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The Rules

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This evening while I was doing my part to get us packed for our big move in 2 weeks I came across a cache of dusty self-help books on one of my bookshelves.

 

One book was “Sexy at Any Size” (a really good book actually), another was the Bridget-Jones inspired “Becoming a Goddess of Inner Poise“…still yet was the snarky “He’s Just Not That Into You“. DID NOT LIKE. THAT BOOK.

 

Then I stumbled across self-help GOLD.

 

My copy of “The Rules: Time-tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right“.

 

Yeah, that’s right. Like many single women, I was handed this book by a well-meaning friend, and actually tried to live by some of the bat-shit crazy rules in this book until I realized trying to live my life by rules set forth on a paperback book was insane and made me look like a controlling social engineer from the depths of crazy-land.

 

It’s funny, it specifically talks in the book about how if you break the rules in this book, you will not find a successful relationship. I personally believe that if you don’t break a few rules in this book, you’ll walk around like you’ve got a stick up your ass. Following this list of arbitrary rules didn’t really work for me. It wasn’t until I broke a few of The Rules that my dating life actually got interesting, and went from the “wishing and reading the Rules” stage to the “living and laughing and leaving the Rules behind” stage.

 

Some rules I effed up on:

 

Broken Rule #1 – Be a “Creature Unlike Any Other”

Hmph. This rule was mostly about keeping a certain amount of mystery in your relationship. I guess I broke that one the first time I peed with the door open. He literally screamed. Now he tries to hand me bank slips to look at while I’m in there with my underpants around my ankles, having personal time and reading Adele’s article in an old Rolling Stone. I’m all like,”What is this?! What do I do with this?!” and He’s all like “I dunno.” Neither of us finds it strange that the interaction is happening while one of us is pantsless.

On 4th of July I pulled  a prank that involved telling him to lift my leg (pantsless of course) and then farting directly into his face. Again, he screamed. And gagged. And laughed.  Almost a week ago and I still cry with laughter about that, and so does he.

Speaking of pantsless… I guess introducing him to my “Pants Off Friday” celebrations probably blew up Rule #1… unless it actually supports #1. I’m pretty sure dancing around without my pants on Fridays makes me a “Creature Unlike Any Other”

 

 

Broken Rule #5 – Don’t Call Him and Rarely Return His Calls

I always returned his calls. I was always so excited to hear from him that I didn’t have the self-control to be coy and all not-calling-back right away.

 

 

Rule #6 – Always End Phone Calls First

Um… yeah, like the first 2 months he was ALWAYS the one that hung up first, usually because he fell asleep while I was talking excessively. See Broken Rule #5

 

 

Broken Rule #14 – No More Than Casual Kissing on the First Date

I guess now’s the time to tell the Story of the Cold.

The BFE and I met through online dating. When I finally bullied him into asking me out, we jokingly came up with a code: if he tried to kiss me, and I wasn’t feeling it, I would just say “I have a cold”.

Our first date was a movie… while we’re sitting there, he leans over and is all like “Hey, I don’t have a cold”… I laughed and kissed him. I haven’t stopped kissing him yet. 🙂

Our good-bye kiss after he walked me to my car lasted about 25 minutes. I don’t think I ever left so happy. I guess technically it wasn’t “casual kissing”. 🙂

 

 

Broken Rule #17 – Let Him Take the Lead

Are you kidding me? What is this, 1925? See Broken Rule #14… he kept beating around the bush so I finally got him to ask me out. I kinda let him believe it was his idea. So in theory he took the lead… right?

 

 

Broken Rule #22 – Don’t Live with a Man (or Leave Your Things in His Apartment)

Whatever. He moved in with me, so I didn’t actually move in with him. It was the best thing we ever did.

 

 

Broken Rule #31 – Don’t Discuss the Rules with Your Therapist

That smacks of someone desperate to hide their crazy. I’ve said it before, and I’ll said it again: “In the South we don’t hide our crazy. We sit it on the front porch and give it a cocktail”. My friends are my therapists, and the idea of having to hide some element of my nutjob personality from my friends is exhausting. I once tried to explain the rules to my friend Kev, and I could visually SEE part of his life force draining away due to the sheer tedium of all the rules.

