July 31, 2010

Day 335-Old Friends & Sexy New Moves

The best thing about heading down South is catching up with old friends. The best thing about heading South for a bachelorette weekend? Time spent catching up with old friends sans boyfriends & husbands. Everyone is off the market at least for the weekend!

The next best thing about being in the South again? The prices. $3 margarita? Yes, please may I have another? And we did. Multiple times with multiple pitchers. Coupled with our fabulous maracas (yes, must have noisemakers) and yummy Mexican food, we kicked off Bachelorette #1's weekend in fine form.

I was immediately pegged as a Charlotte (as in Sex & the City) by the random guy we met who had been trained in "interrogation." Not sure what this says about my first impression though he thought I was the "honest" one, whatever that means. But other than his trio and the cop we befriended to the point of taking our picture in the street, we were free of males for the night which left us at prime point to torture the bride with intimate tell-all games and many forms of the male appendage. Apparently, appendage is what the girls are calling it these days? Frankly, I've never heard the word used so many times until last night. Guys may have their strip clubs, but rest assured, we ladies have our own methods for exploiting the opposite sex. I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard.

Until this morning, when we turned in the lovely Pleasantville-ish neighborhood, The Ivy, and found ourselves in our talented new friend's home with lines of chairs, men's ties & boas littering the floor, and a pole as the focal point of living room where one would normally put a dining room table.

We chugged some mimosas to create some magic and began our tutorial: strip tease for your lover-101. While the secret moves can't be shared with any old Joe, I can reveal that most of what we learned can be done in a folding chair for any couple's convenience. Begin with the stage call, your time to set the mood. Then, start your figure 8 hip circles. This is your go-to step. Trace the lines of your body up and down and frame your "cookie." Move slow. This is not time for showing how fast you can vibrate booty parts. When in doubt what to do next? Return to your figure 8's and JUST KEEP MOVING.

Things I learned?

-A dance background does not equip you any better for stripping

-Seduction isn't easy and requires practice

-It's sweaty, and not in a good way

-You must have long legs in order to step up & down from chairs without flipping over backwards (I know from multiple experiences)

-Pole dancing should be limited to when you have a pole actually screwed in to the ceiling. Otherwise, said pole will not support your weight, let alone any fancy turns no matter how much you want to try them out

-A sexy poker face is a necessity. If you're laughing like a hyena, it's probably not going to work for any man, no matter how much you nail the moves

-Prepared to be scared/scarred by friends' flexibility, ability to whip an imaginary boy into submission with a tie, and secret moves that should be kept behind closed doors

-Know whether you want to be in a video. You will be asked.

-It's possible that your teacher will also be clairvoyant and/or a tarot card reader. Find out if there are 2 for 1 specials before booking your lesson.

Most of all? I suggest all women have such a lesson with close friends. Not that our group needed further bonding, but this was like adult team-building. And I expect there will be a lot of happy husbands and husbands-to-be as most of the gals were ready to bust a move with someone actually in the chair.

Unfortunately, the husbands were far away so beer and the beach had to do. Don't worry, our skills were not wasted. The other beach-goers got a sneak peek. But most of the rest of the afternoon consisted of typical girl talk. Now most of the girls are taken except for me and my fabulous single friend, A, who I got to catch up with on the beach. It was reassuring to compare dating failures and successes, and I realized how common our dating experiences are despite the range of guys we've submitted ourselves to.

Of course, I have to be somewhat poignant besides reporting on stilettos and our newfound power. The takeaway from the day? Sometimes people and circumstances are just out of your control and you couldn't have done anything to change the outcome. I'm starting to see the sage wisdom in our strip teacher's advice. When in doubt what to do next? (Return to your figure 8's and) JUST KEEP MOVING.

I'm off the market & in the moment!

July 30, 2010

Day 336-24 Things Single Women Wish We Could Tell Men

Some days, I really want to give someone a piece of my mind. And today, I'm particularly fired up. Since I can't say what I'm actually wanting to, I'm instead doing the more rational approach and releasing that frustration out into the Internet for all to see. And since it's a half day, and I'm rushing to the airport, I decided to share something that pretty much summed up everything I'm feeling in the moment. Don't worry, I'm working on my own list as well. Guys, feel free to chime in. Maybe we'll save some headaches and heartaches for our friends who ARE on the market.

Straight from Single-ish, here's "24 Things Single Women Wish We Could Tell Men (To Make Dating Easier for Everyone):"

Do you ever wish you could have the undivided attention of every single man on this planet? So you could set the record straight about who we really are and what we want? Well, I’m going to make an attempt here…without the male attention, of course. Hopefully it doesn't sound too harsh. This list looks like it was written for guys, but I hope that when you read it, you will relate to what I’m saying, and that it will make you either laugh, learn, or love being you....

1. Every woman could use one compliment a day.

2. We'd rather you didn't say, “I’ll call you” if you really mean “goodbye.” Just don’t say anything—we won’t think you’re a jerk as we part ways for the night. And you know the saying that goes, “It’s better to under-promise and over-deliver”? How about, just don’t promise anything and don’t deliver anything.

3. Most of us are not crazy or psycho. We can be emotional and hormonal.

4. If we catch you glancing at our chest when you’re a foot away, we’ll think you’re rude and have no willpower. You can look, but from a distance.

5. Even the most confident among us can act needy and insecure at times. It happens when you start pulling away and we’re not aware that that's what you're doing, only that you’re acting funny. But oh, you should see how cool and independent most of us are when we’re not dating someone.

6. Tampon commercials are silly, but don’t complain about having to watch them. Try having to use them—tampons, I mean—for most of your life. When you complain, it makes you look insensitive. And weak. We have no sympathy.

7. Please don’t yell when you think we’re driving poorly, especially if we’re from the west coast and we’ve never seen a rotary before. Just give us advice, help, or moral support. (P.S. If you stomp your foot on the ground because you think we should brake, well, it's just funny. We will brake if/when we need to.)

8. If you text, “Hows ur week goin?” we can either reply “good” and risk sounding curt (see #16) or we can send you a 400-word document. Don’t put us in this position. Just don’t text open-ended questions.

9. Texting a girl twice a week does not count as staying in contact. It’s meaningless and a waste of everyone’s time. Let her go.

10. Booty texts: weak.

11. If you’re a mama’s boy and you’re looking for a wife, think about it: what woman wants to be #2? Consider setting boundaries and work on establishing some independence. You and your mom can have a loving relationship without being co-dependent.

12. After you do something bad, it would be so much better if you called us right away to apologize. You think it’s best to wait a few days while we cool off, but what’s cooling off is our feelings for you. Man up. The sooner the better.

13. The reason we’re up in your grill about what time you’re coming over, and the reason we’re so good at communicating our own whereabouts, is that since the beginning of time our parents were making us report back to them about where we were and when we’d be home. Most of the girls I knew, including my sister and I, didn’t have the freedom the boys in our neighborhood had. Then in college, out of habit, we always told our roommates when we would be home (especially if we went to school in a bad neighborhood), and they did the same. So that’s why we’re like that. We’ve been under tight surveillance since birth and it took a lot of work just to be allowed (FINALLY) to ride our bikes un-chaperoned to the movie theater. Now we’re trained. If you don’t like that we’re this way, take it up with our parents.

14. High heels really hurt.

15. Teasing won’t bait us. Attempting to wear us down is annoying.

16. 5-word emails seem cranky. Efficient, yes. Loving, no. Greet. Ask questions. Elaborate where possible.

17. If we say we’re babysitting for a friend, we did not say we want to have a baby now and that we want you to be the dad. “I’m babysitting” simply means, “I’m busy being a good friend.” You are paranoid and it’s embarrassing.

18. Stop talking about marrying us until you actually give one of us a ring.

19. Please be aware of how serious and in love you sound. Just say, “I like you,” not, “Let’s fly to Miami next month.” (I thought guys were supposed to be direct.) Sure, it sounds cooler (and less vulnerable) to talk a big game about Miami, but come next month, you won't remember saying anything about Miami.

20. (Shy readers, look away): Nipple skin is not as tough as elbow skin. Please be gentle.

21. If a girl has pretty eyes, she has probably heard men tell her that five thousand times. It’s fine to repeat the compliment, but you’ll make a much bigger impression if you find something else to compliment.

22. As far as having children goes, you have the luxury of time. Appreciate it.

23. Taking us for granted is probably the worst thing you could do after cheating and lying. Since women are very good at appreciating each other, your behavior looks kinda selfish to us.

24. The word is “cherish.” Do you cherish her?

Phew-thanks for letting me get that off my chest.

I'm off the market & in the moment!

July 29, 2010

Day 337-Off the Radar

Some days being off the market is torture. Everywhere I look, hot guys. It's like I'm on a diet. Even though I know what I'm doing is healthy and right for me, it still would be so much better to have a good taste. And I'm itching for a little bit of recreation....

Especially today after my high from seeing Harry's performance subsided (He did an incredible bootylicious dance move across the stage-we didn't just swoon, we drooled. That should tide me over through the winter months). Yet, fortune smiled down on me when I got a special encounter with a lusciously good-looking, dark-haired, well-dressed, brilliant writer and drumroll please......he also had a to-die-for British accent. Yet, I skipped over his most important quality. HE WAS GAY. Not only did I miss that fact, I completely had no idea whatsoever judging from the looks being thrown my way. Rather, I was so wrapped up in how good he looked and how great he sounded that I missed this little detail. Being off the market has already killed my radar.

