to be "that rude girl," eating chicken, and straddling a table leg because there was no place planned for me?
No, not really.

Still not finding the ability to explain my reticence clearly, the persuasions continued.
The male acquaintance said, "Oh I'll keep her here while you call to see if it's ok for her to come to dinner."
He advanced to distract me, and I...

turned around and assumed a somewhat crouched position that made my butt stick out, balled my hands into fists, and possibly closed my eyes.

If this were a 7th grade basketball game, I would call it boxing out, but it wasn't.

I can't remember what exactly transpired (since my eyes were shut), but offering up my backside and holding my arms up like a T-Rex got some attention.  I explained I thought he was about to grab me and hold me down.  (This is how you get a girl to attend a dinner party without RSVPing, right?)

To which he looked appalled and said, "No, I'm all sweaty."
He also had a soccer ball.

Men: No girl on earth has ever wanted to be grabbed by a sweaty man.  Ever.
Oh wait. Have you even seen the World Cup?**

At any rate, I was not grabbed.  Further, I was allowed to go home, eat my cold pizza, and wonder about why my reflexes had taken a turn toward being easily victimized.

For my 4th Flirting Flop/Fizzle, I believe I need a different post.  I will have it to you BEFORE July 4th.
I love timely writing pieces, but there's just something about equating flirting with Independence of America that is just wrong.  I like puns, but not enough to cast freedoms I have as a joke.

**Regarding the World Cup:
**If you haven't seen it, let me break it down:
It's like the Miss Universe pageant, except each country sends and entire team of their most swarthy countrymen.  They run around for a month in front of cameras.
Hands off, Mr. Universes, don't touch me.  Don't you know you're sweaty?

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Friday, June 27, 2014

Shushing the Summer "Shouldn't you....?"

I have bouts with doubt.  Doubt bouts about myself.
Recently I wrote about the void that comes between school ending and summer beginning.  I developed a list of things I'm looking forward to doing to help cope.  I even explained to some people that it's a period of grieving.
"Yeah right" one said.
It's possible she thinks Summers for a teacher are like this Buzzfeed article.
Hilarious, open it in a different tab and enjoy, but don't forget to come back here.
And no, it's not like that.

And though prepared for it this time, the jolt of summer that is like stepping off of one of those flat escalators at the airport came.  You know the thing I'm talking about.  The one you nearly fall off with all your bags those first few steps.

Then came this new feeling, one I didn't make a list for, and I don't think I could have anyway.
This is the "You are Being Lazy" feeling.  The "Shouldn't you be  __________ today?"
Don't be fooled.  That blank looks innocent enough, but a whole lot can fit into it.  See?

Shouldn't you be....
getting married/ 
running in a marathon/
investing in the Stock Market/
backpacking through the Amazon/
cooking a turducken 

It's an oppressive blank.

Here are 2 books that delve into it.



The latter book, I started reading but it really bummed me out.  Because I am an empath through and through and even when I wasn't feeling or thinking thoughts of acedia or it's impact spiritually, well there it was.  Thanks Kathleen Norris, you made me cry.

The former, I haven't read, but doesn't the title just say it all?  I'm getting it from the library perhaps it can resonate in a non-buzz-kill sort of way.  Some thoughts need laughter to dispel.

Yet again though, bookless (which is a form of vulnerability for me) I decided the only way to tell myself I'm not lazy (besides saying it in a mirror in a creepy way or piling more into my days) was guessed it:




If you haven't figured it out already, I write lists.  What's more I'm quite prolific.  If someone would ever pop into my apartment they would see half cooked scraps of lists strewn about.  This is just my mind's way of showing itself scattered as it is and how very easily I lose the thread.
Nevertheless I write because I am a writer.

This reflective act of typing it all out however, really worked well.  It would totally blow if I found, "Oh yeah, I am really lazy.  I've done nothing all month," but that wasn't the case.

Here's what my June has looked like.

June 2: Last day of school with co-workers.  Co-worker happy hour.  Acquired 5 new Llewelyn's cups.  
They are red this season.  Grab them up, St. Louis!
June 3: Clean apartment and "pack" suitcase (quotation marks intended to show procrastination)
Finish book. Paint furniture
June 4: "Clean" apartment. Take Captain to parents' house.  "Pack" suitcase. Paint furniture.
June 5: PACK SUITCASE!  Fly to Denver. Finish book. Reunite with college roommate.  Mountains.
June 6: Denver exploring. Hiking.
June 7: Denver exploring.
June 8: Denver exploring. Hiking.
June 9: Fly to St. Louis.  Attempt flirting on plane. Unsuccessful. Pick up Captain from parents'.
June 10: Start internship at MediaCross (happening Tuesday-Fridays, so assume on each day hereafter)
June 11: Host book club (hosting includes: cleaning and baking and being nice).
June 12: Accepted into University of Missouri St. Louis.  Finished Firefly series. (Only 1 season!?!?!?!)
June 13: Take Kelly to Train station (6:00am) Welcome lunch at MediaCross.
June 14: Nothing (except internship) oh and watching Serenity, the movie that ends the Firefly series.
June 15: Hike with family at Hawn State Park. Celebrate Father's Day.
June 16: Take Captain to vet. Oil Change. Speak to UMSL Advisor.
June 17: Host book club (yes, a different one). Enroll in UMSL course.
June 18: Start grad.class. Get student ID and parking pass.
June 19: Dinner with Kate at Vin de Set.
June 20: A.M. coffee with Natalie. Wedding coordinator training @ rehearsal.
June 21: Wedding coordinator training @ wedding. Homework.
June 22: Attend church with Annie.  Lunch.
June 23: Pick up Kelsey from airport. Homework. See Grand Budapest Hotel. Fall in love with Wes Anderson.  Again. 
June 24: Meet with Kate to discuss Communications Team volunteering. Finish book.
June 25: Dinner at Martha's house.
June 26: Nothing????
June 27: A.M. coffee with friends. Cookout.
June 28: Unknown.

