Young Professional Nightmares

November 26, 2013

You know what sucks about being a young professional? 
Almost everything. 


But after a full day of updating my resume and all that other young professional are a few of the biggest nightmares I've found. 

1. LinkedIn
Really? I just sent you a beautifully formatted PDF of my resume and now you're going to double check my shitty electronic version of it as well? 
Are you kidding me?
Just ask for one or the other. 
And people who have strict requirements that don't enable you to send connection invitations unless you know 5+ of the same people, etc., etc. YOU KILL ME. 
You make me feel like a stalker. 
I just met you yesterday, let me connect damn it. 


2. Networking
Everything is a networking event. 
The word itself holds connotations of awkward corners, sweaty palms and stale cookies. 
I tried telling my sister once (pre-M, of course) about how I couldn't tell if this person was interested in going on a date or just like...being friends. 
She goes, "either way, it's great networking. You never know what could happen in the future."


So now I not only have to vet my potential dates for longevity, quality and potential love match I also have to keep them in mind for NETWORKING?!?
"How do you feel about adopting children? 
Aaaaand...what do you look for in potential employees?
Are you hiring?
No no, not the girlfriend position.
Second date? 
I'll give you a second date for a first interview.

3. Time suck.
The time suck that is being a young professional. 
I can't even begin to describe. 
You can spend all day working on your resume, your online presence and filling out applications and 


You look at the clock and four hours have gone by. 
You know you were working diligently. 
But besides a stupid LinkedIn profile,
there's really nothing to concretely show for that time.
It all seems so...trivial. And yet, hello, there goes your whole day.

I need a glass of wine. 
Good grief. 

What are your young professional problems? 
Tweet that shit with #YPP

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Dear Starbucks, and other shennanigans

November 25, 2013

I want to talk about this. 

Every time I went to Starbucks in Missouri, EVERY TIME, every time for A YEAR....they would write "Ana" on my cup. I have slurred, blurred and twisted my tongue every way possible to try and figure out how they got my name into Ana. And this happened yesterday. Brand new--Atum. Up and atum! But the real thing that just boggles the that no matter what they write on my cup--Ana, Anna, Atum--they always call it right. How do you look at a cup that says Ana and go, that's right, this is actually Autumn? And usually it's a different person. The cashier writes it, the barista calls out "Autumn!" WHAT? Is there a secret Starbucks name cheat sheet by the milk foamer? 

Anyways. Besides that this weekend, I worked worked worked. Slowly burning my finer pads off on too hot dishes. Saw the new Vince Vaughn movie--some good laughs, some good tears. I went to breakfast with my two favorite Mexican divas. And drove down to Kalamazoo for some quality AAC time. Each of our Pi Phi chapters is served by a group of alumnae, who generally make sure the chapter is functioning, the girls aren't dying, etc., etc. It's a lot of fun. 

I worked my last lunch on Friday. Of course, now that the semester is over and I actually have free time, the restaurant decides not to be open for lunch anymore. So, let's see how all this daytime-freetime works out. Maybe I can actually manage more than two posts a week, say whaaaat.

How does Starbucks mess up your name?
Do you think they have a name cheat sheet?

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Move Over, Carrie: Approval

November 23, 2013

Move Over, Carrie is a witty, whenever-I-feel-like-it series of The Unreal Life
where I talk about the sociology behind relationships. 
No pictures, no GIFs--just writing. 
If you're new, you can check out the first Move Over, Carrie here

It's safe to say that M has gotten more invitations from my friends than I have. This week alone, he has been invited to a birthday party, a housewarming party and a holiday party. His schedule is gettin' a little full. And in only one of these invitations did I say, "Yes, it is actually important to me that I meet this person."
"And what if I don't want to?" he said. 
"Excuse me?"
"What if I say no? Are you going to force me?"
"Why should I have to force you? If this person is important to me, and I'm important to you, 
wouldn't you just want to go and meet them?"
"I want a relationship with you, not your friends."

Which leads us to today's topic. When it comes to meeting friends and family, what's your "approval process"? How much approval is really necessary? 