Which is why it's the perfect time to head OFF the radar and spend some time down South getting centered. And what easier way to do so than to gather all single (heterosexual) males within a mile radius as part of a bachelorette entourage!

The weekend ahead is sure to be a big one, complete with (ahem), pole dancing 101 which I have been dying to try. I'll be sure to report back on whether it's as difficult as they say.... I can't think of a better way to celebrate a friend's upcoming marriage AND my having survived the one month mark as of Sunday. 11 to go!

So in the spirit of all things related to poles, this post is merely a teaser to the opening act. If you know any available males hanging out in the Holy City this weekend, be sure to send them my way. And don't forget to tell them...

I'm off the market & in the moment!

July 28, 2010

Day 338-The Other Harry

Most people have a hit list of people they’d want to date, do, or marry given the opportunity. Some even carry a top five freebie list into their committed relationships. You know who you are. Gisele, Audriana Lima, Bar Raefali get top billing according to many men I know (um, pattern?) while women are a bit more prone to branch out to everyone from Johnny Depp (talented, good-looking, and oozing sex-appeal), Ryan Gosling (will we ever get over The Notebook?), and Nacho Figueras (ladies are allowed our models, too).

While all of these pretty faces are well and good, I have a few others I’m holding out for. Now whether he’s your cup of tea or not, I have a crush on Prince Harry. Used to be a William fan until I realized the younger brother was the one having all the fun, and fun is what I’m ultimately after (not to mention he’s a cutie). Yes, the Nazi costume photo will follow for him forever and currently he’s off the market/in a relationship with an heiress but who knows! Until he ties the knot, every guy I date or think about dating, I weigh against becoming his princess. Sure, I get that it’s a long shot, but am is this guy really worth tossing away my chance to be HRH and have my own crown? Unfortunately, there’s only one guy I thought might be worth the sacrifice of a royal title. Let’s just say, it was a good thing I had Harry in my back pocket.

While the prince is my top guy, my top man also happens to be a Harry, in his own right. Yeah, a little weird with the name thing…Harry Connick, Jr, who I’ll be on a date with tonight at the Neil Simon Theatre. Sure, it’ll be hard to gaze into each other’s eyes from the mezzanine, row S, seat 9, but it doesn’t matter. He’s the only man I have actually SWOONED over in my life. Maybe it’s the mix of his accent, gorgeous looks, and incredible talent (both piano and vocal), but all you have to do is sit me in front of the TV when the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting is airing, and I get giggly. Goose bumps just thinking about him. And unlike other real men in my life, I don’t have to track him down when I need to see or hear from him. I can just pull him up on ITunes to get a quick fix. Needless to say, if you’re a male who is gaming for anything from me, tonight might be your best chance as my knees will still be wobbly exiting the concert. Have a crown in your back pocket, you just might convince me of your own princely qualities.

So yes, this is a shallow confession, but aren’t we gals entitled to a few after all the running around trying to compete not only with celebrity fantasies but also with Victoria’s Secret CATALOGUES? The reality is even my Harry Connick, Jr. is married to a former VS model. No bitterness… I still have a lovely evening ahead that reminds me I’ve got a lot to hold out for.

I’m off the market & in the moment!

July 27, 2010

Day 339-Welcome to Our Neighborhood Friendly Porn Store

I'm writing this with a face still in blush from having just survived my first visit to my neighborhood friendly porn store, or as E and I like to say, our 24-hour doorman. Ok, confession. This is the first time I've EVER graced the doorway of such a store, period. I never had the courage to visit the one on 1-95 (that just didn't seem safe) as a former Maid of Honor myself so found some adequate bachelorette supplies in a party store instead. As bachelorette #1's weekend grows closer, I'm a few years older and in my wisdom should now be able to handle the purchasing of adult goodies. Now whether my inaugural visit puts puts me higher up or down in your book, I definitely give myself props for "in the moment" behavior on this one.

It's 6pm rush hour on St. Marks. I jumped in the door as fast as I could (so as not to cause notice), yet I am a local so I made an effort for conversation as if I was chatting up my neighborhood friendly frozen yogurt guy.

"Hi! I live next door!" (Translation: I am totally awkward, have no idea what I'm looking for, but don't you admire my perkiness!)

Silence from the man behind the counter.

"Well... just wanted to say hey... since I live next door and all!" (Translation: Please talk to me so I don't have to stare at the wall of body parts!)


Definitely not like the yogurt guy. The things we do for bachelorettes! Though let's be real. I'm 25 and haven't been in a porn store? Time to rip off the band-aid. Guy behind the counter threw me off. Who'd have thought being there would be such a downer? It's a place meant for happy endings after all.

I immediately focused, turned on my blinders to the extra paraphanalia that I am not in the market for (not that wise) and headed to the smallest section of the store: the girly bachelorette items that are mildly scandalous yet still pricey. $5.95 for two fancy straws. Despite the fact I appreciate their creativity when featuring the opposite sex-seriously, @5.95 for two? Silent man behind the counter is making a killing on a bunch of plastic. I'm seeing an investment opportunity.

Not knowing whether our Maid of Honor had previously purchased dice, necklaces or other such items, I decided an email was in order before laying out my hard earned funds. Somehow, I have a feeling that they have a no-return policy.

So I spent all of two minutes with my heart racing without the goods to show for it. But hey, it's all part of the life when you're in the moment. I'll be making the next trip under the cover of nightfall, but hopefully, both man behind the counter and I will be more at ease. We are neighbors after all!

I'm off the market & in the moment!

July 26, 2010

Day 340-Bachelorette Potential?

Judging from yesterday's post, I've got a long way to go this year before I start considering marriage. Kinda crazy since two years ago, I thought I was headed down the aisle (the anniversary weekend instead culminated in a breakup that surprise! took me more than a year to get over).

Yet this season of the Bachelorette has totally reeled me in. Cute guys, traveling around the world, a stylist-the show, albeit a little crazy, seems like a wonderful send-off down the aisle.

Sure you've got your eccentric personalities, but overall, it looks like a whole lot of fun, especially some of the behind the scenes which didn't make the cut. And frankly, I think that the ABC producers might be better at vetting eligible males than I'm prone to be. Not to mention, they are all actually wanting to be in a relationship (hypothetically).

I had considered auditioning earlier in the summer, pre-blog, while they were casting in NYC. Of course, I chickened out even though it was only a few blocks away. Not that I don't have enough of the drama factor to share on the small screen. And as bachelorettes go, girl next door looks? Check. Unlucky in love? Check. Now I just need to get my heart broken by The Bachelor to secure the spot. Probably need to work on that wall some more though before throwing 20 other girls and cameras in the mix.

Yet, I'm thinking that auditioning next spring might be the perfectly wacky conclusion to the blog. Going from off the market to the ultimate bachelorette experience spiced with reality tv. Of course, I'm hoping for a more solid sense of self and all that jazz, but why not throw in a little fun as well? At the least, maybe I'll make the cut for the Guys Tell All audience. Those girls are up close and personal to the bachelors without all the on-camera action. Win-win.

I'm off the market & in the moment!

July 25, 2010

Day 341-Bubbles and Troubles

This blog has opened a Pandora's box of self-revelations...

My body is hating me. The weekend has been a grueling kickback to exercise and healthy eating, but it's forced me to get back to the dance studio, which as much as I fight it sometimes is still my center. Yogi speak-my zen place. An opportunity to leave the past and future and be in the present. Once I start a warmup or barre or the music simply begins, I'm transported. It's no wonder exercise is so good for you-if you're focused about the correct step, posture, or miles per minute, your brain has little room for much else.

Class was great, and I loved the teacher who I'd never studied with before. Yet, this was theatre and it's all about PERFORMANCE, PERFORMANCE, PERFORMANCE. Throw me up on a stage, and it's no problem. But forced to stare at myself in a mirror, and I can barely crack a smile. I'm pretty cute, even if drenched in sweat (ok, maybe that's a stretch...). So what's the deal? It's like I have this thing blocking me, my own version of the Great Wall of China which I've been working on for 20+ years, and she refuses to go down easily.

I want to be carefree, goofy, uninhibited and without a regard for others' opinion of me. That's the real me when you sneak a peak behind the wall. I know that girl is ready to bust out. Why is she hiding? Normally, once I get more into class or get to know a person better (note, this is the same wall that makes me oh so chilly with the opposite sex), I relax and let down my guard. But I was out of my comfort zone and uber-frustrated.

I thought I'd ease my feelings with a little R&R post-class. I did something I never make time for anymore. I pulled out all the stops (aka, lit a candle) and prepared for a luxurious hour of relief and relaxation at the budget-friendly, home-grown version of a spa: a bath.

When I was little, this was a regular routine. Frankly, the idea of having to stand up in the shower with aches and pains was unbearable. A bath was simply the lazy girl's out. I'd be practically a zombie in my exhaustion and would lay there for almost an hour. Sometimes thinking, sometimes not.

Apparently, I'm out of practice. I had nothing to do! I even tried meditation. Of course, I have no idea how one meditates, but it couldn't be that hard. Clear your mind. Breathe in and out. Piece of cake.

Think again. I could hardly spend five minutes sitting there. Calming this mind is no easy task. My forehead was scrunched from the stress of trying to relax, ironically enough. I forced myself to "enjoy" the experience for however long the water took to drain.

