Monday, January 31, 2011

Instant BFF(s)

Most friendships are the result of common interests, time spent together or some cosmic event that brings the two of you together.

Others are instantaneous.

I don't know how it happens, really. One minute you are being introduced to the person, the next you've realized that you've just met someone who is practically your soul mate. Who you can depend on no matter what, even though they've never proven otherwise. These friendships are abnormal - and awesome. And I've had at least three throughout my life.

Freshman Year - Jessica and Me
The first was my best friend for over 10 years. We met in first grade as "new students" to our elementary. Heywood took all the students who had attended kindergarten elsewhere, and had us attend a luncheon with the guidance counselor. Jessica and I were two of those students, and it seemed like after that, we were inseparable. For 10 years! That's a really long time, and sometimes I really, really miss her.

We did all sorts of crazy things - walking and riding our bikes all over town, dressing up or speaking in fake accents while we visited local establishments. Carrying dead fish around. We created secret hide-a-ways and forts in the woods behind her house. She had a penchant for finding the strangest things and turning it in to the most hilarious of treasures.

Becca, Kira, me and Ashley
When a friend of mine asked me to move in with her, I didn't think anything of it and immediately said yes. She was inviting another friend of hers to move in with us, who was also bringing her best friend with her. Ashley introduced me to Becca the day that she moved in, and then Ashley had to leave. Within seconds - literally, seconds - we were laughing and having a great time. I think Ashley was a bit stunned to find that her two stranger roommates became so close, so instantly, but Becca has been attached at my hip since the day we met until she left me for grad school in Scotland. I seriously miss her everyday.

Me, Aubs and Becca
Becca introduced me to two of my other very favorite people: Kira and Aubrey. I don't know if these friendships were instantaneous, but I can barely remember a time when they didn't exist. I certainly love them to death and hate that I don't get to see them nearly as often.

We celebrate our third anniversary - Becca, is that right? It seems like so much longer! But I remember by how we celebrated: Bear Lake and the Rodeo- this year, and it's going to be really hard when we are separated by half the world. :(

Cute Megan!
What inspired this post, though, is my newest best friend. Oh, Megan! We met for the first time going to see Country Strong with my roommate Melissa. It was a movie, so we only really talked to get to the movie and back.

But it was on Tuesday, when she came over to watch Biggest Loser at my apartment, that we decided we were best friends. Of course, saying it doesn't always make it true - except for in this case. We actually do have a lot in common, which certainly helps. From the point of where we are in our lives, to certain experiences, even to different health issues, we have so many similarities, that I'm blown away.

Also, I'm pretty sure that she is going to make me a better person. She seems a lot more forgiving, good-natured and more mature than me. In the six days that I've known Megan, I've found that she is also fun, funny, giving, caring, selfless, and just...awesome. I am so excited to continue you to get to know her and to hang out with her. It's just one of those friendships that were meant to be.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Starved for Hilarity

After tonight's Relief Society activity, Savannah, Melissa and I went over to Megan's house for a little exercise. I did the elliptical while they shredded it with Jilliane.

I think it was the activity, but I was in a super hyper mood. The likes of which have not been seen since I have been separated from Becca for these many months. It is proof that I am totally starved for hilarity in my life, because by the end of my workout, I was still bouncing off the walls, or actually, rolling off the noodle.

Melissa has one of those foam core noodle things, OK, it's called a foam roller. To help stretch out the muscles. As I was rolling, I was also wheezing (sports induced asthma, neat, right?) and then laughing right off the noodle and face planting into the floor.

It was insane. And it was funny. And I haven't laughed to the point of tears for ages. I loved every second of it. And I really do love that roller thing, even though, my muscles will still probably be sore when I wake up in the morning.

Dating Panel

When I told the Bishop I was going to blog about tonight's activity, he said, "Oh, great," just like my dad would have, and accused me with thinking that I was going to call it a "goofy activity."

I assured him I wouldn't... call it goofy, anyway.

The title of the event was What I wish I had Known When I Was Single.... Oh Wait, I Still Am. Clever, no?

Anyway, it was set up as a dating panel and we had been asked on Sunday to write down questions that we would like to have covered over the course of the evening.

The panel consisted of: One couple, married 33 years, who dated in high school and married soon after he returned from his mission. A 29-year old single man from our ward, a "newlywed" couple, married three years. And another couple, married 25 years, who dated in high school and married soon after he returned from his mission.

........[Insert rapid blinking and significant look here].........

Questions like, "Is it OK for a girl to ask out a guy?" or "How do you show you are interested, without being annoying?" started out the panel, and I was sort of ready to check out. Out of all the questions in the world, I really found it interesting - or not interesting... I don't know - that these were the questions girls in our ward wanted answers to. We live in 2011. If you are comfortable asking a guy out, then do it. If you aren't, then don't. Where's the mystery in that?  Besides, you're asking people that dated in high school and have had automatic dates for as long as we've been alive.

I did find the determined answer to be interesting though: Girls are allowed to ask guys out on super casual dates, e.g. "I have an extra ticket to the basketball game, would you like to come?" or "My roommates and I are cooking dinner, would you be interested?" Also, we discussed that if the girl is doing the asking, then she should be prepared to pay for the date, although, if the guy wants to be a gentleman and pay, we should let him. (Also, if he wants to pay when you did the asking, HOLD ON to him....or so I'm told.) And finally: Be prepared for rejection.

Other questions dealt with how to deal with rejection. How to get back into the dating game after a bad break-up (Melissa's answer: Don't.) and what to do if you really feel "an impression" that you should be dating a guy who has yet to take notice of you. (My answer: Definitely don't tell him you've had an "impression.")

For me, I've heard most of the advice we got since I entered Young Women's as a 12-year old Beehive. Communication and honesty are a must in budding and long-lasting relationships. People are drawn to positive, fun and friendly people. Don't try to be somebody you aren't. Be the best you can be. Take pride in your appearance. Work to improve yourself and learn new things.

But there were a few bits of advice that I did think were interesting - if not directly applicable, at least it was something to think about.

  • When trying to get a guy to ask you out, "know your audience." Does he go on dates often, and he just happens to not be asking you out? Or does he not date a lot, as it is?
  • Evaluate who you are trying to attract and rethink who you are attracted to. This was brought up after the question "If being yourself isn't enough - but you don't want to be fake...what do you do?" They focused a lot on not pretending to enjoy rock climbing if you hate it. (I couldn't fake that if I wanted the guy with my whole soul...) But if you find yourself having to modify your interests, or worse, your personality or standards to get a guy/girl to like you, then you probably aren't going after the right guys/girls. 
Interesting still, was that both points came from the Single guy. (My favorite quote from him: "I start out by being a gentleman and if I get my head bit off - I adjust." In response to "What exactly are the grounds of chivalry?")

The only thing that I really didn't like is that there was one comment made that made it sound like all the girls in the room who attended this event - and let's face it, half of us were there probably supporting someone in the Relief Society - were not dating, whereas those that were not there, were probably on a date at that very moment. That is obviously not what they were saying, but we got that impression.