 

 

I guess each person has to decide for themselves if The Rules is something they want to do. I just felt it was a bit antiquated for me and my lifestyle, along with somewhat crazy and most importantly, a set of rules specifically designed to hide the best parts of yourself from your partner.

I mean, yes, some of that stuff is common sense, and is designed for those girls that get so excited with each new prospect that they shoot straight for Stage 5 Clinger. I agree – you probably shouldn’t go all stalker-y on potential new date guy, but seriously? Why should I hide who I am? How could I NOT share Pants Off Friday with the dude that might end of being my Baby Daddy? If you can’t take me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best. And that means no Pants Off Friday for you!

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Let the Buyer Beware!

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Ok, I’m writing this because I need to get it out. I’m not sure if ANYTHING about this post is going to be very humorous.

 

About 5 years ago, I was living with my current roommates in a house that’s actually right around the corner from where we are now… and we LOVED out house. We were renting from this realtor guy, who, even though he was a bit weird, seemed alright.

 

Fast forward about 2 and a half years, and we surprisingly get SERVED foreclosure papers at our door one night. Seems that Mr. Realtor guy was taking our rent and not using it to pay the mortage. According to the papers he hadn’t made a payment in over 6 months.

 

We tried to get out of our situation then, but he turned into a bully, threatening to sue us, citing parts of the rental contract and twisting them to his RANDOM interpretation. After talking amongst ourselves, we decided to stick it out for another few months, until the end of the lease.

 

Things rapidly got worse. Our landlord Mr. Realtor guy decided to file for bankruptcy, and in the process included all of his rental properties, citing that they were empty. We were given less than a month to get out, and had a hard time finding a house to rent at the last minute.

 

When this house came up for grabs, we thought ourselves fortunate! Right around the corner from our current place! Lower rent! More space! The owner seemed like a nice guy and was very empathetic when we told him that we why we were in such a hurry. We though we’d found the perfect arrangement and settled into our new home.

 

We’ve been here about 2 and a half years now, and really feel connected with the neighborhood and the community. Bee and I started looking for our own place to rent once the lease would be up in December and wanted to stay pretty close. With saving for the wedding AND saving for a new place we’d outlined a strategy to get both things done without breaking the bank.

 

Things were fine until we got SERVED (!!!!) in March of this year. Turns out our landlord was going into foreclosure! We were in the the same situation again!!! As you can imagine, this did not sit well with me or my roommates. We became panicked and paranoid, scrambling to make sense of it all. After confronting our landlord with the truth, he explained that he wanted to remodify his mortgage; these days the banks won’t even talk to you about that unless you’re a few months behind on your mortgage. He assured us that all was well, and after renegotiating the rent down to a slightly lower price, we agreed to stay until the end of the year, when our lease would be up.

 

My heart rate and stress level was finally subsiding back down to its usual level of mania when the phone call came: our landlord wants to put the house up for short sale! With the intention of somehow buying it back!

 

How could it get to this point? What made my landlord think that this was a good idea? Or that his tenants would stick around during this process. I feel so effed by it all, and worst of all, somewhat powerless and I hate that. A very large part of me is super pissed that we’re being put in this situation, part of me is in awe at the sheer ridiculousness of my landlord’s decisions to let things get this far. And a not-so tiny bit of me is also pleased.

 

With all of this going on we’re now contemplating moving out WAYYYY ahead of schedule – August, in fact. Bee and I have been looking at apartment complexes, trying to find one in the area that works for us, and will be our first nest together. 🙂 What sucks is… EVERYONE is looking for apartments right now too.

 

It’s funny – now that the housing market is going through all this drama people are choosing NOT to rent from private owners, but are turning to apartments and management companies instead. Bee and I are not ready to buy a home, and I know we’ll be renting for a few years yet, and I hate that we’re now so suspicious of rental properties managed by the owners. For a long time the law was on the side of the owners, but now more laws are coming out to protect the tenants, yet I feel that not enough is being done. It’s hard and unfair – if I don’t work out a reasonable deal with my landlord, I’m at risk of “breaking” my lease… even though he’s the one not paying bills. Does that seem crazy to anyone but me? That I’m stuck in someone else’s mess? The process server for the foreclosure has already been by twice. Now we have to accommodate realtors wanting to show the house.

