Cat Fight


 

As women grow older we mature. Our bodies mature and some of us develop acceptable size breasts, our way of thinking matures and we only become irrational once a month, the way we communicate matures by way of adding a new element know as passive aggressive but in general or overall lives mature. Even the way we fight and the things we fight about seem to mature. For instance I can remember a fight in 3rd grade that came about from something with the kind of magnitude that rattles the earth such as  selecting one friend to sit next to during class and not the other 2 (because I only possessed 3 total friends). That kind of fight usually ended in “side taking” and silent treatment and for sure a few evil eye stares my way during cursive training. In middle school you selected your friends based on your favorite radio stations so you were either friends with “the rockers,” “the rappers,” or you had no friends. So, fights happened when your so called best friend bought the band  T-shirt you slowly managed to afford to buy as a product of successfully taking all small change and loose bills your parents left behind and yet still didn’t consider that stealing. Those fights consisted of basically shit talking. Whoever likes Nirvana is a total poser. When you get to college most fights revolve around who slept with your current boyfriend or boyfriend you recently broke up with 2 weeks ago, or who you live with that has grossly sub-par hygiene in which you previously over looked during casual hang outs. Those fights ended in phrases like “ex-roommate” and “former friend that is a dirty hoe bag.”

It’s so nice to be at an age when fighting is a thing of the past and you don’t fight you just de-friend, un-follow or simply “hide” in order to keep a watchful eye. The last place I thought I would see two grown women fight like they were filming a scene from Orange is the New Black was at the gym. As someone who constantly keeps an eye out for unusual gym behavior I instantly noticed 2 woman (one extremely fit black woman in head to toe neon and the other being a tatted up white chick with 10% body fat and no visible muscle) that appeared to be engaged in very hostile dialogue. It was so aggressive looking I stopped leg lifting and jetted towards the free weights despite a self-mandated “off day.” By the time I secured the only available free weight that just so happened to be well beyond my max weight I already became aware of the fight sparking premise. The scrawny white chick aka, “The Rocker” took one of the 20 pound weights the buff black chick, “The Rapper” left un-attended while taking a water break. She clearly confronted the rocker and unfortunately the laze-fare stoner response was not received well because it resulted in body contact and very close talking. I was 2 feet away so I could hear every word but for those far away it could have easily looked like an inter-racial lesbian act of foreplay. I felt like we were on an adult playground because everyone stopped their work out and formed a school yard circle around the 2 ladies. I can’t be certain but I think everybody was routing for scrawny white chick because who doesn’t love an underdog? There was a lot of “bitch,” “fucking bitch,” “punk ass,” and “I will fuck you up’s” thrown around so it was tough to determine who was winning and I have to admit that although it would make me very uncomfortable I was hoping for a thrown punch and a bitch down. Thankfully, a brave man who probably at one point injected steroids into his body broke up the ladies before a gym employee with a manager title came over. The ladies retreated to opposite sides of the weight room floor but in true middle school fashion continued to stare each other down and shit talk the other to confused near bye gym patrons. The odd thing was that the original 20 pound weight that sparked the entire fight just stayed in the center of the work out floor and went with neither woman so I did what felt natural and that was leave the 30 pound weight I was not able to curl and discretely picked up the 20 pound weight and went to a safe and secluded area of the gym and did the acceptable amount of bicep curls for an “off day.”

“Open Door Policy”

Most women have a specific face they make at themselves in the mirror at some point at the end or during their “getting ready bathroom routine” and it usually serves as some sort of visual checklist before the final departure into the outside world. It’s a long serious yet blank stare in which you do the last confirmation. Did I put mascara on both eyes? Check. Did I completely cover up that period rapidly approaching warning signal also known as a crater size pimple? Check. Does my hair have enough volume without screaming I ratted and then hair sprayed? Check.  If I were a very attractive, wealthy and charismatic man would I want to wife me? Check. It’s comical though because usually the face that is made is not a face ever made once one has left the bathroom. It’ kind of like a sheik duck face of sorts like a “mirror, mirror on the wall who’s this chick sucking in her cheeks like a hungry vogue model when she’s just getting ready to go the mall?”  The other day I was in a lady’s room at a restaurant and there was a woman looking at herself in the mirror for nearly 5 minutes!! She was just making small hair and side boob adjustments while blankly yet seductively staring in the mirror. I gave myself dishpan hands just standing there waiting for to blink. When she left I tried to wrap up my bathroom session with my own mirror stare down but it was a bit more awkward since I hate to make eye contact with myself in the mirror.

We all know what kinds of faces we make when we are getting ready in the bathroom but does anyone wonder what kinds of faces we make while going to the bathroom? I can’t imagine I am expressionless all the time. I think I remember one time when I held it so long (probably alcohol related) that I felt like my eyes were about to water in the form of urine that by the time I made it to the bathroom I’m nearly certain my eye fluttering face and euphoric sighs looked and sounded more like someone mid orgasm than someone mid tinkle. There are always those times when “something doesn’t agree with you” and you have the kind of unpleasant bathroom experience that you only pray can be erased from memory. That’s a face of disgust and shock similar to what I would assume I would look like if I was forced to watch a documentary on animal abuse with “sex slaves UK” commercial breaks. I don’t think I have to go into detail on what the face of someone would be if they were trying to force something special through when it’s not that something special’s time to come out because it probably looks like someone caught on camera on a rollercoaster just before they are about to fall 20 stories in 3 seconds. Since most bathrooms, public and private opt out of mirror placement directly in front of the toilet we really have no concept of the range of facial expressions during our private time. I’m sure those in lovingly open relationships take pride in the fact that they are completely ok with living by a household “open door” policy where it’s perfectly ok to allow for open door dumps in which you know exactly what your significant other looks like when they climax and when they have to use the bathroom after a cup of coffee and a bran muffin.

A few days ago at the gym as I was carefully selecting which disease ridden bathroom stall I encountered a woman who probably needed some 360 bathroom feedback. As I pushed open door number 3 I was surprised to find a middle aged woman going number one who was not sitting but squatting, who had definitely held it too long (or was intensely concentrating). When I opened the door her eyes were closed and when she realized she had a visitor they became overtly bulged. Of course I didn’t stay longer than a nano second and clearly it was accidental and OBVI I apologized for the mistake yet somehow she ended up yelling the following, “excuse you, how rude!” I was baffled at how her not properly latching the door and forgetting to put up a sign that said, “please knock first” was my fault that she was walked in on and startles her stream off course. Unfortunately it made for an awkward bathroom experience in which I was plagued with the worst stage fright and in a last ditch effort to salvage the mishap I tried yelling out, “you can walk in on me if that will help.” She must have not heard me or omitted the wipe and stormed out because she didn’t get to see the face I make when I know I have to pee but I can’t because the lady next to me who I saw shooting a hose into large bowl just yelled at me face.

First Rule of CrossFit is We Don’t Talk About CrossFit

I think most people have at least one friend, relative/sibling, or co-worker they know that participates in a little cult I like to call, “Cross Fit.” It has become so popular within the last 5 years that I surfed through 3 obscure ESPN channels and there were 3 different CrossFit competitions airing, “Cross Fit Games,” “The Great CrossFit Challenge,” and “Nike Woman’s Cross Fit Competition.” Every town has its own CrossFit gym with its own special name. Every day my Facebook news feed consists of videos of friends and family doing a record numbers of weird things like burpees, or someone liking their new CrossFit gym’s Facebook page, or someone checking in at their local cross fit warehouse with a caption like, “Here comes a Hero work out,” or “I’m about to crush this Farmer’s Walk.” The second you lose someone to CrossFit it’s over.

It starts with the constant monitoring of the, “Workout of the day” (also known as “WOD” for cult members) that are posted where you will be out at dinner and you think your friend is surfing through Instagram and then out of nowhere they will blurt out things like, “ugh tomorrow’s WOD is being taught by big Mike and it’s a Murph.” If there is someone else at the table that does CrossFit than an hour goes by and it’s like being an American that only speaks English in another country where everyone else is talking with all kinds of hand gestures and excitement and you have no f-ing clue what they are saying. If that person is the only cult member than you make them order carbs for dinner as punishment.

