Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Dear Future Husband: Let's make a deal

I have decided that in order to have a happy marriage, it will be important for there be some contractual agreements in place with my spouse. I know that you've got all of the "in sickness and health" jargon that's already built into the marriage vows, but I'm talking specifics here. Some of these already exist, you know what I'm talking about, those basic ground rules like...

If you pass gas in the bed I get to whack you with the pillow.
Heavy lifting will always be rewarded with a hug and a kiss.
If I find your toenail clippings anywhere but the trash, you will find your head shaved in the morning.

These are the standard, run-of-the-mill stipulations. I'm pretty sure I've seen them in every pre-nup I've ever read. The addition that I would like to make is only slightly more obliging than these.

I will delight in making you delicious food, but you must do all the dishes afterwards.

Now, you may be thinking "That sure sounds reasonable, you have yourself a deal! I already wanted to marry you and you're telling me all I need to do are the dishes?". Okay, maybe you're not thinking the second part of that. Before you are too quick to assume the "small" task I am having Future Husband agree too, allow me to illustrate.

When I cook, it's go big or go home. I don't like to cook mediocre stuff. I love to make it fancy, or at least as gourmet as my piddly (this is fake humility) cooking skills can get me. This tends to mean that an excessive amount of bowls and spoons and pots and pans and baking sheets and cutting boards and other gadgets get used. My roommates can vouch for the fact that often times our kitchen looks a little like it exploded. Even though I love to cook, addressing that massacre of dishes afterwards crushes my soul a little bit. When I'm done cooking, the kitchen (and my crushed soul) consistently look like this:
It makes me want to curl up into a ball just looking at it. When you are doing something you love it should make you happier right? Now you see where I'm going with this. There will be two things, well, three things that happen when this contract takes effect.

Number One: You get to eat delicious food, as stated in aforementioned contract. (I have references, glowing ones)

Number Two: I will be happy as a songbird. And as you know, songbirds are 87% happier than all other bird species. And as my boss's favorite mantra goes... "happy wife, happy life". Try and tell me I don't look happy:

Number Three: I will think you are the greatest thing since Google docs, which I believe to be almost as magical as unicorns. I will now utilize a graphical representation of the dishes-love relationship.
You may have noticed that the amount of love for someone washing my dishes has the potential to exceed that of Google docs. If you need to take a minute to process I understand.

So there you have it! One simple signature and two lives get exponentially better.

Another side note I'd like to make mention of- In the midst of writing this post, I was told by someone that the cupcake of mine he ate the other day was the best he'd ever had, in case you have yet to be sufficiently convinced. *wink wink, nudge nudge.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

When I like a guy

Long story short, when I like a guy, I turn into the opposite of cool.

It's not like I have some huge bank of 'cool' to pull from in the first place, so it's really a dangerous thing when I can't access that limited vat of coolness. Let's say that you are having a conversation with AGuyILike. You are talking to him and say "Hey, remember that time Shelly said/did that funny/clever/awesome/cute thing?". No, no he doesn't. Because these are the kinds of conversations I manage to have when I like a guy:

-I really like pickles, hey let me tell you a bunch of stuff about how I like pickles.

-Did I ever tell you about the time I projectile vomited? The color was really funky...

-Gosh the beige color on these walls is just really nice, don't you think it's so nice? I think it's really nice, so beige-y, a really nice hue of beige. 

-Oh! You're studying geography? I love maps, and places... and the way places are arranged on maps.

-So I was at the grocery store the other day and I bought some milk. ... ... ... The end.

-One time I got this rash, it was so itchy, all over my arms and my face. The doctors say it's probably not contagious anymore... *touch his arm

 Wow. Just walk away...

I want to stop talking, I really do, but it's like watching a train wreck happen. There is no stopping the waterfall of awkward that falls from my mouth.

Have you heard the term "facepalm" before? Because every time I walk away from one of these moments that is what I do to myself.

I have decided that my awkward nervousness lends itself to four types of conversations:

TMI: Toooooo much information. No one needs that much detail, on anything, especially not the stomach virus you contracted in your travels to somewhere twenty minutes away.

Wildly uncomfortable: "Heh heh... sooo... ahem... yeah... so have you- oh sorry, you first, no it's okay, no really go ahead. ...oops, too late, I forgot." You can't seem to say anything without stepping on each others toes. There are things like nervous laughter, sweaty palms, and weird gestures involved (i.e. "the wink and the gun").

Nonsensical: "You've never been to the place where the walls are kind of a greenish yellowy gray with the tables and the rooster on the door and people smiling?" When you repeat what you just said in your mind and even you can't understand it, it's not a good sign. If you find that you are getting a lot of confused looks, head tilts, and "huh?"s, then you're probably using this communicative tactic.

