Fat For Real

I came to the realization a few weeks ago as I was walking down the hall at work. My gait was off – I don’t usually walk like this. I didn’t have a sore ankle or anything, and I hadn’t been on my feet all day.  Yet I was walking as if my bottom half wanted to push forward before my torso. Wait…am I. WALKING. IN. SHIFTS???

Daily physical activity has been oddly uncomfortable lately. Breathing is weird. I mean, I can breathe, but should I be wheezing after walking up the garage ramp at work? Why are my calves always burning?  I tried to tie the lace on my wedges yesterday and I had to kick my leg up TWICE, just to get my foot in my hand – it was a legit struggle. And for some reason, I can no longer suck in my stomach successfully. Seriously, when I try, it hurts. Oh shit, I’m fat for real, for real!

Initially, I thought I was just super bloated, but no one is bloated for six months, unless you’re about to give birth in three. Drinking peppermint tea was not going to fix it this time – I was going to have to stop eating my feelings. And thinking that a quarter-mile walk to Publix was legit exercise for  the day, even if I did sweat profusely. I’ve shared my struggles with diet and fitness before, so this isn’t a new hot mess that I’ve gotten myself into. But now I’m bigger than when I thought I had gotten way too big, and I’ve spun out of control. Except I can’t really spin, because it hurts too much.

Without going into specific numbers, I’ve probably gained over 50 pounds since graduating from college. So forget trying to get back to my high school body – I’m just trying to get back to when packing on the Freshman 15 was a problem. And man, has the denial been strong inside me (that’s probably where the bloating comes from). I’m at the point where I’m ready to disown any friend who tries to take a picture of me and dare share it with the world. We all know that cliché saying “the camera adds 10 pounds”, but no, I DID THAT. I’m the one who likes mayonnaise too much. I also decided awhile ago that I would no longer buy any bigger clothes, because this will force me to get it together and do what I need to do to get back into my skinny jeans. I even was so bold as to throw out my $15 “Betta Butt” fat jeans that I got at TJMaxx, because I would no longer need them. Needless to say, I would give anything to have those Fashion Nova knockoffs right now, because I can no longer inhale or exhale when I wear pants.

The “fat” topic is one of those on the Mount Rushmore of polarizing subjects, along with politics, gun rights, and whether or not Grey’s Anatomy has been on the air too long. Who’s fat? What’s considered fat? Is fat a bad “f” word? History in Western civilization has certainly shown that society frowns upon the overweight, but so does your doctor. Excess pounds traditionally bring about significant issues, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and joint pain. And while there are a plethora of unicorn people on the heavier side with no physical health problems whatsoever, most people can’t pack on the pounds without consequences.

And that’s what I thought I could do. Continue to see the numbers on the scale creep up and think I could still live my sedentary gangster lifestyle. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, IT IS harder to lose weight as you get older. Especially if your exercise output decreases and you continue to eat after midnight like a Gremlin. To add insult to injury, I have known about my own serious health issues due to my weight gain for years, yet I continued to not care and kept eating the cookies (another blog for another day). What did I think was going to happen?

By the grace of God and semi-acceptable health coverage, I’ve been blessed to get a handle on my health issues, despite being at the heaviest weight I’ve been in my entire life. So where does that leave me now? Additional weight loss would definitely make me healthier, but could I okay being this way? A friend recently said to me, “you know, it’s okay for you not to be skinny.” It’s a thought that has not left my mind since she uttered the words about month ago. While I’ve finally accepted that I am overweight, could I actually accept myself at this over weight? At this very moment, it’s a thick HELL NO.

It’s extremely difficult for me to avoid word vomit and not talk about being fat all the time. It’s how I identify – I have to let people know upfront that “Yeah, I’m fat, but you have to know that I’m still ok. I’m a good person.I’m hilarious. Please still love me. Please swipe right.” It will be a long road to acceptance, even as I continue to work on shedding some pounds. Will it be easy? NO. Will I fall in love with my body overnight? NO. Will I somehow accept this larger me, gain genuine confidence, and finally go on a date before 2018 is over? Also NO. Baby steps girl, baby steps. Just make sure you make it 10,000 baby steps, because you owe it to that Fitbit.

