Workplace Comedy & Healthy Cheetos

Some days I truly love coming to work. The rows and rows of cubicles with their little windows at the top, the pattern of FLOR carpet squares, the little old lady who closes the bathrooms for cleaning right after lunch (highest bathroom traffic time, if you didn’t know), the sound of printers and computers buzzing, the snorting or ice crunching of your neighbor, that one guy who laughs all day so the entire floor can hear him, the woman who wanders around. The every day din of corporate America is just a little pot of gold to my Monday through Friday.

Recently I discovered a very special and dedicated worker in this building. I don’t know her but I’ve encountered her in the hallways  every so often. She carries at least 3 pad-folios filled to the brim with email printouts and yellow notepads, and an additional one to two inch thick stack of paper, including anything from additional printed emails to project lists printed on legal paper, an additional notepad or two and a special bound notebook. Minimum.

Everywhere I see her, I see her with this material. It truly baffles me. There’s no way that she needs all of that in every single meeting. There’s no way she even needs half of that in all of her daily meetings. It’s just not possible. Oh and she also has a company phone, which houses all of her emails that she also has printed in mass quantities. I love seeing her huffing and puffing and rushing around the halls from meeting room to meeting room all grouchy and barely clinging to her company memorabilia. I always try to smile and say hello; when I receive a response, if I receive a response, I always think that if she just had some kind of cart, or a backpack of some kind. Or perhaps a rolling briefcase to roll around behind her from meeting to meeting, she might not be quite so grouchy.

She does have a killer tan, though. And great hair. Bless her heart.

I really love people who buck the norm and really dress to impress for work. I don’t mean that guy who doesn’t dress down on Fridays or the girl who still wears panty hose because she thinks the men will take her more seriously that way (they’re still legs). I mean the fashion forward people. The 40-something guy who wears those fancy jeans with the designer decorated pockets because he heard someone say once that chicks dig it. The mom who wears her fancy turquoise sequin-covered strappy sandals with jeans and a tank on Fridays. Presh.

Just the other day I discovered probably the sharpest dressed man in our entire building, no sarcasm. He was wearing nice looking dark jeans with the perfect amount of fading and wear on the front, white and blue pinstripe collared shirt – sleeves rolled up perfectly and untucked obviously, except for the tiny part of the shirt-tail that was tucked into his rather large belt buckle – again some designer, and the part that tied it all together: white snakeskin loafters with the long square toe. Dude looked like he was about to roll up to Mirage and get his bottle of expensive champagne and sip on it in the VIP section. For realz.

I couldn’t help complimenting him. It made me feel like I was in 9th grade, but I did it anyway.

Also all the rage lately seem to be insane-o patterned dress shirts for men with the fancy alternative pattern inside the french cuffs and collar, Al la this designer. I have to admit shamelessly that I sort of love this look. Men who wear these shirts really must be real men. Because seriously, a man who is not 100% confident that he is a man and very manly about being a man would never be seen in paisley. Am I right? I have a feeling some of my manlier friends would argue with  my point, but whatever. And it does just occur to me that typically it’s only “the management” whom/who (couldn’t figure which was right) I notice sporting this look. This could be an interesting study in psychology or something related to human behavior or whatever. Regardless, I like them. A man’s got to have a little fun, hasn’t he?

Today I went to the vending machine (because it’s a rare occurrence, obviously…my self control is super human when it comes to resisting snacks if you didn’t know) (that was sarcasm if you’re dumb) and noticed a little sign on it for the first time. The sign reads: “Just 4U” Obviously things are cooler when we abbreviate and use letters for words. “Look for these symbols to help you pick the snack that’s right for you!” In corporate vending machine speak, “right for you” means “healthier so we could maybe save money on health care, if you would only lose a little weight, you fatty.”

The symbols with which we are to gauge our snack choices include: a blue check, which indicates snacks that have 5 grams of fat or fewer; an orange check, which means it contains 15 grams of carbohydrates or less; and a green check which indicates 100 calories or less.

