January 30, 2011


Me and Sex and the City 2 are enjoying NOT being single.

To all the single ladies, here’s the perennial single girl saying how nice it is to have someone pick your drunk ass up in front of the club at 2 AM and bring you to McDonalds to buy you a McChicken sandwich.

I mean, that’s above and BEYOND the call of duty. There are some things worth giving up the single and fabulous life to be not single and yet still fabulous for.

XOXO

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The Size And Shape Of Relationships

Relationships come in all different shapes and sizes and styles, like any good department store’s merchandise. Some relationships are only made to fit you for a season before you outgrow them, where as others are cut so versatilely to go from brunch with his mother to the football game with his boys. Some are itchy and uncomfortable and don’t get worn for long before they’re relegated to another home, via consignment shop, while yet others are so luxuriant and sensual that you can’t help but wearing them over and over and over again, even when it’s not an appropriate occasion. Some relationships are made to only fit one couple, while the tradition of dating seems to suit thousands, even millions, and be coveted by still others. The point is, however much we might think we look good in one particular style, no single relationship is the same as another couple’s or looks the same on the people who are in it as it would with any other person in the same equation. They’re all individual, all unique, all a wonderful one-of-a-kind piece of couture. No one can declare any sort of “relationship fashion.”

Some of us need to see the person we’re with everyday. Some people would prefer being single. Some iPhone couples run a constant chat conversation with each other, 24/7, even if they’re just in the other room. Some couples only meet once or twice a month, and still see other people. Some husbands and wives sleep in separate beds, even separate bedrooms (though the idea of sleeping in a separate bed, let alone room, sends my insomniac bed-partner-loving self into a state of panic). Some girls prefer not to call their long-term partner their “boyfriend” because it sounds childish, even though some unmarried 40 year old women love calling theirs that for the sense of nostalgia. Some couples move in together quickly, after only a month or two, while others wait until becoming engaged, or married, to share a lease. One of my friend’s fathers lived in an apartment in New York City for work during the weekdays, commuting to Connecticut from Friday night to Monday morning to live with his wife and children, whereas my mother, used to having my father around for the past 37 years, hates to spend a single night alone without him, feeling odd when he’s not there. And as I previously mentioned, I hate sleeping alone, while I always sleep the best the night AFTER whoever I’m currently sleeping with leaves. Those are just examples of 11 different relationships, and none of them can be considered a “classic.”

I’m currently seeing someone who demonstrates this point perfectly. We live in different towns, and have different circles of friends. I go to college; he works long nights. But I knew he was worth a little bit of impatience and the extra effort to see him when he kept making it a priority to see me, at least once a week, and despite of everything else. We now spend chunks of time with each other when we can; other nights, he can only make it into town for a few hours. The point is to maximize the quality of your time together— if we’re going on day 2 in a weekend of co-existion, I don’t feel bad taking an hour or two here or there to go to my class on campus or do my homework while sitting side by side with him in bed in the morning. If we’ve only got a few hours, things stay focused— we stay home, eat together, catch up, spend time relaxing and talking, and watch a movie. In between visits, we keep in touch electronically, through either text or chatting— though talking on the phone might be a more intimate ideal, I can’t help but preferring the written word mediums; I am such a writer. All in all, we get to spend about a third of every month together— 10 nights in 30, a few more days here and there. But it works perfectly for our needs— while I have time to write so I don’t miss (many) deadlines, he has time to do the things with his guys that he wants to and time to chill at home. I’m more happy seeing him when it’s possible than I ever was seeing someone frequently a few times a week who while only physically 10 minutes away in town, was light years away from me emotionally and in terms of effort and desire. It shows. I look happier. I’m dressing differently.

I’m also learning new things, one of the benchmarks of any good relationship, platonic or otherwise— the perennially Single Girl who struggles with feelings of independence when letting a guy pick up all of the tab, I’m learning how to wear the perfect balance of gratitude and grace when it’s his Amex on the counter and back account digits rolling back; how to adjust to someone else’s quirks and sleeping style and snoring and eating habits; and when to gracefully admit defeat and need of assistance and call someone to be waiting outside the front of the club for me because I am too drink, drank, drunk to get to him. I’m even learning when to take someone’s arm when offered so I can lean on it, because there is someone to lean on. And to my surprise, it’s not even cramping my “single and fabulous” style. In fact, it’s evolving to become part of myself, a newer version, this year’s It model. And it looks damn good on me.

