Wednesday, March 31, 2010

my dating life in a sports analogy

As a girl who loves her sports, I find that sports analogies are a great way for me to better understand life sometimes. In basketball, a rebound is a good thing. You're taught to always go for the ball, blocking out during free throws is a must and the more rebounds you get in a game the better chance your team has of winning. But these same rules definitely don't apply to dating. In fact, in the world of dating, there's nothing (or at least not much) worse than getting the rebound.

Unfortunately, when it comes to dating, I seem to get more than my fair share of rebounds. One could even say I'm the rebound girl. I wish it wasn't true, but sadly it is. It's gotten so bad I'm beginning to wonder if its tattooed on my head. Seriously!

Let's just discuss a few instances of this in the last few months. Back in August, when I was trying the whole online dating thing, I "met" a guy who seemed pretty cool. We seemed to have quite a bit in common and decided that we should meet in real life. Our assumptions were correct--we did have a lot in common and got along quite well.  After a couple of dates he informed me that he had just gotten out of a long-term (18 months to be exact) serious relationship and wasn't ready for anything serious. Rebound girl!
(Soon after, he started a new relationship with a girl who wasn't me!)

Around Christmas, I "met" another guy (yes, still doing the online thing). We exchanged emails, talked on the phone and again seemed to hit it off. Come to find out he had just (JUST, like less than 1 month prior) ended a 14 year marriage. So obviously not looking for anything serious. Rebound girl!
(Oh, don't worry, soon after me he too started a relationship with a new girl, who wasn't me!)

In late February, a guy I've dated in the past contacted me through Facebook. Long story short: we went out; we made plans to go out again. Before that next date he informs me he just got out of a serious relationship and wasn't really ready to move on. Rebound girl!
(He may be the exception, but for all I know, he too has started a new relationship with a girl, who isn't me!)

Recently,. I met a man and we went out a couple of times. Great dinners, amazing conversations (I bet you can tell where this is going). Just had an all around fantastic time with this man. Well, don't be shocked, but he too had just ended a long term relationship. Oh yeah, and they've been talking again and are now trying to work things out. Rebound girl!
(In fairness to this last man, as I know he reads my blog, I respect that he had the decency to tell me in person what was happening.)

So, if you or someone you know has just ended a relationship, send them my way. No seriously! Because if recent history is any indication, I love the rebound. And, I possess some unfathomable quality that drives men beyond the rebound and into a relationship. If only this rebound stat was as meaningful in dating as it is in basketball!

Monday, March 29, 2010

my celebrity lunch and beyond

Last week I had lunch with Jet Set. THE Jet Set! So, maybe she's no Justin Bieber, but a celebrity in my mind, nonetheless. Upon seeing my tweet about dining with Jet Set and CandyA** my friend Amy (of The Family Trifecta) asked how I had managed to swing a "celebrity" lunch. The short answer, I asked.

But, let's back up a bit. You see, I actually have met Jet Set before. She worked in the history department with my sister Mandy. She was also my favorite shop girl at Banana Republic back before she was The Jet Set and was a wee student at BYU. Wendy and I had also met Carina a week earlier when she was dining at Pizzeria 712 with the fabulous Noelle. Upon reading Carina's news on her blog, we decided we must dine with her. So, yes, Wendy and I asked Carina to join us for lunch and she said yes!

Upon arriving at lunch I relayed the story of my friend's excitement (maybe even a bit of jealousy) and she graciously blew it off. I then mentioned that I too felt a bit like I was having a celebrity lunch getting to dine with the beautiful, talented and all-around amazing Carina. Her response? "Whatever, I used to sell you cowl neck sweaters at Banana!" And that set the tone for the rest of the afternoon!

Well, that lunch was fantastic - not just the fabulous food at Pizzeria 712 (it's always fantastic there) but more importantly the conversation. I love finding smart, funny, sassy, gifted and successful women to spend my time with. And these women have those qualities (and more) in spades! The conversation was non-stop. We jumped from topic to topic and back again. I was completely reinvigorated for my afternoon meetings. The only regret - the lunch just wasn't long enough.