Who knew a bath could be so revealing? Other than the obvious, of course. No wonder I can't break through the wall. I can hardly be comfortable with being quiet for a few minutes with just my own thoughts without over-analyzing and critiquing myself.

Sure, it's easy to say that I should just care less. But how do I really live that c'est la vie attitude that I'm always talking about? That's my true self. It's time to bring her out for more than guest appearances.

How to do it? That's another trouble. I'm stumped.

I'm off the market & in the moment.

July 24, 2010

Day 342-Not Gonna Give Them Up

Who am I kidding? There's no way I can give them up for a whole year. I enjoy them too much. I'm not gonna give them up that easily!

Chick flicks, that is.

Relationships are one thing. I've found being off the market is quite doable so far. But not all evenings in the big city are glamorous. Or they are IF you have deep pockets. Mine are a bit shallow at the moment as I conserve funds and energy for bachelorette festivities next weekend. So without thinking of my earlier commitment, I turned on the tv and enjoyed The Holiday for the upteenth time. After the city kicked my butt with 6 miles of walking in a three-digit heat index, Jude Law is the one thing that will cure what ails me.

Yeah the movies are a bit skewed with their perfectly wrapped up endings which is why I tried to subtract them from my life. But even if they evoke crazy expectations for a perfect guy or perfect relationship, they always offer an escape that leaves me with a little dose of hope. It's a feeling, not the expectation, that I try to carry with me.

Other than walking, dancing, sweating 24/7-my own personal weekend bootcamp-the day was just a regular day. I did finally pick up laundry (score!) and caught up with two of my best friends over glasses of $6 Trader Joe's sauvignon blanc on their deck. I'm such an activities girl that while I did do/go/see quite a bit today, the day still seemed quiet, especially with just Bella (E's yorkie) and me holding down the apartment for the weekend. I think that's where I find the challenge because when I'm finally in for some quiet time, I usually get stuck in my own head a little too much. Sometimes this leads to being fabulously creative; other times, it leads to a trip down memory lane, whether I want to go there or not. I am a little unsettled by the quiet.

So even if I have to throw a few leading men in as background noise, I enjoyed being on my own for a change-I think? I'll definitely need more practice this year to better enjoy being in my own company. And while I can't walk six miles every day, a little jolt of endorphins never hurt.

I'm off the market & in the moment!

July 23, 2010

Day 343-To Take or Not to Take

After reading the response to Thursday's "Male Perspective" post, I had some thinking to do. There were certainly two different opinions at stake. Which to choose? Who to follow? Was there a right answer that would win me the golden ticket?

As I sat on these questions, I went back and forth as these weren't anonymous comments but rather, two people who I like and admire very much. I was sitting on the fence, justifying both sides. It was then I realized there was a bigger issue for me to confront.

It's true that I'm big on advice. I have several go-to sources which include girlfriends, family (younger brothers included), co-workers, authors, magazine columnists, tv shows, a select group of guys, and nowadways, even bloggers. Come to think of it, I'm kinda Oprah-like with my neverending list of gurus. I've got a sampling of tough-love, no nonsense advisers while others always offer a shoulder to cry or whine on. And a rare few offer a sympathetic ear while still being able to bring me back to reality.

Sometimes my gurus dispute my decision; sometimes they justify it. Regardless, I value them all. And as I've been off the market this month, I've realized that having wonderful people in your life to give advice is a good thing. Sometimes you just can't see clearly on your own. You lose the facts and the objectivity of a situation when you're still close to it. This is my support group in love and life, after all. Surely they know what's best for me!

But while debating yesterday's post, I found myself falling down the advice slippery slope where too many opinions results in not knowing my own mind or heart. You would never be able to pry a piece of pizza out of my hands once I decided to enjoy it. Yet, how many times have I let others' opinions of my relationship trump my own?

I think back to the shy guy who didn't jump into my family's conversation the first time they met. The one who went through rounds of different groups of friends for approval. How many times I've wanted to reach out to someone despite EVERYONE saying not to. The days I spent more time focusing on some guy's opinion of me and being perfect rather than deciding if I actually wanted to date him at all. Not to mention the times I took care of other people's needs instead of taking care of my relationship's needs.

The thing is, we all see others' relationships through a dirty glass as a result of our own experience. Guilty here. I instructed a friend this very week, telling her not to call her new guy when she was wondering about date details. Of course, my behavior was the effect of seeing the disastrous effects pressure can have on a new relationship. Am I saving her young romance? Or am I teaching her to placate and not stand up for what she wants? I may have her best intentions at heart but since I'm not in her relationship, I really have no idea what the best course might be.

Advice is important. I certainly wouldn't be this far without having gotten some good pieces along the way. Hopefully, we can learn from other mistakes and save a few like the quote goes. But at the same time, this blog has made me realize more and more that there's not a single answer. Life is just not black and white.

So what's my opinion on whether guys should do all the asking or a girl should step up to the plate once in awhile? I say take in all the advice you want, but ultimately, listen to your gut. I hope guys continue to pursue me. I think the majority of guys are not going to give up someone they want to be with. But, I hope not to miss an opportunity with someone who intrigues me just because he hasn't asked for my number yet. Maybe he's shy or having a bad day or worried about getting too close for fear I'll see he's breaking out. It's certainly not out of the realm of possibility. I've been there.

Of course, that may not be the right answer for everybody. You may not want to take anything from any of my posts, for that matter. But it's the best advice for me.

I'm off the market & in the moment

July 21, 2010

Day 345-A Male Perspective

After a close guy friend read yesterday's post about my memorable lunch with Mr. Nice Guy, he emailed his two cents regarding my failed attempt to ask my new friend out. With his permission, I've recreated our conversation here. It's worth repeating. The only changes I've deleted a few things to keep people anonymous and of course, I had to correct a few grammatical editors-I am an English major.

Presenting a twenty-something single male perspective.....

HIM: You should just get it over with and ask the next guy out you meet that seems cool. You sure do talk about it enough, now it's time to put your money where your mouth is.

ME: Can't really ask the guy out from yesterday-kinda crosses the business line. Plus, I'm not in a rush to be pursuing anyone. I prefer to be pursued BY someone!

HIM: HORRIBLE way to look at it. That comment right there is what's wrong with girls. They're never the ones to take a chance (or rarely) and ask a guy out. It always has to be on the guys shoulders to do all that mess. You can be old-fashioned all you want but that is something that has always gotten on my nerves.

ME: I've asked out guys before. I asked (insert guy’s name here) out myself! Or gave him my card w/o being asked and then he emailed me later to follow up. Just in this case, I'm not in a rush to ask out anyone, at least this early in the game. Maybe towards the end, but while I still want to date, I don't want to tempt karma too much...

HIM: You have never asked a guy out and you know it. Giving a card to a guy without him asking, is as far from asking a guy out as it gets. That my friend, is exactly my point. Girls have this idea that they ask guys out when they don't. Guys have to do all the legwork, call backs, ask for dates ect..... I'm not talking bad about you but girls think if they do something small it's a big deal when it pales in comparison to what guys have to go through. You have it easy. Card shmard, I can't believe you even brought that up.......

But I agree with you about why go on dates when you cant really go further. Why tempt karma.......

ME:I am using your second paragraph for my blog!!!!!!! I won't use your name but can I reprint what you said?

I get your point-you're right, we don't REALLY do it. But do you like when a girl asks you out? Or does that take the fun out of the game?

HIM: Absolutely, women need to know the truth.

Girls make it easier for guys to ask them out depending on the interaction and their approach. I personally LOVE it when a girl initiates something with me. Nothing says sexy and super confident than when a girl has the guts to ask a guy out. Doesn't have to be dinner or anything major, a simple drink and meet up with friends. A girl with confidence is awesome.

ME: Thanks-I'm going to use it today! I can see your point but I also think it works to our disadvantage sometimes. Like when we show we care by making an effort to plan a date or call, guys think the game is gone and/or freak out. It's always been the guys that I treated like crap or didn't care about as much that kept coming back. The others I cared about, saw that I cared and left. I dunno-maybe, I'm wrong. Thoughts?

I'm milking this convo!

HIM: Yeah I can see your point about losing the "thrill of the chase" but for me, I'm 26 now, I’m not 18 years old. When the woman shows the guts to approach me and talk, there are few things more attractive. Don't ever be scared to take a chance to reach out to a guy. You'll never know unless you try.

On that note…

I’m off the market & in the moment!

July 20, 2010

Day 346-Too Bad I'm Off the Market

TV doesn't lie-there's no shortage of handsome men in New York City. It's a given that when walking down the street, hopping on the subway or heading to happy hour, you'll find several that meet your looks criteria, whatever your type may be. I usually sneak a glance, nod approval (in my head, of course) and keep moving because 1-I'm off the market and 2-we all know good looks does not a match make.

But today I met a guy for a lunch meeting that had potential in more than just the looks department. Let's just say he definitely made me re-consider my status.

Don't get me wrong. I'm devoted to the blog. And in truth, it's not like I was being pursued for a date, though under the terms of the mission, dates are allowed. This was business after all. However, I couldn't help but check off his attributes as I inhaled my salad (I never eat daintily, date or not). Despite the abundance of handsome males in the city limits, a handsome, smart (incredibly smart-he's a 25-year-old book editor), and genuinely nice guy is a rare find. I don't like to limit myself to categories of guys, but he was wearing boat shoes. That's about as close to my type as it can get.

