Undressing Success

March 30, 2011 § 1 Comment

Our dear Betty gets out of the kitchen. Enjoy the guest gal! Email me if you have a story to share! I’d be happy to help you share your tale, although the alias is up to you!

By: Betty in the Lime Light

I’ve recently been on the hunt for a career upgrade. And I mean hunting, not like Elmer Fud but more like a bloodhound out for damned elusive rabbits.  Although I’ve been fortunate to have a steady gig for the last 5 years, especially in this economy when many of my contemporaries are moving back in with their parents (the horror!), it is just a job. I lay awake at night dreaming of a real live career.  With that in mind, I have made “upgrade” my motto for 2011.

More than half of a potential employer’s first impression is based on how a person looks.  The remaining percentage of first impression is a mix of who you know and actual skill set.  i.e. If a woman goes into interview at a bank wearing booty shorts and tube top I can guarantee employment will not ensue.  If a straight man is the interviewer, he’ll just be thinking about bending her over his desk and if she’s even wearing panties.  If it’s a woman doing the interviewing, she will most likely be completely offended and avoid eye contact at all costs.  I’m sorry ladies, no one except your doctor or significant other needs to see the undefined, cottage cheese area between your butt and your hamstring unless you are at the beach.  In most cases, jeans are also not acceptable attire for an interview.  If you’d like to be taken seriously, dress the part. If you believe you’re ready to step into your dream career, put a little effort in. My thoughts: you have to look like money to make money.

Now I don’t mean money in the flashy sense, I mean “money” as in quality and elegance.  Friends of mine have a favorite interview outfit, a go-to confidence builder that makes them feel like a million bucks (or $89.99 depending on that season’s clearance).  As I set out to attain my dream career I realized I needed an “upgrade” somewhere in my wardrobe.  I’ve had the same black purse since senior year of high school so after some searching I upgraded to a camel colored leather Cole Haan satchel.  When I shop I always ask myself “Would Audrey Hepburn wear this?”  If you are looking to give yourself style, find a style icon and stay within those parameters.  A man can’t go wrong imitating Don Draper.  Trendy is not necessarily a good thing.  You can never go wrong with words like classic and timeless.

After the initial purchase of my lady-like dream-purse, spending money on myself didn’t make me feel as guilty as it normally does.  Retail therapy has never worked for me but I successfully convinced myself these were necessary essentials that would help me embrace my future with confidence.  So I skipped off to J. Crew and found some other Audrey-esque items to breathe life into my closet.

Sweater sets and pearls just happen to work for me but I understand it’s not for everyone.  Advice for the modern gal: dress in a way that will help you accomplish your intentions for that day.  And dear God, leave something to the imagination, whether you are looking to snag a job or a man, looking beautiful doesn’t mean having your tits and ass exposed. I’ve seen strippers wear more clothes than some of these hoochies on the strip for a Wednesday night dinner. If you aren’t on a stage, don’t dress in a way that would make your grandmother blush.

Workin’ On My Fitness

March 28, 2011 § 2 Comments

I suppose fitness is a lifelong thing, like a marriage for which there is no divorce. I’ve been dating fitness since I was two years old after trying on my first tutu. My lover followed me to college where I danced on to the Michigan State Dance Team. We then moved to Boston and went into business together, teaching fitness classes between Red Sox games. As a result, I had the best buns in Beantown, but it couldn’t last forever. Career goals changed as they do and now in LA, our relationship is suffering.  I’m still passionate about my fitness, don’t get me wrong, but finding the new ways to keep things spicy, making time, and getting in the mood isn’t always easy. I get bored with routine. The romance has vanished. Sure my fitness and I take the occasional aerobic class and sometimes we bust a move in the kitchen, but the vigor is gone. In an effort to be more spontaneous with my fitness, I am devoted to trying new things. Not outside of the realm of sex swings or acrobat training. If only I had a reliable partner. Dedicated to making this relationship work, I’ve been trying a variety of regimens and haven’t really found one that sticks. I get bored. It’s not about looking good, it’s about feeling good and treating your body like a temple. A temple of pain that you sweat buckets in and curse at.