Excessive sarcasm: "Hahaha you're so stupid, just kidding, but no really it's like I've never met anyone so dumb, hahaha, geeeez I'm just joking, don't be such a girl!". When you're ready to hit yourself in the face for being such a jerk, you are most definitely using this conversational style. I don't think any of the other three compare to this one when it comes to wishing you could stuff the words back in your mouth. Oh the regret and shame!

Below is a graphical representation of the impact of utilizing these techniques:

Dear GuyILike: If you weren't so handsome and charming I wouldn't be such bumbling fool around you. I promise you would think I am awesome, and rad, and would most definitely want to date me. But alas, I just told you about the blanket I carried around until I was eleven. *facepalm

**Disclaimer: I don't actually have any of these weird health ailments or blanket carrying habits, but equally embarrassing things have certainly been said.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The crush cycle of a female

I'm sure you ladies can relate.

Phase One
You're talking to a guy, he says/does something attractive/clever/awesome/funny/impressive/sweet and you realize that a crush has sparked. You already thought he was pretty good looking, but certainly not enough to find your thoughts wandering to him all day long like they do now. There are lots of butterflies involved in this stage. Maybe some nervous sweating too. 

Phase Two
You've run into him several times now (this usually happens when they are in your ward or you have several mutual friends) and the crush is gradually building. He makes you stumble over your words and you kick yourself after every interaction for looking so much less cool than you want him to think you are. Sometimes you think he's flirting with you but you're too scatterbrained around him to be sure. 

Phase Three
Now your stubbornness kicks in. This stupid boy (I only call him stupid because I'm trying to justify my soon-to-be hardheaded actions) has not gotten your number/asked you out/done anything to make you sure that he likes you back. You decide you are DONE liking him, you're just wasting energy in liking someone when it's not going anywhere. Now you resort to going out of your way to seem disinterested, you never know if he picked up on your practically non existent attempts to convey your interest, and we would hate to feel vulnerable. You might call this the "pouting phase".

Phase Four
Your feeble attempt at being mad at him (he has no idea) for no reason (this is productive yeah?) is gradually weakening. After all, he's so attractive/clever/awesome/funny/impressive/sweet and you just don't have a defense for that kind of great guy. You've managed to convince yourself that you only view him as a friend, and that the crush is SO totally done with. You are healthy and back to normal, mostly. You return to your typically fun and charming self. 

Phase Five
You are so fun and normal again that this guy is back to striking up conversations with you. Oh no. Uh oh. He just did something attractive/clever/awesome/funny/impressive/sweet again. !%@#$!@#$!#&%$@!!

And we're back to Phase One. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Discovered: Man Cafe

I mulled over writing this post for a while, because I may be giving away a vital trade secret, but I love my readers so I'm willing to take that chance. I've also been neglecting you for far too long, and maybe this is my way of attempting redemption.

Anywho, back to the announcement:

I have discovered a Man Cafe in Provo.

I'm also willing to bet that it's not the only one.

So here's the scoop. I have a coworker from Philadelphia. At some point cheesesteaks came up in conversation and I said that I had never liked one much. He told me that I NEED to try DP Cheesesteaks. Finally one day we got lunch there. I ordered a cheesesteak.

Holy smokes that was a good sandwich! Warm and juicy and greasy and cheesy. All the things I didn't know I needed in a sandwich.

Now, that was the first time I went. As you can see, I was pretty thoroughly distracted by the mass of mind-blowingly good sandwich in my mouth.

I have since returned (many times). On these return occasions I have realized something else wonderful about this place- it is filled with nothing but men! I went with a girlfriend recently, and there were literally only two other girls the whole time we were there, and they were with a guy. There was also line out the door, of men.

I am all about numbers games. The more guys you meet, the more likely that you meet one that you like and who likes you back. The better the ratio of men to women, the higher my odds become of grabbing the attention of one of them.

Sometimes as a girl in Provo, life feels a little bit like this:
I've always lived in areas where the girl to guy ratio is at least two to one. Maybe I'm just an ineffective housing selector, but I feel like the majority of Provo is like that. It's a dog-eat-dog world out there. I mean, you try living with stats like these:
But I don't have to anymore! Muahahaaa... Now I have a man cafe where I can eat delicious food and simultaneously enjoy competition-free male attention. Oh, life is so sweet.

P.S. As we were leaving we noticed that sub zero had about the same ratio as DP Cheesesteaks, but reversed. Men, you should check that out sometime.

