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Two Free Birds

Shit happens and sometimes sharing it with strangers is better than therapy.

Yes, my friends, I am starting my own blog. This is why my over-sharing slowed to, um, zero. It’s been a year(ish) since Lisa and I started Two Free Birds and let’s face it, I think I found my niche in over-sharing. I do it so often that I decided to just start my own site. I’m not exactly sure what makes my new blog different from this one, other than I will now only be responsible for embarrassing myself, but I’m pretty excited about it (what’s to be excited about, I’m only adding to the internet trail sure to come back to haunt me someday).

Over the past year(ish) on Two Free Birds, I basically blogged my way out of the break-up rut. So, I guess it was better than therapy! Although, I probably should have just jotted some things down on paper and burned them ritualistically in the fireplace rather than expose them to everyone I know (and some strange passersby googling things about weird nipples [yes, the search term “weird nipples” led people to this blog]).

In closing, you can look forward to more shameless over-sharing, tales about my friends and their bad taste in men (I’m pretty much solely referring to the Dumbledore’s Army guy), and all the other random crap I should probably just keep to myself here. I’m calling this new blog Everything’s Blurry … because with the amount of alcohol my single self consumes, it pretty much always is.

P.S. I’m kidding, grandma.

~m

P.P.S. Lisa, I’m going to miss you. Looking forward to our next project ;).

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The other night was my annual birthday dinner with grandma.  I picked this quaint neighborhood wine bar for it’s convenience, delicious bruschetta, and darkly lit romantic interior.  Not that I need the soft glow of candlelight while dining with family, but everyone appreciates a little ambiance, right?  My mother tagged along too, even though said grandmother is actually her ex mother-in-law… just to give you the gist of the dynamic.

When the three of us arrived, the patio was packed despite the light drizzle of rain, so we settled on dinning inside.  As we made our way past the dimly lit bar to a 3-top near the patio’s edge, I noticed the man at the next table was full on staring at me.  Not in a creepy, unblinking, I’m possibly on drugs kind of way, but in a I think you’re hot and I haven’t noticed you caught me staring kind of way.  I went to take a seat and quickly realized my mistake.  From my chosen spot at the table I had no view of this sexy stranger, so I decided to “make a power move.”*  I did some quick thinking and offered up my seat to my mother because it was closer to the heater.  Boom, I was now in his direct line of sight.  So I sat there, between my mom and my grandmother, exchanging increasingly long glances with this guy.  I never realized just how helpful a wine glass is when you need a little cover for your obvious eye raping.  My favorite is the I’m just casually taking a sip as I peek over the rim glance.

After a while, I decided to make another “power move.”  No guy is going to hit on me in front of my grandmother.  I casually excused myself and walked to the back of the small restaurant to use the lady’s room.  Unfortunately, he didn’t seize the opportunity to get me alone.  I felt a little bit like Larry Craig in my botched attempt to send a signal.  Although, in his defense, my signal was just me leaving so I could see how he might not catch onto that (hey, guys have literally followed me to the bathroom in order to get my number, I thought this behavior was universal but it might just be universal for guys who are secretly out with their girlfriend and can’t hit on you in plain sight).  I sauntered back to my seat where he continued to make eye contact, which transitioned to full on flirty smiles and I started to find it hard to conceal any sort of laughter over the whole charade.  It got to the point where I just started smiling and shrugging as if to say, “What are you going to do about it?”  Cause you know, I already gave you a chance to do more than stare at me, idiot.  That was my inner voice, in case you were wondering.

After half an evening of communicating through body language and awkward glances, the final moment had arrived.  He was getting up to leave.  It was now or never.  This guy gave me a deliberate I’m looking at you and I like you look and I gave him a nod towards the back as I excused myself from the table (yet again).  Only this time my mother and grandmother caught on and started asking questions.  I could hear them say things like, “does she know him” and “what’s going on” as I walked away.  Poor guy had to walk right by that if he wanted to find out who I was.  He did.

Maybe I should go out with my grandmother more often.

When I got back to the table, grandma made a toast about how there might be hope for me yet.

~m

* “Making a power move” is a term coined by a friend of mine.  I like it because it sounds better than “desperate times call for desperate measures.”

