Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Royal Belly Dancers and an Impressive Falsetto

The only reason that I haven't written anything in a while is because I have a few things to say but not enough of each to make it worth much. So I'll tell you a tiny bit about the time we went to Manhattan.

The other night Royal played their first show. And it's pretty unanimous--they were the shit. Everyone was all quite comfortably smooshed together inside of what used to be a speak easy during the prohibition--drinkin' pineapple beers and wondering if the belly dancer is going to lose the sword that she has balanced so precariously atop her head. To everyone in the bar who kept asking me, I'm fairly confident that Royal did not hire the belly dancer ladies. I can't say for sure but my theory is that they know good music when they hear it and they follow it. I can only speak for myself but I didn't think that them being there felt weird, either, because it kind of all fit together in a strange way. I've been in a mood that just accepts the bizarre, lately, though. And there seems to be a lot of bizarre in this world.
Katie, Kristin, Libby, Willy, Ryan, fish bowl.
 They played their show--they were completely delightful and then we all took to the town until we were too sleepy to do much else. Katie and Kristin and I drove up there together but we picked up a few stragglers (one Douglas, one Willie, and one Willie's dismantled bicycle) for the drive home. And even though we were sleepy, you have to power through and keep your designated driver awake. So mostly we just flipped through the radio stations until we recognized a song and then we sang it. Loudly. And with various solos. Doug is very good at this game and executes a pretty mean falsetto. He forfeited the game, though, when he was belting out "California Girls" and fell asleep mid-sentence.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Reed Hastings Wants Me Back: A Tutorial Begging

I get the impression that Reed Hastings (or at least his letter writer) is very good at regrettably destroying romantic relationships. That would explain why he writes such a fulfilling Please Take Me Back (I mean, I'm not going to change but would you) Please, oh, Please Take Me Back apology email.

I assure you, in my day I have received more than a couple of this type of email (I am a very wanted woman). But those men... amateurs. You've got something to learn from your brother, gentlemen from my past. And since I blogged about our initial breakup (which was so it's-not-you-it's-me that it's obvious Reed didn't even take the time to scan it), I feel like it's fair to speak to Mr. Hasting's letter here. If you want, you can think of it as kind of a tutorial. Who knows when you're really going to screw up with a lady and need to write the perfect "apology". Bookmark it and revisit with frequency. Lets get started, shall we?

Dear Libby,

I messed up. I owe you an explanation.

That. is. satisfying.
The key here is to begin with a statement that will prove that you've been thinking about what happened and that you've come to some conclusions. Begining with a self-depricating and also inarguably true statement does kind of a switch-around. She's starting your letter feeling fired up, sure. But she's also starting your letter with the words, "you're right" in the forefront of your mind.
Sneaky, sneaky, Letter Writer.

It is clear from the feedback over the past two months that many members felt we lacked respect and humility in the way we announced the separation of DVD and streaming and the price changes.

What I'm hearing is, "I've been checking out your Facebook wall on the regular and it's obvious to me that the email I sent to you two months ago in which I asked that you would be more giving in our relationship and that I would continue behaving in the manner that I always do--making no changes whatsoever, wasn't cool. The feedback that I'm reading from your friends, family members, co-workers, and that guy you met on a Greyhound back in 2007 and never saw again is indicating to me that our break-up was sort of a douchey move on my part. I didn't handle this appropriately. I get that."
The lesson that you want to take from this is that you want to connect with your reader's feelings. Admit that she has them and then vaguely refer to something that you might have done wrong. In this case, Reed sent an email that said, "You need to change for our relationship to grow and flourish." He recognizes that wasn't the greatest way to harvest change between the two of us.
I wish that he'd mentioned that I heard about our relationship status change from NPR before I'd even heard from him. That was the part that hurt the most...

For the past five years, my greatest fear at Netflix has been that we wouldn't make the leap from success in DVDs to success in streaming ... I should have personally given you a full explanation of why we are splitting the services and thereby increasing prices. It wouldn’t have changed the price increase, but it would have been the right thing to do.