There is only one check next to only one food item in the entire machine, in total containing about 30 or 40 snack choices. The check is green, and it is next to the Welche’s Fruit Snacks.

I’m enjoying my Cheeto’s.

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Yayyyyy DMV Offices and Bad Drivers!

News flash: North Carolina drivers are the PITS. Like, insanely TURRIBLE drivers. It’s hard to express just how turrible. So many times I see so many things that make me go, “OMG WHAT are you DOING!!!” and other times, “SWEET LORD HOW ARE YOU ALIVE RIGHT NOW!!!” and sometimes just simply, “wow you’re so dumb.” I mean, it’s serious.

A few weeks ago I began the annoying process of changing residencies and becoming an official voting and registered citizen of Raleigh, North Carolina in Wake County. Woowoo! No one likes going to the DMV, and everyone here complains just like in good ol’ VA. Only here it seems more warranted. Because they have a billion different offices. I’m not sure if VA is the same way but I certainly never encountered it. Here’s the deal. If you want a license plate, you go to the license plate office. If you want a license, you go to the “regular” office. If you want some other jank concerning permits, there is yet another kind of office you go to. And I think there was even a 4th category of office which I don’t even remember.

Before you go an argue with me, I have to admit that this SORT of makes sense in SOME cases. Like, if I just need to renew my registration or perhaps do something that will take 5 seconds, I don’t really want to wait in line with the rest of the population of people who have major problems at the “regular” office. BUT in my case, at least at first, it was annoying. Because obviously I went to the wrong office first, and by the time I got to the right one, the line was 90 people long. No thanks. Dumb.

So I waited a few more days and then attempted once again to be at the DMV office (the “regular” one, which I was assured was the correct one) before it opens so as to secure a decent spot in line. At 8am. Typically I don’t even get up for work until at least 8am, so this is kind of a big deal for me. I do it regardless. I get there at 7:45 and am approximately 15th in line. Not terrible. I wait. I read my Kindle which I had wisely brought with me to pass the time.

Then this grouchy little man comes outside to announce they will be opening momentarily, and begins going through a list of directions. You know, “if you’re an immigrant you must have such and such documents, bladiblah blah.” I am secretly proud of myself because I have brought every possible piece of documentation I could possibly or even probably or even remotely need to obtain citizenship in this state. I don’t want to do this twice. But I still listen because you just never know, and I want confirmation.

And then I hear this: “…and if you’re obtaining an NC license for the first time you must have proof of identification and a social security card. If you do NOT have your social security card, we can NOT help you.”

Guess what I forgot?

I stuff all my documentation, minus my social security card obviously, into my bag and go to my car. Thankfully I live only about 7 minutes from this office and if I hurry I could be back in 14 minutes. As I’m leaving the parking lot, I call my mother to lament my mistake (obviously), and I pass an old man in a mini van before she picks up. He shakes his head at me and I see him say “get off the phone.” I stare him down and tell him to “shut up” because a) I’m mad at myself and b) I know he’ll get my place in line and c) that makes me madder and d) stop judging me for being on the phone because I am e) extraordinarily adept at pulling out of a parking spot quite quickly even WHILE being on the phone so you can f) SHOVE IT.

Heavy sigh.

I make it back in 14.5 minutes and I am pleased to see the line is not ridiculously long so I am optimistic. I get my number and wait and see a lady and then I have to take a test on the computerz. I was sort of nervous. I passed. But…I figured out why all NC drivers are so terrible.

Before I continue, let’s clear something up. Never have I been on roads in which more people press their brakes for zero reason whatsoever than in this state. Seriously. On the interstate with no one in front of you, going 2 over the speed limit: braking. There is the glint of a red light from an airplane flying overhead: braking. Green light: braking. Radio is too loud and it scared you: braking. Someone passes you in the left lane: braking. Abandoned car way off to the side of the road (more common than you might think): abrupt braking.