-KEEP IT A HOT MESS

 

 

 

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IRL

I tend to cherish all the conversations I have with my millennials. They’re open but closed off from reality. Naive but charming. While we discuss various topics as they force me to stay out past my bedtime, we always tend to gravitate back to relationships and dating. Being a seasoned woman, I have always been there to lend an ear or piece of wisdom. Because what young woman wouldn’t want advice from a 30-whatever, relationship-repellant, slightly jaded individual who’s depressed 32% of the time?

I’ll never forget one car ride (I’m Millenial Uber) where I was telling the story of an encounter with a man I went out with:

Me: So yeah, I had to explain brunch to him- clearly it was never going to work.

Millenial: Oh, that sucks. Hey, how did you meet him?

Me: Girl, in real life.

Millenial: Oh, what app is that?

Me:

After clarifying that I actually met him in the flesh, I started to ponder just how far we’ve fallen, I mean come, in the dating world. Back when online dating was for weirdos, you never wanted anyone to know you resorted to looking for a boyfriend on the Internet. And if you actually started to date someone, there was always a mutual discussion as to what lie you were going to tell on how you met. We all know online dating has evolved leaps and bounds beyond having to craft the story of how you met that dude from Match in a bar last month. Social media and the internet are now synonymous with many people’s love stories. One of my closest friends met her husband on OkCupid. A good friend from elementary school met her beau via a Facebook group. Another associate slid into his now wife’s DMs and they are living happily ever after. It’s no longer taboo to find love online- it almost seems to be the norm. But when you get a blank stare from someone when you tell then you met your boyfriend at the Publix, that’s a problem.

And that’s exactly where I’m at right now. I have no dating apps on my phone anymore. I also have not had a date in, well that doesn’t matter right now. The point is, if it’s ever going to happen for me, the man of my dreams is going to meet me while I look like I bum at Target as I try to sneak in and buy conditioner. I probably should work on the whole “not looking like a bum” situation, but we all know I’m a forever work in progress. Most in-person encounters are now handled like the perfume guys at the mall kiosk: NO SIR, I DO NOT WANT TO TRY MAKEUP FOR MY FACE. Why is that guy at the bar talking to me? Did he just ask for my number to call me? Did he write it down? Why did he actually call me? Can’t he just text? Why are you so obsessed with me? These are the musings of far too many people these days, and it’s a little sad. So I’m here to help you! And myself, maybe, but probably not. I’ll start by stating this very slowly, for the people who were born after 1997: HERE. IS. A. LIST. OF. PLACES. YOU. CAN. MEET. A. PERSON.IN. REAL.LIFE. THAT. YOU. MIGHT. DATE. Seriously…

GROCERY STORE: We all gotta eat, right? There’s a definite chance to encounter a cutie while picking out new overpriced water to pretend to drink constantly. And if you meet one in the deli line at Publix, he’s a keeper, as he’s clearly patient and has great anger-management skills. However, you can’t just go anywhere that sells produce and think you’ll meet someone. Grocery hierarchy exists, no matter how awful it may seem. It goes: Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Publix, Target, and Kroger. And I won’t even mention Winn-Dixie and Walmart, because those should never be options. EVER.

LOCAL PARK/WALKING TRAIL: You’re likely to meet a guy that likes the outdoors or loves to keep himself in shape. Even if you don’t, go enough and you just might. Are you a speed-walker? Just run around the corner of a trail, and who knows? You may catch the eye of a hot jogger ( you can totally catch you’re breath again after he’s out of eye sight). Dog parks are the best, because hey, who doesn’t love dogs? And handsome men with dogs? Just make sure you are actually WITH  a dog, or it might get weird. And this goes without saying: this only applies to the daytime.

CHURCH: It’s all about like-minded people. And if you’re a spiritual person, it’s nice and comforting to meet someone with similar beliefs. So while you’re praising Jesus, you just might meet a nice guy named Jesus.

