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Monthly Archives: October 2010

Bourbon Street - the Big Easy

[This post was originally published on hrmag.com as part of the First Person Singular blog.]

I had a blast in New Orleans! I went there for work, but got plenty of touristy things done as well: I went to Bourbon Street and Jackson Square with colleagues and clients, helped a client gamble and lose exactly $5 at the casinos (yeah, we’re SUCH risk takers), and ate untold amounts of delicious French Quarter fare, including dinner at Emeril Lagasse’s restaurant. How can you NOT love a city where it’s perfectly legal to carry open containers of alcohol anywhere, and where every occasion is reason to celebrate?

Now, I’m a believer in self-fulfilling prophecies. You start to think in an overly negative or positive manner, and you start to project those energies outwards. It’s not hooey! It’s just a matter of cause and effect. If you think you won’t find something (like, oh, love), you retreat into a self-constructed pit of despair—and who’s gonna be attracted to that?

Anyway, that being said, I don’t think I’d ever wanna get a psychic reading. Not sure I believe those forces are real, nor do I want my thoughts to be influenced by others’ supposed prophecies.

Still, I couldn’t resist stopping at Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo on Bourbon Street on my last day to get a palm and card reading. I met with a super nice woman named Irene who was as sweet and feisty as you’d expect from a voodoo practitioner. I know better than to take the readings as gospel, but it was incredibly interesting, so I thought I’d share some of what she told me:

  • I stop at nothing to get what I want. (Well, duh.)
  • I can make money in many ways. (I had to laugh at that. That just sounds sleazy, but OK!)
  • I’ve already met the guy I’m gonna marry (!). Our marriage will be “long and beautiful” with one son and one daughter.
  • More about said guy: he’s left another girl for me. Or he will leave another girl for me? Something like that. We’ll get married sooner than I think, (that was an easy one, Ms. Irene, considering my self-imposed “deadline” of sorts is between 35 and 40!) and travel to another country together (yeah, it’s called a honeymoon).
  • I’ve broken a heart. Yes, “a” heart. Haha. She was right not to pluralize that!
  • A friend of mine will move out of the state soon.
  • I will move out of Virginia to somewhere nearby. (What is nearby? She didn’t say.)

Was this reading worth the $20? Well, she didn’t pull out any death cards and scare me silly, so I’d say it was fun enough to just see what she had to say…gotta try everything once, right?

Do you think love is something that’s in the cards? Have you ever done anything similar?

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Don’t get me started about the “relationship status” option on Facebook. To me, it highlights a huge pet peeve I have about modern-day relationships. But, well, that’s a topic for another day. Still, what do you think about “The Talk”? The DTR (Defining The Relationship).

Although usually a conversation you spin in order to kick the seriousness up a notch, I don’t think it’s reserved just for the from-casual-to-Facebook-official jump. Anyone you see on any sort of regular basis is DTR’ed at some point. From most casual to most serious, the “continuum” (sorry, nerd alert!) goes sort of like this: one-night-stand, sporadic hookup, friend with benefits, casual dating, exclusive dating. Etc.

I’m kind of split on DTRs. I think it can be great to define a relationship when both parties definitely agree it’s taking off, but can’t a label also limit something potentially awesome (or potentially disastrous) in the making? (Really, how often are two people on the same exact page anyway?)

Remember the guy I mentioned previous post? He doesn’t live within driving distance, so we’ve only seen each other twice in the last two months, but we talk on a somewhat regular basis. I look at it as a non-relationship—I don’t know who else he’s seeing and I don’t feel it’s my business to ask. Likewise, he doesn’t know who else I’m seeing and he doesn’t ask (although, yeah, this blog makes at least parts of my dating life somewhat known – damn him for having an advantage! Every time he makes a remark that indicates he’s been reading, I’m secretly pissed off!).

Anyway, I sort of disagree with him on what to call this—er, relationship, for lack of a better term. Why I hate labels: he gives it a casual name–ugh. We all know by now how much I crave seriousness, but really? I feel cheap. But since neither of us wants something super serious or monogamous from each other, I can’t exactly argue in favor of a higher-echelon name. So does giving it a label limit it from the get-go? After all, how many DTRs can one relationship handle?

On the flip side, how many times have you gone exclusive with someone only to find that the “officialness” took things to a level of commitment you just weren’t ready for? Too much too soon, and then what? Has a re-DTR, going from serious to more casual, ever been attempted without, well, Destroying The Relationship?

Tell me your thoughts!

Surprise. Sometimes I don’t love being single.

Was I starting to fool you? Hey, I’m not a robot.  It’s not always sunshine and anything-but-red roses for me. Just because I’m not ready for a commitment doesn’t mean I’m always giddy about it.