Is this not extreme? I get being a cautious driver. But seriously. Lay off the brakes, people. It’s going to be ok.

Back to the test.

The test contained 25 questions. Most of them are stupid easy. Like “You are approaching your exit on the interstate. What should you do?” A) Put on your blinker and move into the exit lane.” I mean, I typically don’t even need to read the other answers. And for 90% of the questions, the answer was B. For about 23 out of 25 of the questions (that’s 92%), one of the answer choices was “Press the brakes often.”

Light bulbs go off in my head. Multiple bright ones. Not a single time on any of the questions was this the correct answer. Never. In fact, I’d venture to guess that there is no question regarding correct driving procedure in which this would be a correct or even close to correct answer. Unless the question read something like, “What should you do if you are stopped or crawling in extremely heavy traffic due to an accident or road work?” And even in this case, I can think of much more logical answer choices other than “Press the brake often.”

But this explains a lot. Even though anyone who passes the driving test MUST know that “Press brake often” is not correct for anything, it must be subliminal. Like, well I saw “press brake often” a lot on that test so maybe I should do it a lot just to be sure I’m driving correctly! Or something. If I were a driving instructor, I would probably teach that drivers should avoid using the brake unless it’s extremely necessary. I might even say something like, “you should never use the brake unless you think you might hit something in a second.” Yeesh.

Anyway, it clears things up at least. I feel clarity in my understanding of this species of bad drivers. Now I just hope that by becoming a citizen of the great state of North Carolina that I don’t inadvertently and by accident become one of them. Yikes.

One bonus: I got to smile in my license photo and get rid of my scowling-I’m-a-felon looking picture from VA. That thing was stank.

Kit-Kats and Popcorn, it’s What’s for Dinner

Holy moly it has been a billion hot seconds since we had some new jank out of this jank. And by hot seconds, I truly mean hot. Like, insanely warm and humid. Totally over it. Today is actually quite pleasant in R-town, making me want to leave work early. Too bads.

You know what is the perfect candy treat? A kit-kat. I SUPER love kit-kat bars, though their most recent commercials are insanely annoying, making their little jingle out of the sound of people crunching on kit-kat bars. I mean it’s clever obviously but I can’t stand listening to it. Despite this, I always have an intense craving for one afterwards. That’s effective marketing right there.

Last week I snatched a kit-kat at the checkout counter at Food Lion. Right after I had gone to pilates and been for a run. That’s how I operate. I saved it until after I had my awesomely delicious veggie dinner, and then I only ate half of it. Definitely gave myself a high five after that. So I put the other half of it in the fridge for later. Later turned out to be a whole week later, and if you know me, this is a huge deal because I don’t let candy just sit around. I buy it, it gets eaten pronto. So the other day I got it out after dinner and had half of the leftover half. Strange for me. But I just wasn’t in the mood to finish the whole thing.

Today I picked up the measly little leftover half of the half of it and brought it to work. I rewarded myself just an hour ago with this little kit, and it was SO good. There is nothing better than chocolate and whatever that crunchy bar stuff is they put in those things. It is crunchy but not nutty and the chocolate is delicious. It’s perf. But then I was sad because one tiny little kit (it can hardly be called a kit-kat if there is only one bar instead of at least 2 connecting bars) just didn’t do it for me.

And now I’m sort of sad and wanting the kat to my kit.

You ever have that problem? It’s like, I get so excited for it and then it’s not enough. So then typically I’ll get more of that something and then when I finish stuffing my face I am regretful of not being a little healthier and feel like a heifer. Especially with popcorn.

OMG, popcorn.

It’s totally the worst for me. When I was in high school and working at the neighborhood pool behind my house, I would sometimes run home to get a bag of popcorn and eat it for lunch at the front desk. [I was the check-in desk girl. Not strenuous.] And no, it wasn’t as a side to a healthy turkey sandwich on wheat. It was as my meal. Many times I would have more than one bag a day. But back in those days I was a skinny little metabolism-crazed toothpick so it didn’t matter how I gorged myself.

