Friday, May 11, 2012

When my dreams fix my reality

Sometimes my brain decides that reality just isn't cuttin' it anymore, and takes matters into its own hands. It does this via my dreams, and it can be rather discombobulating in the morning. Sometimes the first hour of the day is spent sorting out dream from reality, and then the next few hours are spent being upset with reality and wanting to take a nap.

Examples you ask? Alright. Sometimes it's something simple, like a dream that I'm already done with a test I need to take and that I aced it. Other times my sleep-world will remedy a stressful situation that a friend or loved one is having- "Johnny got a job, yay!". These types of dreams I don't mind so much because they tend to happen well into the night, and by the time I wake up they feel more like foggy memories. Then there's the the other kind... For some reason, in the wee hours of the morning, right before waking up, I have very convincing and realistic dreams that a guy I either currently or used to like, likes me back.

Apparently, my subconscious has issued a cease-and-desist order on all unrequited crushes. It's sort of like an overprotective father or something- "Oh, this guy isn't asking you out? Well, we'll take care of that!". The worst part about these dreams is that the way that everything is made "better" is always just realistic enough to believe. I decided that a Venn diagram would be most useful illustration here.

Please note the lack of any true overlap between perfection and reality.

You may be wondering about circumstances where I've had this happen? Allow me to provide.

I meet a guy, hit it off. See him around again- nothing. And again- nothing. And again- nothing. Finally after several run ins I realize that he's a nice guy that I can carry of a conversation with, but that's as far as this is going to go. He's not asking me out.

Okay that's fine, I can deal with that. I'll think that I've dropped the idea, and moved on to bigger and better things. Then one morning in those minutes before awakening, I'll a dream that I run into him and he's super excited to see me and asks for my number. Then he tells me that he always wanted to take me out but always got too nervous. My dream-brain thinks "Oh how sweet, that makes perfect sense, he liked me all along! I'm so excited!". Then I skip away smiling and all jazzed up.

Then... I wake up. And realize that none of it was real. 

What the heck!? Does anyone else think that is incredibly rude of my subconscious? More often than not it will be a guy that I haven't even thought about for months, but all the sudden, BAM, I'm forced to swallow the rejection pill all over again when I wake up.

My subconscious is clearly not communicating with my conscious. Talk about a tough life.

Why can't I just have dreams about things like unicorns and care bears so that my brain knows better than to buy what my subconscious is selling?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The argument for dating a shorter man

The absolute quickest way that I filter through men that I might be interested in is by height. I love me a tall man. When you spend 96.4% of your life taller than everyone around you, it is a pretty awesome thing when someone makes you feel small, more specifically when he's handsome and hugging you. That being said... boy, does that narrow down the dating pool a TON. Apparently, as of late, I have seemed both extra fantastic and extra tall, because I have gotten several comments like "If I was only two/three/four/eight inches taller; I would totally date you". At first it was strictly flattering, but then I started to experience a hint of frustration. Really? The only reason we can't date is because of my height?

It was at the moment that I realized that I was as much of a culprit as any of them, I am a heightist! (Urban Dictionary defines this as one who discriminates based on height).

Since coming to this realization, I have spent the last couple of days attempting to reason myself into the idea of dating shorter men, or at least being willing to consider it. Here are a few of the key arguments for why this would be a good idea for me to take for a test drive.

#1. Our children will thank us.

As much as I love being tall (most of the time), it has provided me many challenges in life, and has become a very defining characteristic for me. Dating has certainly been one of the biggest hurdles. As much as being a tall woman may seem like a glorious thing, that kind of glory really caps out around 5'10" or so. When you cruise up over 6 feet, it starts to go in the other direction. Now for the short man, poor little guy, you know there's no way he's ever going to get chicks like a six footer does. In doing my research for this post, I found a height predictor. Yeah alright, maybe that's a little weird that I did this, but here is a chart that shows the estimated height of children that I would produce with a shorter man (remember I'm 6'1''):
Granted this is only a predictor, but those are some pretty promising looking heights! Totally normal and non-disadvantaging for any children involved. Apparently this post will be a convincing argument for both parties because I'm sure nearly every short guy would love to gift his sons a little bit of extra height. Turns out, my genetics are very accommodating for that.

...Sorry that I just got so creepy.