Also, another major piece of advice was to "Step out of our comfort zones." Which, is good advice, except when you add this, "If you are awkward, then there's probably a boy out there feeling awkward, and you two should hook up." (That's not a direct quote, but it was the interpreted gist.) Also, it was directed towards us making an effort to "sit next to a boy we're interested in at church," which assumes a lot: namely, that I'm interested in anybody at church. Which, at this point, is null and void because I'm not.

But that brings me to my question. The bishop seemed a little irritated by the side comments going on in the back of the room (*Guiltily raising hand* that would be me, and my roommates....) and asked if they were answering our questions. If not, then we should be bringing up our own questions and present it to the panel. So I did... It seemed that my excellent question from Sunday was not going to be addressed unless I brought it up.... So deep breath, here it is:

"If you're attracted to someone who is experienced in the dating game, seems to know what he wants and what he's doing, then it seems likely that he is going to want something similar. So, how do you get over the [insert appropriate emotion here: embarrassment, shame, guilt, clueless-ness, self-consciousness, etc.] of being a "mid-single" and inexperienced in the dating game?"

That's my big question. Only, of course, I didn't word it that eloquently, so I don't think it got answered very well. I'm glad I asked it though, because I know that the girls that I was sitting next to all fall into this category. We are all 23+ and don't have scores of boyfriends, let alone dates, under our belts; and it is hard to know what to do with that.

The answers we got to the question: "Have faith in the Lord's timing." or "Find awkward guys who don't know how to date."

It was the second bit of advice that made me rephrase my really poorly worded question, because an awkward guy that doesn't know how to date is probably the last thing I want. Because, I'm not not dating because I'm socially awkward or unable to carry on a normal human conversation. I tend to think I interact with others rather well, and I think I can say the same for the 10+ girls in the room who are in a similar boat. We aren't socially awkward, so I don't see why we have to settle for socially awkward boys. That isn't the answer.

So that leaves us back to the Lord's timing. Which is a great answer, and very broad and ambiguous, and doesn't really supply an answer at all. Because we have no way to control the Lord's timing.

Lastly, I just want to say as I told the bishop tonight when he started talking about "the one".

I'm not interested in "the one", I just want "a one," for right now. Someone to have fun with, get a little life experience out of it, and call it good. If he - or one of about three "a ones" happens to be "the one" later, then great. That's fantastic. But that isn't my biggest concern, this second. I'm more concerned about the lack of life experiences. The great stories and memories I'm missing out on. The learning and growing bit. After all, isn't that what this life is about? Learning and growing?

Anyway, you can imagine that the night was interesting, and I really did appreciate the view of the single guy from our ward. I think he represented a small percentage of guys who 1) are gentlemen; 2) actually go on dates; and 3) seem to be genuinely honest. The only thing I disagreed with him on was the comment "There's a reason why the cosmetic industry is a billion dollar industry." He was using it as a reason on why we should always leave our house looking our best. (To which, of course, we argue that 1) Sometimes sleep is MUCH more important than blow-drying and curling our hair. 2) There are only so many cute outfits in our wardrobe...we could wear the same awesome outfit everyday, or, we have to deal with some of the older articles of clothing in our wardrobe that may no longer be very stylish, and most definitely show the effects of owning it for six years and those subsequent washes.)

Anyway, sorry that this is yet another post on dating...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Wanted: New Authors

I have a series of authors that I've read everything they've put out, and now... I am at a loss of what to read. I want something good, something witty and fun and romantic. It doesn't have to be romantic. I just wouldn't know how to choose a good fiction book that didn't have romance in it, because that's what I've always read. But my authors just don't produce books as fast as I read (obviously!) and I need some fillers in the downtime.

For instance, I've been blacklisted by MLM.

Iva Ibbotson passed away last year. (SAD!)

Wonderful, Lauren Willig just released her newest book. I devoured it in less than 24 hours, and now I have to wait a whole year until Pink IX comes out. It's going to be a torturous wait, though, I am pleased that she has decided to provide a "Teaser Tuesday", which might help.... a little.

Deeanne Gist hasn't anything set to come out in the near future, though her blog says that she is working on writing more, so hopefully in the near future... but in author-speak, that could mean a year from now, too.

Stephenie Meyer is too busy relishing the billions of dollars she made with Twilight that it looks like she may never finish the Host trilogy. Or mess with mermaids, as I once read she intended to do. And why would she? She's made so much money that her grandchildren's grandchildren are probably set for life. Although, I don't think her writing will ever get better if she doesn't practice more. And who better to practice on then a bunch of teens who will buy anything she puts out? The only problem is, those teens are growing up and they may not be interested in the next thing she puts out if it takes her 15 years to do it. Sigh.

Diana Gabaldon has been writing her series for some 20 years, and she has seven books in her series. Which means it takes almost three years to write. So I have two more to go.

And then there's Julia Quinn.... but we'll just leave her out of this.

So anybody have any suggestions? I'm not really lacking on reading material. I've got a biography, nonfiction and way-out-there fiction in my queue that I've been reading a few pages at a time. But it's not the kind of fluff reading I like to finish really quick...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Why Dating Sucks

Our ward just started a Dating/Marriage and Family class. Originally, I was told that I was going to help teach it, but it sounds like it will mostly be taught by the bishop's wife and other members of the bishopric. Which is fine by me, as I rarely have anything to add other than sarcasm, irritated sighs and bouncing-in-the-chair frustration.

This first week, we spent a lot of time talking about the question, "Why does dating suck?"

Most people offered up your usual answers:
  • It's hard
  • It takes too much effort
  • The level of vulnerability
  • Level of discomfort
And I sat there shaking my head. Because I have yet to really understand why dating has to be so hard. It sucks because people are doing it wrong.

I didn't really know how to put that into words, so my thoughts were that people take dating too seriously. Yes, in the Church, we are taught that dating leads to marriage. And marriage is more than just a lifetime commitment, it's an eternal one. (So why do we, as a culture, make this decision so freaking fast all the time? Don't worry, I actually DO know the answer to that...)  So there's this whole extra weight in dating once the realization that marriage could actually take place after a series of dates.

As one guy in the class put it, "Dating becomes personal. It's no longer fun and laid back - that's the high school attitude."

Sorry. What? You can't have fun while dating because it might actually come to something? I'm going to cry a big fat false on that one.

Maybe I still have the "high school attitude." I see nothing wrong with going on a few thousand dates with some of my best guy friends, even if I know that we're never going to get married. Group dates may not be as fun as they once were, but they can be (as long as it isn't the ONLY type of date you're going on, in which case, yeah, they blow).

I just don't get it. Dating doesn't suck. It's the lack of dating that sucks. And it's this whole, "I'm too mature and looking for an eternal companion so I can't have FUN dating" attitude - also known as the "vested interest" attitude - that creates LESS dates, which, as I said, sucks. Because people with this "vested interest" attitude automatically write others off because they couldn't see themselves marrying a certain person.

I still see no problem with going on dates with several different people. Just like high school (theoretically) when you aren't supposed to have a steady boyfriend/girlfriend. It's not a waste of time. Or emotion. It's fun! And you become better friends with people; you extend your circle by incorporating their circle of friends - which increases your dating pool. If you find that you don't want to marry the person, you can still ask them to a movie on occasion! Because it's fun. If you don't want to marry the person, then you just don't date them exclusively. Just make sure that when you are dating around, your dates KNOW that you are. This is not a secret, or something to hide. There's no problem in dating around, unless you are doing it secretly and one person is a little more invested in the dating than another person.