Good times.

These days I’m not so lucky. Fortunately, popcorn companies are geniuses and now make tiny little “personal” bags of popcorn. UNfortunately, these bags are vastly too small to satiate my cravings and I never buy them. Plus they’re more expensive and I have a roommate and like to share. I’m just trying to be nice. My mom says when I don’t share that my “only child is showing.”

Anyway.

Popcorn is the kind of snack that is mindless. I can put that bag of buttery salty little morsels into a big bowl and eat and eat and eat and not even think about it, until I get to the bottom where all the buttery seeds are and then I have to stop. SOMEtimes, if I’m sharing a bag, I’ll pop 2. Just to be sure we both have enough, you know. But then at the end I feel SO bad. Like UGH I just ate so much. And it’s so filling. And buttery. Yum.

I did read recently in the P-90X newsletter that “popped-corn” has lots of fiber, so woo-to-the-hoo on that one. However, something tells me they weren’t referencing Pop-Secret’s Movie Theater Butter version. Whatevs.

Now I’m going to the vending machine to get some M&Ms because my craving for the kat of my kit is too much to bear. Probs going to have popcorn for dinner too, since I’m thinking about it. Who’s with me!

Battle of the Bombshell Bras

I am in the market for a new strapless bra. TMI? Just go with it.

If you didn’t know, bras only last for a max of 2 years before the wires get all funky or the elastic loses it’s elasticity, or the little wire hooks rip off or d) all of the above. Or perhaps e) your dog eats it and it’s no longer wearable. Or I suppose there’s always f) a size issue. You gain weight, either by getting pregnant or eating too many Cookout corndogs and milkshakes (not that I know anyone who does this currently), or you lose weight by cutting out the Cookout corndogs and sticking to low-fat milkshakes (an awesome idea, except low-fat anything typically = tasteless…not worth it).

Let’s not digress. I’m in the market. And I’ve started looking and asking around. Customer recommendations hold a heavy weight when it comes to these kinds of purchases. Other women are a great source for one to find out how exactly a bra fits. Does it stay up? Does it dig into your side and leave permanent hideous and painful marks on your skin? Does it make you feel like a goddess with perfect ta-tas? Does it squish the girls down and bring you back to 6th grade? You get the idea.

Other women are also a bad source, because we’re all different. I’m an A. But so is a friend of mine, and we can’t share bras. Also any girl will tell you, just because you’re one size in one brand, doesn’t mean every style or brand in that size will fit. Weird. Annoying, also. I own a bra that’s a B, but I guarantee you I’m not a B. It’s a fluke. Or maybe I am a B, just in that particular cut of bra. Which makes it annoying. It also makes it depressing because I could get excited about [extremely] belated boob growth only to be deflated (pun?) when any other style bra in a B is extremely huge. Also I have this weird pokey rib situation, which sometimes complicates things. TMI?

Bottom line is, there is no standard. It’s not like shoes. Or t-shirts, where you’re a small, medium, large, or extra-large. If only.

Since I purchased 90 new swim suits earlier in the spring, I now receive 12 Victoria’s Secret catalogs per week. Hardly an exaggeration. I obviously look at all of them even though these catalogs are probably the worst ones in existence for a girl’s self-esteem. I mean. I don’t even have to explain this. I also enjoy the little tag lines throughout these things. My favorite are the “special sale” ones. Literally there are pages claiming that, “Even Supermodels Love Sales!” Well then! If even supermodels love this sale, then I surely should buy something! It’s that good! Yeesh. As if they don’t receive a lifetime supply of bras and other hoo-ha coverings (or not-so-much-coverings) for free.

