Sunday, January 29, 2012

Where the High Road Meets Low Street

The high road; it sure can be a hard one to find, and it is definitely the road less traveled by.
I think we all have those people in our lives- the ones that test our patience and even our sanity. They know exactly which buttons to push to make you consider taking “Low Street.” There are very few people that can push me to a point where I consider abandoning my principles completely. Those few people cause a huge internal battle for me; I’ve got the devil on one shoulder saying, “Rip them a new one,” and an angel on the other saying, “You’re too good for this.”  Most of the time, I can keep my cool and be the bigger person. There are those other times though… when the devil wins out. See there is a side of me, one that you really don’t want to meet, that is completely ruthless. If you don’t know me very well, you’ll find out quickly that I hate to lose. And when you push my buttons, it becomes an all-out war that will not end until I have made you regret the day you came after me. I hate confrontation, but I am very, very good at it when I have to use it.
I know that I talk a lot about my ex, but most of my life experiences happened with him so bear with me. About three years after we started dating, he did something; something horrible and almost unforgivable. Something that made me lose every ounce of respect I had for him. It was in this moment that I learned just how malicious I could be. I should have  known here that our relationship would fail, but I was probably too young and naïve to see it. Instead, I forgave him, and we were able to move forward. Except we had crossed that threshold; we found out how mean we could be towards one another. It seemed that once we found that out, every argument from then on (which I will say really wasn’t that often) turned from something small into a button-pushing session that wouldn’t end until we had dug up all the old skeletons in the closet. But why? What was the point? Why did we feel the need to hurt each other?

I’ve come to learn (and maybe too late) that I don’t have to let the devil win out. I’ve found that conflict isn’t so much a game of winners and losers, but rather one of just losers. I don’t like the person I become when I sink to that level, and I don’t feel much satisfaction in tearing people down. No matter how much they deserve it.

I’ll be honest; I don’t really want to find out how “good” I am at conflict anymore. Rather, I want to find out how good I can be at conflict resolution. I will say that in taking the high road, sometimes the only resolution is just walking away because well some conversations will only ever lead you down “Low Street.” However, there are those relationships we have with people that know us maybe too well- where they know exactly which buttons to push- and it is worth it to work things out.

It’s all about taking that step back. It’s picking your battles and figuring out what you can control and what you can’t. It’s being able to ask yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing and saying what you’re saying; it’s about getting to the root of an issue without the attacks and all-out war. I’m not trying to say that I am all high and mighty because I certainly am not. I am a self-proclaimed A-hole to the core. What people don’t seem to realize is that the high road wasn’t meant for saints and angels. It’s meant for smart folks, even A-holes, with a sense of self-control and principles enough to guide them down a lesser beaten path. And I’ll quote Frost here by saying that when you do, it will make all the difference.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Reality Check

Men and Women... Interest… Dating… Reality Check…

It all brings me to my next topic of conversation. There are a few key tendencies that people have as daters that I really want to talk about. This is a bit lengthy so I'll just jump right in. I’ll emphasize the point that both men and women are guilty of these things; I know because I have been on both ends. I am going to point out and add some insight into these general mishaps.

First, we misread the signs and the signals. We take what people say and twist it around, making it into what we want to hear. It’s not that we do it on purpose or because we’re crazy. We do it because we want to be liked almost as much as we don’t want to be alone. We want the person we are interested in to be interested in us in order to validate our feelings of self-worth. Now some people can be very hard to read or even send mixed signals. I get that; I probably do it, actually. But some of us need to take a step back sometimes and pay attention to body language and tone of voice. I think that the majority of a message can be heard right there. When we try and read into words and actions and make them more than what they are, we are just setting ourselves up for disappointment later on.

Also, when we find someone we are interested in and they don’t return the interest, we make up excuses as to why they didn’t; there’s the old “they lost my number,” or “they aren’t a big texter,” “they’re busy,” "they're not ready for a commitment," or “they must be gay.” I get that it’s a defense mechanism and most of us are just trying to protect ourselves from feelings of inadequacy, but let’s all just stop making excuses. If someone is truly interested in you, they will call or text or show up at your door. No one is too busy and they probably aren’t gay. We can call them an A-hole or a b**** for not being interested in us, but let’s be honest here; they’re probably really nice people. They are probably so nice that they don’t have the heart to tell you to your face that they aren’t interested, and that’s probably why they’re ignoring you or not responding. Stop wasting time on people that don’t feel the same way and aren’t eager to be with you.