If we would stop taking this all so seriously - that is, until it gets more serious - then dating wouldn't suck. It wouldn't make you vulnerable or uncomfortable or take a lot of effort. RELAX PEOPLE! Go back to the high school attitude, or even the Freshman BYU student attitude, and have a good time on your dates! If it comes to something later, then so be it. That's the point of dating.

And ask me out. Because, seriously, it's not dating that sucks - it's your attitude.

Water Phenomenon

I love my drinking water to be ice cold. Like, 31.9 degrees to the point it gives me a brain freeze if I drink it too fast.

I love my showers to be hot. To the point where I turn myself into a lobster, because my skin is literally red from where the water is hitting me.

So why is it that the bathroom sink always has the coldest water in the house; and the kitchen sink always has the hottest? I was rinsing out my dishes before I went to bed and nearly scalded my hands off, then turned around and was taking my meds, and my hand nearly froze off from the running water in the bathroom.


Monday, January 24, 2011

All the Single Ladies - The 4MP

My good friend found this amazing book/article called “The Four Man Plan: A Romantic Science” 2nd Edition, 2010, by Cindy Lu (no joke). Originally it was written for more....secular single ladies. So Becca sat down and modified it, somewhat, to fit the standards of LDS single women.

If you can figure out how to apply this to your dating life, I think it will change it for the better. I haven't gotten started yet, but I think I just found my newest goal for 2011.

The 4MP (Censored Edition)
4(m)P= u + 1

Four times men, to the power of the Plan, becomes you plus another.

Four times men, to the power of the Plan = The Rebirth of Chivalry
Do you ever wonder why there are so many boys and so few men out there? It’s because something really yucky is being propagated in our current culture. We seem to be accepting the notion that being slutty is cool. The evidence of this is the large number of girls willing to [expose their skin] and pretend to be lesbians for a ...dram of nameless attention.

Some women have also been misled to believe that the path to love and success is paved with the broken spirits of other women because there just aren’t enough good men to go around. What we don’t recognize is that every man can become a good man.

You may find this hard to believe, but given the right opportunities and environment, chivalry comes naturally to men. Activating the competitive instinct during the pursuit of love simultaneously activates their desire to be chivalrous. Chivalry has been waning steadily in our culture, because when women compete with each other and start doling out [NCMOs] like hand shakes, it gives men very little to strive for. The Four Man Plan is the Petrie Dish of Gallantry.

There is only so much they can learn from Mommy. We all know that guy who is a sweetheart to his mother and a cad to the women he dates. It is up to us, their partner-potential females, to show them the natural way to treat all women, which is with deep respect for the gorgeous, enigmatic, beguiling creatures that we were designed to be.

If women decide as a gender that we deserve to be treated with honor and respect, then men will react accordingly and rise up as a gender to meet our requirements.

We can create the hybrid Steinem/Guinevere generation, where we retain every bit of our equality and social progress while reasserting our right to be treated like princesses. Let’s make them earn it, girls.

P = u
The Power of the Plan Becomes You
There are two translations for this statement:

1. The Four Man Plan is designed to help you become more yourself. One of the fundamentals you learn while you are dating multiple men is that it’s not all about them. The Plan is about you, your ability to love yourself and be treated well.
2. The Four Man Plan looks great on a woman.

u + 1
You and Another
U + 1 means the most fabulous you, plus ONE WORTHY MAN is your true partner, best friend, and smokin’ lover.

Let me state for the record that there is nothing wrong with being single. Sometimes it’s exactly where you need to be. Without my outrageously fun, uninhibited, and enlightening singlehood, I would not be the amazingly cool chick I am today. But there comes a time in your life when your name gets put on a guest list as You Plus One; you just want to know for certain who the frig that person is, all the time.

Having a clear goal line, you plus one, can keep you going when The Plan gets tough. It is designed to prepare you for love and invite a man of quality into your life. But a good thing to keep in mind is that no one man is responsible for your happiness. That is a solo project. The happier you are with yourself, the better the partner you will be adding to your life.

The Five Postulates
The following five postulates are the starting point for the system that is The 4MP, and in order for it to work they must be embraced as true by each individual 4MPlanner. You might not fully agree with them or have any personal connection with them. You might even get mad at them. But that doesn’t really matter. Just like in ninth-grade geometry class, your duty as a 4MPlanner is to commit these postulates to memory and repeat them to yourself when doing The Plan gets difficult and makes you want to stick a protractor in your eye.

The Distribution of Love
Postulate #1: Assume that you are in the majority.
*Love at first sight doesn’t work for 90% of us. So instead of sitting around waiting for love at first sight to club you over the head, let yourself get a little perked up when you meet someone you don’t like right away. Now, that guy has mathematical potential!

The Disney Theorem
Postulate #2: When it comes to competing for love there is a big difference between boys and girls.
A. When men compete for a woman it brings out the best in them: their innate chivalry, their good sportsmanship, their hibernating romantic. And as an added bonus, they grow into gentlemen whether they win the woman or not.

Example: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Those little guys all loved her, doted on her, and remained friends even after she went off with that tall dude.

Example: The Bachelorette
Those guys are suddenly writing love poems, and if they come in second, they become the best man at the wedding.

B. When women compete for a man, let’s face it, ladies, it brings out the worst in us: We attack each other, we deny our true selves and generally feel like crap about it. Next
thing you know, people are getting witchslapped and private emails are being read, and we turn into suspicious, shrill, scared harpies. Whether we win the guy or not.

Example: Cinderella
Those stepsisters were just plain mean, locking poor Cinderella in the basement and trying to shove their boats in her tiny shoes. And as a result, they are not likely to be invited to the castle on holidays.

Example: The Bachelor
Competing girls sneak into the Bachelor’s bedroom half naked to hock their wares and bad-mouth other girls.

But lately, by competing woman vs. woman for the same man, we keep lowering the bar for men. We plan the dates, we pick them up from their mom’s house, we shorten our skirts and shrink-wrap our [tops] so they don’t have to bother imagining what our naked bodies look like. We pay for the date and then we put out [by making out] just so we can prove that we’re a better bargain than that other girl. Men have to do less and less as women try to underbid one another.
Let’s stop the madness. It is completely unnatural and women, as a gender, are suffering.

The Wait for [Making Out] Index
Postulate #3: For the life of the relationship, men are only as nice to you as they need to be to get you in bed [or on the couch, or...] the first time.
Consciously or unconsciously, [making out] is the goal line for [LDS] men. If you don’t know how to put up some professional resistance, then you’re really no fun to play with. A man will [make out] with just about anybody, but he will fall in love with the woman who makes him feel like he’s playing in the NFL.