In just looking at VS for a new bra, I am astounded at the number of choices and the naming conventions. Not astounded actually. Just annoyed. There’s demi-cut, which to this day I still cannot figure out. There’s the sexy cut. Which makes no sense to me, since I sort of think all bras sold by VS are supposed to be sexy, at least on the models with minute 12 inch waists and D-cup boobs.

Side thought. If anything in life were to actually be categorized as unfair, it’s that these models are either a) really shaped like this, with ridiculously gorgeous long legs, perfect long torsos with tiny waists, and huge ta-tas, OR b) that even if this is not the reality of their shapes, that they are allowed to be portrayed to the general and innocent public looking so. It is for this reason alone that I never purchase any of their “bra-tops.” Because no one looks as good in real life in one of those things, no matter what the neckline looks like, as those girls.

Back to bra picking. I have studied the choices and I cannot figure out the difference between the “Gorgeous,” “Incredible,” “Miraculous,” “Bombshell,” and the “Very Sexy” lines other than one has some bows on the straps, and they come in different colors. Some of them have adjustable and changeable straps, but that has nothing to do with the actual bra part – the part that holds those ladies in place.They all have insane padding and give me the impression that I could get stripper boobs just by purchasing this bra.

The comforting thing is that at least VS has sales all the time. Which means when I finally decide if I want to be a bombshell, incredible, gorgeous, or very sexy, or PINK , I could at least get my choice at 20% off. I sort of want to be an incredibly gorgeous and miraculously very sexy bombshell, who occasionally wears pink, but perhaps that’s just too much to ask.

It’s too bad I can’t wear my new bikini tops under work clothes [and not get funny looks / be sent to HR / fired] because those things are comfortable and they fit well. And then I wouldn’t have to worry about bra straps showing and I wouldn’t even have to think about what kind of strapless bra to buy. I’d wear a swim suit every day and gladly show everyone that I’m ready for the beach, or at least the neighborhood pool, with my halter top bow peeking out from my button-down.

Maybe I need to switch professions, and then I could give all my bras away. To the trash can. Who’s down for $14.99 bikini tops as bras from now on? I might not be a bombshell or even moderately sexy, but at least I’d be comfortable. And ready for a spontaneous trip to the pool.

Radiantly Refreshed and Renewed

The other day I went to Target to restock on some necessities. Oreos, goldfish, milk, Fruity Pebbles, face wash, toothpaste. You know, the basics. When I got to the toothpaste isle I noticed for the first time that there are a BILLION types of toothpaste now. They even have swallowable (not a word, I know) toothpaste for little kids who can’t yet grasp the concept that fluoride isn’t good for you. And the only kind that keeps its packaging remotely similar looking through the years is Arm & Hammer (gross). Yellow box = not good marketing for clean white teeth in my opinion.

Anyhoo. I’m looking at the endless wall of shiny blue and white boxes trying to find the brand I usually get. I think its Crest, something to do with whitening and cavity protection. But as I inspect the boxes, I am torn. Do I want cavity prevention? Or do I want to prevent gum disease? Or guard against tartar buildup? Why can’t I have all of them in one? And why must I choose between protecting myself from a  yucky gum disease and getting my teeth a little whitened also?

At this point I think I might need a Venn Diagram. Or at least a pro/con list.

I finally spot the box I usually get, which, shockingly, has changed the design of packaging yet again making it extraordinarily difficult to be a repeat consumer. Then as I’m examining and about to select my regular tube, I realize even within the brand / line of toothpaste I like (Crest Vivid White or 3D White, if you’re wondering) (the tubes are purple and match my bathroom decor…I’d be lying if I said this didn’t have a little to do with why I started getting it), there are a billion additional choices. All provide whitening so that’s good. All say something about fluoride and/or tartar and/or disease protection, so whatever. At this point I’m annoyed and as long as I’m getting some kind of healthiness provision and stain blocker / whitening action it’s all good. But there’s a sale. Two boxes of slightly smaller tubes for $5.30 or one slightly larger tube for $3.75. Now I have to do some math and figure out which one is actually the better deal. Do I really want an additional tube for 2 more dollars? Is it worth it to have additional stockpile of toothpaste? I reflect on how difficult a time I’m having selecting my paste and think yes, if I can prolong this gahdawful process longer than one-tube worth of time, I’m down.

