Pumpkin Spice Lattes… PSL

October 7, 2014 § Leave a comment

I really do adore Autumn. October is a pretty solid month. I enjoy the fall produce and taking part in Halloween activities. I like feeling the season change on my skin, and the Indian summer easing the chill upon us. It’s everyone else that’s really ruining things for me.

Yes, believe it. It’s October, the month that waits for no one. Why does October always seem to surprise people? Every year, “Can you believe it’s already October?!” Yes and what other month did you think came after September? October is a month made for annoying girls exclaiming stupid things. All month it’s idiocy. I blame pumpkin spice. It’s a drug for sure. The only thing I like pumpkin spice in is pie. I must be alien.

Fortunately for the boys, Football Season, Baseball Playoffs, Basketball Preseason and saving the ta-tas have the males pretty much distracted, the height of the fall ditziness goes unnoticed.

“I just love fall, gush, the colors.”

“I’m so excited to wear boots!”

“Pink, for promoting Breast Cancer.” And let me take this opportunity to remind you to think before you say things.

“We should totally go to that haunted maze, I can wear my new sweater!” 

Ugh, he didn’t get me anything for Sweetest’s Day.”

“I’m trying to hint diamond earrings for christmas.”

“Get me a grande skinny pumpkin spice latte with two splendas… You’re the best! Thank ewe!”

“I’m working out  a lot this month so I can look hot in my halloween costume. It’s like a corset top and like these boots that go over the knee, super cute and not slutty at all.”

If I read one more Facebook status involving someone’s first pumpkin latte of the season, I might have to go punch a jack-o-lantern. Really, Starbucks? I can’t believe that many people are letting a corporate coffee house mark the moment they feel the autumnal spirit for the first time. Not to mention, who the fuck cares that you paid twice the price for a latte with several squirts of pumpkin sugar? Donate last seasons designer jacket to even out your karma. Fall really is great, sure, happy about it. The seasons, they need to change, I just don’t think I’d mark it with with a prefab mix prepared by a local hipster.

Which brings me to my next point. Fall really brings out the hipsters. Their cut-off skinny jeans and barely-there tanks really had them incognito during the summer, but as soon as the wind changes, out come the skinny jeans, combat boots and bad attitudes. My internet has been out, so I’ve been frequenting coffee shops to get work done, right at the fountain of the hipsters’ life-blood. I wouldn’t even ask a hipster to watch my computer while I go to the bathroom. I’ll pack it all up and lose my seat next to the outlet before I ask hipster enjoying their organic air. It’s scary movie season… not only would they fall pale at a thief, they are too busy planning multimedia art instillation based on Paranormal Activity 4.

And there is nothing I can’t stand more than a hipster with a pumpkin spice latte. I can’t even go there. Hating the establishment, dressing like they are homeless and purchasing marked up liquid flavoring with a shot of espresso and warm milk. Suddenly I’m reminded of the upcoming election as I gripe about the unfortunate beings we share this great country with. Maybe they will be too busy with October they won’t register to vote.

Two years ago I crafted this post, with midterms coming up and Pumpkin Spiced Candles in full force, it’s all relevant. Hope you enjoy the throwback. New one for next week!

 

XO Jane Article

October 6, 2014 § Leave a comment

Raise a glass! Just got an article published on xojane.com.

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Hope you enjoy the fodder. Please leave a comment if you want!

Not One of THOSE Brides

September 16, 2014 § Leave a comment

No, I’m not going to be one of those brides. You know the ones I’m talking about. The ones in that Cosmo article that you read before you found “the one” because you just couldn’t stomach another one of your friend’s showing off their bling all over Facebook. That jezebel article that you “stumbled upon” the 7th time you were asked to be a bridesmaid in one year. The girls who hashtag “blessed” or “luckiest girl in the world” or “love him” incessantly  (26.2 million instagram tags, precisely). We get it, he’s #thebest.

These are little girlfriend-zillas and once they have a ring on it (#helikeditsoheputaringonit) mature into bridezillas. These people make their bridesmaids give up their trendy pixie cuts and get spray tans. These are the ladies who buy $12,000 dresses, then trash it for a photo shoot. These are the women who throw tantrums until their father’s hand over credit cards. You might have seen some of these on MTV’s My Super Sweet Sixteen. These girls are batshit. Batshit without a budget.