The point is, it is not the title on the relationship or the label that you give it or each other that counts— it’s the time, effort, and emotion that you put into and get from it that really matters. Never let anyone else dictate your style, either. If you’re wearing a casual relationship when nothing but a wedding gown will do for you, you’re always going to be uncomfortable, but as soon as you find the right match and become your own designer, I’m sure you’ll find something that you can make work and will look beautiful wearing it. As Samantha once said in Sex and the City, “…The true test of a relationship is if it makes you feel like this (frowns), or like this (smiles beatifically).” Be with someone who makes you smile, if not all the time, than most of the time, and I promise you that you will always feel like the luckiest and happiest girl in the world.

Other than me, of course.

XOXO

—-

- From SATCG

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February 17, 2011


1+1= What Do You Mean, I’m Not Single Anymore?

For one of the world’s happiest Single Girls, some of the weirdest moments of being in a relationship again aren’t the big things you’d expect, like handing out your key or finding another person sitting at your kitchen table for breakfast in the morning when you surface from your coffee cup, but the little things that are hard to get back into the swing of again.

Take, for instance, the fact that dating can make a perennial Single Girl look like the most spoiled creature this side of the Mississippi, just for not realizing the social gap between the two statuses. I realized about two weeks into dating the guy that I’m seeing that I was always forgetting to say “thank you” when he took me out and paid the bill, something that would have shocked and horrified my mother, who raised me better than that, and definitely shocked and horrified myself. I realized it wasn’t a sign of being ungrateful— the exact opposite in fact, because I was so, so grateful— it was just foreign to me. Not only had no other guy ever taken me out on dates, routinely or otherwise, but was just used to paying the tabs and not having to thank anyone. I’d paid my own way for so long, it was hard to get used to the concept of having to thank someone else to do it for me. And that was just the tip of the iceberg of moments I started noticing that seemed…well, for lack of a better word…a little unreal for me. I spent my entire girlhood before getting all jaded and sarcastic and single dreaming about the little, mundane things that make a relationship seem so magical— asking him how he takes his eggs, packing his lunch, TiVo-ing his favorite shows— and now that they’re happening in real life, I have to ask myself…Am I really cut out for this? Can I be part of a duo without losing my uno?

Sharing space is one of those things that’s hard for me to get used to. Not only am I obsessive-compulsive, but I’m also an only child. I’m used to my space being my space, and things being juuust so. So when TGIS (The Guy I’m Seeing,) asked if there was someplace he could put his stuff where down from my molting down comforter wouldn’t get on it, like possibly a shelf or drawer, I’m pretty sure I looked at him like he had three Cerberus heads. Remember that episode of Sex and the City when Aidan moves in and tells Carrie that she should make room for him in The Closet? It felt like that. Like someone had just asked me to realign my kingdom’s borders, and even for love of them, money, or a relationship, I was unwilling to concede any space. Until I royally fucked up, and realized that having someone who wanted tangible space in my life was maybe more important than having three shelves for my shirt collection and worth making my tank tops live with my t-shirts. Needless to say, I gave him a shelf. (Some of it was partly an ulterior motive— him having a place to leave clothing means I get to sleep in big, perfectly worn-in shirts that smell like Man. Which I must admit is one of the things I miss most and long for when I’m single.)

Being single is hard to stop being used to. I was extremely confused when I started noticing that girls downtown were giving me more dirty looks than I was previously used to, but a few weeks ago, I watched a pair of small blondes in Frye boots no older than 18 look from a spot beside me to giving me the hairy eyeball, and when I looked to my right, I finally got it: There was an attractive man there. He was walking beside me. We were obviously together. We were going out for brunch, where we’d sit together, and I wouldn’t flirt with the host as he sat us, and the guy with me wouldn’t flirt with the waitress when she came to take our order. At the end of the meal, he’s pay for it all, and would kiss me as we walked out the front door, after I thanked him, and he told me, “Anytime.” I had become a Lady Who Brunches. We have a weekend routines; a routine the likes of which I’ve never been a part of, short of a few Girl’s Hungover Brunches Out With An Ungodly Need For Coffee that I’ve been a part of in the past. We have other routines that are new for me to get used to, which feels novel sometimes, and downright strange other times when I find myself in a room full of strangers, watching the Super Bowl with them instead of a few streets over, with my own group of dudes belching craft brew burps and smoking inside. We spend time with his friends, and I’m not always around to spend time with all of mine all the time because of it anymore. It’s the push and pull of balancing two people’s lives in the time that you share together. I consider it like taking a hiatus to cement foreign affairs. And my friends? They understand, most of the time. Men may come and go, but your girls know that they’re forever.

