Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow?

I am craving short hair right now. I get the itch, every few years, and hack it all off. Problem is, I do like having long hair, but long hair and humidity were never meant to coexist. The past few weeks of clouds and rain in Dallas have started to wear on me; I am one phone call away from an appointment to get rid of nine or ten superfluous inches.

I like dramatic haircuts. I'm not a person with a standing appointment every two months; I cut it at my discretion. I do not color my hair at all, which allows it to stay healthy for a longer period of time.

I'm usually good and decisive about these things, but I have wrestled over what do next:

Should I just cut some long layers; good for the beachy Jessica Simpson waves look? Or opt for short, summer-heat friendly ease? I scrolled through pictures from my college years the other night (read: all of them) and almost had myself convinced that short would be the way to go.

Pictures of the short-haired me; three summers ago:

My friend BF has an adorable bob that I am envying at present. Her hair is always perfect and put-together looking. Of course, when I told her I was considering cutting mine, she said WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?!

So maybe there are some mixed feelings?

My family is definitely entrenched in Long Hair Camp, and for now, so am I. I have started soliciting opinions and people tell me they like it both ways; remaining safely neutral.

Let's face it- I'm all talk. I'm not sure that the instant gratification would be worth the sacrifice at this point.

Life is an endless struggle full of frustrations and challenges, but eventually you find a hair stylist you like.
-Author Unknown

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Graduate

There is not much I remember of life pre-brother.

LH is my only sibling. It's me and it's him.

I know that his eyes are the exact same color blue as our mother's.

I know that he has a penchant for dating redheads...

... and for making out with the younger sisters of MY friends.

I know that he eats the lemon or lime slices out of glasses of tea, water and beer.

All the things I know about him and all of our shared memories came flooding back to me as I watched him walk across a stage and graduate from college this weekend in Austin, Texas. A Friday and Saturday night affair, I had plenty of time to think. Maybe even got a little teary-eyed. 


We may be two very different and independent people, but we have a respect and an understanding of each other that has continued even through the past eight years, while we have been at different colleges and in different cities.

He ran into several friends and their families on Friday night when we were out to dinner to celebrate, and a few of their parents at separate times during the evening asked if I was his younger sister. It was funny (and awesome) because that never happens to us. I have always clearly been older, but not Friday. Maybe it was the lighting; maybe it was him wearing a tie. It could have been his post-graduate glow.

On Friday, he looked older.

"Oh, the places you'll go..."
-Dr. Seuss

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Or Forever Hold Your Peace

I have this theory about guys.

What else is new?

I assert that guys find girls more desirable who they first meet while the girl is dating someone else or who has already dated one of their friends. It's almost as though it is reassuring to them- as if another guy dating them has provided a test drive and somehow validates their datability (my word). I could name the theory after a few girls I went to college with who never had any shortage of suitors. It ties in with the thrill of the chase; wanting what, or in this case who, you cannot have.

My beef with this is that it focuses on very few girls within a social group, when in fact most social situations give guys a greater number of prospects to meet. It's also strange that guys would really not mind dating the same girl as one of their friends, because in Girl World, it would be poor form to date an ex of a friend.

It doesn't make sense to me (though I do not comprehend the male mind, this I have reiterated many times) that I have many very dateable, smart, attractive, SINGLE friends with very little dating experience.

A small minority of that same group of friends have hardly been without a boyfriend since I have known them. I understand that some girls have serious game. I can only applaud my friends who are never without suitors and remain high on the Desirable List for other guys. What I do not understand is why guys won't take the chance to date one of my other friends. Does one assume that her availability is permanent? Because that isn't the case at all.

To prove my case further, an example:

My college friend and one of my roommates for two years, JP dated a guy from her hometown our freshman year of college. They eventually broke up at the end of the year, and she was single for the two years following. An adorable and outgoing person, she made some guys friends in the interim, and at the time there were probably two of whom I think she would have dated, had they initiated anything. There were some flirtations and date parties but ultimately nothing came of them.

At the end of our junior year JP decided to take an internship working at a Young Life camp in Arizona, and while she was there she met and started dating the guy who would eventually become her husband. She came back to school that fall with a stud nose-ring (I was so jealous), a great boyfriend and having finished an internship with a ministry that would later lead into her career.

When we got back to school the fall of our senior year, some of our friends down the street had a big party to kick off the year. I distinctly remember seeing JP talking to the guys in question from the previous school year, catching up on the summer, telling them (obviously, why wouldn't you?!) about her new boyfriend in California. They both later verbally kicked themselves in front of some of our friends, wistfully saying things along the lines of regretting not taking the opportunity to try and date her earlier.