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Good news! If you have a budget, you are a normal bride who’s not annoying everyone around her. Unless you keep saying “We”. We really think hot pink flowers for centerpieces. We think the ring bearer should wear a sign that says ring security. We think bachelor parties are tacky. Said no man EVER. Don’t insert him into these worries unless it’s a little more believable.

Other things that annoy people: Thinking you’re a princess. Play by play wedding planning on Facebook. Countdowns until you marry your best friend. Posting boudoir shots you got him for xmas. Ring pic as a profile pic. A ring pic every time you “still can’t believe it.” Actually ring pics in general. Arguing with your mother in public places. Yelling/screaming excitedly about various states of planning. Always changing the topic back to your wedding (especially when no one else is asking). Mandatory expenses for wedding, shower, bachelorette parties with threat of kicking you off the wedding party or invite list (these people exist!). You think everyone cares about the color of your nails on “the day.” You’re pretty wrapped up in it all and forget that there are real problems out there.

Disclaimer: If love is a battlefield, I am a war zone journalist. On that note, wedding planning is like freaking Vietnam. So, please understand me when I say I’m not one of those brides (I did post a ring pic, but #sorrynotsorry). This is a freakish industry. I know I have only just hit the tip of the iceberg here, but I have so many thoughts about all this wedding crap and I can’t keep them to myself. There are so many things people don’t tell you about this stuff. So much I wasn’t prepared for. In an effort to spare and prepare you, or for you to later commiserate about your own wedding planning process, I will proceed to create content around this absurd ritual that doesn’t really work for 55% of couples. Get it now? I’m not one of those brides, I’m that kind of bride.

***If you aren’t interested in my humor on the subject, don’t worry, it’s a short engagement. But I will have to figure out what the hell to call this blog when I’m married. Clearly, I didn’t plan for this otherwise I would have gave myself a more versatile url.

Seven Tips

September 10, 2014 § 2 Comments

Going through the archives and found this gem from Jan 2011 of the single years. BR (before Red). The advice holds up, as does my theory on handbags. The handbag theory has inspired a new hypothesis on mascara, for which I am currently running tests.  

Lately, I’ve been called upon for relationship advice. Why people asking me for advice? Clearly, I have failed in this department. In my only “serious” relationship, I waited too long for the frog to turn into a prince, and then I got dumped by the frog anyway. I’m not exactly the poster lady for love. Although now that I am single-ish, it seems my friends who are with-boyfriend come to me more often, as if I am a relationship psychic. Sadly, Miss Cleo talks out of her ass, and so do I.

So why are they blasting my phone with BF woes? As a single gal, I appear to have it together. The growth has been removed. I am no longer a host for the farting, belching, sports-crazed jerk with mommy-issues feeding off me for a hot meal and a blowjob. Thus the basis for the age-old pickle: can’t live with him, can’t live without him.

In the meantime, heed some advice or just enjoy the nonsense.

Mistakes You’re Making with Men

  1. Put the vibrator down. Eliminate the competition.
  2. Game time is man time, if you are going to sit there and pout, go home.
  3. They instinctively want to spread their seed, don’t take it personally. Let them look, but not touch. See Have You Touched a Boob Today
  4. Regardless of reason, he will always think there is no motivation behind your anger. Don’t get angry without visual aids, you have to spell it out and make sure the tv is off.
  5. Do your exercises; a tight pussy goes a long way.
  6. What the hell is a promise ring? If you’ve already brought it up, you’ve said too much.
  7. If he hasn’t contacted you, you probably shouldn’t send those four text messages and definitely don’t leave a voicemail. Whatever you do, don’t Facebook stalk the events he plans on attending to stage a funny coincidence. Read your horoscope and get over it.

It’s not just the ladies either, I have guy friends knocking on my door, calling at all hours (and not in the likeness of an acceptable way to wake a sleeping woman). Alright people, we’re all clueless. This is not algebra, there is no x.