#2. Cost Savings

I have some big boys for brothers, and let me tell you, they can pack the food down. Almost every tall man I know can easily eat three times as much as I do, and that means a TON of groceries. The shorter the man, the less fuel you need to keep him going. Keeping with the creepy trend of discussing our future children, a taller man means taller kids which mean more groceries multiplied by the number of kids we have. Now, maybe this can be offset by the research that shows that taller people make more money, but at the very least, it means a lot less cooking for me. Even though I love to cook, it could certainly kill that joy to have to make eight tons of food every day. Allow me to illustrate this comparison:
VS

If love were purely a matter of economics the decision would be pretty clear. That's got to be hundreds, heck probably thousands of dollars per year of savings!

#3. How long will it really feel noticeable?

 I have plenty of short friends. My best friends growing up were significantly shorter than me, and we pretty much spent every waking moment together. After a while it wasn't something I noticed, because it was just the way things were. I've also dated shorter guys before, not significantly shorter, but a good 3-4 inches. After a couple of months, you have adjusted to it, and stop thinking about it. Girls also have this neat ability to develop attraction for someone- nearly every guy that I've dated has become more and more attractive to me over that time, so it only serves to reason that the same would happen with a shorter guy. Eventually, if everything else is there, I'll still think he's hot stuff. Maybe I'll even develop a special fondness for the top of his head, you know, the part of him I have the best view of.


#4. His friends will think he's got mad game.

When people see a couple that they don't understand from the get-go, like a short guy with a tall girl, they immediately start to reason through the possibilities of how it happened. They'll have no choice but to assume that he has some pretty sweeeet game for him to be able to snag a taller woman, because being a short man can kill your dating game faster than just about anything. Let's be honest, there's something sort of trophy-esque about proudly escorting your tall (model height, wink-wink) woman out on a date. Now it's not just cool for him, it would certainly be a delight for me to know that I can make a guy feel like he is the cat's pajamas just by going out on the town with him.

#5. You will forever have a great conversation starter.

This ties into point number four, because people are already curious to hear the "how you met" stories, and they'll be even more curious to know the details on how that guy scored her. As you can tell by the fact that I've had to put together this post, it certainly would take a fair amount of persistence and persuasion for me to decide that I'll sacrifice (practically guaranteed) basketball scholarships for my kids. What that persistence would translate into, would be an excellent story I'm sure. We'll be at a party and I'll say something like "I always swore I would marry a tall man!", and he'll banter back with "I always knew I could get her to lower her standards for me, get it? L-o-w-e-r?".

Riotous laughter would then commence.

--

So there you have it. Five sound arguments for why I can no longer allow myself to be a heightist, therefore, I am now declaring for all who are in the sound of my voice:

I will no longer exclude men from my dating pool strictly because of height. 




*Update 02/14/2013: When I wrote this post I don't know that I believed much would change, but I am currently engaged to a man six inches shorter than me, and it is wonderful! Read the story of how we started dating here

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The truth you don't want to know about attraction

We've probably all had a friend/acquaintance/person we stalked at some point in our life that we were interested in and said interest was not reciprocated. It can be a little bit...shall we say, torturous? Awful? Just plain stinky?

Well, in my many years of expertise on the matter, and reading lots of books about things and stuff, and watching YouTube videos, I have developed a theory.

Before I get into it, have you ever heard of Maslow's hierarchy of needs? It's pretty interesting stuff. Basically his theory is that there is an order to the needs that humans have and seek to meet. Here is a visual of the way needs are ordered:

Interesting right? I thought so too. As you examine the triangle, you'll see that having esteem needs met doesn't matter if physiological needs are not met. If you're starving to death, you're not going to be very concerned about someone respecting you. I believe that there is a very similar comparison that can be made to the hierarchy of attraction. (Don't hate me, this is just a theory)

Yep. I put physical attraction at the base. I did that because I believe it to be foundational to all the other types of attraction, albeit not the most fulfilling kind. Just like with Maslow's triangle, someone who is only eating, drinking, and sleeping isn't going to have a very satisfying life. So it is with physical attraction- It is only important so far as it opens the door to the other types of attraction.

Emotional attraction has to do with things like personality, mood, and a person's social skills. These are things that you can see at the surface level and can sense about someone pretty quickly. Do they have a personality that you are drawn to? Yes? Okay, great.


