Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Life Lessons from Jessica Simpson

I look back on my mom’s sage advice, and although I chose not to take some of it (to mixed results), I know that it is coming from a credible source. That woman is pretty darn smart.

So that got me thinking about the girls who are being raised by the doofuses of the world. Jessica Simpson, for instance. One day, if it’s in the cards, Jessica Simpson will have children. And maybe one or more of these children will be vertically-challenged, large chested mini-me’s.

One can only imagine the wisdom she will impart on these kids. I think one of the easiest ways to raise my future children is to make sure they understand that they need to do the exact opposite of whatever Jessica Simpson does. Basically, W.W.J.S.N.D. (What Would Jessica Simpson Not Do). That way, they at least have a chance in this world.

Here’s what I would tell them:

“Don’t ever give too much information away.”

Jessica Simpson, or “JS,” is the poster child of TMI. From showcasing her entire marriage on a reality TV show to tweeting pictures of her making out with her super tall ex-athlete guy, this girl does not understand privacy. Many people aren’t aware that I’m a fiercely private person. There is a line, and it isn’t even that fine, that dictates what people need to know and what needs to be kept close to the vest. Keep some things personal and private. I’ve learned by trial and error what to say and what not to say, and the easiest thing is to not say anything at all. You won’t be seeing any photos on my Twitter of me making out with anybody, no matter how good looking they are.

“Have good style.”

I don’t understand how somebody with a staff of stylists managed to emerge in public in those jeans and not get tackled on her way to the stage. First of all, what were those jeans doing in her wardrobe? Someone played a cruel trick. Basically, I’ll leave the younger generation with this: just have style, be classy, don’t look like an idiot.

“If your ex gets engaged to his long-time girlfriend, don’t try to one-up him and get engaged to your boyfriend of five months.”

Basically, you look like a jealous weirdo if you run out and get engaged to a guy you barely know immediately after news breaks of your ex moving on with his life. Taking something like an engagement as seriously as you take your selection of handbag to go with today’s outfit is a recipe for disaster.

“Being referred to as ‘sexual napalm’ by a rockstar who let you shack up on his tour bus for a little while is not a compliment.”

Make sure you aren’t in a situation where someone shows how little they respect you by humiliating you in a very public forum. I felt terrible for JS when the guy with the enormous head, John Mayer, said these things about her in Playboy last year. Yes, guys can be real a-holes. But there is something to be said about not putting yourself in a position for someone to say these things about you.

“Don’t only go for the hot quarterback.”

Great guys come in all shapes, sizes, colors, demographics… the list could go on. When you date the same hot guy over and over, and find yourself single over and over, something is wrong. It’s great to have a “type” and an idea of what you want. You have to be attracted to this person. But don’t pass over an otherwise amazing guy because maybe he isn’t tall enough or maybe his hair is thinning a bit on top, or maybe he isn’t loaded with cash money. Everyone deserves a fair chance. The less attractive guys I have dated have treated me a hell of a lot better than the super hot guys I have dated. “Men who are too good looking are never good in bed because they never had to be.” -Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City

“Smart is sexy. Don’t act like an idiot.”

Some girls think that guys want them to be ditzy. These girls are real idiots, and the guys who want this are true douches. If someone wants you to be less than your highest potential, why would you even consider spending another second with them? JS has the ditzy act down pat. No telling if she is truly this dumb, or if it is an act. Either way, not a good way to be. Some of my favorite JS quotes:

You’ve done a nice job decorating the White House.” when she met the Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton

Is this chicken, what I have, or is this fish? I know it’s tuna, but it says ‘Chicken by the Sea.’” (the world will never forget this)

On my first day of Jr. High I was in Geography class, and the teacher asked us if anybody knew the names of the continents. And I was sooo excited. I was like, Damnit! It’s my first day of 7th grade, Im in jr high and i know this answer. So i raised my hand I was the first one and I said A-E-I-O-U!” (Okay. I may have only made an 1130 on my SAT, but when I was in 7th grade, I was well aware that we had continents and could even name them all. I believe I learned that in 2nd or 3rd grade, and we’re talking about Alabama public schools here.)

Twenty-three is old. It’s almost 25, which is like almost mid-20s.

Finally, “Be humble.”

There is nothing wrong with knowing that you are amazing, one-of-a-kind, fierce, intelligent, and deserving of nothing less than the best. However, once you cross that line of knowing that you are awesome to the max to pompous, you’re in big trouble. Nothing turns people off faster than body odor and being so arrogant that you are looking into cloning yourself. JS once said, “All I have to say is: Jessica Simpson is the most beautiful woman on the planet!” Wow.