There’s A Lot You Can Tell About a Girl By Her Purse

  1. If it’s smaller than your hand, she only does two things, stalk on the phone and spend money. See Sept 21’s post to learn the damage done by cell.
  2. If it’s it has more than 2 straps, over the shoulder or around the wrist, cross body, or crook o an elbow, she can’t make up her mind. [guilty as charged, thank you]
  3. If it has so many compartments you can’t count them all, she’s probably a bit scatterbrained and has a short attention span.
  4. If it’s almost bigger than she is, she has an arsenal of things to throw when she doesn’t get her way. [wait until I put the bag down and walk a safe distance]
  5. If it’s a designer bag with matching wallet that costs more than your car, she is too high maintenance, turn around, you don’t have the patience or the bank account.
  6. If it’s a knock off designer, she’s a cheap date and will probably put out after a few drinks.
  7. If she doesn’t carry a purse, or bag, or pocketbook at all, she there is a good chance she might be lesbian. That’s just fact.

Well, I hoped you all learned something.

 

Engaged to be Wed (aka Doom)

September 5, 2014 § Leave a comment

This is not a drill. I’m engaged.  THE Mister Red (and dreamiest strawberry blonde on the planet) purchased a diamond and asked very nicely if I would be his newest piece of property. It was thrilling. I’ll save the boring details for another rather gushy post. But now I would like to let you in on the thoughts swimming in my brain since I got my flashy new piece of ice.

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1. I didn’t know everyone was going to be so happy for us. They don’t tell you people are going to be so happy at your face. All the time splashy happiness. Every two seconds someone is being happy at me. It’s pretty crazy.

2.It’s not like people didn’t see it coming, I’ve lived with the man for 3 years, we’ve been knocking boots for 4 and we know too much about each other’s bank accounts. There isn’t much left to change besides my last name (which I am looking forward to because it’s going to be an alliteration. I love alliterations).

3. I’m already an ungracious host. I run out of things to say when people are being all happy in my face.

“You got engaged?”

“Yup, I got engaged.”

“Congratulations, that’s so wonderful! You guys are the cutest!”

“Thanks.” And that’s all I got.

I’m so bad at this stuff. We’re engaged that’s it. I got a pretty ring. We’ll undoubtedly have a really expensive party that everyone else will have opinions about. All I really want to do is snuggle up to watch Star Wars with my honey and make jokes. I’m trying to master Yoda’s laugh because I’m pretty sure I’m going to be him for Halloween. This is where my mind is. Not on dates, venues, or bridesmaid dresses. I’d like to practice a Jedi mind trick for that instead.

4. Why can’t it go on any finger you want? My left ring finger is the grossest of all my fingers. It has the ugliest writer’s nubbin on the knuckle too. Guess it’s an engaged writer’s nubbin now.

5. I hate (and have always hated) the term fiancé. Too many syllables. If I could have gone from boyfriend to husband I would have. It’s going to be a short engagement because I don’t want to have a fiancé for very long. Fiancé is one ‘n’ away from ‘finance.’ Coincidence? I’m constantly reminded that I have to finance a wedding.

Also I just keep thinking about that episode from Seinfeld. You know the one, “maybe the dingo ate your baby.”  Will that ever stop? Because it just makes me giggle. Every time I say it. I don’t want to be that woman. Is there a synonym? Like F. Mony. Short for future matrimony. But that’s also an ‘e’ away from ‘money.’ Ironic?

6. This engagement put me in the dog house for the first 3 years of marriage, at least. Hardest person in the world to surprise, right here. Yup, I figured it out. Well, I had an inkling. And instead of trusting that it was going to be wonderful, I saw it come and had to poke holes in the plot line (although, this quality also makes me a good editor). He did a bait and switch, and because Mister Red is an excellent improvisor, it was just as magical as planning every detail out before hand. As my first act of groveling, this is my public apology. Dear Red, I trust you. I’m sorry for being a crazy skeptical person thus ruining the surprise you’d been arranging for weeks. 

7. At first I wanted to plan everything about the wedding all at once. Then I wanted to plan nothing at all. Now I realize we have to plan whether I like  it or not. This is because of parental expectations. My mother has already informed me she will be wearing navy blue. I guess that’s one thing I don’t have to decide. Mister Red thinks we can do it all in a weekend. I think we might need two.

8. You can’t change your insurance without a marriage license. So, good thing I’ll be getting one of those soon.

9. Whatever happens, the dude abides. What if we had a Big Lebowski Themed wedding at a bowling ally and everyone just came in their bath robes and we toasted with white russians? Why can’t that be a thing? My mom can still wear navy blue!

10. I don’t want to get caught up in it all. I want someone to pull my hair [hard] if I start stressing about flowers or desserts. We should have eloped in our pajamas with that puppy when we had the chance.