Once someone is completely hooked it moves to the social circle. Your friends start telling you they can’t hang out because some of their CrossFit friends are getting together to eat red meat and do a “fun little competition.” You are left so confused as to how army crawling through the mud with someone on your back is now the substitute for a themed pub crawl on the weekends? You finally get to hang out with your cult following friends and they brag about things like how many decline pushups they did on Thursday and show off new injuries and open wounds instead of new watches or shoes.

It’s all so confusing to me? I have so many questions, concerns and considerations…. Isn’t it just a work out? Can you still drink? Is practicing really necessary? I go to the gym all the time and make no friends, speak to absolutely no one and manage to achieve the same level of fulfillment. I can’t remember the last time I spent 30 minutes talking to another human about the triceps dips I did that day. Why do all the woman have a new set of gorilla shoulders and is that in fact found to be a turn on for the opposite sex?

More importantly there tends to be a lot of couples involved which makes me think a relationship is doomed if one does CrossFit and the other choses to lead a normal life or new single members are forced to sign a contract stating they will only mate with those from within.

I would imagine anyone reading this and disagrees will take their rage out during an intense kettle bell workout and those that agree probably are like me and have a giant poster board up in their room that is titled, “Friends and Family That Do Not Do CrossFit,” and have a few people with red lines through their names symbolizing another person lost that year…

How Far Along Are You?


 

I have never been pregnant nor will I ever but I have had a pregnant sister and many a pregnant friend so clearly I am aware that all fish must be cooked if consumed, you can absolutely have half glasses of wine more than once a week, canckels are virtually unavoidable, and your nipples will never recover from breastfeeding. The other pre and post natal fact I possess is that of common sense when it comes to woman I don’t know who may appear to the naked eye to be pregnant or nursing a 2 month old at home. We’ve all been there. You are at work and “Alicia” from accounting comes in with a high waist  skirt, blouse tucked in and topped with a belt and a lower abdominal bump… First thought is, “She must almost be out of her first trimester and this outfit is a non-verbal gesture to all that she is with child. It’s funny how that is always the first initial conclusion and not that it’s winter and Jessica has taken advantage of the office pastry chef’s break room bake goods giveaway one to many times or even that she has a bad girl party side to her that comes out on weekends outside of work and that is the reason for her college beer ho 2001 belly roll. (If you went to college and managed to avoid that small pouch in the midsection caused by taco bell and Costco consumption levels of Bud Light than the phrase beer ho may be foreign to you and 2001 is simply a reference to my beer fupa year). It’s so hard to tell with woman these days as for whatever reason workplace pregnancy is kept secret for longer and longer by wearing clothes that act as a disguise and claiming food poisoning on a regular basis for perpetual mid-day vomiting. I’m not sure if it’s fear that there was an unread clause in the employee handbook stating termination upon conception or an unwillingness to allow for your managers proper planning for coverage during the 3 months you are aloud to push out a water melon from a pour spout, not sleep, ruin your breasts, strain your marriage and then send the product of your love off to strangers to watch them grow up so you can return to work.

I would see scenarios like this all the time when I worked in HR. Walking the halls speculating who is having a marriage saving pregnancy, illegitimate love child or a family pressure induced pregnancy based on newly present curves and expanding body parts. The one thing however you never do is ASK. Never ask a woman when she is due or how old her non present child is unless you are 200% certain she is currently pregnant or had a child within the past 3 months. Why so many people break this rule is beyond me. I have heard many a dumbass men break this rule but shockingly enough I have heard many a dumb bitch women break this rule. It just takes one, “when are you due?” to a woman that has a 9 month old at home taking a bottle from a former Seventeen Model nanny to send her to a suicide hotline and just one, “how far long are you?” to a woman pre January get in shape for the new year resolution to take her down a bulimic path for the next 2 months. All because someone had to open their big mouth versus simply walking back to their desk and telling their neighbor to look out for Alicia this week and confirm whether or not she thinks she’s pregnant. We must file those questions in the “What never to say” folder at all times right alongside the statement, “You look tired” because that’s not even a question that’s just a statement and better yet a statement that says, “you like shit.”

The other day at the gym I was working out following a night consisting of wine, bourbon and French cuisine and then a morning filled with coffee, no water and no food and in between abdominally crunching my muffin top away I felt waives of nausea. To the point of mapping out the fastest and most direct way to a successful bathroom vomit. As I stood there presumably looking unwell a lady approached me and asked if I was ok. Ah, there are still kind people left in this world. I told her I was definitely ok just riding a small wave of nausea but not to worry. Instead of moving out of my vomit path she asked me, “Oh I see hunny, are you pregnant?” I looked down and noticed the remnants of last night’s beverage consumption by way of next day bloat and realized how it could be confusing but still felt the need to stick it to my concerned gym patron so I said, “no, I’m not pregnant, I actually have a 9 month old at home.”

How To Talk to Naked People


 

The other day I was wondering if anyone else goes through the same or at least a very similar phone dynamic with their parents as I do? I have a great relationship with my parents.  We chat once a week or if I can’t find an hour window of free time maybe more like once every 2 weeks. I say this lovingly as a phone call with my family looks a bit like this; I start off with updates on life, work, social etc. I keep it brief to the point and provide no information that can cause my mother to fear for my financial security, mental instability or promiscuity. There is absolutely no need to bring up anything that would be a potential CNN headline as it would be a lie to say we shared the same political views. Usually for me I can wrap all of these points of discussion up in a matter of 6.5 minutes even with that including a minor angst filled rant regarding a co-worker that happened a month ago but added a bit more meat and potatoes to my professional part of the update allowing for a smaller social update in the event that I actually have no social update. The next 53 minutes is for my mom to have the floor and 99.9% of the time she starts her update off with this phrase, “well, nothing really new to report here.” Yet somehow after the call was placed at 2:00 it is now 2:59 and I have placed the phone in a universal spot within my apartment on speaker allowing myself the ability to clean my bathroom, check and respond to all pending emails, make myself a snack, eat that snack all while only speaking by way of filler words such as, “uh huh, yeah, um and hmm.” The best part about our conversations is that it is pretty much a shoe in that it will always end with one of the following phrases, “it’s because of global warming,” “I never know when it’s going to be my time,” and “here, let me let you talk to dad real quick.”

It’s these loving one sided conversations that I have accepted, plan for and have a well thought out strategy for. However I was not prepared for the one sided conversation that a naked lady in the gym locker room had with me whom I do not love and did not have a strategy in place for.  As I approached the locker room I saw that the locker holding my belongings hostage was blocked by an extremely naked woman who looked to have set up a make shift camp site out of an entire corner of the room. She had all clothing items folded and laid out on the bench consisting of a bra (probably of the high 30’s D variety), size XL full coverage underwear, tie dyed tank top, jeggings, sweater, socks and shoes. It looked like a bad Sears display. On top of that she had towels, a sweat soaked sports bra and probably moist yoga pants hanging from 3 different opened lockers and through all the carnage I could see my locker peeking through. All I could think was how in the hell am I going to retrieve my things without contracting an STD. I had half a thought to go back out on the work out floor and pretend I added a, “cool down” portion to my routine but unfortunately this day time would not permit for that sort of avoidance tactic. I had to face my fear of odd naked people in locker rooms. As I moved towards my locker I realized I couldn’t get to it without having to make contact with a sports bra or the crotch region of lulu lemon dry fit pants so instead I made a move as if to show the woman who I will lovingly refer to as, “Bertha” that my locker was somewhere a midst her foul smelling wardrobe. Normally in this situation you can simply make a move as if to show your friendly locker neighbor they need to move their unclothed body so you can get through and it always works and never requires speaking however this time not only did it not work but instead it resulted in a conversation. Instead of Bertha seeing me awkwardly trying to get to my locker and kindly move aside she asked me if I would watch her belongings “real quick” while she used the bathroom!!!! I’m not sure I even said, “yes” I think she just assumed my silence as “sure, why not.” When she came back still naked, still maintaining a locker room campsite I thought that was it but then she started talking to me about the zumba class she had just taken and how she was not expecting such an amazing workout and some other tidbits I may have blacked out as I was a midst a wave of uncomfortable emotions. I couldn’t even speak and not because she was verbally running over me like a naked freight train but I literally froze up. When you are talking to someone who is naked you can’t break eye contact. You look down and it’s a nipple, you look to the ground and you pass a labia on your way to the floor. I was sweating more than 30 minutes prior while I was on the stair climber. How on earth was I going to end this? This wasn’t my mom on speaker phone where you can just walk away and come back 15 minutes later and interject a “hmmm” and go unnoticed. Somehow some way she gave me a window in between telling me about under arm trouble spots and a January heat wave that I picked up and ran with in the form of, “well, that’s global warming, you just never know when it’s your time.” That was it, that ended the conversation. Locker access granted.