The other thing that became blatantly obvious were the things that constitute my SSB, or Secret Single Behavior: Never before had I thought about how much time I spend naked or in various states of undress until he commented on it one day, mentioning that it was one of his favorite reasons for spending time at my place. It was flattering, but something I read in Cosmo years ago tickled my memory— maybe being nearly naked all the time, in situations not related to sex, isn’t the best for the fact it gradually desensitizes someone to your body, and while this may be a great tactic for friends and roommates, I’m pretty sure we always want the guy we’re seeing to be excited when he sees your bare body, not thinking, “Oh…it must be laundry day.”

There are also those moments during your day as a Single Girl that you never think of being odd or a Big Fucking Deal until someone else is watching you, like wearing your wet hair up in turban after the shower, mascara running all over your face until you wipe it off and apply a new coat; doing your make-up in front of him and how hard it is to keep your hand steady with the eyeliner while he’s giving you the eagle eye from across the room, undoubtedly wondering if you’re going to poke your own eye out, because that’s what it looks like to him; the way you expend your arm over your head and stick your armpit out to put on deodorant (is it just me, or is that like, really, really weird to watch or have someone watch you do?); or all the other awkward moments for another person (who you’d like to still consider you sexy for at least a while longer,) to watch you become apparent. There is one time I wish I was single more than anytime else, and it’s NOT when I find myself shaving my entire body for the 3rd time in a week— it’s when I’m trying to furtively apply deodorant and realize he just walked back into the room as I’m hunched over with my arm slung in my shirt like a sling, Secret Clinical Strength hidden underneath like a concealed weapon. And then I have another war/peace moment when he takes it from me and uses it himself— on one hand, that’s your armpit hair in my speed stick. On the other hand, you’re secure enough in your masculinity to use my “fresh powder scent” shit. Awwwww…

I never thought that “Carissa, which toothbrush is mine?” would be one of the most frequently shouted questions across the apartment, in a bass register, not in Alli’s voice. I never really thought about the fact that there could even BE a third toothbrush on my sink. But it is now. And I deal with it some days better than others, but no matter what reality I’m currently in, single or not, I think what’s the most important thing to remember is to not lose the Single Girl even if you have a man— to do your own thing sometimes, and don’t be afraid to strut your stuff into the bedroom post shower with your Queen of Sheba towel turban proudly crowning your head, if that’s the only way your hair is going to get dry— we can’t be sexpots all the time. And just because you have a man now doesn’t mean you have to jump every time he says “pop”— sometimes, doing your own thing and meeting up later after he has time with his boys and you go to a friend’s party by yourself is sexier than being together the entire night, because he gets to see a glimpse of her, who you used to be, and who you will always be at your core: the independent Single Girl. Be your most fabulous self— always. Remember, the name of the game is “Uno,” after all.

XOXO

—-

- From SATCG

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February 23, 2011


Should We WANT To Lose Ourselves?

We all know the sayings: Lose yourself in the moment. Lose yourself in your work. Lose yourself to find yourself again. But should we want to lose ourselves in the first place? Lately, I’ve been wondering what good can come from losing oneself. I hate that moment in a relationship when you suddenly realize that you’re not happy being alone anymore, or, at the very least, have come to expect that someone else will be around to entertain you. And when that’s not the case, then that thought becomes an obsession, and it’s like you’re suddenly a half of a Siamese twin severed, who feels like they’ve lost their identity, or what was special about them. In many way, identity theft may be kinder than the moment in which you find yourself realizing you’re losing yourself, or, at least, losing the things that used to make up your life or define you as an individual or Single Person.