When I think my roommate is in his bedroom for the night, I take it upon myself to walk around naked or just in a shirt because a) he’s gay and b) I’m lazy.  Once I start to undress there is no going back.  If I forget my cell in the kitchen and am currently only wearing the comfy, thermal henley I stole from him to use as a night-shirt, I am still going to walk through the apartment to get it.  Last night, he caught me doing just that.

Roommate, gusband, and best friend: “Do you have 50 cents?”
Me: Silent pause.
Roommate, gusband, and best friend: “I don’t care if you’re just wearing a shirt.”
Me: “Do you care that I’m not wearing underwear, because I’m not.”
Roommate, gusband, and best friend: “You’re not?! “ Breaks out in laughter.  Doesn’t stop looking.
Me: Sorry, I thought you’d retired for the night.
Roommate, gusband, and best friend:  Still laughs.  Still does not stop watching me struggle as I try to keep my shirt pulled down over my bottom half as I dig for some quarters in my purse.

Hey, who wants to be my next roommate?  I’ve locked myself out of the house wearing only underwear (and broken into my house wearing only underwear) and change with the blinds open on a regular basis.  I made up this rule that once you’re above the first floor you become magically invisible inside your apartment, so I usually put on a good show for my neighbors.  Although, right now they’re not getting much—just me writing this blog and yelling at my roommate, “The answer is como estas.”  When Lisa and I lived together, we would workout to exercise DVDs, doing hip thrusts and jumping jacks for all the people in the Standard Oil Building across the street to see.  Remember that, Lisa?

One of these days, I am really going to embarrass myself, but as long as Bridget Jones and Lady GaGa make wearing your underwear in public mainstream, I think I am going to be okay.

~m

P.S.  The picture above is from the time my friends and I accidentally crashed a wedding in our bathing suits.  This is what happens to the friends who never read my blog, they end up pants-less on the internet.  Please note, she is still wearing tennis shoes.

Update: Literally right after I posted this, I got ready for bed, which consists of me putting on the aforementioned night-shirt and no underwear.  Then I went out into the living room to ask my roommate a question (yes, with no underwear on and yes, the blinds were open).  Just then, his cousin’s husband walked through the front door—me in a night-shirt with no underwear, my roommate laughing hysterically, and my roommate’s cousin’s husband.  I guess “one of these days” was today.

I just found out last week that it’s apparently all the rage to add a head shot to your resume in Europe.  Yeah, well, my grandmother thought of that, like, 40 years ago.  She used to tell my mother she had a pretty face and that she should show it off—pretty faces open doors or something like that.  My mom eventually passed this advice down to me, along with, “Try not to have too many opinions, just look pretty.”  In her defense, my ex boyfriend once (at least a dozen times) mentioned that I scared him after a lively debate.  (I’ve made at least two people cry publicly during debates in high school and middle school… may not sound like much, but how many people have you made cry while debating subjects like the media’s negative portrayal of women?)  Somewhat recently, a friend of mine brought over this whole set up—big umbrella lights, gold sheets that shine soft, forgiving light on your face—to create a little photography studio in my apartment.  We went a little crazy indulging our inner (outer) narcissists. When we were done taking pictures too embarrassing to show anyone else (yes, I still posted them on Facebook), he snapped off a few head shots.  I must admit, I looked pretty darn good.  I’ve been plastering that baby on everything.  Everyone needs a head shot—it says, I’m better than you.  Well, better than you until we meet in real life because in real life I don’t have someone following me around adjusting the lighting to flatter the contours of my face.  In real life, I spend most of my time under pulsating fluorescent light bulbs that not only make my blonde hair look slightly green, but also bring out every single imperfection of my complexion, including the under eye circles and future bags I am sure to inherit from great grandma Nanna.  Anyway, imagine my excitement when I heard about this head shot trend.  Actually, at first I thought, “What kind of asshole puts a head shot on his resume?”  Then I remembered I was probably that kind of asshole thanks to my awesome new head shot.  Unfortunately, I then ran across a post on the Econimix Blog of The New York Times that basically said I am screwed if I put that head shot on my resume.