I was getting drinks with a friend who sat and grilled me about M for an hour. As I've explained before, M and I come from extremely different socioeconomic backgrounds. The friend asked me, point blank, if I would be ok introducing him with his current job title to my friends. 

And it just struck me as odd. This idea that he should have to pass anyone's approval but my own. I've heard it argued that you should introduce your boyfriend to as many friends and family as possible because they "know you better than you know yourself." And to that, I say bullshit. No one knows me as well as I know me. And if the reverse was true and I could honestly say "My Dad/Mom/Sister/Best Friend knows me better than I know me"...then maybe I'm not ready for a relationship. But no one knows my inner thoughts and desires but me. Plain and simple. And for them to think that I am incapable of vetting my potential boyfriend myself is slightly offensive. It implies that I am incapable of being both romantic and rational, in a relationship and individual. Sure, lust clouds lots of things. But when the lust falls away, you better believe I am more than capable of vetting my own potential boyfriend. 

And regardless of what your friends say...I think we all know that when push comes to shove you're going to do what you want to do. We've all been through high school. You're going to date that bad boy, kiss that other one and potentially marry a nerd who everyone secretly rolls their eyes at. So what's the point? What's the point of putting everyone through that approval process?

I've also heard it said that it's necessary for friends and family to approve because "they're the ones you'll be spending the most time with." Again, I call bullshit. From watching what I know of my sisters and other married friends...the majority of the time is spent one on one, alone, as a couple. It's not constant dinner parties and barbecues. 

So I guess in the end, I wonder why we choose to let other people make our approvals for us. Shouldn't our approval be the only one that matters? Because in the end, we're the ones held responsible. If this relationship goes terribly awry, I can't point to one of my friends and say "but you approved!" It's my actions, my responsibility. How would things change if instead of first meetings being this awkward strain of approval withholding or giving, they were celebrations? Congratulations, Autumn has really, truly found you to be someone who could mean a whole effing lot to her which must mean you're very smart, caring, responsible, loyal and loving. Because we know Autumn will never settle, and therefore we don't need to make you run the gauntlet. Welcome, have some cake. 

What role do you let your friends and family play in picking your potential husband? 
Is there someone who's approval you absolutely must have?
What motivates your desire for approval?

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A Blogger's Guide to Surviving the Holidays

November 20, 2013

It's not every day you get the chance to partner up with bloglandia's finest, Miss Taylor Grace. Trust me, when she is a big star on SNL...I will #throwbackthrusday this post every week until she acknowledges our shared blogging past. Mwahaha. Just kidding. But not really.

Anyway, thus we present to you, A Blogger's Guide To Surviving The Holidays.

Suggestions from Autumn:

#1. Don't fret about any holiday weight gain. Remember, there's always a fabulous "How I Lost My Holiday 15" series in your future. The blog posts that will come from this will tide you over for at least two months.

#2. When in doubt, just add glitter--gold glitter. With all the instagramming and photo-taking, we know you feel the pressure to make sure your house is up to Pinterest par. That's why we suggest keeping a large cannister of gold glitter around. Missing a decoration? Put gold glitter in a vase. Did your niece clumsily paint you a pumpkin for the table centerpiece? Put gold glitter on it. Have some leftover corn no one will eat? Glitter that shit.

No, seriously guys...I found gold glittered corn on pinterest.

#3. The higher the cool whip, the closer to God. But it doesn't count if you don't instagram it.

#4. Practice your elevator speech to explain to Grandma how you've been spending your time outside of work lately. Avoid the buzzwords "online community" or "girlfriends" which may send her into temporary panic.

#5. Remember that unfortunately, you're on your own for the next 48 hours. See, here in blogland we all know that we live with perfect significant others in our perfect families and will have nothing but perfect Thanksgiving dinners with zero drama and only mildly-humorous tales to share on our weekend updates. So, stick to the script ladies. Chins up, smart phones out and....Happy Thanksgiving!