What’s Your Number?

 

Unfortunately we live in a world that has far too many double standards for woman versus men. Men can adjust a ball to inches 2 the right mid weather chit chat and it’s not even frowned upon but I take careful consideration towards nip slip avoidance and its soft core porn on the job. The other day at work the idea of double standards became apparent before my very eyes specifically regarding men and woman and even more specifically regarding the difference between a “man whore” and a “woman whore” or more commonly known simply as “whore” for woman. How mid work discussions magically arise mid-day around how many people you have entered or have entered you is mind boggling but none the less entertaining if you are simply a sidelined judge and not a contributor as I was. As people went around the room passing on their “hot potato” penetration number it was very clear that I am guilty of walking this earth with the double standard mindset for sexually active men versus woman and I realized this as I was narrating the conversation in my head. The conversation sounded like this:

 

Normal Caucasian good looking mid 20’s male: “I’m probably at around 70 plus as of the end of 2013”

 

Me: ( In my head) “Seriously? 70 actual different people? That’s actually impressive. He is cute, I probably would be fine being number 71.”

 

Foreign mid 30’s decent looking male with an accent: “I have had many, many woman probably well over 100”

 

Me: (In my head) “hot Latin accent in the states is an automatic 50 which is actually on the lower side of what I was thinking that time were chatting on lunch 4 months ago and I couldn’t understand him”

 

Mid 20’s good looking girl: “OMG I can’t believe I am saying this but I think probably at least 45 or 50”

 

Me: (In my head) “Slut”

 

Nice, wholesome, well rounded girl: “All I am going to say is under 10”

 

Me (In head): “Virginal Nerd”

 

Nice, somewhat awkward twenty something man: “15 but I was in a serious relationship”

 

Me (In head): “he is soo lying about both the number and the relationship”

 

I left that day disappointed in myself. I hate that even I had bought into double standards between men and woman which is why the following day when I was at the gym I singlehandedly tried to break those internal barriers and so when I saw the man in what I have labeled “picture A” in this tight of shorts and that underwear line I didn’t excuse it. I did just what I would have done if it was a woman. I took a picture and sent it to a friend saying, “The 90’s called and asked when underwear lines were going out of style and when G-strings were hitting the market.”

 

I didn’t stop there either. When I saw this man flailing in what I have labeled “picture B” on the ground like a sea creature miles from the sea I didn’t just keep curling biceps I ran to his assistance just like a true gentleman would if it were me on the ground with a little more makeup and a cleaner looking ponytail and probably a mid drift exposing tank top. The only problem was that he wasn’t ready to break the double standard like I was.  As I reached out to give him a friendly hand as he clearly looked the part of a damsel in distress I said, “are you ok, let me help you.” He looked up at me and said, “huh? I’m stretching, I don’t need your help.” Whoops, I guess I can only break the barriers of one double standard per day.

 

Happy Holidays

 


 

As the holidays come to a close I find that I have so many things to be thankful for. For one, I am thankful that unless TBS is playing a mid-summer showing of Love Actually I will probably not hear Mariah Carey’s, “All I Want for Christmas” for the next several months. As a woman in the service profession I am thankful for no longer having to perform religious racial profiling when saying goodbye to customers while still maintaining a holiday spirit because it’s easy to switch from “Merry Christmas” to “Happy Holidays” when the last name on the credit card has a “Stein,” “Berg” or an “Ovitz,” at the end but it’s when you try and simply go off of enhanced facial features that it gets tricky. You let one Merry Christmas slip to the wrong recipient and they will let you know what holiday they support. I only had that happen twice this year and one responded with, “Oh sweaty I’m a Jew,” (Sweaty to me says she forgave me) and then the other responded like this, “some people don’t celebrate Christmas when we have a Menorah in the house” (that response spells anger).  It’s not always better when you take the politically correct “Happy Holidays” high road especially when it’s for the typical crotchety elderly white man as he will let you know his stance in the form of this response that I received, “This is ridiculous, it’s Merry Christmas for the love of god. All you Obamacare kids these days.” I didn’t have the heart to tell him political correctness was mutually exclusive from Obamacare so I settled with, “I’m sorry your co-pays have gone up.  I can’t even begin to articulate the hardship of trying to determine who gets a “Joyous Kwanzaa” shout out.

I’m also thankful for no longer having to avoid places like Target, grocery stores and most of all the mall where lines are so long you can have your makeup done at the Mac counter and still have an additional 30 minutes until you pay for the one item you needed at Nordstrom. People become competitive shoppers wearing sports bras and spandex to allow full range of motion while they are in the squat position riffling through neatly folded stacks of jeans trying to find their children’s sizes as the angry employee who arrived at work at 5am to fold those jeans looks on. I actually found a pair of pants in my size in the handbag section at Nordstrom rack the other day and I couldn’t tell if it was because someone hid them there while they checked their account balance outside or because people are just animals. Unfortunately for me most of the gyms I go to are located within the mall so I couldn’t hide from the madness that was the holiday shopping season which means you see things like smart cars fighting motorcycles for motorcycle parking garage spots, a line of cars waiting behind someone trying to make a left turn into the back entrance of Target where it clearly states, “No Left Turn Aloud,” you see men shopping in Lane Bryant looking for the petit section and moms asking sales people with tattooed faces in Spencer’s about beer pong tables. Luckily December means the gym is empty and most are living by the philosophy that they have all of the next year to lose the 5 extra pounds gained from seasonal Starbucks drinks, accepting high end food baskets from generous lazy people and delicious homemade bake goods from cheap people. It’s this emptiness that makes it hard for a shoplifter to seek refuge and blend in. Even a mall cop could find the Waldo in an empty gym when there is a man in Dickies and polo shirt with a gold chain on the stationary bike with 2 giant Macy’s bags filled to the brim next to him because the other 5 people in the gym are actually sweating and actually have a membership. Personally I thought nothing of it except I minor trust issue with the safety of a locker and a need to constantly look “fly” so I continued my random hill elliptical workout. I even continued my random hill workout when a partially debilitated mall security guard hand cuffed and escorted out the gentleman who will probably be baking his Christmas/Hanukah/Kwanzaa presents next year as I’m sure the bail for shoplifting is steep.

Pert Plus


 

I come from a long line of woman with once full but now thinning hair, between my grandmother and her mother to my very own mother they all were blessed with hair that deceiving looks healthy and double the amount of follicles but with one touch you find that it is only a handful’s worth. Even my own hair looks full but is still very fine and I am still at the age where when people tell me that they are jealous of all the hair I have I quickly tell them it is simply an illusion and provide them with the opportunity to grab my ponytail for a confirming tug. I figure I only have about 5 more years with the ability to respond like this before I move to arrogantly accepting compliments when on the inside I know that I have replaced extra thick hair ties with extra hold hairspray for the manmade volume I have given myself each morning.

It’s because of this that I understand the need to wash ones hair in the sink as you would a hand knitted sweater in order to delicately preserve all 27 remaining hairs. Even though I have not yet reached this point but I have empathy for those that have which is why when I walked up and noticed a sink full of suds and a shower tote prepped and ready I knew it could only be for a woman that also has the mean hair thinning gene. What I wasn’t prepared for was a woman stepping up to the plate with a head of hair that was oddly reminiscent of one of my favorite SNL characters, “Gilly” who was butt ass naked. It took me an open mouthed minute to digest why a woman would choose the sink over the shower? She was naked so there was clearly no uncomfortable feeling about locker room nudity (well at least not from her). She was barefoot so the fear of a bout of athlete’s foot was clearly dormant that day. There was no one in any of the showers so clearly she wasn’t rushed to be anywhere at 2:00 on a Sunday. I see no signage alluding to the presence of bio hazardous material being anywhere near the shower area but here she was dunking her white woman fro in the sink. I’ve seen people brush their teeth in that sink, I once blew a snot rocket in that sink and I’m sure as hell certain someone has vomited in that sink. Why is this woman with a giant head of hair selecting the sinks versus the showers??? She just worked out so I can’t imagine a strong desire to avoid rinsing off the rest of her body which means I was probably minutes away from a visual of vigorous towel wiping in crevices of all shapes and forms.