And if meeting the amazing, beautiful and talented Jet Set wasn't enough for my week, I also had the privilege of meeting (OK, I only spoke to her on the phone) another "celebrity" blogger. Because Carina is a writer, I mentioned during our lunch that I was looking for a technical writer and wondered if that fit her skill set. Unfortunately, it didn't. But, of course, Carina knew just the gal for me. A couple of emails later, and I'm on the phone with suelikestoblog of Navel Gazing. I'm sure she couldn't believe how much a girl could gush over only a phone call, but I am truly impressed by this woman. Her blog is poignant and funny and her resume of technical writing skill is impressive.

How lucky I am to get to associated with so many wonderful women in my life. And, even more impressive to me, all the women I talked about in this post are also mothers. Great mothers, to be exact! I definitely need and want more amazing women in my life!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

best date ever

So, you're probably expecting all the details about a date with Bart Savagewood, King of ALL of Persia and the amazing conversation and great food from some exotic restaurant. Sorry to disappoint, but this post is not about that kind of date. This is about a truly amazing date......with my 10 year old nephew.

My need to remain the favorite aunt is uncanny. I'll do just about anything to win over the affection of a munchkin. With my nieces, this is been fairly easy. I know how to win the love of a young girl. We have sleep overs, we paint toe nails, we bake cookies and decorate cupcakes. All things that girls just love. But, with a 10 year old boy, its not so easy. Well, recently it became much easier to win over this kids affection.

One night while babysitting, the kids had all gone to bed and let's be honest, I was bored. I noticed an interesting looking book sitting by the couch. I picked up and began reading "Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief." This book was great! Unfortunately, I couldn't take the book home with me because Grey was reading it. So, I encouraged him to read it more quickly so I could borrow and read this book. I also learned that they were making the book into a movie. This presented the perfect opportunity to spend some time with my nephew.

And, so our tradition began. We decided that of course we should eat lunch before the movie. And of course that lunch should be at In-N-Out. He's a 10 year old boy, of course he wants a hamburger (with nothing but sauce) and a strawberry milkshake. Then off to the movie! While watching the trailers, we picked a few other shows we wanted to see.

This is the ideal situation for many reasons. One, he's a 10 year old boy, he doesn't really talk much - so we get to have a little time over lunch to discuss what's happening at school, soccer, how he should be nicer to his sisters, you know, normal aunt topics. Two, once we get to the movie, there's no talking allowed (which is perfect, see 1 above). Three, it allows me to do something that my nephew likes and continue to build my relationship with him. And, afterward we got to discuss how far off from the book the movie was and how we liked the book so much better (so glad he's learning that books are better than movies).

Its definitely a great way to bond with my nephew! I can't wait for our next date. I also figure I'm going to use this opportunity to teach the kid to be a gentleman - you know, make him open doors for me, say please and thank you (which he has already perfected) and carry on polite conversation. But, let's be honest, he's already a perfect gentleman and a fine date! I love that I've found a way to spend some quality time with my nephew.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Last night we celebrated Brookie's 9th birthday (can't believe that beautiful munchkin is getting so old!) Brookie is my brother Justin's oldest daughter (and I promise there will be more about the birthday at a later date). I've always been close with Justin. Maybe its the fact that he's only a couple of years younger than me. Maybe its the fact that he dropped out of high school (true story) to attend BYU a year early. Maybe its the fact that I lived with him and his wife back when they had only 3 kids and number 4 was on the way. Maybe its the fact that I'm their built in babysitter (seriously, you have no idea how much I LOVE those munchkins!!) Maybe its the fact that I see him almost everyday since I use space in the real estate office to run my own business. Regardless of why, I've always shared a special bond with my brother!

Last night after Brookie has finished opening all of her gifts from family, my brother mentions that they have one more belated gift. At which point, he hands me an envelope obviously containing a card. He apologizes for the lateness of this (my birthday was back in January), but better late than never. Inside was an unbelievably sweet note wishing me belated birthday wishes and thanking me for all I do for them:

Better late than never!
We hope you know how much we appreciate your willingness 
to always watch our kids and to be a super aunt.
Our kids love you so much.
We are lucky to have you in our lives!