*Bonus # 6. Think realistically about how many New Year's Resolutions you'd like to set. Remember....we'll all be following along in our weekly resolution updates.

Suggestions from Taylor:

#1. Never forget the big C! As in charge. Charge your phones, charge your cameras, charge every damn thing you own. Because if you're not able to document the beautiful center piece you made or the wonderful green bean casserole you're about to eat, it's as if it never happened.

#2. Nothing says the holidays like red lipstick and a top knot. Don't even fret with trying to curl your hair (it will just get hot when you cook anyway) just twist that baby up into a bun on the very top of your head and you'll be golden. Finish the look off with the boldest color of lipstick you can find and no one will even be looking at your hair, anyway.

#3. Prepare for the "are you going to blog about this question?" Because you're going to get it and it's best answered with an enthusiastic "you betcha!" and a thumbs-up, rather than an eye-roll and an apathetic looking "doubtful" response.

#4. Dogs and babies. If you don't have either, now is the time to capitalize on the ones around you. I don't care if they're your aunt's, or your cousins, or the homeless man next door, if you've got a chance to take a photo with a cute baby and a cute dog in a Christmas sweater you need to take advantage of the moment. According to a poll done by Buzzfeed, Instagram photos with either babies or dogs in them are 87% more likely to get more likes. More likes=more fulfilled life.

#5. Remember you're only as good as your last post.... So while it's okay to take a day or two off from blogging during the holiday season, just don't forget Jenny Blogger next door probably isn't taking a day or two off... She's already knee deep into a pile full of chevron wrapping paper just waiting to be posted. Take that for what you will.

*And if you haven' realized yet that I'm joking I'm hate you.
*And I made up that stat about dogs and babies, obviously.

Happy Holidays, bloggers! Let's make this the best one yet!

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Customer of the Week: Dating Advice

November 18, 2013

Once upon a time, Michael Cain, Brad Pitt and pre-fat Jonah Hill--as they requested to be called--walked into a restaurant. And they became fast friends with their favorite waitress in the whole wide world, me! 

As I struggled with the wine bottle (per usual) they decided they needed to know a little bit more about this poor weakling who was standing at their table with sweaty hands for so long. So they asked me what I was doing in Grand Rapids, etc which naturally followed to what kind of charity I would ultimately like to work for. Ideally: Catholic Charities West Michigan. Oh you're Catholic, they said? Why yes, yes I am, I said. They were too (hollah). Which then led, somehow, to a rather deep discussion of the adoption process and the birthmother's psychological state before she proceeds. Which of course, we all know I have some pretty strong opinions on. 

And that kind of threw their dinner into a serious tone, as the youngest (pre-fat Jonah Hill) told me later. So of course...cue Catholic guilt. I felt bad having thrown their dinner into such dismal tones, so I told them I had a more light-hearted story to share. 

I told them about the ketchup-licking incident

Which of course led to...tell us more dating disasters!

Which led to the bong story. And the Bass Pro Shop story

And then they needed to do I meet these people?

And then, after that, they invited me to sit down (who am I kidding, I was already sitting) and offered some sage advice on dating. They were quite, quite concerned for me after these stories. 

Here is their advice. Girls are ten times hotter in church. Therefor, you are far more likely to meet a boy in church. The end. Oh, and pray. Pray hard. 

Their father (Michael Cain) showed me a gorgeous prayer card he carries in his wallet every day, but said I couldn't have it. Just that I should memorize it right there and pray it every day. Of course, determined to outdo their father, Jonah and Brad emptied their wallets of all the things I could have. Which included a one dollar bill, a guitar pick and a three-punches-away-from-full Zoup rewards card. 

And that my friends, is my weekend tale of how I went from failing at opening a wine bottle to getting dating advice and a Zoup rewards card. And that my friends, is their weekend tale of how they went to a restaurant for family dinner and came out with the waitress' blog address so they could keep track of her dating disasters and any future wedding updates. 

How was your weekend?
If you've been a waitress, what's the best thing you've ever received as a tip?