The existential crisis started around 56 hours ago (and counting). Thursday morning, I was woken up by a text from TGIS, and we continued correspondence from afar until about 5 o’clock that night, after which, I haven’t heard from him since. (Granted, I haven’t been trying very hard, but that’s because A.) I’m under the severe impression it’s just better not to nag, and B.) I’ve always thought it gives you a better symptom of your relationship to see when he finally gets back around to you.) One day was fine. But when I woke up this morning, I felt odd, disoriented. And that’s when I realized it was because I’m so used to waking up beside someone. Noon came, and I found myself still in bed, because no requests for brunch out had been made. By this evening, I was in full-out obsession mode about not only the state of my affair, but also, about what the FUCK I was supposed to do with myself and all this free time that had suddenly (and unwelcomely) been found on my hands. So while I may not be neuros-ing about it all over him, I found an outlet for it elsewhere: With my girl friends. Obviously. Because some things never change, even if your established weekend routine suddenly does.

I’m in my twenties. I’m so close to having my Bachelor’s Degree in hand I can almost feel it; I paid for the insanely expensive and insanely luxurious Ralph Lauren sheets on my bed myself; I’m paying down my credit card; and I’m giving a presentation at a national writer’s convention in Boston in March. My life is pretty fabulous, and yet, all it takes is two day’s worth of silence, and I find myself acting like I’m 16 again, trying to occupy myself by making a list of things to do with items like “Wash dishes,” “Moisturize entire body,” “Watch a ‘thinking’ documentary to try to get my mind off of ‘thinking’ about the fact it is a weekend and I don’t believe it without another person here: Sexual Intelligence; Wild China; Food, Inc.; or Prehistoric Predators, Season 1,” “Find some way to make a palatable drink with Skyy vodka, the dregs of orange juice, whipped cream that’s lost it’s whip, and anything else in the fridge, all while really just wanting a nice glass (or bottle) of wine,” and “Try not to ‘wine’ anymore.” It made me wonder: Do our lives really still revolve around boys?

Once upon a time back in sophomore year of college, my mother thought my friend Madison was secretly my lesbian lover. I can see why she might have thought that— we spend an uncomfortable amount of time talking to each other. Mostly, I think, it’s because we usually have equal levels of confusion in our lives, and think about things similarly. So it was Madison I turned to when asking, “Why do I always panic like this if I don’t hear back from a guy for like, I’m not shitting you, two days? I mean, it’s TWO DAYS. My sane self knows this. However, my relationship self is going mental. What I want to know is, why do I FREAK out?”

And then Madison said something very true, yet not very heartening at all: “Because you haven’t had good luck with similar situations in the past.”

Touché, my dear, and good fucking lord, there is no hope— I’m done for.
I am not the only one who seems to be wondering about the ramifications of losing yourself for someone else. Madison has her own issues, too. “The problem is that I’ve always known that [I was letting him use me like a doormat]. I just kind of let it happen. And that’s not me at all. And that’s why I’m ashamed.”

And that’s when I hit my epiphany in our conversation: “Secretly, I think we’re all ashamed at things we do in relationships or non-relationships with other people. Look at me— I’ve forgotton how to be ok with being suddenly alone. I think there’s something about wanting to be with another person that makes us crazy and makes us forget and sacrifice parts of ourselves because we want something else SO MUCH.”

It’s all so terribly ironic, because as I was driving home on Wednesday night after bringing TGIS back to his hometown, I was smugly reminiscing on this relationship versus past relationships, thinking to myself how you can be the person you’re supposed to be and want to be when you’re with the right person. Give me 56 hours of silence, and I’m still the confused little mess I was a year ago, give or take a different man, situation, and a few relevant learning curves. Look how far I’ve gotten on the road map to finding myself.

XOXO

So what about you? How have you learned not to lose yourself, or how to occupy yourself when you’d rather be doing something with someone else? Do you think that we’re more willing to sacrifice parts of our lives and our selves if the payback of having the love of someone else is an option?

—-

- From SATCG

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April 6, 2011


From The Brink

Guess who’s probably back to being a Single Girl? This Original Single Girl. I feel like a comeback from an extinct species.

XOXO

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April 22, 2011


The Anti-Rebound

Last night, I went out for impromptu drinks with a guy. It’s not like I went to my night class thinking, “Whelp, it’s the last class of the semester and everyone is ridiculously stressed in Hell Week before Finals, so why don’t we choose now to find someone to go out with, eh?” But that’s what happened. As we chatted instead of working, and added each other on Facebook (the “hey, I’m interested in you” move of the 21st century,) we realized we had some mutual acquaintances in common— namely, my most recent ex and all of his friends. It’s official. I have to move out of Vermont. I have dated EVERYONE.

