Friday, August 7, 2009

Brace-Faced Fido

Sometimes, I think my standards are a little unrealistic. My friends always think my standards are unrealistic, but I only agree with them about 35 percent of the time.
However, I hope you all agree with me this time.
When out for dinner and drinks not too long ago, I was approached by a decent-looking guy. He told me he hadn’t been able to look away from me all night because he thought I was just gorgeous. He introduced himself and asked for my number. It was kind of a ballsy move, I figured, and he seemed nice, so I gave it to him. I know, after learning my lesson from the guy who looked like a serial killer, I should have handed him some questionnaires before giving out my number. Nonetheless, I gave it to him.
He called not too long thereafter. It took me 15 minutes to discover that he didn’t fit any of my standards by a long shot.
In just 15 minutes on the phone, I discovered he:
is on year No. 2 of a seven-year plan to open a bar (woohoo, bars in L.A. don’t even stay open for seven years).
lives with his mom at 27
and, as if that weren’t good enough…
he works as a vet technician. For a vet. who puts braces on dogs.
You just can’t make this shit up. FML.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

"You can [not always] have whatever you like, yeah, yeah."

I’m not a control freak.

No, I’m not trying to convince anyone of this fact; the act alone of trying to convince someone I’m not a control freak would prove contradictory. So I won’t try to connive, manipulate, or in any other way control your thoughts about me not being a control freak. Don’t worry—I won’t.

I will say, however, that if something needs to be taken control of, I know how to do it. The other day, when something at the office wasn’t working out to my satisfaction, a friend-co–worker said, “You know how to get what you want. Make it happen!” And I did.

She’s right. I generally do know how to get what I want (except a million dollars and a free Thai food delivery service—haven’t quite figured out how to get those yet). The problem with this is that I become incredibly frustrated with dating because it is something that is inherently entirely out of my control.

And that’s the whole point. The whole point of a relationship is having someone who wants to be with you, wants to kiss you, wants to help you mop up the 2 inches of water covering your floor when a pipe breaks, and wants to…give you lots of shiny things. (Wait, shiny things aren’t the point? I totally thought it was. I’m confused.)

Different magazines constantly seem to be publishing stories like “How to Make Him Like You,” or “How to Use Body Language to Get Him to Kiss You.” And sure, some of these tactics may occasionally work, at least on a surface level, but I don’t want to have to “make” someone like me or have to “use body language” to get someone to kiss me.

I just want him to want to like me. And I can’t control that. That is all on him.

Told you I wasn’t a control freak.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Debunking Myths (of all kinds, apparently...)

While working the other day, I came across a banner ad for Venus, you know, the women's razor brand?

The ad read, "Shaving Myths Debunked. Myth #1: It's okay to use my date's razor."

My first thought, was, Ew, ew, ew. For many reasons, none of which are necessary to go into in this post. You can figure them out, I'm sure. I ain't got no stupid readers.

My second thought was, Hey, wait, is this ad just assuming we're all sluts and that we'll just be slutting it up and going home with our date for the night, thus making it necessary for us to use his razor? Couldn't it have at least said "boyfriend"? Maybe even "partner." But no, Venus just assumes we're screwing our co-worker's best friend's cousin who happened to ask us out one night.

It assumes that, not only do we not have any sense of propriety or cleanliness, but that we also will IN FACT wake up at 4 a.m. in a strange house in desperate need of a shave.

At which point we'd then OF COURSE use our date's razor.

This makes complete sense to me. Doesn't it make sense to you?!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Dreams Mean Work

On my first date with @pacificnorthwest, he asked me a brilliant question. “What is the biggest risk you've ever taken?” he asked.

I did not have a good answer. I fumbled for one, but ultimately each “risk” that came to mind was lame and not that risky at all.

He had a good answer for the question when I turned it around to him, and I made up my mind to look for more risks, to be more open to challenges.

When he called the next day and told me he wanted me to fly to see him for New Year's Eve four days from then, I told him I'd visit if I could afford the ticket.

“Sounds like you're looking into your first risk of 2009, Miss Jess,” he had said. And I did look into it. Ultimately the flight was too expensive, but I booked a cheaper one for 30 days later.

And I risked a lot. I risked my safety, my security, my finances, and my heart.

Let it be said: These are not risks I regret.

My favorite passage has long been a page from the book “By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept,” by Paulo Coelho. It reads: “ 'You have to take risks,' he said. We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen. Every day, God gives us the sun—and also one moment in which we have the ability to change everything that makes us unhappy. Every day, we try to pretend that we haven't perceived that moment, that it doesn't exist—that today is the same as yesterday and will be the same as tomorrow. But if people really pay attention to their everyday lives, they will discover that magic moment. It may arrive in the instant when we are doing something mundane, like putting our front-door key in the lock; it may lie hidden in the quiet that follows the lunch hour or in the thousand and one things that all seem the same to us. But that moment exists—a moment when all the power of the stars becomes a past of us and enables us to perform miracles.
Joy is sometimes a blessing, but it is often a conquest. Our magic moment helps us to change and sends us off in search of our dreams. Yes, we are going to suffer, we will have difficult times, and we will experience many disappointments—but all of this is transitory; it leaves no permanent mark. And one day we will look back with pride and faith at the journey we have taken.
Pitiful is the person who is afraid of taking risks. Perhaps this person will never be disappointed or disillusioned; perhaps she won't suffer the way people do when they have a dream to follow. But when that person looks back—and at some point everyone looks back—she will hear her heart saying, 'What have you done with the miracles God planted in your days? What have you done with the talents God bestowed on you? You buried yourself in a cave because you were fearful of losing those talents. So this is your heritage: the certainty that you wasted your life.' ”

Every time I read this, I get chills. I get inspired. I want to pack up my belongings and move to Argentina or Spain or the moon. It makes me want to put my heart on the line and do silly things like fly to Seattle.

So, even though I didn't fly to Seattle for New Year's, @pacificnorthwest ended up being my first risk of the year anyway.

Coincidentally the book is all about two lovers who knew each other in their childhood and reunited as adults, but distance and dreams are obstacles, which they end up finding their way around.

I took a risk. May this year hold many, many more.