11. A Bachelorette Party is the best excuse I’ve ever had to get my friends together and go wine tasting whether they like each other or not. It’s like all the birthday parties I’ve never had rolled into one.

12. If anything I’m relieved. We committed to each other for the long haul a while back, so my love and commitment hasn’t notably grown in the past couple weeks, but the relief I feel is apparent. I do feel more like a team. We got a diamond on it. I feel less alone, comforted by the fact that we share each other’s load. He’s helping carry mine and I’m helping carry his. And that’s what it’s all about. Not rings, not navy blue mother’s dresses, not surprise engagement parties (but it was so much fun, I want to hug everyone all at once, and I’m not a hugger). We get to have this sweet ride. See where it takes us, and do it together.

13. Does this mean I have to end my blog? I think I have a few more months.

Ice Bucket What-have-you

August 28, 2014 § Leave a comment

This ALS Ice Bucket Challenge will not rest until everyone in the world has completed it. If we keep going at this rate, we only have 22 days left. Your welcome.

1st world people love a dare. I was having a hard time with the whole “you are wasting clean water on your head while some people don’t even have water” thing. PS there is a show called “Surviver” Why don’t you attack the exploitation of extreme conditions for entertainment? Or people who let the faucet run while they brush their teeth? Or the wining team of any football championship ever? See, ice bucket dousing is not a new thing. And yes, it’s a stupid waste of water. Maybe get in the face of people who didn’t pony up at least five bucks for a donation.

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But then again, my state is in a severe drought, so I do get the point. I’m pretty sure in a few months we are going to be mandated to shower on alternate days. California is few dry months away from becoming the smelly kids. And here’s the bad news for the winter: we supply a lot of your produce Midwest, Northeast, etc. Just stop challenging Californians, we get taxed enough as it is. We’ll do a bucket of sand instead.  We can’t afford it, you can’t afford it. We got enough on our hands with not only the drought, but the recent earthquake. In a few months when the price of wine skyrockets, you might wish you sent your five bucks to Napa Valley instead.

No, I kid. Your money is being donated to the right place. ALS has raised over 94 million dollars. Which is wicked awesome for a disease a lot of people forgot about since Lou Gehrig. However, there is an even more of an upside to this. ALS isn’t the only  neurodegenerative disease. Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s are also in this category. Later in life onset, these diseases are a death sentence that you have to live with long before you kick the bucket. Sure, I feel for the people without clean water, but I also want to know there is serious funding behind a chunk of diseases I might possibly have one day. What helps ALS helps all of this research, and knowledge is power.

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I truly hope the people who took on this challenge know what it means beyond the stupid stunt. Sometimes we live our lives pissed off at our wi-fi signals, or traffic, or missing out on taco tuesday. When you boil that bucket of ice water down, health is wealth. Whether we have clean water to dump on our heads or water our crops, if we are healthy surrounded by those we love, we are doing all right. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is simply ridiculous slap stick for a good cause. Who doesn’t love slap stick? Who doesn’t love a good cause?

Also, I’m an expert on this cause I did it. With Ocean Ice Water, mind you. I did not waste any potential crop water, dear farmers and California Government. Don’t tax me. If you want to donate to MIND you don’t need a challenge to do it. http://www.massgeneral.org/mind/ Just click and see all the cool research and trials that are helping people today!

‘Till Death

August 19, 2014 § Leave a comment

NEW TO YOU. I wrote this piece over a year ago as the final chapter of my manuscript (that is no longer a memoir, RIP). It’s only fitting I tell it now, on the 4 year anniversary of this blog. I was afraid you’d feel like I was no longer a bachelorette, so I held it close. I’m not a poser, but I believe my days as a true bachelorette are numbered. Please enjoy. 

We watched the episode of Seinfeld where Jerry and guest star, Teri Hatcher, are pretend married so she can get a discount on her dry cleaning. Then Mister Red turns to me and asks, “Will you be my pretend wife?”

I quoted the 1995 film, Clueless, “as if?!” I capped it with an open mouthed blank stare even Cher Horowitz would roll her eyes at. “I’m pretty sure if I’m going to be anybody’s wife I won’t be playing pretend.”