BAR: As I did research for this post (Googling for about five minutes), I was not surprised that this was included in every article of the WORST places to meet a man. Hey, I get it, it can prove to be challenging to find a guy who’s serious about marriage and finding a reasonable HOA together while you’re at Joe’s Corner Bar. Might not be the best idea to try out this notion on the drunk guy at the bar, but if the friend who’s helping him not puke on himself is cute, why not? By the way, I hang out with a group of ladies at church, and all the women who are married or in relationship in the group? Met their beaus in a bar. Just keep praying…

SPORTING EVENT: Fact: every guy I’ve ever met who didn’t like any type of sport was weird. Numbers-wise, this may be the best place to meet a guy. As far as quality goes, it’s a crapshoot, similar to finding a good piece of candy in a box of chocolates- you don’t know what type of crap is inside, but one of them will turn out delicious. Just make sure you run into them at beginning of the event, before alcohol kicks in or their teams is losing, at which time they may turn into angry babies.

WORK: If you meet him at work, it’s a fact that he has a job. And if it works out, you’ll always have someone to go to lunch with. On the flip side, if it doesn’t work out, you may never get to frequent the cafeteria anymore and will no longer be able t participate in Mac and Cheese Day. Oh, and you’ll have to block him on interoffice Skype.

GYM: I’m attracted to physically fit guys. Even if I am not, I still have hopes that some fella is going to see me enough and think “Hey, that girl who breathes really loud on the treadmill is here twice a week. Man, she is determined. I think I shall ask her out.” Just avoid the guys who drop weights and screams, or look like they could be the subject of the next viral video of how not to use gym equipment.

And in case you think it’s a good idea, here are a few places you will not meet a nice man. Even if you think you might be the exception, you won’t. I promise…

UBER OR LYFT: Listen Kelly, I know you think your Lyft driver Manuel is hot. However, he is not going to be overcome with so much desire, that he asks for your number after you threw up in Corolla.

BRUNCH: You love bacon. And mimosas. And all your friends are fabulous, so why wouldn’t the guy at the bar be just as awesome? Because he’s with his girlfriend, so steer clear. And if you’re at drag queen brunch, deep down inside, you know your shirtless waiter with the perfectly arched eyebrows does not want you.

ANY ESTABLISHMENT WITH THE WORD “MARTINI” IN IT: Martini Bar. Blue Martini. The ‘Tini. They’re all establishments where you’re too old to be there anyway, and lycra dresses are still worn. Just don’t.

-KEEP IT A HOT MESS

 

Dre Day No More

Dear Dr. Dre,

“PEOPLE AREN’T HEARING ALL THE MUSIC.”

Your quote is on the side of my BeatsX box, which has subsequently turned into a coffin for my earphones, which have died a premature death.

I sit here pondering, why in the world did I spend $200 over a year ago, only to sulk here today, with no real answers? I probably didn’t even HAVE $200 to spend on music gear, but I’m sure it was a tax-refund situation, as I am not a baller. But I believed it to be an investment in my well-being. Beats by Dre are the top of the line in audio accessories, and the first time I slipped them into my ears, I was floored. It was unlike any listening experience I ever encountered. It made me want to work out more. Go-hands free when talking to my mom without looking like a douche. Tune out people at work, therefore increasing my productivity and focus. I was a walking billboard for Beats.

But my life came to a screeching halt a few weeks ago when my Beats refused to charge and never turned back on- I’m pretty sure I was listening to The Chronic at the time. I soon found out that I had missed the one-year warranty to get them replaced, but surely, these earbuds wouldn’t just go out on me after a YEAR. I hadn’t dropped them, no water damage, I was not in a brawl- there was no reason to have them shut down on me. I was reluctant, but then visited the labyrinth that is the Apple Store to see if the earbuds could be salvaged. I was then politely told that they probably were never going to turn back on (even after an in-store reset), but they could still send them to be serviced, but I would most likely just get another pair refurbished, and they would take $20 off. Oh, with a 90-day warranty instead of a year. Soooo, $20 bucks off of $200, and less time to get them fixed should I run into this problem again. I was told this should not have happened, but it is a rare occasion, but sometimes THEY JUST STOP WORKING.