As always I prefer to consistently remain the weirdest one of them all so instead of taking a permanent mental picture for laughs and moving on I proceed to get caught staring at her by her as she went for one final head dunk keeping her face from submerging and eyes open in my direction. She looked like someone trying to cure hiccups by drinking water upside down. Do you know how awkward it is to make eye contact with someone that is naked, bent over, head slightly submerged and upside down while in a public bathroom? I should have just bypassed the hand dryer and ran out as there would be no chance of ever seeing this woman again but instead I took that as nonverbal queue to begin a conversation with her mid pert plus rinse by saying, “My mom always washes her hair in the sink because her it is really thin and she doesn’t want any more to fall out.” Now, I know that wasn’t really a question but more of a misplaced statement and I know we don’t know each other but still, I expected some sort of a response. Nope, nothing just continued eye contact followed by more silence so I excused myself and walked out kicking myself for pulling off an out weirding of the weird and then I reminded myself that she was the one washing her hair in a sink that I at one point in time welcomed my snot.

Sauna With A Side of TMI

I have determined that I must have kind eyes, or maybe a warm soul that can be seen from the outside, or potentially just a face that attracts honesty. I say this because it’s not just friends that when I inquire what they did the following weekend feel the need to reply with a person’s name or family members that see value in pointing out former potty training mishap hot spots over coffee but I find even complete strangers confide in me. They commit the cardinal sin that is “oversharing” and/or “TMI.” I think I first noticed this phenomenon when I was in the recruiting business and people would tell me things in interviews that were not included in the “what not to say in interviews” list because they were saved for the “how to not even get an interview” list. For instance one time as I greeted an interviewee that was 20 minutes late with a smile in return he greeted me with the following phrase, “I’m sorry I was late but this morning my poop was green.” I guess it was decided that “traffic was bad” is overused. I really took note of my truthful effect on people however when one time I chose my middle seat poorly on a Southwest flight nonstop to Oakland and I learned that 15 F had a carelessly scandalous past that left her with chlamydia in college and how painful it was to have had to troubleshoot through her sexual lovers from one weekend to determine who her STD donor was. I guess it’s easier to tell a stranger your morning fecal matter was a primary color because you will never see them again versus a friend that will tell the rest of your friends and I’m sure it’s easier to try and tell someone that you just met after 2 airplane bottles of Sutter Home’s White Zin about your whorish past to make an example out of versus telling your own daughter??

People that over share are normally no problem for me with the exception of the times when the person that is oversharing is 95% of the way naked. Which is why I did not do well when a man of 70 sat down in the sauna in his towel and within 2 minutes of staring into my shit brown eyes told me that he had forgotten his swim trunks so he unfortunately had nothing on underneath his towel. I felt we were past me reminding him of the swimsuit required bullet point in the posted co-ed sauna requirements consisting of only that bullet…. Despite my coy “oh, I won’t tell if you won’t” response and smug “he must have a shriveled ding-a-ling” demeanor I was inwardly uncomfortable. Sitting there knowing what I knew was like sitting next to someone 30 minutes after they had coffee and a bran muffin that excuses themselves to the bathroom. You know what’s going on, you don’t want to think about it and you don’t need to talk about it. As I sat and plotted my escape the silence was deafening. Why did he have to tell me that, now instead of simply ignoring the sight of gravity winning against 70 year old pectoral muscle atrophy I can’t look away? It’s like a sickness. It’s not like I actually want to see my first pair of old man balls it’s just the knowing that there is only a terry cloth that separates us is oddly exhilarating. His rapidly declining memory could forget that he is in mixed company without proper coverage and attempt a non-lady like leg cross and POOF an eye witness sauna ball encounter is born.  After 3 minutes I was just about to perform a faux quad stretch and tap out until he did the only thing worse than exposing himself. He got up, pointed in the direction of his crotch and asked me the following question “is this making you uncomfortable? Because truthfully I hate wearing anything in the sauna because everything sticks to me after 5 minutes and it’s more for me to wash later.” There was only response that seemed right for that so I got up and as I walked out I said, “Excuse me I’ll be right back I just have to slip into something more comfortable.”


 

 

 

The Photo Bomb

zach_braff_photobomb

 

Ah the wondrous new concept that is; The Selfie. The single reason I have made the life choice not to join Instagram which is one continuous picture feed of people with no one else around them and yet they are having an amazing time, oh and food. I’m not sure when this concept materialized and became all the rage but I’m pretty sure we can thank cell phones first and foremost. Thanks to the sophistication of phones people can snap shots of themselves anywhere (and I mean anywhere) because in high school before cameras on cell phones existed I do not remember anyone breaking out a cannon rebel camera, taking pictures of themselves, developing them and then handing their photos out in the school lunch room to friends and strangers? Thanks to flip phones being considered “high tech” when I was in college I have avoided having any “Throwback Thursday” pictures to post of me in a variety of different slutty costumes from themed sorority parties like; Slutty Italian Bridesmaid, Tropical Whore, Biker Bimbo, Tennis Hoe. You get the idea.

Maybe I’m just bitter because I can’t seem to find an angle when trying to take a picture of myself that doesn’t add a second chin but either way it does tend to annoy me that nowadays people can’t just walk into a bathroom at da club, use it, wash their hands, perform the necessary hair and makeup check and then rejoin their friends. No, of course not, you have to pop a hip, turn to the side, suck in your cheeks (giving those that haven’t seen you in a while the belief that you may have lost a significant amount of weight) snap a picture and upload it to all of your social media platforms with a caption like, “The Club can’t handle this girl right now.” I have actually walked in on a girl in a restaurant bathroom that looked as if she was mid selfie photo shoot forcing it to come to a screaming awkward halt. (Awkward for her not me as I was rather amused). Like the thoughtful person I am of course I asked if she wanted me to take her picture. Her looked suggested disgust and question like I was the weirdo for asking such a preposterous question when just seconds prior she took a photo of herself with the hand dryer which would only be acceptable if she was a green peace board member or the inventor of hand dryers. I am most doubtful she is either. The only time you need to institute the selfie is when you are taking one of your private parts that will be sent to an individual in the medical profession most certainly with a caption that says, “Is this normal?”

As much as the bathroom selfie chaps my hide the gym selfie really gets my goad. It’s the double dosage of vein because most of the captions probably look like this, “Get it right get it tight,” “Keeping this body fit,” “Gots to look fly even at the gym,” “No one said looking this good didn’t mean hard work,” and finally “Want this bootie? Than you better work, bitch.” The other day I took a gym selfie of just my shirt, cropped out my face and arms and I still looked like shit! Half the time I walk around and I see people who do about 40% of a work out and 60% of a photo shoot involving only them which is exactly what I observed the other day. There was a girl in hot pants and what appeared to be some sort of work out tube top with bright pink tennis shoes, hair in a bun that I bet was filled with one of those volume adding hair doughnuts and pink weight lifting gloves taking numerous photos of herself. She was rotating through a wave of emotions with each photo. There were the serious shots, the sexy shots, some funny shots and even a few deep thought shots. If that were me I would at least be a little more discrete but not this gym bunny, she was determined to capture the perfect, “I’m at the gym and you’re probably at home eating ice cream” Facebook selfie post. She was so self-involved she didn’t even notice that I had been staring at her for 10 minutes while I curled my biceps in disgust. I’m not sure if Zack Braff inspired me but I felt the natural and right thing to do in this instance was institute a photo tradition that I do happen to approve of and that is; “The Photo Bomb.” So somewhere out there in instagram land there is probably a slutty gym selfie that was unknowingly photo bombed by a girl that looks like she has been entrenched in PMS for 30 days.