Unfortunately, yet again, I didn't have time to brush my hair, apply lip gloss or any of the usual prepping before meeting him. Now granted, I didn't look as if I just woke up or anything drastic as that. I was just the regular me, without all the fixins'. The daily deal. Did I mention how nice he was???

I was tempted to email him and ask him out. Instead, I did the cowardly thing and still emailed, just with a weak "nice to meet you."

Ok-so I'm not there yet. I do have 345 days to go. But it's reassuring to meet someone who is more than a pretty face.

I'm off the market & in the moment!

July 19, 2010

Day 347-Dump Day

I've been struggling all day trying to figure out a fun post. It's the beginning of another week after all, and my "in the moment" Monday behavior tends to be less than enthusiastic. I didn't do anything extraordinary yesterday to report, unless your idea of extraordinary is pizza and a Godfather marathon (now that I think about it, that's ideal to most guys I know). I, too, welcomed the opportunity to avoid putting on real clothes, not make my bed, and lose myself in behind the scenes trivia. Did you know an orange appears in the scene before someone is about to bite the dust? Next time you're watching the marathon with your husband or guy du jour, there's a fun fact you can contribute. Don't say I told ya-he'll be impressed.

With my creativity stunted by the television, I almost skipped a post today altogether. Then I remembered that it's the 19th.

DUMP DAY. Three months ago today (at about this time of day as well), I was absolutely devastated. My heart was swimmin' with the fishies.

Now a good college (guy) friend of mine told me once you've reached three months post-break, it's O-V-E-R. When he first told me that, at a wedding no less, I wanted to ball my eyes out at my misfortune. I refused to believe it and held out hope for a very, very, VERY long time.

Until one day I woke up, and the one I was crying over no longer mattered.

Some people say it takes half the time you date someone to get over them. For me, it usually takes that and then some. The proof is in the posts for sure. But this time around, remembering my friend's comment thankfully didn't produce the same reaction, a good thing because I've probably used up my free passes for crying at the office. I'm not saying he wasn't as important or I didn't care as much. In many ways I cared like I never had before. But I'm starting to feel really good about the direction my life is going, and that feeling is overpowering all others at this moment. So while I'm not bitter or relieved or thrilled to the point where I'm throwing a dump day party (though that is an excellent idea...), I can't ask for much more.

I'm off the market & in the moment!

July 18, 2010

Day 348-Some Habits Need to Die

Old boyfriends have always haunted my dreams. They pop in from time to time along with the alligator and shark-infested pools I have to rescue my younger brothers from. Pscyhoanalysis, anyone?

Anyway, I recognize that I'm not unique in having such things pop up when I'm trying to peacefully rest. So you should understand how disorienting it is to wake up with that person you were this close to forgetting imprinted on your thoughts in a most unwelcome fashion. It doesn't even matter which ex-they all make a dreaded appearance every now and then. After recreating the dumping during their nocturnal trip, they leave me feeling insecure, lonely, and wondering yet again what went wrong.

So when I was jolted awake this morning, my "in the moment" mind needed a bit of rescuing. And when it's too early to call a friend, I often find some comfort from Single-ish, a Glamour blog written by Erin Meaney. This morning required a huge dose.

I'm sure I deserve a little eye-rolling from seeking solace from a blog. But it's not drugs, crazy amounts of alcohol or promiscuity, I'm not bugging friends and family with the same story, and it works so whatever. On Single-ish, I find a wealth of stories from Erin and her dating encounters, questions, and dilemmas and of course, there's the occasional insight from John, the token male blogger. It gives me a lot to think about as I watch her get in and out of relationships, experience her own heartbreak, recover in style. She's a little older than me and a whole lot wiser so her words create a sense of reassurance infused with a healthy dose of reality. My favorite Erin-ism? You'll never understand men. Just try to understand yourself.

As I was trolling the site, I found some good pointers for re-charging when you're off the market (perfect!), some articles on intimacy issues, bad timing in relationships, and other heartbroken people commenting on their losses in love. Maybe it's the community, the feeling that you're not alone, that makes me feel better. It certainly doesn't hurt reading that a significant other's issues have nothing to do with you or the failed relationship (scratch that negativity) rather, the time you spent together.

Then I realized that in my pre-caffeine haze, I had spent TWO HOURS of my precious life on this site analyzing again. What had started as a little indulgence turned into a big binge. On the one hand, at least I wasn't in the "What Men Want" section of the mag's site. On the other, I think I would have been happier using my binge points for the Domino's pizza I wanted last night.

I'm a little angry with myself that I spent my morning in the past instead of finishing my book or going to yoga. This is not "off the market" behavior! And still angrier that I can't seem to summon some of that fire to send towards some of those dream-invaders instead of being so hard on myself. Old habits are hard to control and even harder to get rid of.

I'm off the market & in the moment

July 17, 2010

Day 349-Lady who Lunches to Potty Mouth

I had every intention of spending my Saturday in Connecticut with the girls, continuing the lady of leisure behavior we started the weekend with on Friday: an oh so fabulous lunch at Cafe Boulud with the likes of Barbara Walters. Ok, I failed to spot her myself and K failed to notify me of her presence at the next table in her well-intentioned effort to be classy.

But I had to change my rsvp when I got a last minute notice for a casting call for an NYU student production. Now you may be thinking this is small potatoes, but when you're trying to break in the biz, you do what you gotta do to take two steps forward. So instead of heading to Penn Station to catch an early train this morning, I ventured downtown to my old stomping grounds when I was a summer intern, 38 Cliff Street.

We were a small production for sure and while I thought I'd be another faceless body in a crowd-typical background work-we were thrown right in. Suddenly, I found myself and another girl being directed to yell insults at a fellow actor, the focus of our hatred. Talk about having to rally your inner bitch. I'm much more of a genteel, non-confrontational person (needless to say, we weren't casted for anything other than looks) so I had to dig deep, REALLY deep, to do the improv that would hold up against the Jersey girl who was yelling alongside me. My run-through was pitiful to say the least. Lydia totally beat me with her wealth of derogatory insults and profanity. I managed to rally for the take, or rather the third take, but definitely need to beef up my arsenal of bad words before my next job.

Regardless of the nondescript role and my mediocre performance as a girl who needs her mouth washed out with soap, I was grateful for the experience. It's unbelievable how much FUN it is to be around cameras, lighting, fellow actors-not to mention, actually be directed. It's one of the things I love about singlehood: really being able to focus on my passions and push myself to my personal limit. So if you were one of the semi-terrified tourists walking to Southstreet Seaport who caught our performance, you would have also caught me busting out of my ladylike comfort zone in a whole new way. But despite the potty mouth, I was in my prime. Look out Barbara Walters!

I'm off the market & in the moment!

July 16, 2010

Day 350-Taking a Lesson From the Guys

During happy hour last week, I found myself getting to know a nice guy from E's birthday entourage. Between sips of Bud Light, I answered his general questions about work, neighborhood, etc. I'm in publishing. You're in finance? You know how it goes... Then he threw a random one my way: "So where does the boyfriend live?"

I don't have a boyfriend-I have a blog!

As soon as I said it, I immediately wanted to take back my answer. And seeing his shocked look at my response, I couldn't blame the poor guy for squirming on his barstool. With no other way to delicately extract myself from the conversation, I took a deep breath, a big sip of liquid courage, and proceeded to explain it all. The catalyst-a hurtful breakup, losing myself, discovering bad relationship patterns. The solution-a yearlong vacation from boyfriends, relationships, exclusivity. I finished my spill and waited calmly for his response.

I have to say, I was surprised when I got an "AWESOME!" followed by a high five. What a relief-I was true to myself and got some positive feedback from the opposite sex (my guy friends find the revelations of a single girl's mind entertaining, but they are not convinced I can fulfill my yearlong term).

But since that day, I've thought back to that conversation and my new friend's response. Did he really think it was awesome that I was taking the time I needed for myself? Or was he the one that was relieved? Here was this girl sitting across him, drinking no less, who practically gave him a green light to pursue without the worries of a relationship/marriage clause hanging over his head. Talk about relieving the pressure. He was a nice guy so deserves the benefit of the doubt, but I know a lot of NYC fellas who would have seen my little exclamation as a unique, no strings attached opportunity.

Now I know all women aren't on the prowl for marriage-potentials, and there does exist a special pool of guys who do want to be in a relationship (note that I didn't mention anything about settling-that simple word sends all types running!). I'm certainly generalizing here. But there's something about city guys, in particular-they seem to be a special breed that wants to avoid commitment at all costs, even sacrificing the girl that deep down they really do like, the pleasure of getting to know someone on an emotionally intimate level, partnership, etc. A 2008 Newsweek article called it eternal adolescence or even better, "Peter Pan Syndrome." (I'd link to the piece but they haven't caught up with other media outlets in archiving). More recently, a Glamour feature in this month's issue tracks two women traveling across 48 states on a relationship journey of their own. Their findings? While some guys do seek monogomous companionship, there's something to the theory that coastal guys, NYC males among the bunch, are in no rush for anything more than having a pretty face sitting across the dinner table, occasionally.