I reach for the double box and realize I have yet another choice to make, and this one is possibly the most important. Flavor. Nothing worse than a toothpaste flavor that isn’t pleasing to the palate. There are 4 or 5 different kinds of mint. Now, I realize that mint is very variable. But somewhere along the line they abandoned regular and normal and expected food-related flavors for adjectives that make no sense when related to what something will taste like. Example: Radiant Mint. What does Radiant Mint taste like? And how do I know what Radiant Mint will be like compared to Fresh Mint, or Refreshing Mint, or Renewal Mint? None of these are flavors. You know what is a flavor? Spearmint. Everyone knows what Spearmint tastes like because there’s been Spearmint gum since like 1945 or something. Also Peppermint. Peppermint is normal and we know what it will taste like. I’ve seen Intense Mint and while that is not a normal flavor either, it portrays that the mint flavor will be intense and strong, and is therefore acceptable. Radiant is not a food adjective and neither is Renewal. Renewal especially makes no sense.

Why can’t adults have simple and understandable flavors like kids have? Bubblegum flavor. That is normal. I know what bubblegum tastes like. I might not want my toothpaste to taste like that (and subsequently my breath to smell like bubblegum as an adult…negs), but at least I’d know what to expect. What if I get Refreshing Mint and I actually think it’s gross? And if that’s the case, then I bought two boxes and I’m locked in to non-refreshing Refreshing Mint for 2 tubes worth of time. This is a big decision. I finally choose Radiant Mint for no other reason that it’s on a lower shelf and therefore easier for me to reach than the other options and I move on.

When did all of this toothpaste complication happen? And can we please circle back to to 3D White? What exactly does that mean? I think it’s a word-fad. You know, like in the early 2000s when e-whatever was a fad. Put “e” in front of everything and it’d be cool and new. I’m surprised toothpaste makers didn’t follow this trend. eMint! It’s eRefreshing! Provides noticeable eWhitening in just 3 eDays! Just like now how iAnything is a fad. We are in an iWorld. Maybe next up on Crest’s lineup should be iWhitening. iMint. It’s iRefreshing for your iTeeth and a pretty iSmile.

Yeesh. I guess we’ll see how my 3D Brushing goes when I crack open my new iTube of eToothpaste. Here’s hoping that Radiant Mint was a good choice. Maybe I’ll have a more radiant smile and radiant breath? Here’s hoping.

That’s over 800 words on toothpaste. Bet you didn’t think that was possible.

Holy Rent Check Batman! It’s Louboutin!

I recently went to the most expensive mall in America. I know I exaggerate things a lot, but I’m fairly certain this is a fact, as Bal Harbour Shops have pretty much every designer I’ve ever heard of and some that I hadn’t in its directory. Seriously.

And can I tell you how many adorable couples I saw strolling through the shops, ladies attempting to be nonchalantly perusing the non-sale items, whilst their boyfriend or husband carried anywhere from 2 to 5 bags from previous stores. Or perhaps they actually were perusing nonchalantly and it was just me who was trying not to repeat this scenario too many times: “gosh, these are such cute sanda– HOLY CRAP THESE ARE 1500 DOLLARS!!! THAT’S THREE MONTHS OF LIVING EXPENSES!!!” It’s hard to fit in with the rich and privileged when you’re busing out the “OH MY GAHD”s every 5 seconds at prices and cute things which the lady next to you is wearing and looking to replace because hers are “so last year,” or some such nonsense. Sigh.