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There had been light discussion about rings and proposals since our shared Costco credit card had been in our wallets. But he totally brought it up first, so it wasn’t like I started giving him ultimatums about the wedding that had yet to be proposed. I didn’t even talk to him about it. I was still getting acquainted with it in my own head. And yeah, yeah, everyone says it happens when you’re not looking… blah, blah, blah. Idiots.

Did you know that the diamond ring marriage proposal was originally an insurance policy for deflowering a fair maiden? After she’s been poked, no one will want her, and if the engagement didn’t work out at least she’d have a ring to pawn off. That’s where the whole “two month’s salary” ring price came in. Kind of an elaborate prostitution scheme if you ask me. But then again, they aren’t called gold diggers and trophy wives because they are champion mineworkers.

My co-economical anxiety began to calm down. I had concluded sharing finances was the next step to being legally bound to my, and I use the term loosely, soul mate. I use the term loosely because I’m still not sure I believe in all the “every mitten has its mate” crap. But if I did, he’d be the left because I’m always right.

Mister Red asked me one Saturday morning while laying in bed, “why marriage? What would it mean? Would it be different?”

I had to think for a moment. I wanted to get married, but I wasn’t sure I had the best answer. My first thought was, ‘so you don’t run for the hills if I get fat.’ Truth. There is a sense of security in civil matrimony. Then I thought about marriage equality. The strength and security of same sex unions is still unrecognized by some states, yet those bonds stand firm with just vows to one another. I don’t want him to stay with me just because some lawyer might make it difficult to leave. I confessed my better answer.

“Because I want to be legally bound to you. I want to share everything with you. I want the tax breaks, I want to be able to visit you in the hospital, and I want to call you my husband out loud.” And then I revealed, “I already say it in my head sometimes. Is that weird?”

I was honest. A make-believe marriage was not going to cut it. I wanted the real legal deal. It seemed like he was gearing up for something so I told him when he was ready to plan the proposal he should talk to Miss Pepper, my ex-co-producer and reality dating show aficionado. After that it was as though I let a whole ant colony loose in his pants. Every two seconds he was checking in, “you still want to marry me, right?”

Mister Red would bring it up, but then abruptly end the conversation after getting irritable about money. I reassured him there was no rush. It would be better if we waited until my mother retired. Then she could plan the whole thing like she wants anyway.

Still he pressed. “But I wanted to do it months ago. I should have nailed you down by now.”

“You can nail me down anytime you want,” I said playfully, but that’s not what he meant. I had just gotten over my fear of sharing my money, ahem, our money. Truly, I’m in no rush, I get heart palpitations when I think about changing my last name.

We shelved the topic for a while after I got a phone call from my mother about the family dog passing. It seemed inappropriate to discuss eventualities with sorrows on the table.

My mother isn’t superstitious or even that spiritual, but she was raised Catholic and thinks it’s a good idea to say grace, pray, and go to church once in a while. You know, just in case. Way back before Mister Red and I were serious I told her of the coincidences between us, she just couldn’t listen.

“We’re born two days apart, same year. His parent’s met at Indiana University just like you and Dad. They got married in the same year you guys did. His dad’s from the east coast like you, and his mom’s from the mid-west like dad. His mom’s birthday is three days before yours, you all graduated in the same year, and they had a dog named Chelsea–“

“Okay stop it, I’ve heard enough. Too creepy.” My mom’s hometown is Chelsea. I guess it was a lot to take in. I had only known the guy for a week at the time.

Our family dog was named Murphy, ‘cause we’re Irish. My mom and dad had a little Irish wake for the beloved pet. The next day she was watching the news hoping her school day was cancelled due to unseasonable weather (and probably she was hung over). The only school closing was Murphy elementary. She was sure it was a sign from the dog in appreciation of the Irish wake. She thought that was creepy too.

The wedding that had yet to be proposed was back in the forefront of everyone’s minds when Mister Red and I journeyed to my hometown to attend another wedding. Los Angeles creates an environment allowing us to forget that most people in this country, maybe in the world, just want to love someone and have a happy, healthy family. In Tinsel Town it’s all about the big break. Small town Michigan has deep roots to its trees and so little transplants. Everyone had questions and expectations about our relationship, some of them putting the carriage before the baby.

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“I guess you guys are next.”

“Have you thought about where you’re going to have it?”

“What would your dress be like?”

“I think I can find some maternity clothes in your size. How tall are you?”

I just showed them the back of my left hand to light heartedly poke fun at questions I didn’t know how to answer. People can be pushy when they think they know what’s best for you. However, I think it comes from a place called love.