Verdict= Not Lazy
Alternate verdict= Potentially Crazy

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Monday, June 16, 2014

Mile High City: Denver in iPhone pictures

This past week I was honored to go visit my college roommate and her husband to be in Denver.  I did not play the photo blogger role as well as I could have, so as to get maximum quality/ catch up time, but here are some of the highlights.

For Shopping

There are so many delightful shops on Broadway!
I wanted to teleport so many of my friends to Fancy Tiger Crafts

They have crafting classes in the back next to the fireplace.  They earned major points here.  What a felted rack! 


My hands were way too full of vintage clothes to take pictures at Buffalo Exchange, but imagine something amazing.  

For Outdoors:
Go outdoors.

I got to hike some moderate trails in Golden and Boulder and enjoy soreness for the following week. 

For coffee:

The Cup:

For Food:
It seemed like there was good vegan food everywhere I went.  I'm not vegan, but I am lactose intolerant.  It was so nice to be able to order straight off a menu.  Here's to nachos and ice cream!

Sweet Action 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

A Brave and Beautiful "No"

I tell myself I live frugally.  At times meagerly.  Truthfully, my income is less than many of my peers but I con myself into thinking, often thinking, I am deserving of more.
And in this entitled state I buy what I need or want.  Granted, I buy the cheaper version of whatever it is, be it a generic, on clearance, previously owned, etc.  Never-the-less I consume and create a large cache.

I've become aware of this trend.  It's a stealthy mindset, being deserving, craving more.   I spot it in my heart on occasion, seeing it like spotting something in my preferential vision.

But I have a trick to spotting it full on, to freeze, and to examine it empirically.

I have started strategically, in the bathroom, where so  many of my days wind up and down.

Here, in the bathroom, I take stock of things.  Not in a compulsive sort of way, but as a way to push back on my voice when it says, "I need," because this voice can be true, and it can be false.

"I need face wash," it might say.

"Oh really?  Let's go see."

And this is what I found.  (Three other bottles didn't make it into the frame).

Clearly my "need" vanished facing this.

"I need nail polish" it might say.

"Do you need that?  Let's take a look."

And then I look at my inventory of goods.
"Nope.  You  have 20 bottles of nail polish.  You don't need more."

This line of inquiry and resistance is productive and real.
It also gets to the very real question of "why."  Why do I say I need when I clearly don't?
What is consuming and commercialism hiding?

More often than not, my need masks a desire to change without working; instead I varnish the surface and neglect the core of who I am, which is ultimately cowardice.

And bit by bit I know what I have and don't and enact voluntary embargoes with myself.  Like no buying new face wash for 30 days.  I'm 1.5 months into this one and still quite well stocked.

So I spy on myself, catch the thoughts with sidelong glances, test my motives, and finally, say a brave and beautiful no.
Saying no can nourish.

“Most of the time nowadays we human beings are referred to as consumers. What does the consumer think? What does the consumer want? How ugly. Forest fires consume. Cancer consumes. I want us to be nourishers.” ~Madeline L'Engle

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

How to Put a Cork in it: DIY Necklace

It's Summer.  I'm 2 days into break and am already blitzing through projects that have been on my list for at least a year.

Here's one that's been on the bottom of my list for far too long: make a necklace using these corks.
I love the texture, so when I found them in a vintage science kit, I grabbed them up.


I proceeded to neglect the corks for about 2 years, until last night.  I was itching to do something creative and my other projects (mostly things involving paint) need time to cure.  In an effort to cultivate patience I set up to make a necklace instead. 

First I found my sewing kit.  It was a present from Erin, who owns Yellow Bird Gifts.  Check her out! 


I also located 2 pieces of felt from a failed felt Peter Pan collar necklace that I attempted to make a little bit ago.  I laid out the corks on the fabric to see if it could work.  And it did!  
Waste not; want not.   


I used a safety pin to poke holes in each cork.  You could do this with a needle to save some steps, but I didn't want to risk bending a sewing needle.  

Then because the corks have a rustic texture, I marked each hole with straight pins so I wouldn't lose all of the holes I'd made.  I thought they looked pretty.

Because they do.

Then came the not so pretty part. I sewed the corks to the felt in the arrangement I'd planned.  I used upholstery thread because it was the closest color to that of the cork that I had.  I stitched as much behind the corks as possible, because I didn't want them to be very visible. 

This led to and irregular stitches and a very messy look. 

After stitching and securing each cork, I tacked on ribbon on the ends.  I could have also attached a chain, but I wanted to keep the media down to wood and cloth.

The good thing about a failed Peter Pan collar is that there are two pieces that failed and are identical.
I stitched the second piece over the foundation felt to help the necklace look more polished.

Polished is a relative term, I know because I'm clearly wearing corks.    But it works!