I guess technically things out-of-fashion could be called “so this year,” since new collections from anybody who’s anybody are for the Spring of 2015 or whatever. This is not something I comprehend.

I got excited in Saks when there was an extremely long row of shoe racks with bright red signs atop them saying something about “take an additional 40% OFF!” Wow! I thought, 40%! That’s pretty significant. Surely I could find something special for special occasions for myself and not break the bank or become homeless. Plus it is technically still my birthday month and therefore I must deserve a special treat. Surely. I find the size 6’s, as I am blessed with such a perfect shoe size as they always have it and it is always on display. I see an adorable pair of shoes with the red sole, and we all know what that means. Christian Louboutin said once that, “Black soles are for widows, beige soles are for the Milanese, but red soles are for those who flirt and still have time to dance.” Hello, does this not describe me? I am not a widow, not from Milan, and I dearly love to flirt and have often been caught dancing at my desk (since I endeavored to stand at it all day…more on this another time perhaps). Does this not qualify me for some precious red-sole action? I think so. I pick up this single red-soled beauty, knowing that I have only to raise my eyebrows at the help to retrieve its mate to complete my pair, and turn it over casually to glance at the price as I am in the process of bending over to slide my foot into this glass slipper.

Gasp.

I choke for air and think I might faint, while trying to maintain composure and pretend it says 50 cents like everyone else in the store seems to do. I know the average going rate for these things is $800. That means that many are over $800. Let’s review that $800 is over my monthly rent (I’m lucky) and if I lived in a more normal apartment with a normal rent-rate, it would probably and possibly still be at or above my rent (I love Raleigh). That means I’d have to live out of my car for at least a month if I were to trade these shoes for that expense. Could be worth it. I sigh again and put them back on the rack without putting my foot in it. I suddenly feel as if my feet aren’t $1250-clean-enough. Glancing through the rack to two elegantly, yet casually dressed Spanish women doing their best to help our economy, I decide we are not in the same league whatsoever and move on, leaving my dream shoes to some other perfect-foot-sized woman, who perhaps has a higher credit limit than I. I walked out of Saks, resolving to be happy with my trusty Rainbows and DSW sales.

Later I am reflecting on the outrageous prices of all of these boutiques and marveling at how they can stay in business. I look at price tags (if one can even be found) and am shocked and often scoff at the price. The question of “who would pay” such prices is really irrelevant, as the brands wouldn’t have the esteem or success that they do if people didn’t pull out the plastic to make the $1250 red-soled pretties their own. My question is, why? What is it about the red sole that makes them so amazing? Why are they more than my ridiculously comfortable black Also pumps (yes, with a widow-black-sole)? Why can’t I just break out the red nail polish like he did back in the day, and make mine look-alikes? Why do I feel weird at the prospect of buying a pair of hot-pink-soled heels from ShoeDazzle?

The answer is obviously in reverence. Or something. There’s a reason that only Upper East Side high school girls buy prom dresses from Oscar de la Renta, and that Christian Louboutin is known as the most extraordinary shoe designer of his time. If his shoes weren’t amaze-sauce, they wouldn’t be as special. Or something. My reaction to the red sole is evidence that whoever is in charge of marketing for these beauties is doing a good job. This is me giving a raspberry (I’m such a lady) to them for preventing normal gals like me from owning gorgeous footwear like that.

Happy last day of my birthday month!

PHENOMENAL COSMIC POWERS!

Yes, that’s an Aladdin reference. In light of semi-serious postings going on lately making my mother cry (April 16th, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day) (Ma, do not go back and read those), today we’re going to get back to the good stuff. Yes, boys and men. I know. Sorry. Actually I’m not, but whatever. I’ve professed before about the power in a relationship, but today I’m going to share more in depth the subtleties of the power in a relationship, the power shift, and maybe even how to get the power back if you lose it. And it might even spawn sequels of this post. We’ll see how it goes.