JS has done a lot of good things in her life to help others, and that certainly needs to be applauded. However, her acts of good will are overshadowed by the dumb things she says and does. Maybe maturity will come with age (although she is nearly 31…). All we can do is cross our fingers for her and hope that our children proudly wear their W.W.J.S.N.D. bracelets. Yeah, I said it, I would make those for my kids. Nothing wrong with a constant reminder of what not to do if you want a good shot at amazingness.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Crush Into Me

You know that feeling when you can’t wipe the goofy grin off your face? The same feeling that keeps you up at night, thinking nonstop happy thoughts. The same feeling that causes you to check your phone, your email, your facebook, your twitter, etc. ten more times within the hour just in case something new has come in.

That’s right, my friend. You have a crush on someone.

Crush. That sneaky devil that comes out of nowhere, blindsiding you and rendering you unaware of your surroundings, much like a meteor shower or Bieber Fever. In my 28 (and holding…) years, I have fallen victim to the crush too many times to count. It’s interesting to me how someone can be your friend and then poof! a switch flips and all of a sudden you can imagine yourself with that person. I mean, with that person. Sometimes a good brunch date is all it takes for you to realize that there is some actual romantic potential in this person. Sometimes alcohol is involved. I’m just trying to look at it from all sides here.

But isn’t it fun? The giddy feeling when your heart skips a little beat. I love getting texts, calls, emails, whatever, from him because it tells me that I crossed his mind, even for second. I would like to think that I’m crossing his mind and parking it there, the way that he is doing in my mind. But beggars can’t be choosers. Even one little text can make my day.

It’s really fun at first, and then it will go one of two ways: either the whole deal comes to fruition and you end up with something good or the other person simply doesn’t feel the same way about you and you find yourself clinking glasses with your best friend, muttering things like “He wasn’t that great” or “I’m way too good for him.” It’s how we make ourselves feel better. Who knew it would be this hard to lose someone you never actually had?

It’s scary for me to tell someone how I feel about them. It is even scarier to think of what they might say back. I remember when I was younger we would all get together at sleepovers and warn each other to NEVER tell a boy that you like him because he will RUN! I took that to heart, and was proven right many times over. But as we get older, is this still true? I know that if I’m remotely interested in someone, I love to hear that they have a crush on me. Sometimes it jump starts me and I find myself liking them in return. Someone please shed some light on this. Do guys want to hear if we have a crush on them?

So I have a crush on someone. And he has a crush on me too. Okay, so we're crazy about each other. Okay, so I'm madly in love with him and he's madly in love with me. How exciting is that? This is so awesome.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Little Penthouse on the Prairie

I’m an old-fashioned gal. So old-fashioned, in fact, that if I had a Flux Capacitor and ended up in 1854, I would be right at home. Don’t get me wrong, I love technology, I love electricity and running water… but I’ve gotta say, I really love the old stuff. The hard work with your hands, the simple things.

I don’t have cable and I don’t have the internets, and I get along just fine. Sometimes I miss “big tv nights” like when the MTV Video Music Awards, football, True Blood season finale, and other things are all on at the same time. I’m okay with missing this stuff, though.

Here’s how simple (some would say boring) my life is: I would rather be at home, hanging out with Bama and Cat Stevens (my pets) than tearing it up on the town. I love working in my yard, tending to my vegetable and herb gardens. I cook dinner every night I possibly can. I am an eagle eye shot and have an arsenal of guns at home. I make baby blankets with my hands, and have never even stepped foot in Babies ‘R Us. I alter and repair my own clothing. I recover my own furniture, bonus points if they are antique. I could go on, but you get the picture.

So this gets interesting when I meet a guy. Either they get it or they don’t. One time, a guy suggested we go out to a nice dinner and then for a drink. Cool, I’m down. It was a fine time. Then we went out again and he wanted to stay out for another drink. Then another drink after that… but I told him that it was 10pm, I had to work the next day and I needed to get home. And he was not down. He could not believe that I was so boring (his words). I never saw him again, and that’s perfectly fine with me. I don’t need someone dragging me around Fort Worth until all hours of the night in order to have a good time.

