You’re just like your mother.

Jessica M

It’s an insult so often uttered on TV in movies that I spent a good deal of my childhood growing up dreading the idea of possibly turning into my mother (the constant reoccurring nagging wife character that is ever present on television and in movies). In no way, shape, or form would I EVER let that happen. She’s a crazy old bird that has no idea what it’s like to be me!!!  Sound familiar?

My mom was a blonde, so I dyed my hair black.  She played softball, I played soccer.  She didn’t think I needed a cellphone in high school, so I got a job and got one on my own.  She wanted me to pursue a degree in math or science, I took a liberal arts track.  She started her family at 22, I swore off kids for as long as possible.  On and on, I did every thing I could to distance myself from her.

But why?

At 27, I see more of my mother in me than I ever thought I would and as it turns out, she’s a pretty rad lady.  She’s funny, she’s fit, and she’s so smart.  We like the same movies, the same books, the same food (total sugar addicts).  She’s been there to listen to me mope around about boys from the ages of 13-25, and I now see myself doing the same thing with my student workers.  She took a week off of work and bought the box set of Roots on DVD to stay home and watch with me while I recovered from a breast reduction surgery (which she then also had a few years later).  When I was a kid I remember her leaving every Tuesday night to get together with “the girls,” a ritual she still keeps up to this day (and something I desperately wish I could arrange with my girlfriends, maybe if we’re ever back in the same area code again).  Shortly after I moved home after college I was watching TV with my dad waiting for my mom to get home from work when the phone rings – she just hit the jackpot on slot machines in the local casino and wanted us to ride up and celebrate with her (and was actually out of work over an hour ago ha). She rides on the back of my dad’s motorcycle (Sturgis bike week is to them what music festivals are to me) and was fully supportive when I made the insane, impulsive, and ridiculous decision to get a motorcycle of my own.  Between the two of us, we could easily set a world record for clumsiness, there is no step too small to trip over and no glass too sturdy to break (my last apartment had paint stains on the door frame from when she kicked a paint can over by mistake 20 years ago).  She goes to so many events downtown, I actually find myself jealous of her social life sometimes.  A twentysomething, jealous of her mother’s social life!  She and my dad have been role models for a healthy relationship (high school sweethearts happily married for 28 – or so – years), not many people can say that.

Most importantly, through thick and thin, no matter how defiant I became, my mother always been the most supportive person in my life (even when I took that liberal arts track, and registered as a *gasp* democrat).  When I turned 25, I had a party in my/her back yard (hot dogs, a keg, music, friends) that she and dad came to (I mean, it was in their backyard).  My mom was cracking jokes (her most quoted line of the night, “it’s not my  kind of party if you have to wear shoes!) and the girls loved her.  The next day, and for a while afterwards, I was bombarded with people telling me how cool my mom was and how similar the two of us are (my dad is pretty cool too, he cruises around town on a Harley for crying out loud – but this isn’t a post about dads).  Just a week ago I told a coworker that I am in need my mother’s daughter, if he met my parents it would be clear that I am their daughter..  It turns out being just like my mother, isn’t such a bad thing after all.

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Class of 2014 – lend me your ears

Jessica M

In honor of all the recent grads (I have college students in mind, but high school students could probably benefit from some wisdom as well), I have compiled a list of quick advice – things to keep in mind when adulthood is no longer on the horizon but in fact, right in your face.

- Do not give up.

- Put yourself first, but find time to help others.  Balance is key.

- Money isn’t everything.  Sure it can make life easier at times, and sure you can buy nice things with it (to whoever said money doesn’t buy happiness – have you ever ridden a jet ski in the Bahamas?).  But things are just things, they won’t last forever.

- Do not eat big meals before interviews/meetings/seminars etc.

- You WILL find the right partner.  It might take a long ass time, but he/she is out there.

- Do not settle.

- Okay, maybe settle with your first job out of college, but do not give up (see above).  I spent a year of steadily applying at jobs in my field (library science) before I even had my first interview.  Meanwhile, I worked in a grocery store.  Guess what?  I landed that interview because of my grocery store experience.

- Do not avoid chances for skinny dipping, dancing like a maniac, going on dates, singing

photo via NBC / mitchellkristen.tumblr.com

photo via NBC / mitchellkristen.tumblr.com

karaoke loud and off key, any chance to show off – because of the way you look.  When you’re old and reflecting back on your life, you don’t want to regret missing out on fun memories because you were too self conscious.  Just have fun!  No one minds!