Included with this card was a gift card (of FAR more value than I deserve from them) to one of my favorite stores - Banana Republic. I am truly overwhelmed by their generosity. I don't think they realize how lucky I am to have them in my life. And, how lucky I am to have such wonderful nieces and nephews who are willing to hang out with me and show me such unconditional love!

I was almost brought to tears last night and am brought to tears as I write this today. (I really am girlie and not just a guy). The sweet, kind note was more than enough from this wonderful family (but I am looking forward to spending that gift card!) These little acts of kindness remind me of how truly blessed I am in my life. My life would be very sad without these sweet munchkins and their wonderful parents (and I mean ALL of them, not just my brother Justin and family!)

Friday, March 19, 2010

just one of the guys

I have often be referred to as "one of the guys." I know that this a huge compliment and I definitely take it as such. I am often one of the guys. I love sports, know more about them than most guys and in most settings would rather hang with the guys than the girls.

Throughout my adult life, I've been the "chick" all the guys wanted to hang with. I was always the girl who would cook up a big batch of chili (or some other equally delicious "man food") and have the guys over to watch football on Sundays. My roommates mostly loved me for this. They did get all the "cute" guys hanging out at the house. Unfortunately, girls are a nasty bunch and there was always the roommate who inevitably hated me because the guy she was after was more interested in me. (No, I was not doing all this cooking and football watching to impress the guys - its just who I am) 

My brother loves my ability to put any guy (ok, almost any guy) in his place when it comes to sports knowledge. All the guys quickly learned not to just throw out some random statement in an effort to "look smart" about sports - you'd better be able to defend those statements because I certainly could. Its not a show, I genuinely love watching the game and feeding all the people who wanted to watch with me.

As great as it is being "one of the guys" I've learned that, at I times, I hate being "one of the guys." Yes, I'm the cool girl who knows about sports and will watch with you (I even know you don't talk during the game, but only during the commercials - unless you're yelling at the ref over a bad call) I definitely don't need you explaining the west coast offense or a nickle defense. But, on occasion, it would be nice if I wasn't "one of the guys." For some reason, most guys seem to forget that I may know sports and all sorts of other "guy" topics, but I'm still a girl. As much as I hate to admit it sometimes, I'm a girl with all the feelings and emotions that go along with being a girl. So, yes, I can keep up with you when it comes to sports knowledge and even when playing most sports. But, don't be shocked if I cry while watching "Rudy" (or even a cheesy commercial). I'll even forgo watching a sporting event to have some "girl time" with my nieces. I like to cook, enjoy a good pedicure and can't live without my high heels! While you may think of me as "one of the guys" I think I'm so much more than that. Yes, I'll spend an entire weekend watching college basketball (after all, it is March Madness), but I'll also take time for a pedicure and my sister's bridal shower (will someone please text me updates on scores!) So, yes, I may be "one of the guys" but I'm still a girl and proud of it!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

looking forward to the release of.....

Thanks NPR for allowing me to listen. And to amazo for sharing. Seriously, you should listen, its fantastic! I'm pretty sure I'll be keeping it on repeat until its release March 23rd.

Now, who wants to buy me a little present?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

i'm no longer the "cool" aunt

Since the beginning of time, (ok, not the ACTUAL beginning of time, but the beginning of my time as an aunt) I've prided myself on being the "cool" aunt. You know, the one who buys the fun toys that make lots of noise; the aunt who feeds you cupcakes for breakfast; the aunt who lets you stay up past your bedtime watching movies and eating candy. I've done a pretty good job of maintaining my status as the "cool" aunt the "favorite" aunt.  That was until recently. I knew this day would come and I've been dreading it. I knew one day, I would have to forgo my title of "cool" aunt and be that horrible, awful, mean UNCOOL aunt. I'd hoped it would never happen, but it did.