I am never spending this kind of money on Beats again, and I just need you to know how sad I am. I wish the saying “you get what you pay for” applied to this scenario, but it does not. I might as well go hang out in the check-out line at TJ Maxx every month to get a new seat of buds for less than $10 bucks. Dre (can I call you that at this point?), you don’t know how awful it is to go from great headphones to crappy ones. During my mourning phase last week, I purchased another set of Bluetooth wireless earbuds, which I considered to be a good deal- LIES! How could I possibly listen to the intro to “The Next Episode” on subpar equipment?! You want to know what it’s like listening to music through these things? Like being underwater at the YMCA pool, and hearing the lifeguard’s crappy music just above the surface. It sounds like a conference call where several people start to talk but then stop because someone else is talking at the same time. I don’t even want to workout anymore, so I’m pretty sure I got fatter because my Beats died.

RIP to my music-listening dreams,

Michelle B.

-KEEP IT A HOT MESS

Beauty Call

Bath & Body Works is my jam. Especially their Eucalyptus and Spearmint Sugar Body Scrub. The directions instruct you to rub the mixture into your skin and rinse it off in 20 minutes, leaving your body feeling smooth and soft to the touch. The first time I tried this mess, I decided to rub into my skin until it dissolved. The process took 45 minutes total. That night I met up with a guy I was seeing and he likened me to the best candy he ever had in his life. This reaction gave me the go ahead to utilize this green slop every time I wanted to seduce, uh, I mean, go out with guy. Whenever I would emerge from my bathroom with the strong scent of eucalyptus wafting from the shower, my roommate would ask if I had a date. I say all this because I do not mess around with said sugar scrub, therefore I do not like to waste it on lame occasions like going to work or brunch. I would also like to point out at this time that it is never included in the quad-annual sale at the fragrance store, so it’s usually expensive. So when I wasted the last few scoops of my love potion on a guy who stood me up a few weeks back, to say I was furious would be an understatement.

Fellas, today I’m going to allow you to hear an honest, first-hand account of the worst kept secret in today’s society- the sick, underworld known as the “Female Beauty Regimen in Accordance to Permitted Male Touch“. When you come into contact with a woman, there are levels of physical preparation that you cannot comprehend and you will never fathom. For example, if my hair is in a messy bun, nothing is happening. But if I’ve spent all day in a salon getting my hair blown out, I want to be seen, even if its to parade around Publix. But it’s usually for a night on the town or on a hot date with you. But understand this- if a woman has accepted  a date, coffee meet-up, booty call, or your hand in marriage, she has already prepared for this occurrence well before you even thought about asking. The most important thing you need to take away from this expose’ is that you are never in control of how you close you will get to a woman, EVER. This is all determined by the amount of body hair she has maintained before seeing you ( among other things, but I can only discuss one huge topic at a time).

So, we’re diving right in. Here’s a quick guide to determine a woman’s willingness to let you near her, or allow herself to be seen by anyone for that matter, with reference to body maintenance:

Level 1- NO SHAVING: She’s wearing jeans on your date, and you are not staying over. You probably won’t even see the inside of her apartment. There will be no caressing of any ankles, and she’s half-laughing at your jokes. She may even be upset. In fact she may not want to see anyone, and wears pants to work for as long as possible. Lotion is a maybe.

Level 2- LEGS SHAVED, FROM ANKLE TO ABOVE THE KNEE: On top of busting out the skirts at work, you are permitted to go on a date with her, but that’s the only guarantee. She is wearing the new dress she bought at Nordstrom Rack because she thinks you might be worth it, and if you’re lucky, you might get a smooch. She legitimately cares about where this is going, and allows you to be within inches of her. Her moisturizer regimen is important, but she’s not necessarily busting out the Kiehl’s for you.