Then we have what my dad likes to call “rose-colored glasses.” For those of you unfamiliar with the term, this is when a person can do no wrong in your eyes; everything they do is as good as roses and you can't distinguish the red flags. While it’s great that we can accept faults in the person we love, it’s necessary that we at least recognize them. The glasses- ya, they’re blinding. We will tend to completely ignore or choose to overlook certain negative attributes about a person because we obsess over the fantasy. Here, the idea of a future with this person is much better than the actual reality. We’ll overlook anger or drinking problems, the fact that they aren’t financially stable or responsible, or that they are just plain A-holes. We do it because we want them to be something they’re not. We find one attribute that we like, and we hone in on it in hopes that the rest of the person will play catch up. Guess what? Stop hiding behind the glasses and realize that the person just isn’t all they’re cracked up to be.

Dating can suck. It can. But I think often times we make it way worse than it actually is  because we waste so much time on nonsense. Instead of being honest with ourselves about what we want and what we know, deep down, the people around us want- we drown ourselves in the drama of this fantasy. Well I am going to give everyone a little tough love here. Sometimes you are going to get rejected. Sometimes you are going to do the rejecting. You live and you learn. Sometimes it will hurt and other times it’ll feel like a relief. Stop wasting so much time trying to make something into something it’s not. If you’re with the right person, you shouldn’t have to read between the lines because they’ll tell you they love you or they like you- and you certainly shouldn't have to convince them to feel that way. If you’re with the right person, you won’t need excuses. If you’re with the right person, you’ll simply recognize and accept their shortcomings. So for everyone that finds themselves doing any of the above, KNOCK IT OFF! Trust me, being alone isnt half as bad as the mess you're making trying to make something wrong into something right.You’ll thank me later.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Target Practice

I realize my posts have been somewhat serious lately; lacking a bit of my troublesome charm, to say the least. So I want to lighten things up a bit and talk about “that guy” and “that girl.” You all know who I am talking about. (You may even find after reading this post, that you are that person).

I want to preface this discussion by saying that I would not consider myself a mean-spirited person. I am 100% completely capable of being a jerk, but I don’t go around looking to put people down. I am just usually willing to say what the rest of you are thinking, and I’d love it if you didn’t fault me for that.

With that being said, some people are just asking for it.

Everyone knows that one person in their group of friends that just makes themselves an easy target. As a bit of jokester myself, I usually appreciate a challenge. However, if someone is just going to hand-feed me material by simply showing up, well hey- I will never pass up a chance to make a wise-crack. Now, it’s not necessarily that they aren’t liked or accepted in the group; it’s that you can basically rely on them to be at the butt of a joke… every time. And I appreciate them for it because they provide me with SO much fun and entertainment!

Now if you haven’t noticed yet, I love putting my observations into groups or classifications. (I like that they make people easier to spot). I’ll narrow this down for time’s sake, but there are two types of people I like to use for target practice. There are your stereotypes and your sitting duck.

The stereotype is just an easy one really. It’s easy because, whether people like them or not, there is truth to them. It’s because of these people that the stereotype even exists. You have your token black guy, meathead, prepster, slut, frat-bro; the list goes on and on. While I realize that everyone can be put into a category of some kind, these people just meet the definition to a tee. It really is almost as though the stereotype was created after them. These guys are usually proud of whatever it is they’re representing so most of the time they won’t even realize you’re making fun of them (which I think adds some to the fun sometimes).

Then you have the Sitting Duck; the name itself offers really all you need to know. They are an easy target simply because they never fight back. They just sit there and take it. Now you actually need ammo for this type of person in order to crack a joke. They won’t always just give it to you- you may have to wait for them to open their mouth or something, but once you've found their weakness, it’s like taking candy from a baby. This type of person is a different kind of fun because they can usually laugh with you- they just lack the quick humor it takes to shoot back.