Make your reader sympathize with you. By including the phrase, "my greatest fear," Mr. Hastings is bringing himself down to a personal level. No longer am I having this conversation with a large company (or jerky ex-boyfriend who changed the parameters of our relationship without asking). I'm having it with a human being. With hopes and fears. So much so that I almost miss the part at the end where he says, "nothing's going to change, really, but maybe I should have just talked a lot more."
For the next two paragraphs he goes on about how things are not really going to change and that our relationship will remain the way that he laid out for us in that original email.
This is where you, Letter Writer, can maintain some of your charge. Origninally, Reed said, "Hey, I want you to give me $16 a month instead of $10 for the exact same service." Maybe in your case, you want more blowjobs and less cuddle time. Your needs are still your needs and they're not going to change--it's important to let her know. But hopefully you pad it enough with, "I was wrong" and "you're so pretty" that she doesn't totally notice.

For me the Netflix red envelope has always been a source of joy. The new envelope is still that lovely red, but now it will have a Qwikster logo. I know that logo will grow on me over time, but still, it is hard. I imagine it will be similar for many of you.

Remember the good times? Remember the way you felt when you'd open your mailbox to see that bright red envelope? Remember the way she smelled? Remember how you used to take walks every Sunday morning and cut? Those were nice things--things you get used to. But things are going to change and you are willing to accept it. Mention this to your lady and secure yourself as an introspective fellow. The new things will "grow on you over time." But still, it is hard. (TWSS)

[I will] work hard to regain your trust. We know it will not be overnight. Actions speak louder than words. But words help people to understand actions.

This is the part where you talk about the actions that you want her to believe that you are taking. "We know it will not be overnight," is a phrase you might borrow when what you really want to say is, "I hope that you stick around long enough to forget that I ever did anything stupid to begin with."

In the end, if your lady gets to the end of the letter, then you probably have some hope. I have no intention of getting involved with Netflix or Quickster whatsoever. The only reason that I got to the end of this letter is because I wanted to share it all with you, frankly.

Oh, and there's a P.S.

p.s. I have a slightly longer explanation along with a video posted on our blog, where you can also post comments.

I clicked the video and it took me to this song:

I mean, it's a little bit over the top but who knows? Sometimes over the top works.
Anyway. Good luck getting her back.
And stop sending me emails.

Love, Libby

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Hopes, Dreams, Pronto Pups: The Kansas State Fair

Until a few nights ago I hadn't been to the Kansas State Fair in years. Let me work out the timeline in my head...
I haven't gone since I've graduated from college.
I didn't go at any point when I was in college.
When I was a late teenager, I was far too cynical to find anything even remotely redeeming about fairs.
It's easily been over ten years. Until the other night when Ryan and I went.

And it was a lot of fun in some ways and kind of depressing in some ways but over all I really liked being there. Fun for the obvious reasons, the lights and colors and people watching and chickens. It's a little depressing when you go and you are an adult (in the technical sense of the term). You can see the dirt and grime of things and the things that necessitate utilizing the hand sanitizing stations. You can see all the wires and the creepy people who have the job of saying, "Step right up. Step right up. Everyone's a winner." And they've been saying it all day and all week and they're sick of it. You walk through the amateur photography exhibit and all you can think is, "I wouldn't put that picture on Facebook and here you are submitting it to exhibition? And someone accepted it?" But when you're little it's all, "Pretty colors," and "taaaaaake me to the riiiiiiides-uh!!"

On the drive up, we talked about our culinary hopes and dreams. Ryan wanted a Pronto Pup and I wanted to find fried cauliflower. Every time I mention fried cauliflower, everyone responds with, "sick." But it's sooooo good. And you never find it anywhere at all. Probably because everyone is disgusted by the mention of it. But I thought if any place would have it, it would be the fair. But mostly I didn't get my hopes up.
Ryan: There will not be any fried cauliflower there.
Libby: Yuh huh! It's delicious.
Ryan: No, it's not. Why would anyone even offer vegetables when there are things like fried candy bars and funnel cakes?
Libby: While you make a valid point, the answer is: because it's awesome.

And after you pay the eight bucks to get into the gate, nothing else is free. Except for the bunnies and the chickens so first stop is bunnies and chickens.