P.P.S. I was in no way financially compensated by DP Cheesesteaks for this post, although if anyone that works there happens upon this post, I will gladly accept freebies and coupons. Free cheesesteaks for life perhaps, I'm flexible.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Provo throws off my game

I used to be pretty good at getting asked out when I put my mind to it. Getting asked out was like a game of chess (this is back in California where the dating culture is vaguely less..."special"), it was all about strategic placement. There used to be a couple of steps to getting asked out, and they went a little like this.

Step One: Acquire Target, Make Eye Contact

I would scan a room/activity/group of people for the tall attractive men, then pick the one that I wanted to ask me out. Next you make eye contact, make sure they realize you're looking at them, smile, look away.

BAM. Easy enough right?

Step Two: Strategic Placement

This one can be slightly more intimidating. Find a reason to be solo- walk to go get a drink, pretend like you're waiting for someone, look lost, whatever, but be alone. Place yourself within say 10-20 feet of said man. Wait for him to approach. Most guys can tell a green light when they see it, and will take the bait. This nice young man will saunter over, strike up conversation, and end up with your phone number by the end of it.

If you're in California.


Then there's what happens when you're in Provo.


Step One: Acquire Target, Make Eye Contact

This goes exactly like it does in California, see above.

Step Two: Attempt to Strategically Place Self
This one is a little different. You go, you "grab a drink of water", you stand there sipping it.
You keep sipping.
You notice that they are making eye contact again. Smile again.

Lather, rinse, and repeat.
A gallon of water later, they come talk to you.

They strike up a conversation about your water. It's awkward and choppy. They walk away again.

This goes on every time you see them for a month.

You punch them in the face and move back to California.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

My secret airplane romance strategy

Have you ever been sitting on an airplane thinking to yourself, "There has got to be a better way for me to monopolize on being stuck next to someone for 2 hours!"? Well, do I have the solution for you! Here is my recipe for how to find love on an airplane.

Step 1: Fly Southwest

Again, they didn't pay me to say that, it's just practical. You see, when you fly Southwest, you get to choose your seat. If you fly another airline it's almost always assigned seating, and then you have to put your trust in the airplane gods to sit you by someone who doesn't smell like corn chips or have a disturbing indigestion issue.

Step 2: Get a boarding pass B31 or later.

This means that by the time you board the plane nearly every window or aisle seat is taken. Shh shh, stop your whining that you want to sleep, or don't want to be squished in the middle. I don't care. You are going to meet someone and you're going to like it.

Step 3: Pre-boarding Reconnaissance

You are going to be sitting by someone who has boarded before you, and they're all lined up on display for you, take advantage of this.

My scan usually doesn't take very long. Scan step one- over six foot. Scan step two- verify attractiveness. Scan step three- wedding ring check (this one almost always ruins things).

Part of me can't believe I'm admitting that I do that... but oh well, I do.

Step 4: Seat Selection

Okay, so you've done your reconnaissance and now you know who you want to sit by. By the time you are boarding the plane (as mentioned earlier) only the middle seats will be available. You'll wander through the plane until you see one of the people you picked out in the boarding line, and ever so nicely ask if you can squeeze in there. They'll recognize that there are simply no other seats left, so it's not like you're being overly forward.

Step 5: You're on your own

Well my young padawan, you have now been pushed out of the nest and are seated next to an eligible bachelor or bachelorette. Now you have to flip on your finest flirting, don't be scared, odds are you'll never see them again. Before I set you completely free, I should warn you about some possible scenarios that could ruin all of your hard work and planning.

Warning Scenario 1: They didn't have a wedding ring, but they are actually dating someone/engaged/gay. I have had all three of those things happen. No joke. The most important thing to remember here is that you can't stop talking to them now- act like you want to know all about their special someone, because otherwise they'll know you were just trying to hit on them and things just get awkward from there. For now they'll just think you're unusually nice.

Warning Scenario 2: You're doing this and you're Mormon, and flying into or out of Salt Lake. Try to let them know fairly quickly. If they're also Mormon they'll probably get excited. If they're not, it can be a game killer. They now know that you won't be drinking with them on the plane and they also probably know that you're going to try and convert them if they were to date you. Flirt to convert baby (haha).

Now that you have been briefed on potential dangers- fly free! (Like your bags will be, because you're flying Southwest! Ooo pun intended!)

Oh, and you may be wondering- "Hey Shelly, how are these romances working out for you?". Well... things haven't yet worked out quite yet. One of the two warning scenarios I mentioned have impeded things every time I have flown. But hey, it's all a numbers game right? One of these days I'll hit the jackpot. (Maybe during a layover in Vegas! Haaaa... I'm full of jokes today.)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Email Karma

I find an absurd level of enjoyment in pointing out email typos to my coworkers. I'm sure that they have a level of annoyance equal to that of my enjoyment. I am also a bit of a grammar nazi in general, but one that is always swiftly humbled by grammar nazi karma. Yesterday was no exception.