- Set goals, and do what you want to do.  Do you long to have a busy and fulfilling career?  Go for it.  Take those promotions, they’re waiting for you.  Do you aspire to be a mother?  Just because it’s unpaid doesn’t make this just as fulfilling of a career.  There is no standard for a fulfilling life – but you’ve only got one, do what makes you happy.

- The universe is confusing, but things do (weirdly) work out.

Hopefully at least one thing on this list resonates with you.  And while I’m at it, let’s add another one:

- Forget what I said about adulthood being in your face, we are the generation of adulthood beginning at 30

Youth – no longer for me.

Jessica M

We hear people all the time talking about their lost youth, how to look and feel younger, and what they wouldn’t give to be young again.  I have to admit, I’ve had some of those same thoughts (I found my first gray hair in my bangs recently).  Youth is wasted on the youth, right?  But if you ever take a moment to reflect on what being a teenager is like now, I think you’ll be surprised – and take a new appreciation for your age.  Here are a few reasons why being young today really isn’t all that desirable.

Social networking.  Puberty was hard enough as it was, but going through puberty on the internet seem unimaginable.  It’s commonplace now for teens to share their every thought and where they’ve been and what they’re doing and pictures of how they look constantly.  Then they’re open to critiques and comments from all over the place (in case you’ve been hiding under a rock, cyber-bulling is a HUGE problem with teens, anonymity bring out  .  They’re all doing it, it’s normal.  I had a hard enough time confiding my thoughts with my closest friends.  And there were a lot of days when I had a hard time even leaving my room.  I am so thankful that social networking was just starting out as I was leaving high school, I can’t imagine the kind of trouble I’d get myself in.  Also, I’m SO glad that my Facebook pictures only go back to the beginning of college.  Facebook info stays on the internet forever, and I don’t want any picture of 9th grade me, a face full of acne and a mouth full of braces floating around anywhere out of my control.

Smartphones.   Read above except include an option for nude selfies.  Again, I was a very trusting person as a teen(until I learned better).  Again, I can’t imagine the kind of trouble I could have gotten myself into.  Sure camera phones were around, but nothing like today.

Prom proposals. Or maybe it’s promposals.  Either way, teenagers are starting to make an extravagant event out of asking each other to prom.  When I was in high school, there were always rumors or dreamy fantasies about leaving school for the day and seeing my dream boat waiting outside with a fancy car and big bouquet of flowers ready to ask me to prom or getting a pizza delivered that had a nice message on it.  But I never actually knew of anything like this really happening.  Now a day, it’s expected of teens to pull out all the stops and make asking their date to the prom an event in its own.  No more awkward phone calls or meeting in the hallway when you’re both nervous and stumbling over your words.  Now, teens are planning elaborate (and sometimes expensive) events and surprises to ask his or her date to the prom.  Talk about pressure, I can’t even get my boyfriend to surprise me with pizza toppings (but I guess being in charge all the time has it’s benefits).

I’ll keep my gray hairs, slowing metabolism, and stiff back.  You youngsters can have all that hassle, good luck and god speed ;)

Moving: Finale.

Jessica M

Moving day finally came, faster than we were expecting as most important events seem to.  Lets recount the events of that day together….

8:00am: wake up, coffee/eat/shower/etc., get ready for the day

10:00am: call the building manager to see if she’s ready for us to come by and sign the lease (keep in mind, we decided on our move in date weeks previously).  She doesn’t answer, so we leave a voicemail.

11:00am: still no call back (continue relaxing on the couch)

12:00pm: still no call back (more relaxation, but tension has definitely built up considerably), decided I’d give her until 12:30 to call us back before I called again (it seems passive now, but for some reason I didn’t want to be too pushy)

12:30pm: okay, maybe I’ll wait until 12:45

12:35pm: finally got a call back from our building manager.  She wanted to see if we were free at 4:00pm to move into our apartment.

photo via buzzfeed

photo via buzzfeed

12:40pm: 4:00PM?! WHO THE HELL WANTS TO MOVE IN FLIPPING THE DARK.  Would it really have been that big of a hassle for her to give us the keys so we could start moving in, and then come sign the lease when she was ready?  We literally wasted an entire day off together waiting around.  Coordinating a full day off with someone who doesn’t have a job with consistent hours is a real pain.  Not mention, trying to combine two apartments with only one person available is an even bigger pain.