I get it. It's a prime time for indulging yourself in every selfish way possible. Focusing on your career. Spending all your money in bars because you can. Or not choosing to stock toiletpaper in the bathroom because a girl will never be kept around long enough to need any. I speak from experience....Yet, maybe these guys are on to something. Did you know the human brain doesn't finish developing until you're in your 30's? Perhaps these males, in limbo between childhood and manhood, are just more honest than their female counterparts. I certainly have fouled up myself a time or two-especially when I forced myself to be in a relationship when I just wasn't ready. Great guy for me, really bad timing for me. I don't regret anything, but had I been more in tune with my needs, I could have saved us both some heartache in the end. So perhaps our own coastal guys know what they're talking about after all. And most of the time, they're upfront with their intentions at least through their actions, though one guy straight up told me he was bad at commitment. After somehow hearing I was the exception, I'm now learning to be a better listener.

Meanwhile, the institution (I hate that word) of marriage is certainly on the media's radar right now. In fact, a new book, Last One Down the Aisle Wins, was recently featured in SC's own Post and Courier for its theory that waiting longer can have more benefits than just a larger diamond (I believe for every year older, you get an upgraded ring). You can find their argument here: http://www.postandcourier.com/news/2010/jul/09/be-late-down-the-aisle/

But if you're married and reading this, this isn't intended to sound holier than thou or cause alarm. As a result of your early maturity, and most of you are the most unselfish people I know, I hope you continue to reap the benefits of marriage while the rest of us suffer from various versions of commitment-phobia. Nowadays, I'm just trying to be honest myself. Being off the market isn't so bad! At least at the moment. I've already become more relaxed when meeting new people. Like my new friend, I've relieved some pressure on myself for a change. Not to mention, I've now mastered my blog vs. boyfriend story if there's a situation where I choose not to be pursued. :-)

When I first told my parents about my plans, my dad immediately suggested staying off the market for 10 years. Ok, a bit of a stretch for me, but I have trashed my internal timetable for love. And honestly? I'm just too busy living in the mean time.

I'm off the market & in the moment!

July 15, 2010

Day 351-Luck be a Deli

Cheesy post title, I know. But I just couldn't resist a little play on words from the oh-so-perfect Guys & Dolls song "Luck be a Lady" because, well frankly, I'm a musical theatre whore, I'm already a lady, and my daily happening occurred in a deli. So there you go.

Anyway, apparently a lady can get quite lucky in a New York City deli. At approximately 12:30pm on a workday that is, when every young guy in tie and trousers goes to get his sandwich fix. Being that I'm prone to ordering at my desk and working through lunch, I'm always amazed when I finally venture out in the sun and catch a glimpse at the amount of cute guys that swarm the meat counter.

So there I was yesterday, drooling after the meatball sub that I only allow myself to have on occasion while I whipped my head left and right at the five hot guys surrounding me in line (and five is a lot-I mean they were ALL seriously good-looking). Meanwhile, I cursed myself for not having made more effort on my outfit that day or at least, I could have run a brush through my hair. A girl has to compete with the scariest versions of models and let's be real, plain ol' tall girls in NYC. My building is full of Burberry-bunnies, already sporting the fall lineup and while there were none in sight, a little heel would have been helpful. How else can a girl make "come hither" eye contact if you're not somewhat close to eye level?

Regardless of my so-so appearance, I was blindsided in the best way possible. Yet, the situation only got more promising when I caught another cute one heading out our building while I was heading in (Wait-COME BACK, I wanted to cry out. Which floor are you on!?!?). Apparently the universe just wanted to dangle all the good ones in front of me-another exited the elevator as I headed in. There went the guy you'd want to be caught in a confined space with. Instead, I depressingly settled for the woman following behind me.

So where did all of these eligible bachelors come from? I was determined to find out today. And even though I'm not eligible (and who knows if they were or not), you can bet I fluffed my hair and pinched my cheeks in true Scarlet O'Hara style before running out for a quick break. But no one told me that when the clock strikes 1:30pm, the twenty-somethings all turn into fifty-somethings.


Ok. So maybe my post about getting lucky was a little misleading-but hey, when you're off the good stuff for a year, there's nothing better than grabbing your midday meal with a side of eye candy! And if anyone ones to stalk Madison Avenue Deli with me tomorrow, I'll meet you on the corner of 49th Street at 12:25pm.

I'm off the market & in the moment!

July 14, 2010

Day 352-72 Hours

Still raining, but I'm done wallowing. After spending my childhood (and let's be real, teenage and college years), trying to be a perfect little lady, I've finally started to learn that being "up" all the time is not only unrealistic, even more so, it's not healthy. So as seen by my posts the past few days, I've been letting myself go with what I was feeling: blues, mean reds, and every up & down in between. But as I've told other friends going through hardtimes, feel whatever you need to feel for 72 hours and then move on. Of course, like a good friend, they love throwing that fabulous advice back in my face when I'm in the doldrums myself (remember to watch what you say!).

So whether I'm ready or not, my 3 days are whining and feeling sorry for myself are up. It's time to be productive or at the least, be positive while I'm figuring out my next step. I have to admit, I was quite ashamed of my post yesterday, especially in the wake of the BP disaster or other worldly issues such as poverty in the Middle East. I had to read a book last night about poor villages in India and the power of microfinance-pretty cool stuff to be involved in but hearing people live on less than $1 a day will really put you in your place.

Yet, I'm trying not to feel guilty that I was all "woe is me" for the past few days. Everyone gets down on themselves or has personal issues that throw you off your horse. But, you also have to learn to take care of the internal stuff so you're better equipped to have a positive effect on the external, aka the world. As Kelly Cutrone says, it's a microcosm/macrocosm sort of thing.

And while learning to handle the little and big stuff, it's nice to know you're not alone on your journey. That's what I discovered yesterday when a friend emailed saying how much she loved the blog because it justified the heartache she herself had held onto for years. It was a reminder that we all have scars, but those old hurts are what ultimately make us stronger. If you need a little inspiration for this concept, Netflix the film Coco Chanel-a great reminder that it's our failures, not our successes, that make us who we are.

I'm off the market & in the moment!

July 13, 2010

Day 353-The Mean Reds

Holly Golightly: You know those days when you get the mean reds
Paul Varjak: The mean reds, you mean like the blues?
Holly Golightly: No. The blues are because you're getting fat and maybe it's been raining too long, you're just sad that's all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you're afraid and you don't know what you're afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling?
-Breakfast at Tiffany's-

After a two + month vacation from dance, I had every intention of going to class yesterday (while an extra 5 lbs. doesn't matter if you're in the moment, it does make a difference to your knees as you grand jete across the floor). Maybe if I had gone, I'd be equipped with more endorphins and wouldn't have woken up on the wrong side of the bed AGAIN this morning. Now I know no one wants to hear my daily woes but again, this blog is for my benefit and I've found through this experience that getting everything down on paper works wonders whereas a chocolate chip cookie (or two or three) only makes you feel fatter and bluer. I tried cookie therapy today so I know.

Even with the blog in place and an actual goal for the year (ie. to embrace the moment and have fun in my fabulously independent status), a girl is still allowed to waver a bit. The usual culprits are afoot, probing questions like "what am I doing with my life?" amid other feelings of loneliness and insecurity. And while I recognize that not knowing is half the fun, little indications that I'm on the right track would be appreciated today. Ultimately, I have a lot to be grateful for: I'm healthy as is my family, I have wonderful friends, a job, and a roof over my head. But like Holly Golightly, I've caught the Mean Reds, and there's just no reason for my sour mood.

Ok, maybe there is a bit of a reason. Instead of going to dance yesterday, I sat and enjoyed the multiple pleasures of (multiple) carbs while watching the Bachelorette. Now I know I said no chick flicks or chick lit, but hey, a girl has gotta watch something, and we only have 10 channels to anyway. I've really gotten into this season while in the past, I watched the show for the money pools or because that's what every other girl on my dorm floor was doing. And I know I'm into it because despite Chris L's preciousness (contemplating a move to Cape Cod), deep down I empathize with the Frank & Ali drama. There it is-my failed relationship playing out on the 40" in front of me. Quite therapeutic in some ways actually, to see two other people who obviously care for each other and experience a great connection to be completely...well F-ing it up.

Then there was the whole soul mate conversation last night-E and I were practically near tears as we watched Chris' dad talk about the way he felt for his recently departed wife. Despite how you feel about reality tv, if you weren't moved by watching the love on his face, then you probably shouldn't be reading this blog in the first place.

So of course, my inner romantic was stirred up in all sorts of ways when the show ended. Am I really doing the right thing my closing myself off to the possibility of love for a whole year and possibly missing my soulmate? Am I even strong enough to do this? And what about those nagging feelings of loss that I just can't rid myself of-are those signs that I should fight for what I want or just remnants of my not getting what I want? I've written (almost) every day yet I have more than 300 days left, and I still feel like I'm at square one! How is this helping!?!?

There's a learning curve for sure, especially when your head forges ahead leaving your heart flailing behind. And I've never been good at being patient. I always want to achieve more, learn more, get better-faster. So learning curves are definitely not my style. Those suckers give me the Mean Reds every time.

But I was reminded today that this is a journey, a marathon and not a sprint. And according to E, no one said it would be easy. Her other words that hit the mark: I have a lot to let go of before I can really allow myself to grow.

But....(insert whiney voice) isn't it supposed to be fun all the time!?!?! Moving on with pitchers of mojitos and forgetting the past with new outfits?