I've mentioned before that I have adorable nieces and nephews! Well, I also have teenage nieces and nephews. Maybe not adorable, but still awesome.  It is very interesting to notice how different their growing up years are compared to when I was a teenager. There were far fewer distractions - no cell phones, no internet and a paltry 9 channels to watch on TV.  There was one phone in the house that was shared to call friends to play, all my friendships were "real life" and not cyber-related and I played outside almost everyday (OK, I did grow up in Southern California so that was pretty easy to do) These days there are a million different means of communication and you can have a friendship without ever meeting face-to-face. As great as all these modern conveniences are, they definitely come with some drawbacks.

Unfortunately, there are no classes taught and no manuals provided for the usage of all these new forms of communication and social media tools. I was recently reminded just how dangerous (maybe hurtful is a better term) these devices can be.  Recently, there was an "incident" involving Facebook, my teenage niece and me (and this is where I became, the UNCOOL aunt) I won't share the details because that would entirely defeat the purpose of why I am now the UNCOOL aunt. Let's just leave it at this - an inappropriate statement was posted to Facebook and I happened to be the one to see it. In that moment, I had to make a decision; and initially, I didn't make the decision that would lead to me being the UNCOOL aunt. I saw the comment, and posted a comment of my own saying how much I disliked what was being said. And then it hit me, the moment has arrived! I must now cross that barrier and become the UNCOOL aunt. Oh, the dreaded day had arrived.  I made the hard choice, the wise choice, the DREADED choice and determined that this was the day for me to be the UNCOOL aunt. I called my niece and ask that she remove the offending comment. I know she was frustrated, annoyed and probably even a bit angry with me, but she obliged my request and immediately removed the comment along with my tag  of "cool" aunt.

I share this not to embarrass my niece and not even to point out to the world that I am now the UNCOOL aunt, but to determine how do kids learn what is and isn't appropriate to post in a public forum. Because let's face it, Facebook, myspace, Twitter; they are all public forums even if you can block people from seeing you and select who your friends are. I didn't even have to worry about this when I was growing up! If I got frustrated at something that a family member did, it wasn't even an option to broadcast it to the world. At most I could call a friend, but remember how there was only one phone in the house! Yep, everyone could hear that conversation so there was no way I was making offensive comments because the entire family would hear. Life is certainly different now than when I was a teenager. In fact, I think its much more difficult. I may now be the UNCOOL aunt, but I still want to be there for all my nieces and nephews. They may not realize it, but I am that safe haven they can call and ask anything (and 99.9% of the time I won't share our conversation with their parents). I think I'm a much better sounding board than the world wide web, but what do I know, I am tne UNCOOL aunt!

I hope to one day shun the UNCOOL aunt title and regain my "cool" aunt title. Maybe then my nieces (and nephews) will realize they can call me and talk to me about their frustrations instead of broadcasting them for the world to see. Until then, I'll enjoy my UNCOOL title. I know I earned it. And truth be told, I'd again make that DREADED choice that lead to me being the UNCOOL aunt!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

can you keep a secret?

Psst....Psst....come closer. No, a little closer.  Want to know a secret? Can you keep a secret? Are you a good secret keeper? Oh Internet, you're not a good secret keeper. Well, thanks for your honesty; I appreciate that.  I guess I'll go else where to share my secret.

I've recently learned that finding a good confidant is not an easy task. I'm not the most trusting person and am very cautious with who I share things with. Unfortunately, I've made an error recently and shared the wrong information with the wrong person. Information that I thought was shared in confidence has been leaked; feelings have been hurt and bridges have been burned. None of this was intentional, but it still happened and hopefully those feelings will heal and bridges will be mended, but it will take time.

I hope that I have learned my lesson. I now know to be very careful what I share with others. There are highly sensitive pieces of information I know should only be shared with my therapist (after all, he's taken an oath and I do pay him well to keep my secrets) However, I don't only need him on a Wednesday afternoon and for a full hour. What about those times when I need a confidant on a Thursday morning for 5 minutes? Who do I turn to? How do you determine who is the best confidant and who you can trust with your deepest fears and secrets? We all need a sounding board; someone to talk things out with. I had no malicious intent with the things I've discussed; I was merely looking for feedback, understanding and some advice. I always thought I was good at sharing the right information withe the right people, but recent events have proved me wrong.