Next we have mental. This has to do with ability to communicate, to share ideas, and to feel intellectually stimulated by someone. We know that people tend to be drawn to those who are on the same physical attractiveness level as they are, and I believe this to to be true with intelligence as well. This is the equivalent of asking if you are attracted to someone's brain. In many cases I certainly am.

And finally... spiritual. Now those of you who aren't religious, don't tune me out. Spiritual attraction is about shared ideals and beliefs, dreams, hopes, and aspirations. This allows people to progress together, and to reach things like self actualization. (See what I did there? You're welcome for the plug, Maslow.) This is the most fulfilling of all the types of attraction, it's the connection that makes you want to work and grow and progress together. Hip hip hooray if you reach this level!

-----

At this point I'm going to come back to the scenario I provided up at the top of the post. Go ahead, scroll up if you need to. Okay, ready? So you have this friend that you like, and they don't like you back. This is the case where even though you get along SO well, and have everything in common... it is likely that your foundation isn't there. And that doesn't mean that there won't be someone else who is totally into you and your look, it just means that this person isn't. And that's okay. 

When was the last time that you decided "I am choosing not to be attracted to this person"?

Probably never, I would bet. Don't be upset if someone isn't into you, they likely can't do a whole lot about it, and what's worse than someone being mad at you for something you can't do much about?

I will say that I do think that someone can move a couple notches up the attractiveness scale. Let's say you originally thought someone was a "five" and now that you've had fun with them, and seen how cool they are... they crept up to a "seven". I should note that this is the exception more than it is the rule (especially for guys, I don't think they "develop" attraction the same way that women can).

There you have it: 
If it's never happening at all for you, work on the bottom levels; if it's happening but never sticking, work on the upper levels. 

Soon enough you'll obtain full attraction satisfaction! (Yes I know that was cheesy, deal with it)




Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Flirting: The duck analogy

I should start by disclaiming that this is not my original analogy, just an awesome one that I am stealing a friend of a friend and choosing to relate to and illustrate for all of you. Feel free to pass any thank you's along, I'll be sure they make it into the right hands.

I was speaking to this friend a week or so ago, and we were discussing my blog (because you dear people reading and enjoying my blog has really become the highlight of my life lately, no joke) and she was commenting that there is no way that I am as awkward as I make myself sound in my posts.

I told her that I'm sure that I actually seem cool and collected when I'm attempting to get my flirt on, but what I blog about is the frenzy that happens inside my own mind, and the way that I perceive my own actions. She laughed, agreed, and then shared something a friend had told her recently.

(I may actually be misquoting this because it's like a game of telephone that's gone through about three passes now.)

He told her:

"You are like a duck. On the surface you look totally calm and together..."

  (side note: I would like to point out that it only took two tries to draw this duck, I feel like a stinking superhero right now)


"...but under the water you're like this: *make frantic paddling movement with hands" 


Ladies and gentlemen, raise your hand if you can relate. Or maybe quack, yes, you should quack if you can relate.

Like you other quack-ers, there is a gigantic disconnect between my perceived reality, and the reality that others actually experience. Somewhere between the heart palpitations and the dramatically increased cognitive activity, my brain registers that I look/sound like a crazy person.

In mid conversation with a fine young gentleman, I believe myself to appear something like this:

Whereas, upon later feedback from trusted friends, I conclude that I must have indeed looked more like this:
Maybe I didn't look quite that cool, but you catch my drift here. Sometimes I wish that someone would video me trying to be flirtatious so that I can re-adjust my perceptions. Although, part of me is a little nervous to actually file that request because- one, the guy I'm flirting with might think it's odd that I have a camera crew with me. But mostly, two, that my perception is not as far off from reality as those friends who love me have led me to believe. If that's the case... I retract my request for recording, it's probably better that I don't know. Your lies and encouragement have been greatly appreciated and have preserved my sanity.

Love,
Your gratefully naive friend

Friday, January 20, 2012

Chickening out

Picture this: You're standing in a room, it's a sea of people, you notice an attractive person that you would certainly like to "know" better. You start walking towards them, you have a laser focus, you are going to start this conversation if it's the last thing you ever- you know, I should probably go walk over here instead. Yeah, that's a better idea. Far, far away from them. Over here.

Yep, happens every time.