I'm off the market (true) and in the moment (sort of)!

July 11, 2010

Day 355-Samba for Singles

I have to admit, I've woken up the past two days feeling a bit blue. The cause? A mix of being too tired from partying into the wee hours, PMS (not even going to deny it), home sickness and missing my love life a bit. Not to mention, I'm finally starting to come down from the emotional high of the past ten days since starting the blog. One week down! On the one hand, I'm proud of myself. On the other hand, 52 to go??? A little daunting, to say the least...

But I did manage to tear myself away from "staring at the wall" yesterday for an afternoon happy hour at Sushi Samba. The weather was iffy, clouds threatening thunderstorms to come (probably reflecting my mood), but E and I met her group for what turned out to be the perfect cure for the blues: an afternoon of strawberry mojitos and sushi overlooking one of the busiest streets in the West Village. And did I mention, we didn't pay for ANYTHING? Ok, I was a little impatient in the beginning so ordered Samba Juice (a must-try if you ever go there) on my own tab. But soon as my drink hit the table, the pitchers arrived, and we held court there the rest of the afternoon as the ladies of the table (actually, we were called mademoiselles, which I found myself prefering despite my Southern roots).

Now, normally I'm not a girl who revels in the power of getting drinks bought from me. In fact, I always shy away from it as if I owed something in return. But yesterday's group of gentlemen (and they were in every sense of the word), have altered my way of thinking. Because this was just a genuinely nice, extremely generous group that enjoys having a good time and meeting new people. While this crowd easily crosses velvet ropes on a nightly basis, there were no pretentions and no requirements to be anyone but yourself. And despite being a little shy at times, I found myself in many great conversations throughout the day and truly enjoying myself out of my comfort zone. There was no evidence of the oh so cool girl from July 4th.

Odds are, I probably wouldn't have met these kids if I had been in a relationship. Though there's no rule over the door proclaiming singles only, this was a party that mainly consisted of singles. Exception was our oh so cute waiter/actor who had had several gigs on "As the World Turns." Unfortunately, he wore a ring on the all-important finger. SIGH...

After such a fabulous afternoon, I really had no excuse for waking up with another bout of the blues this morning but see first paragraph for a repeat of reasons why. (Though perhaps I was a little unsettled after a guy from highschool made a cameo in my dream last night, and then, I woke up to find a FB Friend request from him. WEIRD!) Normally, I would submerge myself in chick flicks until my mood improved-it is a lazy Sunday after all. But since I've sworn them off, have already watched Meet the Press and read all of my Vanity Fair articles (I'm more attuned to important issues/culture already!), heading out the door seems the most promising option. You never know what good time is around the corner in NYC as yesterday proved. Who needs a guy? Leave it up to my city, and she'll show you a good time.

I'm off the market & in the moment!

July 9, 2010

Day 357-Making a List

It's almost 11pm, and I couldn't be happier that I'm about to turn off the light. Dancing at fabulous clubs during the week is always a fun and glamourous time, but I get an equal thrill from laying on my oh-so-comfortable bed and reveling in my laziness, a rare indulgence of what I like to call "staring at the wall." So needless to say, staying in tonight is a welcome respite from the frenzy of birthday festivities this week for E. I was the only one in our office today so took casual Friday to a whole different level by wearing gym clothes (such a rebel, I know) and enjoyed my half day off reading from Kelly Cutrone's book, IF YOU HAVE TO CRY, GO OUTSIDE.

Now from an industry perspective, she's the ultimate power player in fashion PR so there was lots of insider info on the publicity business to be gleaned from each page. Though her personality is a little hard-core for my taste (I prefer the Southern Belle kill 'em with kindness approach), she offers a unique view from a successful entrepreneur's perspetive. And let me clarify, this is not chick lit. More like bitch lit. A recipe for how to internally focus, prioritze your wants (not society's), and be a woman in charge of your own destiny.

I've been reading this book in small doses over a few months; I recommend it but my inner first child/pleasing self, could only take so much in one sitting. (Did I mention I have a bitch calendar? Every morning, I rip off a page, read my inner bitch mantra for the day, and head out the door a little more equipped to tackle the city streets.) But it got me thinking, as all good books do, about how to re-prioritize my own life. And though I don't think Kelly Cutrone would be Type A enough to do this, I've always thought it helpful to write out your wants/goals. Put it on paper, send it out into the universe and keep moving forward.

Now just because I think it's helpful, that doesn't mean I'm disciplined enough to grab a piece of paper and jot down my goals (ironic since it only takes a minute). Maybe it's because I'm always running from place to place and never still enough to think about what I truly want, a life choice that has had detrimental effects on some of my relationships for sure. However, I have such a list I was required to create from freshman year of high school; a list of life goals, career path(s), and accomplishments I hoped to achieve. I numerated the obvious (marriage, kids, etc) and the not-so (Broadway, write a children's book, live abroad), and for some reason, I take this list every time I move somewhere, prompty forget about it, and then re-discover it when spring cleaning or scouting drawers for my checkbook.

Every time I feel lost, I'm pleasantly reminded that I am doing some of the stuff I set out to like live in New York City, have my own apartment, and act/sing. And for the rest of the items, I find that my heart still yearns for some of the same things it did when I first wrote it in study hall almost ten years ago. Yet, it's only when I take a break from relationships that I really get to indulge in myself (instead of another person) and all these things I want out of life. So though the blog is based on being "in the moment," I don't think it's totally out of whack to have a little bucket list of things I'd like to do throughout my year of doing WHATEVER I want. How's that for bitchiness?

A few items so far:

-Learn to ballroom dance
-Audition or better yet, be cast in a show
-Add to the scarily small list of things I know how to cook well
-Start writing a novel-or maybe that children's book!

Ok, that's all I have so far. It's harder to think about what you want than it looks, especially on little sleep! But I'm going to create a page for this list so I'll have the space for it to grow. And in the mean time, I'm sending it out into the universe for it all to unfold...while I work hard at catching up on the sleep I missed this week.

I'm off the market & in the moment!

July 8, 2010

Night 359 and Morning 358

I only got two hours of beauty sleep (a power nap) last night, so I feel like I qualify for a combo post since one day practically flowed into the next. Big happy birthday to E! As of 2:37am this morning, she officially became a member of the "halfway to fifty" club. Welcome to the next quarter of your life!

We hit up Avenue at midnight (successfully made it past the ropes-all about the attitude, fyi), just in time to toast her properly. Since I had to be my power publicist self this morning, I couldn't afford a hangover on top of sleep-deprivation and thus, joined the 6-foot glamazons in the room drinking pseudo cocktails of mainly consisting of cranberry juice (I have now maxxed out on antioxidants for the week). Let's just say that alcohol or not, the models had nothing on the petite brunette dancing her heart out! However, a little height would have been helpful to better spot the celebrity sighting I missed:

According to People...

" It's a double date! Kim Kardashian and new beau Miles Austin hit up New York nightspot Avenue with Khloe Kardashian and her husband Lamar Odom. The foursome was with a large group of about 20 people, and they arrived just before 2 a.m., complete with a police escort. Kim wasn't drinking at all, though Khloe took some shots of tequila. Odom chatted with a friend all night, while Khloe and the rest of the group danced the night away."

Sounds like I was in good company-Kim was on the cranberry juice diet, tool! I wonder if she tactfully dropped the shot she didn't want on the floor like I did as well?

Of course, my kryptonite might as well be champagne so I didn't resist my share of the token bubbly being passed around or the delicious chocolate-covered strawberries. And my male fix for the night? Making friends with the teddybear of a bouncer at our table.

All in all, the birthday girl and her entourage had a blast for the night. Just a preview of the festivities that will continue through Sunday!

I'm off the market & in the moment!

July 6, 2010

Day 360-Honestly speaking

Confession 1-This is the second attempt at this post. The first was erased when my "cut" failed to "copy." (insert profanity here!!!!) You'll find Confession 2 below, but I doubt it will be as insightful the second time around.

ANYWAY...despite this technological glitch, today was a good day if for no other reason that the work week started on a Tuesday. Getting past the Monday dulldrums is a feat in itself, but I was surprisingly encouraged after getting my Friskyscope for the day. Yes, Friskyscope, found on the site http://www.blogger.com/www.thefrisky.com. I was a first time visitor and was not disappointed:

Scorpio: Your mouth will be going a mile a minute and you won’t be able to stop yourself from unloading all the emotions you’ve had bottled up for too long. While you might think this will end a relationship, it’ll actually mark a new start, as what you say will have more validity to the listener than you suspect and an amazing turn-about will begin.

I couldn't have said it better myself! My horoscope wonderfully verbalized how I was feeling on the first try! (And I've been known to open more than one cookie for a good fortune). The stars were slightly off-it's been my mind going a mile a minute with my fingers barely keeping up on the keys. But while I've felt a catharsis through blogging, even better has been the growing feeling that I've built some sort of wall around myself that's hardened me to those post-breakup feelings I had dwelled on for so long. Yet, the second half of the horoscope brings me to something that has been bothering me-and stop here if you don't want to hear one more breakup rumination though for those who bravely proceed, I promise it to be the last.