There is typically a point in every work day when I become an email cranking machine.

Often times this is my most useful and productive time of the day. It's like someone told me if I finish all of my emails by __ o'clock then I get to play with puppies all afternoon. Did you say play with puppies?? *Furious emailing commences. 
I love puppies.

I think my boss goes at this email speed all day, as I'm pretty sure he has to respond to 4,661,941 more emails than me every day.

Some of you non-furious email typers may not be aware that with this kind of emailing, accuracy rates can go way down. He usually sends us sales reps an email with a typo once or twice a week, and I love calling him out on it- every time. In fact, just yesterday I got to tease him for typing YFI instead of FYI. Maybe this is unwise of me... he is my boss after all.

As it turns out, the universe thinks that I need to be humbled.

In the midst of my email frenzy yesterday, I sent out several emails and then received a reply from my boss on one of them. It looked like this:


You can't be the grammar police least not for a little while.  
My immediate reaction here was:
I looked at the email that he replied to, and I had sent it to more people that just him. It was also sent to a partner. And a potential client. My reaction was a little more like this now:
I scrolled down to re-read the email that I had just sent, crossing my fingers for a subtle error. This is what I read:

Hi Jon,

Josh I evaluating our software solution and will be needed a time and attendance system that will integrate with Quickbooks. Could you have someone reach out to him and with some information on your system?
Geez louise! Was I on some kind of medication yesterday? I must have reworded this message a couple of times and neglected to proofread, at all, before sending. I now felt more like this:
Hi my name is Shelly and I have not yet mastered the English language. I guess I just have to hope that they read that email about as closely as I did.

I shared this story with a couple of other coworkers, and I think they teared up from laughing so hard. One even doubled over and had to balance himself against the wall. Ah well, at least I can laugh at myself right? I'm certainly good at giving myself opportunities to.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Dates to Costco

I recently made a trip to Costco to load up on supplies for a barbecue we hosted this last weekend. Oh goodness do I love that place. I finally caved and got a membership this year and I'm pretty sure it's been one of the best decisions ever. They have gelato there, giant scoops for $1.50. And they have a neon "Open" sign that I am incredibly tempted to buy EVERY time I go.

I came to the conclusion while I was there that this is a place that would facilitate amazing dates. My parents are uber romantic, and go on a near weekly "date" to Costco. I used to think this was lame, and then I didn't, because Costco is magical. How is this not the best place to build loving long term bonds. I mean, nothing says commitment like buying in bulk. I think of how much I would swoon every time my Costco counterpart picks something up for me.

Our love knows no bounds. 

I think the real secret behind why Costco is so popular is because guys simply have to flex their muscles if they are going to pick anything up for you. Even toilet paper. It's so big and bulky I'm sure it will make one muscle or another bulge a little bit. We're on to you Costco, but we're not complaining...

Not only is perusing up and down the aisles watching your date lift heavy items endless fun, but they give you FREE FOOD. I can't think of a single place that gives away free food that I don't love. I didn't think about it very hard, but I don't want to spoil the dream. Speaking of dreams, raise your hand if you have a day dream for your man (or woman) to feed you your sample at Costco. *Raises hand
My eyes are closed in bliss. That's what bliss looks like. 

You can be hand fed a near four-course meal before you've even hit the food court. And don't even get me started on the wonder of the food court. 

"Hey honey, I'm hungry."
"Okay! Let's go spend $3.00 and get you something to eat"
That is what someone looks like about thirty minutes before a food coma. 

What's that place who's catch phrase is "Come hungry, leave happy"? Because it should be Costco's. I should probably also mention that Costco didn't even pay me a dime to write this. I just love it that much. 

My final disclaimer is that I won't fall in love with anyone who takes me to Costco, so if I invite you to come with me don't be terrified. Just make sure you don't pick anything up for me. Or feed me samples. Then I think we'll be alright. Maybe. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Crazy Pig Woman

I used to work with this guy who had an interesting theory about how to scare people. Think of a time you tried to scare someone. Maybe you hid behind a door or in a closet and jumped out yelling something like "RAWR!!!" or "AHHH!!!". These are what I would call the "go-to scaring noises".

This particular coworker was convinced that when you really want to scare someone, you should snort instead. You know, like a really loud hungry pig. According to him, not only do you jump out and startle someone, but you throw them off with such an unexpected noise. He had demonstrated this on me a couple of times, hiding around corners and whatnot. He startled me several times, so I was willing to look for some merit in his theory.