Don’t get me wrong. I love to go out and have a great time. I am a walking contradiction, however, because I am a little bit of a jet setter with a vibrant social life. Yet what most people don’t know about me is that I’d trade all of it for nights at home with my animals, in pajama pants and a tank top. But sometimes that’s hard when you’re a mover and shaker in a bustling city.

So when most folks are hungover on Saturday mornings, I’m up early at the farmer’s market, searching for the firmest okra and the brightest tomatoes. Then I go home and cook it all and enjoy some amazing southern food, on my own back porch. Most folks spend $30 on brunch and don’t get the great view and food I get for about $8. Total.

This is what I'm talking about.

It’s a win-win for me, no question.

Monday, March 14, 2011

C'mon Baby, Light My Fire

Passion. It puts a sly smile on your face at random moments throughout the day, moments when your lover crosses over your mind. It makes your fingertips and toes feel electrified when you are in their presence. It makes you count the minutes impatiently while you’re waiting for them to show up. It keeps you up at night when you can’t think about anything but that feeling. I even like saying the word out loud… Passion. Without passion, you have nothing.

If you don’t have it, you are basically spending your time with nothing more than a friend. A friend who you happen to kiss and whatever else you two are doing. I’ll tell you one thing – I don’t kiss my friends like that. So what are you doing sticking around a platonic situation? If what you want is passion, then you’re wasting your time.

A friend came to me for advice recently, and their question got me thinking about passion, and the dangerous lack-thereof. This is what they sent me:

“I have been dating a girl for almost two years. Things were hot and heavy the first couple of months. But, we are both Christians, and we decided to cool it on the physical side of the relationship. Now days we are like best friends, but it feels like the passion is gone. It feels like the honeymoon is over even though there has not been one. The odd thing is that the more I get to know her, the more she feels like a sister and less a girlfriend. I worry that we may be too similar to complement each other. She is starting to ask questions about where this is all going. Three months in I was thinking she could be the one, but now I don’t know how to answer her questions. What do you think? I would appreciate a woman’s thoughts on the matter!”

I’m glad you asked. Here are a woman’s thoughts: In my opinion, it doesn’t matter if you’ve been together 2 months, 2 years, 22 years or 52 years. If you don’t have passion for each other, you don’t have anything. It doesn’t mean it has to be like when you first met. Passion evolves with the relationship. It ebbs and flows, just like the ocean. But it has to be there. And even if you guys are waiting to sleep together, there should still be an unbridled infatuation. I would even venture to say that if you’re waiting, then it would almost be too much to bear, that fervor between you two. But that’s not the case here apparently.

I think you are in big trouble any time you view your girlfriend, lover, significant other, as a sibling. Your lover should be one of your best friends, no doubt. One of my favorite things about being in a relationship is getting to hang out with one of my best friends all the time. But not just any best friend, one that I get to kiss anytime I want. There is a balance here, between lover and friend, that is absolutely necessary. Unfortunately, your relationship seems to have completely crossed over into “friend zone”, and that’s dangerous territory if she is expecting a future with you.

She is asking questions about where this is going, and you owe it to her to talk to her about it. I will tell you this, I’m not sure if passion is something that can be created. If it’s not there, it may never show up. And you need to be prepared for that. Ideally, it should just be there naturally. If not, then that’s a big sign that you aren’t with the right person. And if that is the case, you owe it to yourself and to her to end it.

I’ve ended relationships for this exact reason before. I promise you’ll be thankful later, when you are with someone who makes your spine tingle just by walking in the room, and who makes your heart race just by looking your direction.

Friday, March 11, 2011

New on the Endangered List: Privacy

TMI: Too much information.

Many people are guilty of blurting out too much information, no matter who is around, or whether anyone even cares about said information. I am constantly subjected to seeing and/or hearing stuff that nobody should know. And now with the social networking at an all-time high, there is no such thing as privacy anymore.

Kim Kardashian was on a recent People cover with a headline that read something like, “I thought I’d be married by now.” Well, Kim. Let me break it down for you. You're a beautiful girl. I think it’s possible you would have been married by now as well, if you didn’t have that sex tape from a few years ago, your reality show with your entire life on national television, and things like this People Magazine interview where you talk about how you just can’t find a good guy. I’m going out on a limb and assuming that the good ones are running from you, and frankly I don’t blame them. I know that I am not on board with dating someone with that level of privacy. And by “that level” I mean nonexistent.