12:45pm: Lets get frozen yogurt.

1:30pm: (back at home) My boyfriend looks at me while we’re sitting in silence and says “you’re handling this a lot better than I expected” (I’m not known for patience, but I’ve been practicing).  We turn on the TV and settle in to wait until we can head over.

3:45pm: finally time to head to the building.  We load up our cars with stuff from my apartment so we can start unloading as soon as the lease is signed and we have the keys.

3:55pm: we arrive at the building, and walk into the building manager’s office.  She looks surprised to see us, and mentions something about us being early.  She still has to print out copies of the lease and any other paperwork we need to look over and sign.  Once again, we made plans to move in on this date weeks ago; it didn’t occur to us that arriving five minutes early for a 4:00pm move in would throw her off that much.

4:00pm – 4:45pm: Spent going over the lease, monitoring the gradual increase in sweat on my palms.  LETS GET THIS GOING ALREADY.

5:00pm – 11:00pm:  Spent taking trips to and from our apartments (alternating apartments with each trip seemed the most fair way to tackle the job).  As the sun was going down, rather than getting more frustrated we started seeing the humor in the situation.  It’s hard to be mad when our luck consistently proves to be.. non-existent.  Of course something like this would happen to us, and laughing at ourselves and the situation, made the move easier (moving is so damn terrible to begin with).

At around 11:00 we decided to call it quits.  I can’t imagine how sketchy we must have looked, moving in the middle of the night like people skipping out on rent, and we were starved.

Day 2 proved to be about on par with day 1.  We only had a half day with both of us available, and the weather was a trusty rain/snow combo.  Once again there was nothing we could do but laugh.

We’ll probably laugh our way right into the loony bin, but until then – at least we have a roof over our heads that is ours.

anigif_enhanced-buzz-3425-1389650115-20

photo via buzzfeed

 

He can’t sit with us!

Jessica M

I hate one of my best friends’ boyfriend.

Well maybe not hate, hate is a strong word.  But I really really REALLY dislike him – to the point where I prefer to not be in the same room as him, and if I am I’d rather gouge my eyes out with a fork than make eye contact with him. I didn’t get a good first impression of him.  He was drunk, and so was she, so I didn’t really hold it against him.  The second

Seriously, stuff stays on the internet FOREVER (photo cred: flickr, Marcelle Grizzelle)

Seriously, stuff stays on the internet FOREVER (photo cred: flickr, Marcelle Grizzelle)

time meeting was less than impressive as well.  And each time afterwards, it continued getting worse and worse.  I won’t go into detail here, no one wants his/her dirty laundry aired on the internet (this shit never goes away), but I do think my smart, beautiful, kind, strong friend is settling.  Big time.

So where do I go from here?  I’m sure talking shit on him with my other girlfriends is counterproductive, but it’s the only way we’ve been able to deal with the situation so far.  A group of us tried telling her how we felt about him (one at a time, in separate conversations) but it was to no avail.  I think for the most part we all told her we’d give him another chance, but I’ve had enough.  Now I’m faced with the question of, should I tell her I hate her boyfriend, or just keep my mouth shut and go with the flow?  She seems happy, but I can feel our friendship unraveling a little more every time I make another excuse to get out of hanging out (when I know he’ll be around).  I’ve been so torn about what to do, I took to trusty ol’ Google to try and figure out what I should do next.  Much to my surprise (or maybe not to surprising) my search string of “should I tell my friend I don’t like her boyfriend” came back with results from places like friendship.com, and gurl.com.  Now both of these website were MY JAM when I was a preteen, but they aren’t really cutting it now.  Is this the proof I needed that my concerns are below my age level?  My friend is a grown ass woman capable of making her own decisions, so should I just let her be?

I know it’s possible to find someone that gets along with your friends.  I’ve never been willing to sacrifice my female friends for my romantic life(seriously, one previous terrible relationship ended after he called my friends “nobodys” – rather than due to one of the many times he cheated on me.  It’s F’ed, I know).  Maybe I’m being too critical or hold my standards too high for friends’ boyfriends?  But I think he should do his damn best to try and impress us ladies, we were here before him, we’ll be here when he isn’t, and like it or not – we’re part of the deal.  Ladies, lady companionship is important!