We spent five days in the small town seeing family and friends, holding babies, toasting many drinks to many different things, and bearing witness to classy nuptials. My mother was able to hold her tongue about the wedding that had yet to be proposed, instead she rambled on about our late puppy.

By the time we left, Mister Red had gone cookoo for small town standards. My prettier half found himself indulging in something not abundant in LA. He could not stop talking about ring shopping and the names of our future children.

Isn’t it ironic that the first time I went out with Mister Red I had just returned from my hometown feeling the very same small townie sentiments? It was these same family values casting a spell on me when I summoned him in the first place. Back then I was hoping for a toasty fella antidote in escape of adult aspirations. Three years later, I had that same toasty fella inquiring about my ring size. Obviously, another plan backfired; the curse somehow swallowed us both into a domesticated wistful circle.

I had a hard time talking him down. What would take his mind off of matrimony? I couldn’t exactly bring him to yoga class to watch hot yogi girls handstand into down dogs when deep down I really did want him to propose. Instead, I agreed to ring shopping under the guise of learning my ring size, and also stipulating an acceptable sized diamond. The way he was talking he wanted to save up for several carats, but I didn’t want to wait forever for an eventual grandma ring. I’m one of those people who can’t have nice things anyway.

We were going to test some rocks after I taught a Pilates class, cause that was something I did in my new career. Mister Red, feeling extra attached, decided to accompany me to the studio. When we got there my boss politely brought us in on a little chit-chat.

“How was your weekend?” she asked.

“Good.” We answered in unison like a couple of four year olds at the dentist office.

“What do you have planned for the rest of it?”

Mister Red shot a look at me, “do you want to tell her?”

I froze and turned as red as his hair. Then, because I’m a bad liar and even worse under pressure, I blurted out, “We’re going ring shopping.”

I let her think it was a bigger deal than it was, most people are more excitable than me. I know he put me on the spot because he was just enthusiastic, but I was mortified and not ready to be sharing such truths.

Post Pilates and embarrassing myself in front of my superior, we were trying to pick a jeweler and also pretty hungry. Averaging the two, we picked something nearby a sandwich shop. And that’s how we roll.

When we finally got there I let Mister Red do the talking. Fortunately for me, my partner is a people person. Seriously, he’s a professional host, you should really hire him for your next event so you can attend your own party, it’s amazing.

This sales lady, Ruth, and Mister Red were chatting it up while she learned our names like all good sales people do. She helped another tall handsome man earlier by the same name, a firefighter. Blah, blah, blah, meanwhile I’m silently panicking as I glance around at all the sparkly things. My Nana is pretty into the bling so I’ve seen my fair share of glitz before, but I’ve never owned anything of the sorts.

So I was me and… I hardly said a word. Very passively smiling and nodding looking around trying to keep the butterflies down and my feet planted. As a little girl on Christmas morning, I reacted the same way, stoic and about to upchuck. Remember, I’m not a fan of a wrapped present or an expected surprise.

I did not behave like the average chick shopping for engagement rings. I was a deer in headlights. Good thing Ruth was reminding me of my name every 10 seconds or I would have forgotten.

I did know one thing about my future engagement ring, I wanted an emerald cut. It turns out to be the most expensive. What can I say, champagne taste, beer pocketbook. I was shown a couple of different cuts for the sake of size, and noticed they didn’t have at all what I wanted when Ruth interrupted my thoughts.

“Let’s try this one on, just to see the size of the diamond and how the cut looks on you.”

“Me?”

Ruth smiled and took my hand, which was shaking rather noticeably. “Ooooo! You have nice long fingers,” she said. This was news to me, but what was weirder than her remark about flanges was how the ring looked on my finger.

I was not ready to make a decision. We tried on several more, and I left more confused than when I came in.

I do not recall any of my gal pals going ring shopping. Either that, or it didn’t impact them like it did me. I didn’t know it would be so chilling. I was giggling nervously for at least an hour after. I told Mister Red we might need to go to a couple more jewelers to try on a few more rings before I felt totally comfortable. Later we met Sister Spills and her BF for drinks to take the edge off. Mister Red announced the news, of course. But why was this news?

“So did you tell your mom?” Sister Spills asks buying into the whole hoopla.

“Awe hell no. The last thing she needs is encouragement.”