New approach: I propose a buddy system, but not a spotter. In fact the more you dislike this person, the better. Everyday/week you check in with your fitness associate and see how you guys did. Did you go? What did you do? For how long? Did you feel the burn? How much did you sweat? Are you sore? Where are you sore? Can you walk up the stairs? Well, if you can walk up the stairs or sit on the toilet with out crying, you obviously didn’t work hard enough. The power of silent competition will motivate you beyond the prospect of  buttoning your skinny jeans. It’s the reason why all the pretty people hung out together in high school. Instant rivals by proximity. Makes you try harder when you see your bestie getting attention from the 3rd hottest senior in the school. It’s totally because she got spray tanned yesterday and you didn’t. Either that, or because that varsity hockey player said she’d put out.

Bikini season is looming, ladies, we only have so much time. For me, I’m breaking out my leotard, fastening my jazz belt and putting a fitness associate in place for wedding season, bridal boot-camp. @twenty-six has a reunion and a similar goal, but I really like her so maybe we can find a third party we both really hate while we get fit. Like Gwyneth Paltrow, the more songs she sings, the skinnier I get. Enough already Gwenny, we don’t want to hear it. And should you really be acting that slutty on Glee after naming your child after a fruit?

What’s Your Status?

March 25, 2011 § Leave a comment

Relationship Status: It’s Complicated

March 23, 2011 § 1 Comment

You thought I was joking, but I went in to see the ginger-haired bartender with the trifecta of the charming man on St. Paddy’s day. And even though there were shamrocked floosies all abound, he remembered me. I found out the exact days he worked just in case future stalking was necessary, but he said he would call. And he did. Well, he texted. He did only wait a day and a half, so I’ll give him credit for not bombing me with an instant text or making me stew in my insecurity. We tried to coordinate a first date-ish thing, but for one reason or another our schedules didn’t match up.

My neighbor says when a bartender “works a double” it’s an excuse. I told him that Irish eyes don’t tell lies and gave the ginger the benefit of the doubt. Then I did some facebook stalking. He doesn’t have one of those Tom Dick or Harry names so it was easy to find him. To my shock: in a relationship. What the what?! People have their reasons… okay, okay, I’m making excuses because he’s just that cute. I’m going to not let it get in my way. I wouldn’t be pursued if he didn’t want to pursue, so I’ll let him “work a double” and break up with the poor girl.

There has to be some etiquette on these things. We all saw Social Network, we all agree Zukerberg is brilliant. To his complement, we are now all wearing signs that say: gay, straight, or taken. However, relationships are some of the messiest things I’ve ever been a part of, something that ol’ Mark didn’t have experience in when he established the relationship status. One minute it’s love forever and ever, the next it’s rocky, then it’s over, after that it will never happen again, and three months later you’re doing a drive by at 2am on a Tuesday. Making it official on facebook has now become a “big step” in a relationship. It comes after “I love you” but before you move in together. Right about the time you say, “Should I give you a key?” is same time you’re updating your settings. We’ve all seen that little heart in the news feed, everyone comments with gawks and awes. You’re getting really serious about this dude. Months later it’s a broken heart, more comments, snickers, I told you so’s. If you really didn’t think this relationship was going to last, you wouldn’t have changed the status to begin with.

I’ve gotten into an argument with a bf over why I didn’t announce to my social network we were seeing each other. I just don’t think I need to invite my digital circle into my personal life. I lost the battle and soon enough, it was the mouse click of doom. The people that really know me will defiantly know when I’m taken. I won’t be able to stop talking about him. They will want to shove dirty socks in my mouth just so they don’t have to hear about the status of my relationship. And when it is over, they will be the ones who will send me inspirational emails or a wall post of love, a love post.

When it’s really a break up, how long to you wait to change it to single? Out of respect for the other person, do you divide how long you were dating by your birthday and subtract seven then add two days? You aren’t actually speaking but rather tediously waiting to wake up one morning and log in to see that your ex has sufficiently moved on.

I rather not declare anything at all. For one, if you’re aloof there is better gossip for everyone. For another, should we really be defining something so transient (marriage aside)? Now it’s definitive on the internet, but does that really mean anything? The ginger haired bartender could be a wonderful, respectful gentleman who’s just waiting it out to give his former lady friend time to find closure on her own. I respect that. If she’s taking too long, well, maybe that’s the reason why it ended.

Yesterday I was looking him up, not to check his relationship status (partly a lie), but to see his wonderful smile (complete truth). He is now neither single, nor in a relationship, and it wasn’t complicated either. He was just another person out there walking about on the digital street. I guess I’m just going to have to go out with him to find out the full story. Gasp! I’m going to have to get to know him, the old fashioned way. How 2002 of me.