I’m lucky that I date someone that is so easy to get along and goof with.  Sometimes I worry my friends like my boyfriend more than they like me (we’re all so similar, if I’m crazy about him, I should expect them to love him too).  Just kidding.  Sort of.

photo cred: buzzfeed, NBC

photo cred: buzzfeed, NBC

Making moves pt. 2

Jessica M

Growing up can sure be discouraging.

I mentioned before about getting ready to make a move into a new apartment. The boyfriend and I decided we’re ready for this step (my first time ever living with a boyfriend).  Above all, we were overly excited to get going and start a little life together of our own.

Until it came time to actually find a place.  Because of lease constraints, we planned our move out date for April 1st, and figured we’d start looking for places at the beginning of March.  How hard could it be?  We both have good, full-time jobs.  We both have good anigif_enhanced-buzz-20333-1389972916-1credit.  Neither of us have ever been evicted from an apartment.

We started on Craigslist.  There were apartments galore, all in our budget and desirable locations (for the most part).  I made a spreadsheet.  Organization is a key to finding an ideal apartment.  And then I started calling.  And emailing.  And waiting.  Ten unanswered phone calls later and I’m starting to feel discouraged.  But that’s okay, Craigslist is full of scam artists and would I really want to rent from someone who doesn’t pick up the phone, or return phone calls?

So we tried the newspaper.  Same deal.  Add another 5 unanswered phone calls, with no call back.  Now I’m starting to worry, is it something in my voice?  Am I not giving the right information in my voicemails?  In a last-ditch effort, we called a place named “Canterbury Square” that has actual office hours for calling.  They answered and set up a time for us to look.  When I hear the word “Canterbury” I immediately think Chaucer, and Old English charm.  What we found was less Chaucer more… Palahniuk.  Next.

At this point, our discouragement was rising.  We were down to two weeks left, and no new place in sight.  I just don’t understand, why list a place if you aren’t eager to enough to rent that you can’t even be bothered to answer the phone?  Or is Erie really in a high demand time for apartment rentals?

I found another rental website, this one through the NWPA apartment rental association.

(photo via buzzfeed)

(photo via buzzfeed)

At least I wouldn’t be worried about scam artists…  We found the perfect apartment!  Right size!  Right price!  Right location!   Oh wait, what’s that?  Does that say, no shower?  At this point we were feeling desperate enough that  we actually debated the logistics of being able to get on without a shower (there was a bathtub so we wouldn’t have been totally scummy – if you can call regularly cleaning yourself in a basin of your own filth not scummy).  Anyways we decided to pass, and went about making a new list of potential headaches apartments to look in to.

Sometime that evening, we remembered an apartment complex that is located downtown.  It used to be a factory, and we’ve heard the apartments have high ceilings and trendiness for days, so we started looking into it.  The website was nice enough, the building had all the perks that apartment buildings usually have (24 hour maintenance, secure building, onsite laundry) and several perks that are more rare (a gym in the basement! gated parking!), plus an ideal location to boot.  We eventually stumbled upon the apartment building’s Facebook page and wouldn’t you know, there’s a posting from only a few hours

(photo via buzzfeed)

(photo via buzzfeed)

earlier advertising their openings in brand new apartments!  No lingering smells!  No stains on the carpet!  I’ve never been a fan of apartment buildings, but at least these places would have someone we could get a hold of…

We went to look at the place (well we looked at three different places actually) and fell in love.  They were trendy.  The building is full of other young professionals!  There is a gym!  We applied for the biggest apartment available the next day, and found out we were approved that night.  Despite our troubles at the beginning of the search, it worked out okay in the end.  The apartment is much smaller than we were originally looking for, but it’s about time to start purging myself of all that clutter anyways.  From a full-sized home to a studio apartment.. this should be interesting.

Now on to more pressing issues… Scouring Pinterest to figure out just how the heck am I going to pack and move all these books?!