I think good looking guys have a five foot force field (alliteration prize!) around them that completely obliterates my nerve. I had set a (sort-of) New Years resolution to flirt more this year, and so far all I have done is chicken out more frequently. So yeah, you could say that things are going really well.

Allow me to illustrate.

Step one: Notice an attractive man on the other side of the crowded room. Initial reaction is one of determination with a slight edge of confidence. I'm gonna go talk to this boy so good! He's not gonna know what hit him. Oh yeah, I've got this in the bag. Commence walking towards him.
Step two: Mind begins to fill with doubt and fear. With every step I become increasingly self aware, what if I only talk to him sorta good? Every possible bad outcome has begun to swirl around in my head. What if I sneeze as soon as I walk up and he's a germ-a-phobe and freaks out and accidentally punches a baby while I cry tears of apology? This is going to be disastrous, I just know it.
Step three: Run away! Far, far away!


So in summary...
(Notice how my exit strategy includes barreling through a few unsuspecting bystanders. There's always collateral damage in these kinds of circumstances.)

I wonder if this how guys feel when then want to go talk to a girl? It can't be as bad as it is in a woman's brain, it just can't be.

Maybe my real problem is that I need a better game plan of what to say if I ever make it past the force field.

"Hi. Your face is nice."
...no, that's not it.

"My body's chemistry seems to be responding well to your body's chemistry."

Oh dear, no not that.

"Whattaya say we ditch this popsicle stand and go see if Krispy Kreme is still open?"

Oh yeah, that one is money. I should write a book of pick up lines.

Maybe instead while I'm shuffling past them in the crowded room I'll slip my phone number in their pocket with a note that says "Call me, I am a ninja. You know it's true because you didn't feel me put this in your pocket."

Ladies and gentlemen, I think we've found ourselves a solution.

Victory dance!



Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Dating is like basketball

I have noticed that guys love sports analogies, so I am going to liken the dating game to a basketball game. It will be a little bit of a stretch, but basically, dating is like playing a one-on-one basketball game (except you can have any number of people playing against you). You want to score as many points as possible, and we all know that the best defense is a good offense. 

Here are some things that I have noticed score you points- everything from free throws to Jimmer-range three's. These are tips that you can start using as soon as you decide that you like a young lady and are officially stepping onto the court. 

Free throw (One Point and it's a little pitiful if you miss it)
  • Opening her door anytime you can- to the car, entering a building, a room- this should become second nature for you. It's classic, respectful, gentlemanly, and she notices. I promise. 
  • Be on time for any set plans. If something really crazy came up that's alright, but if it's at all avoidable (i.e. getting lost, not planning your schedule well enough), well, that's just like missing a free throw.
  • When you're on a date and the bill comes, pick it up quickly. Don't make her stress about whether or not she should offer to split it or pay or anything like that. Also, try to avoid letting her see the total (discretely), it's uncomfortable to know exactly how much is being spent on you. 


Layup (Two Points and super easy when you're near "the basket")
  • Tell her that she looks nice, or you like her outfit, or her hair.  Tell her that you liked her comment in class, or that you love her blog (wink-wink), or anything that shows you are noticing her in a positive way. Women thrive on verbal validation, we do it to each other all the time and you can assume that we don't "just know" that you think we're super. 
  • Say hello if you haven't seen her around before, it might be scary but it's totally flattering. Even if you just lean over in your chair and introduce yourself, you are making an effort to know her. It also makes her feel like you think she's pretty.

Two-point field goal (Still two points but we're more impressed than with a layup)
  • Make the effort to reach out to her. Maybe you are across the room and you come up to talk to her. Maybe you are in a room with several cute girls but you're willing to monopolize your attention on her for a while. This is you telling her that she is more special to you than all the other girls.
  • Call her on the phone. Specifically when you already have her number (i.e. ward directory), or didn't get it with it the presumption that you would ask her out. Invite her to your party, have her come over to watch a basketball game, call with a question you came up with about class/church/something relevant. We like that you're finding excuses to call us. 
  • Good communication prior to a date. If you've asked her out, call or text a couple of days before to confirm, let her know if she should expect to be fed, give her an idea of what to wear (should we strap on tennis shoes or stilettos?). 
Three-point field goal (When guys do these things I want to yell "Go Team!")
  • Call and ask her out within two days of getting the number. BOOM. Yes. Even if she doesn't like you, she doesn't have to stress over when you might ask her, if she should act like she likes you in the meantime, etc. It's just better all around, and it will increase your chances of her liking you if she was more neutral before. Love this. 