She became a hot commodity once she was not on the market anymore, only problem was: she never went back on the market again. She has been happily married since October 2007.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is poetic justice.

Moral of my very long story? If there's a great girl you know and you wonder why no guy is dating her- it's probably because you haven't made the effort... or maybe you already asked and she said no/drop-dead. But you know what? At least you tried.

"I was down at the New Amsterdam staring at this yellow-haired girl
Mr. Jones strikes up a conversation with this black-haired flamenco dancer
She dances while his father plays guitar
She's suddenly beautiful..."
-Counting Crows, "Mr. Jones"

Monday, May 18, 2009

Fight or Flight

I was in Phoenix, Arizona all weekend for... work? Vacation? Someone else's honeymoon?

Work. Definitely work.

It seems that work also involved a resort, a lazy river and lots of couples walking around in robes and slippers.

I hate those times when I'm not 100% detail-oriented because it will inevitably come back to bite me. Examples of this would include not proofing a paper for an English class ONE LAST TIME before submitting it, leaving my purse on a bus in Germany (recovered), leaving my wallet on a train to Montauk (recovered) and a slew of other incidents. It happens, I deal with it, I promise myself to do better next time. 
At some time or another, we have all seen the poor discombobulated soul running through the airport. As a people-watcher in most settings anyway, there are few better places to observe a wide variety of cultures randomness than an airport terminal. I am habitually early for flights and have never missed one.
Yesterday evening in the Phoenix airport, I was the one turning heads. In the security line on the way to my gate, I realized that the slip that looked like a boarding pass that I had placed next to my I.D. in my wallet was in fact the receipt for my checked bag. Not okay, considering my flight was already boarding and I had all of 22 minutes before take-off.
Rachel, a wonderful airport security employee, told me to try the kiosks outside of security to print a new boarding pass, and that I could come back through the employee/first class line and by-pass everyone when I returned. Since it was so close to my flight, the kiosk would not allow me to print another one, so she told me to "haul it" downstairs and see if they would print me another pass at the desk. I bascially had to make a decision at that point: did I want to endure the almost-inevitable of missing my flight and getting bumped to the next one, or did I want to bust my tail and try my darndest to get on my original flight?
I took off running, literally running, not "rushing" or "hurrying", down to the ticket counter, and encountered another helpful person who printed off another boarding pass for me in a number of seconds and told me that they would not close the doors until 10 minutes before take-off. At that point I had nine minutes until that happened.
I sprinted back over to an escalator, taking the steps two at a time which looked really lady-like in my sundress and flip-flops; my running gear of choice. I arrived at security, got to cut as promised and after saying, breathlessly Myflightleavesin15minutescanIpleasegoinfrontofyou? I threw my purse and shoes through the conveyor belt, walked as calmly as possible through the security check, hoping they wouldn't stop me to look in my bag, grabbed my things on the other end and took off running again.
I saw the arrow for gates A17-A30, and what seemed like an endlessly long hallway with horizontal escalators. I was glad it was a straight shot at least, considering the four minutes I had left to get to my gate, as I blew past everyone lazily waiting for the end of the escalator, leaning on their rolling bags, probably thinking of whether they wanted to buy peanut or regular M&M's before their flight, without a care in the world. I don't typically run with such fervor, such gusto; I'm more of a jogger you see, but I was in the zone. 
I turned a hard right to see the gates, still running, and saw some of my coworkers who were in disbelief that I had made it back. The flight attendants at the gate were watching the clock as they scanned my boarding pass, probably thinking was this seriously printed downstairs seven minutes ago? Yep, it was.    
And you know what else? I didn't miss my flight. Boo ya. 

Peter McCallister: We didn't forget him. We just miscounted.
-Home Alone, 1990

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Birthday Guitar

Happy birthday to one dear friend, AR, who plays one mean air guitar...

Favorite all-time AR quotes:
"It's not your fault, it's just your problem."
"Whatever I go, says."
-Birthday Girl

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Lack of Propriety

Thursday night after Community Group, a few of us still hanging around chatting determined that there was little in the way of plans made for the weekend. 

We decided to go to a restaurant called Bolsa in the Bishop Arts District, a decidedly up-and-coming, hipster-ish neighborhood in South Dallas. A party of nine (eight girls, one RM), we waited on the inside part of the restaurant near the bar, drinking peach sangria and chatting while we waited for our table. We weren't seated until nearly 10 p.m., and by then everyone on the patio near us had been there, drinking, for quite a while. 