Making moves

Jessica M

The time has come for me to take a step so many girls have made before me – moving in with my boyfriend.  I’ve had several living situations since turning 18.  First there was the dorm room with my best friend from high school.  We were lucky, and rather than have our friendship torn apart by the confines of that mini-room, it only made our friendship stronger (even with the occasional screaming match or two).  After that, the dorm roommate and I moved into a small three bedroom apartment with another girl from our dorm.  Things started out strong, but we eventually starting drifting apart and the third roommate moved out early, in the middle of the night (or was it morning? the concept of time in college was so fuzzy), leaving behind only a drawer full of underwear (seriously) and a few perishables

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times... (photos from my Facebook)

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times… (photos from my Facebook)

in the cupboards.  After that apartment, the original roomie and I moved into a large house with six bedrooms.  The roommates in this house came and went and were swapped out several times (including a year that involved a 19 year old boy moving in, and adopting his five 21 year old roommates as pseudo mothers.  Only four of us stayed the full two years in that madhouse, and I’m still not sure what kind of effect that had on our psyches.  After college, I spent about a year living with my parents before my brother and I moved into our grandma’s apartment after she passed (no it wasn’t creepy, yes sometimes I think I can “feel” her presence – but it’s probably more likely a caffeine buzz peaking and/or wearing off).  This takes us to present day, and the next step of my journey into “adulthood.”

I’ve lived with guys before.  My brother and my pseudo-son Phil who I mentioned before.

We should probably discuss rules about full frontal nudity and eating (photo from thoughtcatalog)

We should probably discuss rules about full frontal nudity and eating (photo from thoughtcatalog)

Plus countless former roommates boyfriends who would camp out in our place more often than their own (we were pretty fun).  And I’ve fallen into K-holes with previous boyfriends where it seemed like we were spending every possible second together and it felt like we might have been living together.  But shared bills, income dependency, and close quarters with no separate place to flee too are all going to be new concepts.  Don’t boys have cooties???

There are a lot of things I’m concerned about, some more serious than others.  What if he can hear me making #2s through the bathroom wall?  What if he doesn’t like watching Gossip Girl marathons when I’m feeling sick (it’s literally the only way to feel better, sans doctor)?  What if I forget how awesome alone time is?  What if we get bored (gasp!)?   What if he forgets to switch to his Netflix account and messes up all my recommendations? What if he loses his job, and I have support us both financially?  What if we break up?

With the bad, there is always good.  I can’t wait to have someone to share breakfast with

I can't wait to have someone to help me realize I'm making poor choices, before it's too late (photo from tumblr)

I can’t wait to have someone to help me realize I’m making poor choices, before it’s too late (photo from tumblr)

every morning.  I can’t wait to have someone with an obligation to plunge the toilet or tub when they’re clogged.  I can’t wait to have someone to watch Gossip Girl marathons with me (Chuck and Blair, your shitty relationship is like crack to me).  I can’t wait to be able to spend time together on weeks when my schedule changes, and I get stuck working 8:00-4:30 while he’s working 3:00-11:00 (we don’t have weeks like that often, and I do enjoy the random alone time, but by the time the week ends, I’m glad).  I can’t wait to have someone to come home to every single night.  I can’t wait to have someone by my side, that loves me more than I love myself.

Am I ready?  Who knows.  What I do know is I’ll never know until I make the leap, and I’m ready to skydive.

Selfshaming

Jessica M
anigif_enhanced-buzz-30035-1365348274-30

image via ABC/buzzfeed.com

I was brought up in a very supportive, loving household.  I’m really lucky in this fact.  My parents never pressed any ideas or ideologies on me.  My mom (who for the most part has always been a role model for me – despite our radically different political stances)  was never open or obvious about dieting, weight loss, or her appearance.  I never questioned why she was only eating cabbage soup for a week while we ate pizza or hot dogs.  I didn’t start wearing makeup until I was a sophomore in high school, and I never really even learned how to wear makeup until late college (I’m still figuring that crap out for the most part).  I never felt less than perfect, just the way I was.

That is, until I hit (about) 12 years old and started the same body hating phase we all seem go through.  Puberty was hands down one of the worst times for me.  My body was awkward, didn’t look like the other girls’, and I was miserable.  I come from an Italian family, curves were practically in my genes (and past was almost always “what;s for

image via Fox/Buzzfeed.com

image via Fox/buzzfeed.com

dinner”).  Why is this?  Why is it that even though I was in a supportive household where my weight was never questioned did I still manage to grow to hate the way I looked?  (I like to blame the media, but that’s neither here nor there)

Even at my smallest (size 4) I was still unhappy with how I looked.  As I’m moving into my late twenties (27 in May), I can see and feel my body changing again.  Things are becoming even more curvy, and old favorite pieces of clothing aren’t fitting in the same way.