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These Things Happen

November 13, 2013

This is truly an appropriate Hump Day post. 

I spent all day yesterday typing the most magical collection of bullshit sentences ever composed into a six page paper. One of those bullshit pieces where you're not sure if you want the teacher to call you out on your total bullshit or if you want to get away with it. 

I thought I had gotten away with it. 

Until I handed it to my friend minutes before turning it in so she could skim the bullshit and get a few laugh. Well, she got a few laughs. And a few laughs turned to streaming tears from both of us as we found the most glorious typo I've ever turned in. See, I had italicized something as a note to myself. A "I know this can be said in a better way, I'm just not sure how yet" visual cue to myself. So right there, in the middle of my already-submitted-electronically, ready-to-hand-in paper, is this:

These things happen. 

THESE THINGS HAPPEN, PEOPLE. We couldn't stop laughing. So much so, that during our five minute break the professor came over to ask me if I was ok. THESE THINGS HAPPEN. 

Today, the library emailed me to tell me I have a $50 fine in overdue books. Apparently, it's a $1/day. THESE THINGS HAPPEN. 

I spell restaurant a different way, wrong, every single time. THESE THINGS HAPPEN. 

Happy hump day. 
Have any "these things happen" moments lately?

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5 Ways to Win a Wedding

November 12, 2013

Hello lovebugs and lovebirds and other humans reading this blog. Today we're doing a wonderful, wonderful thing called congratulating my friend Alison on one month of marriage. Alison and I are sorority sisters, and we first met because she fed me cookies after my New Member test (winning) while commiserating over the chemistry department (Alison winning, me not so much). 

If you have to attend a wedding solo, here are 5 ways to guarantee a wedding win:

1. If the theme is cake, try all the cake. Three flavors is three flavors too AWESOME. Get in there girlfriend, and get that cake. It's all in the name of celebration. 

2. Shut the dance floor down with your favorite undergrad cohorts...and grandma. Because the only person who should be stomping louder to wagon wheel than fraternity and sorority boys is the best grandma ever. Period. 

3. Be ordained as the official live tweeter and instagrammer of the event. 

4. Enjoy the snarky things the officiant says, and laugh loudly. Point in case: "I've never seen as many republicans in one room as at the marriage of Dan and Alison." Holla for yo' Hillsdale, homeboy. 

5. Catch the bouquet. 

So thanks, Alison my little love love, for planning such a fabulously fun wedding. And for answering the following questions about your first month of marriage! 

Describe a moment when you just knew you wanted to marry Dan. There's a lot of little moments. On the first night we really hung out together, when I was leaving it was raining and he kissed me on the forehead. Leaving me silly voicemails -- one time I think he said he had killed Santa. Oops. Being together doing practically nothing (read: me taking a nap and pretending to study physical chemistry and him actually reading) and being perfectly content. But I think the kicker is this: feeling like a part of you is missing when they aren't with you and that amazing peace you have when you are together.

What was your favorite part of your wedding beside the obvious marrying your best friend? Wearing my dress. I wish I could wear it every day.

What are three things you've learned in the first month of marriage? 1. You have to have enough food in the fridge to feed two people. This is kind of basic, but I've lived alone for the last three years, I am used to a pretty simple (read: cheap) diet. You can't feed two people on that, especially not when one of you is 6 foot 2. 2. You will still keep learning about the other person and teaching each other new things. The concept of folding socks was absolutely alien to Dan. This still astounds me. (He also loves how neatly I fold. It's the small things!) 3. Procrastinating with another person is way more fun than procrastinating alone. We have a Wii with Netflix now. We are completely useless human beings.

Any advice for couples spending the first few months of marriage semi-long distance? I try to keep a very similar schedule as what I used to before we were married so it's less "OMG I'm married and I'm alone!" because I was alone most of the time for the previous three years, so why is it really all that different? (Surprise! It's not.) I think that if we weren't able to see each other every week or every other week for a few days, it would be much harder, so we are definitely lucky in that respect. Don't let them realize that you haven't actually done dishes since they left. Be productive in your time alone. It's hard, but it doesn't do anyone any good for you to mope around while you're alone. Even if it is working on a hobby that your husband/wife has no interest in or spending time with your single friends, don't be a mopey Molly.