Joking around is really a competitive sport for me so I enjoy shooting it back and forth with people more than I like just going after “that guy.” I like to work for my fun a bit more, and I don't like joking around when it is just plain mean- it really is about the funny-factor for me. However, I am going to give a shout-out and dedicate this post to all “those people” we know that provide us with easy amusement time and time again. Thanks guys!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

It's a Pie to the Face...

You know, life happens. It just does whether we want it to or not. We are forced to learn and grow and change with it. I would say that I have done that, good or bad, in the best way I know how. In hindsight, I haven’t handled every situation the way I would have liked or probably should have, but the choices I’ve made were always with good intentions. There have been times where things didn’t go the way I had planned, but at the very least, I have always tried to take the high road.

I do wish that I could go back and do some things differently. I’d be lying if I said every decision I’ve ever made was the right one. Yet, with every choice, there are lessons to be learned. I finally understand that. I understand now there are things we don’t want to happen but have to accept, things we don’t want to know but have to realize; and people we can’t live without but have to let go.

With that being said, life happens. It comes at us sometimes like a pie to the face. It’s up to us to either moan about the mess or lick our lips and say, “that’s good pie!” Let’s just say I love a good pie. And I relish in an opportunity to get dirty and make a mess. If you don’t quite understand my metaphor, I’ll speak more directly…

S*** Happens. We make a choice to either learn and grow from it or not. We make a decision to be happy or to be miserable with the hand we are dealt. I know a lot of what I say sounds completely cliché, but I’ve spent enough time in psychology to know that we have the ability to control our own disposition in a given situation. Everything we do is a choice. It’s just up to us to make the most positive, well-informed decision possible.  Life’s too short to spend it miserable and unhappy. So when you get caught with a pie to the face, I challenge you to lick your lips and enjoy the mess.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Takin' Lemons and Makin' Lemonade

I made it 22 years of my life without facing rejection… until tonight. I was never rejected from a college, other job opportunities; anything really.  But I did not get the job. I wish I could lie to save face and say that I got the offer but turned them down. Instead, they made the decision for me. Honestly, it may be a defense mechanism kicking in, but I am actually relieved. It was a great opportunity, but I had a lot of apprehension about committing two years of my life to it and then going to back to school. Instead, I have spent a little bit of time today reviewing my options and came up with a new plan for the next year. I am going to apply for SLU’s one year MBA program. This way I would graduate in the spring of 2013 and be able to start law school the following fall. (I jump around quickly, I know.) But I figure with a bachelor's degree in psychology, my MBA, and a law degree- I would a triple threat of the legal world! I'll let ya'll know how it goes!

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Waiting Game: Will Patience Pay Off?

So as you may or may not know, I just graduated this past December. Since then, I have basically just been coaching basketball and hanging out… waiting…

I’ve tried to restrain myself from making five year plans because, well, I’ve learned that too many things happen and change in five years to ever plan around them. Nevertheless, it is important to me to have somewhat of an idea of where I would like to go and what I want to do. This past year has been extremely crazy for me and has made me question exactly what it is I want to devote my life to, occupationally. I’m a psychology, polisci major and a coach so I have a variety of different options available to me in terms of future career paths. This has been a bit of a problem for me because well the only thing harder than having no choice, is having too many. I’ve applied to grad schools for counseling, and I’ve continued to take coaching jobs in hopes of it leading to teaching positions but for whatever reason those options just didn’t seem like me. So I devised a new plan and have worked tirelessly to ensure it works out. I have decided I want to go to law school. However, having graduated early, I have literally been in school non-stop, through the summers with school and field hockey since I was in high school. Being somewhat burnt out, I know I’m not quite ready to dedicate myself to the time and effort that law school requires, just yet. So to extend the time before I will go back to school, I have spent countless hours over the past 4 months applying for a position in a particular organization that will allow me to build a great resume and help pay for and get into law school. That’s what I’ve been waiting for. I made it through phone interviews, tests, personal and educational background checks, and even final personal interviews. I nailed the interviews, have a stellar resume and all the credentials one would need for such a position. Still, it’s extremely competitive and you just never know…

I have been left to simply wait to hear back for over a month now; providing a patience I didn’t know that I had. I hear back tomorrow. I have to say I am nervously excited. This particular job could potentially take me to another city outside St. Louis, a place I’ve never left. For the first time, I have a plan but also face an unknown. Tomorrow I will be faced with one of four new challenges. One, I don’t get the job and will have to create a new plan for myself for the next year before the 2013 law school year begins. My second option would be that I get a position in St. Louis; one that I would have to choose to accept and commit to for the next two years. The third challenge would be that I am offered the position in a new city (most likely Dallas or Jacksonville), in which case I would have to seriously consider leaving the life I’ve built here in St. Louis. And finally the possibility would be if I was offered a position, I could choose to turn it down.