Level 3- ENTIRE LEGS SHAVED: Ok, so now we’re getting serious. She has now elevated the shaving process to the thigh vicinity (hey, before you get all weird, you have no idea what women have to maintain. Men and women are created equal, and this goes for the ability to grow body hair- just ask your momma). She is feeling kinda saucy, and really wants to wear a skirt that feels smooth on her legs. She has busted out the “Peach Bellini Rose Apricot Pineapple Splash” lotion she bought on sale at B&BW, which will last until you all at least have appetizers. But she is letting you know she cares. There is still no guarantee that your date/girlfriend/wife will let you all the way around the bases, but you are about 2 bottles of Rose’ away from her saying, “fuck it”, and not caring that you might come into contact with her fuzzy hip bone.

Level 4- HAIRLESS CAT ZONE: You might have picked the bar where you’re having drinks, but she determined the fate of your entire night at around 7am that morning. Whether she has spent $5K+ to laser her entire body, or she’s spent all day weed-whacking and letting a lady named Helga abuse her, she is the master of both your fates. She deserves an award, your complete attention, and a medal.

As mentioned previously,  since we control everything, the most egregious violation of a woman’s beauty routine is when it’s completed in vain. Remember when I talked about losing my last few drops of sugar scrub on a failed date? The first time it happened was a few years back, when I used so much of the scrub (along with achieving Level 4 on the Body Hair Scale), that I literally slipped off my bed, and into a deep depression and anger like I’ve never seen before. I was legitimately concerned at how upset I was at this fool who made me spend 2 hours getting all gussied (GRANDMA WORD ALERT) up, only to stay home and sleep on greased up, yet fragrant sheets.

You know our beauty routines are a wild, difficult mess. Yes, we hold your fate in our hands, but man, it’s a lot of work. Waxing things, plucking eyebrows, using paint-by-number to color our faces – we do it for a reason, and you’re one of them. Sure, we want to feel good in our own, sun-kissed skin, and the only love that really matters is the love you give yourself.  But you BETTER BELIEVE that if we never had to go outside or see you, we’d all be full-on Chia Pets, with messy buns and yoga pants on for all of eternity.

-KEEP IT A HOT MESS

The Fake Confidence Project

How do you pretend to be confident when you tip the scales at the highest weight you’ve ever been? That the thought of going out on a date makes you nauseous because once he finds out the truth about them angles, he’s going to politely ghost you after your first date? It’s hard to keep hope alive at 38, when I’m not supposed to be single and receiving dick picks, but middle school daughter hormones and my husband’s knack for farting in his sleep. I try to pretend that I’m not depressed, because I cannot accept that diagnosis. So what a time to decide to confident, when all you want to do is sleep, eat fries, and lie in agony from said fry binge? Of course, it’s a great time to finally love yourself!

This is by no means a pity party, and not an invitation to check in on me (but please free and send money). I thought it would be extremely healthy to pretend to be the most confident woman in history since the first woman who drew her own eyebrows walked out of the house. I know what you’re all thinking- how can she be that hilarious, smart, and with such gorgeous hair and NOT be confident? Seems unfathomable, right?

But I worry about everything. And anything. And everybody. It’s quite disturbing. I mean, why should I care what the 10-year-old in the hot tub thinks of me when I decide to relax in my two-piece? But I do. Does it even make sense to secretly “investigate” the significant other of someone I’m not even in love with? But it has happened. In my quest to love myself, I’m still missing that golden piece of confidence. I have friends and loved ones who are extremely confident in themselves, in all shapes, sizes, colors, and fashion choices. So why in the world can’t I do it? Is it even possible to FAKE extreme confidence? Well, we’re going to try this week, because I’m super emotional, my hormones are raging, and nothing else has worked, so why not fake it until I make it…until I actually do?

I started the week off by reading an article online about “10 ways to boost your confidence overnight”,  because hey, my life needs to change by 12pm tomorrow. I tried my best to apply these practices all week, and uh, let me tell you how it went:

1. EXERCISE: Working out gives you endorphins, and that breeds confidence. Well, I do feel good right after I work out, so I tried to kick it up a notch. And by kick up a notch, I mean go to the gym more than once a week. Went to spin class, walked a couple of times, and I even color coordinated my workout gear. I plan to hike it up to 4 times a week, so things are getting pretty serious- as long as I stop eating the donuts.