The Silent Treatment


 

Passive Agressive

There is nothing worse than going up against a passive aggressive person. Well, I guess there are worse things like not being able to go number 2 the day after Thanksgiving while at a Wal-Mart directly after a grown man has stolen a flat screen TV on sale for $50 right out of your clenches but in terms of personalities, aggression in the most passive form is quite terrible. We all have that one friend or maybe 5 that punishes you with silence. You know what I’m talking about. The one that post mid-thirties disagreement logs onto Google and see’s your G-chat circle turn green and then instantly disappears so they can avoid communication and continue the silent treatment. I usually use humor to try and mend those fences like posting a funny someecard on their Facebook wall that is usually from the “friendship” category that says something like, “I know you will always be there for me especially when you call me back.” That card generally gets deleted by the time I’ve checked back for some sort of acknowledgment in the form of a peace offering comment or at the very least a “like” showing me there is still hope for the friendship.  That’s the same friend that conveniently has the “read receipt” feature on their iPhone that confirms they have read the text you have sent in which you are still waiting for a response. That may be the most passive aggressive feature ever invented. It basically tells the other person that yes, I have read your text and it was either not worthy of a response (meaning it was stupid) or I have several other more important things to do then get back to you and I frankly I am still mildly displeased with you.  It should probably show up under the message in bold red all caps followed by an exclamation point for the recipient because after 3 days of no response that’s what it starts to look like (READ! )

If you don’t have the passive aggressive friend than you most certainly have the passive aggressive co-worker. Those are equally as terrible. Those are the ones that say something condescendingly bitchy in an email and then end it with a smiley face icon and always have an annoying closing signage like, “Best Wishes, Jane Smith.” They always reply back to emails you have sent where you haven’t utilized spellcheck or diplomacy and add half the company to the CC list.  They are also the ones that call a meeting in which you are an integral part of the subject and yet seem to “forget” to invite you so someone eventually forwards you the invite that somehow always lands in a timeslot already booked. You never confront this person mid break room you simply hope that person will experience explosive diarrhea during peak work bathroom hours so that no one will ever take them seriously again as they are now associated with unpleasant pooping.

The other day at the gym I wasn’t sure who was more passive aggressive; me or the front desk attendant. It simply baffles me that there is a need for a minimum of 3 people to stand at the desk especially since they have introduced the fingerprint recognition system that duals as a staph infection landing strip of sorts. I understand the need for one person to man the desk and tell people to have a good workout but the 2 person support system is 16/hr that could be applied to the repair of half the machines that have had a sign stuck to them for the past week that says, “This machine is out of order, sorry for the inconvenience. Thank you, management.” As I walked in and stepped up to the plate I noticed 3 mid 20’s employees gathered around (1 guy and 2 girls). Within 5 seconds it was clear that at least 2 of the 3 had slept together at some point but that’s beside the point. One of the girls walked over to the computer in front of my fingerprint machine and I’m guessing she was waiting for a phrase in size 68 font to pop up that said “Cori is approved” or whatever they have to wait for before they greet you and while waiting I asked the following very pertinent question, “So, now that these fingerprint recognition machines seem to be doing the trick how long will they really need people to work at the front desk?” Yes, yes I know that seems like a bitching question to ask because what the not so secret meaning behind that question was, “When are you getting fired?” I’m not sure if it was a rogue PMS day or a missed coffee morning but it just kind of came out of my mouth. Trust me it was matched with an equally aggressive side of passive response as the girl said, “as long as people still have stupid questions we will still need to have someone at the front desk.” And then she hit me with the dagger; “Hopefully you have a good workout??” I personally translated that to say, as long as idiots like you walk through these doors and open their big fat mouths I will still have a job and by the way try and have a good work out because you look like you could use some toning in 2-5 areas. I think it’s pretty obvious that the silent treatment is the natural next step.

What Does The Scale Say?


 

I never weigh myself. Why would I really need to weigh myself when I have an indicator in the form of 8 pairs of jeans that if they no longer need a belt is no big deal but if they no longer need a top button then Houston, we have a problem? It’s a trivial number that only comes up once every 10 years when you have to renew your driver’s license and even then you‘re probably going to lie about that number anyway. This is why I don’t keep a scale in my house and I never feel the need to pony up to one at someone else’s house but so many people keep scales in their homes and it’s strange but I always notice how the scale is located consistently in the guest bathrooms? Is that supposed to take the place of a “woman’s basket” display filled with body spray, tampons, mints and hand towels because that sounds much better. It’s not like the scale ever matches the countertop tile and they are almost always at least 10 years old so I could never imagine an interior decorator looking in at the bathroom and saying to themselves, “you know what’s missing in this bathroom, a scale.”

The way I see it is the guest bathroom is like a homeowner’s nemesis. It’s the room you always have to have cleaned and presentable at all times and yet you yourself never use it. You are literally having to constantly clean up after other peoples waste and let’s face it everyone has a few friends and family members with less than amazing bathroom etiquette or a new gluten/dairy allergy they haven’t yet gotten a grasp on. So I guess it makes sense that people would place their scale in the guest bathroom as a means of punishment. Like a “screw you, if you are going to blow up my bathroom and then make me clean up after you like a janitor for the next visit then you can at least feel bad about your weight when you’re done” I was recently at a friend’s house using there bathroom and noticed the scale on the floor in between the toilet and the sink and sure enough a chrome scale didn’t match pastel wall tones and floral print hand towels but there it was. What was annoying was that even as someone who never weighs themselves and has no concern with a number that is best obtained first thing in the morning when fully naked all of the sudden I found myself wondering what I weigh. So sure enough I stepped on the scale and when I looked down I saw the machine thinking. Just going up and down like a super lotto tracker before it stopped, and instead of landing on a triple digit winner I received an “error” message. Great, so you are going to taunt me, tease me and then torture me by not telling me if I match the number on my driver’s license.

Now, it’s totally normal to have scales speckled all throughout the gym. Naturally people are there that care about their physical well-being or it’s simply just the month of January. However the scales they supply at the gym are not electronic. They look more like something found in a mid-century torture chamber and could have been invented in and around the same time as the wheel. I’m not even sure I know how to operate one without assistance so just another reason I don’t feel the need to try my hand at that sophisticated level of machinery in an effort to determine my weight minus 5 pounds for excess ”miscellaneous”. This was not the case for my locker room mate the other day who also didn’t fully grasp the inner workings of the 1700’s gym scale. She unlike me was not afraid to ask for help. Now, it’s not awkward trying to assist someone in moving a little metal square across a metal bar and then adjusting a different metal square down the other way on a different metal bar directly above the first metal bar. It just takes precision, simple finger dexterity and a hint of focus. I have all of those things however it’s hard for me to have all of those things working simultaneously when the person on the scale directly in front of you is completely naked in order to obtain an accurate weight and that accurate number you are striving for ended up to be this….

scale

 

I Heart Radio


 

I love music. I love all types of music with the exception of country. Yes, I successfully spent 5 years at a college where some of my friends BYO‘d their horse and the sound of diesel coming from a dually was like white noise and yet I managed to walk away still not a fan of men and woman singing about high school sweethearts and light beer. Outside of that I think of my musical stylings as quite diverse. Take my list of Pandora stations that reads like this; Madonna (if you know me at all that’s a big, DUH), Britney Spears (even when she was bald I knew she would make a comeback), The Black Keys (who doesn’t support bands that no matter how big they get concert tickets never exceed $30), Kid Cudi (420 friendly), Pearl Jam (any band that has a whole Sirius radio station deserves a slot in my Pandora), The Beatles (who doesn’t love a British accent), Icona Pop (I refuse to believe they are a one hit wonder), Common (I got soul and a fetish for black men in paperboy hats), LCD Soundsystem (it’s how I make small talk with mid 20’s hipsters) and 80’s Hits (because come on, I’m only human).

The beautiful thing with music for me is that some songs can serve as the one motivation outside of the loss of your muffin top throughout a work out at the gym, also you can have that one song that when you hear in the club after 2 cocktails you suddenly have the ability to drop down and get your eagle on no matter what race or nationality you are(that songs usually changes each month, for instance this month if I heard Lady Gaga and R. Kelly’s “Do what you want with my body” in a bar, someone would get pregnant)and some songs bring back memories that correlate to a specific event or whole time periods in your life. Like every time I hear songs from 90’s grunge bands it takes me back to my awkward middle school days when I would wear pajama pants to school, had a Walkman, wore different color eyeliner only on the lower lid and I mourned the loss of Kurt Cobain in my black light covered room. When I hear “Baby One More Time” I think of only shoe shopping at Steve Madden and the end of only utilizing one of your back pack straps. When I hear the song, “Pony” by Genuine I think of hundreds of boys and girls mounting up on a high school dance floor and getting in the doggy style position because in my day we called that “freak dancing” and men were always in the back making the “yeah, someday soon” face and woman were always bent over with one hand throwing up the “slut in training fist pump” in front.

high-school-dirty-dancing

When I hear any of the J Lo JaRule duets it just takes me back to college days when you moved the freak train to bar and then some guys shared bedroom. Even today I know that in a few years down the road when the “Adult Hit” radio station is playing “Royals” it will remind me of the time when I drove a car that didn’t have the modern technology of satellite radio so I was forced to listen to old school radio where one song met the criterion for the “Pop Hip Hop,” “Alternative Rock,” “American top 20,” “Top 20 for the over 40,” “Questionable for Radio Hip Hop,” and “Hipsters Only” radio stations.