I need an embarrassing story. We're there any dates you went on with Dan that just didn't go right? We're not exactly good at surprises? Dan bought tickets to a Christmas show two years ago and wasn't going to tell me what it was until we got there but then he slipped in the parking lot of the restaurant before the show. Our college dates at his apartment were frequently interrupted by his two roommates. On Halloween, we went to get a snack from the kitchen and there were hussies dressed up as a bumblebee and a ladybug (??) flirting with his roommates. To be perfectly honest, we don't do a lot of "dates" because we're proud homebodies. We go out to dinner, try to behave ourselves in public, go home and put our PJs on.

Want to make your heart melt? The arrow on her bouquet is the official badge of our sorority, Pi Beta Phi. The chapter that Alison volunteers with as an alumnae advisor has a special "bride badge" that they have been giving to brides from the chapter for over a 100 years. 
Cue heart melt. I die. 

Thank you for letting me be part of your celebration. 
I absolutely adore you and your wonderful family, 
and would help your Dad set up a chocolate fountain any day. 

And don't forget to check out Alison's blog, Little Bunny Quilts. Because her sister (AKA my college roommate and bestie and #livedating friend) and her have this seriously UNREAL ability to make gorgeous quilts. Never have I ever wanted a quilt....until I met Amanda and Alison (and their mom). 

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Move Over, Carrie: The List

November 9, 2013

Move Over, Carrie is a witty, whenever-I-feel-like-it series of The Unreal Life
where I talk about the sociology behind relationships. 
No pictures, no GIFs--just writing. 
If you're new, you can check out the first Move Over, Carrie here

Your comments last week were all so sweet and engaging, that I wanted to do a follow up. I hope you know that's why I love this series the most of anything I write on this little blog--your comments. They're always insanely interesting and personal, so thank you. 

Last week, I was concerned with how opposite is too opposite. But in reality, there was really only one opposite that kept standing out to me. Kept picking at my brain. Education. I couldn't get over it. And when I couldn't get over it, the Catholic guilt was all-consuming. Who doesn't like someone because they're less educated than you? Who says they want to do nonprofit work, but literally can't get past someone's education status? Waves and waves and waves of guilt, people. 

I talked to him about it. Awkwardly and pointedly and slightly tipsy. And again, was shocked by his answer. His answer was everything I wanted to hear, but didn't think I would. The next day we went to see his family, and his niece begged to do puzzles and flashcards and read books with me. His nieces and nephews were smart as a whip, and he told me all the things his brother makes them do so they'll continue on this good academic path. I asked if he planned to do these same things when his own daughter was old enough, and he replied of course, without a doubt. He was already saving for her college. And that dear friends, erased any doubt from my mind. It was a sweet, sweet exhale of worry. 

Because I realized the thing is, I don't care how much education he received. I care that now, as an adult man with a child, he realizes the value of education. He can't help the choice he made when he was 12 and in a country with completely different educational standards and resources, but he can help the choices he makes now.

And now to the real Move Over, Carrie part (because it's not just an update of my love life). The whole situation reminded me of those times as a little teenage girl when your friends or your mother or Cosmo asks you "What's on your List?" The List. The "I will only date a man who..." And I think what I realized is that you never know what you won't budge on until you're actually standing there (unfortunately). You can make a few sweeping generalizations, but new things are also uncovered as you grow. And I think I was surprised by how much I wouldn't budge. Because you're also told when you make strong statements about what you want from a relationship, "just wait until you meet the right one...things you want might change." And so the unwillingness to budge on this issue of the value of education shook me. I literally wouldn't budge. And now that I've seen it and identified it, it seems so obvious. Of course I need a man who values education. How blazingly obvious. 

It makes me wonder what else I won't budge on. What other things will get added to "The List." And not the list I made up in a sleepover about a joyful Christian who makes me laugh. But The List that life and time make. The Real List. 