The bunnies were precious:
I will call this one Henry.
Ryan thought this one reminded him of Penelope. My niece.

The chickens were incredible:
This lady was a huge, beautiful optical illusion and I couldn't stop staring at her.

The pigeons wore lovely, weather-appropriate coats:
Miss Havisham



And this turkey was repulsive:
Any given monster created by Guillermo del Toro
There really is something about looking a bird in the eye that makes you think, "you used to be a dinosaur, didn't you?"

Walking out of the chicken coop, I was hungry. I said, "I'm hungry." We were walking along and the very first food booth I saw advertised, Stuffed Cucumbers (which are sliced down the middle with the guts taken out and stuffed with--seafood salad. Do not attempt to eat this.) I poked Ryan and said, "Look. See? Vegeta--FRIED CAULIFLOWER!" And so I walked up to the guy and said, "fried cauliflower, please." And then the guy was like, "alright." And then I saw that I was about to pay $5.00 for cauliflower. I had to just accept it. For the record, not only was it delicious but I didn't see another place anywhere that sold my culinary dream come true. This was providence. Maybe.
Here is a picture of me being enthusiastic about this treat. Mostly I know that Sarah Beth will be happy that this still exists in the world and that's why I went to the trouble to tell the cauliflower story even though it is dreadfully anti-climactic. I wanted it. I got it. I enjoyed it. The end.

I'm not really all that into rides but when we were little, my dad's favorite ride was Ye Old Mill. He would get so excited about it and even though he usually griped about money and stuff, he had no problem dishing out the cash that it took to take his family of 6 on this ride. The Old Mill, for the record, is a combination of The Tunnel of Love and a haunted house. You get in a little boat and snuggle up close and go on a ride through a river of crap jumping out at you. Admittedly I am a scaredy cat and I like it that way. When I was little, I would crouch down in the bottom  of the boat and scream and shudder and my dad would laugh and try to pull me up and say, "I have you." But every little time a hand shot out, I would dive down to the floor again. This was the first time I've been on the ride with anyone other than my dad. I'm legally a grown up but when we got in the boat I clung to my purse and could feel myself crouching down again like I was little. And Ryan laughed at me but once we got going--it was not such a big deal. Even the air horns and the rapey guy saying, "We like screamers," (Really, guy? Don't be gross.) didn't really phase me. It was nothing like what my mind remembered. But back then you didn't get in trouble for utilizing cell phone cameras.Yeah, some guy in a white Kansas City Chiefs' jersey yelled at Ryan for taking a picture of some guy's jeans because I said, "I wonder what this place looks like in the light." The Old Mill looks like jeans. Go Chiefs!

Then mostly we just wandered around and were amazed by the things that you can eat at the fair. Krispy Kreme hamburger? Fried Kool-Aid (which, by the way, I have on good authority, tastes like a gelatinized Flinstone vitamin)? Fried pineapple? I really wanted to try the fried pineapple but I was tired of giving money to people. Fried cookie dough. Tacone. People, a tacone! There are great ideas--that would be a taco. And then there are friggin genius ideas and that would be the tacone! Taco in a cone, alright? I wanted one. But six dollars? It's $.50 taco night at Taco Tico and I'm not even engaging in that--I'll make my own, thanks.
Ooh. I could make my own.

Then we walked through the deserted places full of stuff that people try to sell to you in the daytime. We saw lawn mowers and RV's and a jacuzzi that retails at just barely over what my parents paid for our three-story, Victorian home when we lived in Stafford, KS. But, man was it gorgeous. It was the kind of thing that's created to appear on The Real World and nowhere else. Owning a (reasonably priced) jacuzzi has been added to the bucket list, by the way. When I'm a grown up.

Someone was selling puppets:

And then we went home. And it was wonderful.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

"Dudes! Can't live with them, can't kill yourself because then how would you meet dudes?" -A Lady

All my single ladies (and, hell, even not single ladies--maybe not even only ladies?), put your hands up. Mangled four-year-old Beyonce reference FTW! 