I will be more cautious in the future. Maybe I need to adopt the approach I do with Posh (you know, my adorable 3 year old niece). She and I play a little game. I'll pick her up and ask her, "do you want to know a secret?" She always responds, "yes!" I then whisper in her ear, "I love you!" To which she responds, "Want to know a secret? I love you!" I then whisper in her ear, "No, I love you" and she does the exact same thing. This goes on for a couple of minutes with both of us trying to share this secret with the other as often as we can. Obviously, I don't care if this secret gets out and when I share a "secret" with Posh or her sister Lula (she's 6 and much more mature!) I know it will likely get out. Perhaps I need to realize that even adults, with no intention of breaking a confidence, will often let that secret slip. Without malicious intent, it will get out and feelings may be hurt in the process. Now feelings must be mended, bridges must be rebuilt and wounds must be healed. Wish me luck in this process!

Side note: No, this post is not about you. In fact, I doubt the person in question even reads this blog (hello, I only have 3 readers). Please don't have your feelings hurt or get upset with me. I don't know that my emotions can handle that right now.

Friday, March 5, 2010

did i miss something funny?

I have no problem admitting to my age. I'm fully aware that I grew up without the internet, DVRs, cell phones and texting. Along with all of this comes an entire new way of communicating; specifically, the shortening of words and creating new anagrams (because we are all now limited to 140 characters to communicate all our thoughts). I've honestly had a difficult time adjusting to this new lingo everyone uses when texting, tweeting and now when speaking. In particular, there is the usage of one term I just don't get, LOL.

First off, LOL has multiple meanings - laugh out loud, lots of luck and lots of love. How am I supposed to know which phrase you are referring to? Fortunately, I suppose, LOL usually means laugh out loud. Unfortunately, this acronym is used far too often in communication--via text, IM, facebook, twitter and even face-to-face conversations.

I've adopted these new forms of communication in my life. I text; I instant message (IM); I Facebook; I even twitter. I've even managed to learn (and occasionally use) some of these acronyms that are so prevalent in this world of shortened, fast-paced communication. However, I do not get the use of LOL. Take a look at your last few conversations via any of the above mentioned "communication" tools. I bet you'll find "LOL" used no less than 20 times (or maybe its just my friends). OK, so I'm funny, but I'm not that funny. What's with all the LOLing? Seriously, did I miss the joke? Am I the only one that isn't "LOLing" all day every day? Please, help me understand what is so funny that everyone is continually laughing out loud or more accurately, LOLing!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

(dating) communication in the 21st century

I've been single for a really long time; longer than I care to admit. I'm old (by Utah standards) and an old maid (by Utah County standards). I have a lot of experience dating and understand the difference between good communication and poor communication when in a "relationship." I thought I'd give a brief lesson on what constitutes good communication and what constitutes poor communication.

I was going to go into a discussion of the hierarchy of communication, but I'll save that for another post. Let's just jump right into a couple of examples. Both of these encounters involve me, are factual and last couple of weeks. In an effort to protect the innocent, all names have been omitted.

Let's start with good communication first.  Guy A who I have "dated" (gone out with? shared a meal with? sat at the same table while consuming a meal?) sporadically, at best, invited me to lunch one day.  During lunch he shared with me some details of his life (which I will not repeat here out of respect).  He explained that it was because of these circumstances that he had not pursued an actual relationship with me. He felt that I deserved better than he could offer me in a relationship and felt that I deserved an explanation. He was completely open and honest with me about everything going on in his life, allowed me to ask questions and provided me with all the information I needed. We left that meal and agreed that we had the makings of a great friendship with no hidden agenda. And, to his word, we are building that friendship. His honesty was refreshing.