 

On the flip side, I am more than a little excited that our plans to get our own place together are being sped up. I am looking forward to living in my own place, where I can sit in the living room on the couch in my underpants, eating oatmeal for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and not worrying that my roommate is going to unexpectedly bring home a gaggle of people while I’m enjoying Pants Off Friday.

 

I also won’t have to worry about lawn care. Bee and I enjoy gardening but I’m pretty sure I’ll like a container garden just as well… less ants, less bagworms (WTF?!?), less pesticides to worry about… no more haggling with lawn care companies to cut my grass before it becomes the neighborhood eyesore. It got so bad recently that parents wouldn’t let their kids walk on the sidewalk by our house… they’d quickly usher them across the street. If I was wlaking out of the front door at the same time my neighbor was backing out of his garage, I’d scurry back in until he’d left. Last week’s community garage sale was the worst. I wanted to check out all the wares, but didn’t want to leave through the front door, ’cause then everyone would know that I belonged to “that house”. Until our new lawn care guy bravely ventured in and mowed the yard, I was pretty sure Bambi and his friends were moving into our front yard. I swear I saw forest creatures frolicking around my hibiscus bush the other day. NOT COOL.

 

Another nice thing will be cheaper power bill! Yippee!!! Our current power bill would make you nauseous. Seriously. It’s pretty bad in the summer. Water will be less, and the likelihood and me having to run down the street chasing my trash guys in my pajamas is fairly unlikely.

 

One final super cool thing about getting a new place: a toilet seat that’s never been sat on by another butt. I didn’t realize how important this could be until a friend pointed it out. How tantalizing!

 

It will be weird adjusting to a small place, but I’m pretty sure me and Bee will make it cozy and welcoming… not only for ourselves, but our friends too.

 

We planned for such a long while about moving in to a new place together, and now it’s coming, whether we like it or not. We’re getting pushed head over heels into this new awesome change. If you know me, you know I HATE change. So why am I so pumped for this massive shift in my world???

…annnnd the company I keep (who also lets me blog about them)

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My friend Ojeda is a regular source of entertainment and hilarity for me. We’ve known each other for about 6 years now, and as much as he drives me nuts he keeps me grounded… and constantly laughing. On a regular basis he says something that makes me stare at him and say “you know when you’re old you’re gonna be the most racist old Cuban man in the retirement home” and “You know can’t tell stories about tampons in public! Out loud!!” and “no, we will not steal Star Wars toys from that five year old” (see previous post).

Me and my Cuban Brotha from Anotha’ Mutha’ (who makes some meat cuban pork)

Being Cuban, he often pulls out these off the cuff statement regarding Cuban culture, and then looks at us all like we’re nuts for looking at him like he’s nuts.

Example from last Sunday:

BFE, Ojeda and two of our fairly normal (heh) friends are strolling around the World Showcase at EPCOT, and stop in the Outpost are to look at the shops. Ojeda spots a collection of beautifully carved elephants.

Ojeda: You know, it’s customary in Cuban households to have an elephant in your house somewhere.

**We are stare blankly**

Ojeda: You know, an elephant statue.

**We continue to stare blankly**

Ojeda: It’s for good luck. But it’s only good luck if the elephant’s ass is facing the front door. That’s the way it works.

***We continue to stare blankly**

Ojeda: Shut up! It’s my culture!!!!!

I love him to bits. He’s like the crazy Cuban brother I never had, because that would be weird and require a lot of explaining. And considering he’s confused Alabama and Georgia before, asking “what’s the difference??” he’s definitely not Southern enough to be my brother. But considering we both have zero filter, there’s a good chance we are still related.

Today’s email between me and Ojeda about plans we all have for tonight. I’ve highlighted the craziest parts in bold red for easier reading.

From: Ojeda
To: Peach
Subject: Tonight’s dinner

I want to let you know there’s a small possibility I may not be able to attend the dinner tonight.  I’ve been having the runs all this morning and still in the afternoon.  I’m also breaking a bit of a sweat and fear I may be coming down with something.

I really want to go, however, because it’s a special dinner and I want to be a part of it.  But in case I feel too sick, I wanted to give you advance notice.

I plan on working late in the office and then heading straight to the hotel.  So it’s best to reach me through email until around 7pm when I’m outside of the office and in cell phone range.