I'm sure that I've plugged The Hairpin plenty of times in my life but not enough (what's a girl gotta do to get you guys to beg me to write for you, already? I suppose I could start by reading about their submission policy but I'd prefer personal solicitation on their part. I mean, really.). I take this opportunity, now, to share with you a Q but most specifically the A from this week's edition of Ask A Lady. Even if the question doesn't have universal appeal--I have such a crush on the rightness of this answer. A Lady is a smart lady. What I mean by that is that I've been saying this for years. But without the references to vagazzling and Alan.

Also I love you. I bring you, Ask A Lady

I'm 25 years old and have a great job, great friends, and a great relationship with my family. I live in my favorite neighborhood in my favorite city in the world. I have a lot of hobbies and interests and I've finally learned to enjoy working out. I have a good life, is what I'm saying.
The problem is that after a painful breakup in the spring (and even a little before then), I've realized that I'm deeply insecure when it comes to men. This leads me to make terrible decisions, like pre-emptively rejecting guys I actually really like because I'm so scared they'll reject me, or dating guys I don't really like for way too long because any male attention is better than none. I can't act normally around men — I feel sometimes like a dog begging for scraps. I guess at heart I'm terrified of ending up alone, even though, as a feminist, I'm quick to say that being single is not the most horrible thing that can happen to a woman (and I believe that! Just not for myself).
So, I decided that I wouldn't date anyone until I could work that out and 1) become truly happy with my single existence, and 2) learn to see men as human beings and not as the owners of my self-worth. Unsurprisingly, it's a lot easier said than done. As a small example, a man at work is starting to show interest in me, and even though I know he isn't right for me, I'm finding it hard to discourage him.

Do you have any tips? How do I do this hard work?

Dudes! Can't live with them, can't kill yourself because then how would you meet dudes?

How you become happy with your single existence: Go to the spinster tent — you know, the purple and gold one on the lushest hillside, appointed with tapestries and rugs lovingly woven by generations of our foremothers — and spend your days gardening and reading poetry, and then dance joyously into the night to the sound of a thousand timbrels.

No, screw timbrels. Screw destructive Eat, Pray, Love vagazzlery. You can’t catch happy, even in India, and you can’t hide from sad. Happy is a feeling, not a status. It arrives more often and lingers longer when you aren't afraid of it leaving (a lot like dudes, go figure). Everyone, seriously, stop sweating happy. Let’s try “dealing.” Why do you have to be truly happy being single? Being single can really fucking suck sometimes. (Everything can, differently! Being alive: No one’s gotten it right yet.) Feel lonely! Dislike that feeling! Crave even imperfect romantic attachment!

But do — do — find a way to take it a little easier on yourself? If someone told a friend of yours she was like “a dog begging for scraps,” you would say that person was. . . a jerk? A bad, bad jerk. There’s a bad, bad jerk in the corner of your head, and you have to find a way to leave the room when she starts to run her mouth. Worst case scenario, you are a genuinely rotten and pathetic person (you are not. Pretty much everyone is just normal). OK. Well, you still have to haul your rotten, pathetic self through space and time somehow, and dwelling about how much you suck isn’t going to help you do it. PS, I have a jerk in my head too! He mostly bothers me about work-related stuff, and his name is Alan. I literally sit around my office telling an imaginary person named Alan to stuff it. And I’m not that good at my work right now! But fuck if I’m gonna let Alan get nasty with me about it — what has HE done lately? Stuff it, jerks!

Oh but the jerks in our head! Rivaled only by the jerks in the real world. Yes. The glazed eyes of people who want (or, god, worse, DON'T WANT) to fuck us are a warped mirror. You'll either grow out of the obsessive primping before it or become a Real Housewife, but who wants to wait to grow? What can we do NOW NOW NOW to care less about whether boys think we are pretty or not? Normally my advice would be "I dunno, just try to have ugly friends so you are always the pretty one?" but you said something smart that I want to come back to: that you want to "learn to see men as human beings."