Confession 2: Last week, pre-off the market of course, I made a last ditch effort towards contacting the guy who'd left me behind. What resulted was a few pitiful (on my part) though cordial (on his) lines of "how are you's," which suprise! resulted in nothing more. Yet even as I confidently started on my yearlong mission (or as a friend so wittily says, "self-imposed imprisonment"), it seemed to be a facade of sorts, as I wondered/worried behind the scenes of what would happen when he saw the blog (namely, his part in the introduction)-he even kept seeping into posts. So the pit in my stomach grew on Saturday, when I realized that I was stupid to think he hadn't yet heard of it at the least (remember, I did post on FB!). But the anger I felt towards myself hit a breaking point as I was reading this horoscope today, trying to make it into a hopeful mold for my breakup (I've been accused of trying to hard if you can believe it!), then realizing how exhausted I am from still caring let alone, censoring. I'm sure I'm forever marked on the chest with a capital "C" for the seemingly crazy behavior of starting a post-breakup/self-exploration blog to begin with. What else could I possibly lose? He already made his choice. What about mine?

This blog is nothing if not honest so though I started out a week ago as an "off the market" single, I had yet to do my own part of ending a relationship. Until now. Finis. Finito. Finished (saying it in several languages equals extra affirmation). I'm ready for the amazingness promised around the corner-which should begin promptly at midnight while toasting E on her birthday. There's lots of celebrating and dancing to be done at Avenue (please pray I can make it past those velvet ropes!).

The "new start" is obvious, but the horoscope also mentions a "listener." I have no idea who that might be. That's part of the fun of a horoscope! The former me would guess/hope it was some guy-THE guy. The new person I'm slowing becoming has an inkling that the listener is more about this blog or at least someone who may have found it and has felt/is feeling the way I have. As always, a full report to follow tomorrow night's festivities, but in the mean time, my blogger friend (and fellow Clemson grad) at Fired N' Fabulous posted today about finding your purpose and then following the signs (http://firednfabulous.blogspot.com/). I'm thinking this blog may be my own little yellow brick road.

I'm off the market & in the moment!

July 5, 2010

Day 361-It's hot out but I'm oh so cool

I have to admit, I've really been enjoying the blog. Writing is therapeutic in itself, despite whether you have a yearlong mission or not, and it's nice to have an imaginary force to hold me accountable.

But today, I'm not really feeling up to it so forgive me if this one lacks structure/coherence/any sort of theme.

It's just SO hot (insert whiney voice here)! That's enough of a reason to be grumpy, but in addition, it's 97 degrees here and not only am I sans relationships this year, but I'm one of the glamourous New Yorkers who's forced to live sans central AC as well. The red curtains of my apartment are depressingly drawn tight, and I've yet to leave the small parameter of my fan for anything other than provisions from the kitchen. It's been a day spent speed reading the novel I started (before having to give up chick lit tomorrow) and little else. The one thing to be thankful for in this heatbed is that at least I don't have a hangover this morning, which is especially good because I had a lot to digest (not food) from last night's festivities.

It was a happy 4th of July indeed. Some friends and I made the J-train trek out to Brooklyn mid-afternoon to sweat together on a friend's rooftop and cookout pre-fireworks. I immediately noticed that the other borough magically held some breeze that had missed Manhattan (point for Brooklyn!), and the large square footage of our friends' apartment, the quality roofdeck, and the wonderful hospitality set the perfect mood for a holiday well-spent sipping (who are we kidding, downing) white wine and taking in the view of our fair city. Meanwhile, I was internally prepping myself for the sentiment that always overwhelms me while watching fireworks. I LOVE fireworks and have ever since I was a little girl; I can't remember a time when I've actually had a guy I liked watching them with me, but I remember many a times-EVEN when I was still a little girl (I matured early) watching said fireworks and wishing so hard for that guy to appear. And while he didn't appear last night either, I strangely felt nothing when the sky started to light up on the horizon. No wishing, no hoping-maybe this "in the moment" stuff is starting to work after all.

Except that one realization opened the door to another; I realized that despite the hot temperatures, I can be quite frigid. Namely, when meeting prospective males. I can't explain it; they usually seem nice/innocent enough. But I always feel like a caged animal as soon as one turns to me asking, "And do you live in the city?" I freeze. I shutdown. And I wonder why I don't date more!

Now obviously this isn't always the case. There are those guys I've dated that I sized up and liked the looks of/had chemistry with, or were friends of friends though frankly, those aren't in the same category. I was nice to those and approached most of them myself-I'm indeed a great flirter when I want to be. But after another one of these encounters where I failed to put on a happy face and have friendly conversation with the two guys that approached us, I was frankly a little worried about the year ahead. Now, I know I'm not supposed to be getting into relationships, but again, dating is allowed and better yet, this is all about good ol' fashioned practice at being myself in the moment. This bitchy behavior is not becoming of anyone I want to be at any moment! I love musicians (they were) so why did I let myself fade into the background as ice queen?

It's still a mystery to me, but I didn't worry my pretty little head for long because the group, in all of their collective dating wisdom, had plenty of suggestions for getting me out of my very safe and comfortably small dating box (I only regret not being able to take notes or video-some good stuff was spilled). Here is the rundown:

-There's the "if you put your mind to it, it'll happen" philosophy to going out. As in, be determined to make out with a guy at the bar tonight, and you will find a guy who'll fit the bill good enough. I say good enough because again, I'm picky when it comes to guys, but I was informed I need not be. Just find one for the task. It's all practice! Once upon a time, one of these friends (who I guess probably would prefer to remain nameless) was forced to do this challenge weekly or face death by oatmeal cookie sandwiches which she despised. You've got to have motivation!

-There's the "have no expectations and you won't be disappointed" philosophy to dating. As in, if you don't get the right vibe right away, don't push him away. Have a nice conversation and go out on a date if asked (there is a clause for bad vibe guys, of course-don't subject yourself to those). Don't expect anything other than getting to know someone, and then decide if you want to pursue from there. This was a hard idea for me to grasp as I don't go out with anyone I'm not already interested in for fear of hurting the other party. (As if I already knew who those guys were either!) At the least, you'll get thicker skin and some entertaining date stories.

-Then there's the "date around until you settle down" philosophy to commitment. As in the old adage, don't put your eggs in one basket (at least until, according to E, they want to claim you on their Facebook relationship status)

So while these dating prescriptions made be old news to some of you, you have to account for the audience: me. I knew that I was a serial monogomist, but it wasn't until I sat there in the crowded living room, wide-eyed and a little tipsy listening to all of these friends comparing stories over their dating successes and failures that I realized that I was also quite the dating virgin. And how much braver my friends were for being open to the process despite walls being torn down, hearts being crushed or having their own relationship freakouts-they didn't shut down for months in between but looked for the fun in each moment, in each situation. Ok-getting sappy again...Anyway, much more was learned, including the value of a girl offering to pay on a date (the guy shouldn't let you do so at the beginning but an offer more readily secures a callback while a non-offer is the ultimate turnoff), but I've already got my work cut out for me this week in putting some theories to the test. I'm determined to kick this cool girl to the curb.

I'm off the market & in the moment!

July 4, 2010

Day 362-Happy 4th of July!

Since today is our country's birthday, I thought it'd be poor form to write another post about moi. So I searched NYTimes.com in hopes of disovering a patriotic and somewhat worthwhile article to share. While I'm sure someone is manning the desk at 620 Eighth Avenue today, they're a little late in posting fun facts about the holiday so here's an alternative from Senior Editor Jane Farrell at http://www.bettyconfidential.com/. Maybe next year the New York Times will be deliver.

Ten Things You Didn’t Know About the Fourth of July

The secret history of our nation’s greatest holiday!

The first Independence Day celebrations weren’t held on July 4.
The colonists waited until July 25, 1776 instead. Celebrations took place in Williamsburg, Virginia; Trenton, New Jersey; and New York City. Residents of the first two cities had parades; New Yorkers, who were pretty tough even in those days, decided to melt a lead statue of the British King George III to make bullets.


The father of our country didn’t mind a little booze. For the celebration in 1778, George Washington issued a double allowance of rum to each of his soldiers. It’s not known if he issued any to himself. But if he did, he deserved it.

Personally, I'll be partaking in a sweet tea vodka cocktail

Participants in Nathan’s International Hot Dog Eating Contest have to win qualifying rounds. You mean you don’t get into the world-famous Coney Island boardwalk barf fest just by signing up? No, you don’t. You have be either the defending champion or the winner of a qualifying regional round. Or (though this has caused controversy) you can be invited by the International Federation of Competitive Eating. Yes, there really is such a group. They even have a website.

I do have talent for downing a Dominos Pizza. Perhaps time to expand my horizons? In the moment, after all!

Only one president was born on July 4. That would be our 30th president, Calvin Coolidge, who was called “Silent Cal” because he said as little as possible as often as possible. His birthdate may be the most interesting thing about him.

Nothing to say here, which seems perfectly reasonable given this lackluster fact.

Most of our fireworks aren’t made in the U.S…According to federal statistics, we imported $217 million worth of fireworks in 2009; $209 million worth came from China. On the other hand, we exported just $42.9 million worth of fireworks in that same year, with one third of the total going to the United Arab Emirates. What’s that about?

Always amazed to see that the United Arab Emirates has a hand in just about everything these days. Talk about ambition!

….but the best ones still are. And you can have them for your wedding.
The Grucci family, a fifth-generation pyrotechnics dynasty that has produced the spectacular July 4 fireworks on New York City’s East River, does private engagements as well. Want to have the most memorable U.S.-made fireworks you’ve ever seen exploding over your wedding reception or your kid’s birthday party? Minimum: $5,000 for 2-3 minutes. Just think how jealous everyone will be.