Ojeda

_______________________

From: Peach
To: Ojeda
Cc: BFE
Subject: RE: Tonight’s dinner

Oh no friend!!!! This is no good.

I’m sorry you’re sick. Maybe try flushing you system with some water and maybe Gatorade/ powerade? The bad thing about being sick like that is the dehydration that comes with it. It becomes a never-ending cycle because you are losing electrolytes.

I really REALLY hope you can make it but I understand if you cannot be there. Your health is important. If there’s anything you need, please let us know!

–          Peach

_________________

From: Ojeda
To: Peach at Work
Subject: RE: Tonight’s dinner

I’ll definitely keep you posted.  And you’re right about the hydration.  There’s no Gatorade in the office, but I’ve been keeping myself hydrated with a lot of water.  My body, however, is still cramping and I feel the movement to you know where.

Believe me, I want to go…and I expect to.  But just giving you a heads up.  I even wore a collar shirt for today.

Ojeda

________________

From: Peach at Work
To: Ojeda
Subject: RE: Tonight’s dinner

Things that will help your stomach too – the BRAT diet:

Bananas

Rice

Applesauce

Toast

–          Peach

_________________

From: Ojeda

To: Peach at Work
Subject: RE: Tonight’s dinner

Oh, good thing you told me what it stood for.  I was about to go to the nearest elementary and chew on a spoiled kid.

Ojeda

__________________

From: Peach at Work

To: Ojeda

Subject: RE: Tonight’s dinner

I’m totally blogging this.

–          Peach

____________________

From: Ojeda
To: Peach
Subject: RE: Tonight’s dinner

Thanks…I enjoy being part of the blog 😀

Ojeda

This is the company I keep. I hope this explains my crazy, even if it’s just a little bit. No normal person gets emails about the runs, and no normal friend would send them.

I am grateful for my crazy friends, though. Who else would go along with my insane schemes?

Or let me blog about them?

 

Friendship Status

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Based on my investigations (and wild speculations) I think that a friend of mine has just relegated me to “associate” level of friendship status. Has this ever happened to anyone else?

 

How to know if you’ve been downgraded from friend to “work friend” or “sometime friend” or “associate”:

 

  1. You no longer receive texts outside of Monday – Friday, 9am – 6pm.
  2. Actually …you no longer receive texts at all.
  3. You hardly ever see their posts on Facebook anymore, suggesting that you’re clearance status has been changed.
  4. You invite them to parties, which they decline, but do not say why.
  5. You are no longer invited to events outside of work related stuff. And that includes lunches outside of the break room!
  6. You find yourself no longer really sharing what’s going on in your life, because catching them up from the last time you talked would take too much time.
  7. Most of your communication takes place via email, and usually only when they need something, like a dog sitter or a ride to the airport.
  8. When they ask “did you cut your hair?” you look at them like they’re nuts because a) you cut your hair like, a month ago or b) your hair is exactly the same.
  9. Conversations are mostly weekend discussions, movies and… yeah. That’s pretty much it.

 

 

I’ve been suspecting this for a while, and with the recent decline of my invitation to our engagement party, I think all the pieces are falling into place and it all makes sense now. I’m a work associate. I have been moved from the friend group into the work associate group. Getting booted out of the group stinks. Well at least now I know where I stand.

I don’t know if I’m the only one that ever had to deal with this, but when I was in high school, I had three distinct friend groups:

– School friends

– Church friends

– Work friends

 

Mixing those friend groups was like crossing the red and black wires on a car battery. Or whatever those bad wires were that you were never, EVER allowed to let touch for fear that’s you’d become a science experiment on how tasing can go horribly wrong. While I don’t technically know what would happen, the fear of a massive explosion or epic tasering pretty much stopped it from trying it out. Occasionally I would have one friend from this group, and one or two from that group… and just hold my breath and pray. It’s not that I was different people with each group, it’s just that each group had it’s own distinct personality, and priorities, and taboos. Different jokes, and stories that didn’t make sense outside of those in the know. Telling the “Jessica are you STILL eatin?” or the “who’s your Superman now???” jokes to the wrong groups just simply doesn’t make sense. And then I feel awkward.