That's why I wonder if your "no dates until I transcend" policy is the right one. If it sounded like you were getting involved in totally off-the-grid self-damaging stuff, maybe, but you sound pretty normal-crazy, and even if you didn't do anything I think you'd hit the standard giving-less-of-a-fuck milestones which occur in ages divisible by 6 or 9. In the meantime, though. . . men ARE human beings, pretty typical ones, mostly, and I've found hanging around them is a good way to get a sense of that. Why do you have to discourage this dude who seems into you at work? Why can't you just relax into the idea "I am being flattered. Flattery, unsurprisingly, is pleasant"?  Yeah, yeah, then he asks you out, then you say, I don't see us like that, then he says, but you let me say nice things to you, and then you say, yeah, it's nice to hear nice things! And if he's like BITCH LED ME ON, well, then you'll know you were dealing with a jerk. Name the jerk in your head after him!

What you're really asking for is a source of validation other than — and more powerful than — the validation you get from dudes. Maybe, if you tried really hard, you could care less about dudes and more about being Best at Work, Knower of Best Bars, whatever — there are infinity unsuccessful ways to try to live in other people's minds, and maybe one of them will work for you. I don’t know, though, I think you need to learn that dudes don’t know what they’re talking about — in an adorable, chaotic, human way! — and I feel like talking to them is a good way to learn that. Engage in good faith and men will lose their imaginary power — and gain a whole new charm? — the more you are in the world with them, ask questions, challenge, coax, flirt, annoy. That's the "work," being in the world and asking why? how? why? you want to WHAT? over and over like the spiritual toddler you are. Upshot: I would say don't touch a dude's penis until you have made a point of asking him five involved, intrusive questions ("do you think I'm pretty?" doesn't count).  Baby steps, girls! Baby steps.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sweet Cuppin' Cakes: Do It Your Own Self

Saddly, I closed all of the windows in my apartment and turned on the air conditioner. It was a little bit hot, today, and I was baking and having people over and so I decided to just go ahead and turn on the a/c. It felt kind of weird and defeaty, too, because today was the day of our Scentsy party to welcome in all of the Autumn and Winter scents and products. Also, I am super anxious for summer to be over. I think that it just might be, but I don't want to get my hopes up. I'm not sure I've got it in me for another heat wave. Until today, I've had the windows open and the a/c turned off for almost two weeks and my apartment has been downright cold. And I've loved every chilly minute of it. It's probably safe to do it again, I would imagine. After I finish this post.
So, I invited Sarah to come to Mac and throw us a Scentsy party, today. I woke up and my house was an absolute disaster. The way I feel about the cleanliness of my house is completely nonsensical. When I call up a friend and say, "hey, wanna come watch a movie tonight?" I don't really care about what my house looks like. But when I plan something weeks in advance, I suddenly feel the need to break out the wet Swiffer over my hardwood floors and dust the top of the microwave. So my house wasn't really an absolute disaster to the point where anyone would notice anything different--but it there were a lot of things that I wanted to accomplish. I wanted to do all of my dishes (I did some of them). I wanted to clean the litter box (I did do that--you can't very well invite people over to smell your house and have a dirty litter box. You could but it would be rude.). I wanted to mop my kitchen floor but decided that it wasn't such a big deal and probably no one would notice. And then, naturally, I spilled half a gallon of pink lemonade inside of the refrigerator. So not only did the refrigerator get cleaned out, that floor got a good Cinderella style scrub down with soapy water, a rag and bare hands feet.

Anyway, since Sarah was going to talk about the Fall and Winter catalog, we wanted to have nice autumn time-y treats. I have been a little bit obsessed with cupcakes as of late so that was the obvious choice (it's so nice to not have to wash plates and forks) but I couldn't find any recipes that excited me. Most fall-time foods involve pumpkin and, frankly, I don't love pumpkin at all unless it's in a milkshake. From Sonic. Brought to me by my little sister. And it makes such a huge mess when I take the lid off (why would you take the lid off?!) that I'm forced to drink it over the sink.
I. Love. My sister.
What I really wanted was to find a way to put a chai latte, the ultimate cold-weather drink of choice, into a cupcake. I couldn't find a recipe so I just made up my own. And let me tell you, it was freaking delicious. Semi-homemade at its finest. I assure you, this cupcake is Sandra Dee's wet dream.