2.  POSTURE & BODY LANGUAGE: I’ve always had posture issues due to Thelma & Louise. Most women would exude confidence having an ample bosom, but I’ve always tried to hide them. So I this week, I did give some serious thought to standing up straight. I just ended up feeling like a peacock, and folded the twins back into hiding.

3. GET DRESSED UP: On the first day, I got up early, washed my hair, shaved everything, plucked my brows, and even colored on my face. And people noticed. Mostly because I never care about my appearance, so most people asked if I had a job interview. And since I like sleep way more than my looks, I quickly retreated back into my IDGAF attire in order to enjoy my 30 additional minutes of slumber. But I’ll keep thinking about it dressing up… while I sleep.

4. SMILE: When I smile, it’s either a Chandler Bing situation, or an invitation to harass me. My resting bitch face is pretty stellar, so I tried to smile at everyone. The experiment worked in the office, so I think a few more people will hold the elevator door and offer me cafecito. Unfortunately, when I smiled in the streets, I was propositioned by a homeless man. The pros and cons of being nice in the city…

5. PUMP UP THE JAMS: I will say I was most productive this past week when I listened to my “Hardcore Workout” mix at work. Something about having 8Ball & MJG screaming in your ear while you write copy, allows you to flourish, feel good, and refuse to accept any further drama.

6. RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: I’m a pretty kind person, so I decided to be nice to my enemies this week. Just kidding, I don’t have enemies, and neither do you. We all just have people we don’t like and who don’t like us. So I was super nice to people who kinda suck, and it did NOT make me any more confident. So I moved on to holding open elevators and getting a contact high for the sake of Jesus (I’ll tell that story one of these days).

7. LIST THE THINGS YOU LIKE ABOUT YOURSELF: I just realized I missed this one – what a surprise. So I’ll give you 3: 1- I spell better than anyone I know, 2- I’m pretty funny, and 3- BRUTAL HONESTY: I can’t think of a third, and those first two took longer than you can possibly imagine. Man, faking the funk is much harder than it seems. I feel like I need to change the subject for everyone feeling extremely awkward right now. Um, hey, LeBron is going to the Lakers and he still won’t win! HAHAHAHAHA…. feel better?

8. CHANGE YOUR “SELF TALK”: Epic fail. Fake it until you make can only extend so far, and I did give it my best effort. I applauded myself for not eating a 2nd donut hole the other day, then resumed my daily personal sabotage like my life depended on it. But this is definitely something that we all need to do, and I believe that if you tell yourself you’re the shit enough, eventually you will be.

9. MEDITATE DAILY: I cannot. Truth be told, I tried to mediate for five minutes with friends on Saturday, and it turned into a contemplation of a kidnap scenario, in which I would be able to escape the criminals by singing the Lord’s prayer over and over. All of that within a span of a few minutes. I literally cannot sit alone with myself and think of a peaceful scene, as my mind eventually turns to a possible murder scenario. I can’t get out of my own way.

10. PRACTICE MINDFULNESS: I’m always aware of my actions and how they impact others, but I guess this practice made me realize how I don’t think of myself enough. Be kind to others, yea I KNOW, but it is so important to be kind to ourselves. And not necessarily in a way that means you throw all regards for self-care to the wind. Confidence definitely comes from within, and that’s where the mindfulness starts. Be nice to yourself. Treat yoself. To self-love. Because you are the bomb. Dot com. I just need to keep reading this to myself…

-KEEP IT A HOT MESS

 

Hot Mess Mama Stuff

I’ll never forget when my mom tried to change my favorite color:

Mom: What’s your favorite color?

Me: Grey.

Mom: Ok, that’s nice. But what about pink? Blue? Yellow?