Now, let's move onto the more fun scenario; the poor communicator. Guy B, while not in a serious relationship, we had been seeing each other for a few weeks. In fact, he had talked to me everyday while on his vacation the week prior and brought me back a little gift.  He informed me, via text message, "I went on a date last week with a girl I'm beginning to like. I want to explore it and don't want to hurt you, so we need to slow things down a bit." I replied, "That's great! I hope we can continue to be friends." (I know what you're thinking, and you're wrong. I truly meant this as I honestly valued his friendship) To which he replied, "Of course I think you're awesome!" OK, let's break this down. First and foremost, text messaging is one of the worst forms of communication for anything other than the statement of facts. It is so easy to misunderstand what the other person is saying and the conveyance of emotion is completely gone. Although he was fairly honest and admitted to wanting to pursue another girl, as far as I'm concerned what he really meant was, "You may be awesome, but I found someone even awesomer, so Sayonara!" A phone call that allowed for actual conversation and discussion would have been much appreciated. Text messaging leaves so much room for interpretation and confusion. (The real problem here is a problem I refer to as "serial dating." I promise a post on this soon. Trust me, I'm an expert because I'm just as guilty as the this guy.)

So remember, whether dating or another situation, open dialogue (and not via text) is always the way to go. And, yes, these are both real conversations and both occurred within the past couple of weeks. Honestly, I can't make this stuff up. Trust me, my real life is far more interesting than anything I could ever dream up!

Monday, March 1, 2010

a little posh will make you smile

As far as I'm concerned, the sole purpose of children is to provide entertainment. You parents probably don't agree with me. Mostly because all those things your children do that you find horrifying and embarrassing, I find them to be hilarious! I'm certain that I could write volumes (and have shared some) about the munchkins and the funny things they do and say that leave their parents horrified.  Instead I decided to share a funny story that is also very touching and sweet.

I love my niece Posh. Seriously, can't get enough of the kid. I can only understand about 60% of what she says, she insists on being carried everywhere (lucky for her she only weighs 27 lbs) and she loves everyone. And, she's the best fake sleeper around. OK, maybe not the best at it, but once she commits she is dedicated to the cause; nothing will get her to open her eyes!

A while back I was having a terrible, rotten, no good day! It was just a bunch of little things adding up to make for a bad day. And, I was feeling very much like nobody cared about me or my needs. (Yes, I was feeling sorry for myself and I recognize how silly that is) It was a Sunday so we were all hanging out at my brothers place. While eating dinner, I'd jokingly told Posh I was going to take a nap in her bed. Her response, "Adults can only sleep in my bed if they say please." So, I asked her please could I take a nap in her bed. I wasn't serious, but just wanted to see how she reacted.

After dinner was over, dishes were done and things cleaned up, I went over to the couch to read my book. About 5 minutes later, Posh walks over and tells me its time to take a nap. There's no telling a 3 year old "no" so I followed her up to her room. She told me to lay on her bed while she went to find her pillow. (Apparently, she had lost her pillow privileges the night before due to an incident with her 6 year old sister - my guess is a pillow fight) She returned and proceeded to cover me up with her blanket (trust me, this is a big deal as nobody uses her blanket) Upon leaving the room she shut the door, most of they way and headed downstairs. I then hear her telling everybody, "Be quiet! Mel is trying to sleep!"

Only about 3 minutes pass before she is back in the room to check on me. As she is coming in the room, her brother turns on the TV in the play room to watch some Olympic hockey.  Posh tells him he needs to turn the TV off because "Mel is trying to sleep." She comes in and asks if I can sleep with the TV on. Since I'm not really sleeping, I tell her its fine, the boys can watch TV. She then leaves again and says she'll be back in 5 minutes to get me.

Well, since I was never really planning on taking a nap, I grab my book from the floor to finish reading the chapter I was on.  Once finished, I hop off the bed and head downstairs to hang with all the munchkins. My niece informs me that it hasn't been 5 minutes and she was going to get me when time had lapsed. I asked if it was okay for me to stay up. She decided that since I was already up, there was no reason for me to head back upstairs and wait for her to get me.

She is honestly the funniest and cutest kid around (and I'm totally biased since she is related to me)! It was very funny and entertaining to me the things she has picked up regarding nap time.  My favorite thing however was the fact that she was so concerned about me. I love that she was telling everyone to be quiet so I could sleep (even though I had no intention of taking a nap). It was very sweet to have someone looking out for me and making sure I was taken care of.  It was just what I needed! And, every time I think about this incident, it just makes me smile.