It’s finally here. I’m down to the last 24 hours of waiting and almost wish I could push it back a few more days. After tomorrow, I have one week to make a decision that, in essence, will affect the rest of my life. The idea of growing up and being an adult sounds really great; the reality of it actually being here is pretty nerve-wrenching. So wish me luck, for whichever option you hope I get! I’ll let you know how it goes… in the meantime, I will be here waiting…

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A Lightning Strike

I was going to make this post all about what women want from a man in the long term. I was going to talk all about communication and passion and compromise. But what do I really know about what women want in the long term? I haven’t quite lived the long term so I’m not going to pretend to know. Instead, I’m going to talk from a realistic, rather than idealistic, standpoint. I’m going to write about what I want.

I want that feeling again- Love. I have no idea who can bring that feeling to life for me or if there will ever be anyone who can. But it’s what I want. For anyone who has ever known the feeling of true, bone- chilling love, than you understand. They say love like that only exists in poetry or in novels, but I would say I’m one of the lucky few that know it is real. It exists in a way that shatters all logic and reason. I’d even hope that I am one of those extremely lucky people that can get struck by lightning twice-which is exactly what it’s like- a surge of power that hits you to the core. For those who have never felt it or can’t imagine, I can only attempt to describe what it is like…

It’s an understanding; a complete knowledge and acceptance of another person. It’s recognizing the person as a whole, in all their faults and strengths, and choosing to accept them in spite of differences. It is a playful romance that takes the form of a wrestling ring in the middle of the living room. It’s a feeling that comes to life in the middle of Target after chasing each other through the aisles and stealing a kiss in home-goods when you finally collide.  It’s asking them to drive around the block a few more times just so you can watch them sing to your favorite song on the radio. It’s going out with all of your friends and the only PDA necessary is the catch of their eye from across the room- one that’s held just long enough to feel all alone. It’s chicken noodle soup when you’re sick. It’s kissing the tears from their face when they’ve felt defeat or sadness. It’s knowing exactly how far is too far in a tickling war and being able to laugh it off when you “accidently” get punched in the face. It’s being able to find that feeling and even forgiveness when you desperately want to hate the other person. It’s the challenge to make each other better than either one of you could be on your own. It’s that adventurous spirit that makes you try things you never thought you could. It’s a chocolate chip fight in the middle of the kitchen. It's being completely selfless, yet spoiled all the same. It’s not arguing over who pays the bill at dinner or who drives. It’s a nap together in the middle of the afternoon and waking up to the feeling completely personified in an act that only you two can put on. It makes you crazy and sane all at the same time. It’s the belief that the measure of that feeling can only be in the distance to the moon and back.

So now you know- I’m an asshole and a hopeless romantic.

It all sounds corny and cliché, sure. But it exists. I know it does because I’ve lived it. I’m not writing this to say I want to live it the same way with the same person. This isn’t some ploy to win anyone over or strike up an old flame. I'll leave that up to the ol, "if it's meant to be" mumbo-jumbo. Instead, I’m writing this for a couple reasons. I want the lucky ones out there that know the feeling I’m talking about; I want them to never take it for granted. I want whatever ma/en that may be in my future to know that I won’t settle for anything less. And most of all, I want that feeling to be what every woman wants.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