Me:

But that’s what mothers do- they’re always there for you, but also have a total disregard for your opinion. This is why we love them, right? I am so thankful for my mother, who inadvertently turned me into the hot mess before you today. How did she accomplish this? By being the exact opposite of me in thought process, lifestyle and fashion sense, all the while trying to get me to wear more makeup (to find a husband, of course). So, in order to celebrate her and all the moms out there who get on our last nerves (but we love ’em), I have compiled a list of ways my mother has shown her love. I’m sure your hot mess mom has violated you in the same way at some point in your life:

  1. PLAYING MATCHMAKER, HORRIBLY: I will never be able to shake the recollection of my mom’s plan to set me up with Ruben Studdard, via a handwritten note to Oprah. Because clearly Ms. Winfrey was the key to our love. She’s also tried to set me up with a coworker who took me to a Christian night club, as well as a gay man. She’s so in tune to what I like.
  2. TRYING TO KEEP PAJAMAS RELEVANT: Do moms not understand that pajamas are not a thing anymore? ABSOLUTELY NOT. In the last 3 years, my mother has given me pajamas as Christmas gifts, even though I’ve lived in Miami  for almost 20 years. I’m talking nightgown level, all the way down to my knees. She’s also given me a lovely shirt and pants combo, splattered with flip-flops so I guess she’s trying.
  3. JUDGING WITH LOVE: My mother might be the best at this. How else can I explain somehow getting a weave I didn’t need, because it was going to help my appearance? She tells me I’m cute, but would be prettier with makeup. Why don’t I get bi-weekly mani/pedis? First impressions always last, and no one wants to date someone with clear nail polish. All coming from a mother’s loving voice…
  4. ABUSE OF PHONE PRIVILEGES (IN THE NAME OF LOVE): If you don’t receive at least one horoscope, Bible verse, or glitter emoji from your mom on a daily basis, does she even love you?  The best experience is when you receive 4-5, sprinkled throughout the day, so that your mom can solidify her domination over the text machine. And there’s nothing like getting involved in a text exchange like the below (because who hasn’t?):

Mom: Love you! XOXOXO

Me: Love u 2

Mom: Love you more than you ever know!

Me: Thanks Mom 🙂

Mom: A mother’s love knows no bounds, and I am so blessed to be on this journey with you XOXOXO

Me: (Am I supposed to keep texting her?)

5. MASTERING THE SKILL OF SECURITY: I’m 38, and my mom still tells me to be careful at the end of every conversation, text, and email. Leaving work? Be careful. Going to happy hour? Be careful. Going to the grocery store? Be careful. Going to the elevator to get something out the car? Be careful. About have some pizza? Oh my goodness, be careful, sweetie.

6. THE ART OF PECULIAR GIFTING: When you were young, your mother had the innate ability to buy you all the things you wanted ( probably because you whined and cried about it). Now that you’re older? It’s as if she forgot that you lived under the same roof for 14 years. Don’t believe me? I don’t wear makeup, but she mails me  foundation kits from QVC (with the wrong skin tone). I don’t carry purses, but I have 5 Vera Bradley pieces. I tell my mom not to buy me clothes, but yet I get 10 XXL workout shirts for my birthday (have I gotten that fat??)

BONUS: The best way my granny ever showed me love was my cooking ground beef by the pound, freezing it, and sending it back with me to boarding school, thus revolutionizing the Ramen Noodle game for an entire dorm of girls in 1995.

-KEEP IT A HOT MESS

 

 

I Don’t Like Catfish

I hope you never have to deal with finding out the Italian, hunky guy you met online is really an old Asian woman. Yes, people are still out here trying to catfish people, ya’ll.