Chai Tea Cupcakes with Apple Cider Buttercream Frosting
1 box of cake mix. I don't know what kind I used, the kind with "pudding" in the batter and it was less than a dollar. These things appeal to me. (Note: if I had to do it all over again, I would have gone with a spice-flavored cake mix instead of white)
3 eggs
1/3 cup of oil
1 T. Vanilla extract
1 cup of water very strongly brewed chai tea, cooled. I had Stash green chai (which is my favorite) and so that's what I used.

Follow the directions on the box, more or less. Dump it all into a bowl. Mix that stuff up and dump it into cupcake liners. Bing, bang, boom. I baked mine for exactly 18 minutes and they came out absolutely perfect.

The highlight of these puppies was certainly the frosting. I couldn't think of a way to chai-it-up in the frosting department using what I had in my house so I went for something completely different. What is the second most delicious hot beverage for cold days? Apple Cider. And I just so happened to have some packets of instant cider mix to add and make it all very tart and sugary.

Powdered sugar I have no idea how much, honestly.
1 stick butter I will surely be shunned from the baking community for admitting this but I used margarine. That's what I had!
Two packets of instant apple cider mix probably could have backed off and gone with just the one.
Any cinnimony spice that I could find in my pantry. I used Vietnamese cinnamon and apple pie spice but you can use whatever you want or like
Teeny tiny bit of water

Mix it all up until it reaches a reasonable consistency. If you need it to be softer, add tiny bits of water at a time. If you want it to be a little more stiff, add more powdered sugar. Then you frost all of your cupcakes. I remember that when I first started frosting cupcakes, I kept getting frustrated because I didn't know how to make it look pretty without a pastry bag. I don't have a pastry bag anyhow but if I did, then I sure wouldn't use it anyway. It's impossible to clean those things, man. So, anyway, I made a little video for you. I hope you find it to be helpful.

So we frosted the cupcakes and I put water on for tea and then the friends started coming over.

And we smelled things and played games. Everyone got a prize but Katie, undoubtedly, won the best prize when her name was drawn for a plug-in warmer. When I talk about Scentsy, I sound like a weirdo but when you're at a Scentsy party, you are loving life. I assure you.
And then you order all a reasonable amount of the things that your little heart wants, your sister will go home and order them for you and you will receive them in no more than three weeks.

*Sigh* And then you go put on your grown up pants, go to bed, and face the facts that tomorrow is Monday. Remember boys and girls, you are in charge of how you react to your Monday. And if it's just too much to bear, come on over to my apartment because I have a fridge full of these.

I love you so much that if I tried to explain it to the fullest degree, you'd probably get freaked out a little bit.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

No, That Can't Be Right: In Defense of Men

I was browsing Pintrest like I do when I can't sleep. My favorite things to see are chunky knit caps and knee-high boots. Or fancy cupcakes. Or little cartoons that make me laugh.
My least favorite things to see on Pintrest are inspirational sayings that people write to inspire them to not eat their meals properly. "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels." Really? I mean, that may be true. I wouldn't know--probably I never will but I do know another thing: Skinny doesn't feel as good as emaciation doesn't. But last night I was presented with something new to make me worry about humanity.
Sexism is like a frolic through wild flowers.
Man Hate disguised as inspiration.

Oh, it just breaks my heart and frustrates me.
It frustrates me on a number of different levels, too. So much so that I'm not sure I'll be able to put it all into the right kind of words.

First of all, why is it okay and sweet and inspirational to women to say "the main reason why a daughter needs a dad is to show her that not all the boys are like the ones who hurt her" (I won't even touch the subject of the many fathers who absolutely ruin their children). Would it not be wildly offensive to needlepoint something like, "the main reason why white people need Toofer on 30 Rock is to show them that not all black people are like the one who mugged them." I don't know. Maybe white people do need Toofer. Maybe that's not offensive. But it should be--you know, if it was framed and hanging in your study.