Being in my late twenties has also brought a different outlook on life, and in it a much more appreciation for my body.  These curves helped carry me through my college campus where no bat an eye at a 10-14 inches of snow in a day and we still walked .5 mile to class.  These thighs get me up and down the steps at work and in the parking garage when a lot of the other employees are practically marooned by an elevator being out of service.  This body has helped carry me through the 26 (not 27 yet) years practically no

image via HBO/buzzfeed.com

image via HBO/buzzfeed.com

injuries (besides one crap ankle from a drinking accident – seriously, who puts an 8 inch drop off right below the door to a bar).  Even when it didn’t want to, it’s been carrying me through the subzero temperatures and the polar vortex that’s been going around.  I have no reason to hate it.  Even when I was that coveted size four, people didn’t treat me differently.  Life went on exactly the same as when I’m carrying a few extra pounds.  It’s me looking in the mirror and critiquing myself.  It’s me picking apart my body, instead of looking at it as a whole.

It turns out, I’m just as capable at looking in a mirror without the critique.  Jennifer Lawrence has a semi-recent quote I like to reference, “What are you going to do? Be hungry every single day to make other people happy? That’s just dumb.”  And to whoever said nothing tastes as good as skinny feels – you clearly aren’t using Pinterest to its full potential.

With so many showers, why am I still showering?

Jessica M

With spring and summer somewhere on this cold, dreary, horizon that time of year is coming again.  Mailboxes are thawing out just in time to start filling up with shower invites.  New babies and new engagements and new homes are something to celebrate (most of the time), but what about all of our other milestone moments (i.e. the ones that are more.. single gal friendly)?

I’ve never been a big planner or commitment maker, and I lack the certain ability needed for “foresight” (whatever that is).  I’ve never really pictured myself getting married, or having children.  In case of emergency, I always figured it’d be something small, low key, and maybe even a secret.  So what about us girls that aren’t so keen on making lifetime commitments, shouldn’t we get a time to shine?  Below are some things I think we should consider celebrating, so more of us can get some time in the spotlight and get away from that “always a bridesmaid, never a bride” feeling.

Finishing a degree

Whether it’s an associates, masters, bachelors, or doctorate, all degrees are something

photo from Etsy

photo from Etsy

to celebrate.  Most people have big blow celebrations for finishing high school.  Looking back now, I probably could’ve finished high school in my sleep.  No one likes to see someone fail, and teachers, parents, and friends will do what they can to see a girl walk down that graduation aisle.  Now college on the other hand, that crap is hard!  It takes hard work, dedication, and most challenging of all – self motivation – to get through that crap.  But the payoff, so rewarding.  So why aren’t we celebrating these?  Where was my degree shower?  After I finished my masters (library and information science), I could’ve had an epic library themed party!  Food and drinks named after famous characters, authors, and books.  We could’ve taken it a step farther and even dressed up as literary icons!  The options are endless: invitations on library cards, confetti made out of card catalog cards (lord knows those are basically useless now – one of the student workers in my library didn’t even know what they were “what are these cards we use as scrap paper??”), decorations made out of old books pages, games and activities involving “shhh”ing…

Adopting a new pet

I mean, come on.  picture from imgur

I mean, come on. picture from imgur

Who needs babies when you can have a dog (or a cat, rabbit, hamster, ferret, gecko, whatever your fancy)!  Pets aren’t cheap.  For lots of people (women and men), pets will be their only children (they really are part of the family).  Instead of having a baby shower, why not have a pet shower?  Please, bring me potty training pads, food, toys, and grooming supplies.  Or in lieu of gifts, donate to a local animal shelter.  We can all get together in a park, yard, or on a beach with our pets and have a pet party.  Again food and drinks can be animal themed (think a drink labeled “toilet water,” cookies in shape of dog bones, and “doggy bags” to take home leftover snacks).  Coordinated activities might be difficult for animals, but they’d still enjoy a good play time while the “mommies and daddies” stand by mingling, and reveling in the awesomeness.  I definitely picture the animals all wearing party hats.  Whether or not this would be feasible isn’t important, I’m just brainstorming here. I challenge you to think of something cuter than a pet party.

Moving into your first “real” apartment

Many of us move out on our own all alone.  Moving in with a boyfriend can be a huge commitment, and lets face it – guys can be gross (no offense, I know girls can be quite a mess too.  I had the pleasure of living in a house of 19-21 year old girls and guys when I was in college).  Getting your own place is exciting, even if it’s not a permanent home, and we should have apartment warming parties as well as house warming parties!  We can all stand around, eat snacks, and sip boxed wine because a first apartment probably won’t have a nice wine rack and definitely won’t have enough furniture (that’s what the house warming parties are for).