  • Don't be afraid to communicate interest. You do want to be careful not to go overboard though. You're not professing your love here, or bothering her every minute of the day, but you are clearly interested and pursuing her. Do simple things like sending a text message the night you get her number telling her that you enjoyed meeting her, or with something funny that just happened that reminded you of your conversation with her. These things tell us that you are thinking about us, and wanting more interaction with us, and that makes us feel warm and fuzzy inside.
  • Momentum. Quick follow up to a date is great, it keeps excitement and adrenaline going. It's not about doing anything big, but consistency. This is great when you can tell the date went well, especially if she does something like send you a post-date text. She does that when she would like to see you again, so don't leave her sweating. (p.s. stressing that the guy doesn't like you takes the average female about 12.67 hours.)
Three-point from Jimmer Range (When you do these things I could just kiss your face)
I think that the things that both win points and impress the heck out of women, are you showing us that you are genuinely good person. These tell us that you would treat us well forever, and not just for the first five dates. The other point generators function based on you making us feel good, whereas these things make us think you are real catch!
  • Immediately start washing the dishes after a meal. Whether I cooked it, or someone else, just get up and start washing the dishes and it makes you look like a freakin' all star. Granted I might get a little more excited than most girls about a guy that washes the dishes, but we all love it.
  • Help people, all around you. Pick up someone's dropped books, help stack chairs at the end of a meeting, help someone carry something heavy. Oo la la, when service looks like it's a knee-jerk reaction for you, it melts us. 
  • Play with kids. This is about the most endearing thing ever. Do yourself a favor and take your nieces and nephews everywhere with you. 

I hope this world class coaching was helpful, because that was a much longer post than I originally anticipated. For this kind of top notch counsel, I usually charge by the hour!

Really though, I do, I should blog about that next time. 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Guys- Dating no-no's

I know this may surprise you, but I have had a lot of conversations, with a lot of ladies, about dating. I have also had my fair share of first hand experience- and would like to share some basic no-no's that might be valuable to some of you single and frustrated guys out there. I know that these are not going to be universal truths, but I will make a not-so-bold assumption and say that these rules would apply for 70% of women. (We also know that I like to make up statistics so who knows how much you can really trust me?)

My advice is to assume that you can trust me and follow these rules like your someday-marital-bliss depends on it.

Rule #1: Avoid voicing your desire for marriage and/or children on a first date

We know, we know. We've gone to church, we've heard the talks and lessons about marriage and family. We know that in all likelihood, it's something you want, that's probably why you're spending money on us right now. And that's great! We want it too, probably, so let's just go ahead and operate under the assumption that both of us want that, eventually, and we don't need to discuss it quite yet. 




 Rule #2: Don't make yourself so comfortable that Miss Manners would slap you if she saw what you were doing

I guess we should feel flattered that we make you feel SO comfortable it's like you're just "hangin' with the boys".
No. 
You are not hanging with the boys, you should be trying to impress me right? Cause I'm sure as heck trying to impress you. Do you see how nice my hair looks? I don't roll outta bed looking like this. (Just kidding, I'm totally lying, I look like this allllll the time).

I don't want to see your food once it's in your mouth, you shouldn't look like you belong in my dad's recliner,  and I certainly don't want to hear or smell any of your bodily emissions. You know how when you go to a job interview you try to do things like sit up strait? Well, like your interviewer, we want to feel like you think making a good impression on us matters, and that does not happen via posture that proves how incredibly 'chill' you are. 



Rule #3: Please, for the love of Aquafresh, don't have stank breath

I don't think there is anything that is a more immediate turnoff than horrid breath. I'm going to let you in on a little secret- chewing gum doesn't give you good breath, it just throws a minty tinge on stink parade. You need to brush your teeth. Regularly, and most definitely right before a date. We are going to be having conversation, and at some points in fairly close proximity, and I'd much rather not pass out. 
--- --- ---

This message is intended for mature single male audiences: If you are currently suffering from a lack of second dates, I would encourage you to look deep within yourself and evaluate whether or not you are suffering from any of these poor habits. If you are, stop immediately. If you can't, let me know, and I will gladly implement a negative reinforcement program until these things have ceased and desisted. If you are not doing these things, but still aren't getting second dates, email me (because now I have a google apps account and feel super legit and want to feel more legit by actually receiving emails) and we'll discuss. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Slightly awkward

A few days ago I started running blog name ideas by friends, family, and coworkers and received some good suggestions, some kind of awful ones, and overall... very mixed feedback. Eventually I had to decide, hey! I could spend forever trying to find a name that everyone loves, but if I like it and feel like it fits, by golly I'm going to use it. That's kind of the mentality I use with this blog in general- I write about what entertains me and hope it entertains you too.