One day we were loitering in the hallway at work that is near the bathrooms and we saw our supervisor walk by to go into the bathroom. We had the brilliant idea that we were going to wait around the corner scare the snot outta him, by snorting of course. It was going to be SO funny. We took our places around the corner to wait.

I was simply giddy with excitement, we were gonna get him so good! Unfortunately, while we were waiting, someone else walked into the bathroom and started talking to our supervisor.

So we waited...

And waited some more...

And then kept waiting...

We probably should have given up, but the anticipation was so high that there was no way we could turn back now! Finally the second guy in the bathroom let our supervisor leave. He came out and walked around the corner and got a terrifying attack of THIS:
We charged out snorting as loudly as we could, so sure we were going to scare the pants off him. 


His reaction was not quite as funny as we may have hoped for:
This guy literally didn't even flinch. He simply looked at us like we were totally nuts. And let's be honest here, we did just come running at him snorting like pigs. I can see how that could make us appear to be a little odd.

Now, as badly as I would like to say that the snorting method just doesn't work, I think real problem was that this was not a perfect storm for scaring someone. When you are coming from talking to someone two seconds before, other noisy stimuli isn't nearly as startling. Even if it's snorting like a pig.
Note to self: Just because you have been waiting to scare someone for 20 minutes, doesn't mean that it will be worth the wait. You might just end up looking like a crazy pig woman.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Guys- These things creep me out

I took a poll today (I asked me, myself, and I) and the results were conclusive as to several things that males do that creep me out. If you are a guy, and you do these things, I will not want to date you. Neither will me or myself. Josie, Becky, or Tina probably won't either. You don't want that to happen right? I didn't think so.

Here are some of those things:

The Limp Handshake
This gives me the heebie jeebies. For some reason my mind has decided that a limp hand feels like it has been busy doing unpleasant or disgusting things. They also always seem cold, even if they're not.
Your hand feels like a dead fish. You are handing me a dead fish, and expecting me to shake it. Men and boys everywhere, this is a call to arms! Firm. Up. Your. Handshake. It will bless you in both the romantic and professional world. I promise you. (But also offer no money-back guarantees).

The Long and Intense Stare
Staring contests stopped being cool in sixth grade. They stopped being fun in third. Staring contests that only one person is participating in, especially when that person is an adult, are creepy. Feeling someone's eyes on me can be flattering, for about... 3.17 seconds. Then it starts to make me want to crawl out of my skin.
It doesn't make you look good. It does, however, make you look like you would make a lot of money as someone who plays a serial killer on TV. And who knows, maybe some girls are into that brooding, maybe-murderer-maybe-not look. I've always wondered what the thought process is behind this stare. Are you hoping if you stare long enough I will finally break down and come leaping into your arms?
Alright, alright. I'm so busted. That's what I've been longing to do, I just haven't found the courage yet. Please be patient O Creepy One!

The Elongated Sniff
There is a difference between commenting on how nice a girl smells, and the elongated sniff. I like to hear that I have a pleasant aroma, I don't like feeling like someone is trying to inhale my entire being. One time I was saying goodbye to a couple of friends and one of the guys gave me a hug, inhaled deeply through his nose, and then sighed as he told me "MMmMm, you smell gooood". Holy moly I wanted out of that hug so bad.

Resistance is futile, the schnoz is too powerful! I'd say a good rule of thumb here is to tell her she smells nice, but never let her hear you sniffing. You're not a drug dog after all.


These are just a few solid starter suggestions for how to stop creeping girls out, more specifically, me. I hope to one day change the world, and when I do I will make sure to provide an address where monetary gratitude may be sent. You're welcome world!

Friday, July 29, 2011

The worst date ever

You know those times when you are hanging out with a group of friends and bad-date stories come up? Well, here is the story of my worst date ever.

This was a date I went on back home in California, so it's been a couple of years now, but it still reigns as the worst. I had met a guy at a young single adult dance, we'll call him Bob. Bob chatted me up, asked for my number, and he seemed like a nice enough guy so I figured, why not? He called a few days later and invited me on a date to go ride bikes at the beach. I thought that sounded nice, I would just have to borrow one of my brother's bikes, but that wouldn't be a problem.

The day of the date comes, he picks me up. We're in his truck driving to the beach and chatting, and at some point he asks me how old I am, I was 23 at the time. I then find out that he is 35. Now, I met him at an activity that is meant for the 18-30 year old crowd, so that's a little odd. He's 12 years older than me, and that's also a little odd. Oh well, no biggie, not a deal breaker.