Turns out, people hate pretty girls (duh).  Some researchers decided to send out a bunch of resumes—some with pictures of attractive job applicants, some with pictures of ordinary looking job applicants and some with no pictures.  Guess what?  The hot guys got the most call backs.  The attractive women, on the other hand, were less likely to get a call back than the resumes that excluded the head hot all together.  The researchers came to the conclusion that female jealousy is why beautiful women do not enjoy the same perks as beautiful men.  I guess if I ever choose to add a head shot to my resume, it should be a chubby picture so as to even out the playing field a bit.  You know, a she’s-pretty-for-a-fat-girl-pretty is more likely to get the job… and a lot less likely to make a potential female boss ask herself, “Would my husband sleep with her?”  Because that is what this is really all about, isn’t it?  It’s the same reason why a jealous boss once forced my mother into wearing hair bows and turtle necks.  She was actually told that a hair bow was the only way to have professional looking hair.  God, the 80’s kill me, “Nice doing business with you, I knew you’d get the job done once I saw that hair bow. ”  I wonder if I’ve ever been asked to wear the modern version of the hair bow?  Eh, I work in fashion.  We are encouraged to look like someone’s husband would sleep with us.

~m

 

P.S.  From now on, whenever I witness some sort of retaliation due to female jealousy in the workplace, I am just going to call it “hair bowing.”  Maybe this is why Hilary Clinton was caught wearing that god-awful hair clip to the UN back in September… she may have been trying to discuss things like disaster relief in Pakistan and Haiti, but people only cared about her hair.  Boom, hair bowed.

Girl meets boy.  Boy flirts with girl.  Boy and girl become friends on Facebook.  Boy and girl never talk again.

I’m thinking I just don’t need to know that much about people before getting to know them in real life.  It’s a major buzz-kill—like finding out the guy you’re crushing on has three cats and plays Farmville.  The worst is when his profile makes him seem like he could possibly be gay—does he want to do lunch or does he just want to do me?  Does he like Barney’s the department store or Barney’s the bar across from ASU with 50 cent beer night?  Hopefully it’s the later because I could create a whole separate Facebook page with my drunken updates titled “Posts from 50 Cent Beer Night.”  I haven’t even begun to analyze what that might say about me—what’s worse, having an entire Facebook album devoted to your cats or having too many drunken posts?  Either way, I’m starting to think Facebook is ruining dating all together.  I think this, but I can’t deny it’s usefulness in the vetting process.  So which is it?  Is Facebook a dating killer or a dating savior?

For example, take the case of a friend of mine.  Last night we continued our tradition of Man Monday where we drink beer and watch football in a manly fashion, except we wear things like camel ponchos and lace leggings (you know, so as to be really approachable).  We sat at the bar, drank locally brewed beer, and she explained things like “San-chize” until the subject of her current crush came up.  That is when we used her iPhone to creep his book, and thus stumbled upon the best case of the “Facebook Dating Killer” I have ever seen.  You see, her crush has this tattoo.  Not just any tattoo, it expands across one side of his rib cage—two giant black letters, D.A.  Guess what they stand for… wait for it… wait for it… Dumbledore’s Army.  That’s right, DUMBLEDORE’S ARMY (you better believe I have a picture of this).  We are talking a full on, larger than life, permanent tribute to Harry Potter.  At first glance we thought it was a joke because it’s just so flat out hilarious.  Come on, this would be the best joke tattoo ever.  Almost as good as the time a friend of mine pretended he was going to get a mermaid tattoo because it looked “fierce.”  The best part?  My friend with the crush loves Harry Potter.  She even said, “You’re looking at the girl who was upset she couldn’t play Hermione in the movie.”

We still can’t decide if his tattoo is a good thing or a bad thing because let’s face it, some things are just so bad they’re good.  This, my friends, is one of those things.

Judge for yourself…

 

 

 

 

Cropped for privacy but the full picture really makes it, trust me.

 

~m

P.S.  You know how they say you should imagine the audience naked when you give a speech?  Well, the next time you’re nervous about talking to a cute guy, just imagine he has a giant tribute to Harry Potter tattooed on his chest.  Better yet, imagine him buying Harry potter jewelry from one of those Skymall catalogs.

Someone I love dearly is going through her first big break up.  In trying to find ways to help her cope and move forward, I started thinking about the things I did when I went through my big break up last year… you know, besides starting a blog that will surely come back to haunt me someday.  

Without further ado, I am going to share my number one tip for beatin’ the break up blues.  