Know this: A man will almost always take whatever a woman offers. … So when a woman is too easy, or even just falls for his persistent advances, here’s what happens: … he judges you. Even if he initiated the whole [darn] thing! EVEN IF HE BEGGED! YEP. Now in his mind, he thinks you were an easy [NCMO], you become one of those girls, and he’ll always see you that way. Totally messed up, right?
The more time you spend with a man without [making out], the more you will intrigue him, the greater potential he will see in you, and the more he will do to get himself into the end zone. If he loses interest BEFORE you’ve [made out] with him, you’ll still be better off than if he dumps you AFTER you’ve [made out] with him. Because if that is the case, then he was only interested in [making out] and by not [NCMOing] with him, you have successfully weeded him out without getting your hopes up and your feelings trampled.

The Rule of Chuck
Postulate #4: A good guy will break up with you if he finds out you are [handing out kisses like pretzels].
And when it comes to the real thing, guys are very into purity, whether they admit it or not. If they are going to take the relationship seriously, they don’t need to be the first guy you’ve [kissed], but they definitely want to be the last guy you’ve [kissed]. With no one else in between. Otherwise, you’ve got…Cooties, which to them is incurable and makes you [NCMO] material, but not wifey material.

You Suck at Love
Postulate #5: Everything else you have tried to find health and balance in the area of love has not worked.
This postulate is something that you must own.
It just means that something in you is malfunctioning either when you are choosing men or trying to get closer to men or just trying to get out there at all.
So, no matter what you think your parents did or didn’t do, or what that one guy did to you, at some point, the easiest way to get over it is to become completely responsible for your own love life. Do not repeat your mistakes, but also do not let them hold you back.

Data Collection
While on The Plan, you are not allowed to reject men for any of your deal-breaker qualities unless they are also outlined in The Breakup Ladder on page 131. So eat some tofu for strength and dust off your flats—the man of your dreams may be stuck in an invisible box.
Honest, loving, and willing are the three qualities that trump all others when you are seeking out your Plan Men.

Honest = Reliable Data
He is where he says he is. He is who he says he is. He shares the truth.

Loving = Positive Experiences
He holds your hand. He listens to you. He supports you in your specialness.

Willing = Potential Energy
He is willing to try yoga with you. He is willing to not [make out] with your right away. He is willing to examine himself and his environment.
Willingness can cancel our almost any flaw or deal-breaker. People who are willing are curious about the world and interested in their own growth. And when that curiosity includes attention and interest in a love relationship, that’s some of the best fun you can have.
[Your requests must be reasonable.]

Your best chance at attracting men with these qualities [honest, loving, and willing] is to be conscious about having them yourself.

The Mantris Graph
Your twenty-first century dance card.

A 4MPlanner’s mission is to fill her Mantris Graph with various values of Plan Men without going over.

The Plan Men
The Quarter Man
Any man who shows an interest in you, or you might like to go out with, any man you manage to exchange a phone number or an e-mail address with, starts off as a Quarter Man.

REQUIREMENTS: You know his name, his single status, and a way to contact each other.
You do not need to like them. You do not need to see potential. You don’t even really get to pick unless your Mantris Graph is full.
A man loses his Quarter Man status if he does not contact you for two weeks. He may be reassigned as a Quarter if he contacts you later—if you have room for him in your Mantris Graph.

How to Collect Quarter Men
1. Before leaving the house, make sure you have business cards or premade slips of paper with your e-mail address on them. A prepared 4MPlanner is a busy 4MPlanner!

2. You spot a potential Plan Man, walk right up to him, and:
a. Comment on your environment
b. Give him a compliment
c. Ask his opinion about something
d. Ask him a question
e. All of the above

Be creative, be charming, be brave. It will only be hard the first few times you try it.

3. Next, stick your hand out and say, “Hi, my name is (your name here).” Add a firm, inviting handshake and a “What’s your name?”
This can be done when you are behind him in the coffee line, next to him on the bus, or on a crowded dance floor…

4. Then, even if you don’t have a conversation, or the one you have is awkward and uncomfortable, or he blows your mind and you think you’re in love, reach into your pocketful of business cards or preplaced pieces of paper with your e-mail address on them, give him one with laid-back confidence, and say, “It was nice to meet you (his name here).”

5. Now smile and walk away; your work is done. Add him to your Mantris Graph as a Quarter Man. Drop any dread or hope that he will contact you and move on.

Guidelines for Collecting Quarters
You are NOT looking for a friend.

Always be yourself. Don’t pretend you’ve read the book he’s reading or that you play tennis if he’s holding a racket. You can be interested; just don’t change you who are.

Broaden your horizons. Don’t be too choosy. Don’t limit your search to your “type.”

Take the pressure off. You’re not walking up to your future husband, just someone to add to your Mantris Graph.

Out-of-Towner Downer
NOTE: Because successful long-distance relationships are against the odds, any Plan Man who lives out of town must be handicapped a Quarter of a Man. [Half becomes Quarter, Whole becomes Three-Quarter.]

A 4MPlanner is allowed only one Out-of-Towner in her Mantris Graph at any one time.
If you haven’t met him in person yet AND he lives out of town, he does not qualify as a Plan Man.

The Half Man
Any man who makes it to a third date automatically becomes a Half Man.
REQUIREMENT: A Plan Man must know that you are dating other men during or before your third date.

In order for The Plan to work, every Plan Man has to know that he is competing with other Plan Men. [see Disney Theorem]
I recommend you do the deed of halving a Plan Man sometime during your SECOND DATE. Even if he’s the only man on your Graph. It is your intention to date others that is the important tidbit of information. Why is during the date or even the beginning of the date the best time to halve a man? Because if you wait until the end of the date, he may mistake it as a kiss-off. If you wait until the third date, the pressure of the deadline may cloud your mojo.
It will only get harder to tell a guy later, especially if you like him, and you may end up losing him instead of getting the opportunity to watch him blossom while he competes for your affection.

How to Halve a Man
The best timing for these is before the midpoint of the date. That way he won’t misread it as some sissy way of blowing him off.

Sample Scripts
1. “I’m having so much fun dating and you are the ________ guy I’m seeing!”
Fill in the blank with a word that is TRUE about him—for example: funnest, funniest, cutest, sweetest, most thoughtful, most handsome, most generous, most talented, etc.
You can say this in response to an act of kindness, cuteness, talent, or anything else that gets you moony-eyed.
This script not only gives him the information he needs, it also compliments him. It may take him a minute, but he’ll get the picture. Trust me.

2. “I’m having so much fun dating. And you’re my favorite!”

3. “Who knew a girl could find so many great guys on the Internet!” [hahahaha]
Letting guys know they are competing is NOT a heavy sit-down talk. KEEP IT LIGHT! Slip it into normal conversation.

The Whole Man
The Whole Man is the real deal. Whole Men know they are competing, and they are staying in the game.

A Plan Man qualifies as a Whole Man in one of two ways:

1. [A good-night kiss]

2. The vocalization of the “L” word—yes, LOVE—by any Plan Man.
Should a man make it to Whole Man status on the first date or even upon first meeting [hey, dating in Mormondom moves fast], you must give him the honors received by the Quarter Man, which is a way to contact you, and the Half Man, which is to let him know you are seeing other men.

The Two and a Quarter Man
Because of the Rule of Chuck, it’s critical that you not [make out] with more than one man at a time.
Any Plan Man you [make out] with becomes a Two and a Quarter Man. That way if you are [making out] with two guys, that would add up to four and a half, and that would be too many. Get it?