After ordering salads and flatbreads, we settled in and my friends CC and KR quickly spotted an amorous couple at the outdoor bar, of which I had full view. The couple fell into the "older than our parents" range; both probably about 60 but dressed much younger. The canoodling started, some whispering of (probably not sweet) nothings, some neck-nuzzling; nothing you would ever in a million years want to see your parents doing but still relatively harmless. They had clearly been drinking for some time and then started kissing and getting hands-y. 

Our entire table became their captive audience at this point, in disbelief of the scene unfolding, and the table next to us of couples in their early thirties started pointing and commenting on the behavior as well. The man made every woman looking cringe, as he started in on the woman's lower back, sliding his hand under her shirt and grabbing her love-handles. Jaws dropped as we saw him lean back, slide his hand up the back of her shirt, unfasten her strapless black bra and hand it to her. Wide-eyed, we all gave each other a "that just happened" look. Goodness knows they were in no condition to drive, but soon after the bra was taken off, they left. Maybe they finally ascertained that there was only so far they could go in public, who knows? I think it's great that couples stay in love after years together, keeping the romance alive and whatnot, but there are limits to how much of that love the general public should have to see on a Friday night. 

They disappeared and were replaced by a group of younger folks, probably about 10 years older than us, who gladly claimed their seats. Also a bit of a spectacle, one of the couples established early on that they would be the lovebirds to watch. The girl clearly thought she was the greatest thing since sliced bread in a white backless sundress that had laces creating geometric shapes all over her back and tall heels. Her boyfriend, equally starved for attention, had on a white, tuxedo looking shirt with ruffles all down the front, a bracelet, too-tight jeans and snakeskin loafers, and they picked up where the other couple had left off. 

Bolsa must be Spanish for frisky

Saturday afternoon I went to the Mavericks vs. Nuggets play-off game in Dallas (we were robbed on that last foul call, for the record) with CC. The couple next to us, our parents age, were drinking copious amounts of alcohol and got progressively more obnoxious as the game went on. CC eventually moved her Diet Coke down between our seats, citing the reason that the man was taking up too much space and she was having to reach between his legs to get to her cup-holder. I thought it was funny; she not so much. 

A close runner-up for Most Awkward Person to Watch behind bra-remover-old-enough-to-be-a-grandpa, was a guy sitting in front of us during the game. The seats directly in front of us were occupied by two girls, very done up and cute, probably 18 or 19, eating processed cheese and candy in such a way as led me to believe they haven't had to worry about the concept of a metabolism yet. They had empty seats on either side of them, kept checking their phones and looking around, and so it looked like they may have been stood-up. 

A guy many years older than them and a few seats down, who had not spoken to them the entire time, handed his phone to another guy near him to take a picture of him with the two dateless girls sitting on his row, to send to his buddies. *Possible text sent with photo:* Dude, look at these two hotties! I am awesome! This happened during the third quarter, meaning he sat by them, not saying another word to them, mind you, for the duration of the game. Over a shared bucket of popcorn, CC and I could only wonder what he was thinking, and through our shared musings, after all the events of the weekend that had transpired, she said, and I agreed:

Why can't other people get embarrassed for themselves? Why do I have to feel embarrassed for them? 

Great question.

Peter Bretter: You can't be so casual about this! This isn't Europe, okay? There are rules here! 
- Forgetting Sarah Marshall, 2008

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Thoughts on Faith

Long story short, I've been working on this post for weeks and delayed posting it for no particular reason. Earlier this evening I was at my friend BF's apartment, checking email on my phone after dinner and while checking blog comments, I accidentally deleted two of them (not so accurate with the iPhone touch quite yet) from a bloggers who I did not recognize. One was asking me about my faith, a timely question that ties in quite well with this post, and this part of my life that I have not been as forthcoming with... 

Every Thursday night I meet with ten other girls ("women") my age in something we call Community Group. It is a Bible study that is also an accountability group, and I would also consider it a support system of girls who are part of each other's lives on a daily, and not just weekly basis.
My faith is not something, up to this point, that I have discussed on my blog, probably because I feel unfit to do so. I love to read and I love to write, but I've never been able to articulate my faith in an eloquent enough way for my standards. Any writing ability I have though, is a God-given gift, and though I'm no Beth Moore or Big Mama, and it has come to my attention that I've not been completely straightforward about my beliefs in this particular forum. In the simplest of terms: I'm a Christian, and I have been saved by grace through faith. I have a personal relationship with Christ, and whether in life's joyous moments or those when I am brought to my knees in prayer or need of forgiveness, He is with me. His love is the single greatest blessing in my life.
The Group I am a part of consists of 10 girls, all my age, who went to three different colleges and all had a link to someone else in the group when we got started. My friends CC and MG went to a leader training seminar some months back, then decided they wanted to try branching off to form one of their own. I walked in the first night last fall to see a friend I have known since childhood, sorority friends and some acquaintances from college, and total strangers. It was the perfect mix. 