I waited at least two weeks to tell my mom. I wanted to assure her it was not a big deal, we were just looking and I was petrified. Of course after our previous fights over the wedding that had yet to be proposed, she learned to keep her excitement to herself. A couple weeks later she shares with me that she purchased several bridal magazines.

“Just to look!” she says, “Just looking.”

Come to find out, she cleared the shelves of the season’s bridal magazines (which are the size of encyclopedias). I was beginning to think she’d have the cake baked before he’s even down on one knee.

I got a little lightheaded picturing Mister Red on one knee. I began to doubt I’d ever be ready. Maybe I wasn’t the marrying type? Maybe I’m just one Barbie who doesn’t come with a Ken? I’m like forever Skipper.

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I thought back through the events of the ring browsing and remembered what Ruth said when she met Mister Red, “A tall handsome firefighter by the same name came in just yesterday.” My late grandfather was a tall handsome firefighter. Creepy? I tried to find other signs of reassurance in dead relatives. My grandma Lily had passed before I turned 21, she always said she’d take me to Vegas, Red had taken me to his hometown of Las Vegas many times. My paternal grandfather always winked at me. If Red didn’t wink at me there would be none of this. Getting creepier?

If my mother is allowed to think the dog sent her a message via an elementary school closure it’s acceptable for me to believe I was given my grandfather’s approval from a zealous jewelry dealer. In fact, it was probably my dead grandfather who made it his personal deceased business Mister Red and I meet. I began to relax about the whole thing because it was clearly meant to be. People condone it from the grave.

Before I started comparing Mister Red’s behaviors to my dead cat (midnight snacking), I worked up the courage to set a few things straight regarding my hand.

“If you’re going to propose there are a few rules.”

“Okay…?” He didn’t expect rules.

“You can’t let me see it coming. Buy the ring, but then don’t get all dancey and excited and blow the whole thing.”

“No dancing?”

“I can’t be expecting it, I’ll have too much anxiety about the whole event to be happy, and it will be weird and then we’ll have this awful engagement story about how I had bad lunch face.”

“Alright, I’ll try.”

“No, you cannot let me know. AT ALL.”

“Okay, you got it. What else?”

“Whatever you do, don’t do it at a restaurant. The whole eating thing… no, not while on one knee and a napkin on my lap. Don’t let me say ‘yes’ with a napkin on my lap!”

“Got it, no restaurant. What about a baseball game?”

I shot him a glare. “This isn’t the time for jokes.”

“I wasn’t joking.”

“You don’t even like baseball.”

“I know I was joking.”

“Just don’t let me know it’s coming.”

“But you’re going to say yes?”

“Probably.”

He didn’t like that, but it didn’t deter him. He knows I’m going to say yes. We’d skip the ring, the planning, and the wedding to elope if my mother didn’t tell Mister Red she would murder him if he let that happen. She literally said she’d kill him.

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A couple of weeks later I was asked to be a bridesmaid for the 6th time, and it stung just a little. “Always a bridesmaid,” I sulked. But wait, I’m petrified of this whole event, I curl up into a ball when discussing the wedding that has yet to be proposed. I shouldn’t be jealous, it should be more practice so I don’t run scared screaming when it happens to me.

I don’t know if I’m ready, or if I’m not ready, or maybe it’s just gas. I do know that Mister Red is the fork to my spoon, the butter to my toast, the plug to my outlet. Who else is going to throw pens at hipsters in traffic, watch 60 Minutes, and call his Dr. Dad every time I have a bladder infection? He makes a good companion, even if he doesn’t have enough money to buy me a rock just yet, and my dead relatives agree.

Maybe we won’t have a million and ten babies, maybe we won’t be rich, maybe we’ll just continue to look horrible on paper and fight uphill battles on fixed gear bikes. Maybe he’ll wait seven more years to propose and drive my mother nuts. Maybe that’s just fine. It’s not the ring that matters. Rings can be given back, pawned off, and traded in for hard cash.

I only needed to know one thing.

“Can you see yourself with me for the rest of your life?” I asked, whole-heartedly.

“Sure. If I squint,” he said with out batting an eye. It really is his personal mission to make me laugh. I can’t help but love the man with a sense of humor, and he does have a grin like a Ken doll. If his head doesn’t pop off I think we might actually make it down the aisle—

Before the end of time.

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