This got me thinking about one of the most ugly terms in the dating world— the “rebound.” While both my new friend and I were very open with each other about the fact that we had both recently gotten out of serious relationships and were still recovering from them, I knew what word would be on everyone else’s lips were they to know that three weeks after the Hindenburg crash-and-burn-in-flames end of my last relationship, I was downtown slinging back beers on someone else’s tab. While the most recent ex is undoubtedly taking a new girl out on the town, it makes me wonder— what’s the double-standard for switching dating interests so quickly? Do his friends care? Do they miss me? And do rebounds really matter anymore, or are they just another way to brush the dust of your last relationship off of yourself?

While my friends are glad that I’m back on the horse that so uncharacteristically bucked me off with aplomb, I find myself questioning what my dating and relationship mentality has evolved to. Though I still mourn the loss of my last romance, as it was a great one right up until the point we suddenly weren’t together anymore, I’ve realized something that’s become equally evident to others— after over half a decade of dating, it’s become harder to get as attached to someone (or the IDEA of someone,) and easier to deal with and mend from failed attempts at love than it used to be. For the five-plus month duration of my last relationship, I always maintained the mentality that nothing was guaranteed; it could end the next day. I was guarded with my mother and friends; less than hopeful when making reservations for one extra seat for my graduation dinner. So when it suddenly ended, I was somehow more prepared and less affected than I’d ever been previously. And healthy or not, that’s how I found myself out last night with someone who potentially knows my ex even better than I do. (Slightly hilarious, I’ll admit.) It wasn’t because I’m some callous bitch who thinks all men are expendable and I don’t know how to be or want to be single— it’s because I want to NOT be a callous bitch and learn how to acknowledge and move on from the end of a previous relationship as best as I can.

We tend to look at rebounds as some meaningless, interim fun. But the best part about last night for me wasn’t getting the validation that I still got it, but rather, bonding with a guy over getting past the past, and having us both realize that we could have a good time out with a member of the opposite sex again. (It was a little bit like Heartbreaks Un-anonymous, not gonna lie.) To me, THAT was more valuable than scoring a second date, though, this girl’s still got it in her. So, to make it clear, people, it’s not a rebound— it’s a growth opportunity.

XOXO

—-

-From SATCG

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May 13, 2011


Live, Single Girls!

After my third friend in a row was recently dumped by her long-time partner in lovin’ crime, it started to put my ladies in the Burlington area in a bit of a panic. First, TGIS had gone MIA, then, one friend’s 9+ month f-buddy called it quits on her while citing the need to emotionally distance himself before moving to Beantown, and to top it all off, one of the longest-running couples I knew decided it was time to part ways, effectively rendering everyone’s general mood as if it were the end of Scrub’s era again. At the beginning of the winter, everyone was shacking up. Now as the season is almost turning to summer, it seems as if they’re all shedding us ladies like winter coats and beards. It’s bizarre, but it’s biological.

When I came home a few weeks ago late at night/early that morning from a successful date #2, I realized then that I haven’t been without at LEAST the prospect of a man for the last two years. I went from a summer fling to a feel-it-out situation, to breaking the feel-it-out situation when I slept with someone else who I then started an on-again, off-again relationship with for about a year, then finally ended up facing the music, the relationship’s downfalls, and the lack of my desires being unfulfilled when I met and started hanging out with someone else, and just kept going from there. So much for being a “Single Girl.” But it’s not my fault— there are men EVERYWHERE. The key to finding them, it seems, is to apparently not be looking for them.

While I may have achieved success (more or less,) in the really odd way of just continuing to date via the ex’s friend pool— not by choice; Vermont is just that small— the lesson that I’ve learned here is that “the end” does not really start the sentence “the end of the rest of your romantic life.” When I finally reached the conclusion on my own thanks to lack of any communication or response from him that my relationship with TGIS had run its course, I cheered myself up by doing two things— remembering that he himself had been a random stranger I’d met while intoxicated at a party (true life,) and didn’t remember until he popped up out of the blue and started talking to me on Facebook, ergo, that you NEVER know who’ll you’ll meet or click with, and secondly, taking my bed back by sleeping in the direct middle of it so it didn’t feel quite so big and empty and pathetic and lonely anymore. (Wait, are we talking about me or my bed, now? Hmm.) Partially thanks to that, and partially thanks to probably my Zoloft prescription, it was the least painful break-up I’ve ever had, even though the relationship in itself was probably the most involved and serious to date.