What Women Want: Understanding Short Term Expectations

Women are not complicated. Women that don’t know what they want are complicated. So to help all the women who don’t know what they want yet and the men who don’t quite understand, I’m going to tell you what we want. I’ll speak in general terms here as there are always outliers that rebel against the female norm; keeping that in mind, women are quite simple. It’s the twenty-first century so we do want a lot of things; we want the great job, vacation time, and a comfortable life. All of that we can arguably have on our own so long as we are willing to put in the work. What we want is someone to share all of those realities with. Yet, any woman that can achieve those things isn’t going to settle for just any man. So we’ll look at what women want in a man. There are two parts to this, of course, as we want certain things from a man in the short term and others in the long term. Obviously, you’ll never get to see the light of the long term if you can’t hold onto her long enough to get past the third date so I’m going to give you a few tips on how to get her interest and keep it. (This post will specifically be about the short term; however, to keep this somewhat short. My next post will be about the long term.) There are three key points you want to keep in mind:
1.       Communication. Women want a man that can effectively communicate. For the short term, this is going to involve the type of communication you choose before, during, and after a date. For instance, don’t text; everyone texts. Instead, call- you’ll stand out. Balance will come in here in terms of how much communication is effective- This is why the phone call is usually best; texting can seem really long and drawn out where a call is concise and to the point. Plan a few days ahead of time and don’t bombard her in the meantime- you’ll leave her excited for the date. While on the date, follow the correct dating etiquette. Don’t talk about yourself the whole time, your exes, political beliefs or whatever. Try and make it about her while still allowing her to feel she’s learned something about you. After a date, if you say you’re going to call, call. I don’t believe there are any rules about waiting a few days. If you like her, call her. You don’t need to play hard to get by waiting a week, she’ll assume you’re not interested and move on to the next guy. Also, stay away from pet names. Seriously nothing puts you in the friend zone faster than honey, dear, or babe- Too soon.

2.       Pulling away from communication, every woman wants a man who can be decisive. Before the date, don’t interrogate her on where she wants to go or what she wants to do. There is nothing more attractive than a man who can plan a date from start to finish. If you stick to the fun classics, she won’t care what you choose- shell simply be impressed that you chose it for her. Women are control freaks in their everyday life so it’s always refreshing when a man can take charge. (Yes, most of you think you can/do, but you don’t! Let’s not kid ourselves, women rule the world).

3.       Next, is the all-important KISS. Keep it Simple Stupid. For the first date, stick to something neutral; nothing over the top, too romantic, or pricey. We aren’t all gold diggers so you don’t need to wine and dine us. It’s great if you have it, but it’ll only get you so far. (Watch any episode of Millionaire Matchmaker if you don’t believe me- all the money in the world can’t save some of those saps!). So save that for later dates. Let the first date be about getting to know each other and having fun. If you’re drinking- don’t drink too much! In planning the next get-together, if you like her enough to bring her around your friends- do it! Suggest that you get your friends and her friends to go out for a group thing! Every woman wants a man that can get along with her friends so by suggesting that you all go out puts the ball in your court and gives you the power to get their approval.  Letting her hang out with your friends while getting to know hers is the simplest way to her heart. And eventually the kiss... that's another one you want to keep simple. For a first kiss- no tonsil hockey and no pathetic pecks. Also, be aware of timing and location; you want to leave a lasting impression and don't force it.

So there you have it… There’s my best advice for men out there. It’s not complicated at all. It’s all about showing a little effort and understanding what she wants. In doing these three simple things, the chances of you getting the one thing you want, increase drastically. Try it out if you dont believe me. I expect some credit when you find it works!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Just Friends?

Along with all my posts regarding relationships, I want to bring up the topic of friendship between men and women. I have had this conversation over and over again with members of both sexes, and there doesn’t seem to be any consensus on the issue of whether men and women can simply be “just friends.” I personally have a lot of guys that I would consider just friends- probably more than I do girlfriends. It’s been very easy for me to have this type of relationship with men because I have always had a boyfriend so the friendship thing was always accepted as just that. However, now that I am single, the line seems to be quite blurred. Now, I can’t even begin to describe how many arguments I have had with people about the subject, and I am just now beginning to realize why.  I have always believed that men and women can have a completely plutonic relationship. Yet, I am starting to learn that this is only possible when both parties are in agreement that they are just friends and have no expectations of anything further than that. I have a ton of friendships with men, and it is just obvious with no explanation needed that we are just friends. Still, discrepancies do develop within a friendship where that unspoken understanding hasn’t been established. One person may think that the relationship is simply one of friendship while another may think that guys and girls can’t be just friends so they develop deeper feelings. This has happened to me a couple times within the last few months, where I think that we are just friends and my “friend” thinks it is more than that. I may be completely clueless here, but I really don’t want to have to define every relationship I have with a man. Why can’t we be just friends? So here is where I would love some feedback because I have no idea what to do when a friend crosses the line and you just don’t feel the same way. Is that a point of no return and the friendship is over? Or can you come back from that and be “just friends”? I would love to not have to “break up” with a friend because of a miscalculation. I am a blunt person without much of a filter so feelings aren’t always spared when it comes to me being honest with a person. So if it is possible, how do I let a guy down without ruining the friendship? Is there even a nice way to do it? Or is it not possible; is it the case that once the line has been crossed there’s no going back? I’ve lost one friendship over this issue and I would like to spare others like it in the future so any feedback at all is encouraged and welcome. If you have a similar experience and have made it out alive please share!  