I know so many good men! I want to name all of them and tell you all about every single one of them but who has the time? I know so many good men who would never break anyone's heart without feeling it ten times over in their own. I know so many good men that are smart, talented, funny, gentle and genuinely kind people. And none of them are any more selfish, angry, or thoughtless than I am, myself.

She's never ignoring you. She's driving past your house
at night--planning a full-blown crazy attack.
That is not to say that I don't know any men who have ever done anything wrong. Because it's not true. I know men who have had affairs. I know men who have hit their children. I know men who have raped their girlfriends. I know men who have done terrible things.

I know women who have had affairs. I know women who have hit their children. I know women who have trapped their boyfriends with false-pregnancies and lies. I know women who have done terrible things.

That is to say that I know people who are people and the responsibility of their actions does not lie in their gender. I don't know a single person who has done any of these things without regretting it to a palatable degree.

We're brought up to believe things like, "you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince." And to that I have to call bullshit.
First of all, you don't have to kiss someone to know that they're not worth your attention. You know way before the kissing starts whether or not you'll regret this activity. And if you decide to go ahead and lock lips with a bullfrog--is it the bullfrog's fault? And if the bullfrog says that you're fat or doesn't like your mother or requests that you make him a sandwich, I would say that you're dealing with a bullfrog and they have less than lovely tastes. Also they have such tiny hands and it's hard to make a sandwich with hands like that.
So anyway, I guess we're just supposed to go around dating losers and mindless fools and hoping that one day a wonderful gentleman will see what a gem we really are and sweep us away and never let us go and suddenly we don't have to live such a disappointing existence any longer. Ah... what a delightful dream.

But... What if we eliminated the horrible middleman and just stopped acting in ways that disappointed us in the first place and then we wouldn't need a hero? You could be your hero, Baby. You can kiss away your pain. You would stand by you forever. You. Can. Take. Yourbreathaway.

We're raised to believe that boys only want one thing and it's a girl's job to tease them with it not let them have it. So, you see, there's another lie. Women think about, want, and enjoy sex just as much as the fellas do. But we don't talk about that, we just talk about what men do. When a man wants sex he's seen as a dog. When a woman wants sex, she's seen as strong and empowered (or a slut, depending on the circles). What if we saw each other as people? What if we acknowledged that some relationships have a sexual element and some do not? Instead of one person taking the brunt of the responsibility in managing it--we could look out for one another with mutual respect and admiration.

If men are not sex-maniacs who are on a mission for poon, then they're bumbling idiots. More often than not, they're both. In any instance, that's who they are and we, as women, are required to put up with it. That's the only way that we'll get swept off of our feet.

That can't be right.

Girls use this line of thinking (men are assholes, men only want me for my vagina, men will never get it right, and then men will make my dreams come true) and go about their lives as if this was truth and as though it's not completely absurd. It's completely absurd. And that's where the real trouble begins. Because it's one thing to leave an idea as an idea but when you put feet to it--reality ensues. And, boy, are we in trouble.

What does it look like when a woman treats this bizarre idea as truth? It looks like your friend who falls asleep heartbroken because another guy from a dating website stopped talking to her after three days. You see your friends who are happy and in love and you wonder what you have to change to get that, too. She's bitter at her husband because she's got the house and the kids and she'd finally be happy if he'd just do the dishes every now and again--probably. Do you see how this is unreasonable? Unnecessary heartache, my friends. People are people and even at his very best he can't heal everything that hurts in you.  Trust me, you don't want him to have that power, anyway.

Maybe I have only known unicorn men in my day. And if that's the case, then this is coming from an unreasonably biased perspective but I don't think so. I've known men in my life who are human beings. Men who have every right to be angry and hurt and confused to be stuck in this lose-lose female perspective. They're never going to win. Even this guy is going to leave his balled up socks in the living room.

I know that there are terrible men in the world, too. I know that there are horrible women. I know, though, that they are not the rules. But we're all just people. And we're all trying to live our lives--trying to become happy. I think that starts with being kind and surrounding yourself with people who make you feel good and don't make you feel angry or small or insignificant. And then treating the people in your life as though they are your dear friends--regardless of their gender. Help each other to become the kinds of people that you each want to become. There's love all over that.