So, this is the first in a series of posts I’ll do when the dark mood strikes: your ‘Singles’ Survival Guide.’ (Even the optimists just need to get through sometimes.)

That being said- it’s fall and it SUCKS to be single. Am I the only who feels all the good things of the season are family- or couples-oriented? Getting one’s kids ready for school, walking through the park, carving pumpkins (I’m clumsy—I can’t carve a pumpkin by myself). Comfort foods? Um, at least for this single, you’re looking in the wrong kitchen.

Not to mention the suddenly rainy and blah weather. This year’s transition to cooler temperatures has especially caught me off guard. Whereas normally I get home in the evenings and have a ton of things I wanna do, the weather is making me lazy and totally unproductive. (‘Slogging’ is the correct term for it.)

So, how to survive a damp and dreary autumn amid nauseatingly happy couples and families around you?

Turn Down the Volume of Your Thoughts
No, really. I hardly ever turn on the TV, but even I see my DVD player as a valuable survival tool. Woe-is-me thoughts get louder during this time of year. We all have them—do whatever it takes to drown them out with noise!

Take Lots of Naps
If you’re too cheap to turn on the heat (I refuse to turn it on before December), sleep more. Your wild and crazy summer probably deprived you anyway. Hey, you can’t be unhappy if you’re unconscious.

Hang Out With Friends…on Non-Single Turf If Need Be
There is an inverse relationship between the weather and the NEED to hang out with friends. In warm weather, you do it because you want to—friends are fun! In cold weather, it becomes more of a necessity. If, like me, you only have friends who are in serious relationships, hang out with the ones who can excise themselves from their other half, or at least function in groups as two distinct beings.

Exercise More
Because endorphins make you feel good. And it will wear you out and make it easier to take those additional naps mentioned above.

So yeah. Not doing so great right now. And as long as we’re setting records straight here—I need to confess something: just because I don’t believe in relationships as a lifestyle default doesn’t mean I’m not seeing anyone. Um, yeah, you could say there’s someone in my life—someone I’m kinda-sort-of-not-quite-seeing. I’ll go into more detail in future posts; right now he’s pissed me off and I have nothing good or objective to say. Yeah, I know what that sounds like… but it’s a non-relationship relationship.  More later!

Questions for you singles: do the seasons affect your happiness with your relationship status? What else can I do to make it to winter?

[This post was originally published on hrmag.com as part of the First Person Singular blog.]

So…sorry my auction update is this late. Let me fill you in…

Even I was getting excited, ME the romantic-turned-skeptic-borderline-cynic who couldn’t care less if the guy of my dreams showed up that night or not. Still, the night seemed to promise possibilities that even I was open to…

Well, turns out Mother Nature had other plans.

Talk about a DAMPER – the worst rainstorm in months, and the weather guys warning about a tornado (people in Hampton Roads never learn- don’t listen to the weather guys!). Nineteen of the 20 Singles showed up, my Dominion Derby Girls (and guy) showed up, a small crowd came – but where were the guys who sent odd or otherwise questionable messages post-magazine release?

Definitely not at the Granby Theater. When the MC asked all the single guys in the audience to raise their hands, I think I saw 5 hands. FIVE GUYS, some of them there to support a friend, and 10 girls onstage. You do the math!

Now, don’t get me wrong.  Everyone got many bids, and I myself (as long as we’re deflecting any misconceptions here) got bid on by 4 guys. The one who ended up winning seems like a very nice guy, but he also bid on and won a fellow Single. So, while I’m happy I wasn’t won by the guy who looked old enough to have reared me, I don’t know if I should be beside myself with flattery.

I’d love to blame Mother Nature – she really made it difficult for all the 100+ people who RSVP’ed to show up. Still, then we look at the flip side: the men.

Somehow, despite the downpour, the women showed up in droves. Half the guys went for over $200 each, and you could tell some of the girls were giving it their best shot to win one of the guys as a date. (I think I can even use the word clamor here.) I won’t list the amounts the women went for, but it wasn’t a becoming comparison.

So, I reiterate – where were you, all you guys who sent me messages or emails? I got a ridiculous message the day after the auction—some guy said he’d seen my profile in Hampton Roads Magazine and wanted to know if I’d had any luck. Thanks, lazy ass…you could have just shown up and seen for yourself!

Guys, it doesn’t get easier than this. Ten very successful and, if I do say so myself, desirable women let it be known EXACTLY what they do for a living, where they live, their hobbies, what they find attractive – and some of you may have put your feelers out, but when we didn’t swoon at your somewhat awkward and questionable openers, you didn’t come to the auction!

On the upside, apparently some guy told one of my derby gals that I had the best legs of all the Singles. So, readers, now you know!

Guys, how well do you have to know someone before you’re willing to put in some effort? You know, put a little fight into it. Do women just want it more? Should we blame Mother Nature or your human nature?