And then I was asked out again out of the blue. I wasn’t expecting it. It wasn’t like I was planning on being a sex-kitten man-magnet right out of the emotional gate again. I actually intended to take some time off, be single, and re-evaluate myself and my life. But instead, I’m content to just feel things out, meet new people, and take things slow for now. Nothing, after all, is written in stone. Other, of course, than monuments, historical road signs, and castle dedications.

The other night, as the beau and I picked up the ingredients to make a late Sunday night dinner dressed in a motley assortment of “wow, laundry day needs to come soon” clothing, I looked across the self-check-out station at another young couple. He was in Timbz and sweats; she in jeggings, flip-flops, and an off-the-shoulder t-shirt that could have been identical to mine. She and I were bagging what was obviously going to be dinner for the night as the guys swiped it across the scanners, and suddenly, it hit me— this isn’t that weird; this is what people my age do. We date. We get in and out of relationships. We find out what we’re looking for in a partner, and we adjust our thinking accordingly. So, while I may eternally feel like that Single Girl, what I really am is a Normal Girl, one who goes on dates, gets into relationships, still deals with her ex’s drama, and more than anything else, is actively and eternally curious about learning what the words “love” and “relationship” really mean.

XOXO

—- 

- Excerpt from SATCG.

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July 17, 2011


When my S.O isn’t here for the night and I walk into the master bathroom and promptly sit down on the toilet without shutting the door…that is the one moment from my previous Single Life that I love and keep.

XOXO

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August 9, 2011


It goes for both sexes. 
Autonomy…my constant battle.
XOXO

It goes for both sexes. 

Autonomy…my constant battle.

XOXO

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August 19, 2011


Put 2 tablespoons of butter into pre-heated pan. Finely chop some onion, add those bits. Season a steak with salt, pepper, and a little bit of garlic powder, then throw that in, too. While that’s cooking, peel, thinly slice, and salt and pepper a cucumber. Add a teaspoon of vinegar. Let it sit for about ten minutes, then squeeze all the water and vinegar out. Add about a tablespoon of half-and-half, or heavy cream, whichever you have handy. By now, your steak should be done. Remove it from the pan. Open a bottle of wine. DE-GLAZE THE FUCKING PAN. ALWAYS, ALWAYS de-glaze your pan! Jesus Christ, I cannot begin to explain to you what moving a little bit of wine around the bottom of your buttery, fatty, salty, onion-y pan will do for you. No, wait, I can— IT MAKES A SAUCE THAT IS LIKE THE EJACULATION OF ANGELS. It is beyond fathoming. It’s just that good. So make it. Then, hunt down some apple sauce. It’ll be around there somewhere; it always is. Pour yourself a glass of wine— in a nice glass. Forget those Mason jars— tonight is about treating yourself. For once, skip the swilling it around, the sniffing, the gentle little teeny-tiny sip. You’re alone. Just pour a nice big glass of it, and get right to drinking it. Feeling better? Yeah, thought so. Grab a fork, a steak knife, and a spoon. Go settle down somewhere, turn a movie on, some music, whatever. Enjoy your meal. Take your time. Eat until you’re past the point of full. Eat to satisfaction.

Whoever said cooking for one had to be boring?

XOXO

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September 1, 2011


The best part of my morning by far was sitting on the sofa with the 65-pound dog asleep in my lap, watching my friendly neighborhood mass-murdering cat tear the fur off of a squirrel it killed and devour it’s skull.

It was like a cross between Animal Planet: Singles Edition and CSI: Backyard.

Need more hobbies.

XOXO

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September 2, 2011


What am I doing?

Oh, nothing…just browsing through a Jockey underwear catalog for men.

Mmmm, buff bodies in boxer-briefs.

XOXO

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September 3, 2011


2 AM filthy martini and chocolate while watching “Pooh’s Grand Adventure.”

Because it’s my comfort-movie for when I get lonely— that “Come out moon, come out wishing star, come out, come out, wherever you are,” song is what goes running through my head IMMEDIATELY after the L-word— lonely— is mentioned or felt.

I know how to live.

XOXO

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