The other way men find themselves in this category is through steady promotion. They have honorably risen up from the unlikely Quarter Man all the way to the top of the heap. They have used The Wait for [Making Out] Index to their advantage and won your heart...
Every woman has different boundaries. … The Slide Rule of Intimacy gives you a chance to create your own definition of a 2¼. Basically, your 2¼ boundary is whatever makes you start to develop expectations with a man.

The Ex-Reflex
Once an Ex is in your Mantris, he must be considered by all the principles and compete fairly with the other Plan Men. If he gets the boot again, he’s out for good.

The Principles of the 4MP
The Yes Factor
Principle #1: Say YES to every invitation.
Your objective is to fill the Mantris Graph and keep it full.

1. So that you will sample from a larger pool of specimens and not just choose men you are attracted to…

2. So that if you like one man A LOT, you will not break out your Laser Beam and Death Claws or inappropriately poke him with your ring finger and fallopian tubes because you will be otherwise distracted.

3. So that you don’t have to FAKE playing hard to get, or fake feeling fabulous and desirable, or fake being gracious and compassionate. It will all simply be true.

4. Because The Four Man Plan is a numbers game.

The Chick’s Chick Angle
Principle #2: Maintain the Chick’s Chick angle.
There are two kinds of women in this world: Chick’s Chicks and Dick’s Chicks

Hmm, promising. But then you notice a wedding ring.
If you’re a Chick’s Chick you lean back, thereby creating the Chick’s Chick Angle, and say “No, thank you.”
As a Chick’s Chick, you get on THE WOMAN’S SIDE. Always. … So stand up for her, advocate her side of the story, and pretend it’s you waiting for him at home while he looks outside for sympathy.

The Two-Date Minimum, or Give Pete a Chance
Principle #3: To examine each specimen, you will need a control sample and a test sample. Therefore, The Plan requires a minimum of two dates per Plan Man, whether you like him or not.

1. This principle is about collecting data. We like to think that we have an amazing capacity to read people through first impressions. Even if you are excellent at it in other areas of your life, we must refer back to Postulate #5: You Suck at Love.

2. Some of the most HONEST, LOVING, and WILLING men make a terrible first impression. Probably they just don’t get as much practice as Pietro Suavo, certified hot guy.

3. Of the happily married women I have talked to, half of them confess to not liking their husband upon first meeting him. You heard me, HALF! He was not their type, he was strictly “friend material,” he did something straight up stupid on their first date, or he straight up bugged the [crap] out of them. But for some reason, they gave him another chance—and ended up falling in love with and marrying the doofus.

4. On first dates, people often exhibit erratic behavior out of nervousness, or they play it safe, covering up their true selves to appear “normal.” With each man, you need to suss out his true behavior patterns.

So even if they do not call you, seven days after your date it’s your responsibility to call them and ask them if they would like to go out again. Only if they reject the second date are you allowed to skip this principle with a Plan Man, remove him from your Mantris Graph, and collect a replacement.

The Talk Paradox
Principle #4: Initiate conversation, but do not initiate “The Talk.”
A 4MPlanner is not afraid to approach a man. She initiates conversation and sparkles when necessary. On dates, she reveals herself and is curious about others.
However, the following statements or anything hinting around these statements are forbidden during The Plan:

“Where do you see this going?”

“How do you feel about us?”

“Are you ready for commitment, marriage, babies, a mortgage, college funds, etc?”

We women tend to ask these questions WAY TOO EARLY and at a time when, most likely, the man hasn’t even thought about them yet. … The best way to avoid talking about these things too soon is to wait until HE’S ready.
Part of this principle is to let The Plan Men discover their answer to these questions on their own. And, would you believe, ask YOU these questions. If a Plan Man does initiate such talk, by all means answer him honestly with your big loving heart.

Lu’s Pendulum
Principle #5: While you are getting the hang of The Plan, an act that is perceived as “good” by Plan standards may be followed by an act perceived as “bad.”
The thrust of Lu’s Pendulum is this: When you are following the principles of The Plan that do not as yet feel natural to you, don’t be surprised if you have an adverse reaction. For example, you may feel forced to go on a pleasant second date with someone “sweet” but not your cup of tea one night, and therefore allow yourself to [NCMO with a jerk] the next.

The Breakup Ladder
Principle #6: Breaking up with a Plan Man is not up to you.
There are only five reasons to break it off with a Plan Man:

1. They give you The Ickies.
a. That very specific feeling where they make you feel bad about yourself somehow. (This does not include feeling like you are a mean person because you might squash this nice guy like a bug.) Did they somehow discourage or belittle you? Did they cruise other women and think you didn’t notice? Did they make you feel like a side of beef?

b. They manage to treat you like crap and then make you feel guilty about it. It’s your classic “Look what you made me do!” Run!

c. They clearly are not honest, loving, or willing.

d. Generation gap. If it exceeds fifteen years in either direction you could consider it The Ickies OR NOT. But don’t rule anyone out simply because of a number. Not age, salary, or zip code. Okay, maybe a prison ID number, but that’s it!

e. They make you fear for your safety.
The Ickies is NOT the sick feeling you get because he has a receding hairline, wears pleated pants, or mispronounces your favorite [author]. That’s just you being a poopyhead.

2. They Drop Out on their own.
You cannot pursue a dropout Plan Man except for the one-time Two-Date Minimum phone call. A  4MPlanner does not chase, does not beg, does not stalk. You cannot retort with vengeful e-mails or whiny voicemails. There just isn’t time or energy to waste.
A dropout Plan Man can, however, reenter The Plan of his own volition. If he asks to return and you have room in your Graph, you may accept him.

3. They are Squeezed Out of The Plan for lack of space.
You may squeeze out the Plan Man of your choice to make room for a new Plan Man. So if you really want to get rid of someone, break out The Methods of Collection and The Yes Factor and squeeze them out.

4. Your new 2¼ “Chucks Out” your old 2¼.
Yes, that’s right; not only can you [make out] with only one Plan Man at a time, but if he was your Two and a Quarter, and someone else gets promoted to Two and a Quarter, then the previous Plan Man must be removed from the box, never to return. He cannot be simply demoted, he’s OUT. FOREVER.

5. They are Ineligible.
For example, they are: already in a monogamous relationship, gay, a [missionary], your eighth-grade student, etc.

Say Thank You or I’ll Spank You
Principle #7: So, what to do with a Plan Man after a date? The extremely important post-date-follow-up THANK YOU!
There are several ways to THANK a Plan Man after a date. Even if you said a heart felt Thank You at the end of your date, or texted him when you got home safely, it is still necessary to follow up with a bit of goddess graciousness the next day. By order of graciousness, least to most would be:

1. Text
2. Email
3. Voicemail
4. Actually Phone Call
5. Personal handwritten note

I would say consider what you WANT to do and then take it one or more steps deeper with a texting MINIMUM.
This exercise is about ACKNOWLEDGMENT, GRATITUDE and VALIDATION. More great additions to your 4MP, life, and relationship tool belt.
When you express gratitude to a Plan Man BE SPECIFIC, use his name, talk about the little details that pleased you about him and the date.