What's on your List, real or sleepover?
Did you make one as a little girl, and how has it changed?
Have you ever been surprised by finding something 
you absolutely refuse to budge on in relationships?

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The Waitress Life

November 8, 2013

Well kids, as everyone's weekend starts my work-weekendthing starts. C'est la vie de la waitress, bebe. Oh I just combined french, spanish and english? Holla for that dolla. Yay coffee! Alright. Here you go. My stream of consciousness as a waitress: 

"Where the eff is my bread?"

"It doesn't look like they even touched you think it's safe enough to eat?"

"Why am I here?"

"Who DOESN'T eat the full strawberry that comes with their dessert? What are you, dying in an overwhelming bath of strawberry overload? You lucky bitch you."

"Who rolled these napkins?"

"Oh my gosh, I can't believe I just judged someone for rolling napkins the wrong way. 
My life. What has it become?"

"Dear God please let no one order a bottle of wine tonight so I don't have to stand awkwardly at their table and open it for the five longest minutes of my life."

"A MARTINI?? Eff you sir, you should have ordered a bottle of wine."

"What I wouldn't give for a bus boy."

"No but really, where is my bread?"

Happy Friday!
Got a good waitress horror story (either as a customer or server)?
Share with me below!
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Overcoming the Odds: True Tales of Friendship

November 7, 2013

Last weekend, I was talking with one of my very dearest sorority sisters about how hard it is to make friends in graduate school. Most of us work and attend school, so free time is limited and we really only see each other in class. That doesn't mean we don't want to be friends, it just means that the relationships go a lot slower than they did in undergrad (understandably). So as we wandered around the Art Museum Gift Shop, looking at miniature art and pop-up books, I started telling her about Breakfast Lover. Until finally she turned around and goes "I don't know what you're talking about. Clearly you have a friend." 

I do. 
I have a grad school friend. 
And so now, we're going to blog about that friend. Because--well, duh. 

Friendship (in grad school) is:

1. Knowing the right way to motivate eachother. 
Me: "Breakfast lover, I need you to help motivate me to stay awake long enough to study for this test."
BL: "Ok. You want more pictures of my cat?"

Why yes, yes I do.

2. Bonding over mutual weirdest quirks. 
Once, I confessed to BL that there was one song I wanted to listen to over and over because it was so beautiful, but it was also so depressing that I didn't want people to get scared and think I was suicidal. Did he ever have this problem, I asked.
"Every day. You have no idea."

And we proceeded to exchange heart-crushing, tear-inducing sad songs for the next two hours.
Because that is completely normal. 

Say Something - A Great Big World (feat. Christina Aguilera) by NewThingRadioWeb on Grooveshark
The song that started the two hour soul fest.

3. Checking in.
BL: "Is it wierd if I have a really big obsession with Lorde right now?"
Me: "She is 16."
BL: "I know, that's why I had to check!"

4. Helping them with their grammar. 

5. Distracting them during intense class presentations by making funny faces. 

6. Apologizing when you're wrong.
Dear BL, I'm sorry I tried to convince you to sell one of your sisters to be Alaimo's girlfriend in hopes it would make him less of an a**hole. 

Do you have any little things that make you go "oh yes, this is a friend!"?
Are there any weird quirks you and your friends have?

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November 6, 2013

Lately my life has been defined by seemingly extreme opposites. A dichotomy. I feel two sides pulling, and I don't necessarily want to give either one up. But that's an issue for another day. Another day, another deep post. But today is Wednesday, and I'm going to do a Wednesday weekend update because it's my blog and I do what I want. And because I've been thinking about this dichotomy a lot lately, and nothing better expresses it than the insanity that was this weekend. 
Part of me really likes being a grad student. Really likes being young and 20something and giggling with her girlfriends and drinking way, way too many shots. Really likes overhearing drunk girls crying on the corner because their boyfriend asked to borrow their blanket and "it's a shawl, damn it!"