We get to the beach and it's one that I'm pretty familiar with and I'm a little confused.
Yeeeup, we're gonna ride on the sand. I'm thinking "Are you kidding me? You remember that I had to borrow a bike right? As in, I don't go mountain biking every weekend. As in, I thought we were biking on a path right next to the beach, you know, the kind with pavement.".

I stop whining internally and ask where we're riding to, because I don't know of an "end" on this beach, not for miles anyway. He assures me that there's a path a little ways down that we're riding to.

Alright, I decide to trust him. Here we go.
I start out determined to conquer this ride. We're riding in the wet part of the sand so it's fairly firm, but still takes some muscle to pump those bike pedals. We ride along for what felt like forever, and I'm starting to feel the burn. Pretty soon I look a little more like this:
I tell Bob that I'm getting tired and ask if we can take a break. He's very accommodating and we stop and watch the waves for a little bit. We get to talking and he decides to tell me that he already knows five things about me. He counts on his fingers as he lists them off to me:

1. Hot
2. Smart
3. Funny
4. Hot
5. Hot

Ha... ha... ha...

Seriously? I'm officially starting to get creeped out by you Bob. Oh, and by the way, still no sign of this "path" that we're heading towards. It looks like nothing but sand as far as the eye can see. Super.

I begrudgingly climb back on my bike and we go what feels like Forever- Round 2.

I am so tired, seriously. I now look like this:

It's at this point that I would like to point out a few of the reasons why this was a horrible date idea.
  1. Both of us are panting pretty hard to keep moving, especially me. It's a little difficult to carry on a conversation when you can't breathe. Great get-to-know-you activity, no really, g-r-e-a-t.
  2. I'm sweating, a lot, because this is a legit workout. I don't feel cute at all, I'm pretty positive that I don't look cute at all. I've said before that girls want to flirt when they feel comfortable and attractive and I don't feel like either of those things right now. 
  3. Awful planning, just awful. Maybe this was the perfect date for Susie McOutdoorsy. That is not me. When I tell you that I need to borrow a bike, that should have been the first indicator that this is not the right activity to take me on for a first date.
Alright, back to the date. I'm so pooped out that I make him stop for a third time. My legs are shaky because they're so tired. I tell him "Man, my legs are going to be noodles tomorrow!". He replies with "Those are the best lookin' noodles I've ever seen!".

Oh Bob, gross. Stop being so creepy! Stop checking out my legs, and updating me about how much you're enjoying them. Not ok. Especially because at this point some hatred toward you and this stupid bike ride is starting to fester.

Back on the bikes we go and we finally come to the path! Oh happy day, he didn't make the whole thing up.

Oh wait... what's this?

Holy mother of hills. I think it's the closest thing to a 90 degree angle I'd ever seen in pavement. That's it, this guy must be a hired hit man, instructed to kill me slowly and painfully.

There's no way I can ride up this hill, so we walk the bikes up it instead. We eventually reach the top and it dumps us to a random residential area, but at least there's pavement and it's not uphill. We find our way back to the main road that takes us down to the beach parking lot. I'm pretty sure I kissed the ground when we made it back to the car.

To give a quick synopsis if you weren't paying close attention... here's the before and after of me:

That is what a broken woman looks like. A broken woman with good looking noodle legs.

When I finally got home I decided to see just how long that bike ride really was. I pull up google maps and plotted the route that we took. We biked in the sand for SIX MILES, and then another two miles on the streets. Remember when you were in school and you had to run the four laps around the field for your mile run? I did that on a bike, in sand, 24 times. I don't feel so bad for whining and being exhausted now.

Bob called a few days later to see if I wanted to go out again.

Dear Bob: No.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Awkward Hugs

I have both witnessed and experienced more than my fair share of awkward hugs. I will contribute this awkwardness to a few different factors, maybe there are more, but these three come to mind.

1. My family is not touchy-feely, we don't do a lot of hugging so I haven't been properly trained.
2. I am tall and a girl, and hugging guys shorter than me can get tricky.
3. Sometimes it's not all me, it's the awkward person I'm hugging.

I shall address the awkward situations that have arisen from these three reasons in this post. Yes illustrations are included, go ahead and get excited.

Numero Uno: Three brothers + no hugging = awkward hug

I think I can count on one hand the number of times that I have hugged my brothers. My sister and I hug more, and because I'm one of the girls I feel an obligation to give the boys hugs sometimes. But unless people are watching and judging how much we love each other by whether or not we hug, I bypass the hugging. Instead I'll give them a fist bump and a "later bro".

Try not to get too choked up at how sentimental we are.