The Busy 4MPlanner
Let’s face it, the Four Man Plan takes time, a very precious commodity for today’s single lady. In fact, lack of time is often the main reason why so many gals avoid dating all together. … First, you have to decide if a successful partnership with a man is a high up on your list of desires. If it’s ranking up there in the top three, then there is no reason not to do the 4MP since it gives you a way to meet men on the go. Can you say multi-tasking?
The thing to do is this. Take your Mantris Graph and block off a whole or a half and substitute it with other important things. Kids, career, school, skydiving, etc. Now you’ve got a 3 Man Plan.

No more excuses! Un-suck at love and find you a man!

Concluding the Plan
There are three ways to successfully end The Plan.

1. Your Ultimate Goal, The Three and a Half Man
d. He has expressed an earnest interest in a monogamous relationship with you. And you want the same from him.
e. You love him.

He has at least ONE of your original deal-breaker qualities, maybe more, but you are crazy about him anyway.

Now it’s time for you to release the other men with dignity and end The Plan. Tell your other Plan Men: “I’ve really enjoyed your company, but I’ve decided to be monogamous with one man.” And now you’re out, Girl Scout!

BE ADVISED: If things don’t work out with Mr. Three and a Half, I suggest you wait at least three months (a season) before starting The Plan again. You will need to reassess, hang out with your girls, and/or book in some therapy before you’re ready to whip out The Mantris Graph again.

2. The Planless Plan, or the Graphectomy
So you’ve learned a few things and are ready to drop the harried pace of The Mantris Graph and relax. I love it! Maybe you’ve learned that meeting men is not as hard as you thought and that dating can be a lot of fun. You are no longer obsessive, you’ve found that you don’t mind a pet ferret or a snorting laugher as much as you though, and you
have developed clear boundaries. Fan-friggin’-tastic! Stay a Chick’s Chick and keep on searching for that great match for you. Thank you for playing!

3. Successfully Single
There’s a bunch of you that just start doing The Plan to figure something out, heal a squished-on heart, or just prove to yourself that you’ve still got it. It’s not time to settle down yet—being single is way too much fun. Fly, be free!

The 4MPlanner’s Credo
1. Always be yourself.

2. Always tell the truth when asked a direct question.

3. Be honest, loving, and willing and those attributes will be returned to you.

4. Protect other women and their relationships.

5. Believe that good men are everywhere and there are enough to go around.

6. Believe that love can be practiced and enjoyed even when you are not “in love.”

7. Believe that dividing your expectations multiplies your chances at love.

8. Believe that love is earned and not found.

9. Believe that your company and attention are gift enough.

10. Believe in the sacredness of your [body].

11. Have FUN, [darn it]!

Inspirational Words
“I sucked at love. It was long past time to admit that. But I love love. It’s my favorite. I could take a little break from it, but it wasn’t something I could give up. I just wanted to love in a way that made sense, that didn’t hurt so many people, particularly myself. I wanted to be smart about it.” Chapter 3, Math and Science to the Rescue
“Romance is not random, love is not chaos.” Chapter 3, Math and Science to the Rescue

“And wouldn’t it be easier to learn the rather simple and predictable language of Manspeak than to seek out a Man who understands the overly nuanced and complex Womanese?”

Chapter 4, The Theories Behind the 4MP

“ERROR: I need to find a man who understands me.
CORRECTION: It is far more within my control to learn to understand another and communicate in his language.” Chapter 4, The Theories Behind the 4MP

“ERROR: I only have one soul mate.
CORRECTION: There are 6.6 billion people in the world. The number of people who have claimed to have found their soul mate suggests that there are lots and lots of people who can delight my soul. So to put the odds in my favor, I must get our there and meet as many of them as possible.” Chapter 4, The Theories Behind the 4MP

“ERROR: I’m just not good at dating.
CORRECTION: The thing I desire most may reside at the end of a lot of hard work in an area in which I am initially incompetent or would rather not do. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable and my dreams will be at my fingertips.” Chapter 4, The Theories Behind the 4MP

“ERROR: A man will lose interest if I make him compete for me.
CORRECTION: Men thrive on competition. All competition is merely a structure within which one’s achievements and abilities can be measured.” Chapter 4, The Theories Behind the 4MP

“ERROR: I know my type.
CORRECTION: Sometimes what you are looking for is unlike anything you have ever seen and is tucked away in a place you may have never guessed to search.” Chapter 4, The Theories Behind the 4MP

“ERROR: I like to focus on one man at a time.
CORRECTION: A watched pot never boils. Okay, it does, but it hates being watched.” Chapter 4, The Theories Behind the 4MP

“Repeat after me: My dog is not my boyfriend. (Neither is your cat, your bird, your iguana, etc.)” Chapter 4, The Theories Behind the 4MP

“You are looking for something specific. You are looking for a pattern of behavior that indicates a level of kindness and lovingness and integrity expressed by a man that satisfies what you would require in a husband or partner or boyfriend, whatever role you are looking to fill.” Chapter 5, The Postulates of the 4MP

“When doing The 4MP, you must consider the possibility that each man entering The Plan may be ‘The One.’” Chapter 5, The Postulates of the 4MP

“When you know you suck at something you really want to excel at, your best course of action is to humble yourself, question your old methods, and ask for help.” Chapter 5, The Postulates of the 4MP

“Now that you are clear about what qualities you have deemed unacceptable in the past, embrace the fact that the man you will love with all your heart will have at least one or more of these qualities. In fact, nature has a real sense of humor about this one.” Chapter 6, Data Collection

“Honest, loving, and willing are the three qualities that trump all others when you are seeking out your Plan Men.” Chapter 6, Data Collection

“Honesty brings dignity to your relationship, even if times are tough or things don’t work out.” Chapter 6, Data Collection

“If you’re the naturally suspicious type, as I was, always start out by trusting a Plan Man’s honesty. If he’s not the honest type, your trust will really screw with his head and he will eventually trip up or clean up his act on his own. Trust inspires trustworthiness.” Chapter 6, Data Collection

“Your best chance at attracting men with these qualities *honest, loving, and willing is to be conscious about having them yourself.” Chapter 6, Data Collection

“The Plan is not about being aloof. If you dig him and you want to call, call. ONCE. If you do not dig him, give your number anyway and wait for him to call you.” Chapter 8, The Plan Men

“For the most part, HONEST, LOVING, and WILLING men are out minding their own business and not constantly trolling for women. This is the breed of men we are trying to give confidence to and coax out of hiding. That will require a direct approach.” Chapter 8, The Plan Men

“Success comes to those who create opportunities for themselves.” Chapter 8, The Plan Men

“A woman on the hunt for a husband can be repellant, but a girl looking for a date smells like freshly baked pastries.” Chapter 8, The Plan Men

“When practicing the 4MP, you are out there to collect Quarters. When you are not leading with your ring finger and your fallopian tubes, men will sense the difference in your approach and so will you. In the forest of dating, you’re a bold bunny coming in for a sniff, not a bloodthirsty hunter with a shotgun and a bear trap.” Chapter 8, The Plan Men

“…there’s no time to be coy or play games.” Chapter 8, The Plan Men

“Talk is cheap, but typing is a free ride.” [online dating] Chapter 8, The Plan Men