And part of me really likes being a grown up(ish)...thing. After a night on the town Saturday, M and I did a total 180 and went from 20somethings to 40somethings. Just kidding. But you get the point. We picked up his daughter and headed over for family lunch. I just....loved it. I loved all the kids running around and the way there was no schedule. With my family, everything is on a schedule--when are we playing, when are we eating, when are the kids having down time. And there was no schedule. The kids played soccer and they ran around and the whole family gathered in the living room to watch them play Just Dance. They'd pick a song and the mom would go, Oh I just love watching them do this song. And I couldn't help but think how sweet that she even knows that. That she knows which songs are her favorite--because clearly she's watched a lot. And I'd look over and see one of the kids had crawled like a monkey up onto his dad's shoulders and they were both just sitting there, watching the dances. I absolutely adore families who are so content to just be together. They don't have to have a plan. 
After dancing and lunching and plenty of coloring and hair braiding, we left. We dropped the dear off with her mom and headed home. I cleaned, he watched TV. We ordered pizza. I fell asleep in a ball on the couch 20 minutes into the movie. It was so perfectly normal. It was like a sweet breath of fresh air, saying "Don't worry. Papers and tests and the uncertainty of "what job next?" will end. And when it does get this. Family. Love. Routine. Normalcy." 

Do you have dichotomies in your life?
What would you pick--wild night out, or calm night in?

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Move Over, Carrie

November 2, 2013

Move Over, Carrie is a witty, whenever-I-feel-like-it series of The Unreal Life
where I talk about the sociology behind relationships. 
No pictures, no GIFs--just writing. 
If you're new, you can check out the first Move Over, Carrie here

Today's topic: opposites. We've heard it said that opposites attract, but how opposite is too opposite?

It's no secret around this little blog that lately I've been dating someone. And I'm not really sure if we could be any more opposite. Like true, start-from-the-bottom opposite. He dropped out of school at sixth grade. I am one of 778,000 graduate students in America who have decided 16 years of schooling just isn't enough. His biggest stressor is working 14 hour days to pay for himself and his beautiful little girl. My biggest stressor is convincing myself to study for a program I willingly chose that will give me the job I ultimately want. Communication, while improving, is still a daily task. And I mean a task. It takes work and a lot of repeating and a lot of patience. 
There's a lot of education on both our parts, but mostly I feel like it falls pretty heavily on me. Because we have to start from the basics. There are concepts he's simply never heard of--graduate school, conference, charity, nonprofit. And these are the concepts that define, structure, and build my life.
A few weeks ago, we were sitting at dinner and he made an off-hand comment about how maybe there was someone else I'd like to be talking to. I instantly got offended and asked him why he would say that--I was here, wasn't I? I'd been going out with him for weeks, right? He just shook his head and I kept pressing for an explanation of why he continually brought up this lack of trust in my monogamous interest. He pointed at my eyes. "It's here." 
And I knew what he meant (shocking). M has never questioned opening up to me for one minute. Which is part of the reason I fell for him. He tells me everything, no hesitation. It may take two hours to get through the story as we work out the spanglish, but he doesn't stop. I, on the other hand, have never talked less in a relationship. So I knew what he meant. It wasn't that I didn't want to be with him, it's that I didn't trust him to be able to comprehend my stories and what mattered to me. And that was a huge disservice to him. 

So I tried. Slowly. Just one story. Something I was stressed about. And I was pleasantly surprised. He listened attentively. And he followed up. He asked how it was going for days afterwards, and even called the next morning. "I had a dream about your problem--tell me how it is going!" So even though we are miles apart and even though we come from two completely different backgrounds--it's the follow up that gets me, every single time. M has a consistency that I've never found in someone I've dated before. So I tried again. A different story, a potential work lead that I was really excited about. This time--zero follow up, zero interest. Nonprofits were something that before a week ago, he'd never heard of it--so can I blame him for not asking questions? Do you have to share your whole life with someone, or is it okay to have certain parts that they just don't understand?

How opposite is too opposite?
What opposite personalities, values or traits 
have you run into while dating?

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