Ready for it?

Listen to Latin Music…
especially if you don’t speak Spanish.

If you don’t know what they’re saying it is a lot less likely you’re gonna find yourself crying on the way to work because Mariah Carey’s “Against All Odds” randomly came on the radio (plus that song majorly sucks… you will listen to it though, because you’re depressed… god depression loves bad music).  Pretty sure I listened to the local Spanish channel for the entire first week my ex and I lived apart just to avoid songs like Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven” (that song doesn’t suck but it would make me cry even if I just found out I was declared one of People’s 30 hottest people under 30).  

Secondly, Latin music has some of the happiest, sexiest beats around.  I’m not talking remakes of American pop songs, I’m taking the real deal.  I’m talking the Buena Vista Social Club, music from 1960’s Panama, and anything a salsa instructor might play in his studio.  In fact, learn how to salsa dance.  Have you ever tried crying while keeping up with a salsa rhythm?  It’s impossible.  Seriously.  You don’t need to be an expert.  I think I took a whopping total of three group lessons and that was enough to pair me up with any capable dancer.  Nothing feels better than dancing with a man who knows what he is doing, let me tell you.  He can be ugly, short, and have bad teeth, but if he knows how lead a woman around the dance floor all of a sudden you’re in the arms of Antonio Banderas.  Example number one, have you ever danced in a stationary circle for the entire length of one song?  Then when the song is about to end, the guy tries to dip you out of nowhere?  He whips your whole upper body back without warning—you’re standing on the wrong foot, he’s struggling because his botched attempt leaves you without the ability to support any of your own body weight, and you end up mustering all the strength your back has to offer just keep from falling to the ground.  Well, wait until you’re dipped by someone who knows exactly how to hold your body up without struggling and possibly paralyzing you in a freak accident.  You won’t miss your clumsy boyfriend at all.  Promise.

You know what else is great about Latin music?  It always makes you feel like you’re in Miami.  Who doesn’t love Miami?

~m

P.S.  Just avoid the sad love songs please.  You don’t want to end up listening to Besame Mucho on repeat.  Although, it is a really good song.

Man Monday attempt number one.

Remember when I said I was going to start watching football?  Well, attempt number one was last night.  I met up with a friend who knows a surprising amount of sports gossip—it’s impressive.  Although, really by gossip I just mean accounts of infidelity (duh).  We sat at the bar for hours and the whole time I joked that my car was going to get towed because I parked in my “secret spot” (joked because I’d never been towed in that spot before)—still haven’t decided if I have magical powers or if the universe hates me.  As I was getting ready to leave, in what I assumed was an attempt to hit one me, the guy next to me said, “Should I hope your car gets towed?”  In hindsight, I’m thinking maybe I wandered onto a movie set last night and we were supposed to bond or something in one of those “meet cute” scenes.

I’ve never had my car towed and I’m not sure what I was expecting but it wasn’t this:

Me: “Where are you located again.”
Impound Lot Guy: “Turn East on 3rd and look for a white truck with the lights on, bring cash.”
Me to friend: “We are getting raped tonight.”

Pretty sure that operation isn’t legal, also thinking I should start up one of these little businesses myself.

When I arrived to make the transaction, it was literally just a guy in a truck, on a dark street, in front of a gated lot.  He asked me if my car was towed often because my name looked familiar.  I told him that I was a virgin hoping to get some sort of first timer discount… not so much.

Little tip:
Those signs that say your car will get towed are not just empty warnings, but maybe you’ll meet your dream man… or bond with a random creeper, whatever.

~m

P.S.  When I was alone, car-less, and desperately trying to get a hold of my friend (who had just left) on a phone seconds away from dying, I realized I only had two numbers memorized—my mother’s and my ex’s.  Not sure who would have been more fun to call.

If this is any indication of how much my mother hates being inconvenienced, I actually would have called my ex.  Poor guy…  “Hey, it’s 1 am… on a Monday (Tuesday).. and you’re still my in case of emergency because I am too lazy to memorize any more numbers.”

Hmm, I think I’m gonna design a friendship bracelet with an engraving inside of all my best friend’s phone numbers.  That way if my phone dies I will not be forced to choose between my ex or my mother.  It will also come in handy for identifying my body should something really go wrong.