Saturday, January 7, 2012

All About the Follow Through

So far I’ve talked quite a bit about men within the dating realm in terms of their overall status and action. Now I want to focus on a topic I haven’t touched on quite yet: the point of interest where a man is not in a group where he is forced to show position and in which the female has clearly shown notice. I realize that balancing the chemical equation of a woman’s needs is a tricky one. However, there is an expectation of a “follow through” if both parties have shown interest and appeal. I will give you a couple of examples that might make this idea more clear. I was out a couple weekends ago and spent the entire night talking to this guy; didn’t pay for a drink all night as he insisted on buying. It wasn’t a cheap, bar-scene type of connection; we simply got along and had a lot in common. We must have spent a few hours just talking over drinks. At the end of the night though, he didn’t follow through in any way, shape, or form- didn’t get my number or anything. Obviously he wasn’t buying me drinks to take me home or even get a second date out of it, so what was the point? It was clear that we were both very much “into” each other, but there was absolutely zero follow through. I would imagine it was much like running a marathon and quitting ten feet before the finish line. It was disappointing to say the least. The next example is  from this past weekend and involves the guy who sends his best friend to do his dirty work. This isn’t the fifth grade anymore, gentlemen. It drives me crazy when two people are interested in each other, but the guy can’t seem to just pull the trigger. Instead, he sends the best friend in to run a screen play. I’m sorry, but if you are interested in a woman than you need to put in the effort yourself. With as many men as there are that are willing to step up to the plate, there is nothing worse looking than a guy that stands on the sidelines hoping for a Hail-Mary from the best friend. I’m all for the wing-man that helps you get the girl-hey,that’s what friends are for. But when a rapport has been established, it is the expectation that you are going to do something about it. No woman wants a man that isn’t willing to fight for her especially when dealing with the strong, autonomous type. The man should be assertive and confident enough to compliment the woman he is pursuing. Again I want to insist on balance as the only thing worse than no follow through is the overkill. However, effort yields results. So for the men out there, if a woman takes the opportunity to show interest and you feel the same way, FOLLOW THROUGH! If you follow her lead, there is no such thing as rejection and you have nothing to lose. Please, don't miss out on something great because you couldn't muster up the "cojones" to take the necessary action.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Cupcake Crazy!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock during the last few years, you know that cupcakes have become the biggest craze to hit the sweet tooth since the waffle cone. Lucky for me, I have a best friend who knows plenty about this booming industry. We’ll call her Cupcake; Cupcake and I played field hockey together, but among her many talents is her ability to make the most unbelievable cupcakes! After graduating this past year, she moved home to Fort Worth, Texas to open up her own cupcake business. I am proud to say that I was one of the few fortunate taste testers to sample her recipes before she moved back home to bake them by the hundreds. Cupcake is probably one of the most amazing people I know; she had a dream, set a goal, went after it, and never looked back. With the help of her future mother-in-law, she set up a business plan and worked tirelessly to develop the most marvelous cupcakes. Not only that, but together they have bought a kitchen with a store front and have a mobile food truck which they take out for deliveries and sales. I had the chance to visit Cupcake with our other BFF Kitty this past September, and we were able to go on the truck- it was the coolest thing ever! We rode on the truck and sold cupcakes at a local football game! Quite the Texas experience if I do say so myself- and I loved every minute of it! Let’s just say that thanks to Cupcake, I have become somewhat of a cupcake connoisseur. Whenever we are all together- traveling or just out and about- we always have to stop and do some “market research” which means I’ve tried cupcakes from every cupcake shop from Las Vegas to New York. We've had cupcakes that were too moist or too dry with icing to was too smooth or too grainy- none compared to Cupcake's which are just right! Call me biased, but Cupcake’s cupcakes are the best I’ve had. Her pumpkin cream cheese is to die for! But anyways, the purpose of this post is to tell everyone just how proud of her I am! On January 1, 2012, Cupcake made her national cupcake baking debut on Cupcake Wars! Her business has been open for less than six months and it is already getting national recognition for being a fabulous cupcake shop! If any of you haven’t seen it yet, you owe it to yourselves to record the “Wicked” episode to check it out! Her business is called Red Jett Sweets and is based out of Fort Worth Texas, but I’m hoping one day she’ll franchise and let me open one here in St. Louis! Fingers crossed! Make sure to check her out on Facebook and Twitter, and give Cupcake a shout out for being such an amazing woman! I literally cannot imagine anyone more impressive than Cupcake which is why I am giving her, my Most Influential Person of 2011! Love you and your cupcakes!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Flying with Fools and Finding Flames