 

As an adult, it’s nice to have friends that you can mix and match into different group settings. The ones you can take to a drag show, a house party and a church, and everything’s just fine. The ones that go with the flow, and know how to relax and have a good time outside of the safe confines of their normal group. Kinda like those garanimals outfits that kids wear, and the pants will match with any shirt and the shirt will match any shorts, or skirt, etc, allowing little kids the liberty of putting together the outfit that suits their personality for the day without looking like a rag bag of random clothing. Using the kids’ clothing/ garanimals simile is pretty fitting because only the immature nut bags would cut a fool and make horses’ asses out of themselves while being introduced to other friends while at the aforementioned drag show, house party or church.Those nut bags are the ones that would also shit inside their own garanimals clothing and ruin the whole look of the outfit. And have to change into something else. Something way less cool. Shitting in your clothes sucks and is definitely no cool. And let’s face it, garanimals is pretty fricking cool.

 

 

It’s nice having garanimal friends because you can take them anywhere and know that they’ll have a good time and not offend, get moody, cry, or eat all the snacks/ use all the toilet paper at someone’s house. You know the topics that garanimal friends bring up in mixed company? Disparaging jokes about their mutual friend, weather, tv shows, anything the group can easily find common ground one. You know what topics garanimals DON’T bring up? Abortion, immigration, why you think President Obama is/ isn’t a good president, marriage amendments. Introducing one friend into another group is kinda like introducing different parts of your brain to each other, and hoping that your psyche’s Id doesn’t eat them both during the introductions. Your friends are a reflection of who you are. Why wouldn’t you want to share the best parts of yourself with the people that matter the most to you?

 

So getting back to being downgraded… all I can guess is that I didn’t reflect that part of my “associate’s” best self, that she decided that being my friend works best at arm’s length. Who knows why these shifts happen. Maybe she saw just a bit too much crazy in my one day, or maybe our friendship journey together is just simply drawing to its natural close. It’s a bummer because my crazy is pretty awesome.

Maybe it’s because I’m her nut bag friend that she doesn’t want to introduce to other friend groups, which is a shame. I hear I’m a pretty fun nut bag. Right????

 

 

 

New periodical, new bathroom, same sh!t

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Yep. The Bathroom Reader has conquered a new bathroom in our office! Something must be done.

This bit of light reading was a Bank of America pamphlet… Are you seriously so bored on the toilet that you read banking pamphlets? Who decides that potty time is ideal for reviewing your financial information??

10 Days – 4 Foods

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4 Foods

 

4. Mexican Food

Typically when someone suggests going to a Mexican restaurant for dinner, then I KNOW that I’ll be drinking my dinner.

I hate Mexican. And Mexican hates me.

 

Several years ago, I went to a popular Mexican chain for a fun dinner with my friends (NOT Taco Bell!) and ending up with a miserable case of the liquid sh!ts, or, as middle sis calls it “the bubble gut”. What was worse? I was in a bathroom at the US Play (kinda like a Dave & Buster’s), too far away from home to make it without having a blowout. I lit that bathroom up and turned it into Chernobyl. It was horrible! It happened a few times after that, before I finally caught on that drinking margaritas and having chips and salsa was better on my stomach than a chimichanga combo with green sauce.

 

So it tells you how much I must really like the BBE if I’ll go to a Mexican Restaurant without involuntarily cringing or clutching my stomach.

 

 

3. Chipotle

First of all, I don’t consider Chipotle to be Mexican. Not even related, really, except for the burrito that I don’t even let them give me anymore. Which may be why it doesn’t really tear me up.

 

Whenever I consider moving to a new place, there are a few things I like to make sure are close:

  • Target
  • Publix
  • Bank of America (yes I’m still a BOA zombie, sadly)
  • Chipotle

 

And it’s a great go-to place if I’m too lazy to cook. Which happened so much when I lived in Atlanta that I got acid reflux and had to eat nothing but oatmeal for two weeks.

 

 

2. Spinach, any style

You can sautee it, bake it, make it into a salad, and it’s still really good! (I also felt obliged to add a green vegetable of some sort so yall wouldn’t think I was completely obsessed with carbs and sugar and all those other things that make food taste really good.

 

 

1. Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I like to think of them as Nature’s little joke. They’re tasty and delicious and so so yummy, and yet made with oatmeal! And raisins!