I know there are many more things out there you lovely readers think deserve a little celebration (paying off a credit card, starting a new hobby, making a new friend that isn’t a coworker).  It’s time to stand up for a change!  No more showering others until we can all take a turn being showered!

photo from buzzfeed, 2 Broke Girls (CBS)

photo from buzzfeed, 2 Broke Girls (CBS)

V-day D-day

Jessica M

Before I met my current boyfriend, I spent 25 years of my life perpetually single, hopping from short fling to dysfunctional fling, to “what the heck is going on here?!” fling, and back again.  And it was fine.  I LOVED being single.  LUURRVED might actually be a better word because I don’t think loved quite cuts it, I enjoyed single life that tremendously (don’t be confused, I LURVE my boyfriend and my new life as part of a duo as well).  That being said, I like to think of myself as a “connoisseur” of single life.  A concierge, a maven, a master, someone who knows what single gal life is really life.  I spent a lot of time hanging out with myself, and it was pretty awesome.  Most days I still consider myself a single gal, even if only in spirit (I am a one man lady).

This time of year is a dreaded time of year for single ladies.  It’s February, the month of

photo via buzzfeed

photo via buzzfeed

love, which means Valentine’s Day is coming up.  I for one have never been a fan of the holiday.  I love hearts, and pink, and chocolate, and puppies, and all other cute things that come along with Valentine’s day.  I loved the fling I had with a waiter around Valentine’s Day 2009 (finally, a college guy that had enough money to buy all my drinks at the bar – because obviously that was important in a partner then, oh the priorities of a 21 year old).  I s  However, I do not love waiting 45 minutes to get a table at a restaurant.  I do not love sitting elbow to elbow in a movie theater.  I do not love hearing about animals that end up in shelters because they were a Valentine’s Day gift that the receiver wasn’t ready for.  I do not love being taken out and spoiled because someone felt OBLIGATED to.  I think that’s most people’s complaint with Valentine’s Day.  You shouldn’t be told to do something nice for your partner, you should just do it.

Anyhow, I digress.  I started this entry with the intention of giving a few pointers on how single gals can enjoy this day (or any day they’re feeling a little lonely, we all get there), despite being surrounded by throngs of cutsie wootsie couples doing cutsie wootsie things.  You can take my advice, I am a single gal maven after all…

1.  Spend it with your pals!  I have some really fond memories of anti-valentine parties with my closest friends (some of whom were in relationships at the time).  Throw a party, go out to dinner, laugh at the couples that are putting so much pressure on having a perfect

photo via HBO/buzzfeed

photo via HBO/buzzfeed

night, have one too many drinks, and celebrate the importance and power of friendship – it is a relationship after all.  I spent several years celebrating Valentine’s Day with one of my best girlfriends, despite our relationship statuses.  The only reason we stopped is it’s now a two hour commute to see each other.

2.  Watch anti-valentine movies.  My recommendations include Annie Hall, 500 Days of Summer, Blue Valentine, Broken Flowers, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and Sleepwalk with Me.  Few things will make you feel better on Valentine’s Day than a movie marathon of failed relationships.  Or any horror flick (if that’s more your thing).

3.  Treat yourself girl!  Stuck with a bunch of friends that are going on dates for Valentine’s

photo via Cartoon Network/buzzfeed

photo via Cartoon Network/buzzfeed

Day?  No worries.  This is the perfect opportunity for you to grab the current issue of your favorite magazine/load up your favorite blog/pull out a much loved book, fill up the bathtub, turn on your favorite (soothing) Pandora station, light some candles, and kick back.  It may sound cliche (single girl having a bathtub pampering session on Valentine’s Day) but trust me, cliche or not – it’s awesome.

4. Stay up until midnight (or get up early the 15th) then go to the grocery store and buy the discounted candy.  Chocolate on sale… does this really need justified?

There ya have it.  It’s a made up holiday that makes single ladies feel bad about themselves.  Instead of being bummed you don’t have a lover to spend the day with, spend your time celebrating the most important relationship you’ll ever have – the one with yourself. :)

photo via NBC/buzzfeed

photo via NBC/buzzfeed