Back to the weddings, AGAIN? Another day, another point for the blog.

Food manufacturers really, really want you to have lots of snacks on July 4.
Because, you know, we need more soda, pretzels, chips and loaded potato skins. The Snack Food Association brings us the news that July 4 is among the biggest snacking days; others include Super Bowl Sunday and Labor Day. The SFA says it works to “incorporate snacks into these celebrations.” Something tells us that’s not such a hard job.

I actually had quite the beach splurge yesterday, but if our nation really needs me, I'm sure I can scrounge up something yummy to enjoy

Three of the first five presidents died on July 4. Eerily, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, the second and third presidents, both died on July 4, 1826, about six hours apart. James Monroe, the fifth president, died July 4, 1831.


Hundreds of U.S. soldiers are becoming citizens this year. Soldiers who entered our armed forces even before becoming citizens, as well as military spouses, will become citizens in ceremonies held at sites including Baghdad, Iraq; Frankfurt, Germany; Okinawa, Japan; Tegucigalpa, Honduras; Camp Lejeune, N.C.; and Fort Sill, Okla. Happy Fourth to them all!

The most important reminder for the day!

This year is the fiftieth anniversary of the 50-state flag. Hawaii was the last state to join the Union, in August 1959, but because a star is added only by the first July 4 after a state joins, the 50-star flag didn’t fly until July 4, 1960.

I've always wanted to visit every state. Since Hawaii joined last, I think it only fitting to see it first. Perhaps a single girl's honeymoon is in order?

After all...

I'm off the market & in the moment!

July 3, 2010

Day 363-Beach trumps Boys

While part of my year's focus consists of living sans relationships, the other half is discovering and therefore, living as my most honest self or my "authentic life," an idea that is perpetuated by icons like Oprah and bestselling titles such as The Happiness Project (which I've heard is actually quite life-changing and thus, has been bumped to the top of my reading list). Now I've always been a perpetual self-improver. Book clubs, volunteering with the ASPCA, and taking acting classes have all made me a stronger, smarter version of myself; on the other hand, cleanses like the infamous leek soup diet, were miserable attempts for change and ultimately, failures. However, living your true life is an altogether different matter from advice found in the self-help section of Barnes & Noble, and while I'm no Dr. Phil fan, he does differentiate between the two well:

"Are you living a life that is more in tune with your "authentic" self (who you were created to be) or your "fictional" self (who the world has told you to be)?"

The authentic Liza always emerges when I'm in nature, particularly on a beach. Nothing can beat the simple joys in sunshine, beautiful water, a good book, and some of your best friends. It's my zen place-and yes, I just said zen for the first time in my life (there may be a yogi in me yet!). I didn't think about the ex or guys in general, for that matter, despite some of the cuties around and the couple spooning on the towel nearby (BTW-why would you want to spoon when it's hot and you're covered in sand?).

Of course, the blog came up today since it was also the first time I had seen some of these friends since launching earlier this week. A few questions, in particular:

Will you be blogging every day? Answer: Would love to if I have something worthwhile to share. I don't want to crowd subscribers' email. *Publicity plug! To subscribe via email, enter your email address on the right hand side of the main page and receive posts in your inbox :-)

Can we dress you up one night before going out? Answer...What? Maybe? I dunno...TBD (awkward laugh from me)

What about that book you're reading? Answer...yes, I know Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin is chick lit/relationship-ish but....

NO BUTS. I know my guy friend was/is right. Yes, the books I like to read on the beach or before turning off my lamp at night tend to contradict the Off the Market & In the Moment mission. And the movies I love. And the Sex & the City episodes I watch over and over and over, from Carrie's rocky start in season 1 (and bad lighting) to the finale of her relationship with Big finally coming to loving fruition. I'd already thought that giving up SATC for the year was a good idea and somewhat doable as I admit to having used Carrie's diatribes to validate some of my worst dating faux pas (plus E says her dvds need a break from my incessant playing). But giving up ALL my guilty pleasures?

As much as it pains me (and please realize the pain as 95% of my dvd collection consists of happily-ever-afters), I'm going to do it. I'll wean myself off over the holiday weekend and come Tuesday, it'll be back to work where I'll be forced to grab books from our bookshelf that focus on topics other than boy meets girl. Maybe I'll even learn something other than why He's Just Not That Into You.

And while I know guys out there are rolling their eyes at the value I put in such items, I hope you're also storing some of this info away for future reference. Like this blog, I hope the stuff we read and the shows we watch explain a little more of why some of us are the way we are. And I hope other gals out there-and I do know a few-are already living as their authentic selves, but in the mean time, there are some like me who have grown up on Disney movies, were "good" girls who never went to the principal's office, and are still finding the way to be in the moment simply as ourselves.

And while a good as it gets beach day does wonders for erasing my mind of old flames, I was still reminded I have a long way to go this year. I was disappointed in myself that I didn't feel strong enough/attractive enough to take E's challenge of doing my own humorous version of the escapade going on nearby: a group of girlfriends jokingly taking pictures in what I'd refer to as a playful mix between Little Mermaid's moment on the rock (you know the scene I'm talking about-where the waves crash during the final note of "Part of Your World") and a Victoria's Secret photo shoot in the sand. They were having a blast and didn't care who was taking notice or what they thought. To me, that's the ultimate achivement in both relationships and living. To be yourself, despite who's watching.

I'm off the market & in the moment!

July 2, 2010

Day 364-Single White Female

I'm already counting down. I wish I could say the first day was a breeze, but rather, it started with one of the nervous tummy aches I've gotten since I was a kid, which was not helped by the meatball sub I therapeutically treated myself to for lunch. What have I gotten myself into? I've already found that unlike Lent, where you get a big binge before making your 40 day sacrifice, this social experiment lacked the love fest needed to tide me over until next June.

Even though I was a little dapper about my decision during the morning, I have to give a big thanks to those who wrote encouraging comments on yesterday's post or via facebook-thanks for being such great cheerleaders! I am going to need you along the way but will try to keep this blog classy (not crazy) and entertaining, in its brutal honesty at least. Blogging can be extremely self-indulgent so feel free to chime in when you want, especially if you disagree. A few of the males that I've heard from are being a bit more discreet, at least until this outlet gets a little less girly. But for now, I'm feeling girly, so at the risk of losing your clickthroughs, I'm staying the course. Because trying to please an audience other than myself would totally defeat the purpose of these posts; I'd still be trying to be the pleaser in a relationship. Yes, I'm already starting to learn from this process!

So despite being super nervous all day about this somewhat scary endeavor, I was quickly reminded of said purpose when I corresponded with a friend I hadn't seen in ages. The conversation seemed pretty routine: Do you like NYC? Where are you working? And then:

"So are you planning to get married anytime soon bc I know all yall's friends seem to be getting married."

Now this is a perfectly nice guy. And for many, an innocent question. But that question, ladies and gents (if there are any out there), restored my faith in what I'm doing here. I love Daily Candy Weddings and proudly subscribe despite my bare ring finger. Even more so, I love that some of my dearest of friends have found their partner in life. And while I someday want to walk down the aisle in a lacy Oscar de la Renta number, I'm not looking to change my last name right now, despite what my ex feared. So being asked the marriage question by someone other than my grandmother (who has asked me enough for a lifetime and would die if she knew I had willingly taken myself off the market) is a prime example of the single girl's dilemma. Talk about being kicked out of the moment of single and fabulousness just for a reminder that your prince is on a slow horse!

Speaking of princes: several people have informed me of the dangerous game I'm playing with karma. And as someone who belives that the universe has a sense of humor, I am totally cognizant of the fact that Prince Charming himself will fall in my lap a few months in, JUST when I start to settle back into a happy singlehood (I just hope it's a real prince like Harry). All I can say is that yes, I've thought about it. I've even worried about missing a relationship with the guy I've yet to meet. And confess, I even thought the blog might give the universe the swift kick in the butt it needed to get that guy here quicker. But for now I'm focusing on the moment, and other than that, it's anybody's guess.

I did do some "in the moment" celebrating after work. With my gracious roommate treating, I enjoyed strawberry bellinis amid the backdrop of the Empire State Building and beautiful tropical flowers at 230 Fifth. I was wary of going initially-I was still in my somewhat mom-ish work clothes, for goodness sakes! Of course, when I suddenly realized that I no longer needed to exist in such bars for the sole purpose of attracting the opposite sex, I began to really enjoy myself taking in the people watching. I did avoid all male to Liza eye contact for fear of attracting the prince on day 1. But then I remembered the night I had kissed a real Norwegian count on this very rooftop the last time I embraced life as a girl on the town. Looking back at how strong I was in my singlehood, and the great memories I have, worked even better than the liquid courage. It was the reassurance I needed from myself.

Of course, we then proceeded to S'Mac to grab some yummy macaroni and start on the 5 lbs I can afford to succumb to (no worries about impressing some guy in a swimsuit this weekend at Long Beach) and capped off the night with a viewing of Single White Female recommended by E's boss who had seen my blog earlier in the day. We were prepared for a chick flick. We got a horror story of a single white female, dressed in really bad 80's clothes, killing her roommate's boyfriend with her stilleto.

Hopefully, I can stay single and sane!

I'm off the market & in the moment!