As If…

March 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

Erin Go Bragh-less

March 16, 2011 § 4 Comments

St. Paddy’s Day, an alchoholiday of good friends, good food, good booze, and dreaded by bartenders across the land. It’s an amateur drinker’s day. This day is most likely to result in a few vomit stains. These people order sugary green drinks that go down easy and come up hard. Same shit that happens on New Years Eve except people don’t have to go to work the next day.

Everyone’s Irish on March 17th.” False. You don’t have to deal with bad tempers, bad weather, sunburns, freckles, or extended family fist fights year round, so let us have our day. And stop turning all the food green. That has got to be the biggest insult. Irish cuisine is not clover-shaped sugar cookies laced with food coloring. My family would convene at my grandmother’s house to feast on a corned beef and cabbage spread, which is actually and Irish-American tradition, or ham (she made the best ham), tumblers of whiskey, pints of Guinness, and coffee with homemade Irish Cream. None of it green! Of course things got rowdy, out of hand, blurry and slurry, but that’s how we Irish are!

I know the Irish are generally jolly, easygoing people until they’ve had too much Jameson, but I’ve got some bellyaching to do. St Patrick did not wear Mardi Gras Beads or drink anything with Midori Melon. Although I’ve never actually seen an Irishman turn down a jello shot, it’s not part of any tradition. I can’t stand an Asian chick in a green baby-tee that reads: Kiss Me I’m Irish. No you are not, and you’ll get smooched consistently by any nerd with an anime fetish. I’ve got to walk around my entire life with this Irish face, let me have my kisses. If you’re not a regular, get out of my pub! This divvy place is my second home, and you just can’t appreciate it when it’s jammed to the rafters with spring breakers making fun of leprechauns. I’ll go to British place across the street… it will hurt my soul, but I’ll do it to avoid the crowds of pub-crawlers just using the patron saint of Ireland as excuse to get wasted and hook up.

But alas, I digress, I can’t be angry about this slaughter of my holiday for long, it wouldn’t be very Irish of me. It might just be the perfect day to reconnect with the ginger-haired bartender with the Trifecta of the Charming Man. I’ll stumble into his pub after too many pints, push all the St. Paddy’s day commercialism aside, and see if his Irish eyes are smiling. Sure, they’ll steal my heart away.

Everyone please, proceed with your plans to drink until Erin goes bragh-less. Blarney it up. May you kiss many Irish people (and other people who sport words on a shirt or a pin), may you get many complements on your funny green hats, and may you make many a great toast to the culture who’s reputation precedes them, we’re some lucky drunks. When celebrating Ireland, there are no rules as long as you make a good toast: As you slide down the banister of life, may the splinters never point in the wrong direction.

I Might Puke

March 14, 2011 § 1 Comment

They call it the roller coaster of life, and right now, I might puke. Up and down, up and down, over, around, upside-down, sky, land, sky, land, sky, land. Just when one area of your life is finding its footing, another goes completely bananas. It swoops us up, rocketing us full speed to a place we never saw coming.

Dude… life IS a roller coaster, and I get motion sickness so bad. I’m nauseous in traffic. If there’s anything I have learned from my own issues is to not plan your future until you know what’s actually happening. Every maybe is a no until it’s a yes, and most of the time it’s a blessing in disguise. If there were no problems there would be no opportunities. Sit tight, buckle up, keep hands and arms inside the car at all times, and I’m sure you’ll have a great ride.

If you’ve got a riding buddy, even better! If there’s a best friend/lover/life mate holding hands with you, there is nothing to be afraid of. You might get an unflattering picture on the way down the big hill, but sometimes the fun part is looking back and laughing.

I was raised Catholic, I need some sort of confession: I am very embarrassed about my behavior the past few months as my anxiety over unemployment sent me into one of the darkest places I have ever experienced. I spent a lot of time being afraid, hours, days, I can’t get back. However, I have learned a valuable lesson: Happiness feels so fucking good.

Choose to be happy. Choose to enjoy the stomach drop on the way down, choose to laugh at your fright, choose to let yourself smile as your vision blurs and your eyes water. Choose to white knuckle the hand of your riding buddy, they are just as scared as you. You’re moving so fast you have to talk yourself into savoring the experience. It really does go by so fast. But chances are, when the ride is over, you are going to want to get back in line to do it all again.

***Thank you, readers, for allowing me the pleasure of a fan base, all 62 of you. I may not always spell correctly or catch every typo, but it is so nice to be heard. Click here for the blog post behind the older couple pictured, so sweet.

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