“Now, I’m not saying that chemistry isn’t a wonderful thing, and ultimately a necessary thing between two lovers. But what isn’t common knowledge is that chemistry is not necessarily immediate or continuous. Given the right circumstances, it can appear where it was previously absent. Given the wrong circumstances, it can vanish where it was previously dominant.” Chapter 8, The Plan Men

“Aren’t you supposed to consider marrying the man who says he loves you? What I discovered in my application of The 4MP was that men in competition will do and say things out of their comfort zone to get ahead. Saying “I love being with you” and even “I love you” starts to roll off many a tongue, mostly because it is still easier to SAY love than to DO love.” Chapter 8, The Plan Men

“We’re looking for an HONEST, LOVING, and WILLING man who makes your toes curl and treats you like a goddess. So if he says those magic little words, just take it in stride and “accept” his gesture, and if the spirit moves you, return it. Poof, he’s now a Whole Man. (It doesn’t count if you mention the “L” word first.”) Chapter 8, The Plan Men

“Feel free to allow yourself to open up to love in its many forms, feelings, actions, and words. There is no loss in loving.” Chapter 8, The Plan Men

“Love is the ability to wish someone happiness and to establish a caring relationship.” Chapter 8, The Plan Men

“Our goal for you is to walk into a room and make men weak in the knees. They wouldn’t dare approach you for [a kiss] until your intimacy level and their actions have warranted it.” Chapter 8, The Plan Men

“You’re special, and just a sideways glance and a small smile says, ‘You should be so lucky.’ Keep that in mind when you’re trying to keep a man Whole, and nothing more, just yet.” Chapter 8, The Plan Men

“But by George, not only is the 4MPlanner gracious, fabulous, and open-minded, she recycles!” Chapter 8, The Plan Men

“Amazing things happen when you start The Plan. One is that a broadcast gets sent through the ether and lights upon those spirits you have loved and lost. Without provocation you might be mysteriously contacted by Exes far and wide. Or you may want to use your newfound skills and attitude to reintroduce yourself to someone who previously fell away for whatever reason.” Chapter 8, The Plan Men

“Buck up and accept that if you are going on a first date, there will be a second date whether you like him or not. So cancel your girlfriend’s standing order for the forty-five-minutes-into-the-first-date “emergency” phone call.” Chapter 9, The Principles of The 4MP

“This principle [always two dates] also serves to disable your relentless first-date function, The Constant Judger. You will not get to spend your first date racking up all the reasons why you will never go out with him again and trying to figure out how to exit as quickly as possible. Instead, you will automatically start looking for something you like about him so that you can stand the idea of going out with him again.” Chapter 9, The Principles of The 4MP

“Looking for the best in someone is a great thing to practice and makes you a more pleasant date well worth the price of a sushi dinner.” Chapter 9, The Principles of The 4MP

“Validation is as pleasurable to give as to receive. Validation is a form of intimate, unconditional, and universal love that you can leave your knickers on for.” Chapter 9, The Principles of The 4MP

“Your fantasies about your imaginary future with him or your complaints about his peccadillos and how they might interfere with his fathering abilities must stay between you, your girlfriends, your shrink, and your journal.” Chapter 9, The Principles of The 4MP

“The less time you spend talking about your relationship, the more time you’ll spend actually having one.” Chapter 9, The Principles of The 4MP

“The key is to not think that you deserve a trophy for doing something that deep down you know if right anyway, like giving a nice but uni-browed guy a chance or not making out with your roommate’s boyfriend. And at the same time, don’t berate yourself for a slipup, like showing a guy your wedding-planning book on a first date or skipping out on a mandatory second. If you know you are acting on your true integrity, do a little dance and move on; if you mess up, examine your reasons and pick up where you left off. Don’t give up because you slip up.” Chapter 9, The Principles of The 4MP

“A 4MPlanner does not chase, does not beg, does not stalk. You cannot retort with vengeful e-mails or whiny voicemails. There just isn’t time or energy to waste.” Chapter 9, The Principles of The 4MP

“Unavailable means unavailable. It should not make him more delicious, it should make him smell like doo-doo.” Chapter 9, The Principles of The 4MP

“Men really love a woman who they are able to please. They especially like specifics about what they did to make you happy; it helps us women become less of a mystery and gives men a way to be successful with us.” Chapter 9, The Principles of The 4MP

“We are already asking a lot of these Plan Men. We want them to accept the fact that you are dating others, we want them to be the best possible men they can be and this little exercise [follow up thank you] will let them know that they stand a chance and that you are not just out for the free meals.” Chapter 9, The Principles of The 4MP

“Acknowledgement, Gratitude, and Validation feel as great to give as it does to receive once you get the hang of it. Heck, this isn’t just for Plan Men, do it all over town!” Chapter 9, The Principles of The 4MP

“Unsucking at Love is a lifelong pursuit. Just when you think you’ve got the hang of it, the next level shows itself.” Chapter 10, Concluding The Plan

“*The Three and a Half Man+ is not perfect, but neither are you, and you can express that to each other and feel comfortable. Or, even better, you can both laugh about it.” Chapter 10, Concluding The Plan

“Why is he only Three and a Half and not Four? By now you should have realized that no one man can fulfill all of our needs.” Chapter 10, Concluding The Plan

“At the end of the day, love is the only game in town.” Chapter 10, Concluding The Plan

“If your closet is a mess, and your clothes and shoes are spilling out at you in unorganized heaps it’s impossible to look your best. Put things in order and you can wear what you want, when you want and always know what you have, what you need, and what’s just got to go.” Chapter 12, The 4MPlanner’s Planner

“Make no mistake, drawing out your graphs puts your Plan in order and is a hugely important process of the 4MP. It is the structure for the art that is your love life. Without structure there can be no art. If you suck at something you want to get better at, it can’t happen without structure.“ Chapter 12, The 4MPlanner’s Planner

“Somewhere along the line, women have started believing that a man paying for dates means that you owe him some sort of sexual payment. [HECK] NO! Take the time to be gorgeous and charming and make the most of your date’s positive attributes and know that your company is pleasure enough. Most important, embrace the joy of receiving! Men LOVE to see that a
woman is pleased by their efforts. Let someone do something nice for you and know that you are worth it.” Chapter 12, The 4MPlanner’s Planner

“A healthy relationship takes two willing participants. Anything less than that is a treadmill of misplaced hope that leads to lots of quiet suffering and late-night chocolate eating.” Chapter 12, The 4MPlanner’s Planner

“Getting really excited about someone can often cause us to lunge at them and scare them away. Often we create a fantasy that is unreasonable based on the very few encounters we have. Guys find this unbelievably ooky. And even if you don’t share your weird little fantasies with them, it’s like spraying yourself with man-repellent. They can sense it and it blocks them from coming toward you, because they don’t want to be saddled with unreasonable expectations. Keeping things in perspective and giving them the appropriate percentage of your attention helps to keep them from running away from something with real potential.” Chapter 12, The 4MPlanner’s Planner

“This society, where people can survive alone, without teamwork, without a partner, has turned love into a luxury item. An accessory that we think we have infinite choice over and shouldn’t settle for anything less than perfection. But even though we can go on breathing without love, you aren’t truly living without it. Deep down we know that love is essential and perfection isn’t possible.” Chapter 12, The 4MPlanner’s Planner

“Structure creates limitations, and limitations are the inspiration of creativity and brilliance.” Chapter 12, The 4MPlanner’s Planner

This is from Cindy Lu’s “The Four Man Plan: A Romantic Science” 2nd Edition, 2010
[] indicates changes from author's original text.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Stress Dreaming

My dreams are unusually vivid, with very structured plots and sequences. And they always seem totally random. There have only been a handful of times where I dream about something that is going on in my life, and those few times have usually been related to work. Like when I worked at IHOP, and I would dream that the table I was serving that night (a real one) was still waiting at the restaurant for the ranch they requested and I never brought to them. I would wake up in a panic and have to talk myself out of going back to IHOP just to make sure they got their ranch.