I promise I’ll stop talking about her soon, but here’s another life lesson from Jessica Simpson. Tweeting unflattering pictures of kissing her boyfriend and jumping into his arms and wrapping her legs around him when the paparazzi are around (like people do in the movies) does not bode well for her. Who does that in real life? I’ve been super excited to see someone before, and not once has it crossed my mind that I need to leap through the air and wrap my legs around him like a spider monkey. Especially with cameras around. Queen of TMI, that girl.

Something that not many people know about me is that I am fiercely private. I have been in many conversations about this, with folks who assume that since I write about dating and relationships, have a Twitter, have a Facebook, have a Linkedin, etc. that I am letting it all hang out. What is misunderstood, however, is that I have been dating for over 14 years. This column is a culmination of all those years of dating, not dates I’ve been on in recent weeks. Some stuff is from years ago, but still very applicable today. My life as it is today is very private. Nobody gets to know that stuff.

I haven’t always been this way. Maturity came along one day and hit me upside the head, letting me know that I don’t have to publicize every move I make. Besides, nobody really cares anyway. Thank goodness I learned that lesson quickly. It’s exhausting to update the world, letting them know what you just ate for lunch and whatnot.

I have a lot of respect for people who understand the importance of keeping things close to the vest. I dated a guy once who simply could not wrap his mind around the fact that I am a writer who writes about dating and relationships. No matter how much I explained that I keep my personal matters to myself, he just couldn’t get on board. He was terrified I would write about him. And he ended up breaking up with me after a few months of dating. I have a sneaky suspicion that a lot of it had to do with my blog.

I’m not Taylor Swift. She says that she gives fair warning to the guys she dates, because it is a well-known fact that if they so much as slight her in any way, she will be at the drawing board, writing a song about them and what they did to her. I give her mad props, but that’s just not my style.

So, set that Facebook to private. Don’t Tweet to everybody in the world that you are on a date. Don’t run to change your “relationship status” as soon as possible when you realize you like someone. And speaking of that someone that you like, be a little mysterious. Putting it all out there isn’t ever a good idea. “Go Tell it on the Mountain” shouldn’t be your theme song for romantic relationships.

Some bits of advice, with love from me to you:

Keep important things close to the vest, keep special things special.

Make them seek you out, don’t be so available.

Don’t tell your friends every small detail, good or bad. That will bite you in the ass later.

Be yourself. And if they don’t like that, then they need to keep moving.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Secondhand Dating

Some call it frugal. Some call it thrifty. Some call it downright cheap. I call it smart.

I spend next to nothing for my thrift store finds, and I get compliments on my outfits all the time. You don’t have to look like a hobo while wearing second hand finds. In fact, you can have three times the wardrobe and constantly wear something different, while not spending your two-week paycheck on those jeans you’ve been coveting.

The same goes for relationships. Sometimes the “gently used” people are the best ones to date.
I’ve been in the uncomfortable situation too many times, where I find myself out and about with a newbie, someone who has little to no dating experience. It’s so uncomfortable for both people when someone is fumbling and inexperienced. Besides the fact that I don’t have time to hang around and feel like I’m on a high school date. Let’s be grown-ups and date like we know what the hell we’re doing, shall we?

It is interesting to me that sometimes people show enough confidence that their inexperience is masked for the first few dates. I’ve been duped by this before. They start off great, and then I find out that they have only been on a couple dates in their life, or that their only serious girlfriend was for a few months five years ago.

The bottom line: I don’t teach. People who have been through relationships and have been down the road once or twice are going to go a lot farther with me. I prefer to date men who have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly, because they will appreciate me and what they have with me. That is one thing I am thankful for – I know what I want, what I don’t want and where I’m willing to compromise. This is a good thing for people I date because I won’t be dragging them around while I’m trying to figure out if I want to date them or not. And of course I appreciate the same thing from the people I date.

The solution for people who aren’t yet “gently used?” Get out there, date up a storm and get some notches in your belt. It will serve you and your future relationships a great purpose. Best case scenario is you meet the perfect person. If you don’t meet them for a while, at least you’ll know what you don’t want.

The flipside is the “holes in the knees” people. You know the type: they have been around the block too many times. Their reputations aren’t the best, you know several of their exes… they are on other end of the spectrum. I feel like I am in the middle, between the newbies and the serial daters. I would prefer to not date new people constantly, but apparently that is what is in the cards for me seeing as how I am still single. That said, I turn down dates that I know are going to not work out.

The moral of the story is that you can find some amazing used things, bring them home, take good care of them and they will last you a long time and make you feel great. Turns out, the same goes for people.