The other day at the gym I was dying to know what beats the girl on the elliptical next to me was bumping. Whatever it was it was inspiring moves I once saw in a Destiny’s Child video. This girl was really feeling it like Bugga Boo style just hands in the air, hips popping and overall body rocking moves. She made me look like a Norah Jones video. Despite the fact that she was mouthing lyrics I could not determine what the jam was so with the friendliest and most neighborly intensions I asked her as she dismounted what song she was rocking out to? She smiled, removed one ear bud and just as I thought we were both going to say, “Crazy in Love” at the same time she flipped a bitch on me and said, “Karma Chameleon by Culture Club.” How could I have forgotten the 80’s mix because she’s only human?

Shower Not A Grower


 

jon-hamm-penis

 

As adults most of us are still big wimps deep down. We all have that one thing or for me 2 handfuls of things that make our skin crawl or simply freaks us out.  Realistically and hopefully one of those adult fears is not sleeping without the comfort of a nightlight but it’s perfectly ok to pull your shower curtain completely back before you go to bed to assure you that when your over 30 overactive nighttime bladder forces you to get up in the middle of the night no one related to Norman Bates is hiding with an ax on the other side.  Checking under your bed or in your closet every night may be a bit of a stretch in your own home but should be standard operating procedure for hotel and vacation rental stays. I have a dear friend that is deathly afraid of spiders. So much so that she will still shake out shoes from her closet that are not in the everyday rotation, she will perform a bed sheet check prior to entrance nightly and still lives in a state of unrest knowing that there is a statistic somewhere out there stating all humans swallow at least 3-5 spiders a year and because she tends to sleep with a wide open mouth she understands her number could be much higher. That dear friend is me. Sometimes you have only a temporary fear that is induced from a movie, TV or the evening news that evokes a heightened sense of unrest for the week following and then it is forgotten like when I watched the movie “The Ring” in college and tried to convince my roommate that we no longer needed a TV.

I never expected to have a situation at the gym that would bring about one of those fears haunting me for the rest of my life and the whole week following but I also never expected Heidi Klum and Seal to divorce so I guess anything’s possible.  I will preface this story with the fact that I was mid early bird workout so while I am normally a bit more alert and nimble 20 minutes into a level 5 “random hill” elliptical session before 7am I am a bit more lifeless looking which means it takes something so alarming and quite shocking to put a pep in my step. Thankfully many moons ago when the particular downtown gym I was at was built there was a pervert at the helm that designed the cardio floor to look into an all glass co-ed spa, sauna and steam room area so looking straight ahead on the stair master almost always means watching 4 buoyant men in a hot tub soaking their back hair next to 3 half-naked father figures glistening on their way to and from the steam room and sauna.

On this particular morning out of the corner of my eye I noticed a large middle aged black man exiting the sauna headed for the door to the main cardio area where I was (and no that was not the reason I was struck with fear and shaken to core). There was nothing out of the normal about any of these events until the door swung upon and he faced me. I went from a slow climb to pulsing power walk. My eyes went from half-baked to half bulged. I was horrified. This man had probably just spent the last 20 minutes in 130 degree heat wearing cycling shorts that were sopping wet and clinging to anything and everything and he was coming at me with all 3 legs. It was literally the biggest appendage I’d actually never seen. It was scarier than googling “Does John Hamm wear underwear.”  Without even knowing it I had tightened and bat down every open hatch I had. It was like an inner coping mechanism. Within a millisecond I’d felt the overwhelming urge to name it? It looked like a sleeping giant resting on the man’s quad with his head placed softly on the man’s knee until awakened. It was like a lunar eclipse they don’t happen very often and you can’t look away. I wished so desperately that there was someone next to me I could turn to and confirm that yes, we had just spotted the lock nest monster but I was alone until he turned around and I saw my reflection in the mirror only it wasn’t me it was a woman on the scale trying to find a way to make the metal square stop at 140 that turned for a second and saw what I had just seen. Her reaction confirmed the fear that lives within all woman and some men that somewhere out there a man walks among us with a Guinness world record for largest shower woman and gay men everywhere hope is not a grower.

Enough With The Small Talk Already


 

After an experience I recently had in the gym locker room I looked up the phrase, “small talk” just to be sure I hadn’t been misinterpreting the phrase for the last 30 years. Thankfully it is indeed how I always remembered it to be. Light and uncontroversial chit chat most commonly used at parties. 2 things really stick out in my head when I read that. 1) “Uncontroversial” and 2) “at parties.” Sure, at parties with mixed company yes, light simple banter is very common but I think you can expand the location to places such as an elevator, like the other day when I was riding up the 3 floors with thy neighbor. It’s weird to not say anything for 3 floors in a slightly slower than average operating elevator so the simplest form of small talk in this instance is to inquire how someone’s day is going. The beauty of that is that it doesn’t matter if you are having the best day ever or the shittiest day, the response is and should always be a lie in the form of, “great thanks and you?” If I were to have responded truthfully to that question on that particular day my response would have sounded more like this, “Meh, I’m PMSing so I feel like I have been in a bad mood for 3 days and it’s November so naturally I assumed I should dress for cooler weather but was fooled again by a San Diego fall and became a bloated woman wearing a sweater in 81 degrees i.e. a ticking time bomb, how are you?” That is definitely not a small talk response for a stranger in close quarters that response is saved for your roommate on the couch in sweatpants watching a Bravo marathon or face-timing with a non-judgmental sibling.

Another place that we introduce small talk is at bars and restaurants. I work in a bar so I have mastered the art of useless conversation thought to meaningful but there is always that one patron that tries to break me who has generally surpassed a 2 drink on an empty stomach secret personal limit set for themselves (85% of the time female) that decides to expand the simple conversation into something that best be saved for a Dr.’s office where they can legally prescribe medicine following. I’m always smiling but I’m really thinking how did we go from talking about the new menu items to your ugly divorce last year and your teenage daughter whom you suspect might be a floosy? Once again, not a shining example of how to engage in small talk when faced with a surrounding that is conducive for such.

The gym locker room while maybe an outlier example of a place for small talk as it is not a place to lollygag due to odd smells and high instances of mixed company nudity was not where I saw myself faced with the need have simple discussion but sure enough as I was washing my hands in the locker room there was a lady positioned at the hand dryer, naked, with a full 70’s bush that was hell bent on discussing Obamacare with me. I guess it was the fact that I was washing my potentially disease ridden hands in a red shirt that triggered her thought of getting sick after she lost her single coverage insurance 3 months from now and was still not able to log into the website that made her approach me and strike up such a controversial discussion point. Maybe if we were both clothed in a family owned and operated coffee shop and I was reading the New York Times I would have thought nothing of this but really in a gym locker room with one of us fully nude harboring a bird’s nest down below??? This is a prime example of what I did not find when I looked up “small talk” online. If I can lie to my nosey kind faced neighbor about my mood and redirect a scorned intoxicated divorcé back to a new smoked salmon menu item than I can certainly defuse a middle aged naked republican mid bathroom. So being what I consider a master at small talk I wiped my hands dry on my pants in an effort to avoid having to share a hand dryer and said, “well, what are we waiting for, let’s get out there and bag husbands with big corporation health coverage and be done with this bronze, silver and gold coverage nonsense.” Of course under my breath I walked away saying, “it’s going to be hard to bag a husband with a feminine upkeep routine that looks like that vintage porno I got my hands on awhile back entitled ‘One Night in the Forrest’.”