After making the long-haul trip from St. Louis to New York City this past Sunday, I’ve been prompted to talk little bit about airport norms, expectations, and interpersonal exchanges. First of all, let’s discuss airport security. Seriously though, 9-11 was over a decade ago; since then, we have basically had the same set of transportation regulations. Now I understand that not everyone is a frequent flier and may not be as comfortable with TSA administrators. However, it always amazes me when people are surprised by the rules. For instance, there is always the lady who holds up the line in order to fight with TSA in attempt to keep every one of her Sam’s Club-size shampoos, conditioners, hair spray, lotion, body wash, etc. Like get with the program! Go to Walgreens buy the travel sets and consolidate your essentials. Then we have the people that are shocked when they have to take their shoes off. Word to the wise: wear socks- no one wants to look at your nasty feet, and you just look dirty. Oh and let’s not forget the man who will try to go through the metal detectors with a pocket full of change, set off the alarm, and proceeds to empty them out like a casino slot machine all over the floor- upon which point we will all have to wait while he collects every last cent. Basically, I’m at the point where I can spot you all out. I will not be standing in line behind families with children, old people, or A-holes with water bottles. It’s clear you have no idea what is going on and are only preventing me from making it to my Starbucks coffee waiting on the other side of security. Now that we have that settled and with the help of my best friend whom we will call Kitty, I want to talk about a new phenomenon hitting the dating scene. It’s a little thing I like to refer to as FLY-rting (pronounced flirting, but I like to say fly-arting in order to get the whole ironic effect). Flyrting is what I would define as flirting on a flight; not to be confused with any sort of mile-high club business- this is strictly amateur stuff. With people constantly traveling from city to city or country to country for business and/or pleasure, they are forced to sit and either converse with or ignore the person sitting next to them. For those who choose to take the social route, this is where flyrting takes place. I will use Kitty as a prime example. Coming home from Christmas break, she flew Southwest, and for those of you unfamiliar with the SWA seating arrangements, it is first come, first serve (Ideal for any flyrter). This means that a flyrter can pick out a potential guy or gal they are interested in and “conveniently” sit next to them. This just so happened to be the case for Kitty; a gentleman who we refer to as “Jeff-from-Southwest” found a seat right next to her. It doesn’t take much to strike up a conversation on a plane- just pick any witty one-liner about the fat, stinky chain-smoker a few rows up, and you’ve pretty much sealed the deal for a solid flyrting session to take place. We’ll just say Jeff-from Southwest used some variation of this to get Kitty’s attention. After which time they spent the remainder of the flight chit-chatting about god knows what- but the man got her number so it was definitely a successful flyrting sesh if I’ve ever seen one. Even the cute flight attendant on our last flight got involved in the action. He flyrted with me the whole flight, as he teased me about being trouble maker and hoped the plane didn’t go down because I was sitting in the emergency exit row- which meant certain doom for the whole flight. The moral of the story is that we no longer have to rely on the bar scene to meet people.  Just spend a couple hundred bucks on a flight and the man or woman of your dreams (or if you’re that unlucky the fat smoker) is waiting for you in seat 12A.