So last night's dream was probably one of the most random. It begins on a ship, which is then taken over by pirates. We have an epic battle and I'm slicing off dreadlocks and heads - separately - until we've taken back the ship and it begins to sink. We scamper over to the other pirate ship and it is the "apartment" of Jared McKinney and my cousin Christian (who I'm pretty sure have never, ever met). They are both studying to become CMA's, and so they have medical equipment all over their apartment, and in the basement, they have to syringes. Which I pick up to examine, because I'm horrified that they have them in their possession, and I drop one. It falls in a grate beneath the bench where the needles were laying, and so I climb down to retrieve what I've dropped.

And then I'm outside where Will Smith is giving my brother, Mark, basketball tips. Will and I hit it off and become instant best friends, so he introduces me to his wife and I tell them how adorable I think their kids are. And how I want to just steal them, so I can have little black babies of my own. This does not go over well with Will, so I have to make amends, but before I can do that, I get a phone call saying that I was the one that was supposed to be delivering the proposals to Panguitch, they are due in 2 1/2 hours, and I have a 3 1/2 hour drive to get there.

So I hop in my car - which is a cardboard box that you put over your head, and it has windows and everything - and I "drive" to Peggy's house to pick up the proposals. There is paparazzi following me to get my comments on my feud with Will Smith.

I pull up to this giant mansion and get out and there are lights and cameras and finally, Will gets out of his car - cardboard box - and tells them it was all a misunderstanding, that I'm really a nice girl and we are great friends. And to show that there are no hard feelings, he is going to take me to Panguitch on his rocketship.

Crisis solved, and I wake up.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Jumpstart to February

I didn't make a January design for my blog because it takes so much time... I'm getting better as I know more how to manipulate the "design" programs I have to work with, but it still takes a few hours.

I was feeling in the mood for a change, and decided to work up something, but it was too late to do something for January, so I skipped and went to February.

I like it.

15 Things

I read this blog and was sort of tagged..
  1. My guilty pleasure TV show right now is BridalPlasty. It is probably the absolute most disturbing, awful idea for a show, and yet, I am addicted. Watching these women battle it out through challenge after challenge so they can win a plastic surgery - among other prizes like celebrity photographers, florists, etc. - in order to be the "perfect" bride on their wedding day. They are amazingly dramatic and manipulative, and I am morbidly curious as to who these women conned into marrying them. Besides being manipulative, spoiled brats, they are also extremely insecure and just plain.... well, you know. It is reality TV. I roped my roommate into watching with me, and we like to see how or if they can bring down Janessa, master manipulator and godfather of the whole operation. I am still really upset I missed the newest episode.
  2. Chocolate covered raisins are my weakness. I love them. I can't pass them up. One of my roommates brought home a tub of them from Costco, and I'm pretty sure that it only took me a month to devour them all. They were delicious.
  3. I'm going through a Country music phase. Granted, I still only like my Country music, but I've been listening to it ever since I went and saw Country Strong. I loved that movie! And I loved the music more. I would have gone straight to the store to buy the soundtrack, only I looked it up first, and they totally ruined it! There is only one song each for the actors who actually sang in the movie. My favorite song, Give in to Me was performed by Garrett Hedlund and Leeighton Meester in the movie, is done by Faith Hill on the soundtrack! I'm ticked. 
  4. I want to move to Texas. Cowboys. Warm winters. Southern accents. History. What more could I want? I've never been to Texas. I hear it's humid. I don't care.
  5. The Orchid Affair comes out tomorrow. I can't wait. I'm supposed to be receiving a free copy - a reviewer's copy - in the mail, but I haven't seen it, and I'm pretty sure that if it isn't in the mailbox tomorrow, I'm going straight to Borders to buy a copy. I even have a nameplate (a signed sticky note) from the author to put in my copy. THIS author seems to like me. She even sent me a hand signed card. We have the same stationery. (Also, if you are at all into historical fiction, with a great deal of romance, you HAVE to pick up these books. Lauren Willig is a brilliant writer and her books have everything: mystery, intrigue, romance, action, wit, chicklit, history, etc. I love love love love the Pink Carnation Series. Read them. Go.)
  6. Rubio's is my new favorite restaurant. I could eat their fish tacos everyday. I would try, but I know I would be broke by the end of the week. If I could have Rubio's for lunch and Thai for dinner everyday, I would die happy. 
  7. I would choose a trip to Europe over a new car. Even though I really need a new car.
  8. I'm addicted to Bones. I've always known it was a good show, I've seen several episodes, but this weekend when I was dying*, I sat and watched a 48 hour marathon. I am in love with Booth. 
  9. I'm not really dying.
  10. I am > this close < to giving up on shaving. Have you seen the prices of razors lately? I can't afford that. I am a snob, and hate disposables, and the alternative is $20 for 6-8 razors. What the heck?
  11. I've given up on the dishwasher. My dad hates the dishwasher, and I am completely on his side. The dishes are never done when you use the stupid appliance. There's always the question of whether or not the dishes are clean or dirty. If they are clean and no one unloads them (I HATE unloading the dishwasher), then dishes get piled up in the sink. If the dishwasher is empty, but someone doesn't have time to put them in, dishes pile up in the sink. If the dishes are dirty in the dishwasher, then there are NO dishes for when you need them. It's so much easier to hand wash them and then put them away.
  12. I prefer a bar of soap to body wash. Soap makes me feel cleaner. Body wash is just frou-frou stuff that I use when I want to smell particularly good.
  13. I promised that after moving box after box of heavy books, that I was not buying books until I lived in a more permanent place. Since then, I have bought at least 10 books. I love books. I don't think I will ever be talked into electronic readers. I still have visions of my wall to wall library, and so I keep collecting. And my library is expanding! I have like, three new nonfiction books! I'm reading one - The Frozen Ice Trade - right now and loving it!
  14. In my mind, I know exactly how I want something tailored. I don't know anything about sewing or tailoring, and so the last (and only) time I tried to fix a shirt that I bought, I ruined it. Whoops. I do have a sewing machine, now, though, and so I hope that one day, maybe, I might actually be able to make something besides scrappy looking Christmas ornaments. 
  15. I don't close my OKcupid account because it is too entertaining. I don't check it very often, but when I do, it sort of cracks me up. I hate that I have an OKcupid account.

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