I am lucky enough to have two lovey roommates who are good at hugging. A couple of nights ago my brother Eric stopped into town on his way home from school. He just crashed for the night and joined us for our roommate prayer. (This is our supplemental family prayer, insert "awwWw" here). After praying everyone stood up to go to bed, and my sweetie pie roommates went to give my lil bro hugs. He immediately started nervously laughing and blushed, but gave them the hugs. This is my best stick figure rendition of the moment.
Talk about deer in the headlights. It was so funny. Yes, I definitely have some awkward hugs in my blood.

Numero Dos: Tall girl + short boy = awkward hug

Girls love hugging guys that are taller than them. Girls love being able to put their head on your shoulder or chest. I would say these are two general and widely (though probably not universally) accepted rules. Much to my dismay, these hugs are few and far between for me. More often, it's trying to make sure that I don't end up hugging a guy so he's putting his head on my shoulder, and definitely not on my chest. Oh dear, are you blushing? Yeah just imagine how uncomfortable that would be.

In order to avoid that, when I hug a guy, I've trained myself to always go for criss cross arms, and to always bend down if they are shorter than me.

This is not allowed.
That's not going to work out well for anyone. And I'm sure it would be quite emasculating to the guy.

This is what IS ok.
Okay maybe that is emasculating too. I'm sorry, there's just no winning for short dudes that want to feel manly when they hug me. Oh, and I'm not trying to kiss him, I'm just bad at stick figures. Especially when I try to make them hug. It's hard, you try it.

Now that we know the basics of how I have trained myself to hug. Enter awkward date-hug that was a result of this kind of conditioning. A little while back I went on a date with a tall guy, probably 6'5'' or 6'6'', so even tall in my book. It was just a first date, nothing too special, but I had a nice time. At the end of the night, he went to give me a hug, and I think in an attempt to eliminate the "uhhh what now?" moment that sometimes happens when they're dropping you off, did an over exaggerated hug stance that looked like this.
He was clearly going for the "guy's arms on top, girls arms below" hug. You know the one I'm talking about. Well, my brain did not. Instead it just registered "Incoming hug! Quick! Criss-cross arms!"

Goodness, it was so choppy. Nice Shelly, way to be smoooooth. I don't know if he found it as awkward as I did, but it was definitely a "doh!", forehead slapping moment for me.

Numero Tres: Awkward person + another awkward person = awkward hug

There are sooo many examples that I could give about these types of hugs. The linger-too-long hug, the maybe-side-hug-maybe-not hug, the hover-away-from-each-other's-bodies hug, the go-in-for-a-hug-but-they're-not-expecting-it hug, just to name a few.

Rather than draw illustrations for all of these, I googled "awkward hug" and struck gold. Enjoy.
I think I can remember being stuck in each one of those scenarios at least once. Especially the one with the cats, cats are the world's most awkward huggers right? (ha-ha-ha I made a funny)

I'm thinking that this may just be part one of the awkward hug chronicles, but I can only hope to hold your attention for so long. Until next time...I'll uh, see you later... *fist bump.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Did I really just say that?

I'd feel confident in saying that I am a witty person. I'm good at scanning my mind for a joke and plugging it in at a moment's notice. Now granted they're not always funny, but my mind is still running around piecing together jokes and throwing them out as fast as my mouth can keep up. The poor little oompa loompas in my brain really have to scramble sometimes.

Now this ability to be quick witted is helpful for making jokes (which is oh-so-productive), and also for selling and needing to think on my feet. It's usually useful, emphasis on usually. Every now and then those oompa loompas get going too fast and grab the wrong words or the wrong joke, and I've mistakenly learned to trust them enough to spit out whatever they throw into the queue.

Can you see where this is going? I think you think you can, but you'll never guess what I actually said. Oh gosh, so embarrassing.

Now you know that I work in sales. I sell software, and all of my selling is done via webinars. This means my clients never see me and I get to wear jeans and a t-shirt to work every day. This also means that because I never actually meet the people I am selling to, I need to build those relationships via phone and email. Every time I am on a call I do my best to make friends with them- asking them to tell me about themselves, laughing and joking, you know, all that relationship-building stuff. Most of the time this works great, in no time at all we're besties and making plans to get mani-pedi's next time they are in town.

Let's rewind to a few weeks ago. I was doing a webinar for a couple of guys that work for a company out in New York. They were a lot of fun, really loud and really funny. I got into a good groove with them, and found my normal "professional speak only" filter coming down. At one point they expressed how much easier something was going to be in our system. I said something like "Using this system is going to be like a dream for you!". He replied in the affirmative. I bantered back with "That's what we're in the business of over here, making dreams come true. Just call us the Make a Wish foundation!".

Oh. My. Gosh.