I have this friend. She was seeing this guy. He seemed really awesome. The type that you tell all your friends that he’s so good, it’s like he’s too good. But it appears to be true. She make all the right moves (and so doe he), letting him initiate phone calls, dates, hang-out sessions, cutesy text convos, and she’s checking off all the little “he’s just not that into me” boxes. And by that I mean, she is assuring that he is actually into her because he’s making this grand effort. High five to my friend. But she’s still sort of hesitant, because of that feeling in the back of her mind that “this is too good to be true,” so she’s guarded. We all tell her obviously to get excited and be happy, he sounds awesome, blah blah blah. Here’s a shocking revelation: girls in packs give turrible advice. Girls one-on-one give great advice [usually] but put us all in a room together and plug your ears. In the end though, we all agree that she should follow her heart, advice frequently handed out by my favorite Marine. So she keeps it light, and then after a while decides she either isn’t ready for this relationship to progress, it doesn’t feel right, or she just doesn’t want to see him anymore, and she tells him so. Simple, straightforward.The “because” really don’t matter.

If you’re trying to guess, at this point it is my friend who has the power. She’s taking her situation into her own hands and choosing for herself. When a little while goes by and he seems to be ok with it, not calling 90 times to get to to come back, singing Darius Rucker songs beneath her window, she still can hold her head up high and proudly say, “I chose. I am more than fine. I love myself. And he can screw whatever he wants and I don’t care.” And she’d be honest. In this situation, it’s not really important that he know she has the power. He might even think that he has the power (if guys even think about this) but it doesn’t matter, because she is fine, confident, and self-empowered. And sassy. And she moves on, and is even more empowered by her own choice when she finds out that he has a girlfriend just a few short weeks later. This is affirmation that she followed her heart and did the right thing for herself and she’s not missing out.

I think this is really what “having the power” is all about. It’s not about abusing the power, knowing that you are holding the other person in the palm of your hand. Knowing that they’ll do anything you ask, say anything you want, as long as they can be with you, and abusing it. Or whatever. It’s about knowing your destiny is in your control. That sounded deep, but it’s really not. My friend had the power because she chose and didn’t let infatuation with someone she didn’t know too well get in the way of doing what she knew in her heart (and head) was the right thing for her. She didn’t let the insecurity that we all feel about being that one girl we all know who is still “alone and single” get in the way of watching out for number one.

In my experience, the power shift happens when you perceive that you are more invested than the other person. My friend in this little anecdote perceived this, feared losing control of herself, and kept things light until she could figure out his true intentions. This part is tricky because sometimes boys are really good at pretending you rock their world, and then they get a little hooha and you are yesterday’s hooha and they’ve moved on to fresher and newer hooha. [I love using the word hooha.] One can encourage the power shift by doing many things, thus losing control over your own situation. As ladies, we can easily lose sight of keeping our cool in favor of being too available and smothering our current man with communication and emotion. While I’m not in favor of playing games, it is important to keep your cool and try to be normal. If you realize one day that he totally has the power and you don’t like it because you don’t know what’s up, there are things you can do to alleviate the situation and perhaps bring the power back to neutral. Stop smothering. See if he misses it, and more importantly, you. If he doesn’t, say goodbye. And presto, power is back to you. Are we seeing a trend? This applies to guys and girls. If you think she has all the power and you don’t like it, and you’re not sure how she feels, stop smothering. See if she misses you. If she doesn’t, say goodbye.

We seem to be getting closer to my oft-repeated mantra. And now that I think about it, it seems the balance of power gets back to “he’s just not that into you.” If the power isn’t shared almost equally between the two parties, seems to me that one of you doesn’t care enough. And don’t we all want someone who cares more than enough? Personally I prefer someone who cares a whole lot, versus someone who could really go either way, depending on what’s on ESPN at the moment and if he’s hungry.

And now I’m over 1000 words. I guess we’ll have some sequels coming soon. Because we know how much I love sequels. No one likes to say goodbye after just one.