If you don’t know what “catfishing” is, you probably don’t know any millennials. The term derived from a documentary filmed years ago, by a handsome young man who fell in love with a beautiful girl online. You know, online? Where chivalry, decency, and morals go to die, but where you’re supposed to be open to finding love? Long, and predictable story short, the guy documents his journey to meet the love of his life who ended up being an older lady who changed her voice and had been using the photographs of a beautiful stranger to lure him in. So, not creepy at all. Although the star of the film, Nev, didn’t find love online, he turned his experience into a wildly successful MTV series entitled “Catfish”, where he chronicles the tales of other people thinking they found love online. Most of the episodes have a similar theme::

  • Optimistic, bubbly person has found ” THE ONE” online. The one is extremely attractive and has a lot of selfies online
  • An excessive amount of texts and phone calls occur over a period of 6 months to  a year
  • Person tries to video chat, Facetime, or Skype with their new boo, who seems to have a connection problem
  • Person tries to plan a meeting between the two, but something always comes up with new boo (money, jail, car accidents, etc.)
  • Person finally get suspicious and contacts MTV
  • Nev and team do proper recognizance and finalize a meeting between the parties- usually in Missouri or Idaho
  • They meet a the person’s house, and you usually find out it’s a girl. But you thought it was a man. And she plump, with a bad attitude and no regrets
  • Teaser for next failed love story rolls on the ending credits

You always watch this show and think, “I would never let this happen to me!”, but you also empathize with the people on there, because the end game is love. In the end, that’s what we all want, or at least I did when I still had hope. I have been in a self-induced, bitter/jaded stage, pretending to be ok with it for quite some time now. Yet, once again, my friends are the ones who still have hope. One of my besties convinced me to get online again, just to keep my options open. Knowing I was going to encounter the same crap, I hesitated, but since I haven’t been on a date since the Flashdance Incident of 2017, I acquiesced. I’ve been back on the Love Nets for about a month or so now, and it’s been about the same, except that I was catfished twice in the last few weeks, so there’s that. Apparently people are still trying to trick people- and the show is still on!

Have we not learned from our MTV victims? I would think that people on both sides would have learned by now. Potential victims would know that if your online boo’s web cam never works, it’s probably a weird dude in a basement somewhere. And the perps? They should know by now that no person in their right mind would “date” them for over a year, confess their love, and pay their phone bill without ever meeting. But this phenomenon is alive and well, and tried to get me, and I was not having it. So I’m here to give you all  tips on how to avoid getting into a messy online “relationship” with someone who you think is 35-year old Kevin from Boston, but who is actually 18-year old Kayla from Wisconsin with low self-esteem:

  1. They use WhatsApp or Google hangouts to communicate: You appear to have great conversation, a bit of a connection- great! So you don’t hesitate to provide your digits when they ask. But instead of calling or texting, they hop on of the above mentioned apps to chat. Now I’m all about saving on your phone or data plan, but I can confirm that every single person who has tried to catch me in their catfish net sent me random messages on these apps.
  2. They’re in the military: Apparently, a big scheme in the online dating world is to pretend to be a soldier, and to rope women into falling in love with your service. I was probably messaged by a dozen or more “soldiers”, who all seemed a bit suspicious. All texts were in Broken English, and everyone was always out in the war zone somewhere. Really, there’s a war going on in Galveston, TX? The first time I was catfish prey, I thought I was talking to a soldier when I encountered the high-pitched, slightly creepy voice of an 85-year-old Asian grandma. It was one of the scariest moments of my life.
  3. A sudden work trip takes them overseas: Ok, we both live in Miami, great. I’m thinking coffee or drinks are in our near future. All of a sudden, your very important job has taken you to Dubai or Paris. You’ll see me when you get back, which will be in a month, but you’re not sure…
  4. They ask you obvious questions: My profile tells you my age, where I live, and the area of my profession. But you still ask me where I live? And I ask you what neighborhood you reside in ( since we’re in the same city), and you say Miami, Florida. Huh?
  5. They ask you for money: Why would you give money to stranger? That you’ve never met before, who never wants to talk on the phone? I barely want to split the bill at lunch with coworkers, let alone lend Fabio in France $100 bucks. If a person who claims to have a great job suddenly ran out of funds on their work trip, clearly knows NO ONE ELSE in the world, but kindly asks you to buy them an iTunes or Amazon gift card in their desperate time of need, don’t you dare scratch off the back of the card and send them a pic of the serial number.

-KEEP IT A HOT MESS