That's it oompa loompas, you're fired. Next time pick disneyland, utopia, heck- I'd take walmart. Something that doesn't make me sound like I'm pimping out a charity foundation. I just compared my software to helping children who are dying of cancer. It's official, I am a horrible person.

The conversation continued like this:

*crickets chirping

Me: *clears throat

...and if you look at this feature right here you will see this great tool for blah blah blah

They were kind enough not to call me out on it, but that definitely made for my awkward moment of the day. I should send them an apology gift basket or something.

Or maybe I should just make a donation to the Make a Wish foundation in their honor.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The time I faked my own death

Bzzz Bzzz   *phone vibrates

Read text from brother: "Do you remember when you covered your arms in ketchup and faked dead?"


Yes, unfortunately, I do.


Once upon a time I was a "little" girl. (I'll put that word in quotes because I'm pretty sure that I was at least three feet tall right outta the womb.) I'm not quite sure how old I was when I did this, but my best guess would be somewhere between eight and ten.

My parents had left to go somewhere, else, away from us kiddies, and my older brother Michael was put in charge of watching us. It must have been one of the first times that he had, because I was determined to leave him shaken from the experience. I also must have had a pretty twisted mind as a child, because I thought it would be hilarious to make him think that I had been brutally murdered. (Sooo funny right?) Well, as it turns out, I am not very good at faking my own death.

I don't think I planned this in advance, I just remember him going to the bathroom, and me having a light bulb turn on at what I thought was going to be such a genius prank. As soon as the idea struck I ran to the kitchen and found some ketchup packets in the fridge. I then proceeded to empty said packets out onto my arms so that it would look like "blood". I only did this to my arms. Which you know, are mortal injuries typically. I simply wasn't dedicated enough to risk getting my clothes dirty and therefore getting in trouble when Mom got home.

Once I felt like I looked bloody enough, I contorted myself on the floor and tried to make my face look as dead as possible.

Here is a photograph from the scene of the crime:

Notice that my tongue is hanging out. Ten year olds think that's what happens when you die.

Imagine my poor brother's concern as he came out of the bathroom and saw his baby sister looking all bloody and beaten on the floor.

...Are you imagining it? Are you sure? Okay.

If you're imagining a blank stare followed by a slow "...why did you put ketchup all over yourself? And why are you on the floor?", then you imagined correctly. That was certainly nothing like the reaction that I was sure I would get. Turns out that brother of mine is not so easily fooled. He's going to make a great dad to some sneaky kids one day.

After laying there deflated for another minute or so, I begrudgingly got up off the floor and rinsed the ketchup off of my arms.

Moral of the story: Don't hire a ten year old to help you plan your April Fools day.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

You wanna piece of me?

Let me begin by (re)stating that I can be a bit of an odd duck. Quack quack. (Case and point, I just quacked.) I'll follow that up by adding that I love to entertain.

One of my favorite people to entertain is my roommate Jana. She's rad. And she laughs at ALL of my jokes. I think the two of us have at least one laughing fit per day. I'll go ahead and assume that I don't need to exercise, because all of that laughing- well, it's a work out.

Speaking of workouts, you may remember me mentioning in one of last week's posts, that I am known to, on occasion, randomly round-house kick inanimate objects. This is all relevant, I promise. We're getting to the point soon.

Now that the foundation of this story has been laid, let's journey back to a few nights ago. Jana and I were plopped down on the couches in our living room, enjoying one of our nightly giggle fests. Amidst all of the cackling, she stops and says "Hey Shelly, I think that wall is looking at you funny, you should probably go beat it up."

I glared at the wall as I planned my attack.

I stood up and got ready to charge. (She starts laughing). I'm pretty sure that my game plan was to run at the wall pretending like I was going to body slam it, and then only lightly bump into it. Yes, that was the plan.

My plan did not accommodate the wall having a defensive strategy.

Yes, the wall moved. There's no other way to explain why I ran into it so much harder than anticipated.

Luckily I hit it with my shoulder, you know, like the cops do in the movies when they are knocking down a door. (Which by-the-way, I don't really believe so much anymore. That can't be as easy as they make it look.)

I immediately started yowling in pain and holding my wounded shoulder, and Jana immediately started DYING laughing. It only took a minute for me to be cracking up too, because, I just body slammed a wall. On accident. And that's funny. I literally got in a fight with a wall and lost.

The good news is, I didn't dent the wall, or get a bruise on my shoulder. The bad news is, Jana now has something to forever make fun of me for. Uh oh, now so do all of you. Whoops.

Overall, I feel pretty justified in my attack. After all, the wall was looking at me funny. And everyone knows that you can't go letting walls get away with that kind of thing.