Metal Mouth

braces

 

I’m not sure if it’s because I avoid spending time around many kids or if crooked teeth are cool but I feel like kids no longer have to suffer through their angst filled teen years with a set a railroad tracks held together by a rainbow of different rubber band colors on their teeth. Where are all the pre-teens in braces at? It’s like it wasn’t bad enough that you were socially awkward, packed full of hormones, in your first underwire, had your first wet dream, taking medicine for acne that makes it worse before it makes it better why not have to slam your mouth full of metal making it 100% certain that when you smile there will be bits of chicken, turkey, lettuce or a snickers bar caught behind bars. Back then almost everyone at some point had braces so no one knew that a make out session ending in a mouth full of blood wasn’t the norm. There were only a handful of kids that managed to go through middle school and high school with perfect teeth that would offer you gum when they knew damn well that was a dance with a devil in brace face world. I just imagine those kids to have grown a snaggle tooth in their mid-twenties or forced into invisaline as an adult.

When you had braces there was only one light at the end of the tunnel, only one thing you looked forward too; getting your first retainer. Not an open mouth smile on picture day, it wasn’t the thought of no longer having cut up lips, not even the tastes of a tootsie roll. Nope, it was the blue, pink or green contraption that you got to take on an off with your tongue that your parents at one point dug through the trash for or was taken by a family pet or simply left behind and replaced by an exact replica only in a different color.

Man am I thankful those days are long gone and I’ve moved up in the world to a 31 year old night time grinder forced into evening wear in the form of a mouth guard. Because nothing spells H-O-T like a football player mouth piece and an insta-lisp. Suddenly being in the dentist chair feels like a brush of high school De-Ja-Vu when the dentist makes a comment like, “I can tell you’ve been grinding. Have you been wearing your night guard to bed?” Thank god I’m not a high schooler so I can reply with things like, “no, because I’ve been trying to get laid” or “would you really have sex with someone who slobbers when after midnight they say words with an ‘sh’ in them?”

As someone that has navigated through braces, retainers, head gear and now a mouth guard I clearly understand the meaning of struggle. The lady at the center of the weight room who was grunting so loud she mirrored the sound of a birthing wing filled with 10 woman all crowning at the same time who was bench pressing the bar ONLY has no understanding of struggle. In the many years since high school I have matured which is why in an effort to not act like a high school bully I most certainly did not approach the bench and inquire if a weight belt and a spotter are really necessary.

 

Walk This Way


 

Living in an urban downtown area in a city you see interesting things. You see a lot of public urination, black out induced brawls, countless dog owners and little to no grass. I have to say that one of my favorite sightings however is that of the walk of shame. Whether it’s the product of a one night stand or a relationship on the down low they all equal either the same clothes from the night before, someone else’s clothes from the night before, disheveled hair, for males 5 o’clock shadow at 7 am or for females smeared eyeliner, runny mascara and little to no remaining concealer. It’s a bit easier to detect the female walk of shame then the male because women don’t really wear tube dresses at 7:30 in the morning but if they do it’s probably zipped up all the way and paired with pristine makeup and they probably have their heels on versus holding them in hand while traipsing barefoot through the city streets whereas an unshaven and un-showered male in a button down and jeans doesn’t serve as a dead giveaway. For males you have to look closely for some sort of hand stamp or brightly colored and tattered wrist band to know for certain of his last night’s activities versus simply spotting a brooding early riser.

Somehow the female walk of shame is always more tragic and yet more entertaining and it’s funny how different the female walk of shame looks through the years. There is a very distinct difference between the post college walk of shame versus the college walk of shame. In college, walk of shame was literal. Like you literally had to walk to your home the next morning. It wasn’t a far walk but it seemed much shorter the night before after 8 consecutive games of a beer pong winning streak. Most people lived on one of the 6 major streets surrounding the campus so there was no such thing as a cab and all of your friends were still passed out or capable of blowing a .25 the next morning so you had no choice but to hoof it. The post college walks of shame usually just mean walking to your car parked near a bar or walking to a busy intersection to hail a cab (because now you can afford one whereas in college a cab would tap into your post bar late night Taco Bell funds). One of the other major differences in a college versus post college walk of shame is next day attire. In college if you were lucky enough to go home with a “gentleman” who “never did that sort of thing” he probably supplied you with a pair of basketball shorts that went passed your knees but oddly still fit snugly in the waist and one of his fraternity/sports team/intermural (or whatever his chosen extracurricular college path)  T-shirts. Walking through the red solo cup filled college streets the next morning wearing that getup is a dead giveaway. While making that pilgrimage home it just takes one sighting from some sorority girl to be labeled “the Kappa Sig Slut” for the rest of your sophomore year. For the post college walk of shame the attire looks a bit different. Men usually don’t give away their favorite basketball shorts and fraternity T-shirts no longer fit but in the event that you go home with a “gentlemen” that “hasn’t had a one night stand since college” you usually leave in a shirt that buttons down,  has a collar and at one point in time saw the inside of a dry cleaners. For those that don’t find that gentlemanly one night lover the next day looks a bit different. You have to piece together as best you can your outfit from the night before that never looks as good 12 hours later. In college that outfit was probably the remnants of a homemade slightly slutty garb suitable for a themed party and after college it is probably a slightly slutty pencil skirt with a shirt that has a plunging neckline. The odds that you have some part of your ensemble from the night before in your purse are highly plausible and the chances that you have any remaining makeup on are slim making you the equivalent of a walking corpse. Those walk of shames generally mean someone was either kicked out or forced to flee on their own accord.

It’s a normal thing to drive through a college town at 8:00 in the morning on a Saturday and see that poor hung over sorority girl walking around with the hope of a potential new relationship or the fear that she is pregnant. It’s completely natural while waiting in line at your favorite downtown vegan organic coffee house for a cappuccino at 7:30 am on a Friday to see a woman in heels, jeans, one earing, half ponytail and a men’s dress shirt searching for her car. It is not normal however to see a girl wearing men’s oversized basketball shorts, and a men’s button down dress shirt with flip flops at the gym in the weight room. I couldn’t tell if she was a junior in college that slept with the Director of Customer Relations or a corporate cougar that went home with the intermural basketball shooting guard. She was the ultimate walk of shame oxymoron. Either way she should know that exercise the next morning has not yet been proven to have the same effect as Plan B.

Mrs. “I Have No Boundaries,”

personal space


 

Personal space. Everyone has different parameters and boundaries and even those can change depending on if you are friend, family member or stranger at the bar. For instance if you are family then by all means grab my wine glass and take a swig as whatever’s mine is yours but if you are merely an acquaintance then get your own glass for I am not aware of what your life health chart states and will assume you have a checkered past and am not ok with the phrase, “it’s not contagious unless I’m in outbreak state.”

The other day I was in line at Trader Joes waiting anxiously to see if my 4 individual apples would be counted as one or individually which would then put me at 14 items which is in fact 2 items over the “12 items or less” requirements for the express lane causing the checkout clerk to make a scene and condescendingly remind me what 14 items looks like by recounting them out loud holding the 13th and 14th item hostage with a “go fuck yourself” smile. (Not saying that has ever happened to me but I have heard horror stories)While I was waiting I felt the presence of someone that was indeed too close to my behind for me to maintain comfort. When you can feel someone’s breath on your neck and they are not trying to seduce you, then that person is invading your personal space. If that man were to feel a slight tickle in his nasal passageway causing him to sneeze I would have been showered. He was so close I could smell the exact ingredients of his lunchtime stir fry. (free range chicken, red onions and bell peppers of assorted color)Typically in a situation like this I will turn around and slap the person with a stank eye but gramps behind me was so close that if I turned and faced him we would have had an accidental and very unwanted make out so I had to literally spread my feet out to establish a strong base in order to lean forward while cranking my neck 180 degrees to allow for the appropriate upper lip curl, furrowed brow, deep sighed facial bitch slap I threw out at this man.  Normally this has a 95% success rate. That day it was in the other 5% and during my check out the man was still maintaining a less than 12 inch hover radius enabling him to see me type in my birthday despite Wells Fargo’s recommendation not to use that as the secret pin for your debit card.