So- I originally named my blog "Life- Week by Week". I wanted to document this weekly goal thing I was doing, and turns out, that made for a painstakingly boring blog. At some point I just started blogging about whatever I felt like or was thinking about, and it's turned into this catalog of funny stories and bits of advice and really top notch illustrations- mostly centered around dating and marriage.

When I told people the name of the blog, they told me things like "But you're not awkward!". That's nice of you, but when it comes to dating, yes I am, or at least I think I am, and I tell my stories accordingly. Just look back over what I'm like when I like a guy, or go read about the awkward hugs I give, or learn about the way that my crush cycle works.

Sometimes I am not awkward, like when I'm psyching myself up before I go somewhere where I think I'll run into a good looking guy. I'm a confidence machine!
Then I see one of said good looking guys and I turn into a sputtering lawn mower, or at least that's what it feels like inside my head.
Any time I do manage to be "cool", it is with tremendous mental focus and determination. It it neither easy nor breezy. It is in times like these that I am indeed slightly awkward.

-- -- -- -- --

That is one side of the slightly awkward coin. The other side that inspired the new name to the blog is the use of potentially awkward topics that I choose to share with the world. You know what I'm talking about- I've written posts about flatulence, my future marriage (for which there are no current indicators of), things that I think about that are maybe not so typical of someone to voice, and then of course, simply embarrassing things that I've done.

Therefore, upon deep reflection and toilsome brain wracking, I give you:


slightly awkward shelly


P.S. You're only allowed to tell me if you like it because it's decided and I'm not going to change it again so there. 


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Flatulence

Oh the horror!

Turns out, when you live with two lovely and well mannered girls, you forget what it's like to come home to a house full of boys. Do you know what it's like to not feel safe to breathe for an entire week? I do. Merry Christmas to meeee. Between three brothers and three dogs, I found myself gasping for air more frequently than someone drowning in a pool. (I feel like I should clarify for the record, I don't think my brother Michael ever contributed, he is the dignified brother.)

One minute I would be sitting on the couch, minding my own business and the next thing you know...
...You're surrounded in an inescapable cloud of disgusting!

Maybe it's undignified of me to take the time to write a post with corresponding illustrations on this matter, but sometimes a girl's gotta voice her frustrations.

I won't let my brothers take all of the blame, apparently the leftovers from holiday dinners are recipes for gassy disasters with our dogs. Several times during the week I was home, one of them would walk into a room, lay down, get comfortable, then let out a long bbbbrrrrrrppppppp. The dog then keeps sleeping, while the humans completely freak out.

I shared this experience with a few friends, some male, some female. Turns out that guys think it's funny, and girls think it's gross. It was at this point that I became highly concerned about whether or not that line exists within marriage. At what point will a husband be comfortable enough to rip one and just laugh, or even worse, pull the covers over your head and covered-wagon you? (This was a true story told by a friend of mine once.) I know that a married couple should be totally comfortable and trusting around each other, but I don't think that I can trust a ticking time bomb, if ya feel me. And what about going to the bathroom? I'm sorry that this post is getting so gross, but are these the things that no one talks about? I rent the master bedroom in our place and the bathroom is connected to the room. Based on growing up with my brothers...that would be a really, really terrible idea. Or maybe there should just be two bathrooms- one for convenience and one that is zoned for chemical warfare. It'll look a little like this:
I bet millions of wives out there are drooling over this brilliant idea. Who wouldn't want this layout? Well, what woman wouldn't want this layout? Every house should have a quarantined room for anything disgusting to happen in, and I'm sure that it would make the world a better place. 

I'm going to start a savings account so that one day, this dream will be a reality. I will also accept donations.

...come to think of it, maybe it's cheaper just to buy a book of matches.