Friends in the group are teachers, work in real estate development and management, we have a med student, a grad student studying speech pathology, an auditor, a girl who works in youth ministry, a (bi-lingual) family advocate for a non-profit organization, a design school student, etc. Keeps things interesting, I'll tell you that much to be sure. Thus far we have read a book called Lies Women Believe and are currently studying the book of Galatians... a book which has been humbling me, many times a week, as MK and I try to piece together a cohesive study on this book of the Bible; to understand the historical context of it, understand Paul's mission, sort through various theologian's commentaries and see, through all of that, what it is that we, as 23 and 24-year-old girls are supposed to learn from it. 

I've come to find through meeting with the Group that many people had a similar post-college crisis as I did, asking themselves, "Who am I? What is my purpose? What am I supposed to do with my life? Where did all these decisions come from?" All of these questions either hit you all at once, or drop into your lap one at a time. Either way, you don't understand the magnitude of them until college is over and you're actually forced to make decisions about you're future, to make a "plan". It's been comforting to find that it's not just me experiencing this.

And you know what's funny? Regardless of my planning or intentions, God often likes to remind me that He's got His own plan for me, and by surrendering and trusting Him, I am fulfilling that plan. Time together with the Group is a hiatus I look forward to at the end of every work week, and the ways in which God has allowed us to contribute substantially to one another's lives in the months we have been meeting is further proof of His blessings in my life. 

I'm glad tomorrow is Thursday. 

"It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad."
-C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Estrogen Overload

Saturday brought more showers to the DFW metroplex. Rain showers, yes, maybe even some torrential downpours, but also another bridal shower. 

I can always count on AG to comment on how my boobs look if I'm wearing anything other than a nun's robe . I wore a more low cut dress than normally would on Saturday night, attending a 100% female bridal shower and dinner for AG, and I was not there five minutes before (wait for it):
"Your girls look good, I like that dress!" If she was a guy, that would have been offensive and sleazy, but coming from AG, I'm familiar with it as a compliment. 

Also a compliment when there are five pregnant women in the room. 

That's right- when the sea of gifts and umbrellas and the line of women signing the guest book parted, I saw my friends SG and EL and confirmed with my own eyes that they are going to be baby mamas in only a few months. 

Looking at SG, who is due in June to have a boy, I was halfway thinking she just had a balloon under her black empire-waist dress. My friend EL, who is expecting a girl, is barely showing yet, but her bump was there too, plain as day. 

Five pregnant 20-something women in the same room as four generations of women, including one adorable two-year-old, complete with a sparkly headband. I was sitting in front of a bowl of green and pink Jelly Belly's on the couch, which she had been eyeing while circling the coffee table, and when I asked if she wanted to sit with me, she climbed into my lap like she'd known me forever. She would talk and talk and occasionally hop off my lap to grab another jelly bean, much to the disapproval of her mother. 
The house was completely decked out for the party and there were framed pictures of AG and her fiance everywhere. While roaming the downstairs with a margarita in hand, I noticed the juxtaposition of two photos which happened to be the same place where a basket of tortilla chips was located. One was of AG as a young child carrying her lunch box, bow in hair on her first day of pre-school or kindergarten, next to a picture of her fiance, a West Point grad, in his Army fatigues, smiling with a helmet on and carrying huge rifle. I thought it was funny, at least. 
While AG was opening her gifts, I was sitting on the floor in front of her and the two-year-old would come by and show me a card, take my name tag, and then started helping with the gifts. AG was sitting by the fireplace, and when the little one figured out that AG was the one with the captive audience, she climbed up onto the fireplace and started singing Mary Had a Little Lamb while twirling with her arms out. She knew literally every verse.

Spending an evening with pregnant friends and seeing a girl, not much older than us, chasing around her toddler, I know I can only speak for myself when I say that there's a mixed emotion there. On the one hand, living my current existence of me-work-me-family-me-friends-various hobbies-me, I can't imagine having a child right now. On the other hand, your maternal instinct kicks in, you see a precious little girl who looks undoubtedly like her mother, and you think "yep, I want one.


"Look at my child, at the shine of her flyaway curls and the butterfly flight of her smile... I have known her for two years. But if you took every memory, every moment, if you stretched them end to end- they'd reach forever."
-Jodi Picoult, My Sister's Keeper