As irritating as that situation was it still didn’t hold a candle to the personal boundary broken by the lady stretching next to me at the gym prior. Stretching for me loosely means taking a break while holding the butterfly position while I confirm all the day’s celebrity breaking news. Like the upstanding civilian I am I go to the corner of the mat leaving ample space for 3 to maybe 4 more average sized patrons to get loose so you can imagine my level of angst when a lady decided to sit down right next to me leaving enough space for a dinner knife to rest lengthwise between us…. Why!?!? There is a whole mat out there for you why right next to me. Unless you are saving a seat for 3 friends this is entirely unacceptable. I don’t know you, you don’t know me or if I had beans for lunch and I don’t see the sweat stained outline of someone’s butt on the other side of the mat which would be the only reason I would welcome someone into this proximity. Because I’m not a total bitch I can’t instantly get up and walk away so I have to keep the butterfly hold for at least 5 more minutes while trying not to knock knees with my new neighbor which wouldn’t have been the most horrible thing until she looked at me and said, “be careful because I am getting over poison oak on my leg. The doctor said it’s not contagious anymore but I just didn’t want you to accidentally touch it.” There is no preparing for situations like these nor is there ever a “right” response for statements like this because in my eyes I would really love to say something in the ballpark of, “I wouldn’t want to accidentally touch your leg if you had just shaved and exfoliated while in the shower followed by the application of a moisture intensive lotion so I definitely don’t want to have an accidental leg brush with someone who is in the recovery stages of poison oak so if you have placed yourself close enough to warrant providing  me with a verbal warning you have unwisely given me way more compassion than I deserve. Excuse me while I immediately go shower, shave, exfoliate and apply a moisture intensive lotion to my legs.

Clean Up On Isle 6

TSA


 

When was the last time you had to fly somewhere? I would guess most people have had to reach a destination by way of air within the last 10 years or so which means you have had to submissively square off with the dreaded TSA agent. The TSA officer being the person that couldn’t make it as a police officer but had there shit together enough to avoid being the next “Paul Blart Mall Cop.” The TSA agent doesn’t care if you’re a 7 year old child or a frail woman of 90 because their need to engage in a necessary pat down shows no profiling. Now if you have traveled in the last 10 years than you should also know of 2 very important antiterrorist precautions we have put in place that are indeed as outlandish as they sound. 1) Shoes are the most realistic place to harbor anything that requires detonation which means you must never forget to wear socks even though a bare foot in a slip on sandal sounds more practical. 2) Liquids of any kind weighing more than 4 ounce are at their most suspicious so it should come as no surprise that an Aquafina water bottle is a potential threat and should not be left in your hand or stuffed in the depths of a diaper bag prior to your barefoot death march en route to receive your monthly radiation dosage. It’s amazing how many people still get defensive when it has been discovered that they are trying to carry on a full size bottle of Head and Shoulders 2 in one shampoo, yelling out things like “do I really look like a terrorist.” If TSA agents had the sense of humor of Southwest flight attendants they would reply with fun things like, “no sir, you don’t. You look like a man battling a dry scalp that’s afraid to wear black shirts but what am I supposed to do only ban people from carrying on liquids if they have a turban on?” I think the important message here is that by now we should all know what an approved item is and what isn’t when traveling on an airplane.

One place where it is a bit unclear what items or on the approved list or not is the gym and more specifically the gym locker room which is why I felt ok about bringing the wine I had purchased for my Monday night consumption in to the gym with me to avoid unnecessary heat exposure. Besides they are well secured in my purse so it’s not like I am just carrying it like a baby on my way in because that would definitely be weird and highly inappropriate. By now I think I have made it very clear that public nudity is not something I find thrilling so obviously when I get to the locker room I’m not thinking about securing my wine someplace safe I’m thinking of how not to let the lady next to me get a peek at my butt. The only problem with mapping out a rapid change of pants is that it included basically throwing my purse down and immediately dropping trough. The only problem with throwing my purse down is that if the base doesn’t hit square in the middle of the bench the contents within are at risk to shift to one side causing it to fall completely off the bench forcing things that are supposed to remain inside to come flying out  exposing themselves. None of this would be a big deal if it were a super jumbo tampon, a condom, a row of birth control pills or some spare change but when it’s a glass filled wine bottle and it breaks forming a Red Sea replica it’s quite disturbing to thy neighbor. In this situation if I had an optimistic “glass half full” mentality this wouldn’t be that bad because now it isn’t the pale shade of my ass that the lady next to me is horrified by it is the shard of glass 2 feet from her bare foot. Do you know how hard it is to explain to a front desk attendant at the gym that you have just broken a bottle of wine in the ladies locker room? Now, tack on the fact that I taste wine for a living and when you taste a lineup up Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Malbecs you don’t have to tell the world with words because the color of your teeth say it all so now imagine what your reaction would be? It’s hard enough trying to explain to educated friends, family and strangers that I’m a lady and  I don’t swallow I spit therefore I don’t actually get paid to black out let alone a gym employee that is mopping up the wine bottle you broke in what they are assuming was your drunken stupor.  I’m certainly not a terrorist but my gym TSA agent let me know that bringing glass/alcohol into the gym while not prohibited was not recommended. Looks like we aren’t going to rejoice and hold hands due to the fact that only one of the two bottles I had smuggled in my purse broke so I can still make it a marvelous Monday!

spill

That is Sooo Fetch

Nokia-5110-03

Trendy? When I think of that concept I think of so many things that are good, bad and unflattering. I think of things that were trendy when I was in high school like Nokia phones with changeable faceplate covers and buying black pants at The Limited for dances.  Now I only buy black pants at the Limited if they are referred to as “work slacks” and they are 3 times more expensive than what I would have had my mom spend in 1996 and because it was decided that taking 20 minutes to T9 your friend “Hi” was entirely too much to do behind the wheel even flip phones are so last decade let alone a Nokia 6100 series with 7 different face plates for each day of the week.

It’s not even just clothing that can be trendy now, the concept of trendy or not or cool or uncool has infiltrated all facets of life these days. I was recently at a restaurant that used to have a beet salad appetizer as well as a brussel sprout dish I always loved and when I inquired what happened the response I got was, “beets and brussels are very last year.” Last year?  So, you’re saying there is going to be like a close out at Ralphs or I should probably see if TGI Fridays is now serving a brussel sprouts and bacon app on happy hour? There you have it we can now label the person shoveling a multi colored beet salad in their mouth a loser and look forward to a year of broccolini and kale as that appears to have been brought back as some sort of retro veggie we used to hate but now turned cool. What kind of world do we live in where there is a cool way to get your 5 a day and then there are those whom we will call nerds who still think of an inorganic root vegetable as the perfect summer appetizer?

Even vacation destinations are trendy. Last year the cool new thing to do was jet off to Croatia for a summer vacation and now if you mention that you’re contemplating spending a week in Dubrovnik all the cool kids look at you like you just said you were spending a week at a Sandals resort with your grandparents in Florida. You are better off lying and telling someone you have to get caught up on all vaccinations and take a week of malaria pills for whatever the name of the small third world country is  you are going to next winter because trips in the middle of winter are the new “summer vacation.” ‘

The gym is certainly no exception to what’s “in” or “out.” Even workouts or trendy. Sadly crossfit is a rapidly rising new workout trend that has taken half the US hostage and now we have a lot of former crack house renovations to look forward to keep up with the amount of new crossfit headquarters opening all over the country. Before crossfit it was Bar Method which was a form of yoga combined with palates that had sex with a ballerina and of course Yoga which will remain forever timeless. The work out I chose to be a part of the other day went out in the early 90’s. That would be the class I fondly remember as cardio kickboxing however now I believe they have gone through a rebranding of sorts and it is now referred to simply as Kickboxing. When I was in high school if you took a cardio kick class you were basically like a bad ass with the makings of a bully in the works now, not so much. Now when you walk in to a class that consists of 8 women in leopard spandex you can bet you are not setting a trend. It’s like the class people take when all other classes are full and you are incapable of working out without a signup sheet and an instructor. Even the instructor is a burn out. Her resume has 20 years of kickboxing teaching history and 3 online certifications and she still thinks wearing a sweat band is the same as a barb wire bicep tattoo. You can’t even stretch a cardio kicking boxing class to an hour they are all 45 minutes of my high school pop mix comprised of Britney Spears, N’Sync, Backstreet Boys and 98 Degrees. I completely understand why and how this workout went out of style. For one it’s really just a glorified aerobics step class with a couple air sparring techniques raveled into some sort of jumbled 8 count. Secondly, there is no boxing of any kind. From the outside I’m quite certain we resembled some sort of injury rehabilitation class and that’s why there was so much limping and poor shoulder extension capabilities. I wonder if weightlifting is uncool if you’re not in training for an adult fitness competition.